Linda Scribbles











This is a draft I half started at the beginning of December and got too busy to finish. I’m continuing now. Fair warning: this is an absolute mess.

I’m at work desperately trying to keep my brain on task rather than chasing all the thought rabbits there ever were. I’m hard pressed to feel motivated to sort out a situation that got unnecessarily messy, so it’s difficult. So of course I’m vacillating between the eager, cautious hope of what seems such a sure promise, and the wary, ear-twitching fears, hearing the thrashing and snarling of wounded and cornered creatures. (Read as: I’m scrolling through twitter/tumblr nearly obsessively, and unavoidably hearing all the intensely conservative fuss happening around me. Thank every good force in this world for the prevalence of cute animal pictures and the effectiveness of headphones!) The details of November’s bananas happenings are impossible to entirely block out, and as exhausted as I am, I don’t want to be unaware, I don’t want to be caught unawares when action is necessary to look out for each other.

A number of thoughts in no particular order.

I keep remembering a project we did in one of my high school classes (English, I think). I don’t recall the whole of it, but part of it was to create protest posters from the 60’s as we thought they might have looked using slogans that had been documented. Mine was “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” I’d been so intensely drawn to the vague understanding I had of what the whole Flower Power movement had been from hurried history lessons and the music played on repeat on the oldies radio station (which was virtually the only thing played on my little alarm clock radio from about 7-years-old to my teens). I was thrilled. I sharpied the daylights out of my poster, knowing I had the colors down and the lettering, and believing whole-heartedly. But the important thing is that the phrase stuck with me. It was the conclusion I’d circled my whole little life and struggled to put into words. All the books my mother and my teachers had given me, the stories and art and history continually fed to us about people fighting to do the right thing, to survive, to protect each other and others in the face of overwhelming violence– here it was, simply: “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” As I get older, I’m finding I’d been lucky to have the exposure to the people I did. In the midst of all those stories had been discussions about the circumstances, the ways it was talked about by the individual people who carried out orders to hurt people, to kill people, the ones who looked away, the ones who felt powerless to do anything whether in retrospect they’d really been in such a trapped position after all. It was always a choice for each one, but the question was always the cost. I have never been able to fathom anything would be worth the cost of atrocities. I understand the logic from all those discussions, but it hasn’t ever felt reasonable. But I guess that’s what it feels like to live in a space where reason has been denied any place. I guess this is what it is to have lived most of my life never really having to directly face making those choices. And to now bear witness to choices that shouldn’t have ever come up again.

I’m thinking about that a lot hearing the strange jumble of voices across the internet and amongst my friends, trying desperately to document their experiences with what’s happening around them wherever they are, the violence they’re witnessing, especially in places that used to feel safe enough, more than ever in places that never felt safe enough, and then angry conservative talk radio and tv (my boss keeps it playing continually) saying how their audience have to be ready for war. Not to be surprised at the violence of the Others. To hear and see the damage of bitter, vicious entitlement and then hear the dissociation in the voices encouraging it– the literal continual screaming juxtaposed with the assertion that they and their listeners are the sensible, peaceful ones. I am baffled. When your every other statement is how this group or that group deserves all kinds of awful things for all kinds of loosely gathered (unfounded), wild reasons, what part of that is peaceful? I’m not even going to touch the claims of Christianity. (I mostly just have a basic understanding based in a Catholic upbringing and I’m not at all well enough studied in theology to say much at all, but I will say I am exceedingly unimpressed and intensely dubious, at best.) What I’m hearing most all around is that no one wants violence. It would be nice if we could all just not choose violence. It’d be nice if we could all recognize words are their own form of violence.

