I Guess I’ll Have to See

I pretty much don’t know what happened.

Somewhere between getting my proof copy of Riddle in the mail and now, I just kind of stopped doing this.

Okay. I actually know what specifically happened that caused me to abandon this blog for quite a while. I don’t feel comfortable sharing, but there it is.

And at some point in that time frame, I just stopped caring much about this blog. I thought about it every so often, but I think I might be out of ideas, and I never had more than a few readers anyway.

I’m hesitant to say that this blog is done, but I’m also pretty unwilling to say it’ll keep going in this form. I promise you I am one of the most uninteresting people you will ever meet. I don’t have a blogger thing going for me. I haven’t read enough books, I don’t have kids, I’m not terribly creative with recipes, I eat a lot of things that contain gluten, and I basically have no idea what I’m doing here, short of making curmudgeonly posts that would be right at home in my fifth-twelth grade diaries. I am one of probably millions of casual suburban, dog-owning runners in their late twenties.

I will say this. It took a kind of out there conversation (involving American bison, if you must know) to spark the beginning of a process that led me to a newer idea. Newer projects. Something I’d sidelined for now, until Riddle could be fully and completely edited and ready for distribution in various formats. Now that that’s almost accomplished, I keep coming back to this other thing that I’ve gotten started. I’d like to build it further, to make it a thing in itself, but still part of a whole, and very related to Riddle.

Ideally, I’d like to give Riddle its own site. You know, with news, a blog, a place stuff can be discussed. I’d like for people to get into it. I haven’t been promoting the book lately because I was embarrassed to find several glaring errors when I finally got the proof copy in. If you bought a copy on Kindle, then the update is coming soon, and I’m sorry.

I’m glad I’ve had this time to work on my book. I’m glad I made the decision to focus on telling that story, and on making it bigger. I don’t just want to give potential readers a book. I’d like to give them a nice hefty story, spread out and something they could really look for. If there are opportunities for game elements, even better.

All that said, I guess this blog will remain, for now. I’m not sure when the next update is coming. Probably when Riddle is ready to go for real. Maybe some of those updates will be excerpts, or whole chapters. It would be nice if I did have an audience, but I don’t, and I’m not terribly sure I want to pour so much effort into this blog that has nothing at all to do with the world I’ve built to set my stories in.

So. We’ll just have to see.

Fear and Riddles

I released Riddle the other day, as you might have seen.

After the file whent live was when the utter terror set in. The fear, the doubt, the absolutely sure feeling that no one’s going to like it. That it’ll be ridiculed. That maybe I missed something or left out a crucial plot point. That it’s just not good enough.

I’m still nervous. Not the fluttering stomach and shaking knees kind of nervous. Just unsettled. My work is out in the world. A novel that I wrote is hanging around, unabashedly flaunting itself on Amazon. Someone might read it and not like it and I’ll be as maligned by readers as much as Stephanie Meyer sometimes is. (On a side note, before it dives headlong into the gothic romance/overbearing boyfriend category, Twilight has some actual decent dialog between Edward and Bella. You get the feeling he might have been mischevous as a human, and both of them are, at first, fairly witty with each other. One wonders how this book might have been with more tweaking or as an adventure with a teeny side of romance or a more slowly built relationship. But I digress.)

But I’m also settled. The first part of the story is finished. There’s a lot more questions to answer. Riddle is, at its heart, a mystery story set in a world that’s got itself all tangled up. I have a lot more questions to answer.

Right now I’m awaiting the arrival of the proof copy so I can get this thing printed. I’m also not chewing my nails while waiting, because I’m taking five classes this semester, four of them online. I’m also working and dogsitting for my uncle this weekend and seeing my fiance. My schedule’s pretty packed with life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I will be pumped when that proof arrives in the mail. I’m sure I’ll mark it up like crazy, fixing things like page numbers and spacing and indents. But worrying? No. Worrying doesn’t contribute to a great workout, the creative process, or getting good grades. What really matters is doing, and if I do say so myself, I’ve pretty well accomplished the doing.

Get Riddle here, and if you’d be so kind, leave a review.

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Look at the clickableness of this pic. Just check it out.

And Finally…With No Further Delay…I Give You…

Riddle.

Book Cover in ProgressJPEG

That’s right.

My long absence from here has been me working steadily to finish and improve my self-published novel, Riddle.

Right now, it’s available only on Kindle, for $2.99.

Here, have a blurb!

When a scream shreds the quiet of a late spring night, Anya and her friend Matt are drawn into the woods behind their neighborhood and into an old mystery. The cryptic messages and deep secrets invite them further in, but they soon discover that their world is bigger than they ever imagined…and far more dangerous.

Don’t forget, if you decide to check this book out, kindly leave a review.

Things I Am Loving Right Now

I promise right now that I am not receiving any sort of compensation for this list. When I like stuff, I just like to share it with others.

Okay, it turns out they do make clear makeup.

Kind of.

It’s this!

Signature Minerals Translucent Finishing Veil

Yes, it’s white, until you put it on. This is the closest thing in existence to my dream of clear makeup.

