Monday, April 29, 2013

Something in the wind.

 
This weather has been stealing me away, and I love it! I broke out the tank tops yesterday - it was very exciting. Warm weather like this always puts a smile on my face, and again, it makes me all the more anxious for when the summer comes.
 
With the warm weather also comes "cupcake season" - Mom and I tend to bake more in the late spring/early summertime and scarf the pastries down while relaxing in the yard. This is also around the time where I often make my little oreo truffle bites (passed down to me by Amanda, though I changed up the process/ingredients a bit). I've got a bit of following for them after last summer, though they were deemed the "black balls" by the Fuego guys and co. Hilarious, I know.
 
 
My frosting skills leaves something to be desired, but hey, these things disappear quickly anyways so who cares? :)
 
This time of the year also televises the really fun end of the season/readying for the NCAA tourney lacrosse games. I got into lacrosse my freshman year of GMC, when I would cheer on my friends playing in the first year of the program at the school. When my volleyball teammate later turned roommate the year after, Amanda joined the team, she wanted me to join with her. In the beginning, I refused. Junior year came around, and my mind changed. I had the intention of playing then, until I found out the school had messed up my credit count and I had to take 18 credits during the semester lacrosse was going to happen (I had to take two 18 credit semesters to graduate on time, so I didn't have the full senior year schedule that I originally planned for). 18 credits as a writing major AND a resident assistant is the worst thing to deal with, especially when you add sports to the mix. So I ended up joining lacrosse in my senior year. It also made up for the fiasco that occurred in what was supposed to be my final season in volleyball, and I still say to this day that I don't regret quitting when I did as well as joining the lax team then. Best time of my life, really. It also solidified my loyalty to Syracuse lacrosse, since I was watching a lot of their past games to help me learn some things (I'm a visual learner, which I'm sure isn't surprising to many of you). So when they had the Syracuse vs. Notre Dame game on Saturday, you can bet that "Sports Mel" was out and about.
 
"Party Mel" was about and about on Saturday night too, at the Stats re-launch. Two words: Patio Punch. Anyone in the area should definitely grab one of those...you won't be sorry, I promise you. The food is great too, and it's definitely more fun now than when it first opened up. Woo.
 
Mistress of Blackwen has returned in terms of my writing it, and while the last week was the lowest word count I have ever dished out (5,129), I'm not worried. Yes, it did scare me at first that I only wrote that much, but the truth is, I'd rather it be that much in a week than nothing at all. The story comes when it wants to, and I will admit that last week had much distractions emotionally. There's just something in the air lately...and I'm just waiting it out now. No worries though, I will still be working like a madwoman when I need to.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Nature's calling.


First off, Happy Earth Day! It is yet another beautiful day here in Santa Fe.

Last week I've managed to finish my content edit of Mistress of Blackwen. It was the first time where I expected to slash sections away, but somehow that didn't happen. It seemed that things still worked as they are right now, though there had been quite a few changes. This is also the first time where the "additions" didn't expand the word count/page count like my past edits. The new total word count is sitting at 81,782 (only 975 new words added to the edit), and it only expanded to two extra pages (from 227 to 229). My extra pair of "eyes" will be looking over the new draft during the week as well, so I'm sure the counts will change again once I get her opinion. Either way, I'm just happy to get back to writing. I might even take the laptop to the backyard, just to be able to enjoy the nice weather that's been around again.

Speaking of the nice weather, Mom and I have been letting Shadow run free in the backyard. We have a high enough fence/barrier in the back portion of our yard, so it's safe enough for him to be leash-free there. He has been doing so well! Shadow has done better in responding to our calls when outside, and when he wants to go back inside the house, he waits patiently by the gate and just gives us a look. It bodes well for when Mom and I would want to spend time in the yard too. Shadow hasn't done this to when he goes out with Mom, but with me, there'll be moments where he'll just plop down on the garden and he'll give me a look that undeniably says, "You can leave now, I'm sunbathing". I love it.

