Nov 14

I’m in Love with Homeland Grocery Store

Growing up, my parents owned a restaurant. My grandpa owned one too. My great grandpa and great grandma owned a grocery store. Currently, my dad owns a property management business. I come from a family of business owners. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my upbringing it’s that the American dream is always a possibility. That, and there’s nothing better than owning your own business.

Maybe I have a soft spot for local businesses because of this, but it’s probably more that I have a hatred for large corporations and franchises because I’ve worked for them.

I hate chain restaurants. Food should never be the same in more than one place. If it is, know that it comes from bags. If you like bagged and frozen foods, that’s totally cool. but you can get them hella cheap in your grocer’s freezer and don’t need to go to Chili’s for them.

I hate Walmart. I think everyone does. I understand that I come from a place of privilege when I say this, but it’s a joy to know that I don’t have to shop there.

I’m really happy that I live in Norman where a lot of small businesses are springing up every day. Downtown and Campus Corner are full of them. And more keep showing up on the west side too. It’s a good feeling to get to know the city you live in and its people, and to watch them grow symbiotically. I love that almost every need I have can be satisfied by a local business. Now, if we could just get a local bookstore that sold both new and used, I would be a very happy Normanite.

All that was a lengthy introduction. This post is about my grocery store.

Chris and I shop at the Homeland Grocery Store on 12th and Alameda in Norman. We love it.

When we shop, we tend to shop in a horseshoe, meaning we only hit the outside of the store. We go from the cheese counter to the veggies to the butcher to the dairy and eggs. We may double back for some olives, canned beans, dish soap, or beer, but we generally do the outside only. Chris is pretty healthy and concerned about what he eats due to his Muay Thai training, and I’m currently on a life journey to not eat like a toddler who was accidentally left in a candy store overnight. It’s tough.

There are a few newer health-focused grocery stores that have opened recently in Norman, but we generally don’t go to them. For the foods we eat and the amount we need, Homeland is the best deal for us. Our weekly $130 grocery bill at Homeland would be nearly double that at a place like Sprouts or Organic Grocers, and we still would not be able to get our beer, cheese, and olives. So we stay loyal to Homeland Grocery Store. In fact, we wind up there on a lot of date nights, just trying to get all our shopping done on a Friday evening before the weekend crowds show up.

But we’re not doing this out of the goodness of our local-loving hearts. Homeland is basically bribing us. People with Homeland Rewards cards know what I’m talking about.

We get discounts and double coupons every time we use the rewards card–which is awesome since we aren’t really extreme couponing types, but we can still save a lot. And in addition to this, we also got a free turkey for Thanksgiving this year, just for spending money at Homeland Grocery Store. Jealous?

Oh, and did I mention how much I save on gas by using my rewards card at the Homeland gas pumps? It’s kind of insane.

I once worked with a person who really enjoyed grocery shopping. She said it was relaxing and really helped her wind down. I didn’t understand that until I started shopping at Homeland, because I really look forward to grocery shopping now just because I love that place.

I’m not getting paid to write this, and I’m not receiving any sort of kickbacks for it. I just really love Homeland Grocery Store, you guys. Seriously. But if they wanted to pay me, I would totally take it.

Marisa Mohi

Nov 14

Liebster 10 Question Blog Hop

Are you tired of me talking about writing yet? (If the answer is yes, know that I totally don’t care because I can’t stop–won’t stop!)

I was tagged by the lovely, talented, and since Saturday–inked, Katie Trattner in the Liebster 10 question blog hop. And since I’ve been struggling for ideas since Blogtober ended, this seemed like a great opportunity to talk about what I’ve been working on for NaNoWriMo.

So, without further ado, here are my answer to these 10 questions.

1. What is your work-in-progress about? 
Soraya, a recent recipient of a Master in Library and Information Studies, can’t find a full time job to save her life. So, she takes a position as an intern archivist over the summer with a small town historical society in hopes that it will beef up her resume and help her get a job. But when she gets to Moran, Oklahoma, she slowly finds out about the dark history of the Moran family that settled the town, and about the condemned mental institution that she just can’t stay away from.

