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2017-07-04 07:06 pm

On Reaching Goals

This has been a strange writing year.  I wrote Tons and Tons the first couple of months, then hit a wall when I finally accepted my YA fantasy was not YA, but was in fact just one character who's storyline belonged with my old epic fantasy.  So the next two months were spent weaving those two stories together.  I finally accomplished that at end of May.  Damn hard work because first I had to rewrite Aneli's story (the YA-not-YA) back into third person.  INSANITY.  But I did it, and am extraordinarily, thoroughly, wildly pleased with the result.  

Then June happened - work on my house - my dad getting sick (he is doing great yay) - and work slaying me - and insert 20 more excuses - and I didn't get any writing done. July has been better but I am still way behind the goal I set for this year (like 145k behind) in the GYWO group I am involved in.  I figure about 60k of that will finish this draft of my current novel.  Seems about right.  The rest would go into a book I haven't even started plotting yet.  I may need to start playing with that soon - by October at the least.  

Anyway - I calculated what it would take to still hit 200k by December 31st.  179 days are left in the year, after today, so all I would have to do is write 810 words a day every day for the rest of the year.  There is, honestly, no reason why I can't do this.  So I am making a new challenge as of this very moment (and Camp Nano is a huge way to kick it off) of getting those 810 words a day.  I can do this. I want to, too.

Other goals for the rest of the year:

1.   Diet. 17 down, 16 to go.  That will put me, at 55, at a nice 172 lbs.  at 5'8". This has always been a good weight for me and my build.  The goal is for it to be gone by Sirens, which is the end of October. Totally doable.  CICO rules.  

2.   Exercise.  Kettlebells thrice weekly, treadmill thrice weekly, 6k regular steps a day thereabouts, no trauma if I don't hit that.  I have opted to be more relaxed on exercise as when I stopped stressing about it, I started to enjoy it more. Hmmm.  That also coincided with finally starting to lose, so go figure that.

3.   Reading.  My gosh I am behind on reading!  By now I should have TONS of the books on my Sirens booklist read but I don't!  I find it really difficult to make myself just Sit Down and Read Dammit. LOL.  So I am going to pick four from the list and work on reading those by the time Sirens comes around, including the GOH's books. 

4.   Budget.  I have a big bill to pay off (rest of the roof), a plane ticket to buy, property taxes to save up for, and I'm a bit nervous about being able to do all this. I can, if I stick to my budget hard-core. 

I cannot wait for Sirens.  It is like a shiny beacon in the future, calling to me.  I am sad though that one of my friends I made last year now can't come - she and her friend (one of the few guys in attendance) were a lot of fun, but her workload is just too much to take off. Pout. On the other hand, on Reddit I met two more Sirens attendees who I didn't get to know last year, so we're already making plans. This year I will know so many people!  I am ecstatic about this!  Attending that con fills me with possibilities, and hope, and not necessarily just hope about the writing future.  Hope in people, good people, women and men, diverse and intelligent and creative and determined.  I love that, need that.  It is already sold out but if anyone is out there reading this, there may be other slots opening up later. If not this year, how about next?  I'll be going for sure.  



 

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2017-06-12 04:14 pm

Monday (long) Update - Week of June 12, 2017

I can't believe it has been April since I posted. May was a busy flurry both personally and at home, with way too much going on at the office, and my house finally getting worked on and finished.  Only took 26 months to finally have my house completely repaired after our double hail storms of terror and doom.  But it is finally done so I can look forward to the rest of the summer being all about paying off stuff, losing weight (16 to go!) and writing.  So, I thought it would be helpful to me (but maybe boring to read) to have a place to keep track of certain things, starting today. I plan to do this every Sunday evening,though I didn't last night - great way to start out, right?

There are several areas of my life I am setting goals for, and keeping track of.  They are:

1.    Weight.  I'm down 16.2 lbs. since April 27th. I want to lose  17-20 more.  I am using My Fitness Pal again after a brief stint on the Lose-It app, but I find MFP easier to use.  I am CeeGray on there.  Love more friends!  

2.   Exercise.   I have a spin bike, a treadmill, and a kettle bell, and a yoga mat.  Hardly touched any of them since I got back from vacation.  Losing weight is primarily a food thing - but I want to get back to regular, light exercise.  Strenuous isn't necessary, and it also seems to backfire - for instance, for me, 6-7k steps a day is perfect.  For awhile I was doing 10-12k steps a day and all it gave me was inflammation in my knees.    I have joined a team challenge on Reddit - I am part of Team Superman. Not my fave superhero but I love the guy moderating our group - he is golden.  It actually starts July 1, so I will be doing all I can to be successful with my group.  I'm looking for a kettle bell routine to do, and I'm restarting, again, Couch to 5k, but with the goal of slow jogging, not the mad running speed fiend I thought I had to be. I don't.  

3.  Writing.  Oh writing - working on my epic fantasy. This is my favorite, most personal world, and I love it -  and I don't know if I will ever share it.  I feel very little urge to write for publication right now - I don't have that kind of drive currently.  Too tired at the end of every day to go home and sit more at the computer - but, I am writing during lunch some, so that is good.  And I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo in July, so there is that!  After this is done, which should be around the time I go to Sirens, I am going to make a decision regarding my writing future. 

