Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yup, slacked again

Well, folks. Here we are again. Another week not only gone by, but gone by with me being late on a blog post.

I’m not gonna lie, I blatantly ignored this blog this week.

I know. I’m sorry.

Life has gotten super stressful lately and it’s just easier for me to disappear in to my newest fandom and forget everything else.

My Check Engine light came on, and I have no money to pay for a trip to the mechanic. My father-in-law, sister-in-law’s husband, and a friend of my in-laws all know how to maintain and fix cars: specifically Fords – which is what I have. So I was informed that SOMEONE would look at my car for me to see if I even NEED to go to a mechanic – or if it’s a “quick fix” that one of them could do.

Then the parents-in-law had their car break down, knew how to fix it, but with the East Coast Heat Wave couldn’t be outside long enough to actually DO anything. And since I needed them to bring my husband to work while I was already there, I ended up lending them my “Check Engine” car – they’d drop me off, drive the car back to Hubby, and made sure the car was back for us to leave work.

Three days later – and over a week after the light came on in my car – I drive my father-in-law back home after one more day of lending my car to him, and then my car stalls right outside their house.

My car is an automatic.

So, some super jerky minutes and a lot of tears later, we made it home and I had a near panic attack.

Thankfully, Hubby was there for the rescue.

He talked to his parents to comment on how horrible the car was now and they promised to come down the next day to figure out what’s wrong. Next day comes, father-in-law checks, and tells me I have a rough idle, or low idle, or some sort of “this car isn’t idling properly” situation. Therefore, whenever my car comes to a full stop, and switches to idle, it stalls. As long as I’m giving the car gas I’m fine.

OK, good. I can drive to and from work until we can get it fixed, however, I’m supposed to take a four-hour drive to visit my mom on Thursday. No way in hell I’m doing that with a car that has potential to break down – especially since I can’t afford AAA anymore.

So now it’s a long game of phone tag to see if the father-in-law was able to contact the friend or the son-in-law to see if either of them could help, since Daddy-in-law doesn’t have the right tools. I’m praying it DOES get fixed by Wednesday so I don’t have to cancel my long-awaited trip. In the meantime, I’m just stalling at every stop sign and traffic light on the way to work because I don’t know how to drive a manual car, so the “Switch to and from Neutral when you’d normally idle and give it a little gas to stop it from stalling” thing is a little tricky for me….

On the plus side, I did this really cool trick where my car stalled in the work parking lot, but I still had enough momentum to perfectly turn in to a parking spot before it came to a complete stop. Also, a coworker apparently had a similar problem and he claimed it was a “pretty cheap fix”. I’m hoping his definition of “cheap” is $20 or less….

Anyway, between that and drama going on at work centered around one coworker being immature and unprofessional, which makes the entire department look bad, which means we’re ALL getting 15-minute one-on-one lectures from the manager that was on vacation at the time…. *sigh* so much stress!

Then you have the new X-Men RPG that I talked to you guys about last week. My husband had been talking about starting one up for a while now, and he finally got around to making the forum a little over a week ago.

In the game his 16-yr-old character is crushing on my 14-yr-old one. Not really all that farfetched, he almost always has my character be a love interest of his. However, with Gambit being his character’s father, he’s really pouring on the Cajun Charm as his character attempts to woo mine.

AAAAAAAAND randomly, more reasons why we love Gambit:

Anyway, my heart races whenever Hubby updates a post and I read the charming courtship he’s presenting.

It’s like we’re back to 8 years ago when we first started dating and he’s courting me all over again.

Even though all of the characters’ firsts aren’t anything like our own, it still feels like I get to relive our first encounter, first dance, first kiss, first date, and all the tingley moments of wondering where he is, when we’ll run in to each other again, what he’ll say, what he’ll do, etc.

So, naturally I’m now addicted. I’m addicted to all these warm, fuzzy, de-stressing feelings of courtship. Whenever I attempt to work on my story, or my blog, or cleaning, or my Operation Ruthless video – which was due on Saturday, by the way… but if you still want to participate contact PinkLotus27, she might let you sneak one in while her computer is getting fixed – anyway, whenever I try to do ANYTHING other than the forum I get distracted by thoughts of Hubby and what our characters might be doing next.

And so I spend nearly every waking, non-working moment on the forum, role playing with the hubby.

Also, due to my overly visual nature, I am now overcome with an impulse to draw what everyone’s characters look like so I have a clearer mental image of their characters. Thing is, I can’t draw… So I’ve been also addicted to DollzMania.com where I can try to piece together what the characters look like. Problem THERE is that I’ll like a character base and hair color from one doll maker, and the actual hair style and top from another, and maybe the pants from a third, and a fourth one would be really good at making the X-Men uniforms… Which leads me to copying pretty much every element of every doll maker, saving them in Photoshop, and then trying to re-create my OWN doll maker – with like a zillion layers with all the skin, hair, clothes, and accessory options.

