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Relish. Everything.

4 Dec

Hi guys,

Long time no chat.

I’m sure we’ll talk about that, but right now I’m not interested – I have no good reason for being quiet, just too little time on my hands recently. I needed what (time) I had for non-blog-y things. I’m sure you understand.

Okay. So long-winded bullshit (you’ve all read a thousand times before) short: I need to write. I need to write daily. I’m not really a theme kind of gal, but I recently stumbled upon Rebecca Murphy‘s Relish12 project and I want to try it. I have some days to catch up, so bear with me for a bit until I get this all sorted.

All right – let’s get going.

Relish12 Day One: Your Mountain

We all face challenges during the year; some we meet, some we don’t. What was your mountain to climb this year? Did you reach the top?

My biggest stumbling block this year has been personal understanding and happiness. I have struggled with this, more than I have words to describe. Some days are better than others, some days make me want to stay curled up under my blankets and never, ever get out of bed again.

On the bright side? It’s getting easier to breathe. Things are getting better. I’ve had conversations with the right people and have more people lined up for more conversations and more work. It’s a process.

My mountain is self-acceptance and I have not reached the top. I’m still at the foothill stage of this climb, but I’m moving upward. One day at a time, one lesson at a time. Things are coming together and I know that I have one of the most amazing, encouraging support systems in the world. If I can keep moving, I’ll get to the top.

(Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to keep nudging me to continue. It’s so easy to stop and sit down, but the rest isn’t what I need. The agony of the journey and the reward that is seeing life from the top of this mountain is.)

Relish 12 Day Two: Sweet Treat…

Life is littered with sweetness, of all kinds. What was the sweetest treat you enjoyed this year?

Anyone who really knows me knows that sweets are not the way to my heart. I’m a savoury (read: cheese) girl, through and through. However! It makes my heart sing when the weather turns and the leaves change.

You can guess, I know you can.

Beyond the astounding, inspiring beauty of autumn is the Pumpkin Spice Latté. Oh yes, that wonderful, aromatic, perfect, smooth, amazing treat. That first PSL order of the year tickles me. It’s one part favourite season, one part amazing drink and one part wonderful memories of coffee dates long passed. It’s kind of neat how so many experiences and feelings can be wrapped up in one single, little drink.

Relish12 Day Three: Let Go…

What did you let go of this year? This could be a specific belief, or a relationship, or something else in your life.

Relationships. I (started to) let go of relationships, this year.

See, I completely (rationally) understand that people grow apart. I accept it and celebrate the idea of learning from every experience I have.

But.

I have a problem with “losing” friends. It makes me feel as though I haven’t tried hard enough or that I’ve done something terribly wrong. Truth is? Sometimes friendships just run their course – and that’s okay.

In climbing my mountain, I am working on letting go of relationships that are toxic to me. One-sided endeavours from which I garner nothing but heartache. This is not okay. It’s not healthy, and it’s just not the way life is supposed to be lived. It also doesn’t make the other side of this relationship a bad person any more than I am a bad person. We just aren’t a successful pair. Our interests, needs, wants and experiences just don’t jive. And that’s okay.

I am working on letting go of relationships that do not see me thrive. It’s a great, great thing. A bit painful, but the lesson is pretty exquisite.

Respect yourself(Image @ Women’s Rights News on Facebook)

While I understand that Day Four is actually today, I am going to leave you here. Day four is a great prompt and I want to take some time to properly consider my answer.

Thanks for hanging out, folks – I hope everything is coming up lollipops and unicorns for you all.

The Piano Guys – Carol of the Bells

(You need to listen to this. It’s freaking beautiful. Amazing. Wonderful.)

UNT.

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Thirty Days of Writing: Question Number Four

16 Sep

Number 4→ Your first stories/characters. 

My first story.

Wow.  There’s a blast from the past.

I have absolutely no idea what my first story was, but I can tell you the one that I always remember the most fondly.  The one that hinted that maybe I could do this.  It was called Midnight Cove.  A story about a sea monster (distant relative of the Ogopogo) terrorizing San Diego.

