Sunday, May 29, 2011

I did it

Did what, you (my fictitious audience) ask? I finally went to the gym. It's been forever. No literally. Like since before the wedding. For the most part, I honestly haven't felt well enough often. And when I DID feel well enough, I used that energy to get groceries, and make soup, or bread or what-have-you.

Today, instead of getting groceries, I went to the gym. I actually managed 30 minutes on the elliptical! For me, that's EPIC. Hell, I didn't think I was going to make it to the first five, never mind thirty. Yay me! And the gym wasn't scary or busy or anything (why I think the gym is scary I do not know, likely anxiety disorder). Everyone there is really nice, which always makes me feel more guilty for not going more often. Does that even make sense? Who knows.

Now I'm exhausted, and really need a nap. I've been up since 5:15am. I laid awake until 6am, then just got up. So it's already been a long day for me. Yesterday felt unbearably long. I have a feeling today and tomorrow will too.

I'm rather looking forward to Tuesday. It's class day, and then I'm going to go visit my parents. I think I might end up staying a few days. I don't see them enough, and I miss them. It's not like Chris will miss me, one way or the other, so why not. I don't get out much, socially. Hell, I don't really have any friends, and the last time I saw any of my acquaintances was three weeks ago now, when everyone lied and said they'd stop by that Saturday... Anyway, my point is, my parents, my mom especially, are some of the very few people I actually talk to. And I need some socialization in the worst way. One thing that truly sucks though, is I so CANNOT talk to my mom about what's really bothering me. I don't have anyone to talk to, and it's killing me, slowly. I was going to make up some emo analogy, but fuck it, it just hurts, and scares me, and makes me long for something I'll just never have again.

I was thinking of going to the Haikim Optical near-ish my doctor's office (allergy needle time) while I was in town, to see what it might cost me for 1 or 2 pairs of glasses, but the sad/scary truth is we just can't afford them. I feel truly stupid for wasting the money getting my eyes tested. My eyes have been bothering me, headaches reading, trouble with distance vision, so I got my eyes tested, not realizing we were so tight for cash I'd never be able to actually use the Rx. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Assignment #4

So, assignment #4 is 300 words, open. Write anything you want. I didn't know what to write, so I took the advice of my brother-in-law (I still can't believe I have brothers-in-law! Squee!), and wrote about my groping incident on the Bathurst streetcar a little while back.

Without further ado, here it is: (302 words)

An thin, elderly gentleman with a briefcase fought his way to the back of the streetcar. He sat beside Gwen, a tall, round, thirty-something.

“There was an empty seat in front of the pregnant teacher, but he just had to sit beside me,” Gwen thought, irritated, her claustrophobia kicking in.

She glared at him. He tried to speak to her. The sharp, rank scent of booze accosted her. Instantly, she turned away, ignoring him.

The boys in front of Gwen voraciously ate fat cinnamon buns in brown paper bags. The pretty pregnant woman’s eyes sparkled as she talked with the teenagers surrounding them. They laughed and joked with their teacher. Gwen smiled. “Good kids this lot,” she thought.

Gwen froze. Something was touching her; no, someone. She could feel it on the underside of her thigh, through her jeans. She had to be mistaken. No, there it was again. A distinct sweep of fingers ending in a definite grope. Shocked, unable to make eye contact, she looked at the old man. He was reaching across his body under his briefcase to do it. This was no accident. Her stop was soon, maybe she could wait it out. His hand flexed, rubbing the underside of her thigh.

“Nope, can't do it,” she thought, half-panicked.

Too shy to say anything to him, ashamed of her fear, Gwen got up, staring resolutely forward, and walked the length of the streetcar to the driver.

She paused. “Should I say something?” she wondered. The consequences flashed before her. She would inconvenience everyone. “It was only my thigh,” she thought.

Gwen sat in a single seat, behind the driver. The next stop was hers. She got off the streetcar in a daze. Her brain finally catching up, yelled inside her head, "I WAS GROPED ON A STREETCAR!"

Opinions? Comments? Thoughts? No?

Urban Fantasy

So I finally figured out what the name of my favourite genre is. My favourite genre to read, that is. Urban Fantasy. Kim Harrison and Laurell K Hamilton are icons of the genre, and two of my favourite authors (well, when just considering Laurell's earlier works anyway).

