Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I hate exercise

I was reminded of that fact this morning.  Actually, I've been reminded of it every morning for two weeks now. Yes, I'm doing exercise stuff in the mornings.  Yes, I may have lost my mind a bit.  But thanks to that extra daily activity, I haven't gained any weight yet this holiday season, so I suppose it's a good thing.  My clothes still fit.

It's not that I don't like activity.  I enjoy going for a long walk.  I enjoy going ice skating.  I like playing outside with my dog.  I don't mind moving around, really.  It's just... exercise.  Blah.  I get all hot and sweaty and out of breath.  I feel icky and tired afterwards.  During the exercise, I'm not a happy camper.

However, I have noticed that it makes me a bit more awake by the time I get to work, and I think I might be a little more focused, and I definitely have more energy.  So it's a trade-off.  It's one I'm willing to make, for now.  We'll see if my will power extends beyond the holidays.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

You know what helps your Christmas cards get delivered?

Putting them in the mailbox.

Yeah, it turns out that if you just leave them sitting on your dining room table, they stay there. For some reason, the postman is reluctant to come inside and shuffle through the piles of paper on the table to find the cards. Can't imagine why.

So today, I finally got the cards into the mail. You know, the cards I made in October? Yeah. So much for being prepared ahead of time.

But the cards are in the mail! And with luck, most of them will arrive before Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reliving the good times

I'm on a Joss Whedon kick again - I'm almost done season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I'll follow that up with Firefly, Dollhouse, and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  And if I happen to get Angel or appropriate gift cards at Christmas, I'll add that one to the lineup, too.

There's just something about these series that touch me.  Even in the early, cheesy episodes of Buffy, when they were still finding their way, the characters were easy to identify with.  I can see so much of me in young Willow, it's a little disconcerting.  But I can see parts of myself in Buffy, too.

And I've never watched a series that can make me cry so much.  Sure, I'm a crier.  My instinctive reaction to any strong emotion is to cry, whether it's sadness, happiness, anger, frustration... And Whedon's stuff can make me react.  It's strong, emotional stuff.

Tonight, I'm watching the episode "I Only Have Eyes for You," and Buffy's emotional turmoil, with the whole Angel-turning-evil-thanks-to-sex thing, reflected in the teacher-student relationship... wow... it just breaks my heart.  And I love it.  I think this is one of my favourite episodes.

Does anyone out there have strong feelings for or against the Whedon-verse?  Or a favourite episode?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Something different.

While I'm busy moaning about how much my mouth hurts after my fillings, go watch this video. I refuse to feel bad about reading romance novels.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mmm... cupcakes

I had a cupcake tonight, and it was tasty.  I also had a hamburger and french fries.  Tomorrow, I think I'll have some cereal bars for breakfast, and pizza for lunch.  And for dinner... soup.

Yes, that's right.  Squishy food for dinner, assuming I feel like eating at all.

I really don't want to go to the dentist tomorrow, but I've got a chipped tooth, and it needs fixing, which means a dentist visit.  Boo.  And unfortunately, the numbing stuff is REALLY effective on me, so I probably won't feel my mouth until the next morning.  So it's squishy food time.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

What I want

I think I've finally figured out what I want. After 32 years, I think I've got it. It's not the easiest thing to verbalize, because it's more complicated than just, "I want a piece of chocolate cake." But even if I can't entirely explain it, I think I finally know.  

And apparently, I'm not the only one who knows what I mean.

I want someone who feels like this:

And even The Band Perry kind of gets it in the chorus of their song "All Your Life":

Well I don't want the whole world
The sun, the moon, and all their light
I just want to be the only girl
You love all your life

That's what I want. I want someone who will love me for who I really am, not who he wants me to be. I've tried to be everything that someone wants, and being up on a pedestal sucks. It's a long way down, from the ideal to the reality. I'm a real person, and I've got a nice big boatload of flaws.  Please don't expect perfection. It's hard enough for me to handle my own perfectionist qualities. I don't need someone else adding to it.

I want someone who has a life of his own and wants me to be a part of it, but not all of it. I don't want to be someone's 'everything.' I've been that, and it's too much pressure. I want him to be happy on his own, but I want to be able to make him happier. I want him to be a whole person, not just 'my other half,' and I want him to feel the same towards me. 

So there you go. That's what I want.

Now if I could just find it...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Saga of My Borked Wrist

It was the morning of October 22.  It was a Sunday, an unassuming kind of day.  I was in sunny Orlando, assisting with a series of Anatomy of the Eyeball workshops for JCAHPO.  I thought it was going to be a good day.

Partway through the morning, my left wrist ached a bit.  I rubbed it and thought little of it until I realized that it was my left wrist.  There is generally nothing wrong with my left wrist.  My right wrist randomly hurts because back in 1997, I FOOSHed (Fall On OutStretched Hand) while doing pickups in tap class.  I was in casts/braces/splints for the better part of a year, and it took several years for me to be able to write for more than five minutes or so without pain.

I thought it was odd, but went on with my day, doing the workshops, then going out for drinks with some of the nice people I met at the conference.  The next morning, I slept in, then packed up my bags and headed down to get my car.  My bags were heavy, but I carried them all on my left shoulder, so that my right hand was free to fish out my valet stub and pull the suitcase.  I thought nothing of this.

The following morning, Tuesday, I hurt.  A lot.  My shoulder was in excruciating pain, my wrist felt like someone was scraping a serrated blade along the inside of the skin, and my index finger and thumb felt as if I had slammed them in a car door.  It sucked.  I figured it was because of the heavy bags, so I took some Tylenol, and went on my way.

By Thursday, I wanted to either cry or throw up, the pain was that bad.  So I talked to one of the doctors I work for, and he prescribed a course of steroids.  It helped a bit, but my index finger was still swollen and purple at the end of the six days, so I made an appointment with a hand doctor.  This was just over a week after the first ache.

He poked and prodded and x-rayed.  My wrist wasn't broken, which didn't surprise me because I didn't do anything to it.  He wanted an MRI, to see if there was a ganglion or other soft tissue issues.  He prescribed a wrist brace to use as needed, which I used daily at first, then occasionally once I realized I couldn't do my job with it on. Two weeks, and much pain, later, I got my MRI (last Thursday).

Today, I got the results.  Normal.  REALLY?  On the bright side, no rheumatoid arthritis, no lupus, no tears in tendons or ligaments.  On the not bright side, the pain is still there.  He poked and prodded some more and declared that the pain at the base of my thumb is due to 'severe laxity' in my joints.  He demonstrated on my good hand by moving my carpals around, and bending my finger backwards.  Apparently, normal hands don't bend like mine.  Makes sense, given that I can also mildly dislocate my shoulders on command.

So to treat that part, I've got a new splint, which I should wear all the time for 2-3 weeks, and if that doesn't help, I'll get a cortisone shot, and if that doesn't help, there's a surgical option, but I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it.  Did I mention that I can't take NSAIDs?  Yeah, makes the inflammation (which causes the pain) a little harder to deal with.

And that doesn't explain why my index finger is still all purple and swollen and cold, so next up is a non-invasive vascular assessment, which will require more waiting, and if that doesn't give us any answers, the next step is angiography, which is more invasive than the non-invasive test.


So.  To sum up, I'm in pain, and it sucks.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Failing Miserably

Yeah.  The whole getting-back-into-blogging thing?  Not so much.

But I have figured out why!  And no, it's not because of NaNoWriMo.

It's because I've got too much going on in my head.  There's a lot going on in there, actually, and it's all immensely personal, and I really need to work through it.  Problem is, I usually work through my issues by writing.  I'm afraid that, if I try to blog too much, I'll end up spilling my emotional guts here, and I'm not sure that I'm ready to do that.  I'm also not sure if anyone out there is really interested in it.

So until I either work this stuff out, or decide that I'm ready to spill it all to the whole internet, it's hard for me to blog.

What I'm going to try to do is plan for controlled release - I'll probably share little bits and pieces of my issues, and I'll probably also include several bits of short fiction.

Also, with some of the work-related pressure I've had lately, I've turned into a bit of a bitch, so I may have some scathing things to say about some of the books I've read... But I'll try not to be too evil.  I'll keep my comments generalized - I've been reading a lot of self-published crap lately, and I've made some notes.  But I've also read some good self-pubbed stuff, and I promise I'll tell you about that, too.

Um... yeah, this was a big, rambling post, but the gist of it is, I'm going to be blogging again, but I'm not holding myself to a schedule until I get into a better mental place.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm back!

So it's been almost a month since my last blog post... Oops.

I'm going to be lame and blame it on RL getting in the way.  I've had houseguests since October 3 (and still do).  There was Thanksgiving, and a weekend in Florida for work (which was AWESOME), and now I've done something to bugger up my shoulder (and all the way down my arm to my fingertips), so I really haven't been much for using a computer (typing hurts).

