This journal is primarily a place where I'm doing LJIdol and it's been a long time since I've used LJ personally. Because I don't really know anyone here, maybe I should try to introduce myself. I don't usually do this but I don't know really how I'm supposed to make new LJ connections if we don't know anything about each other. So...
As for me, I'm a 30 something person. For the last 10 years I've been an artist (making miniatures and terrain dioramas) and I'm currently going back to school to work in a medical laboratory. It's okay, I guess, but I'm really bummed because it's not my passion. But we all have to make that living, right? I prefer coffee over tea and have a 7 year old who is rad and likes sharks and feminism.
I've been single for a few years now after the end of a super long term relationship. I'm sort of late in coming out of the closet but I'm a superduper romantic at heart and am trying to pretend like I'm not just dying to meet someone special at any given second. Mostly I'm trying to find my footing in between a changing career and home life because my life looks really different now than it did before. With my spare time (insert that tired but true joke about 'what spare time?') I like to write and I read what I can. I've recently acquired physical and mental disabilities that do make reading very overwhelming and challenging. That's been hard for me as a person who used to read a couple books a week and also gives me a big challenge in the LJIdol contest, but I chip away at it. I do also like doing nail art sometimes or a bit of video games with my friends. I never used to watch TV but, to be frank, I work so hard with school and family now that sometimes all I want to do is curl up and watch a show. I like some popular sitcoms/dramas/shows like Empire, Last Man On Earth, and Drunk History but my favorite thing is documentaries.
I'm hoping to make some connections or find people to talk to but I'm pretty awkward online. I can chat up anyone in a checkout line, but online I find it very uncomfortable to speak up. So if it takes me a while to make comments, please understand it's not that I'm disinterested. If we've seen each other in a community or something and you'd like to connect, please feel free to add me or leave a comment here.
I turned away from him briefly and glanced at the cuckoo clock over the bar. With the sheer force of my hidden glare, I willed the minute hand to tick on. Twenty more minutes until I was out of there.
“Wouldst the m’lady perchance care to join me on a…” he paused, seeming to roll words over in his lil’ thinker in search of the most Olde Tyme lingo to throw at me. “A… daring excursion? After m’lady’s shift?”
Offering him a better smile than he deserved for affecting that horrifying Shakespearean drawl, I demurred with a small laugh that was designed to get the most tips possible. “Oh I’d probably faint at the sight of a troll or a wereraven, or whatever beasts lie out in those woods! Honestly, I can't even imagine the horrors! You’d have to save me left and right! But I wish you luck in your mission-“ I thought of the silver coins that would be in my pocket if he left happy and swallowed my pride, “… m’lord.” I topped up his ale with a great, hurried splash and turned to bolt, you know, elegantly, but he latched on again.
“I just feel like it’s a matter of attitude,” I told him. He was trying to explain to me why he was angry and why he took solace in a crowd that extolled the virtues of comforting nihilism. It was how he’d learned how to cope with the fact that the world felt cold. But I told him that people can just make a choice to be positive or be negative and I just didn’t understand why he’d choose to have a chip on his shoulder instead of choosing to see why the world was great or to believe that humans are intrinsically kind.
Obviously my energy is really limited. It's really sucked being in a situation where I used to enjoy having almost all my spare time be open for art and now the spare time I have, I'm so tired that I spend it basically watching TV and wishing I was asleep. I really don't want to wander through the next two or three years as the primary breadwinner watching TV and sleeping though. I've decided I'm going to try really, really hard to do art when I can, even if it's not much. Once I'm in my own place, I can have studio space again very accessible and ready for me to jump in, even if it's little bits at a time. I'm also going to be chipping away at cleaning up my online presence so I don't have to do a lot of work to get things arranged so if I did finish something and wanted to try to sell it for extra cash or share it with people, I could without a lot of fuss.
I've also been thinking that, rather than try to keep making one off items and selling them on my own (which is a big time investment believe it or not) I might just try to craft for myself or for my YT channel and for the potential work side of it, try to pick up a big job like another store account, large wedding parties, or stuff that's different to what I've done before like maybe try to get work with small film makers or photographers creating fantasy landscapes or scenery miniatures for things that they don't have a bigger budget for. Even though they're bigger projects, not having to list/market/socialmedia/customer service all of it takes a lot off my plate. All that peripheral stuff in the art business is exactly why I had to stop doing it for a living.
Anyway, check it out if you want. The site is a little odd (but hey, it's a free site so I'll deal with it for now.) Basically, each of the photos is either a category of designs, or a folder for a specific project. So you see one album cover photo, and to see the rest, you click on the one picture you want to explore further in.
My entry for LJIdol Wk 4. Prompt information and other entries for the contest are viewable on this page.
