IWSG November

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How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?


This is a hard one to answer, because I get squirreled so often by ideas that I think look nifty and “I wanna try it right now!” I’ve always gotten squirreled like that.

There are days when I wish I hadn’t pulled myself off of Rtialin (but that’s story for another day). Of course, I can’t say that I functioned with a ton more focus back then, either. Or maybe I did, but I can’t see it because of the trees in the forest that I’m currently lost in (oooo… metaphor usage…).

I will say that in my writing, when I have character do X as a hobby or something, I will research X, and sometimes even try X.  Sometimes I’ll even *gasp* enjoy doing X and it becomes yet another hobby-thing added to the growing list. This does create some scheduling problems in terms of trying to get things done and the all-too-common thought of “Writing is too hard right now, I’d rather do something else.”

Generally, “something else” is only less hard because I’m not trying to create convincing characters or logical world rules, just something that satisfies my personal aesthetic (lemme tell ya, strategically placed trim can hide a lot of oopsies and even make it look like you intended it to be there in the first place).

I’ve sewn costumes, handstitched books back into their bindings, made jewelry, learned to knit, picked up fiber spinning, dyeing and weaving, archery and making my own wood arrows, and a whole host of other activities that are creative in ways different, but related to writing because I insert them into the writing at some point (I’m still not certain I will ever understanding gardening – making plants do the growing thing, especially outdoors, seems to elude me).

A great deal of this ends up in the writing at one point or another.

Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or just general ochophobia.


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Adulting is Poopy

Okay, to be fair, you can drive a car, you can buy your own alcohol, and you can stay out as late as you want, but I’m not convinced it was a fair trade-off.

When I was a kid, I loved Halloween! My mother and I would plan our costumes for the next year on November first.

I still prefer Halloween decorations and jokes and such not. But participation – like decorating the yard, is a chore that makes me sigh heavily when October 1 rolls around. Dressing up isn’t even fun anymore with all the stuck up work-place attitudes. “That’s not professional attire.” The gods forbid you dress up to collect your kid from school or go trick or treating with them.

When I was a kid, I would see snow and I would squeal with glee. Snow forts, snowmen, snowball fights, snow angels! Just walking in it was amazing!

Now I see snow and curses leave my mouth such that a sailor would blush. More white shit! And now I have to shovel that crap off the driveway or it will solidify into ice! And I have to drive in it to get to work/the doctor’s/the kid’s school! M*#%@&@#$%r!!!!

Horror movies! Yes! I loved to watch those things!

Now I know there are REAL things quite a bit more scary than some zombie trying to get into the house – like moles on your skin you never noticed before. And billing statements. And will I have a job this time next week? Health insurance!

Budgeting my time back in the day meant clear the homework as fast as you can so you can watch TV/read/go outside and play/whatever. That was the cookie – once I get the crappy stuff done, I can do what I want.

Now budgeting my time takes on a whole different meaning – If I get home at 5pm, I’ll be just in time to look over the kid’s homework, get dinner and then maybe work on a page or two of writing. If I take my phone to work, I can try to get through a little more of my email backlog. I can go grocery shopping at 630am on Saturday and then have enough time to clean some of the house. If I start a load of laundry at nights, I can throw it in the dryer in the mornings and have a dry batch ready to be taken out when I get home and if I put a smallish part of the project I’m working on in the car, I can be productive while Brant is driving.

Yay. Fun.

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Have you ever decided to take a long, hard look at your life and *think* about what it is your doing and why and what you are expecting to get out of it?

Have you ever noticed that in most movies, the hero doing this manages to sort his/her shit out in a single night of meandering around the city or watching the sun rise? I have recently begun to believe that is BS, based upon my own experiences.

I have pondered to the point of being frozen.

I want to write.  I want to be able to focus on my writing. (And, you know, building up the social media thing (Which I do not like to do. At all.) and reading other people’s blogs and commenting on those blogs so I can do the professional business turn-about thing and keeping up with industry matters, and, and, and….)

