Flamethrowers and Umbrellas [entries|friends|calendar]

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2014 Year in Review [27 Dec 2014|08:49am]
It's 8:30am and most everyone is still asleep. The clouds have rolled in and it's supposed to drop some degrees today. I'm sitting on the floor of grandma's living room, listening to her labored breathing and knowing that at least while asleep, she's not dizzy and nauseous. Poor thing fell on her face two weeks ago, was in the hospital for a week, and now has a long way to recovery. Since we're staying at her house while we're out here, we've also been keeping an eye on her.

There's also a second cousin rolling around on the floor, eating cereal as quietly as she can.

So while I wait for the rest of the family to wake up and get over here, I feel like it's an appropriate time to do the year in review meme.

Onwards.Collapse )
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Thoughts on A lunch Break, Part 54 [15 Dec 2014|12:31pm]
- I'm still reading LJ posts on a daily-ish basis, just not posting.

- I've all but fully moved over to my other blog. Sorry. >>

- That said, it's not the same as LJ. It never will be and that's probably okay. I don't know if I need to pour out my soul onto the internet as much as I needed it in the past. I'm trying to hit the highlights instead, so as to avoid losing everything in the fogs of memory. But now I have a paper journal for that. So.

- Next week is Christmas. Considering how long I've been dreading it, I'm surprised that it's almost already here. Truthfully, I am looking forward to seeing family, but I'm even more excited about January. There's just so many fresh starts.

- I'm ready to lay this very, very disappointing year to rest. The two major things I was working on this year - getting pregnant and published - didn't happen and an awesome friend moved too many states away. I didn't think any of those would be as hard to deal with as they were, nor did I even suspect they would pull on my heart so hard. I miss Penny and I know we'll get to see her again soon, but it also reminds me of all the friends who we've left (so many, too many), and who we're going to leave when we move again.

- Someone needs to invent a freaking teleporter already.

- Or we need to just get our commune together and invite all those friends and never, ever let them leave.

- I'm so close to 100k on my rewrite (first draft?) but I need to take a break. I'm stressing out over all the Christmas stuff and getting ready to be gone for a week and I simply cannot figure this ending out. What is my problem with endings? Seriously. Every time. I can do a wicked beginning and a pretty decent middle, but tying it all together in a way that is both epic and fulfilling...? Not so much. And since this is a fantasy ADVENTURE, I feel like the ending has to be especially epic. So I'm taking a week... maybe I can figure this out.

- I've been a weird ball of sad and stressed and depressed and okay lately. I don't know what to do about it. It's not as bad as August - I just feel off. I started taking vitamin D and 5-HTP again, and I'm trying to be more consistent with exercise, and also just taking a moment to clear my mind and breathe, but idk. It's helping a little, but I'm worried about starting TTC again. The thought of seeing a therapist makes me physically cry, though, and I don't know if that's a sign I should or shouldn't. I'll see how the next few weeks go.

- I love my friends (near & far), I love my wife, I love the cats, I love the chickens, I'm grateful to live in a state where it's not currently below freezing and/or snowing, I'm healthy, my family is (mostly) healthy, I'm writing, I'm fine with my job - everything is fine and right and yet.

- Lady is busy finishing up her phd. She'll be graduating in May. I can't even wrap my head around that.

- We'll be trying for baby again in January. I'm a mixed bag of feels about that. We know more now and we'll have more times to try, but... I just, I don't know. I have absolutely no confidence that anything will happen in that arena in the next 12 months.

- I guess I feel the same way about my writing.

- Whew.

- And thus concludes my thought vomit.

- <3
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Sunday, November 23, 2014 DITL [26 Nov 2014|07:29pm]

In which our heroine does stuff. Warnings: Naked chickens.Collapse )
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 DITL [25 Oct 2014|07:31am]

In which our heroine goes to class.Collapse )
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Morning Thoughts [16 Oct 2014|05:00am]
I think I've pretty much fully moved over to my other blog. Sorry. Between my paper journal and that, I'm not left with much to say.

