My body’s in rebellion (and my mind has taken up the cause)

It’s mutiny–mutiny, I tell you.

I don’t get it; I’ve been exercising and eating better. I’ve been trying to take care of myself. I’ve been doing all the right things, right? So why do my joints feel like a combination of arthritis pain, morning joint stiffness, and bruising?

At first I thought that the exercise was a large factor in it, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve been exercising on a fairly regular basis for months now, so theoretically my body should be like, “Yeah, man, I got this.” Instead, my body’s saying, “Fuck you. Fuck you nine ways to Sunday.” I hurt–a lot–and I have a hard time moving around. Standing sucks, sitting sucks, walking sucks, lying down sucks, and stairs? Yeah, my body really says “fuck you” when it comes to stairs.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just my body that was on strike. Unfortunately, my mind has decided to join right on in and picket alongside. I am sleeping less and less since the exercise started, and I find myself almost afraid to sleep–and I have no idea why. What the hell would cause my mind to not want to sleep? It’s not like I’m weak and sickly to the point of needing to be afraid of falling asleep–on the contrary, I’d like to think that, despite the aching, I’m in better shape than I’ve been in years. I should be sleeping like a champ, yet here I am, lying in bed with my laptop, hoping I don’t doze off. What the hell?

Maybe my old friend Mania has decided to pay a visit. It could explain why I’m able to keep up with the exercise despite the exhaustion, and it could explain why my switch is stuck in the “on” position. If so, that sucks. I don’t really want to think that all this progress is just due to my mood being out of whack,

Aaaand exhaustion won. Before I even could finish the above sentence (and don’t ask me what I was going to say), I woke up with the laptop still in my lap and a groggy feeling comparable to being a tad drunk. I put the computer away and lay back down and managed to get some more sleep before it was time to feed the Rory monster. Still sore as hell though, and it wasn’t nearly enough sleep to “catch up.”

One of these days my stupid body will sort itself out. One of these days…

The Devil’s in the Details

After last night’s meeting with the builder, the house is becoming more and more a reality. We nailed down some details, tweaked others, and had a great chat about what to expect in the process. The butterflies are still in my stomach, but they’re spending more time sipping daisies than flitting around.

Pinterest has become an addiction for me the closer the house gets to being started. I’ve started pinning storage, decor, and landscaping ideas like crazy (not to mention the pins of backyard obstacle courses for rapier practice lol). I think Pinterest is a great resource for organizing and finding ideas. Yeah, there’s Google, but can you imagine going through the process of saving and sorting hundreds of websites? Eww. Not exactly my cup o’ tea.

For organization, I’m looking at ways to spiff up the garage, craft room, and closets for the most part. These seem to be the places where I’ve had the worst luck keeping them straightened on a regular basis. Maybe if I can find good systems for these I can keep my new house looking sharp.

Decor is going to be fun to do, because I can now have free reign to decorate as I see fit. I’m already looking at ideas for at least one mural to put in the house, plus layouts for pictures and other wall hangings. I might even take up painting again to create some original (non-mural) art for our walls. Once we get some good shelves I can drag out, dust off, and display some of my treasured knick-knacks. I’m a sucker for a fun display.

“Landscaping” is going to be the easiest part, thanks to living in the desert. Xeriscaping is a fancy term for landscaping in a desert-like environment. Lots of rocks and not so much grass to mow. Pretty cool, right? I’ll save tons on a lawnmower, and since my dad finds pruning mesquite trees therapeutic, I have a bonus neighbor-slash-landscaper almost literally in my backyard.

That obstacle course, once we get it going, is going to kick ass. I find rapier fighting to be great fun, and being able to improve balance and coordination while having said fun will be cool. Plus, as a bonus, I can invite my rapier friends over to hang out and work out. I hope they enjoy the things I come up with. Yay, Pinterest!

Speaking of hanging out, we also plan on expanding our (suddenly-full) social lives with housewarming parties. We’re planning on celebrating with family, friends, and coworkers, plus having more friends and family come to visit from out of town and stay with us in our new, not-a-hastily-cleaned-up-craft-room guest bedroom. Geez, that means I’m going to have to start looking at what kind of furniture and decor I want in there….

Going forward, this blog will probably get a tad annoying with house stuff. Sorry, but I’m super stoked. It might be a while before my mind calms the fuck down.

