Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Hey all. Merry Christmas, I have returned from Hawaii just in time to join in the festivities. I hope your holidays are great and awesome. In fact I'd love for you to leave a comment about them. I will be checking in from time to time but there will be no blog updates till after the feast of Epiphany, (I am pretty sure that is January 7th) so have a great 12 days of Christmas.
till next time Merry Christmas and God speed

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Writing in Hawaii

well For some reason I thought out would get more writing done then I have. I Have not yet touched the editing of my Nano project, and I wrote maybe 300 words on my short story. but really who can write when you are surrounded by this?

and the blogger app is still very crazy. one of these days I will figure it out.

anyway back to writing. the cool thing is this vacation has given me a lot of inspiration. So much that if i was filing as a professional writer I could say this trip was a research trip.

I Spent some time on a beach covered with volcanic rock that was very easy to climb. in fact latterly was jumping from rock to rock not having to worry if my feet would
slip. this will go in my short story and actually might help it to get going somewhere.

second I spent some time on a sail boat. it has opened my mind to what the ship can be like in my nano novel.

So my little piece of writing advice today is find inspiration everywhere. it will come to you when you least expect it.

that is all for now God Speed and Open Roads.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fave Five! Dec 17 20012

So I am on vacation, don't be surprised if this weeks fave five is a bit Hawaiian themed.

1. The Dole Pineapple plantation! we went Through the maze and had a great time. it would have been more fun with my friend Lisa but it was still supper fun.

2. Picking a pearl. my Hawaiian trinket is a pearl that I chose from an ouster. it was cool. and well I love pearls.

3. quiet mornings. I am still on some strange time schedule where I have been waking up at 6 in the morning which is great because it means I have been taking nice walks on the beach in almost complete solitude, which if you know the loud and craziness of my family you can imagine how valuable these few moments alone in the morning are.

4. Turtles! Yes I went to see sea turtles in the wild. so fun. (also did some rock climbing at that beach.)

5. did I mention how great Deadline by Mira Grant is? No? oh right that was the same week I read Red Seas Under Red Skies. well Deadlines was a great sequel to Feed. it looks into the parts of the Zombie out break that no one really looked into after the world realized that they were going to survive. here are 3 reasons that you should read Deadline: a) full of more zombie goodness b) We follow Shawn as he pulls himself out of the slump he has been in since George... wait I don't want to spoil book one so let's just say that Shawn is our narrator and he may or may not be going crazy. c) SCIENCE!!! Of you know fun science

Alright that's all for today till next time Godspeed and Open roads

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the needles: Long Over Due

Now because of November Writer Craziness I didn't knit that much but now with Christmas just around the corner my needles are clicking  at the speed of that little Mexican mouse (or was he a Kangaroo Rat? I don't remember someone help me out here.) any way so I have a ton to talk about on my little needles, even a finished projects.

First I'm still working on the Velvet Morning Cardigan, I just am not going to take an individual picture because it hasn't actually changed very much. soon I will be don't with the body and starting on the sleeves. I'm thinking of trying to do the sleeves at the same time, I just don't know about it because of the color work. any way.

In the spirit of Advent I got a visit from the advent fairy. to help me get my Christmas gifts done this year the Advent fairy gave me money to by the yarn that i needed to finish. In this picture you can see the three pairs of socks I have to finish for Christmas, the two hanks of yarn are the gifts I was only able to get because of the advent fairy:

Still on the subject of these socks I finished one pair I'm a little worried about how the received of these socks will like the strange stripes but I like them I think they are pretty cool.

Pair number two is almost done, I'm a little worried, the die lot of the yarn is different and one of the colors in the color way is a little brighter then in the other yarn. but the knitters at knit night assure me that no one but me will ever really notice.

And pair number three the one that has the most work ahead of it, this is the only sock that I have started:

Now I did buy some new yarn that was my reward for writing 50,000 words was Spun and died by my friend Stephanie. Her Yarn is called Lunabudknits. The yarn is called Little Bear (100% Alpaca) in the color way Euryale. I love it. it is going into making my very first shawl. The shawl I'm knitting with it is the Japanese Waves Rectangle Shawl, it's available for free at Ravelry.

Now this is the last thing I want to show you is the elefante I knitted for the daughter of the UsualFool. For fun I thought I would take pictures as I put the toy together so you could see some of the work that goes into making a hand knit toy.

Here are the pieces. we have a body, a head with trunk, two ears and four legs

The first thing I did was give it eyes. Now because the eyes were going on the purple stripe I tried to give it white eyes. this looked too creepy to give to a two year old so he got googly eyes. 

Next I attacked the ears. Now latter I realized that according to the directions I put the eyes on the bottom of the head, so the head is actually upside-down. But this is something that only i see, everyone else thinks that it is perfect. hahaha little do they know all the little imperfections that I made. 

The next step was to put the legs or feet, each foot is put on separately. The first one is the hardest to put in the right location, the last is the hardest to put on because the other legs keep getting in the way of the needle.

