Friday, November 30, 2007

The end of NaBloPoMo

The last day of NaBloPoMo and you just know, now that I've failed anyway, I'm not going out in style with the most amazing post ever. In fact, I'm completely slacking off.

I got the speech done. Now Robert's going over it a hundred times. It's weird to listen to how someone else interprets your words. Hopefully, it goes okay. I'm just glad I'm not the one speaking. Although, I was having a bit of panic and frustration yesterday at 11:00 p.m. when I was putting the finishing touches on the speech. It was then that Robert decided to tell me that they had given him a few "bullet points" and statistics that they would really like him to fit in. I felt like the whole beautiful structure of my speech was being ripped apart as I tried to fit in these things and still have it somehow comprehensible. I think in the end it worked out though. I'll probably post it tomorrow along with pictures of Robert speaking and all of the other happenings of the day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Well NaBloPoMo is a bust but the speech thing might work out

I can’t believe it either. Only three days left and I blew it.
I didn’t get out of work until nine and I by the time I got home and settled in there were only a few hours left to post. I started checking my e-mails and other blogs. I got to my blog, read through the awesome comments, which I’ll get to in a minute, and then I got kicked off.
I went through all the checks and reboots to try to get back on. Nothing. The orange light that means no connection remained. So I called and spent my last hours of the day on the phone trying to sort it out until I some how got disconnected and decided I would just try again tomorrow when I wasn’t about to fall asleep.
If you’re reading this now, it obviously got straightened out.
Apparently, I accepted an update to my online protection sometime when I was online. It set all my settings to the highest possible, which reset some passwords for my DSL and made it impossible to go to any site. Or something. I'm still confused about it really. At least I'm online now.

So I didn’t end up completing NaBloPoMo but oh well. The site had problems and seriously confused me so really I was just participating as a challenge to myself. I’m still a winner. I posted almost everyday and sometimes the posts were actually good.

I’ve been working on the speech all day. Thanks to everyone for their help in the comments. After posting about the leadership speech and Green Christmas, I’m starting to think that I should just post about an idea and let everyone else write it in the comments. I got so much great advice from the comments that this speech is writing it self.

I started with an outline that consisted of elements such as an opening joke, then a famous quote, followed by a little bit of life story. After that are some statistics. Then it talks about what it takes to be a leader, such as people to follow. Concluding with how each of us can be a leader.
It’s all coming together. I’ll be sure to post it when I’m done. Thank you to Melissa, Jenni and D.B. Echo for all the help.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Speech! Speech? Speech :(

My friend Robert is volunteer who speaks about life with HIV and the importance of supporting organizations that provide HIV education and prevention.
When Robert had his first speech for a few years ago, he was nervous about what to say and I helped him write a speech about his life. Later he needed another speech about his life but he didn't want it to be the exact same speech since some of the same people would be there. And then he needed a speech about why he felt raising money for HIV/AIDS organizations was important, and another about why people should get tested. I wrote them all with his input about what he wanted the speech to say.
I won't even give details about the one time he ended up coming with something on his own at the last minute. He meant well.
Anyway, the point is that I write his speeches. It's my way of helping him share his story and helping others. The speeches are pretty basic and I never really mentioned having to write them because usually he only needs to give a brief statement so it's not a huge deal. It usually takes a half an hour to get everything worked out for him and it's only about three to four times a year if that.

Saturday is World AIDS Day and Robert is on the planning committee for our local organization. Today was their final meeting before the big day. They finalized plans and Robert will be speaking so he asked me to help him with another speech. A speech about being a leader in the community for the fight against HIV and AIDS. It has to be ten minutes long.
I have no idea what someone says to keep a crowd interested for ten minutes. I'm a little concerned. So Robert and I are going to have to work this out over the next few days.
Even though we've done these before I feel like this one has the most specific subject he's needed to cover, the hardest subject to come up with ideas for and it's the longest.
Before the speeches were just his story about how he got it or about how he lives with it. I really just sort of put it in order and added some snazzy vocabulary.
This time we're going to have to be creative and think about how people lead others in their community and what they can do to help with HIV/AIDS. I have no idea how someone steps up as a leader in a community. I've got nothing. I need to think this through. So that's my new writing project for the next few days. Wish me luck.