The nice weather lately had me thinking about how much I'm anticipating the summertime. Last summer, I spent most of my time at Fort Marcy Park watching the Santa Fe Fuego baseball games. It's a worst kept secret that I love baseball, and I did know some of the players so it was another reason why I was a bit of a die hard fan. Last summer was also when I made the decision to be a full-time writer, and actually sat myself down to work on book one (if I still worked at Loretto, I don't think I'd be finished with book one and I would never have been able to watch so much baseball). I was thinking about how much I do miss going to baseball games, but I don't foresee myself going to the Fuego games as often as I had last summer. Sure, maybe a few throughout the season, but not every home game again. I'd actually like to see more of the Isotopes games (the minor league team for the Dodgers), since I've only been to one since I've moved out here. I of all people know that nothing ever goes the way we plan it, but when this summer comes, I'd like to spend more time adventuring and writing. I've got Shadow now too, so the adventuring part would be more anticipated than anything else. I'd like to check out more of the live music events at the Plaza and the Railyard, and since I actually like beer now, my wallet won't suffer as much. I'm also anticipating more barbeques, since we actually have room to host friends now. In a way, I would be keeping some traditions, but I'm looking forward to doing something different this time around. I will admit that when there actually are Yankee games televised on this end of the world, I'll happily be a hermit during that time.

I've also realized that by this time next month, I will be in NYC/NJ for a week. This is probably the first time where I find myself indifferent about traveling. I want to see people, there's no doubt about that, but I actually don't want to go back to New York and New Jersey. I haven't missed it since I've been out here...minus the friends and food part. To be honest, there are some things I'd like to avoid on my trip there, and I think it's what is making me nervous about my "return" there. Some demons, if you will. Yes, we have to face our demons at some point in our lives, but when those "demons" refuse to understand why you've made the choices you've made...well, I'd rather have conversations with a brick wall. The mountains have ensnared me...and I already know the sight of skyscrapers, the noise, the light pollution, and the grumpy people I do know over there are going to sadden me. Again, there are people I do want to see and I still plan on making it to Hoboken and Lakewood for those certain people...but I'll say now that none of you should be surprised or be offended when I say that I miss Santa Fe when I'm over there. It's also going to take a lot for me not to be the crazy dog parent pestering our friend who will be watching over Shadow during our trip.

If there's beautiful weather where you are, don't waste it. People don't spend much time outdoors anymore, and it's a shame. There's nothing better than lying out on the grass, staring into the sky, and listening to the music the wind and trees make. Also...who doesn't enjoy a barbeque or a cold drink while lounging on an Adirondack chair? ;)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Flaws.

 

"I'm looking for my Prince Charming." You have no idea how many times I've heard that from gals throughout the years. I love a good fairy tale as much as the next person, but what's really the big deal about Prince Charming? Why him? Why not someone like Aladdin, or why not the Beast? They've got something to offer, do they not? Why not go for them? And then of course, I remember that we live in a world where 98% of the people desire perfection above all. Most gals want to be rescued and be taken care of for the rest of their lives (which isn't always a bad thing, but that's not the point I'm trying to make), and most guys want the broken girls because then they can feel that they're fulfilling the "rescuing" role and the gal wouldn't dare argue back. But what about those who don't want to be rescued? What about those who just want to find someone as crazy as they are, and break down that ideal?

Growing up, I only ever wanted rescuing from my mom and friends, but even then, it would be like pulling teeth from a stubborn toddler. I was always the one who wanted to help people, and didn't care much for my own well-being. As long as someone was smiling, that's all that mattered. Nowadays, I still do my best to help the ones I love, but I take better emotional care of myself. I don't try to fix people anymore (unless they want advice and whatnot), because of all people, I know what it's like to be trapped in the dark, cold abyss of pain and misery. The only true way to escape is to do so yourself. Yes, there can be help along the way, but the only one who can lead you to the light is YOU. I had to learn the hard way that being human isn't considered a weakness, and that there's no shame in vocalizing the need for that helping hand. There's no shame to admitting that things are wrong and it isn't a weakness when someone else can see that crack in that normally stoic shell. That was the hardest lesson I ever had to learn, and I admit that sometimes I still struggle with that. I never liked showing when I was sad and hurt, though I never had an issue showing my anger (truth be told, I would never even release the full extent of the anger). In a way, it was just necessary because whenever my anger did surface, it was a way to warn off others that it's better to keep the pleasant, usually smiling Mel out and about rather than intentionally provoking me. But again, the point is that there's no shame in showing what one really feels.

