Merry Ostara!

I can’t say that Ostara is my favorite holiday, but it’s in my Top Eight. 😉 That said, this year I am immensely glad that it is here. It’s been a relatively mild Winter all things given, but I have started feeling that itch again. The itch to be outside, to see green things, to see critters running around. I long to lurk in parks reading and writing and taking pictures of beautiful flowers.

Ostara marks the coming of that time. Trees haven’t started budding quite yet, but they will any day. Only the bravest of flowers have bloomed, but more will soon follow in their petalsteps. Now is the time when the Earth is stirring and waking up from her long Winter slumber. Now is when Persephone returns to Demeter (at least this is what intuition tells me). Soon things will start coming to life again.

I hope you all have a beautiful, blessed day!

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Camp NaNoWriMo?; Or, Too Many Projects!

I’ve decided this year for the first time ever that I’m going to be doing Camp NaNoWriMo. I think what made me decide was the combination of simply loving the community that regular NaNoWriMo brings, and the fact that April is poetry month. Every April I strive to write one poem a day for the entire month (thus resulting in me having 30 poems at the end of the month). This year I’m finally working on a thing I’ve wanted to write since I was a teenager, but just never put the time or energy into (for various reasons), and all these poems will be contributing to that.

If you guessed that I’m working on a poetry collection, you’d be right!

I’ve avoided talking about this for a myriad of reasons, and I still don’t want to talk about it too much. BUT I will say that if you’ve been keeping up with my monthly goals, you will note that every month I’ve had the goal of “write 5 poems”. That has been my way of slowly working on this while allowing myself time and energy to work on my prose projects.

I’ll give more details on this project as time goes on and I get it closer to completion, but a working title that I have for this project is THROUGH THE MISTS.

However, with all of this in the works, I’ve considered giving myself a second Camp NaNo project–a prose project. Remember that short story anthology I mentioned last month that I wanted to have ready to release in June? That’s still a thing…sort of. I’ve changed things a little bit. Instead of releasing an anthology at the beginning of June, here’s what I’m planning to do. Right now, my passion and muse are geared towards SOMEONE LIKE YOU and THROUGH THE MISTS. So that’s where I want to put all of my focus. Instead of releasing an anthology at the beginning of June, I’m thinking of releasing SOMEONE LIKE YOU at that time, and then throughoutu the month of April posting a few FREE lesbian short stories. At the end of the month then I would compile them all into an anthology and sell it with a few previously unreleased stories thrown in.

This is what I’m thinking of and will probably end up doing. The problem with being a writer who has a million ideas and things she wants to release, but not enough hours in the day is that sometimes things get shuffled around like this. I’ll give more details when we get closer to April and I get things more finalized.

In the meantime, if you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo let me know your username in the comments and we can be cabin buddies. I’m Ravenscribe over there (just like on regular NaNo)!

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A Winter Wonderland

So, I hate Winter. Like…if I never had to have cold weather again I would be PERFECTLY happy. Bundling up in heavy coats, shivering as I walk to and from our car, needing hats and mittens…not for me. I really wish I could just have Spring, Summer, Autumn and that was it. I was not made for cold weather. However, there is one thing I like about Winter: the way the world looks covered in snow and ice. Don’t get me wrong though, I still hate those two things. But their ability to change the way the world looks for a short time is truly magickal. I was out on adventures today and couldn’t help stopping to grab a few shots. ❤

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There are a few more photos posted over on my Flickr, if you would like to see more~

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The Problems With A Gay Le Fou

If you’ve been anywhere on Twitter, or if you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast (or Disney in general) then you have heard by now that in the live action film (released later this year) there is going to be a gay character. I heard this, before I found out who it was, and was originally overjoyed. A gay character? In a Disney film??? I’ve been waiting for this for YEARS! I adore Disney films, and am queer. I love seeing love blossom and bloom between two men and/or two women. It warms my heart. (For the record, I also like seeing love between a heterosexual couples, but let’s be perfectly honest. You can find those everywhere. They are as common as fur on a Persian cat.) But then I heard what character they were making gay and I was immediately saddened and disappointed.

