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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). 
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.

Seems I took about 520 pictures on my trip to the UK to see Nick. LOL. I loaded them off my phone this morning (sigh, yes, am back on correct time zone now, bah), and now will have to sort through them. I took pictures of the goofiest things! Lots of pics of Nick (go figure), and a few of me and him together (points to user pic).

We did so much, in only two weeks! It'll take a bit to hammer it all out into proper posts, but I'll get there.

Am I glad to be home? No. I missed the kids, and the dogs, but that is pretty much all I missed. Lots of deep thoughts going on in my head re: stuff, and what the future will bring, but I know what *I* want. Just have to make it happen, right?

School starts this month, on the 25th! EEEEE!!! I am nervous! Also, a bit sighy that I have to go to class Tuesdays and THursdays--my precious Thursdays aka #writersdatenight with my friends. BOO HISS ME. But we will still have Saturdays together so that is good. :)

Guess I better consider getting into the shower now. Return to work at that law firm today--it'll be interesting to see what is happening there. Now that I am back, it is time to make some decisions, just not sure I can yet. LOL. I want to work there, but if there truly is not going to be any hope of that, come September, I will have to make other plans. Bah.

More later, tonight perhaps--got loads to share!
Still here in the UK, still having a wonderful time, every day doing something fun and different. Today's adventure was to drive to the tip of England, Land's End. Turned out to be a foggy day, but we were there long enough to catch a lull in the fog where we could see almost forever out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Not quite as pretty as Gwbert (to me, see my header) and very busy with tourists, but still very cool.
pretty pictures )
Okay so Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m., this kid is headed for the UK. YES!!!! Of course I have a whole slew of things that need to be done before I go, though this morning I have managed to knock out most of them.

1. Trip documents - need to print all these - passport already in my handbag
2. Suitcase - on floor, tossing stuff in
3. Laundry - last load is washing now, all other is put away. Shock.
4. Kitchen - not clean yet, going to clean out fridge too
5. UK plugs for electronics - located
6. UK dryer - where did I put that thing?
7. Hair - DONE! LOVE IT! WOO!
8. Pick up meds, some gum, new socks (always buy new socks for trips lol), contact solution
9. Food for the dogs - purchased and ready for them
10. Baby computer - will be revved up and ready with all fics I am working on and beta'ing loaded
11. Kindle - Have Have by Chance, going to put an SPN fic on (Nick will read those out loud), and Dance with Dragons will drop on Tuesday. WHEE! So all set there with that.

Plymouth-appropriate clothes may be purchased when I am there. Just a few longer-sleeve shirts--Nick is wearing sweaters! Light ones but still, can't buy those here this time of year.

Really, that's about all I need to worry about, other than how to get to the airport. I can either ask my friend Cid if she can drop me off (but I'd have to leave my car there for two weeks at her place), or Tiff will have to get off work that day. would be a good experience for him, but then again, he has no familiarity at all with the airport, and driving Airport Freeway is hell. I am thinking of asking Cid if she can help me out.

That's about it. Kids are on their way back from Boulder, CO - they will be missing the mountains and the cool I am sure. I will miss them, and the pups (esp. the pups lol) so much.

Work tomorrow and Tuesday, run to the bank on the way home, and then finish the packing up. Will of course pack extra change of clothes to take w/backpack. After all, once the luggage ended up in Arizona for four days. Boy did that suck.

Also to do, writing-wise:

1. Finish and upload FenCon submission - sending in Stage, my 'boy player' story that I am working on through the fall. Nick and I will be going to the Globe so I can inhale the atmosphere. Crit buds are super enthusiastic over Stage. I am too! For this story, switching it to first person was definitely the right decision. Funny how that works.

2. Finish my Merlin bb, now titled Near-Mint Condition. Five scenes to go! Tonight I will knock out one. Otherwise, I've fixed it up to the point of new writing, and my betas have their hands on it.

3. Betaing fun - I'm helping out five people, two of whom are pretty much done. :) So proud! I know they'll all keep me hopping but it's great fun. I adore betaing, I do.

Okay, that is all--I need to run to the store and get the above items, then think I will curl up and take a wee nap. :) Have slept surprisingly well in the house by myself, with everything locked up tight and my killer huskies guarding me...

Stop laughing.
It just occurred to me as I was sitting here staring mindlessly out the 35th floor window at The Unnamed Law Firm where I am currently working, that it has been ages since I've done a catch-up post. It is a quiet day here with two of the three lawyers gone, the baby associate probably staring out the window as much as I am (hey it is only 100 degrees! A lovely day!), though I've been helping out another attorney whose legal assistant is gone for some reason.

