Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Being Positive

Filed under: Health and Fitness — Laura Moncur @ 12:26 pm

This Saturday at Weight Watchers, my leader, Janece had a discussion about being positive. She wants us all to be an inspiration to those around us. For homework, she gave us the following items:

  1. Only watch television shows that are inspirational.
  2. Only listen to music that is inspirational.
  3. Inundate ourselves with motivational things (positive magazine articles, books, etc.)
  4. Only say positive things. Not one negative word out of our mouths all week.
  5. Be positive at the scale, no matter what it reads.

For years, I have monitored what went into my head. I went on a news fast and I have rarely looked at a paper, watched the television news or even allowed the radio headlines to blast through my stereo. It didn’t stop me from hearing about 9-11. It didn’t stop me from hearing about Lori Hacking’s disappearance. It didn’t stop me from hearing about all the election silliness. People are so willing to tell me the news that I really don’t need to fill my mind up with that mess.

Lately, however, I haven’t been monitoring all the things that have gone into my head. I read blogs that could be considered negative. They are all about what’s wrong with this country. I know we need whistle-blowers, but hearing about the things that are horrible in our country makes me forget the good things in our country. I’m swearing off the negative blogs this week.

I have allowed depressing music to fill my life. Sometimes it is enjoyable to have a good wallow, but if I want to be an inspiration to the people of the world, I need to feed myself some happy trumpets in addition to the sappy saxophones. This week, I’m listening to happy music only. Hello, Herb Alpert.

Since web comics make me feel so happy, even when they don’t make me laugh, I’m going to keep reading all of my favorite web comics. I’m going to keep filling myself up with happy thoughts and inspirational magazines.

Watching my mouth has been the most challenging aspect of this week’s homework. Just looking over my previous blog entries, I’m shocked to find how much negativity I direct at myself. Some of it is an effort to sound humble. I don’t want to seem conceited, so I say some negative things, but when things go well, I should just let myself be happy in things going well. I have found that I qualify so many of the things that I say about the good in my life that I could end up sounding negative. This week, I am very conscious of everything that I say.

I feel so much happier after only two days of watching my mouth and monitoring my intake of gloom. I wonder how I’ll feel at the end of the week. I’m excited to find out.



Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:05 am

Get out there and vote! Wouldn’t you just die if it was down to one state again? Wouldn’t you just die if it went to the bad guy and you would have voted for the good guy? Wouldn’t you just die if it was down to one vote?

This is the kind of election that is down to one vote. Make sure yours counts.



Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

There is a highly distracting spider living on my computer monitor right now. I saw him there yesterday and my first instinct was to kill him. He was so cute, though, with his long legs and delicate movements, so I just let him stay on the monitor. We just put away all of our Halloween stuff, part of which is a large array of adorable black spiders who laugh at you when you are a little too loud. This spider is brown and tiny and would never deign to laugh at me if I fell while I was playing DDR. I just didn’t have the heart to kill him and I didn’t have the heart to put him outside, where he’d die because of the cold.

So, I have been cohabitating with this spider for two days now. I pretty much expected him to hide away or leave the monitor, but he’s still here. He takes periodic turns about the top of the monitor every few hours, but mostly he stays near the middle of the screen at the top. Right now, he’s facing the screen, watching my words appear magically. Maybe he’s interested because I’m writing about him.

I guess I’m just surprised that he isn’t dead yet. I have no idea what the lifespan of a tiny brown spider is. I have no idea what he could possibly eat here in my pristine office. There are no bugs or mites or any tasty bits for him. He hasn’t built a web to capture anything. What is he doing here and how is he surviving?

I tried to take a picture of him, but the camera won’t focus on his minute body. He let me hold a ruler up to him. Including legs, he’s almost half an inch long, but his body is just a sixteenth of an inch. I guess I should be measuring him in millimeters to be more accurate, but he has been gracious enough to hold still for me, so I’m not pushing it.

It’s Ebenezer Scrooge cold here in the office, so I suspect he likes my monitor because it’s warm. I wish that it was warm enough for me to heat up hands by it. My fingers are having a hard time typing well today because they are stiff with the cold. I’m just wearing my coat to heat myself up, but it’s hard to type with gloves.

Yesterday, when I was eating my lunch at my desk, he surprised me. I had left my Bombay Potatoes cooling in front of the monitor. I saw him move and for an instant, I imagined him lowering himself into my food. I moved the dish to the side. I definitely don’t want to eat my new diminutive friend.

