My Last Post Was a Joke. I AM A WRITR, ROARRR!

There’s some iron in the fire. I’ve got some things stewing. Stew. And other things broiling. Like grilled cheese.


August is here and that means school is about to begin again. My youngest will be starting preschool. Saying that feels like being punched in the heart by some multidimensional monster that’s capable of bypassing my ribs.

Life. What a jerk.

It’s just some good clean fun, Life says. Watching Humanzz being ravaged by time and feelings and plagues. But mostly emotional pain. 

Well when school begins, there will be much work happening. Work on my stories and my development as a writer. Things are gonna be burgeoning, people.

They say, to writers, “Don’t have too many projects going.” Which is true. You shouldn’t do that. But I confess. I do.

Another thing I tend to do is have a few books I’m reading at once. Like right now. I’m reading Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man and the first of the Scott Pilgrim books. I could have a few other books going at the moment. Somewhere.

That’s the problem: I end up forgetting what I’m in the middle of.

Which is also the problem with having too many writing projects going. I end up forgetting.

But that’s also a problem associated with having small children in my clutches. I won’t go into it again, but being a parent means a constant never-ending series of distractions. Which kind of sucks to say, as though my adorable kids are DISTRACTIONS. You know? What a dick thing to say.

But they’re not. It’s just that they want me to always pay attention to them.

What’s the problem with that?

And they win because they’re so damn persistent, the little cherubs…

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How to Use a Pumice Stone (and How Not To)

Back in 2005 when I started my first blog and began dating Stoker, he had a run-in with a pumice stone. And I wrote a mildly decent post about it (linked, if you’re interested in reading the original), because why not?

It still cracks me up, that pumice stone incident. And I confess that I still find the improper use of pumice stones hilarious, especially when it involves Stoker, as an adorable 22-year-old.

Anyway, so apparently people really have a lot of questions about how to use these little chunks of sandpaper, because that post gets loads of regular traffic.

So, I’m revisiting the topic! And I’m also going to do everyone a solid and share new info, like the PROPER WAY TO USE A PUMICE STONE as well as give you the best clips of the old post here, because it makes a great format and I really like great things. Love the great things. Like, a lot.

Let’s get on with it. Let’s really dig into my in-depth tutorial on using a pumice stone! Here goes:

The other night Stoker scrubbed the inside of his elbow too vigorously with the pumice stone. He was taking a bath, reading his book on recording engineering, and he got this itch on his inner elbow. You know, the soft, pale part of your arm just below the bulge of round joint. I don’t know what he was thinking using a pumice stone there. But he did. He’s new to pumice stones, I suppose and didn’t realize that you should only use them on tough, calloused skin like the bottom of your feet and elbows.


    An innocent-looking pumice stone. Should be fine on my skin, like all over my entire body, right? WRONG.

The itch flared up and the light blue, foot shaped pumice stone was resting on the edge of the bathtub, innocently minding its own business. Stoker’s eyes fell on its white flecked beauty and the idea struck him. He grabbed the light stone and scraped it lightly across the tender skin. It felt good. Deceivingly good. With a sigh, he brushed the skin with the pumice stone, effectively eliminating the itch.

2. WHEN CONFRONTED WITH A POWERFUL ITCH, EVEN WHEN A PUMICE STONE IS PRESENT, DO NOT USE THE PUMICE STONE TO SCRATCH SOFT TISSUE. At first, of course you might slide the pumice stone across the skin and find relief. OK, one soft stroke is fine. But as everyone knows, an itch doesn’t often go away with just one scratch. In order to avoid the inevitable scenario of too much pumice-stone-scratching, do not even engage in JUST ONE SCRATCH.

Later, the skin turned red. Raw. That’s when the whole story came spilling out: itch… pumice stone…I scrubbed it and it was great, at the time. But now it hurt. Like a burn. Poor kid. I truly felt bad for him, felt a little guilty for not warning him about the potency of a pumice stone. Though, when you think about it, I’m sure he knew. How could you not? I mean, it’s like sandpaper. No one rubs their skin with sandpaper, right?

3. PUMICE STONE USE SHOULD BE RESERVED FOR PORTIONS OF THE BODY WITH THICK, TOUGH CALLOUSES, LIKE THE HEEL, THE BALL-JOINT OF THE BIG TOE, OR, WELL YEAH, THAT’S ABOUT IT. And you know, just rub the pumice stone on the callous. It’s not rocket science (although, it occurs to me now, that maybe it is, and I’m just ignorant of the highly complicated process of pumice stone operation. Maybe I should do a Google search!).

