Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Did It!

First, I made my 50,000 words for November, yay! Even better, it's not all crap :D

Mad love to the Cherries, especially the CherriesNoMo group. I wouldn't have tried this year without them.

Also, in November, I listened to thirty one podcasts (the entire Will Write for Wine archive.) And I learned a lot, and laughed a lot. I cannot recommend Lani and Sam too highly, and they started a forum on their site that totally rocks.
I also learned to crochet last month, with help from my mom and the internet. Above is everything I could find that I made during November (there should be a few more test squares, I tried a lot of the new stitches out that way instead of just diving in to a scarf or whatever.) I am in love with fuzzy yarn that is impossible to use if you're a beginner (take the mossy green, for example. It's beautiful, feels wonderful, and kicked my ass four damn times.) I am better with the other, see?

Also, I scored just under 10 million points on Frescoz, a highly addicting game from the same people who made Bubble Shooter. WARNING - I'm not kidding when I say addicting, both of these games can be major time suckers, and Lani (who got lots of us hooked on bubble shooter) has been called several unkind names for introducing people to it. I still love her, though :)
Now, I have to go get ready and run to work :) Later, I'll post the other things tht got me through NaNo.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Am A Great Writer.

Which sometimes necessitates breaking out the tiara. The boa is on the floor next to me, in case I need it too. 19051 words to date, 2068 this early morning, just when I was starting to wonder if I would have a good writing night ever again. Mad love to Jennifer Crusie for the tiara, and to Lani & Sam, for the inspiration to make my protagonist suffer. I still don't know where I am headed, but at least my characters aren't standing around bored! If you write, go listen to the podcasts :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More NaNo, Talk

I'm not overly superstitious, but I do have tendancies. So, I'm thinking my current writing misery was possibly influenced by my last NaNo image, with the crying eye and the question "Why?"...
However, blue butterflies are recurring images in my writer's collage; I believe this one may be luckier. I'm just sayin'...
I know sometimes chasing distracted trains of thought can be productive (the girls in the basement working in strange and marvelous ways) but I'm seriously unsure why we all wanted to watch all the Billy Ray Cyrus clips from Dancing With the Stars on YouTube. Although I am of the momentary opinion that he may still be a better dancer than I am a serious writer...
Consider the addiction to ellipses tonight, after all! However, even if fate and luck are existent, I believe that what you tell yourself matters, so I've got something to say:
I am a GREAT storyteller!

Now, if you need a laugh, some book talk, and a little distraction, check out Samantha Graves and Lani Diane Rich's podcast & website, Will Write For Wine. I am rationing out the podcasts, to motivate myself to write. Mind you, I think Lani's books are brilliant, and will someday get my thoughts together to actually review a book here. I haven't read anything by Sam (who also writes as CJ Barry) but hopefully I will find one in a bookstore this weekend. After I catch up my word count!

Monday, November 05, 2007

NaNo & More Bedroom

Of course, NaNo is a huge challenge, and I'm trying not to be discouraged by how hard I'm finding it. I thought the first week was supposed to pass in a rush? Only the first day did for me. However, as I have never finished anything longer than a couple pages, the fact that my page count is at 12 is very encouraging. I can do this. At JCF (Cherry Forums), there is a thread called "I am a great writer" which discusses (among other things) how what you say, and what you believe, affect your reality. I am a great writer.

So, Saturday night - after I made my 1667 for the day, I finally put up my shelves, and unpacked the candles and frames. I'm pretty pleased with the way they look. The ribbon on the upper left corner is to neaten up the edges, but I don't think it's the right trim yet. *sigh*
These are my favorite set of shelves, but they were a nightmare to hang, since they needed to align. Although I was temped to hang them with a gap between them, but then my mistakes trying to hang them would show. In the end, I'm glad I didn't give up...
This is a shelf for my home office (which was already painted lemon yellow, but I like the lightness among all the bookcases and desks. I'm excited that it's back to being a home office, for the five weeks I painted the bedroom, I slept on a futon mattress on the floor of the office.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cherry Con Pics, Halloween, & NaNo

Cherry Con was AMAZING. We got delirious amounts of goodies, the Cherries are every bit as incredible in person as online, and the interactive lectures were nothing short of inspirational. I simply cannot express the all over total wonderfulness :) Go see the ridiculous amount of pictures I took here. Pictured above is everything I was given. The bed is queen sized. Oh, and the River Center Marriott was a great place to have it all.

