Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleopatra


As I recovered from surgery, Mom & Mike decided I needed a little pick-me-up. This is my bundle of crazy, who also loves everyone and thinks the whole world was put here for her personal amusement. She also purrs nearly constantly, and you can tell she's falling asleep when there are pauses in the purring.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Life Updates

Clearly, I have not kept my personal goal of updating my blog more often, but I'm going to forgive myself based on extenuating circumstances. ;)
  • I've Moved
For a whole rash of interconnected reasons, I've moved in with my mom and stepdad. This is an ongoing project, actually, since I am not by any definition unpacked.
  • I'm Post-Surgical
This was a biggie on the reasons I moved back home - I needed a few surgical procedures related to endometriosis and my most recently discovered fibroid tumors. I had surgery on October 16th, and have been off work since. My doctor currently estimates a return to work date around November 6th. The surgery itself was successful, at least in the sense of a) I am still alive and b) my doctor was able to treat the problems he cut me open for. It is taking longer to recover from this set of surgical procedures (in the past, I've had two laparoscopies) than I had expected, and only in the last couple of days have I not needed frequent naps. I'm still not up to many of the post-moving day unpacking and arranging tasks, and still limited on how much weight I can carry. OH- and I have discovered a whole new allergy the hard way: the betadine and whatever they used to prep my stomach for the surgery has created a bad-ass rash across my torso, which looked at its worst quite like a second degree burn. It is much improved now, but still not entirely resolved. Also, this was the largest contact dermatitis rash I've ever had, and hopefully ever will.
  • It's Almost November
Which consequently means it's almost time for NaNoWriMo. I am super psyched about my concept for this year's novel, and have been doing research while recovering from surgery. My main character casually wishes to be a fairy tale princess, and then starts to encounter situations from fairy tales that she has to deal with. I am trying to work through the backlog of emails and things I've been ignoring for the last several months, and as of November 1st I am a writing machine, baby.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Nothing Golden Can Stay

I'm sorry, little girl. I let you down.
video

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Joss On Writing

I'm gearing up for NaNo and have been wondering a lot about Joss Whedon's process, as well as experimenting with ScribeFire. I think it's a cool idea, and maybe having the ability to capture things that interest me as I encounter them will mean I blog about them more often. Maybe not, who knows? I keep waiting for light bulbs to go off in my head, for the moments when I start to understand things - I have brief flashes in Photoshop, I'm still pretty much completely muddled in Access, I still know nothing of programming or html or even how to make this blog look like I want it to or what to do if I buy my domain name... I've thought about migrating over to Wordpress, for the simple reason that last year I saw an immensely retro cool NaNo word counter that acted like PacMan :D Anyway, back to topic (not always my strongest point) my desk has a bunch of colored post it notes with things I want to keep in mind currently, about love and writing and whatnot. The majority are from three places: Will Write for Wine podcasts, the Logan and Veronica love story in Veronica Mars, and everything of Joss's that I've seen. I've jotted things down while watching the commentaries, like "I don't write so you'll like it. I don't care if you like it. I write so you love it" and "Give a character pain - take everything away - and they will become more interesting" which I noted came from Jass and David, but not where I heard it. I probably paraphrased, or got some of it jumbled - I tend to do that, sometimes. So,I went to the internet, looking for solid quotes on Joss's process, or the process of the writing teams on his projects. Reviewing them, I see that I didn't clip the fundamental question from the Buffy episodes, where a writer would pitch the story and Joss would ask, "How does Buffy feel?" again, maybe not an accurate quote, but the idea was there somewhere. I do occasionally wish for a photgraphic memory.

In Wikipedia, on the Firefly entry: "Espenson wrote an essay on the writing process with Mutant Enemy. A
meeting is held and an idea is floated, generally by Whedon, and the writers brainstorm to develop the central theme of the episode and the character development. Next, the staff meets in the anteroom to
Whedon's office to begin "breaking" the story into acts and scenes. The only one absent is the writer working on the previous week's episode.
For the team, one of the key components to devising acts is deciding where to break for commercial and ensuring the viewer returns. "Finding these moments in the story help give it shape: think of them as
tentpoles that support the structure," wrote Espenson.[36] For instance, in "Shindig", the break for commercial occurs when Malcolm Reynolds is gravely injured and losing the duel. As Espenson elaborates: "It does not end when Mal turns the fight around, when he stands victorious over his opponent. They're both big moments, but one of them leaves you curious and the other doesn't."
Jane Espenson on Breaking a Story
"You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you
find out who they really are. If there's any kind of fiction better
than that, I don't know what it is." attributed to Joss, found on Wikiquote
"I write for fanboy moments. I write to give myself strength. I write to
be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm
afraid of. I write to do all the things the viewers want too." - Joss Whedon, LA Times interview
"I want people to see themselves before they see me. Even though ultimately, you always work yourself into the work." - Joss Whedon, Brian Bendis Interview
Q: Have you ever had writer's block? How'd you overcome it?
Joss
Whedon: Lots. The trick is to walk away, either to another script or to
some good old mindless veging out. The other trick is not to give up
right away 'cause you're lazy and you wanna play. But if it ain't
comin', it ain't. SFF World.com interview

