Taking big steps lately to becoming, like, a real adult. More than just working and paying bills. Sure, there’s work involved–and paying bills–but it’s both exciting and a little unreal. I mean, I don’t think I ever imagined being at this point in my life. Suddenly, things are happening. Okay, starting to happen. Like, they won’t happen for a while, but plans are being made and things are going from theory to discussion to hopefully reality.

Cosplay, on the other hand, has suffered due to my increasing obsession with Pokémon Go and the exercise I’ve been getting. I haven’t been spending as much time in the craft room, and now that I’m only a month out from when we leave for Dragon Con I’m feeling the Crunch. I have to step things up on the sewing, but tomorrow is reserved for prop-building with some new friends. They’re much more experienced than we are, so we’re hoping they can give us more pointers than the panels we attended at Phoenix Comicon. We’re still a little in over our heads, but we’re willing to learn and we’ve gotten most of the supplies and (we think) all of the materials we’ll need. Basically the only thing left to buy is the corset boning, and I have to get off my Poké-ass and get to sewing so I know what lengths of boning I’ll need.

Writing is pretty much at a standstill…again. I keep getting new ideas on how my society will play out, trying to imagine what life will be like a couple hundred years from now. Will space travel be a common thing, or will it have been a passing fad? What kind of tech will be available? What about society itself? Will things improve from today’s media-fed nightmare, or will it all go to shit? Well, it’s a dystopian setting I’m aiming for so I’m guessing things will go to shit, but to what extreme?

But this new thing–this adulting thing–this is a vision of the future that is tangible, that I can actually see and envision with clarity. Change, in this case, is something that I think is a good thing.

My One and Only Political Post

I hate politics. Anyone who knows me knows this. I don’t understand the nuances of it, and I can’t stand political “debates” or “discussions” that just end up being shouting matches about 95% of the time. (I may be lowballing there in my estimate). No actual discussion, no rational debates, just people yelling at each other. It’s no wonder I get headaches all the time lately.

I don’t understand all of the issues, and any time the news focuses on politics I do my best to tune it out. As anyone in the US right now can attest to, damn near everything on the news that isn’t related to a mass killing is politics. And our choices this election are lousy.

We’ve got, in one corner, Hillary Clinton. Yeah, she has political experience. On the other hand, she is–as my husband puts it–shady as fuck. And a possible “crook,” as he calls her. The “evidence” on the news is pretty damning, but the news channels can twist any facts to show whatever results that they want. So conservative news outlets are going to paint her in the most negative light they can, and liberal outlets are going to try to defend her. And they’ll end up getting in a shouting match over it about 95% of the time.

Then, in the other corner, we have Donald Trump. I seriously thought his campaign was a joke in the beginning. I thought he was trolling the nation. I thought he’d drop out like Ross Perot all those years ago. I thought it’d be something we’d all have a good laugh over when he was out of the running. I was so very, very wrong. He is seriously the Republican candidate for President of the United States. He might seriously become the President of the United States.  Seriously terrifying. I mean, this guy has no political experience. He’s a businessman and a media personality. He has the most ridiculous combover I’ve ever seen. I’m honestly wondering which country will try to invade us first if he becomes president. I’m thinking Putin might find it amusing to just take us over like he did the Ukraine after hosting the Olympics. Kim Jong Un might see it as a great opportunity. Putin as our not-so-benevolent overlord might be something I could live with, but I don’t know how I’d handle a crazy-ass dictator.

Yeah, there’s an independent candidate…with the slogan “Feel the Johnson.” Okay, I get that it’s supposed to be catchy and memorable and possibly pandering to the millenials who might think it’s hilarious. But really, can you take a candidate seriously with a motto like that? I don’t know much–okay, anything–about his political standing. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of him until I saw someone on my Facebook friends list like a post of his. Or maybe it was a sponsored post that just randomly showed up on my feed. Regardless, he was a nonentity to me before that. Totally not even on my radar.

So now it comes down to one of two choices: Either I choose the lesser of two evils (pretty much literally), or I choose the candidate about whom I know nothing.

Do I want to go for the first woman president? The first orange president? The mystery president? I just don’t know, and it scares me a little that not enough people are going to opt to “Feel the Johnson”…meaning that even if I vote for that option, I’ll still end up with one of the evils in Option 1.

