Thursday, December 25, 2014

Holiday Traditions

Life changes being what they have been, I'm far away from the family and friend traditions I've grown to love during this time of year.

My dad's house has a kid's play, written by first my dad and then myself, and then performed by the more patient wee ones for the entertainment of the adults. There is also a yearly viewing of National Lampoon's Winter Vacation :)

My mom's house has stockings hung along the stairwell, which one must catch as they are cut loose. A snack tray fit for the gods and a yearly letter from Santa.

Far and away, I'm having a lovely, quiet, nerdy Christmas of a new breed :) Wifey, and the cat, and our new roommate, Ogre, are hanging out, eating delicious snacks, watching Christmas specials/Doctor Who.

Since we're just hanging about, I'm also dabbling with work. I decided to do a holiday doodle of the character who features most heavily in my current edits: the Hightower state hostage, Duchess Rhosyn, who first appears alongside her fiance and his utterly wretched father.

But in the spirit of the season, I decided to fathom up some winter holiday cheer for dear Rhosyn.

The people of Aisland wrote their wishes for the coming year on a piece of parchment, and then sealed their wishes into a beeswax candle. They exchanged necklaces made from decorative chicken feathers--different colors having unique meanings.

Let's see...we've got sheepskin, the little flowers in the hair, the snow bunnies (don't Google that) and the lacy scarf Rhosyn is wearing...all have meaning. If you want to learn more, go to Aisland :P

Christmas Traditions

Monday, December 15, 2014


Today is the 15th, which means...

Flowers courtesy of my Dad and Stepmomster <3

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 27 years old! Imagine if that meant my life was half over? I mean, 54 isn't that old, but I do eat a lot of popcorn and hate tomatoes. I've accomplished kind  of a lot in 27 years...if I didn't have to go through those first 15 years of learning how to exist as an adult American human, just think of what else I could accomplish! Or, or, what if my life is only 1/3 over? People live to be 81 these days, and I've still got all of my original organs! Imagine what I could do with 54 more years at my disposal!

If this is the breakfast I get for every trip around the sun, let's say I'm only 1/5th done. Er, maybe 1/4.
Anyway, I've started up my new project. I'm not actively announcing each publication...yet? They pop up at midnight, they're tiny, they're every day of the week...what is the best way to handle that PR? For real, I'm open to ideas!

Meanwhile, I'll have a novel sent out to someone--whether it be my beta readers or Pestritto on Rye--before the year winds down entirely. And I feel pretty good about that :)
Also, I am adorable. Candy and hypoallergenic puppy courtesy of Wifey :)

It was a quiet day. I gave myself the gift of clean laundry. My roommate, Wifey prepared ultimate breakfast, and while she was out making money like an employed adult, I completed work on the hard draft of my novel, SIREN :) Happy Birthday to me!!! After a considerable struggle with loss of inspiration, and then figuring out how to write in the middle of our apartment being broken (I write on top of two banker's boxes by the couch, for reasons =D) this is a huge step. I used to say I wanted to make my first major step in the publishing world by the time I was 25. IS how old I was when I signed with my agent...Hey, I've been busy.
That is cheesecake. I am eating it.

Daily Deadly Dose 002

Tick, Tick, Tick,

He would never get the incessant ticking out of his head. It wasn't even a darling sort of torture--he'd not studied to be a clock maker. He had never come in second for any major prize. He'd never even played Captain Hook in a play.

Tick, Tick, Tick,

But no matter how many times he adjusted his alarms, or checked himself against the nearest unquestionable clock, he always felt them slide by...two seconds. He was always behind two seconds. He hated the phrase, but he could feel them. Each time he walked into a room, he felt as if he were about to miss a cue.

Tick, Tick, Tick,

The anxiety had dulled some over the years, into a sort of raw annoyance...because who knew what could happen in two seconds? What disaster might he wander into or out of?

Tick, Tick, Tick,

Those were the questions that were pestering him, and therefore that he was muttering at his wristwatch, as he attempted to cross the street. If he had pressed two seconds further to the crosswalk, who knows what might have happened?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Daily Deadly Dose 001

She had always wanted a dog. A fluffy, sheep-pestering, too-big-for-its-own-benefit affection machine, which would have been raised at her feet and on her lap and would see her as a greater constant than the sun.

So it was nice, she supposed, that her allergies would never bother her again.

It was less nice that her sweet new puppy couldn't have come with her.

On the other hand, that might have been a bit of a cruel wish. The puppy deserved to live a full, doofy, normal puppy life.

Even if the damn thing had chewed up her inhaler.

