Linda Scribbles











{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.

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{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.



{October 31, 2016}   I made no promises!

But I kind of did.  In my head.  You just didn’t know about it, because I didn’t tell you , because I wasn’t sure of what I could swing.

This year’s been all kinds of bananas!  Whole bowls of fruit!  Personally speaking, it hasn’t been terrible.  It hasn’t been kind, but within the sphere of my little life, nothing major has gone amiss.  It’s just been busy.  I really wasn’t sure I’d be able to do “All Hallow’s Read” this year.  But I did!  I finished things!  (Still a tiny triumph every time.) And I’m pretty happy with them!  They’re not long and I’m not entirely sure you could call them poems or stories or what have you.  I’m calling them little bits.  Now to go collapse.

Little bitty adventures, goooo!  Happy Halloween, folks!  Love!



So it’s been a while. (Apparently, yes, all my blog posts will start this way now.)  The wordpress swears it’s been 9 months.  I could have grown a baby in that time.  I did not.  There is not a baby.  Except I wrote something that is longer than a line for the first time in a while.  After failing miserably to keep chugging along on the last few things, I thought I should share.  I offer it to you.  Because space.

I really shouldn’t say I failed, because that implies that I’ve given up and have zero intention of touching those things again.  I haven’t.  I have all of the intention.  I will touch them firmly, tenderly, with love.  My friend got me thinking about how I’ve never attempted a romance novel.  I’m trying to figure out if I could write one, just to see.  I’ve read a couple of supernatural romance books?  Are those typical romance?  I don’t really know if I can deal with it.  Maybe I’ll just write a story and romance will just kind of happen.  This probably won’t end well.  ONE THING AT A TIME.  Soooo, yes, intentions.  Which amount to very little if I don’t actually, you know, pick up a freaking pen.

Am I scared of pens now?

Two jobs briefly became just the one full-time job at the print shop where once I was a little work-study, by the way.  And now it seems I’m working two jobs again as the Chinese restaurant is ever short handed, so I’m there once a week.  Which I’m okay with, because you can see all kinds of things in how people interact where a meal is involved.  Also, I like having the extra cash.  And exciting lunches that I’m never certain of what they’re made.  I like both jobs, but I should probably push to keep it to the one.  I’m tired a lot.

To be fair, I have picked up pens.  I’ve sat and written snippets of sentences before I got– stuck, for lack of a better word.  It’s not like there isn’t a lot in my head.  It’s more like everything gets kind of muddled, or the thoughts get nervous and confused, like birds that suddenly get disoriented, and then they can’t remember how to get out.  And I can’t do anything except keep poking them with a stick through the slats of their little bird house trying to organize them and direct them toward the door.  They’re not being very cooperative.

I thought about buying really cute stationary in order to motivate myself, but I’d never use it.  I’d want to keep it clean and safe and save it for just the right thoughts, and I’d go find sticky notes that would inevitably get jumbled up or lost or eaten by the cat.  Maybe I’ll buy cute sticky notes.

I was researching getting help, and then there were kidney stones and work and life.  It’s a funny sensation to try to analyze everything going on around you, all the choices you’re making about whether or not and how to engage in those things, to determine if you’re not making excuses to not get help out of fear or stubbornness (what am I even being stubborn about?), and then deciding that, “No, everything here looks like a completely rational decision,” only to then think that of course everything would seem very rational to yourself if you’re the one who rationalized your choices in order to make them in the first place.  Just because they’re rational doesn’t mean they’re not coming from that cave or fear and stubbornness and not actually 100% rational at all.

My mother likes to quote “Lion King” at times like this.  LIE DOWN BEFORE YOU HURT YOURSELF.

Sounds legit.  Point being, I’m not dead yet.  Adventuring continues.



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.



{January 3, 2014}   A pulse! Evidence of life!

I’m not!  I’m not ignoring my blog again!  Not for another year!  Things have simply been a bit unorganized with my husband and me taking turns to be sick and then holidays and so on.  I have a bit more of Beasts, but I don’t have it quite to a point where I feel alright hitting pause to put at least something up.  The end is only in sight in that I know it exists.  It will happen.