Who will be the next POTUS? I can’t say. I just don’t know enough about it. All I know is what I see on the skewed media, and that’s really no help in making my decision.

Maybe I’ll do like that commercial where the lady’s tossing a coin to decide how to cast her vote. Maybe I’ll close my eyes and place my finger at a random point on the screen (if they do indeed conduct the polling in my area the same way they did the primaries). I don’t think I’ll know how I’m voting until I get to the polling booth in November. I’ve never missed a presidential election since I was first able to vote, and I don’t intend to miss this one. My vote may or may not end up for the winning candidate, but at least I had a small say in the outcome.

Stepping down from the soapbox now. I’ve gone and given myself a headache now. Time for some Tylenol and mind-numbing Internet.

Frustrating days

I know it’s not my bosses’ faults. I know that we’re understaffed, overbooked, and generally in a constant state of chaos and flux. Things have been rough the past couple of months, with little to no end in sight.

Still, it doesn’t make things any easier knowing this.

It’s my own fault, I suppose. I’m always early. I do whatever I’m asked. I want to help, so when I’m pulled from training for one thing or kept late when I have to be there at nothing in the morning the next day, I don’t say much. Oh sure, I’ll grumble and fuss, but I mean I don’t really complain. I’m trying to be a good worker, a team player, all that jazz.

The most frustrating thing, I would have to say, is that I do it to myself. I don’t speak up for myself and I don’t stick up for myself. I just go with it…until I hit a breaking point.

That point slammed into me like a freight train last night. I was so frustrated and worn out and tired that almost as soon as I clocked out (did I remember to clock out?) and left the building I was in tears. I don’t just mean a couple tears here and there. I mean I was straight-up bawling all the way home and even after I got home. I was just done.

It hit me when I looked up at the clock and realized I had less than twelve and a half hours before I had to be back in the office. By the time I clocked out (seriously, did I even remember to clock out or was I so tired that I just booked it?) it was right at twelve hours. Half a day until I had to be back and working again. Barely enough time to scarf down my dinner and try to relax with some cosplay work before it was time to go to bed. I suppose shoving all those pins in the fabric may have been somewhat cathartic. Kinda.

Someday soon I’m going to have to have a talk with my boss(es) and try to convey my unhappiness. It’s not that I don’t want to work, it’s not that I want to find another job. I just don’t want to feel like one of the only ones who takes the job seriously. I know that’s not the case, but some days it feels like it.

Pleather problems

So I didn’t realize the pleather would stretch so much when I started sewing it to the interfacing I have. Like, a lot. I wanted to use the stronger sew-on interfacing that I had left over from the jacket I made for my husband, but it’s clear now that I need to use the fusible interfacing that the pattern suggests. When I find it, that is…it is most likely underneath a huge pile of fabric, so I need to straighten up in the craft room a bit. I should be straightening up right now…but I don’t feel like it lol I’m frustrated by this development, thus I am taking a break before I take my frustration out on my fabric.

Now I know how the pleather reacts, though, and the leather needles I bought to sew it with seem to work really well for it. Clean punches through the pleather, no jamming. So that’s good.

In other news, the Pokémon Go exercise is still in full swing. I think I’ve missed only two or three days since I started playing two weeks ago, which for me is fantastic. That’s 2 1/2 miles a day on average, not counting missed days. Not bad for a couch potato. Bed potato? Regardless, I have the shape and mannerisms of a potato. Minus the extra eyes. Or something. I haven’t lost much weight–mere ounces, if the scale at my work is any indication–but I’m still proud of myself for getting the exercise. And hey, it keeps me off drugs. (Okay, so I never did drugs anyway…what was my point again?) I even got to hang out with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a few months.

I’m tempted to go on a Poké-walk when the sun comes up, regardless of whether or not my husband is awake. He’s three levels ahead of me; I need to step up my game. Maybe I’ll mess around with strengthening the gym that we (the blue team) hold down the street. I’m not 100% sure on how to do that, but from what I understand it’s just like taking control of a gym except you’re fighting your own guys? I don’t know. I only just fought in a gym for the first time last night. Not the most thrilling thing, but it was cool taking down Pokémons stronger than mine. Yes, I know that’s not the plural. I’m still calling them Pokémons.

