Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Special Christmas for Mom and Everyone

This month has been a very busy one indeed.  I imagine that it is a busy month for most people no matter what they celebrate.  As for me and my girlfriend, we celebrated Yule twice, lit candles for the fourth day of Hanukkah, and celebrated Christmas Eve and Day.  One round of Yule found us in Spokane with the IEPG.  We participated in a beautiful Ritual wherein the Holly King slays the Oak King so that the nights might be shorter and that new life can spring forth on earth.  The second round of Yule was at home with the parents.  We sent our wishes and blessings into the fire to be lifted into the air with the incensed smoke.  All in all it was a beautiful night spent partly out of doors.  Our kitty, Narcisa, wore her harness and joined us around the fire.  She sat with Hannah on the lawn bench.  I have hopes that she will be able to explore the outside with us bit by bit and yet remain safe.  Already she rides in the car very well.  What we're working on right now is getting her to associate her harness with the privilege of going outside - and that in order to go outside she must wear it.   I know she's smart enough to grasp this concept but as of yet she is still young and squirmy and bitchy about the whole affair of putting the harness on.  

For Christmas Eve I experienced something very strange.  My boss lost her grandmother and had to leave to take care of her family (which I understand completely), and I spent the last few hours at the store alone.  This is not usual for us at all - we always have two or more employees in the store at any given time for safety measures - and so this was my first time in this situation.  We took measures to make sure I was safe but it was a bit exhilarating and scary to close all by myself having only closed a handful of times prior.  The rest of the evening was much more relaxing however.  At home we had pizza and movies.  Hannah and I watched 12/12/12 which was absolutely awful.  Then we watched the Radio City Music Hall Rockette's Christmas Special on Netflix.  That was infinitely better than the other one.  (We later watched 13/13/13 and now have finished out the whole set that started with 11/11/11 and have appeased the innate OCD that forced us to watch them in the first place).  

Christmas Day began at six in the morning.  My mother is the activities director for two assisted living homes in Hayden.  Her residents are more than just people she plans activities for - they are a part of her life and steadily becoming her extended family.  She put a great deal of her own money into making sure that they all had gifts to open on Christmas Day this year (in years past they often times are forgotten by family and others) and she wanted to be there to share in the joy with them. 

At the first house we had coffee and doughnuts (cheap little Walgreen baggies of doughnuts since the house employee responsible for making sure we had cinnamon rolls that morning totally botched his mission), and then passed out presents and stockings and watched with pleasure as the residents opened their gifts.  Then we went to the other house - now sufficiently caffeinated and sugared up - and watched them enjoy the fruits of my mother's diligence and labor.  After everything was opened and being enjoyed, a few of us went into the sun room and sang Christmas carols while a deaf resident played the piano accompaniment for us.  It was unique and beautiful and it made that resident's day.  

We had our own Christmas after all of that and opened our own stockings and gifts.  It was wonderful and yet the excitement paled to some degree in comparison to the pure delight in sharing Christmas with those who often receive nothing.  

Some of the gifts Hannah and I received include: the Luis Royo Tarot, the Gothic Tarot, Tarot for Writer's by Corrine Kenner, a slew of books, some beautiful jewelry (namely a dandelion puff necklace that I cannot wait to wear!), soaps and scrubs, blankies and Monster High Dolls.  That's a small list of all our goodies.  Already I'm delving into some of the books as well as the tarot deck.  Lots of inspiration and information to be found in our gifts this year.  Hannah and I have been doing some writing exercises from the Tarot for Writer's book to stir up our creativity and passion for the craft once more.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Writing and Me Part II: Being in an MFA Program

I'm currently in a low-residency MFA program at Pine Manor College.  The Solstice MFA Program, as it is called, kicks off each semester with ten jam-packed days on campus.  This means I get to go on a long-ass flight from the Northwest to the Northeast twice a year.  The traveling doesn't bother me, in fact it is one of the reasons I chose a low-residency program over a full.  The other reason of course is that there are no full residency MFA's in my area and I am not at a point in my life where I can relocate.  And yet, I prefer it this way honestly.  Less time in the classroom gives you more time to write.  Also this style of learning forces you to adopt an actual writer's lifestyle which prepares you for what it will be like after the MFA.

During the residencies we're busy from nine in the morning to nine at night and during meals and short breaks we meet and mingle and network.  Writers are pretty intense (not to mention odd) people in general, but brought together under compressed circumstances, they become, as our Director says, a bit radioactive.  We feed off each other's energies, we blossom with ideas, we taste humility, we taste exhilaration, and suddenly a mass of strangers become best friends.  Even after only ten days some of these connections will last a life time.  That is residency.

The rest of the semester is spent exchanging packets of creative and critical work with a mentor.  For me this has been tremendously helpful.  It is a writer's dream to write something and know for a fact that someone out there in the world - someone intelligent, accomplished, and published - is not only going to read your work, but critique it and offer advice entirely in your best interest.  I have appreciated every valuable moment spent with my mentors.  Each one gave me something different and now, in my final (and unfortunately, extended) semester, I am able to combine what I've learned all along to work toward my goal of a complete and polished manuscript.

MFA programs, honest ones at least, don't claim to get you published or make you famous; what they do promise is to work with you to improve your writing.  But that's not all I got out of the Solstice Program at Pine Manor.  I have a network of wonderful writers who just also happen to be wonderful people.  Writing is a very solitary practice, and that is why I think people need programs and conferences and workshops - to remind them that they are not alone on the journey.  We all take different paths to reach our individual goals but there's no reason to ford through the bad times alone.  On the flip side; it's also nice to have someone to give you a pat on the back during the good times as well.  We're all here for each other.  We might provide friendly competition from time to time, but we're not each other's enemies.  Some people learn this on their own, some people know this from the beginning, and some people, like me, relearn this beautiful fact by spending concentrated time at a residency.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Writing and Me Part I: Bad Dreams, Bad Language, Bad Ass

A recent graduate of the Pine Manor College Solstice MFA program asked me to write a small article about what it's like being a writer and also about my experience being in an MFA program.  I'm not sure where to start exactly and I'm afraid it might exceed her 1-2 page limit, but I suppose, as my mentor has said, chronology is my friend, so I'll start at the beginning.

When I was a kid, I had difficultly sleeping.  Between a busy mind and recurring nightmares, nighttime was not my friend.  However, I did discover two pretty reliable cures for my restlessness: the first was lucid dreaming wherein I controlled every aspect of my dream down to the central players and the plot, the second was to write.  By the time I turned ten years old, my ability to dream lucidly was falling by the wayside, and so I wrote.  And wrote.  And wrote some more.  Pretty soon I'd written a novel.  

To borrow a metaphor from Harold Clurman, author of "On Directing," writing is like gardening and in order to get something good out of it, you have to lay down some shit.  There's a place for bad plays/writing and that is to provide fertilizer for the good stuff to come.  Well, that first 'novel' was pure fertilizer.  And that's exactly what it was supposed to be.  When I was younger I always had a book to read and a book to write in.  My diary did not chronicle my daily affairs, I filled it, instead, with the adventures of Jeremy Arbuct and his extra-terrestrially raised paramour from the past.  That was also shit, awesome shit, but shit nonetheless.  Luckily for me there were a few undigested seeds in the shit pile and they started to grow.  Over the years I gave my garden a constant supply of manure while watering and weeding and tending the small, determined sprouts.  This was my happy place.  One of them, anyway.  The only thing I loved as much as writing and reading, was acting and singing.

