Somewhere, something is going on

My unwritten goal for the blog was to update it more frequently than I had. Not like Scalzi level updating because I don’t think I could do that (in fact, I’m fairly sure I haven’t been able to do that since high school). But more on a “at least one to two times a week” kind of updating rota.

Yeah. This isn’t happening.

It’s like the whole “gonna update my comic tumblr twice a week.” Ha. I haven’t touched it in…a couple months or so. I don’t even know anymore.

So. Things. Things are happening.

My dad is still in the hospital, however he has been recently moved into a “normal” room so that’s a huge plus. He has physical therapy to help him re-learn how to use his left side, he’ll probably have to see a psychologist in order to help with the forced detox from addicting behaviors (smoking/drinking), but that probably won’t be until after he gets some speech therapy or something. I don’t know.

But, the staples are out of his head, he’s medicated, his boss is worried about him so that’s a plus. I have no idea how long he’ll be in the hospital, I have no idea if we’ll be rearranging the house in order for my parents to live with us. It’s an underlying stress that’s been going on for the past almost-month.

Jamie’s dad and step-mom came by yesterday to help with the house. They insisted and it helped because they brought a new door for the dog room (because of course I have dogs who will destroy a door), and while Jenny and I worked on doing inside cleaning, Jamie and Fred worked on fixing the part of our fence that was slowly falling down.

After they left, I went out in search of my glasses (because I lost them this past tuesday) and found them under the car after I’d been laying partially under the car and seeing a wall crab I’d never seen before (small wall crab with spindly black legs and a red body). I’d sighed and went “Anasazi, if you’re around, could you point me in the direction of my glasses? Because I’ve never seen one like that one before” (the wall crab) and sure enough, that little red-with-black legs wall crab walked over to where my glasses were.

I left out fruit in thanks.

I try to not bother gods because I like how Granny Weatherwax thinks of it: you acknowledge that they’re there, but there’s really no need to bring attention to yourself. I think it’s a good way to see it as: they’re there, sometimes they like to hear people say their names, and sometimes they like to be talked to or thanked. But, there’s really no reason to go out of your way to grab their attention because then you never know what’ll happen.

With my phobia, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Anasazi took a shine to me because he seems like the kind of person who likes to fuck with people for shits and giggles. It’s like dealing with Mercury/Hermes, who I think likes to remind people to stop taking life so seriously.

In a sense, it seems hilarious that jokester gods and story teller gods are my kind of gods. But hey, whatever works I guess.

I’ve been trying to work on writing a bit. I saw a submission call for a Halloween story, but there wasn’t any deadline at the time and I thought it’d be fun. While I doubt that I meet the deadline or anything like that, I think it’d be a lot of fun to write a Halloween story. It’s helping me stay away from the one story I was working on before my dad had his seizure/stroke/whatever it was. I’m not in the correct headspace for it.

I’ve got about 7 pages written in a notebook for the Halloween story and I’m just now getting my characters parked at the setting they need to be in for things to start going and out of the car. Hey, not bad. I mean, I could have probably prolonged it but that would’ve made it boring as hell. And, it’s only the first draft so who knows what’ll happen.

So it’s really weird knowing that I’m working on a horror Halloween story and now I’m getting smacked in the head with an idea for a pseudo folktale kind of thing. I guess maybe it’s a sign to take a break from horror and see where this idea goes before going back to horror and working on the Halloween story along with the one I had a dream about the other day (complete with watching myself write the story title down in the dream. super weird)

And lastly:

Still working on knitting. Woo. I like it. I’m enjoying making the shawls and I’m thinking that if I have another 500+ yd skein (not necessarily lace weight, but something between it and the “sport” weight I normally use. I have half a skein of what it is somewhere in my stash), I’m going to go for another idea and see how it works out.

I finished Super Hideous Texture shawl and, now that I’ve used it up, finished it, etc, it doesn’t feel as awful as it did when I was making it. The textures striped naturally and Jamie said that it would look so much cooler if there were more sparkly yarn interspersed throughout the yarn besides the just 2 or 3 spots that it was.

Now, I’m on a new shawl, using a pseudo chunky style yarn that I pulled apart 3 times and now I’m on tryout number 4 and the 4th try has come out pretty well and I’m happy with it. It’s not as tight as it was, and as I continue, it’s kinda fat so it’s fun to work with. I’m hoping I have enough yarn to get it done, but if I don’t then that’s ok too. I think I have another partial skein somewhere in the basement, so we’ll see what happens.

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Getting angry

Yesterday, I’d decided that I’d work my way through Tales from the Lake, vol 4 (because it’s on my kindle and, since I currently can’t afford to buy it, I’m reading it through Kindle Unlimited) during my bus trip to work. I’d left earlier than my normal time so I could use that time to pick up a few things and shove them in Jamie’s car before I clocked in. However, by the time we’d reached one stop, I’d looked at the time and realized that we were not going to make the transfer time.

I put my kindle  in my backpack and just stared out the window, hoping I could make my transfer without having to have to wait for an hour. I didn’t think that I’d had enough money anyway for a new bus ticket (but I’d later find a quarter in my pocket, which is what I needed, so there’s that) and I didn’t have service on my phone because we were waiting for payday to buy a new phone cart.

