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I Did A Thing...

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 2, 2017, 9:14 PM
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And I don't regret it even a little!


2017 has apparently become the year of doing things. For the first time since some time in middle school I chopped my hair off. I plan to go back in to have an inch or two more taken off to shape it, but Amber is now Amber of the Pixie Cut.

Still writing. A little. Drabbles only, nothing I'd force on you beautiful people.

Do the things that scare you. It's worth it.




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So, it's been a while...

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 2, 2017, 12:16 AM
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One year, ten months, and twenty-two days to be exact.


In that time I moved across the country -- twice -- and finally settled into Michigan. I bought a house and paid off a car. I met siblings that I never knew I had and I indulged in a lot of self-pity. I crocheted, I colored, I remodeled an entire home. I discovered that I am a diabetic, my mother had a second heart attack and my hair literally fell out due to stress.

What I didn't do during that time was write. Not one word. I didn't pull out my old stories, I didn't write new words. I created absolutely nothing. I'm here to, hopefully, rectify that. Here's to making new things again.

A long time ago, in a reality that seems very, very far away, deviantART was a source of great inspiration and motivation for me. I don't know if that still exists here, but I'm sure hoping it does.

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It's been quite a week and I have to do this from my phone, so please forgive any glaring grammatical errors. Long story short, I was notified over the weekend that my mother had suffered a heart attack and was being transferred to a better facility for heart health. I flew home Sunday and I've been with her at the hospital since. She had a quintuple bypass and is recovering very well at this point.


I am aware that I made some commitments and I have not followed up on them. I'm sorry for that. I swear I will as soon as things return to normal and I am able to reliably access the Internet again.

Have You Improved?

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 28, 2015, 11:31 AM
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Well, have you?


Do you remember some time back when there was a visual art meme floating around which encouraged artists to show off how far they've come? They took a piece of art that they did some time back and then redid it with everything they've learned?  We need to make that a thing with Lit. I know some of you LitFolks work your ever loving asses off, and it's sometimes a lot harder to see the progress.

So, let's start a journal flood. Or comment flood. Let's flood something!

The Challenge


You had to know this was coming.

What I want you to do is to dig out something you wrote a while ago, (preferably more than a year [or a few years] ago) and I want you to rewrite it. Then, I'd like you to show the world. You can leave the here in a comment, or post a journal of your own (make sure to tag me or send me a link!). You can post them in the same deviation. I don't care. Show me how you've grown!


I'll Start


You know I can't challenge you without taking up the mantle myself, so here you go. From 2009 to now. A journey of "skill."
Or something.

Standing Before MinosMy second death was a quiet one.  There were no brave speeches, no protestations of cruel fate.  There was only my slain lover and myself,  surrounded by the sound of water dripping on stone.
As the dagger pierced my breast, I realized what I had done.   I was falling through darkness.  There was no welcoming light to beckon me, only the smell of boiling blood and burning flesh.
This was not the beginning. Nor was it the end. I wish that it had been.
My name is Guilietta Capelliti and my life's story is a long one, though, I died very young. I haven't the time to tell it before the bleeding stops again and I am no longer able to converse with you.  I don't know when the Harpies will feed again.
Instead, let me tell you the story of my afterlife. Standing before a beast I'd  never dreamed existed, I knew without knowing what this was. This was Minos and I was here to be judged. He studied me in silence, his eyes
The Dead WoodMy second death was a quiet one. There were no brave speeches, no protestations of cruel fate. There was only my slain lover and myself, surrounded by the steady dripping of water on stone and the scent of crushed mulberries.
My name is Guilietta Capelliti and my life's story is a long one, for all that I died young. I haven't the time to tell it all before the bleeding stops again and I am no longer able to speak. Instead, please allow me to tell you the story of my afterlife, for it is a brief tale and I do not know when the Harpies will feed again.
It was not until the dagger pierced my breast that I realized what I had done.
I fell through blistering darkness for so long that time lost all meaning. Through the searing heat and unbearable fetor, my ears filled with the sounds of endless screaming, no small part of it my own. And then I was looking at a beast I had only half-believed existed.  I stood before Minos, ready to be judged.
He studied me in silence, small eyes shrewd,


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Story of a Writer's Life

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 20, 2015, 10:13 AM
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In Pictures!


