alexandraerin: (Default)
When I first started writing the character of Puddy in Tales of MU, I had more plans... and more specific ones... involving her than any other character. I knew her whole backstory before I knew anybody else's. I knew where she'd come from and where I wanted to go with her.

But then she moved out of the spotlight and stayed at the periphery of the story. Why? Because she's really a much worse person than I had realized, and I couldn't justify to myself keeping the spotlight on her, especially since this would mean keeping my first person narrator near her. Puddy's progress as a character would come at the expense of Mackenzie's.

That hadn't seemed like a problem to me when I started because... well, it didn't seem so bad to me for Mackenzie to suffer for Puddy's advancement. The angle of them being friends through thick and thin, no matter what Puddy did because friendship counted for so much (even when it basically consisted of them being thrown together in the same place and one of them declaring friendship) seemed reasonable to me. If you've never had a friend like that in your life it might be hard for you to understand that... but if you have, you can probably understand where I was coming from.

But one of the amazing things that came out of my writing of Tales of MU is my friendship with one of the very first MU readers, [livejournal.com profile] popelizbet. Through my association with her I've met many other wonderful folks as well, and because of this I found the way I thought about friendship... and the Puddy/Mackenzie dynamic... has changed in some pretty profound ways. It no longer seemed reasonable to me that so much of Mackenzie's story should be about how she helps Puddy become a better person, while enduring the things that Puddy does. I couldn't even define their relationship as friendship.

Bigger changes in my life happened because of this adjustment in my thinking than a plotline shifting in a story I write, but the impact on the story is important.

I don't yet know if the plotlines I'd envisioned for Puddy are going to be completely abandoned. There's going to be a bit of a "fast forward" involved in the Volume 2 launch, and while that's not happening because of the Puddy situation, I feel it'll give me a chance to examine my plans for Puddy and decide if any of them are worth keeping. She needs a chance to grow on her own a little before she's worth Mackenzie's (and thus, the reader's) time.

Q&A

Mar. 27th, 2010 08:05 am
alexandraerin: (Question)
Today's my dentist appointment, when (hopefully) the offending tooth will be dealt with decisively. I'm more than a little apprehensive about this, as I've never had an adult tooth extracted before. So yesterday, full of nervous energy and not much of any other kind (I had to keep lying down for intervals of anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes... couldn't sleep, but felt rather wobbly) I ended up hanging out on Formspring for several hours to keep my mind occupied as the hours ticked by.

It proved to be a fun experience, sufficiently distracting and not too draining. The questions covered everything from MU to D&D to my relationship with Jack... though there was a lot of odd feinting and dancing about before anybody asked anything solid about that. I had the feeling that a lot of the questioners follow my Twitter but don't read my Livejournal. They seemed to think my references to a boyfriend were me being coy and tried to guess at his identity, with results that were kind of hilarious to me personally.

Jack seems to feel I was being evasive, but I was doing my best to answer the questions I was asked. People were just being weirdly shy in a way. Like someone asked if he had a formspring account of his own, and after we put his account up for people to ask him questions, there was kind of a lull before anybody did. It felt like I got asked permission to ask personal questions a couple of different ways and nobody quite wanted to believe it.

Anyway, it was a good, positive experience and I think I'm going to make it a weekly thing, albeit probably restricted to a few hours instead of half the day. It seems like a good way of fulfilling my goal of connecting more with people and interacting more with my audience, without having to set up a public IM account or something.

This doesn't mean that people can't ask questions at other times, of course. But there was a fun public interaction feeling in having people asking them at the same time, with some answers clearly inspiring other questions.

Note: The Formspring website is a little bit glitchy right now. In particular, the "more" button doesn't seem to be working on individual pages. If you follow someone they'll show up in your home page feed, where the "more" button works just fine... but the following also seems to be working inconsistently. So you may or may not be able to see the fruits of last night's discussion any time soon.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I'd planned on doing this last of my tasks for the day, but as I'm riding out waves of headache pain (I think it's just tension/stress, but having identified that isn't make it go away) I'm finding it easier to knock out the smaller jobs. Anyway, a few times over the years people have expressed interest in getting to know me better, aside from what comes through from my writing. I'm not the easiest person to form a connection with... as I've said before, I've been a big fan of keeping my life compartmentalized... but I'm finding that the life of a hermit doesn't actually appeal to me as much as I thought it would.

