So Currently…In a book club

I joined a book club. I attended my first meeting back in April.

As the cloud of the pandemic (very) slowly disperses, I found myself wanting to connect with people again. These last two years made my general reluctance to interact with people develop into a halting hesitation fraught with perils. I wanted to take steps to combat this fear. To connect with people with mutual cause and interest.

I did try a few online book clubs but I could never commit to them. It was so easy to just not open up the video conference app. I needed to get out and go to a place. To make it an obligation that I put time, energy, and mileage into so I looked at a few book groups at my local library and picked one.

I chose the group based on the book title they were going to discuss. The first ended up being the Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. It’s a very thought-provoking book that I may talk about in more detail in another post. I was excited to talk about it.

But this was my first ever book group. Outside of school, I never sat down with a group of people to discuss my general thoughts on books so I was very nervous for the first meeting. I’m a bit embarrassed by the number of mini-pep talks I had to give myself before I made my way out the door to the library.

And…it was really fun! No one was more shocked than I was. I love hearing people talk with passion about an experience we all shared. I even shared a thought or two of my own which felt really empowering. I knew I would go again.

This book club is introducing me to titles that I would never pick up on my own. Here are some selections if you’re at all curious. I may talk about each of these at some length in future posts.

Monday Musings: Daylight Savings and The Great Confusing

Daylight Savings was this Sunday. I feel like I’m in some bizarro world where time has lost all meaning.

The changing of clocks somehow snuck up on me. I knew it would happen. Had it marked on my calendar even, but I’m still confused by everything. I woke up from my alarm yesterday, bleary-eyed, and wondering why the clocks were all wrong. I’m used to seeing the sun at six and found myself wondering why it was still dark at 7 this morning.

It doesn’t necessarily help that this is a ‘long week’ for me. Seven days of work, Saturday to this Friday. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I’ll survive. I don’t even feel it yet but that may be because I woke up with coffee this morning and I’m always more hopeful on Mondays. Tuesday will be my real test.

 

Recently, I’ve been wanting to get back into history again. This is a noted change from the romance book binging I’ve indulged in for the last few weeks. The Noble Blood podcast has given me good doses of royal history and I began a book about the world of early Hollywood around the time Howard Hughes came on the scene in the late 1920s (also by another podcaster, Karina Longworth of You Must Remember This fame). I’ve queued up several books from my library to also feed this need. I find that learning about the past offers comfort in our present.

 

In other not-so-concrete news, I’ve been giving some thought about my blog here and the content I’d like to share with you all. I’m a planner (sometimes to a fault) but my blogging schedule has more of a frenzied pantser energy. I like to build a consistent habit out of it, but that requires talking about things.

Blogging forces me to be more thoughtful about what’s going on in my day to day. I don’t like looking back on the week and thinking that if I’m not writing then nothing was done. It’s good to celebrate the little things and the changes in season.

So Currently…4

Reassessing

What does productivity even mean in a time a COVID?

Whatever it is, it’s hardly applicable to my head space. It’s not welcome because it brings its dour cousins guilt and regret every time I settle into YouTube drama hole. They shake their heads and judge me silently. It’s easier to ignore them when caught up in the messiness of other’s lives.

My creativity, on the other hand, has been engaged in other pursuits. Mostly dusting off those old skeletons in my closet and dealing with the practical matter of clutter.

Clutter’s been my dirty little secret for the last few years. I keep a clean looking appearance but if you investigate the nooks and crannies you’ll find piles and piles of things stuffed everywhere.

My mind’s been consumed by it. What to donate, what to throw away, what to do with…? My every free waking moment spinning some variant of these questions.

I feel like a new person as I cast off old perceptions of myself. So my clothes I thought I’d rock with their frills, long sleeves, and melon necks. Paper bits I thought would mean something ten years out. Books kept on sentimental currency over genuine enjoyment.

Reassessing.

This is a journey that I don’t anticipate will end any time soon.

Sunday Post in the Wild

Hello Everyone!

I know I’ve been quiet here recently. Nothing much happening in my life as of late as the world remains in stand still.

I have decided to revisit an older story of mine. It’s a YA story about several families living under one roof. It started as a situational comedy way back when but over the years, I loaded up on all the character and family drama. There’s also a supernatural component with old communes and curses and the like. Standard fare for me really.

I promise to get back on track in the next week. I’m just adjusting to a few things. I think everyone is still adjusting and that’s okay.

Happy Sunday all!

Trapped in a Musing

Happy Sunday, everyone!

So here’s a curious observation. I’ve been thinking a lot about stories where you’re trapped in a situation that you can’t really escape from. No obvious reason really. Seemed like great story fodder.

Most of the media I’ve been consuming this last week have dealt with this. I’ve been reading Slaughterhouse 5 which deals with war with equal parts dark humor and weird sci-fi element. The main character is “unstuck” in time so the main character constantly reliving their life. Then there’s Full Metal Jacket which again deals with the concept of war. Vietnam stretched out to over a decade and war just seems like a thing you can’t see an in to when you’re in it. At least, that’s how I often imagine it.

And this whole trapped theme made me think back to one of my older stories of a cast of characters finding themselves trapped in jail. But it’s not a typical jail. This jail makes no logical sense and everything you do to defend yourself just makes you look more guilty to the powers that be. And it’s supposed to be humorous…

But I have to admit, that’s what I like in horror. One of the themes that I enjoy in a horror story is that feeling that there’s no escape to this situation. I think most horror stories have that element to it. Whether it’s a monster, an event, or the people we’re close to. You can’t escape the situation. At least, not without losing something. And that latter concept really intrigues me.

