Liebstered, Take Two!

A month and a half later, I finally feel sprite enough to blog here. I was Liebstered by the lovable and talented Nicole from ThoughtsStainedWithInk. She is undoubtedly one of the most charming and warm-hearted people I’ve ever “met” online!

As a side note: Sorry for the extended absence; to make a long story short, I’ve just not been feeling it. I’ve been meandering through my editing and transfers, binging on reading, but not feeling motivated at all.

So here we go with the Liebster!

Here are the rules:
Share 11 facts about yourself.
Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
Nominate up to 11 bloggers and write 11 questions for them to answer.
Bonus Rule, added by yours truly: wonder about the significance surrounding the number 11.

A bit hard to come up with some more facts about myself from the previous Liebster, but I will try!

  1. I am a cat person. But I am not addicted or drawn to kitten pictures. I love all animals, but cats are my familiar-of-choice.
  2. Final Fantasy XII is my favorite game story. IX and VII are my other two favorites. VIII and X, not so much. And this new XV? Ehhh…! Sims, well, that’s a given. Been playing that one since its inception 16 years ago D:
  3. Pierogies and mashed potatoes are my comfort foods. And mozzarella strings.
  4. Vodka is my drink of choice. It goes with everything (except milk. I hate milk).
  5. I drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning, 1 cup of tea in the afternoon, and 1 in the evening.
  6. I was once very tech and code savvy, but now I am just the old fart who is clueless about new tech. My 9 year old now knows more than I do.
  7. I am allergic to chicken, turkey, basically any fowl and white fish. It’s an allergy to the chemical makeup of specific fats. It’s surprising how much chicken products are in foods (broth, fat, etc.). This allergy only began affecting me in my early 20s and it took quite a long and painful while before I self-diagnosed it. I get violent gastrointestinal pains which worsen with every attack, but luckily, I’ve weeded out most everything that triggers this attack. Eating out is a gamble — but luckily, I love cooking! I also cannot eat anything with processed/synthetic sugar (diet/no sugar foods, gum, etc.) as that also gives me gastrointestinal pain.
  8. I love architecture. I would have pursued that field if the engineering aspect didn’t scare me away.
  9. I cross my sevens and z’s.
  10. I stay barefoot (indoors) year-round.
  11. I am loathe to the Twilight and 50 Shades following.

I hope that was a little interesting!
Now, on to Nicole’s questions; these are a bit tough!

If you could choose one author to be your best friend (we’re talking giggling at sleepovers and having brunch on Sundays to talk about the latest tabloids kind of best friend), who would you choose and why?
An author as a best friend? Unfortunately, my pick is deceased. But I think Hunter S would have been an obscenely memorable friend. If you know me, you know that I consider him one of the most brilliant writers of our time.


Yes, Avenged stole that line from Hunter S. I wonder if they got permission?

Favorite kind of cheese?
Oh my. Can I just lay out a top 5? Swiss (imported — the stinkier and sour-er, the better). Feta. Mozzarella. Pecorino. Bleu. Neufchatel. I never said I was good at math. Cottage cheese is the only cheese I’ll pass on.

This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of question. Path A: What book series shoulddinotopia-episode-7a be adapted into a video game and why (I’m thinking a la Witcher here)? Path B: If you don’t play video games and thus can’t travel down Path A, please tell me how you function without such soul-sucking enjoyment in your life?
This is a fantastic question! And of course, my quick response would be Dinotopia. On second thought, though I love the books, it would probably wind up being a video game much like Myst. *shudder* So on second thought, I really enjoyed Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind. Schools of Magic in a dark setting, not like HP? Cities on cliffs and haunted taverns? Why not?

If it were my birthday and you were buying me a puppy, what kind of puppy would you get me (pictures preferred)?
Aw, it would depend on what you prefer! Small, medium, or large? I would totally get you a Papillon for the small breed, a Brittany Spaniel for the medium breed, and a Belgian Sheepdog/King Shepherd for the large breed.




What are you most excited about writing wise right now?
Ah. As mentioned before, my writing is currently facing the doldrums of uninspiration. I am excited about getting back into the groove of writing, though, wherever that groove may be! Hopefully, this will be sooner rather than later.