But there are still a few things left for this space. Like fiiinaally getting a response to the manuscript I sent back in June to an agent. It was a no, of course, but the response was still very positive. And it gave me some ideas on how to fix MA, if/when I go back to it. Also made me realize some of it's larger structural problems, which was a feeling akin to scales falling from my eyes. Man, I've been writing for so many, many years and yet there's still so much to learn.

The agent said that although she really liked the political slant and the monsters (yay!), overall it felt too episodic, which ended up depriving the MC of her agency. Which is true. The first half is almost entirely episodic, and I'd like to blame my ancient novels class I was taking at the time I wrote the first draft, but idk. Part of me says it's fine, it's just another (albeit unconscious) riff on Roman culture that goes well with every other undercurrent I stole from my classics degree for the book. But the rest of me says that the current market - and what readers expect - doesn't include that kind of novel really at all.

Of course now I'm looking at my other stories and wondering if they suffer from the same, or a similar, problem. Not as badly, but I think there are some things I could change. Good thing I got this scrap when I did, because I think it will apply well to the rewrite I'm doing of ISW (aka, the desert lesbian necromantic romance adventure).

Life in other ways has been less than newsworthy. We're on a break from TTC. It's Lady's birth month, so we've been trying to do fall activities each weekend. And I'm writing, always writing.
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Sunday, September 27, 2014 DITL [30 Sep 2014|06:57pm]

A relatively chill Sunday DITL in southern Arizona.

In which our heroine is very delighted to have her camera back, is drenched by a flash sun shower, and enjoys a free movie. Warnings: ...none?Collapse )
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[24 Sep 2014|07:04pm]
Edits done! GW is officially ready to go, unless I decide to tweak things some more. But it's pretty much at the point that MA got to, which is: I'm done, unless someone, preferably an editor/agent, gives me a really good reason not to be.

Now I have to figure out what to do next. Obviously, start rewriting the query and going down that road, but that won't take up all of my time. Do I go back to the lesbian desert story and start that rewrite? Or do I use the momentum I have and begin working on SC, book two of the quartet that GW starts? Assassins and undead or changelings and cupcakes?? Aah, dilemmas.

I'll sleep on it. That's a good idea.
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Saturday, September 20, 2014 DITL [21 Sep 2014|10:34am]
DITL Without Camera

My usual camera is in the shop for cleaning, so this is a special phone- and netbook-camera edition of DITL. I apologize in advance for the excessive pixelation.

In which our heroine has a steep learning curve in how to use a camera that is not her own. Warnings: Bathroom scale. Bucket of grubs. Bacon.Collapse )
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[19 Sep 2014|11:21am]
That was, perhaps, the most excruciatingly boring class ever. But it's over and I finished the test and now I have the rest of the day free, hallelujah.

So I did errands. Which included finally dropping my camera off at a repair place to get its sensor cleaned, something I've been putting off for - I don't know - years. It won't be ready until Monday and leaving it at the shop, walking out without it, was a hella lot harder than I expected. I love that camera. It has changed my life in so many obvious and inscrutable ways. Leaving it there was more difficult than dropping the kitties off for surgery at the vet.

And I won't get it back until Monday. *hugs self* It'll be worth it, though. I'll finally be able to use an f-stop greater than 2 and not worry about all the debris and dust showing up in the photo. Still...

We had a tropical storm this week! Mostly it was windy. And cloudy. It hardly rained and all of the predicted chaos did not ensue. Alas. Like Lady reminded me, it was such a Florida moment: a whole lotta hoopla for what amounted to a whole lotta nothing. Considering the torrential rain and flooding we got the week before, I kinda expected... well, something.

Our second anniversary is this weekend and I have no idea what to do, except maybe make some pumpkin cookies and/or cupcakes. I've been jonesing hard for autumn, and since it officially starts Tuesday I think it's time to put up the decorations and roll around in caramel. 'Cause that's what you do. Right?
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Thoughts Early on a Saturday Morning [13 Sep 2014|05:59am]
- I'm sorry. I think I ended up mostly abandoning LJ for my other blog. It's just too quiet here - everybody's ghosting, nobody's writing. But at the same time, LJ still has its place in my heart. I simply can't just dump all my thoughts and woes on my other blog like I can here.

