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Writing & Connecting & Existing.

I want to find words on encouragement from younger versions of myself. I think I might go galavanting into online communities I’ve abandoned to see what I can find. I think there was wisdom in my college-aged self that maybe I’ve forgotten. I think there are dreams that have been washed away by finding a career and losing myself in learning about nutrition and food. There have been so many days spread out between that time I graduated high school and this very moment. There are feelings I used to have that seem to be muted with common adult problems, car loans and heartbreak.

I am currently reading a lot. I’m devouring contemporary and fantasy fiction and pausing only long enough to catch my breath before starting something else. I am leading a discussion online of Francesca Lia Block’s The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process. I feel like this is the book that I need right now. This is the text for me. These are the words coming from the writer I looked up to when I was a teen. It’s like I’m colliding my adult life with version of my past self and coming up with who I should become.

Writing has always been a way for me to open up. It’s been the way I’ve connected with people across states and countries, a means to get closer and form connections. It’s been the way I can work out my actual thoughts when in real life I might freeze up at the idea of needing to speak. Writing has been a vessel that carried me through high school and college. It helped me in every way it could. Along with music, writing made me feel unstoppable, like anything could happen.

Music is something else I forget about far too frequently. Gone are the days of lounging around reading liner notes and dreaming of following around bands who are on tour. Gone are the days I inked lyrics on my skin with glitter pens and used iron-on transfers to express myself on clothing. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the ways that we can create. There are Etsy shops full of everything imaginable, inspired by music and fiction and fandoms all over. There are tattoos now to permanently mark skin – I know, there have always been tattoos, but it wasn’t until I was in high school that Massachusetts changed their law so that tattooing was legal in the state. How far we’ve come in 20 years. It’s unfathomable that people weren’t able to just go to the next town over and get inked. Now it’s possible. So much is possible.

It’s even easier to connect with people over the internet now. Before there were message boards and AOL chats and livejournal. Now there is Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. In the middle we had Myspace, a place to express ourselves and make friends and incorporate music into our online lives. When I was younger I had a hard time connecting with people in real life. I couldn’t tell my friends in high school things that I felt, and I couldn’t figure out how to trust them with my inside thoughts. I’d watched countless friends find ones that they liked better, and didn’t know how to have conversations about important things. On the outside I was that girl obsessed with a certain band, trying to be bubbly and have a good time. I wrote everything down in journals, I explored pain in fiction, and I escaped into writing more than anyone can imagine.

If I’m at work and typing I am out in the open, and keyboards are not quiet. I always get comments on how fast I type. Always. I kind of brush it off, saying that I’ve been typing for a long time. And I have. I’ve been typing since I was seven years old trying to learn how to use an MS Dos computer to write my own stories. I’ve been really writing stories in word processing programs since I discovered fan fiction and Hanson when I was twelve years old. I filled notebooks with stories and typed them up at night. I spent hours connecting with people over AOL Instant messenger then writing my thoughts into the internet abyss in Open Diary then Xanga then Livejournal. I’ve been writing and typing for a long time. 21 years of knowing my way around a keyboard that hasn’t changed makes it so yes, I can type very fast. I can type faster than I can think, actually, and it’s a weird thing to think about. Type skills are probably getting worse as technology progresses. We have lots of people who come up to reference with a phone in their hands telling us they don’t know how to use a computer. They don’t know how to sit down and open up Google Chrome and sign into their e-mail. It’s really interesting to be at this point in technology where there are families who never bothered having a computer – not because they can’t but because desk tops and lap tops are becoming less and less relevant for adults who are not attending classes.

But now back to writing. Back to existing. I often find myself in the midst of having too many plans and dare I say enjoying myself too much to the point where I’m home and I feel exhausted, but I don’t have the time to unwind and my mind is reeilng and I go into the next day and work and do my thing and I forget about me. I forget to stop and reconnect. Writing is and always has been my way to reconnect. It’s like I have this inner Melanie that I can touch base with here and there, and I’d like to believe it’s the same girl who would have written her future self words of encouragement and reminders of who she is.

