tarotgal's Journal

tarotgal
Date: 2020-03-23 21:53
Subject: No April Fic Meme
Security: Public

I'm not going to be hosting my usual April comment fic meme. I just haven't been in the right mental space for writing, especially not sickfics. I'll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo (which may or may not have been rebranded as #StayHomeWriMo?), but I'll be editing my Strokes stories that I wrote in November.

Sorry if people were really hoping for my meme, but it's been getting fewer and fewer participants each year, so I figure it was time to let it go. I'm taking this as a sign.

Plus, I still have holiday giftfics to write. I have a lot of guilt about those unfinished stories. I can't promise new fics without finishing those up first.

This entry was originally posted at https://tarotgal.dreamwidth.org/1132784.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-03-23 21:47
Subject: Today, I'm Doing All Right
Security: Public

I'm participating in Small Things Con 2020 from the Harry Potter Alliance. Tonight's video stream has been so reassuring. I have been watching Queer Eye, and keep thinking "Why are you standing so close together?" or "You just went to a grocery store. Why aren't you sanitizing your hands?" and other such things, and several people on the chat have said the same about shows they've watched. It's weird conditioning, but I feel validated.

I spent 2 hours today going to 4 different grocery stores to find the prescriptions and groceries my elderly parents requested. I was successful, and my parents both insisted I didn't need to do that. But it makes me feel helpful and good to be able to do something for them. I can't hug them or get within 6 feet of them, but at least I can find my dad the water flavor he wanted!

Saturday my HP group hosted a virtual viewing of the first Harry Potter movie. It was lovely hanging out with my friends online and enjoying the magic of the movie again. I also finished watching a show that counted toward finishing one of my 101 Things in 1001 Days.

Sunday I spent the whole day deep cleaning with my new routine. I tried something new with my bathtub, and it looks INCREDIBLE. I'm so proud. I also finished another show that counts toward finishing another of my 101 Things in 1001 Days.

Today I worked for a few hours, but our morning all staff meeting was cancelled. So I decided to finally take one of my three comp days off. I'm pretty burned out and exhausted, so I needed to take one of my days off. I put together the LEGO Doctor Who set I bought years ago and reorganized my entire LEGO display cabinet, which is something I've wanted to do for more than a year now. I'm THRILLED with how it turned out. And it was so much fun to just play for a little while. A good break from anxiety. My church had its first online service yesterday, and the rev's sermon was about the importance of play. So I was glad to get to relax and play a lot today. I watched a lot of another show and only have an episode and a half of it left before I can count it for one of my 101 Things in 1001 Days goals. Woot!

I've stepped up my daily workouts a bit, which I feel good about. They're good stress relievers, and they tire me out so that my anxiety doesn't keep me up late at night. Although the last few nights I've had work dreams (last night in my dream, I redesigned the entire website).

I also bought a brand new blanket. It's a plush buffalo plaid blanket I've wanted for a while, and it was on clearance. It finally got out of my holding area and got washed yesterday. SO soft and cozy. No regrets.

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-03-13 19:22
Subject: Feeling Slightly More In Control
Security: Public

I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store today and four giant black crows came and sat on the cart return in front of me, staring right at me. Felt like I was in The Stand. Happy Friday the 13th! Seriously. Not cool, crows. NOT APPRECIATED.

Thanks for your kind words, flist! *HUGS* I'm entirely symptom free (though that hasn't stopped me from taking my temperature every day, just in case).

After some prodding, my workplace finally got a policy in place today. I went into the office to unlock a computer for a coworker who doesn't have a laptop, so he can take it home to do his work. I reached out to all our other employees without company-issued laptops and walked them through installing the software or whatever they needed on their personal machines so they could telework. Our office will essentially be closed for 2 weeks, though I might drive up next week to pick up personal items from the shipment after they arrive on Tuesday. We'll see where things are by then. I've got another 4 hours of work to do tonight, because I just spent half my day driving to another state and back again. Sigh.

I've spent WAY TOO MUCH MONEY on groceries this week, but buying things is making me feel reassured and safer. I now have extra bottles of all my medications, some canned goods, extra personal hygene products, etc. This weekend I plan to put together a comprehensive spreadsheet plan to cycle through items that will be placed in my emergency boxes going forward. So as I start to run out of toothpaste at my sink, for example, I'll buy a new one and then put that new one in the emergency box while taking out the one that was in the emergency box to use at my sink. So I won't have items in the box going bad (which was the problem with the boxes of granola bars, etc. that were in there originally). Everything expires at a different rate, and I also use different items more or less frequently, so I'll need a spreadsheet to keep track of it all and not waste anything.