I majored in Music Theatre at Mesa State College (presently known as Colorado Mesa University) and took writing classes for electives.  I studied screen play writing, stage play writing, poetry and short fiction.  But there was one class that changed everything for me.  And not in a good way.  I took a fiction class from a professor who looked and spoke like Jimmy Stewart.  He was a nice enough man, but his ideas on writing and literature were dated and, I've come to realize, incredibly destructive.  He wrote his own manual for the class - a sort of 100 page manifesto of what he deemed to be decent literature - and then expected us to practice what he preached.  If you were a female, you could not write from the POV of a male character and vice-versa (which was incredibly limiting and sexist to boot).  Your protagonist cannot swear (which was a real fucking downer) and he or she must be an upstanding moral citizen (another downer because sex, drugs, and rock and roll, man!).  And the piece that I turned in for class was a dry, horrid, literary nightmare.  

I reread it years later and recognized that the story had a decent plot and interesting characters, but it was completely and utterly devoid of voice.  The class not only killed the 'me' in my writing; it killed my desire to write prose at all.  I switched to screen play as my primary writing for a while and eventually that fizzled, too.  But even with my desire gone, I couldn't stay away forever.  I dabbled in science fiction and angel mythology and then I learned about role-play.  For a while my writing hinged on the instant gratification that came from the give and take of partnered writing.  I became a little dependent on it, but, in the end, it was what pulled me out of the shell I had created around myself ever since the Jimmy Stewart look-a-like silenced my voice.  I could write from the viewpoint of a man if I wanted.  Hell, I could write from the viewpoint of an alien, an android, a cat, a sentient and sassy toaster!  And my protagonists could be bad boys with drug habits and foul mouths, or sweet young hookers with hearts of gold, or even tortured souls with violently repressed desires.  I even tried a little fan fiction and that is a strange and delightful creature unto its own.  But the point is, I wrote.  And wrote.  And wrote some more.  I added a fresh layer of  manure of cliches and passive voice to the garden, watered my dried up stems with metaphor and simile, and invited the sun to warm my dialogue once again.  

In November of 2010, I finally officially participated in National Novel Writer's Month (NaNoWriMo), and won.  I wrote a vampire story with a little guy-on-guy action (pretty much two of my favorite things).  With 50,000 words behind me on a single project, I started to feel like myself again.  So I signed up for Script Frenzy, too!  For Script Frenzy, I had to write a 100 page screenplay.  This time around I wrote about dragons and reached my hundred pages easily.  So now I had two projects with some weight to them.  Suddenly the idea of writing things, of being a writer, didn't seem that far-fetched.  I wanted to grow, I needed to grow, and the next logical step was a Masters of Fine Arts.  Seven years after graduating from Mesa State, I applied to two MFA programs, both on the eastern coast.  Only one accepted me.  At the time I took it to mean I was only good enough for one - but I don't think of it that way now.  Somehow I was meant to be part of the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College and that next January began a new and bad ass chapter of my writing life.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Letter!

I have a long to-do list.  I've had my Thanksgiving fun and now it's back to work.  I got one item ticked off the list tonight and that is the Holiday Letter.  Most of our friends and family will be getting this letter in the mail with a Christmas/Yule card.  But I was kind of proud and thought I would share it here as well.  If you read it here first and then get it in the mail... still act surprised!

Holiday Letter 2014

Dear family and friends, I hope you’re all right,
My thoughts are of you as I sit down to write:
Twelve months is a lot to cram in a letter,
Just like my boobs barely fit in a sweater.
So where to begin? Let me line up my ducks, 
Please poets forgive me, my iambic sucks.
Another year’s over and what is the news? 
I’ll tell you the tale and await your reviews.

This April, Miss Hannah joined SNHU,
To finish her bachelors and broaden her view.
Through workshops and classes she’s written a bunch!
But ‘applied finite math,’ she’d just like to punch.
Along with her school, she’s got crafts and crochet,
She’s pumping out afghans, at least one a day!
Often she’s homesick for the Wichita crew,
And so she extends an, “I love and miss you!” 

Now me, I still work at L’eggs Hanes and Bali,
And hope for the day we might live in the Valley
Of Spokane, if you please, or even downtown,
Closer to culture, we’d like to settle down.
My Masters in writing, I’ve almost attained,
My sources are cited, my fingers are trained!
Graduation’s in July and if all goes well
I’ll have a dystopian story to sell.

Six months ago we had a hard time for sure,
We lost our sweet Yoda, our baby of fur.
He’s a kitty we’ll never ever forget,
But to help heal our hearts, we sought a new pet.
So, a black scraggly beast, Narcisa, she’s called,
Now leaves fresh destruction wherever she’s crawled.
Galen and Ellie and Narcisa make three,
And Yoda makes four alive in memory.

This year has been busy from schoolwork alone,
We barely had time to explore the unknown.
We hunted for ghosts and read lots of tarot,
Camped in the summer, the cold chilled our marrow.
And then in the autumn, a party we threw,
To say, "out with the old and in with the new."
As you finish this letter, how ‘bout a dare? 
Close both your eyes and for a second we’re there.

Snow Queen Yule Winter Solstice Goddess

Monday, November 24, 2014

Computer, Spirituality, and the Little Things

In about a week I will have my new computer.  I purchased a Lenovo off of Amazon.  I got to see this model, touch it, play around with it at Best Buy and was pretty impressed.  I liked the keys and the mouse which were two of my biggest issues with the Vizio (the biggest issue of course being that it liked to shut off for no fucking reason).  I'm already tentatively calling it Lenny but we'll see what kind of personality shows up when it arrives.  It's a 15.6" screen which is pretty much run of the mill and it was under $400.  I almost purchased a really neat Acer at the Spokane Valley Walmart the other night but it was the display and I just didn't reel right about it.  So instead I went with this other route.  I really hope that this Lenovo and I can get along and be friends for a really long time. 

In other news, I attended the IEPG's Wiccan Spirituality Circle on Saturday night and enjoyed it immensely.  We talked about history and about the Wiccan Creed.  It had a nice energy and also coffee and apple cider.  It was awesome.  Our homework for the Lunar Cycle is to develop personal creeds for ourselves that feature our belief systems/feelings about how we operate within the world.  For me personally, I'm a bit eclectic when it comes to spirituality.  I lean toward Buddhist Philosophy, Heathenry, and Witchery.  I view spells as prayers to the universe and I think that people do better emotionally, physically, and spiritually when we connect to the earth and respect it as a living entity.  These are some of the things I'm going to work out in my Creed.  I might share it here.  I'm thinking it will be in poem form, or light prose.  We read the Desiderata at the Circle and it spoke to all of us very strongly.  

