Nighttime ramblings about muchness…

impossibleIt’s so funny that this boy-crazy girl ended up alone. I spent all my life growing up dreaming hopeless romantic dreams and molding myself into the kind of person I thought would be perfect for someone else. My mistake was thinking all men who paid me any attention would be doing the same. My mom always used to tell me I attracted the wrong type, and it took me years to understand what she meant.

When I started getting tired of the abuse and living in fear of angering my now ex, or worse, my kids angering him and getting a taste of his wrath, I rediscovered myself and found some new things to cling to and give me a sense of “muchness” and enjoyment of life, since my marriage was making me wish I was dead. I found steampunk and pirates, and remembered that I used to love music, writing, and art. I involved the kids in all of this and probably drove them crazy most of the time, but we had a lot of fun in an otherwise dark existence.

After I left, it still took me a while to learn how to be happy on my own. I’m a lone pirate (I still love pirates and steampunk, obviously), and I imagine myself still being alone when the kids are gone–except maybe having a dog for companionship and protection.

I’m not seeking a co-captain of my ship, but I’m not ruling it out either. I still consider my best traits to be the ones I developed when I was trying to be the ideal person for someone else: love, loyalty, passion, kindness, compassion, empathy, humor. Only now, he has to be worthy of all that and to have the same traits himself.

In realizing I’m a pretty damn awesome solo pirate captain of my own ship, with a fiercely loyal and amazing crew, I think I’ve finally learned that the best way to be ready to let someone else into your life is to not only be okay with–but to love the idea of–being alone and being the kind of person you always wanted to be. For yourself.

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Sometimes things don’t go as planned

rejectionAlmost four years ago, I got my long-dreamed-for acceptance letter and had one of the happiest days of my life. Lots of events happened between then and now–things for another post. Sadly, work on my book stalled for unknown reasons, and my publisher and I have parted ways. I still think they’re a good publisher that has produced some exciting speculative, steampunk, and horror books, but it wasn’t meant to be.

When one door closes another opens, blah blah blah… Yes, I think I’m being guided down a different path. Where that path will take me, I don’t yet know. But I’m actively pursuing publication again. For now, I’m querying agents, but I’m also not ruling out the possibility of going indie. One day at a time, one baby step at a time. For those who still care, I’ll keep you posted. For anyone just finding out your weird socially awkward friend writes books, stay tuned! You’ll want to read them. 🙂

Cover Reveal!

No, it’s not for Cobalt, but now that I have your attention, today I’m spotlighting another Xchyler author, Ben Ireland – who is apparently not Irish, but Australian and lives in Texas. Awesome. So Ben’s exciting news is that his second book with the X, Kingdom City: Revolt, is going to release in a couple months, and all of us at the X are freaking out about his new cover today, the best day of the year.

I’m just going to get straight to the candy first (ahaha, candy, Halloween, you see what I did there?) and let y’all geek out a little over the book trailer:

I love the dark, edgy art theme for this series. In case you missed it, here’s the cover spread, including the back cover copy:

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About Ben Ireland:

Ben Ireland 200x240Ben churns out his prose from his home in Southeast Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children, and works in IT. When he isn’t writing, he’s either thinking about writing, or he’s driving his wife insane talking about his novel ideas. His work has appeared in two X-anthologies: “Kissed a Snake” in A Dash of Madness: a Thriller Anthology (July 2013), and “Fairykin” in Moments in Millennia: a Fantasy Anthology(January 2014). His first novel, Kingdom City: Resurrection was published in February 2014.

Find Ben on Facebook, Twitter, and his website Ben Ireland Books.

KCR_200x274Take a look at Xchyler’s other books here. Oooh, can you see why I can’t freaking wait to see what they come up with for Cobalt??

And now I’m off to get into my kids’ candy stashes have a lovely Halloween with my family!

halloween

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Arachnophobia 2: Terror at the Library

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He’s probably hunting for bookworms.

I don’t know if you’d call this arachnophobia or something else. I’m at the library so I can work on some procrastination while the kids play on their computers. Suddenly this giant wolf spider appears from beneath the armchair next to me. I don’t freak out or scream – this is a library after all (the same couldn’t be said for my daughter Emily).

I also decide not to stomp on the spider. Even though I’ve been known to drop everything and rip my shirt off screaming if I even think a spider’s on my clothes, I don’t just kill them for no reason. I’ll put them in jars with lids and leave them on the kitchen counter for the kids to discover when they get home. Then I’ll throw them in the backyard.

So this hairy little horrifying thing stops just two feet shy of my sandals and is clearly considering climbing up my leg, and I can’t scoot any farther away without crawling onto the arm of my seat. We’re at a stalemate. I can’t concentrate on my law blogs, because I have to keep one eye on the spider. I consider moving, but I’d have to unplug my laptop from the outlet on the floor and that not only risks getting my hands close to the spider, but I will win this fight, dammit. I’m not that much of a wimp.

