Posted in cats, creativity, dreams, family, grad school, life, nanowrimo, Personal, Science Fiction and Fantasy, writing

11/3: NaNoWriMo: WTF am I doing??

Yeah… three shorter tales. Below is what I put on my NNWM profile for this years’ work. Intel Reports may get a title change… potentially DisPATCHES from Earth… but we’ll see. Mausi is the historical piece. I’m expanding upon a short-short I wrote for the Writer’s Games in 2016. I loved the characters… still do. Something about the bond between grandmother and granddaughter. Maybe for me it’s to do with the fact that I never knew my maternal blood grandmother (she died when my mom was young) and barely knew my paternal grandmother (but we had a bond nonetheless… she passed away when I was 6). I find the bond spanning generations to be fascinating and wonderful. What I do remember of my dad’s mom was a woman who loved me and wasn’t afraid to say so. I still miss her 40 years later.

So an “orphaned” young teen trapped on a transport ship with no human contact; feline reports about trying to make contact with humans; and a tale spanning decades and generations. Yup… I have my hands full. Plus school and everything else.

******

In Between¬†(YA SF): Trapped on a transport ship, Leyna is now a young teen, having grown from infancy unwanted back on Earth due to reasons she doesn’t understand, and is unsure of why the destination colony hasn’t accepted their ship. While the older passengers have been in stasis, she was saved from death and sent to the colony. During her time in a specialized stasis chamber that allowed her to grow and thus learn by subconscious transmission, she has come to understand that she is “different” and the colony is little more than a fancy prison.

As she reaches the age of 13, she is able to leave the chamber and learn more about the ship and her fellow passengers. What she learns and what she realizes about herself forces her to make decisions that could cost her her life, and those of her fellow passengers.

*************************************

Intel Reports¬†(Comic SF. in progress name): We all know it. Cats are smart. Little do humans know, but they’re really an alien race that has sent several intel operatives to figure out if humans are ready to handle becoming part of the Universal Consortium.

One problem: They can’t seem to communicate with the Felines. A few manage to get close, but their sentences are gibberish. This Tail of Time is made of reports from operatives throughout time. From the Egyptians to modern humans in the 21st Century. Reports from the Front Lines of First Contact.

***************************************

Mausi (Historical Fiction): Mausi is the nickname for 10 year old Anelie Scheer, but only her grandmother, Annika “Oma” Siegel is allowed to call her that. It’s the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a wall that separated Oma from her beloved husband, Erich, after the end of WWII. The rumors of the wall coming down bring Annika to reminisce about her marriage and the hope of Erich still being alive. She wonders if he remembers her.

**************************************

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, disability, dreams, empath life, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, grief, health, homeless, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, writing

10/21: Living Outside My Own Life

More “frustration contemplation” … bear with me.

I’ve chattered on about the various things I do: writing fiction, etc, costuming, grad school, and a bunch of other things. I’ve also talked -at length- about depression, grief, homelessness, being unemployed, being disabled, etc…

Right now, I feel like I’m not living my life. I’m trying to move forward, busted my ass and made promises to get back to school and finish this term, but I’m flailing again… each week flies by me and I look up to find myself even further behind and royally fucked. My own doing. Job hunting is the same. I feel removed from the life I’m supposed to be living.

My health hasn’t helped this, but neither has being homeless and jobless, and … yeah. I know I need to do X, Y, and Z… but I don’t … I… fuck it. This is difficult to put into words on a ‘page.’

I see ME doing all these things in my head. I KNOW I can do them, but I feel like… like there’s a door between the me I am at this moment and the me who can do all those things. That door is locked and deadbolted and can’t be gotten through. And I don’t know where the keys are. I know they exist, but not what they look like or where they may be. I feel as if I’m standing at the window next to the door, looking in. Seeing this other me accomplishing things. But she can’t hear me banging on the window and door to let me in.

Every time I try to jump back in, break down that door, the brain fog returns. The disconnectedness. The feeling like my life is RIGHT FUCKING THERE!!! and it’s just out of reach. I can hear it, smell it, see it… but I can’t step into it and DO it.

Is my being “in between” [i.e. homeless] part of it? Likely. Is being jobless for over two years part of it? Very likely. Nothing like spinning your wheels in a job hunt and getting nowhere. The rare interview I do get, I don’t get hired. Despite the fact that my VR coach has said I interview very well.

I feel as if I can’t fully be ME where I am. Not my kitchen, not my bed, not my bathroom, not my home.

A lot of it started when I lost my dad in 2014. Before I was evicted. My dad was my anchor in life. If I felt lost, I could call him and he’d say what was needed to get me back to center. It’s been nearly 3 years now. A couple of weeks away. I slowly began to slip after he died. I was able to keep shit together to some degree for a while, but over a year later, my own disintegration became more obvious. The fog settled in. It lifts every so often for a brief moment or two, then returns to envelope me, keeping me from my life.

It’s looking -to me at least, from my own digging around- that Chronic Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue is a distinct possibility. Long term stress makes it worse. Look at my life of the past 12 months… it’s been pretty fucking stressful. But getting out of this mess. How?

