Still No Title

Because I’ve been talking about the wedding so much (and partly because I need a break from it) but mostly because I forgot to post for IWSG, I’m dedicating this post to my writing—which I’ve been doing a LOT of. It’s the silver lining for getting laid off a month before your wedding 😊

I’m sure I’ll look back in a few years and wonder what the heck I did for those few weeks leading up to the big day. Well, in additional to preparing for it, I wrote. A lot. And I mean, a lot-a lot. I’m also kind of proud of myself because I’m going through this draft with a sterner eye than I usually do. Typically, when I get a first draft down, the majority of the scenes stay in the same place and not *too* much changes. With this draft, I’m putting more on myself, studying the scenes with a skeptical eye and asking how much better I can make it before it even gets to betas—which I’m still not convinced will happen, but, you never know. This is the same title-less nothing-story I started in May, but I really, really am enjoying writing it, and want it to be the best it can.

I still don’t have a title. It’s weird, because that’s usually one of the first things I know, or it’s developed at some point along the first draft. But I still don’t have it. I keep waiting for it to come to me, or to write a sentence and a grouping of words will ring in my head like an alarm. But that still hasn’t happened. At this point, I honestly have no idea what I’m going to call this story if it ever graduates to that level of being readable/publishable. Oh, well. Guess it’s a problem for another day. I only have a few I can deal with at a time, and in regards to writing, it’s actually the writing. Because yes, I’m on the third draft of this thing, but it’s still 2-3 (or more) revisions away from being anywhere near beta-reader polished. And who knows? Maybe a reader will suggest the perfect title.

*shrugs*

Just know I’m in the writing cave like a frenzied madwoman developing arthritis. But it’s for the greater good, and hopefully, for an awesome story. Guess we’ll see.

Enjoy your week! ~ Lady Caitlin

The End of the Puzzle

You know the good thing about having a two-year engagement? You have all the time in the world to get everything done. The bad thing? Keeping that mindset up through and within a month before. I keep thinking I have alllllllll the time in the world, and yet, when Batman reminded me that this Saturday will be three weeks until our big day, I think I experienced my first mini heart-attack.

Three weeks.

Three weeks and I’m still working on stuff. Like, legit still working on stuff. And I’m unemployed, so, like, I have the time to do it but there’s SO MUCH STUFF TO DO. But who’s panicking right? Psshh. Not me. I’m totally breezy over here with my THREE-WEEK deadline to do all the things I thought I had all the time to do them in.

At least I’m not stupid. Or crazy (in a bad way.) I’m a super pre-planner, and due to my efforts with Batman over the last two years, most of the stuff is done. It’s just the little stuff. The details. The tiny pieces of everything that all has to come together at the end—and here we are. The end of the puzzle, my friends. Or, on the precipice of it.

I blame all my erratic posting on the wedding, but I promise to keep to a better schedule once the celebratory romance mayhem is behind me. Also, even though I’m a private person, I do plan on sharing some pictures from the wedding here on the blog, so there’s proof that I did claim Batman and that I do own a pretty, white dress.

Alright, off to more wedding chores—seriously, it doesn’t stop.

Have a lovely week!

P.S. I am currently in jury duty, so please cross your fingers or eyes or sacrifice those turkeys to the moon—whatever you can do to get me out of this because having to go to trial *three weeks* before my wedding is really something I could do without.

Thanks! 😊

Blessings and Silver Linings

Well, I got laid off ☹

Not the header I was hoping for this week’s post, but there you go. Just another casualty of the bullshit COVID 2020 storm. I thought we took the majority hit wedding-wise, but I wasn’t aware I’d be wounded so near-fatally again—and so close to the big day.

It came as a shock. A SHOCK. I knew the company wasn’t doing well. They told us about it in every meeting, talking about the numbers being down and how we’d all have to pitch in to help out a bit more. Totally reasonable. Totally understandable, especially when I realized monetary concerns was the reason we hadn’t hired a receptionist after the last one left, and why I had a rotating seat at the front desk (just like everyone else in my former department). I knew the company wasn’t making the money it used to, but I was busy every day, and every day I saw sales coming through. Things got a bit stressful towards the end (part of the reason I crashed and burned a few posts back) but I thought things were improving. I’d hoped they were at least. I kept my talking to a minimum, per a complaint put in against me, so I listened to my Pandora, mumbled along to Megan Trainor and Macklemore lyrics, and went along my busy day.

Then Friday I was called into the big office.

Well, shit.

Now what?

They were letting me go. The company was doing even worse than we were told, and I was of the first wave to be cast off from the wounded island. I’ve never been let go from a job. I’ve quit my fair share, but pre-planning always went into it, and I always got to that point when I realized looking for a job was better than my current work environment. Yeah, I was stressed constantly (and lost a bit of weight from anxiety in dealing with it) but I wasn’t prepared to leave. In fact, I mentioned to a friend two days earlier that while I was ‘over’ my job, I was happy I wasn’t one of the millions who had to look for a new one.

