October 21, 2016

COMMISSION STATUS: NO VACANCY

Not taking commissions until at least the New Year, but will entertain ideas for them from patrons for potential work this winter.

Here’s the last commission I did (prints will be available soon, click to enlarge):

Visit SunnyGrrrl.com for art/life stuff! Visit SunnylandStudio.com to buy art! Or @SunnyCrittenden for all my socials!

BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

<3 <3 <3

April 21, 2015

Creatively speaking…

Hi.

I’m sort of in the process of rebuilding my life and I’m at a point where I feel I can share my plans with you.

I have a bit of an internet presence…

  1. website
  2. livejournal
  3. twitter x 2
  4. tumblr x 2
  5. friends only facebook that I’ve recently been posting more publicly with
  6. facebook fan page x 2
  7. instagram
  8. youtube
  9.  does snapchat count?

…plus a million other things I’ve signed up for and never used again. The tumblrs and fan pages hardly ever get updated, so let’s pretend they don’t exist for now. YouTube is only used to embed videos in other places, so it’s more of a utility to me than any kind of community that I have to participate in, so take that off the list too. Everything else I use and most of them have some kind of community linked to them that I am part of.

Well, I want to build a new community around myself where my site or LiveJournal is not necessarily the center of it because I don’t think either has been the center in quite a while. I want this community to be built around Patreon, and my creative life, with everything else mostly pertaining to that. But I’ll get to how I plan on using each component after I explain Patreon. 

Patreon is a website that allows me to receive monthly payments from generous patrons who wish to support my work. In return, patrons receive perks, like Kickstarter, and they get to share in the experience of creating some pretty cool stuff, which, if I don’t suck, should give them a little bit of pride of being a patron of the arts and having a hand in whatever crazy thing it it is coming into being! And yes I *am* proud of that run-on sentence!

My first project is a zine that I’m (oh so originally) titling “Textibitionism”. I haven’t really posted anything about it over on Patreon yet (that’s my next  task), but what I envision is 20 individual pieces of paper-based art which tells stories from my life and the things I care about. The original idea was to use traditional scrapbooking materials/embellishments and instead of making typically pretty layouts with smiling children or whatever those happy scrappers do, I would be, well, me. The original idea was also that I would only use materials that I already had, but I already blew that idea out of the water, bigtime. Now what I envision is a mix of altered scrapbook materials, subverted and perverted by my very being, original writings and hand-drawn illustrations. If this sounds good to you, then you should know that almost all pics of works-in-progress, process videos and discussion about this project will be on Patreon, mostly via the patron-only activity feed, which is like a blog with comments and likes. This will be the centre of my creative universe, if the Patreon model of getting money to make art actually works. (We’ll see. I’m not totally convinced. Steph the Geek seems to be doing okay so far, though. Ana Voog and Blake are also using it.) Unlisted YouTube videos, Snapchat (which is where you get videos and pics exclusive to that app on your phone) and private Twitter will be used for daily life stuff for sure, but those media will mostly be where spur of the moment creative thoughts, ideas and work-in-progress photos, things that are pains in my ass etc., will be posted for patrons.

I’ll still be using my main Twitter account and I will (hopefully) only ever have one Instagram account because switching back & forth all the time sounds like a nightmare. LiveJournal is going to continue to be used for the emotional, real life stuff while my site’s updates are basically going to be State of the Union of Sunnyland addresses, linking to everything else once in a while.

I realized when I was in San Francisco that aside from my job, there was very little structure in my life and if my job is any indication, I think I’m less productive as a result. It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I have tons of them, but for a while, whenever I tried to put an idea to paper, I’d start but ultimately lost interest for whatever reason and nothing ever got finished. “Textibitionism”, and the other creative milestones I’ve set for myself on Patreon, is the first time I’ve felt excited and energized about a creative project in a really long time so I really hope that if I make it, I’m not the only one who’s going to see it.

The big picture is that if the zine is well-received, eventually I would maybe like to build Textibitionism.com/.ca/.org where it would be for sale both digitally and hard copy after everyone on Patreon who is supposed to get a copy, does, and the site will have links to all the girls I can find still making and selling zines on Etsy and elsewhere.

The big, BIG picture I’m still working out in my head but there is one. Not giving it too much thought yet though, since so far Blake is my only patron haha

As far as adding structure to my life, today for example, I got off work at noon so I knew I was going to medicate at noon and then write this post directly afterward. I’m falling behind schedule already because I meant to have this done by 3pm but that’s okay. I bought a day planner to help me keep appointments and structure my days to be the most productive I can make them because I’m a freak and I’m happiest, the most emotionally stable and the most satisfied with life when I’m busy creating something, whether it’s writing this post or painting a mermaid. In the past, my creative endeavours have made other people happy too so I’m hoping for this whole thing to be mutually beneficial.

Now I think it’s time to forage for food. Peace oot, homies!

PS. It is a VERY GOOD IDEA to insure your camera equipment, as I found out this week when I realized my camera’s messed up after taking it treetop trekking. I got it insured a few hours before we went! *whew*

February 19, 2015

Camwhores. Babbling. I has a sad. :o(

Yesterday Camwhores.com, where I have had my webcam exclusively for 14 years and where practically every single one of my friends come from, made a public announcement saying that they will be shutting down the site as of March 17th. I’ve talked with Kevin and there’s nothing to be done, it’s just time. A lot of people have been talking about building new portals or new communities so we all stay together but knowing what I do about what it took to make Camwhores work, I’m not very optimistic anything will last very long. I think the idea that shows the most promise is the subreddit Belinda set up, but I’m not really that much into Reddit so I can’t say if I’ll be in there much. I’ll definitely try. I know I won’t be posting nude cam pics, if I am, because the best part about CW for me, was that all my nudes and shows and sexual anythings were “contained” in one place where all of that was appropriate and inaccessible to minors. I don’t want sex stuff on my site and there’s no such thing anymore as a 30 second refreshing still cam portal. Camwhores was the the first and last one. And even if there was, honestly, I doubt I would trust it unless I knew the person running it. (And anyone I can think of who I’d trust wouldn’t be able to pull it off, I’m fairly sure.)

