It’s That Time of Year Again

Where I remember I have this thing. It helped getting a bill on my card reminding me this thing exists.

I have missed blogging.

I’m writing more than I usually do, but not the volume that I have been aiming for. I’m still trying to finish Eat Your Green but it’s super late from the date I was envisioning when I commissioned that lovely image to the right of your screen.

Recently, I’ve broadened my horizons to include a little reality tv. I started with some baking shows, and moved onto Queer Eye, and I ended up seeing a lot of myself in the contestants.

It was timely. The bottom of the water heater rusted out, and it wasn’t replaced correctly, causing a second flood. Due to the type of floor we had, it required the entirety of it to be replaced.

Which required the base boards to be removed.

The landlady knew we had been wanting to paint the house — the walls were a beige reminiscent of cat vomit– so she said that now would be a perfect time because we would only need to tape the top part of the room instead of the bottom part.

I was not aware how expensive paint was.

The floor is a grey white tile with a wood like finish. The beige wouldn’t have looked good anyway.

My roommate and I are switching rooms, and she wants to turn the two kid bedrooms that were mine into one room, so there’s also an incomplete doorway smashed through one of my walls.

But because we were doing so much with the floors, the landlady said screw it–time to get the counters done that she has been talking about doing since we moved in almost two years ago.

She decided to cut it herself, and it was short. The sink also doesn’t fit. So I haven’t had a kitchen sink for over a day, with a possibility of it getting fixed on Monday.

Things have been hard. They have been stressful. I’ve felt myself stuck in rut after rut. And I know that outside Stuff can’t really help–it does have to be intrinsically motivated–but outside stuff can provide some additional tools.

It was kind of already in progress, but I’m deciding to package the disaster that has been going on at home as a slow motion Make Over, Queer Eye style.

Design: Already in progress. I’ve actually taken inspiration from Bobby, and am looking at ways to make my space more functional. I am playing with the ideas of painting my walls a dark green, because he said on one of the episodes that the artificial lighting works better on dark colors because the light isn’t reflected in all directions. but I really do want to get things that are more me, with more storage and organization. I picked up a dishware set that I really like, and I’m looking forward to removing stuff that I don’t use frequently.

Fashion: I’ve been embarrassed by what I’m calling my stomach splooge (worse after gaining weight back from Keto that I had to stop due to health issues), but I’m realizing that doesn’t have to stop me. I’ll be experimenting with the French tuck, and actually have what I think will be a good outfit for my errands tomorrow (grey pants, grey shirt, suspenders, and for that pop of color, pink converse). I may even try rolling the cuffs on my tee. All tricks from Tan!

Culture: Last week I signed up for a boxing club. My plan was to go Tues/Thurs/Saturday/Sunday, but I missed it Thursday, and Saturday, and tomorrow I’m going to mow the lawn. I was busy painting cabinets and moving stuff from room that needs to be tiled to a space that has already been tiled, and one of the things I tend to do is overwork myself. So, I reset my goal: TuesThurs classes until the house is done. I also want to get serious bout learning how to sew. I also started going to a live music night at a coffee place…except for today because of the cabinets. Sometimes I think I may sign up to read a flash fiction, but I’d like to practice my articulation better before I would feel ready for that. I think that would satisfy Karamo?

Food: Until my access to stove and sink was so restricted, I actually didn’t realize how much I had improved in cooking my own food. I had actually expanded to cooking for breakfast in addition to dinner. Needless to say, this has been really hard on me and my attempts to lose weight. I am literally planning on buying frozen food for the majority of this week because I don’t know when I’ll be able to easily cook again. I literally don’t have a sink to rinse dirty dishes before I put them in dishwasher.

