If We Were Having Coffee // A Bad Week that Wasn’t so Bad

“A friend of coffee is a friend of mine.”

― Death Wish Coffee

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up with me. I did my best to get going early this morning. It helped that I had to be up anyway. My stomach waking me up every morning around 5:30, just in time for medication and work, is my new normal. Unfortunately, my gut isn’t aware that it is the weekend, so here we are. The weather is gorgeous so I have the windows open and the cold brew already made.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was not the best but sometimes when you get through a bad week, when you do your best and get everything done that you needed to, it feels like a good week anyway.

Work was frustrating. I can’t go into a lot of detail but imagine if you had a goal or task that took place over the course of months every year. Imagine are awesome and complete your tasks on time, every year. Then imagine that instead of getting to celebrate, relax, or move on to the next task, you were reminded by your boss that you were part of a team and that your job was to complete the work of other employees who hadn’t completed their tasks, every single year! It’s infuriating! But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task.

But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task. The get a couple of hours, two days a week, and that’s it, and from now on, instead of just checking in with my team, I will check in with other teams so that I can be free in April, as was always my goal.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this week was a slow writing week. For most of the week, when I wasn’t working, I was just too tired. My health still isn’t back 100%, which reminds me, I finally had a consult with my GI doctor a whole month after my diagnosis! I’m angry it took so long, but I’m happy to have more information and a plan. It also helped that she started out by apologizing.

I’ll be honest, though, a lot of what she said was a bit depressing. She really made sure I understood that ulcerative colitis is for life. I can never stop treatment, and I can never lose my insurance. If I lose insurance treatment becomes too expensive. If I stop treatment, it may not work when I have to start again, and I will have to start again because ulcerative colitis is for life.

So, I’m back on the steroids, but at a lower dose, and an anti-inflammatory drug that I will take every day for the rest of my life. It will take a few more weeks to know for sure whether this plan will work or not but I’m hoping it will. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll have to move on to harsher drugs, and no one wants that. I’d much rather be taking these pills then giving myself injections or going in for infusions every few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though I didn’t post much, a few writing related things did happen. I had a piece published on Femsplain. I worked on a few things for Aloe, and, I found a fiction contest to enter if I can get my shit together.

I also changed a few things around here. Nothing big. I added a new page for work I’ve had published Elsewhere. I tweaked my About page and updated my Now page too, and I set up an account for donations/tips on Ko-fi. I don’t expect to get much now, but after I start working on some bigger projects I’m hoping to get a few bucks here and there to help keep my going. And finally, I spent a ton of time gathering ideas and information and talking with like-minded folks on both the Buffer Community and Femslack.

The Buffer Community is free if you would like to join but Femslack will cost you, or you can do what I did and write for them instead. It’s worth it!

It’s nice to feel like a part of a community—especially when it’s a secret “members only” one—and to know there are people I can ask questions of or vent to should I every need it. In fact, I’m thinking about setting up a community of my own in the future *wink, wink*

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be easier than the last, which means I plan to be hanging around here much more. I have a ton of comments piled up and awaiting replies—I’m so sorry!—and a few posts drafted and waiting to be shared. I want to catch up on the comings and goings of my blogging friends and find some new ones to follow too.

It’s the last before Spring Break too. I don’t have any big plans yet, but my girlfriend and I are hoping to find something big to do. We’d love to get out-of-state for a few days, but I’d settle for just out of the city if I could. Even that might not happen, though. We need a dog sitter first and our usual, my little sister, has school that week. Sigh.

I can’t tell you how badly I need this vacation. I am going crazy doing the same things day in and day out with nothing new to stimulate or inspire me. I don’t care what we do or where we go as long as it is away from work, home, and everyone I know.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time. I love chatting with you all and if given half a chance I could probably go on all day long but there are rooms to clean, pets to care for, and shopping to be done, not to mention all the writing itching to get done. So, I’d better get off the internet and out into the real world.

I hope you had a wonderful week I hope you had a relaxing weekend too. Please, take a minute to drop a note in the comments and catch me up on everything that has been going on.

Until next time 🙂

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

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If We Were Having Coffee // I Waste Every Weekend

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Hello, dear readers. I know it’s late and I’m sorry for that. I had so much to do. I had to clean the house, do the taxes, and a very special dinner to make, not to mention the accidental nap I took. Next thing I knew, it was dark out, my alarm was telling me to get ready for bed, and I still hadn’t talked to you. I’m here now, though, I couldn’t let the weekend go by without our bit of coffee and catching up. I hope you don’t mind.

From what I hear, depending on when you are reading this and where from, there may be some of you across the country who will be needing a nice warm cup. I don’t want you all to be jealous, but here in colorful Colorado we are experiencing more spring like temps and will be for a while. It’s nice, but there is always the nagging fear of drought conditions. I’m afraid warmer temperatures and less water are going to be our new norm here.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been so, so long. We hired a new employee class at which means I was busy training and teaching. I like this part of my job, and the extra hours/money it provides but damn does it get in the way of writing. I was able to get a few notes down, and this coming week I’m hoping to expand them into blog posts here and pieces for Femplain‘s new project Aloe.