Here is a photographic journal of a night in the life of AGMeade. I know I've been radio silent on the writing front here on dA, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working. I have! I've been editing and rewriting up a massive storm. I fully anticipate being able to share some of what I've been working on in the next couple of days. In the mean time, a photographic journal.

Because what is a writer without hot beverage?

And furry companion to help? Or hold papers... while he sleeps. And look how clean those pages are!
And this is where the real work begins.

Not so clean now, are you pages?! Fear the writer and her mighty red pen!

 I take this:

Cut it apart by scene and summary, then lay it out on the floor so I can rearrange it like a huge, literary puzzle:

Then tape it all back together so it'll stay in the new order in case I have to stop mid-transcribe:

And then we start typing:

Until the furry companions get in the way and you realize it's 3 a.m. and you should get some sleep...

Then you wake up the next morning, set laptop on puppies head, and get back to typing:




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And slowly getting back into the swing of things.
I'm in the market for a serious, reliable(!!!) beta. I'm currently taking the hatchet to four short stories that I'd like to have ready to go before the end of June, one of them (Darcie's Diner) before the end of May.

I know this is kind of short notice, but if you're available and willing to help, I'd be incredibly appreciative and more than happy to return the favor. Name your price! I'm one desperate lady.

<3

Amber.

February.

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 22, 2014, 12:44 PM
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Failure


Kind of. With no disrespect meant at all, I cannot and will not be writing this month's ScreamPrompts. I have written something else instead. It should be posted before the end of the month.

Success


My book goal is coming along swimmingly. I'm at 23 new books, 27 total (I couldn't help but reread some things) since January 1. Not too shabby. I've also begun a proper outline on the novel draft for the year. Pretty exciting stuff.

Personal Stuff


My health is not good. My doctor was worse. She's been replaced and hopefully I'll be able to get things under control and back on track. It will be incredible not to feel like a half-person any more.

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So, I am a horrible Unfinisher. Seriously. Look it up in the dictionary and you'll see a photo of me. I'm probably watching Doctor Who. Alright, you won't find that word in the dictionary, nor will you find a picture of me, but I think you get my point.

It's not that I don't accomplish things, because I do. I tend to just get very focused on one particular thing at a time. For the most part that thing is crochet, since it's how I make my pocket money. I'm totally a Hooker by trade, but not the "dirty" kind. Being a Hooker allows me all kinds of time to exercise my mind. How do I do that most often? Let's just say that Netflix and I have come to a very nice arrangement. Last year, in an attempt to stop the brainrot, I reinstated my Audible account and checked out the local library's various e-audiobook offerings. It helped. Some. Not enough, though. Mostly I stumbled across books that were even worse for my brain than television. Seriously. Vampires and teenagers. I don't think I need to say any more.

You may be wondering what my point is, and I'm going to tell you right now. I start a lot of things, and I rarely finish them. So this year, that's my resolution. No, not resolution. Resolution implies something that I'm only really obligated to follow through on for a couple of months before I go back to my bad, evil, unfinishing ways. So, this is my promise to myself. This year I am going to finish things. New goals, old projects. It's time to clear it all out.

To that end, I've set myself a relatively lofty reading goal for books. Two a week for the entire year. Since I can chug my way through a relatively hefty book in a day, I should have absolutely no problem. To further that goal, I'm not allowed to watch television unless I've finished a book that day. So far, it's working for me.

Next up? ScreamPrompts. I did it last year, though I stopped posted in June (or July? I can't remember). This year, I will do them all, and I will post them all. So help me.

Finally, I'd like to finish a rough draft of a novel by the end of the year. Not in the month of June, or July, or August, or November. After 5 years of that, I'm now well aware of the fact that I can pump out a mind-boggling number of words in 30 days, but I never finish the story. So this year, I have 12 months. 12 months to pump out one entire novel.  Here's to that.


