New Year, Same Me but with Strategy

New Year, Same Me but with Strategy

Happy freakin’ new year! I hope to all the gods (both old and new) that 2022 treats us all a little better than 2021. A brand new year prompts new year’s resolutions, and for me that means making a plan. I have three main goals for 2022 that each need to be broken into daily bite-size pieces.

First, I want to get back to my pre-covid body. GOALS:

-exercise every day (20 minute minimum to an hour)

-Use my fit bit to remind me to move more at work so I’m not sitting still all day

-drink more water

Second, time to revitalize my writing habit. GOALS:

-write a minimum of 400 words EVERY day

-finish my WIP and start querying

-start my Order MS rewrite

-read at least one book a month

And third, don’t give up on my newest ventures (youtube, podcasting, and everything that entails) unless I am positive they’re having a negative effect on one and two. GOALS:

-keep publishing YouTube videos 3 times a week. Reevaluate in June and see if I want to keep going.

-keep the podcast going bi-weeklyish for as long as the ladies want to keep at it.

-start converting both to Tik Tok and see how that effects viewership

I know I’m probably biting off more than I can chew, but I refuse to give up until I have proof. I just have to try to juggle and see how many balls I can keep in the air before I bench one. Here’s hoping for a great year! Best of luck everyone!

Creative Ambition? No, Elaborate Procrastination.

Creative Ambition? No, Elaborate Procrastination.

Oops I lost November. It just slipped right by me. Time is getting sneaky. Or I’m getting slower. Or both. Probably both.

Oh boy, so what’s happened since last we spoke…

Well, I’m sure it’ll come as a complete shock for anyone who knows me/has read any prior entries but I’m wildly behind on my writing! Woof. At least I’m consistent. XD Instead of finishing my WIP, I keep finding new and more complicated ways to procrastinate. For those following along, I was in a college book club and made my own SFF book club. I was a regular guest on a college podcast and made my own nerdy podcast to host, manage, and edit. Recently I decided to make my own gaming youtube channel and taught myself basic photoshop. It’s a sickness. (Click here if you wanna see the channel)

Anyway, I’m going on a little weekend trip and really hoping to get some writing in. I need to get this WIP done and polished so I can start querying again. And speaking of, remember how I retired my first finished manuscript from the query trenches and posted it online? While I got a lot of positive feedback, I decided to pull it all down in preparation for another major rewrite. If my understanding is correct, I think once it’s been substantially altered it no longer counts as previously published since it’s technically a whole new MS but I figured I’d pull it down anyway just to be safe. And of course I’ll be transparent about its previous posting if I ever make it far enough for that to matter.

All in all, I have a ton of work ahead of me. I’ll need to juggle and find some balance and decide if I can keep all these things in my life or if some things needs to go. Hard to say right now. It’ll be hard to choose if the time comes but I really need to start prioritizing my writing. It’s the most important to me, which is probably why I keep shying away from it to focus on lower stakes hobbies. Ugh.

But I’m looking forward to the holidays! Hope everyone is safe and happy and far more productive than me! :D

2 Spoopy

2 Spoopy

Hey there, hi there! Happy Spoopy season!

I entirely missed updating in September but that’s not really surprising. Sept/Oct are one of the busiest times at work. We still have about 3 more 6-day weeks left before I get my weekends back but, for my particular position, it’s starting to slow down.

Let’s see, what updates do I have…

Oh! I made two Halloween costumes this year. Felt great to be crafting again since there’s been no conventions to prep for. I found out there’s an annual witch’s night out in my little town so my friends and I had to witch it up.

Then I was feeling ambitious for the big Halloween party and built a gelatinous cube from D&D. It was pretty well received, haha.

Now with all that malarkey done with I’m trying to get back on the writing grind. I’ve gotten a little done here and there and I went back over what I had and did some polishing. I need to work out what I have and what I need word-count-wise and try and finish it for a pseudo-NaNoWriMo challenge instead of participating outright. I’m really loving how this WIP is coming along so far and I’m so anxious to be done. Hoping it’ll be finished before the year ends and ready for querying in early 2022.


We’re still going strong with the Chaotic Nerdtral podcast and we’re sneaking up on 1000 downloads so that’s exciting. I’ve also toyed with the idea of starting a let’s play youtube channel for fun. I don’t know why I can’t just have fun like a normal person and feel the need to turn everything into a production but here we are. XD Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.

And I think that’s all I really have to report. Hopefully next month I’ll have good news about my WIP. :D

Hope everyone has a happy Halloween!

Lightspeed Summer

Lightspeed Summer

Why does summertime seem to exist outside the normal passage of time? I swear, every June it’s like I blink and it’s August. I don’t know if this is a shared experience for everyone or if it has something to do with being in the Midwest or if it’s just my own life structure, but the winters are always insufferably long and the summers devastatingly short.