I’d be stuck.

But, I held out hope and thought maybe we could make it. And then a train came though. The driver drove to the next street (why? I don’t know. the cross bars go down at like the same time) and then went up and around, to find that the train was still going. I resigned myself to my fate of being stuck, and the driver turned down another street and…almost hit a guy who was laying part way in the street.

Someone on the bus yelled “He’s drunk, just ignore him.” And I watched pedestrians just stare at the situation while the driver is using that phone thing they have to contact the supervisors to report this individual who looks to be dead asleep on the side of the road.

We got to the transfer area in time to watch the last handful of busses leave. The one I needed was gone and I just got super frustrated and walked into the waiting area to sit down. I found the quarter in my pocket, and realized I had enough money, tried to find an unlocked wifi signal to text Jamie that I’d be later than 11 like I’d initially planned, and pulled out a story I’d been working on in one of my notebooks.

I was so frustrated and angry, I ended up writing about 6.5 pages before my hand decided to swell up and go “nope.”

I managed to weird out a handful of people in the waiting area (because apparently people writing is never heard of or something). Got on the bus, used up the last bit of money and change cards I had, plopped my butt down, and mostly stared out into space before I realized the pen I’d stolen from Jamie was red and I’d been angrily writing part of a horror story in red ink and I got a kick out of it.

Got to work to find Jamie super concerned and that he’d been told to clock out and go home because he had too much overtime, so he got to leave early.

Story Time: Fantasy

Very little editing and mostly word-for-word from the notebook it was written in. Editing be damned, coherency be damned, etc. This was brought on by an article I read recently.

Word count is 599 words (lol). I’m pleased with it, so let’s share it!

~*~

Title: Fantasy

 

I like watching them squirm in the first few moments of waking up in my care. Every single person wakes up differently. Some come to on their own, groaning a bit from the chemical-induced hangover, and slowly move their head. Some jerk awake, as if from a nightmare. Some only start to wake up after a soft knock on their head.

Normally, it takes them a few before they realize they’re taped to a chair, and this new one was no different.

“I hear you like fantasies.”

He can’t respond to me. I made sure the ball gag was tightly wedged in before wrapping the bright, hi-lighter pink duct tape around his head. Having his eyes widen, in fear or surprise, makes me want to do a happy little jig, but all I can do is smile. I can’t let him see me being too excited—that would ruin the fun.

“Y’know,” I started. “You’re a lot heavier than you look.”

He looks around, no doubt taking in the setting, and looks like he’s trying to keep his mounting panic in check. I’m not sure if he’s realized he’s only clad in a t-shirt and boxers.

The area’s not much to look at, built and kept sparse enough to look like an old work space. The floor was mostly dirt and the walls of the building look like they could collapse at any moment. A few lights are scattered around and here I am, sitting on an old metal stool beside a scarred, old table with a handful of things scattered on the surface that he can just barely make out.

“Only thing that can hear you is animals.”

His head shot back and he glares at me while my grin just gets bigger.

“Ok, I lie.”

His look of disbelief is enough.

“Anyone who hears your pathetic cries here won’t help you.”

I crack my knuckles, to give a few moments to let what I said sink in. there’s really no reason to give this guy any hope of help like I normally do.

“If anything, the only person who is probably going to hear you is Mike,” I pointing a thumb behind me.

“Keep me out of your villain talk, Maggie,” my brother grumbles and the glare from the guy I’ve brought is something I will cherish.

“I’m not the villain,” I purposefully turn away from my guest. “Think of me as The Punisher. A sort of vigilante justice.”

Mike snort-laughs, ruining my description.

“Frank Castle doesn’t need help dragging a pudgy Nazi into a car.”

I poke at my guest’s knee with a hammer, “you should feel bad about that comment. Not the Nazi part, though.”

I grabbed the hammer, damn. That’s the wrong tool. Where’s my boning knife?

Ah, there it is.

“You,” I point the tip of the knife towards his mid-section, “are a scourge.”

He makes a snort-grunt noise, as if to deny this.

“You have happily, and eagerly, stated your views on how women should be property,” I kneel to the left side of the chair. “You’ve stated your feelings and beliefs towards incest and rape.”

I think I’ll start with the top of the shoulder.

“You justify your actions by claiming women have rape fantasies,” the first cut is always the nicest. I get the best surprise noises.

“We’ll work on fantasies.”

I stop as I reach the elbow and stare at his face.

“My fantasy is to remove people life you.”

I don’t tell him Mike’s only here for his skin. His client is a huge fan of pasty flesh.

Story Time: Haunted House

I’ve been sitting on this story for a few weeks, going back and forth on whether or not to see if I can submit it somewhere (magazine, look through anthology calls to see if it fits, nosleep) or just post it up here. I’ve figured I can post it up here because, hell, why not? I like to share.

~*~

Working title: “Haunted House”

There was a house down the street from where I lived as a kid that was known to be haunted. It’d been abandoned since before my parents were kids, or at least that’s what they claimed. I never saw a “For Sale” sign in the yard, so I don’t know what was going on with it. Like, I don’t know if it were owned by the bank or someone who just didn’t have the heart to get rid of it because it was some much-loved family member’s house.

