Three Things That Have Pushed My Happy Buttons Recently

Thing the 1:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Okay, sure, fitzsimmons. FITZSIMMONS. Oh, man. But besides that, the whole business of Skye/Quake/Daisy’s powers. Every time they get into the stuff about quantum physics and resonant frequencies, my piano-tuner self just SQUIRMS with delight. Seriously, I do physical flailing. It makes me So. Damned. Happy.

Thing the 2:

The Martian.

Yes, yes, everyone is going ON about this movie. But not without reason. I expect it to sweep the Oscars. More than that, of course, was the book. And Andy Weir himself. I mean, his personality really kind of made that book, because it gave that snarky, witty, but not too presumptuous edge to the character voice. Layer that on top of the frankly brilliant science-splaining and epic problem solving of the whole plot, and it’s golden.

Still, that’s not my major happy button. My big, giant, sparkly silver happy button was the feeling of communal enthusiasm in the audience and in everyone who’s read the book. It woke up the little girl in me that dreamed of being an astronomer, or even an astronaut. It rekindled the wonder and love of the study of outer space that I think has been kind of lost for a while, now. Happy. Button.

Thing the Final, which made me super-happy-squirmy just last night:

Dreams of Gods and Monstersthe third book of Laini Taylor‘s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

I’ve been intentionally taking forever to read this, because I’m pretty deeply in love with this series and I don’t want it to end. Okay, also because I’ve frankly been in a serious reading slump for like, a year now. But I’m “letting” myself read at a snail’s pace, anyway.

Last night, though, I was in bed with everyone around me sleeping, and I reached a point in the third book where she started getting all complex and pretty about multiple universes and reality and just – YUM OMG I LOVE THAT SHIT SO HARD. SQUIRMY SQUIRMY HAPPY.

Seriously, Laini – you already had me with your gorgeous prose and world building and magical creatures, but you had to go THERE, too?! Marry me, please.

Other shit:

NaNoWriMo is coming up, and it’s apparently turned autumn here in Georgia (knock wood. Seriously, I don’t expect this shit to stay). Time for hot tea, hot coffee, hoodies, and fuzzy socks. And pleading with myself to get my shit together and seriously tackle my word count issues. Are you doing the NaNo?

I finally womaned-up and got to the pool today. I think the last time I swam actual laps was when I was learning to swim at the tender age of five? What the hell took me so long, though? People at the aquatic center are largely there for the same reason I am – because their bodies don’t want to cooperate enough to do other exercises, and because swamming is great. Somewhere along the line, however, I seem to have forgotten how to handle submerging my whole face, breathing, and swamming at the same time. It’s okay, I worked around it today, but man. Derpiness.

That’s about it for now. I’m sure I’ll have something to say once we go see Crimson Peak.

xox,

CC

Stream-of-consciousness on anxiety

I am always listening to my body. Hyper-vigilance, it’s called. Every little ache, twinge, tightness, odd sensation, floaty feeling, whathaveyou – I’m there, more than aware of it.

There’s not a single day that passes where I don’t have at least one moment of worry (usually several): am I having a heart attack? “Managing” that worry is just a slight improvement on that routine: instead of freaking out, on a daily basis I force myself to calm the fuck down and accept that I have anxiety, that it doesn’t make any fucking sense, that I’m probably not having a heart attack, my symptoms don’t even really match that of one, but that if I am going to have a heart attack, there will be little doubt of what it is when it happens, and in the meantime there’s not much I can do to prevent it that I’m not already doing.

Even though I paid out of pocket for labwork last fall and went to the doctor (again), to appease my worries, I’m already considering trying to scrounge up another $300-400 for bloodwork, EKG, and a general appointment, to settle my fears, AGAIN.

NOT that doing any of that is actually any sort of insurance or guarantee against a heart attack. Google that shit and you’ll find any number of cases of people who went through the whole stress-test, bloodwork, monitoring thing, were diagnosed as “fine,” and then suffered a massive coronary.

