Walk This Way

I awoke today with a head full of cement and a body that felt as if it had been through the wringer.  That last wasn’t too far from the truth as I had a hell of a practice last night that involved starting to get a feel for backwards skating and going faster on skates than I’ve ever gone before.

Oh, and yeah:  I didn’t get to bed until 00:30, so I managed about four and a half hours of sleep after all of the evening’s hijinks.

This means I hobbled around this morning much like I’m hobbling around work today.  But in order to get from Point A (my apartment) to Point B (work), it was necessary to traverse a few locations between.

This is what my normal morning looks like.

First it’s out the back of the apartment complex and a short walk over to 3rd Street.  From there I walk two blocks to Strawberry Square because I get my coffee there.  Little Amps has a kiosk near the ATM machines and the hot bean juice they give me contains just enough caffeine to wake me up.

 

After a short chat it’s time for a little breakfast, because come those days after derby practice I’m craving food.  I head a half-block to the east to grab something at Grilled Cheese Plus, which makes the best breakfast sandwiches in the city.  They can literally make you just about any kind of grilled cheese concoction, and I’m half tempted to order a plan grilled cheese just to see how it measures up.

 

Then comes the walking part of the trip to work.  Each of the above two stops happened about three blocks from where I live:  now I have to hoof about three-quarters of a mile over to the other side of the Capitol Complex to arrive at my job.  Along the way I pass this edifice which takes up about the same amount of space as a Las Vegas hotel casino.

 

By this point I’m about half way to work.  After I’d walked a while I didn’t feel as stiff as I had when I woke, but I wasn’t as springy as I have been in the past.  Then again, I’m using muscles I haven’t used in about, oh, thirty years, so getting the body back into shape isn’t the easiest thing in the world and one should expect some pain along the way.  The reality is I’m feeling better every day and a lot of the soreness I wrote about last week is starting to vanish.  Maybe it won’t be that bad after another month.

Finally, after another ten or fifteen minutes, I arrive at the location where I collect a pay check:

 

Yep:  that’s it.  Then it’s inside and up to the first floor where I spend my day in an office.  Then it’s home and maybe a nap and then–

Why, I have a lot of things to do tonight.

And you can bet writing is one…

South Central Pamporovo Dreamin’

One of the things I love to do is go back and look at my blog posts for the previous years for a particular date.  Because I don’t delete anything I have a pretty good idea of how I was doing at certain times as well as see what I was working on at the time.

Needless to say, that can be a bit of a crap shoot at times…

"All I gotta do is put one word after another. It's really easy--at least that's what everyone tells me."

“I really wrote this crap?  And left it out for everyone to read?  Jeez–“

Three years ago yesterday I moved to Harrisburg, PA, after spending a life time in Indiana.  At the time I figured I’d stay about a year and I was wrong:  not only have I stayed longer than that, I’ve also–changed and flourished.

Two years ago yesterday I was in the middle of A For Advanced and Isis and Wednesday were finishing up locking down the school ’cause the bad guys, aka Deconstructors, were doing some sneaky attacks on Foundation schools around the world.  For me that was one of the most important parts of that first novel because we saw Kerry finally opening up–and missing a Chestnut Girl–Emma making her first kinda moves, and Annie nearly losing her shit on that same girl.  Good times all around.

And last year yesterday I was working on B For Bewitching and The Bulgarian Buttercup was about to start kicking the butt of the Finnish Fool.  I not only love the way the scene shows Annie’s calculating way of working through combat, but I drew a couple of pictures in a rather child-like hand with the first of them never failing to bring a smile:

Artist's rendition of the moment (rather simplified).

I so loved showing off my mad artistic skills.

I still don’t believe Annie would ever good “Whee!” when she took off, but it’s so fun to imagine.  One of these days I’ll get someone to illustrate some of these scenes ’cause they are all really sort of bad ass.

And that brings us today.  Annie’s letter reading and, believe it or not, I’m a thousand words into the last scene of Chapter One.  It’s taken me three weeks to get here, and next Tuesday marks one month since starting C For Continuing.  But unlike the last two years of writer there isn’t any fighting–but there is some flying…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The feeling that her bedroom wasn’t real hit Annie as soon as she opened her eyes: this was how she was aware she was dreamwalking. It was the same feeling that came to her the last two times she’d performed this spell and believe it wouldn’t be any different from here on out.

She popped out of bed and immediately soared through the wall of her bedroom out into the multicolored Dreamspace. There was only one reason for being here and her destination was clear:

Annie wanted to visit her husband.

