What is the Frequency, Eda?

Social media is a distraction! she preached to a choir of like-minded individuals who rolled their eyes at the cliche. Ok, but really, though, she said because she had this plan for a blog post about writing characters with the traits of real-life people who annoy her both to humanize her characters and to gain some understanding and sympathy for the people who bug her. Instead, she got hung up on a weird comment/questions she read on Twitter in response to her last book’s promotion. What does it even MEAN? she asked herself, and is it even worth my time to consider, never mind respond?

I don’t know. What do you think?

In response to:

My… hairdresser? I don’t… get it. Am I being troll-baited or is this like a genuine (ly confusing) response to my amateur blurbing skills? Am I being challenged to step up my book marketing game or challenged to respond to a weirdo on the internet?

Because I like a challenge when it comes from someone I respect or at least from someone addressing me respectfully.

You know what might make for an interesting character trait? Someone who writes weird crap at strangers on the internet and what the hell their motivation is.

See how I brought it back around?

I Cheat to Win

No, I cheat to finish this freaking book. I know that Camp Nano is only a few days away but listen: if I have time to edit, I’m going to edit. Graphs be damned.

Wait, no, I didn’t mean it. Graphs, I love you. But my free time is fleeting and I can’t wait for the lure of a good progress graph to get things going. I edited 17 pages of my WIP on Friday and I intend to do more today. If that means I have to change my Camp goal again, BY GOD, I WILL.

Because “winning” is finishing this piece in general. Winning first place is finishing it before new baby is born and both my free time and my sanity go on an extended vacation.

Writer friends, are there non-Nano, non-contest, any-time-of-the-year stat counters I can use to motivate myself with graphs? I am not looking to reinvent the wheel or DIY here and I sure as sugar ain’t payin’ a third party just so I can watch a bar graph go up. But if there’s some free online motivation tool (with pretty pretty graphs) already available, please point me in that direction?


Aren’t We All Heroes in PJs

Reasons I like PJ Masks:

The one girl hero wears mostly red instead of all pink and she flies, which my son thinks makes her the best one.

The theme song.

Two out of the three heroes are non-white (it seems, anyway).

The villains have the most ridiculously delightful plans to take over the world. Rottenating eggs to make the world so stinky, people will be too distracted to notice that a child is taking over? Brilliant.

There’s a female villain, she “gets her power” from the moon, and her minions are moths.

The Night Ninja villain is, in my mind, a caricature of terrible karate instructors who claim to have amazing powers of ninjery-do but really sit on their butts all day while their mini-mes do all the work.

It totally makes sense that no one knows the heroes’ identities because they only save the day at night. Total sense. Love it.

And the best part: I love that when one of the heroes is highlighted for a story, it’s about them doing something wrong or acting unreasonably and the lesson of the story is that being a hero means recognizing what you’re doing wrong and making it right. THAT is how you save the day, my friends. At night. In your PJs.


No Truck With Trolls

troll-online-web-content-twitter-facebook-internet-180x180I think I had my first troll experience on Twitter this past week and I don’t think he was very good at it. Not unless he hacked my phone and released all my private pics without my knowledge (boy, will those viewers be pleased with the 20 pictures I have of things I want to buy for my new house but won’t remember unless I take a picture). I mean, he basically just gave up and blocked me.

Sir, how do you intend to live up to the standard of modern day trolls without at least threatening to defile my dead grandmother?! Honestly, people are so lazy these days.

It was a writer hashtag game tweet that goaded him to respond. The prompt was “parents” in honor of Father’s Day.

It’s from my forever-be-editing WIP which is about a woman who counsels the spirits of the dead to let go of whatever earthly beef they’re holding onto and just like, pass into the beyond already!

Here’s an excerpt from whence the tweeted line came:

“What can I control? I am a specter. I am incorporeal. What more than making the lights blink can I possibly do to rectify this situation with … with my granddaughter and her peers and the generations to come after her who will deal with the same ignorances and prejudices and…” Frustrated, it began to pulse again, its particles straining to hold together until it closed its eyes and sighed. “Nothing. I can control nothing.”

“You can control you,” Catori said simply, quietly, profoundly.

It was a gesture like sitting but instead of lowering itself down onto a surface, Mrs. Wallace’s legs faded and her form descended so that its became level with Catori’s. It had the effect of the woman sitting down across from her without any of the gravity that would have gone with it.

“What if it’s not enough?”

“Then you need to put more faith in the generations of women who come after you,” Catori smiled. “A strong, independent, bold, courageous little girl doesn’t let the world stand in her way. Nor her parents. Nor any of the obstacles that will most assuredly come her way. Will she suffer more for parents who don’t understand or the lack of her strongest advocate?” Catori gestured to the spirit who nodded in recognition. “Yes. Will she become a stronger woman for it? Yes.”

Mrs. Wallace tilted its head, “Then what is there left for me to do? Other than trust my granddaughter, to trust you, dear, to make the world a better place in my absence?”

