Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Great Switch!

(I just finished watching 'The Great Escape," feeling dramatic at the moment!)

Welcome! If you see a pink up there ^, then you're at my new site! I decided to make the switch after tons of positive WordPress feedback form various sources, and the fact that a way to move my followers was found. :)

If you still see orange up there ^, click HERE. Please follow me again, or bookmark me, or however you want to kept updated.

Midterms started last Monday, so I completely spaced the whole blog thing for the week. Oops!

NaNo started yesterday! I hit my goal of 2k! Ended with 2028. Shooting for another 2k today. After homwork. I really want that 3.5 GPA this semester.

Happy Writing to you all!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ready for NaNo?

I am! I have a very loose outline. I am not comfortable with that. I want a tight outline, but I still can't figure out the middle.

I will have one mid-term after NaNoWriMo starts - sucky. At least it's not till the 5th.

Sadly, I have class the morning of the 1st, so staying up late and starting at midnight is not in the cards for me. I am so writing while in class. I swear, my professor repeats everything he says on Monday, on Wednesday. If it weren't for attendance rules...


Are YOU ready? (If you're participating...:D)

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Friday?

I woke up this morning and swore it was only Wednesday. This week went by crazy fast.

As for my possible switch to WordPress - I got excited. We found a way to move my followers. Then the server started having issues.

 Went down for maybe an hour the other day, having issues right now. I'm not switching until they get it figured out. I don't want to send you to a slow and crashing website!

Means I'm shelving the website moving until after midterms. They start Monday, end Friday.

Probably why I'm so frazzled!

And we have a minor emergency here, Zeus ran out of chewies! The world is ending! So I am off on an emergency store run, and I'm praying he doesn't chew anything up while I'm gone. He hasn't been left home alone without a chewie in a long time. Last time he chewed up something. My husband's xbox headset I think. And some paper.

He loves paper. So odd.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Middle drama!

I know how it ends, and how it begins. How she gets from being a hard ass reporter to being a 100% selfless person is an issue.
 

I'm lost, and I'm only at the outline stage! 

How do you get through the dreaded middle?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quick Post - Poll

Blogger or WordPress?

I love the WordPress design, but I'll lose all my lovely followers. Blogger is just super simple.

Hmm.


Lemme know what you think!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why?

One little question that can cause so much angst and joy.

I've found asking myself why after every little bit of action has added depth and a realism to my stories. It's a recent discovery and as I am still a fledgling writer, I'm sure many of you already do that.


Author - A
Critic (muse in disguise.) - C

A: FMC moves to Smallville USA
C: Why?
A: Because that's where she meets the love of her life!
C: But why does she move there?
A: Uhh...

A: Teenage MC runs away.
C: Why?
A: Because she thinks the cops are after her.
C: Why does she think that?
A: I don't know, but I know she needs to be running from the cops so she won't call them when the bad guy harasses her then finally kidnaps her and keeps her locked in a basement.
C: Uh huh. Did she do drugs?
A: No! She would never touch drugs!
C: Did she steal something?
A: No! She would never steal!
C: Did she do anything illegal?
A: No! She's a very good person.
C: Then why would she be afraid of the police?
A: Uhh...


C: Wait, why was MC in the bus crash?
A: Because MC has to take the bus to get around.
C: Why didn't he take his car that he bought last chapter?
A: Uhh...

And so on. (Not the best examples in the world, just what's popping in my brain at the moment.)

One little word can cause major transformations if asked at the right moment.

Yay writing!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Short Post

Friday's Baking didn't happen. I had plans for lemon filled cupcakes. Got too busy. Next week!

I'm also now the copy editor for my friend's fledgling tech blog Tech Squawkers. I've only had admin access for like one working hour, so it still has some minor issues..:D (And it's a freebie favor. Gives me experience and gives him better grammar!)

Random writing note:
I not a pantser, I never will be. I'm in full fledged outline mode. It's awesome.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Training My Brain

As many of you know, I’ve had a heck of a time sticking to any sort of writing routine. Now that I no longer have carpal tunnel, I saw no major roadblock to establishing one.

Yeah.  I had to change my goal from writing everyday M-F on my WIP, to writing anything every day.

I’m at the point where I can sit down and write, but it’s rambling. Even sitting down to write this blog post is taking way longer than my rambling writing. I understand why. It’s a lot easier to write without thinking about it. I need to get my brain back to being able to do that with novel writing.

Right now, if I sit down to work on my WIP, my brain goes ‘hhhuuuuuhhhhh?’ and wants me to babble about what’s for dinner and the dog doing something cute. It takes me a while to get my brain focused.  I’ve started trying a couple tricks to get my brain in gear before I even open the blank word doc, or the day’s 750words page.
  1. Review what you wrote last writing session. (Only for WIP sessions, not my babbling about how cute Zeus is being.)
  2. Actually sit and think for a moment about where I want it to go next. What needs to happen, how it could happen and how to make it interesting.
  3. Open whatever I’m planning to write in, jot down the notes I’ve come up with in my head.
  4. Look for holes.
  5. Fill holes. 
  6. Begin writing.
Prepping this way is an odd concept for me. I don’t have an outline for my current WIP. I'm kinda creating the outline as I go. If I don’t think about what needs to happen before I start writing, I end up sitting there staring blankly at the screen or I’m off folding laundry.
 
