To Quote My Child, “What’s going on?”

First off, forgive my grammar as I blog from my phone. I have a ton on my mind and feel like sharing.

Whenever something doesn’t go the way my child thinks it should go, they like to ask the question: What’s going on with it?  There is a lot going on with me right now and its not good or bad, just a lot.

There was a time I moved 14 hours away. I thought about disappearing. Letting my lease go and becoming Natalie. Not telling anyone from my life, just finding freedom. I couldn’t do it.

Yes I have depression and anxiety.  I’ve been sort of treated before. I’ve seen two people in the past, one of which made me feel like a science experiment and the other I saw once as she made me feel more guilty than I normally do.  The first spent our sessions asking questions like, how would I decorate my room or apartment.  She really avoided personal questions.  The other, religion came into play. The last time I saw someone was about 10 years ago.

Now I’m going to someone new, someone who I know for a fact is accepting.  My problem, I’m still depressed and dealing with anxiety, but also confused and angry.  I’m trans. I know that. I can’t change that. And everywhere I go I feel judged even though I’m not out.  When I hear people judging others (has happened with a particular coworker twice in the last two days) I get so angry.  I want to scream and shout at her ignorance.  But in my workplace, she is in the right.  I don’t feel safe.  I never feel safe.  I’m not even sure what the word means. I’m terrified. My work is not safe for someone who is not a conservative flag waiver.

Honestly I feel like a phantom going through the motions. Like I’m on the outside of my body watching some joyless person do what is expected, but I have no real control. I’m helpless.

I bought a dress this week. It was my birthday, so why not? I drove to a city an hour away to do it so no one could recognize me. I wore it out with makeup and for a few wonderful hours, felt content.  Then I had to return.

To what?  What am I returning to? Who am I?  I’m getting lost and I can’t process it anymore.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be out, but god do I need to be me. I need to know me. I desperately want to be out.  Under my skin, there is someone clawing to break free, to explore who they are, and I have to lock that person away.  Its time I get help again.  I’m excited and terrified. I had an anxiety attack after calling the place.  People wonder why I’m so quiet in my life. If you can’t be you, can’t afford a slip up, how can I say anything?

Yes people know me as Natalie. Do you know how often I’m actually called Natalie by those who know? I can probably count the number of times on one hand.  Right now, I’m a disaster.  But that is only right now.  I’m confident in my future with who I’ll be seeing. I’m just not confident in what my future holds.

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Drunk and Disorderly Chapter 9

Last week I let people in on all my distractions. I’m such a disorganized mind, but I love order. I’m a walking oxymoron.  This week we get back to our regularly scheduled programming of Drunk and Disorderly and chapter 9. Actually I’m working on chapter 14 later today, so don’t worry, much to come yet.

This chapter builds tension between Zaralynn and a few of her crew members. I didn’t want a perfectly cohesive crew because that gets done repeatedly. I wanted my characters to have as many internal conflicts as external.  They are a family or are meant to be one, but it’s going to take time to develop that comfort.

Chapter 9

    “Traitor,” Zaralynn spat back.  “I hope you’re consumed next time a god dies.”  She was shaking as she spoke. Her hand slipped to the revolver at her hip.

    The dwarf chuckled deeply.  “You may be good elf. I’m just as good with this here rifle.”  He patted the butt. “I’d think deeply afore you’m make any moves.”

    Clemens shuffled around to the middle of the room, standing between the pair.  If he thought this would really stop the pair, he couldn’t be more wrong. He was in no danger of being in either’s line of sight as he was a head shorter than the dwarf.  Still, it didn’t stop him from speaking, his hands raised in the air as if he was separating them.

    “We’re all friends here,” Clemens announced as if it was fact.  “You said you wanted Norsed. He’s a fine shot- he’s no Tarnoak.”

    “Aye,” the dwarf agreed.  “I’m first rate, I am.”

    “You betrayed your clan and worse, you betrayed your unit.  I cannot do business with you.”

    Clemens disagreed.  “You will or you don’t get my help.  Tarnoak has been with me awhile now. He can’t burn anymore bridges.  It’s useful to have a caged animal that’s been abused at your side.”