In the mean time stop by here to check out local events for World AIDS Day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The post is in the comments

It's snowing. And it's pretty snow. Not that heavy wet snow that soon turns into cold, gross mounds of yuck.
I am so in the Christmas spirit and I keep feeling like Christmas is tomorrow but it's not even December yet. YAY!
I still need to get lights and decorate my tree. Tomorrow night is when I expect to get that done.
Tonight is t.v. night. I'm going to watch Chuck and Heroes.
And that's about all I have to post about. To be fair though, I think the comment I left in reply to Jenni's comment on my last post, was long enough to qualify as a post on it's own.
That's my way of saying that I'm slacking off tonight.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Green is a Christmas color, ya know

It's getting close to crunch time but I'm happy to report that the reason I nearly missed the midnight mark was because I was busy attempting to submit my work. I say attempt because I didn't get a lot of submissions done. It takes time to research places, make sure they're accepting submissions right now and then going through all the guidelines.

I got my Christmas tree up but it's not decorated yet. I can't find my tree lights and I think someone threw them away. I'm not joking. As annoyed as I am I'm trying to keep positive and consider that maybe this is a sign that I should finally invest in LED lights.
After reading a post of Jenni's I'm starting to feel inspired that I should have a green Christmas. I won't wrap anyone's gift. I'll get them either recycled or reused gifts. Or maybe donations. Or I could buy them things like energy saving light bulbs and trick people into helping the environment.
Not sure what the story would be about, but I feel like Green Christmas would be an awesome title for a story. I really need to think on this. Since I like my work to have a message, it could have some environmentally friendly subject matter. After dealing with some of my family member's materialistic holiday craziness, I could definitely see how someone trying to have a green Christmas could cause a lot of conflict. Now I just have to figure out some kind of story line. Also I need to work in a tofurkey.
Maybe I should have a green Christmas and see how my family takes it before I write the story. That would probably give me everything I need for an entertaining tale.

Well now that I'm done typing everything that popped into my head for the last few minutes, regardless of whether it was coherent, I'm going to wrap this post up.

*And for the record all the subs that I sent today were electronic, which I prefer but not everyone accepts.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Giving, Reading, Writing, Watching, Shopping, Working

So nothing really new is going on with me. Work was crazy this week. I work in retail but we don't really sell a lot of shoes for the holidays since knowing exactly what size, width, style, color and making sure the shoe fits, is kind of difficult. We do sell a few gift certificates and some slippers though. We're also an independent store and those don't really seem to profit much from black Friday. Anyway, I was still busy because the store is going through some huge changes and I'm in charge of making sure things go smoothly.
I also spent time at the store, and at home, getting stuff ready to give away, like defective shoes (if the leather's scratched people won't buy it) and clothes that no longer fit me.
My sister and I also braved the late evening black Friday crowd to get some Toys for Tots gifts. If we get them while they're cheap we can get more.
Speaking of giving I finished the book, Giving. It was okay for non-fiction but really it was about how rich and famous people give. There were examples of common folks giving but I felt like it could have used more examples of what everyone can do.
Anyway, my next book on my list is Wonderful Tonight by Patti Boyd, the woman who was married to George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
After that is Fourth Comings the latest book by Megan McCafferty.
Other than that there isn't anything exciting. I saw Fred Claus, which was hilarious. I definitely recommend it for a funny holiday film. And for comic fans there's a quirky little part in the end that had me laughing.

And I did manage to do some work on Going It Alone this week. I'd like to finish the major edits by the end of next week. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Return of the Friday Five

I thought I'd do one of my Friday Five post. It seems like a good way to fill up some time during NaBloPoMo and it's a bit more entertaining post then my saying 'I've gotten nothing done,' which is the case.

Although, things change for me all the time, I thought posting five of my favorite songs would be fun. They're songs that I like for the lyrics and I would say they're my faves of all time but I think that would be a tough call. So here are five songs that I love the lyrics to.

I've related to each of these songs and still do. They've inspired me and helped me through things. If I didn't know any better I would think some of them were written just for me.

I'm posting links to the lyrics but unfortunately there are no sites that aren't filled with ads. I did think about posting the lyrics on my blog in posts that would have a really old date long before the blog existed, as sort of references files but I'm not really sure about it.

Anyway, here we go, in no particular order, and yes I'm giving credit to the writer's because it's about the lyrics. Not to say the performances were not excellent but how often do the writer's get credit?

