Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Square Dance Clubs and Writing

Wow. I'm really starting to pack in the obligations this year, but surprisingly, this really is my comfort zone.

I've mentioned that my neighbor has recently lost his wife of thirty years. My heart cries for him because I just can't imagine what that feels like. I think I'd be so incredibly lost if I was in his position. The thing is, when we moved in about a year ago, we've had a lot of time to really get to know him. He's a pretty neat guy.

AND he knows a lot of the same people I do. Crazy.

So he came over to ask about the square dance club that meets down the street at our local neighborhood church. I gave him the information and then later, I called Ann to let her know that he was going to be at the square dance and to see if she would meet him there. She did and reported that he spent the night observing.

I told her that I wasn't going to block him from meeting new people and possibly building relationships with the awesome people that go there. I guess that's not what he wants because he came over to ask if I'd be his square partner. I could tell he wasn't ready to be with the general population. The thing about square dancers is that women can come up and ask men to dance a set. This makes him uncomfortable.

So I'm going back into the square dancer world as his partner. He said he was rather a loner, having been isolated for all these years while his partner was terribly ill. He said he's not really a people person. I told him that I was the worst choice for a partner because everyone knows me and they'll come and want to chat. He laughed and agreed, but he was already aware because when he mentioned my name, people said they knew me. This made me happy.

If you're wondering why Emory is okay with me going to these dances with another man, he knows our neighbor as well as I do and knows that I'm just a buffer between his isolation and the society he's trying to get back involved with. I'll let him know at any point if he wants to dance with someone else, he can. I'm hoping he'll open up because these people are such a tight group and they will invite others to go dancing at other clubs.

He said, back in his days before she got sick, that people called them the "outlaws." He showed me some of his quick moves, which would end up having two partners of the same sex squaring off. I know one other guy who pulls that prank. I think it's great, but I've been in squares where it pisses people off.

I think square dancing is a blast. It always puts me in a good mood, especially when I do the calls right.

Writing Update:

PB book 1: Started editing this novel over since I've made my character a little older in book 2 and there are a few changes to the town. I probably won't put this out until book 2 is ready, which is a terrible mess.

PB book 2: A mess, but working on chapter two of this dark work with underground mutilations. I'm debating if I should cut chapter one and move chapter two into that first position. It's funny when this happens, when you know that the next chapter might hold way more weight and the first chapter you started with, though decent, no longer is relevant. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Road Trip, Junk Food and Writing

We stayed at the Excalibur hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. I spent a good deal of my childhood between Excalibur and Treasure Island.... and a lot of time on the Strip. 

Despite working a half shift before taking this 5 hr drive to our destination, I felt extremely invigorated once we got there. It's Spring Break though, so I wasn't surprised by the sheer amount of people waiting in line to get their rooms. I stayed with the luggage while Emory got us set up with the front desk.

The first order of business was to eat, since we didn't bother to do that before we left. Okay. That's not entirely true.

The night before, we went to the grocery store for some inexpensive sugar-fix junk food and we actually spent the 5 hour drive munching on powdered donuts. The eating frenzy started at this point. But to my joy (and what a joy it is!), there are a number of places that offer vegetarian options now. I got a veggie burger and fries, though the ice tea was horrible. It looked like dirty water and had a musky taste to it. Emory, craving fried chicken, went with another vendor and his tea was excellent.

We walked more than half the Strip. I think we made it to Bally's and then we crossed the street and came back. We had a few drinks at Octane and watched the women line up for Thunder Down Under. I actually would do this again because it was a lot of fun, (being two Hurricane drinks deep), watching the ladies in their cute dresses hoping they'd get lucky with the male strippers.

I think we walked more, but at this point... 2 Hurricanes deep...  I wasn't going to remember much anyways.

There are so many things we didn't get a chance to do, but we did get to see another standup comedy show. It makes me want to try my luck at the comedy business. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe.

I did a little shopping. Emory did a little gambling. We both did a bit of drinking.

I love that place so much. I can't explain it, and though so much of it has changed since my childhood, it's like being wrapped in my favorite blanket and knowing (child logic) that nothing will hurt or contain me. I'm wild here. I'm free here.

Writing Update:

All my writing was by hand in my notebook. I have an alternate universe story that I'd like to make room to write, but at this time, I might have to draw the line on the 3 projects I'm already rotating between.

