Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays! (and bon voyage to Bon Voyage)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and continue to enjoy the holiday season. We had a very white Christmas. On Christmas Eve we bundled up to go down to my parents, but didn't even make it to the car. It was snowing badly, very cold, and poor visibility. My husband refused to drive in it. The next day we learned his brother came up the other direction and it took him an hour longer than usual to get to his destination due to the storm, traffic, and accidents. Glad we weren't on the road.


I didn't miss the celebrations as much as I thought I would. I have lots of memories to draw on, and it was nice having a quiet Christmas with just us three. We ate cooked cereal for dinner which tasted very good after coming in from the cold. Then we watched the movie "A Christmas Story". B actually went to bed on time and slept in Christmas Day (until 8 am; his usual time is 6:30, so we were happy). We ate a big breakfast of waffles, sausage, and grape juice, got B dressed and let him discover his stocking while we took turns showering and getting ourselves ready, then took turns opening presents. Christmas Supper was Tyson Pork Roast Kit w/vegetables which we popped into the slow cooker for six hours. It was so yummy and we had leftovers last night, and enough meat that it will feed us for lunch as well. Next time we get one (and there will be a next time) we won't use the seasoning packet. It was good, but a little salty for our tastes. We don't use much salt and pepper, and even have to be reminded to put it on the table when we have company. We have decided that from now on we are celebrating Christmas Eve at home together, start our own traditions.


Presents were good. We all got some new clothes and books. I got a Book Lover's Desk Calendar, some new video games, and a lot of new music to listen to. My husband got the Spiderman movie trilogy, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, some anime, and music as well. B loves his Thomas the Tank Engine Hideaway tent (from us) and his doodle board (from Gma J). We also got a Signing Time pack with three DVDs and a music CD (from Gma W). B loves watching them and does really well imitating both the sounds and signs. B didn't get many toys this year (mostly clothes and books) so we bought him another one when we went to Walmart yesterday to exchange a gift (a duplicate from my wish list). He was very excited when we got the Hot Wheels V-Drop. You can never go wrong with something car or train related. Speaking of cars, he did get a remote control car, but won't be using it much until Summer as we don't have much space to run it inside.


Sadly, after a week of troubleshooting with EA support over my Sims 2 Bon Voyage game not working, it has been labeled unresolved (I do wish they had sent me one last email instead of just changing the tag on their site though). I have all the Sims2 expansions and when we tried uninstalling the whole thing and reinstalling I tried the game after each one and it works fine until the latest expansion. So the problem lies somewhere with Bon Voyage. It's rather depressing that they couldn't find out what the problem is. The game worked fine for three months but last week suddenly stopped working. Nothing changed on my system that I'm aware of. The game simply won't start. I click on the shortcut, get the launch screen, hit launch... get a spinning disc icon then nothing. It says the game is running under Processes in task manager, but that's it. The disc still works as I can install with no problem and My Computer recognizes the disc. Hopefully the next expansion will solve whatever the problem is. In the meantime, I guess I'll uninstall Bon Voyage and play with Seasons instead. At least that one works. I will have to start over though, as none of my saves are compatible with previous versions. Oh well. Starting over can be a refreshing change.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Cookies

Earlier this week we made tiny sugar cookies (thanks Mom for the cookie cutters!). Turned out so very yummy. They are so easy to just pop one in your mouth though... so over half gone already. Tomorrow I'm going to make coconut macaroon cookies. Hopefully those will turn out as well. At least the recipe looks easy. Here's some pictures for you (had to clear the camera for Christmas ;-) ).


Christmas table (before pressies from friends and family).


Sugar cookies, in keeper, then with regular sized mug of cocoa (was a snack, not breakfast). Shapes are Santa, tree, and stocking. Colors are from a neon dye pack (thought we'd do something different this year).



Mmm... cookies... *wanders off*

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Tally - One Week to Christmas

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 89,746

pages: 396

chapters revised: 21/20

Last week's goals:

  • finish going through inbox - slow progress (it's a huge mess)
  • minimum one article a week (new or old) for AC - sent one in as nonexclusive, go rejected because it's already on a highly ranked site (!?) 
  • Wilcox Writers Newsletter - in progress. should get it out today 
  • write a new poem - not happening... a poem can not be forced. one must at the minimum be in the mood, not simply wanting to write a poem

Goals for the next two weeks (no planned update on Christmas):

  • write a synopsis for The Blazing Princess and prep story for submission to Drollerie Press after the holidays
  • minimum one article a week (new or old) for AC
  • get more feedback on plot and character in EotF
  • make list of goals for the new year, and write about this year's goals 

The Celine Dion concert last night was amazing. Gave me chills. One benefit to seeing it on the big screen instead of in person (other than the huge price difference) was being able to see the dancers better. The cameras have the best viewpoint. And Celine is so talented. I loved every single song. It was a night worth experiencing. I was not surprised to learn that the choreographer was Mia Michaels - another talented woman.


Nothing to report writing wise. In some ways the break is nice, but at the same time I feel like I should be writing something. I think I'll go ahead and start fleshing out plot and character sheets for Trinity Coven. That way I'll have more to work with when I start writing next year.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Tonight we are going to see Celine Dion. One of her Las Vegas performances was recorded and will be broadcast to select theatres participating in Fathom Events. It's a one night only event. And we got tickets! I'm very excited.


I was very happy to send B to school today. He woke up full of energy this morning (even singing before getting out of bed). P was feeding off that and things were already getting crazy for the half hour they were together. It's been so nice having my husband work from home the majority of the week (due to icky parking issues at work). Today he volunteered to take B out and wait for the bus. It's been so cold lately.


It has been reconfirmed that electronics don't like me. My Sims 2 Bon Voyage suddenly won't run anymore. Apparently it's not just me. I looked on the forums and others have played just fine for months until it up and won't run anymore. Don't get an error or anything, just hit play on the launcher, get a spinning disc icon, then nothing. *sigh* At least there seems to be a solution. Sounds complicated, but I'll mess with it today. At least it's not the disc itself, or my computer. It's an issue with the software. But that same day (yesterday, that is) I went to turn on a CD in the kitchen while I fixed dinner, and my CD player doesn't work anymore. :-( It will play the radio just fine, but won't spin or recognize discs. I guess it had to die eventually. I've had it for about ten years now. Guess I'll stick to listening to the radio in the other room.


One week until Christmas Eve! Got your shopping done? I didn't bother putting up the tree this year. By the time I was done with one of the puzzles from my birthday, only had a couple weeks left until Christmas. Don't have a lot of space out in the front room, and we don't spend a lot of time out there anyway. So I left the card table up instead, put a red tablecloth on it, and a Santa figurine to watch over the presents. Much less work than shaping and decorating a tree. Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Vocabulary B

B is doing much better with his vocabulary since he started preschool this year. He can point to a lot of pictures if asked, and identify some of them on his own (with a sign or sound if not the actual word). He's a lot more interested in repeating back words and phrases, and is more understandable when he does so. Reading books to him is a lot more interactive now. It's exciting to see the progress.


One more note regarding Rock Band: If you call while one or both of us is playing, please leave a message. There is a high chance that we will not even hear the phone ring (sorry Joanna) or be in the middle of a part where it's hard to pause if we happen to hear it ring. At least we don't play all day (or get many phone calls for that matter...).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Rockin' Tuesday Tally

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 89,746

pages: 395

chapters revised: 21/20

Last week's goals:

  • clear out another chunk from inbox - slow progress (it's a huge mess)
  • finish first read through of EotF - mostly made notes, couple more changes, need other eyes to look at it now while I take a break from it 
  • celebrate finished novels with Liz - mmm, sparkling grape juice. we had a rockin' time! see more below 
  • write a new poem - didn't do this. need a topic. open to suggestions! 

