Twenty Sixteen

Oh hey, this still exists. I mean, I have made sure that it would continue to exist, but still surprised it is here because it’s been a little while since I bothered with it. And honestly I am only bothering with it now because I have other things I should be doing. Like writing for NaNoWriMo.

I tried NaNo last year, but it was only a few months after I moved back to Washington (hey, btw, I’m back in Washington~) and I just didn’t have the energy. This year, I am bogged down by house projects and crochet projects and life improvement projects and also have no energy but that’s no excuse not to try. I think. So! 50k words on top of life, I can do this. If I don’t distract myself trying to revive my blog as well. Why am I here again?


On writing… And not

Yea, yea; I know. No writing lately. I beat myself up enough about it, don’t need the whole of the internet (or the virtual dust bunnies which are my sole residents) reminding me of my short comings.
So, on writing:
November has come and gone and with it my sanity and 50k words torn from my soul. Yes, I managed to win NaNoWriMo. I haven’t touched my story since and mostly am trying to forget the utter trash that I threw onto pages. But it was glorious trash. I wrote, I learned, I got sick from too much caffeine intake. I was even social. I talked with real people, often several times a week, for a whole month.
But I have done little, okay nothing, in the way of writing since. November even burned me out on my journal writing which I had been so great about. I still want to write, I think I have a few tricks to be able to write more prolifically now which is awesome. I just need to sit down and do it.
Which leads us to the “And not” portion of my life:
It is mid January and I am doing nothing lately but planning gardens. I wake up with garden ideas and questions in my head. Yes, really. 4am this morning I was awake because I wanted to know about native bulbs. I went out in the snow to (re)measure and make sure I knew how much space I had for raised vegetable beds. I am making mini-greenhouses for winter sowing, where I pretend I am sane and put seeds out in below freezing weather. I picked up a wire shelving rack and some shop lights for starting seeds indoors. I have been pricing wood and compost and topsoil, buying seeds, and have a whole chrome window with about 50 tabs full of gardening information. I am determined to make this work this year.
On the other hand I have a back that hurts, a house that needs clean, stress from a clutch repair on the car and you know, general whineyness about the woes and miseries of life. But garden! Garden will be happy and will help with stress. I just need to stand up and do it.

Mostly, I just need to do stuff. Writing, gardening, living. I have sat around too long. There are things to do and I am always itching to do them. Something holds me back; energy, stress, ailments. The last few years I have been tearing down all the barriers one by one. It isn’t a fast process by any means, but I can see the progress and it’s starting to snowball. This winter has been tough and is testing my limits but I am dealing with things better than every before.
I look forward to the work of spring gardening, I look forward to another November of losing my sanity. I hope my year is filled with flowers and words and I can’t think of anything better.


I wrote a thing!

Was doing a writing prompt with the child after dinner, our prompt was about the discovery of the Pacific Ocean so we decided to just write about the ocean in general. While the child’s turned out funny (“The ocean is bigger than a hamster! And we all know how big a hamster can be!”) mine ended up being more poetic in nature. And then the child inflated my ego by going on and on about how good it was, so figured I should share it here. Still a first draft, and didn’t have time to finish, and downplaying my success because I am a dork and really need to stop doing that. I got something written, it wasn’t half bad, here it is. Also, yay! Two posts in a day!


Once upon a time, on an ocean far away, a little girl set out for the day. On a tiny ship she went, with all the money she hadn’t spent. Food and water and clothing too, she even had her favorite shoes. Across the ocean she would go, as far as the wind would blow. Her parents begged, “No! Don’t go!” But she just had to know. This little girl loved to wander, every day she did ponder: Why did the fish like to swim, what was in the water so dim? How far did the pretty birds fly, what else was in the sky? So she sailed for days and days, across the ocean, across the waves. She took notes on everything and loved to hear the ocean sing. One day the sky, it did roar, and the clouds began to pour. The water ate her in one bite, the little girl had no time to fight. Down and down and down she fell, devoid of light, devoid of smell. Til the bottom she did hit, but found her body hadn’t quit. Water she was breathing now, but she had no clue how. Water in, water out. What was this all about? Suddenly some creatures appeared, many form and they all cheered! “Hooray! Hooray! You’re still alive, we’re so happy you survived!”