    Tarnoak growled, whether it was him playing or being offended, Zaralynn couldn’t tell.  He pulled on the red braids in his beard, waiting.

    “That’s sick,” Zaralynn gritted.  “There are others who could help me.  For a lot less than a thousand nuggets.”

    “That would be an unfortunate choice missy.”  Clemens squared towards her. “You offered terms.  I would hope you’d honor those with me.”

    “My terms did not include a dwarf who sold our tactical plans to the enemy,” Zaralynn retorted.  “You are hired on Clemens. The dwarf is on his own.”

    “Clemens is right about a lot of things,” Tarnoak agreed, smoothing out his brown trench coat over his chest.  “Everything I’ve done was fur greed. I’m tryin’ to be all respectable like. You’re offerin’ a thousand nuggets.  You think ma greed won’t be quenched?”

    Zaralynn leaned forward, pointing her finger at him.  “You know how many soldiers died because of you? I do.  Good soldiers. Soldiers that died thinking they were going to make a difference.  But you sold our locations, our plans, our numbers to the enemy. They knew exactly where to hit us.  Your greed will never be quenched as long as you breath. There is a remedy for that.” They all heard her cock her revolver with her hidden hand.

    They stared at each other for a long minute, each daring the other to flinch.  

    “Zaralynn,” Clemens intervened again.  “No Tarnoak means no Clemens. He needs this and I can vouch that he won’t betray you.”

    “Ha,” she scoffed, easing up on the hammer.  “I’m taking the word of a two timer speaking for a turncoat.  You both take orders from me and you,” Zaralynn let all of her hatred fill the glare she shot the dwarf.  “You will be locked in whatever quarters I find for you or in my sight unless I state otherwise. Agreed?”

    Tarnoak nodded.  “Fur a thousand nuggets, I’ll let ya shave my beard.”

    “Whoa,” Clemens moved away.  “You make promises like that, I won’t protect you.”

    “No not one touches a dwarf’s beard,” Tarnoak chuckled at his joke.  

    “Unless he has been disowned by his clan,” Zaralynn quipped.  “You think I don’t know dwarf culture. Did they shave it when you left?”

    Tarnoak fell silent, gritting his teeth.

    Clemens brought the topic back around.  “You mentioned Spolt. You know where he is?”

    “Not exactly, no.  I’ve some ideas. Most likely Procyon as his family owns the golf course there.  I doubt that he has done much since the war and I’m sure he has an itch that needs scratchin’.”

    “Makes sense.  I’ve not heard word one of him since you tried to hide.  He was always an upstanding gent. An orc of pride. An orc after me own cut.”  Clemens patted his pockets on his vest fondly, rocking on the balls of his feet.  His eyes had misted over and his gold tooth was catching the little light as he slipped into a daydream.  

    Zaralynn knew that look.  “Nope.” She snapped her fingers in front of the gnomes eyes.  “Not happening. You’re a clever gnome, always on the take, but you’ll not be doing any extra dealing while in my crew.  I’ve seen you work both sides before and it won’t happen here. Someone will attend any meeting you set while you’re with me.”  Glancing at Tarnoak, she added, “Someone of my choosing.”

    The gnome frowned.  “Still not trustin’ no one.  Ya know that some of the places we may need to go, they’ll only speak to me.  You know that.”

    “I didn’t say we’d have an easy time.  You’re being paid well enough, you’ll make it work.  Or do I need to find another less than reputable source that can get me what I need?  That would kill two birds with one stone.” Again another flash of anger as she glanced at Tarnoak who only shrank further into the shadows the corner of the room had to offer.

    Clemens surrendered.  “Fine, fine. Your way.  When we leavin’? Where’s this ship you’ve commissioned yourself captain of?”

    Zaralynn bristled.  “I commissioned nothing.  If you remember right, I was a captain when the war ended.  It’s not something I can lose like you did your looks. Though to be honest, I’m not entirely sure you ever had those.”  She held up a hand before they devolved into a pointless argument. “We leave as soon as your ready. I’ll collect the doc and Flake and we can be on our way.  You think your second can take us back to Collinstown? Unless you want to ride lizards back.”

