Stress Direction and the Time I Have To Do Things

So I haven’t posted anything here very recently–hell, last thing I posted was a picture of a goat (which I swear is more impressive than it sounds) I drew for one of my sister’s stories.

I don’t think I have quite the steady readership here, but I do write elsewhere (fanfiction, mostly, on Archive Of Our Own, and Fanfiction.net), and I do actually have regular visitors to many of my stories.

Hell, in a world of usernames mostly made or kept from your tweens or drunken haha-this-is-obviously-the-best-idea‘s, I recognize a rather astonishing amount of usernames and profile pictures that aren’t actually of people. (Hahaha, yes, so sayeth Doodled93 with a Halloween costumed selfie to the one side and a picture of my dog on the other. But my username is an adaption of a childhood nickname and the creative use of my birth year, so.)

But the thing is, I have a pretty steady readership in my fanfiction plunges, people I’m surprised to see reviewing/commenting on one story or another because they’re usually commenting on other fandoms I’ve written in, and usually it’s pretty nice. The thing I like about Ao3 (archive of our own, for those not in the know) is how friendly everyone is, and while part of that, I think, is because you have to join a usually quick waiting list to even get an account (whereas there are many dud ffn.net accounts), but also because people looking into fanfiction are generally pretty nice.

Actually care about what you post, the quality you crank out, and people will respond.

I think the most negative comments I get nowadays is from people reviewing for the first time a story I wrote nearly, gosh, 8 years ago now(02/14), and it’s mostly about the overuse of some punctuation.

But the negative comments I get aren’t the annoying ones, not really, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, but berating and shouting at me for not having updated one story in a while gets me stressed and annoyed and a bit spiteful. 

It’s the stressed part of that mix that I’m going to be focusing on today, but you should really pay attention to the fact that when I get annoyed I get spiteful.

If you’ve read anything of mine before this, of the non-fiction side of things, you’ll know that I’ve had a lot to say about stress. I’ve written about stressful situations, I’ve written about what stress is really like for me, I’ve even just tagged posts as ‘stress’ or ‘stressful’ simply because writing about it gets my anxiety up.

I don’t deal with stress well.

I think I’ve gotten better, in that instead of bottling it up I let it out in bursts to Lexy and internet and real life friends in short bursts, but I still have the avoid-it instinct…

Do you see why it is doubly unwise to yell at me and snark about when I’ll likely update?

Because I’m NOT a writer that can work within a certain deadline, I am simply one that can work within parameters. Hmm, should this story be 10k/chapter, or maybe 5k, or should this be every 7 pages, or… hmm. When should I be updating this, because otherwise the chapter will either go on forever or else never get worked on due to its open-ended-ness.

When I was in a bad way after Ottawa-related failings, I was stressed and unhappy and trying my best to avoid real life and all that comes with that, and so I got quite a bit of writing done.

Because when you’re avoiding real life, fiction is where it’s at.

Or just the internet in general.

I read and wrote a hell of a lot, and was unemployed so I had all the time I could possibly want and/or need, and basically turned all my attention towards plot, character development, 10k long chapters, and taking breaks in-between to finish whole seasons of TV shows. As uncomfortable as it may seem to you, I wallowed in unemployment and a feeling of failure but was 80% oblivious to it because 80% of my day was turned towards fictional drama, and a large part of the remaining 20% was eating and sleeping in.

Now, however, I’m in a bit of a better place, and I have a job.

Full-time even, and for a while I had TWO jobs, at least until current job was like “What would it take for you to quit working other job and come here full-time?”

Kudos to past put-on-the-spot me, because I responded with ‘benefits’, because that seemed more likely than ‘more than minimum wage’.

And now while I have stressy bits of work (working in the produce section of an organic foods store means there’s ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE DONE, and also manager issues but whatever), I am working full-time.

I can no longer utilize my best writing time (between 10pm and 2am) because I either have work to get to at 7am, or I’ve returned from an exhausting shift that ended at 9:30pm.

So no, my writing is not happening at quite the same pace as it was last year, or even over the summer, but you know what?

Stress is usually the thing that gets me writing, because it is an escape.

Sometimes more than reading, because I am quite literally feeling like I’m in my characters head.

When I haven’t written in a long while, or am blanking on what–or how–to write in a particular story I have yet to update for a while, I experience a bit of anxiety, because I do want to write. I enjoy it. But I stress myself out in a minimal way when I haven’t updated something in a while, because I’m disappointing myself. Not in a ‘you could do better’ kind of way, but more like making plans, looking forward to it, and then finding out that either you or the person(s) you were going to hang out with and do that thing with can’t make it.

Oh, ok. Next time then. 

