Dream – Flame Tender

I woke up from a dream this morning that I could only remember a bit from just before I woke up. There was a person tending to small blue flames. I can’t remember what exactly these were, candles or magic flames or matches, but they didn’t last long. Someone asked them why they were tending to the blue flames if they couldn’t last. The flame tender said something that seemed really profound about the sun being a blue flame as well. I’m not getting the phrasing correct so it doesn’t make sense or maybe it was one of those dream things that seems profound until you wake. When I woke up I could remember exactly what was said but I didn’t write it down and it’s faded now.

I think the sentiment the flame tender expressed was that these tiny flames that last only for a few seconds are just like the sun. The sun which seems to us to be ever lasting but it has a beginning and an end. On the right time scale it too is a brief light in the darkness.

I just wish I had written down exactly how it was said in my dream.

My Future is Not Bright

Sometimes I realize that my future is a series of minimum wage jobs until I can’t work and die.  That’s many years from now unless something drastic happens. I don’t have the qualifications to get anything other than a minimum wage job. I’m not fit for anything else. I tried working as a coordinator at my current job but it started to burn me out and I had to step down. I’m trying to make my writing a thing I can fall back on but I just don’t think it’s going to work out for me. I know this is inevitable. My future is a dim hallway with locked doors.

And yet I keep trudging along. It’s not hope at something better coming along. Nothing better is coming for me. But I want what is owed to me. What pleasure and joy I can get out of my life I want it. It’s not much but it’s mine.

“It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah – still good.”


I’m okay.  This is just some thoughts I wanted to put to post.


I’ve launched a Patreon for my writing.  Every story I write will still end up on my website, www.Gillian-Ybabez.com.  Patrons will get early access to new stories and the chance to read first drafts/sneak peeks.  I will also be posting weekly updates about stories I’m working on just for patrons.

Right now I only have two reward tiers.  For $1 you can suggest character names for me to use in future stories.  For $5 you can suggest names + get PDFs/e-books of completed serial stories.

My first “State of the Writer” update up as a public post as an example of what I’m doing over there but future ones will only be for patrons.

An Idea

So I had an idea today.

I’ve been thinking about my zombie story(trans woman in a zombie apocalypse, you can find some early sections on my fiction tumblr). It’s the longest single piece of fiction I’ve written(I have a series of stories that’s longer combined). It’s not novel length. At around thirty thousand words, it’s in the novella range. This is the first part of the story that I’ve written, there’s a second part that I have outlined but not written.  While the first part is not completely stand alone, it ends at a good transitional section.  The first part is about 90% written. I’m going to make a push to finish this first part soon(I’ve said this a few times before but I really mean it now). So soon I will have a finished draft, which I will have to spend lots of time editing before I begin putting up parts on my website.

Or do I? What if I ran Kickstarter to turn this draft into a polished ebook? Hired an editor, hired a typesetter(or whatever you call someone who can turn a text document into an ebook(yes I could learn to do it myself that’s not the point), hire a graphical designer for the cover, maybe hire an artist to illustrate a few scenes(this would probably be a stretch goal).

And what if I hired only trans women?  I can think of a few off the top of my head that might be great for this. At the end of everything I would have a shiny ebook that I can sell, I’d have briefly employed 3-4 trans women, and backers would have gotten a copy of the book and some rewards.

I’m mostly thinking out loud at the moment but it’s an idea.  I’ll have to actually finish the story and then figure out what it would cost for editing, typesetting, cover design, and illustrations.  And I would need an actual audience to buy into the Kickstarter.

Is this idea workable?

Two kinds of customers

This is not a definitive guide to customers you will encounter working retail.  This is just a recounting of two encounters I had today.

The first was the rare treat.  The talkative customer that is actually interesting.  Very subjective because one person’s interesting is another person’s boring.  This customer was buying some small cherub angel statues, about the size of a softball.  As I’m scanning and wrapping them in paper, she asks me if I’ve ever heard about setting out angel statues to get rid of, or quiet down, a haunting.  She tells me her house is haunted, she’s heard things, a photo album that plays music when opened started playing, her tv has turned back on, she’s heard thumps in the night, and she’s even gotten scratches.  I love paranormal stuff.  I listen to a few podcasts on the subject and in fact on my way to work, I was listening to one about a haunted cemetery.  She says she’s not scared of the ghosts or what it is.  Then she confides in me that she has a bit of second sight.  She’s made predictions for people and they’ve come true.  I have no way of confirming any of this but why would she lie.  Even if she did lie, it was still an interesting few minutes.