In other, other news I accomplished two things today: I helped my father program his new universal remote and I changed the bulb in my headlight.  It's not much, but small accomplishments are all I have right now.  Both cars have fuel, all the kitties are alive and well, I renewed my library books for more time, I faxed off my resume to another apartment job, and I have shaving cream.  Tonight I'm going to finish up some stuff for my Mentor, shave my legs, keep warm, and possibly drink some alcohol.  I'm really having a hard time with the season change.  The cold and the early dark add to my depression ten-fold.  I have to celebrate the little things to keep going.  So here's to a working headlight, a computer on the way, and a creed in the making.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Time for a new shiny!

Vizio finally delivered.  It's funny who they can supposedly send out a 'new computer' and a month later it still doesn't arrive, but they can say 'you get a refund in two weeks' and it shows up in four days.  Interesting.  I think they are just completely done with me and, you know what, that's fine because I'm also very done with them.  It's unfortunate because there were things I liked about the computer and there are many things I liked about Vizio products in general and now I'm so damn soured that I will never own Vizio again.  

The good news here is that I got the full amount returned.  Since I'm probably going to be getting an Acer, I won't even have to use the full refund to buy a new computer.  Which means it's kind of like a bonus!  The bonus is going to go to bills probably but it's still kind of neat.  I'm going to see what Best Buy, Walmart, and Office Depot has in the way of decent prices today and hopefully come home with a new baby.  Goodbye, Vignette, you were a pain in the ass but I'll never forget you.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Key, Refund, Chronology

A couple of quick updates.  First of all, on the work front, I've applied for a few positions but I don't think I'm qualified enough to even get interviews.  However, at the bra store, I am now a key carrier.  This is only a temporary position.  It would have been a permanent promotion if the current Third Key had been allowed to take the assistant manager spot, but she was denied.  So she will go on being Third Key and I will help as a temp key carrier until such time as my boss hires a full-time assistant manager.  Long story short, I get a bit of a raise and some great experience to put down on my resume.  It's pretty much win-win, too, because now when I leave I won't feel like I'm leaving them high and dry without a third key since they will still have one.

As far as the computer goes, I am pretty much at the end of my rope and I think that the people at Vizio have realized this.  After being promised a computer at the beginning of this month and still finding myself without, I told them today I just want a refund.  I would rather go and buy an Acer honestly.  Or anything other than another product from this company.  I don't want anything to do with Vizio, which is sad, because there was a time I really loved their products.  But this experience with customer service has soured me so thoroughly that I'm just done.  If they do actually send me my full refund I will march my happy ass out to Best Buy or Walmart or Office Depot or one of those and get me a decent computer for typing.  That is all I want.  I don't even care about Windows 8 anymore since 8.1 is much more user friendly in my book.  So maybe I'll be lucky and snag a great Black Friday deal for a new lappy.  But that all depends, of course, on whether or not I ever actually see my refund.  And I'm not counting any chicks before their hatched at this point.

Last update is that I have four things to finish up as soon as possible for my mentor: a contact (done), a page about the world including my premise (mostly done), a summary (done as soon as I figure out how the hell this thing is going to end), and a fully fleshed out chapter-by-chapter treatment/outline of the entire novel (started).  I have been meditating on this novel pretty much nonstop.  I'm not worried about the actual writing.  I know that I have wonderful friends who will help me iron out any rough spots that develop along the way.  My biggest problem right now is ending it.  I have a solid concept for the first part.  But the second is a different beast altogether.  What I would like to do is structure it this way: present stuff - past stuff - present stuff.  Which is one narrative structure that I do enjoy.  Another way I suppose is to employ switchback time with each of the protagonists - but that gets tricky and starts to look like a bunch of gratuitous flashbacks.  I don't know.  I really don't know.  My mentor wants it all laid out chronologically and that's fine... but I don't know if this is a chronological story.  Moving on, I've also decided that I want to try and write a query letter for the novel once I figure out the summary.  Hannah had to do this recently for a class and I thought she did a really terrific job!  I was inspired, thus, I now want to write one and see what my mentor thinks of it.

Nano update - I have 0 words according to the site.  I have several words according to what I've been doing but until I get some feedback on the full novel, I am not writing any scenes.  I want to have a path before I set up camp and live in it.  I have plenty of time now and I want this to be a good story.  My problem right now, I think, is that I'm over thinking it.  I'm making it increasingly more complicated with every step but even as I sit here writing this I think I have an idea for how to wrap it all up.  We'll see.  Wish me luck!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Extended Semester, Deep Breath, and Job Hunt

Around midnight last night I had a panic attack and realized that I am not going to graduate.  A few days before Samhain/Halloween, the director of the program had indicated that I might consider an extended semester and last night I agreed.  There are so many reasons - the number one reason is that I really lost focus this past semester.  Sometimes it felt the world was against me.  Debt swallowed me up, I ran out of medication for a long time and felt some serious effects, I've been fighting for a replacement computer from Vizio for the past three months, and I've also undergone a very intense reinvisioning of my creative thesis.  But the good news is the last part - the novel is actually on track now and I know more about the characters than I ever thought I would.  

So I'm going to graduate in July.  I will take a crap ton of allergy medicine with me so that I can keep my voice long enough to do my reading and my class (summertime in Chestnut Hill is hell on my vocal chords).  And leading up to that time I have a caring and compassionate mentor behind me who believes in my story idea and wants, most of all, to see me succeed.  Instead of being her problem child I want to be a little feather in cap of students she's mentored.  We'll see how much of a feather I turn out to be, but I do believe this was the right decision for me at this time.  I've already cancelled the plane tickets and the hotels.  I'm sad enough to bawl at the thought of not getting to see my Solstice family but as one of my darling Solstice Sisters reminded me earlier, we're family and distance and time will not change that.

Sorrow for a God's End
Moving onward and upward, I'm going to make a schedule for writing, work, and exercise and do everything in my power to keep it.  What I would like to have happen is to wake up earlier and try to get more done in a day.  It's so hard though!  When I finally get my computer back I'm going to get settled into it and take it with me everywhere so I can write at any time.  Through all of this I also need to keep looking for a new job.  On my to-do list for tomorrow and Wednesday is to call Barnes and Nobles and let them know I'm more available now and see if they are still interested in further interviews with me (they said they would contact me in November).  In the mean time I'm going to have a serious talk with my boss about the third key position and ask her if she is considering me and what kind of pay and hours I could expect.  The thing is - I still need writing time, but I also know that if I had my own place that I would get a lot more done writing wise.  Damn these double-edged swords.  

Since I'm going to keep on working on my novel for now, I've decided to participate in National Novel Writer's Month.  I'll do some updates as November trucks along but I'm hoping for at least 25,000 words that I can polish up and put into the manuscript.  This novel is going to be one long mother fucker and keeping all my facts and scenes straight is another reason it's been hard to pump it out.  I have a better system now and if I work calmly and steadily (my mentor's words) then I think I will graduate in July with an amazing novel all ready to go!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Glorious Halloween/Samhain!

This entire October has been one large celebration it seems.  The only downside to this has been the added stress to my writing time and concentration but that aside, last month was amazing.  To touch on a few highlights, I'll start with the Samhain ritual with the IEPG in Spokane.  It was wonderful and so poetic.  We ventured to the underworld via ferry (we used our imaginations a bit) and remembered our past loved ones as we celebrated the Pagan New Year.  The food was wonderful, the beverages were tasty, and I teared up a little thinking of those who have gone before me and how their spirit leaves a mark on me and even if they aren't related by blood (even if they are loved pets) they become my ancestors.  

