To Dodo or Not To Dodo

Here is a random fun fact:

Did you know they’re trying to bring Dodos back?

I mean, in a way they can’t bring Dodos back, but they want to bring back a version of the Dodo. It’s science talk I don’t have the capacity to fully explain, but it’s interesting.

There are actual companies that are focusing on de-extinction. Mammoths are another species on the possible de-extinction list…but, you know, a version of mammoths.

There were a couple interesting NPR podcasts that talked about it with Beth Shapiro who goes into greater detail about how these could also help with conservation efforts.

Interesting.

Self Sabotage

As I approach a new gig in one week, I’m reminded how I almost messed up my shot at it.

I have a nasty habit of letting my imposter syndrome convince me that I don’t deserve things. It’s not debilitating because I have ways of working through the thoughts.

Anybut, whenever a new opportunity pops up on my radar I spend a long time staring at the emails/messages I’m about to send off to someone who will determine my fate and fight the urge to…well NOT send them.

Then after I send them, I think of all the things wrong in the email or on my resume or how I didn’t send it at a convenient time. And then I accept before even hearing back that I probably ruined my chance at the opportunity.

It’s not fun having a saboteur who also happens to be me. But I’ve worked hard to learn how to deal with it and though some days are difficult…I try my best.

Though there are some days I could just turn off that part of my brain right before I send my fate out into the void.

A Writer’s Process

I’m currently working on my third book in my fantasy series (Bloodfall Arena and Blood Embers are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online stores in print and as ebooks…also there is a fantastic audiobook of Bloodfall Arena read by the fabulous and absolutely talented Zura Johnson)…and when I say currently working I mean being completely distracted by a new work in progress that has taken over my life and will not release me until I satisfy its desire to be outlined fully.

Besides that blatant, unabashed, and unashamed self promotion, this is not about my published books.

I thought I’d give a little insight into my writing process. Or into one aspect of my writing process.

Now everyone is different and I’m sure there will be some authors who read this particular habit of mine and think, “How do you get any work done? I would never be able to concentrate enough to write” or some other such thoughts. But I thought it would be fun to talk about because it is also something that consistently changes throughout working on a single book.

So, I am a big fan and lover and purveyor of music. I love it as most humans on this planet do. I have also made it no secret that while working on my Blood Magic Series, music was a key component in my writing process. The entire series was basically a playlist before I ever put words on a page.

But on to this current project I’m working on and why I decided to write about it today.

When I started working on this book, I had very specific songs I would listen to in order to help me get my mindset into the world and characters. And I made a playlist with said songs and would listen on loop. It was made up of 23 songs and if you REALLY want to know…it was metal covers of Disney songs…yes, really.

(For those interested they were mostly songs done by YouTubers Jonathan Young and Caleb Hyles, with a couple by Peyton Parrish thrown in as well. Highly recommend the covers if you like metal music and Disney)

Anybut, this playlist was the main one I listened to in the beginning stages of the book. Then I branched out a little more as the world began to form into a more solidified idea. I added a couple more covers and then branched out into other songs that had the feeling and themes I was focusing on. The playlist grew from 23 songs to 45.

THEN I reached a point in the book where I was fleshing out my main character and doing some backstory stuff with her close friends and things that happened before the start of the book. And I created a second, third, and fourth playlists. To be completely transparent, they were Dance Mixes. Dance songs that my main character and her friends listened to and though I may never mention the songs in the book it helped me to make concrete decisions about relationships, personalities, and mannerisms.

Now on to where I currently stand in the book, I’m building up to the major conflict, climax, and so on. I happened to be taking a break and was scrolling through random videos and came across a cover of Attention by Charlie Puth…but in the style of a movie soundtrack.

And a new playlist was born for the conflicts, fights, and major plot points. (If you’re curious, they are covers by Joel Sunny. Another recommendation if you like that kind of stuff)

Now I swap between about five different playlists depending on the situation or scenes I’m working on in my book. I should also clarify, this is still the working, rough first draft and outline stage of my writing process. It’s the nitty gritty, awful writing that is the bones of what the story will eventually become.

But it’s also a part of the process I highly enjoy. I get to explore things that may not end up working and being cut in the next few rounds of editing.