What are your self-promises? I don't want to see resolutions. I want to know what you've promised yourself.

(Yes, this journal was mostly inspired by ScreamPrompts' January Challenge, which you should check out.)
Life! (To life, To Life, I'll bring him...*)

Wow. To say that the past few months have been crazy may just be the understatement of the year. I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to do every single one of the ScreamPrompts, and I have. There have now been two months running where I have not uploaded my finished project. I will not be uploading them now or ever, but they are complete and I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. I could give you any number of reasons (or excuses) as to why that is, but it really just boils down to the fact that while all of life is our subject material, I am honestly and sincerely not comfortable with the idea of hurting someone that I care about by sharing those works. They were good for me, but emotional garbage for everyone else.

Moving on! It's FFM! I had totally spaced. Until just a few minutes ago, I didn't really even register that it was already July. I'm already a day behind, but no worries, I will catch up!

In the Good News category we have lots of news. For those of you who don't know, I've been without reliable transportation for nearly three years now. It's kept me mostly home bound and driven me a little crazy. Last month I was finally able to acquire a better vehicle, for which I am eternally grateful! I love, love, love my new car! I have also been plugging away at the weight loss efforts, which I detailed in an earlier journal. To that end, I ran my first 5k on the 15th of June. It was crazy great, not to mention something that I never, ever thought that I would be able to do. It was even more special because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it.

For those of you who don't know, I have had a series of increasingly serious (and annoying) accidents that have made it uncomfortable (at best) and impossible (at worst) to sit at my computer and do anything. Some time back, I managed to do something horrible (and very loud) to my ribcage which curtailed my training and derailed my original plan to run in May. Fast forward through the uncomfortable and miserable recovery to now. After running my 5k, I noticed that my knee was bothering me a little. It was "sticking" and my shin was kind of sore. I chalked the discomfort up to the fact that I'd been training on a treadmill and had actually run the race on pavement, so I popped advil like it was candy and went about my life. That is, until the 21 of June, when I experienced what might be the most painful full-leg charlie horse (I thought) in history.

My leg was literally frozen, every muscle like a slab of granite. I couldn't put weight on it, I couldn't straighten it out, and I was crying. I am not exaggerating when I say that pain doesn't really make me cry. I dislocated a rib this year and managed to get through the entire experience without shedding so much as one tear.  My leg had me sobbing. For hours. I finally agreed to go to the ER, where I sat for 8 hours (Thank you Maryland, with your three gunshot victims, one pistol-whipped teenager and one convict on a friday night) before being seen. The ER doctor gave me a prescription for percocets and ibuprofen and sent me on my way with a diagnosis of "Internal derangement of the right knee" -- which is, by the way, a non-diagnosis -- and instructions to see a specialist.

Fast forward some more time to my appointment with the Ortho. It turns out that an injury I sustained in highschool never healed properly. The result of this is "severe arthritic changes" in my right knee and "significant scarring of the ACL," which will require surgery to fix. I'm not sure when that will be as we have to get everything approved through my insurance, but it was definitely not great news.

That's pretty much where we sit now. I kind of apologize for spamming your inbox with any FFM stories that come from me, but only kind of.

Tell me what's new in your life!


* You must, must, must make your way to youtube and listen to A Shoggoth On The Roof. Yes, that's a link. You're welcome in advance.

Subscriptions

Journal Entry: Fri May 31, 2013, 9:47 AM
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I have finally had enough of dA forcing me to get longer and longer personal subscriptions that I will no longer be renewing. I shouldn't be FORCED to either buy a monthly billed subscription or to buy one or two years at a time. I almost never complain about the changes on the site. I understand that growth is progress and even when I feel there's been a misstep, I respect what dA is trying to do. Not this time.

Here's to the 'free' dA experience.

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Mirrors

Journal Entry: Fri May 3, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Your Reflection


I've been thinking a lot about the impact that we have on the lives around us. Good, bad, direct and indirect. I'm not really one to dwell in the past -- I believe that what is done is done and while you can apologize to those you've harmed and try to make it right, you can't change the past unless you're The Doctor -- but these past few weeks have been a harsh reminder that our actions have honest consequences and results.

