Baby Steps

Oh, guess what! I finished editing that crazy montage video I was telling y’all about. It’s at the end of my post, along with another funny video, but read all this first because it is a writing blog after all and I like my peeps to read what I write. I’ll know if you don’t, and then I’ll break into your house and steal all your cookies.

So anyway, I don’t know if it’s PTSD, anxiety, or what, but ever since our big move, it doesn’t take much to completely shut me down. Just the simple acts of checking my email or replying to Facebook PMs exhaust me after maybe three or four messages. Same with phone calls and making appointments. I have to go grocery shopping every three or four days to get smaller amounts at at time, instead of once a week, or I’ll get overwhelmed by too many items in my cart. And forget about my writing and my blog. I’ve always been a bit of a flaky airhead, but the former me looks like a responsible adult in comparison. 😉

Well, after several months of learning to cope, and adjusting to a new life and routine, I’m finding myself able to handle a little more at a time each day. Well…kind of. I haven’t checked my email in almost two weeks – the thought of it makes my chest tight, for no good reason. But catching up on my email and setting up some important doctor appointments is on my list for next week. Baby steps.
This time last year, we were in a rough place, but I had no idea how challenging things were about to get. This challenge is far from over, but being in a safe, peaceful place makes all the difference. And thanks to my job, I’m writing about 2000 words almost every day, and even getting in a little fiction writing now and then. Each day I feel like I’m able to accomplish a little more. I’m excited to be blogging and writing again, and I’m even feeling up to catching up on my friends’ blogs. It’s been a long time.

Laughter really is the best medicine, and it’s something that has never left our lives. It seems like my family gives me no shortage of material to work with! The following is a video I took a couple days ago of Emily’s poor kitty Crybaby. He’s not used to a collar, but had to wear one because he was being treated for a rash and needed a cone (he’s doing fine now). Poor guy, the collar kinda broke his brain.

And now, finally, this video here that can just be summed up by saying a combination of any of the following scenes happen in my house on a daily basis. I should probably be immune to such weirdness by now, but the kids still make me cry tears of laughter all the time. Their madness keeps me sane. 🙂

This time last year in my blog:

What Happens When I Leave My Laptop Open – just Lia being the Queen Troll that she is.

It’s Epic Pain Time – The hubby is no longer in the picture, but this post is one of my favorites because funny, and no matter where I move, my accident-prone feet will always come with me. Earlier today, I found a two-inch-long sewing needle in my houseplant (don’t ask what it was doing there, but I once found a dried octopus in my houseplant, so I wasn’t surprised). Miraculously, I found the needle before my feet did.

Oh holy cow, it’s 2:30 in the morning. I gotta run. To my bed! And I’m planning a writing post for reals next time!

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I Was Missed??

My friend Elizabeth just wrote the sweetest post on her blog griping about my absence in the blogging world lately, so I’m dedicating this post to her. Nothing fancy today, no writing updates, just pure unadulterated silliness.

I think it’s important to instill the love of reading in your children. Even if, in my house, it means reading isn’t necessarily a quiet activity…

The following is a lovely (if lovely is a synonym for brutal) game my daughters play.

Lia really does have scars on her hands from playing “the eraser game” a couple years ago. The rules of this game are simple: You sit there and let the other person vigorously erase the skin off the back of your hand with a pencil eraser while singing the alphabet. Don’t hold me responsible for whatever happens if any of you try it! I didn’t participate. I saw what it did to them!

One more, Emily’s recent foray into class assignment movies (topic: the basilisk for her myths and legends class). As with all their assignment videos, there are bloopers at the end:

I had this really great compilation video of all the girls’ most insane moments, but my video editor crashed when I was almost done saving it and now I’ll have to start all over. It’s worth it, though (as in, pee your pants hilarious), so I’ll start working on it again soon.

Thank you Liz, for making me feel loved and missed! Here’s a big squishy kiss for you.

So until my next post (I’m planning something writing-related), here’s one more thingy that’s freaking awesome:

Oh! And here’s what happened this time last year:

How To Give This Momma a Heart Attack. Also, Some Music and Stuffs – Wow, I’ve come so far in Cobalt. Some cool steampunk music from a cool steampunk game, and Lia really misses her backstage job.

