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NaNo Progress Report

2 Nov

It’s day two of NaNoWriMo, and I’ll admit, I haven’t written a single word. I’d feel worse about this fact if not for a few important things.

1. Yesterday

I took the day off yesterday. The last couple of years NaNo has begun on weekends and I knew the benefits of writing ahead on my first day. So I sat down with my leftover halloween candy and got in 11,695 words by day’s end. Necromancer is going well and it’s definitely giving me feelings of happy.

 

2. Work

Not to go into detail, but the storm shat on me at the ol’ verk today. Not in the troublesome, I fucked up way, just in the ‘hey look! Lots of changes to suddenly do in Chinese and the native speaking Chinese coworker is leaving for a month-long trip to China so it’s going to make this ten times harder than it needs to be’ sense. Never a dull moment. Needless to say the only thing keeping me sane is being able to listen to podcasts. Thanks again to the twittersphere for sending me recommendations today.

 

3. Opportunities

One of my longest-enduring college friends, I met Alan my sophomore year and we discovered we had the same birthday. Since then we’ve been good friends, and were even roommates for a year, and he’s one of the few roommates I’ve had who I’m still on speaking terms with post-lease. Alan currently resides in North Dakota, but he’s been traveling for the last month to visit friends after leaving his job to prepare to go and teach English in Korea next year.  He’s crashing here in Lincoln tonight on his way back home, and this is the last time I’ll be seeing him until he’s back from teaching. Which is likely to be in 2013. For all I know I won’t see him until we’ve both magically managed to move to Seattle without the universe exploding or our bank accounts dying of fright. So that’s what I’m doing tonight. Watching old episodes of Buffy and hanging out with an old friend.

 

So that’s my wednesday. Tomorrow I’ll write the scene in the park after midnight with the slaughtering of ghouls and saving dumb citizens. Day one was awesome. The only way now is up.

Tomorrow, a post about writing. That I will actually do. For serious.

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News from a Micro-World

6 Sep

Another Tuesday. Jeff found out that he’s gainfully employed once more today, at my current place of work no less, so I took him out for too much sushi and a walk around Barnes and Noble. We’re both very full now and getting ready to watch some Castle, though I’m also webbing and he’s turning the air blue trying to figure out what the hell trying to make Dead Island work has done to his graphics card. Kettle’s on, waiting for a boil and some tea. So far a hot cup of tea is the closest thing I have to a cure for insomnia.

When we were at the bookstore I saw that they’ve started making statues of Stainboy, and they’re selling them along with statues of Oyster Boy for Tim Burton’s new book, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. I may go back. I’ve always loved Stainboy. Because I’m a closet goth and Burton hipster who used to watch the Stainboy cartoons before anyone knew what they were.

This show, Castle, it’s really good except occasionally the songs they play before the intro and the end credits are so awful it makes me want to die a little.

I’m actually not doing that all right. Sad to say. Not to go into it here, but life’s definitely throwing a few emotional curve balls my way. I’m surviving, but the early mornings, long hours and high stress situations aren’t helping. It could be worse, it could always be worse, but that’s small comfort when I’m feeling stuck. Very stuck. No way to turn in my box. it’s a spacious box, and it’s fairly comfortable, but it’s still locked. Still a prison.

/melodrama.

Still posting comics. Still happy with how the art is progressing and the story’s unfoldings. Those have minimal chance of stopping soon, so that’s another good thing.

Sunday night Jeff and I couldn’t figure out what to do while we hung out, having just marathoned TV shows and gone to a cookout at my folk’s house, so we decided to start a comic project together. More on that later, we’re still in the conceptual planning stage.

And I’ve decided my previously determined upcoming NaNoWriMo 2011 novel, Undertaker, is going to happen earlier than predicted. The characters won’t let their little hooks out of my brainstem. More on that later too. If I can get it done before November, as well as going insane I’ll have another novel ready to go.

My life is a juggling game of creative projects. I do prefer it that way.

Other than that nothing to report. My brain is still damaged and I’m spontaneously bursting into tears for no good reason. I’m also not eating much. Working on it though. Jeff helps. it’s what he does. That and fix his computer. Dead Island is running again. And get jobs. Good jobs. I’m proud of him, and looking forward to seeing him around the office. It may be a little weird that we work in the same place, but we’ll be doing different things and both stupid busy to boot. So it’ll work out. I rather think it’ll be great.

