Exit, Pursued By A Bear

An Unreliable Narrator


The End of the Affair
Reptile House
academichussy
Dear Internet,

I wrote the below on September 9, 2014, a week after TSTBEH and I had split up. What I was so sure then has changed dramatically over the months that what I'm so sure of now doesn't look like below.

But if you're curious as to the demise of a marriage and why, here is where you begin.


I'm sleeping on the couch we bought for $3K and imported from Italy, which is doing a fine job of jacking up my back and hips. I thought after decades of being poor and making less than $12K a year, the trappings of having a big girl job and disposable income would cure most of my ills. Because that is how it works. You get your degrees and your post-new-American Dream life, and your world comes easy. Because NOW you have money.

Except, they forget to tell you your friends find it awkward to hang out with you in your fancy house (or you lose friends because now that you're "successful" you apparently wipe your ass with $100 bills). The same friends who were with you when you were poor, ditched you when you're rich. The same friends whom after you announce your seperation, with the exception of 2, did not offer you any kind of help.

That your soon to be ex-husband wouldn't take a vacation or go on vacation with you since your honeymoon 4.5 years prior because it would eat into his aggressive plan for retirement savings. And if you can only hold out 15 more years! We can live in Europe -- that's what is really important. We do not live for today, but for 15 years hence.

The same person who stopped having sex with you two years after you got together because they had already been down that road before, so why bother? Then claimed to be asexual, then told you you could have lovers on the side but knew you wouldn't because you wanted the big love, not the casual fling. (But through all of this, still found it appropriate to touch you in a sexual manner and was, teehee, just joking and really Lisa, we're both just too fat to have sex.)

But on paper, everything was grand! You were walking around with 0 balance $30K in credit in your purse, driving a $40K car, and owned two properties in beyond desirable locations. And so what if your husband wouldn't fuck you, or go out with you, or meet your friends, or who told you after you tell them you are getting sued for standing for what you believe in, "Oh fuck, we're going to lose the house!" OR a myriad of other things -- life could be a lot worse.

I had big love 9 years ago and it went away. I swore to myself I would never go without again or settle. But I compromised and settled. Because we're adults and that's what you do. Big love is for Romeo and Juliet, not aging alternative hipsters. Then big love came back, with book in hand, and quietly tells you it's only been you all this time.

There was never anyone else but you. And you know this is true because you've found big love's notes, piling up for years, across the internet. Searching for you. Waiting for you, for when you're ready. Figure your life out, big love says, and come to me when you're ready.


xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2003, 1999

vine/shuffle/jumping jack/hook
Reptile House
academichussy
Dear Internet,

When I came up with ThePlan, part of the mind/body connection was to get in shape. I've been in shape on and off for years, but after being laid up for nearly 18 months from my surgery a few years ago, the in shape part has thrown me ever so far for a loop.

Doing ThePlan has been a massive struggle. I've started out strong, fall back, start out strong again, and fallen back again. I've made huge mistakes and have claimed some small victories, but it's been hard to really gauge how I'm doing. I know the bipolar is a mess, even with the drugs it's been so sporadic, I've often wondered if my best bet is to put myself into a psychiatric hospital. But then I'm not really sure what it will do for me outside of what I'm doing now, which is drugs and talk therapy. I am so desperate to have some kind of stability to get me moving forward that I'm willing to do just about anything to grab at it.

I do not want to be at the head space I was late in 2014. Never ever.

So many people are upset/angry/disappointed in me right now, that normally I would find myself begging for forgiveness. With some of them, I have. But the most important thing is to get my head and body into some semblance of stability so I don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Which is why I was at a 6AM kickboxing class this morning.

I have been walking the track at the local Y every morning this week, and meditating, even on the days when I felt like I could barely get out of bed. Yesterday morning was particularly bad as I felt like even doing my 8 laps around the inside track was going to do me in. Even having heart raising pop music to make it fun, wasn't doing it for me. When I got home, my brain was on such fire, I planted my hands on the kitchen sink, huffing cold air via the open window to calm me down.

And like a switch, it's off again and I start to feel better. I'm sure the Klonopin helped.

The issue with me is that for most of the time, I present as high functioning (as well as a medical curiosity). I've been able to accomplish a lot in my life that most bipolars cannot: I've finished school, not once but thrice. I've had long term relationships. I've held down jobs. I'm not on drugs and I'm not promiscuous (two massive bipolar traits).