So, here's a brief list of windows into my world. A lot of people know about this journal, especially now that its RSS feed is displayed on the side of the MU site, but whereas I consider this to be my personal space, there are other places I go to be halfway sociable. Note that I'm not actually terribly active in any of these places right now... high activity levels online tend to coincide with high productivity, because the same things can effect me in both areas.

My Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AlexandraErin.

I think most people who read my work know about this, since I've had my Twitter feeding into the sidebar of Tales of MU for as long as I've had it. I mainly use it to broadcast updates, but it does get used for side conversations and occasional feedback solicitations... I've tried keeping a separate Twitter for personal stuff and it was just horribly redundant. If you just want to know when stuff gets updated, watch [livejournal.com profile] ae_stories. There is an RSS feed for that, too.

My Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexandraerin.

I don't have anything private on my Facebook, so I tend to accept friend requests whether they're from actual friends, casual contacts, or readers. A lot of the time my Facebook status attracts a lot more personal declarations than my Twitter does, if only because I don't want to knock story updates off the top spot on my Twitter page too quickly. My Livejournal feeds there and my Twitter will again (I don't think it's doing it at the moment but I mean to fix that), so it's a good one-stop shop for people who want to keep up on my non-fiction activities.

My blip.fm station: http://blip.fm/AlexandraErin

My emotional buttons are large, clearly labeled, and about as well-protected from anybody stumbling right into them as the self-destruct switch in an archvillain's incredibly obvious secret lair, so music has a pretty profound ability to affect my mood. Accordingly, a lot of what I play is intended to give myself a shot in the arm one way or another. Some of it's just fun or pretty, though.

My Fetlife Profile: http://fetlife.com/users/276813.

I almost didn't include this one because it's not as much an "of general interest" site as the others, but I decided that the chance to do a bit of a service for everybody out there who's at least a little bit kinked and doesn't know about FetLife (or as Jack calls it, "the scary site") is not something I could pass up. I haven't been very active there at all yet, but I'm looking forward to exploring it more. As with Facebook, I'm open to friendings.

If you're not only not the kinky sort but are easily shocked, offended, or made uncomfortable then I really strongly suggest not registering just to take a peek around. You'll have no one to blame but yourself... it's not like anyone's hiding what the site's about.

My favorite blog: Shapely Prose and its discussion site.

Well, it's actually tied favorite with Fred Clarke's blog (slacktivist), but the "fifty comments per page/hundreds to thousands of comments per entry" style his site has is not very conducive to drop-in/drive-by commentary... so while I read his blog, I don't comment very often and thus it's not really a place to find me on the web.

But, anyway... Shapely Prose. I'm going to put an even stronger "don't go looking if..." warning on this than I did for FetLife. If you find yourself rolling your eyes or arguing when I blog about feminism (or just about any other -ism) or fat acceptance, your words of wisdom will probably not be any better received over there than they would be here. It was, in fact, Kate Harding's comment policy and her frequent assertions of modly dominion that inspired me to stop letting people use my comment space to champion that perennial underdog, the status quo.

On the other hand, I think a lot of people would benefit from perusing the archives there. Just read the comment policy and the FAQ before reacting to anything.

My favorite Livejournal community: http://statements.livejournal.com.

I was first lured into [livejournal.com profile] statements back when Tales of MU was brand new, because one of the more interesting commentators, [livejournal.com profile] popelizbet, hung out there. The appeal of the community... which is based around making posts consisting of one single declarative sentence at a time... might be elusive to some, but I like it because it scratches the same itch as a chatroom would, only it doesn't require constant attention and I can go back and look at things later, which is useful for figuring out who the hell other people are. Some of my favorite people on the internet are there... notably, it's the place where I saw Jack the most before we got together.

The rules are few and simple, but important. If you want to join the community, make sure you read the profile.

My formspring account: http://www.formspring.me/AlexandraErin.

I knew I'd forget something. For those who don't know, formspring.me is a Q&A site where you can ask people questions and see what answers they've given to other questions. No account creation/personal details are necessary. Feel free to ask personal questions, story-related questions, random questions... if I don't want to answer something, I just won't.

...

That's what I can think of off the top of my head. As I've said, feel free to friend/follow/whatever. Just bear in mind that I'm not that great at remembering people. I predict that I'll get at least one person going "OMG HOW DARE YOU DO ALL THIS STUFF ONLINE WHEN YOU COULD BE WRITING", but I'll let everybody in on a little secret: when you have--for instance--a Facebook profile, you don't actually have to hand-render the page yourself every time somebody loads it. They can do that with computers now.
alexandraerin: (Romance)
Valentimestines is an interesting time when you're in a long-distance relationship... the distance between you seems so much further, but at the same time there's an opportunity to draw closer together.

