The first of the Monday Update posts . . .

Today is my first Monday Update post, and after writing two full entries that are going to rot in Draft Land . . . I THINK I’m starting to figure out why blogging occasionally frustrates me (very badly). (Not to mention I have a streak [not steak] on my glasses that I didn’t get cleaned off, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Maybe my problem with this particular post is that I have about five million (clear exaggeration) things I could/might possibly want to say. Maybe it’s my mood. Maybe my biggest problem with it is that, in some way, all I want to write for this entry is:

I JUST WANT TO WRITE A BOOK.

I’ll keep this short (for me), just to spare you until I get all these possible topics for Monday separated into smaller subjects that could potentially be written about at a later date.

What I’ve been doing lately is editing book 3 in the Reave series. One of my largest issues is not ‘fleshing things out’ so this second run-through since December is to do just that. (The first was more to fix technical errors.)

I added A LOT to book 2 (I’m not saying how much), and I need to make sure this one is on par with what I put in the last. The problem is book 3 is/will be the most difficult to do that with (for reasons I’m not going to say because releasing it is just too far off and I don’t want to spoil anything).

I’m also not going to say how many hours of work it’s taken me just to get to chapter eight, but . . . it’s a lot.

That’s what I’ll be doing work-wise for . . . a very long time (for me), if the hour-count per chapter holds.

Along with all that, I’ve been trying to catch up on here. I’ve neglected Twitter and Facebook (surprise, surprise). I’ve been struggling with pushing through my anxiety in order to do what I need to do for Reave (working on it). And I’ve also been struggling with the INTENSE desire to just fall off the face of the planet for a little while, workworkworkwork, then come back at some point.

It’s extremely difficult not to, and I just have to remind myself that I wouldn’t be doing Reave any favors in doing that. Then again, I’m not really doing it any favors currently anyway, given that I can’t even figure out 140 characters to promote it. That might be adding to the temptation to disappear. It’s just overwhelming and I feel I’m not doing any good anyway.

I probably shouldn’t even be blogging when I’m in a mood like this, but it’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon and . . . well . . . at least it’s real. That has to count for something, right?

So that’s my life as of now, as far as updateable things go.

Hope everyone is doing well out there (and kicking any struggles one may find themselves going through in their frustrating [non] faces).

Also, Reave is now available on SmashWords. You can find it here: Look, I’m a link to Reave on SmashWords.

The strange things people do in their sleep…

I do weird things in my sleep, or so I’ve heard.

It’s kind of funny, when thinking about it, that people who would be in the know about what I do in my sleep never deem it worthy to inform me of those things in a reasonable time frame.

I didn’t find out that I talk in my sleep until I was 22 years old – while my husband was deployed – and walked out into my parents living room one day only for them to ask me, “Were you talking on the phone last night?”

Um, no.

So, after being informed that they’d heard me talking, I decided to call Best Friend. I asked, “Do I talk in my sleep?”

Her response was, “Yeah.”

That was one of those how could I know that if you didn’t tell me?! moments.

Countless sleepovers throughout the years (we used to spend all weekend and nearly every day of summer and school breaks together), and she NEVER TOLD ME.

I’ve been known to sleep with my legs straight up in the air, tickle my arms, and do all sorts of EXTREMELY strange things. I think those two things are enough for anyone to know in that department. Too much, actually.

Yes, I tickle my arms in my sleep sometimes. I know it’s weird. TRUST ME; I know it’s weird.

Talking in my sleep was the most disturbing of things I’d heard I did by far. Needless to say that when my husband was preparing to return home from that deployment . . . I was afraid, despite having slept next to him for however long before that unwanted parting.

I’m unsure how long it took for Husband to inform me that I do not SPEAK in my sleep. I mumble – incoherent words that my brain must know, but not want let out. I’m a mumbler in general though, so I shouldn’t be so surprised. Still, I AM surprised, as my mouth is a constant frustration-inducer (it so rarely does what I want it to). I’ve mumble-sang in my sleep once before. That was interesting to hear about.

