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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Peterborough was lovely yesterday. Cold (3 with a windchill of minus 1), but sunny. So sunny I actually got a bit of a sunburn. Gizmo Guy and I both used to live in Peterborough - not at the same time though - but I realized we have no photos of it. So I went around with my camera and took some pictures - I plan on posting them another day when I don't have much to talk about.
Today I worked on my story a bit, then after I checked out of the hotel and headed toward the front door, I stopped and swore. It was snowing. SNOWING. It's April frickin' 30th and it was SNOWING! Then we got home (it snowed the whole way home) and discovered that the blossoms on my lovely magnolia tree that were so beautiful and pink yesterday were brown and limp today. I guess there must have been a horrible frost overnight that killed them off. *sob* My poor tree! It's spring, Mother Nature, you b*tch! Leave my flowers alone!
And on another rant against Mother Nature - on Monday I went shopping for some new blue jeans because I'd completely worn my old pairs out. (I HATE clothes shopping so always wait until I HAVE to go.) But while trying on clothes I discovered I have to look in the petite section. WTF? Me? Petite? I am in no way petite. Never have been. I used to be 5'8", though now I'm about 5'7" (yeah yeah, you shrink as you age. I wish someone would mention that to my waistline.) And now for some reason the clothing manufacturers have decided my legs aren't long enough. Or other people's legs are longer. I have to buy shorter leg length than average which means I have to look for my pants in the 'petite' section. Which makes me repeat WTF? I can understand my spine gradually compressing thanks to an explanation from my chiropractor, but my legs are shrinking? Thanks SO much Mother Nature. I really didn't need that hit to my ego.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Oh, all right, I admit it. I caved to my internal nag, I mean editor. I went back and changed up my first chapter yesterday - I wrote an additional 2,000 words, but I also rewrote my outline and changed some aspects - nothing major but the changes should allow me to introduce more conflict between the hero and heroine later. But it means I'm going to end up chopping about 1500 words or so too. So I've spent today doing a rough edit of the original first chapter to make sure it falls in line with the tweaked outline. It'll still need major smoothing/layering once I'm done the first draft, but my inner b--editor is relaxing to know it's more in line with the way the rest of the story will now be going. (She can be real PITA some times.)
However,considering the pace I set, I'm not feeling great knowing that my wordcount will be slowing down for the next couple of weeks. I figured I'd have this week free and clear at least but after a surprise invitation from Gizmo Guy, I'm going to be away tomorrow and Wednesday. GG will be working an extra long day tomorrow overseeing an install of something or other in one of the more distant computer centres he's responsible for and he probably won't finish until 2 a.m. and must be back in the centre by 6 a.m. So his boss has approved his request to rent a hotel room so he can get some rest in between. Not being a dummy when he asked if I wanted to go along, I said yes! But though I get the use of the hotel room, I won't have Gizmo Guy to enjoy it with. *pout* My plan is to force myself to take advantage of the interruption-free room and write my a$$ off. Although between you and me and the gate post, I'd prefer to be interrupted by Gizmo Guy. I mean, come on, hotel room, whirlpool bath, kingsized bed! What would you rather do? Write or ... um ... research?
I can console myself however because next week I get to have Gizmo Guy all to myself . We leave Sunday night for our mini-vacation to Quebec City to celebrate our 30th anniversary. So I doubt I'll get much writing done then either, though lots of ideas and *clears throat* research opporturtunities will present themselves no doubt.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.
1. I was born in Montreal, and grew up near Ottawa where we had two television channels, one English and one French. I used to understand French - would translate what they said on TV for my mother, a non-French speaker. But then we moved closer to Toronto and I lost it. But every now and then I swear there's a French woman inside me clawing to get out. Oh, wait, that's just the demon who possesses me.
2. When I first moved to Toronto after I was married, I used to work for a security company as an assistant to the chief of security. I summarized their daily reports, organized time sheets, etc. but was also in charge of making the security passes for every member entering the buildings, and occasionally had to deal with emergency calls. One day I answered a phone call from a client telling me there was an armed robbery in progress, complete with Halloween masks and shotguns, and another was a bomb threat. I was the only female surrounded by 70+ mainly former military men. Not to mention Christmas parties that including Toronto's SWAT and bomb squads. I learned a lot about their codes of honor, and their senses of humor and still use some of them as examples for characters.
