Sunday, April 5, 2015

ECCC Adventure 2015: Day One

It took me forever to get to, but finally I'm doing it! My write-up of ECCC day one! It turns out I pretty much only took photos of BioWare cosplay (look at Dorian and Shepard, aaahhh!), and nobody is surprised. I spent the first hour or so at the con by myself, because poor Sam had to work and because I needed to go and meet Troy Baker immediately before doing anything else. And I needed to be alone when I did it so that nobody could judge me for behaving like an idiot. Which I did, of course. But now I can't even look at the photo of us together without becoming bitter and angry because he canceled his Sunday panel!! Why! Why, Troy. I'm holding a grudge, Troy.

During my solo wanderings I overheard a couple of fake geek guys misidentifying Gamora as She-Hulk, which was neat. I hate these fake geek guys! They only come to cons to pick up girls! They don't even know anything about comics! Way to ruin it for everyone, dudes!

But I didn't let the fake geek guys get to me. I am not the gatekeeper of geekery, guys. The sheer size of the con was pretty overwhelming, though, so when Sam showed up at the convention center, I had to meet her outside. We would never have found each other inside -- that's how cray it was. ECCC is the biggest con I've ever been to, outside of maybe PAX 2010, which I'm pretty sure was not this big! I may be an introvert, but I love crowds. Especially when surrounded by my people, so the sheer number of nerds everywhere made my heart sing.

Pretty much the first thing Sam and I saw when we entered the con was this group of bb cosplayers. So adorbs! Parenting done right!

After wandering around being overwhelmed and picking up Sam's badge, we made our way upstairs to the exhibition hall. Or rather, halls -- plural. (It was a big con you guys.) We discovered that we have the same super methodical method of wandering convention floors, so we spent the next few hours combing the floor systematically and buying tons of shit we totally, most definitely needed! Our goal was to get most of our shopping done that day, so we could focus on panels on Saturday and Sunday. We were pretty damn successful tbh.

Here is all the crap I bought on Friday, minus Lumberjanes volume 1, which I forgot to include like an idiot:

I bought even more Garrus art the next day, because I have an actual problem. But seriously, Garrus art with Bon Jovi lyrics??? Did they make this for me and Stacey?? I'm pretty sure they did. So I bought it, obvs, and it is going straight to Stacey as soon as I get off my ass and hit up the post office. Also pictured: Troy's stupidly handsome face (I hate you Troy), Dragon Age tea (Alistair, Fenris, and Hawke!), and Iron Bull and Blackwall wearing shirts that say "do you even rift bro" because OBVS.

We did manage to attend a couple of panels on Friday. I went to Leila's Image panel, which was great. I love hearing from other creative people about how they go about their work, their processes, etc. It's always so inspiring to me. We also went to the Being Non-Compliant panel, which was so amaze, and which you should read about on The Mary Sue where Sam wrote about it! I laughed, I cried (no I literally cried), and I felt really badass and inspired at the end of it. I felt inspired pretty much all weekend, to be honest. Being around so many wonderful creative people together in one place always lights a fire under my ass and makes me want to write, draw, whatever. I love it.

Speaking of creative, look at these ridiculously amazing Dragon Age cosplays, dudes! So many incredible Morrigan cosplayers, man. It makes me super glad that I decided not to cosplay as Morrigan because mine would have been 100% the worst one there. How did this girl on the right get her sleeve/pauldron to stay on her arm? Mine kept slipping down? I should have asked and taken notes, what was I THINKING??

And okay but come on you guys. Come on. Look at this Cullen cosplay. Look at this guy! Who the hell does this hot Cullen think he is?? I mean yeah, okay, amazing other cosplayers, neat Inquisitor pajamas, but WHAT THE HELL HOT CULLEN. Sam and I obviously needed to get our photos taken with him, and then spent the next 10 minutes coming down from the adrenaline rush the encounter gave us. We then spent the rest of the con wondering who this dude was and trying to find him on social media, to no avail. It was the worst, you guys; who doesn't have a twitter?? Who does an amazing Cullen cosplay and doesn't have a twitter? This guy. And apparently the rest of twitter was freaking out with us. The hashtag #HotCullen became a thing, with everyone losing their minds wondering who the hell this dude was. Hilariously, he got wind of the whole thing and joined twitter as @realhotcullen, so. I guess there is a God??

