Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Little Bit of Writing & A Lot Less Sleep

"Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it, because nobody else will."
-Tyler from the movie "Remember Me"

Now would you look at that.  I'm posting again, and it's barely been only a week.

Contain yourselves, people.  Calm down.  Take a breath.  It's only me.

Nothing too fabulous to report, I'm afraid.  At least on the writing front.

I've been trying to do some writing - any writing - these days, but the magical mojo that filled me with previous stories and blog posts has gone on vacation somewhere, and I don't know when it'll be coming back.

I've been doing a little writing here and there.  A couple words here, a sentence or two there.  Nothing fluid.  Nothing real.

I guess the biggest thing I did was while I was at my mother's over the weekend.  Insomnia took hold so I wasn't going to bed until almost sunrise and then getting maybe four hours of sleep a night.

Random babble for a moment, but... I hate it when people blame me for my insomnia.  Perhaps, in a sense, yes - there is something that I can do to help it away, but at the moment, I haven't found what that thing is.  Instead, I lay in bed completely awake and tired all at the same time.  If I could do anything about it, I would.  But alas, I'm at a loss.  And then there are those people that seem to know when they hear of my insomnia what the answer is.  Do you have insomnia?  No.  Then shut the frak up!  You don't have it so you don't know.  I've tried teas, pills, stretches, meditation, silence, etc.  If I had a nickel for every time someone said, "Just turn the lights off, lay down, and close your eyes", I'd be Oprah-rich.  Really?  Close my eyes?  Is that all I have to do?  Well, thank you citizen for doing your part to help mankind.  Now run along and spread your stupidity somewhere else... far FAR away from ME!

Okay, done with my random babbling.  Thank you for indulging me.  Where was I?

Ahhh yes, I killed someone.

Usually at my mother's there is so much going on, I barely have time to read much less write.  Last year when I did NaNoWriMo, I couldn't write at all at my mother's.  November is a bad month in general since it's also my birthday month as well as Thanksgiving.  Where is there time to write with all that going on?  Also my mother and her husband don't have wifi so it was difficult to update my status for the event even if I did write anything.

So it was a surprise to me when I whipped open the laptop, took out my notes, plugged into my Pandora account (thank you iPhone)... and wrote.

Well, more like fixed. 

I had been working on the story for my "wheels" story blog, but always came up against a wall and ended up stopping.  I did that a lot.  This story is a lot like a bad traffic jam.  Start.  Stop.  Start.  Stop.

The story itself was in pieces.  I had started it at the office of a job I was doing for a month or so during breaks and slow down time.  I printed up what I did and took it home and tried to work on it there.  I changed some things, wrote a little more.

Gawd, I was moving along at a snail's pace.  Slower than a snail.  Snails were whizzing by me, giving me the finger and mocking me as they passed.

I'm marvelling at the fact that I got any writing done at all at my mother's, but there I sat, story open on the minibook staring at the part where the dude finds his woman dead at home.  It was there that I had blanked out, as if my brain did not want to PASS GO and collect $200... or in my case, the rest of the damn story.

So at whatever-o'clock-in-the-morning, I fleshed out the scene where he comes home and finds her.  I got as far as him staying elsewhere due to his home being a crime scene and the cops keeping him updated on what they found, checking out alibis and all that.

Now I just have to string it along into a serial murder.


So yes, I finally killed the woman (which took FOREVER), but now I have to kill more people and link it all together.  How the hell am I going to do that?

Aside from killing women, old stories have been popping into my head asking me to play with them.  While mentally having tea with these old ideas, I tried to concentrate on the serial murder bit so I could finish the story and feel accomplished and all that.  So far that story is like 6 or 7 pages, and I haven't gotten to the serial part of it.

But my other stories, one in particular (my old novel "Chloe"), has been knocking on my door with an "I will not be ignored" kind of demeanor.  So... I whipped out my notebook and pen and started doodling.  Doodles became words, and I wrote something of a scene.  I also have ideas on how to change things to make a little more sense.

And there it is... writing at my mom's.  It all happened I think either on the day before or the day of Thanksgiving, and the moment didn't last long, but I wrote.

Yay me!  (happy dance for minor accomplishment)

The magical mojo has slipped once again.