But it's a struggle. It's all a struggle to do these things and stay on the golden path. I'm not sure where I get the strength to push myself forward, but it's there and it's real. I've grown up with having little or no support for this disease and the only person I could count on is myself. Even those who are close to me, who have given me support and understanding, can only do so much.

I have to continue to save myself. No one else can do this for me. At times, I've been wholly naive to think they could, but they can't. I'm going to go forward and I'm going to fuck up again. But I have to recognize, really recognize, that I am human and I'm bound to make mistakes. The goal, then, is to catch myself during these mistakes and right them before they get out of hand.

Throw in my other conditions (borderline personality disorder, anxiety, ADHD), and I've got a delightful cocktail of fire happening in my brain.

TSTBEH recently finished my book and found it weird and insightful. Weird because he was there during that year in San Francisco, my love, and insightful because he was able to judge me then versus me now. Then I was careless, an asshole, out of control, and financially unstable. I've made extraordinary strides not to be that person and he did comment on that. I'm much more able discern when the crazy is coming and how to do some kind of self-care, even when it feels like I've fallen off the wagon. But there are a lot of patterns still being repeated, that I'm continually self-sabotaging my own happiness by believing that external things will make me happy (which, to be fair, I've discovered they actually do not). That I don't allow myself to take pleasure in the small things or accomplishments (woo! I have three degrees! Who'd see that coming?).

I can do a lot of things.

Some have called this site nothing but navel gazing, which to be honest, it is. This site is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it is my own form of talk therapy and a curse because it has all of memories from it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most of all, it's a crucial reminder of my own humanity.

I'm not asking anyone for forgiveness. I'm not asking anyone to stand by me, but what I am asking is that you understand. You understand that for me, daily existence is a struggle. That for what some of you seem like simple tasks, for me are sometimes monumental journeys.

But I can taste the joy. I've seen it and I've felt it, the closest I've come in a very long time, if ever. Working towards that joy, no matter what methods I use, is my new drug.

I hope to be addicted for a very long time.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2003, 2001, 1999


40 Days: My Yearly Twitter Sabbatical
Reptile House
academichussy
Dear Internet,

It's that time of year again, 40 days and 40 nights without Twitter. First started in 2009, I've gone back and forth over the last few years about keeping this up. But you know, in the end, I end up doing it because I have felt mentally so much better.

As most of you may have noticed, I've scaled back on my social media usage within the last few years. I've dumped my old Facebook account and started a new one with my new soon to be legal name which has significantly fewer FB BFFs and I'm quite happy about that.

I'm off of Google+ and have been for months. I've stopped using Foursquare and a few other social services within the last few years. I'm an on/off with Pinterest and Tumblr, and I selfishly hold on to LiveJournal like no one's business though it's more or less dead.

But Twitter is my crack and the conundrum is that it's been really good for networking and PR related stuff for my various projects. So I waver how to handle this. In the end, I don't have a problem with setting up tweets for networking/PR stuff, and content posted from EPbaB will continue to auto-post to Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Tumblr. Content, as always, is also available via RSS.

But everything else outside of that, such as sharing of links, diatribes, responses, and the like, will be on hold until after the 40 days are done. For 40 days, no reading of my timeline, checking for messages or mentions.

As I do every year, I've gone ahead and deleted the apps from my phone/tablet, and removed the apps from my laptop startup. And as always, if you need me, you can always contact me via this site.

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. Yesterday's entry was about putting my daily journals on pause, not the site.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2003, 2002, 2002



Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

State of the Lisa Address
Reptile House
academichussy
Dear Internet,

TSTBEH and TheBassist have been very concerned about my state of well being now that I'm living alone. Others have also expressed concern so it seemed like a good idea to do an update.

I've been busy every day with errands since I've been here, so I'm getting out of the house. Today is the first day in over a week I don't have plans or errands to run so I decided that I'm going to couch all day watching Father Brown, and we all know I have a thing for crime solving priests.

I had a meeting with my business accountant on Saturday and he's suggesting it would be far easier for me to get a co-working space rather than trying to build out a home office (as you'll see in a moment, there is no space for me to build out a home office). My talking therapist, Dr. P., is encouraging me to not do home workouts but head to the gym. Originally I was going to sign up for yoga at a local place that Bethums have scouted out for me, but I have to go to the Y so I can get walking AND swimming thrown into the mix.