The Good, the Bad, the Funny, and the Freakout – My shoulders are still killing me (guess I should see a doctor?), and I think the fanmade video of The Hunger Games had more emotional depth than the official movie scene. Still looking forward to the next movies, though. 🙂

I Suck Because…

I dropped off the face of the earth for weeks! And stuff has been happening, it’s not like I’ve just been this boring lump the whole time – well, today I have, but I have a reason for that. Broken foot or sprained ankle or something. Whatever.

I mean, I haven’t even been replying to my comments! Bad author. Very bad. I’ll fix that as soon as I’m done posting this. So as for the stuff that’s been happening – I like bullet lists. Bullet lists are cool. I’m going to use one now:

  • I’m not working at Michael’s anymore; we’d thought we were moving to Boise, but that fell through. At any rate, I discovered retail is not my thing, so I’m back at Denny’s, starting tomorrow night. Apparently I’m a great server. 😉 I’m actually pretty excited about it. I miss my old co-workers and my awesome regular customers. I’m just not looking forward to all that walking on a bad foot, even though you’d think I’d be used to my bad feet by now.
  • Speaking of my foot: I was doing Couch to 5K, a beginner’s running program, with Lia. It was awesome. I loved it! And then I did something stupid with my left foot about a week and a half ago, got x-rays that were inconclusive, and every step since then has been agony. But, since I don’t give up (or maybe I just don’t learn), as soon as it’s healed I’m starting back up with the program.
  • Our Behind the Steam blog with my friend Alyssa has been taking off, and we’re busy with interviews and album reviews! More on that later in this post…
  • I’m changing my author name to my maiden name, either Kristin Baker or Kristin Marie Baker. Which means I need to change my blog banner…
  • The full manuscript of The Moongate is on an editor’s desk. *insert Snoopy happy dance here* I know I keep waffling between self-publishing and small presses – I think I gave up on the small presses too soon. All it took was a very kind request for a full to pull me out of that slump. I haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to researching small presses, and I don’t like giving up without fully exploring my options.
Now about Behind the Steam! Oh my glob, we had such an awesome interview last week! The following picture, that’s me just before the Skype interview took off. Yes, this extremely glamorous author and blogger does her band interviews in the bathtub. It’s the comfiest place I can lock myself away from noisy kids when I’m trying to be professional and all (hard to do when half the time I’m being a giggly, nervous fangirl), and the acoustics are good, since my laptop’s mic is pretty crappy.
You guys might know I have this huge fangirl obsession with a little steampunk robot band called Steam Powered Giraffe… That’s right, we interviewed the band’s very own Rabbit (the crazy guy with the pirate hat in the following video), and the podcast is up now on our blog. Also – the girls burst into tears and killed me when they discovered I interviewed Rabbit without telling them. Oops! Well anyway, go check it out right here!

I know a few weeks ago for the Monday funny I promised a hysterical video, but it’s not quite finished yet. There’s one other scene I want to shoot first, to give y’all the full slap-in-the-face effect that is my family at their nuttiest. With my graveyard work schedule this week, I probably won’t get it done on time for this Monday, but I do have some funny pictures saved for the occasion – I’m really going to try to post more regularly. Since the last few funny Mondays were nothing more than a dark void of suckitude on my part, I’ll leave you all with a video that sums up my thoughts on summertime quite perfectly:

Oh Never Mind, I Can’t Stay Away Y’all!

I was doing some grumbling on Facebook, which is against character for me, but I’ve been grumbling a lot lately. I usually try to stay upbeat and save the drama rantings for my family members. But some of you already know what’s been going on, and for those who don’t yet, don’t feel left out. I’m not really one for sweeping things under the rug, and I fully believe some bad secrets need airing out or they’ll end up stinking something horrible. Plus, I’m about to become an advocate for this cause, which means secrecy is pretty much out. But at the moment, I’m not even sure how much I can legally say.

Suffice to say for now, very soon I’m going to be fighting to keep my family together, to heal my children, and to make sure a certain sick, evil person is out of our lives for good. My husband and I are going to need all the prayers and support we can get to stay strong and united, and to come out of this as better parents and better spouses to each other. Maybe a little battle-scarred, but stronger. And I will keep you all updated when I can.

Anyway–back to the grumbling. Earlier today, I’d made a New Year’s status update resolving to not post any more bummer status updates. (This was quickly followed by two more updates about stepping on dog barf, getting food poisoning from bad milk, pulling dead skin out of a razor after my 11yo had a bloody shaving accident that has probably scarred her legs for life, and then getting knocked into the Christmas tree when my 18yo jumped up from the couch and bumped into me and I rebounded off her chest. See? I take my New Year’s resolutions very seriously.)