After that we spent some time with the twins - finally got A to watch 'The Shrine' which was a big deal since she pretty much boycotts all horror movies.  It was nice to chit chat and I got to see B a little tipsy which is always fun!  We spent the night there on Wednesday night of Halloween week.  The next night was also spent away from home.  We went to Spokane to R and S's house to set up for the big party.  They offered us their house as a venue and it was perfect.  So we spent the night - I worked a bit on my writing upstairs while they started decorating.  The next day we finished putting up decorations (the house looked fucking amazing!) and did some running around for last minute food and drinks stuffs.  Hannah and I provided nachos for the party as well as the logistical things like plastic forks, plates, napkins, etc.  Hannah also baked a red velvet coffin cake for the occasion.  S made hot wings that were pretty much the bomb, and R made little weenies.  There were other treats and food items but those were the main things.  

We started drinking at six and the party picked up at about seven.  Through the course of the night we had about eighteen people in and out (some came early and left while others arrived a bit later and stayed to party all night long).  The best moments: 
  • when Hannah stood before a mirror and said with innocent confidence, "I look like a Princess" 
  • three-way slow dancing with S and R 
  • discovering that drunk Hannah was using fake vampire teeth as a hair tie 
  • wearing a rainbow wig and looking like a fucking rock star
  • punch made of lemonade and hibiscus pomegranate vodka
  • being drunk enough to really relax and let my pervy side shine without being obnoxious
C, R, F, Hannah, and I stayed up past three in the morning, talking about things that are going on in R's life right now.  She's such a wonderful woman and I think we definitely need to have a girl's night with her at some point.  Eventually we all crawled off to our respective beds.  I had a little bit of heartburn but other than that I slept like a woman who'd danced and partied and drank all evening.  The next morning was tear down and it went considerably quicker than the putting up.  From beginning to end, it was a great party.  I'm still a little high on the energy from the evening but the second I lay down I have a feeling I will crash like the Titanic.  That may be sooner rather than later because tomorrow is going to be an early and intense day.  I have to revise and edit about 100 pages of my creative thesis tomorrow (portions throughout).  I'm down to the wire now - I have to present a polished manuscript (or as polished as possible) to a second reader by the tenth of this month.  If they give the 'okay' then I will be able to graduate.  Everyone wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Making the Calls, Writing the Stuff

Did the big girl thing and called Vizio and the Sheraton people.  Once again, the Vizio customer service representative told me a higher up from corporate will be contacting me within forty-eight hours.  We'll see.  I don't have much faith in the system at this point.  Also I went back and looked so see exactly how long I've been having issues with my computer and the first email I officially sent them was on 10/11/13.  Over a year ago is when I started having trouble.  It's pretty sad that I bought this computer specifically to help me through my MFA and I've used it for that purpose about... hmm... three or four months out of a two year program.  Shitty.  Anyway, someday my computer will come.  Or it won't.  We'll see.

The call to the Sheraton people was much more successful.  They got me put over to the Pine Manor College rate of $113 a night versus $199 a night.  That will be split three ways between Hannah, Eileen, and myself so it will actually be quite reasonable.  I'm excited for January and for Boston and for late nights in the dorms doing tarot readings and drinking.  And I'm excited for graduation!  But to get to that point I have to keep on trucking on the creative thesis.  

I wrote five pages single spaced last night and I'm decently happy with them.  More to come tonight and then I have to spend some time stitching it all together.  I think my Mentor was right when she said that this is going to be a long ass book.  My creative thesis isn't even going to tap into the real meat of the novel.  This is all the lead up and I'm finding it to be incredibly illuminating and helpful.  I'm getting to learn a great deal more about my secondary characters as well as creating a better rounded protagonist.  

Tomorrow I have work but this weekend is going to be another binge writing session.  I will get this damn book finished!  And after I am done with my MFA I am going to piece it all together and create something I can be truly proud of.  Or at least that is my hope.

Executioner and Hunter's YN by doubleleaf - I'm pretty sure this picture
is fanart for Assassin's Creed but I think they would make a pretty cute
 Death Man and Kylin all grown up and eating yogurt.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Computer, Hotels, and Gore! Oh, my!

First I'll so an update on the not-so-fun stuff.  My new computer from Vizio has yet to appear even though I received an email from them on the fourth of this month indicating it had been sent.  I have called and was promised a return call within forty-eight hours and that was more than forty-eight hours ago.  I've been using my father's computer in the living room for the majority of my internet stuffs and writing.  Today I got my mom's wireless keyboard to work for my old laptop (you know, the one missing the 'F' key) and have been using that today.  I did manage to get some writing done at the library but then after we came home I started my period and pretty much curled up into a little ball of misery.  Meds, heating pad on high, and nap.  Repeat.  And now I'm feeling a bit better.

The other thing that's not-so-fun is that I have to get my hotel accommodations figured out for Boston for Hannah, Eileen, and myself and there's a special rate for Solstice people... a rate that I'm not getting for some reason.  I called and was promised that I would receive an email within 72 hours giving me the reduced rate or giving me a counter offer rate.  As it stands right now I'm stuck with a rate of $199 a night and that doesn't include tax or parking.  That's bullshit.  This promised turn around time was promised much longer than 72 hours ago.  So that means I have two places to call tomorrow.  I'm not happy about this but I suppose that's what being an adult is all about - calling people when you don't want to and being generally disappointed afterwards.  Being an adult sucks.

Something a bit more fun is that last night we had a surprise retirement party for the Assistant Manager at the bra store.  The party was held at the the Manager's house and she cooked homemade lasagna for everyone.  It was a great party but also a little sad.  We're all really going to miss the Assistant Manager.  She's been there over twenty years and has been a wonderful presence on the floor as well as behind the scenes in the office.  The Manager made a toast to her and it was beautiful and tearful.  We drank, we ate, we had delicious cake!  I learned that I may be allergic to alcohol.  I drank almost a whole bottle of wine and while I did feel a nice warm buzz, I felt something else too!  I felt itching in the soles of my feet and in the palms of my hands.  And eyes even went itchy and got all fuzzy.  This happened the last time I drank too and I was positively miserable from the itching of my feet.  I drank hard cider not too long ago and it didn't seem to affect me in a negative way aside from some heartburn but the last two times I've really consumed a large amount of alcohol this has happened so... I'm not sure what that means or if the alcohol is even to blame.  Could be a spice, who knows.  But I do know it sucks.  Just like being an adult sucks.

You know what doesn't suck though?  Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) definitely doesn't suck.  It's an anime that Hannah and I binged watched the last couple of nights.  We watched fourteen bloody episodes and can't wait to finish it.  It's really exciting and like most dystopian art pieces, it shows the delicate balance of the outside and inside threats.  The characters are amazing, too.  And the animation when they are in battle and using their omnidirectional gear is stellar!  The premise of the story is that giant humanoid beings appeared suddenly on earth and pretty much ate humanity to near extinction.  Humans are now hidden behind giant walls that keep the huge predators out but as with every perfect system, it fails.  It's pretty intense to watch giant human faces munching down on any little human they can get their hands on.  What's even worse is that the giants (so called Titans in the anime) don't even require food to survive.  They are eating us just for fun.  Pretty shitty, huh?  I love it!  After I finish more work on Death Man, Hannah and I are going to binge through and finish the series and then start watching Blue Exorcist.  

