The Very Thought of You

Ah, the pre-NaNo panic prep. It’s that time of the year again, and instead of writing yesterday, I slept for fourteen hours instead. Not only that, but I’ve spent most of the year without a real job, and only once it came to October did I find a job. I’ve got such great timing.

It’s good to make money, though, so I can’t really complain. Also, with my work ending at 2130, it gives me time to do NaNo events at night again!

For prep today, this was a post started a while ago but seemed appropriate to finish up now that it’s properly October. I don’t really have a start to this, but it’s (technically) day one of NaNo prep, so I’ll get warmed up and hopefully, it’ll be less awkward over time.
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Game Night

The first quote was perfect. Like actually perfect, given the state of how my Camp vows turned, and how I’ll just barely scrape by the 20K word count I set myself instead of soaring up, up, and away. Okay, so maybe daily posting was ambitious for someone who knows they will struggle and give up completely on week three, but it was worth a try, and it gave me something else to feel totally guilty over.

Actually, I might have accomplished it if it wasn’t for the stupid Pokemon event. Yeah, I’ll just keep telling myself that.

But now the event is officially over, I’ve passed my 20K words, and I can write for fun again! (Okay, not write at all?) At least, until the end of October comes around and I start panicking.

[So this post was pretty hard and impressive to write, since I really wanted the board to be realistic plus it was hard for me to picture it. Thanks to my friends who play more Monopoly than I do (brave souls they are!) for helping me be accurate.]

  • “Oh that. How far behind am I?”
  • “You assume so much about me.”
  • “Why do some people have all the luck?”
  • “Is it my turn again already?”

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Any Little Thing

So the other day, I was hungry and tired and needed to finish my errands before going home. However, I was also in the middle of doing some things with folks for a video game: something really small and stupid happened and I found myself just having a breakdown. It was pretty charming, and I had a moment of wondering, what would my characters do?

Do you have days when the smallest little thing just turns you into an emotional wreck?

Emmy smiled, compassion in her grey gaze. “Often. I get engrossed in my art and spent hours staring at one piece and making adjustments. Sometimes, the only reason I realise how late it gets is when I can’t, for the life of me, make something work and I want to trash the whole project in frustration.”

“It’s not a pretty sight,” her sister added. “Then she looks up, realise that it’s been pretty much the whole day and she’s only eaten whatever she’s stashed by her desk that day, and have to find food.” Laynie coughed. “Or if I manage to swing by in the evening and have to interrupt her, and she’s quite fearsome when first awoken from her zombie-stare.”

“Oh, hush, Laynie. You have no room to talk when three-year-olds make you want to break down at times.”

“Ky can be quite vicious!” Laynie’s protest was half-hearted. She loved her job, loved the Parker children, and loved going where ever the Parker family went when they travelled. The children were like her own, and she could see why the Parkers had wanted a nanny in the first place. Kyrian was three, and Victoria was creeping up to the dreaded twos, and the two of them made quite a fearsome team. “Somehow he and Vic asks some really good questions that I simply don’t have the answers to or truths that I’ve somehow yet to realise but they have and it’s really quite stunning.”

“Oh, so terrifying,” Emmy teased.

“Just wait until you get saddled with Steffi’s kids and you’re perpetually tired and grumpy but have to seem nice and friendly and pleasant to the children,” her sister smirked. “You’ll get it then. At that point, something minuscule, like Vic wanting to pick out her own shoes, and refusing to take no for an answer, taking half an hour, and then deciding on the pair she wears every day, that makes you want to just give up for the day.”

“Are you sure this is the right job for you?” Steffi asked with a smile. “You could come bake all day with me and only see children for the briefest of moments.”

Laynie laughed, shaking her head. “Just because you’re taking full advantage of your current child free situation doesn’t mean I would like to participate. Besides, we all know my strong suit is, and really, just had to be, cooking since Emmy’s idea of food involves freezer meals, take away, us, or in a very rare situation when she remembers beforehand, using a slow cooker.”

