Friday, April 27, 2012

Be Realistic

As any writer, I've had my share of rejections. Maybe, even more than my share. The thing I love about it is being able to complain to my friends who reinforce why I'm in the game. They tell me they love my writing, to keep pushing, keep going. Sometimes, it's what I need. Sometimes, their words are air.

Then, sometimes I come across the neigh-sayers. The ones who say, "You're not Stephenie Meyer," "Maybe you're done trying?" and things like that. Most recently, I'd gotten the advice to, "Be realistic. Maybe this just isn't for you."

B*tch, what'd you say?
*This is such an awful picture, lol*
My eyes nearly popped out of my head. Literally. Why?

Firstly, I believe in my writing. I believe in it because in middle school, people would steal my notebooks to read the crap I'd jotted on the sides of my notes. Because in my high school English class, I'd gotten encored after the poetry unit. In my creative writing class, people would fall silent after I'd share. In my other classes people would steal my notebooks that were now only used for poems and rambles. I'd lose the notebook for a couple days while it cycled through friends, and eventually get it back with, "That was really, really good. I liked this one the most."

In college, I got my first publications. At the end of college I started attending my first writing conferences.

And on February 15, 2011, I entered the agent game with a mediocre novel that got a full manuscript request the night of my birthday (which is in April, in case you missed that blog :) ). It got rejected, of course, because sucked (see Confessions of an Immortal Heart. It needs lots, and lots of work). I was told, "I couldn't connect with the characters."

Then I read at my first open mic night, in front of other professionals and friends. And after I finished my set, which I cut short due to fear and feeling like I was suddenly ill equipped, I was asked to come up and read everything else I'd decided not to read.

You gotta take the punches,
And keep rollin'
Now, a little more than a year later, I'm starting to understand the difference between showing and telling more than ever before. There's still a disconnect, and I'm still getting rejected.

And I'm still going.


Because I'm getting bites, which tell me that my ideas are there, they're marketable, they just aren't being articulated well enough, and that's my fault, because I haven't mastered my craft yet. It doesn't mean that I'm a bad writer, or that I should give up.

I am being realistic. I LOVE the novels I've written; the characters, the plots, the reasons I wrote them. I'm still getting requests, just not acceptances, because there is still work to do.

I won't give up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review: Where She Went

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

This was another novel I received during my lonely Christmas of 2011. This one took two-three days to read, simply because I didn't have an entire day to spend in bed, and I had to be a big kid and go to work. (Yack)

Where She Went is written from Adam's perspective, which I thought was super cool, and would be a challenging thing to do as a writer. (Though if you guys ever get bored, it's always a fun writing exercise!) Forman pulled it off, phenomenally.

How Kellie's death connected me to If I Stay, my relationship with Alex connected me to this novel.

One of the things that I loved, and kept me reading was when Adam first sees her, he talks about how he doesn't want to kiss her, or scream at her. He just wants to touch her. (I don't have my book on me, so I couldn't find the exact wording, sorry!) The intensity of those thoughts and feelings were reminiscent of The Last Summer (of You and Me)** by Ann Brashares. It's those tragic loves, that want to run into their arms, but something (time, distance, anger) keeps your feet in place, that I'm drawn to.

One of my first times going home after leaving for college, a friend was getting married. This friend was Alex's best friend, so of course, he was the best man. I wore a nice dress, and sat with my sister and her friends...all of whom hated Alex.

When I saw him, my heart jarred, my palms started sweating. I watched him the entire wedding, during the reception. All I wanted was for him to come to me, say hello, ask me to dance (because he had been my date to almost every single high school dance). But he didn't, and so by the end of the night, I got sick of waiting. I grabbed my jacket, with every intention of storming off, when I stepped on someone's foot. Whose else would it be, except, of course, Alex's?