I love fantasy in general I think. I mean, I learned to read with Dr. Seus, and it doesn't get more fantastical than him to me. As a teen, I learned to love reading, and expanded my vocabulary with, what I'll call, traditional fantasy (knights questing on fictional worlds) with David Eddings. Seriously, that man has an amazing vocabulary!

I'm not entirely sure I can write fantasy well, urban or otherwise. The one thing my teacher keeps mentioning is my lovely, poetic word choices. Perhaps I'm a poet at heart? Buried under the years of practical engineering training? LOL. Anyway, where I'm going with this is, I do choose words well, for the most part, but I have so much trouble with everything else. I'm just not good at challenging the status quo. I hate conflict. I'm not good at creating tension. And that's the whole point of telling a story, damnit.

I don't think I could ever write things like Kim Harrison or Laurell K Hamilton does. I love mysteries, and a bit of violence, don't get me wrong, but writing them? I'm hopeless. I'm not a fighter. I'm like the exact opposite. I wouldn't even know where to begin in describing a fight, never mind creating it in my head! As for the mystery part, I love reading them, but I don't actually have any interest in writing them. Does that even make any sense??

So what do I want to write? To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure. All I know is that I have a story in my head, and it's what I want to get out, it's what my brain goes to when it goes quiet, it's what a mull over before I fall asleep, it's what I think of when I look at a blank page. Until this story comes out, until I turn it into a story instead of just a dream, I'm not sure anything else will come out, or matter.

What kind of story is it? Well, I'm not entirely sure yet. Paranormal. That much is certain. Possibly romance, though, of that I'm not certain. I have characters, I have a setting, I have desires, but I'm still not convinced I have a story worth telling. It's still muddy. And it's making me a bit crazy. Maybe I just need to take the time to get more of my thoughts on the matter on the page. I'm not sure. I'm just not sure.

I wish I could talk it over with someone, but.. who? I don't really have friends... certainly not ones willing to listen to be babble about a novella. I could babble at my husband, but he'd just get angry with me, and wouldn't give me any kind of feedback, which is what I need. *Sigh*

Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a writer?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Third Assignment

So today was class, again. We got our 4th assignment, which is 300 words, open topic. I sure hope I get some middle-class, middle-aged, married, white woman friendly inspiration sooner rather than later!

Trouble is, I feel like writing for that group totally puts me at a disadvantage for what I'm good at, but I guess in a way that's a good thing, as it challenges me. But it does also make me wonder... Like if writing within my favourite topic, if I'm better or worse at it. Maybe I'll see if they have a course in paranormal.....I'm not sure if science fiction/fantasy is close enough, but likely as close as I'm going to get..... And they do have a course in that. So perhaps that will be next. Not entirely sure.

Anyway! I wanted to share my last assignment, #3. The goal was to show, not tell, a character's desire. Though, I've realised she wants more than just that, and tried to hint at possible obstacles to him getting what he wanted. Apparently I should have had more interaction, and shared what those obstacles was. *Sigh* How the hell was I supposed to do ALL that in 250 words, I ask you?!

I feel like my teacher is just never happy. I was happy with this piece until I got her feedback. And damnit, I still like it. I made a conscious decision not to have there be a conversation. I made a conscious decision to only hint at the obstacles, and in doing so, from comments made by my classmates, they all took it in different directions/ways than I meant it, they made it more romantic than I thought it was, more meaningful. And damnit, that's a good thing. *sigh* And for the record, yes, cuddled is the right word.

Without further ado, my piece:

Nate stared at the woman in his bed. A wistful smile stole across his lips. Even in the dark, he could see the pale outline of her arm and shoulder against his red sheets. She was curled up on her side, a teddy bear clutched in her arms, pressed against her cleavage. He remembered how incredibly shy and embarrassed Lizzy was when she asked to leave the teddy bear at his apartment. He would’ve said yes to almost anything in that moment, so adorable she was then.

She was still adorable, and so very inviting. He undressed quickly and crawled into bed beside her. He cuddled his tall muscular body around her soft shapely one; they fit perfectly. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in tight.

“Oh yeah, that’s the stuff,” Nate sighed happily. He’d been waiting all week for this moment.