Those two things are on my agenda this week.

Mentally, I've been okay. Thursday night I started crying because the enormity of the situation has finally taken its toll. The tears didn't last long but knowing I was here alone, without two people who care about me the most. I have friends here, close friends, but it's not the same.

The interesting thing is that I've not been getting myself in knots about any of the messes I've gotten myself into. And for that, I am grateful.

I saw my GP last week and she's upped my dosage of Lamictal, so instead of 25mg three times a day, I'm now taking 50mg in the morning and 25mg in the afternoon, and another 25mg in the evening along with 10mg of Abilify. The ability to feel rational and not overwhelmed emotionally has been fabulous. So far, this has been the best bipolar cocktail I've ever been on. If this is what "normal" feels like, I'll take it.

I've been on this particular cocktail since November and this is the longest I've felt stable. I had some of the cracks starting to show about three weeks ago which signified that the drugs were starting not to work, which is why I went off to see my GP. I have an appointment with a medicating therapist in February to for her to manage my scripts and see about possibly getting on ADHD drugs (again).

Creatively and productively, I've been feeling good. When I'm home, I've been working on my book(s) almost none stop. I think I've calculated I've spent 50-60 hours in designing the cover, editing, and more. Working on the print version has taught me a lot about book design and formatting; I have made numerous mistakes getting it just right but instead of getting super frustrated, I kept chugging along. Hence I know the drugs are working.

Last week I had an interview for an entry level IT position for a local corporate company here in GR. This was approved by everyone (TheBassist, TSTBEH, Dr. P.) because it would get me out of the house, interact with humans, and plus make some extra scratch. My budget right now is super tight but this would give me some breathing room.

With my name being dragged in mud due to the lawsuit, in addition to changing my last name, I'm looking at changing careers. It's been over a decade since I held a pure IT job, so this look like a good entry point and the money isn't bad.

The first interviewer said this is the first time in his career he's interviewed a person with a double master's for the position. No one asked me with my education and background, WHY I applied until it was time to ask questions of the interviewers. Eight candidates are interviewing for three positions.

So the apartment. Here is a tour.

Front of the building. Front of the building.

The building was built in 1870 and was used as a hospital in the area and pre-dates other hospitals in Grand Rapids. There are five apartments, which are cobbled together from patient rooms. Though my apartment is #2, #10 and #9 are on my doors. The buzzer doesn't work and I will have to make arrangements for shipping items, but all and all, the front of the building is gorgeous.

newlivingroom-before Living room from the front door.

newlivingroom-before2 Living room from Kitchen door.

newlivingroom-after Living room after.

newlivingroom-after2 Living room from the kitchen door.

The apartment is only 600sqft but it's cozy enough for my needs. All the mouldings, floors, and appointments are original to the house. The transom windows are adorable but the landlord leaves the lights on in the hallway so light is always shining through the living and bed rooms.

The apartment faces north and west, so I don't get early morning sun. Even when it's sunny out, I have to keep the lights on at all times.

mantelofminis Mantel of MINIs. (11 in total.)

Most of the furniture and accoutrements are from Throbbing Manor, what TSTBEH didn't want or was going to sell to consignment, so it worked out. The couch, bed, and TV were bought specifically for the apartment. When I move out, TSTBEH is going to take some of the furniture (mainly the TV, bed, and possible one or two pieces of furniture) for Throbbing Cabin, which works out for both of us.

Interesting, neither of us miss Throbbing Manor. Nearly four years and we don't miss it one bit.

newkitchen-before New kitchen - before.

newkitchen-after New kitchen - after.

The kitchen is tiny, there is no getting around that bit. The oven temperature gauge doesn't work (yes, I know. Go buy a manual one) and the stove is a bit sketchy. Thankfully, I am a grazer which means my meals are simple and not overly complicated. If I need something more substantial, I have instant meals (soups, frozen, packet Indian, etc) at my disposal. I was planning on crockpotting meals and freezing them but I haven't bought a crockpot yet but that is on the list of things to do.

newbedroom-before New bedroom - before.

newbedroom-after Bedroom after.

newbedroom-after2 Bedroom after.

The bedroom is basic and does its job. Teddy enjoys it very much.

viewfrombedroom View of downtown Grand Rapids from my bedroom window.