I also thought about writing something for a contest my friend Maggie C. sent me.  She sent it earlier in the month, but I got it later than that (just because I didn't see it in my email... yeah, I suck).  She sent it saying "Because you have awesome voice."  Admittedly that made me smile, and I read up on the prompt ideas and thought of some stuff, but I don't know.  The deadline is tomorrow night by midnight, so... we'll see.

In the meantime, hopefully things in my life will improve and be less of a distraction to my writing... among other things.  I'm hoping something happens this week.  That would be splendid.  Really, really splendid.

All right, I think that's enough for now.  I shall check y'all later.  Hope your lives are all kinds of wonderful.  xoxoxoxo

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Welcomed Distraction From My Downward Spiral

"I want to learn how to blow shit up with my mind."
-Freaky Student from the movie "Accepted" 

I just had the most lovely day.

Why?  Let me give you a hint.
Subtle, eh? Subtle... and delicious!
Yes.  Yesterday was my birthday (although according to Kathy W., it isn't the next day until the sun comes up... and it's still dark).

Regardless, I had a lovely birthday.

For one solid day (and a little bit the night before - thanks again to Kathy W. and Steve C.) I had a stress-free day.  (I think everyone's birthday should be stress-free.  No drama.  No difficulties.  No fighting.  Just all around fun, fun, fun.  Nothing better than smiles, laughs and awesomesauce good times.)

Birthday niceties started early afternoon on Saturday when I received a birthday card from my mother in the mail.  It continued later that night at The Cabin with Kathy W. (Steve C. was napping).  I had originally come over for company, cheering up as well as some distraction from the current state of my life.  
Boy do I suck? I'm so out of practice. I seem to be better at Dr. Mario though not by much at present.

We drank, played Tetris Attack, shot the shit and later when Steve C. joined us watched a couple movies ("Dead Guys Don't Wear Plaid" and "Date Night").  When I wasn't paying attention, after midnight, Kathy W. surprised me with a small bowl of yummy ice cream with a "candle" for me to blow out.
Due to lack of candle accessibility, Kathy W. was resourceful and used a toothpick.  It lacked flame staying power, but it remained lit long enough for me to make a wish and blow it out.
Kathy W. also gave me my presents which was an awesome sparkly turtle shot glass and a cute "Zipper Pal" (an adorable blue bunny with my name on it).  She joked that it's just in case in my elderly state I happen to forget my name.  The bunny (which shares my name) keeps watch over my car along with the yellow turtle she got me from her trip to Thailand.

I went home after the last movie was over.  It was still raining which for is extremely happy-making for me.  (I like rain.  I find it peaceful and pretty.)

The plan was to go to catch a double feature at The Retro Dome.  The movies for viewing?

Sunday November 20
2:30pm Time Bandits
4:45pm The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

I'd seen both films years ago (I'm a big Terry Gilliam fan) but hadn't revisited them in a while.

I had set my alarm to wake me a good time before the movie, but the water was off when I woke up (repairing a leak in the sprinkler system in the front yard).  Around this time, Jimbo texted me, and when I mentioned my lack of a shower issue, I was invited to shower at his place.  I got my stuff together, stopped at the gas station to fuel "Libby", and then headed to the "Kitty Compound".  (They have four cats.  It's what I call their place on occasion.)

Per habit, I always knock before I enter, and when I heard "Come in", I opened the door to see Jimbo and Leabo on the couch watching TV.
I saw this message also when I walked in which is directly opposite from the front door.
I bathed (they have an awesome shower) and chatted with them while I got ready.  (I also like Leabo's dryer + diffuser.  Neat!)  While away from my phone, my father called and left a "Happy Birthday" message for me.  (He recently moved to Oklahoma but his place isn't ready yet so he said once his phone and computer were set up, we'd chat.  Shortly after, the caller ID said my brother was calling me so I answered to him and my niece singing me Happy Birthday.  I quickly ran into the living room and put it on speaker because it was so damn cute, I just had to share.

