Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

ordinary

“Well the course, the chain of events, that would be the evidence, some say it’s coincidence
I say I found something greater than myself and started accepting it
And I can see, feel, taste and smell again
And I’m the only one with the hammer to break this shell I’m in
It’s gonna take me crackin’ this mirror to finally be myself again
Met my potential a long time ago, and I’m not stopping til I resemble him”

2016 was a weird year of ups and downs for me. A year of challenging myself to get back to being my best self, mentally and physically. A year of letting go of things I shouldn’t hold onto anymore, or embracing things that are better for me in the long run. I’ve had periods of productivity and somewhat success, and periods of doubt that stifles creativity to the point of madness.

And here I stand, ready to take on my dreams again. I keep saying it. I keep telling myself that I’ll get back to the important things, like writing. But now, I have no choice. It’s now or never, Angel. Kick that ass back into gear.

“I don’t know why,
But it’s like I can’t stay quiet.
This is my voice,
I can’t let it die inside me.”

I’m stepping into 2017 with big dreams. I’m exhausted, after barely surviving the constant ups and downs of 2016, but the desire to move forward is there.

Let’s make this our year, shall we?

-Angel

“Are you searching for purpose?
Then write something, yeah it might be worthless
Then paint something then, it might be wordless
Pointless curses, nonsense verses
You’ll see purpose start to surface
No one else is dealing with your demons
Meaning maybe defeating them
Could be the beginning of your meaning, friend.”

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to figure myself out. I know what I want. I know that if I can work myself hard enough, I can have it.

But it’s been a little easier said than done when your body decides to be twice as tired as it typically is, and hurting in nice fun new ways that make doing pretty much anything impossible. Plus, I got hooked on Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix, and had to get the first season binge watched in less than a week.

 Next week I’m supposed to see my Rheumatologist and it’s stressing me out quite a bit more than I’d like. I’ve had so much happen, so much disease manifestation and progression, that I don’t want to go hear whatever she will say about it all.

Plus there have been loads of other stressful things going on, and all around I sort of feel like I’m unraveling.

comeonkid

But, I’m still going forward with the things I want. I’m still trying to learn new things so I can make new things. I’m trying to get my body to a point it isn’t having a meltdown. I’m trying to keep up with Wandering NerdGirl and make it into everything I wanted it to be.

Mainly, I’ve been needing to write, which comes easier to me on some days than others. I was a writing machine, cranking out posts and chapters and everything for a little while. Then BOOM – I slow waaaay down. I’m trying to get myself back into the swing of things, but it’s been a struggle. I used to, before sickness and stress and life drained me of everything, be able to write write write until the only thing slowing me down was hand cramps. I’d fill notebooks and print hundreds and hundreds of pages. I wrote during and between classes in High School, and when I’d get home from school. When I was in college, I wrote before classes and between them, and even tried to sneak in some writing during classes. I used to write on work lunch breaks. I spent summers at my desk, writing for hours on end.

But then stress took over. And from stress sprung illness, a mighty beast even for me to deal with.

I’m trying, though. I’m trying as hard as I can to find a way to get everything I want from life. I’m trying to get the words to come even when I can’t form a coherent thought because the brain fog is so heavy. I’m trying to give myself things that help put me back into my head correctly. It just takes time.

I finished a chapter of my current WIP the other day, and I’m hoping to finish a chapter or two this weekend if I can push myself enough. We will see.

~Angel

horrorghoul

I, myself, am strange and unusual.” – Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved monsters. My mom proudly tells people the stories: I cut teeth watching the Universal Monsters. I had a treasured Wolfman I carried around named Wolfy. One of her favorite stories involves me sitting outside with a black pot making “potions” while our new neighbors moved in. I idolized Elvira instead of pop stars. I grew up with a special place in my heart for Frankenstein’s monster and hunted for ghosts. The same year I got my first cellphone, I got my first Ouija board. It’s safe to say I started out a weirdo.

By the time I was 13, I was obsessed with slasher movies. I had pictures of Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, and Jason Voorhees hanging in my locker. My older brother Ben took me to see Freddy VS Jason in theaters as my 13th birthday present. This was the point in my life it moved into obsession. I read horror. I watched horror. It started coming through in my art, in how I dressed, etc. Most importantly, I started writing horror.

