Dabbling in New Words and a New Medium

So I’m a boring human being and I do absolutely nothing all day, which is why it makes no sense why I’ve been dabbling in vlogging.

And yet, I find it therapeutic.

It’s like journaling. I get to record the things going on in my life for posterity. I also get to play in a new medium. As of right now, I’m still just using my “not so up-to-date” smartphone and the default video editor that came with Windows, so it’s not fancy.

I get over the frustration of older technology by telling myself that this is some sort of trial or that I’m “paying my dues” and will eventually level up. Then I can get a better camera (and not a smartphone that consistently tries to refocus, even though it was already focused) and a video editing program (and not one which offers me the use of 3D emojis, only to tell me that none of them are actually available to me. WHY OFFER IT THEN?!).


*clears my throat*

Anyway…

I like to think I’m getting better.

My friend and I have been trading vlogs each week. We’ve been playing with our formats and layouts, testing what types of vlogs we want to make. I’ve decided I like the format of weekly vlogs. Sometimes they all of the footage is themed. Most of the time, it is a log of the interesting things I happen upon each day. They always cover Sunday through Saturday, starting with errand day and ending with cozy critique days.

It’s been ten straight weeks of vlogs so far and I still like it, which is promising!

Here is my latest:

We’ll see how the content changes in November when NaNoWriMo starts. I may try my hand at a few “write with me” style videos.

We’ll see.

Love,

J.

Midnight Murders in the Building

I love being able to watch a new show and feel inspired to write. Not necessarily inspired to write something similar to the show. Just something. Create something. When there’s a show that is so creative and so inspired and it forces me to go, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

That is the best feeling.

This past week, I finished watching both Midnight Mass and Only Murders in the Building. I loved both and they both left me with that same feeling. If you feel like something incredibly atmospheric, thought-provoking, and dark, I highly suggest Midnight Mass. If you love true crime podcasts, watching things a little off-beat, and feel like you want to be a part of something bigger, I suggest Only Murders in the Building.

Only Murders in the Building made me feel pangs in my heart, I didn’t realize were there. I think the line I want to eventually speak (even now) is “It’s been the most alive I’ve felt in a decade.” I don’t want to sound morose. I’m complacent but not unhappy. I’m finding ways to try new things. I do feel alive. But I know that I will eventually fall into another rut. And I hope that I happen upon something that makes that line ring true for me too.

Aaaanyway, I hope you find something that makes you feel that inspired as well. So it’s back to the word mines for me. It’s a little early for Preptober, but I’m really excited for NaNoWriMo this year. I hope I can come up with something amazing.

Love,

J.

Buckets for Words

When it rains, it pours… blog posts edition.

You’ll have to bear with me as I flood my website with blog posts. I have a lot of stories to share. After all, before this week, it had been a year since my previous post.

For example, there was that time that I accidentally bought single-ply toilet paper for the house and the bathroom experience was the most depressing thing for nearly an entire week, before I could no longer stand it. So now we have a whole bag full of single-ply toilet paper just sitting in the cabinet. Of course, I have since picked up the hobby of papermaking. The thought of using the single-ply to make paper, and then binding said paper into a guest book for the bathroom, had crossed my mind. But then we saw a bathroom guest book at Cost Plus World Market, and it was much prettier than anything I could have made. So here we are. With a bathroom full of single ply paper and a guest book for you to record your pooping experience in.

Then there was the time that I hired Fabio to work our dry bar and now he just spends all his time there. It’s like we can’t get rid of him. Not that we want to; he’s part of our family now.

Also, Cornelius Bones.

Yes, our family has grown quite a bit since I stopped posting regularly. But this post isn’t about any of those things. Those stories are for a different time.

Anyway.

The other night I was pondering my existence (as one does) and I was suddenly reminded of my bucket list. I hadn’t thought about that list in so long. Since then my goals and dreams have changed. So I started a new list from scratch. It has the typical “skydiving” entries but also:

  • Host a monthly poker night with friends
  • Cross country train trip with Husbando
  • Midnight picnic to look for UFOs
  • An entire section devoted to 30 Day challenges
  • Get my private investigator license

…just to name a few.

However, the portion I want to talk about today is the writing section. I have accomplished some of the things on the list already. I’ve done the spoken word poetry thing. I’ve published short stories in magazines. I’ve written and published an audio drama. There’s so much more I’d love to accomplish, though:

  • Compile and publish a book of short fiction
  • Publish novels in the weird fiction genre
  • Write a mystery
  • Write a book of personal essays
  • Write a book about creativity or writing (in hopes that it will inspire someone)
  • Write an over-the-top satirical trashy romance novel
  • Get published in The New Yorker

And that’s only a third of what’s on the list. I know I just have to work at it, one story at a time. There is one thing on the list. It’s far-fetched. Quite the pipe dream. But why not have a pipe dream?

  • Have a writing career which will pay for our lifestyle, so Husbando no longer has to work, and I can spend my time writing novels.

It’s been done before. Not by amateurs, but by people who know what they’re doing. People who hone their skills. People who live and breathe the written word. I want to be one of those. One of the chosen.

What about you? What are your writing goals? What sorts of things are on your bucket list? Would you like to purchase a basket full of single-ply toilet paper?

Hugs,

J.

I bought a blazer.

On a scale of “pajama pants at noon” to “owning a blazer,” how adult are you?

I’m at a solid five since I am currently wearing pajama pants at noon but I also just got a blazer in the mail. My very first blazer. Like a freakin’ grown up. Now all I need is a pair of (non-pajama) plaid pants and I’ll be set. Yes, this comes with a story.

