Sunday, October 31, 2010

The friend I was talking to about staying on her couch has said I can stay with her. She being real cool about it and is even moving one of her boys into one of her other boy's room while I'm there so I'll have a room of my own. Her mom is visiting for a little while so I can't start staying with her until the 8th or 9th at the earliest. I think I'll be ok staying where I am until then. I still have to move my stuff into storage which I'm going to do during next week.

So I have a definite place to stay until we(F,J,M) find a place.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ok this is going to be a little long and rambley, so I'm going to start with a quick summery. First off I'm doing ok, not great but ok. Second I'm still living in the apartment alone except for my cat. Third the power got shut off Friday morning. Fourth M who wasn't going to move in with the rest of us until January is on board to move in as soon as we have a place. Fifth I really am ok, just in the dark.

For the past week starting Monday I've been living with the fear that the light was going to get turned off. Coming home to see the kitchen light still on has never felt so good. Because the light company wouldn't give me an extension on paying the overdue part, I had planned on praying to any deity that would listen to keep the light on until I could pay it Friday afternoon when I got my paycheck. Friday I was off work so I had planned to wash clothes and then go get my check in the afternoon when they release them. I was just starting to pack my clothes into my bag when the lights went out. Even though the breaker jumps a lot, somehow I knew it wasn't the breaker. I walked down the stairs and to the front door. I opened it and looked to the left where the light meter is and saw the man just finishing up. I said, "Hey," and he said, "Hey, it's getting turned off cause it hasn't been paid." He sounded a little defensive like he's had to deal with hostile people too often. I just nodded and said, "Yeah I know," and went back inside.

I called the light company to find out how much it would cost now with the disconnect and reconnect fee which came to more than I can pay right now. They told me and I was polite and I hung up before I began to cry. Then I had a little break down and wailed to the universe about how unfair it was to let me get so close to being able to pay it and then just dash my hopes like that. I collected myself after only a few minutes and went to wash my clothes.

On the way to wash I stopped to talk with my sister. Yes I'm still on speaking terms with her despite how she left me. It's not something I can explain but even though I know I should be extremely mad at her, it just doesn't feel worth it. She is the closest family I have besides my parents. I grew up around her and have lived with her for eleven years. I've lived with and helped raise her three kids. It's a very strong bond that I don't want to lose. Anyways I stopped and talked to her at her boyfriend's business which is just down the street from where I live and told her that the light was off. After a few minutes I left and walked to the laundry mate.

I had grabbed Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn on my way out of the house to read while my clothes washed. It is a really good book and I'm going to try to write a review of it in a few days.

Walking back from the laundry mate an idea began to crystallize. A plan you might say. I'm going to put almost all my stuff into a storage unit and couch surf until we have a house or apartment lined up. I'm talking with one friend right now about staying on her couch and have a couple of other people I can ask.

In the mean time I'm staying in the apartment with no electricity. It's not too bad. I can do without tv or my x-box. I have books to read. I had to buy an alarm clock that runs off batteries and a small lantern so I'm not stumbling around in the dark. I've been spending my afternoons in Hasting's cafe to use their free wifi and outlets so I'm not cut off from the internet. They're open until 10pm so I can stay there until late if I want.

The real inconvenience is going to be not being able to cook on the stove or even microwave food. I get a free meal everyday that I work at the deli which along with a couple small snacks later enough for me to get by. Days that I don't work I would cook something for lunch large enough to have leftovers for the evening. Now I'm not sure what I'll be doing.

Good news though M, my best friend and co-storyploter is on board to move in with the three of us as soon as we have a place. He was going to wait until January due to family responsibilities but things have resolved themselves. I'm glad he's moving in now and not later. It's been a while since I've had someone to call my best friend. It's hard for me to get close to people but with him it feels like we've known each other for many more years than we have. Since I got fired from the cookie store I haven't been able to see him as often as I used to when we were working at the same place.

That's about everything that's been going on. I know it sounds bad but I'm doing ok really.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Real life writes the plot

Ok basically next month is going to be nothing like I thought it was going to be like. First off I'll now living alone. My sister has moved out. She told me yesterday morning. I don't really mind being alone but I was kind of depending on her for rent and half the bills. She lost her job about a month ago an my job doesn't pay a whole lot so we've been falling behind on bills and rent. Now that she's moved out I'm really in a bind with the bills and rent. Now it may seem like my sister has screwed me over but the bigger picture is hard to explain without writing several pages about my our lives so just believe me when I say I'm not mad at her.

