float_on_alright: boys and their toys (boys and their toys)
I bought about 10 or eleven pen packs today of varying types. I wanted to do some research about my favorite pens especially since the morning pages are supposed to be handwritten. I know I could use any pen for that sort of thing, but if I’m going to do that much handwriting, I want it to be with a pen I like not just a plain BIC pen - no offense to BIC or anything. I bought a bunch of them at the Dollar Store (bomb!) and a few at the grocery store. I got a few pens that are really just for fun - like a set of scented ones (blueberry, strawberry, grape) that are blue, pink, and purple. 

I’ve discovered that Pentel is my favorite brand of pen. I wasn’t in love with their “just right” rollerball pen even though it’s one of the smoothest writing utensils I’ve ever used because I’m an ink snob. I want my ink to be the blackest black, and I want it to be bold and striking and still not bleed through the paper. Of course, I want the writing to be smooth too. That all said, one of their other pens - the EnerGelX or something like that, was amazing. They had a pack of two at the Dollar Tree. 1mm, ink exactly the way I want it, and damn smooth writing. The Inc. R2 .7mm was probably my second favorite, and the Uni-Ball Bold Air came in third. I tried two different “Stylio” pens; one by Sharpie and one by PenMarc (I think I got that right). I liked them, and I think they’ll come in handy at some point, but they weren’t smooth enough for scribbling morning pages. 

The “Just Right” pens would probably make the most sense for the morning pages, but they’re my morning pages, and I can be weird about them if I want. 

I need to write more of my alien story/first draft for the workshop. I need to have it posted to the other workshop site so I can get some feedback this week and start editing by Monday so that it can maybe a have little more work on Tuesday and I can mail it off on Wednesday. While I was out and about, I got a padded envelope that I think will do nicely for sending my manuscript. I’m hoping that helps me be more committed to the task. I really wanted to have it posted to the workshop tonight, but I feel like I’m a long way off from having the story resolved. I feel I may need a couple more thousand words and I know I can get another chunk down tonight. I mean I wrote 1,400 words in it last night, but like, she just got out of the woods. She still needs to get back to her place, figure out how to help the little aliens, and send them safely off and then realize what she’s learned from the experience and show that she’s “grown.” I’m not sure how many words that’s going to take, but I think it’s going to be more than 1,400. Of course, maybe not! 

I should do what I can though. I have to be up early since we’re headed down to the beach in the morning and mom wants to leave by 9:30. I need to shower which will likely take close to an hour, and we have to finish packing the car. At the same time, I slept in until almost 1:30 pm today (I was up until like 3 am writing in my defense), so I don’t know how tired I am and how early I’ll be able to get to sleep. Though, knowing me if I when to bed and committed to going to sleep with my sleep story on, I’d be out in a couple of minutes. Actually, that does sound good. 

Anyway, I’d better get some story writing done. *Peace*

float_on_alright: I don't have a plot. I have caffeine (I don't have a plot. I have caffeine)
I started “The Artist’s Way” Recovery program today. Who knows how this is going to go long term but I suppose I can always start over if I need to. One of the frustrating things is that I can’t read over the “morning pages” which I know are mostly word vomit anyway so it’s not that I want to read them. The thing is, I’d like to count them towards my word goals for the day but they’re to be handwritten, not typed, no one is to see them or read including me, so physically counting the words isn’t an option because there's too much risk of me reading them. Not re-reading your morning pages is part of battling your “Inner Censor” or, The Cruel Critic as I’m starting to think of mine. My inner voice is an asshole y’all. I mean, I always knew that but one of the assignments for this week was to write down what the inner voice came up with when you wrote out “I, (insert name here), am a brilliant prolific writer.” 

And dude? I’m a fucking asshole. One of the things from therapy was being nicer to myself and the truly terrifying part of seeing the things I’ve said about myself in my own head is that I used to be worse. I wish I could understand how I got so hateful towards myself. Like, okay kids were assholes to me and I always felt out of place and awkward, but I don’t think any of them were ever as mean as I was to myself. 

One of the things she recommends is searching for who might have given you these insecurities and fears. Like trace them back to their originators. And while I was picked on for being overweight, a nerd, weird, wearing unfashionable clothes, not understanding personal hygiene for a while (don’t all sixth graders go through this?), etcetera etcetera etecera, I cannot think of a single instance when someone told me my writing was bad or that I should give up. In fact, as I search through my memories to writing classes and workshops, I can’t remember anything but kindness, support, and encouragement. So what the fuck? Did I do this to myself? And if so, how did this happen? How, growing up with a father who still says “when are you gonna write that bestseller?” In a completely, “you can do it so you should do it already” way do I still think of my writing as worthless trash? How did all those supportive, kind words go so far astray?

I had a teacher in high school who drove me to and from the UNC Charlotte campus from the boonies of Rowan County every day for two weeks so that I could participate in a writing workshop. A workshop I remember fondly and still have the booklet with our work and the notecards the participants wrote for me (we all wrote something nice for each participant). That seem teacher essentially created a Creative Writing II class at the high school so I could keep taking a creative writing course. My college professor weren’t really any less supportive. My classmates were supportive. But I guess I spent too much time thinking I would never be able to write a poem half as amazing as any poem Jason Mott ever wrote (he wrote The Returned, which was as a TV series for a minute and yes, we went to college together and I was in several classes with him even though I was a couple of years behind him and he is amazing - as a writer, as a poet, and as a person). 

She talks about parents telling their kids to be “reasonable” but my dad told me to do my best and as long as I was happy I could be a (and this is a direct quote) “Redundant (unemployed) Siberian Shit-Shoveler from Sheffield” for all he cared. How amazing is that? My mother (so long as she continues to believe I’m straight, I guess, who knows what will happen if she ever figures out I’m definitely not that) thinks the sun shines out my ass and I could do anything I wanted including writing Christmas movies for the Hallmark Channel. 

They talk about mean teachers and while I was terrified of Mrs. Teague I don’t remember her ever being discouraging. I had one teacher who wouldn’t call me by my preferred name but her class was also the class that I first truly understood that I wanted to write a book one day (I was in the first grade - about 6 years old) and that’s one of my two clear memories from that class (the other was refusing to answer by my given name instead of my nickname - I wish I still had that spunk 6 year old me had - she was badass). So not her then. My 6th grade English teacher was also a creative writing teacher and she was phenomenal. She chose my essay as a winner so I could be the “Lady” of our medieval castle day. My 7th grade teacher let me stay after school and use his computer to write the story I was supposed to write for his class. It was only supposed to be about five pages, but it was 25 by the time I was done. He even let me turn it in late with no penalty because I was enthusiastic about the project. 

I mean seriously, I cannot think of a single villain in my pursuit of the creative except myself. 

And isn’t that just a bitch? I can’t be mean to myself about it when I’m supposed to be helping myself heal. I mean beating myself up about it will not do me any good. I wish I had someone to blame though. I wish there was someone I could point to and go “There! That’s it! That’s the moment I started telling myself I could never really write! And it is his/her fault.” It would be so nice to have an external person to blame. But I don’t. And so I’ll just have to find a way to 1) forgive myself and 2) encourage and be kind to myself. 

I see a lot more affirmations in my future. 

float_on_alright: I understand which if i think about it disturbs me (I understand which if i think about it d)
 

I hit the resistance again today. After having not felt it for a few days, it was annoying to have it back. That’s okay though. I know that these types of things are common. I’m glad to have had some days without the resistance. I’ve read a little more of the book “The Artist’s Way” and I really do want to try her program. At the same time I feel incredibly overwhelmed about the upcoming things I have going on in my life. The next two weeks only involve a couple of weekend trips and a few appointments, but then it’s back to work during the busy season. Fall is always crazy in a way that Spring just never is. We’ll have the week in Atlanta for our sales kick off and then a couple of weeks later I’ll be taking off for DragonCon, plus there will be a visit from J who is coming in from California right before DragonCon. Then September and October tend to be my busiest work months. November is crazy. Honestly between the second week in August and the second week in December, I rarely have time to take a breath. And yes, I realize that there is never a “good time” to start a 12 week program but I think some times are just seriously worse than others. And fall is definitely the worst and busiest part of my year, bar none. At least while I’m working for Scholastic.


