Month: January 2014

Booster Rockets: Engagement

And in true superhero style he's a blur.

Galaxy Pizza in Minneapolis requires its delivery people to wear superhero uniforms. The pizza is awesome; afaik these guys enjoy it. Good thing the TC is a Geek City.

What has worked with me for booster rockets?

  • With Alissa, a dinner once every month or two works well.
  • With Tonya, we make appointments for Google Hangout – it usually ends in hysterical laughter.
  • With Cynthia, who is quite good at helping me through the “what the hell was that?” reactions to human experience, seeing her in water aerobics and occasionally with our clothing on works pretty well. Tarot readings are a factor, though they are often distributed across psychics she knows.
  • With Crystal, occasional coffee is great.
  • With Jaime, I like to meet over drinks where we can heckle our favorite quiz guy and talk about all the ridiculous things we can think of.
  • With Jill F., Google Hangout works pretty well – an occasional “how are you?” check in.
  • With Xiane, I just shoot her a message on FB once in awhile. She gets back as her health allows her.

I love the booster rockets I have. I would also like to get a few more men in that mix. Had one for awhile last year, but it was a bit one-sided and he has problems I can’t help him with. It’s a switch – for a very long time all my friends were almost exclusively men. It’s good that I’m finding healthy female relationships, but I miss having the kind of male friends where coffee and a chat was not a big deal.

Filed under: Supplies

Supplies: the Language Barrier

This series comes at an interesting time. Finding people I can successfully collaborate with is weird. I have had scores of people that try to co-opt me into their work: “I want her on my team!” But of course, that person gets to be at the tip off while I get stuck as a point guard. FInding people that see what I’m doing and want to be on my team – like really, it falls right in with their creative interests – that’s rare and difficult. It’s why, where many people have a dream lover locked in their minds, I still have the running fantasy of the dream collaborator.

Lies!

in the airport bookstore before we left for Paris

This series will help me pinpoint why I have had so many failures – and what to look for on the way to those rare and precious successes. While the baggage of others is the single greatest cause of my collaboration fails, there are definitely other problems.

So – people that chronically mishear me.

Around Paris

Somewhere near the Left Bank

R1. Seriously. I can hand the man written directions and he still gives out wrong information. I know he thinks it’s funny, or that my snappishness is funny. But he’s not choosing to do this at times when the outcome is funny – a core skill in that particular type of comedy. So really, he’s just being an asshole. Since any conversation with me that isn’t about him and his interests causes his eyes to glaze over – *Shrug* – it’s not a language I want to learn. i’ve taken enough abuse from narcissists. I’m glad I no longer have reason to work with him. I’d be a terrible leader if I made conversations about me all the time, but it needs to be about me sometimes – and not as a patronizing gimme.

R2. His ADHD is so bad he’s in state care. It is genuinely a miracle he was able to drive to my house as often as he did; he only got lost twice.

We used to joke about my mother and the “‘Alice filter.” No matter what was said, she took it to mean whatever justified her latest mood swing. There’s one conversation I had with her when I was first away at college. I don’t recall the topic – but I do recall her response. She sent me a birthday gift of embroidery material. I had NEVER been interested in embroidery – and I really did not want to sit, staring down at highly detailed work after the highly detailed work of studying. Whatever that was, it went through one hell of a filter. Also, she was nuts. She probably thought stabbing myself with a needle and giving myself additional migraines would make me want to find a husband, drop out and make babies.

My ex-husband. There was one year he bought me a plug in the wall phone … as a birthday gift. He genuinely did not understand why a household necessity made a bad gift. (No, really, would it be OK to give toilet paper or Clorox?)

I generally feel misunderstood in writing and in person a good chunk of the time – it’s haunted me since childhood.

Filed under: Supplies

Booster Rockets: 5 Offers of Help I accepted in the last month

Mike's response to my insomnia? Send Theo to investigate.

Theo is actually Mike’s thesis helper but he also keeps a lookout for me when Mike’s at work.

 

It’s worth noting that this blog is highly asynchronous. “Last month” for me is from 12-2 – 1/2. To you, it’s likely you’ll read this in late January.

It’s worth noting that in 2013 I just got a LOT of help from friends in general. An enormous, humbling, shocking amount.

1. My friend Jaime offering me rides – to trivia night, etc. Same person, also helping with the food shelf project, etc.

2. My candy thermometer broke. I posted to Facebook asking for hematite and a candy thermometer. I wound up with hematite and TWO Candy thermometers, thanks to Crystal and Cynthia.

