Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April Storms...

So I bit the bullet a succumbed to the vast power that is IKEA. IKEA is smart. It provides said IKEA junkies with a food court.





I've been collecting tin ceilings...


...painting/rehabbing/going through collections of bits and bobs I forgot I had...



...and attending operatic evenings where they gave me food and drink. 


Spring performance of Dido...



 Shake 38...


Collecting local tulips.



This has been a very busy spring with singing and going through bags to give to Goodwill. I live in constant paranoia that I will forget and throw away some priceless item, or important info where someone can steal my identity. 

I have sadly been neglecting my short story submissions and missed some cool magazines/journals accepting. These 7+ years on this blog has mostly been about what I need to do and excuses as to why I haven't done said thing. I guess things don't change much. It's just so easy to watch TCM and muck about on Words With Friends. Every time I start to make my life look anything at all like a page on Pinterest, it slowly reverts back to a sludge-pile of missed opportunities and dirty laundry.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Catching up, and Disorders

*Warning!* Post might contain obsolete content/photos in dire attempt to catch up with life.*

I've become a pretty cynical person. While most people instinctively like a person if that person has never wronged them, I just scan them with my cynic-o-vision and try to figure out their angle.

When I see someone smiling with an unnatural amount of happiness/endorphins running through their veins, I can't help but judge them silently. I'm not talking about positive people, people trying to make the best of things, or people who are just getting through life the best they can and trying to be satisfied.

I'm talking about the people who can't understand it when you answer their well-intentioned "How are you???!?!" with a "Eh...things are okay." Their systems short circuit, and they answer "Just OKAAAAY? Errr, wherp do you seerrr okeeeey? What ieesss okaaay? Don't you mean WONDDERFERL??!"

I think they're aliens. What goes through my mind is:

They can't really be that optimistic and energized. They must be on something.

Or...

Don't make eye contact. The pods have taken over, and if you make eye contact, they'll take over you, too.

I wish I could be that healthy. I think these people get 6+ hours of sleep every night, their iron and B levels are high, and they never worry about accidentally leaving on a light that will burn down their house and all the surrounding houses and fry the feral cats that sleep in the yard, and then the fire will spread down the street with the electrical lines and it will be all their fault. And they've never had the thought that MAYBE the handle they touched at work had a little, sharp, metal groove that someone had accidentally cut themselves on, and when they opened the door, they touched the same groove, and the blood, and they forgot to wash their hands just in case, but they already touched your steering wheel, and they KNOW they felt something a little sticky when they opened that door, but it was probably nothing, but just in case, but they FORGOT, and they contaminated every single thing in their world with that mystery stickiness, and maybe they can survive whatever plague is upon them, but maybe they accidentally passed it on to a cancer survivor, and their tolerance is less, and it will be all their fault if--

I'm talking about OCD. Real, for real OCD. Not those quirky memes OH EM GEE, don't look at these pictures of twenty pencils facing one way, and one pencil facing the OTHER WAY if you have OH EM GEE OCD! Ohmygerd! (Cause that's just a fondness of order, people.) I didn't come on here to talk about it, but to talk about the draft what I've been doing lately and post my seriously obsolete pictures.

I don't quite go around with a scenario QUITE as extreme as above, but at one time I did, and my brain sometimes likes to gleefully lead me down that cycle of doom before I catch it.

Okay, I have to do some housekeeping now.

New publication last December in The Indianola Review! (It's a print journal, so don't expect to read it on the interwebs). It is purchasable on Amazon, and you get to read more stuff than just mine, so you'll be more inclined to buy it.

Here is a picture of the first page.

And here are some October walk-arounds.

Obligatory fire-pit:

Winery:

Rainy Halloween:


Four little pumpkins sitting on some hay.



Some mold I had to deal with during the holidays:


And the colour I decided to repaint my dresser with. You can see it for yourself on the ceiling of Adriana's on The Hill. I'm going to make the paint-people match it exactly.




The concept that I can choose a brilliantly optimistic colour like above is proof that I'm not too far gone.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

In Which I Play on a Saturday

So when there comes a Saturday when I don't have to work somewhere, I'm always conflicted whether or not to just enjoy it, the weather, the season, a cuppa coffee from a cafe, and just relax, or to be productive and get crap done, like work on my effing novel. Today I chose the former and went to a semi-nearby park just to walk a lap in the freaking gorgeous fall-ness. I ran into some people hanging on on these sports-bleachers-seats just jamming, and we ended up going through most of the Beatles repertoire, some cheese and red wine. I think I chose correctly. I need to conjure up more "times" when I'm having fun and there's no pressure.

