Category Archives: Writing

Bad Haircut

You are really excited about this haircut. You’ve heard amazing things about this stylist. You’ve been waiting patiently for today.

You shake hands when you meet. Their handshake is firm, reassuring. You know, in the core of you, you have made the right decision.

They’ve got a great personality, you know you won’t have to engage in the dreaded awkward small talk you always do. They confirm that you want a cut, and you explain a little before they have you sit down.

There’s laughter. There’s chatting. You are comfortable and carefree, and completely at ease.

But then, as you’re talking, something starts to feel… different. You notice something that seems… off track from what you outlined to them. But no, that can’t be right. It’s just the lighting. You’re being silly. It’s fine.

But your expression betrays you.

You’re their client. They value you. They know what they’re doing.

Another strange snip that cuts far too short and seems it couldn’t possibly work into what you described you wanted.

You stiffen. You glance at the photo you brought in. “Just some layers, right?” You ask nervously. You are visibly uncomfortable.

“Yeah, Yeah,” They acknowledge your question, but it sounds dismissive.

Still. They said they got it. Maybe… you have to trust–

Out of the corner of your eye, you think you saw them grab a razor.

No. You’re their client. You are safe. You are valued. They don’t want to upset you, they’re following what you asked for. Don’t be silly.

You feel guilty for being uncomfortable, but your eyes still sting a little.

And then it happens. That definitive buzz where you know… they weren’t listening to you at all. They had an idea in their head how your hair should look, how that appointment should go, and hadn’t considered to care beyond that.

You know you have a choice at this point. You could get up, bedraggled and traumatized and likely sever relations with this stylist, the salon, and probably the friend who recommended them.

Or you could lie to yourself.

This is fine.

This is what you wanted.

This is fine.

You feel uncomfortable, and ugly. You’re ashamed for not saying more sooner (as if you could have known), and guilty because you feel that if you’re honest, you’re going to hurt this person you admire.

Admired.

They finish and you struggle to make eye contact with them or your own reflection. You force a smile because you can’t lie to yourself without doing so.

It’s not fine.

You can’t look in any mirror.

It’s not fine, but you pay and tip well even though they blatantly disregarded your wishes.

And you do it all so you can leave as fast as you can.

And you try to convince yourself… it’s not a big deal. They didn’t ignore you, you probably should have said more. Spoken louder. Just left.

It’s fine… it becomes the mantra you repeat. The one that stops you from flinching immediately at your own reflection.

It’s fine…

For most people, this is not a foreign experience.

But for a lot of people? It’s not about a goddamn haircut.

Mana Management

Image by WTB Potions

It has come to my attention that I do a lot on an average week. I usually have a lot of things going on at once, many projects in the air, and have been asked a few times how I manage to do it all. I’ve jokingly responded “By systematically sacrificing my social life”, and while that’s true, it’s not entirely the whole story. So I’m going to attempt to talk about that and hope what I’ve learned may be of some use to you.

First, it’s important to realize I don’t get done everything I want to. I’m still learning. For instance, this week my Wordy Wednesday will be late. My Curiosity Cabinet was unable to go up on Sunday like I planned due to a tragedy that struck last week when many of us in the Geek community lost a dear friend unexpectedly. But this happens. Because there are many things we can’t control. And one of those things is time.

Continue reading Mana Management

Are You Sure?

“Are you sure?” is a far from innocent question.

“Are you sure” is a coward’s cocktail of two parts deterrent and one part accusation.

It contributes to our life-long indoctrination intoxication that we cannot trust our own senses and judgement. Our own perceptions denounced, speaking our experience makes us liars, and as we grow our night-lights become gaslights in so much that we get vertigo just by standing up for ourselves.

“Are you sure” enforces the caution that it is paramount we are not speaking before thinking–it assumes your feelings are baseless, it reinforces the mythology that you haven’t given this any thought at all. When in truth it is the only thing that has occupied your thoughts both waking and dreaming. It lingers on you, cropping up at the most innocuous moments, those sleepy and content breaths where you thought you were safe.

We have trouble breathing, choking on the specter of thought that has been haunting us since the inception of realization of our reality.

“Are you sure?”

As if you weren’t so bursting that there were room for doubt within you.

And when you try call them out, they defend “I’m just checking!”

As if that can even pass as some form of repentance. But they never dare to finish the sentence.

