Recharged, refueled, refilled

In the SCA, there’s this thing called “stardust.” It’s the fabric of the Dream that keeps the SCA alive, and it’s something I’ve been sorely lacking lately….until yesterday, that is.

It all started coming back to me when I finished the embroidery for my good friend’s Pelican mantle for her elevation. I’d go into details of what a Peerage is in the SCA and what an honor it is to be asked to do that embroidery, but suffice it to say that being given that honor was something that inspired me and pushed me to do the best I possibly could. Here’s the culmination of the better part of a week’s worth of work (minus day job time and sleeping):

Yes, that was all done by my own two hands. It was such a rewarding thing to do, and I was so happy to see my friend get elevated in the mantle that she trusted me to make beautiful for her.

That was a good start, but it didn’t quite refill my stardust all the way.

Yesterday, during morning Court, my husband and I were given our first Kingdom arts awards (in Arizona, a.k.a. the Kingdom of Atenveldt, the “Flower of the Desert” is the beginning-level arts award). The “scrolls”–which are burned into wood panels–are amazing, and it felt good to be recognized for the work that I do in the arts community in the SCA.

I also got a cool medallion.

But wait, there’s more!

As you can see, I’m in a bookstore in the above picture. I had a signing at a local bookstore for Independent Bookstore Day scheduled smack dab in the middle of the SCA event, so I ended up driving 45 minute to and fro to get to the bookstore and back.

When I returned, my husband handed me a small metal cup with a bunch of trinkets in it. Tchookies (pronounced CHOO-kees but probably not spelled the way I spelled it) are gifts that SCAdians give to artisans to show their appreciation of the artisan’s work. Most are little bits and baubles, like strung beads, cool stones (one was a nifty black arrowhead!), and small pieces of jewelry. I had put a hood that I made and embroidered for my husband in the arts showcase for the event, and several people left tchookies for me while I was gone. One tchookie in particular was not so small, and it blew me away.

Now, you may be thinking, “Wait, AJ, why is that ring–cool though it may be–the thing that filled your stardust to overflowing?” Well, I’ll tell you why: I was not the only person to wear that ring yesterday.

It’s the King’s ring. His personal ring, one that I’ve seen Him wear on many occasions.

I was blown away. I was shocked. I was a little verklempt. I took a picture and messaged the Queen, who was active on Facebook at the time, because seriously, there was no way the King had given me his actual own ring.

Except he had.

It was like the stresses and tribulations of the past several weeks were washed away with that one gift. Not to downplay the other tchookies–I’ll keep each and every one of them–but man.

Of course I showed off to everyone I thought might give a shit, plus a few extra. Some were happy for me, some were kind of annoyed by me (sorry, folks–I was just excited!), and even though I know I have shoved the ring in more than one too many faces, I still feel the need to share it here.

I feel so much better about…well, everything. It’s like the ring is a stardust-powered talisman or something. Bills? Angry patients? Deadlines? I can stand tall through it all.

Speaking of deadlines, I have at least two more projects to get finished before next weekend’s Coronation, where the current King and Queen will step down and the Prince and Princess will step up to rule for the next six months. Better get cracking! Who knows? Maybe one of those projects will help refuel someone else’s stardust.

Close call

I admit it: I’m an idiot.

Here’s what happened:

I was on samples of a medicine that worked great for my anxiety. Then the doctor prescribed the full strength dose…. and the pharmacy didn’t fill it. And they didn’t fill it. And they didn’t fill it.

I asked why I didn’t have the med yet. Their answer? My insurance required a prior authorization from the doctor. Okay, cool. He’ll fill it out and it’ll be approved and I’ll get my medicine.

Nope. The initial prior authorization was denied. So the doctor was going to write a letter of appeal to the insurance company. In the meantime, his receptionist said I could pick up two weeks of samples again.

