It's been three years since LF closed, and that's a lot of life to live. What have you been up to in the past few years? If you're new to the LF community, we want to know what puts the wind in your sails and keeps you going.
Y'all been writing much? Publishing? Families growing? Jobs changing? Managing to stay healthy out there? Catch us up.
Last Edit: Sept 29, 2020 1:27:36 GMT -6 by RAVENEYE
The Life of a Bird involved escaping dangerous situations, falling into dangerous situations, getting out again, and then trying to heal. Then taking on WAY TOO MUCH activist work in order to run from healing, until I crashed hard. So I tried again at healing only for a pandemic to devastate my in-person community. Pandemics are a good way to see the worst in people and the best I think. Also, everything is on fire?
I love activism, but it is really hard on me. I wish I could stick to scholar role and buff the activists on the front lines instead. So sometimes I write essays about this. Most of my essays have been about dismantling ableism and transphobia, and creating a more just accessible and loving future.
But outside of that, I've written a lot of poetry, made a lot of art, written songs, and cried into my cat's soft fluffy fur.
I am halfway on the edits of my novel, The Lost Ones. Typing and losing mobility really shot me down from working on it for awhile.
what about y'all?
"We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist." -- Robert Jones, Jr.
Whoa, spelled out like that, all that sounds real heavy, Bird. Thanks for your candor.
Hmm, I guess I'll go, since I just asked a bunch of questions and didn't offer any of my own junk. Let's see ...
Couple years back, I tried to move across country and chase down a different kind of lifestyle that involved a LOT more nature, but so far that dream has failed, which has been heartbreaking. So I medicated by getting back into art, which for me is pottery. To chill, I started making adorable 3-legged mugs. Keeps me zen.
Isn't that cute?!
Anyway, had some surgeries, made some new friends, got older but not necessarily wiser.
Writing mostly went down the drain in the last few years (where did my brain go?). Been trying to put together an historical novel, which I've had to begin over and over again, like five times now, in trying to get it right. Very ready to drag out some old fantasy pieces that are collecting dust.
Oh, and this month, while I was trying to figure out how to build a forum from scratch, I lost all of my pets. All three of my darling fur-babies died in the space of about three weeks. Still can't wrap my mind around it. So suddenly I'm an empty-nester. Not sure I like it. Sheesh, can I sound more pathetic? Point is, with all this loss and isolation due to germs being dumb, I find myself in need of community. How about you?
Post by StarGirl06 on Sept 30, 2020 0:51:49 GMT -6
As they say to put a long story short, I moved back home to England from Australia after a break up. I got work as a cleaner(Janitor, this word feels weird for my Englishness to use) in a special needs school which my mum also works at and that's how I heard about the job. I don't work many hours but I've done a bit of volunteering with the children which I feel I want to do more than the cleaning but then the dreaded virus hit and things are on hold for now until I'm allowed to be with the children again.
I have been writing, well some days it feels like I'm attempting to but keeping my it going as best as I can. That's pretty much it, I feel this makes me seem quite boring haha.
Oof, Bird, it's been a long journey for you and I'm very glad you're here.
Raveneye your mugs are adorable and I want one. Also, losing all three pets so close together is devastating. I'm so sorry. I still can't believe that happened.
Well, I've been through the ringer the last three years. I suffered from secondary infertility (things just got real) which is where you seem to be unable to get pregnant after having a child. Finally got pregnant after trying for years and then she came early and was born at 23 weeks. For anyone who doesn't know much about pregnancy, they're supposed to last 40 week. So 23 weeks is like...almost unheard of and very scary and the baby typically doesn't survive. BUT I GOT A WARRIOR BABY. She pushed through, was in the NICU for 6 months, we went back and forth to another state for her care, and now she just turned 2 years old. Her name is Cleo. My other daughter just turned 7 and started first grade and I feel old. I remember announcing my pregnancy with my first on the old Legendfire! Dang.