It’s odd. The novel doesn’t want to be outlined, I have come to accept that.

I’m an outliner pretending to be a pantser. :D

In November, with the start of NaNoWriMo, my goal will change from writing just any words, to writing words on a novel. I know the pace is insane. But I'm hoping by then I'll be so used to doing the steps above, I'll be set. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

750words.com

I'm back! My wrist is healing well. I am super happy with the results so far. Yay! I discovered 750words while on the mend and I instantly fell in love.

For those of you with established writing routines, I doubt you'd find this site useful. But those of you (like me!) who don't have one, this could be a wonderful tool.

Basic concept, write 750 words (any words) everyday (on the site or you can copy/paste. If you copy/paste, some of the stats will go wonky), the words are kept private.

My goal with using the site is to establish a writing daily writing routine. I've had a very hard time in the past. I would blame stress, but really I'd get interrupted because I simply couldn't type anymore without pain.No longer a problem!


So far I've only missed one day. Killed my ten day streak. :( But that's okay, I had a ten day streak! :D

I hope everyone is having a non-Garfield Monday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Surgery Went Well!

My carpal tunnel release surgery went well. I'm home, typing one handed and on pain pills. Getting the stitches out in a couple days, if all looks good I should be pretty much healed up by this time next week.

That would be wonderful.

Hope is to be back posting next week. Writing updates, life tidbits and food of course!

I'm so happy at this thought: In a single day, I should be able to make a double batch of chocolate chip cookies, write at least 1000 words, and fold the laundry. Without pain. All in one day. I don't think I've even managed two of those together without major pain in a long time.

YAY

Okay, enough pain killer induced rambling from me.

Later!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Going on Hiatus

This may be blog sucide, but I'm putting my blog on hiatus until I'm healed up after my carpal tunnel surgery.

The magical shot that made my wrist pain free has worn off completely. It only took six days for the pain to start to return. Now it's back full force.

My surgery is in two weeks, then supposedly only a week max of recovery. Three weeks means October.

I probably will be lurking around the blogosphere, commenting when I just can't resist, but I doubt I'll pop in with a post.

See you in October!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

Sending you over to David Ursillo's blog post today: Forever Remember 9/11


It's a tearjerker. It's a good reminder.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh My! A Post!

Between my wrist, school and life in general, I got a wee bit distracted from the blogosphere.


I'm not getting anywhere with my Average Joe outline, despite the fact that I can now type at a pace I haven't in probably a year. (I did a quick online wpm test, came back as 89 wpm. Woot! - I got the steroid shot for my wrist, major improvement, but not 100%) I've been trying, but nothing good is coming to me.

Average Joe is stale. I like the bones of the story, I like the changes Joe will have to go through. But that's it. Anything I try to add to the outline is just filler, and it sounds like filler.

I've decided I am going to start writing it. That has my brain screaming in panic. It doesn't believe me that venturing into the unplanned isn't a death sentence. I believe it's what needs to be done. This story idea wasn't planned in the least bit. All the good parts I have came to me while writing little snips of a scene for the 2YN class.

I don't know how long it will be, I don't know if it will stay comedic. I just know that outlining is not working for this story. Time to try something scary and new.

Time to try being a pantser!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Short and Sweet

Still in crazy pain. Getting the shot tomorrow afternoon. Steroids - woohoo! ... yeah.

Classes started for me Monday. Only taking 3 this semester, I registered late, there were only so many open spots.. I'm not paying for a class I don't need, so I get to take 3.

I managed to work on my 2YN outline last night. No where near finished, and I need it to be. I'm pinning my hopes that this shot will really help.

And in the sweet world. Next time I make cupcakes, I'm trying this frosting: That's the Best Frosting I Ever Ate.

Have a great week everyone.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Baking - Favorite Baking Blogs

No baking this week.

Bring on the blogs! These are some of my favorite baking blogs, linked to one of my favorite posts.

Bakerella - Thank You War with Cakespy

Tartelette - Birthday Cupcakes 

^ These two, their photos rule.

Go Dairy Free - Triple Chocolate Brownie Cookies
I will someday actually attempt going dairy free. (I'm lactose intolerant.) But it's very hard with my husband home, wanting all sorts of cheeses and creams. 

CakeSpy - Nanaimo Bars
I have yet to try these. Homemade or not. They look divine though. 

Mini Baker - Bite-Size of HEAVEN (Mini Cookie Dough Cheesecakes)
A recipe after my heart - cheese cake and cookie dough all snuggled up together. Yum. 

What the Whisk - Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake 
She seems to be on a new baby break.


There are a plethora of awesome baking blogs, this is just a sample.


TGIF!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Should I Attempt NaNoWriMo?

I know it's a bit early for the NaNoWriMo craze to begin. (Linked in case you haven't heard of it.) My wrist will be (hopefully!) fixed by then. I may actually be physically able to keep up the writing pace along with my school work.