On top of that, I also want to create a blue-print of what the Xavier Institute looks like. Mainly because not everyone who is playing is THAT huge of an X-men fan. They might know the basics of the universe, or know what was shown in the multitude of cartoons and movies, but they don’t really have all this stuff memorized or anything. So, for them to have a better idea on what is where, I wanted to do a blueprint.  My secondary reason is that Hubby needed to tweak some things to better fit the RPG, and so the layout isn’t exactly the same – which means even the few hard-core fans that are playing don’t exactly know where things would be located.

My final reason for the blueprint is because I’m a visual person who needs a reference for herself – plus it’s more time in Photoshop and ignoring the stressors of the world right now.

On the plus side, after a LOT of reference pictures, and searching the internet, and pixel-by-pixel recoloring I did manage to come up with these two images of my character:
Clean ObsidianX-Uniform Obsidian

She’s the daughter of Amara Aquilla AKA Magma. She has her mother’s powers to control lava, create fireballs using the heat of the lava, and create minor earthquakes due to using magma to shift the tectonic plates a bit. When Magma fully energizes so she can manipulate lava her body transforms. Depending on the reference you get, she either looks like she’s covered in lava or her body is made of flames.

Anyway, I didn’t want my character to be a carbon copy of Magma, so my character – codename Obsidian – turns in to obsidian when she fully energizes, but she still has cracks of lava at the joints – hence the red lines you see all over that first picture. I also described her as having a furnace-like core where the glow shines through her stomach – which is what’s up with the weird orange abs. I might have to go back and doctor that some more, but I can’t seem to get the same glow effect I got around the lava-filled eyes. I might also change the hair since her hair is naturally brunette and it’s supposed to become flame-like when she transforms….

I still need to finish making a doll of Obsidian when she’s normal, plus I’m also working on a super secret second character. She’s a bit trickier because Hubby created her originally, and then when I expressed that my character – as much as I love her – is fourteen and super meek. I wanted a more outgoing, flirty character. So the character Hubby created was passed over to me. Trouble being, he had a mental image of what she looked like, a rough idea of her personality, as well as a list of her powers. Now I need to fill in the rest. And the rest doesn’t want to be filled in.

When I needed a back story for my main D&D character I just read up on how the typical Scout character class was built, saw that a lot of times the character backstories included needing to hide and track in the woods, and the rest of the backstory sparked from there. When I created another D&D character and decided I was going to have her purposefully quest solely for fame and fortune the rest of the backstory more-or-less wrote itself.

When it came to my main X-men character, the catalyst for her backstory came from wondering why she was at the Xavier Institute in order to train her powers. If her parents were teachers there, she would have grown up there like a lot of the other characters – but she was just starting there. Why? If she had a combination of both parents’ powers perhaps she needed the training from the institute instead of having her parents train her, but she only got a carbon-copy of her mother’s powers. So why couldn’t Magma train her daughter? Once I realized that my character Lia had to go to the Institute to train because Magma wasn’t around to train her, the rest of the backstory easily developed – as did the character.

But now I’m stuck on this new character. I can’t figure out the main catalyst that would make her who she is today. I want her to be a bit like the character Boom-Boom from X-Men: Evolution, but I don’t want to be a personality clone – especially since the character has no relation to Boom-Boom. I also want her to be a touch “street wise” – one of those girls that will surprise you because her small frame doesn’t make it seem like she can defend herself. Think Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin, when she surprised him with the ability to pole-vault simply by watching him do it.

So how do I make her street wise? I don’t want her to be a thief. A) because Hubby’s character is the son of Gambit, and therefore already is a bit of a thief himself. B) because Boom-Boom was forced in to a life of Breaking and Entering due to her power, and again, I don’t want my character to just be Boom-Boom 2.0.
I also don’t want her to be street wise due to living on the streets for whatever reason. We already have a character who had “ran away from the orphanage, turned to a life of crime, and lived on the streets” as his backstory.
Soooooo now what?

Anyway, that’s where I am: frozen behind a huge Writer’s Blockade mainly due to stress. I need to chip away at the block so I can figure out this new character as well as finish the chapter. Especially since CartoonLover16 is breezing through the story and is almost done with what I have already. Aaaaand, because I got ANOTHER piece of fanart from ChibiSunnie and she’ll be caught up with pictures soon too at this rate! ^_^

Fair warning, with a mad rush to find a way to fix the car this week, then the trip to visit my Mom to celebrate 17 years of being cancer free…. Well… Frankly I doubt I’ll have much to write about next week either, but we’ll see.

For this week I’ll leave you with the lovely piece of artwork Chibi drew for Chapter 3:


  1. I know I've already said this, but your story is pure awesomeness. Probably one of the best things I've ever read. I hope you get out of your writer's block soon, I'm really looking forward to see how it ends! Just take your time, no need to rush.

    Sorry to hear you've been stressful lately. I wish you the best. :)

    1. d'aaw you're a sweetheart. Thank you. It's the encouragement from my readers that really does push me to keep going. And fear not, we're only about half way through the story by the time I get chapter 8 done. The story keeps growing longer and longer the more I hear songs that fit. I already added two chapters because of that: "I Will Always Love You" and the chapter I'm doing now.

      And thanks for the kind wishes.