Catori shook her head consolingly. “Nothing. Trust and move on with the knowledge that whatever your contributions have been, they have not been in vain. And after all of that hard work, all of that vigilance, now you get to rest.”

Even in context, it’s still a pretty assertive feminist stance (when you’re an ineffectual Twitter troll) but I still wasn’t… trying to make a statement. I was playing a hashtag game.

This is why I try to only follow back writers. But you can’t control who you follows you, eh? Some rando who likes to pick fights with lady tweeters when they get a little too uppity about their right to exist and to contribute to a public conversation can just… read everything you write, in or out of context, and reply something like (I wish I had screenshotted it but I’ve never been trolled before so I didn’t know the protocol),

Yes, but is it fair to unleash that kind of girl on unsuspecting men?!

What? What are you…? What does that even…? “Unleash”? I’m “unleashing” a confident girl on the world and it’s not fair because men who can’t imagine confidence in a girl can’t handle it? “Unleash” like she’s rabid and fanatical and I had to hold her back until I found my target?

“Go, little bold girl! Go get the disenfranchised white man who had a tiny bit of his privilege taken away by your very existence! SIC HIM!”

Strong girls need to be restrained! The world can’t handle them! It’s not fair! How dare you suggest it in fiction?!? All the female types might get ideas!

How is it fair to unleash her, he asks. I can’t even. What a piece of garbage.

I replied, “Unfollow me.”

He blocked me.

And now he has NO IDEA what I am capable of unleashing. MUAHAHAHAHA!


Unleash the white man’s hell, little one.


My heart says yes but my brain says, “Buzzfeed?!”

Writing is hard sometimes.

Editing is like… all… ugh, really? No. Ok, yes, let’s do this. No, let’s put it off. Yes, let’s finish it! But like, tomorrow.

I am repeating to myself, “The only one stopping me is me.”

I am reading one chapter at a time.

I am coming across sentences that sound SO SO STUPID and rewriting them to suck less.

I’m asking myself, “Is this what the character would do or was I distracted the day I wrote that and looking for an easy way out?”

I am seriously considering making a graph of what I have accomplished so far so I can feel better about my efforts.

I’m back on Buzzfeed again but good news! The Pretty Little Liar I’m most like according to my PINK preferences is Aria and I just won an Oscar in a parallel universe! And if you’re wondering if I can Buy An Outfit From Lululemon for under $350, the answer is no*.


I suspect the real answer is “What the hell is a lulu lemon?”

Adulting So Hard

I am one of those people who have trouble 1) calling people to ask things and 2) being responsible about doing regular people responsibilities so doctor/dentist appointment-making has never been my strong suit. My husband is the emergency number for our son and the one who always makes his appointments. I’m the one who fills out the paperwork once we get there.

I seem to recall that when I first GOT a primary care doctor (because I lived before the time of insurance covering you under your parents until you’re 26 so I just didn’t… have a doctor), I picked a name out of a list with an address that seemed easy enough to get to. And I haven’t changed since then even though I moved about 25 minutes away. That was fine until my nurse practitioner left and her several replacements proved to be… well, replaceable both in their jobs and in my mind. So why am I still driving 20 minutes away to a health practitioner I don’t care about? Indeed. Why?

And why am I still taking my son to the pediatrician I can’t stand whose very strong and absolutely correct under every circumstance opinion constantly contradicts the reality of my son? Why am I considering adding my impending child to her patient roster if I know I can’t count on her not to be a condescending turd who berates me for my every deviation from her idea of perfect parenting?


Because I tried to search for a new family doctor last night and it proved totally impossible. Instead of being able to search for all the things I wanted and needed (and then narrow it down if it got too specific), I was able to only search for one thing at a time. Is there a doctor in my zip code who takes my insurance, can care for my whole family and is currently taking new patients? I don’t know because I could only search for specialties on this site and what insurance they take on this site and where they were located on this site. And I could only find like, phone numbers and pictures of the doctors when I clicked on their names anyway. I’d search somewhere else for reviews but then find that they actually specialize in sports injuries… but for the whole family and that’s why they were listed as a family practice. I’d check my insurance provider’s website to make sure they were in my network and find out that they used to be but aren’t anymore.

There’s got to be a better way of doing this! Maybe it involves making phone calls and that’s why I’m losing the battle so very hard?

This isn’t what I wanted to post about today. I had a cool writing prompt and a story behind it and it was all so… interesting for people who weren’t me. But here we are talking about health insurance and what a giant pain in the ass it is instead and I’m just… done adulting for the day.


Hobbies are Self-Care Too

I was doing some light reading yesterday in the doctor’s office because my appointment never starts more than 40 minutes late and I only have so much battery power on crappy hospital Wifi when I came across a chapter dedicated 100% to my procrastination. It said*, “Eda, the only thing stopping you from editing your WIP is you.”

*I could be paraphrasing. Maybe.

And while that isn’t all the way true, because I also have things like household chores, chasing a toddler, being pregnant, and working two jobs to contend with, I feel like maybe some of those times when I’m scrolling through Facebook searching for articles that confirm the downfall of the Empire or taking my third “Which pizza topping defines your archetype” quiz on Buzzfeed, I maybe could be editing instead.

