I have an above average sense of smell. I can pick out individual parts of recipes and adjust dishes I’m cooking on the fly just by sniffing things. It definitely isn’t super-power level by any means, or even as good as the sense of smell of most animals, but it is definitely a talent I enjoy applying in my day-to-day life. It makes cooking easy to do, since I can adjusting the spices based on smell alone, it makes it ABUNDANTLY clear when something has gone bad or is teetering right on the edge, and it helps me remember what leftovers I have in my fridge. That said, there are a lot of downsides that impact the way I live my life compared to most people.Continue reading
Month: June 2022
The Stories That Stick With Me
As I’ve been trying to balance editing my novel, recording my poetry, editing the old serial story to repost once I’m out of poems, updating my blog every week, and the various Dungeons and Dragons games I’ve been running or playing in, I’ve wound up spending almost all of my free time thinking about stories. I tend to get contemplative when I’m incredibly busy, usually as a means of procrastinating whatever work I’ve given myself to do, and this time is no exception. I’ve tried to avoid any topics that might make me feel upset, sad, or regretful, and I’ve landed on the kind of stories that I still think about to this day and what those have in common.Continue reading
Let’s Game It Out is Video Game Hilarity To Die For
One of my favorite passtimes when I’m feeling down is to browse through videos on the YouTube channel “Let’s Game It Out.” A zookeeper friend introduced me to this creator (who goes by Josh in his videos) when one of his videos about an unethical zoo showed up in some of her zookeeper circles a few months before the pandemic kicked off in the US. It started a pleasant night of YouTube video watching, almost entirely focused on this guy’s videos, and had us all laughing so hard we were crying. It was a lot of fun for a single evening that eventually tapered out when we realized we were out of zoo-related videos to watch, and it wound up being one of the last times we gathered as a group for a long while. With everything that happened in the start of 2020 and then that happened as the pandemic revved up, I completely forgot about the videos until last summer.Continue reading
Turns Out Writing These A Week Ahead Has Some Drawbacks
[I write all of these a week ahead of time and rarely have I felt so at-a-loss for how to shift this one to reflect the time between when I wrote this and when I edited it before it went up. For this post, I edited it on Friday and added a bunch of notes to reflect my mind frame a week later. All of those notes are in brackets like this one.]
In the first draft of this post, I wrote about feeling capable and like I’ll be able to manage everything I want to do this week without having to borrow from days later down the line or by sacrificing my well-being in the moment. I went on about it for a couple paragraphs before I realized that what I felt was “rested” and that what I was describing was just my first time in months starting the week without already being exhausted because a single weekend wasn’t enough recovery time from the stress of weeks past. As it turns out, this past weekend was exactly the recovery time I needed to finish resting up from the pair of stressful months I had (two months of days, not two months by the calendar) and now I finally feel ready for the week ahead. While it is possible that something stressful and exhausting could happen this week [which it totally did, since I write these a week ahead of time] since most of the stress and exhaustion of my past few months has been the unexpected nature of what has happened, I think I’ve finally gotten to a point where I have enough stored up resilience to bounce back from one bad thing [haha, NOPE].Continue reading
Recorded and Reposted: Sleeping with the Window Open
I used to sleep with the window open.
The washed out yellow street light
Standing sentinel at the corner next to my driveway
Throws wild shadows on my shelves and walls
That are occasionally stretched into thin waving lines
As the bright pale blue light of the patrolling cop’s
Fluorescent headlights roll past my yard.
The silent murmur of the woods holds sway
Broken by a passing car on a distant highway,
The echoing sirens of a police car needed somewhere quick,
Or the mournful blare of a train lost somewhere in the hills.
Every walk I take is a performance,
A concert for next to no one
With no instruments to speak of
Save for the rhythm of my feet
As one step follows another
To the solid beat of my gait,
Stride staying steady
As I cross paths and walkways,
Each one a measure
In the score of my day.
