Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Year-ish, New Goals-ish

Well, well well, look who the cat dragged in!  I'm battered but alive and returning from my run in with National Novel Writing Month in November and my brain break in this early part of December.  I don't think I will update on here much for the rest of the year (Lots of Christmas plans and a honeymoon to take) but I thought I owed it to this humble blog of mine to do some reflection for the new year.

First off, let's recap some of my goals I set for myself and this blog earlier in the year.  My goals I made back in August were pretty simple:

1. Write 1 nerdy article a week - Kinda Check?
2. Write 1 journal a week - Check-ish
3. Create 1 detailed video a month - Fail
4. Vlog more as time permits? - Fail

Let's start with the fails so we can end this puppy on a good note!  I didn't create any videos or vlog this past year.  Why?  Because my only recording source is my web camera on my laptop and it's officially gone down the crappy.  When I record the lip sync will suddenly jump and be off the entire video.  My editing skills/equipment is too limited to fix this problem.  My intention was to buy a new camera, but Christmas was a little spending this year.  I need a little more time to save up my dollars.  As soon as I have a camera, I will start vlogging.  About what?  Writing?  Poetry?  Just me rambling?  We will see....

I maintained my blog writing schedule pretty well this year.  My ultimate goal was to write 2 blogs per week and I did a pretty decent job at that.  One was for reflection and the other was nerd related discussion.  I think I did better at the reflection because I've really been evaluating my life these past few months.  My personal life is exactly where I want it to be and now I want to focus on enjoying my career.  I have been working the same job for 3 years almost for no other reason than that I don't know what to do with my life.  It's time to move forward.  I have officially decided I want writing to be my career but it's going to take a lot of time and work to get to the point where I can write for a living.  I may always have to have a part time job to support this, but my dream is to make writing the focus of my work.

How am I going to do this?

By setting goals!

I have decided to divide my goals for 2016 in quarters.  I'm hoping being more organized will help me put my best foot forward.  I accomplished more the last half of this year than I have in a few years, and it' because I made goal and stuck to them.

Oh!  BTW, I won NaNoWriMo.  The reason for my success really comes from setting a goal and not letting myself opt out.  I am going to write a novel this year.  But the main focus for the first half of the year will be deciding what to write and how to write it.

What are your goals for 2016?

Tootles! Xoxo!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Fighting Your Inner Grumpy Cat

Yesterday morning I was in a good mood.  I sat down to write an overdo blog and the oddest thing happened - everything I wrote was grumpy.  "Grr....my webcam sucks!  I need a camera!  Cameras are expensive!"  I brooded.  "RAWR!  I'm so nervous about NaNoWriMo starting Sunday!  Bahhh!"  I sneered.  It was only two paragraphs long and I was still planning to publish it.  My mouse hung over the "Publish" button and I couldn't bring myself to click it.  I thought it was just a wave of laziness washing over me because I was up too late last night.  I closed my computer, certain I would publish it by lunchtime.

And then I started doing some internet surfing.  The usual volley of bad world stuff started crashing in.  Bacon is going to kill you.  Conversion discussion for and against harassment were cancelled due to threats.  SAD THINGS!  BAD THINGS!  MAD THINGS!

....and then I decided to make a new article.

Today is a great day!  I know that sounds sappy but it's true.  I'm honestly tired of being grumpy and anxiety ridden.  Granted, anxiety isn't something merely banished by the clapping of hands but it sure as hell gets easier to deal with when you look at the positives.
Let's look at the positives!  

I think that's the advice I'm going to shoehorn into NaNo inspiration right now, you need to look at the positives.  We are probably going to be feeling very grumpy in a few weeks and we need to learn to be happy right now!  We don't have to master happiness, we just need to surrond ourselves with good thoughts to help us push through.  I have a half day at work.  I'm going to get my house clean.  My puppy is snoring next to me right now.  My husband shaved!  Now take those happy little things and store them like a big ball of light in your chest.  Keep them glowing slightly throughout the day to keep you in a nice lull of happy.  Something go wrong?  Bust open that little ball and let the light fill you completely.  Do this every day for the month of November.  Every morning wake up, make a mental or physical list of little good things in your life and save them for when you get really grump about your story.  Know that times are going to suck, but at the end of the month you are going to have a really, really happy thought to use: YOU WROTE A FREAKING BOOK!

Yay?

Yay!

What positives are you going to store up for November?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts: #NaNoWriMo Nerves

It's getting close.  There are only two weeks and some change left until NaNoWriMo officially starts.  From there, I don't know what will happen.  Will I write 50,000 words?  Will I get 30 pages into my story and realize it's a complete snooze fest?  Will I write the next great American novel?  I have been running these questions frequently through my head, as if mulling it over one more time will give me a clear view of the future.  I've been known to over think, well...everything in my life and this is no exception.  So for the sake of piece of mind lets talk about some writing fears and what we can do as a team to combat it!

1. I don't think I'm going to reach my word goal!

The point of NaNoWriMo is to get to 50,000 words by the end of November, but I've been encouraging my friends to just make a goal and not worry about the 50,000 if it seems to daunting.  I on the other hand, have made it my actual goal to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I'm hoping that have a very strict time frame will force me to just sit down, get over my anxieties and just write the damn thing.  I think that is the key to dealing with your goal achieving worries, just write.  You have a much better chance of getting there if you just write.  Also, I'm finding the energy of other contagious.  When I'm feeling discouraged I watch a youtube video about NaNo or go on twitter and follow people who are participating.  This community makes me feel a whole lot better and as if I can achieve anything.

2.  What if my story sucks?

I have made a really detailed outline for my story, but do you know what?  It still has a lot of wiggle room in it.  I did that so that I can add more action if the pace seems dull and also, it supplies me with escape routes if I get dissatisfied with what I've done. If you feel like you story is weak, take an escape route and try a new direction.  Just because you veer off the path doesn't mean you won't make it to your end goal, you will just be taking a different route!

3. Is this going to be good enough to publish?

When I was in third grade I decided I wanted to be an author when I grew up.  I proceeded to complete only 2 stories in my young adulthood but started and stopped about 50 stories.  Why?  I constantly asked myself (yes even as an elementary school student) is this good enough to publish?  I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to be perfect and to only write things that could someday be published.  The result?  Nothing was ever good enough and I have yet to publish anything.  You need to write for the sake of practicing sometimes and not everything needs to be publishing quality.  Deep down the point of writing should be that you have something to say and you need to get it out.  Of course having readers for your work is fantastic, but you need to write for yourself.  You need to write because it makes you happy, not because it will a hit.  First find happiness and then you can worry about success.  It's what I'm still striving for everyday.

What are you worried about for NaNoWriMo?  Or what are you worried about in general?