Now we put on the head. This is the funnies part because the head is way bigger then the body. I don't know why it just is. In this picture you can see the strings that will become the tail. The purple thread is actually the thread that was used to attach the head. I figured this was a great way to reinforce it so that a toddler couldn't take it a part. this is also the only picture I have of the final product. 

The last step is the tail. I attached several threads and then braided them. with this done I proceed to test it's durability by swinging it around by it's tail and pulling on all of the parts because I gave it to a two year old. while my hope is that this is a toy she will cuddle with we all know that it will be a weapon to hit her daddy with.

well that was a long post but it had lots of pictures so I hope you enjoyed it. Till next time God Speed and Open Roads.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group, Nano recap, Dec goals

So I have a lot of things to talk about today.
First and most importantly Insecure writer's Support Group:

We all need some support because we all have bad days as writer. and December can be quite a let down after NanoWriMo. If you completed it or if you didn't now matter what your final word Count was if it was more then 0 then you did good. Life happens, there is nothing we can do about it. I'm going to quote Howard from Writing excuses, 'if you didn't make it consider the date of November 30 as an editors date. now imagine that you and your editor get a chance to talk and you make a new finish date. how many words do you have left and guess how long it will take you to finish that number and make a new date.' sorry Howard that wasn't a perfect quote but it gets the idea across. so go out and write more words, because most writers don't make their dead lines. just ask anyone waiting for the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, or the next book in the gentlemen bastards series.  either way you are one step closer to going from a wantta be writer to a 'professional' writer. (Pisst, does anyone have an Idea when anyone can consider themselves a pro writer?)

Okay Now My Nano recap:

My ending word count was 54,000+. which is the first time I have made the word count, and not only that I am not finished with the story yet. I'm maybe about 4/5 of the way done. I just got to write the approach to the climax, the Climax and tie all the loose ends together. And that is exciting for me. I've never written anything this long and not ended with something that looked like it came out of the City of Old Emperors.

Three things that I would have been lost without during this endeavor: 1. #writeclub if you are getting ready to write on Friday nights get on twitter and join us. we have fun and keep each other on task. 2., I love this website. like I said on Monday I wrote all my words at this website. and there is nothing more fun then having a herd of kittens to cheer you own. 3. writer podcasts. Listening to The round table Podcast and Writing excuses for their special nanowrimo episodes were fun and encouraging. not to mention inspiring. any time i was stuck I got help from them.

Special thanks to:
Seanan McGuire, Brion Humphery, and Dave Robinson from the Round table Podcast. The novel that I wrote was connected to the novel I workshopped with them, its a different story line but the same characters and same world.

Chuck Windig and his blog post 25 ways to unstick your story, I would have gotten anywhere with out it.

Ink in the Book: her little blog workshop was increasingly helpful and got me over several important writing blocks.

My husband who has been increasingly encouraging, even when my computer died. he was able to get the first part of my novel so I could win.

Finally and most importantly my writing buddies, friends, family, thank  you for your encouragement and without you probably would have given up this dream of being a writer a long time.

Okay and my goal for writing in December:
This month I am planing to write a 7,000-10,000 word 'short' story. and Edit what I have written so far in my Nanowrimo novel, which is called Sunset heather.

well this has been a long post, so till next time God speed and Open roads.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Hunger games 2

First Katniss is growing on me. Not for her own sake, if it wasn't for Peeta, Cinna, and the Avox girl I probably still wouldn't like her. But it reminds me of something I thought about when I was somewhere between high school and college. I wondered what it would be like if I could step outside myself and see what other people see. I don't think Katnis likes herself very much. and because she doesn't like herself or think other people should like her as I read her story I see her the way she sees herself. It takes Peeta to let us know that she is someone who is worth liking, it is Cinna who sees beyond what everyone else sees. her for who she really is. and it is through their eyes that I see a Katniss that I can maybe like.

Second, The Avox. these fascinate me. Here is one of the hints that people even in Capital know there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. Not all is as it seems. the scene we are given which describe the way Katniss saw her is possibly more horrifying then the games themselves. and the touching scene between Katniss and this girl is touching. I like this girl. She has suffered in a way Katniss hasn't. (again not saying that Katniss's life doesn't suck.) and yet she shows Katniss compassion, even forgiveness. It is a small and touching scene that has moved me to like Katniss more then any other scene so far in this book.

Third, Cinna is my favorite character. He is an artist who is not interested in flashy showy world of  Capital. his appearance stands as a stark contrast to those around him who are decorated in ways that make them seem something other then human. Cinna sees who Katniss can be and will be if she has the chance. He knows he can help her get that chance.

I know how this book ends, I have read about it, I have seen the movie and I have heard people talk about what happens. I know how the trilogy ends. I know that eventually Katniss will become a major player in a rebellion against Capital. At this moment Cinna seems to me someone who wants to see the world change. He can't change it himself but maybe just maybe if he can help this girl who has given up everything to perfect her sister, he can do a small part towards that goal.
That's all my thoughts on this for now, I'll check back in after I have gotten to chapter 15

God Speed and Open Roads

Monday, December 03, 2012

Fave Five:History, Advent, Kittens, and Pirates!

