I’m That Weirdo

Well, I’m sick. And not just in the head this time. But the nose and throat and my eyeballs feel like heavy marbles sitting in their sockets. Does that sound weird? Because that’s what it feels like when you’ve contracted the plague and are DYING. It’s really not the plague. It’s a healthy combination of self-neglect and self-induced stress with a side of erratic weather. I over-worked myself while neglecting to feed myself, and it’s Florida, so I never know what’s going on outside, and I ended up making myself ill. Or “maybe I caught it” for all you non-believers. Either way, my eyeballs seriously feel like marbles and as weird as it sounds, it’s accurate.

*Everything hurts*

I actually called out of work last Thursday. I only brag because I don’t ever call out (even when I am sick) because I’m that weirdo that worries about work when I’m not there. All the emails I’m getting. All the requests and little red flags waiting for me when I sign in again. It drives me nuts, especially when I have vacationed planned. But I’ve worked myself up to those days. I’ve prepped, and put on my out of office so everyone understands the emergency of me not responding to their email ASAP.

But if I call out? (And no, I don’t have one of those jobs where I’m important enough to log into my work email from home.  Separate worlds, my friends.) How will people know? Will it all be okay? Will the world keep from imploding???

Turns out, it will. Friday (only slightly better) I returned to work and found it did not actually crumble. And, had I been playing hooky or doing something that required any amount of intense brain power, I would’ve spent the day wondering about all work coming in, and the guilt over not doing it. But, as it was, Thursday provided very little brain power and I spent it watching Drive and Tangled. And sleeping. A lot of sleeping. This plague has stretched to today with my marble eyeballs and hoarse throat, but hopefully it’s on its way out. Then again, it’s the holidays and we pass that shit around like hot potato, so… who knows?

How do you feel when you miss a day of work? Have you caught any bugs going around, or gave yourself one?

Dream Big, Right? IWSG

Well, my car is squeaking now. Or squealing. Or screaming. Noise. It’s making a loud screechy noise that even Freddy Mercury can’t tune out.  I discovered it the other day, after hearing the annoying sound and feeling sorry for whoever was driving the crappy car. Turns out it was me. I’m the crappy car girl (which has been obvious for a while) but I don’t need a shame bell announcing it everywhere I go. No one needs to see that Georgie has missed a few washes or that her paint is about fourteen years faded. It’s fine, except now she’s got a target on her back, which means I should stop breaking the law and slow down. Brakes also sound a little off. I should really think about getting a new car.

*sigh*

So, someone at work called me a “cog” the other day. He was introducing a new employee and referred to me as a “cog in the machine” which immediately made me think of Into the Badlands (ever watch it? You should!) and how the Widow started out a cog before working her way up to a Barron, which I started explaining, but they walked off and I was left mumbling to myself. I only mention it because I can’t get the phrase out of my head. “Cog in the machine.” I’m not sure if I’m offended or angered or what. He didn’t say it with any malintent or to be rude or bitter. There was absolutely nothing negative in his description, which was what it was: a basic description of my role in the company: a cog. A fucking cog. That’s what I am in every cubicle.

It may have hit home because I thought I would’ve graduated from cog by now, but, apparently not. It’s okay. Because once I make it big, I’m going to write an autobiography and call it, “Who’s the Fucking Cog Now” and send him a copy. Just so he knows I’m okay.

This segways perfectly into IWSG’s December (optional) question:

How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. But who doesn’t fantasize about the future? This is what I’ve got so far:

Batman would come on my book tours with me since we’re travel bugs, and so he can coach and support me on public speaking, since it’s right up there with my love of spiders and small spaces. That would be the tough part. The talking to a group of people and not fainting, but I would get through it. (Xanax may be required)

Other than that, I would have an amazingly loyal fan-base to support the books I want to write. And there might even be a movie deal in the works. Why not? Dream big, right? Honestly, the dream is to be able to write fulltime. Wake up, coffee, write. Walk the neighborhood, write, lunch. Write, laundry, dinner, write. The rest are just details.

What about you? What does it look like when you make it big? Ever been called a cog before? And is your car on its way to hospice like mine?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

This is What Happens When You Adult

There’s this hole in the ceiling we’ve been ignoring because 1) it’s easier to ignore things (see recent car-door handle) but mostly 2) energy would be involved. As it turns out, I have an abundance of it, but it’s pretty much all allocated between my job, planning a wedding, striving to *one* day be a best seller, and not go HAM on people when they cut me off in traffic. I have very little mental energy for much more, so, when Batman said we were finally getting that ugly eyesore in the back room taken care of, I was optimistic. Yay for no-more leaking when it rains! Yay for being an adult and not ignoring super important things!