After we were finished throwing our money at Garrus art and taking pics of Dragon Age cosplayers, we left the convention center and hit up a nearby pharmacy for some pain killers, since we still had open wounds on our bodies in the shape of Stargate mandalas. I got to watch Sam get super excited about American drug store products, which was hilarious and amazing! She bought like $60 worth of candy, which is impressive and wonderful and she is my actual hero.

Then we took a much-needed break in our hotel room before braving the windy, rainy streets of Seattle again. This time, our mission was sushi! We ended up going to Nijo Sushi, which was a short walk away and near the waterfront. We got there right before a crowd showed up, and got a table immediately, aw yiss! (We had great luck like this all weekend because it was the Best Weekend.) The sushi though, you guys. Here's the thing. I don't eat sushi. Well, I used to eat crab sushi, but then it gave me terrible food poisoning on the day of my best friend's wedding, so I don't do crab anymore. And every other kind of sushi has always tasted too fishy for me, so I just tend to eat veggie sushi because I'm lame. My logic this time, though, was that if anywhere is gonna have fresh fish, it's Seattle. And fresh fish doesn't taste fishy. So I got an eel roll and a salmon roll, and oh my god they were so good. Like, hands down the best sushi ever. It wasn't fishy at all, dudes. I feel like all other sushi is ruined for me now, though? I'm heading up to Seattle again to finish my tattoo later this month, and I'm kinda thinking I might have to hit up Nijo again.

So after dinner we hit up the BOOM! Studios party for a bit, where we talked to a bunch of super great people. I loved meeting so many new people throughout the weekend; everyone was incredibly welcoming and lovely, and to everyone I met, even if we only spoke for a moment: you are all wonderful, beautiful people!! Thank you for existing!

Here is a pic of Sam, Melissa, and me! I had only "met" Melissa through twitter before that night, and she was as delightful as expected. I totally stole this pic from her twitter I HOPE THAT'S OKAY.

After the party we were pretty much ready to watch some crap TV and go to sleep. When we got back to the hotel room, Rose and Georgia had arrived and were cuddled up in bed in their pajamas, so we hung out for a bit and then, agreeing that ECCC day one had been a total 100% success, we passed the fuck out.

Next Time: DAY TWO! In probably like a week because that's how lazy I am.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ECCC Adventure 2015: Prologue

Oh god where do I even begin with this, you guys? I haven't blogged in basically forever and now all of a sudden I need to tell you everything about ECCC because it was the BEST and I still can't stop thinking about it. ...Mostly I'm stuck on #HotCullen though. Mostly that.

Okay, but let me start last Wednesday, at the beginning. I took half the day off of work so I'd have time to drive home, load up my car and pack last minute things, and drive up to Seattle with plenty of daylight to spare. Except that when I was almost halfway to Seattle, I realized I had forgotten my damn ECCC badge. Which meant I had to drive all the way back to Portland, get stuck in rush hour traffic for another hour, and then take an alternate route up to I-5 because the bridge to Vancouver was at a bloody standstill. Neat, retrospective traffic news! I didn't let it get me down, though, because 1) I was on my way to goddamn comic con, and 2) I had Bon Jovi on my driving playlist!! You can't be fully sad when Bon Jovi!

So after a few extra hours of driving, I made it to the W Hotel (which was so hip it made me feel like a hobo wandering in from the streets tbh) with just enough time to hit up the bar for a beer and a bowl of edamame before taking off again for the airport to pick up Sam.

Okay let me talk about Sam. Sam and I met through our Mass Effect tattoos on instagram, I'm almost 99% sure? So obviously we immediately became besties. And somehow over the course of our online courtship we decided that we needed to get matching Stargate tattoos, and that we needed to get them while in Seattle together for ECCC. And because we're either super amazing or super crazy or both, we actually made it happen?? And I'm still kind of in awe? Sam decided to stay with Rose, Georgia, and me at the hotel on a whim, and I'm super glad she did because I LOVE HER and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her before she went back to Toronto, which is pretty much on the other side of the world from Portland. Sad trombone. Thank goodness for SDCC in a few months though, for real!

