My Scattered Mind: Episode 3 – Martin Chizzlewit.

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A new podcast episode has just gone up, it has a near matching title. It’s a day late and a dollar short, as the saying goes – but it’s a fairly accurate description, I’m not at the top of my snark game in this episode.

I’ve been home alone for roughly half a week, I’ll try to remember to update you on how that is going in the morning.

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‘Prohibitive’

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I know what you’re thinking. “That mad woman is writing another post, she just finished the first one!”

Well, in my first one I used a word. A very specific word. Prohibitive. It’s a tiny bit sexy. A description which has nothing whatsoever to do with the meaning.

I used the word ‘prohibitive’ several times today, not incorrectly, nor in fact with the intention of over using it. Simply because it was the right word at the time. Three topics come to mind: international shipping, the price of housing, and taxiing home for the vehicularly challenged.

So I had looked at buying a gift for Mrs TeddyBear’s birthday online… but the shipping was going to cost $30NZ for a small parcel (less than the size and weight of a standard 300page 5×8 paperback), then in my search for Santa Olivia by one of my all time favourite authors (Jacqueline Carey) they told me that the shipping would add about $10NZ to the cost of the book, and then the ‘oh dear’ moment when it was out of print. And the only reason it was going to be that cheap on shipping is that they would have it added to their supply shipment – were it available.

I spoke about the state of housing in the previous post, so I’ll say no more here.

Taxis. So as previously stated, and repeated for those just joining us. I’m currently between homes, and living out of a suitcase in my parents spare room (and yes I have a child who is here as well – it’s just so much fun…). But what you may not know (I’ve no idea whether I have mentioned this before or not, though likely I have; is that they live in a village adjacent to the city. I works for them. It’s our on the harbour, only 10 minutes walk to the boating club and a 15 minute drive into the city for work. I don’t drive, so I’m reliant on the public transport service – aka the bus. It runs once an hour, with additional runs at the start and close of business hours. It’s expensive ($10 each way for both me and my kid), more reliable than it was, and it doesn’t run over night – though none of them run past 11pm). So if I want to support my friend, who is in a band (and she’s really good, though it’s a new band she’s in and I’ve never heard them before) I have to make a lot of arrangements. No one. No one ever suggest that I get a taxi home to my parents house. $45-50 depending on traffic. Back when I lived in town, finding an extra $10-15 to set aside for the taxi home was a non-issue. Now, it’s a big issue. I don’t spend that much on the rest of my night out. Prohibitive is definitely the right word.

General Update…[I dislike that title]

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It’s been a while since I last wrote… pretty much at all.

I wrote a short little blog post a month ago, and I, sporadically, keep a journal. That’s it.

See, I’m itching to write. Really write, not just a blog post – though I do enjoy writing these for y’all. But of all stupid things, I packed (all together for once) all of my novel/story notes into one box. It’s probably the only box in a 20 foot storage unit that has the name ‘Talia’ scrawled across the top, but what can you do? And everything is in there, all the paperwork and empty bank statements, the novel notes, the quotes that I collated for FTGU, random ideas (alternately scrawled in various notebooks and on loose sheets of paper), an entire short story that I hand wrote (at the metaphorical speed of light) at stupid o’clock in the morning and still haven’t transcribed, the NaNo Box (cleared of all candy except for one king size block of chocolate…). And it’s all, somewhere, down the right-hand side of my storage unit, which I didn’t pack, and thus can’t find anything. I may have to take up a story that I have started, but that is never going to be published. (Yes, the plot line is that bad – but I write it for me) I don’t even think it’s on Wattpad… but if I look I’ll definitely find it there. I’ve been pretty remiss in updating my stories on Wattpad. I might need to look into that again. I have ideas, things that need writing. My fingers long for the sensation of tapping away at a keyboard for 8 or more hours a day… okay that one says I miss uni, but it’s still writing even if it is an assessed essay.

I’ve taken to writing a little bit of poetry. I am not a huge fan of poetry. I have a few poets that I like (the first to mind is Blake), but as a rule I have no patience for it. I see it’s merit, I just don’t enjoy it. But I used to write a lot of poetry (as an angst ridden teen), I almost liken it to the image of the heart as a drawer, that one removes, tips out and then stirs through to see what’s there. It turns out that occasionally writing poetry is good for the mental health. I have a friend who runs a small indie literary magazine. Frankly, I have a couple of poems that I’m thinking about sending. I just need to dig out my ‘bio’, and dust it off to send along with them.

