Pearannoyed Press

Writing, art, and random acts of creativity…
  • .: I’m not paranoid… :.

    But I AM pearannoyed. I'm learning to Think Sideways, find my sweet spot, listen to my muse, and write until I'm finished. I'm defeating Safe, Perfect, Victim, and Feel. I don't know where I'll end up, but I'm headed there with enthusiasm.

    If you are a member of How To Think Sideways, you will find the password for my protected posts on the HTTS Walkthrough Blog Forum.

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    Not Black, Not White

    Posted By on April 29, 2015

    I try to stay away from political controversy. I really do.

    But sometimes it’s impossible to not have an opinion. And I guarantee that my opinion isn’t in sync with people on either end of the political spectrum.

    I am, fundamentally, a moderate.

    • I believe in fairness.
    • I believe in justice.
    • I believe in personal responsibility.

    Yes, people need to stand up for what they believe in. But if what you believe in makes you hateful, ugly, even murderous… I posit that you are believing the wrong thing.

    There’s plenty of blame on all ends of the spectrum. There are also good ideas and good people in every camp.

    I don’t want to tell anyone who to be, what to think, or how to live. I just hope that everyone strives to be the best person they can possibly be.

    So, because I don’t articulate these things well, here’s a meme I made from something I said in a comment of a friend’s FaceBook post. After I hit send it hit me as being more true than I expected and I wanted to share.


    I’ve been busy

    Posted By on April 6, 2015

    My authorial persona has been a busy bee these last few weeks.

    First, I was working on a Flash Fiction collection that I intended to put out in March. I didn’t quite make it, but I did stick a story on that blog as a consolation prize. I will try to get that project finished and published before the end of April.

    A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0However… April has a pretty massive project of its own happening. I’m doing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge and posting a flash fiction story every day (except Sundays).

    I know, it seems illogical that I can finish 26 flash stories this month when I failed to even finish five last month. But I’ve kept up so far, including already completing one extra story that will become part of last month’s collection when I finally finish it. 😀

    So I don’t know how active I’ll be here over the next few weeks. I’ll definitely try to pop in occasionally and let you know how it’s going. But if you’re interested in flash fiction stories in the neighborhood of 500 words each, go check out my blog over there.

    What actually leads to success? Surprising answers.

    Posted By on March 18, 2015

    We all want to “just know” what we’re supposed to do with our lives, for our purpose to be spelled out, but that’s not how life works.

    The reality is that we have to do the work, but we also have to pay attention to the lessons life is teaching us.

    Your vocation is not something you just discover one day. It’s something that’s been there all along.

    That’s the theme of a free ebook that you can get here:


    It features Michael Hyatt, Seth Godin, Bob Goff, Jeff Goins, Emily Freeman, Pat Flynn, Wm. Paul Young, Frank Viola, and other top writers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders of our time.

    They share the surprises of success…information that ultimately might help you find your own definition of success. Don’t be surprised if it’s not what you think it will be.

    You are not alone on this journey. These leaders have been right where you are, so go grab the free ebook right now:


    My hope is that as you read it, you take away some important points about what it means to find meaningful work in this world. The process was surprising for these all-stars. Maybe the same will be true for you, too. Get it now!

    Free writing mini-class with worksheets!

    Posted By on February 24, 2015

    Photo by: Amy Padgett

    Photo by: Amy Padgett

    How To Think Sideways will re-launch on Friday, February 27th! It will be open for 7 days, and then membership will be unavailable for at least a year while Holly is doing major upgrades to her website.

    In advance of her Think Sideways launch before closing the class to registration for a year, Holly is offering a free mini-class so those who might be interested can see the kind of instruction they can expect before signing up for the big class. Sign up here for a completely free sample of Holly’s teaching style!

    Also, I’m planning on offering a few bonuses for anyone who signs up for How To Think Sideways using my affiliate link. If you’re interested in knowing more, please sign up for my mailing list over at Elizabeth – I’ll be sending a reminder when registration opens, and again before it closes.


    Note: links on this page are affiliate links. If you make purchases on the sites linked to, I may receive compensation.

    Official: Think Sideways on February 27th

    Posted By on February 20, 2015

    Registration Re-opens on FEBRUARY 27th…for just 7 days. How To Think Sideways Ultra

    How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers (affiliate link) is the most comprehensive “how to write fiction for a living” course I’ve ever seen.

