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Maybe, hopefully, and well, probably, I will have time during vacation (two solid weeks!) to write a proper post. So many good things going on lately, and life changes, and plans being made! I want to share them! I do! Just... no time!

I really really need that vacation.

C
Yes, just deleted a lot of nonsense. Tomorrow is another day, after all.

So, Nanowrimo! Who on here is doing it? I know a ton of my flisters are writing for various comm events and such, but if any of you out there are doing Nano in November in addition to or instead of and want to friend me over there I am once again Tatteredleaf.

Fifteen days to go until my book is out. EEEK. I am both excited and terribly, terribly nervous. There are things I did in the book that I probably should not have (a certain explosion comes to mind) and I could've done other parts different, and possibly therefore better, but... No no, don't think about that, it'll drive a person crazy.

I have absolutely forbidden myself to look on GoodReads, so if anyone sees me trying to sneak over there, smack me. I know it is in my best interest to just stay away from general commenting re: the book. Oh hey, it is a new month, I shall dash off... okay never mind. It is still under the Coming Soon. No blurb yet! *panic* I want to see what it ends up being. Argh. Not yet though.

And that is all, for now. Holler if you are on Nanowrimo, yo. I got 53k last year and hope to get that again, though being in school may cause a bit of a challenge.
In Doctor Who panel at FenCon, and did this cuz... yeah.

yes I am bored )

(no subject)

Jun. 14th, 2011 10:31 pm
paragraphs: Come Travel with Me (Default)
The wedding was FABULOUS. I am pretty sure that Tiff will end up applying at University of Minnesota to be with her friends, especially as they and all the family up there are begging her to. It could work out, so I am all for her going for it. Even if it would take her far away--really, the flight is under 300, and is a quick flight. Very painless (though the turbulence was a bit icky going up).

Had a wonderful time with my sunshine boy too. Um, I mean my son. He is a little old to call that now? We all went to see the Rangers v. the Twins (argh, Rangers lost), and WOW Twins fans are crazy. LOL. We got right in front of a group of boarding school boys and they had no one with them...security was called at one point, and some other boys got taken away for drinking. One kid was shaking like crazy when security demanded to see his ID. Meep. The ballpark is in the heart of Minn., which is cool.

Also cool? The weather! I kinda underdressed! Brrr! Had to borrow a jacket. At one point I actually missed the heat! Crazy me.

The wedding itself went great--the family drama stayed chilled for the ceremony and afterparty, which was really nice (and boy is there drama in that family!)--and I flitted around and had fun talking to everyone. I also rather looked stunning in my two dresses I wore, if I do say so myself... :) :) Oh yeah. LOL! I felt like a million, even if I was shivering a bit. All in all a great time, though I nearly killed my Blackberry--it kinda fell in the toilet. I grabbed it out fast and dried it off using one of those super duper hand dryers. Fortunately, it is fine! WHEW!!!

Today I went to UTA to find out my fate, and learned that I am officially an idiot. OMG. I have six classes to account for, two of which are English Comp I (how the HELL did I miss taking that?) and lol the computer literacy class required by UTA. Both of those I will take the test to get out of.

I also get to trade-in three of my F's (why yes, I had five, okay...) for no-grades. WHEE! That brings my GPA up to a whopping 2.5! GO ME!!

And then? Guess how many classes I have left to take in order to graduate. Go on, guess.

Four.

FOUR.

ONLY FOUR. Two upper level history, Speech (ha ha) and Algebra I. Not II, but Algebra I. They counted the junk math I already had taken so I only need Algebra I! YES!!!!!

The heartbreaker for me though is if I could just go to school in the fall and not work, I could finish by December. Unfortunately, because I had too many hours, I am not eligible. I am pretty sad, dammit. So, the gameplan is a history class in the fall, history and speech in the spring, and then finish up with the Algebra class the next fall, graduating December 2013 2012.

I probably more than likely will take a European history class of some sort. I'd love to take something like German history (pre WWI and II, if such exists). I'll be figuring that out tomorrow. Night classes though! I'm pretty excited about it all though, really am. So excited I am adding a new tag tonight! WOOT!!

