Waiting for it to sink in
Thursday, October 30, 2008, 7:45 PM

Something finally clicked in my head today and two characters have been revealing themselves to me. They're still ghost-like in my mind, but they interest me enough that I want to give NaNoWriMo a chance. I'm a little bit excited (mostly scared, though), but then I usually am when I start something.

Now I just have to keep fanning the flames of what could grow into an obsession--because that's what it needs to be, otherwise I won't finish. I'm totally going to fly by the seat of my pants and let the characters reveal the story as I write it. Fun is the modus operandi. I'm not even going to worry about straining my brain over plotting. Nope, not going to. Been there, failed at that. I'm setting myself the lofty goal of 500 words a day. I can write at least 500 words a day.

It's going to be a Young Adult romance. Well, maybe, because I don't know anything about teenagers today. Who knows what it will be at the end of it? Anyway, I'm aiming for beautiful writerly things: suspense, tension, danger and love, written as honestly as I can in my voice. It'll be interesting because I haven't written a story in first person point of view since I was a teenager.

I'm just going to keep repeating that I'm writing this for myself until it sinks in.


6 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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When ignorance was bliss
Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 7:48 PM

A few weeks ago, my sister asked me to write her a letter. You know--like how we did back in the olden days before email became the normal lazy-man's-way of communication. And so I've been trying to write a letter in longhand (gasp!). After two paragraphs, my hand got stiff and I knew I had that look on my face. That look that said oh, OW, my poor fricken hand. I used to take such pride in my penmanship--there weren't many other people who could write neater than I could. (Well, there weren't. Just ask Mr. Meyer, Mr. Recke, or Mr. Schmaling.)

I can't believe I used to write stories on college-ruled notebook paper. I'd go at it for hours, too--each page I wrote had to be perfect--I wouldn't accept crossed out paragraphs or spaces when erasing made a hole in the page. It messed with my writer's Joie de vivre, dammit.

I never had to pee, eat or stretch while writing back then, either. Ah, the good ole days. I wrote a lot of crap, but I wrote and wrote and wrote, joyfully unfettered by an internal editor. I didn't even know what an IE was. Didn't care, either, because I was having fun feeling like God and all.
definitely a case of ignorance and bliss
Now, if only I could recapture that period of writing, that time and space of mind when I wrote purely for the love of it...when I allowed my brain and my imagination free reign.

8 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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No more Rice Krispies
Sunday, October 26, 2008, 6:07 PM

The trust is BROKEN
It's the latest installment of you've GOT to be kidding me. Actually, I have more than one, so I'll settle for the most inconvenient of them: I can't surf the Internet at work anymore. Somehow, some way, I've downloaded viruses onto my computer and I have no idea how it happened. It's not like I play games, visit porn sites, or download information from unknown sources. But obviously something slipped through the cracks and now I'm afraid to even check my email.

I figure this could be a good thing in the long run, once I get over the habit...the need...the damned inconvenient obsession...to surf. Things happen for a reason, right? But meanwhile, a habit is hard to friggen break.

Why, that'd be a cool movie
I've been waiting somewhat patiently for Jean Auel's sixth (and final) book of her Earth's Children series. It's been six years since the release of The Shelters of Stone and I am aching to get back to Ayla's struggle with and acceptance of the Spirit World. Will she ever learn what became of her Clan son, Durc? How will the series end? Every time I re-read the series, I feel the same unanswered questions prick me in the ass. I wonder and I dream. What the frick is going to happen next? Which is one of the best reasons for having an imagination, so I can't be 100% miffed.

But I still think it'd be damn cool to make a movie of this series TODAY. The movie made in the 80s with Daryl Hannah didn't even the scratch the surface of the first book's complexity. And if there are going to be movies made of American Pie 105, or Freddie Krueger the 8th, or spoofs like Super High Me, why can't they spend money on a remake of a worthy project like Clan Of The Cave Bear? Ayla's life could demonstrate years worth of real survival and courage to the likes of Spears, Locklear and Andi any effin day.

Twilight Slammers
This is a difficult one to admit to, even to discuss, because from what I've seen online, people seem to be in one of two camps and I'm in neither. Either you're in the well-written, nose-snubber camp and can list five reasons off the top of your head about why Edward Cullen is more of stalker than a lover, and Bella Swan is just a sexually-repressed social outcast; or you're in the rabid OME teenager's camp, more concerned about protecting the main star's online images and making youtube vids of your [hilariously] idiotic reactions to the movie trailers.