I’ve been watching the new season of Doctor Who with my friend Beta. It’s awesome, but Matt Smith’s head still looks like a potato.

That’s all for now. Hope you all have survivable weeks with swiftly impending weekends.

 

Home, Time Passing, Perseverance

31 Aug

Currently curled up in bed surrounded by fluffy pillows and small stuffed animals. In the kitchen I hear Jeff cooking fresh vegetables he picked up at a little farmer’s market on the way home from school today. It smells like garlic and onions, delicious flavours I know he’s going to mix together with some peppers and mushrooms and serve over pasta. The only thing missing is a loaf of crusty french bread to make that perfection.

Work has been devouring my soul slowly, Sarlacc style, throwing more long hours and challenges my way. On my worse days I find myself holding back tears from the stress, simply because a combination of insomnia and not eating due to stress has left me a bit fragile. On the bad days. Most days that bad is combatted by audiobooks and caffeine coupled with frequent breaks to daydream or sneak out to way hi to Jeff when he’s walking by my building. He has a second interview at my company tomorrow afternoon. If he gets the job he’ll have the perfect schedule: flexible work hours and two classes. I’m very, very hopeful for him. Long as he doesn’t get promoted like I did, he’ll enjoy it.

I found out that I’m not the only person who feels swamped and overwhelmed by everything at work – an outside advisor talked to my team today, and we spent an hour and a half explaining what we were having problems with – my biggest problem being “I need a bigger desk!” (no seriously). It was somewhat depressing to know my colleagues have it just as bad as I do, if not worse, but also something of a relief. I know I’m not the only one with more than they can handle. Not being alone is the key to survival.

It’s still not enough though. I want to go back to school. I want to be a graduate student working towards a day job that I can at least like, if not genuinely enjoy. I want to move out of this too-hot too-cold hard to live in state, want to study and learn and live instead of dragging myself out the door at too-early in the morning. I miss having the energy to be creative at work. I’ve been drawing, but that’s all I’ve had time for. My novels are gathering dust, my new ideas shoved to the back of my mind to make way for numbers and tasks and drudgery.

I don’t know if I can make it two years.

What keeps me sane? Friends. Twitter. A boyfriend who cooks dinner when I’m too exhausted to move and lots of hugs when I’m feeling down and miserable. a wonderful fanbase of people who read my comic. I love drawing my comic, coming up with new ideas for novels. I’m going to buy a bicycle as soon as my new credit card arrives in the mail to replace my stolen one. In 39 days I leave for a week to visit my wonderful friend Karen in Washington for GEEKGIRLCON and a much needed vacation.

Having things to look forward to is the key to surviving.

It could always be worse. I turn 24 in October. I have at least two ideas for NaNoWriMo. The new season of Doctor Who is excellent. I’m starting to look into getting a Masters in Library Science in a couple of years. I want to be an archivist. I’m eating better (when I eat). My friends and boyfriend rock. Life is pretty good, even if I’m stressed and overwhelmed sometimes.

It still smells like garlic and onions. It’s warm and delicious and makes this apartment, this place Jeff and I have lived in for a month now, really feel like home.

As long as I have that, I can keep going.

Having a place where you feel you belong is the key to surviving.

I belong here.

The Kindness of Strangers

27 Aug

Last night Jeff and I went to see my favourite band. Well, favourite band that still actively tours, but they’re still in my top three bands I love of all time. The Hold Steady playing a free outdoor show; sounded like the perfect evening.

For the most part it was too; we ran into some friends, the openers were moderately entertaining, we drank bad beer and people-watched and let the exhaustion of our weeks slowly slip away from us. It wasn’t too hot out and we got a good place to stand. All in all, an excellent concert.

During the wait before the band came on (which was long – I’m compulsive so we got there early) we sat on a picnic table drinking beer and talking, and when Jeff got up to get a beer this guy wandered over. Fairly nondescript, lanky, brown hair and bearded, and a pretty sweet tattoo of a robot fighting a dinosaur on his left forearm. He asked if he could sit with us and I said okay.

That’s the thing about shows like this. People are chill. The Hold Steady attracts a crowd that’s sort of a weird hybrid of hipsters, hippies, party people, druggies, college kids, older folks… you name it, we saw it there. He sat with us and we talked after Jeff came back with beer. His name was Zack, he’d just gotten back into town (Lincoln) from Austin Texas, he liked bands like The Hold Steady and Radiohead and Modest Mouse.