I’m super proud of myself for getting through it with a good attitude, though. I kept my energy up and told myself that since I knew it had been coming, and it is what I signed up for, I just had to suck it up and get it done. And if I had to do it I had better do a good job. There’s not much worse than having to spend the day doing what you would rather not, except doing it badly and having to hear it from your boss or redo it anyway.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that right now, I am very frustrated with myself. My goals most weekends are to work on blog posts for the coming week, work on a couple of pieces to submit somewhere, and work on some art and zine stuff. I never get any of that done. Every weekend without fail I waste about 80% of my time and this weekend was no exception.

During the week my day job keeps my time structured and makes it easy for me to focus on what needs to be done when. My weekends need more structure then I guess. I try to do everything at once. I write, I do the dishes, I watch TV, I spend time with my girlfriend, and I catch up on sleep. I never know which thing I should be doing when, so I do them all, all day.

It’s strange to say I get more done for myself when I am at work than when I am at home, but I realize I am far from ready to work for myself or from home. I need discipline and a plan.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the other half of the problem might be my emotions. I have been all over the place for months now. Part of it was being sick, then the medication, and now, I don’t know what. It’s hard to even tell you exactly what is going on.  I am hopeful, and I have plans but my motivation waxes and wanes randomly and my self-esteem has taken a dip. I’m not sure what to do since I can’t put my finger on exactly what is wrong, but at least I’m aware of it. Sigh.

I have a feeling this coming week I won’t be feeling much better. Between daylight saving time and another busy week lined up at work I have a feeling, there will be more frustration and less satisfying work. I have a doctor’s appointment too. I’m hoping to get more answers about my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, and some help since I do think my symptoms are coming back now that I am off of the steroids.

Keep your fingers crossed, and send some good vibes my way, please?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Samurai Jack is back!

If you don’t know who or what Samurai Jack is you should head to Hulu and watch every single episode or head over to Adult Swim and catch the stream over there. The show first aired somewhere around 2001 and ran for four seasons before ending. The ending never felt right, and the show creators have decided to make so many millennial dreams come true by bringing it back after all these years and giving us Jack’s story the proper ending it deserves. Last night the new season premiered and it was everything I hoped it would be. Beautiful cinematography, silliness, sadness, and some serious fight scenes!

I used to watch the show when I was 15 or so, with my little sister. I can’t say I was the biggest fan then, but like so many things, I didn’t realize that the 30 minutes I had to watch that show were among the few happy memories I had as a kid until I was already an adult.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the very special dinner I had to cook turned out wonderfully.

When my girlfriend and I were first together, we used to cook together all the time, but as we got older, it fell to her for the most part. I’m terrible at it, and it feels too much like a chore while she is good at it, and she enjoys it. It felt natural for her to do the cooking and I the cleaning but I miss us laughing and jostling around one another, working together to bring a meal to the table. So, I planned for us to make potstickers, an old favorite we used to buy premade from the store, from scratch.

We started late, and the going was more complicated than I had anticipated—the story of every project we ever start—but they came out beautiful and tasted delicious! Maybe I’ll find something else for us to make next weekend?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time. I have to head to bed now, or I’ll be dragging my feet tomorrow. I hope you had a great week and a relaxing weekend. I hope your coming week is better than the last and that you will stop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to.

Until next time :)

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? :)

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // The Hardest Month of My Life

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

Hello, dear readers. It’s been a long while since we’ve sat and had a chat and I should start by making my apologies for that. I wanted to be here, and I am sorry I couldn’t. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t do anything. BUT I am back now, or, I hope I am back. It may take me a while to get back on a schedule so let’s just say today I am back, and I hope to be back tomorrow too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since out last chat so much has happened, I am unsure where to begin. I believe that was just after my doctor’s appointment. I went in for joint pain and previous stomach issues. I explain to them that for my whole life I had experienced, off and on, bouts of extreme pain and other unpleasant and TMI symptoms that I’m sure you don’t want to hear about over your coffee.

He sent me away with a referral to the gastrointestinal department and assurances that it was probably irritable bowel syndrome.

Since that appointment, when I was experiencing very mild symptoms, I went down hill very quickly. I was worse than I had ever been. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was a ball of anxiety and pain and frustration. I cannot begin to tell you how scary it was watching my body fall apart this way.

I set up an appointment with the GI department, but the soonest I could get in was February 14th. Yes, I spent Valentine’s day sedated while a doctor took pictures of my colon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite that, and somehow because of that, it was the sweetest Valentine’s day my girlfriend and I had spent together in all of our nearly 15 years together.

I remember none of the procedure and very little about what happened immediately afterward. I know that my girlfriend waited for me in recovery. I know she helped me get dressed and helped me understand what the doctor and nurses were telling me afterward.