These last couple years my wrist just would not cooperate. Ultimate procrastination on getting it fixed, I know. Takes severe motivation (ok ok, severe pain) for me to be okay with someone cutting me open. While I'm awake.

Aliens and Flying Spatulas of Doom! (Now titled Average Joe.)
I want to work on my 2YN (a.k.a. 2 Year Novel, now titled Average Joe, shortened in my notes to 'AJ') outline so bad. I've hit a good spot.

But alas, my wrist is burning. Ice and insanely strong doses of anti-inflammatory medications are my friend right now. 

Writing & Life^

Food:

No clue what will get posted Friday. Something to do with food. I may have to skip out on baking. Might share a few of my favorite baking blogs instead. (My wrist needs time off. If my husband knew I was typing this, he'd kill me.)


Poll: Are you planning on attempting NaNoWriMo this year? Have you even heard of it?

I'd love to hear different thoughts on the insanity that is NaNo.

Happy Humpday! (Or, as Stephanie over at The Writer's Cocoon calls it, Happy Hunksday!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ow. That's basically all I have to say. My wrist pain is not good. Waiting for a call back from the doctors. There has to be something they can give me to help until my surgery.

No writing getting done except for the occasional note on a post-it.

I hope you all are having a better Monday than me!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday's Baking - Little Fruit Pie Pocket Thingies

I'm sure there is a recipe for these somewhere online. It sounds fairly simple.

I only had one roll of pie dough left after making my husband's lemon meringue pie, I would advise doing this with two. You'll use the whole can of pie filling with two. I have half a can of apple pie filling sitting in my fridge, waiting to be used.

Ingredients:

Roll of pie dough (Need 2 to use the whole can of filling.)

Can of your favorite pie filling

Egg wash

A recipe with a max of 3 ingredients can't be hard, right?

Looks innocent enough...

Step One:

Don't forget to take the pie crust out. Especially if it's in the freezer. According to the box, it can take an hour and a half to thaw from frozen. Thankfully I'm in Texas, in August, and I don't keep my kitchen AC vents open. It took 60 minutes to thaw from frozen.

Step Two:

Once you have thawed dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. My oven runs REALLY hot, so I cooked them at 300 degrees. (It's an ancient oven, we rent, so no long term benefit for us to replace it.)


Step Three:

Choose filling. I voted blueberry, my husband voted apple. I know I don't have enough pie crust to make use of both cans of pie filling. I do like apple, I just have to eat it cold. My husband isn't a huge fan of blueberry, and probably wouldn't eat any. Since I don't want to eat them all by myself, apple it is.

Step Four:

Unroll the pie dough on a lightly floured surface.

I used a dough chopper to cut the circle into 6 sections. It'll make 3 pies. I'm not convinced I need the 'lightly floured surface' with pre-made dough, but with my history with any kind of dough, I took the extra precaution.



Step Five:

Build the pies!

Fill the center of half the cut outs with the pie filling. Dab egg wash around the edge to help it seal.


Cover with the tops. You can pinch the edges with your fingers like I attempted at first, or you can use a fork. Just make sure they are seal securely! Don't want all the pie filling to spill out.



I forgot to use the egg wash on the rectangle pie...we'll see if it explodes everywhere or not.

I also brushed some egg wash on top of the pies. Might come back and bite me in the butt with my super hot oven. We'll see...


Step Six:

Bake! I checked them at 15 minutes. They were still doughy. I risked it and added 5 minutes, and was rewarded. Not a prefect golden brown, but good enough for me. Not black is always good. :D

At 350 degrees, in a normal non-super hot oven, I would bake them for about 25-30 minutes. You know your oven better than I do, so just watch them.

(Believe me, I know how nasty that pan looks. I could really use some awesome cookie sheets that don't end up being used for pizza bites.)

Remove from oven when nice and golden brown. Let cool, at least slightly!




Enjoy!

I have to wait till it's cold to eat, so my piece went straight to the fridge. My husband fell asleep by the time I was done (very long day at work) and will have to deal with trying it reheated or cold tomorrow. Who gets the third piece? Whoever likes it more. Certainly not the dog. Going to have to watch my husband like a hawk. He loves giving Zeus people food.


Random Sidetrack!

Reminds me of something that happened the other day. We were serving dinner, Zeus was behaving (not begging, but laying down nearby. We're still working on keeping him out of the dining room. He loves the tile), and as soon as I walked out of the room, he perked right up. He started wagging his tail and stared up at my husband panting.

Who's in charge here?

Mhmm. He knows Mommy doesn't stand for that. Daddy laughs and sometimes gives treats. Then yells at him next time he begs. He is just confusing poor Zeus. Either always give in, or never give in. Going back and forth isn't nice.

This does not bode well for when we have actual children.

End sidetrack.

Disclaimer to all those writers/editors/readers/bakers out there:
1. I know 'burnage' is not a word.
2. I tried to remove all present tense from this post, but I originally wrote it as I was making them. Sorry if I missed any!
3. I mean absolutely no offense by calling my oven ancient. It seems ancient to me, I'm only 23.

