My Book Trailer

Sorry for the spamming of my book; like I said in my FAQ, I only want to post news about my book, not allowing it to overtake everything. So, I promise to shut up soon, but I’m so freaking pumped about sharing my book trailer with you guys!

When I tried to come up with an idea for a book trailer, I wanted to show what a snippet of life in ‘The Black Swan Company’ would look like. New Hampshire isn’t the setting for my book (it’s Providence, Rhode Island), but New Hampshire IS an important place in it, as it plays an integral role in showing how a group of people reacted to the political change in the storyline, and how they feel about it.

So, I decided that a fun way to show a piece of the world I’d created was to put together a few minutes of what I believe would be on their public access television (community announcements and all), and let me tell you…I watched so much public access in preparation of this trailer, it’s not-…well, yeah, it’s kind of funny.

A good friend of mine (who had taken a class in voice acting) accepted my offer of doing the voiceover work, and I think he did a great job! My first time in a recording studio, too; it took about an hour to record, as I had to direct him and have it timed with the music…I thought it’d only be a few minutes to record.

When I put the trailer together and watched it…I cried. It feels like the world I’d imagined is real, and that was an amazing thing to experience.

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‘The Black Swan Company’

Hey, guys.

I want to tell you that…

1. I kind of…well, wrote a book, and…
2. it’s available on Amazon.

You can buy ‘The Black Swan Company’ at Amazon, and even like ‘The Black Swan Company’ on Facebook. It is only in digital format, but I’m hoping to sell it in hardcopy very soon; there is a link to subscribe to a newsletter on my main page, and I intend to announce any releases on Facebook and here, of course!

Please do be forewarned that the indenting did not come out properly on older Kindles and the Amazon preview, but it looks perfectly fine on newer Kindles and all applications (‘apps’) that I’ve tested it on so far (iBook, the Kindle App, etc.).

I know that the most of you use your readers to read my blog, so you might not’ve noticed the changes I’ve made to my website (lunademasi.com); I’ve added an FAQ and synopsis for my book, and a picture of myself on the ‘About’ page.

Thanks, guys.

Ordinary Part 2

So, if being a skinny, rich woman with perfect hair is no longer your aspiration, what is?

I want to be a craftsman.

I admire the Hank Hills and Ron Swansons of the world.
I aspire to be being able to rip up a gross, old carpet and lay a brand, new tiled floor…to get an old Mustang and make it purr like a large, disgruntled kitten…to dislodge the God damn garbage disposal out of anger because that thing has fucked with me for the LAST TIME, tell the guy who tries to help me ‘I know more than you’ as I grab a new one at the store, then return home and install it.

There is this…indescribable beauty, this amazing feeling when I remove a clog from a drain or fix a faucet or install a chandelier or rip up a carpet or paint a room, and there is NOTHING like it. I still revel in the time I was changing my mass air flow sensor in the parking lot of an auto parts store in a skirt and pair of high heels, rejecting the multiple offers of help by the men going in or out of the store because I fucking knew what I was doing and LOVED doing it. Even refilling the salt in the water softener gives me such a sense of pride and victory that doesn’t want to go away for a while.
I take pride in home and car maintenance, and I don’t care how strange that sounds.

I want to reside in a smallish community.

Yes, I’m from New York, and I LOVE New York, but I’ve decided that I no longer want to permanently reside in the city…it’s too much: Too much money for too little, and too many people to maneuver around.
Where I’m residing at the moment is wonderful; if one turns right, there is a bigger intersection a few feet down the road that crosses into a more populous and thriving city with many businesses and stores…turn left, and it enters into my town where the traffic is slow and reasonable, the restauranteurs recognize you, and there are wholesome places, such as an antique store, a local history museum, and plenty of small businesses that the townspeople frequent and adore. Hell, I know where the public access TV station is (only two minutes away from my house…it’s great)!
It’s strange because the hustle and the smell and the entertainment of New York is something I never could imagine being happy without, but the more I experience this lifestyle, the more I love it, especially the part about having a yard…that’s irreplaceable.

I want to be able to work in or provide for my community.

Oh, long commutes…you are ridiculous.
I want to know and/or work within my local ‘tribe,’ being a part of where I live, to contribute. I want to build relationships with the people I work with and for, and be able to get together, knowing that they’re only a few minutes away. I think that people are far too detached from one another AND work too far from home, spending so much of their precious time behind the wheel…it’s a waste of life, time that could be spent with pets and family and friends, and it contributes to our apathy. My mother is a nurse, and when I was a kid, she worked five minutes away from home…it was perfect.

These things sound so ordinary, I know.
Usually, if people are speaking of their aspirations, they’re sky-high and glittery…but that isn’t what does it for me. And maybe my aspirations are boring to the rest of you. I know. But when the neighbor across the street gets into his car with his cup of coffee, dressed and ready for work at 4:30 am, I feel the thrill I imagine others feel when they spot their favorite celebrity stroll the red carpet: It’s incredible.

