About Me

May 2021 in Review

I figure that if I’m going to be more haphazard in general, then doing a monthly wrap up is probably a good idea. So here we are, everything neatly organized just for you.

Fiction

10 :: 11 :: 12 :: 13 :: 14 :: 15 :: 16 :: 17 :: 18

Quotes

Souls Can Fragment
Lucky
Enormity
Alternatively

Writing Project Updates

White Space
In the Zone
Adding Romance to TSS
Random Thoughts About Writing
MSG Hartmann
Dishes
In the Wild…

Personal Life

Blogger Recognition Award
Animal Crossing 5/7
Animal Crossing 5/14
Gray vs Grey
New Pokemon Snap
The Internet ‘n Stuff
Baby Summer Dress
Life
The Program

What’s Going on Behind the Scenes?

Currently Reading

The Quarter Percent by Lily Nicole

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams

Also, having tons of fun playing Tamagotchi ON with my 9-year-old.

About Me

The Program

I’ve spent the last month or so probing around, and I’m starting to suspect that I’m going to have to let go of my little malfunction.

So that’s it, I guess. It’s probably time for me to get with the program.

Though honestly, with the way everything is going, charging $3 for a book might as well be giving it away for free.

And we did spend 2020 together.

Anyway, I’m not going to make any moves this week. Still processing ‘n stuff.

And the nice thing about books is that they don’t have expiration dates. I could spend the next five years sulking if I wanted.

The thing is, I will write in a vacuum. I will write for one other person. But there’s still a part of me that wants to know what my full potential is, and that’s not going to happen without making some changes. This isn’t 2010 anymore.

Vague griping, lawl.

I guess I can’t help but feel a little bitter about pulling myself together too late to achieve what I wanted. Ten years ago, sure. But not today.

About Me

Life

Went to a neighbor’s birthday party yesterday, and I’m still feeling drained. So. Many. People. The children loved it though, so it was worth it.

Also, according to the neighborhood news, some creep was driving around trying to talk kids into getting in his car, so fun stuff going on. I know some people called the police about it, but I didn’t catch what happened after that.

Millennial parents get a ton of crap about being “over protective” ‘n stuff, but I’d much rather sit outside supervising my children playing in the yard, then end up being that parent, you know? An ounce of prevention…

Today my husband and I took the kids out on a mile long bike ride, and afterwards we ate mint chocolate chip ice cream with sugar cones. Then I roasted coffee beans on the porch and yelled at the kids to stop putting mud in their splash pad. Good times.

I started crocheting a stuffed dragon. In terms of technique, I find it boring to only work one stitch over and over and over, but those toys are so stinking cute.

I’m nearly finished sewing some pants that I designed for myself. They have wide legs with an asymmetrical hemline that drape beautifully, and I’ll probably have them finished tomorrow. *So excited*

And that’s why I’ll never be normal, lol.

About Me

Dishes

Our house likes to eat dishwashers.

The last one died on Mother’s Day. After which, we discovered that the small business we had bought it from — for that personal touch and guaranteed warranty — had gone out of business because of … you guessed it! Queries proved that it was going to be difficult to find an authorized repairman.

So I bought a bottle of soap just for the new scent, and am now using the dishwasher as a horrendously overpriced drying rack. Because the only thing that works reliably is me.

Especially now that I haven’t had a single migraine since I started taking low dose aspirin. Ha. Ha.

The funny part is, I’m actually better at keeping up with the dishes when I’m handwashing them. I can easily slip into autopilot and scrub away while thinking about other things (usually my writing), and I don’t have to sort through what can go through the dishwasher and what can’t, or make sure that I’m loading everything in correctly, or blah blah blah. I just hate washing dishes. ‘Cause, you know, it’s the dishes.

So the other day I had a pan of cream cheese brownies baking in the oven, the baby was busy throwing cat food all across the kitchen floor, and I was scrubbing away at the sink with a particularly deep train of thought, when it hit me that since I’m writing a story with lots of different branches, I can easily invoke the multiverse and have the branches bleed into each other. Which one is canon? They all are!

Be still, my heart!

I know, I get excited over some pretty weird things.