I don’t even suffer the textbook/hollywood-style panic attacks, thankfully. Yet. The tightening chest, the gasping for air – nope. My ‘hyperventilation’ happens in the form of excessive yawning attacks, when it happens. My panic attacks are literally random adrenalin spikes. This last one, and one or two before it, started with 2 seconds of dizziness, then a hot, buzzing feeling traveling from my chest to my groin. Then it stops. Thankfully, less than 30 seconds, but it’s all so weird and out-of-nowhere that it freaks me out every time, makes me have the sudden urge to sob regardless of my conscious thought process, and sets me back for the next several days in a fog of disassociation and frustration.

I take medicine, and I see a therapist.

I’m working on adjusting my diet to improve my quality of sleep.

I at the very least try to get 20-30 minutes of solid, cardiovascular exercise a minimum of 5 days a week.

I don’t feel stressed, at least on a conscious, emotional level. I do, however, know that I am stressed. I’m an introvert, and I am currently involved in a couple of commitments that have severely cut into my introvert-time. It also has cut into the little bit of regular writing I had tenuously started a few months back. And that has created a lot of angst and guilt with regards to my personal goals and dreams.

I know all that probably exacerbates the anxiety thing, whether or not I consciously associate it with the physical symptoms of anxiety. Heh – it’s like my mind sets all that aside, but my body doesn’t. And then out of the blue, when I’m feeling perfectly relaxed, bam. Fucking ass shit.

I also apparently come by this honestly – my mother, brother, and probably my sister all suffer from some kind of this thing (although my sister, despite having been through some fucked-up shit including breast cancer, refuses to even consider counseling, never mind the rest of it).

 

I’m just – tired.  Tired and frustrated. I hate being victimized by this stupid damned random-ass chemical misfire. And I know – I know I’m damned lucky that this is all I deal with, knock wood. (See? I’m fucking paranoid – I’m paranoid that even writing about this will bring about the fates to cause me an actual heart attack or some other massive health catastrophe in a flash of some kind of poetic irony. Because my brain is a fucking dumbshit.)

I sometimes wonder if the drugs are doing more harm than good – I am crying right now, but barely, and it’s an effort to do so. I used to cry all the time. My therapist recently asked me if I talk to myself. I know I used to. Now, when I drive back and forth all over the place every day, my car is often silent. My head is filled with chatter, but I don’t open my mouth. I was told to work on that.

All I can do is push myself through the next few weeks. Two more weeks of rehearsals, then opening night. A month of weekend performances, a visit from the MIL, and then I’m free and clear.

Right now I want to curl up in bed, but I’m afraid to, because my stupid motherfucking brain. And sadly, chemical relaxants are a bad, bad idea for me – any physical change that I can feel will backfire.

Time to go breathe.

Damn it.

Ugh.

This blog has sat stagnant for so long, the spammers have begun sweeping in, shitting little turds in the comments sections of old posts like diarrhetic vultures.

I’m still here, still struggling, which makes for boring-assed blog material. Struggling? Okay, yeah, people are starving, living without clean, running water or electricity. I guess that’s why I’m not as inclined to publicly air my shit as I was in my twenties. Every time I toss out a glass of water that has cat hair in it, I am reminded of how fucking blessed, how utterly privileged, I am.

All the same, in the context of trying to be a writer, trying to be a self-employed and functional member of society, I feel a lot of strife and outright fail much of the time. I’ve been wrestling with generalized anxiety disorder for some time now. And for the past month or two I’ve been fighting with what I’ve described as physical depression: I can’t seem to get enough sleep, no matter how much sleep I get. I’m not sad, but try telling my body that. My motivation is shit. And at the same time, I’ve gotten myself mired with noisy mental shit that’s taking up all my brain-space.

How the hell does anyone out there have time to get their panties in a tizzy about Amazon, or E.L. James, or whoever that chick is with the 1D fanfic? I mean, I get it – we’re all struggling along, trying to find a single, tiny thread of our dreams to weave into any kind of corner of reality. But fuck, man. Right now my head is so noisy with shit I don’t want to think about, I haven’t had a decent daydream, fantasy, or mental plotting session in well over a month. I guess if I had time to bitch about what someone else was doing, I’d have time to actually write my own stories.

