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Some Psyches Are a Bit Passive-Aggressive. Just Saying.

addtext_com_MDAyMDIwNjI1MjU1A confession: Though it may appear that I only write on this blog every month or so, this is untrue. The truth is, I write a lot—I mean, a lot—that I end up not using. (Much like my manuscripts.)

Let me share the titles of some of the drafts in my folder:

Please Don’t Reset the Year Until I Get to a Save Point. — In which I feel really bad about David Bowie and Alan Rickman dying within a week of each other, but I accomplished a Major (and overdue) Thing and I really don’t want to have to do it again, because it was hard the first time.

My Word for 2016 is ‘Badass.’ — Pretty much what it says it is.

Death and Taxes — As in, the only two things in life that are certain. (This was kind of a downer.)

OMGSTARWARS! — Too many feels to contain. Too many spoilers to post.

All I Want to Do is Keep a Schedule, So Why Do I Need All These Stickers and Colored Pens? — In which I type the word “Planner” into the Pinterest search bar and get sucked into a Filofax-LifePlanner-Hobinachi-SmashJournal Wormhole. (I found out I really like just a Moleskine and a pen. Maybe I color code it a little. Okay, a lot.)

It’s Not You, WordPress, It’s Me. Is blogger’s block a thing? What if I’m only brilliant 140 characters at a time? I have a master’s degree in communication! Social Media shouldn’t be this hard! *sobs into couch cushions*

 

Yeah, I’m totally making this harder than it should be. Don’t try this at home.

No, really. Don’t. I have years and years of training.

Why would anyone write things and then throw them out?  Especially, you know, a professional writer. Well, I’ll tell you. Here’s a sample conversation in my head.

addtext_com_MjM1NzM2MjE1NTk1Me: La la la, I’m so happy to be writing a blog post today. I hope people enjoy reading it.

(Metaphorical) Devil on my shoulder: Oh honey, no. There was a school shooting today, so you’d better post something Important and Profound.

Me: Man, that makes me angry and sad. I’d much rather post about how much I love colored pens.

Devil: Hmmm. Better not post anything. Then we can go get a cherry lime slush from Sonic.

Me: Mmmm… Sonic.

The devil on my shoulder is kind of a passive-agressive asshole.

And then there’s this:

(Metaphorical) Angel on my shoulder: You know what Every Single Writing Article ever says: you’re not a Real Writer if you don’t write every day.

Me: But I didn’t write yesterday.

(Metaphorical) Devil on my shoulder: Then you must not be a Real Writer.

Me: Okay, then. I’m going to sit here and stare at this blank screen until I’ve writtten something.

*stare*

*stare*

Me: Maybe I’ll be inspired if I look at Pinterest for awhile.

Angel: DO NOT TOUCH THAT TRACKPAD, YOUNG LADY.

Me: *touches trackpad*

Devil: You know, if you were a real writer, you would have written 10 pages by now. Just look at all those Real Writers posting their word counts on The Twitter.

Angel: Do NOT even THINK about clicking over to— DAMMIT!

Me: Wow. Those are some Real Writers.

Devil: Yep. And you haven’t written anything in two days now.

Me: I must not be a Real Writer.

Devil: My work here is done. Let’s go to Sonic.

This isn’t just a writer thing.  I know I’m not the only one who thinks “Welp, I’ve blown my calorie count for the day, so I might as well have this ice cream sundae.”

(It occurs to me that I might be a little hungry as I’m writing this.)

ANYWAY…

I’m not any crazier than the next person (in this regard)–we all have an inner passive-agressive asshole. (It gets it’s script from all the outer passive-agressive assholes we’ve met in our lives). But we don’t have to listen.

(I just cut a lot of metaphor about volume dials and car radios on bumpy roads. You’re welcome.)

So, I’ve managed to post a blog before January is over. (*makes checkmark in turquoise for social media task*) And I even I managed to work it around to a takeaway point.