Lately, I've been reminded that my assumptions about my ability to influence or touch someone are often 100% wrong. It's a bitter pill for me, I don't like being wrong. Who does, right? There are deeper issues at work here, of course, but what it boils down to is that you know what they say about assumptions. Everyone does. Just because you believe you're leaving no impact doesn't mean that you aren't. Your own issues with self may obscure it, but the fact is that nearly everything you do affects those around you. You are a concrete, very real part of the world around you and the things you say, the choices you make, they are important.

I guess what I'm trying to say is be mindful. Be careful. If you were to look in a mirror right now and see everything you've done reflected back at you, would you like the person you see?

It's a sobering thought.

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It's Official

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:52 AM
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I've just received my contributor's package from The Binnacle! Everything is gorgeous and wonderful andI honestly could not be more pleased. At all.

Official Stuff by AGMeade


<3

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Useless Advice (and How To Make It Better)

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 17, 2012, 9:08 AM
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Why?


I know the journal is long. I'm not going to apologize for it. This is all advice I've seen given to writers in the dAmn chatrooms over the last few days and it's all made me want to smash my face into a brick wall. Covered in broken glass. And lemon juice. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the matter. I'd love to hear yours, too.

What's the worst advice you've gotten as a writer?



"Practice Makes Perfect"


I hate the phrase "practice makes perfect." No, it really doesn't. Or rather, it does. If you're doing it wrong and all you do is practice, you'll get it perfectly wrong. There's so much more to improving than that. We've all seen people who do nothing but practice but are still stuck at the same skill level they were at when they were eight. Why? Because that's all they do. If you must encourage someone to improve, suggest they find someone to teach them if they are incapable of learning on their own, offer constructive criticism, suggest they try something in a different way, but for god's sake quit throwing meaningless platitudes around like they actually help. They don't.

Here's an example. Let's say that Sally Mae Gonzales (she comes from a mixed-race home, give her a break) wants to be a martial arts superstar. She's got a modicum of natural talent and has seen a whole bunch of martial arts films. She read a book about it once, too. She practices in her bedroom every single day. Thing is, no one's ever told her what she's doing wrong. All they do is praise her and tell her to keep practicing. "Practice makes perfect," says her indulgent mother. "You're so talented." Well, the day comes when Sally Mae has decided that she's ready to go for it. She turns in her registration form and heads to the big competition. She gets up in the ring and promptly gets her ass beat. We're talking less than thirty seconds and she's down and out. Why? Because she never took her craft seriously enough to improve. Practice didn't make one damned bit of difference because she had no idea what the hell she was doing to begin with.

This applies to pretty much everything in life. I'm honestly not sure there's anything that can be done to make this good advice, so instead I will say this; Practice is vitally important. A hundred thousand different sources will tell you that if you don't do whatever it is that you do every day, you're robbing yourself. You need to be writing/painting/practicing every single day. But you also need to actively seek ways to improve your craft/hobby/talent. Otherwise it's completely pointless.


"Wait for Inspiration"


I think this speaks to the widely held belief that writer's suffer "Writer's Block." At the risk of alienating half of you right now, I'm going to go on record with my belief that Writer's Block is a complete myth. I am not saying that people don't get stuck sometimes, but I'm willing to put money down that 90% of "writer's block" is sheer laziness. The other 10% may be legitimate "blocks" but you can always work on something else, anything else. So, suggesting that a person put off writing today on the off chance that tomorrow they will be hit with some wave of magical writer-inspiration is awful advice. It's the very antithesis of "helpful advice."

Of course, it's always fantastic when you have that one day where everything you write is perfection. It's all sparkly unicorn farts and gold thread and cupcakes. You can do absolutely no wrong, and you've got so many ideas coming out of you that you'd give Tesla a run for his money if he were a writer and not some kind of mechanical genius. Everyone loves those days. They are very few and very far between. Here's the thing though, if you write every single day, those days will come more often. Sure, some days you may have to fight for every single word you write. On those days, you may have to tap-out at 200 words, but I guarantee if you do it, it will come.  Inspiration is a fickle diva-bitch, and it's definitely more likely to show if you put in the work.