And obviously I've spent a minute too many concerning myself with either camp. I don't want to generalize, but the bitching and moaning (and here, moaning is good) over the book and the movie is ruining my fun.

That is all.

Greetings, Earthling
No firm commitment yet about NaNoWriMo (I can't even make myself do the things I NEED to do). I'm sorry for the radio silence and the slow-down of comments on other blogs, but my brain has been captured and my energy ripped away. Someone ate the last of my Rice Krispies the other day, and left an empty carton of milk in the fridge.

Please send ET with a one-way ticket.

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Powered by 23 kicks
Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 5:41 PM

If you don’t eat the fortune cookie you open, does that mean the fortune won’t come true?

Unisom helped me get my Zsss last night, but I still woke up more often than I wanted. Where’s Mr. Sandman, anyway? Doesn’t he take care of people who have bad backs, too? I pulled a muscle while blow drying my hair last Friday morning and life hasn't been the same since. That’ll teach me to blow dry my hair, I guess. What I really need to do is start the stretching and working out routine again. I always want to, except for when I don’t, which is most of the time.

I’m alternating between fear, excitement and oh, hell no-isms about participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I have no illusions that I’ll be dragging my feet about sitting down at the computer after I get home from work (where I, uh, stare at a computer monitor all day). Horror of horrors, my backspace key is broken, too. Until it broke, I never knew how often I used that key (way too often). As punishment for being a backspace key-abuser, I will not allow myself a new keyboard until I do something good.

Like purging my closet—if I do this, it will be one of Andi’s Major Accomplishments and will definitely—at least—be worth a new computer keyboard. I have the worst time getting rid of anything. I can and have hemmed and hawed about tossing stuff like the pair of green sweats with the hole in them. I like how those sweats fit. I’m also afraid to pitch anything with the words Indiana or Purdue written on them because I come from Indiana, but I’m living in California and it would seem, I don’t know, sacrilegious.

No matter how ugly I feel inside and think I look on the outside, people still like me as long as I have a good attitude. But it’s hard to keep a good attitude when I feel fugly inside and out. It’s really, really hard. I have felt so butt dog ugly lately and it doesn't help that I live in Hollywood. It's hard not to take a hit on my self-esteem even when I feel I look my bestest.

Yeah, I need to move. I'm working on it.

Last Wednesday, I ate some popcorn and guess what? I still have a popcorn kernel stuck behind my front tooth. In fact, I should be trying to work that sucker loose right now instead of typing this blog entry. I think I’ll go try (for the hundreth time).

7 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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To NaNo or not to NaNo
Saturday, October 18, 2008, 10:08 AM

So National Novel Writing Month is almost here. I received my sign-up reminder email on Friday and read it with a sense of dread because I've tried and failed at at NaNoWriMo three years running and I don't want to go for a fourth. I'd love to try it again--to feel that sense of optimism, to actively work towards a goal. But until I read everyone's comments, I wasn't even going to consider giving NaNo another shot. Now that I am, I blame you all.

I don't know. The idea of trying again keeps popping in my head. If I tried, I'd have to crawl out from under my blanket of negativity. Lord, I hate the tone of this post already and it's only the second paragraph. I'm trying to wing it, to write what I feel, but I feel blocked. As soon as I get a thought, I lose it. Can't friggen concentrate. Hah! I've already rewritten this post a couple of times.

So there's that part of me, the part that is so good at sabotaging and insulting me. Why do I have to be so good at that? Why can't I be good at the optimistic, go get 'em, tiger thing? Who's in charge of this stuff, anyway?

Oh, right. Me.

I'm working up to the idea of NaNoWriMo. I'm trying to get over the urge to gag at being positive and pro-active. And yes, I know the word trying isn't a good one when it comes to this--either I do or I will. I can write crap. But will I write crap? It'll be another thing I have to do. Another thing for my list.
  • Make doctor appointment
  • Make dentist appointment
  • Obtain copy of marriage certificate
  • Purge closet
  • Clean desk
  • Get rid of the two dead TVs and stereo
  • Stretch a whole hell of a lot more, maybe even work out
I've put these things off for almost a year. How can I even think about doing NaNoWriMo?

But I am. Thinking about it. Obviously, I need to let go.

13 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Randomosity, part the Zillionith
Thursday, October 16, 2008, 5:46 PM

It's been a while since I've done one of these kind of entries.

