Zombies! | #AtoZ #LetterZ #nonfiction

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I did spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

I’m breaking format because

A) it’s the last entry

and

B) A to Z wouldn’t be the same without an obligatory Zombie post!

This probably is the same as years before, because I like zombie movies, but oh well. Nobody will probably stop by anyway!

Alice in Zombieland (affiliate link): I enjoyed this when I read it years ago. It’s been so long that Amazon doesn’t even notify me that I’ve already read it. It doesn’t even appear to be on my Kindle, which is weird, because I know it was an electronic version that I read. Well, maybe it was one of the two books on the Nook that died. It was good, though. Definitely recommend.

World War Z (affiliate link): The book was not as enjoyable for me as was the Brad Pitt movie. I really loved the movie. I remember watching and wondering why the monsters were swerving around the old man and the bald kid, and coming to a similar but ultimately incorrect conclusion. No spoilers. If you haven’t read the book, I mean, I’m glad I read it, I don’t regret it, but if you haven’t seen the movie, watch it first. You won’t be ruining anything, in my opinion.

Resident Evil (affiliate link): Milla Jovovich did a great job in these films. I haven’t played the games, so I don’t have any opinions on how faithful the movies were to the games they were based on (they were based on video games, right?), but I really enjoyed the movies. I loved that they kept bringing back dead characters (Michelle Rodriguez, Ali Larter) in future films, not replacing them with other actors. I think I own them all in one form or another. I should watch them all before this post goes out.

The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead: Okay, I’ll be honest. I enjoyed the first season of the latter, and I’ve seen several seasons of the former, but I haven’t completed either one. I know, the shame! Especially for a zombie movie lover such as myself! At this point, if I ever do decide to see all the episodes, I”ll have to start back at the beginning. I don’t know if I can live through the prison season again, though. *sigh* Although, really, during a pandemic sounds like the perfect time to re-watch these…

Shaun of the Dead: Watched it, enjoyed it, but don’t have much more to say about it.

Pontypool: This was not strictly a zombie movie, exactly, but it was very close. If you like regular zombie stuff, you’ll enjoy this film about a disease that spreads like zombie movies diseases spread (quickly) where the infected become violent (like zombies do, generally), but with a twist that I will not spoil.

28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later: So the only reason I watched the sequel is because Robert Carlyle starred in it, but it was worthy, as was the original. Not to be mistaken for the Sandra Bullock movie about a recovery program with a very similar name, these are just bloody zombie flicks through and through.

I know there are other zombie movies I’ve seen, and I know there are more I own, but I don’t have my glasses on and I can barely see my screen, so I’m going to call it here and come back to add more if I think of them at a time when I am more awake and have my eyesight enhancers within reach.

Thanks so much for stopping by for my A to Z posts! I hope you enjoyed, and if not, well, thank you for not mentioning it! <3

Loves!

You… | #AtoZ #LetterY #nonfiction

…matter.

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I did spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

Of course you do. Does that seem like a strange statement to make? Well, I say it only to beat down that voice in the back of my head (and possibly yours) that creeps up occasionally to try to tell you that you’re not.

Do you hear that voice? I hear that voice. It sounds like me. It’s very, very good at impersonation.

It’s louder when there are other negative things happening. It magnifies the other things.

I don’t like it.

You matter.

You are beautiful.

You are amazing.

You are awesome.

You are so sweet.

You are so kind.

You are loved, and you are loving.

Can you even hear those in your own voice? It took practice before I could hear them in my voice. The very first times I tried, it was like an allergic reaction.

EW. That’s just…no. I can’t say that. Who says that? Just those stupid woowoo self-help idiots. Yuck. No, I don’t need that shit. I”m fine. There’s nothing wrong.

SHUT IT.

I have to be stern with that Other voice, the one that wants me to believe I’m worthless, that wants me to hate myself. But I’ve given that Other voice entirely too much attention. Almost 40 years of attention. That’s entirely too much.

The journey to self-love and self-acceptance has not been easy, and sometimes it’s easy to loose my grip on where I stand now. Sometimes I realize I didn’t build my little island well enough, and I slip or stumble or fall, but then I remember I planted that really great tree, and then realize I’ve been mixing my metaphors a bit more but it doesn’t matter and I grab a branch, and steady myself.

I’m going to start a book recommendation list of the books I read along the way. Of course, if you have access to a good therapist, you’re already on the path. I’m not ready for a therapist yet. I’m doing okay with my books, but I know the therapist is a step on the journey I’ll need to make eventually.

Anyway.

What was I going on about?

Oh, yes.

You matter.

Loves!

X… | #AtoZ #LetterX #nonfiction

…is a hard letter to come up with a word for, so I’m not even going to try.