I did, however, discover the voice recognition software built into Windows 7, and I've used it to tweet and to write part of my NaNo novel already.

And yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo.  With a buggered-up arm.  And a house full of people.


I am crazy.

To top it off, I'm going to get back into blogging properly.

And I don't go to the doctor about my arm until tomorrow, so I can't even blame this bad decision on good drugs.  Yeesh.

Expect to see more of me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yeah, totally missed Friday

But I have a perfectly valid excuse - I have a baby at my house!  My sister and her fiance and their 3-month-old baby girl arrived on Friday night, and it's been a whirlwind weekend.  Any time that I've managed to sit down for more than a few minutes at a time, I've had a baby in my arms.  Not that I'm complaining!  But it's not so easy to type...

Today we had our big Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie.  Followed by a hockey game.  Well, watching a hockey game, not playing one.  Tonight was the Jets' season opener, the first Jets game in 15 years, and it was against the Canadiens.  Back in the day, when the Jets were still in Winnipeg, I was a Jets girl, through and through.  These days, though, I'm a Habs fan, which made it interesting to watch tonight's game.  Either way, I was going to be happy, but I was also going to be disappointed.  I found an article online though, that really describes it well: Loren Roberts is another Jets-fan-turned-Habs-fan.

But now that the hockey adrenaline has worn off, and the turkey tryptophan is kicking in, I think I'm going to go pass out for a few hours.  And then I might get up for a midnight snack of lemon meringue pie.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Where is the time going??

I must be getting older.  There's  no other explanation for the way time just seems to be slipping away without me noticing.  For example, today is Monday.  October 3.  What happened to September?? Seriously, I have no idea where it went!  It's just gone... and I'll never get September 2011 back again.

Also, that means that November is just around the corner, which brings NaNoWriMo, and a whole different set of timewarps.  If you've done NaNo before, you know what I mean.  There's something about such intense creativity that just alters the entire time-space continuum.  Also, it makes me very sleepy once December arrives.

And then right after NaNo - er, November - comes December, which brings family time and Christmas shopping, and Christmas itself, and then this year also brings my sister's wedding.  It looks like my next chance for a decent night's sleep will be... um... January?  Except I know that I'll be doing theatre stuff in January, which pushes a good sleep back until February.

Is there anything important happening in February?  It's a short month; do you think anyone would mind if I took a 28-day nap?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Late-night TV

I remember, back when I was a kid, watching Nick at Night on Nickelodeon. I'm sure that I'm not the only 30-something who remembers that. Back then, it was "Donna Reed," "Mr. Ed," "The Patty Duke Show," and other black and white classic shows. My mom knew those shows, and it always made me think that she was really old (sorry Mom!).

 Tonight, I turned on the TV, looking for something to watch. I ran across "Friends," which is one of my favorite shows. Then I looked down in the corner of the screen. There was the Nick at Night logo.

 Crap. It's official. I'm old.

 Thanks, Nickelodeon. I really didn't need that reminder.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A little bit of statistics

Okay, not real math-like statistical analysis stuff, because honestly, I don't like that sort much.  After dealing with it for my undergrad thesis, I'd rather ignore it until I have to do another thesis.

I do, however, love my blog stats! I've started using, and it makes me happy.  There are charts and graphs and lists, and it's all so pretty!

Did you know that, so far, 757 people have looked at my blog this month?  That's just... neat.

I also love the keyword analysis feature.  Of course, lots of people found me by searching for "something to write about" or some combination of those words, but there were some more... unusual search terms:
why does debbie macomber 311 pelican court spell terrible as Teribly
what's a diagram
HBP stands for
ending of one hour photo explained

Really? I swear, I don't remember writing a post explaining what a diagram is... How did you find me, blogglings?  Are you someone I know in real life?  Did you follow someone's link here?  Or were you the one looking for a diagram explanation?

Friday, September 16, 2011

More Reading!

Yes, I've been reading like crazy lately!  It's kind of awesome, actually.  So after I finished Making Waves by Tawna Fenske, I read the teaser at the end of the ebook.  It was for Romeo, Romeo by Robin Kaye, and the preview intrigued me, so I bought it.  Have I mentioned that this whole ebook thing is a BAD IDEA?  I mean, it's great for the writers out there, but it's not so great for me, because it's SOOOO easy to buy a book on impulse.  At least before ebooks, I had to drag my butt five minutes down the road to B&N, then browse through them all, thinking about which one I want.  I'm much more likely to take my time choosing something.  With the iBookstore, and Nook, and Kindle apps on my phone, I'm getting far too many options at my fingertips, especially in the middle of the night!


I bought Romeo, Romeo on a whim, after reading the teaser.  And I enjoyed it.  It was a light read, and I found myself zipping through it.  The problem was the central conflict - I honestly can't think of any woman I know who would put up with a guy hiding his identity from her, especially if she knew that he was doing it.  Rosalie's family kind of drove me crazy, but I think that was the point.  Also, I tend to smack people upside the head when they call me by an unauthorized nickname, so it irritated me that Nick called Rosalie 'Lee' even though no one else did.  Ever.  All those little things aside, I did enjoy reading it.  And it kept me intrigued - I had a hard time putting it down.  And I can think of three other people that I will recommend this book to.  So if you like a light, quick-reading romance, pick up Romeo, Romeo by Robin Kaye.

I'm also in the middle of The Fiction Class by Susan Breen.  I'm reading this one over lunch breaks at work, but it's not capturing me quite as much as Romeo, Romeo did.  It's interesting, but I'm having a hard time connecting to the voice.  I think it's because of the layout of the story.  The chapters switch between Arabella's fiction class, and her visits with her mother.  After each chapter with the class, you get to see the assignment that Arabella gives them, which has actually caught my interest more than any other part of the book.  It's not bad.  It's well-written.  It's just not working for me.

We'll see how the next set of books stacks up...

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Weekend Full of Books

I did a TON of reading this weekend, mostly because I was flying.  For as long as I can remember, I've read on the plane.  Even when there's an in-flight movie, I'll still read while listening to it.

This weekend, I polished off three books.  First up was Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith.  It was a free download on my Nook app, published by Revell in 2008.  It was not a bad book, but it wasn't really my thing. I felt like I was being given a message on a silver platter, with a big flashing sign pointing at it.  I don't mind books that have a message or a lesson, but I prefer to have the lesson be more subtly woven into the story.  I also wasn't too keen on the way the relationships between the sisters were portrayed.  They felt very cliched, and then too easily overcome.  The writing was still a good quality, though I wish the story had continued a little further along.  However, compared to most of the other free books I've read, it was great!

The next one I finished was Jane by April Lindner.  It was published by Poppy in October 2010.  I picked this one up as a 'real' book from the airport in Toronto when I found out my flight was delayed by two hours.  I had listened to Jane Eyre as an audiobook last year, after several failed attempts to read it.  Even though Jane was set in a modern time an place, it captured some of the same feelings as the book it was based on.  There was definitely a constant sense of melancholy, and the voice made Jane sound much older than her 19 years.  I believe that this was intentional, and it worked with the history that Jane had, but I'm not sure if I liked it.  Does that make sense?  It was well-written, it was a clever re-interpretation of a classic, but I feel as ambivalent towards Jane as I did towards Jane Eyre.  I think that the character, no matter which setting she is in, just doesn't resonate with me.  However, if you were a fan of Jane Eyre, I can see how you would really enjoy Jane.

The last one was Making Waves, by Tawna Fenske.  It was published by Sourcebooks in August 2011.  I first heard about this book by reading Tawna's blog.  I've followed her for about a year now, and I've always enjoyed her posts.  Her sense of humor works well with mine, and I think that's part of the reason that I could barely put the book down.  I finished it within a day of starting it, and I'm mostly just disappointed that I ran out of words.  Juli's quirks are adorable, and they're the sort of weird little habits that I've seen in other people (and myself).  The near-misses in the bedroom are intense, and Tawna does a great job of building the tension between Juli and Alex, without overdoing it or making it too cheesy.  I like my romance with a good dose of humor, because, really, romance never goes as smoothly as most stories would have you believe.  If you like a good HEA, and hot-but-not-too-hot-to-lend-to-my-mother love scenes, and a good laugh, this is a great choice.  Of the three books this weekend, Making Waves is the one I'll recommend to most of my friends.  In fact, even though I purchased it in e-book format, I'll be swinging past B&N this week to pick up a physical copy so I can start lending it to my friends.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm really bad about forgetting to let you know that I'm going to be away, aren't I?  In case you didn't notice, I was AFK this weekend. Instead of posting on Friday, I was on my way to Atlanta for Dragon*Con!  Yes, I really am that much of a geek.  And I'm proud of it.

