Windy City Bound

We’re going to Chicago!

Like, for a wedding. Not to move. Although I’m sure that was obvious went I said ‘going’ and not ‘moving’ but I wanted to clear that up from the get-go. Batman and I are visiting Chicago this weekend for my cousin’s wedding and I am STOKED.

Vacation. FAMILY. Drinking. Family. WEDDING. Not working. Fun. DRINKING. Family. VACATION.

This has been on a loop in my head for the past few days. I need it. I need a break to explore a different city and enjoy some actual fall weather. We’re doing an architecture cruise and visiting the Bean—not to mention the actual wedding which is the highlight of the whole shebang. Some people hate them, but I love them. Weddings rock. Even being that single chick at the table with all the weirdos—it’s free food. It’s free food and (usually) free drinks and a dance floor with a drunken sea of people not going to give a damn when you bust out your seventh-grade moves and start doing the Worm. (Not me. Just… saying.)

We’re flying back on Sunday so it’s going to be a short trip. Still. It’s not here and not here is awesome because I’ve been here and I could use an over there. (Although we did go to Orlando last month but that doesn’t count. Same state. Shut up.) And I feel I’m growing in my adulting phase. I’m actually—get this—already thinking about what I want to pack. I started thinking about it weeks ago. Even thought for Batman, too. Because normally, I don’t think about the existence (or cleanliness) of things until right before I need them, even given prior notice. I just didn’t care. And I still don’t. But it’s nice to not panic the night before and question if I’m really an adult or an adult-looking child who somehow manages to fool everyone. So there’s that.

I think I’m doing okay with committing to this post-once-a-week-thing. Course, this is only the second week, so I have plenty of time to fall off the bandwagon. Plus, I’m stalling. I’ve written myself into a scene I’m not into. And I should be because my characters are about to go at it (the good, sexy at-it, not the violent, fighting at-it). Like, for a romance writer, this is supposed to be the HALLELUJAH of scenes, the Hot-Damn-We’re-Finally-Here moment. It’s supposed to be what all of the tension has been leading up to and… I’m not feeling it. Not sure why. I took a wrong turn somewhere and have to back pedal but I like what I’ve written, so I’m not sure where to veer. Sometimes this happens and sometimes I have to sit and read and think and read and think some more and read some more. Then I get tired of reading the same few paragraphs and decide to write a post instead.

Ta-Da!

Look at me, still being productive 😉

We’re leaving Friday for Chicago and something–maybe logic–is telling me next week’s post may be filled with pictures from the Windy City. But you’ll have to stick around and find out. 😉

October’s the new January

My New Years resolution was to post once a week. You probably don’t remember that because I probably didn’t post that. I think I thought about making it a resolution and then thought, nah. I’m pretty sure I won’t keep to it. Just like I won’t keep to that stupid not-eating-Oreos thing. But it’s October and I think I’ll give the one-post-a-week thing a try. I mean, why not at this point? I only have two and half months left to keep it up. After that, it’s new resolutions and I can try again for twelve straight months next year.

So, let’s see if I can do this. I’m interested in the result just as much as you. Because I also said I’d be doing a lot more vlogging and look at all the vlogs I’ve posted. Don’t see them? Because they’re not there. Because I haven’t posted a single one. Look at them. Sitting there. All in-existent like.

Yeah.  That’s more of me saying I’m going to do something and then just kind of not doing it. But I want to try for the next two and half months. One post per week. I can do this. I can write about writing or the  things that happen in my life, like my adventures with breeding Appa. Which may or may not happen, but hopefully does, because that’s some pure German Shorthair Pointer ammo doing nothing. Not being utilized. He could use the release and I could use the money (seriously, Sire fees are like in the couple hundreds. COUPLE HUNDREDS. As in, $500 for Appa-juice? Hell Yeah.) So maybe I’ll talk about that, keep you updated.