It was a traditional haunted house. Dead grass was the yard, weeds growing over the pathway towards the front porch and where flower beds should be, front porch sun-bleached and slowly sagging, some of the window shutters either hanging askew or missing completely. It was a two-storey house, complete with attic and quite possibly a cellar.

Stories were handed down from older siblings to younger, elder neighborhood children told the younger bunch, and parents who knew the stories would laugh them off and tell the scared ones that their elder brother or sister was just telling tales to scare them.

Every so often, a group of kids would dare each other to go in and spend the night, but not much would happen. A squeak here, a groan there. Someone would scare themselves silly walking around an abandoned house in the middle of the night with nothing but a flashlight.

The summer I was 12, I remember it had been a handful of years since the last group of kids had decided to go in. Max, the guy across the street from my house, had gone in on a dare to go into the attic, and had wound up breaking his leg after stepping through a rotting step. The parents in the neighborhood had gathered us all up to give us The Talk about breaking into houses and, well, killing ourselves being stupid. It was a mild summer and the arcade had been shut down for some reason that my brother Ben refused to talk about besides muttering about “sick freaks.”

We were bored. Ben had been grounded and his keys hidden from him, so he was stuck with me.

“Hey Aaron,” Mikey walked up to the front porch where we were being lazy.

“Hey Mikey.”

“We’re going to go up to that house, wanna come?”

Ben frowned, putting his comic book down on the porch. “Why?”

“Max thinks he found something cool.”

“What? His balance?” Ben snorted.

Mikey laughed a bit, “He said we can look around during the day. No harm, no foul.”

I looked over at Ben, who shrugged. “It’s been a while since anyone’s been in there.”

“Mom said no.”

“Mom’s at work and won’t know.”

“No, Aaron.”

“Come on, Ben. I haven’t been in there.”

“It’s not like there’s anything interesting in there. Just a bit of dusty furniture.”

“But I haven’t been in there. It’s not fair.”

“Come on, Ben. It’s a haunted house,” Mikey added. “And it’s not like we’ll be there at night. Besides. It’s a group of us going so it’s not like anyone is going to get hurt.”

Ben sighed, no doubt remembering how loud of a high-pitch wail Mikey could still belt out when he wanted to and checked his watch. “Alright. Mom won’t be home for another few hours. I’ll leave a note for her just in case, saying,” he glared at the both of us, “We got bored and decided to take a walk around the block. Agreed?”

I nodded, “Yeah.”

Ben pointed at Mikey, “Agreed?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Mikey, if you tattle, I’m telling our mom and yours that you convinced Aaron to go with you when I went inside to take a leak and had to go hunt your asses down.”

“Ugh, fine.”

Mikey and I watched my brother go inside the house to write a note beside the phone. I remembered when Ben went inside the haunted house, a month or two before Max had gone in and broken his leg. He’d gone in with a few of his friends, but wasn’t able to stay longer than a few minutes since one of those friends wound up scaring themselves stupid with a flashlight and a mirror. Mikey was practically vibrating from excitement while we waited. It felt like an eternity had passed before Ben finally came out and shut the door.

“Why do you have a flashlight? It’s still daylight,” Mikey whined.

Ben rolled his eyes, “Not every room has windows, stupid.”

We started walking towards the house, and I saw a few other kids slowly making their way over as well. I guess Mikey or some other kid had gone and convinced others to come and explore.

Sure, it was daylight. It was only like 2.30, so we had plenty of time to walk down, search the house, and get home before Mom noticed we’d done anything. She wouldn’t be home until about 5.45, so that was what? Like just over 3 hours. That was more than enough time!

“If Mr B spots us,” Ben started, “we’re screwed.”

Mikey snorted, “If Mr B spots us, he’s not going to do anything.”

Mr B was an old man, known mainly for being grumpy against everything that wasn’t the roses beside his porch. He wasn’t like other people. If your soccer ball landed in his yard, he’d kick it toward you, mumbling about “stupid kids” with “terrible aim.” He was a harmless old curmudgeon.

I nodded in agreement with Mikey, “Ben, Mr B won’t do anything.”

Ben shrugged, “I’m just saying.”

“Whatever man. Max said to meet him around back. I think he was able to break off the new lock on the kitchen door.”

Ben and I nodded. One of the parents had installed a massive lock on both the front and back doors so kids wouldn’t break in. The cellar door had a large, rusting lock-and-chain wrapped around the handles that looked more like it belonged in some horror flick than in our neighborhood.

By the time we got to the back of the house, a small crowd of kids were gathered around Max. He had this smug, “I’m better than you” look on his face and seemed to be enjoying his extra-cool status from breaking the lock. I don’t know when he did it, it could’ve been days ago and he was just now telling people after setting up the house to scare someone. It could’ve been this morning and he just wanted to bask in the glory of being the bravest kid in the neighborhood.

“About time you showed up, Ben,” he called out.

“Some of us have responsibilities, Max.”

“Or you had to hype yourself up to come over,” he mocked.

