Words Are Hard

Writer, Messenger, and Professional Weirdo

Tag Archives: don’t look for substance here

It’s been too long *sadface*

I’ve been re-reading The Hobbit.  I don’t know why.  Papa Tolkien and I have never actually gotten along, prose wise.  I love the stories, but my armor class is useless against Giant Walls of Text and I usually end up KOed by the first page and then I miss out on the loot while the rest of the party dances on the corpses of the R-O-U-S and since this is my game we’re talking about, they probably also burned down an orphanage without me.  The bastards.

No, it …it really is like that.

The Hobbit is easy though.  I can handle The Hobbit.  And if I keep telling myself that, it might actually turn out to be true.

/salute Hobbit!  I enjoyed your latest cinematic endeavor and look forward to listening to the geek chorus whine about your movie continuity all over again a year from now.  And by geek chorus, I mean my husband.

Advertisements

Lazy Days

I knew I was in trouble when…

By time you get around to reading this I’ll be on my way to Canada! I’m very excited and will have many pictures to upload by the time I get home, I’m sure. I have twelve (12!!!) days off and they have been sorely needed. I’ve been writing, research-reading (and some fun reading), and working pretty much non-stop for over a month now and with the exception of starting to build a mansion in Rift I haven’t gotten a lot of “me” time. Granted, since I’m traveling with family, I won’t get much time to myself, but I think I’m okay with that. I think.

Oh and that mansion I mentioned?  I may have been working on that a leeetle too much in my downtime. I’m not even halfway done and I love it. Rift, what hast thou done!?

Since I’m not feeling like doing anything resembling work right now, let me show off what I’ve got so far!  I say “so far” because only a small fraction of the thing is done.  The first floor needs to be finished before I move to the second and I’m still a ways away from finishing the first floor.

Read more of this post

Freedom!

I have completed the gauntlet that is the end of July and the beginning of August! A winner is me! My voice is cracking, and I’ve spent the majority of that time battling a migraine, but I managed to not call in and will have about 38 hours of overtime pay coming to me on Thursday. Now I have two glorious days off before heading back to my regular four days on. Once I get through those I have vacation! Twelve days, most of which will be spent in Stratford, Canada, watching the Stratford Shakespeare Company do their thing. And then it’s back to my normal four on, four off with however much overtime I want to pick up in between.

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to it.

But today is my Friday! Which means I get to come home and transcribe the new Chapter One. I’m actually mostly happy with the way it turned out. It needs some tweaking, of course, but that I can do on the rebound. I also threw together a possible prologue, but I’m not sure if I’m going to use it as a prologue or a flashback, since it would work both ways. I am stupidly happy with how it turned out, so I may toss it out here to see how people react. We’ll see if I’m still happy about it when I get it transcribed into a computer.

The problem with working as much as I have is handwriting things. When I’m up, the words don’t wait for me to get home to a keyboard I can actually use for the Project. As a result, my wrist is a bit sore. Oddly enough, my throat isn’t sore, I’m just losing my voice. That should make the raid tomorrow night interesting (I can raid!).

But first things first: Sleep. I haven’t gotten as much of that as I’ve wanted to the past couple weeks. And tonight? Real, honest to goodness, cooked food. Nom.

Oh, and guess what I found on sale at Walgreens last night?

It works! And it cost less than half what I was expecting to pay for it!

Considering it’s a cheep knockoff brand, I don’t expect it to last long, but hey – it works for now so I’ll take it.  This is my cheap “Congrats on nearly working yourself to death” present to myself.  My more expensive “Congrats on nearly working yourself to death” present will happen when PayPal gets off its duff and finishes recognizing that money exists.

Life Is Sorta Funny

I’m trying very hard to stop flaking on this writing thing, but it’s sorta difficult.  Apart from making snarky posts about my work-life, what have I been up to?

