Posts tagged “NaNoWriMo

‘Костер’ – Not Everything Is Yet Decided

CAUTION the entry contains mentions of depression and its symptoms.

I remember someone told me once, that I had to follow my heart to get anywhere. That if there was something that I loved doing, that I could see myself doing forever, I should do it. And I remember thinking that they were being somewhat naively hopeful; that they assumed that just because you were passionate about something you could turn your life around and make it all work. Like magic. I also remember being painfully jealous, because they had obviously found their calling and managed to succeed in it. And I didn’t think I’d find anything I was good enough at to be able to be as successful.

The last few months have been intense. A lot in my life has changed drastically and it’s been a slow crawl to where I am. But I can honestly say that I now believe the person who gave me the above advice. I’m still finding my feet, but I am doing so with a lot more confidence and happiness than I have had for a long, long time.

So I guess I should start from the beginning.

I have been unhappy for a very long time. I had had depression first when I was 15, got counselling and got better. I had a relapse into it when I was 18, and again at 22. I have never taken meds, I refused them, and for a while I thought I could go it alone. Last year, my grades began to steadily drop. I was losing interest in everything, from study to writing to watching things to seeing my friends. I spent half a year staring at the ceiling lying in bed because I had no desire or strength to get up. It was scary, and I had no idea what to do.

My friends from high school were all doing well with their chosen courses. Two were already getting their masters’ degrees, a few others had jobs in the industry, one of my closest friends had taken the bar at 23. And here I was lying in bed contemplating the fact that I was a failure compared to all of them, that I had obviously missed a memo about how to be properly successful and now I was suffering for it.

Earlier this year, it started to get worse. I was crying all the time, I was angry, I was tired, I couldn’t sleep and I stopped eating for a while. I hated everything at university: the people there, the lectures, the classes, choosing new classes for the future. It all came to a head, in the end, when I realized that I no longer emotionally responded to things that should have caused me to be upset. I would read articles at work concerning rape and abuse and it wouldn’t register that it was bad. I would read about mass shootings and animal abuse and nothing clicked. And as someone who is very empathetic usually, it was a terrifying eye-opener.

I went to see the university counsellor and was diagnosed with mild to medium level of depression and medium level anxiety. We started our sessions, and it came to light that what was doing me damage, most of all, was that I was at university. There was a lot of pressure from my family to go to university initially, and I had been determined to go and finish, to have the piece of paper that proved I had been, even though it would do little in getting me a job later, and I had stuck it out for three years before it had started to hurt me and adversely effect my mental wellbeing.

The counsellor suggested I drop out of uni for the coming semester and see how I feel. I’m not sure how the tertiary education system works for people in other countries, but here in New Zealand you are allowed to leave your university degree ‘on hold’ as it were, for three years before it becomes null and you have to start again. So taking a semester off wouldn’t – in the long run, in theory – be detrimental to my degree as a whole. I had already fudged it by dropping my grade average from an A- to a C- so there was very little else I could have done to screw myself over.

In theory, the idea was simple, to take the semester off, work, get myself back together and see what I wanted to do after. However, it brought up a lot of conflict with my family, who believed, still, that I should have a university degree to show for my effort, and to have in general in case I wanted to pursue more study later on in life ‘when I was better’. Because of this, it took me a very long time to actually drop out of university properly; it had already been the first week in by the time I unenrolled.

It was a very difficult thing to do, I was very worried that I would screw up my relationship with my family, and for a time I thought I had. Because every discussion was somehow related to my study – or lack thereof – or somehow related to what I needed to do with my life. I felt, for a long time, as though they did not see my mental illness as an illness, but saw it instead as an excuse to do what I wanted and disregard their wishes. Honestly, I can’t say if that was the case. We all get blinded by pain and frustration, and it could have been that we were all in the wrong in that period of time. Regardless, it’s over now, and I shan’t bring it up again.

The first few months of recovery were difficult. I had just moved into a new house, with new people, and I was having a lot of financial trouble. A few of us were settling a court case concerning the property we had vacated the year before and it was adding stress to everything and everyone. I couldn’t find another job like I had planned to, and I had no idea where I was going. It was a bad time, I was wondering if I should return to study simply to get the government student aid payout so it would be easier to live.

I wrote often, with my writing partner, alone. I spent a lot of time online, I spent a lot of time in bed. I was still unhappy, but the pressure to go to uni and to work hard in classes I had no desire to take was gone, so it became easier. And then it got better.

In June, cognomen (my writing partner) and I put up a fic we had collaborated on, on AO3. It had been written for fun, just for us, and I had insisted we set it online. He let me, and I guess that’s where I can start the strange upward curve of success – or the feeling of it. The fic got a lot of attention. People commented and bookmarked, mentioned it to people who were our mutual friends… it was really fun.

After one fic, came another. And more still. And the more we wrote, the more people loved it. We got people asking for requests, giving ideas and hanging on our replies. In 3 months, my offer to write 3-sentences-ficlets went from getting one person submitting (usually cognomen) to 15, filling my inbox and getting me to really think about what I was working on. My character adaptation got much better, my character voices became near-flawless. I started writing metas (discussions regarding characters) and getting into discussions with others who did the same. My mind was engaged, my confidence was higher than it had been in a long time and things were looking up.

A month ago, I was offered extra hours at work, giving me the chance to save up some money and feel as though I could live comfortably with the finances I had. I submitted work to magazines for publication again, I did a collaborative work on a comic with cognomen and a very talented artist, I was offered the chance to co-run one of the busiest fanblogs for Hannibal on Tumblr, promoted to being the fic coordinator as well as general admin. Cognomen and I started planning stories we could set out for publication.