3. Considering I used to hobnob with law enforcement officers, I'm a law-breaker. Deliberately. I live near the town's airport, and they've got a bylaw forbidding people within a certain distance of the airport from having birdfeeders. I live within that distance. But even so, I have two birdfeeders that I fill every day because I love watching the birds - I have blue jays, and white throated sparrows, a pair of cardinals, yellow bellied sapsuckers, flickers, two different types of woodpeckers, and a whole host of others. I love watching them and keep a pair of binoculars and my camera handy at all times. Even when some birds eat the others - like the sharp-shinned hawks and northern shrikes. It's fascinating.
4. I'm terrified of dentists. It probably comes from being forced to watch my eldest sister have a tooth extracted before I had my first 'visit' at the age of four. The dentist then tied me to his chair so he could have see what needed to be done to me. A psycholologist I once worked for gave me meditation and breathing exercises to do to try to overcome it. I will go, and on the outside I look fairly relaxed but inside I'm screaming and terrified. A phone call from the dentist just about causes panic attacks.
5. I used to sing in a choir as a kid, had a good enough voice that I was asked to sing solos. But now I can't carry a tune if you handed it to me in a bucket. Never ask me to sing if you value your ears. If you want someone to sing for you, ask Marley - she sings like an angel. I'm trying to get her to make a CD of her songs. I'd buy it.
6. I'm horrible with houseplants. I either overwater them or forget to water them completely. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE having greenery around. I just am not good with them. Makes you wonder why I ever dared having kids. But then again, maybe I've over/under watered them too.
So now I have to tag some people Most times I think of tagging people for meme's as the modern equivalent of a chain letter, plus most of the people whom I read have already been tagged :( I could only come up with a few names who I thought might get a kick out of it.
Cora? How do you feel about doing a meme?
Friday, April 25, 2008
AUSTIN POWERS PICK-UP LINES
1. I wish you were a door so I could slam you all day long.
2. (Lick finger and wipe on her shirt)....Let's get you out of these wet clothes.
3. Nice legs...what time do they open?
4. Do you work for UPS? I thought I saw you checking out my package.
5. You've got 206 bones in your body, want one more?
6. Can I buy you a drink or do you just want the money?
7. I may not be the best looking guy in here, but I'm the only one talking to you.
8. I'm a bird watcher and I'm looking for a Big Breasted Bed Thrasher,have you seen one?
9. I'm fighting the urge to make you the happiest woman on Earth tonight.
10. Wanna play army? I'll lay down and you can blow the hell outta me.
11. I wish you were a Pony Carousel outside Superdrug, so I could ride you all day long for a quarter.
12. Oh, I'm sorry, I thought that was a braille name tag.
13. I'd really like to see how you look when I'm naked.
14. Is that a ladder in your stockings or the stairway to heaven?
15. You might not be the best looking girl here, but beauty is only a light switch away.
16. You must be the limp doctor because I've got a stiffy.
17. I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles, and even farther for that thing you do with your tongue.
18. If it's true that we are what we eat, then I could be you by morning.
19. You know, if I were you, I'd have sex with me.
20. You. Me. Whipped cream. Handcuffs. Any questions?
21. F@# me if I'm wrong, but is your name Helga Titsbottom?
22. Those clothes would look great in a crumpled heap on my bedroom floor.
23. My name is Austin ... remember that, you'll be screaming it later.
24. Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?
25. Hi, I'm Mr. Right. Someone said you were looking for me.
26. My friend wants to know if YOU think I'M cute."
27. Hi, the voices in my head told me to come over and talk to you.
28. My name isn't Elmo, but you can tickle me anytime you want to.
29. I know milk does a body good, but DAMN, how much have you been drinking?
30. If you were the last woman and I was the last man on earth, I bet we could do it in public.
31. Wanna come over for some pizza and sex? No? Why, don't you like pizza?
32. Baby, I'm an American Express lover...you shouldn't go home without me.
33. Do you sleep on your stomach? no..........? Can I???
34. Do you wash your pants in Windex because I can see myself in them.
35. I lost my puppy, can you help me find him? I think he went into this cheap motel room.
My apologies to the creators of Six Chix as I'm sure I must be violating a copyright law here, but I just had to share this with you. Makes me think one of them has been reading my blog. I've spent over $1,000 fixing up my car in the past two weeks, and I still have to get the new tires. *sigh*
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The cumulative meter hit over 26K today ... except, as I'm looking at my story the last couple days, I've been thinking I need to adjust the starting. I think that's why I've slowed down recently.