As the conversation progressed he realized that he’d left his phone in his friend’s car. His friends were supposed to come back to the show, but he had no way of contacting them without his cell phone, and the crowd was getting large and milling, making finding people next to impossible. He was clearly stranded, stuck in Omaha over night, with no real way of getting back to Lincoln save for camping out in a doorway overnight and then hopping a train in the morning (his idea, not ours).

So Jeff and I offered to give him a ride home. It seemed reasonable. The guy seemed nice even if some aspects of his personality were (in retrospect) a little shady and weird. It was the kind of crowd where drugs were easy to come by, and it’s a fair chance that he was on something, or several somethings, by the time the night was over.

We met him after the show outside the Slowdown. He thanked us profusely for letting him tag along with us to Lincoln. We get to the car, my sister’s Honda Civic, and I start climbing into the backseat, shoving my purse and sweater and other things in front of me.

It was at this point that several items from my open purse spilled out into the backseat.

Zack insisted that he sit in the back, that he didn’t want to inconvenience me by making me sit in the back all crunched up (2 door cars are a joy like that), and so I let him into the back and got into the passenger front seat. That was how we rode home.

I did not grab my purse out of the backseat at this time.

We drive the 50ish minutes or so back into Lincoln, and we’re all very conversational and nice. Zach asks us questions that seem innocuous, like what kind of car we were driving in and what jobs Jeff and I had and other things of that nature. Things that only seem suspicious in hindsight.

We get to Lincoln and he asks us to drop him off at 14th and O street. He complains repeatedly that he really, really needs to go to the restroom as we’re driving into Lincoln, and as we pull up to the sidewalk and we let him out he’s definitely in a hurry, stopping to give high fives and handshakes but definitely in a hurry.

No worries, I figure. He just needs to pee. Look, he’s even walking funny he has to pee so bad.

We drive the mile or so back to the apartment and as we get out of the car I head for the backseat, starting to gather up my things.

It is at this point that I realize my wallet is missing.

Genuinely missing, not just misplaced or shoved under one of the seats or under a sweater. We tore that car apart, which didn’t take long as it was small and recently cleaned. And we realize there’s another reason this guy was walking funny. Probably a reason he asked so many questions about our lives. A reason he hightailed it out of there before we noticed anything was wrong.

I go inside, immediately call my bank to cancel my credit card, and begin taking inventory of all the things I had carried in that wallet, that long rectangular bright red ladybug wallet I loved so much. My driver’s license was in Jeff’s wallet since I’d needed it for the show and didn’t want to take in my whole purse since I knew I’d be dancing. My cash was in my pocket. Overall my net losses were my library card, my now-cancelled credit card, my insurance cards, my old student ID, my birth control pills, a couple of expired giftcards and some receipts.

He also took my day planner. Why he did that is completely beyond me. It doesn’t even look useful.

He got nothing important. Everything in that wallet is replaceable, even with a little hassle. He didn’t get anything like my social security card or my computer passwords. The planner had my address in it, but we live in a secured entry building two blocks from a police station. I have my driver’s license. I can replace my insurance cards. I have another pill pack I can use to take my medication. Inconvenient, but manageable.

It just sucks is all.

It sucks that we do this guy a favor, two normally not very trusting kids, and he thanks us by stealing something of no use to him. He tells us what kind of person he is. That he judged us by our well-maintained car and the answers we gave about our lives and our jobs. He determined that we were clearly doing well enough that he needed my things more than I did.

Or he was just high out of his mind. That’s also a possibility.

Jeff and I are doing well for ourselves. It’s easy to judge people by their covers, we all do it all the time. I work a damned good, well-paying job. We were driving a very nice, still very new looking car. We gave the impression of being college kids even though I’m not and Jeff’s only part time.

Impressions are dangerous. Judgments are dangerous. I don’t work any less hard for my money because I work in an office for a corporation that gives me benefits and paid time off. Jeff doesn’t work any less hard because he’s a part time student. We still get help from our parents, yes, but we’re young, and extremely lucky, and we’re grateful. Painfully grateful. We never acted like we were better than this guy. That was something he invented for himself.

So it hurts. It makes me rage that this is what kindness to strangers will net you in this world. It makes me want to track down this guy and punch him in his face. Or at least get Jeff to punch him in his face.

We were up until 2 or 3 sorting things out, and sleep was nearly impossible.

Once I got there though, I did okay. I woke up and felt better, not just from getting the rest.