If someone is complaining about a block, tell them to suck it up and go at it a different way. Yeah, it's harsh, but it's more helpful than "maybe you should take a break."

"Read More"


This actually isn't terrible advice. The problem is what you choose to read. What it boils down to is "Garbage in, Garbage out." If all you're reading is terrible fanfiction (no, I'm not saying all fanfiction is terrible, that's a completely different conversation), chances are you'll only be able to churn out terrible crap yourself. Now, I'm just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to crackfiction -- you know, the stuff that you know is bad for you but you can't put down even if you wanted to? -- but I use it as a learning experience. Why is it terrible? How can I avoid that in my own writing? I'm not telling you to navigate away from My Immortal and never touch it again, but be sure that you're not imitating it inadvertently.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that you have to read the classics, or the latest Nobel prize winner, or any of the other extremely prestigious award winning authors. I do think you could do worse than that, but you need to keep in mind that your Epic Fantasy Novel of Doom and Salvation is going to have very little in common with The Latest Award Winning Novel Regarding The Harrowing Life of a Crack-Addicted Male Prostitute Who Lied About It All. Yes, you can learn technique from them if you're willing to read and study how these authors do what they do, but you may have better luck improving by finding the best your chosen genre has to offer, not the entire world.

That being said, and taking the risk of sounding contradictory, being a well-rounded reader will help you be a well-rounded author.


"Write What You Know"


Which brings us directly to this little nugget. Again, this isn't terrible advice, it just doesn't mean what you probably think it means. It does not mean "don't write about it if you haven't done it." What it means is that you're going to do better work if you write within your understanding. What do you enjoy reading? What do you know a lot about? What are you interested in? If you have an understanding of the genre/subject you're writing about, you're going to do better work and it's going to be enjoyable for your readers. If you've never so much as read a spy novel, let alone studied how they are written and paced, chances are you're not going to be able to turn an interesting one out.  If you simply must write a spy novel, take the time to read a couple. It costs you nothing but a little bit of time.

The better advice here would definitely be, "Write what you enjoy reading." If you enjoy it and do it well, chances are your readers will, too.


"Insert Empty Praise/Comment Here"


Everyone loves praise. Everyone loves to hear that someone loves what they did. It has value, it helps boost confidence, and it's necessary. However, if you are asked to give your thoughts on something, be honest. If you couldn't get into it, tell them that. Tell them why. People can't improve without feedback, and if they are actively seeking it, there's nothing more frustrating in the world than "OMG I loved it!!!!!" Yes, it's true that some (maybe even most) writer's who ask for feedback are looking for a nice, long ego stroke. Don't give it to them. It may make them angry but you're doing them a favor in the long run. If you really do love it, tell them why. Tell them what they did that worked for you. If you didn't love it, try to tell them why not. It's all helpful. "omfg ur so awezome!" isn't.

By the same token, don't encourage someone to continue with something that you believe has absolutely no merit!  Yes, that needed italics and underlines. I almost bolded it, too. You may think you're being a great friend by lying to them about how much you like their idea, but you're not. You're being a shitty, terrible friend. There's a special place in hell for you.

I'm not talking about you personally disliking the genre/subject. If you dislike the subject but see merit then go ahead and encourage away. I'm saying that if someone is explaining their idea to you and it's so filled with cliche that it could be an example in "How To Write Shitty Fiction," or the main character is so perfect she makes Mary Sue seem like an incompetent slut, or the premise is so flimsy that it couldn't support 50 words, let alone a novel, you need to speak up. Keeping it to yourself until they've invested six-hundred hours and 150,000 words is a shitty, shitty thing to do. Way worse than being honest up front. Again, it may make them angry but you're doing the right thing.



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It's Big News to Me!


It seems that 2012 may just be a flagship year for me.