The House Situation…
Imagine a string of frustrated noises issuing from a human trying to behave in a manner at least resembling civilised when they feel anything but… and you might be coming close to how I have been the last few days.
The state of housing in this city (I can’t speak for the rest of the country) is such that I can’t afford to rent anything that is actually habitable, but I could pay the mortgage on something twice as nice (or bigger and average, c’est la vie)… of course I can’t get a mortgage because I’m unemployed and have no deposit… so there goes that option.
Which leaves me still at my parents house, with most of my clothes in storage as I only brought a suitcase, and little hope in sight.
I found a great place, literally the house of my dreams, and I missed out – weirdly it was in budget… but apparently location is everything, and that drove the price way down.

In this month’s podcast we’ll have book two of the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel’s Chosen) – On a related note, I tried to find Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey, which is apparently out of print, super sad face, but really at this point I’m not very sure why I bother trying, Ms Carey (one of my all time favourite authors might I add) is just ‘too obscure’ for New Zealand booksellers, and even if you can convince one of them to bring it in there is the prohibitive cost of shipping.
The content review will be a movie (single part this time): Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
I have no clue what I’m going to snark… very possibly more ‘my immortal’ [you’ll notice that I deny it the courtesy of capitals and italics… it does not deserve them]; but I may yet do another plot line. If anyone has anything that they feel I should snark the daylights out of please do email it to the podcast at myscatteredmindpodcast@gmail.com

If you have any freelance editing that needs done, feel free to email me at talianyx.author@gmail.com, if you want me to beta read something for you; this is also the address that you want.

Yes, multiple email addresses. But they go to different devices, and also allow me to keep everything organised.

Let’s get down to business!

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Did you know that today is my four year anniversary with WordPress.com? I had no clue until my notifications told me.

Wow, four years of boring you all to tears with my incessant rambling…

Episode 2 of my Podcast went live five or ten minutes ago, so here is the link to that. Give it a listen – and do let me know what you think of it. I can’t improve it if I don’t know what y’all love and hate about it. This month I reviewed the first book in Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series, setting the tone for the next five months as well. By all means do send me content to review – websites, movies, YouTube channels or videos, articles… you get the idea. And if you have something for me to snark/rip to pieces that I can handle reading more of a paragraph of before I run away and hide (or worse detour to Rant Town), that would save us all from my continued reading of My Immortal which is apparently the worst fan-fiction in the world. And I can’t say that I disagree after reading the first chapter/paragraph.

I am still looking for a home, so if anyone feels like donating a house I would be super appreciative. In other news on the home front… I am trying to get myself into an organised frame of mind. Let’s just say that moving was a nightmare (but really when isn’t it), but I am attempting to make a schedule of when I move the furniture to clean under and behind it.

The school holidays are nearly over (Southern Hemisphere, so it’s summer now), and honestly school can’t come soon enough. I love my kid, but we are starting to really annoy each other.
On the plus side, I have taught him to eat like a civilised human being (read that as proper table manners, and correct cutlery use). He is now learning how to behave when eating in restaurants, to practice I took him to the local La Porchetta. It wasn’t as bad as I had feared, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Until next time.

Homeless…

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I am officially between homes at the moment, though my son, my suitcase, and I are currently squatting at my mother’s.
The long story of my journey from my own rental to my mother’s spare room will be covered in my January Podcast.

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday, and New Year. I won’t suggest that I was spoiled with gifts, but I have been showered with help and practicality. Including my temporary digs.

In other news I should be writing, but my notes, are packed in a box (with the rest of my notes), in the back of my 20 foot storage container.

In the unlikely event that you follow my Goodreads reading challenge, you will know that I haven’t actually started reading the book I have promised to review. I’ll tell you a secret, while it is one of the 6 books I have with me, it is a book that I have read at least once a year for the last fifteen years. Which makes me feel old. Especially considering I was 17 when I first read that book. I will be watching the mini-series for review this weekend.

Please do bear with me while I work out the technical side of editing the podcast, the microphone I am using now has much better quality; but  it has more visible sound when I go to edit. I’m learning, but I’m afraid that you will be coming along for the ride with me.

Also, I am back…
Which should actually have been obvious, you know, 6 paragraphs ago.

Time to Take Control

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The title of my post today may have given the game away, so to speak.