Guess I have to get ready for work now. Something about having a house to pay for here soon. 😉

Missing in action

It’s been a few days since I’ve blogged here, but I haven’t been slacking. On the contrary, I’ve been busy with that crazy thing called life.

After Rory was found safe, life hit full-force. Work, home, organizational stuff, gaming, laundry, work, meeting with a mortgage loan company, work…

Oh yeah, the mortgage thing. Yep, my husband and I have been pre-approved and will begin construction on our first house hopefully in October. We meet with the builder again this evening after I get off work. It’s both exciting and terrifying; on the one hand, we’ll be free of apartment life (forever, if we have anything to say about it), but on the other hand it’s a buttload of responsibility. Mortgage payments, repairs, upkeep, taxes, garbage pickup, etc. … plenty to keep us occupied–and harried.

It’s all new and different and a little more than overwhelming. There was a time in my life where I thought I’d never own a home of my own, let alone freshly build one from the ground up. Now it’s more than just a dream; it’s a swiftly-approaching reality. It will even be complete before our fifth anniversary. Some anniversary present, isn’t it?

Once the house is built, I suspect our social life will evolve in several different ways. We likely will have to adjust to the new, higher cost of living before our ability to participate in activities stabilizes, and we’ll probably host more get-togethers at “our place” as we get things settled. We’re already planning two or three major housewarming parties (family, work, friends) as well as having several out-of-town friends and family members come visit. We’ll need more furniture for sure–can’t have visitors sleeping on the floor, and guests would likely want places to sit–which will mean more spending. It’s cool to think of our house being done, but weird to think of it as being empty. There’s enough furniture to fill our two-bedroom apartment, but with three bedrooms (one of which will be a craft room), a great room, dining area, garage, kitchen, etc., it will be a while before the spaces are filled comfortably.

I almost wish I could speed up the process of finishing my latest novel. I know, I know, the likelihood of getting published any time soon (even if I finish tomorrow lol) is slim to nil, but the thought of being a traditionally published author and a homeowner is thrilling. Like, maybe some day there will be a photo of me standing on my land with the mountains in the background on the back cover of a trade paperback. That would be cool. (Better than the selfie I took outside of my old apartment, anyway. Granted, the selfie looks pretty decent for a selfie, but it’s not the same.)

The going has been slow on the writing, editing, and revising, mostly due to that little thing I mentioned earlier called life. I’m going to try to kick it up a few notches, though, and finish the character sheets I started while I wait for the most recent edits of book 1 to be done. I’ve debated starting on book 3, but I think I should slow my roll until I know what changes I’ll have to make after the edits and critique come back. I don’t want to get too far in and then have to make sweeping changes. That would suck. It feels good to have the next two or so books brewing in the ol’ noggin, though. I’d like the series to continue further, but a quadrilogy would be okay. Maybe a quintilogy. (Spell check says that’s not a word, but Google says it is, and who am I to argue with Google?) Not a trilogy though; there are too many ideas for just three books.

I hope that some of you blog readers will be interested in reading these books. Is dystopian sci-fi your thing? A little bit of politics, some action, some sexyfuntimes? (I know that’s not a word, but I don’t care lol) Keep an eye here for updates on how they’re going. My goal is to have something ready to submit to agents/publishers by the end of the year, with my goal for next year being to have book 2 ready for pubbing. I know it’s not likely that I’ll be anywhere close to having book 1 even published by then, but if I have more installments at the ready I’m hoping it will let publishers know that I’m serious, and that there’s more to come.

Will I be a household name? Probably only in my own house, but that’s okay. I can deal with that.

My own house. Damn, that sounds good.

The Fugitive (Or, Rory’s Big Adventure)

20160310_195913

Hug your kids, ladies and gentlemen…whether they’re human babies or furbabies or even iguana babies. Hug them. Every day.

I learned this in a big way yesterday. With a cat who’s only ever indoors (or, when visiting at my parents’ house, in a walled-in back yard), it had never occurred to me that he might get loose or get lost. When he got out and went on his hundred-yard adventure, I discovered the terror of a parent whose “child” is lost.

