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Rebecca Thomas
Works at Writer, Editor, and Voice Actor
Lives in San Antonio, TX
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Rebecca Thomas

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Toddler Shakespeare is the Cutest Shakespeare.
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There is no Chasing Normal update this week. But there will be next week. So while you wait, why not check out my #narration of my #sciencefiction  #vignette "Wired Out": https://soundcloud.com/kirylin/wired-out

(+Wattpad  and SoundCloud have partnered to allow writers to add sounds to their stories. So, if you use the wattpad Android app, you can find both the story and the narration together.)
kirylin
Wired Out
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Hello, all! Here we are at the every-other-weekly-for-the-moment installment of my #SaturdayScenes  project. Maybe eventually I will get back to a weekly schedule, but I appreciate everyone's patience while I continue to sort things out.

I mentioned a couple of weeks back I was hoping to offer editing services again, and that has panned out: http://bit.ly/RebeccaEdits. So, please check me out. Add me to your list of editors. Whatever. I'm happy to be getting back into editing. I've missed it.

On to why you're really here: After her mother's company party, Travis has to face the grandparents she unexpectedly dropped in on and the coworkers she was trying to get away from. #youngadult
  #sciencefiction  

As always, +1 if you like it. Comment if you feel so compelled. Share if you know someone who would like it.

Previous Scene: http://bit.ly/CHScene15

New to the series and want to catch up? Read the entire series on:
- deviantArt: http://bit.ly/CNdeviantArt
- wattpad: http://bit.ly/CN1wattpad (This is Volume 1. Volume 2 is also available.)

== == == == ==

Light filtering through the curtains woke Travis. She pulled her blanket over her head for a moment, and then remembered where she was. She fumbled for the nightstand, hoping she’d left her phone there, but the surface was clear except for the lamp and the old-fashioned alarm clock.

Groaning, she slid out of bed and stumbled over to the desk, where she had dropped her bag the night before. She rummaged around, coming up with her tablet but not her phone. Great. She powered on the tablet, only to find the battery too drained and the charger not in the bag. Coffee. I need coffee.

Downstairs, her grandparents were at the kitchen table enjoying breakfast. Travis’ mouth watered at the sight of her grandmother’s cinnamon rolls and the bowl of freshly chopped fruit. Her grandmother had left an extra mug on the counter, and Travis grinned. Coffee in hand, she sat down at the place set for her and piled her plate as high as she could.

“Goodness, child. Don’t they feed you?” Her grandfather looked up from his tablet.

Travis nearly swallowed a blueberry whole. “They do. Our housekeeper is a fantastic cook.”

“Lucas, leave Travis alone. She’s a growing girl.” Her grandmother pushed the butter plate toward her, “Do you want cream for the fruit, dear?”

“Yesh, pleash,” Travis said around a mouthful of cinnamon roll. “Sorry. I just missed this.”

“Well, your grandmother is pretty handy around the kitchen.” her grandfather deadpanned as her grandmother swatted him with her napkin.

“She is. But...I mean...I miss the quiet.”

“Well, you’re welcome here any time, Travis. You know that.”

“I know. Thanks, Oma.” She pushed a couple of strawberry slices around her plate. “Oh. Do you have a charger I can borrow? I left mine at home.”

“Sure. Let me go see what I can find.” Her grandfather disappeared into the living room and returned soon with a short cable. “It’s the best I’ve got at the moment.”

“It’ll do. Thanks.” She placed it next to her plate and continued making short work of the glorious breakfast.

After breakfast, she got the tablet set up on the charger and powered it on. No new messages. Do they even know I left? Do they care? She blew air between her teeth, and then grabbed the clothes from the duffel bag and jumped into the shower.

She quickly stuffed everything back into the duffel and checked the alarm clock. Thank goodness Oma and Opa live so close to the studio. I’m cutting it close. She ran down the stairs and yelled a quick goodbye, but her grandmother called back, “Don’t you want your lunch, dear?”

Travis stopped, hand on the doorknob. I have lunch? She walked into the kitchen, where the lunchbag her grandmother had packed for her while she was staying with them sat on the counter next to a thermos. She squealed, hugged her grandmother, and grabbed them. “Sorry. I really have to go.”