Ahem, here I am again

I have spent the last few weeks collecting a half dozen books on creativity. This really seems to be my main downfall when I am writing, I can never come up with ideas. While I have found some good ones, I have found an interesting trend as well. Many creativity books on the market have less to do with the arts and more to do with business. Being creative in making products or finding solutions. In reading a few of these they make the point that creativity is kind of a crisis in America. So many people believe that they aren’t creative, while most books insist everyone is but they have been told by society in general that creativity is somehow a bad thing. That being artistic should be frowned upon. This is deeply depressing on many levels, but also quite clear in how we teach our schools and raise our kids. If someone finds a creative solution to a problem, they are in trouble for not doing it how they were told. We push writers to more mainstream positions in the workforce, like journalism. Painters and cartoonists should see their work as a hobby at best. I do agree that this really needs to change in our society. We need creative people to come up with new solutions in medical advancement, technology. New ways to run businesses, new ways to feed the population.
Ranting on a tangent.
Back to my creative problems. Besides these business creativity books, I have also found and collected a decent amount of books focused on artistic creativity that I have been working through. While I feel much better about my ability to write on ideas and silence the inner critic, I have yet to actually be able to. Which is immensely frustrating. So I’ll keep working at it. Hopefully by the time NaNoWriMo comes around I will have something to work on for the month.
In other news, one of the kids decided that NaNoWriMo is awesome and would love to do a story this year. “50,000 words?! That’s easy!” I wish I had his enthusiasm and am very proud of him for wanting to try. He even scoffed at doing the young writers challenge instead. I think he’s insane. By his own admission though: “I am super excited and unrealistic!” Said in the best way possible. I think that is my new NaNo motto.


Blog, the Yearly Edition

Almost a year since I posted. I had better hopes for myself. While I did participate in NaNoWriMo last November, I have not done much, if any, writing since then. Don’t ask why, probably some combination of discouragement and burnout. It will be September in a few days though and with the advent of autumn I find myself contemplating writing again. Specifically, prep for November. While I failed last year (I think I came in at a measly 10k words, but wow 10k was amazing for me), I find myself very excited for this year. I even want to interact with people and be part of the community (I doubt that will last long *shudders* people…).

Prep for me is going to involve several things, in theory. First and foremost is getting around to writing every day again. Flash fiction fridays, 3 word wednesdays, whatever I can manage. I want to make it part of my day. I am a firm believer, and have heard from many others, that creativity can be scheduled. That if you show up for your creativity, it will show up for you. This is always one of my biggest struggles though. I sit around and wait til I have an idea, even though I know it is better to just work and train my creativity to be on my schedule, rather than let myself be on it’s.

I also want to try and write here more. Writing is writing, it’s all practice and it’s all helpful. While I started this blog under very ambitious terms (5 days a week?! I claim temporary insanity), I am now hoping for a modest one post a week, possibly more while trying to struggle through NaNoWriMo. (Great idea Alyx! Add more distraction to what will already be a difficult month!)

In short, here we go again. Let’s see how well I do this time round.


Execution is worth millions

In the vein of my previous post and new resolutions, I came across this short blog post today and shared it with a friend. Then agonized for a few minutes over whether I should post it here. See, future-me, who is now-me, is already trying to trip me up.

I love this idea though. Ideas that you do nothing with, be it in business or writing or anything else, are worth very little. I can think of story ideas all day long, but unless I put them to paper at some point, they are fairly worthless. No one will ever see them or if I share, they will be soon forgotten because I have no execution to back it up with. You don’t generally remember books because they had an alien fish race fighting the catmen of the cosmos; you remember it because of the emotional attachment you had with Goldy, the vivacious young cadet who was caught behind enemy lines. The execution is what makes the connection.