When a lot of things were clearly ramping up years ago, I had coffee with a friend. We talked about being scared of the increasing anger we were hearing around us, the validation prejudiced people seemed to be receiving from what was happening on a national level, and how that seemed to be making them feel comfortable to be louder. We talked about being scared of speaking up when people speaking up were actively being targeted and hurt, of the threats, “If you don’t shut up, we’ll find you, we’ll hurt you, we’ll hurt your families, we’ll destroy your world.” Even after everything I’d read growing up and all the conversations that had me so certain of where I stood ‘if the day ever came,’ I was (am) afraid. My friend said, “If they’re going to come, they’ll come anyway,” and I needed to hear it. I’d started to get so mired in all the scary things, all the heartache of everything, I actually kind of forgot. The angry people angry enough to make threats are looking for a reason to hurt people. They’ll do it anyway. And the things those angry voices are screaming for are liable to hurt everyone. If we let them scream and demand and create the kind of spaces they want where only certain people (an ever narrowing list of people) are allowed, if we leave them that room to behave this way, it’s already proven again and again that eventually they’re still going to come in some way.

I’m struggling to maintain a sense of compassion, to remember the humanity in everyone. I know that a lot of the worst responses come from terrible, fearful beliefs about what the basic truths of the world are. I know a lot of people aren’t out to do harm simply for the sake of it. They’re angry and they’re scared and they’re making really stupid decisions, because that’s what they think they have to do for pride or to protect themselves or the people they love from the people they’re afraid of. But I don’t– It’s– when the people I hear regularly being awful (being racist or some kind of -phobic or making light of covid and bragging about refusing masks / hand washing / not getting close to strangers) get sick or hurt– I don’t want anyone to suffer, but I also have the nasty little thought: you brought this on yourself. But it’s not so simple as that. But it also kind of is. I just don’t want any of the circumstances to be what they are that any of us are liable to suffer, that people doing stupid things raise the odds for all of us to get hurt. I wish I could say, “believe what you want” and go on, but I can’t. Not when there are people who believe I and people like me, that people I love, that people just trying to live their lives and feed their families and love each other, that we’re not human enough (at all) to deserve basic care. That we don’t deserve space or time or resources, no matter what we do. That they have any say in what we do or don’t deserve. That’s not a simple opinion. That’s an assault waiting to happen. That’s the series of assaults, generational violence that’s already happened. I don’t have any interest in discussing the newness, the oldness– isn’t it enough that it’s happening now? Don’t tell me it’s nothing new like that makes it less worrisome. Less dangerous.

Nothing I’m saying is original. Not to this time, or, awfully, in almost any time. Why are we all hurting? Why are we all hurting each other, whether we mean to or not? Why do some people see a strike against their pride / comfort / property as on par with a threat to life and limb?

I’m so tired, you guys.

On an entirely unrelated noted, I’ve been thinking a lot, too, about how I’ve always joked that I would die at 33. It came from a funny life expectancy game I found in a museum. In my memory, it’s in the middle of a small play area, which raises questions. The older I get, the more I start to wonder if it was real or if this is the giraffe wings thing all over again (did I ever tell that story?). But it asked a series of questions about your life (the smoking one was odd to me as a kid, but I guess it’s not so weird now knowing what I do), and then the thing spat out an age you were likely to live to. I don’t know what I put in, but I got 33. I’ve had suicidal thoughts literally since before I could see over the counter tops. I’ve always had a certainty that I wouldn’t live long, even if I was very adamant very early that the answer to the suicidal thoughts would always be no. I didn’t even think I’d make it to adulthood all the same, so even 33 was a bit high. Still, it was unnerving to have the brevity of my life ‘confirmed’ by a random digital game in the middle of a museum play area, but also kind of hilarious. So that’s been my private joke for about two decades now.

I’m about halfway through 32.

I’m only just now wondering if the small current of anxiety I’m having about it has more to do with how stories have conditioned me to expect that personal happiness comes at a price. If you see a pair so smitten and well adjusted, if you’re allowed enough information to get attached and to love them, but not enough to see what part they may play next in whatever story, then one or both isn’t likely to make it to the end. Am I happy now? Probably more than I ever expected to be. I mean, considering I didn’t think I’d make it this far. I can’t help wanting to hold onto every moment I have with the people I love, so maybe they won’t hurt too much. Maybe none of us will feel too strongly that we’ve been short changed. I can’t help wanting to make as many things as I can with my own two hands for everyone to have a little piece of me. Useful things with yarn and fabric and tools and words that they can use all the time. I want to beg them all to look out for each other. Please call my partner often and make sure he knows he’s family still. Please always answer the phone for my siblings. Please make sure I get to be a tree that gets well watered and cared for and planted where you can always find me. I know it’s most likely just my brain doing weird brain things, but I can’t help being a little bit suspicious.