So Gizmo Guy in his infinite wisdom quoted someone wise:
"Stop looking back and write forward! Finish the story first. Everything can be fixed in the second draft!"
He gave Leah a stern look and continued, "Isn't that what you kept telling me?"
"Um, yeah." Leah scuffed her toe into the ground. She's pretty sure she sent an email to Dani recently saying exactly that. Marley too. Now she's really embarrassed. Talk about being hit over the head with your own bat.
(Now why did I turn that into third person ... habit I guess.)
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Weekly Wordcount: 7971
Almost didn't make my 2,000 daily word goal - things have been hectic at home. But thanks to Amy, Christine and Susan West of Mars I made it! Phew!
Gizmo Guy has finally reinstalled all the programs I need on my laptop. Woohoo! And I've transferred over my documents, music, pictures, (I'd backed them up on Friday, thankfully) So I've got it set it up the way I had it before. With a few changes.
However, I did lose a few things - the one that hurts the most I only just realized. I'd bought some ebooks a few weeks ago, and I normally transfer them into my 'My ebook' folder. But I think I must not have done that this time as they've gone missing. I think they were still in my 'My Downloads' folder which I hadn't backed up. Waaaah! Rae Monet, and a few others will end up getting double commissions as I have to rebuy the books ... good news for them, not for my pocketbook.
(Amy, Christine, Wylie, Red and Robin's books are all safe at least!)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Weekly Wordcount: 5791
Not so much accomplished today. Why? Well, life decided to interfere, dag-nab-it.
I had to take Guitar Hero to the dentist today for what he thought was going to be a filling. When he came out, half his face was frozen thanks to the first half of a root canal they'd started. (The second half won't be done until May 9th!) He waved a prescription for Tylenol 3's and some amoxicillin in my face and slurred something about needing to get it filled. Thankfully there was a Shoppers Drug Mart right next to the dentists, so I took him in. While we're giving the information to the pharmacist, he announces he's either a) going to be sick and/or b) pass out. I got him sitting down post-haste, so he didn't do either, but it wasn't fun for a while.
After I got him home and tucked in, I had to take my car back into the mechanics. Yes, I know it was at the mechanics' all last week - I'd taken it in for a new resonator (part of the muffler system), and a lube/oil/filter and came out with not only a new resonator but four new brakes as well. (I'm unsure whether they ever did do the lube/oil/filter.) In their defence, I had asked them to check it over as it hadn't had those checked in a while. But Marley had made a comment about how the mechanics at a place she worked deliberately broke things to get more business. At the time I said "Nah, I trust these guys, I've been using them for years, they've even done work for free." Today I'm seriously wondering if maybe they've done exactly what she predicted. You see when I drove my car home on Friday night, there was now an ominous creaking/groaning noise coming from the back. Gizmo Guy thinks it's a shock or a spring that's gone. Plus the inside heater/ac fan didn't work on the settings 1,2, or 3. Only on high. And strangely enough, when I had the system completely turned off, there was an air flow when there shouldn't have been. Now the fan worked fine when I took it in last Monday. So it's back in the shop again today. I'm hoping the strange groan is simply something they didn't tighten, and the fan is something they hooked up wrong. I cannot afford all this work.
And to top my day off, my laptop wouldn't boot. I think it was because yesterday I de-installed a program I use to catch adware and bots. I've used it for years, but recently it upgraded itself and installed a resident program that took up all my memory. But I think when I de-installed it, it changed something in the registry or one of Windows main programs as I couldn't access my C drive at all even with my recovery disks. Luckily I'd backed it up on Friday, and I'd been using my desktop for my writing lately, so I've not lost any work. Gizmo Guy says the disk drive itself is fine, but he's had to re-install Windows, which meant reformatting the drive. I have to tell you it's a pain to have to reload everything - from all the service packs for Windows, the anti-virus program and all the latest virus files, Zone Alarm, Firefox, and all those other programs I need. You know, the little pesky ones? Like Office.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Daily Wordcount: 4,090 (Woohoo!)
It's the beginning of a new week, so now I'm wondering, do I keep a 'weekly wordcount' and start from 0 each Monday? Because you'll be able to see the cumulative wordcount on the status bar over to the right. Which hit 20K today!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
End of Week Wordcount: 16,011 words
Phew! I've decided I'm aiming for approximately 60K, so I'm a little under a third done.