Second I'm not going to be able to do Nanowrimo. I really wanted to try this year but with this going on I don't think I can face up to a brand new project. I will keep writing the stuff I've been working on.

My light bill is over due but if they hold off until Friday I can catch it up. Rent wise I'm up the creek with no paddle. I figure the landlord won't evict me until sometime in November hopefully not until the end.

Yesterday afternoon I went to my old workplace to see some friends. While there I asked if they knew of any cheap apartments which led to me explaining everything. That's when F said that he, M(the guy I've been working with on that series and my best friend) and another guy that I know but not too well have been planning on renting a house together and if I wanted I could join them and lower the amount everyone has to pay.

So now I'm looking for a house we can rent. F has said that they can have money saved up by the end of November to pay for first months rent and the deposit. I gathered that they hadn't planned on finding a place until around January but because of my precarious situation he's pushing the others to do it sooner.

It's weird the way life can work out. Monday morning I thought I was facing homelessness. By that evening I had been invited into a new home made with friends. It's not a perfect solution there's still a chance my light could get cut off early or I could get evicted before we find a place or save enough for rent and deposit. Despite this possible disasters I can't feel too worried about them cause at the other end is home.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Ok, so I've got a bit of a heads up for any regular readers my already irregular posting schedule is going to become even more irregular next month. Next month is Nation Novel Writing Month I'm going to be participating. Basically this blog is going to be pretty quiet for about a month. I may post some updates on how much I've written but don't expect regular posts about anything else. I may prepare a few short reviews about webcomics I like to be auto posted during the month but again don't expect too much. Maybe next year I'll be a strong enough writer to churn out tens of thousands of words a day and post on my blog everyday. Right now I'm lucky if I can post more than three times a week.

Nanowrimon is when people around the country try to write an entire novel in one month. For the purposes of the event a novel equals 50,000 words. The novel can be any genre, pretty much anything goes as long it's 50,000 words. There aren't any prizes or awards except for being able to say you did it. There maybe some sort of web badge I can put up but I'm not sure.

I first heard about this about four years ago. Two years ago I was unemployed for a month and starting to write more. I posted word counts for awhile on twitter and someone suggested I try to do it. After doing the math about how much I was writing versus what I would need to write I decided not to try. Last year things were in such a mess with me running the cookie store after my boss skipped out on us that I didn't even have time to realize it was that time of year again. This year I'm not unemployed but my job isn't too demanding and I'm not managing a store by myself and I feel like I've experienced real growth as a writer in the last year, so I'm going to go for it.

I may not meet the 50,000 word goal in the thirty days but I am going to try. I feel I need to at least try. I feel like if I put it off for another year I may never do it. Two years ago I found myself lacking and did not try. This year I find myself lacking but I am willing to try.

Also I'm not sure what I want to write so I'm looking for ideas. So if you have an idea for a novel that you don't mind giving away, send it to me in the comments or via email. Thanks.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Into the Mysts

So, I was catching up with some webcomics and ran across this Penny Arcade strip about the possibility of a Myst movie being made. For those of you who haven't heard of this game, it was a puzzle game from the mid 90's the was quite popular. The player character is nameless, genderless and only referred to as 'stranger'. The comic strip depicts a man as the main character. My first thought was, "They would change the character to a man for the movie." Then I remembered about the character not having any identifying traits during gameplay and yet I had a very strong feeling that the character 'I' had played was a woman.

These days if I'm given a choice between playing a man or woman in a game I play the woman. It feels more right and comfortable. I played Fallout 3 as a woman. My first character in Dragon Age: Origins was a woman.

Myst had no character selection screen. You never see any part of your character and as I said the few characters you do meet call you 'stranger'. So why did I think I was playing a woman? Not having a predetermined character I, as many others who played the game did also, inserted themselves into the character.

I find this very interesting because as I said the game came out in the mid 90's and I played it either in 1999 or 2000. This is at least four maybe five years before I realized I was transgender. Even before I could consciously think of such a thing as being transgender, I projected a female personality onto a blank slate.

On one hand this is mildly validating but on the other it's just another point of data letting me know just how clueless I was back then.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Writing about someone who really isn't me but really is me

I've been writing a story that features a character that I only recently realized was me in a different form.