CFS/AFS has no cure. Doctors treat the symptoms at best. I’m on Vitamin D (enough to choke a large farm animal), and Celexa, among other meds for things like my asthma and allergies, my tachycardia, and “as needed” pain meds.

Is my current living situation part of the issue? The late start to mornings here… the people I’m staying with are retirees, so they stay up late and get up late. I stay up to about 11 and try to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning (Furry Alarm Clock gives me no choice), but I’m groggy and stumble around. Fall back asleep and wake up a few hours later… late morning. There are other “environmental factors” as well, but I won’t go into those. And no, setting an alarm doesn’t help. Tried that. Keep trying it every so often.

But that brain fog… lack of oomph… standing outside of my life… I don’t know how to fix that.

~A

Posted in anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, poetry, semicolon, storage, urgent, writing

9/8: Stand Still

(#crowdfunding as usual. I wasn’t intending to post a poem, but the words and the image in my mind wouldn’t go away. This is how I feel right now. Unedited. Unsure.)

Brace myself.
The wind may come
Unexpectedly.
Knocking me down.
Frozen.
Stuck.
I cannot turn around.
Things to do but nothing
Propels me
Forward.
One path blocked.
I look down another seemingly
Open path.
So many hurdles
Hidden.
The fog keeps them a secret.
Another path.
Alas, too steep to climb.
Another washed out.
Where do I go?
I stand still.
Unsure of my path.
At a
Standstill.

~A

Posted in bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, history, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, music, Personal, research, storage, urgent, writing

9/6: No Soul-Sucking Allowed, Dammit (but #crowdfunding is)

I started this on Facebook, but opted to bring it over here. And yes, still #crowdfunding to get funds to save storage. 

This is only slightly tongue-in-cheek. Slightly.

My ideal work environment: not dealing with random humans. The occasional co-worker might be okay. I’m currently feeling a smidge Dragonish (i.e. anti-social), so occasional contact is okay.

And no cubicle farms. No/few phones. Email is preferred. I don’t stumble over my words as much. Also my foot doesn’t end up in my mouth as much. 

And not soul-sucking work. I’d like to keep my soul intact for a few more years. At least until I turn 50. Five more years is all I ask.

Let me enter data, do creative-ish things like websites or social media, have a variety of tasks/projects. Research. Gimme things to research. I lurv research. Just not medical, as they want bio degrees. I don’t have one of those. Research and write things. 

Pays well enough for me to move into a market rate studio close-in and cram the rest of my stuff into a smaller storage unit again. Also be able to pay for storage, utilities, Netflix and Hulu again, and eat without needing food stamps. Oh, and put money into savings and pay off a few bills.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Yeah… that shit would take a fucking miracle. I’m screwed.

~Dragon 

(Below is what I need to not lose my storage. Before the 15th)

Posted in anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, friends, grad school, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, Science Fiction and Fantasy, storage, urgent, writing

8/30: Limbo and #Crowdfunding

Feel free to share as many times as you want… and maybe even get gutsy and tag people you think could help. I’m too chicken to do that. (Incentive for donations in bold below)


I wish there was some magic word/phrase to say to help people understand why saving my belongings in storage is so important. There are so many things going on in the world right now. Storms and flooding in Texas and Louisiana, as well as in Central Asia, India and such. Record rainfall. Then hate crimes and mass shootings and so many negative things that it’s exhausting. I know I can’t do anything. I’m trying to get by myself.

I’m coming up on the 6 month mark this weekend for being homeless. If you were to look at me, you wouldn’t know I am, but where I’m staying is not my own and I am merely a long-term guest. A guest who desperately wants to get back into my own place again and have my stuff accessible… the stuff in storage. My piano, sewing machine, bed, tools, shoes, the rest of my clothes, my fabric…. my life.

Yes, there’s a potential backup. If -and that “if” being HUGE- I get the appeal approved and I’m added to classes for this term, which has to happen by Friday, then I may get financial aid in time. I don’t know. I do not want to rely on that. What if the appeal is turned down? What if FA funds don’t show in time? Too many ‘ifs’ there. Granted, I don’t want to rely on donations either.

So, here’s the deal for this last minute plea: Taking a page from David Gerrold’s “book” from his GFM, For anyone who donates at least $40 from here on out, I will send you e-pub copies of my three novels. If you donate less, one e-pub book of your choice. An assemblage of as much of my poetry into a PDF is also included, if you wish. I’d offer print copies, but what few I have are in storage and I need to redo the covers anyway… (If you really, REALLY want print copies, those would be delayed due to shipping, etc)

Please only use PayPal at this point. If I don’t make it and we have to go into early September, then the YC campaign will be okay, but remember, it takes a few days to process to my bank… as in “business days” not weekends and holidays. PP will be immediate for me.