3. During the December helper meetup, I had laryngitis. Even then, I had people acting as greeters for me, guys moving furniture, other people hauling my bags around for me…

4. Dawn, with her fantastic advice. Always with the fantastic advice.

5. My neighbor loaned me her car for a few hours. I am still shocked and awed by her generosity.

Filed under: Supplies

Supplies: 5 Fuse Lighters

Retro Pete's

a messy but well curated antique shop in Saint Paul. Pete also happens to be the name of my first true fuse-lighter.

Fuse lighters – popularly known as muses – are people that inspire you/get you all excited to create. There usually is a sexual energy to it, an attraction: most of the time, you are supposed to use this attraction to create, rather than, to, ah…create.

This particular meditation is great for me. One of the lingering questions I’ve had as I look back over my own storied past is “Why did that guy happen?” or really: “Why did nothing happen in the face of all that chemistry?”

Something did happen. It just wasn’t what I was taught to look for happening, in part because women having muses is still a generally unconsidered concept. Perhaps my shyness with people I’m physically attracted to has saved my creative life.

And I am still holding out for that fantasy fuse lighter, that creative partner that can create with me rather than beside me.

So… my 5 Fuse Lighters:

1. Rob S.

Granted, it was high school so there was only so much fuse to light. He got my started writing poetry – probably to his chagrin. I had always hoped we would get it together but now, from this aerial view, I can see that not having that happen really was for my benefit.

2. Pete

This is the guy that did light a fire under my ass once or twice. Sometimes, I lit a fire under his in different ways.

3. Trent Lane

Trent became an independently acting figment of my imagination. While probably borne of leftover dopamine when I realized my first marriage would never be more than a source of constant disappointment and depression, it was actually a saving grace for me that kept me writing during grad school. It helped the constant highlighting of my educational inadequacies from killing my spirit.

Actually, I think I’ve really only had those three. My sexual confidence as I’ve aged can get in the way of a really good muse relationship. Also, anyone else I might name may or may not read my blogs. There are certainly people I know right now that I have creative crushes on (yes, I told Mike.) I think both of them would be mortified to know. Flattered … but mortified.

Filed under: Supplies

Supplies: the Problem Minitiuarizers

Alice the Queen and the baby

from the original illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Problem minitiuarizers are usually one-uppers. They always have a bigger problem than you, their pain is more important than yours, no one has ever gone through what they have gone through. In my experience, these are usually women – and their intent is more directly non-benign.  In men’s case, they are completely unaware of how horrible they are: the unsupportive crap they say to me usually comes from centuries of looking at women as a set of ovaries with boobs rather than considering each woman might have unique talents. While men can see a short guy as equal to a tall guy on a philosophical level, their incapacity to use this same train of thought for women is due to their own ability to break their social programming.

Women, on the other hand, are forced to be universally subversive. This is why so many women are problem-minituarizers.

As long as we’re locked in patriarchy – a land where men persuade themselves that a)women are all the same and b)women all have universal personality traits that we most certainly do not, we women are are all stuck operating as subversives. On some level we do all see each other as equals, but power – i.e. having choices – is still in genuinely short supply for women of all walks.  Women often do see each other equally – and all too often that means “equally a threat.” From there they either try to make their own system of social violence where women are as unequal as possible or they try to build each other up. The latter is the rougher path with fewer visible immediate compensations – so less women, in my experience, take this road. Sometimes it’s a conscious choice to play dirty with other women. Usually it’s one side of a constant panic state.

When you ask, “Well what about feminism and the equal rights amendment?” I have to say this:

1)to the women my age and the young women coming after me: it’s our own goddamn fault we’re still in this mess. A lot of women my age decided to declare feminism “done” since Patrick Henry’s “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance” went flying over their heads. Now we get cutesie pseudo-intellectual bullshit like “post-feminism” and gradations of feminism that are really just new layers of philosophy in the machinations of female social violence. The women my age that said they weren’t feminist because it “wasn’t sexy” are forcing us all to pay a price for their lazy thinking and constant attempts to bring one another down. We are watching the rights that women have fought for since the 1700s erode before our eyes. Men don’t need to be pleased or coddled; the delicate male ego is simply men avoiding taking responsibility. A good man is one who is equal to you – and who gets why your being equal to him is good for both of you and for your family.

2)Women need to stop fucking assholes. Actually, EVERYONE needs to stop fucking assholes. I don’t know why this concept is difficult. It’s like we’re adopting the patriarchal male sensibility that we are not in control of or responsible for sensations in our parts.  We are. Hookup culture may be fun but some personality screening can go a long way in preventing more evil in the world. That’s what old school, no sex makeout sessions in semi-public locations were for – this way you knew who you were dealing with before you ever got naked in private.