I was not prepared for the destruction:

Luckily, I was not there for most of it. Batman stayed home and sent me picture after gruesome picture of our poor roof slowly being murdered. That was Thursday, and I thought most of it was over (what do I know?) but was delighted to discover the work continued ALL day Saturday, ALL day SUNDAY, ALL day Monday, ALL day Tuesday and…yep. Pretty sure he’s still there. On my roof. Right now. Go google earth it and let me know.

But he’s a one-man crew and it’s a solid gut-job for that small portion of the roof, which means removing the shingles and the insulation and there was plywood involved…I don’t know. Batman explained it to me, but I was half-listening, half-worrying about the creatures that would most likely sneak in and eat me in my sleep. To be fair: there was no actual gaping hole, but for evening night there was only plywood up, and I was able to peek at a few starts whilst standing inside. Magical & creepy 😊

*shrugs*

My favorite part? Realizing Appa is as fucking weird as the rest of us. Or is it stupid?

Whenever Appa wants to play, he stares at his bright orange ball-launcher thingy (used for fetch) which we keep on his towels in “his” basket on the wall. Every time he wants to play, he’ll sit and stare at it. Now that the whole ceiling section is being replaced, we had to move everything on that side of the room, which means his basket is currently on the couch.

YET HE STILL SITS ON THE FLOOR AND STARES AT THE EMPTY WALL.

I’ve walked in on him a few times. I don’t know if he’s confused or too much in a routine to realize the basket isn’t hanging there, but he sit and waits. Staring at nothing. At a blank wall. And I think—*truly* think—I love my dog even more now.

But, yes. This is what happens when you adult. Parts of your roof get demolished and you pray creatures don’t invade in the night and you discover how weird your super smart pets actually are. Anyways, it’s been an interesting week. And a chilly week. It’s November in Florida and I get to wear hoodies. It’s not all bad 😊

How about you? Ever had a roof leak? Or find your animal doing something weird?

Good Times and Pinched Skin

Raise your hand if you’re dumb.

*raises hand*

If you’ve read this blog for even the last few weeks, you’ll know my level of intelligence rests somewhere around not knowing which knob to turn for AC in the car and nearly passing out because of it. It’s also the same intelligence that’s led me into establishments with my clothes on inside-out and mispronouncing *longitude my entire life until Batman looked at me like I had to be joking. But I wasn’t. Because, yeah…I can be dumb.

But this particularly unintelligent moment occurred on Sunday morning after checking the closet for Christmas presents. These were ones I bought, and I wanted to remind myself of the awesome gifts I’ll be giving because yes, I’m that person. Maybe since I was congratulating myself on a job well done, the universe took a moment to slap some humility into me because when I closed the closet door—because I’m dumb—I closed it on my arm.

And it PINCHED THE EVERY-LOVING SHIT OUT OF ME.

It’s one of those closet-bending-doors and my skin got caught at just the right time. I don’t even think I screamed. I gasped, threw my good hand over whatever mutilated stump I had left and held on. Like, I’m either really pain intolerant (despite having four tiny tattoos…) or I’ve just discovered a new physical fear, so, watch out characters! Guess what I’m throwing at you next. You thought tiny spaces, whips and deep-water exploration were bad! Muahaha! But seriously, ouch ☹

Writing:

I’ve been writing the same night in my WIP for a couple of weeks. Mind you, it started at a pre-evening (4-5) timeframe, and is currently pushing past midnight. And my main characters are being invaded, so this battle is taking a while, but I’ve just about reached the part that’s going to ignite the climax and then, the second part of the book will be done!

*wipes brow*

Then the third and final section will remain, and that one will be a beast. I can’t even think about it right now. I’m too focused on my key players and the rough outline in my head of what’s supposed to happen in this second section. I’ve jotted down some notes (as in wrote a brief paragraph at the end of the same work document) and refer to that from time to time. But, it’s how I write all my books, and the process hasn’t let me down yet.

Once I’m finished with the third section (next March/May-ish?) I’ll breathe a brief sigh of relief… and then I’ll have to plunge back into the thing from the start. Round two – in my opinion- is always worse than round one.  But that’s all then. And we’re still here, in the present, and I’m almost finished with section two! Woop! Good times and pinched skin: it’s all I’ve got for you this post.