I remember asking myself if Max really was older than us or just a tall five-year-old. He always had a knack for getting under my brother’s skin, but it’d be a few more years before Ben would break Max’s nose. I watched Ben push past Max into the dark kitchen and get halfway through before Max realized that my brother had taken the lead and was the first one in.

“You brought a flashlight? Are you afraid of the dark or something?”

“Not every room has a window, dumbass.” Ben didn’t even look behind him as other kids started to pile into the kitchen.

I heard a couple kids mutter an agreement and at least one girl lament not bringing one herself. A few kids just breezed through the room, ignoring us in hopes of finding something really cool further in. I guess Ben just walking into the kitchen helped dispel any fear that there’d be something lurking around the house during the day and then realizing that the room itself was just an old, faded room with an old iron stove and fridge that none of us had seen unless it was on tv, and an old, faded table pushed up against a wall.

It wasn’t anything special at first glance. Old, faded, white. White walls, white doorways, white table, white stove, white cabinets. No dust. No cobwebs. I remember looking through the old glass of the window, watching the world bubble and twist from where it was slowly warping itself, and noticing all of the dead flies. No spiders, no webs, no dirt or dust. Just dead flies. And thinking the whole thing was weird. It was like…someone came in to clean this area, but left all these dead flies just sitting there piled up against the sill.

I could hear other kids talking throughout the house, their footsteps stomping up steps or scraping against the floor above my head. No one bothered being quiet because, really, who heard of monsters coming out in the daytime? All ghosts and murderers came out at night, and almost all the adults were at work or running errands.

“Hey,” Max said near us. “Since everyone else is exploring, I want to show you guys something.”

He wasn’t being his normal self, acting like a stuck-up jackass. He sounded kind of confused, like he’d found something he wasn’t sure about. Sure, he could’ve just been pretending to lure us into some kind of trap or trick to blackmail us with later on. But, there was something about the way he said it that made us follow him through the doorway and down a hall that no one seemed to have noticed. It looked more like everyone else was pulled towards the areas with more light or the better possibility of finding something like lost treasure.

Ben cut the flashlight on, allowing Max to lead us deeper down this narrow hallway. It had a couple doors, which probably lead to rooms that had kids walking around them, and reminded me of our grandmother’s house, which had doors you just didn’t notice because they weren’t ever used. There were doors there that had been accidentally sealed by paint and no one was sure if it was lead-based didn’t want to have it tested, there were doors that were behind furniture that lead to bricked walls, doors that were locked that no one bothered with because there was a door like right beside it that lead out of the room.

Again, there was no dust on the floor or anything. The flashlight didn’t catch any dust floating around, and the air didn’t seem stale. It was like someone had just came in recently, opened all the windows, and cleaned the house maybe a few days before we came in.

Max stopped in front of a spot on the left and removed a large board to show another door.

“Wow, it’s a door.” Mikey deadpanned. “There’s like a hundred doors here.”

“Shut up.”

The door opened smoothly, like someone had oiled the hinges. Not even a click for the knob sounded, and Max just let the door swing to a stop against the wall. Ben shined the flashlight into the room.

“Wow. It’s a basement,” Ben’s sarcasm dripped.

“No shit. Look again.”

We stared down and I realized there was something off about it. The walls seemed unfinished, with a couple paint cans sitting in the edges between the exposed studs and empty blackness of the open area underneath. Ben’s light showed the top two or three steps, part of a handrail, and nothing else. It was kind of like when you’d open up the basement door and right before you turned the light on to go down the steps. But we could only see the top couple of steps.

I don’t think any of us wanted to go down. It was the first time I actually felt apprehensive about a part of the house.

Ben sighed. “Dude, it’s a basement. A basement with no windows. Big deal.”

“How good’s your light?”

“Good enough to read by.”

Max nodded and started pulling something out of his pocket. At first, it looked like a snot-rag, y’know? The light was weird and I only got a glimpse of red before I realized it was way too large to be a folded up bandana Max normally kept in his back pocket.

It was a flag. An American flag that had seen better days from what I could tell in the light.

“Dude, did you steal your dad’s flag?” Ben asked, not really believing it.

“We got a new one. No one’ll notice this one’s gone.”

“Your dad’s a vet,” I pointed out. I remember thinking about being told that flags have to be taken care of a certain way when they go out of commission by Max’s dad, who had very staunch views.

Max glared at me as he fished a lighter out of his front pocket. “No one will notice.”

“Uh, huh.”

He started flicking the lighter to life, trying to set the cloth on fire.

“You’re going to Hell for that.” Mikey piped up.

“Just keep your eyes peeled,” Max responded, not looking away from the flag.

A small flame had caught and was slowly gathering steam. Max had kept the small flag in his hand until he was satisfied that it was burning enough before tossing it through the open doorway. I heard Mikey gasp, like he was about to say something, but kept my eye on watching this little orange ball.

We stayed silent, watching it illuminate two more steps that Ben’s light couldn’t reach, before disappearing.

Yeah, disappearing.

There was no splash of water, no sizzle of the fire going out. Just poof. Gone. One second it was there, and the next it looked as if nothing had happened. The light didn’t even reach the bottom step far as we could tell.