For those who have never heard the story: When I was in the 8th grade, I had a nightmare, and this nightmare was so intense, I had to write it down just to cope with it. A few months later, in my Adavnced English class, we were assigned a project. We had to write a short story of oh-so-many pages or more. I was probably the most excited kid in the class. This was my chance to really prove myself. And the first thing that came to my mind was my nightmare. Which, luckily, I had written down.

So, I poured my heart into it. I made myself relive the awful nightmare, and then amplified it. It was already scary, and then I transformed it into something more, something that really made people uncomfortable. By the time it was finished, I was afraid to turn it in to my teacher. What if it backfired and I ended up in counseling? What if I ended up in trouble? Or she thought it was awful? I turned it in anyway along with the rest of my class and put it out of my mind.

Then next day, when I was in line for lunch, my teacher found me and pulled me aside, only telling me she needed to talk to me about my story. I knew this was it, and I was in trouble. But instead of being scolded, or finding out I was going to see the counselor instead of getting lunch, she told me that she loved my story. She had apparently been reading and grading our stories before she went to bed the night before, and had gotten through a few before she came to mine. After getting completely hooked into the story, once she was finished, she had to step outside for a few moments afterward to calm down. I was maybe 14 or 15, and I had done something pretty amazing for my age.

And then, she asked if she could let the other teachers read it, as well as read it to my class. I was shocked, but agreed. She said she’d read it to the other kids without naming who I was until it was finished.

This, my friends… This is the catalyst to my life. This is what took me from writing stories to keep my brain sane, to writing stories to keep my brain sane with the intent of making a career from them. I was so anxious waiting for her to read it, I didn’t think it could get worse. Until it did, the moment she started. I watched, fascinated, as my classmates reacted to my words. Kids that hated me and my own friends all on the edge of their seats. For something I had written.

I remember the overwhelmed feeling the minute she revealed I had written the story. For a brief moment, I was the talk of the school. They said I’d be the next Stephen King. I was on top of the world. She even kept the paper to read to her future classes.

To this day, it’s still one of the most unsettling stories I’ve written. I don’t want to give much away about it because I’d eventually like to rewrite it into something great.

horrorshelf

A few things in my horror collection.

I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I filled notebook after notebook. Printed hundreds and thousands of sheets of paper containing me words. I expanded my horror movies I watched, hunting desperately for something new at Movie Gallery. I worked in a haunted house as a scareactor. I bought books on writing. I studied it. I learned from people who understood the business better than I did. I kept at it and kept at it. I became involved with Ax Wound. 

Then, my life changed. I went to college. I got a real job. I got sick. I spent less time on writing, and even less time than that dedicated to my horror. And while losing myself because I wasn’t writing was bad enough, I think I lost just as much when horror got pushed aside.

I watched horror movies occasionally: sick days, sleepless nights, Halloween time, hanging out with like-minded friends. But nothing like I had done before. I spent a long time trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and then last year it really sunk in:

I had gotten into writing through horror. It had given me some of my passion. And when I got myself back to writing regularly, I hadn’t gotten myself back into horror as much. And there was a problem there. Something was missing there.

I’ve been trying to devote more time to myself and what I want and need in various aspects of my life lately. And horror is one of those things. It sounds so silly to some people – “You’re upset because you don’t spend so much time watching scary movies?” But when you don’t know the whole story, you don’t always understand.

Monsters and slashers and blood and gore, those are all part of me. This are all parts of who I am, and what I do as a writer. Sure, everything I write isn’t a horror story. But sometimes they could use a good dash of horror or darkness.

I’ve realized that if I’m going forward with this career, then I will need to go back  to the basics, for the love of horror.

~Angel

deadbeforethedayisgone

I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything, and there’s a variety of reasons. I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. Changes, for better or worse. A torrent of good news and bad news leaving me overwhelmed. Luckily, I’ve been doing the opposite of what I typically do (which is wallowing in my own self pity while accomplishing nothing in the process.) I’ve been trying to focus on what’s best for me – for my health, for my happiness, for my future. I’ve been keeping a decent writing schedule and working on a new rough draft. I’m trying to nurture my body back into a state that I can properly function and not be quite so frequently sick. I’ve been trying to make sure that I do things to make Angel happy, instead of everyone else coming first 100% of the time.