Still Loving You by The Scorpions
I was a naive 13-year-old when this song came out in 1984, but I heard it and was absolutely enthralled. I feel the same way today. Now, in fact. Wow.

The feeling of aghast-ish-ment
There's really no better word to describe what I feel when I hear someone verbally slams someone else, even if it's done in a no-harm-meant manner. I'm jealous because some people can get away with these kind of remarks [in the work place, even!] without visible enmity. Without repercussions. Without losing popularity or I-like-ya, I-really-like-ya points.

How can you comment on weight and eating habits about someone who is obviously overweight without repercussion?

How can you slam-bam someone's loud-mouthed, insensitive comments without ending up on a hit list (even if the loud-mouthed, insensitive comment-maker needs to be put in her place)?

I don't know, but what I do know is that I seem doomed to wear the hat of empathy and I hate it. That hat is bulky, unattractive as hell, and makes my head itch. Does it do any good to imagine another's pain if I don't do anything about it? All it's seemed to be so far is a damned inconvenience.

Introvert pretending to be an Extrovert
Is there a law against this? Should I feel badly when my introvert tendencies fall way short of an extrovert's? (Can't I just be one or the other without feeling guilty?)

The Joy of writing
I saw this entry title on one of the blogs I subscribe to and snorted in disgust. Then I immediately felt ashamed of myself because I know the power of what writing can do, how cathartic writing can be once I force myself to it, and (er, um, hell) what a joy it can be. That told me, right on the heels of me gagging, that I am hiding. That I am being a total weenie and hiding from my innermost thoughts.

In writing my thoughts down--even if I'm not doing it as an exercise--I will eventually find the release I'm seeking and need, although I would never call it a joy. In that instance, it's more an act of forcing myself to barf, or taking a diuretic pill.

Sekret Service!
The building where I work was swept by the Secret Service today. Senator Joe Biden is talking thisclose to where I walk daily right now. Just, you know, in case it matters. Posterity. And an I was almost there kind of thing.

8 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Three years ago today
Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 7:51 PM

I'm reading back through my old blog entries and having a blast. Here's one from October 15, 2005.

A sheepdog in a poodle's disguise

It was raining this morning on the way to the bus stop. Not a big deal if you're in a car, but it's a pain in the butt if you have to carry a purse, a lunch sack and an umbrella.

Well, I always wondered how it was going to go when I had to walk to the bus during a pouring rain. Now I know: awkward, yet amusing. And a bus door is wide enough to fit an open umbrella through, so it's not all bad. But I closed my umbrella while I was in the process of going up the bus steps because it's bad luck to have an umbrella open inside a house, and maybe the same thing is true about a bus. It has a ceiling.

So I got to work feeling damp and sticky. I was having a dog day and it wasn't even 8:00 yet. And in walks one of my co-workers who says, "Look at you with your curly hair, don't you look cute."

I might have felt like a frizzy sheepdog on the inside, but outside, I must have looked like a poodle.

1 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Putting the happy back in my life
Saturday, October 11, 2008, 7:52 PM

Looking for a happy PC blog post? Skip this one.

I posted this last night, then pulled it this morning. Then I decided to post it again because what the hell? Nobody can condemn me for being who I am, or what I do, more than I can and do.

So, um, I think it's auspicious that the post I saved as a DRAFT on Frustration is gone, gone, gone. It was phew-stinky and maudlin and made my shoulders slump when I wrote it. When I read back over it and thought about posting it, I shook my head and saved it as a DRAFT to be posted in the year 2020 or something.

Where did it go? Should I add it to my list and obsess over its absence?





Over the past few months, I have done the following:

! Weaned myself off of anti-depressants
This was a hard one. I am here to tell you that yes, you CAN feel a difference.

I am quicker to anger. I am woefully and inconveniently prone to tears over the dumbest things. I am again jumping in terror at bugs crawling across my desk. It's all in my imagination. My idiot imagination.

Oops, that's counter-productive.


See? Anger.

But I don't feel the anti-depressants are necessary because I did not address the issues while I was on the medication. (Call them issues, not problems, it's ever so much more uplifting.) So the medication helped to dull paranoia, anger and funkism, but didn't motivate me to deal with whatever was causing those things. Which I'm sure is a character flaw, and my resistance to anything that involves soul searchism.

Somebody pass me a Twix.

A Twix candy bar will keep me chewing and chewing...and make me forget what upset me so much that I felt I had to say something. A Twix candy bar will stop me. Who can talk with chocolately caramel exerting its natural gravitational pull? I can't talk if I can't separate my molars.