The little bugger slapped me in the face. Not even on accident. It straight up planted its muddy, cow-smelling palm on my cheek with enough force to send my safety goggles hurtling off into a bush and then giggled at me. As I was wobbled around, cursing and searching helplessly for my dignity, I heard the high pitched hum of its wings and looked up just in time to see it buzz around and slam into the butter churning pot I’d nestled up against a stump and the take off into the tree line. The pot flung to the side with almost comical force and the milk, as it splashed out, soured and turned into viscous clumps that spread across the mossy forest floor and introduced me to a smell I instantly hoped I’d never encounter again in the rest of my life. After a few moments of silence, the puck’s laughter echoed from somewhere in the dark, but I couldn’t pin down from where. I stood quite still and looked all around for that telltale glint of piss yellow eyes from the shadows as I started to feel around on my belt for the pouch of tossable trap netting. Without warning, I felt my uniform jacket flipped up over my head from behind and found myself tumbling off balance. I landed in a graceless heap with a thick plopping sound that let me know I was now sprawled on the spilled sour milk and felt my stomach jump as it considered dumping out dinner in response to the stench.
Today, on a list of top accomplishments/exciting things of the year, I've listed participating in LJ Idol as one of them. I'm not even a major player, nor done it very long. I think I had 2 or 3 weeks in Season 9 before I made a mistake and was late to turn in an entry and got kicked out and we're obviously not far into this current season either. But honestly, I was BUMMED HARD when I left in Season 9. LJIdol has been awesome for me. Real awesome.
The big reason why is that people actually read something I've written and comment their thoughts about it to me. To be honest, I kind of developed a hangup about blogging and writing because I've done it for 13 years to relative silence. Some of it was personal (like in MySpace or LJs back in the day) but most of it was tutorials with loads of free content. I've done crafting blogging and cooking blogging and, over the years, read books about lighting and photography, invested in an expensive camera, learned photoshop and different stuff trying to make it look more polished and respectable. My family and friends (outside of Ellison) never visited my blog because they weren't "into" blogs (to use a common phrase I was often given as the reason), so I had done all that hoping that a more professional look could maybe attract strangers or other budding artists like me and we could share together.
May these pictures stand as evidence that at least I was TRYING. It's not like I wasn't putting in effort.
I guess the situation was that I was never that good at making friends online, networking, or promoting myself to find a network of people who were interested in what I was doing. I really wasn't trying to get internet famous or make a living on ad revenue and sponsorships at all, mind. While I (like many artists) would have loved to be able to make a humble living so we could afford to keep on living my dreams, eventually all I really wanted was to be noticed by someone and make something someone would think was cool and they'd say, 'good job, you worked hard on that!'
LJIdol though has kind of been a situation I've never been in before where people actually choose to read something I created and shared and not cause I specifically asked/begged them to PLEASE look at it and maybe give me their feedback or a comment. I get more comments on a single LJIdol week entry than I ever got in the whole of 4 years art blogging! I know that I won't be in the contest forever so I'll just try to enjoy the feeling while I can. I know not everybody actually really loves what I write. I'm sure there are lots of people who are just saying something nice before moving on to tackle the 80 other posts they have to read, but I'm sure there are people who do like some of my entries. Even if not everyone loves everything I write, frankly it's just nice to have someone have read it at all. After so long feeling invisible and like nobody really cared about what I did, made, or cared about, it's so super nice to feel like someone does enjoy it a bit sometimes. And I do miss art and blogging so I can't really say how nice it feels to participate.
(Notes: for LJ Idol Week 3 --- This is a long one. Sorry. I really planned on cutting it down a lot in editing but I had a family circumstance and it was a matter of posting it rough or not posting at all. CW: mentions of abuse. It's vague but I don't want anyone caught unawares.)
“I’m going to be with him a long time,” I remember thinking to myself at one point. “But ‘a long time’ doesn’t mean forever.” It felt like a kind of weird omen and I wondered at the time why I’d have such a strange revelation about the end of something that had only just begun.
I was 18 years old and encased in a white gown when those words popped into my mind again.
“‘A long time’ doesn’t mean forever. We’ve been together a long time now. But I don’t have to do this. Do we even like each other anymore?”
I met her over slutty brownies. Apparently that is a thing. “Slutty brownies”, I mean. And a big thing too, if you were to go by the way people were gasping and grabbing for their forks.
“It’s cookie dough wrapped around Oreos, pressed into the bottom of a pan, then brownie batter poured on top,” she informed me with a vaguely country drawl that took a conspiratorial edge as she leaned over and purred in a stage whisper, “but after it cooled I also added ice cream on top. And hot fudge!” Her shared secret was rewarded with a chorus of awe and compliments on her cleverness from the assembled, and she smiled at their flattery.
Feeling Human It has been six years since the ships left our moon’s orbit and three years since the fact that these vessels were there at all had been leaked to the general populace. Had the government been able to decide how we saw the documents detailing the events of their visit, they would have been littered with so many black marks you’d be lucky to see so much as a period left over. But certain people made sure we saw them in whole and we responded with inquiries. Town halls. Lawsuits. Federal investigations. Endlessly demanding to know ‘why?’
Another species had contacted humans and a small nest of us met their message. These beings (‘aliens’, if you must call them something) had offered us a cure for human suffering that, with it, came packaged the freedom from pain, disease, and hunger. Tasked by these beings with the burden choosing for us all, these few humans debated within the few hours these visitors offered and then emerged with their decision: they refused the gift.