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I am completely incapable of handling days off. Without the structure of pages needing to be edited or betas done, I fall apart.  To be fair, I only have about 4 days completely off of work per month, so it doesn't come up that often.  But for example, today- I certainly had things to do.  My web page needed an update, I had bring my checking account up to date, and I had a fanfic that desperately needed finishing.  But I had an anxiety attack out of nowhere about an hour ago and had to take a Klonopin, which effectively puts me out of commission for the rest of the day.  I'm clinging like a lifeline to the fact that I have two new contracts starting tomorrow.

I want to analyse this more deeply, but writing now I can't even type very well, so I'm just kind of rambling, sorry.  It's like, when I have work, everything else is fine too.  I'm happily social, I get writing done, even some cleaning, I can cook dinner.  But when I don't have work to do in between everything seems just too big to handle. Also, it gives me too much time to think about things I don't want to thinking about, thiings that I can't change and are best left in the corners of my mind so I don't feel like I'm suffocating under the weight of my ridiculously stupid decisions.  I just want lines on page, grammar, spelling, story structure, the lives of fictional characters to work with and put in order.  Real life is too messy. Too many people to avoid hurting, too many pep talks and carefully constructed person suits and know that I can't wear them forever and longer I do the more spectacularly things will blow up.

And there's the Klonopin taking effect so I'll just pass out now k tnx bye, sorry so much for this word vomit.

So, 2013 was a thing that happened

And it was, quite frankly, awesome.  I didn't do a lot of journaling last year, online or off, so I'm not doing a roundup or anything because my memory is shit.  But I would like to mention a few things that were big for me.  OK, one thing really: FRIENDS.  I HAS THEM.

I mean, actual people, online or off because honestly I don't distinguish, who make time to do things with me, talk to me, include me in things, think of me when they see stuff I'd like, etc. etc.  This might not seem like a big deal, but if you've been reading here for a while you probably know I have MAJOR trust issues, and those issues have quite frankly been justified by the shitty "friends" and SOs I've had throughout my life (and then some of it was me being a bitch in a china shop, I freely admit).

So believe me when I say that the friends I have now are GOLD to me.

I got through my January Breakdown last year because of Codependent Supervillain TV Hour with dwg- no one has EVER made time for me like that.  I don't even feel like January's going to be a problem for me this year.  And I smiled a TON more in 2013 just reading her rants and rambles about everything.  She's also been a major bad influence in my life, for which I can't thank her enough; everyone needs more inappropriate cannibal/serial killer feels.

dagonista made me perfumes and tagged me in things on Twitter and listened to me bitch about work and generally made me feel special.

The Sociopaths were AWESOME and proactive in planning get-togethers and including me in them.

evil_erato put up with my shit for another year because she is awesome and insane.

lathriel kept talking to me.

tjs_whatnot and A.J. O'Connell were amazing writers, friends, and inspirations.  I was lucky enough to get to hang with them over the summer and it was SO MUCH FUN.

I started talking again regularly to my long-time friend Athena, and it reminded me how cool it is that we can talk to each other about ANYTHING.

I started to get more friends and followers on Tumblr and AO3, which is inspiring and gratifying.

There are so many other people too!  Basically I spent most of December looking at my life and wondering how I got so lucky.  *HUGS YOU ALL*



-Write more fanfic.  I'm not letting go of Touched or Hotel for Ghosts, because I love them, but really fanfic gives me more of what I need out of writing: the chance to play, have fun, make friends, and be recognized.  Yes, I am an attention whore.  LOL

-Keep up with LJ, reading and posting.  Because I have awesome friends and any chance I have to interact with them is important.

-The usual exercise, eat healthier, keep up with housework crap that I will probably ignore.

I...feel like I had more resolutions? But fuck it, that's all I can remember right now.


Updated Scorecard Post for New Friends!

