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The Published-Land is So Far Away

Think about writing.

Think about writing….

Still thinking about writing….

Hear inspirational things about doing what you love to do and willfully making yourself do it.

Mental jabs at self for not writing.

Trying to convince myself I haven’t abandoned my fictional Blog of Rog as I try to decide what direction to take it, whether or not I want to revamp the outlook, and what I want to do to make it fresh again.

But here’s where I’m getting hung up right now: I know the first stuff you write to completion doesn’t normally get finalized, published, etc. I want to skip past all that and be able to write something awesome the first time without the grunt-work. Make it look easy, yanno? So I’ve been doing what I’ve done before to my bank account. I’ve avoided it. (I don’t avoid my bank account anymore; I check it at least once a day) I avoided all writing sites, blogs, and other such “kick your ass in gear” things because I know I’ve slacked off on it. So I don’t want to look at it  and be reminded that I’m procrastinating and not getting anything done. Swirling around ideas in your head is important, but they don’t get as fleshed out if the work isn’t put in.

I need to start on something. I need to start a story, see it through to the end, and then go through the refining process; not pressure myself about whether it makes it to the publishable phase or not. I need to get my skills sharpened up.

Here’s the other reason I need to do this. When I’ve been away from writing for too long, I get into a slight funk. Not about everything, but it definitely starts dragging me down.  I know it would make me happy, I know it’s therapeutic, I know it’s good for me, and of course I come up with excuses for not doing it. Most of which are lame like, “I’m tired” or “I’d write but I’m busy watching something.” Don’t get me wrong. I love sleep. Probably more than is natural… But it’s still no excuse for not doing something fun and creative.

I’m still trying to define myself. I’m still in this “in-between” phase where my only goals right now are to try and get to a financial safe-zone while still being able to pay some of my debt away and be able to go out and do something fun a few times a month.

I’ve never really been one for New Year’s Resolutions. But something I need to do for myself this year is to start on a project and work through its obstacles. I want it to be good, I want people to enjoy it, but I also need to allow myself to take some hits on it as well. To put something out there, have people reject it, point out its flaws, and possibly have it never reach the Promised Published-Land, but be a better writer for it. This year, I need to have a learning-project.

  • No NaNo-style craziness
  • Outline is going to be a must
  • No quitting

I’d been thinking about using my “new monster” story, but I feel like I want that one to wait until I’ve got my chops grown in a bit better. That little girl is going places and deserves her story to be done right. I think I’ll start out my idea via some form of flash fiction and go from there.

  • Flash Fiction to see what story I want to write
  • Outline to help figure out where I want the story to go
  • Actually writing and modifying the outline as the story evolves (without letting the story get away from me)

The holidays are over, life’s starting to settle back down (with the exception of a dispute scheduled to be taken care of on Tuesday), and I can start getting things into some kind of order. Gotta stop with the messiness in my apartment and keep it that way. Good habits/routines can help get things done. I still hesitate to call it a “New Year’s Resolution,” those are so easily broken. “My Empty Checkbox” that needs to be filled by the end of the year is to see a writing project through some form of completion (and to keep my world a more tidy place).

Good night!
~P

Omnivore Grazing Amongst Vegans

I just went to a blog about “Real Vegan Recipes” because I like the people I work with. If I bring stuff to share at work, I’d love for everyone to be able to have some. A decent enough number of the staff is vegan/vegetarian and I don’t want to exclude someone because I’m ignorant about vegan dishes.

I google “real vegan recipes” because I know there can be a difference between vegetarian and vegan, click on a link, and am bombarded with “meat is murder” propaganda showing a chick peeking out of a bun w/ cheese and lettuce as well as a leather coat drenched in blood. I wanted recipes and now I’m disgusted by someone w/ an agenda and have to push myself to keep looking.

Now, some of the people I work with went vegetarian/vegan for health reasons. Others for personal beliefs about the treatment of animals. However, they don’t gang up on the meat-eaters (truthfully, omnivores), they don’t try to shove an agenda on you, or any of that nonsense.

I suppose my only issue here is flipping through the google pages trying to find food I can share with my new work friends that everyone can have and being bombarded with meat-is-murder propaganda. It’s really only annoyance, but it sure makes searching for recipes so you can have your vegan friends over much harder when you’re getting berated before you can even get to the recipe section.

