Mistakes I made so you don’t have to

OK, so, my first mistake was not the decision to go back to my Air BnB and rest up before the GRL evening program. That was an entirely logical and sound decision involving wise and judicious boundary-setting.

No, my first mistake was, having gone home, deciding that to relax I would eat – alone – a single-serve pot cookie, recommended by the dispensary as a gentle option for newbies who haven’t touched marijuana since 1991.

My second mistake was thinking, only an hour later, the cookie wasn’t working.

My third mistake was eating the single-serve THC chocolate.

My fourth mistake, and this, I think, was the critical one, was the brainstorm that – having ingested multiple THC-laden products – what would really relax me was a two-mile walk around a strange city. Again, alone.

The gravity of my compounding errors appeared one mile out when the time dilation set in. I’m not sure if the paranoia or the deja vu came next: both came before sensory distortions.

It took either five minutes, or around eight Martian years, to go from walking on a pavement beside a busy road, to traversing a black-sand beach atop ragged white cliffs, at the bottom of which ran a buzzing ribbon of expressway traffic. By the time I was 0.8 miles from home the small part of my brain that was not currently walking in an alternative reality – yellow, in the key of peppermint, and flavored with disquiet – remembered there’s a bloody good reason why I didn’t smoke pot for the last 26 years. Being utterly unable to restrain my mind from wandering really freaks me the fuck out.

Having floated home I curled up helplessly on the bed as my synapses buggered off to the playground beyond objective reality.

For five hours.

It was not fun.

The takeaway: when in Denver, imbibe with friends, single-serve means single serve, park yourself somewhere safe, and skip the aerobic exercise.

Oh, and I have two pot cookies available.

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Did you know I wrote manties?

M. Caspian stories are kind of dark. And no one wants to read, or write, dark 100% of the time. So one of my other pen names is A.L. Anderson. I have two books out under this name right now, but I have more planned for next year. These are traditional sugary sweet m/m romances with HEAs all round, and absolutely no one gets eaten alive by ants.

Grosgrain & Taffeta features manties and corsets. Originally it was going to be a series, and it still might, but I have a shit-ton of other stuff to finish first.

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Cats Have Staff is a short lunch-break read, with—to state the obvious—a cat.

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Going forward I’m going to link books by both author names on separate pages on this blog.

The last thirteen months have been really good for me, personally. Not having a full-time day job has definite down sides—like the lack of money—but I’ve been able to stop feeling like a fractured person. I’ve had a lot of family stress to cope with, but even so, I’m visibly healthier, and happier, and my blood pressure stopped completely freaking my doctor out. Moving to my new house in November will continue this journey into a whole life: simpler, and cheaper, but more meaningful and authentic. And as part of this I don’t want to fracture my writing self anymore either. Sometimes I want to write dark, and sometimes I just want the cute boy to end up with the other cute boy. They’re both me. Maybe you’ll like these books too.

 

 

 

 

Wish me luck

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Pasture against snow: The Tararua range from the Wairarapa, by Virginia McMillan via Wikimedia, used under a Creative Commons Licence

I’m supposed to be flying south tomorrow to look at some houses. And I say “supposed to be” because this has been the news headline all day:

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Also:

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The strongest winter storm in years has just blown in. I’m going to the North island, not the South island, but snow is anticipated as far north as the Tararuas. Spoiler: exactly where I’m headed.

So I could be waiting at the airport all day, or heading back home before I’ve even started. I’m packing paperbacks so I don’t have to worry about a depleting battery. Cross your fingers for me.

The insidious nature of clutter

In my head I’m pretty good at managing clutter. When my grandfather died I had to clear out a lifetime of his belongings, including heavy suitcases of grade school exercise books dating back to 1926. So yeah, compared to my grandfather I am good at managing clutter.

But now I have had to clear the house in order to sell it I have to face I do not have my shit together.

I received a Lamy LX pen for Xmas. It came in a lovely presentation case. I still have the case in the top drawer of my desk. I do not store my pen in the case. The pen lives on my desk and I use it every day. The case is the very definition of redundant.

 

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Everyone has one of these drawers, right? Right?

Why do I still have it? For some sense of completeness? A fear I will one day want it and find it absent? Why do I have six large rolls of double-sided tape? Why do I own four laptop bags, none of which I use? Why have I saved old planners? Who do I think I will be accused of murdering five years ago, and so will be required to accurately describe my activities and whereabouts on June 14, 2012? I’m hoarding post-it notes like I’m afraid 3M will not only go out of business, but take the technology with them.

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I have packed three cartons of blank journals ready to go to the storage unit that’s costing me $179 a month. There is no shortage of blank journals in the world.

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Important note: I haven’t sewn anything in three years.

Some of it is perfectionism. I’ve told myself I need 15 shades of red sewing thread because if I sewed a garment with the incorrect shade of red then I’d be a pitiable loser who should die in a fire.

But more of it is I’m clinging to a scarcity mindset, rooted in a deep-seated childhood fear of not having something I would be required to produce. And fear of ignorance: of not knowing what I should have. I felt such anxiety at the thought of having to ask to borrow a pen, protractor, or pair of compasses I always made sure I had multiples of everything I would need. I would never risk the chance of having to talk to someone and be rejected. I didn’t have friends at school, and I’ve put that down to my social awkwardness. But it’s likely it also stemmed from my belief that to need help, support, or, in fact, other people at all, was a symptom of being ill-prepared and weak. I wonder if I might have been so desperate to prove my utter independence I never left room for anyone to offer mutual, supportive interdependence.

I live in a prosperous, happy country. I have enough. I do not need to cling to objects through fear.

 

Fuck you, Goldman Sachs

With the kind of impeccable timing I usually have, today as I prepare to list my Auckland home for sale, Goldman Sachs announced the Auckland housing market has a 40% chance of crashing, literally immediately softening house sales and freaking out our stock market.

Well, screw you, Goldman Sachs. I’m going to get a good price for my place from buyers who love it, and everything’s going to work out fine.

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