I've also set up a staging area by my door where all incoming items from the outside are to be kept such as mail, packages, shoes, purse, jacket, and all non-perishable purchases. They will remain there for at least a day (so far, things have been there for 3-4 days before I go near them, because I'm that level of paranoid right now, apart from my laundry items, which go straight into the washer). I purel or wash hands immediately after leaving them in the designated area. Sometimes I disinfect them when they come out of the staging area, just in case (depending on the item; my jacket has never been cleaner! LOL).

Today I had 100% success using my elbow on touchpads at the grocery store (practice makes perfect!) and also devised a method of carrying extra tote bags in the grocery store so I can shift items from the self checkout from one bag to another, ensuring that: I don't have to touch a cart (I was wasting valuable wipes wiping down shopping carts when stores were out of the wipes they normally provide), I don't have to put the items onto the counter, and I don't have to use a hand scanner device. It was my first time using the method, and there were a few bumps to work out with the distribution of heavy items/perishable or non perishable items in their own bags to make it easier to sort them into the staging area or disinfect them when they enter my house. But I think I've stumbled upon a method that mostly works, assuming my future shopping trips will just be for regular, sustaining food.

I ordered some regular cleaning supplies the other day for just every day cleaning so that I don't have to waste my precious antibacterial cleaners on my routine, every day counter and bathroom cleanings. Until now, I've been having to decide if a mess is big enough to clean or just to wipe away with water, and that makes me feel less clean overall. I also REALLY get into my nighttime and Sunday morning cleaning routines that I've been doing for months now, and I really want to keep both of those up to maintain my routine/sanity. I just don't want to waste the really good cleaning products on thngs that probably don't need to be disinfected that often. I'll have to figure out what a good timeframe for those should be, as far as disinfecting goes. I also have to start figuring out a more consistent routine for wiping down doorknobs, phones, keyboards, and computer mice. I wash my hands before touching any of these things and after touching them as well, but I still feel I need to start considering a routine for them rather than my normal "I'll clean them when it pops into my mind to clean them" which is how I operate normally.

Was thrilled to find that my gas station has installed purel stations, so even though I used paper towels to touch the pump handle and touch screen interface, I still took advantage. I'm going to use the free purel 100% of the time, whether I need it or not. That's where I live now.

Yesterday, I went to the allergist for shots. I was there for 40 minutes total and used Purel 4 times. THERE WERE JUST SO MANY DOORKNOBS, DAMN IT! My current Purel buddy on my purse is a sloth with a unicorn horn lounging on a rainbow. I have no idea why this exists, but I love it so much. (I also have one that's a unicorn in a spacesuit and an owl with a bow on its ear).

So far, the only news I've gotten about the coronavirus that has not made me feel panicked (including ones friends have sent, claiming that they're panic-free) has been the Harry Potter Alliance's email blast yesterday. They managed to reassure me, validate my feelings, and make me laugh all in one email. The HPA is truly magical!!!! Anyway, one AMAZING PERSON has put together a series of Wizard Rock songs of 20 second sections (i.e. sing from this line to this line) to wash one's hands to. This has improved my mental health more than anything else, I think. Yesterday, I washed my hands each time to The Whomping Willow's "House of Awesome" and today I washed my hands each time to Draco & the Malfoys' "99 Death Eaters." I'm planning to choose a different song each day. (Tomorrow, I think it's going to be "Charlie Weasley" by Tonks & the Aurors). This list has been such a game changer for me in improving both my mood and ensuring that I'm not rushing through the alphabet song (I've been singing the alphabet song while washing hands for YEARS now, and sometimes I have to sing it twice, because I'm not sure if I've gone too fast or not or if I'm supposed to sing the bit at the end. It's confusing. So WRock it is! I know that by heart, including the pacing, because I usually dance to it). https://twitter.com/nucinkislaura/status/1235735008851251202

I do plan this weekend to write up some simple "If I'm found dead, I've got 2 cats and here's who to contact" sheet to post on the inside of my front door. I have been meaning to do that for a year or so now, because I live alone and I read a book where the person whose job it is to track down that information for dead single people recommended this, and I'm thinking now is a good time to finally do it. I want to put something like "I've got a fire safe where all my important documents and passwords live" but if someone breaks into my house, I don't want them to know where those are. So I'll just have to tell everyone on my emergency contact list and hope at least one person on the A-survives the apocalypse and B-remembers and C- actually cares.

