Thursday, November 9, 2017

National Cake Day!

Wow! It has been a while since my last post. (Longer than expected.) Yay for cake! My fave is Black Forest cake. It was National Parfait Day yesterday. I hate what most people think a parfait is in this region. That's layers of yogurt, fruit, and granola. I like the ones that are layers of pudding, whipped cream, maybe some fruit filling, and cake. That sounds a lot better to me. 

I haven't changed either my desktop's or iPhone's wallpaper, so I'm not showing a new one this month. The Pusheen calendar for November is titled: 6 Reasons to be Thankful for Your Cat. The first one has a heart around Pusheen, with the caption: warms your heart. Next to it, she's in an office chair, with the caption: warms your seat. The first one in the 2nd row has her on a bed and her speech bubble has a heart in it. The caption: cuddle buddy. The one next to that has her looking somewhat angry on a bed with food in the bubble. The caption: alarm clock buddy. The first one on the last row has her laying down, hearts coming off of her, and hand petting her. The caption: beautiful friend. The one next to that has her laying down on some papers, coffee nearby, and a hand gripping a pencil. The caption: beautiful paperweight. It's cute. 

The month-long holidays for November are: National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, Raisin Bread Month, National Memoir Writing Month, National Native-American Heritage Month, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Interesting that it's both Memoir Writing Month and NaNoWriMo. Especially, because I finished writing both novels this month.

There's at least one reason why I haven't posted much on here lately. I was trying to finish writing both the memoir and sequel to Alliance. I managed to finish writing the sequel a couple of weeks ago, and finished the memoir 5 days later. 

By the way, the sequel finally has a name. It's Alliance: Dawn. Dawn makes so much sense, on many levels, for the name...People who read it will understand. I have ideas for the memoir's title, but haven't decided yet. One of the biggest candidates is Hineini. Hineini means Here I Am in Hebrew. However, there are already memoirs with the same title out there. So, I don't know if I'll use it. I'm not feeling as into the other ideas for the title. 

Taking out the month of being too sick and it being too hot and smoky to write, plus writing half as much at the beginning, it took me roughly 4 months to write both of them. That's really fast! My first book took a few years to write. 2nd one took close to a year. This is like lightning speed for me. First time doing 2 at once, too. So, technically, it was about 2 months each. Even though I wrote them at the same time, if I just did them one at a time with the same amount of writing each day, it would have been like that. I was writing 4 pages a day, 6 days a week. (Not writing on Shabbat.) 

Now, I'm editing both of them. Trying to edit a chapter from both each day. I'm a little further into Dawn than the Memoir. It's shorter, too. The memoir seems to be the longest of the 4 books I've written. Dawn is slightly less than its prequel. Sometimes it feels like I'm editing so much, my brain hurts afterwards. 

After editing, I'll format them both for their ebook and paperback versions. Then, I'll create their cover arts. I have a clear idea of how Dawn's art will be. I'm a little fuzzy with the memoir. After that, I'll figure out pricing. Then, I can go through the submission process through Amazon. 

I'll have it so Dawn could be bought bundled with Alliance, and by itself. That way people can have the series so far, or get the sequel on its own. This also ups the likelihood that people will actually see it. Some people only look for series bundles. I'll have both of them as preorders first. Thinking they might go live in February or March. I can still be paid with however much I make from preorders during that time. Also, Amazon promotes books more during the preorder. (It'll be my first time using the preorder through them.)  With making ebook and paperback versions of these new books, I'll be more visible in 4 more ways. Besides the 4 ways I have now with my other books. Add in the bundle part with Dawn, and it gives me even more visibility. It's not just being visible through 2 more 'entries' in this sense. I could also rotate Amazon's promos on all 4 books, so there could be a sale at any given time. This adds more to it. Although, as it is right now, I can only run promos with the ebook versions. Still, it's something. I'll also post links to them on the sides here, like I did with the other 2. Easy for people to access them this way. 

I did get to the point of practicing my clarinet for an hour each day during the week. I only stopped when I started editing those books. It felt really nice, and I was noticing more of my mistakes. That meant I was getting good enough to tell again, I could fix them. I might get back to it after the editing. 

