Writer problems 

IMG_1896As writers, we encounter a lot of problems.  Probably the most talked about problem is when people ask us if we’re still writing (which, I guess is a good conversation starter, but is kind of frustrating because the emphasis is usually on “still“). :p

But there are lots of other ones like:

#1. Fearing and loathing editing.  Then guilt-tripping yourself about not doing it, because why not? :p

#2. Figuring out how to describe body placement and movement in a fight scene (or, let’s be honest – a sex scene).  This gets trickier if you have multiple of these scenes in your book and want to keep the language fresh.

#3. Hoping someone’s eyes don’t glaze over when you explain your story’s concept.

#4. Spell check hating your name or your characters’ names.

#5.  The conundrum of double spaces betwixt sentences – should I? Or should I not?  Or should I Google other people’s thoughts on it for the next…hmm 3 hours.

#6. Fighting the urge to tell someone that they’re acting just like one of your characters. Because it makes you sound weird and a little creepy.

#7. Missing your characters when you’re finished with your book.

#8. Your obsession with notebooks (Moleskin!!), pens (it’s so tricky to find a really good one), and/or typewriters.

On trolls

 

It’s been a little while since my last blog post – that’s partly because of the whirlwind of crazy that is currently my life (between work, grad school, politics, and attempting a social life).

But if I’m being honest, there has not been a shortage of things to write about (obviously) and I did have a few weeks off from school, when I could have been editing my novel or dusting the cobwebs off of my blog.  The largest reason I’ve been creatively silent is because I’ve had a brush with trolls.

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Photo by @prolixme

They definitely weren’t as cute as the little guy I picked for my image for this post, but trolls they were nonetheless.

On the internet, there seem to be a vast pool of users lurking…maybe even poised and waiting to troll others.  If this were middle school, and I were a parent, I’d tell you that it’s because they’re jealous or there’s some kind of other failing in their life and maybe they’re taking it out on you. But, as I’ve been trolled in real life and online, I couldn’t tell you why some people like to troll.  Though I’m not sure their reasons even matter. More frustrating still, I can’t tell you how to let it roll off of your shoulders either.

That fact of the matter is that no one enjoys being torn down and no one appreciates bullies. Whether we admit it or not, trolling gets under our skin – seeking out a place to live in our hearts and minds. Aiming to fill us with doubt and empowering that terrible little voice inside of us that loves to tell us “no.”

What can we do?  We have to be our strongest champions. We have to believe in ourselves. We can’t pack up, hide, and turn off when things get hard. We can’t let bullies tear us down. We have to keep on, keepin’ on. Because the moment we stop, we let the trolls win. But worse than that, we hurt ourselves when we stop doing the things that make us happy.

So keep on, keepin’ on, friends. 🙂

Nerd Problem #3 – Fangirl Bruise

I’m a nerd, it’s true.  A nerd for graphic novels and comics, novels, and art…

And there seem to be a fair number of archers in my nerd zones lately.

There’s The Arrow, Oliver Queen in full crime fighting mode, with his love of hoodies and urgent whispers:

I mean, who doesn’t love a brooding hero who does most of his crime-fighting prep work without a shirt? But I digress..

There’s Katniss, a near goddess with the arrow and hunting, and questioner of evil authority figures –

And there are statues of goddesses with fierce aim –

So, as the nerd signs seemed to point in that direction, I decided to try my hand at archery.  I even got the fierce stare down and managed to hit the bullseye multiple times.

That picture is less imposing than the other pictures, I know, but I think that the photo filter makes me a little edgier than usual.

And then I promptly realized why many archer characters have long sleeves (or aren’t nearly double jointed like me, who has a piece of arm that juts out just enough that the bow-string repeatedly whacks the area or scrapes along the skin)…

Ouch. We’re calling this one a fangirl bruise.

Next time, this fangirl is going to get some full arm protection (I only had half arm protection in the past) before I get my archery on.  And don’t worry – only bullseyes and balloons (and no animals) were harmed in this fangirl-ing.

You are worthy

A pick me up, if you need it –

Sometimes after people take advantage of you, it changes you.  You worry that no one else will value you, instead of the things you can buy them or the added self-esteem boost of having someone care for them.  Sometimes you screw up and kick yourself later over things you shouldn’t have done.

But regardless of the mistakes you’ve made before and regardless of the people who have hurt you before – you are worthy of love.  And you are always, always worthy of happiness.

To sir, with love

Return of the summer music series – stuck in the car with Leesha

Summer has returned, and with it comes those long road trips accompanied by “are we there yet?” and “do we have to listen to this song?”  Or in my case, scream-singing lyrics (with lots of solos), discussing the meaning of songs, and random song factoids.

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Today’s song – “To Sir, with Love,” by Lulu is in honor of the school year being officially over…unless you’re a grad student torturing yourself with summer classes (why did I think that was a good idea?).

I’ve had a lot of professors and teachers over the course of my life, but (as with many of us) – there’s one teacher who really made a difference.  The one who believed in you and pushed you to do more than you thought possible.  For me – it was a high school teacher and his name is such an excellent novel character name – Captain Jim (he was in the military before becoming a teacher).  The subject?  Dreaded math.  The back story: other teachers told me and three other girls that we were hopeless in math and therefore should take an “easy” statistic class our junior year to fulfill our credit obligations.  He was an excellent teacher and saw something in us that the other teachers missed.  We excelled in AP Statistics and our senior year, took AP Statistics II, Pre-calculus, and Calculus (yep,  that’s not a typo, it was in the same year).  As for me…well, the girl who was told she couldn’t be taught math, now does math for a living.

