Tuesday, October 17, 2017

So Not a Princess

Every little girl wants to be a princess, maybe even me once upon a time.  But, it stopped when I was young, probably too young.  I think the end of my interest, honestly, came from animated movies.

The closest thing to me in Disney movies is probably Quasimodo.  He was disabled, isolated, and owns a nonstandard body in a way I could relate to.  He wanted so much to have a “normal life” and, to a child who is very different, it hit on everything so much.  Maybe he didn’t want to be normal, though.  Maybe that was my pre-teen self merely projecting.  I’ve seen the movie once… only once.

I also had other people I related to (somewhat) in fairy tales… the fairy godmothers.  I loved that they were kind, helpful, and often depicted as chubby, just as I saw myself.  No one ever talked about the fairy godmothers’ lives after they helped secure someone else’s blissful ending.  Did they have one themselves?  Did anyone else care but me?  I pictured myself a fairy godmother, sitting down with other godmothers at the end of the day, sharing tea and comparing notes.

There will never be a princess like me.  There will never be anyone like me in fairy tales unless I write one to life.  It matters little now, but maybe it would matter to some other little girl like me.

Did you relate to anyone in fairy tales as a child?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

So... Cancer

Dear everyone,

After much consideration, I've come to a decision today to share my secret.  I'm still uncertain about it because I don't want to hurt or scare anyone.  I don't want people angry I didn't say anything sooner.  This is not a joke, or a lie, or plea for attention.  But, I feel selfish for revealing it all.

I have cancer.  I was diagnosed in late June with Uterine Cancer, grade one.  A mass was found on my cervix in April.  A surgeon has said I'm definitely at stage two and (possibly) stage three because a couple of nodes in my pelvis also show signs of the disease.  Outside of the nodes and residual cancer from where the tumor was, no other cancer exists.  I started external radiation therapy on Wednesday.  I'm not a candidate for a hysterectomy.  I refuse to ask about my odds, but seem curable.

I'm telling everyone this so people understand when I'm not posting on my blog, responding on social media, or have to say "no" to gatherings or opportunities.  Treatment is five days a week in a town about 45 minutes from my apartment... it leaves me drained and hurting due to chronic pain.  I'm not used to going out so often.

Please be patient with me as I go through this.  It's been a rough year.

For more information:  http://cancerwayfarer.blogspot.com
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I have some automatic posts going up this month on my blogs, but then they'll go silent while I heal.  I will still be active on Twitter.










Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tragedy Agendas

My lovely readers,

Everyone is talking about the tragedy in Las Vegas.

I'm not going to talk politics, gun control, or regulations.  We need to have these discussions (not indignant screaming matches) soon.  But, not right now.  Not today.  Give it a few days before you wave your agendas.

Right now, we should be offering our condolences... our money, our talents, our energies to the people who need it the most.  We need willing hands and open hearts working to make tomorrow, next week, a year down the road... better than it is right now.  We should be checking on our neighbors, hugging our kids.

Let people mourn a bit.  Let people plan.  Help out as much as possible.
We can discuss laws and mechanisms some other (not totally distant) day.

I wish you all safety, peace, and love.

-Jennifer

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Bundle Me Up Tight

Do you read e-books?  Do you read physical books?  Do you sometimes buy both versions of the same book?

I know not everyone buys a book in multiple formats, but there are quite a few people who do.  They love having a portable library and the ability to feel the heft of a paper book.  Some want the e-book for reading on the go and the physical copy for reading at home.

So, for the people who generally purchase both, why aren’t e-book and physical copies offered in a bundle?  It wouldn’t replace buying just the physical or electronic versions, so why not?  The publishers could even give a slight discount over buying each type of book separately, making it a more appealing option for consumers who have a million pieces of media vying for their hard-earned cash.  It would be a more convenient shopping experience, too.

All online retailers would have to do is put a drop-down menu on the physical book’s page where a reader can choose which e-reader they want the electronic edition for.  It is simple to do on almost any website.
As for physical stores, I’m not sure how it would be done.  Maybe a redemption code right with the book with a choice between the most popular e-book formats.

It would be great for readers, and not take too much extra effort on the part of the publishers and retailers.  The money received would (most likely) be more than the cost of making it happen. Maybe companies fear not enough people would want the bundles.  But, they can always test and tweak as they need to.  Heck, they can even have audiobooks as one of the format options, eventually!

What do you think about multiple-format bundles?  Would you ever give them a try?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Reflection on the Mortality of Beasts (Poem)

A few months ago, I posted that I had a new poem come out in the literary journal Banshee.  I'm able to share it because of the time that has gone by.  I hope you enjoy it. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Playing the Sims Can Help Your Plot!

Two elderly people, who’ve both had a rough go in life, become roommates in a new town.  They start tepid towards one another, but grow into lovers who nurture each other’s dreams.  As the woman celebrates achieving her lifelong goal, the man asks her to marry him and their life is headed down the road to bliss.  During the most lavish wedding ceremony the town has ever seen, the elderly groom, who is a supposed  “hopeless romantic”, is found nude in the hot tub with his (much younger) boss.  The entire wedding party (sans the bride) is outside bearing witness to this transgression.

I stared in outright shock at my screen.  This wasn’t in the vision I had for my sims’ life together.  To me, they’d already went through their past trials and I was their fleshy fairy godmother, guiding them safely through their belated happily ever after.

Can anyone say “plot twist”?

I never thought of playing The Sims to break through writer’s block or get story ideas until that moment.  Putting a cardboard protagonist into a world where they have actions with no author-input could be very illuminating. Perhaps, the ending I’d imagined for them was too boring, even for a computer.  Perhaps, anything remotely resembling humanity can make a hash of the future.

So, what did I do after the slutty wedding?  I let the guy do what he wanted!  He wanted his boss to move in with him and his new wife, so I made it happen.  He wanted her to have his child, so I had them get pregnant.  But, I was going to have the last say, or so I thought.  I was going to have the wife divorce him, have him die, kick out the mistress and have the old lady raise the child as her own.  Unfortunately, the game froze and wiped my save file before I helped my jilted bride get revenge.  Such is life.

It was a more fascinating plotline than I had in mind originally, that’s for sure.  Next time I make characters, I’m not going to aim them towards a euphoric forever.  The road with sharp curves and no speed limits is much more interesting.

Do you play The Sims?  Have you ever gotten a story idea from the game?