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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Insanity, Moving and Writing

Emory and I decided to try our hand at the Insanity workout. We've gone to the store a few times now, preparing our menu for the specialty diet people go on when they do this work out. In a few weeks, I'll tell you how it goes. In our current location, there isn't enough space for us both to work out, but I'm anxious to try this and I know Emory wants the results too. I think Emory is looking for the athletic 7% body fat results. I want the stamina and the good posture from having a strong core. We both want the health results; for him the lower blood sugar.

Emory and I have been going back and forth to the property we'll be moving into shortly. We are having work done on it, and in a week or so, after the tile sits, we'll be able to move in. The painters are going to give my office an accent wall. I chose pink. That really surprised everyone alive who knows me. I admitted I wanted Frankenstein or zombie green, but I couldn't find a color I could live with. Now that I think about it, I might've just convinced myself I needed the green. Halloween might only be in season for a month, but I celebrate Halloween year round.

Review for a freebie story I have up on the net: "I mean I'm absolutely in love with this shoot I wish you were my personal story teller if I could I would pick you up and put you in my brain.... Wait that sounds too creepy but anyway I love this story." Tyshiana G.

I love the letters I get from readers.

Writer update:

Writer Circle: We exchanged the first couple chapters of our work with the group. I read the supernatural YA and am now started on the 2nd partner's work.This is a great group. It's a strange coincidence that all of us used Arizona as our story locations.

Romance: Still working on the crap draft. I've actually allowed myself to get hung up on the plot line. I'm currently stuck.

Horror: Picking my way through it. Driving the whole way blind right now.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Time Share Bully

We sat in on a "time share" that they sell as "not being like a time share" and the experience was strange. The first seller is fairly laid back, tells you about his family and his life, where he moved from, his past jobs. It feels so casual and friendly. Then we were brought into a room with beautiful pictures.

The second guy is rougher around the edges, tells us that we're here for the free vacation we were promised, but none of us will take it and how we'll all lie to his face and tell him we "can't afford the deal being offered" or that we "don't have time." That surprised me. He was telling us that everything we could tell him was a lie and the only thing true was that we had the money to give them $80,000 for a vacation that we're still going to have to pay MORE MONEY for when we've booked it.

I was excited about some of the points they gave and even Emory was a little taken by the system that was far different from how time shares use to be. However, that doesn't defeat the purpose that our only reason for moving back to AZ was to pay off our debt and to live the caravan lifestyle we've always dreamed about.

The guy took us to look at the rooms. His selling point was constantly, "family and friends."  Like I said, Em and I are nomads and the family is hard to explain to outsiders. As for my friends, we're all artists, all of us, and no one talks about vacations outside our very pinpoint interests and comforts. We know where we like to vacation and it's not going to be the same place as the 2% of high end society this company is trying to fit Emory and me into.

Anyway, the minute that guy's persona fell away, there was someone very nasty and mean behind those dark eyes. It was spooky. His eyes had a sparkle and then suddenly it was shut off and his eyes were hard, dark, angry and dead. So everything to this point was a lie. That's all I can say. He probably lied about his family too.

Then we get through all the bartering. Emory and I stayed firm. We are followers of Dave Ramsey. He is the truth. So they give up on us and this surveyor comes over to ask if we've been pressured or bullied. I still didn't mind the experience. Emory and I would probably try it in 2 years, but then the surveyor starts to push. I'm never 100% forthcoming on anything with strangers when it has to do with my personal life which includes my family, my friends or my own personal needs, but I was here. I told him we had things we needed to take care of first. The guy started out nice too, but on a dime, his personality switched. Our voices were escalating. He was insulting every ounce of who I was, from the choices I've made, from how I was brought up, to the fact that Emory and I like our lifestyle and vagabond ways even if it doesn't fit into traditional American viewpoints, or anyone's viewpoints but another artist. This guy got cruel and nasty and put his spikes into every bit of my personality that I shared in good faith believing I had reasonably connected with another person.

I've had my life picked apart by bullies in junior high and high school. I was prey for the kids that liked to sink their ill will and fear into others. As an adult, I learned to stay away from people who wished me harm. This man, wished nothing but harm for me and it was Emory that said the situation had to cool down due to the quick escalation. I was shaking so badly.

When I was younger, I was so afraid of the mean kids and boy were they mean. Now I'm at least ten years this guy's senior and he's trying to tell me I'm worthless because I don't want to sign a contract for $80,000, which is $690 a month, (rent money for a 1 bedroom apartment in Arizona per month)? It was utterly ridiculous. AND, at some point, a bullied person gets tired of it and they fight back. I have teeth and claws too, so I stood my ground and told him what I thought about his tactics... which pissed him off. He was done with me way sooner than I think he originally thought he'd be. I fought back, I drew metaphysical blood and I was a little worse for the wear too, but I verbally fought back the way the vagabonds and the land lovers of my life had shown me.