Le Fou. They are making Le Fou, a character’s whose name literally means “the fool”, gay. What’s worse, he doesn’t even realize he’s gay. I say this is worse because it makes me wonder if throughout the movie he’ll come to the realization that he is gay, actually acknowledge his feelings for Gaston (the villain! Also problematic.), or just completely ignore it all. Because this is Disney I’m willing to bet it’s the latter. The supposed “gay moment” is supposedly only five seconds long. I’m sorry, that’s not good enough.

But let’s back track a minute. Why is making Le Fou the gay character harmful? If you’re straight then this is probably something you haven’t thought about much, or even realized that it is harmful. So let me outline some of the issues.

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First, his name. Like already stated, Le Fou is French for “the fool”. A person could interpret this as Disney saying gay people are fools, or at the very least jokes. Le Fou is not a character anyone can take seriously. He’s a lacky, a toadie. He follows Gaston around like a love sick puppy, but hardly does anything other than boost Gaston’s ego. Time and time again he’s made the butt of jokes. He is the comedic relief character of the entire story. Gay people are not fools. Being gay isn’t a joke.

Second, he’s a character that is, at the very most, a sidekick character. He has barely any screen time, and is very often Gaston’s punching bag…literally. We have a plethora of gay “sidekick” characters. But guess what? Gay people aren’t “sidekicks” in their own life. We are our own protagonists. I didn’t just ride along to see Logan a few hours ago–I didn’t go to it because someone else suggested it. I suggested it, got our tickets online, and drove us to the theater. Those are things a protagonist does. It wouldn’t have worked for them to make Belle or Beast gay because then you wouldn’t have the standard Beauty and the Beast story. But you know what Disney could do if they were serious about being progressive and inclusive? Write an openly gay main character. As in, create one. I don’t mean something like Elsa where people have to assume or speculate that the character is gay. I mean a full on, kissing scene or explicitly stated “I’m gay”, gay character. No questioning involved.

Third, he’s a villain. Granted he isn’t the main villain. He is the main villain’s sidekick (see sidekick issues in the above paragraph) which just makes the sidekick issue even worse. It’s almost like Disney is trying to hide him or something. They are shoving the gay character in the furthest, darkest corner they can. The main villain’s sidekick?! You can’t get much farther or darker than that. You know what sidekick character(s) could have been made gay, the story wouldn’t have changed, and the whole thing would have gone better? Cogsworth and/or Lumiere! You can’t tell me the two don’t have a thing for each other. Being gay isn’t bad, and Disney making villains (even sidekicks of the villains) gay sends the message that it is. Which isn’t a good message to be sending at all, to anyone. Especially not gay kids who need to see themselves represented the most. (And before someone tries to make the argument that kids don’t think about sexuality, let me point out that there are plenty of people who knew they were gay when they were kids and just didn’t have the language to express what they were feeling. I was one of those kids.)

The Fourth and final point, is that many people are pointing to this and saying that Disney is doing good. Disney is getting credit for being progressive. But they aren’t. Even the director, Bill Conden, has said that he doesn’t want Disney to be lauded for this. And yet, they are. Sure there are people like me who are pointing out the flaws with what they are doing. But there are just as many (probably more) people who are applauding Disney for the inclusion. Sorry, I can’t be excited about this.

What do you think? Are you excited Disney has included a gay character? Give this post a thumbs up if you (like me) ship Cogsworth and Lumiere, and think they should have been the character(s) instead!

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March Goals!

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Goal video will be up in the next couple of days. But for those of you wondering what I’m working on this month, this is what I’m doing.

I decided to give myself some super easy goals (posting here, for example) as well as some more challenging ones so that I can both get up a momentum and actually get some things accomplished.

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Bullet Journaling, Staetdler Fineliners, and a Relaxing Sunday

Today was kind of a perfect day. My partner and I did nothing major, just lounged about our house together and played some video games. I’ve been sick recently with a bad cold and am just on the recovering end of it. Ang is starting to get and so hasn’t felt great all day at all. A low-key day is just what we needed.