Yeah, I know, some of you will say that he’s “just a cat.” Let me tell you, Rory is not “just a cat.” He is an awesome cat. He’s cool. He’s the most social cat I’ve ever known. He’s uber affectionate. He misses us when we’re gone, he spends more time in the room with us than he does in other parts of the apartment, and he gets distraught if we leave him for anything more than a few hours. He is, for all intents an purposes, my furry, purry kid. Plain and simple.

As a cat, though, Rory did not understand the consequences of jumping down out of the screenless open window yesterday at the buttcrack of 3:00 a.m. No, all he understood was freedom!!!! That freedom may have only carried him a couple of buildings over in the complex, but it was far enough that my heart broke and my nerves were frayed beyond belief. Words cannot describe the dread that settled in the pit of my stomach.

Rory’s walkabout may have started at 3:00, but my heart attack started at 3:45. It was about that time, five minutes after my husband’s alarm woke us both up, that I became concerned. Rory, on occasion, fails to wake me up before said alarm. It happens. Maybe those days he wants to “sleep in” too. One thing he never fails to do, however, is come running and meowing when the alarm goes off, because that’s breakfast time. Rory and breakfast go together like peas and carrots. I swear that little furball can tell time; he’ll often start begging for his half a can of wet food just minutes before the alarm goes off. It’s like he can tell–how he does it without a concept of clocks and schedules I don’t know, but he does it.

I asked my husband if he’d seen Rory, because a little nagging voice in the back of my head was screaming “ALERT! ALERT!” Something was wrong…I just didn’t know what.

My husband, who had opened the apartment windows because of the failure of the air conditioning unit to cool the apartment below 84 degrees at night (which was hotter than the outside temperature), figured Rory was just lying on a windowsill, chilling as he watched the pigeons do their thing outside.

Rory was not in the windowsill.

The window did not have a screen.

Rory was gone.

Yeah, panic definitely set in. I threw the front door open and looked at the balcony. No Rory. I put on some shoes and checked the neighbor’s adjoining balcony. No Rory. I checked under the bed, under the couch, behind furniture…no Rory.

Fuck.

Why did we open a window that was missing its screen? Well, if we’d realized that the apartment maintenance crew had not replaced said screen when they took out the window unit that had been there a couple of months ago, we would not have opened it. If maintenance had told us they hadn’t replaced it, we would have harassed them until there was a new screen installed. We would not have risked Rory’s safety like that.

So Rory was gone. We checked our security cameras and watched in horror as he jumped off the sill onto the balcony, sniffed around a bit, and started down the steps. It was the worst feeling I’d ever had; I could see him leaving, but since it had been nearly an hour before we woke up I was powerless to stop it.

After the initial freight train to the chest, I regained enough composure to Google the local PD’s non-emergency line and leave a description of Rory for them. Surely some insomniac neighbor had seen him and called in the “stray” cat with tags. Surely.

Nope. No such luck. The police department hadn’t had any early morning calls of a cat loose in the complex, and the animal control office wouldn’t be open for another six hours.

What to do? It was still way before dawn, so I couldn’t go door-to-door in the complex without pissing off a lot of people. After a lot of fretting, I decided to make a flyer.

Rory lost 1

Hooray for Photoshop, and hooray for Rory being so photogenic. Still, it was too early to be handing out said flyers, so I ventured out with my trusty phone/flashlight and Rory’s treats and started searching the complex. I looked at the porch of every downstairs apartment. I looked in the pool area. I looked in the laundry room. No Rory.

Defeated, I returned to the apartment and started sharing the crap out of the above image. I shared to my Facebook page in a public post (so others could share it as well). I shared it to friends who live in the area. I shared it to friends who lived in the area who might still know people here. I shared it to friends in other cities in this state in case they knew people here. I shared it to local Facebook groups for lost pets. Inside, the panic swelled to the point where I couldn’t even eat. Fuck food; Rory was missing.

With nothing else to do until the sun came up (and potentially more neighbors woke up), I sat at the computer and fretted. I told myself that any second someone would message that they had found Rory and brought him safely inside and were waiting for me to come get him. No such luck.

After dawn, my husband and I split up and searched the complex again. I handed out flyers to a couple of people who were awake and outside already. I looked once again at the first floor porches, hoping that I would see him better now that the sun was up. We came up with zilch. Wherever Rory was, it wasn’t anywhere we could see him by walking around.

