I’m Back…

Hello, peeps!

It has been a hot minute! Like… I’m not sure how many people still even blog or read blogs. I’m pretty sure that TikTok is the thing that’s in now (yes I am there but we can get to that later) and I’m not sure what the popular medium for the written word is these days.

I would like to think that someone is still on the other side of this blog post listening. But even if not, oh well. We can go back to the old days of web-logging where it was for yourself in the first place and anything besides that was great but it was for you first.

But let’s get to the point of this post: NaNoWriMo is upon us.

Well, almost upon us.

Ah yes, the month where writers everywhere raise their pens in glorious harmony and fight the good fight to write 50,000 words in one month, ideally a completed first draft of a great story. It brings joy and motivation and camaraderie as we release the plot bunnies from our brains and onto the paper. It brings tears, sweat, and far too much caffeine as we toil, herding those plot bunnies and pushing onward until our word goal for the day is met!

Okay I am getting a bit flowery, aren’t I?

This year’s NaNo has some brand new challenges to navigate. For starters, I literally haven’t written a word of prose since last November 1st (and maybe November 5th because tradition). Oh I’ve tried! But nothing has really worked. And to be fair, I’ve had a lot of real world adult stuff to deal with in the last year (like, you know, two car accidents, tonsillitis, covid, gallbladder removal, physical therapy for a sprained ankle, gas prices being stupid high, a bat in my apartment, work, working through my personal beliefs and figuring out who I am… the list goes on.)

But I am going to participate in NaNo this year. No idea what I’m writing yet. But I will figure it out. I hope. NaNo without plot bunnies does not really work.

So! Join me for Prep-tober? If anyone is listening and is also participating in NaNo, I’d love a NaNoBuddy or two or seven.

DFTBA

~Katie

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Consume Art

Someone (Stephen King or Neil Gaiman and I’m too lazy to fact check that at the moment) who said a writer must constantly read and if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have what you need to write.

I would very much like to dispute that phrase. Of course, if I am right about either of them saying that, they are both of an older generation and I can excuse them a bit more easily.

I propose that it is not necessarily that one must read. Of course, it does help if one does like books because why would you write if you don’t like to read at all? But I think that it is more of one must consume art and story.

I have not been able to do much reading. Sure I could cut things out of my schedule, things that some people would deem less of a worthy pursuit than reading, but to spend my time playing a game or watching something on YouTube instead of reading after work is my decision. Some days, reading just requires more brain power than I have. Besides, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts on my drive to work and I sometimes get some reading done while at work (perk of working at a library). I still do read books. Just not as many as I used to.

One thing I do consistently is consume art and story. I have watched so many good cartoons and movies with my boyfriend in the past year. I don’t actively analyze them (my brain is just not wired that way) and I don’t actively note how certain things work, but these stories inspire me.

And I argue that it is slightly more important for me to be inspired than to know how the story works. Knowing how a bike works is useful, but if I never even want to ride the bike or never even have the thought that I could ride a bike, then what is the point? But if I get on the bike, start riding the bike, then decide I would like to know how the bike works so I can make it go faster or not tire me out, then yes! I want to find out how the bike works and use that to my advantage.

Enough with the bike metaphor, though. I know how stories work. I know basically where all the pieces go. I can, and have, outlined many books with all of the pieces fitting perfectly into place and the story would be so amazing… if only I hadn’t spent all of my inspiration on writing an outline and knowing how the story ends and feeling locked into the outline because it would be very hard to go back and rewrite the outline to fit any deviation.

My current writing project is inspired by many different stories. Note that I said stories, not books. In fact, I don’t think any of the inspiration for my WIP has come from a book. It’s inspired by a YouTube Minecraft SMP series that I love and a video game that I adore and hints of My Little Pony and the myth of Persephone and the song Welcome to the Black Parade and it’s now slowly being invaded with bits of The Owl House (which is a freaking amazing show and everyone should watch it). And I am not outlining it. I am barely planning ahead. I am following this story wherever it wants to go and watching it grow how it wants to grow and learning how to be excited about what I write.

It is not and never has been that you should constantly read. I think a better guideline for writers is that they should always consume art. Visual art, aural art, textual art, interactive art. Consume it all and consume without judgement. Analyze if you are inclined to do so, but otherwise don’t worry about it.

You can analyze after that first draft. Heck you can analyze after the seventh draft.

DFTBA,

Katie

P.S.– The quote is Stephen King and it is: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” I decided to actually look it up for you. I still to an extent disagree with this advice, though.

Dear Starshine- Gratitude Journals- Day 4

Dear Starshine,

Today, I chose to write my nearly daily gratitude journal entry about you. I also chose to write it to you.

So, thank you.

