lavender, conventions, & nimona too

Usually I sit down to blog posts and have absolutely no idea what I’m going to talk about. Today, however, is different. Not only have I done things since this blog post, I have things I want to talk about. So weird, I know. I’m wondering if I should pick up a format or something but really I just think I’ll randomly update you all as I see fit, because if I give it a format that will make it a little less exciting and a little less me. I am organized, you see, but only to a point. I prefer my organization with a flair of chaos to it.

So over the last week I: got drunk, went to a lavender festival, went to a book con (book fair?), picked up old projects, and took a really exciting bath.

We’ll skip the drunk, fast forward through the lavender festival (it was really great and super pretty and I went with my girlfriend for her birthday but we had no money which was a great thing because we would have spent it ALL and we decided that Sequim is a wonderful place and that we both wish we were already retired so we could live there because it’s perfect except it doesn’t rain enough), and pause on the book con:

It was the Capital Indie Book Con, that was held at the Evergreen State College, and it was so fun. It was super tiny (as it was a local indie book con) and I’m really not sure how much publicity was gotten for it. It seemed like a mostly word-of-mouth sort of thing, but it was a fun little event. I, of course, didn’t go as an author but merely a reader. It was incredibly interesting to see the marketing that some of these authors did for their novels. And it was an “every genre ever” sort of con so nothing was left out. There was speculative fiction and fantasy, erotica, historical fiction, even a few non-fiction pieces and authors there. In all my friend and I – also a writer – ended up spending about two and a half hours milling around the booths, talking to authors, getting a feel for it all. Once again I was very glad I was broke. If I hadn’t been when I walked in, I would have been when I walked out.

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Nimona, by Cait Spivey – photobombed by my jewelry, pet pictures, and pens. Lots of pens.

I did walk out with two books and a piece of art though – albeit the art was free and from a WONDERFUL author named Cait Spivey, whose book I immediately went home and picked up on Amazon. I will be reading it soon and will post a review as soon as I do! In the meantime, she sent me home with a watercolor piece of Nimona, a character created by Noelle Stevenson, and I about died of excitement. Obviously I had a favorite person there. I can’t help it. She loves Nimona, I love Nimona, she gave me art…and what I was able to read for the concepts of her stories seemed absolutely wonderful. To say I’m excited about her existence and her work is a bit of an understatement. (Nimona is now hanging across from my other shaved-haired-favorite, Ronan Lynch, on my desk. They are friends. Probably. Not.)

Then in other news, I had an exciting bath, but that was mostly just because I used the bath as a meditation exercise that involved planning for #Rory, and I was able to get the next plot point worked out that I was having issues with. So, I’m happy there too. Gus and I just got back from a walk and I’m going to sit down to get a bit more writing done – and check off my blog post on today’s to-do list. 😉

If you’re reading, hi, I hope you’re enjoying. Otherwise I’ll just click ‘publish’ and send this into the void. Although it’s a very friendly, helpful void. I like you, void. Let’s be friends.

Muchly,
Renee

loss and gains

Explain absence. Don’t apologize. Explain coming out, and then losing Peepers. Maybe don’t cry. Maybe do. Explain how hard crying is. How easy it is at the same time. How it’s all you want to do, but you feel like there’s not enough of you to keep doing only that.

I tried to outline everything that’s happened over the last two weeks so that I could tell you, dearest blog, but I don’t think I can. The more I try to explain it in my mind the more confusing and upsetting it becomes and the less I want to talk about it.

So I’ll just say these few things, and hope this sums it up.

First: I came out to my dad and most of my family the Saturday before last. It was nice. It feels freeing. It’s so strange to feel like myself, utterly and without fear.

Second: The same week my oldest cat, seventeen year old Peepers, fell ill. She hadn’t been feeling herself for about a week. It progressed. Diagnostics were run. Nothing came back good. Her last night as home was spent with her sleeping on my chest as I brushed out the fur she had given up grooming on her own. I felt terrible. I hate that our last night was me grieving. The pre-grieve. I hope she knows how much I loved her.

Third: I can’t stop crying. I don’t want to stop crying. My face swells up and my cheeks warm and the water pours from my eyes and I don’t want to stop. Instead I want to sob, and sob, and sob until she comes back. She won’t. I know that. It doesn’t change what I want, though.

I’m sorry this was so sad, dearest blog. But I am sad. That’s just how things go sometimes.

I miss my cat. I hope you all understand.

Not very much at all,
Renee.

on the absence of anxiety and timeliness,

Today was an all around good day. I woke up, I went to a staff meeting, I came home. I felt – for the first time in a very long time – like I could sit down and genuinely relax. Like my mind was clear, anxiety not bundled in my chest. It was a strange feeling. Of course it was welcomed with open arms, but the embrace was wary. When you have genuinely “good days” as rarely as I do, wariness comes with the territory. I’m like a dog with a history of abuse. I want to trust it, want to know that I can relax and fall into the feeling like a summer camp trust exercise. Ultimately though, I know that most of the time the feeling is fleeting. In fact, the moment I realize and acknowledge the feeling, it almost always disappears.

So today was an anomaly.

I sat brewed myself tea. I turned on my essential oil diffuser. I considered for a moment the pro’s and con’s of getting work done. Then I realized that these days truly come to me once in a blue moon and that I shouldn’t waste it worrying about something like work. For once, on a day where I genuinely felt that I could enjoy it, I needed to take the day for myself. So that is exactly what I did.

I “lost” my phone for most of the day and it wasn’t until the minute I picked it back up that any mention of anxiety even blossomed. It wasn’t until dinner, when I was sitting having a frustrated textual conversation with a friend who wasn’t even at dinner with me, that any other feeling than utter relaxation set in. Honestly, even that couldn’t change the way today went for me.