“It’s all right. We’ll see you later.”

Yes, you will.

== ==

Despite being almost late, Travis was ahead of her mother and nearly half the production crew. Brice was steaming when she walked into the workspace, but as she was one of only two animators present, he couldn’t say much.

Travis logged into her station, stretched her arms, and started working through her own task list.

As her fellow animators dragged themselves in, Travis’ mood soured. Each new face reminded her that she’d had to live out her fantasy of fleeing a party in her own home. As one crumpled soul passed her, Travis gripped the stylus to prevent holding her nose and glanced sideways at the guy. He smiled at her with that goofy grin that suggested he wasn’t fully sober yet. He certainly hadn’t seen a shower since he left the party. I wonder how many of these people are coming straight from the apartment.

Another animator walked by her workstation, “Hey, Travis! Missed you at your mom’s party last night! You need to come hang out with us!”

Travis gave him a tight grin as she realized to her great horror he was one of the men who had groped her at the party, apparently too drunk at the time to remember he’d committed a felony. She folded one arm across herself and hunched over her desk, trying to figure out how she was ever going to face the guy. Or, really, any of the guys she’d had to escape.

I wonder if I could convince Brice to let me work from home for a bit. And then I’d have to figure out where to actually work from.
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Found myself wishing she had told the guy he groped her.
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Seriously, what is going on with the #StarTrek people? We've lost another one.

#RIPHarveBennett
Harve Bennett, who produced four Star Trek movies, The Mod Squad, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman died on Wednesday at the age of 84. It was because of Bennett that Wrath of Khan became a classic, and he should be remembered forever as one of heroes of science fiction.
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Rebecca Thomas

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If you have my name right in front of you, there is no excuse for you to misspell my name or call me the wrong name or an overly familiar nickname (that I detest being called, for future reference).

Offenders are gleefully, shamelessly ignored.
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It seems like I'm only ever here to post scenes so they don't get behind. But I've been working this week on editorial and production calendars, so things might eventually get better. And I'm getting back to participating in writing prompts and challenges around various favorite writing holes, so things are slowly getting better.

This week on Chasing Normal: Five parties in eight days? Travis thought this was the kind of thing people fresh out of their apprenticeship period did. Actually, she didn't. She's known her mother too long. Thank goodness for local grandparents who support and encourage their granddaughters.

As always, +1 if you like it, comment if you feel so inclined, and share if you know someone else who would enjoy it. #saturdayscenes   #sciencefiction   #youngadult  

Previous Scene: http://bit.ly/CNScene16

New to the series and want to catch up? Read the entire series on:
- deviantArt: http://bit.ly/CNdeviantArt
- wattpad: http://bit.ly/CN1wattpad (This is Volume 1. Volume 2 is also available.)

== == == == ==

A month behind schedule, the production swung into high gear after the party. Travis couldn’t remember the last time she was so busy. Her daily agenda was full; her inbox was empty because everyone else was too insanely busy to yell at her. She’d get through a few objects, and then find that half a dozen more had appeared on her list. She was thrilled.

Finally! This is starting to feel like an apprenticeship!

As everything was crazy, lunches were taken as crew members could find a break. One day, the cafeteria was filled to standing room only. The next, there were barely a handful of people inhaling lunch. Despite that, Travis and Will managed to eat lunch together. Both were fairly quiet, though, as they had to eat quickly and get back to their stations. But Travis was grateful for the companionship, and for the fact her mother was no longer talking about sitting with her.

In fact, her mother was kind of looking through her at the moment...in a way she never had before. She can’t be that angry with me for leaving the party, can she? Travis hadn’t even had a chance to explain why she’d left. Not that it mattered; she knew her mother would laugh it off.

At home, her mother locked herself in her bedroom, saying she needed to gather her energy for the next day’s shooting. It was completely melodramatic and a welcome, if odd, change in her mother’s habit. Travis didn’t care. It meant she could hang out with Lydia and read and sketch in the peace and quiet of her common area.

