State of the Blog

So – hey, folks.

You may have noticed I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Sorry about that. I started a new job not too long ago, and while I’m quite happy with it, it’s been rather exhausting, and it has altered my routine a bit. Bluntly, I can’t keep to the schedule I had before.

There are two main reasons for this. First there’s the matter of timing. I tend to be busy on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and by Friday, I’m pretty tired from the work week and don’t feel much like writing. Second, I put a lot of work into the average Media Mondays or Fangirl Fridays post. I spend as much time (if not more) gathering and editing photos, finding links and referring back to notes and source material as I do in the actual writing process. I think I can handle one fairly involved post a week. I’m not sure I can handle two.

So I’m going to experiment with the schedule, lighten my workload a bit, and see if I can’t get back to blogging regularly once more. Media Mondays and Fangirl Fridays will be rolled into one series of general posts on pop culture – sometimes I’ll blog about a female character I adore, sometimes I’ll review stuff I’ve read or watched or played recently, sometimes I’ll grumble about some character or plotline or character that’s been pissing me off. Those posts will go up over the weekend, when I tend to have a lot more spare time.

On Thursdays, I’ll talk about writing. I don’t expect those posts to change much from the Writing Wednesdays posts you all know and love, though obviously I’ll be giving them a new name. I’m leaning toward Writer’s Block, though perhaps I’m tempting fate with that title. I’ll figure it out by Thursday.

Finally, it seems like my rants on various topics tend to be fairly well received, and I do enjoy the variety, so I’m going to do more of them. On the first three (or, rarely, four) Tuesdays of the month, I’ll speak from personal experience. Talk about something that’s been on my mind in a fairly freewheeling, link-light kind of way. I can’t promise relentless logic or mountains of citations, but I’ll try to make it interesting, at least.

I’m hoping to start all this tomorrow – there’s a blog post that’s been making the rounds among my Mormon friends that’s stirred up a lot of thoughts and feelings, and once again, I feel moved to speak. I hope you’ll all be patient with me. Hopefully I’ll find my groove again soon.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Gone Fishing

Hey everyone –

Here’s the deal. I just put a busy-as-hell week behind me. I’ve got another one ahead. And things are likely to return to something resembling normalcy after that, but right now…I’m exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally. That last post, especially, took a lot out of me. That’s not a place I like going back to, and it always takes its toll. I could try to force some posts out, and I do have a few ideas…but I want to get this stuff right. I don’t want to post something I can’t be at least a little proud of. And I don’t want to keep letting my schedule slip the way it has been lately.

So I’m taking the week. I’m going to spend a little time on my mental health. I’m going to focus on writing the next couple chapters of Fall. I’m going to recharge my batteries, and I’m going to come back fresh.

See you in a week. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

– Cass

Summer Pledge Drive Update

TL;DR: This is getting a little more urgent than I’d originally thought it would be, and I’m upgrading ‘I could really use your help’ to ‘I could really, really use your help.’ Please click here to donate.

Confession time: when I was a kid, pledge season was the WORST. Suddenly they were interrupting all my favorite PBS shows with some stupid crap about tote bags and DVD sets, and I just did not get it. Wasn’t PBS supposed to be free of commercials? I mean, wasn’t that half the reason I was watching? (The other half being that my parents encouraged me and my sister to watch public television rather than network or cable TV…yeah, that really didn’t take as we grew older.) But as I grew older, and I realized how many hoops public television and similar organizations had to jump through just to keep going…I developed a new appreciation for the pledge drive. Boy howdy, do I understand the need for that kind of public appeal now.

I just had a small family conference, and it turns out straits are a little more dire than I’d realized. On top of my own medical bills, we’ve got electric and gas bills and car payments to take care of somehow before my first paycheck comes in. This still isn’t a matter of life and death, but it’s pretty dire. We are really, really close to getting things back on track…but we need a last little push over this final hill.

I don’t have tote bags. I don’t have DVDs. I really don’t have a lot to offer here…except my work. So here’s the deal: you know that novel I keep talking around in my Writing Wednesdays posts? That queer supernatural romance/modern fantasy story I’ve been calling Fall? Well, if this pledge drive gets going, I’ll start posting content. In the long term, I’ll post one chapter, or one short piece set in the same world, for every $500 donated to the pledge drive. But because I could really use the cash sooner rather than later, I’ll modify that offer slightly for the short term: for every $250 donated to the pledge drive before April 30, I will post one chapter from Fall, or one short piece of no less than 4,000 words set in the same world.

Now, I can’t promise that those chapters will be the final versions from the full manuscript – details might still change as I work on finishing the novel completely. And I can’t promise they’ll come out any faster than one installment a week. But I can do one installment a week. I can give you all – every last one of you – a glimpse into this world, a taste of things to come, if some of you can just reach out and lend a hand. I’m sure some of you have been curious about the book itself. Well…here’s your chance to see it.

If you can’t donate yourself, again, please tell your friends, your family, your followers on Twitter, anyone and everyone who might be able and willing to help. Signal boosting is much appreciated as well. The more people who hear about this, the better my chances of meeting or exceeding my goals. And the sooner those goals are met, the sooner I can stop bothering everyone with this campaign. I would not be asking if it wasn’t important.

Please click here to donate. Literally anything will help. Thank you.