Thank you for being my boyfriend. I know some days I take more patience than others. I know some days it’s hard to be so far apart, especially during this time, when our plans of being together seem farther in the future than ever. But you remind me over and over we will get through this. Thank you for that.

Thank you for holding me. Given our distance, I don’t mean physically (though you give the very best hugs and I can’t wait until we can be together again). Thank you for being there when I need you, when my world is crashing down, when my blood sugar is low and I’m irritated for no reason, when I’m saddened by someone else’s off-handed comment, when I just am thinky. Thank you for being someone I can hold on to and trust.

Thank you for trusting me. I want to be there for you through thick and thin. I want to be there to hold you when your world is crashing down, the same way you are there for me. I want to be there for you when things are bad. You trust me with your heart and I want to take care of it the best way I know how.

Thank you for celebrating with me. There’s a time for tears but there’s also a time for laughter and you make me smile and laugh every single day. Thank you for making me grin, being happy for me, and I am so happy I get to be happy for you and with you and that I can make you smile.

Thank you for supporting me. I still can’t quite believe it when you tell me my writing is actually good and your only complaint is the fact it’s not already published. Thank you for pushing me to write. And thank you for pushing me to be more confident too.

Thank you for your prayers for me. You have no idea how much it means to me when you tell me you’ve been praying for me. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been praying for exactly. The fact that you care enough about me to petition our Heavenly Father on my behalf is one of the best things I can know.

Thank you for introducing me to Magic the Gathering. One day I’ll be able to win against you but I make no guarantees that I will ever actually learn enough to know what exactly you are talking about when you start just talking about technique with no reference…

Thank you for playing Minecraft and starting Knights Radient, ForgottenPast. I am honored to be your Minecraft queen.

Thank you for all you say, do, and think. Thank you for being you, your awesome, amazing, nerdy, kind, loving, sweet self. I never in a million years thought I could be blessed with a boyfriend like you, Ammon J.

Love,

Kate

Creativity- Gratitude Journals- Day 3

I am not sure why I have so much trouble choosing what topic to write about for these journals… I think it still is me worrying that people will think I am somehow ranking these due to what order they are in.

I am grateful for creativity. Even if it does occasionally allude me…

I am grateful that God made me creative and allows me to find new ways to do things.

I am grateful for the gift of writing, that I can create worlds with ink, paper, and 26 letters. That I can express ideas and thoughts in blog posts.

I am grateful for creative games, where I can create worlds there too.

I am grateful that with the creativity, I have been given an amount of organization, so I know how to place things (be that Minecraft blocks or words) so that they are appealing to myself and others.

I am grateful for the creativity that comes with problem solving.

And today is a short post because I just got done with a fiction writing session. My creativity is just about spent for today.

Kate out.

Tears- Gratitude Journals- Day 2

Hi, reader-peeps.

I had a very hard time coming up with the topic for today’s post. Mostly because I didn’t want anyone to feel as if I am ranking these by what order I write posts about them. There are obviously some things I am more grateful for than others and things that are more important than others that I am not nearly grateful enough for.

With that out of the way, I am going to start this off with a bit of an odd thing because it’s on my mind.

True, but I those of us who are so determined to stay strong hate it when it happens.

I’m grateful for tears.

I don’t cry in front of people. And if I do start to cry in front of people, it is quickly dried up when they start trying to comfort me or saying things like “hey, don’t cry, it’s okay”. It’s almost as if I feel I might be too mature for tears. And I wonder if the culture of “You can do it!” is partially encouraging this mindset. Like crying is somehow… not okay.

A lot of things cause tears. Sadness is an obvious one. Fear can cause tears. Anger. Even happiness can cause tears. And sometimes, something as uncontrollable as a hormonal imbalance (looking at you, PMS) can cause tears.

Tears are not a bad thing. After all, Jesus wept, didn’t He? And yet somehow, it’s ingrained in my subconscious and probably in the subconscious of many people that crying isn’t a good thing and we ought to be happy and just go with the flow of everything and why would you be sad when everything is good?

But God gave us the ability to cry. In this time of intense fear and worry and sadness, we probably all could use a good cry. Scientific research has shown that crying is actually good for us and can help us feel better.

To be completely open with you, I cried last night. I have been needing to have a good cry for quite a while. Enough fear and sadness had been bottled up for so long, but I was always with someone and like I said earlier, I feel like I can’t cry in front of people. Last night though, I finally broke. I cried for a while, with someone in the room because I was well past the point of caring if he saw me crying hard or not.

I felt so much better today. I haven’t felt like I was a step away from crying, like I have for a while now. I don’t feel just absolutely tired. I feel… happier. I hope that I never am so silly to hold back tears for that long ever again.

If you need to cry, don’t hold it back. Please cry. It will make you feel better.