Tootles!
Xoxo!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Adulting

Ugh....ugh....ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Bills to pay, ovens to fix, light bulbs burning out, laundry needing folding, interviews, resumes....I've been adulting pretty hard the last few weeks. I keep finding myself paniked, wondering how on earth I am going to keep up with NaNoWriMo when I have a day job and responsibilities at home.  My husband is a first year teacher and it's taking so much out of him but he's loving every moment.  To make his life easier, I've been trying to pick up the slack but I'm just getting out of the busy season of my work and I am FINALLY not having to do 6 day work weeks anymore.  There is just so much time and so little to do!  Wait...ugh I'm too tired, just keep that last sentence.

And I know I could be doing dishes instead of carving my Halloween pumpkin and watching Scream Queens last night.  I just need a break.  I think I'm going to need to get in the habit of regularily waking up at 5:00 a.m. to write my story for NaNoWriMo or else I will risk being too tired everyday when I get home from work.  I'm thinking about announcing to my friends right before November my intentions for the month, but will they really understand what I'm doing and the commitment I'm making?  Luckily I have a few members of my writers group joining me on this crazy November adventure.  I'm getting pumped.  Listening to others excitement about NaNoWriMo is getting me excited!

OH!  And you should totally join me and be my writing buddy!  Go to nanowrimo.org, create an account, and search for me under Alexandra VanHorn.

I promise some normal, nerdy articles are coming.  It's just that talking about this goal has been so important in making me fully commit to it.  My worst fear is that November will come, I will write 500 words, throw my hands up and go, "Nope!  Too much going on!"  I need this to work.  I need to do this.

My pup is snoring.  Lol!

Tootles!
Xoxo!!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Patchwork Babbles - #NaNoPrep & Vlogging

My muse
Yesterday I participated in my first NaNoWriMo discussion on Twitter!  It was featuring the topic of #NaNoPrep and discussing how everyone was preparing their stories for the quickly approaching month of November!  I was so surprised how many people actually had real discussions with me and even started following as a result of those discussions!  It really does go to show you how important team building is for NaNoWriMo because just chatting about my writing for that short 15 minutes or so that I joined in really got me excited and pumped for writing.  That makes sense, since my writers group has been giving me the same energy as well when it comes to getting excited about writing.  It is so crucial to be excited about your writing and to have others be excited sure as hell helps!  We went over how detailed of outlines we were creating, the music we use to get inspired, etc....and I adored every moment of it!   I need a sharped eye for when these discussions are taking place because this was really the boost I needed to get excited about writing again.

Which brings me to my second topic: vlogs.  Yesterday, in all my flurries of excitement, I threw it out there that I've been very interested in creating vlogs for NaNoWriMo and wanted to know if that interested anyone out there.  Instead of being met with silence, I actually had people interested!  I still have a long way to go with my editing skills and I desperately need a camera better than my pathetic web camera on my laptop, but I super inthralled with the idea of vlogging my journey.  I noticed vloggers I follow who vlogged during NaNoWriMo were able to build much larger writing communities to discuss and write with!  I would love to build my own circle of fellow writers and I feel like youtube would be a great platform to reach out! Would any of you be interested in that?  I guess it would be similar to these articles, just a bit more personal with you know...my face? Haha!

Ugh...got to head off to the "real world" and do some adulting.  Maybe someday I will do this for a living?

Xoxo!!!!

Tootles!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Losing "It"?

It hit me for the first time yesterday....a strong desire NOT to write.  I knew that I was running on a steam that could only last so long, I just am trying not to panic.  Being the rational, mature adult I am I automatically thought that my desire had left my body for good.  Like inspiration  is a balloon tethered to my wrist and one gust of wind could snap the string and send it floating away from me.  That's just silly (the idea not the metaphor).  My inspiration is probably just tried right now.  I'm getting close to completion of my works busy time and it has been fast but exhausting.  My husband is a first year teacher, so he's tried too.  Our dog, Willie, well that little guy is always tired when there isn't space to sprint.  We are in a tired house.  The dishes need doing, the laundry is piling up, and pup fluff needs to be vacuumed from the carpet.  Life is happening, so my fantasy worlds are taking a back seat.

I finished the outline for my NaNoWriMo novel a while back.  Upon letting it sit I've started to fear that it's too quiet and boring.  That I haven't put enough action or things happening in it.  But another this hit me, it's a first draft outline.  Well, to be fair more like a third draft, but it's a DRAFT.  I have very vague descriptions that could easily evolve into multiple chapters.  My outlines were even less detailed when I was a kid.  I usually would just write the chapter number and put initials to represent the characters featured in the scene.  Everything else was locked away in my head.  Also, there is research about my setting I have yet to get off my ass and do.  Most of the time I stay vague with settings to avoid headaches and homework.  Unfortunately, my brain decided on a very specific location and unless I can convince my husband we should honeymoon there, I need to hit the internet.

Ugh...it's time to get ready for work.  Hopefully this dry spell is nothing more than a temporary need for creative refueling.  If it isn't, then I will just need to kick myself harder to I'm ready for November!

Sorry this is a short one...you know....inspiration struggle is real.

Xoxo

Tootles!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Babbles of a Fan Girl - I'm A Hufflepuff and I'm Proud

I'm sure you've already guessed today's topic based off of the title.  Before you start snickering into the sunset, I'd like you pause and actually read what I have to say: I am a Hufflepuff and I'm goddamn proud of that!  This wasn't something that I easily came to terms with either.  As a child I always thought I'd be a Gyffindor simply because that was the house Harry Potter was in.  When I got older, I thought I'd be a Ravenclaw because I've always been creative and a good student. And then came Pottermore and everything changed.  I took the sorting test very seriously.  I read and re-read the questions over and over, trying to decide the best and most truthful answers.  I submitted these carefully mused answers and.....

Yeah, I took it there.
Hufflepuff.

Hufflepuff....

HUFFLEPUFF?!?!

My husband bursted out laughing (Yes, I made him take the test and he's a Gryffindor).  I was actually ready to cry, real tears.  I couldn't be a HUFFLEPUFF, there was no way!  Hufflepuff was the boring house.  Hufflepuff was the house of wet blankets.  Hufflepuff never really stood out at any point in the books.  This wasn't happening.  I had to have answered wrong!

I quickly took the internet to do some more research (like the true Ravenclaw I thought I was) about this strange little house. Upon doing some research I learned something: I really am a Hufflepuff, through and through, and that's not a bad thing.

I have always been ridiculously loyal to people and rules....I'm lawful neutral....what do you expect?   If you give me a rule and tell me to follow it I will understand that boundary.  And don't start saying I'm a blind follower, please.  If the rule is to punch every person with freckles I can use my mind to figure out that that rule might not be worth my time.  I'm talking more about attendance and other rules that help keep structure.  I usually get to work early and sit in my car until it's time to start (That's the Felicia Day in me!).

The Hufflepuff's are hardworking and I'm proud to be part of that too!  Sure I don't work as hard as I should, but when it's time to buckle down I crank my work out.  Sure were are not the smartest, boldest, or proudest but we are happy being who we are and not boasting about it!  I hate bragging and it actually takes practice for me to "show off".  We play by the rules and will give you all the time in the worlds to learn them!  We will be the first to jump when you need help and the last to leave you after a hard day of work. (Notice the use of "we" all of a sudden?)

