Gabrielle's Life and Writings

Gabrielle Lawson, writer of Fanfiction. I will use this space to keep a journal about my writing, the progress I'm making, stories I'm working on, writer's blocks I'm having, our adoption process and progress and just life in general.

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Location: Missouri, United States

I'm multifaceted and highly educated. I have a BA in History and an MA in Museum Studies. But I couldn't make a living in a museum, so my hobby--computers--became my living. I'm now a charter member Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. I aspire to be a professional writer and/or poet. I am a Christian and have been living by His grace for the last four years or so, despite the MegaStress and now the GigaStress. He keeps me going, and displays His glory still, in my life.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Didn't get much done this week....

Except writing! Yep, didn't turn the TV on hardly at all. Didn't do much around the house (did weatherize the window downstairs and the front door). Mostly just sat around on the couch with my Clie and wrote.

And did I finish Faith III? Yes! Sort of. There is still some patching up work to do and I haven't yet written the epilogue. But I think this bodes very well for getting the story done done before the month is out.

    Status of Stories
  • Faith III: Peace Done! But not done done. Patchwork left to do.
  • The Honored Same as ever, until after Faith III is done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Just had to stop and take a moment to blog

I've been writing! Lot's of writing! And the chapter I thought was the last turned out not to be the last. It's almost the last though, and the last chapter will actually be a fair bit shorter (I think) than the others. I might even finish this story today!

Well it won't be 100% finished. I have a scene I need my brother's help on, but he's away on vacation. So I have left a spot there to finish that scene later. And there are details to work out, typos to find, quirks to unquirk, that sort of thing. I will have it done by February, I think, though. Heck, that's still a week and a half away!

    Status of Stories
  • Faith, Part III: Peace Nearly done! 17 is in the bag, working on 18!
  • The Honored You should have this one memorized by now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

A bit distracted

Unfortunately, there is sometimes a need for a lull after finishing a chapter. Thus it was after Chapter 16. Yes, I know I've got limitted time to finish chapter 17, and yet I find myself doing other things. Like working on my house.

This week, after showing someone my basement room that I'm trying to rent, I realized it needed some help. So I spent some money on home improvements. I bought some material and made curtains for the east wall in the basement. So the boarder won't have to look at that bare cement. I bought a closet bar to put up under the stairs, though we are still working on getting that put up. I (and my friend) fixed the deadbolt on my front door so now I can use it! Next paycheck, I'll try to fix the other one. We straightened up the storage are in the basement and brought in the card table and chairs. I also picked out paint for the dining room and bought it. We picked out paint for the basement but I ran out of money.

I won't start painting until February. I want to finish this story!

    Status of Stories
  • Faith, Part III: Peace Working on Chapter 17, even though I've been working on my house.
  • The Honored Right where I left it. 1 1/2 chapters done, one scene near the end.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Life on the Sister-front and more writing!

Sister #1 is still not talking to me. And I'm pretty okay with that. I know I need to work on forgiveness though. Whether or not she deserves it. Sister #2 was smart-allecky and rude last night when my brother brought her over here to get her stuff. He could only get about 1/3 of it in his truck though, so he said he'd come back for more next week. And he said he'd get my other desk from Sister #1. He's a good brother.

And on the writing front: I think I've finished chapter 16 of Faith. I've got just about everyone ready to get on the ship and thus begin the last chapter! I'll have to remind my brother that he said he'd help me with the fight scene.

I'm not sure that Chapter 16 is good though. Parts of it are, I think, but other parts.... I'm concerned that the scenes are so short, but I've gone back through them and can't find much to expand. And there's the Bashir problem. See, in the story, he's giving up on everything. And with the Dominion treating him the way they are, he's a bit too busy to be participating too much in my plot. So he spends a lot of time doing the same things. Which aren't too exciting. He'll have a big part in the final chapter, but right now, he's got a few moments and a bunch of the same old, same old (if you can call his state of mind same-old, same-old). And then there's that: his state of mind. I hope I've protrayed him well losing his mind. Because I spent so much time not in his POV, it feels splotchy to me. I've got to remember to run this by my beta readers.

Well, anyway, let's get on with the...

    Status of Stories
  • Faith, Part III: Peace Chapter 16 is finished, leaving only one chapter and the ep to go!
  • The Honored Right where I left it, 1 1/2 chapters, one scene near the end.

The Explanation of the MegaStress

I went reading through some of my old posts here and realized I'd said I would explain the Megastress, but I never did.

So I'm going to try and explain it now.

I was living in the DC area, which, by default, is a stressful place to live. It's very busy. Even when you're not busy, you feel busy. There are great things about it (the cultural sites you have within your reach, for example) but it's a very fast-paced life.

In October, I think it was, 2000, I was working for a small office of a pretty large company. I found a guy on a Christian dating website. We hit it off well, but to make a long story short, I was on a date him. He was a very nice guy, I didn't feel well so we didn't go out. We stayed in to watch TV. He laid beside me. (Clothes on, on top of the blankets.) He touched me (nowhere particularly naughty). I watched TV like it was a lifeline. But I thought to myself. "I'm 28. 14 year olds do this (make out). Maybe if I try it, I'll like it." I tried it. I turned my head to kiss him back. And I felt something.


Absolute fear. I started going to counseling. I reallized I had an emotional block that was keeping me from falling in love. Trust was the thing. I had major trust issues when it came to men. The counseling blossomed into a self-searching time when I learned what it meant to be an adult child of an alcoholic and to grow up in a dysfunctional, emotionally-abusive family. And I came to the realization that my father molested me.