And as work? Well, in the first place, it IS fun. When it’s going well,
it’s the most fun I can imagine having. (Tim Minear might dispute
that.) And when it’s not going well, it’s often not going well in the
company of a bunch of funny, thoughtful people. So how is that work?
You got no muscles to show for it (yes, the brain is a muscle, but if
you show it to people it’s usually because part of your skull has been
torn off and that doesn’t impress the ladies – unless the ladies are
ZOMBIES! Where did this paragraph go?) Writing is enjoyable and
ephemeral. And it’s hard work.

It’s always hard. Not just dealing with obtuse, intrusive studio execs,
temperamental stars and family-prohibiting hours. Those are producer
issues as much as anything else. Not just trying to get your first
script sold, or seen, or finished, when nobody around believes you
can/will/should… the ACT of writing is hard. When Buffy was flowing at
its flowingest, David Greenwalt used to turn to me at some point during
every torturous story-breaking session and say “Why is it still hard?
When do we just get to be good at it?” I’ll only bore you with one
theory: because every good story needs to be completely personal (so
there are no guidelines) and completely universal (so it’s all been
done). It’s just never simple.

It’s necessary, though. We’re talking about story-telling, the most
basic human need. Food? That’s an animal need. Shelter? That’s a luxury
item that leads to social grouping, which leads directly to fancy
scarves. But human awareness is all about story-telling. The selective
narrative of your memory. The story of why the Sky Bully throws
lightning at you. From the first, stories, even unspoken, separated us
from the other, cooler beasts. And now we’re talking about the stories
that define our nation’s popular culture – a huge part of its identity.
These are the people that think those up. Working writers. - on Whedonesque







Sunday, August 24, 2008

Starghan Baby Blanket

So, while looking for the perfect baby shower present for Carla, I found this pattern, and fell in love. There are lots that have been made and pictures posted - here are the two of the first that caught my attention:

Mind you, I am still not the best at following a pattern exactly, so about the fifth row or so of mine I deviated from yarndiva's pattern some.

The yarn is from Hobby Lobby, and is seventy something percent bamboo - and I adore it, as does Carla. Must get more!

<---- detail of my star center










The Finished Starghan

The ever gorgeous Carla, featuring starghan over baby bump :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Whimsy + More Makeovers

Ha! A drink to suit my mood:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

TMI Tuesday #143 - School Days Edition


I haven't been to bed yet - that means it's still Tuesday, right?

1. What were you known as in HS (Jock, Princess, Geek) Nerd? Wallflower?
2. What were you really? Nerd? Wallflower? Eccentric?
3. If you could go back and tell your 16 year old self one thing, what would it be? You are beautiful. You are a great writer. You are a great artist. Follow your bliss. You are enough, you have enough. Carla is one of the coolest people on the planet (hey, I know that now, but if I'm altering history, I may as well meet her sooner!) Oh - and it's called endometriosis, doctor-all-women-go-through-this-kind-if-pain. Asshole.
4. If you could erase one moment from your school days what would it be? The day James committed suicide.
5. Who did you not date (or more) that you wish you did? LOL - I dated two guys the whole time I was in high school , but I was crazy about many many more. I'm sorry I didn't believe in myself back then, and didn't date any of the others.

Bonus (as in optional): If you went to prom, describe your outfit: Teal and black, shorter in the front, satin and lace and ribbon, and crazy poofy sleeves as big as my head. In all seriousness, I am extremely sad to not have any surviving photos!

