On Indi’s Pillow

My first baby!

So…

In 2016, I told myself I would write a book. Sadly, I did what I do every other year and I started three different ones without finishing any of them.

But I had a goal that I would publish something so I bought a pre-made covers from Go On Write (you really should check them out) for a short story that was previously published and planned on putting together an anthology of works that I had actually already previously published and was available on my DeviantArt page and I was going to throw in my previously published short story ‘Wings on Indi’s Pillow’ but as I started working on it I realised there was more of a story and I wanted the best version possible to exist in the world.

On 25th November 2016 I threw up a preorder on Amazon that you can find here.  I did this without finishing my book (talk about pressure) but knowing that with an external deadline I would be more motivated to finish it than any other project and I was mostly right. What I didn’t count on was how much I needed to do to make it the best version of the story possible.

In my original version of the story, I had a woman dealing with an interracial relationship and a ‘difficult’ mother-daughter relationship. As I worked on the project, Indi turned out to be handling an unwanted pregnancy too and the tone of the story changed into something quirkier and less ‘serious’ than the original story. I’m not exactly a funny person but hopefully my quirkiness comes through in the pages.

My goal with the new version of the story was to publish on or by the time I turned 31 (12th January by the way) but I want to do more than simply fling something up online and call myself a ‘published author’. I want to build a career with this and I can’t do that if my first story is sub-par and readers get a negative experience. Why add more bad story telling to the world? There is a lot of competition not only on Amazon but in general for poeple’s time and I want people who give me their time to receive something that I believe is the best thing I can give them so I have put myself in pre-order purgatory and pushed my publication date back to 1st February instead.

I struggled with that decision because it feels like a fail and I am letting down the few people that took a chance on it but looking at the read-throughs and feedback I still need to feel content that the book is an actual good story in its best condition it needs more time.

My goal has changed from simply publish to build a foundation for a creative career. I may lose the few pre-orders I gained and I truly wish I could apologize to them personally but I can only wring my hands over but I believe this is the best thing for me to do to make sure its the strongest first block in my new creative career.

O&O.

 

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

Image from CreateHerStock

So…

This #teacherbae thing.

Who has never had a crush on a teacher before? I for one know I have had plenty of pre-teen and adolescent crushes. Very few of them had anything to do with how the teacher was dressed, but I’m a creepy girl I’m told.

Paris Monroe is an attractive woman and has a body type that ‘attracts attention’. I remember when my curves were just starting to come in, the first thing my mother told me about them was to cover them up. Other people will have a problem with my body and I should always make sure other people aren’t offended by my presence. As a good daughter I abided by this ‘cover up rule’ even when I didn’t necessarily agree with it.

I understood that if someone did something to me because of how I looked then it was my fault for looking that way. That may not have been what my mother meant me to learn but that is burned into my brain and its going to take a lot longer for that little missile of wisdom to leave me. When I was in 9th grade, there was a teacher in another class who wore heels to work. Heels! The scandal she caused. Then it was the pencil skirts and fitted blouses. This heathenous woman was taking children’s minds off their school is what the adults around me said often. My mum was also a teacher and when you hang out in her classroom after hours they forget you are there and chat away without any filters.

Here’s the thing though, her classes passed. Young girls wanted to be as bad assery as her, young boys saw another version of what a woman could be. Why would these things be bad? Why do we feel the need to save women from themselves? If a woman chooses to wear a bodycon dress or an abaya should be up to her.

Why shouldn’t a teacher be trendy if thats what she’s passionate about? Other body types wear the same outfit without the same ‘effect’ so we need to distinguish what is appropriate and what we perceive and infer.

That’s what I would like to take away, if a woman wants to wear a shift that covers her whole shape then she should be able to. If she wants to wear a slinky number then that should be her choice too.

If she’s terrible at her job, chances are her outfits wont change that.

O&O

Where Do They All Go?

 I'm Going Far and Wide
I’m Going Far and Wide

So…

The title I really wanted to use was a question Tyrion Lannister asks himself after his father “sends away” Tyrion’s wife. I remember reading it and my heart had all the feels for poor Tyrion but I don’t know that its an appropriate question for a heading. Especially after such a long break.

