I promised myself that at the beginning of the New Year I was going to be better at a lot of things. I was going to go to the Gym more often. I was going to be more focused on blogging and the like. Much of this hasn’t happened but one step at a time. I am going to gym more than not going at all but here it is. A return to writing freely. So where am I since we last spoke?
My con schedule has gotten more meatier. As we do more of these we are making friends and expanding. I started with four then went to twelve and now I don’t know how many we have in 2016. I can only hope it keeps going up.
The second book is out and I’m rounding the end on book threes draft. I should get used to calling them something but I don’t. I just can’t think of them in that way.
I started working on another project. Its not inside the realm of the Department of the Arcane. In fact its something new. I suspect it’ll be a one shot but it needs to be written. Its my duty to do so. When I started writing the department of the Arcane, I was somewhat lost. Hal and I were coming out of extreme poverty and at a point where we were limping along. I was just then starting to understand my mental health problems. Then my mother died which became the ghost hanging over book two. Book three is, as he calls it, my Empire. I just want to transition to a place where things will change and that’s fine. I’m still in that weird mental space though. That’s what I want to get out of with Ghosts. Will I succeed? Probably not.
I suppose I could write about the passing of both David Bowie and Alan Rickman but many already have. Personally, I was effected by Bowie’s passing because he was so important to my development as a writer. I often feel like Christian Bale in Velvet Goldmine and the discovery of life. Bowie was a weird guy. I was a weird girl. That’s what I learned.
There we are.
I’ve been in the throes of finals so its late. Still it’s here and I’m pretty thrilled to say that. Much has been happening in the last week so I feel compelled to share it with the world even if it’s a day late.
I made an announcement last week that we are parting ways with C.A. Hircus Entertainment. It was an idea that Hal and I had for quite some time but apparently its been decided that it is confusing to people at cons so we are just promoting me as me. I’m not sure how I feel about this and I am a little terrified but we do have to move forward It doesn’t mean that C.A. Hircus is dead just must make the world think that its dead until it can control the beast inside it.
Truthfully, I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore. I spend a great deal of my time in terror while walking down this path. I don’t know if this is what I should be doing or if I’m doing it right. I don’t deny I don’t have a great support network with Hal and our hound dog and my editor and the like but sometimes I feel truly alone. I don’t even know if that’s right. There is something isolating about this and I know its been a solitary life from the start. I just….I don’t know.
I hope everyone had a wonderful May the Forth which combines puns and Star wars which makes me smile. Hal and I celebrated by going to go see Age of Ultron which I’ve been waiting for quite some time for. I’m not quite sure what the anger is with the lines and the thematic of monsters. I suppose that it is the fact that her super crowded introduction when it came to Banner and herself involved making him a Cosmo and flirting I don’t think this is sexist but seems to be a classic Weadon move. The problem with female super heroes might not be within Ultron and not really the fault of Weadon himself. Weadon has a way of pointing out things in a smple and classic way that seems profoundly entertaining but it’s there. The odd Mad Men-esque scene pointing out that we still don’t understand how women should work in super hero movies or maybe we are attempting to point out that you can kick ass and still hold on to feminine ideals. the most troubling to me is assuming that infertility is meant to be that of a monstrous state. For those of you who have never struggled with infertility and what it means then shut up. There is a horrible liberation that comes with knowing you won’t bee siring another generation. I choose to do this because I cannot trust my own genetics but it doesn’t mean i don’t regret being able to control some aspects of my life. Its the same joyous freedom. You don’t know what kind of black she’s done because of this. Still I thought it was a pretty solid movie. I do believe that we need some better Black Widow Stuff and seriously…Gamora should join the Disney Princess Pantheon.
Next Week….con prep. We have new shinys to sell.
NNext week con prep…again.
What a week. We’re getting into the preparation before we go off to convention. Its always nerve racking to me because I’m never really prepared for cons. We’ve hit a couple that we didn’t expect to an that threw us for a loop but we’re going to try to keep going. We’re pretty excited to be hitting RavenCon. Richmond is oddly far away but still it feels like a hometown con and we’re very excited to be there. For starters its the first time we’ll be in a designated Author’s Alley which is something new for me. We’ve always been in dealers rooms or artist’s alleys and now we’ll be with other authors. I know a couple of the ones that’ll be there and that seems fun. Hal tells me that one of these bad boys will make my career. I don’t know. I’m still not completely sure of myself when it comes to these things.