    It’s Holly’s most popular course.

    It’s a course that has graduated many, many students who have gone on to professional writing careers.

    On FEBRUARY 27th at 10 AM ET, registration will be open for seven days.

    At the end of that seven days, HTTS will be unavailable for at least a year.

    So if you’re considering signing up for this amazing class, consider quickly. Registration re-opens in a week, and it will only be open for a week.

    And don’t forget, if you sign up using my affiliate links, you will get some special bonuses from me. I’ll let you know what those bonuses are when Holly opens the launch.

    Note: links on this page are affiliate links. If you make purchases using these links, I may receive compensation.

    News, updates, and random information

    Posted By on February 11, 2015

    This post is going to be one of those boring ones, I think. Sorry about that.

    It will have no clever observations.

    It will have no witty repartee.

    It is just a plain-old update on this blog, my life, and, ummm… stuff.

    This Blog

    I’ve always liked the look of my blog. The theme I’m currently using is just my kind of thing. However, it is no longer being updated, it no longer plays nice with all the current functionality of WordPress, and it stands out as very very different from the cleaner look I have on other websites that I (sort of) have going.

    So, like many lovely old things, this theme needs to finally bite the dust. My goal is to update before the end of the month… we’ll see how that goes. But if you pop in here sometime and find that everything looks different, that will be why. don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    Author Updates

    I’ve mentioned here before that I’m planning to publish as Elizabeth McCleary. (I will probably also publish as Amy Padgett, but that’s a post for another time.)

    Well, I have actually gone and done it. Woot! I published a flash fiction collection called New Skin in January, and I republished my contribution to Holly Lisle’s Adventure of Creation anthology, Finding Light, as a stand alone short story just a few days ago.

    For the moment I’m only on Amazon, but I will likely be adding Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other outlets before long. I’ll keep you posted.

    Other tidbits

    I also wanted to let you know that How To Think Sideways and How To Revise Your Novel (note: these are affiliate links) will be closing temporarily, probably by the end of this month. As Holly is updating her sites, she wants to be sure that there are no recurring payments coming in that might get broken in the transition, so she is going to do a big launch, and then close those classes until after the new version of her site is up and running. Then, when they come back, she will have periodic sign-ups rather than an “always open” model, mostly because her students seem to do better in the classes when going through them with other people who are also working through them at roughly the same time.

    So, if you’ve ever considered learning to write fiction, this would be the time to sign up for Holly’s class. Think Sideways is ideal for anyone who wants to learn to plan, write, finish, and publish fiction. Revise Your Novel is perfect if you have a finished manuscript that has problems bigger than what can be fixed with basic proofreading and polishing.

    And, just so you know, I am going to be offering some personal bonuses for anyone who signs up this month using my link. That will be happening through the Elizabeth McCleary site, so if you want to be sure to get those updates, please make sure you subscribe to my mailing list.

    I think that’s all I have for now.

    Peeves – the pets you don’t have to feed.

    Posted By on January 24, 2015

    Most of us have little things that people do that we find personally uncomfortable or unreasonable distressing. They’re known as Pet Peeves. Normally they aren’t things that will hurt anyone… it’s more just those oddments that tweak us every time we hear them.

    • A type of laugh that for unexplainable reasons just grates on our nerves.
    • An unusual behavior, like a couple sitting together on one side of the booth, even when there’s nobody else with them.
    • When people sit next to you, even when there are lots of wide-open seating options available.
    • When people refer to themselves as “mommy” or “daddy” … when talking to their dog.

    petpeevesYou know what I’m talking about. It’s those harmless things that others may even find cute or endearing that for whatever reason just irritate us to the point that we might even feel the need to leave the room, or (worse) verbally attack and potentially offend the person triggering our peeve reflex.

    Best case scenario is when we recognize a peeve, but instead of allowing ourselves to be annoyed, we laugh at it and make light of our own irritation.

    What I find particularly interesting is when I identify a peeve that was previously unknown to me. I have one that I couldn’t ever have known about until I moved to Texas.

    I have a friend (Brian Moyer) that frequently says “whenever” even though he really means “when.”