So, where did I leave off? Let’s see, my last update was in… APRIL? Jeezus that doesn’t even seem possible. Well, since then I’ve posted my lil book baby in full on every major story sharing site I could find. (Wattpad, AO3, FictionPress, Quotev, Inkitt, aJoara, & Tapas) I’ve gotten some really great feedback which was a pleasant surprise but it’s pretty hard to stand out among the ocean of other fantasy fics. (Quotev and Wattpad gave me the best response for all interested parties) I entered it in the Watty’s and aJoara’s summer contest so we’ll see if anything comes of that.

My focus has instead shifted to my new WIP. I’m still trying to get it ready for PitchWars this September but it’s an uphill battle. As always, I’ve overextended myself.

I’m still hosting and editing our podcast, Chaotic Nerdtral and still really enjoying it. I need to get all the episodes converted and ready for Youtube so I can cut some clips and get a presence on TikTok. We also opened a redbubble shop to sell some merch, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve had a lot of fun making some quick and easy designs for it.

Then there’s book club, and my new fantasy book club. I’m supposed to read 1,200 pages collectively by month’s end and I haven’t even started yet. WAY TO GO SARAH. Hoping I can get a ton of reading done when we’re camping this weekend but I don’t want to be rude and ignore everyone the whole damn time. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: can’t someone just pay me to stay home so I have more time?! Can’t I just magically become independently wealthy!? -siiiiiiigh-

Let’s see, what else went on this summer…


I made it to Ren Faire a couple times!

I updated my office a little bit more.

We went up North to visit my family.

Started playing Magic again (haven’t played for years) Really missed it!

I turned 31


Found out I have high cholesterol (wtf I am too young!) so I need to start eating better (lame) and exercising more (cause I have so much time for that)

Lost Marley. After 7 years with my scaley lil man he passed peacefully of old age. From what we can tell he was at least 12 or even as old as 14. Really miss him. I still catch myself habitually looking for where his tank was to check on him. But at least he had a long happy life.

And I think that just about catches you up. I’ll try not to let time get away from me next time. Hope everyone’s doing well and enjoying the summer! <3

The Book is (a)Live!

The Book is (a)Live!

I’ve officially started my online publishing experiment. I’m really interested to see how this goes. I haven’t posted my writing in a public forum since I was writing bad Inuyasha fanfiction as a wee lass. XD

Chapter 1 & 2 are up on Wattpad and AO3. Chapter 1 is up on Fictionpress with chapter 2 going up tomorrow. (Fictionpress had posting delays for new accounts) Guess we’ll see how it goes! For interested parties, the story blurb can be found here. Hoping folks like my lil’ book baby! >-<

Spring & New Things

Spring & New Things

I’ve been trying to keep to the habit of writing an update once a month or so, buuuuut it got away from me again. (shocking) February was busy and then I got freakin’ Covid which took me out for a week but the disruption to my anxiety meds made me less than fully operational for over a month. Woof.

Now it’s mid-April and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m back on solid footing. I really need to get back into keeping regular correspondence with all my lovely critique partners. I feel so guilty for my long lapses, but I just haven’t been in the headspace for it.

Accompanying that, I haven’t written anything meaningful in two full months and I feel like I am creatively withering away. BUT! My meds have stabilized me again, the warmer weather and promises of the coming summer are bolstering my mood, and with it I can feel my motivation returning.

That said, I have so much to look forward to this summer. :D We finally get to take our RV out on its maiden voyage! Cannot wait to get out there and do some hardcore GLAMPING.

Plus, now that I and all my close friends are all vaccinated, we finally get to see each other again after over a FULL YEAR. I cannot believe it went on this long but I cannot wait to see them again. We’ve planned our first post-vaccination girls’ day for a trip to the theater to see the Demon Hunter movie and go get some conveyer belt sushi. I haven’t been so excited for what would have been a simple day out in SO LONG. And the Renn Faire has announced its official return this year. Everything is looking up!

While I was creatively clogged, as it were, I did some office upgrades and I’m ready to start making things again.

I think I’m going to pull the trigger on posting my first MS online. I want to retire it from the query hunt and focus on my new projects since, in writing my first story, I’ve honed my approach. But I didn’t want to COMPLETELY shelve my beloved book. I’d love to see it read. So I’m putting it out there and waiting to see what happens. Looks like Wattpad and AO3 are the sites in vogue right now so I’ll add links to my menu once its posted. Hoping I get some good feedback- maybe it’ll kick my rekindling motivation into overdrive. :)

2021 Let’s goooooo

2021 Let’s goooooo

Not to get political on here but today has me looking optimistically to the future for no particular reason. -WINK- So I wanted to make a little list of stuff I want/hope to do this year.

