Author Archives: B. Blue Marbe

About B. Blue Marbe

Unpublished weird fiction writer. Aspiring shut-in. Collector of sea-themed tattoos and ill-advised life experiences.

Best Laid Plans: October 2018

102018

  • Total: 9,100 words
    • Write 350 words/day
    • 6 days/week (Wednesdays off)
  • Project: Death Drive. I think I need to work some things out.
  • Soundtrack: Julien-K (Time Capsule, We’re Here With You), She Wants Revenge (self-titled, This Is Forever), Blue Stahli (self-titled, The Devil, B-Sides, Antisleep Vol 1-4).
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Best Laid Plans: September 2018 (In Retrospect)

Wordcount goal: 9,100 words.
Words written: ~ZERO
Days writing fiction: also ZERO.

Excuses: I am not prioritizing writing the way I should be if I want to be a writer. I am using writing as a reward, treating fiction like my dessert, holding it up as “that thing you can do when you finish doing all the shit you really have to do,” and that works exactly as well as you’d expect, since all the shit you really have to do will always expand to fill all the time that’s been allocated for it.* So that’s something I need to work on.

School: I am doing all the assignments on time (read: procrastinating until it’s time to frantically do it all on the last day of the week) instead of rolling almost a week behind all term—and it’s pathetic that I consider this any kind of accomplishment but that’s where I’m at.

Freelance: Another lean month, and next month is looking even leaner. I need to start hustling again if I want to make halfway decent money at this (which I do). I also need to look at picking up a seasonal job. (Ugh.)

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*This is science. There are studies to support this. Goddamn it people are so fucking stupid.**
**Yes, that includes me.

35: I’ve wasted a lifetime pretending to be me

I've wasted a lifetime pretending to be me

All my recent angst is self-inflicted (for certain values of “self”*), and it has nothing to do with my birthday. I’m seriously starting to consider changing the birthday tag.

I’m backdating this post, as I tend to do, because 2 days after I came home from Seattle, my back decided I’d been mistreating it with all the walking and the carrying an unbalanced bag and lifting a heavy carry-on over my head to get it in the overhead bin on the plane—yes, I am that short—aaand I guess I threw my back out? About a week later, I don’t need painkillers to get through the day anymore and I can sleep in bed again instead of on the couch (moving in my sleep meant I’d wake up wanting to scream). Is this what getting old is? I hate it. A lot. Moving on.

This is the second year in our little house and we’ve agreed that we’ll be moving, most likely to Washington, as soon as we have enough money saved up to cover first and last month’s rent, security deposit, moving costs, travel costs, etc.

I went to Japan last year. I went to Seattle. I’ve been passing my classes.** I threw enough money at my credit cards that they’re mostly paid down. I cut off most of my hair again.*** I’m a semi-successful ghostwriter with a regular client, and when I look for more work, I can usually find it.

The best music I found last year was She Wants Revenge (80s-style goth from the 00s), it’s super catchy and sexy and gothy—all good things! New albums, either out last year or I found them last year, from Faderhead (Night Physics), A Perfect Circle (Eat the Elephant), Gary Numan (Savage), Mesh (Looking Skyward), Julien-K (Time Capsule), Grendel (Age of the Disposable Body) and God Module (Does This Stuff Freak You Out?****).

To do this year:

  • Make a real plan with s/o for moving out of this town.
  • Pass all my classes.
  • Pursue viable alternative income streams.
    • Use the accounts I have on various freelancing boards.
    • Make a text adventure app.
    • Write porn “erotica” ebooks and publish online.
  • Moar tattoos.
    • I want jellyfish. Lots and lots of jellyfish.
  • Play Bloodborne all the way through.
    • (Maybe also finish Dark Souls, since I seem to be feeling masochistic.)
  • Write.
    • There is no secret to writing, except to write. That is the only way the writing will get done.

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*Does the goblin shark that lives deep in the spirals of my brain and keeps me up staring at the ceiling while it whispers seductive cruelties in the dark count as a “self”?
**Even though the idea of failing—and all the other dominoes that fall after that—baits THE FEAR in me, the only useful option I have is to keep moving forward as best as I can and to make the best choices I’m able to make at the time.
***Because I can never learn.
****It’s a remix album, I bought it mostly for the name but it’s better than I expected and there’s an excellent cover of “Round and Round.”