I’m just trying to push myself because I definitely give myself enough slack. Like, all the time. Like, oh…I swept the floor-ish. I deserve ice cream. And then I get ice cream. And then I eat and realize I didn’t sweep the floor; I just moved the dust and bits of Appa’s mutilated toys out of the way where I can’t see them. You know, adulting.

Not sure what else to say so here are some recent pics from my life. Make of them what you will:

I probably should’ve put them in order, but we’re past that at this point. What’s been going on with you? Are you too easy on yourself? And have you kept up with your resolutions?

Done with Dessert… for now.

I’ve been reading a lot of candy.

Gooey, mushy, happily-ever-afters that are actually starting to rot my brain, like watching too much bad reality TV. With the exception of Rainbow Rowell, I have been force feeding myself literary sugar that is leaving me with a mind-ache and vehement repulsion at any bookcover featuring hand-holding, kissing or cuddling. I’ve romanced myself out.

Just in time to watch Fifty Shades of Grey.

Oh yes, I’m seeing it.

The ticket has been purchased. The concession snacks will be ordered and I, along with a few friends, will gorge myself on the book-to-movie adaptation that, let’s face it, is barely a notch up from the highly anticipated Magic Mike sequel (which I shall also be seeing. I am still female, and what Channing Tatum does with his hips should be illegal. Or enforced. Something.) But I’ve read *so* much of this literary candy that I’m fearful for my writing. I mean, we write what we read, right? If I keep on reading these gooey, ooey candy-coated pieces, I’m going to start turning out the same tooth-decaying words. And I don’t want to do that. It’s just—I like romance. I do. I like it because it’s hopeful and optimistic and it never hurts to fantasize that this scenario could actually happen. Somewhere. To someone. But I incorporate romance into my works so I don’t want to muddy the waters with something I’ll end up rolling my eyes at in a few years. I need to stop. Now.

*takes breath*

*slaps on candy patch*

*looks in mirror and repeats affirmations. I will not read candy, I will not read candy, I will not read candy*

****Disclaimer I don’t think candy’s bad. I just need it in moderation. I have a bag of skittles I keep at work for a little extra treat when I’m stressing or angry or worried or just need a pick me up. And they do the trick. But shoving an entire bag down my throat will probably give me diabetes. And I don’t want insulin for my brain.

In case you’re wondering, candy read thus far this year includes:

Mine to Take by Dara Joy

Wicked by Jennifer Armentrout

Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

But if you’re looking for a solid, good romance that doesn’t leave you rolling your eyes (I’ve placed this in the prime-rib category) I would highly recommend Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. Or Eleanor & Park. Or basically anything by the woman. She can do no wrong.

True Vessel

I’m told smells are one of the most potent channels into our memories. We can revisit places, hear our favorite songs, taste our favorite foods and even run our fingertips over the most comforting surfaces, but your nose is your true vessel. Scent can drive you back quicker and more accurately to a time and place. To a feeling.

I was taking the elevator up to my floor earlier and this man stepped in. He was older, with grey-white hair and a protruding belly and had absolutely NO attraction pulling me in. But he was wearing something, some familiar cologne that I couldn’t name. And it hit me. Like a slap in my face, I knew it. I’d smelled it before, when boys were still this foreign mystery, this exotic, exciting thing that, for a chubby girl like me, were off limits. I wasn’t in the elveator with old-man smell-good anymore. I was back in the ninties, in this haze of confusion and breathlessness, too ready to grow up. Too ready to know more masculine scents and what came with them.

And that was only middle school.

Sometimes I go back further, like when I smell my great-aunt. I’m not sure if it’s the lotion she used or her perfume or if it was just her own specific fragrance, but I smell her from time to time. On the sidewalk or in the apartment foyer or walking in the halls of some big important building. Even though she passed when I was 11, everytime I breathe in that unique scent, I’m thrown back to butterflies and orange-laced glasses. Virginia Slims and backyard grass. Hot days that were always too long, and soft hands, aged with color and wrinkles that preformed wonderous magic with pencils.

