Tell a story

I was speaking with my mom last friday (because it was my birthday. yay birthday) and my main goal is to make her laugh. I love making my mom laugh. Be it with a joke, a story, a terrible side comment while we’re out. Anything. If I can make my mom laugh, she can be happy, and that’s the important bit. (my mom is awesome)

She asked me if I had gotten a new job yet or if I was just taking this time as an “extended vacation.” I told her I was looking for a new job, but in the mean time I’m working on writing and cleaning and dog stuff. Mom told me that I should write because I “tell good stories” and that I would be great at it. She continued with saying that I should tell my funny stories because it makes her laugh and I could “easily get a lot of followers.” lol

What caused this was I was telling her a story, to make her laugh and to show how derpy Cricket is.

So.

Since it’s hot outside and we live in SWVA, it’s muggy from 8 am to 8 pm. We have a short time for yardwork between 7 am, when the noise ordinance is over, and 8–maybe 9 if we’re lucky. Or, between like 7:50 pm to when the sun goes down and we no longer have visible light to see by. But my tomato and melon plants and corn are thriving, so there’s that (however, the grass has come back so now the areas look like a grassy plane with plants)

We own a kiddie pool. A Bright. Neon. Pink. kiddie pool. I got it on sale for $5 like two years ago. The dogs use it as a giant water bowl and the only dog to ever lay in it was Hobbes (and now he can’t because some fucking peice of shit fucking stole him out of my yard. lured him out of my yard and sped away. I wish nothing but bad, horrible, terrible luck on them and I want my godsdamned dog back).

Currently, Dunk-dog will step in it and stand there most days and Cricket will step in it occasionally. Firefly and Bug will drink out of the kiddie pool, but that’s it. Bug thinks it’s a ploy for something and Firefly knows that if she’s not careful the giant water bowl will turn into the giant bath bowl and that’s never good. Firefly is weary of any large body of water that is not a dog dish.

Jamie bought a sprinkler, saying it’d be great for the dogs before realizing it’d be a great waterer for the garden…if we can get it to do a 180 sprinkle instead of a 110 sprinkle. Bug and Firefly see it as a barrier of awful, Dunk thinks it’s weird, and Cricket’s like eh, whatever and walks around. Currently, we haven’t used the sprinkler for them specifically. We’ve just played with it. Normally, we use the hose and its sprayer-of-many-settings.

Bug and Firefly are terrified, hanging back if I fill the water bowl and kiddie pool or at least being a few steps away watching me wearily as I water the garden. Dunk stands near me but doesn’t want to get sprayed in the head. And then there’s Cricket.

Cricket is our black derpy border collie. She’s average height, but mostly black. So, we worry about her when she’s out. Sure, we have half of the area shaded by our awesome tree, but she’s …special. She’ll stand on the porch or patio in the blaring sun and just stand there. Every so often she’ll stand in the kiddie pool or hang out in the shade. But then she’ll stand on the porch or roll in something in the sunny area and be a silly dog.

So, I was watering the garden. It was after 4pm and I try to stick with what my grandmother told me: if you water your garden, don’t do it between 10am and 4pm because that’s the hottest part of the day and it’ll just evaporate and you’ll have wasted your time.

I changed the setting from jet (to get to the farthest garden spots) to shower (to get to the closest areas) and realized that Cricket was just standing there. So I sprayed her a little.

She walked away, played with Firefly for a bit, and came right back. So I sprayed her again.

I didn’t hold her down and spray her, nor did I chase her with the hose (because, hell, if I wanted to, I could chase all the dogs and spray them). I was like 5-10ft away from her.

I put the hose down, I had finished with the garden, and Cricket immediately came up and jumped on me, grinning like a goober. I rubbed her ears, laughing at her, and then she got down, shook excess water on me, and ran away to go play with Dunk.

I got my dog with the hose, and she got me back.

 

I told this story to my mom and she howled with laughter.

small accident

On Saturday, Jamie had gotten a riding lawnmower from Fred (his dad) for Allen (his bonus dad). Jamie and Fred got it into the bed of the truck along with the ramp slats (they’re 8×2 boards with those metal doodads riveted to one side), Jamie came home and we went to Allen and Rhonda’s to deliver it. Jamie had to pull through the alleyway to the backyard.

Guess who got to sit on the rider and go backwards? This girl!

It wasn’t so bad while I was on the bed of the truck, but then I hit the tailgate and asked if I could get off and just push. Nope. A few adjustments to the ramps, and I got stuck. I started getting a bad feeling and said “I am going to die” and “I want off, can I get off.”

The bad feeling should’ve gotten my butt out of the seat, but it didn’t.

The left ramp slid out,  and the machine and I went tumbling.

I didn’t get crushed. The most that happened was my shoe got caught and flew a foot or two away (good thing I was wearing my sneakers! they don’t have laces) and the rider landed on its side.

