I almost killed him

ALMOST.

but decided to give him some character development instead. :D

In other news, I’ve finished writing Shaxia, book 4 of the Natan Fleet Show. I’ve just got to edit out 10k words and then it will be done. Thus ends the High Council arc of the series.

Okay so… Here’s a thing. Given the current unrest in the country/world, I’m going to say this once.

ONCE

VARAS ARE NOT HUMAN.

Do not assign human values or emotions to them. They’re a human derivative, but their genetics and society are not the same. That’s kinda the whole point of the next set of books in the series. Varas are not human and shouldn’t be expected to behave like humans, even when raised among humans.

You’ll see what I mean later.

Look. They drink antifreeze as their version of “alcohol” because it tastes good and it won’t kill them. They are NOT HUMAN.

no science, but im still alive

I haven’t caught the ‘Rona yet, hopefully I won’t. I’ve been working from home for the last few months, although I did go out of the country at the end of Feb. I finally got to scratch something off my bucket list, which was awesome. Went to Ireland. It was beautiful. Except for the hurricane. lol. My curse struck again.

I really want to go to the beach again this year, though, so hopefully things calm down. If not, I’ll just go sit in a kiddy pool in the back yard like a beached whale. :) Its not the same, but its at least sunlight in water without the crowds.

I’m going to make an attempt to finish writing Shaxia. I’ve run into issues with how to continue torturing develop Vathion’s character in a believable way. Despite everything I do to him, I DO want him to recover and have a normal life, but… well, happy characters are not interesting characters. I need to finish other stories I’ve been working on too that I’ve been working on for a while. I’m just really slow at writing completed stories is all. sigh.

almost over it

omg the decade is almost over and I’ve still got so much to do.

Right now, I’m working on improving Moirae Pubs stuff, which is going to include an aggressive twittering and being active on other social media, as well as volunteering in MP’s name, and other stuff. I’m working on getting the MP webpage looking nice, but its not cooperating, of course. I’ve been learning how to market too. I hope that helps.

I’m also planning on getting Shaxia done in 2020. I’ve not had much time to work on it over this last year, but I’m going to make it a priority. Along with everything else I’m prioritizing.

I really just want to make MP successful, along with all the authors who have signed up with me.

So there’s my update. Now, back to work I go…

Trash Thoughts

I had a dream that my friend, my housemate, had gotten an awful boyfriend who sat on my couch and badmouthed me, gotten this piece of sheet car she couldn’t drive and parked it right behind my car in the driveway so I couldn’t leave, and had started moving in giant Tupperware of trash – literal trash – into the house. In this dream, I kept telling her to clean it up, but she kept saying “I’ll get it, don’t worry. Trust me!” and I was like… I can’t see my floor, I can’t leave the house, I can’t get into the kitchen.

I finally had enough of it and went to clean out the garage myself so I could leave, but it was too hot. I got too hot and died. And dream-friend didn’t notice I was missing until the police came looking for me and they found my desiccated corpse curled up in the garage.

I was trying to clean up a mess that wasn’t mine and it killed me, because there’s no way to a) do it by myself, b) it wasn’t my place to do so anyway, c) I was allowing her trash to pile up in my space instead of forcing her to deal with it herself.

Moral of the story, STOP HOARDING TRASH.

Not literal trash, of course, but mental trash, emotional trash. Examples of Trash Thoughts include “No one likes me. I’m just not a likable person. No one is ever going to like me.” Trash! Throw it out!

“I can’t wear bright colors because someone will notice me and realize I’m fat.” TRASH! THROW IT OUT!

“I’m no good at anything I try, so I just shouldn’t try.” NO! STOP and THROW THAT SHEET OUT!

Seriously, imagine taking that thought, crumpling it up, and throwing it away. This helps divorce yourself from the thought, make it less intimate, less about you and more of an object that you don’t need.

Also. You can’t clean up other people’s trash.

Don’t get weighed down by other people’s trash thoughts. You deserve to have a clean mental house. You deserve to have your space, and if your friends (or family) only come to talk to you when they’ve got toxic trash to dump on you, maybe you aren’t really friends? You’re not responsible for other people’s happiness and you can’t clean up their messes without their active and willing participation. Otherwise, you’re just enabling them to be messy slobs and you’re just collecting THEIR trash. Are you being paid to be a garbage collector? No? Then stop it!

