Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, life, nature, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

8/15: Stars (& #crowdfunding desperation)

(I know I keep asking. I hate asking. But getting back on my feet hasn’t been an easy path. Just a bit longer. If you like my #poetry and posts, please feel free to share and contribute if you are able. With eventual stability, or at least things caught up, my ability to focus on things I love and need to do improves. Thank you)

Dreams made
Imagine beyond
The world
We know.
Starstuff dreaming of
Stars.
Who is out there?
What lies outside
Our reach?
Will we know?
Or destiny says
Stay.
Not knowing is
Best.
For now.
Where do
We
Fit in this expanse?
Starstuff dreaming
Of the stars out
There.
Keep dreaming.
Wondering.
Asking.
The answer is there.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, faith, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/13: Storage #crowdfunding and my Weekend

Yeah… still needing help with storage. I really don’t want to let it get too much closer to the end of the month… it gets bad after the 15th of this month. Retweet, share, spread the word… any help will do.

I spent this weekend, starting mid afternoon Friday, helping the folks I’m staying with deal with their yard sale… except for today, as we didn’t run it today. I headed out to a friend’s place who’s moving out of the country in October. Picked up some lace and trim (do you even know how hard it is to find black lace trim??)

So, I’m gonna get all sentimental on my stuff in storage. Bear with me…

My father served in WWII. After he died in 2014, I (eventually) received his coffin flag, even though we have yet to do any kind of ceremony. That in and of itself, is a LONG story of family dramatics I’m not getting into here. His flag is in storage.

Several months before he died, we had this conversation:

Me: So, I want to get back into playing piano.
I’m thinking of saving up and buying an electric one.

Dad: Why don’t we try and send the old piano up to you?
Me: Dad, it would cost more than that thing is worth to transport it up here.
Dad: I’m sure we could figure something out.
Me: Besides, the only place for me to put it is the wall where the sleeping alcove for the studio next door is. I’m not going to torment my poor neighbor.
…..
(The rest of the call went a lot like that. The next day, I got an email from my sister accusing me of trying to get dad to buy me a piano, which is not what happened.)
…..
Me: Hi dad.
Dad: Uh-oh, what did I do? (an ongoing gag with the two of us then)
Me: Did you talk to ***** recently?
Dad: Yes. What happened?
Me: I got an email from her accusing me of trying to get you to buy me a piano.
Dad: I said nothing like that.
…..
Me: Why did you even tell her?
Dad: Well, I was excited you wanted to get back to music.
Me: Proud? (my dad was a pretty laid back person)
Dad: Yeah. You were always so happy and upbeat back then. I would love to see you get back to that.
…..
Keep in mind, I had no clue he even ever really paid attention to it back then, let alone be proud. This is just how my family has been.

When he died later that year, I knew that whatever I got from the estate, at least some of it would go toward an electric piano. And it did. That piano, like all my other things, is in storage. I can’t lose what my dad wanted me to so desperately have again.

Some of my mother’s quilting pattern pieces. Also a large chunk of my fabric. And my sewing machine.

My costumes, which range from ones I designed and my mother sewed up for me, to ones I sewed, to pieces purchased from others. Furniture that has a lot of sentimental value.

And so much more. This is all why I’m so desperate to keep my stuff in there safe and in my hands. I ask for that help once again. I know I owe at least $650, and have a bit less than half that… even if you can’t help financially, please consider sharing or retweeting this post. The more people who see it, the better my chances are.

 

Posted in artsy stuff, creativity, crowdfunding, life, storage, writing

8/12: Why I Write (and #crowdfunding)

(yes, still needing help with storage. Time is running out here. Any help is appreciated.)

I enjoy many types of creative endeavors, but the one I always come back to is writing. Whether it’s fiction or poetry, I dig in and enjoy every word.

So, the deadline for our Alzheimer’s charity anthology, The Longest Night Watch, is looming on Tuesday. I, of course, have totally spaced out and forgotten about it until now. Well, yesterday. Early this morning, a scene came to mind and some tidbits of what the story might entail tagged along behind it. Once we had the yard sale set up, I brought my computer out and worked on it while also chatting with potential customers.

In writing fiction, I’m what we call in NaNoWriMo a “Pantser.” I come up with an initial idea and gradually the characters take over and WHEEEE!!!! I’m just trying to keep up with them as they tell their story. With short pieces, they have to take over a lot faster. In my novellas, it’s more like about 15-20 pages in.