School is in limbo as well. I’ve done my FAFSA now for aid money and should hear on the appeal tomorrow (she told me this morning ‘in the next couple of days’ which I’m taking to mean today and tomorrow. Friday is cutting WAY too close). Many people I’ve talked to about the appeal say that with all the shit that’s happened this year, it should be a ‘no-brainer’ but we are talking a state college in a right-wing state (remote program) and all the red-tape that goes with it. A school that refused to accept a letter from a Physician’s Assistant… and accepted the same damn letter when an MD attached his name to it. Yeah… pretty fucking back-asswards.


Well, I’m a bit tired… and my back is cursing at me despite having had medication to make it shut up… and I have a dentist appt in the morning. Then a phone interview with a temp agency that’s placing a temp-to-hire job I applied for. The Novocaine should be worn off by the time of the phone call.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, cats, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, semicolon, storage, urgent, writing

8/22: Wishes and Goals and #crowdfunding

(Crowdfunding plea… time is running out… and now onto your irregularly scheduled post)

If you had asked me a year ago where I would be right now, I’d tell you I’d be on my way to Germany, or already there settling in for a stint working on a second graduate degree. Not homeless, staying at a friend’s place, short one cat, trying to save my belongings in storage.

I wouldn’t believe you if you told me that’s where I’d be right now. But here I am. My degree is on hold, waiting for my appeal to eliminate the tuition and fees owed from Spring term when I dropped out due to the eviction and other stressors. The eviction, losing JoJo, the constant frustration of job hunting and trying to find funds for storage and basic supplies like cat food and litter (I’ve now created a separate Amazon wishlist for Portia’s supplies)… it’s all taken a massive toll on me.

I do sometimes feel like I’m screaming into a void… asking for help… applying for jobs… trying to do pretty much anything. It does feel like there’s no one out there listening. I wish I could get confirmation that people are hearing me… seeing me… and trying their best to help. Very few people on FB are sharing the campaign… which is frustrating at best.

Now my goal is for Fall of 2018 for Germany. But there are so many other little things… well, little compared to moving to Germany, that is.

  • Being able to go to #GeekGirlCon in Seattle again (and having enough funds to buy stuff and have fun)
  • Having a decent job where I can then have money in savings as well as being able to pay debts and move into a new place of my very own. I appreciate my friends for putting me up… but I really do need my own space…
  • Take a few road trips that I’ve been putting off due to a lack of funds and car.
    • John Day Fossil Beds and the Painted Hills…
    • Crater Lake
    • CA Redwoods (not just passing through)

Those are a few things. I’ve also been itching to go to Alpenfest out in NE Oregon… also have enough money together to get my passport and apply for my second citizenship for Switzerland… yes, I’m eligible due to a straight paternal line dating back to the early 1600’s (as well as one lady was able to track)

I also wanted to get my next book out, get the anthology going, write more, art more, etc…

But eviction stopped me in my tracks.

It stopped me from functioning. From living. From finishing school. It dragged me deeper into the abyss of depression. My anxiety is worse. My C-PTSD is a royal bitch… to where I cringe even touching someone on the train.

I’m doing better for now… but that abyss still has a pretty good hold on me. I’m taking Celexa… but even that only gets me so far. I need to make improvements. Will they solve everything? No. But they will help.

The frustration of needing more cat food and litter and Bast Only Knows, a covered litter box for Portia (she’s trying to dig into the earth’s core, I swear… and litter goes everywhere). If it were possible to keep things more local for her supplies by someone buying a Mud Bay gift card or something… they just opened another one this past weekend and it’s a couple of MAX stops away. I know a lot of folks hate Amazon. Her food is cheaper at MB than on Amazon. I’m not kidding.

I’m sitting here in a quiet house, petsitting the house feline (she really does like me… even lets me pet her head, which she rarely lets anyone do… she was abused early on before they adopted her), as well as having Portia around… just wish they’d get along.

Here’s her Amazon wishlist... in case anyone feels up to helping… although storage also still needs help. I can’t risk losing everything I own.

I’m just… well, if you’ve ever been anywhere near the kind of situation I’m in this year, you might understand how I feel. Everything is up in the air. The loss of any control of my life is maddening.

Some friends call me brave… I’m just mucking through life… barely holding on. I may smile or even laugh at things… but inside, I’m screaming.

~A

Posted in activism, bigotry, community, crowdfunding, empath life, faith, life, peace, poetry, politics, sexuality, storage, writing

8/14: Tears

Words fly.
Flames threaten from
One side of the barricade.
The other keeping the flames of
Hate
At bay.
God sheds a tear
Still so much hate
Division.
Violence.
Fear.
Anger.
Messengers of peace
Ignored or
Killed, even.
No one is
Superior or Inferior.
Skin.
Gender.
Sexuality.
Disability.
Equals
But not treated
As equals.
Another tear shed.
The rain is proof of that.

~A

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 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, peace, poetry, politics, writing

6/10: The Prize

The envelope torn.
The card blank.
No winner.
No loser.
No one left
To claim a prize
No one bothered
To save.

The circle continues.
Fire
Fueling
Fire.
No one
Stops.
The prize.
Chemical hate.
No one gets the prize.

The envelope burns.
The card long turned
To ash.
No losers left
To be the
Runner up.
Skies changed.
No going back.

APA 2017