The second type of customer I encountered today is more common.  The customer who wants a discount.  This customer takes many forms.  The one who want’s a discount on  dusty shirt.  The one who wants a larger discount on an item already marked down.  Today’s customer insisted that we had a senior citizen discount.  I’ve worked in this store for almost four years and I know for a fact we have never had a senior citizen discount.  But she doesn’t believe me, so I call over our headsets, “Do we have a senior citizen discount?”  I make the call because sometimes that’s enough for them and maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe I have misremembered  the last four years.  I get a response, “No, we don’t have a senior citizen discount.”  I tell her this hoping I have reached the end of her inquiry.  She asks again if I’m sure.  I tell her I will call the manager for her.

Once upon a time I would have gone one or two more rounds with her.  These days I’m old and tired of people, so I don’t bother arguing with them anymore, I just call the manager.  I’m not paid enough to run circles with these people.  So the manager comes to registers and tells her, “No we don’t have a senior citizen discount.”  She now has no higher authority to appeal to.  She has to accept that we don’t have a senior citizen discount.  Which she does and I can now begin scanning her items.

The interesting talkative person and the discount seeker.  Two of the many types of customers you will see working retail.

Every Day (audiobook)

This is not really a review just so thoughts about the book Everyday.

I started listening to to this book Every Day by David Levithan a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing it. Every Day is about a person who every day wakes up in someone else’s body. Always someone around their age, never the same person. They call themselves A.

Read the rest here.

This is not really a review just so thoughts about the book Everyday.

I started listening to to this book Every Day by David Levithan a couple of months ago and finally got around to finishing it.  Every Day is about a person who every day wakes up in someone else’s body.  Always someone around their age, never the same person.  They call themselves A.  A has been hopping from body to body their entire life.  One day A wakes up in Justin’s body and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.  Most of the book is about A revealing themselves to Rhiannon and trying to have a relationship with her despite changing bodies every day.

I’ve been mostly enjoying Every Day.  A is agender and pansexual.  They have no problem with whatever gendered body they wake in.  Through the multiple bodies A inhabits we get glimpses of different lives.  Twin brothers, a suicidal girl, a gay boy, a trans guy, a runner, an alcoholic, a immigrant house cleaner, and more.  I’ve felt like the author showed me these lives, even the flawed ones, fairly with little judgment.  There’s minor digressions about gender that aren’t bad.  It’s not perfect but it doesn’t hit any major sour notes for a while.

And then we got to the Fat Body, three hundred pounds, and there is nothing but judgment.  Suddenly A is disgusted with the body.  It’s too heavy to move, every motion is an effort.  The body is ‘sphere’.  We’re told the owner of the body gave up on being skinny.  A considers implanting a memory of the day that would scare the body’s owner skinny.  Then later the date with Rhiannon is all about how fat A is and Rhiannon “can’t see” A in that body(this has never come up before even when A has been in a girl’s body).  Being fat is presented as the worst thing A has ever been.

Just after the fatphobic chapter, the story take a bit of a turn toward resolving the main plotline of the novel and a couple of minor plotlines.  I honestly wasn’t happy with the ending.  I’ll write more about the ending under a cut for spoilers.

Overall I liked Everyday.  Even through I spent half this post grumbling about what I didn’t like, I did enjoy the majority of the book.  It’s unfortunate that it’s the ending that disappointed me.  If it had just been the fatphobic chapter I might have given the book another listen one day and skipped that chapter but knowing that the ending is unsatisfying, at least to me, kind of kills that desire.

My thoughts on the ending under the cut. Continue reading “Every Day (audiobook)”

Hardcore Henry trailer

Yesterday I saw the trailer for this movie on Hulu.  I have actually been skipping it over on Youtube for like a week because I was confusing it with a tv show that I have no interest.  Today I saw the trailer on the big screen in front of Deadpool.