Kerry and she had been keeping up with their correspondence regular, but his letter that came a week after his first told her to time her letters so they arrived at his house on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays—all days when both parents were at work. Kerry didn’t say why, but she believed it had to do with his mother: there could be no other explanation—

And the idea of having to hide her letters from Kerry’s mother did not set well with her.

Kerry’s latest letter arrived this past Saturday—a little more than a day before—and she didn’t care for the tone implied by his words. In the time since coming out the upbeat persona he’d affected that first weekend seemed to have evaporated and now he seemed much as he was last summer: bored, sad, and perhaps a little lost.

They were supposed to meet this upcoming Wednesday in London—she’d received a message from Erywin saying Helena was home from the hospital after going though the process of having legs grown and she’d now have time to get them together for lunch in Russel Square this Wednesday, 26 June—but Annie didn’t want to wait any longer. She missed Kerry and wanted to not only be with him, but to find out from him first hand what was happening at his home.

Without a phone or computer dreamwalking was the fastest way to speak with a certain someone in Cardiff.

She sailed into her dream corridor and sped along it to their shared dreamspace. It was as she always saw it on her way to Kerry: gray mist run through with lines of striking bright pastel colors, unformed and flowing everywhere. She knew what she wanted but she wasn’t ready to begin formatting the dream yet—not until she was joined by her soul mate.

 

Once more we’re back off into the land of dreams, and when you can’t get an internet connection dreamwalking is almost the next best thing.

It’s almost like being there but… not.

The Last of the Five-Os

If you’re looking for novelizing here today, you’re going to be sadly disappointed.  Well, maybe not; perhaps you’re bored with the novel by now and couldn’t give a ripping flip if I post it or now.  (Usually I’d say “Flying fuck”, but I’m trying to cut back on the swearing.  Right.)

Actually there are a couple of good reasons why I don’t have anything for you this morning.  One, the Case of the Broken “Y” Key pretty much kept that in check.  I started to put down a few thoughts last night and it seemed like every third or fourth time I hit that key or the “T” it would flip or spin around, and I’d need to more the key back into place.  This was not making me happy.

The new computer should be here either today or tomorrow.  I just checked my FedEx tracking and it says it’s in Middletown this very AM–that’s just across the river from me–and that’s just across the river, but now the delivery date has been moved from today to tomorrow, which means I’m not certain if I’m gonna be setting up this sucker tonight or tomorrow.  Yeah, let’s make it tomorrow, for that Orphan Black night, and I like a little challenge for getting the new laptop up and going before I need to write twelve hundred words worth of note for a Friday recap.

Doesn’t matter, though.  I have everything backed up and ready to transfer as soon as I have the new system getting wifi and I have a browser and my writing programs ready to go.  I set up my daughter’s laptop in about forty minutes when she first got it, and I’m certain I can have my new system pretty much functional in about an hour.

But most of all, if you haven’t heard, yesterday was my birthday.  I had hundreds of well-wishes–really, it was in the hundreds–and I managed to get through the day rather well.  After work I returned home to drop off a few things before heading out to dinner, which took place at Home 231 about two-thirds of a mile from my apartment. I had ribeye steak with a couple of great sides, and having eaten there before, I knew the food would turn out great, and it did.  Everything was all fantastic.

The interesting thing is for nearly the whole of happy hour (starting at five and going until seven), it was all women at the bar.  One guy sat with us for about ten minutes, but I think the estrogen was too much for him and he was like gone, daddy, gone as soon as he powered down his drink.

"I'm glad he's gone; I was afraid I was gonna get his cooties!"

“I’m glad he’s gone; I was afraid I was gonna get his cooties!”

I even had someone buy me a glass of wine, of which that was my third, and that’s another reason I didn’t write anything.  I didn’t meander back to the apartment until about eight, and by the time I was out of my work clothes I was just too burned out to want to do anything.  So I didn’t, because if you’re going to create, you don’t want to set out to create a mess.

I did, however, find time to snap a photo on the way home just to prove I exist.

I did, however, find time to snap a photo on the way home just to prove I exist.

Yesterday I turned fifty-nine, and that means I have another year before I hit the Big Six-O.  When I was a child sixty was pretty much the point where you lay down and got ready to die, or so it seemed.  I remarked to a friend once that everyone I knew back then who was sixty seemed and looked old, and that was probably because of the era in which they lived.  Today, people sixty are, like me, still working, still hanging out, still doing new things–some are even making sure they live as the person they were always meant to be.

Today is also post 1900, which means I’m one hundred away from two thousand posts in this blog.  Maybe this deserves a “Duh, du DUUUUUNNNNNN!” or something like that.  What it does means is that, right now that means I’ll hit post 2000 on Friday, 12 August, 2016, though I expect with rebloging a few posts here and there, it’s far more likely I’ll hit this point right around the start of August.  I remember saying nine hundred posts back that I didn’t know what I was going to do with this blog when I hit the Big 2-000, and I still don’t.  Part of me wants to go on, part of me wants to shut it down, part of me doesn’t have the faintest notion.  I will hit that point, however, that much I know.

