Tuesday, November 15, 2016

All that Tolkien said that mattters



I said this to someone today, and she laughed, because it totally outed me as a geek. Most of the people I work with kinda know that about me. It just sorta comes out. I often think about what to do with the time I have, and I've blogged about it, and so, of course, you all know, I choose to write with that time (and quilt and bake and whine about the writing). One day, maybe, like Tolkien, I'll be published. I'm probably not going to write an entire epic journey filled with the most direly important quests - unlike Tolkien. And there probably won't be a separate language attached to my stories. But, there will be a book...

I've been thinking about the stories I want to write, and keep wanting to drift into a middle world fantasy, taking me far away from the Science Fiction I'm writing now - it's the ultimate escapism.

I've also been thinking about what to do now, in a world where suddenly, people are nervous and afraid for the future. Oh, they are. There's no use pretending they aren't, or telling them to knock it off. Or to work toward unity. We're too far past that. Too much has been said. It's part of the reason why I pulled back from social media, and the news even. There's so much pain and hate on both sides.

I feel our world has gone mad. Or maybe, looking through history, it's normal for our world to be mad, and this is just how it is. This is not like any other election, or any other year. People are not protesting because they lost the election, people are protesting because they are afraid they will lose their civil rights; their freedoms. They are protesting the voice of mockery and hatred that somehow was not silenced over the course of 16 months. This is a reaction from fear - fear that the things they had will be taken away. I refuse to rage and hate though. I still believe there's a better way than anger.

But I am sad. I didn't want my sons to grow up in a time of turbulence and strife, a time of hardship, when hate and intolerance are trying to gain a foothold in the hearts of my countrymen/women/children. I didn't want them to enter their last year of Middle School and enter High School in a climate of political and social turbulence.

Which brings me back to Tolkien. We all wish that our kids would know peace, prosperity, and kindness, but we can not choose the time they live. We have to raise them with integrity and character and strength, because they are growing up now, no matter the state of the country or the world,  and all they can do is decide what to do with the time given them.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Addicted to the Crown

This post is completely unrelated to the post title.
It's a marketing no-no. I didn't want a dramatic post title though, and I am addicted to the Crown.

I deactivated my facebook account. I think I need a break from it all. It's not the people on it, not my friends and family, it's the other 'stuff' that I didn't realize I was taking in, all the ads and upworthy content and things that, no matter how much you try to filter out, still pops up. Some of the comments from friends of friends or watching  Facebook's annoying habit of changing things around so all your settings sometimes, wonkily, reset to ones you didn't want. I'm over it. I didn't delete it, but I did deactivate it. I think people can still post on it or chat to me, but if you do, and I don't respond, you'll know why. I 'believe' I still have messenger.

I could have put this on Facebook but honestly, the thing that Facebook peeps hate is people posting on Facebook they're leaving Facebook.

These next two months of the anno horribilis I plan to hide out a bit, and regroup with myself. There's tons of writing to do, lots of quilting and baking, and of course, my job, my family, and my friends. Life goes on. It's not a call for complacency, it's a reminder to live. Be aware of the clowns, but don't let the clowns destroy you. Don't go off with clowns, either...

I won't be on Facebook. I'll occasionally pop on Twitter. I'll occasionally post to the La La Land Facebook through Husbear's facebook because he hasn't used it, so there will be literally nothing on his wall. We'll see how two months Facebook free goes, and maybe I'll be back in January, or maybe not. Maybe if my feed is all cats, I'll be back on.

I would love to move to Canada, but that's because Canada is becoming more and more what America is supposed to represent. (It always was, I mean, they haven't changed, but we have) but really, moving to another country requires well, a job in that country lol. It's okay, Canada, I'm not taking it personally. I always did like Canada, though, even before it was cool to like Canada!

See you all in a bit! I've got some writing to do.




Saturday, November 05, 2016

It's still fall - no rush to leave the trees...


Winter is coming. Eventually. It's hard to believe, since outside it's sunny and getting into the high 60s. But this tree, this tree knows winter is coming. It's bright yellow leaves are drooping and some have already fled for the great leaf pile in the sky. My boys probably know winter is coming, though they've been avoiding it, still wearing flip flops and shoes. It is coming, though. The mornings and evenings are cooler and there's a slight nip in the air, even on warm days. I've mentioned a bunch of times that fall and spring, the seasons in-between, are my favorite. This year, I think the leaves are clinging to the trees longer than most. Usually, a storm or wind will come and take them away, leaving us stuck with bare branches until snow falls, and melts, leaving us bare branches again...
This year, I noticed the winter flannel sheets I normally toss on the boys' beds were missing. I have no idea where they went. I have found a pillowcase. That's about it. So I bought fun winter flannel sheets. I have this thing about winter. It's cold, so everything should be fun. Otherwise it's just a really cold season.  Changing the tablecloths for each holiday and season and the sheets each season is my one tribute to Pottery Barn, but I do it on a Target budget. These are the cutest sheets I bought this year. The fun prints go on the boys' beds. Husbear isn't as fond of fun prints as I am, so we get plaid, which I'm equally fond of. Of course, now that I've bought all the sheets and tossed them in the washer, I remember where I stowed last year's plaid flannel...But ti's okay. There has never been a case where plaid was overdone.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Bread enablers

My friends are enablers.
I've taken up the craft of baking homemade breads - everything from sandwich loaves to artisanal breads. I've just started a month or two ago, and made some quick decisions... no, I am not springing for a $300 mixer so I'm going to have to knead by hand. Yes, I have all the wrong tools, and need the right tools. No, I had no idea the dough whisk and chopper scraper really existed until now. I mean, I knew they existed in a sort of 'oh yeah' kind of way. But then when I was watching a video on how to mix and knead bread, both came into play and I was all like, 'I totally need those two things.' Then I didn't do anything about it, and tried to make my plastic spatula do the job. (Nope.)