Writing wise, I finished my first book and sent it to Raveneye for extensive edits. The process took about 7 months and was revelatory. My draft blossomed and I'm currently working on the newest reincarnation. Hopefully to be done by the end of the year. After that, it'll go to beta readers and then....hopefully....off to agents and publishers. AHHH. *happy dance*
I'd love to write more short stories and look forward to some contests along the way (gotta get more members, methinks). Those always helped jumpstart my brain and force me to write something outside of my normal comfort zone.
The only other things that's happened...we moved a couple time, same city different locations, and my husband got an actual job that pays the bills while I stay with the kiddos and write, and we hope to buy a house in the next few years. But we shall see...the world is kind of on fire right now and that doesn't bode well for the housing markets.
OH my... I think it's been a lot more than 3 years since since I was really active in LF, and I hope I remembered my username correctly for the old forum. If not, make it a guessing game!
But what have I been doing over the last few years? Mostly, my PhD - which does include a lot of writing, I suppose.
But I still write a fair amount, both fiction and non-fiction, but outside of the PhD it's mostly for the creative/reflective exercise more than serious aspirations. That said, I do have several project ideas. I suppose I've been guilty of that old sin of 'I'll write it later,' but in my defence, A PhD is a singular kind of demanding hell.
But on the plus side, if I didn't make it as a Published Author yet, I am a Published Scientist! So far I've published one technical/results paper in The Journal of Neuroscience, and one review article in Current Opinion in Insect Science. The review article is mostly about adaptations dragonflies have to successful predation. I was hoping to be submitting a second results paper now-ish, but the data did not bear out nicely, so i need to collect some more N and do some follow-up experiments.
It sounds like the last three years have been hard on a lot of people. Us included.
So, so many things have happened in the years since Legendfire went away. The year it went down, 2017, was, quite literally, the worst year of my life. After going non stop for three years with full time job, full time Master's and a newborn (All while writing my Fantasy novel), I burnt out in 2017. By 2017, I'd gained 120 lbs, and weighed in at 395. And that was just the beginning. I lost my job in January (I was an accountant), had to move my whole family in with my in laws because I couldn't find another one, then lost Legendfire, then got a job that November, which I lost by December (a week after moving and signing a new lease), and got ANOTHER job in December, which I subsequently lost two days later because they randomly decided to pull the job back and give it to someone who already had a license they wanted. All the while weighing so much I could barely get up off the ground if I sat on the ground, which I had to do often because bending over to clean things off the ground made me out of breath. It was a hard year for all of us.
In 2018, I started driving with UberEats, delivering food, while my wife went to work as a part time Animal Keeper for a small wildlife facility, working primarily with Barn Animals. That was a hard year, but driving for UberEats, not having to deal with people and making my own hours, helped me to to decompress after the complete ****storm that was 2017. It helped me to start to find myself again. We didn't make a lot of money. We got behind in a lot of our debts. But we survived. Barely. I wrote a little. Not much. I can't seem to write when I have time, only when I don't. But I kept working on things in the back of my mind.
In November of that year, it had been close to two years since losing my job, and I finally pulled myself out of the depression I'd been in. I started to move on. It was a great feeling. Like I'd finally dropped a weight I'd been holding on to. The weight of my own failures. The trick, I discovered, is to accept the failures as something that I did, but not to accept that I have to keep doing it. I have to own the decisions I've made as my own, and no one's fault but my own, but also accept that because of that, my future is my own to change. That first one is hard to accept, because the instinct is to blame others. I can't do that. If I do that, I'll never learn from my mistakes. But that's only half the story. If I'm responsible for my past actions, then I can change my future ones. It took me two years to sift through the emotions and the burn out and the depression to come to that realization. And it wasn't that I didn't KNOW these things. Of course I KNEW these two things. But I didn't comprehend them. I didn't own them. Until November of 2018.
That December, I randomly got a call from the International Mission Board, whom I had previously applied to years before, offering me a job as a Tax Preparer for their missionaries. It was 6 months of full time work making $25 an hour, which was more than I made in a year working UberEats. From that point, everything started turning around.
I worked there until June of 2019, and it was one of the best experiences I'd had. We got caught up on all our bills, and even started paying them off. My wife had, by that point, become the Lead Part Time Keeper, and added Raptors (birds of prey) to the list of animals she was taking care of. That June, just before leaving, I decided that it was time to start losing the weight I'd gained. I'd done Keto before, and knew that I always felt better when I was on that diet, so I went on it hard core.