Bradbury, King, and many others also tend to write like this (or in the case of those who are gone, they did write like this). I’m not alone in using this method.

** On a side note, I also got to read a review of our first volume where the person broke down her review with comments on each story. She loved mine as it was a reminder of why we’re doing this labor of love. None of us make any money off of it. All proceeds go to Alzheimer’s research. This is our third year. We started it after Terry Pratchett died.

So one of the reasons I love to write is how I let my characters take over the story. I’m just along for the ride. Sometimes, like today, the ride switches and goes down an alternate track… one I didn’t expect. I’m not done with the story. I enjoy the journey they take me on. I breathe a little life into them and then they lead me on what can be a wild ride.

At the end of the yard sale today, I wrapped up, brought my computer inside and went back out to help clean up. When I closed the laptop, I realized I had stopped at a turning point. Where I thought the story would go… well, it isn’t going there. The MC, an elderly woman, is hinting that she may not be all that is believed she is. A twist. A different track. I don’t know how long this will be. I do know I want to go back and add some filler around the dialogue. I tend to write dialogue and forget the exposition… the descriptions. I’ll finish the dialogue tonight and then go back tomorrow and fill things in.

I love telling stories. Simple as that. I love where my characters take me. I love minimalism… giving readers just enough and then letting them use their imaginations to fill in the blanks. I create miniature worlds for readers to explore.

This is why I write.

~APA

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

8/9/17: Ermagherd, a Blog Post! & #crowdfunding

Yeah, I know… but some days, I just can’t put words in actual sentences … and enough sentences for a post. A few things: yes, still need help with storage. Remember, I’m basically homeless and nearly all my belongings are in that storage unit… I’m trying to earn the money, but it isn’t happening fast enough.

So, something I’ve been thinking about since I started my journey to get back and finish my degree. This is also relevant with the prospect of going overseas for a second degree/escaping the stupidity in our politics, as well as general making ends meet.

I’m doing this alone. 

Yes, it is my choice. I have no interest in dating. I’m more aromantic-asexual right now. I don’t have a partner, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc… and I’m more interested in men in general anyway, so the wife/girlfriend thing isn’t a thing for me. I just used those to cover my bases. Many of my classmates do. They have husbands and wives and partners, etc… those who don’t have family they can live with. Great! Awesome! That’s … wonderful… but I’m over here struggling because I am very much alone in my journey. Yes, I have siblings, but they’re both 600-ish miles away and I don’t really speak to one of them unless I absolutely have to. So, yes, when life started teetering on the edge of disaster last fall, I had a hard time sorting out my direction. First the C-PTSD, then the eviction and loss of JoJo and my world crashing down around me.

But I’m still here… still trying. I don’t feel I have that support network of someone who will help do household things (granted, I’m in a different position than I was before… living with people, but still have to do things for myself) while I do my weekly readings and assignments. I -HAVE- to get work, not have a spouse who can do the FT job and me cut back hours in a currently non-existent-job to focus on school. To me, having someone else cover those things would be a luxury.

Then there’s the general “how can anyone afford to live here?” problem we’re getting to here in Portland. Rents are going through the roof and waiting lists for low-income places are miles and years long now. And for a single person, 34K is low income. If I get a job close in, I want to keep my commute as short as possible. That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years… long commutes suck the life out of a person like me. I know… I’ve done it. And I had a car at the time. Now I’m on transit, and my anxiety doesn’t make being on the train very easy.

Then we have goals… dreams… packing up and heading to Europe to live for a while. Preferably in Germany attending a school with the intent of a second Master’s degree. Maybe stay there for a few years, paying into the tax system as the college is free there and that’s how it’s able to be free. But I’d need a decent chunk of change just to get over there, get settled into a place and then start school… I’d still need income of some sort. And the program I’m looking at is very intensive during each term. The breaks are nice and long… presumably to help restore some of the sanity of the poor student. But income… I don’t know what I’d be able to do while in an intensive class structure. I’ve joked that I should marry someone just to have income for a roof over our heads… but that would mean living with another person… and I can’t see that happening for a very long time. I simply don’t do well having roommates… of the human kind.

So that support network that many others have is something I don’t. For the most part, I don’t want a partner of any kind in my life. But a small part of me wishes I did have someone to lean on and be a mutual support system.

