Welcome to TraceyTobin.WordPress.com!

Some time ago, I went through my online presence, disposed of a great deal of excess, and created NoPageLeftBlank.wordpress.com as a place to bring what was most important to me into one spot. At the time it worked wonders, but over the years that have passed since then quite a lot has changed. I am now a published author and a growing YouTuber, and as a result of those things my online presence has once again gotten convoluted. So, with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to what I’m hoping will be my new-and-improved personal space.

This blog will not be specifically for me as an author, or me as a YouTuber, and it will not be a place specifically meant for blogging or marketing or any other individual issue. TraceyTobin.Wordpress.com will be for me, in whatever form that takes. I will talk about the writing process and what’s happening with my books, I’ll share my YouTube videos and other geeky nonsense as I see fit, and I’ll blog as I desire. This site will be me in my entirety, as I see fit.

So if you’ve come here from NoPageLeftBlank.wordpress.com, thank you very much for following me into this new venture, and if you’re new, welcome! You may see some strange things happening here in the following weeks as I create back-dated posts to share older YouTube videos, but moving forward expect to see lots more of, well…me!

Cheers!

Advertisements

Goals 2019: Week 11 in Review

plansandgoals2019weeklyreview
Yep, I’m gonna say it: holy hell, did a week pass again already?!

Hey, I’m nothing if not consistent.

In all seriousness though, it was a fairly busy week, so of course it was going to go by quickly and completely screw with my brain, right? Right. You guys always agree with me because you’re the best. You know it!

Anyway, that’s enough blowing smoke up all your butts. Let’s get into the reporting, shall we?


Goal #1: Write half a million words.

Well, there’s no doubt about the fact that I did much better in week 11 than in the previous couple of weeks. I tried my very hardest to write every day, and only ended up missing out on Sunday, which I accept because we had a bit of a family game day after picking the little one up from a sleepover at her grandparent’s. Over the course of those other six days I wrote a total of 6477 words. That’s nearly a thousand words per day! Not too shabby at all, especially considering the previous few weeks. The only frustrating thing is that Pacemaker.press had set me a goal of 14,237 words for the week. So…yeah…technically I didn’t even reach half of the week’s goal. Dag nabbit, Pacemaker! Well, still, I did pretty decent, in my personal opinion. Plus, week 12’s Pacemaker goal is a lot smaller, so hopefully I’ll have a better report next week!

  • Goal #1a: Write at least a quarter million fictional words.  Another pleasant report on the sub-goal, as about two thirds of my total – to the tune of 4024 words – were fictional ones. I went a little hardcore last week on the Final Fantasy novelization. It was good times. I definitely have other things I should be working on instead, but screw it…it’s writing. I’m writing. That’s all that matters. The other things will come eventually.

Goal #2: Read at least 50 books.

First off, I’ll mention that I’ve started scribbling a note in my day planner whenever I manage to spend some time reading each day, so that I can actually keep track of how well I’m doing. That might sound ridiculous to some people, but damned if my memory isn’t a complete and utter pile of mush. Therefore, recording things. It’s important to me. Shush. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, the point is that I managed to find time to read during all my lunch hours in week 11. That doesn’t account for a huge amount of reading, because there’s also making my food and chatting with coworkers to deal with, but it’s still some reading. Currently I’m reading Stephen King’s The Shining, and it’s so good so far. I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet, but damn if it isn’t building a hell of an image in my head.

I think I’m actually starting to get behind on my Goodreads challenge now, but I’ll read some shorter books after this one to catch up.

Goal #3: Build my social media communities…EVERYWHERE!

Social media was the name of the game for part of the week, but got shifted to the side a little during the other part. It’s hard to concentrate on everything all the time, you know! Still, it wasn’t too bad a week, except for a couple of tiny losses.

  • The YouTube channel gained 8 subscribers
  • The YouTube Twitter account lost 1 follower
  • The YouTube Instagram account went up 3 followers
  • The Snapchat account’s score went up by 19 points
  • The Author Twitter account gained 2 followers
  • The Author Instagram account went down 1 follower

All in all, it wasn’t a terrible week, but not particularly impressive either, as you can see. The losses were minuscule, and the gains were kinda small too, but at least they’re something. I’ve been trying to get back into fun Instagram pics, but it’s a lot easier on the channel account than the book one, let me tell you!

Goal #4: Play more (proper) video games. 