Next month is NaNo, so you know what that means.

 Yeah. If you've tried this thing multiple times, hey, the Novembers keep a-coming, and there are no more excuses. 

If NaNo did ANYTHING for me, it told me that:

1. Writing everyday in cold blood makes one forget about being a perfectionist
2. It showed me that a novel-length work of fiction was possible
3. I may not be writing anything awesomesauce YET, but somewhere in the midst of those 50k words, there might be a granule of something I can use for a novel later

I was just thinking today that campy 80's horror movies have influenced me so greatly, and I want to write my own campy Night of the Living Dead or werewolf story. Then I think back about what made my current scifi/horror novel so difficult to write. First I was like, "Oh, I wanna write my own ___ now!" And then I realized too late, "It's been done before, so now how do I make MINE better/cleverer/different/more original than every single other one of that particular story idea?" 

Confused and worried Jeff Goldblum is confused and worried.

Maybe I should stick to coming-of-age.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

In Which I Try To Fix Stuff

So, I think anyone who has at least reached the end of the internets and taken a glimpse on here knows I like fall. And it's not because I'm just biased. I love everything about it. I love hoodies, and I eat about a zillion of those caramel apples, and people put their flip flops away for the most part. I hate flip flops. I can't understand why people find them comfy.

Anyhoo, I decided that my novel is NOT done, and I've been fixing that. I sent a part of it to a copyediting friend. Let me tell you something, writers--it is a humbling and terrifying experience. Get your crap together, because editors' brains are hardwired in a way that normal people's aren't. They have eyeballs kind of like in The Terminator, except they fix a pronoun rather than kill.

"Fix that dangling modifier! Do it! Do it NOOOOW!!!"

So, like I said, it is humbling and freaky. You go through feedback stages as you read/hear comments about your writing, and there are three:

1. Denial: "Nu uh! Not true!"
2. Conflict: "Well...but see, this is what I MEANT."
3. Acceptance: "Yeah...okay....yeah."

And there ya go. If you can get through all three of these, congrats: you're a bona fide feedback survivalist. Now go back and fix crap.

In other news, oh em gee, you guys, I have a publication announcement! A short fic of mine will be featured in a lit journal come December, so I will keep you posted. I only sent this story to ONE, that's right, ONE journal and it got picked up. I sent one I wrote five some odd years ago to about a billion and a half journals, and none of them have given me the go signal. What do you think of that?
Obviously, I don't know squat about the publishing/writing biz after all. So don't listen to me. 

I was just down at The Shores.


Hanging at this place called The Gulf. They play real-live LPs.


Here is a turtle I named Bob.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Confessions of a Library Delinquent

This is a story about a girl who could not return books or other items to the library on time. The girl would lose interest in the book she was reading, or she would put off finishing it because all the other things in her life that demanded her attention, until she'd find the said book under her bed or a couch. Panic would rise to her throat in bubbling goo of nerves and guilt, thinking of how many digits her fine has reached. Usually, to her relief, she'd find out she'd only owe $3 or so. But she sometimes woke up in a cold sweat after a nightmare of having to pay the local library a grand sum total of $39,897.

For this reason, the girl would sometimes sneak into the library with her overdue book, look around like a darting mouse, and fling the item over into the 'return' pile, fearing a knowing librarian might attack her, or give her the grand daddy of all stinkeyes.

She is a member of at least three different branches. It's only a matter of time before she's debarred from one or all of them. The girl could easily go online and renew the book(s), but she just can't get it together.

Once, she had a book in her possession for over three months. As of next Friday, in fact. But the record she ever had one out was for five months. She never finished the book.

And that's the story of how I'm a library delinquent.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Yellow Nail Polish Makes Me Happy

So, I decided that this piece of the web I call a blog of sorts is rather boring as it is, and I have no idea WHERE I read it, but I was very influenced by a blogger who shared a story about why his blog wasn't successful. Why he had no visitors, no "likes." So I'm realizing that this piece of the interwebs is a doll house of sorts where I tell people who might stop by what I think they want to hear about my life through an instagram-filtered lens, and it's just not the case. It might be one little part of my life that can be controlled, filtered, ideal. Screw that.

The thing is, my life is an endless stream of chronic fatigue combined with too much caffeine, and trying to keep a balance between the two so I can get through the day. If this interests you, please give me advice. I already know I'm iron deficient.


 
 What I did for my birthday. I was down in front with the beautiful people.
 