I’m not even at the boring part of editing. I’m reading through to make sure it makes sense. I’m reading “for enjoyment” (and continuity). I’m not even proofreading, man. You’d think I could get through it quicker.

It’s a little bit procrastination, a lot of distraction, and a fair amount of guilt holding me back. There ARE, in fact, other things I should be doing. But if I care about this project, I need to make time for it. Writing and self-publishing is a hobby and I’m content with it remaining so but it’s one that keeps me sane so yeah, I need to make time for it too.


Epub Me, Web Thing

All right, writer friends, give me your knowledge! Give me your opinions! Break me off a piece of your Kit Kat bar!

I’m looking into Draft2Digital and wondering what experiences ya’ll have had with it. I uploaded a super short story–for free–and so far:

  1. Their formatting is terrible. They said they’d format for me. Does that mean taking out paragraph breaks and line spacing to make it difficult to read? Because that’s what they did.
  2. They provided me with a universal link to my book which goes to a Page Not Found on a site that is not Draft2Digital and I was all, “Huh, what? Back button, back button, where’d my stuff go?!”
  3. The status is still “Publishing” so it’s not really a surprise that links aren’t working but I can’t… find the thing where it says how long… because KDP tells you and this… doesn’t? Do I have to search the help section for information that should be presented up front?
  4. I’m feeling like an old person confronted with brand new technology who just wants to shout at clouds and take a nap. This is what I get for trying something new in a hurry while my kid naps on a blistering hot day that swells my feet and clouds my brain.


I’m Too Busy Being a Wonder Woman to See Wonder Woman

As the sane world goes mad for the new Wonder Woman movie and Facebook posts from media sources as well as my friends laud the film, hoping and wishing that it’ll change the world, I’m here just… working and raising my kid and getting kicked in all sorts of unpleasant places by my own little wonder women-to-be.

I haven’t seen Wonder Woman. I haven’t had the time. Between moving and working and my primary baby sitters (my in-laws) having a wide and colorful variety of health issues, I haven’t been able to find one night or day to spend watching a movie that I desperately, achingly, paradigm-shiftingly want to see.

So when I do finally get to see it, it better not disappoint.

Meanwhile, as I deftly maneuver all the obstacles of daily living, nurture my son so hardcore that he actually said, “Mommy, me have big heart for you,” the other day, and try not to sprain an eyeball rolling them over whatever new physical discomfort is being used as an excuse to go to the ER instead of babysitting my child, I am HARDLY AT ALL feeling like the wonder woman that logically, I know I am.

Yeah, I looked it up on the internet which, these days, is tantamount to exhaustive scientific research, and there are lots of pregnant ladies getting kicked in the cervix so no, I’m not alone in my discomfort. But I’m willing to guess that a good chunk of those ladies don’t have quite the active job requirements I do and aren’t as miserable at having to sit them out as I am. I now run my after-school program from a folding chair. I have to stop myself from getting up to demonstrate. I have to enlist my students to remind me that chair-teaching now is better than bed rest later because at least for now, I’m present. I’m vocal. I’m helping. I’m working and earning that cashy cash I’ll need later when I can’t work at all.

But I’m super bummed to be sitting still so often.

I want to ride horses into battle in armor that shows off arms toned by a life of physical domination and general awesomeness. I want to be able to lift a sword without saying, “Ooof!” and grabbing at the stabby stab hurts of round ligament pain. I want to be a princess-turned-general too, you know!

Pregnancy sucks. Little girl, you get your parts built and come on out. Then we can ride horses into battle together!


I Like… Graphs

Yeah, I know, I said no more Camping while pregnant back in April but maaan… I need to write some stuff. And Camp gives me structure. And graphs. I like graphs. I just took the CampNaNoWriMo survey for April and that was my one comment. “I like graphs.”


I particularly like it when the graph looks like this.

And while I was there, YES I DID sign up for Camp in July. As with April, I’m a little fuzzy on what I would consider a win this time around. I am, after all, still pregnant–more so, in fact–and I did just move to a new house and I do still have a toddler and 2 jobs to contend with but knowing that I’ll also have a brand new child come November and between the old child and the new child and the 2 jobs, probably less time to write, the timing seems right, right?

Maybe I’ll write a short story. That seems doable.

Meanwhile, I’ve only edited the first 3 1/2 chapters of my last WIP. So there’s a project going places! Like to my beta reader with a comment approximating, “Not edited well, not even proofed at all, but I’d really like to know if anyone would possibly give a poop about this story. Here’s 3 chapters.”

Truth? The story seems interesting. The writing seems overly formal to begin with because I began narrating with the main character’s voice. I’m pretty sure I dropped that along the way. Hence the need to edit.

But, you know, whatever, because CAMP in July! There’s a new story to be told and I’m gonna go ahead and get to going about the business of figuring out what that might be!

(After I go to Target. Obviously. I have a new house to buy crap for.)