Gaming this past week mostly fell to spending time with the fam, which is perfectly okay! We played some Smash Bros and Mario Party on the Switch, and I played a bit of Minecraft with the little one as well. There was also a bit of Tetris 99, but I’ve more or less given up on the idea of ever actually getting first place because DAMN. People playing that game are hardcore.

Goal #5: Put more time, focus, and energy into the YouTube channel.

Not going to mince words here: YouTube has been at the bottom of the list lately. Mind you, there’s still been a lot of thought, consideration, planning, etc, but there just hasn’t been any filming. The sad fact of the matter is that, with my current ridiculous work schedule, free time quickly becomes “just let me lay here and die” time. That might sound a little over-dramatic, but the long and short of it is that I’ve either had no time, no energy, or no inclination to film during the little bits of time I’ve had, and I’ve given up worrying about it. Filming will happen eventually, hopefully because I’ve earned a better schedule, and that’s all there really is to it. I truly hope that happens sooner rather than later, but again, I’m not going to stress myself out about it.


And that’s pretty much all there is to that. Writing is getting better, YouTube is getting worse (hopefully temporarily), and everything else is just kinda hanging out in the middle somewhere.

How was your week? Did you accomplish any goals? Make any new ones? Do anything else that made you feel awesome and accomplished? Feel free to share in the comments!

Dream Log- March 14, 2019 – Terrors on the Loose

dreamlog

Oooh, it’s been quite a while since I did a dream log! But I was reminded by a friend of how interesting dreams can be, and then last night I had a whopper of a stressful one that I thought was worth sharing.

I’m not sure exactly where the dream began, but the entire thing took place in an enormous mall. It was multiple levels, and had so many twists and turns in it that it was practically some kind of bizarre fun-house. It had plenty of stores and restaurants, but also unusual things like a full high school and a giant indoor zoo, which was designed in such a way that you could see it from almost any angle in the center of the building.

The first thing I remember is being in an upper level, looking down through a large window at the zoo, where some kind of show was going on. Zookeepers were in a huge enclosure with dozens of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), and were putting on some kind of strange play. Hundreds of people in the mall were gathered around the different viewpoints areas, watching the show. A lot of my family were there (cousins and aunts and uncles and the like), plus friends from school and random people I know.

Jason and I were watching, when we both noticed something unusual at the same time. A couple of the lions, who were supposed to have been trained to be part of this show, were slowly slinking away while their trainers were preoccupied with another part of the show. We examined the way they were going and realized that someone had left a gate slightly ajar, and that gate lead right out into the main area of the mall. We took off running, trying to alert someone, but we were pretty much as far away from that gate as we could have been and still been able to see it, so by the time we got down there animals were already escaping. It was a completely ridiculous number of animals too. Hoards of wildcats, bears, and other random vicious creatures were pouring out into the mall and attacking people. At first we tried to help people – I remember pushing a kid out of the way of a lion – and get the gate closed, but soon it was pandemonium and we just ended up running.

We ran through twists and turns, through the labyrinthine mall, with other people running and screaming around us, until we eventually found ourselves in a quiet corner that no one else seemed to have come to. It was a furniture shop, and we went right to the back where there was a large bed with a strange design; it was a bit like a bunk bed, but it only had the one actual bed, raised up a few feet, so that there was a nook underneath with blankets spread out on the floor. We climbed into this nook and had a lay down on the blankets. I remember that, despite what had just happened, we weren’t particularly scared. It was like we knew there was a disaster happening, but we were 100% confident that we two were going to be absolutely fine. The only little blip of worry I had was when I remembered that Adrianna had been in the mall with her great-aunt Nancy, and I started texting, asking if they were okay, but I was very confident that they were fine as well.

Eventually a worker and a customer appeared in the store, seemingly completely unaware of the animal attacks. Jason and I watched from under the bed as they roamed around, looking at different things, until they finally came to the bed we were under and we wiggled out and took off, giggling like schoolkids who’d been caught making out.

There were definite signs of the animal attacks as we roamed back through the mall – dead bodies and blood, for a start – but the emergency itself seemed to be over and everyone was just going about their mall business as though nothing had happened. Jason and I ended up finding the rest of our family hanging out on the top level of the mall, outside a large ice cream shop. We were asked to join them, and a waiter came out to take our orders.

