Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Notice

Sorry to any who read my blog regularly but I have decided to take the week off while I am in NJ. will be back on Wednesday the third.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Singing Count Down 1: Who Spiked the Egg Nog

Another from Straight No Chaser, I love these guys! Their Christmas CD is one of my favorites I have listened to it pretty much non stop. This one is just fun and well it was Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Advent Singing Count Down 2: Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel

This is THE advent song, oh come Emanuel, come God with us, for we wait and long for you to come to us. this has been my church's call to worship ever week during advent.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent Singing Count Down 3: O Holy Night

Every year my grandfather sings this song as the Cole Christmas gathering, I'm not always there but i often think about it, it is one of my fondest Christmas memories. Sadly sense grandpa's stroke he doesn't sing as well as he used to.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent Singing Count Down 4: Christmas Time is Here

What Christmas is complete without the Charley Brown Christmas Special?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent Singing count down 5: white Christmas

there is something about this movie and this song. particularly this time in the movie when he sings it. there is just something about him standing there in front of a backdrop of a snow covered village singing to the men in uniform with their weapons stealing a few moments from the war trying to forget that they are in Europe fighting a war far away from their family and friends this Christmas. To all our men and women in uniform thank you for giving up so much for us. this one is for you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

advent Singing count down 6: Christmas Can-Can

why do I love this one? well first it mocks the craziness that Christmas has become, points out one of my frustrations that Christmas starts sooner every year, and gives a little nod to the other holidays that happen this time of year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Myth and Fairy

Myths and Fairy stories get a bad rap. they are about things that don't exist in the 'real' world and there for are nothing but mindless fancies and promote Escapism. That is at least ow may people treat fantasy. yet for some reason fantasy has become one of the most popular genres in literature. Yet these books deal with untruths and therefore are not worthy of any kind of real thought or inquiry.

Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara start their book From Homer to Harry Potter with an introduction which discusses why people miss understand the literature of faerie, why it is dismissed and reduced to a single "easily digestible platitude, moral or allegorical meaning." (22) and even farther into "equating myth with falsehood, fantasy with escapism, and fairy tale with the nursery."(22) these are dangerous places which attempt to make the Faerie stories and those who read and write them of a lower intelligence then those who do not read such immature and foolish work.

The worst equation by far is the idea of escapism. it is not strange that the idea of escaping danger or prison is generally thought of as a positive thing? We do not criticize those who have escaped from Nazi Prison camps, no they were brave souls who would rather die that live in those conditions. women who escape from polygamist compounds are daring women who believe there is something more then the life they are living. to escape from danger is a good thing. Why is the concept of escapism so negative? Perhaps it is because most people accept the status-quo of the world and any one who says that the real world is not all there is- that there is something beyond the material world- is just too pathetic to deal with the real world. of course that would lead me on another tangent on what is real and how Screwtape tells Wormwood to do to manipulate the human's understanding of real life. But asking the question what is real life is another post for another day. back to faerie stories.

So what is a myth or faerie story? it is very difficult to pin down what their definitions might be. sence fanasty as a genre really got started at the beginning of the twentieth century it is not uncomon to think that it is a reaction or responce to the enlightenment (23). I would extent this to say that it continues to be a response to the postmodern ideas as well. Dickerson and O'Hara explore the definitions of myth given by the dictionary but find these definitions to be circular or missing the point. for the most part if something is a Myth then it is simply Not true, it is a false hood. (this is why I think so many people have a problem with Santa Claus, he is a myth and therefore a lie.) The purpose in this definition is to devalue myth, if it is nothing but a pre-scientific world trying to understand the nature in myths then it has no purpose what so ever in a world of science, it should be thrown out with the rest of the refuse.

In fact sometimes I wonder at how two worlds seem to be at war with each other the Movie Troy got rid of all the gods and goddess of the Illiad, Author stripped away any idea of magic as anything more then cheep tricks. both in an attempt to make the stories real. there are even some that say that the movie The 13th Warrior is a demythologized version of Beowulf. And yet at the same time movies are being made of the Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Harry Potter. 

So if the age of myth is over with the advent of Science then why does fantasy continue to be so popular? in this age where science has become the thing that we use to understand reality we have two general choices, to reject all myth and faerie stories as nothing more then something for the amusement of little children, or to deny that they are myth. this second option does not contradict the idea that myths are fundamentally false but that things that are called myth aren't really myth.

Dickerson and O'Hara offer a third choice, "that Myths might be Fundamentally true and yet still be 'mythological'" (32) they point out the root for mythological is Muthos which is a synyonym for Logos a word used by John to describe Christ. both muthos and logos came to mean an account or story. Muthologeuo where we get the word mythologize meant to 'relate word for word'. Owen Barfield and Tolkien both understood myth to be a cosmological way to understand the world. And that it also existed before language. C.S. Lewis suggested "that Myth does not exist in words at all- that is, it doesn't exist in one particular telling" (29) The truth of myths then becomes not reliant on history or language, their truth is something different that informs historical truth. Walter Wangerin Jr. referrers to myth as the mother of all truths, truth that is independent of time, place, or culture. it is transcendent and objective, describing something that is beyond and ancient. Myth and faerie stories "give an account of the world and a glimpse of ourselves" or as C.S Lewis put it "they not only reveal truth about our experience but actually add to our experience." (37)

It looks like Myth is a truth that is beyond matter- hence why materialists don't like it very much. it is a truth that gets under our skin and shocks us more fully awake as CS Lewis said in his introduction to George MacDonald's Fairy tales.

(All quotes are from A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy: From Homer to Harry Potter by Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara, Copyrighted 2006)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday 12-15

Today I am thankful for Advent Time, (I'm trying to get used to this idea that advent is the time before Christmas day Christmas time is the twelve days after Christmas day. which guess what: boxing day is part of Christmas not some strange Canadian second Christmas.) I love the colors and the lights, but I really wish there was snow. I know I will have plenty of snow when I get to New Jersey, but I really want snow now, it doesn't seem like Christmas without snow.

I am thankful for my church and the way my church is doing Christmas, I wish I could be here for the actual Christmas eve and Christmas Day services. Oh well that is just the way it goes sometimes.