Anyway, I'm taking it day by day. Yesterday, I broke down in tears on a conference call. Today, I feel good. I feel like the situation is definitely getting worse (yet another 2 instances in my county were announced at noon), but I feel slightly more in control of the things I can actually control. And that's BIG for my mental health. I will not mention how many times I've considered various ways of committing suicide these past few weeks, because it's too many to count, honestly. But I'm taking it one day at a time and doing what I can to keep myself and my family safe. I dropped off groceries at my parents' place today, keeping a good distance between us (probably more like 4 feet than the recommended 6 feet, though) and suggested the staging area to them for anything that comes into the house that is nonperishable and not immediately needed.

One day at a time. I'm not Christian... so this is slightly edited... but it keeps popping into my mind today:

[G]rant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


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tarotgal
Date: 2020-03-11 17:44
Subject: Checking In! I Haven't Forgotten You!
Security: Public

Because our conference was last week, and we were given many assurances, we went ahead with the conference for work (though I boarded a plane not knowing if it would happen or not). The conference started out HORRIBLE, which pretty much everyone on staff bursting into tears at random times on Tuesday. And there were a lot of cancellations and some pretty big problems. But all our attendees who came have said it was the best one they'd been to ever (and we've had conferences for 47 years now).

While there, I was as cautious as possible, washing hands frequently, using purel after I touched pretty much anything, wiping everything from armrests to my credit card, even eating all my food with utensils (even when that made them hard to eat). I was as safe as I could be out in the world. But I'm still skipping poetry group tonight, because the group consists of me and a bunch of seniors, and I couldn't live with myself if somehow I got them sick.

All this coronavirus stuff has me:
A- Worried and panicked
B- Realizing how incredibly unprepared I am for an emergency situation (I've got an emergency box, but it's not got nearly enough stuff in it that I realize it should have)
C- A little freaked out at how hard it is to get wipes, purel, soap, etc. (This is exactly how all the apocalyptic stories start out--with shortages and people not taking things too seriously) I want to use the ones I have, but now I'm worried I should be hoarding them instead, which is making me paranoid and mad at myself for my feels.
D- REALLY worried about my parents, who are both 74
E- Wishing I hadn't splurged on the most expensive seats at a concert in June
F- Sad and disappointed about things being cancelled (I'm missing out on meeting Mackenzi Lee on Saturday), though I totally understand why and think calling events off is the right thing to do
G- Pissed off at various governments, especially my own
H- Feeling awful about how incredibly shitty things are for people who have it much worse than I do

I keep bouncing back and forth between "there's nothing else I can do. If I get it, I get it" and "OMG LET ME WASH MY LAUNDRY TWICE JUST IN CASE!!!" I know I should just be using common sense. Don't touch my face. Don't hang out with sick people, etc. But I've got a doctor's visit tomorrow (allergy shots) and another next week (annual wellness exam). And I don't really want to be around anyone sick just in case.

I've done a lot of (probably unnecessary but maybe slightly justified) freaking out.

This is all to say that my mental state lately has been up in the air. Even without the damn virus, the conference takes a lot out of me every year (working 50-90 hour weeks for a month) and I'm utterly exhausted physically and mentally. So I apologize for letting a lot of fun things slip, like the RPG and giftfics. I've finished 1.999 of the remaining 4 stories, though writing sickfics makes me a little uneasy right now. See above letters A through H. So I've been slower than normal with my writing. I'm so sorry about that. The unfinished stories are weighing upon me, and I really want to get them done for both our sakes! Please know I haven't forgotten you or given up! It's just been difficult finding time and mental energy to write.

And, yet, on Sunday I was sitting in the airport during my layover, eating a bagel sandwich without touching it with my hands, and I heard someone waaaaay across the room sneeze. And even though I'm incredibly freaked out, I looked up to see who it was and he sneezed again just as I set eyes on him and it still did things to me because it was a damn beautiful pair of sneezes. I am so weird. I make zero sense!

Anyway, just wanted to say I'm still alive. Dealing with a lot at work and internally, but alive. And I promise I'll finish these dang fics soon! Sorry again.

I'm off to do a new kickboxing workout to hopefully work through some of these feels in a more productive way.

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-02-02 10:45
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 8
Security: Public



Title: Day 8
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Riverdale
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Jughead/Archie
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: After a falling out, Archie attempts to repair relations with Jughead. Jughead's cold changes his approach.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for Anonymous

I didn't have any specific spot in canon in mind while writing this, so feel free to place it wherever you like. I had intended to write Bughead, but this came out instead. I just really needed Archie snuggles in my life right now, and it felt like Jughead did, too. I hope that you like it!

