Teleseryes… Podcasts… Pride… Mules…

I wouldn’t say that I’m in a creative rut. On the contrary, I’m buzzing with excitement and creativity. The problem is I don’t know where to focus it. I

Hardwood floors made of Popsicle sticks, creepy Victorian wallpaper, and one of my characters appearing in a dumbwaiter.
STORY: “The Traveler”

have a non-writing creative outlet (I’ve been working on a few dioramas of scenes from some old short stories). However, when it comes to writing, I… don’t know where to focus my energy.

 

Unnamed Filipino Teleseryes Project

I’ve slowly (too slow, I might argue) been creating a Filipino soap opera -style novel, or novella. I’ve only been working on it for about a week but it’s been really fun and I love the twists and turns that I’ve come up with. I’m even debating on turning it into a serial to publish here on the site. Just a thought.

 

Short Story Collection

I have short stories and flash fiction pieces. I have a lot of them. I’ve been meaning to compile them into a collection for publication. The only problem is that… Well, what I really have are three different short story collections (if I categorize them by themes):

  1. Epistolary stories
  2. Lovecraftian stories
  3. Misc.

Yeah, okay, the last one isn’t really a theme. But I do have a handful of stories that don’t fit in either of the other formats. So there’s that.

 

Podcasts

I’ve been flip-flopping between creating a:

  1. Writing podcast called “Just Add Ninjas”. I even have the cover art ready. This would mostly a write-with-me style podcast where I would be working on a 70,000-word novel (or a collection of short stories). As I went through the process, I would do writing challenges and would encourage the listeners to write along with me.
  2. Introvert podcast. Or a Friend-cast? Or a …okay, the idea is that The Great Husbando, a rotating group of friends, and I would chat “with” the listeners (basically talking to the listeners like we’re friends) and do “friend-style” activities “with them”. Note all the quotation marks. It’s a rough idea to explain aloud but it works well in my head. I would record movie commentary (that could be played alongside a movie), we’d have book club episodes with children’s books, and we would otherwise chat and do other fun activities you normally do with IRL friends.

While I had already created the cover art for the writing podcast, I have created a trailer for the second option. I’ve also bought a couple of lav mics to use with our phones for either write-with-me episodes for “Just Add Ninjas” or for the movie commentary for the introvert podcast. I just don’t know which I’m more passionate about and which would help/entertain listeners more.

 

Pride Parade

I was happy to hear that (while a festival isn’t an option this year) pride events aren’t *fully* canceled here in our county. The local pride organization has set up a “vehicle” parade for the 18th. I’m super excited! I bought one of the “Pride Boxes” filled with memorabilia to proudly show our support for the community! A friend offered to pick me up but The Great Husbando said he wants to show his support too so we’ll happily meet our friends there. I want to create a couple banners or posters as well, to show my support for the LGBTQ+ POC community. In these crazy times, sharing our love for one another and spreading happiness is so important. We’re all human and we all deserve love and support. It shouldn’t matter what shade of beautiful your skin is or who you love. What matters is what’s in your heart and soul.

 

A Drink Recipe from the Two-Headed Calf:

Backstory: The Two-Headed Calf is the dry bar we inherited from The Great Husbando’s grandparents. While it’s not healthy to romanticize the “drunk writer” lifestyle of yore, it’s still fun to do. Not be a drunk. That’s not fun. But romanticizing your passion or career can be fun if no one is getting hurt. Besides, a little libation can (sometimes) get the words flowing when I find myself feeling hindered. Please drink responsibly.

 

The Moscow Mule Two-Headed Calf

 

The Great Husbando and I have been enjoying the heck out of good ol’ fashioned Moscow Mules lately. Of course, we don’t have those snazzy copper mugs to serve them in. Something to add to my birthday wishlist for next week, I guess.

 

What you’re going to need:

  • A shot and a half of vodka
  • A half of a lime
  • A cup of ice cubes
  • A half of a cup of ginger beer

What you’re going to do with those things:

  • Fill a chilled glass or a copper mug about halfway with ice
  • Pour in the vodka
  • Squeeze lime over the vodka and get as much of the juice out as you possibly can
  • Top with ginger beer (I recommend around three ounces of ginger beer)
  • You can optionally garnish with the lime wedge, some mint, or a ginger candy

Shopping… Wheels… Audiobooks… Gin…

The Bloggy Part:

This morning I found myself thinking, “When I look back on 2020 and the pandemic, what sorts of things will I remember about this experience?”

