2017 Resolutions (a/k/a My Queer Agenda)

SO! 2016 is over. Good riddance. 2017 is here now, and I’ve got plans.

If you read my previous post, you know that 2016 hit me pretty hard. But, as always, I’m trying to make the best of it. As much as I can, anyway. I’ve learned from this last year that I need to really step up my game. Really work on becoming the person I envision for the future. Try to make that future my present reality.

And so, I have come up with a list. I have lovingly dubbed it: My Queer Agenda.

It starts like this.

  1. Be More Me.
    I have a feeling I’m going to be really fucking loud this year. About my bisexuality and all that that means. I’m going to be super vocal on the internet, and not just in my daily life. I’m going to be more flamboyant, and dress in only what I feel like wearing, instead of what I feel like I ought to wear. I’ll wing my eyeliner so sharp it’ll cut men. I’ll wear bright purple lipstick and glitter and combat boots.

    I’m also going to be more out in the community. I’ve got plans to start a podcast with a friend. I want to review things more–especially from a queer standpoint. I’m going to donate more to charity–both time and money. I really feel it’s more important now than ever to do this, to not just stick together and help each other out, but also to speak up. Add my voice to the mix. I haven’t exactly been silent but… maybe I’ve been too quiet. That’s going to change, starting now.

  2. Be A Stronger Me.
    The ever present “get in shape” goal. Maybe I’ll hit it this year. I’m going to try to do at least some form of exercise everyday, even if it’s only a set of squats. My parents set up a gym in the spare bedroom–I might as well use it. I want to run a 5k (actually run, not just walk), and be able to pick up and carry one of my friends bridal style by the end of 2017. We’ll see if I can make that goal.

    But along with this, I also want to sharpen my mind and skills. I’ve decided I’m going to try for the N4s this year in Japanese. I’ve always played around with the idea of Japanese fluency, but now I’m really committed to it. It’s not just a neat thing as a hobby anyway–I actually have plans to use it for a future business.

    I also want to try my hand at ice skating. Or dance classes. Or maybe both. We’ll see. That might be a 2018 thing. 😛

  3. Side Hustle the Shit Out of Everything.
    Hoo boy. Yeah. This. So, financially, so many things are up in the air, you know? I’m working part-time at a fucking comic book shop. There’s no room for advancement, and no room for raises. And that’s if the boss doesn’t drive the store into the ground.

    Now is absolutely the time to be finding other streams of revenue.

    I’ve got a Patreon started for… basically all my stuff. My webcomic, my fanart, a serial novel I’ll be doing chapter-by-chapter. I’ll be posting about my progress with that. I’ve got Queen’s Rogues already started, and I want to keep that going. See if I can’t get those pages up faster and more consistently.

    As always, I’m going to write. I need to finish and finalize at least one manuscript, if not two. Two would be great, but I’ll settle for one.

    I’m also looking into building up inventory for Redbubble or Society6. I want to do doujinshi for print and sale. I’ve got an ebay account started for selling stuff on the side–we’ll see how that goes. (I actually just made my first sale there yesterday! :D)

    I also want to look into self-pubbing stuff on Amazon.

    And, if that didn’t already sound like a lot, I’ve got plans on finally putting together a video game. I use RPG Maker, and I’m getting… better at it. Let’s just leave it at that.

    My goal for 2017 is to get most, if not all, of those things up and generating money. So if something happens to the store job, I won’t be so shit out of luck. Or hell, even if nothing happens to the store, I’ll have extra money I can stash away. Maybe finally start planning for getting a place of my own.

And that’s it. My Queer Agenda. Be louder, be stronger, make more money. It’s a lot, but achievable. I think. (I hope.) I really can’t afford to do anything less.

– Eris

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2016 Can Suck It

There’s a very nice, polite review of the year for myself and the writing group I’m a part of (affectionately nick-named the Ferrets!) over here.

But I wanted to add in my own two cents.

This year… really kind of sucked. Lots of terrible things happened. Lots of people died. Personal idols, role models, people I admired. Family of friends died. Friends of friends.