Go for a clean 2020 and Throw That Trash Out!

Successful

It’s always the stuff I didn’t get done that bothers me and gets me down. Usually when it involves chores. I try to remind myself of all the things I have accomplished, but … its hard.

However, I do have a lot of good things going for me. I’ve got nearly everything I’ve wanted out of life. I am grateful for the things, the friends and family, and the freedoms I’ve got. There are still things I want to improve, but mostly those are with myself. I want to lose some belly and butt. I want to remodel my master bath and closets. I want to go to other countries for vacations.

I also want to make Moirae Publishing a successful company. I suppose I should define for myself what “Successful” is though.

Successful = having a goal and achieving it. Setting challenges and meeting them.

But that would probably be personal success. I set a goal to get a good job and a house of my own, and other nice things. Then I went and got them.

Business success though? Maybe being able to have paid employees who do the work I’m doing now because the company is making enough money to cover it.

What are all the things I’m currently doing as an ‘employee’ of MP:

  • Looking for books to publish.
  • Formatting books for print and epub on Amazon/KDP, and Smashwords plus the extended distribution.
  • Commissioning/purchasing art for covers and promotional materials.
  • Purchasing inventory for MP vendor tables at conventions.
  • Arranging for vendor tables at conventions, including accommodations.
  • Motivating artists under MP umbrella to create promotional artwork and original artwork for sale at MP vendor tables and on website.
  • Commissioning marketing materials and posting them online.
  • Maintaining FB, Twitter, and other social media presence for MP.
  • Personally appearing at all MP events.

I should get together with a local bookstore and see if they want to do an event… or would like to be an outlet for our books. And other author books I get in cahoots with.

All I’ve Got Left

I’ve been doing a lot of stuff lately. Mostly around my house, trying to catch up with chores since being overwhelmed with the day job for the last month+… Went to Hama-con 10, did some exploration into FB market place and got some cool stuff. Got the back yard cut finally, but its going to get out of control pretty quick if I don’t get out there and do it.

I finished the artist contract for Moirae Publishing, so I can sell art by other artists. Also have some products available on the MP site to be purchased. I’ve started posting Foreseen Champion on my Patreon. Planning on rolling out 2 books for the April Huntsville Comic Expo next year for Moirae Publishing too: Totality 3, and book one of the Kara series. Additionally I’m working on getting the catalogue of MP books available on Smashwords. But that’s going to take a bit, since I have to completely reformat the manuscripts for that platform. yaaay…

I don’t have much to say past that, unfortunately. I’ve been busy, but it’s not been fun things.

I AM going to Galaxycon, Louisville KY, in November. I’ll be there with Randi Perrin once again! That’s about all I’ve got tho.

Post Hama-con Updates

I haven’t written in months. I’m genuinely sorry for that, but things have gotten so busy at my day job lately, then bad luck strikes at home; my AC died for the last month and then Hama-con and getting Totality 2 out. My yard has gotten over knee-height, so I’m going to have to find the time to put that back under control – hard to when any day I’ve got off lately, its been raining, or too hot to go outside at all. I’ve got a bunch of plants that need to be put in the ground still from this Spring, too… I just have no flowerbed in which to put them. Again, too hot to be out digging… or too wet. But now I’m borrowing my dad’s tiller and will be able to make flowerbed pretty quickly. The time consuming part will be spreading the mulch on it and putting the flowers in.

Since Hama-con has ended, I’ve been looking for new places to go that are local. I’ve got Huntsville Comic Expo lined up already (April 18-19, 2020). I’ll be going to Galaxy Con in Louisville KY in November (22-24, 2019). I don’t know what new release I’ll have available for that, but I do know I’ll be hanging out with the wonderful Randi Perrin again! I’m thinking I’ll have a sale on the old covers of my books, just to get rid of them. I’m tired of storing them, and the new covers Clockwork Joker made look really nice together. I’m almost out of book 1’s old cover, so I’ve just kept them as free copies to trade, but I’ve got a bunch of Phoenix Emperor and Symbol of Hope. Especially Phoenix Emperor. I had high hopes of selling out on that one when I ordered them. I’m learning to not order so many…

I’ve set up QR codes of the Natan Fleet Show so I can sell ebooks at my table! I’ll have the Totality series, Spar, and Touched by Death available soon. I need to do a little background stuff before that’s ready to go. I should probably make a flier for it or something… Clockwork Joker has been working on more fanart pieces to sell at the table too. I’m not really a big fan of selling fanart. Mostly because it’s very dodgy legality there. It’s making money off someone else’s intellectual property, but at the same time… it sells.