As some of you probably remember, one of my flash-fiction pieces, "Reflections" was awarded a DD here some time ago. It has since vanished from my Gallery. That's because I took it, pared it down to 150 words and submitted it to The Binnacle's Annual Ultra-Short fiction contest.

I'm super pleased and excited to announce that it was selected as one of the Honorable mentions and will be published in The Binnacle's Ultra-Short edition this fall.

Flash Fiction Month...

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 24, 2012, 12:42 PM
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And Other Things


Eleven seems to be the magic number. I do have a few more that I've been working on, but I've essentially given it up as a bad job. This year was scarce on inspiration and even more so on motivation. I take all the blame.

Big news coming soon, I think.

Thank you to everyone who went out of their way to give me prompts. Some of them sparked of much bigger ideas than I could do justice for in a Flash. Can't wait to share!

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A plea

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 11, 2012, 9:26 AM
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No, Really.


As some of you may have noticed, I am doing Flash Fiction Month. I'm still a little behind and I apologize for the 2+ deviations showing up in your gallery each day. Here's the thing. I am super short on inspiration this year. I'm short on idea. Everything that I've written so far has been Prompted.

So, you may find yourself asking at this point, what exactly is it that you want?

The long and the short of it is that I need prompts. Restrictive prompts, loosey-goosey prompts, super detailed. Doesn't matter. The prompt bank is an excellent resource, but I don't always find something that sparks a moment of "I can do something with this." So, give me your prompts. I promise to try and use them.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Inbetween

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 14, 2012, 9:40 PM
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The Inbetween


Okay, so this is backwards, but bear with me for a moment. I attempted to do Camp Nano this year, but it has been almost completely a wash. Despite having two "novel ideas" plotted out and ready to go, I've barely had time to sit down and think this month, let alone write. I've given it up as a bad job for June. I'll try again in August.

The Bad


There really is no bad. I just needed a nifty sounding journal title and this is what I came up with. Wait, here's some bad. The other day, my wonderful -- if somewhat hare brained -- husband took my house key because he couldn't find his. He didn't tell me. Fast forward several hours, we left for the gym. I locked up from the inside like I always do and we headed off. Get home some time later and realize we are locked out of the house. 10 minutes later, he manages to get in through one of the windows and let me in. Five minutes after that, there's pounding at my front door. I look outside and there are several law-enforcement vehicles and two very angry police men waiting for me to open the door. Which I do. Spent the next 10 minutes convincing them that yes, we really do live here. No, we didn't hang family portraits up on the walls just to trick them. Etc. etc. It was fun times. Apparently there's been a rash of home invasions here on post and they're taking this all very seriously. Big shout out to whichever neighbor saw some man climbing in my window and decided to call the cops. Good lookin' out bro.

The Good


Now onto the truly exciting part of the journal. As most of you know, the beginning of my year was pretty awful. I lost a dear, dear friend to suicide and I did not handle that as well as I would have hoped. I appreciate you all dealing with my mopy, whiny, bitchy and otherwise unpleasant journals.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most of you do not know that I've 'struggled' with my weight since I was a young(ish) girl. At my heaviest, I was a whopping 410 pounds (186 Kilo or nearly 29.25 Stone for those of you who don't speak pounds). I cannot hope to convey, to anyone, what it's like to weigh that much. I've been relatively fortunate in that I've rarely been discriminated against or bullied (except middle school) because of my weight, but the psychological stuff that goes along with that kind of weight gain is so much worse than anything that an outside person can say to you. It's not that I hate myself, because I really don't, but there is a near constant loop of self-defeating thoughts that run through a person's mind. It's hard to ignore and it's hard to understand if you don't experience it.

I made a goal at the beginning of the year, shortly before I found out about my friend, that I was going to actively try to improve my life. It wasn't like my earlier, wimpy decisions to maybe try and lose weight perhaps. This was one of those decisions with the full weight of my stubborn-ass determination behind it. I decided that I wanted to be a mother, and be happy, and healthy. I wanted to travel to France and Ireland and Greece (if they ever get their shit together) and Egypt (them to). I wanted to go to amusement parks and water parks and hike in the Rockies, perhaps go skiing in New York. None of these things were possible, nor would they ever be if I continued to ignore what I was doing to my body.