How have y’all been? I have to be honest I’m not sure I’ve been entirely alright because it feels like I’m ‘not where I should be’? Yes, I know, this isn’t new and I apologise for being so self absorbed right now but I think I need to purge my brain of all the negatives its hoarding.

First off. Life is good. I really cant fault that I am blessed/lucky/privileged. In fact if I weren’t such a greedy sod I would probably be very content but I am a greedy sod and I want more than just ‘contentment’.

I’m stuck on what ‘happens next’ in my life because I want to be self sufficient and control my own time while determining its value. I hate the fact that I work for a single payment at the end of the month that I cant adjust or negotiate and yet I pour way more time than I signed up for to ‘earn it’. As much as I hate to admit it, it irks my soul.  I don’t think I’m a perfectionist. I’m way too messy and comfortable with dirt in my life for that but I am ‘ambitious.’

What I’ve discovered is, my ambition is not traditional and I live in a generally traditional part of the world. That means you work hard in an organisation so you get promoted high enough that you no longer have to work hard but still get paid plenty (and no one messes with your parking).

The problem is, what I want is to faff about till 10 in the morning, work like a beast till 6 in the evening, play house until 10 that evening and still have enough energy to work like a beast till 2 in the morning. I cant do that in a traditional setting.

Recently an opportunity came upo at my previous work place that would have been a definite step up, twice the pay, additional perks. I brushed up my CV thinking, ‘yeah, I can definitely do the job’. Then I stared at a blank page that was my motivational letter. I wrote down a schpiel about how I both lead and participate in teams (true), I’m self motivated (true) and then I got stuck at trying to convince the reader that I would be the best person for the job. Not because I didn’t believe that I was. While I believe I can do the job I dont believe I can live and breathe it without feeling a whole bunch of negatives about it. I’d be a beast at acing things that matter to the bigger picture but make me feel even less of myself.

What I want is to commit to something that I can live and breathe without feeling shitty about the lil pieces of of me I lose to my work.

I never sent an application in and someone else got the job and they seem like a good fit. A few weeks later I met a woman who literally loves her job and doesn’t mind that she can spend 12 hour days at the office, go home and read more so she’s ahead of her curve and still think about her work on the weekends!

Normally I’d tear myself up with coulda woulda shoulda but I didn’t this time. The logical part of my brain would say ‘Of course she loves her job, she makes a truckload’, but that isnt it. Money is great. I want more of it. But I want a certain quality of life more.

Maybe I’m finally giving myself permission to be the version of myself that the little girl I once was has always wanted to be.

Thanks for indulging me!

O&O.

The Anti Valentine’s Perspective

wpid-img_20150215_074809.jpg

So… My take on why love doesn’t need to be proven by Valentine’s celebrations.

I’m not known for being emotional or affectionate. This may have something to do with me leaning the wrong way on a particular psychopath scale but I believe I’m still relatively ‘normal’, granted I’ve never officially been tested but I digress… VALENTINE’S! The day when love is declared in swirls of chocolate, hues of red and drowned in copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. Single or not.

My “problem” with Valentine’s isn’t anything ‘new’ or unique I don’t think. Its the fact that love can ‘only‘ be declared publicly and preferably expensively. A day may come when I will celebrate this day not for what it means to my heart but for what it means to my wallet.

Here’s the thing, I LOVE love. I love being able to sit in a living room with a laundry basket overflowing and it not mattering because the company I’m with makes it not matter that I haven’t achieved perfect cleanliness. I love the fact that because I am terrible in the morning, the person I share my bed with gets up to ‘start life’ and I join him.

Love (for me) isn’t about what other people see. Its about how you feel when no one is looking. So often, we idolize couples that lavishly brandish their affections and it hangs in the air like a cheap cologne choking the rest of us, and while we scramble for air, we forget that love isn’t about what people see, its about how we feel.

I could talk about how you can boost your romantic feelings with less than 5 steps in a specific order but there are way more expert resources on that than I can count. I’d like to talk about Valentine’s friends.

When you were younger, did you have a (totally platonic, possible even same sex) friend you shared Valentine’s with because they ‘got you’ and no one else did. I’ve had a pretty decent run of friends I’ve ‘gotten’ and ‘got’ me back but the older I get, I find I’m losing the ability to hold on to those with quite the same depth. I get more impatient and convinced that I’m just a filler in their lives.

