Is it weird to have a favorite month (besides October)? I feel like maybe it is, but I don’t care. I love March. I don’t particularly care for the weather it brings, but that’s because I live in Texas. Atmospheric instability is not our friend here. When I lived in areas where tornadoes weren’t a season all of their own, March brought me quite a bit of joy. Seeing the flowers pop up everywhere reminded me that spring was on its way.
Now, I greet the new season with mixed feelings. Spring in Texas means the coming of insane amounts of pollen and severe weather. It also means we’re on our way to summer, and in Texas, that almost always ends up with day after day of temperatures just below face-melting. This knowledge competes with the childhood memories of the happiness spring brought, and honestly, it’s just a very conflicting time.
This particular March, however, brings about my last term/semester at college. I’m excited for the classes, but I am not excited about the homework load. I’ve been spoiled this past year, only being part time. Plus, I’ve taken this past term off, so I went from months of (comparatively speaking) very little homework, to no homework at all, and now I’m about to have double homework.
Not to fear though, I have the chapter 12 of “Don’t Feed the Trolls” already scheduled to post on the 19th, and chapter 13 for April 16th. If all goes well, chapter 14 will be posted on May 14th, but that one is still iffy.
In the meantime, enjoy this month’s mismatch of songs. I tried to include a little bit of everything, and I’ve even thrown in a fun one for St. Patrick’s Day.
Now, I’m off to plan the kids’ annual April Fool’s prank.
Two posts in the same month, holy crap. You all good?? Yeah, I probably should’ve warned you all to sit down first. Oops?
So, I’m a big of not doing the whole “New Year, New Me” crap. I see it as a bunch of hooey that people do to make themselves feel better about the new year, and it annoys me to no end, because so few people actually stick to them. By the end of March, everyone is usually right back to their usual selves. I’m not excluding myself from this, either. I’ve done it plenty of times, myself. That’s why I stopped doing New Year’s Resolutions.
The end of this year, however, is also the end of a decade. That’s a bit different, amiright? Of course, I’m right. Tiffany is always right. (Shut up, Biblio.)
Instead of making big changes this year, I am setting goals for where I want to be when the clock strikes midnight, January 1st, 2030. None of them are significant changes, mind you, just small improvements here and there, and I’m approaching them all, one step at a time.
The first big step has to do with this blog, and all of you who have found it worthwhile to hang around, even through the dry spells. Again, nothing big, but I do have plans. If all goes well, “Don’t Feed the Trolls” will be completed by the end of the year, and “Say ‘No’ to Zombies” will be off to an editor.
I will also be trying to be more active on Instagram (no promises, though. I hate that you can’t add proper links).
You’ll see the first of the planned changes at midnight on the first. The next should go live on January 6th. Music Monday is back, but with a new incarnation. You’ll see.
Okay, quick! I need a show of hands: who here is surprised at the length of time between the last post and this one?
….no one? Okay, good. Just making sure I’m staying on brand. I was worried there.
So, a couple things have changed in the past couple months. I did have the dental surgery. Things went a bit sideways there (Side note to all the doctor/dentists/etc. of the world: LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS), but we finally managed to get it done the last week of October. Since then, it’s been healing and fighting with professors. The fight was resolved, the healing will continue for the next several months, but all is well there.
The class I’m currently in was a bit intensive, and I have two final projects due. After that though, I have a two-and-a-half month break. Currently, the plan is to take some time for reflection. This coming year is going to be a big one for me. I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in May, hopefully meeting up with the wonderful @thebibliofeels , starting a new job (again: hopefully), and – if all goes well – moving to a completely new (to me) area. I’ve lived in Texas for the past eleven years, and I hate it. I don’t do well with the heat, and I miss having actual trees and grass that is alive, not brown and ready to burn if you so much as look at it funny. I’m quite excited about it all, and can’t wait to see where I am in life this time next year.
There’s good news for you all, too: I also plan on writing during my almost three month sabbatical. Right now, I have it planned to have at least two (hoping for three) chapters of “Don’t Feed the Trolls” finished and ready to post. I also am planning on setting aside time to do some editing of my older work. I’m focusing more on getting the new chapters finished though, because my last semester begins in March, and I’ll have two classes, rather than one, and immediately after that is when I have to start planning my graduation travels.
