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Unpublished weird fiction writer.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: March 2018


March plans:

  • Total 7,700 words
    • Write 350 words/day
    • 5 days/week
  • Project: either Undertow or Death Drive (I seriously need to at least start one of those with some intent of seeing it through).
  • Soundtrack: Grendel (Age of the Disposable Body), Marilyn Manson (The Pale Emperor, Heaven Upside Down), Celldweller (all the instrumental albums), Blue Stahli (same as above), Julien-K (all of it), Covenant (Dreams of a Cryotank, The Blinding Dark).

Best Laid Plans: February 2018 (In Retrospect)

Wordcount goal: 7,000 words.
Words written: ZERO.
Days writing: NONE.
Projects: Also NONE (excepting freelance).


Still sickish. Any time I pick up a cold or flu-like illness, it always ends with a lingering cough that lingers, and lingers, and lingers. I’m better-ish enough that I feel okay leaving the house (I’m not worried about infecting anyone anymore) and I’m coughing infrequently enough that I can go to the movies (which is good, because going to the movies is something I do way too often now*).

I wrote a decent number of freelance blog posts, the agency I’m working with has been good about kicking me quite a few assignments and they pay quickly, so that’s also good. I’m still hustling for an irl job, but getting some money from freelancing is making me less desperate than I’d otherwise be, so it’s not like I’m gnawing my arms off or anything.

That took a turn. Moving on.

*Remember way back when I wouldn’t go to the movies because there were always too many people and I was always like “omg-crowds!nope-nope-nope”? Yeah, I kind of don’t do that anymore.**
**I’m also really good at picking movies that no one else wants to watch, so I’ll be one of 4 or 5 people in the theater.

On illness

I’m pretty sure I’ve never mentioned here before that I’m sick. I have a chronic immune disorder. Tl;dr: my immune system doesn’t work very well, and in the past it decided to randomly attack my organs.*

What this means is I pick up illnesses like a 90’s kid picking up Pokemon cards. When I worked at the call center, I would get bronchitis a minimum of once per year, because that place was terrible about letting anyone use sick time/any sort of PTO, so people were showing up sick to work pretty much constantly. The call center also didn’t believe in bathroom breaks longer than 2 minutes, which discourages hand-washing (gross),  or assigned seats, or any sort of mandatory desk cleaning (or making disinfecting wipes consistently available), so every surface could be reasonably assumed to be infected unless you’d personally wiped it down that day.

I also have insomnia,** and not sleeping enough demonstrably makes my already-fucked immune system even more worthless.

I’ve been ill with something flu-like for something like 2 weeks now. I’m not sick enough to go to a doctor (thank fuck, because I don’t have money for that)/I don’t think there’s anything a doctor could do for me anyway.

I’m improving, but slowly.

*”Hey guys! You know what would be fun? LET’S MURDER THE PANCREAS! Rawr!”
**The can’t-fall-asleep/can’t-stay-asleep kind. I despise chemical sleep, so I’ve never been into sleeping pills, but I take melatonin now. It helps a bit, and I usually don’t have that awful chemical hangover the whole next day.



If you happen to get sick with this year’s plague/flu, and you’re curled up in bed, shaking with chills, half-wake and in and out of fever-dreams, trying to prevent your lungs from evacuating your chest—and your soul from evacuating your mortal coil—you know what’s a really, really fun movie to watch?



Best Laid Plans: February 2018


February plans:

  • Total 7,000 words
    • Write 350 words/day
    • 5 days/week
  • Project: still Undertow
  • Soundtrack: Zeromancer, Scandroid, Julien-K, Sunset Neon, Marilyn Manson, Haujobb.

Best Laid Plans: January 2018 (In Retrospect)

Wordcount goal: 8050 words.
Words written: ZERO.
Days writing: NONE.
Projects: Also NONE (excluding freelance).