I'm just a whipper-snapper!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday, and an even better weekend! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Progress!

After not writing for three whole days, I dove back in yesterday and came away with 2,743 new words!

The words were on my new romance novel. I was attempting to write a straight up romance, but by the end of the second chapter, the FMC was kidnapped. I guess I can cross traditional romance off the list of possible genres for me. :D

My outline for my alien-filled-hopefully-comedic novel keeps getting hijacked. I think I've scrapped it three times now. I keep getting bored reading back. I think this last restart has potential. I changed the whole way the story begins, nixed a couple useless placeholder characters and decided to change the way it ends.

I don't know how it ends, I probably won't until it's done. But I made the decision to make sure it's unexpected. It still needs to make sense and to flow, but I want it to be different.

We'll see how it works!

Writing^

Food:

No idea what I'm going to bake this week. It's hot. I have some cake mix, pie crust, butter and random frozen fruit. A fruit tart without a tart pan? Ooo maybe some cobbler or a crisp. Hmm. Or some cupcakes with a fruit filling? I don't have much in the way of frosting though.

Life:

Zeus is finally getting a good grasp on fetch. He's so funny though, he won't start to run until he sees the ball in the air. I doubt we'll ever get him to catch anything midair.

Had my wrist appointment last week, doctor said yes to surgery! I didn't even have to try to convince him, he agrees there is no point trying physical therapy or the shots for a definite case of carpal tunnel. YAY!

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Interview today!

Keli Gwyn interviewed me over at Romance Writers on the Journey today.

Go check it out!

Progress post will be up tomorrow, Friday's Baking? Well it's only Monday, we'll see what I come up with. :D

Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday's Bak---er Cooking! Ronnie's Pot Roast

Ronnie's Pot Roast - Main warning, following the recipe as shown makes a salty roast. Almost too salty for me, but my husband loves it. (He adds salt to everything, I blame eating all those MREs.)

Ingredients:

Chunk Roast (Used a 5 pound one here)
1 Can of Beef Consomme
1 Can of Beef Broth
4 cups chopped/diced onions
Soy Sauce
Cornstarch
Water
Oil
Salt
Pepper

Season pot roast with salt and pepper, heavy hand here. Needs to make a good crust. Add onions to pan and move them to the side so the roast is in the middle of the pan. Sear all sides of the roast in a small amount of oil until deep brown and crusty, about 8 minutes per side.

Add soy sauce to the roast and the onions, not too much, a couple of good shakes, Pour beef broth and beef consomme over the roast.

Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat. Simmer the roast for about 4 hours; turning every 30 - 45 minutes

Remove the roast from the pan, bring the broth to a boil. Mix cornstarch with cold water until smooth, should look like milk and be thin. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the broth, stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to thicken. I usually skim off some of the grease that has separated from the gravy. Shred the roast, serve with mashed potatoes and veggie.


It is super yummy, and fairly simple. Just takes time. To reduce the salt, I usually nix the consomme and use reduced sodium broth. My husband can tell the difference though. I say try it as is first, then tweak to your liking. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Outlining

Writing
 
How do you outline? Mine method is all over the place! I've tried all kinds of outline methods. One line per scene, per chapter. I've tried summaries, I've even try something called a phase outline, created by Zette. Nothing seems to stick with me.

Yesterday, I took over a white board, broke it into three acts and started writing. I got halfway done before my wrist yelled at me. I went in order with the scenes. Normally I'm all over the place, outlining the middle before I even have an idea of a beginning.

Ever wonder if outlining is a waste of time? I have been. I always make changes as I write. My final product rarely resembles the original outline. Should I try being a pantser? Maybe that's the right fit. 


Food

Friday's Baking - Cooking! Only baking I am doing this week is a Lemon Merinque Pie, which I've posted before. According to spell check, I've been spelling' merinque wrong my whole life. Claims it's spelt with a 'g', not a 'q'.

I'll be posting Ronnie's Pot Roast. I never met Ronnie, neither has my mom-in-law, who gave me this recipe. Interesting...

Life

Doctor's appointment tomorrow to find out if I can get surgery to fix my carpal tunnel or not. I'm hoping for a yes. It's beyond ridiculous how much my wrist problems interfere with my daily life.


Zeus will be 6 months old in a week. He weighs 45 pounds now. Of course the only recent photos I have are on my phone. He's still a cutie! Just not as cute as he was at 7 weeks!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday’s Baking – Basic Sandwich Bread – Take Two

This recipe is fairly simple. I use my bread machine to form the dough, as carpal tunnel and kneading don’t really get along.

Ingredients
2 1/4 tsp. yeast (1 packet)
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup warm water (110 degrees ish)
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 ¼ cup bread flour
1 ½ tsp. salt



Step One:
Combine yeast, honey and water in the bread machine pan. Let sit for 10 minutes. (Should get all bubbly and yeasty smelling.)




Step Two:
Add the rest of the ingredients (oil, both flours and the salt). Close the machine and set on the dough cycle.

Step Three:
After the dough cycle is done kneading, I unplug it. I do not let it knock the first rise down. The transfer to the pan does that for me. Once it's risen, I transfer the dough into a greased (I use shortening) bread pan.



