out of ashes… again.

I’m realizing lately that “former writer”, while one of the easier-to-explain fun facts about myself that come up when trying to explain All Of This to new people, is not somewhere I wanna be.

I used to be nonstop. My brain runs on two settings – “off” and “let’s sprint a marathon”. (In hindsight, this is one of the earlier signs of me being bipolar. Living on extremes is FUN.) And for a while, the marathon setting was winning. When I’m ON, I do things in lengths of time that make no sense to other people. I had days I’d get multiple short stories written. And it’s not just writing – as another example, I read fast, and yesterday I knocked out reading 170 pages in under two hours for my higher-level history class. (“How college is going” is a whole other post / life update, but for now let’s just say I am having an adventure.) This is totally normal for me. If I am sufficiently motivated, I’m unstoppable.

And then I started down a bad-life-choice spiral, and I gave up writing in the midst of an on-and-off relationship that took almost everything I loved. And I thought that was it. No more trying to write, fiction or otherwise. That era was over. Semi-impulsively deciding to do the whole nursing school thing just made that clearer.

But as the dust settles from that shitshow that ate my mid-20s, I’m getting back into all the things again. I’m writing songs again, an outlet that went away even earlier in the spiral. And I’m realizing I miss writing fiction.

It’s been a few years since I’ve tried. My perspective has definitely changed, and I have some more eclectic life experiences to add in now. But I think I’m back. We’ll see what happens now…


on a housekeeping note

Hi y’all. It’s been a while.

This is a PSA that I’m going to be deleting / archiving (I’ve never had to do this on this platform so idk how to do it) a lot of posts from the past four years. Sometimes people aren’t what you think they are, sometimes they change in ways that don’t work, and… I don’t want a public record of the fact that I spent almost four years waiting on a mistake.

I feel like I need to say that I’m doing that because writing about my chaotic love life has been a purpose of this blog for a while, and I want to shift more into different content. Writing occupies a different space in my life now, and I’ve realized that I have different strengths than I used to. I do have interesting life experiences and I do want to process those here more, but also… I do media analysis for fun. I want to get more into that side of writing.

So, yeah. Still here, somehow. Just not posting about the disaster anymore.

what genre tv gets really right about subcultures: the intro post

Like almost everyone else over the past six weeks, I’ve found myself with unexpected time on my hands.

Well, not as much as most people. Work goes on (essential retail is a Fun Time let me just leave it at that) and school went online surprisingly well. But I have found myself with unexpected time to brood about things and take on a few dream projects, and… one of those is a series of blog posts analyzing how a few B-level genre shows I love dearly have handled subculture stuff, as compared to what I grew up around.

This has been something that’s fascinated me for years. I use media to process my life – I’ve been writing fanfic since I was 14, and cosplaying built up out of those roots. There are certain themes and character types that I’m drawn towards, to the point where my close friends can generally bait me into watching new stuff fairly easily. One of those themes is characters (usually but not exclusively women) who survive isolated subcultures, and pleasantly for my interests, that has shown up in a few shows I watched for other reasons. From what I’ve seen, it’s the shows that don’t MEAN to go there that do it better. (Look, I may reach a point of self-loathing in the next few weeks where I hiss my way through Handmaid’s Tale, but we ain’t there yet.) Subculture survival as accidental subplot gets interesting, and I’m thrilled with the examples I’ve found.

I decided to take this on as a project because it’s generally not a reason people recommend TV shows. I have eclectic background and interests, and am also a slight masochist. Analyzing a few things I love, what they get right and what they don’t, is gonna be a fun project for me and might help with the recent wave of deprogramming clusterfuckery I’ve been dealing with. Or make it worse. We’ll see.

Tentative order of events for this series (aka one of these may get moved depending on my motivation / emotional stamina for finishing the show in question):

  • Teen Wolf pt1 – cultural pressures and being raised to Be Better
  • Timeless – honestly sometimes the moment of “oh shit everything I know is a lie” is the hardest part
  • The 100 – “that’s my childhood but in SPACE” and social ineptness
  • Teen Wolf pt2… I don’t actually have a cute title/topic for this one yet because I haven’t gotten to the good parts of that plotline yet, but let’s just say the second character analysis I am doing for something my girlfriend and I refer to as “the dumbass puppy show” is the most FASCINATING one I’ve seen so far because it runs so counter to all the other ones in my project so far.

This may expand depending on what I end up watching over the next few weeks/months/whatever. Goal is to find catharsis, talk about stuff I love, and maybe best-case-scenario make a decent resource list for anyone who might appreciate. It’s a good plan.