I think it's time that Hufflepuff got some respect!  And according to the supreme goddess herself, J.K. Rowling, this is going to be "...the dawn of the Age of the Hufflepuff." thanks to the upcoming release of the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", where the lead character, Newt Scamander, is a Hufflepuff!  We have Tonks, we have Cedric, and now we have our own movie!  I agree, this is the dawn of the Age of the Hufflepuff, and I'm so excited to start blazing this trail!

So here I go:  I am a Hufflepuff and I'm proud!

^_^

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Short Stories

The other day I was playing with a new program I got called Scrivener and the funniest thing happened: a short story fell out of me.  It was very much akin to how a woman doesn't know she is pregnant until the pink blob is halfway out of her and screeching for a damn nipple and decent health care.  I didn't know it was in me, but once it was nearly out I felt so obligated to have it out completely. Horrible metaphors aside, I wrote a pleasant little story and I had fun writing it.  It all came from a random sentence I wrote simply to fill a space.  Upon writing that sentence, it hit me: this could actually be a story!  2,000 words later, "An Incident with a Gargoyle" was born!

I decided to man up and read my story at my writers group the other day. I found something oddly therapeutic about reading my story out loud. Like I was hearing for the first time that my stories don't always suck and I may actually have some talent with this thing I've been wanting to do since 3rd grade.  I really could be an author someday if I keep this up.  I finished reading my story and it was met by the polite "That was good"'s and one of my favorite compliments ever: "You write crazy very well!"

I've completed a measly total of three short stories this past year but I'm proud of each of them.  It's very hard for me to write a story without completely investing myself deep within it.  So far two stories have been created by one part a crazy idea and one part the perfect writing music.  Sia will be deemed my muse of 2015.  The other story came from a random impulse and a true desire to write.  That has made me very excited.  I have a desire to write, something that has escaped me for a few years now.  I am writing and enjoying the process again.  I'm not seeing it as an obligation.  I've come to love short stories because they are like sprints through fun ideas.  Now, I just need to get up the courage to actually try and publish them.  But where to start?

I hope I can write one short story every month in 2016.  I think that's fairly realistic, no?  At the end of the year, I will have 12 new friends, each as deranged as the next (I write crazy well, remember?).  I'm still working on this "setting goals for myself" thing and so far I'm not doing too horrible.  I'm writing at least one blog per week, often a belated second quickly after, and I am still drafting and prepping for NaNoWrimo.  I would share my stories hear, but I'm horribly paranoid about theft (you can blame some nasty middle school experiences for that) so I am afraid you will have to wait until I figure out the whole "publishing" thing first.

I wonder if I have another short story somewhere in me this evening?  I should be doing job applications but I'm still doing the "reevaluating my life" thing.  Yay?

Tootles!
Xoxo

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Babbles of a Fan Girl - Books to Read 2015

In getting back into writing, I am starting to realize how important it is for me to get back into reading.  My relationship with reading has always been a strange, twisty roller coaster ride.  When I was a kid, I have a bad habit of starting a book but never finishing because either A. I lost focus. or B.  I wanted to move on to a new book that caught my eye.  This habit carried on through middle school, only being fueled also by my adopted philosophy that I'd rather "Write a book than read a book".  Fast forward to my first day on ninth grade, which was also my first day of public school.   Before that, I went to private, Catholic school from pre-school all the way through eighth grade. I had never seen so many kids jammed into one building.  No one was wearing uniforms, including me!  I was terrified by the idea of making new friends and just wanted to blend in to the point that I matched the paint on the walls.  So of course, my natural reaction was to always carry a book and bury myself in it whenever there was free time in class.  Socializing?  Making new friends? Um....let's just read instead.  I went from being the girl always writing to the girl always reading in the course of a semester.  When I had a book I felt safe.  And my passion for books went with me to high school.

Then came college....

I read many great books in college, but I often felt like I couldn't read in my freetime because there was always some textbook glaring at me, demanding my attention.  So I didn't read nearly as much as I did in high school.  Luckily, I had some great professors in my writing and English classes that introduced me to new literature and in turn, my new writing style.  It was a wonderful time, but when I got done with college, I was exhausted...and I fell out of reading more than I ever had before.  I felt overwhelmed with all of the classics I still had not touched!  There were so many contemporary novels that I needed to expose myself to!  No reading was getting done and people still referred to me as this passionate reader!  This madness had to stop!

And that brings us to today....

I am going to make a list of books that I will read before the end of this year.  It's going to be a puny list because, A. this year is almost over and 2. This is the busiest time of the year for me.  When 2016 rolls around I will make an official list of books for me to read over the course of that year!  For now, here are the books I will read before the end of 2015 (Yay for making more goals for myself!)

1. Misery by Stephen King




I started this book a few months and it's a compelling but exhausting read. I keep taking mental breaks for both the sake of my sanity and my innocence. The much needed coffee breaks are a result of this book being so well written!  You feel for this man trapped in the home of his "number one fan" and battling his addiction to painkillers to find his freedom.

2. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir by Felicia Day


I bought this book the other day and it is such a relaxing read.  Felicia Day, known work such as The Guild, tells the tale of her life and how she became the kick-butt nerd she is.  I love when girl nerds are in the spotlight and I can strongly relate to her journey.  I can't wait see more of her funny stories!


3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


I was supposed to read this book in high school but being the hipster I am, I skipped my junior and senior years of high school and went to college instead.  Don't worry, I had a high school teacher remind me that by doing this, I was just trying to act older, so I will be forever ashamed of getting two years of free college.  I was disappointed that I missed reading this horror classic.  This will be my Halloween time read and I can't wait!  And yes....I may watch "Young Frankenstein" after I finish the book.  A girls gotta roll in za hey!


I know there is going to be a least one more books mixed in with these, but let's start small and work out way out from there.  Do you have any book recommendations for 2016?  Any good books you can recommend about writing to help me prep for NaNoWriMo?

Tootles!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Writing a Novel & NANOWRIMO Prep

At this current moment my pup is sleeping on my feet and my husband is running around, getting ready to go off and teach school.  It's morning time and although I slept in, I am determined to get some writing in before work.  Writing these personal blogs has been pretty easy so far and they are serving as a main source of inspiration for my writing.  I'm so happy to report that I am 110% on board for NANOWRIMO in November!  My biggest fear, however, has been that I will lose interest by November or I will get to November and choke.  That's why I am using the next two months to prep myself.  That brings me to some very, very good news:  I have written my outline for my Nanowrimo novel!  For the sake of getting organized, I followed and outline system from Katytastic, a youtuber who has quickly became one of my favorites for writing encouragement! Here's one of her videos below!