In July, right after my contract with the IMB was done, my wife got a job offer as a full time Zookeeper in a town three hours away, about an hour from where our family lives. We talked about it. My dream job was there in Richmond, with the IMB, as they would be calling me back in December for the next Tax Season, but this was her dream, and I can do Taxes anywhere. So we moved back in with my in-laws in August of 2019. My wife has had to deal with an hour commute to work since, but it is hard as **** to get a job as a full time Zookeeper, and I wanted her to have this opportunity. She works at the Virginia Safari Park and is in charge of the Back Safari, which has a good 400+ animals she takes care of, mostly hoofstock. Things like deer, antelope, bison, yak, and even some emu and ostriches.
As for me, I switched to Doordash during the Off Season, and do taxes for HR Block, now. We have been blessedly spared by most of the ravages of Covid. HR Block is considered Essential, since it's a Financial Institution, and the Safari Park is a Drive Through Zoo, so the state allowed them to stay open. Of course, it's the only thing to do for miles, so they've had more guests on a Tuesday during Covid than they usually did during major holidays. They had to turn people away almost every day for months because they were swarmed.
And during that time, we haven't had to pay rent, as we are staying with my in laws. Which...is about as hard as it sounds. At least this time it was because of new job opportunities, rather than because I lost a job, but still. We've managed to whittle our debt down to about a quarter what it was a year and a half ago. Of course, living for a year with my in-laws has been trying...
But all that is coming to an end. As of last week, we managed to buy a house! And the Mortgage payment is HALF what our rent was in Richmond! We are so excited. Tomorrow is Moving Day, and we're getting the Uhaul to get all our stuff out of storage and take it over. We can't move in completely yet, as we are in the process of painting nearly every room, and we've got someone coming out next week to replace the carpets, but we are so excited to finally be in our own place. In less than two weeks, we will be in our own place again, this time one that we own.
Since last November, I've been on and off working on my writing. It's been hard, because our computer is in my in-law's dining room (the one they never use), so I'm right there where everyone can see. But in the new place, I'll have my own office. My own little nook to do my writing. I absolutely cannot wait for life to get back to normal. 2020 has been a hard year, with a lot of hardships for everyone involved, but I'm just hoping that some good can come out of it by the end.
Oh, and as for my weight, in the last year and a half since starting on Keto, I've lost 140-145 lbs. I currently fluctuate between 250 and 255, which is the lowest I've been since I was a teenager. I have literally never been this small, even though this isn't small by anyone's definition of the word. I'm still 50 lbs higher than my goal. But I feel better, I can move without pain, and I've gone from a size 52 waist to a size 38.
So, long story short, I burnt out in 2017, spent two years in the valley, finally started pulling myself out of it in 2019, and am now starting to reap the rewards. We have a long way to go, but for the first time, it looks like we may actually be able to accomplish some of the things we've set out to do. I'm hoping getting a manuscript ready to be published will be one of those things, soon.
tglassy : Wow. Just wow. I'm glad you and your family are doing better now. I remember when you announced the IMB job on Discord. Sounds like that was a true God moment, dude.
The biggest changes in my life have all been professional. In 2017, I burning out fast with my old tutoring job. Sure, I was working from home and had some control over my hours, but the corporate bureaucracy I had to deal with on a daily basis was sucking all of my joy and energy. It was in old LF's final months that Beesauce (God bless her, wherever she is) told me about the marketing agency she worked for.
By January 2018, I had left the tutoring job and was writing articles for the agency as my primary gig. The more I wrote for them, the more I enjoyed doing it. My bosses are very easy to work with, they love my work, and so long as I meet my deadlines, nobody cares how I schedule my time. I don't make as much money as I did at my old job, but keeping my energy and sanity more than compensates for that.
August of that year, I decided to make this business blogging and content marketing thing a full-time career. I still do contract work with the agency, but I started going to networking events to look for private clients or potential partnerships. Getting up early in the morning to chat up strangers, hand out business cards, and promote myself. That's something this anxious, introverted night owl would've never attempted three years ago. But I found a counselor and business coach who encouraged me and taught me some helpful tricks to make it less painful.