Friday morning, her mother was back to her bubbly self. As she flitted around the larger common area, Travis mouthed to Lydia, What’s gotten into her?

Lydia shrugged and mouthed back, She told me this morning she’s having an intimate get-together.

My mother doesn’t know what an intimate get-together looks like, Travis responded. She puffed out her cheeks and let out a harsh breath before turning to watch her mother.

==

Will settled into the seat across from her, “Have anything fun planned this weekend?”

“I was thinking about helping my grandmother do her grocery shopping.” Travis had her phone to her ear and was drumming her fingertips on the table. “Come on. Pick up,” she mumbled. 

Will arched an eyebrow at her, and she waved him off. The phone on the other end suddenly clicked, and Travis found herself dealing with an answering machine. Rats! “Hi, Oma. It’s Travis. Is it okay if I stay with guys this weekend? Let me know. Bye.” She hung up the phone and set it beside her plate.

“You want to talk about it?” Will offered.

Travis couldn’t look up past the top edge of her plate. “Mom’s apparently hosting a small party tonight.”

“Wow! She really does love her parties, doesn’t she?”

“She likes being the center of attention,” Travis growled.

Will scraped the plate with his fork trying to scoop up some potatoes. “A small party can’t be that bad, right?”

Travis grimaced. “Yeah. Just my parents and fifty to a hundred other people.”

“Fifty to a hundred?”

“Yeah. Mom’s confused about what constitutes a small gathering.”

“So, you’re going to hide out at your grandparents’?”

“That’s the plan, if Oma calls me back.” Her phone chimed to announce an incoming text from her grandmother: We’ll be happy to spend the weekend with you. Let us know when you’re on your way.

“Good news, I take it.” Will noticed her grin.

Travis snapped her phone shut. “The best.”

==

The moment her work was finished, Travis wasted no time racing home and packing. She let Lydia know she was going. “You know, just in case her royal highness wonders.” Lydia shook her head at Travis’ sarcasm.

She got to her grandparents’ house just in time for a hearty dinner and a relaxed conversation. After dinner, she pulled out her tablet and sat down with her grandfather in his workshop. 

“These look great, Travis. You’ve really put a lot of thought into them.” Her grandfather tapped a few keys on the tablet and in a moment, Travis’ blueprints were displayed on the monitor above the workbench. 

Her heart beat raced. “Thanks. I’ve had a lot of time to work on them. I still haven’t figured out how I want to style the covers.”

“That’s all right,” he said, referencing the screen as he gathered tools and materials. “That can come later.”

Her grandfather had been a MicroTech circuits designer for a few decades, and he moved across boards and wires with a speed and a fluidity unlike anything Travis had ever seen. He fused a few circuits and wires onto boards no larger than Travis’ fingernails, and then slid them in front of her and handed her his soldering pen. “Want to try a few?”

“Really?” She’d never actually thought she would get to build her own creations, and now a master circuit designer was going to show her how. She reached for the pen, and her phone went off. “Sorry.” She didn’t recognize the number, but it was local, so she answered it. “Yes?” Her head dropped. “Yes. Yes, they are.” Her eyes turned sadly toward the monitor. “I see. Yes, I’ll be right there.” She hung up and shoved the phone back in her project.

“Is there a problem?”

“Yeah, I have to meet a whole new police station.” Her grandfather looked shocked. “Sorry. Mom and Dad are being held at the station, and I have to go get them out.” She looked at the half-built circuit boards on the bench, and tears welled at the corner of her eye. This is so unfair!

Her grandfather started putting away the tools and loose materials. “You’d better get your jacket. It’s a little cold out. I’ll get your grandmother.”

Travis stomped all the way up to her room, but it did nothing to alleviate her frustration.
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I can understand how you feel, but I don't think most people expect full reciprocation. Hope you get back on your feet soon, and look forward to you re-joining the community when you feel comfortable. :)
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Rebecca Thomas

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I love how they incorporated elements from the game. :)
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Apparently, #saturdayscenes  is going to be an every other week thing for me for a bit. I know why, and I'm trying to decide how best to handle it, but for now, I"ll try to make sure there's something here every other week for you to read.