Day 8 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-01-28 17:49
Subject: "Life's Gonna Suck When You Grow Up"
Security: Public

I took news of the suicide of Stan Kirsh, one of the main Highlander actors, really hard. For a while in my life, Highlander was the only thing keeping me from suicide, so it brought back a lot of emotions I wasn't expecting to face on top of just being utterly sad that part of the Highlander family was no longer with us. I've been planning a rewatch and have a feeling that it's going to be a little harder to get through a certain episode of season 2 and especially a certain episode of season 5. But I am very glad that his acting and all he brought to the character will live on in his art. It's a kind of immortality, and it's a kind of magic.

I had friends over one weekend for a Fantastic Beasts marathon, so I had to take a day and a half off work to clean my house. It was great having people over, and I think they had a good time apart from the streaming service crapping out on us halfway through the second movie. Did not appreciate that one bit. We had to switch to DVD, which wasn't ideal, because it didn't have the extended version.

I had other friends over a week later (requiring only a half day of cleaning, or so). We had a low key get together where everyone works on their projects and chats. It was lovely to catch up with them all. I sewed up two plushies that needed repairs and got the rest of my bullet journal layouts for the first half of the year done, including new cleaning charts.

My goal is to keep my house as clean as possible. I even have a cleaning TETRIS game going on one page. So far so good. I feel very proud of myself.

Earlier in the month, I lost a crown and when I went to get it put back on, I learned that I was probably going to have to get the tooth pulled. It took me about a week to come to terms with that (and to figure out how the hell I was going to pay the bill for it =$4,000). But I made an appointment for February 13 like an ADULT. I actually made a special ADULTING bullet journal page to encourage me to do this stuff that I have trouble with emotionally (like picking up the telephone and making a call). Last Tuesday, my tooth started hurting. Not the one that needs to get pulled--a different one. I went in on Wednesday when I could no longer eat, drink, or breathe in and out through my mouth without horrible pain. Turns out, that tooth was infected and because it already had a root canal and there wasn't muich left, it seemed unlikely they'd be able to get the infection out completely. So they ended up taking that tooth out on the spot. They asked if they could get me anything, and I told them a lottery win so that I'd actually be able to pay them. The first $4,300 was going to be a struggle, but at least I'd figured out a plan. Now I'm in for $8,600 and that's going to be much harder to manage.

The soft food diet post-surgery ruined my digestive system, and that coupled with the strong antibiotics has caused another health problem to flair up. So I'm hurting and miserable everywhere right now, inside and out, and just trying to keep smiling, but I feel absolutely horrible.

Today at work was our monthly birthday celebration, so I had to go in to get that set up. And then we were given some Really Not Good News TM at a meeting. So I'm trying to deal with that emotionally as well on top of feeling like my body's about to self destruct.

The only good news to report on the writing front is that I finished and posted a giftfic on Sunday. And I started a new fic I'm excited about. And I had a friggin' AMAZING weekend (health aside). I completely introverted. I read and wrote and cleaned and got a thing goal done and just relaxed and enjoyed myself. I wish I could have weekends like that all the time, but they are super rare. So I'm trying to hold on to the joy it brought me right now.

Also on another happy note: I bought a Pound Puppy at Target. It was an '80s throwback, and I had a hard time buying just one (there were 4 in the store and I nearly bought them all), but I llove him to death. Pound Puppies was my very first fandom. I'd forgotten how perfectly shaped they are--made specifically for hugging. Definitely what I need right now. Except he's not on my bed right now, because I didn't want to bleed on him after dental surgery (the instructions they sent me home with advised me to put a towel over the pillow; I'm glad I did!).

Anyway, things are rushed, and I feel horrible. So I'm working on giftfics, but they might be a little slow coming. I promise I will get them done around all these dentist (I get the stiches out on Thursday!) and doctor's visits! And my day job. And my new intense cleaning routines (I actually woke up at 6am on a Sunday just so that I could vacuum my entire house and clean three bathrooms before church. Have I mentioned how proud I am of myself? I need to feel in control of something right now, because there's very little that I can be in control of).

Off to my volunteer shift at the library!

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-01-26 14:40
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 7
Security: Public



Title: Day 7
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Sam's got a cold but doesn't want to worry Dean.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for Symphonyflute

I haven't watched the newest episode yet, because I didn't want to accidentally steal any banter from it. And I don't think this easily fits into canon anywhere. But here it is just the same. Not my best work, but I hope that you like it!

Day 7 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-01-12 19:02
Subject: Still Working on Giftfics!
Security: Public

I'm still working on the giftfics. Don't worry, I'm not giving up! I'm just taking a slight pause in-between a few of them. Work and life keep getting in the way of my writing, and I didn't get nearly enough writing done during the holiday break. But they're coming soon!