Ah, so I have a New Year’s resolution for the first time in years!  To finish things.  That’s it.  I’m starting with “Beasts”.  I’m not picking a second thing to finish ’til I’m finished with that.  And then I’ll pick something else.  One thing at a time, so I don’t overwhelm myself.

This post was actually going to be a video blog!  But after starting and stopping and starting and deleting and arranging a space in which to record repeatedly, then rearranging the space, I came to the conclusion that, no–  yes, I really am still shy.  I have a sock puppet I had seriously considered using in place of– myself.  Me.  The sock puppet was going to be me.  Anyone who has met me in the last six or seven years would look at me funny were I to describe myself as shy.  I’ve mostly managed to find ways around it.  (I’m still very proud of myself that I can order at fast food places all by myself now without the urge to dive under the nearest table to pretend I don’t exist!).  I thought maybe I was done being shy, then; that I’d grown out of it.  Nope.  I then think about you handful of folks out there who follow this blog, my twitter, my tumblr– you’re all out there.  Actual people.  You’re all probably terribly interesting and wonderful.  I’d rather you not know I’m out here, too.  It’s not the anonymity thing.  Obviously you know my name, you’ve seen my face (I think I posted a pic here once without thinking), you’ve read some of my stuff, and yet a video blog feels like meeting new people somehow.  It’s a strange mix of being intimidated and afraid you won’t actually like me after all and excited that maybe we’ll be friends, which then makes me anxious for no definable reason except– people.  In reality (that place my mind refuses to believe exists), you’ll probably watch the video, or not bother, and then go on and do other things.  You might just say, “Huh, it speaks,” and then watch a video of dogs with boxes on their heads or check your email.  That’s cool.  I’m absolutely alright with that.  In the end, I’m ridiculous.  I’ll do a video blog.  Okay, I have resolution number two.  

#1:  Finish “Beasts”.

#2:  Video.

So there.  There’s that.  Carry on with your lives, citizens.  Hope the New Year is treating you all well thus far.  We’re only three days in, you know.  Good luck!  Much love!  Happy adventuring!

Oh!  Ah!  Okay, so my grandmother died some time back.  I had this tape she’d given me of her practicing guitar and singing (she played at church).  I’d been trying for a really long time to sit down and get it recorded off the tape into mp3’s for the family, but it just– I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  I finally did thanks to my wonderful husband keeping me company.  He’s a good man.  Best of all, he’s good at hugs.  It really helped that I could share my grandmother with him the way I remember her best, one of the ways I miss her most.  Anyway, it’s on soundcloud.  I put it up there for easy access for my relatives, but if you’re into Spanish sung church music, there’s that for you.



The best stories I ever wrote as a kid– and then later on, too– were all about death or murder or scary things. That’s what I was drawn to when I picked books to read, so that’s what I wrote. Naturally, I’m a bit crap at writing much else. I mean, you can see it in the one attempt at a “happy ending” that is sitting there in the fiction section of my blog. It got a bit slapdash at the end because I was on a deadline for a class that demanded that I turn in something finished. As it is with most of my stories that get forced endings, I can’t go back to it. I want to. I had a concept I wanted to run with and I fell in love with the tea shop and bakery I’d written. (On a separate note, that shop is an idea I’ve been kicking around since high school that I’d love to bring into being, but I’m not sure how to go about it and I don’t feel I know enough about tea yet for what I’d want to do.) But the story itself, having been cut short, feels wrong. It feels like I’d be trying to resurrect the dead and it would come back like the son in the “Monkey’s Paw”as a thing that is no longer what it once was and could never be what it might have been. I keep that story posted there as a reminder to try harder. I don’t want to only write scary, dismal, morbid stories, as much as I love them. There’s a whole 360 degree scope of human experience, most of which I know nothing about even in the periphery, and it can all exist together. It all frequently exists at once as a little emotional cosmos inside each person. That’s what makes the stories of other people’s lives– fictional or non-fictional– so compelling. I want to write all those stories. I want to write compelling stories. I want to be compelling.

