October 28, 2007
Ten Things I Assume You Know About Me
I looked around my journal to dust things off - I do that occasionally - and I noticed a heck of a lot more people reading me than before. I have no idea who most of these people are but, after reading a post from Amanda about herself, I realized that I take a lot of things about me for granted as "common" knowledge that, on retrospect, probably aren't. I've decided to remedy this problem.
One. I write. A lot. I am a published author under two different names. I mostly write modern day fantasy and dark fiction. However, I also write professionally for several RPG companies like Margaret Weis Productions and Otherworld Creations. I write erotica. I write poetry. I can and do write in straight fantasy, sci-fi space opera and straight horror. When I'm not doing that, I am editing my own semi-pro webzine, the Edge of Propinquity, tech writing for Amazon.com and good old fashioned fun gaming fiction. I write a lot about writing. I write about the TEoP slushpile. I write about my acceptances, publications and rejections. Writing makes up a big part of my life. Currently, I am on the tail end of a one year writing 'sabbatical'. So far, I have written 2 novels, 29 short stories and 44 Freaky Friday Fiction pieces. I'm proud of myself for my accomplishments.
Two. When I am not an author, I am a QA Engineer. I have been a software test engineer since the early 1990's. I started in video games, progressed to applications to testing and leading to testing and managing to contract test lead/managing. I am very good at what I do. I am an excellent (primarily black box) tester and an excellent lead. I know how to manage up, down and to the side. I have discovered, during this last year, that I have really missed testing and all of the stuff that goes with it. While I will be sad to leave the freedom of my writing year behind, I will enjoy returning to one of my chosen professions.
Three. I am a gamer. Boy howdy, I am a gaming geek. I tabletop game with pencils and dice. I LARP every Saturday night with the same crew and have a second LARP on alternate Saturday afternoons. I play-by-email. I write gamer fiction. I lovelovelove my fantasy lives. It's how I got into professional writing. Seriously. My hobby became a professional job. There is something so freeing in the escapism of pretending to be someone else... someone different - better or worse than I am. I have learned so much doing the research for particular character professions and hobbies. Most recently, I have started to learn the art of illusion and just performed an actual magic show at what one of the LARP special events because my current character is a magician's assistant.
Four. I am an animal lover. I love animals. Especially cats and kittens. If there is an animal around, it has my attention or at least my notice. I will stop to pet dogs and cats on the street. I often coax scared animals out for pets or food. I am very protective of animals. I have fostered kittens for four years now. It is not unusual for me to go over to a friend's house and have their shy pet come make nice with me within the first evening - much to everyone's surprise.
Five. I am a Goth and I don't mean Visigoth. I have a dark, gothic sensibility, an appreciation of the macabre and a distinct love of black velvet clothing. I wear black and a lot of it all the time. I really like corsets and big velvet skirts but lately have delved into my quirky sense of humor for my clothing - argyle vests with skulls on it, a sweater with flaming hearts and a rhinestone skull and crossbones. I mix these with clingy black sweaters, black jeans and silver jewelry. If color enters the picture, it is usually purple or burgundy or occasionally pink. When it comes to music, I love bands like Abney Park, Within Temptation, Rasputina, Crux Shadows and Depeche Mode. When it comes to architecture, I favor stone walls, arches and pillars.
Six. I am madly in love. I have been dating the most wonderful man in the world for me for the last six months. I often call him 'my guy', 'my SO' and 'my sweetie.' His name is Jeff. We have a lot of things in common - he's a test engineer at Microsoft, a gamer, has a love of dark clothing, gets into my apocalyptic fascination, yells at stupid drivers on the road and other more private things. We also have enough things separate to keep things interesting. He is a competitive ballroom dancer and often ends up in dance related projects. He is good with his hands and can fix anything. More than all that, we can talk to each other. Really talk. Open, honest and without pain. Sometimes, this is really scary. Most of the time, it is too cool for words. We have gone on a couple of trips together with no fights and have come home still in love. Next up are the family holiday visits. If we survive those, (and I'm sure we will) we will be able to survive anything. We'll have an apocalyptic plan for it.
Seven. I am more introverted than extroverted. I do go out a decent amount but I really do need my alone time. Writing, by its nature, is a solitary activity. I need to have time to write, read and recharge. If I don't have this, I can get overwhelmed and snappish. I try very hard to keep track of this need so the collateral damage is kept to a minimum. Also, like most introverts, it takes a lot to get my attention once I've focused into something like reading and writing.
Eight. I am agnostic but spiritual. This is an interesting one for me for a number of reasons. I have had enough experiences in my life to determine that there is more to this world that immediately meets the eye. I believe in the concept called "God." Do I understand it? Nope. Do I have any hope of understanding it? Nope. Does this bother me? No. Not really. I would like to know but at the same time, I am satisfied with knowing that God exists. I also believe in the concept of karma - what goes around comes around. I believe good perpetuates good. I believe in sending prayers and good vibes into the ether. I pray in my own way every day. I believe there is more to this world than this life and I can't wait to find out what it is some day.
Nine. I have an extreme fascination with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic scenarios. I suppose beyond the gothic tendencies, this is probably my strangest quirk. The end of the world as we know it fascinates me. I have studied all sorts of 'end of the world' scenarios. I go to apocalyptic movies not for the story but for the parts of the movie where mother nature, the aliens, science and technology, the viruses, etc... destroys the world. Those fascinate me. The "Mega-Disaster" series on the History channel is my idea of apocalyptic porn. I watch and rewatch these shows all the time.
I am also fascinated with post-apocalyptic scenarios. Disasters bring out the best and worst in us. It's this revelation of character that I can't get enough of. Once the hard part is over, the rebuilding of a recognizable civilization, I get bored with the scenario. It is the things that people will or won't do to survive and thrive that I watch and try to understand.
Ten. I have some mental quirks due to having Asperger's Disorder. Definition: Asperger's Disorder is a milder variant of Autistic Disorder. Both Asperger's Disorder and Autistic Disorder are in fact subgroups of a larger diagnostic category. This larger category is called either Autistic Spectrum Disorders, mostly in European countries, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders ("PDD"), in the United States. In Asperger's Disorder, affected individuals are characterized by social isolation and eccentric behavior in childhood. There are impairments in two-sided social interaction and non-verbal communication. Though grammatical, their speech may sound peculiar due to abnormalities of inflection and a repetitive pattern. Clumsiness may be prominent both in their articulation and gross motor behavior. They usually have a circumscribed area of interest which usually leaves no space for more age appropriate, common interests.
For me, this manifested and manifests in a variety of ways. When I young, I had a lisp and a stutter. I spend years in speech therapy to deal with it. I have dyslexia when it comes to numbers. Often, I cannot speak the number I see in the order that I see them or I cannot write the numbers as they are told to me. It's just something I have to watch for. I have mild OCD that manifests in odd quirks of only being able to collect sets of books or having sets of light switches both up or down or having to be in the exact lane that I need to be in to eventually turn left or right - even if the turn is 3 miles down the road and I'm behind a slow driver.
The most noticeable way this disorder manifests with me is two-fold. I cannot abide by sharp loud noises. They put me into a fight or flight response; especially if I'm startled. If I'm not startled they make me very uncomfortable. I plug my ears at movie theaters and yelling makes me nervous. The other way this disorder manifests is me rocking. I rock when really tired, hungry, over stimulated or very focused on something. Often my friends will call notice to the rocking and find out what's up with me. It's kinda cool.
And now you know what I assume you all know about me.
Tarot Card for the Day: The Five of Wands