Monday, November 21, 2011

Adventures with: Bug & the 80s

As my readers know, I am the single mother of a fantastic kindergartner named Bug. The people that know us personally know what a strange creature my child is. Everyone who knows her bombards me with questions, mostly along the lines of, "What has she come up with lately?" Because of her shenanigans, she is a mini-celebrity at the local ER (I am keeping her teenage years in mind by NOT telling you that story).

Ever since she was a baby, she has always had the strangest obsession with stuff from the 80s. For example: her favorite movie is Labyrinth. She is currently on a Pee Wee Herman kick. She has stolen my Rainbow Brite DVDs. The list could go on all day. Anyways, she is convinced that I am going to marry the Goblin King (David Bowie circa 1986), and refuses to believe that he has aged in the past 25 years.

My Husband-to-be

All of this I can handle. It's cute, even. Hell, I wouldn't even mind marrying David Bowie because I respect a man in guyliner, and I wouldn't have to work unless I wanted to. My problem of late is this:

EVERY time we get into the car, my child demands that I play this song. She knows every word. My five year old can sing this song with more emotion and force than most grown people that I know. It is outstanding. I just cannot help but crack up when she belts it out. She is off key through its entirety and she sounds like a munchkin. The song is cheeseball hilarious and she gets pissed when I laugh at her. What can I do?

Heaven help me if she decides to obsess over Bryan Adams.

Friday, November 18, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update #3

Last night I made the official decision that NaNoWriMo was not for me. I love the "seat of your pants" writing requirements, but I have discovered that it is not my writing style. That is not to say that I am not grateful to have experienced it, because "the little girl" has been born. Shall I explain?

I went in to this project knowing my character. I have known her, researched her, and rolled her around in my brain like you do a fine wine in your mouth when you're tasting its excellence. I could feel her in every inch of my soul, and she wanted out. I knew that NaNoWriMo would be the perfect opportunity to put her to paper.

I was wrong.

In trying to make my daily word goal, I was writing just utter shit that was not beneficial to my character's story. She began to transform into an angsty teenager in love with a guy that is a complete dickwad. My character is strong, extraordinary, and so powerful that she has wrapped herself into a shell of self-hatred for what she is capable of. The teenage girl was not my character, and I don't want to write about her. Yet.

Mixed in with that silly teenager, there have been a few scenes that I wrote about "the little girl". That is the only name that she has right now, and maybe the only one she will have. I don't know yet. I only have about 3k words about her (as apposed to the 18k total), but the quality of those are exponentially better than my YA love story. I had my baby horror novel creeping in around the edges, and it's fitting. Shouldn't that be how horror novels are born? Slinking into other works, taking over the words that are not supposed to be there either, devouring them? I believe so.

I want to write for the same reason that I read. I read because I want to escape from the reality that is my own, and live in another world for just a little while - even if it scares me. I would be humiliated if I created something that I did not want anyone else to read, and no one wanted to visit. I want to make a story that will be worth the escape, even if it is for only one person. Even if it is only for me.

My NaNoWriMo project was not that story. It did, however, give birth to the one that is that story. I am going to write it and maybe one day, you'll get to read it. I hope so.

Thank you everyone for the support so far, but now the real writing is going to start, and I'm going to make it good.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adventures with: Photographs

I found a picture album with a lot of old photos of myself yesterday. It had been heaped into a pile of other things, and I was quite surprised to see them. Many of them I have not seen since before Bug was born.

I'll share one of them with you.

This is one of my favorite pictures of myself. (No, his face is not blacked out in the original photograph.) I was young and pretty, with my hair the shade of red that it's supposed to be. Look at me smiling - I look very happy and in love, don't I?

There is a secret behind the picture. Two nights before this was taken, the guy on the right beat the crap out of me. After an evening of verbal abuse, admissions of cheating on me with multiple other women, and drinking, he decided that I was being disrespectful to him. It started with him dragging me out of a bar and backhanding me in the cab. The highlight of the evening was me bleeding on the sidewalk in front of his cousin's town house. The neighbors called the police and what I remember as a SWAT team trying to haul him off to jail while I hid under his cousin's bed because I felt like I had done something wrong. The night wrapped up with us in a motel room in another state that he made ME pay for because his cousin kicked him out. I woke up that morning with him on the phone with his ex-fiance telling her how much he missed her.