I haven’t had a truck load of friends even though I’ve had the opportunity to amass an eye watering number of connections on any social platform. I normally have 3 – 5 really good friends and never enough drama to piss anyone off enough to actually make them an enemy but the problem is that small pool seems to have been contaminated by life somehow. Some of the people that I thought ‘got’ me seem to be speaking in a tongue I don’t have a dictionary for and they make me feel like I’m smaller than I believe myself to be. And friends who love you should never actually do that.

Which reminds me of Valentine’s when I wanted to receive those aforementioned chocolate, red stuff and pretty bubbly drinks but never did because well… my face just didn’t call for it.

Love comes in many forms but the feels remain the same. Those that love you should leave you feeling bigger or at least somehow better than you felt without them. Once they start to make you feel smaller, you need to evaluate whether having them around fits some kind of external validation but doesn’t feed your feels and whether its worth it.

I hope I make those that I love feel bigger and if I cant then better, in whatever form that comes in. But those that make me feel less. I’ve taken a step back and know I need to cull them from my life but still have brief flashes of ‘That’e the you I love and have missed’ but then we revert back to me somehow feeling smaller and that feeling sucks.

Here’s to catching and keeping those feels that build us up and obliterating the feels that diminish us.

Happy Valentine’s Day for those that celebrate it and for those that don’t. May the love still tickle your skirts.

O&O.

Have You Identified Your Villains?

I don't know the source but I'm having the feels
I don’t know the source but I’m having the feels

So…

I’ve been percolating on things that “matter”. I had a health scare that I didn’t want to admit but it freaked me more than I let on (turned out to be a bag of nothing so yippee for that!). Technically I still haven’t admitted it it but life is looking a lot shorter with each passing day and when I lie in bed willing my eyes to shut I wonder “What have I done today that matters?” and honestly, I find that its sadly not a long list.

I’m not a psychologist but often I think I’d like to be. Then I listen to my friends who are experiencing therapy and wonder, could I be in your doctor/counselor/therapist and actually listen to you? You matter to me because you are my friend, but would I feel the same way if you were my client? And I don’t have an answer for that yet. I even found a lovely program that could put me on the path to becoming a behavioral analyst and got so excited but realised I was falling into an old habit of running away from “the thing that matters”.

Writing.

Sure, I love figuring out why people do what they do and then try to help them do what they WANT to do instead of only what they HAVE done (that is not my most graceful sentence), but I gain infinitely more joy in making up reasons why imaginary people cant do anything other than what they are doing in my head. After all, is it not more exciting to try figure out if the human flesh portion of a mermaid would be clammy and grey or would the white alabaster skin be like a snake? What about their hair? What would that “really” be like?

In another life, I could become that behavioral analyst and be perfectly content but where I live, its really not something I can pursue to live off, either mentally or financially… well not yet, or I haven’t researched deeply enough…

Thing is I’m a “Whats the Plan B?” kinda girl. Even if I know with 95% certainty something will work, I need a plan for that 5%. There are times when this works well for me but its not working anymore and I’m finding that I’m my own worst villain in my pursuit to my name in print.

The behavioral analyst thing is my 5% and I can spend HOURS looking into how it will work for me and completely ignore my 95% goal. That’s kinda sad… tragic even.

On that note… I’m off to tighten an arc about an enchanted artifact that needs to get to my editor soon and ignore all open tabs related to any form of psychology that hasn’t got mythical undertones.

Tell me what you villains are and in what form they “manifest”?

O&O.

How to Listen to Your Inner Voice

 The story isn't at the beginning
The story isn’t at the beginning

 

So…

I don’t know how to do this really, listening to my inner voice isn’t something I’m actually good at but I do hope to one day be a master of myself… and that should not be taken in pompous way but I truly want to know how I can make the best version of myself and what that means.

For the longest time all I’ve known is that the best version of myself is the one that makes other people happy. At all costs. Even if I suffer my own version of (internal) death by a million cuts in the process, its all worth it people are “happy” with me.

Emotions I knew well were anxiety, dissatisfaction and the self importance that comes with believing you are a martyr to your own bloody cause. I cant imagine why anyone was friends with me because I must have been infuriating to be around.

The older I get the less satisfied I am with being ‘the best’ purely for being the best.