Grooming: I already know  that Jonathan would be so disappointed. I want to start putting moose in my hair in the morning after my shower and combing it in. I think you’re supposed to blow dry after you do that? But I am working on getting a hair dryer that I would be more likely to use. I also want to take better care of my skin–I want to get face lotion, a nice sunscreen, and make sure to start maintaining my undercut once a week. I know I need to take better care of my nails, so…that will be step two since I struggle with that. I am planning on treating myself to a mani pedi when this is all over but I don’t know when that will be and I don’t want to pull a Classic Me–which is, procrastinate on taking care of myself.

I’m excited about some changes I’ve made–the boxing club and the desire to sew and the design stuff happened before I started watching Queer Eye, but everything else was inspired by watching the show.

One of the episodes was about a comedian, and Karamo was talking about branding and made that site for him. I guess that also brought to mind this site, and the fact I’m going true blown necromancer on this thing and officially raising it from the dead.

It’s actually weird thinking about that. I had already considered really pulling my online presence away. I feel I’ve been too open before, and I don’t think that vulnerability is bad, but I feel putting it all out there on the internet is not always wise.

But, I feel that there is a large community of writers online, so I hesitate to fully withdraw when I feel like I’m ready to join that community.

We’ll see where this goes!

NANoWriMO

NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. Also known as the Worst Month In The Entire Year To Challenge One’s Self To Write 50k words.

  1. November only has 30 days. Why not just make it February then for a “real” challenge.
  2. November is the beginning of the busiest holiday season of the year. Thanksgiving is right there towards the end of the month.
  3. Even if, like myself, you don’t celebrate the holidays, other people do. And their actions affect you. I say this looking at all the time off requests I’ve approved around Thanksgiving because I’m not a heartless scrooge.

For me, November would be a death knell for getting any sort of long sustained writing work done. Not only will I be more than likely working tons of overtime during the month, specifically around the holidays but it’s not unusual for me to pull 50 hour work weeks just in general, but my wonderful workplace decided to do their End of Year even in the first week of November.

I know. Right during the midterm elections. Register and vote people.

So, on Monday I’ll be working my shift then flying to Las Vegas, and probably have some time of work mingling event. Tuesday and Wednesday will be meetings and conferences and more meetings and will probably end up being 16 hours of work/mingling before crashing in a hotel room–and that’s assuming I don’t work late into the night to get a handle on the tickets we didn’t have time to process because of all the totally not mandatory Work Events. Thursday, the work still needs to get done but on top of that I’m also flying!

A whole week! Gone!

I’ve always been of the opinion that putting this challenge in November is setting one’s self up for failure. Writing is already hashtag hard, so to put such a challenge in a month with only thirty days, during one of the busiest holiday seasons of the year? Why!

So I will be doing the challenge this year–but not in November.

October, after September, is already the best month. Even in places without seasons it just is because Halloween is fun! The days are just starting to turn but are not so depressingly dark in the mornings and evenings. It has….thirty one days!

I’m calling it National Auxiliary Novel Writing Month: October or NAnoWriMO.

I’m also going to do a fanfic this year because inspiration, what’s that!

But yeah. That’s the plan. I’m ready!

FanX18

FanX18 was this weekend, and I attended all three days. There was a zombie panel that I wanted to attend but unfortunately I was quite worn out. I’ll go ahead and collect the book titles I want to read after these panels at the end of the post.
I also apologize for the multiple twitter threads. My phone was malfunctioning for the whole con (touch disease).
The panels I attended were as follows:

So, this isn’t my first FanX, but I went two or three years ago and I hadn’t actually gone all three days because there were so many people and I was generically overwhelmed.

I won’t belabor the points of each one as that’s what the twitter one was for.

My take away from the Books panel was that apparently people consider having different fantasy races, such as elves and orcs, fulfills the diversity requirement. This is not diversity and was a little on the insulting side, I thought.

I will say that I was deeply disappointed with the Avatar panel. One of the panelists literally introduced herself as someone who enjoys hating on things so I don’t feel bad calling her a hater. I just have to ask….why would we have someone who was so frank about her negativity be on a panel titled “Why We Love Avatar”?