At the same time, I have a story to try to write, re-write, edit, and mail by July 25th. And if I’m blocked, I’m screwed. I really wanted to have the first draft written by Wednesday and I have no idea if that is going to happen. If I could get the first draft done by Wednesday, I know I could mail it by the following Tuesday (the 25th) or Wednesday at the latest and I feel like that’s enough time for it to make it to Atlanta by the 1st of August (the following Tuesday). Granted, I supposed I always have the option to just cancel the workshop. It’s just that I know I’d be canceling out of fear. The fear is what has me blocked anyway. It’s hard to be creative when you’re just so damned afraid. The “I have to write something good!” is so hateful to my creative brain and I know I’m not being fair to myself. At the same time, I don’t know how to stop. This lady says she knows how to help. That she can teach that part. I don’t know if she can tell me how to be a better storyteller, I think that’s something I have to learn other places and practice. But she says she does have a system for becoming consistently creative without all the blocked nonsense all the time. She calls it a recovery program, like AA or something. And I think I believe her.


And that’s the thing right? Like, what if she’s right? What if she doesn’t know exactly how to loosen up the strangle hold the inner critic has on my creative self? If that’s the case, how can I possibly justify putting it off?


Not to mention, as frustrating as my job can be and as busy as it can be, I only spend 40 hours there a week. I don’t take my job home with me, ever, and even if I stay until we close at 5pm every day of the week, that still puts me home in the evening with plenty of time to do creative work. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from the last 8 months or so, it’s that I absolutely cannot give up my creative pursuits because to give them up would be to give up on my mental health and that is something I know I cannot do.


She forewarns that it can be a difficult, emotionally exhausting journey, one that I’ll likely want to quit. Which means the other thing standing in my way is fear. Fear of what I’ll find and what I’ll feel and what I’ll have to face. Those aren’t things I can take lightly. I know everyone has a shitstorm of issues inside them - maybe some more than others but still I doubt anyone has been untouched by some sort of trauma at some point. I think we all build up walls of lies in some form or fashion so that we don’t have to face the things we don’t like about ourselves. It’s probably pretty normal to fear that too.


I fear I’ll be too tired from work to be able to handle whatever crises this thing makes me face. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to face what I need to face. I’m afraid I’ll quit.


I mean, I can’t fail if I don’t try, right? Which is, of course, exactly the attitude I’ve been hiding behind for years that I promised myself I wouldn’t let win (at least not on a regular basis anyway) earlier this year.


On top of all this, I go back to work in like two weeks and I’m dreading it. Part of me looks forward to seeing Emily at work all the time and I certainly don’t want to stay on unemployment no matter how much I wish I could retire already. The last few weeks have positively flown by and I know the next two weeks will be gone even faster. I’m trying to savor them, of course but they’ll still go by quickly. I keep hoping that by the end of these next two weeks, when I’m thinking, “Yup, back to work tomorrow,” that I’ll be sort of ready for it. Maybe not bored with being off exactly, I don’t think that’s possible, but ready. Maybe if Fall and Spring were reversed and spring was the busier season and fall was quiet and I could “ease” into going back to work, that would be more likely. And granted, it’s not impossible. It’s a six week break and that’s no small break. It’s really, really not. I mean, how many people get that kind of time off? Teachers, of course, get a bit more than that, but they take their jobs home with them every day. I’d bet those kids are always on their minds. Not to mention all the other crap they put up with, like parents and the government making dumb laws about standardized tests. Granted, I have to put up with a lot of Parent-Teacher-Associations/Organizations members. That is a mixed bag, I can tell you that. Although, so is working with teachers, librarians, and staff.


Sigh, I’m on a tangent. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I don’t want to start something I’m not committed to doing but I don’t want to not commit to something because I’m being a scared little wuss. I could probably debate this all night. Go round and round with myself about it but I’m not sure that it would help. I think I’ll go try a prompt and then maybe read for a bit. I’ve got a dentist appointment tomorrow so I’ll have to be in bed at an almost reasonable hour tonight.

float_on_alright: clint doesn't want spoilers (clint doesn't like spoilers)
I was not even a little bit in the mood to write today. I wasn’t in the mood to do anything today if I’m honest. Well, anything except read. I finally got to the book I’d been wanting to get to in the series and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. *Happy Sigh* 

On the other hand, I’ve been feeling a bit miserable. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t written anything new or if I’m feeling like I’ve gotten in over my head with a few of the things I’ve signed up for over the last six months or so (possible since I’ll now have regularly scheduled accountability and mastermind calls possibly for the rest of my life and I honestly don’t know how that happened to me), or maybe because for the first time in months I didn’t have anything immediately pressing and I didn’t know what to do with myself, or if maybe I’m just hormonal (that’s certainly possible too). 

I don’t feel like I thought I would feel having finished the Lit Mag Love course though I think it’s largely because I’m afraid of what comes next. Part of the deal was that you would get her help until such a time as you get published in one of the journals you thought would do well for your work. Which means there’s a high probability that one of my stories will, in the next year or so, get published in a journal somewhere. Which, dear God, what was I thinking? I mean, I know what I was thinking. And I know that I do actually want to get published. I know that I do, but the idea of it is terrifying. 

And that is probably why I’ve been miserable and wallowing for a large part of today. The idea of successfully getting something I wrote in a journal is terrifying. I mean, I’m likely to be rejected for a while. I’m likely going to need to do a lot more work writing a lot more stories before I get there, but it actually feels like there’s a real chance I could get there. If I'm honest, there’s one journal that I think my story would really be suited for that I sent it to. I had only planned to send my story to just that journal but I don’t have enough other things ready to be able to submit other stories other places. 

I know I’ve already talked about the five submissions thing so I won’t get back into that for right now but I guess I just really think that one journal should take my story. Which means I know I’ll be frustrated, sad, and disappointed if they’re not interested. I know I can’t take stuff like that personally. I really, really do. And I know that my writing needs a lot of work so I should just remember that this is part of the learning process but I know there will be a moment when I’ll be hurt. But, I handled it when my Mrs. Claus story got rejected and I’ll handle it when it this one does too. I’m just hopeful that this one is closer to being the kind of story journals will say yes than the last one. And that the next one will be closer. And the rejections will simply be opportunities to make my stories better, nothing more and nothing less. 

Granted I was in a decent mood until mom wanted me to leave the house - I mean, I had to put on clothes including a boob prison. I just wore a sports bra which is slightly less aggravating, but I still wasn’t happy about having to “people” today. I just really, really didn’t want to people today. Not that the people we peopled with weren’t lovely. I just didn’t want to do it. I need to make myself a general schedule for the rest of the summer so that I’m productive every day in a way that feels good to me. I was overwhelmed productive the last few days and that didn’t feel good and then today I wasn’t remotely productive. I mean, I washed a few dishes and I listened to that book. I know listening to a fourteen hour book (on a 1.25 setting) in about 23 hours is sort of productive but I know if I don’t work on my projects over the next two and half weeks, I’ll be mad at myself for “wasting” the time. Not to mention that I really do have to have that stuff put together for the DragonCon writing workshop by August first. And actually I’d like to have it done before I go visit my friend Casey the last weekend of this month (good grief, where does the time go?) which is only like 15 days away. That’s two weeks and a tiny bit. 

Seriously, where does the time go?

Oh Kate.

