Working on writing

I realized last night that I’ve been gone from Store and I have done jack shit when it comes to working on my writing. Granted, I have remembered to update this thing at least once a week (yay, go me) and I’ve been working on comic ideas (I told a former coworker about missing not being able to write down stupid shit from Store for comic fodder and she has excitedly told me she will happily tell me the best stories as they unfold).

But, I realized: I haven’t really worked on stories (I’ve done what? a couple hours throughout this whole time?), I haven’t bothered to look for stories I’ve typed up (granted, two of those stories were on the external hard drive and I’ll have to re-work them from memory. but hey, good writing excersize!), and I haven’t bothered to look for story bits and peices that I’ve got written in various notebooks.

As someone who wants to be able to do writing most of the time, I’m doing a fairly shit job of working on it.

This morning, I’m not even trying to think of my self-imposed daily wordcount goal. I’m just trying to get the words out of my head and onto “the page” (an electronic page since I’ve been typing things up) just to see how the story bit goes. I’m not necessarily working on a whole story, at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’m just working on a part of a story, a part that has decided to play over in my head again and again for days (although, it’s gotten less and less the more I write it)

Maybe I should pull out the typewriter and see if that helps. The loud, obnoxious clacking of the keys might help. But I think I need new tape as it’s been a while since I’ve messed around with it, and the little typewriter shop has varying hours since it’s a guy’s hobby-shop and only takes cash. I’ll also have to remember how to get the tape out of the typewriter! (I’m glad I got the suitcase one and not the one from the turn of the 20th century from Mickie. Although it was a beautiful peice, it was hell on my fingers. it was from the…20s I think. teens or 20s, no later than ’27 though)

Maybe if I showed what I’ve got to someone it would help steer me to where I need to be. Jamie and I have fun discussions on story ideas, lobbing bits and peices back and forth. But, then again, Jamie could be a bit biased since it’s me and we’ve been together for 12 years.

Small Victory

As I’ve spent a couple of days starting to feel a bit like a failure at things (ended up somehow getting sick for a couple of days beforehand), I made myself write. Well, in reality, Jamie sent me a link via text of this website to check out that does call-outs for anthologies (it’s horrortree.com)  and said I should try to submit something for one of the upcoming anthologies.

Of course, I immediately zeroed in on the call-out for Krampusnaught II. And, while it’s only been a day, cannot, for the life of me, think of something that I could use towards sending. And hell, it’s not like rejection bothers me. If I get rejected by someone, I can always go and bother someone else with a submission. No worries there. (or, if I get too disheartened by one story, I can always post it somewhere–probably here–to share with people).

But, Jamie did push me into working on a part of something that’s been going through my head for a couple days. So, while listening to Adam Savage’s latest Maker Faire talk, I started working on it and…got stuck. It’s something ridiculously stupid, especially for a first draft, and I can’t get past it. I saved my work, surfed the web a bit, listened to some urmaker on youtube, and spent a little bit thinking of what to write.

Not in the story that I’m piddly-fartin’ around in, not the gremlin story that’s currently stuck, and not the roller coaster story that I think I may have to re-write from memory (our external harddrive is currently being “looked” at and see if anything can be retrieved from it by one of Jamie’s coworkers and that’s where the roller coaster story resides.). Not any of the story ideas or bits and bobs that I’ve got laying around, not any of the ideas that I know I just put down and haven’t seen for months (seriously, where did that weird little shit story go to? it was neat, and weird, and made me think of my granma Mickie)

But, in the vein of: how little can I write to pack a punch?

I’m a wordy person. I’ve long since trained myself to be as descriptive as possible (which turned out to be super helpful for my psychosis and weirding the hell out of the medical professionals I’ve worked with in the past two years), and sometimes I know that can be a hinderance. It’s easy to get lost in descriptions of places or things (or cats). It’s easy to get into a rhythm of narration of how someone walks or their daily life.