“I’m just checking…”

I’m just checking you’re not a liar.

I’m just checking you’re sincere.

I’m just checking you’ve thought this through, because some part of me that I won’t admit to does not believe you.

“Are you sure” is more suggestion than question.

And it speaks volumes about what they never say aloud.

“Are you sure you didn’t provoke him?”

“Are you sure your skirt wasn’t too short?”

“Are you sure this isn’t a phase you’ll grow out of?”

“Are you sure” is both intimidation and invalidation.

It makes you question your sanity and believe, if even for a second, that speaking up isn’t worth the consequence.

Of course, I’m sure.

Please believe me.

Oh, we’re half-way there–WHOA-OH!

Art courtesy of the incredibly talented JP Rakath.

Alys sidestepped the hardback volume that fell from the trees with a frantic flutter and a loud thud. She looked upward, expecting to see someone sitting on a branch who had accidentally dropped their book, but there was nothing there so mundane. Instead, she saw a great tree whose leaves appeared to be made of pages, and, instead of bearing fruit or flowers, sprouted novels. Some were still very small and young, while some were overripe and rotting, with pages bursting from the binding.

Hello Curiosities!

I haven’t even had a chance to make a video yet, it’s barely been 24hrs and we’re already about half-way there to our 100 hardbound books! I feel so blessed and excited, and content being generated to celebrate the release is overwhelming. We’ve got some upcoming behind the scenes interviews, and even music inspired by the book by the incomparable Sydney Blake!

I’m flailing, I’m excited, and I’m hopeful.

So with that all in mind…

If you want to help us reach our goal of 100 hardbound orders, and be able to get some extra swag…

US Shippers: Buy Your Books Here.

International Shippers:
Please send an email to info@doceblant.com with the following information:

NAME
ADDRESS
BOOK TITLE (And if you’d like hardbound OR paperback)
EMAIL ADDRESS

Note: This workaround is provided by my publisher right now to make sure our international Curiosities can be a part of the pre-release hype and prep while they get things sorted. Once we are released, distribution will be a lot simpler.

Thank you so much for helping me get this far, I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the love and support for something I truly poured part of my soul into.

You are everything, loves.

XOXO
Kiri

Alys – Question 8

Curious about a character? Check out here for a list of questions!

8) What do they look for in a platonic or romantic partner?

Everyone handles trauma differently, but I think there is a sort of caution in the way most abuse survivors approach companionship. Alys is suspicious by nurture, not nature. New people in the house meant a new danger. She bought locks for her door, she learned how to hide and not draw attention to herself. It’s the life of a cornered animal, waiting for the next predator to strike. So when looking for a companion of any sort, she waits for them to show their vulnerability first. Charlie had similar scars. Oswin showed her the watch.

Alys is first and foremost independent both out of necessity and because it simply makes things easier. She picks her friends carefully and once she does, she holds on for dear life. While she is protective of those she loves, she’s drawn to equally independent spirits, where she won’t feel mired down, but also can keep up with her ambition to escape the present.

Obviously there is a difference in who Alys is before she enters Terra Mirum and after she leaves it for the first time. She’s a bit more willing to leave her baggage behind and not let it rule her. That’s part of her whole talk with Charlie.

I’m getting muddled in this explanation, I’m sure, but for Alys, this is a particularly complicated conversation.

Alys saved Terra Mirum. She faced her greatest nightmares. By Changeling (Book 2) she has rebuilt a life for herself. She’s not just independent, she’s driven and determined, and marked for ingenuity. These qualities are paramount in a partner she chooses to spend the majority of her time with. Her partner must be able to exist without her, and rather has chosen to exist beside her. There is no room for co-dependence. Humor, obviously, or they’d be fighting constantly, and in a somewhat ironic sense, someone willing to fight with her. Alys knows she’s become a steamroller over the years, and you need someone who will stand up for themselves if you’re a steamroller. Otherwise they get flattened. If someone is too polite to say they’re not okay with something, it’s never going to work. They’ll never be able to make any decisions together.

Character questions

I found this on Tumblr about DnD characters. Instead I’m posing this to you. You can have any number of questions answered about ANY character I have written.

nomercypercy:

1) What is their full name, and does it have any special relevance? Alternatively, what nicknames do they have?

2) What hobby would they like to be good at?

3) If they played dnd what race and class would they pick?