BTW, the brownies were amazing.

About Me

The internet ‘n stuff

Lately I’ve been wondering how much blogging matters.

You see, I’m old enough to remember Neopets, Gaia Online, and LiveJournal, and the internet sure as heck ain’t what it used to be.

I’m pretty convinced that certain monoliths suppress literally everyone, then select which individuals they want to become popular, and there’s nothing organic about any of it for anyone.

‘N stuff.

But don’t worry, this isn’t my “farewell forever” post. If my calculations are correct, I’ve got about 11 real live actual people who come here to read, and I’m not going to up and abandon you just because of something as silly as stats.

Actually, I’m getting tired of trying to be structured.

And if I get the impulse to post a random pun at 10:43pm, I might as well do it without explaining anything.

I’m also tired of pretending like I’m not as cynical as I am. After a certain amount of bullying and ostracism throughout my childhood, I made the conscious choice that fictional friends were considerably better than real ones — 90% of everyone will go out of their way to hurt you purely because they can.

Hell, five years ago I tried to get out and be more social with the assumption that adulthood changes how people interact with each other, and it ended up mentally fucking me up pretty badly. Conclusion: adulthood has made the bullying even worse.

And let’s face it, modern fashion trends are purely an experiment in how far people are willing to debase and humiliate themselves for the sake of fitting in. Yes I said it. If you don’t look at yourself in the morning and immediately feel good about yourself, then you should trust me when I say that *you* aren’t the problem, it’s your fucking ugly clothes. Change your style. Just do it already.

Aaaaaanyway.

I’m gonna do what I want for awhile.

About Me

Gray vs Grey

An on-going playful debate between my husband and me is whether to spell it gray or grey. I like the ‘a’ and he prefers the ‘e’.

My reason is that ‘a’ looks more solid, decisive, and strong, while the ‘e’ is more timid and weak. Mind you, ‘e’ is actually my favorite vowel, I just don’t think it works in this particular case. My husband’s argument in favor of the ‘e’ is that he has no aesthetic sense in regards to letters or spelling (ha ha, just kidding. I love you).

In my mind, this is gray:

And this is grey:

I prefer the former.

And yes, I know, we’re pretty weird.

About Writing

Random thoughts about writing

I actually have a hard time knowing how to classify my writing. Oh sure, there’s the big picture ‘fantasy/sci fi’ tag, but I get a little lost in the subgenres.

For example, my concept story “THEM” is my idea for a time traveling romance. Only, it features a nebulous alien invasion versus sorcerers, and the main love interest travels back in time to coach the main character (who was brought forward in time after her original was killed by the aliens) on how to seduce his contemporary counterpart, except she’s a reluctant introvert with social anxiety. All while she’s nannying a 4-year-old prince. Cue gothic overtones.

Maybe I’m just not well read enough, but I haven’t seen any hints of other books that are remotely like that.

Am I my own niche?

Which is one of the reasons why it’s so easy for me to put off that whole “marketing” thing (not to mention, I don’t want to mentally drain myself so I can’t spend time writing every day, ’cause it’s the writing part that I love the most).

I also have a malfunction.

But sometimes I feel lost in the noise. There are a lot of danged writers these days, and sometimes I think it’s harder to convince people to read something for free than it is to get them to buy it. Like, da hek ppl?

Am I going to find more readers by demanding money? Is that what you want out of me?

Anyway

My husband thinks I’m better at writing sci fi than fantasy. It is true that I was exposed to fantasy first, and there is a possibility that I might have stuck with it out of habit, despite the fact that I don’t actually like “sword and sorcery” type stuff all that much; hence why my Order of the Magi all use the internet and conduct their business with electronic tablets. I also prefer to explore human nature, instead of ‘world building’ or any of the typical fantasy tropes, but I also don’t like Star Trek type stories, or “technology is the magic” sorts of things either. I guess that I’ve got a nerdy enough bent to me that I like a solid foundation in reality. I’ve probably just illustrated that I’m actually a very picky reader.

So … the sequel to The Black Magus will very likely have a more sci fi atmosphere instead of fantasy. Heck, I established that magic is mostly just learning how to muck around with reality’s programming code anyway.

