Life – a work in progress

I know, I know.

I said I was joining BookTube, and then I disappeared. The truth is… life happened, in a good way, and I had to choose which projects where most important to me. As a writer, that meant taking a new opportunity to work on my catalog of works, even though it took up more of my free time than intended.

To be fair, I also started a new job after a brief stint as an unemployed person (ugh) and found myself included in socialization opportunities with friends (YAY). As a firm believer in seeking my own comfort and happiness as a form of self-care, I chose to focus on my writing with the bits of spare time I have. For me, that means I’m reading less and writing more… which isn’t bad, per se, but it doesn’t help with creating BookTube videos.

I still intend to participate in BookTube here and there, because it’s a wonderful community. But much of what I’m working on right now is offline.

This month, I’m releasingĀ Dandelion Girls and Other Mythical Creatures, a poetry collection full of mythology and modern life mixed together. I’ll be sharing bits and pieces from the book as the days go by; consider them teasers, luring you in until you decide to buy a copy of the entire book.

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Get the Ball Rolling!

So… I finally did it. I made a rambling BookTube intro video and posted it online. AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Honestly, I found myself making excuse after excuse as to why I hadn’t started my channel yet. Oh, I need to finish updating my profiles on various websites. Oh, wait, I need to dust and reorganize the shelves. Oh, I should make sure I have the perfect lighting and recording setup before I start. Oh, I can’t post anything until I have a good editor to work with.

Nope.

I’m done with excuses. Period.

I still have SO MANY THINGS I want/need to get done, both as a book reviewer and a writer. It’s a bit of a jumbled mess, between my poetry project (still writing at least one new poem per day), my fanfiction, my original stories, my reading list, and now my YouTube channel. I’m not sure what will happen when, or how I’ll get any of it done. But… why not drag you along for the ride and see what happens? 

If you like my rambling and want to follow my dive into the BookTube madness, subscribe and follow me through my social media.

a good cry [poem]

I love stories that make me cry
a tearful catharsis
the ones that twist me up inside
like I’m the one that’s lost
like I’m the one being left behind
like I’m the one with nothing left to lose
I love getting so wrapped up in someone else’s hurt
that I can’t feel my own

maybe that’s why I loved us
loved you with all your insecurities
and fear of commitment
like I needed someone to yearn for
like I needed someoneā€™s lies to believe in
like I needed someone weak enough to
break my heart
but not strong enough to mean it
I love a good cry and so
I loved you

-poem by Larissa Lee

Random Writer’s Ramblings

I’m planning to try writing about 1,000 words per day in 2015. I got the idea from Novel Notes. The actual focus of the goal is less structured than that, though; I’ll be shooting for 1,000 words per day, but the totals at the end of each month are the real target word count.

For example, January’s goal will be 31,000 words. Ideally, I’d spread that over the course of the entire month, writing that thousand-per-day amount to keep up. Realistically, I’m going to sprint for a couple days, then rest and repeat until I’ve reached my goal. It’s my process, because I do my best writing late a night but can’t stay up late on weekdays due to work. Weekends are my big writing days.

I’ve decided to use my winter break to create a vague outline for next year.

I’m thinking of finally working on a project I’d thought up years ago. You see, I happen to love short stories. I enjoy the intensity of the plot that’s pretty much required for a short work to tell a story. My project idea is a collection of short stories designed to not have happily-ever-afters at the end (or at least not traditionally happy endings).

Another potential project is one of the two (or three) pagan books I’d been thinking needed to be written. They require more research and focus than the fiction project, but at the same time they have premade outlines in the form of my personal experiences and previous thoughts/notes on the ideas.

With the winter break just days away, I look forward to deciding on which projects to work on next year. Having a writing goal gets me writing more often, just like using the Goodreads option for a personal challenge helped me to read at least one book a week for 2014.

Speaking of reading challenges, I’m also considering an interesting twist to my personal goal (which is still just one book a week). There’s this list of book types and topics to read, and I really dig most of the suggestions. I mostly read free ebooks on my Kindle, ones offered by indie authors; I’m sure, though, that I can find books that fit these descriptions.

The best part about these challenges (both writing and reading) is the way their small, easily attainable goals make me feel successful and happy.

That’s part of how I’ve always treated my own, mild depression; I just find things to be good at or complete, and I constantly remind myself of my successes (however small they may be). Getting through NaNoWriMo and winning on my first try was specifically designed to help me move past the end of a long-term relationship and other dramatic changes I had little or no control over in my life at the time.

Overall, I’ve decided to make 2015 a productive and positive year.

YouTube: I finally did it!

So I finally did it! I sat down and filmed something for YouTube!

The original plan had been for a pagan-based channel, with videos to cover basic topics and discussion ideas. Eventually, I might do just that. My problem has been the format; I feel too boring and blocky when I read from notes, but it’s hard to talk to a camera about spirituality without feeling silly.

The solution?

I started with BookTubing (vlogging about books) instead. I’ve been in a funk, having read only half a dozen books in 2013. This year, I’ve set a goal to read 100 books by the end of 2014 AND to review them on Goodreads. I’m focusing on all of the free ebooks I’ve purchased through Pixel of Ink. I figure it’ll give smaller authors some attention and give me a chance to try out some stuff I might not read otherwise.