And then came the axe.

Part of me is still in shock, because I know how much I did, and how much certain people depended on me, but I guess that doesn’t matter anymore. My work will be divided up and spread out, meaning I was always replaceable, even when I convinced myself that my awesome work ethic would keep me employed there forever. But it’s okay. I’m finding the blessings and silver linings in it. True, not the *ideal* time to be let go from one’s work—less than a month and a half before my wedding—but suddenly, I have a lot more time to work on it, and to write. Of course, I’m looking for a new monetary adventure as well, but I’ll take this bit of a break that I think my mind and body have been needing.

It’s all about the secret blessings and silver linings, and seeing them when they appear. It’s all you can do (and all you should do!)

Enjoy your week!

~ Lady Caitlin

Batman Wins

Batman wins my birthday.

I received some most-excellent (and way too many) birthday gifts, but Batman wins. I’m sorry. He does. Believe me, I loved all the cards and t-shirts and gift cards, but Batman bought us a tiny parcel of land in Scotland making us technically—legally—a Lord and Lady.

Yes.

That’s right. You read that correctly. And just in case you’re wondering if this is in any way legit, it totally most likely is:

https://establishedtitles.com/

And besides, it’s being endorsed by a comedian. The same comedian and podcast that has scored me a sexy pair of Shady Rays sun glasses for FREE because Batman used their code to cash in on a sweet BOGO promotion. And now, he’s bought us land in Scotland, giving us official titles. I like this podcast. I like it a lot. (Thank you, Tom Segura @ Your Mom’s House Podcast!)

So, yeah, Batman by far wins the birthday because now we have even more of a reason to visit Scotland. We literally own two square feet of land, and damnit, we’re going to see it one day. But again, a definite shout out to everyone who called and texted and reminded me of how much I’m loved. It feels wonderful to know I’ve survived 35 years knowing so many awesome people.

I’m going to keep this post short because I have thousand things to do, and this blog almost got shoved to the side again. Apparently, the wedding is around 6 weeks away (?!?!?!) and not the “two-three months” I keep thinking it is. So much to be done.

*So* much.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope you all purchase your own plots of lands or hint about it strongly enough to your loved ones or significant others. We could be neighbors 😊

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

Showered in Love

I had my bachelorette/bridal party this weekend 😊

Honestly, I doubted I would see it. Not just because of Covid, but because Batman and I were together so long before getting engaged, that I really wondered if I’d ever get to wear the bridal sash or the tiara with the most blinged-out penises. So, it was nice finally achieving this milestone most of my friends hit in the early part of the last decade. But, it’s cool. We’re all on different journeys.

Since I live near St. Augustine, I had a few close friends join me for dinner at this fabulous restaurant right in the historic district (though the restaurant is fairly new) that perfectly fits our vintage theme. It’s called Prohibition Kitchen, and guess what their hook is? Yup: prohibition-era style everything. From food to drinks to atmosphere, it was the perfect little joint to consume all the old-time yummies while sipping through penis straws and answering a penis-themed questionnaire. Unfortunately (but mostly at my request) there were no strippers. It’s not really my thing, and one or two male reviews was one or two male reviews too many, especially when they come David-Bowie-ing their junk at me. No. Just…no.

After dinner, the ladies and I participated in an escape room, and just like my first time, I was little to no help. But I’m okay with that. The room, like the restaurant, had to fit the theme, so I chose the Lucky Duck Speakeasy. Our objective was to find the clues left in the speakeasy to uncover the murderer and disarm the bomb in 60 minutes! Let me repeat: I was little to no help. I solved ONE puzzle because it was a picture puzzle and I’m not terribly stupid at those. That was it. Everyone else (although shout-out to Shelby and Jen!) were solving things left and right. But did we make it you ask? With THIRTY SECONDS TO SPARE. I must say, I’m friends with some smart, funny women.

And Sunday, my mom and sister threw me the most beautiful shower. I actually wore a white dress that I managed not to spill anything on, and heels that propelled me a little off the ground—and I didn’t fall or trip once! Several of my out-of-state friends were able to zoom in, although they were not privy to the mimosa bar, or the several delicious appetizers and desserts scattered throughout. The whole thing was so magical and enjoyable, and not just because most of it was viewed through a  mimosa-lens, but because it just *was*. And because I felt so incredibly showered in love.

I’m sad that the weekend had to end, but I’m overjoyed I was able to have it at all. Nothing is guaranteed, and after so many years of wondering, I can say I finally had my turn—and it was perfect.

Thanks Ma and Court!

Now onto the wedding! Less than two months!

IWSG I’m Not Picky

I did it again and I’m just going to blame 2020 because—2020. Am I right?

