When Not Writing
Hello everyone! I’m Lex Chase and Kim let me drop by her blog today. A little about me is I am the creator of the Checkmate series for Dreamspinner Press with Pawn Takes Rook, the newly released sequel Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check, and coming in early 2014 the final installment Pawn Takes Rook: Conventional Love. The series follows the zany adventures of disgraced superhero Memphis Rook and his climb to redemption alongside his sidekick/boyfriend Hogarth Dawson.
And don’t forget about the giveaway at the end of this post! 😀
So, today I’m talking about what I do when I’m not writing. I’m always writing, and there are times it feels like my life revolves around my ass in my chair and my hands on the keys. I’m one of those people that can never not be doing something. I’m always productive in some way. It’s just who I am. Anderson Cooper who is the king of keeping busy once he’s like a shark that had to keep swimming to be able to breathe. A friend told him there’s a shark that can actually stop swimming to sleep.
He didn’t believe it.
And neither do I.
So, here’s a rundown of what I do when I’m gasp not putting words to the page.
It is said the chaos outside reflects the chaos inside. My head for a variety of reasons is a verychaotic place. Many times it looks like a bomb has gone off in my bedroom while my office is pristine. I have no idea what that says about me.
My office doesn’t always stay perfect either. Often times when I’m deep in a project or projects pluralmy desk has an army of water bottles. Papers and post-its piled high. Pens scattered everywhere. Mail I’ve opened and put the document in one place, and left the torn envelope on my desk in another place. All because I was busy.
I recently finished a novel and sent it off to my betas. The subject matter of the story was harrowing to get through to say the least and I felt extremely vulnerable handing it in to them. The next day, I took an internet sabbatical and dismantled my office then put it back together. I shucked shit. I found new places for things to live. The whole act is very soothing, and when you’re done you are soready for a nap!
I run a fitness blog called Bitter Little Pearl (http://bitterlittlepearl.com
) where I share my adventures in Weight Watchers and share things I’ve learned and my progress. Overall, it’s a very supportive and open place for all walks of life.
Part of Bitter Little Pearl is coming up with recipes to share. I’m no pro food blogger but I like to give people something approachable and easy to do. Real food for the real world.
I have several recipe series I’m working on. One is the Pintrest Makeover Series where you see all those wonderful super-indulgent-super-bad-for-you recipes, and I’m converting them into Weight Watchers Friendly without sacrificing the taste or sense of indulgence. One I did was a cheese bun recipe here: http://nomadchronicle.com/blp/2013/05/18/recipe-i-can-has-cheezebunz/
One that I’m still researching is a series of recipes on Food Trucks. We don’t have very many in our town, but I am fascinated by them and the awesome stuff they make. I have a few cookbooks, so I’m looking into it.
Leave The House
This sounds like such a simple thing doesn’t it? Who doesn’t leave the house? I have a severe form of bipolar disorder, so the act of me going out in public is quite difficult.
If it’s something I have an appointment for, or I’m scheduled to do something (like college classes), I’m fine because it’s a routine and I know what to expect. But going out just to go out? What is this deviltry you speak of?
It sounds super silly, but I leave my house in small doses. In my head, I keep a mental list of “safe places” I can go that won’t be overwhelming or anxiety inducing.
[[[PACIFIC RIM HERE]]] I can go to movies, but not on opening weekends much to the annoyance of my older brother that needsto see everything in IMAX 3D and needs to see it noooooooww! Protip: Go the followingThursday and the first showing of the day. That’s how I finally saw Pacific Rim and there were five other people in the theater. And it was AMAZING.
Bookstores are always a good place to go on certain days when it isn’t too crowded. And Staples. God, how I love Staples. It’s like the Ikea of Office Supplies! Above all that?
I will go to Target and walk every goddamn aisle for no reason at all. I collect My Little Ponies and have since I was five, so one of them is always falling in my cart.
When I have a break from writing, I’ll sit and make something. I’ve recently gotten back into drawing which is something I haven’t done in years and I’m currently designing stickers for GayRomLit. Or I’ll actually pull out the sewing stuff and hot glue gun and stitch something together.
It’s very meditative to sit there and watch Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, then Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods, while having something take shape in your hands.
I recently made a gift for my Mom out of a Fisher-Price toy cow for infants. We’re fans of the show Under the Dome based on Stephen King’s book, and one of the opening scenes features a cow being split in half when the dome comes down. We lose our crapevery time we see it. So I took the cow, did a little surgery to split him in half, and sew him up again with his new… modifications.
I named him Lucky the Split Cow and I’ll gladly make more for others that want one for 20 bucks. 😀
*** *** ***
GIVEAWAY TIME! One lucky winner for August, and one lucky winner for September will receive a set of Series 1 and Series 2 Checkmate buttons, a Lex Chase.com pen, and both Checkmate covers! August winners to be announced August 31st! September winners will be announced September 30th!