God gave us tears. He fashioned us so sobbing is pain relief. He made us so that crying can be for any emotion. Dare I say that tears are even a form of praise unto Him; that tears can be shed for His glory?

Kate out.

Gratitude Journals- Day 1

So. This coronavirus thing that’s going around. sorry, bad joke, i’ll show myself out…

Okay, let’s try that again. I see a lot of people talking about being grateful. How gratitude will help us find peace in this time of turmoil.

I have anxiety. It’s sometimes hard to manage. These days, a lot of people are anxious, so I’m nothing special, but the fact I’m surrounded by anxiety and hard times makes my anxiety worse. I didn’t write this post to complain or to try to brag that I somehow have it worse than you (there are people that do that).

I want to start a series of blog posts about the things I’m grateful for in my life. The things I list may seem like that awkward cheesiness on Thanksgiving when everyone is supposed to go around the table and say what they are thankful for but 1. I have always been better at expressing myself through text instead of verbally and 2. not everyone has those things and they are truly something to be grateful for.

I would also like to express that I am by no means trying to brag about what I do have either. I don’t want to give that appearance. My purpose in these posts is catharsis and peace, praise and thankfulness to my God, and also because I haven’t written on my blog in a very long time and now seems like a very good time to get back on that. I want to try to post everyday. I want to write about something I’m grateful for and maybe also talk about some the things I am doing during this time of lockdown.

I am starting a gratitide journal. What is a blog but an online journal?

If you want to join me on your own blogs, Facebook posts, or anything like that, please do! Let us remember the blessings we have. Things are frightening right now and we all have doubts and anxiety about the future. But God is good. Let us remember that He is good.

Kate out.

I Just Wanted to Play Minecraft

When I joined Minecraft Kingdoms, I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I joined Knights Radient, you weren’t even looking for me. You were recruiting someone else. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When you let me in even though I couldn’t voice chat, I was happy. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I figured out that Knights Radient was a Brandon Sanderson reference, I was overjoyed because I had found my people. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I found time and found my voice for the voice chat, you were happy. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I found out you also liked Mianite and My Little Pony and were the oldest of many siblings, I found a connection. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I came to see the secret base room you had built, in shades of blues and glowstone, I was amazed. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When we started a vanilla server, we had grand aspirations. We just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I asked you to help with the redstone for the courthouse, you leapt for it. We just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I told you my full name and you told me yours and I told you I was a writer and you wanted to read what I had written and you read it and said it was good and you suggested we exchange phone numbers so you could keep reading my books, I didn’t know where this would lead. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When you tried to teach me how to fly with Elytra, you helped me practice again and again. You called that our first date, though we hadn’t even thought of such things yet. We just wanted to play Minecraft.

When we breached the topic of maybe wanting to date, I was scared. A lot stood between us. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When we accidently were on the phone for four hours straight and we kept finding things in common, even small little things, we tried to hide how we felt. We just wanted to play Minecraft.

When you told me you loved me, I was shocked. No one had ever told me that in that way before. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When I told you I loved you too, it was a still shocked ramble in a text chat. I just wanted to play Minecraft.

When we hadn’t even been dating a full 24 hours, you asked if I wanted to get married in Minecraft Kingdoms. We laugh now and say how crazy that question was and how crazy I was for saying yes. We just wanted to play Minecraft.

When you ask me now if I had ever thought any of this would happen when I joined Kingdoms, if I ever thought I would find love there, I laugh a bit.

I just wanted to play Minecraft.

Dear Spiral-Bound

Dear Spiral-Bound,

You’re five this year. Five years of having this space as an online journal, a way to share what is on my mind with the world at large.

Five years. FIVE. It blows my mind. I know that I don’t write here as often as I used to. Now it’s once every few months at best when it used to be once a day. But I appreciate that you are still here, even if very few other people know or care.

Five years. You’ve changed in five years, but not much. I’ve changed a lot. And I think your changes reflect mine and my growth. It would at least make sense for that to be the case.

Happy birthday, little blog. I’m proud of you. Here’s to another five years.

.

Kate out.

Processing Errors

I’m going to put a warning up here for strong language. I don’t know that I’ve ever used language in a post, but this is a post that is coming straight from my emotions. It’s going to be raw.

I don’t know if I’ll publish this post or not, because it’s full of personal things. But I know that I desperately need the catharsis of writing right now. I’ve been putting off writing this post because I don’t want to have a breakdown on a day when I can’t afford to completely lose it.

But enough rambling. Let’s go.

Thursday. April 5th. I’m at work. No wait, let’s back up.

Thursday. April 5th. I’m at home. Not yet time for work but getting close. I’m basically ready to go and I’m chowing down on Oreos.

