Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's a triple acting, alpha-hydroxy acid natural complex to reactivate your skin making you... scientifically more beautiful!

My body is in open rebellion against me.

....I am about to admit something that causes me enormous amounts of shame btw.

Today, I removed a hair from my breast. With tweezers. A BLACK hair.

This isn't the first time either. I noticed it about a year ago. It always comes back, each time even blacker than before, it seems. There's one on the other breast as well. And one right in the middle of my chest. And the one that has popped up on my right arm for the last several years.


A few months ago, I discovered yet another rogue black hair. But this one was not safely hidden beneath my shirt whilst I am out in public. Oooooh no.

It was on my mothertrucking chin.




I should join the circus. At least there, someone might appreciate the other awkward body hair--the one with which I have been at war since I was a small child. It is apparently something that only happens to people who trace their lineage back to the British Isles, because only my relatives (both brothers, one sister, several cousins, and Dadum), and I think another one of you bloggers (I won't mention names) admitted falling victim to this particular awkward hair growth.

Sometimes I'll wake up in the morning, go look in the mirror, and do a horrified double-take when I notice it.

The mutant eyebrow hair that grows six inches overnight.



Let's not even get into the grey hair I removed a few months ago. I'm not saying where it was except that it was not on my head. But STILL this is premature aging. :*O

No sir I don't like it.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You can't cut the throat of every c*cksucker whose character it would improve.

I'm about to go on a long ramble about the fiction writing process, so feel free to skip this one if, you know, you don't really care. :)

I have to wonder, in writing my own stuff, how much J.K. Rowling had plotted out when she wrote and later polished the first Harry Potter book. Or any other author with a series that tells a continuing story (like Phillip Pullman(GREATEST BOOKS EVER READ THEM NOW), Neal Schusterman, Suzanne Collins, Brandon Mull). Did they have all the books in the series completely outlined before finishing the first? When J.K. wrote the Philosopher's Stone, did she already have a solid outline for the next six books? Or did the story grow as she went along?

Since starting this project in mid-September, I have written books one and two of the apocalypse series (anyone care to read book 1? because I'm kind of desperate for guinea pigs). I've got the first few chapters of book 3 done, as well as a long and detailed outline of the rest of it, plus a short and more vague outline for the fourth book. BUT, in trying to go about revising book 2 and outlining book 3, I now have a monstrous list of things that need to be tweaked in book 1. Like for example, certain characters who didn't have big roles in book 1 have much bigger parts in the rest of the books, and I feel the need to go back and add more character development for them in the first book.

BUT then the problem with that is that the first book is already reeeaaaallllyyyy long for a middle grade audience (it's well over 67,000 words; "average length" for upper middle grade fiction is 35,000-40,000 words). There are A LOT of characters in this series, and that's a tough thing to manage when it comes to introducing all of them and developing them well without confusing the readers. In order to go back and add some more chapters for certain characters, I know I need to cull the herd, so to speak, and get rid of some of the characters who currently have more "screen time" than they probably need in order to give more time to the characters who play the major roles in the next three books. But it's much more difficult than it sounds. If that's even possible.

Creating characters is a strange thing. The phrase "character development" gets thrown around a lot in the world of storytelling--books, movies, TV shows, etc. Within all these different mediums of storytelling, one of the biggest things reviewers and critics tend to focus on is a lack of character development. I do it myself. I've read some books and watched some films and TV programs that could have been beyond brilliant, but they end up falling flat because the characters are not well developed. They seem fake, two-dimensional, empty shells in person-suits. The story could be amazing, but because the characters don't have enough substance, the story ends up being just really good instead of amazing.

Take The Maze Runner series, for example: I really liked the first book--it pulled me right in with an interesting setting and plot, but even though I flew through the first several chapters, I slowed down a lot with the rest. And now with the second book, I find myself losing interest. Dashner has truly mastered the art of a gripping plot and a good pace, but it feels to me like his characters have no personality. And because of that, I just slowly stopped caring about them.