  1. I’ve found comfort in plants and online shopping carts.
  2. We now get our groceries delivered to us like we are pharaohs. (Now to find someone to feed me grapes.)
  3. I never know what day it is. Or what time.
  4. Every day is an emotional rollercoaster, dipping down into loneliness and then back up to bursts of creative inspiration.
  5. SGN is my favorite news source.
  6. I snack too much and now I need to discover the joys of healthy snacks.
  7. We have stocked the bar and have rediscovered Elder Sign and can’t wait to hang out with friends agai–OH WAIT.
  8. Sarcasm and tone-of-voice are hard to read when you’re texting someone who doesn’t normally text you.
  9. Actively avoiding watching too much TV is much more difficult when you add another TV to a small townhouse.
  10. I like lists with nice round numbers.

 

Something I’m OBSESSED With:

One of my good friends started sending me snaps of ADORABLE rollerskates because she was thinking of buying herself a pair. Since then, she’s asked me about going out and skating together after the quarantine is over. My sense of balance is horrible and I’ve never successfully roller-anything-ed, which means I answered her with a resounding, “YES THIS IS A WONDERFUL IDEA!” Thus, we both ordered adorable death-wheels online. She got the idea off of cute Tik-Toks and (I think) wants to make her own as well. Meanwhile, all I can think about is going to see a roller derby match. Also, buying cute band-aids for my knees. ‘Cause I will need them.

My skates should look similar to these.

Being the impatient person I am, I ordered a pair of skates online but soon found out they are on backorder and I wouldn’t get them until late May. This would not do. Especially because The Great Husbando wanted to get some rollerblades as well. I did the responsible, adult thing, and shopped for rollerblades with him. Now I have a pair of blades now and have quad-skates coming in… later? They’re not in stock yet so who knows.

These have a surprising new use as well. A couple days ago, I found myself at a place where I was having trouble focusing on work. Instead of sitting in my office chair like a responsible adult, I found myself running around the house trying to finish some (albeit much needed) housework. So, I sat in my chair, strapped myself into my blades, and was trapped in them. This was under the guise I wouldn’t be able to get up and go downstairs without falling over. And it worked! Kind of.

Since then, I’ve been rolling my way around the (carpeted) upstairs of our home with ease. The Pergo laminate flooring downstairs is a different story. Much like Mario Bros, the smooth, slick underground level is much more difficult than it is here in the carpeted topside world. You see, down in the depths of the first floor, there are plenty of sharp corners and I have yet to get elbow, knee, or wrist guards. What can I say? I’m a fragile, delicate human with the stability and muscle strength of cooked pasta.

 

30-Day Challenge Update:

I am reading and listening my way through my TBR list but I still need to curb my TV-watching habits. It’s a work in progress.

 

A Drink Recipe from The Two-Headed Calf:

Backstory: The Two-Headed Calf is the dry bar we inherited from The Great Husbando’s grandparents. While it’s not healthy to romanticize the “drunk writer” lifestyle of yore, it’s still fun to do. Not be a drunk. That’s not fun. But romanticizing your passion or career can be fun if no one is getting hurt. Besides, a little libation can (sometimes) get the words flowing when I find myself feeling hindered.

 

“Gin and Tonic”

I didn’t think I used to be a fan of gin until one of our friends mixed up my first gin and tonic. Since then, this has become one of my go-to drinks when it’s warm out or if I want something refreshing and cool. He had the heart and the cooking prowess of an Asian mom, however, and concocted the recipe “by taste.” With no actual recipe, I’ve had to fiddle with a few of the generic recipes a bit. As far as I can tell, this is as close as I can get to what he served us.

Things you’ll need: 

  • A couple of fresh mint leaves
  • A couple of lime slices
  • A couple of medium-sized ice cubes or one large ice cube
  • One ounce of gin
  • Four ounces of tonic water

What to do with those things:

  • Muddle the mint leaves and one of the lime slices in a collins glass.
  • Add the ice cubes and the gin. 
  • Add the tonic water.
  • Stir.
  • Squeeze the last lime slice into the glass.
  • Swipe the fruit around the rim of the glass and then drop it in as a garnish.
  • You can also garnish with more mint leaves. If you squeeze or pinch the mint leaves, you’ll be able to get a whiff of the mint essential oils while you drink.
  • Enjoy responsibly with a couple of cocktail straws. Unless you have a penchant for chewing on small mint fragments.