But my tricksy mind got to me. It said, “Well, what if the appeal doesn’t work? Then what do you do? You can’t have samples forever; they’ll run out, and you’ll be back to square one.” And stupid me listened to my brain and didn’t pick up the samples.

This was last week (I had been off the medicine, which has a 72-hour half life, since April 3), and this week started off terrible at work. The office was super busy, someone had called out, and my stress levels were through the roof.

Yesterday morning I woke up stressed. I was anxious about getting to the doctor to get those new samples , because maybe two weeks of sanity is better than nothing. That, and I wanted to cut. Like, REALLY wanted to. I didn’t, but the urge was there.

I tried stopping by the doctor’s office on the way to work, but they were closed. I tried calling, thinking maybe I could leave a message. The longer I went without hearing from him, the worse I felt.

I texted my boss and asked if someone could cover the one afternoon patient while I went to Urgent Care (which is what the doctor’s recorded message says to do if you don’t hear from him). I didn’t want to go to Urgent Care, but I knew I needed to do something or else I was going to go over the edge.

Why was I afraid of going to Urgent Care? Because I had convinced myself that if I go to Urgent Care for any kind of mental health issue, I’ll be committed. No passing go, no collecting $200. That is a tremendous fear of mine, and for most of the morning I felt the weight of that fear crushing me.

After a hectic morning (or maybe it wasn’t really hectic–maybe that was just my skewed perception) of working and playing phone tag with the doctor’s receptionist, I finally got my new samples. Full dose, two weeks’ worth.

I took one as soon as I got it, but alas, they’re not instant acting pills. I felt relief at not having to go to Urgent Care, but I still felt wrong.

I was still a little scared. I was still not thinking clearly. All I could think about was how close I might have come to ending up in a psych ward.

It’s a little better now. I don’t feel like I’m going to lose my shit at the moment.

Tomorrow will be a long day. My goal is to survive it and make it to the next day.

It’s pretty sad when you view survival as a goal, not a given.

Mind matters

In matters of the mind, what really matters?

Well, right now, in my mind, the little things apparently matter–in a big way. I’m talking about all the little things that people say that might be well-intended but get skewed in perception.

Here’s the thing: I commented on a post in the writing group I’m part of. Big mistake. Really big mistake.

The OP (original poster) was talking about how if you want to be a best-selling author you need to think like a best-selling author and treat your writing like the job it is. Okay. Fine. But what about the job I have that pays the bills? What about the few real-life friends I have? What about my physical and mental exhaustion? Did the OP have any advice for me on that?

Not really. I was basically told that, since the SCA is not 100% necessary (like the job obviously is) I need to reevaluate my commitments to it (and, of course, the people in it). Okay. I kinda get that, but the OP fails to realize that the SCA is my only source of real-life friends outside of the one or two friends I have at work. So….to succeed I need to give up having friends?

Yeah, that’s how my brain works. But that’s not the best part. It gets better.

The OP also told me to “schedule” writing time and “prioritize” it. Okay. But I kind of already do that. Unless I have an urgent embroidery project (oops! there’s that pesky SCA thing again), my insomniac mornings are spent on writing, editing, and marketing my writing through social media interactions. So, yeah, I schedule writing time in a manner of speaking. I prioritize it by choosing that over trying in vain to go back to sleep. I spend hours on this. Almost every day. Probably cumulatively more time than I spend at work, when I think about it. I can easily be awake for 5-6+ hours in the morning before getting ready for the day job, and I spend a lot of weekend free time on writing as well. Hell, sometimes I sneak a little modern day into the SCA events by using my phone for Twitter interactions and Instagramming and yeah, I even bring my laptop on camping events so I can hotspot my phone and–you guessed it!–work on writing, editing, and marketing.

But my brain’s not done yet. No sirree. My brain had to tell me that the OP was singling me out. He had to have been picking on me. Insulting me. Telling me that I will fail if I don’t do the things the way he says to do them. That’s what my brain got out of that.