After so long of being irritated that nobody deemed these things worthy of telling me, I’m kind of glad now. Husband and I were talking about this a few days ago, and I got so uncomfortable at some of the things I do (the mumbling, which I wake him up doing because sometimes I apparently argue with myself, or some unknown person in my dreams [I call it fair because he wakes me up grinding his teeth and giving me the occasional *knee-jerk* in the rear], heavy sighs that also wake him up [I suppose I’m as discontent in my sleep as I tend to find myself while awake . . . such is the curse of nothing ever being good enough to suit me]) that I’d rather ignore the fact it happens at all.

Now, my husband also does some things in his sleep. There’s the teeth-grinding, which has lessened significantly from when he and I first met. But he, also, talks in his sleep. Not as often as I do, because I allegedly do it nearly every time I sleep, but when he does . . . it’s clear.

While in Alabama a few months ago, he woke me up doing such a thing and the only two words I heard were, “Soul cairn.” He’d been playing Skyrim and he loves video games in general (as do I, but his love for them goes above and beyond). What can I say? There’s not often that I can wake up out of a dead-sleep and laugh my ass off; I usually don’t consider myself awake until I’ve had my eyes open for at least an hour. I did that day. I laughed for several days about that. I’m laughing about it again now.

But there was a one or two week time period about two months ago that was just . . . unprecedented. I’ve only heard him say things in his sleep a few times (which might be due to the fact that I am generally a HEAVY sleeper), so when it happened three times in that time period . . . I don’t even know.

Once, he woke me up laughing. I asked, “What are you laughing at?”

He was dreaming about a dude on skis falling.

Once, while he was napping, I asked him where the extension cord was. He said, “It’s under the fish tank.” This was after we’d returned to Kentucky. Our fish tank is still in Alabama, with our former roommate. He didn’t know he’d said it until I managed to wake him up by VERY firmly saying, “THE FISH TANK IS NOT HERE.” He informed me he was dreaming about the fish tank that time.

The one that will forever stick with me was me walking into the bedroom to inform him I was going over to my mamaw’s to eat potato soup (I believe). He sat straight up in bed and literally almost shouted, “Good day!” at me. I thought he was saying it just to say it, as he seemed completely coherent and being strange/random isn’t off-base for him. Imagine my surprise later when I bring it up and get the scrunched-eyebrows-confused-face and, “Did I really?”

Good day! is now a running joke with us, understandably so.

I’ll probably regret posting about the weird things I do in my sleep, but who really cares?

Hopefully somebody gets a laugh out of it.

Madness.

That’s what the past week and a half or so has been for me. It’s gotten to the point – numerous times – where I’ve just wanted to close my eyes, put my hands over both of my ears, and scream, “STOP THE MADNESS!” Best Friend will get the inside joke there, if she reads this. It’s really not a joke though.

I guess it’s just been one of those, “When it rains . . .” bouts of time.

There’s just been madness in what seems to be every avenue and aspect of my life, ranging from small frustrations, to outright confusion, to absolute discord. A lot of that is my fault, I’ll admit, for being how I am. Such small things from flopping around again about what I want to do with my books, to gigantic things that I have no desire to talk about. I’m pretty sure I’ve got an uncountable amount of new gray hairs that will have to be covered up, just in the past ten days or so alone.

I’ve been hiding in my shed. I kind of realized about a week and a half ago that ‘hiding’ is what I do there, among other things. Being happy, being productive in the only way that I am, etc. I’ll admit without any issue that this past week, hiding has been the main priority there – hiding from life as much as I can. It works a little. Works better than anything else.

But I was struck yesterday that I can’t hide from most things. Acknowledgement, and acceptance.