For pretty much everything I've ever written (or attempted to write and never finished), the plot does not stick to my original outline. Take the fairy book: the original story that I began writing and then outlined ended up being COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than the finished version. Why? Because of one character who got added as sort of an afterthought when I was already about 1/3 into writing the novel.
art by elk

Once I unleashed Charlotte, she took over. She even altered the plot of the third book and more or less created the fourth on her own (currently in the writing stage, about 3/4 done).

That's the crazy thing about creating characters. (Actual characters, not just altered/fantasy versions of yourself, which is probably what I did with 90% of my characters when I started writing hardcore in early college...)

That's also how you know whether or not you have created a strong character. You're not just making up a thing that uses dialogue and some action and tossing them into a story--you have to create a whole person. You need to know them inside and out--their past and present, their wants and needs, their moral code, their sense of humour, their favourite foods, their friends and family--you need to know absolutely everything about them. For most of the characters in my book projects, I have pages and pages and pages of notes on their lives, and most of that info will never ever actually make it into the books; it just gives me a really solid foundation.

The drawback to this is that once you've birthed a really really strong character, you lose a lot of control of the story. Going back to the fairy book--once Charlotte landed in it, she more or less burned my original outline to the ground and rewrote the whole book with herself as the bright shining center.

 The same goes with some of the characters of the apocalypse series--without me even realizing it right away, they snuck up and took over. Now they decide where the story goes; outlines be damned. So like I said, I need to add more of them to book 1, and that means possibly cutting out other characters.

It's really REALLY REALLY hard getting rid of a character. It's like losing a limb. Or like having your pet cat or dog forcibly taken away. Even with characters I don't like at all (another sign you've done a good job, if you absolutely loathe a character you made but need them in the story), I will cling to them and beg and plead and cry on the floor. It's worse than killing them off, because at least then they existed and had a life and a big part in the story.

Cutting them out of the story is just erasing them from existence. They just received the greatest of all smitings and no one will ever know they were there in the first place.

So naturally my current solution to this is to sit here not revising or editing or writing, but doing every other useless unproductive thing I can possibly think of. Like [after a combined 20+ hours of trial and error] finally getting a (possible) finished design for me and Lil Bro #2's tattoo adventure.

 (Hooray for sibling bonding that will probably end with Dadum and Stepmom lynching me in the backyard! :D)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

god save the queen

Yeah so despite the fact that we actually went to the trouble of declaring war on England to get away from their monarchy, the royal baby was still all over the mf news on every station all bloody day on Monday.

I realize that this is a fun news story, but the fun was kind of destroyed by the non-stop news coverage.

After reading some of the snippets of stories from royal births past, I looked into England's whole tradition of Officially announcing the birth of the next king or queen. The whole thing with the signed note from the doctor and the notice outside the palace seems woefully boring.

Like seriously, if *I* was queen and had just birthed my heir to the throne, you better freaking believe I'd be sending the king out to the balcony where he could raise the baby up Lion King style, amidst cheers from the adoring crowd of my subjects.

There would be cannons and church bells to announce the baby's arrival. Holidays declared in his name (and mine), and feasting for a week.

Not a boring little sign on the bloody door.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Greetings from the Jersey Shore! Again!

Hey y'all.

So I got to LBI yesterday evening, and my shore trip got off to a ridiculously scandalous start.

Remember that boy I liked a couple years ago and that horrific date I went on?

We met up secretly on the beach at 1.30 AM.

We were there until 3.30 AM.

::burns in hell::

I feel like these sort of things only happen in movies and Harlequin romance novels.

Thankfully, no sand got in any *sensitive* places.

BUT HOLY HAND GRENADES I HAVE SAND FECKING EVERYWHERE. Like it's in my ears and still falling out of my hair and between my toes and I have tiny bits of seashells embedded in my skin.

Good times.


I'm going to the beach now, and I plan to start drinking at noon.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

you and me and the devil makes three

I always try to assign supernatural explanations to my Bad Nights. Thankfully, they occur with less frequency than they used to (possibly because I eat somewhat normally now and no longer abuse drugs {that aren't prescribed to me} and am also miraculously no longer suicidal). But every once in a while, I still get a Bad Night.