So that’s the worst of it, right? I got over it, calmed down, recentered my perception and got out of my own way?

Nope. I went full-on psycho paranoid ultrasensitive bitch.

I worded my response carefully, or so I thought. I didn’t bite back, even though I felt attacked. I kept it calm. Or did I…..?

Guess not, because the next day, the OP wrote another inspirational/motivational/well-intended post, this time about excuses.

Oh, shit. There goes my mind again.

Clearly he’s writing about me. Clearly he’s targeting me in this verbal assault. I’m obviously the sole inspiration for this outrageous insult. When I was asking for advice on how to deal with all that’s going on in my life, I was obviously making excuses and thus the new post was born.

I’m trying to tell myself it’s not personal. Or at least, if it is personal, it’s meant to help not harm. I am trying.

Oh, shit again. There I go. Using “try.” (The OP also posted about taking “try” out of one’s vocabulary today. Yeah. Today was a two-fer.)

I’d say that it’s a neurochemical shitstorm (ooh! I like that phrase–sounds better than “off my rocker”) in my brain right now, what with the medicine that helps me de-stress and not think this way being denied by my insurance, but I don’t even know where mind and matter separate at the moment. I don’t know where the line is. I don’t even know if there’s a line anymore. My mind is twisting everything I read to be an affront against my person, and I don’t know how to stop it.

I was better in my outward reaction today. I bitched to one or two people privately, but I didn’t comment on his posts. I kept my fat mouth shut. What does it matter, anyway? He’ll just twist my words around to make everything that’s wrong with my life my fault and I’ll feel even shittier than I already do. Best to leave it alone.

One of these days–maybe not soonish, but some day–I’ll even out. I’ll stop taking every little thing personally. Until then, though, I’d better retreat. Back into the shell you go, personality. Back in there before you screw something else up.

Hanging on by a thread

I’m still here. Still hanging on.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Life has been life, and the juggling act is a struggle.

I’m trying to get more active on Twitter. I’m trying to get my work done at the office. I’m trying to get my friend’s Pelican embroidered in the next seven days. I’m trying to keep my head above water, basically, and I’m not sure I’m being entirely successful.

I’ll get the embroidery done. I’m making great progress, actually. But there are still two other projects waiting for me to finish them, and one is due a week after the Pelican.

The social media is another story. I am having a hard time balancing all the things, and it’s starting to show. Take this blog, for example: I literally forgot I had it. Just too much else going on. And when I zero in on one media outlet, the others suffer. I’m not on Facebook as often… same with Instagram. It’s all some crazy numbers game, and I’m losing.

Then there’s Abnormal. I don’t ask my publisher what my numbers are like because, frankly, I’m afraid to know. I try, but I’m an idiot when it comes to marketing and promotion, and I’m sure it shows in my sales numbers. I don’t know how to generate interest in a book that’s been out for eight months. Getting people excited about a new release is easier. It doesn’t help that some of my fellow Askew authors are doing exceptionally well in their sales. One was on Amazon’s bestseller list in her genre for over a month and has now been picked up by Barnes and Noble. Another’s book just went on pre-order a day or two ago and he’s already apparently halfway to his pre-order sales goal. I didn’t even know I had a pre-order sales goal when Abnormal came out. I didn’t know anything, and I feel like I’m still very much in the dark on a lot of things.

I’m not sure if it’s the state of my sales (or lack thereof) or if it’s merely my innate mental state. I’ve been trying to get my new mood stabilizer from the pharmacy, but they say they need a prior authorization from my doctor, and it’s been nearly two weeks. I need to call his office, but when?? I’m always working. I guess I’ll have to try to call him before patients start checking in today… Otherwise, I’ll never get it done. The medicine helped so much when I was on the sample dose, and I want to feel better. I don’t want to be anxious all the time, or depressed, or all over the place mood-wise. I want to be stable and functional. That would be nice.