This is the part of the story where, as I write, I’m starting to crack. The tears are already coming. Because of those damn Oreos. You know when you eat more cookies than any sane person should? You don’t usually have to fess up to that. That’s usually something you can be sneaky about.

But it wasn’t that day. I thought I could sneak those. I didn’t realize that those fucking Oreos were going to put me in the Emergency Room a few hours later.

I go to work. We are moving books at work. The non-fic books, so plenty of heavy tomes. We’re supposed to allign the edges of the books with the edges of the shelves as we move them. Later, my coworkers notice that, even before the inciting incident that kicks everything off, my books had at some point stopped being alligned and the spines were in fact zigzagging. A sign that my brain had already started to be affected by the Oreos, that I already wasn’t feeling well.

We get over to the cookbooks. Ironically, the special diets ones, like gluten free and diabetic. I move books to the book cart so they can be moved to the other side of the room. I’ve got the cart almost full and I put some on the bottom shelf of the cart. When I stand up, I see stars, flashes of yellow light in my vision.

I almost laughed it off. I was going to. I make a joke to my coworker. She suddenly gets serious and tells me I’m done moving books, go sit down, drink water, eat either her honey roasted peanuts or fruity cheerios (because she thought it was I need protein or sugar, which is good logic).

I get a headache. I stand up to get Tylenol and find out I’m dizzy. One of my coworkers during this time hands me a couple of pieces of paper for ordering t-shirts that I couldn’t make sense of (still not sure if I could now, but I just remembered that).

Another coworker gets out of her meeting and finds out what happened to me and asks if I want her to go get her blood sugar meter and check. I never would have thought that my headache, dizzy, stars were blood sugar related but yes, because I’m not sure that any of this is normal.

My blood sugar was dangerously high.

Damn Oreos.

My parents were not even in the state. My grandmother was here with me and my siblings in case of emergency (which we absolutely did not expect to be mine). I call her. I try to call Mom. I try to call my sister. In the midst of phone tag, my coworkers are discussing taking me to the ER and I’m starting to lose it as it hits me that this is AT WORK and MY PARENTS AREN’T EVEN IN INDIANA and I AM FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES GOING TO DIE.

i’m losing it as I type this. i moved my stuff upstairs so i could openly cry which is something i’ve not really been able to do since this happened and fuck it all i need to so bad. fuck it ALL

obviously i’m not dead. i didn’t actually die. and thank God for it. thank God for putting me in that job with those specific coworkers, who knew what to do.

but i do have diabetes

i don’t want anyone’s sympathy actually no, scratch that. i want more than sympathy. i want to know that it’s okay to complain about it. that i don’t have to be happy all the time that it’s not selfish and upsetting to you if i can vent every once in a while. i want to also know that no one believes that this is my fault.

because i am fat. i am overweight. those oreos were the tip of the fucking iceberg and i feel like this is all somehow my fault. like i could’ve somehow prevented it.

and maybe that’s not true. because i have several family members who are diabetic.

but i don’t want anyone at all to take one look at me with the knowledge i have diabetes and say “well, of course you do”.

i’m in the middle of a learning curve. i’m trying to figure out what makes my blood sugar high and what doesn’t. having anyone judge me right now or even seem like they’re mad at me… it’s about reduced me to tears every damn time. because i hate this and i hate that i have to watch it and i hate that my instant thought is if their tone sounds slightly preturbed, they are mad at me and i didn’t mean to send my blood sugar up I thought it was okay.

i’m taking medication for my blood sugar. i’m trying to exercise and eat in a way that works for me. i’m trying to be okay. i’m trying not to let this condition define me. because it shouldn’t. I am not a diabetic. I am a child of God, a writer, a nerd, a YouTuber, a Minecrafter, a kind and intelligent woman… who has diabetes.

But how do you keep a condition from defining you when it kinda rules your life? When it becomes something you have to schedule the rest of your life around?

And at what point do you stop being traumatized?

At what point can I allow myself to cry? At what point is it okay for me to cry? And I know people are going to say I can cry and it’s okay, let it all out, but they are at the same time trying to comfort me and that makes me stop crying. Even now, I have dried my tears because I have three of my sisters in here as I write and the ugly crying that started when I was talking about needing to cry is gone.

I also don’t want them asking me what’s wrong because i don’t fucking know. i had a brush with death over a week ago and i’m still not over it. i’m scared of people judging me.

i’m not upset about having diabetes. it’s not fun, but it doesn’t upset me.

i’m upset because of how i got there and because of the assumptions and judgements that come with it.

The song that keeps running through my head as i process all this in the past few days is I’m Not Okay by My Chemical Romance. It’s only explicit at the end when the lead singer says in the last 15 seconds or so “I’m not o-fucking-kay”.

I feel the same. Just not about a breakup.

Kate out.