Oh - and it was Act One of Dr. Horrible day - and I still can't get the website to open. Too much traffic apparently, and I don't have iTunes, so I can't do it that way. Wah!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Joss Whedon is My Master

You can buy a t-shirt that says that, and I keep thinking I might as well buy one and make sure everyone knows that about me up front. Except I rarely wear t-shirts, and have to wear the dratted uniform five days out of seven, and I know the boss would not approve.
In service to my new master, I think everyone should know about his upcoming project: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Really, I am bouncing with excitement - and the first episode comes out July 15th.
One of the stars is Nathan Fillion, whom I first despised in Buffy the Vampire Season Seven as Caleb, representative of the First Evil. Oddly, part of the reason I initially hated him was because he was called Caleb. I will probably always be funny about that name. Then, the character was a psychotic, sadistic misogynist who liked to hold forth on the evils of women in general. (Mind you, I thought he was a brilliant villain to oppose Buffy.) I was a little hesitant about Firefly, partially because it was canceled after only one season and I would barely get a taste of the universe, partly because one of the central characters was Nathan Fillion. Ultimately, I was glad that I watched it, and the minute I finished Firefly I had to go buy Serenity. Anyway, Nathan is an amazing flexible actor - I loved him as much as Captain Malcolm Reynolds as I hated him as Caleb the asshole preacher. (I think the point of no return on the Joss worship came in there somewhere, too. Nah, it was way before that.)
Anyway, just something I'm looking forward to and wanted to share.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Novel in Wordle

This has kept me entertained for a little while tonight... http://wordle.net/
It's been facinating to see what happens when I put my entire novel into the cloud. And then, I had to post just the sex scenes :D
In all seriousness, Wordly has the potential to be a serious tool for better writing - I clearly use certain words too much (especially slightly, apparently). Also, I had two drafts, which I thought I had condensed into one until I went to make a cloud of my sex scenes, and couldn't find my favorite one - which had somehow never gotten merged into the right file. 

 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Online Makeover Fun



Hey, I'd be the first to admit that I'm easily amused... and I'm surprised that I really like the strawberry blonde hair. The original looks a little odd because I had to remove my sunglasses from the top of my forehead, and erase most of my wild hair lol. So, if you're bored, and like to do crazy things to your face (or other people's, you can choose to play with famous people too) head over to taaz.com and have a little fun. To my great disappointment, I couldn't give myself blue hair :(

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Edible Decorations

So, I bought a new book and just had to try out a whole bunch of fun cupcake decorations. They were a big hit at work, and several other people have went out and bought the book. (It's Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson - and it's both wonderful and easy)





After that practice run, I made two garden cakes for my mom for mother's day - mad props to my neighbor Kim, who came up with the first pumpkin.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Memorial #3

It doesn't seem possible that this is the third birthday that you haven't been here for. I still miss you, every damn day.


Soundtrack for a broken heart:
Probably Wouldn't Be This Way - LeAnn Rimes
Tell Me I Was Dreaming - Travis Tritt
Goodbye to You -Michelle Branch
Angel - Sarah McLachlin
Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos
Last Kiss - Pearl Jam
Chiseled in Stone - Vern Gosdin
Who You'd Be Today - Kenny Chesney
Broken - Seether (featuring Amy Lee)
Fallen - Sarah McLachlin
Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
One More Day - Diamond Rio
Here Without You - 3 Doors Down
Out of Reach - Gabrielle


It hurts to listen to Tori Amos, because he loved her so much. And a song that isn't sad, but makes me cry anyway, because we used to sing it to each other...
Lean On Me - Club Nouveau

Friday, April 04, 2008

"I'm a flibbertigibbet"


Angelica, from Joe Versus the Volcano
Or, at the very least, someone with more enthusiasm and interests than time. Which surprises no one who has met me, I bet.

Let's see... I'm still crocheting, though slower than before. And I am woefully behind on photographing my projects. Still, I finished my shawl made of silk, and will be getting good pictures of it hopefully this weekend. In the meantime, a preview:

Yet to be photographed are two hood/scarf thingies, an onion holder, and other things that slip my mind at the moment.

Speaking of pictures, I had to send my primary camera in (the Canon Rebel XT) for repairs to the focus mechanisms. In the meantime, I bought a little pocket camera, which I am delighted with - the Olympus FE-280. Tiny and fun, with a video mode that I lay with constantly.

My truck is also not among the functioning items of my life, although my dad assures me that it should be much improved by Saturday. He has loaned me another truck, which dislikes me immensely. Every time I figure out its latest quirk and drive it somewhere in triumph, it develops a new hitch and I am baffled again. I think it just misses dad.... Sometimes, I regret not being mechanical.

The novel has been giving me fits, because I decided that my very entrenched subplot was too ridiculous to continue, came up with a simpler (and I truly believe better) storyline to accomplish a much stronger conflict and story overall, and then became increasingly frustrated at my clumsiness in making the changes. So I set it all aside for a while, and have retreated to reading many novels by authors who I think do things right - or at least, ways I enjoy reading. So, new books have been bought! And most of them read! I love to read, and truly believe that many weeks, it is the only thing that keeps me from running screaming into the abyss. Of course, so has being a Wiffer* and listening to Will Write for Wine...
*you can hear my voice in the intro to the one year anniversary show, if you're so inclined... it's a little ways in.