The Perils of Creative Expression
I’ve been working on a new poem (goes up tomorrow). I got a draft done pretty quickly, forty-five lines across three pairs of stanzas, lots of nice imagery, all of that in about twenty-five minutes. I had a super clear image, a theme to work with, and a form that rapdily emerged from the way the thing arranged itself in my head. Not my fastest work, but still pretty good for a first draft. I spent another five minutes over the rest of the day reading it and making small adjustments and then sent it off to a reader for a quick review. I was expecting a comment about the end, that it would feel very abrupt or like it shouldn’t have been the end, and that’s the comment I got back. See, I had more I wanted to say, but I couldn’t find a way to say it, so I tried to wrap it up there. After all, not everything needs to go into one poem. But clearly it was missing something, so I decided I’d spend some time today to work on it.Continue reading
I Have A Low Bar For What I’d Call A Peaceful Day
This has, so far, been the first week where nothing has happened by the end of Wednesday (please keep in mind this was written a week before it was posted). This will mean it is the first quiet week I’ve had in about a month and something I sorely needed after the tumultuous few weeks I’ve had immediately prior to this one. Not all of that time has been bad, of course. A lot of fun and/or good things happened during that period of time, but a lot of bad, unpleasant, and awful things also happened during that time period. It has just been a lot without much of a break for me to catch my breath. I couldn’t escape the constant happenings anywhere I went. Even the refuges I had built on Twitter for moments like this had been overrun by happenings. Long overdue happenings by the sound of it, happenings that I support wholeheartedly (for the most part, more than one thing happened after all), but still stuff that was a drain to encounter.
As I’m writing this blog post, it is the end of the third day since anything new happened to me. I’ve had no new issues to deal with, no new occasions to celebrate, no new happenings to work through, and none of the old stuff has reared its head anywhere beyond my anxiety. It has been quiet and I’ve had time to feel exhausted without worrying that I’m missing something vital. As boring as my days have been, this is exactly what I’ve needed. I even found an extra bottle of mouthwash when I thought I was entirely out of it, so even the small stuff has stayed incredibly uneventful.
As I write this, there is no noise in my apartment aside from the quiet whir of my fan, the distant gentle cheeps of my bird who is upset with me for walking past her without spending the rest of the time she’s awake interacting with her, the clack of my keyboard as I write, and the soft rumble of distant thunder as a series of heavy storms roll past to the north of me. I’m under a tornado watch, as is most of my state right now, a severe thunderstorm watch, and an incredibly enjoyable “watch the dark storm clouds roll in” watch. Given my history with storms, this is incredibly calming rather than worrisome and I’m looking forward to whatever tonight brings as the storm rages outside. It might be a tornado, which would be terrible, but there will definitely be plenty of rain, lightning, and thunder.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of my evening. My attempts to make plans met with no success, so I suspect I’ll be reading or playing video games by myself while listening to a backlog of podcasts. The exact activity will depend on whether or not I still have power of course. Even now, I’m actively saving my work every line or two since it looks like the kind of weather that steals your power away without warning. That would suck, since it is hot and humid as all get-out, but it would definitely make tonight a quiet night with no demands placed on my emotional energy. Unless, of course, my apartment gets wrecked by a tornado. The one exception to the hopefully peaceful night I have ahead of me.
Still, a tornado does one thing and there’s only one thing I can do about it, so it is a relatively simple situation to handle when you’ve studied weather patterns and lived in the Midwest as long as I have. Feels so much easier to hypothetically handle than a difficult conversation about why I chose to remove someone from a Dungeons and Dragons campaign or why I think we absolutely need strict gun laws in a way most pro-gun people around me don’t seem to comprehend given the way the second amendment to the US constitution has been misinterpreted for years. Even writing those out was exhausting.
Illusions of the Past and Flash Fiction
I kind of miss the old way I used to run this blog, with a different type of content for every day of the week. It was a very creatively enriching time in my life and I really feel like I grew as a writer during that period. I was also at my healthiest, mentally speaking, during that period. My inclination is to chalk all of this up to a wide variety of writing, heavy structure, active participation in numerous creative projects that included working with people for feedback, and the rewarding feeling of sharing it all someplace other people could see it and respond to it. Unfortunately, things aren’t actually so simple as that. Like most things, the truth of the matter is more complicated.Continue reading
Sustainable Characters and Short D&D Campaigns
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been playing (as a player, not the Dungeon Master) in a Dungeons and Dragons game. It was conceptualized as a sort of “last stand” type adventure, with four characters taken after the moment of their deaths by some powerful, godly figure, to see how long they could last against various challenges. Restored to the peak of their power (20th level) and given only mundane, non-magical gear, they are thrown together with no warning or preparation time and bounced from one scenario and battle to another, with only two instant-use short rests to allow them to recover. It has been a lot of fun to play a powerful character with no need to manage magic items or a vision for the future beyond how to mechanically apply my abilities and limited recovery from one fight to another.Continue reading