I've started getting into rituals, which after the last seven months, have been a godsend. I get up in the morning, use the bathroom. Contacts get put in; slippers found and slipped on. I turn the kettle on for tea and refill the humidifier so I don't strangle myself in my sleep from the dry air. Breakfast is procured and then I check email, Facebook, and Twitter.

I plan the rest of my day, which typically includes appointments and errands. I get dressed and do what I need to do; come home and depant. Then I do the household things and once those are done, work. Work on my writing, work on my books, work on myself.

It's a quiet life. No drama. After the last seven months, it's a welcome relief.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2011



Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

and with that, it is done
Reptile House
academichussy
Dear Internet,

My deadline for completing the book for Amazon was January 22 at midnight. I made it with 1.5 hours to spare. It felt like I was back in grad school all over again! But the book is finished and ready for pre-orders.

TLC-Cover-Final

From the forward,
Dear Internet,
In May of 1997 I moved, for a boy, to California to gain riches and fame. In July of 1998, having ditched the boy and gained neither riches or fame, I started putting my diary online. I named it The Lisa Chronicles for who better to tell my life story than me? While I didn’t think I was extraordinary, I seemed to continually get into extraordinary circumstances. What I also wanted was the ability to connect to others who were like me: the scared, the frightened, the unsure, the outsiders, and any other group that felt rejected by society. Adding in 1998 I wanted to eat the world, what better way to do that was through the Internet?

What can you expect from the first volume? Love, conflict, obsessions with people, places, and things. Rotating cast of characters and adventures. Sprinkle of song lyrics here and there. Pop culture references galore. Sex. More sex. Profane words and a bipolar girl desperate to connect with a world she did not understand.

While this work has been edited for grammar, clarification, and the obvious typo, it remains largely unchanged from when it first appeared online nearly two decades ago.

And lastly, every word here is true.

xoxo,
Lisa

I have been asked by several people on the process, editing, and WHY I decided to go to Amazon first.

Why Amazon
I've been following the self-publishing world for about 10 years (probably longer actually). I wanted to do a chapbook or something along those lines.

  • What persuaded me to go with Kindle (as the first step in the world publishing biz) and ebooks is because:

  • Your book is pubbed immediately across ALL of Amazon's global sites

  • You can set the price and have control over royalties

  • You have complete control over everything

  • You can use Amazon's print service, CreateSpace, to make print copies

  • Kindle ebooks is available on all devices via the app, so it's not necessarily proprietary unlike ibooks or nook. iBook is available on Apple devices only and Nook is now defunct. HOWEVER Kindle ebook format is proprietary while iBook/Nook use non-proprietary ebook formats so you can use any app for those books.

  • Amazon's reach is bigger

  • It's super easy to EXCEPT the cover creator. I ended up spending $10 for an image from iStock and following Amazon's guidelines to make the one that I thought was far better.


Now that it is safely up in Amazon's cloud, I'm looking into adding it to iBooks and other eBook locations.

So that describes the whys, now for the process.

Process/Editing
Because all of these were journal entries from my online journal, I cut and pasted them into a Word document. I was pleasantly surprised to find the book was 117 pages NOT 50 as I originally thought. 1998 has 51 entries while 1999 has 88, which means the second volume could well go close to or over 200 pages. Yowza.

After the entries were in the Word document, I began the process of creating a style guide for me to follow. This included everything from how to format dates to whether or not I was to use AD or CE when speaking of years to how to format images. I wrote all of this down to refer to as I worked.

While I was working, I also created a separate list of To Do items as the book got nearer to completion, including book bloggers, writing an introduction and so forth.

On the document itself, with a style guide now more or less in place, I started line editing. Line editing, to me, was to read each line out loud to catch missed words or wrong spellings, correct them and also grammar. As you can image, this took forever. I corrected a lot of mistakes but if you go through it again with a fine tooth comb, you'll find more I'm sure. The reading out loud is an old trick I was taught in grad school since my brain processes faster than I type, so I drop a lot of words.

I did a massive spell check, which took several hours, to correct all common spelling mistakes and to add words not found in Word's dictionary. I also did a search and replace function to make sure there was consistency across spellings such as cd's became CDs and so forth. For images, I decided to use tables to place them and decided on a width of each image for singular and multiples. Additionally, I broke each month out like a chapter to make it easier to read.

