September Writing Projects

Yellow flowersThe busy month of August ended up being a little less busy thanks to some cancellations and an unscheduled week off, so I was able to get some little things done that I didn’t anticipate, including a rearrangement of my writing schedule for the rest of the year.

That was nice.

And this month I have a planned two week vacation at the end of this month/beginning of next month, so if I can work those weeks like I worked that unscheduled vacation week, I could very well exceed my productivity expectations.¬† But let’s not get ahead of myself here.

I’m still revising (Vampires) Made in America and I’ll spend this week wrapping that up. I thought I’d end up revising it down to a novella, but cutting out a whole POV and a bunch of redundant, pointless stuff didn’t even get it below 50,000 words. So, I’ve settled on it being a short novel. There’s nothing wrong with that. I did some preliminary, loose outlining on End of the (Werewolf) Curse, which will be the next Outskirts book and NaNo project, and I think it will follow suit as a short novel.

Once that’s done, I’m going to spend the bulk of the month revising the novella-turned-novel that still doesn’t have a title. I’ve itched to get back at it as soon as I figuratively typed “The End”. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and jotting some of the thoughts that come into my brain. We’ll see if any of them work out when I give it a read and get going on it.

If the timing permits, I may write a quick short story called “The Wind Chime Tree” in between novel revisions as a palette cleanser. I got the idea during one of my dog sitting stints (one was planned, one was an emergency) and I think it will make a nice, quick little ghost story for the ghost anthology I’ve been slowly working on. If the timing doesn’t work out, that’s cool. I can do it next month.

This month, though, should be much more relaxed.

Of Dreams and Revelations

ThinkingI’m one of those weirdos that thinks sometimes your dreams are messages from your subconscious.

Not all dreams, obviously. At least I certainly hope not since I have what I like to call the nightmare trait and tend to have a lot of bad dreams. I’m used to them now; rarely does a dream upset me enough to keep me awake. And many of them end up being great fodder for stories. There’s no waking trigger for them (like watching a horror movie, for example). That’s just how my brain works.

My poor youngest niece has the same thing. She is somewhat comforted by the fact that Aunt Kiki deals with the bad dreams, too, and that she’ll get used to them. In the meantime, I’ve told her of a few ways she can cope with them. So far, it’s seemed to help her, but we’ve both agreed that we don’t our dreams coming true. No one would want that. Trust us.

Anyway.

I think most dreams are probably just the brain’s way of entertaining itself while everything recharges. It takes whatever it finds lying around and uses it to put on a production, like some kids in a backyard on a summer afternoon or Roger Corman.

But sometimes, I really do think that the subconscious uses dreams to send a message to the conscious. I think the conscious brain continually asks the same question that the subconscious knows the answer to and the subconscious finally gets tired of the conscious being so damn stupid when the Answer. Is. Right. There. that it blasts the brain with the knowledge it seeks in the form of a dream.

Granted, sometimes it’s like trying to figure out interpretive dance.

And sometimes you don’t need to have a dream symbol book handy to understand the message that you’re receiving because your subconscious is so tired of you being an idiot that it basically stopped short of spelling everything out.

It, in fact, drew you a picture.

I had one of those dreams the other night about something that I’ve been thinking about off and on for the past several months. Sure, there were fantastical elements to the dream (a fashion show? why am I wearing a dress that looks like I stole it out of Blanche Devereaux’s closet? why is there a kiddie race track in the middle of this? night, day, night, day, winter, fall, pick one and stick with it!), but the overall message of the dream couldn’t be clearer. I woke up feeling like the biggest moron in world because the answer I had been seeking, had been ruminating over all summer trying to find, was in my brain all along, Toto. Should have clicked my heels so I could have found it quicker.

I feel like I need to send apology flowers to my subconscious.

What I See Ain’t What You Get

Did I mention the Ursula purse? Oh yeah. I took my Ursula purse.

Did I mention the Ursula purse? Oh yeah. I took my Ursula purse.

Last week I went to my cousin’s wedding. It was a simple, pretty affair in a ballroom that was decorated subtly, but effectively. The ceremony was very sweet and I had a great time visiting with family I don’t see very often.