Book two is still being edited which feels like a broken record but I trust evil Bekkah to her job because that’s what she does well. It’ll be out when its out. As of now I still have book three and Ghosts on deck. i know eventually I’ll give up and probably just work on one. I’ve tried this before but Hal is a fan and so I’ll keep on keep on.
I realize that I said last week in my tweet that the Drive By Trucker’s saved my life and truthfully, they did. I started writing Spring when we were still poor. It was something that I reflected on Sunday. Hal and I served as representatives to our church council. In that meeting they talked about service missions to the poor in Haiti and Sudan. It surprised me to hear a bunch of over 40 white people talk about the brown people who needed to be saved. It hurts my feelings to hear people talk like that. I know none of them know what it is like to be poor in America. If you want to know what its like to be poor in America just look at my face and the thin scars that are on my face. I was beaten up during a job I hated an couldn’t quit because my husband had a hard time finding a job. You really can’t talk about poverty until you understand what its like choose between food and shelter and heat. Anyway, getting back to the Drive By Truckers. I had fallen in love with them when My Sweet Annette was packaged with a lap top. It was lovely. But what I learned was how to tell a story. There are perfect stories being told in these songs and they just hit me at the right time. What I foun as the most helpful piece was That Man I Shot. I say this because this song came from an explanation in the liner notes from Patterson Hood. He says that he might not agree with the chacater but the goal is tell the story as truthfully as possible to the character. I think of that everytime I write a villian. it makes my life so much easier. But yes with out that I wouldn’t have known how to write and I’m not I would survive through a time I wanted to die. Writing was the only thing that kept me going through a time when I struggled.
Thank you, Drive By Truckers and Patterson Hood for giving me hope in a time when I had none.
I am terrible at this. Part of it is just forget to do this but still much more important things are going on. I’ve been working hard to get us ready for Raven Con which is in two weeks. In addition to that I’ve been behind when it has come to my school work which is most irritating to me in ways I can’t understand So I’m one with that an we’re starting to get back on track.
I’m still writing a little bit as we march towards. I’m not sure if I mentioned this here or not but I am still working on book three while book two is with the editor who is fantastic as always. She’s better than I expected but we’re marching towards the end of this novel quicker which means I need to turn it around on the other works. What I’ve also started doing is working off and on with something else. Years ago, I created a character who has changed so much from his orginial shell that I hate it. As I look at some of that early stuff there is still a lot that I can scrape away. Really Hal tells me that he really likes it. What will come of it, I honestly don’t know nor to I care. Sometimes I just need a break from Gaiman Heights and yet there is no possible way that I can get away from it. I’ve tried and really it all come back to Gaiman Heights.
Because of Ghosts of Old Hollywood, I’m dusting off some old play lists. In this mix is Drive By Truckers’ Brighter that Creation’s Dark. Its something that I associate with the bad times but not in a bad way. I love certain albums and they stay with me forever. Paul Simon’s Graceland is my childhood. I’ve said it before there are songs on there I didn’t realize were the way until I was an adult because my mother would sing along with the songs. She perfectly matched Linda Ronstadt in “Under African Skies” perfectly. Creation’s was an album that I got right when I was starting to take my writing seriously. It hit me because there was a songs were fiercely important for me. As I started to go through the old music from old projects, I reconnected with Ghost to Most.
It strikes me as a song that should be playing at the end of things. In fact it was the song on in my car when I was driving away from sickness, depression and bone crushing poverty. Its a song with quiet reflectiion to it that makes me think off a calm ending.
In my head, I have an image of Karl sitting somewhere playing the part of Mike Cooley who I have long associated with Karl. He’s a weird looking guy with a thick southern accent. He looks like a good old boy. Something about him gets combined with my uncles who have odd sounding accents that aren’t quite East Tennessee and not quite Indiana but somewhere between. Asher is there singing the back up. This album stirs allot up for me but no of it sad. I’ve been thinking about the life I left behind in West Virginia. All I can do it feel shame and guilt for those days. Somehow the DBTs made it all easier.
