Of Life & Randomness

A nice, mellow weekend

I wrote about 900 words of TBSOL this morning, and finished another scene.

Over lunch on Saturday, K talked to me about Microsoft Sharepoint and computer programming, and then I talked to her about the Vedic texts, the cyclical nature of time, the duration of kalpas, and the spiritual nature of souls. But then I remembered I’d forgotten to put in an order to the grocery store so we could go pick it up. In my haste, I accidentally scheduled the order for today (Monday) instead of for Saturday afternoon.

K made fun of me.

At the grocery store, I brought up the subject of thoughts, and wondered what form our thoughts would take in the absence of language, but we didn’t get too far into that discussion, because we got distracted trying to pick out some lettuce.

For dinner I made us BLAST sandwiches. The original plan had been tacos, but halfway through our outing we decided we were too hungry for anything that would take more than a few minutes to prepare. So I suggested BLTs. But, having found some fresh spinach, and the perfect avocado, I made us BLASTs instead. Bacon. Lettuce. Avocado. Spinach. Tomato. So good.

I then tried unsuccessfully to get K into Halt and Catch Fire, and switched us instead to a show I’d been interested to try: Imposters. K’s not a big TV watcher so trying to get her into shows is very hit or miss. But she loved Imposters, and so did I. So much so that we binge-watched all ten episodes of the first season in one sitting, and went to bed after 3AM. Con-artists and lesbians. What’s not to love?

Yesterday — Sunday — was a bit of a lazy day. We listened to my playlist of classical music for about an hour before, during, and after breakfast, and talked about music. There was a lot of reading, and some World of Warcraft, and some laundry, and some cooking, and I don’t even know what else. For dinner, I made tacos, and at some point much later we sat around talking, and snacking on Oreos and milk.

Overall, a nice, mellow weekend to kick off the month.

Today, there was writing in the morning, a break for lunch (leftover tacos), and then more writing. Then I played some WoW while listening to Mysterious Universe Plus+ podcast 17.08, which is about Nick Redfern’s The Slenderman Mysteries. I’m not done listening to it yet, because I got distracted, but I’ll go back to it soon.

Tonight: salad and a potato omelette for dinner, and most importantly: The Good Fight. 


“Remember that the world in which you live is a gigantic laboratory with people interacting with each other and affecting the whole. Each act of yours, everything you do, or say, or think, yes even every emotion you give way to has an impact on everyone else.”

— Joseph J. Weed, Wisdom of the Mystic Masters

Of Life & Randomness

Picking, and choosing, and blogging again

The other day, I caught myself thinking that I was bored of the Internet. Then I realized that by “the Internet” I meant social media, and I wondered when it was that “going online” became logging into Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram, and all the rest. What did I do online before all that?

It occurs to me that I don’t really know what’s up with most of the people I consider friends. They’re all spread across different parts of the world. To learn about their lives I have to log onto Facebook, and scroll through whatever content an algorithm decides I should see, and from there I learn that so-and-so went out to dinner, or someone else posted a meme, or someone else’s kid looked cute today, and so on and so forth. Is that what connecting means these days? Sharing a few, selected pieces of our lives and scattering them across the digital landscape in the hopes of getting a like, or a heart, or even — dare we hope (or fear) — a comment?

The Internet has forced us to become the editor-in-chief of our own life, and I’ve never been very good at that. I’m bad at picking and choosing what to share, what filter to use, how to caption things. I’m 100% sure almost nobody knows anything about me anymore because I can’t really figure out what’s important to share. I retweet a lot. I’ve gotten good at letting other people say the things I’m too afraid to.

I miss saying things. I’ve been wanting to resurrect this blog for a long time, only I kept facing the same question: what to say? A funny thing happens when you fall silent for a long time, you kind of lose your voice. I thought I’d blog again when I found it again, except I can’t find it without writing.

So here I am.