    Whenever is an abstract time meaning all the time or every time. Whenever I go to the store, I buy ice cream.

    When is a specific time that refers to a specific event. When I went to the store yesterday, I bought ice cream.

    What Brian does, is more like, Whenever I went to the store yesterday, I bought ice cream.

    Drives. Me. Crazy!

    And because Brian does it, I notice it when other people do it, too. Thanks Brian. Thank you so much.

    No, really.



    Time to update?

    Posted By on January 5, 2015

    I’ve enjoyed the theme I’ve used on this site. I like the subdued, rustic, papery look of it.

    But holy cow, it’s old. This theme hasn’t been supported in something like a gazillion years (give or take). So I think it’s finally time to go in a different direction.

    Question… should I stay with the rustic-ish papery feel? Or should I do something cleaner and more streamlined? Since this is my personal site, not a commercial or business site, I feel like I have freedom to do pretty much whatever I want. But I’d be interested in knowing if anyone else has an opinion on the matter.

    I’m hoping to stay in the realm of free, but I won’t completely rule out a paid theme if it’s completely awesome. I can use any standalone theme, or any child theme for the Genesis Framework.

    I’m currently using the Nameless child theme on

    I’m using the very minimal Stargazer child theme on the underdeveloped However it seems that the developers page has gone offline.

    I think the Terragon theme is pretty sharp looking, and would maintain the subdued, rustic kind of flavor I currently have.

    There are dozens of free Genesis child themes out there, and hundreds (maybe thousands) of other free themes around. I just have to decide what will be a good fit for me.

    Any suggestions?

    Another auld lang syne (2014 into 2015) – My goals for the new year

    Posted By on January 1, 2015

    Happy new year, everybody.

    Here I am on January 1, 2015, and I’m finally checking in on the goals I declared for myself last year.

    In short, those goals were:

    1. Write 500 words per day 4-5 times per week.
    2. Read 50 books.
    3. Keep up with my health pursuits.

    The bad news is, I didn’t meet any of those goals.

    The good news is, I didn’t fail at my goals.

    How is that possible? I’m glad you asked. Unlike “resolutions”, goals are not a toggle switch. They’re more like the measuring marks on the door at 7-11. Goals are set so you have a means of measuring your progress, not to give you something to beat yourself up with if you don’t quite get there.

    So, without further ado, here’s the results of last year’s goals, and the related goals I’m setting for 2015

    Writing Goals


    I didn’t come close to writing 500 words per day. To be honest, I didn’t even really track my writing much after about the second week of January. I was still writing, but not as regularly as I’d intended. And I didn’t get anywhere close to the amount of fiction written that I’d hoped.

    And that’s really the problem. That goal was based on hope rather than a real plan to write. That goal was more like a resolution – a pie-in-the-sky idea of what you think you want to do with no actual plan for how you mean to accomplish it. Not good. :(


    This year, I have a different goal, and a plan for achieving it.

    1. Publish something every month (at least 12 publications) – most of these will probably be short stories or flash fiction anthologies, but I also intend to be working on some longer-format fiction, and probably some non-fiction too.
    2. Blog weekly – I have this blog, plus, and both have been too idle this year. I intend to post at least once a week on each of my blogs in 2015. If I know in advance that I won’t be available, I will need to plan my posts in advance. This also means I need to develop more of a vision for my sites to help me develop more of a structured plan for posts. Sounds like work, but I think it will be worth the effort.

    Reading Goals


    I actually did better than I thought in this area. I’d hoped to read 50 books (there’s that hope thinking again – it’s good to be hopeful… it’s better to plan). I didn’t quite make it to 50, but I did read 44 books this year, and that’s not bad. Not all of them were full-length novels, and several were audio books that I listened to, but I knew that would be the case when I started.

    I counted anthologies as a single work. If I’d broken out the individual stories, I would have been well over my 50, but I think that would have been cheating. Short fiction (short stories, novelettes, and novellas) that was packaged as stand-alone work counted for itself.

    I didn’t read as much non-fiction as I thought I would – only 4 books on writing and personal development, and none that were history or biography. If I mean to do better next year, I definitely need to be more intentional about adding that in.