I’m a kid again.

By just a scent in the air, I’m transported to a different version of me. One so different and naive that I can’t believe time has blocked us. I can’t believe it’s taken a fragrance to remind me who I was nearly a decade into existence. And who I am now.

There’s this great short story by Tobias Wolff called Bullet in the Brain. I’ve read some other works of his, including his autobiography This Boy’s Life. I like the book and all, but his short story really got me, so much that I read it over and over from time to time because it’s like one of those great movie scenes you never forget. It’s the reason you watch the movie in the first place, the part you can’t wait to get to and when you catch it on televsion, you hope you haven’t missed it yet. If you haven’t read it, I sincerely suggest looking it up. It’ll probably only take you a minute or so to read and you’ll be glad you did. Because after the bullet pierces Anders head and you start learning about all the things he doesn’t remember compared to what he does (the second before he dies) you’re forced to examine your own past. Things that may have seemed buried and forgotten are suddenly here again, forcing you to relive it, to acknowledge its existence.

It’s incredible that something that can be carried on the wind or captured in a bottle has the power to remind us, to awaken us. To shake ourselves out of the present and remember something our consciousness might’ve thought to forget. Scents are powerful. Or, in  Anders case, a bullet. But I’d rather not rely on the latter.

 

Which Post Was This Again?

I know I should probably write a new post and I’ve started about half a dozen but then I got distracted with the television or Batman or Batman talking about what’s on the television and they all sort of morphed into two paragraphs of oh, I’ll come back and finish this later. And I meant to, but then I would start a new post because some other amazing thought entered my mind and surely, the rest of the world (or the handful of you) would need to know about that instead. And now, I can’t decide which of these AMAZING topics is the one I should write about next. And only a handful of them are typed up because I wrote most on pieces of paper that are no longer in my purse or in the car where I left them since all the brilliant ideas come to me on my hour commute to work. Because that’s when I have time to think.

Or in important meetings when I should be focused on my job responsibilities and I’m doodling pictures of creatures from my stories and coming up with vast histories of their people and struggles and what they do in extreme weather. It’s really hard for me to focus on things I don’t give a shit about. I have to force myself to listen, to really pay attention and then my mind drifts again and I muse over how I have to force myself to do things and I wonder if that’s a trait from my family or my zodiac. And by the time I realize I’ve drifted for who knows how long, I force myself to listen again, but instead, I wonder if the speaker has the same issues about paying attention or if they’re even interested in being here either and what they were like as a kid and how many siblings they have.

It’s not ADHD, because I don’t believe in that. I think we like to just name things that people tend to have in common. And it’s not that I can’t keep a straight thought—because I can. It’s just one thought leads to another and then another and sometimes it wraps back around on itself, and other times we end up talking about the rare white bat when you asked me about the weather. That’s how conversations work. They keep moving. And for writers, that can be extremely difficult when you need to keep focus. So I’ll have all these great post ideas/thoughts/questions and they travel onto different topics and I’ll forget what the original thesis was because now that I’m writing about how much I like ice-cream, I’m thinking about dessert and how my teacher taught us the trick to spelling desert vs dessert. (It’s Sahara desert vs Strawberry Shortcake by the way. One S for desert. Two S’s for dessert. Batman had a different method of remembering and therefore he is wrong.)

So I guess this is my next post. It’s not as awesome as the handful of other ones I started writing but there may still be hope for them yet. At least I was able to finish this one. And park correctly. Some people can’t say the same.

Um... am I missing something?

Um… am I missing something?

They remembered the visor, jut not to pull all the way in.

They remembered the visor, jut not to pull all the way in.

Huh.

I’m A Melting Clock

I can’t wake up today.

Everything is blurry and sort of happening and I think I’m at work right now, but I might still be in bed, dreaming all this. Although, I’m pretty sure I’ve interacted with people because none of them have been Ryan Gossling. Yet.