I am also thankful for the postal service workers this time of year. You know what they work extra had this time of year and mostly all they get is yelled at by people who are so caught up in their own worlds and what they have to do to make the holidays seem right they forget that the holidays are meant to be times of love, hope, joy, and peace. so if you have to go to the post office this Christmas time be sure to give the postal worker thanks, most likely if they are rude to you it is because they have had nothing but rude customers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Out of the Notebook 5

(yes I know I usually do my art up dated on the second Tuesday of the month, but Ii still haven't drawn much hopefully by next week I will have something to talk about)

This Month's writing update is Still a little Nano heavy, I mean really I worked on that sucker for a month and only that sucker. But any way I am working on a new system for these creative posts. So anyway here we go Form my writing workshop this month

Polishing: Because once a piece is formed and shaped it must be polished so that it's true beauty can shine through and reflect the light. Right now I am working on polishing my Nanowrimo piece which has a beginning, middle and end, plus all the important bits that happen in the middle. for now the story is called the Alchemist's Daughter. I have most recently been doing a lot of work on the history and back story of many things in the story. The country has a very in depth history that effects a lot of what goes on in the story, some of it is the recent history of the Range War- a lot like the United States's Civil War- But I discovered that there are other things at work in the way that the different characters treat each other. It is a world that has very deep set prejudices that are based on each race's history and past interactions with the other. There was also a war that happened almost 1,000 years before the humans came and colonized the continent called the great fey war.  I think this is the funnest part of writing, the discovery of all the pieces that lead up to the story. I also still need to figure out how magic works in this world. with the way magic works right now my characters are going to be too powerful for there to be any real dangers or challenges.

Oh just to let you know those who have access to my privet Story blog I will not be updating there till I have finished at least my second draft. Then that is what I will used for alpha readers.

Sculpting: The molding of clay, and the chiseling of stone to reveal the story underneath.  There are two stories in this section. Two stories that I need to get back to and hopefully I will get back to them soon. The first is The Rescue. I am still working my way through act one. but I believe i at least have the second act mostly mapped out, hopefully I will finish up the map and be able to finish the story and get it ready to be polished. Then there is Ashes and Snowflakes. I have act one fleshed out, act two mapped out, I need to get act three mapped out and start really working on getting this one done. Both these stories are fun and I really am looking forward to doing quite a bit with them. I have high hopes for them and for what may follow and come out of them. but first I have to write them.

In The Furnace: For ideas that are just starting to be put in a malleable state. this would be my story that I sometimes take out and play with, right now it is called the Champion of Sisillia. It is a a good old fashioned Medieval style Fantasy. a city under sedge waiting for help that is most likely going to come too late as the hordes of the Necromancer come ever closer to conquering it. It is based off an idea that i had after watching the return of the king.

Shinys: Because new ideas are distracting like a sudden glimmer of something different.  this month's Shiny is an idea I got after listening to one more rant about how girls have self image problems and that instead of tell in a little girl (2-5) that she is cute ask her about the books she is reading and try to stimulate her mind so she will maybe want to some day be a Nobel Peace Prize winner, rather then a competitor on America's Next Top Model. As unhelpful as I thought the article was it had a point, it wasn't the point that it was trying to make, girls need to know that they have value because they are who they are. Self image issues have to do with knowing that they are beautiful. The problem with focusing on beauty, in its most superficial means is that no living person can ever measure up to or always be that beautiful. my thought is to write a series of Mid-grade (I think that is the correct label) fantasy books that help seven very different princesses find that their unique personalities are what give each of them value. I hope to explore this had have it ready when the little baby girls in my life are starting to grow up and learn who they are and how God made them special.

This concludes my writing update.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Simple Women's day book 23

For Today: December 10, 2011 For more day books

Outside my window...the sun light is shining though the blinds. I need to get curtains that are easier to open and close each day. but there is sun shine which is a rairity these days. 

I am thinking... about all that has happened this year. I know it is a little early to be thinking about that but the year is waning (isn't that a great word? that and waxing such great words) and i find my self thinking over all that has changed, it has been a crazy year, a long year. I don't understand how people say that time continually moves faster, i have had several times in my 'adult' life that time has seemed to slow down to the pace of a snail just as often as it runs ahead like a rabbit.

I am thankful... For my friends and family. we had a nice little get together last night. best freakin' high mass ever! It is nice to be around people who love me.

In the kitchen... the cupboards are getting bare, I didn't do a very good job shopping last time. we are out of many many things. breakfast today is the last of the oatmeal.

I am wearing... Jeans, my brown jacket thing that might actually be a kind of cardigan. My rainbow scarf and a purple camisole.

I am creating... Knitting: The cowl is my primary concern lately I want it done before I head off to New Jersey.

I am going.. to the Jones' house. Jeanette is celebrating the fact that Hannah is weened so we are all getting together to drink wine and be crafty. 

I am wondering...

I am reading...I am loving The Inheritance by Christopher Paolini! it is very much the light hearted epic fantasy I am in need. And I am still working on The Silmarillian By Tolkien, The Allpro By Scott Sigler, Shape Shifters by, S. Lawrence Parrish. 

I am hoping...To get all my Christmas "shopping" done.

I am looking forward to...Crafting day today! So excited I love doing artsy things in a group. I do better when I do art in a group. I really miss that about my art classes. 

I am hearing... Gilmore Girls.

One of my favorite things... Christmas lights and Candles. there is magic in the way the lights dance over the snow...except there is no snow yet...

A few plans for the rest of the week: Let see,  Bible study, hopefully game night, Greg's company Christmas party.

A Link I like... This radio plays music that is inspired by Tolkien Literature. they have several specials including the Tolkien Professor, The Hog's Head, and other updates on Tolkien and Narnian news.  

Friday, December 09, 2011

Something New

Okay so this is something I have been thinking about for a while now. I love fantasy, the dragons, the wizards, warlords, warlocks, unicorns, wendigoes, minotaurs, heroes, princesses in towers, Secret royal, mystical items, heroic adventures, all of it. So I read a lot of it, Tolkien, Lewis, Hobb, Ende, Martin, Rowlins, Pratchett and others for the modern stuff, and I read the classic myths, Homer, Arthur,  Wife of Bath, Irish Myth Cycle, Norse Myth, Grim Brothers and others.