Anyway, the next day Sam had to work, so I went to Piroshky Piroshky and Starbucks and brought our breakfast back to the hotel room. And let me just take a second to say, you guys. You guys. If you're in Seattle for any length of time, if it is humanly possible, go to Piroshky Piroshky. Their pastries are the absolute best and I'm super depressed that I can't eat them forever and ever, please stuff your faces with them!

Also let me take this opportunity to direct you to the rugs in the W's elevators, which change depending on what time of day it is?? It was morning when I took this! Too fancy! Too fancy!

Later that day, after Sam was finished working, we took the party to Artcore Tattoo Studios. 'Twas time for our Stargate bro tats!! And oh boy you guys did we not plan for how long they were going to take. To be fair, Ryan is a stickler for detail and made these bad boys look incredible, but I was only able to sit through the lines for my tattoo and will be going back later this month for color. I feel terrible posting pictures of our gross swollen new tattoos, so I'll definitely do an update when they're all healed and I can properly show off Ryan's art! He was super patient and such a good sport about sitting around with a pair of Stargate fangirls for like seven hours straight. Thanks Ryan!!

By the time we were finished with the tattoos, it was around 11:30 and we were in this sketchy industrial area, so we hurried to my car and immediately set out to find 1) a 24-hour pharmacy, and 2) sustenance. We figured we would hit up the pharmacy first, so Sam found a Walgreen's downtown that was open until midnight and directed us there. As we drove around looking for parking, we started getting super creeped out by all these dudes wandering the streets, but finally parked in an only slightly sketchy parking lot around the corner from Walgreen's. But as we approached the pharmacy, we had to sort of wind our way through this crowd of people that had gathered around what looked like furniture delivery trucks? I guess? There was some kind of ruckus whatever they were, and when we finally got to the entrance to Walgreen's, this guy inside wearing a gas mask just turned to look at us through the glass, and slowly shook his head. So we turned on our heels and went right back in the direction from which we'd come. It was like some sort of post-apocalyptic hellscape, and while Sam tried to calm us both while explaining why Target had failed in Canada, we rushed back to my car and got the hell outta there.

By that point all we wanted was some damn food. We found a 24-hour McDonald's nearby, so we drove there and shuffled inside, all cold and achey and freaked out and starving. And when we walked inside, it was like the clouds opened up and the heavens shone down... on a dude wearing a Mass Effect N7 hoodie. And we knew in that moment that we had found our people, and were safe at last.

We spent the rest of the night watching trash TV and eating our crispy chicken sandwiches, which was probably the very best way to end a traumatic night of pain and gritty late-night Seattle experiences.

Next time: Actual ECCC Day One! I swear! I have the photos all edited and everything. STAY TUNED I guess.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Love Letters to Shaun and Stacey

I feel dreadful.

It's not just that I'm home after a long, amazing vacation with Shaun and Stacey, two of my best friends in the world. It's not just that I had to go back to work after days of lazy drives through the LA golden hour, hair whipping across my face, the windows rolled down. It's not just the 5:00 a.m. alarm.

I'm happy to be home with Lyall again, of course. And happy beyond words to be back with my games! (Thedas, I'm home again.) But I'm overwhelmed by the crushing reality of coming down from so many highs, the return to reality from a world where it was just me, my friends, a city, and lots and lots of good food.

Now every damn song I listen to reminds me of them.

I miss them so much.

And like... Stacey is pretty much my long-distance boyfriend, as I've gone over. You know that feeling you get when there's one person you want to be around all the time, talk to all the time, think about all the time? A person who you can't stop talking about to the point that you're clearly annoying everyone around you? Yeah. That's Stacey. It's this weird obsessive friendship where I want to learn every little thing about her and I couldn't imagine sharing my affection with anyone else. I have zero interest in dating anyone because I have her. I like her so much that she makes me nervous when I'm around her?? And she lives almost 1,000 miles away. A THOUSAND MILES. I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more... to internet stalk voice actors with Stacey. I don't... know where I'm going with this, except that it fucking sucks how far apart we are and I would legitimately 100% be even more of a mess right now and/or planning my next trip to visit her if she weren't already coming to see me in a matter of weeks.