I just updated my website. Take a look. I think it's fun. If you comment, you'll get a surprise confirmation pop up. I'll spoil the surprise: I'll tell you to eat a piece of cake. 'Cause who doesn't like cake?

So, on Saturday I went to the St. Louis Writers Guild 'Writers in the Park,' which was ironically inside this year despite the weirdly cool day. I got in contact with a local editor, because, guess what--I think I'm finally done with my novel at last, because now when I read through it for the forty-gazillionth time, I get nauseated. So it's time to send it to someone for content feedback. The wide spectrum of feedback I envision makes my head spin. I imagine everything from 'Wonderful, we'll make you a best-seller!' to 'Crap, utter crap, stop writing. In fact, stop trying to talk in the English language. By George, you stink.' My sense of logic tells me I will probably fall somewhere in between.

In other news, my voice teacher tells me to rock an imaginary fat, sleepy kitty cat when I sing to help me with my anxiety. She is awesome. Cats love people who hate them, so they won't give me the time of day because I chase after them with promises of perpetual petting and stuffed mice.

 
Here's us (I was just pretending to help) setting up for the production run of 'Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play' that starts on Friday. It's going to be crazy-fun.

 
And here's the sandwich I ate today after I went through my novel's prologue for the ga-jillionth time. 

I hope this was entertaining. If it wasn't, I'm sorry. I'm not a professional comedienne.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

So, I've been MIA for more than just a few months, because I've been crazy busy doing too many things, working at too many jobs. Most people get up at the same time each day, drink their programmed coffee, drive 1.5 miles to work, and stay in the same building all day where they know everyone and know what to expect.

I, on the other hand, get up in between 4am-8pm and go to bed between 11pm-4am, depending on where I'm going/what I'm doing. I round up an assortment of stuff I might need for whatever I'm doing: scripts, clothes (stuff for SP work, shorts, case scripts), shirt to wear over tank if I need to look professional and not offend people, different shoes if I have to walk in the mud at a house I'm shooting/walk around the gallery where I don't get to sit for hours, nice heels if I have to look like I've been wearing them all day in fabulous places, piece of protein so I don't die, camera stuff so I can make some money, fundraising stuff, schedule book with tons of crap written all over the days and in the margins so I can remember what the hell I'm doing, a cardigan so if I'm in someplace cold, I don't freeze and die, laptop if I get 20 minutes to sit in a café and write because it's better to spend the 20 minutes in a cool café than in my car dying. And the list goes on. A traffic jam can throw off my day on a grand level, so don't be shocked if you've seen me on the freeway waving my arms and yelling as my eye ticks and a capillary pops.

Anyway. I've been feeling overwhelmed. A good way to describe this feeling is illustrated here by Hyperbole and a Half, a go-to site for me when I need to laugh and be jealous of Allie's mastery of Paint:

 
I like how she's named this pic rage17. This is a great illustration of how inanimate objects interact with me.
 
When I'm NOT driving around like a maniac, updating websites, at one of my three jobs, I'm sitting on my porch with a glass of wine and filling my birdbath so the birds and bees and stuff don't die. I credit myself to why the animal kingdom around here looks so healthy.
 
I've spent more than 2 years working on this one novel, and I think it's at the point where it might just be over. I'm not longer automatically deleting everything that comes into my inbox that tells me how to get an agent, because hoomygawd, that's like, my next step. I don't know where to start. First I've gotta get an agent who's legit and who reps stuff like mine, lit fic, horror, sci fi, drama, comedy, pop culture, satire, generally weird stuff that makes fun of genres. Next, well, I hope the agent like, does everything else for me. I do have to write a synopsis, and I'm really willing to pay someone to do this for me. Or buy them pizza.
 
So guess what's coming up? The annual 'meet in a park on the hottest day of the year' that I don't miss because it's just that awesomesauce, Writers in the Park with the St. Louis Writers Guild. Last year, I learned that we tend to overwork our writings that we enjoy, the parts that are easy to write with flaming fingers, so if you need to figure out what you've overworked, start with that. Every year I sweat like crazy, drink a shark tank load of water, and stock up my toolbox. It is so fun, people. I like it. I really do.
 
I also submitted to Stone Spiral's Poetry/Prose to read along with another writer.
 
Some stuff I've been doing.
 
 
Like the Lantern Fest at the Botanical Garden.
 
 
Being classy with rain hair at Shakespeare St. Louis.

 
Enjoying a patio concert with my lovely friends, Letter to Memphis.
 
 
And singing with St. Louis Opera Theatre at the Spring Sing.

 
 
It has been an eventful summer. I still have about 2 months of it left before lovely fall, so let's see what happens.