I pull out a library receipt and use it to flick the spider away. He’s having none of it. He turns around as if to charge, and I quickly find out that my feet fit quite nicely onto the end table next to my chair.

Losing interest (and probably thinking he’s won), the spider turns around and makes for the nearest table of computers. Still uncomfortably within range in case he’s deciding to wait it out and catch me by surprise again.

Let me just mention that some of the people who sit on the computers at the library are – interesting people – and I’m all too aware that with my feet up off the floor while nervously glancing around every few seconds, I definitely fall into this category.

The spider is currently hiding out under the computer chair nearest me, but I can’t keep an eye on him without leaning over to the side and peering around the chair leg. I realize it looks as if I’m acutely interested in the feet of the man in the next chair over, who looks to be having a lot of fun on Twitter and keeps swearing under his breath.

The productive library session I’d planned is, as usual, not very productive at all. And now I’ve lost sight of the spider. Definitely time to go home.

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Blog blog noodle noodle

So at the beginning of January, I got excited about finishing Cobalt and all the other positive changes that are happening in our lives, so I got bold and tempted fate with a Facebook status update guaranteed to induce an epic fail:

Sure enough, within a couple of days, the epic fail showed up like this:
The van was totaled, and now I’m stuck at home with a serious case of cabin fever. I hate losing my independence! Plus, it was my mom’s van I broke. 😦 She’s just glad we’re all okay.
I’m not one to be daunted, however. Cobalt‘s rewriting is going well, I’ve lost six pounds, and I’m gaining all kinds of editing experience with my new work responsibilities. And I narrowly avoided another fail by deciding to keep my phone’s insurance when I was in the AT&T store a couple weeks ago trying to get my bill reduced. The very next day, my smartphone decided to derp out. So my insurance mostly covered a shiny new Android without requiring a new contract or anything.
On the subject of fails, texting fails are some of my favorites. I’ve had a few good ones, like this one when I was apparently sleep-texting Emily:
All I remember about this is that I actually thought I was answering her question when she was reading Cobalt.
Another good one:
Here, Anya got ahold of my new phone.
Autocorrect struggles are my very favorite kind:
I had a lot more like those saved on my old phone, but they were forever lost when it died.
Now it’s time to take care of my procrastinating fail, I guess, and start working on my legal articles!

Why Are We Not Laughing?!

Correction: Why am I not laughing? Well, I do laugh every day but I haven’t done my blog funnies in a while. Does anyone miss them? Does anyone even read my blog since I got all boring and angsty??

My laptop is crying right now.

I’d do this. Would you do it? I totally would.

Suddenly I stopped eating Oreos for the rest of my life

Aw, Sweet Brown. She’s talking about Oreo Spider!

Pretty much my sentiments exactly about this season. I have faith the finale will redeem itself, though. Thoughts?

BABY SLOTHS SO CUTE
I’m dying. I was like, “What is the internet’s sudden obsession with sloths? Have they replaced kittehs as the new meme, I don’t underst…AAAHAHAHAHA”
And finally, these total dorks cracking me up at a party at the YMCA. I especially love how they just get into it at the end when the Y employee starts dancing with them!

This time last year:

Being Your Own Reviewer? – I reviewed my books honestly, then glowingly, then hated on myself. Fun stuff! Oh, and a short Cobalt excerpt too.

Judging a Book By Its Cover and GRRAGHBLAGRAGH

I was just complaining a few minutes ago that I’ve had nothing to blog about for weeks, so I decided to just make something to blog about. :B I remembered a funny thing about books that happened a little while ago.

Way back when my oldest was about 7, we were at the library and I was looking for some good “chapter books” to read to her. I picked up this one whose cover looked mildly interesting, and read the inside jacket blurb. I came really close to checking the book out, then decided it sounded cliched and dull, and I put it back. I’ll tell you what book it was after the following interlude (kinda like a more entertaining way of doing that “scroll down for the spoiler thing that some posts do)…

So this is a comic that Lia and Emily came up with late one night (late night is when it gets all crazy up in here) called “The Adventures of GRRAGHBLAGRAGH.” I’m unofficially the star in the comic because they kept tagging me as the star on Facebook, especially after they made three in a row and I started yelling, “DO YOUR HOMEWORK EMILY!” The comic has kind of turned into an undersea representation of our everyday lives…

The scary sea monster is apparently my mom.

Alrighty, spoiler scroll is done. Here’s the book I turned down. A week or so after that library visit, the 4th book in the series had just been released and there was a piece on the news about some excitement with its fans. That got my attention. I’ll forever regret not discovering it on my own before the news told me it was popular and I should probably read it.

Really??

Have you ever judged a book by its cover (not like the Harry Potter covers are really bad at all, anyway) and then later found out the book you put down was actually super awesome?

This time last year:

RIP Laptop (at least until it’s resurrected) – My laptop is doing something stupid again because I dropped it. Actually, I fell asleep and kicked it off the couch onto a hardwood floor. They tend to get all butthurt when you do that.

Here’s a nice angry song because things have just been ticking me off today…