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve done one of these! At this point the Nuthatch has been in its current configuration for about three years- time really flies! I have a few new friends, though, and I know things can get confusing here at the Nuthatch, here’s the scorecard for those of you playing at home. If you feel compelled to exit afterwards, please do so quietly, OK? Thanks.

Read more...Collapse )

Bridge Pose

(So, I was going to post just a short, cryptic entry and then flesh it out later, but then I thought, Fuck it, I'm not sleeping anyway. So here's the whole thing. It is late, I've not had a lot of sleep, I am feeling things I am unused to feeling. in other words, fair warning, this post is somewhat rambling and melodramatic. But we've met, right?)

OK, this all started when I realized I was shopping WAY. TOO. MUCH.  I mean, I know I shop a lot, especially for makeup and crap, but this was beyond excessive.  And because I'm fundamentally incapable of not examining every single aspect of my life, I needed to figure out why.  It took me 2.5 seconds to concluded that I was booooored.  Because really, the two basic reasons people shop compulsively are boredom or to cope with emotional distress.  And I'm pretty happy with life right now, so I wasn't really distressed.

So.  Not bored with work.  Not bored with Skyrim.  Not bored with shows, or friends, or reading.

I was bored with ME.  And the reason I was bored with me is because I wasn't just not emotionally distressed, I wasn't emotionally ANYTHING.  I've pretty much kept a tight lock on my emotions for at least the past year.  I've let myself feel bitter and betrayed and pretty much nothing else, and I turned it into a place of safety, and a reason to not really trust anyone.  But I'm not good at stasis, I'm not good at safety, I'm not good at not challenging myself.

I am, on the other hand, pretty good at emotional alchemy- In other words, I can just decide, "I'm going to start feeling things again," and it's like flipping a switch, or untying a knot.  And the reason I'm writing this post, apart from the usual narcissism, is that letting myself feel things again after so long feels weird. I'm not even feeling anything in particular right now, it's just the ability to feel itself, rushing back like blood into a disused limb.  It also feels, strangely, like holding a yoga pose- that balance of tension and openness, vulnerability.

The vulnerability is the part that gives me pause, of course.  I've lost two major friendships in the past few years, with people I trusted implicitly, and that always breaks open old scars that take a long time to heal again.  Neither situation was as simple as I made it out to be at the time, and the complete burning of the respective bridges was an unfortunate side effect of this very ability to just shut down all my feelings and behave like a cold-hearted arse.

I'd like to be strong enough in the future to just hold that emotional pose. To not do that to anyone in my life again.  To absorb the hurt, breathe through it, and come back with love and compassion and communication.  We'll see if I've got that in me; I wasn't raised to trust, and I haven't had a lot of experiences to counteract that.  But how much of that was because I didn't let myself have those experiences?  I didn't give myself (and others) the chance to see if mistakes could be corrected, relationships repaired?  And right now, I look at the people I do still have in my life and I know they are too precious to throw away without doing everything in my power to hold onto them.  I've never had more inspiring, lovely, trustworthy, and completely mad and ridiculous people in my life and I would be lost without that.

So yes, opening up means I'm going to have to do a certain amount of mourning, and maybe even some olive-branch offering.  And I may not be able to change the past, but I can keep myself from ruining the potential for my future.

I'm a very, very morally ambiguous girl...

To my complete and utter fucking surprise, my very crappy weekend actually ended quite nicely.  AND I might actually get to sleep before 2 a.m.!  AND Teagan starts daycare/preschool FULL TIME tomorrow, so I can have normal work hours.  Or something.  Anyway, 7ish hours without kids!

Also, I think I've come up with a working solution to one of my life problems, which will actually be beneficial to someone else, too. *is cryptic*  And I realized I'd been head-casting Verity ALL WRONG and she is actually played by Rachel Miner NOT Jennifer Lawrence.  Which is a great improvement, and my inspiration folder has been updated accordingly.

Lastly, there is apparently a horror movie called 5 Souls starring Ian Bohen and I need to watch it.