Tonight was Halloween, and being a security guard means no elaborate costume. Cherry Con set me up for some fun, although it was too warm in the office tonight to wear the feather boa. Still, everyone loved the flamingos, and fought over who got to wear the flashing glasses. The playdoh was a hot commodity, and the cookie Deb brought was very yummy. Not pictured was Sue's delicious pumpkin roll.

It's November 1st, officially the start of another NaNoWriMo, and I'm in. For the first time (this is my fourth attempt), I've made the word count for the first day. Sure, it's way too early to be really excited, but I am modestly pleased. *New Addition* Wordcount widget on the bottom of page! Check out my progress :) *

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cherry Con & Painted Bedroom

Oh, yes. The soccer ball ceiling fan is still there. It is on my hit list, though.

Before and during from two perspectives

During and After, Window Wall
Closeup of Shapes

Now, the entire room, all painted, turning 90 degrees right between pictures (adjusted to show as much of each wall as possible)
Wall #1, painted but not yet beaded or edged
Wall #2, painted & beaded (& bonus clutter!)
Wall #3, Painted & Beaded (with stained shelves)
Wall #4, Just Painted a Whole Bunch
Detail, Edge of Stripe with Swirls and Beads

The initial idea came from a book called Spectacular Walls by Jeannine Dostal, from the "Mermaid Stripes". And I had a hell of a time choosing, she's got some very cool effects in there. The accent wall was inspired by a stamped faux mosaic tile I saw in several different books.

As usual, I should be sleeping... I am going to Covington KY tomorrow afternoon for Cherry Con, the writers and fans who have collected around Jenny Crusie. If you haven't read any of her writing, I highly recommend it! She blogs too, at Argh Ink.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Quick Entry

I've been MIA again, with no real end in sight. Right now, I should be sleeping, because I have a class in 3 1/2 hours... HazMat IC for the third time. (Because we have to get recertified yearly. But it only counts where I work, not in real life.)
A few things that have amused me tonight:

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

A game I spent way too long playing: Bookworm
Another game The Cherries got me hooked on a couple months ago: Bubble Shooter (and yes, I did pass it on to everyone I work with, thank you very much. If they hadn't websensed all the blogs I used to visit including mine! *sigh* I would be around more. Bastards!)
The Smart Bitches are to blame for the night this distracted me: Questionable Content

And, Kimbooktu's Meme:

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Paperback, so I can fit more in the space I have. Plus, I like the size in my hands better...

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…

The Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind. (No, I don't care that it's unoriginal. Bonus points if you recognize the reference!)

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…

Considering how much I love quotes, I'll just go with a recent favorite, and not spend all night contemplating my all-time favorite book quotes.

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning." Faking It, Jennifer Crusie

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be ….

Hehehehe - in about two weeks, I get to meet Jennifer Crusie, Alesia Holliday, Lani Diane Rich, Anne Stuart, and a whole lot of other published and unpublished authors. I'm absolutely giddy ;) Although I would love to have lunch with Doug, Dean, and Erin, too!

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be…

The revision of Doug's book, which I have not had a chance to read. Being too busy to sit down with a much anticipated changed ending drives me crazy!

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that….

Contained a virtual library that held like a paperback book. Sorta like the books in the Wolfram & Hart offices in the last season of Angel, where you whisper to the book what you need and it becomes that book.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of….

Growing up, hiding in the camper in the driveway and reading alone.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be….

Oh, hell. Too many I'd love to be, so I'm just going with Carly from The Fortune Quilt by Lani Diane Rich. God knows I've been towered enough, now I want the psychic quilt and amazing painter boyfriend. (And you should go buy this book! Even my mom liked it, and our taste in books is mostly very different.)

9. The most overestimated book of all times is….

Overestimated? Hmmm. I thought Moby Dick was a drag, hated The Awakening, thought LA Banks should be banned from writing in english after reading Minion, and completely failed to see why my mom liked Mary Higgins Clark (sorry, really don't remember which one I read...) But honestly, the occasional wallbanger is a small price to pay for everything I get from the books I buy and love.

10. I hate it when a book….

Is badly copyedited *cough Laurell K. Hamilton cough*. Has a TSTL heroine (with optional glittery hoo-ha). Has an oversimplified climax - deux ex machina, anyone? Some books I like so much up until the sudden oversimplified ending, that I read them again and quit before the bad ending. (Fairyville by Emma Holly is a little like that)

Ooh, 5:17 am already, where does the time go? If I fell asleep right now, I could nap for about 1 1/2 hours.