I’ll survive. It’s what I do. But I don’t want to just survive. I want to be active, I want to be successful, I want to thrive.

Maybe if I can get that medicine filled it will be a start.

In the Wee Hours, the Brain Gremlins Descend

It’s been one of those mornings. Motivation and morale are low, and those pesky brain gremlins are creeping in.

You know the ones: they’re the little parts of your brain that don’t think you can do it. Doesn’t matter what “it” is; they try to tell you you can’t. Or they try to convince you not to even bother.

Interact with followers and writing community on Twitter? Nah. Waste of time.

Try to get some writing in? You know you’d rather sit here staring into space.

Get up off the couch and do some chores? But you’re so warm and comfortable…

It seems that for every productive suggestion I have, my brain gremlins have a counter point. They’re weak counter points at best, but the gremlins are stronger some mornings. Today’s one of them.

The gremlins are trying to convince me to go back to sleep until it’s time to get ready for work. They’re trying to tell me to watch a bad B movie on Netflix, or to just stare into space because what’s the difference? It’s all an endless cycle of self-hatred, depression, and darkness. Why bother?

There’s stuff I could be doing. Cleaning the kitty litters, emptying the dishwasher, putting the laundry in the dryer through a de-wrinkle cycle before I get ready for work, writing, etc. I mean, I’ve got a good hour at least before I have to get serious about getting ready. So why can’t I get myself to start any of these?

Oh yeah: the gremlins.

Like the Bugs Bunny cartoons of old, gremlins are known for sabotaging things. Brain gremlins are no different. They want to sabotage your life…but to what end?

It’s hard to determine the motives of the brain gremlins. They certainly can’t have anything to gain by making you feel down, depressed, or just plain done with life and all its hassles. But maybe gremlins don’t need motives; maybe they are just malicious little creatures. Tiny little malignancies in the thought process that seep in and spread like a cancer.

That’s not to say I haven’t accomplished anything this morning. I made myself an energy drink (no creamer, so no coffee this morning), took my pills, and made and ate some breakfast.

Pills. That’s why the gremlins are out in full force today. I forgot to call my doctor’s office to see about the authorization for my new mood stabilizer. It’s a newer drug on the market, so the insurance wants the doctor to jump through hoops to get it approved for me. It sucks, because I ran out of the sample doses last week, and the anxiety has been creeping back in its absence. Perhaps the brain gremlins sensed the lack of medication and descended in full force to thwart my efforts to be a productive member of society this morning. (Well, at least a productive member of the household.)

At the very least I’ll get the laundry fluffed and the litters cleaned. Maybe the dishes put away. But writing? No, the gremlins have too firm a hold on my brain at the moment. I can’t wrestle my creativity free of their crusty little claws.

I wish I had advice for other gremlin-sufferers right now. Something inspirational that will scare the gremlins away, or maybe keep them in hiding for the most part. Sadly, I have no such advice. I’m still battling those demonic little buggers myself.

Some day those gremlins will be quiet. They’ll stop telling me there’s no point, that I’m not good enough, or whatever such nonsense they cook up. For now? I guess I’ll just figure out which task is next and work through them one at a time.

You won’t win the day, gremlins. Maybe you’ve won the past few hours, but you won’t win the day.

Train of Thought

Catherine sighed as she looked out the window, watching the trees speed by, a broken film reel that would never stop flipping. Mom was so wrong, she thought. Train rides aren’t exciting or adventurous. They’re boring. Not even the name of the train she took, the Zephyr, could add excitement to the never-ending sea of trees, rocks, and grass.

The train banked a sharp curve, revealing miles and miles of plains beyond the trees, an even more generic view. As the car shifted, so did something on the floor near her feet. She bent to examine the paper-wrapped package that bumped into her.

For Catherine Morrow. Open only when alone.

