journal ramble


If it’s important…

Let’s just say that this year has been epic, stressful, and full of ridiculous, massive changes in both my personal and professional life. If you had told me in January any of the stuff in my life right now would have come to pass, I might have laughed at you in disbelief.

So. Wow.

I apologize for being a bit vague. When I decided I wanted to a recap, I sort of forgot that I am shy and also private. Still, I can tell you about all the good stuff, like being a part of Pandamoon Publishing as their editorial coordinator, a shift which took me by surprise (to say the least). I also have more energy than I did at this time last year, thanks to more judicious managing of my mental weather, and even though I’m swamped with All The Things I Want To Do, that’s… really not a bad thing. Inspiration has snuck its way back into my life, too, and I’m working on projects that I’d either set aside or was allowing to percolate, and I am forging better relationships with my family and taking more action to accomplish my goals.

The frustrating and stressful stuff I want to leave behind with 2015, and even if they follow me, they’ll — of a necessity — be different than they were and hopefully more conquerable.

Part of why I think I’m had a pretty danged good year comes down to a single moment and, like all truly life-changing moments, it was brought about by a cat.

Over Thanksgiving in 2014, I brought home a cat from Colorado. Her name is Pica, and she’s probably the cutest cat on the planet. (Not that I’m biased.) I bring her up now because when I was trying to sort out the logistics to bring her back with me, my friend told me something that sort of settled in my bones. I was upset that he’d have to go to great lengths to get her her shots on short notice, and that it would be inconvenience and effort on his part because of something I’d done that could have been avoided if I’d gotten my act together earlier.

He said: If it’s important, it’s worth the inconvenience.

I’m probably paraphrasing a little, because time and turning it over and over in my head has polished it down. Those words — if it’s important… — stuck in my brain. If it’s important, it’s worth the obstacles. If it’s important, it’s worth the pain and inconvenience and dealing with your own failures. If it’s important, it’s worth making it work despite the hard stuff. Packed into ‘if it’s important’ is a wealth of meaning, about throwing yourself forward and picking yourself back up and taking action after action after action.

If it’s important, it’s worth the inconvenience.

There’s an underlying message of compassion in that, when said from one person to another, but I think I was struck most by the acknowledgement that important things are hard and sometimes those hard things are larger than just me. And, sometimes, in being larger than just me, they will leak out onto others, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Or any less worth it. Or my friends any less willing to help me make things happen.

What really gets me is that ‘inconvenience’ is never a factor for me when I try and help others, so I have no idea why the rules were different for me. Now that I know that they were, however, I’ve been working this past year on internalizing this idea of ‘if it’s important…’

I credit this handful of words with a lot of my drive in 2015. In evaluating what I found important, it made me make changes in my life that gave priority to the stuff I wanted to focus on, and helped me decide to live a little bit more outside of my head and in the real world where I can actually make a difference.

So here I sit, at the end of 2015, doing what I love, in a place I’ve made my home, with friends I held onto despite the distance, at the end of my first full year with the most adorable cat in the entire world.

And, friends, I believe that’s important.

Pica in a Box

So very important.


Note to Self: Take Better Notes 1

Today, I’m pissed off at myself.

Not for anything dire, luckily, but I’m still mad enough that I think I can get a blog post out of it. *grins*

I’ve been participating in #1LineWednesday on Twitter. It’s… run? Prompted? Encouraged? By RWA’s Kiss of Death twitter (@RWAKissOfDeath), and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve found more awesome people to follow through #1LineWednesday than I have doing anything else on twitter.

Yesterday’s theme (for the 21st) was ‘Last Lines of Chapters’, which – okay fair enough. The only problem is that recently I’ve been writing short stories, so I didn’t have a lot of ‘last lines’ to choose from. So I went spelunking into my dropbox where I keep my projects and skimmed through a few of my oldest novels. Good news: some of them aren’t awful and could probably stand to be reworked and finished! Bad news: none of them are finished, and some of them need a great deal of work.

Of particular note is that I found one of my old NaNoWriMo novels and started to skim it to find chapter ending lines. Cue me being a little floored, but it’s actually good? About halfway through skimming, I just straight-up started reading (and editing in my head, but mostly reading). I mean, there are some parts that straight-up suck, especially because I had no idea how to manipulate the tension I was building, and the prose is way too dense and heavily overwritten, and I’ve improved by leaps and bounds since I wrote it, but – ??? ??? ???

The reason I never finished it is because I’m more of a slow-and-steady writer, so that NaNoWriMo’s mad scramble for for 50k-in-a-month is just a little on the ’causes intense project burnout’ side of things. Also, I think I was mid-other-project and doing nano that year to figure out if I could write villains that didn’t suck so ‘finished project’ was a priority. But! For whatever reason, I tidied up my 50k, dropped the project in a metaphorical drawer, and never looked back.

The thing really cheeses me is that I stopped at the end of the ‘second act’ and wrote a paragraphless wall of words to explain the ending. It’s one page long, uses some sort of shorthand that I don’t provide the key for, and that’s it.

What was I thinking?!

How on earth did past me expect future me to sort out this block of unmitigated nonsense?!

I went to bed angry last night because why, why did I do this to myself. I knew for a fact that it was the most ‘solid’ book I’d written up to that point. Why. Whyyyyy.

It’s worse than just ‘I don’t know how to finish my book’, though.

Friends.

Friends.

This is a Time Travelling Serial Killer novel. A woman tries to rescue her brother from the killer’s clutches while time deteriorates and the past and future become unstable. There are at least four timelines and because of the ‘type’ of time travel I picked, my MC experiences linear personal time while the alternative timelines are created and destroyed around her. It’s very important for me to know what happens, when, on which day, in which timeline, and how the main character (who is also travelling in time, because, you know, why make it easy) experiences each event and in what order.

I need like 10x more notes than I have. What the heck am I supposed to do with lines like, ‘Dragons don’t have pockets!’ and ‘Remove the shark-jumping bits!’?

I’m so mad.

Friends. Take better notes than I do.

Especially when you’re writing about time travelling serial killers and stop (whyyyyyyyyy) just before you get to the good part.


Not a New Year’s Resolution 1

In a not-quite New Year’s Resolution, I and Elly (Eidolonkami) have agreed to encourage each other to blog. This is my attempt.

It is very interesting to me that, for most of my life, I have been blogging in a pseudo-anonymous fashion. I had a blog in high school, back on livejournal. While it was transparently obvious that I was the author, there was a level of remove about it. Same with my other blogs down through the years. I was blogging under a different name, and while that name was connected to other spheres, it was never something that, oh, that people I grew up with or people who know my mom could find without a bit of digging. (Hi, mom and mom’s friends!) This blog, however, is under my professional name. I’m blogging – but professionally.

Or, well, more or less. It’s still a blog.

The lack of even the veneer of anonymity is a little hard to wrap my head around, however. What do I say? How professional do I need to be? Is it better to ramble on as my awkward self as part of forming a rapport with possible readers, or clam up and attempt not to show my ass in public? These are concerns.

I think I’ve settled on being slightly awkward, because it was going to happen eventually, as well as a little bit earnest.

In other news, today I’ve discovered that the Trader Joe’s Vanilla and Cinnamon Black Tea with the Christmas Lemur on it has one of the best blends I’ve had in a while. A++, definitely recommend. I’m also attempting to write a synopsis for my current story project. I know I mentioned the project, but I’m not sure if I mentioned the synopsis. I don’t usually write synopses so much as very amorphous outlines, so it’ll be interesting to see how this project changes if I tighten down on it a little.

I hope everyone is having a lovely day!