I struggle with that part of me. I’m stubbornly independent (just not wholly financial) and individualistic. I am my own person who doesn’t need another person to feel complete.

~A

Posted in creativity, dreams, empath life, faith, life, poetry

8/3: Sealed Secrets (#poetry, #crowdfunding)

Dreams abated.
Life has me in a
Stranglehold.
Caught between my past and
What I am to
Become.

Who is that person?
The future does not give
Sneak
Peeks.
It holds those secrets close.
A seal on its contents.

Where will I be in
Five years?
Ten years?
I do not know.
Preferably breathing.
Hopefully more than that.

I wake each day.
Not knowing where that day
Takes me.
The adventure can be small
Or one of great challenges.
But I have to wake up first.

~A

(Yes, still crowdfunding. Any help will do.)

Posted in creativity, Personal, poetry, writing

7/23: dissecting my poetry

This will be quick as I’m fighting a migraine and am using mobile. 

Much of my poetry is train-of-thought. I rarely edit it at all. I also should know better than to title it before finishing it. Last night’s poem is one of those. I didn’t expect the “character” of Regret to take it over. 

The rare times I edit my poems is when I read it out loud and I stumble over the phrasing or a word. But I tend to let my poetry be a raw glimpse into… well, whatever my mind wants to reveal. 

I sometimes read them to my therapist. She’s fascinated by them. I know they can open up discussions. I find they help me find things within myself that I normally wouldn’t notice or bother with… 

~A

Posted in creativity, depression, empath life, history, Personal, poetry

7/22: passing through

Brief moments.
Catch a glimpse of a
Memory.
Did that person really exist?
Why did I not ask that question?
Regret sits.
Waiting for me.
His finely tailored suit
With seams crisp.
Regret’s wingtip shoes
Tapping a familiar beat on the
Floor.
I know it, but can’t place the tune.
He waits for me to invite him in.
To wonder ‘what if I…’
So he can swoop in and weigh me down.
I know he is there.
I have fought him off many times before.
I am conscious of the damage he can inflict.
I wonder of things I will never learn of the answers.
I look to the past.
To learn.
To know whatever I am able to know.
I do not invite him in.
Nevertheless, he waits.
My door will never open for him.

~A

Posted in chronic pain, convention, cosplay, creativity, life, Personal, storage

7/2: Gimpy Steampunk Penguin

I’m at GearCon this weekend. It’s almost over, but still… this is why I’ve been quiet. I had a crazy week last week with appointments, etc, and then con. I’m pretty sure all of us on Staff Lounge staff are rather firmly on the Injured List. Most of us have canes.

I started working on a leather waist cincher Thursday and finished it Saturday. It held up quite well.

Back to the real world shortly. I have about half of July storage rent… and need to figure out the rest of the $280.

I’ll post more later… once I recover from con…

~Amanda

Posted in adoption, animal advocacy, cats, cosplay, creativity, empath life, homeless, life, Personal, poverty line, storage

6/30: Feline Bonds 

JoJo and I had this incredible bond the 14 years she loved with me. Since she passed away in February, Portia has stepped up in her own quirky way. She’s still a total dork, but curls up (read: SPRAWLS) on my chest when I’m in bed. 

She isn’t exactly a small or lightweight cat, weighing in around the 14lb mark. I’ve determined she’s likely at least half Maine Coon. Her size and varied coat lengths are a good indicator. She purrs when she eats, shows some signs of stress when I’m stressed. Not as obvious as JoJo was, but I see indicators. 

I’ve been working on a last minute leather cincher to wear this weekend at GearCon. Drafting the pattern, tweaking things, punching holes for rivets and small grommets. It isn’t done, but I’m hauling my whole crazy mess to con with me. I’m assisting mostly in the staff lounge… I tend to be the one to “babysit” the space, as I’m content to just be stationary. 

I’ve been running around all week and am also concerned I don’t have the full $280 for storage. I’ll have a bit over half when pay from two tasks from earlier this week post to my account. I think I can pay partial while I don’t owe previous months. 

So, Portia got what I think was a small hairball. This is a rare thing for her. She usually just mats. But she has been grooming more this week. She needs a companion, but the cat of the house is still uneasy about her (I think they’ll be fine with monitored rounds), and I’m in no shape, financially or home-wise, to adopt another right now.

We will see what happens…

~Amanda