Is it weird that I hope someone updates this in the wild event that 33 takes me out? What an absurd end to a strange story I’ve lived that doesn’t even start with me.

I wrote some small happily ended stories, by the way, finally. My first foray into taking part in fanfiction was a twelve day writing event for “Julie and the Phantoms” with a series of prompts to pick from. I don’t know if anyone else took part in the end, but I banged out twelve stories over fourteen days and they’re not so clunky and clumsy as my previous attempts at happy endings have been. It helps that the characters come from a very warm world and are beautifully written, beautifully portrayed, and I had a lot of support from some truly fantastic friends and my wonderful sib who’s also into the show. I’m itching to try to play in my own worlds.

I hope the new year found you as safe as can be, in good health, or at least in good spirits. May it bring solid reasons for hope and kinder days. I’ve never been so grateful for quiet days as I have been this past year, all too aware of how outrageously lucky me and mine have been. May the adventure carry on in a much more light-hearted fashion for us all.



{June 25, 2020}   Recent idle thoughts

I have a lot of thoughts about shit going on. Those are the Big, Heartbroken, Angry, Mourning, Painfully Desperate Hope thoughts. But life is still going on, (which I’m continually surprised feels absurd, by the way) and my brain offers me things I don’t really know what to do with. It’s been half an age since I put anything here, so– uhh, tada, I guess.

I’m fighting the urge to take on every project that catches my attention right now that I have energy and I’m feeling the drive to Do and Create. I know it’s depression-low-tide time and I want to take advantage of it, but I really don’t want to burn myself out. But it’s hard not to get excited and want to do all the sewing and cooking and gardening and painting and crocheting and tear through the house cleaning / rearranging and maybe plot a massive move to a whole new life, a whole new world, for when the lease is up.

Babies make me cry.

So does “Rainbow Connection”.

Why am I ‘lucky?’ Why do we talk about my marriage like I dodged a hail of bullets? Why do you all talk about yours like that behavior is normal and surely I relate at least a little bit. (I almost don’t want to say I don’t, because you’ll feel bad for things that aren’t your fault and you’ll stop talking to me about them, even though you clearly need to talk.) Why were these people the best ones you could find to marry? Why were there so many bullets? (We know why there are so many, though, don’t we?) My partner isn’t perfect, but he’s a good egg, and I hate the idea that he’s some kind of anomaly. I hate that I believed for so long he couldn’t possibly exist, even being raised with a fair collection of what good male figures could be. And I’m worried that you don’t do something about the way you’re all being treated, because this is just your normal. It’s not normal. It’s not okay.

Art! ART! Art.

It is not ridiculous to think love could save the world. The practical work of operating in love and compassion is by its nature to push past and utilize the concerns that arise from being in fear and anger.

I never went back to figuring out how to write happily ended stories.

To give the benefit of the doubt must be a nice luxury to have. To have ever been in a position to afford to doubt despite evidence immediate and across the experience of generations. I can’t and won’t fault you for a position you were born into, and for wanting to be just and fair to all, but please mind at whose expense the cost of your effort falls.

How do you know it’s worth it to ignore the signs of almost certain doom? When you see patterns lined up behind you with no indication of change ahead, is it ever worth it to keep going toward what appears to be a poor outcome? Just because it isn’t a hundred percent certain?

Who am I if I give even just this much on a core conviction of my life to do absolutely what must be done, whether it’s what I want or not?

Are my plants really okay? I need more ceramic pots.

I am as terrified as I’ve ever been to want to bring a baby into this world, but I’m also still mourning the one confirmed miscarriage (and the handful of suspected), and feeling an intense need to squash hope before it hurts me whenever I don’t know what my uterus is doing.

I’m exhausted, you guys. I am bone-sinking-to-earth, soul weary. Not that it’s new. It’s just there. It just is.

Your guilt is not useful to me.

