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Hello there, LiveJournal. You are my choice blog when I need to have the ability to link back and forth between things. So here goes.

I am a Mac user. I love Macs. I have an iMac, a MacBook, and an iPhone. If Mac made cars, I would probably have one of those, too. Mac Toilet Seat? I'd totally buy it. I just want to get this out of the way before I start hating on my laptop, because I would never hate on an Apple product. Ever.

Except right now.

This laptop is frustrating the heck out of me. It does not wake up from sleep, so if it falls asleep while I go to the bathroom or while I'm downstairs making eggs, the little bugger has to have the battery removed and put back in before I can use it. I've taken it to the Apple store and they thought they fixed it, but no, it's not fixed. It's a nightmare, because I can't leave it for more than a few minutes--and this means I can't leave conversations or anything open on there and I can't see when people DO try to have conversations with me when I'm not here, because it shuts down. It sucks.

On top of that, the OS has been crashing frequently and at completely random intervals. I'll be using the computer and everything will be fine--and then BAM! This little grey screen pops up and informs me that my OS has crashed and I need to turn off the computer. It doesn't give me the option to save anything or say goodbye to people--it's just OFF NOW, KTHNX.

Since the hard drive is still okay, I'm afraid to use the computer in case that crashes, too, so I'm just letting it sit over there, off. Which I don't really have an option to do, either, since the power chord died this week and I feel like that's a sign. I don't see the point in spending $80 on a charger when the laptop itself is almost dead, anyway. The battery has been going for a while, so it feels like it's all adding up and telling me it's time to put this Mac to sleep for good. I've had it for almost four years, and it's hard to think about parting, but I think it's time.

I usually wouldn't be in such a tough space--I know you're all saying "But Ashley, you have a desktop." But, LiveJournal, I'm a writer with a really weird writing process. I won't share it with you here, but writing fiction on a desktop is really hard for me. I literally need to be able to be in my bed or on the floor or somewhere else in order to write the way my brain lets me do it best. And the desktop is not conducive to that environment--I got the laptop to write, I got the desktop to game and edit videos. These two worlds cannot be combined, or my brain might explode.

So here's what I'm doing. I'm going to be writing a bunch of short stories throughout the summer and selling them as $5 eBooks (or, if you want one printed, signed, and bound in a little folder, $7 + shipping). There will be a bunch of topics covered, and all of them will have previews online so that you can decide if you want it. There will probably be five or six over the span of the next two months--and I'm not saying "Buy them all!" but I'm saying "Every little bit counts when I'm desperate."

The first one I'm doing is called "Fitting" and it's a story about two gay high schoolers--one who is out, one who is in--and the way their relationship changes under certain circumstances. It's told in alternating points of view, and will probably be about 50 pages.

If you're interested in Just Wanted to Tell You, let me know and I can get you that one. Same prices as above. It's a very fast-paced romantic piece about how intense old feelings can be, and how hard they can hit you when they brim to the surface, even years later.

I'll update this as the summer goes along. And please try not to laugh at how desperate I am. I'm just so broke and I also have to come up with all this other money for a new apartment when my lease runs out and blah it all sucks.


My Harry Potter Tattoo

I've been thinking about this for a really long time, but when it came down to it, I was afraid of the pain aspect. I wanted this to be on my foot, but I have a different tattoo (a small one) on my other foot and that hurt quite a bit, so I was afraid to get something bigger on the other foot.

But I'm VERY happy with this.

It probably won't be my last Harry Potter-themed tattoo (I'm hoping to get something small and Remus-related eventually), but it is definitely the biggest tattoo I'll ever be getting. I got it about half an hour ago, and the pictures below the cut are SUPER FRESH (I also include the original image, pre-shop fix). So... yeah, click on that and then I'll explain it (though it's not all that original, since I've seen a dozen of these).

It's real for usCollapse )

No Pants Guy

This is a piece I wrote for my Creative Nonfiction class. We had to pick a person and write about them. The night before the assignment was due (and after writing several drafts about several other people), I met No Pants Guy.

No Pants GuyCollapse )


Writer's Block: Menu fixe fix

If you could choose only two foods to eat for the rest of your life, what would they be and why? How soon would you grow tired of them?

Applebee's boneless buffalo chicken wings (hot flavored) and peanut butter. Not at the same time, of course. And I would totally never, ever get tired of them. I eat peanut butter every day. Have you seen that commercial where the college girl gets the care package from her mom and it's a jar of peanut butter and she eats it straight from the jar? Yeah, I do that. I also go to Applebee's weekly during the semester for half-price appetizers with my sorority sisters. All I eat there are the boneless wings.

I'm a fatass, what can I say?

That's why I just made a playlist for the gym. Haha. I have to work off all these carbs.

Sample of "Just Wanted to Tell You"

Hi, all! Happy New Year to you and yours ^_^

In the near future, I'm going to be self-publishing this novella in hopes of making a dent in my rent. It's approximately 18,000 words (before my second round of editing) and will probably cost about $7 for an electronic copy (PDF format, because 1. I don't have the technology or money to do much more and 2. I like to think I can trust ya'll not to have one person buy it and send it to everyone else) and $10 for a printed copy (8x11, color cover, held together by a portfolio folder from Staples).

I know that maybe this sounds like a lot for an eBook or just something that's been printed out, but even if I sold five copies of the eBook, that'd be groceries for a week. If I sold ten, it'd make up for 1/10th of my rent for a month. If I sold 20, I'd probably fall over with the glee of having $140 of my $700 rent just cut out. It'd be beautiful.

So here's a summary (think of it as the back of a book) and then quick sample.