But you know what sucks about this? I’m not used to it. And since I’m not used to treating myself a little better, it’s resulted in a mental assault on myself. Because I feel like I’m being selfish, and I don’t deserve to want what is best for me. I keep trying to push through, because I know I’m getting close to having my old self back – the version of myself that’s less broken, less corrupted. The Self I need right now. But it’s breaking through that barrier that’s tearing me apart. I know I’m almost there, but I know I’m fighting myself on it. I want to give up. Today was especially rough.

I started to doubt myself. How will I ever make it? In life? Against illness? How will I ever publish a novel? Why should I think I’ll ever sell another piece of art or get paid for another photo shoot? I’m not strong enough for this. It kept pounding in my head with each heart beat: I can’t do this.

Suddenly, I didn’t know if I could go on, period. Or if I did, if I could keep going with my life. Maybe it was time to give up on my childish dreams and finally grow up and join reality.

Until, I read this quote earlier:

 “Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.” – Wentworth Miller (please see his Facebook post here)

That post, by a man I already admire, really struck me. But that quote? Oh, that quote. That fueled the fires inside me.

So my goal? Stick to my writing schedule. Crank out chapter after chapter. Continue to work hard at the things I want. Because I persist, despite all the things that want to stop me.

This is the year I get to take control back. It hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure it won’t get easier any time soon. But I will persist.

Expect more soon.

~Angel

“In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual, unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in life.” – Kevin Smith, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good.

kevinsmith

All week, I’ve devoted time when I get home to writing. I had a migraine, and still made myself power through outlining three chapters. The next night, after finishing my taxes, despite having another migraine, I started writing a few pages of a chapter. Not the word counts I need to have if I want to do this for a living, I know. But the point is that I’m making a routine for myself again, despite what my body wants me to do.

Why have I been so determined, even when I have been in rough shape the last several weeks?

I have been wanting to read Kevin Smith’s memoir for a little while now, and after meeting him in Reno, it’s become a mission I have been set on. Finally, I got my (signed) copy and dove right in. That’s where I found the quote above. And it hit me. I met him during a very bad disease flare. I finally got his book, and was reading this quote, during ANOTHER bad disease flare. It resonated with me. The more I thought on it, the more I read it, the more it became something I felt I needed to read.

It isn’t as though I haven’t had similar bursts of motivation, or even inspiration based on a similar concept. But it’s the fact that someone I admired so much, that brought so much happiness when I was so miserable, had written this quote, and I had read it while yet again miserable…

It sparked the motivation I needed.

I will die. Everyone does. And what scares me more than the idea of dying, is feeling like I’ve wasted life and talent and drive. I can BE the person I want to be. I just have to DO IT.

So I’ve been writing, and keeping up with Wandering NerdGirl, and trying revive Hail to the Geek, Baby (which I haven’t had time to post on in FOREVER), and rebuilding my photography portfolio to take it in a direction I’d like it to be in. I’m working on cutting out soda again (UGH) and eating healthier options so my body is treated better. I’ve been working on myself and working at my dreams. And it feels pretty damn good.

Speaking of taking pictures for my portfolio…:

Some pictures my best friend, Brittaney, and I took the weekend before.

So, yeah. I’m doing things. And stuff. And trying to get somewhere again. Because I’m tired of talking about things and not doing enough of them. Health and depression can back off. It’s time for me to everything I can, while I can.

~Angel

bowie

“I know I’ll wither, so peel away the bark
Because nothing grows when it is dark
In spite of all my fears, I can see it all so clear”

So within a week, I’ve had some health ups and downs.

Last Monday, I had my follow up for my biopsy. Good news! It showed no cancer! I have other issues to tackle with why I had to have the biopsy, but at least cancer is currently off the table.

This Monday, I found out I have Trigeminal Neuralgia.

I had a very BAD end of last week, and then HORRIBLE weekend, and by Monday I knew I needed to see my doctor. I wasn’t sleeping (and am still not sleeping) because of how intense the pain is. To give you an idea of the pain levels: this disease is nicknamed the Suicide Disease, because people would kill themselves from the pain before anyone figured out what to do to treat this pain. It was hard to describe, but I read where someone described it as a combination of the worst migraine of your life and the worst toothache. I can agree and elaborate on this: The misery of the worst migraine, the insanity you feel with the worst toothache, and the feeling of someone using a hammer to break your jaw. That. That sounds like an adequate description.