I had a great time - I actually went to several panels, in several different tracks.  I'm a very diverse geek ;)  I went to the Writer's track, and the Science track, and the Costuming track.  And I also went to the Puppet Slam, which was pretty cool.

The best part, though, was getting to see all of my international friends!  Two were in from England, two from Scotland, and one from Australia.  We were quite the group.  The Brits made their own costumes, and they were GORGEOUS!  It did make it hard to walk through the Con, though - they were constantly getting stopped for photo ops.  Although I did get stopped on several occasions, too, which was really cool!

Wanna see my costumes?

This is my "Veranna" costume.  I made it back in 2006, and over the next two years, I added all of the lace and braided trim.  It came from a McCall's pattern, I think, but I made a few modifications - adding grommets to make a corset-style back lacing has made it possible for me to fit into it for five years!

This is my Steampunk costume.  I ended up getting a necklace to add to the ensemble just a little while after taking this photo.  I think, for next time, I'll have to come up with some sort of accessory and coordinating holster.  I considered a water gun, spray painted bronze, but I think I need to put some more effort into it. 

And, of course, Beeper (the travelling lemur) came along.  Here he is, wearing my steampunk hat.  It's a little bit bigger on him.

So that's where I've been - off having adventures!  I'll try not to disappear again without warning you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I like it.

I've been slowly unpacking all of my things into the new house (despite having lived here for almost two months!), and I'm taking my time because I want to actually put things away, not just get them out of boxes.  Of course, I've also occasionally been distracted by things that I unpack.  One of the things I unpacked this weekend was my NaNoWriMo story from 2007.

It was actually... good.    It was, well, weird.  It didn't feel like I wrote it.  That is, I don't really remember writing it.  I can actually pick out a voice, and, well, wow.

I'm not saying it's perfect, not by a long shot.  There were errors that I picked up right away, like the MC being allergic to nuts, then getting an almond mocha coffee.  Oh, and it's not finished.

But I actually like something that I wrote.  And that's promising.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thank you, Bloggling Brains!

Anthropomorphism! Yes! Thank you for your help!

And in case you were wondering why I suddenly had the pressing need to know that word, it's because of a conversation I had with my parents. We were chatting via Skype and I had to go so I could take my dog outside before Morris and Adolph came out. Naturally, my folks asked who Morris and Adolph were. They expected me to say the neighbor's dogs, or maybe the random cats that sleep in my yard. No, Morris and Adolph are spiders. Morris spins his web in the corner of the overhang by the back door, and Adolph spins his huge web between the trees on either side of the path to the backyard.

My parents think I'm weird. Of course, then I had to tell them about Cassandra, the spider who spins a web in the backyard from the branches of the big tree to the ground. And Lewis, who has a permanent web in the holly bush out front (all the others take down their webs in the morning).

I don't know if it's a writer thing, or just me, but I name all sorts of things. My car is Ruby. My KitchenAid mixer is Kitty. My blender is Oscar. My grill is George. My computers are Trinsyn, Chionne, and Arra. My toilet paper doll is Nancy. And that's just a small sample.

Tell me, do you name things?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Be My Brain!

I need your help, blogglings.

I'm trying to find a word.  I know this word.  I remember doing an entire unit on the concept in high school English.  But the word has fallen out of my head, and it's been driving me crazy!

I want the word that means "to give human characteristics to a non-human being or object."

I know it's not personification. I know it's not transmogrification.  I think it might be a trans- word though.

If you know this word, would you please tell me?


Monday, August 22, 2011


Ah, the sexy new idea.

It gets in the way of the BOI (boring old idea), which was actually an SNI not that long ago.  I'm still writing the story in my green notebook, but I have a sexy new idea that is taunting and teasing me!  It's not a novel idea. It's not a play.  It's not a short story.  It's a web video story.  Yes, in my head, it's a mini-series that will go up on my YouTube channel.  I want to start writing it so badly...

But I'm going to force myself to wait.  I will finish the green notebook story (henceforth called Green).  I will finish it, and then, while it is marinating and getting ready for a second, computerized draft, I will let myself write the web series.  And then I will find actors.  And then I will film it.  And then I will show it to you.

Be excited.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Friday!

Hello Blogglings!  Clearly, this blogging on Wednesday thing is not working out for me... I'm trying to decide if I should just skip Wednesdays and go with twice-a-week blogging, or if I should re-schedule it.  Thoughts?

In other news, my house is almost finished!  For those of you who don't know me in real life, I've been living under construction for, well, a long time.  I've been living out of the basement of my house, waiting for the contractor to finish the work that was supposed to be done on June 16.  (Go on, look at your calendar and do the math.  I'll wait.)  Yeah.  Two months later.

But tonight, the painter finished upstairs!  And tomorrow, I'm moving my bed!  I'm very excited about this.  Have I mentioned that I'm not a fan of basements?  I mean, they're fine for hanging out and watching movies in the heat of the day in the summer, but they're also a haven for all the creepy things, and I can't wait to lay down to sleep without wondering if the spiders will stay in their corners.

And in even more news, go visit Colby! There's a new video up!  You should watch it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dancing Kid

So I was on my way to the grocery store tonight, at like, 9:30, and as I was driving through my neighbourhood, I saw this blue glowing light bouncing around.  As I got closer, I could see that it was the screen of a cell phone.  I got even closer, and I realized that the phone was in the hand of a kid who was dancing.

I'm not talking about just grooving as he was walking down the street.  This kid was bouncing up and down, dancing his heart out, in the dark, halfway in the street.

I want to know what he was listening to.

And I may include him in a story.  Because really, that's just a really secure person to dance full-out as if no one is watching.  (Although I suppose that, until I drove up, no one actually was watching.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A bump in the road

I was doing so well! I was writing almost every day, and getting close to the 5k mark.  And then...

Are any of you superstitious or OCD?  I started writing this story by hand, and I feel the need to finish the same way, at least this draft.  It's just how I need to write.  If I start by hand in a green notebook with my black Sarasa pen, I need to finish it in green notebooks with black Sarasa pens.  

Unfortunately, I dropped my pen in the car last week, and it's hiding under one of the seats.  I don't know which seat.  And it's been flipping hot out, so I didn't really want to sit outside, digging around in my car.  But!  It's a weekend, it's early (and therefore not so blazing hot) AND I finally got my garage clean enough to get my car inside, so after I finish this post, I'm going to go recover my pen and start writing again!

On the bright side, not writing things out has given me a chance to play around with things in my head, and I probably have another 3-4k ready to come out.  Yay!

Do any of you have these sorts of quirks, Blogglings?  I know writers can be a very... quirky kind of people!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mixed emotions

I almost cried at work today, and it only took a few seconds for me to figure out why.  Here's the deal: back in March or April, I applied to instruct a workshop.  In May, I got an email telling me that I was accepted not only to co-instruct one session, but that I would be able to co-instruct all five workshop sessions at this conference.  Hooray, right?  I was pretty psyched.

Yesterday, the boss-lady gave me the program for the conference so I could decide if there were any sessions I wanted to attend.  I got crazy busy and didn't get a chance to look at it yesterday, but today I started flipping through it just before lunch.  I found a bunch of cool sessions, and then decided to check out the other workshop sessions.  I flipped through to the workshops, and there was my name.  Right there, in the program, I'm listed as one of the instructors.

Of course, it made me giggle with glee!  And then I had to show a couple of my work-friends, most of whom were not quite so excited as I was.  Then I went back to my desk and felt like crying.  Why?  Why would something that I want to do make me want to cry?

Because I realized that it's still what I want to do.  I want to be teaching again.  I have never been so happy or satisfied in a job as when I was teaching.  And I can't do that now.  If I wanted to get back into it, I'd have to go back to school and get at least a Master's, if not a PhD.

Don't get me wrong, I love writing.  (And for anyone interested, I'm past the 4k mark on my latest WIP.)  But I'm not going to fool myself into thinking I can make a living off of writing.  I don't think my novel-length works are quite ready for publication, and even if they were, I don't think I can write fast enough to make a living at it.

I'm feeling a weird mix of emotions right now, but I'm working with it, and trying to figure out what else I can do to keep myself happy.  I know that I should put all of my happy-eggs in one basket - I'm going to make sure that I'm doing lots of stuff with the theatre, and doing lots of knitting and crochet and cross-stitch, and cuddling my puppy, and spending time watching bad movies with friends.  All of these things make me happy.

And I'm not saying that I'm miserable in my job now, because I'm not.  I just don't love it the way I loved teaching.

Hrm.  This post was a bit of a downer.  But it don't let that fool you!  I'm not down, I'm just trying to figure myself out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Worried about my puppy

I'm worried. Mia hasn't left my side all day. She has been curled up under the blanket beside me. Any time I get up, she cries and cries until I sit back down. Normally, on a Saturday, she'll wander off into the other room and chew on her toys, but not today.

