A Wedding and a Campaign: Andrea & Ben | #LikeAGirl

Good evening, dear readers! It seems the whole Midwest has been pelted with thunderstorms and worse today; I hope everyone is OK! As for me, that puts me in that gothic melodramatic writing mood (it’s all so sweepingly romantic), so I have come here to funnel those energies. My novel characters have been awfully greedy with my time lately, talking to me in every moment. (Writer friends–does this happen to you, too? :) ) I tell them my blog misses me, but they don’t listen…so I put the towel over their cage for the moment, if only briefly, for one of them will surely set it on fire sooner or later (*spoiler alert*). First, I’d like to say congratulations to my writer-friend Andrea, who got married this weekend. It was a beautiful wedding, and Jeremiah and I were so honored to be invited to share the special day. The reception was a blast! Andrea snuck several literary details into her wedding design, which I absolutely loved. I wouldn’t expect any less of this clever lady! ;)

Bridesmaid Meg reads a Shakespeare sonnet during Andrea and Ben’s ceremony

Writing buddies :)

Jeremiah and I had so much fun! :) (A special thank-you to Jennifer for wrapping the gifts gorgeously, as well as buying that dress for me without me even there!)


Secondly, I’d like to share something that’s been going viral on Facebook, which I first saw from my sister. It’s for a campaign the company Always is trying to start: #LikeAGirl. It’s based on the concept–what does the phrase “Like a Girl” mean to you? This video, comparing what little kids think, versus adolescents, is so moving–and it says a lot about our society.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a few friends several months ago (they shall remain anonymous…you’ll see why ;) ).

They were talking about a time when *someone* had, for some reason, an electric fly-swatter. She wanted to test it on our male friend, because obviously, right? (Haha, I couldn’t, but she can get away with these things. ;) ) Anyway, the best way to go about such a thing is with shock, so she snuck up behind him and zapped him. Since I was hearing this story for the first time, they courteously reenacted the subsequent scream for me. “He screamed like a girl!” exclaimed another female friend. “That’s an insult!” I retorted. They laughed, but, to his great credit, the male friend laughed hardest of all.

But all of us were playing off of the societal message that “like a girl” is a bad thing, somehow lesser than the average. [Scholarly note: Even the French diminutive "-ette" suffix, borrowed into English is a feminization.] To translate for people less strangely obsessed with language than I, it means that even on a language level, we make “lesser” mean “like a girl.” I love this usage note on dictionary.com (at the bottom), which says that the diminutive forms for females is going out of style and evolving into gender-neutral. Yay!

This also echoes my earlier post about strong female characters–that “strong” has to be said, because it’s not the socially believed standard. I hear “like a girl” all the time, from people I love and respect; I’ve said it many times, myself!

I am all for this #LikeAGirl campaign, and I hope you will be, too. From now on, when someone says I do something “like a girl,” I will say, “Thank you. I take that as a compliment.” (Or, if I just did said activity poorly, I will simply say that it is not my gender, but rather the negative aura of their company that has influenced my performance. Yessss.)

Until next time, my dear readers. I shall try to escape my characters’ demands soon, if only for brief updates or shares. ;)

Happy Father’s Day

Jelly-Side Up:

*Blows the dust off of blog*
Hello, dear readers! Oh, how I’ve missed you. I’ve been very focused on working on my novel–the beautiful weather has been so inspiring–so I’m afraid my blog has been a bit neglected. I’m hoping to get more active on here in the near future; thank you for your patience. <3
I wanted to take a moment and repost this tribute I wrote about my dad last year for Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to all the father figures out there who love, support, and nourish their children–pets included! :)

Originally posted on Jelly-Side Up:

My first Easter, with my daddy. <3
The gown and bonnet were custom-made as a gift for me. :)

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there–biological, adoptive, mentor, and otherwise. :) It’s been a nice, relaxing day for us so far. My mom and sister made a tremendous breakfast of omelettes, potatoes, and pancakes from scratch. My sister and I bought our dad baseball tickets and mini-golf/batting cage passes, but my dad elected for us to use those on a not-as-crowded weekend. ;)

I am so lucky to have such a great relationship with my dad, and we’ve only grown closer over the years. He has always been a wonderful mentor, role model, and protector, but now that Jennifer and I are older, he is also one of our best friends. He is one of my favorite people to have deep conversations with about philosophy, religion, government, and…

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Happy Memorial Day!

Jelly-Side Up:

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all those who have served. Your sacrifice in the name of peace and justice is central to our country’s identity.
I’d like to share this post I wrote last year about the history of this holiday and what it means to my family.

Originally posted on Jelly-Side Up:

Happy Memorial Day! I’d like to take a moment to thank all of our soldiers who have fought for freedom, especially those who have paid with their lives. I think there is no greater bravery than risking your life for an ideal, for the future happiness and freedom of people you will never meet, all because you believe in a country. Even the Bible echoes this sentiment in John 15:13 with a quote that’s become so famous as to transcend religion: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

For a lot of Americans, a big part of Memorial Day is watching war movies on AMC and outdoor barbecues (always thought that one was spelled with a “q,” but Merriam-Webster disagrees!). But when did the holiday start?