The script on the label reminded Catherine of the fancy calligraphy she’d seen on her cousin’s wedding invitations, though the ink was brown and faded, not bright and thick. The paper wrapping was stiff against her fingertips, and it had suffered water damage at some point, though the wrapping had long since dried.

Oh, great, she thought as she looked around the car for the potential messenger. Mom’s trying to hook me up again. I bet the guy’s watching to see if I’m swept away by this grand romantic gesture. The train car was packed with bodies, but none seemed interested in Catherine or her package. Noses were buried in books or newspapers or tablets, with the exception of a few small children whose excitement at riding a train for the first time could not be contained. They scrambled from window to window, announcing every cow or coyote they saw.

Well, if I open it here the kids will descend and demand to see what’s in it–and if I know Mom, there’s no telling what kind of potential “suitor” she shanghaied into this. I could be opening a box of chocolates or a box of vibrators. Better to open it back in my room on the sleeper car.

She stood and tucked the box under her arm. Shadows flickered in the train car as it sped past another copse of trees. With those shadows came a flash of recognition. Something about this train ride was familiar, though Catherine was as new to train travel as the kids that bounded down the aisle in front of her.

She glanced down to sidestep a child and bumped into a man who hadn’t been standing in front of her moments before. A quick look revealed him to be dressed in strange attire, something more at home in an old Western than in modern-day couture. He tipped his wide-brimmed hat, which cast a shadow over his face, and cleared his throat.

“My good lady, I see that you have found my package. If you would ever-so-kindly return it, I might offer you a reward.”

What the hell is Mom up to? This guy looks more like part of the dinner show than a possible date. “Your package?”

White teeth flashed in the shadow. “Why, yes, ma’am. Right there under your arm. I dropped it earlier and it slid clear down the car.”

Something inside Catherine’s gut screamed at her to back away, to keep the package safe until she could open it. She plastered a polite smile on her face. “I’m so sorry, sir, but you must be mistaken. This package is for me. It’s got my name on it.”

“And what might your name be, ma’am?”

Warning bells sounded in her head, warring with the screaming from her gut. Wherever Mom found this guy, it was the wrong dating site. He’s bad news, I just know it. “Sorry–I’m sure you’re nice and all, but I’m not giving my name to some random guy on the train. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need a nap.” She hesitated for a split second. “Besides, my boyfriend’s waiting for me in the car.”

The shadowed grin widened, and he tipped his hat again. “My apologies, ma’am. I shall look around for my package.” He paused. “Perhaps I dropped it in another car…”

With that he turned and headed towards the sleeper cars. Catherine’s heart pounded in her chest.

Shit! What do I do now? He’s going the same direction I am; if he sees me go into my room alone, he’ll probably break in and attack me or something. Damnit, Mom, why do you have to go meddling? I’m perfectly happy waiting for Mister Right to come to me of his own accord, thank you very much. Now I’ve got a stalker on this train, and it’ll be tomorrow before we get to Chicago.

The man disappeared through the door between cars and slammed it shut behind him. Catherine jumped, and for a moment the door looked more like split wood than smooth metal.

A tug at her sleeve drew her attention down to one of the children, a small girl. She was dressed in a ruffled floral-print dress, and her golden hair was neatly woven into tight pigtail braids with ribbons on the ends. “Hey miss, is that a present?”

Catherine knelt down to be closer to eye level with the girl. “Yes. But I can’t open it here. It’s a secret.”

The girl’s brow wrinkled, and a frown marred her pretty face. “That’s a stupid present.” She whirled around and skipped down the aisle.

When Catherine stood back up, the door was back to its metal state. Geez, I’m going crazy. She inched closer to the door and peered through the glass-paned window. Though the sleeper car was dark, she could see that the strange man was nowhere in sight.

She slid the door open and slipped through. Tucking the package under her arm, she dug through her purse for a lighter. Once she found her trusty Bic, she flicked the little red tab and it burst into flame, illuminating the face of the man from the other train car. He was so close she could smell the musty tobacco on his breath, but his sudden appearance wasn’t the most disturbing thing about seeing him in the light.