I had to scrap my plot and raise it from the dead like some sort of Frankenstein of words, but I eventually got it where I wanted it to be!  There was a period where I was terrified because I realized I had no plot, just an interesting concept that occurs.  Luckily, plot eventually came.  I'm so happy I'm taking time to flesh out this story before jumping in.  Otherwise I'd be stuck probably 20 pages in with no idea what I'm doing and where I'm going.  Now that doesn't mean my plot isn't subject to change, I'm always up for that.  I just have a good idea of where my ending will be.  And god knows I struggle with ending stories.

Plot - check!

Characters - Check!

Setting - Umm...Check minus?

Another reason why I'm so glad I'm not writing this story until November is that I need to do some major research on my setting.  I've done some half-assed google searching along the way, but I really need to sit down and flesh out my landscape.  I need to know little, nitty gritty things like, the temperature, common natural features, the patterns of the ocean, history of the location and the impact of current events.  My biggest issue is usually I chose nameless settings or just make one up because I don't like getting anchored by reality.  This story, though will greatly benefit from all the little details being collected in a neat and organized pile.  There is a lot of research ahead of me!

Finally,  I have found the task of writing 1666 words per day (as is expected to complete NANOWRIMO) a little bit daunting.  Between work, lacking sleep, and trying to have a life, it's rather difficult to get that many words crammed into a day.  I'm making it a goal to start practicing now, but it's been hard.  For some reason that many words just looks so intimidating.  I have heard of writing sprints where you take a set amount of time and write as much as you can and I think that might be the key to getting over my fears.  I just need to get the words out and worry about perfection later.  Again, I'm so glad it's not November yet.  There are still a lot more dress rehearsals needed before the main show!

How is everyone else's writing going?  Anyone want to do NANOWRIMO with me?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Babbles of a Fangirl - Rereads

Have broken my vow to write an article every week already?  Well, I'm not getting to distressed about it because I have wrote more over the last month than I have all year!  I will save the details of that for my next "Patchwork Thoughts" article so just sit tight!  Now!  Let's talk about some books!

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!
It really shouldn't come as any surprise that I love reading.  It wasn't until very recently, when I started watching some amazing book-tubers, that I realized I never talk about books on this blog.  I will be the first to admit that although I love reading, I have gravitated away from it quite a bit since college.  It was often hard while doing school to justify recreational reading when there were text books to be read.  Then again, I didn't really read my text books out of sheer stubbornness, but let's just skip over that blemish!  Reading takes time and watching youtube is a lot easier.  Oh look!  I'm being lazy again.  Who'da thunk it?

Lately I have have been inthralled in a good old book called "Misery" by Stephan King.  Heard of it?  Although it's been great for learning more about suspense writing, I'd have to say I'm need some major fluff as a pallet cleanser. That got me thinking about new books I need to read, which eventually reminded me of old books I know I will feel warm and fuzzy reading.  So that brings us to our topic today: Rereads!  These are some of the books I'm dying to read again for both nostalgia's sake and mine.

Harry Potter

Did you think this wouldn't make the list?  When I was growing up, everyone was reading Harry Potter  and it didn't take me long to not only jump on that bandwagon, but take the wheel!  I would check Harry Potter websites everyday, determined to gather up as much Harry Potter news and information as humanly possible!  Harry Potter is honestly the book that taught me that being a nerd and a member of fandom is perfectly fine!  Though I also learned the hard way that not everyone wants to hear you babble about a book they haven't read.  I know this will sound crazy, but I have only read each Harry Potter book once!  I never felt the need to go back through the story, I only wanted to wait on pins and needles for the next step in the series.  I was happy and heartbroken when the series ended and I have never read any other books aside from Books 6 & 7 nonstop. I miss this wizard world and I'd love to go back through it with adult eyes.


Inkheart

I was determined not to like this book.  At the time that I gave it my first try, I was skeptical of fantasy set in the real world, but it's beautiful cover, dripping with treasure and mysterious creatures made me determined to bring it home from Barnes and Noble and give it a try.  You know what happened?  Inkheart is still one of my all time, favorite books!  This is one of the few books I have read multiple times.  I can't get enough of it's detailed characters and suspenseful tale of fantasy breaking lose from the confines of a story.  I'm less attached to it's sequels.  In my opinion, this story ends perfectly, but I was happy to say hello to it's fine cast again.  I encourage you to meet all of them.  They will feel so real that they might just step outside of the book and say hello!

Two Princesses of Bamarre

Has anyone else read this book?  I have yet to meet anyone who has.  In short, this is the story of two Princesses, one that is brave and heroic and one that is afraid of her own shadow.  They live in a kingdom where a horrible disease claims the lives of many.   And guess what?  The heroic princess catches it and now her sister must set out on a journey to find a cure, save her sister, and face her own fears!  I think this is the first story where I said to myself "Hey, Princesses can do something interesting!"  Followed by "Hey!  Princesses can kick butt!" It's full of action and adventure.  I'm happy to say I've held on to my copy over many book purges and I can't wait to read it to my children someday!

I forgot how much I enjoy chatting about books!  I certainly have the itch to read now and I hope you do too!  What books from your past do you want to reread?  What books have you read multiple times over the years?  Let me know what keeps you coming back for more!

Until next time, tootles!

Xoxo!!!!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Cranky Cows

Hey!  So far I'm doing pretty decent at this "sticking to a schedule business" and that feels pretty darn awesome!  I have been stressed with work for quite sometime and having this outlet waiting for me reminds me why I started this blog in the first place: I like writing.  Even if many people aren't actually reading my articles, it is doing great things for my writing skills.  I'm finally cleaning a lot of cobwebs that have been clinging in my brain for a while now.  I have also been journaling a lot more, which have also done wonders for me.  I feel more focused and clear with my style.  I am getting back into my grove of having the distinct voice that makes my writing style mine.  Also, I am writing and not hating everything I say.  Being a natural pessimist and my own worst critic, that is a major milestone for me!

Now for the less fun parts of life.  I have been miserable with my job I've been working for two years now.  I was miserable from the start, but the fact that I'm not finding new work has been amplifying my stress.  I keep reminding myself (as does my husband) that I'm making a career lane change, so my experience isn't quite what the jobs I'm applying for want.  I got out of college certain that I was going to be an event planner, but I will be honest, I romanticized that career a little too much in my head.  I am good at event planning but I don't like working odd hours and the rewards are too few and far between.  Bitching and moaning aside, I am trying to rediscover what I should do with the rest of my life.  In a perfect world, I would become a full time writer, stay at home, drink coffee, and crank out best sellers all the ling-long day.  Maybe someday that will happen, but for now, I need to stick on a plan B to pay the rent and put food on the table.