*** *** ***
Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Blurb
Even after eleven months of keeping the mean streets of Axis City safe, superduo Checkmate—Hogarth Dawson—and his boyfriend, Memphis Rook, still receive the cold shoulder from the Power Alliance. Undeterred, Hogarth brings his intense focus to bear on Rook, and after Hogarth makes an accidental marriage proposal, it becomes all too clear Rook isn’t quite at the same place. But before life gets awkward, duty calls.
Booted-off female contestants of the romantic reality show Single and Super are being found in comas, and Checkmate needs to get to the bottom of it. As part of Rook’s plan, he cleans up his bad boy image and goes undercover as a bachelor looking for love among twenty-five frenzied women. Against Rook’s wishes, Hogarth sneaks onto the set as a cameraman to investigate the case on his own. With questions unanswered between them, emotions run high, distracting them and feeding a trap of their own making.
Where To Buy:
Catch up on Checkmate #1, Pawn Takes Rook:
*** *** ***
Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Excerpt
“Move it, Garth!” Rook screamed and hopped down from the counter. He ducked as a smoking sea-green tentacle lashed forward through the kitchen window. The long, slimy appendage flailed blindly through the tiny kitchen and flopped over the scattered pots and pans. They clattered around the floor and bounced against the cabinets in head-splitting bongs and gongs. I thanked God Mr. Caruthers in the apartment below was now deaf as a post.
I scrambled backward to the doorway of bedroom, and Rook followed, holding the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame at the ready.
“Go, go, go,” he ordered, and I scurried as fast as the Nyan Cat through the vastness of space.
“What the hell are you doing with the Cheez Whiz?” I yelled over the roar of the horrible elder god watching us through the windows.
The creature’s shark-black eye peered through the window, and Rook took action as he spritzed Cheez Whiz toward the new target. I gasped when the cheesy not-really-a-dairy-product ignited like napalm. Rook, if anything, was stupidly resourceful.
The putrid green creature teetered away from the window, clawing at his face, his great wings flapping and kicking up cyclones through the tightly packed apartment buildings. He swayed, left, right, forward, back, and I danced back through the door into my bedroom.
“Rook, you might want to get down,” I helpfully suggested as he stood in the living room between me and the kitchen.
Rook braced himself and planted his feet. He lifted the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame, ready to spritz the cheesy napalm of death.
The elder god swayed toward my kitchen. You know when something is going to totally not work the way it’s supposed to? Yeah. This was one of those moments. I could see it play out in slow motion, like one of those car crashes they cinematically shoot at three hundred frames-per-second so you can see every agonizing, bone-breaking, glass-shattering moment. And then overlay it with a soundtrack like—I don’t know—some Limp Bizkit song that sounds like an angry cat in a blender that makes no sense with the artful scene of carnage.
I craned my neck and peeked around Rook’s elbow. Brick by brick, and tile by tile, the creature crashed into my kitchen. Knocked out and drooling on my Nana’s shredded gingham wallpaper. Rook stood there like it was another day at the office, his long blond hair fluttering with each breath of the sleeping elder god.
“Whoa…,” I said, blinking through the dust on my glasses. The monster sighed and the tentacles around his mouth flopped in the most unfortunate sounding snore. I glanced up at Rook. “The typical giant monster never took out half the apartment before…”
Rook kept his grip on the Cheez Whiz and Aim-N-Flame, ready to strike again. “Think the landlord will notice?”
I frowned and gestured to the creature. “How will the landlord not notice?” I asked. “Half the apartment’s gone. Look!” I said and nudged a splintered timber with my toe. “This is not as easy as just ignoring it and hoping it’ll magically go away.”
Rook smirked and stooped to get a closer inspection of the monster. “You’re cute when you’re angry.”
I stamped my foot and grunted. “Don’t you dare start that with me, Tiberius.” I growled.
Rook perked up and pursed his lips. “Who told you my middle name is Tiberius?”
I tossed a hand back toward the bedroom in hopes to indicate my Macbook somewhere in there. “Wikipedia,” I growled. “You should check it out. The Captain Chivalry fans have done a pretty good job of defacing it.”
Rook waved a dismissive hand before poking the monster with the Aim-N-Flame. “And how’s he doing up on Ganymede Lunar Prison? I’m sure Rainbow Honeysuckle Jones is calling him a pretty-mouthed midget right now.”
I crossed my arms and stared at the crater left by Rook’s frame in the wall. I counted to ten. And when I still didn’t feel better, I counted again. Nope. Still didn’t feel any better. I glared at Rook. “The fact remains there is a KO’ed elder god in the kitchen. The kitchen!”
“It’ll be okay,” Rook said and offered one of those smiles that he knew would charm my pants off. And said smiles have indeed charmed my pants off a time or twenty. “We’ll fix it.”
I tossed up my hands and frustration flooded through me. “With whatfictional Monopoly money? We can’t afford something like this.”
Rook frowned, and his brows drew upward seeming to indicate concern. “Are we arguing? Because it seems like we’re arguing.”
With such a simple question, my wrath melted away when it dawned on me Rook took on the demeanor of a swatted Doberman. I sighed. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” I said, then smiled. “We’ll figure out something.”
*** *** ***