    “I’ll arrange for it.  Meet here in two hours and will go to this ship.  I expect it’s cozy, so I’ll pack light.”

    With a nod, Zaralynn stood, eager to leave Tarnoak behind.  The one thought she had was that if she knew one thing about the doctor, his ship would be more luxurious than cozy.  Not that Clemens needed to know that.

   

   

   

   

   

   

I’m Never Distrac… Squirrel!

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Lately I’ve really been feeling stretched thin.  Like a good poke would deflate or put a hole in me.  To take a break from Drunk and Disorderly posts (I do have the next chapter done, don’t you worry) I wanted to give you all a bit of insight as to why I feel like a paper airplane writer.  This post was inspired by @clarisseswrites and if you aren’t following her on twitter, you should be.  She is fantastic and far better at consistently blogging than I am.   Without further ado, here are the projects I am most excited about of the fifty-nine I have written down. (Seriously, my folders are getting ridiculous.)

Drunk and Disorderly

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What a random GIF!  See, I’m all over the freaking board right now.  The last two days have been productive writing, but with three different projects.  The two people in the middle of this GIF would make excellent characters in Drunk and Disorderly as Zaralynn and Doctor Carter.  (Also, if you haven’t seen Primeval and like dinosaurs, you should check that show out)

Zaralynn has given up on humanity.  She’s an elf with a drinking problem and wants nothing to do with anyone else.  That all changes on the day her drinking buddy is gunned down in her favorite saloon.  Now with the help of a ragtag group she wants revenge.  Putting together a crew consisting of Clemens, a gnome with fingers in all the right pockets, Tarnoak, a dwarf who has betrayed a number of groups for gold, Flake, a wood-nymph that was once rescued by Zaralynn, Spolt, a posh orc who comes from money, but is extremely loyal, and Dr. Carter, a mysterious financier of the expedition, she hunts down the bandits responsible.

Block 24

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This project is in the very early stages and will take me a long time to write.  I can’t devote myself to it do to the subject matter.  The above is a picture of Auschwitz.  The premise of the novel is based on block 24 which is fairly mysterious.  What is known is that it was home to a brothel where political prisoners were treated better than normal Auschwitz prisoners in exchange for working two hours a night in the brothel.  They were not allowed to service Jews, but the idea was that the Nazis tried to bribe prisoners that in exchange for work they would get tickets to the brothel.  This is a dark place to go, but it is a story that the world should know.

Sequel

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If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I released a book in May under the name my parents expect to see everything under.  I am hard at work on a sequel to it as it is a planned trilogy. It does involve aliens.

Untitled Trans Novel

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This is my latest idea.  A foster kid who has resigned herself to bouncing around from foster home to foster home comes out as trans when her guardian pushes to know why she acts out.  Lane (I haven’t figured out her trans name yet) knows that she will be kicked out as her foster dad is anti LGBT.  That’s when Sam steps up in a big way, divorcing her husband to adopt Lane.

Harpies

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This idea has been slightly abandoned, but sticks with me.  It takes on the mythology of the Harpy and modernizes. Three sisters who are actually Harpies move to small town Idaho on the run from the descendants of the Boreads who hunt their kind.  In the mean time they are trying to live normal lives, the youngest one who is in high school is dealing with social pressure and worst of all molting.  Their world is turned upside down when a boy sneaks up to get a glimpse of their house in hopes of running into the girl and asking her out only to discover what they really are.  

The Guardians of Atlantis

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This story has also been worked a number of times.  I keep coming back to it.  Three teens on a boat that capsize wash up on a beach.  When the locals find them, they discover it was their destiny to become the guardians of Atlantis and have entered a magical water that imbues them with certain abilities.

Demons

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When the end of the world approaches, Saiph does everything in her power to stop it.  Cast out of heaven, she repents for her sins in hell where she is dispelled as well.  Her only sanctuary is earth and with the decline of humans, demons decide it is time to unleash hell on earth.  The first draft of this novel is done.  And it is a trash fire.  Lesson learned: never force a plot point.