Recently I reread an old post of mine and suddenly saw the words I had only recently written for this character in a year old post. I knew that I was putting a lot of me into this character but to see just how much I was projecting myself was a little scary. It's scary to think that this character is me and that anyone who reads this story will know more about me than I let most people I call friends know.

And yet I can't bare to strip myself out of the character. I don't think she would survive the operation. She is too much me that to do that would kill her. I know this because I don't hear her voice in my head. I hear her best friend's voice. I hear the snotty blonde who imagines herself to be a rival to her love's affection. But I don't hear her voice because her voice is my voice. In a way I'm writing an autobiography of things that never were but in a different time and place might have been. It's less and more challenging because my lead says what I would say in her place but she doesn't talk to me. She doesn't tell me what she is like or what she likes. It all has to come for within me.

Which sounds rather strange when you think about it. I mean the other characters who do talk to me are really just me so everything about them comes from within me too. But her details are my details making it more personal and harder to reveal. Hardly no one lives an open book but a character in a story is laid bare by the author or in this case the author is laid bare by the character.

I think I've said my piece about voices in my head and writing about myself for today.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time Machine 'Fix'

(Minor edit to replace wife with fiancee. I thought they were married but when I checked online for a plot synopsis I saw they were engaged not married.)

A while back I got to talking with friend about time travel movies. He was mostly against time travel in general while I was more supportive of the idea. His main gripe was that most movies with time travel didn't do it very well. The Time Machine was brought up as one of the better ones but still not great. I thought some on the story of The Time Machine and came up with a way to 'fix' the movie so it ended sooner and with a happier, and I think cleaner, ending.

When the time traveler is in the future, he is told by the head morlock that he can't save his fiancee from being killed because it is his fiancee's death that caused him to make the time machine. So, him saving her would cause the time machine to not be built, causing a paradox.

However I came up with a way to save her without causing a paradox. If he were to go back in time to the night she was supposed to die and instead of just saving her, he brought her forward to the time he left from, while making it seem as if she had died, his past self would still have the motive to make the time machine. Thus his fiancee is saved and the time machine is still made and no paradox is created; only a stable time loop.

Now it's easy for me to come up with this plan since I'm outside of the problem and not weighed down with depression and grief of having lost my loved one multiple times. I think the morlock could have figured this out but he had no reason to help the time traveler. Although once the time traveler knew why he couldn't just save her, I think he should have been able to figure out how to save her and preserve the timeline. He did build a time machine after all which means he must be pretty smart, right?

Anyway that is how I would 'fix' The Time Machine. Keep in mind that I liked the movie as is and am not saying that because the movie didn't do X I don't like it. I'm merely suggesting another way that the conflict of the movie could have been resolved.

I'm thinking of trying to write a series of posts like this where I come up with ways to 'fix' other movies or just analyze their plot holes. Of course now that I've mentioned it the idea will probably languish untouched for months. I'll try not to let that happen. ^_^


Drepression/Panic Attack

Saturday something unsettling happened.

I went in early because the regular slicer had been sick and it wasn't clear if he would be there Saturday. Well he didn't show up so I ended up slicing for the day. I was worried about getting back in the swing of slicing but after a couple of hours it felt a little like I had never left. It felt good to be back in the saddle as they say.

After work I went over to Hasting's to use their free wifi. I found an empty chair in their cafe and pulled out my netbook. I had planned on going through my feed reader and getting caught up on everything. It's been a little more than a week and I had over a thousand items to wade through. It took me longer than I thought it would but luckily I had packed my charger in my bag that morning and Hasting's has plugs for you to plug your laptop into. I finished up, unplugged my netbook, put it to sleep, stowed everything and walked out of the cafe.

I considered the time and decided to walk down the street to a different bus stop than the one closest to Hasting's so I could get home sooner at the expense of walking a few blocks. As I was about to cross the street things started to go bad. Watching for traffic to clear I suddenly had the thought, "That suv is going fast enough and all I have to do is step off the curb RIGHT NOW."

I stepped away from the curb, took a deep breath and cleared my mind. I made it across the street and kept walking to the bus stop. I felt puzzled as to why that thought had entered my mind. I hadn't been feeling depressed and nothing upsetting had happened, so why was I feeling the urge to kill myself. As I walked my thoughts shifted to negative feelings. I began to feel like everthing was spiraling out of my control and everything was going wrong with my life. Normal depression thoughts for me. I counter with repeating, "Everything is fine. My life is good." over and over to keep any other thoughts out of my head.