What is the plot of the ultimate dream story you want to write (or have written or are too afraid to write)?
Yes! I have a plot that has been “in the works” for nearly ten years now. It’s been started about 4-5 times now, has undergone 4-5 plot changes, and it’s basically a story about how an alternate dimension/entity manipulates reality. It’s a theme that I’ve noticed in many of my stories. I loathed my MC for a long time, cussed at him for being so damn lame, then transformed him to becoming somewhat up to his role. But he’s still not up to par.

How do you plan to better the world?
By being kind and honest. I’m not so ambitious as to lead or organize any kind of “movement” per se, but I think by encouraging, supporting, and loving those I know, I can better those around me, and in turn, they may better those they know, too. I like subtleties.

What “rule” do you break in writing (purposefully or otherwise)?
Erm… I make up words? Sometimes. I’m a bit of a rule-follower, at least when it comes to grammar — I guess not so much in vocabulary (note: “uninspiration,” or “sour-er”).

Which fictional characters make you question whether you’re actually fictosexual, i.e., who can I swoon over? (Also, adapted this one from R.K. and I don’t apologize for it).
Fictosexual, you say? This is a tough one. I can’t say I’ve ever swooned over a fictional character before. The closest a character ever came to me getting “emotionally involved” with would be Le Stat, at least in the beginning of the series. By book 3, I was merely amused by his antics.

What fictional language do you wish was actually commonplace?
The closest fictional language that mildly interested me would be Tolkien’s elvish, as far as I can think of. Liv Tyler made it sound magical. I will say that I wish Latin was more of a common language than a dead one though!


I’m thinking that his breath alone would do me in. I wouldn’t even have a chance to run.

Lurtz (see below if you’re not on a first name basis) is about to kill you. What do you do?
Oh dear. I’m not a fighter!! So I would obviously run away in something of an erratic manner. Or… yeah, I would just run like the coward I am!




Now, eleven questions to the lovely tagged folks? I’ll tag those of you who are interested in this questionnaire! I’ll make them simple, because I’m just nosey like that.

1. Would you rather win $10 million, or get a check for $1,000 a week until you kick the bucket? Winning either is guaranteed.
2. Country living, or city living?
3. What is blasting out of your car stereo when you’re driving down the highway? Or, if you don’t drive, what type of music is ringing in your ears on a good day?
4. Do you play any musical instruments?
5. Do you have any siblings? Has that positively or negatively affected your perspective on relationships?
6. Are we an early-to-bed-early-to-rise person, or a go-to-bed-at-dawn-because-I-have-a-lot-of-stuff-to-do person?
7. What is your favorite video game? One that you can play over and over and it’s fun every single time? Or are those days over for you like they are for me -.-
8. Do you like seafood?
9. Truthfully: did you enjoy English class before the age of fifteen? Did you even like school back then?
10. Have you tried writing in the morning versus writing at night experiment, and what were your results? When do you feel most inspired?
11. What is your zodiac sign?

You can reply in the comments, or make a post, or just say nothing at all! Either way, I’m still here.

When Life Throws you a Curveball

Warning: this isn’t a short post.

I’m currently in a writing low as of now.

As far as my WIPs are concerned, it’s in something of a doldrum from idea overload. Edits are edits, they are what they are. However, it is a bit worrisome that my blog is rather dead since I’ve been spending far too much time pinteresting, or making crude remarks elsewhere, as far as online presence is concerned. And I’ll cut right to the chase here: I’ve been really frustrated lately due to external factors, and that ultimately is the deciding factor of my mood.

I won’t converse about the causes of my distress here other than using it as a springboard to lead into how the emotional state of mind affects the creative process.

You hear countless times that writing is work. Why treat writing like it’s some hobby, if it’s something you’re really serious about? Do you have the option to skip work or school if you’re “not feeling the muse?” Of course not.

If you’re feeling depressed, do you skip work? And if you do, I doubt you can carry on like without repercussions until you get a doctor’s note – if your employer accepts such a reason.

So, like your day job, playing hooky with your writing will be a bad idea unless you treat it with responsibility, commitment, and basically, showing up.

But what do you do when depression, or a low time in this journey of life, attacks you when you least expect it? Or, in my case, while you’re riding high on a writing spree? Or, if your finances aren’t depending on your writing, what do you do when real life puts a major damper on your creativity?