I – partially intentionally and partially accidentally – messed up my sleep schedule so that I’ll be awake on days for a little while. I can’t write during the day, as I get bombarded with what I’ll politely call distractions. Basically, I’m forcing myself to take a pseudo-break. I’ll still be writing (yes, I’m writing), but I’m going to have to do some other things too. I asked Best Friend and her significant other to hang out with Husband and I tomorrow. I’m going to see my grandpa and have lunch with my parents. I’m going to be getting sucked farther into Diablo III with Husband. I’ve been trying, very hard, to get some things out and dealt with (though it’s difficult due to reasons that I have no control over).

Writing for me, generally, is healthy in most ways that matter (at least to me, which I’ve mentioned recently). But given all the nonsense and madness and . . . ugh . . . other things currently going on around me, I just can’t let myself do what I usually do. Can’t run and can’t hide from everything. It’s not healthy.

Anywho, that’s the reason for the lack of everything on here. I’ve been hiding.

Expect my usual Friday post tomorrow.

I really, genuinely, hope that everybody out there is having a fantastic day. I really do. The world needs a bit more good and fantasticality.

Unhelpful Book Reviews: A Rant

I believe this is going to be my very first rant on here. At least the first that I have every intention of posting after I get finished typing.

A little bit of back-story to explain completely . . .

About a month or two ago, I decided that I was going to download some e-books off of ‘The Big 2’ (Barnes & Noble and Amazon). The entire purpose of it was to write some good, helpful reviews – both for the potential readers, and for the authors.

I suppose that I should interject on my own writing here and clarify that I was downloading lesser known books, hopefully by authors who were just beginning their careers. I was hoping upon all hope that I would be able to . . . HELP.

There are two issues . . .

One: I have major problems with reading long things on any type of screen. Even things that I write. When I’m writing my own books, I keep them in separate chapters until throwing them all together. I do not read my own books in their entirety on my computer. I just can’t retain things, or pick them out. So, doing this was potentially problematic in that sense.

Two: Well . . . You see . . . I tried to read one of those downloaded books. I got about 10 or so pages into it and literally could NOT continue. It was torture. Absolute TORTURE.

I went and sat down at my computer with intent to write a review (I should say, I’ve only written one book review in my entire life, apart from the one I’m currently speaking – er, typing – of. I told myself, “Constructive criticism, C. Constructive criticism. Anything you say could potentially help this author. HELP THEM, FOR HOLY &%*$’@ sake!”

I wrote the review, and I was pleased with it.

I was pleased with it until I realized that it was written better than the book I’d attempted to read (I swear this is not me tooting my own horn. If you’ve read many of my blogs, you know that I’m extremely critical of my own writing). And I was pleased until I realized that, if I posted it? I could potentially do more harm than good. I guess the Aspiring-Author part of me couldn’t stand the thought of harming the career of another author.  Even if they might have . . . needed it. Even as a wake-up call.

I didn’t post it anywhere. I still have it saved on my computer, but that’s where it sits.

Anyway, I’ve been perusing The Big 2 again today, and I just got a bit frustrated. Or more than a bit, possibly.

 

The purpose of this here rant is not about the horribleness of that book, or of any other book (though authors DESPERATELY NEEDING to get their books edited before self-publishing, and also ensuring they GET GOOD COVER ART are potentially fuel for the fire of another entry.)

The purpose of this here rant is the absolutely unhelpful, ridiculous book reviewers on The Big 2.

Not all of those reviewers are unhelpful. Some of them write amazing reviews – even those 1 star ones (which I am more likely to read than the 5 stars).

This rant is not even about the reviews that are ridiculous (and also a bit ironic). (THIS BOOOK WAS REATAR!!!!!!!! WHA WAS THE AUTHER THIKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [insert more excessive !!’s]), (This author really needs to stop reling so much on spell-check) . . .

This has absolutely nothing at ALL to do with the reviews that have zero writing (I’m assuming they all just couldn’t stomach the book to the point of not even wanting to comment on it).

This has nothing to do with the rating system at all, really. This has nothing to do with bad reviews.

This has absolutely everything to do with people who give a book 1 star to . . . ask a question. (As a side-note: I actually saw one review like that with 5 stars)

– Here is one star. How many pages are in this book?-

-Here is one star. I’m nine. Can I read this book?-

. . . . . . .

