Friday favorites: A six year old gives great advice on how not to be scared

Bianca Giaever was just about to graduate with a degree in narrative studies (how cool does that sound?) and was a little nervous about what would happen next. She was creating a short film and asked six-year-old Asa what the film should be about. He told her a story about a bear and a mouse that ends up having a much deeper meaning. The miniature Aesop tells Bianca to think about the things she likes until “the nervous has gone out of you” – because the scared feeling is scared of all the things you like.

If you’re feeling scared or nervous, I think this video will help chase those feelings away – at least for about eight minutes. (You may have to refresh this post a couple of times in order to see the video player.)

the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo. (I originally found this video on

I love Asa’s advice. For me, the last several months have been magical. A long-awaited baby on the way and my first book coming out in August..what more joy could I have? But, of course, those are both a very big deal, and they can bring the Nervous and the Scared.

So what will I think about when they hit me? The way new babies smell. Their sleepy smiles and their tight grip around your finger. Long hugs from Smarty Pants. The warmth of San Diego sunshine on my face. Fresh guacamole and salsa from my favorite Mexican restaurant. The decadent hot chocolate the cafe next door sells. The joy of discovering a new author I love. The way my abs ache from laughing when I’m with my friends.

What do you think of when the Nervous and the Scared attack you?

Friday favorites: A Valentine’s novella giveaway!

Last week I needed a quick, funny romance fix, and with Valentine’s Day in mind I bought Dodging Cupid by Kelly Fitzpatrick.

I’ve read Kelly’s novels and another novella, and I know she writes the kind of stories I love. She’s full of snarky humor and unusual characters.

I honestly couldn’t put Dodging Cupid down. I was completely charmed and can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone looking to cheer up their Valentine’s Day. For those of you who want the focus to be on the romance rather than the sex, it’s perfect. And for those of you who like dry humor, it’s also perfect.

Kelly has graciously offered to give away a copy to someone who leaves a comment here – woo hoo! Here’s some more info about the novella, and the giveaway details are below.

Dodging CupidDodging Cupid

After a string of disastrous Valentine’s Days, broken hearts and failed relationships, Jenna’s decided to spend this Valentine’s Day in the least romantic spot possible—the coin-op laundry.

No flowers. No candy. No annoying couples or romance of any kind. The only glitch in her plan is the leather-clad biker in heart-print boxer shorts who walks in as her washer starts. This just might turn out to be the best Valentine’s Day Jenna’s ever had.

Buy it at Amazon | B&N | Ellora’s Cave

Have you ever done something drastic to avoid Valentine’s Day? Have you had a Valentine’s disaster – or a perfect V-Day that you can share with us?


Kelly’s giving away one digital copy (in either epub, pdf or prc format) to someone who leaves a comment here. I’ll randomly choose a winner on Tuesday February 12th so you’ll get the novella in time for Valentine’s Day. Good luck!

Friday favorites: Letters from a British nurse in World War One

Up until a couple of years ago, I worked for the British Red Cross as a writer and editor. One of my favorite activities was talking to our archivist and finding interesting items that had been collected throughout the organization’s 145+ year history.

I thought you might like these letters, which our archivist pointed out to me just before I moved to the Netherlands. They’re letters from a Red Cross nurse who volunteered in Surrey during the First World War. Many wounded British soldiers were evacuated back to Britain to recover, and the author of these letters, Miss Dorothy M Robinson, nursed them back to health at Waverley Abbey Military Hospital.

You can read the original documents on Scribd, but I’ve also transcribed my favorite – the third in the series – below so it’s easier to read. I love it because she talks about so many things: how long she can make £2 last, what kinds of practical jokes the soldiers got up to, and what happens when a Zeppelin comes close. And, of course, the problem with servants. Her last line kills me every time I read it.

I originally wrote about these for the Red Cross because it was when season 2 of Downton Abbey was on TV in the UK, and Lady Sybil became a Red Cross nurse. So if you’re a Downton Abbey fan, here’s another upper-crust young woman doing her bit for the country.

And if you just like history, I hope you enjoy these letters.

Continue reading “Friday favorites: Letters from a British nurse in World War One”

Friday favorites: Happy birthday to meow!

I’m going to start doing something different. On Fridays, I’m going to post something I love. Might be a video, a link to a cool site I’ve discovered, a book recommendation, whatever. Friday should be a day to celebrate awesomeness.

Today’s my birthday, so here’s my favorite video of a cat singing happy birthday. I’m sure there are lots of cat-singing-happy-birthday videos out there, but I love this one.

Do you have a favorite birthday video? Cat video? Cat-singing-happy-birthday video? Share the link!