Until our next Wednesday date 😊

*I’ve been pronouncing it long-di-tude. I kid you not. It’s what I was taught in seventh grade geography and I’ve never questioned it. And yes, I’m from Florida. Not that that has to do with anything.

Haven’t Lost Steam Yet #IWSG

For the past few weeks, Batman and I have been weighing ourselves for, you know, health and fat-shaming reasons. We are both a little on the plumpy side because when you find your person, you fatten each other up so no one will want the other person (it’s a rule somewhere). Also, after years (or months in our case…) we stopped give a crap, and ate what we wanted, and our bodies agreed and expanded due to it. Anyway, we’ve been carrying around a little extra weight these past eleven years and we DO NOT want to be the fatties at our own wedding (*there’s nothing wrong with being large. I have been large my entire life. I just want to feel slim and beautiful when I get married, if only for the pictures.)

So, to keep ourselves honest and to keep from making assumptions/generous guesses to whether the scale is pointing to this line or that line, we opted for a digital device. No lying to ourselves anymore because we’ll have cold, hard numbered facts; I’m only telling you because 1) it’s an adult purchase, and adult purchases should always get a shout-out and 2) if I tell you we’re trying to lose weight, you can hold us accountable to our healthy—fat-losing—lifestyle, so when I walk down the aisle to Batman next year, I’ll feel absolutely beautiful and not like the hypo from Fantasia I envision in the mirror.

Also: I’m still a parent!

Let me clarify. First, yes, Appa is still alive. Thanks for asking. 😊 That dog lives better than most people, so—God forbid—if anything were to happen to him, the post would definitely start with that and not overdue weight loss. But yes, I’m still a plant parent, which means Artemis survived the move!

This may not be a big deal to you, but I cannot keep plants alive. At all. They’re like cars—they come to me to wither away and die. But after a little shopping at Ace Hardware, and too much money spent on her new home, Batman and I *cough* mostly Batman *cough* took Artemis from her mason jar and planted her in her fabulous new pot. I’m a little nervous with winter coming, but it is Florida and that’s not really a thing here. Plus, I can always pull her into the garage. The goal is to keep this avocado tree alive and growing, and if I can do that, then in six years I’ll finally get an avocado. She’ll start shaving a dollar or two off the grocery bill every week. At least I’ve got this huge payout coming 😊

WRITING:

Writing has been good. I’m still going ham on RTD because the saga is never-ending and battle-packed and as much as I love writing adventure, the battles take FOREVER because they’re more difficult to write. But it’s still going in the right direction, and I know after this next scene, the second part will be done. That leaves the third and final section which addresses the main antagonist, as well as solving all the other things that need to be solved, aka: the wrapping everything up level.

It’s been a year, but I’m still writing it. I haven’t lost steam yet, which is good since I’ve been writing this series since 2011. 2011, GUYS!

Anyway, onto the IWSG optional question:

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?

I don’t really have an answer here, mostly because I don’t research my stories. Er—that sounded bad. Let’s try again…

*ahem*

A lot of what I write is made up (think high-fantasy) or contemporary, which needs very little researching. Because of that, I’m very rarely online, unless it’s to check clothing styles or double-check company names. But, I will say, I did spend a very long afternoon watching videos on how to speak with an Australian accent for a character. Not really research, but voice-research. (kinda fits the question?) The accent always sounded cool when I read it in books and I thought it would be fun to have a foreign character. Turns out, it’s way more fun reading it, than writing it.  Ended up changing the character back to American.  Sorry, Walker 😊

What about you? Published or not, what have you googled for researching a story? And how are you as a plant parent? Any weight issues?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Write the Books and Find the Readers

I missed last week because I spent the majority of it re-reading Rozmarie & Josiah. 😊 I know, rude to ditch on our date, but silly me thought I was going to just submit the book to fresh.ink without even looking it over. Rookie mistake. It dawned on me somewhere a few paragraphs in that it was *probably* a good idea to look over the story, and, well, I did.

All last week. I read every day as soon as I got home, and FINALLY on Sunday, I finished the thing. Because, I didn’t just read. I re-edited it as I went, and apparently, I missed some major typos and errors first go around. Am I going to win the contest? Probably not, but that’s okay. It’s slightly more polished, and I’m not so nervous about turning in a total piece of crap to these would-be-potential readers.