Goals for this week:

  • write a new poem 
  • Wilcox Writers Newsletter
  • minimum one article a week (new or old) for AC
  • finish going through inbox 

Last Friday we bought Rock Band. My husband was interested, and I said "sure, why not". I knew the price, wasn't too excited about that or the game, but thought it would be nice for another one we could play together. I don't really know rock songs, not my fav type of music, but was at least a little intrigued by the idea that it came with a microphone. Rock Band is a glorified karaoke for the X-Box 360 - guitar and drum controllers, and mic. Hesitantly I tried it out with him that night. This game really does rock. Both of us were surprised by how much we enjoy it. It's not hard to learn the basics, and the feeling of rocking out together is awesome.


So, Saturday when Liz was here, we invited her to play with us. She started on the mic, J (husband) on the guitar/bass, and I on the drums. After a bit, Liz and I switched. We created a band for the Band Tour once we got the hang of things - settled on Vapor Furnace (yay for the random generator). There is so much you can unlock with this game. You create a character, unlock venues, clothing, earn cash to buy new instruments and outfits. We even earned a van to go on the road. There's also online play, you can do a battle of the bands, leaderboards, download new song packs, all sorts of stuff. A band can have up to four people - drummer, guitarist, vocalist, and (with a second guitar controller) bass.


My place is definitely on the microphone. The drums are still a little overwhelming (though fun). Sunday J and I started our own band, Unicorn Gun. The same characters can be used on the solo tour, which we haven't tried yet. He's getting better at the guitar, and I'm actually learning some lyrics. Last night we cranked the difficulty up from Easy to Medium. Definitely harder, but we have gotten a couple five stars. We had to increase the difficulty level because we had maxed out our fans on easy, and needed more fans to unlock certain venues. Did I mention how much I love this game? What began as a tentative purchase for both of us has become very worthwhile.


Favorite songs so far: Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and I Think I'm Paranoid by Garbage.


Not us playing, but here's what the game looks like with a full band:


And here is what the instruments look like:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

You've Got Mail

Last weekend we watched The Postman - a post-apocalyptic show with Kevin Costner. After finding undelivered mail, one man delivers some in exchange for food and lodging. But what started as a con becomes a quest to return hope through restoring postal service. Very good show. It made me grateful for the communication lines we currently have in place. It would be difficult going back to a time with no internet, no mail, no tv. No way to know what's going on in the world. Each city would be an island.


I love mail. My daddy is a postman, currently a supervisor at a post office. But I didn't really appreciate mail until we moved when I was in fifth grade. Letters were my link to everything and everyone I knew. I'd rush to be the one to check the mail each day, even going out barefoot in the snow. Getting a letter would make my day. It was a rush. Though it's rare for me to get an actual handwritten letter anymore, what with everyone having e-mail, there's still that little thrill when I hear the mailman come. And sometimes it pays off to be the one rushing out to get the mail. Yesterday my Christmas gift to my husband came. I had to hurry and hide it in the closet before he got a look, especially since the name on the package is his (his name on the card and Paypal account and all).


E-mail is equally addicting, especially with the speed of sending and replies, but I do miss the feel of writing a letter.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesday Tally next gen (err, draft)

Status of my novel

  1. first draft
  2. read and revise for plot
  3. read and revise for continuity
  4. read and edit for grammar
  5. polish prose to prettiness
  6. write query and synopsis
  7. query agents

total words to date: 89,680

pages: 393

chapters revised: 8/20

Last week's goals:

  • start tackling email inbox... - cut pages in half, but still a lot to go through
  • fool around with  - my first flip book is linked below 
  • prep and send Fantasy newsletter and EotF mailing list  - done
  • celebrate finished novels with Liz  - postponed to next Sat due to sickness. Get well soon Liz! 

Goals for this week:

  • clear out another chunk from inbox 
  • finish first read through of EotF
  • celebrate with Liz
  • write a new poem

The page and word count dropped because I cut the first scene entirely. The first part was moved to a different chapter, but the rest is gone. Unneeded. I'm hoping the new first scene (which was the third) is a better place to start. I also rearranged the remaining scenes of chapter one so all of Marian's POV are first, then the two in Jex's POV end the chapter. That should give the reader more time to connect with Marian. Other than that, I've mostly been making notes and a few minor changes. I'll be breaking chapter nine in two, as it's twice as long as the other ones. So far I haven't seen much in the way of plot that needs fixing. Keeping an updated outline with scene details a few chapters ahead of where I was writing seemed to help in that regard. Of course, other eyes will be better to see the plot holes and flaws I'm sure exist.


Here's the flipbook I've finished. It's a fun tool, but does require patience. As does making a website presentable, so I've had practice there.




Three haiku....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday Tally - revisions

Status of my novel

total words to date: 90,000

pages: 395

completed chapters: 20

Last week's goals:
  • finish first draft - feels great to have it done! 
  • clean up excite email inbox - done
  • send out another wave of invites for my website mailing list - progress

Goals for this week:

  • start tackling email inbox...
  • fool around with
  • prep and send Fantasy newsletter and EotF mailing list
  • celebrate finished novels with Liz

I was originally coming up with this elaborate, complicated, step by step revision plan. Then one night while attempting to fall asleep, I had a revelation that it all simplified so very nicely into four steps (cut down from nearly 20).

  1. read and revise for plot
  2. read and revise for continuity
  3. read and edit for grammar
  4. polish prose to prettiness

Much more concise and doable. As Liz won't have much time until after finals, my husband will read my first draft with me (willing and helpful), likely catching both plot holes and continuity errors. Hopefully Liz will be ready to read through it between one and two. I'll open it to the rest of the Wilcox Writers after two. Steps 1-3 will likely be repeated more than once, but it gives me focus for my reading. I've recently joined a new writer's group online, and would love to have more eyes helping out. I just need to decide at what stage to post it for them (second draft maybe?).


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and recovered nicely. :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

*points to sidebar*

May I draw your attention to the word count meter under Emergence of the Fey? Yes, that is an exact count (well, not counting the words "The End"). *does a happy dance* Time to celebrate! Which I will be doing some of at our Wilcox Writers meeting today. Now I must resist even opening it for a week... I know it needs so much polishing. Must stay positive. Enjoy the milestone.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


I am grateful for my Mom. Though my birthday doesn't fall on it this year, I was born on Thanksgiving Day. I know I was a struggle to deal with as a teenager, but I never doubted the fact that my mom loves me. She has always supported and encouraged me. I am amazed that she survived raising nine children. My parents had to make a lot of sacrifices to support all of us. Thank you for everything.


Thankful Thursdays will likely become a part of my regular blogging schedule. Continually looking for things I am grateful for, even on "bad days" has helped my outlook stay more positive.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mmm... Donuts...

I am grateful for having a 7-Eleven just around the corner. I don't go there every time I'm tempted to (thank goodness), but it sure is nice to walk down as a family and buy some donuts or other treats. Chocolate donut tasted so good. I got a variety box with two chocolate, two coconut covered, and two with nuts. Mmm.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Tally and Many Thanks

Status of my novel

total words to date: 86,050

pages: 376

completed chapters: 18

Last week's goals:
  • finish chapter 18 - yay! one step closer to The End!
  • clean up email inbox of 2nd hotmail account - was fairly uncluttered. 3 more emails to go through

Goals for this week:

  • finish first draft 
  • clean up excite email inbox
  • send out another wave of invites to join my website mailing list

Extra thanks today because I didn't write down my thoughts over the last few days.