I'm just running behind on everything these days. And today I'm feeling pretty terrible. Sigh.

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-01-08 23:26
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 6
Security: Public



Title: Day 6
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: DC Universe
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: For Nightwing, Batman being disappointed in him is nothing new.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for Anonymous

I had a hard time getting this one to cooperate with me. I was stuck on it for a long time. But I think the final product came out all right. I hope you like it!

Day 6 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-01-06 21:42
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 5
Security: Public



Title: Day 5
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Horatio Hornblower
Rating: R
Pairing: Horatio/Archie
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Archie has a sneezekink and Horatio is causing him some problems.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for wig-powder

I had some fun writing this one. I hope it's what you wanted and that you like it, @wig-powder!

Day 5 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2020-01-03 17:35
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 4
Security: Public



Title: Day 4
Author: tarotgal
Rating: R
Pairing: Original Characters M/M
Summary: Two hockey players; one shared cold
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for Myownprivatesfc

Sorry I didn't write David & Lucas, but I didn't want to rush their story. And I was feeling sexy hockey players. So I hope you like it!

Day 4 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-12-31 16:11
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 3
Security: Public
Tags:giftfic, holiday gift



Title: Day 3
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Good Omens
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: pre-Aziraphale/Crowley
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Aziraphale's got a cold and a visitor.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for Masking

This was SO much fun to write. I very much hope that you enjoy it, too!

Day 3 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-12-28 17:39
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 2
Security: Public
Tags:giftfic, holiday gift



Title: Day 2
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Marvel
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Bucky's come down sick, and Steve tends to him
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for cowboyguy

This is literally just snuggles and clingy!Bucky. And some breakfast. I hope you like it!

Day 2 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-12-25 12:18
Subject: Holiday Giftfics: Day 1
Security: Public
Tags:giftfic, holiday gift



Title: Day 1
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Sam's allergic to all the things and decides to take a holiday from his meds.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for sexualoddity

My apologies for the roughness. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish this in time! I struggled with parts, so I hope it's all right. Nothing happens except sneezing, but I'm hoping that's enough ;-) Happy holidays!

Day 1 Story

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-11-23 08:24
Subject: 12 Days of Ficlets/Fics Requests
Security: Public

I'm still struggling toward my NaNoWriMo goal, but my project is winding down. Which means I need more to write. So I'm opening up requests for my annual gift-giving project.

So what do you need to do?
Be one of the first 12 to post a reply to this post on my DW journal! Fill out this form with what you'd like--
Fandom(or OC):
Characters and/or Pairings:
Sneezing specifications (which character/characters you want sneezing, illness/allergies, etc.):
Rating/Range of Ratings:
What DO you want to see (be as brief or detailed as you like):
What do you NOT want to see (squicks, pairings, etc.):

Limitations:
It's got to be original character fic or a fandom I'm really familiar with. I can't do really obscure things that require research & extensive source material reviewing because I won't have time for that. I can't do elaborate situations either if I'm writing one for every day. So keep your requests short and sweet (but as specific as you want within that scope). Again, please don't expect brilliance from me :-) If I reply and say I just can't write what you want and I need you to pick something else, you won't lose your "spot." But you should suggest something else within a reasonable period of time so I can get it written.

Fandoms I'll Write:
Any fandom I've written for before is technically fair game, but I can tell you right now I'm going to struggle to write another fic in a couple of those fandoms. And I can assure you that if you request something slashy in one of my major fandoms or OCs I will LOVE you for making it easy on me. Feel free to ask if I know a particular fandom. You can also check out the fandoms mentioned in my tags for fandoms I've written most recently. I've also written some stories with anthro animal characters, so the sort of story you'd read on sneezefurs is on the table, too.

Other Notes:
Because I've been asked this before, I'll answer it here before someone asks again: yes, lurkers are more than welcome to request (you can post with your name or anonymously; I don't mind, that's why I allow anon posting on my journal).

Let the requesting begin!

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-11-12 17:35
Subject: Goodbye! (JK)
Security: Public

I just signed up for Disney+ and Hulu. So far, my only disappointment is that Descendants 3 isn't on there yet. But as I go through browsing, I keep shrieking with delight at all the great shows. I'll be able to binge X-Men: Evolution any time I want! Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck are now at my disposal? So many more Christmas movie options? Plus all the NEW series from Marvel and Star Wars. And now access to Hulu shows like Looking for Alaska and Castle Rock? Seriously, I already don't have time to watch everything I want to watch. Now I'm just screwed. WAY too many good things available. You may never hear from me again! I may fall into a hole binging shows from which I never return!