So tonight's post is short, and I'm going to skip the writing to cuddle with her. Hopefully, she'll feel better tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Draft Ick

I'm just over 1100 words into my new WIP, and already I'm looking at it and thinking, "I can't use this!"

But then I started thinking about it, and I realized that's the way I work.  I write a first draft to get to know my characters.  The story isn't going to actually start until probably about 10k, but that's okay.  That first 10k gives me backstory.  It lets me meet my characters.  It lets me figure out their quirks.  It lets me realize which adjectives I'm using way too often for each of them. ;)

And when I'm done this first draft?  I won't just edit what I've got.  I'll do a full re-write.

I can hear the screeches from the plotters out there.

That's just how I work.  My first draft is the equivalent of an outline.  There may be a few scenes here and there that I'll keep, a few phrases that just stick, but the second draft is, for me, where the story becomes a real story and not just back story.  The next edit will look more like what most people probably think an edit should look like.

The important thing, though? Once I sit down and do tonight's session, I'll be around 1500 words, and I'll be on a three-day writing streak.  It feels so good to be writing again!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Natural Magic

I've been on a bit of a Dawson's Creek kick lately.  I'm not entirely sure why.  At first, I thought it was maybe because I've been considering writing a YA novel, but then I realized that a) my YA idea only goes as far as the first page because my voice has never been right for YA and b) while Dawson's Creek is all full of the melodrama of youth, it's not the most accurate portrayal of young people.  Unless you were me, in which case, it actually was frighteningly like my high school years; lots and lots and LOTS of talk and very little actual action.

Why is this important?  Well, a few nights ago, I watched the episode where Joey has a date with AJ, the college guy, and they go to watch the aurora borealis.  That got me to thinking.  It's been close to two years since I've seen the northern lights, and I miss that magical display.

It's funny, because when I lived in Canada, I mostly took them for granted.  On almost any clear winter's night, you could see them from my parents' back yard.  It was really awesome to sit outside in the hot tub, surrounded by snow and ice, the steam rising up around you, and look up to see the lights dancing.  I know, it sounds cheesy to say the lights were dancing, but that's really what it looked like.  If you've never seen the northern lights, you're missing out.  I'd direct you to a YouTube video, but that really doesn't capture the experience.

The northern lights don't make much of an appearance in the southern US.

And then I started thinking some more.  I may have given up the northern lights, but I found some other magic down here.  Up until I moved here, I had never seen real fog.  I'd seen fog from a fog machine, with that special, sickly sweet cotton-candy smell, but never real, honest-to-goodness, made-by-nature fog.  Here, though, there's a lot of fog, especially on these hot summer nights, after a good rainstorm.  The fog just lays on the roads, sometimes only an inch deep, sometimes a couple of feet deep.  It swirls around, chasing the cars as they drive through.  It's a little bit of magic.

Another new experience has been lightning bugs.  I had never seen lightning bugs before.  I remember the first time I walked outside on a summer night and saw a little green light over by the trees.  I blinked a few times, sure that I just had something in my eye.  Then I saw another.  And another.  And then there were a dozen little green lights, flickering on and off, floating around the trees.  I just stood there and stared for a few minutes, mesmerized.  I don't remember where I was supposed to go that night, but I do remember that I was late.  Even now, four years later, I can still lose track of time staring at lightning bugs.

So maybe that's the trade-off.  I gave up the lights and motion of the northern lights, but I got dancing fog and lightning bugs to make up for it.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I have an idea!

After several weeks of utter despair that I might never write again, I have an idea!

I don't know if you can grasp just how happy this makes me!

It's a love story, which strikes me as a bit odd, because I've written off the idea of romance in real life.  Of course, I still adore reading romance novels, and stories with romantic elements, so maybe it's not as surprising as I first expected.  I may not believe that everyone will find their 'true love' or get a happily-ever-after ending, but hey, it's still fun to read about, right?

I'm really excited about this.  I've started writing tonight, and I'm feeling good about it.  Even if this story goes nowhere, I'm writing, and that's a very good thing.

Maybe the rest of my life will start to come back together again...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An apology

I'm very sorry, Blogglings.  I've been neglecting you horribly.  Unfortunately, this summer has turned to be... different than I had anticipated.

I've got a lot going on in my head, and a lot going on in my life, and I'm not able to talk about it right now.  Unfortunately, these things are all that I can think about, so I've been at a loss to come up with blog posts that weren't just total cop-outs.

I'm sorry.

Please, please, consider keeping my blog feed in your favourite reader!  I promise, once this big ol' pile of stuff gets sorted out, I'll be in a much better place, and I'll be able to write and blog again (no, I haven't written a word in two months.  It's not a good feeling).

Hang in there, Blogglings, and I'll be back as soon as I can.  In the meantime, try not to melt if you're stuck in the heat wave that seems to have covered all of North America!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Better late than never?

Yeah, I suck.  My life has been a little crazy lately.  First, I've spent the last month trying to move, trying being the operative word.  I had to delay moving day by a week, and I'm still not completely unpacked, and it's having a profound effect on my ability to deal with life.

Second, I just got back from a week-long vacation in Canada where I got to visit with my brand-new niece!

She is the most beautiful little girl, and I am completely in love with her.  It was sooooo hard to leave her and come back to my boxed-up home.  Luckily, my sister is all about the technology, and we've already Skyped several times, and I've been getting 'baby-of-the-day' photos in my inbox everyday, which makes me very happy.

Third, since I've been home, I've been sewing.  Many of you have already visited Colby's blog, so you know how awesome she is.  This week, I made her a dress.  No, not just a dress, a snake dress.  For last night's Harry Potter opening, Colby was dressed as Nagini.  It was pretty epic.  Soon, I shall have photos to share, because it really was awesome.

I know, I know, I shouldn't have abandoned you all like that, and I'm sorry, Blogglings. But I have been busy, and out of town, and it's always been my policy to refrain from mentioning any travel plans online until after I have returned.  I am, however, fully back, with real internet and everything at home.  Hopefully, this post marks the return of your regularly scheduled blog-reading.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I might be an idiot.

Or maybe I'm just sleep-deprived. You see, in the past week, I've been trying to switch over my cable service, so I haven't had Internet access at home. I can't blog from work (not only is personal internet use frowned upon, many sites are blocked). So what did I do? Nada. I didn't blog.

Today, however, I remembered that my phone, being an iPhone with an unlimited data package, could get online. D'oh. Let's blame this little lapse on being really freaking hot in the past few weeks, and being preoccupied with my sister's pregnancy. Which is now done! She has a beautiful baby girl! So I'm busy being an auntie this week ;)

I'll try to have some photos up, and I'll do my best to a) get my cable sorted and b) remember that I can post from my phone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Wednesday already?

I should be sleeping
'Stead of keeping
These late hours
I've been keeping

I've been pacing
And retracing
Every step of
Every move

Okay, so those words aren't mine - they're from Emerson Drive's song "I Should Be Sleeping", but they seem very appropriate for my life right now!  I really should be sleeping most nights, but I'm far too wide awake.  Life's getting, well, busy.  And I'm dreaming about work again, which makes my week twice as long!

So instead of reading some sleepy ramblings, I'm going to recommend that, if you're not familiar with Emerson Drive, you go take a look at them, and maybe listen to some of their music.  I like it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

*twitch* *twitch*

Those of you who know me in real life know that I often joke about having OCD.  At one point, in a previous office, my co-workers labeled me with chart stickers because I organized the sheets of stickers.  Why am I telling you this?

Because it's an issue.

I find that it doesn't take much disorder for me to become, well, agitated.  I can usually talk myself down, or distract myself, but the point is, I need structure.  It's funny, because you'd think that a writer or other sort of creative person would not want structure or limits or boundaries, but I can't work without them.  I need a deadline (and preferably a close one) to get things done.  That's part of why I work so well with NaNoWriMo.  There are definite goals and deadlines, so I get my wordcount and get the story done.

When I'm crafting, I often gravitate towards knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, and sewing as 'relaxing' crafts - because they have patterns that I have to follow to make things turn out right.  I like scrapbooking and card-making, but I find that I enjoy both of those more when I have a plan, whether it's a challenge template that I've found online, or a design that I come up with before I start working.

Today, I've been dealing with OTHER PEOPLE.  OTHER PEOPLE don't necessarily get it.  They don't always understand that I need to know what's going on.  They don't understand that, when I don't have any idea when a project will end, I get upset.  When this goes on for a month or two, I can't sleep properly.  I start living on caffeine and sugar, which makes me somewhat less than fun to be around.  Overall, it sucks.