Also, we are going to finish reading No. 6 just as soon as the library gets in the copies I put on hold a little while ago.  It's a pretty hot series right now and a lot of people are checking it out so it may be a while before we get our turn.  All of this dystopian anime is really getting me in the mood for teaching my class.

This next residency I have to teach an hour long lecture on the things I learned while writing my critical thesis.  It's all about dystopian world building and I would like to share with you, because I can, the class description that I recently had to turn in for the director of our program.  
Dystopian World Building and Other Disasters

“People ask me whether I feel any hope for the future. I want to say to you: Yes, I do. I absolutely do. Not hope for the human race; we’re screwed. But I feel tremendous hope for the Insect Overlords who shall succeed us as masters of the Earth.” ― M.T. Anderson

What’s the difference between a dystopian world and a ‘normal’ one?  How does one create that difference through narrative voice? In this class we’ll explore dystopian world building by breaking it down into key elements.  I’ll be drawing heavily from M.T. Anderson’s Feed to demonstrate how narrative voice can create a fully realized dystopian backdrop without muddying up the story with extraneous information.  
Suggested Reading: Feed by M.T. Anderson, The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Suggested Viewing: Equilibrium, WALL-E, District 13, Repo! The Genetic Opera

Questions:  In Feed (and other dystopian movies and books) what is at stake when a character resists the controlling element?  What does the phrase ‘make the strange familiar and the familiar strange’ mean to you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Seventh Anniversary is for the Bats

I had to work on our anniversary this year so the celebrations began in the evening.  But the prep began that morning.  I wore a pretty, lacy black dress to work and wowed the girls.  Then, during my lunch break, I put on some eyeliner and mascara to give Hannah an extra surprise when I picked her up later.  So after work I zipped off to find some flowers and treat my honey.  But finding flowers was a bit more difficult than I had expected.  

First I went to Super One but their assortment was very limited and what they did have was wilted, browning, and over priced.  So I went to Trading Co.  They had some really cute bouquets with a breast cancer awareness theme.  Hannah's favorite aunt in the world passed away from breast cancer back when Hannah was in high school, so I felt a bouquet to support the race for the cure would be very well received.  But I had to pay for it and get out of there and that was proving to be a challenge.  The woman in front of me was very frazzled.  She was buying one pack of instant cheesecake mix and used the remainder of her EBT and had to supplement with a roll of pennies and some other change.  She was short about fifty cents.  There was a little muttering between her and the cashier, mainly 'Oh, I'm sorry, I don't think I have enough' and 'it's okay.'  So I asked how much she needed.  I happened to have cash but if I hadn't I would have just put it on my card for her to give her a break.  I handed her a buck and she was so thankful.  The thing is, I know how that feels, to stand in line and be just barely short.  And what she was buying was so specific I couldn't help but figure she had company or some kind of special thing going on that evening.  I've been helped by strangers before and it made me happy to return a small portion of that kindness.

After I got the flowers and bolted to pick up my date, we headed for the dinner at Azteca which, oh so conveniently, is located directly next door to the theatre.  I have a southwest chimichanga and Hannah had a tamale and enchilada plate.  All the food was wonderful and our server was just terrific.  Lately, when Hannah and I go out, I like to sit on the same side of the booth as her, or next to her rather than across from her at a table.  It makes me feel closer to her and a bit more conspiratorial like we're plotting something - and that is always a good feeling to have with one's mate!  So we sat together at the booth however, we planned it all wrong and sat with my right arm and her left arm doing battle all night for superiority.  We need to remember for next time to put our non dominants together instead our dominants, but you live and learn.  

The best part about Azteca however wasn't the food or even the really sweet server, it was the Halloween decorations all over the place!  They had fake webs in the archways and a humongous nylon pumpkin in the entryway and, handing from the wall decor over each booth, they had big fake bats upside down watching with red eager eyes.  They were adorable!  And it was kind of perfect and put us totally in the mood for the movie we were about to see: Dracula Untold.  The cost to see a movie these days is ridiculous but I would say this one was kind of worth it.  The graphics and music and overall sound were amazing and that's not mentioning the excellent performances by the leads.  (I can't get enough of Luke Evans with fangs, he's just sooooo cute!)  And to top it off, the movie used an age-old vampire trope (a vampire dematerializes into a swarm of bats only to rematerialize later as himself again) and make it fucking cool!  They did it so right.  Everything in the movie was spot on as far as I'm concerned.  

And of course, after all the excitement of yummy dinner and yummy vampires, we had some fun in the bedroom.  I didn't need it - I was pretty sated from the evening - but it was really cute how into it Hannah was.  I had to hush her a few times (and she had to hush me as well) - someday, when we have our own place, the hushing will only be for erotic effect.  I can't wait for that day.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Death Man Update and Borderline OCD

My poor abandoned 'F' key sitting
 in the apartment entryway near the
 drain like a lump of something too
solid to wash down.
Right now I'm in the process of figuring it all out. Finally. I referred to myself as a tenth frame bowler in my cover letter to my mentor and now it's time to put my money where my mouth is. I need some strikes this month if I'm going to graduate but the good news is that I've charted out the first part of the book and I'm on my way to plotting through the second part of the book as well. I'd like to take you on a photographic journey (please excuse the quality of some of these pictures (the ones I took) as they were taken with a Blackberry and I lack my girlfriend's photo editing patience and skills.  

Yep, that's how I felt all through September.

Narcisa helped me with my chart by
acting as a sleek, black paperweight.
Last month I was a frazzled mess but this month I'm feeling much better. October is going to be a crazy time for Hannah and I as we are participating in a variety of events with the IEPG as well as throwing a Halloween Party on Halloween night! By the time we actually throw that party I want to eat nachos, drink vodka based vampire themed libations, and crash like a college kid at our friends' house in Spokane with the knowledge that I have 120 pages to turn into my mentor for the next packet. I don't think I'll be able to relax and fully enjoy the party unless that much is true - the 120 pages part. But I think now, I will be able to do it. First of all, my mentor made me smile very broadly today.  She sent back her response to my charts and scenes that I sent her for my mini third packet. The subject line read: good work! And she sent a cute picture of a painting that I do believe she painted herself (she does some fun abstract stuff in her spare time, which she has less of since she's dealing with a troublesome grad student such as myself). The title of the painting is "Cheer Up!" said the Lemon to the Fish. It was pretty darn cute.  

The messy paper!
A few days ago I sat down in mom's room and went to work doing what I should have done from the start. It took a while but seeing it all laid out was not only helpful to me in a writing sense but enormously pleasing to my OCD sensibilities. I chronicled the process for it shall be repeated very soon in order to plot out the rest of the novel. By the time I was done I had a huge paper (and I do mean huge - I wrote this out on the back of my mother's calendar paper that she uses to plan out activities for her work) full of scribbles, numbers, and notes. But then I played around with Excel and created a spreadsheet of sexy color coordination. This is kind of my pride and joy right now and it's giving me some real direction for my story. I do have some pages written but not nearly enough for my creative thesis. Wish me luck that by the time I hole up for Halloween that I can can relax in the comfort of having followed the charts and created a novel that is good enough at least to get me my MFA. After I graduate I'm going to binge on tv shows and pulp for about a month and then I want to finish up this bad boy and work on polishing it for publication. If I can get this and SoAH charted and written, then maybe I'll have a chance. Or, hell, I'll at least have a couple of books I can share with friends. 