So, thanks my enabler friends! My next two attempts will be a baguette (because YUM) and another sandwich bread. Looking for a much bigger surface this time on the sandwich bread.

Guess what I'm doing tonight. And writing, of course. Definitely
getting my nanowrimo words in!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Nanowrimo

I'm hoping to get a rough draft out of this.

I have the outline for this story.
I have the 'secret' that only I currently know.

I have the characters. The town. The setting.

Lets do this!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A lovely birthday weekend Sunday of blood sausages and corsets

This is us.
I mean, mostly. At the museum today I was viewing some of the Venetian portraits, and the tour guide was talking about how they were interested in the character of a person and not just the likeness. (I wasn't actually on the tour, just eavesdropping)  I also read it on one of the little explaining-side-panels. The image I was looking at was this cocky, dark-haired-bed-head beefy dude looking all dude-ish-tough in armor. The Jon Snow of ancient Venice, only one who smiled. I love this picture because it kinda covers not only our individual personalities, but how we relate to each other. My friends will read this blurb, and one will sarcastically ponder it, and half-heartedly consider it, and the other will laugh and think maybe the blood sausage I ate is poisoning my mind.

One is thinking: I'm stuck with these two. One is thinking "Muahahaha" and one is
thinking "Can I hold this expression any freakin' longer? Take the shot already." I
also have some serious crazy eyebrow going on.

I ate blood sausages!
Well, I ate a part of a blood sausage. It was disguised on the menu. They didn't call it a blood sausage in English, and it was the only menu item that wasn't described in English. But the waiter explained what it was and what mustard went with it. It's the darkest of the four sausages, and the filler was curry, because blood sausages need a filler in order to be edible. (My friends and I are now experts on blood sausages because after we all tried it, we wikipedia'd it... I really only ate a few bites of the blood sausage. It was one of four from the  sausage sampler for I te for lunch, and I am pretty much now not going to eat until Thursday. I couldn't even finish the four sausages. But I can tell you the sausages were local and delicious, and now I want to try more blood sausages to see if there's one that has a filler I like more. We're also as a group, going to find Haggis, and eat it.

Museum trip!
This is my friend.
She's been my friend for like, ever.
Okay, like, a very long time. Loong time. Years.
We went to the museum for my birthday.
And played dress-up.

There was a Masters of Venice exhibition, and we were struck by all the Madonna/child images where the mother figure looked less than pleased with the too-old-to-be-a-baby baby figures. This is my friend reenacting one of those portraits.

She rocked it.

We're still slightly confused by the order of dress, but close enough. I only regret she didn't do the neck ruffle.

Apparently, we found one of the few places you could play with clothes and trinkets... though they were apparently meant for children... who knew?

This is a picture of my other friend. Who I've also known for ages. She tried on the outfit, and completely rocked the neck ruffle. But instead I'm putting this picture of her standing and looking out the window at a view of Denver and beyond. I don't know why I like this one, but I do. It's very her. I mean, the neck ruffle was her, too, so it was a tough call.

There's pictures of me but they are inappropriate to put online, because it turns out, I can rock a corset and make pictures inappropriate. I could also put one online, but I'm shy about what I look like in photos (ha!).

I did play with fabric, though, because there was also an exhibit on Japanese fashion from the 1980s and 1990s...  There was a great little room on fabrics and yarns and threads... that also featured a lovely knitting group. If I lived closer to the museum, I'd probably hang out there all day, too. As for the Master's of Venice, I know using gold was kind of their thing, but it didn't take long for me to think that their obsessive use of gold in the renaissance was just not something I could appreciate. I know, I know, it was big back in the day.  

November is Nanowrimo. There are a lot of rules. Well, no. There's one rule. Write 50,000 words, and write every day. The Great Gatsby was apparently, only around 50,000 words. We should bring novellas back. I like that length. Anyhow, my personal goal isn't to just write 50,000 words, but it's to get through most of the first draft of my next novel. This means I might have to put revisions on my sci-fi draft off until December, which is okay, since no one is going to want to look at drafts in December anyhow. Also, I've revised the first five chapters, and the last three, mostly, so feel comfortable sending the novel out, knowing it takes weeks to get a response.

It's going to be a quiet month, November, because I'll be working and then coming home, and shooing everyone away from me so I can write. I'm kinda looking forward to it.

Turning into a recluse!
I mean, I'm not, but I really appreciate the quiet time when I'm pretty much left alone. I've got a lot of things to deal with, and I'm mostly an introvert, so the more I have to deal with the more I like to hide out, and the winter is the perfect time to do that. I expect a lot of early-nights in loungewear writing or quilting or coloring or doing some other craftsy thing.  Take tonight for example. A big day at lunch (I ate blood sausages! and the museum and it's 7:15 p.m. and i'm wearing plaid pajama pants thinking about how to make a Russian felt hat for my costume for Halloween tomorrow thinking about how I need a day to recover from my fun day.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fall leaves are beautiful here, too!


This was taken on a walk from one building to another 
today at work. I wish I had my 'better' camera but
I wasn't expecting to see this :)
This morning, out the window upstairs, some leaves
blew by, just like they do in those old Charlie Brown 
television specials and Winnie the Pooh books.
Winds blowing yellow leaves through the sky.
These leaves had a slight crunch, not as crisp as they
will be in a week or so. 
Fall is beautiful here, in Colorado, too, and just colorful
enough to remind me of all those favorite, beloved fall
days when I scattered leaves with my sneakers and stomped
on piles to hear the crisp sound of dry leaves cracking in half.
Happy Fall!