The Comedown from the Perfect Trip


Vacation was quite possibly the best four days ever! We ate all the delicious food, drank a ton of beer, and spent nearly every waking moment outdoors, soaking in the unlikely sunshine and warm weather. We both rocked sunburns, though mine turned to tan well before Trevor’s. My Alaskan man is by far the whitest person I know.

That look? I’d just spotted my first whale in the wild. A juvenile Gray Whale. I was completely mystified, and a tad emotional here.

As promised, have some pictures sprinkled throughout this post!

But now we’re back, and life is settling back into that all too familiar sprint. Work, eat + read, homework, sleep. Work, work, eat + read, homework, sleep. Somewhere in there I squeeze in a social life, but usually it’s just playing Magic The Gathering with our circle of friends. Or maybe staying up far too late to watch a couple episodes of Game of Thrones while we snuggle on the couch.

I like those nights.

Trevor caught this as we made our way down the 114 steps of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

I’m still reading, and a lot. Summer school has kept me dashing from novel to novel, and this Noir Literature and Film class has been awesome. Probably my favorite class so far at ASU, and I have this professor again in the fall, for a Science Fiction class. I’m excited.

I’m still reading for fun, though I’ve kept that to novellas and short fiction since I finished The Gentleman Bastards. And, of course, there’s Book Club. We’re meeting next week to discuss Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I started it tonight, and so far, I actually enjoy it. We’ll see what everyone has to say Wednesday night.

After this we’re reading The Princess Bride, which will be fun. And my next pleasure read? I want to do something brand new. Something I know nothing about. But, also something fairly manageable in size. I only have a week off from school before I’m write back at it.

The Rogue Brewery Tour Train! So much fun!
The Rogue Brewery Tour Train! So much fun!

Maybe something different. Like, I, Robot. Or Lord Valentine’s Castle. Or maybe the newest Veronica Mars book, because why not?

Who knows? Certainly not I.

And writing? How’s that going?

Well, it’s not. And it’s slowly eating away at me. But, edits for Vessels are coming along, with only three (?) more chapters before the changes can be made in the computer. That’s going to take forever, but it’ll be worth it to see just how drastic the change is.

Tidepools during low tide at Cobbles Beach at Yaquina Head.
Tidepools during low tide at Cobbles Beach at Yaquina Head.

Plus, round two edits will go much faster, since the first round deal with a lot of the cohesion problems. I’m looking forward to it, kind of.

I haven’t dug up Cards yet, true to my word. But, after a bit of silence, Mal poked his head in, wondering just when he’d get to tell the rest of his story. And of course, Whit, Cora, and Jacob had to chime in as well. So, looks like there will be a sequel! I always thought so, but it’s nice to know that almost a year later, those characters still waiting around.

And what of Jordinn and Ellesaire? Of Joanna and Troy? Well, they’re still there. But, they’ve waited a long time as it is. What’s another year of school? And that story is still very much alive in my mind. I’m eager to get back to it. I won’t start the Cards sequel until the first draft of Jordinn’s Story is finished.

So, tentative plan:

I’d like to have Vessels ready for round two edits before Christmas. I’d like to continue editing through numerous drafts until I’m done with school. Any writing on Jordinn’s Story, or various short pieces for Caladria in the meantime is great! Once school is done, I’ll go back to normal human work hours. And if I can swing it, maybe even a little less. Like 30-ish. From there it’ll be all about polishing Vessels and finishing the rough draft of Jordinn’s Story. Once that’s done, I’ll start editing Cards and begin writing its sequel.

Me after nearly falling face first into the fragile ecosystem, and slippery by nature areas known as tidepools.
Me after nearly falling face first into the fragile ecosystem, and slippery by nature areas known as tidepools.

And of course, I’ll be reading constantly throughout.

School and the second job definitely threw a wrench in my writing spokes, but I think the lessons in time management and prioritization are worth it. I have accomplished a lot with very limited time. So when life calms down, I’ll have room to work on all the projects I want, and the skills to prioritize them and actually finish them on a set schedule.

And that’s invaluable to a writer.

Anyway, I have to go watch a movie for my noir class. Then to bed, so I can start my final paper in the morning before work. And then Saturday morning, I’m off to pick up my childhood best friend from Portland! I can’t wait!

Trevor took this postcard worthy shot from the walking path up from the lighthouse. It was a perfect trip.
Trevor took this postcard worthy shot from the walking path up from the lighthouse. It was a perfect trip.

Have a great night Blogland, as ever, thanks for reading this far!


One More Day…

Hey! Listen!

(Please read that in your best Navi voice.)

(If you don’t know who Navi is, please disregard and continue reading.)

One more day, Blogland. One more day and Trevor and I will have been married for a whole year. We’ve got some fun things planned for the next few days, and I can’t wait to spend some quality time with my favorite human being.

Don’t you fret, there will be pictures.

In my writing life things have hit a lull. Mainly because my time is spent reading and working. It’s pretty much all I do. I work, read on my breaks, and then do homework with my spare time before sleep takes over.