A similar concept I come across in writing advice deals with a frequent complaint from new writers: it’s all been done before. The story is about a boy falling in love with a girl and fighting off a dragon/wizard/vampire horde to save her. But the execution of that idea makes all the difference. Snow White gets saved by a prince’s love but it is not the same story as Sleeping Beauty. Give 10 people the same idea and they will all come up with 10 different stories. Some will be executed well, others not so much, but all will be unique and worth more as a completed story than the idea itself.


Some thoughts

I have struggled since the inception of this blog to figure out what the hell I am going to say on it. I felt (feel?) like I was hastily rushed into it with little planning or general forethought; this isn’t exactly a bad thing. It means I got it going when I otherwise would have procrastinated my ass off, which is a very good point, but it also means that I keep staring at it and feel intimidated not knowing what to write. Though I slowly been realizing a few things.

I always worry if it’s good enough, if it’s important enough. The internet is full of people sharing their point of view, the best way I have seen it laid out is here through the theory of “Why wasn’t I consulted?” I don’t feel the need to inflict my opinion on the masses, indeed I often feel like I should avoid it wholeheartedly. What I think and feel has no bearing on the rest of the universe, nor does what others think and feel have direct influence over me. I still read blogs though, why? For the voice. For the way they share their opinions and thoughts. They are funny, insightful, show me a different perspective, every blog I read has something that draws me to it, and not just their unwarranted ramblings on the pros and cons of cat pictures.

Secondly, I don’t need to make this something deep. This blog is for me, to help me write and to find my voice. I am not trying to sell something, I don’t need to make it polished and pretty, slick and shiny. I keep a journal, but keeping a private journal does not amount to the same thing as keeping a public one. There I write about my day, my mood, I don’t think, I rarely punctuate properly. It is just stream of consciousness writing. Here, I would rather explore specific subjects, even if it’s a few lines and a link as Tobias Buckell does it. Or a mix of rants, ramblings and random crap as John Scalzi does with Whatever. What matters is that I am putting some thought into the posts, that I am going back and editing to help enhance my writing. People reading it helps, I get feedback that way; but if they don’t read it, so what? I don’t aspire to some great legacy or amazing number of views a day.

The major problem for me concerning a less thought out blog is that, because I have never aspired to converse with others often, I quietly file away my thoughts and move on with subjects. I have many opinions about things, but rarely share those even in my every day life. So while I have identified what seems to be my core problems on keeping up with blogging, I don’t know how to fix them very well. I need to talk about what I am thinking about, but always feel like I should talk about something “important” or at least worth reading. In short, I am a basket case with social hangups, wheee.

I still work to overcome them though. So for the foreseeable future, I am going to make a concerted effort to post more frequently while trying to turn my brain off. See something interesting, talk about it. Again, I say to myself in hopes I will hammer it into my head, this blog isn’t about the views – it’s about getting myself to write. If you want to read along to laugh at me or encourage me or just because sometimes I will go off on interesting tangents about aliens in my soup, feel free. I am only one blog on the internet, I would be just as happy blending in as I would be standing out.

And while I say all this now, and fully intend to follow through at the moment, future-me does not always agree with now-me and I will probably start the vicious cycle of not knowing to write all over again. But in the meantime, go me!


Also, I will probably change the layout soon.

  1. The layout I am using will no longer be supported so would rather find a new layout now before it randomly breaks on me
  2. I think I am ditching/simplifying my tags and categories
  3. I like change and am feeling very autumn-y, maybe some nice red-orange tones to match the season

Little Lonely Blog

Dear blog,

I miss you, and want you to know I am thinking about you often. Its been busy around here, with summer and new dogs and newborn puppies. The kids go to school next week though, and with my new found time I will be redoubling my efforts to write again. I have been reading this summer though. Got a couple books done and found some new authors to check out. Ideas have also been percolating in my head for various writing projects, I am just trying to find the energy to tackle them.