And Shaun. SHAUB. She's one of those people I will always always love so intensely because of the year we shared together in London. Before that we'd never been close friends, but I loved her immediately when we reunited at Speedy's Cafe that September. Nobody else can possibly understand that part of my life like she can. We've only lived in the same city for that year in London, but it was one of the most important and formative years of my life, and I'll always make a point of seeing Shaun as much as I can whenever I can. She's one of those people who makes everything more fun and hilarious just by being there. I hate that she's so far away. I miss my London boyfriend!

So... this post was going to be super brief but it became a love letter to Shaun and Stacey I guess. Oops? Except not because I could write love letters to them every day.

There's just something about my girl friends. They mean more to me than any boyfriend could. They're emotionally supportive and encouraging. They understand me. They accept me exactly the way I am, and never ask me to be anything different. I love them so much and I miss them when they're not here.

I'm so sad. I had an amazing time in LA, but I'm so sad.

My only consolation is that I can be reunited with my Portland besties for the Hollywood Theater Oscars party this weekend, which is gonna be amazing.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fucking Monday

God, life has been overwhelming/busy as hell lately, and simultaneously more of the same. Work is good, friends are good, Lyall is good. Video games? Good.

I haven't been out and about much because I'm trying to save money for what feels like a billion upcoming trips this year. On Thursday I leave for LA, where I get to spend five days with two of my favorite people, Shaun and Stacey. I can't actually express how excited I am to see Shaun again (I haven't seen her since Denver Comic Con last year!) and finally meet Stacey, my platonic life partner. Like... I'm supernova fly-me-into-the-sun levels of excited. Do not get me started.

So then next month I'm going to Emerald City Comicon, which will be my second time going and my first time attending for the full three days. The whole girl crew is going, and we're rooming with Sam and then hopefully seeing Jess on Sunday and it's going to be a ridiculous weekend of geeky party girl times! Yeah! Plus Sam and I are getting Stargate tattoos, so basically best weekend!

Okay and I tried to blog about this last week but I was TOO EXCITED, so since I'm feeling more chill now I feel like I can write about it without spontaneously combusting: I'm going to San Diego Comic Con 2015!!! The Comic Con. And yeah, okay it's called Line Con now and is probably just a giant insane shit show but y'know what I don't even care because this has been on my bucket list for years. I'm actually going to be volunteering instead of outright attending for ~fun~, but passes are pretty much 99.9999% impossible to get now anyway. Megan's family has volunteered for the past couple of years, so they passed on the info, and we had to jump through a few hoops but we got on the list! I had talked to Stacey last year about trying our best to get SDCC passes for 2015 so we could do some sort of Mass Effect cosplay or just wear matching Mass Effect shirts together, idk, so when I signed up for the volunteer list I made her do it with me. No Stacey left behind! I can't really even start to talk about how excited I am about this, or how we found affordable housing somehow (we had a really good week last week), or how much fun it's gonna fucking be at the center of the geek universe with two of my favorite people on the planet, so I won't. I'm just. Really really. Excited.

If I had an unlimited amount of money and time, I would 100% be going to Denver Comic Con again this year and Phoenix Comic Con to see my dad, but I don't. Which is super disappointing, because I wanted to do both of these things and I just don't think it'll work out. I don't know how many times they will give me time off work for a comic con, like seriously Meg. Chill out with the cons. (Plus I wanna go to PAX in September. Help me I have a problem.)

In closing, I've been playing Dragon Age 2 again (for the 6th time; I know). And. I really really love Hawke. A lot. Like. I'm starting to severely regret my life and my choices. Is it too late to retroactively make Alistair king without feeling deeply wrong about it? ...No? Okay.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Letting Go

I'm trying to teach myself to let go.

I'm the kind of person who needs to control things. I would never think to describe myself as a control freak if asked to describe five traits about myself or something, but I totally am. I hate it when people do things differently than I would when I can easily just tell them to do it my way. I hate being responsible for things that aren't 100% directly under my control. It stresses me out so much and it's so annoying, but I have a super hard time turning off that compulsion.