  • Be more active. I don’t really care so much about weight/appearance but I’m starting to feel unhealthy from zero activity and I want to change that. I got Ring Fit Adventure to get me through the winter (first work out last night and it was fun) and in the spring I can get outside and go for walks/bike rides again.
  • Go camping! Hoping to spend a lot of time in the new RV this year, especially since it’s a safe outing while we’re still in plague-times.
  • Finish two manuscripts! Well on my way to finishing the first. I just can’t lose momentum.
  • I already started my own podcast (Chaotic Nerdtral) and I’m back to being a regular guest on The Pub. Hoping to keep up with both! I really enjoy it.
  • Read 50 books! I’m already almost done with book #4.
  • Play more games and don’t feel guilty about it. I don’t need permission to do something “pointless” if I enjoy it and I need to remember that.
  • See my friends again. I really hope that the vaccine distribution grants my wish but there’s nothing I can do if we don’t get there. Just have to continue to be patient.
  • Do some deep cleaning at home and purge all the unneeded junk.

Happy 2021 everyone! Really hoping for a better year for us all.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness

In a recent recording for a yet unaired episode of the Pub podcast, we discussed mental health in graphic novels & web comics. One of the things we celebrated in these works was normalizing these issues and I thought, hey, as a (mostly) reformed sad person, I could talk about my own personal relationship with depression/anxiety on the off chance it helps someone somewhere, even a just little.

My main problem has always been anxiety, something I’m pretty sure is genetic and has no logical cause. Since I was a kid, curbing my anxiety was based on the safety net of my parents and my home. When I would go sleep over at friend’s house, once we laid down at night and everyone fell asleep and I was alone in a strange place, I’d basically have panic attacks. I couldn’t breath and my stomach hurt so bad I would make myself sick. Honestly pretty normal for a little kid, but the trouble was I never grew out of it.  

My parents got divorced when I was thirteen, and the safety net of my home/family structure was disrupted allowing my anxiety to run free. I became incredibly depressed and my coping mechanism was joking about suicide. I thought I was being edgy and funny but I wasn’t. I wasn’t emotionally mature enough to process what was happening and a concerned friend alerted a counselor and I wound up in therapy. Once I started talking about the jokes I started to realize I wasn’t exactly joking. No, I didn’t really want to kill myself but I was desperately hurting. Confronting that hurt instead of making light of it (in very poor taste) helped me work through the restructure of my family unit. I got used to two houses, to my parents separation and the safety net was strung back into place. I was in a good headspace for the rest of high school and college. (or as stable as one can be in those tumultuous years)

But when I lived alone for the first time during my early twenties, I unraveled. Now, keep in mind, I hadn’t made the connection between my safety person/safe space and my anxiety yet. I thought I had just been a dependent kid and had simply reacted badly to my parents’ divorce. All around pretty normal behavior.

When I lived alone, my anxiety became overwhelming and frustratingly, it had no cause. My apartment was shitty but it was safe. I had no reason for the panic attacks that at one point plagued me daily. I felt like I was being crushed. I cried on the floor for hours at a time for no reason whatsoever. I would rush to the bathroom to keep the tears back at work. When I was home, I would put Mythbusters on the TV and let it play over and over again every night just for the comfort of something familiar. It eroded me. I found myself going to bed at night and hoping I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. I would never call myself suicidal, I could never imagine inflicting that kind of pain onto my loved ones no matter how much pain I was in, but I recognized I was at a pretty serious stage and decided to get help. I went back into therapy.

Honestly, just having someone tell you that this behavior was normal, that it happened all the time to all kinds of people in all different circumstances was a relief. I mean, of course I logically knew that already, but it made all the difference having someone in a position of authority on the subject confirm it to my face. Slowly, I got a little better. In the meantime I had started dating and eventually moved in with my now boyfriend. Having a safety net restored helped me a lot but it didn’t solve all my problems. It was a band-aid. It had always been a band-aid. I developed stomach issues during my father’s sickness and death, though I hadn’t realized they were connected. They never went away. After every gastrointestinal test under the sun came back normal, over the following years I started to notice a pattern. When I was hyper anxious, my stomach was worse. Travel was a huge trigger, even vacations with my boyfriend were a guarantee for panic attacks and stomach issues. I would get so bloated that I looked nine months pregnant, my skin on my stomach pulled so tight it hurt. Even going to visit my mother had me waking up in the middle of the night, rushing to the bathroom to throw up.

Did you know that if you don’t have enough serotonin in your system, you get anxious? Did you know we have serotonin receptors in our STOMACH? Because I didn’t. I finally sought out a doctor with my hypothesis that my stomach issues were actually anxiety issues and I was right. They put me on medication to help me retain the serotonin I was losing too quickly and it was amazing how quickly things changed. I could have been angry if I wasn’t so relieved. All this time, all these problems, and a little white pill once a day made my life manageable again. Sure, I still get anxious sometimes, but it’s nothing like it once was.