And a question for any socially adept people who might have accidentally stumbled upon my blog and been too stunned to run away: Can you tell someone that they're your best friend? Is that a thing you can say to people?

RMVerity Verity Doyle

Jeremy5 Jeremy Spencer
♥ And now: A meme!! Stolen from tjs_whatnot. Reply with a "Me plz" and I will:

1. Tell you why I friended you. If I remember. (If I don't I might make up an entertaining and complex 'how we met' story!)
2. Associate you with something.
3. Tell you something I like about you.
4. Rec you a song/fic/icon I think you'd like.
5. Associate you with a character/pairing.
6. Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7. Tell you my favorite userpic of yours.
8. Suggest that you post this in your own journal so I can play again. :))(though you may feel free to ignore that part!)


So, I can't sleep, and I'm feeling kind of melancholy, both of which I'm blaming on my concussion and my crap weekend in general.  So I figured I'd ramble on at you about Touched, because apparently I don't want to have any friends left by the end of the year at all.

It's funny because although it's obvious that I'm obsessed with this book, and that probably isn't either odd or encouraging to people who really know me because I get obsessed with EVERYTHING I'm the slightest bit interested in for at least a week or two. Scott doesn't take anything I talk about seriously until I've been doing it for at least 3 months, which totally a reasonable and time-saving attitude for all concerned.

But the weird thing is, as much as I love writing Touched, it's actually kind of emotionally difficult.  A lot of it is based on my own shit- my abusive mother, my fear and discomfort with intimacy and being touched, and the way that sometimes cuts me off from things I actually want.  I feel like I've built this life to support my ability to stay emotionally aloof and now I'm trapped in it.  Also, writing it makes me miss Anna more (not a coincidence her name means "Grace") and want to hole up in a cave somewhere so I can just talk to her in my head for the rest of my life instead of dealing with people.

Wow, I just read this over and I can actually tell the difference in my writing from normal.  Luckily my work week is super, SUPER light because I don't think I'm up to much editing this week if these are the sentences I'm making.

But maybe it's good that I'm rambling.  I need a little less emotional constipation in my life.  That's one of the things I miss about classes at the Grove- the chance to talk about emotional stuff with a group of people who aren't directly involved in or affected by it.  (The first person to suggest group therapy in the comments will be summarily executed by flying fish.)

Oh! As long as I'm losing friends, it was fucking FANTASTIC to be able to watch footy again, and I'm going to take it as a good omen that Tottenham won even though Bale's fucked off to Madrid.

OK, Imma go back to drinking my bottle of water like it's whiskey and reading History of Suicide: Voluntary Death in Western Culture. Shut up, it's actually a good book for me.  Think Sherlock.  I love you guys, thanks for putting up with my emotional drunkness.  Feel free to comment or shift uncomfortably in your seat and pretend you didn't read this.  Either  way.
I have been trying to figure out for nearly four months what the hell it is I was trying to say, and then I realised- THIS. THIS IS EVERYTHING I WANT TO SAY TO YOU.  I only hope you're still listening.  If you know who this is for, please pass it on.  It's only fair to pass on the good stuff the same way you pass on the bad.  Thanks.

Hour follows hour
like water follows water
Everything is governed by the rule of one thing
leads to another
You can't really place blame
'cuz blame is much too messy
Some was bound to get on you
while you were trying to put it on me

And don't fool yourself
into thinking things are simple
Nobody's lying, still the stories don't line up
Why do you try to hold on
to what you'll never get a hold on?
You wouldn't try to put the ocean in a paper cup

'Cuz I have had something to prove
long as I know there's something that needs improvement
And you know everytime I move
I make a woman's movement
And first you decide what you've gotta do
And then you go out and do it
And maybe the most the we can do
is just to see each other through it

Hour follows hour like water in a river
And from one to the next
we don't know what each hour will deliver
We just call it like we see it
we call it out loud as we can
And then afterwards we call it all water over the dam