My work here is done. And Sonic is open for another 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Four Calling Birds

I’ll bet you thought Christmas was over. Psych! Today is the fourth of the twelve days of the liturgical season of Christmas, which means that as far as Christian Christmas is concerned, I am not actually late with my Christmas cards. Or presents. Whatever.

This is actually my favorite time of the season, because the blitzkrieg of Christmas Shopping commercials has ceased, I still have my little Christmas rosemary tree decorated, everyone is in a pretty good mood because the shopping pressure is over and they’re spending their holiday gift money and the mood is generally one of hope for good things in the new year. Plus, you don’t have to worry about offending anyone with “Happy New Year” because it applies to everyone. (Except for the Chinese, I suppose.)

And I don’t have to worry about Santa Claus breaking into my house  for another year. *shudder*

I guess this is why I’m able to create such a separation in my mind between American Secular “Christmas” and what I commemorate as a Christian. They don’t even really fall on the same days if you’re being pedantic technical about it.

But what I really want to say is that whatever you celebrate (even if it’s just the fact you won’t have to hear “Jingle Bells” for another nine months), I wish you joy of it. In the longest nights of midwinter, one thing we all share is faith that the dark will get lighter, and a new year brings the hope of peace on Earth to people of good will.

And lots and lots of poultry.

Calling Birds Stamp 1977

Stamp Issued in 1977

In which I tackle Serious Issues

Two CommandmentsIf this blog seems a little untimely, it’s because I’ve been working on it for a bit, trying to decide what I want to post. For the TL;DR, scroll to the bottom.

I don’t generally blog about Issues—not seriously, anyway. I really just want to talk about Chris Hemsworth in the movie about the Essex, or these cool new pens I got for my planner.  And yet all this Serious Issue $#*! keeps happening. It’s crazy and tragic and infuriating and frustrating and heartbreaking. And I have a lot of feels and some vehement opinions on these Serious Issues, but I have no solutions. (Well, I do, but most of them involve mind control, where I can just send out rays to the chips in everybody’s heads and say “Okay, nobody kill anybody else. Oh, and read more books.”)

I was watching Highlander the other day, and you know at the end, where he gets the prize, and the Silvercup sign blows up, and he’s all like “I see everything! I know what everybody’s thinking. And I’m going to use it to help people understand one another and bring about World Peace.” I was like, “Good luck with that unless the prize came with a mind control ray in the box.”

Sivercup-Studios

 

Sidebar: On my first trip to NYC, when the taxi was crossing the Queensboro Bridge, I was all like OMG THAT”S WHERE CONNOR MCLEOD FOUGHT THE KURGEN, and my friends were like, “We don’t know you.”

 

So, I spent a couple of hours, or three, writing a long rant manifesto essay on fear (and mind control) and believe it or not, this is the short version.

Our climate has become divisive and angry and filled with fear.

Some of it fear of change, like the pushback that has come in the form of #notallmen and #alllivesmatter. But some of it is artificially enhanced, the pot of our paranoia stirred by people and institutions that have a lot to gain from us being afraid of each other.

Fear closes minds to compromise, to acceptance, and to the love we’re supposed to have for one another.

Fear is it makes us selfish, and it isolates us. We think only of ourselves. We don’t cooperate, because we’re afraid the other person is going to pull one over on us, or somehow come out better in the deal.

Fear makes us easy to manipulate. That’s the true mind control.

It’s a scary world. Americans fear a terrorist act, and they’re frustrated because they don’t see leadership with a decisive strategy for dealing with it. (That’s what CNN says, not me, whose solutions all rely on science fiction. Or magic.) But the odds are far greater that you should worry about a firearms related incident. (About 33,000 people in American die from gun violence each year.*)

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” It’s so simple. It’s in the Old and New Testament, it’s in the Qur’aan, and it’s not even a matter of faith, just of decency and coexistence.

So, here’s my point. The world is full of far more decent individuals than horrible ones… until fear gets involved. We need to pay attention to who is trying to stir that fear into hate or injustice. When bigots and blowhards tell you that we need a wall to keep the Mexican rapists and criminals out, or that we need to ban all Muslims from coming into the U.S., or that Jews are responsible for the economic depression in post-war Germany, they are flat out fear-mongering, and its inflammatory and dangerous.