 

  • if you’re wondering, I typed this on 750words.com and wrote at about 50 words per minute, but yesterday when I was typing it was 74 wpm. I’ve tested myself on online tests at up to 90 wpm, but then I make way too many mistakes. I don’t even know what’s normal, so I suppose it’s fast, but what is fast, really?
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April 2018: Old School Ponderings

I got an e-mail today notifying me that this domain had renewed. I had to rush to the bank so I could deposit at least $2, so I wouldn’t overdraft that account that I barely use anymore. I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately. I’ve been thinking about what it means to me, and what it used to mean. I’ve been trying so hard to put my blogging thoughts into a box, to become something marketable and to squeeze this place into a niche that it’s all become stagnant.

And that is not how I want it to be.

Way way back in the day there was OpenDiary, and online journal where you could be anonymous if you chose. You could meet people and connect with them on different levels than in real life. I did that many times over. I made lasting friendships and traveled places I never would have thought to travel. We moved on from OpenDiary to Xanga then Livejournal. Livejournal was the community that thrived back when I was in college especially. Right as Myspace was becoming a thing.

I’m going to stop right there to let that sink in.

College & Myspace.

That dates these thoughts to 11-15 years ago. That dates me quite a bit as well.

Now community is elsewhere. It’s on Facebook and Instagram. There are groups and Reddit communities and Twitter parties. There are Snapchat groups and websites and e-mail newsletters. We are all spread so thin that we have to connect in many ways. Often companies and blogs will promote themselves across different platforms, which is fine, but it gets redundant when you’re seeing the same images and thoughts everywhere. People read less blogs. They watch YouTube videos and Instagram stories. I find myself wondering where my interests lie. My Instagram feed fills up with pictures of food and open air, yet I want my blog to have more than that. I feel split in a way that only I feel it. Should I change my name somewhere? Should I just let things be the same.

And then I come back to myself and the act of being frozen in indecision, allowing life to move along around me. And that isn’t something that feels good to me, either.

What does feel good? I wonder this sometimes when I’m obsessing over the current series I’m reading (A Court of Thorns and Roses, I’m rereading book 3, if anyone is wondering) and can’t help but lay down and just listen. What tastes good? What is good? It’s so easy to get caught up in the every day that we forget what we are doing and we forget to be here right now, today. Weeks are taking forever to go by. It’s almost May. and yet IT’S ALMOST MAY. The weather has been terrible. We are getting toward the middle of the year. And it still feels like February is slowly passing through.

I’m not committing to anything by writing this blog post, but I am wanting to think more and to feel the keys beneath my fingers move. I’m wanting to remember words and unlock my thoughts again. I’m wanting this familiar feelings of community in a disjointed world. I’m wanting to create something for myself.

Uncategorized

Writing Into Empty Spaces

I miss the words and the thoughts and the love, oh the love, pouring out of me. I miss feeling like I have a purpose, a reason to put fingers to keys. I miss the urgency and the ideas. I miss all things writerly. Over the past few years I’ve experienced my itch to write diminish even more. I’m afraid if I scratch, it will be gone. I know we change and we mutate and we grow. I know we become different people all while staying who we are. I know that writing isn’t in the cards for everyone, and that I have a career that I’m nurturing and loving. I know all this.

But that doesn’t change the fact that when I sit down and think about it, I get sad that it’s been weeks since I’ve blogged. It’s been days since I’ve stopped and read through an entire article, a chapter, an episode without looking for a distraction in between. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on a novel. In November I started something. In November I always start something. And then a few days, a week, later I stopped.

It’s unconscious at first. I might take a day off. I might get distracted or forget. And pretty soon it’s weeks or months later and I’m sitting here remembering the intentions I had. I feel like this about a lot of things. If I don’t get very specific and intentional about what I want, I lose track.

There are so many things that I want to do.

There are places I want to go, people I want to meet and experiences I want to have. I get distracted with all the ambitious thoughts. I get lost in myself and the research during times that I cannot actively do things. When I can’t cook, but I’m looking up recipes I add them to Pinterest. Forgotten. When I can’t write but I have a thought I add it to a list in a journal somewhere. Forgotten. When I can’t exercise, but I’d like to probably do yoga or start running, I add it to Pinterest. I look up techniques and blogs. And then it’s all forgotten.

I can’t quite figure out how to get myself to do things a lot of the time. It’s those in between moments when I’m inspired. I’m inspired in the shower or while I’m driving to work. I’m inspired by a song during a busy moment, or a YouTube channel when it’s almost bed time. And all of the empty space when I could be doing things. I could be writing or achieving or exercising or cooking? I can’t quite figure out what I do with that time.