Because that’s my goal: FIND THE READERS

That, and write the books. But I feel both are equally important. Write the books and find the readers. Someone want to make me a banner I can hang above my window? I only have broken Christmas lights and an awesome writing picture my mom got me last year  (thanks, ma! Still love it!). For all the curious/stalkers:

There’s a perfectly good blank space right there. I could put a big plaque: Write the Books and Find the Readers. I feel like that’s all I need in order to break free from cubicle hell to write independently. A product I turn out to customers eagerly awaiting it. Speaking of…I really need to get back to MailChimp and figure out the whole newsletter thing. Where is my team of smart people to do this for me? Urrg. I wish parts of my brain weren’t so dumb, like the kind that deals with technology and understanding things that can’t be explained to a ten-year-old.

In better, simpler, easier news, I have a driver’s-side door handle! Look at it! Look at it in all its glory and magnificent awe:

It’s been very nice these few rainy days not having to run around the car like an idiot. I can go straight to one side and only be half-soaked instead of fully-soaked. Life is good 😊 I really do need to retire Georgie at some point, but until she completely craps out on me, she’s still my girl. And with her latest upgrade, I think she’s earned herself another year or so. That, or until something else vital falls off, or she retires to her days of seizuring which, if I’m being honest, are the most exciting.

Things to do:

  • Research Mailchimp. Again. Don’t get confused and distracted and decide no one cares so it’s not even worth it. And stop playing on your phone.
  • Be more social (stalk more) and keep putting my stuff out there.
  • Probably buy another car
  • Laundry

There’s more to the list, but I’m tired, so this will have to do. Back to writing RTD and reading other people’s books. And guys, I can FINALLY say I feel like I’ve tipped past the halfway point in RTD. I think I said this a while ago, but I mean it for realizes this time. And that means good things are coming. Good things 😊

Have a great week!

Makes Me Wonder

I’m getting a car door handle!

I’m really stoked because this climbing in-thing was old DAY ONE, and my right thumb has been annoyingly hurting from having to push open the door twice a day. Batman says I’m being lazy and to use my other hand, but I tell him to SHUT UP because I have to climb in through the passenger side to open my driver’s side to then climb back out and walk around while he has the luxury of just stepping in. I’m not being lazy. I’m being punished. For being a terrible driver and maybe cutting off people when I shouldn’t have. Or, I angered the car gods, but I did that a long time ago. I should’ve known when the rear-view mirror fell off mid-drive. Why are parts of my cars falling off? Is it because they’ve all been old, or am I a human car-leper virus?

Anyway, I’m excited 😊 Honestly, I need a new car. The only reason I have this 2005 beauty is because I was t-boned in 2009, and she was my replacement. Sure, she’s shut-down on me multiple times and yeah, occasionally…I’ve wondered if she might blow up, but we’re both still here. She just keeps going. Still, I need to get somewhat of a more reliable ride and (I’ve said this before but it merits repeating) until riding unicorns or llamas or ostriches become socially acceptable ways to travel to work, a new vehicle it is.

So, why wait?

Heh.

Well, Georgie is still technically running. (Yes, that’s her name. Shut up). I’ve had her since 2009, so it’s been a decade with the old girl, and we’ve shared a lot of memories. Plus, she’s the first SUV I’ve had, and the fact that she hasn’t given up makes me wonder how much life she’s got left. I could still squeeze out a few more years from her. Also, cars are expensive.

There’s this really big thing happening next November—some are calling it the event of the century—and I kind of need to funnel all my money there, and having a new monthly payment would cut into that. Pretty much reason number two old Georgie isn’t facing the chopping block. But again, NEW DOOR HANDLE GUYS 😊 She’ll be a spring chicken again. That part at least.

In other news, Artemis is still alive, and Batman and I received our save the dates in the mail! A THOUSAND smiley faces!!!

I’d show them – I kind of want to – but the whole privacy thing is kind of a big deal with us. Especially Batman. Hence I refer to him as Batman on this blog (his request) and he doesn’t even like when I put up pictures of him. So, to respect his/our privacy, I will simply leave you with this:

They’re awesome and I love them.

I’m going to keep Artemis alive. Because look, look at that leaf growth! :

She’s thriving my friends, thriving. The next part is planting her, which I have no idea how to do. I’m told it’s simple, but I can over complicate things, and I would *really* hate to be the reason she died during transportation. So I’m going to make Batman do it.

Remember, when you read next week’s post, it will be written by a person with a driver’s side door handle. I will be one of you all again.

Enjoy your week!