She helped me through the preparation and took care of me afterward. She had been so supportive, sympathetic, and understanding I was nearly brought to tears the way she took care of me. She brought me home afterward, fed me, and put me to bed, just what I needed. She went to work while I rested and when I woke she was on her way back home with pizza, chocolates, and strangely, new bed sheets with phases of the moon on them. Probably the weirdest gift and the cutest gift I’ve ever received. Here’s what I wrote for her on Facebook:

I wish this Valentine’s day could have been all flowers, and chocolates, and fancy dinners but when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time you know it can’t always be that way. Today I spent the morning in the doctor’s office and the love of my life stayed in the waiting room until I was out of sedation. She helped me get dressed, helped me understand the results of my tests, took me home, made me a little lunch, and put me to bed. That was the best Valentine’s Day I could’ve hoped for. Real love is being there for someone when they are sick and never making them feel like a burden or an annoyance. It’s letting them do what they can and helping them when they can’t. It’s worrying about them, comforting and supporting them. It’s making sure I take my meds, eat the right foods, and have plenty of fluids. It’s helping me figure out what’s wrong and then helping me get well again. Thank you [honey], for everything you do for me. I know the last few weeks have been tough and you are feeling stressed but just know I appreciate you being here so much. You are the the sweetest and kindest person I know and I’m so lucky to have you in my life. Happy Valentine’s Day baby! I promise when I’m feeling better we will celebrate it right.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the diagnoses wasn’t IBS, turns out, I have ulcerative colitis. Which means my immune system just doesn’t know when to stop. My body thinks that food and beneficial bacteria are foreign invaders plotting to do harm to me and so they have gone on the attack causing inflammation and ulcers. I’m grateful those little white blood cells are trying so hard for me, but I wish they’d learn what is meant to help me and what is meant to harm.

I still have to go back to the GI department for a chat about what this means and what treatment will look like, but from the research I have done, it seems this will be a lifelong problem. I hope the symptoms will come less often and go more quickly if I keep on top of whatever plan they have for me.

For now, I am on steroids to suppress my immune system and reduce the inflammation. It’s only day two, and I’ve already noticed a difference. I am hoping by the end of the week I might be feeling more like myself. Able to work, write, and do my part at home. I hope I can have the energy to get back to doing the things I love and taking care of the people I love too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while I was not doing so well physically, it was the psychological effects that took the biggest toll. My body was betraying me. My body wasn’t mine. My body was getting in the way of everything my mind knew it needed to do. I wasn’t myself, and I was afraid I would never be myself again. I have never spiraled into a depression so quickly before. I was in tears every morning and night from pure frustration and exhaustion. I stopped talking to anyone.

The worst was not being able to write. I have fallen so far behind and it feels impossible to start again. I’m going to try, though. Slowly at first sure, but I am going to try. I want to go back, as much as I can, to the way things were. Even when I had been sick in the past, I could push, though. I could hide. No one knew I had been suffering on and off the way I was. I wasn’t so bad. I was still me. Not anymore. Everything seems changed now.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this has been some heavy conversation for what was supposed to be a light chat over coffee, I’m sorry. I felt you should have an explanation, and I needed to get it all out. I needed to say what has been happening to me and how I have been feeling. I hope to say more in the future but talking about chronic illness and particularly one that affects the bowels is hard. Part of the reason I never got help before was feeling so much shame. Shame, and our terrible healthcare system.

Don’t get me started on the healthcare system.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have to get going. I gotta eat, take me meds, and find the energy to do a little cleaning and visit with family. It was great to catch up with you all. I missed it more than I even knew. I promise next week will be more cheerful.

I hope you all had a good week, a good few weeks since I last spoke to you. Please, leave a note below and let me know how you are holding up.

Until next time :)

***

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If We Were Having Coffee // New Year, Slightly Better Me?

Hello, dear readers!

Thank you so much for stopping by for a strong cup of coffee and a quick catching up. I feel good today. I feel happy and excited. It’s the first day of a new year and t his is the most hopeful we will be. This is the day our glasses are at their rosiest. This is the day when so much is possible. I can feel the potential in the air around me, it’s energizing and a bit scary. The potential may be for good, or for bad, I cannot tell yet.

As for me, I’m spending the first day of this year reading, writing, and preparing for the week. I am trying something new where I do my best to gather inspiration, read over my notes, work in my planner, and prepare blog and social media posts for the week. I waste a lot of time just trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing next. I need to make time for planning. New year, slightly better me?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you, again, that I am so sorry I’ve been a little absent lately, but I hope to get back to my usual schedule both here and at work. I thought that being away from work meant that I would get so much done here and elsewhere and it turns out that having a day job is pretty much the best thing for my writing.

My day job gives me a reason to get up early and a schedule to work writing into. Turns out I’m not ready to manage my own time after all.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say that I am glad that 2016 is over, same as just about everyone else, but I am preparing myself for a shitty 2017. I mean, Trump will be taking office, so you know some bad shit is going to go down. I just hope it won’t be too bad, or it will be something we can do something about.