I promised myself that this year I would write more, and give fewer f*cks about the things that don’t matter, and I’m working on both of those things. I promised myself, too, that I’d do more sharing, but so far, I’ve been unsuccessful at motivating myself to do that. Mostly because I haven’t wanted to add to the noise, which really just means I still give too many f*cks about what people think.

I’m not sure what’s important to share, but I’m starting to realize it doesn’t really matter. I suppose that’s the beauty of having a blog, it’s your own semi-private oasis. I hope to make the best of it again.

Of Life & Randomness

Giving Fewer F*cks

Resolutions 2018.

Kind of.

I don’t really do resolutions. For some reason the first day of the year is never the time I kick into high gear or get my sh*t together. That usually happens a few months later, around my birthday.

Today is day five of the year, and I’m not sure how the writing resolution is going, but the giving fewer f*cks about anything is shaping up a little better.

By that I mean not overthinking. Not worrying. Not stressing about every little thing. Not doing that thing where I create elaborate doomsday scenarios and let fear take over. I’d like to be done with all of it.

Last year was a bit of a rock bottom year for me, but I think things got a lot better in the second half of 2017, and ever since then I’ve been trying to find my way back to myself with varying degrees of success.

We’ll see what 2018 brings. There’s a lot I’m looking forward to. Bring it.

 

Of Life & Randomness

Mist Monsters, Vaginas and Teleportation

Photo Project: 30 Days of Notebooks (1/30)

I spent my morning learning about mist monsters (muy creepy), and — unrelated to that — about a Spanish boy said to be the reincarnation of a much-beloved Buddhist lama, who grew up in a monastery and at eighteen was like, “Eff this shit, I’m out.” He then returned to Spain to hang out at the beach and listen to trance music and make documentaries. All of this I learned courtesy of the Mysterious Universe podcast, which remains my favorite discovery of 2017.

Chapter 17 of the new version of TBSOL is now up on Patreon.

Chapter 17 Sneak peek:

Julianne: Va…nguards? No … Vagabonds… Vaaaacuities…

Kris: Tragic

Julianne: Vag…arious

Kris: I’m never playing Scrabble with you

Julianne: VAGOTONIAAAAAAA

Kris: Is that even a real word?

Julianne: Play Scrabble with me and find out.

Kris: I can’t believe how reluctant you are to write VAGINA. Are you sure you’re a lesbian?

From here, the conversation moves to teleportation, because any conversation about vaginas usually segues into quantum mechanics and the transfer of matter. At least, it always does in my experience. “Write what you know,” they say. Well. This is what I know.

Stepping back for a moment, I can see that this post is all over the place. Insightful quote about writing followed by talk of mist monsters; reincarnated Buddhist lamas followed by vaginas and teleportation. I look at this post, and I think, I should maybe have a coherent theme? But no. No. I’m just gonna go ahead and blog the way I think.

So back to the mist monsters: sometimes they paralyze and attack you in your house, but apparently turning on the light makes them go away. Pro-tip: Never turn off the light. I also learned that sometimes aliens abduct you and put you into some kind of gel liquid you can breath through. I have no pro-tip for this.

Today I’m grateful for: Not being someone who gets attacked by mist monsters or abducted and put into breathable alien gel.

And now I’m off to catch up on Las Estrellas. Look how cute they are. <3

 

Of Life & Randomness

Happy Thanksgiving

There’s no Thanksgiving in France, and unlike Halloween (which I love), it’s not really a holiday I ever celebrated before moving here. What I do miss, however, is pumpkin pie. I really, really, really, REALLY love pumpkin pie. So, this weekend, I’ll be making my own. Hopefully, I won’t burn it like last time.

And while I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional sense, I do celebrate giving thanks.

Gratitude, I think, is one of the most powerful things in the world, and I intend to show more of it.

So, thank you. Thank you for reading this, and most of all, thank you for existing.