I did land on my hands. But! I didn’t hit my head nor did I lose or break my glasses, so I count that as a plus. Rhonda kept saying that I had landed on my shoulder, Allen freaked out because I got hurt, and Jamie asked if I was alright.

Normally, I laugh when I’m injured, but not this time. I tried to laugh, looking at my hands, but couldn’t. I cried. Jamie helped me up and I got Rhonda to give me back my shoe, which she had picked up. Jamie and Allen moved the rider into the correct position and I realize I can’t move my thumb; it’s completely numb.

Fuck, I think I broke my thumb.

Jamie and I walked up to the house while Allen looked over the rider. The shock wore off by the time I went to rinse the blood off my hands and fucking hell that shit hurts. And I realize that not only is my right thumb numb, but my left wrist is numb and going up one side. Fuck, I may have broken my wrist. Awesome.

While it’s not the first time I’ve broken that wrist (broken, fractured, or sprained), I still don’t look forward to what all that entails.

Jamie and I headed to a local immediate care to get it checked. Go in, get the four bloody abrasions cleaned (two on right thumb, one on left ring finger, and one on left palm), and ended up getting a bonus tetanus shot. (it’s been two days and my upper left arm still hurts. nyrr) And got 3 X-rays.

No broken bones, just bruised.

Bone bruising sucks. I just wish that while bone bruising happened, I just wish enough blood vessels in the skin would pop to show off the wonderful bruising as well. But no.

So, no wrapping or bracing at the clinic. I’ve got enough ace bandages, wraps, braces, and everything else at the house to keep me stocked up (except for bandaids. I’ve run out of bandaids faster than we normally do, and apparently we lost half a box somewhere in the house. I blame the gnomes)

And I’m pretty useless. The dogs are slightly terrified thanks to all the shrieking I’ve done (dog training and the use of sharp, shrill noises helps, whether I do it intentionally or not). I can’t wash dishes, I tried picking up Uggs last night and dropped him (he was on the bed, he got like four inches off the bed). The only reason why I can type is because throughout the years I’ve become proficient in one handed/three fingered typing. And, as the things go on, not moving my left wrist isn’t hard and the abrasions on my thumb do not get bonked when I hit the space bar.

Testing the WordPress app.

Jamie is currently playing Far Cry Primal, lamenting that I missed the lobotomy scene.

Mr B got snipped yesterday and has a cone so large I could use it for a Pixar Lamp costume. Mr Uggs got a reverse mohawk due to a minor staph infection and is currently using his ability to lick the cone as loudly as possible to voice his displeasure of the whole thing.

image

I laughed so much at him last night that he spent part of the morning running into my shins as revenge. He’s ok.

I should get in gear

Instead of writing about what I’ve got, I should probably just work on writing. But, not right now. This will be writing about what I should be working on instead of, y’know, actually writing.

And, besides, my goal is: 400 words or 4 comics. Currently writing is overruling. (and no limit to what kind of writing. It could include writing down things I need to do, like laundry, fattening up the dogs, to making a grocery list to writing up a blog post or writing down an idea or something funny someone’s said)

I have found 30 stories that are in various stage of unfinished and not a damned one of them is the one I’m looking for. There must be more notebooks that I haven’t found or looked into. The amount also does not include what I’ve currently got on the PC nor does it include the various peices of stories that is on a thumbdrive.

Granted, these are just the ones where I’ve done more than a paragraph or two. I’ve just stopped because I run into that “I don’t know what happens next” or I had to clock in for work and just lost the thread. One of the stories I printed out to do a basic edit on what I had. Just a few notes here and there, so I sat down and re-read it, adding a few notes here and there (e.g: no paragraph break here, keep the paragraph break there, yes you really should name these people, you need more description here) and I got to the end and realized that I want to know what happens next.

Now I’ve got to figure out what happens. I’ve got a basic idea, but all I can do write now is make a few notes.

I guess I’m just really bad at writing down what’s in my head, whether it’s a line (“I am an Equal Opportunity Hater.”), a paragraph (a what if ____), or a few pages, and then stopping when I hit a snag before going off and writing something else. Or just going off and writing whatever else pops into my head in general.

This makes me realize that I should probably get my ass in gear. Looking at just the list of stuff I’ve started (completely ignoring the numerous ideas jotted down and not even half-assed fleshed out), it makes me realize that if I can just finish some of these, maybe I can put them together as a small book.

Compared to some of the stuff I’ve read recently, I could totally pull this off. I’ve got two or three stories that I know are done, they just need to be edited. Or read over to see where it looks like it’s going and work on finishing it up.

400 words. I should be able to do that. I’ve hit the 400 word goal working on this, so working on fiction should be easy, right?

 

swift kick

I need a swift kick in the ass to get my shit together.

I went to go through a notebook to look for an unfinished story and then realized that story I was looking for wasn’t in that particular notebook (I’m looking for the one I’m calling “pig dreams”) I realized that I should go through the notebooks that I have written in to see what’s in there.

