Little Happy Things Wednesday, Jan 30 2013 

A smiling woman has dark, wavy hair with pink streaks.

I dyed part of my hair pink.

I dyed part of my hair pink, as shown above.  I love it so much, the vibrancy, the way it makes me happy.  I look in the mirror and can’t help but smile.  My mom dyed part of her hair, too; it’s a splotch in the front left of her short hair.  She rocks it so hard.  I’m proud of her for doing that with me; maybe she’ll let me take a photo of her and me and put it online, but I doubt it.  She’s pretty wary of the web.

It’s been a while since I updated.  For that, I apologize; things haven’t been busy but I’ve been crazy sick.  Hard to update on a schedule when you’ve not given yourself a set deadline, and I’m bad at self-imposed deadlines anyway.  If someone says, “write 300 words for a contest in 6 hours,” that’s easy.  Writing something when I feel awful and give no fucks is much harder.

But, I’ve found some things that make me happy, and I wanted to share.

A game of tag that’s lasted 23 years

A pep talk from Kid President!  (You’re gooder than that!)

And finally, the last of my links:  The Emergency Kitten Blog–sadly no longer updated, but still brings a smile to my face.  Although, for dire emergencies, updates pretty often, and is full of adorable.

The last thing that makes me happy is… I’m taking some college courses.  They’re free, and only give certificates of participation… but taking a class, let alone two, is huge for me.  I barely graduated high school due to being sick.  Being so sick again yet trying to take classes is… intimidating, scary, but exhilarating as well.

So.  What’s making you happy these days?


Pride Goeth Before the Fall, But… Wednesday, Dec 19 2012 

I broke 5,000 words on my current short story.  This is the longest piece I’ve had since high school, and is only going to get longer.

I’m a slow writer right now, but I am going to finish a draft.  Even if I have to switch between stories to keep them fresh.

Monday, Dec 17 2012 

brb, goin to read my Writer’s Market

I’ve written myself into a corner. Thursday, Dec 6 2012 

It’s a funny phrase, “writing yourself into a corner”.  It comes from the act of painting a floor, which is now pretty much antiquated in my part of the United States.  There’s an old Archie comic short–I cannot find it despite a quick Google image search–where Jughead and one of his friends are painting the school’s floor, and the principal tells them to make sure they don’t paint themselves into a corner.  Jughead thinks he’s being smart by painting himself next to a door, until he opens it and realizes that his buddy’s painted both of them in!

There was a point to this post, but I forgot what it was.  However, I’m going to post it anyway, because that way I can say that I’ve written something recently.

A love letter to my cat Wednesday, Nov 28 2012 

A black cat laying on top of a sleeping older woman

Izzi curls up on Mom every night at bedtime.

The last truly nice thing my father did for my mother was getting her our cat from the shelter.

I should pause and give a bit of background, here–my father was not a nice man. He was an abusive, insecure son of a bitch, who would hit me if he didn’t like what I had to say. I’m still pretty screwed up.

He died in February of this year, and my feelings on the matter are… incredibly mixed.

But, like I said, the last truly nice thing he did for my mother was to let her get the cat. She’s a gorgeous animal; black, with a splotch of white at her collarbone. Sadly, our cat is the most skittish animal we’ve ever owned. We’re pretty sure she’s been abused. She is afraid of almost everyone; sometimes she gets scared of me, and I live at home, so she’s used to what I do and how I act.

She’s also incredibly sweet. She loves to be petted–on her terms, thank you very much–and she has the sweetest little meow, in this tiny voice. She still trills like a kitten. To say I love this cat is an understatement. When Dad and I brought her home from the no-kill shelter on Valentine’s Day in 2010, he and I actually had a very pleasant discussion in the car… even if I thought he’d kill all three of us with his reckless driving.

It took us about a week to name her. I suggested Bast, after the Egyptian cat goddess. Dad really liked the name, but Mom decided on Izzibella, the Queen of Dormont. After Dad gave her the concussion and she left (I’d been gone for about three months at that point, because he’d hit me and I’d finally hit him back), the cat had to be left behind. It took about a week before Mom could get Dad out of the house long enough to get poor Izzi and boarded her while Mom stayed with her deathly allergic sister. Once she found an apartment, she got the cat out of the pet hotel and brought her home.

At this point I was still living with friends, so I’m not sure how long it took for the cat to acclimate to the new conditions. I do know that she was underweight when Mom brought her home. To this day, the cat gets one can of food a day, with kibble to supplement her diet. She’s not a fat cat because of it, either. She’s svelte and beautiful.