And after that I can start to wonder what more I can do in the future.

I’ve got the summer to figure it out, that much is certain . . .

Trouble On the Site of Word

Well . . . if anyone can help me out I could use it.  It seems that I am unable to get into any of my blog posts without going through the straight up wordpress.com crazy little blue and green admin area.  I can access the post there and edit them, but I can’t view anything.  And not just my own posts, but anything attached to workpress.com.

Of course I can’t access the forums to even see if there’s a fix, so I’m sore of in a screwed position.  I can continue to post, but not much beyond that.

I’ve cleared cookies and cache and still nothing.  It’s also the same way on all my browsers, which leads me to believe I may have an issue with my internet provider, which I will check with tomorrow or Sunday.

So . . . if things seem a little slow the next few days, you know why.

B For Bewitching What To Write

“Why, wordpress?  Why do you vex me so?”

Fifteen Thirty Over

Today is sort of a strange day.  I’m feeling weird this morning, probably because I stayed shut up in the apartment all weekend and did little more than sleep and write.  There is a good side to that last, and it’s that I wrote well over five thousand words during this stint, and that means I’ll hit one hundred and fifty thousand tonight or tomorrow, because I’m only one thousand, one hundred and five words from that mark.

It all really depends on how I feel after I do my recap tonight.

Yesterday, however, I found something, though “found” is a relative term because it’s not like it ever went away.  What I found was my one hundredth post titled Centennial, and I’m actually pretty amazed by it, because, well, I was keeping track of posts then?  That sounds a little retentive, yeah?

I’ve been spending a little time at night going over some of the stuff I wrote way back in the days when I first started blogging, and believe me when I say it wasn’t pretty.  Mostly because I was kinda lost in my own life, and I had little idea about what I wanted to do, both with my writing and my life.  If you can believe it, I was a mess, and I’d just gone through one of the worst summers of my life, in terms of what it did to me emotionally and mentally.  I had very little to look forward to at that point, save for one thing:

Writing.

And for some strange, nefarious reason, I decided to begin blogging–

"No, this will be easy, I'll just write about whatever come to mind. That should work for the first week--"

“No, this will be easy, I’ll just write about whatever come to mind. That should cover the first week–“

And it just went from there.  Mostly I wrote about writing–big surprise!  Actually I started writing about writing because, truly, I felt it would keep me writing.  In a way it did:  at the end of August I started in on a story that would eventually becoming Kuntilanak, and I began blogging about the experience of writing the story, getting it edited, and eventually publishing the damn thing.

Also, all this blogging led me to decide to continue writing, and from there I spent the month of October getting ready for my first NaNoWriMo, the one that produced the only novel I’ve published–so far.  And because I had the blog, I used that as an outlet to show people what I was doing, how I was doing it, and when I reached November, I wrote about how much I was writing.  Sort of like Inception without the BLLLUUURRRRRRR every few minutes.

Today is post one thousand, six hundred and sixty, hence the post title, and a little calculating shows that Friday, 2 September, 2016, will be post two thousand–assuming I don’t miss a day somewhere in that mix.  It’s almost a year off in the future so I can’t really think much about the date, because no one know what and where we’ll be at that point.

I do know this much:  if I’ve blogging, I’m still writing.  And probably blogging about writing.  Probably writing about my kids.  Let’s hope the first novel is published by then, the second is done, and thinking about the third–

Because there are still a lot of stories to tell.

Remembrances of Posts Past

It’s one of those dark and stormy mornings here in The Burg, and in about ninety minutes I’m gonna have to get up and walk out there and maybe get rained on.  It’s hard to say, because at the moment it doesn’t look like it’s raining, but that could change by the time I’m dress and made up and heading out the door.

That’s the way life is:  one moment you’re blogging, the next you’re stuck in a thunderstorm and walking a mile in the rain.

I wrote last night.  I wrote a lot.  About a thousand words for my recap of a show I’m reviewing, and another thousand for the novel, and that’s a lot of words for one night.  It does seems as if I get up, write, go to work, program, come home, write, and crash about eleven at night.  Every night.  Well, almost:  I do take some weekends off.  Not a lot, but they are there.

One of the things I’ve done in the last few weeks it take some time and go back and read a few of my old posts.  Most of them aren’t really that interesting:  there was a period in 2012 where I didn’t say much of anything, and then suddenly:  boom!  I’ve got a lot on my mind and I’m gibbering all over the place.  I do know there were weeks in early 2012 when I was depressed as hell, and I struggled to write.  I struggled a lot.  Hell, I was struggling with everything–but that let to me getting therapy, and that was the first step I took to becoming who I am today.  Which may or may not be such a good thing, but that’s another post.

