Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sparkle Star Manor!

When my ex moved out in December, I was at a bit of a loss for what to do with the house we’d bought together. Sure, it was technically all mine (the mortgage and deed are both in my name) but fair is fair and he’d been paying half the mortgage since we moved in. However, he had agreed to stay until the house sold, and that didn’t end up happening, so…fair is fair. I was stuck with the mortgage, so the house was/is mine.

Still, it was more than I could afford by my lonesome. I was looking at either moving into a studio apartment in a terrible neighborhood (that I still probably couldn’t afford) (and only if I could find a place that would let me bring my 3 cats and one dog) or buying a very small house in a terrible neighborhood (that I could afford, but eeehhhh). The whole prospect was very overwhelming.

Meanwhile, across town, my best friend and her wife have been trying to move to Massachusetts for years. Their house has a grudge against them and despite their success as independently published authors something always seems to stand in the way of them being able to sell their house and move. For over a year I’ve listened to some rather exciting but totally alarming ideas they’ve had about how to Make The Move, and as much as I admire their bravery my Taurean practicality had something to say.

“Why don’t you move in with me?” I offered. “We’d split everything, so we’d be saving money. You’d be able to get your pets out of the house so you could fix it and sell it. You’d have time to save up for a down-payment for when you do move to MA. And, come on, we’ve been best friends for almost 10 years. I think this could be MAGICAL.”

Cue clouds parting, sun shining, angels singing.

It took less than three months for them to pack up their lives and their animals and move into my 3 bedroom colonial in South Buffalo. Everything fell into place so quickly and easily, as if the Universe Itself was managing the move. It’s been about 3 weeks now since they’ve moved in (along with their dogs and cats, who have blended perfectly with my animals), and Buffalo is very slowly creeping into actual spring-like weather. The perfect time of year to ease into a new beginning. Accordingly, we have re-christened the house: Sparkle Star Manor.

(The joke of “Sparkle Star Manor” is that I’m not actually a very sparkly person–I’m more of a smoldering embers kind of person that occasionally shoots off sparks–but my roommates are VERY sparkly. However, when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I used to insist that I was going to change my name to Sparkle Star because I thought it was the coolest. So the name was resurrected because, regardless of how sparkly or not we are as people, our home together is going to be a hurricane of magic and excitement that can only really be named Sparkle Star Manor.)

I could go on an on about how cool it is to live with your best friend, even at the age of 28 (29 in a month!), or how weird/awesome it is to come home after a day at the office to a clean house and a fresh pot of tea and two people who are genuinely interested in listening and sharing. I could go on and on about the amazing conversations we’ve already had, the magic that we can feel is taking shape within the walls of the house, the amazing things we have planned for the year ahead. But for now it is enough for me just to look around me and feel at peace. For the first time in years I feel like I don’t have to worry about anything. Everything is good. Everything is alright.

Also: if the idea of three mildly eccentric authors living and writing together is at all fascinating to you, you’re in luck! We’ve started a blog. We’ll be chronicling our adventures, posting lots of pictures, and sharing a boat-load of recipes since we have a vegetarian, a gluten-free vegan, and a soy-free Paleo in the house, and WE LOVE A CHALLENGE in the kitchen.

Alternative lifestyles! I live them!

Full Disclosure

OKAY ladies and gents. Time for some honesty. Let’s rap.

Obviously, I have been neglecting this blog. I used to post these passionate dissertations on creativity, writing, industry, self care, etc. I used to post things that maybe some of you found helpful. I didn’t used to just talk about where you could buy my books (which I know is something I *should* do if I want people to buy my books, but definitely shouldn’t be the *only* thing I do). The point is I haven’t been using this blog the way I wanted to, and I intend to get back to the good ol’ days of inspirational and funny and exciting posts as soon as possible.

But I have a reason for why this blog has been so inactive and bland this winter season. Two reasons, actually. Justifications, maybe. Excuses, really. But good ones.

Reason One: I guess I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (inappropriately named because research suggests it’s NORMAL to get tired when it’s cold and sunless, and it’s NORMAL to get depressed when you’re forcing yourself to operate as if it was sunny and warm out). I’ve been in denial about it for the last 10 years or so, but every winter I develop symptoms of chronic fatigue and chronic depression, and no amount of positive self-talk, exercise, good eating, acupuncture, or looking at pictures of baby animals on the internet has been able to remedy that. In fact, this year I gave myself permission to NOT write this winter, because usually I force myself to write and make myself even more horribly (HORRIBLY) depressed when I can’t. Alleviating some of the pressure to produce helped a lot with my tendency to drive myself into a self-loathing all-hope-is-lost I’ll-never-be-able-to-write-again what-is-the-point-of-anything depression.

This isn’t a pity party, though! I’m not giving up on finding a way to thrive during the chill winter months. Now that I’ve accepted it’s a real issue, I know to start in October with things like vitamin D supplementation, light box therapy, and lightening my psychological load. Also, I eat super-healthy style about 90% of the time so at least I know that’s not an issue.

Reason Two: This past October, my husband and I decided that our marriage was over. So, you know, that was kind of a big deal.

I’m still processing it in my own way. It was a complicated split that raised a lot of questions about life and relationships and the expectations of both of those things. It also made me question a lot of what I thought I knew about myself and how Reality works. But still, as much as I know it was the right choice–and as much as I know how much happier my life is now that I’m not trapped in an unhealthy marriage–I cannot overstate how difficult it was to overcome the shame and guilt attached to the realization that I want to be happy and (after years of giving everything I have to save it) I am willing to end this marriage for that happiness. Kind of messed up that I would even think about staying in a terrible marriage at the price of my own well-being.

Oh, wait, but that’s exactly what our society teaches us to do.

Anyway. Still processing. Still transitioning. I bounce between feeling fabulous and free, and being a bitter man-hating shrew (actually I know too many awesome dudes to be a man-hater for long). But life goes on.

So there are my reasons for not being around on ye olde blog this winter. But I intend to change that! There are a lot of crazy awesome positive things that I’d like to share you you all, rather than sulking around in my still overcast and chilly hometown questioning the validity/worth of the institution of marriage. For instance: Did I mention I have two fabulous roommates now? And we’ve re-christened the house under a more fabulous and sparkly new name?

More on that next week ;)

Buffalo Small Press Book Fair 2014

Just a quick update:

Tomorrow I will be selling and signing books at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair along with MANY other artists, writers, and publishers. This is my first time doing a public event and I’m admittedly a little bit nervous. But it should be a lot of fun! I get to meet other local artists, tell people about my books, and hopefully get my name out there! I even ordered up some fancy bookmarks for the event (If I have any extra, I’ll let you know! ;D)!

If you’re in the Buffalo, NY area, I hope to see you there!