Pretty much guys, pretty much.

Unfortunately I don’t have the submission date written on the final draft (oh yes, I still have the final draft and oh no, you will not be reading it), but I am pretty sure I wrote it in grade seven.

At any rate?  It’s not too terrible.  I mean the plot could be better and I did end it with a wedding, but the foundation’s pretty solid.  (And hey, I got an “A” for it – booyah!)  Pond scum that may someday become a complex life form, folks.  We all have our roots.

What about you?  Do you remember your first stories and/or characters?  Do you still have the old drafts and do you still read over them from time to time?

Allure feat. Christian Burns – Power of You

UNT.

A survey and a writerly meme!

3 Aug

A Survey!  (Originally seen here: Getting To Know You Day on Authentic Experience.)

1. How long have you been blogging?
Four years. Ish.

2. Did you go to college?

  (Image @ Zelda Lily: Feminism in a Bra)

Why yes, yes I did.

3. Where have you traveled?
I have trekked over quite a bit of our fair Canada, have seen a wee bit of the USofA and have visited Germany and Austria.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
My house.

5. What are your three biggest pet peeves?
a) Tailgaters.

b) People who leave their blinkers on LONG after their turn and/or lane-change has been made.

c) Not being the centre of everyone’s universe.  It’s just wrong, guys.

6. What is your favourite movie?
Hackers.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Strange list.

I like water.  For more fun, I’m all about the DP. (Dr. Pepper, that is.)

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Write.

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
I’d love to say Books & Co., but I think Home Depot and Ikea are wiser choices. (If I have to spend it in a store and not refer to Question 4.)

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past?
I was once ashamed to admit that I dig (It’s) Britney (Bitch) Spears.

11. What day would you love to relive again?
June 29, 2002.

12. If your life was turned into a movie… what actor would play you?
Anne Hathaway. Because this is the only way I will ever walk with any semblance of poise, or speak with a hint of eloquence.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
In high school I rocked an art gallery front desk (and gift shop) and college (university) saw me building pizzas or making salads, depending on which city I was in at the time.

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
Okay. OLD uni picture, from the Residence Semi-Formal I attended in my second year.

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
The answer to this question depends on the day it’s asked. Today? Nova Scotia.

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you.
Okay.  Me and Nephew-Bug (on July 27, 2012)!

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
I’m hoping to see it in a happy and healthy bosom of personal success. (Here’s a hint: YFN vyxen’s idea of personal success has very little, if anything, to do with financial gain.)

~*~

A Writerly Meme!

<Measurement of Time> 03 → How do you come up with character names? 

I used to use http://www.babynamenetwork.com/.  I tended to choose an origin based on the traits I had envisioned before naming a character and then I would start with a favourite letter and sift through the silt.

Now I use 55, 000+ Baby Names.  Because I picked it up for $4.99 and books are more fun than the internet (and it’s super fun to randomly sift through a baby name book in front of mephy).

Five Finger Death Punch – Bad Company

UNT.

In which YFN vyxen answers seven questions and begins a series.

24 Jun

First!

Some questions:

(The questions came from here!  You should answer them too, they’re fun.)

1. What do you do when you’re sick? (Do you act like a baby? Tough it out? Have any weird cravings? Cry?)
I tough it out. I live with a man, and so tease Mr. Man about how wimpy men are when they’re sick. I’d feel like a douche if I wasn’t She-Ra when sick. (Fuck you, Horde – Ima wreck you.)

2. What do you do to find motivation when you feel you’ve lost it?
In the case of RFN I make myself work. I’m a little sad and the last thing I want to do is sit down and write. (I’d really like to curl up and bask in the glory of Netflix.)

3. Do you wish time away or do you savour every moment?
I wish it away. There’s so much I want to do and I’d really just like to do it now, not savour The Now and wait. (I do wish – see what I did there? – I could savour every moment and I have tried, it’s just not working out so well for me.)