“Yeah, between the two of you, you’re one functioning human, and I’m a leech,” Emmy was perfectly fine with her assessment. She probably could cook if she tried, but found very little reason — and often times, time — to. “Maybe a useful leech at times, but mostly just a semi-functioning creature.”

Her comment elicited a giggle from her sisters, but no protest. “Well, I’ve got to say, being around cakes and sweets all day makes it very hard to get super irritable and break down. Just pop in a chocolate morsel and keep going.” Steffi paused, smirking, “maybe cry into a batter or two, the extra liquid might even be fortifying.”

“Oh, yes, totally.” The sisters were super close to each other, and hardly a few days pass without them seeing the other in one way or another. As far as Laynie’s young charges were concerned, Naynee, Deffi, and Em were family. Laynie had been working hard to get at least Kyrian to get the ‘l’ and ‘s’ right on their names, but the boy was stubborn and was fine with calling them what he had been ever since he first formulated their names. At this point, there was no hope for Vic either, who had taken after her brother and was really struggling with the harder consonants.

“Luckily, the occasion is rare enough that I think my customers are safe. You two, less so, but…”

Emmy grinned. “Whatever, we share DNA anyway. What’s a few tears between sisters?”

A Live-In

So this week was Pokemon Go week, in which I spent a good amount of time outside (in the sun!) and walking around and being oh-so-tired when I come back that all I want is a shower (okay, bath, but that’s somehow more effort and a time investment) and to go to bed. This is the latest I’ve stayed up all week, look at me, being such a rebel. Hopefully, now that the event is over, I can go back to being a proper hermit and not really see that many people and be able to write instead of passing out when I get home! (Hopefully!)

I think A Question of Character has sort of died, so Toasted Cheese it is! We’re back to quotes from February of 2016!

  • “I’m not late yet.”
  • “What do you mean, there’s no more coffee?”
  • “Should I worry that you just read my mind?”
  • “I haven’t woken up from the dream yet.”
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    Work, Work

    So this always happens in week three. I start NaNo, week one is a pain in the butt, week two goes well, week three, my muse absolutely dies from the overwork and here I am, with absolutely no muse going into week four. History, however, tells me I’ll power through this week too, and it’ll be fine.

    I didn’t have much of a muse today, but gotta keep trying, right? I actually looked right past this page as I got on the internet today, thinking, ‘no, I’m not ready’.

    But NaNo isn’t about being ready or not. It’s about writing, and every word I write is important. Besides, the topic today made me smile, so here goes nothing!

    Maybe have a bit of a throwback, and have all of my White siblings participate! In case you’re wondering, the Kallax shelving unit gets featured.

    • “It’s taking too f—ing long.”
    • “Perhaps I should have reminded her.”
    • “I don’t need to do that just yet.”
    • “If we try, we can finish by lunchtime.”

    Building IKEA furniture was the make-it-or-break-it point for most couples. In fact, Tom knew of many couples who had made it a point to build at least one semi-complex item together before they got a home, just in case. Jane and Robert White had decided that having their kids assemble to identical bookshelves, the older two on one, the younger two on the second, and with Libby supervising and giving instructions, would be a great way to pass the day. They assembled their children in the living room of their summer manor, given them the necessary boxes and tools, and then promptly swanned off to do who knows what.

    Perhaps they were sadistic. Perhaps it was because the John and Jay had been having a good, ongoing row for the last week. Perhaps they thought it would be a good team building exercise. Or, maybe, perhaps it was simply because they needed new bookcases and happened to have five children they felt obligated to entertain. Whatever the reason, all five of the White siblings were gathered for this one sole purpose of assembling the two five-by-five cubed shelves.

    “It’s taking too effin’ long.”

    “Well, it would take less long of if you actually helped.” John looked up from where he was laying out eight of the small, square boards and putting the short pieces of wooden connectors in the appropriate spots. He hadn’t even waited for Libby to finish reading the instructions before diving in, nor did he need to wait. It seemed easy enough; after all, he had been building and taking apart things almost as long as he could remember. John loved getting his hands dirty and into projects of any sort, and this was definitely the right project for him. He didn’t even mind that his parents had locked them in.