The hilarious part is, I have zero intuitive understanding of today’s trendy technology. Smart devices and I don’t get along. At all.

About Me

Time Management

I often think to myself that I ought to treat writing more like a part-time job than a hobby, and make some adjustments to our routine so I can write in the mornings when my mind is sharper. The benefit is that I’ll be able to work much faster than I currently do.

I’ve given myself the goal of publishing a new novel every year, which is a perfectly respectable pace all told, and in that regard I think that I’m doing just fine. But I’m also interested in exploring creative writing in different formats, and that’s going to take up more time. A lot more.

Which means that I need to manage my time more efficiently.

Which is a bit of a trick with a 10-month-old crawling all over me. >.<

So, in addition to writing novels, I’ve decided that I want to turn The Scion Suit into a text-based game.
i dunno why im such a nerd.
That means writing a multi-pronged script, and learning basic programming (which has my husband tickled). You’d think that I have enough going on, but writing the script for a video game is one of my bucket-list items, and there’s no time like the present.
We’re probably not going to be spending every weekend at the pool this summer anyway.

Besides, as long as I stick to the adage that “Progress is progress,” even just an hour a week will eventually add up. I’m pretty certain I do everything in 10-20 minute increments.

So I plan on starting off with a “choose your own adventure” format, but I want to get stats worked in as well.

I’m also looking forward to when the New Pokemon Snap comes out at the end of the month, so I’m probably going to have to quit watching movies and youtube. Frank James will just have to continue on without me. XD

About Me

Crochet Hanger Covers pattern

Truth be told, this post is more for the anecdote than a crochet pattern…

Once upon a time when I was little, my mom taught me how to crochet hanger covers.

The white was the first one I ever made, and the other was after I had gotten a little bit better at crochet. They originally had pompoms, but those got lost somewhere along the way. Wasn’t I so cute back then? I didn’t have the slightest clue how to control the yarn, lol.

And this is what I can do now:

The funny part is, my mom actually hates making hanger covers. She’s quit for good, and has absolutely no interest in ever picking it back up again. As for me, I love it, through and through. I like how pretty the hangers are, and how clothes don’t slip off of them while I’m rummaging through my closet.

Now, I believe that the wood hangers used to make these are no longer being manufactured. I got mine from ebay, and there are usually a few in thrift stores, but the general consensus is that no one knows where to get them anymore. But hey, with some basic woodworking skills, you could totally corner the market!

This is the variation of the vintage favorite pattern that’s been passed down through my family:

Size H hook
Worsted weight yarn

Make 2

Ch 58
dc in third chain from hook, 4 dc in same sp (5dc)

*skip 2 ch, sc, skip 2, 6dc* across. In final ch sp, 12dc around to other side. Continue pattern across the bottom, mirroring the top.

In the last space with 5 dc, make 6dc then sl st into top of ch2.

Creates 10 shells total.

Place wrong sides together, and slip stitch the top of the two pieces together. Slide hanger hook in between stitches in the center, then continue slip stitching across the bottom with the hanger inside.

Weave in ends

Decorate!

Pompoms are more traditional, but they also look beautiful with crocheted flowers. Leave tail ends to tie around the hanger hook, then weave them in.

About Me

Piano

I’ve been practicing the piano every day since we got one last October.

I’m totally hooked.

Heck, I was even tempted to write about Alice learning how to play in AatW, but I couldn’t get it to properly fit — that’s how much I’m loving it.

When I was a kid, I got through level three before quitting lessons, so I’ve been getting myself back up to speed over the past few months. Several days ago, I started practicing level 4 songs (oh ho ho!). They’ve also been getting stuck in my head pretty badly, so playing piano is becoming almost as compulsory as writing.

I’m doing this “mom style,” of course, with either a baby in the carrier, or a toddler on my lap — though occasionally I get to be free to focus on what I’m doing.

I’ve given myself the goal of being able to play every song in the lesson books that I’m following, but since I’m teaching myself, I’m definitely spending a lot more time on the songs I like while giving a cursory nod to those I don’t. I’m also skipping around a fair bit; that’s how I do things.

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