My last blog about nerd rage helped me reflect on how much I need to focus on turing negatives into positives.  I can be pissed for a while but then I need to take that energy and do something productive with it.  If I don't, I will just be a destructive mess that no one wants to be around.  I'm hoping journaling and writing will be that outlet and I hope to couple that with a more physical outlet, like meditation and yoga.  Think of it this way, it's okay to have a few cranky cows in your herd, as long as you keep them in a pen where they won't beat up the other cows.  I have a lot of cranky cows I've been penning with chicken wire, when what I really need is a sturdy fence.  It's going to be a lot of work building those fences, but I think I'm up to the challenge.

Huh....that was a random analogy.  I love it!  It's so good to say something silly and not get mad at myself that no one will understand or that I'm being too weird!  So much yay!

How have you guys been feeling lately?  Are you building any fences for the cranky cows in your life?

Xoxo, tootles!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Babbles of a Fangirl - Nerd Rage

Today we are going to talk about a funny little emotion: anger. I am trying to better understand this emotion as of late because I'm exhausted with anger.  If you have seen the movie "Inside Out" than let's just say, I know who is at the helm in my brain.
Can I say that curse word now?

In my brief research it seems that anger is prodominatly caused by triggers. I have been going through a lot of personal reflection to better understand my triggers and what my anger might really be saying beyond "Grrr...I'm mad!"  I will spare you the details of that information (TMI?) but I did realize I could take a fun spin on this personal reflect for you guys!  How about we talk about nerd rage?


Youtube buffering/Bad Internet connection

Everyday I'm buffering
It's no secret I watch a lot of youtube.  I watch some channels as faithfully as some middle age women watched soap operas 80's.  There is something very relaxing about having a consistent watching schedule.  You have something to look forward to after a hard day. A few minutes watching a youtube show for me instantly transports me to a better state of mind. Needless to say, when I can't watch my stories, I flip.  I am desperately trying to get my quiet time but the gosh-darn internet won't let me do it!  I know that it's there, waiting for me, but I can't get at it.  The worst is when a video came manage to play the crappy advertisement before the video with no problem but when it comes time to actually play the video, no dice!  I'm glad to say my internet connect is much better than it was when I was a teenager, trying to watch the Allen and Craig show in my bedroom.  Although that has spoiled me.  Now I am less patient with loading than ever!  "It worked fine yesterday! So WTF is going on today!"  There is nothing worse than waiting all day for a bit of solace only to not be able to get that relax time you need.  Well maybe there are a few things that are worse.  For example....


When beloved characters die

Picture unrelated....
Why do characters have to die in stories?  Can we just change the system so that characters never die.  Instead let's just enact a makeshift video game style system for death.  Characters just go, collect their extra life and come back for another round of play!  I think the world would be a better, less scary place if we did that.  My normal first emotion when a character dies is usually uncontrollable sadness (Yes, I have sobbed when characters have died) quickly followed by passionate anger.  I don't ever really get over when a character I love dies.  I know.  He/she isn't a real person, so I should just get over it.  The problem is that there are too many artists and writers out there that do too good of a job making their characters feel real.  So maybe it just be a lot easier if people tried less when creating their art.  Sound good?  Speaking of creating art....

You forget to hit the save button

Add caption

We have all been that.  That dark moment.  Whether it's during a game or while trying to create the next great American novel, this is the source of so much nerd rage that I'm sure it's collective anger could create a new, fiery sun.  This sun would be the darkest most evil thing in all the galaxy.  Why?  Because losing all of your work after hours and hours of time is so horrible.  You will now have to go back, retread the ground you walked on and hope you can make the same footprints again.  And you know what?  It's impossible to get it just the same.  You will now only have a shadow of what you did to follow and things will change.  I have lost writing before and it hurts so bad to lose something you spent so much trying trying to get right the first time. Maybe it's easier with a video game to go back, but now you are just annoyed that you have to listen to the stuff you just heard and do the same things all over again.  You lose all feeling of progression and tasks just turn tedious.  Long story short, losing your progress sucks.  Take it from me, hit the save button and hit it often.  It might take you out of what you are doing for a few moments but it's better than having to go back and try it all over again.

Honestly, talking about this has helped me feel a little more lighthearted about somethings that would normally make me so mad.  It's been a rough week and it's nice to finally let go of stuff that was weighing my mind.  I hope this will help you too. Do you have anything that leaves you in a nerd rage?  Or is there something that's been bugging you lately that you need to get off your chest?  Let me know!  And remember, you are not alone!

Thanks & tootles!

Xoxo!!!!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - NANOWRIMO

I am doing it.  I am going to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November!  I know what you're thinking, "But Patchwork, it's only August!  Isn't it a little early to be saying your doing something in November!?"  You're right, November does feel like a million miles away.  Here's the deal, I'm announcing this now for a few reasons.

1.) Locking myself into a commitment
If announce to everyone that I am going to try to write 50,000 words in a month then I have a lot more eyes making sure I don't give up in the first few days.  I will be the first to admit I sometimes have have problems with my follow through.  I tend to think if a project isn't perfect then I don't deserve to do it.  I am going to try my darn-dist to not let that mind set hit me.  I will also be doing vlogs throughout the month reporting my experience.

2.) The next couple of months are going to go fast for me
The next few months are the busiest time of the year at my work. I will stay busy all the way until Halloween  This time is going to go fast.  I might not have time to talk about NANOWRIMO in the next few months, so I need to talk about it now.  I need to get myself pumped up and ready to write!

3.) I need to start making notes
The story I've decided to write for NANOWRIMO is the same story that I declared I was writing as my first novel.  I am not ready to walk away from that story and I don't want to suddenly put it on hold in November so I can work on something new.  The compromise?   Wait until November and work on my outline and notes in the mean time.  I still have a lot more research to do.  I have also found this really cool writing program called Scrivner that I'm learning more about.  I will probably do an article on that program to let you know my findings and if it's worth you looking at!

4. I want you to think about joining me!
YES!  YOU!  I want you to make a goal and join me in participating in NANOWRIMO.  Do you have a story you've been dying to get out, have you always wanted to try writing a novel?  Do you not have time to write the projects you want?  Join me!  Go to http://nanowrimo.org/ and create an account.  Once you've done that, you can add me as a buddy.  My screen name on there is Alexandra VanHorn.  Find me, add me, and let's get ready for November!  Leave a comment if you are planning to join me on this adventure!

Let's do it!  Let's write some novels!

Tootles!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - My Goals

I am trying to create a more consistent writing schedule by writing a few times a week.  My rough goals are to write two articles every week.  One article will be the normal, nerdy thing and the other will be journaling about my projects. You can expect a lot of reflection on writing, reading, video making, all that jazz.  Also, I am working on my book but I am in the infant stages of drafting and sketching the plot. I am an avid note taker because I like having a path to go on.  Of course I'm leaving some room for deviating, but I like to know who my characters are and where the story is being contained.  Also, I need to study the currents of the Atlantic Ocean and Norse mythology....it's a writing thing.  