Plus, there are only 330 hotels in the entire world with this resort. Emory and I never know where we're going hence the vagabond lifestyle. We just go. I can't imagine paying that much money for a month when I can only vacation 1 week out of the year. Our last trip was clear to Massachusetts and it was still cheaper than what they want us to pay for 1 week vacation. 

In all, this experience was horribly chilling. I would never vacation at that resort and I would never consider the time share after what that man put me through. I find their customer service lacking in sincerity. I don't always like what I do. I don't always like people, but I'm sincere when I'm doing my job. I hope most people are. So I think this is utterly a ridiculous company to vacation with or even to try and work for.

I won't give the name of this place, but the four people in my life who have time shares have all said they hated it. Point system or actual time share, doesn't matter, $80,000 is one hell of a deed that could go on something practical like a house. It could get you 4 new cars completely paid for (roughly). That money could land you 3 months backpacking in another country. $80,000 isn't chump change and to think the average (middle to low income) person is just going to sign a deed and give you the money in 2 hours of listening to your pitch is a joke!

Now, to prove the second jerk wrong, Emory and I are taking our 2 free vacation gifts. Then one day, we're going to buy a vacation home in the one spot we both agree we loved the most. Dave Ramsey is a smart guy. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Napa Valley, BBQ Tasting and Writing

My best friend had her birthday party, and that was fun. I'm friends with her family, so that was great seeing her mother, who is a writer, and her dad, who is witty and great at giving advice, her husband, her nieces and her other friend, who just adopted two children of his own. It was so intimate. While we waited for tables, we sat at the front with wine her our glasses and words on our tongues. As most of you remember, I'm suppose to be working on "intimate" side, (doctor's orders), since I shy from it, but I think I did a great job talking to everyone, and I even scored a few hugs. Little kids have my heart.

The next day, Jeffery, leader of the Greenway Caravan, invited Emory and me out for a BBQ festival out at Salt River Fields. That's were we went two years ago for the haunted houses. I freaking love haunted houses. He had our tickets and then he actually surprised us with getting a great deal of the food. It was funny, because the first stop out of easily 40+ venders, the guy took one look at me and said, "vegetarian?" I was totally surprised. Emory had to answer yes for me. Later, I asked Emory how the guy could possibly tell, when there was nothing on me about saving the animals. He said, "You don't go to a BBQ festival and ONLY order the beans, unless you have something against meat." In which I promptly replied, "I wanted the grilled corn and we haven't seen that yet." We laughed. Emory is such a hot guy to hang out with.

I can't say much about what everyone else ate, but they tried a little of everything. As for myself, I had the pineapple shaved ice, kettle corn, BBQ beans, apple pie ice cream, grilled corn on the cob and 32 ounces of strawberry lemonade. I had a great time.

We got cornered on a "free gift" deal that lead into a time share presentation. If we set through it, we can get a free romantic trip at Nappa Valley for two. Nappa Valley is wine county! I'm so excited, but we were warned only after we signed up for this that it's a  hard sale. Every time people drive that home, I'm getting more and more nervous that it will mean my fingers are going to get cut off if I don't agree to buy a time share. I only know two people who actually use their time share. Everyone else says its a waste of money. Time shares get people into financial hardships, and it's not at all negotiable or flexible, so if you don't take the same week off every year for the rest of your life, you're paying $900 on something you can NEVER USE.

The only problem with our creative life style, is the lack of money, which means, our best vacation comes from visiting family out of state. This will give us a chance to try something we've only talked about, and believe it or not, for two people without money, Napa Valley isn't something to sneeze at. We've always wanted to visit Napa Valley, (click here for details), take a few wine tours, do a few wine tastings, flirt with each other over a glass of wine like we're new at this game. 

Am I willing to get my fingers chopped off for this venture? Yes... hesitantly so, but I'd like a vacation.

Writing Update:

Urban Fantasy: 9/12 chapters edited. Almost finished and ready to send to first beta reader

Romance: Sending the outline to BFF who is also a writer, in hopes to find any major holdups on the story line.

Dialogue Class: college class is finally at an end. Really enjoyed everything I learned about dialogue. I love what the professor brought to the table.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Anxiety, Space-Time Continuum and Writing

I wonder what the time-space continuum is for cartoons when Cartoon Character A puts Cartoon Character B in a box and ships them off, but Character B is in the next scene. They obviously went on the trip, they came back with flags, stickers, a passport full of stamps, but no time was spent from scene to scene with Cartoon Character A. I wonder if there is an essay on this. It works well for fantasies, science-fiction and cartoons. How? Maybe the start of my research should be with time and space.

