Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Sun is God’s Flashlight – and I have usually stayed up too late

I am not a morning person.

I will never be a morning person.

I have TRIED, internets. I HAVE TRIED. I have seen two GPs and a sleep doctor about it and the fact is, I am part of a small percentage of the population who’s internal clock cannot be reset. I am a night owl, through and through.

Mornings SUCK.

Oh, how I long for the days when I would stay up writing till 2 in the morning or watching tv until 4 am and then crawl into bed and roll out around 10 or 11 am.  Not anymore. Le Sigh.

Now, I get up at 5.15 am. I go to spin 2-3 times during the workweek, and the other days I just get up early so I can have some ‘SITTING AND GETTING SELF READY FOR THE DAY’ time. I don’t like working out early, but I like it when it’s done, so there you have it. Also, if I get to work by 8.15, then I can leave around 5 and that’s kind of nice, especially in the winter when it gets dark early. If I stay later I start to feel scared being out in the creepy creepy dark! Plus, my boss and an esteemed coworker get to work at 6:30 and 7 respectively. So. If I’m going to roll in about 8:15 ish, I feel better being able to say, “Yeah, I already hit the gym.”

But it’s tough. I know there are many of you who feel my pain.

There are people in my life who say, “Oh! How wonderful you get up so early, I am not a morning person. I couldn’t do that.”

MAKE NO MISTAKE – I AM NO MORNING PERSON EITHER. BUT I DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

Most days, when I wake up, I feel so tired I think I could vomit from it.

This also means that when I’m just starting to perk up around 8 or 9pm, it’s time for me to be thinking about heading to bed for the next day. Even if I don’t sleep, I remind myself that lying in bed is restful and I will get some benefit from it. I think my iron is low lately because I’m barely making it to 9pm some nights. But, usually, around that time, I’m starting to think, HEY! LET’S COLOR ORGANIZE THE CLOSET! AND! LET’S START ALL NEW PROJECTS.

I once talked extensively about this with a sleep doctor. He said, “Well, your body just can’t be trained and some people are like that. You’ve tried. You should just get a night job.”

Like what? Bartending? I DON’T LIKE TALKING TO PEOPLE. I have a desk job. Desk job usually means DAY job. Day being the key word. I could go in later bu then I’m working later and that feels… sad? IDK. Even the way it is now, I stay till 5, 5:30 ish and the building staff is already coming out to start vacuuming and cleaning – they are expecting most people gone! The world is run by morning people.

So, what’s a night owl to do but try to conform? I do what I can during the week to be in bed by 10 and up at 5.15. I nap a lot on the weekends to ‘catch up’ on the sleep I miss (I go to bed at 10 but I don’t fall asleep. Yes, I have tried melatonin. Yes, I have moved all activities out of my room other than sleep, no, I don’t read backlit devices in bed, yes, I have tried a light book, working out earlier, working out later, eating earlier, eating later, no naps, more naps, no caffeine, more caffeine, overnight stay at the sleep clinic and I have excellent sleep hygiene. I HAVE TRIED, INTERNETS. THIS IS THE WAY IT IS).

BUT OH THE GLORY DAYS! when I was in school and then on a holiday and I could just… live by my clock. I remember staying up late reading and writing with the house silent and dark around me. SIGHS LONGINGLY.

Back in the days when homes had computer rooms, I remember waiting for the fam to be in bed and then looking around at 11pm and thinking, “Oh! time to go write!” and I would sit in that room, in the dark, with only the computer screen lit and I never noticed time passing. I would just write. Of course, I never finished anything at that time because I had no structured routine! But there was something… magical about being there, in that room, in the quiet and the dark, with nothing else but the click-clack of my keyboard.

Who put the morning people in charge of the world?

FacebookTwitterPinterestTumblrRedditGoogle+Blogger PostEmailShare

Losing Weight and Letting Go

In March of 2014, I had weight loss surgery. I had a procedure done known as a VSG – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Going through my decision to have that surgery, the prep and the aftermath is a whole other post. One I may or may not make, I don’t know (although feel free to email and/or comment with questions if you’re curious – I’m happy to share my experience for those who may be considering the same surgery).