Now this is the first wedding I’ve been to in years and I agonized about what to wear. I am one of those people that frets about dressing appropriately for the event. So, I was trying to come up with an outfit/dress that would be appropriate but also wouldn’t make me look like a frump. Because I’m one of those people that frets about looking like the frump that I’m not.

The first outfit I picked (coral shift, purple jewelry, white flats, ’60s style hair and make-up) got scrapped because the dress wouldn’t survive a 2 1/2 drive in 90 degree heat with no a/c. With my roommate Carrie’s help I ended up going with a black, flouncy skirt that I hiked up above my waist, a white cami tucked in (the effect made it look like a color blocked dress), a hot pink shrug, black flats, the purple jewelry and ’60s mod hair I was going to do before, and bright pink lipstick. I thought it was super cute and not at all old, fat. I could drive in it without worrying about wrinkles and I could dance in it without worrying about anything falling out. Total win.

In the few days after the wedding, family posted pictures they’d taken (I took like four because I’m lousy at acquiring photographic evidence of events I attend) and there I was in one of my cousin’s pictures, full on frump while boogying on the dance floor.

No, I'm not wearing tights. I'm just that pale.

No, I’m not wearing tights. I’m just that pale.

Dammit!

This happens a lot.

When I look in the mirror, I see a hot chick. Fat? Yes. Not classically pretty? Yes. But still, I rock the package I’ve got and I think I rock it pretty damn well.

Then I see a picture someone else has taken of me and I’m like, “Holy hell. That’s what everyone else sees.” It’s jarring because I don’t think I look like that at all. I think I’m looking super cute and in reality, I’m looking like an uncool fat girl trying too hard to look cool.

It’s like a magic trick.

And it’s not just pictures, either.

The mirror in my bathroom must be blessed because other mirrors aren’t so kind. For example, I look about thirty pounds heavier in the mirrors during floorset than I do at home. I also look about ten years older. And while the college girls I work with are pulling off the sloppy-cute look with their yoga pants and tank tops and hair messily arranged in an up-do, I look like an old, tired woman who lost the will to fashion even if I put my make-up on just before I left and I’m wearing a cute outfit of t-shirt and pedal pushers (I don’t wear my “good clothes” to dress mannequins) with my sneakers. It’s like something horrible happens on the twenty minute drive to work. Because I know I didn’t leave the house looking that way.

The point of this isn’t to fish for compliments. My ego probably shouldn’t be fed. I’m just acknowledging that there’s an obvious gap between what I see and what everyone else sees.

It’s a little disappointing to know that my hot looks are all in my head and no one else can see them.

You guys are being deprived.

Wrecking Copies

Yearly special editionWhen it comes to self-publishing print versions of my work, I board the struggle bus and ride that thing all the way to the end of the line. Formatting those bad boys just does not come easy for me and I usually end up in a rage about three-quarters of the way through, usually due to page numbers.

At the moment, I only have one print version of my work for sale (Yearly: Special Edition) because I loathe formatting print so much and quite frankly, my print copies don’t sell. However, my grandmother doesn’t do e-books and so I try to format print versions of my work to give to her during the Christmas season. It has also crossed my mind that since print versions of my work are so rare that giveaways might be fun. A recent informal Twitter poll led me to believe that at least four people would enter to win and that’s good enough for me.

So, with Grandma and a giveaway in mind, I put together print versions of A Tale of Two Lady Killers, People Are Terrible, and The Ivy Russell Novellas. And I thought I did a good job. It said something about a problem with the font size, but when I checked the online proof copy, everything looked fine and I couldn’t figure how to fix what was wrong since I didn’t understand what was wrong.

When my print proofs arrived, I realized exactly what was wrong. The font can be read, but it looks like someone photo-copied it from a pocket book and put it in a trade paperback. It’s small and there’s all this extra margin space.

Now, this does not thrill me because proof copies are not free in the self-publishing world, so this mistake cost me more than just time. Yes, I fixed the mistakes, as well as a lingering issue with Yearly (because I fully admit to hitting “fuck it, good enough, no one will notice” at the end of formatting that one) and as soon as I can afford it, I’ll order the new proofs and Grandma will get her better copies.