I’ve held myself back on my writing goals because I’m trying to write a ‘Great American Novel’ and I’m not even American. What I am is a mental immigrant. This may be a result of literally being an immigrant for the majority of my life but I travel through stories, some of them pretty ‘awful’ and others are literary masterpieces but all of them thoroughly engaging . My voice cant be fully literary and I’ve been forcing it to be just that. Turns out what really tickles my knickers is good ol’ fashioned fantasy (with leanings on urban and dark fantasy), historical jaunts and steampunk. The way I used shook my head when my younger sister would bring home yet another (what I considered) godawful travesty of litera-ture with a half naked girl on the cover… if only I’d known the fire that that would inflame in me (that is not a well constructed sentence).

Anywho, I rarely make new year’s resolutions because I suck at keeping them but I definitely am more self focused on what actually keeps me happy and not on what I THINK should keep me happy.

I also don’t know long this wind will last but I will sail on with it thrusting my bosom ever forward.

Here’s to finding out who we really are!

O&O

The Couple That Makes Everyone Uncomfortable

Chris and Logan

So…

There’s this couple on Season 27 of The Amazing Race that seems to rub everyone else the wrong way because of how much they argue. These people just aren’t “nice” to each other at all. At. All.

They are Chris and Logan. It doesn’t help that they are also The Paparazzi Couple so people don’t like what they do for a living and have to pretend not to hear their yelling fests. If you want to have a chance at winning a race, making it easy for people to leave your company may not be such a great strategy.

First up, there’s something about the way Logan talks that reminds me of an old friend of mine. They are nothing alike really (and far as I know, my friend is pleasant in her relationships) but there’s an underlying vibe there… and it really has nothing to do with my comparison so I’m hopping off this train now.

Anywho, the main problem for this couple is they generally can’t communicate to each other. Not effectively. They seem like pretty nice people on their own and I can even imagine them having quite pleasant down times together but throw in stress and they implode (with special effects). 

Now, I’m not a relationship expert but I couldn’t help watching them to try and figure out why they were the way they are because like I said, they don’t seem like nasty people.

From what I gather, things start to go downhill when Chris tries to do things and they end up ‘wrong’. Logan then loses her mind over it and he joins in the self-bashing tirade. That’s a pretty dangerous mix of actions because one person can’t always be wrong. Chris isn’t a saint but when things blow up, that generally seemed to be the normal chain of events and whether there was a valid “wrong” initiating action or not is up for debate but for them: He messes up, she gets frustrated with him and he gets frustrated with himself and they yell at each other.

I’ve been in close proximity to one of these yelling type of relationships and I hated being around it. Hated. Then I found myself spiralling into the same pattern and had to take a step back. In my case, that meant Singles Ville but I don’t believe that needs to be the case for this couple. Should they get help, absolutely. With a professional. There’s a root here with both of them that makes their deficiencies compatible but they can move from that to positive compatibility. Or they can just stick to the same cycle coz it’s a fit they know.

If you’ve ever been part of That Couple (or currently are) what makes all the drama worth the non-dramatic times?

O&O

Why I want to be Adele or That Guy George

The feelings are doing things
The feelings are doing things

So…

There are few things that I wait for in life with muscle tensing anticipation: 1 is anything to do with the series Song of Ice and Fire (George R.R. Martin is a devious genius and I want to crawl into his head and marinate in his awesomeness) and the second is that fiend of a creative heart wrencher Adele.

When 19 came out I warmed to it slowly but then 21… I fell in love, then I watched some interviews and thought, yup, we could soooo do coffee, we’d get along immensely. I tried not to think of how stalkerish that sounded because OBVIOUSLY she’d like me back and nothing would go wrong between us ever.

Then 25 came out and I was scared. I was scared I wouldn’t get the Adele I loved so fiercely. I was afraid that if she wasn’t what I wanted it’d kill my ability to love things and stories because her music is all gut ripping story for me and it give me ‘the feels’. And then I stumbled upon the video for Hello and thought, ‘MY GIRL IS STILL BRINGING IT!’ and then I listened to the album and grinned like a buffoon at my desk.

Adele has no doubt changed but she is still Adele. There is emotion to her words and I FEEL THEM ALL. Even the ones I don’t like. I want to nestle in her voice and tickle myself with her tendrils.

And that, ladies and gents, is why I want to be Adele (minus the tendrils obviously).

