Get ready Utah, a fae and an anachronist are coming your way.
Hello, you marvelous Curios!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Ugh. How the time does get away from us. We think we have a hold on it, and then it laughs when we realize it’s actually been five days ahead of us this whole time.
That’s a bit nonsensical, isn’t it? Well, I’m not sure what to tell you, that’s sort of what we do here.
I’m about to make quite a few appearances and it seemed smart to tell you about them!
First thing is first is the signing I’ve been blathering about for nearly two months now:
Alys: The Terra Mirum Chroicles Book Signing
Come join me and hang out, get a book (or something else, I suppose) signed, take a picture, snag a hug, just say ‘hi’!
Saturday, May 20th, 11:30am-2:30pm (PST)
Barnes & Noble (Glendora, CA)
1315 E Gladstone Street, Glendora, California 91740
B*t©#, I’m Here For The Story
We’re heading back to Thedas to help save the world. Dungeons need not slow us down, we’ve got codes and no desire to pause for a slog through a horde of darkspawn. Sure, it’s cheating when it comes to fight mechanics, but bitch? We’re here for the story.
Sunday, May 21st – 7am – 3:30pm (PST)
I’ll be joining The Divvy the Loot crew up in the Pacific Northwest for a very special episode of Liquid Tabletop. Come get your Bard on.
Saturday, May 27th, 8pm – 11pm (PST)
ENTER THE GAUNTLET
You helped make me my team’s MVP, and so it looks like (barring any weird scheduling conflicts) Triss, the totally human (what are you talking about these aren’t horns, it’s a skin condition and how dare you even mention it) is venturing back into the Gauntlet to try her luck, and battle new frightful things!
Thursday, June 1st, 6:30pm-8:30pm (PST)
Crumpets & Flagons!
Bethany and I will be venturing across the pond to explore the UK! And we’ve set aside time specifically to meet up with any Curios able to come meet us. I WILL have a VERY small # of books with me. EXPECT MALARKEY!
Tuesday, June 6th, Time 3:30pm (15:30)
The Eagle and Child, Oxford (I believe it’s cash only so be prepared).
Saturday, June 10th, Noon – ?
Exact location pending, we’re looking around the Camden Market area for some tasty tea and such. We’ll meet and explore the stalls!
Update: Location is the food court area under the umbrellas by Gilgamesh!
In my most recent letter to Stephanie (video below), I was challenged to do one thing that scared me.
In taking time to consider what I could do that 1. Genuinely scared me and 2. Would not break my bank (ala bungee jumping etc), I realized there was something I’d been… not avoiding per se, but that I had in certain times been very careful to tip toe around.
And I realize that’s silly. Because while I do feel this is something very personal and unique to me–it’s still part of me, so it would be strange for me to AVOID talking about it if it’s relevant to the moment.
And to be honest, I’m not sure when it ever really would be relevant beyond being open about myself and letting people know where I’m coming from. It’s a part of me and avoiding talking about it should it come up would be disingenuous. I’d much rather prefer to just be open.
And in doing this I realize there are other things that I’d like to be a bit more open about as well. But those are for other videos. <3
Now for a while now, I’ve had a few people individually reach out and ask if I’d consider making a Curiosity Forum, thus creating a central location for Curiosities to gather and chat about whatever they please other than the Twitch chat when I’m streaming.
You have asked and I have answered! Now it’s not the PRETTIEST forum because it’s a relatively simple WordPress integration, but I think it will serve the purposes we need. You can find them in the top bar. Right now we have a community forum and if anyone wants to discuss The Terra Mirum series, I have made one of those as well.
Partially because I’m fairly certain my publisher would have shamed me if I didn’t make a forum for it, and partially because I want to create a space for discussing the books where someone who hasn’t read them won’t accidentally stumble on a spoiler.
My only rules are fairly simple. Be kind. Don’t harass anyone, don’t spew hate, etc etc. This is a place for support and anyone being a jerkface will be dealt with by a swift boot to the pantalones.
How to Register:
Beneath the “Party Members” section on the right panel, you’ll see a “Login” section. Below there are options to register or recover your password. Click Register.