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I did spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

This post is not going to be about the letter X. Sorry, not sorry.

I have finally wanted to write in the past couple of days. It’s so nice to feel like that again. I lost that feeling in January, and never got it back. It’s now nearing the end of April, and it’s creeping back. <3 Lovely.

I am not going to try to think about what I want to write. I am not going to plan. I have a few phrases in the “Quarantine Journal” I started when our company went to work-from-home. I like these, and when I get stuck or too in-my-head, I find myself going back to them. I keep adding, too, so this list may not be the final list when the journal is done.

Ooh, you know who else had “rules” like this? Gibbs!

  1. How can I help others?
  2. What am I grateful for?
  3. The plan is to not have a plan.
  4. Why not?
  5. Other people’s opinions are none of my business.

So far, it’s a good list. In my journal, it’s got heart-shaped bullet points because it’s me, but I like the rules idea. That was always a great thing whenever someone mentioned another “rule”. I know there’s a website out there that has cataloged as many as were mentioned. Possibly more than one.

So this morning when I woke up, grugingly, just before 6 a.m., when my youngest was also awake and in my chair (ARGH), I went to rule number 3.

Not immediately, of course. I struggled with going back to sleep, and then I struggled with the fact that my child was in my spot, the secondhand recliner that’s in the process of falling apart that everyone loves. And then I struggled with why did I even want to do this? I had prepped JY to not encourage me to go back to sleep if I managed to wake at 6 am, or even 5, but not especially well on the why.

I had to think about why I wanted to be up. Rule 4 doesn’t fit well here, because Why not? is more of a “Why not go back to sleep?” kind of question, and boy, does sleep sound really good right now when I was awake until almost midnight.

But no. What was the plan? To sit in the chair. That wasn’t the whole reason though. What was the reason? To be productive. Write! I wanted to write. “Hand me my Chromebook,” I ordered, and JY complied, in surprisingly good spirits. “You seem agressive,” JY mentioned when I ripped into the pink-zippered case and tossed it aside. “Determined,” I said, still mostly asleep. “There’s a difference.”

And that is how I came to be here, on entry X, the Friday before it’s due.

Which, by the way, how did I get almost all the way through April? The last I checked, I still had 10 days left. :\

Whatever… | #AtoZ #LetterW #nonfiction

…it’s all good.

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I did spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

I don’t really know what to write about for the letter W. I had some thoughts, but none of them really seemed like the right choice.

I thought first of Wanderers, the 30-plus-hour audiobook (and novel) by local(ish) author Chuck Wendig which I am currently almost all the way through. I think I have 7 hours remaining, and I’m really enjoying it. But I don’t want to write an entire post about it because it is very relevant, reflecting our current existence to a scary degree, and I don’t know that folks want to hear about it.

And then I thought of Whatever, but that made me think of John Scalzi’s blog, another author who isn’t particularly local, but is just one state away. While I do really enjoy Scalzi’s writing (Redshirts was awesome, and The Collapsing Empire series is fantastic), I don’t have enough to say about him or his blog to fill an entire entry.

Then I thought of what I ended up going with, “Whatever, it’s all good,” which is something I say occasionally for whatever reason. Usually when I’m asked my opinion and I don’t really have a strong one. “Would you rather have pizza or tacos for lunch?” Whatever, it’s all good.

Ultimately…meh. Whatever.

It’s all good.

Sunday, just keepin’ the streak alive!

I don’t want to be misleading – I’m actually writing this on Sunday. This whole “scheduling posts” thing is apparently something I’m getting used to.

WordPress just told me I’m on a 13 day streak – 14, as of Sunday, when this post will appear. And I have four more posts scheduled after that to finish off the A to Z posts.

So, what’s going on here lately?

Well, I believe I have successfully acquired a replacement for the dead laptop. I believe I mentioned it here, but if not, earlier this month (maybe back in March – time is weird lately) my beloved laptop went toes up and refused to restart. It’s been acting weird for ages, so I’d been backing things up as best I could in anticipation.

My laptop is used for three main things:

Banking

I used to keep all my bill-paying, register-keeping, budget-less financial affairs on paper, but thankfully over the last 20 years or so, I hauled everything onto the computer. I had this really great Excel spreadsheet at one point that was a check register on steroids, and I really wish that particular thing hadn’t died, but it did. Eventually, I made the switch to Quicken, and it’s not perfect, and I don’t completely understand it, but it’s working out.

I had started making weekly backups of my Quicken data once I realized things were going south, and thankfully, it made the jump over to my backup computer nearly seamlessly.

Same goes for my passwords. I make complicated passwords with the help of Keepass, which, thankfully, also made the merge to the backup computer rather well. Thank goodness for that bit of luck on both counts!