When Abigaile Linus was sixteen, she knew exactly what she wanted from life: Sullivan Cross, an Oscar for film directing, an eternal winter of pristine snow, and a penthouse apartment in New York City. At twenty-four, she's paying the rent on her hole-in-the-wall apartment by filming weddings and burning DVDs and that Oscar looks like a distant light at the end of a tunnel-y dream. And as for Sullivan? She hasn't heard from him since he left when she was seventeen.

But when he returns to her life two days after Christmas--the very day she finally gets a ring from her boyfriend, Patrick--he brings with him questions about the path she's choosing and a brilliant white blanket for the entirety of New York City. When he is the white knight who comes to rescue her from the assault of her maxed-out credit cards in a crowded coffee shop, they spend the day remembering their shared past.

As Abby fights herself to choose between past and present--between what could have been and what she has already promised will be--she confronts not only her own feelings, but the very foundations of the relationships she holds dear.

Somewhere, there is a Law.Collapse )


New Decade, dudes!

So I've got some goals for the next year. Do you? What are they?

Mine are:

1. Read 100 Books in 2010
Yup, I'm going to try again. I failed last year because I ran out of money to buy books and didn't have a library card for up here. But now I'll have a BN nook and books will be MUCH MORE ACCESSIBLE! So if you want to keep track of what I'm reading this year, check out my new review blog. At least one a week! Two or three on some weeks, depending on my schedule. But hey, who doesn't love book recs? And I'll definitely be reccing (and taking recs for) books!

2. The Obligatory 'Lose 30 Pounds'
I say this every year. I really do. And this year I'm going to do it, for real. I'm getting a Wii and eventually Wii Fit and I'll find time to go to the gym at least twice a week (which, ya know, is a lot for someone who considers her workout the time she spends running around like a chicken at work and climbing ladders). So I WILL! You'll SEE!

3. Stop Biting My Nails
I say this every year, too. I even stopped for about two months last year, and then it was all shot to hell when I started feeling really anxiety-ridden in the New York subway. And buh-bye, nails. They were bitten off before I could tell myself no.

4. Finish Another Draft of IDT and Find Agent
I will have an agent before 2010. If not, I'll be severely upset. But I'm DETERMINED!

5. Complete Writing Projects
I have two writing projects that I'm committed to this year, other than my actual writing. Each one involve writing daily, but they are quite different. One is a personal project, the other is a dual project with a good friend. I can tell you right now about the Personal Project--It's called "Ashley's Smiling" and I will be documenting one thing each day that made me smile. It'll be coming from Twitter--seen here: Er, here. Just count the S twice, because it looked weird with two. The other project will be revealed sometime soon.

In the meantime, follow Ashley's Smiling and my review blog. You won't regret it ^_^

Reading List 2009 - 40/100 - The end.

Yoinked from marcyjo since I thought it was a brilliant idea.

Marcy had the cool NYR this year and read 100 (well... a few more...) books and wrote little reviews for each one. I've decided that this would be a splendiferous idea for me and, thus, I figured I'd start it. Today, of course, since I got a few books for Christmas and there's no way you're going to tell me to wait a week before I get to dig in.


Officially started. Finished the first book at 1:53 AM on December 27th! Weee!

Ashley's reading-challenge-2009 book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Books, books, books!Collapse )

Reviews, reviews, reviews!Collapse )

Edit: Okay, so it's December and I clearly haven't gotten to the goal, nor can I reach it in the next few weeks. Thus, I'm throwing in the towel. I've read a bunch of books that I haven't put on this list, so I'm just gonna list them really quick so I can get a final total of books read this year, along with a 1-5/5 rating. I'm not going to rate the books I had to read for classes unless I really liked and recommend them.

28. Bran Hambric by *Kaleb Nation - 3/5
29. The Illiad by Homer
30. Omeros by *David Walcott
31. Going Bovine by Libba Bray - 5/5
32. Things Fall Apart by *Chinua Achebe
33. Mama Day by *Gloria Naylor
34. Domestic Manners of the Americans by *Fanny Trollope
35. American Notes by Charles Dickens
36. Samskara by *Murthy
37. Seven Taoist Masters by *Unknown
38. Thousand Cranes by *Yasunari Kawabata
39. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - 4/5
40. North and South by *Elizabeth Gaskell

So I got to 40. I don't think that's too bad, but it's totally not what I wanted. So I will be repeating this attempt next year, at which time I will hopefully have a NOOK! from Barnes and Noble on which to read lots and lots of good books. I've already downloaded, like, 30 free eBooks, so that's 30 to goal! Haha.


I was just elected Archon of the Epsilon Theta chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma.

Snaps to that.

Writer's Block: How competitive are you?

Are you competitive when you play games like Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Have you ever gotten into a serious argument over a game?

I can honestly say that I have gotten into shouting matches with friends over Harry Potter & Disney Scene It. The same goes for Uno. We get violent with these games. I've never had such an experience with Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly, because I don't particularly enjoy them, but I am so competitive when it comes to Scene It and Uno.

Cassie Clare's Party!

In case you don't stalk me on all other mediums, I'll be BlogTVing Cassandra Clare's MI party in NYC tomorrow for those who can't be there. The show starts at noon, but if you're not in my timezone and don't know what time that translates to in your area, I've made THIS:

Also, if you are a CC fan and can't be at the BlogTV (which is FREE) or the party itself, you should add my @MundieSource Twitter so you can keep up with the event LIVE, because I'll be Tweeting it for the hundred or so people who have already added me.


Now I have to go make a t-shirt. Can't decide what I want to put on it...