To clarify–I am not upset that any of the people I work with are vegan; totally respect it. I am upset about certain internet-people who make it difficult for me to find a welcoming website with vegan recipes.

Now, here’s the google search that gave me less grief and I should have known to enter in the first place:
Vegan recipes for meat eaters.”
Which brought me to this site: http://www.veganmeat.com/
And it’s perfect! Omnivore and Vegan together in harmony! He likes meat dishes and she is strictly vegan. He has compiled a list of recipes that they both enjoy and are up-to-code for vegan-friendliness.

How does this all pertain to the triumphs and turmoils of an aspiring writer? So much of the internet is writing! It’s how you connect with people, it’s how you rally people to your cause, it’s how you inform people–especially with deliciousness.

And, if you do it wrong (or troll), you alienate people. You drive a wedge, lose credibility, and lose readership. No one, meat-eater or vegetarian/vegan, truly delights in seeing animal abuse. Definitely not when you’re looking for a new recipe.

If you’re looking to spread peace, love, and compassion– be peaceful, loving and compassionate and share that with those around you without judgment.

If you’re looking to share amazing vegan recipes to a world where many insist on eating meat, share them in a friendly way. People are not averse to trying a delicious recipe, they are allergic to being told doing anything else makes them a monster. People don’t respond well to being called monsters. They do respond well to “oh, man this shit is DELICIOUS!” And you’ll reach a wider range of people.

My Facebook Sim Writes More than I Do

The discipline of sitting down and writing something every day has gotten wrapped up in me feeling like I need downtime to veg since I’m still in training at the bookstore. I get to learn how to buy from the public soon! I’ve just been learning how to price what we’ve bought from the public. So I’m slowly but surely getting the feel for everything there.

The title has been something I’ve been chuckling at for a while. It was just a matter of time before I wrote this entry.

One of the things I do during my “veg time” is play facebook games. Castle Age is where I have built myself a social group and is the only reason I still play (although my chattiness has gone way down most days. I still feel like I’m settling in to my new job/place/etc.) The other game that hasn’t shaken off due to boredom yet is The Sims Social.

I spend a lot of my energy upping my writing-skill on this game. I write and level-up until I can no longer level on one piece of equipment, then I buy the next one up and level that up until it has been maxed. Lemme tell ya about living vicariously through an avatar! Geebus Ghast! Every time I get her “inspired,” which means she is fulfilled to the max from eating, pooping, hygenic, sleep, socializing, and entertainment, and then I can start her up on her writing. If she’s in the “inspired” state, she makes more money from writing (or doing other creative things such as painting or composing). She gets paid right away and you will soon be looking at the couple grands of “simoleons” (the currency) with which you can buy stuff.

Every time I make her write something, I see that progress bar climb up, and then I’m like “well, hell… I could probably have written a few paragraphs in the amount of time it took my Sim to write complete pieces for money!” And what do I do about it? I visit my friends’ Sims so I can build my energy back up so I can make my Sim write more instead of typing “wordpress” in the address bar and selecting this blog.

I’m fantastic at avoiding doing what I want to do 😛 I’m not entirely sure why that is. I’m sure it’s partly because I’m a bit afraid of completing something and then throwing it to the wolves, trying to get it published. (A new one is finding out whether or not publishing will put me into some kind of competition with a bookstore job. I don’t think it will, but it would still be good to check up on so I can plan accordingly.) I know I am partly afraid because it will expose more of who I am in some way, which is not a bad thing. I’m not ashamed of who I am, but my flaws make me insecure when they come under scrutiny–even though it’s never the end of the world once they’re pointed out. In fact, it’s healthy to unveil them. Name those bastards and they stop being so influential.

My goal for this coming week… and of course, I’ve decided to do this on the week of Thanksgiving when my family’s coming to visit, is to start back up on my daily blog. Rog needs to find out where Grola is and deal with whatever mess has been gotten into! That story will not stay dormant, even though it’s been about a month since I’ve posted to it. I feel better once I’ve written for the day. I just need to stay disciplined and make it my accomplishment-for-the-day. That daily task that, if anything is to be done for the day, it will be that one thing.