    The second oldest, Will, was hardly one to back away from anything, and, seeing that Libby had yet to tell John he was doing it wrong, started in on the bookcase on his side of the room, connecting the pegs as well. After a moment, the eldest of the White boys, Tom, knelt to assist.

    Libby glanced up from the provided manual. She got the “easy” job — if giving direction to her brothers could be considered easy. At least John had intuition when it came to putting things together. “If we try, we can finish by lunchtime.” She kept looking back and forth between the manual and John’s actions but made no move to stop him. “You’re part of the reason why we’re even here in the first place.”

    “Not the only reason.”

    “And yet John is being productive while someone is not.” John didn’t even bother glancing at his brother this time. It hadn’t really been a row between them, just him being his usual self, glad to have been called back to the Manor, if only for the week, and Jay being his usual self, and all uppity about one thing or another. “If you helped, you might even be able to meet up with Mimi later.”

    Mimi was Jay’s self-styled girlfriend, and the family reckoned she was doing wonders, getting Jay out of the house and away from his studying. Jay had decided ages ago he wanted to be a lawyer; not just any lawyer, but one well versed in international law. His family hadn’t thought it possible for Jay to become more of a hermit, but he proved them wrong and it was only with Mimi or very constant pestering from his siblings that he made it out of the house at all now. “Ah, yes, that certainly is something to look forward to.”

    “Oh, Jay,” Libby smiled at her little brother. “She nice and good for you, and despite your grumbles — and you certainly do grumble a lot, don’t even try to worm out of that,” she added, noting his displeasure at her words. “You do like her.”

    Jay sighed, getting on the floor with John, albeit as far away as possible and still on their side of the room, and made himself in charge of the bag with the pegs, choosing to sort them. He scooted over the small pile of pegs that John had been using, and his brother gave a grunt of thanks. “She is interesting.”

    “And it’s nice to not have to figure out food plans when your girlfriend takes you out for at least one meal a day, and sometimes even drops by with food at lunch,” Will added for his brother. He was very happily married, with a five-month-old daughter at home, and definitely enjoyed the perks of being married — even when his family requested his presence for something like this. There had been more than one reason he dug into this project so quickly.

    Jay was not at all domestic. In fact, if left alone, his idea of food was biscuits and tea, or whatever frozen things he found that “magically appear”. By magically appear, it meant that his sister or mother had stopped by recently with a delivery of meals that all he needed to do was to reheat. In this instance, and mostly just this instance, Jay really appreciated having a family that didn’t understand the words “bugger off”. And he did like Mimi well enough, that was true, and appreciated the company, even if it took him at a bad time some days. Well, most days, really, as Jay always found himself deep into whatever he was studying. “Perhaps I should have reminded her.”

    “That you’d be away? She probably remembers that your family stole you for the day. She cares more about you than you about her, so it’ll definitely be something she keeps in mind when meal times come.” This time, it was Tom, and he looked over at Libby. “So, what’s next?”

    She paused, giving Jay time to refute his brother’s statement. When no such argument came, she gave the smallest of sighs. “Attach the first four to the the thick board with,” Libby stopped to count, “twelve single holes on it, then, with the four long, thin boards, put long pegs at the end of those. Align one of those with the square boards and fit a bottom — the thick board with lots of holes — to make a one-by-five case.”

    Three pairs of eyes turned to her with a very confused stare, while John nodded and searched amongst the one-sided boards with purpose. “This one!” He held up the long one triumphantly and showed the others the meaning of Libby’s statement. Jay held up the thinner board with holes that pierced all the way through, and John shook his head. “I don’t need to do that just yet.”

    It took a bit of work, but once the first one-by-five came together on John and Jay’s side, everything fell into place rather quickly, especially with Libby pointing out mistakes before a peg was too stuck to be moved ever again. There was some talk, yes, but most of it went along the lines of “pass me that one, no, not that one,” or grunts of thanks. In the end, there were two fully-completed bookcases on the floor, and four rather tired, but strangely not terribly grumpy, men.