In the last year I found a pod cast called The Tolkien Professer. where Dr. Corey Olsen discusses topics in Tolkien studies; gives lectures on The Hobbit; shares lectures from classes he teaches at Washington College; and leads a reading group though The Silmarillion. His pod caste has inspired me to look over some of the fantasy that I love to see why it is I re read them. I thought about doing this with was the Harry Potter series, to see if Harry Potter could be more then a book enjoyed by this generation and then forgot by the next. Then I found this pod cast over at the Hog's Head Pub. There Travis Prinzi and several others discuss topics concerning Harry Potter. From their point of view Harry Potter is worthy of academic study. I enjoy his pod cast and the topics he discusses. (by the way Prinzi is teaching a class about Harry Potter at the Mythgard institute. I am really tempted to take the class, really cheep -$500 for a three credit course!!!- because they are completely online seriously everyone should check this place out.)

So Between Dr. Olsen and Mr. Prinzi -oh and I should also mention John Wilson over at The Amazing Spider-man Classics pod caste- I have been inspired to talk more about the books I love in a way that helps others see their value. So at the beginning of the year I am going to be sharing my thoughts as I read. The books will be books that I have read at least twice prior to my read through for the sake of this project. the posts will be by-weekly (hopefully Wednesday and Friday) and cover only one to two chapters a post. I hope that for some of the books I can get guest writers who also love the stories to talk about different themes. I also will pull from things that may have already been written about the Book.

My plan for now is to start with my absolute favorite book The Never Ending Story, This will probably be followed by something that has a longer series either The Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 

Till then on Fridays I am going to be posting about a different book. One that I bought back when I was living in Bismark ND but have only now started to read- From Homer to Harry Potter; A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy but Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara.  It deals with this idea that fantasy is just as reliant and insightful as non-genre fiction. It has already inspired me to embark on this project and seemed fitting.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Thankful Thursday 12-8

Today I am thankful for
1. Getting Christmas decorations up. it was kinda crazy getting out my Christmas decorations and putting them up, I had for gotten what most of it was.
2. My job, it may suck for many reasons but it is a paycheck and that is more then what some people have right now.
3. our house. it is small and sure somewhere that we will probably not live for a while but it is warm, dry, and affordable.
4. I'm Thankful that I came to my senses and realized that Greg is the only man in the world for me. I don't know why I was the last one to figure that one out but I am glad I did.
5. That I have gotten out the majority of our thank-you cards from the wedding. yes I know we are coming up on the one year mark but I found out that so long as you get it to people with in a year you are still okay. So says Emily Post.

They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening.
1 Chronicles 23:30 

Thoughts During Advent- Who is Christ part I

Something that is different about being in a 'high' liturgical church verses a 'low' liturgical church is that Advent is  Advent and Christmas is Christmas. See in the church calender these are two separate seasons, growing up I knew them as being the same thing. Advent/Christmas time started the day after thanksgiving and ended Christmas day. Really Advent Starts after Thanksgiving, the last Sunday of November and continues till midnight Christmas Eve. Christmas is then 12 days long. Starting Christmas Day and ending on Epiphany, January 6th.

Advent is, like lent, a time of preparation, a time to focus on the coming of Christ  however it's focus is not on the historical coming of Christ in the manger but on the second coming of Christ. The Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent is the Christian new year, Christ the King Sunday. Focusing on the day Christ will return in victory bringing his kingdom. (as an aside I'm going to say that I don't know when this will happen /though it probably won't happen in 2012\ or how it will happen I've been burned out by the rapture tribulation debates and have come to realize that it doesn't matter another day I will talk about this). Advent follows and as everyone starts thinking about Christmas the day used to mark the Day God became man it is a good time to remember that Jesus is coming back. And that has been a little strange. see Greg and I read the scripture readings as put forth in the BCP (Book of Common Prayer), and the readings have not been the nativity readings, they have been from the end of Jesus' ministry in Mathew, and from Revelation, and from Amos. Last night we read about the two greatest commandments, and about John's vision of Christ the King. Amos, is about judgement.

But what I thought was strange was Matthew was about the two greatest commandments. "love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself."

this stuck out to me from the readings because I have noticed an increase in debates about the trinity lately. And people get very very passionate in the debates. People today get very heated over it. St. Nicholas Punched Arius' representative int he face over it. Some would say that the idea behind the trinity was created at the Niciean Council, but it has it's roots father back then that. Yes there is Athanasius, Augustine, Amborse, but there is also Irenaeus (wrote Against the Heresies in ~180), Justin the Marty (103-165), the Epistle of Barnabas (written between 70-131), And Clement's Second letter to the Corinthians (140 -160).

But here is my question, why is this debate so important? Can't we all just get along? Today the general understanding about religion and tolerance of religion is that as long as they are good people then it doesn't matter. generally if they (any person of any religion) Follow the second of the two great commandments then they are find. however the first part of these two commandments would imply that it is important what God someone is worshiping. that it is important to be following the right God. Now if Christians take seriously what Christ said about the road to hell being broad and the road to heaven being narrow then this understanding of who God is, is important. I hate seeing people argue about this because it always seems to end with both sides not giving an inch and thinking that the other side is just as stupid as they thought. this doesn't build the kingdom... but then my thought following that is but who's kingdom are we a part of?

I have to go now but i will pick this idea up again soon, hopefully next Wednesday if not before.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

On the Needles 5

Well Knitting has been busy despite the fact that I was spending most of my time writing last month. I have been playing at the idea of actually starting to design Knit wear. I've mentioned this a few times here and on facebook. it is a strange little idea that I just keep dabbling with, for the last couple of weeks it just doesn't want to go away. I've been getting inspiration every where on what I could knit, who would want it and be willing to pay money for it. But anyway let's get back to talking about what I am knitting.

Finished Finished Projects: I have only finished on project this month. which is one project more then what I had planned. I really didn't think I would be knitting very much at all. but my Goddaughter Hannah turned one last month and Greg suggested that I make her mittens. So I found a pattern and made her mittens:
These Mittens are made from that wool I bought months ago when Lisa and I went on a yarn shopping spree. It is Sock weight super wash Marino. the fun thing about baby mittens? they have no thumbs which makes them very very easy to knit.