Also, Korra and Aang I believe are fundamentally misunderstood. There was definitely a different vibe towards Aang than what I’ve encountered online but what they said about Korra matched a lot of the misogynist online discourse I’ve seen. The hater literally said she wouldn’t want to kill Korra but rather watch her struggle. I imagined the brutality of the fight in season 3 and wondered how much joy or satisfaction that particular panelist felt seeing that and it honestly made me feel ill to my stomach.

They condemned her so much for being so confident in her abilities and said she had an ego. Maybe she did in the beginning–but so did Aang and they didn’t say a thing about that. Aang was always showing off–not just in childhood but probably in adulthood as well.

That panel did not sit well with me at all, and it’s one of the reasons I avoided panels about fandoms and pretty much just stuck with the writing ones.

Lucy Lawless did her war cry and it was freaking awesome.

One of the things I really took away from Makers of Stories was the idea to make a pitch first and then write the novel. I will need to do more research and do it for the novels I’m currently in progress for, as well as for Eat Your Green even though the first draft of that is already written.

The other take away was that I don’t think setting daily word counts or write x hour of the day work for me. Particularly the latter because I do tend to work overtime and that can turn into a scheduling nightmare for me. However, now that I’m playing with Scrivener, I realized that writing a scene a day is a very, very achievable goal. So, that’s what I’m going to start doing now.

The other panel that deeply disappointed me was the LGBT panel. I felt like there was not an established direction. One of the panelists rubbed me the wrong way right away when she mentioned she didn’t want it to get political, and then said how she came close to blows with another panelist at a previous con when it came to whether or not Asexuality fell under the LGBTQ umbrella.

For those who don’t know, there is a LOT of discourse regarding this particular opinion, and I have friends whom I respect on both sides of this. As an asexual person myself, I no longer engage with this discourse because I ultimately find it extremely unpleasant, and I think that there are just too many real life variables that can affect how someone is systematically affected by being ace. So what turned me off this particular panelist is because she really just seemed to trivialize it and it just seemed extremely inappropriate to bring it up as no one else was allowed to have a voice (I mean…she did dominate almost the entire panel in a most unpleasant, bordering rude way so).

The other part that bothered me was the respectability politics. I completely agree that fandom sending death threats to creators, sending Sterek cookies, etc. is completely inappropriate and wrong. However, this particular panelist literally just said just ask for more representation in a way that rang eerily of Oliver Twist lifting his empty bowl of porridge and asking, ever so politely, “Please sir may I have some more.”

I don’t think I need to get into the systemic metaphor but I just couldn’t believe it honestly because there is a time and a place for anger. I think some of the other panelists didn’t feel the same way but they did not have a lot of time to share their own opinions, and she literally told another panelist to wrap it up because of the time even though there was still a few minutes before the end.

The most useful panel for me was Publishing Your Work. I got a lot of ideas for getting myself out there, along with a renewed desire to go to the Writer’s League. I need to start making time for this part of the writing process, and developing that part of myself. I also need to start thinking specifically about my audience.

Book Title Recommendation List:

  • Wool – I missed author so not sure which book he was referring to
  • Pack Dynamics – I missed the author so not sure which book he was referring to
  • Save the Cat (yeah I know I’m late to the party)
  • Write Your Novel From The Middle
  • Not Your Sidekick
  • A book by Elmore Leonard because apparently he’s a master at dialogue

My plan of action for my own work:

  • Read the books I bought (Not Your Sidekick and Unleashed)
  • Write more scenes — and write more prolifically esp with fanfic
  • Start going to the writer’s league
  • Attend the lesbian meetups I joined several years ago but never went to…if anything, I at least know lesbians are my audience so time to start making connections in that community.
  • Start visiting local bookstores and getting to know the employees
  • Start visiting the library and making friends with the librarians
  • See if I can get my business cards posted at the coffee shop the league meets up and some other local coffee places.
  • Start researching newsletters? Apparently that’s a thing I should have as a new author.

We’ll see what happens. Baby steps first.