However, I'm feeling guilty. It has been beautiful outside the last few days - finally reaching into the mid-20s (that's mid 70's for your Fahrenheit-speaking folks.) There are hints of green on my lilac bushes, and the grass on the back lawn needs cutting. I should be out there turning over my garden, spreading mulch, spreading seed on the bare spots of my lawn, especially where we had a birch tree cut down last year.
The neighbors are out there working. Then again, he's ALWAYS out there working. He's one of those 'putterers' that Gizmo Guy despises because he's always got a project on the go and Gizmo Guy thinks he makes all the non-puttering guys (like GG) look bad. From the looks of the junk he's put out at the side of the road, he's just redone his main bathroom - new tub, new cabinets, the whole works. He's out there today laying a new interlocking brick patio (second time in the six years we've lived here.) And he has gardens, front and back, to die for. Makes our poor patch of half-green/half-brown lawn look pathetic.
So yes, I should be outside 'keeping up with the putterers'. But I'm not. Instead I'm sitting inside in my cave of an office writing.
I guess it's productive.
I just hope I have something to show for it at year's end the way Mr. Putterer will.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Yesterday I blogged about getting hooked on watching DC traffic cams. And a few of you commented, asking how I find those sites. Not to puff myself up, but my critique partners often send me emails saying "Oh Googlemeister, can you find ..."
I'm often surprised by how many people comment about how quickly I find the information they need. Because it's just ... there ... for anyone to find.
But then I went to last Saturday's TRW meeting where Natalie Boon talked about doing research. While listening to the questions, I realized that some people don't know how to enter their search parameters to whittle down to the specific topic you want without wading through a lot of extraneous pages.
The more words you can put in your search, the more specific the returns Google will show you. So if you're writing about an RCMP officer who needs a search warrant, you could enter "Search Warrant" and have a lot of sites pop up, from all sorts of countries, mainly the US. Well, that's not going to help your Mountie as the US rules are different from Canada. So you have to make your search more specific. So you'd type in "Search Warrant Canada" And then you may have to get even more specific - does he need a Search Warrant or does he need a general warrant? So actually type that into your search engine "Search Warrant vs General Warrant Canada". Now you're getting closer.
Trouble is, Google will often return pages that include not just pages including all those words but pages including any of those words - search - so many you have pages about search and rescue operations, and General Motors or General Electric. And a whole lot of hits on 'Canada'. That gets daunting. But there are some tricks.
For instance, if I want to look for someone named Laura Luke, Google returns thousands of pages about Luke and Laura from General Hospital. I'll also be shown almost any page that has a Laura or a Luke mentioned on it. So I have to keep the two words together. I do this by enclosing the name in double quotes - "Laura Luke" Whatever you enclose in quotes, ensures that Google will search only for those words in that order. It considerably decreases the number of returns you have to scroll through. Well, usually, anyway.
If you're researching the baseball team the Toronto Blue Jays, then you type in Blue Jays +baseball - see the plus sign before baseball? That means Search for Blue Jays AND baseball. By using the plus, then only those pages that have both the term Blue Jays AND baseball on them but not pages about the feathered friend currently hanging on my suet feeder will be listed. (Out of habit I also enclose Blue Jays in quotes, but it usually works without them. And usually you don't need the plus sign, but it's handy to know.)
Now let's suppose you want to research the birds, but NOT the baseball team. You can tell Google (and this works with yahoo's search engine as well, by the way) to ignore any entries that have 'baseball' in them by using the minus sign. So you'd type in Blue Jays -baseball. But you do have to be careful that you're not excluding information you may need.
And don't forget you can click to look only at images or videos if that's what you're looking for. Those options are found at the top of the search returns. And you can even look for specific sizes of pictures.
Now if you need to get more specific but can't remember how to search, on the search engine's page, look beside the box where you type in what to search for. See the Advanced Search link? Click on that. It'll bring up this box.
Just fill in the boxes. Type in words you want to look for, words you want to exclude if necessary. You can choose the number of returns displayed per page, choose the language you want to look for - yeah, sorry, but my laptop can't read Japanese or Hebrew so why include pages with other languages. And you can also search specific sites, like YouTube or ones with specific endings - .gov or as they suggest .edu. The more parameters you put in the less you have to scroll through.
But you know, sometimes I find scrolling through all those entries can lead to unexpected finds.
