Today’s blog is immensely self-centred, because it’s more about ME! ;P Today, my guest interview is with the quirky and expressive Anita Lewis, who asked me to write about becoming a writer, and how my book came into being. It can look a little daunting because I didn’t double-space paragraph breaks correctly….but I promise it’s entertaining and informative.

I discuss learning to write, being a “gifted child”, feminism, Shakespeare, and the downside to life as a “manic pixie dream girl”. If that’s not a mix of topics to interest you, I don’t know what is.

Please stop by and visit, comment, share, Tweet, and also like on FB, or simply say that I am funny, interesting, or cool!! :P Visit Anita, and hear from your favourite wayward muse

Earlier in the week, I did a guest blog over at Faith Colburn’s page entitled “People Watching”. It’s about my nasty habit of eavesdropping, and then silently mocking others in my head. (or, later, out loud by sharing with friends. Or the Internet. Nobody ever said I was the nicest person on Earth! :P )

If you missed any of my earlier appearances, read Troy Jackson’s well-done interview with me about the writing process and Ophelia’s Wayward Muse. Or, you can read a more in-depth Q & A session,courtesy of the Savvy Indie.

Don’t forget to look for “Ophelia’s Wayward Muse” on Amazon, friend me on Goodreads to talk about what you’re reading and writing, and to leave a review if you’ve got a copy of the book sitting on your shelf. ;)

I’ve been interviewed over at the Savvy Indie today! For those who like your life with a dash of motivation and positivity (I’m not sure what they wanted with *me*. :P ), or just need a day that’s more Alayna-fied, hop on over and read. (but why does everyone forget my hyphen?)

For some mysterious reason, Facebook will not let me post about the awesomeness that is me. Or, rather, it’s the Savvy Indie they have a problem with. Apparently, the link has been blocked for being “spammy” and “unsafe”, and I’m not sure why…other than the site deals with social media and selling things. (like books.) I,of course, visited the page and nothing bad happened–no pop-ups, no spam boxes, no warnings about malicious content.

Uh-oh. Maybe *I* am the malicious content.

Come read about me as I attempt to put a positive spin on the world, while speaking with a motivational coach and writer. Isn’t that an odd enough combination to get your attention. Visit and read about ME. :P You know you want to!

While I’ve made the decision to not invest the time and energy required to format “Ophelia’s Wayward Muse” for the Kindle, Nook, and other tablets, I have decided to offer a .pdf version of the book for sale on Lulu.com

There are a few reasons for this. The product I designed was specifically designed to be appreciated as a book. From the cover art to the colours to the font choices, it has a slightly antiquated and personal feel that simply can’t be conveyed on a computer screen. I firmly believe that what I’ve created is meant to be read in such a way that you might forget, for a few moments, that everything we do is electronic, instantaneous, and impersonal.

Yet, I am aware that people enjoy having a lower-cost option available, and many people simply do not want stacks of books cluttering up a space. So, in the spirit of compromise, I’m offering an electronic edition of “Ophelia’s Wayward Muse in old-fashioned .pdf format. There are no bells and whistles, and you’re missing out on the back cover (which is really just a lovely quotation and my bio).

The .pdf is $2.99 (compared to $7.99 for a hard copy on Amazon.com), and can be purchased instantly on my Lulu Author Spotlight page. However, for the truly old-fashioned book lovers and romantic spirits, I’d still recommend ordering the book in physical form. You’ll enjoy it all the more for being tangible. :)

Thank you to everyone who donated to Ophelia’s Wayward Muse, and to everyone who gave me advice about the publication process! My goal was to raise $600 towards publication of my poetry compilation, and ended up raising $625, so it means a lot to me that my friends believed in this project, and in helping me cross an important goal off of my bucket list. :)

I’ll now be spending the next few weeks working on editing, typesetting, cover design, and making sure that the finished project is something to which I am thrilled to lend my name. I anticipate that publication of the book will be in completed in November, and I’ll also be releasing an e-book format, and listing the book for sale on Amazon.

Of course, we’ll be throwing a huge event in honour of this achievement, because any reason is a good reason to get together with friends and celebrate life, right? It may not be the world’s biggest achievement, but for someone who has spent a lifetime writing poetry and hiding it under her bed in hopes nobody would ever read it, it’s a monumental step. Self-confidence and not diminishing dreams, however small, are an essential part of happiness.

I have never been emotionally fearless enough to put myself out there, because the inevitable criticism and judgment and “You suck” is always hard to take. Acting is a little different; it isn’t *you* who is being judged, so much as a production, a director, a character you’ve been hired to play. Writing, especially the kind of creative stuff I put out there, is intensely personal.