That being said, I still have no desire of finding a "Prince Charming". I never wanted to be rescued, nor do I have any need to be. I like the flawed guys. When people can admit their flaws...that's the most wonderful thing, really. It shows a person's true character. If they do nothing to help themselves though, then I'm running away (well...it does depend on the kind of flaw, really). A guiding hand can only do so much, you know? I guess it's another reason why "Beauty and the Beast" has always been my favorite fairy tale (besides the fact that the heroine is a bookworm). Yes, it's basically about trying to love someone for who they are rather than what they look like, but it's the character flaws that really get to me. Yes, the Beast was a selfish, spoiled royal. He treated everyone like crap. Karma hit him, and he was miserable. Yes, Belle technically "rescued" him, but the point is that he moved past the misery and selfishness because he truly loved her. The man gave her a library, for crying out loud! Gods, if a man ever did that for me, I'm his forever. He'll be stuck with my emotionally masochistic episodes (mainly because of demanding characters) and he will have to learn to deal with the "writer mode" until the end of his days. I won't even get started on the sports fanatic aspect of myself. But I'd be his, in a manner of speaking.

I also think that my love for flaws comes through with my characters. In a lot of my works, my ultimate main character has always been female. She might not always start out as the beloved warrior woman, but it's the journey to becoming one that always warms the heart. Yes, I have plenty of strong, but flawed male characters as well, but they were never the "Prince Charming" type. My male characters often do have the need to protect, yes, but they do get yelled at now and then about how the female characters can very well take care of themselves. Nine times out of ten, the male characters tend to be the protective, yet overly sarcastic pains in the ass...but that's what I love. Even the villains I've created...they're crazy strong female characters with their own whacked set of flaws and who pretty much manipulate and break everyone around them. I've nothing against male villains (I have plenty of those, after all), but female villains have proven to be more fun to write about. There are days where I feel like this when I'm working with these characters:

 

Truth be told though, even with the occasional frustrations, this is how I am at the end of the day:


Emotional masochism is one of my flaws...but I wouldn't have it any other way. Without it, I wouldn't be able to create the characters so dear to my heart. Without it, I would be a different kind of friend/daughter/relative to those I care about.


For those who want their "Prince Charming", keep him. I only want the crazy, flawed guy who wants to be as wild as I can be.

On a final note, I'm still going through a content edit of Mistress of Blackwen. I even worked on it during the weekend, since I hit a bit of a rough patch during the week. I could very well be done with the edits on Wednesday, but we shall see. I'm not in a rush. Considering that I've even whipped out a poem after not doing so for a nearly a year, I know I'll be ready to write again once the edits and the transfers to the electronic version will be done. The other upside to the rough patch is that the voices finally quieted down concerning book 3. Thank the gods for that...and may they help me when they cause a ruckus once book 2 is done.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Taming the beast.

I have no word counts to report, as I am still going through a content edit of Mistress of Blackwen. I haven't made a dent in it yet, *nervous laughter*. I also went back to reread Child of Blackwen, and I'm amazed at how different it feels compared to book 2. This is good though, since book 2 was supposed to have a darker feel. I am definitely in need of a copyeditor though...I know there are things in Child of Blackwen that I've missed.

I'm still thinking more about book 3 than the completion of book 2. One suggestion given to me was that once I do finish book 2, I should take a small break, and then perhaps work on the storyline I created for my senior piece. It sounded like a good idea at first, but I think I might just take the small break once I do finish Mistress of Blackwen, and then just continue on with the series. I might start penning down some stuff for Shadow Walker though...