So my friend Elizabeth responded that I never seemed like a bummer to her, but she wished I would get back to the blogging thing. And I was like, okay. I’ve been missing the blogs, and funnies, and writing. And this is a good thing! Crap happens, and it’s how you deal with it that often determines your mental state at the outcome. I’ve always handled difficult situations with a healthy helping of humor, and a few servings of optimism. Sometimes I need to be reminded, though.

I didn’t think I felt up to posting a Monday Funny, but my unscheduled flight into the tree ornaments reminded me that I need hilarity to function. In the upcoming weeks, I might miss a funny or two, or maybe I’ll even take a little more time off. I have no idea what to expect. But I’m very grateful for my friends who have sent me such kind emails over the past couple of weeks, and also those on Facebook and a few in person (I do have one or two local friends!) who have helped me get my head back on straight, and looking forward instead of down.

Well…it is Monday, after all. How about a funny?

I love the following videos! This granny is too cute for words. The hooligan verbally abusing her is her great-grandson in real life. Sadly, she passed away not too long ago. She reminds me a lot of my own grandma, who is still with us and crazy as ever!

Grannies are for pwning noobs! After seeing how mean Julian supposedly is to his grandmother, it was nice to see the next video, where he shows a lot of love and patience trying to teach her a difficult word.

Now I’m off to clean up my kitchen, which has exploded with food storage my mom and new step-dad gave us (here’s a reminder to rotate your food storage, everyone! A lot of it expired in 2006, hehe), and then I’m going to make some homemade pumpkin hot chocolate! And go check out my post for today on ANWA’s blog. 🙂

The Good, the Bad, the Funny, and the Freakout

I’m such a blogging loser lately! Not only have I not been blogging as regularly as before, but I haven’t been spreading the comment love amongst my blogging friends as I should either. I do apologize, and I’m going to try to remedy that situation soon!

The good & bad: The good news is, from restricting my online time, my shoulders have been feeling much better. They don’t hate me anymore, although they still dislike me a lot. More good news: I’ve given up rejection candy. Bad news: If I were still eating rejection candy like in the past, I’d have gained 20 pounds in the past 2 weeks. Good news: I’m taking a break from querying during the holiday season, which gives me more time for Cobalt.

The funny: So last night I went to the store to get some cookies for Brian’s scout meeting, and the Harry Potter kiosk grabbed me on the way out. It did an Accio spell on me or something. I debated in front of that kiosk for like 5 minutes (because we’re still stuck in that “we can barely even afford the stuff we need let alone the stuff we want” thing). I finally decided the final movie was a definite need. So I grabbed it and ran out of the store laughing my head off. (I paid for it first!)

When I got home, I called Lia to tell her to send Brian out for scouts, and told her to come out too. I gave her the movie, and she ran back inside screaming. While Brian got in the car, I could still hear her screaming in the house. When I got home 2 hours later, she was still screaming. Okay, she wasn’t, but only because it was in the middle of Snape’s memory scene…

The freakout: After we finished Deathly Hallows, we used to say, “Well, at least we still have the movies to look forward to.” Then just before the last movie, all of us had mini breakdowns and lamented, “What is there to live for now??” Well, just a few days ago, Lia posted the answer on my Facebook wall:

My life has meaning once again. It’s not Harry Potter, but it’s a dang good story, and it looks like the movie is going to be great!

Then we watched the following video, which I think is the best fan-made trailer I’ve ever seen. (Apparently it was made in the hopes of getting the young actors a chance to audition.) Brilliant acting, I thought, even though I couldn’t see the little girl as Rue. Big spoiler warning here, if you haven’t read the books. And I totally needed a Kleenex. I know I’m going to need some for the actual movie!

So does anyone know if they’re doing movies for Catching Fire and Mockingjay too?

What about you guys? Any books, movies, or just general life stuff you’re really looking forward to?

Monday AWESOME! Halloween Light Show and an Award

Oh my gosh. This is my favorite family ever. I’m going to find out who these people are and move in next to them! It must have taken them all freaking year to choreograph this! Halloween is my very favorite holiday (I do love Christmas, but thanks to the shopping stress and stores putting up decorations in September, by December I’m all Christmas-ed out). And–Danny Elfman for the win! Love his music, so much that I have a lot of his work in my writing playlist.