He leaned so close to me, I could feel his breath when he said, "I know you won't believe this, but it is really good to see you."
And I died inside. I wanted to claw out his eyes, punch him, kiss him, run into his arms, touch his face. Instead, I stood uncomfortably, unmoving, shaking. When I didn't run away from him, he kept talking. The more he spoke, the less I wanted to hurt him, and the more i wanted to just be there, with him. When he told me he'd gotten me maple sugar candy, I almost cried. We'd always gone to the Maple Syrup Festival every year.

The following day, I went to his place and it was one of the last times I saw him. But it was enough to keep me in motion for a long, long time. It's sad because we're not even friends on facebook, and we don't keep in contact, but he got me through high school alive, and mostly unscathed.

Where She Went pushed me over the edge, and I most definitely cried. I cried for Adam, for my high school and young college self. I cried for distance, and lost loves. And Baxter stared at me like I was crazy, until I explained to him why I was crying and to not judge me :)

This is another must read and re-read. But, for full impact, I would encourage reading If I Stay first.

**Awesome book. You need to read that one, too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Christmas this year was spent working at the mountain, being sick, and then coming home and passing out for the night. It was lonely, and awful. It was my first time ever being completely alone for the holiday (well, not completely, Baxter laid in bed with me). But there was good news. Days before, my mom had finally done it.

She'd gotten me the books I wanted. I about peed my pants when I opened the priority mail package. I don't even remember which book I saw first, but I remember shaking because I was so excited. (That's right, at the age of 23, you can still get that excited about Christmas presents.)

Finally, after a  few months of editing and writing, I found some time for reading. I had the day off (which was rare with juggling two jobs), and decided I just wanted to lay in bed all day, and do nothing. My resolution was to dig out my books and use Baxter as a pillow.

While I'd wanted If I Stay since I'd heard about it, I'd been avoiding reading it because I knew it would break me.

And I was correct.

It was about Mia and her family, who had gotten in a car accident. Car accidents are always a sore spot with me because my best friend was killed in a car accident. In the novel, Mia ends up having to make the decision then, of staying alive, or allowing herself to die.

I read this book in one day. Literally. I haven't done that since high school. I pushed myself to keep going, not just because it was phenomenally written, not just because the story told me to keep reading, but because I didn't want to be depressed the next day, too. It was an incredibly powerful story, and it definitely made me tear up. This is one of those that I will read again and again.

If you haven't read this novel yet, and you've been thinking about it, stop putting it off, and read it! Now. (Please?)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Roommate Saga

So for those of you who haven't heard about the roommate drama, feel free to click on some links. Or if you're really ambitious, go through my twitter feed, there is some interesting stuff going on there. This is a long post today, sorry. I added pictures to make it more fun :)

The house that was lovely...aside from the residents
Long story short, for the last few months I've been living in a crap hole. I was desperate, I had just moved from North Carolina, and I had nowhere to live so I looked on Craigslist. Without really looking into the situation, I moved into the house in Woodstock.

The first thing that went wrong was heating. I don't like to sleep with my door open, because I don't like or trust people. So I would close my door, and then freeze. Then the landlord got on my case about having a space heater, and told me I wasn't supposed to have it because the house could burn down. But I continued doing it so Baxter and I wouldn't freeze to death. Plus, the sketchy old man would leave the oven open, leave the stove doors open (a few times wood exploded out of the fire and lit the floor up). The old man and the cougar roommate also would leave candles on. All. Night. Long. Oh, and there were three cats living in the house, too. They liked to get out counter tops and tables. And yet the space heater was the problem.

I'm so creative :)
The next problem was that the house claimed to be furnished, and yet didn't have a drier. There was only a washer. Which was okay, all of my clothes were crusty, and so were my towels, but eh...I could deal. At first. There are two stoves in the house that were used for heating. One in the living room, and one near the back of the house, which is where my bedroom is. When he started fighting with me, he decided to turn off that stove so that the only source of heat was where he was sleeping...on the couch. Once the stove near the washer had been turned off, my clothes wouldn't dry. They'd freeze over night, and warm the following day and stay wet. So I decided to make my own drier.