But what to do with these unfortunate proofs? I don’t want to throw them away. They can still be read. They’re just ugly with their obvious formatting mistakes. And I spent money on these things. I don’t want to think that I wasted money on this endeavor. That never settles well with me. In fact, it doesn’t always settle. I’m still kicking myself years later about money I “wasted”.

My ponderings on this dilemma, though, have yielded a possible solution.

Since these proofs are already not good and I have all of this margin space because of the sizing issues, I might as well just finish the wrecking business and write all over them. I can easily put in notes and doodles and all kinds of fun things in them and fill up the space. Well, it’d be fun for me, anyway. And maybe fun for other people. And maybe I can give them away.

Who knows?

People might like my stuff more if it’s wrecked.

August Writing Projects

sunAugust is going to be rather hectic in regards to my non-writing life, which means I’m not going to get everything done that I want to get done and it’s going to disappoint me and make me feel like a loser who’s not working hard enough, but I’m still going to try it anyway.

I finally finished the novella-turned-novel at the end of last month. It’s been a long time since I’ve written a novel and it’s been a really long time since I’ve written a novel without writing it all in November. I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment while I could because I didn’t get Voice or “Darling” done like I was supposed to, but I did finish Voice while house sitting for my aunt this past weekend. Done is done and that’s what counts.

So, in addition to finishing “Darling”, I’m going to revise “Cabintown Road” and “Through the Electronic Looking Glass”. I’m also going to try to start doing some serious revisions on (Vampires) Made in America. I tried cutting it down to novella size and while I did get some excess cut, I just really need to get in there and get it all done properly. I can’t avoid it, though I may put it off if August proves to be too difficult.

I’ve got weddings and family visiting and friends visiting and day jobs and while all of that is sure to be a real good time, it’s going to sap all of my little introverted energy and leave me not a lot to write with. Others may be able to meet all of those real life obligations and events and do all the writing and then some and not even break a sweat, but I am not one of those people.

I’m more like one of those people who will only break your heart.

A Horoscope, An Eye Exam, and Davy Jones

Davy Jones UKYou’re probably looking at the title of this blog post going, “What the hell?” Trust me. It all connects and it’s all a lot of introspective, realization bullshit that you probably don’t care about, but that’s okay. You can refer back to it when you decide I’m not acting like myself.

I’m going to try to make this as brief and witty as possible, so let’s start at the beginning.

I love horoscopes. I don’t care who knows it. I look at them very scientifically. Statistically speaking, given the number of people born under any given sign, it stands to reason that any horoscope on any given day would be accurate for at least one person and, hey, why not me? Besides, even when they’re flat out wrong, I’m amused, and sometimes they say I’m going to be a bitch or I should take it easy and be lazy and you’d better believe I use that like a doctor’s note.

Every year I have a solar return chart done. A solar return chart analyzes where the planets are in your chart for that given year. So, this year, it was about what planets are in what houses while I’m being 35. So, amusement and excuses. And once again, from a scientific standpoint, it’s interesting to try to figure out how much this information influences my behavior, consciously and subconsciously, and therefore makes the reading “true”.

This solar return chart said that I’d be dealing with self-worth and part of that would come with analyzing how people treat me. And to be honest, I have a tendency to be treated as an afterthought, not out of any malice, but just that’s how things have gotten to be. Other people and their needs come first because Kiki can take care of herself. And just like the horoscope said (probably because it’s been lying in my brain all year), this is really starting to come into better clarity for me. I realize this is an energy I carry with me and can project even when I don’t want to.

It was illustrated this past week when I went for an eye exam. I filled out my paperwork, was told it would be a few minutes, and that was the last time I saw anyone until I left almost an hour later. I never got the exam. I said I had an emergency and I had to leave. This was not a lie. I did have an emergency and that emergency was that I needed to get out of there. I hate eye exams and in the past few years, I’ve really come to dread dealing with the people there because they treat me like I haven’t been wearing glasses since I was in third grade and haven’t been wearing contacts since I was 13. Sitting in that little room, forgotten, did nothing for my mood or my temper.

And for everyone saying that they would have said something earlier about the wait, good for you. I didn’t say anything for two reasons. One, I would have been there longer in order to endure my exam and by that point I was done being there. Two, I was too busy having an existential crisis about being invisible. Basically, I was no longer in a good mental place to have this exam done and when you’re uptight about all things relating to eyeballs, that’s not a good place to be.