In 2001, I was working for another company. It was a great job but with an evil boss. Really evil. I was depressed. I quit the job an was unemployed for six weeks with not one day's work. My rent alone was $875 a month. Somehow I did manage to pay it. I got another job, at $15000 less pay a year, but with nice people. But I only had three weeks until my lease was up. I couldn't find a place to live. I couldn't stay where I was because of the money. Oh, and I hadn't been writing. I hadn't been imagining for about 5 months.

Also, somewhere in the middle of all that, I got a kitten. My previous boss drove me to get him. And then, after I'd left my purse at the lady's house (who I got the kitten from), he took me to the drive-in at McDonald's and kissed me. And he knew about the trust issues and stuff!

That, in a nutshell, is what I call my "Megastress." More than a handful of major stressors happening all at the same time or one right after the other for more than a year. More than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure, but I want to paint this picture. Just in case you lost track:

    The MegaStress Stressors
  1. The date/the realization of the block
  2. Counseling/realization that I was molested and an ACOA
  3. Evil boss
  4. Unemployment
  5. Losing my imagination/no writing (Since writing is my drug, that is serious!)
  6. Trying to find a new place to live
  7. Lease running out

I swear there used to be ten. But I can't remember them now. See below about the costs of MegaStress

The result is that I've learned stress is dangerous. Very. Most people don't realize it. It has hurt me mentally. I don't have the level of concentration I used to have, I don't write like I used to, I don't remember things like I used to.

And now I've got the problems with words. I actually didn't want to write "one right after the other" up there. I tried to write "consequitively" but I wasn't (and still am not) sure how to spelll it anymore.

All that said, I think the counseling (which is stressful in its own right but still good for you) helped, as did Al-Anon and finally Focus. I don't think I've got that emotional block anymore, for instance. But also, the Megastress has taught me some good things. Self-forgiveness, for one. I shouldn't kick myself for my faults, like the things I forget. I don't have any control over that really. And I've lightened up on myself in other ways. In February 2002, after I'd gotten hooked on the Lord of the Rings, I got a new slogan: "Embrace your obsessions! You'll be happier that way!". It was true! I'd fought my obsessions before, not wanting people to think me too obsessive. But you know what, that's unnecessary stress. There is so much stress in this world that we can't control, why stress over things we can. So, I fully admit that I'm head-over-heels obsessed with the Lord of the Rings. Heck, I've got LGO LAS on my license plates!

And there was another thing. I used to say "I want my old brain back. This one is just a loaner." But one day God revealed something to me. An epiphany. He'd given me two other poems during the MegaStress and just after. Poems that didn't rhyme, which wasn't like me at all. One day I was trying to pray in a Bible Study about prayer and He started giving me a new poem. I'd been feeling very stressed. I could feel it kind of swirling around in my head. While we prayed, it stilled. I could almost feel his hand on my shoulder. He gave me the poem and some words I had to write around the margins. "Epiphany" was one of them. Another was this: "You are keeping me weak, that I might see You better!"

So much had happened that I couldn't attribute to myself (like my car) but to His providence. I can see Him so much better now that I can't do as much myself.

Two years later, I'm healing. I'm recovering. I've seen that road and I don't want to go down it anymore.

Monday, January 12, 2004

The deathtoll rises.....

...only fictionally, of course. I have killed (fictionally--you never know who's reading these things) about 70 characters this week, and tortured a few others. Ah, the smell of evil in the morning....

Fictionally, of course.

Yes, I've been writing again. I've got about half the chapter done and I even decided something new while writing. Section 31 has a reason for not getting everyone out....

I also have a problem. If you are reading this and you are a medical professional willing to help me with a scene, give me an e-mail. I had done something quite horrible to one of the characters (fictionally, of course) and need to know how Bashir would keep her alive. Alive, not comfortable or healthy. Just alive. I need this rather quick as I am trying to finish this story by February and I still have another chapter after this one to write.

    Status of Stories
  • Faith III: Peace Working on chapter 16. Will be 17+Epilogue
  • The Honored Just where I left it. 1 1/2 chapters and one scene near the end.
  • Close to Home . . . So Far Away No, that isn't a new story. It's an old one (BTVS/Angel). I wrote it a couple of years ago. But i was listening to an Enya CD and it reminded me of this story. So I got out my hard copy and started reading it. I found typos. And even a missing few paragraphs. Now, some of these have been corrected already (I just didn't print a new hardcopy) but some haven't. So in the days to come, I'll be posting corrections.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Less than a month to go

...If I want to be eligible for the ASC Awards anyway. I've got to finish Faith III by the end of January.

Well, I'm on my way at least. I supposedly finished chapter 15 and am on chapter 16. I have a feeling, though, that I need to go back and give Bashir more time, and some mention of the Defiant's crew and the fight at the D'Nexi Lines.

Otherwise, for new stuff, I've done the big bang and now we're in the punishment phase. The punishment phase needs to give way to the evacuation phase. Then we're into the last chapter and the climax of the story. The epilogue will likely feature Section 31 and not really Bashir at all. Just tie up a couple loose ends.

But can I do all that in less than a month? Not if I don't get cracking.

    Status of Stories
  • Faith III: Peace May need additional stuff in 15, working on 16
  • The Honored Right where it was before. 1 1/2 chapters done, scene near the end.