So, to sum up, this is a bad idea, even for body hair removal [Note: this statement is not backed by any peer-reviewed studies]:

You want to do that to remove all your HIDEOUS BODY HAIR? Fine. Go for it. But we all know this body-hair removing use of pumice stones was started by pumice stone companies looking to have a new way to market their callous-removing tool.

To be safe, reserve the pumice stone for officially sanctioned (by the Pumice Stone Society of America) pumice stone activities. You don’t want to denude the top layer of your skin in some weird effort to rid yourself of body hair. Accept it! You’re a mammal. A beautiful animal that grew hair for a billion biological reasons, and mother nature doesn’t make mistakes (except for when she does, like accidentally).

If you really want to get rid of your arm hair (and stuff), consider a safer alternative, like burning it off with a curling iron, ah! Wait!

New use of curling irons!

Just a second . . . I’ve got Revlon on the phone now . . .

Mixing Pregnancy and Writing a Book? Can It Work?

Answer: for me, no.

I’ve been trying to work out a plot for Feed 2. Or Feed 2.0

Feed, an Addendum.

Feed, the Followup.


Also working on a name. Because Feed 2 is lame. Suggestions welcome.

The problem is that I’m to the point in this pregnancy where I can’t sit comfortably. I’m worse than Jabba the Hut right now, as in, I have to sit at an angle in a normal chair just so I’m not crunching my stomach up into my esophagus.

jabba the hut
This is how I look when sitting. Notice the huge bulge just beneath Jabba’s fat rolls. We’re like twins. Our bellies even match colorwise. I feel like I’ve made this joke before, but I never tire of it.

Here’s something you never think about until you experience pregnancy yourself — the huge bulge in your torso is NOT flexible . . . you know, like how fat is? So pregnant women are not obese. Fat moves around and changes shape like some kind of amazing product that hasn’t been invented yet, but if it were, it would totally revolutionize important things like couches and beds and bird’s nests and whatnot.

If you need to bend over to pick up a toy car that you just stepped on because you didn’t see it (limited visibility due to huge stomach) or to clean up cat vomit or whatever totally normal items you often have to pick up off the carpet, your belly shifts all your internal organs up into your chestal region, where you nearly 1) stop your heart; 2) break your rib cage; 3) annihilate your lungs; 4) burn your esophagus with the heat of ten suns that comes from your natural stomach acid. Normally stomach acid is an awesome thing because it aids in digestion and other life-saving techniques known only to wise medical doctors, shamans, and nutritionists. The usual.

But right now, I curse stomach acid with the strength of one hundred ripped gladiators from the Roman gladiator era. They can raise their swords to my stomach acid right now, and I really wish they would. Currently, I sound like a smoker in both my husky, dry voice and persistent cough. People love thinking that a very pregnant woman is a smoker. You should see the glares I get . . .

But hey! The cough comes from kicks from the baby and the shortness of breath and raspy voice come from stomach acid spurting up into my throat.

Where was I going with this? I got off on a whining tangent….

Oh yeah. I can hardly be expected to sit and plot out a book. I’m trying. But my thoughts persistently wander forward in time to the joy I’ll feel the day the baby is healthy and on the outside of me.

How can I think about things like, “What would be really awesome? I mean, as this chapter ends, what would be freaking thrilling to read next, if I were a reader? A sudden betrayal! A knife in the back! A twist! That would rock!” Thoughts like those are interrupted by a baby foot in my rib. Yeah, who could have ever conceived of propagating the race like this?! Babies in bodies!! I mean, why not do it the way kangaroos do it? That would be so much easier!

But no. It’s like nature felt that the best way to further the species would be to torture women for almost a year. I hate you nature…

I have moments where I can really visualize the story, but I’m not usually in a position where I can write it out. It’s usually when I’m driving in a daze or showering or laying in bed, unable to sleep (and move), and therefore not in a literal position to get it out on paper, so to speak. Moving quickly is not one of the strengths of an extremely pregnant woman.

Damn. But I doubt this is even a REAL pregnant woman.

I know it’s weird that I can manage a blog post here and there and music reviews this pregnant, but they don’t require a marathon of daydreaming, or whatever you want to label plotting. Writing a book is more like that and less of a jaunt into someone else’s artistic work and what makes it good.

The worst case scenario will be that I have the baby and don’t care to write books, like, ever again.


And why did I even imagine it for a second? Total idiot, here.

Breathe. Breathe.

It’s fine. It’s fine. That won’t happen.

I’m soooooo not superstitious. This is all going to be OK.

Who here thinks “400 Lux” is a better song that “Royals”? Raise your hand! Yeah!