Jun. 24th, 2017 12:13 am
float_on_alright: I have no idea what i'm doing out of bed (no idea what i'm doing out of bed)
 

So last night I said I was either going to go write some more or go to sleep. I got into bed and I think I had every intention of going to sleep but then somehow I put on my book that I had been listening to earlier in the day, maybe I just thought I’d listen to one more funny bit - I can’t rightly remember where my mind was - and then I ended up listening to it and playing games on my phone until I’d finished somewhere around 6 am. And then I got up around 9:45 am to go for a walk. I know, madness. Absolutely craziness. I really want to watch the new episode of Wynonna Earp that aired tonight and stay up and tweet about it and I want to write more after that but I think I probably won’t. I’ve got a bit of a headache and I need more than anything else in the world right now, besides breathing I guess, to get this mascara off my face. I don’t know what I was thinking putting on mascara. I mean it looks pretty but I fucking hate mascara. Anyway, if I’m incoherent tomorrow, y’all will know why.

 

 
float_on_alright: smiling (smiling)
I saw my therapist today and talked with her about the bouts of anxiety I’ve had and it was wonderful to talk to her about them. I’ve been telling my mom that I think they’re a good sign, that they mean that I’m working on the right things things - things that matter. She agreed with me. We talked about how anxiety is a normal human emotion and that most of the time it’s not a terrible thing. The problem comes when you spiral into lies your brain makes up and can’t get out of. She had some suggestions for how to deal with them when they happen and it wasn’t about medication for which I was thankful honestly. 

I’ve been watching Pretty Little Liars and I’m pretty sure I’m about to waste my summer binge-ing this show. There are 159 episodes as of a couple of days ago. Granted, six months ago I could've watched the seven seasons on Netflix in two weeks so I figure I’m probably improving life choices wise right? I mean I think I watched 24 hours of Dexter in less than a weekend. 

I did try to read the books, but I couldn’t make it through enough of them to have the plot of the show ruined though I can tell they made some changes. It’s such a drama show, so ridiculously over the top but it’s just the right kind of drama I guess to keep me watching. 

I’m going out with my friend Emily tomorrow to Caitlin’s show and we’re gonna get “pan-Asian food” beforehand and have a few drinks. We’re also supposed to “walk together” again tomorrow morning around 10 am so I’ll have to get up a little earlier than the last few days. I'm thinking I may take a nap afterwards because it is already well after midnight and I have more writing I should really do. 

I may just go to bed after this because I did do my “feedback” workshop homework tonight and that takes a bit of work. I really do try to give helpful feedback that people can actually use which is not a quick thing to do. It takes some pretty careful reading, often a couple of times, and some thought. I kind of like doing it, especially when a story has good bones but has room to grow and flourish. That's the best because you really feel like you’re putting energy into something that’s worth it. The workshop has a lot of good writers. There are quite a few stories that really captured me I’ve found so far. Of course, I’ve also found some stories that I struggled to get through. I know I mentioned it once before, but there was one story that was just totally incomprehensible. There was another that was just sort of “and then and then and then” but I have to say the second draft they posted was significantly better than the first so they obviously did real work and took into account the feedback they were given. 

The contest had a word count limit of 1000 words so I was proud of myself for staying right around 900. I’d really like to try my hand at some flash fiction - some 300 - 500 word stories that actually have some punch to them rather than just a sense of fun. I’ll just have to practice! I probably won’t get a whole lot done tomorrow what with needing to shower and get ready and go out in the evening. We’re meeting up around 5:30 so that means I’ll have to leave here by 4:30 at the latest and the show is set to run from 8pm to 11pm which means I won’t get home until midnight. That means I need a shower and probably a nap before I go out since I won’t get home until midnight - maybe later depending on how long we mingle afterwards. It’ll be fun though. I don’t at all regret deciding to go. 

Okay, I’m a little sad I’m going to miss watching Wynonna Earp live. I’ll admit that. But, if I’m still awake, maybe I can watch the re-air at 1am. And I can definitely sleep all day Saturday if I want. 

I need to try to remember to post the next chapter for the workshop before I go out to dinner tomorrow though because that’s not something I’ll be awake enough to do when I get back. 

Man, I know I said something similar yesterday, but time is SO FREAKING WEIRD. I honestly feel like I’ve been on vacation for a few months, not a few days. It doesn’t feel like I was at work last Friday. It’s surreal to even think. Anyway, I’d better either do some work on my stories or head to bed. 



Rambling

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:24 am
float_on_alright: lucificer says this is boring and pointless (lucificer says this is boring and pointl)
 

I’ve done a little writing today and managed to do two job applications. I also took a walk this morning “with” my friend Emily (we talked on the phone while we walked around our perspective neighborhoods) which was really fun actually. At work we often take walks in the morning on our break. She and I spend a good bit more time at work being sociable than we should be maybe. But seriously, not seeing each other for more than a couple of days at a time is sort of weird. I mean I know I worked last summer and she didn’t but that seems like … well several years ago if I’m honest. Last summer seems as far away from me as working for iTunes four years ago. Isn’t it strange the way time passes? I can’t believe how quickly this past year went by for the most part. I felt like I blinked and it was gone and at the same time, the last few months feel like they were years ago. Maybe it’s something about having this summer off that makes everything else feel so strange. Being off right now, it almost feels like this was always my life and I just had a weird dream about working the last year.

 

Time is so strange. The last few days have gone by quickly too but in a different way, I think. I thought I might try to make a schedule for myself, but I tend to not follow schedules even when I’m the one that makes them so I don’t figure I’ll bother, at least not at the moment. So far I’ve done a good job at staying productive - even if I’m behind on some of my homework. I did make it to the “office hour” today too which made me happy. They’re having an extra one this week on Friday but in the evening so I don’t think I’ll be able to attend that one. If they still have the one Saturday morning, I might make it up in time for that. Emily and I are going to a performance by one of our other co-workers choir group on Friday evening and then of course there’s Wynonna Earp and any squee-ing that might involve. Last Friday I was so exhausted I barely made it through the episode before I was unconscious.

 

Speaking of Fridays, I think Killjoys is back next week which is lovely. I sure do enjoy Killjoys too. And what a lineup! I think Dutch would love Wynonna.

 

I digress. Not that this really had a point except for that I think I find it a little easier to write my fiction after I’ve rambled for a bit about my real life.

 

I’ve got another busy day lined up tomorrow and hopefully that means I’ll be working on my assignments. Wish me luck y’all.


float_on_alright: apologize in advance as I slowly go nuts (apologize in advance as I slowly go nuts)
 

So last night I had every intention of going to bed after I finished writing a big. I went upstairs, brushed my teeth, got into bed… and realized I had woken myself up a bit with the getting read part. So I thought I’d just listen to a bit more of my book Silver Silence by Nalini Singh. It was just after midnight and I figured I’d just listen for a few minutes. But see, the book was really, really good. I’ve been following the series for about five years now. I think the first book was published in 2006 but I didn’t find them until there was a sale on the Audible editions and I came across them by chance.

 

It’s interesting that with this series there were a few I didn’t love and the second most recent was a giant monstrosity that flipped back and forth between nearly every remotely significant character she’d ever written about in the series (that wasn’t dead, obvs) and was basically all these characters we’d been following for fourteen books and innumerable short stories, novellas, and extras having babies or obsessing about babies or thinking of having babies. It was A LOT OF BABIES. Which makes a certain amount of sense really. I mean how you can write romance books that take place over several years in the same “world” and not have at least some of them popping out babies? You can’t is the answer to that. It was hard to focus though because there were just so many perspectives. It was still good, but I was starting to wonder how much longer I was really going to be invested in the series/world - especially since she didn’t really have any gay characters.

 

HAHHHHHH. I stayed up until after 5am last night desperate to get to the end. And while the main characters of course get together and start their lives together, the book still managed to end on one MAJOR cliffhanger and a minor one or two. So I listened to a 16+ hour book in about a day and a half even with all the Father’s Day activities we did yesterday and the writing and editing I’ve been doing and my exhaustion. Obviously, I’m going to be fighting to get my hands on a copy of the next one as early as possible which will still, very likely, be at least a year from now.