Never mind that number of CDs (yeah, CDs not digital downloads, those coaster contraptions) she has sold. Never mind how many records she will break. The girl in 19 is still alive in 25. Even if life has both kissed and buffeted her for a spell.

In fact in my mind, Adele was Princess Merida as a young ‘un.

Merida-brave-34660437-512-644

Tell me you cant see it!

Maybe with a different picture… Or everyone, just watch Brave and listen to Adele’s albums.

The world will be a happier place.

O&O.

Right and Good

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So…

Lately I’ve been pondering the difference between right and good. When I was younger what I wanted to be was right. Left, right, up down. All the ways. RIGHT meant winning and who doesn’t want their version of victory.

The older I get more I want to be good as opposed to right.

Its not that I wasn’t being “good” when I was being right but if I am truly honest with myself, good just never felt as big as right did.

Some of the things that have me questioning that are “doing the right thing”. I’m not sure we live in a world where that is as clean a statement as it could have been in the past, it is also possible I’m romanticising the past too and I acknowledge that, however, when options were limited it was very easy to draw clear and established boundaries. When your only choices as a woman was to get a decent enough education to find a ‘good husband’ and then keep the home, the thought of pursuing a career in aviation is not really an option. The right thing in that situation is to make the best home you can.

Now, when you can go to university as a woman and decide to not only not get married if you like and also pick a career that means you never set roots anywhere that’s not an easy ‘right’ decision, as the more we move towards ‘selfish’ self fulfillment the more we stray from our own society’s version of ‘right’.

So our criteria needs to change, what is ‘right’ isn’t a sufficient measure for whether an action should be pursued or not.

What is ‘good’, assumes there is a ‘recipient’ and not the blanket ‘acceptance’ that ‘right’ promotes (does that make sense?). I have some friends that it would be right to maintain because it makes me a douchebag not to be friendly to them but it is not what is good because I feel that connection has broken, in fact I even question sometimes what it was built on in the first place. We no longer build each other or create a positive environment for each other to grow or even just mulch and I want to mulch in pleasant relationships.

The right thing is to maintain the people who have always been there, the good thing is to accept that they no longer as present as they used to be and we’ve grown into people that cant create a new definition that reflects that.

How do y’all treat the difference between right and good?

O&O!

This is…

 Own What You Need to Do
Own What You Need to Do

 

So….

This year has not been great for updating my wee patch of virtual garden space. If this was an attempt at regular writing practice, I have failed dismally!

Its NaNoWriMo month! According to my profile I have been a participant/member for 6 years… I hadn’t realised I had 6 years worth of not producing that was publically viewable! *Cringe*

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNo) and the aim is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. On it’s own that’s not really RAH-RAH worthy but it does become exciting because of the support network created during that time. A bunch of strangers all striving for the same goal, cheering each other on when there’s a dip, celebrating success. It’s what good stories are made of! Pun totally intended.

I’m not generally a people person so I have never really taken part in the “community” aspect of NaNo but I can’t help wondering, perhaps that is why I have never ‘won’ a NaNo. Granted that could also be because I was too lazy, didn’t have an idea worthy of 50,000 words or just plain didn’t want it enough but you know… who’s counting?

In the past six months I’ve set lofty ambitions of what next year will look like. I know in my gut where my heart lies but the freakin’ fear monster keeps me trapped in the safety of my own discomfort. I want to rock the bloody boat I’m sailing but I’m terrified of sinking.

A friend of mine is considering becoming a housewife. Got me thinking: is that what I’d like for myself? My heart says no, I need something “other” than raising children and maintaining a home (as if those aren’t demanding enough), but I want to ACHIEVE something that will remain behind. Something that carries my name or whatever version of it I choose to put out. You could easily say children do that but the little people you make become their own people. You are only their custodian until they figure out they make who they are. You can plant an acorn seed in the ground and nurture it till your grandkids make out under it but you are not that tree.

I have another friend who tells me to enjoy the life I’m living and not focus so much on wanting more because I’ll just make myself miserable… I get that and acknowledge I am pretty bloody blessed but I want more.

I want to outlast the life I’m living, who else has that feeling?

Anywho, I’m just letting the few of you left on this desert patch that I’m still alive and plotting global domination. Starting first with slaying my fear monster!

O&O