My memories weren’t tarnished. The show was still fresh in my head and it was still as glorious as I had remembered.

It really was an amazing show. This is the third time I’ve seen The Hold Steady, and they just keep getting better and better. We muscled our way close to the front, and after six solid months of listening to their music at least daily I knew all the words to all the songs. I was that kid, screaming along with the songs and pounding my fist in the air.

I forgot everything in those moments. Music profoundly affects me, and there’s a reason I love it. Normally my brain is a hyperactive chittering mess, like a squirrel on speed suffering from ADD. I’m always dealing with at least five things on my mind: work, impending grad school, my comic, my novel, what to make for dinner, various songs I like. It’s busy up in here.

The music and the crowd washed it all away. I thought of nothing in those moments but being right there, right where I was, singing along and feeling exuberant joy at experiencing The Hold Steady the way they were made to be experienced.

Nothing can take it away. Not even some asshole who decides to rip off a couple kids who did him a solid.

Thanks for trying buddy.

So maybe I’ll be more reluctant to help strangers now. I usually am anyway. But it’s not all bad. My friend Jen saved a guy’s life last night by being a kind stranger, calling 9-1-1 when she noticed him passed out on the sidewalk. When I first met Jeff he was a stranger, in a friend-of-a-friend just met kind of way, and I DD-ed for him so he wouldn’t have to drive on his birthday.

I’m cynical. I’m jaded. This incident has lowered my opinion of humanity, made me feel foolish and caused me a lot of trouble.

But everyone’s different. We all have our reasons for the stupid shit we do, even if this guy’s reason made no sense to us.

As Jeff said, he’ll get his. Especially since we have every intention of filing a police report.

But I won’t let the best part of the evening be taken away. That concert was fucking amazing. So, nice try buddy, but your assholery is just a tiny blip on the radar in my life, and after time, I’ll forget you, and just remember the music.

Stay Positive.

Freedom, Friendship, Chips and Dip, Worth It

5 Jul

It’s about 2 am. I have to get up for work at eleven, which isn’t awful but could be handled better. Jeff’s across the room reading comics on the internet, Morbo is asleep in his food bowl, the roommates are derping around with anime and I’m covered in bug bites.

Tomorrow I go back to work, which is a bummer that I’m dealing with. Things like seeing my sister next week and Ben Folds in concert on Friday are what are keeping me going. That and the new apartment, which feels so far away right now, a million years and countless hours of packing and work between now and then.

JulNoWriMo is going okay – I’m behind because today I decided to hang around with friends and cook instead of write. That’s okay. I’ll catch up.

Today I made a seven layer dip and a six layered cake. This amused me. It was pretty delicious stuff too – thank Nathan Fillion’s twitter recipe he posted a good six or seven months ago. Turns out you can be a brilliant actor and a genius cook too.

The comic continues, fairly well. I occasionally have spasms about the quality of my art and storytelling ability, but I figure I have what I have, I”m improving as time goes by, and I love doing it, so fuck the rest.

Sometimes I wish I could fast forward a few years and be able to live off my art and my writing. Somehow that feels like cheating though, so I suck it up and go to work for six hours and then come home and work another six hours drawing and beating my head against my novel. It’s all worth it. Fuck plan B.

Friends are friends. Still mostly a hermit, but had a great time tonight with folk, first with Jeff, Dan and Brandon watching movies and grilling and eating and conversing, then with Sam and Jess setting off fireworks while being chewed alive by mosquitoes, then going back to their apartment to play with their adorably spazzy kitty and watch The Emperor’s new groove.

I may be a hermit, but I love the friends I have. They remind me there’s something in the real world worth sticking around for.

Back to work tomorrow. I have a Carl Hiaasen book on audio to listen to, havarti cheese and cucumbers in the fridge to make sammiches with, enough money to survive frugally for the next two weeks even though I blew most of it on food and concert tickets.

Totally worth it.

Sometimes life just is.

Hope everyone else had a good 4th, even if you aren’t American and celebrating by blowing shit up. Hopefully today was freeing for all of us.

Self-Deprecation Seems Okay: Mini-Essay

5 Apr

You can’t live right if you hate your life.

I’m serious. If you hate your life, what you do with your days isn’t living, it’s an uncomfortable imitation. We sit and we stare at the world passing us by, converting oxygen into CO2 and food into feces. Breathing and shitting isn’t the only purpose to our existence, but sometimes it might as well be.