I started to feel good again.

On October 6th, I got an email telling me that one of my stories was accepted to be published in a magazine.

I remember setting goals when I was younger, because teachers had asked us too, at one point my psychiatrist asked me to, because goals help you feel grounded and give you a place to aim your efforts and something to work towards. When I was 18 I set myself a goal to be published by the time I was 25. I sent out stories, I wrote more, I worked at it, and for a while, nothing happened and I forgot. I let it go. But the goal was still there, to be published by 25, in a magazine or a book or somewhere that would justify my efforts, that would suggest that people enjoyed my writing and I wasn’t deluding myself in thinking I was good.

Now I know I am. I achieved my goal 2 years before my personal deadline, and I feel unbelievable.

So now I work 3 days a week, overnights, and earn enough to cover rent, bills, food, and have money spare for expenses and savings and treating myself.

I help co-run one of the biggest fanblogs for Hannibal on Tumblr.

I got a job writing for the magazine that published me. I’ll be reviewing websites monthly. My first article will be published in the same issue my short story will be.

I’m writing two original stories with cognomen for NaNoWriMo next month, both of which we would like to send to be published upon completion.

I have dedicated followers of my writing, friends I’ve made through it, connections – potentially helping set up an LGBT friendly publishing company with someone – I’m busy, I’m happy, and I feel like I’m going somewhere.

I am 23. I have dropped out of university. I work part time, I am struggling to make ends meet but they meet regardless. I was depressed and I’m slowly recovering. I’ve achieved a life goal 2 years before I had planned to, and I am doing something I am passionate about, something that I can see myself doing forever.

I’m ok.


Movie Night In – Girly Movies

Well… the last entry I said that someone had broken into my car. The week following, someone broke into our house. I won’t go into detail, I’ve told the police and my workmates and friends already, but let’s just say that I haven’t been able to sleep well since. It’s not nice to wake up to someone standing over your bed taking your stuff. In fact it’s downright terrifying.


Today with Holmes and Mack we got bored – eating pizza on the floor of the living room as you do – and decided to look up silly girly movies to see if we agreed with the lists. It amused me how so many movies we see as iconic girly movies didn’t make the cut. In later lists that weren’t considered the ‘major and important’ links on google there were some of the movies we all loved, but not in the most commonly searched.

This got me thinking… if I were to compile a list of girly films, which would I put in there? To be honest, I know that by the time I finish the list I’ll find many more films I wish had made the list but by that point it will be around 3am and I will really REALLY need to attempt sleep again. So I guess if we start now… we can only go forward!

No hate, please, I know we all have different tastes, since this is my blog these are my choices. If you want to suggest others, you got for gold y’all! I’d love to see them in the comments!

[more updates about life and stuff at the bottom for those who care]

In no particular order, just the order I thought them up in

1. Ten Inch Hero

This movie actually made no lists that we looked up, which I find atrocious. Sure, it’s not a particularly well-known film or one that hit it big in Hollywood but it’s amazing. It’s fun, perfectly cheesy, and has a scene in it that made me cry and feel weirdly cathartically happy at the end. Jensen Ackles’ presence is surely helpful, of course, but this is really one of my all-time favourite girly flicks. Check it out.

2. 10 Things I Hate About You

This movie does not get the credit it deserves nowadays. I remember not liking it very much the first time I saw it, I can’t even remember why, I think I was in a prissy stage where I refused to like stuff because other people liked it. Whatever. This movie… is a movie I quote pretty much on a daily basis. I adore it. The fact that it’s a loose adaptation of a Shakespearean play (Taming of the Shrew) just makes it even better. This is one of those movies that if you have guy friends over for your girly night (coz who wouldn’t, really) will please them also.

3. She’s The Man

Another loose adaptation of Shakespeare (Twelfth Night this time) and a movie that I know a lot of people dislike. I dunno why, but this film makes me so happy and makes me feel so damn good about myself I can’t even begin to explain it. Also I grew up with Amanda Bynes (Amanda Show anyone? No? Am I showing my age?) and her everything is to be envied. Basically a brilliant film about girls kicking ass as badass hunky dudes who like to talk about cheese.

4. Bend it Like Beckham

What a way to segue into something huh? Look at me pulling out – potentially wrongfully spelled – words at 2am. This film is a film I quote a little too much. Usually in an Indian accent, which I have gotten very good at recently. Another good film about girls kicking ass and showing their families that they can do what they want if they truly believe in it, as well as being able to make round chipatis. This highly amuses my Indian friends so I’ll assume it’s not an offensive movie. I can honestly say that it made me want to play soccer… and I don’t like sport. Ever.

5. St. Trinian’s

I can almost guarantee that people reading this blog have either a) not heard of this film or b) seriously dislike it. Believe me, I know this is a terrible film. I understand it completely, from the stereotypes to the script to the costuming… but I adore it. I adore it beyond words. If there is any film that makes me feel empowered to be a woman, different, quirky and crazy, it’s this one. Every time I watch it it makes me want to dance on a table singing into a hairbrush. It’s the ultimate girl power movie for me, because – unlike a lot of “girly” films, this one doesn’t have the end game of the main girl getting a guy. It has the endgame of the main girl learning to be awesome in her weirdness and standing up to bullies. Also the theme song makes me very, very happy.

