Repost: First Day Blues

Published September 11, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

I was trying to use Blog.com, but the past few days it’s been weirding out on me, and I don’t know if anyone was even able to see the posts, so I’m starting over here, complete with re-posting all my entries from there.

Aug 18: First Day Blues
Having just hit my 39th birthday and being disgusted by the fact that I am essentially still waiting for my life to begin, I am keeping this blog for a year–hopefully–in order to publicly shame myself into getting off my fat ass and accomplishing something. Hopefully, that something will include making my ass (and the rest of me) less fat, and somehow managing to hook up with a man. (Or a woman. I’m in no position to be picky.) I’m hoping to post every day, an on-line diary of sorts. But once school starts–yes, I’m still a student, even at my age, working on a Master’s Degree–who knows if I’ll still manage to have time to post daily. Even if I do, it may quickly turn into rants about whatever I’m reading for my classes, or about the frustration as I try to get my first novel e-published. (Gave up on conventional publishing years ago, but until now have never taken the plunge into self-publishing.)

Right now, I’m still annoyed by my birthday itself. My family–the only people I have any contact with when class isn’t in session, outside the employees at the museum where I volunteer on Sundays–know I’m touchy about getting a year older, but did I get to spend the day by myself as I wanted? Nope! I had to go over to my parents’ house for lunch and a couple of DVDs. (Admittedly, it was the latest two “Doctor Who” specials, in preparation for the season premiere next week, but still, it was annoying!) I had wanted to either go back by myself to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” again, or to go to the Art Museum and see what they had in the way of ancient Greek art on display, but nooooooo, I had to spend it with my parents. Not cool.

Of course, “not cool” sums up my whole life quite succinctly.

Unlike probably 99.9% of my generation, I’ve never been on a date, never held a proper job for more than a month, nothing. I’m tempted to say that I’m the biggest loser ever, except that I really don’t feel like I am. At least I’m capable of using proper grammar–though I don’t always choose to do so–and I’ve read a lot of books, though lately most of them have been non-fiction. (Yet I still try writing fiction. Another sign of my hopelessness.)

Though I should be most worried, right now, about my classes–they start a week from today, and I haven’t even checked the syllabi yet–I’ve been much more worried about my novel for the past week or so.

But before I can say anything about that, let me give an example of what my life is like, by telling you about the previous sentence. When I noticed that “syllabi” had a little red squiggly line under it to indicate that this browser doesn’t know how to properly pluralize “syllabus”, I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t actually spelled it wrong, so I went to use the touchpad to check…only to have it not respond. Well, no biggie, right? This laptop does that from time to time, and I’ve never been able to figure out quite why or make it start working again, other than by turning off the computer. So I go fetch out my USB mouse, plug it in and….it doesn’t work. It chose today to stop working. So I had to plug in the laptop–because I couldn’t even check to see if there was enough power in the battery to simply leave it on!–and go out to the nearest store where I could buy a new mouse.

This is tragically typical of my life.

Anyhow, back to what I was saying before life interrupted my train of thought, I’ve been worrying more about getting my book ready than anything else. It’s a novel telling the story of the entire Trojan War, and it’s so long that I can’t realistically publish it in a single volume. (Clocks in at about 165k words, before the Author’s Notes and the all-important Glossary of proper nouns, without which most people would probably give up on the book in frustration, ’cause sometimes a character doesn’t get mentioned for 100 pages, and then is not re-explained when they do show up again. Probably some people will still find that insanely frustrating, but…given the narrative style, there’s really nothing else I can do about it. Those people would probably be put off by the narrative style long before they got a hundred pages in, anyway.) So in going over the book, trying to decide where to break off between volumes, the rough page/word count break point was absolutely terrible, and going further forward to get to a better one was far enough along that the chapter count was something like 31 in volume one and 22 in volume two. Obviously, since I’m e-publishing, I can make volume two cost a little less, but that still felt skewed, so I added a couple of extra chapters, one which should have been there all along (the battle in the Scamander River, for those who know their Iliad) and one which just felt like it needed to be there even though there wasn’t any real basis for the chapter in the myth. I think the new chapters turned out pretty well–especially the latter one–but I want to let them sit a while before I try editing them. Admittedly, I’m only trying to get volume one out the door right away, but even so!

I want to get the book e-published as soon as possible, though, so I can finally attempt to have some modicum of an income, though who knows if anyone will buy it. I had been preparing to e-publish a novella first–which I had kind of written as a backstory/in-betweener–of two of the chapters for this lengthy Trojan War opus, but…as I was going over it and going over it and going over it…I decided that in today’s world, it might be just a little bit squikky to publish a romance between a 25 year old man and a 15 year old boy. (Hmm…I’ve never tried to write ‘squikky’ before. I’ve been using it a lot lately, conversationally, but…maybe it should be ‘squicky’? That looks even worse, somehow…) I’m not usually the type of girl who goes in for male/male romance, but I needed to get their story confirmed to myself before I went too much further in working with their relationship. (I know it’s wrong for a woman only a year away from 40 to call herself a ‘girl’…but I still don’t feel like I’ve grown up yet. Maybe that sounds strange…) I know there’s a big audience for that kind of romance–especially among the fujoshi crowd, in anime terms–but I suspect usually the age gap isn’t so big, or at least the younger one isn’t quite so young. Admittedly, the story stops when they hit the kissing stage, but even so, it felt like “torch and pitchfork” time if I tried to publish, so I wasted about a week trying to get that ready for noting.

Okay, that’s probably enough dribbling out complaints for now. I’ll try and have something new to bitch about tomorrow.

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