Today, I thought I’d share a few articles I’ve collected on my travels through the Internet today:

  • Giving Thanks to the “Not Me” generation – Lynne McTaggart, author of The Power of Eight, discusses how thinking about and doing for others is the key to unlocking happiness in yourself.
  • Perpetual Thanksgiving – Author and artist, Austin Kleon, shares a free, downloadable gratitude template he created with his son, and a quote by Thoreau on giving perpetual thanks.
  • Out of this World Cornbread Dressing Recipe – Courtesy of NASA. I will probably not be trying this…
  • 22 Famous Writers Talk Books They’re Most Thankful For – A great list from such authors as Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Rainbow Rowell, and more. And since we’re on the subject, the book I’m most grateful for is Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden. This book literally fell from the shelf at the bookstore and landed at my feet at a time when I desperately needed it. No one believes me, but it seriously fell from the shelf as though someone pulled on it and let it drop. So, thank you, invisible librarian spirit.
  • The Art of Ornamental Orange Peeling (1905) – In case you need some last minute table decoration ideas, the Public Domain Review has your back.
Of Life & Randomness

Hello, C’est Moi

I descaled my coffee machine yesterday, and here’s the thing about descaling the coffee machine: it’s not fun. It’s not fun at all. Especially since the descaling solution comes with zero instructions. I had to resort to YouTube, which made my cat very angry because he hates it when disembodied voices drift out of the laptop.

However, after cleaning the coffee machine inside and out, it turns out my coffee did taste much better this morning. The angry red light was right.

So, if your coffee machine has an angry red light, and like me, you’ve been ignoring it for weeks because you know that cleaning out the coffee machine is not fun at all, just do it. Do it. You’ll thank me later. You won’t thank me as you’re doing it — you’ll probably hate me then, but later — much later — you’ll thank me.

I wanted to kick-off my newfound dedication to blogging by reminding you that I still care about you and your coffee. In case you thought I didn’t.

It’s been a weird few years. I fell into a deep well of depression for entirely too long, and crawling out of it has been a slow and arduous process. But here I am at the other side, and I’m feeling much, much more like my old self.

And, like my old self, I’d like to get back to blogging every day, or at least more frequently.

There was a point there where I honestly couldn’t remember what I used to do on the Internet. Hours of my life got sucked up into the void of random social media. Tumblr. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Back to Twitter. Hours, days, weeks, months, years — all gone, with nothing to show for it. I stopped reading books. I stopped creating things. I stopped sharing because I had nothing to share. I was in a constant state of anxiety about everything.

I hit rock bottom some time around April, and just went, “Whoa, enough.” It’s been getting progressively better since. I’ve started reading, journaling, meditating, doing yoga, walking more, eating better, sleeping better, and, most importantly, writing.

One of the first (and best) changes I made was cutting Twitter from my morning routine. I used to reach for the phone first thing and read the news, which was a great way to start the day anxious and depressed. I cut the Internet out of my morning routine altogether, eventually.

Now I wake up. Drink water. Do yoga. Meditate. Listen to a podcast or audiobook while making/eating breakfast. Journal. Write. Then check the Internet. Sometimes I don’t do it all. Sometimes I wake up late and have to shift things around. Sometimes I’m lazy. But the foundation is there, and it’s been a blessing.

So, what have I been … keep reading…

Of Life & Randomness

2015: Here We Go Again

image.pngI can’t pretend I was much of a writer in 2014. I was a student, and later a teacher, and then at some point, a crazy tennis fan, and that about sums up my 2014.

So, here we are at the start of a new year, and I begin it with the same blind optimism with which I’ve begun every year prior: This is the year I become an ideal version of myself. This is the year I accomplish all my goals, and see all of my dreams realized.

And maybe it will be. And maybe it won’t. I’ve decided it’s okay either way.

I’m making no promises, no resolutions. Less talking, more doing is my motto for the year. We’ll see what comes of that.

All of that to say: I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful and productive start to 2015. Above all, I wish you health and happiness.

Of Life & Randomness

Onwards and Upwards: An Update

Ah, blogging, how I’ve missed you.

