Feminine author woes. And bears.

Ladies and gentlemen, at the risk of a completely over-sharing, I’m going to tell you a “biological secret” based on an informal poll.

I want to talk to you about the dangers of PMS as a female author.

PMS is a double-edged sword when it comes to writing: it either makes it impossible to write (I HATE MYSELF AND MY WORDS), or it results in the occasionally irrevocable death of certain characters. (This is the day bitches die, ya’ll.)

First, let’s address the Word-Hate and the spiral of self-doubt.:

PMS begins. Typical symptoms (at least for me) include an increased intake of chocolate or other favorite foods. Moodiness. Desperate, biological needs to watch Vin Diesel action movies. Then, you, beautiful lady, sit down to write. The first few words come out all wobbly.  No big deal, you think. I’ll take five minutes to collect myself. 

Chocolate is eaten. You think maybe you can run a quick errand and go put on your loose-fit jeans only to discover they are most definitely no longer loose. Well. Fuck you, too, Mother Nature.  Back to writing, because, uh, not leaving the house like this—no sir, the groceries can wait. I have Ramen.

The next batch or words comes out even more wonky than the first because you’re thinking about how terribly those jeans fit. You try to refocus, but then you realize that not only do those jeans not fit, but you are also a horrible writer. I mean, look at that shit. It’s not even grammatically correct.

God, and don’t even get me started on the adverbs. The fuck were you thinking, “overtly?” Why is that word even needed?  And for that matter, why is that character so overtly annoying? I can’t even believe I wrote this drivel—who is this person? Who am I? WHY WON’T VIN DIESEL LOVE ME?

And then come the sobs, and the gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes, the frantic calls to your best pals—who, if they are really pals—come rushing to your aid, only to find you, faced smeared with chocolate, hugging yours knees in a dark corner of the bathroom. Possibly muttering about the evils of reflective surfaces and pants.

That’s the one edge of the sword. The second is by far more fun, because you’re not doubting or hating on yourself. Example:

PMS begins. Typical symptoms. You sit down to write, and everything is going pretty well. You’re on a high, farting rainbows and singing the praises of a life drenched in literature (and chocolate). Then, quite suddenly, one of your characters goes and does something a) stupid, b) sexist, c) mean, or d) all of the above. 

At this point, it’s totally that character’s fault, not yours.

He ran away with the plot. He broke the rules. He called your protagonist a pansy if front of the whole school. And, being the Mighty Creator of the world, this triggers an unholy rage:

Death is coming. I will put hot pokers in every orifice imaginable. I will cover you in honey and tie you to a tree so that bears will eat you. I will end you.  I WILL REND YOUR SOUL FROM THE UNIVERSE. THERE WILL BE NO AFTERLIFE. MWHAHAHAHaha–hackwheeze–haha.

Real life objects may or may not be thrown around. Chocolate will not appease this raging war-machine, only more death. It’s possible to write a scene in which everyone will die, simply to sate the blood-lust—sorry, poor choice of words.

But it’s all okay, because you can go back and rewrite the whole thing when reason finally returns. Which you will. With fewer bears.

Ladies, the only piece of advice I have for you during this trying time of the month is to not write. At all. Save yourself the trouble.

Gentlemen: good luck.


Girl, this my jam!

My lovelies, I’ve been a lazy sod this week. My brain ran out of steam, and therefore, ideas. I have nothing to say for myself. *hangs head in shame*

I humbly apologize. Please accept this video of possibly the cutest thing on the Interwebs I have seen in the past 48 hours as a peace-offering:

Writer’s Block in a Room Full of Cats

Writer’s block is the bane of an author’s life. It is frustrating, agonizing, and entirely self-induced.

Writer’s block, in the traditional sense, isn’t a block at all. It is many things: doubt, burn out, fear, laziness, the subconscious realization what you’re working on isn’t actually working.

I haven’t written in two weeks, aside from this blog. Am I blocked? Pssh, no. I know exactly what I want to write. I was just burned out. I went on vacation and thought perhaps I would write there, but I did not–not until the night before I left, and then it was only a little blurb about pirates. (I was at the beach. There may have been rum.)

And then I came home and proceeded to be extraordinarily lazy. Allow me to explain to you the variety of lazy I am talking about, here. I didn’t do my hair for work, I just pulled it into a pony-tail. I neglected the dishes frequently. I avoided chores. I didn’t even unpack my suitcase. My whole self was in denial about being home, and damnit, I wasn’t going to do anything associated with my normal routine unless I absolutely had to do it.

I can feel myself going into a bit of writing withdrawal, though. As in, the less I write the less likely I’m going to apply my butt to a chair and write. It’s a vicious cycle that I alone must break.

Inevitably, the moment I sit down to write, this will land on my keyboard:

"Love me?"

And occasionally this:

“Whatcha doing?”

And that, my friends, would be the only true writer’s block. Even that goes away with a good scratch and a gentle nudge.

A List of 10 Random Things

Or, as I like to call them: grasshopper thoughts. It’s Friday, my lovelies. Humor me.

The List:

1) I am an action hero on the inside. One of my favorite things about writing is that I get to be a badass motherfucker via my characters, without ever having to give up ice cream or break a bone or something. (Also, anyone want to put together an Action Hero Fitness Plan? I’d buy that faster than the infomercial host could say “But wait, there’s more!”)

2) Microsoft Word just autocorrected “bad ass mother fucker” to “badass motherfucker,” and it made me giggle on the inside. Oh, Microsoft, thank you for making my profanity grammatically correct.

3) Any Action Hero Fitness Plans should include watching cheesy, gory action flicks like The Expendables, for use as motivational tools. Complete three workouts successfully? Watch a movie.

4) …maybe The Plan should also be hosted by Jason Statham. I’m just sayin’.

5) Whenever a male movie star that I admire does something generous, silly or truly brave, my first thought is always “sweet boy.” No matter their age. Sorry, guys. In a similar vein, admired female movie stars get a “that’s my girl!” Because, you know, I obviously have a deep connection and friendship with these people. Via Twitter.

And at the ripe old age of 28, I’m…uh…matronly? STOP LAUGHING. Damn kids.

6) I’ve recently become obsessed with the word “lumineer,” in part due to the catchy music of The Lumineers, and in part due to the fact that I like to obsess over words. A search of the Great Oracle of Life reveals the Lumineers are brand-name dental veneers. This is a considerably less glamorous role for that word than I expected.

7) I also like the word “resonate.”

8) I adopted a word once. Uglyography.

Did you know you could adopt words? I can’t find my original “agency,” but I came across this one, which is a children’s charity based in the UK.

9) I’d like to think a lumineer is some sort of mythical creature. Somewhere between a fairy, elf and ethereal spirit, existing simultaneously in our world and someplace Other.

Dude. I claim this. DIBS, I SAY!

10) I really do love action movies. It’s quite therapeutic watching people shoot the living shit out of each other. Knowing that it’s all fake, of course. Damn. I’m not actually homicidal. Or a psychopath. (Nice save. “Write yourself out of this one, Joan Wilder.”)