But hell, I thought I was gonna pick up embroidery during this time of too much time, so…

hell is closed and all the devils are here

Fun fact of the week – people don’t panic-buy coffee cakes. They don’t do that upon having seen A Singular Snowflake, and apparently they don’t during a pandemic either.

Which is to say, the rest of the world is in chaos but I am having a very normal week and life goes on.

Continue reading “hell is closed and all the devils are here”

a lesson on being upfront with people

The older I get, the harder it is to believe that anyone in my life isn’t trying to hurt me.

This kinda came up yesterday at school. (Sidenote about that, which should probably be its own post but not right now it isn’t – I am doing the nursing-school thing at a small private Catholic university and it is an adventure and I have never been happier.) I’m not totally sure what this one girl in my intro nursing class was hissing about, but the other “older” student in my class (year older than me if it matters) had some insight for this child. “Women are vicious.” She looked at me for confirmation. “Yep, it gets worse as you get older,” I added.

This past summer has been an example of that, a shitshow two years in the making. I realize a passive-aggressive blog post is probably not an ideal way to fling this mess out into the open, but I talked myself through it yesterday and I am 99.9% sure that none of the story I’m about to tell could’ve been changed in any way by me making different choices. Well, maybe one thing might not have been amplified so much, but… we’ll get there. I’ve been angry about this situation for the four months since I found out a few specific details, and I need to get it out of my system, so here goes.

Continue reading “a lesson on being upfront with people”


It’s been a long… month, year, I don’t even know…

I’m in externship now, running around a hospital three days a week. They like me, I think. Almost everyone I’ve worked with has said they’re impressed with my determination to always be doing something. I know I’m trying hard, because I want them to keep me, because I want this career transition thing to be easy and I don’t want to deal with applying for jobs at a point when half my current professional references have fallen apart. But turns out I like drawing blood a lot more than I thought.

I’m learning how to do my job, but I’m also learning so much about myself through this experience.

I watched someone die last week, I’m pretty sure. That was a very new experience for me, still haunting in the worst way. I watched on the edges, unable to get a good view, and I’m not sure what ultimately happened but I feel it in my heart in the worst way. Nothing prepares you for that, the black hole of sideline loss. Things happen. Maybe you get used to it. I don’t know.

I never thought I’d go into anything medical, but this week ish I get to figure out applying for nursing school because I’ve realized I’d be good at it and I want to. Maybe that happens, maybe it doesn’t.

I guess somewhere along the line I became a person I didn’t realize I was, and I ignored that because it didn’t fit what I thought I wanted, and then the cocoon burst a couple weeks ago and suddenly I have to deal with these new complexities. I am more gentle than I thought. I hate watching people in pain. I hate causing pain. I have a very vulnerable heart, and not in the way I thought I did. And strangest of all, none of that is bad anymore.

I spent so long trying to convince myself I was bulletproof. Acting like I was. Pushing some people away, treating others in ways I shouldn’t have. A phase I don’t regret, but I guess a theme here as I attempt to process my life in an internet journal is that I did not stay there. I am choosing to move forward and become human.

I’m realizing how many false fronts I put up, some towards people who don’t see through them as well as they once did. I think there’s a way to embrace this vulnerability thing, but I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing here anymore…

self care for idiot lionesses

I am The Worst at self care as I understand that concept.

I’ve known this for years. I had to quit watching a favorite TV show a couple years ago because I read an analysis post someone did about a particular character’s tendency to deal with their problems by ignoring their own physical (and, to a lesser extent, emotional) needs in favor of GETTING THINGS DONE. I read that – little baby me, age 21 – and saw myself too reflected.

And that was four years ago. It’s only gotten worse since then. Especially in the past few months.

My moment of “oh shit maybe this has become a PROBLEM” happened a couple weeks ago. I was hanging out with one of my favorite people and we were in the midst of one of those long rambling convos we have sometimes, the kind that have no clear direction and cover everything each of us is over a couple hours, and I’m not sure how we got there but I remember saying something to the effect of “as long as I stay in a low-level manic episode, all of this works fine”. I remember VIVIDLY how my friend reacted. The kicked-puppy look. The reaction I’ve gotten only a handful of other times in the few years I’ve known him. The “this is going to end so badly and I’m gonna get stuck dealing with all of the fallout and I love you to death but you’re an idiot” look.

Like, a previous time I got that look from that person was the time I had temporary synesthesia because turns out my body REALLY does not react well to cold-brew coffee. This is not a post about that relationship, but let’s just say the dynamic involves a lot of support and superhuman patience and there have been many times I somehow DIDN’T cross lines, stuff that would’ve bothered anyone else. And only a few times I’ve gotten the kicked-puppy look.

All of this works as long as I stay in a low-level manic episode. Shit.

