personal tagged posts
With half a year passed and no word from me, I can only imagine that some of you imagined my demise. I’m sure my last few posts must have left you with uncertainty as to my status. Well, I’ll try to clear up as much of that confusion as I can, as well as introducing some new, better things about my life and the status of my works. To kick it all of, I’d like to announce the start of my new Patreon! Now, you’ll be able to assist me in my pursuit of getting these crazy stories out of my head and onto paper.more
Alright, so you might not know this about me, but I am a beauty-holic. Basically, I’ve fallen in love with things like makeup, jewelry, hair-and-body-care things, and in general just girly things. This means that I, like so many others, have fallen prey to the Subscription Box charm. Specifically, Ipsy.
Now, for those of you who don’t know (and probably don’t care) Ipsy is a makeup subscription service that you can get for $10/mo, and it sends you four or five makeup-items. It’s rather nice, actually, because there’s a quiz you fill out and then you get makeup based on your profile. Like having a personal shopper do it for you, you get the goods, without all the fuss.
Now, why am I, an author, writing about this on my author-y blog? Because, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to make money in the writing field, sometimes, you’re going to have to do things outside your normal range of writing! It’s a lesson in expanding your abilities. So, in my case, I’m going to provide a review of the items I received in my January Ipsy Bag.
The Glam Bag itself:
As you can see, this cute pink bag has a lovely diamond pattern to it. It’s made of an interesting material, most likely a poly-blend. The pink and the gray offset each other nicely, and it’s a decent size if all you want to do is carry a small amount of makeup. I have to carry some outside of it, because I am a pack-rat, and use a lot of makeup. The cute Ipsy pull makes for advertising in a cheeky way. Way to go, Ipsy, for putting yourself out there!
Cargo Cosmetics Mini-Lipgloss in Anguilla
This lip-gloss is one of the best lip-glosses I’ve ever had. Despite having a stick-applicator with that fuzzy-tip that I hate, it’s still really easy to put on. It does have an odd sort of almost-tacky leftover feel, but it glides on smooth. The color is fantastic as well, when mixed with a Nyx Simply Red Lip Creme (in Candy Apple) it does the most amazing pink-ombre on my lips ever. It does smell a tiny bit funky, but other than that, it’s lovely! Definitely a recommend.
Model co BLUSH cheek powder in Peach Bellini
A blush for the ages. I adore this thing, no doubt about it. This blush gives me the rosiest cheeks, and makes me look five years younger, it’s great. I can’t wait to try out more from this company. It even comes in a nice round container, without being overly large! It fits beautifully in the Glambag, and in my hand!
Luxie Beauty Large-Angled Face Brush 504
This brush is mainly what I was buying this Ipsy subscription for! I had been hoping for an angled eye-shadow brush, but this beauty is just AMAZING. It’s great for applying the BLUSH we talked about earlier. Plus, it is soft as a button! It’s survived two weeks in my purse now, and I think it’s going to survive a lot longer! The pink handle is absolutely darling too. I have NO complaints.
Pencil Me In cosmetics Natural Eyeliner in Amethyst
Oh where was this eyeliner when I was eighteen and going through my emo-phase? It’s a lovely purple color, just like the name implies. Although I do find this particular eyeliner breaks at the tip pretty easily, the natural formula really entices. I have to admit, however, this one lives on my dresser, and I rarely use it.
And last, but most certainly least:
Eva NYC Up-All-Night Volumizing Spray
This one was the let down of the whole bag. I honestly didn’t get to try it! It broke open on transit, dousing the rest of the bag. Thank goodness it didn’t damage anything. However, since I had stated that I didn’t really WANT any hair-products in my bag (I have a pixie-ish A-line, as you can see in my photos), it was more a blessing in disguise. I let Ipsy know about the situation, and they were more than happy to send out a replacement. I haven’t received that replacement yet, but I’ll be happy to update this review once I do, if anyone is interested!