A while back, Jack sent me a package which due to snopocalypse only got to me on Friday. I chose to open it at just after midnight his time, Sunday morning, even though it wasn't yet Valentine's Day in Omaha... I did this for symbolic reasons, because I wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day with him, where he was, where I know that I belong.

I opened the package (a long bubble envelope with several smaller items in it) while on Skype with him. I wanted him to hear me open it and get my response in real time. Of course, I actually started opening it while waiting for him to log on, because it takes me a really long time to open a well-sealed package. Fortunately, Jack likes the sound of me struggling.

Inside were some relatively simple things. There was some candy: conversation hearts in English and Spanish, and a heart-shaped box of chocolate truffles that were both peanut free and delicious. And there were a couple of small antiquey looking heart lockets from a craft store.

The lockets were a huge surprise. He'd told me about the lockets when he got them, but that was a while ago and so I was surprised to find them in the bottom of the envelope. I remembered after I saw them, and after he said something that jarred my memory. I'm really easy to surprise, it turns out.

He'd actually picked them out with a specific purpose... he wanted to give me something I could put on my collar. It's his collar, actually. I just wear it. Since he didn't have the collar with him when he got the lockets, though, he couldn't work out how to attach them, but he trusted that I'd be able to. There were two of them of differing sizes... I picked the smaller one because the larger one was big enough that it would kind of steal focus, make it look more like I'm wearing a heart choker thingy than a collar that has a heart on it.

With the smaller one hanging from the front of the collar, it looks very... pet-like.

<BLUSH STYLE="MACKENZIE">Which I like. A lot.</BLUSH>

Simple things, but very full of meaning. For reasons beyond our control we didn't get to spend as much time online with each other on The Day In Question as we might otherwise have liked to, but we both count the day a success... and it can really only get better from here.




The Conversation We're Not Having Here: How much it sucks, how much it's a fake holiday, how much Hallmark invented it. See Cat's eloquent rebuttal to all this.
alexandraerin: (JAEck)
[livejournal.com profile] alexandraerin (fuming): I don't know why people feel the devil needs an advocate. :P
[livejournal.com profile] moofable (calm): I don't know why pretty girls who know they're right feel like a few flies ruin a summer day. *shrugs*
alexandraerin: (Oh No You Dent)
Last Thursday I went to the movie theater to watch a satellite simulcast of a production of A Prairie Home Companion. I highly recommend this experience to anyone... not specifically PHC, of course. I happen to be a fan of long, rambling shaggy dog stories, terrible obvious jokes, gospel music, and folksy pretension, you know, so it works for me.

What I mean is that if you have a theater near you that has a satellite uplink and shows live cultural events, you might take advantage of it.

I think people should take more advantage of the opportunity to experience art in their own communities anyway... if you live near an appreciable metropolitan area, chances are that you could go see live classical music, jazz, theater, opera... chances are you could get some of those even if you're more rural. Admission can often be had cheaper than you'd expect. Did you know that (if you happen to be in New York) you can get tickets at The Met for around $20? You can. That's still more than going to the movies, but new opera productions don't come along as often as new movies do.

If you've never been to the symphony or an opera house, though, there can be other barriers than time and opportunity... uncertainty, the feeling of straying into unfamiliar territory. In most cases, though, you don't actually have to own a monocle and a tuxedo with tails to go to the opera house or the symphony... the staffers and volunteers at most such events are far more concerned with how they present art and music to the public than how the public presents themselves to art.

But it can be daunting to go somewhere new, especially if there are all kinds of class-based assumptions married to the activity in our collective consciousness... and maybe the opportunities in your area aren't that great. Or maybe they're awesome but you don't happen to be in New York and you still would like to see a performance from the world-famous Metropolitan Opera.

I keep talking about opera not because I'm personally a huge fan of it myself but because the Met has really taken the lead in this area. At any given moment, there may be any other kind of cultural event being advertised but the Met's been doing whole seasons for four years in a row now.

I do plan on going to see a Met simulcast for the first time next month, when they're doing a production of Ambroise Thomas's adaptation of Hamlet. Yes, it's in French. No, I don't speak French. Well, I can read it a little... better than I can write it, and I can write it better than I speak it, but one thing I absolutely cannot do is understand it spoken at a conversational clip, much less sung in operatic form.