BEHOLD! My chart of Glory!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hello October

Today was a busy day.  I was up until about five in the morning fine tuning and finishing up some work for my MFA packet.  I'm so far behind where I should be right now that I'm in perpetual panic-mode and suffering some rather unpleasant nightmares.  But I'm getting there.  I need to breathe and relax and just hunker down.  That's what I'm doing this week, especially this weekend.  I'm hoping that my replacement computer gets here very, very soon so that I can enjoy some free range writing time at the library and just about anywhere I would like.

After a brief sleep, I woke up nice and groggy and headed to Spokane with Hannah.  She dropped me off the Spokane Falls Community College so I could take my TSA computer based test.  It was supposed to take over two hours.  I finished it in about one hour and apparently aced it.  By the time I got home I had already recieved an email telling me I passed and inviting me to continue on in the application process.  That means now I'll have to pass a credit check, background check, piss test, a vision test for colors, and a medical check.  If I do get the job, it isn't going to be for a while I can already tell.  Oh, but if I can actually get the job then that will mean some big changes in my and Hannah's life.

Apparently the other coworker that I thought was no longer applying for third key is actually still in the running.  So my hope is that she can just have it.  Let her have it and I'll go frisk people in the airport.  My biggest fear in all of this... I actually love my job at the bra shop but can't afford to live on that kind of pay, so I worry that if I do get the TSA position, that after a few months I will despise the job.  I've done that before, gone to work every day and suffered through misery just to get a hefty paycheck.  I hated it.  Money isn't work being miserable.  But then again, a work day of misery is worth some freedom and independence.  I love my parents but Hannah and I need to grow and become our own people.  It's time.  Here's hoping I get the TSA job, or that I can use my MFA degree to get something equally as lucrative.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Girls' Day Out - Hannamanda Edition

Today was all about the swag.  Hannah and I needed a girl's day/date day.  We had intended to go ghost hunting with S.P.O.T (which is lead by one of our friends in the IEPG), but that was moved to tomorrow.  Which means I can't go.  So instead, we went to Spokane to drop off a care package for a friend who's going through a hard time right now with some medical things.  We ended up spending the day doing girly, fun things. 

First we went to Lane Bryant and used my 'real women bucks' on two bras (probably the most comfy bra my huge boobs have ever felt), a new swimming suit top for me, a pair of yoga pants to share, and a pair of knee high boots for Hannah so she can be my sexy, witchy gal this Halloween.  We also got some nail polish to try.  After LB we went to Catherine's and scored some cute pants for the Hannah.  She's been sort of limited on what she can wear for bottoms and now she has a bit more variety available to her.  

From Catherine's we went to Casa de Oro and shared a combination plate.  But the day wasn't over yet.  From there we went to the Halloween Spirit store.  We walked around and looked at all the things, touched all the stuff, tried on a few hats, pushed all the 'push me' buttons and stepped on all of the 'step here' spots.  I screamed twice.  That damn lunging spider always startles me no matter how many times I push the damn button.  Also we saw the creepiest animatronic creature today called 'Broken Girl' which looked kind of like a combination of the girl from The Grudge and The Exorcist.  We pushed her button but she didn't activate.  I'm honestly kind of relieved she didn't move - her just standing there all broken-like and not moving was plenty scary enough.  

Lastly we hit up the Spokane Valley Mall and splurged on a Build-a-Bear Toothless (he's adorable!) and a crap ton of smell-me-goods from Bath and Body Works.  All in all it was a very materialistic day but it was good.  We needed to have some 'us' time and feel like normal people for a change.  Hannah felt super guilty on the way home but the thing is, once in a while, even poor people gotta have fun.  


I turned 31 this past Sunday.  For the most part it was a very low key birthday.  Hannah and I went to Spokane and celebrated Mabon with the IEPG folks the day before.  I reconnected with a friend, K, who I hadn't seen in about four years or so.  She has been through quite a bit life-wise and relationship-wise.  When I saw her on Saturday she looked happier than I ever thought she could be.  K moved out here to be with her partner.  I have to say it's a small world really.  We met K on the internet through Y!Gallery which is an art site specializing in yaoi (male x male) stories, drawings, and paintings.  At that point she lived in Texas.  After Hannah and I moved to Wichita, KS we were able to visit her a few times.  After we moved back up to the Northwest, K moved to the Northeast.  But now she's out here and about thirty minutes away from us!  I was worried at first that it might feel different or strange or awkward, reconnecting after such a long time but it wasn't.  It was very relaxed and, as I already said, she looks and feels so happy.  I'm glad she's here.  I really think this area is perfect for her.

After the events of Mabon, Hannah and I drove our other friend, C, home to Kellogg.  We stayed the night and did some tarot readings.  I absolutely love the journey spread associated with the Shadowscapes deck illustrated by Pui-Mun Law.  This spread is just perfect!  And it's really helped me be able to analyze the cards and link them together for meaning.  All lit students and writers should do tarot I think - readings rely so heavily on symbolism, interpretation, extrapolation, and repetition that it feels just like breaking down a novel in some ways.

The next day we spent some time with the parents.  Dad hurt his leg really badly during his trip visiting his sister and so we didn't go out and do lunch at Denny's as we'd planned, rather we ordered pizza and stayed in.  Hannah and I both worked on homework and then I got a lovely birthday call from my friend D.  We chatted for probably two hours.  We had lost touch for a while and we've been really working on keeping up our relationship via phone.  This has been a really good thing for me and I think it's been good for her too - tightening up the link between us and trying to encourage each other as we continue on our strange respective paths.  After all of that, Hannah and I went to the twins' house for the evening.

We chatted, did some tarot, and chatted some more.  B and I made up a new alphabet for private messages.  It makes no sense and yet perfect sense.  Who needs 26 letters anyway?  The next morning however, I got a present from my uterus.  Had to cut the birthday visit short.  At home I curled up in the recliner with a heating pad, some pain killers, and a cat purring on my boobs.  I snored through my first day as a 31 year old.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

You win some you lose some...

Two things happened at work yesterday.  Firstly, I accidentally spilled the beans on the assistant managers retirement party.  But come on!  She had to know we were throwing her one - it shouldn't have been a surprise at all.  That being said I felt like a complete jerk the rest of the day.  But she hugged me after work and usually I only get hugs from the coworkers before I leave for Boston or before one of them leaves for a long trip.  Or for birthday.  So this hug was spontaneous and I think it was meant as a 'it's okay, I won't tell anyone you spilled the beans' and also a 'I know you're applying and applying and things will work out somehow just hang in there.'  Which leads me to the second thing: I checked my voice-mail on the way out of work and the Spokane Valley Library called and informed me that they went with a different applicant.