Getting the tingles is not an obligation to pursue it. Find out who you’re dealing with before you take your pants – or his – off.

So, these two problems contribute heavily to the morass of female-female relations today. Sadly, we’re actually doing far, far better than previous generations. Most women my age and younger don’t feel obligated to stay friendly with that petty bitch that makes you grit your teeth every time you hear her speak…or in my case, the petty bitch who kept harassing me at my father’s funeral because she wanted gossip.

Even so, we still pick bad friends and we are still surrounded by the generations we learned our culture from – including the culture of women that competed/belittled the problems of others. My mother was a minimizer – the worst of the worst. No problem I had was ever serious enough for her to listen to. In junior high school, despite constant bullying, I just “had to learn to deal with it” and “honey attracted more flies than vinegar.” (The problem being that these were flies. Who wants to attract flies???) In college, when it became steadily clear that administration at my first college really was out to get me, my mother actually said, “Oh, college hasn’t changed since I was there. Same old problems.”

Yes. My mother, who graduated from college in the 1960s, actually tried telling me my college experience in 1995 was EXACTLY THE SAME AS HERS. Right. Her father paid $500 a YEAR for her including tuition, room and board. I had to pay $6000 a year minimum from my own funds – while dealing with parents that did NOT want to pay for school, did NOT support me working to earn money for school and who would NOT even help me get a car so I could work, chanting “Your first job is school,” while obviously trying to sabotage me right out of my fought-for college education; this while I had spent the previous four years watching them supply my sister room, board, a car, car insurance and book money – all while my sister heartily resented paying tuition.

That up there, “exactly the same” – that one is minimizing.

There’s always some woman on some forum doing it. A few years ago, I went on a social outing with one woman who talked about herself nonstop from the moment she saw me. I finally stopped her when she said something presumptuous about me and I said, “Well, actually, I’ve been dealing with some depression.”

Her response? “Well, you seem fine.”

Minimizing. And really, unbelievably, female social violent and shitty.

This woman often says things that show signs of strong patriarchal brainwashing and things my mother used to say. I am not fond of her. She shows signs of malignant narcissism.

Another minimizer came about my freshman/sophomore year of college. What was interesting is that it was very, very targeted minimizing. When the school tried to have a residence hall council and I expressed interest in running, this girl immediately spoke up: “Well, we should leave the freshman out. They just don’t have the experience.”

Yet the next year, when the council started its candidacy rounds again, new freshman ran – and she had absolutely no problem with it. She just hadn’t wanted me to run. To her mind, I was a threat that the new freshman were not.

Later, in a political brouhaha that I was dragged in on because the people on that residence hall council were for the most part abusive little shits and were allowed to be, she actually tried to undermine any statement I made with “Well, you [and the friend that dragged me into the mess] are only sophomores.” Yet she had had no problem with the freshman running in the very election I was sitting in that boardroom for – freshman that had less experience with campus life than myself or my friend.

That time I actually stood up in the middle of her carrying on, said “You have no authority over me,” and walked out as everyone stared after me open-mouthed.

My friend found me later – he was laughing at what I had done, shocked that I had done it.

But c’mon – that was some minimizing bullshit we were being subjected to.

Filed under: Supplies, Tasks

Supplies: Why I’m not trying the new Lug Bolt

Spring Park Preserve 2013

a turtle I visited during my Las Vegas trip last year

Past failures. This year I really want to do more fiction submissions. Any fiction. Science fiction. Erotica. Thrillers. That spy novel. The rewritten nanowrimo story that turned into a study on alcoholism – one wherein I set a cast of male characters in a Chick Lit novel. Unconsciously.

But I haven’t because I used to get nothing but rejections in my teens and twenties.

I know from writing professionally in nonfiction that nonfiction is way easier. I just got convinced I didn’t have the imagination to write good fiction. I totally do.

I also know that rejection is part of the business, part of the process. Sometimes, if done right, it’s how you get to know editors. After helping judge a poetry contest last year I even know how very not-personal rejection actually is. Even among good stuff there are standouts – and getting to the point of being a standout requires me getting to a place where I’m not thinking about whether or not I stand out at all.

So … that’s what’s slowing me down on this new widget I want to make.