But... that's why the good Lord invented subtitles.

I'm sure there are some people (probably none of them reading my Livejournal, but I've certainly been surprised before) who would gasp and clutch their pearls at the very idea... opera in a movie theater! And with subtitles!

There are probably fewer people who actually care, though, then there are people who would take the opportunity to complain about the dilution or degradation of culture they imagine this represents. To quote no less a luminary than the sublime genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, like, what the fuck EVER.

The idea that entertainment staged on a... well, stage... was some kind of great and dignified thing didn't really come about until we had newer and even more accessible performance media to compare it to. Very little in the world of Classic Drama, from the amphitheaters of the Greeks on through the age of Shakespeare and the golden age of opera and beyond, had any thing to do with dignity. More often it was about people getting poisoned and cursed and having their eyes gouged out and being flung from walls and turned into jackasses and being betrayed by lovers and friends and murdered by their closest relations. One of my favorite modern literary characters (five points to anyone who knows this) is wont to compare opera to professional wrestling.

So, anyway. Hamlet is being simulcast on Saturday, March 27th at noon (1 eastern). I'll be going with Jack, of course... though he'll be in Maryland and I'll be here in Omaha. It won't be quite the same as sitting side by side in the same theater, but it's a nice way to bridge the distance.

But why stop there? Let's make this a group outing. If anybody in Omaha wants to come and watch with me (probably at Village Pointe), tickets are ~$24, I think... and if anybody not in Omaha wants to join in the experience, just plug your Zip code in here for the 3/27 performance and find the nearest theater. Afterwards I'll make a post so we can have a little discussion about the experience. If you've never been to the opera, if you've never seen it broadcast on a movie screen, if you go all the time... I'll be interested to hear what everybody thinks of it.

The world's getting smaller all the time, we might as well visit with each other a little, you know?
alexandraerin: (Default)
If you're an author who's having trouble coming to terms with the fact that when you put your work out there in front of the world it's going to be taken in all sorts of ways and people are going to find all kinds of meanings from it that you didn't intend and, in some cases, they will completely miss the actual point behind it, here is something you can do to help you make peace with that.

Find somebody you care about, and whom also you respect... somebody whose judgment and insight you trust, whose opinions you're not likely to simply dismiss or ignore.

Tell this person stories about your life... not just facts about yourself but stories about your life. The things that matter to you, the things that shaped you, the things that haunt you and have stuck with you for years... the stories about yourself that mean something, that have a point that is so readily apparent that you'd be amazed if anybody fails to grasp exactly what it is.

If you do this with enough of these stories, chances are excellent that you will be amazed... amazed at how badly your audience of one has missed the point. Then you will either gain some valuable perspective about... well, perspective... or else you will lose your good opinion of someone you regarded as generally perceptive and intelligent.
alexandraerin: (Me And Jack)
I'm still tired, and more than that I'm sore... it's the kind of all-over joint pain that usually means I'm sick. My giant monster kitty is not making it any better by trying to aggressively snuggle with me. But I can't sleep any more and so I'm blogging. I don't think I'm going to be able to call to mind all the things I have to blog about, but I'll get what I can. If I did this more often my sketchy memory wouldn't be as much of a problem.

This is going to be personal. I'll have a "business" blog post Monday... I know I won't get to it before then because I plan on spending much of the time between now and then unconscious.

Almost exactly two weeks ago as I'm writing this, I was in a plane leaving Baltimore. The trip was interesting. Educational. Exhausting. I experienced what I can only call personal growth and maturation in the process of getting myself from Point A to Point B without assistance. There were moments when I truly felt like an adult and not a kid in an oversized trenchcoat and hat with a pasted-on moustache trying to sneak into an R rated movie for the first time in over a decade of being legally an adult. I had some personal and spiritual revelations about the nature of craftsmanship and calling which I will later try to put into words preparatory to putting into practice in my life.

Among the other revelations, I discovered that while nutella doesn't precisely fill the peanut butter-shaped hole in my heart, it's pretty darn good and it makes a satisfying sandwich with strawberry jam. I learned that there is a pan-Asian restaurant in Hagerstown called the Orchid Garden that has, as a chef's special, chicken breast stuffed with ham and crab and a drink called a Cool Buddha that involves chai liquer in a martini glass and tastes awesome. Their desserts are incredible, too.