So it becomes another week of the red sharpie. I don't mind the writing "delay" though, since it's been beautiful outside lately. Nothing beats lounging around on the front porch, after all. That's what I miss from the GMC days actually - being able to work out on Moses lawn when the weather's just right. I do enjoy hearing my ravens and crows out here...just sayin'.

Speaking of GMC, there were moments on Saturday where I felt like I was back there. I was watching some bands play for most of the night in this coffee shop and it was pretty nifty. It reminded me of the coffee house in the basement of Moses Hall :).

Considering the beautiful weather that's been around, Mom and I actually got a chance to go down to the plaza yesterday. We picked up some fresh sage to help purify the house (we've had some mischievous spirits around...so much to the point where I could not sleep in my room for three nights in a row. You have no idea how frustrating that is!), picked up a new piece of hematite (I used to have one back in college...until I lent it to the bro and he "lost" it...thanks Evan :P), and picked up a new amethyst pendant (purple is a color of protection, fyi). And yes, I actually got to sleep in my own room last night after acquiring those items. All is well in the realm again.

Except in maybe episode 2 of the 3rd season of Game of Thrones...*insert meme explaining how emotionally masochistic we fans are*.

And speaking of changes...this spring seems to filled with them. More than usual, it feels like. Well, all I can say is that I've been enjoying the changes that have come my way :).

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mischief Managed.

Game of Thrones season 3...I'm already going nuts. I'm pretty grateful that I had already read all of the books that are out right now, because there were several moments where I was like, umm that's NOT from book 3. So, for those of you who prefer reading the books before watching the shows, this season is pretty much forcing you to read them all before you can actually watch. Can't argue against the fact that they're trying to keep us on our toes...but good job guys, you've officially screwed the people who wanted to read the books and watch the show at the same time (and there are tons of those, considering all the Facebook statuses I have seen so far). I'm happy Game of Thrones is back, don't get me wrong, but could we also get some scenes that were important in the book into the show? Please? I will say though that I liked how they've made the dragons. They don't seem fake at all to me. Thank the gods, because that would have upset me if they seemed too computer animated.

 
Guess it's also obvious that I have been continuing my Yu Yu Hakusho marathon. It's sort of a tradition to do so, the marathon. I've lost count on how many times Mom and I have done so, but it never really gets old. We love it too much :). I'm up to the Chapter Black saga at this point, which helps since it gives me some things to think about for the final setting of Mistress of Blackwen. I had forgotten just how crazy that season was. And the final setting of book 2 is supposed to be crazy...at least, that's what my mind is telling me anyways.
 
And speaking of book 2, I had a slow week. I only had a total of 6,574 words. There was also the matter of the fact that The Hobbit came in one of those days, so naturally...I didn't work. I wouldn't have been able to even if I wanted to...the excitement tends to overpower everything else. It's ok though. I did get a total of 33,618 words for the month of March, and the manuscript is at a total of 80,807 words with 227 pages. I could very well finish the first draft by the end of this month...if I don't encounter any blocks. Hopefully the trek to the Cross of the Martyrs will help lessen the small block I've got going on today. And besides...you can't really waste a beautiful day, now can you?
 
I hope everyone had a good Easter as well. Mom and I made a ninja themed Easter egg decorations, and we spent the entire day watching Game of Thrones. Can't get any better than that, I don't think. And it's officially baseball season again. Life is good. I don't forsee myself spending as much time at the Fuego games this summer as I had in the last one, but that only means I'll have more time to watch my Yanks. Say what you will, non-Yanks fans, I will always be a Yankees faithful. I'll miss seeing Jeter and Tex on the field for a bit, but I am soooo happy A-Rod isn't there right now. Stay injured for the whole season man...you're pretty much done, and you've served your purpose on having our shared last name on a Yankee jersey. You can go now.
 
On a final note, I got to see Oz over the weekend :). Ashley, if you're reading this, you were right!