Earlier in the year, I decided that’s exactly *why* I had to start putting myself and my work out there. I have a voice, and a story to tell, which makes me just like every other human being on this earth. Yet, most choose not to tell their stories and not to share their voice with the world, because insecurity and criticism and fear of rejection are really strong demons.

This year, I decided it was time to prove I was stronger.

Some supportive friends have told me this may just be an important and transformative step in the journey of my life, one that admittedly doesn’t have a map. I’m not nearly that ambitious, but it touches me to be reminded that people believe in me. Some people believe in me a lot more than they ought to, and give me more credit than I deserve (I often pretend otherwise, but deep down, I’m a pretty humble person). I think that has been the best part of this process, being reminded I have a support system out there, and that’s a pretty remarkable gift. I may have left New York a long time ago, but a lot of the New York mentality has remained with me: I have the gift of mistakenly feeling I am alone and isolated, even in a crowd of people. I tend to be a bit distrustful, to think the worst of people, especially when it comes to what they think of me.

I woke up really happy this morning, after having a dream in which I was perfectly content and happy. It was an unrealistic dream; in real life, the things that made me happy would never work out that way, but it was a reflection of my idealistic self peeking through.

Being reminded that sometimes, people care about you and believe in you is important, for everyone.

So, a huge thank you to everyone who reached out to me to show support, encouragement, friendship, and to remind me that my friendship has touched them in a positive way. All of you have touched me, as well, or there’d be no inspiration behind this book in the first place. :)

Stay tuned for the occasional update on how Ophelia is progressing. :) Now, time for possibly the least exciting weekend ever. *laughs* (What happened to those days when I was not ill, and lived in a walkable part of town, and downtime was a rarity? I’m not as young as I used to be, but I kind of miss that.)

I don’t have much of interest to write about these days, and I blame reality TV. In particular, the excitement of Big Brother premiering on Thursday, and managing to get me sucked into the drama much more quickly than usual. Despite the absence of Rachel Reilly, I’m entertained to see another of my all-time favourite players, Janelle Pierzina, return as one of the “mentors” (who are essentially experienced team captains.) The other “mentors” wouldn’t have been my first choices: Britney from Season 12, who makes short people look annoying and mean; Mike “Boogie” from Season 2, who seems to have no problem with the fact that everyone in the house knows him as “that douchebag guy who isn’t Dr. Will”; and Dan, the religious football coach who won season 10, but is so unmemorable that I had to look him up to remember who he was, and I still don’t recall a single thing about his season.

Of course, all the “mentors” they’ve picked are people who seem to have settled down and started lives out of the spotlight of reality TV, are married, have kids, or both. This makes for pretty limited drama in the house, since there are 4 people who are married, two who are gay (but of the opposite sex), and two who barely seem old enough to hold hands in the hammock. I think the producers really wanted no “showmances” this season.

As I remarked to The Guy I Am Currently Dating (yes, he watches some reality TV, too…one of the few entertainment-related things we have in common.), it would have been a more interesting choice to put some of the more difficult/controversial characters on the show as “mentors”, and watch the general instability erupt. I wonder why, instead, they took in in the other direction.They seem to have created an environment that seems almost too peaceful and lacking in drama and impending emotional meltdowns.

They’ve also completely given up on the idea of casting random, average people unaffiliated with the world of reality TV, as one of the new contestants is an L.A. blonde who’s made appearances on The Girls Next Door, and the related Playboy reality TV spinoffs, and another is the brother of Russell Hantz from Survivor. Apparently, he intended to keep this a secret, but it’s really not a smart move when you look exactly like a guy who’s been infamous for being a huge asshole on TV for three years, and come from the same state. It’s impossible when you have returning CBS reality show members who have been around long enough to know Russell Hantz. At this point, CBS needs to give that family their own show. It can’t be any worse than the Kardashians, and well, plenty of people are still watching that.

Despite the fact that Big Brother just isn’t quite what it used to be, it still has a way of sucking you into their all-absorbing lives (which, in reality, are not more interesting than whatever you’re doing at that moment), and making you watch the late night feed on Showtime just because you wonder what’s happening. Usually, the answer is nothing, but it doesn’t matter. There are a lot of people with insomnia and a voyeuristic need for drama, and we’re still going to stay up and watch.