I’m fucking sad and I can’t stop crying.  I had the realization today that since Camwhores is the ONLY place I cammed, if it doesn’t exist, I guess I’m not a camgirl anymore. :o/

A lot of girls will go to MyFreeCams.com and probably make more money, but for some of us, it was never ever about money. And me? I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate streaming video. Loathe. I don’t like watching myself move and talk and hear myself, like I just can’t deal. But at the same time, I can’t not watch. The other thing is that MFC has a lot of trolls who are gonna make fun of me because I have a space between my teeth or because of my scar or because they’re just assholes out to ruin a girl’s day and I did the dealing with those kinds of trolls 15 years ago when the internet was much smaller and my reputation was a lot bigger and I am way too grown to step into that arena and get “rolled in” again. And for what? It’s not like I *have* to show off my body or I can’t live or anything. It’s just that sometimes you wanna post a pic on the internet of (a) body part(s) you can’t show on Instagram or Facebook. Even though we’re all friends, being on CW was/is partly performance, you’re in the spotlight while doing a show, with a totally appreciative audience who all know it’s better to leave for 20 minutes, than to say anything negative because they will be banned for various lengths of time to indefinitely. To express your negative opinion of a camwhore, members could vote them minus or vote all of their pictures 1s (on a scale of 1-10). There was a healthy outlet built into our community for negative feelings and as simple as it was, most of the time it was enough. In recent history, the only egregious thing I can recall is a member got really drunk and went on an awful tirade in chat about one of our girls, who I think was even live at the time, and he had to be given a timeout. But what did he do when his ban was over and he came back? He wrote a sincere public apology to the girl by way of CW’s blogs and while I forget if she actually accepted it, that’s the kind of gestures that could happen in our Camwhores community completely organically. You are never going to find a community on the internet that moderated itself so well, with very few people actually having the ability to moderate. Especially not one that grew out of the E/N scene. (I actually only know of one person from the E/N scene A) still doing E/N basically and B) making a decent living at it, but some people I know are primed and ready for it to come back.)

There is nowhere on the internet where you can post a picture straight from your webcam, let alone a nude, let alone the most explicit nude you can think of. You can post nudity on Twitter but my mom’s on my Twitter. She was probably okay with naked tree pose last week but I doubt she’d be happy knowing the precise colour of my labia. And the picture I *was* gonna post on Camwhores 2 days ago that would be totally within site rules but decided against because I had an ingrown hair and it wouldn’t be perfect enough, would almost definitely get me perma-banned from Twitter. And we all know Facebook and Instagram are lame when it comes to nudity in even ART. My friend and fellow artist Ana Voog has been suspended from Facebook a million times for posting artwork barely featuring nudity, it’s ridiculous. I get wanting to keep Facebook a SFW place, I agree with that and think it should be what it is, but when we’re banning art and breastfeeding, something’s fucking wrong with us. And of course there’s Instagram whose most famous hashtag is #freethenipple. Need I say more on  that one? (I like to covertly insert my boobs and nether regions into Instagram. Only I know it’s there or what it is, but it’s there dammit.) You can get naked on tumblr. Yes. Yes, you can. Tumblr is basically the 2nd last place on the internet I’d like to be, with 4chan taking home the prize. Tumblr just confuses me and ruins all the shows I watch because I download or record them and watch them later and how some of these people get gifs BEFORE the show airs, I have no idea, but tumblr is just a spoiler minefield so I avoid it at all costs. I realize I can stop following these people but sometimes I like seeing the gifs. Anyway, the tumblr community freaks me out and it’s a shitty place to actually communicate with people so that’s just a great big “no”.

So that pretty much leaves LiveJournal – which is totally fine with nudity but a bloody tampon is “obscene”, as Ana found out over a decade ago – and my site. You can’t make a webcam page on LiveJournal. I have a webcam page on my site, but it just tells you to go to Camwhores with a brief description of what I do there and approximately when. If I could change that page, and I only say “if” because it’s a WordPress page, so that my cam image updates every 30 seconds (maybe longer since it won’t be like CW), no archives and there’s a little chat thingy on the page, that would be good. Ideally the chat thingy would be one that you can pop out of the page or one that makes sounds when people talk and one where you can definitely ban people. In my brain, this sounds like an impossible thing, maybe to someone else it sounds simple. I dunno. A bonus to having a cam on my site is that Wes and Madison can be on it, so that would be cool. Instead of a PayPal link (because PayPal gets in a snit if they think you’re using it for anything “adult”), I think fuckit, I’ll accept Bitcoin. Why not? Camming’s not about money to me and Bitcoin’s not even real money to me, but with it there’s still an exchange of value, of appreciation, even if it’s a fragment of a cent. (I have no idea how Bitcoin works but I am signed up with this cool Bitcoin thing that Steph (the Geek) used to tip me enough Bitcoin to buy a cupcake if I’m ever anywhere that takes Bitcoin and has cupcakes that price! It’s made for tipping so it would be perfect. Totally forget what it’s called but it’s in my e-mail.)

Kevin doesn’t think there’s an audience for 320 x 240 static cams anymore but Ana and Steph and I are not so sure about that. What we all do about it remains to be seen. Maybe Everything/Maybe Nothing.