Also, ghosts, Huntington’s disease, and a police officer that a boxer puppy named Tucker who was in Rosie’s obedience school class was the inspiration for.

2. What’s your favorite line so far?
“Look, I’ve done a lot more with this mouth than just kiss my mother, so if you’re done pretending to be overprotective big brother, I’d like to go inside.”
-Soraya, upon being asked if she kisses her mother with that mouth

3. What happens in your favorite scene from your work-in-progress?
At this point, I don’t have a favorite scene yet. I’m still early on in the writing process. There is plenty of time for favorites to emerge, though!

4. If you and your main character were in a coffee shop, what would you discuss?
Leaving the coffee shop to go have a beer.

5. How many revisions do you think you’ll go through before you consider it complete?
Five. Sixty-four. Seven-thousand. Who even knows? It will be done when it’s done.

6. Do you find yourself putting past experiences in your book? Give an example!
I definitely do this. I mean, you have a Persian protagonist who went to library school and couldn’t find a job even with a master’s degree. That’s 100% my life since May 2013.

7. What song best fits your work-in-progress? What are you listening to as you write?
I have a whole playlist that I’ve been listening to for this one. I wrote about it here. And sometimes, I just use the Thunder Spaces app and listen to a thunder storm. It’s nice and blocks out all the conversations around me.

8. Who is your author role model and why?
So, this is a really hard question for me. A lot of the authors I used to idolize have been found to be really terrible people. Read this, and know that I no longer have author role models or idols for a reason. Heroes aren’t really heroes.

9. What advice do you have for other writers?
Don’t worry so much about what other people are doing. I think there’s a lot of pressure to be online and to have a web presence so that you’re marketable. I also think a lot of people use these platforms less as a means of securing representation and more as a means of bragging. Which isn’t cute at all. But don’t worry so much about what these people say they’re doing. More often than not, they’re all noise and can’t deliver.

10. What fictional character do you like the most and why?
I’d like to go to lunch with Bilbo Baggins. And I bet Huck Finn would be fun at a field party.

So those are my answers! I don’t have anyone to officially tag, but if you’re a writer with a blog and you happen to read this–YOU SHOULD TOTALLY ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS!

And if you haven’t yet, you should totally go enter to win some NaNoWriMo Brew tea!

Marisa Mohi

Nov 14

A Tea for NaNoWriMo!

Can someone please explain to me why the last 6 months of 2014 insist on going by like a runaway train? Just the other day I was thinking to myself “I’d like to do this for my birthday when it comes up” only to realize that my birthday is long past, and so is more than half of November.

NaNoWriMo Brew Tea

One of the reasons I’m not super stoked for November to go so quickly is because of NaNoWriMo. I’ve been participating (though I didn’t sign up on their site because I get tired of all the emails they send out) and I’ve really been enjoying what I’ve been working on (more on that later this week). But I feel like I’m running out of time because November will not slow the hell down.

November waits for no man, I guess.

My primary writing time has been on my lunch break at work. If I can get my head down and focus through that hour, I can have somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 words done. Are they all good? Nope. Is it a good start for something else? Hells yes. And even though if I were hitting those totals five days a week I’d be ahead, I’m terribly behind. I don’t currently have time on the weekends or after work to write, and I lost 3 lunch breaks last week to training. So, I’m still going at it, but I doubt I’ll hit the 50K mark since there are so many other obligations I have that actually pay the bills.

But it’s time for me to get to the point of this post which is tea.

Yes. Tea. Because you need a tea for NaNoWriMo.

Okay, so, I like hot tea a lot, and I’ve written about it before. Before November began, I thought it would be nice to create a special NaNoWriMo tea blend on Adagio and to give some to some friends of mine who are also participating. After all, what is writing if you aren’t doing it while maintaining a caffeine buzz?

The blend I created contains some Irish breakfast tea, a grapefruit oolong, a blood orange herbal, and ginger accents. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a little caffeine, but not too much. And I love black teas with citrus flavors more than most women love their own children, so this is really the best tea I could ever imagine.