But when I get passive aggressive remarks and pressure from people who, while it’s flattering that they’re enjoying what I’ve written that much, don’t give a f*** what else I’m doing or how much pressure they and their unknowing compadre’s are putting on me, who would very likely feel a bit of camaraderie with the others if they knew (Hah, the author will have to update sooner than expected if we’re ALL shouting at the same time), well.

Stressed.

Annoyed.

Spiteful.

Let’s work our way up, shall we?

Spite, a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone.

Leads up to Annoy, irritate (someone); make (someone) a little angry.

And though it’s not in there, anger is part of this too.

I don’t like being angry, I don’t like the way it makes me feel, I don’t like experiencing that boiling in my gut, and I especially don’t like how hard it is to keep it focused on the intended recipient/aggressor. It’s like the difference between being a little peeved and being actually angry is like using two different types of weapons. Being peeved is like your emotions are turned into a laser, easy to point it at the thing that’s causing it.

Being angry is like having that laser pointer turned into some kind of gun that lets out a poisonous miasma. It’s scary, there’s kickback that can injure you, and as soon as it’s out, it’s up in the air. It could affect anyone. Could hurt anyone.

And you know what? If you let me get to know you for 48 hours, within that 48 hours I will have figured out what sort of thing I would have to say to you to actually hurt your feelings, the way that shouldn’t hurt because it’s a relative stranger saying it to you, but hits deep anyways. But I don’t say it. Ever. Because if hearing that it’s that easy to figure out how to hurt a stranger verbally puts you off from ever wanting to interact or even meet me, then maybe it’ll change your mind to hear that I don’t say any of it because I find it very easy to empathize, and I’m selfish enough to not want the emotional backlash of hurting your feelings.

But being actually angry makes that wall in my head of ‘no, you do not say this ever’ seem more like a line, and hey, isn’t it closer than I thought it was, and I bet I could walk right over it, easy as pie.

And that is stressful.

Stress, a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances, makes me want to escape. I don’t like being angry because I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like actually feeling stressed out because I don’t like feeling like I need to escape.

And I really don’t like feeling like I need to escape from my escape.

There are a few situations that I get into that translate into me not being able to write coherently/well.

Alcohol. I will never be that writer who sits down to write with a bottle of wine (i don’t drink wine but that’s besides the point), or with a beer, and a masterpiece will never have its rough draft written in a drunken haze.

Exhaustion. I can write best when it’s late into the night, but I’m pretty antisocial, and interacting with people is exhausting. This is why I don’t really write well after work, because 1) I’m tired, and 2) writing how character a interacts with characters b-z around them is working socialization muscles that do not have the capabilities for this sort of work. I get steadily more anxiety ridden when I have to talk for a prolonged amount of time, and that makes me stressed, and makes me want to escape, and it’s hard to interact socially and also escape at the same time.

And I kind of just mentioned it within ‘exhaustion’, but Stress.

Because if you missed it,

It is hard to interact with anything when all you want to do is escape.

So yeah, this is 1700 words of unhappiness at how some strangers on the internet are making something I enjoy, something I like escaping to, into something I feel like I need to escape from.

Any Day of The Week

So hey all 🙂

Super excited about this, because you know how I went and wrote a fic for From My Write Side? This thing here?

Yeah, I won the prompt! I got to choose the next one! Sam asked that I find a first line from a book.

And I chose…

My prompt!!!

My prompt!!!

Enjoy!

Any Day of the Week

Drawn by me :)

Drawn by me 🙂

The thing about trying to choose your own nickname is that it never turns out the way you expect.

Not when you’ve got a group of dedicated thirteen year olds on hand.

When he’d changed schools he’d thought that perhaps he’d go by Ross—in fact, he’d gone to his teacher before hand and had told her that he’d prefer to be called that.

Because that was a suitably masculine rendition of his name.

But instead, his name got called out and yes, he got teased…

And gained a nickname just about immediately.

It was just from his new friend Jackie, who said she actually liked his name, and though it was only her who called him it while the rest of his classmates gained perverse delight in calling him by his full name, he thought it was pretty cool.

Because… well.

Rossamund was a boy with a girl’s name.

He didn’t know what his parents were thinking when they were naming him, though there was a strong possibility that it went along the lines of ‘we wanted a girl,’ but there it was.

There he was.

With a girl’s name.

Being called Mundy wasn’t all that bad, really, especially compared to the Rosa he’d gone by at his old school… it wasn’t great, and made him think of cartoon characters, but it wasn’t bad.

He still introduced himself as Ross, still got introduced by Jackie as Mundy, and still got called Rossamund by the rest of his classmates, and for a while it was good.

Until, of course his real nickname was decided on.

Because someone finally said Jackie’s nickname, and thought it was funny.