I still can’t believe that man is going to be our President in just a few short weeks. I can’t believe people really thought that Donald Trump would be the best thing for us. I…you know what, never mind. I can’t talk about politics anymore without getting angry, so I’ve stopped talking about it all together lately. I can’t talk to people who can’t see what is happening because to me they are choosing not to or the are being disingenuous. I just can’t believe that so many of my fellow Americans can be so blind. Ugh!

***

 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though my New Year’s Celebration didn’t go exactly as planned I still had a very good time.

We were supposed to spend the night drinking and dancing with another couple we are friends with but turns out they got stuck out-of-town visiting family. So, instead, we decided to attend a burlesque show and catch some fireworks early in the night and then head home to ring in the new year with just the two of us.

The show was fantastic, and I am already planning to come back as soon as I can justify the ticket prices. Valentine’s Day maybe? Or my birthday? When we got home, we poured a couple of glasses of wine and watched my very favorite movie, Pulp Fiction. We toasted the new year at midnight and checked in with friends and family through text, Facebook, and even Snapchat.

And then we went to bed. We are getting older now and staying up that late isn’t so easy anymore.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our chat, I have to get going. There is so much housework to be done and my energy and focus feel limited. The couch is calling, and I am beginning to wonder what is on Netflix. I must get at least some of the dishes and the laundry done before the temptation to turn this into a “lazy day” becomes too strong.

I do hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I hope your New Year’s celebration was a safe and happy one. I hope 2017 will be good to you and that you will find yourself a happier and healthier you by the end of it.

Until next time :)

***

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If We Were Having Coffee // I Won!…Now What?

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by tonight for a big cup of coffee and a little bit of conversation and catching up. I’m so sorry I couldn’t meet up with you earlier, I had a few errands to run and some Christmas shopping that took a lot longer than I anticipated. It’s not very late but this time of year the sun sets early, and it feels much later than it is.

I may not be in the best spirits this evening. I’ve had a migraine off and on since last night. It’s a strange one, coming in painful waves over the top of my head. It has sapped my energy and left me grouchy and struggling to enjoy what is left of my weekend. At least the weather was nice today.  I tried my best to soak it up while I could since the forecast calls for snow and temperatures well below freezing this week. Ugh.

***

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner
I did it!

If we were having coffee, I would definitely start by mentioning my big stressful NaNoWriMo win. Part of me is super proud of myself for getting it done, but another part of me is having a hard time believing I really did it. I mean, I wrote 50,000 words of a novel. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m not sure what it means, or where I go from here. There is a third part of me that thinks it really didn’t mean anything at all.

 

What I did write was nowhere near the end of the story. So, if I want to use it, I will have to keep writing. Looking back there is a lot of it I want to change or scrap entirely. So, there will always be extensive rewrites of what I already have. Those 50,000 words felt almost impossible, but this rest, the “what now?” feels is overwhelming.

The plan, for now, is to just leave it all be and work on other things this month. Then, in January, when I’ve had time to let is stew in the back of my mind I will start fresh again. I’ll take it one step at a time and shoot for 500 words a day until I have a real first draft to work with.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that besides that, not much else is happening. I have a few projects in the works, but my main focus is to catch up on small things here.

I have seriously neglected my editorial calendar. I still need to get a logo. I have a ton of your comments piled to reply to. My About and Now pages need revamping. I’m also going I might narrow my focus a bit, or at least introduce more science and math into my routine.

I’m planning some more robust cross posting to Tumblr and Medium. I want to spend some time on my Facebook Page—or get rid of it—and learn how to grow my Twitter following too.

You know, regular blogging stuff.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my next big project has been on my to-do list for over a year. My zine.

While writing for NaNoWriMo, I had a breakthrough on what I wanted to write about nd how I wanted to present my ideas. I am going to mix science and math with poetry and art. Every other page will feature some of my favorite facts and concepts, and the facing page will feature a bit of creativity from me relating to the fact or concept.

I want to share with the world my love for this universe. I want to share the awe I feel when I look up at the stars when I think about how time isn’t just a human concept but a real substance that stretches and shrinks. I want to teach people about how strange and beautiful this place is. I want to reveal how much more there is to reality than these human constructs we’ve invented. I want to widen our view.

I may never do any of that for anyone, but it’s important that I try. It’s important that I show people what the world looks and feels like through my eyes, mind, and heart.

Plus, it sounds like a lot of fun to make something tangible with my hands.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that time is slipping away entirely too fast. I can hardly believe it’s already December and Christmas is right around the corner. After that, we’ll be in a whole new year!

I’m thinking a lot about this new year and trying to work out what I would like it to mean to me. So much can happen in a year. I may not know what is coming but I know there will be plenty of bad time, and I’m hoping for at least the same amount of good times too. Soon I’ll be making a list of goals and tasks to complete and working out where I would like to go from here.