Maybe the moral high ground
isn't as high as it seems
Maybe we are both good people
who've done some bad things
I just hope it was okay
I know it wasn't perfect
I hope in the end we can laugh
and say it was all worth it

'Cuz I have had something to prove
long as I know there's something that needs improvement
And you know everytime I move
I make a woman's movement
And first you decide what you've gotta do
And then you go out and do it
And maybe the most that we can do
is just to see each other through it

We make our own gravity to give weight to things
Then things fall, and they break
and gravity sings
We can only hold so much is what I figure
Try and keep our eye on the big picture,
picture keeps getting bigger

And too much is how I love you
but too well is how I know you
And I've got nothing to prove this time
just something to show you
I guess I just wanted you to see
that it was all worth it to me

The Fandom Saved My Life Project


One statement I have heard over and over during my years in fandom is, “Fandom saved my life.”  Sometimes this is a starkly literal statement.  Literal or not, the truth that many fans know is that a fandom, at its best, can provide a strong, supportive community that can make a real difference in its members’ lives.  Many people who would otherwise feel isolated, depressed, or even suicidal find a home in its ranks.  After all, we engage in the most interactive and fundamental of all human activities- sharing stories.  Whether we write fanfic, make art, or simply read and watch, we are sharing stories that transform our lives.

Now the Fandom Saved My Life Project wants to help you share your story.

What it is:

Fandom Saved My Life will be an anthology of personal essays about peoples’ strong, positive experiences with fandom and on-line communities.  Any positive stories are welcome, but stories about transformative or even literally life-saving circumstances will be preferred.  All fandoms and types of fans are welcome! 

Who I am:

My name is Alexis Arendt. I am freelance editor, operating the book review and editing website Word Vagabond.  I’ve been in fandom for 22 years, starting off-line with Star Trek: The Next Generation, and continuing through Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Merlin, Sherlock (books, movies, and BBC), Avengers, and Once Upon a Time, among others.  I’ve been a professional and semi-professional editor for nearly that long (my first gig was a ST:TNG fanzine).  Please feel free to check out my website, http://www.wordvagabond.com, for more information about me and to see my editing credits.

Submission Guidelines:

We are looking for submissions of personal essays 2,000-6,000 words in length.  No explicit materials will be accepted; essays containing explicit materials may still be considered if the explicit material can be edited out without compromising the narrative.  Submissions must be in Word-compatible format.  Not all submissions will be accepted.  The submission deadline is at 12:00 a.m. EST, 5/15/2013.  No submissions will be accepted after this deadline.

Authors who are chosen for the anthology will be required to sign a waiver with their legal names, but their essays may be published under a pen name if requested by the author.

Authors will receive free editing, a copy of the anthology (digital or paperback, as preferred), and credit for their work.  Authors will have final approval of their edited manuscript before publication.  Authors will not receive royalties or other compensation.

Please send all submissions to Alexis Arendt at: fsml@gmail.com as attachments.


Once Upon a Time feels- REGINA


OK, guys, I know I am well-known for my villain-sympathising ways, but I really, really have to talk about Regina first, because she is kind of my POV character in the show.  She is SO complex, and every bit of her backstory, even the horrible things she does, just make my heart break for her a little more.  She has had so much hurt and loss, and I can totally see how she ended up where she is.  Every time she does something horrible I hurt for her, because I see how much she’s hurting herself by going just a little bit further down that road.  Everyone she loves ends up hurting, rejecting, or betraying her at some point, whether they intend to or not.

And yet!  She’s still got so much love, and it seems like it’s always struggling to come out.  You can see that her problem, despite trying so hard to seem icy and unreachable, is really that she FEELS TOO MUCH.

So I kind of have a “there but for the grace of God” feeling about her.  She is my favorite character hands-down, bearing in mind that this show is FULL of freaking awesome characters.

Also, admit it- she gets the BEST outfits.  Villains always do, baby.

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