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.

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.

My best friend is dying

I am about to lose my friend of 11 years.

She’s been a pain in the butt the whole time, hurt me physically on multiple occasions, disrupted my life and schedule, destroyed my property, but she’s also been there for me emotionally. Loving cats is a weird thing. 

When I determined she was sick and needed to go to the vet, she spent the night under the blankets with me. She never does that. She usually sleeps on top of the blankets next to my hip. This time, she was stretched against my side between my arm and my torso. I didn’t sleep much that night. I kept waking up because I was worried about her. Worried I’d miss her last breath. I want to be there for her, so she knows I love her. After I took her to the vet, I spent the whole day crying my makeup off at work.

My cat is old. Nothing about this situation is surprising. I had some warning a few months before when she got a UTI and they checked her phosphorous levels etc and discovered they were elevated.

Now, she’s gone into full renal failure. However, it looks like she’s going to bounce back from this at least a bit. The thing is, renal failure can’t be cured, just managed and the doctor is talking months left with her. Saying that this is going to be a yo-yo of health where she gets better and then declines and gets better but not as good as before and declines. This is really just a controlled fall more than improvement. There’s nothing that is going to make her entirely healthy again.

And I feel bad about that but not for the reasons everyone seems to think.

I feel bad about keeping her around. She’s not going to fully recover, so letting her limp along for months seems cruel.

I also feel bad that I want her to go so that I can get to mourning instead of crying every other day over it.

Because I don’t want her to go. I don’t want to lose her.

But I don’t want her to suffer either.

Worse yet, I can’t articulate this to my family. People keep interpreting my feelings as “I don’t wanna put her down” but it is actually the opposite… ish. I want to spare myself the pain of watching her get better-ish, then deteriorate again. I’m stuck between being selfish and selfless. Where’s the middle ground on this?

I’m going to have to choose when to put her down. Her life is in my hands. I’m actually okay with that part. It’s the part about having to wait, to choose WHEN this will happen. Her lifespan is now my decision. 

I’d like her to pass on her own, but also the waiting for that to happen is just… agony. And not going to happen, according to the doctor. Kidney failure is long and painful and it isn’t pleasant to die from naturally. 

If my kitty could just tell me when she’s ready to go, I’d listen to her. But her brain is the size of a walnut and her capacity to communicate with me consists of walking on my tits in the middle of the night to let me know she’s “low” on kibble. Or sometimes she does it just because SHE’S awake and thus I should be too. “Oh, and refill my water dish while you’re at it.”

 

She actually hates when I take pictures of her. I took a whole bunch anyway. I only have 1 picture of my previous cat before she went missing, so I made up for that by over-photographing this beast. 90% of the pictures are of her in the same position, from the same angle. Mostly because I was usually stuck under her while she took over my lap. 

So there’s that. I have loads of pictures of her at least. 

Unfortunately, it looks like this Thanksgiving will be her last weekend. We’ll see…

what kinda crap….

I’m working on short story collections for NFS. I need covers tho. I’ve put together a little over 20k words for an NFS 3.5 story. Grabbed the first scene from Shaxia, since I wrote a different scene to start that off. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on getting the print version of Touched by Death done. I’m kinda late on that due to a combination of overtime at work and lazitis. But the files are in review and should pass shortly. I’ve got another author lined up to publish. But that won’t be until the new year at the earliest. I’ve started ads for books on kindle, hopefully that will get some bites. 

My kitty hasn’t been doing great lately. I wish i could tell if she’s just tired and old or not feeling good or outright dying. I hope that I can be there when she passes. :-/

I redecorated my house slightly to improve feng sui and attract wealth. It seems to be working slightly. I had a friend over this weekend who sells things on the internet and she sold like 5 things in the two days she was here, some of the items having been on her shop for 2 years. My house is still dirty though and needs swept/mopped/dusted. Maybe that will happen before December. I’ve got a couple days off for TG. 

As for TG, and the accompanying Black Friday, I keep seeing really good deals on stuff, but like, they’re things _I_ would want for myself. So I can’t buy them. I’m not like my dad, buying everything I want before Xmas so that no one has anything to give me for Xmas. -eyeroll- … Thus far I want a Kitchen-aid mixer and a PS4 would be nice, but the mixer for certain I would use the heck out of. I haven’t made cookies lately just because my previous housemate took her mixer with her when she left (not on bad terms, her mom needs more constant care…) 

I picked up a friend at ConFuzion. He does 3D modeling and stuff. If I could hook him up with my other friend who is really great at making props and texturing things, I think with Clockwork Joker, I’d have the start of a gaming division for Moirae. Except we still need someone who can do the coding. I’ve got no idea and no time to learn that, so I’ll have to find someone.

I’ve been working on my leadership skills, but there don’t seem to be any easy resources that talk about how to be a good leader. How do I improve the whole telling people what to do and when to get it done aspect? I feel so awkward trying to tell people to do things. 

I’ve also got a line of products I’m getting Moirae’s JR artist working on. Cards for the Totality series. I think that’ll be fun. Gotta get the cover for book 2 of that series started too… Huffman already has the text written and I just need to read and do a quick edit on it. 

Ugh. I also need to work harder at Moirae’s website. But coming up with articles and content for it is difficult, since it has a higher level of difficulty than writing for my own blog where I can just word-vomit and talk about things that are going on in a more informal way. I’ll get onto our Editor Adele again later to see if she’s got those interview questions done. She’s been busy lately too. Tis the Season…

good NEWS everybody!

I’m trying something new. Maybe it will keep me on track for producing content on a more regular basis? At Imaginarium this year, I went to a couple panels talking about marketing strategies. Really marketing boils down to just being consistent with content. Ugh. I’m the queen of inconsistency.

Anyway, here’s my idea.

I’m going to start posting something on this blog twice a month. The 1st and the 15th. That should give me enough time to actually come up with a post and write it.

As it stands, here’s my announcements for today!

On my Patreon, I’m going to start posting the draft chapters of Shaxia (from chapter 1) in the $5 tier. If you want to beta read and give feedback, join us! My Patreon has a bunch of other cool things too; such as artwork from Clockwork Joker, and other writing-related things. If this experiment goes well, I’ll start posting Foreseen Champion on Patreon in the $5 tier as well once I get Shaxia finished.

Another promotion I’m starting on Patreon is join our $5 tier and you get to pick an item from our merchandise and we’ll ship it to you. So that’s TWO good reasons to join our Patreon! You get a gift of your choice for signing up and you get to read Shaxia draft and more!

Speaking of gifts, I’m going to be at CONFUZION this year in Muscle Shoals. Come find me and receive a special gift!

I’m going to start making my short stories available on Kindle soon. I was going to bundle what I’ve got available for .99c, which will include the shorts you can read on this blog for free, and the one story I posted on Patreon. A good reason to buy it is that they’ll be all in one place and they’ll be in order timeline-wise and you’ll get to read the one I locked away on Patreon (and I’ll do another round of editing on them all to make them nice and spiffy).

My next project will be the little book about all my aliens. I’m still not sure what I’m going to call it, but I do know I want to get it printed.