February 2, 2015

Splurge

I think after I get back from San Francisco I’m going to hire someone to fix up my site because right now things are buggy and it’s kinda driving me crazy. When WordPress updated, it stopped letting me be able to add borders to and play with the sizing of images by percentages. Now it’s click and drag resizing, which does me no good because I can’t eyeball 595 pixels, which is the maximum width a pic can be to fit on my site properly. The other thing is that the plugin I use to x-post to LiveJournal x-posts to LiveJournal, but the posts aren’t showing up on my LJ friends’ friends feeds so the people I actually care about reading my stuff miss most of it. This bugs me enough that today I considered just making a post on my site with links to LiveJournal and all my social media accounts and just using LiveJournal from now on but I decided to check my Google Analytics first and it doesn’t make any sense to do that because my LJ only gets about 600 sessions per month whereas my site gets about 3k on an average month and about 10-30k during Feb/March because of Sex and Blowjob Day and my blowjob guide being linked everywhere. The fact is though, that LiveJournal is just cooler than my site, that’s where discussions are going to be had, if there are discussions to be had because basically unless you have a LiveJournal – an account, a userpic, an identity – you are just some anonymous person on the internet to me. I don’t listen to or entertain cyberghosts. If I can’t connect with you as a human being behind a screen, there’s no point in talking to each other. If you’re not going to be accountable for your words, like I am, then why should I pay any attention to them? It goes for Twitter and Facebook and everything else on the internet too. There’s only one place on the internet where I speak to the anonymous and it’s not “here”, wherever you happen to be reading this. My world, my internet bubble that I created, is not the comments section of your favourite (or least favourite)  news/editorial site. Believe it or not, there’s a community here, you just don’t see it because the interactions take place on other forms of social media now, as opposed to the comments section of my site (which has never been very well-utilized and it’s buggy too) or LiveJournal, which most people have largely abandoned for fluffy Facebook thoughts.

Have you noticed? Even my own blog posts in the last little while are much more surface level than they used to be. I think a lot of that has to do with Facebook and what’s socially appropriate to share there because of who can see it or share it or comment on it. You do it so much and self edit so much that you just start to think on that surface level automatically, which is so not a good thing!

Anyway, the only solution I can come up with for the time being to my LiveJournal x-posting dilemma is that I’m going to post an LJ poll (another reason LiveJournal is cooler than my site, it has polls) every time I make a post on my site and in that post, I will link to whatever I just posted. Then on Facebook I guess I’ll link to the poll. I mean, how dumb is all that? But that’s what I’ll have to do. (Also why I stopped manually x-posting things to Camwhores.)

How much do you think I should budget for for someone to redo my site? I guess they need to make a new WordPress theme and install plugins. I have a few names kicking around of people I could ask to do it, but they may feel obligated to just do it for free or cheap because we’re friends and I don’t want that. I don’t want to accidentally lowball them either. I want to say, “Hey, can I hire you to X for $Y?” and not offend anyone.

Speaking of hiring people to do X for $Y, as I type this, there are 3 local girls in my house washing my walls and floors and bathroom and kitchen and blinds and vacuuming. We decided to splurge and pay for a thorough house-cleaning because originally, one of Blake’s coworkers was going to be flying in from Alberta and staying with us so we were like, “this house is a mess” and arranged for the girls to come (which we’ve never done before), but the thing the coworker was coming here for got cancelled and we figured since the cleaning was already booked, we might as well just do it. I’m not ashamed to admit that keeping a clean house is not my forte and I’ve never washed my walls. Never occurred to me to wash my walls. We vacuum regularly to try and stay on top of the dogs shedding, but we live with huskies, there’s dog hair on our floors and we keep the bathroom/kitchen maintained but the only reason our shower tiles aren’t completely disgusting is because we redid the bathroom this summer and got new ones, not gonna lie. There’s no specific shower cleaner chemical in this house. We have one bottle of lemon scented Mr. Clean and that gets used on everything in the kitchen and we have a bottle of Vim for everything in the bathroom because it says “bathroom” on it. I’m not trying to brag in some weird, gross way or anything and our house is clean enough most of the time, I would just never let a toddler crawl on my floor or a neat freak/germaphobe through my front door for their own good. The former would be a little hairy sasquatch in minutes and the germaphobe would end up with PTSD.

Despite the fact that we’re supporting a local, lady-run business and that’s super awesome and I love that, I still feel weird about paying people to come clean my house. Like, this is a privilege I shouldn’t be able to have. Like I should be able to clean my own house because other people seem to manage it just fine. I don’t really have a justification for it other than the fact that I’m cool with paying someone for their time and hard work so I can do something else with my time, especially if what I’m doing with my time is making more money so I can pay that person. My friend Kevin told me a long time ago that time is the most precious resource we personally have and when people want something from you, generally it boils down to time. So what is your time worth to you?  I really doubled down on this concept after almost dying and I realized that you only get X amount of time in one life and that’s not even guaranteed. Suzi Blu had a video a long time ago where she told her viewers to “live juicy”, which is something I’ve always loved and something I try to do on my good days. I try to fill every hour of my day that I’m not working with something juicy (to the point that if I don’t, I feel bad for wasting time, something I’m trying to get over), whether it be writing a blog post, making something, creating something or doing something. Even watching a good movie is living juicy, especially if it’s at a theatre and inspires more juice. Squeeze out every single drop of life there is in every single waking minute. Try. You’ll be happier and it’s just a theory of mine, but I’m pretty sure you’ll live longer too because – duh – the juicier you are, the lower your chances of just drying out and crumbling.

Annnnnnd in the time it took me to write that, the girls have finished, just in time for my work meeting. Worth every fucking penny.

January 31, 2015

2.5 Hours ‘Til Work

I kinda like working on Saturdays now, where before I used to dread it and referred to it as “a marathon, not a sprint” because it was just me vs. thousands of unhappy people for 9 hours but now during my shift, I have three trainees who don’t necessarily make my day any easier but at least it’s not so damn lonely anymore. Two of the trainees are new people to me, both dudes, and I’m potentially going to meet at least one of them, if not both, when we’re in San Francisco.  Actually when we’re in SF, I’m going to be having a work meetup with those two hopefully, along with two other coworkers. The cottage that we rented has a backyard and I’m hoping whatever day we do this, it doesn’t rain so we can all sit out there because the cottage itself is pretty small and you can’t really like, talk and hang out and socialize at a restaurant. So that’ll be cool.

I went to my shrink on Monday and we decided not to mess with my meds until I get back from SF, but she wants to get me off of clonazepam (I take 0.5mg before bed and 1.5mg before a work meeting) because she says I’ve been on it too long and it’s not good for me. I told her I was totally fine with that if she had something to replace it with. She suggested cognitive behavioural therapy and I just about lost my mind. THIS is what I did with my cognitive behavioural therapy certificate of completion and sums up my feelings on the subject:

She pretty much wants me to stay on Cipralex despite my sexual dysfunction, but is willing to try Prestiq/Effexor instead. She has this neat book with all the drugs in it, or maybe just the psychiatric ones, and it has charts with percentages of victims/patients who experienced whatever side effect. All of the other anti-depressants available to me made 30% of patients gain weight (not doing that again) except Prestiq/Effexor. Ten percent of people on both Prestiq and Cipralex experienced sexual dysfunction. So it could help or it might not. *shrug* Cipralex is a fantastic anti-depressant, so it sucks that it causes this issue for me. Hopefully Prestiq is better.

Speaking of sex, yesterday morning my friend told me about this awesome deal Amazon had, which was 60% off LELO vibrators and I ended up getting the exact one I wanted, which is $229 on LELO’s website, for $145. Deal of the year! All the camgirls swear their undying love for LELOs and my little bullet, the same one my friend Quimm Anaheim sent me like, oh god, 6 or 7 years ago now because she felt bad at my state of toylessness, is finally starting to die so I’d been looking for something to replace it with. I’ve never learned the trick to the whole g-spot deal, so I guess we’ll see what happens. The idea is to use the LELO *with* the Foria in San Francisco, ideally blowing my head off. :o) We’ll see…

Something we’ve gotten into recently – don’t laugh – is Magic: The Gathering. See, we live in a REALLY tiny town and the only thing to do in this town on a Friday night is go to the dive bar, go to the sports bar, or play Magic at the comic shop which doesn’t close until midnight, minimum. All the cool people in our vicinity choose the latter. It started with Madison and then Madison said I should play so I walked into the comic shop with the intention of spending $35 building a deck and I walked out of there about $120 lighter…Then Blake started playing and Wes has a deck that Madison built him for Xmas which is all wolf-themed, but he doesn’t really play with us. He usually goes to the comic shop when we play there, though, just to watch. I’m too green to play at the comic shop, but I did participate in 2 of the pre-release weekend events (sort of). I first one was on the Friday and you got your box which had 4 or 5 packs of cards in it, 2 or 3 of them from the new series being released and one a seeded pack of better cards (theoretically) so you open those and make a deck with those cards and then you play a Magic tournament with those decks. I was on board because I liked that everyone was on a level playing field, no one had like, uber thousand dollar cards or anything, so I figured I actually had a chance of not losing horribly, but then I realized that I would have to play with people I didn’t know and Blake or Madison wouldn’t be with me while I was playing to help me (because I’m still pretty new and I still don’t understand attacking/blocking/logic), so I just opened my packs there, as was the requirement, and dropped out of playing in favour of going home. The deck I made that night was black and white and actually pretty solid, I even pulled a planeswalker, so I probably could have done well but my anxiety was through the roof. I had to work on the Saturday so I couldn’t take part in the 2 events that day but Blake and I did take part in the “two-headed giant”, I think they called it? Where Blake and I were a team against another team. That was good. We lost both of our games, but I wasn’t anxious at all and I didn’t feel like such a n00b. I made a red/white/black deck that day and then when we bought our box of boosters on release day, I built on it further and now the stupid thing is a ridiculous 75 cards that I haven’t played with enough to pare down yet.

I think I’m a long way away from being able to play Magic at the comic shop but it’s something to work up to, I guess.

Oh, and did you know that one of the characters in Magic is trans? Her name is Alesha and she smiles at death. Before even knowing about that, she was pretty much the reason I decided to stick with the red/white/black deck. It’s not because she’s any uber kinda card or anything, I just liked her name and I pulled the promo foil of her.

Anyway, it’s now a half hour until work so I’m going to medicate and eat something and get on with my day.

PS. I don’t think all of my WordPress posts are x-posting to people’s Live Journal friends lists. They do show up on my LJ though (and my site) so if it feels like you might have missed something, check there.

PPS. I made a page on my site about weed.

PPPS. What are you listening to right now?

May 3, 2014

“You are capable of tremendous creativity.”

Blake fucking ditched me today for a hot tub!

He worked in the city all week this week which meant he didn’t get home before 8pm ALL week and I go to bed at 8:30 or 9pm.

Then last night? Bachelor party for a guy at work.

Now this morning he tells me “oh by the way, today is Bare Oaks‘ day of helping [or whatever the fuck it’s called], I totally forgot…” and what that is, is you go to Bare Oaks, which is a naturalist park, to help them prepare for the season. Last year we went there and painted deck chairs. Nekkid. But it was like, 20 degrees C and Blake got sunburnt. Today it’s 10 degrees and rainy out so everyone’s going to be clothed and it’s going to suck but Blake’s like “it’s part of the community…” and I get that, I do, so I was like, FINE, whatever.

So then he gets his shit ready and he stands in the doorway of my office and then he just couldn’t contain his excitement over Bare Oaks’ hot tub any longer and voiced it and I’m like, “NOW IT ALL COMES OUT! YOU’RE DITCHING ME FOR A FUCKING HOT TUB!!!” He’s like, “yes, yes I am…”

Since Bare Oaks is near Stouffville and next weekend is Mother’s Day and we would have been going there anyway to get Stouffville Pizza because it’s the best pizza on Earth, I asked Blake if he would pick me up a pie both to save us a trip and because fucker’s ditching me on my hardest day of the week where I need like, hours of mental preparation to be able to psychologically handle my job for 9 hours straight so he can buy me dinner.

Speaking of dinner…

Do you believe in fortune cookies? Because I totally do. I believe that they are little prophecies or messages from the universe that you’re meant to get and I save every single one I get. They’re all over my journals and notebooks because a fortune is a little smaller width-wise than a piece of tape so they’re easy to preserve and I know it’s kooky but they’re just like…sacred to me. Fortune cookies as a taste, are actually my favourite cookies too, so bonus.

I got that one last week and it was exactly what I needed to hear. When I opened it I actually cried and I like it so much that I’m considering it as a candidate for my next tattoo.

That said, I’m actively giving up on poetry. I wrote one really shitty stupid poem and realized that I am just way too long-winded and literal for poetry. So much poetry like, actively angers me because…okay so Blake explained to me about this superhero whose name might have been Silver Surfer? Anyway, this character goes super fast, like the Flash, only apparently much cooler because I think it’s Marvel and not DC or whatnot. Blake said that this character was a dick all the time, he was just constantly angry, and in one comic he explained it like…y’know when someone’s going super slow at the ATM, like painfully slow and you get mad and you’re just like “jesus christ, what are you trying to do, renew your mortgage?” Well for that character, the whole world is that slow and after a lifetime of that, you’re going to be an asshole. That’s me and poetry. Poetry is painfully slow to me. You can’t just read it and immediately know what the fuck the poet is talking about. You have to analyze it and consider every word and that is slow. I don’t have the patience for that shit! Also when I’ve asked people to explain certain things to me, they haven’t had an answer so I kinda think poetry might be a little bit of bullshit where you just make up the rules as you go along and if you do it in a way no one else has ever done it before then you’re a genius. Which is fine (and can be applied to most things I suppose), but not my thing. I don’t need to be a genius. BUT! Do keep in mind that I said I am ACTIVELY giving up on poetry, if one passively slips out by accident, then hooray for humanity, I guess.

What I have been doing though is writing the world’s most terrible short story and guess what, though? I FUCKING *FINISHED* IT! I, Sarah Danielle Crittenden, on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 finished something for the first time in my entire 35 years so far on this planet. It’s weird, I never really considered the short story as anything that I’d ever be interested in. I’ve never heard of any writers famous for short stories – I’m sure some exist – and “The Yellow Wallpaper” is probably literally the only short story I’ve ever read. A long time ago I asked Blake how long a short story had to be and he said something like, “I dunno, shorter than a novella…? There are no set rules.” (Answers like this annoy the shit out of me. I like specifics, which is part of the issue with poetry, but whatever.) The answer was so sort of…not “dismissive”, but I guess sort of off the cuff maybe, that in my head I just kinda moved onto the next topic and put the idea away as something not for me.

But then three things happened.

1. I subscribe to a t-shirt website’s newsletter and every day they send out an e-mail about a t-shirt on special or a t-shirt battle and 98% of the time I don’t even open these e-mails, I just read the bit of subject line my e-mail allows for, select and delete. Well, a few weeks ago they sent out an e-mail where the t-shirt was called one thing but in my head when I read it, it sounded like another thing and that sparked a TERRIBLE creative idea (I cannot stress enough what an absolute stinker this is) that I didn’t know what to do with.

2. I started reading more about Kerouac and how people thought it was a big deal that he’d written a million words by X amount of time or whatever, so I was like, “hmmmmm, I wonder how many words I’ve written just in blog posts alone?” just out of curiosity. So I counted. I’ve posted 5,779 blog posts on Live Journal and my average blog post is 2000 words. That’s 11,558,000 words.  I feel like all of those words were wasted and that number really bothers/ed me.

3. I realized that a lot of my blog posts are between 3,000-6,000 words and that’s gotta be short story territory.

I decided to put #1 + #3 together to alleviate #2 and the next thing I knew, I had a complete 6,086 word story sitting in front of me. And now I have no idea what to do with it. I mean, I am fucking RELIEVED to know that I am capable of finishing something. I know one short story is not a big deal to most people but considering the winter I’ve had and hell, the lifetime I’ve had, this is like a single, bright green sprout on a scorched landscape and with the 46 *other* writing ideas I’ve come up with in the last few weeks, that sprout could grow to be a mighty beanstalk and the giants are waking up.

My stinker story needs some tweaking and polishing. My narrator is supposed to be 14 years old but Blake says she doesn’t sound 14. He’s literally the only person who’s read it though so I don’t know if that’s just his opinion or if it’s true and I need to tweak it that deeply. I’m terrified to show anyone else but at the same time, as soon as I was done, my first instinct was to turn it into a free PDF for EVERYONE to read, for free, but for fuck’s sake I gotta quit doing that man. At this point in my life, there is zero benefit to me doing shit like that. If this turns out to not be as terrible as I think it is, maybe I’ll try and get it published. Where, I have no fucking clue and I’m probably just talking out of my ass and I’ll just post it here for free in the end anyway, but right now I feel like this thing is so fragile that I only feel like I can trust a few people with it and unfortunately, those people are busy and probably don’t have time to read 9 pages of anything so I don’t want to bother them. I sent it to someone who is IN the story as herself for her approval and even she hasn’t read the whole thing yet and that’s driving me crazy because I don’t want to release it outside of this house to anyone without her permission. I will because I can’t sit on this for much longer but I don’t want to.

Anyway, I have to start work in 2 hours so I’m going to medicate and make myself a bagel sandwich. Cya on Instagram and Twitter! @SunnyCrittenden!

October 30, 2013

Les choses que nous apprenons…

yo yo, quoi de neuf?

Blake, as a new Canadian (did I mention he took his citizenship test and he passed and he was sworn in and can vote and everything now? well, that happened), has decided to take a French class. It started in September and goes until December so it seems like they’re going to cover a lot. He has flash cards and has to do tests and shit. Honestly he’s doing really well. I haven’t heard him speak much of it, I think he’s still unsure of his accent, but he’s showed me his tests and how they do it – I think – is that the teacher gives them a piece of paper with maybe 12 English phrases on it and they’re all numbered. Then the teacher says the first phrase en francais and the students are supposed to write down what they hear. I have no idea how they’re learning things like “est-ce que” (“is that”), which sounds like “eska” (more or less). I would never hear those two syllables and think “oh, that must be three words”. It was on Blake’s test a few times so they must be learning spelling and grammar as well, I just thought Blake told me the whole class is oral/aural. Maybe there’s more to it than that. I know there’s homework involved.

As a Canadian native, I started taking French in school in kindergarten and took it up until grade 9. French is written on everything here, so I know the words for a lot of things but it’s been so long since I used or heard it that I would probably be useless in Quebec and I know I can’t watch TV in French…I’m pretty sure by December, after one class, Blake will be more fluent than I am. C’est la vie!

So this means that on Wednesdays, the kids and I are on our own for dinner and I only see Blake in the morning while I’m working because he doesn’t get home until after I go to bed.

Oh look. Here comes Madison, bugging me for Halloween costume ideas at the last minute…as long as she doesn’t go as a scumbag teenager in normal clothes begging for candy, I *don’t care what she goes as. Also she’s had months to figure this out and it’s the night before, I’m scanning my brain for fucks to give…scanning….scanning…none found!

Awww she suckered me into helping her be Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. Damn me for having a ridiculous amount of pink clothing and a hoodie with ears that also happens to be pink! Wes, in case you were wondering, is being a werewolf. We went straight off the rack for his costume and he’s wearing a mask so unless he really wants me to I’m not going to take pics. I may have better luck with Madison.

This last week has been the pits, as far as first world problems, because we’re using shoddy wireless internet using the router built into the modem, so that’s issue #1. Issue #2 is that our ISP something something is having problems something something resolving DNS something something, which in layman’s terms means it takes me approximately 20 tries to load a webpage or upload anything because the internet won’t connect to the host. It’s like, “Connecting….” and then it says, “resolving host…” and then Chrome or whatever browser takes a shit and asks if I want to reload. Repeat literally 20 times or until you give up and try looking at it on your phone.

This DNS issue or whatever it is (Blake’s been on the phone with tech support a million times and they told us a couple of days ago to wait 72 hours to see if it got any better) really fucking sucks because I effectively can’t do part of my job because it involves a form to send e-mails to people and there’s an iFrame or something that tells me when the e-mail’s gone through. With this issue, that iFrame won’t load and tell me either way if the e-mail went through so if I click to send the e-mail again, did I really just send it again or did I now just send two? Oh. iFrame didn’t load again. What now? Possibly send three? There is a work-around I’ve found, but it takes something that already took a long time take ten times longer. What also sucks is that the site I do support for is super bandwidth intensive and I have to run it while I’m working. That’s my job. I can run it mostly okay during my early mornings when no one else is online but when we tried using the internet normally during my shift on Saturday, doing my job was just impossible so everyone was pretty much device-bound while I was the only one using the internet at all. And I was *still* having trouble. It sucked. It does suck.

 There’s also an itty bitty conspiracy theorist in me that thinks our cable company is messing with us because we have unlimited bandwidth now, just this month, and have been pretty liberal with it. But that’s probably crazy…right?

Blake and my brother just taught me how to use the bit torrents to download media and I barely even had a chance to try it out before the internet went down and then we were rendered mostly impotent. I was cut down in my youth. What kind of animals would do this to me?

Anyway, since Blake had French class today after work and didn’t come home in between and he works in the city tomorrow, the earliest he can try the troubleshooting process with tech support again is tomorrow night after taking Wes out to get candy. Like I said, my mornings are okay except for that one thing I can’t/is difficult to do, but on my Saturdays, that part of the job is pretty unavoidable so hopefully they fix our internet before then. I also have my work meeting on Friday which is through Skype so hopefully that’s not a nightmare.

So yeah, tonight we’re on our own. Madison and I each have a frozen pizza that we could eat, but Wes ate his last week so his options are grilled cheese with either Kraft Dinner or soup or neither or any one of those things alone or in conjunction with each other. Honestly, I’ve felt so barftastic today that I’m not sure I’ll eat at all, especially pizza. So we’ll see. I do have like, $50 worth of pharmaceuticals to take right now though and they should be taken with food so…yeah. We’ll see.

And with that, I think I’m off to take my pills, watch Weeds and go to bed.

PS. I mostly liked the new Carrie movie. Finally, some justice for Tommy Ross! Madison HATED the movie and says the original is her favourite movie right now. I expected to have the same reaction because Carrie (1976) is in my top 5 favourite movies and I hate two things: remakes and sequels. But nope, I thought it was actually pretty good. Nothing could ever live up to the piece of art that is the Brian De Palma film, but this new one is way better than any of the other Carrie-related efforts I’ve seen over the years. By miles.

And NOW I’m off to do that shit I said I was going to do 10 minutes ago…

(*mostly.)

September 9, 2013

Tin Roof, Rusted

As my single, solitary video in this post, I give you Let’s Fall in Love by Mother Mother because I legitimately like the video/song, not just because I really like the band (which I do).

So that thing I’ve been writing? For like, a really long time? Fine tuning and tightening up and almost grooming it every time I go adding something? MY CREATIVE BABY? Well I’m stuck with it. Hardcore. And I don’t know what to do and I’m scared it’s just going to be yet another thing that I never finish. Which would suck because I more or less know what’s going to happen from beginning to end and it’s already almost 12,000 words/7 chapters. But like I said, I’m STUCK because now my original idea is a mere kernel in a twisted and convoluted story and it’s really really really bothering me.

It is the sand in my vagina.

I just wish there was someone out there in the world who could help me but I don’t have confidence that such a person is possible. I’ve tried other people on for size with the only real feedback – with the exception of one person -just being “I want more”. That’s encouraging, and that’s great, but it isn’t really helpful.

I tried keeping it secretive, thinking that what usually sabotages me is that I blab about what it is or instead of a book I make it into a serial on Live Journal and try to write it “live”, which is friggin hard, and then I lose interest in the project because I get lots of praise. I want to write the story. I want the praise to come after I write the story.

See what happened was that, like most of my writing ideas, I woke up from a dream that happened from beginning to end that would make a good short story. So that’s what I set out to write. Then I decided to add a subplot or two and on TOP of that, I decided it should be a musical. But that would be impossible because I’d never get the permission to publish the lyrics from all off the various bands and artists. My simple ending is still pretty simple…and the sky just opened up. I just had the sickest idea to throw in that kinda blew my mind in that I can’t believe I didn’t see it before, but it’s for the ending, not for the part I’m on now.

The part I’m on now is transitional no matter how I look at it and that’s not really my strong suit.

Maybe I should just sit down and write the damn thing, eh? Stop my whining.

*sigh*

Well, back to the drawing board.

Posted at 12:20 pm in: Fall , Internet , Life , Live Journal , Writing
June 28, 2013

This is pretty cool…

…so I’m posting it here and there and everywhere.

 

Recently I learned I’m not the perfect parent I thought I was…not that I really thought I was perfect, like, in italics, but I’d been complimented and praised so much because of things I’ve written here or just by people who have met my pretty awesome kids and like, my mom once, so I thought I was doing a pretty good job. Blake has shit to work out. I don’t like how much all of us yell and neither does he so it’s something that we’re constantly working on but certain children of ours sometimes test our limits for whatever reason kids do that and we cross the line but so do they. (Well, I don’t think Wes has ever yelled back yet, but obviously one day he will.)

Because Madison has expressed disinterest in my online world and has asked for more privacy, I think she’s going to appear less and less on this blog. But I don’t want anyone noticing this and thinking that because I’m not talking about her on here as much that I love her any less or that we don’t love each other, or anything awful like that. I know a lot of you follow this blog because I post pictures of Madison or I talk about Madison simply because I’ve been doing it since literally her birth in one way or another, online. It started in my Compuserve days, then I made my Angelfire site and then the Scratching Post message board, then Live Journal and now my actual blog for the last almost 7 years. She’s a big part of my life and honestly? My favourite part of my life, especially at this age, but I understand wanting more privacy, especially at this age, so I respect her request.

Wes on the other hand, is now a Pocket Frogs addict, which I introduced to him yesterday and he now has on his iPod, so that happened. We haven’t been making any videos for his YouTube channel because  we’re having bandwidth problems. Both of my Flip cameras have died and you can’t buy them anymore because the company stopped making them, which sucks because they were awesome, and my Digital Rebel, which can make videos, makes huge files and I don’t know how to make them smaller and we think that we reach 75% of our bandwidth cap halfway through the month on months we’ve uploaded videos to YouTube (also with the addition of Netflix). But we plan to make a video soon. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a Minecraft video or a Wes video though, he just said he wants to make a video.

We went to the beach yesterday because it was ridiculously hot and it has been for a few days so the hope was that it warmed up at least some of the lake, at least close to the shoreline, and while the water was still way too cold for me, Blake and the kids swam out to the second buoy and stayed out there for at least 15 minutes before getting too cold and coming back to the car.

Speaking of the beach, I posted this on Facebook yesterday while I was sitting in the car AT the beach:

And when I got home there were comments so I started commenting too, and I had this to say about our lovely freshwater beach:

Jenn, you need to come visit us one day. The beach here is awesome. Too cold for me today, though. I feel bad for the people planning on spending Canada Day here, we just haven’t had enough super hot days to heat a lake that size but once it heats up, it is awesome.

I also added, “Or at least I think so. Keeping in mind that the ocean ALSO creeps me out.

Then there were more comments, but then Belinda mentioned that she worked at a public pool which for some reason reminded me of the public pool that used to be in Stouffville (it may still be there, but I kinda don’t think so), which was one of those memories that hits you in the gut because it was sort of awesome and yet you’d totally forgotten about it. So here’s what I wrote:

Where I grew up we had this outdoor public pool in the park and the changeroom floors were always slimy, wet and disgusting and every toilet had a turd in it and the seats too were also always wet. And there was never any toilet paper or paper towels in there anyway so there was no point in even going there. The “kids pool” (there were 3 pools, a baby pool, a kids pool and “the” pool) water was literally salty and warm because there was so much piss in it. So fucking gross, I’m practically gagging just thinking about it. But when you’re like, 7 and it’s really hot out and your cousins are going because it only costs a dollar to get in, you go! And you have fun! But still, I mostly remember the nastiness.

When I used to go to the pool with my cousins, we lived right in the middle of downtown Stouffville and the pool was just across the park. And we also tended not to have any parental involvement in 75% of anything we did. I was also babysat by my Aunt Heather during those times, who was flat out negligent, possibly crazy, incredibly damaged, but really really fucking fun. Maybe I’ll start writing about that time in my life since I never really have.