No, you're not reading this incorrectly. That all happened before this picture was taken. The girl in that picture was completely ruled by the guy next to her from the way her makeup is done, to the clothes she is wearing, to the way she is standing. Needless to say, that guy is no longer in the picture, figuratively and literally.

The woman I am now would say that I would give up everything I possess in that picture - youth, beauty, clothes, etc. - to never be in that picture again. In a way, I have. I may not be as young or pretty or dress in stylish clothes, but I am now strong enough to break things off with a guy who respects me and treats me kindly (that I also care about) as opposed to being someone to stay with an abusive, hateful twat for a month after he gave me a concussion.

I think being who I am versus who I was is a fair trade.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update #2

I have been a little out of whack lately with NaNoWriMo, but I am getting my game face on. I am going to finish this by the end of the month. I am no longer going to hold myself back or imagine that there are outside forces keeping me from my goal. Anywho, here is my latest:

14943 / 50000 words. 30% done!

I hope to catch up by doing 1k/hour bursts over the next few days. I won't be writing in chronological order anymore so I can just get the scenes out that I believe are important. I'll add all of the fluff later.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adventures with: November

The world is out to get me. The Universe hates me. Murphy's Law is operating to its fullest extent, barring great bodily mutilation or some other incident of excessive horror. Something that cruel would only serve to shut me down completely. The Powers That Be only want me to be irritable, depressed, and insane.

Meet November.

This is what the second to last month in the year holds in store for me annually for as long as I can remember. It is a big nasty ball of Suck, and there is nothing I can do about it. I have grown used to it, and I accept it as part of my life. Is it terrible that Life takes a shit on me for an entire month every year? Absolutely. However, it helps to know that it is going to happen, and I can just resign myself to it. Luckily, I realized that November had set in by the 7th and got the toilet paper handy.

I do not know why I always forget about the coming of November. I swear every year that I will be ready the next time that it hits. That is never the case. I am a die-hard optimist (deep down, ok?) and the month always plays the defenseless and cute card in the beginning. This year, the month started out as easy as it always does. I was able to get some of my NaNoWriMo project done, and all other aspects of my life were in their normal mode of mediocrity. Then November slowly started rolling out the attack.

Last week, I had a law official come into my place of business to question Bookboy and I regarding a crime that was committed at my workplace, in a sense. Thank Bob we were not faced with the Prisoner's Dilemma, as we naturally turned upon each other as soon as the cop walked out of the room. If we had been arrested for a crime (we were not and we have not done anything illegal), we would have been clawing each other's eyes out in order to get a better deal. Yes, we would turn on each other in a heartbeat, but that is the nature of our relationship. We are coworkers. A little backstabbing and self-servicing is demanded. Anyways, in terms of November, that is not so bad. That is something that one could easily expect from April or September.

It was not really until Sunday that I began to see the pattern of terrible that is November. I blogged about Sunday's Gossip issue a few days ago, but that was not the whole of the awful for that day. There was a gross miscommunication between the Gingerman and myself. We are the same in a lot of ways, but we have some major differences in others that make things very difficult for me (and for him because when things are difficult for me, I make life difficult for everyone). That being said, I ended up being very pissed off at him, and I am quite sure that he is completely disgusted with me. I do not know for sure - we have not spoken since then. Even better - my mother called to talk about what was going on with me. Bless her heart for caring, but when I am in the middle of an emotional meltdown, I only want to discuss things with the others involved (and maybe break the noses of the gossipy offenders). Glorious November rolls out the goodness!