Editing your Profile:
This is a little stranger than it should be because there’s a slight disconnect between the forum plugin and wordpress itself.
To edit your avatar, you’ll need to click your name in the top black bar that appears when you have logged in. It will take you to link a gravatar account.
To edit visible info to the forum, you need to click your name on the right side panel (where the login info was). For some reason, this info doesn’t seem to populate itself when you fill it in with wordpress.
Post any further questions you may have about the forum in the comments and I will be sure to update this blog post with the relevant information.
Technically, if I’m speaking plainly, my new year began on Dec. 21st with winter solstice. But since it’s a bit more common for people to relate to the Calendar New Year, I’ve sort of put it off til now.
I also didn’t feel much like writing this until now. To speak my truth, I don’t entirely feel like writing this even now, but pushing through mental funks is sort of part of my resolutions this year.
Well, not really. It’s a means. I’m resolved to do things in the year 2017 and in order to do them, I must adapt new habits.
What I would like to banish this year:
Negativity towards myself
Guilt over things that I cannot control
The phrase, “I really need to start doing X” when I have no intention of actually doing it.
Things I would like to invite into my life or accomplish:
Travel – I mailed in my passport renewal and if I can manage the funds, I would like to go back to the UK for my 30th birthday this year.
Finish Changeling and submit to my publisher – I’ve been sitting at 75% finished of the first draft for far too long
Compose and record one original song on my own – For Christmas I received some very helpful gifts to teach myself how to be my own accompaniment.
I am keeping the concrete goals short, simple and clear. In regards to more abstract goals…
Eating cleaner and exercising, I have my Rogue/Bard training. I have been continuing this, but I unfortunately have not been posting about it due to the holidays. This will change starting tomorrow so you can better follow along if you’d like to join in. I’ll be posting regularly on that. I also would like to set up a concrete streaming schedule again, as well as more cover songs and vlogs.
I have two songs recorded that I will be creating videos, if you’re a part of my Patreon, you know what I’m talking about. =)
Tomorrow would have been my brother’s birthday. At the end of the month, it will have been 4 years since his death and I can’t quite wrap my mind around that fact. It seems like such a long time for something that still hits me so strongly when I stop to think on it. I applied to have his Facebook Page memorialized, and weirdly it’s kind of thrown me out of sorts.
I’ll be talking more about that tomorrow. I’ve got a lot of things rolling about in my head and I don’t quite have the clarity yet to organize them into something coherent.
Everyone has their own post breakup rules.
Some people remove all trace of the relationship, some people need to be surrounded by friends, others have to binge on chocolate alone while watching terribly written sappy movies to give them hope that this is not the end of…whatever it is they’re scared of it being the end of.
Mine is simple.
Stop telling me I’ll find someone.
I know this sentiment is made with the best of intentions, but I find it an incredibly toxic response. First, you don’t know the exact circumstances in which someone ended their relationship–but most importantly, you’re projecting something onto a scenario that can only cause problems.
“You’ll find someone” tells the recipient of this sentiment that they’ve lost something. That they are now “without”.
I feel like we put too much pressure on the concept of soulmates. Of finding “that one person”.
To even remotely buy into this idea, I would have to accept that “true love” is something only afforded once to a person, and in my experience, love is a delightfully common thing.
Why can we only celebrate or truly value something because it’s rare?
I have been in love at least twice in my life–three times, quite possibly. And those romantic entanglements are vastly overshadowed by the great love I have and receive from my friends and family.
It’s overwhelming and wonderful and far too understated.
Look, it’s possible there will be another romantic what not in my future–it’s also possible there won’t be, and the best part about this question is it truly does not matter either way.
I’m complete on my own. It took me a while to find all the pieces as they weren’t neatly packaged together from birth–but I have them. And I’m fine. I’m awesome. I’ll have days of sadness, I’ll be hurt, I’ll be angry or even maybe a little bitter. I can even toss and turn over things that were or weren’t said or done in that relationship.
But that’s being real. That’s being human. You have those moments regardless what kind of role that someone played in your life.