I rub oil on the top of the dough and cover it with a kitchen towel.



Let rise for roughly another hour, but watch it. This dough gets very airy.

(This is almost done, I usually let it go for a bit longer, but I was in a rush. Depends how dense you like the bread.)

Step Four:
Once the dough is at the desired rise, bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Be careful putting it into the oven! A good enough bump can cause this dough to fall.

Step Five:
Remove the golden loaf from the over, should sound hallow when you rap your knuckles on it. Remove from pan and let it cool completely before slicing.

I never make it to completely cool. I always dig in after it’s no longer hot. I wait until it’s cool to slice up the whole thing. I store the slices in zip bags.

My favorite way to eat this is with a little honey on top.

I forgot to take pictures of the finished product, sorry bout that!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Writing Update and Goals

Hi everyone! How is your summer going? Mine's hot, and more hot. Skyrocketing electric bill because I simply do not have the willpower to resist the AC. I at least can live between 80-85 degrees, my husband would love it to be set at 70. He gets away with 75 occasionally.

Life:
I'm been busy trying not to whine about feeling like I'm dying. I'm having allergy testing done Wednesday morning, I haven't been able to take any antihistamines since Friday. Almost there!

Food:
I found the bread recipe! Look for the post Friday, pictures and all. (Stephen - I'm trying the writing it in Word first and saving it method. So far so good!)

Writing:
The outline for my 100% romance novel is 95% done. There's this little soggy section in the middle that needs some attending to.

Ivory? Yeah. Um.

'Bout that.

Haven't done a thing. I think I'm just going to shelve it from my goals list and work on it when the mood hits me. There goes one of my New Years goals, but that's okay. I'm just happy my goal of at least a 2.5 got shot out of the water with my 3.25 GPA. :D

This last little writing tidbit is still a ways away, but I figured I should start plugging it now, and then just remind. :D Keli Gywn, over at Romance Writers on the Journey asked me to do an interview!

Look! Look! Third down!

Me! August 16th!

Yes, I write romance. No, I don't really talk about that much, maybe I will when I've been writing for a few more years and feel like I have an actual grasp on my voice. Right now I'm content with announcing words on the page.

I'm very excited! I will be sure to post a reminder, be sure to stop by, I'm giving away a little prize!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday's Baking - Sandwich Bread

Okay, I have no clue where my post went. It was all pretty with pictures and the recipe. Now it's gone. And I can't find my hard copy of the recipe, silly me never saved a typed up version.

All that's left are my three sentences. I believe auto save is to be thanked for that.