- That doesn't mean I should only come back to dump my thoughts and woes, tho.

- Things are pretty good! My mood has been really stable since ditching chocolate, but that is soon to change. Last weekend, this weekend, and the coming two I am experimenting with increasing amounts of chocolate to see what happens. So far, I had a pretty intense episode of irritability, but nothing lasting.

- I'm also trying (and winning!) to lose weight because over the TTC months I just didn't even bother holding back. Apparently that, coupled with the stress, coupled with a complete lack of metcons, was a recipe for weight gain. I'm trying a low carb, high fat intermittent fasting style diet to shed a lot and quickly, because if I don't see the numbers go down right away, I lose momentum and give up. Granted, initially it's all water weight. But it seems to be working. I'll slowly add in some calories once we hit October, tho. I don't want to risk losing too much muscle.

- I've now had two dreams about being offered representation by a literary agent, and idk why because I haven't even been thinking about it, aside from prodding my GW query letter like, once. But they were very hopeful dreams, although the second one she offered with quite a few caveats - basically all edits that actually made sense and I hadn't even considered. It was bizarre how on point they were.

- I put down the lesbian assassin desert story because it was 90% done and I already knew that I would have to rewrite 80% of it. I'm currently going through my betas' suggestions for corrections for GW and spiffing that up. I aim to have it fixed up and a query letter ready by October. I really want to start querying well before the holiday season and NaNoWriMo, seeing as how those are both traditionally bad times to query.

- It's almost fall! ...almost!!
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Four Day Weeeekeeeend! [29 Aug 2014|08:47am]
Ain't nothing like a spontaneous four day weekend. Especially for your birthday.

I wasn't going to take today (Friday) off. I was going to hoard my vacation like a good little employee. But then I was looking at the list of people who would be taking the day off and I started feeling jealous, even a bit angry. This was my weekend. How come they got to take the day off and I didn't?

Well, maybe because I hadn't asked for it. The only one doing the allowing was myself. I was counting up all the things that needed to be done around the house, around our lives, and getting increasingly anxious. I only had three days to do them! And one of those days I planned to be out hiking! Ah!

Suddenly, the decision was made. I didn't even have to think about it. I counted and recounted the vacation hours I had and knew I had an extra day in there, knew I should save it for when I really needed it, but damn it - I need it now. So I took it. And then, magically, the rest of the week became so much bearable.

So here I am. Four day weekend! What am I going to do! Actually, what am I not going to do? I have a cake to make, food to prepare, a house to clean, chickens to face, cats to pet, books (so many books) to read, goals to set, LJ & blog entries to write, calendars to write, outlines to devise, research to do, new shoes to acquire, thrift stores to peruse, weights to lift, boxes to go through, laundry to clean, bathrooms to scrub, kitchens to organize, naps to take, French to learn, coffee to drink -

Obviously I won't be able to get that all done in one weekend. But I do hope to go through a lot of our old junk and toss it as well as organize a bit better. This is a strangely appropriate task for my birthday weekend. I seem to end up scrubbing the house and/or rearranging furniture every year. It's... refreshing. It allows for a lot of basic, hard work and time for thought. I've come to realize that I need that sort of active downtime to process things, and what is more rewarding than to have something to show for your downtime? I think that's why I actually enjoy cleaning so much. If I read or internet instead, it engages my brain too much and doesn't really allow me to fully relax.

Other things... we're going on a 12 mile hike on Sunday for my birthday, up into the Santa Ritas. I've never been and I thought it was an appropriate time. We're pretty much officially going to be here until December of 2015, and even though that's more time than I originally thought we'd have, it's a firm date and that makes it so much real. So I'm making a list (and checking it twice) of all the things I want to see and do before we leave. Which includes the Santa Ritas. So... hoorah!

We have also officially paused TTC. I am not pregnant and I will not be for the next four months. We'll start again in January. I am both relieved and disappointed. It's too early to even consider that something could be wrong with me, but of course that doesn't stop the thought. I am glad to not be riding the emotional roller coaster every month, not to have to pee on sticks and avidly watch every bodily sign, not to have to actually do the insem, not to have to worry about drinking too much caffeine, not to have to shove down all the negative emotions that rise up at the end of another failed cycle...