4.  House.  I am purging crap left and right.  I love finally getting a handle on this, at long last.  Now that my kids are all moved out it is much easier!  

5.  Work.   It owns me, it is my life, and I am not really too upset about that. I am proud of my work, and love what I do. But I am so tired, working for 2.5 people. It is very stressful.  But, we are working to find a new person and if we are successful, I will stop working for Jim and just work for Desiree. This is kinda both sad and awesome - I love Jim's work, but most of my high internal stress comes from him. Desiree 'gets me' as she puts it and we work well together, and she needs full time help.  Plus, she is only 34 - Jim is almost 65.  How long will he continue?  I don't know - but Desiree will go on many more years.  I want to work about 10 more.   This change may or may not happen - if it does, the downside is I lose my office with a view - not that I have time to stare out at it much.  

6.  Pets.  I love them.  The dogs are great.  My betta Thor is sick - he is bloated, so I have him in a salt water hospital tank, with the temp turned up to 81, and is not getting food for a couple days. I feel awful - I accidentally gave him too many bloodworms, and he has symptoms of dropsy - this could do him in.  His water tests fine so that is something, but I am sad. I want him to get better.  He is resting in a plant right now, so hopefully he will improve.  

7.  Love.  Single. Mostly okay with it, sometimes lonely, but I am used to it too.  I wouldn't mind meeting someone but in today's political climate, I am super wary, especially of white men.  I still am trying to figure out how to clone N so he can live here and still live his life in the UK but that will never happen.  Besides he has his own husky now and she is adorable!  I don't know how to put myself out there, anyway.  Where is Idris Elba when you need him? 

8.   Friends.  Making efforts to get out as much as I can without overloading.  At least once a week, anyway!  I keep looking at Meetup groups too but so far haven't seen one that makes me definitely want to get out and go attend.  Not sure what I want honestly - just someone to call up and say hey, want coffee?  I miss that so much (see 7. above).  Sometimes, it really kills me I don't have that.  Lots of friends, but everyone has their own lives. I have no BFF here (elsewhere, yes).  I have my kids thank the stars - we had a blast Saturday - but they have SO's too, and really do love both of their partners.  They don't need me hanging around them constantly.  I guess I need someone like me, with no BFF... LOL!  Sigh.  I loved my vacation so much because my friend Kieran and I just enjoyed just hanging out together so much. Dammit.  

So future weeks I plan to just have each heading, and write a brief 'this is what happened this week'.  I think that will help me out considerably.   Short and sweet (after this one).

And now for bed - pretty tired, I was up late last night as I started writing late and got Super-Jazzed.  Oops.  I was going to bed just when N was getting up in the UK - oops.  


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2017-05-27 10:00 am

Killing Time before I go Fish Shopping!

My 20 gallon long tank is finally cycled, and I love it!  I have wanted to start a betta sorority for ages, and today is the day!  I will be looking for 4-5 female bettas to join my girl Bette Midler lol.  I keep calling her Poppy though so I guess that is her nickname.  These silly fish (3 tanks now) have truly brightened my life, and I love them.  The 20g long, the 20g tall, and  2.5 though that one needs an upgrade as fighting the ammonia is hard.  It spiked horribly yesterday and I don't want Thor to get ammonia burns. There was a cute little 5 gallon at my new favorite pet store for 10 bucks so I think I will get that for him today, which means an empty tank, which means...  I am going to get another baby!  I loved growing a baby betta. I'll get a female this time though so she can go in the 20 long.

Enough fish talk.

Writing - limping along.  I hope to make some more progress this weekend.  I fell out of the habit of writing during lunch, but I am working to get back to that.  This weekend my plan is to outline what scenes I have left to fill in to get to where what was YA's main character's 'mirror moment' - that moment when she (Aneli is her name) finally realized that it was up to her to take the plunge, possibly sacrificing herself, to save her half-brother and his people (who she always felt apart from, but has finally come to realize they have been her family all along, she was the one who held back).   It was a fabulous ride getting her to this point, but I don't want to continue on with her journey until I get the others to their moments.  (not all at once, that would be boring).  Getting everyone in the same country is the main goal, I think!  And I am super excited about having Aneli meet Milandria at long last.  My two favorite women characters ever!  Especially Milandria - she has been with me for almost 17 years.  

Dogs are great.  LOVE MY DOGS.   

I wish, wish so bad, I could find one person, male or female I don't care, who is local to me who would happily meet up with me on a regular basis for writing sessions.  Everything is so crit-oriented and frankly, that doesn't interest me. Sorry.  I want to WRITE WITH PEOPLE. Like, over lunch or breakfast!  On the weekends, not during the week - everything is during the week, and I just can't do that.   I love when my friend Anthony is in town as we always have such a great time meeting up and writing and dinner and talk and such.  Everyone I know either has families, or lives in Dallas, so it isn't possible to meet regularly.  Sigh.

I have paid up my Sirens registration and cannot wait to go again.  It is in Vail this year! HIGH HIGH SO HIGH in the mountains!!  I love this con so damn much.  It is women-focused, Sci-Fi Fantasy, and this will be my second year.  THIS year I go knowing a bunch of people which makes it even better.   One of the women I met there is also local to me - and clear up north of Dallas.  We've met up a couple of times, and it was awesome, but again - she has family, so it isn't a regular thing.