Sorry!

~~~~~

This recipe has be tested, tweaked and transformed from the original. I'm not sure where the basic bread recipe came from. It's current form is an awesome basic sandwich bread for me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Regularly Irregulary Posting Schedule

I would love to set a blog schedule for all of you, my lovely followers, with set days I will always post, with reoccurring topics to let you know what's coming.

But I can't. My life is too random. Generally I can blame the Army. 9 to 5 isn't their motto.

My schedule generally revolves around my husbands. His is anything but set in stone. Like today, he's on a 24 hour duty that started yesterday at 9. He'll get the rest of today off (and sleep till 5pm) then for a briefing Wednesday afternoon for a school he starts on Thursday.

I'm not trying to whine, just explain at little so maybe you will get why I'm so random. I don't do well with change anyways, so the constant randomness is annoying.

I'm going to keep up with the Friday's Baking/Cooking and the weekly writing report and goals. That's a promise to myself and to you!

My only other promise is to keep up with my regularly irregular posting schedule!

I do appreciate everyone one of you, my 52 followers! I know I don't get around to all of your blogs often enough, I do try!

Have an awesome Tuesday!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Office - Ten Days Later...

Looking pretty good! Not done, but way better.

BEFORE:



AFTER:



And yes, the crooked books on the shelf do bother me. Only so much I can do with different sizes and a $10 Wal-Mart bookcase.


What you don't see is the closet. A total of 15 boxes and bins are in there. Book box boxes and slightly smaller bins. Not the giant ones that work great for Christmas decorations.

Yay!

There needs to be a AA for neat freaks.

Time to write in my now accessible office!

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Week

Puppy Sitting!

Dog sitting my friend's 2 dogs, Ezra and Zoe (I want to spell it Zoey), Zeus will be in heaven. I'll have to post pictures of them playing. We have them today until sometime Friday. I may be insane by then, Zoe is a bit of a handful. Ezra is a sweetheart though.

Zoe is just about 5 months, Zeus is five months (he's a whole 2 weeks older than Zoe) and Ezra is the grownup at 4 years.

Cleaning

Only focus besides daily maintenance, my office. I will reclaim it!


Writing (The fun stuff!)

  • I need to finish the rough outline for the new romance novel I started. I already started pages, I stopped outlining in the middle. The tough part. I need to iron that out a bit more before I get there.
  • I will catch up on 2YN. I'm rather behind, slowly catching up. Makes me sad because I love that story so much.
  • Ivory. Oh, Ivory. How I love to loathe you. I'm halfway done doing all the fixes. I hit the part where I stopped last time through, the part where I haven't fixed the tense yet. I wrote it in present, it sounds so much better in past. I may try going through just making the fixes, then going through again to catch all the tense parts I missed when fixing stuff.

Puppy Moment of the Day

Zeus is currently attempting to catch grasshoppers by pouncing on them. Doesn't look like he's having much success. He's so cute!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MPH

My Personal Hell.


What I am about to share with you, is shameful. No, not shameful. I'm not ashamed, annoyed is better.

I swore I would never be like my parents. This has been going on for nearly a month now. I have another 22 years before I'm my parents. I have a month. I will not start the semester with this mess.



This is the current state of my office, my oasis.





My Personal Hell.

What you don't see is a closet with 6 boxes in it and more random piles of crap. We've lived here 3 1/2 months, I swore I'd be all unpacked within 1.

The only comfort I find, is that it has not looked like this for all of the 3 1/2 months, just recently. Starting today, I'm taking the Flylady core principle and spending 15 minutes a day working in there. I guarantee that I will end up spending an hour straight in there. I will get it done. Day by day. I miss my oasis. My little bit of the world that no one can claim but me.

Okay, so my husband makes use of it occasionally, but his favorite office space is in front of the TV with the laptop on his lap.

I know the mess really isn't even all that bad. I grew up having to make paths through the rooms. Door to bed, door to couch, etc.

I think I am just upset I let it get this bad for no reason. I know I have OCD, I know that's part of it.

Ending now, before I go into mini-rant mode. :D

I'm very proud of myself for posting the picture. Took a lot of effort to do so.

Have a happy hump day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

What I've been up too...

Been busy, not majorly so. But my husband's back to work, which means more free time for me!

Life:
We moved our living room into our guest room. Our electric bill was higher than I would have liked last month, smaller room=less AC usage. It's actually kind of nice. It's all cozy. We even managed to fit our couch in there. The problem was getting it around the corner in the already narrow hallway.

-_-

We dented the wall slightly with the foot of the couch. Spackle and paint before we move out!

The day after we moved the living room, my mom-in-law called to say she was thinking about coming down to visit. This is after we asked everyone if they wanted to visit at all...they all say yes, but we can't for reason xyz.

Annoyance! She isn't sure when yet though.

Writing:
I've been outlining. One random thought right before I fell asleep has turned into an (so far) 11 chapter outline of a romance novel.


No randomness yet today. I'm sure it will come. My day is never complete with a little bit of randomness!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday's Baking - Potato Salad

Just in time for all those 4th of July cookouts!

Ingredients:

Potatoes, semi peeled, chopped and boiled. (I use russets normally, I also like using the larger red potatoes. I never use the golds.)
Eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, chopped or sliced (I like doing the coins.)
Onions, peeled and chopped. (I usually use white, I'm experimenting with red this time.)
Miracle Whip (I thought it was normal mayo my whole life, not switching now. :D)
Yellow Mustard
Pepper
(Salt - I don't add any, but most people like it.)

Combine!
Sprinkle top with paprika. (I always forget until my husband asks, "You didn't add paprika?")
Chill! (Don't have to, but I prefer it chilled for at least an hour.)
Eat!
Eat more!


Besides deviled eggs, potato salad is my all time favorite bbq dish. What's your favorite bbq/cookout dish?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I Should Have Done