We curled up on the couch and played Tales of Berseria most of the day. This afternoon I ran out to Target to pick up a few things we needed around the house (and to get more Afrin). I wound up getting a new set of Staetdler Fineliners. I have a small obsession with Staetdlers. Their fine lines make them super easy to write with, and they don’t bleed through my pages when I color in my journal with them. There isn’t even any ghosting! I think I have every color of Fineliner they make now. (Nope, I was wrong! I don’t have the pastel set!) I also picked up a super cute pen case, and a Spring-scented candle.

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When I got back home I decided to try using a modified weekly spread (original inspiration is Kara at Boho Berry) to do my planning. I’ve been OBSESSED with her videos and the entire idea of Bullet Journaling. I started using monthly trackers at the beginning of February and found them super helpful. I’ve found it a bit much to carry around my journal, my current read, a notebook for writing, AND a dayplanner so I decided to do a modified Bullet Journal system. (There’s a small flip through in this video.) I don’t do dailies–I’ve incorporated that into my weekly setup–and my journal is still mostly for longform journaling which I’m really happy about. I didn’t want to lose that as it’s super important to me. But I think having the weekly set up will allow me to do the necessary planning/task management I need to do, and allow me to carry one less thing around with me. (All while being a bit more creative!)

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After that I did some household stuff–cleaned the bathroom, watered our houseplants, cleaned out my desk drawer, and rearranged my desk to be a bit more Spring-y. I don’t celebrate Easter at all, but I was so happy to see Easter stuff at Target earlier as it meant Spring is just around the corner. I’m so tired of Winter and the cold, dull, grey skies it brings with it. This Winter hasn’t been too harsh, but this gal doesn’t want anything to do with cold weather. She needs warm or hot weather in order to thrive.

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Some Little, Happy Updates

This day is so beautiful! I couldn’t be more grateful to be off work this weekend. It’s not even March and already we’ve had a 70 degree weather day (yesterday), and today is just as beautiful though not as warm. The sky is clear and blue, and though the breeze is chilly I find myself just wanting to be outside. Last year towards the end of the Summer I had started going to the local park and spending an entire afternoon there either reading or writing (or both), and it was amazing. Living here in a big city it’s really hard to find outside time and space–especially when you don’t have a backyard–and so that was a Goddess send. I can’t wait to start that up again. I’m hoping I’ll eventually be able to do some Yoga there as well.

But today–just like yesterday–I have all the windows open in my apartment letting the 32267720884_ba48314e77_zplace air out after having been closed up all Winter. (I slept with the windows open, too! And woke up to birdsong!) As happens every year around this time I’ve started a craving for a healthier diet, and I’m taking full advantage of it. My partner and I are working towards a far healthier lifestyle than we previously had, and it’s really awesome. I’m so, so happy that we’re doing this together and are able to be each other’s check in point.

As far as writing goes, this weather is making me way more productive there. It always does. During the Winter all I want to do is curl up with a blanket, hot chocolate, and a good book…to read. But as soon as warm weather rolls around my muse kicks into overdrive and I start writing again. My main writing focus wound up being entirely different than where I’d wanted it to be, but as long as I’m writing and making progress on my current WIP’s I’m happy. (I’ll go into more detail in my March Goal video which should be up early to mid week next week.)

32268001584_0d5df661ce_zEarlier this week I picked up my first ever fountain pen. I’d been drooling over them for awhile, but because I generally like a thicker line (think 1.0 in a ball point pen) than most fountain pens produce, I had put off picking one up. But I’d recently found a purple Lamy on Amazon that I began absolutely drooooling over. I wanted to pick up something a little cheaper to test out before investing in something more expensive, so I picked up this little thing and it’s rocketed to Favorite Pen status. I definitely see myself using fountain pens more in the future. And I definitely want a Lamy!

In addition to some of the other changes that I’ve had going on, I’ve started using Pinterest…and I’m using it far more than I ever thought I would. I’m actually kind of loving it. I had tried to get into a long time ago and just couldn’t. But I tried it out again and have found so many awesome ideas and things to collect for both my journaling, and for Yoga. Follow me over there if you like!

And why not end this little update with a cute kitten photo? She’s rediscovered her love of our poang chair and has been sleeping there quite a bit lately. ❤

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