I don’t do this often but by the time this is published to word press I’ll be driving from a vacation to bury my grandmother. I didn’t say much about it last Monday but Hal’s beloved grandmother died a Saturday ago. She was an incredible woman who had chose to go the way she wanted. During the fall, she had suffered a stroke which came to the attention of Hal’s very perceptive aunt. That was when it was discovered that she had stage four lung cancer. At that time she made the choice that she was going out the way that she wanted and that is pretty neat. And on the first full day of spring, she died quietly in her home like she wanted. I’m told they put her last cigarette in her robe so she could have one for the road. She was a formidable woman who was very matter of fact and made me feel welcome along with her husband and all of Hal’s aunts. Its truly sad to know that she is no longer on this plane of existence. She is not a woman who will be forgotten and we’ll live on because of the legacy she left behind not to mention that every picture I have of her three granddaughters all have the same angry expression.
Not to be outdone, my grandmother passed. She had died over night and was found the next morning. I don’t know how long she’d been in her dead when they found her but it was less surprising. My grandmother was 100 years old which we had celebrated just a month prior. I have no aunts or uncles on my father’s side of the family which is a fact that she would allow my father to be reminded of..constantly. This is where I sit because my father’s relationship with his mother was complicated and unusual and as such so was mine with her. I’ve come to the conclusion at this late stage that her love for me might not have been honest because of her hatred for my father. She had been jealous of his relationship with her father which was something that she had never had as a child. I had wondered if she had used me as a pawn to bother him. In response I had become a buffer tool for my father to avoid conflict with her as a child. My bitterness for both of them is unmeasured.
The story of Bunny and Ginny is the story of two women who were very different. My grandmother was born in the city to a wealthy family. She spoke Italian and nothing but because the nanny was Italian. She married my grandfather because I can hope she loved him. They look happy in those pictures but I’ve learned he was never quite good at expressing that. He moved her out to Tillson where she lived raising my father when he went off to World War II protecting our nation from the Germans from Missouri. She was the last one of her brothers to survive.
When I think of my grandmother who was an old tiny white haired old lady I’m not sure what comes to mind. She was particularlly happy during her life. In fact, she had wanted to be dead for years. There wasn’t much joy in her life. I haven’t really figured anything else out. I know that she might have liked me but I also know that the older he got the more abusive she became towards me. The things she said about me and to me during her time when she moved to assisted living in Virginia was painful. If she hadn’t been doing that for years with my father I would be more upset.
Bunny was a wonderful woman who seemed to be committed to be Bunny. I don’t have the memories of her like I should but I don’t. What I have is a woman who was sick telling me that her spotless house wasn’t clean like she wanted because she didn’t have the energy or the fact that the first tie I met her and PawPaw (as I’m told I was suppose to call him) that she only cooked a little bit of food which included a glazed ham, broccoli casserole, green beans, biscuits and mac and cheese (Hal’s favorite dish according to her) and there was cake and ice cream. She was a truly generous woman who I could imagine being the way she is in life running around on the other side of the veil.
Where does that leave me now? My Grandma Phyllis’s death was overwhelming for me. I had survived the constant death watch and never felt like I had real closure. My mother’s death was traumatic. Bunny’s death is sad and Dona Virginia? I find it exuasting.
I hope that by the time this is posted I’ll have found the right way to feel but I fear I won’t. I don’t know if I can. I know it conflicts with my Christian Faith but I do believe the spirits of the dead and the ancestors are with us. We are the people we are because of the people before us. Hal and I decided that the voice that tells you to not do stupid things isn’t Jiminy Cricket but your mother’s. I occassionally feel my mother still move on this plain when I see things and actions around. She’d be tickled to death that I would be going to Louisville for my book and to try to get my writing career off the ground. Its where she started her success too. Whether you want to believe that it is legitimately ghosts follow us or its psychological we are the sum of the people who walked before us and we honor them with our work.
I don’t know where you ended up, Grandma, but I hope you are finally happy and you got there safe.
Welp, here we are again on a Monday doing a blog report. How has everyone been? I’m hoping things were good for you as they were for me.