I know, realistically, that I’m watching TV or reading or driving because I’m not sure what else to do with myself. I’m watching another YouTube channel, playing Best Fiends, or kind of sort of napping.

How do I get myself to do things when I can? I get distracted. I forget. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I don’t want to talk to people or exert myself. Distractions and forgetting are the hardest, and most common parts. I need lists. I need down time to think and organize. I need to figure out how my brain works, or else it doesn’t work. A lot of times I feel like it’s not working.

I can’t tell if there’s actually something wrong with the way my brain works, or how I work. I can’t tell if I’m lazy or normal. I can’t tell if my ambitions are too high for myself, or if they’re realistic and I’m just not doing the things. It comes in every way. I forget about laundry until I can’t find any pants. I forget that my car is a mess, even when that mess is right next to me, until I’m trying to squash another thing in the front seat where there’s no more room. I forget that I wanted to clean off my desk or try a new recipe or work out on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I think I’ve always been like this, though I used to write more. It used to be something that occupied my brain. It doesn’t anymore. But what occupies my brain? I have so much going on sometimes, so many different autopilot thoughts, that I can’t organize the contents. Some days I feel exhausted just by thinking. Some days I feel out of sorts and like I’m a mess, and it’s all because my brain can’t calm down and feel composed.

Is this what it’s like to be an adult? Is this how life works? Is there a reason I can’t see the mess in front of me, can’t remember that ONE thing I wanted to get done, can’t write because my mind won’t go in that direction? I know that your brain forms pathways, and the more frequently you think about certain things the deeper the paths. I wonder if somewhere along the line I just lost the mental capacity to write and to have ideas and passion for expressing myself. I wonder if some time when I was younger I allowed myself to forget the pathways to remember simple chores. I wonder if it’s part of something larger.

Some things that occupy my mind lately: Roller Derby though I don’t actually skate, food food food, Weight Watchers, how I should exercise, what I should post on my library instagram, a million stupid thoughts expressed on Facebook, Pinterest and how to get lost down the rabbit hole, how can I entertain myself this evening, how much money is in my bank account, did I pay that bill?, what am I doing tonight, what can I eat for dinner, where can I go to find new restaurants, a lot of Best Fiends, instagram instagram instagram, YouTube, water, drink more water, I’m tired of being tired, has anyone sent me an email? oh I was supposed to e-mail so and so, I think I’ll check Snapchat filters instead. Is anybody reading this? Did anybody ever read this? This all seems pointless, Hygge, why isn’t it Spring yet, what am I going to buy so and so for whatever, no I should probably not buy those leggings, I want to travel to all the places, food, food, instagram, Roller Derby, food cures, allergies, how to boost immune system.
bite sized reviews

Bite Sized Reviews: Daughter of Smoke And Bone

daughter of.jpg

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor

Favorite character: Karou, of course. With natural blue hair and wishes. But also Akiva
Atmosphere: Prague with a hint of intrigue. Gritty and trendy.
Laini Taylor’s writing is lyrical and beautiful. I adore this story and all the layers to it. It’s about Chimera and Angels and humans. It mostly takes place in Prague but also elsewhere, where a life long war is brewing, ready to erupt into something larger.

 

karou
@moonyslibrary
2018 · Melanie Kristy · musings

On Cooking Cutter Worlds and Having Too Many Interests on the Internet

“When you live in a cookie cutter world being different you can’t win.” Weird – Hanson

What happens when you have too many interests? I’m in this world of blogging and instagramming and watching YouTube and everyone seems to have a niche, right? Everyone is a booktuber or has a fitstagram or something else. I keep alternating between thinking I should keep all my content here in this blog, and separating things out. I have a book blog, but I like posting things together. If you follow my Instagram, you might notice I post more food and health related images than anything else. I want to share everything with you. I want to share my loves and obsessions and books and thoughts.

 

I never fit into one box.
Sure, we all have phases. Some days I lean more toward being interested in bullet journals. Other days I’m obsessed with finding the perfect snacks. There are weeks when I spend too much time on Pinterest. My current obsession is roller skating. Not actually doing it (yet), but watching videos and wanting to join roller derby. I feel like I’m all over the place at times, and while I think that’s fine, I can’t quite figure out how to organize that into one space.