SQUEEEEEEE!

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-10-10 18:13
Subject: [ORIGINAL FIC] Leveling Up (Anthro, M/M, PG; Commission)
Security: Public

I wrote a commissioned story for Gerplexan and finished it yesterday (posted on Sneezefurs). I thought I'd share it here as well. I'm already thinking of a short, explicit sequel. I'm getting as bad as Alexander McCall Smith, unable to write one-shots. LOL Not really sorry about that, though.

Title: Leveling Up
Pairing: M/M original characters
Rating: PG
Summary: Bryce has a cold and doesn’t want his boyfriend to catch it. His boyfriend has plans of his own, however.
Content: Contagion, mess, anthro (coyote & fox)
Notes: A commission for Gerplexan

Leveling Up )

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-10-02 13:00
Subject: September's Out! On to October!
Security: Public

Well, I made it through alive in constant motion with only one almost-crashing moment last Friday when my headache was bad and I just couldn't deal and had to curl up on couch and make myself be still for just a few hours. I woke up after 2 hours in a complete panic that a coworker might have sent the invoices out while I was asleep and I'd forgotten to update the copy in the description. Luckily, she hadn't, and I made the change in a few minutes and everything was perfectly fine. But that moment of panic was enough to keep me up and get me going again for the rest of the month. Yay for terror & worry that you've done your job wrong and inconvenienced people because of it!

I did a great job on the Hogwarts House Battle Reading Challenge. Ravenclaw was announced as the winning house this morning, but we Hufflepuffs gave it our all! I finished 27 books, completed all 4 weekly challenges, and completed 14 (of 15) classes. Several of the books counted to help me complete a 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge, so it was nice to be able to multi-task a bit there and feel even MORE productive. Plus, I ended up really loving the books, which is an added bonus.

I worked out EVERY DAY in September. Unfortunately, I've been eating some things I shouldn't be (I had to buy scones for last week's reading challenge and couldn't let them go to waste...). So I'm going to have to be better about this. I'm still really proud of another perfect month of workouts. It's not easy for me to do, especially on days when I feel like crap or am super busy, but taking time to help my body is really important. It's the only meat suit I get, so I want to make sure it lasts.

I finished my LEGO goal of cleaning my building space/loft. It took more than 5 sessions of cleaning and organizing, and it's not completely done. But everything is put away and organized so I can easily find it. And I can walk through the room itself, so that's a win in my book!

I also completed my Promptember stories. I wrote & posted one story every single day in September, without failing once! I came close with one that I didn't get posted until about 11:30pm one night. But I'm really proud of the results. Some of the stories are short and not very clever, but I actually think a few of them turned out well. And getting into the habit of writing every day was great. I find story-a-day challenges SO much harder to do than NaNoWriMo, because I can't fall behind. I have to write an entire story from start to finish and post it every single day. With NaNoWriMo, i just write whatever pieces whenever I want to as long as I get 50,000 words by the end of the month. If I can keep up with Promptember 2019, I can DO ANYTHING! November will be a piece of cake!

I forgot to mention in my last post that I'm working on a bunch of raffle baskets at the moment. I made 7 raffle baskets for the convention I went to in August, and I LOVE doing that. One year I gave my family themed baskets for Christmas, even. I'm working on 3 right now for a church fundraising auction. I have finished 2 of them and the third is almost done but has gone from being one box of my favorite books to two boxes. So I'm not sure if I should just buy a bigger box for everything to fit into or mark them as part 1 and 2 (I don't want people to think it's two separate baskets). I've gone to 5 different book sales buying books to put into the baskets, and I thought I was done on Saturday, but I just thought of 2 other books I should really add, though there's no space for them. So we'll see. It's still something like 30 books and a bunch of other things book-lovers might like (mug, tea, hot chocolate, bookmarks, blanket, book page holder, etc.). I'm working on 5 raffle baskets for the local NaNoWriMo kickoff party as well. I'm having fun with them, though I don't have a lot of table space to store them as the other raffle baskets have taken up my whole table. Unfortunately, both events are taking place on the same day in October, just an hour apart! So I'll have to drive the NaNo ones over, drop them off, and then head back to the other event. I'll be sad to miss the kickoff party, as that really helps me get in the mood, and there are some friends I only see once a year there, so I love catching up with them.

I'm also going to have to start working on two new projects: a vase of paper flowers I'm making for church for the first weekend of November (in honor of NaNoWriMo) and a pumpkin made out of LEGO with a hollow middle so I can put a scene inside (this is my LEGO goal for the month). The pumpkin is something I've wanted to build for about 8 years now, so I'm excited to finally make it happen. I need to finish it before going on my vacation because the Halloween party is the 19th.