We start Spring which makes my day. Part of Spring is that we celebrate my mother’s life. This year we dedicated the cross in front of church to her. We are in the middle of a neighborhood of nothing but brick houses so the church looks like a house so a giant a cross helps people know that its a church. I’m not sure how I feel about this. When does the pain go away? I feel like a traumatized by the death of my mother and I hate that it keeps bleeding over into other aspects of my life. I just want to know when does the bleeding stop and I can keep moving in on and just have a cool scar.
The notion of scars is something I’m a little obsessed with either from self injury or otherwise. It’s a more prevalent to me because I did just get a new tattoo but that’s me. On a similar of that is that someone dug up a picture from my junior year of high school. Its a trip from Washington, DC and one I did for Marching Band. Its a group picture and as I stared at it, it was hard. its not that I hate how I look back then or anything to that effect. As its been pointed out to me, I don’t really change much. A picture from fifteen years ago looks as much like me today as anything else. I hate the person I was back then. I should be greatful that person existed but I don’t like the person i am now so its hard to say that.
Book two is going as well as can be hoped. I format after each edit so its really going to mean I can send it off when its ready for copy right and for production.
Book three is slow as dog as convinced me that he is more important. However Hal and I will be out of town this week and hopefully I can get some work done on vacation. We’ll be ending our vacation with Myrtle Beach Comic Con.
That’s about it for now. See ya next week.
Man I hope everyone enjoyed the ultimate Pi day. Hal called his mother who teaches math to wish her a happy one. It seems silly but its soetihng that we should all do. And then we have St. Patrick’s Day which we are going to not celebrate. I will be in class and quite frankly not able to do so.
Hal and I are very excited about our vacation which we will be taking next week. He and I will be going to Myrtle Beach for a week and then we’ll be going to be at Myrtle Beach Comic Con. I’m so excited about 2015 and all the things that we are doing to be apart of it. So we are going to be at a con at the end of this month. Then we’re going to be in Richmond next month. Altoona in May and the we’re going to be in DC and Asheville and the like. Our schedule is going to be busy but I’m so excited. I get a little overwhelmed but this is the year that will make my career or it’ll break it.
Hal and I saw Birdman last week. If you haven’t it is a wonderful film. Its a little weird but it is amazing. Afterwards he told me that I needed to do Ghosts of Old Hollywood. It was a story that I had started working on when I was doing RP. I don’t excatly know where I’m going with the story but I need to get it out so its working for me. I’ve got that and book three.
Good things are around the corner. I know it.
I wasn’t going to do one. After sometime I have started working on book three again. it happens. I get tired and run down and I hate my work but I have some clear ideas of some of the characters I want in book three and its time to put some of them in places for their own good. I miss the character of Alexei and Damien and Alexis. They were carry overs from the old days and they were fun people to write for. I just sort of wanted to give them new life. This means nothing about them being anywhere else if the original project returns.
I had a great weekend. As some of you may know, I applied for Imaginarium in Louisville, KY. It was a long shot in my mind so I didn’t expect to hear anything back. After all who am I? I’m a girl from poduck VA with a novel under my belt and a head full of dreams and we are accepted there. As it turns out it has also added three two other cons. One of them is in August in Louisville. The other is in New Orleans. I’m literally very excited about getting to add new cons. Its like things are starting to really come together. Its sort of funny to me that my first con was in Johnson City, TN and my strength of career is coming from Louisville. I wish mom would be a little less subtle. I just need one in Indiana to get the trifecta.
As for the book its going as well as it could. Nope that’s it.
It seems that what started as a weekly blog is now turning into a monthly one. I need to do better at this but quite frankly I won’t. Struggling to find the right words to express how I feel a lot of the time is really hard for me and February is a prime example of it. Its a bad month for me. Generally its cold and miserable and honestly bad. Its when I’m usually broke and when things are pretty awful for me mentally and physically. Last month had its shares of difficulty and really I was too despressed to function through the month. I still am I’m still very cold and not really on the level where I want to be writing wise. I’ve finished book two and its at the editors right now and so I should be working on book three. I have plenty ideas for that novel I just can’t get my work together to start doing any work. I just feel tired from all the work that I have been doing. I want to believe its getting somewhere but I just feel like I’m working so slowly.