Secreted Away

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Some of you have actually beta read this one for me.  I’m not anywhere close to happy with it and am about to completely rewrite it.  Brody is doing everything right.  But when his cousin is left at the altar and runs from the church he chases after her into a mysterious building where a play is going on.  What he doesn’t know is that the play has other plans for him, bringing him into the act.  Now, in a body he doesn’t know, Brody must confront feelings about who he really is while trying to figure out how to get back to his old life.

The SOE

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Inspired by the events of WWII, we dive back into the 1940s.  This time exploring the SOE.  This novel will follow a group of characters as they attempt to become British spies and explore some real events of WWII.  What is fascinating about the SOE is that it was one of the only agencies actively recruiting women for front line duty.

These are just a sampling of ideas.  I also have thoughts towards good and evil wands, meteors that grant certain people powers, secret schools and so many others.  The ones above have actually been started.  So many different directions, so little time.

Stay tuned, next week you’ll get chapter 9!

Drunk and Disorderly Chapter 8

I promise I haven’t forgotten about blogging. I’m honestly just awful about it. I have been so wrapped up in reading lately that writing has been a struggle. Even writing a blog post.

Then I have been busy with the distractions of WWII research and documentaries because I came across two different areas of interest that would make intersting historical fiction novels.  I really need to find some focus. If you find my focus, I would appreciate it’s return.

Anyways, into chapter 8 we go and we’ll almost meet the whole crew.  I feel like the story is dragging a bit, but that could also just be me cause I don’t have a clear plan yet. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 8

    Leaning against the building across from Clemens’s scrap yard, Zaralynn folded her arms over her chest, her eyes glued to the front doors of the operation she knew the gnome claimed as legitimate.  Behind those doors was a legitimate, nugget losing operation. At least during working hours. If the government really cared what happened on the outer planets, any account inspecting his books would find out that the numbers were cooked.  Zaralynn was also sure that Clemens had buttered the right pockets in the government in case they ever came sniffing around. The pros to working both sides of a war.

    She hadn’t bothered retrieving the good doc yet and Flake was attending to some business before leaving.  Zaralynn hadn’t bothered to ask what the nymph needed to do, but it would be far easier to talk to Clemens without her.  Less distracting anyway.

    Ragtag crews entered the shop, leaving with various parts, some having to be carted away.  Zaralynn was waiting for a lull. No one needed to hear what she and Clemens would be discussing.  

    “You’ve been watching for two hours.  Planning on robbing me or just love the view that much?” A small gnome, barely coming up to her thigh was standing next to her admiring the view.  He held a cane in front of him, both palms resting on the head. The man wore a cheap suit further giving off the impression that he was sleazy with his awful comb over.  His white hair stuck up at odd angles, fighting the grease he had used.

    Old men should have kind eyes, thought Zaralynn.  Clemens did not. When Zaralynn looked down at him, there was a wicked gleam.  “I was planning to close you down for the day so we could chat. The mustache is new.”

    Twirling one end of the handlebar between his finger and thumb, the gnome smiled.  “Thought I’d grow hair where I could seeing as my head is rejecting it. Gives me a bit of class, don’t you think.”

    “A real gentleman,” Zaralynn quipped, thinking back to the doctor.  

Clemens chuckled.  

Zaralynn stood straight.  “Is there somewhere we can go to talk?”

“There are many places we can chat.  One would like to know the nature of a conversation before one decides on where to go.  Like does one need witnesses?”

Zaralynn rolled her eyes.  “If I wanted to kill you, it wouldn’t be during the day.  Besides, chances are you have a few eyes on us now. I’d never kill you when I’m at a disadvantage.  Who is it that has me in their sights?”

“Never show your hand before the other person.” Clemens rolled on the balls of his feet.  “S’pose we take a stroll over to my office? That work for you?”

“As long as you aren’t going to be raided,” Zaralynn nodded.  

Clemens laughed again, sleaze oozing into his voice.  “You know very well that I’m prepared for anything like that.”  He stepped in front of her, leading the way. “It’s been awhile elf.  We should celebrate with a drink, though from what I hear, you’re probably halfway to buzztown already.”