Not a whole heck of a lot, really.  I mean, I’ve been working.  Yours truly is now a supervisor and if THAT doesn’t fill you will fear and dread, then you may need to get your doom meter checked.  It’s just one of the many reasons I haven’t been able to really DO anything.  I’m winding down my only day off this week while writing this and when I wake up tonight I have a whole six days back on, two of which are thirteen hour shifts.  It’s also been somehow busier than normal so every day I leave work wanting to punch kittens.

Did I mention I quit smoking in April?  I’ve been on the razor edge of a relapse for the past two weeks now.  I still have some of the medication I took to help me stop, but it makes me very ill so it’s not really an option at this point since I haven’t called into work in over two years and I’m not about to start now.  So far, so good though.

So LOTS of reading has been happening and up until yesterday I was on a sorta kinda forced sabbatical from The Project.  The beginning has been throwing me left, right, and center and I think, given a little bit of poking (and prodding from the spousal unit), that I know how to fix it.  So yippee!  I get to do that this week – maybe.  Writing at work isn’t really an option unless I’m writing by hand (ow ow ow ow), so we’ll see how much inspiration I have after coming home from a night of not being able to strangle nurses who think calling before the body is actually ready is a good thing.

But all that being said: Hooray for upswings!  The fun part about being me is that I have a very, very mild type of mood roller-coaster.  I was diagnosed manic depressive before it became known as bipolar, but I don’t really think of myself as bipolar because it’s been so long since that diagnosis was handed down and things have changed (like puberty – puberty happened).  I’ve gotten very good at picking out when the downswing hits and when the upswing starts so when I’m feeling crappy and teary and whiny for no good reason and I can’t find plot for love nor money, I can recognize it.  It doesn’t make it better, per se, but at least I know that it’ll pass.

I just started the climb back up the coaster so I’ve got at least a month or two (if I’m lucky) of productive good times before I dive back down into the miasma of self loathing.  The medication I’m on isn’t strong, so it takes the edge off, but that’s about it.  I don’t get as high, but I also don’t get as low, so it evens out and, frankly, I’m lucky.  It could be much, much worse.

Anyway, babble babble babble, and apart from sorting the beginning of the story out somewhat, I’ve also got a new set of plot bunnies in the back of my head.  Technically, I suppose, they’re old plot bunnies, but like all things, I finally have a plot to go with the characters.  I started up that bible (lower case ‘b’) last week so maybe when I’m done with this book I can take a break from The World Outside and throw together something (not sure what – whether short-ish novella/story or novel) about lesbians in the circus.  There might also be vampires involved because I don’t like vampires much these days, so if I get to make life hell for a pair of them (the vampires, not the lesbians), I’m going to take that opportunity.

So I’ve been scrambling for books about both the circus and technical theater and in doing so, completely and totally forgot that I’d promised the spousal unit that I’d beta his former student’s sci-fi novel.  There’s also a book a co-worker lent me, as well as a newly acquired steampunk story with skypirates in it, Let The Right One In, and a couple other books recommended to me by way of this post that I wrote back when I didn’t have anything on my plate.

I need to learn how to read faster.

It would also help if this game weren’t so much fun. Nothing free should be this addicting.

Why Wasn’t There A Post Yesterday?

WoWScrnShot_061113_021241

I

Brave

Have

WoWScrnShot_061813_064702

No

See you Wednesday!

Ack!

Since I started this blog last month I had a good buffer of posts ready to go, but it appears time has finally decided to get down and truly be a terrible, fleeting thing so that buffer has run out. You may have noticed that Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are post days generally. Oh noes! It’s Thursday already and I have nothing for Friday!

So here, because the proverbial black eyes I asked for are starting to roll in: a rant on feedback, inspired by one too many writers going off the way wrong way after getting constructive criticism. Also notes to self because I’m going to need it in the coming weeks here. I cannot swear enough, people.