I am grateful for entertainment. We saw Stardust on Saturday. So glad we did. I could find no flaws - a perfect five star film. Humor, adventure, romance, fantasy. Truly enchanting. It ranks up on the classics with Princess Bride. My type of movie. We will definitely be picking it up on DVD. Yay for movies, books, and games that free us from life's stresses. We finally grew tired of LOTRO and have returned to EverQuest2 after an absence of a year and a half. New expansions have come out, and a lot of other changes have been made - definitely for the better. We did enjoy Lord of the Rings, and stayed there longer after maxing out our characters than we have any other MMO, but we reached a point where we could no longer progress and are tired of running the same instances every week. EQ2 is familiar yet new. When I wasn't writing this last weekend, I was reacquainting myself with the game.


I am grateful for pants that fit. Before seeing the movie, I used the early birthday money from my in-laws to go shopping for new pants. I was lucky to actually find two different styles that fit well. It's hard to find pants that work with my big bony hips and long legs, and aren't low-riders (hate those - feel like they are going to fall off). Love the new Wrangler Aura. Would have bought more of those, but only had one pair the right style and size.


I am grateful for major appliances: dishwasher, fridge, microwave, stove, washer & dryer. Fairly self-explanatory. Less work for me. More time for other things. Definite benefits to living in this day and age.


I am grateful for WRITING. It's the most incredible feeling to get immersed in writing. I love when the rocky struggle finally hits that smooth flow. It reminds me why I love to write and leaves me on a "high" for the rest of the day. I know a lot of my rough draft is just that - rough. But when I reread my work, there are certain scenes where everything shines and it makes me all excited to read more. Hopefully with enough work I can get the whole thing to shine. I need to dig through this chunk of rock to find the gem hinting from within.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Family Traditions and reminders

I am grateful for family traditions. Such as drawing names for Christmas, so I don't have to buy presents for all eight of my siblings every year. That would be a big chunk of cash. It's difficult enough trying to find gifts for the one plus parents on both sides. Another nice tradition that prevents scheduling conflicts or arguments is switching sides for major holidays. For example, this year we go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and my family for Christmas. Next year it will be the other way around.


Unrelated topic: I read a quote today that I really needed a reminder of.


"You fail only if you stop writing." ~ Ray Bradbury


I came so close to quitting this past week. But I didn't. Today I sat down and I wrote another scene. I will finish this novel, and I won't stop there. I'll keep writing, polishing, and submitting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I am grateful for indoor plumbing. No running out into the cold to use a hole or outhouse. No stinking up the house with a chamber pot (stinky diapers are stench enough). Speaking of diapers, I am also thankful for disposable diapers. Yay for convenience.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Tally and survival

Status of my novel

total words to date: 82,191

pages: 359

completed chapters: 17

Last week's goals:
  • write four scenes in WIP - short on this one...
  • make specific plans (time and place) for next WW mtg - everything is decided, location reserved, emails sent 
  • clean out main hotmail inbox - done. whew. four more to go 

Goals for this week:

  • finish chapter 18 
  • clean up email inbox of 2nd hotmail account


I am grateful for my husband. My day always gets better when he comes home from work. (Wishing he was home now...) I don't think I'd survive the week if he didn't get to work from home twice a week. I love my husband. He's sweet, shares common interests, will buy me flowers 'just because'. He's far from perfect, but who is? (Certainly not me...) He's much more patient than I am, a good dad and husband, and supportive of my writing. He already bought my birthday present, and has it wrapped and sitting where I will see it every time I open the closet. He does like to tease. I know he loves me very much. I'm sure looking forward to his hug today.


Less than two weeks to deadline... Fears have crept up, and interfeered with a lot of writing last week. It was easier to focus on timelines and calculating distance and travel than writing closer to "the end". The excitement of near-completion is getting smothered by the doubts and fears. I need to ignore all the emotion and simply write. Only ten scenes left to go. I can do this. Each scene is planned out, all I have to do is expand on that. Past the plotting and ideas stage. I already have the celebration party planned, so it would look bad if I didn't finish now. It's been so easy to find excuses not to write. Running out of time. Still very reasonable if I just do it. One scene a day gets me done a couple days early. I know it won't be a good ending. The rest of the book needs a lot of work, so I'll be doing lots of revisions anyway. I'm not sure exactly what it is I'm afraid of. That I can't meet my deadline? That it's all a waste of time and even after revisions won't be good enough? Am I so determined to fail? This will be my first completed novel. Maybe I'm afraid that I won't be able to do it again. But wouldn't that hinder starting a new project, not finishing this one? Enough with the anxiety. Just write. And write some more. One page at a time.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I am grateful for school. I love B, but it sure is nice to get a break from him. He loves preschool, and I love him going to preschool. He was having a huge tantrum this morning over the child gate in the hall being back up (had it down over the weekend, to move TVs, but had to put it back up for babysitting P) and his entire mood reversed once I mentioned getting ready for school. Angry child became excited child. I loved school when I was little. That love may not have lasted to high school, but I never hated going. It had its benefits. I can't say much for continued education though. Never experienced the college life, and haven't even done much online. Though I am grateful that my husband getting an Associates Degree resulted in a raise. So school is good, even though I'm not always good at it.


On a (somewhat) school related note, I wrote the following Blotz poem for English sometime during Junior High. The form is all about alliteration and the imagination.



He lives in a pink pagoda in Pakistan.

He eats pachysandra plants, pickled parsnip, pancakes, and papayas.

He likes pale pansies, Polaroid prints, perfect pandas, and purple polka-dotted packages.

He’s a passive pachyderm who paraphrases paragraphs and is a paraprofessional in parenting.

He played part of a piano piece with a papa peacock from Paris.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Muse in Music

I am grateful for music. Music and emotions are intertwined. Music can make me cry, sing, dance, inspire. Celtic music is often my muse when writing. It somehow taps into my creativity. When I went about a year without writing, it was listening to Celtic music again that brought back the desire. Lullabies soothe. I wrote a lullaby for my son when he was a baby, and would sing it to calm us both when I nursed him during the night. Even after that, it was part of his bedtime routine for a long time. Music helps memory and learning. It also helps me sleep (though hubby can't sleep with it on, so I have to do without at night; still soothes for naps). Being able to play music on the piano is a beautiful thing. It lets me be a part of the magic. When we get a house, a piano will be one of the first things on my list to buy. Singing music also brings joy and drains stress. I've been in school choirs and church choirs. The thing I miss most from high school is choir. I love music.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christmas Shopping

I am grateful for technology, and that it gets cheaper (and lighter) over time. Namely, we bought ourselves a Vizio 32" wide-screen HDTV (counting as our Christmas present).


Along the lines of Christmas presents, we ordered B's present online and it arrived yesterday. He loves to play in big buckets and make pillow forts, so we got him a Thomas the Tank Engine Hideaway. (Did I mention he loves trains as well?) Yay for getting most of Christmas shopping done early. :-)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Home, sweet home; plus PTC update

I am grateful for a home. We may be in an apartment, but it's not a bad complex. I've seen so many things in the last few months that have reminded me how worse off we could be: the 30 Days episode on Minimum Wage, the movie Pursuit of Happyness, and the movie Newsies (the WGA strike inspired me to watch it again).


I forgot to mention the Parent Teacher Conference. School has been going for about six weeks. B has made sufficient progress in most of his goals, and completely met two already (matching basic shapes and colors). We made some goal updates and they talked about a few more things they can do to help his communication. His teacher and speech therapist both think he's a sweet kid. B "attempts to communicate with words, however, he is usually very difficult to understand." The teacher mentioned how excited she was when he first said "bye" for her, as it was the clearest thing he'd said.


Lately I've realized he's saying actual words more than I thought, but they haven't been recognizable. He's getting better. When he repeats phrases back at me it's sounding more like what I said instead of incoherent babble.


