To Make Old New

So I’m really big on trying to recycle household items for other uses. Recently we’ve had a lamp stop working entirely, but the lampshade was still in really good condition, if not a little dusty. I took it off the lamp, and we got rid of the lamp itself. I just couldn’t figure out what to do with the shade though. We don’t have any other lamps just lying around to put it on.IMG_1181

Yesterday, husband took our son to the library, then out to the nearby park for a few hours before lunch. Giving me time to tend to some housework and anything else I wanted. So I looked at the lamp shade and decided to do something about it. I sat down with a paint brush, a wee little cup of water, and some acrylic paints and set to work.

First I used the paint brush to wet down a few of the plaits, soaking them through completely. Then I just barely touched the brush to a color (I mean just feather light) and applied it to one of the wet plaits. When the color was too thick, I simply added more water to thin it back out even more. I wanted it to soak into the fabric, and look a bit like watercolor. This is the effect it gave.

IMG_1170

So then I went all the way around, alternating the three colors I’d picked. I noticed as I went around, the bit at the bottom was soaking up the excess water and color. When I finished, I let it sit for a few minutes, and then turned it upside down to have it soak into the band at the top as well. It turned out very lovely indeed.

The only downside is that the inside of the lampshade now has stripes of color, which I was not intending to happen but it was kinda cool. You can see how I applied the color, but also the directions I tended to use the brush in on each plait. Depending on how bright or large the color is, you can see when I had to apply more water to thin it out, or more color to give it a better stain.

IMG_1174

And then, here’s the finished product! I’ll add another picture later once we have a new lamp to put it on.

IMG_1177

The Truth Seeker Saga (Or: What holy hell medication was I on when I wrote this?!)

So as I’ve said maybe, oh, a few posts back or some such, I’m going through a lot of my old disks. Recycling old ideas and making them new again. Well, I’ve stumbled across one disk with a specific file I thought long lost to the internet, buried in the deepest pits and bowels that no Wayback machine could ever find. Back in my days of amateur web design, when I was writing fanfiction far too gory and smutty for Fanfiction.net, and Archive of Our Own (AO3) had not even yet been a mere twinkle of an idea. I mention this because I wrote a LOT of fanfiction and couldn’t host it on fanfiction.net due to.. well…. getting banned for a while because my stuff violated site policy. Anyway… Livejournal was a thing at the time, and so was Xanga, but I didn’t want to clutter my blog, and I didn’t want to learn how to use Livejournal (I’d tried at the time and then gave up because at the time, it was far too complicated… says the woman who spent her teen years coding web pages for fun…). So I got a free Geocities, as well as Angelfire and an assortment of other freebie websites. And linked them all together using frames and other such nonsense. In the end though, I bought a domain from Geocities, right before it was bought by Yahoo! and set about creating a website for my fanfiction.

Then I decided to create subsites for other projects. One of which was a series of stories I wrote based on old roleplaying game storylines friends and I would play out in AOL chatrooms. This evolved into a full-on story series. My friends and a few others who read it demanded continuation after continuation. And so I kept writing. It evolved into the screencap posted here.

sneakiback

To break this down, so you can see the full scope of what this single HTML file contains (and yes, it is a SINGLE html file, and it’s freaking MASSIVE)…

The Original Series: 4 stories total.

  • Lost World (prequel): Prologue + 9 chapters
  • Battle Scarred : 12 chapters
  • Missing Mile: 8 chapters
  • Dances of Demons and Angels: 20 chapters + epilogue + alternate ending

Redux: 6 “Books”

  1. Death: 14 chapters + Interlude
  2. Memories: 7 chapters + Interlude
  3. Sex and Drugs: 9 chapters
  4. Pain: 5 chapters + Interlude + 4 Parts (of 1 chapter)
  5. Love and Hate: 5 chapters
  6. Life: 6 chapters + 4 Parts (of 1 chapter)

Holiday Specials: 1 story (Original series)

Side-Stories: Total of 5

Original Series: 1
Alternate Reality: 4

Grand Total Individual Texts
(Chapters plus Stand Alone Stories) = 115

All of this was written between 2003 and 2007. And includes a very expansive and bizarre world combining magic, science fiction, fantasy, reality, mild politics, and religion. And the thing is, I only truly recollect writing about 1/3 of it, due in part to that period of my life being one that was very turbulent. At that time I was severely withdrawn from others, suffering from near-crippling depression, and psychologically recovering from not one, but 2 near death experiences in mid-late 2003. So… it was a wild ride filled at various times with pain medication (which also during this time period I had developed an addiction to. Thankfully, now, I no longer abuse my medications thanks to a very strong support system and a rigid routine.), cold medicine, pure mental and physical exhaustion, and stress resulting in emotional and psychological break downs. It’s amazing I remember writing any of it at all to be quite honest.

So, I’ve been reading these stories, cringing at my own writing and how it used to be. I mean, given my reading comprehension, my writing skills at the time, it’s quite good. But compared to what level I am at now, my gods it’s atrocious! But the story is very compelling, and since I haven’t seen this file or these stories in nearly 10 years, I’m reading them with fresh eyes and a new perspective and wow. The plot, while a bit weak, is keeping me hooked and the character development and world building involved in this… Just freaking blows me away. I had a good solid world with a good solid cast of characters, but the plot is what ended up being the weakest part of it. Hence why with my old writings I’m reading through them and recycling the things I like, and reworking the things that I don’t.