Everyone has a different way of dealing with this, but the basic options would include: a) stop writing and be miserable; b) stop writing in your projects and journal your pain/sorrow; c) keep writing and suffer in silence; d) keep writing and ignore the external source of pain. You can tell me if there are more options out there; but these are the options I see in front of me whenever my mental life comes to a crashing halt. Because as emotionally stable as I’d like to project myself to be, it’s the farthest thing from the truth. If I’m happy, my writing muse is raring to go. If I’m miserable, my writing muse is hiding in a corner refusing to come out.


And I wish it weren’t so.

So what do you do when your life just isn’t cooperating with your writing? When the only thing on your mind is what’s hurting you emotionally?

There’s nothing wrong with taking a break. It could be a few days, or it could be a couple of weeks. I’ve done this before, and I know I’ll do this countless times again because my problems typically don’t go away very quickly – or at least in the foreseeable years to come. They come and they’ll go, but it’s a neverending cycle. As a writer, the doldrums of writing due to external circumstances never last forever. I’ve underwent years where I didn’t write – hell, I didn’t even think about a single story – for over two years. It upset me, but as it were, the circumstance at hand took much higher precedence than plotting a story.

Now the ability to take a hiatus from writing may differ for someone who gets paid for their writing. Because I’ll remind you that my fiction isn’t by contract. I write for fun, for personal satisfaction, to see my writing in book form one day – because that’s why I write: because I love to read. And there’s nothing more fulfilling than to see my story in tangible format. A part of my library. To be able say, “Yeah; it may suck, but I did write all that. And I’m proud of it.”

But when to take a hiatus, and when not to? It’s really up to you. Only you know your situation well enough to know what’s more important: your mental health, or your desire to write. And everyone’s desire to write is to some degree more or less than the other writer. And that’s okay. There’s no reason to compare yourself to someone you admire (or loathe). No reason at all. Because if you’re comparing yourself to another writer, then you have to ask yourself this: Are you writing for them? Or for your own pleasure?

More often than not, your “competition” is oblivious to your private struggle. They don’t even care.


When you begin to write for yourself, that’s where the fun begins. Because if you’re writing to score points, or be popular, or to impress… well, that’s where the trouble begins. That’s where stress comes into the picture. Because writing stories isn’t about making that A+, or one-upping your (perceived) rival, or being the next Stephen King. It’s about our own creative journeys. It’s about our self-fulfillment, and doing what makes us happy. So what if an agent rejects our story. So what if a publisher says our story doesn’t fit the times.

We write to fill our creative well. We write because we can’t help it. We write because it’s in our souls. And it’s a part of us. We can’t help it.

So when a bad time in life comes upon us, don’t despair. Our muse will never leave us. It may lay dormant for a while, awaiting our hearts to sync with its juices, but it will return. Never give up.

The artist inside never fades.

Random Post

I know it’s been pretty dead over here: fact is, I’ve been writing and painting a lot, and to come up with something thoughtful and intelligent for this blog is trying as of late. And in writing this post, I am, of course, procrastinating on the commissions.

I probably won’t be doing NanoWriMo this year because I really want to focus on the writing projects I have at this moment. To write 50k words in November would really burn me out. Currently, I’m still working on edits while dabbling on the side with fandom(s). Amid preparations for school, and trying to make ends meet, and getting in the last days of summer, it’s been hectic. I don’t like to write in here unless it’s something useful for you folks, so I will keep this short.

Basically, yes, I’m still alive!

And these guys are keeping me entertained. And introducing me to the wonderful world of asthma attacks.


Miko, Chiko, and Jiji

Limelight Interview: Jessica Matteliano

A little shameless self-promotion here, hope you don’t mind! But I’m very excited over it! A million thank-yous for Leena Naidoo, talented writer, artist, and an all-around beautiful person, who interviewed me recently. You can view the interview in its entirety below!

I’ve known Jessica Matteliano as a writer for a while now. I was also excited to discover her work as an artist. If you have a fascination for portraiture, both animal and human, you’ll definitely want to have a look at Jessica’s lively work.

And here we have Jessica Matteliano In The Limelight!