I have written previously of my, minor, obsession with Russian films starring a particular actor. Who my Wrimos, and friends know as GB or Gorgeous Boy. I should take the time to explain that although he really is stunning, calling him a boy is something of a misnomer. He is most certainly a man. Just barely older than me, he has accomplished more in his career than I have at all. I’d be lying if that didn’t make me feel more than a little inadequate. And most intriguing (to me at least) is that it’s not his looks that make me feel inadequate.

When I left school at 18, I had so many plans! And I have achieved so very few of them. Being a bit of a hippy, I wanted to study natural medicine, and start a small clinic. I moved to the other end of my country to make that dream come true. And wound up working full time in order to support this full time study. Then I stumbled across a new plan. Free international travel, in exchange for work – granted. I was ready to apply to Emirates, when during a check up with my GP we discovered that flying everyday for work would be a disaster for me. My ears don’t clear, and there’s no need to have my eardrums blow up unnecessarily. But, the same qualification was suitable to take me onto a cruise ship. So, all of 21, I went home, had another 21st party with my family. And took on a part time job to support myself until the summer; when I intended to ship out for up to 9 months at a time on the cruise ships.

But in the two months between my return home, and the first cruise ships pulling into port, I found out that I was pregnant. And in some ways it saved my life – for obvious reasons I stopped drinking in an instant. But the moment I saw those two pink lines, my entire identity became ‘Mother’, but more importantly it became ‘Single Mother’. We live in a society that has a place for people with these titles. When I mentioned to my mother how I felt, particularly seeing someone my age achieving so much, to my so very little, she reminded me that in someways it was worse for her.

My mother was married, so she didn’t have the stigma of being single. But the economy was strong, so she was expected to sacrifice her career, and her own dreams, to raise her children. And she did so admirably. But I don’t even know what career path she would have taken, or what her dreams were. All she would tell me was that she didn’t regret it, and that she was proud of me for not giving up on having a career – even though I’m a single mother, and that will make things very interesting with my kid.

So, after running out of funding for studying, I left university with only four papers between me and graduation, I started applying for jobs. With the intent of saving the money to pay for those last few papers. Well it’s been two years, with no paying job in sight, and I’m sick of waiting. I’m not waiting anymore. I’m making my return to the Ivory tower, and with a little creative accounting that will be possible in seven and a half months. Mum is helping by holding the cash that I’m putting by, so that I can’t spend it on things like clothes, and shoes as my kid grows.

So this is how I am taking control. I’m not going to wait around for a job that is looking increasingly unlikely. There are other things that I want to do, like travel, and I want to start a podcast. Travel does have to wait, because I have a child, when he’s older travel will be a good deal easier. But the podcast is on my to-do list. And speaking of, I want to start a podcast – reviewing books, and other content; like films, and YouTube videos. As my friend Mrs TeddyBear, insists I would also do a spot of snark, which is to say metaphorically ripping into certain pieces. – Which is what happens when I once annotated (with snark) the plot to a Jane Austen novel, we were deciding whether to use for a research project at university.

I am going to set up my Podcast – though I haven’t done the research as yet, I am hoping to call it: My Scattered Mind. It will start out with some slightly low quality audio, but if you guys like my content I’ll set up a Patreon, to get a quality mic. It would also probably only be once a month, at least at first. Please comment and let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to review, or snark on. Please do also let me know if you would even listen to my podcast. This whole process works best when I have feedback.

How My NaNo Novel Went Rogue

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Everyone and their dog, or at least those who know me, know that my plan for this NaNo, which I have been working towards for 6 months, was to disassemble [and yes, I do see Johnny 5 EVERY TIME I use that word] my first novel, and reassemble it to make it better. This was going to be completely achievable – I have an exceptionally detailed plan at home on my desk, about exactly what needs to be changed/deleted, and so on. As well as what needs to be added in for the first time!

Five days before NaNo, I woke up with the disturbing realisation that  I needed to write a fanfiction. I understand that fanfiction is a compliment to the original author(s), but I absolutely cannot stand to read any of it! So for me to realise that I had to write a piece of something I despised, was utterly horrifying. And what was worse was that it was all I could focus on so I was going to need to write it before I could do anything genuinely productive. So frustrating.

Then it disappeared the night before NaNo.

When my obsession with Russian films backfired and I had an idea for a novel jump fully formed into my brain, requiring only minor polishing… and, you know, writing…

Woo!

This has been a public service announcement on the dangers of watching a single group of films exclusively, so close to NaNo.