Also excited about getting to go see Nick for sure, last part of July. Oh yeah. :)
Just saw the daughter off to Minnesota--she, her friends Erin and Chase have taken off with a car packed to the rim with stuff. I don't envy them that drive but Tiff loves road trips and has done this drive several times. They'll be fine.

The son and I will leave tomorrow--then it is a crazy whirlwind of activity. Rangers v. Twins tomorrow night (got our Rangers t-shirts ready--hope we aren't mobbed!), a visit to the Mall of The Americas (my daughter can't wait to go shopping...in H&M. LOL). Then a rehearsal dinner, then The Wedding Day, dinner after, Sunday is opening presents--sweet, that'll be fun--and back home again. Dogs are dropped off first thing tomorrow morning, picked up again on Monday morning. They'll be enjoying a nice stay at the vet's pup hotel (and will get spoiled rotten--one of the vet techs there has six huskies of her own).

So today is a flurry of things to do--laundry, packing, getting the dogs' food ready, picking up prescriptions later, etc. Son has to go buy shoes--his dress shoes are totally worn out. Holes in the bottom! Thanks for telling me now Son!

Never been to Minnesota before so this should be fun. Exhausting, but fun. Yay for having a Blackberry now--I can at least stay in touch that way.

Okay so call me goofy but I have a new screensaver, one of those aquarium ones. It is nice to have beside me on the laptop with music playing while I write. It is so realistic I am almost disturbed...especially as I have a favorite fish, the Clown Trigger fish. his movements are so sensible and realistic as to be...well, let's just say I caught myself smiling at him and his antics? Yeah. Uh, yeah.

Nonsense post, this, also known as 'oh man do I really need to get this day going already?'. Yeah, I do.

Okay...time to get the laundry started! :)
I had to add this: OMG THE UGLY HEADER IS BACK! LJ, THAT HEADER SUCKS! I HATE IT!!!!! AAAHHH!!!

It has been a busy, interesting week! Or two. So here's how things are:

State of Unemployment: Still unemployed! I got a letter from my ex-employer stating that they were appealing the decision in my favor. However, checking the dates, it looks like they are way, way past the deadline for doing so. They did that on the 7th, it is now 10 days later, and my status with TEC has not changed, no correspondence from them, nothing. I was really really angry that they added some sweet little lies into what The Rat Bastard was claiming I said and did. Pretty mind-blowing. In my next ms, there will be a character named Doran. Expect him to DIE DIE DIE a REALLY REALLY horrible death. REALLY HORRIBLE.

Otherwise, plugging along. Today I went to the Work Resources center for a mandatory orientation, and had a blast. Okay I am weird, right? But there are lots of things I can benefit from there, so next week will zip over (it is about 15 minutes from here) and take the different things. Plus, they keep track, and it looks good on record.

State of the Loose-Id: Progress! My editor needs a synopsis and some other info from me so the ms can go to the next stage. Squee! Am I excited? Yes I am excited! YOU BET I am excited! And tomorrow will be Synopsis Day. My alarm is set for 7:30 and I will be hammering out that puppy all day.

State of the Writing Part 1 (Splash Page) Thanks to the word wars on the weekend, my first draft stands at....16,103 words. Am I excited? YOU BET I AM! Sure it is a messy first draft but that is okay. I am writing the first draft fast and dirty, and just having fun with it. Working on it on weekends only.

State of the Writing Part 2 (Fantasy): I am starting to feel like a full-time writer. If I am not doing chores, talking to Nick, playing with the dogs or sleeping, or oh yeah, job hunting, I am working either on Splash Page or on this. I have three writing group meetings a week, and my writing peeps are dedicated and determined. I wish I could just do life like this forever, but alas, eventually the money will run out. Pout. But I am not bored. Oh far from it!. Anyway. This no-name fantasy that needs a name (The Beast Boy sound bad? I could call it TBB for short) is absolutely stealing my brain, my heart, my waking moments, and even stealing many of my should-be-sleeping moments and I LOVE IT. As I've explained before, my Saturday group, Warrior Writers, has a set plan for getting a novel ready for writing. As a Plotmeister, I love it. So far this is what I have:

1. Goals! yes I have them
2. Worldbuilding! Yes, I have it solidly started, using OneNote (best tool EVER! if you want ideas for how to make it work for you, I have them) to keep track of things. but as I discovered, worldbuilding takes time, is fluid, and will never end. So this is an ongoing thing.
3. Antagonist! Yes, Unser LIVES! I have never worked so hard to prepare a character, and I LOVE him. He is so evil! In all the best ways. I learned a lot remoulding him from the sketchy bits I've had sitting around all these years.
4. Protagonist! Yes, Jax lives! And so does Aneli! And I have three more! But WOW, I have never been fond of character studies, but for some reason, with the approach we take, it is working for me. If anyone is curious and would like to see, holler. Next up is Minions. Minions? Okay, I do have one in mind, and she is one wicked thing, so she will be fun to work on. So yeah. By the time I am done with all these, writing the basic outline of the story will be a piece of red velvet cupcake.
and there is a bit more behind the cut )
I am a horrible housekeeper. Seriously. I have all this time on my hands, and by now every corner of my house and yard and garage should be Suzy Homemaker perfect. But it isn't, and I neglect the hell out of it, until I can't stand it any more. So today I armed myself with all the cleaning equipment I could find, and bought new spray stuff that smells fabulous, and attacked!

Hours later, the house smells great (the red velvet soy candle I bought sure helps plus it is very pretty and reminds me of [livejournal.com profile] blue_fjords's cupcakes of awesome.) The floors are clean, walls scrubbed, bathtub and sinks shiny, kitchen clean, I can even walk through my hallway! No laundry baskets! We'll see how long this lasts. Two days maybe.

I managed yesterday to get all my stuff re: defensive driving turned in (though I had to fax a paper to the municipal court that dipstick here forgot at home) so that is all good, got my ESOP paperwork today so THAT is AWESOME, and the glow from winning unemployment has not diminished. Now all I need to do is do my taxes. Bah. Friday.

LOL I just realized that my 'state of me' format I was going to use was forgotten. Oh well.

Been working on my plot for my fantasy...attacking the worldbuilding, antagonist next. The method for plotting and planning is a little different than I've done before (the method we're following on my Saturday morning writing workshops), and I'm finding it really very helpful. Way helpful. For the first time, my 10-year's worth of jumbled notes and thoughts and characters and plot are starting to iron out. They are actually making sense! There may be hope for me yet. LOL. Next post--will write about that. I promised a couple of people I would yack about Writer's Journey, which ties into what I am doing with my Saturday group. Oh, and that Saturday group is after me to start blogging. Like real blogging? Like 'building your brand!' blogging. *headdesk* Given there are two of me, this is going to be a pain...

I wish I had more exciting stuff to write here, but alas, I can't think of anything!

Anyone watch Smallville? I'm on the sixth one. It is pretty fun (so many exploding things! so many deaths! so much weirdness!), is pretty entertaining though Lux baby confused me at first. Lex, I mean. LOL. I am intrigued by his characterization, as he starts out as a relatively good guy.

I need to go somewhere, so badly. ANYWHERE!!!!!!!!!! On a PLANE!!!!!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, maybe tomorrow will be an exciting day?
I've not been much in the mood for posting, lately. It certainly isn't due to lack of time...it is just being on twitter, and in a couple of email groups, I tend to spread whatever news I have through those means rather than here. Sorry, LJ...I forget about you. Plus, right now talking about myself isn't that entertaining.

Nothing much has changed yet. I am still unemployed, though I do have an interview on Monday I am very hopeful about. It is with a law firm that I did a lot of freelance work for years ago...literally right before I started working with the railroad in various capacities (which lasted for 16 years altogether). I had called the law firm during the snow week we had last week, just to see if they were still using freelancers. Only talked to the receptionist, learned that they were, and told them okay, awesome, I'll call back. Before I got a chance to, on Wednesday the personnel director, who is the same one from so long ago, had hunted up my number, called me, and said please would you come in and interview? I always liked her tons, and she me, and I said, "You bet!" It was nice to be hunted down like that. I loved freelancing there...the attorneys were great, even the two I worked for the most, who had reps of being hardasses. (One male, one female--ha, the female one, can't remember her name but she is gone from there now--even told me I was the only freelancer she ever liked. Go me).