I never made it to Scarborough Faire - again. I meant to, but the $$ wasn't there, and the roof drama--just too much, and too much going on.  I could go today I guess but again, not gonna happen.

Other stuff - I am loving my house, my backyard, my dogs, my world.  I wish sometimes there was someone with me to experience this, but the one person I'd want is firmly planted, and happily, in England and will stay there.  He has a dog now too - a husky! She is adorable.  I plan to get back there next year.  It has been a couple years since we saw each other :(.  Sadface.  

I suppose I could try dating, but...  Not feeling it. LOL.  Meh!

I suppose I could go do errands now - dry my hair, throw on pants and go.  Then come back and spend the rest of the day with the dogs - tonight after it cools I am taking Maddox to the washadoggery to blow all his fur off. That should be fun!!  





 
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2017-04-30 09:32 pm

I forgot a subject line - oops.

I did everything but write this weekend - yesterday was a kid day (both kids, and also my son's gf, came by to see me).   My daughter was the real surprise - I see the son and his g/f Summer over here pretty regularly - but Tiffany rarely comes here, I usually drive to Dallas so I can see her doggie Bruce! He is a Corgi.  What more can I say - CORGI!!!!!  She has some good friends (and okay they are mine too - I went to their wedding, the weekend after 45 slayed us all and won (cough) the presidency - the friends are a gay couple, and their wedding was the best wedding I had ever been to.  Now they are close by and that makes me happy, just because.  :) 

So, it was pretty sweet to have her come HERE - and the dogs went nuts, of course, as they hadn't seen her in ages.


Yesterday I shopped as I hadn't since before vacation so was out of everything.  And today I didn't leave the house but completely gutted my kitchen, and completely redid my back porch/zen place.  Man that feels good to have that done but now I am exhausted but that is okay as my (main) boss is GONE FOR A A WEEK YAY!!!!! A week and a day!  Maybe a week and TWO days!!!  JOY JOY JOY!!!!

So, I will drink LOTS of coffee in the morning.  I did think a lot?  I am trying to untangle how I want to finish the last act/part of this story.  I have all my POV characters at their moments of becoming warriors, so to speak - and I've been working through different ways to get everyone where I want them to end this thing.  I have two options - and they are big options - I could either choose to wrap up this story in one go, a stand-alone novel, or I could choose to not do so.  Now, as I am getting ready for the drive toward the end, is where I have to decide.  

A huge part of me just wants to complete their story in its entirety - been working on this 15 years off and on, after all, and the thought of completing their narratives makes me very happy.  But the thought of not writing them anymore, either?  How can I bear to say goodbye to these characters?  This dilemma is a huge/major/overwhelming reason why I have not made much progress this last month (and did no writing at all on vacation).

But I really need to make a decision.   As a standalone, it would clock in easy at around 325k, maybe even 350k.  A big book, a big story.  I think I am leaning this direction, but with spin-offs, or stories running simultaneous to.  I have two such stories teasing me right now, one that I've also had for a long time dancing around in my brain (about 7 years). 

In any case - busy, tiring weekend.  I started a new diet as well, which I will talk about more later - it is basically Whole30, if you are familiar with that.  But, I am counting calories, which you aren't supposed to do on Whole30.  But I am, and there is a reason for that, and so there, that's just how it is. LOL! 

And now I must curl up with the puppy, and watch some  netflix.  I'll seek out American Gods tomorrow and watch the first episode then.

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2017-04-26 08:07 pm

And on writing... And the Chromebook

I finally found a DW style for my DW that I really like a lot.  Played around with the colors to match my Come... Travel with Me icon, which is my favorite, but that particular Tardis is David Tenant's Doctor's Tardis, thank you very much. 

So, I have definitely made peace with the Chromebook.   The lightness, the way it fits in my purse (I do have a big purse), the battery life, the keyboard, the monitor without lines, all add up to a winner.   I now have Googledocs working in my favor, and am pleased.  Zero drafting in this, then moving it over to Scrivener, will work just fine.  When it comes time to hit the rewrites, I will worry about that then.  I've got a little bit of outlining/planning to do, but will dive in again by the weekend.  I am super excited to be writing this character for awhile - her name is Milandria, and she is one of the characters who has been with me for about 15 years.  She is a strong, amazing young woman, a gifted healer, and is half of the romantic thread that runs through the story - she and her almost-husband, and father of her unborn child, were brutally separated by the attack on their village the day before they were to be married. I put these two through amazingly horrifying hell and back again, and I love every minute of it.  Taking a character, destroying them and rebuilding them even stronger is one of my favorite things to do in writing, and these two have waited over a decade for this.  I love them both so much and they are a huge part of my life - I use her name for a lot of different account names. :) 

It is good to be feeling back in the groove again.  Until today, really, I've been in a post-vacation blues funk. I haven't felt like talking much with people, either, until today.  I have been considering talking to my doc about going back on Welbutrin, but I always found antidepressants killed my writing mojo so I really have no wish to go that route.  Will try to get back on the walking train again - and back on the weight loss train.  I only (only!) need to lose 25 lbs. but it has been a very stubborn 25 lbs.  So, thinking back to what worked before was Whole 30 - and so that is what I am going to do, starting Saturday.  My daughter is doing it too, as is my boss Desiree who is very tiny, but has a real problem with eating right, and eating too much sugar.  Hopefully that and dropping my step count goal to 5500 (from 7500 steps a day) will help - I need some positivity.  That should help in keeping the evil blahs away, I hope. 

