Show Me the Exploding Heads

So.

Stuff’s getting a little crazy out there, huh? I will say I was shocked—SHOCKED—over the whole toilet-paper thing. And not just because of the *immense* amount of insanity concerning people’s usage of it, but because I’d been meaning to stock up for a while, about three weeks before the panic started. I like to have a lot in inventory (for just this reason) and I kept telling Batman we needed to pick up another pack or two, and he’d say we have enough, and I’d agree, but then mention it the following week and the same thing would happen. And wouldn’t you know it—toilet paper is like fucking currency now. Damnit Batman!

I don’t understand what’s happening in the world.

I feel like I’m watching a movie, but also participating in the outtakes, like when I go to the store and find this:

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We’ve all seen and shared similar photos and videos because OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING? We are we going crazy and

1) abandoning all common sense

2) being assholes to each other

I totally realize there is a virus out there and it is not a great one (are there any great ones?) but it’s…normal-ish, right? Nobody’s heads are blowing up. People aren’t sprouting balls on their shoulders, or mutating or boiling alive—right?? (Please tell me if the symptoms have updated) Like, if I see someone’s head explode after a sneeze, or if their elbows fall off in a gooey acidy-manner, then hell yes get the hell away from me and everyone stay indoors for the summer. Holy Shit. But no one’s heads are exploding. And, I even get the not wanting to spread it (I really, really do) but what I don’t get is the unnecessary panic. The hysteria over something that hasn’t wiped out a *major* portion of the worldwide population. AND AGAIN—NO HEADS EXPLODING.

I blame the media. I really do. It’s creating unnecessary panic which is making it very difficult for the majority of the country. Everyone is going to hurt from this. Everyone. And for a while. But seriously—why? Why are we going to this extreme to cause this much distress on our country and countrymen.

SHOW ME THE EXPLODING HEADS.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just upset we’re down to three rolls of toilet paper and we could’ve been living like kings. Oh well. Guess I’ll know for the next time this anomaly comes along.

I hope you all are doing well & being safe. I’d remind you to wash your hands but

1) you shouldn’t need reminding

2) you’ve been reminded enough

We’ll see what the world looks like this time next week.

Remember to stay calm and STAY CALM

It Could Always Be Worse

(This post was originally written for last week, but still applies 😊)

My door handle broke off again.

*sigh*

This post was going to be about the lost tin—and we’ll probably swing around to it—but I have to mention the door handle first. Because, seriously? Again, Georgie? I work full time and am heading to visit family this weekend, so I won’t be able to get it fixed until the following weekend at the earliest, and that’s if I’m sufficiently inconvenienced enough to get up early on a Saturday morning to deal with it. We’re talking middle-ish of March or so before I have a working car door handle. Back to climbing in through my passenger-side door and praying to GOD it’s not raining when I leave work.

Batman feels bad. He’s the one who yanked it off this time. Funny thing is, he was being extra gentle because I told him of the *fiasco at the vet, and he was trying to demonstrate how careful I need to be with Georgie (like I don’t know), and then he snatched the thing right off. It’s fine. I’ll be fine. People are being QUARANTINED for possible coronavirus, so I’m cool with a little extra exercise added to my transportation routine. It could always be worse.

It’s something I should’ve been saying for the last two weeks. I don’t know what’s specifically wrong with me other than *potent* impatience, but I have this incredible talent to freak out over nothing. I’d almost be proud, except it turns me into this monster where logic and sanity don’t exist. It’s one of the things I hate most about myself because I feel stupid and foolish after these outburts, especially when I realize I caused the majority of my own stress.

Anyway, long story short: I need to renew my driver’s license. It’s not something I care too much about, except I have to have it renewed by our honeymoon or else I won’t be able to board the plane. So, kind of important. Doing absolutely zero research, I headed to the DMV and waited. After getting turned away for not having the necessary items, I headed straight into my home office to get the tin that held my birth certificate, except it wasn’t where I left it. It wasn’t *anywhere*. After a mini-freak-out, I told Barman and we turned the place upside looking for it. We checked cabinets, drawers, under beds, closet nooks. It is NOWHERE. At this point, I honestly believe the house ate it. That, or we have some asshole gnome who has upped his thieving game from socks. Either way, once I realized I had to order my birth certificate online, I FREAKED OUT. I guess people do this all the time, but I never thought I would because I never thought I would lose it, because how do you lose a tin that holds all your important shit? (along with our expired passports and a creepy bag of old baby teeth). You don’t. Or, at least, I don’t. And I did.