I also ate at a Waffle House. After realizing that the Hagerstown, MD Waffle House is one of the ones pictured on the kipedia article for such, I couldn't very well not have gone.

I got new glasses, replacing the ones that were badly cracked/scratched this past summer.

Ugh. I'll try to continue this later. I can't type any more, my arms feel like they're falling apart at the seams.
alexandraerin: (Default)
48 hours from now, I'm going to be back at the airport in Baltimore. About ten hours after that, I'm going to be back in Omaha. It's going to be weird... I've been here long enough that everything about this place feels normal, almost permanent.

Things have gone so well that I hate to think about leaving, but I really do need to start packing today. Knowing I'll be back out here this summer helps. Knowing that I probably won't be back before then doesn't.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I've had so much happening and so much on my mind that when I look back at my Livejournal, I can't believe how little I've posted here. Part of that is due to the circumstances of my trip. On my way to Maryland, I missed a connecting flight due to weather delays and ended up spending a night in a different state than the chargers for my laptop and phone. This caused me to shepherd their not-unimpressive batteries a bit more than I would have otherwise.

I made it into Maryland about twelve hours later than I thought I would. This meant I was getting in at noon instead of midnight, which wasn't a bad thing in and of itself. I met Jack, and that's gone unbelievably well. We've gotten to know each other as well as two people can over phone, voice chat, IM, and email... as a result, there really haven't been a lot of surprises in terms of personality and social interaction.

(Physical interaction is a different story, of course, but one that has a happy ending.)

I was considerably more nervous about meeting Jack's girlfriend than I was about meeting him... my interaction with her before this trip amounted to a handful of comment exchanges and maybe thirty seconds of awkward conversation when Jack sprung a microphone on her. I find her slightly intimidating. Not because of anything she does, but because of her position in Jack's life and because I'm easily intimidated by people who are taller than me, or who seem to really have it together, or are people. She hasn't been anything but sweet to me, though, and she has excellent taste in DVD boxed sets (MST3K, Upright Citizens Brigade, etc.)

Of course, for as little as I've updated my Livejournal, I've also been posting fewer stories than I thought I would while I'm here. The cold is a harsh mistress, as I mentioned before. It also doesn't help that Jack's around a lot more than we expected... he works during the day but there isn't a lot of work for him at the moment. I write best alone, when I feel comfortable pacing around and talking to myself and throwing and catching small objects idly... other authors might not need to do these things, but I find them very helpful and yet terribly embarrassing. We might eventually get to the point where I feel comfortable being so very writerly while he's in the next room, but we're not there yet.

I know some people will say that I shouldn't be worried about updating at all right now, but I wouldn't have planned for a three week trip if I'd known he'd be home most of the time... not that I object to that much Jack in my life, exactly, but the idea behind the prolonged stay was that I'd be splitting time between him and work. Oh, well... trying to predict the future has never gotten me anywhere before. Anyway, that's all for now.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Whoo... I'd love to say that the radio silence for most of the last week has been because I've been having such an absolute blast that I forgot the internet existed, but... while I have been having a great time and things have been going wonderfully with Jack, it's mostly been a matter of exhaustion from coping with cold. Cold, it transpires, is a masterful thief of spoons from the easily fatigued.

I didn't count on this because Maryland is between ten and twenty degrees warmer than Nebraska, but it's much easier to regulate temperature inside a modern apartment surrounded by other apartments than it is in a big old drafty house, no matter how awesome the oldness may otherwise make it.

Anyways, I'm adjusting... it seems a little warmer in here today, and in a bit I'm going to go out looking for some fingerless gloves, which I've wanted for a while anyway.

Sunday will be the meet-up at Port City Java, for all interested. I'm going to be getting there around 2:00. I will be wearing a black hat with a black rose on it and carrying a leopard print handbag, so I expect to be easy to spot. The place is open to 4:30 on Sundays, and my plan is to just hang out there until then. I've decided against the back room because I have no idea how many people are going to arrive when and I'd like to keep everything visible and accessible.
alexandraerin: (Default)
My Sister: Don't worry, you still have plenty of time to ruin Christmas.
My Brother: I still have time? The spirits... they did it all in one night!
My Mother: It's this blizzard that's really ruining Christmas for a lot of people.
Me: Personally, I'd be more inclined to suspect the sinister hand of those vile secular humanists.
My Mother: That would be us, actually.
Me: Oh, well... well done, everyone. Great job!
alexandraerin: (Romance)
I had this plan that around midnight last night I'd make another Livejournal post about how it was almost exactly two weeks before I'd be touching down in Maryland, but then around eleven I realized that due to the time difference that was closer than midnight, and then I got so excited thinking about it that I forgot to actually make the post.