After the conference, we stopped at the school library for the Scholastic book fair (always loved those as a kid). We let B pick out one book. There were a few he looked at, seemed to get excited about, but when we asked if he wanted it he said "boo"(his way of saying no) and shook his head. He finally found one on his own, the topic not surprising:  Mega Wheels: the most exciting cars in the world! He got excited when we bought it. As soon as we got home, he opened it up and we heard "car, vroom, vroom" for the next half hour or so as he pointed to all the pictures. He's my little car fanatic. :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A New Tradition

I'm starting the two weeks of Thanksgiving - each day I will post at least one thing I am grateful for, and why. These will be cross-posted on my blog.

I am grateful for the internet. I met my husband through an online dating service. No internet would mean no email, or blogs, or Author websites and connections, online news, and my few good friends who are all long distance. So many things I wouldn't have without the internet. It may be a procrastination tool at times, but so are many other things I could have been doing instead. As a shy, solitary writer I love being able to connect to people - so much easier with the written (well, typed) word than voice. At least for me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday Tally, kids, and the WGA strike

Status of my novel

total words to date: 80,555

pages: 351

completed chapters: 16

Last week's goals:
  • write newsletters (W.W., Fantasy, and website) - all written and sent
  • finish chapter 17  - finishing today, after babysitting and headache over 
  • update Wilcox Writers on the Web - done

Goals for this week:

  • write four scenes in WIP (in addition to today's writing)
  • make specific plans (time and place) for next WW mtg
  • start cleaning up my email inboxes... (all 4.. err, 5 of them) *note to self: quit packratting messages* starting with my main hotmail account


This Wednesday I'll be attending my first Parent-Teacher Conference. I do have a few questions for the teacher, if she doesn't volunteer the information - such as does B talk at all in class. Question for experienced parents here: Is it okay to bring my child to the PTC, or do I want my husband to entertain him elsewhere?


My regular babysitting days have been M, Tu, Th, and F for quite some time now, two half days and two full. P's grandparents watch him on Wednesdays, but in December they leave for an LDS mission. Which means I'll be picking up the Wed babysitting for a little more money. Not really looking forward to it, but it's only another short day and B is gone to preschool for most of that time. And if I didn't agree to watch him, then P's mom would simply pay someone else to do it. After all the holidays I'll probably be wanting a babysitter on more frequent weekends, to de-stress. We'll see how it goes.


The Writers Guild of America has started their strike. I support the screenwriters, even if it means more reruns and less of my favorite shows. Here's a great video on why they strike and what they fight for:


Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Poem and distractions

Last week my hubby surprised me by buying Ace Attorney: Justice for All, the sequel to the DS game I was playing. But because I got so caught up in the final episode of the first one (even taking it to meals...), I have vowed not to start this one until I finish writing chapter seventeen. And my characters just had to go and create another scene that wasn't on my storyboard. So I will be getting back to writing shortly, hopefully to get one scene closer to finishing the chapter.


Today's poem is another bio poem, but about a person instead of an object. Written 6/28/06.


See this Woman.

Impulsive, timid, empathetic, passionate.

Sister of many, Mother of one.

Who loves the fantastical, music that moves, and someone to hold onto.

Who often feels she is not good enough.

Who cares for her friends and family.

Who gives love unconditional; life to words; a glimpse into her soul.

Who fears separation, rejection, and responsibility.

Who would like to see her byline on a book; the castles of Europe; the sun set on the ocean.

Resident of an emotional landscape.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Post Halloweeen Mortem

I've decided that as a parent I hate Halloween. We didn't take B out trick-or-treating. At three year's old, he doesn't need that much candy, can't even say the phrase, and wouldn't really understand what's going on. But they did have a party at his class, which meant he brought home a bag of candy. I've tried regulating it so he doesn't get sick and it lasts longer, but since he knows it exists he spends way too much time simply begging for candy (currently having a fit on the floor which has lasted nearly half an hour). Maybe when he's older and can regulate it himself (or suffer the consequences) it won't be so bad.


I don't know about regular neighborhoods, but door-to-door trick-or-treating continues to drop in rate since we've been here at these apartments. We got a couple dozen the first year, about a dozen last year, and exactly seven kids this year. This year the complex even handed out fliers to tape to the door if we're giving out treats. I think a big issue is all the safe, community events available. Many churches now hold trunk-or-treating, where everyone brings their car and the kids go around the parking lot to trick-or-treat. Malls are a great place to go, warm and quick, with no danger of questionable treats. The Sandy Southtown Expo Center held a five-day Trick-or-Treat Street. For a reasonable price, you could go get treats there, and participate in the activities, while the money went to a good cause. If we take our son trick-or-treating next year, we'll likely skip the cold and the driving around and simply take him to the mall or one of these community activities.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday Tally, creativity, and brain hemispheres

Status of my novel

total words to date: 77,465

pages: 338

completed chapters: 16

Last week's goals:
  • write chapter 17 (six scenes) - hit a block. did some stream-of-consciousness writing which helped. only got a couple scenes done though
  • update website - done
  • submit opening para of EotF to the LIFPC - submitted first para of my revised opening. didn't final, but glad I participated. 
  • possibly write and submit first para of TC to LIFPC - done. paragraph is below

Goals for this week:

Writing the opening paragraph of Trinity Coven was easier than I expected. I was really dreading starting another novel. Not so much writing it, but just the getting started. I had no idea where to begin. But I went for it, and I'm glad I did. I'm more excited to get to TC now. But can't let that excitement keep me from finishing EotF. I have about 15 scenes left to write. Totally doable. As long as I don't block like I did last week... well, even then. If I write one scene a day, that gives me ten days free for busy non-writing days, panic days, or block days.


Trinity Coven:

Adolf joined his brothers in the dimly lit study of their loft. Guntram, the youngest, lounged in the window seat, somehow managing to fit his legs in front of him. He flicked the remains of a cig out the cracked window that let in the muggy night air. Erwin leaned over a laptop on the desk. Without looking up, he beckoned the eldest brother closer. Adolf pulled up a folding chair and straddled it backward, resting his arms on the back as he scanned the images on the screen. "This is the last coven witch? An albino?"


Anyway, on to some less writing related fun stuff:


I've seen this spinning dancer a few times, and it's always switching directions for me. Which way is she spinning for you? The direction it spins depends on what part of your brain is most active at the time. Clockwise for the right side of the brain, counter-clockwise for the left side. She'll switch on me when she wants to, it's not something I consciously control. The article lists some of the right and left brain functions.


Of course, no one is completely right or left brained. We use both constantly. One side will usually be working harder during different tasks though. The right brain is generally considered the creative side. I took a quiz that bases my degree of artistic-ness off questions that determine whether I answer with my left or right brain. Here's my results, which seem to correlate with how often the dancer changes directions on me:


Your Score: Leonardo Da Vinci

You scored 58% artistic!

You are a true Renaissance person like Leonardo. You could do just well as a painter,musician, inventor, sculptor, architect, engineer or a web designer. As matter of fact anything, if you put your mind to it. This means you are using both hemispheres of your brain equally. Well Done! It's a Gift! That and the dyslexia which many of you might have on some level in this category. Logically, everyone should fall into this category, which just proves that humans aren't 'just' logical beings. Motivation might just be the missing element to your success. When you have so many talents, it is hard to focus and commit to just one. But it's OK, you don't have to. Explore and enjoy all the possibilities! That is what life is about! Always check your spelling and Good Luck on your journey!
Rate This Test So More People Find It! Thanks!

Link: The Are You Artistic? Test written by glassmimosa on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Mmm... Wendy's...

Find out Why - Join the Cause

Monday, October 29, 2007

On the B Front

We've had a potty chair for a while, got B used to seeing it and sitting on it occasionally, but hadn't seriously started training him yet. Once he started brushing his teeth mostly on his own, we've turned the base over to use as the stepstool. The top part fits on a toilet seat, and since B knows what the big toilet is for we've had him sit on it with the booster a couple of times. He's been wearing training pants as they are easier to change with him standing and not much more than a pack of diapers at the size he would need.