But then the old man started fighting with me. All the time. I think it was because I freaked out one day because he was smoking in the house, which he was NOT supposed to do. Either way, I started going into work angry because he'd moved my stuff, stolen my food, picked another fight. Then the only roommate I sort of liked moved out in less than a day, and the sketchy old man stole her computer...which made me start to wonder...

What will he do to my stuff?

I stuck it out for awhile longer. But then things got worse (see Living Situations blog), and I started trying to stay at friend's places more regularly. I also started trying to take Baxter everywhere with me; to work, to friend's. I hated leaving him alone because I was now terrified that they would hurt him to get back to me.

Not only that, but they started picking fights with me when I was trying to just stay in my bedroom and write my memoir, or edit, or just not be around any of them because they were all crazy. It got to the point I was tweeting my complains (on a regular basis) and my friend made me a "Quiet Please, Memoir Writing in Progress" sign. Then I had a friend over one day, and they (at this point they is the Dickey and his mother) picked fights in front of her, too.

Huge gaping hole
I'm not sure when I hit the breaking point, but I hit it fairly recently. I started packing up my room so that way I could just cut and leave as soon as I found a place. Because I came in freaking out every day, my managers all started looking in newspaper ads for places to rent that allowed pets. None of us could find anything. Just recently, I've been spending a lot of nights at a friend's house because well, they feed me, they offer me beer, and they're lovely company. Plus, they allow Baxter.

For the last few days I'd been staying with these friends, in another town, with my pup. Last night I went back to the house so I could move more of my belongings over to their house. I called my mom when I was in my car so that the creepy old guy wouldn't talk to me as I entered the house. I went to the outside stairs to find, amazingly, he'd redone them. Up until now, they'd been removed so Baxter and I had constantly been having to jump up and down the gaping hole (which was incredibly dangerous at night).

When I walked in, out of my peripheral vision I thought I saw that he was naked, but kept my eyes straight ahead and ran up to my room, still on the phone with my mother.

The dog Baxter abandoned me to play with
After barricading myself inside my bedroom (because Baxter decided to stay outside playing with the other dog), the sketchy old man didn't even knock and came into my room. He handed me my mail, where I then fully noticed, he was completely NAKED. And I mean NAKED. Like I saw 62-year-old-man-penis.

Immediately I dropped some f-bombs in the form of "Why the f3$% are you naked?!!!?! Get the f@#$ out of my room!!"

He then tried to take my mail from my hands, and demanded that I give him my house key, which I refused because I don't have all of my stuff moved out yet (and until I get sent to court, it is my legal right to have said key). We continued to scream at each other, he remained naked, completely un-phased by the fact I was flipping out because of seeing his member.

I could tell he was drunk (as all he ever does is drink), and he was naked. In my bedroom. And not leaving. So, I told him if he didn't leave, I'd call the cops. He told me to do it, so I hung up with my mom and called 911.

The only picture I could find of the sketchy
old man. This was a game night I had with
some folks from the mountain
He continued to yell at me until he realized I'd actually called them. Then he disappeared downstairs for awhile while I spoke with the dispatcher. By this point I was shaking (and maybe crying a little bit because why the f#$ was he naked??? IN MY BEDROOM??). The person had me stay on the phone with her until the poliece arrived. During the time of waiting, Dickey decided to come back in my room (I'm not sure if he had clothes on this time) and continued to yell at me, while I was on the phone with the dispatcher. Who (thanks to loudspeaker) told him to get out of my room and leave me alone. It took her about 5 times telling him to leave, and I was terrified that I was going to get shot, knifed, or punched.

The dispatcher asked how long I've been living here, and I answered that I'd been living here since December. She asked if we'd had confrontations before, I told her we had. She asked why I'd never called the cops before, and I answered because he'd never been naked before.