Honestly, I'm not surprised.  Before I even stepped into that library for the interview I didn't think I would be getting the job.  Something didn't click. It was strange.  I'm not even really that beat up about it - I did sob hysterically last night but not over the library job per se, more over what not getting it means.  I'm in a tough spot now.  I have my second interview with Barnes and Nobles on Monday in the morning and weirdly enough this was the job I wanted from the start.  I have wanted to work at a book store for a very long time and when the assistant manager of B&N sat down with me, we not only clicked, I got really, really excited about how much fun this job could be.  Also there are ways to move up in the company rather quickly and that was excited to hear as well.  In fact, the young woman I interviewed with went from being a part-time seasonal bookseller to assistant manager in well under six years.  

The atmosphere of the book store is kind of magical, too.  And I think that if we boost up Hannah's resume that by the time they hire seasonally again next year she could really have a shot for some part-time work.  I don't know.  I'm frustrated because I don't know what to do.  If I take Third Key then I'll be busier at the bra store... and I don't think I can take the B&N job at that point.  But if I could do both for a while... if I could get my foot in the door in a job in Spokane... and maybe B&N wouldn't become a career or maybe it would but either way it would be a job that at least relates in some way to what I went to school for.  I don't know!  

I spoke with my mom today.  She's right.  First and foremost I need to focus on the MFA.  That will make me feel so much better than anything right now.  So today I'm going to relax (forget about the Library job), clean the house a bit, get my old Vizio ready to ship off, maybe hang out with cousin D for a bit, allow myself only a small fantasy about working for B&N, and then write, write, write.  I'm anxious about a lot of things and have had to use the inhaler more and more this past week.  This manic job hunt has not helped.  In October the Housing Authority of Spokane will open up Voucher applications and if Hannah and I can get one then we can still have a shot at moving out and moving into our beloved Valley 206.  So it's back to just having some faith I guess.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Interviews and Other Tripe

The other day there was a meeting for work.  We had muffins.  It was a pretty decent meeting over all but my manager announced to the rest of the gals that I might be leaving soon.  There was a group gasp, especially from the Assistant Manager who is retiring this November.  It was nice to hear the gasp.  They really don't want me to leave but at the same time they do realize that I can't survive like this anymore (or at least they better realize!).  Hannah and I need a life of our own and we've decided that for right now, Spokane is the right fit.  Now it's just a waiting game to see how quickly we can get ourselves there.

Today I completed interview number three.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  The first interview was for the position of Third Key at my current job.  I most likely will be offered the job if I end up staying at L'eggs Hanes Bali but if this ends up happening then it means Hannah and I won't be moving to Spokane anytime soon.  We need out but we're not willing to live in a shit hole and if I work as Third Key that will be all I can afford.  No.  We'll stay with mom and dad and continue to make things work until I can finally get a better job.  The second interview was for a very part time position with Barnes and Nobles.  This job would rock.  The only draw back is that I can't accept it unless I'm moving to Spokane because there's no way in hell I'm driving all the way from Post Falls to work at the Spokane Valley mall for $9.50 an hour.  It's a generous rate actually and I really want this job but I can't commute that far.  I would have to live in Spokane Valley for this to work.  The third interview was for the Spokane Valley Library as a Public Service Associate.  This one would be a career maker and I would be able to do the Barnes and Nobles part time to supplement enough so that we could afford to live in our dream apartment.

The idea result would be the acquiring of two jobs - the Library and the book store.  The I don't know that I will be getting either, in fact, I'm not holding out much hope for the library one.  They will call me on Wednesday and say yes or no.  It's unfortunate that they are waiting until Wednesday because on Monday I have a second interview with the store manager of Barnes and Nobles.  They'll let me know probably by Monday as well.  Sadly though, if they call and say yes, but the library calls and says no, then I get neither.  This is fucking stupid.  Tonight I'm doing more job searching.  Tomorrow Hannah has to call her school and sort out some financial aide issue.  My enthusiasm for life is waning.  This blog took a very negative turn here, I'm sorry about that.  *Breathes*

On another note, mom and dad are out of town for ten days which means I am going to hole up in the living room this weekend and work my ass off for my packet.  My mentor allowed me to skip the packet that was due on the tenth of this month and make up some work for the October 1st packet.  I can't let her down.  Letting her down is letting myself down and one damn thing has to work out for me, right?  I have to graduate otherwise what the hell was the point of all of this stress?  Back to the drawing board on jobs.  I suppose I'll have a really happy blog on Wednesday or a really depressed one.  We shall see.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good is that I have an interview tomorrow with the District Manager for the L'eggs Hanes Bali store in Post Falls.  If I do well, I may be offered the position of Third Key.  This is good.  But even better is that next Thursday I have another interview.  This one is for the Public Services Associate position for the Spokane Valley Library.  I want this one.  Oh, I want this one so bad!  I'm happy that I made it to the interview stage (and what's even more exciting is that they called me the day after I dropped off my application!) and as long as I don't make a fool out of myself, I think I have a really good chance.  If I do land this job, that means that Hannah and I will be getting out asses to Spokane in the very near future.

We have looked online and in person at several apartments in the area and the one that we've both pretty much fallen in love with is Valley 206.  This apartment complex has everything we could possibly want and it's one of the more reasonably priced ones that we checked out.  The location is a little strange and it's going to suck during heavy ice and snow this winter but, hey, that's why we have a Jeep, right?  Also it's super close to the Library where I *crosses fingers* might be working.

The bad is that this computer - the one I am using until my new Vizio laptop arrives - is really just about kaput.  There's a double line running vertically on the monitor where some pixels have frozen or broken somehow, the front corners of the main body are chipped away and cracked, it runs at an astounding glacial speed, it is given to overheating, and today I broke the 'F' key.  Not an F1 or other various F key.  The 'F' key.  The one I use to spell fuck.  Normally this would only be a minor set back, but today is Death Man day and I've had some major issues getting the story down when the F key flips off the keyboard when I use it too frequently.  Oh, well.  New computer will be here soon, I just have to keep telling myself this.

The ugly is my dirty little secret: I'm obsessed with No. 6.  I have read the first six volumes of the manga and seen the first four episodes of the anime.  It's been a great source of inspiration for me with Death Man as it features a religiously driven hegemonic society that calls itself a utopia but is, in fact, a monumental dystopia.  The main characters Rat (Nezumi) and Shion remind me a bit of my Death Man and Simon but not in any way that makes me go 'oh no, my novel's already been written!'  No, this story is nothing like Death Man but has a similar enough flavor that it has nourished me in my own endeavors.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Plans and Plots

I cannot say for sure but it seems my other coworker has bowed out of the 'Third Key' race.  While this means I have a much better chance now (almost a guarantee), I don't feel any better.  I'm excited for this job but at the same time it won't be enough money for Hannah and I to take the next step in our lives and move to Spokane.  I adore my parents but it is time.  It. Is. Time.  We need to be responsible individuals living on our own again, making all the decisions, decorating how we want, cooking how we want, staying up and sleeping in, or vice-versa.  We need to be independent!  And Third Key would help but it would be just another step up the retail ladder that I plan on abandoning someday in the future.  However, there's another job, a library job, that I'm applying for in person tomorrow.  I don't think it will pan out but if any of my readers can spare some positive energy... this is kind of the one I want.  Bad.  It is same amount of hours as Third Key but almost twice the pay and it has the makings of a career.  Also, books.  Lots and lots of books everywhere!  And I would get to play with them all day!  It just seems kind of like the perfect job for me.  