I've been trying to work through my anxieties that keep me house bond. If I get my shoes on and get to the door, sometimes my optimism shoots sky high. Then I open the door and if I stand there and haven't slammed the door immediately shut, I think "This is excellent! I'll do it this time!" This is where it gets tricky. I have to get myself to the car. From the door to the car, I can usually talk myself out of my journey and I'll go back inside.

I made it to the book store by myself, because I was looking for a dessert cookbook I saw at JoAnn Fabrics store and wanted to find it again. I never found the book, but I made it from 56th Ave to 19th Ave without a panic attack, because 19th Ave and Northern is where all the construction is. I got out of the car, called my aunt to check on things, aunt never picked up, so I went inside the store and got busy with the cookbooks. I don't know if anyone else has anxiety like this, but I am counting the seconds from the walk to the car, destination A to destination B, from the steps getting out of the car to the steps it takes to get into the building. It's extremely exhausting having these issues, and they just pop up when I keep telling myself "Today, I'm going to work through this."

My anxiety at certain locations started with the hospitals. Now it's the gas station, bank and a few large chain stores. I would love to fix this, but I don't understand it. It just keeps growing. Now I have anxiety at restaurants, movie theaters, caravan gatherings, malls and airports.

So today, I tackled my issue with the gas station. I told myself as I was driving there, I could do it. In fact, I tried very hard not to think about what it was I had to do. I pulled in front of a tank and ended up sitting in the car for ten minutes deciding if I was going to get out. Emory sent me text messages until I was ready to open the door and move to the next step. It took way too long to figure this all out. I use to do this all the time. It's just in the last six years, gas stations started bothering me, so Emory took over that responsibility.

So my car has gas. I was at the gas station by myself. Win!

Writing Update:

Class Assignment: Write 1 story in genre of choice and 1 story outside normal genre. I write so many genres, I'm not sure what this would entail, so I'm working on a Western, or a Creative Memoir.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Actors, Writer Wallpaper and Writing

A student from my college dialogue class mentioned that up in Scottsdale, at a coffee shop, a writer can take their work and actors will read it. It's a free service but to support it, we need to buy drinks. I am totally down for this. I'd like to make that a date night, since Emory is an actor. It's the 3rd Tuesday of every month, so I am holding this priceless gem as a surprise date. I like surprise dates!

I've been looking for Edgar Allan Poe wallpaper. Plot spoiler! There isn't any. That sucks. My next option is to try and make it myself. That means a need a lot of paper and a printer. While I'm at it, I thought of a few other author's I've read in my youth, but sticking with my dark theme, it would have to be Nathaniel Hawthorne and maybe Elizabeth Dickens with her more necrotic obsessions. I wonder if there is a DIY video on this, or if I'll have to cut out the pieces one by one. I was thinking if I only do Edgar Allan Poe, I could put a black and white image of a crow between his picture. To be continued...

I found a really awesome yellow shirt that I can make a costume out of. I'm thinking Pinocchio and Emory can dress like Geppetto. When I told him this, he was in the middle of doing something so he shrugged and said that's fine. I didn't get that response when I told him for Halloween I wanted him to dress like a Mickey Mouse mascot. He was reluctant to agree about the mascot, so that's why I'm sure he didn't hear what I said about Geppetto. I really need to get off this strange Disney kick. My sister-in-law mentioned Pintrist ideas for a Disney Frozen birthday party and now I'm all over the Disney theme things.

Writer Update:

Some of my writer friends decided to meet at the local bookstore for some one on one downtime with any plot issues we're facing in our novels. It was a bad idea going to the bookstore for the meeting. I seriously can't walk out of that place without books. The energy was good. We each discussed what books we were working on and where we are stuck, or the issues we're having with our projects. I've decided to use my time with our meeting to discuss the horror novel I'm working on. I can't wait to read their projects. The ideas are extremely promising and the execution is strong.

Class: Write something outside your genre. I write in a lot of genres, so I'm running out of "outside genre" things to write. I decided to write a Western. Why not?

Friday, May 01, 2015

Addictions, Day Time Jobs and Writing

Day Time Job: also known as Behavioral Enrichment for the reluctant recluse. I don't really want to be out in society, but here I am. I get through the day with many thoughts that are often conflicting. It's never like the books I read or the stories I indulge writing. I thought writing would center my thoughts and give me the skills to understand this world, but it hasn't. It draws me farther from understanding. My notions don't match with the reality that others see. I write, it's an addiction and I sink more into a world that doesn't connect me.

Today's observations: people don't understand my Batman analogies. Also: writing isn't an acceptable excuse for being late to work.