Well, I'm trying to let go. I realized that I've gotten to the point where I'm driving myself crazy stressing over things that I can't fully control. I agonize over things I can't fix, things that aren't my responsibility. It's to the point where my whole life is affected by stuff that I frankly do not need to be stressing over. And I finally realized that I don't need to let the anxiety overwhelm me. What I need is to let go.

It's hard, but I've been trying to remind myself that there is only so much I can do sometimes. There are only so many things within my power. When shit goes wrong and I've done everything I could have done with my knowledge and skill set, I can't beat myself up. I did all I could to the best of my ability. The weight of the world doesn't need to rest on my shoulders, even if I feel like it should.

Meanwhile I'm getting anxiety because my friends aren't playing BioWare games right.

Ugh. Letting go is hard.

In other news, I went to a cat show yesterday! It was just as ridiculous as it sounds, yet super fun? I'm not a cat person but I loved seeing all the cool breeds! I never knew there was such variation in cat breeds, it was like a magical cat zoo. And afterwards I took an amazing nap, so it was a winner of a Sunday.

Life update: complete!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Holy Shit XBOX ONE

I did it. I broke down and bought an Xbox One. I made that last post on Thursday and the VERY NEXT DAY the One went back on sale to $350, which I obviously took as a sign! So right after work I drove to Target and picked up the Xbox and another copy of DA:I, and holy fuck you guys.

Holy fuck.

It's, not even exaggerating, like playing a completely new game. I mean, I knew it was going to look better, and maybe have a few more trees at Skyhold, but oh my god did I not know the full extent to which DA:I on the 360 fucking sucks.

I just. There are so many more trees. Trees everywhere! In the Hinterlands, I barely even recognized where I was and I've spent hours questing in that godforsaken zone. There were trees and vines and flowers and grass where there were none before. Light filtering through trees. Motes of dust drifting through that light! Tents flapping in the breeze, actual NPCs in towns and camps (not just the one requisitions officer and like, one other person). My coat blowing in the wind. My companions' coats blowing in the wind. EVERYTHING blowing in the wind!!

I've only been to one zone and I'm completely blown away. This is 100% worth the money. I cried the first time I saw Cassandra. I cried in the Hinterlands and Val Royeaux. I can't believe how beautiful this fucking game is! How are games this incredibly detailed? How are they this gorgeous? I feel like I've been playing this game blind and now I can finally see!! It's incredible!

So, conclusion: buying the Xbox One? Best investment of my entire life. Y'know, after that whole grad school in London thing.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

First World Problems

My feels.
Okay but... why am I so tired this week?

Seriously. It's out of control how tired I am this week. Usually I can easily make it to bedtime at 10:00, but this week I've been draaagging. Work has gotten a little more stressful than it used to be, which is probably draining me a bit. I don't know?? Am I dying maybe? Or just getting old?

I really don't have anything interesting to say but I felt bad not blogging so here I am. The only real happenings in my life are all video game related, which... nobody cares about! And if you do care, please go to my twitter because it's all I ever talk about there.

Speaking of video games, payday is today and I've been good about not spending much money lately, so I have a bit extra to spare... plus we got little Christmas bonuses at work and Shaun just sent me some money for our plane tickets to LA (!!!!!), and I just made a big ol' payment on my credit card bill so I could pretty comfortably afford an Xbox One right now? Only... I'm super torn about whether I should do it? I mean, I know I am going to be needing one eventually, as all the new games coming out will be too graphics-heavy for poor ol' 360. The only reason I'd buy it now is to play DA:I. But I'm already like 70+ hours into my second playthrough of DA:I. Will it hold my interest enough to play the whole game again? And yeah I'd have to buy the game again so I'd have two bloody copies of it (although I'd likely trade in the 360 copy or something). The more I write about this the more ridiculous it seems!! But... but my Skyhold doesn't even have trees or grass because the 360 can't handle rendering all that detail! It's a goddamn tragedy, I tell you.

Maybe I'll finish my current playthrough and see how I feel at the end of it. It's possible I'll be so bored of the game by then that I'll want nothing to do with it (HAHAHAHAAAhahaaa). Plus I need a new iPhone as well. Life is hard, let me complain about the most first world of first world problems, please.