As for the traffic cameras people asked how I found? I simply typed in "Washington DC Traffic Cameras" and Bob's my uncle (which Marley reminds would NOT be said by Americans) up popped a list to choose from. After looking at the map and realizing the DC webcams didn't cover the areas I needed, I also googled "Virginia traffic cameras" and "Maryland Traffic Cameras" and soon came up with an amazing list. It's not rocket science, but you have to be a little creative sometimes. (By the way, avoid the west end of the National Mall this morning - there's a Neo Nazi demonstration going on. I kid you not!
Neo-Nazi March - Counter-protesters gathering at 10 AM - Best to avoid the west end of the Mall near the Washington Monument and the Ellipse (the area of Constitution and 15th NW) || police activity likely; road closures possible)
Oh, and I also use Google Earth. (Google Maps is good too - they're both able to show a flat map or a satellite image, but Google Earth has more features). It's amazing how much their cameras capture. You know that old saying "I can see my house from here"? I can, including my car in the driveway. It not only gives me an idea of terrain but also of the type of area I'm looking at - is it industrial, is it residential, a downtown area, etc. And if you see little blue dots on the map, you can click on them and see pictures taken in that spot. That's really handy if you want to describe a style of building or neighborhood. So it really helps me with my real-world building for an area I haven't been to - or at least one I can't just hop into my car and drive to for a 'look-see.'
But sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm writing FICTION. I can make up streets and hills and whatever I need for my story. Within certain boundaries of course - I can't suddenly put a mountain in the middle of Washington DC. Unless I'm writing a prehistoric story. Or a Sci Fi/speculative fiction. But if I need a road with a steep drop off - well, I can create one!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Week so far: 12938 words
I think I could have written more today, but I, um, forgot the rule Natalie told us at the TRW meeting the other day: "Write the draft THEN research."
It wasn't a new rule, I'd heard it before - from Candy Haven's FastDraft, from Jenna Peterson's recent workshop on the RClist, amongst others. For instance, I knew that instead of flipping off to check Washington DC webcams and maps, I should have just written "research road where accident could occur", highlighted it in yellow and gotten back to it later.
I should have.
But is it ever interesting how much you can find online these days. I can watch traffic patterns of all the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia highways and main roads. It's fascinating. I can see if the land is flat or hilly. If it's a residential or industrial area. If there are dividers down the road. When the roads are busy. When they're not. I found a page that has photos of various traffic accidents and accounts of what happened so I could see what a Mercedes might look like if it's been t-boned, or see what happens if a wheel falls off a car while it's on a highway. (Guess what I'm writing about, LOL.)
Even so, I still managed to get 2,175 words written. But think how much I could have written if I hadn't been distracting myself by surfing the web?
Oh, and wish me luck - Gizmo Guy is repartitioning my laptop's hard drive tonight as, for some reason, the powers that be either at Sony or Best Buy had set it up so the C: drive had only 10 gig, while the D: drive had 50. Which meant all those programs that load themselves into C without asking have completely filled up my main drive and it wasn't working properly. Plus he's bought me some extra RAM.
Let's just hope it gets fixed better than my car. Which I got back for a mere $880 this afternoon. But has to go back in on Monday as there's still something wrong with it. Grrr.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Weekly Wordcount (starting from Monday): 10,763!
Kim said I should share a snippet of my writing with you. Hmm, my first drafts are very rough usually and seldom resemble the final product.
How about I share the first sentence?
Why did her boss have to be such a pervert?Think you'd read more?
In other news - last week our accountant finished our taxes, we're getting a rebate, woohoo! Two days later the brakes on Gizmo Guy's car started grinding - cost $350. Last Friday, the muffler blew out on my car so on Monday I took it in to my mechanic and told him not only to fix that, but also to give it a once over as we plan to drive it to Quebec City in a few weeks since it's the car with the least miles. Got a phone call today. "You shouldn't have been driving that car, the rear brake drum is busted. And your front brakes are ground right down to dust. Plus you need two new front tires." Well, we were planning on getting new tires, they're original to the car which has 150K on it. But the brakes were a surprise, we'd had no signs of problem with them, and we just had it checked out in October. And in case you're thinking our mechanic's not trustworthy, these guys are, we've been dealing with them for years and they've even done work for free. If they say the brakes need changing, they do. And they don't sell tires, we'll have to take it somewhere else for those. *sigh*
Why is that as soon as you have money come in, something expensive breaks and the money flows right back out again? Or is it just me?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
And I'm exhausted.