 

She also added a couple of gay characters who look like they might get together. There’s a potential - in my opinion - for a whole book. I don’t know how likely it is that she’ll write a whole book about them but I’m crossing every part of my body in hopes of a novella dedicated to them. I mean she’s given them the similar build up to some of her other characters in past books who went on to get their own books but I just don’t want to get my hopes up too high. I’m so excited and thankful that they exist and them being gay is treated totally casually and their interest in each other is treated in a way that’s just so freaking cuuuuuute that I have to say I am ecstatic about things thus far. I would buy seven more copies of this book if it gets me more of these two. God, I loved it when we got a hint of them. They’re not the focus of course and you get lots of information about each of them separately from each other. One of them is a trusted “second” of the main male character who is a changeling (read shapeshifter) bear and the other is the brother of the main female character (who is a powerful psy). The bear is flirting with the psy who is pretending not to be interested (he’s totally blushing and verbally sparing with the bear) and it’s AMAZING.

 

I’m a little stressed about everything I need to do tomorrow - submit my story to the contest, work on my lit mag course work (I’m behind), file for unemployment, take my dad’s car to the shop for him, finish doing laundry, start looking for jobs to apply for to qualify for unemployment, and pick up some books from the library for dad. I feel like I’ve forgotten something which isn’t helping the slight panic attack happening in my chest right now. I’m thinking about going back on the Wellbrutrin for a bit to see if it eases the panic attacks a little. I’d rather not get back on the medication if I can help it. It messed with my period in a way that’s super annoying and I already have PCOS (a hormonal disorder that comes with all kinds of lovely extra risks) so I really hate making that worse. I also feel like I did an amazing job at kicking depression (I totally did) and I feel iike that means I can kick the shit out of the anxiety too.

 

Let me be clear, there is no shame in taking medication. There is nothing wrong with taking medication. But I grew up with a mom who called medicine “third aid” and never gave us medicine unless we were dying (or killing her with our complaints probably). It’s one of those things that just stuck with me. So now I have to decide if my anxiety is killing me (or making me whine enough to make someone else want to give me the medicine) or if this is still treatable in other ways.

 

The other thing about the panic attacks is that they’re also a sort of barometer for my actions. If I’m doing things that are making me scared, it’s because I’m doing things that really matter to me and I’m afraid of succeeding and I’m afraid of failing and I’m totally headed in the right direction. I honestly believe if there isn’t a least a part of me that’s scared of whatever it is that I’m doing, I shouldn’t waste a lot of time on doing it. I want that gauge and I feel like it’s possible I’d lose it on the medication. If the medication is doing it’s job, I really should lose those indicators. It’s complicated against.

 

I’m not sure I’m making any sense any more so, peace and love y’all.

float_on_alright: claudia wide eyed (claudia the eyes)
Holy Shit!!! What a day! We went to see Wonder Woman after work today - myself and a couple of my coworker bundies. I enjoyed the movie immensely. Of course I knew the moment it started that … I won’t spoil the movie but let’s just say there were a couple of sad things that happened that I just knew were gonna happen. 
 
I did get all choked up at the obviously appropriate places but then I also got choked up at other places too. Like she’s going across battle lines… here she goes into No Man’s Land and directly into the line of a ton of German soldier’s guns including what I’m pretty sure was some sort of .50 caliber machine gun and I’m trying not to cry. She’s obviously not going to die in the scene - it’s not a sad scene but it’s still somehow so glorious, so fantastic, so inspiring to me that I’m ready to cry in semi-public. 
 
Oh man, it was just so wonderful. And Robin Wright was so fucking badass, holy shit omg I loved her so much. They say she may have part - as a flashback or similar - in the Justice League movie and I was already kind of excited about seeing that one because it does look fun so now I’m even more excited. 
 
And Lucy Davis, who plays Etta, stole every scene she was in. She was snarky, she was loyal, she was down for fisticuffs and she knew when something was up and because of that she followed and tried to help by using a sword that she had 0 familiarity with. Her comment about glasses on Diana was PERFECT. 
 
I watched the season two premiere of Wynonna Earp tonight and I’m just… still processing. I don’t even. And just… Yeah, I haven’t got words yet. I’ll probably re-watch it tomorrow when it’s on my iTunes account as I bought the season pass. 
 
float_on_alright: procrastination is hard work (procrastination is hard work)
I feel great about everything I got done yesterday and I feel pretty good about what I accomplished today. It helps that work was fairly quiet the last two days. I only have 8 work days left until we get laid off for the “summer”. I’ll be “unemployed” for 6 weeks about. I’m both nervous about not working (I worked the summer weeks the last couple of years) and incredibly excited. I know I've mentioned this in the past but since it’s super close now, it’s real in a way it wasn’t previously. 

I’ll need to clean up my desk but there won’t be a whole lot to that and I can do that next week. This week the managers are in a meeting in Chicago for several days so I don’t have to worry about my manager coming up behind me and asking questions about what I’m doing. Cleaning one's desk of old paperwork and organizing for when we come back from the summer is a perfectly acceptable thing to do on company time. Not that they’ll really breathe down my neck next week much. Not many people will still have schools in. I'll have a couple but most of mine are finishing up some time this week. 

I’m rambling. I did get a good chunk of editing done today which was great. I read a book I’d been meaning to read that was due ano that couldn’t be renewed (someone else had it on hold) so that was great. Emily and I walked this morning which was also really nice. 

So here’s where I’m running into trouble. I’m in these two online courses/workshops right now and they’re great but I’ve hit panic mode a little bit. I think my brain is doing a bit of self-sabotaging.

For one class, I need to produce a unique piece each week to have workshopped. It can be a blog post, a personal essay, a short story, a poem, or a chapter in a book but it’s due by Friday so that other people can have the opportunity to review and comment on it. I am looking forward to this. Next, that same course is also sponsoring a writing contest - the story needs to be written and posted by next Monday. It will be workshopped as well. Then we get to edit it and submit it by the 19th (or something like that). So you see, I have a piece due Friday, a piece due Monday, and some reviews today. 

Now for the other class - it’s a class about submitting work to Literary Magazines (contests and grant writing type stuff too but mainly Literary Magazines). I’ve been going along doing my homework like a good little girl but here’s where I’ve gotten stuck. I need to have a piece that’s ready to be prepared for submission. That doesn’t mean it has to be perfect or anything, but it does mean that I have to have something to work on and I need to do that this week. 

So I’m assuming you're starting to see how and why I’m feeling a little panicky. I do have some things written but most of them have a) already been submitted to a contest, 2) meant for my website once I get it up so that I have some posts to get me started, 3) something I consider terrible or just don’t like. With the exception of maybe one flash fiction piece. I’m just not sure about finding a place for it. Especially since it’s just a cute, silly story, and it takes place during winter. I just… I know there are loads of journals that accept flash fiction, but I don’t know. I may ask one of my friends to read it and see what they think. I hate to sound so needy but this is all feeling a little overwhelming. And of course if that thing doesn't work, I HAVE TO WRITE ANOTHER STORY. 

I should mention that I do at least have a rough draft to submit for the story contest so I’ll probably do that tomorrow. Of course the thing with that story is that I like it but I’m not sure that I’ve really adhered to the prompt. We had several to choose from and I liked the one I picked a lot and I do like what I’ve written, but again I’m not sure that it fulfills the prompt. At the same time, there’s a limit of 1000 words for the story and if I were going to do everything I wanted to do, I’d probably end up with twice that. Not that I’d really need twice that, I’d just be having fun writing. I can get a little repetitive, I know this and I’m working on it. 

I do have what could be the first chapter in a novel or novella written. The problem is I don’t have much of anything else for the story planned. The chapter itself came about by accident and I don’t know about submitting a chapter of a book I don’t know if I’ll write more of. At the same time, if it’s a start I might be able to make something of it. I mean, I feel a little lost when it comes to plotting things so that’s something I’ve been wanting to work on anyway so maybe this is the chance. I am a little nervous about submitting something to a group that has a lesbian as a main character though just because I don’t know anything about any of these people. At the same time, the world isn’t really queer friendly on a whole and I already know I want to write queer literature (emphasis on the queer, take “literature” with a grain of salt or just a whole canister) and I’m going to have to face whatever issues come with that eventually. 