Last night I was checking out a few of the old posts and ran across one that I remember fondly, but hadn’t read all the way through in years.  I remembered the last third of it quite will, but I’d completely forgotten the majority of the post, and in their I found the story, pretty much laid out from the beginning, of how Annie and Kerry started.  It brought back a lot of memories, for it was a different local, a different time, and I was a far different person.  There were things I wanted to say, and I’d yet to begin writing the way I do today:  about the only time I’d speak in prose was here in this blog.  There were no stories other than the ones I was creating in my head–

And I was sharing them with only one person.

I don’t want to say “Those were the days,” because in a lot of ways they weren’t good days.  I was in a lot of pain, and even though the pain returns once in a while, it wasn’t like that pain.  Then again, I didn’t write today like I did back then, either.  To be honest it was more fun, because I was creating from scratch, and ideas were flowing, and it was helping me through hard times.  The ideas are still there, but today . . . I don’t seem to have the magic that I once had.  Maybe that’s because of . . . reasons.

Sometimes it feels like this.  Then again, I probably wouldn't mind this . . .

Sometimes it feels like this. Then again, I probably wouldn’t mind this . . .

My therapist always tells me not to look back because you can’t change the past.  I don’t want to change the past.

But I would love to bring parts of it to the present so I can hold it in the future.

A Modeling We Will Go

I didn’t write last night, nor have I done so yet today.  In fact, I had a bad connection at Panera this morning and found it necessary to come home.

Though I did manage to get a picture of my lovely pink nails before leaving.

Though I did manage to get a picture of my lovely pink nails before leaving.

But once back home I was like, “What am I gonna do?  What will I write about?”  That’s the problem with coming up with things to say everyday:  sometimes the well is dry, and you have to wait for it to fill up again.  In a way my blogging is like my writing exercises:  it’s a way to keep my mind sharp, or at least as sharp as I can keep it given my day-to-day routines.

And then I thought, “Hey?  Now’s a good time to build the Red Line.  And get some pictures while you’re doing this.”

Allow me to explain–

Inside the grounds of the School of Salem there are three cross-country courses.  The Green Line you’ve seen–it’s where Kerry and Emma wrecked the one time they decided to “travel at their own rate.”  The Blue Line you’ll see in this new story, and it’s where a lot of action takes place:  there’s even one scene titled Helter Skelter, named after one of the areas of the Blue Line.

But the Red Line . . . it’s been mentioned maybe two times, but I’ve never laid it out.  I’ve had an idea of what it would look like, particularly one section of the course, but I’ve not done the work of setting it up on my three dimensional model of the school–

Until now.

The process for doing so is actually simple at the beginning:  it’s really a case of making a copy of one of the course–in this case the Blue Line–and then doing a paste so I can turn it into the Red Line.  Kinda like this . . .

Here, orange is the new black.

Here, orange is the new black.

In the picture above I’ve already created the Red Line and I’ve started modifying it, building new curves and elevations.  When you’re working in three dimensions, it’s simply a matter of stretching out things here and there by highlighting the curve you’re working with and stretching it out in Edit Mode:

How the Red Line over Selena's Meadow looks from the north--

How the Red Line over Selena’s Meadow looks from the north–

And the same area from the south and above.

And the same area from the south and above.

It’s a bit time consuming, but it’s also a lot of fun, because you’re using your imagination to get things right.  Like one of the areas I’m working on now . . .

Though it’s not been mentioned yet, one of the most fearsome sections of the Red Line is a “curve” known as K1.  It’s not really a curve as much as it’s a summit, and it’s called K1 because this portion of the track tops out exactly one kilometer over the Great Hall.  What does that look like?  Let me get my handy measuring stick, which is exactly scaled to one thousand meters–

Yeah, pretty much a kilometer.

Yeah, pretty much a kilometer.

And since I can change the view of the model, it looks like this from the side:

Looks a lot higher from here.

Looks a lot higher from here.

As you can see my Red Line is only about a third of the way to the top of K1, so I have a bit more modeling ahead of me.  Unless . . .

Ah, that's more like it.

Ah, that’s more like it.

There you have it:  a little of what I do when I’m in the mood and I need to get my world into even better shape.  I probably won’t spend all day working on this, but part of the morning, and maybe in the afternoon, and a little here and there over the week.  Before you know it, I’ll have another course laid out–

That’ll make four, right?  I think I’ll be finished by then.