Went to Thanksgiving dinner at a friends' place. The couple that hosts it is like family. This year it was just Dad, me, and that couple. Usually, there are a lot more guests. One of their dogs is having incontinence issues now, so we couldn't sit on the couch beforehand, like usual. The wife injured her knee, I think. So, almost everything was being done by the husband. He looked so exhausted. He smokes their turkey, and I've always found that kind of cool and interesting. It adds a unique flavor to it. Anyways, I could see why they wanted less people. They said they wanted at least a couple of friends over for Thanksgiving, and they asked us. I think we're the closest to them. 

I also found out the person that was so rude to me last year when I came out as aro ace, isn't a friend of theirs anymore. They were appalled by her behavior. Plus, there were other questionable things. She was oddly into talking about Jesus sometimes. Not something Jews usually do, and why I at least have an inkling she's a 'Jew for Jesus'. In other words, Christian in disguise. Really scary. She's also a Trump supporter, that couple and my family are really against Trump. For obvious reasons...The hostess has strong political opinions, so that can be a conflict if you aren't on the same wavelength that way. That person was also very ageist, at least towards me. Also, most of the food she brought was awful or just really weird. She would tell us that she messed up horribly just as we're about to try it. Or, how about bringing little pork sausages to a Passover seder? Oh, wrapped in crescent rolls. It's a Jewish holiday, pork isn't kosher, and we don't eat anything leavened during the holiday. Way to mess up in multiple ways. She told me it wouldn't hurt me to try them, too...So weird. I'm glad I most likely won't see her again.

I was going to go to Leavenworth to celebrate my birthday. My birthday was on the 7th. Turns out that has been postponed until around March. At least, it seems like it's still on. Dad brought the idea up, and I thought it'd be great. I've only been there once, and it was a long time ago. It was fun, though. I did go to the Olive Garden for my birthday dinner. That was nice. So, we did do something for it. I hadn't been there in a long time, and it used to my fave restaurant. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

National Pasta Day!

This holiday was on Tuesday. I love pasta! ๐Ÿ˜ Could probably eat it all day every day. That wouldn't be very healthy, though.๐Ÿ˜…I like pretty much all the shapes I know of. The thick pasta seem fancy to me. Having it for special times, like Shabbat. It's probably because I'm not as used to that type of pasta.

I've felt pretty crummy gut-wise this week. ๐Ÿ˜ž So much so, I've wondered if I'm flaring again. The only way to really know for sure is through tests...As long as I don't have a prolonged fever, throwing up every day, and losing weight faster than usual; I can't do much about it.๐Ÿ˜’If any of those things were happening, I've been told to go to the hospital immediately. The pain has increased on both sides of my abdomen, which scares me a bit. I think I'm reacting to food more often again, as well. 

I was able to make a phone appointment with my gastro for the end of next month. She wanted me to make it for the end of this one. There was only one other one that was sooner, but it was around 8am.๐Ÿ˜ณEven if I was up at that time, it still seems too early for a phone call to me. Not only that, but they have it as possibly calling 30 minutes before or after the appointment time...I might ask her about having tests done again. I think by then it'd be a few months since the last round of them. It'd be the first one since I started Lialda, and we could see how that's going with those tests. 

Last week, I tried on an old embroidered keyhole knit sweater. It fit surprisingly well.๐Ÿ˜ณIt's supposed to be clingy, which I'm not used to. I don't think I've been able to fit into it since I was 19. That was just before the infamous 'freshman 15' people usually gain in college. I'm almost 33. That's a long time.๐Ÿ˜ฎ I don't particularly like how much it accentuates my chest. Every time I bend over a little, it shows a lot of cleavage through the keyhole, which I don't really like either. ๐Ÿ˜‘The rest of it feels nice. 

I decided to look at other old clothes a few days later. Most of these old clothes I hadn't worn since high school. Pretty much everything I tried fit. This was really surprising, good, and slightly weird to me. I found 2 flannel shirts (wore these quite often in high school), a red long-sleeved shirt with white embroidery, and 2 cardigans. I think the traditional Chinese shirt (don't remember the name of it) fit, too. It's fancy and cool looking. However it takes some maneuvering to get it on yourself. It has lots of buttons and a zipper on the side. I was trying it on over something else, too. This was the most surprising one to fit into, to me. It's rather small. Even when I got it from a women's day conference thing years ago, it was small and tight on me. 