August 29 – September 4 | Seattle (Highlights)

I had a week off in between terms and I wanted to go to Seattle to visit my dad, so I went. (All by myself!) That’s how grown-ups do things, isn’t it? Guise am I adulting right or nah?

August 29: Arrival

Flying To

Flying over Montana (on fire) | Airplane cookie

After exiting the plane, I immediately got lost in the airport. In my defense 1) SeaTac is kind of huge, and 2) all the in-game maps tell me where I’m at on the map, but the map on the website wasn’t doing that. Tl;dr: I realized there would be an entrance near where they sold the tickets and entrances often double as exits, so followed the signs that said “ticketing” until I found some doors. (This is why it’s important to encourage critical thinking btw.)

I met up with my dad, we took the Link light rail to the Capitol Hill Station, and walked like 8 or 12 blocks to his apartment. (This is one of the reasons why I try to travel carry-on only btw.) After I dropped my shit off, we went up the hill to Blue Moon Burger and I betrayed my generation by not photographing my food, or the restaurant, or otherwise commemorating the experience. (Shame! Shaaame!)

August 31: Woodland Park Zoo

On Friday, me and my dad decided to go to the zoo. First, we made the mistake of going downtown because that’s where we needed to transfer from one bus to another. It was a mistake because downtown was busier than I think I’ve ever seen it, and neither of us could figure out why Labor Day weekend had drawn such a crowd… until I noticed a not insignificant amount of people wearing badges around their necks and—oh fuck me we had gone into downtown during PAX (I had forgotten that was going to be happening because I’m just a fucking casual). There was so much PUBG hype going on, I almost talked to strangers, and I never do that.

Fortunately, the crowds at the zoo were significantly smaller.

Zoo - The Worst Seals

Penguins on Penguin Poo Rock | Penguin | Penguin | Penguin

We saw penguins!

Zoo - Flamboyant Ostriches and the Worst Cats

Flamingos | Hippo :D

And flamingos!

And hippos!

Zoo - Real Life Dragon

Gorgeous Komodo dragon statue | Gorgeous Komodo dragon skull | Gorgeous Komodo dragon| Another one of the Komodo skull

And this handsome boy!

(That statue was mostly accurate, and to scale, and I loved the mosaic on its back, and I barely managed to snap a couple shots before it was descended upon by a pack of fucking children—but that sort of thing tends to happen if you go to the zoo on a holiday weekend, so.)

September 3: Ivar’s, the waterfront, Bremerton

Ivars - Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront | Ivar’s sign | Ivar’s fried oysters & chips, fish & chips | Ivar’s in neon

Visits to Ivar’s at the waterfront are basically mandatory. I had fried oysters for the first time, they’re very good: less chewy than other mollusks but the same sort of flavor. I think I prefer the fried clams? The fried fish is also very good. (Who am I kidding? Everything at Ivar’s is good. GO TO IVAR’S AND EAT ALL THE THINGS.)

Bremerton Ferry

Seattle skyline (view from a ferry) | Harborside Fountain Park fountain | Fritz fries | Harborside Fountain Park bench

We took the ferry over to Bremerton just to go to this German fry house. I’m not kidding. The fries are some of the best I’ve ever had (full disclosure: I like my fries thicc) and they have probably 2 dozen sauce options, including weird shit like Thai peanut, and curry mayo like me and my dad got, along with standard things like ketchup and fry sauce. (Yes, we ate french fries twice in one day. What can I say? We’re part Irish.)

After the fries, we walked around Harborside Fountain Park until the ferry back to Seattle was ready to go. It’s a really nice park with a lot of fountains, and carved rocks, and a beautiful view of the Sound.

September 4: Departure

Flying From

Flying over Seattle at night | Space Needle (view from a ferry)

Not counting the travel days, I had about a week in Seattle, and I came back home in time to get my first week of the term school assignments in on deadline, even though I was more or less 3 days short on the first week. (One definite point in favor of online school: flexibility.)