“What the…”

Max nodded, satisfied that we’d seen what he did, and went to pull the door shut. Mikey went to grab him before realizing that Max had pull the door with the inside edge, near one of the hinges, in order to avoid stepping foot inside. The door shut, he put the board back over, and turned around.

“What do you think?”

“I think you set something up,” Ben was annoyed.

“Everything that’s gone past the third or fourth step has disappeared. You saw what it was like. You can’t see anything, lights or not. I don’t know if the steps end and it’s just a bottomless hole or what. I’ve lit firecrackers and dropped them down there. Nothing pops. No sound, no light. No nothing.”

Max left us standing in that hallway, shaking his head as he walked away from us. I didn’t know what to do and I don’t think Ben or Mikey did either. We looked at each other a minute or so later before Ben shook his head.

“We should go. Mom might be home early and I don’t want to think about what I just saw.”

Mikey nodded in agreement.

Happy Revenge of the 5th!

Work:

+ Yesterday, I learned that HeadBoss (store manager) is a Star Wars fan. A coworker got a promotion and was signing the paperwork when I went into HR to fix something. They’d asked what day it was and I went “It’s Star Wars day!” I got a blank look from the coworker and a grin from HeadBoss, who said “May the Fourth be with you.” lol

It’s nice to know that while I don’t know if HeadBoss just tolerates me or what, that every so often, I can get a glimpse into who they are. (I rarely see HeadBoss because they are busy. I don’t really have an opinion of them besides thankful that they trusted BossBoss (the manager above Ajax) enough to approve me coming back to Store. My goal is mainly to stay out of the way)

+ K, a coworker in another department, pointed out that while he loves hearing “may the fourth be with you,” his upbringing automatically tells him to respond “And also with you!” I laughed and told him I automatically do that if anyone tells me “May the Fourth…” (getting to go to a Catholic church multiple times as a teenager and experiencing the “Peace be with you” handshaking thing really sticks with you)

+ Ajax complained the other day about trying to figure out a nice, non-offensive way to broach the topic of “I don’t care how old you are, you’re homophobic and racist and it needs to stop” to one of our coworkers. I told him “Just like that: you’re racism and homophobia are excessive and you need to back the fuck up.”

+ I had a guy ask me how I was able to get my “hair so tight, like, for real, yo. [Your] bun is, like, so tight.” And not in a “tight = cool” late 90s/early 00s slang, but in an awe and “I’m waiting to be asked if I do ballet” kind of tight. I looked at him and went “My hair is down to my knees.” I received a look of shock and “No way!”

+ I also had a guy (recently) yell at me that he “Can’t hear women! No really! I was tested for it! I can’t hear women!” while looming over the counter.

I realized that I’m glad I’ve had 20 years of customer service in me (I include working for my grandparents from 11 to 17 every summer) that just staring at the guy and his friend was my best response. His friend said “You have to TALK LIKE THIS.” as the guy is leaning over the counter to loom over a coworker to yell about why he can’t hear.

No, you can’t hear certain levels of sound. Using the excuse “I can’t hear women” is fucked up and if you’re going to blame your past work experience, get a fucking hearing aid and stop blaming your lack of hearing on some 50s-era bullshit.

My coworker talked with them, I refused to project my voice (because it takes a lot out of me. yay breathing problems), and continued working around the issue. I don’t consider myself female most of the time, but I also know that I have a higher-pitched but quiet voice. I am a quiet person. I always have been. (seriously, if in the 31 years of my family trying to get me to be louder hasn’t worked, you screaming at me while looming over me in some sort of ape-like act of dominance is not going to make it miraculously work.)

+ I got to make at least 2 coworkers mad yesterday! One out of sheer confusion and one out of…I don’t know, normal hatred? They hate me anyway, have told various people/coworkers how much they can’t stand me, and it’s just gotten worse the past week and I find it absolutely hilarious.

Ajax asked me to re-arrange the freezer so that it’s more organized (and oh look, he just stole shelves that were supposed to be thrown away because another department got brand new shelves and he’s been asking for new ones for 2 years) and looks nicer. I told him I could totally do that.

I spent like 4 hours in the freezer.

I’ve hauled like…400+ lbs of various frozen items (bread, meat, etc) around (and o.m.g do my arms hurt today) in order to change things around. He asked for me to take photos of the end-result and he was floored by what I got done in there. We’ve got room for stuff. It’s…looking larger. Manager Puppy was like “I can actually move in here!”

I’m sure it’ll take less than a week before it gets destroyed. I don’t care. I’ll spend more time hiding in there and away from the Drama that is my department.

 

Craft/Art:

+ I found fabric I want!

It’s a sheer fabric with bits of glitter on it. And it’s on sale. And I want it all.

I also want the light cotton weave perfect-for-Belle type fabric that’s near it.

+ I had someone I follow on twitter send me a link to a really cool netting how-to website. I think it would be really cool to try out. Mainly because I want my own hammock, but also because I could make something to use as a holding area for stuff in the craft room where the cats can’t access.