All in all, I probably spent close to 50-60 hours doing the line editing, proofing, prepping and other work. Now that I have a process of sorts in place, time frame for next volumes will be more based on length of the volume rather than figuring out style guides.

Takeaways
I learned a lot about the process of writing and editing a book, which I've more or less outlined above. What was more interesting to me was the comparison between 26 year old Lisa and 42 year old Lisa. I discovered a lot of things about myself that were embarrassing, depressing, enlightening, comedic, and shocking. Some things never change, while others, change was definitely a good thing.

While there are a lot of things about 26 year old Lisa that 42 year old Lisa would never stand for, much of who I am today still shines like a diamond after all these years.

I found that,

  • 26 year old me was a classist, racist, abelist, and other -ists that make me cringe today. I decided not to erase those words because I'm not going to white wash my history.

  • I could clearly see the patterns of mania vs depression in my writing. When I was manic, it was a hot mess of grammar and spelling mistakes, while I was stable or depressed, my writing was a lot more measured.

  • A lot of my problems then (instability, unable to commit, etc) are still prevalent today. Now that I see the triggers and patterns, I can easily work on them where I've been struggling before.

  • After reading nearly 118 pages, the startling realization that I'm everyone's favorite crazy ex-GF smacks me across the brain.


With that, now on to volume two!

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe:  2011



Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.

introductions, introductions
Reptile House
academichussy
The cottage from The Holiday. The cottage from The Holiday.

Dear Internet,

Happy early Svein Forkbeard day. I'm in the wilds of Connecticut prepping for the series of holiday events that will be happening over the course of the next few days. Tonight most of the Connecticut family is heading to the midnight service and I'm thinking of joining them. There is something about theological rituals during the holidays that I still yearn for even though I do not prescribe to any particular religion.

Like previous years, I'm in the throes of making holiday cookies. This year the list is small: macaroons, white chocolate cranberry oatmeal, no bakes, sugar, and finally, gingerbread cookies. I'm shipping cookies to my brother and TSTBEH and of course, leaving some for the Connecticut family. Since the next couple of days is going to be jammed with family activities, I'm stealing time when I can - like waking up at 5:30AM to start the prep work for the cookies and the cornbread stuffing for the big meals that are happening today, tomorrow, and Boxing day.

Nick Frost plays Santa! Nick Frost plays Santa!

It's also time for holiday episodes of my favorite British TV and radio shows. So far Stella, the first part of the Zurich episode of Cabin Pressure, and first episodes of Good Omens have played. Then of course come the regulars and new shows that are upcoming like: Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, and Miranda. This is yet another reason why I love the British: the unabashed love for holiday episodes of their favorite shows which Americans give no fucks about.

But I have to reaffirm the bigger news than holiday cookies and TV shows; though in my world, those are very good things.

Skaldic Press Presents
Reminder about the 4x a month newsletter from Skaldic Press (my publishing arm) that includes updates from Exit, Pursued by a Bear, so glad is my heart, and other adventures in addition to Skaldic Press. Includes themed GIFs. You can check out the archives for a better taste of what to expect and then subscribe below.

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The Lisa Chronicles, Vol 1: 1998
Also another reminder that my book is now available for pre-order. Publishing date is January 31, 2015.

From the blurb:
In 1998, having an online diary was a brave new world. Mailing lists, communities, chat rooms, and more all sprung up over people’s favorite diarists. Now we would call them bloggers. But then, THEN was a whole ‘nother beast. Then writing online was intimate. Then it was more personalized and personal. Then writers had less shtick. Not much was expected of these online exhibitionist scribes other than the ability to tell a good tale and regularly update.

I miss those days.

I never expected to get rich or famous, but what I wanted was to be able to connect to others who were like me. The scared, the frightened, the brave, and the bold. (No relation to the terrible soap opera of the same name.) I wanted to eat the world and in 1998, what better way to do that was through the Internet?

What can you expect from the first volume? Love, conflict, obsessions with people, places, and things. Rotating cast of characters and adventures. Sprinkle of song lyrics here and there. Pop culture references galore. Sex. More sex. Profane words and a bipolar girl desperate to connect with a world she did not understand.

While this work has been edited for grammar, clarity, and the obvious typo, it remains largely unchanged from when it first appeared online nearly two decades ago.

And lastly, every word here is true.