Why the ever loving hell does my office have to be ice-freaking-cold???

Yes, ask questions. ASK QUESTIONS. Ask questions especially of the people in positions of power you feel the need to support, and be ready not to like the answers. It’s not a failing on you to have to change your mind about someone or something as you learn more. It’s how you grow and become a better person. Anyone who wants you to dig in your heels and plant your fingers in your ears wants you ignorant and pliable. Do not become complaisant in your trust.

Idioms in other languages are fun, because the direct translations are often very different from the intended understanding as it translates, and I really want to understand the logic behind why they work in those languages.

Seriously, where the heck do I look for local ceramicists to get some pottery for my plants? (I want to support local artists and I want beautiful homes for my babies who have somehow survived me thus far. Good job, little friends! I’m so proud of you!)

I wonder if I can grow a lime tree in a pot on the balcony.

How loud does my music have to be before the passive aggression is just obvious aggression? How long before you figure out I refuse to listen to your bullshit?

I thought I might like to be a mulberry tree when I die, but maybe I want to be a lime tree. I want to be useful even in death.

On that note, why is it strange to be unafraid of death? For myself I’ve never been afraid, but for the people who’ve made it clear they want my company, my continued presence as an option, my thoughts and affection and laughter– for those people who’ve made it clear they would hurt without me– this is the thing that bothers me most, even as it baffles me to receive this sentiment. That they would ache for the loss of me is the thing I hurt to think about when thinking of my own death. This is why I’m still here. Because I love you.



{October 13, 2019}   All Hallow’s Read 2019

Every year I swear up and down I’m not going to put off writing for All Hallow’s Read until the last minute. For the most part I have been writing, but the finishing is also important, and not so much of that has been happening. I have exactly one completed piece. Just the one. I’m actually pretty happy with it, too, but I can’t help feeling like even if it was the best thing I’ve ever written, it’s not enough. Life is happening, as ever, and my day job saps my time, energy, and mental space, but it’s not impossible to scribble things here and there, so it feels like I should have a lot more to share. It feels like the finishing shouldn’t be nearly so infrequent. I don’t have a positive note to add to this. I suppose I’m just venting my frustration with myself out into the you who may be surprised to find yourself still here. We can be surprised together. Fingers crossed I can bang out just a few more bits and bobs for your reading pleasure.



{November 1, 2018}   All Hallow’s Read 2018

I have (late as ever) A GIFT for you all!  Not as much finished as I would have preferred, but I’m honestly just super jazzed to have anything to post.  I say it every year, but heck, why not– This is what I get for waiting ’til the last minute to do my writing!  It’s there for your reading pleasure, anyway.

One super silly:  How Rude

One a tiny snapshot:  For Who

Hope everyone’s had a lovely and safe Halloween adventure evening!  I love you all!  Please stay as safe as can be.



{August 29, 2018}   Because I’m okay right now

This was a comment I left on my friend’s post where she was reflecting on something I said in my previous post, but then I realized it really should have just been an answering blog post with my thoughts on her thoughts on a brief note in my jumbley thoughts. (I literally didn’t need to write all that, but I thought it was funny, so here we are.)  The following is stuff I’ve been kicking around for a giant chunk of my life, but never really put all down in any sort of organized way.

This is totally still writing relevant, btw, because to write well, to actually do the writing at all, I have to be functional as a human being for the most part, and I can’t do that if I’m slowly drowning in my own head.

Right, here it is:

(You and I have already talked about this a bit in person, but in case it’s useful to anyone else.) BEHOLD A WALL OF TEXT!

First, I think it absolutely needs to be something we talk about the same way we talk about the necessity of washing our hands and what to do in case of a fire and how to take care of cuts and scrapes. We have so many little things we teach as a matter of course, as a matter of practical precaution, but for a great variety of reasons, we (‘we’ here being the common bits of american culture across the beautifully motley cultural landscape) don’t even want to talk about mental health or emotional well-being on a large scale, we don’t acknowledge it until something goes terribly, horribly wrong, despite it being a part of us that needs minding and care just as much as the tangible bits of us. I wonder if we could be as conscious of how we’re thinking and feeling as we are aware of things like the aches in our bones, muscles, bellies, and sinuses; if we encouraged and supported emotional literacy, and allow room in the day-to-day for expressions of grief and joy and everything; if we could commonly have handy ways of caring like cerebral first aid– maybe it wouldn’t be as painful for those of use who find ourselves battling our own brains. It’d be nice.