+ I”m hoping to work on knitting soon. I want to finish the green shawl and work my way through some more yarn for shawls. Or start on a blanket. I found the loom that would be awesome for a twin/full size blanket (and I’m pretty sure I can either order a loom for king/queen size or just duct tape some looms with the same widths between pegs together to create one).

I want a Tom Baker era Doctor Who blanket. I hate myself for even thinking about it because that’s a lot of yarn not to mention hundreds of hours of work. But, I really want one.

+ I told Jamie I need some packing tape and some printer paper. He asked why and I told him it’s because:

A) I want a Me-size mannequin
2) I need patterns for the dogs.

I want a Me-size mannequin so I can make things for myself (there are so many things I want to make for myself) and I need to make patterns for the dogs because I have pitbulls and pitbulls are 1) all created equal, 2) are very different from other dogs. And there’s Cricket, whose fuzziness needs to be taken into account so she doesn’t overheat.

I also figure that a packet of printer paper and a 4-pack of packing tape is a lot cheaper than a mannequin (although, we did find a Me-size mannequin for like $50 plus shipping on Amazon once)

+ I have a lot less yarn than I thought. However, this is because of a recent fiasco of cats. And I’m ok with this. I figure I can use this to my advantage and be like “Well, I’m down a lot of yarn, so let’s work through this yarn” as well as “Well, I’m down a lot of yarn, and this skein is only $5…”

+ I haven’t worked on my comic in a while. I did find the Wacom pen and did a half-assed sketch of me with “Plans vs Reality” as the latest update.

I feel kinda bad that I haven’t updated, but I also feel…ambivalent to it. I need to find my tracers for Manders/Jamie, I didn’t make a tracer for Matt (I’ve been trying to stick with the Manders/Jamie thing because it is about us and our lives and most of the stuff that does happens is what has happened to us), and I don’t know where the stack of previously-made comics went (probably the trash after being ruined by a cat). But I do have a bunch of 5-second-sketches and I may just update with that for a little while. I don’t have a scanner, the computer won’t recognize my phone, and my phone is…slowly dying.

And then there’s the whole work-thing, where I’m trying to get used to the vastly different ups and downs of the department from what I’m used to (beginning of the month is no where near as insane as I’m used to, but we’re getting into graduation-season and shit’s gotten weird). My concept of time is almost non-existant again (time is a wibbly construct based on who won the right to create history books and not because “sun go down” or “it got cold.”) So my idea of keeping Tues/Thurs as my Comic Days have turned into “oh shit, I forgot what day it was.”

 

Writing:

+ Uhhh…

+ Weird Grandpa, et all, has stayed within its virtual hiatus until I can remember to get back to it. I wrote a handful of sentences down for Weird Grandpa that cracked me the fuck up and garnered a response from a friend over twitter about how if I had any questions about the Reagan Administration to just ask them because they remember it (I don’t. I was born during the Reagan Administration and my concept of it was “these are the fuckers that caused D.A.R.E programs.)

Google tells me that the Reagan Administration was from Jan. 1981 to Jan. 1989.

Jan. 1989, I was 2 and a half and we were moving into our own house in Salem, where I’d be woken up by cows mooing in our neighbor’s backyard every weekend until May of 1995, when we moved halfway across town. So yeah, my concept of anything other than family/house was non-existent unless it involved the NES. My aunt probably has a better understanding (she’s 5 years older than I am) of what went down.

Anyway

+ New story started, in a notebook. I’ve got…5.5 pages written down and I haven’t even gotten to where the narrator implicates himself into what’s going on. Currently he’s just rambling on about how much he hates dog abusers (and I don’t mean like “Oh, I’m a terrible dog-parent. I didn’t give them their dinner on time” or “I’m a mean person, I cut their crazy-dog outside time a little short because I was running late.” I mean: “I do trunking.” and “I stole this dog from their yard so I can make $50 selling it to the testing lab in the next town over.”)

I’ve noticed that writing things down while riding on the bus causes the people around you to stop talking and stare at you like you’re doing something awful. It’s awesome and hilarious. I find it hilarious because I see various people working on things while on the bus. There’s the guy who works on songs, there’s the people who work on homework, there’s various men and women who work on taking notes of scripture.

But, one tiny little white kid, furiously scribbling (in nice handwriting because I have somehow almost perfected nice handwriting in a moving vehicle) in a notebook is grounds for “oh gods, theys up to something!”

Ha. I said white kid, like I’m still 16. I forget how old I am most times. I say white kid because I love my pasty pallor, my death-like colouring. But hey, it’s either that or look like a boiled lobster. I’d rather look like I’m about to languish of consumption like a Regency-era poet than look like I was just pulled from a boiling pot of salted water. In the lottery of “melting pot” background, apparently a bunch of European blood will cancel out any Native blood when it comes to tanning.

+ Have I submitted anything lately?

No.

I’m not a professional writer. This isn’t my full-time job. I understand that I need to have a “real” job in order to survive in this fucked up economy. I’ve got bills to pay and pets to feed. I’ve got repairs on the house that need to be done. And all of that shit is way more important than me living off of writing/arting.

