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.