After reading the feedback our “friends” gave us: I HATE EVERYTHING

Getting feedback – real, very critical feedback – is a lot like working out (I imagine – I’m sort of allergic to working out). It can leave you feeling like you’ve just taken a good crowbar to the gut. You get the wind knocked out of you because you find out you’re not half as clever as you thought you were and all those funny little moments that you thought were genius actually weren’t. You want to curl up into a ball and cry and never, ever let anyone read anything you write ever again. In fact, you don’t even want to write anymore because OBVIOUSLY WE’RE JUST NOT ANY GOOD AT IT.

The reality is more complicated. Stick with me here. The beta readers are on your side. Unless they’re total asshats in which case they’re not going to be helpful and need to be ditched ASAP. I wish I had an easy to spot solution for finding out who is trying to help and who is just worthless, but I don’t.

And after the workout you’re sore. Your ego hurts. It hurts because this is your baby. You have spent days, months, years, a lifetime of anguish to get these words onto the page(screen). We suffer for our art. Even comedians are drawing the funny from a very dark well. These words are a part of who you are. The story is, in some primal way, your life and to have someone point out that maybe it’s not quite as solid as you thought hurts in an almost physical way.

But hey, we’re all adults here. We’ve been hurt before – it’s what led us to do what we do. I hate being told that, as a writer, I need to have a thick skin. I know this get off my case and let me sob into my beer gawd!

Ahem. Let’s assume that people are generally good. This is difficult for me so you’ll have to bear with me. I’m sort of a misanthrope. So somehow I have to convince myself that getting critical feedback is a lot less like getting beaten to a bloody pulp by a gang of forty and more like this:

After the sore, if you keep at it, you start seeing results. You’re story starts toning up. It starts building muscle. And it starts lookin’ good. Your beta readers are the gym baby and after awhile you start to feel like dancing because you have all the energy and there’s a healthy glow about you and you’re ready to face the WORLD!

HERE IS MY BOOK WORLD! READ IT! READ! ALL SHALL LOVE ME AND DESPAIR! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

And it all comes crashing down after one stupid review on Amazon, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet, so my delusions, let me keep them.

Anyway! Coming up on Sunday I actually do have a post, in honor of Father’s Day. I’m not a fan of this day, generally speaking, but I do have a minor character who is a dad and the idea for the drabble was a cute one (shut up it is) so two plus two equals special post!

Note to self: go through said post and remove spoilers from said drabble, dummy.

Also incoming is a review (!!!). While I’ve definitely done some heavy-handed critique (my snark can get pretty epic, but I only break that out for people I know very well because generally speaking, they ask for it and give as good as they get *see above creys*), I’ve never done, like, a review before. I finished The Pull by Rob White last night at work, enjoyed it, and I’ve got some digesting to do before I get some thoughts together about it but really quickly: if you’re looking for something fun to read in your down time, definitely check it out.

I think that’s your lot.

Wait no. Have a Sassy Dancing Ood:

Now we’re done.

So I Turned 18 on Monday Apparently

Oh noes!

Mostly the natural color – it’s been that way for six (!) years. Normally I’m a medium to light brunette. A friend put some (very subtle) highlights in.

Except for the part where I didn’t.  I mean, I did get older, but I didn’t turn 18.  Add a decade …and some.  I just, y’know, had fun with hair dye.  My mother made the comment awhile back when I first bought this and stated I hadn’t done anything like that since high school.  She’s wrong.  The weirdest color I’ve ever dyed my hair was dark eggplant purple, no bleach, so it looked like a dark burgundy wine color.  Fun, but not exactly out there, if you catch my meaning.

But my hair is the longest it’s ever been and I sort of love it, so I want to have fun with it.  I promised myself that I’d do something fun with my hair once I finished the first draft of The World Outside.  Once I got it into the hands of beta readers.  Well, that happened.  So, since I was getting older, I decided to go blue. 😀

This, I am told by society, is not what a proper adult woman in her late 20s (okay okay early 30s) does with her life.

Oh gods!

I’m surprised that I didn’t even use the second bottle, but it’s good that I have it for future use.

Bugger society.

For real.

But I will admit that this sort of thing is scary if you’ve never done it before.  Oh god!  I have to go to work tonight too!!1!  What if I fry my hair and it all falls out!?