Editing and revisions. Oh how I wish I knew then what I know now. Things would have gone smoother. Less caffeine induced comas, I'd have more of my hair and fewer sleepless nights.

This is what I will not do the next time I reach the wonderful 'The End' of a first draft.
  • Print it out to 'really see how long it is'.
  • Scribble all over it in red pen doing a line edit. (Yes, I did that. On my first novel, ever. Bad idea.)
  • Proclaim to the world that I've finished the first draft, caring family will ask to read it. You'll freak and realize it's not worthy.
  • Tell yourself you'll write those missing scenes later. (That's why I still had a missing scene in my third draft.)
This is the method I think will work for me:
  • Do take a break. At least stand up and stretch. 5 minutes or 5 days, I don't care. Take a break.
  • Read through. (Not sure on this one, might skip. We'll see.)
  • Break out the boards! (Also known as grids and post-its) You know you've been looking forward to this!
  • Fill and fix any plot holes/problems the boards show you. (You're allowed to fix grammar etc. errors as you go.)
  • Read through. (No skipping!) Take notes on any problems, etc.
  • Line-edit. Also time to send to a macro reader. Micro reader gets it after you finished your micro edit. (Might want to actually have crit partners by this point. Might be helpful ya know.)
  • Make any necessary changes. Repeat as needed.
  • Read through again while writing queries.
  • Queries away! (No stalling, get it out there!
We'll see how it goes. I have to finish the first draft, first of course. :D

Monday, June 28, 2010

Manic Mondays


WooHoo Moment!

We're leaving on a mini vacation today! This will be our first vacation that does not involve visiting family. Love my family, but everyone needs a break. :) We're headed to this nice little B&B in Fredericksburg. Should be awesome!

Mad at Myself Moment

I didn't finish Ivory like I wanted to. Positive spin, even though my husband is home, he sits and plays video games for hours. Hours I have been using to write. Yay! I just have to sit where he can talk to me and I can see the TV. He likes to show me when he gets certain achievements or does really well. My husband's a chatterbox.

Logical Moments (Talking to Myself!)

Get the spare room set up as a mini living room for the rest of the summer. It stays much cooler in there than in our living room. You don't want a $200 electric bill!

Finish Ivory so you can start your new novel silly! (I told myself I had to finish Ivory first.)

That's my manic Monday, how's yours going?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Final Push!

Five days. Five days until my husband is on vacation.

I will get Ivory done. I used to thrive under pressure, time to find out if I still do. :D

Just have to keep telling myself "You I can do it, so stop worrying and get to work!"

Progress as of Sunday Night

Done through old Chapter 13

Which is now new Chapter 6

Total words done: 13,732 (Really, I've gone over about 35,000, the 13,732 is all that's left.)

Total words remaining to go over: approximately 60,000

That's like 12,000 words a day. Slightly daunting. But I took the summer off from school, didn't pick up a summer job, so I have no excuses. :D

No good ones anyways. Just have to sit my butt down and get it done.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's Baking - Cupcakes

Cupcakes!

From my husband's birthday party. The man who hates cake, loves cupcakes. I don't get it either.

Safe to say I took an easy route...




But my piping skills are improving!




Sort of...




But the little sea creatures and the flowers are just so adorable!



Next time, I'll actually try the full coverage swirls, I did okay with the little center ones.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

End in Sight!

Main Goal: To be done with this draft of Ivory. I want it to be reader ready by the 25th. (That's when hubby starts vacation, and I know I won't get much done with him home.)

How much do I have left? *calculates*

A lot.

What started as a 99,244 word novel right after NaNoWriMo 2008, ended up as a 94,876 second draft. Not a big difference. As it stands right now with the in-progress third draft, it's at approximately 80,000 words. Short for a fantasy novel.

I'm at 2nd draft chapter 11, third draft chapter 5. What was about 25,000 words, is now a little over 10,000. I had a ton of info dumping. I know what's left is good, and the rest of the novel is info dump free minus one chapter.

I'm also the point where I stopped fixing the tense my first time through. Gonna be a pain in my butt. At least my POV has stayed steady.

I'm never changing tense on a completed novel again. NEVER.

Oh well. It's my first complete novel. It has been a total learning experience, and I don't regret it. And I'm going to finish it all the way. No giving up just because I don't think it will sell. I didn't write it to sell it. I wrote it because it was a story in my head that wanted to be told.

Monday, June 14, 2010

MIA

I've been AWOL. Sorry, my allergies are killer.

Allergies as an excuse? I really do mean killer. And I'm still trying to get my house back in order after our guests. My office is still not all unpacked. That is also driving me crazy. I wanted to be unpacked 100% within a month. (We have too much stuff to manage it in a week anymore.)

Writing is going, slow but going. I still have high hopes of having Ivory ready for other eyes by the 25th. We'll see. I'm super behind on 2YN. I'll catch up, then fall behind again. That's the way life goes.

My mind is whirling with ideas. I've got post-its everywhere, very awesome.

I hope you all are doing well, no clue when I be back to my regular, irregular posting schedule. :D

Friday, June 4, 2010

OCD Sharing

Life post!

Below, you will see a picture of a scan of one of my daily routine pages. I don't always follow them to the letter, but if I don't look at it, things get forgotten. Even brushing my teeth.



I don't have timers set to go off to tell me it's time to eat breakfast or anything like that. It's more of a guide. I'll get focused on something and completely forget everything around me. I get obsessed. Having these pages helps, I can look at the clock and know I'm supposed to be doing something instead of dusting all the windowsills. Or organizing the bathroom counter. Again.

I even have one labeled "Crazy Chaos Day Routines" All that one has is my early morning stuff and my evening stuff.

I'm still learning how to deal with this, how to live best. I am very thankfully I do not have OCD fully, I only have facets. The facets I have are hard enough to live with, I can't imagine what it's like with full-blown extreme OCD.

What facets do I have?

  • I eat a certain way. Bascially boils down to two bites of everything in order. My drink glass almost always has to be on the left when eating out. The exception is when they seat us at a tiny table and putting it on the left greatly increases the risk of someone bumping it and knocking it over.