I’ve been adding cons. We’ve added two different ones one for this month in Myrtle Beach. Dad has rented a place for a month and we will be there for a week capping off with a con. We were also invited to Imgiunaium in September. I’m told this is a big event and I’m pretty excited. Its only fitting. Its Louisville, KY. Its sort of odd for me that I’m starting to be guided this year to places like Johnson City and Louisville. Maybe mom could be less subtle or thats what I think. It makes me miss her more really.
I’m sadden by the passing of Leonard Nimoy because of his voice work in Civilization. Its one of my happier memories of living in poverty. Hal gave me a copy Civilization with his work. It was very nice of him. I’m not sure how I feel about Shatner telling the world that he wasn’t going to the funeral. I don’t think that I can judge. We all deal with grief differently. I went to class the day after my mother died because I didn’t know what else to do. One of the Facebook groups that I belong to had a discussion about this last night. its so very easy for us to pass judgement on people we don’t know and especially since we think they are apart of our family. They are not. I think that’s a problem of being in nerd culture. We want a family and that what we love is so important and the people with we are important to them as they are to us. They are just people and that’s hard for us to understand. I want to believe its the internet. I truly do. We are in a safe place to complain about our lives and we can pretend what we say means something. My faith gets restored at Cons. ETSUCon was one of the best experience we had because it was so new to everyone. I’ve never seen so many people enjoy themselves and happy to be there. Is it because we’re jaded? I ask because the discussion on I explained how I understood why Shatner would be willing forget the funeral with the experiences I had with mother’s passing. Someone told me they understood school over “just a funeral”. My mother’s death was profound for me. I think that a death that close to you is profound and something like “just a funeral” is someone who hasn’t experience death. Still….
We’ll hope things get better. Here’s hoping March is better.
Its been almost two months since my last blog and that makes me feel pretty terrible. Still I’m here and I’m back. So lets update just a little bit.
1. Book Two is at the Editor as we speak. I have often loved that I have a grammar mancer and she’s willing to put up with my writing which is always complex and difficult. She is working through that an I’m hoping we can have this bad boy released by the summer.
2. Our tour schedule had been just about booked. I know that June is going to be very busy because we have been approved for DC Capital Con as well as our old favorite which is Geek Out! in Asheville. I started my tour there last year and quite frankly am pleased that they wanted us back.
3. Our World Con-quest tour stars at the end of the month at ETSUCon. Its a semi-big deal since I’ve always felt like East Tennessee is partly my home. Its my hometown con. We’ll be taking some time off until we get to April for RavenCon.
Well that’s out of the way? Who saw the Super Bowl? I don’t know what I hate Tom Brady but it wasn’t a bad game. I was more intrested in it because of the bet between Chris Evans and Chris Pratt. I love it that guys who play awesome characters are really cool guys. But one of the things that got me is the commercials. I had heard rumors of Batman vs. Superman was dropping trailer and that just didn’t happen for me. That’s frustrating for me. I’m not sure how I feel about this movie. I have become a fan of Batfleck since seeing Argo. Maybe it was because my mother loved that movie and it was one of the last movies I saw with her but I think he’ll be amazing at Batman. It just seems like there is a lot going on. But the commercial that really got me was the always ad. For those of you who didn’t see it….here it is.
Lets for go the irony of it being during the Super Bowl which is often geared towards men. I know that there were women who watched the game voluntarily. I’ve read the YouTube comments and lets just not go there. I also read statements on my Facebook page from friends of mine. I might have been dismissive about it too and then I thought about it. Your society is ingrained with masculine and feminine and its always been the case. Roles are pretty accurately both male and female and quite frankly we need to think about what we say. Its like the phrase “retarded” I’m not fond of that one either because..you know. I think that something like this regardless who it was aimed at is a wonderful thing especially during the male driven super bowl. Both side needs of the gender line need to be aware of words and how we use them. Should I be upset that its for Always? No. I think really that we, as women, are told that a natural bodily function is shameful and that we are suppose to be able to overcome that. We are suppose to be embarrassed that we have evolved to the point where that’s what happens to our body. If anyone is going to change what think then maybe it should be a company that understands the female condition. Maybe equality will never happen but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work towards it. So thank you Always for trying.