See, I’ve been gone, but I haven’t forgotten you all. I’m just trying to find a better way of connecting and give you what you want~ It’s a work in progress, but the work is progress, so there’s that, at least.
Also, I got an Alexa device for an early Christmas present, and I fully intend on using it to help with productivity. New year, not a “new” me, but an improved one, I think…
Yeah, I’m not even going to give you any excuses this time. I just plain forgot to post the new chapter. It’s been scheduled to post now though, so I can now make the promise that there will be a new chapter of “Don’t Feed the Trolls” on Thursday. Well, Thursday in the states, anyway. If you’re far enough overseas, it might be Friday for you, but I don’t think I have any readers that far east.
Currently, the plan is to schedule the next two completed chapters for September 30th, and then October 30th, after which, there will be a break in posting because – if all goes well – I’ll be having dental surgery (*dance break*).
Now, from here on out, there’s some good and bad news, both. The bad news is that for my next two classes, I’m going to be swamped. This next class, especially. It’s bad enough that I’m already working on assignments and I’m on my summer break. Every week, it’s basically three full papers. This is the first class I’ve had that is this intensive, so I’m trying to give myself a head start. The next class is a 400 level diversity class, and I’ve already been told that it is also an intensive class. Wish me luck, ya’ll, that’s all I’m saying.
The good news is, I only have four classes left – total. My last class ends in April 2020, and I should be allowed to walk with my graduating class that May. After that, the only thing that will get in the way of my writing should be work – and believe me, work alone is not much of a deterrent for me~
Before you all think that I won’t be writing between now and May, that is not at all what I mean, I promise! I have a two week holiday break this winter, and I’m going to be writing between now and then as much as I can.
So, long story short: new chapter on Thursday, new classes are a headache, surgery (hopefully) in October, and I’m a college graduate as of April/May 2020!
For those of you wondering, by the way: the title is from an old poem I learned when I was a kid about how to remember the hurricane season start and end dates:
June, too soon. July, stand by. August, watch out, you must. September, remember. October, all over.
No real “news” per se, except that my new class has started, and I’ve begun a bit of a challenge for myself.
In previous years, I tried doing the “page a day” challenge, but that was too much to suddenly cram into a day. I managed it before by cheating my ever lovin’ arse off, but I don’t like winning like that. So I’m trying something a little different this month.
Instead of trying to write 500+ words, I’m keeping it simple. 100 words a day. That’s it. It can be a blog post, it can be a short story, it can be part of Don’t Feed the Trolls. As long as it’s 100 words in the same project. The point isn’t to get a chapter done or push out as many words as I can in a day – it’s just to get into the habit of sitting down and writing. Maybe next month it’ll be 200 words. Maybe I’ll wait til after I get my teeth taken care of in September or October. It will depend on if I can get into the habit and stay in it.
I am also going to have to change my posting schedule around. Instead of a chapter a week, it’s probably going to be closer to a chapter a month. I’m not happy about this, but there’s so much more planning going into each chapter, on top of having to go back and edit “Say ‘No’ to Zombies” so I can have that ready before the end of the year.
Yeah, I suppose I should’ve warned you all that this was gonna be a crappy update, but there you have it. At least I’m not announcing the death of another novel, right?
Hey-lo, people! I had to scroll through a bunch of posts to make sure I hadn’t used this title before. That was annoying, but on to the news:
Okay, some of you might’ve noticed that I didn’t update “Don’t Feed the Trolls” this week. It wasn’t because I forgot to post it – I had already planned on not posting, actually – I just forgot to keep you all in the loop. Oops?
The reason for no update this week was because I had an appointment with a cornea specialist. I believe I mentioned it in a previous post, but at the last appointment with my eye doctors, they noticed a “blemish” in my right eye, and they were concerned. They were tossing out the big “c” word again, and talking about “up-growth” and “down-growth.” I wasn’t too worried about it, because it’s the eye that I can’t really see out of anyway, but you can’t play around when it comes to cancer.