So I changed it.

I won't go into the nitty-gritty. That shit's boring and I don't like reading it so I won't make you, but it's been just a little over six months since I began my journey and I am happy to say that I have lost, as of my last official weigh-in, over 60 pounds. Since I haven't touched a scale since Jan. 1, I was under the impression that I had lost maybe 20-25 pounds since beginning, and prepared to be thrilled about it. When the numbers came up on the scale, I literally squealed out-loud and did a little jig.  I am officially over 25% of the way to my goal weight.

I know this is one of those incredibly obnoxious "all about me" journals, but next time maybe I'll feature some other people's success stories. Have you done anything you're super proud of lately?  Tell me all about it!

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When Is The Last Time You...

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 12, 2012, 3:34 AM
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Took The Time To Say Thank You?

Seriously. I'd like you to take a moment and think about when the last time that you sincerely thanked someone who was doing you a favor. Be honest with yourself. How long has it been?

I feel like this is one of those things that people complain about a lot and I guess it's time to add my voice to the screaming throng. Making someone feel unappreciated for the hard work that they do is unacceptable. Though I may seem less than active on this site, it's not true. I have never once told someone that I do not have time to look over the work and give whatever advice I may have. I have never said no and I have never begrudged it. Until now.

The average amount of time I spend on a two thousand word piece of fiction is four hours. I can do an on-the-fly critique but they are not my favorite. I read through it once, then I go to work. Sometimes I print it out and go at it with a red pen. I do it because I care, because I want you to succeed. I want to see your work become the best you can possibly make it and I am honored to be a part of it.

This is time I take away from my own work. These are minutes and hours and thoughts and sweat and tears that I take away from my own dream to help you realize yours. With very few exceptions, I don't even get a thank you. This, too, is unacceptable. Yes, this is the part of the journal where you are allowed to roll your eyes and show me the world's tiniest violin and that's fine. I deserve it. Yes, I'm feeling a little bit sorry for myself.

Here's why.

This year has been one of the most prolific of my short life. Don't let the lack of new submissions from me fool you, I've been writing like nobodies business. I've been tweaking, editing, rewriting and submitting everywhere that I can find that might fit and takes unsolicited submissions. The one time that I sent out a general plea for help with my work, it was ignored. Don't worry, I didn't advertise here. Still, it got me to thinking about the whole Me vs. Them mentality. I've always operated under the impression that kindness breeds kindness, that doing favors for others somehow builds up a karmic balance that you'll be repaid when you need it. I still do. Here's hoping people will someday prove me right.

I would like to give a big shout out to Tobaeus and CailinLiath for being two of those who constantly reward my faith in people. I appreciate you for always listening and always encouraging.

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Thank You and Goodbye to a Legend

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 20, 2012, 4:59 PM


Daily Deviation


I want to say thank you, first of all, to everyone who has faved Placebo. I would thank you individually, but I would get in trouble for spamming.

I would also like to extend heartfelt thanks to BeccaJS for featuring it.


One summer, not very long ago, a friend and I were sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for our writer's group to begin. To pass the time, we were browsing through the Salt Lake City weekly when we noticed, tucked away in a tiny ad among all the local bands, "Etta James, Red Butte Gardens." I was beyond thrilled. I'd never been to a concert and who better to break my live music cherry than miss James herself? We jumped online to check ticket prices. The date was different. According to the website, the concert started in less than three hours. We called and sure enough, the concert was that night and the venue was nearly two hours away.

Without giving it a second thought, we purchased tickets and abandoned our fellow writers. We made it in time and hiked our way up to the Amphitheater. It was a gorgeous evening, the sun just beginning to set as the first of many fantastic blues bands took the stage. By the time Miss James took the stage, the crowd was half drunk and in a positive frenzy. Her set was short, her health was already failing at that point, but fantastic.  I always hoped that I'd be able to see her again, but it was not to be.  

Our world has lost a truly talented lady and I am incredibly grateful that I was able to see her before she passed.