Tag Archives: rant

Big changes…

So, yesterday was pretty solidly the worst day of the year.

My mother went on vacation for four days on Wednesday, and was scheduled to come back on Sunday.  She called last night and said she didn’t have any intention of coming home.

Fantastic, right?

That leaves me, my sister, and my nephew with an apartment we can’t afford and no way to pay the rent this month.  Out-motherfucking-standing.  Best day of my life, right there.

***Advice:  Don’t share an apartment with unreliable family members, people, even if they’re your mother.  ~_~***

So, after many shouting matches, tears, and urges to break things, I’m looking for a home for my Jack Russell and moving to Florida to stay with my father until I get on my feet.  It’s a shitty situation, since I pretty much hate Florida, and I really love my dog, but life goes on, I suppose.

This is my last night off before I start packing the few things I can take with me, schedule a UPS pick up, and try to find a ride to the airport next week.  I know my blog has been suffering anyway, but… just a little longer and I’ll be back.

Promise.

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Shedding Skin & Starting Over

Prompted by a thread started over at PaganSpace, I got thinking about the possibility of starting over.

Not just a new blog, new screen names, new Facebook, but a whole new life.

Have you ever had the urge to just drop everything, pick up what’s precious to you, and run away?  Start over somewhere fresh, where no one knows you, no one has ties to you, and your former life as ‘nobody’ doesn’t apply?

Have you ever felt like you were playing an extra in the film of you own life?

I have to say that I absolutely have felt that way on a multitude of occasions.  Sometimes life isn’t what you expected it to be.  Things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to when you planned them.  Sometimes, the only logical thing to do is to just leave, and try again where you don’t have the stigma of who people think you are hanging over your head.

It’s not logical, obviously.  We have families and lovers and friends and jobs and pets.

But if you wouldn’t hurt anyone by leaving, would you?  Would you start a new life somewhere else, where you could be someone else?

I would.  Hell, maybe when I’m not poor anymore, I will.  Who knows.

Anyway, just some food for thought.  <3

Maybe someday, I’ll actually write about writing again.

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Write What You DON’T Know!

Back on the third of June, Miss Rosemary posted a blog entry entitled Write What You Know. I’m here, not to counter it exactly, but to expand upon it.   I know, it’s taken me a lifetime getting this posted, but life exploded, and let me tell you… the hunt for the article I got this from was a nightmare.  I give full credit to Ms. Holly Lisle, who has taught me so many things over my years trying to write seriously.  Her site, wisdom, and encouragement has been with me since I was a sophomore in high school, and I appreciate everything that she’s offered the writing community.

Write what you know.  Seriously.  It’s absolutely critical that you draw from your own experience when you’re writing.  It makes your characters, settings, senses, and story so much more believable when there’s a human connection and experience linked to it.  I would never tell anyone to abandon writing what they know.  That would be ignorant and stupid.

What I do want to say is that: what you know is incredibly limited. I don’t care who you are, you can’t possibly know everything to muddle through certain parts of writing.  You don’t have to have been a corrupt general of the US Army to write about a corrupt general of the US Army.  One of the many amazing things I love about writing is that it forces you to learn, to research, to better yourself intellectually to take that leap into believable fiction.

Combine your experiences with research.  If you aren’t willing to research, you’re going to look stupid.  You’ll end up showing a 14th century Scottish Highland woman drinking coffee one morning as she stands looking out of her door.  We don’t want that ridiculosity, do we?

‘Ridiculosity’ is a word.  I penciled it into the dictionary myself.  You’re welcome.

In any case, a writer’s job is not just to write, but to give the reader a sense of reality beyond their own.  (Holly Lisle even suggests reading quantum physics books to build a better system of magic.  I’m not quite so gung-ho, but you get the idea. =P)  Read fiction and non-fiction.  Science, history, and philosophy.  Religion, romance, plays, and poetry.

Read and research so that writing what you don’t know once again falls into the realm of writing what you do know.

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An Apology to Myself

Number one destroyer of my current mental health: Unemployment.


I could spend the better part of this post going off about the state of the US economy, bad politics, and a blatant disdain for what our country has become.  We have a pretty epically awesome history, but– yeah, never mind.  I said I wouldn’t complain about what’s become of us.

I could blame everything from the unbalanced hold Big Business has on The Consumer, to the fact that, as a whole, we have become solely The Consumer.

I could blame my parents.  Everyone always blames their parents, but it’s not my parents’ fault.

Or I could be honest, and I could blame me.  I could do the responsible thing and own up to my actions — or lack thereof.  I could tell you that I’m unemployed because I was a lazy, smart ass high school student whose ambition was destroyed by butting heads with teachers who didn’t really care.  I knew they didn’t care about their students, and I should have had the good sense to account for that and care about myself.  I could have done better if I didn’t blame them for hating me, all the while contributing to their frustration with my bullheaded remarks and know-it-all personality.