    Most of what I read was either speculative fiction or mystery. That’s mostly what I’ve read since High School, so no big surprise there. Some of what I read was aimed at young adult and middle grade audiences, but that’s mostly about style.


    I’m going to set more specific goals for 2015 in hopes of bettering my chances of meeting them.

    • Novels – I will read 36 full-length novels this year. That’s 3 per month. I’ll count Y/A fiction if it meets the definition of a novel (40,000 words or more).
    • Short fiction – I will read at least 50 works of short fiction this year. If I read an anthology, each story will count as a separate item of short fiction, unless it’s clear that the stories are all related and more like a “serial novel”. You don’t come across serial novels much anymore – but I know a few authors who publish them on their websites, so the possibility exists. (For those who don’t know what a serial novel is, think about Stephen King’s The Green Mile. I actually purchased it as a serial novel when he wrote it. I think it was 5 volumes. Man, I wish I still had those books – I bet first run serials of that iconic story would be worth something to collectors these days. … but I digress …) Anyway, short fiction is any discreet story under 40,000 words. I will include flash fiction (under 500 to ~1500 words) in that count, but not micro fiction (under 100 words).
    • Non-fiction – I will read at least 12 non-fiction books this year. Some of those will be Personal Deveopment books, and some will be Craft (writing craft that is) books. While I’m not against including History or Biography in there, I read it so infrequently that I’m not actually setting a goal for that. I’m not ruling it out, but it’s not officially part of my plan.

    In addition to doubling my reading goal from last years (48 books and 50 short works), I’m also going to improve my tracking. I didn’t make note of when I read things last year. And while I rated things on a scale of 1-10, I didn’t actually write many reviews. This year I want to write at least 1 review every month. Those will probably be mostly fiction reviews, but who knows.

    Health and Fitness Goals


    I did pretty well, actually for about the first half of 2014. I was exercising regularly. I was eating healthy most of the time. I’d lost some weight, and I was feeling pretty good.

    But, alas, at some point I have myself “permission” to put all that on hold. Keeping up with exercise and good eating habits is hard when you travel as much as I did last year. Still, I was trying. But since probably the end of October I’ve been pretty much completely off the bandwagon, and it shows. I didn’t lose all the progress I’d made, but I have gone backwards a bit.

    Interestingly, it looks like the last 2 months of 2014 were a rough parallel to the last couple of months of 2013. October 31 seems to mark the beginning of garbage-in season for me, and the inevitable result is garbage-out. :(


    Again, I’m going to be more specific with my goals than I was last year.

    1. Cardio at least 3 times per week – walking, running, aerobics, etc.
    2. Strength and core at least 3 times per week – yoga, weights, any kind of strength or isometric exercise
    3. Eat lots of  lean meats and fresh veggies, and limit white carbs, refined sugar, wheat, dairy, and processed foods – I’m not saying that I am going full-on health-food-junkie, but I have noticed that when I eat a lower carb style diet, I feel better. When I eat wheat, dairy, and garbage, I feel bloated and run-down.

    Tracking the exercise is pretty easy. Tracking foods isn’t hard either. My Fitness Pal and Runkeeper will be by friend again this year. BUT – I also need to figure out a way to track my “cheats”. Maybe I need to reward myself any time I go 5 days without processed foods or something. I’ll have to think about it. If I come up with a good plan, I’ll let you know. :)

    Other Goals

    I don’t have a clear plan yet for some of the other things I want to accomplish this year. So my initial goal is to create a plan! But here are some of the areas that I’m hoping to explore more…

    1. Art and Photography – I have ideas about a possible Etsy shop. I need to figure out how to make those ideas a reality
    2. Music – I need to set a schedule to be more intentional about vocal and instrumental practice, and creating my own music.
    3. Creativity coaching – again, I don’t know really what this will look like, but I believe everyone is creative and I want to help people find their personal brand of creativity. I have a blog about creativity, but it’s not quite ready for prime time yet. I’ll post more about it here when I figure out what that is going to look like
    4. Relationships – I am a natural introvert. It’s easy for me to shrug off spending time with even the people I’m closest to. This is unacceptable. I want to be more intentional about connecting with family members, close friends, and acquaintances. I don’t really know how to bullet-list that though.
    5. Motivation, Focus, and Followthrough – these have always been tough for me. I always say I’m turning over a new leaf, and often it doesn’t come to fruition. I’m hopeful that the plans I’ve already set up for myself, and the ones I’ll be developing over the coming weeks and months will help me feel more productive and keep my motivation high.