Works in progress: here there are a couple of things. The blanket which has just sort have stayed on the needles waiting patiently for the time when i feel like working on it, which is few and far between but it is nice to have a big project laying around to pick up every now and then. I cleaned out my knitting box, because i couldn't find some of by needles (by the way if anyone needs to know what to get me for Christmas I need something to keep my needles in order) and  found a forgotten project or two. I think this is what they would  call on the knit more girls an ufo bin, I don't know the acronym stands for but it is Un-finished something. any way it has been brought out to see if it can find the light of day. it was maybe my first Design thing. it is  wrap skirt that I was trying to make for ballet.  I'm not sure if I will try to finish this but it is nice to have another project in the works. I also have a BYOB bag (that seems repetitive) on my size 7 needles. this project I started and didn't get very far. I'm knitting it with Recycled Cotton. the last thing on my needles is my Cowl which I hope to have done soon. though to get it done soon I have to work on it and I have been enjoying other projects far too much. 

Design ideas and Projects: This will be a new section. I have two big things that I am working on trying to design. one is a hair net and the other is leg warmers. the Hair net sounds strange I am sure. but I was watching Charmed and I really like this hair net that Phoebe was wearing and I thought I bet I could make on of those. the plan so far is to use this lace pattern I found with sport weight yarn, making the 'brim' by doing a 2x2 rib. I tried this once using size 7 needles but the lace pattern didn't have big enough holes so I have upped it to a size 10 needle. we will see what will happen. as of now I haven't gotten it cast on.  the other idea i have the leg warmers I haven't gotten very far, this idea came while i was back stage with the dancers at the Wilmore Christian Ballet Company performance. some of the girls' legs were cold and I agreed it was cold back there after having been it he dressing room.

Future projects: well let's see, I would like to make something for Michaela, I would like to make a Christmas present for Dottie, and for Hannah. I have two baby hats to make (but I think I ran out of blue baby yarn) and I have 6 dish cloths to make. I would live to make my family Christmas presents but I think I might be out of time.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Simple Woman Daybook 22

For Today: December 9, 2011 For more day books
Outside my window... Sun's not out yet, and it apears to be raining again. 

I am thinking... how facebook and Google Plus games are too addictive. I went for a long time not playing any and I was happy now I am addicted to two.   

I am thankful...That the ballet Performance is over. I couldn't believe how much talent there is int he Wilmore Christian Ballet Company. those girls are amazing and I can't wait to work with them again next term.

In the kitchen... Dishes that need to be put away.

I am wearing... Green and Sea green Striped pants, a sea green camisole and my brown knit jacket. all under the Penguin blanket.

I am creating... Knitting: The cowl is cast on and it seems to be going just fine. I'll talk more about this tomorrow   Drawing: none hopefully that will change before next Tuesday.  Writing: well it being December I am focusing on editing my nano novel. it seems to be going fine, I keep discovering things that I need to think more about. Like I need to get the history of this town figured out, and I still need to figure out the system of magic. I think I am going to medieval cosmology, and also an ancient idea of wilderness-being a place of demons and madness. 

I am going...Well I might go to work it depends on if there is work to be done. 

I am wondering...How interesting it is that we have to think that our current location in history is the most intelligent time of and that anything before was stupid and backward.

I am reading...I finished The Fools Errand By Robin Hobbs and I can't wait to get my hands on the next part of that trilogy The Golden Fool. The Silmarillian By Tolkien, The Allpro By Scott Sigler, Shape Shifters by, S. Lawrence Parrish. and I have started The Inheritance by Chrisopher Paolini. So far so good. already he is bringing up how the people are having problems with the idea that the elves are coming out of hiding and seem to be conquering thier cities and villages. 

I am hoping... to get thank-yous out. I've started sending them out but there are some that I don't have addresses for. and I keep running out of stamps. Maybe I will get Christmas decorations up today. That would be nice. 

I am looking forward to...High mass, this week we are going to celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas. which is also Kindersda which is the dutch holiday when Santa Clause comes and gives them presents. I love this holiday it was an awesome holiday when i was living in Suriname (former Dutch Guiana) 

I am hearing... very little it is a quiet morning, a while ago there was a massive amount of traffic but it seems to have quieted down. 

One of my favorite things... Ballet. it is beautiful. I am not sure where I stand on the use of liturgical dance in Sunday services but I do know that the beauty of it defiantly calls me to praise God for his creation. Also, because I am currently reading the Silmarillian, the ballet that Hannah and Isaiah did during the recital protion of the performance kept making me thing about the romance of Thingol and Melian. it was so beautiful and I think someone should write a ballet about the Simarilion. or at least about Thingol and Melian and about Beron and Luthian. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Ballet party, maybe i still haven't decided if i am going, Bible study, and we might be playing games at the jones' on Thursday, and high mass. there really isn't anything else that i know of happening this week. 

Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas Post 1: All I Want For Christmas

Is my two front teeth....No wait, All I want for Christmas is you...
Nope this post is a direct rip off of a post my cousin-in-law Darci posted, which she took from her cousin-in-law, who I do not know but hey thought I would take a minuet to give credit where Credit is due.

So the idea is if Money was no object, and all your dreams could come true what would your Christmas list be, be selfish for a minuet and just open up and be honest with your dreams. these are not the grown up Christmas wish, this is pure and simple I want, not I need, if i had unlimited funds and my family had unlimited funds what would I ask for? Well....