I’m working with Wayne on a project, it’s gonna be exciting! I haven’t sewn in a long time either, so I’ll have to refresh myself on it. In exchange, I’m getting Phyrra’s sword to go with the shield I’ve already got. I’ll need to revamp her armor though. My first attempt lasted long enough to do the photoshoot at AWA, but it fell apart and is now all flat in a bin somewhere. I’m only keeping it so I can make patterns out of the pieces for the next try. (I also need to lose some weight in order to fit into it again. Ugh. Why do anime girls have to be so SKINNY?)

Another project I’m working on is getting agreements with other authors on selling their books as an “affiliates” section of my table. Maybe if I get enough of those, I’ll open a roving bookstore in the dealer’s rooms at conventions. One day, I want to have a bookstore with a couple extra rooms for gaming and watching anime. I’ve got a location I really want to renovate in mind. I think it’s perfect. Especially if I’ve got a small coffee shop/bakery in it too. I already know who I’d hire to run things. I would just need the initial capital to set things up. But since I’m now over $5k in the hole from my AC unit replacement, that’s… even further out of reach. I still need to set up the heating option for my house, which will be some more money on top of everything else…

I did a panel at Hama-con this year. Publishing 101 again. I got a few people attending and asking questions at least. Public speaking is intimidating, but it’s something I need to work on. I also need to work on adding some more panels to my list of things I can do at conventions. Any suggestions? I’m going to post my PowerPoint slides on my Patreon this weekend from the Publishing 101 panel with all my notes on what I talked about. I’ve also got some more deleted scenes I can put on Patreon from Phoenix Emperor – such as the original version of Scheerahis and Vathion’s meeting. I still hate how the Shaxia draft is going and I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, other than maybe there are too many characters. I can’t figure out how to cut them, though. Politics suck. But life has been giving me more fodder for personalities to include… That will at least make the politicians more life-like and probably more satisfying to kill off- I mean!!!! Retire. Permanently. :3

I need to work on writing something a little less ambitious. I just need to work on writing, get back into the habit of it.

Is happy even possible?

WordPress updated and I don’t like it. I need to figure out how to switch it back to the other view that doesn’t feel like I’m building a blog post like I’m playing with giant toddler lego blocks.

At River Region Comic Con someone said they had an intuition-thought that I needed help. I answered no, because that’s the honest answer. I’m content.

Today, my coworker was talking to me about her stuff and asked if Happy is even a possible state to be in. I won’t go into detail, but she’s not happy, has trust issues, and I’m like… yeah. I get that. on an atomic level. She knows I’ve got depression too and I’m working on it, so she’s asking me for a way forward. Not to drag her out of her issues. I suppose I can do that.

Most of my advice is to actually listen to your feelings. There’s a reason you’re having them. You’re not happy about work. Well, don’t make excuses for it. Accept that you’re not happy. That doesn’t mean quit right now. It just means that you’ve found a problem and its something you can fix. Your current job is a tool which can use to find something better.

Just don’t quit before you have something else lined up.

Living with Depression

I do my best, but sometimes it gets to be a lot and I think that maybe I wouldn’t move if a bus were coming at me. Lately has been one of those times. (I don’t feel like going into that right now, though. Go read My Best Friend is Dying and Grief if you really want to know.)

I don’t want to talk about my depression online, mostly because I feel like I’m just whining for attention. Talking about it makes me feel like I’m in high school all over again. I feel like I shouldn’t dwell on the negative when it comes to my depression. I feel like doing so just drags me back down into that pit I’ve taken years to crawl out of. Further, the way I deal with this disability is… not the common method as far as I know and given that I live in the South (albeit a more progressive area) I don’t like to be lectured on what religious beliefs I should be using instead. However, I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I’ve learned some things over the years that might be useful for other people suffering from depression to know.

