Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Low Stress and the Super Full Moon

It's another lazy summer day. Late yesterday I played in the water hose with Mini, then went to the store to pick up ice cream. The name of the game these days is simply to keep things low stress.

Today marks the first day of the Mercury retrograde. It's going to last until July 21st, I think. Maybe the 22nd. I don't have the dates right at hand, but it's one of those dates. About a week ago, I kinda figured something like that was coming up when our washing machine started going on the fritz and a lot of old friends started popping up to say hello. All very out of the blue.

Anyway, I don't have a whole bunch going on right now. I'm gearing up for the Harlequin pitch coming up in July, and I'm also doing a bit of study reading.  I'm also revising a novella.

Before I call it a day... Today's pictures are from either June 22 or June 23 - the night of the super full moon. Both are a bit fuzzy, but I like the artsy fartsy look of them anyway. The 2nd one with the weird rainbow gradient flash image is my favorite. I didn't realize I'd activated the flash. I like the way it came out. The arc at the bottom of the image isn't my finger, for once. It's a dust mote that was on the lens. I noticed it when I took a picture of mini and the same mote appeared near the same spot. I wiped the lens off on my T-shirt, and voila! No more arc. Shiny dust. Maybe from fairies. I mean, why not? ☼

Saturday, June 22, 2013

10 Things - My Weekend To Do List

Bath? Bath? 

10 Things - My Weekend To-Do List
  1. Move the dresser so I can mop underneath it. 
  2. Bathe the dogs.
  3. Finish my art project - due Sunday afternoon. 
  4. Set up a vet appointment for SassiePup.
  5. Shred this towering pile of old bills on the edge of my desk.
  6. Write at least two chapters.
  7. Thorough bathroom cleaning. (After bathing dogs!)
  8. Visit Mom and Dad.
  9. Tackle the mountain of laundry in utility room. 
  10. Reward self with chocolate heaped upon more chocolate and sprinkled with extra chocolate.
My weekend in a nutshell - busy with a stellar chance of chocolate. Now to make it happen. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Another Summer Day :: And SassiePup

Yesterday the guys and I visited my mom and dad for Father's Day. We ate hot dogs, ice cream, and cake. It was all very low key and relaxing. When I left for home, hubby was lounging in Mom's recliner and looking very sleepy. He had to work yesterday afternoon, so he left from my parents house instead of coming back home then leaving again.

Mini stayed the night with gram and grampa, so this morning I woke up to an empty house - just me and the dogs. Hubby woke me up to say goodbye before he left for work this morning, but I fell asleep again and didn't wake up and start my day until 9.

I've been working since I got up. Mostly I'm reviewing notes, sketching out scenes, and getting my plot points in a row so I know who my characters are and who is supposed to be doing what. A few days ago, I wrote myself into a corner as far as setting is concerned, so I had to make some adjustments there. Even with those few changes, for the most part everything is going well. I'm at the point that I know what I want to happen between the characters in this story. I know how it begins and ends, it's just a matter of moving everyone around on the stage in a believable way that is also true to who they are personally.

This evening I have revisions to do - not fun, but necessary. Especially if I want to have a new release before the summer is over. I've only sold two stories so far this year. I'm a little disappointed about that, but c'est la vie. I can only do what I can do.

Before I go, I'm currently reading Fine Tunic Fiction by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. The ebook is only 140 pages, but there is a lot of complex information to absorb. And do mean that about the complexity of the information. This isn't easy reading, so it's taking me longer to work my way through it. I'm on part three of the book, and so far, I'm impressed by what I've learned. (It's my understanding that this ebook comes from a workshop she gave years ago.) Anyway, I'll post a review about the ebook over at Goodreads once I've finished reading it.

That's all for now. Today's picture is from about two weeks ago. I forgot I took pictures of Sassie Pup while taking her for a walk around the yard. I caught her right as she spotted a squirrel in the neighbor's yard and stopped to watch. She is rarely still, and often her pictures come out blurry from fidgeting and tail wagging. When I found these pics on my iPod, I was surprised to find one with my girl composed and alert. The picture above is my favorite from the lot. She's absolutely still and focused - a rare moment for her. ♥

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In The Summertime

Glorious summer. One of my classes ended yesterday, and I have another ending later this week. The third doesn't end until July, then I'm taking the rest of the summer off to brush up on math skills before plunging in for a new round of academic torture this fall.

Since we're short on cash, I've been getting creative with our "fun day" plans. Rather than going on expensive outings with Mini during the week, I've made more economical choices - more library and park visits, and visits to the lake when hubby has the day off.