Carrie fucking Fisher.

It’s been a tough year for funerals.

This election took a lot out of me. I followed the whole thing pretty closely–the whole campaigning year. And the results were personally devastating to me. To think that there are enough people in America to vote for a man who doesn’t consider me human; to think that there are enough people in America who actively claim to value their pocketbooks over human lives… it kicked me in the ribs. Several times.

I work for a guy who has told me to my face that he thinks his business and potential tax breaks are more important than my life. More important than me having access to the basic civil rights that he has–has in fact, told me, to my face, that “majority rules. It sucks, but all you minorities will just have to learn how to deal with it”; as if that’s supposed to make me feel better about being devalued as a human being. By my own boss. (And really, his comment? Doesn’t take into account that marginalized people–myself included–have been dealing with it. For years and years and years. We had the opportunity to maybe make things a bit better for ourselves and everyone else to boot, and a bunch of selfish, narrow-minded assholes took that away.)

To say it’s been rough has been… difficult.

But I’ve been preserving. Even managed to make some headway with my bigoted boss. (At least he’s not actively gloating anymore.) I had to move back in with my parents but it’s been working out pretty well. I’ve been able to work on my art instead of scrambling for money to get food or pay my rent. I started up a webcomic (Queen’s Rogues!), drew a whole bunch of things, wrote a whole bunch of things, played some awesome video games (like Stardew Valley), and spent time with some truly awesome people.

2016 has sharpened my edges greatly. I’m just trying to make sure those edges don’t cut the people I care about–or myself. I can’t really say I have hope for the upcoming New Year, but I do have a grisly determination. To protect myself and my friends. To do everything I possibly can to make sure that people I care about have futures. To make art.

2016 has been fucking stinking cesspit of a year. I’m glad to see the end of it.

Blah

The last time I published here was six months ago. I mean, you knew that, if you’re reading this. The time stamps are all there.

But man, I’m just… not a great blogger.

I think I’m just concentrating too hard to make this my *does literal, actual, in-real-life finger quotes* “professional blog,” and I am… just not that kind of person.

Oh man.

Anyway, so I do have something up on the ol’ ferret blog (not actually about ferrets, fyi) about health and all that jazz. And wow. That post…. it kind of… broke me for a while. For a whole lot of reasons–some of which I knew and was expecting and they still steamrolled me, and some were all new reasons I never expected but looking back at my own life maybe I should have realized…and yes, I get I’m being super cryptic but gods i am just not ready to talk about it yet.

Check out the post if you want. The other posts in that series are all really good. Mine’s basically me just rolling about on the floor making weird whale noises.

Life Update

I just realized my last post here had been a year ago.

Things got crazy. Just about everywhere in my life. I know I’ve said this before but… damn. My life exploded. In… good and bad ways. Some more bad than good, but some more good than bad. Anyway.

First, last summer, my boss started a slow downward decline into what I’m assuming is some kind of mental illness. And like, even though it was noticeable, the entire office didn’t really know what to do with it. He became irrationally angry at a drop of a hat. He seemed perpetually unhappy with everything, and at turns, so blindingly optimistic about things that honestly seemed too good-to-be-true. (And this being said by someone who is usually blindingly optimistic about everything.) He was very unstable.

But I thought, you know? I can tough it out. Maybe he’s having a bad spell, or a mid-life crisis, and things will even out.

They didn’t.

By the fall, things had gotten insane (and I don’t mean to use that term lightly). Every employee (all 3 of us) were tiptoeing around him, afraid of what might set him off. Every day was another disaster, another war zone. He tore threw our offices, “cleaned” our desks for us–throwing out valuable client papers and entire files alike–became angry at us when we couldn’t find anything or realized that he had thrown something away that he later needed, hired life insurance attorney who proceeded to sit in our offices looking entirely lost as to what he was doing there, and changed our client management processes approximately four times a month. All of this, in between him yelling truly aggressive and demeaning insults at us, and generally making it known that any one of us could be fired at any minute and he wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

The final straw, I kid you not, was the shoes.