I may need to rename her - the main character in that not quite “chapter”. I’m not sure her name works. I’ll have to think on that too. 

I’m going to have to start writing a story every other day so that I have enough to go around!

Friday night I’m going with a couple of the girls from work to see Wonder Woman and probably have dinner. I’m looking forward to it, but since my story has to be posted by midnight, I will need have whatever I’m submitting to them posted before I go so the movie. The managers will be back by then and we’re having a cookout so I have no idea what that day will be like. I may have plenty of time to work on these things, I may have none so I probably really need to post it by Thursday, just to be safe. 

I know I’m just scared. I know I’m just worried that other people will be better than me. There will always be people out there better than me in some way or another. That’s the way the world works. And even if you’re on top for a while, there will always be someone who comes along to beat your record. That’s not only how the world works, but how it’s supposed to work. Expansion and growth and invention are a natural part of the world’s cycle. And just because someone else is better doesn’t mean there isn’t room for me too. 

I needed to get some of this out because it was blocking me a little. I think I can approach things a little more calmly and rationally now. Wish me luck!

float_on_alright: bad health plan (cavaties)
I’m probably going to make a slight adjustment to my daily goals. I’m probably going to cut the writing time to 30-35 minutes. I’ll probably still write for a combined total of an hour, but my brain is like stressing over the 60 minute thing for some reason. I also want to add 10 - 15 minutes of meditation because I'm was really needing it today and as soon as I spent 10 minutes being quiet, I felt a great deal better. That would mean my total goal spending time would be 2 hours which my brain just really likes. Apparently any more than that and it start to feel like I can’t handle anything at all and I should just watch four episodes of “Death in Paradise” and go to bed. 

I’m super tired again today unfortunately. Monday night and Tuesday night were both spent up late because of *the situation* and getting my feelings on that out. Then today on my way home from work, about a 37 second drive from my house, I hit a drainage thing and my tire burst. Poor tire. I thought I would be there a while. The roadside people said I had to stay with my car and while it takes no time to drive to my house, I didn’t feel good about walking home and walking back in time not to miss the help people. But then two of my neighbors helped me. Swapped my tire out and sent me on my way. I felt a bit bad about canceling the help people but they were going going to be a bit longer and my neighbors had it taken care of before I could even really protest. Both of them had arm muscles bigger around than my head and one of them lived so close I could hit his house with a paper airplane (the other lives close enough to me that I could hit his house with a paper airplane from my driveway or my upstairs bedroom window) and he had a hydraulic - think that’s what it’s called - lift so it was seconds of a couple of lever pulls for me to have my car up. They took turns with the lug nuts and the donuts and I was set in no time. 

I had a pretty productive day overall. I did reading for self improvement and writing. I did do reading for fun (well, I listened to a book while I walked the dog, but I totes count that). I did exercise by walking the dog a little over a mile. I got stuff for my actual job done at work today. Obviously I’m working on writing. 

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to work in editing though and I’m not sure that I should. As off as my head has been the last couple of days and as tired as I am right now, I don’t think I can be an effective editor. 

I think the list I made is a pretty good one and I am tweaking it a little and probably will as I go along and as much as I want to truly create good new habits, I feel like editing is the one thing I can’t do when I’m tired. Writing can be edited - I can make what I wanted to write clear enough to figure out later even when I’m exhausted. I’m not saying anyone else would understand what I was going for but I would know so it’s not a problem to write sloppily (as long as it isn't total gibberish which has only happened a couple of times in cases of extreme exhaustion combined with insobriety). I can walk the dog even when I’m tired partly because she keeps me on my toes the little shit. I guess I could fall asleep meditating but I wouldn’t be the first or last person to do that today and I may still be able to reap some of the benefits even if I slip off at some point. Reading can be a bit of a challenge. I probably only read half of what I would read when I’m rested if I’m reading when I’m really tired, but I am still making progress. 

But editing man, editing requires good reading and clear writing and focus - it’s like an exercise all my other goals put together and I don’t think I’m going to be able to cut it tonight as far as editing goes. 

I want to be okay with this but I don’t want to become okay with not meeting my goals so I’m struggling a little. 

However, I can’t remember if I said - I think I mentioned the concept at least - but one of the goal rules I read somewhere was to chunk goals down and if you didn’t meet one goal you had to add that goal to the next set - so you had to get those lingering things plus the entirety of the next set. 

I think that’s what I’ll do here. I’m going to save editing for tomorrow. I can barely hold my eyes open and even when they are open, they’re watery, but feeling dry and aggravated, and blurry. 

So yeah. I’m calling it a night. <3

float_on_alright: I don't have a plot. I have caffeine (I don't have a plot. I have caffeine)

I think one of the things I’d like to do for myself is start making better short term to-do lists. Lists that are more like 24 - 48 hour rather than just weekly and monthly to-do lists. 

I’ve read a lot lately about long term goals and “chunking” them back and then making them non-negotiable. And if you miss one set you have to add them to the next set of goals so that you'd have an even longer list in the next “time period” but you’d stay “on track”. I think having to add whatever you miss to the next section would encourage you to not put off much on your list. I think you have to make sure you’re being practical but I also know that if I give myself a week to do the task I’ll be doing it on Friday. I might do a little of it on Thursday but most of it would get done on Friday. I have a tendency - and I don’t think this is uncommon - to let a task take as long as I’ve given myself to do it. What I should really do is give myself two days to do that task instead of a week.

Part of it might be to say okay if I want to get this list of 10 things done, I need to then assign two a day to myself and that way I don’t get stuck rushing around trying to get all 10 completed on Friday. And honestly if I can complete that much on a Friday then maybe I need to be setting myself bigger goals. 

Of course another thing I’ve been reading about lately is the idea that most people give up at about 40% of what they’re really capable of - less than half of what we’re capable of is what feels like all we can do. I know that there is part of it that we just don’t want to any more. You hear about “the wall” with people who are running marathons - a place where you just feel like you cannot go any further no matter how hard you try - and most runners get past that to finish the race. I read an article that did a study on a recent London marathon and their study suggested that about 21% of the runners in the marathon hit “the wall” but it doesn't talk about anyone not finished. I suppose that isn’t anything conclusive but I can’t help but think about what this says about us as a species. 

Maybe because almost everything we do seems optional? I don’t know. Running isn’t something we do for survival any more. Sure exercise is important and life extending but we in so called modernized countries aren't trying to out run mountain lions so we don't get eaten or chasing down a deer for food (even people who hunt typically do so from hunter’s blinds - or whatever they’re called). 

Okay, I’ve gotten sidetracked I think. 

If I’m stopping at 40% of what I’m capable of, then perhaps my goals should be pushing myself a little harder too. Yes we all need rest but I do feel like I could be doing more than I have been. I’ve made leaps and bounds for sure in the last few months, no question, but that doesn’t mean I should plateau goal wise either. And all my reading suggestions that having a plan for the day makes you way more likely to accomplish goals than if you are just winging it through the day. 

I have a tendency to wing things, but I don’t think it’s serving me. I think it’s time to start being more purposeful about my time and my intentions and goals. 

I have big goals. I want to get to the point that I can support myself writing - a mixture of copywriting and storytelling. But I want “support myself” to mean the freedom of living where I want to live with the people (or the lack of people) I wish. That’s going to mean putting myself out there over and over again. It’s going to be scary and it’s going to be hard. I have a copywriting course of sorts that I’m taking and I’d like to complete most of it before I start submitting anything but as long as I make progress on it every week, I’m okay with it. 

I don’t know how long each of the parts are (I’m not looking at it right now but I think there are 6) - the first one was something like 64 pages and 2 exercises where the second part is something like 134 pages and 2 exercises. I’ve done one exercise as they’re not “do this once you’ve read all the material” so much assigned every so often throughout the material in general. So I think for this particular endeavor I’m going to need to commit to working on it so much each week. Reading or working on exercises for 15 minutes a day - surely I can work that in somewhere. 