Wow, I really did have something to write about! Something completely stupid! What do you guys think, though? Xbox One now, or later? Or should I just save my money like a good little adult?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Accidental Resolutions

I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. Mostly because if I want to change something in my life I'm going to do it whenever I feel like it and not just at the start of a new year. There's also the fact that I usually fail at things unless I really really want them, and making a change just because it's a new year isn't enough to motivate me to succeed. That said, I accidentally kind of ended up making some unofficial resolutions for 2015 anyway?

Unofficial accidental resolution #1: Lose weight. Yeah yeah yeah this is everyone's resolution every year. So unoriginal!! I'm sorry! Mainly I'm being motivated by Shaun's and my trip to LA in February (to see Stacey!!!) and my intense fear of being barelegged, so the hope is that if I end up having to wear ~summer clothes~ in LA, at least I won't loathe myself too much? Ugh. Being a woman is neat. *comfort eats carrots while weeping gently and watching Friends*

Unofficial accidental resolution #2: Take care of my goddamn skin. Like, guys. I had these weird dried out scaly spots on my face and I didn't know what they were, but then I stopped washing my face with BAR SOAP and guess what?? They went away! Good god, you guys, I had been washing my face EVERY DAY WITH BAR SOAP. Why was that happening? How did I think my skin would be okay with that? I have dry-ish skin anyway so my poor face was freaking the fuck out. So I started using a different cleanser that's actually meant for faces and began moisturizing my face every night, and BOOM. My skin is already a thousand times better! That'll learn me. I also started using an anti-acne product so I can stop breaking out like a fucking teenager all the time. I suck at taking care of myself guys!

Unofficial accidental resolution #3: Do a completionist playthrough of DA:I. I already mentioned this in another post, so I'll keep it brief, but you guys. I'm discovering so many cool things in the game this time around that I totally missed last time! Like, SO MANY THINGS. This happens every time I play a BioWare game so I should just get used to it, but wow. I'm loving it even more this time because I don't feel like I'm flying blind. And there are actually guides out there now, whereas the first time around everyone was figuring it out together so I couldn't just google "wine cellar skyhold where???" and get the location of the Skyhold wine cellar. Although now I don't need that anyway because I have Stacey.

Welp, those are my kind of resolutions or whatever! 2015 is being pretty good to me so far! Do you guys do resolutions? What are they?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Best Saturday

Today has been the best Saturday.

Earlier this week I was feeling really sad and empty and I was terrified that depression had come back in full force, but instead I'm pretty sure I was just PMSing. Although I always say that and am never sure, because with my IUD I never have any clue when I'm supposedly on my period, but I feel a billion times better today than I did a few days ago. So yay! Also I slept for 14 hours last night so maybe that's part of it.

Regardless, today has been the best. I woke up at noon and made pancakes, touched up my roots (which I had let grow in way too much), went grocery shopping, and promptly read this fucking beautiful work of fiction, which has ruined my entire life. It's Cullen/female Trevelyan, so if that's your bag... read it. That's an order.

Like I said, best Saturday.

Now I'm going to eat some Amy's frozen pizza and gaze wistfully into the middle distance.

And by that I mean I'm going to play DA:I and kiss Cullen 500 times in a row.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Writing Insecurities

So I just got back from writing group. And because I've been on a diet and am a lightweight anyway, I'm a little bit happy and a lot bit introspective, and thoughts are flying around in my head.

Mainly though, what the fuck is going on with my novel? Can I just throw that question out there, where nobody has the knowledge or power to answer it? Because I sure as hell don't know. I wrote like... half a page a couple weeks ago. That's it. Nothing else in probably over a year. This is the thing I want to do with my life, and yet I can't even manage to work on it even once a week? Why? What is happening? What's wrong with me?

Okay let me be fair to myself. I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I have gotten so much positive, constructive, and negative-but-constructive feedback on my novel from writing group that I have pages upon pages of notes of things that need to be rewritten or deleted or expanded upon or whatever. And I look at those pages and I look at my novel and I go, fuck. Where the hell do I even begin?