Let me first tell you that I worked as a legal secretary at a small law firm. This will become important later in this story. I was a legal secretary. Law firm. Got it? Good.

My boss had always been the kind of person to dabble in a lot of different hobbies. He wrote a children’s book. He golfed. He rode motorcycles. He fixed up houses (being the kind of person that could afford to buy extra property just to “fix up”). For the most part, he kept those things to outside of office hours, like everyone else does with a hobby or secondary job.

But then he started designing shoes. Which okay, neat. Then he got it into his head that he had designed the best shoe. (Sure, pride in your product, I can get down with that.) Then he flew up to Pennsylvania to talk to a custom shoemaker/cobbler about making these shoes, and when he came back, he had a huge announcement for all of us. (Can you feel my sarcasm?) “We” (ie: the employees of the office) were about to embark on a journey that would get us all rich. “We” were going to open the first joint law firm/shoe store. For me, specifically, he told me that if I played my cards right I could become head salesman (“Salesperson,” I interjected weakly.) of the entire shoe line.

It was very hard not to shout “What the fuck?” in the middle of the meeting.

The most bizarre thing during this? He had, for some reason, taken off his shoes during this speech and had his naked, un-socked, un-shoed feet propped up on the table as he talked. I kept staring at his naked, ugly feet, trying to comprehend what nonsense he was telling me about shoes.

It was a very surreal moment.

But in that moment, I realized that all of this made a kind of terrible sense. He had been declining since… god, April? Even before then? This was just the next downward step into his spiral of instability. There had been no up-swing in his health for months. And I realized that I was just his secretary. I wasn’t his mother or his wife or even a friend–I had no stake in his mental health. I had every stake in mine.

I stayed until the end of October (for about another week after the shoe meeting), and then I quit without notice. I typed up a resignation letter, turned up at work just long enough to get the first client settled, then handed him the letter and left. Right out the door.

It was utterly freeing.

I spent my November (Nanowrimo time!) finishing a draft I had started and dabbled on that July. By the end of November, it was done. December I edited it, and got it ready to send out to a list of people to clean it up for me. That draft turned into Queen’s Rogues, a comic I started posting this March. I am super proud of it. (Yes, also, I see how much improvement I still need to do, especially art-wise, but pride. It is present and encompassing.)

I spent two weeks in Seattle, seeing if something would pan out there, living and vocation wise. It… didn’t really. The city is lovely, but I would have to make so many changes just in my…. state of being, never mind my life, in order to live there. (And honestly I do think that the constant gray skies would get to me, no matter how many bookstores and coffee shops they had). I’m back home now. Maybe someday I could do the Seattle thing, but not right now.

When I got back home, I moved out of my apartment and back in with my parents. Not exactly ideal, but holy hell does it save money on rent. And they’ve been generally supportive of me and my creative endeavors, so that’s a huge plus.

And to top all that off, this April I got a job working part-time at a comic book store. It doesn’t pay that much (see: part-time) but it’s fun and way less stressful than working at any law firm. I’m making money, I’m helping clean up and organize the shop (something that I get this super weird satisfaction for, despite my inability to clean my own house). I get to play with comics all day and, even better, my job allows me ample opportunity to ignore the fuck out of people if I don’t want to deal with them.

Ha ha, that’s right, I work in the back. \o/

So all in all, things are… moving. Hopefully in the right direction. I’m a lot happier now, way less stressed, and I get to do art and things that I enjoy all day. I have no idea if this is financially feasible in the long run but… honestly? I can’t be arsed to care about that right now.

So.. uh.. how has your year been? 😛

-Eris

 

Quarterly Update 2015 (Spring)

Back in January I had a list of goals I wanted to accomplish. Here’s where I’m at right now.

1) Read 13 books. I have finished Gone Girl, Cocaine Blues, Transylvanian Fairy Tales, and The Raven Boys. (9 more to go!) I’m currently reading The Dream Thieves. 🙂

2) Clean my house. Still a trash heap. It may actually be worse than it was at the beginning of the year. Oi.