All in all, I’m really satisfied with the first Ipsy bag. The makeup is nice, the lip-gloss to die for, and I found everything else quite happily living in my purse during the week. Not only is much of it useful for my daily apply-makeup-on-bus schedule, but it looks GREAT on me too! I am a little disappointed that one of the products was damaged, but I couldn’t really blame Ipsy for that. I blame the postal service! Damn postal workers.
(All pictures (except mr. Mailman) courtesy of the Ipsy website. No offense meant to our fine national postal workers, they work hard, and I couldn’t help making the joke. Sorry!)more
So this week has been a big win! Not only have I started writing again, I’ve really taken control of my finances, with the help of my tax return! <3 I’m proud to report my nest egg has grown from exactly jack-fucking-squat to $350, in two months! <3 I’m also getting new glasses and a new phone here soon. That’s going to be fun. ^.^
Here it is! My Weekly Writing Update!
First Book of the Kurylian Saga: 1.5 sections rewritten (Current total: 16,323 words)
Kaimi Rowe Series: Seeker Born – Rough Draft – Restarted
Blue Roses – 9,971 words – Dystopian Love Story
None this week… I’ve been having trouble finding good audio-books to listen to during my commute. Any recommendations would be awesome! Fantasy, self-help, personal finance, and horror are some of my favorites!
Keep Bullet Journaling
Two more blog posts for this blog this week!
Hit 16500 on Kurylian Saga!
And for those of you intrepid writers watching me, I challenge you! Start your own Weekly Writing Update! Or just a Weekly Update! You’d be surprised how motivational it is!more
So, I missed my chance to update for Christmas, and I thought that was a damn shame. So! Instead, I’m going to be writing up my new years resolutions for you guys! Because I plan on turning 2015 into something AMAZING. <3
Oh, and for those of you who are curious, I had a fantastic christmas! I got a heater, and new knives for my kitchen, and tupperware. And yes, I realize I sound like a horribly old adult for thinking these are amazing gifts, but they really are! ALSO, in a move that absolutely astounded me, my friend Chris Votey gave me a special copy of his book, Terran Psychosis with a special dedication to me inside, and I just about sobbed my heart out. It meant so much to me what he said in there. I won’t share it, because it was private between two friends, but let’s just say, I’ve never felt so loved.
So! Here I go, setting goals for 2015.
- Eat two meals a day, every day. NO FORGETTING
- Wash face every day.
- Take a hot, relaxing bath, once a week.
- Save back $50 or more from EVERY CHECK. No exceptions.
- Eat out only ONCE a check. Yes, that includes little meals that only cost $10.
- Read/listen to an hour long of personal finance information each day.
- Publish a book on Amazon by June.
- Publish a blog post every week.
- Write every day.
- Work on Panic-Attack-Helpful-Things
- Start a Garden Outside
So, these are my goals for the year 2015! Join me this year in checking these off the list, and I challenge you to post your own New Years Resolutions on your goal! Make them as extensive or as short as you can! Show me your resolve, and your power! I can’t wait to read them, and cheer along with you as we make these goals come true! Consider this the start of a New Years Resolution Bloghop! Post the link to your own post in the comments below, and as I see them, I’ll add your link to the Links on this page! <3
As my schedule is varied and odd, I find my sleep schedule to be rather moot at this point. So while I sit awake at 1:14 am, I find myself contemplating my life choices. So therefore, I thought I would go through a day as myself. Perhaps this will help show some revelation or appearify some solution to my odd malaise.
Sleep has always been an odd thing for me. I remember when I was a young teen, I would go to bed, and lay there for hours on end, ‘elven dreaming’. I would later recognise this as a form of dissociation, but to me, it was simply a way of living a life inside my mind. Like reading a good fanfiction or reading a story I’d written myself, I became someone else in my mind, and that person lived a whole different life. Often, in the presence of my favorite characters, and in lives that I envied. It was often this that lulled me to sleep. Now, I don’t have this ability, and often I find myself sleepless.
When I wake up, it is usually at the start of what I call my “Get Ready Hour”. This is the hour I give myself before I have to leave my apartment in order to get ready for work. I don’t know when I started giving myself an hour, but I think it was perhaps in middle or high school. Every other day, I shower in the morning. When I shower, I brush my teeth before hand, and shave in the shower. I was my face on days like this, usually. Sometimes, I forget. After my shower, I get dressed in clothes I prepared before my shower.
