The Story

When I was very little, my grandfather would set me on his knee, open a picture book or magazine and ask me what was happening in the picture. We would sit for hours (or as it seemed to a small child) and make up stories about the political comics or what an eagle was thinking in the wildlife shot. I remember reading Anne of Green Gables years later and finally feeling like someone got my brain. There was a chapter where she said she had invented colorful back stories for all the members of her church. Yes! This was me all the time!

People always ask what I read. I don’t read much any more. People ask what I write. I haven’t written a lot or at least anything you can find. But I have a love affair with stories, sometimes loving the world the story was written and the back story more. I probably was the only person who want to know more about Hobbiton or wished there had been a chapter or two more on Diagon Alley.

There have been more disappointing news with my stories coming to life, I’ve had trouble getting together with my new artist but every time we speak he says he’s still interested in the project but with a surgery coming, everything gets to be pushed back again. Even with all that, don’t give up on me and I will continue to fight to make these stories real!

Parenting

Conversation this morning:

Me: Argh!

Girlfriend: What?

Me: Well… All I want to do is go down stairs and make scrambled eggs with veggies for us and cinnamon rolls for everyone.

Gf: Ok…

Me: But if I go down stairs while the kids are there, it will be a zoo. They’d wander in and the questions would immediately start.

“What are you making?”

“Can I have some?”

“Wait, why can’t you make me the eggs without the gross stuff in them?”

“I don’t want the yucky ones!”

“Will you make each of us our own individual types of eggs?” (We have 3 Kids)

“What else are you making?” (As I have the cinnamon roll container on the counter)

“Oh we love those!”

“How many do we each get?”

“I want 2!”

I want 3!”

“You can’t have 3 stupid if there are 5 of us and only 5 rolls!”

“Well I want to frost them!”

“No I want to frost them!” And then they would start fighting.

Gf: Ok

Me: Instead, how about you have them all come upstairs, work on cleaning their rooms while I make a treat for everyone. They’ll say “ok mom” enter their room and then proceed to fight, up stairs, away from me in the kitchen with knives.

Gf: I call bullshit

Me: (oh shit, did I take the joke too far, is she still asleep and talking to me?)

Gf: Bullshit, the kids would never just say “ok mom” and good do what we wanted them too.

Sister in law walking by the door: Yeah you sounded like an 80s sitcom parent with that ‘ok mom’ part.

Gf: (thinking for a second) Yeah I’ll have them come upstairs.

We only had to send them back upstairs 3 times in 20 minutes! I call that a win.

My Holiday Rant

I celebrate Christmas because my kids look forward to it all year, because it is a time to reach out to the fringe people in our lives, because my girlfriend gets giddy like a kid over Christmas music, because it forces me to slow down for a a few days a year, because family make an active effort to see or call me, because it’s when I get everyone’s updated family pictures, because I get to spoil my gf with gifts and she is less mad at me about it. In this day and age, Christmas is about family, regardless of its origins.
I do not celebrate Christmas because of any religious reasons.
I say happy holiday because I have family and friends of many faiths, people who do celebrate this time of year for religious reasons. I have Jewish friends and new age and pagan and some day I will know someone who celebrates Kwanza! I say happy holiday because I mean from Thanksgiving to New Years and I say it because I am actively wishing all the wonderful people in my life happiness for this holiday season. Especially since in the Pittsburgh area, a lot of people are susceptible to seasonal depression.
With all this in mind, I am bothered by people who have to post passive aggressive things about saying Merry Christmas, if you want to say Merry Christmas that is fine too but trying to take Christmas back for Christ is the most insane thing I’ve heard today. The origin of Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. If you want Christmas back for Christ, then give back all the Christmas traditions that were around before him. No more caroling, ginger bread, tree, mistletoe, or gift giving!
Or maybe we can just remember the point Christmas which is k
indness, hope and love with our families, blood, adopted, and acquired.

And for further information, read this.

Did you know?

Introvert in a Top Hat: Steel City Con 3

If the holidays have reminded me of anything, it has been that I am an introvert. I don’t mean the stereotypical definition of shy, awkward and off in a corner with a book… although that is me too. I mean the actual definition, deriving energy from recovery time and not the people around me (the exact opposite of every family member I have been around this entire vacation minus my girlfriend). Being this way, surrounded by people who don’t get it, I get a lot of questions that eventually get annoying:

Why aren’t you talking?

Why don’t you come join the group?

Why are you on your computer?

Blah, at 32 I can deal with the questions better than I could when I was little and have learned to translate them into “We want you to come talk to us,” but it’s still a pain feeling so misunderstood. Another big part of being an introvert is being “on” when there is company or at work or school. It’s exhausting, but as a socialized introvert (which is why most people don’t believe that I am an introvert) I’ve learned how to roll with it, mostly. More interesting things about introverts here.

Which brings me to my insane decision to do something with my writing. No longer do writers exist unknown until that fateful day a letter comes in the mail from a publisher… and even long after that. Now there is the social media side of it all. I am writing a majority of the blog posts, minding the Facebook and ignoring the Twitter (I’ll get the hang of it eventually) and I kind of love it. I try to avoid the shameless self promotion because I just can’t do it (I recently read a really fascinating blog on blogging, self promotion, the goals we make for our selves and discouragement you should check out!) but sitting on my phone between classes (or during the dull ones) instead of playing Candy Crush has been a blast! It’s that next step that makes my inner introvert squirm… This weekend coming I will be at the Steel City Con in Pittsburgh, dressed as a character in one of my stories would be, handing out my card (I HAVE A CARD NOW!!!!) and talking to all the professional con goers about what to do and how to do it.

Yeah, I’m a little freaked out. I’ve been trying to focus on the geek-tastic fun of the con, but this is also a thing I’m doing for the stories and the future graphic novel. Yikes!

Well, here goes nothing. At the very least, I will be there Sunday the 7th, in costume, with my cards and I want company!!! Who will meet me there? If all goes well, I hope to have a table some time soon.

Jill

Thankful

The other day, my irate girlfriend read to me a post by this guy she knew in college. He was kind enough to give us his perspective on this holiday season and he had nothing good to say. He said there was nothing to be thankful for this year. And then 10 people liked his status. How horrifyingly fucked up. Nothing?! I’m sorry but if you are healthy enough to type a Facebook post, have enough money to afford a device to post things with and a warm place to post them from, you are blessed. There have been times in my life I had to decide if I was paying my phone bill or eating or just not turning the heat over 50 in the winter, times when I could not do either. I know of many people who would have seen me then and been jealous that I had a freezing cold apartment, a carton of eggs, a medical issue and a horrible job. Even then I had it good.
Thinking about that careless post and remembering those rough years in my 20s I realized I have a lot to be thankful for… A big lot. I have a warm home, healthy, intelligent step kids, 3 jobs (school, military, home improvement store) that make the bills tough but doable, a good family, made up of both blood and adopted family and a goofy new kitten.
And if that wasn’t enough, I have my girlfriend. I don’t know anyone else in the world who could put up with my moods, smelly shoes, tv and Minecraft addiction, inexperience with kids (did you know you can’t just call them ass-holes, who knew) and overall insanity, all the while balancing the kids, remembering my favorite foods (and hiding them from the kids so I can actually get some) and telling me every day that she believes in me to do well in school and to do something with my writing, even if it involves using some of the hard earned money to make happen.
I am lucky. Life is so far from perfect I got my honorary Grizwald card in the mail last week (and that is a typical day for us) but at the end of the day, I and everyone else can find something to be thankful for. What are you thankful for?
Jill
P.s. “I don’t can’t stand you” still