This pointless post will now draw to an end.  I intend to write a 'this is my book, this is where I am, this is what I have left to write' post soon, but I want to watch The Americans right now.

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2017-04-24 10:46 am

The Blues, I hate you - and Chromebook fun

The best part of my vacation was just spending time relaxing, talking with my friend (also a writer) and walking his dog.  It was just so relaxed and lovely, but then I came home and just was swamped with work, which left me too whipped by Friday night to go to writer's group.  Saturday I ran errands but got to spend time with my son and his girlfriend - other than that, I spent the weekend alone and got into a funk of blah.  I really need to find people around here who don't live in Dallas area.  Sigh.  So I just had a blah kind of day - happy to be home with my dogs, but I just felt... tired. Just tired. And lonely - I think that is the main problem.  Having someone sweet and charming and fun to talk to about anything and everything all day and then not having that has made me a sad person.  I will snap out of it, but dang it, I miss my little buddy.

I also have realized my adorable Chromebook doesn't have the Intel processor (I didn't even THINK to look at that) which makes it pretty impossible to have any form of Scrivener on it.  I can either just write on Googledocs, or return it.  I haven't decided yet.  Writing on Googledocs is not a bad thing - I wanted this baby laptop for first drafting anyway - but I had really liked the idea of Scrivener on it. Returning is such a hassle too, you know?
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2017-04-20 08:12 pm
Entry tags:

Bought myself a Chromebook

Been thinking about this for awhile.  I have a LOT of computers - 2 dead ones too - and the ones that are running are either very old (my Netbook, still running but pre-Vista), one Vista computer, my Toshiba which is a piece of junk, seriously I hate it but I use it to stream onto my tv, my desktop which is offline and only for the music and watching running videos. It is in front of my treadmill in the kitchen.

I also have an ipad with keyboard which is okay but clumsy (I am clumsy), and this computer, a very sturdy HP but the monitor is toast (lines lines and more lines) so I use it as a desktop. 

But despite having all these older, cranky computers, NONE are what I truly need right now - a light, portable, writing-dedicated computer that can go with me everywhere, anytime, always, to get the rest of this story drafted.    Enter the Chromebook!  For $193 I have this little guy coming to me: 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EGBAQXY/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I will be putting Scrivener on it either through adding Ubuntu or utilizing WINE so I can just use the Windows version of Scrivener.  Probably will try WINE first and no I have no idea what all this truly means - I've just been reading about it all this evening. :) 

In any case - this will give me a light, super-spiffy writing computer that I will be able to easily tote anywhere I want without having to resort to packing up and packing and hauling a big ol' laptop around.  I am super excited!!  

And I will NOT be using it for Facebook!  Dreamwidth! Twitter!  NO! NONE OF THAT! This is for WRITING!!!!!

SO SAY WE ALL!

(that makes no sense typed up but I heard it in my head).

Now though it is time to watch The Americans.  Woo!
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2017-04-18 07:24 pm
Entry tags:

Testing this wordcount thingy

I swiped this from queenoftheskies (how do I do a person on DW when using the hTML editor?) who got it from Nanoing, and I love it so I am seeing if it works for me! I desperately need a title for this thing. DESPERATELY. Nothing makes me happy!!! THAT DID NOT WORK TRYING AGAIN:
209503 / 325000
(64.46%)
YAY IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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2017-04-18 05:14 pm
Entry tags:

Home from Seattle! Okay really Kent, WA. :)

I got home today from a week in Seattle. I wish I could boast that I wrote thousands and thousands of words while I was gone, but that would be a total lie. That was my intention, but that isn't what happened. I went to support a friend who had surgery - he needed help with that, recovery, and walking his doggie, a wonderful Lab pupper named Cooper.   (I am really happy to be back with my huskies - how I missed them!)

So that is what I did - after the surgery we relaxed at his beautiful apartment in downtown Kent, WA, ate Arby's (really!) and seafood - most notably at Wally's Chowder House.  I even brought a huge thing of the chowder rue home -- frozen, it passed TSA's test (lol they know about travelers and clam chowder, apparently - but do freeze it first if you ever do this).   I will make it Saturday morning - it takes both whipping cream AND half and half, and low-and-slow cooking for an hour.  Then I'm taking half to my son and his girlfriend so I won't eat it all myself.  Which is very tempting.  But also LOTSA CALORIES.  I cannot wait - then I will be on a quest to find the perfect recipe since I can't fly up to Wally's anytime I am hungry for real awesome clam chowder.

While I was gone, I started the process of moving all three of my old livejournals over here - the oldest one, Crimsonspin - 13 years old! My first! - is in the queue now.   Then except for postings for GYWO and checking on friends who are staying there whose posts I enjoy, I am done with it and will delete the other two lj's, and the paragraphs one will be stripped to super basic only.  It was fun while it lasted, and I treasure all the friends I made thanks to LJ.  It changed my life - and I don't at all say that lightly.  It absolutely, completely, and thoroughly changed me, especially after my spouse died.  I am grateful for those years! 