Writing, man, writing. I’ve been aiming for 1000 words a day and mostly hitting it but I wonder if I need to dedicate myself to writing for a focused 60 minutes a day. It would probably be better to do two 30 minute sessions because I think that’s usually about where my brain starts to tell me to fuck off. I think if I practice then I can get longer sessions later. I’ve already got writeordie on my computer and iPad that I can use to help with that. It’s really awesome for helping with that. 

I never really have trouble working reading into my schedule - that happens as naturally as breathing if I’m honest. And sometimes stopping reading feels as hard as holding my breath. Even reading the self improvement nonfiction and the writing books are coming very naturally to me right now so I just have to maintain that. I want to make sure at least 15 - 20 minutes of my time is spent reading for the purpose of improving myself or my writing every day. 

I'm doing really well at scheduling time to exercise - I’ve been doing that usually when I first get home from work and that’s going well. The dog will need walks this week so that will definitely keep exercise on my schedule. I’ll need to start working on a system for cutting back on sugar - finding snacks and things that are handy enough or making time to make snacks in advance that will be handy so that when I’m hungry and I need to eat I have something that isn’t a honey bun from the vending machine. God I love honey buns. I don’t think that’s gonna be for a least a day or two because I’d need to gather a couple of recipes and got to the grocery store. And while I will have to go to the grocery store tomorrow… Well, maybe I can look for a few things at work tomorrow so I have a list ready for when I go to the store. That could work. 

Next there’s editing to do. I think I can spend fifteen minutes doing editing a day. If I’m always writing then I’ll always have stuff I can edit. As it stands right now, I have a set of stories from Reb I’m working on and both her Mrs. Claus story and mine. 

I need to spend thirty minutes a week - I think I’ll make it a Sunday appointment - to work on my public stuff - website, medium profile and posts, maybe eventually a GoodReads author page that sort of thing. Eventually I think this will likely need to be a twice a week appointment but we’re gonna start smaller since I’m also learning the copywriting stuff. 

This is going to be my schedule for the remaining four weeks I have of work until my six weeks off. I’m going to need to spend some time thinking about what my summer schedule is going to be but I think I need to wait until June 9th or so to start working on that because otherwise I won’t be able to get any of my day job work done because I’ll be so excited about my break. I’m so excited about having six weeks off. 

I’ve seen some planners and things and I am thinking about trying some of them out. Having a schedule to stick to I think could be really beneficial. 

So my big goals for next two months or so are:

Finishing the Copywriting material
Getting my website up and running
Posting to it and Medium 
Learning about MailChimp and or ConvertKit
Edit Mrs. Claus stories and submit mine 
Edit Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack Stories
Write, edit, and submit a story for Writer’s Market 
Write my manuscript/story for DragonCon
Read Story Genius and complete activities 
Read The Artist’s Way 

This week will be again:

Daily: 

15 Minutes Exercising
15 minutes on Copywriting 
15 minutes reading for writing improvement 
15 minutes a day editing 
60 minutes a day writing

Weekly:
30 minutes on promotional work 

At work I should also get a bunch of fall stuff rebooked and planned - especially August/September stuff. 

I got a ton of shit to do y’all so wish me luck! 

float_on_alright: when in doubt go to the library (when in doubt go to the library)
I was able to do a little work in one of my stories today - work that I’m pleased with if I’m honest. I had kind of an outline started from back when I was doing the Story a Day challenge (you know- like five whole days ago or something?) but I’d been too tired that day to finish it. It’s was really more like 300 words of just “and then, and then, and then” so I had to erase chunks of it (not that there was a whole lot to begin with) and rewrite them as a story instead of as a description of things that were “happening”. I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense but an example might be the difference between:

One of our friends, Suze, said she was done for the night and headed home.

Versus:

“Oh shit, how is it already three? I gotta go take a nap. I have to be in class in like five hours,” Suze said, wincing. 

This isn’t Pulitzer Prize winning stuff or anything but this gives you a better idea. 

I love writing dialog. I think sometimes I write too much of it for the story and make my stories rely on it too much just because I have so much fun writing conversations. 

But as excited as I am to be re-working that story, I’m just too tired to really keep going. Today was a training day again and I’m honestly just drained again. The meetings went so much better today than yesterday but I’m still worn a little thin. I’ve actually requested to leave early on Friday so that I can recoup a little. I don’t know how early i’ll leave but I am looking forward to a bit of a break. And because I’ve stayed late the last few days, Idon’t anticipate having to use much - if any - PTO which is great because I need to save up days for DragonCon. 

The great thing is, I should have a really nice day next Friday and get to go home early on the company for Employee Appreciation Day. 

Of course all this stuff means that I really need to get some shit done. I may be working through the 16th of June but I think the majority of my schools will go on leave shortly after the 5th. 

I'm struggling a little with my motivation there. I think I have summer-itis pretty dang bad this year.

Anyway, lack of sleep doesn’t help so I’m going to pass out. 

Night y’all.

float_on_alright: I have no idea what i'm doing out of bed (no idea what i'm doing out of bed)
I’m pretty wiped out today. It’s not been a bad day or anything but I was helping to do some training for a few of our less technology savvy people in the office and while I’m okay at coaching or tutoring, I have felt confident in my teaching ability in the past and this definitely more teaching than tutoring. I know people think that these things are the same but they’re not. Teacher’s come up with the topic for the classes and prepare presentations and then assign practice. And while I don’t really have to assign them “homework” per se, the other two things sort of apply. I’m mostly fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pantsing-it but I still have to teach people stuff. And they don’t seem to be able to tell me what they don’t know because they don’t think they know what they don’t know, but dude, I have no idea what they don’t know. 

With coaching, it’s like “okay you can sort of throw the ball, let's work on your stance and the mechanics” where is this them saying “we have been given a baseball but we don’t want to use it because we just don’t feel comfortable using it.” 

Or something. 

I don’t know, I’m far too brain dead to be trying to figure out these sorts of metaphors. 

The meetings themselves were nearly 2 hours long and then I had to be there early to prep and stay after to “debrief” for lack of a better word so when all was said and done I probably spent about 5 or 6 hours on this stuff today. Which meant I had to try to juggle answering emails and returning phone calls in between. I meant to get there early to give myself a chance, but there are innumerable shifting construction sites and there was an accident on the highway (it didn’t look bad, but it was at an odd spot) that cause major extra congestion so I ended up being a little late instead. I should leave my house early than I do if I’m honest, and I am trying to be. I always have good intentions but then I just wake up so freaking sleepy. 

Anyway, that only leave about an hour and forty-five minutes for my normal work so I stayed a half an hour late. 

I was stuck inside the office all day. I barely took fifteen minutes for my lunch so I just scared it down once I’d finished heating it. I kind of wish I had gone outside to eat but I didn’t feel I had enough time to make it worth it and I really don’t think I did. I think going outside would’ve just made it harder to go back inside and do my work. 

Because I felt so stifled by the office today, so trapped by it, I knew I had to have a walk or something outside. So when I got home I did go for a walk. It was quite warm but it isn’t at full peak heat and humidity yet so it was still pretty pleasant, thankfully. I was able to listen to a little bit of a book that I was reading for fun which was lovely. Randomly, a few of the neighborhood sprinklers were on - the community grass areas, not like private property ones. They’re along the sidewalks so I was able to run through a few sprinklers and that was a blast. I was definitely acting a bit like a little kid for that. It was just necessary though. I think God or the universe knew that I needed something. 

The rest of my evening has been pretty nice. I still need to finish my word count and re-save that podcast with the correct information. 

Of course part of the problem is that I can barely keep my eyes open - I’m just absolutely exhausted and I still need to brush my teeth and clean off my make up. It’s going to be at least 11 by the time I do that all and messing with the podcast already sounds like a terrible chore. And it’s ridiculous because honestly I think it’ll take 90 seconds maximum to get it all right I just don’t want to do it. I’m tired and I want to go to bed. And I want to sleep until I need to walk out the door in the morning instead of messing with it. 