I think I’ll try of a new year’s resolution—or two—too, just for fun, just to see if I can do it. I’d like to start exercising, making art every day, or traveling.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that now it is really late and I really have to get going. My headache is getting bad again, and I think I need to go to bed where there is darkness and silence. I hope by morning I feel a bit better.

I hope you are doing well. I hope your week was productive and your weekend was relaxing. If you have time, stop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to and how you are feeling. I love hearing from you, even if I’m not always the best at replying.

Until next time :)

 

 

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A lazy Saturday with my pets.

 

***

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If We Were Having Coffee // I’m Looking Forward to Christmas this Time

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a quick chat and a cup of warm coffee with me. The weather is chilly today, and earlier we had some flurries. It seems winter may have shown up late but it is here to stay now.

This past week was a hectic one—I had to work some, I had to write a lot, and I had to see family—but I was glad the holiday passed without too much stress. Normally this time of year is hard for me. The pressure and stress of it all are usually more than I can handle but this year feels different. I’m looking forward to Christmas this time.

***

If we were having coffee,  I would tell you that I won’t get to visit with you very long this week. I have so many words that need writing if I want to be able to meet the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word goal on time. I’m sitting at just under 35,000 words, and if I can manage 4,000 a day for the next four days, I can make it. I hope to write 5,000 by the end of tonight.

I haven’t looked over what I’ve written so far. Not much anyway, except to expand or add dialog to boost my words counts. I know it is all a pile of shit. A steaming pile that I will need to dig through and see if there are a few gems I can salvage and use in the book that I hope to write eventually.

After November I plan to take a break from it all and start on a new project. I’ll tell you more about that next week.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my Thanksgiving was nice and quiet, just the way I had hoped it would be. My girlfriend and I spent the morning and the early afternoon at home. We had brunch with mimosas and stayed in our pajamas as long as we could. Afterward, we went to my mother’s for dinner and drinks. My littlest sister and my brother and his family were there. We ate plenty and had a really good time.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving and this year, in particular, the holiday feels empty and wrong. The clashing of Native protesters and police over the Dakota Access Pipeline has been a much-needed reminder of the ways this country still oppresses and silences its people.

It’s a much-needed reminder of how awful it is to celebrate a holiday which mischaracterizes the relationship between the early settlers and the Natives. It’s a much-needed reminder that we are not so different nor have we made as much progress as we’d like to believe.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a bit of a dull and lonely one. My girlfriend spent the weekend with her mother. They went up to the mountains for gambling and drinks in celebration of her mother’s birthday. Gambling isn’t my thing, I had writing to do, and our dog needed looking after, so I stayed home.

I spent the time cleaning, trying to write, and watching way more Netflix than was good for my productivity and creative mind. I didn’t sleep well, and I hardly ate so even now I am struggling to stay awake and do the things I need to do.

I’ve only slept alone a handful of nights since we moved together over 14 years ago and when she isn’t here I can’t even lay in our bed. The house doesn’t feel so big anymore, and my mind isn’t quite so loud. Being alone is hard for me, and I am very glad she is back home.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that before my lady left for the weekend, she did surprise me a movie date. We saw Arrival, which good but also surprising, intense, and emotional and I highly recommend it.

We went to a very late showing, to a theater we used to spend a lot of our time in. We snuck in a flask of blood orange vodka and pockets full of movie candy. We giggled and acted like young teenagers. We kissed and cuddled and felt young again. It was a perfect movie date. Like all the ones she used to take me on when we were getting to know one another and deciding whether or not to begin our lives together.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. If I don’t start writing a few scenes or putting my characters through some pain and anguish, I’ll be very disappointed in myself. If I get disappointed in myself, I will have a hard time staying motivated and hopeful. I’ll give up.

So, I must go, but I am so glad we’ve had this time. If you have a moment drop by the comments and let me know how you have been, how your holiday was, and how your own projects are faring.

Until next time :)

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My new favorite mug 😊

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***

I started a weekly-ish newsletter on life, love, and suffering. You can sign up here: (:

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If We Were Having Coffee // I Hate Writing and I Hate Turkey

Hello, dear readers. I’m so glad you’ve stopped by to chat with me. I am feeling much better than I have been these last few weeks. My election depression is wearing off, my cold is long gone, and work hasn’t been too stressful.

It’s been a good week, considering.

***

If we were having coffee, I would start by telling about the crazy weather we’ve been having. This past Thursday we finally got our very first bit of snow for the season. Before that, we were working on something like six weeks without any precipitation at all. Not only that but were seeing temperatures close to 80 degrees some days. That is unheard of for this time of year here.

Our ski resorts had to postpone opening which means our winter tourism business is probably down and I predict another drought next year.

I won’t lie, at first, I really liked it. Now all I can think is this is what climate change will be for us here. We will get dryer and dryer, warmer and warmer. We will live under a constant fire watch, and water will become a real problem. Scary shit.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still very far behind on my NaNoWriMo word counts, but I am proud of myself for not giving up. I do have a super easy week coming up at work, and I am determined to do as much as I can to make up the words during this time.