So now what?  I rested SO MUCH for a whole week, that even though I got up at 4:00 to catch my flight, I am feeling dark perky.  Back to work tomorrow, back to routine, and back to dealing with general aggravations of everyday life - like my MIL.  LOL.  She was a bit pissed apparently that I didn't respond to her Easter message (because she is a hardcore racist homophobic Southern Baptist is why and it was just horrifying to me what she wrote, but hey, that was no surprise).  I also am still wrangling with my old insurance company to get all my house repairs done so I can move on from this madness.  Ugh.  I'll think about that later though.

I am horrifically behind my wordcount!  BEYOND BEHIND!!!! IMPOSSIBLY BEHIND!!!!!!   But while I didn't do much (any) writing (like none), I did a lot of work before I left, getting everyone (characters) moving toward the eventual resolutions.  I have TONS to write, so I think I am going to adopt the wordcounter fun on here and start keeping track, and making regular posts about it.  I also still have some major planning to do - I spent a lot of my dog-walking time thinking about the ending, and what I want to accomplish, and if I want to continue on to another book or two or not.  I am just not completely sure what I want to do, other than finish THIS one. 

One last thing/comment - moving over here has made me want to post again.  That's not a bad thing, I think!   I'll continue to cross-post over at LJ though - comments either place are fine and dandy. 

(Oh, and though we had tickets to go to Norwescon, my friend's surgery recovery was a little rougher than planned, so we opted out of going.  It is what it is - I could've gone by myself but.... I really just enjoyed the quiet, dog-walking-thinking time.  I need that more than attending more panels). 
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2017-04-08 06:15 pm

Scrivener ramblings, mostly to myself, really

My love-hate relationship with Scrivener is long and ridiculous. When I started this current ms (well, technically this one), I started it in Scrivener. Single POV, straightforward YA fantasy, I thought. I entered it in the Hodderscape thing and barreled onward, mostly writing it by hand then typing it up into Scrivener.

Then I got annoyed that I could only use Scrivener at home - so I took it out, put it in Word, and used the Outline feature to create a Scrivener-like outline on the side. We were happy.

Got a wild hair and decided you know what, why not just keep it in Scrivener - and change the POV! From first person to third! BACK TO SCRIVENER. Wait, I realized dammit, it is MUCH easier to change things overall in Word. Back to word.

In Word it stayed, and grew, for a long time. But as I got closer to the end of Aneli's story, I realized just how incomplete it was. I love the story, the world, and realized her POV was not enough to tell the story I wanted to tell. Since it just so happened I had another fantasy sitting around 15 years or more that was in this world, I considered - could the two be combined into a whole? Turns out they absolutely could. So I combined them, kinda willy-nilly - Aneli, the YA story, was set apart from the original fantasy - she is of the people who are my other peoples' enemy, though she grew up a refugee far away from the rest of her real people. So that was pretty easy, honestly.

After that, I printed the whole dang 220,000 thing out and went through it, part by part, and took a full Moleskin notebook to outline all the various characters and their threads. And that is when I realized I needed to see the overall picture at a glance because I knew I needed to shift things around. But how to do that? Notecards? Spreadsheet?

Scrivener.

SO BACK IT GOES INTO SCRIVENER...

And I am glad of it. I LOVE the notecard feature! The Outliner, which takes from the notecards, is fabulous too. I'm now working my way through each chapter, moving parts around easily in the notecard section and adding blank ones for a few characters who need more. It seems like an awful lot of work for a book not finished, but being able to tell at a quick glance what is going on. I make the notecards different colors for the different characters, and use the status feature to point out which ones still need drafting. I added Scrivener for Ipad so I can haul it around with me and leave the computer behind.

I keep setting goals for this story, finished by X date, but I think now that I can say another five months and I will have the draft done. Finally. For real.

This story is consuming my life, and I love that, though I know I am starting to hermit a bit over it. But that is what I have missed so much--wanting to be totally immersed in a world. My last 2 books didn't really do that for me. They were a chore to write. Not this, not now. Getting ready to go to Seattle for a week too (Tuesday through the next Tuesday) and I'll have lots of time to work on it then.

And that is it for today's ramblings.
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2017-04-06 08:45 pm

Reading the Times Past

Like a lot of you guys I am in the process of saying goodbye to LJ. I've found myself curiously sad, depressed even, as I've been reading through old posts. Not from my paragraphs account, but from my previous one that I still have tucked away, deep in LJ. I'll be deleting that one.

I miss the days gone by. I miss the confident silliness I had, being in the throes of my new life, when the kids were still home, when my relationship with N was so new and shiny (we are still, even more so, great friends, but not in the same way which is good, very good, and what needed to be - but still, sigh....), when fandoms were fun, and I was traveling every chance I got to the UK and to Germany (and Canada once! and here!) with N. A lot of living crammed into a decade. How I miss those days!! That's why I want to keep everything in that old LJ - so I can trot it out every few years, and remember the amazing fun and crazy times.