I remember being very confused by this shop because, as near as I could see, almost none of the items on the menu were actually ice cream. There were weird pastries and mugs of things that looked like oatmeal, and strange “desserts” that basically just looked like bowls of some kind of cream. The only actual ice cream I could find was a banana split kind of thing that had chunks of waffle-cone instead of the banana. Jason and my father both ordered one of those, but I ordered some weird pastry thing. When everyone started getting their orders, they were even weirder than the menu implied. My mom’s was a bowl of powder that she had to add hot water to herself. Mine was basically a golf-ball-sized donut-hole-looking thing with cream inside. Only Jason’s and dad’s splits looked good, and they were digging into them so I assume they were good.

I’m not sure exactly what kicked off the second disaster, but I remember running in a crowd of people. None of my family was with me, but I kept noticing people I knew in the crowd as we ran. Old friends from school, new coworkers, etc. As we ran through the maze that was this weird mall, things started getting psychedelic and very, very creepy. The power went out, but there were still strange lights coming from here and there, flashing and making the atmosphere of the place feel like a haunted house. There was screaming and wailing and lots of weird shapes and colors that made me feel like I was on some kind of acid trip or something. I remember seeing my friend Krystle and her boyfriend, running but calling back to me with their hands out like it was imperative that I get to them. Then it got darker and more shadowy, with the occasional flash like lightning, but for the most part I felt like I was running in complete darkness. And as I ran, people around me began to disappear into the darkness, until there were only a few of us left.

The couple of strangers and I eventually found ourselves in something that looked like a daycare center, but in the middle of the room, facing each other in a circle, were four rectangular-shaped splits in reality that looked like portraits of other galaxies. Somehow or other we came to the conclusion that going through one of these portals was our only way to escape the present disaster, so we chose one, and one of the strangers went through. I followed without hesitation, and we found ourselves…

…in, like…a cartoon world. It was bright and colorful and bubbly, and the characters were super-happy to meet us. It was really, really odd, but within the dream I remember thinking that we couldn’t have picked a better portal, because surely nothing bad would happen here.


Any thoughts? Ideas? Concerns? Feel free to share in the comment section below, and also feel free to tell me what you think of dreams in general, what you think their purpose might be, and fell free to share some of your own! Cheers!

AWESOME Mezco Toy Fair 2019 Exclusives Unboxing! One:12 Blade & Agent Gomez Action Figures & More!

New York Toy Fair is a pretty big deal in the collector community, and something Jason and I would love to be able to visit for ourselves some day. Unfortunately, at least for the time being, it’s just not in the cards. But this year we got a little bit of Toy Fair in the mail to cheer us up, and BOY, did it cheer us up!

Mezco Toyz, one of our favorite toy companies, sent us one of their amazing Toy Fair goodie bags, and it was PACKED with amazing items that we’ve absolutely fallen in love with. You honestly have to see it to believe it, so go see it! Go see it now!

Unboxing Viewer Mail (February 2019) – QFig, Funko, Doctor Who, & Taste Testing Japanese Candy!

Viewer mail time! We got some awesome viewer mail from Marie and River recently, and it was a ton of fun to unbox. Marie sent a couple of awesome figures she knew we’d love (plus a special decoration and some goodies for Adrianna). River sent a wicked Doctor Who wearable for me, plus a box of random Japanese candy that Jason…had a bit of an experience with. Trust me, you just have to watch his reaction!

Thank you for everything, you two!

Goals 2019: Week 10 in Review

plansandgoals2019weeklyreview

Wait, what? *looks around, totally confused* Is…is it Monday? W-when did that happen?

Yeah, week 10 was one of those weeks that vanished in the blink of an eye and left me thinking, “Wait, no! Where’d you go! We still have so much we need to do together! Don’t leave meeeeee!”

Hey, if you can’t be a little silly on a Monday morning, it means there’s no hope for the rest of the week, right? Right.

But seriously though, I don’t now where the past week went on me. I was fairly busy, what with my annoying work schedule, trying to reconstruct our disaster of a house, dealing with a rather involved interview process, and technology hiccups (which I’ll mention later), but I’m still surprised at how the week just seemed to be gone, all of a sudden. We’re already a third of the way through March, for goodness sake! My brain is still back in February!

But I suppose that’s neither here nor there, at the moment. Let’s see about these goals, shall we?


Goal #1: Write half a million words.