So what is the point of this long, rambling post?  If you know someone like me, please, please, please take pity on them.  Give us deadlines.  Give us endpoints.  Give us updates!  Just don't leave us in limbo.  It's bad for everyone involved.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I knew I was forgetting something!

I went out to watch a movie tonight, then came home and updated my Facebook status to reflect my feelings for the swoopy camera work, then restarted my computer so that it could do that whole automatic update thing.  Then I realized that I hadn't blogged yet!

It's late (duh), but I don't want to abandon my blogglings!

So I'll talk about the movie!

I went to see Green Lantern.  I have never read any of the original comics that this movie was based on.  In fact, the only comics I have ever read were Betty and Veronica comics, and even that was rare.  I had worried about whether or not I would like it.  A lot of the reviews were, well, not great.

It turns out, though, that I might be the right demographic for all of these comic book movies!  Because I'm not overly familiar with the stories (other than what my comic-book-loving-friends have told me), I don't have a lot of the  preconceived ideas of what the characters should be like.  I don't know how they should look, how they should act, who is a friend or who is an enemy.  Because of this, I can sit back and enjoy the movie for itself.  My comic-book-loving-friends, however, don't have that luxury.

Bearing that in mind, I ended up liking the movie.  The plot worked for me.  The actors were, for the most part, well-chosen.  I wasn't a big fan of Blake Lively, but I didn't hate her.  The effects were pretty cool, if occasionally nauseating in their swoopiness.  There was a section in the middle that started to drag for me, and I started to wonder when it was going to end, but then the story picked up again.

And, of course, if there is a gun on stage, the gun will be used.  (I can't take credit for that quote - it was totally Tanya leaning over to me at the end of the credits to say that!)  And if you don't get what I mean, you either haven't been involved in theatre, or you haven't watched this movie through to the end of the credits.

My final comment is a girly one.  Ryan Reynolds looks way better with his deep brown eyes than with the creepy blue ones!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beta and Critique Readers

Over the years, I've been part of several writing groups, ranging from informal gatherings where the topic of writing just happened to come up, to NaNoWriMo groups, to critique groups.  I've shared my work, and read others' work and given feedback.  If there's one thing I've learned, all beta readers/crit partners are NOT created equal.  Here are some of the characters I've run into:*

- The Published Writer.  You've probably run into him at some point.  He's had a short story published in an ezine.  Or he wrote a novel that was published by a small press.  Whatever it is, he has decided that he is talented.  Very talented.  So talented, in fact, that you, an unpublished writer, could never measure up to him.  Your writing will never be as good as his, because your work is not published.  Like his.  Did I mention that he takes every chance he gets to remind you that he is published.

- The Emphatic Realist.  This fellow writer doesn't quite grasp the concept of the suspension of disbelief.  At all.  He can't figure out why you've insisted on ignoring a particular historical figure in your historical romance, even though it would not do anything to further the plot.  He demands historical accuracy!  And that plane you have in chapter three - that style of plane has two rows of seats, not three.  Obviously, you haven't done enough research.

- The Genre Snob.  He doesn't read anything but one genre.  The romantic drivel you've written is completely mindless, as far as he is concerned.  And the YA project?  Why you're wasting your time on such a pathetic genre is beyond him.  Sure, it's okay for what it is, but it's not much.  Trying to get this guy to like anything that isn't in his genre is like trying to make my dog eat... umm... okay, that metaphor doesn't work.  It's like trying to get a shark to swim backwards.

- The Insecure Crank.  He doesn't think that his writing is any good.  To see your writing, which is (theoretically) good, just irritates him.  He doesn't like the thought of someone being better than him, and he will find every little error possible in your work.  He will find errors that don't exist.  He will find flaws in every character and setting.  He will find tiny plotholes and blow them into gaping chasms.  Because he thinks his work is no good, he will not let yours be good either.

Of course, not all critique partners or beta readers are one of these folks!  I have met amazing readers, people I trust to read anything I write, and to give me honest feedback.

- The Read-Everything Partner.  He will read absolutely everything that is written.  Genre, length, style - it doesn't matter.  He has a preferred genre, of course, but he won't ignore a story just because it's not his favorite style.  His best line? "It's not something I'd pick out on my own, but I liked it."

- The Grammar Snob.  He knows the English language inside and out.  He knows where each and every punctuation mark belongs.  He may not be able to correct flaws in your character arc, but he will make sure that your final draft is polished to a high sheen.

- The Gentle Let-Down.  Your story sucks.  The characters are one-dimensional.  You have no arc.  Your plot has holes that a Mack truck can drive through.  But he can still point out the good things, like your ability to place a semi-colon in just the right place, and make you feel better about having churned out a big ol' pile of crap.

*All genders have been made male for the purposes of masking identities.  If you happen to recognize yourself in one of these readers, chances are good that I'm not actually talking about you personally.  But hopefully, you recognize yourself as one of the awesome ones!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ah, Mondays.

There's just something about the start of the week that sucks.

I feel like I accomplished nothing at work today.  I mean, I did stuff, but I was filling in for someone else, so the stuff I did was her work, not mine.  I know that I have at least five boxes of charts waiting for me tomorrow morning, which equals fifty or more charts, depending on how tightly they're packed.  So there goes my morning.  And by the time I'm through dealing with them, it's time for my doctor's appointment.  Whee.

However, I am heading out tomorrow night to a writerly thing with a fellow writerly-type person, which should be fun.  Or at least enlightening.  I really want to see what the local writing scene is like outside of NaNoWriMo (which, while awesome, is not necessarily a professional endeavor).

Of course, when I started getting frustrated at work today, all I had to do was let my mind wander back to this past weekend.  I spent some time with friends who made me feel like life was a movie, and I was playing the role of sidekick (but in a good way!).  I got to watch some awesome moments that felt as if they should have been in a movie or a book, and I loved every second of it.

You know, maybe today wasn't as bad as I originally thought it was.

Also, I'm watching a terribly cheesy movie as I'm writing this, which always makes me feel better!

How was your Monday?

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Some days, I feel a bit anxious. I've got a lot on my plate right now. Between work, writing, finishing Baby Bear's present, dealing with theatre drama, dealing with construction malarky, and packing, I'm spread kind of thin these days.

Everyone has different ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. Some people like long bubble baths. Some like a nice bottle of wine. Some like a good book. When knitting isn't one of the causes of my stress, knitting helps. Lately, though, I've found a different source of relaxation - a serial killer. There's something about Dexter that is just... comforting. I know, that's a weird reaction to have. Some days, I wonder if there's something wrong with me...

And then, when I think about it a bit more, I realize it's not that weird. This show is written REALLY well! I'm on my third viewing of the first four seasons, and I'm still impressed with it. There's still stuff that shows up that I hadn't noticed before. It's all so well-thought-out.

I've read the first book by Jeff Lindsey, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, and I liked it. A lot. But there's something about the tv series that feels better. Of course, it's a much longer format, which allows for more development of, well, everything. Still, each of the characters has a fully developed arc across each season, and all seasons.

So. Great writing is how I justify finding a serial killer relaxing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Sara stared down at her hands.  The sticky, red trails almost seemed to move as she watched them.

"So much blood," she murmured.  Shouldn't it be hot?  Or at least warm?  But her hands were cold, even with the blood on them.  Sara turned her hands over.  The blood was everywhere.  It had left her hands and moved towards her elbows.  It had dripped onto the floor.

No, dripped was the wrong word.  Dripping was slow, gentle, painless.  The blood had poured from Andy's body, even as she had tried to stop it.

The blood had been warm then, she thought.  It had been hot, and pulsing, and alive under her hands.  It had a mind of its own, ready to escape the confines of a body, ready to see the world.

She had tried.  She did everything she knew how to do.  Except gloves, came the thought from the back of her mind.  She should have put on gloves before touching blood.  That's what they had taught in her first aid class, so many years ago.

There was no time to find gloves, though.  Sara didn't know if she even owned any.  The only thing she could do was try to cover the gaping wound as Andy grew pale.  And scream.  She vaguely remembered screaming.

"Miss?"  The deep voice made Sara jump.  She looked up from her hands into a the eyes of someone who had seen this before.  "Please, come with me.  We need to get you cleaned up."

"It's Andy's blood," she said, her voice barely more than a whisper.  "I should keep it for him."

"Andy doesn't need that blood, sweetheart," the man said, sympathy written across his face.  "Come on.  We'll get you taken care of."

"It's Andy's blood," Sara repeated, looking back down at her hands as the man helped her up, wrapping the blanket more securely around her.  "I should keep Andy's blood."  It was easier to look at the blood than to remember how the light had faded from his eyes.

She could swear she still saw the blood moving.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Movies and movie theatres

I was chatting with a friend today, and I admitted a big ol' secret.  While I love movies, I don't really like movie theatres.  Rather, I don't like watching movies in the theatre.

