Yes, I'm an introvert. No, I'm not shy.

I am often the life of a party. Not socially anxious in any way, I can tell stories and jokes like the best of them. 

But after any social gathering, I need time alone to recover.

A lot of time. 

I've always spent hours alone: mostly reading, but also watching TV. And since the late 90s, surfing the Internet. I adore Facebook. It's got all the pluses of a party without the minuses.I can keep up with my friends and family at my own pace, when I'm ready, sort of like an independent-study class!

I LOVE working from home. LOVE IT. Most of my current job involves talking on the phone. At home, away from coworkers' chit chat, I can handle that for four hours each weekday. I even enjoy it. In an office, I would have to hide in my car during break, to recover.

I tried for thirty years to be a good teacher. I love watching kids' faces light up when they 'get it.' My biggest hero for years was Mrs. Ryan, the teacher who taught me to read. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up.


But being around thirty or more kids all day drained my energy too much. I was fine till around 10 am. After that, the kids got the better of me! I had no energy to keep them on task. I barely had time to grade papers each evening before I feel asleep, exhausted.

I wish I had known before I applied for teacher training that:

1) Teachers need to be extroverts.


2) I am an introvert. 

well, also

3) English teachers have more papers to grade than anyone else!

I also wish this book had been around when I was in my teens. It explains why I'm an introvert! The short version: I have extra nerves. No, really. A dentist discovered an extra nerve in my tooth during a root canal. These extra nerves make me extra sensitive. And extra weary. Suseptible to over-stimulation.

Another symptom of having extra nerves:

Caffeine keeps me awake for a staggering 8-12 hours. Now that I have to get up at 4:30 am to get ready to drive my husband to work, I have to stop drinking Coke Zero at 9am. Otherwise, I just toss and turn in bed.

So, are you an introvert, too?

Camouflage Dog!

Camouflage Dog is Cherise Kelley's new occaisional serial about her dog Pumpkin's adventures at the dog park.

Pumpkin befriends a young human whose mother is thinking of getting a dog. Pumpkin and her new human friend hope the dog his mother gets will be a Kaxian, but there is the very real possibility it will be a Nique.

All episodes of the serial will be bundled in both ebook and paperback once they total 200 pages.

Episode 1:
Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Rakuten 

Pumpkin is our current dog. Her full name is Pumpkin Pie Spice, because her coloring reminds Scott of the spice you use to make pumpkin pie. My mom calls Pumpkin 'Spice Girl.' :)

We rescued Pumpkin from a kill shelter in September of 2014. This is how skinny she was then.

The people at the shelter thought she was a boy and were calling her Silas!

Even today, most people who meet Pumpkin think she's a boy. The camouflage collar, halter, and leash Scott insisted on getting for her don't help.

We had a great deal of fun inviting our dog park friends to speculate on Pumpkin's mix of breeding before we had her tested.

Some were sure she was a Catahoula Cur. Others adamantly called her a Dutch Shepherd. The most common label put on Pumpkin even today is Pitt Bull, because of her brindle coloring.

The true answer surprised me. It turns out there are at least 18 breeds of dog who commonly are born with brindle coloring. We were sure our dog was not a Pitt Bull, and so we bought a Wisdom Panel dog breed DNA test from Amazon, swabbed our dog's cheek twice, and mailed the swabs in. Two weeks later, we got the answer.

Wisdom Health is 100% certain Pumpkin is half brindle Boxer and half German Shepherd. I had never met a Boxer before, and so I studied up on the breed. Oh, yes. She's half Boxer, all right. She's nuts! She has calmed down a little now that she's five years old, but when we first got her I couldn't walk her three feet without her grabbing a stick and tossing it in the air and catching it, then shaking it as if to kill the stick!

I am so glad she got the German Shepherd mouth instead of the Boxer mouth! I will say, she sure does camouflage well!

David Gerrold is the nicest author I've met

So this is the second time I met David Gerrold, at Worldcon 2016 in Kansas City, MidAmericon II. He was really nice about posing for a photo together and even was the one to ask his neighbor boothie if she would take the picture.

The first time I met David was at last year's Worldcon, in Spokane. We all laughed as I told him the story.

I was running the newsletter, and he stopped at the door.

"Come on in!" I said.

"Oh, no," said David, "If I come in there, you'll put me to work!"

"Muhahahaha! That's right! Come on in!"

"Well, I have prep work to do for the Hugo Ceremony."

"Oh my God, you're David Gerrold, aren't you!"

If you don't know who David is, he wrote the Tribble episode of the original Star Trek series, and he continues to write.