The other day, I was talking with a few writery friends about what an author’s uniform would look like. We looked up a number of “author lookbooks” and I noticed that the one thing they had in common was… plaid pants. Is that the equivalent of a badge? Maybe the pattern or color depicts what type of writer you are. Does the red/black plaid mean you write horror? And the beige/black say you’re a literary writer? But then I thought, What kind would I wear?

Why… these, of course:

But then, What type of writer would I be?

The comfortable type.

So what color/pattern of plaid would you wear? Do you have a blazer? Where are you on the pajama-blazer scale?

Oh Hai There

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. While I’m not super consistent about posting on this blog, know that there is always a lot going on around me.

Just to help this go by faster, let’s do another lightening round update!

  1. Our house may be haunted by a ghost. In reality, it’s probably just a hallucination from lack of sleep because I just did a 20-hour writing challenge. To clarify, it was actually supposed to be a 24-hour writing challenge but I am lame and crashed at around 4:30AM and took a four hour nap before finishing off the challenge. Seriously though… The Director of HR and I both saw the ghost in the hallway. Just a big mass of white moving from one end of the hallway to another.
  2. The air plants have upgraded to an office with two floors. I’m debating on whether or not I should add a third floor before I start building cubicles for them.
  3. Remodeled my office including: smart bulbs, smart outlets, cleaning off my desk, adding snazzy glass monitor risers, getting a stand for my fountain pen collection, and adding a wiretap (an AI assistant) for my desk. I think I mentioned last time that I also got a new desktop and speakers. And if I didn’t mention that…. I got those things.
  4. I’m continuing to write short stories with a couple of friends. We’re having a ton of fun with the whole prompt-swap-critique thing and I am slowly amassing a collection of short stories which (hopefully) I can compile into two or three actual collections for sale. YAY!
  5. I FINALLY came up with a novel idea that I love.
  6. The podcast is officially in the works. I’ll be posting a trailer or two here this week. Episodes will be available here, on Podbean, and on YouTube as well. Episodes will go up on Tuesdays. I’ll put up two teaser trailers this week and next week, I’ll put up my first official episode. Yay! I’m so scared.
  7. The Great Husbando, The Director of HR, Husbando’s parents, and I went out for a hike a few weekends ago and saw some beautiful waterfalls. It was so nice to go out in nature once again.
  8. I’ve started using the HB90 planner system and I’m loving it. I’m still trying to find my groove with some of the set-up but so far my productivity has increased and I’ve been feeling a lot better about my goals and direction.

As far as posting here on the blog, it’ll probably be a little sparse but I’ll also be replacing written content with weekly or bi-weekly audio content. I really need to come up with a posting schedule and a plan for what I want to do. I’ve been watching a lot of Authortube vlogs because I like the feel of a vlog versus other types of writer-y content. My hope is to emulate that enthusiastic, personable, friendly writer energy in my podcast.

Hugs!

Joy

Storytime! feat. Whidbey Island and birthdays

Chapter One: Whidbey Island

A few weekends ago, The Great Husbando, the Director of HR, and I ventured out into the wilds, otherwise known as… the outdoors. Just for two days. My family wanted to go to Whidbey Island to spend some time together and go on a short adventure. So, we all donned our masks, kept our hand sanitizer handy, and packed our car for a 48-hour excursion.

Whidbey Island is as beautiful and peaceful as it is… boring. Don’t get me wrong, I have my favorite stops: The Purple Moon, Whidbey Coffee, and The Book Nook. But once you’ve seen the local parks and have visited your favorite shops, what else is there to do? Have a surprise hike, up a mountain, in denim jeans, with absolutely no water, in the hot sun, wearing a face mask, and with your 70-year old parents.

When the DeVore trio arrived back at the hotel, we spent the rest of the night looking for dinner but since businesses were still on a limited schedule, all of the restaurants were closed. What an end to a weird and painful day.

The Director of HR had never looked so tired before. He was sprawled on the bed and didn’t move for quite a while. I would occasionally poke at him. He acknowledged my presence with a grumble and an eye-roll. I’m sure I did the same to The Great Husbando.

When we arrived home, I realized that I had my fill of “peopleing” that weekend. I think I’ve finally recouped after two weeks of holing up in our house. I’ve realized that since quarantine started, it takes a lot more energy to be social, even though I miss it. The idea of going out and seeing my friends is still exciting to me but I know it will take a lot out of me. I wonder if anyone else has felt their introvert-tendencies grow in this time, or if it is my experience alone.

Until things go back to normal (I have a feeling this is the new normal, though), I am content to work on personal projects and surround myself with plants. Plants which I have not yet accidentally murdered. Gold star for me!

Also, I made them a conference table out of craft wood so now they can properly plan out how to take over the world.

Chapter Two: Birthdays

My birthday is on July 12th and my mom’s is on July 14, so we usually spend an afternoon with the family, doing some sort of barbecue-picnic-family reunion thing. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. This year was no exception. Mom made lumpia. We all arrived at her house with gifts and food in hand. The Director of HR was excited to not have a tie on.  We got to watch my niece pester one of her younger brothers (as is her right as the older sibling).

One of the most notable presents I received this year was a Costco membership from my brother and sister-in-law. Yesterday afternoon, I donned my mask and headed down to get our first Costco membership. Now we’re like real grown-ups. And (of course), my first purchase was a pack of moleskin notebooks and a 5 1/2 lb jar of Red Vines. You know. Like grown-ups do. In my defense, I wanted my first Costco purchase to be something that screamed “writer” and “private investigator” so I figured Red Vines would serve as a nice substitute for cigarettes.

Oh. Did I not mention that I want to get a private investigator’s license? Yeah, that’s also a thing.

*hugs*

Joy