That isn’t what happened.  To be honest I’m not sure what color it’s turned out.  It’s still wet, I don’t have a hair dryer, and I spent the past hour and a half scrubbing the bathtub because blue dye is awesome like that.  *falls over*

If it’s too dark I’ll probably wait for it to fade and then go nuts with the bleach.

So why go about telling you all this?  Because I can and because it’s not often I do silly impulsive things like this, so enjoy your WTF while  you can.

……………………..Okay so two hours later how did it turn out?  Meh, not bad:

Eek

Yeah, that’s a filter. Too bad. I am not at all photogenic.

It’s exactly what I wanted, which is a dark navy blue in sunlight and black/really dark brown in indoor light.  This saves me some uncomfortable questions at work.  Though, I am thinking that this turning out the way I wanted means I will probably use more bleach and a brighter blue next time.  We’ll see.

Catharsis

ca·thar·sis

[kuh-thahr-sis]

noun, plural ca·thar·ses [kuh-thahr-seez]

1. the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
2. Medicine/Medical , purgation.

3. Psychiatry.

a. psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects.
b. discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition.

From here.  In relation to where I’m going with this, what I’m talking about is FEELING ALL THE FEELINGS EVER FELT IN THE ENTIRE WORLD AT ONCE.

Which is pretty much how my whole week has been going.  How’s your week been?

Essentially it’s started out like this:  Hi!  It’s June, which puts me in the interesting and uncomfortable position of going to my beta readers and poking them on the shoulder asking them to maybe give me a little bit of feedback.  In other words, to reword my post into something more polite and send it off in an email to the list of like eleven who asked to read the currently raw manuscript.

And I have to do this because while I’d love to be able to, I really can’t afford to have a professional structural edit done.  Especially since a copy edit is not really optional (it is but it isn’t) and I’m looking to get some cash to my cover designer by the end of this month.

So that’s fun.

But every time I open up my email program this happens:

I think we’ve already gone over how easy it is for me to use reaction gifs.

It is literally exactly that.  I stare at it for about thirty seconds and close the window with a “NOPE!” face to rival NOPE faces.  I don’t want to bother people, even though the rational part of me knows better.  I have been told as much by the very people I’m terrified of bothering.  That doesn’t change the visceral reaction.

So I guess this post is more me working through how to get over myself and, y’know, bug the people who put themselves into a position to be bothered.  And I’m sure that, by the end of June (which was my deadline for myself because if I haven’t gotten something by then…) I’ll have finished feeling feelings and have a few less cares to give.  Hopefully that promised relief will come.

But.

Five times now I’ve sat down to do this necessary thing and five times I’ve immediately turned into Nathan Lane in The Birdcage.

Now did I say that just so I could link this .gif? The world may never know.

So it could go either way, really.

I fully accept that I am a complete and total pansy.  You guys should see the posts that don’t get published.  I have many many opinions, and many of them expressed with more four letter words than can be found on the Jolly Roger.  Blessing in disguise for you guys, really.

Of course, that could change once I get comfortable with the idea of saying things that might be wrong holy crap.

You keep using that word…

A Place To Call Home

*cracks knuckles*

I mentioned the last post that short stories are not my strong suit, so I’m taking the opportunity while in hurry up and wait mode to practice.  And because I now have a soapbox from which to proclaim all my lovely thoughts and feelings, you get to read my bungling attempts at this stuff too.

Lucky you!

Read more of this post

jerry-mahoney.com

Author, ranter, dad

allmostrelevant

Want to see what an Instagram with no pictures looks like? @allmostrelevant

borough of lost boys

creative non-fiction. pursuit of truth.

Craplandia

4 out of 5 people like crap, so crap is what I shall show.

Curiouser

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Follow The Pull

The official site of author Rob White and The Pull series

Ben's Bitter Blog

"We make bitter better."

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

She turns coffee into books so she can afford to buy more coffee. And more books.