About Me

Mary-Sue

I decided to read Outlander for research purposes, but since I’m not remotely the target audience, I’m not going to review it. Instead, I will tell you that I’m really struggling to get through the book.

Outlander is classic Mary-Sue fiction. As in, the main character is an orphan, but instead of carrying any deep emotional scarring over the loss of her parents, she grew up traveling the world and going on all sorts of adventures with her uncle. Wheee!

It goes downhill from there.

Naturally it leaves me, someone with a traumatic backstory, absolutely nothing to relate to. Actually, I find it quite triggering. Do other women really have someone constantly swooping in to protect them from everything unpleasant? Why was I never so fortunate?

Cue the accusations of being self-centered and making everything about me.

Given that Mary-Sue is one of the most popular sub genres of romance, I can’t help but wonder if I really am that much of an anomaly. Where are the fictional characters that are like me?

The villains in horror novels, I’m sure.

This massive disconnect is the reason why I write the sorts of things that I write. My productivity is so slow in the winter because January is my “traumaversary” month — the event that permanently robbed me of my ability to write PG stories, so to speak. I have a darkness inside, and while it prevents me from relating to most people, it is also why I appreciate the things that everyone else takes for granted. You learn to live in peace with your demons.

Anyway

I’m not sure if I’ll actually make it to the end of Outlander, even for the research purposes. It just feels too juvenile and naive for me to stomach.

About Me

A Decade

One of the fun things about 2022 is that it marks a solid TEN YEARS of changing diapers multiple times every day. The habit has become so ingrained, I barely notice doing it anymore. And despite the stereotype, I love hogging all the diaper changes for my little babies, because they only stay tiny for such a short while. 🙂

I very much like children.

You see, before marriage and family, I had the full time job, my own apartment, and a collection of shoes that I never had time to wear, and I would never go back to that life for anything in the world. I prefer having drawings and crayons scattered all around the floor, spending my days comforting small sorrows, and loving the big smiles on little faces.

It’s so wonderfully sublime.

Even when they drive me crazy.

About Me

What I’ve been up to

I do feel bad that I haven’t been posting more of my fiction writing for the past several months.

At this point, I’ve got half of The Scion Suit written, which I’ve decided to expand from a novelette into a branching, multiple-possible-endings novel. Unfortunately, with the fact that the reader gets to periodically choose which path to go down, I haven’t the slightest idea how I’d go about posting it on a blog.

Not to mention, I’ve reached the part where I planned to switch over to MSG Hartmann’s perspective, only I’m not in a state where I can readily get into a masculine frame of mind. I’ve decided to put it off until after the arrival of baby #6, so I don’t have pregnancy hormones affecting what I write (though I still plan on publishing The Scion Suit in 2022).

In the meantime, I’ve started working on a different idea, which is a lot more feminine with plenty of emotional drama. The catch is that this one is so securely rated M, I don’t know if I should post it as I work on it, or wait to officially publish it.

I’m not entirely sure if I’m using the sex scenes to distract from the philosophical rants, or vice versa. They both get pretty heavy, lol.

I’m going to be honest: progress is slow. Winter is not remotely my most productive season when it comes to writing, so even if I decided to post this new story with all the juicy bits cut out (and by that I mean the philosophical rants), it will still take some time to get to that point. By which I mean … February.

IDK I’m compulsive LOL

art

Forest Dream baby blanket

After I finished knitting this blanket, I promptly put it away and forgot to get any pictures. After all that work dying, spinning, and knitting, I can’t help but feel paranoid of the destructive capabilities of toddlers. I don’t want anything to happen to this blanket before the new baby is born.

I did get a progress photo though, because I really liked the way the colors were coming together. They feel so magically alive.

About Writing

Creativity and Sci Fi

Last year I decided to crochet amigurumi toys for the kids to help knock down my yarn stash, and they all excitedly picked out which ones they wanted from my pattern book. I got about three-quarters of the way through the third one when I hit burn out on the single crochet stitch, and decided to take a break.

I finished knitting my new baby blanket a couple of days ago, and decided that my next project should be catching up on the promises I’ve made to the older children. I finished amigurumi #3, and have started the prep for #4.

The fun thing about #4 is that I don’t have any of the requested colors on hand, but I do have plenty of cotton yarn and dye. So, I measured out some skeins and currently have them curing in dye.

Anyway, you can basically extrapolate from there what my daily life is like — a swarm of kids, and an adoration of creativity that goes quite deep.

Which is why I think it’s funny that I’ve started writing sci fi.

I don’t have any interest in owning “smart” soap dispensers or smoke detectors; I don’t see any use for them — aside from secretly hosting rogue AI hiding from human knowledge on the internet, anyway. But, you know, existing as a flesh entity, there’s no point in me owning a soap dispenser that runs on electricity when I can have more fun spending money on crafting supplies.

Heck, I’ve spent the last few months loving my antique spinning wheel. In terms of technology, I’m practically moving backwards with my personal habits.

Yet, I’ve been discovering that sci fi lets me explore more philosophical topics inside a world that is still very relatable to what we live in, and I’ve been discovering potential ideas that exceed what I felt capable of when I was writing fantasy.

As for the technology, I don’t have to expand that much outside of what we currently have — we all know it’s only a matter of time until Amazon starts using drones to make deliveries. The rest can easily be waved away with “technology magic, lol, :smiley emoji:.”

About Me

Easy

I’m getting really sick of the word, “Easy.”

It dawned on me shortly after New Years, when I was snacking on some left over cheese ball while reading the cracker box, and I realized that the “easy” recipe on the back began and ended with slicing some cheddar cheese.

