Million Words FINISHED!

We made it! Technically a week late, but we decided we deserved some time off for our elope-moon. It’s also Richard’s birthday, and all he wanted was to be finished with this. It was a long, tough road. Both of us can handle fifty thousand in a month or more when that’s our main focus, but maintaining close to that pace month after month with life (and a divorce, and moving, and getting married, and trying to have sex 555 times…) getting in the way is hard. But we did it! Here’s what each of us learned, thought of things, etc.

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#Bloganuary 5-7

Hello readers! We’re back to post Bloganuary #5-7 because we got a little bit behind. This is a common theme in our lives, unfortunately. If only we could just be bloggers. Then we’d always be on time! (Maybe.)

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So here is the next installment. Day 5-7:

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The Insecure Writer’s Support Group #IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

We’re back for a 10th month of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group! We’re excited to be back, and to have at least one challenge we haven’t dropped the ball on. This is still the only one we’ve been consistent with, though we’re mostly back on track with TMI Tuesday.

If you’d like to chime in and let us know your answers to the questions or drop a link to your post if you’re participating, please do so in the comments! And check out the IWSG website for more answers!

January 5 question – What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

Jayden: Well, I’ve published a few novels and don’t really market them. I like writing a lot, but editing isn’t my forte. I can line edit and continuity like nobody’s business, but keeping track of all the details and big picture things just isn’t what I’m good at. One of my good friends once said to me that there’s a market for write book, grammarly, read once, publish. I think that’s about where I am in my writing process. I’ve done *a lot* of writing, but not as much editing or publishing especially in the last year. So I’m working on overcoming it.

That said, writing is NOT my primary career, and I don’t really have a goal of that being the case. Someday, I would like to retire young and use writing to fill in the gaps until I can be really fully retired. But… I’m in my 30s, so I have a looooong time until it’s even a concern. So ‘overcoming’ isn’t really a big deal right at the moment.

Richard: I don’t really think I have a writing “career” as such, so it’s hard to have regrets for it. Like Jayden (and probably 99% of writers) I wish I’d written more, published more, started earlier, etc. I wish I’d pushed a little harder for other MFA programs. I may still have wound up where I did, but it never hurts to put out more applications, have more options, etc.

What are your stresses and delights when writing? Drop them in the comments!

TMI Tuesday: January 4th, 2022

Wishing you all a wonderful 2022. Now for the first TMI Tuesday of the year 2022.

1. Do you feel that happiness is luck or is it a practiced mindset?

Jayden: A practiced mindset, at least for me. I know people who have terrible luck that saps away their happiness.

Richard: Luck. You’re either born into circumstances that allow you to be happy or you’re not.

2. If you could transport to the happiest place in the world where would you be?

Jayden & Richard: Finland. According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, “Finland has been the world’s happiest country for four years running.” Source.

3. In 2022, what will you do to improve your health?

Jayden: Walk more. Move more. Eat less. Eat better. A little vague maybe, but that’s all I can commit to right now.

Richard: Walk more. I used to walk all the time, but I haven’t made time for it lately.

4. What is your money psychology?
a. Money worshipper: Those who associate money with security, but in a kind of arbitrary way. The danger is no amount of money is ever enough.

b. Money avoidance: When you tend to think of money as bad, corrupting or just something you do not deserve. This can manifest in many ways, such as, not trying to negotiate a raise at work or avoiding looking at your retirement account.

c. Money vigilance: These people seem really great with their money, but there is a lot of anxiety around actually using it. This type can be great savers but rarely treat themselves.

d. Money status: People with this mind-set see money as a way to feel good about themselves and appear a certain way to others. These folks tend to run up credit card debt, pick up tabs they cannot afford and otherwise mismanage their money — while judging others who do not have the same status symbols.

Jayden: b. Money avoidance. I don’t feel like any of them really fit me, but I guess that’s the closest one. I definitely had a lot of anxiety last time I had to negotiate salary.

Richard: a. Money worshipper. It’s a factual statement, and I don’t understand how anyone can be anything else.

Bonus: Do you have any goals for your blog in 2022?