I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember. I didn’t have an actual word for it most of that time. I just knew I was alone and lonely. I turned the frustration I had at the world on myself. After all, moving from one place to the next as a child meant that I didn’t have a nemesis or mortal enemies to blame for why I felt bad. The only consistent thing in life was me, so therefore I must be the problem. Even though looking back now as an adult, being the new kid in every grade made me a prime target for bullying, which might be where a lot of this stems from.

To cope with this horrible emotional hole I was stuck in, I developed several methods over the years.

Day-dreaming: I’d make up friends. I’d make up people who would listen to me and play with me. I had a friend that was only with me when I could remember her name. She was an Elvin princess who liked to hang out with me in order to experience life on Earth. She was from another world and would tell me about how her world was beautiful and full of nature. Earth was pretty, too, but not in the same magical way. The trees in her world had blue leaves and the flowers glowed. I never questioned why she would hang out with me, but I appreciated the company. I do still remember her name…

Writing: After I discovered that reading could be enjoyable, I’d begun putting my fantasies onto a blank Word document. I frequently drove myself to tears writing my terrible stories. The catharsis was good, but still I was wallowing in misery. I never wrote anyone from my real life into my stories because I was writing to get away from them. I don’t know how good my stories were. I’ve got hard disks with copies of my old stuff on them. The technology is so old now, I’m not sure how I would get access. The series I wrote most often included a self-insert character that could do anything she wanted. She was beautiful, tall, long thick hair, and everything I wasn’t. People loved her, she was a force of nature, a hero that saved those who needed saving whenever she saw trouble. She stepped in and did the right thing, whether it was what anyone else wanted or not.

Mental imagery: This was the beginning of when I’d grown tired of living in agony. Life was much like walking through a sandstorm. I could see vague shapes of other people in the dust, but felt like even if I called out, no one would hear, my mouth would only fill with sand, they were too busy with their own concerns and wouldn’t help me anyway. Every day, the wind would pelt me with sand, wearing down who I was and my energy until I was nothing. Many days I imagined just falling face-down and letting the sand bury me because continuing was pointless anyway.

The problem was that something inside me didn’t want to give up yet. Things kept getting worse and worse at one point. I’d been torn apart by a bad relationship, fired from a job, and still needed to pay bills in order to have somewhere to live. I felt like my chest was being torn open by my soul as it tried to escape my still-beating heart. I had my reasons for not killing myself that night. I really wanted to, but I’d deliberately put safety backups into my life. I had a friend living with me and I cared enough about them to not make them be the one to find me the next morning. So, something in me still wanted to fight.

The biggest hurdle to getting better was that there was a stigma against taking medication. I felt like this was all in my head. I should have figured out how to live with myself by now on my own. Everyone else seemed capable of functioning on a daily basis without having to go cry in the bathroom at least once before lunch. Yeah. Depression IS in my head, but it took me far too long to realize that I was ruining my life and relationships by refusing to get medication. That’s my biggest regret. If I’d had better mastery of my emotions, what could I have achieved sooner? I probably wouldn’t have lost as many jobs or lost out on as many opportunities as I have. There are so many things I started and abandoned because I couldn’t follow through. I hate that I wasted so much time.

Enough on that though. I wanted to talk about how I started getting better!

As I said before mental imagery was my key. After getting on medication, I began changing the mental landscape I’d given myself. No longer a sandstorm with a ruined dead tree at the center. I gave myself a peaceful place in the mountains overlooking a lake. I built a tower. At first my tower didn’t have windows, but then over time I opened it up to the light. I like being able to see into the distance. I need the sunlight and the wind. I need to reach into the sky and touch clouds.

Just like I rebuilt the landscape, I rebuilt how I thought of myself. Within my mental tower I began putting bad thoughts into cardboard boxes and taping them up. I’d throw them out the window. I didn’t need these evil things in my head, ruining my paradise. The world is harsh enough. I didn’t want these thoughts cluttering up where I live too.

The final thing was when I asked myself some serious questions. Do I have any basis to say I’m worthless or a hag or any of the mean things I’d tell myself? No one ever said any of these things to me that I remember. So why was I? Who was I punishing?