I haven’t finished anything of note. I’m still working on the same handful of story idea I was the last time I talked about writing (weird grandpa, conspiracy/AI, the yellow sign, etc). I’ve written down 1 (ONE!!) new story idea in the last few weeks and started 1 “new” story idea that’s been poking me every so often for the past 12 years. (it bubbles up every time there’s a local trunking/fighting/cop-killed-my-dog story).

I’m still working within the 1st POV range because, for whatever reason, I still have (very low) hopes of getting an acceptance email from the NoSleep crew.

+ What am I working on?

More detailed:

+ Weird Grandpa
+ Conspiracy/AI

both of which are “can I get this to novelette form?” because I’m curious if I can

+ The Yellow Sign
+ The Mold Thing
+ Creepy Old Man
+ Hey, what about that neighborhood of vampires, werewolves, etc??

+ The typewriter story is languishing on my computer and I don’t know whether or not to read over it, pitch it to a potential agent, send it to a friend to see what they think of it, or just post it on here.

+ I got into a discussion about rejections with K, who said he’d just recently got another rejection on his series proposal. His coworker thinks we’re crazy for being “so negative” over rejections and still thinks it’s weird, even after I pointed out: “I submit a story, it goes into a slush pile with a few hundred to a few thousand other people who want to be published. There’s like a 98% chance of rejection due to space, your work, they like someone else’s work way more, it’s not within their theme, etc. I submit to a magazine, nine times out of ten, they’ve only got space for 4 or 5 new stories to publish, and that makes it so much harder to be accepted.”

K and I discussed where he should end things and how I’m going with my dog-abuser story (currently named “Trigger Warning”)

what are plans

I had plans today to Do Things. Like…housework, and yardwork, and attacking the elderberry growth that sprang up last summer that I could never hack away because the garden-wallcrabs decided it was perfect.

(ahem. wallcrabs was a term coined by Ben in King Falls AM, a podcast that I love dearly, and I think it is the best name ever for them. it doesn’t spark as nearly a terrifyingly knee-jerk reaction as their regular name. It’s like people using the term “danger noodle” for snakes or “trash pandas” for raccoons)

But. No.

I’m doing laundry, I have made food. I have…done not much else.

Jamie has been dead asleep since about 8am this morning due to a migraine, so that kind of keeps most housework at bay. I’ve been slowly working on doing laundry and wound up having a massive freakout over uncovering a giant wallcrab in the basement because I was picking up a blanket to toss in the washer.

I don’t want to go back into the basement.

But I have to. Laundry. I don’t want my laundry to smell like dirty pond water. blegh.

In the moments that I’ve been able to get Jamie awake enough to answer me, I’ve gotten “I don’t care what you make,” and “you should rest.” So I’ve baked the chicken that I thawed and have cooked the hamburger and mixed it with beans/corn (using taco mix instead of chili mix by accident, but hey, still tastes fine). I have not done dishes.

I don’t have the energy to care whether or not dishes are done.

I have made a mimosa for myself (because fuck it, why not. It’s my day off, I had a freakout over wallcrabs, and…I still have this half bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge). I need to top-up my mimosa, but I will do that after I check on laundry because I have human, dog, and craft laundry (fabric. Carrot is an evil little shit and I have to wash some of my fabric now).

I finished a short story yesterday (go me!) and have put it to the side. I figure I can read over/edit it later (or just say fuck this and share it  and see what happens because, really, I am not an editor, and I am so not an editor for my stuff because I will miss things). It’s a short story, under 3,000 words, and I’m glad it’s done. There was a point where I’d thought about continuing with it. Adding a bit more for the end, and I’m like…nah. It wouldn’t do good.

I wound up starting work on another short story while I was on my way to work. In an attempt to keep myself entertained while weirding out the other bus riders around me (there’s something really off-putting about someone just writing in a notebook I’ve noticed). People became quieter, conversations muted. Except for the one person who demanded to know if another person’s “man” was “controlling the money” and if he was a “Mexican, cuz that’s what they do.”

Y’all. If I wrote that in a story, I’d be called a racist and someone out-of-touch with reality. But it happened on the bus. I wasn’t eavesdropping. It was just part of the conversation I heard while the bus was at a stop light for a minute.

And I’m like “Please tell me I did not just hear that.”

I have no idea what the response was to either comment, because the person they were talking to was talking at a normal level. And I’m just over here like “what the fuck” and trying to write in my super sloppy “I’m stuck in a metal tube on wheels and the shocks are like non-existant” handwriting to see how much I could get out before my own stop came.

Weird shit happens on the bus, man. And it’s not like every day. It’s like those once-in-a-blue-moon, did that really happen? really? kind of things (like the woman yelling about how porn was “against god” and “morally wrong” and that’s why she took this dvd from her son, but she’ll sell it to you for $5.)

Anyway. I got like 3 pages written down in the notebook for the story and I’m nowhere near even mentioning why this character is talking (1st POV) and I’m just letting him ramble away and including terms like “don’t got none” (because that’s how we talk in Appalachia country) and words like “oughta” and “y’all.”

I’m hoping to work on it some more later.

Ideas and hair

The other day, I’d pulled my hair out of its bun because it was still pretty damp (because I have thick hair and even if I’m by a deep fryer all day, the majority of my hair will stay damp/wet). Friend called me Medusa while saying that she’d known I had long hair, but only thought it was about mid-back.