“Mundy… Mundy? Hah! Like Monday?”

“Mundy, Monday… yeah! It’s like Monday with a western accent!”

“Mundy, Tuesdy, Wensdy, Fraaaahdy, Sayturdy, hahaha, Sundy, hahahahaha…”

So, of course, his nickname had to be born from this masterful bit of wordplay.

It had to come from this in-depth thought process.

It just had to work out like so.

Because obviously, when Rossamund became Mundy, which sounded like Monday, it obviously meant that the best nickname for him would be…

Tuesday.

—-

Hope you enjoyed 🙂 And this propmt is due by July 23rd, so you have time to write your own… *cough* you should do it *cough*

😀

I’m looking forward to the next!

EDIT: Now with a sequel. Click HERE to see how Rossamund turned out as an adult 🙂

Black Cat Analogy? For my own use…

I just found this:

Black Cat Analogy

It’s very clever, but I was thinking, what about for me?

When I was little we had two cats, one creme with orange tips to his ears and tail (Eric), and a sort of purplish grey cat with a black face, ears, tail, legs,feet…

Yeah. Now we have this guy.

Gwynn in Snow 2011

So I decided perhaps it would also make sense if I were to adjust this to a Fluffy Pale Dog Analogy…

So then.

To set the scene, you’re out with your fluffy pale dog, enjoying the snow as it falls, and you’re letting him romp around in the snow…

PHILOSOPHY is sort of like, while on this walk, your dog (Let’s call him Gwynn) bounds off into the surrounding wooded area, and you lose sight of him. You can hear him though, and try spotting him by following the sounds.

METAPHYSICS is like if, on your walk, Gwynn runs over to the other side of a hill and is out of sight, and you call for him because you can’t hear him anymore. Then, when you go to follow where you last saw him go (and you’re sure he isn’t there anymore, as you’ve already called his name in varying tones of excitement and command), there is movement from the corner of your eye, and you can feel low in your heart that what comes back isn’t going to be your fluffy dog, but a slicked down dog who has found something to roll in…

(That thing was dead and half melted despite the snow)

THEOLOGY is like losing sight of Gwynn, and calling for him, and you see movement, and out from the scraggly underbrush comes–! An entirely different dog.

What? That’s not Gwynn!

SCIENCE is like getting tired of calling for Gwynn, he’s obviously found something interesting to sniff and/or roll in, so you start running, treats in hand. Surprise, surprise, Gwynn comes, and is more likely to come back again, because he knows you’re packin’ that dried liver he loves so much.

Yeah. Just a bit of fun 🙂  Maybe I’ll add more pictures to this later.

Looked a bit like I had a Boner…

So, one thing that I’ve noticed bout when Lexy goes on Walks, is that she usually carries a bag with her. One to sling over her shoulder and hold onto a water botle, a fold-up dish, and the poop bags.

The other day when I went for a walk with Gwynn, I decided that it was hot, yes, but we were only going out for a half-hour for now, and another short walk later, so I decided to forgo grabbing a bag and just shove the bags in my pocket.

A few streets from my house, I looked down and noticed that the tube of bags I’d shoved into the pocket of my shorts was looking a bit odd.

A bit like I had a boner…

I’m sure no one thought that I, in my girly short shorts and floral shirt, was a man showing off my junk, but still, in the same way penis jokes have amused me when I was in middle school, I was still amused at the thought.

Makes me wonder if other people would have connected the bulge by my crotch was a roll of poop bags (lavender scented, even) and what else they could have thought it was.

Just thoughts.

A Decision

So, I’ve been having some troubles with my studies lately, and as much as I was thinking about talking with my family about it, I decided that it’s my life and I should spend it the way I want to.

This was actually inspired by one of my friends, who has decided that she wanted to do some travelling after school, since she had to stay and take an extra semester at high school for various reasons, and wants to get ‘out there’ before going to university.

I think I’m going to go with her.

She as some interesting plans, and is already looking to get a hippie van (you know the ones, the kind we all remember from Scooby-Doo?) and Since it isn’t really safe to go travelling on your own, I figure that she’ll welcome the company.

Also, probably, the money.

If she’s fine with waiting to go anywhere out of Canada until after my summer job, I will have a good amount to go for a year or so, and as I said above, I’m having some troubles in classes so this is a great idea!

It really is. It’ll be a break from classes, I’ll get so many new experiences, I’ll be ale to keep in touch, and I’ll be with a friend.

I know my parents might think it’s a bit of a bad idea, but I’m of legal age for a great deal of things (not alcohol in America, no), and that includes the right to make decisions about my life.

It’s not like there’s much out there to worry about, anyway, especially since I’ll be with my friend! I already did some travelling (for school, a trip to London and Paris), and I already had the talks about what not to do, and how to keep from getting hooked into tourist traps, and all that, so everything will be great.