Easiest way to do a recap is, recap style! So here we go!c talks a lot )
From July 13th to the 28th (coming home on the 29th) I will be seeing [ profile] cruentum at long last! It has been over a year, with LOTS of changes for both of us in our lives. Lots and lots.

I am just so ready to get out of here, go see beautiful places (London, Cardiff, and many other places to see!). Nick PROMISES we will go to Caerphilly Castle (we kinda couldn't find it last time) and I will be renting a vehicle so we can explore different places every day once we get back to Plymouth. There are tons of gorgeous places in Devon and Cornwall to explore, all within just a few hours of Nick's home.


(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 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.



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 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! :)
Adding Tennessee, which I will visit this weekend.

visited 18 states (36%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Obviously, there are many places I still need to go.

visited 2 states (0.88%)
Create your own visited map of The World

OH thank you [ profile] smirnoff!! FIXED! I wasn't looking at it like that. So there. HA!

visited 3 states (1.33%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Oh! And my friend LindaLee is having a giveaway of one of her bead pieces. She does lovely work, so check it out, maybe you can win, for yourself or a gift. Check it out! I love her bead work.

In other news, my kids are in Italy, and I assume they are having a grand time. Of course they are. I am in the process of preparing for my own trip a week from tomorrow. I have bought a tie-dye shirt, in purple, a comfy jacket to wear in Wales to keep me warm and dry, biscuits for the dogs, a couple of new sweaters, and a couple of books to read. I've also been relaxing alot in the empty house, contemplating worldbuilding questions, reading, talking to Nick on his study breaks, throwing the ball for the husky boy, etc. Not really focusing on any one thing, in other words! I can't! I am too pacey about the kids' trip, and my own!

We have rented a car! Wednesday Nick will be free of his exams and we can figure out what we want to do the full day we have with the car. Only renting it 48 hours starting at 10 a.m. the morning after we arrive in Cardiff, then have the rest of the day, then all day the next, returning on Friday morning. So where to go? As few C roads as possible...but someplace beautiful we haven't driven yet.

Ask me questions if you'd like, up there...I am enjoying Nick's so what the heck, throw myself out there too.
Okay guys, what do YOU do to gear-up to write? How do you block out the world so you can dive into your imagined one? Curious C is curious.

I am so severely distracted right now. There are things I want to write--very much so--but any spare moment I'm not working or cleaning or reading or otherwise occupied, instead of digging down and writing, my brain floats happily away into the future and all the wonderful fun Nick and I are going to have. I can't seem to turn off that brain of mine and get cracking.

Not the worst problem to have--obsessively thinking happy thoughts--but c'mon brain, settle down already!

Friday I send my kids off to Italy for 10 days (they'll be back the day before I leave) so I should make good use of the time. Yes I know that. But it isn't going to happen unless I can turn my brain off. I've read here and there that adopting a ritual to prepare for writing is not a good idea. Dependence on that ritual may result, and any interruption of it can be the catalyst for plunging into a bad case of writer's block. Not that writer's block is real...I certainly am not blaming that for not writing. Lame excuse, that, especially since I've got alot of things I am working on right now.

But, I need to find a way to get down to concentrating this weekend. I've already told [ profile] blue_fjords she can crack a whip at me... LOL.

ALSO A QUESTION FOR FANTASY READERS AND WRITERS! Why is the language in so many fantasies so formal? do not, cannot, will not, he is, she is, etc., instead of contractions. I rather like contractions, and get tired of the overly-formal way of speaking. (that is, the characters in my head)

I am currently reading Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon on my iTouch and am LOVING it, but it drives me a bit batty, all the formality--especially as the dragon Temeraire, and his Captain sound so much alike. Formal. Of course Laurence is a Navy man, so it suits him, but why does the Temeraire have to be all formal too when he speaks? I suppose all intelligent dragons speak formally--I don't know any--but it would be nice to meet a dragon who is laid-back and casual sometime. Seriously.

So really. Is there something I don't comprehend about why the dislike for contractions? In writing my own fantasy, I'm not writing formally. It is just not going to happen with my characters, except here and there. Or perhaps one character. It really puzzles me. Thoughts welcome!

ADDED TEXT HERE from a reply to [ profile] kel_reiley:
I guess that is my bugaboo--made-up worlds that rely on formal speech patterns, like it is an auto-requirement.