I cannot explain to someone who doesn’t have anxiety how absolutely freeing it is to be able to see myself and be so utterly content to give myself a well-deserved and needed break. So, today, the only reason I’m sitting down and writing this is because I promised that I would write posts twice weekly. The only reason I’m here is out of obligation and because I wanted to make sure to document this wonderful day. For the record, all I did was drink tea, nibble chocolate, watch Mozart in the Jungle…and spend a wonderful evening with some wonderful people. It was good. I needed it. Thank you, self, for doing well today. I’m proud of you.

Muchly,
Renee

on late night epiphanies (or not)

It’s one in the morning on the west coast. For some reason I’m wide awake all of the sudden, despite the fact that I work first thing in the morning. Despite the fact that I’ve been preparing myself all day for tomorrow, knowing full well the chaos that will await me as soon as I walk into the clinic. Maybe it’s the anxiety of walking back through the double doors and into the insanity that’s keeping me awake. Maybe it’s the guilt of wasting another day. Maybe it’s the blue light from my phone and computer screen. Or maybe it’s something else altogether. It doesn’t really matter because I’m awake, and I almost forgot my blog post.

I’d been in bed, actually, when I remembered it. I was suddenly set on writing. I hadn’t been all day. I’d kept getting online and watching other writer’s talk on twitter and so on…but I couldn’t manage to do it myself. I read and finished the book I was reading (Red Glove, by Holly Black – the second novel in the Curseworker’s Series, which is definitely worth the read). I watched an episode of the show I’ve been waiting for anxiously (the 100 – although binge watching seasons of this show is much more satisfying than one episode a week, I will say).

I don’t think it’s the need for me to keep a schedule that got me up to write this post. I just think I needed to write. I think I’m feeling clogged up and bogged down. It’s been awhile, unfortunately. All I’ve been doing is reading, and editing, which in this phase of my writing is basically just reading…and while there’s nothing wrong there, it doesn’t make for a productive me. It makes for a lazy me. It makes for an emotional me. It makes for a lot of things that aren’t very good. I should start writing again. I’m going to start writing again.

I still have no idea what direction this blog is going to go in. I’m okay with that. For now.

Muchly,
Renee

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on forgetting, already

It’s not even the first week into this “routine posting” thing and I’m already forgetting-slash-procrastinating. I don’t think that bodes well. I also don’t think I care.

Today was another hard day, but not until about halfway through it, because I started getting stressed out after a phone call I had earlier in the day. It’s stupid stuff, stupid little stuff that shouldn’t have mattered, but it’s getting into my head and makes me start having thoughts that keep cycling and cycling until I’m stuck wondering what the hell I’m doing. Then I end up sitting on the couch – or in this case my new recliner which I never want to get out of because it’s so fucking comfortable – and watching television and getting lost in other worlds and storylines for just long enough that I forget my problems exist. Then the credits roll, and I remember.

Having this stupid anxiety shit sucks. Some days it’s easy to live with. Most days it isn’t.

I shaved the back of my head because I thought maybe it might change things, even though I knew it wouldn’t. The thought still lingered. It’s been three days since I did it and I wonder simultaneously if it was the worst or best decision I’ve made. Fuck it, though. It’s 2016. This is going to be it. The year things change. The year that I make decisions and that I accomplish things. At least that’s what I keep telling myself in the back of my head. Maybe that’s why I’m nothing but a big bundle of anxiety. Maybe, just maybe…I’m doing this to myself.

Of course I am, though. It’s my chemicals that are unbalanced, it’s my brain that’s like this. Of course I am doing this…to myself.

Which means I can dig myself out the same way I dug myself in. And I guess that’s why I forced myself to get up out of the recliner, ignore The L Word for just a few minutes, and post this blog. I just had to. I’m done not trying.

Muchly,
Renee

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works in constant progress

I’m a constant work in progress. There’s nothing about me that will ever reach it’s final stage, not until I’m long gone and buried in the ground. Even then I’ll always be changing, decaying, my physical body becoming one with the Earth and turning into something new. Perhaps my soul and spirit will find itself elsewhere, living another abundant life. Changing again. I don’t think we ever really stop changing.

I have a novel that I’ve been working on for almost a year now. I started it in November of last year. It was supposed to be my project for National Novel Writing Month but due to a bout of depression that left my unable to gather myself from my couch and a work schedule that demanded what little attention I had left to give, I was unsuccessful in my endeavor. The book is all the better for it at least – it’s reached different incarnations I never would have imagined. A new main character, more fleshed out and explored than the previous, a new ending, a romance that will end differently than expected. A plot that’s thicker and deeper and darker than I intended. It’s blossomed and flowed into something much bigger than I imagined. I’m what I’m considering three-fourths finished. Of course, I won’t know “finished” until I write the last words and I feel at peace with the draft, but ultimately, in the way I have things planned…I’m three-fourths finished.

Things keep changing. They keep growing. They flourish, some wither, some disappear. I’m trying to stay organized. Organization will cause fruition. Routine helps anxiety. Anxiety is spurred by my need to perfect and my fear of failure.

How can I fail when I’m the only one to judge it? Perhaps I’m my own harshest critic, as the age old idiom foretells. I think I’m going to drink my tea and mull over the ideas that are rattling around in my head. A personal project is done – soon to be followed by another, but not for awhile, surely. Time to work on my own work, truly personal work. Soon, perhaps my heroine will find her temporary ending, and she’ll walk off into the sunset with her hands held by her best friend and lady love. Or maybe…well, I don’t know yet.

I suppose we’ll see. Things are always changing, after all.