Now that my order is being processed in the next ten to fifteen days, I can go back to the DMV (yay!) and not be shunned for only having my social security card. (I will have all required documents, thank you very much angry lady who dismissed me with disdain. DISDAIN.) Now that things are in motion, I realize how much stress I caused myself because of a few road bumps. It happens and it sucks, but it’s obviously not the end of the world, although it definitely feels like it in the heat of the moment.

Anyway, lesson for the day: it can always be worse. It’s something I will continue to tell myself every day as I manually unlock the passenger door, crawl in to open the driver’s side, and then walk around. And I will SHOUT it on the days when it’s raining. 😊

*Appa doesn’t like the vet. He was boarded there like a billion years ago for only a week, and every time we’ve been, he freaks out. Barking like he’s being beaten, like he’s under major attack. This is when literally only the receptionist is in the room. He does not like the vet. Period. Well, Batman had something in the morning and I was left to take our child to the vet alone. It’s fine, except Appa freaks out (as mentioned above) so one of us usually weighs him quickly and then heads outside while the other stays inside to pay. It’s a pretty good system, and we’ve got it down. But when there’s only one of us…it makes this difficult.

So, after battling him into the vet, trying to communicate with the receptionist about what we needed, keeping him calm enough to sit on the scale and by my side when I paid, and back out of the vet, we headed out to Georgie and that’s when I pulled her door handle right off. During the end his panic attack. Perfect timing.

IWSG – Ultimate Victory for a Pantser

I actually had an entire other post all ready to go. Then I looked at the calendar and thought, well shit.

Somehow, March snuck up. How—I honestly ask you—HOW is it the first Wednesday of the month? Isn’t that like, in two more weeks? Wow, this whole life thing is zooming by. Okay, so, I will leave my post of woes and longings or whatever I wrote about for Friday or at some point in the future, and focus on the good stuff you’re probably here to read about: the writing stuff. And there is some good stuff there 😊

GUYS. I (sort of) have the rough outline of how the rest of RTD will end. This is HUGE because it’s not all jumbled separate events in my head bumping in to each other without fitting. It took a lot of sitting and staring at my keyboard and sometimes out the window, which I always think is a waste, but if you’re a pantser, I guess it’s just part of the process. I know the basic idea of how one event will lead to the next and the next, which means I’ve dusted off the map. I have some visibility with where I’m going and how I’m getting to the end. Ultimate victory for a pantser!

Since that is my only writing news—and what awesome news it is—onto the IWSG optional question:

Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

I really want the answer to this to be yes. It would make me so much cooler, but I can’t think of any weird or unique traditions that I or my family have, let alone put into my books. There are traits that I pull from, definitely, but no customs or traditions that I can think of. Huh. Interesting question, IWSG. This one’s got me thinking.

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.

If You Love Somebody’s Art – Go Tell Them

“Thank you so much for creating a wonderful universe.”

This is a message I received about my Arizal Wars series. Now that I’ve stopped ugly-sobbing over it, I can write coherently about how you should never give up on your dreams because *amazing* things like this happen. (And yes, this is freaking amazing. Can I get an amen from all my authors out there?)

The message comes from an original and loyal fan—one Batman found back when he did his stint teaching (for the record, he is brilliant, and can teach kids super hard math and history, but the common core system is beyond eye-rolling, and he could only take so much bullshit). Anyway, during his limited teaching years, he “pimped” my series (not in a threatening kind of way. More like, ‘oh you like to read? My girlfriend writes books’ kind of way) because, why not? It’s YA/NA, and students are the richest resource there is. And one magical student bit, and since then, she has asked about the series through every drought it’s embraced. She reached out when I was writing BTT, and a year before when I decided to take a break. I’ve probably even posted about not giving up because of one of her messages asking when the next book will be out.