Yesterday he was acting like he needed to 'go' so I asked if he wanted to sit on the toilet. He ran right in and as soon as I put the seat on he started pulling off his pants. We had success! He actually used the potty! It wasn't much, and he filled his pants more after going to bed, but he seems to be ready for training. It's true what they say - they'll let you know when they're ready.


Now I have to train myself to ask him frequently and have him sit on the toilet first thing before and after bed. This morning he's already come to me wanting to sit on the toilet. All false alarms, but at least he has the desire. Seems to need to go, but can't. Maybe grape juice and raisins would help...


Saturday morning we got the call every parent wants to hear - Grandma wants to take the kid for the weekend. Yay! That afternoon we dropped B off at my in-laws, and didn't have to pick him up until over 24 hours later. It was great. We got some good couple time, and also had a blast doing a new dungeon with some friends in LOTRO without having to stop and get B snacks, change his pants, get him to bed, check on him, etc. And we slept in until 9:30 am. Heaven. :-)


Hubby's dad said that babysitting B was a breeze. Apparently he would always complain after having his other grandkids over - too noisy, rowdy, messy, or what not. B is a good kid. Well mannered, not too noisy, neat eater and not picky, willing to play by himself, and will help pick up toys. I'm lucky to have such a well-mannered kid. He's a sweetheart and I love him very much.


This poem was written almost exactly one year ago, on 11/01/06. The poetry form is Dorsimbra.


Little Mirror

A little mirror stands in front of me:

his ears stick out of hair as blonde as mine.

To mimic is a game that brings such glee;

where will this strong resemblance draw the line?


His wide grin mirrors mine as well,

eyes squeezed shut over dimpled cheeks.

Will he also take on my faults --

run into walls, have allergies, and an absent mind?


I need to act and speak so carefully

if he is to reflect each thing I do;

an "uh-oh" turns my head to face my son --

a little mirror stands in front of me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I haven't had a book to read for a bit, but I'm still getting some great story and characters - by way of a DS game. I've been playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I bought it a week ago and am already on episode 3 of 5. Lots of fun, and helps me with my observation and deductive skills. As a defense attorney, you get to investigate crime scenes, gather evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. The tough part is knowing when to press a witness and knowing what evidence to present when. If you get something wrong, you lose points with the judge. Lose too many points and it's game over. There's two sequels out now that continue the underlying story.


Another great story-based DS game is Hotel Dusk: Room 215. It plays like a detective story - the protagonist is a former cop and is searching for his old partner. He unravels the mysteries of the hotel's past to find the answers he's looking for.


Yesterday I bought a house! Well, the only one I could afford... a house in Lord of the Rings Online. Their most recent update included player housing. Hubby and I bought deluxe houses in the dwarf homestead near Thorin's Hall. Nice stone architecture, and great location. You can make or buy furniture for decoration. As a woodworker I was able to make some bookshelves and a table. The only decoration I bought for now is a nice purple rug. I spent most of my money on the house, so can't afford to fully furnish it right now. All that is decoration anyway, the best parts of owning one are the recall home and extra storage space.


Another involving game right now is Puzzle Quest. We have the X360 version. It's the same gameplay as the DS one, but is bigger and easier to navigate (fit more on one screen), and cost less. The puzzle part is similar to Bejeweled, but you use the colored gems to get mana and cast spells and attack your opponent. There's a purpose to all the puzzles - questing, capturing enemies to learn their skills, and train mounts. I've barely begun to explore the world. There's a big part of the map still inaccessible.


It may sound like this gaming gets in the way of my writing, but the last few days I've done more zoning out than anything else. I don't know why I've been so cold and tired; even on the warmer days like yesterday I still felt like burrowing under a blanket.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Tally, Living Good

Status of my novel
total words to date: 76,371
pages: 333
completed chapters: 16

Last week's goal(s):
  • write one scene a day - took a break Sunday, but made up for it by finishing two scenes yesterday

Goals for this week:

Feeling a lot better health wise. B and I are going to the Living Planet Aquarium with my mom today. None of us have been, so it should be a great experience. *note to self, remember camera.*

B is doing great with sleeping in the bed. I think we trained him too well, though. Bed time was no problem, he got real excited and stayed in bed all night. The first time we tried getting him to nap though, he had a fit. He was sick and super tired, so we insisted he take a nap, though that meant his dad kept putting him back in his room and on the bed. Eventually he didn't come out of the room, calmed down, and later we saw he fell asleep on the floor. The problem is, now he won't get off the bed without permission, in the morning or after a nap. Part of the bed appeal was me not having to get him up... Ah well. At least we don't have to worry about him climbing, falling, and hurting himself. And it is quicker than lifting him out of a crib.

Writing one scene a day has been awesome. If I had known what an emotional rush it would be to reach that mini "end" each day, I would have started a lot sooner. It's really not that much more writing than the 500 words a day I tried for before, and is a lot more fulfilling. Writing is addictive. It makes me happy. I feel so empowered after a good day of writing, even if the writing itself was struggling. This really is what I want to do with my life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Quick update

I've been sick, but still keeping up with my one scene a day, staying on top of my goals for first draft completion and 70 Days of Sweatin'. Thanks to everyone who's been coming over and cheering me on. :-)

Regular blog posts will resume tomorrow. For now, nap time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday Tally

Status of my novel

total words to date: 72,230

pages: 314

completed chapters: 14

Last week's goals:
  • finish chapter fifteen - slacker I am... got two scenes still to write 
  • update website - done
  • brainstorm fantasy newsletter ideas - came up with a couple. going to stick with worldbuilding topics, as that seems to be my strength.  

Goals for this week:

  • starting tomorrow, write one scene a day (got to make use of my time off from babysitting, and make up for slacking this last week)
  • umm... formulate more goals. yeah. 

Everyone here is sick to varying degrees. That includes P. Wishing I could take a nap. Maybe once P is down for his afternoon one, I can lay down while hubby keeps B off me.


I haven't started my 70 days of sweat yet. Two long babysitting days in a row is stressful, 'specially with sick ones.


This evening we'll be converting B's crib into a toddler bed. Yay for convertible cribs ($80 at Walmart!). Now that he can get in and out, in the dark, half-asleep, with the side up or down, there's no point in the crib anymore. Don't want him hurting himself getting out in the morning. I'll have to let P's mom know we're changing it though, as P is only a year old and may not sleep on a bed. May need to bring a play pen or something for him to nap in if the crib is gone. I'll leave that up to her.


Don't think I had anything else to blog about... Brain too foggy. *yawn*

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sweat - physical and mental

Exercising has been a challenge these past few weeks, which means I really haven't been doing so at all... Our Xbox will no longer read the Yourself Fitness! disc. Thankfully it's compatible with the Xbox360, but that also means I now have to exercise in the bedroom instead of the front room.


Challenges: 1) less space, for the cardio and flexibility I have to move diagonal instead of forward-back. 2) if my son doesn't nap (which is more days than not), I can't simply leave him on the other side of the kid-gate, which means he gets in the way, even when he tries to "exercise" with me, so I have to wait for hubby to be home to distract him.


Initially I considered exercising without the program, but that doesn't work for me. I need the direction, otherwise I spend about five minutes doing sit-ups, squats, and jumping-jacks. I am lost without my "personal trainer".


My babysitting schedule has also interfered, being abnormal as P's mom had a lot going on, and is currently working extra hours before going on vacation. Said vacation starts this Wednesday. I will have a week and a half off before going back to a regular schedule. So, I am determined to use that time and get back into a good exercise routine, even if that means hubby has to take B into the other room and distract him. I'm also upping the workout from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. The shorter workout doesn't cut it anymore. My metabolism finally slowed down this year - I don't have the same energy even after working out, and for the first time (pregnancy excluded) I have a hard time zipping up my pants. My tummy pooch is getting bigger. *cry* Motivation to do crunches even on the off days.