I know, it's weird.  Most people really like the experience - why else would it be such a popular date night?  But I don't like it.

Some of it is purely physical - that's one of the few times that I really have to wear my glasses.  There's something about the size and distance to the screen that just doesn't work for me.  Also, the broad, sweeping camera angles give me mild vertigo and nausea.

Part of it is the price.  I hate that, between the ticket and a drink and a snack, it's about $20 a person to see a movie in theatre.  If I wait a couple months, I can buy the DVD for $24.99.  If I wait a little longer, it's down to $15 or less.  So if I'm patient, I can watch a movie in the comfort of my own home, with my very tasty popcorn from my new popcorn machine, without my glasses, for less than it would cost me to go to the movie theatre.

Hmm... putting it that way, I can't figure out if I'm cheap, or just uncomfortable at the theatre.

Is there anyone else who doesn't like the movie theatre, or am I alone in this?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Signs of Summer

Is there something that signals the arrival of summer for you?

For me, at least these days, the first lightning bug is the sign that summer is here.  I saw the first lightning bug of the season earlier this week, and it just made me grin.  It didn't matter that temperatures had been in the 80's and 90's for weeks, or that my office planted the summer flowers.  It's not summer in the south until I see a lightning bug.

It's funny, because I actually had never seen a real live lightning bug until I moved to the South almost four years ago.  I'd heard of them, of course, and seen them on TV and in movies, but I had never seen one.  The first night I was outside in the summer, the whole yard was full of them.  I just stood there and stared at them, for a very long time.

I'm not a fan of bugs, usually, but these guys are special.  There's something almost magical about them, and I still find myself just standing outside at night, watching the lightning bugs flying through the sky.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things. Sort of.

Today, I took another step towards getting things back on track!  I'm always amazed at how much a show can throw off my life.  It's like everything else just stops, and I have to wait until the final curtain before I can get myself together again.

Tonight, I went out for dinner with friends.  Back in the day, we used to get together every Wednesday night for dinner and TV and board games and fun.  Of course, when I was at rehearsal, I couldn't make it, and then other folks couldn't make it, and it stopped for a while.  I think, though, that we're all interested in starting back, and that's exciting.  I like my friends, and I like spending time with them, so this is a good thing.

On the blanket front, however, I made no progress today.  I took my knitting bag to work, thinking that I could do some at lunch, but I just couldn't get myself comfortably arranged.  Working with three balls of yarn at once, I find that I need a big ol' chair or couch to spread out on, so I don't get tangled or have the yarn hanging out on the floor.  So I'll just have to knit extra fast tomorrow to get caught up with my 2 rows/day minimum.

In other news... um... well, I've got a Sekrit Projekt that I'm working on, but I can't tell you about it!  But it's going well so far, and will take some skills that I haven't used since high school.  When it's done and delivered, I'll share more. :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm ba-a-a-a-ck!

Yes, that's right, after almost two weeks away, I have returned!

So what was I doing to keep myself so busy I couldn't blog?  Well, I'll tell you!  I was at the theatre.  A lot.  Like, every night.  I just finished stage managing a show, and it kept me out until after 11 every night.  Back in the day, when I was all young and stuff, that wouldn't have been a problem.  Now, though... my usual bedtime is 10, so being out till after 11 is problematic, to say the least.  By the time I'd get home, take care of Mia, get my stuff together for the next day, and do my night-time tooth-cleaning-face-washing-wind-down routine, I was hitting the hay after midnight.

But the show is now finished, and it was a fabulous success!

Today, being Memorial Day, was a day off from work, so not only did I not have to go back to the theatre, I didn't have to go to work, either!  It was glorious!  Of course, I woke up at my usual time.  The light in the summer makes Mia wake up much earlier than I'd like, and she won't let me sleep.  Since I was up, I decided to have a productive day.  I did 7 loads of laundry, knit 14 rows of Baby Bear's blanket, packed two more boxes, watched Julie & Julia, The Pursuit of Happyness, Mona Lisa Smile, and Fame, and the first four episodes of Season 1 of Dexter.  Wow.  I also made lunch and dinner, walked the dog several times, and vacuumed my living room.

Oh, and I've been working on a new story.  It's not on paper (or screen) yet, but I'm ironing out some details in my mind, and I should have something tangible very soon.  It's nice, doing some more writing.  I've been on a reading kick lately, and it was a nice break from writing, but I'm ready to dive back in.

What about you, blogglings?  What have you been up to for the last few weeks?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Blogglings,

I'm sorry that I dropped off the face of the internet for the last week.  Life suddenly got crazy busy, and it really just slipped my mind.  Of course, it doesn't help that I've had no concept of what day of the week it has been, either.  Yeesh.  I was so tired that on three different days, I woke up in the exact same position I fell asleep in.  How do I know I didn't move?  Well, the blankets were undisturbed, and my arm was asleep from laying on it!

This week isn't quite so crazy, but it's still a bit overwhelming.  Today was definitely a Monday, and the computers at work seemed to know that.  Given that things are still a bit crazy, I'm going to stay on hiatus for the remainder of the week.  It's not fair to you lovely blogglings for me to do half-assed posts.  You deserve a full ass.  Hmm.  That didn't sound right.

I shall return next Monday, full of tales of my crazy two weeks.  Or perhaps I'll just make stuff up.  We'll see which turns out to be most interesting!

Until next week!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


One arm bruise.

Two scrapes.

Three cuts (not scrapes, because they bled a teensy bit).

Four mosquito bites.

The result:

Check out the new grill!  It took a couple of hours, but my dad and I managed to assemble it ourselves!  And we even tried it out - it was perfect!  I'm pretty excited about trying it on my own sometime... to make pancakes.  Yes, pancakes.  My grill has a griddle.  It's made of awesome.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I like shiny things

A couple weeks ago, I had a Pampered Chef party.  It was a lot of fun - I'm such a sucker for those sorts of things!  I've had Partylite candle parties, Stampin' Up parties, Tupperware parties... I was even a Tupperware lady for a while.  There's just something fun about group shopping like that.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm not alone in my shopping in that sort of setting.  There's less guilt about buying stuff when everyone else around you is doing it, too.  Peer pressure, I suppose, can affect a thirty-something just as much as it can affect a teenager.

Of course, the yummy food and wine at Pampered Chef parties help!

I'm pretty happy with what I got, though.  I am now the proud owner of an actual double-boiler, not just a mixing bowl that doesn't quite fit over my pot!  I also now have an actual spice rack, rather than just a Tupperware box that sits on the shelf.  (But don't worry, I have a use for that Tupperware!)

Can you tell that shopping is a weakness for me?  Funny enough, I don't write many characters who have that weakness, and I don't really like reading about characters like that.  Hmm... if I were a psychologist, I'd probably have lots to say about that...

One more letter

Dear Carmen Electra,

I don't know whether to love you or to hate you.  I have had your 'Striptease Aerobics' series for years, but I've only ever done the first video, because it was fun, and I didn't feel very adventurous.  In an effort to shake up my workouts, I tried the second video on Monday.  Seriously, WTF????  My butt hurts so much, I can barely walk!  But it was awesome at the same time.

So thank you.  Or I hate you.  One of the two.  Maybe both.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Someone watching over me

There is someone, somewhere, watching out for me. Or for Ruby (my car).

A couple of days ago, there was a weird clicking sound coming from the driver's side front tire. When I looked at it, I didn't see anything. A few days later, Ruby got wobbly. My dad was riding with me, and he got worried and insisted that we take the car in to the dealership. We did (well, he did, I went to work), and it turns out that the tire had split, the other front tire was close to splitting, and both rear tires were getting thin. I'm lucky I didn't die.

I'm also the girl who drove to the dealership with her engine held on by only two bolts. On the same side.

And just a few weeks ago, I barely missed getting hit by an idiot running a red light. I don't know how I managed to get so lucky. I'm grateful for it, though.

And I've learned my lesson - if my car starts doing weird things, I'll take her in right away!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May the Fourth be with you

So today is National Star Wars Day, and I don't know how to celebrate...

I feel like I should do something.

I think I'll put on Episode IV and fall asleep to the sound of Darth Vader.  Sounds relaxing, doesn't it?  Of course, the sound effects will probably meld with the Mexican food I had for dinner and result in absolutely insane dreams.  Actually, that sounds fun!

Happy Star Wars Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just a few notes

Dear Target,

You know who has size 5 feet?  Short people.  You know who can't see the top shelf?  Short people.  Please make sure that the dude who sets up your shoe area is aware of this fact.  If I have to jump up to see what's in the box of shoes, chances are, I'm not going to bother.  You're pretty much guaranteeing business for Payless.