It is not paranoia. This is Every. Fucking. Year. No exceptions. Let us head over to Monday so you can see. I ran away from the world to my friend Un-Nicknamed's house on Sunday night. She is mean enough to hold the evils of November at bay - which is also why she is Un-Nicknamed Friend. The terrible got right back on track when I left her house. Bug did not want to go to school and had a complete meltdown when I tried to drop her off that morning. I do not need to go into details. All of the parent readers know and those without children will not understand what I am saying until they are parents. It sucks to put it that way, but that is just how it is. The most I can say is that November was not pulling any punches when my child turned and chased me to my car, tears streaming down her face, begging me not to leave  her there. A tear-stained, snot-nosed child is not the main ingredient to a fantastic day - just so you know. Work was not really memorable except for a patron telling me that I looked like I had "bedroom hair" which translates to "you look like you just got done having sex" (which is never the case in November), but Bug was an emotional terrorist for the evening when I got home. Hooray!

Tuesday was the day November chose to pelt me with paperwork and bills and letters. None of it was anything good. I got a letter from the school board saying that paperwork that I sent in over a month ago was not there and bad things would be happening within two weeks if they did not get it. I got a letter from the DMV stating that my insurance had lapsed and my presence at their fine facility would be required - and soon. Then there was the most fun thing of all - a questionnaire for jury duty. It is November, so I am going to be selected for the pool. That is fairly awful, but if I am summoned for the pool, it will be the fourth time this year. Yes, you read that correctly - FOURTH. Honestly, I have given up. I hope they pick me so I be done with the nonsense. Somehow, I doubt they will so I can be summoned again. And again. And again. And again.

I chose the Ninth of November to be the day to take care of All The Things that was set upon me the day before. I had the foresight to ask Un-Nicknamed Friend (UNF)) to accompany me on my quest against the Evil Paperwork. I am not saying the day was not riddled with greatness. I had a morning coffee date with my favorite mommy friend, and there was much giggling and snark involved. It was a lovely November refueling point, and I paid for it later. After the coffee date, I decided that I would stop by my credit union before meeting up with UNF. I only had to deposit a check into my account, and I wrongfully assumed that November would turn her vindictive eye the other way. Almost immediately upon me sending my deposit slip and check through the drive-thru's Magical Sucking Tube, the teller told me that she would be unable to deposit it without the branch manager's approval. Would I like to go in and speak with the manager? Not particularly, but I resigned myself to it. After half an hour of waiting in the lobby, one of the loan officials invited me into  her office to assist me. She took a quick look at the offending check, and told me that I would have to speak to the branch manager. Apparently, requesting to speak to the branch manager does not really sink in until a person has seen everyone else in the branch first. I imagine that it is like a video game where all other enemies must be defeated before advancing to the Big Boss. After another fifteen minutes, the credit union's Big Boss stepped forth to do battle with me. For whatever reason, sometime in the past few months my credit union decided that it would no longer take perfectly good third party checks unless the person the check was made out to was a member of our credit union. Are you incredibly bored with this description of events? Of course you are. I am bored with writing it. November won and I left with my check. Game Over.

Getting right down to the point, I also lost to November with my insurance agency and the DMV, despite having UNF with me. (As a side note, she thought I was in need of medication at the beginning of my November explanation, but after I outlined it all for her, she agreed that I was in trouble until December.) I had to pay a fifty dollar reinstatement fee because of my douchebag, irresponsible agents. Did I have the fifty dollars? Well, hell no. I did not get to deposit my check. UNF was able to cash it at her bank, which everyone is boycotting and bashing right now for 99% reasons. I do not mind them because they can cash a fucking check! Try that one on for size, small business America. I paid the money, and got things done. The only part of all of that where I came close to coming unglued was when I was on the phone with an idiot from the main insurance company who accused me of speaking in riddles when I asked her to tell me the dates of which my coverage had lapsed. I am sorry America, but when my period there is up, I am going back to AIG. They may be crooks in public opinion, but they got shit done when I needed it. Simple questions also do not astound their operators. If small business wants to beat out corporations - hire non-idiots. But this is about November... I will tell you the worst part of the DMV. I had my number, and I asked UNF to hold on to it for me while I went to the restroom. My body is still actively rebelling against the removal of its cousin, Gall Bladder, and my number was called mid-attack. I knew that it was going to happen - it is November.