Sven's 70 Days of Sweat starts today. I think I'll actually sign up this time. I don't have enough word count just from my WIP (which I plan to finish long before January anyway), but I think I've found enough I could do to get the word count. The idea is to write a minimum of 750 words a day for at least 70 of the 93 days (Oct. 15 through Jan. 15)(totaling 52,500 words). So, here's the breakdown.

  • finish WIP (apx 18k)
  • add another 10k in revision (aka finish draft 2)
  • write query letter (500 words)
  • and synopsis (1500 words)
  • synopsis of Trinity Coven (1500 words)

Hmm, nope. still 15k words short. Then again, during rewriting I may end up doing that amount of words in rewritten scenes. Plus I can do in depth character sheets for T.C., and maybe even start writing it. Poetry is always an option as well. It would be a push, but I'm already going to be sweating to finish Emergence, so may as well keep sweating after. Right? Feel free to speak up if you think I'm crazy and/or setting myself up for disaster. LOL

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Trying to Relax

Been stressed lately. It's the compilation of multiple things, nothing to articulate here. Suffice it to say I'm worn out. (sounding like an echo of another blog I read today...) Too much of a headache to write at the moment. Getting behind. Hopefully I can still hit my goal. Going to listen to some soothing Celtic Moods, and read some Eclipse.  It's the most of an escape I can get right now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday Tally, Tools, and Toys

Status of my novel

total words to date: 71,226

pages: 310

completed chapters: 14

Last week's goals:
  • write WDC Fantasy newsletter - let this one slide... guest editor stepped in. may be about time to step down if I'm having such a hard time getting ideas. 
  • write three new scenes in WIP  - completed
  • send out poetry. really this time. - submitted four poems to 1097 Magazine  

Goals for this week:

  • finish chapter fifteen
  • update website
  • brainstorm fantasy newsletter ideas 

I learned about this new tool, The Gender Genie. You input an excerpt of writing and it tells you if it is male or female. I seem to be doing good according to its analysis as the Jex POV scenes I inputted came out mostly male, and the Marian POV ones female. I hope my males don't act or speak too feminine, as it's not something I consciously think of when I write. I'll have to remember to ask the guys that read a later draft how they think I did.


I finished the Melanie Rawn book, Spellbinder. Very good. It even inspired a few details for my own modern-day witchcraft and romance novel I'll write someday. The setting and plot may be completely different from anything she's done before, but one thing remains true - Melanie Rawn writes memorable and complex characters that stay with me long after I put down the book.


In some non-book related news, we bought a new vacuum (Bissell). After using it on our two main rooms (Front Room/Dining Room and Main Bedroom/Media Room), it was obvious how badly our five-year-old vacuum was doing. The dirt cup was full to the brim from the one day vacuuming, so much dirt that our old one wasn't picking up.


While shopping at Walmart for the vacuum, I bought a Cars matching game for B. He doesn't have the patience for the memory game aspect, even if we leave the cards up after turning, but he's good at taking turns. Today we set all the cards face up and I let him find all the matches. He's quick and only made a mistake once. It was fun seeing him bounce and get all excited every few matches. This is the first game we've bought to play with him, and it appears I made a good choice.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday Poem

Too cold at the moment to do much thinking or writing, but not quite cold enough to turn on the heater. So, without further ado, on to the day's poem:


This is a poem which I wrote during high school. The assignment was to write a bio poem about an object instead of a person. Last year it was published in an online press, The Pink Chameleon.


Romantic, Passionate, Sensuous, Aromatic

Begat from thorns

They feel the fertile soil beneath

And the cleansing tears from above

Yearning to see the dawn of tomorrow

Fearful of a careless trimmer

Resident of a sweetheart's garden

Giving life to lovers

These are the Roses

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Good Night Had by All

Shoutout to my sister, Liz, who finished the first draft of her novel! Once I finish mine, we'll go through the editing and submission process together. I'm excited that I won't be doing it alone.


Last night we ate at Outback Steakhouse. The quality of service surprised us. When the server asked us how our food was, my husband was honest and said okay. The server asked what about it he didn't care for, then went and brought back a manager. The manager asked how the dish could be improved (hubby didn't care for the pasta sauce, too bland). She then asked if he wanted anything else on the menu instead, and they would fix it immediately. He passed on that, as he ate the chicken already, as well as most of my son's untouched food, so wasn't hungry anymore. The manager said the entree was taken off our bill and wished us a good night.


What surprised us about this visit: First, most servers at restaurants would be fine hearing okay and wouldn't inquire further or do anything to improve the customer's experience. Second, when the manager came out we expected to be reimbursed with a coupon for "buy one meal, get one 50% off" or similar, not a FREE meal. We were very pleased with the experience and impressed by the service, and will definitely be back. And, we will not be afraid to try a new dish.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tuesday Tally; and My Sweet Little Boy

Status of my novel

total words to date: 69,814

pages: 304

completed chapters: 13

Last week's goals:
  • first website newsletter - written up and sent to my small mailing list 
  • finish ch. 13 plus 3 more scenes - done!
  • send out more poetry - didn't get to this one, though I did pick a few target markets  

Goals for this week:

  • write WDC Fantasy newsletter
  • write three new scenes in WIP
  • send out poetry. really this time.

My son is cute - every time he watches Toy Story (1 or 2) he has to get his Mr. Potato Head to come sit by him. (Any guess what he's watching right now?) Lately B has been very into forts. He sets himself up cornered in by the nightstand and our two lovesacs, then has me drape a blanket over the top. Not the most effective, keeps caving in, but he still loves it. I'd be happy to buy him a playhouse or build-a-fort thing, but we don't have the space here. At least he uses his imagination. Last Thursday he spent a good part of the afternoon as a tiger. His shirt was black and yellow striped, and he crawled everywhere, growling.


And here's a non-writing related goal that I better state or I'm never getting around to it: call the autism research study TODAY, as soon as P is napping. It's been a couple months since I last called. I need to know if anything is happening with this, or if I need to get B tested elsewhere. My husband and I really don't think he has autism, but there are mild forms, and it would be good to know for sure (and the dentist, of all people, is insisting we get him tested). Gah, I'm horrible with professional conversations, phone or otherwise (not that I'm much better with personal conversations). It's been so easy to put this off... But I will do this. Today. Or tomorrow at the absolute latest. I will report back on Thursday. Feel free to poke me inquire if I don't volunteer the information.


Update: Well, I wrote this post about four hours ago and still can't connect to blogger to post it, so updating now. I just got off the phone with the research center. To qualify for their testing and studies, he would need a certain number of points after scoring the qualification paperwork we filled out (about a dozen pages). B only has half the points he would need to pass the cut off, and is in a normal range for kids his age (according to the the person I talked to). They will keep our paperwork in case any studies open up with lower cut offs, but I don't feel we have any need to worry. His only problem is the speech. He hears fine, understands fine, socializes, and has a normal attention span. He does get additional help from the school district by way of one on one time with an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. He has added to his vocabulary in the past few months, and every new word is exciting. We just get to continue being patient with him and encourage him to communicate.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Personality Type

I'm an occasional lurker over at Fangs, Fur, and Fey and fairly recently came across a discussion on Writer's Personality Types. I've done the test before, but it had been a long while, so I revisited it.