So, other than that, nothing much else new. I am fighting for my unemployment, which hopefully I won't even need. Getting my hair cut today into something, I don't know what, but I need Style, then daughter and I are off to buy an interview suit tomorrow afternoon.

I just wrote a bunch of stuff about writing, but am going to make that a separate post.

Anyway, that's the state of me. Writing, meeting with friends, talking with Nick as much as possible :), trying not to worry about not having a job yet, and staying warm. Two weeks of crazy cold and snow and ice, and I, personally, am done. Enough. No more please. This is the time of year I am glad I live where I do...at least when we get the frigid weather, it doesn't last long. Brrrr! I admire all you Northern peoples for what you have to put up with, though the snow is just beautiful, and the dogs loved it so very, very much.

Oh yay!

Jan. 26th, 2011 12:56 pm
paragraphs: Come Travel with Me (Default)
The laptop can be fixed! Took it to JWJ Computers, pulled it out of the backpack, computer dude with bad toupee said, "I know exactly what is wrong with it." Seems this model of HP was well-known for being very very bad--bad circuit boards. There was a recall at some point that I never knew about--maybe because the store we bought this from went belly-up within a week or two after we got them? (Nick had one too but his died a different death lol um yeah).

So, happily, my baby should be back in a couple of days, and cost only $125 to fix. I can deal with that.

Had Tuesday night writer's group last night, just me and Suz and Cid, which was lovely. I got my OneNote organized for the three ms's I have to work on, though I am going to work on only one right now. I seem to do better like that. OneNote is pretty damn nifty. Suz and Cid have theirs so darn organized! Very shipshape, but not so over-organized as to make one think "Wow, that is all you do re: writing, isn't it?" Actually, nope. Suz has already sold her first (YAY!) and Cid sent off an entry last night to Samhain for a novella call. She let me read a little of another of hers, and I know, I just know in me bones, that 2011 is her year.

It is so nice to have peoples around here to do writerly things. Well worth the bit of drive I have to make to meet them.

Job hunting continues. Am currently in a good state--am okay $-wise, my dad and sis both have my back, which helps, especially Dear Old Dad (as we call him). I did great with the temp agency tests, and the agent person I am working with loves my skills and is convinced she can help me find something permanent along the lines of what I was doing, except in the oil and gas industry. I am all for that, as two of my buds, Cody and Jeremy, went that direction. Would be awesome to be downtown near them! We're having lunch next week. I miss those guys.

So my optimism is up for the moment. I think talking to Dad a long time about it all has made me feel better. Much better. Surely, surely, SURELY I will find something, anything, by the end of February?

In any case, I can't fight it anymore. I am about to fall asleep on my keyboard. Too much thinking last night. Bah. Plotting, mostly. I hope my mind can stay at ease now where I can do something besides stare at the walls and freak out. That's getting old! Very old. And does no one any good, not me, the kids, or Nick who is about to move to the UK! Like...FRIDAY! OMG! I am so happy for him. :) I just better get to go see him, soon. VERY SOON. Or else I shall keel over. Sigh.

Naptime now!

C (oh look I signed it like an email)
There is nothing like losing a once-beloved job to bring one to one's knees, is there? Add in a pesky stomach virus that was determined to hang hard for 5-6 days, and it is a sure-fire recipe for hitting rock-bottom. This last week sucked, sucked so hard. Pretty much from Sunday to Friday morning, I wallowed, and wailed, and whined, and was just horribly miserable. Not fit company at all. I've avoided lj for that reason, except for lurking about. Mostly I just watched shows on my computer, and read on my new Kindle (which I adore). And cried. And hid. (see why I stayed away?)

People found me anyway, cheering me up so much with emails, calls, tweets, pressies, advice, hugs, love, encouragement, doses of sympathy, understanding and, sigh, commiseration. Oh man. Thank you so much guys. You are all helping me through.

Knowing that that office is now all but empty is a small comfort. At least I was there during the golden days, and I don't miss what is left. Oh no way, not at all. They'll have hell rebuilding that office again, if they even mean to. I fancy that they won't, now. They'll never get people willing to work for what they want to pay. Not in the GIS field. Har.