*Coming Soon* (hopefully!) pictures from my crazily elaborate hand painted four color bedroom, and my return to blogging?!?!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Painted Face & Internet Issues

So, my 34th birthday was last Tuesday, and I spent it in Chicago with my family walking. We waled a lot all three days, actually. While I was walking around Shedd Aquarium, I came across two girls doing face paintings, and just had to get one. One girl was going on break, and she had an amazing seahorse on her face, and I like seahorses, so I asked for one like hers in teal. While cute, the one I got was nowhere near as amazing, but I'm still glad I did it.
In other news, I am having serious connectivity issues recently, and a recent firewall upgrade at work has seriously changed things I can access from work - including my own blog :(
At home, we have cable internet, a wireless router, and two laptops. The other laptop has no problems whatsoever connecting, but I am getting booted every few minutes, and not getting back online smoothly.
All of which means, I'm doing a terrible job keeping up on posting and responding to other people's blogs. Currently I'm blogging from Panera, where most of my attempts produce the dreaded "website taking too long to respond" errors. Memo to me: this weekend, find a techie to help me out, see if there is something wrong with my laptop!
Strong possibility of big life changes (yet again) which may mean I'm not around much for a while. Seriously need to set up the blog by email function, then I can post from work, if nothing else.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chicago Vacation - NEED HELP!

Image by J. Crocker, found on Wikipedia
My family and I are going to Chicago for three days and two nights of high speed tourism (we never were very good at realistic planning...) Anyway, I was hoping someone could recommend a couple good places near the loop to eat well but inexpensively. Most of us are pretty open cuisine-wise, and I really like to try new things. So if anyone has any suggestions, they would be much appreciated :)
The plan is, to see the Museum of Science & Industry, the Field Museum, The Shedd Aquarium, the Notebaert Center, Navy Pier (yay stained glass exhibit!), the Art Institute Gallery, and the quilt show at the Chicago History Museum. (I mentioned we're crazy, right?) Anything else that nine people ranging from eight years old to late fifties would enjoy? We've talked about breaking into groups so that everyone can concentrate on things they are interested in, and we've got five adults to four kids, so plenty of supervision...
The dates are July 30th through August 1st, which means my 34th birthday will be in the Windy City, which is so much better than being at work :D

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Work In Progress

The new place, before:

And after painting:
Some work still to do, but I am really pleased with the colors. :) Now, put up the ceiling covering, figure out the new floor, and then I can really move in (I'm couching upstairs.) -OH- and I bought stained glass paint for the windows, so I'm excited about that, too! And won't it look great with the quilt my mom is making for me?
This is an approximation of the centerpiece of my quilt, done in photoshop. The patterns and fabrics are not to scale, because that would have taken me too long to figure out and I'm too wildly impatient to see the results, as usual.
(Also, I apologize for the views not matching in the before/after pictures. There seems to be a problem with my camera focus, and I am having trouble getting it to focus where I want it to, and sometimes at all! You'd think a semi-pro photographer could sort these things out easily... But, problem for another day, as it is already 4:02 am.)
And to all my internet friends whom I have been shamelessly neglecting, I miss you and hope to be back online consistently soon <3

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, getting ready for this weekend when I'm moving. I am super excited to be moving in with my friends, I'm just a little intimidated by the mechanics of moving this time, without taking any time off. So please bear with me, I won't be around much for a little bit :(

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Few Of My Favorite Things - Book Meme

All the entries are in at Kimbooktu, and she's inviting everyone to vote for their three favorites.
I've been following some of her links, and found this meme at book-a-rama:
A Few Of My Favorite Things
A book that made you cry:
Ex and the Single Girl by Lani Diane Rich. Don't get me wrong, overall this is a funny book, but a few moments struck a little too close to home and got me teary-eyed.

A book that scared you:
The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum. This novel is brilliant, but also deeply disturbing. I am eternally grateful I did not get the illustrated edition!

A book that made you laugh:
American Idle, by Alesia Holiday - the panties-on-fire-causing-a-plane-wreck bit, and several others. Also, everything by Christopher Moore and Douglas Adams and...

A book that disgusted you:
The Awakening by Kate Chopin - I HATED that book. I hated that the main character was whiny and passive and completely self-absorbed, and that her solution to all of her problems was to drown herself - although I was glad she died ;)

A book you loved in elementary school:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I wanted to find a hidden garden, and bring it back to life. I also wanted to be Dicken, with his menagerie of animals, but especially the pony. And speaking of members of the equine family, I also adored National Velvet by Enid Bagnold, and I dreamt of having a piebald horse and entering the Grand National for years. (I did own a horse that looked a lot like the horse in the National Velvet movie that starred a very young Elizabeth Taylor, and trained to barrel race and show jump. However, I didn't look much like Elizabeth ...)

