More Random Things You Might Not Know About Me

I can totally rock a Space Invaders t-shirt.
I can totally rock a Space Invaders t-shirt.
  • Most of my favorite shows are fictional stories like Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Game of Thrones, but I also enjoy a variety of different things, and one show I love is Penn and Teller’s Bullshit. I don’t agree with 100% of the things that they’ve said on the show, but I do agree with quite a lot of it, and I admire the way that they’re willing to talk about the unpopular opinions when they truly believe in that opinion.
  • I can sing at least one song, without forgetting any words, to every Disney Princess movie except Brave and Frozen, and only because I haven’t watched those particular ones enough to have the songs memorized. I regularly sing said songs at the top of my lungs when I know no one can hear me.
  • Moths and similar winged bugs freak me the hell out. I don’t mind them as long as they’re nowhere near me, but if they come close enough to touch me I lose my bloody mind.
  • When I was a little kid I had a Cricket talking doll that I loved to death. My mom’s coworker and friend used to call me on the phone and talk to me in Cricket’s voice and for years I really believed that it was the real Cricket who was talking to me.
  • I play a bit of guitar (although not that often anymore) but I am straight up phobia-level terrified of tuning the instrument. When I was young and taking lessons, my teacher had a string snap while he was retuning his guitar – a little surprising, but nothing too terrible there. Then a couple of years later I snapped a string because I hadn’t realized that particular string had somehow been wound up an octave too high. Again, it surprised me but was nothing too horrifying. But then I saw a horror movie in which a character broke a string on another instrument (I think it was a piano, but I can’t quite remember), and the string struck the character in the eye. A great deal of blood ensued. Ever since watching that scene, I can’t help but imagine myself getting hit in the eye by a flying broken string every time I have to tune my guitar. The only way I can get myself through it is to make sure the guitar strings are pointed as far away from my face as possible through the entire ordeal, and to wear a pair of safety glasses. I look like a total lunatic, but it’s the only way it’s going to happen.
  • I have a major pet peeve…about actual pets. I’ve always loved cats, but I have two and it absolutely enrages me how they run after me and wind around my legs and stand in the way of my feet as I walk whenever I get anywhere within ten feet of their food bowls. I might have just filled the bowls literally five minutes previous, but if I walk too close they’re on top of me again, tripping me while I try to carry laundry down the stairs or pawing at my feet when I turn toward the bathroom instead. And it makes me genuinely MAD. Maybe it’s a bit of an anger management thing, I dunno. All I know is that it makes me want to punt them down the stairs. 😛
  • I have a thing about certain scents. Some are reasonable, like the smell of sugar cookies, and some are weird, like the smell of Play Doh, and some send me straight into a nostalgia spiral back into my childhood. To this day certain smells immediately make me think about playing certain old video games or scribbling out stories in a notebook in the back of my mom’s car.
  • I am not, nor will I ever be, the kind of person who worries a ton about cleaning, but I absolutely wig out when I step on stuff (little crumbs or what-have-you) with bare feet. My entire house is hardwood and laminate flooring, so I wear socks 90% of the time to avoid stepping on little bits of things that didn’t get vacuumed up.
  • As a writer, I cringe when reading something that is poorly written, but – counter-intuitively – I have thoroughly enjoyed some books that were horribly written but had a fun plot.
  • For the first 27 years of my life I swore you would never get me on a plane because I figured I’d either have a panic attack from the height, or get violently ill because I occasionally have motion sickness. When I finally got on a plane for the first time in order to go away for work, I experienced either. My ears popped pretty bad during the first flight, but that was it. Color me surprised.
  • Once, at a wedding when I was about twelve years old, there was a big platter of nanaimo bars on the buffet table, and no one was really eating them. By the time the reception was over I had eaten a good dozen of those squares. And they weren’t small either.
  • When I’m working out West I tend to eat better because all the food is provided for me and it’s pretty easy to just grab some salad fixins and a chicken breast. But once a week or so I skip supper all together, buy a huge bag of chips and some cream soda from the convenience store, and spend the night gorging and watching shows on my tablet.
  • I get a strange enjoyment out of writing these “random things” posts because they force me to really think about myself and pick out the information that I didn’t even realize I was keeping to myself. 😀

The “right time”? What’s that?

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

91. The right time to begin a new project

This really depends on what kind of a writer you are.

For me, growing up and writing stories in my spare time, the “right time” was always whenever I got a new idea that I just had to get down on paper. But that was all just for fun, with not a concern in the world of what might happen to that story in the long run.

Professionally speaking,  the “right time” to start a new project is more likely to be when you’ve finished the old one. If you’re writing for a living and you’ve got agents/editors/publishers to deal with, they may not be overly impressed to find out that you’re playing around with a new project while they’re not-so-patiently waiting for you to hand over the old one that they’re paying you to write.

Then, there’s another way to look at this; that is, if we were to think of the “right time” as the literal “right time” for you – personally – to begin working on a new project. This can bring up all sorts of issues for each individual writer. After all, it might not be the “right time” if you just had a baby and have very little free time to yourself. It might not be the “right time” if your day job has become overtime heavy. It might not be the “right time” for any variety of reasons that keeps you from actually sitting down and writing.

So when is the right time? Is it when your kids are old enough to keep to themselves while you work? Is it when most of your debts are paid off so you don’t have to worry so much about finances? Is it when something drastic happens, like losing your job and having no other way to make ends meet? Is it when you literally have nothing else to worry about? Because if it is, I can go ahead and tell you right now that you will never start that project. You may as well just forget about it now, because it’s never going to happen.

Professionalism aside, the “right time” to start a new project is right now. If you haven’t guessed why yet, right now is the best time to do anything, the only time to do something important to you, because the future is unstable, unreliable, and unknowable. You might think that it would be better to wait for any of a million possible issues or distractions to be out of the picture, but the fact of the matter is that you will never have no issues or distractions. There will always be some financial issue, health problem, family mess, or personal obstacle to deal with. These are the kinds of things that we will never be free of, and convincing yourself otherwise guarantees that you will never accomplish anything you hope to accomplish.

There’s no point in waiting until tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Start now, or you might never start, and if you never start, there’s no way you can ever finish.

“What do you want to be?”

We start asking children what they want to be when they grow up long before they’ve had enough world experience to really be able to answer the question. We think it’s cute to see what they say, but we generally don’t put a lot of stock in their answer.

I started telling people that I wanted to be a writer back in the third grade, and that answer hasn’t really changed even now that I’m almost twenty years older, married, a mother, and trained in a very technical/industrial field. When it came time to go to college I ignored my desire to become an author and defaulted to my other interest – technology – because it seemed like the smarter financial choice. After all, in order to make any money as an author you have to be really good, and really lucky, right? Yet here I sit, having been unemployed for the past four months due to my company being shut down and in the process of being sold, and I can’t help but chuckle a little. I went for my second choice of career so I could be more financially stable, and I received the exact opposite.

It may not be a reason to completely overhaul my life and start from scratch (after all, the company is being sold and could be running again any day now), but I do think it’s a lesson in not making assumptions. I gave up on the idea of being a professional writer because I figured I’d never be good enough or lucky enough to succeed. What I see now is that I just wasn’t willing to try, because trying can lead to failure. It’s a cowardly way to do things. And as with anything, you have to face your fears in order to truly succeed.

Maybe I’ll become an author yet.