The playlists, however, shall remain to remind me of the process. If this book ever becomes something (although it’s 100% a personal project I’m only working on for me to enjoy…for now) I’m sure I would be willing to reveal the actual songs on the lists but for now you’ll have to deal with my, mostly, vague discussions.

I just find it incredibly fascinating that there is a clear path of development I can actually see (or hear) of my process in creating this one story. Going from metal covers of Disney songs to dance mixes to violin covers…it’s fascinating. And throughout the process I even found theme music for each of my characters for when I need to work on their scenes.

The Book Problem

I’m overflowing with books. I don’t have enough shelves for the amount of books currently in my living space.

I’ve debated creating a book nook…made of books…with a book throne…made of books.

BUT then how would I read the books that have been on my To Be Read list for years?

…Which reminds me, what is the proper term for books that have been on a To Be Read list for years? There must be some name for them. The Forgotten Stories? Never Starting Story? Something else that’s clever and not the ramblings of someone who is procrastinating from work…

It’s not intentional. When I bought the books I one thousand percent planned on reading them. I just got a little side tracked.

Part of the solution to my problem is to get more space for the books. Though I REALLY like my book nook idea…

Life Soundtrack

Do you ever just get random songs stuck in your head? Or better yet, random parts of songs just playing over and over?

I did an experiment when I was in college. Every time one of these moments occurred, I would write the song down. Every time. I literally had pages of random songs written down.

If I can find one I’ll post a pic here.

EDIT: I could not find one…womp womp

Anybut, the reason I’m bringing this up is for two reasons. The first, because I woke up this morning with a song repeating in my head. (Secret by The Pierces if you were wondering)

The second reason I decided to bring this up is because when I first did it in college I joked about how it was a real life soundtrack. And that got me wondering a stupid thought.

Do you know that fun fact about dreams? Before TV was in color people used to dream in black and white…or something like that? I always thought that was ridiculous. Why would TV have such an impression when, you know, the world is in color (unless of course you are one of the millions who suffer from a version of color blindness, but even then the TV would still appear the same as the world around you…or something).

I thought since music is so readily available and used in films and ads and tv shows and as ambience, is that why songs get stuck in our heads? I know one of the major pulls of music is to be catchy so people want to buy it, but did people back in the times before music was so readily available get songs stuck in their heads in the same way?

Has the idea of soundtracks for storytelling created this part of the brain that feels like emphasizing our actual lives with music?

Just a thought…as I also sit here listening to the same 40 seconds of a song over and over…Roxanne from the stage musical version of Moulin Rouge with Aaron Tveit…

….if you were wondering.

Happy New Year! 2023

It’s a new year….It’s a new beginning….It’s 2023!!

I ended 2022 working on one of the many Christmas Carols being performed across the country. I was backstage where I feel comfortable in the dark and away from hundreds of eyes watching me. I rang in the new year sore, but content with the work I did.

I also rang in the new year with a trip to Barnes & Noble to do a little end of the year book buying. I could tell y’all what I got, but 1/2 of the purchase was more journals (cuz I LOVE journals…even if I never fill them) and all but 2 of the books I bought are pure guilty pleasures for me which apparently isn’t allowed when it comes to reading books….huh. Weird that.

Do I have large ambitions for 2023? No. Because that’s unattainable and will only lead to be disappointing myself. I’m keeping it simple this year.

So without further stalling/need to fill this post out a little, here are my goals for this year:

1. Try to post at least twice a month here
2. Drink more water
3. Read more books

That’s it. There are larger goals, but they aren’t ones I’m committing to because they’re mostly dependent on outside forces.

So yeah, that’s all I’ve got. Hope y’all have a fantastic 2023 filled with success (whatever that means to you and doesn’t matter how small) and kindness (cuz we ALL need that right now).

She rises from the depths….

Vampire Rising From Coffin GIFs | Tenor

It may be cliche…..It may have been done before….especially on this site….but I rise from the depths of the pit I’ve been skulking around in for the past….

Well, maybe we don’t count the days…….

………Okay, 16 months, 12 days, and whatever hours, minutes, and seconds….as of the writing of this post.

Surely, I was busy with so many amazing things. Surely, I wasn’t just staring at my computer screen contemplating what has become of and will become of existence and the world and the universe and everything.