At long last, the cops arrived, and asked me the same questions the dispatcher asked. I showed them my bedroom, explained about the high tensions and the fights, and how they're trying to evict me, but haven't gone to the courts yet, etc, etc, etc. They had me wait in my car, and I ran inside to get my phone to text my friends that I was okay, and would be over ASAP because old man was crazy.

When I left the house, Dickey followed me out and yelled at me to return my house key, and I booked it to the safety of my car. The four officers immediately yelled at Dickey and told him to go back inside (he wasn't listening), and thus, screamed at him until he finally listened. When the coast was clear, they allowed me to re-enter the house, recommended that I not stay there that night, and I kept packing.

It got to the point I was afraid he would hurt Bax
So Bax started coming to work with me
In the end, Dickey got arrested for indecent exposure, and some other stuff that I can't quite remember (I think terrorizing was one of them). When they hauled him out he only had shorts on. Which, I was thankful for (again, who in their right mind would think it's appropriate to be naked???)

I was told that the next time I come to get the rest of my stuff, I am to notify the sheriff's department and to have an escort with me because the old guy is batshit crazy. I was also told that he does in fact reek of alcohol, and weed. Which doesn't surprise me, at all.

The girl is the one whose computer was stolen.
The boy is the kid who got kicked out of the
bar...later that night
When I got to my friend's, a previous roommate texted me, told me to drop everything that is going on with Dickey, and basically sounded like he was threatening me, too. He also called me a psycho (although he spelled it wrong), and said some other mean things, and I just wanted to punch him. (Keep in mind, this roommate was the one who got kicked out of the bar for being a creeper the first and only night me, him, and our female roommate tried going out together. She made him walk home.)

So that was my night on April 20. Baxter and I are currently residing in the basement of a friend's house, and I'm constantly praying that my stuff is okay (as I had to leave some of it). The only downfall of this, is that Baxter and the other dog keep fighting (they've drawn blood a couple of times now), and it terrifies me because I don't want Baxter to get hurt or to be uncomfortable...Ugh. I need to find my own place.

How are you?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tics, Trips, and Innova Discs

First, I'd like to say that I hate this new Blogger interface. Just felt like voicing that with you guys.

Okay, onto the blog topic. My birthday was April 19, and I chose to host a blog hop for such a day. Then there was an issue with uploading my video, or how many takes I had to do because small children or dogs kept running into the shot. Then, my phone decided to delete the video. Then my phone and computer decided to completely stop working. Ugh. But it went up, and I've gotten some feedback, so that's kind of rad.

I love this company
Once all of that was taken care of, I drove to a disc golf course I've never been to. And proceeded to get lost...a couple of times. At last, I found the place and met my Partner in Crime for a round of disc golf, brought to you by Innova Discs. Why? A couple reasons:
1) Disc golf rocks
2) Research for editing My Sister's Memories. Disc golf has a pretty big portion of the book, and so I decided to do some real life research (and you thought research can't be fun!!)

Hand written "Pay Here" sign
So we did the check in, which was a weird place with a drop slot for money, and threatened, Those caught not paying will be banned from the course for LIFE. Unfortunately, the internet didn't say whether or not they had a credit card machine or not, and I had no cash.Thus, as per usual, I had to borrow some money.

The first "course" we found was like a putt-putt course, and we were really, really confused. Mike hadn't played before, but I had, and the places I've played at, had distance...not putting. So we did 9 holes of putt putt, and thought that was it. Until we went adventuring and found some arrows which led us to actual Hole 1. Which was over a mountain, basically. We went back to the intro part, and got a new score card and replace Lola (him) for Iron Man, and Frank (me) for Captain America. We are just that awesome. :)
Yay! He found his disc!

For those of you who haven't played before, here's the thing. You lose your discs, pretty readily. You find discs (most of the time). 90% of the time spent (at least for newbies) is searching for the disc you threw thirty seconds ago. We once found mine in a tree. Mike had to throw rocks at it to get it down. Mike also lost his discs a few times.