So, with all these things fitting, I'm basically the same size as I was in high school. ๐Ÿ˜ŒI didn't think I'd make it back to this size. I also thought I was gaining weight again. I'm apparently still losing it. It's kind of scary that way. I want to be back to the normal weight range for someone like me, though. This means I'm getting there faster than I expected. I'm only going to truly worry if I somehow become underweight. 

I joined some more LGBTQ+ groups on facebook. 2 generalized ones, and another non-binary one. Also, found another IBD group. The generalized LGBTQ+ group I was apart of beforehand was really weird. Especially after the fights about allies in the acronym. The creator had some bizarre ideas. After that drama, hardly anyone posted. ๐Ÿ™„So, I dropped that one. I like having a generalized group for it. Feels more like a community. There aren't very many of them, and some of them can be ace/arophobic as well as enby-phobic. The 2 I just joined seem very inclusive. One of those groups has it as 16+ for the minimum age. They just recently made a 30+ group. I might join that as well. Not sure if I'll drop the 16+ if I do that. We'll see. 

The new enby group seems more active and interesting. There are actually questions and topics we can discuss. The other one was mainly just selfies and intros. ๐Ÿ˜‘The new one apparently has another subgroup. I dropped a couple of ace groups, because they weren't active. There aren't that many ace groups on fb as it is. The new IBD group has a huge amount of members, and it's a lot more active than the other one because of that. I can connect more with that community this way, too. 

I've made at least one fb friend through the new enby group. Another one added me as well through one of the ace groups. Very interesting. Their requests were like a day apart. Another person that I knew beforehand through the local trans group friended me too. That was a day after those other 2. Cool. I'm all for people friending me, as long as they don't harass me, and I know them through some sort of group. ๐Ÿ˜Š

In the new enby group, someone asked if all afab enby people identify as trans masc. Many people think of the stereotype that enbies tend to be masculine or look that way. Afab is assigned female at birth, by the way. I'm afab, and agender. I tend to like some things that are considered 'feminine', but it's like a pretty and fun mask. ๐ŸŽญI don't particularly feel femme or masc. In my mind it's kind of hard to feel either if you don't have a gender. Unless it's referring to clothes or expression, I guess? Still, clothes don't actually have a gender. Many of the 'men's' clothes honestly look bland and boring from what I've seen. Although, some of their vests look interesting. I'm actually thinking of looking more into that stuff, too. Anyways, some people were also saying since they're enby, they're not trans. That's not...how it works. ๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️Trans means that your gender is different than the one that was assigned to you at birth. So, technically being enby makes you trans. Sure, it's up to the individual to decide if they want that label, but that's personal. I put that I'm trans, enby, and genderqueer. I like all of those. Honestly, I don't know which of those last 2 I like more. They mean the same thing, but some people are uncomfortable with the word queer. (Totally understandable.) That's how enby came about. It's newer than genderqueer. Someone felt exactly the way I did about all this, which was cool. ๐Ÿ˜ŽSomeone else loved it. 

Another person said they didn't feel enby enough because they still use she/her pronouns.๐Ÿ˜จ She's agender. She wasn't sure about they/them for herself. Many people, like me, said you should use whatever you feel comfortable with. You're still valid as an enby. ☺️I've been thinking about my pronouns, too. I still use she/her, because I'm used to it. They/them seems interesting and logical for someone like me, but I don't really know if it's right...๐Ÿค”I don't have to decide immediately, though. 

We finally had a meeting for the trans group. Couldn't find a place for it during the summer. There was a pretty decent amount of people. We had one new person, which was good. I talked more about agender stuff during my check-in. Found out one member is agender, but leaning on the masculine side. I suppose that's kind of like the idea behind the ace/aro spectrums? It was interesting. A couple of members, who weren't there, are bigender. I can't imagine having one let alone 2 genders at once, but that's still cool. ๐Ÿ˜ณThere are pangender people out there, as well. That's incomprehensible to me to be all genders at once. Even more fascinating, though. A couple of the older trans women seemed to be confused by some of it. They're willing to learn, though.