I find when I'm working on a new story, the entire creative process causes all the synapses in my brain to start firing so fast they can't shut off. So I have the story running through my head 24 hours a day. While my body is begging to go to sleep at 2 a.m., my brain is planning and plotting and terrorizing (or seducing) my characters. It'll last about ten days or so before things settle down, but in the meantime, I'm taking advantage of it and trying to get as much written as I can before it shuts off. Even if I'm working on no more than two to three hours sleep a night.
I really should take my handy-dandy little voice recorder upstairs one night, but so far the basics of the scenes I write in bed stay in my head and I get them down the next morning.
Today I worked on a scene that will come towards the end of the book and Sam's become quite paranoid and doesn't trust anyone. Except the heroine that is. And he'll do anything, and he means anything, to save her. Ah, true love. Or is that lust?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
It's beautifully sunny out; the temperature is reaching the high 40'sF most days, and by the end of the week it's supposed to reach the high 60s. My crocuses are blooming out front, and even though the last of the snow only disappeared last Thursday, the grass in the backyard needs cutting already.
Life is good.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I'm exhausted - thanks to all that caffeine.
I drove into Toronto yesterday for the monthly Toronto Romance Writers' meeting - first one I've made since January thanks to the snow we've had this year. The drive wasn't great because of the fog, rain, and subsequent spray from the other cars - and I won't complain too much about the traffic jam that reduced the collector lanes from 4 to 1 between Yonge St. and the DVP on the way back. Mainly because I had a really great time.
A while back I commented over on Wylie Kinson's blog about needing a TRW fix, and after not having one for so long, it was so wonderful to be surrounded by my writing friends and talking writing with people who understand the process and are so supportive. Afterwards we surprised Amy Ruttan - but I'll leave it to her to blog about how and why. (By the way, if you were at the party, and want copies of the pictures I took, let me know or Amy know, she's got a copy of them too. Wylie, I got a couple nice ones of you despite your attempts to avoid the camera.)
Earlier this week I finished the synopsis/query on Private Property (more than that I'm not saying, I'm too superstitious), and have begun outlining a sequel (that's positive thinking, don't you think? Preparing a story hoping the other one will sell?) I loved the secondary male in PP so much I really believe he deserves his own story - so even if the first doesn't sell, I'm going to keep going. It's SO nice to be working forward on a new manuscript. I'm excited about writing again. Strange thing is, that I normally write paranormals and these two are contemporaries. Ah, well, I am having fun with them. And hope some publisher will too.
I found this on Laurie Rauch's blog. As one of my critique partners will tell you, I'm anal about the proper usage of its/it's ... I keep harping on her about it. And don't even get me started on there/their/they're ... And I'll save the "It's not should of, people, it's should have" rant for another day - or maybe I've already done one. It's a continuing bugaboo.
You Scored an A
You got 10/10 questions correct.
It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.
And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I read Dear Abby. And a lot of times I agree with her. Sometimes I don't. The other day, I just couldn't agree with her.
Here's a link to the article, and here's the specific letter that sparked a discussion with Gizmo Guy and I.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 13, and I have a problem with my parents. They have been having sex. That's not the problem, except for the fact that they don't wait for me to fall asleep before doing it. Tonight they had sex before saying goodnight! How do I confront them about this? -- FREAKED OUT INOkay. Gizmo Guy and I have been married 30 years next month. We have two children - well, they're not little kids anymore since they're 23 and 17. The 23 year old works nights, and when he didn't (was in college) he stayed up all night anyway. The 17 year old is at school during the day, and now stays up later than we do watching TV in the room directly beneath our bedroom. In other words, there's ALWAYS someone around, and awake, when we are. Yet according to Abby, we're supposed to wait until they're asleep before we can have ... um ... conjugal relations. .
DEAR FREAKED OUT: Tonight at dinner, say, "Mom, Dad, I think it's time we talked about the facts of life. The first fact of life is, I'm not deaf."
Do we? NO. Because they're never asleep!
(Okay, warning - here's the TMI part) It's not like we stand in the middle of the room and announce "We're going upstairs to have sex!" We do try to be discreet, but for Pete's sake, our bed squeaks and there is NO way we can stop it, believe me, we've tried. And forget finding other rooms or places in the house because there is ALWAYS a kid around on one floor or another! (Thank GOD we're going away for our anniversary next month! We decided upon Quebec City, by the way.)