I’ve got a flash fiction peice somewhere of a guy describing a painting, and I like it. I just don’t know where it is (probably the external hard drive. I’ve got a hand-written copy somewhere) and I was thinking: can I write something that’s 100 words or less?

Working with the peice of the story I was working on yesterday (working title is “little old man”) and I was a little surprised by the amount of words I had for just one paragraph. 150 words. One paragraph.

So, I thought about it and managed to whip it up. 99 words, including the title.

I did, however, steal slightly from Neil Gaiman of the concept of using the title to begin the story, because I thought it was a really neat trick.

The peice is definitely no amazing work, and I definitely don’t expect to submit it anywhere. It’s not genius, but it was fun to do.

So, small victory for me. Yay.

Maybe this will help get me out of my rut of story ideas and such.

Procrastinating with a cat

I currently have Snooch, my wonderful (and stinky) fat cat keeping my lap warm while I put off doing laundry and finding the broom.

I finished the book Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed by Jeannie Davide-Rivera. It’s about growing up with undiagnosed autism and reading it had me going, every so often “Hey, that’s me.” or “Hey, that’s us!” It was kind of strange. I was telling Jamie about it and he went, “Yep, that’s us.”

While we each have our own various diagnoses, I doubt our psychiatrist would bring up Aspergers because of how we’ve managed to work our way around it. But, who knows. She probably notices various things and attributes them to Jamie’s OCD and my paranoid schizophrenia.

But, neat book. It was a decent read.


 

Hmm. when did we start being able to randomly get page breaks? I’m used to making a couple hash marks as a divide and go from there. Weird.

 

So, we “rented” a film from Amazon called Southbound. I had seen a gif from it on the HPLHS facebook group that comes from the film and I found it absolutely fascinating. I showed it to Jamie and we found where the gif came from and last week we had enough time to sit down and rent the film. ($2.99 for 48 hours)

From what I understand, it’s by the people who did the V/H/S series. If this is true, the fuck yeah! I love the V/H/S films.

It’s five plots rolled into one film. In the beginning, it almost seems incoherent because it starts in the middle of a story. We both thought it was really cool. Not much on the jump-scare thing, but more of an overbearing dread. I wish we could convince our friend Jason to watch this with us (his fiance would probably love the hell out of the film)

Baby blanket

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Months ago, I had the idea that I’d make a baby blanket with the S loom I have (the inaugural knit for the S loom) for Jamie’s boss. His boss found out she was pregnant and I decided, when we’re done with the whole wedding thing, I’d work on a baby blanket for her. I had this adorable baby yarn (seriously, it’s toted as “baby yarn,” probably due to its softness) that I had managed to snag for $1.  I thought it’d be best to use the S loom instead of one of my long looms because then I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of yarn (while it was one of the Giant Skeins of yarn, I only had one roll)

But, of course, working for Store, I was regulated to working 50+ hours a week with one day off if I was lucky and constantly getting overtime because…some of my (former!) immediate coworkers don’t understand the concept of coming in on time. I had managed to get into that rut of get up, get ready for work, go to work, come home, maybe eat, go to sleep. I really hated it.

Then I quit my job and Jamie told me when his boss would be back at work, so I made sure that I finished this sucker up so she could get it on her first day back (huzzah!). I didn’t do any sort of edging, because I figured I didn’t have the time (I had just finished it the Friday before she came back), so it rolls. I think it works. It’s weird, it’s different, and it works.

Online, it says that a baby blanket is supposed to be 30×30. This turned out to be like 32×36. A little off (but not bad for guesswork on the length!).

Jamie’s boss loves it and I’m glad. I had gotten to the point where I thought everything looked like crap.

yarn

A short bit ago I finished rolling up a skein on yarn.

It doesn’t seem like much.

I had a large skein of black yarn that was just a mass of knots and tangles. Looking at it frustrated me and at some point I went out and bought a new skein of black yarn in order to avoid attempting to untangle the heap of acrylic string. It had turned from nicely wrapped to massive heap three years ago.

