So, if any of you have ever checked out the “Who I Am” page, you know that I’m a nanny. A live-in one, at that. It’s…an interesting life, I have to say. A lot of the time, it’s just me yelling at the kids now days, but it used to be cuddle time in front of the television, letting them make “chili” out of me (that’s another story), and/or sharing the absolute geekiest videos online I could find with them (seriously, these kids know more about this galaxy and assorted planets than a lot of adults do).
Something no one told me about this nanny business (probably because I’m the only one any of us know), is that – if you hang around long enough – you are no longer just a glorified babysitter. You become part of the family. You will find yourself adopting certain characteristics from the parents, just as they will with you. And the kids. Oof, the kids.
When I started working for this family, the eldest (Batgirl) was about to turn three, and the mother was pregnant with the youngest (Robin). This year, Batgirl will be turning the big 1-3, and Robin will be turning 10. It has been absolutely mindblowing watching them grow. I grew up with my oldest nephew being more like a younger brother than anything else, but with him – I watched him grow in, I guess what they call “fits and starts.” I saw him all the time, but he still managed to grow a little more every time I saw him. These two kids though…
Anyway, so here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking, and I’ve realized that I have some really strange families.
Yes, plural, and no I’m not complaining.
They’re different in many ways, and they’re perfect for me. The thing is, I want to share them a little bit. So I’m going to. They’re such a big part of my life, it doesn’t seem right not to. I won’t ever share real images of the kids, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see such images of the adults, either, but over the next couple weeks, I’m going to introduce you to the strange cast of characters I call “family.”
Sorry everyone, I know it’s been a while. I was finishing up my last term as a full-time student, and was having some major issues with the final. I am happy to report, however, that all that is over. I am now a part-time student, and trying to get back into the swing of things.
This past month has been rather interesting, so this is going to be a long post. For the TL;DR people, here you go:
In March, I will be starting my senior year at Southern New Hampshire University. I will also go from being a full-time student, to a part-time student. My workload is about to drop significantly. This means, a lot more time to focus on writing and this blog. I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time writing what I want to write, instead of one paper after another. After three years of that, I am feeling more than a little burned out. (Also, I graduate next year! March 2020 should be my last class. Very excited~)
(This second bit, is what is holding back “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” from being published, just so you know.)
I mentioned before that there are health issues at play. Well, those health issues are my teeth. I’ll go into the long of it soon, but right now, I’ve found out that I need $11,300 $9,800 (Thank you, CareCredit) to get them fixed. I do not have that kind of money, so I’ve started up a GoFundMe. Anyone who feels up to donating, it would be appreciated. Once that is done, I’ll be able to move onto hiring the editor I want to use (I finally found one!), and getting my book out there. I’ve already decided, however much people end up donating, I will pay back into the system after I am able to get what I need done taken care of. I know there are people that need the money more than I do, and I plan on doing my best to help them, as people are helping me. If you can afford to help out, please do. If you can’t, please share the link.
Apparently the minimum amount one can donate is $5 (I didn’t know that til just now), and if that’s all you can give, that’s fine. Seriously, every penny helps, and I’m working on reducing the amount needed from donations as much as possible, too.
When I drop down to being a part-time student, I’ll be able to pick up a few more hours until summer. during the summer, I’m a full-time nanny, which is what pays for my room and board. I will only be available to work on the weekends then. I get money back from student loans, however, and that is all going towards the money needed.
So. It occurs to me, that I did not do an “end of year” review type post. Honestly though, I don’t really have anything to write about for this year. It was 2017 when all the “important” crap happened. The tumor behind my eye was discovered and removed. Sis’ skin cancer was discovered and removed. The first full year without my brother-in-law. Everything and anything happened that year.
This past year…the only thing of any note was that my vision has improved. Oh, and I finally received my first rejection letter (which, considering the publishing house in question, I expected). I got to visit my family in Arkansas, and introduced my sister to filters. We found a graveyard from the 1800s, and it turns out, most of the people in it are related to us. I introduced my niece to Doctor Who, and she binge-watched it within about two months? Something like that. She completely devoured the show, and is now a dedicated Whovian. I rediscovered my love for VIXX, and decided to give learning Korean a try (spoiler alert: the alphabet is like, a million times easier than Japanese, but pronouncing it is a bitch).
I found my writing tribe, participated in Twitter author events. Made it through an entire summer without a single tornado warning (!!!), and missed out on Trick or Treating with the kids because they both decided to act like first-rate jerks. Added a minor to my degree (I am now minoring in Social Sciences), and am starting my senior year of college. Had two scary instances with our doggo (see the skunk incident and the brownie thief incident), and two with two of my aunts (and they say bad things come in threes…).