No, my hair is almost down to my knees (and this is the longest it’s been since I was a kid). She picked up part of it and commented about how “no wonder why you have so many headaches.”

Noooo. I have every kind of headache currently known to medical science, having long hair has nothing to do with it. I had these headaches when I had shaved my head, when I had an undercut, when I had a short mowhawk, etc. Friend continued to play with my hair and call me Medusa. I immediately thought of Voyage of the Unicorn, a made-for-tv film that I watch like once every handful of years because it’s fun and a nice little fantasy adventure.

Friend went back to work after her break was up and I had someone else immediately tell me “OMG you’re hair is so long!” and tell me that I “should never cut it.”

I don’t cut my hair because…I’m kind of lazy, and my budget doesn’t have room for a professional cut (granted, depending on where you go, it can range from $15, without tip, to $150, without tip). I could probably cut my hair myself (I’ve done it before), but with the joint issues getting worse, I hurt myself the other night scratching my back. Granted, I could just shove a hair tie on, cut it off right there, and then go somewhere to pretty it up (or just shave my head down to a 2 again and see what happens). But, again: budget. Also: I have a bigger need for shoes than I do a hair cut.

About 20 minutes after the “omg you should never cut your hair! I never see people with long hair!” I had another coworker, whom I guess is front-end (I don’t know, I work in a hole now. it’s great), tell me that she thinks my hair is pretty. Dawwww.

I guess since Assistant Manager A and Front-End Manager S are gone, I’m the only one left who’s got hair longer than approximately shoulder-length and it’s a rarity or something. And, since I keep mine up in a bun most of the time, it’s hard for people to discern how long my hair actually is (there’s a reason why I put hair clips on the hair net, people. a hair net can’t keep all this up by itself)

Anywho. (I find the whole “omg long hair!” thing absolutely hilarious)

I’m not sure if I’m going to post the latest story that got a rejection email up on here. I don’t know, man. I don’t know if I should sit on it, submit it elsewhere, or bother someone to read it and let me know what they think. I’ve noticed that if I try to get Jamie to read something I’ve written, it stays floating in his email somewhere. I’ve emailed one friend a half-thought story idea/peice and he pointed out it has potential, but is kinda weird. I’d told him I was trying for a set word-count, but I could see where he was coming from, and I haven’t emailed him anything since. Mainly because he’s busy and I don’t want to bother him (especially now, hooo-boy, he’s got so much stuff to do now that it’s “spring” and his job gets crazy busy when spring hits).

I got another friend to read the Heironimous story, but the most I got was “I’m not finished reading it yet, but so far it’s good.” Ok, that works.

I know if I remember to use tags, I get hits on the blog, which is pretty cool and it’s exciting to see where people are coming from.

The other day, I found myself thinking of a story idea I’d thought about back in high school. Which, I guess is weird? I find myself going back to ideas I had back in high school a lot lately. Maybe it’s the nostalgia factor, maybe it’s the fact that I had a really neat idea and just no idea what to do with it. Maybe my attention span is better and determination (or sheer bullheadedness) is more in line with things to actually finish them (or even write anything down).

And, even today, I’ve found myself thinking about how to spin a story based off one my dad used to tell me a lot when I was a kid. Which got me wondering if I could do stories based around the so-called “true” stories he told me about stuff that happened to him when he was a kid (not the “my real dad was an asshole” kind of stories, but the “did I ever tell you about the abandoned house at the end of my street? Creepy as hell” kind)

If I do the short-story collection, which I think would be super neat, I could add those in. Or, I could just write one or two and submit them somewhere (hell, depending on how I write the one that keeps going through my head, I could submit it to NoSleep and see if I ever get a response.)

The average short-story collection is approximately 16 stories long. I’ve got Smother finished and somewhere on the computer (deleted from the blog so I could submit it somewhere and I never heard anything back and I kind of regret deleting it off the blog because it was neat), I still haven’t heard anything back from NoSleep about Family Dinner, so it’s probably good to go (it’s been over 4 months, but they also got a ton of submissions, so I’m really not surprised I haven’t heard anything. and hey, it’s probably not good for a podcast format anyway, which I’m cool with). I’ve got 6 stories shared on here that I know of (probably one or two more that I forgot to add to the “Stories by Me” page).

That brings us to 8 stories, at least. I’d just need to do at least 8 more. There are 4 stories that are started/being worked on on the computer that I’m just seeing how long they’re wanting to get to. 2 are trundling along to novelette length, one is giving me hilarious issues, and the other one is just hanging out. I’m pretty sure there are bits and peices of other stories started or notated. It’s the whole…actually finishing them that I have a problem with.

If I finish things, I could get a collection out. If I finish things, my next issue would be editing and formatting.

Even then, I couldn’t add “The Lookout” to the collection because it’s more sci-fi than horror/speculative and that’s pretty much what all the other stories are. So it’d be kind of weird to have this one little sci-fi story in the middle of all this other stuff.

I don’t know. Maybe I should just concentrate on writing and sharing stuff instead of thinking about some sort of collection or anything else.