Surely, not….

……….Okay, maybe not mostly that. But I was working. I was DOING things.

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I worked on my first theater production after two years of being dark (closed in theater terms). Disney’s Newsies, if you were curious. It was amazing and weird being back doing what I love.

Amazing to be back doing theater….but weird because we had to wear masks every day and take Covid tests multiple times a week. We even had a couple actors and our choreographer test positive during the rehearsals, but luckily we were able to make it through without a wave of positive tests moving through the cast and crew.

We made it through our three weeks of performances and it was amazing. The cast was amazing, the crew was amazing, and it was amazing to be working.

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And that was the last show the theater company planned for the year…hooray.

I worked on my writing and am still working on my third book…the rush of creativity and excitement at being published quickly wore off as I realized my theater career was, essentially, over (more on this in a moment). Thank the gods my publisher is very patient and forgiving and is giving me the time I need to get back into my writing zone…for now.

Surprisingly, it’s very hard to write a fantasy book when your real life feels like it’s tumbling down all around you and there’s nothing you can do about it because you tried to be loyal to a company you truly believed in and turned down other opportunities to be fully available and then the company you tried to be loyal to cancels the rest of their season.

It’s also weird because this is the second theater company I’ve been apart of, put a lot of my time and energy into…and now it’s gone. Well, it’s not ACTUALLY gone…it’s just not doing any shows…and there are rumors it may be bought by another theater company I’ve done a little work with but will probably not want to hire me for future shows cause they don’t KNOW me, but that’s a whole other rabbit hole to go down at another time.

Enough of this. Let’s talk about something positive………

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I tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022. That’s right, the RONA got me!! I’m actually surprised it took this long. Really, I had symptoms beginning Sunday, September 4th but I was in denial…and out of state.

Full disclosure. I was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from September 1-5 for a writer’s conference. Now, I can neither confirm nor deny, prove or disprove whether I went to the conference ALREADY infected or if I was infected AT the conference….or on the plane TO the conference…but it doesn’t matter now. I wore my mask on the planes like a good little girl and made the choice to take it off AT the conference.

Though it didn’t help to have my flight from Phoenix, AZ to Cali cancelled at 8pm at night and having to spend a surprise evening in Phoenix until the next available flight home the following day at 3pm. Fun fact, the reason the flight was cancelled was because the airport we were planning on flying into has a curfew…and our plane was delayed two hours….past the curfew…so they cancelled it…cool.

Anybut, the point is I’m no longer a Covid ninja, a Covid avoider, a lucky bitch who managed to avoid the virus by sheer stubbornness to ever take my mask off and wash my hands after someone even LOOKS at them.

My fever didn’t break until Friday, I still have a nasty cough that won’t leave me alone, and once my fever broke I lost my taste. Which losing taste is the strangest ting of all. I didn’t even realize it had happened until I took the first bite of my favorite meal and the realization that I couldn’t taste it slowly dawned on me.

I’m vaccinated and have one booster. So it could’ve been worse and I’m thankful my symptoms weren’t worse or that I ended up in the hospital.

I’m also EXTREMELY thankful it happened now and not in a few weeks.

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Remember how I talked about my theater job essentially being…over? Well, I guess my notorious indifferent luck decided it would do me a solid and I received a message from one of my close friends. They wanted to call me.

Now, this is a frightening message to an introvert like me. Call? Like talking on the phone? Why can’t we text? I didn’t have as many of my crazy thoughts as I usually do when someone asks to talk on the phone, mostly because I know my friend KNOWS I’m not a phone talker. So I, more quickly than normal, say hell yeah.

We talk and she offers me a job on a show for the Holiday season. A show with a Stage Manager who I had just finished working with on Newsies.

So of course I say, Hell Yeah! Okay, not those words cause it was technically a professional call so I was a lot more appropriate even though I know my friend wouldn’t have cared if I said hell yeah, but I am a professional and she’s a professional and we….are…PROFESSIONAL!

Luckily, the show doesn’t begin rehearsals until end of October which gives me plenty of time to clear out the Covid coursing through my body and lord knows the mask will never leave my face again…in public. Cause in theater world you’re basically out for a week and for rehearsals…that’s a lot of missed work that is very difficult to catch back up on.