I hope you are doing well and can forgive my absence.


The person who doesn’t post enough


2nd Quarter Results

First, the easy part: 2nd quarter results for this year.

What did the second 3 months of my serious attempt at writing bring me? Less than I had hoped.

I have still written some every month, even if just journals. February is still my worst month this year. My average this quarter? 8308 words a month; not bad in the long run, but 3k less a month than first quarter. I did write some short stories in this quarter, and even put one on a critique site for some feedback. But I also went long weeks not writing at all.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I can!

Err I mean, because accountability! And being conscious of my own progress!

Because its my blog and I can write what I want on it!


In other news, instead of writing I have finished a quilt, got 2 new dogs, did tons of gardening and yardwork, and generally did not writing things. I’ve been a bit busy. So rant rant rant, I need to write more, read more, be more what I want to be. But I am working on it! I still think about it every day, even if I don’t write. It may be a slow process getting where I am going, but at least I am trying.

That sounds so pathetic, and trying is not the same as doing, but you know, positive thinking and such.


Three Word Wednesday

Todays story prompt brought to you by Three Word Wednesday.

((Liability, badge, darken))

She showed her badge to the woman at the door and was let through in silence. The hallway was long and the light was low, layers of newspapers were plastered on the windows to keep the bright city out and red drapes darkened the lights inside. In the winter chill she could smell the dampness seeping in, seeking a release from the oncoming freeze outside. Through the chatter of the patrons, she could hear the jazz wafting towards her from the club.

Small venues like this were one of the few perks of being in the task force. Staff and patrons alike were mellow around here, but it was still exclusive; you could be on the waiting list for years. Unless you were in the task force of course, enforcer of the cities ludicrous music laws. Larger venues were more closely run than the alleyway clubs though, her presence there was seen as a liability to the corporations. The bigger the venue, the more likely it was ran by the corporation; larger pockets, larger fines when things went wrong. No one wanted to see the task force lurking around a concert or popular city club, it only meant trouble.

Lindsay was on the task force, but she didn’t agree with their methods. Fining even the unknown artists for sampling works or collaborating with the greats of the past. This was supposed to be a free society, all copy-writes where abolished decades ago. But the government still discouraged the use of the time machines for personal gain, even as they exploited the past, mining it for technology and wealth. This time someone had gone too far though, someone had brought back more than a few bars of music, they brought back Thelonious Monk himself.

Stepping into the club proper she was drawn to the bar, glowing blue against the matte black walls of the room. “Whisky,” she told the barkeep. A habit acquired from her fathers obsession with the past, few places served real alcohol anymore, opting for the synthetic blends of liquid that had grown popular as of late, but she appreciated the way whiskey burned the back of her throat. As she waited for her drink she looked around the club, everyone absorbed in their own drinks and the music. It was hard not to appreciate the old Earth feel in the room, she guessed that’s why they sent her.

No sign of Mr. Monk though, she didn’t really expect there to be this early in the afternoon. She was supposed to meet Adrian, the clubs owner in 10 minutes. She had a bad habit of being early, and Adrian had a bad habit of avoiding the task force. “Where’s the boss?” Lindsay asked the barkeep when he brought her whiskey, he just shrugged and went on to making some martinis for the couple at the end of the counter.

It wasn’t supposed to be possible to pull people forward in time, but she knew better. Before her fathers split with the science division, he had been having a love affair with a women in the early 1920’s that he met on his first jump. In time that woman had a child, but he couldn’t risk disrupting the time line. He found a way to bring the baby through the transporter and was disbarred from the Academy for it. Lindsay never knew her mother, enforcers made sure of that, but her father kept her well hidden. They never knew of the baby girl with the split time signature.