4. If you could be any mythological creature, what would you be, and why?
Chupacabra. ‘Cause that BAMF is a mythological Latin American Honey Badger.

5. What is your current biggest weakness and are you working on fixing it?
I have wavering self-esteem. It’s funny because today I was almost confident about a few things, but that’s just been shattered (it’s temporary – I’ll get over immediate disappointment). At any rate, my lack of self-confidence is debilitating.

As for fixing it? Yes, I’m working on it. I’m trying to be less “meh” about my talents. They’re real and they’re strong, I need to recognize that and hone in. I’m trying. Really hard. (It’s even been working.  Off and on.)

6. How do you greet someone when meeting them for the first time?
With a chipper “hello” and a hearty handshake.

7. How do you grocery shop? (Do you write up a list? Go in with no idea what you’re looking for? Have meal plans? Bring your own shopping bags?)
(I LOVE to grocery shop!)

I meal plan, so I like to pick dishes and then I build my grocery list around that, while taking into account work lunches for me and mephy and general household odds and ends (like Reese PB ice cream. A necessity in any household) – and yes, I bring my own shopping bags. I’m a little sad that $100+ can fit into only four (canvas) bags, but it sure saves on trips up and down the stairs when I bring it all home.

AND THEN!

(Yes.  And then.)

So I was wandering the vastness of The Online (a dangerous pastime, I know) on a quest for another survey-type-thing to fill out for you.  But this brilliant 30 Day Writing Challenge distracted me.  I feel this is a fantastic series to take part in, so I will!  (This will absolutely not be a 30 Days INAROW Writing Challenge though.  I am not a daily blogger.  I MAY be able to do 30 WEEKSINAROW, but we’ll see!  What I can promise is that I will complete each section of this challenge!)

(You should consider taking part as well, I want to read what you have to say about these things!)

Day 01 → Your favourite writ­ing project/universe that you’ve worked with. 

Honestly?  My absolute favourite environment to write in was for a play-by-post role playing game called Forest of the Moon (FotM).  Inspiration for that game was taken from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust (not coincidentally, my introduction to our beloved Gaiman), so it will surprise (some of) you very little to learn that the story took place in Faerie.

It’s actually because of FotM (and Stardust) that I’ve become so smitten with Fae mythos.  This is the only occasion that I’ve taken to writing faeries – I’m usually strictly only a reader of fantasy – and it’s been so much fun.  The plotlines are endless, the themes from which to draw are innocent and naïve on the surface and dark and foreboding only one layer beneath, and there’s just so much wit and whimsy involved.  It feeds my soul.

Alas, because I am usually strictly only a read of fantasy, this has been my only foray into Faerie.  Perhaps my deceitful little Fae will make a strong comeback in my personal writing – there are avenues I’d love to explore in her backstory – but am thrilled to always have theForestof the Moon.

In terms of personal writing?  In the last year I’ve begun to play with a pair of characters who dabble on opposite ends of the same spectrum.  They, and their little universe, have become my favourites in my offline writing.

I feel like this subject can’t be concluded without a respectful shout-out to an old favourite.  There was a time, eons ago now, when I did tinker with the worlds of fantasy.  I created a character that I still hold dear.  I can’t write her worth a shit (mephy actually does an amazing job of writing her and has incorporated her into a storyline of his own), but she will always be on a high pedestal in my creative world.  (I love her.  I want to be her.)

Queen – Another One Bites the Dust

UNT.

Countin’ 1, 2, 3.

13 Nov

Okay.  So I re-discovered a freaking fantastic blog today (I’d bookmarked it a while back and kept meaning to get into the reading, but life happens and I’m generally busy AND really good at procrastination)!  As I was reading the lovely entries it struck me that I must thief some of them (don’t worry – I warned the blogster).  This is one such blog.

(To those of you who were glad I stopped with the meme-ish-ness?  Sorry – I’ve been in a bad place lately and this is entertaining me.  I may never fully recover from my survey addiction.)

Check it: My Life in Threes

Reading

1) Laurie Halse Anderson – Speak.  This is a re-read.  I love this book.  It makes me cry, but I love it.