Publishing

I haven’t done it in a while, but my laptop is the home for all the programs I need to publish books. While I can write my heart out on my Chromebook, I need to format with Word, which does not exist here.

My issue is going to be finding the Microsoft Office CDs. I know they exist in my house somewhere, and I have a general idea where they might be, but I have a feeling I’m going to need to clean an awful lot before I can locate them.

I am very, very lucky that by some cosmic stroke of luck, I work in a position that requires they provide Adobe products for me to do my job. So I also will have occasional access the the software needed to format print publications, as the need arises.

Minecraft

I game. I’m a gamer. I’m not a full-time gamer, and I’m not very good at it, but I do love me some Minecraft, and my poor, old laptop had served me well in that regard. I also play a variety of games on Steam, and I just realized my progress on one of the idle clicker games will be completely reset. Darn it, I only had three more achievements before I’d earned all 100.

Well, at any rate. The new machine should perform a little better in regards to games, and publishing, for that matter.

What else is going on over here?

Moving

Well, last week I only made it out for one walk, and in May there’s a Summer movement challenge to walk 165 miles between May 1 and November 2, 2020. I was aware of this challenge last year, but I didn’t really make an effort to accomplish it. Then there was a mini-challenge in February to walk 30 miles, and I managed that one. In fact, that challenge was critically motivating. When you “win” these challenges by logging in your miles on the website, they send you a prize of some sort. I learned from friends that the more miles you log above and beyond the minimum goal set by the challenge, the better prize you win.

So I’m really looking forward to the 165-mile challenge this summer. I’ll be also trying to do a C25K program on my own, since the in-person one was cancelled. They offered a partial refund, and I took them up on it since I don’t know when I’ll be able to reschedule it. If I can start running, that will make it easier to get more miles on the challenge.

Reading

I’m reading a couple books, lately. First, I picked up a paperback copy of The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation (affiliate link) by Caitlin Fisher (her blog). I consider myself a Xennial, as firmly planted between Gen X and Millennial as I am, so it doesn’t strictly apply to me, but I’m sure there are things to be learned from it.

The second book I tried to get in paperback, but it wasn’t shipping so I got the ebook for Unorthodox (affiliate link), by Deborah Feldman (her website). I saw the Netflix show of the same name that was based on her book, and I loved it.

I find it strange that while I am not religious, learning about religions is positively fascinating and captivating for me. I have gone through the same fascination with other religions and mythologies (which, I would argue, should probably still be considered religions because I’m certain the people living with those gods considered it a religion as we define it now – we only call them myths because we believe them to now be false, something I’m certain is going to happen with Catholic and Hebrew mythologies someday), including but not limited to the Amish, Greek, Roman, and Japanese mythologies (I wrote a research paper lining up the similarities in high school), Mennonites, Witnesses, and the Mormon church.

Writing?

So I’m reading more. And, fantastically, I actually want to write again! Now, here’s a thing: writing is an art that should be practiced, just like the piano, flute, painting, pottery, photography, etc. One gets better the more practice one gets. And I also believe that it’s a thing that should be done regardless of whether one feels “inspired to write.” It’s not something that should only be done when one is in the mood, but rather a routine that is done regularly.

This doesn’t mean that Life doesn’t sometime get in the way. This doesn’t mean that sometimes you simply do not have time, or the ability, to write. It does mean (for me) that “writer’s block” is an excuse I use not to write, not an actual thing keeping me from writing. I’m going to own that. I haven’t written since January because I didn’t want to, not because something (an emotion like depression, an event like working from home, an illness like shingles) made it so I couldn’t.

The flu, though – the flu absofuckinglutely kept me from writing. I slept and took meds and slept again. The shingles just made me itch. That does not mean that shingles wouldn’t keep someone else from writing – shingles can be just as debilitating as influenza for some people. It just wasn’t for me. It was annoying. And painful. And on my fucking neck. Anyway!

My point is, I haven’t been writing because I didn’t want to write, and now I want to write again, and I’m very grateful for that. And I do want to work hard on turning it into a habit that happens whether I’m “in the mood” or not, like I mentioned above. Wish me luck!

The End

That’s all I have for today. I’m looking forward to writing a short story to get up on Patreon, then up for sale. I’m looking forward to writing some to put here, in case folks would like to read things here. I’m looking forward to filming and tracking my 165-mile Challenge progress here and on YouTube.

Oh! Monday I’m going to try to move my channel to a Brand Account and change the name to “growing up walls,” like the blog. I like the blog name, I like that as a channel name, and I have the Instagram and Twitter accounts on hold for when I’m ready for that. I’m still a baby channel, so I think the impact will be minimal.

That’s really it now! Loves!