Nostalgia. It makes me happy and also very blue (and I can't even write the word "blue" without being sad, because of my friend with that nickname who passed away way way way too young - we met on lj, and she visited me once. How I miss her too!).

Going to be 55 next birthday. Job is great - house is good (got my roof fixed after a year of fighting for it), about to go to Seattle for a week, and I am going back to Sirens in October - I've made some great new friends from that! But I keep thinking... what is next?

WHAT IS NEXT???

I really don't know. The kids both have SOs, pets of their own, good jobs, and are doing great. My dogs are getting older and I've recently gone bettafish crazy. But I keep thinking... what is next?

I just really don't know. Right now, I just want to get out of here, go to Seattle, have fun with my friend, go to Norwescon and I hope there I will come back supercharged, but a lot of the times I kinda feel like I wasted too much time.

Finally found a Dreamwidth style that I like. At least that is something. Yeah?

What is next, C?

(please if you see this and are on dreamwidth, come be my friend there... would love that).
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2017-04-04 08:02 pm
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Hello Dreamwidth

Been awhile since I've been over here for any other reason than GYWO, but like a lot of people, I have decided to just move on over. Now to figure out how to make this pretty, and get my stuff transferred off LJ. I will keep my LJ over there though because of GYWO, but really, the happy days of LJ are long gone.

Maybe this mass exodus from LJ and the Russians (really, I think I'd care less if not for the current mess with the Russians and the election) will spark a new surge of participation on here. Maybe?
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2017-04-01 08:07 pm
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Sirens 2017 and other things.

I've decided I just have to go back to Sirens again, even though the altitude part scares me. I have ALWAYS developed altitude sickness, but dang it, I just want to go back again.  So I am.   It was just such a positive, fun experience, and I met so many fabulous people there, 3 of which I have retained contact - not bad, not bad.  Yes I am looking at you [livejournal.com profile] queenoftheskies.  You are going to Sirens this year, right?  I already missed the deadline for the dinner, but we had such fun at OUR dinner, I figure it'll be fine.

Today I spent the afternoon with another friend I made there, Rook Riley, who lives in Plano - we attended a workshop together and a couple weeks ago took a glass blowing class.  So much fun to have a new friend who I can do stuff with - though we are about 1 or so hours apart, we can easily meet in the middle for things on weekends.

WHINE AND MOAR AHEAD:

I am frustrated with my current writing group, and how they do things, and Friday nights is just... I am tired of giving up my Friday night every week.  I am so tired by the end of the week, I just want to go home, take care of the dogs and relax so I can hit the ground running (or not) on Saturday.   I have never liked how the group handles crits (bring copies, read there, then discuss).  It feels rushed and there's just no time for more than one person.  It doesn't start until 7, even though we would all be able to be there by 6.  That makes for a late night - 10ish by the time I get home. I can't do that to the dogs - I risk accidents.  And I get accidents if I am home after 6:30.  Sigh.

Last night, I decided I wasn't going to go so I told them hey I am going to be at CM for an hour or so listening to the live band and writing after work, but won't be doing the group tonight, leaving about 7:15.  No comments so didn't worry about it - later, I got fussed at for not joining them, because I was there.  Well yes, I was there, but for myself, and working on my stuff.  And I got my outline caught up!  YAY so happy.  So anyway - bah humbug, I love listening to the live music so from here on out, I have decided I'm done with the group and will go listen on Saturday evenings, and write outside and not worry about being pounced for staying outside and doing my own thing.  All the group members are good people and I count them as friends, but they can't give me what I want, and that fussing at me, the 'you were there, why didn't you join us, we caught you, busted' (I did exactly as I told them I was doing - headed home at 7:15), has made me very grumbly.

ANYWAY - life goes on.  As far as writing this month - I mostly wrote 30-40 minutes a day, weekdays.  I discovered the doing Meal Prep Sunday, and having all my meals ready for the week, makes for a more productive lunchtime.  Will definitely keep doing that.  :)   Weekends I am less productive re: writing, but that's okay - I am making solid progress on my epic fantasy, and most importantly, am having a wonderful time doing it.

Seattle in just over a week!  I'm going to Norwescon!  I am excited!

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2016-12-13 08:09 pm

Falling down the research rabbit hole.

This morning work was hell.  I suck at mindreading and my one attorney seems to not understand that - it is usually just when she is under enormous pressure.  Argh.  All ended well and as always, after the calm had been restored, she thanked me for putting up with the madness and doing so much.  Makes it hard to be grumpy.

But this afternoon was blissfully quiet, so I got the chance to do some more poking around at magic systems. For various reasons, I really love water element magic.  And I love love love color magic - today I stumbled onto a paper in the US National Library of Medicine, under Evidence-Based Complement Alternative Medicine, A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution. I am fascinated by the thought of using chromotherapy/hydrochromotherapy and as the basis for a magic ability.  Now to mull endlessly over this but what I am thinking of doing will work very well with what I already have in place.  There have (needless to say) been a number of excellent fantasy novels that use color magic (most recently Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson).  So I have to find a different way of doing things. What a headache!  I gotta be creative???? *whine*

But I can't go forward from where I am right now until I figure out some stuff.  Sigh.  So, I think I will go watch the last episode of Westworld.   That's productive.
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2016-12-02 05:37 pm

The Question Is...