It’s been a very… odd experience for me reading this old story. I’ll likely be posting about it again once I’ve gotten further into it. I’ve been reading it for the past 3 days at every opportunity, and I’ve only just scratched the surface of it.

Old Files, Old Ideas, New Inspiration

WIN_20160225_22_59_57_ProSo I came across a CD spindle last night. I hadn’t thought much of it at first, then I took a gander at the first disk in the stack. It just said “WEBSITES 2/2009”. Now, this disk is filled with a bunch of stuff, not just website and web design files. It’s got, well, not very well written fanfics as well. Rather embarassed by them, actually as I thought all traces of their existence had been eaten by the internet and completely obliterated. Unfortunately. when I google a few key terms that thankfully most others don’t know, I find a chapter here or there of one of my worst written works, but never the complete one. So that’s a plus.

That said, I’ve got those files as well.

UntitledAnyway, there’s approximately 4-5 disks total that have so much fanfic, original novel ideas, and a lot of actually good stuff on them. Interspersed with really, truly horrific grammar and quite frankly frighteningly grotesque (both in the subject matter¬†of them and the poor writing style). That said, I’ve decided to go through them and recycle some of the ideas, and redevelop them into a new project. Because much of it was this grand, long epic of a story, but it’s got so many great ideas that could work alone as short stories, or as entirely different projects altogether. Much of what I have saved to disk are written works that I can’t bear to part with, due partially to sentimentality, but also due to the fact that some of them have sections of “automatic writing”, wherein my guides had named and identified themselves to me. So I’m always hesitant to delete or throw away things that contain those random piece of information. While the disks themselves show a creation date of around Dec 2008 to Feb 2009, a lot of the files themselves date back as early as 2000 and 2001. (Especially the fanfiction stuff.) There’s a lot of good base ideas mixed in, that I can easily recycle.

UntitledSuch as this colorful cast of characters. They were created for a role playing game I used to run on AOL in chat rooms. These were both my characters and some NPCs. And the main setting of the story. The “Rumour” page was where the latest developments in the story would be written up for anyone new or anyone who’d missed a bit so people could catch up. I used to do a lot of these little game pages for the stories I ran, and hosted them on my own domain for quite a long time. Well, until I ran out of money and couldn’t afford my Yahoo! hosting account and domain anymore. I used to love doing page designs though. I’d do custom coding or if I found a template I liked (like in the pic there showing the cute Damian Lewis avatar for my NPC character) I’d tailor it to suit my needs. It was always a lot of fun. I’d do custom jobs for people’s AOL profiles as well, before they changed everything around to the Lifestream profiles, and before that the Bebo profiles. Basically, back when AOL had their own member profiles thing, and it was just that limited box with the limited stuff. I used to be able to do wonders with that space, and actually have it turned into it’s own little website inside that square box. Ah, those were the days.

Anyway, yeah. So I’m going to be sorting through all of these files to see what I want to recycle. I might post some old work from them for laughs and giggles.

I have a list.

I have a list. A list I am not proud of having, but a list nonetheless.

It is a list of names. Names of people whom have been seen to do nefarious things, and have been sketchy at the very least while ruining lives at the very worst.

This list of names includes people I have crossed keyboards with, and people I have not. This list of names includes relatively well known people in the pagan community, and people of little consequence.

This list of names is going to be transformed into a series of blog posts exposing scammers, frauds, and potentially dangerous people.

I didn’t choose to do this lightly. It took a lot of thought. It has been an idea that has been stewing in my head for months, ever since the ACOW2015 situation.

My chosen spiritual path highly values knowledge and information. Knowledge is power, information is the tool. With that tool, one can illuminate Truth in any darkness. Truth, above all, is what we living things strive for. What we wish to achieve. And Truth is different for everyone and everything. Using knowledge and information enables us to become one with the Universe, that which creates us and destroys us. This is my Truth.

That said, at this time I have come to realize that to gather information, and refuse to use it for the betterment of others, is a crime not against my beliefs. It is a crime against human kind. If I know something, if I see or hear something, and my inaction results in someone coming to harm, well I can no longer idly stand by and allow such things to come to pass.

Therefore, I have chosen to use the knowledge I have gained. And unfortunately, this seems to be the subject matter that keeps being placed before me. For months I have tried to actively avoid it when at all possible. But… It keeps getting placed in my path. And in some cases, my silence may have contributed to the outcome. Therefore, I’m going to re-do my Calling Out Assholes idea into a new project. Pagan Community Watch (P.C.W.) where I am to present factual information about people, organizations, scams, frauds, etc. that have a negative impact on the Pagan Communities. I will be using real testimonials from people I am interviewing. I am going to use screenshots, archived links, active links when possible, and as much tangible evidence as I can. I am going to do write-ups in warning against the subjects I write about. And it’s my hope that maybe, just maybe, if causes someone to reconsider calling that sketchy looking coven on Craigslist, or gives them the ability and information they need to stand up against someone in authority who may be attempting to use their beliefs to take advantage of them.

I have a list to start with. A list of people and organizations that I have encountered in the last 6 months, all of which I have seen with my own eyes evidence of wrongdoing and deception from.

I can stay silent no more. I must speak out. I may not have much, but I have a blog. And I know how to use it.