I swear, no sound is better than hearing my niece say "Auntie Rachel".  Ohhh, it just kills me every time.  Add an "I love you" to that, and I just want to grab her and smother her with hugs and kisses.  (Okay, so I already want to do that regardless, but that's beside the point.) 
The cutest little Raggedy-Ann (sans wig) you ever did see!
When I was done chatting with my brother and finished getting ready, I headed out to meet Kathy W. and Steve C. who were treating me to the movies.  A phone call from my mother, soda, nachos, Red Vines, two films and many hugs and birthday wishes later - we parted company.

For me, it was back to Jimbo and Leabo for dinner and TV.  (Kathy W. and Steve C. were also invited but they were tuckered out so opted out to get warm and rest up.)  Jimbo was making dinner (yumtastic pasta).  We all chatted while dinner was prepared.  I thought dinner was the present, but they surprised with a gift.  I got two cards (one that sings, one that doesn't), a Devil May Cry t-shirt (since I am The Devil's Only Daughter) and a pretty scarf Leabo made herself.  After pasta, there was cake (as noted above in my HINT). *grin*

Ahhh yes.  It was such a lovely day.  Much needed whether it was my birthday or not.

Without getting into details that will either bore you or make you want to slit your wrists, I will simply say I haven't had the best of luck lately.  Money's tight, full-time work is scarce, energy levels (as well as positivity levels) are low, and insomnia has been rearing her ugly head again.  All of that stress and some other drama have been making my innards knot up with nausea, and I have spent infrequent moments curled up in the fetal position wishing to hide from the universe until it likes me again.
Dear Universe: Start loving me again, please? Hopefully Yours, Me.
What's worse?  My writing juju seems to have vanished due to the copious amounts of crap I've been dealing with lately.  It's taken my creativity and replaced it with cobwebs and dust mites.


The other night I was at Jimbo and Leabo's place while they were out with Kathy W., Steve C., and some other friends gaming.  (I can't recall if it's Star Wars or D&D... or if they're still playing both on alternate weeks.  Or I may be getting that mixed up with some of my other friends that also tabletop game two games alternatively week to week.  I don't know.  I don't play tabletop RPG's all that often so I could just be remembering things incorrectly or clumping them all into one big gaming memory.)

In any case, I sat alone in their condo enjoying the peace and quiet, trying to work on some writing.

As you can guess, nothing really came of it.  Hell, even this post has been like pulling teeth.  I've started and restarted and re-restarted, but it's been a few days already.

Can anyone say SHEESH?!?!

I am currently working on a few things...
  • The main thing is a short story for my Wheels-o-Wonder page.  Still working out the death scene, but it's coming together.  Not sure how long it'll be in the end.  (How many pages is a short story usually?)
  • Then there's the "Chuck" piece that I've been working on and for some reason is taking FOREVER to come together in my head.  And to add to the sadness that it's the show's last season (the two-hour season finale title and airdate have been announced already), Hulu has been having licensing issues so I've only seen the first episode.  I think I have found alternate means but we shall see how that pans out.
  • My first novel (not the one I did for NaNoWriMo last year) has been creeping back into my mind.  I suppose Chloe (main character) has some ideas she wants to run by me.
  • There's also another thing I've started.  I really shouldn't have though nothing much has come of it at the moment.  I had created two character names (one a while ago, one recently) that I wanted to use in something but they didn't seem to fit into anything I've already established.  I'd originally thought I'd make both characters girls, but I've ended up at present making one a girl and one a boy.  They'd been poking my brain wanting to come out, so I wrote a little scene (using a planner a friend gave me that has "story starter" lines posted at the first of every month).  So far it's just a quick blurb but at least it's something.

Still, I'd like to finish the first story where I've just killed the wife but it's slower than molasses after that.  (I'm not good at conspiracies, I don't think... at least not in writing.)

The peace and quiet was very much appreciated, but I have nothing to show for it.  It's like I'm under some spell that I can't break.  I can hear my muses yelling at me, poking me with their ideas, but the more I try to reach them, the more my head hurts.

Perhaps that's the reason I've been getting headaches and migraines lately...

I had made a goal a few years back to be "published" by my 35th birthday.  The closer to my goal's due date, it looked more and more like things weren't going to pan out.  That doesn't mean I'm not going to stop trying.


So yeah.  The day I just had was a well-appreciated, much-needed vacation from the never-ending downward spiral which has been my life as of late.  I really hope it ends and ends SOON!!!  Like, oh I don't know... NOW?