Red Fangirl Needs Funds Badly

Let me begin by saying that I hate to do this, particularly after so many of you donated so generously to help me kick ass at PAX East and I didn’t go nearly as far as I’d hoped in the Omegathon. But there have been some unpleasant surprises in the last couple weeks, especially in the wake of the con, and the fact of the matter is that I need to pass the hat again and ask you for anything you feel comfortable giving. I’ve set up a new fundraising drive and this time I’m asking for…well, more than I was last time. But every little bit will help.

Getting into specifics, those unpleasant surprises I mentioned are, namely, a $1500 bill from my recent hospital stay (and I have unfortunately confirmed that my insurance will not cover it) and the slow but inevitable decline of my faithful laptop, Kara. I have a lot of other bills I really need to get around to paying, and money has been generally tight for my family for a while, but those are the main problems I’m facing this very second. I did start a new job today, but obviously I won’t be paid for a little while and a lot of my paycheck is going to go to day-to-day expenses. I’ve sold just about everything I could think to sell – and could bear to part with – on eBay already to pay other expenses, so that’s not an option at this point. I’m tapped out and I could really use some help closing up this gap.

Look, this isn’t a matter of life and death. I’m not going to keel over if I don’t meet my funding goals. But things are not great right this second, and I’m forced to ask for help again. If you like the blog, and if you would like the blog to continue past the point where my current laptop dies (because, honestly, if I have to borrow my father’s computer or hit up my local library to use the Internet, I won’t be able to update as often), then please consider giving something. Anything will be greatly appreciated and immediately put to use – the beauty of GoFundMe is that the funds become immediately available as soon as payment goes through, less the fees they charge for their services, and so I can start paying off bills right away. If you can’t give anything, please consider giving me a signal boost. The more people who see this, the more likely I am to hit my goals.

I’m setting my initial goal at $5000. That’ll cover the medical bill, a new laptop, and a whole lot of family expenses and sundry debts, even after GoFundMe takes their cut. Anything past that…well, that’ll be huge. And it’ll go to good use. There are always more bills to pay, there are projects I want to start in the coming months that could use some seed money, and just…having some breathing room financially, some cash to spare, would be really, really great. I’ll try to do some nice things for the donors. I don’t know what just yet, because I’m a little too freaked out to think clearly about it, but I will think of something.

Whether you donate or not…thanks for reading. Thank you for your support, even if all you can spare are vibes. Whether I manage to make enough from donations to cover my looming debts or not, I truly do appreciate everything you all have done, and I promise I’ll keep going, keep doing what I’ve been doing, just as long as I can.

Click here to donate.

Out Sick

If you follow my Twitter feed, you may have already heard that I fell very, very ill last week and had to go to the hospital. I got out on Tuesday and have spent the last few days recovering and catching up on other stuff (including the GLBTQA Gamer Meetup), so the blog has fallen by the wayside. And it’s going to stay there for a while longer. I’ve picked up a cold, I have another chapter of Fall to bang out, and I’m generally not ready to get back into the routine just yet.

Normal posting should resume with a Media Mondays post next week, and hopefully I’ll find the time to clear the backlog of topics I’ve been wanting to blog about over the next week. Sorry for the interruption. Thanks to everyone who’s wished me better health – I’m getting there.

 

Pink

Yep, the blog is now using a pink color scheme. This isn’t meant to play off the fangirl thing – as others have noted, the problem with pink is not that some girls and women like pink, but that corporations seem to think we all like nothing but pink.

See, personally, I like pink. It’s a sometimes color, to be sure, but it’s fun. My Ridiculously Pink Coat is a major artifact that gives me +10 to Pink, and everyone who knows me knows to tremble in its terrible wake. I have a slight preference for purple, or green, but of all the color options available to me for this blog, pink hurt my eyes the least. So pink it is. Until I find a design/color theme I like better, anyway.

Some Notes On The Blog

I have something more interesting planned later today, but I thought I’d take a moment now to tell you all a few things about the blog’s structure. See, the fact is, I haven’t blogged in any concerted way in a long while, and I’ve never really blogged for an audience. So, to get myself back in the habit, I’m setting up some regular theme days designed to guarantee that I will always write at least three posts a week. All of these theme days have hokey, alliterative names because (say it with me) I am not cooler than you. I am a dork.

Yes, you can expect that to be my blog’s mantra.

So! Every week, you can expect to see the following:

Media Mondays, in which I discuss something I’ve read, watched, played, whatever. It’s my chance to make some recommendations and write some mini-reviews. Because I tend to end up with backlogs (especially when it comes to video games and books), you might see me talk about something that’s been out for a while, but I’ll try to give my own personal spin on it nonetheless.

Writing Wednesdays, in which I discuss various aspects of my writing process and the projects I’m working on (insofar as I can discuss those projects). Pretty straightforward.

And, last but not least, Fangirl Fridays. The first post in that series is already up, but again, Fangirl Fridays are my chance to gush about something I love. I’ll usually talk about why I love whatever the hell I’m talking about, but don’t expect a lot of deep analysis – I’ll tend to reserve more nuanced reviews for my other posts.

Aside from that, I’ll be posting here and there about whatever catches my fancy. But those three theme posts should be constant, week in and week out, provided I’m not on vacation or trapped in a cave surrounded by ravenous wolves or both. I’ll publicize all my new posts on Facebook and Twitter, and of course you’re always more than welcome to follow me, but come back on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and you’ll definitely see something new.

And later today, I’ll be expanding on the topic that finally got me off my butt and onto WordPress: piracy. See you then.