(I know that sounds stupid. I think it sounds stupid. And one day I might tell you all about my eyeball issues, but for now, let’s stick to the topic.)

I left. As the incident rolled over and over in my head, I realized that a) I need to find another eye place because I deserve to be as comfortable as possible when I’m doing something that gives me the anxiety and this place isn’t up to that challenge and b) I deserve to be seen and I deserve to be seen in everyday life without having to yell for attention. Right now, I feel like I have to scream at the top of my lungs just to be ignored rather than completely overlooked. And that can’t be acceptable anymore.

Then yesterday, I saw pictures from Davy Jones’s last performance as part of The Monkees. This would have been in 2011 when he was touring with Peter and Micky for the 45th anniversary. That year, they did a show within driving distance of me and I really wanted to go, but I didn’t go.

I didn’t go because I was working a day job that I hated, a job that didn’t like to give me any time off during the work week because “it would look bad” because I hadn’t been there “long enough”, a job that the guys I worked with hated doing¬† as much as I did and felt that was beneath them. I didn’t go because I put work ahead of everything else, like I always do, and decided that they were right and I hadn’t worked hard enough to earn that concert and shoved my heart’s desire to the bottom of the list. I told myself I’d have to catch the guys during the 50th reunion.

Because that’s what I’ve always done. Put what someone else wants first. No matter who it is, no matter what it is, it trumps me and whatever I have going on lest I risk being called selfish and be given lectures on hard work and earning fun things and how inconvenient it is for me to want to do things that I want to do. It is the established law of the west and one I’ve accepted.

Davy didn’t make it to the 50th reunion (which is next year) and I’ll never get another chance to see him perform.

That’s a supreme bummer to think about, but indicative of the way I’ve been running my world.

If I don’t respect my wants and needs and desires and goals and wishes and dreams and requirements, nobody else is going to either. Nobody else is going to go out of their way for me because I don’t go out of my way for me. I need to lead by example. It’s the only way shit is ever going to get done.

Me putting myself first sometimes is not going to go over well because it’s going to buck the status quo and the order of the Universe a lot and people are going to have to get used to seeing me even when I don’t yell for their attention.

But, hey. That’s what my horoscope said, man.

Rerun Junkie–Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Oh where would I be without my LSD nigh nigh show?

Where the weird shit lives

Where the weird shit lives

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1960’s Irwin Allen television show based on an Irwin Allen film of the same name. The show features the crew of a submarine called the Seaview which is headed by Admiral Nelson (Richard Basehart) and his right-hand man Captain Crane (David Hedison) and all of their wacky hijinx.

Okay, they only seem wacky because this was ’60s sci-fi and the first season (in black and white) was much more serious in tone, featuring mostly Cold War-inspired espionage and foreign baddies along with some sub-in-trouble episodes and only a few really weirdo episodes. Most of the sci-fi came from the submarine and the tech that everyone was using.

When the series went to color in the second season, that’s when things really started getting fantastic and stayed that way until the end of its four year run. In that time, the poor crew of the Seaview dealt with ghosts, werewolves, clowns, wax men, lobster men, a literal fire man, frost men, shadow men, a leprachaun, and my personal favorite, sentient seaweed, among other wild things. The crew, which included Chip (Robert Dowdell), Chief Sharkey (Terry Becker), my favorite crewman Kowalski (Del Monroe), Curley (Henry Kulky, who sadly passed away after the first season), Patterson (Paul Trinka), and Doctor (Richard Bull, aka Nels Oleson from Little House on the Prairie), always managed to come out victorious (though many nameless crew members often bit it in the course of victory, though no one ever seemed to mind) and probably could have used a pay raise, extra leave time, and maybe some PTSD therapy for the shit they’d seen.

"Sir, there's something on sonar."  "Probably some science experiment gone wrong. Let's poke it with a stick."

“Sir, there’s something on sonar.”
“Probably some science experiment gone wrong. Let’s poke it with a stick.”