Goose… Plant… Book… Space…

The Bloggy Part:

It is the height of this craziness and we are all still “exiled for the good of the realm” or “keeping everyone out of melee range.” This particular week has been rough and has taken quite a toll on my mental health. Because of that, I want to make a note of some things which have been making me smile lately:

  • Spending quality time with The Great Husbando
  • Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep (a cooperative Lovecraftian tabletop game)
  • Snuggles with the best director of human resources ever
  • Video and text chats with my cousins
  • Untitled Goose Game (a fun console/PC game where you play the role of a horrible, mischievous goose)
  • Surprises in the mail and surprising my friends
  • The outpouring of love amidst a tragic loss
  • Having closure
  • Waking up next to someone I love every morning
  • Having the sun pour through my office windows and shine down on my house plants
  • John Krasinski’s SGN show
  • The loud AC unit in my office window
  • All of the “new coworkers” in my office
  • Skincare masks (particularly the peel-off kind)

 

Something I’m OBSESSED With:

Like most humans, I like to categorize things to better sift the information my face is bombarded with. When it comes to social media, I’ve noticed my brain has been grouping the posts on my various feeds into “new hobbies my friends have taken up during this quarantine.” Mainly these different categories:

  1. “BAKE ALL THE THINGS.”
  2. “Our dry bar is stocked full. What can I make you?”
  3. “I just bought my weight in fertilizer because I’m buying out all of the local nurseries.”
  4. “I’ve finished all of Netflix.”
  5. “Don’t bother me when I art.”
  6. “Are you following me on Tik Tok?”
  7. “I haven’t slept in two months because video games is why.”

While I am poking fun, I actually think it’s great. We’re falling back on old hobbies or picking up new ones. We’re (for the most part) taking a step away from technology so we can enjoy something we can make or nurture with our own hands. We’re enjoying media with our family and friends via the internet.

Early on, I bounced around between group two (stopping short of alcoholism) and group four. It seems, though, I’ve settled into group three pretty nicely. Well… I’m not known for having a green thumb. In fact, my thumb is pretty brown with root rot but, so far, my little guys have been staying alive.

I haven’t planted anything of use, however.  Instead, I have “embraced” the art of succulent care. Embraced with the grace of Elmira from Tiny Tunes. I’ve named them all after Lovecraftian gods (but shortened to avoid any of the names I was uncomfortable with). So, let me introduce, the greenest team members at the DeVore Freelance and Podcasting Office:

  • Cxax, Nug, and Yeb (not pictured) were, at one time, one elephant bush which has since been split into three different tiny pots.
  • Abby is an Echeveria Apus.
  • Yogs is a string of pearls.
  • The Creeping Terror is a string of pearls and a temp; he’ll be going to a friend.

The newest members of our staff are four air plants. After a long flight from California, they had a soak in the public bath.

Then, after letting them fully air dry (yes, I know they’re not yet fully dry in these pictures), I set them up on their stands. I had some leftover wood, fabric, and foam board so I made a couch, hammock, and beach chair for them. Here are the loungiest air plants in the world:

Star Mother is an Ionantha Guatemala.

Shoobs is a Tillandsia Ioantha Rubra.

Yarra is a Tillandsia Tenuifolia Emerald Forest.

Gloon is a Spanish Moss.

He is currently being held by Dion, my wooden mannequin/lay figure, so he can be as much of a creeper here as he is in the wilds of Florida.

 

30 Day Challenge Update:

I’ve started this month’s 30-Day challenge late so, I’m opting to finish out the rest of the month by reading as much as I can and watching as little TV as possible. With the addition of an additional TV in the DeVore Business and Industrial Park, I’ve been a little too “glued to a screen” then I’d like.

For May, my goal is to finish:

 

A Drink Recipe from The Two-Headed Calf:

Backstory: The Two-Headed Calf is the dry bar we have inherited from The Great Husbando’s grandparents. While it’s not healthy to romanticize the “drunk writer” lifestyle of yore, it’s still fun to do. Not be a drunk. That’s not fun. But romanticizing your passion or career can be fun if no one is getting hurt. Besides, a little libation can (sometimes) get the words flowing when I find myself feeling hindered.

 

“The Color Out of Space”

When it comes to mixed drinks, I’m a big fan of white rum. This particular white rum recipe is one of my favorite specialty drinks at The Two-Headed Calf (as in, drinks we’ve modified or made up). It’s a great spring or summer drink with chunks of refreshing fresh fruit. I’ve modified it from a generic punch recipe and while it doesn’t have a ton of alcohol in it, you can add as much white rum as you like. I’m not encouraging you to add the whole bottle. It’s in a collins glass, so you can cut back on the ice to leave room for one more shot.

Things you’ll need:

  • 2 strawberries
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 2 oz white rum
  • ¼ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz pineapple juice

What to do with those things:

  • Muddle the fruit together in a mixing glass.
  • Fill the mixing glass halfway with ice.
  • Put in white rum, lime juice, and pineapple juice and shake.
  • Carefully pour into a Collins glass
  • Enjoy (responsibly) with a thick straw or with a straw and spoon
  • If you’re a Lovecraftian fan, I suggest watching the latest film iteration of The Color Out of Space (no “u”) with Nicolas Cage. I highly recommend it!