I’m excited to be given the opportunity to work on a show. I know how difficult it becomes to get work in this industry when those who were your links into the industry no longer participate in the industry…or are no longer with us. But I’m not ready to discuss that latter part. Maybe I will be someday…but not today.

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Wow, that was a lot and yet not everything but I know no one wants to read anything this long let alone longer. I’m sure I’ll find time to discuss the other things that happened since my last…check in? post? glimpse behind the curtain?

Does this mean I’m back for a consistent posting schedule. No. But I will do my best to maybe check in every now and then…especially with some interesting ideas rattling around in my brain.

I for sure want to talk about the writers conference I went to because I think it’s interesting and I’m sure other folks would think it’s interesting, too. Especially if there are any aspiring writers out there. So, I guess, if you’re interested, keep an eye out for that? Though I’m not sure when that will materialize.

If you’ve made it this far…thank you. I had so many plans for this blog when I started it. I had so many ideas. Depression is a hell of a thing. Don’t recommend it personally. But I’m also not ready to talk about that today.

Thank you for reading.

OH! I also am still on Twitch. If you’re interested. My channel is Twitch.tv/luddiewig

Shameless Self Promotion!

Today is a big day!

For those who don’t know, last year I published the first book in my fantasy series!

Well, today the second book is NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY!!

If you want to check it out, you can click HERE!

If you want to check out the first book, you can click HERE!

If you aren’t interested then disregard this post and have a fabulous rest of your week!

Welp…

Just found out today that my theater job won’t be back until next YEAR (2022) at the earliest…and I’m gonna have to be okay with that.

However, that most likely means that by the time it comes back…I may not be able to do it…since I’ll probably be working full time somewhere that won’t let me take the time off to work on a theater show…

And I’m gonna have to be okay with that.

I’ll keep working on my book series (Book 2 is now available for pre-order btw…I’ve been dropping the ball on promotion because losing my job and still being unable to get scheduled for a vaccine and searching for a new job and realizing that I’ve wasted so much time spiraling deeper and deeper into anxiety and depression…make it VERY difficult to get excited for pretty much everything).

I’ve started randomly streaming on Twitch trying to distract myself from the aforementioned spiral…though I can only handle 2 hours and not every day streaming. (If you’re curious, I play Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, not well, because I’m obsessed with that game since Monster Hunter World is done with new monsters and Monster Hunter Rise is releasing later this month)

But overall…I’m just trying to hold up the small bit of positivity I can find.

So, here’s a link if you’re interested in pre-ordering my new book (CLICK HERE)…but if you aren’t that’s fine, too. If you want to check out the FIRST book in the series here’s a link to that, too (CLICK HERE).

And if you care/know about Twitch and are tempted to see someone play a game poorly with meh commentary…you can check out my stream HERE. As of right now I stream Monday & Wednesday at 2pm pst and Friday & Saturday at 7pm pst. Since I learned of my job’s fate…I may start streaming more in hopes to maybe make it a viable way to make some side money….just depends on what happens with the work situation.

ANYBUT!!! Sorry for a not interesting/funny post…but I needed to get this out to help me process that even though everything ELSE is going back to normal….my entire career path has been basically blown to smithereens…but again…..it’s mostly my own fault.

BUT I’ll survive. I’ll find a new job and I’ll keep trucking along.

A Serious Note

Someone I greatly respected passed away over the weekend.

He was a hard worker. He was an inspiration. He was someone who could work with anyone and bring out the best in others. He knew how to bring laughter to stressful days. He was a professional with so much to teach.

When we worked together there was no question he would fight for everyone. When he was crew chief there was no question the crew would be phenomenal. When he was working a show there was no question the show would be phenomenal.

He leaves behind his fantastic family (who I was fortunate to meet many times), his loyal crew, and so many others who knew him, loved him, and will take everything he taught us forever forward through our lives.

As he would say before every single show:

Oh lord. Please don’t let me fuck up. Never give up. Never surrender. And may the force be with you. Have a great show.

I’m sorry, Russ. This is the one time I can’t keep to our crew motto: You go, I go. You went, but I still have work to do here. But I’ll keep your spirit with me through every show and every hard day.

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