Those of you who are signed up to receive my newsletter are aware that I’ve taken a step back from TBSOL. I’m still working on it – don’t worry –  I’m just trying not to stress out about it.  There are writers who can force it, just pound on the keys until the words come out and the book is finished. I’d (probably) be a lot better off if I were that kind of writer, but I’m not.

This book has become too important to me to wing it haphazardly and I was getting to the point where I just didn’t care anymore if it was good or bad or if anything made sense. I just wanted to finish it. That’s not what I want for this book (especially not for its final version), and I’m certain that’s not what most readers want either. So, I’m hitting pause until I feel I can approach the book from a better emotional standpoint.

TBSOL FV will be done, and when it is done you will know about it. Promise.

the midnight sisterhood: a series

I’m excited to announce the title of my next project: The Midnight Sisterhood, a young adult series about an all-female secret society operating out of (fictional) Midnight Island. There will be spies and mysteries and ghosts and psychics and aliens – and of course – gay girls and romance.

At some point in the future, I’ll be re-launching midnightisland.com as the official hub of the series, and there will be lots more info about it there.

I’m still laying down the foundations of the world, the various plots, and – my favorite part – creating all the characters, but here’s what I can reveal for now:

  • The Midnight Sisterhood is comprised of various secret Orders
  • There are vigilantes, paranormal investigators, hackers, psychics, people with special powers and so on and so forth, all belonging to different Orders with specified operations, and all at different hierarchies of knowledge, access, and power
  • I’m starting the first book with the characters of the High School Vigilante Order, whose main purpose is to spy, gather info, and rectify wrongs wherever they see fit.
  • It will be an LGBTQ series, and most of the main characters will fall somewhere in the not-straight spectrum.

So, that’s what I’m working on when I’m not working on TBSOL.  Most of this will sound familiar if you’ve kept up with the blog, as I’ve mentioned the series before. Now it’s finally taking shape, so I’m excited to be giving it more attention.

in non-writing news:

  • I did an interview with Cúpula de Libros which was featured in the first issue of their Bookovers magazine. Check it out!
  • I’m starting a course in May to get a TEFL certification, which means I’ll be fully qualified to teach English to non-native speakers. I’m excited about that.
  • I’ll be playing WildStar when it launches in June, and looking for people to play with/talk about the game with, so if you’re planning to hit Nexus, let me know!

And that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you’re having a glorious day. Find me on Facebook and Twitter for all my daily nonsense.

Of Life & Randomness

Poe vs the Elephant: An Ongoing Saga

poe_vs_elephant

My mom gave K a stuffed pink elephant named Rose, because K  loves elephants. Rose lives on the top shelf of one of our bookcases, along with K’s collection of elephant figurines.

Poe and Rose have a complicated relationship.

Every single day, without fail, we walk into the office to find Rose on the floor. This has remained a source of amusement and confusion because he doesn’t do this with anything else. He’s only interested in Rose. No matter where we put her, she always winds up on the floor.

But only once per day.

A few days ago, I was in my office at around four in the morning. Poe was sleeping. He woke up rather suddenly, jumped down from his tree, and dragged his half-asleep body into the office. A few seconds later, I heard a noise behind me, and turned around to find Rose on the floor.

Poe stared up at me with a sleepy sort of glare, returned to his tree, and went back to sleep.

Of Life & Randomness

TBSOL – Notes From Last Night

I was really out of it yesterday after only managing a couple of hours of sleep, which I thought meant I’d fall asleep early and easily, but 2AM rolled around and I was still awake.

Sort of awake.

In and out of awake.

I remember I was trying to fall asleep while thinking about TBSOL and what was left to write. At one point, I had this vision of Kris jumping out of a bed shouting, “FRIES!” and I’m pretty sure I was asleep by that point, but I still remember thinking, “OH MY GOD THAT’S AMAAAAAAZING …. OHHHH BRILLIANT…. WRITE THAT DOWN!”

But I fell back asleep.

Or I thought I did.

I don’t actually recall reaching for my iPad in the middle of the night, but I guess I must have because today I found this:

TBSOL notes

… thanks half-asleep, me.