Long story short, it does get better. Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to get professional help. Medication is sometimes necessary and there’s nothing shameful in that. If you’re struggling, you are most certainly not alone. <3

It’s the most wonderful time of the (very bad) year

It’s the most wonderful time of the (very bad) year

I don’t think I need to spend much time reminiscing over how much this year sucked; we all know about it all too well.

Instead I’m going to focus on some of the good stuff I’ve got going on.

  • The Pub podcast is coming back in the new year and we already have some recording sessions scheduled. I really missed doing the Pub so I’m excited to get back into it.
  • I took my desire to do more podcasting and the fact that current conditions mean me and my closest friends only hang out online now and squished ‘em together. We’re going to start our own nerdy lady podcast in the new year called Chaotic Nerdtral. Looking forward to to learn the editing side of podcast and share some strongly held opinions with my inner senshi in the funniest way possible.
  • I read some killer series this year including the Six of Crows duology and the Cruel Prince trilogy. I just started Shadow & Bone and I am devouring it! Can’t wait to see the Netflix adaptation this spring.
  • I got my first full request on my first finished novel! Still waiting to hear back but regardless of the response it feels like a huge milestone. And a little ward against the constant impostor syndrome.
  • I started a new project in November for NaNoWriMo and while my turtle pace means I didn’t win, I’m still having a MUCH easier time writing than I did with my first novel and I’m really happy with how it’s coming along, especially for a rough draft. I’m aiming to have it done sometime in February and ready for revisions.  
  • In more personal news, the silver lining of not being able to do a damn thing this year means I was able to save my money and pay off some debts.
  • I turned 30 and didn’t transform into a pumpkin or burst into flames.
  • We got a free RV we’ve been fixing up and we can’t wait to start doing some camping this spring! Assuming all is well with it on the short trips we’re super jazzed to plan some big trips! Ultimate destination would be taking it down to Disney World someday when I have the money for it.

All told, I have to count myself lucky. As shitty as the year has been I suffered no major losses and I know not everyone can say that. So I try not to complain. Still, looking forward to next year and hoping against hope things get better again.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!

The Writer’s Paradox

The Writer’s Paradox

Thank goodness for the online writing community. If I didn’t have a chorus of fellow writers echoing my gripes, I would think I was a lunatic. Why is it so common that, for those who love writing, writing is so damn difficult? (I know this isn’t true for all of us, but for the subset who share my very frustrating struggle, I hope you find some comfort in this commiseration)

I think about stories all day. At work, driving, in the shower, when I lie in bed at night. I hear them in song lyrics. When I write or read something, I immediately want to create something like it. I get so excited, I want to rush of and create something! So why is the actual act of putting pen to paper so difficult? I feel like I’m physically pulling the words from me, one at time. And they’re painfully stuck. I’ve tried to figure out exactly why this is, why I’m like this. Best I can figure from listening to others complain of a similar problem is the propensity for perfection and a fear of failure. I know that my first draft of something is going to be garbled nonsense at best, especially compared to the scenes in my noggin. Like, of course I understand that. It’s logical. It’s obvious. But in the moment, I can’t make that logic work for me. I can feel how overwhelmed I am when I write, trying to get it right the first time even though I know it’s impossible, even though I know I have all the time in the world to sit back and edit, and polish, and revise it into something I love. But since my dumbo brain won’t cooperate with this knowledge, I’ve tried to find ways to trick it. I’ve made a writing space with candles, and bobbles, and soft music, and nice pens. I break big goals into tiny ones. And it really works! Once I sit down and settle in and get over that initial block, I can get a good amount of writing in. Writing I don’t hate, even!

So now my biggest obstacle is getting my dang butt in the dang chair. I start to visualize that blank page waiting for me at night and I find every reason to avoid sitting down and doing the damn thing. So, to help me this NaNoWriMo, I’ve come up with a new gimmick. I’ve always been interested in tarot. I’m not really into any of the spiritual aspect of it, (or anything if I’m being honest- no disrespect intended for anyone that is) but I really like the idea of it as a tool for introspection and journaling. I was thinking of starting to keep a tarot journal at my desk, something fun and easy I can look forward to sitting down and doing in at the end of the day. It will serve (I hope) as a clever excuse to get myself settled into my writing space. Then once I’m done with a journal entry, I’ll be ready to write! If I tell myself I just need to get a few pages down, I know what will happen. When the pressure if off, the buildup gone, I usually get way more written then I’m expecting. I know this must make me seem like a 100% complete psychopath but I’m hoping that any other writers who have my unfortunate neurocies can take some inspiration from me. Or at least some comfort in knowing you’re not crazy and you’re not alone.

I hope everyone is having a low stress and fun November, whether it be productive or not. If anyone has any of their own little tips and tricks PLEASE add them in the comments. Please. XD