It might as well be because we hate who we are, hate who we see in the mirror every day even if we try to paint our faces and pin the corners of our mouths into smiles. Self-loathing is the new status quo ladies and germs, and its so cliché it’s accepted and expected.

I don’t live right most of the time. Most days I wake up hungover and feeling like last night was a mistake I won’t live down. I feel hungover even when I spent the night before sober, my mind a mess from the dreams of the night before, from the toils of existing. My working day is a haze of computer screens and fingers on keyboards, my nights mostly solitary, also mostly in front of screens. My computer is less an accessory and more an appendage, my gateway to an outside world I try to avoid even on my good days.

I make elaborate plans for self-improvement involving work-out schedules and the proper intake of sustenance, but find myself sitting on my ass three days later surrounded by empty bags of chips that smell of fake cheese and somewhat of shame.

Shame smells like cheese in a can. It smells like snack cakes and delivery pizza. Once or twice a week I scrub off my shame with a home-cooked meal, pasta or a grilled cheese, because I’m too poor to afford shame 24-7. I spend my money on long nights and poor decisions, on videogames and liquor, on cake mix and frosting, on the gas I need to run my car, on groceries that I select in the store carefully, trying desperately to do math in my head despite suffering from discalcula because what loser carries a calculator in a grocery store to make sure they only spend ten dollars on food to last a week?

Self-deprecation comes to us as naturally as breathing. It’s ingrained in us from the beginning and holds on with sharp and sticky fingers. It’s like a little monkey, a gremlin, some mutant creature clutching our back and whispering hateful thoughts into our receptive ears.

I hate myself most of the time. I wake up and stumble into the bathroom, staring at my hair that never sits right and my ass that isn’t perky enough and my tits that refuse to stay the same size as each other and the same shirt I’ve worn to bed since high school and I glare at my blurry reflection and tell it I hate it and wish it would just go fucking die already so I could stop dealing with it and everything it represents. It represents the degree I got that wasn’t worth anything. The half-dozen half-baked novels sitting on the hard-drive of my computer, all of them mediocre when read despite hours, days, weeks, months of hard work. The job I go to with the hope of advancement even though I’m only working part time at a job a monkey could do better. The friends who clearly don’t know me well enough or they would have run for the hills by now. The boyfriend I feel I don’t deserve no matter how many times he tells me I’m wrong.

When I was a kid I hated myself so much I was violent. I didn’t start fights or ram my head against walls, but that would have been less stereotypical. Less cliché.

Maybe that’s part of being a writer. Being a bit of a cliché. At least I’ve quit the cigarettes, even if the alcohol shows no sign of stopping.

We keep trucking though. We’re human, and we know we aren’t perfect no matter how many people try to put us on pedestals with their words and expectations. No matter how much we hate ourselves for our lack of perfection.

I’m occasionally guilty of loving myself. Of being okay with my out of shape body and never sits right hair, of liking my wonky tits and the shirts I’ve had since high school that I still wear for the memories. Of sitting down at my computer desk and typing up a novel that I want to write because even if it sucks, it’s a story I have to tell. Sometimes I think about how hard I worked to get through my BA, how far I’ve come since high school and the sad, broken girl lying on the floor of her bathroom, not caring if she gets blood on the tiles because then at least she’s feeling something. I feel lucky that I work in a basement with a dozen other nerds who type at inhuman speeds, that I can read at the speed of light and make ten bucks an hour part time practically right out of college. Lucky that I have people in my life who love to watch funny movies and mix strange drinks and make really bad penis jokes. That I have a boyfriend who loves me no matter how down I get on myself.

Maybe I’m mediocre. Maybe I’ve fucked up in too many ways to count. Maybe I’m just a hack.

But hating myself for it is no way to live my life. It isn’t living.

So, sometimes, if I try really hard and nobody else is around to see, I love my life. And in doing so, just for a little while, I really live.

 

 

All the Updates

18 Mar

Because I’ve been neglectful, here are various updates regarding the state of The Uncomfort Zone:

General Life Update:

I just finished week 2 at the new job, my parents are out of town on alternating weekends meaning I’m spending a lot of time keeping both my mother and father company. And by that I mean eating them out of house and home. Jeff’s about to go on Spring break, which he will spend gaming and studying while I work. It’s Friday, I have a beer in my hand, and I”m gonna make fajitas for dinner. After I clean the kitchen.