Last week wasn’t awesome for me, which is sad because I was on such a high. And then I crashed and burned, and it was gory and gross, and I’m sure in this fictional world, I smelled really bad. I’m still crawling my way back from that apocalypse, but every once in a while, I get a head-spasm of the bullshit, and I’m torn between being angry/hurt/humiliated, so I spiral into my sad tornado of defeat, throwing on every little thing I can be sad about, because apparently, I just want to bury myself in the bullshit that is 2020.

(I know—this just got dark).

It’s okay. I’ve screamed a lot. And cried. And screamed some more. Appa was very confused. Batman—being ever awesome—came to my side with comfort and chocolate. I’m good now. Or, better than I was (hence me remembering to/being able to write this post.) Win!

Also: remember that “no name” story I started writing….and kept writing…and kept writing? Well I figured out what it is! I can’t say it now because I have this thing with jinxing myself, but BELIEVE ME when I say the light-bulb burst in my brain and I sat in the chair for a minute, sitting back from the screen and thinking, “it all makes sense now…”

Anyway, onto the optional question for the Insecure Writers Support Group:

If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

I don’t know. But that’s a good one. I don’t want normal people beta reading my stuff now, so someone who’s written something I admire? Woosh… But since we’re back to fictional worlds, I’d say it’s a toss-up. I like writing romance, but also really emotional, really romancy-romance. Yes, we all like the sex (tee-hee!) but I need a couple worth rooting for, and I feel like the following authors gave me “the feels” to a point where I recommend them/their books to others:

Rainbow Rowell

Katja Millay

Jennifer Armentrout

JR Ward

Jenn Bennett

If any of these ladies (and I’m totally serious) want to beta read any of my silly words—consider me a hell yes. Hands down. Let’s do this.

I know you said “one author” so I listed Rainbow Rowell at the top, but again, I’m not picky. 😊

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.

All the Good Stuff

I’m not sure what’s going on—but it’s good.

I feel like I’ve been dosed with carpe-diem LSD or something. Not that I know Lucy, or what being in the sky with diamonds feels like, but I imagine it’s exhilarating and intense, which are words I would use to describe my relationship with everything in my life right now: I’m just so thankful for it. I feel like Ebenezer on Christmas morning—post ghosts—when he’s singing and joking and not being a total rat bastard for the first time in his life because he knows he could turn it around and start valuing the day. I like to think my moral/niceness gauge reads a bit better than Ebenezer’s, but it’s that same feeling of ultimate joy. I think what I’m feeling…is gratitude?

The past few months have been fun. We can all agree. And while I took a pay cut for a few months, I never lost my job, and Batman didn’t lose any income at all. And we’ve been healthy the entire time; we’ve been lucky. But some people were impacted so much worse, with both incomes either cut or lost and with children in the mix. It astounds me how blessed we’ve been through this whole thing, and yes, even though I’ve had some dark days grumbling about what I’ve lost, my invisible fairy Godmother keeps smacking my chin up, reminding me of everything I still have—and it’s all the good stuff.

I grumble to myself about all the extra work my job is putting on me—then remember I have a job, unlike so many others battling each other in the staffing agency. (Been there. Done that. No thank you.)

I grumble to myself about all the what-ifs with my wedding to Batman—then remember I’m marrying Batman and the rest is just details. (Except I’ll still be in my dress. That’s a non-negotiable.)

I grumble to myself about missing blog posts and reverting back as an author—then remember I still write every damn day, and that’s all that matters. (dammit, Janet!)

I’ve decided I’m not going to torture myself anymore with all the things I’ve lost. I’m enjoying my life and all the gifts in it. I’m not sure when I came to this conclusion or decided to put it in heavy, full-force motion, but I’ll take it. We’re not promised tomorrow, and we never get this day, this hour, this moment back—so why waste it? I don’t want to anymore. I don’t want to waste one more minute feeling anything but happy, or at least, doing my damn best to.

Hope you’ve caught whatever I have. And no, it’s not the ‘Rona. It’s the Everything-Could-Be-A-Billion-Times-Worse-So-Let’s-Be-Thankful-For-All-The-Blessings-We-Have bug. (It’s the best one to have).

Savoring All the Wins

I’m not dead! Shocking, I know 😊

I don’t know what happened the last two weeks. Both Wednesdays popped up right after Friday (they felt) and my mind has been saturated elsewhere. It’s the post-pandemic, pre-election world we live in, and somehow, Batman and I are still pushing forward with our wedding. It definitely sucks, and I’ll write more on that either later or in another post, but as crappy as choosing this year to get married, my heart goes out to all the parents right now.

I’m not sure how ya’ll are doing it. Either sending your kids back or homeschooling or whatever it is you’re doing to keep your shit together—I applaud you. Seriously. I’m not sure I could do it. With the changing schedules and the split days and the kids not really getting to be kids, I’m just—I’m sad. I’m sad for them and sad for the parents who have to be in these situations. It sucks. The whole thing sucks. And I’m just sorry.