“Keeping tabs on me now?  First a sharp shooter, now this.  I thought we were friends.” It troubled her to know that someone had been keeping tabs on her and she had failed to recognize it.

“We are friends!” Clemens quickly agreed.  “That is precisely why I know what you’ve been doing for the last six years since you came to this planet.  Long time without a word from someone who is my friend.”

He held the door open to his shop, the hinges squeaking slightly.  With one last glance to the rooftops, she thought she spotted the reflection off a scope, but couldn’t be sure.

Stepping inside, she was instantly surrounded by clutter.  To someone not familiar with spacecrafts, this room would only appear as a pack-rat’s wet dream.  Zaralynn had a more discerning eye. There were parts on display from over a dozen different craft, both space and hover alike.  Silver, copper, and brass were all dulled with corrosion and blast marks as was the custom in a scrap heap, yet Zaralyn could tell that some of it was intentionally placed.

“Bold,” Zaralynn nodded at an aerofilter in the corner.  “Only the rich have the NS31. There is no way a vessel that would carry that has been here in two years.  To have that in plain sight is asking for trouble from the authorities or any respectable buyer. I guess you don’t get many of those in here.”

“Part says JV31,” Clemens noted.  “How’s an honest gnome to know the difference?”

“Honest.”  The snort that emitted from Zaralynn couldn’t be helped.  “Honest like when you brought us new rifles while delivering semi-automatics to the Governance the next day?”

“That was honest!  They had more money and offered a better price.”

“And we walked into a trap because you couldn’t be bothered to tip of off.”

Clemens unlocked a door with a dirty glass window that read Employee’s Only on it.  “I wasn’t offered a price from the rebels for information. I never do nothin’ for free.  You know that.”

Stepping through, Zaralynn could tell this was where Clemens spent his nuggets.  This room was meant to impress. The wall behind a desk too big for an orc displayed mount after mount of weapons.  The chairs in front of the desk were a green velvet while Clemens’s chair was a royal purple. People who entered this office were meant to know that Clemens saw himself as their better.  Zaralynn wasn’t going to give him the opportunity. Crossing the room, she slipped behind his desk, taking his chair while kicking up her boots up on the polished surface. The lights in the room all faced her, spotlighting her and his collection.

Clemens frowned as he made his way around the desk.  “At least remove your muddy boots. Takes me a whole day to polish this thing.”

“How inconvenient for you,” Zaralynn replied lazily while removing her feet.  

He nodded.  “It is. Now, friend, what has brought you to the surface of your liquor lake?”  As he spoke, he pulled a bottle of whiskey from his drawer and two shot glasses that looked like they had been used by a hundred others before.  He poured the drink, which Zaralynn accepted.

“To alcohol’s ability to sterilize,” Zaralynn toasted.  Clemens cocked a fuzzy eyebrow and drank. “To business then.”  She set the glass down which was promptly refilled. “Did you hear about the robbery of the Siren Song?”

“Might have heard a thing or two.  Bad business that. Some fellow dead.  Tragic.”

His mock sorrow gritted on Zaralynn’s nerves.  Jumping to the point, she needled him. “Who was behind it?”

“That I don’t know.  I only heard it was done, not who done it.”

“You expect me to believe that?  If there is a nugget to be made in a less than reputable way, you’d know everything about it.”

Clemens shrugged.  “Like I said, I’m honest.  I could ask around. Why do you want to know?”  

“Don’t yank me around gnome.  Who’s behind it?”

To her annoyance, he simply chuckled.  “That threat, if you can call it that, would be a lot more intimidating if I didn’t have a bead on you.  Way I hear it, you’ve been hired to hunt them down. If true, what’s my cut?”

“Tell me who’s crosshairs I’m in and I might cut you in.”

Clemens leaned against the desk, crossing his arms.  “Come down. We’re clear.” Whether he wore a radio or had the room under surveillance, Zaralynn couldn’t tell.  Not that it mattered. “I don’t know who is behind your tragedy. I am willing to help, provided my cut is deep enough.”

