February

Dear February,

January was a terrible month for too many amazing people. Please do better.

You are the shortest month, even with your extra day this year, but all the short people I know are fierce and awesome. Please be like them. Especially the awesome.

Joelmas

So Kiri, my Seattle Roommate of Amazing Talent and Awesomeness, started Joelmas a few years ago after she lost her brother to depression. She explains it over on her vlog.

In honor of her brother Joel, she has christened January 30 as Joelmas: a day to take for ourselves and no one else – or at least to do one thing just for you. Because self-care is integral to mental health.

Today, I celebrated by having lunch with a wonderful friend I had seen all of twice since August. We talked about creative things, and life, and frustrations. Now I feel more grounded and focused.

And I took my car through the carwash, because I find it incredibly soothing and relaxing. Bonus: a clean car.

Who else celebrated Joelmas, even if this blog post is the first you’ve heard of it? What is one thing you did for you?

Good Bye

We buried my brother-in-law today. My sister’s husband. He battled a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer for the past three years.

The call came from my grandmother at 4:47am Sunday, January 17. By the end of the day, I was in Massachusetts.

I’m no good at eulogies, and I’m certainly not the best person to give his. Anything I can say comes out wrong. When someone dies, there should be more than platitudes.

He had hope. A lot of hope, for a long while. I don’t know how anyone can conjure up that much hope, and I admire him for that.

He loved my sister. Loved her the way she deserves to be loved.

And my sister has shown so much strength these last few years, and especially in this past week. I am in awe.

I can’t even imagine the hell she is going through. I watched her all throughout the funeral today and the wake yesterday – not looking for the breaks but to be there when she needed me.

This woman is amazing, and I am honored that she is my sister.

Thank you, Justin, for being my brother. Thank you for everything you were and are to my sister. Thank you. And good bye.

Priorities

As I made up my list of goals for this year, I noticed a shift in my priorities. That list is posted over on Anxiety Ink, if you’re curious.

(A recap of my Year of Being Crafty, as I dubbed 2015 at the start, will come soon. Spoiler: it was pretty good.)

What I want – what I’m hoping for – out of 2016 relies on other people. I am doing whatever possible to get there, whether writing the words or going to the auditions, and hoping for the best.

 

This means my travel plans are ambiguous because even the conventions I attend take a backseat to shows I may or may not be cast in.

It’s weird to relinquish so much active control. Good-weird.

But it is slightly exasperating not to be able to schedule my year. That’s the control freak peaking out. I still maintain that one of my subconscious reasons for building a house in the year or two after Dad died was to give myself something I could control.

I have the feeling this is going to be an interesting year…

Introvert or Extrovert?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

In excellent news, I’m still alive. Sorry for the vanishing act.

Life is good. Just every once in a while, I fall off the face of the earth. Can’t say for sure where I go, but emails languish in my inbox – read, but never replied to – and Facebook tags vanish into obscurity until no one remembers (I hope).

I see them. All of them.  Replying, on the other hand, takes energy that I either don’t have or would rather spend elsewhere.

Stumbled across this article on extroverted introverts and it got me thinking.

I’m an ambivert. I hover somewhere between the polarities of introvert and extrovert. This is a wide and varied range, and I am freakishly smack dab in the middle.

Going out with friends? Love it. A huge part of me wishes I lived closer to what most of the world calls civilization. (There are so many times when a two hour round trip just isn’t worth it.) I love getting out and doing things, but I also require a certain amount of downtime when I can snuggle my husband, or read, or write, or binge on Netflix.

And of course the necessary evil day job is the biggest energy drain of them all.

Sometimes, my skin itches with the need to go somewhere and do something. Sometimes, I want to burrow in my bed and hibernate, and even the though of being social is exhausting.

The need to hibernate is most intense when the days are shorter. If it’s dark when I leave work, I want to go home and do nothing.

Longer daylight? Anything is possible.

The introvert side began to dominate earlier than normal. That has a lot to do with my disappearance. Every time I thought about posting, I convinced myself I had nothing to say. But that’s not true, and this blog is important to me. So on my list of goals for 2016, I’ve included this blog: more frequent and more consistent posts.

After all, even though it’s still dark when I leave work, the days are already getting longer.

Distractions

This week’s distractions:

  • Signing up for a master class in acting, put on by a local professional theater company.
  • Working on my Halloween costume, which requires sewing lessons with my grandmother.
  • The program (tentative) for the World Fantasy Convention next month. This year’s focus is on epic fantasy, which is much more my flavor than last year’s military fantasy.
  • Deciding to join NaNoWriMo.

I haven’t attempted a proper NaNo in . . . years. A few months ago, I would have told you that I’m not doing it and never will again.

National Novel Writing Month: when the month of November becomes all about producing a 50,000 word manuscript. I swore I’d never do it again. I should know better.

My goal is not the word count; it’s to break the procrastination habits that have become so bad. And if I manage to hit 50,000 words while I’m at it, that would be awesome, too.

New Play Festival

In addition to the overflow of ideas in September, some bizarre part of me thought it would be an excellent idea to sign up for the 24 Hour New Play Festival.

As a writer.

This is how it works: a group of awesomely insane people get together on a Friday night and split into teams of writer/director/actors. We had a few hours of ice breakers and improv games – teams getting to know each other and writers desperately scrambling for ideas. (Or maybe that was just me.) A professional playwright came out to workshop ideas with the writers.

I got home at 10:30pm – after getting up at 5am for a long day of work – made myself some caffeine, and sat down to write a play. 1:30am I stumbled into bed, to get up less than five hours later and read it over before emailing it by our deadline.

It was still a rough draft when I sent it out.

After that, the directors took over, with some input from the writers. The shows went onstage before an audience at 7pm.

My group was amazing. And, hey, it was recorded, so you should totally go watch them be wonderful.