So if you're intrigued by the book description or want to help support me thanks to the saga of #teamharpy, I would be most grateful if you would pre-order the book.

<<<<>>>>


Not much else is going on in my world right this very second other than prepping for the holidays and editing my book. Typically I feel some sort of sadness and isolation since my family and I are not very close, but while I feel some semblance of that feeling this year, being around people who care kind of lessens the pain. I still feel awkward and out of place, but when do I usually not feel a disconnect to others' lives?

The drugs may stabilize my moods, meditation may help me deal better with impulse feelings, but some things about me will just never change.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2011, 2002



Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.


done consciously and intentionally
Reptile House
academichussy
Dear Internet,

I'm at Philly international airport on my way to my final destination and I'm debating the merits of being a woman who is about to start menstruating. I know my breasts are firmer and more round. I also know I'm throwing off pheromones like no one's business because I have a crowd of gentlemen clustered me in this otherwise empty section of the airport. It could be my charm and wit, or it could be the Lisa-puffs, but I'm betting it is pheromones.

Today will be a long day. I drove 2 hours to the airport to catch an early afternoon flight to the east coast and now I'm on my layover in Philly before the final leg. There were plans to be had this evening, but I'm betting once I make it to my final destination, head will hit pillow and the drool will come forth.

I made an observation this afternoon while I played Tetris on my iPad, in that if I played the game deliberately, I could easily get to level 9, which is nearly a 100 rows. If I do not play deliberately, I am dead within the first 10 rows. I found this to be interesting.

But being deliberate about the game also meant I had to be patient. It also meant I had to focus on the game and not on what was happening around my world. Not too surprising, the more I put my energy into paying attention to the game rather than my usual mashing of buttons, I did really, really well.

This is similar to how meditation works. You concentrate on the body and then you open yourself up to the world to let it wash over you. Then you learn how to reign the focus back into yourself while the world is awash, so you can find stillness in the chaos.

Since being a good Tetris player requires much of the same philosophy, it makes sense to me that once I started putting my meditation practice to work in the game, my game got increasingly better.

Imagine if this was applied to everything?!

Interesting hypothesis, yes?

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day In Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 1998



Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.


look, it stopped snowing
Reptile House
academichussy
Dear Internet,

I unintentionally woke up this morning at 6AM  but it ended up working out as the early wake-up meant I could take Kristin to work. We walked outside to discover that it had snowed over night; nothing serious but it was the first time this season I've seen snow sticking to the ground. It snowed once when I was on the east coast, on Thanksgiving, and it was giant fluffy snow; the kind that melts as fast as it hits the ground.

caravaggio
Since I graduated from undergrad in 2005, I've made it my personal mission to see every Caravaggio in existence. I am so enamoured of the idea, a few years ago I made a mini-site (okay, a page really) of his known complete works and started checking them off. I haven't updated in awhile but as of today, I've seen over 40 of the 90 Caravaggios open to the public and I have 18 more pieces to catalog before the page is done with the exception of me checking off new ones I have seen.

I really need to hie thee to Florence and Vienna.

The Lisa Chronicles, Vol 1: 1998
...is now up for pre-order. Delivery date is January 31, 2015.

At long last my project is starting to come to fruition. The goal is to take each year from 1998 and forward, clean it up (grammar, spelling, clarity), bundle it as an eBook and sell it on Amazon. The content has been free for  years on EPbaB, but no one reads archives anymore unless there is a direct link within the piece referencing it. There has been requests to eBookify the back content for easier reading, so I've done just that.

From the blurb:
In 1998, having an online diary was a bold new world. Mailing lists, communities, chat rooms, and more all sprung up over people’s favorite diarists. Now we would call them bloggers. But then, THEN was a whole ‘nother beast. Then writing online was intimate. Then it was more personalized and personal. Then writers had less shtick. Not much was expected of these online exhibitionist scribes other than the ability to tell a good tale and regularly update.

I miss those days.

I moved my diary (or journal, which was used interchangeably) around to many domains but kept the same name: The Lisa Chronicles. Who better to tell my life story other than me? I never expected to get rich or famous, but what I wanted was to be able to connect to others who were like me. The scared, the frightened, the brave, and the bold. (No relation to the terrible soap opera of the same name.) I wanted to eat the world and in 1998, what better way to do that was through the Internet?