On the matter of having a plan, these are things I’ve found helpful:

-Understanding and accepting that my best at any given moment will not always be my best at any other given moment. This has been super important in how I arrange care for myself (the things I expect to be able to do for myself). It helps me to remember this when I’m struggling and I KNOW I’m capable of doing better, of being better, but it’s just not where I am in that moment. Sometimes caring for myself is accepting that I’m not where I want to be, but it doesn’t mean I’m not doing my best still, and that’s okay.

-Taking little pleasures where I can get them. I refuse to feel pitiful for little things making me happy. If listening to Disney music or walking around with soft, cute plush toys, or wearing outrageous hats or jewelry pleases me, I’m more concerned with that than whatever might be considered mature or appropriate. These are my emotional bandaids, so I will not allow myself to worry about how it looks to other people if I absolutely don’t have to. Most of the time people don’t seem to notice, or they actively appreciate seeing something fun they didn’t expect to see in their day, which is nice.

-I keep bottles filled with water stashed around my usual places. That way wherever I settle, I don’t have to put a lot of effort into staying hydrated. SUPER IMPORTANT! This has a surprisingly (terrifyingly) large impact on what your brain is doing and how your body feels.

-I make sure my blankets and sweaters and cozy things are clean. There’s something especially demoralizing about realizing you can smell you, and you smell a little like farts, and then realizing you couldn’t even be bothered just to put things in a machine that DOES THE WASHING FOR YOU. Sometimes you don’t have the time to do this before a bad bout. I’ve asked friends if they’re doing laundry, can I toss my blanket or my jammies in with their stuff? I’m not in the way if they’re already washing things, and it’s something nice they can do for you, too. I’ll offer to chip in for detergent or whatever. It works out.

-I keep easy grab foods handy / avoid keeping junk in the house. A lot of times I don’t feel like eating or if I’m hungry, I can’t be bothered to cook or even wash and cut fruit or veggies. My go-to for a long time was a bag of chips or whatever sweets I had stashed around or I’d order pizza online and live on that for several days, but on a nearly empty stomach with a history of generally handling sugar or too much grease poorly, this was a terrible idea. Regular items in my fridge: a big bag of baby carrots, sliced lunch meats and cheeses, washed and separated lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, washed/cut fruit (I try to habitually prep some of this, but a lot of times I resort to buying the bags or boxes of this stuff, or I ask a friend if they’d mind cutting a watermelon or whatever if I pay for it.), hummus (easy protein), single serves of yogurt. Also, bread and cereal. A lot of times it means I’m standing in my kitchen eating a plain piece of lunch meat and popping a couple of tomatoes before going back to the couch, but it’s something. Also, this works out well when I have to take food with me to feed myself when I’m out and about in the world.

-The people around you want to help. The ones who stick around love you. You don’t have to understand how or why. Just take it as fact. They choose to exist in the same space as you, no matter for what reason. Take it. Just keep staring at the bald face fact that they are there. “why? do you feel obligated? do you feel sorry? i’m not worth this much trouble.” It doesn’t matter. It’s not kind to you or them to make the decision on your own whether or not they should love you, whether or not they should help you. You don’t have to understand it. It just is.

-Similarly, the people who choose not to be there– it will hurt, but it is what it is. Whatever is going on with them, your priority is you. Don’t waste time or energy on people who can’t or won’t. This doesn’t mean you HAVE to be angry. If you are angry, then that’s that. You’re entitled to feel how you do, but don’t waste any time or effort trying to do something about it unless you 100% believe it’s absolutely necessary and will have a positive impact on you.

-Take time to breathe. Is anything on fire? Is anyone in your immediate sphere actively dying? You are okay to take a minute. Take five minutes. Get a cup of tea. Walk to the bathroom, even if you don’t have to go. Just do something to break up whatever you’re doing.