So is this Faerie Organic Sheer Veil.

Only caveat is that they did change the base from arrowroot (fantastic stuff!) to zea mays. The last time I liberally applied corn starch to my skin, I developed a bit of an issue that actually left markings behind for a while. That said, if you don’t have an issue with corn and you just want a little glow without completely covering the undertone of your skin, then try this or the Signature Minerals one.

Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap

It’s for oily skin. There aren’t many ingredients. When you get the suds going, it’s not going to look as powerful as harsher cleanser, because it doesn’t have detergents in it. But when it does foam, it’s nice and thick. Plus this stuff has a nice smell to it. And don’t let the shea butter scare you off, oily people. If you’re truly worried, follow up with some witch hazel (an amazing thing in its own right.) I don’t have perfect skin, but it feels a lot better after using this. Basically, for me, it’s perfect. And pretty. The soap is actually black and the brand is stamped on the top so it looks like calligraphy, and it’s only about five dollars for a huge bar at Target. Can’t resist.

This blog.

Thank Your Body

She has tons of great recipes for food, snacks, makeup, detergent…all homemade. I like her focus on non-toxic, and I’m trying to find ways for my home to have fewer toxins. (Also making stuff at home means less grocery store time, which is always a bonus.)

Europa.  Just because it’s cool and I love space.

The Hubble Deep Field. Squee.

And finally…

The first few chapters of Riddle on Wattpad.

Right now I only have Chapter 1 up, but I plan on having the first eight up there. I hope you enjoy that most of all.

 

The Cold Air or the Pressure of Pavement?

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“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

I love this phrase and the ideas it stands for. We live in a culture of disposal, where everything from shoes to marriage is thrown right out. Cheaper to replace than salvage, yes?

Not me. If I invest in something, it’s not going anywhere very soon, which is why I love my Docs and spent a bit on my current computer. It’s why I’m marrying the first boyfriend I ever had. Our relationship hasn’t been easy, but nothing worth it ever is.

On that note, I never really thought I’d be applying this phrase to a fitness app. However, I’ve started using missions from Season 1 of Zombies Run to give me a good solid running workout on days when I’m not using Season 2 for intervals. I disable zombie chases and just follow the story and enjoy the music. Enjoy the run.

But I have to squirm sometimes when I read articles and stuff about fitness.

The resounding advice I’m seeing is that just running (or any cardio) probably isn’t the best workout, if you do it exclusively.

Which I don’t. I don’t only do cardio. My fiance and I are currently doing body weight circuits, and I am attempting intervals on Zombies Run, at least one day a week. I’m trying to do this right.

But it’s the running that’s the most freeing.

When I run through my neighborhood, I feel strong. I feel powerful, and accomplished. I may be dripping with sweat and I probably don’t look as great as I feel…but it’s all about the feeling. When I’m running, I’m not thinking about the calories I’m burning or the fat loss. I’m happy to take any benefit in that area, of course.

It’s a bit of a high to feel that my skin is impervious to the winter cold, for my lungs to have that sensation that they are filling and swelling with air, scraped a little by the chill at the end, but clean.

It may not be burning off lots of calories and fat, and I’ll do my best to make sure that a run doesn’t burn away any muscle that I’ve gained from the body weight circuits.

But for me, running is becoming less about fitness and calories and muscles and goals.

It’s all in how it feels, and I’m not stopping any time soon.

Niceness vs. Goodness

I realize how many ideas I discuss while my fiance and I are watching TV.

So anyway.

This has come up a couple of times and I’ve pointed it out when I see this particularly refreshing aspect of popular fiction. The inspiration for the discussion has first come from the Hunger Games, then the show Elementary.

I like characters who are represented as good, but not particularly nice.

One article I read mentioned that Katniss Everdeen is a “terrible person.” While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, I’ll agree that she isn’t particularly nice. She shuts out all but a few, her own mother included. She treats others with some measure of disdain, but at the center, Katniss is a morally good person.

The other night’s episode of Elementary cemented this concept further. Modern versions of Sherlock Holmes stick to him being brilliant and logical, but to the average person, in these films and shows, he can be quite rude, even to those closest to him. It defines the character. But occasionally, he’ll slip. Rather than being rude or impatient or slightly insulting, he offers actual kindness to those he regards most highly, which isn’t the same thing as being nice. Yet, he is a good person, essentially.

A character doesn’t have to be nice to be good. I do try to avoid the ever-so-prevalent brooding and tortured good guy, but there is a future character mentioned in Riddle who is unseen throughout the novel who isn’t nice. She’s not even pleasant. But she’s still a morally good person who’s actions are questionable by the standards of others. I use that character and another one to create the tension that might arise between this individual and another, who is nice and pleasant but does not act.

I don’t like stock characters who are supposed to fit a personality trait. Having a person as a prop isn’t so fun, because it makes the story messy. If you have a character present a good bit of a scene, write them, not what they’re supposed to be.

Fantasy will never be realism, but the thrill of a story where the people feel like actual people is a huge treat when I read.

I’m just trying to return the favor.