What can you expect from the first volume? Love, conflict, obsessions with people, places, and things. Rotating cast of characters and adventures. Sprinkle of song lyrics here and there. Pop culture references galore. Sex. More sex. Profane words and a bipolar girl desperate to connect with a world she did not understand.

While this work has been edited for grammar, clarification, and the obvious typo, it remains largely unchanged from when it first appeared online nearly two decades ago.

And lastly, every word here is true.

So if you're intrigued by the book description or want to help support me thanks to the saga of #teamharpy, I would be most grateful if you would pre-order the book.

[amazon template=image&asin=B00R2808QE]

Skaldic Press Presents
The eBook announcement reminds me of another thing I launched this past week: Skaldic Press Presents. It's a newsletter of updates of my projects, including Exit, Pursued by a Bear, so glad is my heart, and other adventures in addition to Skaldic Press. Includes GIFs.

tl;dr I tweet and write too much, but you want to keep up with me? This newsletter is how to do it.







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where in the world is lisa going to be now?
The constant changing of addresses and locations are baffling peeps, so let me clear some things up. If you have an east coast address for me, mainly for snail mail, you can send me mail there until early January as I will be on the east coast until January 14. After then, I'm back in Michigan to finish up writing my book, continue with The Lisa Chronicles project, and finalize my divorce. I have given out a PO Box to which mail can be sent to and this PO Box is active now. So yes, technically from now until January 15, when I take possession of my apartment in Michigan, I'm homeless.

adios Throbbing Manor (for real this time)

IMG_0884 (1)

The house closed yesterday and the stress of prepping and selling it is now gone. Finally. I'm not sure who is going to be more thrilled about this decision, me or TSTBEH, but we had a very tearful goodbye in the parking lot of the title company before parting ways. I have no idea when I'm going to see him again since he doesn't need to be present when the divorce is finalized. He headed south for his move, I headed north to Kristin's to crash for a few days.

And that, they say, is that. I know right now I'm grieving, again, for the loss of my marriage and I'm okay with that. Even knowing what the pain IS doesn't make it hurt any less.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013



Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.


Moving Part Deux
Reptile House
academichussy
Two

Dear Internet,

Well, here we are again: I'm moving. This time Two Men and a Truck put what I pillaged from Throbbing Manor (thanks to the generosity of TSTBEH) into storage for a month while I'm out on the east coast; then they will move me into Valkyrie Estates (name may change) in mid-January. Then, THEN, work will start on my book(s).

My pillaging helps TSTBEH out as he would have had to either donate, sell, or take with him the remaining furniture he decided he did not want after the split. With the exception of a bed, I've almost completely furnished Valkyrie Estates. I've got a list of smalls I need to pick up when I get back (like laundry soap and toliet paper), but really, that is it.

This manic last two months, easier to give it a simple explanation when the explanation is really much more complicated, has been financially AND mentally expensive. Truth be told, if I wasn't counting on the settlement from the selling of the house to pay off my debts, I may have reigned the spending in but that's an excuse for my own folly. I must accept the responsibility of what I have done financially.

It's now mid-Sunday afternoon and I'm camped out at a hotel. Again. This time the only thing I'm running from is sleeping on an air mattress in a house that is freezing. Between the consignment shop swopping in on Thursday and my movers on Friday, all that is left until Monday is an air mattress, a 50" TV and related stereo equipment, dining room table and chairs, TSTBEH's boxes, and the art deco hutch. In 3200 sqft. We attempted to sleep on the air mattress every night until the closing of the house on Tuesday but I just couldn't do it. I gave in to my inner diva, left late Friday night for a hotel, and here I am.

And yes, I'm keeping track and earning points with all of this hoteling, flying, and other travel.

My entire life is now split between two suitcases and my messenger bag of electronics. There are a few odds and ends in my trunk but my worldly possessions are now in those two suitcases; it's a freeing feeling and an exhausting one. Now that my mind is finally clearing and I'm starting to put things into better perspective, I want to nest. Now.

I have to learn patience, I have to learn that waiting is okay and things will still be there when I'm done waiting. Not everything is gossamer and clouds but water and dirt. Things are tangible, holdable, and lovable.  These are things I need to remember and need to not forget ever again.

So let's move on to something other than my mental geographical quandary.

Part of ThePlan is bundling the previous years entries into an ebook volume and publishing it on Kindle and other eRetailers.