The appointment was on Friday, and the kids were also home from school (end of the year – they only have one full day left, and two half days). When the kids are around, it’s near impossible to get any homework done. Robin likes to run his mouth constantly, and if he’s not bugging me, he’s annoying his sister, which means I get to listen to both of them go at it. I usually try to have my homework done by Friday night, because I have the kids all day during the day on Saturday, and work at the gas station that night. Sunday is the one day I have completely off, and I try to keep it free. This time though, with the kids being home, and not knowing if the doctors were going to want to dilate my eyes, send me down for a CAT scan, etc., I had to rush to get it done by Thursday night. That meant no time for writing on Trolls – or anything else, for that matter – hence the lack of warning about no updates. To be fair, I would’ve had time to write up a quick post last week, had I known then that the kids didn’t have school this Friday, but I didn’t find out until too late, and then it was scrambling to decide what we were going to do with them, since everyone else was working.
It was a bit of a nightmare, frankly, but we got it sorted out, and I made it to my appointment, ohhh, three hours early? Fun times, people. Fun. Times.
The good news is, I was right not to be worried about the whole eye thing. I forget his exact wording, but basically, the cornea specialist said that the “blemish” is a result of losing part of my cornea in the accident. I think he said part of the iris actually moved, and that’s what is causing the pigmentation. He made some noise about attacking the cataract in that eye, but that it wasn’t something I don’t need to worry about for another 20-30 years, so that’s a good ways away. They also checked my eye pressure again – glaucoma is still a concern – but even that was okay. It was on the “high” end of the normal spectrum, but it was still within range.
The bad news is that the doctor couldn’t sign off on me yet. I have to travel 30-45 minutes – each way – to the appointments, so I was hoping I was done, but nope. This doctor was “just” a cornea specialist, not one of the doctors who have been following my case for the past three years now. Hopefully though, I’ll only have one more appointment with them, and then I can go back to having the doctor down the road keep tabs on me. He’s a lot more expensive than the others, but he’s also only about five minutes away, and really good.
Don’t Feed the Trolls:
Honestly, for the next couple weeks, you guys should probably forget about regular updates, I’m just going to tell you now. The next two semesters I have are all filled with 300-400 level classes, which means a ton of homework each week. I’m trying to write on a regular basis, but the school year for Batgirl and Robin is also winding down, which means life is getting a bit more hectic. I’m still hoping to get a chapter out at least once a month, but I can’t make any promises at this point.
I’m also considering saying “screw it” and releasing “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” on Amazon while I work on Don’t Feed the Trolls, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ll keep you all updated on that one.
That’s it for now. I have to work tonight, and then tomorrow I refuse to do anything but bury my head and try not to think about how much crap I have to get done with the kids around all summer.
So. I had myself a nice little idiot moment, apparently, when I was posting the previous chapters of “Don’t Feed the Trolls.” I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking when I posted them, I swear, but the chapter numbers were all wrong. I’m only on Chapter 3, but according to how I labeled them on here and over at Ao3, I was working on chapter 5?!
Yeah, I’m not sure what was going on there either. The good news is, I have everything fixed. Kinda, anyway. I also finally got the page for the project working right. Chapter 3 of “Don’t Feed the Trolls” is with my beta and should go live on Thursday.
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.
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.)
One of these days, I will fall into a regular posting schedule. Maybe. Eventually…you realize I can hear you laughing all the way from here, right?
Right, well, anyway. Some of you may have noticed that only the first five chapters of “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” are still available. This is because SNtZ has reached a critical stage: querying.
Yup. That’s right. I have officially begun to send my baby out to the scary world of publishers and agents. Currently, I still plan on posting the sequel, “Don’t Feed the Trolls,” to this blog and the associated ArchiveOfOurOwn account, but that may also change. I make no promises on that front, beyond that I will try to keep you all updated. On that note, right now, the best place to go for updates is my Twitter.
Looking forward, you will also be seeing a lot of changes going on around here. A new look, new content, pages reorganized, etc.. It’s part of my coursework this semester, which is good news for you guys, and not so great news for me. I always struggle with what to write here – a common enough struggle, from what I understand – but I like getting good grades, so. Fun times ahead for all of us.
For those of you wondering when I’ll start posting “Don’t Feed the Trolls” chapters, I am aiming for Thursday, September 20th.