It'd be nice if the universe took my birthday as an example of what I'd like my life to be like.  (Pretty please?  With sugar on top?  I'll be your best friend.)
"Help you I can! Yes! Mm!"
I would like to thank all my loved ones for all their texts, tweets, Facebook messages, kind words and sweet gestures that made today simply splendid. 

I would also like to thank you for all the love and support you've given me in these recent trying times.

I love and appreciate you and are so lucky to have each and everyone in my life.

Much love, hugs and blessings to all y'all!
Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'd Like a Coping Mechanism on the Rocks, Please?

"We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life."
~C-3PO from Star Wars (1977)

Happy post-Halloween! 

I have candy!  I have bad skin!  I have a figure that would disgust a bovine!

Where the frak did that come from?

Anyway, I am currently in my room, ass slothily planted on the bed, my cat sitting on the bed with me.  I've got a lot on my mind (and shoulders) lately, and I'm trying to keep things under control.  So far I think I'm doing a good job keeping it together.  But really, there's only so much one gal can take.

I mean, I'm a BAMF for criminey sakes!!!
Don't frak with me or I'll bitchslap you like a headcrab!
Ever since the company I worked for many, many moons ago closed, I've been on a whirlwind of various dramas and stresses, and I wish things would just level out, you know?

In the midst of all this stuff I have to deal with (the most recent being my car - had to change out the battery), I keep thinking back on my writing and how I haven't really done anything.  I have one story blog left to update, and it feels like it's taking forever.  I was feeling so damn productive and then boom! - I have hit a wall.

I got stuck on how someone should die since per the prompt it was supposed to not be a random death but linked to something bigger.  Did I want her found dead at home or on the road on the way home?

Decisions, decisions...

Finally deciding on WHERE she will die, I just need to compile the HOW and the link to the other thing.

Yeah, check me out.  All kinds of vague and stuff.

I still need to figure out the bigger picture, but it's proving to be difficult.  Also my brain wants to turn this into something odd and possibly creepy, but I think I want to keep it relatively normal.  Meh, we'll see where things end up.

This is my "thinking" face.  One of MANY.
Having so much on my plate makes it difficult to focus on just one thing.  It feels like that variety act gig where the dude spins the plates on the end of poles, and he has to keep them spinning else they fall and break.
Hells yeah I have a potty mouth!  And?
Yeah, that's how it feels, but the reality of it is that I really don't give a shit if I break a dish.  (Yeah, that's right I said shit.  Problem?)

There are things that help me through my darker moments. 

(left to right) Kathy, Janise and Alithea - October 2011

My kitty...
Nimitz (as in from David Weber's Honorverse, except my kitty's a girl)
50-caliber machine guns (Aw hell yeah!)

I have a wide variety of literary interests.
I only wear the mask on special occasions.
Recently I found out that The Bloggess is now following me on twitter which makes me a little giddy since I think she's fabulous and funny.  We should totally be friends.  (So that was a little pick me up!) 

Kind of like when after taking my picture with Mulan at Disneyland several years ago, she said, "Have a nice day, Princess!"  (Yeah, it's kind of like that.)
Tee hee! Mulan called me "Princess"! *nerdsquee*
Today was a bit of a surprise since when I got home, I found a letter from my niece and sister-in-law waiting for me.  (Actually the letter was from my sister-in-law, the decorated envelope and other artwork was courtesy of my niece.) 

See? It's says "Auntie Rachel". (That's me!)
Either way, I can't help but smile where my niece is concerned.
Oh the cuteness!!! I just can't take it!!! (kisses image on screen)
Back to writing...

Usually when I'm bummed, those moments result in some really cool poetry.  When bummed turns to pissed, I've been known to write some serious "FUCK YOU!" stuff, but lately the well has run dry.  Some minor writing's happened, but nothing complete.  Just an idea here or there.  A few words.  Nothing much.

Yeah yeah... I'm sad, too.

I did figure something out in regards to an assassin character I had in mind.  It was a minor bit (regarding her wardrobe and its significance to the character... like why Bruce Wayne chose bats - that sort of thing), but that's nothing big.

I keep thinking of my novel.  I mean, here it is NOVEMBER, and I'm frakked!  I had that whole goal of being published by my 35th birthday, and guess what?  It's in 19 days.  (I don't see that goal happening.)