I will say two things: 1) I’m not doing theater again for at least a few years. And 2) I’ve learned a lot about the body lately. Like, did you know excessive yawning can be a form of hyperventilation? And did you know that excessive sugar/carbs can trip up your insulin, cause your system to overreact,  creating a glucose drop which in turn triggers your cortisol to spike and essentially ruin your sleep? I’m trying – trying to figure this shit out and get myself back.

That is all, for now. I’ve been kicking around some ideas for an actual content-heavy blog post, but for now, this is it.

That R-word thing everyone’s doing today, & the State of the C.

Hello, out there, blogo-romancelandia-writer-sphere!

I hope everyone is recovering from the holidays and 2013 in general.

My year and holiday went out with kind of a fizzle, and that’s perfectly fine by me. Last night, the husband and I had a brief visit to one party, saw some lovely friends, and went home early for a quieter evening together alone. What’s obnoxious is that even in that light, I still managed to have an anxiety thing. I don’t want to be one of ‘those’ people – who go on and on about their mental issues. So let me be clear – I just find it weird and kind of fascinating that this is an actual thing that people ‘have,’ if that makes sense. Taken from a blurb on this site:

When you experience anxiety, your body is essentially in fight or flight mode – an evolutionary adaptation that prepares your body for danger. Anxiety is the faulty activation of this system, causing your fight or flight system to operate even when no danger is present.

(emphasis mine)

That I have an actual misfire of something is annoying, but also incredibly interesting. And a bit of a relief, that there’s an explanation for these random andrenaline surges.

Anyway, my point is that much of yesterday and last night, before the ball dropped, I was planning this blog post about resolutions and anti-resolutions. Full of rantastic goodness and inspiring things. Then, of course, I made monkey bread with insane amounts of cream cheese icing to take to the party, and probably had too much sugar on an otherwise clean stomach, and there were fireworks and a stressed out dog, and that godawful Jenny McCarthy on teevee, and I just couldn’t deal with writing my aspirations for the year. Today is much better. (Seriously, though – am I just old and cranky, or is it not a wee bit ridiculous to continue firing off loud-ass boomers until well past 130 in the morning? Assholes.)

So, yeah. I’m always on the fence when it comes to these things. On one hand, “New Years” is nothing more than a marker we’ve made up – one that even only applies to our western culture. And resolutions can be ultimately so unhealthy and unhelpful. At the same time, it’s impossible for me not to get a little swept up in the hype. Christmas is over, and there are several months of quiet ahead. Choosing the right resolutions could potentially help utilize those quiet months, maybe even plant some seeds for real change.

Before I get into my personal shit, there, I do want to give a nod and link over to the great Chuck Wendig and his Writing Resolutions: 2014 and Beyond. If you’ve somehow found my blog and still have not heard of this man, I don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re from. God only knows I yammer about him enough. But it was probably his post that ultimately pushed me into going ahead and doing the R-thing this year. Sort of. I’ll get to the other stuff in a minute (this is a long-ish post).

Wendig (and I always kind of want to add an ‘o’ to the end of his name) rehashes much of his advice, which is excellent advice, because really, after a certain point you can only say so much about writing. Just as you can only read so much writing advice before you really just have to start writing or quit altogether. This is a point I reached in 2013, where I got badly burned out on writing advice and publishing blogs and book review blogs, etc. I also suffered the reading blahs, where nothing in my nook appealed to me. Sadly, this did not inspire me to take a break from reading and get down and dirty with writing. Instead, it triggered anxiety and inspired me to stick my head in the sand and play hours of bejeweled and minecraft. I let myself get lost in comparing my failures to others’ crazy success, even if their ‘success’ was nothing more than cracksmoking levels of wordcount. And, in the end, I lost touch with why I write and how to love writing.