Also, I will soon be announcing my return to freelance editing. Something to look forward to. (It's been a while, and I miss it.)

Anyway...nothing terribly interesting going on around here, so on with the story. Shiri has finally decided to grace Sai Anto Productions with her presence, and is celebrating. Travis is happy to be busy at work, but could really use a break from her home life. What's a girl to do when her mom insists she join the party?

Previous Scene: http://bit.ly/CNScene14

As always, +1 if you like it. Comment if you feel so compelled. Share if you know someone who would like it.  #youngadult   #sciencefiction

==

“Oh my goodness! Shiri Ando!” Lorraine squealed as she ran around her desk. Travis had anticipated the receptionist’s reaction and hung back as they entered, hoping to avoid notice on way into the production area. Lorraine was faster than Travis expected and grabbed her arm as she tried to slip past. “Well, you just must be bursting to have your parents here, pumpkin!”

Travis forced a smile, “Yes. But I have to get to work, or Brice-”

Lorraine pushed her right next to her mother. “You two could be twins.” Every word the woman spoke was more shrill than the one before it, and the sound reverberated off the lightly upholstered walls of the lobby. 

Shiri smiled, a look Travis might have described as pride, but definitely not motherly. It didn’t matter. Lorraine looked like she might claim to be pleased as punch at Shiri’s gesture. 

In the lull, Travis seized her opportunity. “Mom, I have to get to my station. I have a lot of work to do.”

“Of course, sweetheart. I’ll see you later. We’ll eat lunch together.”

Sorry. I have a lunch buddy. Travis thought as she took carefully controlled stomps toward the door.

Behind her, she could hear the receptionist fawning over her mother between attempts to get her card key.

==

Travis had to give her mother credit. Once Shiri made it into the arena, the scenes started flowing quickly and regularly through the engineering pods to the animators. Requests for backgrounds, set pieces, edits, and clean-ups flooded Travis' inbox. It was nice to finally feel useful, even if she didn't want to be in the same building as the reason why she was suddenly so busy.

By mid-afternoon, the production was well on its way to being caught up, and rumors were circulating about a "Get to Know You" party at the Andos' that evening.

Travis shook her head when she heard a handful of animators talking about it. She really can find any excuse to party, can't she?

==

Because it was a company party, Shiri insisted Travis attend. She rummaged through Travis' closet. "Honey, where are your party clothes?"

"I'm fifteen. I don't have party clothes." It wasn't entirely true. Travis had some outfits tucked away in the hopes she'd eventually be invited to somewhere nice. But those were not the kind of party clothes her mother was tearing through her closet for.

"We can go shopping this weekend. For now, why don't I just loan you something?" She glided out of the room. 

Yes. Why don't you?, she thought bitterly as she started cleaning up her mother’s mess. She'd hung up nearly everything by the time her mother walked in with a sparkly pink tank top that would definitely clash with Travis’ hair and jeans she would never fit into in a million years. Well...it could be worse….probably.

==

It was worse. While news had spread that the Ando family was working at Sai Anto Productions, Travis' age hadn’t. After the fifth drunken crew member slapped her butt as she was making her way across the apartment in hopes of finding a less crowded area, Travis excused herself. 

She looked at herself in the bathroom mirror for several minutes, trying to figure out why her mother suddenly decided Travis should attend one of the family debaucheries. But the why didn't matter. She was stuck for the time being. An insistent knock on the door reminded her she couldn't hide forever, and she ran the faucet for a couple of seconds, counted to three and opened the door.

Across the hall, she saw her answer. But if she tried to just hide in her bedroom, her mother would certainly drag her out. It was better than nothing and might buy her a few minutes’ peace, but it would be better if she could just ditch the party altogether.  If I could just figure out where to go.

And then inspiration hit. She threw some clothes and her tablet into her duffel bag and slipped back through the partiers and out the front door. Everyone was too drunk to notice.

Several minutes later, she took several deep breaths, trying to calm herself down, and rang the doorbell. Her grandfather, completely bedraggled except for his housecoat, answered the door. "Travis?"