And they saw a lot. They ended up inside whales and jelly fish. They disappeared. They went back in time. They transported murderous gorillas and mermaids with not much better temperaments. They diffused bombs and battled saboteurs. Everybody got kidnapped at least once and Chip ended up on Venus (sometimes I think he probably wishes they left him there).

They also saw a lot of people for a crew that spent most of their time on a submarine that always seemed to be on fire. Guest stars included: John Banner and Werner Klemperer before they went to work at Stalag 13; James Doohan and George Takei (this was probably great training for their Star Trek journey); Ed Asner; Tom Skerritt; James Brolin; Jill Ireland; Batman heroine Yvonne Craig and Batman villain Victor Buono; my horror movie love Vincent Price; Paul Fix, Jacques Aubuchon; June Lockhart, who didn’t have to do laundry for a change; John Fujioka; Brooke Bundy; Irene Tsu; John Dehner, John Hoyt, Nehemiah Persoff, John Anderson, Kevin Hagen, and Peter Mark Richman because I think it was required by law for those guys to be on your show in the ’60s and ’70s; Michael Constantine, who worked under the same law, but for more decades; Michael Ansara; George Lindsey; Leslie Nielsen; Robert Duvall as an alien (this is when I knew the series was going to really be something); James Frawley; Victor Mature; Nicholas Colasanto long before Cheers; Frances X. Bushman; James Darren; Patrick Wayne; John Cassevettes; Michael Dunn, whom I immediately recognized under his clown make-up the second he smiled; and if you pay attention to the crewmen in the background, you’ll see our old friend Marco Lopez (Emergency!) in about twenty episodes of the last two seasons.

This is one of those shows where it was probably absolutely amazing to the viewing audience at the time, especially after the show went to color, but now is pretty hokey looking with some really far out storylines. I mean, the lobster man was something to behold because it didn’t quite look like either. And I’m not joking when I say the Seaview was always on fire. It seems like something in that sub is always on fire. Even the Garvey’s barn didn’t burn this much.

But it’s a super fun show.

I couldn’t get to sleep on Saturday nights without it.

Really, what IS that?

Really, what IS that?

By Request: A Few Favorite Vegetarian Dishes

donut dietI mentioned in yesterday’s post that I make some vegetarian dishes and the lovely Hannah asked what my favorite recipes were, so I figured I’d post them for posterity.

Just a few notes about these: A few of them came from the Written in Our Hearts cookbook, which is a great vegetarian/vegan collection of recipes (as well as photos, stories, and memories) published in honor of Davy Jones with the proceeds going to The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation, however I’ve tweaked them due to the demands of the people I cook for and my own need to fuss with things. If you want to see the original, untouched versions of the recipes or if you want even more vegetarian/vegan recipes for your kitchen, I really encourage you to buy the cookbook. Yummy food and a good cause. Everybody wins.

Second, I like to cook because cooking doesn’t require exact measurements. Some of the measurements on these recipes are approximates.

And finally, everything here is easy because I’m lazy. I don’t like intricate, labor-intensive recipes. I’m not that kind of girl.

Veggie Penne

This is my own creation and it’s super easy. Cook a box of penne pasta and drain it. Add a little olive oil. Mix in some steamed veggies (I love the Eat Smart vegetable medley; steam in the bag in the microwave, fresh and tasty), add some shredded Parmesan and you’re done.

Mac and Cheese

People don’t think about mac and cheese being vegetarian because people don’t think about it being healthy, but it’s definitely one of those things that can be less garbage food if you make it yourself instead of getting it out of a box.

I use this mac and cheese recipe to make my cheese sauce. For a traditional flavor, I use finely shredded cheddar jack (I’m not shredding my own, kids). For something with a little more class, I use finely shredded mozzarella and substitute garlic powder for the mustard powder. Stir in a little broccoli along with the pasta and it’s mac and cheese all grown up. It might take a time or two to get the hang of the cheese sauce (it can end up a little gritty if you don’t get it right, but it still tastes fine), but it’s worth it.

Veggie Fritattafrittata

This is my take on Micky’s Veggie Fritatta in the Written in Our Hearts cookbook.