Excuses: First, I was hustling/begging for financial aid so I can get back into school. Second, I was hustling/begging for a job so I can earn money to live, and also hustling on job boards and doing freelance writing (I write small corporate blog posts for actual businesses on their websites now). Third, I got sick. It might be the flu, or it might not—I got a flu shot, but the flu that’s going around wasn’t included in the shot (or something), and there are many flu-like illnesses mistaken for the flu every year, so you can’t really know whether it’s the flu without testing, and I’m far too broke to seek medical care for probably-the-flu when I can just curl up in blankets and drink virgin Bloodys for a couple weeks instead.

Next month I will try to do some actual writing. Cool? Cool.


“I’m a (Snow)Flake (Changed My Major (Again) Remix)”

First, I wanted to get an AS in accounting, because it seemed safe and stable and like something that wouldn’t eat so many braincycles I wouldn’t be able to do creative work on the side. (I’m terrible at math, so I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea.) The further I went, the more obvious it was that everyone in accounting was only getting their AS as a first step to getting a masters or doctorate, because an associates degree doesn’t qualify you to do shit except keep going. The people with the accounting jobs I thought I’d be able to get didn’t have their degrees in accounting, they just sort of stumbled into accounting jobs. Wtf.

In between terms, I changed my major from accounting to computer science, because all the computer science classes sounded really interesting and I’m interested high-level science fiction concepts like “artificial intelligence” and “machine learning,” and there were courses on how to make apps, which is currently a reliably in-demand skill set. My (not well thought-out) plan was that if I could learn enough to make apps on the side, I could do that while I finished the degree. Right? Right. Except all the courses are just programming boot camps, even the one that said it was an intro course that didn’t require programming knowledge, the one that was listed as an overview of the subject in general, so I thought that would be a good place to start—and then it was just Python boot camp. Wtf again. This tanked my GPA (which was already on the borderline), so I took a term off to try to learn the subject on my own.

Over the next 2 months, I learned my brain isn’t wired for coding, so it would be kind of stupid to keep bashing my head against that particular brick wall, but I wanted to do it anyway. I was signed up to take the next class, a class that (again) sounded more introductory, that my program advisor said was more introductory, but did have some coding, and I’d been studying while I was off and I thought I could handle it. On the first day the course opened, I checked it out and it was just another Python boot camp. The curriculum was almost exactly the same. I freaked out and started frantically looking through all the online course offerings—exactly everything because I was desperate to find something I could do—and of course I landed on an art degree.*

I’m cynical enough to believe that one of the most important functions of an art degree is that it forces you to 1) produce work, and 2) have that work critiqued. Another value is the networking with other students and professors who may have connections in the industry and/or become valuable connections over time. Like any other skill, you have to invest the time, and one of the best ways to invest time is to pay for some time to be blocked off for that specific purpose. That’s kind of all a college degree is to me at this point, just a series of blocks of time I’m paying to have carved out for a specific purpose. Could I do that myself? Yeah, probably. And also, no, not successfully.

Tl;dr: On March 5, I’ll start classes for a BA in Game Art and Development. The first class I’ll be taking is World Mythology, followed by Intro to Creative Writing, then I’ll get into actual art classes. This feels like one of the least stupid decisions I’ve made since I’ve gone back to college again.

POSTSCRIPT 2/1/18: My financial aid appeal was approved. I will have funding to take classes starting next term. I will be able to continue deferring my student loan payments. I won’t have to enter bankruptcy because I can’t afford payments on an unfinished degree that I can’t afford to finish without financial aid. O THANK THE OLD GODS.

*Back up here to explain my issue with art degrees: They’ve always been presented to me as a waste of money, since they don’t qualify you for a job like a technical certificate or teach you “real skills” like a STEM degree. There’s also the assumption that creative people will be creative whether they have any formal training or not (and formal training is kind of low-key discouraged if you’re poor, since you’ll be wasting resources by following a path you can’t afford to walk on your own). The thing is, I know logically that’s bullshit. I know there are a lot of people making money off of their creative work. I read their blogs, I follow them on Etsy and Tumblr. This isn’t impossible.