Still, man, it sucks! Mornings are worst--I should be up, going to work, making the money. But am not. At least not yet. I've signed up to work temp--that could be helpful in finding a job, and at least keeping me from moping around the house! I am not good at this at-home thing, not when Responsibilities are weighing heavy on my head. I'm okay for awhile, but I really rather not spend what I've got, you know? I'd much rather save it, and spend a wee bit going to see Nick (who, this time next week, will be in the UK for at least the next three years--whee!). So, yeah.

So am trying to shake it off. Shake off the freak-outs, shake off the OMG's, believe that I will get something that will pay the bills until I can finish my schooling goals.

AND WHAT ARE THOSE? Finish my degree. I went to UTA and talked to the folks there and they have just the degree for me--BA in University Studies. Not the fanciest degree name, but I'll take it. I'm probably around 7 or so classes from being able to snag that puppy. I missed the chance to take a class this semester, very unfortunately, but I'll get started this summer. After I get that, I'll move forward with the next step. First things first though.

My daughter brought me a cookie! And Shelby just about snatched it from me, the varmint. Sneaking from under my desk drawer-tray, the wench. I saved it from her though, go me!



So, if anyone has any job suggestions, holler...part of me wouldn't mind just working temp and/or freelance until the fall and then being a full-time student, get the rest of my classes done then. That would be sweet! But...who knows if that can work out. Would be nice though! I am determined to look at things more positively now. I am tired of being miserable!
What a couple of weeks this has been. Per agreement with Nick, I will not think about, discuss, muse over, reflect upon, nor mention my former employer again. I am done. Instead, I will treasure the wonderful friends I made there--Cody, Jeremy, Chris, Leigh Ann, Tommy and Kevin, and the good years we had working together--and forget everything else. Today I had lunch with Cody, Leigh Ann and Tommy, and next week will with Chris, Leigh Ann and Kevin. Kevin is the only one still there, and he has his last interview for a new job in the morning. He predicts giving notice shortly. There will be three left then. Three plus the weasel, who has turned out to be the biggest, most disappointing friendship in my life. They can have it. Oh yeah.
clicky this please )
Remember how I posted a couple of posts ago about how Doran, the boss boss from Topeka who fired everyone I cared about at B&W, including my dear boss, was in town? Well guess what! Today, using the most lame, ridiculous and stupidest reasons I've ever heard, he fired me. Yup. Gone. Toast. Christmas week. That is it. 9.5 years with the company mean nothing to him--he wanted me out and he came up with the way. He didn't give a damn about my rock-solid history with the company (he has been with B&W since April). In fact he pretty much told me he didn't believe Chris ever evaluated me honestly. Too good to be true? Nope. I am that good. LOLOL. Word was flying around BNSF, all the people I helped hearing about it (and on the heels of Chris), already and Chris has heard from one who wants to talk to me. It is no secret (he tells me) that after all the work we did in our office was shipped up to Topeka that the quality plummeted. I believe it, as I had super-high standards and wasn't doing it anymore. Rawr. He hears complaints, which I knew, but yeah. Wow.

Soon as I got home I contacted BNSF corporate support, and there are two positions opening early January, both in contracts--lol where I hailed from. Same group. Steve, my former boss there, is happy for me to come back. Chris is there too, and all my old coworkers--I'm going to be welcomed back with open arms.

Insane, huh?

I have to say that though there is shock racing through my system, there are no regrets, there is mostly relief. I did nothing wrong, and I stand by that. I have watched that company go from incredible, awesome, caring and a really fantastic place to work, to a place that now has five people left, and Kevin was interviewing today--he called me on his way, having heard from Juan what happened. Juan too has been polishing his resume with the intent to start hunting after the first of a year.

It has been a fascinating experience, coming into a company--asked to come work there by Chris all those years ago--and doing fantastic work, learning so many new things, and watching it grow and change and catch the excitement of new technologies... And then to see it fall hard as all the best and brightest were systematically pushed out. Splat. And it isn't done yet, I am sure of it. Five people left, one actively looking--what ARE they doing? A year ago we had 14 people there. Now five.