And then I wonder, of course, is it even worth putting more effort into this thing. Is this book worth the time? Will it ever be at a place where I can feel proud? Where it could get published? A big part of me says no. No, it never will be. You've never done it before, why should you do so now? Why should you succeed now when every other time you've tried you've gotten it wrong somehow?

I just don't even know if my book is all that good, at its heart. My mom loves it, but of course she does. And yeah, maybe the writing is good. Maybe the dialogue is so snappy or whatever. But that's not a novel. Y'know? And everyone else in writing group seems to have such a solid grasp on what makes a good plot, or character arc, or dramatic tension. And I feel like I come at my novel completely blind, like I'm just throwing random shit at the wall and seeing what sticks, with no understanding of character motivation or dramatic tension or anything. My brain just gets stuck on the details and I don't know how to look at the bigger picture. Will I ever be able to? Am I just deficient?

What am I even doing? Should I be writing something new? Sucking it up and trying to edit this book and see what happens? I can't decide and I'm discouraged and unmotivated and I don't know how to proceed.

Writing is really hard. Like, really hard. And the hardest part is battling the self-criticism and negativity I pile upon myself until I'm buried. I just wish I knew how to be confident in my work and create something that I know 100% is worth my time.

Monday, January 5, 2015

DA:I Round Two (and Lyall's Butt)

So I've been playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the second time, and am discovering a lot of fun new things this time around. Mostly it's quests that I never did, because I got super impatient the first time through and just wanted to find out what happened in the story. This playthrough I'm taking my time though, doing as many quests in each zone as I can (unless they're too hard for my current level -- Emerald Graves, I'm looking at your fade rifts), killing all the dragons, and completing everybody's loyalty quests. 

I thought it might get boring doing all this stuff when I know what will happen at the end of the game, but it's actually been really rewarding and satisfying! It's a completely different experience from the first game because I'm going about it differently. I'm also playing a warrior, which is usually not my first class choice but I'm loving being a two-handed reaver.

And yeah, yeah -- I know, I didn't do all the loyalty quests the first time through. That is because I hate Solas and was creeped out by Cole, so I ignored them. I don't know why, because it's even better when you talk to Solas and can disagree wholeheartedly, and his disapproval is a beautiful thing. And Cole now kind of... seems sweet to me? I dunno man, I'm having a totally different experience altogether and I kind of love it!

Plus dragon slaying. I don't know what the hell possessed me to not kill a single dragon my first playthrough? Admittedly they're huge and breathe fire and ice and can one-shot you if you're too low level and the fights last for ages, but oh man when you finally take down your first dragon. SO SATISFYING. And I get really freaked out while fighting so it's a major adrenaline rush, and then all that loot and Iron Bull yelling about how badass we all are! It's so great! I'm going to kill all of the dragons.

So yes, I spent much of today playing DA:I because Lyall (my dog) was in pain (or seemed to be in pain??) in his butt region this morning and I was really worried his anal gland had ruptured again, so I stayed home to keep an eye on him. Of course it turns out he was fine and who knows why he was yelping and licking his butt earlier. Sigh. He's the dog who cried wolf, only he doesn't know not to cry wolf and is not intelligent enough for me to teach him otherwise, so I have to assume he's dying or something every time he acts like this. What a jerk!

And now I'm gonna pretend to get ready for bed and probably just sit on tumblr for the next hour.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Grumpy Hermit Mode

I'm usually pretty comfortable in my introverted nature. I enjoy spending time alone, and I'm usually at my happiest when I have the whole house to myself, my music is on, and I can dance around and cook and get shit done without fear of having to interact with another human. And I'm fine with that aspect of myself. I like that aspect of myself! But sometimes, when I've been around other people for too long or when there have been a series of house guests staying here for weeks, I get really really run down. And that's frustrating.

My mom came to visit for Christmas, which was super fun and I had a wonderful time, and I'm so glad she made it down here for the holiday. But it's a week later and I still feel depleted. I've only done one social thing since she left, and it was just drinks with my besties at a super cool bar I love, but man I cannot get my energy back for shit right now! Louise has a house guest here, which is probably contributing -- just having someone in the house I'm not used to puts me in a heightened state of like... social preparedness? Which sounds insane but IT'S TRUE, I can't help it. And I realize it's my thing and nobody else should be expected to cater to me at all. I just feel bad when I back out of social engagements because I'm too low-energy from being around people too much.

