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Category: Helpful Resources

Introducing Don’t Panic[k]: Life Beyond The Kitchen Table

I had this idea several months ago, about making a site that’s basically just a compilation of advice, thoughts, and resources for people just leaving/graduating the world of homeschooling and religious fundamentalism.

It takes a lot of work and energy to find resources for life in the real world when you don’t even really know how or where to start, which is kinda why I liked the idea of Don’t Panic[k]. I hope to grow it, with the help of people from similar backgrounds submitting resources and articles and ideas, into something useful for people just leaving their parents kitchen table.

So check it out, share it, submit ideas/resources/etc if you have any, and don’t panic (you’ve got this).


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Book Review: Homeschool Sex Machine

rough cover-fixedThe author of Homeschool Sex Machine, Matthew Pierce, writes from his perspective growing up in a religious homeschool environment where purity culture reigned supreme and being pubescent meant you were trouble.

I read it earlier last week, and was just overcome with feels. It’s a short read – and captures that cringe-y kind of hilarity that you get when you read something funny but it’s also oh-so-relateable. That “been there” kind of thing that reminds you of when you were also a young pubescent kid trapped in that crazy world, and the mental lengths you went to so you could maintain purity but still also…be dealing with puberty.

Homeschool Sex Machine is also a great way to understand what it’s like to grow up male in the midst of purity culture. As much as I could relate, it was also eye opening to notice just where some of the emphasis changed. While Matthew maybe wasn’t told to cover up or get raped, the idea of attraction being evil (and by proxy dehumanizing women to be temptresses placed by satan, and men mere hormone balls) and all that entails was rampant. When your complete virginity and purity is the most important thing about you, things get fucked up pretty fast. Crushes? what are those even? pre-marriage feelings? sounds like a bad idea.

Anyway, I could go on, but for a cheeky look at purity culture and growing up in that world, just…go read the book. It’s funny, it’s cathartic, it’s a little uncomfortable in a good way, but mostly, it’s just good. Find it on amazon.

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If you are following KieryGeek and Humorotica I have an important note.

For reasons that involve creating safe places and also to get me to actually use more than one twitter account and figure out how to…multitask? or is it focus? something like that – if you get all your updates from @kiery28, or don’t get twitter updates about either project at all, but want them please go follow @kierygeek and @humoroticathulu.

I’m going to be using them more, more than once a week for Humorotica and more than once a month for KieryGeek. I’ll try to make it interesting and worth your while, I swear.

Thanks so much for helping me out <3

(also, if Facebook is more your style, KieryGeek and Humorotica currently share a space at KieryGeek: Rebooted. I know, I know, Humorotica should have it’s own page. One step at a time)

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You should see the other guy


So, this afternoon I finally did it.

I went to Planned Parenthood and got The Implant. I AM NOW BABY WORRY FREE for the next 3 years.

The amount of stress that just vanished from my shoulders after the nurse said “okay, it’s in” is like…..unbelievable.

I know I’ll be dealing with side effects (and I’m hoping they’re the less blood kind instead of the more blood kind) but it helps with cramps and I can deal with irregularity if I’m not crippled with pain and I’m not facing the, oh right, now I have to worry for another month, thing.

Right now I’m rocking a badass looking bandaid, and being very happy that I’m safe until 2016.

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I thought I was tired yesterday. I’m beginning to think that I need the sun to like, live and stuff.

I can’t seem to muster up the energy to do much of anything. I did play World of Warcraft until the lag or connection or something overtook it and I was wandering around Azshara waiting for snipers to come out of trees and they never did, and my companion stopped following me, it wasn’t until I tried to exit my machine 30 minutes later that I realized something must not be working right.

It’s that kind of day. My brain is slow.

So, I went on a walk, and came back and decided I didn’t want to make soup for dinner after all, and I didn’t want to do the dishes, and I didn’t have the energy to paint (seriously, the last time there was a *glimpse* of sun was sometime last week) because it would involve doing dishes so I could clean my palette.  Although, I did come up with a brilliant idea of *what* to paint when my energy returns to me.

The golden snitch! It’s yellowish. When I paint again, and consequently, use my last canvas – I want to paint something bright…and Harry Potter related. The Snitch is perfect for that.

I’ve spent the time since then on Pinterest -where I’ve been finding cool artistic things and pinning them. I have a board for things to inspire me, and things that I like, and house things, and cool things. I’ve had way too much fun with it – you can even follow me here:

Lastly, dinner is frozen steak fajitas from TGI Friday’s, because…….I’m freezing, tired, and neither of us feel like actually cooking.

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The Balloons

The past few days I’ve been working more on some screenwriting for our short film based on my book, The Balloon Lady. Our working title is currently, The Balloons.

We’ve been brainstorming for a few months and working out what we’ll need – like a camera (our Canon T3i) and making random short videos on vimeo to practice, well, shooting and editing. Right now, I’m just hashing out a rough draft, and I’m about halfway done. The idea is to turn my children’s book story, into a more “grown up” short film – which gives us room to adapt it without actually copying the original book.

I’m using Celtix and Google Docs for writing – usually up side by side so my screen looks something like this.