I only have two videos up so far, because I don’t want to go crazy and flood YouTube with junk (that no one’s watching). Over time, I’ll play with a second channel for pagan stuff; I figure I’ll get used to talking to a green dot on my computer, and then I’ll be ready.

All of that said, I’m not blogging much at the moment. I have coven classes twice a week, registration here at work, books to read for my videos, and an anime I’ve promised to watch subbed with my roomie. There are only so many hours in a day, so I’ve left off on reading the news every day and posting blogs almost daily. I’m figuring out what schedule will best suit me… hopefully it’s not too annoying here while I adjust.

Peace out!

Lost and in a Funk

I don’t know what I want out of life.

I realize this as I skim old blog posts and journal entries, making a long list of projects left undone.

First, I have to say three nice things about myself:

[1] I’ve completed the Greek mythology workbook I thought should exist. I did it alone, with little overview or assistance before publication.

[2] I’ve stood up for my reproductive rights, even when it wasn’t easy. It doesn’t make everyone comfortable, but it makes me feel good about myself.

[3] I’ve opened an online shop, and I’ve made sales. It’s more complicated than I’d imagined, but also more satisfying than I’d realized it would be.

Okay, now I can be rough. Do you know how many things I want to try/do/be when I “grow up”?

[1] I want to be a High Priestess. I want to teach others and be inspired by their journey along a path I sometimes forget I’m walking.

[2] I want to be a mother. It’s very much like being a High Priestess, but with a steeper learning curve and longer hours.

[3] I want to publish a story. Poetry and workbooks aside, I’ve avoided writing anything for years out of a sick, twisted fear of failure.

[4] I want to be a professional blogger. I’d love to make money with my words and interacting with like-minded people.

[5] I want to be a vlogger, a YouTuber for pagans. I’d be able to teach and share in ways I haven’t seen available (yet) on YouTube.

[6] I want to be a doula, maybe even a midwife if I had the patience for all the education required. I don’t do half-assed. If I’m going to be there for women in their time of need, I’m going to be the best at it (or at least the best that I can be).

[7] I want to code. I’m a rusty HTML programmer with vague memories of QBASIC in the back of my head, and I’d love to be able to write up a small program or an app for shits and giggles. I don’t even know where to begin, what language to use, or anything else like that.

[8] I want to get my spiritual shit together. My notes upon notes upon notes are piled neatly into a bin in my living room, haunting me with their reminder that I haven’t been a good little pagan. I want to write a book, but I want it to be different; I feel like our community needs something different.

I just snickered to myself as I looked at this list. My brain train went, “Oh, look! There are eight things! I could do one for each sabbat, or for time between Sabbat A and Sabbat B. Oh, but wait… could I write a book that fast? I could, but it’d be shit. And what about making a baby? Can’t force that into a schedule! Do I even want to be a vlogger? Crap… nevermind!”

Here I am, twenty-seven, and I don’t know which way to start walking.

To be fair, I’ve got bits and pieces of starts for many of these projects.

[1] I’ve rejoined my local coven, giving me access to training that will eventually lead to teachership.

[2] I’ve gotten off of birth control and currently pay the high price of too many years under the influence of fake hormones. I’m working on getting my body back into a fully-functioning state of womanhood.

[3] I’ve got ideas, and I’ve actually written them down. There are paragraphs here, an outline there. All that’s missing is an actual commitment to completing a story from start to finish.

[4] I’ve looked into blogging for pay. I’m not sure I have what it takes to write about the same stuff day in and day out without going bananas. Instead, I look toward guiding people to buy my stuff (books, Etsy goods, etc.) with my blog posts.

[5] I haven’t touched the YouTube idea. My acne flared up the minute I got off of birth control, and I haven’t had clear skin since. My pride says that’s a good enough reason to put off being on camera.

[6] I’ve done a bit of research on being a doula. I’m still undecided on this, largely because I have so many goals/plans going on right now that traveling anywhere for training is a bit much. Maybe later?

[7] I tried a couple of online code academies and got frustrated. I started with HTML, to test their teaching style. It was a joke! I’m currently ignoring this goal, but I think I might try a “For Dummies” book on one coding type or another; after all, that’s how I learned HTML in the first place!

[8] This idea of a pagan book is constantly percolating in the back of my mind. I have an outline, and I’ve actually written a few sections. I only touch it in bits and pieces, because I’m afraid of vomiting up the same 101 information without adding anything to it.

Looking at all of that, I guess I just feel lost because I lack strong focus. You know the kind, where you jump head first into a project and don’t come up for air until it’s done? I haven’t felt that in a LONG time, and I try not to push myself so hard that I lose interest.

I’ve also been in a funk. In 2013, I probably read fewer books than you have fingers. This year, I’ve read three: my partner’s first novel and two erotica novels. I don’t know what happened or why, but suddenly I’ve stopped being a reader and started being a lost girl. That said, a new e-reader and those two erotica novels are my first steps toward remedying my predicament. I’m trying to persuade myself to read at least one book a fortnight, a small number considering my previous habit of a book a day. The stories will be kindling for a dying fire of creativity within me, hopefully nurturing my creative spirit into a roaring fire once again.

We’ll see.

Have you ever felt lost like this?