1. To be able to be with both Greg's family and my family for the holidays. I know this one may sound like the exact opposite of what I was saying this list was supposed to be but you see Greg's family is all on the east coast in New Jersey and Florida, and My family is all west of the Mississippi (except You Uncle Charley I don't mean to leave you out.) but lets skip the extended family, to do this we would either need a privet jet so we could fly out to Wyoming for my daddy's birthday and and then turn around and fly to New Jersey  to be with Greg's parents, or we would need a transporter. then we could have Christmas eve with one family gathering, Christmas day with an other and some how make it to the Christmas festivities at our church. I seriously wish I could be at three places at once the holiday with my Family, with Greg's family, and with my church family. Oh and if there was a way to make it to the Cole Christmas gather in Arizona I would be there too.
2 A house in Wilmore. Something not too big but a place that we could living for long time. with room for us to have a family, and to have guests come and stay, and so we could have social gatherings.
3. to be able to quit my job and be a full time writer, artist, and Knit wear designer. these are things that i love to do and wish I could do all the time. I wish I could make a living on them. by knitting and selling specialty idem, by drawing and painting anything. and of course by writing SF&F. Something happened during nano that has never happened before I might be able to do it, to actually be a writer. my nano novel isn't much and needs a lot of work but i have finished a piece, and now it is time to edit and i am excited to see where the editing will take me.
4. to take a trip with Greg to Europe, to see the place where history comes from. Maybe travel around visiting the sites from the history of Rome.
5. massive over-hall on my vehicle. I don't need a new car, but what I really want is to take my care to the body shop give it a fresh paint job, fix the front bumper, put in a new windshield, Replace the air conditioner so it stops making that sound.

Okay that is my ex-termly dreamy wishful thinking Christmas list. and in closing I leave you with a much simpler Christmas list:

Thursday, December 01, 2011

And the Day After....

Well I did it! I wrote 50,000 words. my story has a coherent plot, a beginning, middle and end. a wonderful cast of characters that I am very happy with and are finding their voices and identity.and I am excited about editing it. I may not have been able to validate it because Open office considers things words that most word documents don't but that is okay.

I plan to post this story on my other blog, So those of you who have access to it I hope to hear your feed back. maybe tomorrow I will post a blurb here for the story.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNoWriMo: two days

Two days to go, 43,500 words written and I reached the end of what I had plotted out. the novel which as expected didn't stick with the original outline Has reached the end of the story, the sun rises on a new morning of a new day the bad guy is beat, my characters have reconciled, some people are dead some people are alive but really it is the start of something new. now if this wasn't nano I would say that it is time o go through and get rid of the squiggly lines, fix any obvious grammatical errors that i can find (which I'll admit aren't many) and they read for continuity and to see what still needs filling out. But that falls under what I call editing, and in nano there is no editing. So last night i spent some time thinking about what things I could add. See I have a tendency that when I think of something technically, like I need to find a different name to call the towns in general in a curtain part of the world, I make a note of it at the end of the document so I have it when I go to edit. but last night I made a list of things that i could do that were probably needed that I could probably add some stuff to. Of course the big think that might help is that because this is a fantasy and well lets face it how much of the technical stuff do you want to read in the story so I might just add some appendices, that should take care of my word count.

any way that is all I have to say on that topic to day now to get ready for work and find out how many hour's i'll get today. (really my last check was so pathetic 6 hours, not even $50 grrr)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook 21

For Today: July 19, 2011 For more day books
Outside my window... Sun's not out yet, and it apears to be raining. 

I am thinking... how Heresy and Cult or two different things but people seem to get them confused and make them out to be the same thing.   

I am thankful...Cuddling

In the kitchen... Chocolate cake.

I am wearing... Conglomeration of sleep wear.

I am creating... Knitting: The cowl is cast on and going great! I'm not quite happy with my desine, i want a bigger holed lace patern but it does look good, so maybe i will just  make it a hat.  Drawing: none, writing: Nanowrimo word count is at 38594,still pretty far behind but there is still a chance i will make it, if i write 4,000 words a day.

I am going...Well I hope i get to go to work.

I am wondering...Why silly ideas persist even after they are proven to be wrong.

I am reading...The Fools Errand By Robin Hobbs, The Silmarillian By Tolkien, The Allpro By Scott Sigler, Shape Shifters by, S. Lawrence Parrish. I jsut got Inheritance yesterday so I will be starting to read that soon. 

I am hoping... to get thank-yous out. really there isn't that much more to do on them. 

I am looking forward to...the ballet recital this weekend. 

I am hearing... very little it is a quiet morning

One of my favorite things... quiet slow mornings

A few plans for the rest of the week: Ballet, and all the fun stuff for the recital, I am helping with the smaller children.

Picture I feel like sharing...
this picture has been making the rounds on social networks and I think this is pretty neat. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Now that I have finished my series on plots here they all are for your viewing pleasure. the nine basic plots and the Hollywood Plot method.
I Character vs Character, II Character vs Society, III Character vs Fate, IV Character vs Unknown, V Character vs God, VI Character vs Self, VII Character vs Nature, VIII Character vs Machine, IX Character vs Circumstance, X Hollywood method

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hollywood Formula (plot X)

As a last part to my series on plot I give you a method of understand character and motivation and what can make or break a story. this probably works best or at least more clearly in a story that is character vs Character, however I think that it can be applied to any of the plots because what ever the vs. is it should be represented by something that the Main character can fight or over come.

briefly to give credit where credit is due a lot of the information for this post comes from an Episode of Writing Excuses (6.18) during an interview with Lou Anders of Pry Books, who got it from Dan Decker. I found if very interesting and helpful and I hope any of my readers who are also writers may find it interesting and helpful as they are trying to push out words for Nanowrimo. or just as they are trying to work on whatever novels they are working on.

okay so this formula focuses on three characters: the Protagonist, the Antagonist, and the Friend. The Protagonist in the story is the person that the story is about, there is something that he or she wants. The antagonist stands in the way for the protagonist to get when he or she wants. and the friend pushes the The protagonist to realize what they want and go for it.

The story ends when when three things happen, 1. the Protagonist overcomes the the Antagonist, 2. The protagonist achieves his goal, 3. the Protagonist and the Friend are reconciled. the closer these things can happen together the more emotionally invested the reader will be. kind of cool huh?

not every story follows this formula but it is a good one. and it seems so simple, but this does not understand that antagonist is the same as bad guy, the antagonist is simply the one who stands in the way of what the Protagonist wants. there for the critical thing is to know what the character wants. also it must be somethng tangible  even if there is some sociological stuff going on in the story the goal must be something that can be attained.

So, examples, well I was thinking about using Harry Potter but I think it may have been too long sense I read the series.