I had to grab an empty notebook to make notes of where stories were. Four notebooks and I’ve got 10 stories that are unfinished, not including the print-out of a story I had tucked in one of the notebooks.

10 stories. 10 unfinished stories.

I’m a little disappointed in myself (however, I did find a finished flash-fiction peice, so woohoo!)

I’ve been reading through what I’ve got so far and I realized: I want to know what happens next! I told Jamie of my little revelation and he just went “Well, so what happens next?” The downside is, I don’t know what happens next. At least, right now I don’t know what happens next.

But holy cow, I didn’t realize I had done that (started a bunch of stories and then went off to work on another story idea). I’ll be going through and seeing where they go, but this also means I’m going to have to set the printer back up. I prefer to hand-write my notes when I read over the drafts. Looking over on something on the PC to edit just makes it seem so…I don’t know, disconnected maybe.

Right now, I’m just making notes on which notebook has story bits in them. I plan on making notes on which notebook has one-liners or half-baked ideas or ideas that seem interesting but haven’t been even partially mapped out.

I told Jamie that with just the amount of stories that I found in those first four notebooks, I could probably self-pub a book. I mean, hey, why not? I’ve been planning on posting up stories and seeing how they go, but I don’t know.

what the hell

While I’ve been contemplating looking into self-pub, I’ve come across a couple articles on plagiarism in the last week. I find it strange, unnerving, and sad. It’s almost as bad as coming across all these King in Yellow posts that keep popping up here and there (which is unnerving as hell. might not be to most people, but I’m paranoid despite knowing and understanding algorithms). Maybe it’s because I follow writers, and creators, on both twitter and tumblr.

I just don’t get it. I got this article via Scalzi’s twitter and then this article came up on something, I really don’t remember where it popped up (maybe facebook). But, they’re the two main ones that made me go what the fuck people.

I think what it is is that maybe I just don’t get it. I don’t get why people would do this. Is it greed? Is it to preen your feathers of a “job well done”? Why would you take someone else’s work and change a handful of words or change the gender of the characters and then play it off as if it’s your own? Is it because the person never really grew out of that “I’m a little shit” smugness of a five year old?

Honestly, the most I’ve stolen is a title and that was recently. I did it as a little writing challenge and stole a title from Neil Gaiman (it’s “He Was”) and I’ll be straight up honest with that. I found his title and idea absolutely fascinating, but I also went in another direction. I was listening to one of his interviews/talks on youtube and he read it. I thought it was really neat and a few short months later got to thinking about the title and idea and thought about the challenge of 100 words or less. I doubt I share it because it’s…well, most people would think it’s pretty dark but those who know me will just probably just shrug and tell me what they think.

Is it a money thing that causes these people to want to steal someone else’s work? Sadly I hear more about artwork being stolen (though not as much as I used to since I’m not active on any art-sharing sites any longer) than anything, and it really boggles the mind.

Maybe I just can’t grasp the concept of greed like normal people. My idea of greed is hoarding the plate of fries or saying I want All The Books!  So I really don’t get why people do this. Does it cause some sort of self-inflated faux satisfaction of a job well done or something?

The second article I shared mentions that one of the people did it to, possibly, keep their rankings up on Amazon. What the hell. In a way that’s twisted and in another way that’s sad. It’s almost like watching high school drama all over again–people vying for the top spot and them resorting to stupid shit.

Maybe instead of stealing other peoples work you could, I don’t know, market yourself.  Share it on social media, share it with friends, get your fans to share it with other people. Post it to places that have items that are like yours. Grow a fanbase.

Hell, Digger and The NoSleep Podcast wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for the creators talking with people, talking with their fans. David Cummings, producer of NoSleep, is always talking to people on twitter. Ursula Vernon gets packages of food to try on KUEC from fans because she’s always been open about things. I’ve gotten people interested in both peoples work because I talk and share it.

So I really don’t get why people feel the need to do this. “Up your rankings” on Amazon is kind of bullshit in my opinion. It makes me think that the author is either writing the same thing over and over, is writing YA stuff like R L Stine (who does like three books a year or something), or is writing pulp for pulps sake.

While I love the idea of more people writing and more people showing off their work, isn’t releasing 5, 10, 20 books a year oversaturating the market?

I know most people aren’t like Jamie and myself, who go through pages and pages of books on Amazon and other websites just to look around and see what’s nifty. I’m fairly sure most people scroll through two or three pages before going on to something else or they don’t go through pages of books that have authors like the ones they enjoy.

But maybe the whole idea is weird to be me because I find plagiarism to be bad mojo. You take someone else’s stuff and you’re setting yourself up for something bad to come to you. Sure, it might be a stubbed toe or something small like that. But it could also be something like getting sued for every penny you have. And I really don’t get why people are so willing to risk that.

Reading a story and taking the idea or concept and going in a different direction is great. If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have Carmilla or Nosferatu. We wouldn’t have comics that were inspired by Calvin and Hobbes. But, being a dick and stealing other peoples work so you can preen your feathers, that’s just fucked up.