I took the test twice, about a week apart, with two different answers. I am a definite I-F- (Introverted, Feeling) but am borderline between ISFJ and INFJ (Sensing vs iNtuitive).  I'm slightly Judging instead of Perceiving, but apparently consistently so.


strength of preferences both times:

Introverted 89% (consistent)

Sensing 12% first time / Intuitive 25% second time

Feeling 38% (consistent)

Judging 11% (consistent)


I think I was more honest the second time, as the iNtuitive is more often applicable - mostly in the past or future, often have doubts, more attracted to the theory than the practice, don't like routine (well, I like some sense of routine, but not too binding). Sensing types are practical, active, realistic, self-confident, observant... yeah, not so much me. Though I do like pleasures based on physical sensation. (Breakdown of types.)


I suppose my favorite quote even follows the intuitive nature.

"The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


On that topic, here is today's poem:


More Than What You See

(written 03/15/07)


I am only half what you see --

you can't learn all from a picture;

yes, you seem my hair is blonde,

my eyes are blue,

perhaps estimate my height...

but my fair skin and features are not all

that make me who I am.


I am thoughts, ideas,

creations, emotions,



I am tears --

let loose so easily

but making me strong not soft.


I am survivor --

wrought in the fire

to strengthen my faith.


I am chiaroscuro --

not all light or dark alone

but the contrast and shadows they create.


I am love --

wrapped gently

around my husband and my son.


I am seeds --

blown from a dandelion

swept up by the air in flight.


I am words --

brewing inside of me

are ideas that will form poems and stories.


I am me --

take me or reject me,

but you cannot change me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Books, Books, Books

Originally posted on freewebs blog Nov. 1, 2006. updated notes in violet.


1. One book that changed your life: The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley. My fifth grade teacher recommended it to me. Before that, I read mostly mysteries. This book really hooked me on fantasy and is one of the reasons I write fantasy today.

2. One book that you've read more than once: The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Every time I read it I'm affected emotionally. It's a reminder to be grateful for memories, diversity, and the beauty of color. The first time I read it was for school, but I got so into it that I finished it way ahead of schedule.

3. One book you'd want on a deserted island: The Book of Mormon. If I'm going to be alone on a deserted island, it would serve me well to grow closer to God.

4. One book that made you laugh: Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham. My husband and I read it together and had to put the book down a few times we were laughing so hard. Though I cried in that one as well.

5. One book that made you cry: Many books have made me cry. Hmm, to name just one – Bridge to Terabithia. There is a good reason that book won a Newberry Award. Tragic, moving, and a book I'd definitely recommend to everyone.

6. One book you wish you'd written: That's easy: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Nearly instantly famous worldwide, if someone hasn't read it then they at least know the name, and they made a movie off it as well. Who wouldn't want all that? updated: okay, I don't really want ALL that. there are downsides to the fame thing. tons of people buying your books, each with their own expectations, and you can't please everyone... and will your next book be as good as the first? fame means pressure! not that I know from experience... but have you seen the movie Misery? definitely represents the worst case scenario of being a famous writer

7. One book you wish had never been written: I can picture a vague scene from a book in mind, but I couldn't get more than a few chapters into it, let alone remember the title.

8. One book you're currently reading: Last night I finished reading Blood Pact by Tanya Huff. I had read one of her short stories in a fantasy anthology and immediately fell in love with her humor and writing style. The Blood Books have lived up to expectations and I have a hard time putting them down. updated: I have since read all the Blood Books. Still recommend them for good vampire stories and character growth throughout a series. Current read: just bought and started Spellbinder by Melanie Rawn. I've loved her other work, so hopefully I'll love this one as well, even though it's different than her previous books.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

thoughts on Windows Live Writer

I've been using Windows Live Writer for two weeks now. I'm getting used to the formatting - start new paragraphs in Normal or HTML view, as pressing enter does unexpected things in the other view modes. I'd like a font size change shortcut on the toolbar, but it is changeable under fonts under format. One thing that did throw me off is the Web Preview. It looks wrong. But I found out it's showing the IE version. I hadn't ever seen my blog through IE. Don't care for it honestly. Too many spaces. I much prefer the Firefox view. Once I figured out the difference it's not a problem.


I LOVE being able to compose and save drafts offline. My main problems come in trying to actually post an entry, as it doesn't want to connect very often, but that's my typical connectivity problem, NOT Windows Live Writer problem, and the reason I like having it saved offline.


I have yet to get a plugin to install. I've downloaded one, but it gave me an error "must have Windows Live Writer installed." Umm, I do have it installed, and that's where I got the link to the plugin page... Oh well. Maybe it's a version issue. What I want is a plugin for easy copy/paste from webpage (namely blog) or some sort of blog template. I copy/paste the previous week's Tuesday Tally to easily do the new one each week, moving goals from this to last week, etc. I may have to make my own template, save the HTML elsewhere.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday Tally - brought to you by Ubduk

Status of my novel

total words to date: 65,722

pages: 285

completed chapters: 12

Last week's goals:
  • finish last couple days of 100 day challenge - all done!
  • dig up the best posts of freewebs blog and cross post them here - posted one, have two more to share
  • finish current revisions for Mirror - done. Liz read it and had issues though. will wait for hubby to read it again before making more changes, but afraid she's right - most everything happens to the MC, she doesn't struggle much to solve things herself. Not sure how to fix the issue though. May not be something that can be fixed. I like Mirror, but I know The Blazing Princess is much better.  
  • finish chapter 13 - finishing last scene today, due to not writing yesterday
  • outline my first ever website mailing - I have a simple email planned. Now if only I can find which folder I saved it in... 

Goals for this week:

  • write up website mailing to send out Oct. 1 (visit my website to subscribe!)
  • finish chapter 13 and write three additional scenes 
  • send out more poetry

I received another rejection for a poem. And I have another batch that I'm about to give up on. Time to find a few more markets, get some more submissions out.


Remember how I mentioned entering the Writer Unboxed contest? The winner was announced today. My word Ubduk was listed as one of the honorable mentions. Here is the definition, and the rest of my entries:


Ubduk (n.) - monster that abducts your muse, leaving you with writer's block. Yesterday I was visited by Ubduk and got no writing done.

Haeva (n.) - a soft, tender term of endearment for a loved one. (Feyan word in my novel.) "Don't worry, haeva. You'll see me plenty once everything is over."

droolicious (adj.) - so delicious sounding or looking that it causes one to drool. I bought some Chocolate Chunk Macadamia nut cookies because they are so droolicious.

sexth-sense (n.) - a child's ability to always interrupt when his parents are getting naked. Our son exercised his sexth-sense, waking up from a deep sleep for no apparent reason other than to interrupt us.

Monday, September 24, 2007

20 Questions (well, make that a dozen)

Nikki tagged me with this meme.


1. What I was doing 10 years ago: Wow, I was only 14 ten years ago. That was ninth grade. I was drooling at boys from afar, unable to date yet but had "huge" crushes on a couple different boys. That's really all I wrote about in my journal... I was also doing less homework, caring less about school - didn't want to be the "smart girl" who "always has perfect grades" when everyone is comparing report cards. I didn't want people to think I was a snob, but apparently being smart and quiet gives that impression to some. Anyway, moving on to question two...


2. Five years ago: Freshly married (8 months), adjusting to living with my in-laws after both of us no longer had jobs, and doing a ton of cross-stitching.


3. One year ago: I was waiting for a new video card as mine went out, submitting lots of poetry, my son went through a developmental skills evaluation, and last October I started babysitting.


4. Yesterday: I wrote 1k plus words on my WIP. Yay! Also watched Broken Arrow (I love Christian Slater) while doing laundry, then that evening watched Wild Hogs with my hubby. We picked up the former on sale used, hadn't seen it since high school; good show. The latter was from Netflix, and was absolutely hilarious; laughed out loud a lot.


5. 5 snacks I enjoy: Almond Joy, roasted almonds, Reese's Pieces, Red Vines licorice, and golden delicious apples.


