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.

Feminist Friday, and why we still need Feminism

I found the tag “Feminism is my Jam” from watching a Youtuber named Kristina Horner. She created it with friends, to be used as a way of talking about feminism and what makes us feminists.

The most interesting thing about the questions was how much you have to think (or at least I did) to separate your normal day-to-day life from feminism. For example, when asked where I go for feminist news and updates, I was originally unsure how to answer. After all, I’m a woman; every moment is lived in a state of inequality to some extent, even if I’m not actively affected in a noticeably way.

The questions were as follows:

  1. How and when did you first realize you were a feminist?
  2. What is your favorite feminist book/movie/song/etc.?
  3. Where do you go to read up on current feminist topics?
  4. How do you treat yourself? (a treat)
  5. What’s the most effective way to explain feminism to a newbie?
  6. Fill in the blank: I kicked the patriarchy to the curb by…
  7. Do you have any feminist Youtubers to recommend?
  8. What’s your favorite Feminist Apparel t-shirt?

For the last question, I found the following shirt and giggled at the cuteness:

mermaids

Adorable, isn’t it?

If you feel up to some hateful trolls, go ahead and blog (or vlog) this tag. My first comment was proof that we still need feminism:

hate

Imperfection as Ideal

OMFG

Um… first of all, what the HECK happened?!? I’ve been overrun with data entry at work, so my posts have been sporadic at best (and MIA at worst).

That said, I was shocked to see the stats for my blog when I logged in today. Not only did I get 39 visitors in one day, but 30 of them came from Facebook? And 50 of the page views were for a post I did on QWERTY sigils (i.e. symbols created using a keyboard instead of a magic square). Clearly, someone shared my post on their Facebook wall and earned me some random traffic; I didn’t do it, that’s for sure!

The whole thing inspires me. I’ve been feeling the need to create, but I’ve been a bit trapped by my own perfectionism. I can’t focus enough to write a cohesive blog post regularly, so I don’t write anything. I can’t pin down a story plot line that interests me enough to follow from start to finish, so I don’t bother trying to tell any stories at all. And I can’t have videos as nice as some of my favorite Youtubers without a huge time and equipment investment, so I don’t film at all.

Perfectionism is stupid!

So my new ideal goal is accepting imperfection. I’m working with my psychoses rather than against them; outlines and organized schedules lend “perfection” to otherwise free-form creative endeavors.

I’m going to *try* to write a post each week, even if it’s just to ramble about life. The same goes with Youtube; I’m going to make an effort to record something once a week and post it, regardless of how awesome (or not) it happens to be. The only way to get from point A to point B is to get moving!

If you’re interested, here’s my most recent Youtube vlog. Enjoy!

Muddled Plans: moving through a weird place

I’m in a weird place right now. I’ve got lots of things moving in super slow motion, so it looks and feels like nothing’s happening most of the time. I know that focusing on one goal at the exclusion of the others will increase the speed, but I’m too indecisive to choose my direction right now.

C’est la vie, I’ll figure out a plan eventually!

My Etsy is going on hiatus after the holidays. I say “my” Etsy, because I’m the only one putting any money into it at the moment (via posting fees and shipping costs). I’m also the one who has the most stuff, as well as sales, so far. I figure I’ll leave the shop up through the holidays, giving it the chance to earn a bit more that way. However, after Yule I think I’ll put it on vacation while I revamp and figure out where I want to take it. I might hand over the name (and related email account) to my co-owner, since it fits her eventual goal of an apothecary better than the odds-n-ends I’ve created.

My YouTube isn’t moving forward, but it isn’t moving backward either. My computer is useless for video creation or editing; in fact, it’s useless for just about everything! I’ve purchased a window mount for my phone, so I can use its camera to record vlogs. I’m currently undecided on where to start, though; I’m looking into some random weekly vlogging to get myself going, but I don’t want a bunch of mixed junk on the channel before going full-on pagan. I’m working on a happy medium, which is why I haven’t recorded or posted anything since I opened the channel in the first place.

I want to write! I’ve been making myself read ebook after ebook (from my huge collection of freebies), and it’s gotten me wound up. I haven’t written a story in ages, and I can feel my muse uncurling herself from the corner I unintentionally tucked her into. I’ve read the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I look forward to joining the fray. Knowing myself, though, I’m going to start with revamping an old story of mine (from high school); the plot is great, but it’s not very well-written or descriptive. I’ve developed a distinctive voice since then; rereading my early writings makes me snicker!

My blog has taken a backseat for various reasons. Between a higher workload and lending out my laptop, I just don’t have any time (or place) to write a blog post; I’d have to swype it on my phone, which is a nightmare! So I have half a dozen drafted post ideas, but this is the first one I’ve focused on long enough to complete.

I’ve got some fitness goals at the moment, and they’re the most active (haha). I’m starting Couch-to-5K, a running program that helps you develop running strength from the ground up; it was my idea, inspired by a couple of YouTubers I like who have used it before to jumpstart their fitness plans. We’re fixing up our garage too, making space for our weights and such. I’m not setting a weight goal at all; instead, I’m just going with the flow and planning to follow the program to completion. Eventually, I’ll be able to run 5K without dying! That’s a good enough goal, though I’ll surely lose weight along the way.