My work calls for me to be well dressed. My favorite outfit currently is a pencil skirt made of thick material, tights in a cable pattern, and a nice blouse. I usually put either a cardigan or a suit jacket over that. Jewelry goes on next, after I brush my wet hair into shape. I don’t do my makeup at home. I tend to think of this as a waste of time. After all, I have such a long commute.
Then, I check my computer. I usually end up replying to anyone who is on Skype, and to my roleplays. Then, I watch youtube videos, or surf tumblr. If I feel particularly self-defeating, I check the views on my site. Lately, I’ve been feeling as if I am horrible for not posting more, since there are people waiting patiently for new posts. I make promises to myself to post more. It doesn’t really work much, but I try.
When it hits the end of the “Get Ready Hour”, I put on my scarf and coat and set my headphones in my phone. I turn on an audiobook, via the OverDrive App, and start my commute. I get my bike out of the shed, the blue one with it’s little baskets on either side of the back wheel, and I bicycle the five blocks to the bus stop. Usually, I arrive just five or ten minutes before the bus I need. Sometimes, I am late, and have to wait twenty minutes for the next bus.
While I wait for my bus to arrive, I usually have time to curl my eyelashes, and apply mascara and eye liner. The audiobook I’ve chosen continues to play in the background. Once I see the bus coming down the block, I put away the makeup and set my purse on the ground. Putting my bike onto the bike rack of the bus, I then take my purse back, and get onto the bus. I have an old badge from an old job where they still provide free bus-passes via your badge for employees, so… I must admit I am stealing free bus rides every day to and from work.
On the bus ride to work, I usually finish my makeup, and then switch to music instead of the audiobook. I either surf the internet on my phone, or take one of the books I keep in my purse out and read them. I usually get through half a chapter. Maybe. Once the bus ride is over, I get off and bike around the mall-building to the bike-rack. Locking up my bike, I go inside, and wait around the time before my shift.
Work is difficult. Especially when I rarely seem to understand what I’m supposed to be doing at any time. I have a few routines I go through, which help a little. I clean the glass at the counters. I greet customers, and offer to show them something like our one carat diamond rings, or our Vera Wang collection. I try to talk them into buying something, and most of the time I succeed! During lull times, I talk with my coworkers, or I clean jewelry. I check in repairs and call guests. I straighten the jewels in their cases, or I try jewelry on, and dream. Recently, I have been considering beocming a traveling saleswoman. Initially, I turned down the job because you have to own a van to be able to sell the products on the go. However, I later found out you can actually finance a van even if you have bad credit. So, I will be exploring this option in the future.
Recently, I’ve found myself feeling jealous of the women who come into my jewelry store. Their perfect nails. Their perfect hair. Their perfect families, and husbands, who buy them things that I sell. I wonder if I will ever find something like that for myself. If I even want something like that for myself. Do I want a husband, who will work hard and allow me these jewels? Do I want to earn the jewels myself? Do I want what those women have, or do I just think so because I see it from the outside?
These are thoughts I have on bad days. On good days, I think about how much I’ve earned by selling them. One percent of my sales is my commission, and that, along with my hourly, makes for decent paychecks. I usually get a half hour paid lunch, although I always feel guilty for taking it. Me, my boss and one other full timer are the only ones who take lunches. The third full timer takes fifteen minute smoke breaks instead, and the part timers don’t take any breaks at all. You see why I feel guilty?
I don’t really ever make myself lunch. I started doing that for a while, and then… It became difficult. I couldn’t make myself get up early to make them, and making them the night before meant thinking about work the next day, and I just… I don’t know, it feels like something dangerous to do. Like if I think about that, it’ll make it come sooner. So I tend to forget breakfast. Lunch comes in the form of a cheap pizza meal at the mall food court. The girls know my order by heart now. I try to compliment them often. In fact, they know me so well they’re willing to loan me lunches on credit, if I need it. That’s a bit dangerous.