However; my AU should be pretty comedic. I read Emory a couple of lines from the notes I jotted and got my desired effects, which is good because we don't always read the same genres and I wanted to know that my idea could carry some weight.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mini-Movies, Documentaries and Writing

I've been wanting to take some short scary stories and make them into even shorter mini-movies that are a couple minutes long. I have no idea how to accomplish this so I guess it's going to be by trial and error. I've been chewing my bottom lip and pondering over some of the trickier things like graphics and stage gore. Even if this is a complete failure, it'll be something fun to do.

I was listening to the only radio talk show I find entertaining in the morning, and the hosts were fixated on a "type" of woman that drove them nuts. One said, "She's the one that never gets invited to parties." and then imitating a female voice said, "I watched this documentary..."

I sat up a little straighter in my car and said, "I'm that woman!" Seriously... I am. I have no idea how many times I've started a conversation with, "I watched this documentary last night;

that aliens are angels and demons visiting earth...

there is this race of lizard people living underground...

people have passed into parallel universes on accident...

there is sugar in everything we eat and we will never escape this addiction...

you wouldn't believe the size of this giant snake that use to exist...

there is proof that aliens have lived on mars..."

So long story short, I can't prove I've learned my lesson from this. I really enjoy the documentaries I watch because even if they aren't true, the possibilities are endlessly exciting.

It's already the Spring Equinox! So excited people. I want to go feel the sun's heat on my skin as I lay on the grass. Flowers are in bloom. Baby birds should be chirping soon!

Writing Update:

I am slowly editing two online stories that I want to finish sometime this year. Originally they were one-shot stories, but I let the reviewers excitement for additions to the story twist my arm. I like the challenge of extending the story without losing the interest of the readers. No word goals for either online story.

PB: I'm working on the 2nd novella for this series. I had a solid outline for it, but the beginning didn't feel right. As I started to change a few things here and there, the original outline suddenly didn't fit the new direction I really wanted to go. I'm at 6,000 words. 25,000 word goal.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Auditions, Hippies and Clothes

Ms. Jazz told me today, that she can almost see flowers growing in my wake. She told me I was born in the wrong era. She also told me that when she was in high school (probably the same time as my mom), that she would beat up people with my similar personality. Apparently, by definition, she was a greaser.  She says, though, that she really loves my energy. I personally think she just loves the stories I tell her.

I laughed at her joke. I can do that now, because the trauma of junior high is finally healing. I did; however, tell her that girls like her still do beat up girls like me. I had a tough time and that wasn't something that went away when I graduated middle school.

As my favorite 20 yr old would say "Keep doing you." She's so freaking darling. She makes my day and apparently, I make her day. I love her spirit.

I'm afraid to start auditioning. I dragged my feet with the pictures, then dragged my feet again at getting them looked at by a second person. I'm still dragging my feet to get them sent off for copies. Now I'm dragging my feet to book an audition. I told Emory this. Emory's advice "Then I guess you're going to have to face your fear." Damn. I don't want to.

So, seconds before I started writing this blog... I actually requested a time on Saturday for an audition. I'm nervous. Emory will have to coach me on how to cold read. I feel a little sick. Shouldn't I be excited? I use to love this when I was in my twenties.

Also, I've been dragging my feet to learn martial arts. I think it's time to get this ball rolling too. I mean, if I follow Emory's advice, which is "just do it." Wait, doesn't Nike shoes have that logo?

P.S. My shirts came in and they are AWESOME!!! Emory loves the atheist shirts I ordered him. I didn't show him the online options I found, so he had a pretty nice surprise when he opened the packages. I love his happy, surprised face. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

Vegan Shirts, Drunk Lunch and Future Trips

I love morning surprises! Julie brought me a hot chai tea from Starbucks. I'm not really sure if it had almond milk or coconut milk, but DANG! it was so delicious. We discussed drinks in the past and I think I mentioned that I liked either, but that I don't drink cow milk.

I finally did some online shopping for shirts I've (forever) had my eyes on. I bought two vegan shirts, a few funny writer shirts and a pagan shirt! Pagan Pride!!! Yes, extra exclamation marks because being a garden witch is such a peaceful path. However; all the wrong information circulating about this path is disconcerting.

One of my favorite stores has a whole 1970's fashion on their racks. I think I'll have to head back and get a few new shirts and another dress. I missed the bohemian clothes they had a few years back. By the time I saw the clothes line, there was nothing in my size.