I’ve built up a decent pain tolerance over the years, somehow. And this shatters that tolerance and leaves me curled up and miserable.

And, you guessed it – this is a manifestation of my disease. Sjogren’s decided to welcome more unpleasantness into my life.

But here’s the thing… Obviously, it hurts and it sucks. Yet, what seems to be bothering me even more, is that this is disease progression. This is me still not having anything under control. And it’s just a reminder of what my doctors have said:

There is nothing we can do to stop the progression.

You’re a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

I’ve had to explain to everyone in my life time and time again that I’ve been wanting to travel and do so much these past few years, because I want to do it while I can. There may come a day that I can’t handle my go-go-go travel style. What’s worse now, though, is that this day may be coming a lot sooner than I anticipated. My last three trips, I’ve had something come up health wise. Obviously, Reno was the worst. This all scares me.

I know my disease is still young and still evolving, but it’s so strong so early on. I can’t imagine what full-force will be like.

It’ll be a fun follow-up with my Rheumatologist, I’m sure.

But, I won’t let this stop me. I have plans, and goals, and dreams. Despite the brain fog, I will write. Despite the pain, I will progress. Despite exhaustion, I will travel. Until it is absolutely impossible, I will continue. Even though it feels like I am withering, I won’t give up. It isn’t in my nature.

Hopefully soon I’ll have more updates that don’t involve my body being stupid.

Hopefully.

~Angel

light

I’m not a single bit surprised that 2016 is off to a rough start. It’s almost a tradition at this point: go into it hopeful, get knocked down so fast my head spins. Because by “rough start”, I mean that it has been made very clear to me that this coming year will make or break me. And I refuse to let it break me, no matter how hard everything is trying to. All good news fades. All steps forward seem like they haven’t mattered. I am no closer to anything than I was before. If anything, I’ve fallen back several steps.

But, I push forward:

+ I’m working hard at my Wandering NerdGirl blog, in hopes that my nerdy adventures can be more productive. Cons, Orlando, other nerd-tastic events… I’m on it.

+ I’m writing again, period. I was so down and depressed Tuesday, reading about the market and what agents and publishers don’t want right now, blah blah. I’m a very critical person on myself, so of course I instantly decide everything I write is garbage and I should give up. But for some reason, one of my favorite story ideas popped into my brain, and I had a lot of interesting new ideas for it. Since it hasn’t actually been written yet, it will be a good exercise in writing again. I’ve spent so long in editing and rewriting hell, I haven’t had much time or opportunity for new creation. I’ve mostly been jotting notes down and what not, or writing a few specific scenes that some to mind. But as soon as I get my thoughts together, I’m running with it. I’ll hammer out my first draft, as intimidating as that feels right now. I won’t lose my dream. I’m going to write this book for me, and see where that takes me.

+ I have been drawing. Well, the last day or two I haven’t been. But I will excuse that because I have started a huge, new painting of Poe Dameron’s helmet from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s all pretty exciting, considering I was very close to just getting rid of a lot of my art stuff to save space.

+ I have my eyes on new projects. Bigger projects. More projects. I have plans to go beyond what I have done and make something new all the time. New shoots, new types of projects, new ideas. It’s all very vague to you guys right now because I’m not jumping in with both feet just yet, so there isn’t much information to share. Just cross your fingers that I make the time to pull it all off.

+ My collection is growing. My collection is a tiny beast, but it is my tiny beast. I know I’ve been slacking on the Collection Haul posts, and if you’d like to see them again, I could start back up this month or in February. There have been quite a few additions. And as stupid or trivial or whatever it sounds, one of my goals for the year is to really build my collection up. I take great pride in my Batman stuff. Someday I’ll have a massive assortment of various Batman items properly displayed.  For now, it steadily grows.

+ I’ve been trying to figure out how to get back to college, and exactly what I want to do when I get back. I was going to start again Fall 2015 but my financial aid decided to be complicated. So maybe Fall 2016 or Spring 2017. Who knows. Going back genuinely frightens me at this point. But I would still like to try.

 

So, you have a basic rundown of my game plan for the year. Obviously, subject to change. But hopefully, this year I rise from the ashes and become closer to where I was before.

 

~Angel