6. Bring It On

The fact that this film only made it into ONE list of the ones we trolled through really disappointed me. This, to me, is one of the ultimate girly movies! I swear my generation grew up on this. AWESOME, OH WOW, LIKE TOTALLY FREAK ME OUT I MEAN RIGHT ON! It’s fantastic. Makes you both hate cheerleaders and love cheerleading as a sport. Before I discovered St. Trinian’s, this was my go-to super powerful girl power movie (mostly thanks to Eliza Dushku and her amazing… everything).

7. Love Actually

This movie… is the only film I watch as a tradition. Every Christmas since it came out, Q and I will curl up on the couch at home with bad food – preferably chocolate – and watch this. It is poignant, it is funny, it makes us cry and it is PERFECT for Christmas eve. After this came out, tons of others tried to copy the idea, like New Year’s Eve, and none have ever lived up. Something about Love Actually is just so special, and so, so British. This movie, also, in my opinion doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It gets beaten out by ‘newer’ versions of the same thing, but to be honest, newer, in this case, does not mean better. Love Actually is unparalleled.

8. Moonstruck

Jewish and Italian families are too similar. Trust me on this. Another film, like 10 Things, that I did not like very much the first time I saw it, but now adore and seek out. I can’t even explain to you why. Maybe I grew up enough to understand the humor? Who knows. All I do know now is that this film has to make my list. You can’t have a girly night without Moonstruck and Cher’s amazing hair and unbelievably perfect family. No, really.

9. Keith

This film isn’t easy to describe. The poster makes it look horrific and a lot of people are put off by Jesse McCartney being the main male lead, but believe me when I say this is one of the most powerful and unforgettable films of all time. And hey, at least one weepy movie had to make it to the list right? What’s a girly night without clinging to each other and weeping into a bowl of chocolate covered strawberries? Trust me on this. Keith. Watch it. You won’t regret it.

10. This Means War

A new movie and a brilliant one. I won’t lie, I saw it for Tom Hardy, just like Holmes saw it for Chris Pine, but it is a truly brilliantly funny film. Honest. I loved how immature I felt giggling about Klimt apparently painting with sticks and when he couldn’t find any using his… yea. I know, I know, shut up. But it is a brilliant piece of work. A strange film in that I was rooting for a different outcome and yet was very satisfied with how it turned out in the end. More proof that amazing actors like Reese, Tom and Chris can be versatile and do silly lighthearted films like this as well as their usual Oscar-worthy work.

11. Little Miss Sunshine

This was an accidental find, one of those films I saw with a friend ‘because it was the only thing on’. I had no idea what it was about, nothing to go on when I went to see it, and I loved it. It still stands as one of the only films to make me cry one minute and laugh out loud the next. It is touching and real and unforgettable. Sadly, this film rarely makes girly sleepover lists, and it really should.

12. Dakota Skye

I still think this is one of the most original films in a long, long time, and a really beautiful love story about trust and respect and fear of the unknown. It also has, without a doubt, one of my FAVOURITE confessions of love in any film ever. I love Pride and Prejudice, I really do, but Jonah’s speech to Dakota blows it out of the water for me, I’m sorry. It’s just so beautiful, and so truthful. Ah! I love it. Like Ten Inch Hero, this film doesn’t get the recognition it deserves because it never ‘made it big’. But it really should.

13. 27 Dresses

I feel like I just found out my favourite love song was written about a sandwich. The single most amazing quote in film comedy ever. At least I think so, anyway. This is the atypical girly chick flick that, weirdly enough, doesn’t annoy the shit out of me. I like the main character, she doesn’t get on my nerves for being weak or stupid… because she’s not. She’s an accomplished woman who has a sheltered life due to being busy with things she loves and… obsessing over someone who doesn’t love her back. Been there. We all have. Sadly, not all of our lives end up as good as hers but hey, what’s entertainment if not to inject some magic into our lives?

In other news… uni is over for another year. I had a bad year, I won’t lie. I am not happy with my grades or the time I spent there or even the classes I took. I didn’t like it and it’s very difficult to even want to enroll into the next year, but hey, what can I do. I changed my degree again, English and English Linguistics now. Useless in the long run but it means that I can go for a masters in creative writing if I want to later.

Been applying for jobs back and forth, not because I want to leave the book store so much as I genuinely need more money to live. I have tons of debt, I have a student loan bigger than waves in South Africa and, quite frankly, I would like to have more than $20 a week on everything. Fingers crossed for one job in particular, will certainly keep you posted on the progress of that one.

Actually, my getting or not getting the aforementioned job will potentially dictate my very near future. Many plans, none finalized. But it’s possible I may be leaving Auckland to live in Wellington for a while, transferring my studies to Victoria. Still in the works, but in a rather pointed way, the way a spanner is not. There are many things wrong and perfect about this plan, so until I have more to tell you, I won’t mention it again.

I finished NaNo this year, woohoo!~ Just need to start retouching it from the beginning and seeing how people react to it when I give them random chapters to read. Fingers crossed, though, this is the one I want to make it big. And hey, you never know, if shit like 50 Shades of Gray can get published, my work certainly can (speaking of which, I read a wonderful essay on how 50 Shades doesn’t show the BDSM lifestyle but a lifestyle of abuse and what the difference is; made my sex history brain tingle with happy. It’s possible I may have a blog entry about it later)

Other than that… it’s 2:30am and the cats are making noise in the laundry and I am terrified to sleep. Good thing I made a list of movies to watch huh…

Speaking of… should I make more of these? I can make em genred or general… I can talk about movies all day, but will anyone care to listen?

Bandit, OUT!