She's be switching to fish, next time around.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

For the Next 365 Days

As mentioned before, tomorrow is my birthday! I'lll be 27 years old, and I will spend the day eating cheesecake and aging :)

This year was wicked rough. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Now, it's in the past. A big preoccupation of mine has been figuring out how to rework my mindset. I wanted to pick some sort of activity for myself for this coming year--something to do daily, to keep me on the right path.

I started out thinking about doing something soooooper positive, like, listing some new thing I'd seen or learned or done...and I got bored with that idea before I even imagined the format. But I toyed with the idea, sprinkled it with a touch of the quirky macabre that is more my taste, and decided upon this:

Every day, at midnight, I will publish a new micro story. They will have a common theme that is known only to me (and Wifey, because I think at her all the time), and a more obvious common theme. You'll have to wait until the stories are live to pick these out, but it's going to be a fun project for myself, anyhow.

Once a week, I will do a sketch based on the most favored mini story. Once a month, I'll do something based on that sketch--possibly a painting, maybe some other sort Maybe a charm bracelet? Or a necklace or something? I do have loads of jewelry making stuff...we shall see.

Basically, I'm making my own trading card set. Or maybe a calendar...we'll see.

It begins in five hours :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Family Has a Term for This

You know how some cranky adults have coffee makers? Well, there are two adults who are occasionally cranky living in this apartment, and a third arriving soon, and do we have a coffee maker?

Nah. We have Mr. Coffee or some knockoff bullhawk.

We also have a new pot, because we thought the old one wouldn't fit in the car (we were wrong). The new pot didn't turn out to fit the machine, so we had to MacGuyver the machine to pour anything out. We put a metal wire filter between the coffee mug and the filter nubbin.

Also, please take a moment to envy my Hyperbole and a Half mug.

Otherwise,the coffee just bogs up in the filter arena. Boiling water. Coffee grinds, grinding on each other. A failing filter. Empty cups. It is an urban nightmare, Freddy Kreuger style.

For all that effort, the ancient Walmart laughing gesture of a coffee maker has melted a hole into its...self. It's a private matter. Sometimes, we position the wonky-shaped pot with the metal wire filter positioned juuuust right so the coffee doesn't just tinkle down the side of the pot, nor does a third of the batch wind up on the counter, just staring up at us, daring us to ladle creamer out and

None of this. NONE of it! Is enough to make me start drinking tea exclusively.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hour 27

Full disclosure: I cackled a little when I came up with that title.

I've spent the last 27 hours awake, which amuses me mostly because I'll be 27 on the 14th. Which means I'll be old enough to die like a musician! (Nobody laughs at that joke, for some reason).

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've had a touch of insomnia. It got better for a while, then resurfaced, and has been sort of hemming and hawing on my pillow ever since.

Ew. I just reread that, and...ew. Can you blame me for struggling to sleep?

Sheep counting aside, I have spent a lot of time thinking. Making plans,

[Full disclosure II: the authoress totally fell asleep right there. Like, passed right out, woke up with keymarks on her face. This continuation occurs several days and several hours of sleep later.]

editing SIREN, busting out my mad scanning skills at my Nightjob, and taking loads of stuff off of
The List.

Note: The List is written is various messy inks. The typed page next to it is the SIREN manuscript.

I'm not sure whether or not I've mentioned The List.

As a result of my, shall we say, unique heritage, I skipped many traditional experiences. Chicanery and movies and weekend shenanigan tales that 'everyone' has in common, I simply don't have. The List features all of the movies and tv shows  my more cultured friends have insisted that I catch up on.

The List, in its original form, suffered a little during the move. But I managed to get it across 3,000 miles and around a lot of paper-hungry damage devils, and I've cleared off about half of the original titles. The main benefit to this is that the inside jokes don't fly aaaaaaall the way over the top of my head when anyone or thing references the classics.

Today, I watched Beowulf.

I've been 'eh' and 'urrrrh' about watching that one ever since it came out, because I hold a special grudge against work that claims to present the 'true' story, dismissing the source material as anything else. It's weird how much that bugs me. Like, clenched jaw, grumbled swears, one violent eye roll and a snort puff of derision. That is how I respond to such claims on book jackets.

Beowulf, as the rest of the world already knows, is a grunting, thrusting, sweaty meatloaf of a film. They took a bold swing at artistic and made a really gross looking project that would have been impressive but confusing twenty years ago...and it is not twenty years old. Everyone knows that the movie drags on and on like and struggles to drag the ancient tale into the modern story telling platform, and fumbles pretty lustily with that goal the whole way.

Now, I know all of these things, too. I have scratched one more item off of the list of barriers between me and the rest of the world.