I have three characters who will eventually meet.  Two girls and a boy.  Do I want to write separate stories for these characters, or weave them all together into one story, which would boot me out of the realm of YA because of the length?

Current ms (almost done) - MC is a 16 year old girl, miserable refugee kid from Dakarai (forbidden country - no one goes there) who has long felt out of place in her adoptive home, and longs to, and dreams of, returning to Dakarai where her brown kin and flat eyes don't make her different from everyone else  Growing up, her father forbade talk about Dakarai, but for some reason her uncle, in secret, taught her the songs of their people - mostly childrens songs aka little lesson songs  - and thus kept the language alive in her.  While traveling with her half-brother's and his mother's people on the river separating Dakarai from their home, the ship is attacked by terrible, fierce beasts and the Crimson Riders - the Rex of Dakarai's warriors.  As the only Dakarain on board the ship she is separated from the others, but then escapes thanks to help from two slaves, but not until after she is given a choice--be a slave like the others, or become a Rider.  She learns later that the Rex has horrible plans for the people she once couldn't wait to get away from.  Her brother and the others are taken deep into her enemy territory.  She must find her brother - vows to - and must deal with the reality of finally returning home, her dream (and the theme of the book is woven in there).  And a bunch of other stuff. Lots of stuff.  She eventually discovers that she wasn't just a refugee - NOT A CHOSEN ONE THANKS - but she isn't the only child rushed secretly out of Dakarai when the Rex took over.

As it stands now, hers is the only POV in this book (third person), and at the end, she will start looking for the others like herself.  And that is the quandry - I *could* do this multiple POV and write the other two characters like her in the first book, weaving their journeys to the same end, or I could write each POV in their own book (and the last have all their POVS?? that would be weird).  Or, I could simply add a 2nd pov in the second book, add the 3rd in the third.  Would that be weird?  First book - 1 pov.  Second book - 2 pov (with current MC the lesser POV).  Third and final book - 3 pov (with the 1st and 2nd POV the lesser POV until they all get together in the end)..

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2016-10-23 09:14 pm

Sirens 2016

I'm still in Denver, but Sirens 2016 is over.  I am SO GLAD I WENT.  Yes I am yelling. A lot.  It was totally worth it and [livejournal.com profile] sartorias though you weren't there this year, your presence was felt - I heard you mentioned quite often and with much affection (okay by me some too).    I had a blast and made some new friends including the amazing   [livejournal.com profile] queenoftheskies.  :)

Am in my airbnb and about to just call it a night.  Travel day tomorrow but my flight isn't until 1, so it will be a long day.  And, a layover in St. Louis. Whee.

I vow to post more.  Once every 10 months is really not sufficient is it?
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2016-01-18 05:13 pm

Lunchtime Epiphany(ies)

How is it that I have been working on this manuscript since last July, and I just now realized that two characters are fully primed to have deeper roles than I ever planned for them to have? And that by finally realizing this, that I have the overall plot arc thing I was thinking didn't exist for the third book?

Why now, C? Why now, brain?  It was there ALL ALONG.  ALL. ALONG. BRAIN!

How this came about was I have misplaced my purple Moleskin that has all my early plotty and character notes in it.  It HAS to be in the house somewhere - but I don't know where.  So, frustrated, I decided okay fine, can't find it, and I need to hammer out these last chapters in idea form, so I will just sit here and go back through all the stuff I did at the first and rewrite it down, because that helps my brain remember things, and so that's what I did last night and at lunch today.  And that is when it all exploded in my brain, at lunch.  Wow. WOW.   My confidence in this story continues to rise, expand, and grow. My focus continues to improve, too.  I wonder if it is the MCT oil...   I believe. I BELIEVE.

WRITING IS SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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2016-01-17 11:04 pm

A biking and writing weekend!

I am so excited [livejournal.com profile] duikermeisie and [livejournal.com profile] used_songs and E (not on LJ) and I are going to have a biking and writing weekend in San Antonio the first weekend in February.  I LOVE having adventurous writerly friends!

Now to drag my bicycle, which is a very good one thank goodness, out of the garage, dust it off, make sure it is good to go.  I plan to take the Friday of the 5th off work so I can drive up early and find a lovely place to write the afternoon away until Helen arrives, then we'll bike adventure the next day, and then have writing time, then go home on Sunday.

This last week was well spent hammering out the last ten chapters (THE OUTLINE, NOT THE CHAPTERS) of my current novel.  I have to write them still, but this hammering-out the plot helps tremendously.   I have got to step up the production now and get this thing done!  Now that I have a map to guide me to the end, I am confident I can make it happen, stick with the Hodderscape synopsis (mostly--my character doesn't seem to want to be magical in any way, so I am letting her win on that), and it will be way too long in the end, but I'll address that problem later.  I estimate hitting 130 words, dammit. DAMMIT.  Way too long for YA, but perhaps because this is 'crossover' I can get by with 110,000.  I shall not worry about it!  Nay!

And now it is time to go to bed.  I'm doing 100 days of keto on reddit and can't wait to weigh in the morning.  Work tomorrow, but because of hte banks and court houses being closed, we should, SHOULD, have a relaxed day.  Better.