Since my pre-op, I’ve lost about 70 lbs and I’m at a stable weight now – one I can maintain with my current diet and exercise, provided there aren’t too many trips to Palm Springs with Key Lime Martinis!

key-lime1-610x300

But, as the weight started coming off me physically, I really tried to focus on where I could also lose weight emotionally and mentally. I have a lot of STUFF. I keep a lot of STUFF. I’ve come to realize that in some ways, I think  these material things help my memory, in that, if I didn’t have them, I would forget things from my past. I also have this notion that these things validate my experiences, validate ME – If I get rid of them, somehow the memories and experiences that are attached to these things are no longer valid.

My first big ‘break’ came when my mom sold her house after my dad died. I had this fear that I could never go home again, and that somehow my memories of my father would fade without the concrete and tactile presence of that house. Of course, you can’t go home again. Our experiences are what they are when we are there, in the moment, and despite the fact that traveling forward in time is no different than back in time from a physics point of view, you cannot go back. If you were to go back, you are who you are now, and the experience wouldn’t be the same. If you were not who you were now, then you would be who you were then and you wouldn’t be able to grasp the reason why you wanted to travel back in time to begin with.

wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey-stuff-o
This was a hard thing for me to come to grips with and something I still work on. But, as it relates to my parents’ house, I think I got there. However, I’m still trying to incorporate the global scale of that idea into my entire paradigm. Translation – I keep a lot of shit. A LOT.

After I lost weight, I had to get rid of a lot of clothes because they didn’t fit, but I also was coming across things I’d not worn in YEARS and wondering “do I wear this now? It fits again?” – and these were tough decisions! After reading a book on the subject, I knew I had to ‘lose some weight’ in my life, but I wasn’t prepared to do the BIG DUMP the author mentioned. But, I found that holding each piece of clothing I was reluctant to part with in my hand and thanking  garment for the memories and reiterating that I was donating the garment, not throwing away the memories or feelings associated with said garment helped.

I’m still slowly working my way through things. Tonight was a BIG moment for me. I finally got rid of my class notes from my last year of university. How long ago was that? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA-cough-cough-cries-a-little-sniffle. A while. I always had this notion that maybe I would go get my masters and I would need those notes. But this week, the thoughts I ‘SAT WITH’ were this: I like writing. I want to keep writing. With my day job, writing takes up all my spare time. If I were to get my masters, I’d have to give up writing. And, at this point, it’s been MANY A YEAR since my classes – I’d have to retake a SLEW of those courses to refresh my brain so I could keep up.

So, that was one reason I was keeping those notes. What were the others? Well, that last year or so was a tough but proud one for me. I’d had to take a year off school for illness and going back was a struggle. I’d changed faculties so many times that I’d been in university for 5 years and still had no degree. I’d finally managed to pick a major and I had a plan to complete it. It meant I’d have to do Fall Semester, Winter Semester, Sprint Semester, Summer Semester, Fall semester and Winter Semester. and my final semester would be 5 400-level math classes. It wasn’t going to be easy. But I DID it. and I GRADUATED and HOLY SHIT, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??

I felt like a lot of my soul and being were infused into those notebooks – this had been a major milestone/event in my life and if I got rid of those things, was I throwing all that away?

Obviously, no. I still have that degree [FINALLY FRAMED AND ON MY WALL, YO. I got it framed JUST THIS YEAR, lol!]

1899884_10154834785225543_5412424110194771111_n

 

So tonight, I fortified myself with two glasses of wine and then some puppy snuggles and went through those notebooks, taking the time to hold each one, feel gratitude and validate my experience with them and then, say goodbye. I know to some people that sounds hokey or like woo-woo, but it was definitely a necessary step for me and one that made the entire process viable.

Deep breath. Time to keep losing weight. I need to make room for all the good things yet to come.

Patience, Padawan – Cello and Writing

I often think and draw parallels between my cello lessons and my writing progress. I feel like I’m a constant student – I never want to think I’m THERE because I feel like there’s so much to be said for always being on the journey.

In cello, I’ve FINALLY progressed enough to learn one of the Bach Cello Suites. I’ve chosen Suite 2

Oh, I love this one so much. I listen to it a lot and I put my ipod on repeat to hear it over and over again. I would probably have started this earlier IF I PRACTICED, but as it is, I don’t practice very much and I have the BEST CELLO TEACHER ever, and she’s fine with how much I do or don’t practice and just works with me where I am. We FINALLY started working on this and I was SO EXCITED. I said to her, “I’ve told people I’m working on it and they want to hear it!” and she nodded with excitement and said, “Yeah, in a couple of years, you’ll be ready to play this!”