I like to think I’ve grown since then.  In some ways, I have, but in others — well, I’ve gone from confident in all the wrong ways to self-conscious in all the major ones.  Life knocked me down a few pegs; something that happens to way too many people. Reality is vicious.  Reality doesn’t care if it knocks you off your pedestal so many times you lose the will to climb back up.

You have to care.  No one is going to do it for you.  No one can fix you but you, and you can’t fix you if you don’t want to fix you.

I can’t fix me if I don’t want to fix me.  I have to sometimes remind myself that talking in the second person isn’t going to change the fact that I am talking about me, even if it’s a topic I want to avoid.

But I’m trying to face it.  That’s the point.

I’m broken.  I can fix me.  I want to fix me.

The steps I’m taking to “fix” what’s broken:

  • Job hunting and tweaking my very limited resume to make me look awesome, even though that fact is debatable among employers.
  • Becoming a better pagan.  We get a bad rep, but we’re too busy being too afraid to “come out of the broom closet” to mend it.  Those of us with the ability should make some effort to educate.  Not through ‘conversion’, but through our acts in the community.
  • Motivating myself.  I can’t wait for other people to come along and pull me out of this ditch.  I need to write, read, and create the me that I want to be.
  • Loving myself.  It’s hard sometimes, but I can’t appropriately love others until I love myself.  It isn’t fair to expect someone else to love all the things about me that I hate, just so I can fill the gap.

And there’s my very depressing post for today.  It took me a couple of hours to write it, because… I hate self-evaluation, as I mentioned a few posts ago.

So, here I am, ready to be better, and willing to make the changes that are necessary to be who I want to be.

Are you who you want to be?

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I hate self-evaluation

“Once the Queen is dead, the king is useless.”

“… What’s that about?”

“I dunno… Maybe he’s too depressed to fight.  He really loved her, you know.”

Mm… chess references and movie quotes.

So, I’ve been flying through lessons at TFA.  I’m about to start Wicca 1, lesson 4.  I’m on Scrying 1, lesson 2 (I don’t put much into divination, but I figured it would round me out a little bit).  And I’m about to start Tools 1, lesson 2 (Which is easy, since I’ve been through it three times in other classes).

Lesson 3 of Wicca 1 was a little difficult for me to face, honestly.  It was a lesson in the elements and the Four Rooms.

Here’s a quick lesson in The Four Rooms:

You separate yourself into four parts, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Each part has a ‘room’ associated with it (which seems a little unnecessary to me).

“Our existence is divided up into four areas, or four rooms, if you will. Imagine that you live in a big house with four rooms. Your house includes: 1) a large, green kitchen with a small garden off of the side; 2) a bright yellow living room with a large, private balcony, 3) a luxurious, blue bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub; and 4) a cozy, red bedroom with a fireplace (do not forget the king-sized bed). Each of the four elements corresponds with one of these rooms, and each of these rooms corresponds with a part of you.”

~ Firefly: Wiccan Advancement by Iris Firemoon

The kitchen is the physical and associated with Earth, the living room is the mental and associated with Air, the bathroom is emotional and associated with Water, and the bedroom is spiritual and associated with Fire.

The exercise was to divide yourself into these four “rooms” and give a brief evaluation of the state of yourself in each.

Physically, I’m out of shape, I eat like crap, and I sleep more than I should.

Mentally, my writing is getting done, so I guess that’s an upside.

Emotionally, I’m 25, single, and watching all of my friends get married and start families.  I feel like crap.  Blah.

Spiritually, I’m connecting with my religion again, my writing is getting done, but I’m still stuck in the ‘love myself before I can appropriately love others’ conundrum.

So… I really don’t know if this exercise was made to make the student feel like crap enough to recognize that change is necessary, or to just understand the material, but holy fucking downer, Batman.

But.  This is nothing an over-consumption of caffeine won’t temporarily fix.

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My Brain’s Been Stewing – Writing Groups

I pulled an all-nighter last night and it’s made me a little irritable, I think.  Right now, I think I look a little like this:

It's oddly difficult to find a picture of Oscar looking grouchy, you know.

Normally, I get this way and I start thinking about things I’ve come across that have honestly bothered me.  This is going to be a big one.

The Writer’s Spot made a post recently that detailed how to create your own writing club. I thought it was a great post, considering I had just started working with my local library director to put together my own writing group.  Very convenient!

However, a man named Richard, with no link to a blog that I can provide for you, leaves this comment:

“Sorry to rain on your parade, but I think writing clubs are only good if you are going to “play” at writing.

If you want to get serious about writing there’s only one way to do it and that’s to sit down each and every day and WRITE! That’s all there is to it. There’s no easy path. You simply write and write and write. EVERY DAY!

And the feedback and criticism you’re going to get from other amateur writers is, well, amateur in that regards, too.