*sigh*

Even with Georgie (my car) stalling on me TWO times this morning and the THREE cups of coffee I’ve downed, I should be awake. I should be on my game, ready to face slam this Monday into next month but I got dropped in the first five seconds after Batman’s alarm went off. I’m out cold, too dead to crawl out of the ring and back into bed. And I’m not even there yet. I’m here, at work, trying to play the part of the normal functioning employee and not the grotesque slug I’ve morphed into.

I’m in a conscious coma.

It’s not like I went to bed later than usual last night. I stayed up for Game of Thrones (woohoo!) but my body is just mush; a glob of mash potatoes when I’m normally a fry. How am I going to make it through the rest of the day? It’s Monday, yeah I get it. But everything is stretching and dripping and in an extensive existence of just YYYAAAWWWNNN.

I’m a melting clock.

And this is what I think about: on days like today, when I walk around to get the blood flowing, so I can remain semi-awake and not face-plant on my desk from this conscious coma syndrome, I worry today will be wasted. Not because I’m a less than stellar employee (they should know that by now) but because I’m worried I won’t have the energy to write. Or do something productive when I get home. I’m worried I’ll take a nap. WORRIED OVER A NAP. People are starving and half naked and shacked up in igloos and third world shacks and I’m worried I’ll take a nap. That I won’t have the energy to start on the third draft which I need to do because I’m too damn responsible and already reached out to my editor. I’ll be sending my manuscript to her in a month. A MONTH. There’s no time for naps. No time for melting clocks and three cups of coffee and car stalls. There’s only time for writing and rewriting and more editing and another run through. Oh and working on my website (which should be ready here soon!) and writing this blog and spending time with Batman and eating cereal and Lean Cuisines and watching Game of Thrones.

And writing.

But I’m a melting clock today.

There’s no real reason for this post except that I wrote it to stay awake. And that I’m scared of taking naps. And that I’m too responsible for my own good. And that I have a caffeine addiction which MAY be catching up to me now. And to call out Georgie on also falling asleep today.

One of us has to be the adult, here.

Gossamer

I woke up with one word in my head: gossamer.

Gossamer: a fine, filmy cobweb seen on grass or bushes or floating in the air in calm weather; an extremely delicate variety of gauze, used especially for veils; fine spider silk.

There are a few details I remember from my dream last night before Batman’s wonderful screeching alarm alerted us to the new day: I was in a fitting room wearing a very pretty ivory gown that swooshed when I walked over pinkish-peach carpet. There was an old-time automobile repair shop next door with a man in overalls and a red fire truck and a dark purple sunset over the town. And the word gossamer.

I have the weirdest dreams. At times they mean absolutely nothing — just gargled information that seeps past the conscious and burrows deep into my brain like indigestion, only to rise again with no real purpose. But sometimes dreams hold the secret; wisdom I try to grasp in my subconscious knowing that when I wake, the answer will slip from my head and I’ll spend the entire day trying to remember the epiphany I wanted so much not to forget because it was the answer. The answer to what? To it all. To everything.

And I lost it.

But I have gossamer. It was blinding neon silver, a symphony of one note, both the beginning and the end and it was crucial that I remember. Gossamer. And for those of you who think that all dreams mean nothing, just the messed up version of your brain regurgitating crumbly bits of your life — I feel bad for you. You’re lost in this reality and you need to wake up. See the other side for a change, inhale the magic around you. Nothing is coincidence. Nothing is random.

It’s all connected.

Even as I’m sitting here writing this (should be working… but when inspiration strikes…) wanting to know what gossamer really means, Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine comes on Pandora. That means nothing to you but it’s like a shot of adrenaline to my curious mind. Because the cover album for this song is the very image that inspired a certain character’s wardrobe I described as “like the silky strands of a spider’s web.” AS I’m writing about gossamer.

You’re watching me, aren’t you universe? But what are you trying to tell me?

What is it?