Jayden: Just to be more consistent. With bringing on Richard at the beginning of 2021, I was a lot better, even posting many days in a row for a while, but then life got busy and we fell off the wagon. It’s fine, though, we still kept up with most things, and hopefully 2022 will be a little more settled, so I can post more consistently.

Richard: Actually publish it so people can read it.

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How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Happy TMI Tuesday!

#Bloganuary 1

Hello readers! We’re here today to bring you the first in a new series: Bloganuary! It’s a challenge to blog every day in January with a prompt from WordPress. Even though we didn’t find out until the very end of the day on the 1st, we decided to give it a shot! The prompts don’t come out until almost the day of, so we have to write every day for it to work. (And hey, this will help inch us closer to our 1,000,000 words goal!)

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So here is the first installment. Day 1:

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

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Magic Number: 524 Sexes

Here is our final update about our 2021 goal to have sex 524 times in 2021:

We knocked it out of the park!

So, what does all that mean?

  • We had sex an average of 1.52 times a day.
  • We had sex 293 days or 80% of days.
  • We had sex a total of 555 times in the year.
  • We had 31 more sexes than our goal.
  • 44% of the time, we had only one sexual encounter per day.
  • One time, we had seven in a day. Twice we had six in a day. Seven times we had five in a day.
  • Of those seven times, three of them were the last three days of the year.
  • In the last week of 2021, we had sex 29 times. 19 of those were on our elope-moon.
  • In 2021, there was only one week we went down to less than four days.
  • There were only three weeks we had five or less sexes in a week. The lowest was four, and it was one week.

What did we learn from all of this?

  • Tracking how often we have sex is hard. We probably missed a few numbers in there because we thought it was once or twice, so we went with once.
  • Tracking how often we have sex makes it sometimes feel like a chore. “Oh, we’re falling behind, we should have an extra today,” or “Let’s just do this quick so we can put a number on the spreadsheet.” (That’s not to say that we don’t have a very active sex life naturally, but there are times when we are exhausted!)
  • We are glad that we tracked it, and we had a good time doing it, but we’re glad that it’s over. We’ll probably keep track in 2022, but just for curiosity’s sake.
  • Apparently we have a much more active sex life than most? Feel free to tell us we’re wrong and that you’re just as active!

Thanks for following along on our sex journey from 2021! We hope you had all got to have some lovely sex of your own!

Surprise!

In our last TMI Tuesday we said our next post would be an update to our 524 sexes, 1 million words, and a surprise. The first two parts are coming, but not quite yet. We’ve decided to give ourselves a few extra days because…

WE ELOPED!

We were already going on vacation this week, and when we learned that there was no waiting period for a marriage license where we were vacationing, we decided that we were ready and we just wanted to get married. We had been talking about a wedding for a long time, and got engaged earlier this month. But with the pandemic and all, planning a big event just was more than we wanted to do right now. So instead, we eloped. It felt right to do something that was just the two of us. From the very beginning, our relationship has always had other people involved. Other people’s opinions, other people’s input, other people we were dating. This was just us. We met an officiant we’ll probably never see again, went to a beautiful park, and got married.

Our Eventually Ever After has arrived.

So now we’re Mr. and Mrs. and we couldn’t be happier.

TMI Tuesday: December 21st, 2021

Often it is the small things in life that bring us joy and clarity. Welcome or welcome back to TMI Tuesday.

1. Do you have a favorite author? Who?

Jayden: Mary Higgins Clark. She was the first mystery author I read. I have loved her since I was a kid.

Richard: I would like to preface my answer by saying that Jayden’s is the most un-Jayden answer possible. I have never seen her read a mystery in my life. I was really expecting Laurel K. Hamilton or something.

I’m going to go with Phillip K. Dick. For today anyway, It’ll be someone else tomorrow I’m sure. I think he hits the sweet spot between “thinky” lit-fic and “pulpy” pop sci-fi.

2. Do you make your bed each morning? Why?

Jayden: Yeah, mostly, just because otherwise the cat will get into the bed and I’m allergic.