I’m hoping that I’ll feel some sort of pride or accomplishment once it’s posted on the website. I guess we’ll see. 

float_on_alright: I don't have a plot. I have caffeine (I don't have a plot. I have caffeine)
I’ve decided, after much contemplation, to quit the Story a Day Challenge. I love the idea of it and I thought it would be really good to push myself to come up with quick plots and characters etcetera. The problem that I’m running into is that all the stories are basically just “shit that happens” with the occasional amusing (to me anyway) conversation between the characters. I’ve written eleven stories, one for every day up until now, and it’s not that any of them are bad - some of them are good and most of the are okay - it’s that I’m not really connecting to the stories. I'm writing random shit happening and there isn’t anything really engaging about it.

I’ve started a book called “Story Genius” and it’s talking about developing stories from “whys” and the character - who they are and who they’re going to become and why it is that what is happening to them matters. The author talks a lot about how a good story isn't about “what happens” in the sense of this battle or that hook up, but in the connection we feel to the story and the characters. She’s really got me thinking about a lot of my stories in the past and why some of them worked better than others. Because it isn’t usually the word choice or the sentence structure or the ability to write beautiful metaphors that make a book successful or that can certain contribute. It has to be more about how the author connects the reader to the story through the characters otherwise books like Twilight and Fifty Shades wouldn’t be half as popular as they are because in both cases, grammatically and stylistically, not very good.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read a James Patterson book. I like that man a lot because I think he does amazing things to promote literature, but I am not a big fan of his writing. I’m not a big fan of mystery books in general (my genre taste tends to lean more towards paranormal), and his sentences always feel really choppy to me which I don’t like. And yet, he’s one of the best selling authors of the last 100 years. So why is he still so popular? Because there’s something else appealing happening. 

People always ask, “what’s your book/story about?” And we tend to answer in terms of the series of events that take place in the book. “A girl falls in love with a man with a dangerous secret and discovers a world she didn’t know existed.” But what’s the real point of the story, the moral if you will? What journey does the main character go through and why does it matter? And no story will matter to everyone but I think things like “even those we consider monsters can be worthy of love” are a little closer to what Twilight is about or maybe it’s “just because you don’t believe you’re anything special doesn’t mean that you aren’t” or maybe “Love and family always worth the risk.” 

Before the US election I read articles saying how much less likely Harry Potter fans were to vote for Trump. Is it because the kind of people who vote for Trump are not the kind of people who read Harry Potter? It could be. 

But I don’t think that’s the case. I think we read and we watch movies and TV shows and we tell each other stories because we’re learning something or we’re looking at something in a different way than our own and these stories become part of us if we’re really engaged with the character. I don’t necessarily mean that we have to like the character or want to be their BFF (for example, as fascinating as I find Scarlett O’Hara to be, I do not want her as part of my squad). 

I’ve never heard anyone say, “I really enjoyed this story! I’m giving this four and a half stars. I would’ve given it five starts but the main character was a bit of a cardboard cutout and I didn’t connect with them at all.” 

On the other hand, I bet you’ve read a review that went something like, “I loved the description of the book and the content but I just couldn’t get into this book for some reason.” 

I would bet you a dollar that you have put down or been severely tempted to put down a book because “you didn’t really care about the main character.” And while sometimes that might be because you disliked the character, I believe it was more likely because they didn’t seem like a person (or alien or dog or whatever) so much as they seemed like a delivery box. As in, here’s all this stuff happening and I’m delivering it to you via this person shaped box - you can fill it with whatever characters you choose. 

Have you ever read a story or watched a movie and just been like “wow, that was a lot of stuff going on there but I have no idea what it was about?” It’s probably because stuff happened but it didn't really mean anything to the main character personally - they weren’t tested, they didn’t grow (or the reverse as in “Breaking Bad”), and they weren’t shaped by the events in anyway. When we read stories, we’re looking for the effect that it had on the person, the lesson they learned because we want to learn from their experience. We want to have that experience and learn the lesson ourselves. 

When we look at characters we’re looking for mentors - people who tell us their story and what they’ve learned. They are giving us the wisdom of their experience. The same way that I have learned a lesson from not being careful messing with a hot oven, I’ve learned things from Harry Potter too. Things like, “You must stand up to bullies. And if you stand up others will stand. And if you all keep standing, the bullies will fail.” And, “There are different kinds of wealth.” And, “Everyone has value.” And, “True friendships save your life” - something I’ve seen time and time again in my own life. 

I don’t think that it’s people who like middle grade fantasy books who are not fans of Trump. I believe that those of us who loved Harry Potter came away learning the lessons Harry learned. Be brave, do your best, and aim to save the world. 

If you’re still not convinced that the focus needs to shift from building a story based on what happens verses who this person is who life is about to be upended, thing about video games that have been turned into movies. 

Video games classically make terrible movies and books (not that a few haven’t succeeded). Look at all the action! The adventure! The fun! How could that not be an awesome movie? 

When you’re playing the video game, you’re the character. Oh sure there may be a little development or background but you don’t need a whole lot of that because you are the main character and you bring with you all the backstory you’ll ever really need and you have shit to do, man. You are on the adventure. You have goals to reach. You are engaged with looking for the clues and solving the puzzle. 

Many writers have made the mistake of thinking that if the plot and the special effects are cool enough that they won't need to add much more to the characters than is already in the video game. When the movie gets to the screen though, suddenly the viewer is seeing someone else look for the clues and solve the puzzles and go into battles. 

Let’s be real. Unless you care about that person, you don’t care if they solve it. 

An example for me would be American Horror Story. I tried to watch the first season. I watched a few episodes but I didn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t like them or care enough about them to see if they lived and I didn’t hate them enough to hope that I would get to watch them die horrible deaths or somehow become better people. I had no interest in the plot whatsoever because I couldn’t make myself care about any of them. 

Many writers have made the mistake of thinking that if the plot and the special effects are cool enough that they won't need to add much more to the characters than is already in the video game. 

Lots of people talk about writing and just seeing where they end up but I think that idea is a lot like a road trip. You can go on a road trip and roll the dice to see which way you turn at different intersections and then see where you end up. I imagine that if you do that you’ll have fun for a little bit but it won’t be long before you get tired of it and you just want to be somewhere already or go home. 

If instead you go on a roadtrip with a predetermined destination and map out ways to get there and possible sights to see along the way, you’re going to have a hell of a good time no matter if you have a flat tire here or there or run out of gas on a highway. 

So for me, writing a random, “what if” story every day isn’t helping learn to build real, tangible characters and stories that really matter. 

Not to mention that it’s also been super unsatisfying to jump from place to place each day and never really dig into these random people with random names that I’ve dropped into random situations. 

The point of all of the above is this: the StoryADay challenge seemed like a good idea and I set off to do it with the best of intentions however, it is not serving me or the long term goals I’ve set for myself and as such I am releasing myself of this goal and giving myself the permission to move onto other challenges and experiences that will better suit the needs I have and the accomplishments I want to reach. I’m on a journey, and I thought this would be a good road but I can see now that it has taken me off course. 

float_on_alright: leverage mischief managed (leverage mischief managed)

I think I did it, I think I finished my Wynonna Earp fic! I need to edit it. Right after I finish editing my Mark/Vex story. I have a lot of editing to work on actually. There's something's I started looking over for Rebby that I need to work on too. I'd like to have them done in the next couple of weeks. Of course I've signed up for the StoryADay challenge to do too with another friend of mine. I also want to get my website up. I also want to write my Mrs. Claus story. Of course if I can do enough of that over the next two days I may be able to finish it on May1st and then I will have completed the story that day. That's probably not 100% what the challenge is designed for, but any time I finish a story I call it a win. 

And of course I have 10,678,291,364,865 books I want to read.

I honestly don't think that's an exaggeration. 

Ugh an
d the humidity is fucking with my hair and I don't like it.