 

 

Eat Your Green, A Teaser

Hi Folks! I hope you enjoy this teaser from my upcoming novel, Eat Your Green. You can read more of my work at My Patreon.

“Fine. I guess I’ll be seeing you—” Mina pulled out her schedule, rumpling it even more so it was more tatters than paper. “Friday.”

His voice was bored. “Or not. Derek and I might be golfing.”

“I’m riveted.” Mina shoved the schedule back into her pocket. “Why don’t you step on a lego while you’re at it?”

She went to leave, to slam the door behind her, but then her eyes lingered on the golf club set leaning against the wall. “Just going to borrow this real quick, hope you don’t mind.” She grabbed the head of the largest one, appreciating the heft of it, before she dodged their outstretched hands and slipped out the door, sprinting fast as she could down the hall and through the doors marked exit in neon green.

Good luck golfing now big guy.

She twirled the club like a baton as she walked down the street, seething with rage. She should rejoin her friends, make sure they were okay, or she should stay here, wait for Derek, follow him home, and kill him like she’d been taught in every zombie movie she’d ever watched.

She could do this, she told herself. She had to before somebody else got hurt. It wasn’t murder if he was already dead.

Before she had a chance to talk herself out of it, she went to what had once been his home and waited for him to come home—well, what had been his place of residence at the time of his death. She figured he would return to where he had once lived upon rising from the grave.

Was the absence of cicadas enough reason to cause a sense of aspersion and suspicion on the house? They had been singing and chirping and strumming their wings all summer and yet not a single bug barded their way through the long hours of the evening. She waited for Derek to come home until she fell asleep and woke up to Derek Johnson nudging her in the ribs with his crumbling, moldering boot.

“That club for me?”

Mina stumbled away from her, clutching the club to her chest. “You going to take it away from me? I feel like that’s your thing, just taking things.”

Derek laughed, a grotesque action considering his throat was half rotten out. Mina cringed away from him. Her palms were slick and sweaty with her death-grip on the club. In her head, she’d imagined coming up from behind. Not face to face. Not giving him a chance to talk to her like he was an actual person. She stepped away from him, and true to form, he just took another step and a half towards her. “So what did you do to the people who bought the house on the occasion of your death?” Derek shrugged. “I bet you ate them, just like you were going to eat my friend.”

“I’m a hungry man,” Derek said. “We all need to eat. At least I don’t steal the dregs from the chicken fryer.” He tsked what remained of his tongue, his finger wagging at her. “That’s against policy and I could have you fired for theft.”

She rolled her eyes. He wasn’t even in management. Yet. “At least I’m not hurting other people.”

“Just a profit margin, but you prob’ly don’t care about things like that. That’s prob’ly why you’re so poor. Math just goes over your head like—” He mis-estimated his swooping gesture and bits of his scalp stuck to his dirt crusted watch. “So I do what I need to do. That’s why I’m still here, even back from the dead. What have you accomplished?”

“You’re already dead. It’s not like you’re going to starve to death.”

He gestured at the golf club in her hands. “If you have the moral high ground, then you wouldn’t have brought that.”

Mina opened her mouth to reply, then shut up. She knew better than to get caught up debating douche-bags like Derek, who thought philosophy and playing devil’s advocate was more important than the lives they were all actually supposed to be living.

Derek laughed derisively. “See, you can’t even prove what you believe. Bye, Mina. See you Friday. Maybe.” He turned away from her to walk up the concrete path to the house that had once been his.

Mina tightened her grip on the golf club, and swung it hard against Derek Johnson’s halfway rotted skull. He pitched forward and dropped face first into the sidewalk. Heaving the blood splattered club to her shoulder, she walked towards where his corpse twitched, fingers scrabbling uselessly at the pavement. “Guess I didn’t hit you hard enough. It’s my first time, so I understand if there’s room for improvement.” She shifted her feet like Valerie had once showed her how to line up to a tee. “Fore!” The club whooshed down low.