Vertically challengedly yours,


Dear Sunbeam,

While I appreciate that you manufacture one of the only hot-air poppers I've been able to find, if my options are a) eat no popcorn or b) pick up burning hot kernels from all around my kitchen before my dog can find them, I'm going to just go without popcorn.  More kernels ended up randomly flying around the room than ended up popping and landing in the bowl.  Please talk to your design team and suggest that they fix this issue.

With flying popcorn,


Dear subconscious,

Please please please please stop playing the same scene in my mind every time I close my eyes.  I didn't like seeing it the first time, and I don't like replaying it.  It's not pretty.  And it makes me a little bit nauseated.

Sickeningly yours,


Dear HEA,

I swear, I haven't forgotten you!  I promise!  I've got a brand new notebook all ready for my next draft, and I promise that I've been thinking of you.  It's just, with this new house, and a show, and work, and a very loving puppy, and a baby blanket to finish, and about a million other little things, well, I've been busy.  But I will make time for you soon.  I promise.

With love and procrastination,


Dear Lindt,

You make the best chocolate ever.  I love you.

Melting for you,

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Let's just say that yesterday did not quite go as planned... Sorry about missing my usual post!  Life got a bit in the way.


If you're reading my blog directly rather than through a reader, you'll notice that I've changed my look.  I got a comment on Wednesday that the old layout was hard to read. I hope this is better!  I'll probably do something a little snazzier in the future, but for now, you should be able to read my posts more easily.

In other news, I'm about to go off and do some heavy lifting - it's spring cleaning time at the community theatre where I volunteer, so we're emptying out the basement, cleaning, then refilling it.  Believe me, it's necessary.  At this point, no one really knows what's down there at all... It's kind of scary.  So wish me luck!

And if you don't hear from me Monday, it's probably because the theater rats ate me.  Or the ghost got me.  One of the two.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Some things should not be explained.

Warning: this post contains spoilers about the movie "One Hour Photo."  If you're thinking of watching it, and you don't want to know about the ending, come back and visit on Friday.

I've had "One Hour Photo" in my DVD collection since 2003.  I've started to watch it several times, but it has always bored me, and I've turned it off before the halfway point.  Yesterday, though, I managed to sit through the whole thing, if only because I've decided that I have to finally watch every DVD in my collection.  (There are about six more I need to watch to reach that goal.)

I didn't enjoy it.  Robin Williams was good at playing a creepy guy, but there just wasn't enough going on for me.  What really drove me nuts, though, was the ending.  At the end, Sy (Robin Williams) has been arrested and is sitting in the interrogation room with the detective.  He asks about the detective's family, then goes off on this insane little spin about how good fathers don't make their children do dirty things and take photos of it.  Basically, it felt like the writers were justifying Sy's sociopathic behaviour by saying he had a bad father.

Seriously?  Was his father sitting there, telling him to go and terrorize the couple?  No.  Did his father mess him up? Sure, but he's still an adult and he's made his own choices.  I really felt like this was a cop-out.  Lots of people have shitty childhoods, but they don't all turn into crazy people.  I don't want to essentially be told that it's okay that he did this, because his daddy was a bad man.  It's not okay!  Don't feel sorry for the sociopath!  Don't tell me that it's not his fault.

I've seen similar endings in a few books that I've read (although I can't think of their names off hand - I'll add something in the comments if I remember later).  It's similar to the whole deus ex machina concept, although almost in reverse, if that makes sense.  I will accept when a writer tries to make me feel sorry for a victim.  However, once that victim turns around and uses his problems to become the one who is doing wrong, don't expect me to have the same reaction.

It also feels a bit, well, lazy.  "I can't think of a good reason for him to be all crazy-like.  Let's just make him an abused child."  Um, yeah.  Because nothing else makes people crazy.  Believe me, I know a sociopath or two, and they didn't have horribly abusive parents.  They're just that messed up on their own.  I think they get off on the chaos they can cause.


The point is, I didn't like the way the writers chose to end the movie.  I think it would have been better to just end it when the cheating husband came home and his wife stared at him from across the room as the police protection packed up and left.  The explanation of the crazy seemed unnecessary.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sometimes I surprise myself

I just spent four hours waiting for the gas company to come, and no one showed.  Grrr.

In other news, I ended up staying up later than planned last night to watch the end of "William & Kate" on Lifetime. I know, I know, it was cheesy and gimicky, and I didn't plan to watch it!  I just happened upon it as I was searching for something to fall asleep to, and it caught my attention.

I know that everyone seems to have an opinion about the royal wedding these days (probably because it's this weekend, right?), but I don't really have a lot to say about it.  I'll probably watch it if I'm home at the right time - I remember watching Charles and Di when I was a little girl - and I think it would be fun to see.  At the same time, it's not essential for me to watch it.

Also, I'm kind of getting tired of TLC's Wedding Week specials.  There's nothing wrong with weddings, but a wedding should not be the be-all, end-all goal for anyone's life.  I'd rather be watching, well, almost anything else at this point, and it's only Monday.  Luckily, HGTV isn't airing wedding stuff, so I'll spend the week watching home improvement shows.

Watching home improvement shows is actually a good plan because... I've got a house!  Yes, that's right, I will soon give up the apartment dwelling lifestyle, and be stuck doing all of my own repairs... Um... Hm... *reaches for the remote in a panic*  Must watch more HGTV!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's do the time warp!

This has been such a weird week... actually, it's been a weird month.  I swear, the week has started out with three days' worth of Mondays.  Not just any Mondays, but particularly long Mondays.  It's been bad enough that I haven't been able to figure out what day it actually is without looking at my watch AND my phone, to make sure that one of them isn't lying to me.

Then, just as I'm resigning myself to the Monday-ness of the week, Thursday and Friday zoom by and suddenly it's Saturday.  Wha??  So for the last month or so, my week has been: Sunday, Mooooooondaaaaaaay, Mooooooondaaaaaaay, Mooooooondaaaaaaay, Thursdayfriday, Saturday.  It is making me all sleepy.

I'm trying to figure out why the days have been so weird.  At first, I thought that it was maybe because I'm trying to get up early three days a week to exercise.  The problem with that theory is two-fold: first, I've only been doing this for two weeks, not for a month.  Second, I'm doing the exercise thing Monday-Wednesday-Friday, not Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday (or Mooooooondaaaaaaay-Mooooooondaaaaaaay-Mooooooondaaaaaaay).  So I've got no idea.

Is anyone else experiencing this disturbance in the space-time continuum, or is it just me?

Monday, April 18, 2011

A letter from my body

Dear Danielle,

We want to preface this by saying that we love you.  However, after today, we're not quite sure how you feel about us.  The poor legs are exhausted!  You started the day with Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease, and it was hard on them.  And then you wore your Sketchers Shape-Ups all day!  Don't you like your legs?  Or your feet?

And let's not forget your poor skin and back!  What on earth possessed you to start hauling tree limbs around?  We understand that there were nasty storms this weekend, and that your yard was full of debris.  However, you apparently forgot that you're allergic to everything with leaves, and now your hands and arms are covered in little welts from brushing up against pine needles.  Next time you decide to do yard work, please stop and think for a moment, then go put on work gloves and long sleeves.  And instead of hauling the 18 foot tree limb over to the curb by yourself, GO ASK SOMEONE FOR HELP.  Dumbass.

Of course, we can't ignore your brain.  First, you wake up early to exercise, which is really screwing with it.  Then, you spent the day doing statistical analysis.  Can we say ouch?  Granted, you did give in and provide some extra caffeine today, but your teeth aren't all that impressed with the extra dose of sugar.

In closing, please be nicer to us tomorrow, or we'll go on strike, and you'll have to lay in bed like a vegetable.

All the parts of your body

P.S. Here's a picture of the pile of yard debris that was hauled to the curb today, including the 18' tree limb. It doesn't look nearly as impressive in the picture as it did in person.  There was a lot of debris... and still is, but it will require a wheelbarrow to bring it to the front yard.  Also, it will require work gloves and long sleeves.  And some assistance.  Sorry, body.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I saw a play last night...

And it really got me thinking about the distinction between the play and the performance.  I saw "My Fair Lady," and I enjoyed the performance.  Henry Higgins was well-cast, and I only caught his southern accent poke through the British one once, which is quite impressive, because I've heard the actor speak, and his southern accent is quite obvious (at least to me).  The woman playing Eliza was fantastic.  The dancing was good, especially for community theatre (although I could definitely see a difference between the couple that I take ballroom classes with and the rest of the cast!).  The costumes were beautiful, and the set at this theatre always amazes me - it's a small stage, but they definitely make the most of every inch.  I really had a good time, and I liked the performance!


I don't like the play.