RECORD SCRATCH – WHUT. A COUPLE OF YEARS???

Ah, yes. Such is the cello, such is Bach, such is the way of things. I will be able to play the notes, and indeed can do so moderately now [okay, moderately is generous. I can hit the notes. Mostly. Some of the time.].

But yes. YEARS. That’s how long it will take for me to ‘work’ on Bach and play the Prelude of Suite No.2.

And that’s… well. that’s okay actually. I mean, what else am I doing? Don’t’ get me wrong, it sucks that it will take two years, but… it’s a journey, you know?

I feel that way about my writing. I’m happy with each work as I finish it but as I look back on things I think, well, this could be tweaked or that could have been better. But I’m still a work in progress as a writer, and I hope I always am. I hope to always be learning and growing. Although it can be hard at times feeling like you never GET TO THE END, there’s also a sense of freedom in never GETTING TO THE END. It’s like… if I don’t get it exactly perfect, I get to try again on the next round! That’s kind of liberating and frees from this feeling of.. if I don’t get it right, it’s all over. Now, if I don’t get it right, I just try again.

So, Patience, Padawan. We must learn to love the process.

Here – read my diary

Waiting for people to read my work is kind of like waiting for them to read my diary. As a writer, when you think about people reading your stuff, it’s like this strange double edged sword. You WANT people to read your stuff. You WANT to be popular. But you fear it too. You fear it like you fear waking up in the middle of the night and putting your foot down on the ground and thinking that something will reach out from under your bed and claw at your ankle before you can get to the light switch.

Or maybe that’s just me. I know something lives under the bed. And I’m scared of it. The same way I’m scared to let people read my stuff.

I’m DYING for them to read it! to LOVE IT! and I will be that CREEPY AUTHOR standing over them acting like Leonard from the Big Bang Theory.

tumblr_mlvhykwqhk1qdz44io2_250 tumblr_mlvhykwqhk1qdz44io3_250 tumblr_mlvhykwqhk1qdz44io4_250tumblr_mlvhykwqhk1qdz44io5_250

But at the same time, it’s scary. Because… my writing is how I see the world. It’s how I think and how I feel. It’s how I see things happen and then interpret and understand those things. Putting it all out there is like this feeling of release and relief but also fear and anxiety. Kind of like taking your bra off at the end of the day, but having to do it in front of an open window.

 

 

Covencraft – Jade and Paris – Jade’s Demisexuality

I’ve been thinking a lot about something and I’d like to address it. I know that some of my closer readers [friends and family] have expressed a notion that Jade and Paris really should be getting it on by now [they have said it in a nicer way/classier way, but that’s essentially what it boils down to]. This leaves me feeling like I need to address or discuss Jade/Paris and their interactions, or lack thereof. [those of you in fandoms will recognize the SLASH ‘/’ as used when people are in a romantic and/or sexual relationship and isn’t to be confused with just general interactions. If I wanted to talk about their friendship, I would type Jade-Paris, but when I use the slash, there is something ‘more’ implied about their relationship].

Yes, I know, Jade and Paris haven’t so much as kissed in my books but I feel there is definitely an attraction there on both sides. Whether it’s something the readers are in support of or notice, I’m not sure. But, for me, as an author, it’s there. Jade feels *THINGS* with respect to Paris. She’s just not sure how to articulate them or even address them. And I think that in as much as Paris ‘lets’ himself feel an attraction to Jade, he does.

Let’s look at Paris first, since he’s the easier of the two. There are spoilers for book 2 below this sentence……

 