I don’t know how to not do this. I’m at a point where I’m accomplishing a lot and, for the most part, keeping my mental stuff on a good leash. This isn’t burnout like there have been thousands of articles about recently. I’m not the same type of imminent disaster as most people my age.

And most of it, I’ve done for years. I forget to eat, and when I do I don’t eat well, and at this point I have no idea how I’m still losing weight when my primary intake is sweets, caffeine, and twice-weekly Taco Bell after school. I’m back to not sleeping well and having vivid dreams about unlikely-but-plausible minor bad things – this morning I woke up in a panic because I knew I’d texted someone about a particular situation and I was really worried said someone might’ve been a friend I’m trying not to burden with all my issues right now. It wasn’t, but still.

I’m able to function. I’m able to pretend everything is fine. Because objectively, everything IS fine.

I’m just drowning. And not sure how to fix things, or what to fix, or if anything’s actually wrong.

Idk. If I survive the next month, pretty sure I can survive anything.

and then i decided to live

Getting older // getting my life together is weird.

I don’t write as much as I used to. I haven’t felt the need to dissect my personal life on here like I did a couple years ago, when that was a huge area of deprogramming for me. (There’s still some deprogramming going on in my heart, but I feel like that should be a separate post.) (And on that note, I need to go through and list every post I’ve threatened and then actually DO THEM because wow do I like to write down ideas and forget them.) I don’t write about current events because my perspective isn’t interesting, and I don’t write about other details of my life because… I don’t know, anymore.

2018 was, perhaps, the year I got boring. And the year I realized I was more than I ever dreamed I would be.

For the first time, I don’t feel defined by my backstory. There are people in my life who have NO idea about some of the things that I used to use as armor, and I’m okay with that. I’m not Trauma Girl anymore.

I’m becoming more guarded. More human.

Summer 2017, I lost someone who used to be a very close friend because… the inciting incident was something I don’t feel comfortable discussing, and still an open wound, but the cause was ultimately that our stories didn’t match anymore. That person wanted to stay defined by their scars. I was starting to have hope that I’d learn to cover mine. Apparently that wasn’t okay.

I haven’t let anyone new in since that happened.

I started blogging at some point in 2015 (I think) and at that point was really fascinated by some of the other people I found who were writing about coming of age and surviving homeschool culture and becoming a person. As I’ve gotten older, I feel like I’ve lost that narrative. Like I didn’t do it right, didn’t fuck up loudly enough. It’s the same way I feel during those “not bi enough” moments, but even more of a rejection. These women (for the most part – I can’t remember ever seeing someone who was raised male in that background write about it), who I saw as role models, started drowning in their anger. It became all they were.

I’m realizing I’m not like that. I’m no poster child for anything. I’m nothing special, and that’s okay.

I think a lot about why I love someone in particular, and a lot of my fixation on that person is because they constantly affirm my humanity, both the good and the bad. And for me, that’s powerful. That’s what I want.

I want to live. That’s a key theme in a lot of the stuff I watch, the moment where a particular character realizes they have something worth living for. I’m not sure what that thing is for me yet, but I don’t think it’s the anger I’ve been dealing with for the past few years. I don’t think it’s the bitterness towards a world that never knew what to do with me and people I don’t know anymore. I don’t think it’s negative, whatever it is.

There’s a lot going on. There’s always a lot going on. I won’t list stuff ’cause the list changes so quickly, but there are projects and hopes and so much and I am not at all overwhelmed. I have to ask myself constantly if it’s a manic episode or if it’s real, and the answer I come to most of the time is it is completely real. All of this.

The bad things aren’t gone. I still have scars that aren’t fading as pretty as I wish they would, and my brain is still hostile sometimes. But the volume is lower, and for the first consistent time in my life I really do think I’m turning out okay.

Back when I started blogging, forever ago, I used to include a song that felt mood-appropriate at the end of every post. I’m gonna start doing that again on posts that aren’t just music, because I can and it seems very me. So, to that end:

“Better Place” – Rachel Platten

Not directly topic-relevant, but a lot of this determination is because of another human being… but that’s another post I’m saving for mid-May. And that one, at least, I know is gonna happen as planned.

modern defiant trousseau, take two (and some life updates)

Earlier this year, I wrote about a huge crafty project I was working on. That, um… was deeply tied to a relationship that fell through (the most amicable heartbreak a girl could want but thankfully the red flags were noticed when they were) and thus I deleted the post. The project in question, however, has remained a thing. It’s just a little different now.