Ordinary

As I alluded to in my post, ‘The Strangest Kind of Blessing,’ I am completely uninterested in the culture of celebrity; as a matter of fact, I kind of hate it.
Why people fawn over or even ‘love’ people who they’ve never met, or care about people who would never, EVER talk to them is something I don’t understand. There is even a name for such relationships in academia; they call it a ‘parasocial relationship,’ and it happens when one person knows so many things about another, but the object of interest knows nothing of that person and, to be honest, could probably care less about them.

Am I a celebrity hater?
No.
As a matter of fact, I do feel moments of deep respect for a celebrity from time to time, especially with writers or musicians. And I’ll even go so far as to admit that it was a bit cathartic when I shook a well-known musician’s hand, told him that his music meant something to me, then taught him what agoraphobia is upon his asking. There’s only one other person who I’d be interested in having a short conversation with, as I’ve enjoyed his writing, acting, and music composition since I was 14 years old, but even with him, there’d be no goo-goo eyes and nervous titters, because I know that this person doesn’t know me or care about me, and never will.

When you are able to let the fact that these people will never care about you sink in, ignoring all of the magazines, TV shows, and the people around us saying that we should all but worship these people, it clears some give-a-shit room for those who are in our lives…those who DO or WILL care.

I admit that there absolutely WAS a time that I, too, all but worshipped celebrities; it was years ago, but it happened; consequently, it was also a time when I’d never felt worse about myself. I’d ask the universe why I was the weight I was, why I didn’t have money, and why people didn’t think the world of ME and everything that I’d accomplished…why couldn’t I be like THEM? They were obviously doing something right, and therefore were deserving of my love and attention…and jealousy.

I wanted to be skinny and have perfect hair and be rich [fun fact: I had to retype the word ‘rich’ three times because my fingers aren’t used to typing it], and I felt bad about myself when I couldn’t be or have those things…worthless, even.

As I aged, things became different. I value different things, and I’ve essentially shut myself away from that stuff; I prefer cartoons to live-action TV. Seriously, if you were to come into my house at any given moment and the TV is off, if you turn it on, the channel is on ‘Cartoon Network.’
I FUCKING LOVE ‘CARTOON NETWORK.’

…Back to the point.
Two summers ago, I had a week or two off of work, and one of my friends logged into HBOGO on my phone with her account. I love me some vampires, so I spent the week marathoning ‘True Blood.’ After watching that show for a week, I looked in the mirror and thought I was chubby for the first time in a LONG time. The majority of the women they cast in that show are size 0, and I realized that by subjecting myself to those images, even temporarily, that body type (one that I will never have, as I’ve been a size 0 and still didn’t look like them) became the ‘standard’ body type, and it had a significant impact on me. Thankfully, that dysmorphic episode was only temporary, and I snapped out of it.

(Stay tuned for part 2.)

When has it been Easy?

Oh, blog…
Oh, my few but faithful followers…
I have neglected my blog yet, again.

I do apologize.

It was not an easy summer, nor has it been an easy fall…

To address the elephant in the room: I have had some personal projects in motion, and neither have been completed. No, I did not, indeed fulfill my fear challenge or my Jus Sanguinis stuff.

I DID do one of my fear challenges in August, but the other two…well, if you knew what had happened to me, you’d probably understand. Within 10 days, the life I knew was turned upside-down.
I learned who my true friends were, though.

When you have an anxiety disorder, it takes much longer to bounce back; speed-bumps become walls and bee stings become sledge hammer wounds. It takes all of an anxious person’s fortitude, every ounce of it, to pull it together and fight to put the pieces back together.

I fight through perceptions…perceptions of my own, perceptions of others, of what they think I am, of what they think I should be, of where I am, of what I should be afraid of, of what I should be strong enough to endure…along with reality. And, I fight with anger…anger at myself and anger from other people who think I should be able to do this, or should be able to do that and feel slighted when I’m not feeling able to do any of it.

And on top of it all, you need to somehow find compassion for yourself, because if you don’t, you may never find any.

I came to the conclusion tonight that I want to put my Italian citizenship ordeal to rest and find out what happened to my bisnonno. I need to stop running from the truth…to stop procrastinating.

Dear Fellow Caucasians

Dear fellow caucasians,

Even though it’s a rather infrequent phenomenon, there’s something that some of you (not all, but some) do to me that really pisses me off: You say things about other races that you would never say to somebody who belongs to the particular race you are speaking of to me.

While you may not feel that these comments are hurtful…as a matter of fact, many of you may be inclined to believe that they’re even harmless or justifiable…I find it hurtful that you are sharing them with me.

