Oops, sorry it took so long to get to this! I have a couple of different cat trees. The cream-colored one in most of the pictures I found on Amazon here. There’s another I have that’s brown and I found it for a steep discount on Wayfair.com. My kitties love both of them!
Tag: about me
Time to Speak Up
Despite my best laid plans, this first month of 2019 has not seen me on tumblr all that much. I even missed recommendation day this month. But I want to share why this is, because speaking up about it is important for everyone, especially others who find themselves in similar situations. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen me talk about this already, but this is my Official Tumblr Post™.
On January 11th, 2019, I escaped an abusive home.
Some of you may remember that I was living with my brother, and yes, I am referring to that home. My brother became emotionally abusive, and he likely was so for much longer than I was aware of it. Beginning last summer, shortly after we moved to a new apartment, it started to get worse and worse until it hit crisis level. Over the course of several months, he didn’t help me when I had to go to the emergency room (twice) and put lots of energy into gaslighting me, ignoring me, mocking me, shouting at me, and otherwise turning my home into a place I no longer wanted to be. My cats were scared of him and began to lose weight. I could never keep the apartment clean because he did nothing to help. Also, it became clear that it was negatively affecting my physical health as well. This week, I was diagnosed with Essential Tremor, and the intensity of the stress the abuse put me under increased the severity of my tremors and ataxia symptoms.
The worst part? My parents didn’t believe me.
They still don’t.
I tried to tell my mother what was happening at Christmas, and she only screamed at me for causing drama and daring to act like an abused person. It was shortly after this that I realized I could not stay in that environment.
The week I decided to sign a new lease and begin the moving process was probably one of the worst weeks of my life. My parents called me to demand why I was betraying my brother by leaving the lease four months early. They tried to force me to stay. I realized that this meant I should leave sooner, but it was also the first week of the semester, so I only had a few hours here and there to pack. Some of these hours were swallowed up by my brother sobbing and shouting at me, turning red and physically frightening. The next night he tried the “good cop” approach, which was just as abusive but far subtler. I was absolutely convinced that my parents wouldn’t speak to me anymore if I made this decision, but I knew I had to.
I had to find a way to cope with the fact that I was going to lose my entire family because my mom is just as abusive and my dad is completely tied around her finger. I’m fortunate that this did not happen, as my mother decided to apologize for blaming me, but only after she talked to my brother. I’m still furious that it was easier for them to believe I was a backstabbing, selfish social climber than that I had an incredibly real reason for doing it.
I had to pay my brother $1200 to appease the family. This is on top of the $400 or so dollars it cost to move into the apartment. I had received some inheritance money, but I’m still scrambling to pay for all of the extra costs that came along with moving. All of this, on top of starting a new, extremely busy semester.
I’ve been in my new place for a week now, and it’s so, so wonderful. I live with my best friend who is a responsible adult who doesn’t whine about basic things like chores and with whom I happily cook meals every day. I have my cats, who are already so much happier. I’m starting to get my feet under me for this semester. I still need to work my ass off to earn the money I need to get back on track, but in the interest of that, I’m trying to focus on my Patreon, for which I have many exciting plans this year.
If you enjoy my work, my writing, and this blog, I would so appreciate it if you considered becoming my patron. I have tiers anywhere from $1-$20 a month, so it should fit in to most budgets. Anything helps–next week I’ll be working 30 hours on my side job on top of the 40+ hours I usually put into grad school. Basically, my life is work, eat, sleep. I want so much to have the time to blog and continue to interact with all of you, but realistically I have to put things that don’t pay the bills on the back burner. If I can build my patron base, I won’t have to put in so many extra hours, and this will allow me more time to write and provide content for all of you.
I appreciate all of you for sticking with me over the past few months even though I’ve struggled to engage. I have high hopes that being away from my abuser(s) and being low-contact with my family will help me recover and regain the time and energy to do what I love with more regularity.
Here’s to a new and better 2019.
What New York looks like to people from New York vs What New York looks like to everyone else.
The Linden Murders
In the small community of Linden, where most people knew each other, a serial murderer would have been something of an oddity and, one would think, fairly easy to spot. The victims of the alleged “Linden killer,” mostly women in the community, were often beaten so savagely that they were unrecognizable. It was not an act of pure anger, however, as was evidenced by the presence of semen on one of the victims’ clothes when they were inevitably found by their neighbors. But were the crimes perpetrated by the same person or were they simply unrelated killings that happened to occur in the tiny community around the same time?
One of the most disturbing of the Linden crimes was the murders of Mable Morse along with her two friends, Thomas and Hattie Whaley. When Mrs. Morse had not returned in a timely manner, she was sought at the Whaley house which was then found to be in flames. The bodies had been stacked and were found alight.