I have to be honest, I never know where these Sunday musings go when they start. I just come up with a first line and go where that takes me. Then I edit. Then I title. Sometimes like the place where I end up. Sometimes I don’t and start over.

A Few Good Things

There’s a lot of things happening right now. A part of me wants to dwell on them this week. Believe me when I say I’ve done enough of that and will do more so in the future I want to do something different this Sunday.

So let’s list some good things:

  • I can smell spring in the air. Even though it’s cold right now, I smell life blooming all around me. The grass is flush with green and the tree outside my apartment is starting to bud. And though I don’t look forward to the fish smell the white flowers bring, they’ll still be beautiful.
  • A mini vacation. Yes, it’s a government sanctioned one but one nonetheless. The last time I had one was back in early July of last year when I traveled to Indiana to visit family. But that was an eight hour car ride and lots of traveling in between in a crowded car. No time to stretch and just be the potato I deserve to be every once in a while. So I’m enjoying all the movies that I’ve been waiting on and the books on my shelf that I thought I never had time for before. Huzzah!
  • I’m brushing up on cooking skills. I’m intensely passionate about cooking and eating good food. It’s a topic I love learning more about. These last couple of weeks, I relearned some basics. I can whip up some fluffy scrambled eggs and honing my pasta skills. (Again, really basic) I bake cookies and bump up my teas and coffees when the urge overcomes me. So I’ll be taking the time doing more of that.
  • I’ve rediscovered music of my high school adolescence. Rocking out to Green Day and the R&B of weeknight car rides with my mom. Nostalgia abound. I feel old but I feel happy. And that’s not even mentioning the new artists I’m falling in love with along the way.

I would love to hear what’s making you all happy during this time. Let’s share some joy during this anxious time.

Nothing Like Fireside Rum Coffee during a Pandemic

Good Afternoon Everyone!

While the world falls into a steady pandemic decline, nothing comforts like a hot coffee. All the more so when the weather decides to hit a cold snap after several days of spring.

I’m sitting here stretching out my writing muscles on my keyboard. Muscles in my wrist fight against the motion unused to the strain. I haven’t written much this week. My motivation has been stagnating these last few days much like the US economy. I’m unsure whether it is appropriate to make such jokes while the trauma is still fresh. (Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s poor taste but I know no better way to cope in such times than to find jokes and brighter sides).

Here’s a brighter side! Due to the scares, my job closed down for the next two week. There’s still a lot of uncertainty there but that does free up my time a bit. I can catch up with writing, watching movies, trying out some recipes, and finishing up some books in a messy pile by my bedside. Self-quarantining doesn’t have to be boring.

I wish I could talk about something else here. I’m picking my brain for something–anything–but my brain keeps returning here. Even while watching Carmen Jones (1954) on Turner Classic Movies an hour ago with my family, my thoughts went back to the hour and how if things were different I would be dressing for work . That’s the panicky workaholic in me sitting in my pajamas wondering if this was all real. Shouldn’t I be elsewhere?

You see! I returned to it again.

I hope we all can find some comfort during these trying times. I ultimately believe things will return to some sort of normal but it’s best to be cautious.

Stay safe everyone. Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

(She says, before repeatedly doing so while editing…)

Monday, Monday

I know that it’s been a minute since I’ve done anything here. Lots have been happening behind the scenes these last eight months. Most good but it’s been keeping me busy on the life side of things.

So what’s changed since June 2019?

Well, I have a new job for one.

Throughout most of 2017 to last June, I’ve been working multiple jobs and internships. My head was on a swivel as I jumped from one to another. I’m pretty sure if I look through my output throughout this time, it’ll look very scattershot. Lots in a month or two, nil for two or three others.

I’m now working in a higher position at my local library and it’s a dream! I’m surrounded by books and people who like books. What could be better?

This also means I have a little more downtime than I’ve had these last couple of years which is really nice! No complaints there!

I’ve also suffered the apex of an ongoing identity crisis with this blog.

I’ve been debating what I want this space to be. I’m an avowed overthinker so while I toiled on this question, I found myself stuck idea-wise. I had loads of them but put myself in a tizzy trying to figure out if it should go here. I ultimately decided to just go with the flow on this one.

Again, still an ongoing crisis.

Fiction wise, I’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. I’m on a writing high. I’ve managed to finish drafts for a couple of projects while sussing out the ideas of others. I’ll go more into detail about those in a separate post but things are coming down the pipe.

A good deal of those will be on a new blog I’m starting called Our Hollow Times. Most of the fiction there will be centered on the town of Hollow Grove. Some of you may already be familiar with that world. For others, it’s a universe I’ve been developing for the last oh…close to four years now. It’s a little out of the way American town filled with ghosts, supernatural creatures and other unfathomable beasts coexisting with a mortal population. It has many story timelines and other stuff that I’ll be far better explained by the people who live there. Their stories will be found on this site when it officially starts rolling next week.

That’s about it for me! I’m going to work to update this more consistently in the future. Blogging is supposed to be fun and I want to go forth in that spirit!

I hope you all have a lovely Monday.

Thanks for reading!