"Sorry it's so late, Opa, but things are crazy at home tonight. Is it all right if I stay here?" She knew his answer before he ever said it. Her grandparents had made it clear she was welcome to come visit them any time she liked.

"Of course. I think your grandmother has kept your room."

Oma had in fact kept the guest room that had served as Travis' room only a couple of weeks earlier. She peeled off the constricting clothes, pulled on her pajamas, and was asleep before her head hit the pillow. 
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+Rebecca Thomas I've noticed a lot of writers not reading all the posts.  Probably because there are so many.  I'll keep watching for yours.
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Sorry for the dead air. My thirteen-year-old cat passed away unexpectedly a couple of days after Valentine's Day, and my coping skills have been low to nonexistent.

But here we go, the long awaited Chapter 14. Travis has been sucked back into her parents' hedonist lifestyle. Work isn't going so well. And the hope of getting out is marginal at best. 

Previous Scene: http://bit.ly/CNScene13

As always, +1 if you like it. Comment if you feel so compelled. Share if you know someone who would like it. #saturdayscenes   #youngadult   #sciencefiction  

== == == == ==

Travis avoided logging in to her workstation that morning. The agenda reminded her that her mother was supposed to be in the arena. Messages from a number of people around the studio reminded her that her mother was supposed to be in the arena. I thought part of completing an apprenticeship was getting to become independent of your parents.

==

“Please tell me you guys are hanging out tonight.” Travis dumped her salad on the table.

Will arched an eyebrow. “Um, no solid plans. What’s up?”

“I need to not be home for a bit.” She attacked the salad, her fork spearing through several components at a time.

“The rumors are founded?” Will shifted in his seat and nudged his plate down the table a bit.

“The rumors are definitely founded.” Travis stuffed the pile into her mouth. “I don’t even know how they called together that many people on such short notice,” she mumbled around a radish that disappeared a moment later. “Actually, yes I do.”

Will watched her for a moment. “And you think there will be another party tonight?”

“If they keep to their normal pattern, yes.” She poked at the salad. “Did I tell you about the one last night?”

“No, and that’s probably for the best.”

Travis slumped in her seat. “Sorry.”

“No, it’s cool. The insider look at a celebrity’s life is always eye opening.” He laughed as Travis glared at him. “Let me put out a call and see if anything is going on tonight.”

“Thanks.”

==

It turned out most of Will’s friends had other plans that night. He offered to hang out with her, but she waved it off.

“Odd reaction for a girl who’s desperate to get out of her home.”

“Perfect reaction for a girl who doesn’t need her mother getting the wrong idea,” Travis sighed.

“So, now we have a mission. Find Travis a safe place to go when her parents are being wild childs.”

“You mean ‘children’.” Travis smirked. “See you tomorrow, unless I’m rescuing my parents from the local police.”

“Have you had to do that?” Will’s eyes were almost cartoonishly wide.

“The officers recognized me on sight in our last town.” She slung her bag over her shoulder and headed out.

At home, she found a note on her desk.

There’s soup and some snacks in the bottom drawer of the fridge for you. Don’t let your father get into them. 

Also, I told my nieces about you, and they’re dying to meet you and show you the virtual world. It will give you some other kids to hang out with. Think about it and let me know.

Keep your nose clean,
Lydia

Travis hugged the note. Lydia hadn’t been with them a full week, and she was already Travis’ favorite thing about the apartment. She dropped her bag on her bed, rescued the food from the fridge, and settled in for what she hoped would be a long sketching session.

Soon after sunset, her hopes were dashed. The noise out in the apartment quickly rose from ambient to soul-crushing. Or maybe that was just the music filling the place. Is that a live band? Where did they find space to set up a live band? But the music was clearly not coming from a player of any sort, and the band was confirming that they in fact knew nothing about producing music.

Travis jammed her headphones into her ears and did everything she could think of to shut out the noise.

It turned out the neighbors were no longer interested in tolerating the Andos’ partying, because shortly after Travis heard the unmistakable sound of rough sex right outside her door, she heard sirens. And then she heard the knocking, the sound reverberating through the apartment and silencing the band. 