Fifteen Hundred

On 30 January, 2014, I ended the post for that day with this quote:

 

“Times change and so must I. We all change when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good, as long as you keep moving, as long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when The Doctor was me.”

The Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor.

 

The occasion of that quote was my 1000th blog post, creativity titled Millennium.  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do from that point–

What?  Are you playin’ here, Cassie?  You had a lot going on.

Given that I'm now writing this post in the exact same spot I wrote that post, you can get coffee was one of those things.

Given that I’m now writing this post in the exact same spot I wrote that post, you can bet coffee was one of those things.

Well, two things for sure.

First off, I was nearly three months into writing a novel, which most of you know as The Foundation Chronicles, Book One:  A For Advanced, a legendary scree that some of you have actually seen in its entirety.  It started out as something I was going to write for NaNoWriMo 2013.  Believe it or not, at the time I started that book, I thought, at best, it might run one hundred and fifty thousand words.  You, in the back–stop snickering.  I really did believe that.  But about the time I was writing that post back in January, 2014, there was something digging around in the back of my head that said, “Uh, huh, Cassidy, you ain’t gonna finish this novel that soon.  Better bet on that happen sometime in the summer . . .”

Um, yeah:  about that.

Nope, it wasn’t going to be in the Summer of 14, either.  I’d finally finish that novel in March of 2015, four hundred and seventy-four days after I’d started writing.  That’s almost five hundred days, and that’s a good chunk of anyone’s life.

Strangely enough, if you haven’t guessed from the title of today’s post, five hundred days have passed since that day in January, and this is my 1,500th post.  Which is a lot of stuff to write and things to say, let me tell you.  If I go by my average of five hundred words a day–which is what I always aim to do–that means since I began this blog around four years ago, I’ve posted seven hundred and fifty thousand words.  750,000:  three-quarter of a million words.  That’s like the first two novels of the A Song of Ice and Fire series with half of the third thrown in for luck, and I’m still going.

(For the record, here are the word counts on those novels.  A Game of Thrones: 298,000; A Clash of Kings: 326,000; A Storm of Swords: 424,000.  Add it up and it’s 1,048,000 words, so just like I said in the last paragraph.  Nice to know A For Advanced is about the same size as A Storm of Swords.)

That novel is sitting around waiting for something to happen–trust me, I’m getting nudges from people about what I should do–and in the meantime I’m working on the next one, B For Bewitching, and after the almost six hundred words I wrote last night, I’m fifty-three thousand words into that and about to have something heavy go down . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

She pointed at the two students whose hands were still raised. “Annie; Kerry—” She motioned them forward with a few flicks of her fingers. “Get up here–now.”

Both students approached the the Head Sorceress appearing somewhat uneasy about what was happening next. Helena smiled in their direction, and both returned the smile. She leaned in close as whispers so only they could hear. “Don’t worry; you’ll like this—” She straightened and pointed to opposite ends of the room. “Annie, I want you over here: Kerry, you over there.”

She waited until Kerry and Annie were about four meters apart before she addressed them. “Okay, here’s what I want.” She turned to the girl on her right. “Annie, I want you to used shadow ribbons to restrain Kerry so that he’s unable to use his hands. I don’t care how you tie him up—I simply want it done. You got that?”

Annie nodded as a smile crept on to the right side of her mouth. “Yes, Professor.”

Helena flipped her right finger at something near the door and the lighting dimmed slightly where they were standing. “You’ve got something to work with now. Oh, and . . .” She gave Annie a knowing look. “Don’t sever anything; I don’t want to have to take Kerry to the hospital to get things reattached.”

It was all Annie could do to smirking as she knew too well the incident to which the Head Sorceress was referring. “I’ll be good, Professor.”

“I’m sure you will.” Helena turned to Kerry. “Just stand there and let your better half do her thing, okay?”

He nodded once. “No problem, Professor.”

She stepped back and moved out of the way. “Go ahead, Annie.”

Annie didn’t bother acknowledging Helena but instead walked over to one of the lightly shadowed areas. What there was before her wasn’t much darker than what was in the Link Bridge in Kansas City, but she managed shadow ribbons there fine—and here she didn’t have to deal a broken arm and a head wound while working under a time constraint . . .

She raised her hands and reached out as if she were about to take hold of the shaded area. Annie didn’t need to set out the ribbons with her hands, but for what Helena wanted her to do she needed precision: the idea was to restrain, and she was certain that Kerry wouldn’t enjoy having his hands separated from his wrists. She spread her left thumb and index finger apart and imperceptibly touched a section of shadow before pressing her right thumb and index finger against them. Certain she’d locked one end of the ribbon, she slowly drew her right hand away from her left.