Don’t Hold A Glass Over The Flame

Someone told me, ages ago, that you haven’t been to a concert properly unless you’ve been in the mosh pit, four people from the front, sandwiched between some guy’s backpack and some girl’s front, jumping with the crowd because you have no choice BUT to jump.

Well… they’re right.

Last night, Holmes and I went to see Mumford and Sons live in Auckland city.

It was, to date, the best experience of my life. It was beyond WORDS how incredible that concert was. I’ll try my best, though, to put it into words considering this is a blog and I can’t just stare at it and have you see what I saw and feel what I experienced last night.

Holmes and I got to the arena 2 hours early and lined up to buy merchandise. Honestly… I now own probably the most expensive shirt ever, but it is beyond worth it. After, we had to fight our way with about 50-odd people to the front of the stage. We managed to get a good enough vantage point about four people from the stage, sitting with the rest of the early-comers, eating our pre-packed candy and talking.

I won’t get into detail about the opening acts. They were good but to be honest I couldn’t care less. A few people behind me were, by this point, very drunk and rowdy and completely inappropriate and crude and I hated them. We had to wait for ages for the sound crew to prepare for Mumford on stage, and they sang anything from Christmas carols to really bad renditions of Coldplay. I wanted to smack them in the face, each and every one of them.

But finally, though, after forty minutes of waiting for set up, Marcus, Ben, Winston and Ted walked on stage to the sound of thousands of people screaming. I think we overwhelmed them with our response, they looked very amused by our screaming and clapping and foot-stomping. The first song was screamed by the entire arena, people pressing close and closer, egging on the musicians on stage. After the first minute there was no fresh air. After two, sweat no longer belonged to any one individual.

It was both very claustrophobic and unbelievably… uniting. The entire mosh pit was a single body, jumping and writhing together for our favourite band, screaming their lyrics and raising our hands to them.

See? I told you it was hard to describe; it probably sounds really irritatingly boring on here, but it was unbelievable. Even the people who were pissing me off before Mumford took the stage were jumping up and down next to me now, every so often grazing my elbows and me not caring. It’s weird, I remember reading about crowd mentality in psych and on the internet, and I always thought it would be a scary thing. Don’t get me wrong, it is a scary thing, the idea of a crowd having a mind of its own due to movement and the feeling that you don’t NEED your own mind or decisions… urgh. But here, a concert crowd is an entity in itself… it BREATHES the music, that’s the best way I can put it really, it breathes to the beats of a song, it moves towards new cords and dances around them, it reaches out to stroke the melody with its fingers as it sweeps over it and out the door to dissipate in the cool evening air…

A concert crowd is a force of nature. And I was part of that for just under two hours.

Holy crap, I got breathless writing that and had to ask Mack if it sounded douchey. It probably does, but I don’t care, it’s the only way I can describe it. Marcus broke three guitar stings and a drumstick during the concert. IT WAS UNREAL.


Right, so… I can’t go on about their songs forever – lies, I could do it for forever and a day – so I’ll talk about their lighting and stage setup.

They had a generic band set up on stage, four of them in a row at the front (keyboard and accordion, lead guitar and bass beat drum, second guitar, bass (guitar and giant-violin-variety)), their brass section just behind them on level with the drumkit, piano and fiddle player. Behind them was a backdrop that changed three times (first it was an image of four horses with blinders running, then a logo of two gentlemen and then another image of horses running) and then LIGHTS. Their light show was fascinating to watch, because it had so many components to it. They had spots on either side of the stage (three apiece), spots above them, rotating light wheels and an intricate set-up of strings of lightbulbs that hung over the entire stage and over the entire arena floor. It gave the room the illusion of a carnival. It made it feel very intimate.

Interestingly, they used blue lighting for fast-paced songs and red lighting for slow songs.

All of the band members were so into the music, it was beautiful to watch and be part of. I can’t believe it’s over, I can’t believe I experienced it, I can’t believe that I was LUCKY enough to. Crushed between people I didn’t know, gripping Holmes’ sweaty hand tight so we wouldn’t fall as we jumped up and down like maniacs, howling the lyrics to Dustbowl Dance and Thistle and Weeds and I Will Wait and countless others…

I could barely walk after that concert, three hours jumping up and down in heels. Oooooowwwwwww.


Best night of my life to date. Wow. Still breathless and slightly tearful from how absolutely incredible it was. In a heartbeat, even less, I would shell out for another concert. Please, please come back. If just so I can grab Mack and take her with us.

That’s all for this week I think, guys. I have two exams left till the end of this academic year. Next year I plan to change my degree – yet again – and hopefully finish uni with something. Soon. I also plan to work and do many more exciting things (like go to Comic Con hopefully) but more on that later, it’s very late here and I have to sleep before work.

OH YES. One more thing… I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year with my Watcher story. Feel free to send me a note or just check on my progress here. Also, if you want updates, comment on here. I wanna see if it’s worth me making a page for Watcher on here or not. Up to y’all, those who are betas are already betas.

Mucho love, guys!

Bandit, OUT!!~

Over The Mountain, Watching The Watcher

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m thinking of expanding a short story of mine into a NaNoWriMo attempt this year (one of three NaNos I’ll have going simultaneously but let’s not get into that till November). So, in order to get planning underway as soon as possible (also known as once exams are over) I decided to have a long-awaited and much-needed discussion/planning/driving session with my lovely researcher and partner in crime Holmes.

Darling, thank you, because of you I now have a legitimate, logical plot. For an entire fucken trilogy but heck, a plot’s a plot’s a plot.