Now, I’m not getting paid to peddle this, but I do get points from Adagio if you happen to order my blend. I don’t want you to feel like you should order this, but if you don’t we’re definitely not friends anymore.

Just kidding.

We were never friends to begin with.

Just kidding again.

So, if you’re interested in either purchasing some loose leaf NaNoWriMo Brew, you can click on the image in my sidebar. From there you can order whatever quantity of my blend you’d like, or you can even design your own. If you do happen to design your own, be sure to leave me a link to it in the comments. If you’ve mixed together some flavors I like, there’s a good chance I’m going to purchase your tea. Anyway, I wish you all a happy rest of your November, happy writing, and happy tea drinking.

But if you’d prefer some of your very own free tea for NaNoWriMo, well…you can just enter this little contest below! I’ll be giving away three tins, and you should probably have one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marisa Mohi

Nov 14

777 Challenge

Katie tagged me for the 777 challenge! The rules are simple: Post 7 sentences of your work, start on page 7, count 7 lines down.

I’ve been holding this post for a minute, trying to figure out what I wanted to post. I refuse to post anything about the book I’m working on for NaNoWriMo just because it’s not ready for consumption yet.

So, you’re getting a piece of a novel I’m slowly reworking. I wrote it the first time before starting grad school. Then I rewrote it in grad school. Then I started working on it again after grad school. Basically, it reeks of professors and instructors who touched it before, and I’m trying to fix that. But I don’t think I’m going to get there now, so I’ve put it away for a while.

And, while I’d love to give you the seven sentences that are seven lines down on the seventh page, that’s where a page break begins in this draft. So, you get the first line of the eighth page. Because we all know that I can’t follow the rules ever.

So, without further ado, here it is:

The sound of a fist on the door, banging and urgent, causes me to sit up fast. My brain feels like the little metal balls in a nail polish bottle when you shake it up. My stomach isn’t too keen on my quick motion either. Sloan sleeps next to me, snoring in only the way hung over men can. We smell like sweat and alcohol and sex and it is way too damn early for me to have my eyes open. I look at the alarm clock on my nightstand. It’s only seven-thirty.


I think you should know that this scene comes after a drunken sex scene. That I put in the first chapter of the book. Just so you know what I’m about as a writer. Also, this scene directly precedes a scene that includes a kid who is obsessed with ghost hunting.

It’s a weird manuscript, you guys.

Anyway, writer friends, who wants to be tagged? Let me know in the comments so you can post your 777 too!

Marisa Mohi

Nov 14

Mix Tape Shuffle: Around the Ol’ Campfire

Mix Tape Shuffle November Campfire

Oklahoma has finally cooled the hell off, and you best believe mama has her hoodie ready for use.

Chris and I have a tradition that we’ve done for like two weeks now. It’s date night. On Fridays, we go out. So far, we’ve pretty much only gone to the Buffalo Wild Wings less than a mile from our house and had beer and wings. Because we know how to keep the romance alive.

But we have a plan for a future date night that takes place in our backyard. I’m pretty much basing it off of Melinda’s blog post here, but basically we’re going to set a fire in our outdoor fireplace, and roast some peppers on the grill. In this scenario, Rosie is an angel face dog that just quietly snoozes at our feet, but I know that she’s going to be a spastic nut ball that freaks out about us being in the backyard.

Anyway, Mari and I have been doing this playlist business for a hot minute now, and I’m super happy that this post series has intersected with our two-week-old tradition. Aaaaaand, I get to wear my hoodie while sitting in the backyard and listening to this music! IT’S LIKE A HAT TRICK YOU GUYS.

And now, for the actual playlist:

Mix Tape Shuffle November 2014: Campfire by Marisa Mohi on Grooveshark

I hope these songs accompany your campfire, or your fire in the fire place, or your candle or wherever you get your flames these days. And check out Mari’s playlist too and listen to it when you’re setting things on fire.

Marisa Mohi