He hadn’t moved for so long that I was starting to worry that he was coming to my nice, warm monitor to die. If that’s the case, he’s not dead yet. I blew a gentle breath of air on him and he fidgeted enough to prove his state of animation.

I don’t know what it means to purposefully cohabit with a spider. I come from a big family of people who either kill them on sight or put them outside. Letting them live with me isn’t a new experience. I remember the lecture from my dad when I was about four years old admonishing spiders and I remember the polar opposite lecture when I stomped on a spider out of mindless instinct at age seven. After that, I decided that my dad was nuts and I was going to kill the scary ones and cohabitate with the not so scary ones. Sometimes I put them out of the house so that the cats don’t eat them, but I mostly just let them be.


The Full Halloween Story

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 10:46 am

When I said Halloween was fabulous this year, I don’t think I fully was able to describe the true fabulousness of all the costumes. Here are the pictures from this year’s party!

Thank you to everyone who came to the party and spent so much time making the party wonderful!

(Continue Reading…)


National Novel Writing Month

Filed under: Looking For Christ,Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

There is a contest that started on the first of November called National Novel Writing Month. I just heard about it yesterday. Write a 175 page, 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I believe it can be done. It might not be a good novel, but I could write a novel in that amount of time. If I knew that I would be dead in 30 days, you can be damn sure that I would finish my novel before the deadline.

I’m not participating, even though it seems right up my alley. If I did away with all my other writing, (the blog, the web comic in progress, the personal journal pages) I could devote all my time into writing a chapter a day. It really seems like something that I should be attracted to, but I’m scared of it.

It looks easy enough to sign up. All I have to do is sign up, complete my personal information and log my word counts and book excerpts into the website. It works out to 2,000 words a day if I start right now. Why am I scared?

National Novel Writing Month Maybe I’m scared that I can’t do it or that I’m too lazy to do it. Maybe I’m scared that I will fail. Yeah, I’m scared I’ll fail. Fuck that. I’m signing up right now and I’m going to write at least 2,000 words a day. Even if they suck, it’s better than nothing at all. That’s what you guys have been seeing of my book for the last month: Nothing at all. This is just what I need to get my juices flowing again.

Looking For Christ: Chapter Ten

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 6:00 am

Here is Chapter Ten…

Chapter Word Count: 4476

Monthly Word Count: 4476

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Eleven

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 11:07 am

Here is Chapter Eleven…

Chapter Word Count: 3032

Monthly Word Count: 7508

(Continue Reading…)

Looking For Christ: Chapter Twelve

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 7:08 pm

Here is Chapter Twelve…

Chapter Word Count: 2118

Monthly Word Count: 9626

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Thirteen

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 10:51 pm

Here is Chapter Thirteen…

Chapter Word Count: 3061

Monthly Word Count: 12,687

(Continue Reading…)


St. Lucia of Syracuse

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 12:28 pm

Yesterday, I was feeling hopeless. I felt like it was too much to do in a month. I told myself that I started four days late and I missed out on all that time. I told myself that I was feeling tired and that this deadline that I have set is self-imposed. I was feeling like failure was inevitable. When I was typing my personal journal pages, trying to get myself out of this funk, I wrote the words, “Who is the patron saint of writers?”

Thirty seconds later, I found the list of the many patron saints for writers, but the only woman was St. Lucia of Syracuse. I’ve talked about the strange idolatry and pagan basis that attracts me with the saints in the past. As I looked at the picture of St. Lucia, I told her, “Help me through this month and I will donate 20 hours of my time to you.” She is also the patron saint of eye afflictions (her eyes were plucked out during torture, but her eyesight was restored before her martyrdom). I didn’t know what I would do for her, but I was willing to do some charity work in exchange for the strength and determination needed to write 50,000 words in a month.

I printed the picture of her to place by my computer (with Buddha and St. Jude). As I laminated the picture (I’m a messy girl), he walked up to me. He’s a technician who knows as much as an engineer, but he doesn’t get the benefit of it. He lives the life of the devout Mormon man, which runs so very contrary to my atheist beliefs. We’re not the best of friends. We are certainly not the sort to exchange music. Yet he walked up to me with a CD.