Let’s see, what else has happened in the two days I missed posting? Uh…nothing much, really.

Oh! I am seriously considering dyeing my hair, if I can find a person that can do what I want.

fire hair

I would rock this. I just can’t do it myself, and I don’t know anyone in town here that I would trust to do it. I know a great stylist in Phoenix, but not only is she expensive (for my budget) but she’s usually pretty booked, and for good reason. She’s had two local artist showcases of her clients’ hair up in Phoenix, which is pretty cool. It helps that she’s also incredibly friendly and personable. The bubbly type, at least the one time I met her in person. I’ve known her for a year through Facebook, but only met her once at Phoenix Comicon. Anyway, sidetracked–I want that hair pictured above. A lot. I want to flip my hair and have it look like flickering fire. And I can pull off red tones–I’ve done it plenty of times before. Maybe after Dragon Con? But I don’t know that I want to wait that long. I’m really digging this look.

So bad at being good

Why can’t I just eat healthy? Or at least eat less?

I’ve been walking almost every day since Pokemon Go came out (last night there were major thunderstorms with torrential downpours–not exactly something one wants to go walking in), but I have a feeling I haven’t lost an ounce because of my eating habits.

It’s so difficult to for me eat healthy. I have strong cravings and strong urges to eat when I’m not hungry. I have a terrible resistance to these things. I’ve heard that if you manage to stave off those cravings for at least two weeks it evens out and you stop craving as much, but I haven’t been able to make it that long yet.

The worst thing is that the corset/bustier I’m making for my cosplay seems awfully short-waisted…meaning unless I make really high-waisted pants, my gut will show. So I need to lost at least some weight. Some decent amount, not just a few pounds here or there. And I only have a month. Not too likely that it’ll happen, sadly.

I don’t know why I sabotage myself like this. I’ve known about this con since before Phoenix Comicon, and even then I still didn’t really make a concerted effort to eat better. Sure, I was drinking healthy smoothies, but I wasn’t eating them consistently or cutting back on the other food.

Crash dieting isn’t the answer, I know that much. At this point, I just need to accept that I’m going to have major muffintop at Dragon Con and I’ll just have to deal with those repercussions when I get there. There’s probably going to be some laughter and pointing and bodyshaming. I’ve just gotta suck it up (not literally–my gut’s too big for even that), try not to let it get to me, and just have fun.

Oh, and I have to finish the damn cosplays. *Sigh* Guess I should be getting to that.

Inescapable slumber

What makes a person extra tired one morning compared to another?

Let’s assume I got the same amount/quality of sleep two nights in a row (hey, it’s possible!). One morning, I wake up normally, with about 15 minutes of grogginess followed by the usual early a.m. what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-time-before-work dilemma. The next, I wake up, doze off, wake up, doze off sitting up at the computer, wake up, find myself clicking “transfer” on the only Clefairy I have in my Poké-thing (yes, I did that), doze, wake up, etc.

This morning was one of the latter mornings. I was able to fend off my cat for a good hour before finally waking up…or rather, not finally…more like gaining full consciousness for the first time of the morning. Then I tried getting on the computer for a while, but I just ended up nodding off so much that I just went back to sleep for a little while. Then, after waking up again, I went into the craft room to work on cosplay–where I promptly fell asleep sitting straight up on the futon. Head full-tilt backwards, mouth hanging open, probably snoring. I gave up on the cosplay project at that point. Clearly I was not functional enough to be operating a sewing machine. I can’t afford a trip to the hospital to have a needle surgically removed from my finger.

Oddly enough, my husband has been experiencing the same phenomenon today. Extreme grogginess even after being awake for several hours. What causes this? He didn’t complain of a bad night’s sleep, so why is he so tired?

I suppose if I wasn’t so sleepy I could research it or something. But I think I’ll just drink my energy drink and be grateful that I had the morning off today.


Intimate Revelation

So I think I know my problem with my novel not really selling (besides poor marketing efforts on my part)…I’ve had it listed in the wrong genre.

Urban fantasy still fits, but I listed the second category as occult/supernatural because I was afraid of being pigeonholed as an author of what it really is: erotica. Why, do you ask? Well, I guess it’s the whole notion that erotica is “dirty” or something. But let’s face it; I wasn’t exactly stingy with details. So erotica it is.