Another thing I have been pondering is attempting (again) is NANOWRIMO (I think I got all of the letters?).  For those of you who are unfamiliar, that stands for National Novel Writing Month and it takes place from the start to the end of November.  The goal is to write 50,000 words in one months, which is roughly the length of a completed novel.  I know that sounds pretty unreasonable to some, but the intent is spur on creativity and help you build support communities with fellow writings.

The one thing I have realized over the last year is that having a support system helps so much with writing.  I have an amazing, talented writers group that I attend (though sometimes my anxiety issues make me the fairest weather attendee) and I often show my writing to my very encouraging husband.  Plus I have you guys!  Having an audience (no matter how small) viewing your work also helps a great deal!  Long story short, I want to participate in November to see if I can be disciplined enough to stick to my goals.  I might need to get up at 5:00 a.m. every day to reach that goal, but I want to do it!  When the time comes, I think I will make vlogs about my progress and take a break from doing articles, as most of my writing juice will be used elsewhere.

So in short, I want to be ambitious and cautious at the same time.  These are my rough goals.

1. Write 1 nerdy article a week
2. Write 1 journal a week
3. Create 1 detailed video a month
4. Vlog more as time permits?

If I start sliding, call me out for it!  Follow me on twitter @ThePatchwrkNerd so you can reply "Why aren't you writing?!" to all of my pictures of my dog!  Here we go!  Let's start this adventure!

And here is some parting fun/wisdom:


Tootles! 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Down the Tubes - My Jams!

A while back I wrote an article about videos on youtube that I love!  When reading through that article I realized something: I freaking love youtube.  It is such an interesting place to get a wide array of talent and content. It's not a perfect place either.  Personally I feel that the copyright claim hammer come down a little too hard on us nobodies and it can make it very hard to establish yourself, but believe it or not, that's also why I love youtube.  We have an amazing task of helping shape this large entity that everyone knows about.  We can influence this place.  We can make it grow with us.  Yeah, I'm being overly rosey right now.  It's just nice to have someplace to go when you need to turn off.  That brings us to today.  I have collected some of the more musical videos I go to when I need to jam out.  I hope you enjoy!


"Five Nights at Freddy's: The Musical - Night 1 (Feat. Markiplier)" Random Encounters 



I'm not sure if you've heard of this one game, it's fairly popular these days.  It's called Five Nights at Freddy's.  Heard of it?  Seriously though, FNAF has blown up on youtube and has inspired many Let's Plays and spoofs!  My favorite by far is the Five Nights at Freddy's musical by Random Encouters!  Their channel has created MANY of my favorite musical spoof of famous games, characters and pop culture and boy to they deliver here!  Also, it features a youtuber you may know named Markiplier!  I find this musical especially near and dear to my heart because Markiplier is by far my favorite Let's Player and his play through of Five Nights at Freddy's 2 was my first real introduction to his channel!  I'm happy to say I haven't looked back!  With a catchy tune and a fun misunderstanding, this musical is sure to tug and your heart strings and tickle your funny bone!  Give it a watch and try not to sing along!


 "Titenic: The Jontron Song" Jontron (ft.Schmoyoho)


I will be completely level with you about this song: I'm addicted.  At first I was confused.  Then I was charmed.  Then I was addicted and I've been listening at LEAST five times a week.  Jontron is my favorite video game reviewer and with good reason!  His comedy, editing, and reviewing is full of passion and polish!  Sure, many people are irritated that his content doesn't come out as rapidly as many youtubers, but his skill in video creation always makes it worth the wait!  Titenic is his collaboration with musical act Schmoyoho and takes you through a rendition of his priceless review of the Titanic video games.  It captures Jontrons random humor and layered jokes in a perfect blend!  Take a dive into this video and taste the perfect concoction that is Jontron!  Note for Jontron: Always take your time!  You're lovely, deary!


"Luigi's Ballad" Starbomb


Is it normal if whenever this song comes on my husband and I break into joyful song?  We seriously considered playing this song at our wedding, but it had one too many curse words to make it "wedding appropriate".  Starbomb is catching, magically catchy.  I strongly recommend that if you enjoy this song you check out their entire album.  It will take you down nostalgia lane with many clever winks to the games we all grew up with and loved.  Then show it to your friends and then their friends.  Before you know it, you will have sing-a-longs in no time!


"Word Crimes" "Weird Al" Yankovic

"Weird Al" Yankovic really speaks for himself.  His lyrics are to tight and perfectly put together to the point that I think he might be a wizard or at least a musical genius.  Word Crimes takes a very detailed look into the common fumbles committed in the English language.  If you find yourself constantly bashing your head against the wall because of your friend's frightening grammar, this song is a love letter to you!


"Romeo and Juliet vs Bonnie and Clyde, Epic Rap Battles of History Season 4" ERB


I love so much how youtubers work together on so many projects!   Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig are two creators full of talent and laughs and they bring their A-Game to their appearance in Epic Rap Battle! Two iconic couples take jabs at each other to see not only who's love is strong, but who's rhymes are fiercer!  With quick, clever lyrics and side-splitting performances, this rap is sure to leave you giggling!

I hope you all enjoyed another look down the tubes with me!  I have to say that writing about Youtube has become one of my favorite topics.  I am in the process of creating a more consistent writing schedule and doing my best to stick to it!  I'm also hoping to create more of my own youtube videos soon.  I am just struggling because I only have my web camera to use and my old computer has been causing some issues with the quality of the videos.  Multiple times I have created vlogs only to discover something caused the lips syc to be completely off.  If you have suggestions for a reasonable camera I can get, please leave a comment down below!

Tootles!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Good Morning World!

Another day, another dollar, another holiday break done.  This morning it is raining and I have to go back to work.  This post won't be particularly focused or nerdy.  I just need to get some wheels turning and let you (whoever is out there) know that I am officially taking a big step.  I am writing a novel.

I don't know how many details I will share on here, but this blog may become a dumping grounds for warm ups and journaling every-so-often.  I've let my anxiety get in the way a few times lately and prevent me from writing.  It's so strange when something you were once so passionate about becomes a major source of stress.  But I see it as that I have two options: 1. Move on from writing and be okay with it.  OR 2. Get over my pressure to be perfect and just have fun.

Too bad having fun is not something I naturally do.

Let's get back to happy things.  I have started writing a book.  The funny thing is that the idea from the story did come from a nerdy origin.  I have been watching a lot of Markiplier lately and I'm particularly fond of his RPG horror let's plays.  He mentioned a RPG maker that many of the games were created on.  Turns out my husband had got a free version of RPG maker in a humble bundle a while back.  I've played with it a few times and created a little beach map.  I started thinking of a story to take place on that beach and the story that resulted was very interesting.  In fact, it was so interesting I decided it be best placed into a book.  So here we are!  I have the basic idea for the story (it's a scary one) and I have the first few pages written.  The biggest challenge is starting and stopping.  I haven't attempted a novel sized story in many years, so I'm still getting my flow back.  I am finding it so inspiring to talk about writing right now.  Maybe I will create a section of this blog where I talk about writing.  Would anyone like that?

