Let’s talk about those six months

Let’s all pretend like I didn’t just completely vanish for six months there.

Okay, well, I tried.

I completely disappeared on you all and that’s stupid of me. It’s not to say I’ve been too busy; I’m always busy, but rarely too busy. But there have been a lot of things happening! No photo updates this time, but I’ll give you a quick run-down.

I got a new job at my alma mater. I’m working in statistical analysis, which is interesting and completely not where I thought I’d end up. But it’s fun and who cares, because I’m working here. Seriously. I would sweep floors here, I love it so much. I have excellent coworkers, I’m back among friends and getting opportunities to teach, which as you know, makes me happier than a kid at Christmas.

I went to see Mastodon and Gojira in concert, which, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably got flooded with pictures and video of. It was an amazing show, it’s really your fault for not being there.

I chopped all my hair off again. Oh wait, I do have a picture for that.

Plus a cameo by Husband’s Thumb!

I’m just excited that my new job lets me dye my hair weird colors. Last time was purple highlights. I’m hoping by mid-spring it will be long again, and I’m planning to bleach it again and probably do some pastel highlights. Maybe lavender, grey, who knows. I love it!

Hm. What else. Oh! Christmas was great. It was over in a flash, but it was tons of fun. Sadly, no pics for that. I got a new phone, what do you want from me?

Then January brought another Year of Me resolution, which is going pretty great so far (refers back to hair picture). I have tattoo plans again but may not get them carried out this year, which is sad. But next year it will happen, I’m sure. Also in January I got to have Second Christmas with my mom, sister, and brother-in-law. That was fun! My mom invited me to sing with a band she was in here and that was terrifying but super fun. So fun, in fact, we’re doing it again at a block party in April. No, I do not have photos. Or video. Nope.

February sees birthdays for both my grandparents, so that’s fun. Also my aunt and uncle’s 25th wedding anniversary. We threw them a big party and it was so great. I made them this fun wreath!

It's a phone pic, cut me a break.

It’s a phone pic, cut me a break.

And really, the biggest thing going on right now is that Kris and I are selling our house! Yay! That’s exciting. Also nerve-wracking, but not as bad as I was expecting. We’ve been packing up and hopefully will be out of it soon. We’re staying with family while the house is on the market, and we’re really hoping that doesn’t take long … we’ve decided to build! We’ve picked a plan, a neighborhood, a builder … basically everything. Just need to change “For Sale” to “Sold!” So keep that in your thoughts for me. (That’s also why there’s probably no tattoo this year, in case you were wondering.)

Also I actually do have plans for upcoming posts, although the Breaking Bad idea I kept dangling over your heads may not happen. I have no idea what I’m doing.

But I love you guys! Go out and do something great today.

Don't go in the box

The Carnival is Coming

Don't go in the box

Welcome to the Carnival. Art by AWisher_ALiar

I never jumped on board the American Horror Storytrain.

I know. Weird, right?

I do like that each season apparently has a different setting and characters, though, and it seems, at least to this uneducated and passive observer, like a well-written and impressive show. Even though last season’s Coven caught my interest like the ones before it never had, I still never picked up the remote and flipped it on.

So now here we are, with the setting of the upcoming season suddenly leaked. And, it’s apparently a carnival.

Steampunk MC

Art by Nam-Tar

Well.

This is probably enough to make me watch the next season. I will be the first person to admit I don’t really like carnivals. They’ve always felt creepy to me, and it probably didn’t help that the fairs I grew up visiting seemed to be plagued with violence and just generally sketchy goings-on. Plus, I’m terrified of clowns. No, seriously, I hate them and I don’t want to be anywhere near them. (Yes I’ve seen the movie It, yes I like it, and yes it disgusts me every time.) And I’ve never really been a big fan of people in giant costumes, and I just assume now that the animals are grossly mistreated. It’s a safe assumption to make; let’s be honest about that.

But the inherent creep factor of carnivals makes them the perfect setting for a horror story. The characters, especially the villains, can be so much more extravagant and sinister because why not? What better place for a spectacle of villainy than a place where guests expect things to be illusory?

I like horror. I prefer psychological horror to gross-out gore, though, and since I’ve never seen AHS, I’m really hoping it opts for the former. I’ll be sitting down to watch at least the premiere of season 4, especially if these rumors get further confirmation.

I’m also interested to see who AHS chooses to focus on for this. If they are going for a literal carnival setting rather than a loose interpretation, I wonder if the writers will focus on the patrons or the performers. There’s so much that can be done with either, or even a combination of both, but of course my hope is that they’ll focus more on the performers and staff. Like I said, it’s the perfect setting for some really down and dirty treachery, but focusing on the staff rather than the guests is just an unusual slant to take. I haven’t read many works set in locations like this, but from my limited scope I can say what I have seen focuses squarely on the patrons. Sure, the staff are slated as villains, but usually fairly one-dimensional ones bent on killing and/or eating the guests. Which is awesome, of course, but what about something completely different?

(Points for that reference, thank you)

The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only

The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only

Of course, I’ve got a personal bias here. Last Halloween saw the release of my authorial debut, and I’m still quite proud of myself. I’m published! A group of us got together and penned The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only. The gates here only open after dark and they close before dawn. Which is understandable when you consider most of the staff can’t be out in the light. The book follows the employees over the course of one night, and of course nothing goes as smoothly as it did at the fairs you went to as a kid. Within the book, I write a Seelie fae who entraps audiences and employees during her performances and a Principality angel who learns he can guide spirits across the void. Of course, not without consequence.  I’m really thrilled about this book. I’m proud to have been a part of it, and I’m proud of the other people who lent their skills to it, from the writers to the illustrator (the fabulous bbshrimp, whose work is basically amazing) to our awesome point person who gathered everything together and made sure we stayed mildly responsible and serious about the whole thing—the fantastic LC Hu, whom you should follow immediately.

If you’re at all a fan of paranormal horror or short fiction, you should really take a gander at this. Maybe it’ll fan the flames while you wait for season 4 of American Horror Story, wherever it’s going to be.

All downhill from here

The ripple effect. Art by AWisher_ALiar

Good morning starshine!

This is probably my third attempt at regular blogging. I always get into it with the best of intentions, tell myself I’ll write more regularly, welcome input from others, enjoy the exposure. But somewhere along the way I always let my head get in the way of all that.

Full disclosure, I struggle with anxiety disorders. The idea of really putting myself out there is frightening, despite the fact that most of my hobbies require baring my soul to an audience. I love to teach. (I am not a professional teacher.) I love to sing. (I am not a professional singer.) I love to write. (I am a professional writer. But not in the way I would like.)

But this time something is different. Somewhere along the line while everyone around me made New Years’ Resolutions about losing weight, working out more, blah blah blah, I decided that my resolution was going to be a little different. I was going to resolve to stop being my own worst enemy. And I want to start heading toward that goal by writing more regularly, not being my own worst critic anymore, but instead being my loudest cheerleader, but also my most honest critic. Seeing things for what they really are, not what I fear they are or what I want them to be.