I ordered some herbal supplements per the suggestion of my holistic horse doctor friend. This is my first week taking them. He has a lot of faith in the medication, though every time I see him, he usually has a great deal of suggestions. Sometimes my stomach feels like a medicine cabinet.

It has been a very fun start to March. I went to Scottsdale for lunch. Actually, I only asked Jack and Farmer Bill if they wanted to meet for lunch... but we're talking about the commune, so, long story short, Jeffery called wanting to know what time I'd be over.

This is funny because Jeffery is at the second commune in Scottsdale. I told him I hadn't thought of a time. I was just going to show up. It's actually in my family handbook; Section Two of Book Seven: Those who fall under this family line may forever show up to any function at any given time they choose.

Emory and I showed up at the time dragged out of me. I guess the second commune decided to come and a few people from the commune down in Phoenix came. There is another commune that I don't really visit too often out in Surprise, but a few people showed up from that location too. It was great. We laughed so freaking hard. Farmer Bill said he'd come over next weekend.

Our best bartender said "This is breaking tradition."

The tradition? The three communes usually meet 2 times a year, October (for the celebration of our grand commune leaders) and again at Christmas. It was pretty surprising that everyone showed up for this lunch and then people pointed to me and said I was the one that made the phone calls. I think they got this wrong. I called Jack. Farmer Bill called Jeffery. Jeffery called me. Ann called me and told me to call Mike. I called Mike. I did not call anyone else so all those people who showed up must have been texted. I love how information flies through the channels here.

Emory thinks I should get out to California. I know a few people out there and one of them might come to the airport to pick me up. I've lived out there on and off my entire life. I'm not sure why I'm suddenly dragging my feet on visiting. There is no reason to be so terrified of everything. I really want to get past this before I become a shut-in.

We're going to Las Vegas this month!! I wish Emory's friends could meet us there. Last time, it was such a freaking blast. Might be too cold to hang out by the pool, but with our weather, one would never know what to expect.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Fat Tuesday, Yogurt Bar and Writing

I passed out a few hundred beads for Fat Tuesday! Woot! Woot! I had such a great time and so many people seemed really happy to get beads. It was not a slow Tuesday. The rain was crazy too. If we lived anywhere else, I might say it looked like tornado clouds. I actually forgot how to use my umbrella. I went through so many of them in Florida due to the wind, but out here, I don't think I've even used an umbrella once. I just run for it and the rain hasn't been that bad when I'm obligated to leave the house.

For the month of February, we've been going to the yogurt bar. I love that we get to taste all the different flavors, mix them and add what we want on top. My favorite yogurt mix was the apple pie flavor, which doesn't seem like a common monthly flavor. I usually add nuts, but once in a while I love my gummies on top.

I brought the wine the neighbor gave us, to the commune. Emory and Ann tried to open it, but the cork fell apart. The wine smelled funny, so we were going to dump it, but our Italian friend said he wanted it. About four days later, I remembered to ask him how it went, and he said once he got the cork out of the top, the wine actually smelled rancid, so he strained it a few times, but it looked disgusting so he didn't try it. Sadly, I still have 40-ish bottles left. I told my friends I wanted to throw the bottles away, but to my surprise, they said they wanted to give it a try. I warned them. They still want to do it.

Finally got my professional pictures taken. I love Martin. He's such a sweet man. I know he's taken some pictures for our performance group, so I was excited to have him do my head shots for future auditions. However; it was the same Saturday as the Boot Scooters monthly party. I showed up early with my mom. Martin met us there.

I felt a little weird because I brought so much with me; makeup, different clothes, samples of what I wanted. I've been avoiding these parties, so suddenly showing up with bags of things seemed a little wrong. People wanted to hug me and tell me they were excited I finally came. I had to tell them I wasn't really there to party. I used the excuse that I left my better half at home and it wouldn't be fun without him. That is partly true, but also, these things give me anxiety. I don't like talking about my anxiety. It's just a weird topic.

Writing Update

HKT: Finally finished! I took the 3 day weekend and got the final chapters done. It feels really good to say that. It also feels good getting all the feedback on the story. The comments and kudos from readers makes me smile. I love when people can hop into my world.

OS: I'm working on the third chapter. I didn't think I would go back and start editing this soon, but yesterday I did just that with the first page. I like this rewrite. I want to make each chapter almost a standalone, but I think I missed the mark with chapter two.

CSAN: Also working on the third chapter for this story.