-If you have a pulse, you have a chance to do / be / experience something different from where you are. Ride out the moment. Do what you have to do. You have a chance, no matter how improbable. It can be okay. Keep it in mind.

-You got this.

If you’re hurting right now, I love you.  I love you even if you’re not hurting.  But there’s a lot going on in the world, the same as ever, I’m told.  We got this.  I love you.  Stay as safe as can be, guys.



{July 25, 2018}   In a fit of writing

I haven’t worked too much on anything major, but I’m trying to be better about collecting the tiny things that keep piling up in my desk and my backpack and pockets.  (I’ve already sent at least one thing through the wash, though.)  Exhaustion and depression slammed me hard the last couple of days, and while I had a feeling something might come to be afoot, I was not expecting it to be nearly so rough, so of course I hadn’t warned anyone, hadn’t arranged anything to take care of myself, just generally hadn’t bothered, aaaaand it has not been the best.  So I did that to myself.  And a couple of poor, unsuspecting favorite people.  I don’t know how they love me, but I’m learning not to question it too hard if they insist on sticking with me even through something like this.  That being said, I do not want to repeat this show.  Having a plan is HIGHLY IMPORTANT, gang.  For the love of all that is good in this world, have a plan.

I’ve been walking around with a lamb plushie for two days now, because it’s soft and cute and I need all the help I can get right now.  Is it probably weird to bring an emotional support lamb to work with me?  Oh, yeah, totally, but here we are.  No one’s actually said anything about it, though, so I’m not sure if they haven’t noticed or are just kind of used to me?  I suppose it works out either way.  It’s doing what I need it to do.  This is fine.

But this is not why we’re here!  In the midst of all this, I was taken with a fit of writing.  Which then, of course, meant I had to start sorting through the nest of ink bled into scraps of dead tree shavings that is my life or risk becoming a fire hazard (like my entire office isn’t pretty much alreadyyyyy).  Here’s what I’ve pulled for your viewing pleasure.

Okay, cool.  Glad we had this talk.

Can we just have the quiet bit of adventure now, please?  Pretty please?



There’s a lot going on again (again, again, again, AGAIN, AGAIN), and it’s making me introspective.  Trying to use that inclination to be productive.  Indulge me a bit, please.

There are so many things I go over and over in my head about, even waaaay long after the fact.  I mean, yes, stupid little things, like responding to “enjoy your meal” with “you, too!” Or thinking if I’d just checked a third time to be sure my work keys were in my backpack–  And stupid things from first grade, conversations with people I hardly even remember–  Going over arguments I never actually even had–  Because that’s useful.

I keep going back to my one and only attempt at a not-horror-murdery-spooky story, where I was dubious from the beginning if I’m even capable of writing something light / romancey (I talked just a little about it in 2013).  There are parts of it I can see I scrabbled for, because I had no idea what this thing was supposed to look like.  I’d read a couple of other Happy Ending type things here and there that I wasn’t enthusiastic about and when I look at that story now, it’s like someone vaguely explained to me what a giraffe looks like and I thought I could make one out of Dumpster scraps that would be just as good as the real thing if I just used enough super glue and force of will.  I took common components I’d found in other stories and out of sheer desperation (and no small amount of low confidence), just– painted them in a rough approximation of what I thought would make it fit in with the other giraffes.  There are bits I don’t even remember writing, but I know what it looks like when I’m trying to force it to work.  It looks like sloppy scenes and cheap-shot troubles.  The further away I get from that time, the more I’m disgusted with it and I want to print several copies just to get the visceral thrill of burning the words physically, and in doing so, burning them from my mind.  (Guess who’s feeling melodramatic!)  I just really wanted to be able to do the thing.  And I did it with such a half-assed approach.  While I’ve never really cared for much that I write, it’s one of the few things I think I’m maybe ACTUALLY ashamed of.  There are bits I know I didn’t really even want to touch and I still used them!  That’s how little I bothered!  I feel like I really owe it to those characters to give them proper lives and to apologize for having them exist purely for my own convenience.  Yes, I’m aware they’re fictional and my own creation, but uuuugh.