I’ve been radio silent on this blog this fall due to my determination to do ALL THE THINGS. Cosplay is eating most of my energy, and trying to gain a decent following on social media is a separate post I should do at some point. (I have a LIST of posts I wanna do and we’ll see if any of them happen.) I’ve been writing less fiction than usual but still some, school is going alright, and work is the usual fabulous trashfire of retail in that part of Ohio and I love it. Sleep is optional. Sanity is optional. I am GETTING SHIT DONE NOW (and likely enjoying the perks of a low-level manic episode – one of the bigger bombshells of this fall has been the creeping realization that my brain stuff has definitely shifted into some delightful form of bipolar and everything makes so much sense in that context).

So, the whole trousseau project and how I’m revamping the intention as a single-ish (look it’s complicated) twentysomething woman who likes big projects and pretty things and is a little bit of a creative masochist at times.

It actually started out six years ago, with the beginnings of the hexipuff blanket from hell. I make simple socks while watching TV or reading stuff online and give them to anyone I know on social media who is getting married or having a kid. Given my circles, that tends to be a LOT of people, and that meant I had a decent amount of sock yarn leftovers very quickly. Enter the beekeeper’s quilt. I stumbled across that on Ravelry and had a brilliant idea – make it, as large as possible, exactly three hexipuffs per pair of socks I make, as a wedding present for my future Person.

Look. I’m a romantic. This entire blog, as much as I try to pretend I’m creating a Legit Professional Presence so anybody who’s inclined to google me after reading one of my stories on an online lit mag finds something a little saner than my cosplay instagram, is me being a ROMANTIC and trying to deal with my emotional calamities. But this project seemed like the perfect way to balance my bubble-girl sensibilities, my ambition, my emotional masochism, and my hope. At the moment, it’s maaaaybe a quarter of the way done – I’m not actually sure, I haven’t pieced it in a while – and steadily in progress.

Then, early this year during the relationship fail (which I will NOT talk about in detail thank you very much), I came up with another idea – I want to make clothes for my hypothetical future domestic life. This coincided with me getting into sewing for cosplay purposes, and yet another crazy project was born.

This one is more… whatever I end up making, at whatever point it gets made, put in a bin for when I need it. I’m gonna be documenting it here on littlest lioness because that means semi-regular content for y’all. There will be knitted and sewn projects, picked to appeal to my aesthetic sensibilities, as I see fit. This version is not FOR anyone, and yet it is absolutely for Someone. I just, y’know, don’t know who they are yet. (I have vague hopeful thoughts that are going to inform a few details, but that’s here nor there.)

The way I see it, if I’m gonna put a lot of my emotional energy into wanting something I currently do not have, I might as well prepare for it. This project is me preparing, and I’m excited for the journey.

monsters and the women who love them

Happy Halloween! I’m taking a break from overkill posts about my personal life (which isn’t even that interesting right now anyways) and FINALLY writing about some of the media I consume. In this case, the titular trope, which has been one of my favorite things as long as I can remember.

I don’t know when that became my weakness. I know I’ve written before about how Beauty & The Beast was the Disney movie I broke the tape of from watching it too much (and I still believe whichever Disney movie a girl watched until the whole household had it memorized does decide her fate a little bit), so maybe that’s it. I have always had a thing for monsters who aren’t really monsters at all, who are that way due to circumstance but are still capable of the deepest humanity, and the mundane human women who see that. Where this actually originated, why it’s something that speaks to me, is irrelevant.

I became more conscious of it when I binge-read the entire Harry Potter series when I was 14. Eleven years ago. Typing that feels weird, like it’s simultaneously been much more and much less time than that. This was the point in my life that it became clear that the above is my TYPE, the thing I will go for if it is present in anything I’m otherwise casually into. This was the point where I saw things I wanted to become in a twentysomething human disaster and her love determined enough to work through obstacles. I think I knew, even then, that that was what I wanted. Didn’t know what I was gonna do with it – still don’t – but there was power.

My preferences ever since then have followed suit.

I could list countless shows I’ve enjoyed because of this theme. The monster doesn’t even need to be non-human – there are a few examples that easily come to mind where it’s merely a man who’s done things a person cannot come back from and then felt guilt crash upon him, and that also counts. The cliché is always male monster and female love interest, but the genders are switched in one of my current things (which is a whole other post that I’ll probably do next time ). I… unfortunately cannot think of any same-gender ships I’ve been into that have that dynamic, and I should add that to my list of stuff to write about because there could be SO MUCH POTENTIAL in something like that. Idk.

I think the reason I adore that dynamic is because I see myself in both sides, but especially in the women strong enough to accept issues and love anyways. I want to do that. I want to be that.

(On an unrelated housekeeping note, publication list is currently WILDLY out of date. I have stuff I need to add. If I haven’t by the next time I post, someone please meow at me, I need motivation.)