To paraphrase one of the great thinkers of our age, I was literally giddy with glee. I'm very excited about this trip. For anybody who missed it, I will be in the vicinity of Hagerstown, Maryland for a couple weeks in early January... long enough that we should be able to put together some sort of get-together if any readers in the area want to come out and chat a bit.

Cut so I can go through life believing my parents haven't read what's beneath this cut. )


So I'm optimistic. I've said before that an internet relationship has the same pitfalls as any other kind, they're just much harder to spot. But we've kept our eyes open. One can look at this as someone who's going across the country to meet someone after three months of e-dating, or one can look at it as a first date with extensive prep work.

Just to add something to my previous note on D&D: the holiday bundle includes a discount on subscription to the online content. I highly recommend this. While the game is plenty fun right out of the notional box, it has improved by leaps and bounds with successive releases that give you more options for your characters, and having a subscription to D&D Insider gives you access to a nifty Character Generator program that is updated monthly with every option published on the website or in the books. It's a great deal.

I try not to talk about D&D too much on here because I have a separate blog for game-geekery, but I figure people who aren't into the game (or into the new version) right now aren't going to be following that and that's who this deal might appeal to.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Hey, if you're looking for a good cause to give to this holiday season, there are a couple of them linked to in this article about the problems facing women returning home from combat duty overseas. Highlighting this is not meant to diminish the reality that all our armed forces personnel and veterans need support, but so much of the existing infrastructure and good will is directed towards "our boys in uniform". Our boys are not alone, and in the midst of insurgency and guerrilla warfare, there is no "front line" to keep women away from.

I'm tempted to say something about the ETA of me having a working desktop computer again, but I don't want to jinx anything. I've run out of how many times bitten and how many times shy I am at this point. If I don't have a working computer on hand at the end of the week, I'll come up with alternative arrangements for some of the things I've been putting off.

Random note: now is a great time to get into 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons... they're offering a limited release holiday bundle of the first two players' handbooks at $34.95. One of the more common laments from people who thought the new edition looked cool was that several classes that were core under 3rd Edition weren't present at launch. With PHB 1 and 2, you get all the 3E core classes except Monk, plus several nifty original ones.

The next PHB that comes out (I think in March?) is going to be a major game-changer. The test version of the rules it includes for making hybrid character classes are already accessible online and through the character creator. I love the game as it is, but I think this upcoming release is going to really cement its place and bring its full potential into fruition. Buying the bundle now could save you money in the long run if you think you might get into the game eventually... you can avoid having to buy every splatbook that comes out and still get all the various foo for your characters through the character generator, but having the core PHBs actually on hand adds a lot to the experience of learning the game and making characters, in my opinion.

The Q&A is more work than I expected... I didn't expect as many responses, and I didn't realize how many I had when I started compiling them. Don't be fooled by the fact that the first two updates both spanned about three letters... the characters' names and the number of questions per character are far from evenly distributed across the alphabet. The whole thing is actually a little under half done. In case people are curious about why I included the "Dear Amaranth, why do you suck so much?" questions, it's because I felt the character deserved a chance to answer them in her own words. I also had a feeling that posting them would bring her supporters... who often get drowned out in the comments... out of the woodwork.

My day started off very nicely today, despite a lack of sleep the night before: I got a confirmation/reminder email from Priceline.com about my flight to Maryland, which leaves two weeks from today.
alexandraerin: (Default)
First, more music via [livejournal.com profile] popelizbet... click here for a kick-awesome rendition of Silent Night. And by an astounding coincidence, you can buy the CD it's from on the same page. It's Ginger and Bekah, the two ladies who aren't [livejournal.com profile] s00j from the Eleanor Rigby video I linked to last time.

Second, FedEx tells me that my replacement-replacement computer is on the move. It touched down in the land of the delta blues in the middle of the pouring rain yesterday and it's scheduled for delivery tomorrow. Whee!

Some of my sites are down right now. I'm looking into that. Oh, looks like they're back up. Just needed a server reboot.