So if Curly had written that letter and showed it to me, I'd have told him "Look. Just think how lucky you are you have a mother and father who still love each other enough after 30 years to still ...um ... do it. Turn on your radio or something. But live with it!"
So on a totally rhetorical note (thankfully Curly has never said anything) - if your kid came to you and said what Dear Abby recommended -- what would you say or do?
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Three things I like about me:
1. I’m honest - although sometimes that's a fault as I cannot lie when sometimes a lie is better.
2. I'm learning to think positively - a huge step if you met my birth family
3. My hair. (okay, I guess I'm vain, but I do like it.)
Three things that could stand improvement:
1. I really need to start watching my diet - not only to lose weight, but to keep my cholesterol lower.
2. I could do a little less 'editing' and more writing forward, instead of flipping off to read other people's blogs, and my email, and play solitaire.
3. I could get a wee bit more enthusiastic - and active - about cleaning the house.
Three flying monkey things about me:
1. I relate better to men than women. Even when I lived in a houseful of women. Maybe that's why I feel comfortable living in a houseful of men now.
2. I cannot do math in my head. And forget giving me a math problem involving a letter like X.
3. I'll take a tub over a shower anyway - that's where I get some of my most creative ideas.
Your turn! Name 1) three things you like about you, 2) three things about you that could stand a little improvement, and 3) three flying monkey things about you.
And here's a shout out for one of my critique partners' new blog and website - Take a gander over to Danielle Baer's blog and leave her a comment, will you?
Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. Necromancers, werewolves, ghosts - and frauds as well. It was one of those lovely reading experiences where the world went on around me unnoticed while I immersed myself in Kelley's world. My favorite type of read. Now I'll have to re-read it and dissect how she did it and hopefully be able to learn something from this New York Times bestselling author.Jaime, who knows a thing or two about showbiz, is on a television shoot in Los Angeles when weird things start to happen. As a woman whose special talent is raising the dead, her threshold for weirdness is pretty high: she’s used to not only seeing dead people but hearing them speak to her in very emphatic terms. But for the first time in her life – as invisible hands brush her skin, unintelligible fragments of words are whispered into her ears, and beings move just at the corner of her eye – she knows what humans mean when they talk about being haunted.She is determined to get to the bottom of these manifestations, but as she sets out to solve the mystery she has no idea how scary her investigation will get. As she digs into the dark underside of Los Angeles, she’ll need as much Otherworld help as she can get in order to survive, calling on her personal angel, Eve, and Hope, the well-meaning chaos demon. Jeremy, the alpha werewolf, is also by her side offering protection. And, Jaime hopes, maybe a little more than that.
A few days ago, I'd pre-ordered JR Ward's upcoming Black Dagger Brotherhood and in order to take advantage of free shipping I also ordered an oldie of Lynsay Sands' Love Bites, and her newest in the Argeneau series Vampire Interrupted. They both arrived in the mail yesterday. Which meant I immediately sat down in my lazy-boy and curled up with a cup of tea and devoured both books. The latest in the Argeneau series, Vampire Interrupted is about the matriarch of the Argeneau family - Marguerite - who at the age of 700 and some odd years has embarked on a new career .
The identity of the mother turns out to be a neat twist, though it does take a certain amount of suspension of belief - but I love books that make me stop and say "Whoa - I wasn't expecting that!"
After seven hundred years of life, Marguerite Argeneau finally has a career. Well, the start of one, anyway. She’s training to be a private investigator, and her first assignment is to find an immortal’s mother. It seemed simple enough, until Marguerite wakes up one evening to find herself at the wrong end of a sword. Now she realizes she’s in way over her head.
Julius Notte wants to protect Marguerite, and not because someone just tried to take her head off. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s his lifemate and he’s determined to woo her. It’s been over five hundred years since he last courted a woman, but surely the techniques haven’t changed. Now if only he can keep her alive – so to speak – so they can have that happily-ever-after.
But all this reading means I've done no writing since ... um ... Thursday. I really need to get back to that query letter and synopsis of Private Property. Which are drafted out but still ...
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Wylie Kinson is running a contest to promote her upcoming release of Law of Averages. You have to submit a picture of yourself with an angel by May 8th. (Why an angel, I have no idea - I guess we'll have to read her book to find out.)