Really. It will be so awesome!

It’s great that the family is coming up to Ottawa for the Easter weekend (next weekend), and I’m planning on telling them what’s going to be happening next year then. It helps that I’ll be talking to the registrar before they get here, so my plans will be well on their way! My friend has been sending me links to Volkswagon vans being sold, and I’ve already agreed to pay for half of it.

I’m sure my sister Lexy will be surprised when she reads this, but I understand that she will understand that I’m posting this on my blog with the confidence that she will see that this is a good idea, and that she will support my decision.

Since I’m posting this today, I would also like to say a BIG Happy Birthday to two of my favourite Harry Potter Characters, Fred and George Weasley, who were born today (April 1st). In my mind neither of you will ever die.

So, in the spirit of today, Happy April Fools.

(It’s a joke people. Lexy don’t worry ;P)

Achoo!!! A Thought.

I hate it when you sneeze and aren’t prepared for it. Or you ARE prepared for it in the last second, and still turn away from sneezing on anyone/thing you shouldn’t. It’s good you don’t sneeze on a friend/stranger or your computer screen, but you always end up sneezing on yourself.

Mostly I just hate sneezing down my shirt.

I don’t know if guys have this issue, but I know that most don’t know the ick-inducing sensation of sneeze wetness on your sternum and between your boobs.

More girls have boobs than guys, right? Right.

And there’s no delicate way to wipe that, and I always end up looking down like it may have shown up on my chest like silly string or something else equally appealing. No way to hide that.

I also hate it when I sneeze, and tears leak from my eyes.

Guaranteed, one of two things will happen.

1. It will land on the lens of my glasses.

2. It will make me look like I’m starting to cry.

Sometimes both happen.

Then I look like I should be pitied as I clean my glasses, leaving me blind to the number of people looking at me and feeling pity for the poor girl with dirty glasses.

Just my thoughts on something my body occasionally forces me to do.

Bless you

Dog Training: How to Ignore Cats

First of all, for more on dog training and on general dog-related things, I would go to my Sister’s blog HERE because with me in university, she has quite a bit more contact with our pooch now.

Gwynn is an Aussie-doodle (australian shepherd and poodle mix) with a good temperament, plays well with dogs, and has an unfortunate habit of going batshit crazy over cats.

When visiting relatives/ family friends who have cats, he will go absolutely bonkers to get to them t play.

Cats are a new species to him, a strange and mysterious one that he ha never had the chance to play with before.

To him, they are like leprechauns. Ones that you (and it seems like only you) see every once in a while. It is very confusing for him when he sees a cat on the porch of some house, or walking down the street, because he wants to play with that cat so badly, an it doesn’t seem as though Lexy or I have caught sight of the Leprecat, even though it’s RIGHT THERE.

This is a bit of a bother to my sister and I, and to the rest of the family, because it’s very hard to have a nice family visit with the Dog there acting like a cat addict going through withdrawal symptoms while we wave cats in front of his face.

We aren’t, by the way, waving cats in front of his face.

BUT to hep stop him from going through this act of apeshit crazyness, we have worked on training him out of it when we can.

I managed to take a video of it a while back, when we were going for a walk and happened to see a cat hanging out on the porch of one house.

Here is what happened.

To explain the training a bit better, we are trying to train Gwynn to get into the habit of thinking that when he sees a cat, he should sit down and look to Lexy (or, later, whoever is holding the leash).

Since the cat was there, we had him sit down next to Lexy and he would get a treat every time he looked up at my sister.

We didn’t have a clicker on hand with us, so when he looked up at my sister she said “yes” to indicate what she was giving him a treat for. He looks up, “yes”, Treat.

That way, if he looked away before my sister managed to get the treat for him, he wouldn’t get confused and think he was getting the treat for looking at the cat.

This is working somewhat, but since it’s rare that we find a cat willing to stick around for us to stand there and play this training game, it is slow going.

To give you an idea of why, exactly, we would like him to at least calm down a little in regards to cats, it isn’t just for social reasons.

When walking, if we don’t see the cat before Gwynn does, he will lunge towards the cat with the probable hope taht if he can just get to it fast enough, they could be friends.

This usually results in my sisters arm to get jerked (painfully, as it has happened to me as well), and risk loosing grip of his leash.

This is not good.

If anyone has any other suggestions on how to teach your dog to be calm around cats, please feel free to mention, and please check out my sisters blog for more 😀

I believe she has a section describing the training classes that she (and I, earlier) have gone to, and other training tricks of hers.

Also feel free to share any funny walking stories. I think that this kind of training can be done for squirrels as well 😉

Thanks!