2) Adair Lara – Naked, Drunk and Writing.  ‘Cause really?  Why wouldn’t you?!

3) Jim Butcher – Fool Moon.  Yes still.  I just can’t seem to get addicted to the Dresden books.

Listening

1) LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It

(He works out.)

2) Theory of a Deadman – Bitch Came Back

3) Britney Spears – Gimme More

Watching

(Okay.  I don’t have cable, so what you’re going to see here is a list of my Netflix obsessions.)

1) Buffy.  (mephy is most displeased that I’ve started watching this again, but I feel that if he doesn’t want to watch TV with me than he can stfu and let me be a nerd.)

2) Blackadder.

3) Dexter. (This one I am watching new – thanks to my totally rad Sisty and her PVR.)

Needing

1) A vacation.  (To Thailand.)

2) A bath. (I have cold feet and now I really want to go read – I do my best reading in the tub.)

3) $500K.  (I’m not greedy, $500K would solve all of my debt problems (house and truck).)

Wanting

1) A winter work wardrobe.  It’s getting cold.

2) Diablo III.

3) A re-roll on a few life things.

Avoiding

1) My NaNoWriMo project.  The guilt of that avoidance is killing me.  This is a strange phenomenon.  I actually find myself wanting to not procrastinate.

2) Dealing with my issues.

3) Folding the laundry.

Loving

1) Lexie.  Paramount, right now, is this chick.  Babe?  Your encouragement and support of late has been so . . . well, needed.  I appreciate it more than I can say.  You make it easier to breathe.  Thank you.

2) Watching Ayla play in the snow.  So.  Fucking.  Cute!

3) That I can’t go an hour without thinking of the NaNoWriMo project.  I’m avoiding it and I hate what I have so far (because first drafts blow goats), but I started it, I’ve been working on it and I can’t stop thinking about it.  This pleases me.  Big.

(Melissa’s Life in Threes . . . as of 11/08/11!)

You’re caught up, folks.  This is my life.

Britney Spears – 3

UNT.

(Spy?  You’re right.  I have terrible taste in music.  This is criminal.)

ABCs of your snarky neighbourhood vyxen.

18 Sep

Courtesy of Angie and Kendra (and other people before, but you can follow that trail yourselves).

A. Age: 29.
B. Bed size: Queen, but strongly considering upgrading to King within the next few years.
C. Chore that you hate: Vacuuming.  And ironing.  Arch nemesi.
D. Dogs: One of my life’s greatest joys.
E. Essential start to your day: A shower.  (My showering is an essential start to everyone’s day.)
F. Favourite colour: Red.  (And green, I also love green.  I’m completely all over that whole Christmas thing.)
G. Gold or Silver: Gold, but white gold.
H. Height: 5’6″-ish.
I. Instruments you play: I used to play the flute.  I’m sure I could still play a few tunes, but I’d definitely have to practice.
J. Job title: Assistant Bookstore Manager and General Merchandise Buyer.  And (somewhat more importantly) Freelance Writer.
K. Kids: Love them.  Currently prefer puppies, though.
L. Live: In a fabulous house that I love!
M. Mother’s name: Bonnie.
N. Nicknames: Kim.  Creative, I know.  Kimmy sometimes too, but that one’s reserved for people I like.  A lot.  (I have a great deal more patience for people I like.  A lot.)
O. Overnight hospital stays: I’m not actually sure.  I don’t think I’ve done too much time in the hospital.
P. Pet peeves: People who tailgate, especially when there are two lanes to use.  I do not go below the speed limit folks.  In fact, I’m usually at least 5km/hr above it, but people still tailgate.  If I can’t see your taillights because you’re so far up my ass . . . I set my cruise on the speed limit and piss you off.  Go fuck yourselves.  Srsly.
Q. Quote from a movie: “FYI man, alright. You could sit at home, and do like absolutely nothing, and your name goes through like 17 computers a day. 1984? Yeah right, man. That’s a typo. Orwell is here now. He’s livin’ large. We have no names, man. No names. We are nameless!” (Cereal Killer, Hackers)
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: A (super fly) little sisty.
U. Underwear: Boyshorts.  That’s it, that’s all I ever wear anymore.
V. Vegetable you hate: Hate?!  None!  I love veggies.
W. What makes you run late: mephy.  mephy-time makes me crazy.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth.  Many, many teeth x-rays.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Most currently: pumpkin pie dip (do not use the full amount of sugar folks.  I used 1cup, but I think you can get away with 3/4, maybe even 1/2).  Usually cookies though, and pie.  I love to bake and I’m actually not terrible at it.
Z. Zoo animal: I’m not a fan of zoos.  I would prefer if they didn’t exist.