    Libby smiled proudly at her brothers as she rose and unlocked the door. “Well done.”

    “You mean, you could have let us out anytime?” Jay queried, his eyes narrowing.

    She shrugged, ringing a bell right outside the door. “That wasn’t the point of the exercise.”

    “It’s like our parents don’t trust us or something,” Will mentioned to Tom, who laughed. “You’ve already passed the time for your quarter life crisis, and I’ll probably manage to skip it altogether since I expect Charis to keep me far too busy to even consider it, and yet Libby gets to be in charge.”

    “Don’t you wish you were the only girl?” Libby smirked. Their parents appeared at the door. “Well done, I’m impressed.” Robert looked at the completed bookcases, then at his watch and his children.

    “At least someone is.”

    “Oh, Jay, you should be thankful your brother was so nice to help you assemble your new bookcase for all those books you seem to have acquired in the last few months.” Jane White laughed at the stunned looks on her children’s faces. “And the other one is yours, Will. Naomi mentioned that she needed a way to divide the office and this is the perfect solution, giving you both the illusion of your own space while still sharing a room.”

    “Man, if I’d known it was for Jay, I wouldn’t have worked quite as hard to make it so perfect.” John frowned down at the shelving unit.

    “You live at home,” his mother pointed out. “And would get no use out of this.”

    “Whatever, point still stands.”

    “Thanks, Mum. I’m sure Naomi will love it.” Will eyed their handiwork, imagining it in the large space they had converted into an office at their new home. “I think it’ll do perfectly, actually.”

    “Good. We’ll get these transported over the weekend and you’ll be good to go.” Robert waved his children out of the room with a smile. “Now back to your regularly scheduled lives.”

    John didn’t need to be told twice. “Time to build things for myself… well, the place I’m sort of working for, but it’s getting me paid, so it’s fine.” He was followed by Tom and Will, who were in good spirits and arranging for the next time “Uncle Tom” will be by to see his niece.

    Libby wrapped an arm around Jay’s, pulling him toward her and, by extension, their parents. “See, now you are available for lunch.”

    “I should go back to studying.”

    “Nonsense, she’s waiting in the parlour.”

    “What? I told her-”

    “Miss Kwon arrived ten minutes ago asking after you, and wouldn’t take no for an answer,” his father replied, chuckling. “I like her quite a bit.”

    Jay sighed, making his way for the door. “So I’ve heard.”

    Warning! People!

    I had a very social day, and I think it was a bit too social. At the same time, one of my friends sent me a message saying that he’s a bit over loaded with seeing people, but if he stops to take a personal day, he would get behind. When one day of seeing someone wore me out, the idea of seeing lots of people every day is a bit stressful.

    In that way, I am very much like Kiana. She’s very shy and quiet, even before her mother’s death. That tragedy has only compounded that, and it took years of James and Aimee’s gentle coaxing for her to come out of her shell.

    How much socialising can you stand? Is there a limit?

    “No way.” Aimee sat on the couch with an arm around Kiana. “All day, every day, people would be great.”

    “Yeah, if it wasn’t for me, Aimee would forgo sleep and get her energy from socialising.” Kiana leant against her friend. “I’m the exact opposite, the fewer people the better. I don’t like people that much, and the ones I do like, I like them in a one-on-one setting. It can sometimes a bit much if they end up multiplying, especially if it’s two very extroverted people.”

    “She means me with literally anyone else she doesn’t know super well,” Aimee laughed, turning toward her. “Sorry, you know I need people to thrive.”

    Kiana gave her a pat on the knee. “And you’re the reason I end up having to socialise, besides my job.”

    “Socialising is good for you, Sunshine.” James Kellington smiled fondly over at the girls. He was very glad that his little cousin had found such a good friend and support system. They had bonded over many things, the first and foremost of being two British lasses of similar age in a world of Americans. Fashion, too, bound them, and their love of modelling, although their reasoning behind it varied. He was the reason that Kiana was here in the first place, and a driving factor in starting her modelling career: a fact that he will always be proud of. Aimee was good for her, and the two were two peas in a pod.