But I'm also disappointed it didn't work (yet). And sad we will have to wait even longer. If nothing else, this process has proved to both of us how much we really want this. It's hard to talk about that part because it was only a few years ago that I really didn't want this, and I can still hear that past me asking why?

TL;DR - four day weekend = all the cleaning, plus birthdaying; we're pausing TTC for four months; I love you
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[23 Aug 2014|05:14am]
I stopped eating chocolate, started taking 5-HTP, eating brazil nuts, and moving my body every day. So far, it seems like one of those things (all of those things?) is working. I feel normal again.

Actually, I'm afraid it might be the chocolate. This is now the third time I've noticed a significant mood shift afterwards. I thought I hadn't really been having much of it, then I honestly looked back over the month and saw it everywhere. It could be a coincidence that I started feeling better just two days after officially cutting it out again. I don't know. But I'm going to spend September testing the theory, so be forewarned.

I think the hardest part about the last four weeks was knowing that there was nothing going on in my life causing the depression. TTC had gotten me down in the past, but nothing as nonsensical as this. But all the advice I got and everywhere I looked online for help, it was all geared towards recovering from some sort of traumatic event. Everything was trying to convince me to talk it out, go to a therapist, etc, while I kept getting more and more frustrated. Yet I still tried to fix things using that advice for those four weeks and not once did it help.

I'm not trying to say that those aren't helpful resources; they are! 98% of the time! But I got so confused - I became half convinced I must be repressing something or lying to myself and then got even more frustrated because I have become so good at reading myself and I just... I think it boils down to knowing I know myself, insisting I know myself, but having every resource come back telling me otherwise. And then doubting that knowledge.

That's not to say I didn't appreciate everyone's help. I tried very hard to remain honest and open about what was going on, and the love I got in return was phenomenal. If anything, all that love from you guys and my other friends helped me realize just how little this depression had to do with real life and how it had to be just the chemicals in my head. Because in past bouts, I would stay up late at night convincing myself of all the ways everyone hates me, and that didn't happen this time.

So, in short: thank you.

In long: I love you. <3
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[15 Aug 2014|01:44pm]
Things I am not doing well with: life.
This is the second time in three weeks that I've gone home early because I can't stop crying at work.
This is ridiculous.
If anybody has a secret depression cure they've been hoarding, I will give you cupcakes and marshmallows to share it with me now.
This is stupid.
I am done with this depression. Hear that, brain? I'm done now. I'm going to go lie down, take a nap, and when I wake up I better damn well appreciate the fucking world again.
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Thoughts on a Lunch Break, Part August Humidity [13 Aug 2014|12:21pm]
- I think I am actually, legitimately depressed. It's been four weeks now and I keep just clambering out, only to slide right back in. This is the first time I've been depressed in years and I'm a bit put off by it. I don't really know what to do aside from try not to cry at work and maybe try taking 5-HTP again. I don't want to do anything but sleep and maybe eat cake and definitely sleep some more.

- But I'm pushing myself to stay present and go outside and keep writing because I know otherwise it will only get worse. Yay, experience?

- I want to take time off from work and just not be there for a while, but our sick time system is stupid so the long story short is: I can't.

- We went to see Fall Out Boy in Phoenix on Friday and it was, maybe not amazing, but refreshing. They don't sound nearly as good in concert and the lead singer has an anti-stage presence, but it was still good to be around all that energy, buoyed up by a ton of people just excited about the music as you are.

- I am at 70k in this WIP with a projected 20k to go. I am going to finish this by September if it kills me. Then I am going to rewrite the hell out of it. It will need a lot of work, but I'm still oh-so-confident that this will be my most marketable story yet. Maybe not best, but definitely most likely to sell.

- Cats are catting. Chickens are chickening. I might be able to eat duck eggs - I tried some Sunday and Monday and so far, no flare-ups. It can take a week to show, though, so I'll be keeping a close eye out.