She couldn’t quite make out what the deep voice was barking at the partiers, but she heard laughing and screaming and she drew her legs to her chest in her chair, hoping this would all be over soon.

It took the police over an hour to clear out the party, and it took Travis over two hours after that to finally fall asleep.

The next morning, she walked out to a nearly clean apartment. Her mother was sitting at the kitchen counter eating breakfast, fully dressed. Lydia pushed a plate along the counter toward her, and Travis mumbled her thanks as she sat down to eat breakfast.

“Good morning, Travis!” Her mother’s eyes were still dilated from all the drugs in her system. “I thought we’d go in together today.”

“You’re actually going to show up for work?” It came out before Travis could police herself.

Her mother didn’t even notice. “I hope we’re working on the same interactive. Wouldn’t that be fun?”

“We are working on the same interactive, Mom. I’m on the cleanup crew.”

“That’s so exciting!” And that was the extent of the conversation. Half an hour later, Lydia slipped Travis a thermos and a lunch box as the teen followed her mother out the door.

== == == == ==

If you would like to catch up from the beginning, the story is available on Wattpad!

Volume 1: http://bit.ly/CN1wattpad
Volume 2: http://bit.ly/CN2wattpad

Or on deviantArt: http://bit.ly/CNdeviantArt
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I love this story
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The synchronicity topic for the last twenty-four hours: #soundscapes. It's been interesting.

But it also reminded me +Coffitivity exists. So many tracks I haven't heard yet! :)
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Tuesday, it was Maurice Hurley: bit.ly/1E06bIK Today, it's Leonard Nimoy: bit.ly/1E06qDC This is heartbreaking.
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San Antonio, TX
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Seattle, WA - Boulder, CO - Corpus Christi, TX
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SF/F Geek. Anthropology Enthusiast.
Introduction
About Me
I am a former informal science and math teacher turned freelance writer, editor, and voice actor. I read, write, edit, and narrate science fiction and fantasy media. I am a former fanficcer who still enjoys reading fanfic and checking out cosplayers and prop fabricators; and I support fancraft and makerspaces as excellent interest-driven, peer-based learning environments.

When I'm not working, I'm often watching cartoons because I enjoy the science behind animation and I like watching how culture and cultural perceptions play out through the medium. I've also recently started reconnecting with my crafting past and have opened an Etsy shop to give my work somewhere to go.

While I'm enjoying getting into the freelance life, I would like to eventually work on alternate reality games and digital storytelling projects as part of the narrative design team and as a voice actor.


About My Webspaces
We are what we experience. It shapes who we are, what we do, and how we think. This is my experience. This is what I'm reading, seeing, thinking, and creating. This is where I've been and where I'm headed, for better or for worse. The topics may represent a diverse set of interests to you, but to me it's the tightly woven tapestry of my life. Following me won't change your life. It won't even change how you see the world. But hopefully, it will inspire you to think about and pay attention to what shapes and inspires you.


My Following Policy
(I never thought I'd need one of these, but some creative and business folk on Twitter and G+ apparently need manners or maybe a reminder that they aren't in kindergarten or high school anymore.)

My following policy is simple. I make posts that are interesting to me that I hope will be interesting to others, and I follow people who make interesting posts. I don't auto-follow, and I don't expect people to follow me just because I followed them.

I have zero tolerance for serial add/droppers and for those who engage in that behavior trying to build up their numbers. Those people just don't understand social media. 
Bragging rights
As a first year teacher, I had 100% of my geometry class achieve the highest score on the state EOC exam. I'm very proud of her. :)
Work
Occupation
Science Fiction/Fantasy Reader, Writer, Editor, and Narrator. Perpetual NPC. Amateur Cultural Anthropologist. Trained Curator. Gamer.
Skills
writing, editing, narrating, voice acting, research, curation, blogging, managing social media, teaching, curriculum design
Employment
  • Writer, Editor, and Voice Actor
    Freelance, 2012 - present
  • Genius on Hold
    Blogger, 2011 - present
Rebecca Thomas's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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