Work Update:

Like I said, it’s the end of week two at the New Job, and things are going well. I’m still typing up comments on surveys, and passing the time listening to the Drunk Tank podcast from the guys at Rooster Teeth. Other than that, I’ve been spending my breaks reading Jim Butcher books (currently reading Furies of Calderon) and fighting the possessed demon vending machine. Also, I’ve been occasionally taking the bus to save gas.

Money Update:

I am poor. As dirt. Assuming dirt is as poor as I am. I get paid for honest reals a week from today, so I get to experiment with stretching my meager money resources until then. At least I still have beer.

Social Life Update:

I joined a new D&D group, which won’t start until the end of the month. It’s a Pathfinder game, and I’m playing a half-elf druid, who doesn’t have a name yet, but I’ll get there. Other than that I’ve been a complete hermit.

Art/Writing Update:

Due to the abject poverty I’m hoping to start trying to get some of my stories published, work on my novel and start offering commissions on DeviantArt. That stuff’s all in the works anyway. I’ll get to it… eventually.

Health and Food Update:

Well, I’m walking more. I’m hoping to get back into actually exercising next week now that I’ve got something resembling a work routine. I’m eating as well as I can on a poverty budget, but taking sammiches to work definitely helps with that. That and cooking more, despite the constant state of disaster our kitchen is in.

TV Update:

I finished watching Ugly Betty. It was cute, and I really enjoyed it. Now I have a void in my life where TV should be. Any suggestions folks?

Gaming Update:

I’m not done with Pokemon Black yet, which is why I haven’t blogged about it yet. Sadly, I think I burned myself out a little playing HeartGold for a week straight before Black came out. But I’m almost 4 badges in, and started with Snivy. I promise I will write a real review when I’ve finished. I’m also playing Oblivion on the 360, which is definitely fun. I’ve been blogging about my gaming habits on my new side blog, Not Your Gamer Girlfriend, over here. You should check it out. It’s fun to write 🙂

Marching Ahead

1 Mar

March is apparently going to be the month of awful puns, so you’re welcome in advance for the groan therapy you will experience.

Other things March is going to be good for:

1) Rediscovering my local libraries. I dropped by there this afternoon to pick up the next Dresden Files book and also grabbed a few other fun reads (A Meg Cabot book and the first in the Scott Pilgrim series). That and the facilities are crazy shiny awesome and modernised. I think I know where to go to study for the LSAT next time.

2) New job! I start this Friday, and I’m crazy excited about it. Call me a dork, but I’ve been unemployed since January 16th and that’s made me just a little on the crazed side. I don’t react well to a large expanse of nothing on the horizon. Plus the job involves things I rock at: data entry, computer work and copying.

3) Pokemon. I already babbled about my HeartGold team earlier this week (and they, plus or minus a few team-members), and this Sunday I get to run to the mall like a six-year-old on Christmas and get my brand-spanking new copy of Pokemon Black! Which I will then play obsessively and blog about incessantly.

4) Income. There are no words for how much I miss being able to go to the grocery store and not obsessively try to do math in my head and give up my favourite things for the sake of being able to put gas in my car. Rest assured, my first paycheck will mostly be spent on grocery items. I’m cool like that.

5) Body art. It’s been almost a year since I got my first tattoo. I very much hope to have another one in the not too distant future. ❤ I’m thinking it’ll be my Star Wars tattoos.

6) Friends. I owe a lot of really awesome people a round of drinks, since my friends have been here for me every step of the way during my little unemployment stint. So, crazy amounts of thanks to all my awesome friends: Sam, Jess, Kelsey, Karen, both Dans, Caryn, Andrew, Paul, Adam, Beta, Clay, Heidee, Steven, Mark, all my other lovely and amazing friends, and of course my ever tolerant, somehow-hasn’t-murdered-me-despite-my-whining, awesome boyfriend Jeff. Thank you all for being fantastic and awesome and putting up with my unemployed rambles. My first paycheck comes out, and the drinks are on me. 🙂

7) Writing. I’ve got novels coming out of my ears, short stories flailing around for attention, sketches to work on and a huge music library to inspire me. It’s a good month for creativity folks.

8) Health and well-being. I’m on day eight of no soda, and even though it’s getting a lot harder to keep that going, I’m surviving with cranberry juice and delicious green tea. Exercise is also still going all right, as is eating better, though I still have miserable cravings for pizza.

Onward to March! Here’s hoping it’s gonna be a fun month folks! New chapters in life abound for all!