She felt energy flowing through her arm, visualized the how the ribbon was suppose to appear. Annie took one step back in order to see her work better: now that she had begun crafting her magic it wasn’t necessary to remain in contact with the shadows. She measured out about a half a meter before deciding that sixty-five centimeters would serve her needs better—

Annie took another two steps back as she pulled the single, gray ribbon away from its segment of darkness. She raised her hand over her head and extended her index finger towards the ceiling: the ribbon followed. She parked it about a meter to her left and about two meters over the floor: when she was certain it wasn’t going anywhere she crafted another ribbon and placed it next to the first.

Now that she had her ribbons, it was time to go to work on Kerry.

 

Yeah, get to work on that boy, Annie!  You’ll have to wait to see where this leads, but most of you probably have a good idea.

The above was written with the following three songs running on heavy rotation, partially because I like them, partially because they will show up in the story somewhere.  Especially the first one:  every time I hear Reap the Wild Wind, I want to write the scene where it’ll appear.

 

 

Something else has gone on during the last five hundred days as well, and it’s of a far more personal nature . . .

See, that picture above:  in a lot of ways she didn’t exist when I posted my blog entry for 30 January, 2014.  Oh, sure:  there was a Cassidy, but she was really out in the public eye where everyone could see her.  I knew what I was by that time, but I wasn’t ready to get out of the closet.  It took a trip to Indiana and a return to The Burg for me to realize I needed to stop hiding and get my ass out there.

Last year, on my birthday, I wrote about what I needed to do in the coming year, and set about doing that.  It’s been both a good and bad five hundred days.  I’ve written a little about my experience.  I’ve written about one of the darkest points in my life, and I’ve written about the people who have helped me through those moments, including one person in particular.

But the biggest thing that’s happened to me occurred 2 February, 2015, which is when I finally started working as, well, me.  That was really the final moment of coming out, and it’s been just over four months, a third of a year, that I’ve lived as the real Cassidy.  Not only am I out fully, but next month I reach another milestone:  one year on hormone replacement therapy.  The hits just keep on coming.

I guess the real question now is, “What of the next five hundred days?”  I looked it up and that date is Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, and the question I’m asking these days is will I still be around in the Blogsphere?  Two thousand posts is a lot of talk-talk, and there are a lot of times when I feel like I’ve run out of things to day, that I’d probably do well to burn out before I fade away.  Then I remember:  I have novels to write and, more importantly, publish.  I will start up on doing weekly television reviews on another blog.  And if the questions I had sent my way due to this Caitlyn person getting put on a magazine cover is any indication of things to come, I can help educate where possible, because it’s obvious as hell I have a somewhat unique outlook on life.

I have stories to tell:  not just on the written page, but . . . well, let me fall back to another quote to nail that point down:

 

“It’s funny, I thought, if you could hear me, I could hang on, somehow. Silly me. Silly old Doctor. When you wake up, you’ll have a mum and dad, and you won’t even remember me. Well, you’ll remember me a little. I’ll be a story in your head. But that’s OK: we’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”

The Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang.

 

We are all stories, and it’s up to us to make them good one.  And a writer I write for myself first, and all others second.  Which means if I’m gonna make it a good story, I’d had better like it–otherwise, why bother?

With that said, I’ll pull a Robert Kirkman here and see how I feel when I get to post two thousand.  If I have more to say, I will.  If not–well, I’ll see then, won’t I.

For now, though, I can keep going.  Particularly if I have coffee–

And damn good coffee at that.

And damn good coffee at that.

After the Turnpike Shuffle

Here I am, more or less safe and sound, back in the old homestead of Indiana.  Let me tell you, it was a wild ride yesterday.

As I may have indicated I started out from Harrisburg about midnight, so by about five in the morning, after only about, oh, no sleep in almost twenty-four hours, I was completely out of it.  I ended up stopping at the service plaza after the one where I posted yesterday’s blog entry, used the bathroom, and slept in the car for a little over an hour.  Outside.  In the cold.  Wrapped up in my jacket.  I’ve done worse, trust me.

Lack of sleep was probably one of the reasons I seemed to get through western Ohio pretty fast, because I wasn’t paying attention to anything but the road before me.  But I made it back to Valparaiso with almost no gas in the car, managed to get unpacked, and napped for almost another hour before taking my shot.

And got the picture in my HRT folder just so I can see how I keep changing.

And got the picture in my HRT folder just so I can see how I keep changing.

I was exhausted though, and was asleep by nine-thirty at night here, or ten-thirty back home, and only woke up once to use the bathroom before crawling out of bed at a little after seven in the morning, or eight back in The Burg.  That’s a good rest for me–

Oh, I should mention, I edited last night.