I feel limited in my imagination by my lack of knowledge. I once wanted to study history. I wanted to be an archaeologist or an anthropologist because I wanted to know the stories as they stood from every point of view. I wanted to explore every facet of the lives that no one thought about anymore, but that had been a part of what shaped the here’s and now’s all over the world. And then I realized I just wanted to be a story teller. Maybe a travelling one. But there was that “lack of knowledge” thing, and I felt– I feel that I need to see and do more to be able to fully grasps a lot of things that drive people. I want to understand the internal states and the external possible circumstances that affect even the least considered factors of day to day existence. That’s why I’m happy as a waitress. That’s why I’ve done a lot of things the way I have. It’s hard to explain, and I think harder for a lot of people who worry about what I’m doing with my life to understand, that I’m deliberately not aiming for the structure that is supposed to lead to “success” as it is mostly understood to be (i.e. the safe job with the steady income, carefully managed for a wealthy old age, etc.). I want to be content. Not perpetually happy. Happy happens in between everything else. Happy happens when you strive for who and what you love, which may or may not be always exciting. I want to simply be content with where my life is, okay with where I’ve been, and eager to take on what’s coming my way as much by my own hand as possible. It really is an adventure, and that’s exactly what I’m aiming for. Structures are stationary. I want to keep moving.

I’ve had a number of bits of information shared with me recently about the lives of people I love that take my little heart and twist and makes it shiver from the strain of caring. A lot of it isn’t really anything to get too worked up about, but that there’s the potential for those things to become so much more, so much worse terrifies me. So I write. Except then I have that problem where, like in dreams, the doors start appearing that seem to require opening, and that I can feel I really don’t want to open. The stories start trying to go in directions I didn’t initially have in mind almost of their own volition. And so it’s that problem again. The one that goes like this:

“My characters keep trying to jump off bridges. Perhaps I should make a cup of tea and then try writing again.”

And so I make some tea, maybe a nice chamomile, and try again. And sometimes that means I manage to make the story move past the door. And sometimes it means the words stop playing nice and I have to go sit somewhere to sulk with my tea and watch episodes of “Supernatural” or watch “Lilo & Stitch”, feeling rejected until the words get lonely and want to play again.

Anyway, all of this is really to say that I’m having trouble carrying on with “Beasts” right now. It’s happening. I know where I want it to go. I have scenes playing out in my head. But I’m having trouble forcing it from my hand down the funnel that is my pen. It’s frustrating and it’s making me think about a whole lot of other things that are frustrating, which, of course, just makes things worse. Bother, indeed.

Well, I suppose it’s not an adventure without falling into a few holes and walking into a bit of mental poison ivy. Scrapes and bruises are to be expected. Right, more tea, then off to work.



I’m trying desperately not to be a liar yet again, but as midnight is swiftly approaching much like a booted foot to an unsuspecting (though assuredly deserving) butt, I will post what I have thus far.  I fully intend to continue updating through out the night until either the story finishes or I pass out at the keyboard and my poor, wonderful husband has to drag my lifeless (snoring) body off to bed, or at the very least over to the couch.  Oh, also posting the excerpt from my current –and currently unnamed– word baby.  Happy All Hallow’s Read, folks!

Beasts

Bit of Baby (possible a spleen, but it’s hard to tell at this stage)

Speaking of babies– My friend had one today!  Just in case you were disappointed by this small, shabby gift that I didn’t even bother to even try to wrap in newspaper, at least you can know that someone got something good today.  Let’s all be happy for the proud new mama and papa!  Happy adventuring, guys!

Update:  So about an hour after I got to work adding more to “Beasts” I crashed hard. I don’t even remember going to bed, really, but that’s where I woke up.  I will continue writing the story all the same.  Husband says to think of it as a serialized piece.  I’m grumpy about it, but it is what it is.  Bah.  Anyway, happy reading and much love, guys! (There are suddenly more of you!  Hello!)



et cetera
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