After work, I have two routines. If it’s after a night shift, and I’ve closed up, I bicycle home. It’s a four and a half mile bicycle ride in the cold, but I listen to an audiobook on the way home, and I get to see the city lights, which isn’t half bad. Plus most of it is downhill. If it’s an opening shift, and I get off before the buses stop running, I usually take one of them home. I sometimes stop and have dinner on the way home, at olive garden, or the rio grande, or some other restaurant around town on my way home. The food is good, but I always feel guilty about spending the money, because I know I should cook at home, and I know I should save money.
When I get home, I turn on my computer, and immediately continue what I was doing when I left. Watching youtube videos. Playing on Tumblr. Checking my stats. I don’t usually eat until I’m so hungry that I’ve passed into nausea. Then, I find the simplest meal I can make, and eat it. Sometimes, I write. Some nights I take a bath, or make a masque for my face, so that hopefully, I won’t lose much of my beauty. Sometimes I bake. But I haven’t recently.
I check a website called Sleepyti.me in order to find out when I should go to sleep to wake up on time. Until that time, I play on the internet. And then, I go to sleep. Sometimes, I masturbate or visit my favorite lady from the /escorts/aberdeen page. And then, I get up in the morning to do it all again. A day in the life of a saleswoman. My life is boring, I think. Although to be honest… I do love my life. I hate it but I love it at the same time.more
Memory is a fickle thing, inherently wrong, yet personal in the greatest of ways. All of our memories are biased, based upon information our mind stores and corrupts. Stories we tell ourselves become memories, despite never happening. Things that happened turn out a different way when we think back on them.
Most personal to us all, and most telling of whom we will become, is our very first memory. The first bit of light our mind stores away for us in the world. These memories hide from us, little snippets of time. And then, like magic, a scent, or a sound, the touch of a familiar fabric, or the hum of a certain frequency reminds us, and it comes crashing back like nothing was ever missing at all.
The prickly poking of hay. The scent of his mother, soft and creamy like milk just warmed up, and the sound of his father’s quiet voice. Later, Dirk would learn that the conversation was their first discussion about whether they should go back home to Thosfig, back to their tribe. His nose itched, and he rubbed his little fingers against it to make it go away.Noticing how sharp his little fingernails were, he curled them into his palms. Crickets chirped somewhere, and he could hear crackling, like fire. His eyes felt heavy, and he didn’t want to sleep.
Pain. Yumil remembered pain first. A too-tight grip of an adult hand around a small wrist. The red of lines cut into child-soft skin by fingernails dyed with pigment from berries. Yumil remembers looking up at her, her tawny hair shining in the sunlight. She is beautiful, and frightful. She calls him a bad boy,voice hissing. Yumil feels his stomach twist and clench, fear climbing inside. She is angry, and to Yumil it’s as if she has always been angry and will always be angry. He finds anger burning inside himself to match, hot and terrifyingly close to tears.
She can’t remember the words anymore, but Eamon remembers the soft feeling of her mother’s chest. Her cheek fits against it perfectly. She remembers the hard push of her sister’s knee against her own leg, and the laugh in her mother’s voice. She recalls the lines of her sister’s hand and how it felt to rub her thumb along them until Lette shrieked with laughter, like it had tickled her. Eamon remembers how warm she felt, wrapped up in the two of them. A mix of flowers and cool water always brings this memory to her mind, and she smiles.
Grass tickling her nose, and a small round bug crawling along between the blades. Red like string scattering across her vision, as she was lifted from the earth. Her hand still reaching out for the little black bug, bigger hands tight against her ribs They squeezed a little painfully, but only enough to make her whine in the back of her throat. A murmur of her name, and Lette looks up. Her father’s green eyes smile down at her like the water of a murky lake. She smiles back, and giggles. His hand, scratchy with callouses, brushes back her hair.
Blurs moving past him, dark things swimming around the edges of his vision. Espin remembers crying, crying so loud and so long that he was sure no one heard him. He remembers unpleasant smells, something he later knows is the smell of sickness and waste. He remembers the crying making it worse, stopping his nose and how panicked he felt. A cool hand on his forehead was all that kept him awake, and he cried, and cried. Sleep would be kinder. His stomach lurched, and he felt hotness sear his throat and splash out his lips. Nothing eases his pain.
