Apparently You Can Actually Like Your Own Writing

Cleaning my vehicle the other day, I discovered a long-forgotten CD under the seat. It was Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend. Turns out it’s been seven years since that album came out, and I hadn’t missed a thing – they were just now set to finally drop a new album in the coming months. New release Friday came last week, and of course I was going to stream their new album Father of the Bride two or three times, especially considering how good their lead single, “Harmony Hall,” is. I found the album a mess – all the ingredients are there, but some were overcooked and some half raw. That’s life; it happens. I’d just like to take care it doesn’t happen to me.

I started blogging around 2012, first on Tumblr, then self-hosted, and finally the WordPress Premium platform you see here. Tracking each year until now, I always found myself horribly repulsed by my own writing in increments of one year after hitting the publish button. The year 2015 would lead me to reject 2014’s scribblings, for instance. That is, until last year. Continue reading “Apparently You Can Actually Like Your Own Writing”

STARSTORM: Be a Good Reader on WordPress

I want to discuss what I consider to be the ideal strategy for being a good reader on WordPress. It all focuses on stars, which I consider to be the unsung hero of being a wonderful blogosphere citizen.

We have a cool feature on our Normal Happenings Starry-Eyed Discord. It’s called STARSTORM, and we’re really loving it. Basically, everyone gets to share their new posts, and then we go and make sure to star them on WordPress. I use a very similar process regarding my own WordPress reader. Continue reading “STARSTORM: Be a Good Reader on WordPress”

Babble | Re: Inkling

Based on: Babble | Daily Inkling.
Feel free to join in with your own response!

We all have words we can’t seem to properly say. List the words you just can’t spit out, and then write a story with them.


In many ways, I am not a normal person – perhaps a surprising revelation considering I run a blog called Normal Happenings. Honestly, I remind myself of a robot sometimes, especially when it comes to the concept of words.

Words are particularly special to me. Sometimes I view them as living things. They always have been, in many ways, my greatest ally in moving beyond my own nature and becoming something greater than myself — well, excepting one word in particular. Continue reading “Babble | Re: Inkling”

Hey, Where’s That Novel Project You Were Working On?

Does anyone remember Dysontopia, my serialized fiction novel project? For a while, I was posting about a thousand words of it every week. It has been a while since I’ve even brought up the topic, so I would imagine one or two of you are wondering if it ran away, took an extended vacation in the Caribbean, or perhaps got sucked into a giant planet-eating black hole. Well, Dysontopia looks nothing like the fragments scattered about Normal Happenings anymore.

When last we checked in, it was undergoing a reformat with the intention of me releasing it chapter by chapter instead of in small portions. But here’s the thing – Dysontopia has blossomed into something really quite special. I don’t want to speak too soon, but reworking this novel has completely shifted its core concept into something that I actually consider particularly unique, mature, and sophisticated as far as novels are concerned. It’s more than just that girl named Sydney, though she still remains the focal point of the work. Don’t worry, I love that character too much for her not to be the main protagonist. Continue reading “Hey, Where’s That Novel Project You Were Working On?”

Distant Voices | Re: Inkling

Based on: Distant Voices | Daily Inkling.
Feel free to join in with your own response!

Have you ever heard voices in the sound of the wind, rustling of leaves, or repetitive churning of a fan? If so, what did you imagine they might be saying?


As much as I love the abstract questions that seem to spontaneously generate from the depths of my mind and rise to the surface about once every 24 hours, I must admit they’re not all born out of personal experience. Generally they are a hybrid of me paying close attention to life and listening to the stories of others.

It’s so romantic and ethereal to imagine “Distant Voices” in the wind or the leaves, but to be honest — and this is a little embarrassing for me — my experience with this phenomenon comes from me opening and closing a squeaky door. Yep, the squeaky door literally calls out my name. Continue reading “Distant Voices | Re: Inkling”

Re: Inkling | Error Error Mistakes

You know, it’s probably time I started taking my own medicine. Re: Inklings are short responses to the Daily Inklings I set forth each day. I get envious of those who pour their heart and soul into their amazing answers, so I’ve decided to join the fray and start offering creative takes of my own.

Daily Inkling | Error Error Mistakes

Find a very minor and insignificant factual or topological error in one of your previous blog posts. Write a lengthy apology letter to a fictitious offended party apologizing for the mistake.


Dear Mysterious Editor,

You perch bravely above the blogosphere, seeking and destroying any and all typological errors, sentence structure awkwardness, and comma splices with just a few taps from your smartphone. As you are unable to enjoy the experience until any trace of a grammar or spelling error is removed, I am deeply honored to have you playing for my team. Continue reading “Re: Inkling | Error Error Mistakes”

Saying Goodbye to Ezri

– By Nikki –

On April 11 at 6:00 a.m., my beautiful cat went into cardiac arrest. When we adopted her one year and eight months ago she was only five months old. Me, Matt and Lucy all slowly adjusted to the new kitty in our lives. Ezri followed Lucy everywhere and they were genuinely best friends. The morning after Lucy, my childhood cat, passed away Ezri curled up in a ball next to me when my husband left for work. I remember waking up a few hours after he left and she was still beside me. This tradition would continue every morning for the rest of her short life.

57972792_1238131979695886_9049055136969654272_n Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Ezri”

We Are Here

Last Thursday Nikki and I experienced the loss of our dear cat Ezri, who we loved very much. Both of our cats left this world in the span of four months – we weren’t even over the loss of Lucy before Ezri departed in traumatic fashion. We’ll be writing a proper dedication for Ezri in the near future. For now, we’re still at a loss for words. That kitten has our hearts, and we’re still trying to figure out where to go from here. She was so young, and was such a joy.

I don’t have much to say right now. My heart is torn.

ezri
We love you, Ezri.

One thing is for sure, bad things happen no matter how optimistic you are. And though I display my optimism with great alacrity – positivity a banner I take into the many battles of life – I also could never be rightfully accused of being naive. On the contrary, from spiders to planes to, now, having my cat die of cardiac arrest right in front of me, I find it hard to be scared of anything anymore. That alone scares me more than anything. I’ll call it courage, because I need it to be courage rather than the alternative. Continue reading “We Are Here”

Our Ezri is Not Feeling So Well

– By Nikki –

I’m here to deliver some not-so-great news. For the past week our cat Ezri has stopped eating, drinking, and being her silly self. Yesterday afternoon we received some heartbreaking news from the vet. There is a fairly high probability she could have leukemia.

Our options are pretty grim at the moment, and we are doing everything we can to get her eating and drinking again. We are giving her antibiotics, fluids, and pills to make her hungry again. If she continues to decrease in health we might have to make some hard decisions at the end of this week. Continue reading “Our Ezri is Not Feeling So Well”