Richard: I sort of make the bed every morning, because Jayden goes to work earlier than me. When she gets up, I pull her pillow and tiny snuggle blanket under the covers to cuddle in her absence, and then I make sure the comforter is pulled over all her stuff when I get up. I don’t tuck the corners or anything though.

3. What is one recipe that gets you through busy, hectic times?

Jayden: Recipe? Uhhh. If I’m really slammed, I’m a hot pocket kind of girl.

Richard: I don’t know if it counts as a “recipe”, but when I’m short on time I often make a pseudo-ploughman’s lunch. Butter up a big hunk of sourdough, grab an apple or whatever fruit is around, slice up some cheese (or grab the pre sliced) and pour a tall glass of milk. Takes less than 5 minutes to put together, very filling, and a total comfort food.

4. For therapeutic venting, who do you call–friend, sibling, parent, significant other?

Jayden: I call Richard. But I also have a therapist and several friends. Sometimes I vent more than once.

Richard: Most of my venting is work related, so I have one or two work friends that are probably my most common. Non-work (grad school being stupid) related, definitely Jayden.

5. When did you last de-clutter the camera roll/pics on your smartphone?

Jayden: Ummm. I guess when I got my new phone in February/March?

Richard: I probably do it a couple times a year if I’m waiting in line or something, really bored, and can’t find an article to read. I also take like 2.3 pics a month on average.

Bonus: What is the subject of your next blog post?

Jayden: It’s a good thing we did this one late! The next post is going to be a year-end wrap up about our 524 sexes, a million words, and a special surprise!

Richard: For my non-Jayden blog, I think my next post is about can openers.

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How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Happy TMI Tuesday!

TMI Tuesday: December 28th, 2021

So long 2021. The final TMI Tuesday for this year is posted. Except for the one from last week that we’re going to do later.

1. My favorite thing about 2021 was _____ .

Jayden: Eloping! It was so fun. Being able to just be us, no one else. It was wonderful.

Richard: Everything we did after eloping! The dinner, the sex, the walk. I assume Jayden is counting that in her answer, but I want to be slightly different.

2. What is something that happened to you in 2021 that you never want to forget?

Jayden: I could say eloping again. But I’m going to say finding my strength. I am a very different person now than I was a year ago, and I appreciate the struggles I went through and the self reflection (and therapy) that helped me get here.

Richard: I’m just going to say eloping.

3. What would you like to do differently next year?

Jayden: I would like to stay married to my husband!

Richard: Next time, we get married in front of a bunch of people!

4. How do you honor the past while staying focused on the future?

Jayden: There are so many good things from my past, and I am grateful for all of them. But they don’t dictate my future. I like to look ahead and plan and keep my eye on the future, while always remembering the past. We tell stories about good (and sometimes bad) things that have happened, and of course, I take lots of pictures.

Richard: I read this one like five times, and I still don’t know what to say for it. I put chocolate ice cream on my apple pie, which is very untraditional, because my grandfather did it.

5. Next year I am excited to _____ .

Jayden: Publish! This whole writing 1,000,000 words in 2021 was insane. I don’t know what I was thinking, and we’re still short on words with only a few days to go. In 2022, I want to focus on publishing. I’ve generated so many words and written so many novels, but I haven’t published in a long time, so I want to try to do more of that in 2022.

Richard: Have our big wedding party!

Bonus: Do you feel jaded at all?

Jayden: No, I don’t think so. I’m the sunshine!

Richard: I’ve been jaded since I was like 10.

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How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Happy TMI Tuesday!

TMI Tuesday: December 13th, 2021

Come on and play TMI Tuesday; it’s posted!

1. If you found a fountain of youth, would you swim in it?

Jayden: Sure. It would be great to be young forever!

Richard: I would like to keep my knees at least semi-functional for as long as possible, so yes.

2. Share a quick story about your misspent youth.

Jayden: One time, I was hanging out with my friend and his friend who I barely knew. I ended up giving him a blow job behind a drug store. It was pretty hot, in retrospect, but pretty dumb. I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have as a teen. Lucky for me, nothing bad came out of it.

Richard: Once upon a time I did absolutely nothing productive for 18 years, because I wasn’t allowed. The end.

