Tales From the Editing Trenches and other Endeavors


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It’s been awhile since I’ve written, I know dear readers. It’s been a busy summer. I’ll only bore you with a few of the details, I swear. I hope that you walk away with a few of the insights that I did even if you’re bored to tears. I’m laughing to myself right now as I sit in my new auction purchased writer’s chair in my cluttered little office. I laugh because like all things in my life lately, I am examining where to begin. This is not an easy chore.

As some of you know, I started a new job this summer. I have been frightfully busy doing nothing because of impending changes due to the federal sequestration of funding. Then I was frightfully busy waiting to be able to implement the changes which I could not do until the powers that be made a bunch of decisions. In true “powers that be” form it took until the last minute and then they want to start asking why I didn’t make these changes sooner. To which I blow giant raspberries. Typical government crap….hurry up and wait and then change everything to fit today’s needs in yesterday’s timelines. I also am starting to think that this job problem is biting into my social media time….I’m laughing out loud at how acclimated we have all become to the constraints of real life on our virtual lives.

The summer has also been busy with following my heart on many things which is starting to prove to be a very worthwhile endeavor. Even though it is scary and sometimes uncomfortable for this little autistic zombie girl, I am very happy to report that I have just closed my eyes and done lots of deep breathing. Then opened them to the surprise. Wow the surprise is that this method has actually worked!

I’ve also seen lots of movies and in typical summer pursuits at our house gone to lots of concerts! My dislike for old man bands grows while my anticipation for the upcoming Adam Ant show makes me giggle in 80’s girl insanity.

The biggest changes of this summer, outside of the new job issue is my slightly changing view of myself and the world in general around me. Not that the world has suddenly become autistically inclined, but more in the comfortableness of myself and learning to balance all of the new roles within my own little world.

One of the most important changes has been in my own house as I am the main money maker, now. Yes, the Fix-it-guy is still unemployed. I feel his tension in the shift of the money power, and honestly, I really try not to point it out. Occasionally, however, I take just a little delight in poking my finger at it. I actually have a little extra money these days and I treated myself to a brand new netbook. I have waited far too long for Scrivener to pull an iPad app out of thin air. Honestly, Scrivener, you started on Mac, why isn’t this the first thing you worked on? The call of NaNo looms hugely over my head and the pressure to be mobile as the new ML of the Indiana Elsewhere group charges at me with its ugly little stubborn head full force and completely without brakes. I wish technology would keep up with me, honestly. Why is the march of progress so relentlessly slow? It’s like a snail.

Wee Geek continues to struggle with the parameters of his grown up world. This has been the most difficult part of my life lately. I know that he has to struggle and I feel so powerless in pushing him up the hill and over the hump. There was a misguided and misunderstood non-suicide threat which landed him in the nut hut for a couple of days. This did make him understand that he needs to learn how to control his emotions a little more and also to understand that he cannot do this huge job of mopping up the mess his dad made all by himself.  I’m sure that in his dad’s little control freak brain, it made perfect sense to disable rather than to enable this kid. What he really did was create a huge cauldron of crap that is taking a lot of time to unravel. Wee Geek spent so much time stuffing himself down to keep from getting killed in that awful environment that there was little opportunity to actually learn how to cope. Now that his life has settled down and started to find a path, he is unable to control the feelings that are surfacing. The biggest of which is anger at his dad. I feel a great deal of frustration in him sending all of his energy in that direction. That too is a coping mechanism, however, and I have to let him get through it. No matter how inefficient it truly is.

It’s been a struggle for me not to run to bring him home. There is value to all paths we make decisions to follow. Not always wisdom, but value. He refuses to go file for unemployment. He has been warned that I will be somewhat unsympathetic toward money issues if he does not take steps to help himself. We all have to draw lines in the sand. In reality, the Fix-it-guy and I know that the best thing for him would prolly be to come home and let us help him to get on the autism waiver and get involved with Voc Rehab to help him with financial stuff and getting a new job. It would be helpful in getting him back into school, too. He’s very afraid to take that step. It feels like he’s taking a step backward to him. It’s progress in a backdoor way and he is not excited for that in the least.

The biggest event of the summer came in a very strange way, however. And it almost didn’t happen. My publisher Post Mortem Press (go see link here) http://www.postmortem-press.com/ threw a little retreat for its authors. I had planned for Fix-it-guy to come and at the very last minute (and I do mean that in the most literal sense of the word) he decided not to go. So, I drove to Yellow Springs, Ohio all by my lonesome. The motel was fantastic http://www.thespringsmotel.com/ and I recommend it for that truly creepy Bates Motel experience. Not that the motel was bad, it just gave you this very distinct feeling of going back in time. It was your typical one story strip mall kind of motel with gigantic dollops of nostalgia.