Really, would you expect anything less?

Really, would you expect anything less?

I did chapters Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three, and started falling asleep as I looked over Chapter Twenty-Four, the penultimate chapter.  It’s because of that last–the falling asleep part–that I decided to call it a night and slink off to bed.

(Just a bit of trivia now:  while Chapter Twenty-Four, the next to last chapter, is known as the penultimate chapter, Chapter Twenty-Three is known as the antepenultimate chapter, Chapter Twenty-Two is the preantepenultimate chapter, and Chapter Twenty-One is the propreantepenultimate chapter.  The Coda is the ultimate chapter, naturally.  Now go forth and amuse your friends.)

I’m happy with how the edit has gone, and I’ll likely do another fast pass through the story before getting to the final draft.  It’s clean, and being as short as it is–just under seventy thousand words–I can give it a read-through in about two weeks.  Bit I will feel far more comfortable with on more pass through the story before I decide it’s ready to upload to Smashwords and ready for publication.

Today I do laundry and a few other things, and I finish Kolor Ijo for sure.  It’s almost ready, and I think it’s a good addition to my tiny catalog of publications.  I’m thinking more about B For Bewitching, and I know I’ll work on the Annie and Kerry Euro Trip time line some, probably this afternoon, because I’m itching to do that.

Oh, and another picture:

Behold the horror of morning without makeup!

Behold the horror of morning without makeup!

Yeah, just to show people I’m alive, I snapped this about forty minutes ago, after a bushed my teeth and shaved.  (Yes, I still do that–bummer.)  No makeup, nothing used to bring out my face, and I’m still in my pajamas.  This is how I look while I’m typing this line . . .

Hope I didn’t scar you with that image.  Haha!

It’s Been One Month–

The time has gone by pretty quickly, but today makes one month since coming out at work.  It really makes a lot of things, ’cause February kept me kinda busy–

I came out; I finished a novel; I finished up editing another project; I started editing one of my old novels.  I successfully fought off a cold that was trying to take me down last Friday.  I’ve answered personal question and done at least five videos.  That’s a busy schedule when it comes to the artistic endeavors; so what about work?

Um . . .

"I thought at least there would be one day when people would run screming when they saw me."

“I thought at least there would be one day when people would run screaming when they saw me.”

Work be work, mon.  The first week people came ’round to see me, to speak with me, to congratulate me on doing something brave, and I took it all in stride and with a smile on my face.  I’ve had exactly one negative comment, and I shut that down pretty quickly, but everyone else has accepted me to the point where now, I’m just another woman in the workforce.

Which is how I want it.  I was probably the most surprised to discover that my coming out was the biggest non-event, and the fear that manifested a month ago about coming into work as myself quickly evaporated as I settled in and did what I always did.  Now, tomorrow, I’m giving a program presentation, and I’m probably going to break in some new shoes because I’ll need something to keep me awake.  Or maybe go with something comfortable, because I’ll be thinking about how much my feet hurt most of that morning.

So a month down and more to come.  This week I mark eight months on HRT, and it’s hard to believe that in another four months I’ll be a full year on hormones.  I should meet up with a friend this weekend, so maybe some kind of celebration is in order.  And for when I hit the big one year mark, I really need to do something.  No problems, though:  I have four months to think about what that might be.

I’ve cut down on my writing.  Most of it is due to editing, but a lot of it is due to being tired.  Sixteen months on a single project is a long time, and I’ve not fully recharged from the event.  Yet, I really miss my kids.  I miss bringing out their world.  At the same time I feel like I can’t write about them, at least now right now.  I don’t know why I’m feeling this way, but I am.  But there are ideas coming up for the next novel, and I’ve been drawn to the urge to start up a Scrivener project and start plotting out things.  It’s not gonna be as big as the last novel, but even if it goes one hundred thousand words, that’s still a lot to write down.

Things are normal.  It’s been a month out at work and almost a month done on the novel.  The longest I’ve gone without doing any new writing is about a month, but . . . maybe I can hold out a little longer this time.

After all, I still have other things to do.

Beyond the Obvious Reasons

Today feels like a day of rest.  I woke up early, cried several times in bed before the alarm went off, and have been desperately trying to find something about which to write.

And . . . I’m coming up zeros.

"You want me to be brilliant again?  Um . . . can it wait until tomorrow?"

“You want me to be brilliant again? Um . . . can it wait until tomorrow?”

What I wanted to write about it going to take some time, and right now I don’t have that time.  In fact, I’m sort of running out of time to get anything done this morning, what with feeling like my brain is in a lock-down and everything needs to be forced to the surface with a cattle prod.

Not a good time of things, let me tell you.