He had no eyes.

In place of his eyes were two gaping holes, lidless.

His tobacco-stained hands reached out towards Catherine. “I do believe you have my package, young lady.”

Catherine screamed and dropped her lighter. She backed up, fumbling in the dark for the door handle. Once found, she jerked it to the side and fell back through the door into the passenger car. She scrambled to her feet and looked for someone who could help–but the car was empty. No businessmen tapped away at their laptops, no soccer moms read their cheesy romances, and, most notably, no children played.

She ran to the back of the car and tugged at the handle of the back door. Maybe they all went to the dining car. The door didn’t budge, and she cried out when a splinter stabbed her finger.

Wait…a splinter? She looked around and noticed that the car had changed in the few seconds she had been gone. No longer were there metal-framed plastic seats or fluorescent lights; now lanterns hung from the ceiling, and the seats looked more like wooden benches or church pews. The ride grew bumpy, and the sounds of the wheels on the tracks grew louder.

Standing in the doorway through which she had fallen was the eyeless man. He took slow, deliberate steps towards her. “My package, young lady. It is impolite to steal and open someone else’s property.”

“I-it’s got m-my name on it,” she stammered. “You’ve got the wrong package.”

He reached for the package, but Catherine jerked it out of his grasp. “It’s mine!

In the struggle, the paper on the package tore at one corner, and the flap on top bounced open. Catherine backed into the door and ripped the other flap free and looked inside the box.

What she saw inside made her blood run cold.

Inside was a still-beating human heart.

The man chuckled. “Well, well, I guess it was your package after all, sweet Catherine.”

“I n-never told you my name…”

“You didn’t need to, my dear. I would recognize you in any time, at any place. You are and will always be mine.”

She stood frozen in fear as his hand grabbed her chest. The force of his grip was strong, painful, and she looked down to see blood trickling from five finger-sized wounds in the center of her chest. He dug deeper, and she heard bone cracking as he ripped through to her heart. He pulled it out in one smooth motion and grinned.
“You don’t need this anymore, Catherine. I have your original heart right here.”

From the box he pulled the dismembered heart and shoved it into the gaping hole in her chest. She gasped for air. One gulp. Two gulps.

He squeezed, and the new heart inside Catherine began to pump. He drew his bloody hand out of her chest and placed it on her cheek. “How do you feel, my dear?”

She gazed into the voids where his eyes once sat. “I feel so much better now, Charles.” She straightened the bloody linen dress she now wore and adjusted her blood-stained while gloves. “How long has it been this time?”

“A hundred years, my love, since we last were together.”

Catherine nodded. “Well, Charles, shall we find your eyes now?”

When you need a vacation from your second job but your hobby has turned into a third job

Okay, so Pixabay didn’t exactly have an image with a woman in scrubs, a woman in casual clothes, and a woman in SCA garb all together. Let’s just pretend that’s what’s going on in the above picture.

This weekend, I decided to take a mini vacation from both my day job and my writing. I needed that small break (and besides, yesterday, if you remember, was my anniversary). The SCA event we went to was not as relaxing as I had hoped, though, and I’m getting back to that feeling of “obligation” moreso than “hobby” or “volunteering.” It was like okay, I agreed to do the thing so I’ll do the thing, but what I really wanted to do was spend the day with my husband.

It would have been okay, but he got busy with autocrat stuff (he’s co-hosting an event in a couple of months) and I got a rash from the grass at the site and ended up falling dead asleep in the car for a good solid hour courtesy of the Benadryl I took. I barely saw him all day, and for our anniversary dinner he invited a lot of people, so it wasn’t as intimate as I would have liked for our anniversary. In fact, he sat with his back slightly turned playing host to the friends at his side of the table for most of the meal.