Source: Limelight Interview: Jessica Matteliano


Writing Drunk

writedrunkWrite drunk, edit sober. –Ernest Hemingway (supposedly)


“Write drunk, edit sober” – those are the famous words often attributed to Ernst Hemingway. The truth is he probably didn’t say those words, but it hasn’t stopped other writers using it as a technique to improve their writing.

After all, many brilliant writers were also heavy drinkers, including David Foster Wallace, Edgar Allan Poe, Truman Capote, and of course Hemingway himself.

The question remains: does drinking help the writing process?

The Expert Editor decided to look at the science behind writing drunk and editing sober. Check it out below.

The Science Behind Writing Drunk and Editing Sober (+ Infographic)

Thank you to Rachael Liu from the Expert Editor (UK/Australia) for sharing this informative infographic on the effects of alcohol… coffee!

Drinking while writing the first draft has actually been a beneficial experience for me (but only after 11pm). Surprisingly enough, while tipsy and writing, those tip-of-the-tongue words come to me so much faster than when I’m not under the influence. Or do they…?

Before I go on here, I’m not pushing alcohol on anyone here. It can be addictive for some, and alcohol reacts differently on everyone. So please don’t think I’m condoning drinking. I strongly believe in “to each his own” … as long as it’s not criminal.

So that being said, when I drink, I get happy. My introverted self becomes a bit more sociable. So why not try writing while tipsy? I did. On the upside, I wrote faster because I wasn’t hung up on “is this worded correctly” and “I’m not afraid to write down my first intuitive thought,” so there is a constant flow of words. On the downside, I rambled a little too much, and spelling and grammatical errors abounded. However, this isn’t a big deal to me because I only do this for the first draft. Getting the initial story written down is imperative.

Now I wouldn’t recommend using alcohol to fuel technical writing. I couldn’t imagine the amount of editing that would be required for fact-based writing. Unless you use tags to indicate something that needs precise thought.My only advice to alcohol and writing fiction is that it would probably be helpful to work with an outline to keep your writing in line. Even then, drunk writing is privy to meandering and wandering. It was an interesting thing to write drunk.


Do you, or have you, written tipsy/drunk? Have you found it a help or a hindrance? I would love to hear your thoughts!

An Update in the Form of a Tag

So I’m swiping this from the talented Amanda McCormick’s blog tag as an excuse to give my wonderful readers a quick update! I know I’ve been rather MIA for a number of weeks now, and I sincerely apologize. Some days, I wonder if I’m really cut out for this blogging thing. So much to do, so little time! And I’m hardly procrastinating, either!

Anyways, here goes!


My new kittens! A friend at work showed me a picture of stray kittens underneath her deck, and of course, upon seeing three black kittens, I went over to her home the next day and we were able to snatch up not one, but three kittens. The black one was a keeper, and then the second one I caught just so happened to be a mini-clone of the cat I have now… So I kept two because kittens.

Not an official crazy cat lady yet.


I just began Steven Brust’s Yendi, book #2 of the Jhereg series. I wasn’t 100% crazy about the first book, but I’ve noticed this frustrating tendency of mine to leave a series unfinished more often than not. So being that there’s only 3 books in this series, and that the library just so happened to have a 3-in-1 book, why not?

I also just finished reading a book from the TOR eBook Club I just recently joined. If you enjoy sff, I highly recommend joining TOR’s eBook Club. It’s free, and they’ll send you a free eBook to download within a window of the first week of every month, and they even have a book discussion forum for the book of the month! I have yet to check that part of TOR out, but you know what? It’s awesome.


I’m watching my girls play Minecraft. I don’t watch TV shows… or any TV, for that matter. Except for an occasional 10 minutes of the Yankees when I go to my parent’s house every week. Was a rabid fan… now, I’ll pass on the sports.

Listening To

My OST playlist on Pandora that consists of Square Enix and Skyrim. Nothing special. My creative juices are kind of in a lull right now and, consequently, so is my draw to music. So currently, I am not listening to anything at all..!

Thinking About

The edits. Would you believe that I am actually thinking about using Scrivener? Okay, so this will be the third (fourth?) time I’m attempting the program. I need to do some more research on their snapshot feature (any tips?) before transferring my hard copy changes onto the computer.

I completed the first round of edits for July’s CampNanowrimo (which wasn’t nearly as much progress as I was hoping to have made for nano) and I must transfer them back into the document, then prepare for the second round of edits.