It was interesting to meet the other authors and most exciting of all…..extremely motivational! The main activity of the weekend was a little Edited! (rather than Chopped) contest. We had to submit a flash fiction story before we arrived. Don’t worry, I had to look it up, too. I had no idea how to write flash fiction and only barely understood what it actually was. This link helped me to get it: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/flash.shtml .  So I wrote this strange little story called “Damned If You Do” about a boy zombie killer and his girlfriend. I know, no surprises there. After placing in the top of that round, we were given the lyrics to an old Joy Division song http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/joy+division/love+will+tear+us+apart_20075884.html “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. Here’s a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHYOXyy1ToI  . Didn’t really miss Joy Division, did you? So I wrote another little story of the same title about a man who kills his wife and they in true Norman Bates style, keeps her as if she was sick. The next prompt was a picture prompt. It was a strange little photo with a young girl holding a baby and a storm brewing in the background. That story was born of a strange experience in a haunted school (that will be later) called “Vortex Baby”. It was about  a child of an incestuous rape being born. The final story was based on the prompt “The Caretaker”. This story was rooted a little in the story that appeared in “Fear of the Abyss” http://www.amazon.com/Fear-Abyss-Post-Mortem-Press/dp/0615732518  and a little on the movie “Daybreakers” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/ which I highly recommend as refreshing look at the vampire mythology.  It was about an alien race who used humans as their Life Force. It smacks greatly of “Solyent Green” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1  again another movie that comes highly recommended from yours truly. This story was the winner.

I know that the strange string of events that led to this was nothing short of silly, but it worked and as a writer of fiction, who am I to argue with the debate of fiction needing to be more real

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than real life. At any rate, my winnings consisted of a little plastic trophy and a  huge cache of Post Mortem Press books. Winning this really did something to me. It validated that I do indeed know what the hell I am doing. It made me realize that this is what I should be doing with my life. It also solidified the need to get all three of these books out of my computer and into a book.

So, never fear, the zombie novel is finally coming.  I was so inspired and energized by spending the weekend with 20 people that I didn’t even know of outside of Facebook and some not really at all, that I now count them all as wonderful influences on my life as a whole.

So here are some links to authors that you should link to.

Nelson Pyles http://nelsonwpyles.com/ who also runs https://www.facebook.com/TheWickedLibrary

J. David Anderson: https://www.facebook.com/authorjdavidanderson

C. Bryan Brown: https://www.facebook.com/cbryanbrown

Jessica McHugh: https://www.facebook.com/author.JessicaMcHugh

Gary Braunbeck: http://garybraunbeck.com/

Tim Waggoner: http://www.timwaggoner.com/

Lucy Snyder: http://www.sff.net/people/lucy-snyder/

Kenneth Cain: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Your-eyes-My-vision-the-Dark-Fiction-of-Kenneth-W-Cain/177796992258142

Brady Allen: https://www.facebook.com/authorbradyallen

Georgina Morales: http://www.diaryofawriterinprogress.blogspot.com/

I think that hits everyone. If I missed someone feel free to let me know.

What I did learn from this fateful weekend is so awesome that I find it hard to find words to talk about it.

I know, you are dying to know about the Haunted School trip. It was at Poasttown school http://poasttownschool.com/Home_Page.php . There is a place in the heart of the school that they call the Vortex. It’s a kind of place that all the roads in the school merge into. It has a very unique energy. As most of you longer time readers know, I have Asperger’s. This means that my brain is never quiet and I never stop ticking. This is usually fairly easy to control with massive doses of Benydryl. As I walked into the vortex, I was taken completely off my feet. My brain was quiet. My body was quiet. I didn’t feel the need to rock or twitch or move or really anything. I know that most neurotypical people won’t get it. They can actually turn off their brains. My brain does not have that switch. It is constantly moving and driving me into distraction and destruction. The feeling of complete and utter calm was so foreign that I almost didn’t know how to react. At first the quiet scared me. It was immediate. Like a switch being turned off in my brain. It was dark and felt like everyone was sleeping. If it had only been quiet and I had not had the stillness in my body, I prolly would have run like hell. Instead, I just stood and enjoyed the curiosity of it.

At any rate, that was the reason behind the “Vortex Baby” story. It also brings me to a screeching halt here in the Land of the Not Quite Right. I have a roaring allergy headache that refuses to go away and I am seriously going to lay down and try to get rid of the damn thing. I am inspired once more, so hopefully more blogs will be leaking out of my head as I continue on this creative binge.