Ultimately, though, I don’t think I want to try to rework that one and I keep thinking maybe I really should take it down.

THEN AGAIN MAYBE IT SHOULD STAND AS A TESTAMENT TO MY DISGRACE.  THIS WRITER IS A WORK IN PROGRESS.  LET IT BE KNOWN THAT SHE RELIED ON THE CHEAPEST, EASIEST TO GRAB PARTS INSTEAD OF TAKING THE TIME AND CARE NECESSARY TO BUILD A GOOD WORLD AND STRONG CHARACTERS.

Either way, I don’t want to rework it.  If I’m going to delve into unfamiliar territory, I need to do my goddamn research and actually bother to think about how human interaction works.  It’s not like I don’t know there’s no mold to good story telling.  It’s certainly not how I approach the spooky or silly things I write, so why the heck did I even think that might be okay to write anything else?  Goooosh.  I need to just do something new.  Maybe scavenge a bit from that disaster, but probably not much at all.

Right, enough scolding myself.  Just need to do the thing.  I need to write happy things.  I’m tired.  It really needs to be happy things.

I love you all.



I want to write a blog post and I feel like I mostly just want to word vomit, but I actually want to express some things, but I don’t even know where to start or where I even want to go.  First sentence is already a mess.  Let’s meander, then, I guess.  Maybe mosey?  I’m stalling.  If you stick with me to the end, however long this ends up, thank you.

So I’ve been trying to be more social.  I mentioned once about wanting to be able to someday write as much of the scope of human existence as I could get my hands on, but I’ve been so wrapped up the last– several years???– with trying to just go about the business of daily existing that currently the scope I have is pretty narrowly centered around the ancient art of living in a kind of quiet desperation.  Only, I’m a fair bit shit at being quiet and I’ve long since (LONG SINCE BEFORE) been sick of desperation AND I’m impatient and have exactly zero interest in doing anything about that impatience with regards to living life.  So my latest act of wild emotional flailing (probably flail fail, to be honest) has been an attempt to be social.

My partner in crime and I are usually quite happy as little hermits, mostly keeping to the pair of us at home or going out to eat and then going home, interspersed with little jaunts where the whole adventure is a minor change of scenery with a spritz of human interaction (i.e. meeting up with friendly acquaintances or actual friends in a common setting with an activity between us).  It’s almost routine at this point.  Not that those things are unpleasant or dull, but I feel the walls of my bubble and I feel like only just touching them like that has left them dingy and hard to see beyond.  I’ve started out small.  I’ve made an effort to take interest in strangers.  Just maybe one or two that have become friends / potential friends.  And I’ve joined groups online of people with shared interests where I’ve been trying to interact rather just lurk and read and quietly applaud or send sympathy from the shadows of the internet.  I’ve had conversations!  And cheered directly!  And commiserated!  And sent hugs and checked in and cared!  It’s been a good experience thus far.  It’s been exhausting.  Ah!  And we went out with one of our dearest friends at an unusual hour to an unusual place!  This was also a good experience, even though there wasn’t really anyone much there, but we got to kind of make friends with the bartender?  And another fellow sort of showed us around.  It’s a step.  Maybe we’ll go back and try to be social people again.

These forays have shown me a few things about myself, but this is the biggest one:  I’ve developed a greater ability to make eye contact and hold conversations that once upon a time would have been unfathomable to me.  I think a lot of that is just somewhere along the lines learning through trial by long series of fires (as you do) that I am a capable enough person to function well enough as a passable grown-up, passable human, but I think it’s also due to a tiny concerted effort to not hide from people.  My inclination has always been DON’T LOOK AT ME, DON’T SEE ME, IF I CAN’T SEE YOU, YOU CAN’T SEE ME, just as much literally as metaphorically.  (No joke.  I couldn’t manage to even order for myself in fast food places.  It was pretty awful.)  It’s hard to build human connections that way.  It’s hard to learn new stories and learn about different people and love people in any real way that way.  I don’t know if it was to protect myself or what, but it made doing anything at all really difficult.  It’s not that I was never sick of it.  I hated being that way.  It took me way too long to just push myself to even acknowledge other people in public places and allow myself to be okay with them acknowledging me.  And then I needed to push myself to actually speak.  If I ever write anything from all this, I’ll probably call it “Evolution of a Floor Lamp”.  I strove and succeeded in being as unnoticeable and functional as furniture you stick in the corner.  I would be out of the way and useful enough and as little of a burden as possible.  Useful is an improvement, right?