I won the award for favorite aunt this Christmas, when I gave my niece a laptop, and my roommates got me gifts very fitting for a writer of sci-fi and fantasy.
One of my roommates is now working at the same place as me, and the other is annoyed with me for buying her stuff for Christmas and her birthday (her birthday’s the 28th).
Funny story there, actually. Our family is a Batman family. We have Batman; his wife, Alfred; I’m Nightwing; and the kids are Batgirl and Robin. Well, everyone had to work on Alfred’s birthday. Batman was working 6am-4pm, I was working 5pm-9pm, and Alfred was working 9am-6pm. Since there wasn’t going to be a time where we would all be together (the kids go to bed before 9), we decided to give Alfred her presents the night before. I knew she was going to be mad at me for one of the presents I had for her, so I gave her the two I knew she wouldn’t mind too much, and then waited. On her birthday, I left her last present on her desk before I left for work (remember, there was an hour gap between when I went to work, and when would be getting off). I got to work…and waited for her reaction.
So yeah, it’s been an interesting year, but not one to really look back on and go “oh yeah, that was crazy…”
I’m honestly not sure if I’m hoping for an eventful 2019 or not…
Starting off the new year right…or trying to, anyway. As I’m writing this, The Biblio is writing her own post accusing me of all sorts of nefarious things, of which I assure you, I am completely and totally…..guilty of. (oops?) In my defense, I had no idea she was going to fall that hard for a K-pop group, but I really have no sympathy. I’ve been harassing her with VIXX videos and songs for the past year, so yeah. I’m kind looking at this whole thing as baby steps…
To get back to the point of this post, however…
So…a couple months ago, I decided I wanted to try something new to jumpstart my brain – creativity wise. I’m sure you’ve all heard the thing about how taste has one of the strongest links to memory. That’s why they tell you to chew a certain flavor of gum when you’re studying for a test, and then chew it again while you’re taking the test. Supposedly, the taste link helps you remember the material you studied. Well, I figured that maybe something like that would work for creativity. If a person ate/drank something whenever they were feeling creative, maybe when the creative juices were running low, they could eat/drink that same thing, and get back into the swing of things, as it were.
I’m not much for chewing gum, though, or eating anything in particular when I’m feeling creative, so I thought, maybe scents? I like smelly good stuff, so I decided to give it a try. I started out with incense, then moved on to wax melts. The incense smelled great, but the smoke dries out my eyes. The wax melts seem like they lose their scent too fast, and they’re a pain to clean up. Literally. I saw the wax was cooling, so I thought the warmer would be cool enough to pick up. Nope. Apparently, the wax cooled faster than the holder. (Is that normal?) I used potholders the next time, but I shouldn’t have to keep a potholder in my room for writing, you know?
With those two options out the window, I decided to try out candles, instead. My roommate burns candles in the office near my room, and I liked some of the scents, so I kinda said, what the heck, why not? I went hunting on Amazon, and found what has become my newest addiction.
I am just going to preface this now with a word of caution: These candles are pricey. I mean, not on par with, say, Bath and Body Works ($25 for a single candle, WHAT?!), but up there. The Biblio assures me that the prices aren’t all that bad, so maybe it’s just cause I’m used to paying no more than $10 for a large candle, but I saw the prices on these things and choked. The prices range from $6-18, with the $6 tin being a little 2oz/10 hours candle. I strongly encourage you to check them out for yourself. (Also, if you decide to order, leave me a comment or shoot me a message on Twitter/Tumblr/etc for a 10% off referral link.)
On that note, however, these are specialty candles. Not your run of the mill, smells like someone trying to cover up sweaty socks, scents. I don’t like thinking about how much I’ve spent on these damn candles, but I love the way they smell. (Dammit, they’re getting more of my money, too. I just went to their site to get a copy of their logo, and they have new scents.)
In the next couple weeks, I’m going to be reviewing the scents I’ve tried so far. I’ve bought a ridiculous amount of their 2oz cans, so it’s going to take a while for me to get through all of them. I’ll start on that next week. I’m sure you’re all looking forward to it.
Also, don’t worry, I am working on “Don’t Feed The Trolls.” I’m having to go back and re-read what I’ve written so far, and check my maps, though. I hate it when a story has continuity issues. Don’t expect to see much on that front for another month or so. (I might post sooner, but I don’t want to get your hopes up.) I also have another project that will hopefully see the light of day somewhat soon. I’ll keep you updated on that as it gets closer to happening.
That’s all there is for now. For you TL;DR folks: I found expensive candles that smell good while I’m trying to write, and it’s all my fault that The Biblio wants to be the mother of dragons (and not in the Game Of Thrones kinda way). (Look up the names of the Big Bang members. You’ll figure it out.)