I know I’ve had a lot of fun writing the flash fiction pieces early in the mornings and having them edited by noon. Perhaps if my “writing time” is early in the morning, more will get accomplished for the day. That also means getting up early. Which never sounds fun in the first place. We’ll see what works out!

~Paige

My entry for Blackbloom world building!

The orbiting Rings of  Blackbloom are the domain of Kinnis. When sunlight passes through the rings, a splay of color is refracted over the equator. When the sun rises, the sky shimmers and the ghostly sound of music once played in the Halls of Kinnis echos throughout Blackbloom’s entire atmosphere, reminding everyone of their folly.

The Rings have their own atmosphere, but are not within reach of Blackbloom’s living residents. Crazed travelers who have ingested the bloom and wish to regain his favor brave the trip to the equator to be immersed in the beautiful display and be granted an afterlife.

__________________________________

My encyclopedia entry for Chuck Wendig’s Blackbloom world-building exercise!

Dr. Pepper and the Beasts

Dr. Pepper is delicious.

When I have some in the evening, it is anxiety-inducing. I start worrying about whether or not I’ve done what I was supposed to do for the day, which is especially unnerving while I’m getting used to my work schedules. I’m still having minor panic attacks and check my calendar several times a day about when I should be at work next, worrying about whether or not I wrote down the right day, and concerned that any phone call will be work calling, wondering where I am. (I seriously had bad dreams about that last night).

I need to get myself back off of it. Especially because the anxiety is no fun. It’s no better than alcohol in that respect. No hard liquor for me when I’m stressing out, which I’ve found myself to be a rather highly-stressed person lately. It tends to make me blow up!

  • I have debt which is hard to see myself out of soon.
  • My buttface (significant other/boyfriend/insert term of endearment here) is mistreated by his job.
  • I’m still new at my own job and will be learning new aspects of my job for the next 5 weeks of training.
  • I am still figuring out how full-time and its time off works since the familial holidays are coming up.
  • There are family members who I am long overdue to see and I don’t know how to find the time.
  • My only social life is online right now, it’s all I feel I have time and energy for. Even that has dwindled.
  • I have been mentally kicking myself for not writing as often as I should.
I have to remind myself to breathe. To cut myself some slack. No one can beat me up like I can. But here lies the funny thing: beating yourself up for not doing something does not make you actually get that something done.

Beating yourself up makes you depressed and throws you into a cycle that’s hard to break out of. Looking at the bigger picture of what you’re trying to accomplish can be a good thing, but you have to know how to zoom in and focus on the stuff that will get you there. You stay at the big picture for too long and you start seeing years go by filled with unaccomplishments. You zoom out too far and you won’t be able to see the paths that get you there. It can be paralyzing. Then you beat yourself for not doing anything, your brain zooms out, then you’re paralyzed all over again

I’ve got to chill out! I’m only 24. I’ve got decades ahead of me to get my life sorted out and I spend a lot of time worrying internally. You know what will solve the worrying? Doing. I’ve got to trust myself enough that I’ve written my schedule down correctly on my calendar. I’ll figure out my time off by asking about it. My routine will get back into place once I’ve settled into my new job, so I have to accept that there will be that kind of stress. And it will be okay.

If I feel a panic attack coming on, I find it helps to lie down and whisper to myself:

  • You can’t screw up so bad that it can’t be fixed.

Repeat as often as necessary. People hit rock bottom and bounce back every day. It’s a process and generally involves redefining who they are and becoming the kind of person they want to be. People have dwindled down to nothing and have rebuilt a life for themselves once they were ready to stop being paralyzed by fear and regret and shame.

That is not to say that you’re not allowed to admit when something sucks. Stuff sucks all the time. There are a lot of things you can feel shitty about. You are allowed to be upset about things. Feel your feelings. You don’t have to justify why you feel that way. If you don’t let yourself feel upset if something has upset you then you’re a ticking time-bomb. You’ll wind up blowing up at your friend, your spouse, your dog, your fern. And really, what has your fern done to deserve that?

I was pushing that wonderful (awful) stumbleupon button tonight and came across this article which kicked my ass into writing this post. Numbers 1 and 11 spoke the most to me.

