Writing, Life, Music, and Hockey

It’s been a strange couple weeks. I spent a lot of it sick and yet more of it on the road to Denver to see Dir en grey, a band I’ve loved for well over a decade. I ended up in major tooth pain and had an extraction yesterday due to a pretty severe infection that nothing else was going to solve. I can easily tell you that was the worst pain of my life and I’ve had some pretty extensive pains.

Beyond that (horrible) adventure, I’d like to take a minute to at least catch everyone up on where I’m at. I haven’t been doing hockey reviews because the boys are on the road and I feel a little weird writing reviews for games I’m watching on HockeyTV instead of in person. That said, if you’re still interested in reviews for those games, let me know and I’ll do them while I’m subscribed this month!

Writing has taken a break. I did an extensive review of my already written 71K worth of words early this month and ended up re-writing around 3K worth, which really wasn’t bad given how much I thought I’d need to change after meeting with three of the players from the NM Ice Wolves to ensure I was correct in all I was writing. (Fantastic people with so much patience. They’re truly great dudes and I wish the world for them.)

I plan to start writing again during my winter break from work and haul ass through the rest of the novel. That should give me time to pick up any lose ends, bounce any further potential issues off the hockey dudes, and shovel more of my work toward my editor for the first round in what is sure to be multiple edits.

Die from Dir en grey

The concert was amazing. It’s so hard to get the words out to describe how I feel about it and anyone that’s known me for long enough to have been right there with me when I was a huge part of that fandom knows how near and dear that band is to me. Great people with amazing talent, look them up if you get a chance (and if you don’t like the first song, skip a few years and listen again, they’ve changed so much over the years it’s amazing). I smiled until my face hurt, I screamed lyrics until my throat hurt, and I cried until all that stored up anxiety and stress had drained out of me. That’s what their shows have always done and this year was no different.

Kyo from Dir en grey

Hockey-wise, I’d like to take a second to congratulate Josh Graziano, our (now former) goalie from the NM Ice Wolves on his commit to Union College. They have a rep of feeding players up into the NHL and I have my fingers crossed real hard for him. We’ll all miss him like hell, but we always want progress for our team, so here we are. Henrik Laursen has been stepping up real well and I think he’ll shine as our main goalie and here’s hoping whoever we pull on board will steal our hearts, too!

Also… was anyone else watching that ‘come at me bro’ moment 2 games ago involving Grazino? I had some legit glee up in this joint. Just sayin’. 😉

Alexandria Redding – Me Being Me

Deep breath.

I’ve been telling myself this all day today. Really, I’ve probably been saying it softly in the back of my head for years, but it’s come to the forefront the closer and closer we creep to November.

It sort of feels like I’m standing at the top of the Sandia Peak and looking over the railing, flimsy wooden slats beneath my feet and the fear that the rail will fall away at any second, leaving me falling thousands of feet to a death I get to see coming. At the same time, it also feels like coming home: like being wrapped up in a warm caring hug from my husband. These two feelings do no often exist in the same instant, but I’m now living frozen in that dual sensation, praying I’m making the right choice by doing this.

What is this you might ask. Well, in this case it’s taking the leap from 14 years of writing fanfiction into honestly trying – for real, not just on the side – to become one of the ranks of original works authors.

I went to the GRL Retreat this year and it was a fantastic experience that somehow prompted me to open my mouth during a QnA panel and ask the two questions I needed to ask to the exact right people. Midway through the first day shifted my gears from ‘reader attending awesome conference’ to ‘holy crap I’m surrounded by authors willing to help me take this leap and woah, I’m sitting at lunch with a bunch of authors’. I am surrounded by a support network that crept up on me in a fashion I had never ever expected.

See, as an author, I always thought my work would be my merit. That I’d stand in front of someone someday who’d taken notice of how much time and effort and honest to god passion I’ve put into everything and they’d tell me they had noticed my work and by the way, would you like to do this with original work? Rather, it turns out the merit has always been me.

For someone with pretty severe self-esteem issues, this is as terrifying as it is gratifying. It tells me they saw someone that could succeed, they saw passion in my words and my questions, and it tells me they believe in me and that my work will follow, whatever it may be. Let me tell you, that feels damn good.

I braved this new and scary world and I asked questions where I needed to, collected contacts like I once collected Dir en grey merchandise and now I hold the keys to a whole new kingdom. All I’ve got to do is take a deep breath, tell myself I can and will do this, and then fucking do it.

I’ll always be me, unapologetically, energetically me. Which also means I won’t be giving up my fanfic writing to do this. I won’t be quitting my day job in IT and I certainly won’t be sacrificing things to a publishing company that makes me change everything I write to what they want (which has happened to me in the past with a mere magazine submission). I’ll remain me, a fan of bands and shows and comics. Me who loves my online friends as much as my offline ones. Me who owns my identity, my sexuality, and me who does the best I can to be as inclusive as possible.

So here I am and here’s my published penname: Alexandria Redding. And to be as me as I can be, here’s my fanfic penname: cadkitten. Welcome to all that I am and I hope you want this as much as I do!