My skills were pretty sub-par (no pun intended). While Mike was hitting par most of the time, or at least close to par...I was getting like 7's, and 8's. I felt exactly how Allie did when she first played (except her Mike was a really good player, and eventually she got better).

There were 18 holes. There were a lot of trees and rocks, everywhere. When we walked, I kept tripping over myself and Mike twisted his ankle once. (Not to fear, he was fine.)

Definitely hit all of
those trees
We were constantly trying to get our discs around the trees, but 99% of mine landed right INTO the tree. Plus, I had a crazy left hook most of the time that landed me out in the middle of nowhere while Mike was still on the green. There were times where both of us had to attempt to find a missing disc, and we were in trees, and weeds, and thorn bushes. The entire time I was pushing through all of that crap, I was praying I wouldn't end up finding any tics on me, because tics freak me out more than anything else in this world.

Outside of that, it was really, really warm out. I was thirsty, and tired, and wanted beer because it was my birthday. Still, we pressed on.

There was one shot, where we saw Mike's disc go way into the air, and swoop down like an eagle catching a fish. When we found it, it looked like this:
Sticking straight out of the ground

Overall, the experience was a lot of fun. I ended up losing by oh...a million points,  but it was awesome, and I will definitely play again. I also felt like I was getting a decent amount of stuff to write about, the only hard part is that any time we get information about Allie, she's talking through a diary. I have to figure out a way to make it feel less like an info dump.

This is what we looked like
when we finished
So, wondering what we learned from this experience? Well, we learned a few things:
1) Learn to throw better
2) Bring either water or beer
3) Wear adequate clothing (our legs were all sorts of torn up afterward)
4) It's nice to play for fun rather than for winning
5) Avoid trees

Then for my birthday we went to a Tavern rather than a Pub. They had free pasta, which was awesome, and we ordered a couple of drinks and nachos. As I was sitting there, I felt something crawling on my leg. And then I figured out it was a tic. I went to the bathroom, flushed that little butthead down the toilet. Then when I checked my leg again, I found another on my pants, and nearly screamed. I felt like I was infested.  When I went home for the night, I found another in my hair.

And then I remembered: I hate tics. Here's hoping I don't get Lyme.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Open Mic Blog Hop!

Okay, hopefully this works. Technology hates me...Also, it was way bright outside, but it was the only place it was quiet...

This is what I'll be reading :)