What brought about this revelation? Well, it seems in the first two attempts at writing a new novel since publishing my first one, both times the writing has leaned back towards, you guessed it, sex. I can’t for the life of me get away from it, even when I’m trying to write in another genre.

So I might as well embrace it. Let myself become an erotica author. Screw the fear of being typecast, so to speak. For some reason, this is where my muse is taking me, so I’m just going to go along for the ride. Er, pun not intended.



Now that I’ve gotten copious notes written about my new WIP, I think I’m ready to at least get started on rewrites.

I don’t plan on rewriting the entire bit that I’ve gotten so far, but I need a stronger beginning for sure. And middle. And I have to write an ending. So….okay. Almost the entire bit. There are a few scenes that I want to keep (with minute changes for continuity with the new material), but most of what I have needs to be scrapped. It needs to be stronger and to make more sense. (Because even though it’s fiction, there has to be some sense of…sense to it.)

Rewriting is going to suck, but it’s a necessary evil. I know, I know, you’re supposed to just get the story out & go from there–but my story’s changed so much during these months of brainstorming that it really isn’t the same story anymore. Oh sure, the core is the same, but the details have changed enough to where the outlying threads are pretty much unraveled.

I know what you’re saying. “But AJ, what about the cosplays?” Oh, they’ll get done. I’m determined, but today wasn’t a sewing kind of day. At least not so far. Maybe after work?

Anywho, off I go to recreate my creation!

Playing God

As I work on my next novel, a sci-fi/dystopian piece, I’m in awe of authors who can create whole worlds from scratch.

With my novel, I’m skipping ahead a century or two, but I’m sticking to good ol’ Earth as my locale. I figure it’s easier to try to envision how today’s events may unfold into tomorrow’s reality than to build an entire world (or universe) from my imagination. Can I look at today’s tech and society and draw lines from now to then? Well, I sure hope so. But trying to create technology that has never existed (and may never exist) all the while weaving the threads of a society that evolved and developed such technology…it’s mind-blowing.

Creators of fantasy/high fantasy/epic fantasy also amaze me. Forget science…we’re going to make a whole new world where physics is thrown out the window and metaphysics takes over, where there are creatures never before seen and people capable of unreal feats. It baffles me.

I’ve tried worldbuilding as a teen, and even a bit as an adult. I just can’t do it. I can’t get the details, the nuances, the little bits that make it all come together.

With my current WIP, I originally tried pantsing it, but it just wasn’t working. The world wasn’t rich enough, wasn’t deep enough. As I brainstorm and make notes, it’s slowly evolving into something much thicker. Meatier. Juicier. Plots are forming, technology is springing up, and the people living in the society that created this technology are starting to go about their daily lives. They’re coming to life.

I may not be able to create an entire world or universe out of thin air…but I’m slowly becoming the god of my vision of the future.

Cosplay Crunch

Oops. I kindamaybesorta have been slacking on the cosplay stuff. I have a little over a month to get it all done, and I’m starting to get nervous.

The fabrication of the weapons we’re getting help on, but the sewing is basically all me. Which I can handle I guess, but I’ve got to motivate myself. I still have all the pattern pieces for the corset to cut out (I had cut out all the other pattern pieces & organized them earlier to save time, but I forgot the corset pattern pieces), then the fabric (of course), and then there’s all the sewing of stuff. And there’s the Spandex sewing. Still a little intimidated by the thought of that.

I don’t know why I put myself into this crunch all the time. I guess I just have an issue with motivation. When I first wake up in the morning I’m super tired, and messing around on the computer for an hour or so helps wake me up…which turns into two or three hours on the computer because I get sucked in by the Internet. Damn you, Internet!

I’ll probably get the pattern pieces cut out this evening (or maybe tomorrow morning) after we get back from out Poke-walk. Then I’ll cut the fabric & get to busting my butt this weekend. I think I’ll have to change out the needle on my sewing machine to a heavier-duty needle because I’m sewing pleather. Yeah, man, pleather corset. Hawt. Or something.

Well, I’m off to get ready for work. Gotta make that cosplay money. Oh, and money for bills, I guess. That, too.