Happy Thanksgiving from Vodka O’Clock & AmberUnmasked!
AMBER LOVE 27-NOV-2014 One year ago, my life was certainly different. I was in a fairly new office job and happy with it except for the sickeningly long drive every day. When I go over to the archives of this site, I am disheartened at the posts from one year ago. They weren’t bad. They were pretty darn good. Things were looking up socially and even romantically back then. I had the opportunity to go to several late autumn geek conventions then too. This year, not much luck in any of those departments. I am still grateful every day that someone makes sure I have a roof over my head, a bed, food and utilities.
I guess this is the sort of post that people usually publish around New Year’s Eve. This is one more example of me doing something besides what’s expected by writing all this out now. Since my life has more downs than ups, I’m almost at a loss for words about what to say anymore. I feel like I’m repeating the same worrisome updates every month. Things are not great. They barely count as “good” right now. Like I said, food and shelter. That’s all I have going for me and I’m not even providing them for myself.
I KNOW WE SHOULDN’T COMPARE BUT….
Life on the internet is what people make it look like. What I see is that most of my friends and peers are doing remarkably well for themselves. There are new baby announcements, new books hitting the shelves, what seems like endless vacations, job promotions, moving to better places, having successful relationships… you get the idea.
Things were shitting on me so badly that even my doctor dumped me because I wanted to try a different path to wellness than taking all the pills she wanted to put me on. So I got a “Dear John” letter from a professional that I PAID. Once upon a time, I was in a healthcare service job so I know it’s valid to drop patients you don’t want; what made me irate was that she had no interest in treating me a different way than “her” way. And it wasn’t only her. I was dumped by the entire practice so I couldn’t even go back to the doctor that I saw for over 15 years at that office. And after losing my job in August, I was without insurance again. Losing my job did not qualify me for getting ACA coverage. How? I don’t fucking know because online it said I was eligible but then I got a letter saying I was disqualified. I was able to sign up for 2015, but it’s twice what a family pays and I’m a single (currently unemployed) person. I am punished for not breeding! Thanks, America!
So let’s see where’s that leave my 2014 list of shit so far? Dumped by my doctors, romance fell apart, lost a job I liked, gained yet more weight, had to give up expenses like dancing lessons and the gym just as I was getting better at them.
ATTEMPTS AT LIFE…
I have managed to keep my podcast, Vodka O’Clock, going as best as I can. It might look like I’m not booking guests. In reality, I email people a lot who say they want to be on the show but then either they don’t confirm a date or schedules never match up to allow it; or there are the endless requests by people who don’t even listen to the show, talk me in any way, but then ask me to devote an entire episode to their Kickstarter project. I could have had enough guests for a weekly show but since podcasting is not my job and I do the whole thing myself, I’m not about to stay up all night to record and edit. I’m just not going to do that. It takes me about 4-5 hours to work on one episode.
New Jersey is blanketed in snow for Thanksgiving. You might know how much I dread snow. I say I hate it but it’s not really hate. I am scared of snow and other inclement weather. I’ve lived in the northeast U.S. my whole life. I’ve seen the range of winters, scorching summers and hurricane seasons there are here. The little amount of the year that it’s decent up here does not make up for how shitty it is the rest of the time. When a season is mild, I will tweet nonstop about how great it is because I know at any second people could have three feet of water in their basements or I could be sliding out of control on a road heading towards a tree (last year’s super fun times) because if I don’t get to whatever paying job I’m off to, I risk losing it. That’s what it’s like living here. You have to decide whether your life and your car are worth more than losing a job because any paying work is something you hold onto like a hungry dog with a juicy steak.
Now that I’m in my fourth month of unemployment for 2014, I made sure to try something new. I participated in National Novel Writing Month (already posted all about my time doing that and some fun brainstorm stuff). It wasn’t easy but I know that the only reason I got to 50,300+ words in one month was because I spent 5-6 hours sitting at my desk at home in my extremely uncomfortable chair. I sat here every single day trying to write except for the days I was off modeling and even then, I tried to get a hundred words or a thought down in my files. My novel isn’t finished being drafted though. 50,000 isn’t enough. Most novels are around 80,000 or more. To give you an idea, I compiled the pages and in an Open Office Document it comes to 106 pages. That’s a great start but still has quite a ways to go. I also self-published my first Kindle ebook (you don’t need a Kindle to read it because you can download a reader app) about what it was like trying to get into the webcamming business with my ex-girlfriend.