Bad Nights mean I cannot sleep, even with sleeping pills. My usual dose is 200 mg of diphenhydramine. If that doesn't work, I'll add up to 150 mg of doxylamine, and/or a shot of Everclear in my fizzy water and orange juice. I try to get by on just the diphenhydramine, but I kind of need sleep so I do need to add alcohol or more sleeping pills about 4 out of 7 days a week.

Sometimes, though, I still can't sleep. I toss and turn and toss and turn and flail and rearrange the bed and go to the loo and toss and turn some more and go have a cigarette and flail around the bed and rearrange the sheets again and go to the loo and go walk around the house and toss and turn and then when 5 AM rolls around and the mockingbird starts up his R2D2 routine I usually just say feck it and call it a night, and go read until I have to actually get up for work. Those are the regular Bad Nights.

Because I do not drink enough water during the day (I've tried, I can't, leave me alone), I tend to get a powerful thirst at night and guzzle like a gallon of water before I go to bed. For this reason, I get up to go to the bathroom like 3 - 6 times a night. I always wake up around 4.00 AM and for whatever reason, it is that particular trip to the loo that sometimes ends in the other kind of Bad Night.

It happened this morning. I went back to bed, and I could not go back to sleep.

I blame the weather for some of this. Hell cannot be much hotter than New Jersey has been the last few weeks.
there isn't much else to do but sit here and puddle
 Like seriously, it's been in the 90s F (~30-35 C) and so humid you feel like you're swimming instead of walking. I HATE THIS WEATHER WITH EVERY FIBRE OF MY BEING, and of course my room is the hottest room in the house so even sleeping nude with no sheets or blankets and three fans pointing right at me, it's still too bloody hot.

So I went back to bed at 4.00 this morning and ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT go back to sleep. I can't take sleeping pills or alcohol at 4.00 AM because I need to get up for work at 7.30. All I can do is will my brain to please shut down for a few more hours.

Usually it doesn't. At least, not right away.

Then an hour and a half later, my brain decides it's time to try and drive Mich to total insanity.

I know it's coming, too, which makes it ten times worse. A feeling of Epic Tired comes on suddenly, and then the heart palpitations start. It's the weirdest feeling ever, like my heart sort of flutters for a sec, stops for what feels like a little too long, and then races for a couple seconds and then pretends to go back to normal before starting the whole flutter-stop-racing cycle over again. But by the time I'm like oh f*ck not again, I'm so tired I physically cannot stay awake.

Then the nightmares begin.

Always the same nightmare (or various versions of it)--they take place in my bedroom and I think I'm awake, something horrible and terrifying is happening (axe murderers, demons, random weird things that wouldn't be scary in real life but are scary now because it's a nightmare), and I am completely paralyzed.

I wake myself up when my attempts at moving my dream-paralyzed body end in me flailing like a lunatic and falling out of bed. (I usually try to scream or cry out in these dreams as well, but there have only been two accounts of me waking up actually screaming.)

After the first nightmare, it's a constant repeat of the same exact try to stay awake-->nightmare-->flailing-->wakeup-->do it again until I have to get up for work. At which point I am so exhausted and emotionally shaken that I have trouble functioning the whole day.

My doctor wants me to go to some fancy sleep clinic where they will attempt to INDUCE THIS ON PURPOSE so I can be studied. I was like ummmm no thanks.

(Plus my insurance won't cover that.)

So I always presume this is the result of a demon actually trying to possess me, or a poltergeist, or something. I hang dream catchers. I spread blends of herbs and junk for psychic protection. I obsessively clean in and around the bed in search of something that might be causing negative energy.

As if I'll actually find the source of these night terrors.

Does anyone else get these?? Someone please tell me I'm not alone. other news (and as a follow up to the post before the last one) I think I have finally shaken off the epic depression. I have gotten my finances in order and once I come back from CO in mid-August, I plan to move out of my house into my own apartment. (There was a rather large fight with Mumsy over something retarded, which was the final straw as far as me continuing to live with her.) For the first time in over a year, I go to bed at night NOT praying to die in my sleep. It is an amazing feeling.