For those of you curious, no, I will not tell you. Muahaha. You will have to be patient and wait until November to find out what said plot is. I can tell you, however, that I am expanding my story The Watcher, which I wrote when I was 18 and have been meaning to expand for years since.

I’ve always loved the story because of how I got the inspiration to write it. I was on my way to work – I worked at Borders at the time – and I saw a man sitting with his back to the Civic Theatre just before the crossing looking very, very annoyed. He glanced at me and I glanced back and then I went on my way. That was it. And that story came out of it and that idea that hasn’t left me four years later came out of it. So damn cool.

I’m almost tempted to ask, in a very Sherlockian way, “what must it be like in the minds of people who don’t write? It must be so boring!” because I can’t imagine having all these IDEAS and not writing them down; it would drive me freaking mental. Not to say that stories come out of all the ideas I have, by far not all of them, at a guess less than 2% of them, but nonetheless if 2% of my ideas fill up a hand-written folder of writing so heavy it checks in at just under 5kg, I shudder to think how HEAVY non-writers’ minds must be.

Some might draw their ideas, which makes sense. I still hold that drawing something you see in your mind is easier than writing it, because with writing you’re stuck trying to explain and expand upon details that an artist need only draw. That’s not in any way to demean or belittle the hard work that goes into artwork, by NO means, but you must admit that it’s more difficult to describe something as simple as a scarf in writing than it is to show it in artwork. Saying “it’s a scarf” can bring about a multitude of mental images for people: is it a winter scarf or a summer one? What color is it? Does it weigh a lot? Does the speaker enjoy wearing it or was it a hated gift from a family member from ten Christmases ago? Whereas with an image you can show exactly what material the scarf is made from, whether or not it belongs in winter or summer, what color it is and so forth.

But ok, artists aside, how do people who don’t show their skills in the creative sphere (saying they’re not creative is semantically wrong) get their ideas out of their heads? Let’s narrow it down, how do they get their imagination-fueled ideas out of their heads? And don’t say they don’t have those kinds of ideas, everyone does. If they didn’t they would be an android. Imagination, like language, is what helps humans feel more superior to other species. How does a person with no artistic talent, or no interest in writing, get their imagination out for the world to see? how is it done??

What do they think when it starts pouring with rain and this is playing? Do they just wait for the track to end and go to bed? Do they see a story play out in their mind in technicolor and over-contrasted blacks? Start thinking of how one character can be incorporated into another story where they don’t belong and how they would react, what they’d say or do or think? And if they do get the story, do they think about how to bring it to life? How to add dimension to their character by thinking of their history and how they got to one place or another and why they chose to get there? It’s just all so fascinating to me I can’t imagine others NOT doing what I do on a daily basis!

In other news, in just over two weeks I am going on a magical driving adventure with two amazing people – potentially three – to explore the entire South Island of NZ. I did the North Island with Holmes almost exactly a year ago and I am beyond excited for this trip. Because we’re going in (NZ) winter, there’s a chance we’ll hit snow some time around Dunedin!! I haven’t seen snow for a while and one of our number hasn’t ever seen it, so that would be beyond incredible. But get this, that’s not all the exciting things due after exams…

After we get back, Neems and I have tickets to go and see the Danny Boyle production of Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Sadly, it’s the recording of the actual performance, but it’s still incredibly awesome that we get to see it. Also it’s just damn hilariously ironic that both Benedict and Jonny play one version or another of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Course I don’t think I’ll go near Elementary with a ten foot pole but hey, fact still remains.

So after all that… I think that will be it for my entry this week. Next week I’ll be bang in the middle of studying for my exams some more – they are all in a clump on the 18th, 19th and 20th of June – and the week after I will be blogging right after the conclusion of said exams. So… here’s hoping I have something more interesting to say than “good God I need a nap” but hey, maybe I’ll end up writing a rant about how naps are the most holy thing ever and people should worship them like Jim Butcher suggests we do.

That man… is amazing.

Anyway, adios for the week lovelies, looking forward to reading your comments and replying as per norm.

Hugs, stay awesome.

Bandit, OUT!

Return of the not-quite-Jedi

For those of you who are mighty observant, you’ll know that this is my first post for the year, three weeks into 2012 rather than at the very beginning of the apparently apocalyptic year. This is due to a number of reasons including but not limited to the fact that I had no idea what to say, the fact that I honestly thought of not writing anymore, and the fact that the last two weeks have been busy as hell.

The latter, at least, I can elaborate on.

Firstly, I now have an extra mouth to feed. It’s insatiable, hyper and possessed by at least six demons:

I am talking, of course, about my kitten. Dresden Eames Kaye Wesson. Dresden, Drez, or Drezzy for short. SHE is a motley collection of bones, skin and fluff and I love her just as much as I want to kill her most days. I’ve had her since the 1st of January and I consider her my double-luck charm. Her dad we have no idea about, most likely tabby going by her stripy markings, but her mum was a beautiful tortoiseshell kitty. And tortoiseshell kitties are lucky. Also my girl was born 11-11-11. Angel number, double lucky. She’s a pest and a menace and is currently sleeping on my left arm making it frightfully difficult to type as quickly as I’m used to.

Next up, I’m at summer school till mid February. Believe me, I don’t want to be here. However, the great U of A thinks it’s a requirement for all psych students to take a stats paper even if they plan to (and have planned their entire degree to) avoid all mathematical and specifically experiment-related papers. This, of course, makes perfect sense. Really. So for just over a month I am stuck in my own personal brand of hell.