 

Lack of Regret: Things I Did Right

24 Jan

Yesterday’s post was a bit of a downer, no? Guess unemployment has made me a little on the negative side. Today is better though. Posted a new chapter over at The Bond, I dropped Jeff off on campus and got out of the house for a bit, I’ve got LSAT studying to do, I got a phone interview for a part-time position at The Home Depot, and I’m actually talking to friends online again instead of hiding like a recluse. Things seem to be looking up.

So, in light of yesterday’s regrets, today is a post about things I don’t regret about college and those four-ish years of education, both in and out of the classroom.

– San Diego Comic-Con 2009. We drove from Lincoln Nebraska to San Diego in two days for the four day comics and media extravaganza. It was long, it was cramped, the car broke down in the middle of the desert and we stayed in a house without AC, but it was worth it to meet so many kickass comic artists and see so many fantastic actors.

– Playing D&D. Yes, I’m a huge nerd. Yes, I spent my free time rolling dice and spent my money on sourcebooks. But it brought me closer to so many awesome people, it was totally worth it. That and it made me a better writer and creator of characters.

– I spent my final year of education studying my butt off. Sure, I have a couple low marks on my transcript (curse you Oceanography, curse you), but I finished college with straight A’s both my final semester and the semester before.

– I learned a lot about love. And how relationships are messy, tricky, and make you do pretty dumb stuff. I’ve learned what I can and cannot put up with in a relationship, and what it means to be treated both poorly and well by a significant other. I also figured out a bit more about my personal preferences and sexuality.

– I came to terms with my lack of religiosity. People may talk about god bringing them comfort in times of need, but I’ve never had a better time dealing with hardship when I had no god to rationalize as a punisher. Absence of God bringing you comfort indeed.

– I’ve learned to responsibly and rationally deal with alcohol and going out drinking with friends. I’ve had a few wild nights out with friends, but I never drank enough to black out, I always had a ride and I had a good time without screwing up my life. Alcohol can be fun kids, especially in the company of friends and comrades. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

– I held down two part-time jobs for two years straight. And passed all my classes. And didn’t kill anyone. Definitely a win.

– I switched my major concentration to British Literature over Creative Writing. Best decision I ever made. My Shakespeare classes were absolutely wonderful, I had kickass professors, and it turned out I had enough credits for TWO concentrations. But considering the issues I had with creative writing professors and their views of fiction, it was worth it to switch.

– I stayed in Lincoln instead of going to college on the coast. Sounds nuts, but it saved me a whole lot of money and I met some really awesome people I never would have met otherwise. Worth it all the way.

That’s a few ideas. A little positive energy for you. Hope you have a happy Monday and a decent week.

Jeff and Lora Will Finish Their Damn Novels in 2011 Even if it Kills Them: Part 1

2 Jan

So in case you haven’t noticed, dear readers, I’m a writer. I write things, of the novely variety, and now that I’m post graduation I finally have the time to focus on the novel I’ve been working at on and off since last June.

It’s the first month of the year and I have a novel sitting on my hard drive, poking my brain with a stick saying ‘write me, bitch, write me!’

My boyfriend, Jeff, is also a writer type. He’s in a similar predicament to me – he still has a little less than a year left of school, but he’s been working on his novel for the better part of three years. Much like me, he’s determined that this year will be the year.

This is it. This is the year that we stop sniveling, stop procrastinating, stop bitching and excusing ourselves, and knuckle down and write these sumbitch stories that are eating at our brains like rabid radioactive mice. We’re going to finish what we started, because we’re writers goddamnit and that’s what we need to do.Thus, we’re starting our own mini writing motivation game. It’s a bit like NaNoWriMo, it’s a lot more flexible, it’s just an encouragment.

We’re going to write a page for every day. At least. At minimum. Maybe some days we can squeeze out more – a chapter, a scene, up that count to two or three pages. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we write every day, or that we hold ourselves accountable when we can’t.

So, tonight, after we’re done eating pizza and watching Netflix, we’re going to sit on opposite sides of the room, put in our headphones, and write at least two pages, of an MS word document in my case, and of a lined notebook in his (different strokes for different folks – he likes handwriting, and I type faster than I write longhand). We have different projects, different methods, different ideas.

But we’re writers. And this is the year we’re gonna finish our damn novels. Even if it kills us.

Wish us luck. Heck, join in if you want to, we’ll welcome the company.

Here’s to 2011, the year of writing stories.