As a side note, I’m still trying to conceive. I don’t write about it much, because each month is a weight I’m tired of carrying. It’s been eight months, and I’ve been more focused on praying for regular cycles than anything else. Birth control is wonderful, but it comes with a high cost after years of use; my body doesn’t remember how to woman.

All in all, I’m walking the line between action and inaction right now. Everything’s still in mind, even if it’s not at the forefront.

YouTube on pause

Decisions, decisions, decisions! 

I’m trying to decide what the best course of action is for my YouTube adventures. 

On one hand, I’ve discovered I don’t like BookTube per se. Everyone’s reading the same trendy, new titles; I’ve always been a rebel, so I don’t like to read what everyone else is reading. Seriously, I’m a hipster when it comes to books! I like to read things that nobody’s heard of, undiscovered gems. The only exceptions are series I discovered early on (before their big fame), or or occasionally recommended books from trusted friends with similar tastes. 

That said, I didn’t have an issue with vlogging. My problem instead is twofold: finding focus and adjusting equipment. 

Focus is a minor issue. Kind of. I know I want to vlog the way I write; I like bouncing from topic to topic, without scripts and outlines. I want to cover various pagan and philosophical topics, but I might just babble about Guardians of the Galaxy if that’s what’s on my mind. The biggest concern is where to start, as far as pagan topics and the like. There is no real “beginning” to studying paganism, though most people jump straight at the “history” (I use that term loosely). I might have to just ramble on about the reality of Wicca vs fictionalized pagan origin stories… 

The equipment I’m using is a major issue. My laptop is crap; it’s slow and hard to edit anything on, and the sound/video quality is poor as well. I can’t make it better with a webcam or external microphone. Believe me, I’ve tried. So my options are:

  • Work with what I have. It’s lame and low-tech, but it gets the job done. My patience will be tested to its limit, and some people will skip my videos simply due to their apparent unprofessionalism. 
  • Work with what I have, amended. My phone has a decent camera, one that works better than my laptop. It’s hard to control and angle, though; I tried to use it before, when the YouTube idea first came to mind. After the frustrations of working with my laptop, I might be able to adjust; however, editing would still be an impossibility, as my phone can only directly upload to YouTube (it’s not that high-tech, after all). 
  • Get something new. I could try to find and purchase a decent camera, or a really good memory card for the cameras we have around the house. I’d want a plug for them, too, because those old-school cameras suck batteries like crazy. This option is expensive, and it doesn’t really solve the editing problem. Instead, it makes the videos easily transferred to a better (borrowed) computer, and they’d start off in a better quality in need of less editing.

I really don’t want to pump money into anything right now, especially with various events coming up that I’d like to attend. If you happen to read this and have some thoughts or suggestions, I’m all ears. 

YouTube thoughts

Now that I’m finally on YouTube, I’m finding it easier to be comfortable with myself. Maybe it’s the season, or maybe I’ve just changed since my original thoughts on vlogging. Either way, I’m here now.

So… what do I post?

I’ve started two channels, largely by accident. The first is Larissa Lee, a channel for my book reviews and random reader/writer related vlogs. It’s a way of getting myself involved in the YouTube community (BookTube, in this case) and feeling connected with people I already listen to daily. It’s weird to have a one-sided relationship, so posting my own stuff opens up a two-way street.

The second channel is for this blog, called Larissa Lee’s Scribbles (surprise… not!). I haven’t posted to it yet, because I’m working on where to begin. I want that channel to be just like this blog, pagan and open to whatever amuses or interests me at the time. Still, I have to start somewhere! I’m thinking of taking my About page and fleshing it out into a post, to give people an idea of who I am (and/or warn them that my videos won’t be their cup o’ tea).

Eventually, I’m going to finally do those pagan vlogs/lessons that I talked about so long ago. I’m done with excuses and delays!

Do you have any ideas or preferences for my posts? Do you have a channel you’d like to share?

Book Review: “Interfaced” by Emerson Doering

I vlogged my first book review! The book was Interfaced by Emerson Doering, an ebook that was on sale (i.e. free) when I found it. Pixel of Ink listed it on the daily deals post just a few weeks ago, I believe.

Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

Would I recommend this book? Yes.

PROS: 
– I love the way the girl’s experiences are detailed, from her first experience moving toys with her mind to her eventual abilities after surgery. I also love the way we see the doctor’s issues with anger and fear. He has a legitimate panic attack while speaking in public, which we discover is largely based on a prior negative experience that included injury.

– I love the conspiracy that runs through the story.

CONS: 
– The author’s voice takes some getting used to, because he uses lots of partial sentences (like someone Southern is reading you a story). For a grammar fiend, it’s hard to get past at first. However, it’s clearly a style choice and not accidental errors.

– I dislike the epilogue; it’s too wrapped up in a bow and skips the emotions of adjusting to who’s died, what’s changed, etc. I like loose ends to be taken care of, but this epilogue just didn’t work for me.

– I absolutely hated the two boys (Pale Eyes and Adam?) that were eluded to repeatedly. I thought the main character had been raped, but it turns out to be non-sexual violence. I won’t ruin anything else, just know that they aren’t rapists.

– It was often hard to follow most action scenes visually, because too much was going at the same time. I’d lose track of who threw that thing over there, or exactly how someone was laying after falling to the ground.