Alfred (trying to sound encouraging): Why do we fall-?
Me: (grumbling and shaking ice in an otherwise empty tumbler) Oh shut up and pour.

Oh alcohol.  Thank you for the temporary band-aid with which your magical elixirs provide.  Now quick.  Another round before reality sets back in.

I feel slightly accomplished with my story blog stuff so that's not too bad.  Granted I'm pseudo "publishing" myself via the internet, but that wasn't the goal to begin with.  Still, I've almost reached my goal regardless of all of life's distractions.  And I'm also working on adding a menu bar to this blog and making it so you (the lovely awesome reader who loves my stuff, reads it all the time, and cries out for more... or something like that) can find everything in one place. 

My friend Jess is helping me with some coding/layout/formatting issues.
Everyone say "Hi Jess!" (And not only is that a Rockstar, she's also happy to see you.)

The minibook I'm using at home runs on Linux and for some reason doesn't like anything I try to do.  Jess and I seemed to be in the same ballpark finally when it came to my main page, and we talked a little Sunday about it, but blogger as a whole seems to be frakkin me without so much as buying me a drink beforehand.

Bad blogger!  No manners!  You kiss your internet with that kind of mouth?  Sheesh!

I changed templates, tried to make my page look like my original page but now I can't see things as well as I used to or font choices are linked together instead separate per section you're working on...

And to top it off?  I had a moment at work so out of curiosity, I logged on to my page to see how it looked and some dimensions were off.  Some of the tabs decided to do their own thing.  Then error messages happened no saving stuff.

Really?  Really blogger?  Do you want me to hate you?  Do you want me to kill you?  Cuz I will.  I can SO choke a bitch.  Stop workin' my last nerve.  I will cut you! 

Now I've purged that dialogue from my system... (rolls eyes with apologies)

I'm hoping for some happy this week.  I'm hoping for some big happy that leads to more happy because I need it.  I deserve it.  I want this happy to evolve into security and who know? - perhaps further on into success.  That would be wonderful.

In the meantime, I'm still reeling from the text I got from my friend Margrit (aka Seester) tonight.
Dee Dee!!! (she knows what it means)
The lovely Margrit hates technology.  She's used computers, etc, in the past, but she's not into getting the new gadgets of the moment.  She had a pager for the longest time when I first met her, and she even hated that.  Now she has a phone and needs it for practical reasons.  Every once in a while if put in front of a computer, she will zone out on YouTube or something, but overall, she has no love for the technology world.

Like me?  I have techno-joy (to quote Eddie Izzard).  I will admit that I am not completely tech-savvy (hence the enlistment of Jess's awesome computer aide), but I like computers and game consoles and cell phones and digital cameras and GPS devices, etc, etc, etc.  Do I need all of the tech out there?  No.  But I can admire it and think its cool and nerd out about it.  Since I like computers and the internet, I have become my Seester's internet connection.  If something happens via Facebook or email, etc, and it's pertinent to her (like a party with our friends or something), I am to call her and let her know.  (Yes "call".  She doesn't text either... though she has been "once in a blue moon'ing" lately.)

But the text I got tonight?  She is now on Facebook.

Wait.  Did you feel that?  I believe hell hath frozen over.

Margrit: What is your Facebook account?  I'm on it now.
Me: (I text back my first and last name thinking "duh!" as I do so)
Margrit: Do you have a profile pic?
Me: Yes. Me in black next to an angel statue.  (<=== which it was at the time)
Margrit: Find me on Facebook. (she gives me her name)

When I got that text, I literally looked at my phone and said, "I know your name."  Then I found her and texted her, "Found you.  Friend request sent."  Then I noticed not only does she not have a profile pic, her profile is quite bare.  So I sent her a message asking if this was her, and she (or someone) wrote back yes.  I'm wondering how she could reply to my message and not accept my friend request?

Meh, it's late.  I'm sure it'll right itself soon.

Speaking of late, this post has turned as melty as an acid trip without the tabs.  I think I'm going to turn in and try to get some sleep before work tomorrow.  Hopefully my dreams will bring me good things that leave me well rested and morning smiles.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong. -Unknown Author
Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!