It’s nearing noon and she’s clutching my hand as though the blood pumping through me is flowing right into her. I feel like life support, I’m keeping her alive, I alone am responsible for her strength, for each step that she’s taking. I am the mama bird waiting to shove my little offspring out into the cruel hard world. I’m making her grow wings and fly on her own.
We spent the last two hours in a car packed so tight that when the doors opened the suitcase fell on my foot. The radio the entire time was loud enough to drown out the screams in our hearts saying “Don’t change this, don’t leave.” And so we sang like we were happy, like we were whole, like we would stay this way forever and the trip we were taking was just an ordinary one. Like she’d be coming home with me in the end.
Now we find ourselves holding hands as the suitcase trails behind her, and I carry her backpack. We give strength to each other the way we had any time the other was weak. We approach the kiosk to check her in. The woman from the airline smiles friendly enough, but she doesn’t understand that I’m about to let go of the last four months of my life. That the girl beside me will be a fiercely independent woman the next time she walks through the terminal. I’m breathing, she’s breathing, the woman behind the counter is breathing. We don’t matter to her, she doesn’t matter to us, but in this moment, we’re all connected. She’s taking my sister’s luggage, taking her from me, and I smile and put my credit card in the machine to pay the $60 fee that she can’t afford because for some reason I always have money and she never does. She thanks me and says she’ll pay me back, and some day down the line, I’m sure she will…but I would rather keep her than my money. I once more ask her is she’s sure she wants to do this. She reaffirms to me that she’s taken an oath and has to leave, it’s out of our hands now (yet hers is still in mine, I don’t want to let go).
We carry the 36lb and 47.2lb bag to security. No sir, there are no flammable items, and yes sir, they’re unlocked. The bags are gone, save the backpack and computer case that she’ll carry on board.
I’m sad, but I find it hard to cry even at funerals. She sets her bags down and embraces me so I can feel her body pressed against mine like we’re merging to be one person. And that’s how it’s been for the last four months; we were one entity, one person. We were “The Smiths” or “The Smith-Heads”. I wasn’t Jennifer, she wasn’t Laura. She says she loves me just loud enough that it plays through my ear, and I can feel the emotion through her arms. My entire being is begging her not to leave me because I’m scared to be alone, because I’m scared of her growing too strong without me, because I’m not sure how to stand on my own without her. None of this I can say out loud, as I’m supposed to give her strength to pretend that I’m fine and so she’ll be fine, so I resolve to hug her until my arms tire.
I’m the little sister, and I am just that, little. Without effort, she lifts all 110 lbs of me, and because I like to make a scene, I wrap my legs around her in a koala like bear hug. And we sing Leaving on a Jet Plane because we don’t know when she’ll be back again. We laugh into each other as she sets me down. I tell her to take care of herself, she says to keep in touch. I can’t stay long enough to wait for her to board the plane or even walk her over to security, I’m two hours late for work, and it will be four by the time I arrive back.
We embrace once more and though we can’t feel it, a razor just crept between us, murdering The Smiths and birthing Laura and Jennifer. We step apart, dazed from the impact, and look at each other for the first time, the other half which had completed us for so long and begin stitching up the hole where the other had been.
Goodbyes are said, and I walk to my car, the car we had used the entire summer. There is vomit on the paneling from a friend’s birthday the previous weekend. On the other side of the car, there are massive scratches that will eventually be buffered out, and pieces that will hopefully be super glued down from her backing my car into a tree. But for right now, these pieces take the place of her for me.
The key has been in the ignition for the 15 minutes it took to get her settled in, and my car jumps gently to life. I look back at the airport and say a prayer under my breath that she’ll be brave in her new life, that she’ll survive the heat and humidity and have an awesome year. As a side note I pray for myself, that I can breathe on my own, that I too will be brave in my life without her.
My foot finds its way off the clutch and I alone head to my destination to lay claim to a place that had once been ours but is now mine. 

Okay, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

YA Highway: Prom

Firstly, it's my birthday tomorrow. And you know what would make my birthday AMAZING? If you went ahead...and participated in my Open Mic Blog Hop :) Or at least, stopped by to listen to my entry (that's right. LISTENED, not READ my entry).

Over at YA Highway, every Wednesday, they post a blog topic. This week is PROM. And, since I'm participating in the Oh, Those High School Dances Blog Hop, and I needed something to blog about, I figured, why not?

So prom...
First of all, I bought my dress the morning of prom. I'd gone shopping a million times, but couldn't find the one I really liked. Then, with last minute stress, I figured this was good enough. It cost $150, and the dress tag told me the color was Salmon, not pink, so that was also acceptable.

My date, Alex, and me

After driving around, getting my hair done, doing my nails, and hanging out with friends, we went to the dance. Getting Alex in was a little problematic as he was a senior in college and I was a senior in high school, so I lied and said he was younger, and boom, we attended my senior prom. I'd pretty much been with the guy since my freshmen year (though there were some complications), and everyone (teachers, friends, etc) knew him.We danced, and had an amazing night. 

Then, we went to after prom, which was lovely, and held at a local bowling alley/putt putt golf place. 

I just really like this picture

At around four or five a.m. after prom ended. Alex and I had an hour drive home. I stole a fish from prom, including the fish bowl, and I was really excited. Unfortunately, both of us were unGodly tired, and the music did a poor job of keeping me awake. So he drove, and I put my head against the window...and passed out.