Every so often I get the weirdest addictions. For two months straight, back in 2009, I couldn't stop listening to the American Werewolf in Paris soundtrack. Every waking moment, from the writing room, in the car, in the kitchen, while walking, it was the soundtrack. When I wasn't listening to the soundtrack, I was watching the movie. I craved it like a physical hunger that was only sated when my ears and brain vibrated that music and concept.

In 2002, I watched Ever After every day for a couple months, sometimes back to back. It was so bad, that Emory bought me the movie so we'd stop renting it. It took him a couple weeks to see where that addiction was heading.

I went through a Batman Animated Series addiction and Teen Titans addiction for a full couple of years. This is something that doesn't often leave me. I'm thinking I'd like to revisit the Batman Animated Series. I took down that year of constant blogging, but my friends know my hero dysfunction pretty well.

Now, I'm stuck on Disney. I want the Mickey Mouse cartoons to no end. I'm looking at Amazon, but the old cartoons are between $49.00-150.00. I'm not paying $150.00 for a tape, but man am I addicted. I want the old cartoons, like the ones I would stay up watching when I was sick and dad would let me have the big couch and he'd squeeze his six foot frame on the love seat. Am I craving something from my childhood? Is there a mental itch in my skull that only old cartoons can relieve?

I try not to think too much on my addictions. They are usually fixated on a story, or style. It's something creative that hits my writer nerve. Like a spiderweb, my nerves are always sensitive and open for visual notions.

Writer Update:

Class: I think I'll take a short story class, since short stories are hard for me to write. It takes more than 3,000 words for me to tell a story, so this might be a good class to take.

Urban Fantasy: 6/12 chapters edited.

Horror: 7/? Chapters edited

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

County Fair, Bugs and Writing

The county fair is in town. It's a watered down version of the State Fair, but in Arizona, why not go and have fun. Last year, they had the Boot Scooters dancing on a stage way in the back and I showed up, though I was extremely sick. At this time last year, I'd been on medication that made me lightheaded. I fainted the day before and spent too much time in the emergency. I kept my medical bracelets from that trip.

Anyway, this year, feeling much better, minus a silly little cold that I caught earlier in the week, I was determined to make this go a little more fun. Ann, John and Emory like fair food. 5 years ago, I made myself pretty sick on all the sugar and grease, so now I try to stay away from it.

Emory and I left early, but somehow still made it at the same time as everyone else. We took a quick look through the craft building, that is a mix of items being sold, baby farm animals, and odds and ends. We took a few pictures of food that won awards. I wonder how they chose those people and who gets to judge the food. I'd like to be a judge. Some of those cookies and cakes look wonderful!

Emory and I bought some dips like what you take to parties. People usually do just the ranch, but we bought half a dozen different flavors. The two dessert flavors I bought were Pina Colada and Raspberry. They are freaking delicious and I think I'll do one of those for my pumpkin carving party in October. Is it too early to start inviting people to that celebration? I told Emory, since we get invited to tons of parties a year, we should've bought a dozen of the desert mixes so we could bring them to the celebrations. It's unique and it's yummy. There is a very large part of me, an ego that usually only comes up during parties, that wants to be a regular Martha Stewart with food.

We did great this dance performance. My line didn't miss a beat and we were part of the mass. We always have people who want to be part of our group, but they don't understand that we are a club, not a dance studio. I wish more people would join. Sometimes we get incredibly small on our people when performances come around.

There was so much I wanted to buy at the county fair, but I didn't. We never got to ride the Ferris Wheel. For an all day pass, it's $30. I asked Emory if we could do that one year. He said yes. I want to go on the Ferris Wheel, the swing, some of the roller coasters and the mirror maze. Who doesn't love a mirror maze at the county fair, even if you've done it a million times. I still love that mirror maze. There is also some little scary spook rides. I saw a zombie one this year. I haven't seen that in the past.

We never got around to looking at the farm animals that were brought in. We did look at this awesome booth with bugs, though the bugs were dead. It was for a termination company and they had mosquito larva. I got so excited, but they said I was the ONLY person that has ever called the larva cute. Emory promptly told them, "You found the one person in the world who loves bugs of all species." It's true. I was so bummed that all the bugs they had were dead except for the larva. I asked if they ever kept any of the bugs as pets. They immediately said, "No." Bummer. I can't get a job where they kill harmless things too, like June Bugs. I love beetles. My cousin and I tried to catch this blue/green beetle, just to play with it, but it took off pretty quickly. I didn't want to kill it, I just wanted it to land on me so I could pet its back. That was up in Sedona, AZ. I hope Emory and I can get up there. That's where all the vortexes are suppose to be. Nadine, our commune mom, goes up there a lot, but mostly to hike. It's pretty.

Writing Update:

Novella: 4/12 chapters edited.

Romance: rough.

Class for next year: Unknown