3. Some people say that youth is a state of mind, do you agree?

Jayden: Somewhat. There’s only so much your mind can do over your body in the long run.

Richard: I dunno, I was born a crochety old man.

4. Do you feel that you wasted your youth?

Jayden: Not particularly. I did a lot of things. I learned a lot of things. I am a much, much happier adult because of it.

Richard: I think youth in general is a waste, and people should endeavor to get past it as quickly as possible.

5. Are you anxious about death?

Jayden: Sometimes. I have a young daughter I wouldn’t want to leave behind. And I have so many friends who would miss me. And I’m not done living life. There are so many more things I want to do.

Richard: Not particularly.

Bonus:  When do you dislike too much chatter?

Jayden: In the shower, probably. Early in the morning, I have time to reflect and think and wake up. I’m not very chatty then, although there’s no one to talk to me early in the morning, so that’s fine. 🙂

Richard: Pretty much all the time. I’m a pretty quiet person, and I don’t really get the need to fill silence just for the sake of it that some people have.

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How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Happy TMI Tuesday!

TMI Tuesday: December 9th, 2021

Happy December! Just a few more TMI Tuesday blogs to go in 2021.

Consider Sex

1. Do you consider your sex to be “conventional”? Why or why not?

Richard: Probably not. Walltersports are fairly unconventional.

Jayden: Not really. There are many people who have the same kinks as me, and some of them are my friends, but I still think our sex is pretty unconventional. Also, the fact that we’ve had sex over 500 times so far this year is pretty unconventional.

2. Gender Identity–How do you describe yourself? (Mark one answer)

a. Male
b. Female
c. Trans Male/Trans Man
d. Trans Female/Trans Woman
e. Genderqueer/Gender Non­Conforming
f. Different Identity

Richard: Male, more out of convenience than out of any strong preference.

Jayden: Female. I respect/support/believe people who have a different identity, but I do feel strongly that I fit the gender I was born with. (Also on that note, I don’t understand why anyone would choose to be trans. Being true to oneself is not easy in this society, which is my biggest argument for why your identity is not a choice, but simply who you are.)

3. Sexual Orientation–Are you exclusively?

a. Heterosexual
b. Gay
c. Lesbian
d. Bisexual
e. None of the above, specify if you wish.

Richard: I usually go by pansexual, but bisexual is fine too.

Jayden: I usually say bisexual because it’s the most common “I’m attracted to multiple genders” term, but pansexual is probably more accurate.

4. Is understanding the causes and effects, and the formation of gender stereotypes important?

Richard: They’re important to understand, in the same way that understanding how your plumbing works is important to understand. Actually understanding it in detail would take years of studying, but you should understand enough to know how to unclog your sink, and prevent your pipes from freezing.

Jayden: Yeah, I think so. I think understanding the causes and effects of most things is important, and it helps us to break those stereotypes by understanding where they came from and why they were formed. For example, when I proposed to Richard, some people thought it odd that I proposed and not him, but we had discussed it previously and agreed that the gender stereotype was silly, and if I wanted to propose, I could.

Bonus: Your thoughts on this–“I’m in a committed relationship, and it feels like asking for consent every time we have sex is overkill—is that wrong?”

Richard: Yes. Jayden is a massive slut, but I still think I get some kind of acknowledgement every time.

Jayden: What Richard said. I have given him blanket permission, but he still checks in, which I appreciate it. (And even if there’s a surprise scene, I always have a safe word.) Rape does happen within committed relationships all the time. Far too often.

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How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Happy TMI Tuesday!

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group #IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

We’re back for a 9th month of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group! We’re excited to be back, and to have at least one challenge we haven’t dropped the ball on. (Actually, we were good with NaNoWriMo, we just went below our original goals.)

If you’d like to chime in and let us know your answers to the questions or drop a link to your post if you’re participating, please do so in the comments! And check out the IWSG website for more answers!