4) If they could go back in time and change one thing, what would they change?

5) What is their favourite weapon to wield?

6) If you could behove them one magical item, what would you give them?

7) If they didn’t have to adventure, would they stop?

8) What do they look for in a platonic or romantic partner?

9) Do they trust easily?

10) What is their favourite colour?

11) Diplomatic or aggressive?

12) They get arrested, and thrown in jail, how do they escape?

13) Would they leave their party for any reason?

14) If they could own any creature as a pet, what would they have?

15) How have you influenced your characters personality?

16) Do they have any tattoos? If so what? If not, do you think they would get one in the future?

17) Where would they like to be in ten years time?

18) What do they look like? Either description or picture.

19) What genre of music would they be into?

20) What would be the worst thing someone could say to them?

Alys Alert!

The second-edition printing of Alys, to be published through Doce Blant, is set to release in August. The poor editors are backed up so things are bit more delayed than planned. I’ll be posting more info as it comes here and to my Patreon as we get closer to go-time.

“Hi”

I’m not good at feelings. Or talking. Or much of anything, really.

Well, no.

That’s not true.

I have an excellent memory.

Eidetic, to be exact. You’d probably know it as photographic. Like a camera, you know?

Click!

Which is, coincidentally, exactly why I have not got up from my seat yet to introduce myself.

Because since I am not skilled at talking or feelings or talking about my feelings for that matter, I will inevitably make an idiot of myself. And then remember all of it again and again in excruciating detail. I will have an entire mental scrapbook dedicated to it. My excellent memory will keep every moment on instant replay.

Click! Click! Click!

…How do you introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met, anyway?

Hi?

Don’t be ridiculous. No one just says “hi” to strangers they see in a coffee shop. You need an “in”. Or at least something clever. Something witty. Something…

Something more than a great memory.

I mean, you could order her favorite drink and have it sent over, or ask her how she liked the book she was reading last week since she didn’t have it with her this week–but then she’s more likely to think that you’re a stalker.

I’m not a stalker. I just don’t forget things. And she’s hard to not notice. But I’m not sure you can tell people that you’re not a stalker without them then irrevocably labeling you as a stalker.

Oh my god, what if I am a stalker? What if I have been stalking her subconsciously?

No. Stop it. Don’t be weird.

I can’t not be weird.

I can’t even look at her without thinking that based solely on the books I’ve seen her read every week, I want to make out with her brain.

You can’t tell a person you want to make out with their brain. I’m pretty sure that can get you a restraining order. And I don’t know if I could be more restrained than I already am, even if I was ordered.

Oh my god, Katie, just go say something. Anything. Maybe you’ll hit it off, maybe you’ll make a fool of yourself and never see each other again, anything is better than this in-between.

Limbo is a stupid place to be in. I’m glad the Catholic Church got rid of it. I do feel sorry for the babies though. And the people who were good but not Catholic. And me. Oh crap, limbo was my in!

I’m getting off topic.

I clicked my fingernails against the small cafe table and my stomach shuddered.

Just go do it.

I managed to stand and grabbed my book bag, giving myself an easy way to chicken out or bolt for it if it went horribly wrong.

This is going to go horribly wrong.

Isn’t it better to remember how you tried and fell on your face then recalling how you sat in the corner and mulled over the ways you COULD have screwed up but never actually did?

…Yes.

I took a deep breath and made my way over. Cafes are surprisingly larger than you think once they turn into your own personal gauntlet. She looked up from her drink. White chocolate, two shots, no whipped cream. Same as always. She raised a dark eyebrow and her lips almost smiled.

I finally exhaled. “Hi.”

Isn’t That The Way Love Goes? / Almost Lover

Writing, it’s this thing I do–this thing I will be doing a lot more of in the next coming weeks. However, I wanted to share a tidbit of something that I wrote a little bit ago in response to one of Nika’s writing prompts. (If you have never checked out her in Word Play, you should hop to that… like now).

The assignment, as it were, was to write a dialogue heavy scene and out of the given prompts I chose, “Why you just don’t GET it.”I’m not sure if the actual words were meant to go in there, I worked off of the feeling/impression that sentence gave me and came up with the scene you can read below.

And then last night I recorded a song to go along with it. I’ve mentioned before that I like to put soundtracks to everything… and I would like to start trying to marry my singing to my writing more… so here we go: