thrihyrne: (hand written letter writer)
So this was new: being sent digital files of marketing material for my e-book release, when I'm not even sure of the date! The whole thing is new, since I'm used to maybe making an honorary icon for a story, or way back, a kind of movie poster for a much longer work. So let me share!

A bookmark:

bookmark photo SurprisedAtNothing_bookmarkV_DSP.jpg

And the cover:

cover photo SurprisedAtNothingFS.jpg

I'm not planning a book tour, nor is it likely I'll be going to conferences and the like to warrant printing swag, but still. Seems like this is really happening!! :D
thrihyrne: (meditation rocks)
One of the very positive effects after my last trip to SF was that I took advantage of my work's Employee Assistance Program. They referred me to a therapist who has turned out to have been the only one in the last seven years to really help me get to the bottom of my inexplicable decisions. It's primarily anger based, but is also triggered due to anxiety/stress, feeling trapped and/or constantly monitored, and being defensive. Mostly anger, which wasn't really expressed in my family of origin, and thusly I've never known how to deal with it when it happens around me, and I've been mostly clueless when I've been feeling it myself. Hindsight for this major revelation has been profound, seeing most of my self-sabotage and fast-sinking spirals through a lens recognizing that I was usually livid, but either didn't or couldn't recognize it for what it was. So I drank it down, as that had become my go-to method for coping. There are doubtless healthier ways, and I'm actively exploring those. Given the erratic, chaotic and non-empowering environment I'm in thanks to my employer, doubtless I'll have many opportunities in the future to figure out ways to experience these feelings and cope in ways that don't end up with me in a stupor.

This is all very positive— perhaps even overwhelming in how empowered I've felt about this for really the first time. It also means that I'm going to be holding myself to a very high standard of self-honesty. That, in and of itself, is somewhat anxiety-generating, but if I look back at what I've gone through since 2005, being honest with myself could seem like a proverbial walk through the park. Certainly the toll should be less. As I was driving home from my second session with my new therapist, Lily, I came up with the idea to keep a small notebook with me (which I already do) and to check in with myself regularly and get out of my head and really try to figure out what I'm feeling. This is easier to do during my workdays as I have regularly scheduled breaks, but it's becoming easier to do all the time. I've used my head as a 'safe' retreat for years now, and becoming more in tune with what I'm feeling, even if I think I'm feeling neutral or uninvolved or whatever, has been an empowering exercise. I'm very often grateful, and content, and feel safe. There's also a lot of feeling listless and uninspired, depending on the time of day and what I'm doing. But this past Saturday morning, driving home after my workout, I realized I felt triumphant and unstoppable— not something I'd want to experience all the time, but I was grateful to be able to recognize it within myself.

I can pretty much definitively say that my Years of Suck are over. 2014 may be the year of all the feelings. :)
thrihyrne: (plaidtastic)
Since my last post, I realized that I have two stories that could be completed and submitted to this online press. One is the wholly unique monk story, but also an HP story I'd started in the summer for a fest, but didn't get very far in writing. I had most of it in my head, and I've recognized that I can change it up very easily in order to get it out of Rowling's version of magical and into something different. So I've begun revamping the first few thousand words and going in a more relationship-centric manner I'd shied away from when writing it for the fest because at that time, I'd decided to make it completely genfic. Now I can add some eroticism and make the new protagonist and his world unique enough that if there becomes a following, he can have other adventures in sequels. Not to project forward too much, lol.

But it's been great to be writing again, and getting re-engaged in this story line that I'd been excited for since the summer, but lost steam on. I'm writing! It feels great to have the characters come to life for me, rather than me having to poke at them to do something. I'm very, very happy about this development of events. My thanks again to [personal profile] snottygrrl for knowing how desperately unhappy I was in my prior work role and who volunteered me for this press in terms of being an able proofreader. I've done my quota and have let them know of my keen interest to do more in-depth editing, so we'll see about that in the future. :)
thrihyrne: (Boromir life is good)
So it wasn't my birthday, but [livejournal.com profile] evannichols's 51st on Saturday. There was very yummy breakfast-eating at Slappy Cakes, kilt wearing (him, not me), a wander around the beautiful campus of his alma mater, Lewis & Clark College, and then being taken out to birthday sushi by [personal profile] sanguinity and [personal profile] grrlpup. And that was just Saturday!! I worked my usual shifts of 1-10 on Sunday and yesterday, but Evan was around much of yesterday so I could enjoy his company. And then my friend Jen stopped by during my break yesterday on her return trip to Eugene, so that was an additional highlight. Just a really wonderful, delight-filled set of days.

So here's a link to the photos, for those who don't follow me on other social media!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/88838401@N03/sets/72157633011385798/

I'll be picking up my copy of Unfinished Tales this week and hope to get kick-started on some writing while on my business trip next week. :)
thrihyrne: Portland, OR (Default)
Or: why I don't post much anymore.

My life is superb. The only drama I have (though at times it can be mighty and crosses over into my non-work life, of which I don't approve) is work-related. I have renewed and newly-meaningful relationships with some key people, including my sister, mother, and Eugene-friend-Jen. I still write letters and have phone calls maintaining other long-time friendships. I even see some people locally who are also friends— and colleagues! I'm financially in a far better place than I've been since 2005. I'm comfortable in my own skin, with a distinct lack of chemicals. My deep-seated anxieties about the irony of the universe lashing out at me personally in unique and traumatizing ways is near-banished. I'm exercising and even going to ballet once a week. Creatively, I knit more than anything else, but I've also revived work on my Wraeththu novel book contract and will be having a First Pass Major Re-Read/Edit with my editor at the end of July. I'm living and sharing every day with the life partner I didn't dare to dream actually existed. I'm 130 days into giving a full years' experiment of seeing what it's like to choose not to drink.

So I think I get a bit wary of sounding like I'm vomiting rainbows. Of course there's some shitty stuff. I've had several bouts of sinus/throat issues, which haven't been fun. While I thoroughly enjoy my particular role at work, I'm ambivalent about the ever-changing landscape outside of that realm. I'll need to do a major exorcism of preconceptions about headquarters in general before going there in June, though perhaps the very act of going will provide some clarity I haven't had before. My left pinky toe is apparently going to hurt for the rest of my life, and I've screwed up my right shoulder somehow, as well as done something to my upper left hip flexor… all of which makes the ballet more painful than necessary. I need to keep constant vigilance not to succumb to hedonic adaptation, and to be very, very aware of any inklings of creating drama simply because my life is so stable.

But in general, I'm fully engaged in my life and content in ways I've not been for a very long time. So that's why I don't post all that often. Still, here's an update! ♥
thrihyrne: (hand written letter writer)
I returned last night from a 5-day (including basically 2 days of travel) whirlwind trip with [livejournal.com profile] evannichols to Harrisonburg, Virginia. This was a 'business' trip, to go through a large closet of my belongings that have been there since 2005 when I was filing for divorce from my to-be-wasband and my stepdad came to Nashville and we got a small U-Haul trailer and moved all of my belongings from Nashville to Harrisonburg. Since then, I've moved to Verona, VA, to 2 other locations in Harrisonburg, and various places in Portland. Now, at last, I'm stable in a wide variety of ways, including my residence. So it was time.

This was also the first time I'd seen my mother and stepfather since my acrimonious departure in fall of 2011. Since then, I've had a 180° turnaround in relations with my mother (I've never had long-term issues with my stepdad) and we've been communicating much more regularly. Still, I was a bit unsure about whether or not there might be awkward questions, or awkward expectations, and to my relief, there simply wasn't any. It was a very busy and purposeful three days, but there was also a fabulous reunion element to do with the choir I'd sung with in Staunton. We had lunch with a couple of my dear friends, there was a massive hug-fest and introductions of Evan to, well, everyone. Not only that, but my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] persephone100 came down to stay for a day and visit and assist. She also got to go 'shopping' for free through my stuff! So many items went to a happy new home. :) Heaps of things will go to a new home eventually, as the Harrisonburg Goodwill got another motherlode of my stuff that I simply wasn't emotionally tied to.

So now we're back, having checked 3 bags on the return flight, and shipping one rug and one plastic bin via UPS. That's it. All the rest was recycled/trashed/given away/scanned. What a relief, and a harbinger of this amazing life I lead now and plan to have for years. Now Evan knows I have a past! He had a super-saturated experience of people and places and proof that I really have received a tremendous amount of written correspondence since 1986. It's good to be home, and to return to my current life, which is a gift unto itself.
thrihyrne: (Oregon lover)
I'm back at Airbnb effective immediately (though I don't have my laptop; I'll retrieve it tomorrow when I'm back at our Portland office) and very grateful. I have learned a tremendous amount about my own strength during this, as well as the amazing support and love that is granted so fully to me. Thank you all for your kind words during what was a pretty challenging several days!
thrihyrne: (Boromir life is good)
I feel as though I've been going on and on about how much I love my job at Airbnb, so I won't gush more about it here. But I LOVE IT. For those who might wonder what my days and hours are, here's how they are through the end of September: 10-7, PST, Sunday-Monday, Wed-Fri. So I have Saturdays and Tuesdays off. We put in requests for new shifts each quarter, so there's a chance mine will change for Oct-December. I'll also begin working remotely (ie: from home, or Evan's house, or a coffee shop, or wherever I want where there's reliable internet!) in October. So, yay, no commute at all and working in whatever clothes I feel like, plus I can go out for a quick jog or run errands during my lunch and then come back home!

Many of you know that I recently went on a 3-day trip to go camping with Evan, attending an annual Nichols family get-together. In recent years they've met at Spicer Meadow Reservoir campground, and that's where we were this year. So I met his parents and older brother and spouse and couple of other friends who were there. I'd Skyped with them once before, but this was my first time to get to meet them in person. The setting was gorgeous, the weather sublime, the starry night sky phenomenal, and the sleeping on a thin mat on the ground something I didn't miss so much once we returned home. But here are a couple of pictures:
two photos )


Earlier that week, as noted, my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] emansil_12 was in Portland for a couple of days before going off to Lubricus. She and I spent an absolutely marvelous day together, and here's the visual proof. This picture was taken at the building where Evan's work is located, in a large and sunny atrium that features someone playing piano every day during lunch hours!
together in PDX )


So I'm settling into my work schedule, at least for the next month. Even with that, since I'm working Labor Day, I'll have the subsequent Friday off. In other words, I haven't really been able to settle into an actual routine yet. That may not really happen until October when I'm working at home. We'll see. This week I am so looking forward to my Tuesday off. I'm starting out the day with a massage from my friend Karla, and then getting my eyes checked at 4:00. My eyesight has been funky and not in a good way. Now that I finally have health/dental/vision insurance again, for the first time in 3 or so years I'll get my eyes checked and will probably end up with new lenses. Maybe even new frames!
thrihyrne: (meditation rocks)
The short (and long!) of my one-day visit with [livejournal.com profile] emansil_12 was that the day was sublime. We talked, walked, shopped, ate lunch with [livejournal.com profile] evannichols, hung out at my house, visited my wee library branch, went back to her lodging, talked more… and then it was time for me to go to an appointment. It joyed my heart so much to have the whole day with her, and for her to meet Evan in person, and to meet my housemates and see my room and environs. We will need to do this far more often than once every four years!! She is now off to Lubricus with [personal profile] snottygrrl and [livejournal.com profile] winnett, and I hope they all have a wonderful time at the con.

My work schedule is a bit wonky due to the fabulousness of friends visiting and that I'm traveling with [livejournal.com profile] evannichols this weekend! I just realized I've not really posted about that, but I'll be going with him to Spicer's Meadow in northern California for a couple of days for an annual Nichols family get-together. This means that I'll be meeting his parents and an older brother and others for the first time in person. :D While that is a big deal, what's an even bigger deal to me psychologically is traveling with him, and flying, even. I've not traveled or flown with anyone (exception of the Staunton choir tour) since, oh, 2004. I'm used to keeping my anxieties and fears to myself, and making not great decisions because I could, and I was alone and no-one was keeping tabs on me. So this will be all different. And precisely because Evan is so optimistic and level-headed, I haven't been wracked by my usual freak-out about flying. I am going to treat myself either to a bagel or doughnut that morning we fly, however. It's healthier than my prior choice would have been.

So… I'll be AFK pretty much until mid-week next week. But after that I'll have pictures, of the trip and with my dear [livejournal.com profile] emansil_12.
thrihyrne: (asian text)
And this old guy cleaning them with a dental tooth scraping tool.

Well, I did, but this post isn't about that. It's more about a few things of note to do with work, the weekend, and other stuff.

~ The Airbnb pop-up location is located in The Pearl District. I'm growing to love it, seeing the fancy restaurants, Whole Foods, and even an Anthropologie store. I didn't know they had actual stores! I've long been an admirer of their clothes, though only once items were about 80% off. :P I go out and about during my two breaks and lunchtime, seeing what's out there and stretching my legs. Quite a pretty area.

~ I ate my first even lemon cucumber! I didn't know such things existed, but they were growing in [livejournal.com profile] evannichols's sister's garden. Their cucumbers, whether those or more conventional, are growing like crazy. I was encouraged to eat my fill, which makes me so very happy. I love cucumbers!

~ As Evan and I were having coffee and chatting Sunday morning (which I actually had off thanks to a generous new Aircorps friend switching with me for Tuesday), I mentioned that I'd realized that I didn't have the energy or attention or time to really go ahead with my Etsy shop idea. I'm not giving up the idea and concept, because I think it's great, but instead of trying to sell these adorable infant's sweaters made of reclaimed and/or hand-dyed yarn, I will mail them on to my two stepsisters who are having second children. The zip-front vest I'll send to my sister, who has a 2 year old, and she can grow into it. It's not that I spent a lot of money getting the yarn, that was part of the point! But I've come to peace about maybe making myself a couple of things out of the yarn I reclaimed and washed and made into center pull balls. It's all good. I'll take pictures of course before I send the garments along.

~ Apparently I won't know my actual schedule for another several days, but I will have Wednesday off and Evan generously took a half day. I'll be making some of my usual weekend calls Wednesday morning, and I'll look forward to hopefully chatting with a couple of you.

~ Thanks to still being subscribed to redheadedmales, I see that there are two red-haired lovelies on the U.K. Olympic team! Daniel Purvis in gymnastics and Greg Rutherford in track and field. :D :D

May 2016

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