As I walked the feels seemed to strengthen and I had to stop walking a couple of times to calm myself down. I discovered that running my hands through my hair like I was petting a dog helps me to calm down some. When it came time for me to cross the street again I felt overwhelmed by the number of cars that seemed to be barreling out on me. I couldn't force myself to cross when any cars were even in sight. After crossing I once more had to stop to calm myself before crossing one final street to the bus stop. As I stood there waiting for the light to change so I could cross I felt surges of panic every time a car passed by. Finally the light changed and I was able to walk to the safety of the bus shelter.

I had one more monment of panic when I looked for the shelter and didn't see it right away in the dim twilight but it was there and I felt a little relief at seeing my destination. Once in the shelter, which is little more than a bench, three plexiglass walls and a roof, I turned my back on the street and concentrated on relaxing. By the time the bus came I was much more in control but still didn't trust myself to look at traffic. Thanks to years of riding the local buses, I felt safer once in the bus and didn't have anymore spikes of panic the rest of the way home, though I also did not look out the windows at traffic either.

The walk home from the bus stop nearest my home was also fairly uneventful thanks to the low traffic volume on that street though I did still feel depressed and was scared silly by a dog barking in a fenced yard(I am usually not scared of dogs barking). Getting home and into my room helped to drive away some of the fears I was feeling but I still curled up on my bed and hugged my stuffed lemur for about an hour.

I wrote the above Sunday night before I packed up my dirty clothes and took off to my laundry mate. On the way I had a disturbing thought. I was still thinking about Saturday and how upset I felt about feeling the urge to kill myself. Then I realized that the reason it upset me was because I really don't want to kill myself. But what about the day that it doesn't upset me? That will be the day I give in to those urges. That will be the day I kill or try to kill myself. I won't even care that I'm doing it I'll just do it. That really scares me. As one of my characters said, "No one want to kill themselves until they do it."

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Writing Plateau

I feel like I've reached a new plateau in my writing. I feel like I've found my groove. I'm not saying that I've become a great writer but I am a better one than I was a few months ago. And I'll be still better in a few more months and so on. Right now though I've made a minor break through which I'm celebrating.

Writing used to be something I only did when inspiration hit. I needed a good idea and I needed to work out some of it in my head but not too much or I wouldn't be able to write it down without feeling like I was rehashing something I had already done. Most of those efforts didn't last long enough to make it to a completed story.

In the past few months I have gotten into the habit of writing everyday. Usually I work on the project I've been working on with my friend. Sometimes I write my own stories which feel easier to write now. I don't feel the need to have the words perfect on my head before typing them out. I feel freer to just write and if it's good it's good; if it isn't good then I trash it and write some more. I'm less afraid to write badly which frees the mind considerably. When every line has to be perfect the first time you write it you can get stuck very easily but when you know that you can always fix or delete it later, you can just roll right over those bumps.

All in all this plateau, this break through, is really just me relaxing into writing what comes to my mind without trying so hard that I choke. It's an easy concept but it can be hard to implement.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Advantages of Not Having a Car

Most of the time I don't really care one way or the other about owning a car. During the past eleven years I have owned a car about half of those have been without a car.

Owning a car can be liberating. Being able to just go anywhere at anytime is a privilege most car owners don't appreciate. Of course owning a car means it is your responsibility. Gas, maintenance, insurance, state inspection, and gas. Being without a car means not having to worry about those things. If you ride the bus someone else takes care of it. Of course everything is a trade off. For not having the responsibility for the bus you have to go where the bus will take you when it takes you there.

Last night I as I leaving Hastings I walked by the outside patio of their cafe and heard someone speaking. Curious I walked closer and realized that it was poetry. Later I would find out it was a gathering of poets and poetry lovers who get together twice a month to read poetry. I sat in on the rest of the readings and had a good time listening to the poetry. If I hadn't been on foot walking to the bus stop I wouldn't have heard them. I would have missed out on this experience. I would have missed a chance to make new connections with these people. I didn't really talk to anyone cause well I tend to stay quiet until I get to know people better but I'm going to go back next time they get together and maybe I'll get up and read something myself.

None of this would be possible if I had a car. So sometimes not having a car can lead you to things you might not otherwise find. It can make you slow down and see things you might have missed.