I keep telling myself it’s worth it. Others keep telling me it’s worth it, too. And really, at this point, I’m way to close to give up. One more year, Blogland. One more year of 48+ hour work weeks and school full time.

I take a lot of deep breaths and tell myself I’m a badass a lot. Otherwise I would have curled into a sobbing bawl under my covers a long time ago.

So, besides our upcoming trip to the coast, my best friend is paying us a visit in a couple of weeks. I’m stoked, because she’s my second favorite human being. And, I actually managed to get the weekend off so we can actually have adventures while she’s here.

This summer has been good to me, even if I’m exhausted.

Now I’m looking towards fall, and all the awesome that is sure to come with it. I’m taking a couple interesting elective classes, one The Art of Anime, and the other The Art of the Comic.

What else?


Hozier concert and MS MR concert are back to back, and we’re going. So that’ll be awesome! And then we’re going home for Christmas!

So let me revise my previous assessment. 2015 has been so good to me!

Anyway, you’ll see some updates to “What I’m Reading”. But other than that, you probably won’t hear from me until this time next week. If that, because by then my BFF will be in town, and I’ll be off having all the fun!

See you in a couple weeks, Blogland!

The Printing Dilemma

So, a couple things that need mentioning.

1. September 27th was the 2 year anniversary of this blog. That’s crazy to think about! Two years of writing about writing. And really, I’m just now hitting my stride. Thanks to all of you who have been here from the beginning, I appreciate it more than you know. And thanks to those of you who are just discovering my little slice of WordPress. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

2. September 28th, a beautiful thing happened. I reached 100 followers. 100. I now have 103, or something like that, and it blows my mind to think about. 100 strangers have stumbled upon my blog, and found the words interesting enough to want notification of anything new. I don’t know how long it SHOULD have taken me to reach 100 followers, probably not 2 years, and I don’t care! Thank you to each and every one of you who clicked that little plus sign, I truly appreciate it.

Today has been productive. Woke up at 9am, talked to my mom while I researched plane ticket prices to go home in March, and paid the car and credit card payments.

Then I packed up and drove down to the Dragon’s Lair, aka the Office, and printed off 17 pages of ‘The Portrait of Sterling Madison’. Some things to note: When copy and pasting from Scrivener, MS Word likes to default to size 14 font. If you don’t catch this, and print anyway, it makes uncomfortable reading. Also, when your Office requests that you not print more than 5 pages per session, and you ignore them, make sure there’s enough paper in the printer.

Ended up 4 pages short, and couldn’t figure out how to reload the printer, so I had to cancel the job and book it out of there.

But, 17 pages is quite a bit of story to edit. Even if the font is way too

So, good initial work has been done. What was 4,356 words is now 4,058 words, and it flows a lot better so far. There’s still a lot of inconsistencies to be addressed, some scenes that either need added or cut, and some details that aren’t quite right, but it’s coming along. It feels good to cut up a story by hand. Editing on the computer just doesn’t cut it.

Something about holding the story helps me separate from it. I can read it over and over again on the screen, but I can’t seem to find any distance, or objectivity. As soon as it’s printed, I can look at it anew. It could be anyone’s story. And that’s how I treat it. I look at it, and edit in the margins like I would a colleague’s story in workshop.

Although, I must say that my handwriting is starting to look eerily like Patrick Michael Finn’s did on my story a couple years ago. That’s a trip.

So, initial edits, beyond what gets done from original handwriting to retype in the computer, have gone well. I’m allowing my mind to refer to this as the third draft now, and that’s exciting!

My mom is going to check her garage and see if my old printer is in there. If it is, she’s going to send it to me and then the printing dilemma will be no more!

Anyway, I’m going to go stick my nose in ‘Everything’s Eventual’ and get some lunch.

Thanks again, Blogland. I’ll see you tomorrow!


Five Years in Three Days

Today, I achieved very little of what I’d intended.

I didn’t buy the new work shoes that I so desperately need.
I didn’t pick up my prescription from the pharmacy like I really needed to.
I didn’t work on my novel, like I’ve been dying to.

So, what in the world DID I do today?

I planned our Five year Anniversary.

I booked a room with a king bed in downtown Seattle for two nights, for under $200. There’s valet service, and a high end Sushi bar, and the most lavish looking art and colors hanging off the walls. Not only is it the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed at, it is within 20 minutes walking distance to the EMP and the Space Needle, and only 12 minutes walk to the Aquarium and Pike’s Place Market. Goodbye Super 8, hello Hotel Max.

So, that took care of the room. I spent the rest of the day looking at Seattle’s CityPass service. For $75 a person we can see 6 different attractions, including the Nirvana and Video Games exhibits at the EMP.

If you know us, you know that this is right up our alley.

So now I’m just overcome with excitement! All I want to do is get our itinerary sorted out, which Trevor (my fiance) will hate. I’ll have it planned down to the minute. And he’ll insist on ignoring it, and us just having a great time- regardless of time.

I suddenly feel like 3 days is not nearly enough time to adventure the city and celebrate the last five years. But, Seattle is only a four hour car ride away. We can always go back.




Is it April yet?