Why, oh why, can’t I do the “New Year, New Me!” thing? Probably because I’m pretty settled, I suppose, but it’s still a bit frustrating to see everyone else setting goals and being all gung-ho about their new year resolutions, and I’m sitting here going “Nope.” It doesn’t make any sense, and I am perfectly aware of this – I mean, half of them don’t even make it to the end of January before they’re dropping their “new me” crap like it’s nothing, but maybe that’s why it bugs me? What’s the point of making a resolution if it’s not something you plan on actively pursuing? Bandwagons are rarely a good thing to take a ride on, I’m just sayin’.
That being said, setting goals is something I approve of. I mean, it’s always good to have something to strive for, you know? Just…don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself. You are not going to change your entire way of life overnight. (There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but those are far and few between.) Instead of saying “I’m going to work out every day!” try “I’m going to be more active.” Instead of “I will find Mr./Ms. Right this year!” try, “I will make the effort to meet more people.” EASY goals that you can work on throughout the year.
I have a few easy goals I’ve set for myself, but the only ones I’ll be sharing here are the ones that will actually affect you guys (as readers).
Pyramid plan This is something I found a while ago, and forgot about. Then The Biblio sent it to me, and I remembered. Yay! for having an actual plan!
On the plus side, this gives me an actual writing goal to work with.
On the downside, this means it may take me longer to post updates on stories, because part of the pyramid is going back and editing. Something I wasn’t doing previously. You guys all got the chapters as they were. No edits, and only one beta-reader.
Of course, I’m not entirely sure I will be editing “Don’t Feed The Trolls” before I post it – maybe I’ll focus more on editing Etlan. Maybe I’ll go back and edit “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” some more. The main point, I believe, is just to get in the habit, and that’s something I need to do.
Something I can tell you I will not be doing is reviewing an outline. I cannot outline. It just doesn’t work for me. I make an outline, and my brain shuts down (storywise). It’s frustrating, but I’ve learned to work around it.
2. Write more Gee, I wonder how this affects you guys? Oh, wait…
Yeah, I’ll be focusing more on getting stuff done around here. Writing blog posts, writing stories, writing reviews…you name it, I’ll (probably) be working on it. Don’t really expect to see much until next month, at least, but I’m working on it. Most of it will probably be flashfiction, just a heads up, but writing is writing.
3. Get health issues taken care of. You might be wondering how this one is going to affect you guys, but some of the issues I’ll be (hopefully) taking care of this year are going to put me out of commission for at least a week or two, and it’ll be more than once. (Long story short: teeth are terrible. Getting them fixed, and it’s going to take at least one surgery. At this point, I don’t care how many it takes, I just want this crap fixed.)
And that’s it. Everything is are just things that I want to work on for myself, and should not have any real impact here. Basically, just trying to live my best fucking life, beech. (You can thank the Biblio for that one. Also, if you like rollercoasters, go check out her blog. Her mind is an interesting place to take a ride through, even if it’s not the best place to live in.)
Alright, so. The past two weeks have been interesting, but not good for writing. You know the old “Kids say the darnedest things”? Yeah, well, one of the munchkins in our household decided that school was the best place to say those darnedest things. Twice. On top of his older sister coming up with the brilliant idea of doing all her homework…and then not turning it in to the teachers. How on earth this made sense to her, I have no idea, but last week was spent dealing with all those fun times. I had one sentence written for the next chapter of Don’t Feed The Trolls. Not good, I know. I had planned on making up for it this week, but then the eldest kiddo was sick, and then there was Halloween night…ahh, fun times.
Let me explain something real quick. We have a dog, Dexter. He’s an idiot. I love him, but gods all bless, he. is. an. IDIOT. Wednesday night, my roommate took Dex out for his nightly walk. Not even ten minutes later, I smell skunk. Now, I fully cop to being weird. I love the smell of skunk, so my first reaction was “Yay! Skunk!” and then…”Wait…didn’t B just go out there…with…Dex……oh no.”
Then I heard the cussing. And the sneezing. And the whining. B comes in, still cussing. I looked at him, me: “He didn’t…?” B: “THE HELL HE DIDN’T!” Apparently, Dex decided that the black “kitty” outside looked like it needed a dog nose up its butt. The “kitty” disagreed. It was too late that night to give him a skunk bath, so we just tossed his kennel in the backyard and he got to spend the night outside. We spent pretty much all day yesterday dealing with the skunk mess, and giving the dog, like six baths (he still smells, but not near as bad).
Honestly, it was kinda fun, but it has definitely pushed back the new chapter of Don’t Feed The Trolls. I’m hard at work it, I promise, but yeah. No update this week (in case you couldn’t tell).
Also: I am not taking part in NaNoWriMo this year (or any, for that matter), but I encourage anyone/everyone to go cheer on those who are.
Cross your fingers and hope really hard that this week is a bit better for writing, yes?