Half asleep, Lizzy wiggled her butt, snuggling in against him. She wrapped her arm around his, her long fingers playing over his hand.

"Please God, let me keep her, just a little while more." he prayed, his lips caressing her back.

His world was too complicated by half: one life for his mother, one for his company, and a third for himself. Silently, he prayed for guidance, and the courage to follow through. He tucked himself in closer to her warmth, pressing every inch of himself he could against her soft, smooth skin. Nate closed his eyes and breathed in her scent. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Act Like A Baby When Sick With A Cold

So I now have my husband's cold. He's mostly better, and I'm feeling like death warmed over. It started yesterday, with a stuffy nose and sore throat. It continues today, and adds congestion headache, wicked sore jaw, more than normal exhaustion, and general malaise. Bleck.

It's kinda ironic to me. Men, stereotypically, act like babies when they are sick, and women are silent warriors that take care of everyone, no matter how sick they are. Maybe it's because I've always been taken care of by a silent warrior woman, or perhaps because I'm chronically ill, but I just don't take having a cold/being sick well. I act like a baby. I never used to. I mean, when I was younger, and didn't like in pain 24/7, I could handle a simple head cold without it knocking me on my ass and me turning into a baby. These days, anything more than what I handle on a daily basis seems to kick my ass. I think in great part because my daily life means I have no energy or tolerance left for more discomfort and pain.

So this weekend my husband is going to take care of me. Which is good. Left to my own devises there are no clean dishes and I'm considering chips and dip or popcorn for lunch. Anything else requires too much energy to make. That and I'm feeling nauseous. I don't want to have to make anything, honestly. I'm not sure I can even handle eating. Damn post nasal drip. That and my head hurts more than I can put into words. If I didn't know it would hurt so much worse, I'd cry.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today, I think, is a Good Day.

So yesterday Chris took the magnificent coconut cake I'd made (minus the few slices we ate) to work. It was gone by 11:30am, which, at far as I can tell from Chris is a good thing. He also said he got lots of "thank you"s, and "thank your wife for the delicious cake" so yay! I really do like it when people like my work, be it cake or knitting or writing or what have you.

Poor Chris has a nasty head cold that seems to be getting worse today. He messaged me to say he was congested and woozy. This is not good news, but the fact I've yet to catch does add to my good day. I want him well, but I also don't want to get sick. I'm not shunning him, just no mouth to mouth kisses until he's better. He still gets hugs and cuddles.

Oh! Which reminds me, on my way home from class, by way of the grocery store, I nearly got run over. Again. Drivers seem to pay such good attention to stop signs on U of T campus, yet two short blocks from there drivers barely pause at four way stops. Makes me crazy! Anyway, I started to cross the street and had to stop because the minivan driver thought he'd take his turn while I and a taxi were crossing his path. I stopped and glared at him. He stopped, rolled down his window and called out "Sorry sweatheart!" I just glared at him, then turn my head and grinned. I smiled full out the rest of my way home. I couldn't help it. He seemed genuinely nice about it, and it's the first time ever I've had a driver acknowledge they were in the wrong. It was kinda nice. But I still have to glare at him, cause I'm a bitch, especially when I'm sore. I haven't yet been rained on today, but boys oh boys is it damp, and my fibro just makes my body sing with pain in the dampness.

Class today also went well. There was kind of quietness about it, likely due in part to the fact that our regular teacher was sick so we had another lady sub in. She was really nice, and helpful and all, but I guess it just wasn't the dynamic we were used to? There was a lot of long silences between one of us reading, and the rest of us collecting our thoughts I think. That's what gave the whole thing a feeling of quiet. The best part for me was everyone seemed to like my piece this time. Yay! They got a good feeling for my main character and what he wanted, but also that he was conflicted, and that they were a new sort of love. All the things I'd hoped I manged to get across. So yay!

One thing that worries me though. There is one member of the class whose writing I really don't care for. I find it, kind of jarring and unfinished. I just don't think it's good. But I can't say that. At the same time I want to.... help her by giving her useful feedback, so she can learn to write better, but I just don't know how to do that, without being.....harsh. I did speak to what confused me, which I hope is helpful. But there is no nice constructive way to say that I feel her writing is....clumsy.