Chuck’s post still has a lot of rehash, but the part that sparked my lightbulb was this:

I WILL GIVE MY WORK THE TIME IT NEEDS

Sometimes a story comes out fast. Sometimes it comes out slow. And this isn’t just about a single story: learning to do this thing and do it well may not take the arbitrary 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell suggests, but it’s not learning to play beer pong, either. Overnight successes never are; what you see is just the iceberg’s peak poking out of the slush. This takes time. From ideation to action. From writing one junk novel to a worse novel to a better one to the ninth one that’s actually worth a good goddamn. From writing to rewriting to editing to copyediting. Don’t “just click publish.” Don’t just send it off half-baked to some editor or agent — they get hundreds of stories a day that are the narrative equivalent to a sloppy equine miscarriage or half-eaten ham salad sandwich. Don’t punish your potential readers by squatting over the Amazon toilet and voiding your creative bowels into the digital porcelain. Take pride in what you do. Go the distance and get shit done. Not just a little bit done, but all-the-way-to-the-awesome-end done.

and this:

I WILL GET EXCITED ABOUT WHAT I’M WRITING

Ten years of freelance writing taught me one thing: you have to find a way to get excited about a day’s worth of writing, or it’ll juice your mind like an orange in the hand of Andre the Giant. It’ll kill you and your love of it, because writing stuff every day that isn’t precisely yours is — well, it’s many times better than doing the hard work of being a retail countermonkey (been there), but it still becomes a kind of drudgery. And so what you do is you find a way to be excited about the work. You still make it yours. You own it. You claim it with the flag of your voice thrust into the earth of the work. And this is true with any writing you’ve got going on, whether it’s a personal project or freelance or a story you’re forced to continue at the hands of a rabid fan who has kidnapped you and hobbled you by chopping off your foot (YOU DIRTY BIRDIE, YOU). Discover your own door into the material. Find the You-shaped hole in every story. Getting excited during a day of writing makes it go easier. It makes it fun and insane and is one of the many things that can elevate the raw ore of craft to the glittery baubles of art. Get geeked about your story. Write what thrills you. Every day of writing, sit down and ask: what am I going to write that excites me today?

Going back a few blog entries, writing is lonely work, when it gets down to it. And if you lose sight of *why* you write, it becomes a non-paying job where your motivation is guilt and inadequacy. That’s just no good.

I’ve been having trouble with The Beard. It’s far more plotty than its predecessor. The Switch was a long time in edits and foot-dragging, but it was ultimately intended to be a pure smut novella, a one-off. Then I got intrigued by Will and Emmaline, and then the other characters started filling out in my head, so I pursued it. But that world – the rich, spoiled, country-club elite in their late 20s? I can’t fucking relate to that! How the hell do I do this, I’ve been wondering?

I recently delved into the first of many old journals. Old as in 1991. The year I graduated high school, pined and angsted over the love of my life, wrote half the time in Theban script, and eventually migrated from Virginia to Boston for college. There’s a lot of embarrassing drama in there, and so much insecurity. But there’s also a person. People. And experiences. And somewhere in all that mess is a state of being I’d forgotten, happily. But in forgetting that era of late teens and 20-somethingishness, I’d lost touch with a type of character. Incidentally, the age and type of character I am often writing about. Lucky me – my old, uncertain, young-adult self left me a gift, a bouquet of buds that can unfurl into fictional characters I can remember and actually relate to. And hopefully, better describe so that readers can relate to them, too. 

And, so, one of my 2014 ideas/aspirations/projects:

Read the Journals, take notes, get inside my characters’ heads more realistically.

(I know, not very exciting except to me – it’s one of those behind-the-scenes resolutions)

And on a similar note:

Actually journal again.

I have a crazy number of old journals to slough through. I used to journal like breathing, which is why I was so prolific at it – most of it is a bunch of whining tripey shit. As I matured, I guess I grew out of navel-gazing. And now, I struggle with the idea of journalling; I hate the thought of writing about how my house is falling down around me and how we owe the government money we don’t have. All the same, there are always gems tucked in amidst that crap – moments of beauty and poignancy. And pen-to-paper *is* important time.