As far as other writing projects, there was a lot of little things that finally started happening the second half of this year. A script I wrote quite a long time ago is being illustrated by Carolyn Belefski, a magnificent cartoonist and our story was part of a successful Kickstarter anthology that will help young age readers who could be experiencing bullying, especially in the LGBT community.
Plus, this year, I got to attend Boston Comic Con for the first time and speak on a panel which I loved and hope to do again some day. If you are part of convention that wants speakers, I can talk!
Also, because of another of one of my favorite artists that I’ve worked with in the past, Thomas Boatwright, I got some paid comics work which has challenged me in different ways from creator-owned. The projects are historical not pure fiction. Because they are freelance, I have to sometimes fight with the editor when we are completely misunderstanding what we see as the goal of the stories. I hear that a lot from people who work on franchised or intellectual properties. The project isn’t creator-owned so the creator is not in control of what’s happening to the story. If you’re lucky, you only go through three revisions and I mean FULL revisions in order to get something they want and then get paid. I’m glad this is a company that pays without needing to track them down because I’ve seen plenty of those horror stories by freelancers too. The downside to this is that I’m not making comics that I can personally sell. I don’t get them at all. They go to that publisher and I get to say I’m working on comics but I can’t show anyone the work.
WTF IS WITH PEOPLE?
I’ve had bad luck with any inquiries from photographers who are looking for models. Every single one of them this year has been a disrespectful douche with a camera. The last one asked me for the password to my locked galleries. When I told him that if he visited my site (which he claimed he did) then should have clicked on the top sticky post which explains everything about the password situation. No one fucking reads that goddamn post even though it’s right there! I keep getting requests. People google “nude cosplay” (always to number top searches on this site) and they never fucking bother to read the rules of the site.
So today, when I decided to finally take some NSFW topless photos in the snow, I couldn’t decide whether or not to share them. I had a few galleries unlocked as a gift to the visitors of this site for the month of November which I closed early because of the unappreciative assholes. I received several tweets from people thanking me. Those are the people who pay attention at @ToplessAmber on Twitter. Yet, I still get emails asking me for more access to the locked galleries from other people that I have never otherwise heard from. They aren’t even people that have engaged with me in any way before! Why can’t people appreciate what I do provide FOR FREE? Greedy creepy bastards. If someone had the decency to at least befriend me for months and talk about life, comics, cats, whatever…. I’d be far more sympathetic and willing to consider it. But that’s not what I get. I get, “hey i love what you do and love all your costumes can i have the password to see the rest?”
LOOKING BACK SUCKS ASS
I can’t look back on Thanksgiving 2013 to Thankgiving 2014 and report much good. I’m not healthy. Whenever someone suggests heart medicine or whatever, my answer is the same – I’d rather drop dead now because I honestly do not see what I’m living for. Taking care of my heart is simply not anything I care about at the moment. I wanted to take care of it in a secondary way which was one of the reasons I had taken up dancing and returned to yoga but those were things I was paying for because I do better with a schedule and an instructor than on my own. Besides health, like I said, work took a sour turn though I modeled a little bit in the fall. Romance? Well, forget that, it’s a sordid story and my best hope for it is that it’ll get there someday.
IF THERE’S A POINT TO LOOKING AHEAD
I hope that if I do survive this winter and get into 2015, I’ll meet more creative people and fans. I hope Vodka O’Clock continues to be a fun thing that I do and can deliver to the audience (always looking for more than writers to be on but that’s who I hear from most). I hope my cat stays healthy because she’s the one of the best things I have ever shared my life with and she’s a perfect companion. I hope I get to hang out at more conventions, maybe get away from comic cons but try to get to more sex-positive, body-positive, and writers’ conferences instead.
Just as I finished drafting this post, I popped over to Facebook and found a link to something Gail Simone posted. I had been wondering what she was talking about on Twitter, but since she’s prolific at tweeting, I didn’t take the time to scroll all the way back. Her son was attacked brutally for being suspected as gay; her words, especially near the end have me choked up. Even one of the most successful and beloved writers in the entire fucking world can have a monumentally shitty year.
And I’m thankful that you read over 1,800 words of this. If you made it this far, you’ll find that there is a new photo gallery page of topless snowy pictures in the photo gallery.