 

Blogging has certainly changed over the years. Many bloggers only blog with the intention of marketing and networking. Some blog to teach you how to blog. Others write reviews. Some people tell you about their days. I’m not sure why I’m listing all these things right now. Basically I’m a bit overwhelmed. Blogging used to be a diary of sorts. It used to be sharing. And now there are lots of different websites to share on, and different ways to connect. I kept thinking that I should start a YouTube channel, and maybe I will eventually, but right now my heart wants me to keep on typing. I want to reconnect with words. I suppose if I’m simply writing it doesn’t matter what I write about. If I’m not aiming to create some epic blog it doesn’t matter if I’m all over the place. If I don’t want my words to go far and do things, if I’m okay with writing for me and hoping that other people in enjoy then it’s okay to write about books and weight loss and travel all in one page.

 

I think transparency is a good thing to have on the internet these days. That’s why I’m telling you all this right now. I’ve been holding on to web addresses for so long, going months without using them and allowing myself to forget what writing feelings like. I’ve been focused on the wrong things. I look up ways to make Instagram more aesthetic, while thinking about buying new dishes just for my food pictures. I’ve struggled to think about what sort of tones I want my pictures to be. Cool and minimalist? Busy and colorful? Does it really matter? I’m not so sure.

 

Authenticity is something I strive for, but some days it feels like the Internet is not a fan of authenticity. It’s not a fan of you being you. It wants you to be yourself while seemingly perfect and also effortlessly creating an aesthetic that everyone adores. The Internet wants you to connect with people, but it also wants you to have your shit together and to know what you’re talking about before you burst forth with your thoughts. It wants you to give advice and make how-to posts. It wants you to not admit to your failures. It wants you to be perfectly PC or not PC at all, to appeal to every person while also taking a stand. The Internet wants you to know what you want and to go for it unabashedly while ignoring that fact that maybe you want to be everything. Maybe you want to do everything. Maybe the four walls surrounding one niche project are too dampening for your passion.

 

Maybe your passion lies everywhere.
2018 · new things

New Things! 34 before 34

I’ve tried this before and I’ll try this again. I’ve been inspired by past posts that Sarah Von Bargan of Yes and Yes and Xandra of Heroine Training have made. It’s a birthday list of new things to be accomplished/ experienced before your next birthday. The best part is there’s no pressure to finish these things. You can carry them over if you want. But the intention is put out there, and I like that.

So here’s my list. My birthday is in November, so I feel like I should have made this list a couple months ago, but I still think I can do a lot of these things before then.

  1. Complete draft one of currently novel – I suppose this isn’t a new new thing, as I’ve completed novels before, but it’s been a long time, and I feel like this is a BIG novel. Maybe the novel. We shall see.
  2. Read a Jane Austen novel – this was part of my summer plans, and it didn’t happen. Maybe this upcoming summer!
  3. Get paid for my writing. Blogging, freelancing, whatever! We’ll see!
  4. Take a barre class
  5. Visit Canada
  6. Start a bullet journal (and keep up with it)
  7. try Miracle berries
  8. go to a trampoline park
  9. hike a mountain – I have my eyes set on Mount Greylock in the Berkshires of MA, also home to the Ilvermorny – the American School for Witchcraft and Wizardry
  10. take a pole dancing class
  11. celebrate seasons changing – by hosting a party or taking part in other festive celebrations
  12. see (and hopefully photograph) snowy owls
  13. attempt at Whole 30
  14. make pickles
  15. try different trendy lattes. Charcoal, Turmeric, Beet, Unicorn, Matcha
  16. eat at Blackie’s Bulldog Tavern 
  17. Marie Kondo some of my life
  18. bake or cook something with flowers
  19. visit a free little library
  20. make goat cheese
  21. go to a roller derby bout
  22. do a planned out Random Act of Kindness activity, maybe participate in The Birthday Project
  23. participate in guerrilla gardening
  24. go letterboxing
  25. get a picture of my aura taken
  26. start a YouTube channel
  27. finish watching Doctor Who
  28. Implement a daily morning and night routine
  29. Document my life through Leap Second
  30. blog at least three days a week, consistently, for the whole year – this isn’t really a “new thing” so much as it’s an experience in consistency that I’d like to follow through on
  31.  Pick one type of food/ dish each month to master – can be variations on the same dish or a different type of dish (for example January: smoothie bowls)
  32. Participate in a one month spending fast
  33. grow herbs and then eat them/ cook with them
  34. lose 75 pounds