December: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

Jayden: I guess it depends on what I’m doing. If I’m writing something for the sake of getting words, then what stresses me out is generally just getting enough words in the time I have. If I’m writing for a specific story, I’m stressed about getting my details correct. I try to keep copious notes, but I have yet to find a way to organize them so that I can keep them all straight. I can’t outline ahead of time (it just doesn’t work for me) so my characters become who they are as I write them. It makes keeping a profile on them difficult.

What delights me is learning who my characters are and what challenges they face. It’s awesome to see them become their own people in front of my eyes as their stories pour out of my fingers. It’s really cool. And I like happy endings, so it’s also great to see those happy endings come to fruition.

Richard: I feel like I just talked about this during the TMI Tuesday roundup. Time management is the biggest thing for stress. Between our million words goal, the blogs, and trying to keep up on my MFA (and trying to balance between writing a half a million words, while making sure at least ten thousand or so a month aren’t total garbage) it’s a lot of word balls to keep in the air. Going back to “regular” work, moving to the new apartment, and all the other stuff in life also means I’m a lot busier. Getting 50 or 100K in a month is a lot easier when you don’t have to commute, can do the dishes on your lunch break, etc.

My biggest delight is when I hit on a character’s voice just right. I can be prone to long, wishy washy dialogue and it’s nice when I hit a sentence that feels good. Doubly so when it happens with both people in a conversation at once.

What are your stresses and delights when writing? Drop them in the comments!

TMI Tuesday: November 30th, 2021

Check out other TMI Tuesday Blogs here!

Simply getting you thinking, and hopefully writing. Welcome to TMI Tuesday blog.

1. With whom would you love to sing a duet?

Jayden: My dad. I’ve done it before and it’s always amazing. Our voices blend very well, and there’s something special about a dad and his daughter. The problem with it is that most duets are romantic. It’s hard to find good non-romantic duets.

Richard: Weird Al. He’s one of the few celebrities that, as far as I know, isn’t secretly a terrible person and I think it’d just be really fun.

We’ll sing… The Saga Begins? Yeah, that sounds good. Drop your favorite Weird Al song in the comments. Also, did you see that sick burn he had on Kid Rock the other day? https://www.vulture.com/2021/11/weird-al-clarifies-he-did-not-make-a-kid-rock-parody-song.html

2. Have you ever cried over a pet? What kind?

Jayden: I was with my dog when he passed away. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I sobbed.

Richard: I cried over a betta once when it accidentally got frozen. He was okay. I think I cried at least once when I lost my last cat.

3. Do you think your personality needs polishing? Why?

Jayden: Sometimes. I’ve been told recently that I’m micromanaging. I dunno…

Richard: What does that even mean? I’m going with no.

4. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?

Jayden: It wasn’t really an injury, but my feet are so bad that I couldn’t walk unassisted for almost a year. It was pretty awful.

Richard: I thought I was going to bleed to death after a metal bar I was doing pull ups on broke and whacked me in the head. It was fine, didn’t even need stitches.

5. If you had a clone, what part or your life or tasks would you have it do on your behalf?

Jayden: Work. I would sleep in and write and do other fun things.

Richard: I’d just use them to play pranks on Jayden.

Bonus: Gifting supermarket flowers–good or bad?

Jayden: I think it’s good. They’re usually nice flowers and not stupidly expensive.

Richard: Good. All gifts are good. I don’t know that I’d go so far to say that they’re nice flowers, but (other than stupid smelly ones like lilies) any flowers are better than no flours.

See you all tomorrow for Insecure Writer’s Support Group. NANO IS OVER! We only need about 180 thousand more words, we totally got this!

How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Whoopsie

Whoopsie. Richard asked me today when the last time we posted to the blog was. I said, “Oh, about a week and a half, I think.”

I was wrong.

Very wrong.

Sorry, dear readers. We haven’t forgotten you. In fact, we’ve written some stuff specifically for the blog. We’re getting ready to start a review of Target sheets! We just got five sets of sheets from Target, and there’s a whole story, and pictures and everything. It’s coming. I promise.

I’ve written a lot of smut. A lot of short stories. And I’ve written most of a novel. It’ll be coming. 2022 goals: publishing! I’m sure there will be more, but that’s important. So don’t forget us! We’ll be coming back shortly. Promise!