Xzibit (feat. Nate Dogg – RIP) – Been A Long Time

UNT.

Caution: (Book) Meme Ahead

24 Jul

Okay, I’m reasonably sure I said I wasn’t going to do this anymore.  But . . . women are unreasonable.  (That, and Angie just does such an awesome job of answering these things, I can’t help but fill it out.)

Here, some cruisin’ tunes.

Led Zeppelin – Ramble On

1. Favourite book – When I’m feeling pretentious I like to say Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, but all around favourite?  Talking to Dragonsby Patricia C. Wrede.
2. Least favourite book –
(I’m going to go with Angie on this one.)  Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  I’ve read the whole Bella-/swoon-Edward series and while I really don’t hate the series, I’ll go with definitely not my favourite.  I recently tried really hard to re-read Twilight but failed miserably after a chapter and a half – I think the sparkly vampire thing is done for me.
3. Book that makes you laugh out loud – I’ve been known to chortle in the middle of a few books.  Most memorably: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.  Hi-fucking-larious.
4. Book that makes you cry – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
6. Favourite young adult book – Talking to Dragons by Wrede.  Amazing.
7. Book that you can quote/recite – My memory’s not that stellar, I’m afraid.  I’m okay with Fox in Socks by Seuss.
8. Book that scares you – The Bible.
9. Book that makes you sick – What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Arlene Eisenberg.
10. Book that changed your life – Stardust by Neil Gaiman.  This book made me less interested in scribbling and more drawn to writing.
11. Book from your favourite author – American Gods.
12. Book that is most like your life – I have yet to read anything that unexciting.
13. Book whose main character is most like you – The Duff by Kody Keplinger.  I have almost no (physical) self-esteem and am sarcastic and cynical.  Awesome.
14. Book whose main character you want to marry –
I’m sorry world, there are no (published) fictional characters I am that attracted to.
15. First “chapter book” you remember reading as a child – I don’t remember.  Does Nancy Drew count?
16. Longest book you’ve read – Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind.  I’m sure it’s not the longest by page count, but it certainly felt the longest (I didn’t finish it, and I haven’t gone any further in the series).
17. Shortest book you’ve read –
Shortest book?  Animal Farm is one of them.  Oh!  Okay.  Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.
18. Book you’re most embarrassed to say you like – Pfft.  If I’m not ashamed to own up to my love of Britney Spears, there’s nothing I’ve read that makes my face red.
19. Book that turned you on – The Howling by Gary Brandner.
20. Book you’ve read the most number of times – Talking to Dragons.  (Overkill – this really is my all-time favourite.)
21. Favourite picture book from childhood – Popcorn by Frank Asch.
22. Book you plan to read next – Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
23. Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t actually finished) – There isn’t one.  Just as I’m not ashamed to have read something, I’m not ashamed to have not read something.  If I haven’t finished a book, there’s a reason.  If I haven’t picked one up, there’s a reason (mostly I’m getting to it).
24. Book that contains your favourite scene – Titus Andronicus by Wm. Shakespeare.
25. Favourite book you read in school – Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
26. Favourite nonfiction book – Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
27. Favourite fiction book – OH OKAY – I’ll switch it up.  Let’s see.  Someplace to Be Flying by Charles de Lint.  Freaking amazing.
28. Last book you read – Magic Slays by Illona Andrews – not the best in the series, but fun to read all the same.
29. Book you’re currently reading – In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (no Bookies, I haven’t finished it yet.  /Sigh).
30. Favourite coffee table book – I Like You : Hospitality Under The Influence by Amy Sedaris.
UNT.