One of the interesting things about the Showtime After Dark version of Big Brother is you get to see endless promos for other Showtime shows. Most of them, I’m never going to watch, like Dexter and The Real L Word, but I’m a Weeds fan, and don’t mind being reminded to watch it on Sundays. Also, there’s a new show premiering called “Polyamory: Married And Dating”. While I haven’t seen the show yet, and it only seems to be focused on married couples pursuing lifestyles involving non-monogamy, I kind of applaud them for showing the various types of relationships out there, and how they do and do not work. One storyline focuses on a triad (a married couple with a shared partner), another on a couple that is in an open marriage (but each has separate partners), another on a couple with a guy who is exerting pressure on his spouse to share partners, and a group that lives together in Big Love commune style, with everyone forming a giant extended family.

(Note:This t-shirt is pretty funny. And, yes, you can buy it, if you are so inclined. It’s on sale here.)

Unfortunately, Showtime will probably turn the show into a largely sex-and-drama fueled reality show (much like The Real L Word has done for lesbians) to get viewers, rather than showing examples of the positive and negative aspects of polyamory, and bring awareness of all types of non-monogamous partnerships in the process, but it’s an interesting idea.

I’m pretty convinced that Showtime’s master plan is to turn any alternative lifestyle choice into either a reality show or a black comedy, one taboo subject at a time. Serial killers, drug dealers, weird folks from California, the guy who played Joey on “Friends”, single lesbians, poly couples, and “Big Brother” make for a pretty interesting line-up, which is why I ditched HBO, but kept Showtime! *laughs*

Work has had a tremendous slowdown, and while I should be using the time to be happy about chilling out a little more and having time to work on my own creative projects, I’ve found myself feeling kind of tired and a little bummed. I don’t know if it’s lack of direction and having a concrete task on which to focus each day—I know there are plenty of things, both productive and relaxing, to do with my free time—or it’s just me feeling a little worn out physically. (This is my first summer following the scary and disastrous heatstroke and associated problems of last summer, and it hasn’t been the easiest. Some days are great, and others very challenging. Migraine, vertigo, and heat intolerance seem to be the main issues with which I still struggle.) It could also be that Mercury retrograde is back today, and that always wants to throw everything in life…especially my sense of emotional stability and “life is fun/everything’s going to be OK” out of whack.

On the up side, I’m almost 1/6th of the way towards reaching my goal towards funding my very first book project, Ophelia’s Wayward Muse. I only have 25 days left and it seems like kind of a long way to go, so if you’re the kind of friend who likes me enough to buy me a drink when we get together, consider donating to this project instead! :) You can make a donation of any shape and size (well, maybe not octagonal) through my project’s Kickstarter link. With all the people I know, there’s no way I shouldn’t be able to reach my goal! ;) Thank you to the friends and readers that have supported me thus far..you guys are awesome!!:)

It seems like the weekend has very much gotten away from me…but it’s Sunday, which means time for relaxation and reality television!! I wish weekends were, in fact, just a little longer…*laughs*

For friends and blog readers who may care, I’ve been working on finally getting a compilation of my poetic efforts ready for publication. The book is entitled “Ophelia’s Wayward Muse”, and is a project that’s existed in one form or another for 10 years or so. It’s finally at a point where I have a “finished” and typed manuscript, and am ready to begin pursuing the publication process.

Since doing so is relatively expensive, especially for a girl whose life has started overflowing with bills over the past year (for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s cheaper to die than to recover, should you find yourself seriously ill. I think our medical system could use some serious revision.), I’ve decided to look into alternative methods of funding. Kickstarter is a great site to raise money for artistic projects. With the number of people I know, it seems to me that just having friends, acquaintances, and loyal readers of this blog donate a few extra dollars here and there is enough to help me accomplish this rather modest fundraising goal.

So, in order to fund my “crossing this off the bucket list” endeavour, I’ve set up a project to support the publication of Ophelia’s Wayward Muse. If you want to help me see this happen, please consider donating a few dollars to the project. In fact, if you’ve ever enjoyed my blogs, my e-mails, or my snarky, entertaining Facebook correspondence, it’s a great way to encourage me to keep on writing and being productive. Of course, if you have reason to believe there’s a poem about you in this anthology, you should definitely show some love. :P *laughs*

I’m intending on the publication of my first poetic collection to be a fabulous way to celebrate the end of 2012 (which also happens to include my birthday!), and of course, there will be a huge party to celebrate when all is said and done. I have 30 days to raise the necessary cash for this project, and it’s an all-or-nothing deal…if I don’t reach my goal, your payment is not processed and nothing is ever sent my way. :(

A separate page has been established on this site for Ophelia’s Wayward Muse, which currently includes a sample poem from the book, acknowledgements in the form of thanks to those who have donated, and will keep interested parties updated on the progress of the publication. Please share with your artistic and literary-inclined friends, as not only do I want to raise money for this project, but also interest and support!

Please help me to build a home for wayward words! :)