A book you loved in middle school:
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

A book you loved in high school:
Fevre Dream by George RR Martin. This is the book I blame for starting my love of vampire novels :)

A book you hated in high school:
hmmm. I hated the way we discussed books in high school, but not necessarily the books themselves... The Mists if Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley was something I read and didn't like much, more because of the incest than anything. Someday, I'll reread it and see what I think of it now.

A book you loved in college:
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neal Hurston. In a semester on the naturalists, she was the only bright spot...

A book that challenged your identity:
[Chris said: Atlas Shrugged
. I didn't really like this book but it had me looking at the world, and how I fit in it, in a different way.]
(After reading several Ayn Rand novels, I decided that I would never have enough money or be pretentious enough to be an Objectivist. I did love Anthem, however.)
I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher. Not that I'm entirely certain yet what I want to do, which is my own fault, since I am easily distracted and never go back and do the exercises.

A series that you love:
Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, Merrie Gentry, Dark Tower, Thomas Black, Mac Fontana, Betsy Taylor, Samantha Adams, Rachel Morgan... and others. I like novels with continuing characters.

Your favorite horror book:
I love horror, especially Stephen King. For sunlight horror, I'd go with We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson. The Blood Artists by Chuck Hogan was excellent, also.

Your favorite science fiction book:
Douglas Adams, again; I cannot single out just one as my favorite

Your favorite fantasy:
Sunshine and everything else by Robin McKinley...

Your favorite mystery:
Madeleine Alt's witch mysteries, Sarah Shankman's mysteries, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg is brilliant.

"Mr. Linden's Library - He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late."

Your favorite biography:
I, Tina by Tina Turner and Kurt Loder. She amazes me, and I hope that I can be as gracious about what life throws at me.

Your favorite "coming of age" book:
a variety... the Harry Potter series, at the moment.

Your favorite classic:
Slaughterhouse Five or Watership Down or To Kill a Mockingbird, none of which were assigned reading anywhere in my academic career. Sad, really...

Your favorite romance book:
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Your favorite book not on this list:
The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin, One on One by Tabitha King, and so many others.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Contest Entry & Threesome Meme

So, I found Kimbooktu, a book gadget blog where there are all kinds of cool book related toys. They are having a contest, so I designed a necklace that doubles as a bookmark... Here's my entry:
"This is my BookCollar, a convertible necklace / bookmark. The band is adjustable, so it can be expanded to fix most hardback books, or adjusted to your favorite necklace length. Never be without a bookmark again!"

And then there was this one, which I really liked, but decided against using in the collage... So I'll put it here, instead.

From Doug, A Three Things Meme (which he got from Tiggr D'Amore)
Three Things That Scare Me:
orwellian doublespeak
mutant corn & CAFOs
religious zealots
Three People Who Make Me Laugh:
Three Things I Love:
friends & family
good food
Three Things I Hate:
passive aggressive behavior
my-way-is-the-only-right-way thinking
Three Things I Don't Understand:
celebrity behavior
sports players salaries
TV Network decisions (b@st@rds canceled my favorite show, Veronica Mars)
Three Things On My Desk:
canon rebel XT
necklace for kimbooktu competition
silver & amber ring
Three Things I'm Doing Right Now
watching Buffy Season 5
eating nachos
finally updating my blog :)
Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
globe trot
fall in love
finish a novel
Three Things I Can Do:
imitate cartoons

read for hours on end
Three Things I Can't Do:
write custom code for my webpages :(
lick my elbow
be someone I'm not
Three Things I Think You Should Listen To:
Twin Peaks Original Soundtrack
Into The Woods Original Broadway Soundtrack
The Wreckers - Stand Still, Look Pretty
Three Things You Should Never Listen To:
hate speech
bad remixes
Three Things I'd Like To Learn:
batik and shibori dyeing techniques
bellydance, swing dance, and exotic dance ;)
to speak italian, maybe french...
Three Favorite Foods:
chicken marsala
ginger beef
Three Shows I Watched As A Kid:
Star Trek (TOS)
Muppet Show
Three Things I Regret:
not knowing I was calcium deprived
not knowing my portfolio was accidentally placed in a dumpster with empty moving boxes
not entering more art competition is college
Three People I Tag:
Only if they want to!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Go, Me

A little something that amused me...

I got my name in lights with notcelebrity.co.uk

Monday, May 07, 2007

House of Sin - Dan's Birthday

So, nothing that will get anyone in too much trouble, or get me into trouble with my friends who don't like having their pictures posted;)