Better get yourself together, darlin'. Join the human race. Pretty soon you're going to be dead.

:-( I ate lots of cheese
Cheese is good with wine. I like cheese. So much so that I regained the 20 pounds I'd lost. Who created cheese anyway, dammit? I don't think I'd mind wrapping my fingers around the neck of the person who created edible mold.

! Cut down on alcohol
I don't really want to talk about this one. It smacks too heavily of the advice I used to give my sister, in that I used to tell her to avoid alcohol when she was depressed because alcohol makes things seem even worse. Alcohol is a depressant.

Effing ahem.

So if I haven't been writing lately, these are a few reasons why. I've written blog entries, but didn't like the end results. I feel like I should be enjoying freedom and barfing rainbow-colored optimism, but I can't help wanting to draw close my defenses, one of which is silence. Which does no damned good for anyone.

Another is laughter and could maybe do some good, as long as I take the time to post. So when I don't post, I'm grateful when the rest of you do. Meanwhile, I'm trying to put the happy back in my life. It's an uneasy, bumpy journey. Long. Uneven. I'm at the top of the crest, then I'm gone because I've sunk into one of those unexpected friggen-fargen dips I didn't see ahead of me.

Yeah. It is what it is. I wish I knew the secret to accepting exactly who I am. I wish I knew how to forgive myself for life not turning out the way I expected it would. And I wish all these insights would burst upon me now, 'cause life would be so much easier to face then.

12 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Twilight: The Movie
Thursday, October 09, 2008, 5:50 PM

My name is Andi and I am a Twilight fan.

There. I said it. I am a HUGE Twilight fan based on Stephanie Meyers' books. They're so good, they made a movie!

My heart's going pitta-patta over the [final] movie trailer (there have been two others) because no matter what age a romantic girl's heart is, she's going to eat this story up. I know I will. Er, am.

It looks like they've done the book proud. The trailer kicks butt. I can't wait to see the movie. I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait.

Did I mention I was a Twilight fan?

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Dinner at 7/11
Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 1:12 PM

A writing prompt. Well, why not? I haven't written anything else lately. (D'oh!) My challenge was this:

Bring your [current WIP] characters to a 7-11/convenience store/ or gas station-combo. They walked in together to get something to eat, and there's nobody in sight, the cash drawer is open and empty, there's no blood no body, no nothing. Keep them true to their characters--what happens next?

Oh...and you must mention a specific food.


Nerves and stress did weird things to Shaine's body. It made her itch in embarrassing places at the worst possible time. Her mother had a bunch of photos of Shaine at various ages scratching inside her nose and at her privates.

"It's nothing to be embarrassed about, honey," her mom giggled when Shaine asked why the photos had been kept, let alone taken in the first place. "You were just a baby."

Except it felt like an, er, sexual itch now. So when Daren parked the Harley outside of a 7/11 convenience store and asked if she was hungry, she snarled, "What’s wrong with McDonald’s?"

He pulled the helmet off his head and slid on a pair of sunglasses. "I want a can of AMP."

Yeah, lots of protein in that, she thought as the bike’s lub-lub-lub noise thrummed slower and slower in her bloodstream. It was like a mini-massage.

Maybe Daren was coming down from his high of killing the two North side members of the Head-n-Heart Brigade a few hours ago, and needed a fix. She, on the other hand, wanted sex, hot-and-sour soup and to kill the bike. After hmmmming along on the bike for the last 40 miles or so, she'd had her fill of what it meant to be a Harley chick. It sucked unless you had a Harley Guy. And a Bond Guy was not the Right Guy unless he meant to act on the Harley Guy part of it all, dammit.

Daren held the bike steady for her while she hopped off clumsily and tried to make it look like she meant to move that way. She wondered about the reason for the sunglasses. Who wore sunglasses at night anymore except for Corey Hart or vampire wannabes?

When the garish light from above shot a needle into her brain, Shaine discovered the merits of sunglasses at night. She could tan under these god-awful blazing halogen lights. Holding her palm over her eyes, she yanked the door open and bumped into something warm and solid.

Daren’s back.


He spun and held his hand over her mouth, then motioned with his head toward the cashier’s counter. In the reflection of his black lenses, she saw her lips were mashed together and her eyes all squin-

He held a raised finger in front of her lips, then slid motionlessly between the aisle of motor oil and candy bars.