So, don’t let anyone tell you to fear your neighbor because she wears a headscarf or he has dark skin. Don’t let anyone say that if we give medical care to the poor they’re going to turn into lazy hoodlums.

And for God’s sake, don’t let anyone tell you that “Happy Holidays” is an attack on Christianity. (I feel like Christ is okay with not making a large percentage of the population feel like second class citizens in their own country.)

Don’t let anyone use fear to control you, or to drive a wedge between you and your fellow human being.

This is probably the most political you’ll ever hear me, unless something awful happens, like Lord Voldemort 2.0 getting the Republican nomination. Because honestly, my whole political platform boils down to this:

Be Excellent to Each Other

 

*According to the Center for Disease Control.

Edited 9am because I can’t number.

 

Moving All The Things

Some days nothing will help but that you rearrange all your furniture. Friends PIVOT

Okay, not all my furniture. But after two years of it driving me crazy to have my back to the room when I sat at my desk, I literally stood there with my cup of coffee yesterday morning and was like, I could move the couch over, get rid of that massive hutch thing, and turn the desk perpendicular to the wall. Done and done.

I may have been procrastinating work. But I do like this about a hundred times better.

Once I got it out in the middle of the room (something that has to be done if you’re going to turn a honking big piece of furniture around, I laid down on it, and Mom looked down from upstairs (I keep her in the attic, like Mrs. Rochester) and said, that thing is exactly as long as you are. Which is not really that impressive. Also, what she may actually have said was more like, “What God’s name are you doing down there?” Then she said the desk thing.

My Space

This is literally one third of the desk I used to have in the old house, and though it took up a good bit of my old study, there were also three bookcases and a small sofa (and large ottoman) in there. And it was one of the smaller rooms in the house. (For those of you who tuned in during the last two years, I downsized my life drastically in 2013, from a big house with two attics and a giant garage to a small townhouse with no attics and no garage. It did come with a mom, in case you were wondering what that Mrs. Rochester business was about.)

On one hand, it seems impossible I’ve lived in this place for two years. (For one thing, there’s still some boxes I haven’t unpacked. Or as I like to call them, “my nightstand.”) On the other, my memories of the old house are fuzzy and oddly foreign, like it’s a place I visited once. The brain is weird.

Now, it’s back to work. Or possibly I’ll keep looking on Pinterest for my perfect office.

Perfect Office

The WHY of Your Story

I feel like a sloth for breaking my blog silence with a reblog. But it’s from DFW Writer’s Workshop, and it has something really key to say about writing, even if it was written by my arch-nemesis A. Lee Martinez.

Emotional intent is what turns a plot into a story. It’s simple, but sometimes hard to explain, and ALM does a great job. Even if you’re not a writer, you might find it interesting to know why some scenes connect with your gut, and some never get past your head.

See you on the flip side, peeps. –Rosemary

DFW Writers Workshop

The first thing you should ask yourself is why?

A. Lee Martinez A. Lee Martinez

Writing isn’t as simple as putting down words on paper. If it was, everyone would be doing it, and at times, it feels like everyone thinks they can. If we’re talking about sitting in front of a keyboard and typing until you have a few pages, then, yes, everyone can do it. There’s a difference between doing it and doing it well.

Asking why is that difference.

Let’s stick with fiction for the moment. Much of this applies to non-fiction as well, but it’s easier to focus on one right now. Fiction is, generally, a series of scenes that string together to form an overarching story. All basic stuff, you might think, but you would be wrong.

The Why (capital W from this point on) is Why this scene must exist in the first place. Your initial answer…

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It was the best of cons, it was the crowdedest of cons.

So, San Diego Comic Con happened. I took some video but I haven’t had a chance to approve it. I tend to get a lot of up the nostril shots when I try to get cute with the video feature on my phone. You’ll have to content yourself with still photos.

Friends Kate and Jenny and I wait for the shuttle to pick up our badges. The first of many shuttle waits.