This way, I can see my outline as I’m writing the script. Then, when I’m done, I’ll upload the script to plotbot so Alex and Hannah can comment on it and we can fine tune it from there.

For some reason, I find writing easier when I’m just trying to channel some of my emotions into it when I’m having trouble letting them out. Maybe it’s because of the emotional state I was in when I first wrote the book, that because the energy that inspired it is so similar to the film adaptation, it helps to use similar (or the same) emotions while trying to write the screenplay. Music also seems to aid my focus – I’ve always enjoyed doing things more when there’s music in the background, I think it distracts me enough to concentrate in an odd way.

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I posted this on my facebook page, Kiery’s Whimsy last night, and thought I’d extend it here:

Throwing this out there for any writers: I’ll work on your book illustrations for the cost of supplies (like $10-$20) and credit if/when it’s published (I’m available to do an image or two for blog posts/articles also, waiving the supply costs).

Just email me, you can find my contact information at pullfolio and also under the “Talk” page here. For blog post/article illustrations, I’ll upload varying sizes of high quality scans on flickr like I did for Eliza’s post on Quivering Daughters. For books, depending on how many pictures there are, I’ll either email you the high quality (300 dpi standard) scans, or set up a private place where you can download them online.

I obviously won’t be doing this forever (especially for like, nothing), but as I’m just starting out, I thought it would be a good idea to offer my help to writers who would have a hard time finding illustrations otherwise.

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Building Wings on the Way Down (Act or Die)

I finished Act or Die today and the biggest lesson I learned (aside from great tips and exercises that I’m willing to put to use to get to know *myself* not just for acting) was don’t act, BE. Be present in the moment, as the character – feel, act on your internal impulses – listen to yourself and yourself as the character. Never stop thinking and feeling, allow yourself to be and access all parts of you and don’t judge. Listening isn’t about waiting for cues and springing into action, it’s about feeling and thinking as the character and being present in that moment, and the moments before and after your lines.

At the end, the author closed with this thought:

“As civilians we choose to function the best way we can within society’s ground-rules. As an actor we unprotect and reveal to the extremities of a character’s potential (positive or negative). As an actor we must live dangerously in our own work, be naked inside, be willing to leap off a cliff and build our wings on the way down.”

It kind of aptly sums up everything he wrote in his perfectly sized 149 page book (awesome, because thick books are daunting and take too long to read. Half the reason I never finished LOTR). I’d definitely suggest it to anyone looking to act, write, or direct – I definitely have a lot to think about with writing characters and my own (lacking) acting skills.

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Book: Act or Die (notes)


Act or Die

In preparation for our film, aside from getting the camera equipment and such, we also bought a book (one of a few, I’m sure) called Act or Die.

If the title isn’t a give-away it’s all about acting, but it’s also recommended for directors. It came in the mail today and I got about half way through (taking time for writing notes).

I learned a lot about perspectives – Trying to read a paragraph in different perspectives (totally paraphrasing): Think of a time when you were most happy, and read the paragraph. Think of a time you were the most sad and read the same paragraph. Note the differences in your reactions/thoughts/perspectives and DON’T read yourself into or make judgements on it.

It was interesting to see how the thoughts and reactions that came from reading a paragraph in different lights were well, different. Starkly in some cases and subtly in others. The way the paragraph made sense changed depending on the perspective or background you were bringing into it. It was a great exercise actually in connecting to an emotion or an idea or background (helpful if you’re acting) even if you weren’t originally feeling it at the time – and if you’re acting, you probably wouldn’t be, which is why it’s important to invest in the character and learn from the character’s perspective.

As I continue reading and thinking and absorbing I’ll probably post here with more things. Super great book, I think it’ll be really helpful for our film, in being able to write good characters, communicate what we’re looking for, and also, hopefully, work on our acting skills…

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Discovering other Artists

The one thing that’s helped me the most on my artistic journey is reading other art blogs. Usually empty easel, but occasionally I find other resources. Sometimes unexpectedly. One piece of advice I hear a lot is to find an artist who inspires you, who you can learn from and look up to.

As I’m really new to the art world, sometimes I find myself feeling overwhelmed. I don’t yet fully understand all of the art movements (but I’m learning!), and I definitely didn’t know of enough artists to be able to name one off the bat that I admired (except for friends). So I had a really hard time with that, because as much as I love looking at other people’s work and appreciate it – I had a really hard time finding someone in my field.  One day in Oregon, at an organic coffee shop I found myself staring at the artwork displayed. It was the closest I’d ever seen to my style and thankfully the artist had left  cards there. So when I came back home to Maine, I grabbed the card and went to the website.

I was so happy when I got to the blog because it was like I finally found the door to my world. I’ve been following Lindy’s blog ever since. It’s moments like these that make me really love the internet…and Oregon.

Lindy’s art, while still different from mine, never ceases to inspire me to keep creating the way I do, and continually try to learn and develop my style – and that it’s not a weird style to have! I can’t really communicate how liberating and validating it is to find that I’m not the only one who works this way.

So thanks, Lindy – and if you haven’t checked out her website yet, you totally should.

And while you’re at it, check out Willowing – another whimsical artist I recently discovered (I love you internet!).

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