However I think we all know that Harry is the protagonist. the next question is what does harry want? there are several things we can say he wants but what would be the one that is over arching to the entire series. we could say that he wants revenge, but i think there is something deeper he wants which is exposed in the first chapter of the first book and then continues to pop up. I think he wants a family, a place where he is loved and where he belongs. I think we can see this by what he sees his parents in book one, in book three what happy thoughts he uses to try and call forth a Patronis, How he views the Weasleys family-whether it is how he reacts to the Christmas present in book one, how he loves living with them in book two, his adventure with them at the start of book four, in every book Harry spends time with the weasleys and though they see him as another son and brother (mostly) and this will become official when he marries Ginny he is always on the outside wanted what Ron has. his desire for family is what makes his relationship with Sirous black so important and an important view into this desire.

So who stands in the way of Harry getting what he wants?

Well It's Voldemort. Voldemort kills Harry's parents, nearly kills Ginny, Separated him from Sirius Black, then there is the strange thing with the wands when they meet in book four, he orders the death of iSrius Black, the death of Dumbledore, the death eaters crashing of the quiditch cup, the crashing of the wedding at the Burrow, the way the piece of his soul poisoned Ron and harry against each other. Harry has to face Voldemort if he is going to get what he wants, a real home.

Now here is the real question, who is Harry's friend? who pushes Herry to get what he wants, who is reconsiled to harry in the end, who is it that guides harry? there are lots of candidates. It could be Ron, Herminone, Dumbledore, Sirus black, Lupin.  But some of them die early int he series, and others... others don't have any massive need for reconciliation. Some of them encourage and stand with harry, some of them guide him, but not one of them really cause him to move outside himself and do what it is he needs to do to aceive his goals, none of them really modivate him towards what his goal is. sure Dumbledore guides and pushes Harry towards a goal, but is it for the modavation that harry has? or is it because it is the right thing to do and Harry is the only one who can do it?

That is right I thin kthe friend in this situation is Snape. Why? well first off there is massive need for reconciliation. Snape is almost always conected to why harry does the things he does, he feeds the modivation of harry and there is a breach between them. Harry doesn't understand Snape, or why Snape does the things he does. the don't make sense until the reconciliation happens. when Snape is killed Harry gets to see a series of memories of Snape's which fill in all the gaps. they explain Snape's motivation and his guilt, and thus his actions. With out Snape Harry would never have done what he did for the reason. unlike Dumbledore Snape is more connected with harry's parents then anyone else. yes he was mocked and tortured by James, but he loved, really loved Lilly. he and harry are reconciled and thus Snape is reconciled with Lilly. And armed with this reconciliation Harry is off to face the antagonist for the final showdown.

So Harry Potter Fans what do you think? Do you agree with me or think I am a nut?
also taking this formula how would the dark knight break down? you may be surprised by the answer.

Thankful Thursday 11-24 Thanksgiving Edition

This week, there are many things this week of all weeks and of all days to be thankful for. After all it is thanksgiving. So for a little bit more then my usual post for a Thankful Thursday.

1. My family, Texts from my mom, Messages from my cousins and aunts and uncles through the wonderful world of the Internet. whither facebook and the blog world. Messages that encourage and challenge and strengthen me. and just plain sometimes remind me that I am connected to a great big wonderful group of people.

2. My church family, they are a great group of people who are commuted to each other to help each other grow  together to become more like Christ. We are a family and it was great to be together on this day. it is a family built around love, trust, encouragement, honesty, and a desire to walk together as we become more like Christ.

3. My husband, I have said it many times and I will say it again I am thankful for my husband, he is a great man of God and Cares for me more then I deserve.

4. My friend Lisa and her husband Josh, they have been and will always be great friends. Lisa had been with me sense the beginning of my time at Asbury. we have lived together and been there for each other in some dark times and some great times. I have know idea where I would be without her.

5. My friends Daniel and Jeanette these two are my friends who become more and more like family every day. they are people who I thank God are in my life. they are sweet friends and people I know I can depend on.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Simple Women's Daybook 20

For Today: July 19, 2011 For more day books
Outside my window... overcast skies, looks like another rainy day. . 

I am thinking..How much I want the Twilight series to disappear   

I am thankful...For electric blinkets

In the kitchen...oh those Science projects in my fridge have got to go.

I am wearing... A nice silky flora nighty

I am creating... Knitting:The cowl is cast on and going great! And I've started designing! I am very excited to see how this works.  Drawing: none, writing: Nanowrimo word count is at 28517, way behind but It is thanks giving weekend and even though I have several things to do depending on how work goes i may be able to catch up no problem. 

I am going...To Work, amazing, I get to go to work to day. I wonder if it will be the only day I work this week. 

I am wondering...Why more people don't read classics? I mean really why don't people read Chaucer, Beowulf  Austin, and Shakespeare. it is very sad to me.

I am reading...The Fools Errand By Robin Hobbs, The Silmarillian By Tolkien, The Allpro By Scott Sigler, Shape Shifters by, S. Lawrence Parrish. 

I am hoping... to get thank-yous out. really there isn't that much more to do on them. 

I am looking forward to...a big thanksgiving dinner and Rock band Christmas party!

I am hearing... The Daily Audio bible, Hebrew's 8

One of my favorite things... Books 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Ballet, Thanksgiving with the McLouds, Rock Band Christmas party at the Jone's

Link I feel like sharing:  One of my favority online comics-goblins

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jane Eyre: Magic and Fey

I am going to take a break from the Canterbury tales to talk about Jane Eyre. It is the most recent of my reads and despite my back log there are something that I really want to talk about and I have been thinking about in this book for a few weeks now so here we go.

If you don't know the plot of Jane Eyre it is basically a Cinderella story. Jane is an orphan and is fostered by her Aunt. Her aunt hates her and young Jane is sent to a school were she excels in her learning and become a governess to the family of Rochester. the family of course is made up of a Mr. Rochester his fostering and his servants  she falls in love with him but on their wedding day a secret is reviled that is so heavy that she must leave. from near death she is rescued by a reverend and his sisters. she becomes a teacher at a country school. after some strange coincidences She finds out that she has a fortune and what she has always wanted, freedom.  She goes back to find out how Mr. Rochester is and discovers that the thing which kept her from marring her is gone and so they marry and live happily ever after.