Another person cannot complete you, and they are not a necessary part of your story. You haven’t failed because you had a break up, and you won’t be failing if you don’t find another person you want to share that kind of relationship with.
I think we perpetuate a dangerous mindset when we sing so many songs about not being able to go on without another person.
I’ve lost people to far more terrible things than break ups. I’ve said goodbye for the last time in this life to so so many loved ones–a pain, frankly, that far outweighs the realization that someone doesn’t love you how you thought.
And yet, I’m here. I’m still breathing. My heart’s still beating. I’m still able to keep going.
I want to still keep going.
This line of thinking, I suppose, is also completely separate from the actual context of the break up.
I left an emotionally abusive relationship that had been draining my life bit by bit for nearly three years. Yes, there were happy moments, yes there were times where I had a plan for the future…
But it wasn’t healthy.
And telling me not to worry because one day “I’ll find someone” when I’m “ready” completely negates the really remarkable point of all of this.
I did find someone.
I found me.
One privilege, I know I have, is that I have never had a problem talking about my life. Not really. If the void was open to answers, I have been rather prone to peeling back the curtain and letting everyone who wanted to see what was going on inside of me.
I like the void. I find it comforting. It’s always harder to tell your story when you have a smaller audience. You start concentrating on that one person’s reaction rather than the story as you know it. It can muddy things.
True to my title, I suppose, I’ve always played better to a crowd.
I “overshare” as some people say.
It’s not for everyone. Not everyone feels safe to do it–in truth, not everyone IS safe to do it–I’m fighting for that to change, but we have to be honest at the current predicament of the world. My own country is staring down a Neo-Nazi regime… And there will be those, rightfully so, too scared to tell their story, no matter how much the world needs to hear it. Knowing each other’s stories is how we kill fear–it’s how we grow empathy.
We connect the dots.
It’s why I tell stories. Some are mine to tell, some are borrowing my voice so they can be told.
There are many reasons, I feel, that it’s important for me to try to be as genuine with you as I can about my own personal story and who I am. But I think the one that I keep at the forefront of my mind is that there is a tendency in our society to shy away from trying. Apathy. For ourselves, for the world, for our neighbors.
Nearly half of America’s eligible voters didn’t vote. That level of apathy astonishes me. So much at stake. So many people dependent on the outcome.
This is not isolated to politics, we see a general abhorrence for caring even in our casual day to day. We call people desperate when we see them “trying too hard”. “Try hard” is an actual insult thrown around in gaming. You’re not allowed to want things that much–it somehow makes you pathetic.
“Don’t let them see you sweat.”
It’s as if our mere existence is expected to be without strain or struggle. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s just a grander scale version of speaking a placative “I’m fine” rather than admitting how you’re genuinely feeling upon being asked how you’re doing. Keep it clean, keep it effortless.
But it’s not. Of course, it’s not. Sometimes getting out of bed isn’t even effortless. Smiling, in point of fact, has been a choice that I have made since I was very small. It’s far easier now to see the good things, to find kernels of happiness in the darkness. But it’s never been effortless.
Writing, creating, filming, loving, sharing–living.
Is. Not. Effortless.
There are days, if I’m being perfectly honest with you, in which I feel I’m literally straining to exist. Stretching my arms out in order to continue persisting.
Some days it’s a little easier, others its exhausting. And I say this as someone who is, by all accounts, perfectly healthy. I can’t imagine how that struggle would multiply if I were also battling mental illness or physical disability or chronic pain. Yet I have seen amazing artists create such beautiful things through all of that.
So it’s important for me that you know, even as a healthy human being, that I’m not a one woman army. I want you to know how many times I’ve needed to ask for help. I want you to know how many times I’ve stumbled or just completely collapsed.
Because I want you to know it’s okay the next time you need to do the same. You can put all your might into something. You can want something so much you think you might burst. You can fail.
You’re not weak.
You’re not alone.
So please try. Care “too much.” Fight. Go for the thing you’re terrified you won’t get. Just TRY.
It’s never effortless.
Hello you beautiful Curiosities of the universe!
We’re fast approaching Alys’ release date, and I have my first scheduled book signing!