6. 5 things I would do if I suddenly had $100 million: Buy a house, hire a maid, travel (see #7), buy a grand piano, and give some to family.


7. 5 locations I would like to run away to: England, Hawaii, Egypt, New Zealand, and Venice.


8. 5 bad habits I have: procrastinating, forgetting about laundry, sucking on my teeth, running out to the garbage bin barefooted despite the weather or broken glass, and not planning dinner until everyone is hungry and asks "What's for dinner?".


9. 5 things I like doing: Reading books, watching movies, playing video games, reading blogs, and writing.


10: 5 TV shows I like: Heroes, Lost, Biggest Loser, Til Death, and Firefly.


11. 5 things I hate doing: cleaning, paying bills, changing diapers, cooking, and brainstorming ways to fix a broken story or scene.


12. 5 biggest joys of the moment: Hubby, son (B), progress on novel, sending B off to preschool, and completely immersing myself in a good book.


Alright, your turn. I tag Liz, and anyone else who wants to do this. You can link your entry here in the comments, or post it here if you don't have a blog or don't want a separate entry.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

100 Day Challenge - Complete!

Update: The 100 days are over! Yesterday was day 100. You can see my results below. I wrote a total of 40,677 words over the 100 days (4x the minimum 100 words daily would total). Almost 3/4 of that was toward my novel. I took the challenge in order to write more regularly on my WIP, and to that it was a success. I'm very happy with my accomplishment. I'm still going to try writing every day, but won't punish myself if I miss one occasionally. Did you take the challenge? How did you do?

Here I'll keep a running total of my writing count. The goal/challenge is 100 words every day for 100 days. First day was June 13. I'll update this every couple of days. (In case it's not obvious, first number is challenge day, second is number of words written that day.)

  1. 156
  2. 131
  3. 247
  4. 286
  5. 116
  6. sick day
  7. 103
  8. 105
  9. 358
  10. 133
  11. 143
  12. 212
  13. 474
  14. 428
  15. ? unknown actual count... tons of editing, a few new scenes, forgot to count... *blush*
  16. 154
  17. 160
  18. 166
  19. 220
  20. 510
  21. 378
  22. 194
  23. 539
  24. 513
  25. 129
  26. 182
  27. 528
  28. 879
  29. 1080
  30. 240
  31. 670
  32. 404
  33. 144
  34. 683
  35. 717
  36. 1285
  37. 387
  38. 300
  39. 636
  40. 842
  41. 509
  42. 335
  43. 211
  44. 607
  45. 360
  46. 696
  47. 602
  48. 550
  49. 619
  50. 666
  51. 518
  52. 593
  53. 511
  54. 517
  55. 151
  56. 528
  57. 522
  58. 638
  59. 220
  60. 345
  61. 139
  62. 272
  63. 646
  64. 514
  65. 138
  66. 504
  67. 150
  68. 117
  69. 592
  70. 141
  71. 1039
  72. 507
  73. 629
  74. 715
  75. 543
  76. 263
  77. 385
  78. 524
  79. 166
  80. 320
  81. 271
  82. 232
  83. 117
  84. 544
  85. 300
  86. 171
  87. 124
  88. 699
  89. 552
  90. 499
  91. 598
  92. 189
  93. 192
  94. 333
  95. 1246
  96. 677
  97. 103
  98. 648
  99. 140
  100. 250

* last updated September 22

Friday, September 21, 2007

Marian's thoughts*, 1st of Sleeping Moon, age 10

* this memory was never recorded on paper, as Marian did not know how to write. but these were her thoughts that day

Today is the first day of Sleeping Moon. It is also my birthday. To celebrate my ten years, Mother bought a cream cake from the baker. The plum frosting is tangy, but when my teeth break through the cake, the smooth, rich, butter cream floods into my mouth. My sister Terra and I eat slowly, as we only get to eat cream cake on birthdays. Father bought me a new dress from the fancy shops in Valadilene. The dark green is the prettiest I've seen, and there are actually bells sewn into the hem! What fun it will be to jingle when I dance at Winter Feast next month. Terra gave me my own brush. Flowers are carved into the wooden handle; it's so pretty.

Birthday celebrations will be over by dark, as tonight is winter solstice - longest night of the year. As the sun sets, we will light candles. They will remain until dawn or until they burn out. We can't speak at all the whole time the candles are lit. We're supposed to keep to ourselves. I will have much to be grateful for as I rest tonight.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

*pulls out hair*

Warning: long, ranting post with no breaks.

Today is a really sucky day. B (see new abbreviations on the sidebar) started off by not leaving P alone - pushing, hitting, pulling his face, etc. I tried warnings, firm admonitions, spankings, attempted time out where he wouldn't stay put in his room for even two minutes, and finally resorted to keeping P on my lap where he would be safe until B moved on to other things. At least he's not always like this, just goes through these moods. He wasn't mad this morning, just seemed to see how I would react. I don't know. Anyway, once the boys were playing nicely, they moved into B's room. They were making normal playing noises, I would hear an occasional slam and assumed it was B's wooden bench, as usual. Eventually they came back in here (Master Bedroom/media room) and B started watching a show. P got cranky, so I picked him up to put him down in the crib for a nap. I went into B's room and about cried. One or both boys (assuming B, as he's taller) had emptied the drawers of B's dresser, and the backs had been broken off two of three. His plastic table was pulled apart, but that's typical when P is here. P had taken all the outlet covers out (aren't those supposed to be uninteresting and child deterrent? why is he so fascinated in them?? just plain plastic covers). *gah* Then, of course, as I haul the two broken drawers over the gate so they can't play with them, I gouge my foot with a broken edge. No blood, but a lot of scraped skin. And now B is interrupting the finally quieted P by banging on his door!!! *cries* And this is a long babysitting day, too. Not even 11am and I watch him 'til about 4pm... Hopefully everyone will survive this day...

On a positive note, my husband bought me flowers on Tuesday. Beautiful cream and violet roses. Once P is sleeping safely, I'm going to go bask in their presence and eat a brownie. In need of comfort food.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday Tally - 10 weeks to deadline

Status of my novel

total words to date: 64,040
pages: 277
completed chapters: 12

Last week's goals:
  • keep working on 100 day challenge - still keeping on top of it
  • write W.W. newsletter - finished and mailed
  • fix at least one of the two major problems with Mirror - my story is now over 10k words... maybe after the additions I can do some trimming
  • write at least one scene in Emergence - just one, but hey, that was the goal!
  • decide what to do with freewebs blog - kinda-ish on this one. I've been putting off making a solid decision. for now, will start with related goal listed below...

Goals for this week:

  • finish last couple days of 100 day challenge
  • dig up the best posts of freewebs blog and cross post them here
  • finish current revisions for Mirror
  • finish chapter 13
  • outline my first ever website mailing (visit my website to subscribe!)
With just under ten weeks until my self-imposed deadline for novel completion, I wanted to have an estimate on the number of scenes I would need to write, as I could very possibly reach 90,000 words and not be at The End. So, I spent three hours on Saturday storyboarding the rest of my novel, scene by scene. Some are more fleshed out than others, and some may be completely different when I get there, or nonexistent, but I have a much better idea now. 33 scenes left to write and I'm done! My deadline is still looking manageable - about 2,500 words a week or just over 3 scenes a week. My current scenes average 800 words, so I should end about the same whether I go by words or scenes. Feel free to wish me luck, but I'm thinking this will be more work than luck. A good kind of work though. Much better bossing characters around (or in some cases them bossing you), than being bossed at a regular job (or bossing other people for that matter).

If you have any topics you'd like me to blog about, writing or otherwise, feel free to suggest them. If you'd rather not make a public comment, you can always email me at feywriter(at)hotmail(dot)com.