I brought up how I've been thinking about top surgery (double mastectomy). I've always felt weird about my chest. Especially when they 'exploded' a couple of years into college. It felt more 'right' when I was small. They've felt foreign since they grew, too. ๐Ÿ˜จI still want 'feminine' clothes to fit me. Someone suggested a reduction instead. That might be ok, however there's still a health risk side. My mom had breast cancer, her mom had it, and one of my mom's sister's had it. I saw what it did to my mom. I don't want that to happen to me. ๐Ÿ˜ฃSo, getting top surgery will both be a gender and health thing. Doctors will most likely get behind it if I only bring up the health risk part. They still might fight with me. Saying I'm too young for such a drastic change. I'm tempted to bring it up with my primary, but I don't like her anymore. We'll see.

Icons or avatars were brought up that people looked up to. Many people thought about others that they felt they could relate to gender-wise. Mine have always been people like Marie Curie, Audrey Hepburn, and Coco Chanel. I think in the past, I went with what body-type I had. I feel weird with saying female-bodied, but some trans people use it. These were fierce, smart, beautiful, and cool women. I also went by personality rather than gender. The thing is, I don't know any out agender celebrity, scientist, or other icons. So, I can't truly see my gender represented through anyone. ๐Ÿ˜’

When I brought up Audrey Hepburn, one of the older women said: "oh, you mean Katherine Hepburn." It took me a moment, because I wasn't sure why she 'corrected' me on it. ๐Ÿค”After a moment, she added: "since she was a tomboy." No. Agender doesn't equal tomboy. ๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️Tomboys still are women. I meant who I said, too. 

We might have a Halloween party at the next meeting. ๐ŸŽƒThat meeting will be on the 1st, so it makes sense. It'd be a nice, fun, and social thing. I just have no idea what I'd wear for a costume. 

My birthday is November 7th. ๐ŸŽ‰Coming up really quickly. I don't have anything planned yet, nor a list of what I want for it. I'm horrible at making birthday lists. ๐Ÿ˜’I might want a new computer. Mine is having issues going online, and isn't supported by Microsoft anymore. Can't decide between Mac or Windows. I think it'd be cool to have an all-in-one. Computers have come a long way since my current one. Another thing might be a black ring. I might go out to eat for it, go shopping, maybe see a movie at the theater, etc. I don't really know yet.๐Ÿคท‍♀️

I've made it to practicing my clarinet for 55 minutes. Yay! ☺️Next week I might start doing it for an hour. I don't want to practice for longer than that. I'm sounding much better now. Trying to play things I usually skip, too. 

Finished the agender chapter in the memoir. Ended up being longer than I expected. I'll get back to the travel one next time. At the moment, I'm covering stuff from Kentucky. The state I was born in. The sequel to Alliance has been interesting so far. I'm still not sure where it's headed.๐Ÿค”

I noticed that Dad had created a playlist based on her memoir. It gave me the idea that maybe I should make one for mine as well as for my other books. That sounds like it'll be fun, and I might feel closer to them. The Sweet Endless Terror one would be probably the easiest to make. A lot of Halloween and other scary/ominous music. ๐Ÿ‘ป๐ŸŽต

I've kind of given up on the local ace group.๐Ÿ˜” No one showed up for months when I went regularly to the cafe. No one has asked where we are since I stopped going. No one's posted in the online group for a long time. I was pretty much the one to post stuff. There were one or two allies that did too, but no one else. It just...seems sad.๐Ÿ˜ฃ It seems they want a group, but once they're a member they don't do anything. I get that some people want a more private place, but this was voted on. Also, we don't have many options available to us. 

At some point, I still want to go back to my ace media list. I want to search a bit longer for stuff to add, and then share it. I think I'll share it here somehow, in the inactive local ace group, other ace groups on fb, on ace forums, etc. I want it out there, and people can suggest adding more to it. That way there's an even broader list over time. It just takes time with this stuff. It might be a while before I share it.๐Ÿ˜ž