Going *back* to Chuck’s Wisdom and the whole love-your-words thing, I’ve also been conflicted over genre-writing. Romance and Erotica is my main thing. But did you know I was also a songwriter? There’s a whole other side of writing that I love, that has no place in these genres. Don’t argue with me – it’s the truth. Abstract imagery and from-the-gut descriptors are about as appropriate and reader-friendly in Romance as filet mignon at a vegan brunch. Both are totally valid and potentially delicious, but it’s useful to know where things go.

At the same time, I have these story ideas in my head and notebooks that – well, it’s not fair to me to keep neglecting them just because ‘they won’t sell.’ Particularly when I’m barely making enough on what I do write to buy an occasional cup of coffee. And, so:

I will play with my black sheep plot bunnies on a semi-regular basis. (This may or may not include fan fiction, if I damn well feel like it)

Don’t worry, The Beard is still getting written, as is everything else. But I have to ease off the bad feelings and anxiety and learn to love the words again. That’s what these resolutions are about.

I also have some non-writing resolutions:

In 2014 I will finally restring my piano. Bass strings for pianos are damned expensive, as are tuning pins – restringing an older instrument like mine will require a slight increase in pin size. But I love my piano so very much. It’s been a long time coming to do this. Right now, however, I am focusing on the action – the moving parts and guts, reconditioning them as much as possible.

Building up a repertoire for paid piano gigs. I need to be supplementing my income, and since it’s stressing me out too much to make writing the only thing to fill that gap, I am turning to my 35-year-old skill, brushing off the rust, and making myself available for weddings and parties and whatnot. Not right away, but I’m spending the next six months building up a repertoire for it, hopefully in time for wedding season.

Continue my journey of focusing on health improvement rather than weight loss. Pretty self-explanatory. Don’t troll my blog on this, either – it’s not up for debate or discussion. I’m exercising and eating for health and to ease anxiety. Focusing on weight loss only causes me anxiety and unhappiness, has never in all my years resulted in any permanent change or improvement, and has never actually helped my health. If I never lose another pound, I don’t care – as long as my body continues to grow stronger and my cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose and other shit stay in the healthy range. This would be the same regardless of weight or size.

Listen to more music. On this, I actually mean to start a focused habit of regular deep-listening. The kind we used to do in the studios in college. In fact, now that I think about it, this month I’ll need to set up my Tannoys downstairs in my music area. Related to this, expect to see a weekly music geek-out post.

Read more. Similar to the music thing. Very much about feeding the soul.

Have more orgasms. Something we all should aspire to. Orgasms of all shapes and sizes. Good for the body *and* the soul.

Take a damned vacation. The husband and I haven’t been on a vacation since our honeymoon. We’re pretty broke, so ‘vacation’ might be nothing more than camping in the mountains, a weekend in Savannah, or a longer weekend in NOLA (I really, really want to do that last one).

I think that’s about it. I have some other ideas I’m kicking around, like doing a weekly tarot card writing project – picking one card out of a deck, studying it separate of its textbook meaning, and maybe writing a one-shot for it. I’m also not completely letting go of the idea of a sloppy serial. That one might actually get more attention as I’m perusing the journals, since the original draft is such a total marysue self-insert from those times. 🙂

Anyway, peace and love and delicious lusciousness for 2014, y’all! Here’s a humpday hottie to get us started:

Unf.

 

Just… damn.

On anxiety, radio silence, and being a nutcase writer/artistic-type

First off, Happy Thanksgiving Day for us U.S. folks. That’s all I’ll say on it, since we’re already plenty flooded with holiday crap and Black Friday/Cyber-Monday jibberjabber.

Secondly, a disclaimer – the things I’m about to say here in no way are meant to indicate that I agree with, or think it’s okay for authors to behave poorly toward readers. Also, this might get long.

Okay, so.

I flopped out of NaNoWriMo this year. The Beard *might* get finished and into editing by Christmas, but it also might be a Valentines release or something. Also, the radio silence thing. I mean, not that many people, if any, really notice or give a crap at this point. But, I figure, while I have a blog, may as well at least pretend, right?

It’s not writers’ block. I have a ton of ideas and I have all of The Beard mapped out in my head. But – ugh, just sitting here facing this, my stomach is turning a little.