I discussed with him afterwards, told him I would rather celebrate our anniversary in a more intimate setting, and I told him that, even though our SCA “anniversary” tends to fall on the same weekend as our wedding anniversary, I’d like to keep the two separate.

Next weekend we have another two events. The weekend after is technically free, but I’ll likely be doing the embroidery for my good friend’s elevation to the Order of the Pelican because, well, the elevation is the very next week.

I’ve also got embroidery to do for my belting to my soon-to-be Peer, a Laurel I both admire as an artisan and as a friend. There’s also an art exchange gift that I need to finish before my belting–both of which are due the week after the elevation. Then, when all that is caught up, I need to finish the embroidery project that I’ve been working on for the past four or five months for Their Majesties….who will no longer be ruling by the time I get finished but who have told me that my friend’s elevation project comes first.

So, long story long, I have ended up with a third job in the midst of all this. The SCA is becoming obligatory instead of just fun.

Don’t get me wrong; I like doing the embroidery. I like when people take note of and enjoy my work. But it IS work, so I have to once again force myself to slow down and reflect on my priorities.

  • Day job (gotta pay the bills)
  • Writing (which I hope will some day assist in the payment of the bills)
  • Sanity (yes, I do need to include this in my list)
  • SCA events and activities

I don’t want to stop altogether. I like my SCAdian friends and family… I just need more of a balance.

In pursuit of that goal, I picked some Fridays next month to sign up for the live stream Writer Imperfect, where I get to chat with other authors and answer questions about what little I know about the publishing world. I still have an event in May, but it’s just one event. Those three Fridays are for my writing career.

I’ll survive. I always do. But my survival hinges more and more on me standing up for my needs and voicing my concerns when I get overbooked. And speaking of booking, I should try to get some writing time in today….

Through all time and space

Time is a funny thing. We only get so much of it, a mere drop in the ocean, but the quality of that time can be improved so much by the people you spend it with.

Six years ago today, I vowed to be with this man through all time and space, and I don’t regret a second of it.

Hopefully you can’t tell how excruciating those shoes were. Lol I’ll give them credit for making him stand up straight throughout the ceremony, though. (He has a tendency to slouch, but with an extra four inches of height on me he realized he needed to straighten that spine.)

The day was windy but otherwise beautiful. Gorgeous Arizona April skies all around.

See? A couple smudges on the camera lens, but all in all clear and crisp.

My dad was giving me a carefully-planned speech here.

My mind was on Cloud Nine, so I didn’t really hear it. Sorry, Dad. I was a little distracted.

He was bawling by the time I got to the altar. I had to hold back my tears for a while, because unlike him I was wearing makeup. Lol

Being the tech-savvy guy he is, he read his vows off of his phone. I almost lost it before it was my turn, because we had written our vows in secret, and his contained the words “for all time and space” as well.

I had a handmade card that I’d bought from Etsy to read off of. I think it said on the front “My love for you will last longer than Ned Stark.” I’m not sure, though, because the card got lost shortly after the wedding. It’s a shame I didn’t get a photo of it. It was cute. Like my husband, I referenced Doctor Who… and many of our friends assumed we had written our vows together. As one friend wrote in our guest book, “The vows prove, you were made for each other.”

Because of the wind, we had some, er, technical difficulties lighting the unity candle. The officiant saw an opportunity to use our fire failure as a metaphor for how much work a marriage takes.

We got it done, though.

This ^^ is my favorite photo out of the hundreds that were taken that day. This is the moment where I claimed what was mine.

The ceremony was non-denominational, semi-formal, and a touch geeky (quotes from Juno and Doctor Who were mixed in with touching words that flew in one ear and out the other).

I insisted on the cheeky photos of us signing our marriage certificate.

Both sets of parents were there, of course, but I think a part of me will always regret that I never got to meet my husband’s birth mother. I like to think she was there that day, watching her older son from the Great Beyond.