On Monday we bought a box of chicken and fries and went out to the park for a family picnic. Mini played on the swings and slides, and hubby ran into someone from work who had taken his kids out there as well. You'd think there would be more kids at the park this time of year, but after the other family left, we were the only folks out there. We stayed until it got too hot, then came home and lounged in the air conditioning. The guys watched movies, and I wrote for a while.

I'm supposed to meet up with friends this Friday for a library date. I'm sure we'll be chatting about books. I need to head back over to the library anyway. I want to check out a copy of Water for Elephants (I saw it on the shelf the last time I went in), and I'd like to see if they have any Alice Borchardt books available.

Sunday is Father's Day, and I think we are having a family gathering at mom and dad's house - a BBQ probably. I'm game for that. I still need to pick up cards for both Hubby and my dad. As for gifts, I have no idea what to buy for either of them. They have very niche interests, and enough junk to last them both a lifetime. Maybe gift cards. We'll see.

That's all for now. I'm about to put some brown rice in the rice cooker and set some squash to steaming. Then I have to figure out what to do with the lump of ground beef thawing in the sink. Just meat and gravy, maybe? I'm sure Mini will let me know, yay or nay. ♦

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Feeling Bookish

What a busy Saturday!  I did eleventy billion things, and whew! I'm exhausted. I had to run errands, and one of those errands was to take back my library books. They were due Friday, but I had two class projects to finish, and a close friend needed help with editing a difficult piece that day, so I didn't get around to it then.

I went today, instead, and my book fine was a whopping .10 cents. A good thing really since I'm short on cash. I spent way too much time browsing the bookshelves, and in the end, picked out books I've already read. I rechecked out Houses of Stone (Barbara Michaels) and The Wolf Gift (Anne Rice). I also picked out a book I've never heard of before called: This Year You write Your Novel. (Walter Mosley) The Walter Mosley book is fairly short. Only a hundred pages or thereabouts, so I'm starting off the stack by reading that one. I'll post my thoughts on Goodreads once I've read it. And yes, I know, I know...I have a pile of half read books listed at Goodreads. I need to make an effort to get those books off my stack.

Sunday's itinerary is to revise, write, do some reading for the sake of reading, and to lounge as much as possible. It's been a stressful week. Next week is looking like it will be busy, too. But in a fun way. I'm going to be meeting up with friends to catch up, and chat books. Sounds good to me. ♥

That's all for now. I have laundry to finish, and I don't know how much longer I can keep my eyes open. So sleeeepy... Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Tea Time Tuesday (and other random thoughts)

Image courtesy of - Free & Public Domain Photos | (c) Magnus Rosendahl
Today I've written about 2k words, and I'm about to open a file for proofing. First things first - tea. I couldn't go on without a cup of tea.  I just made some Raspberry Zinger and carried it back here to my office. Fruit teas aren't my favorite, but they'll do in a pinch. And yeah, a pinch. Let's just say I really, really need to get to the store and pick up a few groceries. The cupboards are bare.

I've been reading a lot of books lately, and there's something I noticed about drawing readers into the setting. Now, this is not every author's technique, of course, but I was reading a horror novel when I noticed the author didn't describe much about setting unless a character was presently interacting with the set, or about to interact with it. I know this wouldn't work 100% of the time. There were exceptions to this within the very book I'm talking about. However, for this observation, I noticed that when the author did this, I didn't skim those setting details. I actually read them. That's food for thought.

© Lleha | Dreamstime Stock Photos
& Stock Free Images
Last night I dreamed I was at my godfather's dental office. I was there working because one of his regular assistants was out sick. We were preparing to close for the day, and he said to me, "Do you want to get lunch?" I assumed it was Saturday, because that's the only day of the week he works half a day. I said, "Sure."  By the time I'd turned around, though, he had gone out to his car, and I could only stand there and watch him. He turned and looked at me a moment before he climbed into his car, and I realized he had to leave without me. I had this feeling it was the last time I was going to see him.

The dream shifted from there. I was walking home, and I found myself walking along the strip mall in town. I was window browsing when I ran into my mother, who was coming out of one of the shops near the nail salon. She was surprised and happy to see me and said she wanted to take me to DG to do some shopping, but she had to do something else first. Attend to business or some such thing.. Before she left, she pointed down the mall and said that dad was down there. I left her to do her thing, and went to find Dad. He'd parked his truck outside DG and was sitting on the curb. I sat down beside him and asked what he was doing. We talked for a few minutes, then I looked down at my feet and saw a large wolf spider crawling across the parking space and heading directly for my shoe.