This was the game Zaralynn knew they would play.  It was always the same with him. Clemens had absolutely no imagination.  

“Can we skip this?  I say a number, you say a number, we end up in between and that’s what you get?  Let’s just jump to the middle number because it’s the only offer I have. And seeing as you don’t have information for me now, you’ll have to come with me.”

“No, can’t leave,” Clemens shook his head.  “Too much going on. I’ll give you a discount.  Four hundred nuggets and I’ll find out who is behind your robbery.  I’ve heard of similar thefts on other planets. I’m sure they are connected.”

It was Zaralynn’s turn to laugh.  “First off, you need to come. It’s not an option if you want a cut. Second, you lowball yourself.  I think a thousand nuggets would allow you to put your assistant in charge of whatever operations you have going on here while you help us track down this gang.”

Clemens eyes bulged.  Never had he expected an offer that extravagant.  Zaralynn new he had a few thousand nuggets hidden away, but there was no way he was going to pass up an offer like this.  “Who else is going? You have a ship?”

“I… Yes, I have a ship.  I am the captain. There is a doctor.  I don’t know his deal, but he is paying for fuel.  You, me, and a friend of mine, Flake. Planned on finding Spolt and Norsed to round it out.”

Clemens was still doing math in his head.  “You don’t want Norsed. Never trust an elf in the underbelly.  Present company excluded of course.”

“We may need someone with his abilities.  Norsed is the best at what he does.”

“Second best,” a voice called through the door.

It was Zaralynn’s turn for her eyes to bulge.  She gripped the chair, anger filling her being, her fingers, chest and head flushing.  

“He should be locked up,” Zaralynn hissed.

“Yet here I stand,” a dwarf stood in the doorway, his sniper rifle over his shoulder.

 

My Favorite Animated Movies (And One I think is overrated)

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Yesterday I got into a conversation about overrated movies and it set me to thinking about movies from my childhood I loved and some I thought receive too much acclaim.  Most of these are Disney, because let’s face it, Disney is king in the animated film industry.  I’d love to know your thoughts and if there are some that you loved no one ever talks about.  First up are some underrated movies.

Image result for the great mouse detective One of my favorites is The Great Mouse Detective.  This movie, which came out the year I was born, was a take on Sherlock Holmes.  I loved the opening scene in which we meet the hero, Basil, fires a bullet into a bunch of pillows for a forensic test.  This movie is the main reason I’ve always wanted a basset hound named Toby.  The villain, to me, was also an extremely wicked one in Ratigan.  At the end, you see his crazed eyes that actually always give me the creeps.

Image result for Fievel Goes West Sticking with tiny heroes, Fievel Goes West was amazing.  It is the last credit for legendary actor James Stewart, has an amazingly fun song done by Tanya, and it is a little creepy because you have cats talking about making the hero Fievel into mouse burgers.  I loved the first movie in An American Tail, but this one was more of an adventure to me.  There are some racist elements to the movie which will always prevent it from being a great movie as it pulls from stereotypes that we are still fighting with its portrayal of Native American culture which I can’t condone, but that was not the part of the movie I remember most.

Image result for snow white This is the first overrated movie on my list.  Snow White, goodness I can’t stand this movie.  I understand what it did for the studio, but that doesn’t excuse what it does to me.  Snow White has one of the most shrill voices I’ve ever heard.  The story is slow.  The villain never did much for me.  I know that seats had to be replaced in movie theaters because of children wetting themselves at the time, but this movie doesn’t hold up to time for me.

Image result for beauty and the beast animated Rated just right. Beauty and the Beast is perhaps my favorite Disney movie.  Probably because I identify with Belle and her love of books.  Not to mention, she has a pretty nice wardrobe.  The characters are some of the funniest as Cogsworth and Lumiere go back and forth, all in the name of good.  Be Our Guest was my favorite song with the dancing dishes and that was probably the moment I realized magic could exist.  This movie, to me, can’t be over hyped.

