R.V. Butler was raised among the fairies in the foothills of northern California, where she learned the magic of storytelling from a variety of wizards, witches, mermaids, and superheroes. To her chagrin, she was never kidnapped by pirates or abducted by aliens, but she managed to find adventure in the most boring place of all: school. In her teens, she began a lifelong battle with the demons Depression and Anxiety, which she currently has under her thumb with the help of some very powerful potions and spells.
She presently works as an administrative assistant in Winters, California, a magical land known the world over for farmers, steak, and a certain country music singer we’re not supposed to make a fuss about. At the end of 2016, she became a true Phoenix, and since then, she’s been befriending dragons, hunting things, and time traveling. Every November, she straightens her Viking helmet and captains the Yolo County ship for NaNoWriMo alongside Elisabeth Kauffman.
Hoo boy, you guys! August was a bit of a whirlwind for me. I quit my job, packed up our apartment, drove a moving truck to a different state, put a bunch of boxes in my mom’s living room, and have been trying to get the cats and dogs to interact in a civil manner. Oh, and I’ve been taking Sarra Cannon‘s Publish & Thrive course and helping my husband find a job. Needless to say, I didn’t get any writing done in August.
What am I working on this Camp NaNoWriMo? Getting this damned book done!
It is July, and that means it’s Camp NaNoWriMo! It’s a bit more laid back than November, but it’s still a great time to get some words in. I’m so excited for this month!
Things will be a teensy bit different, though. I often try to get in an actual in-real-life camping trip during Camp (both in April and July), but April’s wasn’t even planned because of the pandemic and July’s is now cancelled due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases (so also the pandemic… yay for people who refuse to social distance and wear masks… ‘MURICA!). I might have to console myself by setting up my one-person tent on our patio.
Guys. A lot has changed in the month and a half since I wrote my May update.
Something I first really noticed in November of 2016 is that current events have a significant impact on my ability to write. It takes me a great deal of time to contemplate and process everything that’s going on in the world. The most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests has been no different.
Imposter syndrome (or the fraud police, to use Amanda Palmer’s fitting term) has been a friend to me these last few weeks. Who am I? Who am I to write a book? Who am I to follow my dreams and smash my goals when so many people in our country are unable to do the same because of systemic racism? Because they are dying?
I love seeing other people’s writing spaces, so I thought I would share mine with you this week! Forgive the horrendous pictures, for I live in a cave of an apartment and have no professional lighting.
I write and work my day job at my desk in our dining room. Until last August, I had a tiny desk that was just big enough to hold my laptop and maybe a small notebook, but while my husband and I were on our honeymoon, my mom got me this secretary desk! Yeah, it’s supposed to fold up to save space, but I always have my keyboard and mouse out.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I’ve been struggling recently with what to do with this blog.
One social media calendar says this week I should post a “day in the life of an author” blog or vlog. Another says that today I should share someone or something I’m grateful for. Could I write a blog post on either of these things? Of course. Those are actually pretty easy prompts to work with.
The problem is that it feels forced. It’s not like I would lie or anything. I wouldn’t say I’m grateful for the nice weather we’re having when it’s really reminding me that in a month or two it’ll be over 100ºF on a daily basis. I wouldn’t write that I had such a great day or week writing when really I struggled. I still doesn’t feel natural or like me, though.
Since stay-at-home orders were issued in my state, I have been both more and less productive in every aspect of life. I thought I’d take this opportunity to update you all on what I’m doing and planning for my writing life and career at this point.
Because of quarantine, I’ve been using my Kindle a lot, and I’m so excited to get these downloaded as soon as I can!
I know, I know. Four months of 2020 have already passed us by. However, I didn’t get a chance to make this list earlier in the year, so I’m making it now. The list is short because I’m a slow reader, but what is here promises to be gold. Because of quarantine, I’ve been using my Kindle a lot, and I’m so excited to get these downloaded as soon as I can!
I’ve always been confused about food. What is there to be confused about? You buy it, you cook it, you eat it, and your body is fueled. Do basically that process three times a day, and you’ll be healthy, right? Wrong.
I’m not sure if I can blame the melting pot of American culture for the loss of my ancestors’ European food traditions or if I should blame post-war food manufacturers and their marketing teams. Perhaps western diet culture and Hollywood are to blame for my confusion, not just directly, but indirectly through my mother and grandmother. Maybe I can blame Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network for allowing the emotionally manipulative advertisement of junk food when I was a child. Or perhaps it is all these things, muddled together with other aspects of my childhood and the white American culture in which I was raised.
Recently, I finished a class on soft skills, put on by New World of Work and taught by the fantastic Natasha Palumbo. We covered ten skills that can help in the workplace, skills they don’t teach you when you’re majoring in English or pretty much anything else in school. One of the things we covered in the last class was resilience.
Historically, I’ve had a hard time with resilience. I think most people with depression do. One small failure can keep us from trying again or trying something new because it’s a glaring example of our perceived incompetence. That, paired with a poor view of my own self-worth, has been what’s kept me from finishing a novel and having a successful career doing what I truly love.