Dad began to talk about how he liked spiders, but I didn't want to risk getting bitten. I took off my shoe and smacked the spider, but it didn't just kill it - it popped open the egg sack I didn't know it was carrying and dozens of teeny tiny spiders scattered everywhere. I jumped up, not sure what to do. Dad was cooing at the spiders, scooped up some of them and put them on the curb. That's about the time Mom showed up. I was grateful for the rescue.

Mom and I went into DG. I'm not really sure what we were shopping for, but I had this idea in my head it was because I was either about to move or already living in a new house. The store was very crowded. There were dozens of people shopping and many of the shelves were empty, still we pushed through the aisle and at one point, someone stopped her and asked her who had sent us to the sale - she told the sales person it was my Uncle Deward. That's when I woke up.

Spiders are a recurring dream symbol for me. I remember dreaming about them as a child. Still they manage to freak me out. Not as much as wasps, but...spiders. Eek.

That's it for now. I have a few things left to do so I can relax with the guys tonight. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Weathering the Storm

© Swisshippo
| Dreamstime Stock Photos |
Stock Free Images
It's after two in the morning, and I'm sitting my comfy chair, listening to the rain hit my office window. We're under a thunderstorm warning and high wind advisory, so I'm anticipating the lights going out at any minute. I suppose that's fine since I'm going to bed in a few minutes anyway, but first, I wanted to blog while I have some free time to do so.

A few months ago, I dreamed about giant apples growing on the trees in our front yard. I'm sure you can probably search the blog and find the post where I wrote about the dream in its entirety. I still haven't figure out what it means, exactly, but I dreamed about the apples again last night.

I didn't see the apples themselves, but rather I remembered them in my dream. I'd been given this piece of paper - a diploma, certificate, or an important contract of some kind - and I was absolutely thrilled that I'd received it. The paper was a milestone for me, and as I held it in my hands and read my name on the paper, I started to have an internal conversation with myself. You did it. You reached your dream goal. You should be happy. That sort of thing. But self-doubt quickly found it's way into my thoughts. Within minutes, I had this internal war going on with myself. What I had accomplished wasn't good enough. It wasn't as high as I could go. Or something like that. It was vague in concept, but troubling.

Finally, I looked at the paper again, and remembered the apples. I don't know why, but I visualized them and suddenly I had this total change of attitude. I stopped beating myself up and said to my inner naysayer, you know what, you're missing the point. This is a good thing. It's what I've been working for, and I want it. So, I'm going to embrace it, and I'm going to enjoy this while I'm in this moment.

I woke up after that, and there was this residual feeling of accomplishment and change. It was nice. Worth remembering, so I'm writing it down.

In the morning (well, it's morning already, but you know what I mean), I have some revising to do. I hope the storm doesn't take out the electricity. Rainy days are perfect for hunkering down and working on writing projects.

That's all for now. Happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Leave the Rest to Fate

Summer dreaming. Wish I was there.
Photo by me. (Taken at Jax Beach, FL)
Earlier today I fixed the questionable beginning of one of my stories, and I'm breathing a sigh of relief over that. I still have some work to do on this project, but I'm taking it one step at a time. I'm behind on it, and I've got so much going on at home the time management to juggle everything is killing me. An hour here, and hour there...and by the afternoon, I'm wondering where the time went. Either I'll finish that story tonight, or I won't. I'm going to keep working on it and leave the rest to fate.

Hazel kitty is doing better, but I'm not getting my hopes up. She's more responsive, and she's taking a bit more liquids. However, she's still very fragile. She had an intense seizure today. It lasted for about two minutes, and afterwards, she had a nosebleed. There's not a lot I can do except keep her comfortable. She's stomaching the antibiotics well, but I have to force feed it to her. No fun. I was up with her until four in the morning. I went to bed around that time. I woke up briefly at six a.m., then I got up for the day at 10. I feel like a walking zombie. As for Hazel, I've had her with me all day. 

First thing this morning, I checked in on my classes, and the professors were saying something about an issue with one of the quizzes we took last week, or the week before last. I checked my quizzes, and it shows I never took the second test. The major one worth the most points. The hard deadline has passed, so when I retook the test I didn't get a score for it. And I know I took it the first time because I remembered the questions. So, I got a big fat zero on one of my main quizzes. Yay. If I weren't so tired and frazzled, I'd probably raise a ruckus. But, it's just a MOOC, and at this point, I can't hardly muster the energy to care. 

Now that June is here, we're done with birthdays until August. No more party planning for a few months, although I'm pretty sure we'll end up over at the lake again. I also promised Mini more trips to the park and the library. As for my personal goals, I just want to finish some of these projects I have lying around.

So there you have it. Not much else is going on thankfully. Next week, though, I have to schedule a proxy test. I'll swim that moat when I get to it. I guess. Happy weekend!