This is where we get back to time being a funny thing. Of the dozen people in our wedding party, only my brother, my sister, my boss, my BFF (who flew in from Alabama for the wedding), and our nephews are still in our lives. No, nobody died (that I know of), but time happened and we grew apart. It’s sad, but I’m glad these people helped us make the most important day of our lives that much better. I know one thing, though: no matter how the people in our lives come and go, I can always count on one person in particular to always be there … through all time and space. 😉

Now it’s been six years. Six years of changing apartments, medical diagnoses, new-to-us cars, a new life in the SCA, and our brand new house.

I don’t know what the next six years–or sixty, even–will bring, but I’m excited to find out.

This year we’re commemorating our anniversary by getting our names tattooed in Gallifreyan–the language of the Time Lords. It was my husband’s idea, and I’m pretty excited for it. The only problem is, I’m running out of room! The tattoo artist wants a flat surface to work on, and most of my available tattoo real estate is on the rounded parts of me. Lol I’ll find a good spot, though. I always do.

Here’s to six years of marriage, my love, and to many, many more.

Floodgates open? Well, there’s a trickle

Well, after a good solid month of being blocked, I’m back to writing. It’s still slow going, and the progress isn’t marked, but it is progress.

I’m starting to get more of the world in place, the situation–locally for my characters as well as globally–the timing…things are coming together. Or, well, for my characters they’re falling apart. Lol

I can’t say too much without getting spoilery, but I’m getting more confident in the direction Book 3 is going. It’s fleshing out, it’s developing, it’s coming to light. (Sounds silly for only having added about 1500-2k words this morning, but you’d be surprised how much can be conveyed–or inspired–by those few words.) I have more of a vision of what’s happening and what’s going to happen.

Of course, this means that my long work day in the surgery department will seem even longer, because I’ll be away from my laptop and unable to continue my momentum. My brain might end up being stuck in the distant future instead of being rooted firmly in the present. (Don’t worry–I don’t do anything more crucial than taking vital signs, giving drops, and maybe giving discharge instructions. Lol)

Adding to the time-taken-away-from-writing is my upcoming anniversary. Six years this Saturday! We’re going to get coordinating Gallifreyan tattoos once we have the extra funds saved up. It was my husband’s idea, but I fully endorse it.

Tomorrow I’ll start on the full-dose Vraylar, which means I’ll be taking it only three days a week (yay for a long half-life!) and hopefully seeing even more improvement in my stress levels. I handled yesterday’s work day well, and it seems even the days that are craptastic aren’t as bad as they normally would be. I tried to cut hours where I could, but it looks like I’ll be in OT again this week–which means I’ll probably be sent home early tomorrow. Darn. Guess I’ll have to write or something until my husband gets off work and we can leave for our weekend trip.

We’ll be going to an SCA event on Saturday, but Friday-Sunday we’ll be staying with his dad and stepmom, and Saturday after the event we’ll be having a nice dinner with friends at a delicious restaurant. The adult in me is looking forward to a beer; the kid in me is looking forward to FOOD!! Seriously, this place has the best chicken pot pie I’ve ever tasted.

Well, it’s getting to be That Time again. Time to leave for work, to leave my comfy abode and make the twenty-minute drive to employment.

Round and round and round we go

It’s that time of the week again.

Laundry day.

I fucking hate laundry day.

First you have to sort all the crap that has been worn or used during the week. Then you have to lug each load from the bedroom to the garage. Stuff the stuff into the machine. Put in the detergent and fabric softener. Then you take it out once the cycle is done, put it in the dryer, and then it’s quite literally lather, rinse, repeat.

Then you have to put all that crap away. Folding, hanging, stuffing in drawers… Feels like it takes forever.

Then a week or so goes by, and you have to do it all over again. It’s not my favorite part of home ownership, as you may be able to tell.

One of these days I’ll get a head start on it. I’ll get to where I don’t dread it. I don’t see that happening any time soon though. I’ll probably hate it just as much a few months/years from now. Blah.