In the summer of 1924, a letter postmarked from Detroit was sent to one of the residents of Linden urging that a “fifth murder” was imminent and that the community and its protectors should be diligent in order to prevent it from happening. This attack (which could actually have been a sixth attack) never did come about and even today researchers find it hard to make any solid connections between any of the murders that actually did occur. There seemed to be no clear motive and no determined mode of operation as some of the victims were shot instead of beaten and one was a man instead of a woman.
Heinous as the crimes were, the murders slowly faded into history and obscurity. Modern day researchers determined that the most likely culprit behind the murders was a hired hand who lived in Linden at the time named Andrew Michel. He would have been familiar with most of the victims of the Linden murders and was questioned multiple times by the police during the investigations. Nevertheless, there was no physical evidence tying him to the crimes and he passed away in 1960 at the age of 77 while being housed in an institution.
Hey everyone, this was my hometown! Nothing like growing up in a little hamlet that’s infamous for unsolved murders. 😉
Tattoos and less anxiety, that’s all I want
I was tagged by @spaceshipkat! Thank youu!
Rules: Bold the statements that are true!
I am over 5′5″/ I wear glasses/contacts / I have blond hair / I wear sweatshirts a lot / I prefer loose clothing to tight clothing / I have one or more piercings / I have at least one tattoo / I have blue eyes / I have dyed or highlighted my hair / I have gotten plastic surgery / I have or had braces / I sunburn easily / I have freckles / I paint my nails / I typically wear makeup / I don’t often smile / I am pleased with how I look / I prefer Nike to Adidas / I wear baseball hats backwards
HOBBIES AND TALENTS
I play a sport / I can play an instrument / I am artistic / I know more than one language / I have won a trophy in some sort of competition / I can cook or bake without a recipe / I know how to swim / I enjoy writing / I can do origami / I prefer movies to TV shows / I can execute a perfect somersault / I enjoy singing / I could survive in the wild on my own / I have read a new book series this year / I enjoy spending time with friends / I travel during school or work breaks / I can do a handstand
I have had my first kiss / I have gotten drunk / I have told a crush I like them / I have traveled outside of the country / I have flown on an airplane / I have stayed awake for more than 48 hours / I have had a near-death experience / I have caught something on fire / I have performed in a talent show / I have shot a gun / I have been on TV / I have gone scuba diving / I have broken a bone / I have slow-danced / I have gone on a shopping spree
I am in a relationship / I have been single for over a year / I have a crush / I have a best friend / I have known a friend for over ten years / My parents are together / I have a brother / I have dated my best friend / I am adopted / My crush has confessed to me / I have had a long-distance relationship / I am an only child / I give advice to my friends / I have made an online friend / I met up with someone I have met online
I have heard the ocean in a conch shell / I have watched the sunrise / I enjoy rainy days / I have slept under the stars / I meditate outside / the sound of chirping calms me / I enjoy the smell of the beach / I know what snow tastes like / I listen to music to fall asleep / I enjoy thunderstorms/ I enjoy cloud watching / I have attended a bonfire / I pay close attention to colours / I find mystery in the ocean / I enjoy hiking on nature paths / Autumn is my favorite season
I can fall asleep in a moving vehicle / I am the mom friend / I live by a certain quote / I like the smell of Sharpies / I am involved in extracurricular activities / I enjoy Mexican food / I can drive stick-shift / I have memorized an entire song in a day / I believe in true love / I dream up scenarios to fall asleep / I sing in the shower / I wish I lived in a video game / I have a canopy above my bed / I am multi-racial / I am a redhead / I own at least three dogs / I am LGBT+
Interview: Sarah Viehmann
Today we’re joined by Sarah Viehmann. Sarah is a phenomenal author whose debut novel, Unrooted, is scheduled to be released this winter. Unrooted is a retelling of Snow White that features two protagonists on the ace spectrum. When she’s not writing novels, Sarah frequently blogs about fairy tales and sometimes about asexuality. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about
I am a novelist writing adult fantasy, a series of fairy
tale retellings beginning with Unrooted,
debuting Winter 2018 with REUTS Publications. The first book retells the “Snow
White” fairy tale and features protagonists on the ace spectrum, along with
other LGBT+ characters, disabled characters, and characters of color. Unrooted is the first in a series of
five books called The Iridia Series.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the human impulse that drives us to tell
stories. How do we use stories to communicate deep needs within the individual
and the community? How do stories changes based on who is telling them? How
have stories changed and how will they continue to change in the future? My
fairy tale retellings seek to explore, if not answer, these questions.
What got you
interested in your field? Have you
always wanted to be an artist?
When it comes to fairy tales, I was introduced to them by my
father reading me Three Billy Goats Gruff
and similar fairy tales before bed at night. I also frequented the local
library and always went directly toward the 398.2 section where fairy tales are
housed. As for writing, I tend to joke that I’ve been writing since I could
hold a marker, but that really isn’t too far off from the truth! I’ve always
been inventive and a lover of words, so combining those two things into writing
seemed to be incredibly natural for me.
Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?
Oh goodness … I’m not sure how to best answer this. I
think the themes that appear most frequently in my work include mother-daughter
relationships, women who have lost and regain their voices, and attention to
language. There are also many elements from my academic study of literature
that appear in my work, such as structuralism and mise en abyme (the mirror in the text), and those who might be
familiar with such ideas should be able to pick them out.
What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?
Do it, and do it for yourself. Disregard any thoughts of
“what if no one likes it?” It’s yours to
like, and what other people think only matters once the work is done and/if you
decide to share it. Don’t let the input of others affect your creative process,
because then the work won’t be true to you.
Where on the spectrum
do you identify?
I identify as asexual and grey-biromantic. The latter part
of that is more nebulous for me and I slide around a lot. I tend to find
cis-women and nonbinary people more aesthetically attractive than cis-men, but
that could be a matter of circumstance than anything else!
Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Yes. I once pointed out amisia in a very popular book series
that appeared in the preview a few days before the newest book release. I spent
a weekend fending off aggressive anons on tumblr telling me I’d read it wrong
and I shouldn’t be upset by it. It’s difficult being in the minority of writers
and readers who can and do point out things like that in published writing (and
that’s not the only example). I still find it very important to point these
things out so readers and writers alike learn, but it’s always a little
uncomfortable having to be That Person. In addition to that, I try and model
positive ace and aro representation in my own writing as a model for what I as
an ace and grey-ro person would like to see in writing.
What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Recently, I think it’s the idea that ace people don’t like sex or are disgusted by it. That’s
not the experience of all ace people, and it shouldn’t be a stereotype. That
said, the experience of those who are sex-repulsed
should be respected.
What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
It’s okay to try on labels to see what fits. You’re not
betraying anyone by adjusting the label over time to figure out what fits you
best. I had to play around with my romantic orientation a lot before I decided on one, and I’m still not wholly committed to
it. Also, seek out other ace folks, because on the whole I find we’re an
incredibly kind and welcoming community willing to help you figure things out
if you have questions.
Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?
My official website is www.sarahviehmann.com,
but I’m most active on Tumblr (sarahviehmann.tumblr.com)
and Twitter at SarahViehmann.
You can also find Unrooted on
Goodreads! Please stay tuned for its release and other exciting things leading
up to the release date!
Thank you, Sarah, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.
Hello everyone! I’ve been so busy the past couple of days I forgot to share this awesome interview I got to do over at @asexualartists! Thanks so much for hosting me, Lauren!
omg tattoo pics!! the design sounds so cool!
It’s finally healed enough for me to show off a bit! There’s still a little redness, but it’s really starting to look nice. ❤
Hi! I’d like to recommend “Radio Silence” by Alice Oseman. It’s not fantasy related at all but it’s got various themes like going to university and it has a diverse cast! (I’m aware that you’re a Ph.D student and that your first day of uni was a rather ‘long’ time ago, haha.)
Great, thanks for the recommendation! I really enjoy university-based books for the most part, if they’re done well.
And now that you made me think of it … my first day of college was in September 2009 … NINE YEARS AGO. *collapses*
Rules: answer these questions in a new post and tag blogs you would like to know better
I was tagged by @spaceshipkat! Thanks, it’s been a while since I’ve been tagged in one of these!
(A)ge : 24
(B)irthplace: Western New York
©urrent Time: 4:04pm
(D)rink You Had Last: Carrot, ginger, and lemon juice
(E)asiet Person To Talk To: My best friend @cassxfaith
(F)avorite Song: I really have no clue
(G)rossest Memory: Cleaning out the beer tent after the community tractor pull when I was eleven
(H)ogwarts House: Ravenclaw
(I)n Love?: yes :3 and I finally decided I’ll tell him how I feel when the opportunity presents itself
(J)ealous Of People?: Yes, but more for perceived social success than anything else
(K)illed Someone?: lol no
(L)ove At First Sight or Walk By Again?: walk by because I’m on the aromantic spectrum
(M)iddle Name: Noel
(N)umber Of Siblings: One brother
(O)ne Wish: to get a kick-ass cover for my book
(P)erson You Last Called: A customer because I needed to confirm if it was okay to substitute her order of celery for something else 😛
(Q)uestions You’re Asked The Most: “How’s the book coming?” “When is [assignment] due?” “How many languages do you speak?”
®easons To Smile: I’m feeling better from my cold!
(S)ong You Last Sang: “Like a Flower,” a song that I’m composing
(T)ime You Woke Up: 6:46 am (cats were hungry)
(U)nderwear Color: salmon pink
(V)acation Destination: tour de force of Europe
(W)orst Habit: picking my nose
(X)-rays?: most recently at the chiropractor to check out the alignment of my spine
(Y)our Favorite Food: nachos
(Z)odiac Sign : sagittarius