    I think it’s pretty clear that my overarching goal is to be more focused and intentional this year, in every area. I expect to see big changes in 2015, but the only way I’ll really get there is to do what I set out to do, and keep track of how my behavior is stacking up against my goals. I’m putting a lot on my plate this year, but it won’t be too much if I stay focused on my goals. That means that just like I need to limit the junk in my diet, I need to limit the junk I consume elsewhere. TV has moved way down my priority list already. But I let social media and iPhone games eat up way too much of my time.

    So, my final goal for 2015 – monthly check-ins on how I’m doing with my goals. If I commit to doing that in public, y’all can help keep me accountable. And I know some of you are brutal taskmasters, so I really want to keep on top of my goals!

    Wish me luck! And let me know what goals you’re setting this year so I can help you too.

    photos by: &

    Coming into focus

    Posted By on October 6, 2014

    Big surprise here… I haven’t posted lately.

    It’s not that I haven’t wanted to. In all honesty, I really just haven’t thought about it much. Partly – or maybe mostly – that’s because I have a problem with focus.

    Despite the fact that I’m only a part time employee at my “day job,” I feel like I’ve been busier than ever this year. Part of it is that I work at a church and there have been a number of ministry related things going on, some of which have involved travel, that I’ve been part of outside my normal work for the church. Part of it is that I’ve already traveled 3 times this year for family-related stuff (my dad’s 80th birthday, my parents’ 50th anniversary, and my in-laws’ 50th anniversary). It’s been great, but travel of any kind is both time consuming and disruptive. And it can be hard for me to get back on track when I get home. Holly Lisle's How To Think Sideways Writers' Boot CampPart of it is that I’ve taken on some additional responsibility at How To Think Sideways, the writing community I’m part of.

    So, yeah. I’ve had a lot on my plate. And my reality is that I am not great at switching between tasks. I get involved doing something, and I will do that until it’s done, and then move on to something else. Unless I’m feeling mentally burned out, in which case I’ll move on to Face Book, or staring at TV, or reading a book.

    And what all this means is that I haven’t had the mental energy to focus on the thing that I really want to be doing which is writing. Writing on my blog. Writing fiction. Brainstorming stories. Planning out some non-fiction. Working through writing challenges and classes. Getting better connected with the writing community at large. These are things I want to do. These are things I feel called to do. They’re things I’m passionate about that I have let get pushed aside by things that, while they aren’t unimportant, don’t give me the same kind of satisfaction that writing does.

    So here’s my plan. I’m taking on a challenge on “Intentional Blogging” that’s being hosted by Jeff Goins, a blogger, author, and outstanding human being. Hopefully, it will help me get back on track with my regular writing habits. The blog I’m officially taking through the challenge is Create Activate – a blog I started (but never properly followed through on) with the intention of having it be something of a clearing house for all things creative, and encouraging others to explore their own creativity as well. However, I expect to let some of that also spill over onto this site, as well as, so hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot more of me all over.

    I also plan to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbI’ll be in California for part of that time, so it will be interesting to see how much writing I can complete under duress. But I have a visceral need to get back to writing fiction as well as non-fiction, so I at least have to try. Since my time won’t be entirely my own, I may be a NaNo Rebel and work on flash fiction and short stories, but I do want to get to 50,000 words if at all possible. To help me, I’ll be using techniques I’ve learned in Holly Lisle’s Free Flash Fiction Class, as well as her Create a Plot Clinic. (And, full disclosure, those are affiliate links. If you use them and buy something, I might receive financial compensation.)


    My free short story – WatchNight

    Also in the fiction arena, I’m behind on my promise to create another short story installment in the LightBringers world. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can get a free copy of my first short story here.) I had hoped to have something published before now and it didn’t happen. Instead, I’m committing to have something ready to publish by the end of the year. Even with other stuff going on, I should have time to write and edit something of around 10,000 words. Feel free to hold me to it.

    Anyway, with all this ahead of me, your encouragement is welcome. And if you want to join me in any or all of these challenges, let me know! I’d love to have the company. :)

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