Turns out, I have Anxiety. And it’s rarely rational, and often not even conscious. Meaning, I just went through the past almost-two weeks freaking out that I might be having a heart problem. Thank the universe for those Any Lab Test places, because I could actually manage the cost of blood work this time, along with a trip to my doc. Everything checks out normal (knock wood). Describing in detail the shit I’ve been experiencing, doc says it’s anxiety. Therapist says it’s anxiety, and that no, it doesn’t always have rhyme or reason. Sometimes your body just misfires chemicals.

Unfortunately, it does get triggered by stupid shit, like feeling down about my writing motivation. And following my previous methods of lighting a fire under my ass just made it worse (ie, reading writer blogs, chatting with other writers, etc.). So, it’s Radio Silence for me for a while longer.

However, this brought a little perspective to a subject that seems to rear its head every few weeks or so around the book/blog-osphere. That of reviews and reviewers ‘bullying’ writers. Of course, I guess it could apply to any sort of cray-cray that occurs out there. But it was this post by Janet (or Robin?) at Dear Author that got me thinking (this time, anyway).

To be honest, not a lot of anything new can be said about the book-bully debate. It’s a tired topic, yet it comes up time and again. However, Janet’s piece begins by drawing a questioning parallel to food reviewers, Anthony Bourdain (god, I love that man), and critics of Jamie Oliver, and how no one complains about “foodie bullies.”

The thing is this (and please, PLEASE remember my disclaimer above – I am in no way defending or taking the side of the whole “bully” misuse team): Writing is a nutjob job. Even if you take away the special snowflake airy fairy bullshit about characters being personal voices inside an author’s schizoid head, even if you toss out the, ‘my stories are my baaaaaaybeeeees’ crap, it’s still an intensely personal, EXTREMELY lonely job. Add to that, the fact that most artists are artists because they have, well, that kind of fucked-up psyche that makes them creative and also opens them up to all sorts of insecurities and imbalances, and well, fuck.

I guess what I’m saying is, is it any wonder that with the internet being what it is, you have so many writers losing their perspective and freaking out on readers/reviewers?

Writing means spending a boatload of time in an ocean of uncertainty. Actually getting anything written means pulling yourself away from the distractions of the internet and DOING THE WRITING – that one thing is hard. Doing it well? Even harder. Doing well, getting it done and edited and PUBLISHED? Really damned hard. Getting it read and purchased enough to make a living so you can do it all over again? Really FUCKING damned hard. Further, unlike any other profession, artistic or otherwise, when it comes down to it, writing is a solo endeavor. Yes, you can have editors/agents/publishers if you can get on the trad route. But even then, it’s still mostly in the author’s hands. Is it any wonder there are some out there who just – don’t handle the internet well? And it is the internet – because it’s soooo easy to rattle of a blog post, comment, status update, or tweet; as a vent, distraction, or a plea for some kind of human contact that might understand or support the author plight.

Now, lest you think I’m just here to whine about how harrrrrrrd it all is, that’s not my point. My point is, fuck dude – everyone’s just human. And no, it’s NOT the same as working in food. It’s not the same as anything, except maybe painting or something. 

I guess what I’m saying is that when shit like this crops up, someone needs to be the person who just decides to be bigger and turn away. It doesn’t matter who is in the “wrong.” What matters is that everyone is human, everyone screws up, and everyone has their battles. Some might never “get it,” and be forever trolling review forums instead of writing their damned books. But honestly, if the tables were turned and I was a reviewer getting bitched at for a negative review (actually, I have been there), my response? “LOL, okay.” Because someone in that state isn’t going to change, no matter how many Dear Author posts go up.

I guess, in other words, don’t feed the trolls, no matter what side you’re on. Plain and simple.

On that note, I go back into my cave. I need a break from self-imposed ideas/ideals so I can just focus on why I started writing in the first place. As to which book that will birth first, who knows? I suppose that’s one of the perks to being a nobody, not even a little fish in a big pond, but just a tiny little tadpole!