Oh gosh, I don’t know if I could do that. I might accidentally cut the pieces crooked or something. Maybe I’ll just get some canned EZ cheeze instead.

The world has developed an obsession with “Easy this,” and “Easy that.” We’re constantly inundated with tips, tricks, and hacks, for instant results. You know that wonderful feeling of accomplishment that you get when you succeed at doing something difficult or complicated?

Probably not.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in the whole world who doesn’t want to take the easy way out. Popping a food tray into the microwave might be easier, but it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as cooking from scratch.

I’ve even been criticized for not doing the easy thing with my own personal life. No, giving birth naturally at home isn’t as “easy” as getting an epidural in the hospital, but at the end I get an intense rush of love and euphoria that those hospital moms miss out on entirely — they don’t even know it exists. Not to mention, I can live my life with the confidence of knowing that I ain’t no weakling. I am up to the challenge, my will is strong and unbreakable, and I know how to endure until the end.

I don’t really care about ‘easy’. I have no interest in it.

After all, death is easier than life, but that doesn’t justify nihilism.

The best rewards are found in the tasks that are hard.

art

Crumbles

I have a recipe for peanut butter bars that I’m fond of, with one adjustment that I’ve made to it: I double the amount of butter called for. Unfortunately, I failed to write the change down, and today when I decided that the day was dark and dreary enough to call for an indulgence, I completely forgot to put in the extra butter.

So dry and crumbly.

The kids don’t mind, but I sure miss that extra butter.

Books

The Beauty and the Beast

I decided to read The Beauty and the Beast by Madame de Villeneuve, originally published in 1740.

I suppose my background is different than average for my age, because instead of growing up on Disney movies, I had a complete collection of fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, and I spent a lot of time pouring over the book and rereading my favorites. They were a far bigger influence on me than any movie.

Heck, one of the reasons why I hate Disney so much is because they took these wonderful, complex stories, and turned them into shallow caricatures with a marketing scheme that led most people to believe they were the original source. Nowadays when people say “fairy tales,” they’re referring to the Disney movies, not the original texts.

Ugh.

Anyway, The Beauty and the Beast is one that I’ve never read before, so I figured, “Why not?” Call it research.

The initial characterization of Beauty is charming. She belonged to a large and wealthy family, but after some spectacularly bad luck, they end up losing everything — Beauty is the only one who handles the change in fortune with grace, and she is clearly intended to be just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

Then, her father travels in an attempt to regain some of his lost wealth, discovers that it was a fruitless expedition, and is caught in a nasty blizzard while returning home. He stumbles across the Beast’s enchanted palace, and consequently gets himself in trouble after picking a rose from the garden. Beauty sacrifices herself to save her father’s life, and goes to live in the Beast’s palace instead.

In my opinion, this was the weakest part of the story. The descriptions of the sheer materialistic opulence of Beauty’s life in the enchanted palace really cheapened her character. I can’t help but wonder if it’s a difference in generations, given that this was originally published in the 1700’s, but c’mon … surely there was more to life fulfillment than clothing and jewelry, even back then?

The part that I outright hated was when Beauty went back to visit her family, and the suitors of her five older sisters were all immediately smitten with her and promptly abandoned their original girlfriends. I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic towards the jilted sisters, while Beauty was reduced down to nothing more than a Mary-Sue.

Then, as we all know, Beauty breaks the curse on the Beast by professing her love for him, and he turns back into a handsome prince.

Interestingly enough, this happens only halfway through the book, despite the fact that this is where all the movie versions of the story end.

The second half was the part that I genuinely enjoyed the most, and definitely made the book worth reading. I can’t help but feel like I’ve been let in on a little secret, since even wikipedia failed to summarize the second half. Tee hee, how fun.

And by the way, the Disney version doesn’t even come close.

About Writing

Crafting

I’ve been posting more of my crafting recently, even though this is my author blog.

Why?

Because it’s part of my process.

You see, we are multi-sensory creatures, and it’s been thoroughly proven that activities like fidgeting and pacing are soothing and help the mind work more effectively. Instead of sitting with silicone push-pop toys, I’ve opted to work on handicrafts to keep me busy. What can I say? They make me feel good about myself.

When you feel mentally blocked, work with your hands to get the creative ideas flowing again. Honor and respect the mind-body connection, and don’t underestimate the power of physical movement.

My major secret of productivity is that every time I sit down and take a break, I reach for my current crafting project. That’s all. Sometimes I think about my writing as I work, and sometimes I just want to meditate. Usually, by the time I put the kids in bed, I have an idea to write down.

And remember, it’s not about speed, it’s about persistence.

Bonus, I have a lot of neat stuff that I’ve made.

About Me

Happy New Year

Phew, still alive.

The kids recently watched The Emperor’s New Groove, so my husband and I decided that it would be fun to make spinach puffs for our New Years Eve party. I thought they were scrumptious, but the kids ate off the pastry and left the spinach mixture in the middle. *eyeroll* They really liked the cheese ball, at least.

Then ’round about 9pm, I started wondering if the kids really needed to stay up until midnight, or if I could get away with sending them to bed, lol. In the end, the one-year-old was the only one who fell asleep early.

And, of course, we kicked off 2022 with our traditional special breakfast.

For the moment, I’m in recovery mode. I’ve spent most of today lounging with yarn and knitting needles while the kids play video games and watch movies, and boy-oh-boy do I need the break.

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that you enjoyed the holidays, and that the next twelve month bring plenty of amazing new adventures. 🙂

I need more wool socks. My feet are freezing.