Nobody stood behind the counter, which might have been okay, people had to take a pee break now and then. But what about the cash register drawer? Cashiers didn’t usually leave their registers open when they left the counter.

Shaine sank into a crouch, gun in her palm, and moved to the counter. She was nonplussed to see nothing but a grimy floor and a scuffed mat. No unconscious body, no duct tape, no bomb. No nothing.

But where was the cashier?

The thief?

The friggen-fargen bad guy?

The drawer slid into the register with a woosh and bang. Shaine fell on her backside hard, in repentance, when she realized what she’d done-effed up a crime scene, announced her position to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together. If she was shot, she'd deserve to be. Her father would not be proud. Grandmother wouldn've snarled.

Shaine sucked in a breath of a shame just before the row of Home Products exploded. A package of Holsum Hamburger Buns landed in her lap and she leaned her forehead against it briefly. Soft.

I’m not Bond material, she said to God or whoever was listening. Is it my fault if they wouldn't listen?

Another gunshot snapped and she heard voices.

"Smiiiile! You’re on Candid Camera!"

Shaine popped her head above the wood-scarred counter top to see Daren’s movie-starness bathed in garish light. He sank to one leg and swept a cameraman to Kingdom Come in a roundhouse kick.

"No, no, no, no," the guy with floppy blond hair said. He hippity-hopped four or six paces safely behind the obliterated cameraman. "This isn’t a stick up! This isn’t a mission!"

She watched Daren stand slowly. Watched him keep his cool under the pressure and heat of the lights and cameras. Grinned as he swung a closed fist at the blond guy’s face. It was better than watching a movie at the theater. All she needed was a Coke and a bag of popcorn. Wincing as something hit her ankle, she bent down and grabbed the thing. A friggen...can.

"Candid Camera!" someone yelled with horror in a squeaky voice.

Libby’s Vienna Sausage, she read. It had a pop-top, too. She shoved the gun back into her holster and cracked the top. It wasn’t Spaghetti-O's or a Big Mac or a Bond/Daren snack, but who could complain under the circumstances? Then she did a double take at what was inside in the can. Crap. They looked like little weenies. Her forehead thunked against the fake wooden counter-top. Weenies.

Somebody Up There had a wickedly horrible sense of humor.


5 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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Goodbye to You, AOL J-Land
Wednesday, October 01, 2008, 6:06 PM

I received an email this morning from AOL Member Information:
We’re sorry to inform you that on Oct. 31, 2008, AOL® Journals will be shut down permanently. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Blah, blah, blah.
It makes me want to snarl about AOL all over again. Back in 1998 when I first signed on as an AOL customer, they were all about Community and I loved being an AOL member. A lot of good, memorable things came from AOL--I met a guy I later married, I became a Community Leader and Board Monitor for the Small Business Community, I drew freelance jobs (I used to be a desktop pubber/graphic designer) from people who read my board posts.

In 2004, I joined the brand new community of AOL Journals. It was such a small Community at the time that I was recognized and promoted for my Journal, lol, even when I didn't know about it. I found one of the graphics here, but I can't find the one where it was MY face splashed across the screen when it was my turn to be featured as a Journal pick. The graphic below came about when someone at AOL J-Land had the great idea to make people pick their favorite Journals out of five. Man, did that stir up trouble (I'm the third Journal listed, by the way, with a whopping 5 votes).

Yes, it's all about me. See?

In November of 2005, AOL decided to advertise on its Journals. Without letting its Journalers know...we all just woke up one morning, signed on and lo! There were Pizza Hut advertisement banners at the top of diet Journals, mortgage lender ad banners on the top of I'm broke and I want to die Journals...and you get the idea. After more than a year of being ad-free, and after what a lot of us saw as a sneak-attack and a damn crappy way to treat a member, some of us left.

I was one of those folks. It was hard to leave, too. I loved my AOL-J blog. Typing there felt like another home. I mourned my Journal, I really did. I couldn't delete it, either. Just couldn't.

But now AOL is going to delete it because they're doing away with J-Land. AOL hasn't been customer-oriented for a long time and they're proving that again in a big way. It might have been the end of a good ride for AOL in late 2005 or early 2006, but I think AOL is up for another rude ending now. I can't believe they're just going to shut down a blogging community, but I should...'cause I blew that town in late 2005, right after the stench hit the back of my throat.

Now I have to finally bite the bullet and save the rest of my entries. Frick.

RIP, J-Land.

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