Today it’s rainy but it’s supposed to be nice for the long weekend (Canada Day is Monday) and my mom invited us to the cottage on Sunday where we’re apparently going to have fireworks, so that’s something to look forward to. She just e-mailed and said to come whenever we want and that we’d be having hamburgers for dinner. I had to tell her that Madison’s a vegetarian now and that she should get veggie dogs when she does the groceries because I’m pretty sure you can grill them.

I haven’t picked up my camera in weeks. Daisies grew in our front yard this year and I never even photographed them. I meant to but the construction guys freak me out too much. The dogs are crazy shedding right now and our house is carpeted in fur despite our best vacuuming efforts. We found a flea on Lucky so we put Advantage on all the pets so hopefully they’ll fuck right off. Fleas looooove me, as do mosquitoes and horseflies etc. and I haven’t been bitten so I’m pretty sure he didn’t have many fleas on his to begin with. Advantage usually kicks in pretty quickly.

We had a guy at the house this week who re-drywalled our bathroom, fixed the leaky tap and tiled our shower and did a pretty nice job. It’s nothing special or anything, just white tile. We’re fixing up the house so we can sell it next spring, or at least put it on the market. I think the next thing we’re going to do is re-roof the roof of my office. Again. This time with metal. \m/

Yesterday I went to Michael’s to get “Santa’s Flesh” paint by Delta only to find that Michael’s doesn’t carry it. So I bought Americana’s “Flesh Tone” instead and when I got home I compared the two bottles and the “Flesh Tone”  paint is way too dark. I hate playing around with mixing colours so I guess I’m going to have to order “Santa’s Flesh” from Stockade. Which is fine, they’re a good company and everything, it’s just that now I have two bottles of a flesh tone I’ll never use and it’s not worth the gas to take them back. (Because of course I’m an idiot and I bought two, thinking they’d be the same as “Santa’s Flesh”.) I know, first world problems.

I’m working on a pretty kickass angel painting at the moment. One day as Madison was leaving the house, I asked her to give me 3 painting ideas off the top of her head and one of her suggestions was “the moon”, which gave me an idea and an angel made the most sense for the idea I had so there ya have it. People on Facebook liked the initial sketches so I think it’s going to be pretty good.

Right now Wes is at a birthday party for his best friend, Emily, who’s “really into lizards these days” so we got her this blown glass lizard and a little jeweled lizard pin. I think she’s going to really like them.  I got myself 2lbs of Jelly  Bellies. We also went to Pie 2 because it’s closer than the original location and we hadn’t been in a while. Or at least it felt like a while. I got pepperoni and mushroom this time and I really enjoyed it because their pepperoni isn’t crappy pepperoni, it’s the good stuff. I still have 3 pieces left so I think I’m going to go eat those.

Anyway, that’s all I got in me today. I think I’m gonna go eat, watch a movie and work on my painting. Have a lovely weekend! :o)

June 18, 2013

That Thing, That Thing, That Thiiiiiiing

I’ve been sleeping a lot. I think I’m depressed again.

Last night I tried to watch the movie The Impossible and I lasted about 15 minutes before I fell asleep and drooled all over Blake’s belly. That was around 8pm. Then I got up at 4:30am for work and actually started early because my pancreas is bugging me (dunno why this time) and I wanted to go back to bed as soon as possible. So at 7:45am I went back to sleep and had the craziest dream about evil, pot smoking fairies that I wish I could remember and write down because it would have been fucking GOLD, very de Lint

…FUCK. Blake’s aunt died and now we probably have to go to Militiagan for the week. FUCK FUCK FUCK. It’s not that I have anything AGAINST Militiagan, it’s that I really really hate working from another location. I’m also on the rag and Lunapads aren’t exactly travel-worthy. Ugh. This suuuuuuuuuuucks. (It’s not an aunt he was particularly close to or anything, I’d never even heard of her until today. She’s his cousins’ grama.)

UGH.

UGH.

UGH.

I can’t afford to pay for roaming on my phone right now either. :o( If I’m roaming, does playing Pocket Frogs count as data usage?

Now I’m in a shitty mood. I was in a perfectly fine mood until Blake messaged me with this. Now my dream is 100% out of my brain and into the ether because he made me think about real life things. FUCK.

…And the vice principal just called and Madison’s exam on Thursday is drama, which is a play, so she can’t make that one up so if we go, she’s staying home. This is fucking bullshit. Fuck this, I’m not going. If we can’t all go, I say we send flowers since it’s not even a close relative and call it a day. It’s not like we can afford to go anyway.

UGH.

BUT! My wonderful friend, Miss Manda Leigh, found me THESE gorgeous things on eBay just now, in my size, which Blake told me to purchase and have sent to his mom’s house (because they didn’t ship internationally). They are Doc Martens so you know they’re good and that they’ll fit perfectly. Behold:

I loves them.
I loves them so fucking much.
I could kick someone’s fucking ass in these.
I knew if I put it out there someone would see something awesome!
Crowd-sourcing FTW!

….And Blake and I have decided to just send flowers to the funeral home and call it a day. THANK GOD. This was getting complicated and stressful. I had to take 2 clonazepam just to answer the phone when the vice principal called who A) should have called Blake’s cell instead of our house, which is the # he left on her voicemail and B) who fucking told Madison about the funeral, who had NO IDEA, and so she texted Blake 300 times while he was in a meeting wondering who died. THANKS, VICE PRINCIPAL FUCKFACE. YOU’RE SWELL.

I have done so much screaming today my throat is literally sore, both from being extremely frustrated with life and also from being excited about shoes. Today is definitely a bittersweet day.

I’m really bummed about losing that dream. It was the kind of dream that was so good, so interesting, that you force yourself to go back to sleep to keep having it. And now it’s gone. Thanks a lot, universe.

Now I’m going to go find food and wrack my brain for dream details. Have a lovely day.

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