Realizing today that I just didn't like her writing, but wasn't able to express it, so I tried to pick up on bits and pieces I did like.... The images/scenes she was describing were interesting enough, but the way she described them was less than stellar. Like her words were falling over each other to get out, and ended up falling on the page in a jumbled mess. Yet I managed to sound positive about her piece, and so did everyone else. This makes me wonder how much of what anyone said about my work was real and how much was just...being constructive. Though the woman in question did manage to go away realizing her work wasn't 100% clear to us, which is good. So maybe they did really like my piece this time? I hope so. I still like it anyway.

Now I have to somewhow find the energy to make soup and wash dishes. Almost every dish in our apartment is dirty -- neither Chris nor I has been feeling too great this week. At least I don't hurt at badly today as I did yesterday! Small mercy that!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sadness, and a Fridge full of food.

So we tried to have a housewarming/bday party for my husband today. It was a fantastic failure. We gave everyone two months notice. Invited just about everyone we knew in Toronto, many people that before today I would have called friends, but they aren't really, they're just acquaintances for the most part.

So can you guess how many showed up? Yup. That's right. Zero. At least a couple of them had understandable excuses. But when no one shows up.... Yeah, that's no coincidence. This is me, never throwing another party again.

On the bright side, at least 90% of the perishable food in our fridge is healthy! Lots of veggies, and fresh salsa, and cheese. Mmm, cheese.

The day wasn't wasted though. I vacuumed and washed the floors, and made raisin bread. All before 1pm! I even go to finish the dirty book I was reading.

I wish I could ease this sadness though. I also feel like such an ass. I made sure we had chairs for guests - though Chris was the one that carried them home from half way across the city, I made my poor husband go on a fourth trip to the grocery store today to get pop for guests that never showed. I nearly killed myself cutting veggies, making a double batch of cookies, burning myself on raisin bread, and for what? *Sigh* the Cookies and bread can be frozen. In honesty, I made the bread with the thought that at least I'd have something sure to look forward to today. I think though, this is why, once I got past 13, I never threw another party. I just couldn't take the thought that no one would show up. So when I did invite people over it was only people I knew wouldn't not show, like my family and best friends. But my best friends live in different cities now, I'm not even sure if they would show up if I invited them. I'll have to try, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Still. It wasn't a bad day. I got to snuggle my husband, and something actually made me keep the floors clean. lol. *Sigh* Just not what I'd hoped for. Oh well. Maybe we'll try again when one of us turns 40; preferably me.

But what really pisses me off, is this was supposed to be a birthday party for my husband. And no one showed up. Not a single one of the people I thought were our friends! And now there is no one here to eat the damn cake. The cake that is fucking perfect, and no one but us to eat it! Bah! Bah I say! Well, at least my husband is a fairly solitary creature, I don't think he's half as put out as I am. And he still wants to eat the cake I made. I'm very glad of this. I had some bread, and somehow I'm very full, but make no mistake, we will be eating that cake, and by gods we will enjoy it because it is magnificent.

To those of you who made my husband morose - *shakes my fist at you*

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Fail, Mel Success?

So I posted my working assignment and Blogger had a moment of FAIL and lost my entry. *Sigh*

Thankfully, I didn't use Blogger to keep my only copy of it. Ha. I just lost the comment. At least I have the email so I know what was said! Thanks Jess for commenting!! <3

So this is what I have so far (the assignment is, in 250 words, to show not tell what a character desires):

A sleek black lexus crawled between vibrant grassy hills on a white gravel road. The tires crunched to a stop in the silence of the cemetery. The car door gleamed in the weak sun as it opened to reveal a three inch, thick-heeled, leather boot attached to a long leg in slim black slacks. Silvie unfolded herself from the low car and slammed the door. Her hands buried deep in the pockets of her short, black trench-coat, she strode across the grass. Her chestnut locks bounced with each step.

Silvie stopped in front of a tall, grey headstone. Her hand shook as she reached for the cold marble. Her tears fell freely. Her fingertips caressed the smooth stone.

"Oh Marty," she breathed. My brave, brave human, she finished in her head. “I should never have let you talk me into it. Never,” she whispered. A succubus demon in love with a human. Of course it ended badly.