Filed under: Supplies

Supplies: 50 Real Accomplishments

I’ve done this exercise before, but it’s a good one. Besides, I have some good ones to add:
1. I landed two book contracts for 2014.
2. In 2013, I finished a book.
3. I made marshmallows from scratch. This is NOT easy.
4. I used my baking skills to raise money for a down payment on my house.
5. I got myself into therapy – not easy.
6. I ended the most severe abusive relationships in my life.
7. I have actually stood up and read my poetry in front of people.
8. I organized the Doctor Who 50th anniversary party – complete with 500 guests.
9. I actually found a way to cooperate with BBC marketing.
10. I also pulled off the Who Meetup anniversary party in 2012.
11. I’ve run Fat Chic for 7 years now.
12. I completed successful T shirt surgery this year.
13. I have given other writers great feedback on their work.
14. I managed to do one bellydance performancee
15. I managed all of the Christmas stuff for Mike’s family.
16. Last year I learned to make pie.
17. I made real coffee candy.
18. I have also learned to make caramel.
19. Despite the above, I have found out what I have to do to get a grip on my refined sugar addiction.
20. I succeeded in making my Facebook page both interesting and low stress.
21. I have established a 3-5 day a week gym habit.
22. I came up with a method for improving my story plotting.
23. I figured out how to use Google Hangout.
24. I learned how to ask for help.
25. I got thank you notes and gift boxes to the majority of my Whovian helpers within two weeks of the big party.
26. I did the above while sick as a dog.
27. I grew snapdragons from seed last year.
28. I designed a CrazyBGone oiil.
29. I created an incense substitute using bath bombs and silicon molds.
30. Fat Chic Catalog Project
31. Plus Awesome Series
32. Mercury Rx series
33. Not strangling XY.
34. Also not strangling XX. (I realize this is asking for credit for something I am not supposed to do anyway.)
35. Maintaining friends from Daria fandom more than a decade.
36. Award winning Daria fanfiction.
37. Planning an entire vacation.
38. Planning out artist’s dates.
39. Finding ways to manage without a car in the dead of winter.
40. Finishing a short story this year – my first in decades.
41. Mastering decoupage.
42. The work on J & H’s house.
43. Integrating invisibility work into house blessing work.
44. creating complete spellwork programs to drive myself forward
45. the self-made prayer book I used in my 20s
46. Updating my writers’ sheet
47. Making cranberry sauce from scratch
48. Crocheting my own mini tree wrapa
49. Reorganizing Mike’s closet
50. Designing my own charm bracelet

Filed under: Supplies

We Have a Date!!!

Divorcing a Real Witch Book Cover 1st edition ... probably only, but whatever.This book hits print on May 30, 2014.

Please drop me a note if you are a podcaster, magazine editor, book reviewer or other person in need of content – I am happy to send you a pdf for review or to do any type of guest spot, whether written or somehow involving my face.

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Supplies: How my Lug Bolt Satisfies Me

Spring Park Reserve 2013

floral shots are my photography lug bolt

My current, best lug bolt is blog writing. It does satisfy me by giving me a place where I can publish my writings/work with immediacy. I used to keep diaries with the fantasy that they would be read after my death – so I always made sure I named names when I felt someone was truly guilty of wrongdoing. It was my little, paper packed crusade. Blogging helps me indulge that desire while I’m alive – although obviously naming names of people that have actually done wrong is much more likely to have negative consequences now. Quite simply because those that do wrong prefer to shout such things down rather than investigate setting things to rights. The falsely accused tend to follow a trail of “how did this happen?”

Even so, it feels good to write blog posts – it sends my voice out into the world, a world where, before blogs and the Internet, I was routinely silenced or willfully misunderstood. I am a 52% introvert with bitchy resting face – or really, I just haven’t cultivated the “vapid  and on constant verge of orgasm” expression women are encouraged to in this culture. I’m just too rude to fake it, ever.

The blog lets my real voice go out into the world – and yes, I really do talk like I write. There’s more than one social event I’ve attended where someone has stared at me wide-eyed and said, “…you really just said that!” I am accused of making these outrageous things up ahead of time and then using them as conversational bon mots.

Actually, the majority of the things I say here and in real life are spontaneous. I really do say things like “…and their Christmas letters mention how the last white picket fence raising went …” or “when the karma fairy comes to visit it tends to become orgiastic and gets glitter everywhere.”

Filed under: Supplies, Tasks

Supplies: My Booster Rockets

2012 Fourth of July Fireworks

from 2012 4th of July fireworks on my balcony

I am blessed with a lot of friends that really do give me an amazing boost with their faith in my ability to create:

  • Jaime
  • Dawn
  • Cat
  • Lisa
  • Tonya
  • Xiane
  • Angelique
  • Alissa
  • Jill D.
  • Jill F.

That is definitely not all of them.

I have amassed a collection of truly rare and stunning female friends. They inspire me to be a booster rocket for others.  And I really do try!

Filed under: Supplies