Want real feedback and criticism? Tailor your writing to a specific market, put it in an envelope with a SASE (self addresses stamped envelope) and send it to a publisher. If it comes back without comment then it either stinks or didn’t fit the market you were aiming for. Read it with your own critical eye and send it off again. And again and again.

If your writing has some merit then the rejection slip might actually have a hand scribbled note of encouragement.

Now, here’s the great part…if what you’ve written is actually good the people you sent it to will send you MONEY. That’s the best feedback of all.

How do I know this to be true? Because I paid the rent, electricity and put food on the table for years doing just what I said above. Eventually I realized writing wasn’t paying enough to buy that boat I wanted and sail off into the sunset on, so I got myself a job as a deckhand on a boat and after putting in the requisite time the Coast Guard requires I got my license and had someone pay me to sail off into the sunset in THEIR boats. And let me tell you, the sunset looks pretty good in Antibes, France, and Marbella, Spain, to mention only a couple of places I’ve been paid to be.”

I understand the opinion, to some degree.  But how fucking rude, right!?  Maybe he fails to see the benefits of hearing the opinions of peers “amateur” or not.  Writers are readers.  No exceptions.  Have you ever met a writer that didn’t read avidly?  No, right?  Because how do you get a grasp on how to write a story if you’ve never read one?  And in a writing group, you aren’t there to listen to the opinions of writers AS writers, you’re there to hear their opinions as readers.  You don’t need a degree in creative writing to be able to tell someone “Your story isn’t popping off the page for me,” or “I’m not connecting with the main character and the sentence structure in the middle of chapter three isn’t flowing very well.  Stop tipping back the margaritas while you’re writing,”  or something, right?

What works for one writer doesn’t always work for another.  A friend of mine is a list-maker.  He makes list upon list upon list until he can piece together his plot.

I’m like… what the hell are the lists for?  I don’t even think that organized.  I throw my ideas on a cluster sheet, and I write freely until I find points that I like.  Then I put them into a summary.  And the post it notes?  Omg, everywhere.

I dunno, man, then this guy goes on some rant about boats and getting paid to sail which has nothing to do with his comment, really.  Aside from “I’ve gotten paid for writing AND I’ve gotten paid for sailing!”  Um.  Woo, man, good for you.  What does that have to do with anything?  o.O  Anyway.  There is my rant.  Maybe I’m over reacting, but it BOTHERED me, and it’s been on my mind.

This is the part where I make up for it by hugging people.  But I’m prickly.  I’ll send you all “I’m sorry for being a whine-ass” flowers instead.

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New Projects and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

So, I mentioned in my FFT post that I was planning a new on-going project, just to kill time and keep my brain from exploding.  I love my WiP, and writing Z, Gage, and Periss is hilarious and amazing, but I’ve been getting the itch for something new.  I do that so often, it’s retarded.  I have fiction ADD.  I think I need a support group.

Anyway, I’ve decided on a fantasy theme, a blend of modern America and kind of an Alexander the Great-era Middle East.  I don’t know quite how I’m going to pull it off yet, but I’m working on it.

And names.  I used to love naming characters, now I friggin’ hate it.  It was my favorite part, and somehow it’s gotten to be a part of the process that makes me beat my head against my desk.  I have three characters that need names, and I’m dreading it.

I do have a basic plot outline, though.  I’ll flesh it out a little more tomorrow, and I’ll steal a little freedom from my main WiP for awhile.

On a weird side note… everyone in my state is a jerk.  I read things about other people, and their experiences on their blogs or Facebook accounts, or… you know, whatever… and I’m like “WOW, that would not fly in Massachusetts!”  People are such raging douche bags here.  I mean, I’m an asshole to the core.  No joke.  But I SMILE at people in public, because it’s a courteous thing to do.  I hold doors for people, because I know I feel all “Kit SMASH!” when I’m inches behind someone and a door shuts in my face.

Common.  Courtesy.  Seriously.  Who raised these people?

There’s a time and a place to be an asshole.  It’s usually with my friends… who are equally brutal, sarcastic, and all-around-dicks.  We mesh well.  But I can conduct myself in public!  Why can’t the rest of the people in this Hell-washed state?

Pft.  Rant over.  Had to get that out of my system.  Thanks.  <3

***Also, to clarify, I don’t think I’m better than anyone.  The opposite is actually true.  I can genuinely behave like a bad person, and I know that most people are NOT bad people.  Why do they act like they are?  That’s all I’m getting at.***

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Reassurance!

This guy here makes me feel better about not having gone to college.  And so I congratulate him on being Freshly Pressed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying college is a bad thing, and I’m not putting anyone down for having gone to college, because seriously, if you got through it, or are currently getting through it, great job.  I admire you.  That’s a shit ton of work.  (Mind you, I love studying when I want to, it’s when I have to or someone’s going to flush my money and my future down the toilet that makes me whine like a five year old.)