Her big brother’s back, warm and strong. Anelace was tied to it, she could feel the soft cloth against the back of her neck, feel the bounce of his step as he walked. He talked to her, telling her stories, and she burbled back to him. Her fingers found his coarse woven dreads, tugging for attention. She remembers how he smelt like sunshine and camels. He was so big, and strong, he carried her like she was smaller than an ant, and it made her feel small and she thought he must be the most powerful thing in the world.
She was always angry. So angry. His mother was angry at him, yelling and screaming, and Jorgan hated yelling. He wanted to hide and forget. It made him cry, which made her so much angrier. She called him hurtful things he can’t remember later, things that might be true. Her palm struck his cheek, and his world went spinning. Pain blossomed in his jaw, his teeth rattling, as he toppled over. His cries came louder. The snap of a belt made his chest squeeze, and fear silenced him. His father’s footsteps, shaky and unstable, curled him into a tight ball.
What glimpse does this first light give?
So You Wrote a Stereotyped Character…9 Ways to Fix Your Story
Since Nicohle and I are swapping blog posts today, I would love to take that list one step further and show how I would fix a stereotyped female character (but the same concepts apply to any character).
Why You Don’t Have to Start Over
If your female character falls into a stereotype, it’s not so much that you’ve written her wrong as that you’re just not done writing her.
Writers revert to stereotypes or tropes rather than fully articulating what makes a character unique. It’s tricky because you may not feel lazy as you write a stereotypical character. You’re still sitting in the writer’s chair fulfilling your daily word count or time quota, but essentially you’re being creatively lazy about who you are writing about.
1. Rearrange what you’ve got. A lot of creativity is a matter of how you arrange the disparate parts of something to make a whole. Which aspect of your character is the focal point? By restructuring which personality traits are pivotal, you could create a more fresh character.
2. Add something to the character that scares, stretches, or otherwise challenges you. If writing about a certain characteristic your character possesses makes you think about the world in a new way, it likely will do the same for many readers.
3. Change how long your character stays a stereotype. Maybe your character can start out as a character but be changed by a new event. Maybe reveal they were hiding their true nature for some good reason. Think: Scarlet Pimpernel.
4. Look around you. Think of the most unique people you know and add some part of their personality to your character.
5. Add more weaknesses, flaws, fears, and losses! I like the trick of thinking, What is the worst thing that could happen to my character? Then consider adding that to your plot so your character has to really solve and struggle.
6. Put your character in strange situations. Brainstorm several seemingly unrelated scenes and put your character in them. Consider crossing genres with this exercise. Put your fantasy heroine in a murder mystery and see how she behaves, etc. You may stumble upon an interesting nuance to add to your story.
7. Change your character’s past or future. If the character seems flat or one-dimensional, hook the audience into caring based on something terrible or wonderful they went through or will go through.
8. Give your character a unique motivation. Most of humanity is motivated to some degree by love of family, romance, personal gain, or moral/spiritual paradigms, for example. But what if you made your character also motivated by something kooky like a love of snails, and wanting to save those snails from extinction, for example?
9. Create personality contradictions. I love giving a character two characteristics that seem paradoxical or at odds with one another, then showing why they are this way.
Both fixing characters or scrapping them will require a lot of editing, so I figure you might as well refurbish your stereotyped character rather than starting from square one.
While it takes more effort, it’s more fun and interesting to write well-rounded characters. For me, this comes down to asking, But who else is she/he?! By consciously steering clear of stereotypes, writing becomes more adventure. More fun.
Cindy Grigg writes speculative fiction and instructional non-fiction. She is the author of the HULDUSNOOPS series, a middle grade mystery and fantasy adventure about Icelandic Huldufolk or “hidden people”. As About.com’s Office Software Expert, Cindy also writes about technology and productivity (www.Office.About.com). Find her writing advice, blog, and other projects she’s working on at www.CindyGrigg.com.