Please, please PLEASE don’t start to a) reassure me that it’ll be ok or b) tell me that I’m blowing this out of proportion. Please. Unless you are me and I’m unaware of this fact you have no IDEA just how much I hate and do not understand mathematics, especially statistics. I get panic attacks from seeing an equation. So just 4 more bloody weeks and I can put this shit behind me and NEVER think of it again.

Thirdly, I have acquired a voice of reason in the form of yet another human being who, for A&WT purposes, is named Auto. Auto is similar enough to me to border on disturbing and I feel like I’ve known him most of my life as opposed to just over 2 months. Like with Drez, I want to hit him as much as I love him but that’s what you get for meeting a clone of yourself when you’re old enough to throw decent arguments around. Either way, Auto may or may not be making a regular appearance in this blog, just as many other aptly named friends have done so in the past. What amuses me is that he has a WP account and can comment under his own name, which would be fascinating if he ever chose to do it.

Then, we have my work situation. You know how you watch films and see the main character move to a new city to follow a completely unrealistic (in life, not Hollywood) dream of some kind – say, song writer in New York, just because – then flounder trying to find a job, eventually find one, live in debt to friends/bosses/parents/enemies as they attempt to settle in before MAGICALLY and miraculously hitting it big, making tons of money, getting the guy – or girl – paying off all debts and becoming famous the end cue credit roll?

I think I’m in the middle of that right now… I have a good job, I love the place and the people, but I hate the tiny amount of hours I get to work there. Unless I can get more hours, or unless my request for a student allowance goes through MAGICALLY and miraculously by next week I may or may not be potentially homeless. No, that’s a lie, I’ve enough saved up to live here for at least another month before shit gets real, but the reality of the shit is looming and it worries me. Here’s hoping I hit my montage soon and start paying off debts and hitting it big. I have hope, though, things are looking up. It’s just taking a long time to establish myself and the nearness of being completely and utterly broke with a furry fluffy baby to feed is kinda daunting.

Finally, and by no means less importantly, I have goals for the year that I plan to set into motion and follow through on. Not just the ones that fell under my new years resolutions that I listed in my last entry, but very long-term ones that I’m really excited to succeed in. And succeed I will, because I may not be academically excellent but I am stubborn to a fault and I’ll damn well push through. Making these goals achievable and setting them out properly has taken a lot of work though, and has sent me into cosine waves of emotion at certain points, hence it makes the list.

Besides that, I’ve changed my layout again. Call me strange, but I tend to absorb a character’s mannerisms and their way of being if I have them in front of me to model off of. Eames was fitting for the start of the year, so he’s my header-man for at least 3 months. Also it will remind me that I have to finish Ya’aburnee by May to get the paperback copies of my book… really need to get my ass into gear with that. Also, the links I used to post at the bottom of my entries have gotten a slight revamp and there is no longer a huge verbose waterfall surrounding them. Easy find, easy click. If something or someone deserves an extra mention they’ll get it.

And that, my friends and followers, is that for the time being. I’ll try to write weekly again, now that I’ve kicked my ass into gear and gotten back in the mood to, but I make no promises. I’m not on postaweek this year like I was in 2011. Chances are I will write a lot though, this year is looking to be extremely exciting, with many new people, films, experiences and developments looming. So… if you’ve stuck with me so far, it may be all worth it this year.

Songs this week:

-+- Come Home – OneRepublic
-+- Lovesong – Adele
-+- Coming Undone – Korn

Bandit, out.

Good Tidings and Subliminal Messages

I’m writing this early but posting on time, how peculiar! As I’m writing it is actually Tuesday and by the time you read this it’ll be Friday. Ah, the magic of scheduled posting. The reason this is happening is because I had an epiphany for an entertaining (here’s hoping) entry and I wanted to get it down before I forgot it and posted another “filler entry” like most of November has been. Before I get into the meat of the issue I wanna discuss, a few brief updates.

I finished NaNoWriMo on time! In fact, I hit word count 2 days early. It wasn’t easy, though. When I finally had two consecutive days off from work, I told my family and friends (those I communicated to on a regular basis throughout November at least, oops) to leave me alone as I would be writing. At the time I was about 8,000 words behind and starting to get rather worried. So in a push to get to AT LEAST the daily word count, I told my flatmates to not let me out of my room unless it was to go to the bathroom or grab a drink (more an excuse, this one, considering I had 6L of juice in my room so I wouldn’t have to leave it) and I wrote. Sunday I wrote well but fairly slowly; I wrote and napped and acted much like a human being would. On Monday I wrote from 5am till 8pm with a half-hour break in the middle for lunch and a movie swap with Individual.

After all that… I sit 119 words above word count and I plan to relax for a few days before picking it up again for edits and continuing story. What’s amusing to me is that those just-over-50,000 words are only parts 1 and 7 fully, and markers 1 through 4 fully. I think Holmes and I underestimated how long this thing would actually be. Awkward. Anyway, I need to polish up part 7 before I hit the ground running with part 2, but expect updates on the Ya’aburnee page within about 2 weeks. From “field testing” and “market research” apparently what I class as very mild slash is still quite jarring for people who either don’t read it or never want to so… Please please PLEASE read the warnings at the top of every chapter. I’m not going to mold the story into something it’s not for a few people who dislike the genre, but I’m not out to deliberately scar them for life either. Just read the warnings and if you realize mid-way through a part that you can’t handle that level of slash then just move to the next one. No harm done, simple as pie.