3) Paint six things. I have… 3 painting started and nothing finished yet. >< But I have 3 started! I should probably go ahead and make an effort to at least finish one of them. (I did, however, get a tentative quote on how much it would be to get them professionally photographed so I can upload the images to some kind of art sale site, like Society6.)

4) Draw the Rival Neighbors comic. I haven’t started drawing it, but I’m almost done editing the script. It needed some major revisions, but I think I’m getting the flow of it where I want it. 🙂

5) Write/Finish two long projects. I have…. done barely anything to this. Oi.

6) Write/Finish/Post seven shorter projects. OKAY. So I’ve finished 2 short things: Operation Smite Scott McCall’s Stupid Haters and FAILBOAT HOOKER STILES. I am working on another thing for the BiteTime contest right now, which is due on May 25 (personal goal: first draft done by April 20). I’m behind, but not like, impossibly behind on my writing schedule. Oh, and I have ideas/plot notes for 2 more shorts that I’m hoping to finish up mid-June.

7) Drink more water. I was doing really really well for the first couple of months, then these last two weeks I’ve been terrible. And I feel terrible for it. I’m trying to be better. ><

8) Cook more. I am getting a hell of a lot better at this. I am down to about going out once a week. I am most pleased with this. 🙂

9) Exercise more. And I’ve been doing great at this one! I am going to the gym twice a week pretty easily. I’m trying to work in a third session a week.

10) Pay off large credit card. Ugh, so it turns out that yes, I owe this large bill, but no, it is no longer an active credit card. >< It’s basically just a bill. They did some kind of restructuring earlier this year and because my credit score was below where it ought to have been, they canceled my account. And now I just owe them money. >< So I’m basically working off this large bill with no expectation of being able to use it in the future as a credit card. Which is disheartening. (And, as an update, I am under $2300 left to pay, which doesn’t seem like much, sure. But that’s pretty huge for me. Especially for someone who doesn’t like owing $60 to anyone.)

The Coffeepot Experiment

I have an experiment I’m conducting.

I’m going to get a coffeepot and bring it to work.

I know it doesn’t sound like much of an experiment, but hear me out. You know what weird little sub-clause in Murphy’s Law where if you plan for X, Y is nearly certain to happen? (Like, if you wash your car because tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, it will rain. That sub-clause.) I feel like I live my life in that little sub-clause.

And as a few of you may know, I am… not exactly thrilled at my job. So not thrilled, in fact, that I am slowly working on easing my way out of the office 9-to-5 life entirely. (I have a business plan and goals and everything! And wonders of wonders I’m actually achieving them! Slowly but surely!) It’s too early to tell when the final cut-off date is (I have my fingers crossed for early 2016) but yes. I am making progress and that light at the end of the tunnel is a pinprick but visible and I glory in it.

Anyway yes. So. Experiment. I am going to get a coffeepot and bring it to work. I am hoping that in doing so, I will invoke that little bastard of a sub-clause, what with the “bringing in an investment in the office 9-to-5 lifestyle” and thereby speed up my process of getting out sooner. Murphy’s Law is a bitch but goddamnit I am going to make it bend to my will.

So, we’ll see. 🙂 And hey, at least I’ll have coffee, right?

– Eris

Ranty-pants post on my weekend

Feel free to skip over this post, as it will mostly be me whining about the wretched weekend I just had. (So, really, you’re not missing much.)

I’d like to start by saying I’m not exactly a clean person. I’d like to say that I’m just cluttered, just actually like, a filthy slob, but honestly I spend much of my time avoiding dishes and taking out the trash, and I have on occasion tripped over pizza boxes because I was too lazy to bring them to the kitchen, never mind actually put them in the trash. On top of this, I am a cluttered person–I accumulate and horde paper like Smaug hordes gold. I have stacks of books and movies and video games everywhere. Things are dusty, because I never dust. I have about 8 unpacked boxes of junk (and I use “junk” because I don’t even know what’s in the boxes) in my living room alone, never mind the boxes of storage I have just left about willy-nilly in my bedroom.

So yeah, here’s basically where I’m starting from.

Continue reading “Ranty-pants post on my weekend”