“Do you listen to Acoustic Alchemy?” I was very confused. “Is it a radio show?” “No. It’s a band.” I’ve never heard of them. “Are they an LDS band?” “No. They’re smooth jazz. If you like Blue Man Group, you might like them.” He handled his CD awkwardly. I could tell this conversation wasn’t going as well as he expected. “I love the Blue Man Group.” I hold out my hand. The CD reads Acoustic Alchemy MP3s. “That’s all of their albums except a couple. I thought you’d like it. You can keep the CD.” I am sincerely grateful for the gift. “Thank you. I’ll put it on my computer right now. Thank you very much.”

I was still very confused. I had no idea why this man who rarely has any words for me suddenly showed up with music for me. I love music, but I really wouldn’t think he’d know it. I put the CD and transfer it to my hard drive. I read the items into MusicMatch and tell myself that it is a sign. I needed some mellow jazz to write by, I told myself. I pulled up the albums that had been read into my computer. I was going to start with the “Best of” album, but a different album caught my eye. It was called, “Sounds of St.Lucia.”

A chill ran down my spine. The deal was sealed. I loaded up the album and did a Google search. I printed up the PDF and faxed the Application for Volunteer Service for the Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled. I also emailed it with the following note: “My name is Laura Moncur. I am able to start volunteering in December for approximately 20 hours over the course of that month. Please review my attached Application for Volunteer Service.”

St. Lucia is going to help me through the 50,000 pages. Every time I feel as if I can’t make it, her face is right there to console me. If you would like to give me a show of support during this month, please donate one dollar to The American Foundation for the Blind and leave me a supportive comment here.


Looking For Christ: Chapter Fourteen

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 10:50 pm

Here is Chapter Fourteen…

Chapter Word Count: 2748

Monthly Word Count: 15,435

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Fifteen

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 7:25 pm

Here is Chapter Fifteen…

Chapter Word Count: 4109

Monthly Word Count: 19,544

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Sixteen

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 10:42 am

Here is Chapter Sixteen…

Chapter Word Count: 3640

Monthly Word Count: 23,184

(Continue Reading…)

Pick Me! Webcomic

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 3:53 pm



Looking For Christ: Chapter Seventeen

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 8:10 pm

Here is Chapter Seventeen…

Chapter Word Count: 3831

Monthly Word Count: 27,015

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Eighteen

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 4:29 pm

Here is Chapter Eighteen…

Chapter Word Count: 3158

Monthly Word Count: 30,173

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Nineteen

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 5:56 pm

Here is Chapter Nineteen…

Chapter Word Count: 2900

Monthly Word Count: 33,073

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Twenty

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 4:55 pm

Here is Chapter Twenty…

Chapter Word Count: 3399

Monthly Word Count: 36,472

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Twenty-One

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 10:35 am

Here is Chapter Twenty-One…

Chapter Word Count: 3338

Monthly Word Count: 39,810

(Continue Reading…)

Looking For Christ: Chapter Twenty-Two

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 1:52 pm

Here is Chapter Twenty-Two…

Chapter Word Count: 2730

Monthly Word Count: 42,540

(Continue Reading…)

Looking For Christ: Chapter Twenty-Three

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 8:58 pm

Here is Chapter Twenty-Three…

Chapter Word Count: 2822

Monthly Word Count: 45,362

(Continue Reading…)


Looking For Christ: Chapter Twenty-Four

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 6:15 pm

Here is Chapter Twenty-Four…

Chapter Word Count: 3343

Monthly Word Count: 48,705

(Continue Reading…)

Looking For Christ: Chapter Twenty-Five

Filed under: Looking For Christ — Laura Moncur @ 8:14 pm

Here is Chapter Twenty-Five…

Chapter Word Count: 1929

Monthly Word Count: 50,634

(Continue Reading…)

I Made My 50,000!!

Filed under: Looking For Christ,Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 8:37 pm

NanoWrimo Winner 2004

I made it! I just verified my word count with the NanoWrimo people and I’m done!

Thank you, Michael, for proofreading my chapters! Thank you, Mom, for reading the first few chapters and giving me some encouragement. Thank you, St. Lucia, for giving me hope in the beginning when I needed it.

Me sleep now…



Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:11 pm

I am so tired. I feel like I should write something today, but all my words are gone. I’ve spent far too much time with the saints this month and not enough time with the sinners. Razor magazine has an article called “21 Sins to Commit in 2005.” I think I’ll read that and see if there is anything interesting for me.

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