Support small business this holiday season. Also, get your piano tuned. It’s time.

Weekend Anatomy Lessons

I’m still kind of embarrassed, and a little concerned, about how (some) people still don’t seem to know very much about sexual anatomy. And this isn’t limited to morons or idiots or prudes, so please don’t take this to be some kind of judgmental thing on my part. Hell, I’m sure I don’t know everything there is to know, either.

But in this day and age, with Google at our fingertips, it just amazes me that a lot of people still don’t believe women can orgasm from penetration alone, nor do they understand that the clitoris is so much more than that little nub-and-hood dealio tucked away in there. I’m pretty sure I’ve shared something similar here before, but I’m sharing it again. Here – have some information on the internal anatomy of the clitoris.

Secondly, I want to talk about the butt. Now, I’d never presume to tell people what to do with their bodies or what they have to try. If you don’t want to explore anal, that’s okay. But if you’re doing it right, it doesn’t hurt. I mean, not to be gross and TMI, but think about it – most penises aren’t much bigger than the average large-ish turd. And if it hurts every time you take a poo, you should probably get that checked out. If it helps, though, a quick skim of some clinical information can reveal a lot. Like the fact that the sphincter is actually in a continual state of maximum contraction. Meaning that relaxing the sphincter is actually a conscious process. (You use that process when you pass gas or poo)

All I’m saying is, don’t be scared of anal, and the clitoris is a complex and beautiful thing, so educate yourself on the possibilities.

 

The Things I Care About (and maybe some things I don’t)

priorities

 

 

Earlier this week, I made a very small but very wrong move, and basically jacked up my slowly-healing hyper-extended knee all over again. This has resulted in a lot of couch-sitting and fucking off while I struggle to get remotely comfortable, change out ice packs, and wrap and unwrap my knee. Oh, I’ve been working, too, and hobbling around and feeling frustrated and old and fat. (I might be all of those things, but they’re not actually the problem. The problem isn’t age or fat, it’s that I’m fucking injured and uninsured.) (I’m not even old, ffs.)

Anyway, the time I’ve been on the internet has made me assess where I spend most of my internet-hours lately, compared to where I used to, and where I just don’t. These are not just reflections of boredom-habits, but a reflection of what I care about.

Apparently, lately I care most about vaping/e-cig legislation, pitbull education and legislation, and moderate fat activism.

– I’ve been a “vaper,” or a user of advanced nicotine vaporizing systems, for just about a year now. I started on a Volcano e-cig type, quickly graduated to some of the more robo-cock looking PV’s, and never took another puff of an analog cigarette again. I’m down to minimal- to zero-nicotine, using vaping mostly as a means to enjoy/indulge in the hand-mouth puffy habit, plus it satisfies my overactive tastebuds without chowing through bags of Werther’s all the time. There is an unfortunate amount of misinformation about the “dangers” of e-cigs out there, mostly coming from “studies” funded by big pharma. (Big surprise, folks – the drug companies aren’t out there to make you better, they’re out there to sell you their product. If you get better, they lose money. Which is why they’d rather see e-cigs banned or heavily regulated. Here, have another Chantix and good luck not slitting your wrists.) Without getting more into ranting/babbling, if you want to quit smoking, do your own research beyond what the DailyMail feeds you. And don’t just assume gas station Njoys and Blus are the only option (they generally suck for quitting, and there are better and less expensive options out there). A really fantastic resource is actually Reddit. http://www.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette/

In short, though, advanced nicotine vaporizers consist of a battery source, a juice holder/delivery system, and juice. The juice, if it’s made here in the states by a vendor who is worth a damn, contains vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol, nicotine (optional and in varying specified percentages from 2.4% to .6%, usually indicated in mgs), and food-grade flavorings. Yes, propylene glycol is used in antifreeze – the kind that was invented to be environmentally safe and nontoxic. It’s also used in hospital ventilation systems and asthma inhalers.