Seattle - It Was Like This

Gloomy sky | Apartment building | King Street Station | Space Needle at night | Skyscrapers

Goodbye, Seattle! I <3 you!

Best Laid Plans: August 2018 (In Retrospect)

Wordcount goal: 7,350 words.
Words written: ~ZERO
Days writing fiction: also ZERO.

Excuses: School is hard. Depression is hard. Blah blah blah.

School: That graphic design class was a fucking disaster. (See: previous post.)

Freelance: A lean month. The agency I’m writing articles for is throwing a lot less work at me. That’s not a betrayal and I’m not upset. My contact mentioned they were hiring more writers, which makes a lot of sense for the agency—it’s better for them if they’re not too dependent on any one person—and I’m still making a point to make myself available for last-minute work, submit assignments on time, and generally just be on their minds as a competent professional in case they need me for anything.

The course names at my school are all just lies, apparently :(

Term 8 ended on Sunday. The course I took was called Introduction to Graphic Design Technology. That name is a fucking lie. What the course syllabus states the course is intended to do is teach students to have a fluid understanding of Adobe Illustrator—and Photoshop—and InDesign—in 8 weeks. Obviously, I fell behind immediately, mostly down to stupid habits learned in response to the flexibility of deadlines.*

Standard penalty for turning in work late is 10% off.* Okay. Fine. That’s fine. I can deal with that. (No, seriously. I’ve never been precious about maintaining a 4.0, I know my limits and I know what’s reasonable to expect from myself.) Except. I noticed a few of the rubrics have this section for “timeliness” on them that takes off like 15% if the assignment is turned in within 2 days past the deadline and 25% for anything after 2 days past.

What. Is that… is that instead of the 10% or on top of it? What the fuck.

I was also not meeting the standards I apparently hold for myself, as far as how quickly I was able to learn the material and how well I could apply it to the assignments.*** And I was behind, which I mentioned already, but being behind means my assignments were graded basically 2 weeks behind instead of 1 week behind so my grade wasn’t up to date, like, ever for the entire class. And the instructor was swinging wildly between empathetic/helpful and aloof/uncaring. And most of the rubrics listed “proficient use of the programs” as being necessary to get full credit, while “rudimentary and unrefined” topped out at about 75% of the points**** in the design category, which was the category that was always worth at least like 50% of the total assignment.

At about week 2 and going forward, I never knew where my grade was at or how well I was doing or whether I was actually learning or getting anything useful out of the class and oh my god it was torture. The worst part was when I got feedback on one week’s discussion posts that said my replies were “generic and vague” even though I specifically referenced the thing my classmates were talking about and related it to a defined opinion I had. This only increased the feeling that I had no idea what the instructor wanted. Turns out I can’t deal well with uncertainty, which was a surprise for some reason, even though I’ve known me for several decades now.

By the last day, right around the midnight deadline (classic me!), I was throwing together a final project out of the rudimentary and unrefined assets I’d built over the past 8 weeks (with a lot of judicious… um, let’s call it “inspirational(?) googling” because I had no fucking idea what the final project was supposed to look like, since design wasn’t part of the curriculum). Once that was turned in, I started frantically doing math to figure out whether there were even enough points left for me to pull a passing grade out of the wreckage, estimating how many points I could probably count on getting on assignments I was waiting for grades on, figuring out what I needed to get on the final project to pass overall, then emailing my advisor in a panic because I was pretty sure I was going to fail and I needed to know what would happen after that happened.

Tl;dr: I ended at a B+. I don’t know what happened. All I know is it’s over now, I have the credit, I don’t have to take the class again, and the next class looks like it’s going to be a better introduction to graphic design than the class that’s actually called “Introduction to Graphic Design.” Fuck.

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*I am so much more familiar with the late policies than I should be, but that’s the sort of thing you get cozy with when you have all sorts of headfuckery echoing in the background and it could get its teeth in you any second and sometimes you won’t even notice you’ve been quietly taken by depression in the dark waters of the night** until you notice how deep and cold everything is now and realize you’re drowning.
**Spoiler: It’s always night.
***I think I’m still traumatized from the coding program I failed out of (section: SCHOOL). Pretty sure that’s it…