Then again, I'm not sure if anyone is reading this anymore.  But at least I still have my void.

More writing updates to come!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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Babbles of a Fan Girl - What I've Learned in the "Real World"

You may have not noticed because I'm so subtle about it, but I haven't been happy with the direction my career has gone post college.  The other day I was scanning through my old blogs, trying to get some inspiration for future articles and I stumbled upon this adorable, little gem as seen here. Could three years really have changed and bittered my perspective on the real world so much?  Since that article I have worked two jobs: one in promotions/marketing and the other in sales/event planning.  And what have I learned?  Well let's dive into that.

I wanted to put a minion here, so I did.
All That Glitters is Not Gold 
It's pretty simple and I don't think this lesson needs much fleshing out.  If a job seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.  Oh! And do NOT, I repeat DO NOT ever work somewhere you appreciated as a child.  Chances are you will run into a place that crushes you image of what you thought that business to be like when you were a child.  It will make you angry and resentful and you will spend a few years wishing you could make it better only to realize it was a ship sinking long before you ever got on it.  It sucks. Speaking of when things suck....

NO! Not THAT!
(PS: NEVER Google "sexy vacuum")
If Your Work Life Suck, Improve Your Personal Life 
After wedding wrapped up I knew I needed to get back into blog writer ASAP.  Why?  Because I needed a task to make me feel fulfilled in the way work never could.  I try to focus on writing, reading, and just enjoying the internet.  I have a dog and a husband that I will spend many a night with cooking dinner and watching shows on the couch.  I have friends (yeah, who would have guessed that!) and I see them often on the weekend. In short, I have a kickass personal life and that helps balance things out.  If you don't feel good about your day job, do yourself a favor and figure out what you need to make your life at home grand.  Which brings me to my next point:

Get A Hobby 
You know how so many cranky, old people below, "GET A JOB!"?  Well I do the same thing with hobbies.  If you are feeling crappy because you come home from a draining job and just stare at the wall, dreading going to work the next day, it's time to get a hobby.  Ask my husband if you need help coming up with an activity to do.  The man collect hobbies like some people collect bobble heads, and he's damn good at every hobby he undertakes.  Do you know why?  Because he treats every hobby with precision and dedication.  The same precision and dedication you would apply to a day job.  If work has you down and feeling like your brain is turning to the green mush from Troll 2, it's time to get passionate about something!

Because a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
You Probably Won't Make Money from Your Hobbies....and That's Okay!
I used to think that my blog and youtube channel would one day make me famous enough that I wouldn't have to ever do anything but the two for the rest of my life.  That really is my ultimate dream, to make my art for a living.  I often stop and remind myself though that that is a privilege that few people get.  It requires a raw talent, determination, and dash of dumb luck that very few get.  Plus you can't be lazy.  You can't come home from work and just mindlessly type for a few hours and hit "post". It requires turning your hobby from a hobby to a part-time job. Not that there is anything wrong with trying to turn something like this blog into a business, but not at the point that your creation process suffers.  There was a point where I wasn't writing because I thought the topics I wanted to cover weren't "marketable" enough.  And that's just dumb.  I had some people reading and that was more than enough.  It I start worrying about every schmuck that comes here to read I will probably have an aneurism.  So maybe you will manage to make your hobby turn into a business and maybe you won't.  Just don't let your hobbies suffer because you put a paycheck like and asterisk next to it.  Remember why you started that hobby, because you like it, because it keeps you sane, because it's an escape from that pesky job you've been trying not to think about all morning.  So that's what I've learned.  Work can suck, work can shatter your perception on the real world but it can lead you to doing great things.  Just don't let those escapes turn into another job you resent and dread.

Here's to hoping that something good is around the bend!

My inner Disney Princess is still hoping
Tootles!


Xoxo

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Is Being a Nerd a Hobby or Lifestyle?

It's that magical time of the year, E3, where countless video game news becomes known to the general public.  A few years ago, I would have been glued to my computer screen, gleefully watching the announcements in real time.  Now, I have a 9 to 5 job and the best I can manage is to read news articles or (better yet!) watch my Twitter feed for others reactions.  This has left me feeling pretty bummed.  It's no surprise that I kinda, sorta, really hate my job and missing out on E3 is just the icing on the cake.  I know what you're thinking, why am I not catching up or watching coverage after work.  Well, I have run into and interesting situation that I hope to further discuss today.

Picture this, I come home after a long day of being nagged on the phone by people I will probably never meet in real life.  I'm tried.  I kick off my flats, feed my dog, and settle on the couch to check Facebook.  Some nights I then proceed to make dinner.  Other nights I help my husband cook.  We finish making our meal and settle on the couch again to catch up on whatever series we are watching.  We either are sucked into shows to the rest of the night or then try to get things related to our hobbies done, but keep in mind, we are both very tired.  Some nights I need to clean.  Mounds of laundry, begging to be folded are calling to me as I type this very sentence.  There is vacuuming and dishes and scrubbing and sweeping.  There is a pup that needs play time.  There is my tired mind that just wants to sit down, turn off, and watch youtube for a few hours.  I've been musing over why a lot of my nerdy hobbies have fallen to the side.  Am I getting lazy?  Yes, yes I am.  Am I sick of being a nerd? No, never...it's just....

I feel like I don't have the time to be a nerd anymore.

When I first had this thought I then thought I was being ridiculous! I should always have time to be who I am!  I am a nerd!  But then, as my over active mind usually does, I had another thought.  Is being a nerd my hobby or is it my lifestyle?  I can say that right now I am not doing the normal nerdy activities I usually would be doing. Does that make me stop being a nerd?  Have I lost touch with my roots if I'd rather read "Gone Girl" right now instead of the Game of Thrones books?

In my defense I think Flynn and Martin might be cousins
Do I need to cash in my nerd card if I've dedicated the last year of my life to my wedding instead of writing the next great American novel?

I continued this panic for sometime.  Maybe it was time to close up shop, start watching the Bachelorette like so many of my coworkers, and get some highlights.  Luckily, I'm getting better at calming my personal panic.  Yes, the last year of my life I have put many of my normal passions in the backseat.  Writing, reading, my crafts, they are all hobbies, but they are all part of who I am. Being a nerd, just like those activities, isn't something I do just for fun. Well, yes, I do research and learn nerdy things because I think it's fun, but it goes so much deeper than that.  Being a nerd is a culture.  It is being a part of a community of likeminded individuals.  It is a form of express.  It is a passion.  I am a nerd not because it passes the time, I am a nerd because it gives me a place where I belong.  My focus has been elsewhere but I am happy to settle back into my routine.  A year or so of routine change will take a while to adjust.  Also, I have a life beyond being a nerd.  Being a nerd is just one patch that makes up me.  It's a big patch, I am happy to say!

What do you think?  Are you a nerd because it's a hobby?  Do you see it as a lifestyle?  Or is it something more?  Let me know!