So, some (more) recommendations:
Lani Diane Rich has written several books, which I finally own all of, yay :) And if I have ever made a recommendation that has appealed to you, go out and buy A Little Ray of Sunshine! I love this book, and have been pressing it on friends and family (all of whom have reported back positively, as well.) It's both funny and touching, and currently in my top ten books of all time. Although I would cheat, and just name my top ten favorite writers, and insist upon keeping all books from each author. I've enjoyed all of her books, but my other two favorites (at the moment) are Time Off For Good Behavior and The Fortune Quilt.
Lani has kindly led me to several other authors, such as Joshilyn Jackson. Her gods in Alabama totally stole my heart, and Between, Georgia was a delight also. Her latest was released in March, and is on my gotta have list.
And, shame of all shame, despite minoring in literature and devouring books like candy, I must confess that until recently, I had never read Pride & Prejudice. I figured it would be hard to get into, written so long ago, and it was something I always figured I would eventually get around to, because it is after all a classic. But no hurry... At CherryCon, I received a copy of Flirting with Pride & Prejudice, edited by Jennifer Crusie and with essays by other authors I love, like Alesia Holliday, Mercedes Lackey, and Lani naturally. So I bought it, devoured it in one reading, read it again, read the essays, reread P&P, and well, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. It's wonderful, and much imitated (Bridget Jones' Diary and Clueless) and frequently referenced in other works of fiction (Ex and the Single Girl, by Lani) and referred to as "the mother of all romance novels" by Jenny herself. So, if you haven't read it, it's worth it. Promise.
I also managed to track down some of Alesia Holliday's books that were missing from my collection (no joy on Blondes Have More Felons yet). Initially, I read her American Idle, and loved it - laugh out loud funny at parts, with a heroine I felt like I knew. She also writes as Alyssa Day, the Warriors of Poseidon series, which is great fun as well. So, I found Seven Ways to Lose Your Lover and Nice Girls Finish First, both of which I devoured within hours of getting in the mail and enjoyed. On a more serious note (but never dreary, or too serious) I also read her first book, the nonfiction novel Email to the Front. It was amazing, and brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine the courage it took to write it, and share it with the world.
I read a lot more books, but will save some for another post. And I met Lani, Alesia, and Jenny; they are among the kindest and smartest people I have ever had the privilege to speak to. Each one is recommended here due to the merits of their books, though. All of the authors I met online as a Cherry and at CherryCon have taught me a lot about who I want to be. You know, when I ever finish my first draft and make it into a coherent story ;)

There was something else I was going to ramble about, but once again, the Buffy Musical (Once More with Feeling) has called to me, and I must go watch it again. While I play Bookworm. And, er, think about my novel. No, really.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Apologies....

I have been shamefully neglectful of late, and do hereby resolve to improve matters. Soon-ish.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

December Crochet

THE STITCHES
I learned a whole bunch of new stitches in December... Multiple stitches in one photo are labeled in the photo.*these are not new stitches, but it is a picture of several of them together
I think the pineapple pattern is part of why I started crocheting :)
Around the post, front and back
V Stitch
Mesh Stitch (unblocked, it is supposed to be squares)
Fishnet ;)
Half Doubles
Afghan / Tunisian / Idiot Stitch, side one
Afghan Stitch, side two
Monk's Cord

THE PROJECTS
If I followed a pattern, is is from the Stitch & Bitch Happy Hooker book, recommended by the amazing Carla, go buy it if you're interested in learning to crochet!

This hat has been the bane of my existance, four tries and it's still not done :( The black will not unravel, and I keep reducing the stitches too much.
Pretty hat, has the opposite problem of the pink hat - the bottom of this one grew too big, and once again, the yarn does not unravel.

Black Chenille, with ribbon, for Deb (Who is fabulous!)
Green with pink & green ribbon; smaller black chenille
Dark Teal Shell Scarf, and my first guy hat, for Dan-the-greatTeal Hat & Scarf, for Elaine-the-gorgeous (as soon as I fringe the scarf...)
Set for the cutest family ever...
For my Mom, Stepdad, Sis-in-law, nieces, and nephews. All of whom rock :)

The beautiful Carla, in her muffin hat and scarf
The adorable Gabby, dynamite in red

The front and back of the Cherry bag, a thank you for a special Cherry ;)