I woke up when I heard the siren. I sat bolt upright when I looked in the mirror and saw flashing lights and felt the truck come to a stop. Alex rolled his window down, we handed the officer our IDs, and the officer made sure that I was safe, that I was okay. The entire time I was silently praying that we wouldn't get a ticket.

This is what I remember from a bit of the conversation.
Cop to me: Do your parents know where you are?
**I hated this question. I hated this question all through high school because I didn't live with my parents. My mother rarely knew where I was. After I'd moved out, it took her three days before she started calling around to figure out where I was. Also, every time Alex and I got pulled over, or got approached by cops (which happened on a pretty regular basis, actually), they always asked if I was okay when usually I was the one kidnapping Alex. I'm pretty sure it was because I was 16 with a 20 year old guy, or 17 with a 21 year old, or 18 with a 22 year old.
Me: I'm not sisters know where I am though! We're leaving prom! 
**I was faking being calm, and excited, because truthfully, I was terrified. In the back of my head I was chanting, Please don't give us a ticket, please don't give us a ticket...
Cop to Alex: I pulled you over because you were swerving.
Alex: I'm sorry, sir. I'm tired, we've had a long drive.
Me: Look! I have fish!
**I held the fish bowl up and gave him a thumbs up.
Cop to both of us: Have either of you had anything to drink tonight?
Both of us: No, sir
**At the time we were both straight edge. Heck, I was living with the guy and we never even had sex.
Me: We were at after prom!
**By now, I was pretty sure he thought I was at least drunk.
Cop: This late?
Me (or Alex, not sure): It was held in Auburn.
I proceeded to hold the bowl up for the officer to see. After a few more tense moments, and me acting crazy, and trying to get him to look at my fish, and probably the bracelets I got from the tables, and other various crap, he let us go, and told us to be safe. We didn't get a ticket. I held Alex's hand for the remainder of the drive.

We drove home, crawled into bed (because at this point, I was living with Alex). We laughed about getting pulled over, and though 90% of my senior year sucked, this night was one of the most fun nights I had.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog Hop Reminder

I've been calling people to practice reading out loud. I've found I'm still stumbling over words, but I'm ready. You guys won't judge me if I don't shower before the video, right?

It's almost here! It's almost here!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Writing Short Stories

Sometimes when I get writer's block and can't start another novel, I go back to short stories. I've had a couple published in Zephyr, but since then haven't been able to place one. I've read a few at an open mic night a million years ago, but other than that, there are folders upon folders on my computer that just..sit there. I do like these stories, but it's usually something to just get me writing again, something to keep me going.

I took out my Pocket Muse 2 yesterday, and found an awesome prompt. What came then, was a 6 page short story, which I hand wrote, edited quickly, typed up, then started calling people to read it  out loud to them. I did this for two reasons:
1) I hate reading out loud
2) We have the Open Mic Blog Hop coming up
Everyone I read to told me it was unGodly depressing, because it was. And I loved it.

I can always feel the length of what I'm writing when I start the first sentence. If I can see the end right away, I assume it'll only be a few pages long. But if I can only get to the middle, and I get tired writing, and find it's 2a.m. and I'm nowhere near stopping, I assume it'll probably become a novel.

I don't start anything with the intention of boundaries, I let my pen go, my mind wander. I write crappily because that's how I like first drafts. I mis-spell stuff because I suck at spelling.

And then last night, as I was reading to people, one person who I've never read to before. As I read to him, I was shaking because he's never heard any of my work before. But when I said, "Okay, the end," I remembered, I love writing short stories.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Couch Hopping

I apologize for my absence. Baxter and I have been cut off from the internet at our crap hole and are currently couch hopping.