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn I experienced an epic fail when it came to writing in week 10! I’m not even going to try to defend myself because the fact of the matter is that whenever I had a little bit of time to write, I ended up playing Tetris 99 instead. Not necessarily because I was being lazy, but because I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I started to get a little better coming toward the end of the week, but by then it was too late to even consider recovery. Long story short, I ended up with a grand total of 2860 words. Still words, no doubt, but a wee bit shy of the 11,299 words Pacemaker.press wanted me to write.

On a related note, since we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the year and I haven’t been reporting the same way as last year, I’m currently sitting at 40,339 words for the year so far. That’s not exactly horrible, but it’s still just under 10% of my goal for the year, with more than 20% of the year gone by already. So, yeah, I’m definitely going to have to hike up my pants if I don’t want to end up in an irrecoverable mess by Halloween like last year.

  • Goal #1a: Write at least a quarter million fictional words.  One good thing about that paltry sum of words from last week is that over half of them were fictional ones. I wrote 1651 words toward the Final Fantasy fan-fiction, as well as my kid’s book side-project idea.

Actually, there’s another related note: my brain can’t seem to focus on one thing at all lately. One day I’m thinking about The Other World, books 2 and 3, another day I’m thinking about zombies and Nowhere to Run, the next I’m in kid’s book mode, the next in fan-fiction… I need something to help me focus or I’m just going to pick at a dozen different projects and never finish anything until I inevitably go insane.

Goal #2: Read at least 50 books.

Ooooh, dang it…I don’t think I read anything last week! I’ve been distracted for sure, but that’s no excuse. There’s no reason I can’t at least be getting a few chapters in during my lunch breaks at work. My Goodreads challenge is actually going well, so I don’t want to screw it up. I think I might jump away from the Dorothy Must Die series for a little while so I can get through a bit of my other backlog stacks. A friend has been reading The Shining, and it got me wanting to check it out. Maybe I’ll go with that one next.

Goal #3: Build my social media communities…EVERYWHERE!

Ooooh…ah ha…ouch. Yeah. Social media just kinda…didn’t happen for the first half of last week. No explanations, no excuses. It just didn’t happen. I shaped up by the second half of the week, but in the meantime a few numbers had dropped, which makes me sad.

  • The YouTube channel lost 9 subscribers
  • The YouTube Twitter account gained 3 followers
  • The YouTube Instagram account went up 6 followers
  • The Snapchat account’s score did not change
  • The Author Twitter account lost 3 followers
  • The Author Instagram account went down 2 followers

It’s annoying to see numbers go down, but at least some of them are still slowly rising. Here’s hoping I can give myself a kick in the arse enough to keep up with the social media in the coming week. I’d like to see another one of those weeks when everything rises.

Goal #4: Play more (proper) video games. 

As mentioned previously, I’ve been playing a lot of Tetris 99 in my spare moments. I like it because I can pick it up for five minutes, or spend half an hour or more on it, and I’m determined that I won’t stop playing it until I’ve gotten first place at least once.

In other gaming news though, Jason, Adrianna, and I spent a good chunk of Sunday playing Smash Bros on the Switch, which is always a good time. Adrianna is getting better, and I seem to be getting worse, so that makes for lots of shade-throwing. It’s a great family-fun-time game, no doubt.

Goal #5: Put more time, focus, and energy into the YouTube channel.

I’d like to be able to have a nice report for this one, but by damn if the universe didn’t want us to get our Mezco video up last week! We filmed it over a week ago (after waiting ages for the package because Customs are the slowest buggers in the known universe), but had nothing but troubles getting it into a publishable state. The main issues were that our camera and Jason’s computer both tried to commit suicide. It took me nearly a full day just to transfer the video files because the camera refused to connect to Jason’s computer, and when connected to mine kept claiming that the files (which I was LOOKING AT AT THE TIME) didn’t exist. Then it took us multiple days to edit because Jason’s computer just hates life and wants to die. Crashing, hiccuping, stalling up…just all kinds of good fun. Even when uploading the video, YouTube kept refusing to let us save our tags unless we exited everything, went back in, entered one tag, saved, and then repeated the progress.

Suffice it to say, we only ended up getting the one video done last week. But it was a good one, in my opinion, so at least there’s that!


TL;DR – I didn’t write much…or social media much…or read at all, or get video stuff done aside from that single one…but I played some Smash Bros with my kid. So there’s that.

How was your week? Did you accomplish any goals? Make any new ones? Do anything else that made you feel awesome and accomplished? Feel free to share in the comments!