I thought I was doing great to be able to do that much, but following Amanda Fucking Palmer, and feeling the connection through her to so many other people who she impacted just as much as she had me, made me realize I was still just poorly mimicking the motions of connection.  She built this community around her through her music, through just reaching out, of people who for the most part make it our mission to act with love and compassion and kindness and to see each other, to make the effort to see everyone we meet.  I didn’t feel like the way I was allowed me to really be part of that, so little by little I tried to meet people’s eyes and hear them.  I tried to be not just honest, but as open as possible in every interaction.  And most of all I tried to be kind. Not just by not being a dick, but by vocalizing honest gratitude, appreciation, affection; by taking action to express to everyone that they’re important enough, that they’re worth effort/ time/ energy.  I can see in each moment people relax a little and become more willing to work together with me.  It’s surprising and exciting every time still.  I didn’t realize how much it was changing me until now.

I still feel like me and I still feel horribly shy a lot of times.  I’m still absurdly proud of myself when I order food in person or over the phone and I don’t immediately want to burst into tears or spend the next hour under a table.  I’m still me.  I’m just me with more and stronger abilities.  I’m me who can actually be WITH you, as much as you’ll have me.  I want to be with you.  Just be.  As exhausting as this all is, I’m happy with it.  I’ll keep stretching my bubble to find you.  I like to think you’re reaching out, too.  It’s a pretty great adventure, I think.



I’ve been neglecting the blog again. (Are all my blog posts going to start like this from now on?) I’ve been neglecting writing in general. I’ve been neglecting everything, maybe. Being sick (nothing serious, probably just a bug), especially when you’re not sure what did it, apparently makes me disgustingly introspective. James brought me chicken soup I’m not sure I should be eating, but I’m eating it anyway, because love. I refuse to neglect love. Also, chicken soup is nice.

In print that sounds a lot more noble than desperate as it feels in my head and sounds in my mouth. I kind of hate it.

I keep trying to sit down to make words happen with a physical pen and a tangible piece of paper, so I’ll stop interrupting dreams to write down in dream the narration or to describe very precisely what’s happening or the smell or the sound or the sight of some tiny detail. Get on with the story, will you, brain? Lousy jerk. It’s not productive. It’s definitely irritating.

Anyway, the writing obviously still isn’t going well. I get anxious about characters I don’t even have yet. I get anxious that I’ll get bored and forget my characters and their lives and leave them– just leave them!– hanging there in a sort of halted world, stuck and neglected and frustrated and confused. They’re not real. But my brain gets attached and wants to take care of them. It’s highly problematic. It’s highly illogical. It’s not even a little bit reasonable. It scares me. Nothing new. I guess this is the point where once again I attempt to seek help. Maybe the writing was my therapy and I’ve done this to myself. Does it count as self destructive if you didn’t realize it would happen, but then couldn’t stop when you did? This is the kind of thing I normally probably would have dropped onto my tumblr if at all, but it’s sort of a writing related thing, and this space needed some attention, so here it is. Hello. I hope you’re all doing well. Nobody panic.

I’ve made it my new goal to finish one thing for All Hallow’s Read, even if it’s just another installment of Beasts— I refuse to believe I’ve abandoned it. The scenes still exist. My characters are shifting from foot to foot in different costumes at different times. I just have to make it happen. Anxious about the fate of characters? Logically, then, sort out their fate and be done with it. Nonsensical gut-twisting jitteriness gone. A+B=C. Easy. Right, wish me luck. Hesitant adventure, go!

Update:  My “bug” is a 5mm kidney stone.  Oh, goody!  Eeesh.



et cetera
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