When I moved in last year in late December, the cat and I had a fast bonding process. Mom had gone to visit my brother’s family in Atlanta before having her hip replaced in early January, so I was her sole caretaker for a fair bit of time. Even though she was less afraid of me because of that, I still didn’t see her often. She would do what we’d call “purrito”–crawl into Mom’s bed between the quilt and the sheets and hide there. She doesn’t do it much, if at all, anymore, and for that I’m thankful. I trust that it means she’s more comfortable, despite two moves in less than a year, my other brother coming to stay on and off for a month and a half, and most recently, the house being “invaded” by a team of maids.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this. I think it’s because I needed to write something, and cats are pretty darn cool. Maybe this will help me break my writer’s block!

Also, insomnia sucks. Just a random aside.

(Photograph taken with my cell phone, hence the crappy quality.  I have permission to use my mother’s photograph on the internet.)

Squee! Saturday, Nov 24 2012 

My first copy of Rattle came in today.  It is thick, and beautiful, and smells of new paper and promise.  I have three more mags to look forward to.

I am excited to open the book–gently, of course–and read all of the wonderful poetry selected by the Rattle editors.

I didn’t get accepted for publication in the magazine, nor did I win this year’s Poetry Prize.  I’m interested in reading what was accepted, so I can learn and grow as an author.  Poetry is not my strength, so studying will help me.

I can’t crack it open yet–I’ve trained myself to pretty much only read before bed–but it’ll be a good evening for reading, certainly.

I hope my American followers had a good Thanksgiving, and that if they ventured out on Black Friday, that they got everything they wished to buy.  I hope my international followers are having a fantastic weekend!

Dragonflies, needlepoint, and excitement, oh my! Wednesday, Nov 21 2012 

This is the first time in months that I have felt excited about a creative project, be it writing or otherwise.  The depression from being sick has sapped me pretty badly.

But, after talking to the doctor yesterday, and getting her perspective on what I need to do–and taking steps to do what needs done–I feel better today.  I bought two craft projects last night, and while shopping after my doctor’s appointment left me incredibly sore and tired, I still feel strangely invigorated.

I am hopeful again.  I’m cheerful, and I’m having a hard time sitting still despite being so very drained.

Today, I am opening my needlepoint kit, and getting to work.  I know it will probably take me a while, but feeling energized enough to tackle something feels so invigorating.

And, while I hate to say it–crochet and knitting are my first loves–needlepoint is far more portable than most yarn projects I’ve felt comfortable working on.

It’s Filler Time! Sunday, Nov 18 2012 

I’ve been struggling with what to write for a few days now.  Should I touch on how sick I’ve been?  That smacks of self-pity.  Should I talk about various books I’ve read?  That’d be writerly, but my brain is so foggy that I can’t remember details of anything.  What about what I’ve been writing?  Yeah, okay.

I don’t know.  I guess this is yet another filler post as I sort things out in my head.

A state of flux. Wednesday, Nov 14 2012 

Since I am coming back to the blog after its short burst of creation momentum, I am trying to decide which direction to take it in.  A very dear friend of mine suggests that I write about subjects that are important but “safe”–not talking about religion, politics, et cetera, and not swearing.  She is a YA author, however, and has a brand to maintain.

I am not interested in writing YA.  While I probably would be good at it–I’m not interested in pop music, but I do read a lot of novels aimed at teenagers, and watch a lot of television aimed at high schoolers–my main interest lies in speculative fiction of a more adult nature.  I don’t do graphic sex scenes within a story unless it’s, for some reason, completely justifiably necessary (which, to me, is pretty much never), but I like a lot of deep, provocative language. AKA, I like to swear in new, creative ways.  That’s not the only reason I’ll never be a YA author, but it’s a big part of it.

I’m very tired, and I think I’m rambling a little bit.  I can’t go to sleep yet, either, because of Real Life Obligations.  I will leave you with this poem, which is not safe for work, but is strangely beautiful while making me giggle like a fifth grader.

Tentatively back. Monday, Nov 12 2012 

I’m not sure if this is permanent, but I’m going to try and get back into blogging again.  I am both uninspired and bursting with creativity; depressed and full of life.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in… I think August, maybe September.  I’ve been in a really bad flare since the end of July, and I’m struggling to get it under control.

Between this and the mental health issues, I am tired and unable to do much.  I stare at my computer screen blankly so often and feel so very listless.  I’ve dropped off a number of websites where I used to have quite a large presence.  I’ve stopped role-playing.  (My mother was really worried when I told her that.)

Somehow, though, I think I’m crawling out of the hole I’ve dug myself.  Sure, it’s been a stressful year, but I have very poor coping skills.  I am in therapy, and on medications, to deal with my problems.

Here’s to hoping that the rest of 2012, and onward, look up.

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