For some of us, the word Niche ends up being a scary sort of thing. Something to fear and worry over. It becomes something akin to the word ‘cage’ or ‘trap’. We feel as though it is meant to hem in what we want to accomplish with the world. It isn’t something that comes easy or is to be taken lightly, and that, in and of itself, brings about a form of terror. Niche writing tends to end up very personal, and some don’t wish to be subjected to the backlash that writing a blog on ‘personal care after BDSM‘ or ‘how to trim your pubic hairs‘, but that is what they know, and love. That was somewhat informed by a Daily updated collection of hardcore smut at Tubev.sex.
When it came to my attention that perhaps finding that one little niche market that meant something to me would be a good idea, I legitimately had a panic attack for several days. I didn’t want to be hemmed into something that didn’t fit. But how could I find something that did? What if it was too much for my readers to ever want to read? What if what I liked was something too obscure, and no one would want to read it?
So, I sat down, in front of my Zenwriter, and thought to myself, what are some steps I can take to make this less terrifying. What are some things I can ask myself about writing in a niche, to find out what exactly my niche was. Now, I already had a niggling thought in the back of my head of what that might be, but I didn’t necessarily want to force myself into it.
The first question in my list was: What do I want to share with the world?
This was easy. I want to share fantasy with everyone. I want to share it in a way that makes everyone feel included. Women, men, transgender, genderqueer, gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, aromantic, everyone, everywhere should be able to read a fantasy book and think, “oh wow, I wish that I could experience that.” Doing research on websites similar to Free porn 7 would be great if you were writing an erotica novel. You can certainly discover some experiences on those kinds of websites.
The second question was: Okay, but what do you want to share with the world ON YOUR BLOG?
This wasn’t so easy. In fact, it’s what caused the several day panic attack. I want to share myself with the world. I want to let everyone know who I am and where I come from and why I’m the way I am. But I also want to share with the world the things that are wrong, and the things that are right and the things that are beautiful. I want to teach the world to accept not only itself but everyone else, and to see that we are all the same in that we dream beautiful dreams.
That lead to the question: But how can I share this with the world?
A friend of mine, Chris Votey, brought up the idea of interviews with other LGBTQA writers, Reviews of other writer’s work, and offering myself as a representative of Asexual culture. Which, honestly, I wouldn’t find too bad. It would take a lot of time, and energy however. But, I find the more I think about it, the less I mind. Because really, isn’t it about what I give, not what it takes from me? Then, I thought about what else I could do to share my dream of representation with the world.
Resources. I could provide resources for things that most people don’t think of. I could try to provide a unique look into certain subcultures. I could write about the things that interest me, and hopefully, provide enough information that others would like it. But that won’t get me any closer to being like those I admire. That won’t bring me the same sort of love that Misha Collins, Andrew Hussie, or Neil Gaiman have. That won’t help others to see my words.
Then, I thought that perhaps I could start with lists. With things that I find out, over the course of my journey to become a full-fledged author. Such as this list that you’re reading right now. That definitely helped to ease my panic a little. Because lists, lists are small, and easy, and quickly done, so I can definitely work with them. Another thing I could have tried is perhaps snippets of information found throughout the internet like on websites similar to hd porn video if you wanted tips on the adult industry. Or perhaps little anecdotes from my life that help me to focus on what it is I am working on.
But that’s all very abstract and not very well thought out. So, I rewrote it.
1) What is it that I want to share with the world?
– Representation for all, and fantasy that everyone can enjoy.
2) What is it that I want to share with those reading my blog?
-Ways to spread Representation, My thoughts on LGBTQA representation, and my progress in my quest for more.
3) How am I to share this?
– Personal anecdotes
– Resources found throughout my internet trawling
– Interviews with other LGBTQA writers
– Reviews of websites, blogs and books written for/by other LGBTQA writers
– Snippets of my writing and writing styles
And there you have it. My path to finding my niche, and settling into it. I hope this helps you, because it certainly helped me. If you need any more information, please, leave a comment, or email me, and I’ll be happy to help you find your niche too. And please, don’t hesitate to speak up.more