I'm learning to say "no" more often, though, which is important. I've done that whole thing where I force myself to attend tons of social things in a row when I don't really want to, and I'm always just miserable the whole time, wishing I was at home alone. So I'm learning to identify when I'm in hermit mode and shouldn't go out, for my own good as well as everyone else's. Nobody wants to hang out with a grumpy hermit Meg, let me tell you. It ain't fun.

So today I was supposed to go hang out with my besties (Rose/Georgia/Megan), and I love them and they know that, but I decided to stay in and get some shit done. I felt terrible about it, but I just woke up knowing I couldn't deal with human interaction today. Maybe it's the holidays or something, but I've been extra hermity lately.

I just feel bad because I worry people think I don't like them, or that they are the cause of my grumpiness when they're not? I'm just super introverted and lame? Usually it's not an issue but today I feel really guilty and stupid about it so I'm babbling on my blog. I hope other introverts can relate. I'm sure you can? Ugh, hermit life. So hard sometimes.

Friday, January 2, 2015


This isn't going to be the kind of blog post where I have photos and neatly ordered ideas all sectioned out nicely. I don't have the energy. And I rarely have the energy, which is why I've sort of stopped blogging recently. So from now on I think I'm going to try to blog more. But it won't be to attract followers or attention, it'll just be me writing. So if nobody but my mom and my best friends read it from now on, that's okay. I just feel like I need to write.

I wanted to do a sort of 2014 in review post, but realized that the only real noteworthy things I did was go to various comic cons and visit family in Montana and Texas. Which isn't that interesting except to me? So I didn't. And then I thought maybe I hadn't really done anything in 2014. You know, anything meaningful or noteworthy.

I'm so used to change. Major change. Since I was 23 I've experienced a major change in my life pretty much yearly. In 2009 I graduated from college and got my first full-time job. In 2010 I packed up everything I owned and moved to Portland with my boyfriend. In 2011 I moved to London to pursue an MA in creative writing, and in 2012 I returned to my boyfriend in Salt Lake City. In 2013 I realized how deeply, overwhelmingly unhappy I was and I got out. I went back to Portland, the one place that still felt like home, and I started building a life again.

And here I am. It's been over a year since I moved back, and I'm happy again. Really, stupidly happy. Maybe not many things have ~happened~ this year, but what really stands out to me about 2014 is the people. I met and got to know some wonderful, genuine, truly inspiring people.

In 2014 Leila moved to Portland, and I got to reconnect with her, which has been really awesome. She's such a fun person and she inspires me so goddamn much. If I had to name one person whose fault it was that I fell in love with comics, it would be her. She's such a positive, fun person and I can't wait to get to know her even better in 2015.

In 2014 I met Sam. On instagram? I'm pretty sure we met on instagram, which is kind of amazing. The great thing about Sam is that she's so open and funny and welcoming. From the second I started talking to her I felt like we'd known each other for years. We have so much in common, but even though she's far away in Canada, I can tell she's just a really good, genuine person. Fangirling with her over Dragon Age was one of the highlights of 2014, and I'm pretty certain that our Stargate bro tattoo adventure at Emerald City Comicon is going to be a highlight of 2015.

In 2014 I met Stacey, who knows exactly how I feel about her. I fucking love Stacey. I miss her so much and I've never met her. She means the entire world to me.

In 2014 I bonded with Georgia while making a cake for Megan's birthday, from scratch, for six hours. I hadn't known her for very long but because Rose loved her, I loved her. And out of that love was born the girl crew, my best friends, the sisters I never had. I love them so much. When I'm with them I feel completely safe, and utterly myself. From my devastating breakup to my rebounds to my stupid ongoing obsession with video games, they've been supportive and loyal and so much fucking fun. I'm endlessly grateful for them. Probably more than I can ever express adequately.

I just have a lot of love for the people in my life. Even if you're not mentioned here, know that if we have interacted, if we've laughed together or worked or had any kind of connection, I'm grateful for that. I'm so happy that I'm surrounded by good people. Thank you.

2014, you were a rad year. 2015, come at me bro!!