The ending of it was, well, unsatisfying.  I really felt like there were a dozen things that needed to happen between scene 5 and scene 7 (the final scene) for the ending to make sense.  Although I suppose some of that is because of the time period it was set in... It turns out that I'm way more of a feminist than I ever thought I would grow up to be!  But it just didn't make any sense, the complete turnarounds made by the two main characters in that last little bit.

And there was a random character, Freddie, who was, well, random.  He sang two songs about how wonderful Eliza was, but he didn't serve a purpose that could not have been filled by another, existing character.

Hmm.  Can you tell I'm in an editing phase?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A quick one

Hello blogglings!

It's been a long week, so this is a short one.  I have done a bit more work on the blanket for Baby Bear, and I even managed to find my camera, so here's a picture!

Section A: 10/10 rows completed
Section B: 90/90 rows completed
Section C: 21/111 rows completed
Section D: 0/90 rows completed
Section E: 0/10 rows completed
Total length: umm... forgot to measure!
Percentage complete: 39%

But you can start to make out the logo now!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Have I mentioned I don't like Mondays?

I started off my day heading to the dealership for brake issues.  Luckily, it wasn't anything major, and I managed to get it all fixed and get to work before 10.  Still, starting that late threw me off.  Then, I found out that the pager company had apparently left me messages that I never received last week, and when I tried calling back, I had to leave a message.  When I finally reached them (late in the afternoon!), they told me that they had discontinued pager service in our area.  Blah!  On the bright side, that meant that I got to turn the problem over to the boss lady.

I ended up with a huge pile of paperwork left on my desk at the end of the day, which will be waiting for me tomorrow.

I went to audition tonight, but because there were so many females auditioning, I didn't get a part.  Instead, I'll be stage managing, which I like, but which will keep me awfully busy.

I did get to talk to my sister tonight, which was awesome, but it was pretty much the only high point of my day.

I'm just feeling blah, and that has resulted in a very blah blog today.  Sorry, blogglings.  I'll try to have a better day tomorrow and Wednesday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm proud of myself!

I went to the dentist yesterday, and I didn't cry!

Yes, I realize that, for most adults, this is a normal occurrence, not something worthy of celebration.  Well, I'm special.

For years, I've had severe dental anxiety.  It was not good.  I didn't go to the dentist for 10 years, because I was so terrified.  Visits to the dentist have been the bane of my existence.  When I was a child, I had a series of horrible experiences with hygienists.  My teeth are very close together, and it's hard to get dental floss between them, even when I'm being super-gentle at home.  These hygienists (and I never seemed to have the same one twice) were brutal.  They didn't care that I was crying and bleeding.  They told my mom that it was because I wasn't taking good care of my gums.  I still firmly believe that it was because they were SLICING UP MY MOUTH.

I had all four wisdom teeth removed at once, under general anesthesia, because my dentist at the time was quite certain that if I only had one done, I wouldn't go back again.  And if I just had local anesthetic, I would never go back to a dentist.  Ever.

Not long after I moved, I chipped a tooth. I was tempted to just leave it, but it was rough and uncomfortable, and I realized that I really did need to see a dentist.  I ended up calling the dentist that everyone in my office sees.  I got an appointment right away, and started panicking immediately.  By the time I was in the chair, I was hyperventilating and squeezing the stuffing out of the stuffed bear I had tucked into the pocket of my hoodie.  (Yes, I brought a stuffed animal.  Like I said, severe dental anxiety.  The bear helped a little.)  He started working on the tooth, and it broke all the way through (not his fault - it was just a defective tooth, hence the original chip).  And do you know what that meant?  That's right!  Root canal!

I freaked out.  I was crying in the chair, and the poor dentist was trying to reassure me, but it wasn't working. He did a temporary filling, and set me up with the uber-dentist to do the root canal a few days later. (I can't remember the title of the root canal guy - cosmetic dentist? Dental surgeon?) By the time we pulled up in front of the office, I was already sniffling.  Tears were running down my cheeks as I filled out the new patient paperwork.  By the time I was in the chair, I was full-out crying.  I feel sorry for the poor technicians who had to deal with me.  I really don't remember much after that, other than more tears and squeezing my bear.

Slowly, though, over the last three years, I've gotten better.  At first, I was still sniffling and hugging my bear during all of my cleanings and exams.  Yesterday, though?  No tears, and the bear stayed in my purse.  I totally blame the awesome dentist and hygienist combination for this change!  Since seeing this dentist, I've had the same hygienist for every visit.  Charlotte knows me, and knows my mouth, and she can distract me and laugh with me while she's doing the cleaning.  The flossing part still sucks, but she's careful and she knows  that's where I can get upset, so she usually launches into a story about something to keep my mind off of it.

So yes, it's a big deal that I didn't cry at the dentist yesterday.  Let's hope this pattern continues!

Blanket update: I've managed two rows.  The pattern now runs from one edge of the blanket to the other, and I've got to twist strands every 2-4 stitches, so it's taking about an hour per row.  It'll be a while...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's Terminal.

Wow, that title sounds way more ominous than I had intended...  Anyway, here's a post about one of my non-writing problems!

I can't sleep.  I've had this problem for a while.  Years, actually.  I talked to my doctor about it, and he told me that I have 'terminal insomnia.'  It sounds way worse than it is.  It's not going to kill me (not any time soon, at least).  It actually refers to the fact that my sleep 'terminates' - I wake up.

I've done a bit of research, and it actually sounds like 'middle insomnia' is a more accurate diagnosis, since I wake up several times, and usually end up going back to sleep in fairly short order.  I was surprised to see that the main cause is thought to be anxiety or stress.  I'm actually feeling way more relaxed in the last few months than I have in a while.  My doctor suggested that it might be allergy-related - as I get all icky, my nose and throat don't let air pass as easily, and I might not be breathing properly.

Lately, I've been waking up about three times a night.  It's been remarkably regular.  I usually go to bed around 10, and fall asleep around 10:30.  I'll wake up around 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30... which is ten minutes before my alarm goes off!  That part really sucks.

But then I did more research, and I found this pretty graph, which indicates that a standard sleep cycle is in the neighborhood of 2 hours long.  And I've been waking up about every two hours... So now I'm wondering just what is going on in my head to make me wake up every time I get into that lighter sleep phase.  Maybe that's when I'm suddenly more aware of sounds outside?  Or my dog's movements?  Or my sniffling?  Hmm... much to think about.

Meanwhile, here's the update on Baby Bear's blanket.  Yes, I've only done 4 rows since last time.  And those four rows took 2 hours, because I'm still new to this whole knitting-with-multiple-colors thing.  And I've lost my camera, so no photo tonight :(

Section A: 10/10 rows complete
Section B: 90/90 rows complete
Section C: 15/111 rows complete
Section D: 0/90 rows complete
Section E: 0/10 rows complete
Total length: 17.5 inches
Percentage complete: 36.9%

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Future is Now!

Yesterday, I attended a baby shower in Canada, from my comfy chair down in the US.  It was kind of awesome.  My sister and I hooked up our computers and I was able to watch her open all of her presents via Skype.  It was more than a little awesome.

I remember, growing up, when video phones were a thing of sci-fi movies.  It was a crazy thought, that anyone could use videos to have conversations.  And now?  The newest iPhone does it portably!  Holy cow!

I'm all about the technology - I've been online since... well, let's not admit how long I've been online.  Point is, I love the way tech is evolving, and I can't wait to see what's next, even if I can't quite afford all of the latest toys.  Funny thing is, though, the more time I spend around hi-tech gadgety bits, the more time I spend on the rather low-tech crafting hobbies I have.

And speaking of crafting, here's the blanket update:

Section A: 10/10 rows complete
Section B: 90/90 rows complete
Section C: 11/111 rows complete
Section D: 0/90 rows complete
Section E: 0/10 rows complete
Percentage complete: 35%
Total length: 16.5 inches

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feeling foolish?

Normally, on April Fools' Day, I'll run across some really great pranks online. This year, I didn't see many, sadly.  I did see several amusing announcements, though!  I loved Nathan Fillion's, though the possibility of Castle getting cancelled made me worry for a second.  Kiersten White's and Lynn Viehl's blogs made me giggle, too.  And I'm left wondering if Blogger's new "View" thing is an April Fools' joke... it doesn't seem, well, useful.

Oddly enough, no one at work pulled any pranks or jokes or anything... unless you count the guys who came to install the new furniture, then left, saying that the tabletops were cut wrong, and that they'd be back Monday.  Except for the part where that wasn't a joke.

Also, some of my Canadian family and friends got a prank from Spring.  It snowed.

I can't remember the last time I was on the giving end of an April Fools' joke.  While I can be witty or even amusing on paper and in real life, I just don't have the right kind of funny to pull off a prank.

What about you, blogglings?  Did you find anything good out there today?  Did you pull a prank?