- I feel fat and weak and tired and mostly useless. I am trying to remind myself that most of these feelings are in my head, but it's hard.

- Almost two weeks until I turn 28.
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Sunday, August 3, 2014 DITL [04 Aug 2014|06:56pm]

In which our heroine DOES ALL THE THINGS. And bakes a cake. Warnings: None?Collapse )
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[26 Jul 2014|01:06pm]
I've been having a really hard time life-ing these past few days. It's a confluence of things - and maybe hormones - and I keep wanting to apologize for being useless and unresponsive, but I mostly just want to hide and cry. I went home from work early on Thursday because I couldn't handle being around people. I would have called in Friday, too, but I don't have that much time. I woke Lady up with ugly sobbing this morning.
I don't want sympathy or pity. I just want people to understand if I'm cold or distant lately. It's not you. It's me.
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Thoughts on a Lunch Break, Part ?? [23 Jul 2014|12:12pm]
- Yesterday I was convinced I was pregnant. Today it's almost the polar opposite. I won't know for certain either way until THIS WEEKEND. The more of these two week waits I endure, the less and less patient I become.

- I hit 50k on my WIP yesterday. That's 50k in four weeks, which is pretty good, IMO. I'm set to hit 50k for July (doing Camp NaNo, which started July 1st) also this weekend. I think I'm about 2/3rds of the way through the plot, but only because I rushed through the 2nd third. There's going to be a hella lot of editing when I'm done, which I'm weirdly excited about.

- I haven't heard back about my manuscript yet. Despite it being almost four weeks, I'm still checking my email every day. I thought I would have forgotten about it by now. I think I will probably be crushed when they pass on it.

- It is officially hot and humid. Not fair.

- pennywhistle is leaving Saturday and I haven't really accepted that reality yet. I really don't want her to go, but I accept that staying here is not an option. I mean, we're not planning on staying either. But I may have to drink away quite a few sorrows this weekend.

- Tomatoes are officially on the "nope" list, along with eggs. I'm steadily working my way through all the nightshades to see if there are any I can safely eat, but I doubt there will be much. If I'm sitting funny in the next few weeks, well, that's why.

- Back to writing if I'm actually going to hit my goal by Sunday.
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[16 Jul 2014|08:18am]
Quick update because it's been a while but I don't have much to report.

If you've been reading my wordpress blog, then you know we're still not pregnant, but in the middle of our fourth wait. And, as ever, it's excruciating.. I am hopeful, but also practical. Either way I'll either have something to report or it'll just remain quiet around here.

The new WIP will hit 40k today, with just a wee bit over three weeks of writing. I am running out of steam, but know that if I keep pressing on I'll eventually get that steam back. All in all, looking good for a September 1st deadline.

I haven't heard back on the manuscript request, although apparently I gave them the wrong email. *headdesk* I had suspected, but it took me a week to work up the courage and actually double check. I sent them an email meekly fessing up to my idiocy, but haven't heard back in regards to that either. Considering it took them 6 months to respond to my query, I'm not too worried. Mostly I'm just still feeling buoyed by the mere ask.

My birth month is only two and a half weeks away which means it's time to start planning cakes! Aah, cakes. Aah, having a birthday at the end of the month and celebrating all month long. I just. Yes. Also cakes.

It probably helps that I feel like I'm already 30, so turning 28 just seems so young. Makes me wonder what will happen when I actually turn 30. Will I have a crisis or will I just shrug?
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[28 Jun 2014|09:37pm]
Wife is out of town! I am alone! And unsupervised! And covered in cats! The horror!!

So I'm going to try to use this time for good instead of my usual watch-all-the-Disney-movies-on-youtube. Not that I've ever done that. Nope. That would be weird.

Instead, I'm going to stay off the internet while at home and try and turn this week into a writing retreat. I have a new story to put substantial time into as well as a number of books I need to read for research. I am excite. There is going to be so much tea.
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I think it says a lot [26 Jun 2014|07:29pm]
...that the very first time I get a manuscript request, I have to look up the literary agency to make sure it's not a scam. They're not. And: huzzah! Somebody wants to read MA! WTF!

Now I have to write a bio. Well, shit.
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