What these people fail to realize is that they are actually harming careers.

I hadn’t even been looking at books with ratings that had less than 4 stars, until earlier. And I’ll tell you – I flagged and flagged and flagged until my little heart was somewhat content once I realized what I was looking at. Unrelated content. Suspected underage user. Unrelated content. Again, and again, and again.

If the book is free .  . . Can’t you just . . . DOWNLOAD it to see how many pages there are?  Hmm?

 

I try to be professional on here – at least to an extent. But seriously? Harming careers.

I say again . . . Harming CAREERS.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want that level of ignorance keeping my potential audience from picking up my book when the time comes. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it – that’s totally fine. That’s an entirely different ballgame.

But if I don’t want it to happen to me?

I don’t want it to happen to any of you either.

 

Maybe I would be more helpful at skimming reviews than reading books. Ha

Failing Words and Suds

I didn’t sleep well yesterday.

At this point, I’m not sure if I should blame it on the windows letting too much light in, the fact that I should’ve known better than trying to fall asleep after the sun came up (without the windows covered), or all of the thoughts and ideas swirling around like little smoke clouds inside of my head.

I’m going to do this tomorrow.  That’s something to do.  There’s a new bit of something to add to the game plan.

I’m sure it was a combination of all those things.  So forgive me (in advance); I’m far too tired to have the sense of what I do and don’t want to say.

While walking upstairs from my last cigarette break, I was thinking about bubbles.  Not the pretty sort with the little rainbows on them, floating around easily before they burst apart in a spray of tiny suds.  I’m talking about the kind of bubbles that we find ourselves trapped inside of periodically throughout life – or that we step into willingly.

My life is a life of bubbles, I realize.  It sounds ridiculous; I’m coherent enough to know as much.  I’m trying to find the words to explain it correctly and I’m failing.  I hate feeling like I’m failing words.  I can’t express how much I hate it.

I lived in whatever bubbles suited me best at whatever time when I was growing up.  Varying colors, varying opacity, varying space.

I’m not sure that I really knew what that meant until now, thinking about the way they’ve changed for me…or the way that I’ve changed for them.  I’m not sure.

When I was writing my books, I was stuck inside of these impermeable bubbles.  I couldn’t see out of them.  I don’t think that anyone could see inside of them.  Maybe they could a little and I was too busy admiring the beauty of it alone from the inside.  They were so beautiful.

I’m inside of a new one now – one that I can see out of clearly.  I can see all the beauty outside while it passes by me.  Life.  Life is beautiful, no matter how much bad we experience throughout the course of each of our own.

Right now?  I feel like I’m stuck here, waiting for that damn bubble to pop.

I think we’ve all had our moments where we felt like life – in all its intricacies, and roads, and deceptions, and potholes – was passing us by.  I think we’ve all felt stuck before.

My problem right now is I can’t explain the difference in that feeling and what I’m actually feeling at this moment.  They are two COMPLETELY different things.  And I’m failing words again.

I’m so sorry that I can’t do you better justice.

Taking a step back.

Those moments of feeling stuck while you were watching life…I know that every time I’ve experienced it, I always felt that some force was holding me back from what I wanted to do – whether it was myself, situations, or another person.  THAT is how this moment is different.  There’s nothing at all holding me back, but there I am, still trapped and watching.

It’s new.  Almost equally unpleasant.  Possibly more so because I can’t really understand it.  Possibly more so because I’ve allowed myself to be open to the endless possibilities.  Possibly more so because I finally have a dream.

It will happen.  I know that it will.  I don’t care if it’s my own determination, some talent that I can’t actually see, or just the natural way that bubbles disintegrate and disappear when exposed to the air.  It will happen.

I need to work on my patience.  With myself.

I know this was way deeper/emotional/ridiculous than my usual entries.  Sorry.

I just figured I’d try that thing where getting stuff out makes you feel better.

Nah.

I’d rather write a book.

I don’t fail words so easily when I’m doing that.