Sad that it has been over a month since I did one of these posts. I was planing to have my posts through November to be filled with writery goodness to for inspiration and encouragement. but that didn't happen. oh well life goes on. So this week's favorite things:

1. History Chicks  Would you like to learn more about the great women of History? Beckett and Susan have got you covered. From Cinderella to Madame Pompadour. they have a love for history and a desire to share it all with you. I've been listening to these ladies pretty much from the beginning. they are informative and fun. at times it feels like you are sitting down and hanging out with them over a cup of coffee. each women of history is well researched and you never know what you might find out about them. Did Lizzy Bordon kill her father and step father? Was Marie Antoinette really just a party girl. and what are the Gilded Age Heiresses any way. these ladies are Hours of entertainment and like they say "any resemblance to a boring old history lesson is purely coincidence." Seriously give them a listen, you will be glad you did. 

2. Advent with December upon us it means it is advent. as my priest said yesterday, it is the "deep breath" before Christmas. I love the season of advent. from the candles to the Christmas Preparations to the fasting. -yeah advent is a fast season in the Christian Calender. I hope everyone takes time this advent to think about what it really means to prepare for Christmas. (sorry to any of my non Christian readers) it is a really neat time of year, similar to Lent but different in so many ways. Speaking of which I have got to get my advent wreath up.

3. Lindsey Stirling-this girl is so talented and just a joy to watch. Here is one of my favorites:

 I don't know how much of her music she writes herself but the videos she makes are amazing. She calls herself a Hip hop violinist, and she is one of the funnest Violinists I've ever watched. From her cover of the Game of thrones theme to the Phantom of the Opera to elements, her creativity knows no bounds. Follow her on twitter @Lindseystirling.

4. written Kitten-Did you make your word count for nanowrimo? do you need a little encouragement to finish up that word count? have no fear here is a website where you can write and be rewarded for every 100 words you write with a picture of a kitten. this web site is where I wrote all of my words for nano. there are some really cute kitties there. 

5. Red Skies Under Red Seas- I've finished 4 books over the last two weeks. and this is the one that I really want to recommend. yes it is the second book of a series, (you can find my review of the first book here) but here are three reasons why you should either pick up this series, or read this book. a. if you read the lies of Lock Lamora this book is a wonderful sequel. an even bigger heist, an even more dangerous foe. b. Thieves prosper and the rich remember. that is the goal of the followers of the Crooked Warden. Lock and Jean must make a choice to play it safe or follow the mandate of their god to make sure that the thieves prosper and the rich remember that they are not as secure as they thought. c. Pirates!!!!! the thieves of the sea. (oh and kittens! i forgot about the kittens. for some reason the God of the sea in these books require that every ship that sails on his seas must have a women and cat on board.)

On another note watch for another hunger games post. I'm on chapter ten and think it may be time to say a little more about my thoughts on the book.

Also because this is my first 'official' post of December let me tell you a few things about what this month has in store. First I am taking a vacation with the family to Hawaii this month so during that time post will probably be scarce. Second I am going to take Christmas off. that means that there will be no posts between midnight the 24 to January 8.  That's right I recognize the 12 days of Christmas.

that is all for announcements. till next time God Speed and Open Roads.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Hunger Games

So I am reading the hunger games for the first time. Considering my general dislike of Young Adult fiction it shouldn't surprise anyone. Some people are sighing with relief because they have been trying to get me to read these books for a long time. Any ways so I'm on chapter 5 and here are some thoughts.

1. Katness is kind of a bitch. they say that when bad things happen to people they turn out to be one of three things: a carrot, an egg, or a tea bag. each of these change when dropped into hot water. the carrot turn to mush, the egg gets hard boiled, and the tea bag changes it's surroundings. Katniss is an egg. hard times have made her hard. her mother is a carrot. hard times hit and she turned to mush. Prim was the tea bag. I don't like Katniss very  much. She is mean to most everyone, her mother, Peta, and other random people she comes in contact with. and Look before you go defending her I understand why she is the way she is. I'm just saying this, if I lived in seam, while seeing her sacrifice as something beyond honorable, she is not someone I would be friends with. Mostly because yeah she is kind of a bitch.

2. I want to hear her mother's point of view. see I am not a big fan of first person point of view. i can't bring myself to write it and after a while I can't stand reading it. I find myself narrating my own day in my head when reading a book in first person. as a reader I'm kinda bored with Katness, she is an angry teen. I get that, and yeah her life kinda sucks. but I'd really like to hear what is going on in her mother's head. of course the general YA audience doesn't care about such things, but that isn't who I am. I'd also like to hear what is going on from Peta's point of view. again this is just showing my preferences, I mean my preferred point of view to write in is Omniscient.

3. Lastly while I can see why teenagers love these books and I think they are good books for teenagers to read, before the reaping Katness is pretty whiny-again yes her life sucks I'm not saying I don't get it- it's just the reason I don't really read YA and why I don't relish the idea of writing YA.

So those are my thoughts on what I've read so far. maybe do to the hype and how much people have said oh you'll love it i'm more critical but that is the way it is.

God speed