According to the official website for the holiday, the idea for Memorial Day popped up…

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Happy Mother’s Day

Jelly-Side Up:

Hello! I hope the mothers of all kinds had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend. We had a low-key celebration with our mom this weekend, including two bike rides; one dinner out; one homemade dinner in; and a Game of Thrones viewing (that counts, right…Mother of Dragons? ;) ).
Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, who does so much for us every day. She’s shaped me in many ways, inspiring, encouraging, and loving me my whole life.
I’m re-blogging last year’s Mother’s Day entry I wrote. Read on for history on the holiday, a tribute to my mom, and more. <3

Originally posted on Jelly-Side Up:

Hello hello! I’m happy to be back on here to write for you more. My memoir event went extremely well, and I will write a post about that at length very soon. Thank you so much for everyone who supported me with that!

Today is a very special day: Mother’s Day! Am I the only one who ponders the punctuation on that holiday for a long time before writing it out? (Probably.) I actually reasoned in the past that it would be “Mothers’ Day,” since it is a day celebrating all mothers, therefore suggesting the usage of the plural possessive (i.e., the apostrophe outside the “s”). However, today, I thought I’d better double-check that, since I am writing it somewhere ever so important and official as my blog. ;) This is what I discovered on Wikipedia:

In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”…

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Day

It’s late in the day, but I wanted to wish a Happy Teacher Appreciation Day to all the teachers out there. It’s one of the hardest and most important jobs anywhere. I think the best teachers teach us not only about curriculum, but about ourselves.I am a writer today because of several key teachers in my life who saw a spark in me. They helped me hone a kernel of language aptitude and focus a lot of imagination, transforming me from grammar-snob-dreamer into a passionate writer. I hope to make them proud by making a difference with my writing like they have made a difference for me.

Five Fascinating Facts about Shakespeare

Jelly-Side Up:

Today was Shakespeare’s 450th birthday–and perhaps no wordsmith has achieved immortality as well as he.
The real reason I wanted to repost this blog entry is I found it fascinating and timely, a great tribute to a great author. A coincidental big stretch is that this would also satisfy my next “A-to-Z,” since the blog’s name starts with an “I”…and NaPoWriMo because Shakespeare was one of the best poets of all time, and he is quoted herein…
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this trivia as much as I did. What is YOUR favorite work by Shakespeare? It’s hard to pick, but for me, I’d have to say it’s the tragicomedy “A Winter’s Tale” (a different story than the similarly titled movie that just came out with Russell Crowe, which I still need to go see).

Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

As tomorrow, 23 April, traditionally marks the birthday of the most famous poet and playwright in the English language, we thought we’d celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday by sharing five facts about him. We’ve tried to steer clear of the very obvious, partly because we’ve already written about Shakespeare several times before (see below for one example), but all of these facts have a Shakespeare link and are … well, facts.

1. He appears to have invented the girls’ names Jessica, Olivia, Imogen, and Miranda. Jessica is Shylock’s daughter in The Merchant of Venice, and the name was quite probably Shakespeare’s coinage (the idea being to create a Jewish-sounding name). Olivia appears in Twelfth Night, and Miranda is Prospero’s daughter in The Tempest. (The name Amanda was probably formed off the back of Miranda, so Shakespeare indirectly gave us that name, too.) Imogen was probably the result of a misprint:…

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Happy Easter & Happy Earth Day!

Oh readers, I’ve missed you! Life has been SO busy and demanding of my time lately (how dare it?), but mostly good. Tonight, the waitress at my sushi date with Jeremiah brought me an entire pot of tea for myself, which I was more than happy to drink all of…

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…but less happy to be experiencing that slow-release of caffeine, still. I thought I would jot off a quick blog post before sleeping/staring at my ceiling. ;)

I’ve fallen terribly behind in my blog challenges–so tonight resumes with “H” in topic (see blog title) and form (haiku) for A-to-Z and NaPoWriMo!

I hope you had a Happy Easter, dear readers! Mine was lovely: it started with morning Easter Mass with my family, followed by Easter celebration dinner #1 with Jeremiah’s family, then concluded with Easter dinner #2 with my family. It was wonderful to spend the day so meaningfully with so many people I loved–and the spring weather was just gorgeous!

This is my official Easter bonnet! ;) Left to right: me, Jeremiah, Jeremiah’s mom, Sarah, and Jessie <3

Easter Treats

By: Amanda K. Fowler

Eggs full of candy–
But unlocked sweetness inside
Your heart is the treat.


I hope your Easter was just as lovely, dear readers–and I hope you have a Happy Earth Day, too!

Thank you for bearing with me as I adjust to the demands on my schedule. I hope to bring you more posts soon! :)