Now I am going to say that I am not a big Bronte fan. this is the only book from the sisters that I have read and will probably read. I read this book back when I was living in Bismark and I remember liking it. But I got into a conversation with a friend about it and he said that the whole book was basically about Jane complaining that she was ugly. and there definitively is part of the novel it is not the over arching theme.

Anyway how is that for an introduction? Now on to what I would like to talk about today, the use of fairy language in the book. it may be surprising to learn that a book that is completely grounded in the real world would use as it's imagery Magical language and symbols. the first time the realm of fairies is mentioned is when Jane tells us in the narrative that that as a child she had looked for fairies and never found any so she believed that if there ever where fairies they had long ago left this world.

the first time that she meets Mr. Rochester it is in the fog and he calls her some kind of witch or fairy queen. He  refers to her often as his fairy and at the end of the book she says that if she is a fairy then he is most deffinetly a Browne. emphasizing that he is not the handsome prince charming of stories. there is the strange happen stance of them being able to hear the other's voice over the distance of miles. And interestingly even thought it is not call so, Bertha's madness is also feyish in nature. see at one time the word fey was used to indicate madness. Someone who had been fey touched was mad. this may have been that it was believed if a mortal were to enter the realm of fey it would be so wholly different in nature that their sanity would break.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Plot IX Character vs Circumstance

So this plot took me some time to find movies and books that have this plot. Not because it is not a very good or popular plot, it is just a little different. I suppose that is the way to do it. actually when you really start to think about it. Sometimes it is a back ground to the story that is being told, or the story that is being told would not be told if the circumstances had been any different. The story is about a person who for what ever reason they can not do what they want. the society says you can't do that. now if the character says well I guess that is the way it is and goes home, then there is not story, but if the character says no I'm going to do this, I worked to do this and I am going to do this. See this story is based around the idea that something isn't fair.

Really there are many movies about this, they generally take place in a time that we know was a time when it was hard to be a person. Now sometimes that is a black person during the civil rights movement or before the civil rights movement. movies like Remember The Titans, or Ernest Green Story.

The school is dealing I with having to be both black and white students. Their world is all turned up side down, especially if they have to play for a black coach.

Danzel Washington's character is a black coach coaching a team that has been all white for years, he has to get his team to work together despite the fact that they are predisposed to hate each other.

Now if when the rock got thrown into his window he had decided to say you know this is they way it is and moved his family away where they would be safe then there isn't a story. If the former coach had decided to not stand up against the ref who was calling the game so the Titans would lose then there wouldn't have been a story. but Coach Yoast says not that's not fair, "you call this game fair!"

The Ernest Green Story is about a black young man and 8 others who want to go to school. they are the only 11 black students in the school in 1957. it is the story of the Little Rock Nine. these nine students go to school and they are picked on and treated horribly and eight of them say no this is not fair we want an education they want to go to school.

one of them Minnijean Brown didn't make it. now she was treated horribly and was given a chance at a different school. but the other 8 stood firm were and they made it. here she says it is not worth it, this is the south in 1957 it's just the way it is. and she transfers to a school in New York. (this movie was one of my favorite moves growing up I have the greatest respect for all 9 of these students. I am talking about this story from a plot point of view.)

But the other 8 said, no this isn't fair, and we are going to do this.

Now lets move to a different era. In the 1930s it was hard for everyone, Seabiscuit is a great because that horse embodied the struggles of the working class of the 1930s. and the movie does a great job of taking us through the thirties by use of pictures from the era. here is a horse that is wrong, a jockey who is too big, and men who are all at the end of their rope. so what do they do when people tell them that they can't possibly be considered part of the horse racing world.

they spit in the eye of convention and do it. "it's not fair you can't keep us out just because we don't meet you Qualifications."

Of course that is the whole point of this plot. first the character has the ability to do something, and the desire to do it. but something in the way the world works says no for some arbitrary reason desired by Polite Society.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday 11-17

Today I am thankful for many things.
1. I am thankful for the way Nanowrimo helps me to prioritize, and on one particular piece of writing. I am currently at 25433 words. a little behind but I will catch up again. and I have come up with some really stuff. I really thing that when this is done if I only get to 50,000 (which is really just a detailed out line) I will have very little that will need to be scrapped.

2. Today I am actually thankful for my job. I know that is strange sense I hate my job but for some reason it hasn't seemed so bad lately. I don't know if it is because i am looking for a knew job so i may be leaving it soon, or if looking at what a new job is going t require of me is making me appreciate curtain aspects. like the way my hours are set up, like how my breaks are set up, like how i can listen to my I-pod all day and not worry about anything, like how I can be in my own world. those things are all nice.

3. I am thankful that the holiday season is here. I love the holidays, from Holloween to thanksgiving to Kinderstad  or more commonly known as St. Nicholas day, to my daddy's birthday (yes it is part of the holiday season,) Christmas eve, Christmas day, New years, and of course the Superbowl. there is very little i don't like about this time of year.

4. I am thankful for my husband, yes I am always thankful for my husband. he is a great man of god who loves me, encourages me and truly wants me to be happy.

5. I am thankful for my friends in Kentucky, you are my surrogate family and I love you.

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High. 
Ps. 7:17

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Out of the Notebook 4 (Nanowrimo)

Well it is November, so I have been writing a lot. not as much as I should write probably but more then normal. besides I don't get to go to work today so I will probably do a couple hour write-a-thon, maybe this afternoon. watch facebook for updates.

So as normal for November I push aside all of my different projects to focus on one. This year I have chosen a western style fantasy, oh I just thought of something I need to see if I can add to the story, Mexican Stand Off, I don't have one of those yet. hmmm.... could be fun.

any way it is going pretty well, better then last year or the year before. I am at 20915, but I need to be at 25000 by the end of today. I have added a new character and maybe if things get bad i'll watch some of my favorite westerns to get some ideas.

this is what my work board looks like. it always has what ever project I am currently working on. the yellow cards are character cards, the purple cards are act one, the red are act two and the green are act three. each piece of paper is the original scene list that I Mapped out in the planning period back in October. these will be updated when I give each scene a card in my editing phase. up in the corner is a sketch i did of one of my main characters. and of course my two inspirational things that are always on my work board: the holy ghost, and the novelty key card made for the special conference we hosted at the Best western Ramkota inn, in Bismark, they had Casablanca as their theme. on the card is Humphrey Bogart saying, "Here's looking at you kid."

so that is my writing up date this month, however be on the look out for more nano updates.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Simple Women's Daybook 19

For Today: July 19, 2011 For more day books
Outside my window... School bus just went by. the trees are black against a light blue over cast sky. 