I'm going to be spending the first half of the month of January anywhere but Nebraska in the vicinity of Hagerstown, Maryland. It's a personal visit, but I'll be there for a couple weeks so there will probably be time to do a little meet-and-greet if any readers in the area want to get together. Lest anybody worry that there'll be a half-month wasteland of no updates, you can thank the person I'm visiting for whipping me into shape these last few days. One of the reasons that I'm spending so much time there is because it's January and I live in Nebraska that he'll be working normally while I'm there, and so will I.

And finally, as a little treat, this page is streaming my own thematic interpretation of Silent Night. Make sure your speakers are on and your volume is turned up.
alexandraerin: (Default)
First, MU reader/supporter [livejournal.com profile] lunakitten has requested a signal boost for a friend who's in a bad place due to a life-changing accident and life-threatening insurance dickery. The story's here. There is a Paypal button, but I think at this point his best hope of a resolution may be attention. They're trying to get some support from the media. Passing the YouTube videos around will probably help.

Unless you're really absolutely truly obscenely wealthy, you could be Kevin. No matter how good a job you may have or how much money you have saved up, you could contract an illness or suffer an injury that costs you your job and depletes your money. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to help make sure that society takes care of those who find themselves in that sort of situation. Be selfish this holiday season. When you hear a story like Kevin's... pass it along, loud and often.

Second, a great big and heartfelt thank you. Thanksgiving was last week, of course, but this week I'm feeling particularly grateful. It was last December that I came close to quitting because I didn't think I had another choice. I told my readership how bad shape I was in and they came through with an internet miracle. The year since then has had its ups---including a magical trip to New Orleans, my first very small con appearance, some incredible new friends, and a wonderful guy---and its down, mostly health-related. Through the ups and downs, I've learned a lot about myself in the past year. I've figured out a lot about what it means to dwell inside my head, to live in my own skin. I'm more comfortable with myself now than I've ever been.

Third, an apology. "Learning about myself" is good in the long run, but it's not the same thing as "writing a whole lot", which is what you people pay me for. I've figured out a lot of ways of managing my life, but I haven't always managed to apply them. After watching me drift early this week and seeing the disappointment in comments, Jack had a conversation with me about my lack of focus and he's going to be helping me stay on the ball even when I'm tired and distracted.

My replacement computer is showing an ETA of tomorrow, but FedEx tracking also currently shows the "has received information from the shipper" message that they show before they've actually picked it up, so who knows what's going to happen with it. Those of you who've asked about 3 Seas, it should be back up this weekend if I get the computer.
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My insomnia's always something that's waxed and waned, ebbed and... un-ebbed. The past two nights, inclusive of tonight, it seems to be stronger than my melatonin-enforced biorhythm. Suck. But oh well. I've got too many good things going on in my life and too many good things percolating in my brain to let this get me down. I've been through the cycle before. I'll go a few nights without any appreciable sleep and I'll be dead tired. When the worst part of it's over, I'll be able to get back on a 7-8 hour sleep schedule.

It's a bit of an irritating speed bump as I'm working on reclaiming my former title of "prolific author", but it's also a useful reality check. Melatonin supplements help me set and enforce a sleep schedule, but they don't alter the underlying causes of my insomnia. I'm still going to have problems from it from time to time.

I'm going to make a rare note about my personal life. Those of you who stalk me the most relentlessly are closest to me might have already noticed that I have somebody new in my life. Jack is a very sweet, very kind, somewhat shy Catholic boy. He's also approximately kinky as hell. We seem to be fairly compatible.

He's polyamorous, which is convenient. I don't cope well with the structure and expectations of a monogamous relationship. Forget "a room of her own", I have several universes of my own and I need the time to disappear into them.

He also lives halfway across the country, which is inconvenient... but I expect to travel quite a bit in the coming year anyway. Having a designated crash pad on the east coast could save me money in the long run.

Because I know it'll come up: no, me getting a life isn't the cause of my slowdown in productivity. In the first place, I don't have a life, I have an internet boyfriend. These things are like elemental opposites. In the second place, we haven't been e-together dot com all that long. This development hasn't hurt my buoyant good mood and growing optimism, though. I've missed having a man in my life for a number of years, and I've never had one of Jack's caliber.

Granted, it's possible that we'll meet up and discover that we have no chemistry with each other, that we've completely misjudged and misunderstood one another, that we really aren't as compatible as we seem to be. I doubt it. I'm keeping myself open to the possibility, but I doubt it will happen. I'll post more about him when I'm less sleep-deprived.

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alexandraerin

August 2017

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