My mom eventually woke up and saw my frantic posts. She called and said she was going to come help look for him. I fretted some more. The wait for time to go to work was agonizing, because I knew I couldn’t call in sick and I was terrified that I’d get a text saying Rory was found dead at the side of the road somewhere.

Now, I don’t know what Rory was doing during this time, but considering he was finally discovered by a neighbor on a balcony a couple of buildings over, “trapped” by a puddle of water, it’s likely he was scared shitless because he thought he couldn’t get home. Oh, sure, the first little while was probably exciting. All the smells and sounds and sights. The rain that came to barricade him from leaving the balcony was probably not as exciting for him.

I was already at work when he was brought home, but thankfully my husband called and left a message with the receptionist that he was found. A trillion-ton weight was lifted off my shoulders. Rory was home. Safe. Alive. Aside from being scared and hungry and slightly overheated, he was fine.

It’s not likely that Rory will learn his lesson from this. If he has another opportunity to go on an adventure, he’ll probably take advantage of it. He’s a cat; they’re curious. My husband and I, however, are determined to be more vigilant. We’ve complained to the apartment management about the neglect of the window screen. Last night, we turned on a multitude of fans rather than opening that window. (The A/C is still not working properly.)

Rory’s none the worse for the wear after his Big Adventure, but we’re still going to be careful.

Hug your kids, ladies and gentlemen. Whether fleshy or furry or scaly or whatever. Hug your kids.

As the dust settles

Now that I’m winding down from the most recent event, I have to take a moment to think about what I want to do next.

For the first time in months, I don’t really have anything I have to do in the mornings. I could sew. I could write. I could do a lot of things, but there’s nothing so pressing that it can’t wait. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

I suppose I should enjoy this rare free-play time, but it has been so long since I’ve had time like this that I’m not entirely sure how to handle it. The feeling that I’m forgetting something vitally important is nagging at the back of my brain. How can this be?

This seems like the most opportune time to write, I suppose. Didn’t a famous individual once say, “When in doubt, write”? A (cursory) Google search doesn’t show it, but we’ll say it’s been said before. Book 2’s lackluster “ending”-in-progress needs to be amped up, along with several chapters leading up to it. There’s a rough idea of where it needs to leave off in my head, but when I wrote the last words (or are they the last?) it just fell flat. Time to find a way to add to the sense of urgency…and to fix those goddamn holes.

Frayed

They creak and groan, they scratch and scrape

They make the hairs raise on my nape

They cut, they slice, they tear, they rend

What they begin brings me to end

They know my dreams, they know my fears

They whisper nightmares in my ears

Day in, day out, they scream inside

And from these things I cannot hide

I try to run, try to get free

From demons born inside of me

I bite, I chew, I scratch and scrape

I ponder both my life and fate

I cry, I sob, I’m beyond words

I live in prison, trapped by nerves

Independent Thought

It’s that time of year again: Independence Day. The fourth of July. My nation’s birthday, so to speak. So why am I not feeling particularly patriotic today?

Maybe it’s just the state of the nation as a whole. I try not to get into politics, but I’ll just come out and say it: I have no faith in our “fearless leader.” I seriously thought his campaign was a joke at first, and when it sunk in that he was, in fact, running for real, I felt a little queasy. I may have even thrown up in my mouth a little.

How can I feel patriotic about a country that can let this happen? Sure, we didn’t have the greatest choices in candidates, but there have to be some major flaws in the system if there were no good, true “leaders” to choose from. Instead, we ended up with two major choices: a shifty crook or a misogynistic egomaniac. The people chose the crook; the system chose the misogynist. Wonderful.

Thankfully, Denial is a wonderful state in this situation. Much better than any of the fifty other states. When it comes to our current government, I’ll be moving to Denial for the foreseeable future. Yep, this isn’t real. It’s all some sick prank. Any second, Ashton Kutcher is going to show up, reveal the hidden cameras, and say, “You’ve been Punk’d!”

Avoidance is my safety blanket right now. Block certain Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, change the channel if I happen to stumble upon the news, gloss over the newspaper…I don’t know if I can last the next three and a half years like this, but for now it’s an adequate band-aid. So long as we don’t end up in the middle of Shit Creek with no way to steer…

I hear the rapids are a bitch.