I don’t know why or how 2020 went so screwy, but I’m trying to find positives anywhere I can. I ordered something for my dress and it is GOREGOUS and that is what we call a 2020-Win. It’s a rare beast, but it does lurk, and from to time, it’s bound to pop up. Like the other day at Ross when I bought two shirts without trying them on (because, you know, all the dressing rooms are closed) and they fit AMAZINGLY when I got them home. 2020-Win. Probably wouldn’t have noticed before but I’m definitely savoring all the wins I can.

And honestly…that’s not a bad way to live.

What about you? Any 2020-Wins you’ve experienced recently? How’s pandemic, pre-election life treating you?

Pretty Disillusioned

It’s one of those weeks where nothing remarkable happened (no near-fainting), but I’m still not in the mindset to write anything serious about the wedding, or the state of the country, and how seriously terrified I am for what’s happening and what will be happening in a short matter of months and/or years. Nah. Not in the mood to go down that rabbit hole, and besides, my fingernails are entirely preoccupied with being chewed off from anxiety over the wedding (not really—they still look fabulous) so there’s not enough left for everything else.

I don’t even write political posts (and I’m not gonna start!) but I’m pretty disillusioned by the reality we live in. I’m shocked at decisions being made, and the fact that it’s 2020, and certain situations are being allowed to happen…or not happen. Again, I don’t write political posts, but sometimes I read the news, turn to Batman, and we both cringe. Well, he more swears, vows he’ll protect us if it comes to a civil war, and I try to distract him with questions about his bachelor party, which works most of the time, until the topic of COVID comes up…

I know I said I wasn’t going to write anything serious, but I never really know what my posts are going to be about until I’m done writing them. Little writer secret for you. Besides, I’m not sure what I wrote is serious at all. Maybe it’s more of a gripe? I have way more going on in my head, but don’t have the mindset for it this week. We’ll see how next week goes.

I hope you are doing well and staying safe and being kind to one another (this is the year we need it).

Everything Became Terrible

I actually almost fainted on Sunday. It sucked for two reasons.

1: I’ve always wanted to faint. It’s been on my bucket list, and while I know a bunch of you are like wtf would you want to do that? I don’t know—I’ve just been curious. What’s it like? Does everything just turn off? Like, when I’m dead, I want to look back and say yep, totally fainted that one time when I was alive. But I can’t say it. Not yet.

2: I ACTUALLY ALMOST FAINTED. The fact that I live in Florida makes this as surprising to me as it does to you. And, it’s not like I’m skipping around all the states; I’ve been here the entire time, and I’ve never overheated like this. Yes, we’ve been having record-high heat, but this was a rookie mistake to the billionth degree. (I should know better).

I was sitting in the shade at a restaurant near midday-ish while out with the family. The shade turned into partial shade, then into very limited shade, and then I was sitting in the sun. It was fine. I’d had my entire pina colada to cool me down, half my water, and a small portion of my food. Sure, I was fine. But when I stood up, everything became terrible.

Someone must’ve dipped me in lava because I was too hot to breathe. Never thought I’d have that feeling. I’ve definitely vomited from dizziness, but not heat, and I felt like I was going to puke if I didn’t get a cold gust of wind on me—so I flew indoors. Except, it wasn’t much cooler inside the restaurant as it was on the patio. Then the dizziness-heat spell really took over, and I bent forward, hands on my knees.

Breathed in. Breathed out.

Ripped the stupid mask from my face and threw it on the floor (had to put it back on when I went inside)

Breathed in. Breathed out.

Everything grew hazy and I thought—this is it. This is the moment I’m going to faint. This one. Right here. I knew, because I could feel my legs giving out, so I tried sitting before I would collapse, because that would hurt (I think?) and just be terrible. Thankfully, Batman was there and helped set me on the floor, and because I was able to keep that tiny bit of brain energy from being used, it stayed on. Someone slid me a cup of cold water. Someone else called for a cold rag. All I saw were shoes and shin bones and on some level I knew I was mortified because I was sitting on the ground at the entrance of a Bahama Breeze like a stupid tourist, trying not to pass the fuck out.

Had I stayed in the sun any longer, I probably would have. Had I not gotten inside when I did, it might have happened. Again, I repeat: I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and I’ve never felt like this. Which means it’s hot out there people, so make smart decisions. And also, like, stay hydrated because as delicious as pina coladas are, they don’t act the same as water (sadly).

Yeah, so this event was a bummer on two levels, but at least I got to see my family before the near-pass out. I’ll take a win when I can get one. And double points—I didn’t have to pay (thanks dad & S!) So, still finding silver linings sprinkled amongst the bullshit. Ah, life. The fun we have together…