What Even is an Icon Anymore?

WORDS HAVE NO MEANING ANYMORE!

… is how I feel sometimes in my every day, non-Writer-side-of-Wordpress and Twitter, real life. Because people who don’t value words? They’re everywhhhhhhere!

What does “epic” even mean anymore? Or “random” or “iconic” or “uber”?

I was trying to explain to someone recently why I’m such an indoor cat. Much like the main character in Like Two Opposite Things, I am hypersensitive to stimuli:

ltot-book-coverThey don’t hear the buzzing wings of mosquitoes echoing in their ears, the pinpricks of a light breeze ruffling their arm hair, the violent assault of flickering flames on eyes that register every tiny movement of light and shadow even in the most sterile of indoor environments.

I wish I could say my heightened senses were the result of some nuclear accident that left me with super powers or special gifts but as far as I can tell, it’s just a miswiring somewhere in my brain. My only superpower is avoiding my parents. My special gift is being super sensitive to like, everything around me.

By “hypersensitive”, I mean I can see and hear and feel EVERYTHING and if some of those things are irritating, then everything is irritating, I get overstimulated, and I Gotta Jet! Byeseeyagonnagohidenow.

But what that person heard was, “I’m like totally kinda sensitive or whatever but like, super exaggerated to the point of misusing words,” so my explanation didn’t register. They said, “Yeah, I know. I totally have to wear sunscreen too.” Um… ok. We should all be wearing sunscreen but sure, you feel my pain. Thanks.

I like to exaggerate too. But I hate it when our cultural habit of exaggerating EVERYTHING takes away all meaning from specific words.

 

 

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Oh My 4.5 Stars!

What… how… when…

The crappy hateful bigoted review of my book LIKE TWO OPPOSITE THINGS is no longer on Amazon.

Check it out! There’s only the two good reviews left:

LTOT reviews

 

Did Amazon finally decide that some assholes shouldn’t be allowed to review books? Is there a new policy against reviewers requesting molestation in future books (because there should be. Seriously, who does that? Other than that one person whose review is no longer on my book.)

However it happened, thank you. Thank you Amazon or Gods of Book Reviews or conscientious book reviewer who recognized a doucherocket and called them out. Thank you!

Also, I should check my book reviews more often because things happen and I’m not even aware of it. Why isn’t that a KDP feature? Telling authors what’s happening with their books. Did someone buy it, review it, remove a homophobic review? It would be helpful stuff to get emails about, my peeps. Think about it.

Girls Who Let It Go

It’s been a tough-to-get-going kind of month this… year, actually but I’m finally making some progress with my NaNoWriMo 2018 project!

You know when you get to the end of a story and you’re like, WAIT… what actually happened? Does this ending make sense? Did I contradict myself a few too many times? And when I’m writing with a deadline, the answers are No Idea, Not at ALL, and Absolutely. So down into the editing hole I go with a flashlight, some note cards, and a big ole red pen.

I’m not entirely unhappy with what I’m finding down here either. I am absolutely in love with my 13-year-old character, Amerie:

“Mara, I know we just met,” Amerie said in an excellent impression of maturity belied only by her sparkly rainbow journal cover. “But you have to know this about me: I am a feminist and I know some people are like, ‘feminists are terrible’ but it’s not true. Beyonce is a feminist and she’s like, American royalty.”

 

“Agreed,” I said because… truth. Beyonce is a queen. And if a girl’s gonna choose a role model, she could hardly do any better.

 

“So I’m not like, actually about to let a boy change who I am. I’ve seen Frozen.”

 

I hadn’t. So I … really didn’t understand the reference. Touche, child. Touche.

Here’s a little secret about this entire piece: Amerie is the hero.

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Mom Politics

I was having a conversation at work today about my “skill set” and how much more valuable it would be in a different environment. “With just a little more training, you could be making at least three times what you make here,” this person said.

To which I responded, “I could be making more as a shift supervisor at Dunkin Donuts than I do here. It’s not always about money.”

Except that it is, actually. And I know for a fact that I’m not the only one.

My options as a mother in America are:

  1. I work full-time and put my kids in daycare full time and if I’m lucky, I’ll break even.
  2. I work regular part-time hours and spend what money I make on a caregiver for the time I’m at work.
  3. I keep on doin’ what I’m doin’, working a super flexible per diem schedule with no benefits, no paid time off, peanuts for compensation but I can be with my kids most of the day 6 days a week.

Childcare in America is broken. This is not new news.

But also, as valuable as my skills are, yes I do need more training. And you know what I do not have the mental capacity for? New Skills. Classes. Training. Stuffing new things into the full sack of crap that is my brain.

And of course, I had to explain this.

Right now, I have two jobs with two sets of responsibilities that I need to keep track of because in both circumstances I have bosses who actually look to me to figure out what to do. I have two young children who can’t yet manage any little part of their own lives so it’s up to me to keep track of feeding, potty, diapers, bed times, nap times, clothing needs, medicine, putting away toys, school schedule, karate schedule, babysitter schedule, basic life skills, advanced life skills, future planning. And if that wasn’t enough, I also have household schedules, chores, problems that need solutions, future planning, organizational planning, seasonal issues AND half the time, I have to keep track of my husband’s life too.

Like, where is there room for another coding class in there?

I don’t have the time to improve my skills. I don’t have the brain space. I don’t have the money for a paid course. I can’t compromise the jobs I currently have to make advances toward a more profitable future.

Not now. Not yet. Talk to me in five years when my kids are in school full-time. Maybe. Because the schools near me are so bad and the education system in general is so poorly managed, I might end up homeschooling just to keep my children from getting bullied or raped or SHOT.

I don’t need another coding class. I don’t need to ramp up my skill set to improve my life. It’s not all on me to fix this shit. Our society as a whole needs to shape the hell up.

America, you’re in a time out. Go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done to the children.

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