Three years ago.

And tonight, after I put the girls to bed while Jamie was giving Dunk-dog some extra lovins (he’s such an anxious dog), I decided to go into the basement and grab some yarn from my stash so I could learn some new things. I came across this tangled mess and set it to the side so I could bring it upstairs and untangle it.

Twenty minutes into unraveling it, I realized that it happened three years ago, shortly after I started working for Store. And in all that time, I was so frustrated, so angry, that it was a huge mess that instead of spending the 20 minutes it took to untangle everything, I thought it’d just be easier if I bought a new skein and left that one there. I sat there, undid all the kinks and knots, and felt calm.

I was fine, I wasn’t tense or frustrated, I just calmly worked it until I could start a yarn ball and had a clear head the whole time. Instead of it being one big aggrevation, it was a nice relaxing way to spend about 45 minutes.

I told Jamie what I realized and he said “See, and now you don’t have to deal with Store! Isn’t that great!”

It is.

I just wish I could craft/write as my “day job” instead of continuing my search for employment elsewhere.

flower flower flower

I’d been meaning to update and thinking of what can I write. What to write. And then I spent a day helping Jamie feel better by sticking Smrgl in the craft room (with food, water, and box), Snooch and Faustus in the basement (with food, water, and box), and Uggs in the bathroom (with food, water, and box) so he could snuggle derpy-dog Dunk while he felt terrible. And I read to him terrible book descriptions and took care of him.

So this week, it’s been the perfect precursor to a Southwest Virginia summer (at least for Roanoke): spring damp and lightly chilly at about 6.30 in the morning, workable spring weather until about 8 or 9, depending on the day, and hot/humid until about 6pm. The plus side is that it’s been raining every day this week, the downside is that it’s been raining all week. I love that we’re getting the rain, and now that I’ve got my herbs set up (all except the chamomile, which decided to explode everywhere instead of be nice like the rest of them, so it’s back in the craft room with the other starters), I’m a bit worried they may drown a bit. I’ve never grown Angelica, St John’s Wort, and a few others, but I know Savory, Parsley, and Feverfew will eat this up.

All the other starters are still in the craft room, the fava beans have decided to grow extra roots, Snooch has decided that the teeny (5 1/2 inch tall) stalks of corn should be taste tested, and the peas are cascading wonderfully. Yep, it’s May and everything is still in the craft room because the weather has been so wet (or waaaay to hot, even at 8am) that we haven’t been able to get the last of last year’s landscape stuff off the ground and rip up any stray weeds. Because it’s rained so much there are a ton of weeds right now. Seriously. Last week, it was like: ok, so it’ll take me a good few hours. This week: I need as many energy shots and tools as possible. And possibly a goat. Or Bug. (Bug loves to chew on grass).

I think we can get it taken care of.

And yesterday, I spent some time trying to figure out how to make those little puff-flowers that you can crochet. I spent time going back and forth with a tutorial on youtube, pausing it repeatedly so I could practice, and listening to various John Cleese and Rob Paulsen interviews

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They’re definitely not as pretty as the ones in the video (the little yellow ones on the right hand side are just the middle part). The hideous one in the upper left hand corner is kind of awesome, it looks like it’s melting. At least, I think it looks like it’s melting. It’s because of the yarn that was used (red heart boutique unique; candied; lot 166538), it’s this really awesome yarn that is multiple coloured and fades into each colour really well. I have three skeins of it (I got them for $1 each!) and I wanted to see how it would look. I’m planning on making socks with this yarn because it is so cool.

I also realised while doing this yesterday, that I wasn’t getting frustrated or anything. It’s a nice change  from the constantly frustrated, constantly stressed, always on edge during my time working for Store. I’ll miss some of the people I worked with, but I definitely won’t miss the stress. So yay, small progress for me!