At this point, my strategy is just writing random scenes that may or may not make it into my final book. I am working on figuring who my characters are and getting them into more situations where they interact with on another. I am also trying to add more pain so that later there can be more redemption and happiness. I’m trying to have fun with it.

Some days it’s hard, though. Some days I just don’t feel up to it. Some days my emotions are overwhelming—or underwhelming—or I am too tired, or I’ve had a glass or two of wine, and I can’t get the words to flow. It feels very much like pulling teeth. Like prying things out of my mind and soul with a crowbar. It’s painful and leaves me exhausted and low.

Some days I am not even sure I like writing, which tells me that I am on my way to becoming a real writer.

***

 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still feeling some kind of way about this election. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is I am feeling now. I’m having a hard time accepting the state of things and my fear feels unmanageable and unreasonable. I am alternating between outrage and numbness. Every other day I am either obsessively consuming the news or avoiding it entirely. I don’t know exactly how to cope, and instead, I am flailing within my own world hoping to find my footing soon.

I don’t know what else to say about this shit show, except to say that, to me, America doesn’t feel especially “great” at all. America feels pretty crappy right now. We’re not the worst, by far, but we are not the best. I have a bad feeling that our time on top has passed and we a falling fast. We can’t see it yet, but it’s been true for a while now. Whatever happens now we will only have ourselves—our stubbornness, our intolerance, and our egos—to blame.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have made no idea how I am spending Thanksgiving. I know, I know, it’s a little late to be trying to figure it out now, but you have to understand, I don’t even like Thanksgiving, for many reasons.

I’ve read that the real first Thanksgiving was actually in celebration of the Pequot Massacre in which “700 men, women and children” were killed by early settlers. I’m not sure if that is true, or if what I was taught in school was true but I do know that when it comes to the bloody history in this country, we are quick to gloss over or outright erase the worst of it.

We downplay the crimes committed against the Native Americans, and to celebrate Columbus Day and Thanksgiving feels like a slap in the face. We forget all the pain their ancestors endured, and we insult them by not offering a day of remembrance and reflection

Also, it seems a whole lot of work, a whole lot of consumption,  and a whole lot of waste under the guise of gratitude. It feels like a whole lot of bullshit.

Plus, I hate turkey.

***

If we were having coffee, I’d apologize for my negative outlook on the holiday. I do think it’s great that families get together and spend a day enjoying good food and good company. I try to keep that in mind during these times. I just wish we would get rid of the back story.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get doing. It’s getting late, and there are words I have to write for this novel, or whatever it is. I plan to spend the rest of the night writing whatever I can. My hope is 2000 words; I’d be happy with 100 though.

I hope you had a good week and I wish you all the productivity and good vibes you can get in the upcoming days. Please, if you have a moment, drop a note in the comments and let me know how you have been. How are you coping since the election? What are your Thanksgiving plans? And what big projects, NaNoWriMo or otherwise, are you working on.

Until next time :)

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My favorite shirt that doesn't belong to me :) #selfie

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***

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If We Were Having Coffee // Post-Election Depression

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Things have been hard this past week, for obvious reasons, and also I haven’t been sleeping well or reaching very many of my goals. I am depressed, I think. Nothing seems good, interesting, exciting, or possible at the moment.

Some coffee date I am, huh?

***

If we were having coffee, I would do my best to avoid bringing up the election but if you so much as mention either candidate or ask me who I voted for I may just lose it. I am flipping between feelings of anger, disappointment, and fear, plus I feel stupid and weak for feeling the way I do. So many people on social media are telling people like me to stop being such whiny babies and to suck it up and move on. It’s hard not to wonder if they might be right.

It’s not so much that I am worried about President-elect Trump, it’s more like I’m worried about rest of the government plus Trump. The Republican party has a long history of hating people like me—black, female, gay—and I hate to think what may be coming now that the US has written them a blank check and elected very few who will check them. For some Americans, this may be a very long and painful four years.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my anger has been directed in nearly every direction. I’m doing my best not to let individuals get caught up in the crossfire but instead focus on demographics and the obvious sentiments and secret thoughts of entire swaths of the American public.

Saw a lot of people telling others how they should feel today. People saying we should get over it, move on, and unite! Um, how about hell no! I am angry, and I will be for a very long time. If you aren’t then congrats! You don’t fall into one of the groups that Republicans have been shitting on for as long as you can remember. I’ll get you a cookie. Unfortunately, a lot of people do. Unfortunately, I do. Politicians have been telling me my whole life I am going to hell, that I don’t matter, and that I am in need of “correction.” They told me my love would tear the country apart and that I didn’t deserve a family. Those politicians just took control of every branch of this government. For some of us, this hurts. For some of us, this is scary. So yeah, I’ll be losing friends over this. Yeah, I’m going to be angry. Yeah, I am going to bitch. If you can’t understand that, support that, or give me space to do that, then we were probably never friends anyway.