Speaking of cool Halloween people, there’s this awesome family near our neighborhood who goes ALL OUT every year with decorations and costumes that could probably finance a down payment on another house. I’ll try to get some pictures and video this Halloween, except that’s hard to do because 1. my camera’s flash ruins the spooky effect by making it look like daylight and 2. the zombies and horror movie slashers always chase me down the street.

Here’s a question: Do you consider The Nightmare Before Christmas to be a Halloween or Christmas movie? (My vote’s for Halloween.) I’d put up a poll like my very cool friend Abby does, but I’m late in posting already and I’d still have to read her tutorial on it.

Now for my blog award! Cherie gave me the 7 X 7 award, a fun one I haven’t received before. I’m going to follow all the people she named in her recent award, but I have yet to name the people I want to pass it on to. I will soon, to try to get these people more followers! I admit I’m pretty awful at passing awards on. I’ve also been really bad lately at keeping up with the blogs I follow and spreading comment love. I do read all your posts, but I’m still trying to come up with a good schedule that lets me keep up with blogging, personal time-draining hobbies, and the all-important writing. (For more on that, see my dorky post on ANWA’s blog about those guilty pleasures that suck your time away.)

Okay, and now it’s down to the fun part of this award! I love this because I get to look through my old blog posts, and some of them were before I had any followers. So this might be the first time other eyes have seen them! I might get comments! WHEE…

1. Most Beautiful Post: The one where I was freaking out about which cover artist I wanted if I self-published. I’d still want her!

2. Most Popular Post: This one here, suckas! A whopping 19 comments, because my blog isn’t yet like some of you who get 30+ comments on all your posts!

3. Most Controversial Post: I’m not really a controversial or confrontational person, so I didn’t think I had anything to fit this category, until I remembered this post. There’s a member in our family who thinks getting published is a stupid, unattainable dream, and puts me down to my kids. It’s been very hurtful. I try to let such things roll off my back, but I had to rant about it first to get it out of my system.

4. Most Helpful Post: This one on my list of agencies who accept YA queries. I have the link in my sidebar too. It took a LONG time to compile and keep this list updated, and I’m more than happy to share it with other YA authors.

5. Most Surprisingly Successful: I didn’t really know where I was going with this post, so I was surprised when it got a lot of responses, and even a few RT’s on Twitter! I think I’m going to make a similar one soon with more pictures of faerie stuff that inspired me.

6. Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved or Most Underrated: I kinda loved this one but it got no comments! *sadface* Or this one, because it was fun!

7. The Post I Am Most Proud Of: Another tie! I still like to re-read my post on how bad I am at writing romance. And I really am quite proud of my Depeche Mode song parody. 🙂

Okay, whew! It was pretty exhausting going through all my old blog posts! Good thing I’m not a really prolific blogger or this would’ve been a killer.

More coming up this week about NaNoWriMo, maybe a writing snippet, and there’s also a really cool reason I haven’t done music posts lately but I’m going to start them up again!

Monday Har Har ARR!

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day (which isn’t all that different from any other day for me), I’m posting the bloopers from the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which never fail to give me a good laugh.

#3 is my favorite:

Ooh! I lied! I didn’t know bloopers from the 4th movie were on Youtube yet, so imagine the fangirl fit I had just now when I discovered this little gem. I just watched it for the first time. A lotta giggling in this one. I loved how Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz kept cracking each other up. And Geoffrey Rush is always so funny at improvising his messed-up scenes.

One more little tidbit of pirate crazy before this wench signs off to get herself some grub:

Okay, so I was posting these things and Lia complained that everyone would have seen them already. And I was like, whatever, bimbo. I mean, “Yar, shut yer porthole, ye pox-ridden scullery maid!” I can watch these over and over again. So tell me what your favorite bloopers were.

Oh! Before I sign off, I want to share some fun news. So I logged onto my email this morning, and had a message from a member of an English band that creates a blend of folk and Indian music, and has been getting some attention in the steampunk scene. He liked my post on Vernian Process and very nicely invited me to do a post on them. I was really excited to get this email. “Squee! People read my blog!” So I’ve been listening to them today and really liking what I hear. A lot of it is very writing-friendly music. Friday I’ll feature this band, so I’m leaving their name a mystery for now.

And now I’m off to sail the pirate van in search of booty and grub. Happy Funny Monday, ye lubbers!