2T olive oil–2 small potatoes, diced–1/4 cup chopped onion–1/2 cup red pepper, chopped–1/2 cup diced tomato–1/2 cup diced zucchini–6 eggs–2T of milk–1/2 cup shredded mozzarella–1/2 cup shredded triple cheddar–basil–salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add potato, onion, red pepper, and zucchini. Season with a pinch or two of salt. Cook 5-7 minutes. Transfer to non-stick baking pan and stir in the tomatoes. Whisk eggs and milk together; pour evenly over dish. Scatter cheese over the top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes (depending on your oven) until set in the middle. Garnish with a pinch or two of basil.

Sauteed Zucchini

I really love zucchini and the easiest way for me to make it is to slice it up and cook it in a little olive oil over medium heat. Season it with a little salt (I prefer sea salt, but that’s just me) and it makes a great side dish. I like to serve it and brown rice with the next recipe.

Mozzarella Salad Sandwich

Another hit from the cookbook.

1/2lb mozzarella–sun dried tomatoes–rolls–4t white vinegar–1/4 cup olive oil–1/4t salt–1/8t pepper

Cut the cheese into thin slices and put in a bowl. Add the tomatoes to the cheese (julian them if necessary; I buy them that way). Shake vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small jar until salt dissolves. Add olive oil. Shake again. Add dressing to cheese and tomatoes and toss. Fill rolls with the cheese salad. The longer it sits, the better it is.

Rotini Salad

This is actually Tortellini Salad in the cookbook, but when I first made it, there was no tortellini on the shelf and I bought rotini instead. And I use sweet onion as that much raw yellow onion kills my GERD. I also downsized most of the measurements here because otherwise it was way too much. Still good, though.

1 box tri-color rotini–4-6 oz of monterey jack cheese, diced small–1 large tomato, chopped–1/4 of an onion, chopped–1/4 red pepper, chopped–1T olive oil–parsley, garlic powder, basil, oregano to taste

Cook and cool pasta. Toss everything together. Chill thoroughly before serving. If you need a place to start with the seasonings, I probably use about a tablespoon of garlic powder and oregano, and half a tablespoon of parsley and basil. Remember, though, it’s easier to add seasoning than to take it out.

veggie scrambleVeggie Scramble

This is my new favorite lunch option after we’ve had rotini salad. It seems like when the rotini is gone, there’s still bits of onions, peppers, and tomatoes left over and I don’t want it to go to waste. So I throw a peeled, chopped small potato in a pan over medium heat with some olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cook it for a couple of minutes, then add the onions, peppers, and tomatoes (with all of the salad seasoning still stuck on them, no additional seasoning required). Cook that for five or six minutes. Then I beat two or three eggs with a splash of milk, pour it over the top, and let it cook for a minute or two before giving the whole pan a good scramble. With an English muffin, it’s breakfast for lunch and I couldn’t be happier.

This Fat Girl Isn’t on a Diet

donut dietYou’re probably coming into this post going, “Who cares?” because you’re probably tired of people talking about their diets (and exercise routines, but that’s another post). You’re tired of hearing about paleo and gluten-free and high protein and low fat and no carbs and fasting and juicing and everything else that everyone else is doing in order to get healthy, be healthy, and lose weight. You’re probably wondering, “Why does this ditz need to proclaim that she’s NOT dieting?”

I’m glad you asked.

Two reasons.

1. I’m probably giving people mixed signals in regards to my eating because I can’t eat mass quantities in one sitting (I’m the disgrace of my family; my tiny little ninety year old great-aunt eats more at a family dinner than I do) and I do eat fairly healthy most of the time. I don’t drink a lot of soda, I don’t eat a lot of fast food, I don’t eat a lot of sweets or candy, I don’t eat a lot of processed food, I make a lot of vegetarian meals, I will crave salad, and if I’m not careful, my baby carrot addiction will get out of hand and I’ll end up turning orange.

So, it can look like I’m on a diet. Especially if you see me eating celery because who in the hell eats celery any other time?

(For the record, I actually eat it to help with acid reflux. And it works. Weird.)

And since it can look like I’m on a diet, then it also looks like I’m going off my diet or cheating on my diet when I talk about eating my weight in Sorrento’s pizza. Or when I talk about drowning my sorrows in ice cream because the Cubs lost. Or when I post pictures of me eating a plain cake doughnut with strawberries and whipped cream. Or any other time I talk about eating stuff that’s “bad” (the labeling of certain foods as bad irks me, but again, another post).