— One of my recent Facebook posts.

Unfortunately, that isn’t working out so well. There have been a few friends unfriended and blocked on Facebook and some who received a lecture and the silent treatment in real life. It’s hard to accept that so many people put other lives and freedoms in danger merely because they wanted to watch the world burn in the hopes that our government might be born anew. I hope those people understand the gravity of their decision in the coming years, but I doubt it.

Privilege is one hell of a drug.

***

If we were having coffee, I would try my best to move on. No one likes to talk politics for very long, do they? I would probably mention the thrilling and surprisingly funny but also a bit uncomfortably erotic movie The Handmaiden, an “erotic psychological thriller” about a pickpocket and a con man plotting to seduce a wealthy woman out of her inheritance.

It’s based on a book titled Fingersmith—which is also very good—by Sarah Waters but the setting has been moved from  Victorian era Britain to “Korea under Japanese colonial rule.”

I think I’ll write one of my proper reviews of this movie, but it’ll be awhile before I can wrap my head around it. It was a lot, a little too much maybe. I have an issue with movies that over sexualize lesbian and gay relationships, especially when I’m not sure it adds to the story. Then again, who am I to judge someone else’s art, right?

I’ll leave you with the intriguing trailer and the assurance that it is, in fact, an excellent film.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would briefly mention my NaNoWriMo word counts. They are sad. I’m sitting at 11,685 words, which is so much better than zero words but so much worse than the 21,666 words I should have by now. I could still do this, if I just got my shit together, sat my ass in the seat, and wrote the damn thing!

I have two problems, though.

Number one, I don’t know what happens next. I’ve written a few scenes, and I have given my characters some exciting conflicts to get through. I have explosions and car chases. I have love interests, heart breaks, and deaths. I have a message and a moral, but I am missing something. I am missing a route to the big climax and a clear idea of who the ultimate villain is and what they want. I don’t know how my character saves the world and I am not even sure why she wants to. I am missing the hook.

My second issue is one of motivation. I am one of those people who gives up when I’ve fallen too far behind or when the odds of my success begin to dwindle. I can’t make myself see that I can do this with just a little extra work. Deep down I feel like the battle is already lost, so I can’t get my mind to focus. Sigh.

For now, I am going to work on expanding what I have and adding dialog.

***

If we were having coffee, I would thank you for lending my your ear and letting me know there are people out there who care enough to listen. It means a lot. I have been nearly absent from everywhere on the internet except for Twitter. My Twitter feed is filled with people who understand how I am feeling and I have been drawn there more than uncertain places like WordPress or Facebook. I will be back. I just need to get out of this funk, but I am afraid it may take a while.

In the meantime feel free to drop a note in the comments. I’d like to hear how you are doing—especially if you are also participating in NaNoWriMo—and how you physically and emotionally reacting to hearing President-elect Trump over and over again. Just typing makes my skin crawl and my stomach turn. Ugh.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your weekend and that your work week will be a little better than the last.

Until next time :)

***

I started a weekly-ish newsletter on life, love, and suffering. You can sign up here: (:

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If We Were Having Coffee // There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hello, dear readers. Thank you so much for stopping by. I know it’s late, and I’ll admit, that is my fault. I nearly forgot about our coffee date. Not because you aren’t important, just have so much going on, and time got away from me, and I’m not feeling very good, and all I am giving you are excuses. I’ll just say that I am sorry and I am happy you are here now.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my first week of NaNoWriMo was a hard and disappointing one. I started Monday off feeling happy and ready to be productive, but I had forgotten my bosses warning that this week was going to be a busy one. When I got to work and saw the schedule, my heart dropped. I wouldn’t be doing very much writing at all.

I had some time, about half of what I normally have, but I write slowly. I have only a very dim idea of what my book is about and even less of an idea of how to write it. I am learning a lot, sure, but I am in desperate need of time to work more of it out. Like, I know I’m just supposed to be vomiting words on the screen, saying anything and every thing that pops into my head and advances my plot. I am trying, but the words don’t come easily and the plot wanders, doubles back, and jumps to places I am not always sure I can follow.

I am struggling, but I am not giving up! I can do this….maybe.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on top of the busy work schedule and the writing difficulty, I am sick. Early in the week I started feeling stuffy, and I was sneezing a lot, but I chocked it up to unseasonably warm weather and weird allergies. Then the sinus pain and the fatigue hit hard and stuck around for nearly the entire week. I started coughing on Friday, and now I can’t tell weather I am getting better or worse. I do know that I am tired of this cold medicine fog and the stomach issues I’m getting from my over usage of cough drops.

I want to be able to breathe normally again!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am both excited and terrified for Tuesday’s end to this shit show—excuse my language—of an election. The recent focus on Clinton’s emails has infuriated me, as well as the media’s insistence on interviewing Trump campaign manager Kellyann Conway, a woman who is incapable of answering a direct question and feeds the American people nothing but misinformation.