By 2019, I started reaping rewards. I gained my first long-term private client, scored a couple of short-term gigs, and had an address book full of local entrepreneurs and business owners I kept in regular contact with. I thought I could actually make this freelance thing work.
Then came 2020 and Corona-chan. All of my networking opportunities fizzled out. My contacts all dried up. The big conference I had already paid to attend in Montreal was canceled, and I wasn't able to get all my money refunded. Don't ask about the current state of my bank account. It's not pretty. I'm lucky to have a private client who is still working with me and that the agency is doing well, meaning plenty of extra work available for me to pick up. But business feels very stagnant right now. I've got a couple of business projects brewing in the background, but they'll take a while yet to mature.
Honestly y'all, I'm so glad to have LF and all of you lovely folks back in my life. The chance to talk to different people (and hopefully new people soon) is a blessing in itself. I'd been feeling lonely lately, especially in my creative pursuits. To have friends and other writers again... I should stop myself before I get sappy.
Here's to the rebirth of our beloved forum. Long live LegendFire!
To all of you, hat's of to you for keeping your sanity and moving on. As for me a job loss due to restructuring, then a job loss due to closure, the COVID hit and again unemployed. My dad passed away last year of cancer at 88. It was unexpected or at lest when he told us it was unexpected. He passed two months after telling. I manage a night shift (12hrs) on a 2-2-3 schedule. Off today (Thursday) work this weekend (Friday- Sunday 6pm-6am) I've actually completed my first book though agents call it a novella (it's 48k). Wife and daughter almost lost the store they have but it's opena nd doing okay. I'm now 21 with 40 years of experience. Otherwise life is good, COVID in New York has been in check for a while but we listen and do the face mask, hand washing, and social distancing. The two youngest are doing school online.
“No book is ever written but all good books are rewritten.” Issac Asimov
“What you learn is important, who you help learn is more important.”
Omg pelwrath you have the same avatar and it makes me all warm and fuzzy. Ahh nostalgia.
Tglassy, sounds like you've been through a lot And you're totally right, full time zookeeper jobs are RARE. Gotta take them when offered. Sounds like a really great job for her. And I'm glad you're looking after your health again and feeling more hopeful.
Doublejay, that's so relatable. I feel like 2020 threw us all under the bus. Like you've been working hard and finally on track with your dream? Bam! 2020 sets that all on fire. I feel LF is a much needed haven for many right now.
2017 was pretty brutal. The husband and I both lost a close family member, I was working, the husband had (another) job change that he was working from home. My daughter was starting kindergarten, I changed companies (Same job) and I was starting my slow burnout of a community I had been part of for nearly 8 years. For years before LF closed I was in the deep cult love with a few wheel of time communities, so it took up my spare time outside of the kids and work. I'm no longer active in these forums so I don't have a major active role in moderation or staff in this way. (Aside a VERY casual roleplay site, which doesn't require the same kind of attention.)
Let's see, I built a Patreon and an Etsy shop for my art and writing. I have slowly worked through both and found more success with my art. I also have run a few Kickstarters! One for Enamel Pins, One for a "Brave Enough to Fail" challenge coin with a D&D twist (because critical role), and One for a bunch of mini acrylic pour paintings. I have a failed KS for an Artbook, but was able to do a smaller pre-order through etsy. So, that's been some of my larger projects over the past few years.
Last year we moved from California to Oregon, mostly because we hit a point where our value of life was suffering and we needed to get out from debt and a house that was a secret lemon.
Oh! and I hit a point where I was debating on getting certified as a "Master Knitter" but couldn't afford the cost of the program, however, I became a very good knitter!
Now I am working on my Art and trying to refocus on my writing now that I changed some birth-control medication recently that has helped a lot with the Depression I have thanks to post-pardum and the BC. sooo..
I'm all about new beginnings, challenges and moving forward!
Post by HDSimplicityy on Oct 1, 2020 22:37:07 GMT -6
Tglassy you have had quite the dip and rise. Others here as well. Raveneye, I really like that mug.