I don’t want you to panic and think I’m failing at yet another thing in my life. I’m not. Everything’s cool. I’m not riding on any wagon so you don’t have to worry about me falling off.

Also, that baby carrot intervention isn’t necessary. I can quit any time I want.

2. It’s easily assumed that because I’m a fat girl that I should be on a diet so I can qualify for Good Fat Girl Status.

You know what that is, don’t you? Good Fat Girl Status? Being a “good” fat girl means that you’re trying to lose weight. When people see you eating healthy and/or exercising, they assume you to be a “good” fatty because you’re trying to no longer be any kind of fatty.

Well, you know what happens when you assume, right? I wreck your world and burst your bubble and make you sad.

I am not on a diet. My health focal points actually have nothing to do with weight loss. For me, weight loss is a side effect of doing better for my health. My ultimate goal is to feel better, a total subjective measurement that only I can evaluate. My “diet” for this is drink a lot of water and don’t eat too much garbage food. That’s it. It gives me far less angst than counting calories or keeping track of points or wondering if cavemen ate cottage cheese.

And if that gives me Bad Fat Girl Status, then I’m cool with that.

We all know that bad girls have more fun.

Why The Timeless Man Got Postponed and Other Life Lessons

Cheaters and ChupacabrasI was supposed to self-publish The Timeless Man last month and the reason why I didn’t publish it is because it didn’t have a cover.

It’s like this.

A friend did the cover for the first Ivy Russell novella, Cheaters and Chupacabras. I decided that I wanted the other three novellas to use the same background, but a different symbol for each novella (for Cheaters it was the wedding rings). I asked this friend if they could do the symbols for the other three novellas earlier this year and they agreed.

But between illness and humidity (because that affects art when you’re working with water colors, kids) and communication issues, it’s now July and the cover still isn’t done. I’m not sure when it’s going to get done or what I’m going to do when it gets done since this has sort of jacked up my entire self-publishing timeline, not to mention it’s not just this cover that needs to not be plagued by humidity, but the next two as well and I don’t feel like it would be a good idea for me to try to publish anything until I have every cover done. And so, we limbo.

The last time I inquired about the covers, which was Tuesday night, in the course of our conversation, my friend said to me, “I thought you got mad and just did it yourself anyway.”

See, that’s the life lesson I’ve taken away from every interaction I’ve had like this and there have been a lot in my existence. People I work with or ask for help from or ask favors of don’t come through for me often, so I just end up doing it myself, if I’m able to do it at all. It’s now such a common occurrence that people just expect it to end this way.

And it’s all my fault.

When you come out of the birth canal (or in my case, c-section incision) as a preordained responsible, independent human, then that’s your label for life. People go to you for help and you help them because you can and that’s what the world tells responsible, independent humans to do.

But when the script gets flipped and the responsible, independent human needs help, nobody knows their lines anymore. They don’t know how to react. Because the responsible, independent humans have a tendency to attract and surround themselves with somewhat flaky, dependent humans that just aren’t up to the task of helping. They want to, but they just can’t. Because reasons. Or they will, but it’s on their timeline, which is completely out-of-sync with your timeline, and that’s just too damn bad because you should just be grateful that they’re helping you at all.

So, I don’t ask for favors very often because I know the likelihood of being blown off or disappointed is pretty high and when I do ask for a favor hoping that maybe this time will be that one time things are different and they end up being the same, yeah, I tend to stop asking and keep on slogging through life on my own, doing everything the hard way because it’s been made pretty obvious that I’m a responsible, independent human and therefore shouldn’t not require much in the way of help. So, yeah, I either get pissed and do it myself, or I find myself in limbo, at the mercy of someone else’s timeline.

Which sucks.

‘Cause it makes my books late.

 

Disclaimer: I love my friends, I really do! Even though some of them aren’t the greatest at helping me out when I need it, they still have other qualities that are absolutely marvelous. All of my friends have their faults, as do I (and I have more than most), but they’re all really good people.

I wouldn’t be friends with them if they weren’t.

Give me some credit here.