– Pitbulls. I don’t own one. Someday I might, though. My mother-in-law freaked out when we mentioned this in passing. It’s surprising how many people still buy into the stigma. I’m not going to sit here and insist that every pitbull is just a squishy bundle of misunderstood love. I’m also not going to sit here and accept that the little white bichon frise that nearly took a chunk out of my thigh was a squishy bundle of misunderstood love, either. In the interest of space, I’ll just leave this here:

“The truth is that pit bulls are, above anything else, dogs. The truth is that all dogs (and all animals, for that matter) learn the same way.”

– Fat activism is even more touchy than the e-cigs thing, and definitely older. It’s also just as misinformed and misunderstood. I get that there are people out there who think it’s cool to be in total denial about their life habits. But those people aren’t just fat. There are plenty of people like that who are skinny, young, old, tall, short, etc. It’s just unfortunate that excessive body fat is a scarlet letter, and everyone from joebob on the street to 50% of medical practitioners will assume that a fat person is automatically unhealthy, that there is no such thing as a “fit” fat person. That all fat people just sit around on their fatty fat asses and do nothing but watch TV and eat donuts followed by chasers of cheez wiz and mountain dew all day. That, since Dr. Oz claims that every fat person he’s ever worked on has had arterial buildup, etc., that ALL fat people have these health problems. (Never mind that every black person Dr. Oz has worked on, every Jewish person he’s worked on, ever female with dark hair and freckles under the age of 60 that he’s worked on, has had heart problems, because hello, HE’S A GODDAMNED HEART DOCTOR AND THOSE ARE THE CASES HE SEES.)

As a fat person (or even just a person who has lived under the stigma of, “OMG DON’T BE FAT”), these attitudes sabotage the psyche and any interest in simply living life and living a healthy life. Ironically, shaming fat people doesn’t help them lose weight, it just makes them want to hide and not even try to live active, healthful lifestyles.  Which should be the goal regardless of size and fat, really – to be active and healthy and happy. To eat good quality food and move yourself around and enjoy life. It’s kinda hard to do that when society insists that you can’t possibly do that unless you’re skinny or UNTIL you are skinny.

Let me put it this way – if the atmosphere were suddenly pumped with a gas that made everyone’s body fat composition go into stasis right now, and no one could neither gain nor lose any more weight, BUT we could still affect and control our inner healthy by the standard means of diet and exercise, what would we do then? How many people would say, “fuck it!” and start horking down cheese-its and nutella? How would our medical profession be changed, knowing that a person’s health couldn’t be prematurely assumed by the way they looked on the outside? Because you know what? It shouldn’t fucking be changed at all.

Again, let me point you to some better-organized words by Ragen at DancesWithFat.org. And also, let me point you to Health at Every Size for some more helpful info: http://www.haescommunity.org/

 

The e-cig thing and the HAES thing tie in together, I think. Because as frustrating as e-cig legislation is, suppose there was a food additive that came out, that let people eat whatever they want with zero health repercussions? How much hatred would a fat person get for being seen eating a cheesecake with magic sprinkles on it, even though it wasn’t actually affecting their health or body in any way whatsoever? “But it looks like cheesecake and smells like cheesecake!” People would say. “That person is still fat, and is therefore offending my delicate sensibilities!” The outrage, I’m afraid, would be much worse than any e-cig controversy. And that, my friends, is a fucking problem with the way we see each other as human beings.

-I used to care deeply about book reviews, the publishing industry, and authors behaving badly, judging by my feedly reader. And you’d think that, being a writer, I would continue to care about these things. Frankly, it’s exhausting and, to me, boring, to give a damn anymore. Following the drama on review sites and blogs has done nothing for my wordcount in the past years, and if anything, only made me more paranoid and neurotic as a writer.

So, instead of getting caught up on Dear Author or any GoodReads drama, I am spending September in NaNoWriMo mode, hammering out The Beard and trying to keep lighthearted about the failure of The Switch. Okay, ‘failure’ is a hand-staple-forehead dramatic word. People just aren’t interested in Dommes. Funny, that – my little vanilla fluff BBW smutlet was by far a better success, far more popular, than my story about a dominatrix and the man she’s loved half her life.  What does that say about our world, I wonder?