So I graduated from Portland State with my Bachelors and Minor over a year after the old forum was shut down. While there, I rewrote a long-short fantasy story for the fourth time, one I first wrote for a class. I love its current draft, just its not publishable quality. Later when I update my writers' website I haven't used much, I want to release it there with a flash fiction.
After graduation I valeted cars for over a year while living, once again, with my mom. Helpful to have family a short drive from school. Lets see... I had my first romantic pursuit, which was amazing but didn't work out. Marriage and having a small family is one of my big goals in life.
Covid 19 came and I left valeting. I had been looking forward to leaving for months. Tired of valeting with this company the hospital contracted with, wanting a writing job, dealing with the stupid tipping policy. Application after application went. Nothing happened. But then quarantine came. And a great opportunity! Write the rest of my first books first draft. Nine out of the twelve chapters were written in the span of about a month and a half. Eight pages per chapter, save for one I went over. The entire draft is handwritten on notebook paper... which I will never do it again BUT I enjoyed it. My right hand did get sore from all that!
I got bored of being home, so I found my new job. Its good, just not anything I will stay at for a long time. I also found this indie game development team either through Game Writers - a Facebook group for beginner, amateur and professional videogame writers - or Discord via, ironically, another professional game dev server. So finally, the door opened! A bit of pay too. Writing my book concurrently with game writing.
Moreover, I left the church I grew up at after I finished school. It has been a struggle to find a new church family while I still live where I live. Ended up recently going to one of the churches my roommate attends.
Anywayy, hmm... I am going to build my first custom PC in November. Next summer I am planning to buy an Xbox Series X. Way later I will add a PlayStation 5 to my set up. Im saving for my first house, and my sister got married in May of 2018.
I will mention that I want to build a new social life and spend a little less time at forums. I will come here and Scribophile, and as I said in my introduction thread; building real life relationships right now is important to me. I am lacking friends in my vicinity. It is harder while a pandemic is still going on, but I have found people that are meeting in person. That is a whole other conversation.
Post by Caulder Melhaire on Oct 2, 2020 9:03:11 GMT -6
Thinking about it this morning and I guess things are different since the last time we were all together, aren’t they?
The night we shut down, I was rushing home from an 8 hour night shift to spend the last half-hour of September saying farewell to my first real home. I was locked in a dead-end job, living in a crappy little village, pops and the new girlfriend kicking up the same dust that him and my ma went through. I was thrown violently back into the dangerous mindset of my mid-to-late teens. Wishing I’d tried harder to stay in Kentucky and make a life for myself. Doubting if it would even have been worth it. Reconsidering.
And now I’m about to graduate in 3 months with a bachelors in Computer Science and a Business Admin minor. If all goes well this semester, I will technically have my seminar paper published (university hosted papers totally count, right? I say they do). Joined a game dev group with some friends, made a really good irl friend at college, finally got to crack open the mysterious world of DnD. Got a whole ton of other little experiences; coding, drawing, hating people slightly less and actually socializing with classmates lol. Still shite at the violin. Jobwise, I’m not much better off. Worse actually. I work on campus cleaning res halls, and last Fall I spent my nights slaving away for Land’s End. But I work with good people, and I’m having fun. And that’s more than I can say about my last job. Last summer I got to go hang out in the Rockies with some awesome peeps First road trip I’ve been on in literally decades. All that fresh air, good food, and wonderful company did the body and soul wonders. (And we would have gotten away with it again, if it weren't for you meddling coronaviruses.) And of course the year before that, I finally got to see Nightwish in concert at the Aragon. Absolutely soul-shifting experience, to not only hear and feel the music that changed my life in person, but also shake the hands of the wonderful folks behind it all. Between the two of those, I'm more comfortable with myself and my place in the world than I ever was before.
It's good to be back again! Wild to see so many familiar faces popping up
Ah. DND. I randomly found a group in the town I'm living in the weekend before Covid hit, and we all decided to try playing through voice chat. It has been glorious. Two to three nights a week killing dragons and becoming gods, two or three campaigns going at the same time (three of us are DM's). So much fun.