Image result for treasure planet Underrated.  Treasure Planet.  Joseph Gordon Levitt.  I’ve never been attracted to men with two exceptions and Mr. Levitt is one of them.  This story is a little darker as Disney was struggling again with movies like this Dinosaur and Atlantis weren’t lighting up the box office (Again, both movies that I loved, but don’t make this list.)  This movie has a complex villain and hero which I appreciated.  Of course it is based on Treasure Island, but the adventure and colors of this movie, I love.  Knowing that one of my good twitter friends (@The_Book_Lander) is working on a Moby Dick novel in space, I can’t help but think of this.

Image result for Fern Gully Underrated.  Fern Gully: The Last Rain Forrest has  a weakness with a bit of a love story, but the love story isn’t what sustains this movie.  Robin Williams voiced Batty and his rap always cracked me up.  This movie also has a strong female lead in Crysta that I was always rooting for.  To me, this movie was ahead of its time in making children aware of world issues.  Also, this was probably the best movie I’ve ever muted and made up my own lines to while drunk.

What are some of your favorite childhood movies?  I kept mine to animated movies, but there were a ton of others that could easily make a list like this like The Little Giants or The Little Rascals.  Do you have any that you believe are overrated?  Thanks for reading. Keep writing.

Internet Friends Can Be Best Friends

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Earlier this week, Brittany Evans blogged about internet friends being real friends.  You can read her post in the link below.  I wanted to take the time to echo those sentiment As someone who grew up in a house where the internet was dial-up, the only form of social media was basically Myspace, and I went to a school where belonging to the LGBT plus community was unheard of.  There was no way for me to ever be me.

Now thanks to Facebook and the spin offs, such as Twitter, people who are different can connect all over the world.  Before I was big on social media, I had come out to a few people, but those people weren’t long for my life.  They left, moving on with their lives, not really interested in having a transgender friend.  Then when I came out on social media, that give me real courage.

I’ve met so many wonderful people, amazing people.  People I’d love to meet, but probably won’t ever get the chance as we are scattered across the globe.  I’ve held conversations with them about personal things, venting or being the listening ear they needed.  Once I came out and felt more comfortable online with people like C.L. Ogilvie and my Texas friend Leigha, I was able to come out to more friends in my life.  Friends that haven’t left me.  Even one who moved away and is probably my best friend, we keep in touch through text and social media.  To say internet friends can’t be real friends is ludicrous.

Online I can talk to people about similar interest.  Finding beta readers in my life outside of the internet is a horrible task.  Writers know the importance of betas and sharing ideas.  Friends are someone who listens, shares interest, can talk to you, and give honest opinions.  Friends care about you and your well-being.  Just because I’ve never shook your hand, doesn’t mean we aren’t friends.  If that’s what you need to be friends, that’s fine, but it isn’t required validation for everyone.  We can be friends without meeting, believe me when I say, the people I interact with online are my friends.  Internet friends are very much real friends.

https://myaceofhearts.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/internet-friends-are-real-that-is-all/

Some Days…

Guys, I’m tired.

Life is exhausting and I’m not special. I can’t complain as things could be far worse. I have a lot going for me, but I’m so tired.

I’m tired of looking in the mirror at someone I don’t really know while searching for who I am. I’m so depressed that I can’t be me. I constantly worry that someone will out me. I worry that those in my life who do know me as Natalie will grow tired and move on. It wouldn’t be the first time. It’s simply exhausting.

And I don’t want to complain. Things shouldn’t be so complicated. I just want to feel safe, but I don’t think I will ever be afforded that opportunity. I want to shop judgement free, dress judgement free, be me judgement free. (Now if I may a poor outfit choice, I don’t mind that judgement.) I cut my hair last night because my parents wouldn’t leave me alone about my long hair. I hate it now…

I try so hard to be happy, to not complain. At least people know I’m Natalie. But I’m so tired. I’m so uncomfortable. I want to scream at people that it doesn’t matter, but I don’t want people to look at me. I don’t know where the balance is.

I have a lot of good in my life, a lot I’m thankful for. Some days, like today, I am just tired. Fortunately tomorrow is a new day. Keep writing.

Nat