I do NOT generalize groups of people…the end, end of discussion, PERIOD. Not by their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, zodiac sign, whatever…I don’t do it. And I realize that calling you out on your own stupidity for doing so won’t change your mind. If you choose to hold onto viewpoints which are unfair to others or possibly cause you to miss out on wonderful experiences with those who you deem ‘different’ from you, that is your choice, and you’re free to think whatever you want. Yippee-skippy for you.

Please know, though, that when you categorize me as somebody who you can feel free to share these thoughts with, you are wrong. If you would not share the thoughts with a person of whatever ethnicity you’re about to talk about, DO NOT SHARE IT WITH ME. You aren’t ‘safe’ in sharing these thoughts with me; I won’t understand, I won’t be tolerant, and it’s not ok because you think of me as ‘one of you.’ I am NOT ‘one of you.’ I will be offended, I’ll most likely insult your intelligence, and I’ll lose respect for you. Please know that I AM the quintessential ‘mixed company.’

So, the next time that you want to say, ‘I would never date a [ethnicity here] person,’ or whatever kind of inane bullshit you feel the need to vomit in my direction, shut your mouth, instead.

 

Fear Challenge 1/5: Souffle

In the post that is called ‘The Things I’ve Never Done: Part 2,’ I set five goals for myself.
Well, I completed one.

I made a vanilla souffle.

…And it did not go well.

Do me a favor: Visit Google, type in ‘Vanilla Souffle,’ and click on the image search function. Then, look at the pictures.
Do you get how the souffle is supposed to look, all puffy and bursting out of the ramekin?

This is mine:

photo 2

It ACTUALLY did the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what it was supposed to do!
And NO, I didn’t slam anything or bump anything!

I was PISSED.
…Then, I found it kind of funny. And I ate them.
I actually have never eaten a souffle before this and, if I’m honest, it was quite disappointing. Sure, it did not rise, but that wouldn’t have mattered. It tasted like…baked eggs with sugar. If you want that kind of taste, why not make a smooth, yummy custard instead of this?

So, all of this time, I’d been scared to make a souffle.

Did it hurt my ego a bit that it didn’t rise?
Sure.

There are those people who are good at almost everything…you know who I mean? The people who are kind of scary because everything that they do just turns out great and wonderful, or they take to a game or a sport or whatever, and they’re perfect at it.

Oh, this woman who I know is a doctor, but on the side, she knits opera gloves for orphans! Oh, you need to have her show them to you, but that’s nothing compared to what she did for her daughter: She sewed her wedding dress! Didn’t even use a pattern; it was her first time, too. …Yes, her first time sewing! Oh, and you know those amazing cookies in the break room? Guess who baked them!

Well, I am not one of those people.
I default to ‘inept,’ and that really bugs me sometimes. Yes, this involves practice time, as well. It’s downright tiring.
It makes me feel like I’m always outside looking in, which is how I’ve felt my entire life; like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit anywhere.

Don’t get me wrong: I like being the odd puzzle piece.

But being inept at so many things makes it so difficult to interact with other human beings when you know, no matter how hard you try, that you will lose that cutesy board game, or that new project you wanted to try that is outside of your comfort-zone will turn out a mess EVERY TIME.
A lot of people enjoy ‘a bit of competition;’ it motivates them to be better and strive for greatness, but all it’s ever done for me was make me feel like shit. There are many times in my life where I’d asked myself, in earnest:

Am I good at anything? Anything at all?

The silence following that question is awful.

So, I came to the conclusion that instead of feeling horrible about myself for my ineptness, I would strive for MY best. When I did not bother to compare how I was doing next to others, it made me happier and more willing to continue with all of the things I’m inept with that I love to do. I no longer thought things like:

Why bother? I’ll never be any good at this, so what’s the point?

…and started thinking:

So what if this person is so good that it makes my skills look juvenile? I did my best, and I’m proud of myself!

It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
So good, in fact, that I had a revelation: I reject competition, in and of itself.
It’s certainly not a popular thing to say, but it works for me.

Even though I’ve made this personal progress with myself, I do become fearful of failing at something I feel I’m good at; it’s something I need to work on. Baking is cooking’s sister, so I honestly become scared to do it sometimes because I hate it when I make mistakes.

I would salivate whenever people made souffles on TV; they look SO good…but I was sure mine wouldn’t come out right. And I was jealous of the people who could make them so perfectly. But the funny thing is…it wasn’t as delicious as I thought it’d be. It looks amazing (when it’s done correctly), but I’d be almost embarrassed to serve something that tastes like that to my friends and family. Cut up some strawberries, sprinkle some baker’s sugar on them, and serve it with some angel food cake…call it a day. It is way less work, more filling, and a better dessert, anyway.

Maybe people make souffles simply because they’re difficult and they want to impress people…

Anyway…I did what I said I’d do: I made the souffle.
Did what I was afraid of happening happen?
Yes.
How did I handle it?
Just fine.