Alright. I gotta pass out. Night y'alll.  
float_on_alright: never let anyone treat you like a yellow starburts you're a pink starburst (never let anyone treat you like a yellow)
 
I didn’t get to finish writing about my day yesterday because I was just too worn out! 

So after my lovely walk with the dog, I sat down to my computer and, with the help of Write or Die, I wrote over 1,066 words. My goal for the next week is going to be to write 1,000 words a day every day for the next week. Should be interesting. 

After I wrote my 1,066 words, I made dinner and hung out with the puppy. 

Today has been another good day. It’s raining like a we’re at the bottom of a giant waterfall at the moment but everything is looking incredibly green which is beautiful. I’m sure we’re going to need the rain because summer is coming and for all the thunderstorms we have and the humidity, it’s usually fairly dry here in July and August. Of course that’s so hard on the puppy. She’s very messy so she ends up having to dry off in the kennel a lot which makes her all sad and confused. It also means she doesn’t get a walk which is hard on her too. She tries to be a good girl, poor thing.

I shelved at the library today which was lovely. And my date from yesterday left me a note in a book at the library, which I have to admit is pretty well… swoon-y to a nerd like me. I am annoyed that I left my Wonder Woman tumbler there, LE SIGH. 

I think I did something to tweak a nerve in my arm or shoulder because it’s hurting when I move it certain ways and tingling at others. It’s annoying not to mention painful. It happens every now and then so I’m expecting it to clear out soon. I’d ice it or apply a heating pad or something but I don’t know if either would help and if so which one I should do or where I should apply said thing. I can’t really tell where the issue starts. Annoying. 

Moving on, after the library I went to Target and got a couple of frames for the things I ordered from Redbubble. I’m excited to put them up. I also got some command strips. I need to fix my vision board - I hung it crooked. A little crooked wouldn’t be so bad, but this thing is like uber crooked so I have to fix it at least a little. 

I’m looking forward to taking some time to put up my wall art. Some of it will have to wait until I have more time and I’ll need to get mom in on the action too because I won’t be able to get everything up by myself. 

I had a lovely dinner while watching The Force Awakens with Rebby and now I’m watching last night’s Doctor Who. I love the new companion, Bill. She’s so lovely. And gaaaayyyyy. That makes me so happy. 

My goal for this week is going to be to write at least 1,000 words every day. I have a lot I want to write - a Mrs. Clause story, the rest of my Wynonna Earp fic, a few more blog posts for my website that I’m going to build, a piece for the DragonCon workshop, and maybe something to submit to a Writer’s Market competition. If I’m going to do all that in a reasonable amount of time, I’m going to have to make sure I’m getting chunks of writing done every day. 

Wish me luck!

float_on_alright: live a f y life (live life af)
I'm pretty excited y'all. I had a great day. I went on a date, which was lovely - though I felt more friend type feelings than anything about her. It was wonderful to spend a few hours with another big queer nerd. It was a different experience going on a date with a women. I haven't really dated women. I fooled around with them but dating them always seemed so hard. Navigating figuring out if a women was interested in other women and if so if she was interested in you too was just always so freaking daunting. To have been asked on a date made it a heck of a lot easier for me, obviously. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is I'm super thankful to have gotten to do it. Not that it was a super affection date or anything but it was still a date. I'm glad I went. 

After that I came home and had a peaceful walk with the dog. We went for almost a mile and half and I listened to a bit of "You Are a Badass" and a bit of "Think and Grow Rich". I have been struggling with "Think and Grow Rich" because the narrator sounds tiny and distant. It’s also weird because they’re focused on American people and business and the depression as it applied to America and American politics and the author, to the best of my understanding, was American but the narrator has an English accent which is just weird. Most importantly dude bro was a casual racist. Look, I know we’re all a little bit racist because that’s what society has pretty much trained us to be and this guy probably thought he wasn’t racist and comparatively speaking he probably was a pretty progressive dude for the time but it still bothers me when he talks about an “uneducated colored child” defeating her ‘superior’, a “white educated man”. It makes my skin crawl. Then he was talking about an “oriental man”. 

I’m trying to power through it anyway because I think the points he’s going to make about the pursuit of money and the attitude you have to have to become financially successful are likely timeless. I just have to dig through crap to get to it. 

I’m struggling to stay conscious and my eyes keep watering with strain and tiredness so I’m not going to be able to finish this, but hopefully I’ll be able to pretty much pick up where I left off tomorrow. 

Peace. 

float_on_alright: not lazy just energy saving (not lazy just energy saving)

After powering through a sinus headache enough to write a bit, I was trying to erase just a little bit - like half a sentence - and I guess the backspace got locked or something and it ended up deleting like large parts of paragraphs and when I tried to stop it, i moved the cursor and ended up deleting parts of other sentences/paragraphs. I am annoyed, but I know about the retrieval feature on Google Docs now thanks to the Drunken Disaster Of a Random Friday a couple of weeks ago so I know that tomorrow I'll be able to calmly and rationally get back what I need. Or at least enough for me not to go murdering anything. 

I had originally planned to mostly focus on my Wynonna fic tonight and I did add a little to it but I got caught up with an idea for a topic I want to write about for the professional blog/website I will be starting in the next month or so. I didn't want to lose the idea while I had it so I wrote enough that I can dig into it more later and I shouldn't have to worry about whether or not I'll forget what I was planning to say since there's enough there to see the point I wanted to make. 

I want to do an updated "life goals" post soon and an mid-April update as well but that will have to be another night. The sinuses have put me in the mindset to go to bed early tonight and get some sleep so sleep I believe I shall. Night y'all. 

float_on_alright: not lazy just energy saving (not lazy just energy saving)
 
I didn’t write at all on Friday because I didn’t have time at work and then in the evening I had a friend over and we were doing vision boards. She spent the night and we stayed up so late together that I really couldn’t stay up any later. Yesterday I did write some though I’m annoyed that I didn’t make a better effort to write more. I’ve been avoiding it today too I think. 

I decided that I would go for the writer’s workshop they have at DragonCon which means putting together 2000 - 7000 words of a short story or manuscript and submitting it by August 1st. Assuming that there is room for me (there are only 20 spots if I remember correctly), I have to have something solid put together to submit to a published author and other classmates. There will also be people in the business doing presentations. 

This is so exciting y’all but I’m also pooping my pants. I mean… not literally thankfully, but. 

I’ve been thinking lately (thanks probably to that Badass book) that the reason I haven’t really gone for writing a book is - at least in large part - because I’m afraid to fail at it. If I really go for it and fail, I’ve always believed I would be devastated. The more I think about it though, the more I think, how can I go about my life not going for what I really want? And shit, if I fail, at least I went for it. Yeah, maybe I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t go well but how can I be disappointed in myself if I bust my ass? 

One of the things I read this year was called “The Four Agreements”. It was published a good few years ago - I remember that it was popular back when I was at Borders in like 2009 or 2010 but I didn’t read it then. I still struggled with parts of it because it’s a little more “metaphysical” than I usually go for - crap I think I’ve talked about this before but oh well. The thing about this book is that one of the agreements it says you should make is to always do your best wherever you’re at. I know I’ve talked about this, but my point is that I’ve found a lot of peace in that lately. Do the best you can in any given moment and what more can you ask of yourself?

Plus, every time I get back into writing, the universe seems to through something writing related into my path. I’ve never been much of a “it’s a sign” person, but I think I may be becoming one a little tiny bit. I also think it is time to start taking the opportunities that the universe sends my way. I also think I need to stop hesitating. There is no point at which I’ll be “ready”. There’s no point at which I’ll feel like “it’s the right moment”. I’m going to have to go for it and make every moment, the best possible moment I can. 

It’s hard. I’ve been more productive in the last couple of months than I probably was in all of last year combined but I need to start making more targeted efforts. There are some activities suggested in some of the books I’ve read that I think will help me and I may post them here too like I did for the “Tidying Up” activities. 

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Kate

July 2017

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