  • I can't stand messes. When things get crazy in my life, my house gets trashed and then I can't sleep because I know it's a mess.
  • Germs. I'm so thankful I can open public building doors and use bathrooms and water fountains. My issue with germs is mainly contained to raw meat. And bugs. Bugs are just bad.
  • An odd food one is that when spreading anything on bread I have to cover the slice fully. Crust to crust. Jam, mayo, butter, anything.
  • Not wanting to make a left turn while driving without a traffic light is annoying. We've been working on that one. I would go 10 minutes out of my way to avoid making a turn like that.
  • When I am stressed out, I will put my clothes away according to type, length, and color. (That usually only happens during deployments.)
  • I can't handle change. At least not very well. My brain needs time to absorb the information and realize that it really is okay. Usually only takes like 20 minutes, but I'm flipping out for those 20 minutes. (That's for same day sudden changes, if I've got more than a day, I deal much better.)
  • I can't let anyone cook or clean in my kitchen. They put things in the wrong place, use the wrong knife and it's just not good. So I just don't let people. I am very upfront and tell them it's me. It's not that I don't like them, it's that having them cooking in my kitchen will drive me crazy. Even just making a sandwich.

Most of things people have pointed out to me. I never realized I felt the compulsion to do things until my husband would try to stop me. At first he thought it was funny. Like rearranging the sugar packets at a restaurant so the colors were all messed up. He'd see how long I could stand it before I had to fix it.

Now he realizes how much it does stress me out and it's actively trying to help me deal. Most of my compulsions are harmless. Who cares if I butter the entire piece of toast or eat two bites of everything on my plate in order? Doesn't hurt anyone, doesn't hurt me, so why try to change it?

I just have to remind myself on a daily basis that nothing is perfect, nothing will ever be perfect, so don't worry about it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

TGIAF

...Thank God It's Almost Friday. :D

Our extended house guests are gone. Though our garage is still full of their stuff.

I'm loving where Ivory is going. It's taken a different direction, just with tiny changes. I think I managed to change the whole feel of the story, and I like it. :D I cut out useless filler characters, tightened up the subplot, and made my MC seem real rather than a cardboard cutout.

We'll see how it comes out in the end. I've been trying to get 5 chapters done a week. I've lost quite a few scenes and chapters to the knife, right now I have 22 I believe. (Reminder: this was my first NaNoWriMo novel, first novel ever, the first draft I had to work with was...Crap. Scenes out of order, characters with the wrong names and five million 'it is' rather than 'it's' for word count purposes.)

I know most of it was due to inexperience, I had a couple chapters with one scene, a few with way too many. I've been trying to combine the scenes into 4 chapter chunks. So far it's working, the chapter ending is usually a good break spot. Makes me happy! It's finally coming together and making sense.

I'm trying to have this done by the 24th because my husband starts leave on the 25th. We're actually taking a mini vacation this year! Rented a cabin down south a bit. It's going to be so much fun.

It's odd. We've traveled so much, but this will be the first vacation for us. We always go see family and that usually comes with stress and drama.

I get sidetracked so easily...

Off to get some writing done! I'm not letting the mess in my kitchen derail me. It can stay messy for now, it won't hurt it.

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ideas - Random Times and Places

Times and Place

  • The shower
  • The bathroom in general
  • In the car
  • While cooking
  • The few minutes before you fall asleep at night.
  • While peeling a hard boiled egg. That one was fun. :D


When I'm stuck, the shower seems to be the best place for me to get ideas, or to figure the problem out.

I know there are many more, what ones do you have to add to the list?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Life is crazy, but I'm still writing!

I haven't posted in a while, mainly because I do not want to rant about life crap here.

Main problem, we now have 3 house guests. Two humans and one 8 wk old un-house-trained, un-puppy pad trained female puppy. Not a planned visit, they had to move out of their place super fast due to violence in the area causing his command to order him to move out.

And the two humans are fairly irresponsible and if I had any choice they would never be allowed to adopt any animal again.

Bottom line, I end up watching the pup a lot, and with the heat down here, I can only leave her outside with Zeus for so long. She pees constantly.

But in other news, I revamped my schedule for Ivory, I'll be done by June 24th at the latest. I'm hoping it will go faster than that, but I also know my ending needs extra care.

I'm also starting work on my outline/characters for my next project. Ivory is very close to being as done as it's going to get. Even if it's crap, it'll be finished. First novels aren't supposed to be great works of art anyways. :D

My posts will either be constant or super sporadic the next week or so. We have our guests until June 1st for sure.

I hope you all are writing, reading, and generally having a good summer so far!

Monday, May 17, 2010

This Week



Everyday Life

Early workouts MWF and Sat, afternoon workout class Tues and Thurs - we're trying Zumba! I'm scared. Also my eating habits aren't helping me any. The workouts seem to just be keeping things on an even keel rather than me losing weight. I may have to do a week or two of a crash diet to spur my metabolism into high gear again.


Zeus has a vet appointment Wednesday - More shots. He won't be happy.



Writing Life
(A month in a glance.)

Ivory - Finish fixing everything by June 4th. Ambitious, but I can do it!


EIM - Outline done by June 11th. I had an awesome idea for a murder mystery. I may end up writing that instead. I haven't found my niche yet, so I'm dabbling in anything that sparks my interest.


2YN - I'm behind again. I just need to set one day of writing time aside to catch up. I'm having too much fun with this course to let it slip away. I will be caught up by May 27th.


Random!


I have no goal to meet by May 21st. I like having goals due on Fridays. Hmm.


Oooo! By May 21st, I will have all my writing stuff organized in the office! It became a major dump spot over this weekend due to hubby's birthday party. It needs cleaning out.


Puppy Picture of the Day



We did a luau theme for my husband's birthday. It was really fun.