And Beck’s “Heart is a Drum”! Total save. Everything’s going to be OK. Yeah. Really OK. Follow the drum, dude.

June Baby

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, I’ll tell you. I’ve been off being a hero. No, a saint. A real unselfish creature.

Except all the times when I’m grumpy and ornery and selfish…

Anyway, sometime in June, we’re expecting a new arrival. Oh man. I sound like some kind of 1950s ad, avoiding the insinuation that I had sex and am, *gasp* pregnant!

But really, yeah, a baby. A baby girl. So as some people might understand, pregnancy is no leisurely stroll through the park. It’s total misery. For me anyway, which is why I’m a saint. Because EVERY woman who goes through pregnancy is a saint. I honestly have no idea how some ladies do this four or five times.

And I’d like to punch those ladies who have easy pregnancies. What’s the deal with that? Some weird fluke of evolution? Because I’ll tell you, it’s not like that for me. No. During the first trimester I basically want to kill myself. I can barely eat. Everything stinks. I get a little crazy and I hate everyone.

Second trimester is a bit better, but still a nightmare because clothes don’t fit and I start to look like a swollen beast. And I’m still moody.

Third trimester I want to kill myself again. By this time, I haven’t felt like myself for ALMOST A YEAR. I want to punch my husband half the time and there are moments when if he comes NEAR me at all, I might claw his face off. Especially if he’s eaten something like garlic recently. And I take that personally, usually. Because he KNOWS things smell stronger than normal and there he goes engaging in some type of passive aggressive war where he eats garlic! Why!? (Not rational, I know. Pregnancy-induced irrationality, that’s my excuse).

During the entire pregnancy I have extreme ligament pain (WTF? Seriously. It’s like I pulled a muscle in my groin the entire time!) and that dysgeusia thing where there’s constantly a bad taste in my mouth–metal or something worse depending on what I’ve eaten (cardboard, if I ate some Cheerios because I crave them constantly). That’s a real fun one. Imagine, if you will and you’ve never been pregnant, not being able to eat certain things because of bad aftertastes. Murder. Pure murder.

Yes. I know. First world problem. I should just be thankful I’m not forced to boil grass for nutrients. That sounds kind of good right now. Boiled grass. Or just grass chopped up with some olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. I could go for that right now. Throw in maybe a couple of grape tomatoes and chopped avocado and you’ve got yourself a stew (salad, but I couldn’t resist the Carl Weathers reference).

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 9.09.19 PM

So. That’s why I call myself a hero and a saint. Because I was stupid enough to think that pregnancy once more was a good idea. Sure, sure. The minute I see the baby, I’ll think it was all worth it. But right now, my life has been on hold since the first second I got sick during the first trimester.

I haven’t been able to focus, let alone write. In fact, I suspended sales of Boat Made of Bone because I got so slammed by reviewers that I figure it must suck ass. But can I tell? No. Because my brain is scrambled by pregnancy hormones. So thank you, pregnancy.

And yes, it’s harder than crap to not feel immense amounts of pressure to perform. I watch other indie-writers shooting up the charts and developing their followings and whatnot and I cringe in frustration. I can barely manage to deal with being the size of a lopsided whale AND taking care of my almost-3-year-old, let alone sit in a chair (ligament pain!) and brainstorm the plot to a super interesting book where robots evolve into guardians of the humans against swarms of zombies. I hate that book already. I hate zombies. And robots would never deserve to be mere guardians of humans. I’m not going to write it.

That’s what I mean! I can’t plot while pregnant. It’s impossible. Because the only thing that matters is getting through this shit-time. Once I have my body back…hold on world. Just you hold on. I will rain blood and destruction down upon your heads and the heads of your children.

Wait. That sounded like a curse…

What I really mean is that I’ll be myself again. I’ll be able to eat. I’ll be able to move. I’ll be able to get out of a sitting or laying position without my pelvic floor being crushed into the equivalent of a fine-grain salt, and then I’ll be able to sleep and my husband will smell good to me again and patience will be restored and when my son does something ridiculous like throwing a roll of toilet paper into the toilet, I’ll be able to laugh (inwardly) and move on. Kids! I’ll say. Aren’t they cute?

Right now things aren’t super cute. Because it’s usually a major mess that I can barely bend over to clean up.

Crap. I hate being pregnant.

But still. My son is totally adorable. I just wish I could ENJOY it a tad more.

Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone. Feel free to suggest girl names in the comments. I’m really struggling with names. I’m the worst at picking names.


p.s. Once the babe is born, I’ll launch full speed into Feed 2. That is, if the plot I’ve come up with isn’t total crap. I won’t know till I’m not pregnant any more.

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