In any case, my point is that, fresh out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to seriously pursue.  I only knew that I felt like shit for having to stay home and get a job while I watched all my friends go off to further their educations.

Then… one by one they dropped out, flunked out, or spent an extra year (or two) because it was more struggle than they expected.  That could have been me, and I’ll tell you right now that, if I had gone to college at 18, it definitely would have been.  I didn’t have the drive.  Hell, I was damn lucky I graduated high school in the middle of my class.  I was lucky I graduated.  I never went to school, and when I did I really didn’t do much.  My teachers loved me.  Which I exploited to the best of my ability.

I also flunked 10th grade gym.  Not because I didn’t participate, but because I refused to write papers for it.  That’s what health class was for, and I’d be damned if I was going to write a five to ten page paper for gym class.

I got a little off track there, but I think it illustrates the point of my high school attitude.

At 25, I think I’m more equipped to handle college, though because I was a high school douche, I didn’t bother taking my SAT test or my ACT… in fact, the only test I took was the ASVAB and did AMAZING.  Not that it helped me, because my attempts at joining the Army were foiled. XD  I’m also grateful for that at this point in my life.  It was a “I have no direction, my friends are in college, what the fuck am I going to do with my life?” decision. Also, my JROTC sergeant wanted me to give it a go.

So, in short, I agree, and think that 18 is too young for most people to decide what they want long term… and to bet that much cash on it… yeah, I’m all set there.

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Why I’m not allowed to listen to anything but instrumentals while I’m writing

A very lengthy post title for an exceptionally short blog post.  XD

I wasted a fairly good portion of my day today browsing my extensive list of pagan Facebook groups and pages, mostly for the sake of tooling around and forsaking my purpose in coming to the computer.  Then, I thought “I’ll listen to some music to get myself into the writing mood!”

So I did.  But instead of listening to classical or general instrumentals like I usually do, I thought “God damn, I’m feeling some Green Day and Garbage.”

….

Five hours later, I’m feeling like writing a no-way-out Bonnie and Clyde piece set in a post-apoc world, where the female is a bitter bitch with a strong sense of self and sexuality.

What.  The.  HELL.  Happened.  There?

I wanted to write about Z!  But… no joke, I’m writing that Bonnie and Clyde thing down.  XD  Ticked off as I am that I broke my flow, I kind of like the idea.

I’m instrumental hunting now.

WiP Word Count: 1908

Days until deadline: 235

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My thoughts on beginnings…

There is no struggle equivalent to that of starting a brand new story.   That isn’t to say it’s the hardest task in the world, nor the most anguishing, but if you’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting down to a blank OpenOffice document, you know what I mean.  It’s a unique sort of struggle that generally initiates a torrid love affair with the backspace key, a violent and bloody battle against your Muse (who sometimes sees fit to fight on your side against your Imagination), and a feeling at the end that can equate either to heart-bursting victory or soul-crushing defeat.

Paragraph One is usually my personal nightmare.  It makes me flail, whine, and face-plant onto my keyboard, though once I get past it I generally get on a roll.  It pleases me.

Then I hit the Chapter One road block.  There’s this big, blinking sign in my head that says “Detour!”, so I take that detour (obviously, because what other choice do I have, right?  Traffic is going that way, and backing up behind me, and I really can’t do anything but take the left my Muse is waving me toward) and find myself so completely off the Main Plot track that I get lost in the Sub-Plot Bogs of Inevitable Doom.  It’s a messy place, those bogs.  You get stuck and cry a lot–Have you ever seen The Neverending Story?  Yeah.  Exactly like that.  If you have a horse, it’ll probably get sad and die, too.  It’s terrible.

Sometime around Chapter Five, I manage to find the route I was on to begin with, the detour ends, and I’m happily chugging along toward The Middle.  The Middle is like this big gray mass of… paste.  Or… gravy.  I don’t know, but it’s sticky, bland, and makes for a rough clean up.  All of what I wanted for the story gets dropped into this gray gravy-paste to make a chunky stew of… whatthehellever.  I braid my sub plots (scary vines I stole from the aforementioned Sub-Plot Bogs of Inevitable Doom) so I can weave a vine-bowl, and I dump my stew in.  Hopefully it cooks the way I want it to, so when I eat it I can power on to a very awesome, clean-and-tidy ending.

By the end of The Middle, I’m so exhausted, I throw the ending together as quick-and-dirty as possible, polish the ball-o-plot-stew as well as I can, and give it a big fat hug.

… Before throwing it onto my flash drive to be revised when I stop feeling dirty for writing it.  Beginnings make me crazy, and subsequently make me suck at middles, and resent/celebrate endings.

I even got a little lost writing this post.  No more caffeine for Kit.  Dear god.  x_x

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