It's good to be back!

Tootles!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Fresh Start

I am officially a married woman.  Well, I was over a week ago, but it doesn't strike me to update all forms of social media with the details the same way is does many other people my age.  So long story short, I am married and it was a perfect, perfect day.  I couldn't have asked for a better day or a better husband.  My little life is getting so wonderful!

I've been reading "Gone Girl" a story that shows the exact opposite of marital bliss.  Normally a book like this would make me panic.  "How long until our relationship is this horrible?" or "When is everything going to go wrong?" but no.  I am learning to just let myself be happy.

Now if I only had the day job to match my personal life.

Now that wedding planning is done, I'm realizing how much I need writing again.  I can't wake up and comb wedding blogs for creative ideas.  In fact, I have been avoiding wedding blogs for fear that I will never let go of them.  So what do I do now?  Besides clean my horror of house, that is.  Writing!  I can finally write again!  I have the energy.  I have a writers group I have been a part of for some time now, so I have people pushing me (and boy Alex does that too).  I have FREETIME!  But yet again, here is another introspective post with nothing to do with the content I've promised for this blog.  Am I never going to be a nerd again?!?

No, I'm almost fully past that phase.  I like being a nerd.  I love writing about nerd stuff.  Am I always going to talk about it?  Maybe not.  I am going to branch out!  I still don't have a clear idea of where I am going, but I have a few experiments up my sleeves!

So let's start fresh.  My name is Patchwork (or Alex).  I am 24 years old and I am married to the love of my life (he is also named Alex).  We have a pup named Willie who sleeps like a donut.  My favorite video game is Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and I danced to Zelda's Lullaby with my father at my wedding.  I am very short, perky, and creative.  I want to change the world with my writing.  Is that a lot to ask for?  I hope you will stick around.

For now tootles!
xoxo!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Being a Big Girl

So, I am getting married in 19 days o_O

My life has been such a fast paced blur this last year.  There has been so much good!  There has been so much stress!  There has been so much creative exploration!  But alas, me using all my creative energy towards the wedding and other outlets doesn't help this blog or my youtube channel.  I'm so tried lately.  Every time I try to write here I feel cornered by the topic of being a "nerd".  It's like my brain for some reason thinks that's not a big enough topic to cover.  Or maybe more honestly it is that the subject is so saturated to the point that I feel like a thumb print on a subway window, sure it's a completely unique design, but that doesn't take away all the other unique print smudged all across the glass.

I'm rambling...again. "Sigh" -_-

Most of my writing has been short stories and poems.  Things I don't feel 100% okay posting because people have warned me leads to copywriting nightmares.  Oh copyrights....my bane and my savior.

I'm so sleepy and it's only 7:13 p.m. right now....ugh.

I've asked before what people want to see from me....but I think I've been gone too long.  The small group I had gathered has branched off to other places, which is deservedly fitting.  I'm still waiting for someone to tell me the right thing to do, my worst habit.  

So do I have any answers?   I'm not sure.  Is it time for a fresh start?  Maybe.

I'm too sleepy to make any forever, big girl decisions.  Why can't I just be a big girl?  I'm getting married soon!  Shouldn't I have everything figured out?  Why hasn't my life path landed in front of me like Dorothy's house freshly plucked from Kansas?

There is one conclusion I have made so far in all of my musing sessions: I am not meant to be a critic.  I think I've just spent too much time creating to art to objectively take others works apart.  Even things I absolutely hate, I usually note good things quietly in the back of my mind along with a grudge.    But if I'm not a critic, than what am I?  I know I'm deep down a storyteller, but there are only so many nerdy stories that happen to me that I can tell you about.  That honey pot will eventually run out.  I could do creative writing, but should I be trying to get that published?  I don't know.  Any thoughts?  Anyone?

I want to fall asleep.

I often hope my dreams will give me answers.  Instead my dreams bluntly tease and torture me.   I'm not kidding.  After recalling a dream to my fiance he chimed "Wow, you're too hard on yourself even in your sleep."  Why can't I just think pretty thoughts.  I'm tried of being angry all the time.  I'm tired of being scared.  I'm tried of being worried.  All three are emotions that have throbbed in me for as long as I can remember.  But how do I learned another way?

This is just another time out of tones and tones of times where I feel ready for change, but get tangled up in the doing so.  I need a push.

It's still too early to go to bed.  I went to bed at 7:30 p.m. last night, that's how tired I was.

Just a few more hours, then bed.

I hope a few of you are still out there.  I don't know where I'm going, but I'm still moving.

Xoxo

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Very Important Question


Why is my pup so cute?  Thoughts? #WilliethePup





But seriously....where does the time go?  It's already the start of a new year!  This is going to be a big year for me and my family too. I am so close to the adventure of marriage becoming a reality for me!  That alone boggles my mind daily!  I feel like something big is coming this year.  Call it intuition or just blindly assuming I deserve big things simply because I hope for them. Either way, I am remaining positive.  Yeah, me positive, who'd-a-thunk it? I am so afraid of change and desperately welcoming it at the same time.  In short....UGH!  Life is rambling and confusing (Like this post!).  It is scary, new, and sometimes familiar.  Nothing stays the same.  Speaking of not staying the same, I have been thinking.  Now I know that's often dangerous, especially for me, but it seemed like it was time to really evaluate some things.  I started "The Patchwork Nerd" a few years ago as a safe place to discuss my nerdy ramblings.  It's been a great source for reviewing, venting, wishing, and connecting.  The past 2 years I have neglected it far more because of work and sheer laziness.  Maybe I've also neglected it because maybe, deep down, I've been moving in a different direction.  Don't get me wrong, I will always be a nerd.  That's not going away no matter how hard I try to cover is in skinny jeans and fake nails and other crap girls are supposed to like.  The thing is, I don't know where the direction is.  My second to last post focused on the idea of re-inventing myself and this blog.  I still have no answers.  I keep writing and writing, hoping a shinny "AH HA!" moment will rain down on me like divine light.  Part of me thinks I should just keep doing what I've always been doing and just have fun.  Another part of me wants to try something new.  As usual, I am in conflict with myself.  

I guess I want to make a new years resolution of sorts for my identity as the Patchwork Nerd....but I just don't know what goal to make.  Do I pledge to write more articles?  Do I vow to branch out and try new topics and material?  Do I start doing creative writing here like poems and short stories?  Do I finally start writing a novel?  Do I just plan to stop writing retrospective blogs that drone on and on and on and on?  I wish I knew what to do.  I could poll you all, but that's not fair.  I can't expect others to always find my answers.  I tend to lean on the crutch a bit too much.  Maybe my only goal will be to keep moving forward and trying.  

Perhaps....

Only time will tell.   

So in a very round about way, Happy New Years guys!  Take care and keep working hard.  I will keep trying to find my goal, my purpose, and my direction.  If only I could look two ways at once, right?

(I've been watching a LOT of Naruto lately) 

Tootles xoxo