So after the impending trial run with Scrivener, I will commence edit transfers.


0280d405e44400820b328454b856700a14195c41_607x400The rice dumpling that is currently boiling on the stove because I am ridiculously hungry.


…For a Leuchtturm notebook for my bullet journaling. But the self-imposing hardhead that I am, I will persevere with my $1.99 notebook until the very end.

Also wishing that I had more time for everything I’d like to be doing.

Making Me Happy

My kittens. My family. Good friends.


July Camp Nano, Week 2

Well, it’s the end of the second full week of July, anyway. 15 days down, 16 more to go!

And would you believe that I only just now completed the novella last night? In case you missed it, I was supposed to be editing this 40k word text dump (40,964 words, to be exact) this month. And technically, I’m about 40k words behind on that.

So today after work, and cooking dinner, and cleaning up, and taking 20 minutes to unwind and meditate, I came up with something of an editing plan. I’m printing the hard copy as I write this!

Here’s what I have on the agenda:

[Draft, Edit Versions]

[v.1.0] hard copy for general read-through, overview edit; minimal line edits

Check:  Logical beginning, middle, end

Correct flow


                      Scene function

[v.1.1] notes on plot consistency; clarity

[v.1.2] notes on character consistency; clarity

[v.1.3] apply changes

[v.2.0] general overview edit; minimal line edits

[v.2.1] plot and character review

[v.2.2] apply changes

[v.3.0] review

[v.4.0] Hemingway/other text sample?

[v.4.1] line edits x2

Check:  Word choice; punctuation, etc.

                      Change font; review

I’m crossing my fingers that I can get this done in 16ish days… but the more editing “points” I kept thinking of, the less likely it seems that I can get this all done by July 31st. Actually, make that 15 days, since I have a crap ton of errands to get to after work tomorrow.

If you, dear reader, have any suggestions as far as editing when you’re crunched for time, or if you just have any general editing tips from your own experiences, please let me know!

This Camp editing thing is getting me a bit intimidated.

Just a bit.


July2016 CampNano Week 1 & Other Events

Kind of off to a bad start. I was hoping to have completed the WIP by the beginning of this month, but with the holiday weekend, that didn’t happen. Fortunately, I was able to complete one scene, and I’m almost finished with the climax scene. But then I discovered that I can’t just end the story with the climax, so now there’s the “epilogue” type of scene to write as well.

Being that editing is, well, editing, and that’s what this month’s camp is all about for me, the ball really needs to get rolling. The novella is currently at ~39k words, and it probably won’t be complete for another 2k. I have a tendency to underestimate… everything.

So much to do, so little time. I just caught up with my weekly bujo setup* last night (Monday), so I was already two days behind there. Haven’t gotten much reading done, though I did manage to begin Wuthering Heights last week. I’m currently working on a dog portrait** commission (amid the ongoing online game art commission) and am nearly done with that. And I’ve fallen behind on my blogs, missed this past Sunday’s #storycrafter tweetchat, went to work on the holiday with a miserable hangover, and basically, my personal work is just all over the place.

But slowly and surely making progress. My life consists of: my kids, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, writing, digital art commissions, fine art commissions, blogging, trying to avoid rationing twitter, tumblr, RSS feeds social media, and reading when I can.

I apologize for the slacking of posting anything useful or informative here lately… it’s just been one of those not-feeling-motivated doldrums.

Last but not least, I’ve recently begun using Discord!


No, not that Discord. Though he is a favorite of mine.

(Future Instagram post with Queen Chrysalis in the background, coming soon!)discord

I mean the group chat app. It’s essentially a gamer’s chat client for video/audio and text group chats, but my current Camp cabin uses it for a chat hub.

And I freaking love it! I have Discord on my laptop and tablet and it takes up hardly any memory, and it’s compatible with every platform out there

Sooo I was wondering, if I created a chatroom for us writers, would anyone be interested? Something like the twitter writing communities out there (I’ve been trying to get Faye in on it! But she’s got a lot her plate as of now) but without the character limit.

Let me know!

Happy writing and looking forward to your Camp updates!


* If you’re on Instagram, let me know! I would love to be your friend there, too!

** I post a lot of my artwork (and other informalities) on Tumblr! Don’t be a stranger!