Not to fear, will still have my post for the open Mic blog hop. You should check it out, too :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Living Situations

I blogged recently about hating the place I'm living in. Well, sadly, things haven't gotten better, and while I typically try not to air my dirty laundry on the internet, I feel like you guys may enjoy this interaction...because I sure do.

Note: The way this is turning out is really sad, because when I moved in, though they said fully furnished, and it was in fact not (it's lacking a drier, and closet space...and lots of other stuff), I thought it would be a grand adventure. I thought that maybe, after the awfulness in North Carolina, I'd found a refuge. I'd been really, really happy when I moved in...though the housekeeper always sketched me out.

So, then I fully figured out that there wasn't really any heat when the advertisement said, "Heat included." And that Wi-Fi wasn't established, when the advertisement stated, "Internet included." For a long time, I sat downstairs, on the couch (that is now inhabited by the old man), plugged into Ethernet, and then retreating to my room for the night and freezing....all night. To the point, I would cover Baxter in the blankets, too. The adventure got old, fast...especially when the old man started stealing my food, and my beer, and making people uncomfortable so they didn't want to hang out...etc...Then, when Jenny was late with rent for like, three months, and moved out in under a day...he stole her computer. THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.

The house. It looked so welcoming...

**The following is a set of e-mails between me and my landlord, negating all of the lights constantly being left on, me not living at the house for two weeks, the fact I haven't been anywhere outside of my room for about a month now...etc**

I received your check in the mail today for the last half of March.  You are delinquent on the rent due for April.  I have to have your April check in my mailbox by Friday April 6th or you have to move out.  I give Richard Hayes permission to make sure you are moved out of the house by Saturday.


I am late with it yes, however I will have it, most likely not by the 6th and according to renting laws you have to give at least thirty days before eviction.

Sorry you have no written lease so it does not apply, don't let this get ugly you will not win.  I need your check by Friday.

Greetings Vickie,
Okay, sorry I wasn't able to type this up earlier. I just don't understand what is happening. Granted I've been late on two payments, but you've still been getting paid. I wouldn't be struggling so much if:
1) I didn't have to stay an extra week in Michigan for a funeral
2) The mix up at pay role threw everything out of wack **Okay, this one is a blatant lie, I was coming up with excuses to have my rent late, with every intention of paying it, but staying two weeks in Michigan when I'd only planned one screwed me financially...**

Other than that, the living conditions here have been sub par with Dicky still smoking in this house, drinking every day, he and his mother picking fights and locking me out of either the upstairs, or the downstairs, as well as Baxter away from his food and water. 

Other than THOSE things, there is a law that mandates that you, nor any of your subordinants may remove an AT WILL tenant, which is what I am. If you don't believe me, here is some information:

May I charge a late rent or a returned payment fee?
According to Maine regulation a rent payment is late if it is not made within 15 days from the time the payment is due.  UNDER this condition, I am not even late with payment.

How can I end a Maine lease agreement? 
Unless otherwise specified within the lease, or if a tenant is a tenant at will; (a tenant without a written lease) landlords or tenants must give 30 day advance notice prior to lease termination.

While this website is the quick version of the laws, and does not have the specific laws, I can send you those links, too. This was an easier way to do so.

Therefore, if any of my belongings are removed from the house, harmed in any way, or stolen, I will call the proper authorities to have this issue resolved. Please don't make this any uglier than it has to be.

Thank you,

With that said, I'm kind of excited. Why? Um...because I win. (Does that make me a bad person?) This house literally has been awful since I moved in. I'm frozen every night, still. There was a point where during the winter this Richard Hayes (62 year old house keeper who drinks all day and night) didn't keep the house warm enough so the pipes froze...for three days. He's stolen my food, had his mother call me crazy, they've been making life miserable.

So I'm sort of fighting to live here, more so fighting for the ability to not have my crap touched or moved and then come May 1st I have another place to live.

Boo ya.

In unrelated news, have you guys checked out the Open Mic Blog Hop?

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