No matter what I hope I at least get an interview.  The application is one of those that you fill out on the internet and have to print out right away because the information doesn't save.  Well, I did the backspace thing a couple of times where you have highlighted more than just one line and then push the button and the entire page goes back, not just the text.  So I lost the application twice.  Had to refill it it out over and over again.  I now have everything about my last three jobs completely memorized.  Not something I'm proud of.  Anyway, the application is a three fold: long ass application, spruced up resume, and a signed cover letter.  All of this must be turned in by tomorrow at noon.  I will be there a bit earlier because I have to be back in Coeud'Alene to pick up my friend's brother and drive him home from NIC, but also because I kind of hope they talk to me a little bit.  Even if it's stupid chatter, I hope the Human Resources people remember me.  And then I hope they call me back in for an interview.  And then I hope they hire me.  I could really see myself being happy at a job like this.  And I tell you what, it would be nice to have enough money to actually make it for a change.  

Tonight, before I began the brutal process of filing out and refiling out the application, I read three new pages of Death Man to my mother.  She was pretty invested in what I wrote and she's a bit surprised with how different its turning out.  Cutely she suggested we sit down together and work on the story all day on Thursday.  We're going to storyboard the whole thing (or finish what I started in the storyboard department) and I'll pump out the next few scenes.  I'm glad she's showing such interest and attention.  It should be fun and honestly she's a pretty tough editor/slave driver when she wants to be.  And her reaction to the new pages was, for the most part, exactly what I would hope for from an audience so that was rather encouraging.  Onward and upward I go with this stupid novel!  It's been the bane of my existence but it's getting somewhere, slowly but surely.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Child vs. Adult

I was a child this weekend.  I went with Hannah and my cousin to Silverwood Theme Park.  It's basically a throwback to the 1800's (it's part Old West and part Victorian) with train adventure, candy shoppes, carnival games, a Magic show, and a ton of amusement rides.  First off, I have to say, I used to go to this place almost every summer when I was younger but it has been well over a decade since I stepped foot there.  Until this past weekend that is.  And I was sort of taken aback by how much it's changed and also by how much has remained the same.  Something that is the same is the wonderful Victorian architecture of the stores and shoppes and archways, and the elegant and colorful landscaping throughout the whole park.  Just gorgeous.  One of the first comments from Hannah, "Can I just live here?"  It was right up her alley with the color schemes and gardens.  And there's a Victorian Coffee House that was closed while we were there but, just so you all know, that's totally our house.

It was such a great day.  It was the first time that Hannah and I have gotten to do something so silly and fun together and the only reason we were able to go at all is because mom and dad lent us some food money and their car and my cousin has a Gold Pass which allows her and two guests to get in for free.  She was a lot of fun - she's a young woman (almost 18) with specialized needs but she was one awesome and energetic guide taking us this way and that way through the park.  First we rode the train and enjoyed the little robbery show despite the actors' caveats: 'jist so's ya'll know this aint a real hold up and these here aint real a gun neither.'  When I was a kid there was a glorious moment when I really wondered if those guns were real and I cheered and cheered when the deputy finally saved the day.  It was a comedy show back then with a hint of danger - now it's just a comedy show.  A good one, sure, but I can definitely tell the p's and q's of political correctness are firmly fixed in our little corner of the world, even during a damn train robbery.  

After the train, the day was filled with a whirl wind of rides: the tilt-a-whirl (and, yes, ICP's song ran through my head the whole time), the antique cars, the super round up, the cork-screw, the timber terror, the carousel, and the log flume.  We did several of these twice and also took a nice break for pizza and a magic show.  The magician was adorable.  He was everything you could want in a magician, tall, lanky, funny, personable, good with kids, and he even dropped a table on Hannah's head.  I'm not kidding about that last bit.  One of his tricks is a levitating lamp table and at one point while performing the illusion he got up on some steps near where Hannah and I were sitting and levitated the little table so that the feet were inches from my girlfriend's head.  She was all smiles during it though.  We kind of thought about asking the magician to donate some sperm our way, yeah, he was just that damn cute!  

There was a place along the path where cool water half misted/half sprayed passersby and I took off my glasses and went in to cool my face.  Unfortunately I dropped my glasses and my lovely girlfriend - who had the same thought as I did - was right behind me and stepped on them.  She only broke off one of the bows so it wasn't a huge deal but it did put a little crimp in our fun for a moment.  The rest of the day at the park I was blind.  Honestly it added to the excitement.  We stayed until the lights came on in the park.  One last ride: the carousel.  Hannah and I cuddled together on a sleigh while my cousin rode the horse in front of us.  It was named Candy.  On the way home from the park we sang to the play list on the MP3 player.  Even my little cousin sang with us and if she didn't know the song, she'd fake it and 'aaah' along in time.  A perfect end to a child-like day.

On Monday, however, I was an adult.  I called Vizio for the whatever-hundredth time.  A young lady assisted me, listened to my lengthy tale of woe, and then told me someone named Maynard would be calling me back later that day.  I took this to mean that a very long time would pass during which they would discuss what a problem child I am and laugh about how I would have to eat five hundred bucks then call me back and say 'well, let's give this repair thing another shot.'  However, about five minutes later, Maynard called and not only apologized for all the crap that has gone on with the computer but finally okay'd giving me a replacement.  My new computer will be here shortly.  I have to send the old one back and as soon as it's in their hands, they'll send the new one.  He was great.  Thanks Maynard.

With that taken care of, I then had to call and get the payment date for my loan moved back two days to coincide with my paycheck.  That's fun.  I will be getting 'theoretical' money since the second I'm paid almost all of it will be gone to bills.  Yay, adulthood!  On top of all of that, I spent most of Monday blind while my father and I soldered, hammered, and glued my glasses back into some kind of useful shape.  I also called work that day because I had been out of town and otherwise engaged with my cousin all weekend and had been unable to cover for one of my coworkers whose father was passing away.  I suppose I should feel like shit because if it was my father passing away I would hope someone would cover for me (and I guess my boss got a little huffy because I didn't returns texts and calls right away as I was fucking busy and didn't even have my phone on!) but then I learned someone HAD offered to cover and that she still went to work.  So she made her choice.  I don't feel bad and honestly, I'm not the only person who can cover for people.  I think they all forget that sometimes. Anyway that was nice and awkward.  I'm happy that the awkwardness ended with the phone calls - at work today everything seemed just fine.  The only shitty thing is that I'm applying for Third Key and so is this particular co-worker and now that everyone is pissed that I couldn't cover for her... yeah I figure Third Key isn't really going to happen now.  Which brings me to my next point.

Hannah and I want to live in Spokane or Spokane Valley which means that I need a better paying and more consistent job.  Tonight I've been online applying and saving jobs.  The one I'm really wanting right now is bookseller at Barnes & Noble.  I don't even care if the pay isn't that much more - I will work more hours.  I will take a second job.  I fucking want to work with books!  It would be a step in the right direction I think, even though it's retail.  So, as I wrap this up, I'm sending off an application to B&N to each location in the Spokane area.  I'll be crossing my fingers.  If I have to be an adult as least let me work in a place where my inner child can really shine.