Silvie read the tombstone hoping, somehow, it would bring her comfort this time, ‘Beloved husband and father’. She blinked fresh tears. The wind flung her hair in her face. Impatiently she pushed it behind an ear.

“I want to raise our daughter, but…how am I to keep my sanity without you Marty?” She asked in a strangled whisper.

Her knuckles went white as she gripped her own elbows, hugging herself. She longed for arms that would never again hold her. Tears fell in angry grey streaks down her face; her waterproof eyeliner finally failing.

I rather like it, as a thing, but I'm not entirely sure I convey her desire well. I think her desire is a muddled thing. And the one thing I really wanted to convey that I think I fail miserably at, is her utter terror of loosing her sanity again. But, at the same time, this is where this piece wanted to go. I think it makes sense as a stand alone. I hope so anyway.

I think part of the reason my last writing assignment didn't go over as well as I would have like is two fold:
(1) I tried to cram too much story in too small a space, resulting in nothing working out well, and
(2) I didn't stay true to myself, and what I love writing/reading about -- paranormal romance/life/adventure

So this time, I slipped a little paranormal in there, and I tried to go where the piece wanted me to, what made sense for the word count instead of the founding idea.

Not completely satisfied, I'm working on a second piece, but it's not jelling just yet. And it's no where near as compelling to me as this one is. We'll see. If nothing else the exercise of trying to show not tell is good for me! I tend to expound more than I should, but thankfully not as much as some romance writers!

I just finished this romance book. Took me forever to read it because it was just bad I couldn't handle it in big pieces. The author did way too much expounding, it was ridiculous! Made me feel better about my writing, I tell you what.

So Blogger found my last entry, and snuck it back it, formatting and comment was gone, and the tags were a mess, but the meat of it was there. So not bad for a recovery that was none too elegant on their part. I deleted it, since I no longer needed it. But I thought I should give Blogger credit for getting it back.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The weather lately has been fantastic! Sunshine, not too cold, not too hot either. Rather lovely. Today, however, looks like the last lovely day in some time - the forecast calls for all kinds of rain for the foreseeable future. So I'm hoping to go out today and do as much as I can. I'm not sure how much I'll manage. Chronic illness means I never have enough energy for the ambition/goals I have.

This weekend we are having a birthday party for my husband/apartment warming. I have no idea who is actually going to show up. Most of our friends seem to have other plans this weekend and can't make it. Makes me sad, but oh well. As Chris said, we tried.

I'm not sure if it's my particular mental stint, or if it's reality. I'm just...wondering if...friend is the right term. Maybe acquaintance is more appropriate. I mean, when we asked for help painting, and then moving the only offers we got were from my father (!!) and Shasta who lives with more pain than I do. I was shocked that my father was willing to help, he's basically ignored me my whole life, and I was saddened that none of our acquaintances cared enough to even make excuses.

It makes me realise why I've heard so many women say that their husband is their best friend. Many women marry men they would be friends with under other circumstances, but as it is, what with being married and all, their husbands are always there, always willing to listen, to help. I've always been jealous of women who say that. So very jealous. If it wasn't for the sex, for the marriage bit, Chris and I would not be friends. I love him, but I can't talk to him about a lot of things - things I would talk to my friends about, that I used to talk to my friends about, when I had close friends. But life, time, space, have combined to mean I just don't have close friends anymore, and Chris is my best friend. Poor man. I know he would never willingly take that post. And it's not that anything's changed. I still can't talk to him about chick things, or matters of the heart, or most of the things that eat at me, because he either doesn't want to hear it, or doesn't know how to respond. He's also a very solitary creature, and I often get the "I've had people talking at me all day, let me have some peace" speech when I do try to talk to him. So yeah. I try very very hard not to talk to him about most things. Even attempting to share my day with him never goes well.

I'm not good at making friends. I'm... not good with people in that way. But I mean, I can't relate to most normal life experiences, and most people have no clue how I live my life. I don't work. I don't even do most normal housewife things. I don't have kids (thank the gods). I live in chronic pain. I have no energy for anything. I just can't do so many things healthy people do and take for granted. How do I relate to them? I can't. That's the truth of it. So part of me holds back, but part of me just doesn't know what to say. =/

Anyway, thinking about this isn't going to make it any better. I don't know how to fix it. And dwelling just makes me sad.