Friends Kate and Jenny and I wait for the shuttle to pick up our badges. The first of many shuttle waits.

Anyway. I guess my main impression was the lines and and the crowds. There was tons of cool stuff. Saw the Twelfth Doctor Who looking for a restaurant. Discovered that I have some kind of recognition malfunction where I don’t recognize people from TV, even if they’re standing right next to me. I’m pretty sure someone was at some point.

Mostly it was this crazy weekend ping ponging between “that is so cool” and “I am in hell.”

Captain Carter (Kate) poses with the Team.

Captain Carter (Kate) poses with the Team.

The Mashable #MashBash (which was amazing, and also, Elijah Wood was the DJ)

The Mashable #MashBash (which was amazing, and also, Elijah Wood was the DJ)

So. Many. People.

So. Many. People.

You basically have to buckle down and decide to enjoy yourself, no matter what. If you’re in the right place at the right time for something cool, enjoy it. Make the most of it. But if you go in with an “I must see/get all the things” attitude… well, you’ll either be unsuccessful and surly, or successful and annoying. (In other words, do not get between a fan and his Comic Con Exclusive Collectible.)

Was it fun? Yes, because I was there with my friends, and there’s this in the trenches camaraderie that happens. Also, they tell me it’s like childbirth–after you recover, you only remember that it was worth it. I don’t have a kid, so I’ll have to take their word on that.

So, I have a question. If you could go to one panel to listen to the cast, crew, writer, or director of some book/show/movie… what would it be?  What would YOU camp out overnight to see?

Brace Yourself. Comic Con Is Coming

I… have no idea what happened to June. Like, the entire month.

Let me recap the month for you: work.work.work.work.work.work.HOLY.CRAP.COMIC.CON.IS.IN.TWO.WEEKS.totaldenial.
work.work.panic.work.work.work.TOTAL.MELTDOWN.threats.from.friends.if.I.backout.
work.work.panic.DEPART FOR CALIFORNIA.

Technically that last part happened in July.

So, yeah. I’m going to be at San Diego Comic Con this week. I was supposed to go last year, but had to not go at pretty much the last minute.  I’ve not mentioned this because 1) I’ve been working really really hard both to afford the trip and to get some Very Important Stuff done before I go, had have barely come up for air, let alone Internet; 2) I’ve been in denial. Seriously. I have no plan, I don’t know who is going to be there (unless I know them personally), and I have my calming mantra Sharpied on my arm.

Just in case you live under a rock, San Diego Comic Con is such a huge thing that it makes even normal non-nerd news cycles, because it’s not just deep nerd stuff, but movies and TV shows and all that. Why do people go? Because random stuff like this happens:

Loki surprise appearance at  Comic Con

Loki surprise appearance at Comic ConC

Cool, right? I’m going to a place where there is a real possibility someone famous (more famous than me) could photo bomb my selfie.

Why am I panicking? To get to the panel where the above surprise happened you had to stand in this:

The line to get into the infamous

The line to get into the infamous “Hall H”

Obviously, I’m not going to do that. But here’s what the inside looks like (according to my research, by which I mean my Googling, because if it’s on the Internet, it must be true):

comic con crowd

Right now, you are all going “Rosemary, you WIMP.”

Am I? Maybe I am a walking Panic Attack waiting to happen.

Or maybe I’m posting those pictures from past comic cons so you won’t envy me too much.

The truth this, I’ll be hanging out where the book stuff is happening, which won’t be nearly the madhouse that the movie stuff is.  My friends Rachel Caine, Jenny Martin, and A. Lee Martinez (and many other acquaintances) will be on panels. If you ARE going to SDCC and you want a break from the MAJOR madness and deal with only MINOR madness, look them up and come see us.

(I’ll be the one rocking myself in the corner. Ha. Ha. Just Kidding.)

Or you can follow me on Twitter and see if anyone famous photobombs my selfies.

Professor X Photobombs Wolverine and fans. Hashtag Epic

Professor X Photobombs Wolverine and fans. Hashtag Epic