This is what we need. It’s not reassurance—it’s a reminder.

If you love somebody’s art—GO TELL THEM.

I would *love* to tell Betty Smith how freaking awesome A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is. Every time I finish it, I flip it over, stare at the jacket, stare at her name, and wonder how I can somehow summon her from the dead just so I can fangirl over all the feels her book gives me every time I read it. Seeing as that’s sadly impossible, I’ve considered contacting her family. This is a legit idea I’ve tossed around and may one day pursue, but do they care if I like their mother’s/aunt’s/grandmother’s book? Not unless it comes with royalties, so why bother? I just want to shout at someone from that family how that book has affected me—but it won’t mean a thing to them. The only one who would understand is Betty Smith, which is why I need to summon her. Grr.

Maybe I’ll meet her in the afterlife—wherever that is—and I can fangirl over her there. In the meantime, I have to give a shout out to Sarah! Thank you for believing in (and continually asking about) this series. It truly makes a difference 😊

This Could’ve Been Bad

So, I don’t wear makeup. It’s not my thing and it never has been, and I am completely fine with that. I used to think I just hadn’t reached that “magic age” when I’d suddenly look at the stuff and it would all make sense, but it never came (and I feel like it should’ve by now). I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not meant for me, and again I utter: I am completely fine with that.

But then come the makeup trials.

I didn’t plan for two. In fact, I only wanted one. Just one lady who would do it perfectly on the first attempt because she could read my mind and pull out what I couldn’t articulate, and it’d be magical and I’d sign the contract and we’d be best friends forever. But this didn’t happen. None of this. What did happen was unwanted fake eyelashes and disappearing cheeks bones and Batman actually RECOILING when he saw me. Like, for real, guys. He jumped back. And he sees me first thing every morning.

Now, I’m not bashing on this artist. She did her thing, and maybe for another client, it would’ve been perfect. It just didn’t work for me. She drew on a completely new face, and even though I’m not winning super model of the year, I think my face is decent enough to keep. I just wanted some enhancements and I got a new set of eyes and no cheekbones. Call me crazy for wanting to look like myself in my wedding day.

I wanted to like it. I really did. I wanted to spin around and see the doves and hear the harp and just know this is what I was going to look like when I married Batman. But again, none of that happened. She spun me and I think I might’ve winced because who the hell was that? It… did not look amazing. It also didn’t look like me. At all. It looked like some version of myself that took a wrong turn somewhere, like a Caitlin who maybe had a tougher time in life. I wanted it to be perfect, but I ended up wondering how much people would truly look me in my face on my wedding day because I hoped they wouldn’t. That’s when I knew it wasn’t a go.

I took Batman with me on the second trial because I figure if he’s going to recoil, I should know sooner rather than later. Thankfully, he didn’t. He loved it, and that’s probably because the lady paid attention to what I wanted (a natural look) and how I wanted to feel (like I wasn’t wearing makeup). It only took two trials, but this could’ve been bad. It was the thing I was putting off to last because I knew I would have issues.  But I’m glad it’s over.

And yes, even though Batman saw my day-of makeup, it’s still OKAY. He has no idea what the whole thing is going to look like and honestly, neither do I, but I’m hoping it will all come together nicely. 😊

How many makeup trials did you have? Do you wear a lot of makeup, or prefer to go natural like me? What are your thoughts on your partner’s makeup?

And Then I Lost My Ring

(I’ll preface this with we have it. We found it. Well, Batman did, and I love him even more now. Plucked the thing right out of the grass, all proud at his Sherlock skills for spotting the ring amidst the random bricks and plastic water bottles where it hid. But yes, the ring—THE RING—is secure again on my finger (sort of) where it belongs, and not lost somewhere in the gross exterior of our house that we are most definitely planning on cleaning up. Probably.)

This all started because I wanted to water Artemis. Simple desire. Keep my avocado plant alive, which I’ve done now for half a year  with just a little watering every day, and twice when I can remember. Batman and I were about to head out when I realized I hadn’t watered her yet. My overpriced fancy blue watering can sat in the corner where I’d left it the night before. I reached for it, poured out the remnants, and then turned on the faucet.