Hardcore Henry is about a man who was killed/horribly injured somehow but his wife has brought him back with the help of super advanced prosthetics she made.  An evil corporation, I guess, breaks into the lab to steal her work and kidnaps her.  The rest of the movie looks to be a series of over the top action scenes leading up to her rescue.

This is all fairly standard scifi action movie boilerplate.  The twist is the movie is shot from Henry’s pov.  First person movies are not new thing.  Most found footage movies are basically first person.  This movie looks to have nuch smoother camera movements than your typical found footage movie though.  Also in the trailer it’s established that the main character is mute.  First person perspective, action shooter, mute protagonist.  Yeah, this movie is very much in the style of first person shooter games.

There isn’t much in the trailer that makes me want to see this movie but if I did, I would want to see it in the theater.  There’s a scene in the trailer where Henry flips end over end as he falls off an overpass. Watching this on my tv I was not impressed.  Watching it on the theater screen I felt a lot more “in the action”.  A couple other scenes also gave off that vibe.  It’s the same effect you get from watching first person roller coaster footage.  This is going to be the reason to see this movie in the theater.  Not the story or effects but the “first person action experience”, which I don’t think will translate to the small screen.

Overall I’m not interested in another generic action movie about a man rescuing his wife even with the first person gimmick.

The nicest thing a customer has said to me

I heard over the walkie that a customer needed help by the pillows.  I was in a neighboring department so I responded.  The customer was looking for king size pillows but we didn’t have any.  She of course asked if we had any in the back.  I knew for a fact that we don’t have any pillows in the back.  I told her, “No we don’t have any in the back, I’m sorry.”  I apologized like I’ve been trained to anytime a customer doesn’t get what they want or if I’m too slow or if the sky is cloudy.  It’s just something we as customer service are expected to do.  Most people either don’t acknowledge it or dismiss it with , “It’s all right.”

This woman however said, “It’s ok, it’s not your fault.”  It’s not my fault.  I can’t remember the last time a customer said that to me.  It was shocking to hear that.  It’s not my fault that we’ve sold all the king size pillows and haven’t received any more in our shipments.  These events, totally out of my control, that I routinely apologize for are not my fault.

It’s nice to be reminded that, as much as I say sorry for things out of my control, I really am not at fault.

This was weird

So, at my work we have small rolling racks in the fitting room for clothes that customers decide they don’t want and we roll the racks out and put them back in the proper place. I was working on the sales floor so part of my job today was running out the fitting room racks. I had already run out a couple of rack before I grabbed the men’s rack. I took it over to the men’s department and started putting the clothes up.

I checked the display racks first and put a few pants back on them.  At this point, I’m left with a two men’s buton downs, two young men’s t-shirts, two pairs of jeans and a three pairs of shorts. (Yes I remember eactly how many of each because I’ve gone over these events several times in my head.) I put up the shirts and walk around with the rack to the next aisle. Here I put up the jeans. I’m left with the pairs of shorts. I pick them up off the rack and look around for where to put the them.

During the summer, we have them separated on the wall but right now we don’t have many, if any, shorts. So, I was looking to see if we had them mixed in with the pants or separated nearby. I don’t see any shorts any where. When I’m looking for where to put something or looking for a matching item to price the one I have, I’ll stop looking, look at the item for a couple of seconds and then continue looking. This seems to help somehow a lot of the time.

So, I look at the shorts in my hand and they’re pants. I have a huge, silent WTF moment because I was sure I had shorts in my hand a few seconds ago. Then I look up and see where the rest of those pants are hung on a display rack right in front of me.

I’m really confused about what happened. The easiest answer is I just confused the pants for shorts. Maybe the jeans cast a shadow and I thought I saw shorts until I took a good look at them. I’ll ignore the fact that they were in full view when I took them off the fitting room rack. Maybe I just wasn’t fully paying attention. It’s easy to think that and for my own piece of mind I have to.

Later when I went to check out the pants again, I picked them up, the same three pairs, and they felt heavier than when I had picked them up from the fitting room rack. Maybe I’m just imagining that too, though.

New Website

Welcome to www.Gillian-Ybabez.com, my very own website for my fiction and blogging. It’s very bare bones at the moment but I’ll be working on it.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to start reposting my completed stories over there. Uncompleted stories, like my zombie series, will remain up on my fiction tumblr until I finish them.  New stories will be post here and cross posted to tumblr.