So, here I am! Sitting in my daughter's Starbucks while she works and plies me with coffee. Looks like a couple of weeks off unexpectedly, but with a position after the first of the year. Thank you, Steve! Looking forward to working with that crew again, AND Chris again. :) I'll be cleaning the house and putting the tree up tomorrow with the kids, and we're planning on Tron for Christmas Day and dinner at my friend Leigh Ann's house. It's going to be a good, if very simple Christmas. Next week my sister Leslie and her daughter Lexie are coming, so that will be fun. And then hopefully the following week I can get back to BNSF.

In the meantime, I've got a lot of rewriting to get done, a book to polish, and another to finish. Will try to make the most of these two unexpected weeks off, and make 2011 a different, but awesome year. :)
Why?

Cuz Nick is moving there, that's why. He got the job!

YES!!!!!!
Nick just posted this in his lj, and while I can't think of anything to tell him he doesn't know, yet, which may be a good thing but also could be bad (I am boring? He knows me too well? eek) I thought I'd toss it out here too.

I know very little about some of the people on my friends list. Some people I know relatively well. But here's a thought: why not take this opportunity to tell me a little something about yourself. Any old thing at all. Just so the next time I see your name I can say: "Ah, there's so and so...she likes office supplies." I'd love it if every single person who friended me would do this. (Yes, even you people who I know really well. Then post this in your own journal. In return, ask me anything you'd like to know about me and I'll give you an answer.)

I'm relistening to A CLASH OF KINGS, book 2 of the Song of Fire and Ice series by George RR Martin. I so cannot wait for the HBO production. I so hope it goes on long enough to tie up the series in case GRRM never does. Argh. I love love love this world like crazy beans, and it'll be very intriguing also to see if fandoms spring up (which I bet they do) with lotsa fanfic being written (which I bet there already is). GRRM makes it known he does not like fanfiction. It'll still happen though. Not from me--I'll be busy writing my own epic fantasy, lol.

It is weird--now that I have watched the trailer for Thrones, the actors have wended their way into my interpretation of the characters. I see their faces as I listen. This is okay as I think they did a fantastic job with the casting. Sansa is not quite what I imagined but I haven't seen enough of her to really say this is a bad thing. Daenerys though? Wow. Okay, whoa. Like her very much. Arya! Bran! Caetlyn! (oh dear Caetlyn, oh man), JAMIE!, Jon Snow--wasn't sure at first but I am listening to a Jon segment now and wham, there he is in my head. Good good good. And Ned, OH NED STARK!!! I could cry, just cry for what will come...and Sean Bean is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant for that role. I am verrryyyy happppyyyyyy!!! :)

Ballet boy is sitting safely inside my Dropbox (and on my thumb drive), waiting for attention. I realized this morning that I haven't written anything since finishing it on Sunday and that is why I have been a snarling raving unhappy whiney thing. My evenings are dark and senselessly boring and lonely and it is, I realize, because I really really miss the joy of writing this book in the evenings. I don't now what to do with myself. I love that I finally FOUND that joy--it took awhile--but now I miss it horribly. This weekend will be devoted to it though--got lots of things to work on still, just needed a few days' break before hopping back to the beginning. I did go through the first three chapters and gnash my teeth that it isn't as strong of writing as the last part, but not really surprising given I took so damn long to finish the darn thing. Two years is way too long for a 96k fic.

Yuletide is up next! I got something rather unexpected, so hope I can do well by it.

Back to work. I am not sure why I stopped to write a post--shame on me! Back to listening to CLASH, and plugging railroad crossing information into RIS. Exciting.
If you would like to read my entries, just leave a comment here and I'll more than likely be happy to friend you back. Unless of course you are one of those Russian bots. [livejournal.com profile] green_knight suggested I leave a few posts open to show whoever what I'm like, so I chose a few from my trip to Wales. Not that I have strangers popping by here wondering who [livejournal.com profile] paragraphs is, but you never know. :)

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If I pretend to be Dorothy and click my heels three times, will I get whisked away home via tornado?

I wish. I am so ready to get out of here. It has been a good trip work-wise, but otherwise, there really is no place like home.