I had a good day, a good weekend, especially with my puppies.  I bought Shelby (the red) two new clouds. She loves them!  Maddox has no wish to lay on them.  He does, after all, have the couch.

EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION of what I hammered out. :)

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2016-01-12 10:15 pm

Star Gate and there is no real point to this post

Okay so I am really and truly enjoying this show.  I've tired of dark shows (looking at you Jessica Jones--though you were brilliant, I am just worn out by brutality) so after mainlining Eureka, where I would like to live thank you, I decided to finallly get going on this show that I've heard about for so many years.   Am well into season two now and it is really cool to see the variety of situations they come up with.  A time or two a few things have sparked ideas for my story, which is very unexpected.

Today's writing was a continuance of working on the rest of my plot.  It is weird that I can't quite see the ending yet, but I think I sort of kind of know how it is going to go.  I had to come up with something for the hodderscape synopsis -- it may work, but may not, not sure.  I just sure wish I was done with this first draft.  Even though I'm writing one way or the other almost every day, it is just creeping along so slowly.  How do you people write so fast, you who write fast?  My brain just doesn't work that way, though I am writing faster than I have been.  So I guess that is something?  Was hoping it would be done by end of January - end of February is probably more reasonable.  WIsh I could just take a week off, grab my dog and head out somewhere pretty and beautiful to work on it nonstop.  Ah well.  Gotta work. Sigh.

I think Maddox has the right idea.   Night folks.

20160112_220610
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2016-01-11 10:59 pm

How to Use a Planner... HOW do I use a planner, I mean?

I seriously am not sure how to use this planner I bought.  It is a coloring book as well.  I got it to help me keep track of what needs to happen when, even though my phone is perfectly capable of doing this.  But my daughter suggested writing down things would be helpful, and as I've recently discovered, I really like writing down things.  So I am giving it a whirl, writing down...things...into it.  We will see if I abandon it.  But some things are better typed up, like this stuff:

WRITING.  I sat down today at lunch and this evening at B&N (my favorite writing place) and hammered out a rough outline for the rest of my current ms.  I am being careful to follow the synopsis I submitted to Hodderscape, as I figure it would be pretty unwise to change things dramatically from what they are reviewing.  I estimate about 8, possibly 9 more chapters to go. Or 10.  At a chapter a week pace, it will be more like the end of February before this is done, but I think that is okay.  There are no signs that Hodderscape is in a rush now, so I feel a little more relaxed about it all, but am still pushing forward.  No lollygaggling here, nope.

EXERCISE.  We have a new gym here, called Youfit.  It is purple and green.  And gorgeous. And smells good. My son and I joined and today we had our assessments which mostly consisted of what a personal trainer can do for us.  I loved talking to James, and he is now my personal trainer for the next two months, twice a week. I am super excited about working with a personal trainer.  It is something I've always wanted toay's do, but frankly didn't have the money - it is expensive.  But I need to do this for myself.  I want to get strong, I want to lift weights, and I want to live.  So now it is time.  My first session is Saturday morning.  We shall see how it goes!

AUDIOBOOKS.  I love audiobooks - current listen is non-fiction, "Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Yourself... by Shonda Rhimes, read by Shonda Rhimes, who is head writer of Greys Anatomy, Scandal, etc.  Talk about a fun, interesting, and empowering book.   It was recommended to me by two of my writing group friends and I am glad they did as it somehow is reinforcing in my mind all the things I have already figured out about me and my writing, creativity, balance, etc.  A good listen for sure.

FICTION.  I have too many books to read.  This is not a bad thing at all.  I didn't join in on any reading list groups but I do have some certain books I plan to read soon.  The first is Uprooted by Naomi Novik.  I read the first few chapters at DragonCon as it was a booklet set out to grab--and I couldn't get it out of my head (read it during a boring panel).  So I finally treated myself to it today.   In book form.  It has been a long time since I've bought a hardback but I did today.  After this will be the next Lhind book, Lhind the Spy, by Sherwood Smith.  I am late to the party on this book, grrr (at myself) because I missed when it came out.  I love Lhind!

DOGS.  Awesome and silly as always.

FAMILY.  Well, my son is suddenly single - his g/f broke up with him and I am happy that he recovered so quickly. I liked her, but I guess it wasn't meant to be, and he says much the same.  Still it hurt, especially right after Christmas and her birthday and he went all out for both. Sigh. He has moved back in with me (with cat) and I love having him around.  I like living alone, but I love him here.  He does intend to move out again, of course, so I will just enjoy him while I can. He needs a better job, and to figure out a few things, but I trust he will get there.

My daughter is doing fantastic - she has an amazing job with amazing pay and amazing travel and has an amazing boyfriend who has an amazing new job, they are amazing, so amazing!  And they just got a new condo in Dallas (AMAZING never thought she'd land there) and they plan on getting an amazing Corgi.  Amazing!  I am so rocked out by how well she has been doing.  She's with a fantastic company and is moving up quickly in responsibility.  I am not surprised at all.

My sister-in-law is in jail for criminal trespass.  Wow.  Not much I can say there-- Nope.

And now it is 11 o'clock and time for me to go to bed.  That is it for now. Amazing!