Two bits.

3 Apr

1) (Infinitely important.)  My friend had her (first) baby yesterday.  I met him today.  He’s amazing.  (She would say: “You say that like there was a chance he wouldn’t be.  Do you forget who his mother is?!”)

I was able to spend some of my early afternoon making my nieces smile and coo and then I got to meet Mr. K.  Very, very cool day.

(I’m really blown away by C and her son.  I am at a loss for words befitting this degree of awesomeness.  I will leave it at: I feel so blessed.  I have awesome people and they let me share in amazing parts of their fantastic lives.  It’s pretty neat to be me.)

2) MEME!  (I was certain I would have to skip a week here folks – it occurred to me that I hadn’t posted yet this week.  These survey/meme/things are my saviours.)

1. do you weigh yourself?
As infrequently as possible.  Scales are a piss-poor method to determine your physical state (or self-worth).  (Added bonus: I don’t own a scale and hope I never do.)

2. what’s the nastiest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Stew.  I don’t care who makes it.  I don’t care if it’s lauded as the “best” stew on the planet and everyone who comes in contact with it adores it.  Stew is fucking disgusting and should not be considered food.

3. snail mail or email?
Snail.  There is nothing better than checking the mail and seeing something other than a bill or junk mail.  I love getting letters/postcards/cards/etc.  I EVEN write back!

4. do you have any irrational fears…what are they?
Spiders.

5. do you play an instrument?
In theory I play the flute.  In practice . . . not so much.  (I haven’t picked it up in, oh, six years?)

6. would you rather be bitten by a snake or attacked by a bear?
Bitten by a snake.  Preferably not a poisonous one.

7. do you ever go braless in public?
HAH.  Oh HELLZ no, son.  NO ONE wants to see that.

8. today i am thankful for……………………?
The people in my life.
UNT.

 

A wee bit of Wednesday.

16 Mar

Yeah, I know.  I’ve been doing too many memes and not enough actual writing lately.  But.  They’re fun and light and that’s just right for today.

{one} scruffy or clean shaven?
Scruffy. ‘Cause, like hot damn!

{two} what’s your favorite sundae topping?
Hot fudge. Is there anything that stuff can’t cure? (Aside from diabetes, cynics.)

{three} do you own slippers?
Do I ever?! My feet get very cold very fast. I need slippers. (Or I will explode – that happens to me sometimes)

{four} did you ever have a tree house?
No. Several forts, but never a tree house. We never really had a tree house kind of tree, though.

{five} how you do relieve stress?
Right now I don’t. I let it eat away at me until I’m a shell of my former self. This, I realize, isn’t healthy. I’m hoping to start getting into a walking routine shortly – that always helps me with stress.

{six} what’s your favorite dr. seuss book?
Fox in Socks.

{seven} have you ever taken dance classes?
No. I thought about it once upon a time ago, but I’m not really a dancer, or coordinated. I’ll stick to shaking my ass in the blinds-drawn privacy of my own home.

{eight} which do you use more: the thesaurus or the dictionary?
They are absolutely equal in importance and use at my desk. I am always looking things up and then I have to find synonyms. It’s a curse.

{nine} what’s your favorite form of exercise?
Walking.

{ten} what’s the longest you’ve ever waited in line?
You know, I’ve never tracked. A half-hour/forty-five minutes at Disneyland when we went a hundred years ago probably tops it, though. I am not a patient person, so I’m really not a fan of waiting. Pirates of the Caribbean really is that important.

Well that was fun.  Thank you Angie for prompting this by showcasing it on your lovely blog, and thank you Leigh for hosting wonderful Wednesdays.

The Arrogant Worms – Carrot Juice is Murder

UNT.