So I think I’ll wait until tonight to get out the post I wanted to do today, mainly because working on it will keep me awake and give me something to do.  And when it starts getting dark outside, and I start getting sleepy, having something to do is usually a good thing.

So, for the first time in like, um, maybe three years, I’m not going to make my five hundred word blog post count.  A couple of hundred, sure, but not a lot beyond that.  You’re on your own today, so enjoy the weather while I get ready to walk across town in something closer to ten below zero wind chills.

Thinking about a story all the while, too.

Ten For Fourteen

It seems like a lot of people are writing up their “Best Of” posts, and why shouldn’t I do the same?  After all, new year, new ideas, new . . . story?

Here I am, New Year's Eve, getting wild . . . writing.

Here I am, New Year’s Eve, getting wild . . . writing.  Exciting, huh?

Without further ado, here are my top ten blog posts of 2014, starting with Number Ten and working up to the top Post.

 

#10.  To Map, Perchance to Plot.  February 28.  217 Views.

We start with one of two that I wrote in February.  This was the post where I wrote about how I use mind mapping, time line, and Scrivener to help develop characters, work out time lines, and plot out my current novel.  It was a fun post to write, and shows the sort of crazy detail I get into at times.  It’s also, believe it or not, the only post on this list without any comments.  Guess I just stunned the hell out of people.

 

#9.  Count the Ways to Count the Story.  October 19.  222 Views.

This post was written in the run-up to NaNoWriMo 2014, and it was a long view of how to determine word counts in Scrivener.  The idea was to help out those who were writing their novels in Scrivener to keep track of their daily counts.

 

#8.  Living to Write Another Day.  June 7.  248 Views.

This was about my travels back to Indiana in early June, and how I almost fell asleep at the wheel and nearly crashed and burned.  A strange slice of life that I could have done without.  Also notable about the post was the picture of me in my auburn wig looking like I had no idea where I was.  Which I didn’t.

 

#7.  Cleaning Out the Fridge.  April 30.  255 Views.

This post started with a short conversation I had concerning the number of female characters in my current novel, The Foundation Chronicles, Book One:  A For Advanced, and their ethnic and religious diversity.  Another great post, and it made me proud to know I’ve gone all over the world to bring people together for this story.

 

#6.  Enter the Death Test.  May 29.  260 Views.

Strangely enough, of all the posts I’ve written about my novel this year, of all the excerpts I’ve posted, this is the only one that made it into the top ten.  This was just a small part of a scene in Act Two that I titled The Walking Test.  It was the last day of September, and Annie and Kerry were in self-defense class fighting zombies.  It was a long scene–it ran over eight thousand words, making it a short story–and was cinematic as hell.  It was also gory, which was pretty cool.  There’s a moment right at the end that makes me wish I could draw . . .

 

#5.  Killer of Dreams.  August 31.  263 Views.

A post about how burned out I was getting with writing–and other things that will pop up in another post here–this is the first one that shows on the list where I posted a video within the post.  I haven’t done that in a while, so something tells me I should.

 

#4.  Travels of a Crocheting Groupie.  September 27.  298 Views.

A long post, and one that I spent more than a month thinking about, planing, and executing in terms of travel, taking pictures, and shooting video.  All so I could post birthday wishes to my best friend Tanya.

 

#3.  The Time of Their Lines.  February 23.  309 Views.

The oldest post on this list, it deals with the time lines of the main characters of my current work in progress novel.  I lay out basic ideas of what each one of their school years will involve, and in the eleven months since writing this post nothing has changed there.

 

#2.  This Sorrowful Life.  November 15.  329 Views.

I don’t hid the fact that I suffer from depression, and I’ve struggled with suicidal tendencies.  This is the newest post on the list, only about six weeks old, and it’s about a true low point in my life where I thought, for a couple of days, that those were going to be my last days.  They weren’t–I’m still here–and while I still suffer from both the maladies mention, I’ve gotten better.  I can even find things to smile about now and then.

 

And now we reach the top, and what do we find here?

 

#1.  Welcome to My Trans World.  October 11.  600 Views.

This was written for Coming Out Day (10/11/14) and answers the questions, “So why are you are transwoman, Cassidy?  How did you get there?  And where are you going?”  It’s mostly a video post, and it took me a couple of days to get everything put together.  With the recent suicide of Leelah Alcorn, it becomes extremely important to help people understand why I am trans, where my journey is taking me, and why accepting us for who we are it really one of the major goals in our lives–just like it’s a goal in everyone’s life.  Remember, I’m not a witch:  I’m just like you.  Okay, maybe I am a witch . . .

But if I am, I’m a trans witch, and proud of that fact.

 

There you have it:  my top ten for the last year.  Who knows what will be there next year?