Also, my AMAZING flatmate Mack (who designed her own website, isn’t it freaking EPIC?) designed me a cover for the book once it’s done, and I couldn’t be happier. She’s still going to design me the spine (once we know the length of it so we can get the right parameters) and the back cover (I promised to feed her candy for a month for that… so worth it) but for now, check it OUT:

Now that that’s out of the way and I can stop both gloating and flailing over my amazing cover, I can finally explain the reason behind the blog name.

It’s now December. In most normal brains THIS is the month of Christmas, this is the month where you START selling Christmas decorations and planning for the shopping and buying the tree and whatever else it is people who actually care about the Hallmark side of the holiday do. However, because most of the civilized Western world is so material, Christmas has been on sale since late October and Christmas carols (the bane of my life, if I’m honest) have been playing since November 1st.

For those not yet aware, I work at Whitcoulls bookstore. Very much like Borders but we make it a point to constantly remind the world (meaning NZ) that we are PROUDLY NEW ZEALAND OWNED AND OPERATED. Whitcoulls, like many book stores, food stores, clothing stores and plant wholesalers has been playing Christmas carols over their speaker system for about a month now. Thankfully out of the six disks circulating around the stereo, only one is filled with “Christmas cheer”, but nonetheless it has given me the opportunity to realize yet again how inappropriate some Christmas carols are. Three in particular bug me every year (this goes beyond just being annoyed at the fact that they’re teeth-rotting sweet and happy anyway) more for their content and the creepy joy it’s delivered with rather than say, the fact that they just happen to be Christmas carols.

Inappropriate Christmas Carols for the Young and Young at Heart
a.k.a. songs that people should honestly LISTEN to before singing along to them

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Also known as the song that teaches children to be annoying brats and expect to get anything they want. If in doubt, the second verse is pretty self explanatory:
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here

As Mack and I were discussing earlier, it’s a pretty decently creepy thing to say to someone. First you show up at their doorstep, singing, and then expect cake for it. On top of that you threaten to not leave EVER until they give it to you. All you Christmas lovers who are probably reading this bundled up in Frosty the Snowman sweaters with a cup of hot ginger coco and thinking “oh, fudge, what a cynic she is!” let me put this into perspective for you: a group of people show up at your doorstep, they make a lot of noise, and then tell you they won’t leave until you give them cake. Or food. Or any number of things including alcohol, money, your cocaine stash in the freezer…

The song’s a seriously bad influence, I just wish more people would realize this as they’re walking around the store humming along to it and bopping their heads as though it’s actually decent music.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

This one shouldn’t even need to be explained. I mean seriously. The title gives it away. This is the ultimate guide to Christmas murders. I don’t even remember who I was discussing this with, but we both came to the conclusion that we know just how this song came about. One evening when grandma was babysitting a child or two, Mommy and Daddy went out and got a little too trashed. Coming home later that evening they accidentally hit grandma with their car. Realizing their mortal (puns, oh the puns) error, they decided to scapegoat Santa. Because, why not really? The man rides around in a sled pulled by essentially wild animals and he follows no rules of the road. It’s not only likely but damn near plausible that Santa could have hit someone on his way down the street.

Kids obviously bought it, and now it’s an eerily happy song sung around Christmas to cover up a gruesome drunk-driver story with Christmas cheer and tinsel. What worries me is that kids sing this one more than adults do, and they sing it in such a way as to make you think that they would actually be HAPPY to see grandma get run over by a reindeer so that their faith in the fat man in a red suit who gets into your house when you’re sleeping is restored annually. Speaking of fat men in red suits, this brings me to song number three.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Of all the songs on the list, this is the one that worries me the most. This is one of the most popular songs to sing and play during the Christmas season, and adults and children alike honestly don’t hear the words they’re singing. I pointed the creepiness out to a coworker of mine recently when he walked across the main floor humming it to the stereo. It took me three tries of slowly repeating the lyrics back to him before it clicked and he gave me a completely scandalized look as though I’d just ruined his childhood.

Basically this is the ultimate stalker song. Not only that, it’s the ultimate pedophile stalker song. Or at least the song that’s directed at his victims after a certain amount of time has elapsed.

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

So… you better be careful and not cry in case someone asks you why you’re crying. And if you tell them, shit’s gonna get real because Santa’s back in town and you KNOW what happened last time. Honestly, I can’t be the only one who sees this. If that’s not enough, the happy chorus of

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

should just cinch it. It’s obviously something to sing about when someone’s standing outside your window watching you sleep. Maybe it’s the Twilight generation, thinking it’s romantic and not at all disturbing to have someone in your room staring at you when you’re too out of it to know or defend yourself. I won’t lie, this song scares the crap out of me every time and it always makes me wonder just what the kids are thinking when they sing it. Or the adults, who know better, and sing it to their kids anyway. Hypocritical really, considering the amount of “stranger danger” kids are injected with at school (rightfully so).

For those who can’t tell… I’m not much of a Christmas person. At all. Christmas carols drive me nuts and – if played for long enough and often enough – drive me to tears from frustration and annoyance. Also, I’ve been watching ungodly amounts of Zero Punctuation lately so that could explain my tone. And… certain wordings.

In Other News…

This is my 99th post. That’s right, ninety-ninth. I’d like to make the 100th something interesting so I’m opening mine ears to any and all suggestions. Please give them. Otherwise my 100th post will be another “sorry guys, next week will be better” entry and I really don’t want another like that, November was full of them.

Current NaNoWriMo wordcount: 50,119

My NaNoWriMo page is right here if you’re keen to follow updates and get excerpts. Or way over here if you’d like to read it as I post it.