Yes, I am a big ball of stressed-out crazy. That is only because I do not know what November has in store for me next. I know bad things are going to happen. I am braced for the impact. I look forward to it. I would love for every bad thing that I have left built up for this year and the first part of next year to come at me right now. Why, do you ask? Because it is November and I am ready for it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Adventures with: Gossip and Those Who Partake

The past week has been defined by words. Not only have I been surrounded by the words that I am creating for my story, but I have had to face words of others' creation - gossip.

I will be the first person to admit that I delve into the gossip coffers from time to time, making deposits or withdrawals. I will not try to excuse it in any way, but I would never say anything to be intentionally hurtful. There are mainly three ways that I will gossip. In one sense, I am a 70 year old woman trapped into a much younger body - I like to talk about things that happened "back in the day". For instance, sometimes, I will tell stories (which I know to be true) about people that I used to know or date. I exaggerate and weave the stories into silliness that usually makes my audience laugh. The embellishments are obvious, and they're so ludicrous that not only does it not matter, but it makes the truth much more interesting. It is almost always extremely self-deprecating.

Every once in a while - and it is probably one of my biggest failings - I like to people watch. When I people watch, I make jokes. I make up stories about those people and share them with whatever friend is close by. I even save what I see for poems or short stories that you will never read. You may not think it is gossip, and you might be right, but if someone took what I said and passed it on - it could soon be the latest notch in the rumor mill.

I also like to hear gossip, but I can honestly say that when I hear something that is none of my business or something I know absolutely nothing about, I usually won't pass it on. Sometimes, I forget it as soon as the subject is changed. I will enjoy the story told, and then move on with my life. I guess the storyteller/storylover in all of us comes out once in a while, and we wallow in the warm gossipy juices of What Is None Of Our Business.

When it comes to gossip about me, I'm always very shocked by it. I am a very bland person, and my life is probably as interesting as that of the common garden slug. Barring the sudden arrival of Morton's girl, I'm beyond notice. I like it that way. I'm not showy like a snail, carrying my house around like I'm some wannabe turtle. I keep things simple. Why would anyone want to talk about a slug? Who cares if a slug has moved underneath a different leaf or rock. It's just a slug. Right? Now I'm not saying that I'm not important and special and blah blah blah - I'm just saying that there is not much remarkable going on in my neck of the woods. There are much more interesting things to talk about. I will admit that I have had scandals back in my day, but nothing of any significance in the past 2-3 years.

Very recently, someone that I used to know said something extremely hurtful about me to someone who does not know me. Then, through the grapevine, it ended up in the ear of a person who I care about very much. Most people can shrug these things off easily, but not me. I am not a celebrity nor was I ever even popular in school. I have never been a subject of interest. Not only am I unused to people discussing my mediocrity at all, but I am astonished by the fact that I have near-strangers saying one of the most insulting things (about a very private aspect of my life) that I have ever heard about anyone, let alone myself. I have to be honest - I did not know how to deal with it. I am aware that I should just shrug it off and not give another thought to the matter at all, but all I can do is wonder why someone would be so ugly to me. It was intentional, it was malicious, and it was done for reasons beyond my fathoming.

I want this to be a funny post. I want to make jokes about Fraggles, fry cooks, or Lindsay Lohan's short jail term. I want to be beyond the notice of strangers. I want to be able to write. I want to finish NaNoWriMo. I want to be able to get the words out, so I can fuss over them like they are children who have been jumping in mud puddles and clean them up. I want the words that are of my own making, that I get to control, that I get to manipulate into harmless lies that tells stories about people that are only real in my head. I want the hateful words being said to be taken back and forgotten. Most of all, I want to forget how much words can hurt.

Monday, November 7, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update #1

I had a slow writing weekend for various reasons, but I'm getting back on track. I've already written over 1k words today, and I'm only about 2.4k behind where I should be with NaNoWriMo's daily goals. This is my current progress:

9222 / 50000 words. 18% done!


As always, if you want to be my writing buddy and shame me into doing better, here is my Participant Page. :-D

Friday, November 4, 2011


I probably won't blog much, if at all, this month. I'm making my life crazy and following a dream by participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Here's how I'm doing so far:

7132 / 50000 words. 14% done!

I'll be updating this from time to time.

If you're interested, come visit my Participant Page. Be my buddy - I love new friends.

Wish me luck!