Thanks Captain Jim (and all the teachers like you), you really did make a difference.  To sir, with love.

Those school girl days of telling tales
And biting nails are gone
But in my mind I know
They will still live on and on

But how do you thank someone
Who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try
If you wanted the sky
I would write across the sky in letters
That would soar a thousand feet high
To Sir, with love

The time has come for closing books
And long last looks must end
And as I leave I know
That I am leaving my best friend

A friend who taught me right from wrong
And weak from strong
That’s a lot to learn, what
can I give you in return?

If you wanted the moon
I would try to make a star
But I, would rather you let me give my heart
To Sir, with love

In case you didn’t know, “To sir, with love,” is from a movie with the same title about a teacher making a difference in an inner city school…and shamefully, I haven’t seen it yet. But Amazon is shipping it to me…so the problem will soon be fixed.  🙂

Urge Cookies and other weird food facts

As I’m over 30 and have a job that requires me to sit on my growing posterior all day, I’ve decided to do that thing that most adults do over the course of their lives: DIET. <hiss, boo>   That has to be my least favorite four-letter word.

Which reminds me, why haven’t they come up with some sort of metabolism shot that would allow me to continue my unhealthy lifestyle and still squeeze into a size 2?  I can see it now – “I’ll have a coke, burger, fries, and a side of metabolism booster shot, please.”  :p Hey, we can all dream…

But as that’s not happening anytime soon, and because I’m hungry, I give you – weird food facts:


#1. Graham Crackers were originally created to stop “carnal urges” including the kind you do by yourself.  Because apparently these urges can be tamed by eating crackers.   Hmm, interesting theory, I wonder what the old creator of graham crackers would think of the gooey goodness known as smores? :p

#2. Eggs aren’t refrigerated in the United Kingdom, but you still need to refrigerate the ones you bought in the refrigerated section of a U.S. grocery store.

#3. Saffron is one of the most expensive (and possibly THE most expensive spice) in the world. I know this to be true, as I spent a fair bit of money buying some in an awesome market in Barcelona.

#4.  For the newly health-conscious like me, beets can turn your pee and poo red (learned that one the hard way).

#5.  People have been paid in chocolate…well, kind of.  According to an article at the Smithsonian.com, it was sometimes used in place of wages during the Revolutionary War.  Also, it can help you recover from being around Dementors and in dealing with real-life annoying people (who may also try to suck the life out of you).

There you have it.  If you’re dieting like me, I feel your pain.  If you’re not, eat something in my honor. 🙂

Two tickets to paradise

For the first time in over two years, I’m going on a real vacation.  I’m excited, but I’m also really nervous…


Excited because, well, who isn’t excited to have a vacation from the every day grind of work (and school, for me) and responsibility?

Nervous because…I’m not traveling alone.  It’s the first time in over two years that I’m traveling with a guy…since well, a messy divorce and trust issues.

Yeah.

So I came up with tip of how to travel when you’re in a new relationship:

  1. Don’t be afraid to poo.  So, for whatever reason in new relationships, there’s this thing where people are afraid to poo in the other person’s place.  Don’t worry, everyone poops and your boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/crush/wolverine knows that you poop, even if you don’t do it at their place.
  2. Pack as you normally would. Don’t try to pack light, if you don’t normally. And don’t pack super heavy if you’re a carryon only type traveler. Just do you. 
  3. Tell them what you want or don’t want to see. Be honest. There’s nothing wrong with being agreeable, but don’t be a doormat to make someone else happy, make sure you see/do what you want too. 
  4. Bring your own stuff. This includes credit cards, cash, phone chargers, etc.  It’s always better to have backups in case someone forgets or loses something. Also, if you’re slightly morbid like me…you never want to be completely dependent on someone should stuff go wrong.
  5. Have fun and oh, sign up for frequent flier and rewards points for places you go, because it’s never too early to start saving/amassing points for your next journey. 

Office worker confessions – toilets

 

Monday means back to work and today, my friends, we discuss something of the utmost importance in the office world – office toilets…and etiquette.

Basic rules of engagement for office toilets-

  1. Try not to engage with people who are trying to poo – You’d think this would be a given, but no, not really.  Nothing more awkward than trying to drop a deuce while someone wants to talk Game of Thrones.  Girl, we can talk about Jon Snow’s sweet bottom after I’m done wiping mine.
  2. If you must talk while you tinkle, pick talking points wisely.  Gossiping about Sally in accounting while in the office toilet is an excellent way of summoning her or one of her friends.  Also, asking me if I have children while I’m trying to pee is a terrible idea (I don’t. Long, terrible story actually…do you want to talk about that time someone pulled down my pants in middle school as well?).  Just ask me about the weather or how you wish it were Friday (or that yay! it’s Friday..but only if it is, in fact, Friday).
  3. Don’t comment that the seat is warm or the place is smelly.  We all know what goes on here, no need to highlight the obvious or poop-shame people.
  4. Don’t talk on the cell phone. I get confused if you’re talking to me (or yourself) and then self-conscious about all those sounds one makes while going to the bathroom….in the one place where it’s socially acceptable to make them.
  5. Don’t ask “who is over there” unless you want sarcastic and/or gross responses.
  6. Clean up.  I feel like your parents should have probably taught you this lesson, but if not – clean yourself, clean up after yourself, and then wash your hands.

Boom, done.  Now go potty like a professional.