Today I finished the first draft of volume 1 and it clocks in at roughly 114 pages.

The plan is to take previous years (beginning, well, at the beginning) of The Lisa Chronicles, bundle them by year into an eBook version and see if I could shill it on Amazon (and maybe Apple) to make some passive income.

The idea was pitched to me about four years ago when a library school friend offered to go through these entries, edit for clarity and grammar, and help me format them for the Kindle. I was a bit trepidatious at first, for I often do not find myself to be that fascinating, I just happen to get into fascinating circumstances. But apparently there is a market for this type of writing and I had oodles of it already written at my disposal.

But I stalled, as I do, on the project when I was working full time; I started nibbling at the idea again when I started planning for my sabbatical. The process seemed simple enough: get the back entries of The Lisa Chronicles up online on EPbaB for completist sake. Then move the content over to Word for formatting and editing. Find a cover. Set a price. Write a forward and a description. Upload and BOOM. Book is on the Amazons.

But it wasn't that simple, rather, it was much more complex than my simple plan. Two things were happening in parallel. First being I had to set up as a business entity to help with writing off things related to my sabbatical AND to properly handle any income coming in from the sales of the eBooks. Second, that I had to find the content (easy enough as I kept multiple copies), get it on to EPbaB so the archives were complete, then move it to Word. I knew how prolific I am, so I figured I'd break it down by year and each year would be roughly 50 pages of formatted book text.

Did I mention that year one is at 114 rough pages? And only from April to December 1998? So I was obviously wrong in my page prediction.

I consider 1998 to be the very beginning for the sheer amount of content, though I have pieces that were published much earlier. I have gotten 1998 and 1999 into the EPbaB archives, so the first two volumes of the eBook project are going to be easy to do. I'll have to work in tandem with getting the later content up and editing the current project and writing the fiction book.

I'm going to be a very busy girl.

Getting it up on Kindle was not that difficult: I opted out of the KDP Select option which means the work would have only been sold on Kindle and I opted out of having DRM on the eBooks. I was able to, with the help of TheBassist and cmmrb, figure out the cover design (Amazon has a free cover creator). I have my EIN and LLC name (Skaldic Press), so everything on the business side was ready to go. It was just a matter of getting the content up, formatted, and edited.

So basically the hard part.

You know where you can find me for the next month.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 1999, 1998



Originally published at Exit, Pursued By A Bear. You can comment here or there.


Put A Cravat On It Part II
Byron
academichussy
Richard Armitage, in a motherfucking cravat!, as Mr. Thornton in NORTH AND SOUTH. Richard Armitage, in a motherfucking cravat!, as Mr. Thornton in NORTH AND SOUTH.

Dear Internet,

364 days ago, I wrote a blog post chronicling my extensive knowledge of British television and period dramas, which spurned me to create a list. The list went from about few dozen shows to now over 100. And it continues to grow.

I've been updating the original list every couple of months, but because of the length and breadth of the explanation before the list, it seemed wise to stop updating the blog piece and move the list to its own page to keep it better contained AND alphabetized it because woah, I had a lot of duplicate entries.

Some notes:

  • I follow the following blogs/websites to find out about upcoming stories: Digital Spy, Telly Visions, Tellyspotting, TVWise, Radio Times, and BBC History Extra.

  • The Lady and the Rose has a regularly updated list of period dramas (including movies), fairyland and fantasy costume dramas, and a list of movies/series coming up in 2015 and beyond.

  • I linked to streaming, if available, on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Acorn.tv. If a show is also on a premium channel like HBO or Starz, linked there as well.

  • Acorn.TV is a streaming service that allows you to watch as a channel on the Roku or online. If you're a big fan of Britishisms, it's absurdly cheap and packed with a mighty list of things not available anywhere and also gets a lot of exclusives, such as they ran Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries before anyone else had it.

  • Hulu and Hulu+ have a ton of Britishisms and other related foreign shows not found anywhere else.

  • Lots of Masterpiece shows (stuff that is normally aired on BBC or ITV) is now available on Amazon as well as more non-US stories not found anywhere else.

  • Your yearly outlay for all four services will be about $150. Absurdly great deal when  you consider how much TV/Movies you get on top of the period pieces.


As always, contact if you have any questions, updates, or etc.

xoxo,
Lisa

this day in lisa-universe: 2013


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