I am chilly. 

I am thankful...For friends New and Old.

In the kitchen... a mess that has to be cleaned. Seriously I  have science projects growing in my fridge.

I am wearing... My purple Eeyore pj's that says moody sense .1966.

I am creating... Knitting: i am almost done with a pair of mittens for Hannah's first birthday present- Greg's idea. I re cast on my cowl, but i think the differences between a size 6 needle and a size 7 needle is bigger then i originally thought. it looks really big. Drawing: none, writing: Nanowrimo word count is at 20915 So I am 700 words behind. I'm not really that worried but hey it's all good. I should be able to catch up by the end of the week. 

I am going...To Work, Then I have several errands to run. 

I am wondering... about knitting for some reason I have been inspired to start designing knit wear, to sell, and to try and make it part of a living. it is a thought i have had for a while now, but I am not sure what to do with it , if it is just a passing fancy or something that could actually work.

I am reading...The Fools Errand By Robin Hobbs, The Silmarillian By Tolkien, The Allpro By Scott Sigler, Shape Shifters by, S. Lawrence Parrish. 

I am hoping... Still trying to get thank yous in the mail, that is just a continuing problem. I have gotten most of them written i just need to take the time to put my address on them and put them in the mail. and thatwork thing with work it's self out.

I am looking forward to...Hanging out with friends. 

I am hearing... The Daily Audio bible, Hebrew's 8

One of my favorite things... watching children grow. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Ballet, bible study, hanging out at the Jones' and having people over on Friday.

Link I feel like sharing:  I haven't shared a picture in a while but here is a link i found that I'd like to share. Standard action is an independent series about a group of adventurers. the acting is good the set is amazing and really considering this is independent production and pretty much a bunch of friends getting together it is really good. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Write a thon

I know I know another post about Nano, but you know what it is November what do you expect? any way Because my job is a little lame and there is not enough work to go around i don't get to go to work today. So sense i fell behind the last couple of days I'm going to do a write-a-thon today. my goal is to get to 20004.

Crazy? Yes but hey that is the way It is going to be. I'll up date here and on facebook and on Google plus as the day goes on. Now excuse me my first hour has turned into 45 minuets while i have been writing this blog post.

edit: did not make the goal of 20004, but I did make it to 17540, I'm gunna call to day a win!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Random thoughts on the publishing world

Today is normally the day I would talk about what is on my art desk. guess what I have not drawn a single sketch all month. it sucks but that is my problem. I have had other things on my mind. like getting my Cinderella socks done, and well writing. it is November after all. so much of my time the last month has gone into that. and that has been going very good. yesterday was the first day when  i didn't write hardly anything, but I had a bad day yesterday, the kind of day where you think I just want to hid under a blanket till this is all over, type of day.

any way today is a new day, and I have decided that it will be a good day, even if i don't get to go to work today. there is plenty of reasons this day will be far better then yesterday. -anyway enough discussion on my life, on to the subject of the blog.

I've been thinking a lot about the publishing world. I want to be a writer someday and Sometimes the publishing world looks full of possibilities, and other times it looks like a dark and scary place. Let's face it anyone can publish these days, with amazon leading the way in e-books the prices of such things are setting the bar very low. the audience wants their entertainment for free or very little. not going to lie I've listened to several free audio books through pod casts. books that I wouldn't have read other wise. and I've read a couple of books on blogs that I wouldn't have read other wise. then there is also the problem where everyone who participates in NaNoWriMo thinks they have something worth publishing and when a publisher wont take it they publish it on the web. yes that is a generalization but there are those who do it, what would be an editor's Slush Pile is now cluttering up space in the world of electronic publishing. The thing about the publishing companies is that they had quality control.

This makes wanting to break out as a writer daunting. but I have had some thoughts on something else, Serialized Novels.  Many Classic books were written this way. it is how comics were written and still are. in fact  the internet has made it easier for comic artists and writers to break out because they have the ability to get their product out to their reader group. and that is awesome, why can't writers (novelists in particular) do the same? I know some people do this through their blogs, but why can't the media of the internet and e-publishing betaken advantage of to make the writing more accessible and make a little cash on the side?
By the way Current nano  word count: 12175

Monday, November 07, 2011

Simple woman's day book 18

For Today: July 19, 2011 For more day books
Outside my window... A dim sun rise, thanks to daylight savings I get to have sunshine in the morning again for a little bit. 

I am thinking..about what it means to be a writer in this world, what ever happened to serialized novels and could they be brought back? 

I am thankful...a husband who prays for me.

In the kitchen... Pumpkin cookies, and chocolate cake

I am wearing... My Pink panther Pajamas, and my brown house coat.

I am creating... Knitting: Cinderella socks are done, blanket is still on the needles, a bag, I also cast on my cowl, or tried to, sometimes I get confused when reading charts. Drawing; Icon, and some fantasy sketches are still on the art desk but I haven't worked on any of the in over a week. writing: Nanowrimo is of with a blast, I am at 12000 words and going strong. 

I am going...To Work, I hope, then i have a job interview at 5:00, I don't know what I want that to result in. 

I am wondering... If a writer to make money again by switching to the old style of Serialized novels. it was the way that many classics were written.  I wonder if that model could work again.

I am reading...The Fools Errand By Robin Hobbs, The Silmarillian By Tolkien, The Allpro By Scott Sigler, Shape Shifters by, S. Lawrence Parrish

I am hoping... Still trying to get thank yous in the mail. and that I get feeling better. and that I figure out what I should do about this job. 

I am looking forward to...Hannah's first birthday party. 

I am hearing... The Daily Audio bible, Cars driving by.

One of my favorite things... The electric blanket.  

A few plans for the rest of the week: Interview, Ballet, bible study, Girls night, and Hannah's first birthday party.