The answer is that I was only hurting myself and it wasn’t even fixing the things I hated. The people being punished were the ones who loved me, not the ones I wanted attention from. The fact that I wanted attention wasn’t a problem either, but how I was seeking it WAS. Honestly, there were better things I could do with my time and energy than sit and hate myself in the dark.

The answer is that I was only hurting myself and it wasn’t even fixing the things I hated. The people I was punishing were the ones who loved me, not the ones I wanted attention from. The fact that I wanted attention wasn’t a problem either, but how I was seeking it WAS. Honestly, there were better things I could do with my time and energy than sit and hate myself in the dark.

Like I said at the start of this, I have days where I don’t know how fast I’d move if a bus were hurtling towards me, but my good days outnumber the bad. I use my imagination to deal with the anxiety and depression that leak through, even on medication. Mostly, I write. I can live new lives through my characters and grow and change with them. Instead of heaping abuse on myself, I destroy them and it is a much better use of my time. Writing lets me express myself through a filter. Unlike these essays where I just feel exposed. Where I feel like I’m standing in the front yard in my panties. I prefer to hide behind the characters. Maybe I do sympathize with Likka. Maybe I don’t. It’s a work of fiction so I don’t have to say one way or another. Whether its healthy or not, it’s how I live with my depression.

Roasting in 3 2 1

Norsemen – only on Netflix

Maybe it’s someone else’s cup of tea, but it certainly wasn’t mine. I got through 1 and a half episodes before I had to quit. Like it was bad enough I was considering putting out my eyes like that one slave guy in episode 2.

The whole whopping pile of problems started with the writing. They had crowd scenes that felt empty because the other actors weren’t given any direction in what they should have been “talking” about. They were drinking, but it visually didn’t look like they were having any kind of party where people were drunk or getting drunk. No one was laughing too loud. No one was collapsing off their bench and getting laughed at. I could FEEL how confined the filming space was and could tell when they were deliberately framing shots to avoid showing anything from the modern time period.

The dialogue itself was very stilted. There were awkwardly long pauses between characters speaking, leaving space for any joke there might have been there to fall on the ground and die, gasping in the void. It felt like they were improvising their lines, but weren’t very good at it and didn’t have any grasp on who or what their characters were supposed to be. The only one who was tolerable was that one slave guy with the short beard, though even he couldn’t decide if his character was mentally deficient or incredibly savvy about surviving being a slave.

The times I did catch on that there was supposed to be a joke, it only consisted of “Look at these godless barbarians! They have tiny pricks and limp dicks! Worse, they can’t keep their wives in line!” PRAISE ODIN when their accents weren’t slipping.

When they weren’t making fun of the lack of sexual prowess of the men, the physical comedy setups were telegraphed so blatantly I saw it coming a mile away – like that slave that got his eyes shot out in episode 2. Additionally, they took too long pulling it off – like when the arrows were pulled out of that guy’s face in episode 2. Too long. Not funny. It should only take a few seconds for the audience to see the trap before it is sprung on the victim. Not five minutes later after an extended monologue about the common use of eyes listing all the common words and phrases in the English dictionary.

On the plus side, the costumes were really well done. However, I’d count that as a negative too. I really wanted to take the show seriously since they’d put so much effort into the costumes. That was the only thing they put effort into, though. They only knew one supposedly Norse word that they shouted all the time unless they were sprinkling “Odin” or “Loki” into their lines liberally. There WERE other Norse gods, yknow, and I don’t think anyone praised Loki with joy upon seeing their father back from Viking. The buildings were wrong as well. How hard is it to stack sod and put a roof on it for a show, guys? You just needed 2 walls to get the illusion. Instead they went all out with wood planking on the outside and just kinda… made stuff up as they went.

I would have more to say on how terrible this show was if I’d watched more, but I’m not a masochist. I’m just … disappointed. It had potential but their writers need to be fired. … at the stake. How I think it could be improved? Embrace that you don’t know much about Norse culture and have someone discuss whether chickens are anachronistically accurate. Have someone using a prop sword to scratch their ass. Throw in someone standing in the background holding a Starbucks looking lost as last year’s Easter egg. Have an extra accidentally walk into the boom mic or trip over a prop. Take a page or two from Monty Python.

But DO cut out some of those awkwardly long pauses between lines. Those didn’t work at all.