Current collab wordcount: 436,813

My story with Jack is currently on semi-hold as both of us work on our respective NaNos for the month. However it is still an obsession, yes, it’s ridiculously long, no, I’m not making the word count up, no, I have no idea if and when this will ever end, yes, I will keep updating the word count, no, you don’t have to care.

RAOC had a documentary made about it by a student from South Seas Film and TV School. That’s right, the same South Seas that I went to in 2009 and graduated from. The director was lovely and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Keep you posted on both here and the RAOC website so check in on the link once in a while.

I have no new reviews in The Midnight Screening this week. NaNo has taken over my life.

“1000+1 Books” has a few more books. I add to it when I feel like it, since this isn’t a review page, but it’s always a good place to go if you can’t think of your next book to read. For much better (and very informative) reviews, check out Collecting a Library, she never lets me down.

Incidentally, don’t forget to check out the new entries from Jack (who has promised an entry, finally) and Lochinvar too. Show em the support and love they deserve, guys, these blogs are amazing.

This week’s songs are : [taken from the Ya’aburnee soundtrack]

-+- Orchard of Mines – Globus
-+- No Light No Light – Florence and the Machine
-+- Bring on the Wonder – Susan Enan

Stay classy guys, till the day after next Castiel day… (correction as requested by Mack)

Bandit, OUT.

In Daylights In Sunsets In Midnights In Cups of Coffee

A day late isn’t so bad right?

Basically what happened was I got a job. Which is good, I need to pay rent and I like to have money on me so that I can pretend that I’m a grownup when in actuality I’m spending it on books that my bookshelves can no longer support. Well, I do pay rent as well, otherwise I wouldn’t have the net to write this properly. So that’s somewhat adulty. Anyway, the point is I got a job, and because of said job my hours for writing NaNoWriMo are limited, and because of that I spend more of my usually-free time writing my NaNo because all of my NaNo time I now spend at work. It’s all quite simple, really.

I now work at Whitcoulls, which, for those who don’t live in NZ, is kinda like Borders only not bankrupt and closed down. It’s actually in an old Borders store with most of its past Borders staff which I find quite funny, but it is, in reality, a Whitcoulls. For those who remember me before I started this blog, I used to work at Borders (before it was bankrupt and closed down) before I went to film school. I worked full time for 6 months before I gave up and left to go to South Seas. Have kinda always hated myself for not asking to stay on the payroll on there though because it’s been damn near impossible to find a job since then.

It amuses me that my boss told me that they would “start me off” with 8 hours a week and it’s been 3 days so far and I’ve worked 23 already. I have two more ridiculously early mornings to live through before I have a break and hit up my two late nights. In the time I’m not working I’m going to be freakishly addictively writing. I am currently just under 3,000 words behind on my word count because apparently sleep is good for you and I’ve started to appreciate it a little more now that I’m in the workforce again. However by this evening the chance is highly likely that I will be ahead of word count.

For those following my NaNoWriMo escapades, unfortunately I won’t be posting updates on here just yet. I ended up having to write out of chronological part order because Holmes and I needed to reshuffle some information and add in a few more details. This meant more research on her end and she was worked off her feet as it was. So I’ve been writing Part 7 and will most likely finish that before returning to writing Part 2 and fixing up Marker 3 to keep y’all in suspense for Part 3 and so forth. By next week expect updates I think. Maybe late next week. If my hours slow just a tad to get the thing proofed before it goes up. Not to mention, you know, written.

Now, unfortunately there is absolutely nothing else exciting happening in my life at the moment so I’ll cut this entry short. Maybe I’ll have some war stories (from work) by the time I get to posting over the Friday/weekend period or maybe some actual war stories if I post part 2 earlier than planned (I’d just like to ask people to please PLEASE read the warnings at the beginnings of each chapter… there are tons of triggers as well as content that may offend/disturb/disgust (not actually slash, here, so be warned) coming up and you should be prepared for it… put it this way, if you ignore the warnings and read it anyway then complain to me I’ll simply ignore you. That is all.

In Other News…

Current NaNoWriMo wordcount: 32,220

My NaNoWriMo page is right here if you’re keen to follow updates and get excerpts. Or way over here if you’d like to read it as I post it.

Current collab wordcount: 423,215

My story with Jack is currently on semi-hold as both of us work on our respective NaNos for the month. However it is still an obsession, yes, it’s ridiculously long, no, I’m not making the word count up, no, I have no idea if and when this will ever end, yes, I will keep updating the word count, no, you don’t have to care.

RAOC had a documentary made about it by a student from South Seas Film and TV School. That’s right, the same South Seas that I went to in 2009 and graduated from. The director was lovely and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Keep you posted on both here and the RAOC website so check in on the link once in a while.

I have no new reviews in The Midnight Screening this week. NaNo has taken over my life.

“1000+1 Books” has a few more books. I add to it when I feel like it, since this isn’t a review page, but it’s always a good place to go if you can’t think of your next book to read. For much better (and very informative) reviews, check out Collecting a Library, she never lets me down.

Incidentally, don’t forget to check out the new entries from Jack (who has promised an entry, finally) and Lochinvar too. Show em the support and love they deserve, guys, these blogs are amazing.

This week’s songs are : [taken from the Ya’aburnee soundtrack]

-+- Orchard of Mines – Globus
-+- No Light No Light – Florence and the Machine
-+- Bring on the Wonder – Susan Enan

Stay classy guys, till the day after next Castiel day… (correction as requested by Mack)

Bandit, OUT.


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