And then a lot of things happened at once.

As I turned the knob, I felt something move over my foot. Remember, I live in Florida, so even with it being winter, I’m still sporting sandals ninety percent of the time, meaning my skin is exposed. So, when I felt this thing moving on me, I felt it moving on my actual body, on my actual skin receptors.

And it was a SNAKE.

**INTERNAL VOMIT**

**STILL VOMITING**

It slithered over my foot and disappeared beneath a pile of bricks and I just…reacted. I screamed out my utter terror and disgust that it TOUCHED me, and in my insane bout of flailing, I snapped my hand back just right, and my ring—THE RING—went sailing from my finger and out into the abyss of the untamed, unmowed lawn, complete with mysterious disappearing, snakes.

Not good.

Not fucking good at all.

Batman walked out, unaware of the struggle. Of the panic attack I was having over everything. All I wanted to do was water Artemis—who still hasn’t been watered—and I was petrified of a snake I could no longer see, and an engagement ring I no longer possessed. Goodbye groceries and errands and all normal life. All that exited was combing through every inch of my lawn until I found my important shiny tiny piece of jewelry.

AND THE SNAKE.

A huge concern, seeing as I never really got a good look at where it slithered off to, but my ring was missing. That was the main horror. I’m getting married in nine months and I had no engagement ring. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it the entire ten minutes Batman and I picked through the lawn where I thought I saw it go flying, and with the snake slithering secretly nearby, it felt more like an eternity. Then, just when I knew I’d have to start the new trend of brides not wearing their engagement rings, Batman reached right down and plucked something shiny from the ground.

So pretty. So not lost.

A thousand waves of relief washed over me. If anything, that day was a win. Not because I did my taxes successfully (I think!) or because I adulted by doing laundry and groceries, but because I DID NOT LOSE MY ENGAGEMENT RING. Even though it flew off my finger in a moment of terror, I still have it. The day was still a success. And yes, I know I need to have it re-sized. I’m getting to it. I’ll only put it off one or two more scares like this one before I get it fitted smaller.

How about you? Any scares? With losing jewelry, spotting a snake, or both?

P.S. Also just now realized this was supposed to be  a IWSG post…so those looking for that post, see you in March!

Seriously Though – Man in The High Castle

…I’ve been slacking.

I blame Man in the High Castle. If it wasn’t cocaine-addictive like every other show I mention, then maybe—MAYBE—I would’ve gotten a bunch more writing down over the last *cough* week or two *cough* instead of the –maybe—one to two pages I’ve written.

I also blame the wedding.

Wait.

That was a little much. Let me rephrase:

The best day ever is requiring a lot of my creative attention and Pintrest is a thing, so I shouldn’t wonder where all my time has been going.

Still. Even though I usually write at least a little every day (although I’ve been giving myself a day off here and there) I feel like I haven’t moved the story along as much as I should’ve, or wanted to. In my defense, there have been A LOT of battle scenes which take FOREVER to write, but that’s not my fault. Every time we get past a fight sequence, I hope my characters will calm down and give me some dialogue or something. They do, but then someone else attacks or a new enemy arrives and it’s back to the scenes that take FOREVER. It’s really my character’s fault. That’s what I’m getting at. I’m only the vessel, and I work better when they’re not in the middle of a shit storm. But this is the final book, and the whole thing is a unified attack/invasion on one planet—I should’ve expected the shit storm.

Anyway, just wanted all my excuses listed so I don’t feel as bad about my lazy work ethic. But that’s how it goes. Sometimes you work a lot; sometimes it’s a little. As long as some work gets done, I won’t feel like complete crap about myself and my (non-existent) writing career.

Seriously though—Man in the High Castle. Go watch. Please. And let’s discuss how shitty the world would be if we lost WWII. I could barely get through French. Don’t think I’d make it if I had to speak German or Japanese. And according to MITHC, that will just not fly.

And also: Joe Blake is really cute 😊