Things have been difficult lately. The rug of certainty got pulled out from under me (at least it feels like it). People are trying to be encouraging. They’re trying to help, each in their own way. Some people do not see the same problems I do. I feel that I will need to abandon some things in order to do others.

Chill out. I’m not talking about writing. While I did and still deal with those existential questions about writing, they tend to be more on the side of “how will I do X” or “will I be satisfied with X” and that kind of a thing.

My existential “what should I do?” issues are more along the lines of where and why and how to invest my time.

I made a bucket list a few years ago. It isn’t terribly long, and not really in any particular order, but as I creep further into my eld (I’m at the ripe old age of 42 right now)  I look at that list and wonder how to prioritize. Obviously, the extremely physical stuff should head towards the top . I’m not saying an 8o year old granny can’t participate in roller derby for a year, but it isn’t as easy as it was in your 40’s.

But I’ve already been hit with “I waited too long” for some of these things. At least, it feels like it. Recent events have dictated I won’t have most days open (or the money) anymore, anyway. As a matter of fact, I won’t have most days to attend to the bucket list.

It isn’t a crisis, but it is a bit of a pain in the ass. I have to put it on the back burner and wait until another opportunity comes along. So I go back to the list and look for something else that might fit in with the time and money budget – which is kind of odd because I’m not available for “something else” until… well, a lot later, we’ll say. But I want to plan. I want to be able to say I have a plan.

I also have to be able to afford the damned plan, both in time and money, which does not play into the “fuck it, I’ll do what I want and the universe will find a way for me” type of mentality that tracks with the typical Hollyweird  existential life problems overnight solution experience.

Some of these experiences on the list are simply that – I want to experience X. I want to do X. Others are a combination of –  I want to do X, which will also track nicely into how I want to write character/scene/whatnot in story 1A.

None of these items on the list are anything I want to give up. Most of these items can’t be put on hold for too much longer (like, say, roller derby). None of these items I would call “critical to survival.” All of these items I feel are somehow tied to my emotional well-being.

Selling that last phrase is the trick. “Emotional well-being” and “Self Care,” are words that are bandied about, but when the rubber hits the road, if the cost impacts your time and money budget (or, the Gods forbid, what others believe you should spend your time and money budget on), then there’s usually a conflict of some kind.

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Difficult to Work With…

Does not play well with others.

Has her own way of doing things.

It never occurred to me that these things might be applied to me. The other day it popped into my head – the realization that in college, I had one hell of a time keeping roommates.  They switched out every damned semester – the roommate I started Fall semester with would not be the roommate I ended Spring semester with.  The longest I had a roommate was a year – and to be honest, I was tolerated because I paid half the rent (on time, every month, no nagging, just to sleep in the living room for the period of one year, as agreed) but once the year was up, I got the ultimatum with no preamble – sign a joint contract for an apartment or get out by the end of the month.

I really don’t remember interacting with any of my roommates that much at all. I slept in the room. Kept my clothes there. Did my homework there. Occasionally, I ate there.  Then slept there, again.

I never touched anyone’s things, and tried very hard to keep my stuff from encroaching on their space. I didn’t use perfumes. I bathed regularly. I didn’t engage in political or religious debate. I didn’t even have a pet goldfish or a plant.

And yet, I couldn’t keep a roommate worth a shit.

Now, I’ve kept a roomie for 20 years, although, to be fair, getting out of that contract involves lawyers, so some days it’s just easier to go somewhere else to cool down when things get unpleasant.

This thought that I might actually be a horrendous individual wrapped in a bundle of mundaneity has possibly occurred to me because I am now job hunting.

And I’m a little fussy.  I want full-time. I want a permanent position. I want a health insurance package.

I don’t want retail or sales. No religious organizations, thank you.  No part-time, no seasonal, not really willing to apply for positions that use the phrase “must be able to work with difficult people and possess humility with a ‘can-do-it-all’ attitude” (that’s a direct quote, by the way). Not interested in applying to somewhere that has a history of a lot of churn.

I guess I’m just difficult to deal with.

Although I’m getting some great fodder for another book.







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