    “You always say that, but I happen to think there is nothing better than a quiet day alone with a book and a cuppa.” Kiana held up her cup of black tea with cream but no sugars as proof.

    “My dearest cousin, based solely on the amount of tea you drink, we can accurately pin you as a Brit, even before you’ve even spoken,” James smirked. “Not only that, but you have the awkwardness down, and the politeness… can you be much more stereotypical?”

    Her eyes glittered as she pondered the query. “I’m working on it. I don’t have a love of football, cricket, or sports of any sort, for what it’s worth, nor do I drink, unless it’s tea.”

    “Aaaand we’re back to tea. That was smooth.”

    “She does that!” Aimee shook her head, laughing. “You should come to France with me next time I go! The tea-shops are wonderful and you’d love them and the pastries! Ooof, those pastries make me drool just thinking about them.” Two years of living in France had spoiled Aimee, and it was definitely a place she planned to make many trips to in her lifetime, as well as being a part of her retirement plan.

    “You keep saying that and we haven’t gone yet,” her friend pointed out, taking a sip from her cup.

    “Work’s been good,” she shrugged. “But you’re right. We’ll find some time here soon, hopefully, and take two weeks off. Although… this is actually prime time, right before the proper holiday season starts. Everything really starts to open and be available in April though, so if you’re really serious about it, let’s work on getting out there then.”

    Kiana’s eyes lit up. “Are we really doing this?”

    “Why not? I’ll never turn down a reason to go, and you’ve never been! Showing someone around would be my absolute pleasure. But!” She paused as the thought occurred to her, “both Holly and my mother might kill me if I plan a trip back without telling them and giving them the option to go, so expect to have some company. The good news is, though, our housing plans definitely get an upgrade if Mama decides to come along.”

    Kiana had met all of Aimee’s family the previous Christmas and found herself liking them very much. Holly was much like her little sister and loved to explore, especially with a companion by her side. If there were none available, she would venture out alone and end up making a new friend anyway. The Blackwood matriarch, Brie, was kind and matronly and spent a fair amount of her free time helping at shelters or volunteer work in general. “Oh, what a tragedy. How ever will I bear it?”

    “One day at a time, love.” Aimee laughed. “But first! James! People or no people?”

    “We all chose very social jobs for us to not,” the word was stressed, “like people at all.” James was both a photographer and a businessman, for he had started Kellington Studios six years ago and it had slowly bloomed into a business that could actually be called profitable. As such, he had quite a few dealings with people for business. “I section off my time, though, so I have people for a bit, then don’t and do a bunch of non-people things before seeing them again. A nice mix seems to be the right amount for now, although some days simply can’t be worked out that way, then I’m just so tired by the time I get home.”

    “As a side note, he’s not opposed to giving up his evenings to a girlfriend, if he finds one,” Kiana offered helpfully.

    “While this is true, I’m not certain it’s something you need to be broadcasting.”

    “What, she already knows!”

    “And it’s not like I’m interested,” Aimee added. “Boys just get in the way.”

    “Gee, thanks.” James could pretend hurt feelings all he wanted, but they all knew better. “I do think there is a limit to which I can socialise, and while it’s far closer to Aimee’s than it is to Kia’s, I don’t think that is saying much. You two are at completely different ends of the spectrum, and I can’t think of anyone who feeds off people as much as Aimee does. Even I need my own space at times.”

    “What’s space?” She asked, innocently, as the line of her body touched Kiana’s.


    Shall We Dance?

    Sooo sleepy. Why do I push this off until the last parts of my day?

    Oh, because people are around earlier and I get easily distracted and deadlines are the only thing that keeps my butt in shape at this point. All right, I guess it’s time to swing back over to Izzy, John, and Ryssa and the scene that should practically write itself. Or not.

    Twelve more days, or 6,574 words, whichever comes first. This has been good practice though, I’ll give it that.

    • “Tell me again why that’s wrong?”
    • “This song makes me want to dance!”
    • “This is the job I’ve dreamed of.”

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