Anyway, I had to laugh when I thought "An angel? Where would you get a picture of yourself with an angel?"
Um, gee, Leah, just look around. In my living room alone, I've got a guardian angel plate and dozens of angels (glass and resin) in my curio cabinet.
I've got three music boxes with angels on them, and dozens of Christmas ornaments as well.
I've got water globe angels (I've got two, but this is my favorite)
I've cross-stitched more angel patterns than I can show here ... a guardian angel prayer I put up on my embroidery post a while back, and the guardian angel one above which was one of my first cross-stitched attempts.
I've got dozens that resemble Curly - see the one sucking his thumb - that looks just like Curly did when he was 18 months old.
The curtains in my dining room are held up by brackets of angels. The one on left plays a violin, just the way Curly did for six years. Come to think of it, I have a lot of violin-playing angels. (I have a lovely glass one about ten inches tall that I haven't photographed that is JUST like him.)
I've got an Angel poster up in the second floor hallway, and several angels surrounding a holy water font held by - of course, angels!
I've got three angels figures on a quilt rack over top of my bed, and another on the mirror of my dresser.
What does Gizmo Guy think of being surrounded by all these sacred figures? Well, he's bought me most of them. You see twelve years ago my family had an unfortunate encounter with true evil. Thing is, true evil doesn't look like the devil. It doesn't have scales or horns or slitted eyes. No, evil can be benign looking and would be someone you'd invite into your house, never realizing the danger they posed. In an effort to get rid of the horror of knowing that evil had been in such close contact with my family, I tried to surround us with all things pure and good - namely I collected angels. And knowing how I felt, and feeling similarly himself, every time Gizmo Guy would go away on a trip, he'd bring him home a new angel for my collection. These angels are from Winnipeg, and Vancouver. From Minneapolis and Florida. Even from Germany and England.
I've backed off collecting them now (I've run out of places to put them). But they still give me comfort. I hadn't realized how many I had until one of Guitar Hero's friends told him he felt uncomfortable in our living room as it was like being in a church. (In my defense, with exception of the guardian angel plate, all my angels in the living room live in my curio cabinet.)
Maybe he was just feeling guilty about something. ;)
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Well, this morning I was reading the Discovery News and saw this little article about the Abdopus aculeatus octopus.
We would be warm below the storm,Well, Ringo, apparently an Octopus's Garden is a "kinky and violent society of jealous murders, gender subterfuge and once-in-a-lifetime sex."
in our little hideaway beneath the waves
resting our head on the seabed
in an octopus garden near a cave*
Whoa! Kinky and violent? once-in-a-lifetime sex?
According to the article, octopuses (Or should that be octopi?) are a violent society where the male chooses the largest female as she'll provide the most eggs, and he'll kill by strangulation any other male that attempts to encroach upon his little garden.
So I don't think Mr. Starkey should be inviting his friends down to the Octopus's Garden any time soon. Unless he plans to off 'em of course.
We would sing and dance aroundI don't know if Octopi can sing or dance, but apparently some of the sneakier males will swim girlishly along the bottom of the sea in order to hide the stripes that identify them as males. (um, do girl octopi swish a bit more perhaps? I don't think they have hips they can swing.)
because we know we can't be found*
We would shout, and swim about,And once the male attracts the female, and guards her, which is about a month, the babies are born. Shortly after, both parents DIE - which means that sex they had to conceive their babies really was once-in-a-lifetime. Which means the kids grow up without anyone there to tell them what to do. Sort of sad, eh?
the coral the lies beneath the waves
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
knowing they're happy and they're safe
We would be so happy, you and me
No one there to tell us what to do*
I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden with you*So next time I hear that song, I think I'll tell Richard, aka Ringo, that I'll pass on his invitation.
*Lyrics credited to Richard Starkey aka Ringo Star, 1969, Octopus's Garden from the Abbey Road album
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Right after the above picture of Gizmo Guy and Curly was taken of this beautiful old red cedar in 2006, Vancouver experienced hurricane-style winds that tore out thousands of trees from the world-famous Stanley Park. We'd wondered what had happened to the 'Hollow Tree' but hadn't seen any mentions of it falling, so presumed it had survived. Unfortunately, it didn't.
This week the Vancouver Parks board voted that the tree - which is leaning 11% and is now a danger - must be cut down. (Here's what it looks like now.) They will replace it with another cedar. Let's hope it survives equally as long. And let's hope we'll have ancestors around to view it.