“1) Don’t just plan to write–write.”
I have no idea how many times I’ve planned to write and never followed through. It was on my to-do list. And then, hey! It’s beat-up-myself-o’clock at the end of the day when I’ve had too much caffeine because I didn’t do it! I probably won’t catch up with NaNo word counts this month, but ya know, it’ll be okay. I wouldn’t be the first writer to not see NaNo through to completion. I only have myself blame for that. (I’m not sure I should say “blame” there though. I’ll admit, I hesitated. It’s such a harsh word! “Account for” might have been a better use of words, but it is a struggle I still deal with.)

“11) Be without fear.”
I am a writer who is full-o-fear. Screw FearFactor! I am a fear-factory! A worrier by nature. And it sounds silly to admit it, but I am afraid to start writing. I am afraid of getting further into a story. And I am afraid of finishing that story. I am afraid of what comes after the story is “finished,” I am afraid of a lot of things about the process. Almost all of it stems from me looking at the big picture. I’ve zoomed out so far I can see just how much time and energy it’s going to take to see a project through to the end. Seeing all of that makes me very tired just looking at it. It’s very hard for me to bring the focus back in on the task I need to work on to get the wheels going. But that just brings me back to #1: don’t just plan it, do it.

Here it has only taken me about an hour to get 2/3 of the way to the NaNo daily word count, just writing about how terrified I am. It wasn’t spent working on a story, it wasn’t spent editing or outlining. But it still counts as writing; and I definitely needed it.

Part of working through my turmoils involves actually writing what they are. Naming the beasts that scare me. Shining the magnum flashlight on those assholes, “self-abuse” and “paralyzing fear,” and chasing them off into the night.

Oh, they’ll be back! I just gotta make sure they don’t get the jump on me.
~P

City Mall Ghost Town

I was wandering about the practically deserted mall today. I was trying to find a shop that would be able to replace my watch battery. See, my phone is my only source of time at my job, and I’m technically not supposed to have a phone on the floor. Nothing I’ve gotten in trouble for yet, but I’d rather not tempt fate.

It’s rather eerie walking around a failing mall on a Monday afternoon. Shops with merchandise may be lit up, but they hide behind their gates, inaccessible to the public. More expensive pieces of metal and marble art peek through windows from the surrounding darkness. And with the reds from the carpet and the dim lighting throughout the halls, it felt like being in an empty movie theater when nothing is playing on the screen. The lights are up, but not bright enough to banish the shadows.

The shops that are open, you have to peek around to make sure there’s actually someone running the place. The shopkeepers for the day are hiding behind their counters, eating snacks, and talking on phones. Trying to find some way to pass the time so their shift will finally be over. Meanwhile, most of the people in and out of the stores aren’t actually shopping. It’s depressing and haunting. Everyone’s quiet. No one talks to one another. And the food court sits in a dark silence with few patrons and even fewer eateries.

The Chocolate Factory was gone. That was a weird thing to see. The shelves were bare and in the window hung a sign promoting the vendor-stall as a prime location for business. It felt like I was in a museum looking at the exhibits but unable to touch the displays.

It was an interesting walk through the mall.

As for the word-count. I’m not sure I’m going to adhere to the NaNo timeline. I have found myself to be an entire week behind. And while it is possible to catch up, I’m not sure I have it in me this time around. Although, I do have a few hundred words started on a story. I intend to continue playing with it. I’ll post bits of it as I go along.

I’m still in training w/ my bookstore job. Beginning my 3rd week this week! It’s been fantastic so far.

More later!
~Paige

Job-Happy

So, my last post was on October 29th. I’m now finishing out my second week at my new job (well, tomorrow’s the end of the work-week) and I am still in the training process. I’m loving it! Just about everyone I work with loves working there, I’ve been complimented about my optimism and my retention of stuff learned a day or two before.

I’ve worked a lot of early mornings, but I think that will last just through the training period. I believe one of the reasons I was hired since I’m willing to work weekends and closings.

Regardless, I’m glad to be at full time and I’m glad to work with other people who love their job. It’s retail, but it’s  selling something I love.

I’ll write more about my first weeks in the future. As of right now, I might as well use my early morning wake-up (I’m closing tonight, but my body woke up anyway) to hammer out some word-count that I’m seriously behind on.