Paris is obviously a guy and feels an attraction to Jade on a simple/visceral level – she’s attractive. I wouldn’t say Jade is drop-dead gorgeous, but she doesn’t have to wear a bag over her head either. She’s also the kind of person I imagine gets better looking as you know her, because at first [and most of the time, still] she’s kind of bratty. But, Paris is also Coven Leader and I feel that he’s had to sacrifice a lot of his personal life at the alter of Leadership. I think he’s keenly aware of his position in the Coven and how, if he did feel an attraction to someone, his position as a person of authority colors that. I think it’s why he had a history/relationship with Veronica – she was also in a position of authority as a Coven Leader of her own Coven and he didn’t worry so much that he may be abusing his ‘authority’ while in a relationship with her as she had a similar position herself. I think that Paris is always hyper-aware that anyone he may show an interest in may have a hero-worship complex for him because of his power and his authority. It was always known since he was young that he would be Coven Leader an in that sense, he’s not just a ‘regular person.’ People have pre-evaulated judgements/feelings toward him. I think that he’s also so busy that he’s turned a blind eye to that aspect of his life. It’s one of the reason that Callie and Paris are so close as FRIENDS. She’s always been in his life since they were both young. She’s able to be there for him as a friend, but not as a romantic interest. She has a boyfriend [Nick, who we don’t really see ‘on screen. I feel like I know him rather well because of scenes I’ve written for him in drafts that didn’t make the cut or alternate universes that haven’t happened]. So Callie has NO romantic interest in Paris and neither does he have an interest in her. While Paris may feel attracted at times to people [I’m not TOTALLY sold on him being STRICTLY heterosexual. I feel like he could be a 1 or 2 on the Kinsey Scale and not exclusively a 0], it’s not something he focuses on because he has his work and that takes up almost all of his time. But to be honest, I don’t worry/think as much about Paris’ sexuality as I do about Jade’s.

 

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS FOR BOOKS THREE AND FOUR – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

 

 

In my mind, I clearly identify Jade as a demisexual and she just always has been.

demisexual flag

Demisexual Flag

While I’ve not explicitly stated it in the books, Jade is also sexual assault survivor and that definitely has an impact on her current relationships and how she views interactions. To be clear, she was demisexual before she was sexually assaulted. It’s not a response to her trauma, it just IS the way she IS. Lily, on the other hand, is not demisexual. She experiences sexual attraction a lot easier and more freely than Jade. I may explore that in a later book, I’m not sure. Lily might get her own series. It’s all… kind of up in the air. But I do clearly see Jade as demisexual. She has to have a STRONG connection with someone BEFORE she even thinks of them in a sexual manner. At times, it may appear that she is asexual or repressive, but it’s just that she takes a long time to process things and she can’t even fathom being sexually attracted to someone without having a connection and she DOES NOT connect with many people. At all. I’ve no doubt that she IS attracted to Paris, but that attraction really took time for her to grow into. She has to get to know him but also, has to be in a place where she feels more secure and safe in her environment. When she first joins the Coven, she’s not in that place. She’s nowhere near the head space she needs to be in to address those feelings. When that’s coupled with her past as a sexual assault survivor, it takes her a long time to EVEN acknowledge her attraction to Paris, which is where we see her, I think, at the end of book3, Double-Sided Witch. The arrival/appearance/return of Lily is a catalyst for Jade in more ways than one. Lily can point things out to Jade that Jade cannot see herself, but also, with Lily no longer being ‘gone’ or ‘dead’, Jade is finally able to move forward.

So, where do I see that going? Well, I’m not sure! I’m sort of watching them [Jade and Paris] to see how it goes. It’s very important to me that Paris respects Jade’s boundaries and I think he’s keen enough as a leader and a person to see and recognize those boundaries even when she doesn’t explicitly state them. The fact that at the end of book 3, Jade willingly, WITHOUT REAL THOUGHT, reaches out and touches Paris is a big thing for her. I’m sure in this time/age/world of sex-sex-sex, it’s considered a non-event, but for Jade, that’s a real moment. One that I’m not sure either Jade or Paris may recognize. Lily would be able to see it for what it was, and I may have her address it. The other way we ‘see’ Jade’s feelings for Paris is through Bruce – Jade’s familiar. Bruce’s feelings are a mirror or a composite of Jade’s and, being a LIZARD [lol], he’s a lot more free in expressing them. We see Bruce in book 3 SEEK PARIS OUT to let him know there’s a problem [Bruce’s scaly patch] and we also see Bruce showing a fondness for Josef – something Jade feels as well. In book 4, I’m hoping to explore that, and maybe have Paris tune in a bit more to it. He knows familiars have the same/similar emotions as their witches, but I feel like he may need to be hit with a Clue-by-four and really have that, OH WOW moment in book 4.

I’m still working out what this all means for them as I write book 4 and tentatively sketch out book 5! But, those are my thoughts. Do with them what you will.