Speaking of vacation... OMG I CAN'T WAIT! I will be headed to Orlando the week of the 14 for 3-4 days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and 1 day at Disney Hollywood Studios (mostly Galaxy's Edge, of course). I am so excited to be back in the wizarding world. I feel so... myself when I'm there and cry every time I have to leave. It's just so... I don't know. It just goes right to my soul. And I'm super thrilled to get to just BE in the Star Wars universe, walking around, emersed in it all. I have a traveling buddy (who has the same name as I do and who is also a Hufflepuff) so it will be the first vacation I've had with someone else in YEARS. I'm so used to doing whatever I want whenever I want to do it. So this will be much different. But I'm sure we'll have lots of fun.

The day after I get back from my trip is my Harry Potter group's Halloween party, so I have to have all my decorations packed and games created and costume and pumpkin put together before I leave for Florida. The day after that is a BookCrossing meetup, so I have to have all my books gathered and registered before I leave for Florida. And the following weekend is when all the baskets have to get done! So, yep, I've got a lot to keep me going this month.

And somewhere in here, I have to squeeze in finishing another three 101 Things in 1001 Days goals in order to stay on track.

I continue to struggle with work, but I'm trying to make it a happy place. I have been bringing cookies, popcorn, baked goods, fruit, etc. to make my coworkers happy. I brought a puzzle in this week, and lots of coworkers have been enjoying helping with it and seeing it come together (it's a metaphor/symbol for us coming together). This week I also bought a pack of fake leaves and used them to decorate the office for fall.

I'm struggling bigtime financially right now. I'm much more underwater than I'd like to be, but luckily my electricity bill is again $0 this month, so that is a huge help. And I have about $700 saved up for my vacation (most everything is already paid for, and splitting the hotel room is a big help), so I should be able to enjoy myself when I'm there without worrying about bills. But living paycheck to paycheck really sucks. Things like my cat's $300 medicine keep popping up, though. And dipping into the VERY LITTLE savings I have makes me super nervous. If I could just stick to my unrealistic budget, I would be FINE. But my unrealistic budget is-- surprise, suprise--unrealistic.

I'm looking forward to a good October. I finished a scene to workshop tonight at my writing roundtable group meeting. And I've made good progress on another story I'm writing and hoping to finish this month before NaNoWriMo hits. I'm also looking forward to finally reading Wayward Sons and seeing Rainbow Rowell on October 11 in my town at our book festival! Squee! Oh, and October means it's time for my annual flu shot. So, yeah, it's going to be a busy but FUN month!

*sings* Nonstop.

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tarotgal
Date: 2019-09-19 08:07
Subject: My September, So Far
Security: Public

My month has been about as wonderful and terrible as it could be. I'm barely hanging on at the moment. The only thing keeping me going is momentum. I'm worried that the second I slow down, it's all going to hit and I won't be able to get out of bed. So I'm keeping myself moving, making every second of my day count. It's all I can do right now.

The National Book Festival was utterly fantastic. So glad I went this year.

The Hufflepuff-themed tea was also wonderful. SO MUCH good food. I came home with enough scones to last me for a week and a giant jar of pumpkin honey. It was also such a great feeling to just be in my own common room. I never got that from the Harry Potter books, so it was marvelous to feel it in person. Granted, many of the decorations came from my own home, from throw pillows to Hufflepuff cups. But there was something special about being in a room full of plants and badgers with everything black and white.

I went to a LEGOLAND promo at National Harbor on Labor Day then proceeded to spend 2 hours walking across a bridge and back. Unfortunately, I wasn't dressed for the occasion and got sunburned badly on the back of my neck, got painful blisters, and felt pain in my hips I haven't felt since before my hip surgery. So... I kind of broke myself. It was a strange way to start the month.

This month, I'm doing THREE Challenges:

  • Hogwarts House Battle Reading Challenge- I signed up under Hufflepuff, of course. The idea is to track pages read on a daily basis. There are also weekly instagram/youtube challenges, reading books of specific types that correspond with Hogwarts classes, and reading specific books chosen by the challenge hosts that correspond with our houses. So far I've done an excellent job of accumulating more than 3,000 points. I've finished 16 books and I'm on my way to completing 100% of the class challenges and 100% of the weekly challenges.
  • Promptember 2019- [personal profile] cowboyguy put together a list of prompt words, and I've been writing a short ficlet every day for those. I'm posting them on AO3 and Pillowfort, mostly to just learn how Pillowfort works. I haven't missed a day yet, though it has NOT been easy on days when I don't get home until after 9. There's a wonderful magic in writing every day, though, so that has made me feel really good. And some of the pieces of turned out nicely. Some of the pieces I completely half-assed, but the point is that I wrote and finished a short thing every single day. Makes me feel good and productive!
  • LBAG- One of my LEGO Brickfair friends and I decided that a big problem in our life was that we only build with LEGO right before Brickfair. I have a whole room in my house dedicated to the hobby, and lately I haven't even been unpacking from the convention until 2 or 3 years later. That's problematic. So we created a LEGO Builder Accountability Group where we each set a monthly goal and support each other to achieve it. So far, I have made some progress on mine, which I feel good about. But there's still a ways to go, and I'm running out of September at this rate. LOL

The challenges are helping me put my energy into something achievable that I can control. My workplace right now is spiraling out of control and has given me all the feels lately--from optimistic to terrified. I have given more hugs this month to coworkers than in the last year total. And I've spent time sitting in the stairwell at work sobbing. I even ended up skipping a poetry group meeting this month because I was too much of an emotional rollar coaster that night after work. Next week is a staff retreat, so hopefully that will help build morale and get us moving in some unified direction. Right now we're just lost and working hard to keep our heads above water and make sure the services we give our members is uninterrupted. At least we have each other to rely on in this time, because we aren't legally allowed to talk about any of the details.

I also finally got caught up with 101 Things in 1001 Days goals. I have accomplished two this month, and I'm on track to finish a third by the end of the month. (I need to finish three a month to stay on par, and last month I finished 0, so any buffer I built myself evaporated entirely). And I got mostly (but not completely) caught up in my bullet journal. I still have the convention pages to fill out, and I skipped my health tracker last month and this month, but otherwise, I'm on track again. That's SUCH a good feeling.

So the rest of my month will be spent struggling at work, trying to avoid a complete mental breakdown that I feel nibbling at me, and working hard in my personal time to keep from wallowing in despair.

I'm still working out every day (haven't missed a day yet). I'm still volunteering at the library (which is SO necessary and calming and full of a comforting order). I took Ozma to the vet for her annual yesterday, and I've been spending a lot of time playing with and giving attention to my cats; just enjoying all the moments they choose to spend with me. I have a BookCrossing meetup this weekend and a sneeze fetish RPG next weekend. I'm working on another story in the background (it's a couple pages right now, but I decided yesterday I need to rework part of it before I get any further into it. I also have a Harry Potter meetup group meeting next week on the topic of mental health, which probably couldn't have come at a better time, frankly, as mine is in such a fragile state.

I started a rewatch of Time Trax this week, a show that younger me ADORED. I'm only up to episode 2 of the first season, but I'm so glad I chose now to do a proper rewatch. I needed this in my life. Last night, I took myself to the movies for discount movie night and finalyl saw IT. I LOVED the movie. The jokes at Stephen King's expense were done so well. The ships were strong. The ending was SO MUCH BETTER and ended in what is probably my favorite thing in the world: a clusterhug. That movie was DEFINITELY what I needed last night. I've loved those characters for decades, and to see them get to be heroes on the big screen was so uplifting. Tonight, I'm planning on going to see Yesterday, finally, at another discount movie theater.

And, speaking of yesterday, I took some photos of me for Banned Books Week yesterday. Look at me getting things done ahead of time rather than forgetting and waiting until the last minute! So proud of me. Gotta keep working and moving. Can't stop for an instant. Gotta keep pushing on. Speaking of which, this is my official theme song for the month:



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tarotgal
Date: 2019-09-04 21:57
Subject: [ORIGINAL FIC] A Hundred Different Troys (M/M, M/M/M; R?)
Security: Public

This is the (much shorter, in comparison) sequel to That One Conference. You should most definitely read that one before reading this.

This story doesn't contain any explicit sex (sorry), but there is: adult language, polyamory and a ménage à trois, BDSM subtext, mentions of sexual fetishes/sexual acts, and a character spending some time worrying about scheduling clients and paying bills (if that's not Troy full-on adulting, I really don't know what is). So here we are sticking to the adult board.

I really didn't know what I was in for when I wrote this. In some ways, I feel like it changes a lot of what I thought I knew about Troy when I wrote Training Session. But another part of me is also really thrilled about a whole new cast of characters to potentially play with in the future. At any rate, I'm more nervous to post this than I was to post That One Conference, as this isn't the typical sneezefic story. There's a buttload of texting and Facetiming, but there's definitely a good bit of sneezing as well.

I hope you enjoy it!

A Hundred Different Troys )

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