This election is really affecting my mental state and mood in a very negative way, and I am sure I’m not alone in feeling that way. I hope Clinton wins, but either way, this country will find some relief and, hopefully, begin to heal.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was seeing the amazing film Moonlight. I’ve seen a lot of films that sought to bring the gay experience to the masses, but very few have tackled the black gay experience. As a lesbian woman of color, who comes from a family with histories of addiction and abuse, I related a lot to this film.

Moonlight made a gay film that didn’t glamorize or over sexualize the experience of growing up queer. It showed the courage it takes just to exist, both in the closest and out, and that our love is beautiful too.

Please, see it if you can. You won’t regret it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell that I, regrettably, have to get going. I am so glad we got to chat, even if it was only for a short time. My cough is getting bad again, so it’s time to take more medicine, which means very soon I’ll be feeling very sleepy.

I hope you had a good week. If you have a minute drop by the comments and let me know how you are doing, what you’ve been up too, and how you are surviving this election. I love hearing from you, even if I’m not always so good at replying.

P.S. I’m still very sorry about that :(

***

So yeah, I have a newsletter :)

If We Were Having Coffee // Writing the Best Pile of Crap I Can

Hello, friends! Thank you for stopping by for a big cup of coffee and a bit of catching up.  This past week was a pretty good one. I had hardly any work-work to do at all, so I spent it doing research for my nano-novel-that-might-never-be and getting my editorial calendar into something that looks a little more like order than chaos.

I wish I had gotten more reading done, and I wish I had written more blog posts, but overall I think it was a pretty good week.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of the week was a live show put on by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Friday night on bats. Yes, bats! It was so, so good. Rob Mies, the director of the Organization for Bat Conservation, gave the talk and him and his assistants walked the bats around the room so we could all see them up close and get some pictures.

When I bought the tickets, I had no idea who Mies was about the problems facing bat colonies all over the world. I didn’t know how bats helped us all or how many of them there were. I learned a lot, and I have a better appreciation for these little, and sometimes big, flying mammals.

I would like very much to attend more events like this. As an adult, you forget what how much fun it is to go somewhere just because you want to learn something.

It’s a welcome change of pace.

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Malaysian flying fox :)

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***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have Christine at Better Novel Project and Chuck Wendig of Terrible Minds to thank for making so much progress on my novel’s outline this week. To be honest, with you I have very little idea what is going to happen or what this book is going to be about, ultimately, but I have some places to start. I have a list of the kinds of scenes I could write, a list of dos and don’ts, a list of character types, and a ton of world building information to work through.

I might just write a big pile of crap next month, but I am trying to make it the best pile of crap I can. Hell, even if that pile of crap does nothing but show me what I don’t want to write it will have been an invaluable learning experience, right?

***

If we were having coffee I would remind you that last week I mentioned I was starting to cook more often, even though I don’t enjoy it, nor am I very good at it. I’m doing it because my girlfriend works incredibly long hours now and it’s not right that she should be figuring out dinner too, even if she wants to.

For her part, she is reluctant at times to give up an activity she enjoys but admits it would help with her stress levels, so she relents. I told her just two nights a week and one good breakfast on the weekends. I’m beginning to enjoy it a little when it goes well, but when it doesn’t, it’s awful.

I’ve made both lemon pepper and hot wings, and some sweet potato waffles and each came out pretty good. I’m hoping to make these beyond delicious looking tacos al pastor tonight if I can find the ingredients.

***

If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you have checked out the show Black Mirror on Netflix? I watched season 1 and 2 a long, long time ago and had been hoping, praying, for more. When I heard Netflix had taken over the show I became even more excited and hopeful, and finally this weekend my dreams of more Twilight Zone-esq psychological thrills centered around questions of our dependence and trust in technology were realized. Season three was realised and so far it has been amazing. Check it out!

While you’re at it make sure to check out 13th, a documentary on mass incarceration in the united states. It was informative and brought me to tears more than once. This film put the whole damn system, from slavery to the prison industrial complex, into words and brings to light some behind the scenes law making tactics I am sure most Americans don’t know about.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that next week is going to be a busy one so if you don’t see me around her very much don’t worry, I’ll be back. I will be doing some training at work and I still have some cramming to do before NaNoWriMo, so blogging will have to wait. I’ve been slacking on the comments around here—I’m so sorry about that—and on reading all your great blogs—I’m so sorry about that too—so I may use whatever free time I have to correct those oversights.

I also wanted to give some Yeah Write! challenges a try and work on something for fēlan zine if I can squeeze it in.

Whew!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had better get going, the laundry needs washing, the dishes need scrubbing, and I’d like to get out of the house and enjoy some sunshine and freedom before I return to the work week.

I hope you all had a wonderful week and I wish you nothing but productivity and good vibes in the next. Drop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to. I do love hearing from you all :)

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Curly dreads :)

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***

So yeah, I have a newsletter. Sign up, k? :)

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