(this is such a pointless post about nothing much really, isn't it?) So let's add something here to make it not so pointless:

Go read this fic by [ profile] misswinterhill. It is a Merlin au fic that I am not even quite finished with yet, but I am enjoying so much what she does with the characters that I just have to nudge anyone out there who might have been considering reading in that fandom. It is a good one to start with. Enjoy!
I should be ashamed. I started this particular post on September 13, 2009, and never finished it. Nick asked me if I wouldn't do a Wales post for him to look at the pictures, and get his mind off of studying for his oral exams and of course I said, "Sure, baby, anything for you."

Of course, we will be returning to Wales in just a few short weeks, so this is a nice time to revisit for me, too. We won't be traveling the same places of course, but we do hope to get a car for a couple of days and visit that particular beach Nick fancies, and head back into the Brecon Beacons for a day. With a picnic lunch maybe!

journey to the tip of Wales )
Okay I should say that everything IS going to be okay, no one was hurt...but just when life was settling down and I was starting to panic less about being a single mom of two with two in college (ok son not yet, but soon enough), of course Something Else Had to Happen to knock me off that, in the form of my son wrecking the car tonight. Fortunately, he hit a BMW SUV, it was a slick-road-because-of-rain type of accident (braking for a stoplight, on a hill), the BMW didn't have a single mark on it, the driver was nice about it. It happens. Kelly is not a crazy teenage driver believe it or not, and he started to brake, and slippy slid right into the BMW SUV. That thing is a tank! A sensor was knocked out--probably less than 100 to fix it. No problem. Gave him the insurance information and that was that.

But, sigh, my car. Mind you, this poor car has a big KICK ME sign on it or something. It's been hit twice on the passenger side (Nick was in it the second time), a stick took my driver's side mirror out, a recalled computer proved it indeed needed to be recalled (just when my daughter's car was in the shop from being hit), and now this. WHAM! *cries* I love my car and am tired of it being abused! It is a Sport Corolla, navy blue, and is a very nice looking car. I love it. I really do. So I am Very Very Sad it has a boo boo now. A big one. Sigh.

I will look on tomorrow to replace the grill (dealer would probably cost 400 for a 40 dollar part, uh no thanks?), and I'll take it by the guy who did such a lovely job on Tiff's car, and get an estimate for what it would take to straighten the hood back out. I actually popped part of it back into place myself, and don't anticipate it will cost much. It won't open now though (which is okay--better than it not latching at all) so it isn't dangerous to keep driving it. Whew!

So, we'll deal with that part after the trips. Son feels terrible, he prides himself on his good driving, but slippery roads happen everywhere. It happens. I'm calling the insurance company tomorrow and putting full coverage back on my car. Of course, I'd just taken it off. Stupid. Cars oh cars, you eat me alive, but here we have to have them.

Otherwise--everything is great, really. The kids' trips are paid for (Tiff paid for her own), and they're getting way excited. They'll be gone ten days to Italy. The long wait for me to see Nick again is almost over too, and I can't express how much this means to us. I don't talk about it much, and we make it look easy I think, but it is so damn hard being apart all the time, and we have to jump through alot of hoops and plan a heck of a lot to be able to get our barely over a week or so every nine months thereabouts together. It is worth it though, it is worth giving up other things, and make sacrifices in order to spend those magical days together (and see really amazing places too I never, ever thought I would get to see--Berlin! Berlin again! Hamburg! Cardiff! London! and here in the States, San Francisco! Universal Studios in Florida! Austin! San Antonio!).

In order to chill, calm down, and stop myself from screaming, Nick and I watched Shark Attack 3 together. I have to admit for a terrible movie it is so very entertaining. It really is good for lifting the spirits and making one smile when smiling seems elusive. Oh JB, you crazy man, I am glad you did that movie. LOL. The dialogue was horrid, the audio sucked, the special effects? OY! But I laughed, and that's all that mattered.

Sigh--what a night. What a night.
I bet you guys thought I was done with the travel reports to Wales, didn't you? Well surprise! Not by a long shot. I just got super-busy at work, and then was getting the kids back into school, then I went through a period of longing for Wales/Nick wherein I just wasn't in the mood to look at the pictures and talk about them because I would just get sad, you know?

But back on even keel again, I think (though the longing remains, always).

So, this post will continue talking about our travels all over Wales. Enter here for fun, adventure and some grumbles )