If you’re able to make it, I’d love to see you, if you aren’t in the SoCal area, please help spread the word! I’ll be updating you all more as events unfold!
First, I wanted to show off Alys’ brand new cover courtesy of Doce Blant Publishing and the incomparable Fiona Jayde!
I can’t tell you how excited I am about being able to share this story with you again after some professional polishing, as well as a chance to share it with an entire new audience.
The book is set to release on October 31st, and you can get your very own copy here (US shipping only, International see below) in paperback or hardbound. Don’t worry, we’ll be releasing an e-book as well.
We’ll be holding a launch party for the book on November 12th in Los Angeles, and I honestly can’t tell you too much about it because my book agent and publisher want it to be a surprise. HOWEVER, I wanted to make sure that all the amazing Curiosities who have supported me through the years would still be able to celebrate with us, even if they can’t be here in person.
So my publisher will be taking note of the first 100 hardbound books purchased online between now and November 12th–these first-in-line supporters will be provided with some awesome extra benefits (I’m working with them to put together some extra content, possibly including some art from friends, music, and they suggested a signed headshot as well). These Curiosities will also receive a top secret link to watch the party via livestream. We’re working on the logistics, but I’m hoping to be able to carry you guys around on my phone and show you around the party, chat with guests, answer questions etc.
ATTENTION INTERNATIONAL CURIOSITIES:
If you are outside the United States and want to help us reach our goal of 100 hardbound orders, and be able to get some extra swag, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
BOOK TITLE (And if you’d like hardbound OR paperback)
Basically I’m in super hype mode because this all still seems very surreal and I’m probably going to be in denial of everything even as it’s happening.
Stay tuned for more Alys-themed content as we get closer to countdown. What is it now? 11 days til the actual release? Eep!
Today I felt myself again. Today I wandered through unfamiliar streets with no real purpose or direction. Today I held my head up and smiled at strangers.
Today I noticed the little things. An unexplained purple-paint hand print on an otherwise bare concrete wall, the way my shoes sounded a little bit like horse hooves when I click them on the pavement just right, and that particular smell of fresh cut wood and burning metal indicative of construction sites.
Today I didn’t feel drained or scared. Today I felt curious and hopeful.
Today I felt like stardust.
I talk a lot about mental health. Depression is something that has plagued people I love for as long as I can remember. My father, my sister, and my brother, who we lost to suicide in 2013. It has been a hard and painful road, watching them struggle with their own versions of a unrelenting disease. On some level, I was grateful for this intimate insight, because it meant I would be a strong ally to my friends who dealt with similar struggles.
What I did not expect is that understanding and experience could be used against me.
There is a fine line between aiding and enabling. And it’s never easy to see when you’ve crossed it. Usually when you do realize, you find yourself miles away from it.
A few days ago I realized I had spent nearly two years nurturing an unhealthy relationship because I was still trying to save my brother. There were so many red flags. At more than one point this person had threatened me with self-harm, and I had ignored it. There was a continued pattern of disrespect, and I ignored it. I had become a financial and emotional crutch with no effort to ever relieve me of this burden, even after over a year. I ignored this.
And my reasoning behind this was maybe, just maybe, if I tried hard enough, if I sacrificed just a little bit more of myself… I could save someone. I could save someone where I had failed to save my brother, and at the time it didn’t matter if that meant killing myself in the process.
The mental health we don’t often talk about is you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, and if you try, it will destroy you piece by piece. Because that person wants to control you. Because that person has been controlling you.
So I finally left. It hurt, and my mind screamed against me that I was cruel and making a mistake. I felt guilty for days. I felt like I had gone back on everything I’d promised in being an ally for mental health.
My friends were kind and supportive. They let me talk and talked me through what happened. I admitted to things I’d been too ashamed to talk about in regards to this toxic relationship. And then I no longer felt guilty, I felt incredibly foolish.
Then a dear friend offered to take me with her to Chicago on a work trip. And I spent time alone, and in doing so, I found someone I hadn’t seen in a very long time.
Today, I truly let go.
Today, I forgave myself for loving me.