Beautiful Disaster , lyrics written by Rebekah Jordan
What a Good Boy, lyrics written by Stephen Page
Man In The Mirror, lyrics written by Glenn Ballard and Siedah Garrett
The Last Song, lyrics written by Bernie Taupin
RENT (the entire soundtrack), lyrics written by Johnathon Larson
Okay, I (I Should Tell You) know the last (Light My Candle) one may be cheating (Christmas Bells) since there's so many songs (Seasons Of Love) in the entire musical but I think (Take Me Or Leave Me) every song in it has great (Goodbye Love) lyrics. I couldn't chose just one (One Song Glory) or even my top five. So I've (I'll Cover You) filled this explanation with random links (La Vie Boheme ) to RENT song lyrics (La Vie Boheme B) because it's my blog and (Another Day) I can do what (Without You) I want to. And no this is not every song. It was hard (Happy New Year) enough picking the few that I did but I figured no one's going to click every single (Santa Fe) link so I limited myself.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Things to be thankful for

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


I'm thankful that when things went crappy at work this week, one of my co-workers brought me balloons and another made me cookies.


I'm thankful that I have gotten an e-mail, three text messages and two phone calls wishing me a good holiday.

I'm thankful for everyone that reads my blog and that I have the ability to write it.

And so much more.

Thanks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Reflection

Blogging to me is a little sad. Sometimes I get depressed about putting a lot of thought and work into something that someone, if anyone, will read and then soon forget about. It's not like a novel or short story that people may reflect back on one day when they find it sitting on their shelf. I think the only person that would go back and look through my old blog post would be me. And of course, the people searching for the Stewie to Bryan "how's that novel comin'?" Family Guy quote.
Then I realized that I sit around struggling to come up with stuff to write here, especially during NaBloPoMo, and I end up posting crap that is completely pointless and often whiny.
That's when it occurred to me that I could repost or at least link to some old post and maybe someone would flashback and take a look at something that meant more to me than when I write "I got nothing done, because I had no time."

I'm going to try to do that more often so for today here is a post that I wrote almost a year ago. It reflects on where I was then.
Feel free to skip over if you've already read it. Or read it to see that I occasionally write something thoughtful (at least to me) in case you came to this blog looking for something more than me complaining.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's no good

Ugh. I cannot even believe Thanksgiving is in two days. The holiday season, which is usually my favorite time of year, is really sucking again this year.

Today and yesterday were just crap. Bad things are happening in every aspect of my life. I'm trying to cope but it's requiring a lot of energy and work on my part.

Work is one of the things upsetting me. Major changes are happening. It's bad but there's a little good. It's definitely going to effect my writing schedule but how I don't know yet.

I'm working on a long e-mail to Jenni, a livejournal post about work drama and I got a stack of subs ready to go out. I may even work on some e-subs tonight if I don't fall asleep or have a panic attack.

It's probably a good thing I decided not to take NaNoWriMo too seriously because I would never have gotten it done.

Well, I think that's enough short burst of pointless chatter to count as a post for the day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Finally another meeting

We actually managed to have a writing group meeting today. I was the only one that brought work so it was kind of an all about me meeting but we also got a chance to talk about how we could have future meetings more regularly. It seems we're going to try once a month meetings and see how that goes since the 'we'll see' week by week thing isn't going too well.

I got some good feedback on the first half of my story and everyone is anxious for the next part so I guess that's a good thing.

Other than that not much is going on. Today was filled with problems and drama between work and family. I was lucky to make it to the meeting. And I really didn't think I would get a post up at all today but I guess I'll make it just in time.

Oh and in case you come across this page looking for the Family Guy, Stewie to Bryan, 'how's that novel comin'?' I have put a link in my side bar that goes directly to the post with that quote since most of my visitors come here looking for it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Seperation anxiety helps me feel better about not having any artistic ability

I could never be an artist. I've been talking to my two friends that are artists. One is R, who I mentioned going to her art show, she draws portraits. Then there is my other friend who airbrushes remote control car bodies. (I know it doesn't sound that complicated but he's amazing at it-see below).
Anyway, the reason that I could never do what they do, aside from the obvious lack of skill is that they can't keep it. Well they can but they want to eat so they sell their work. R just had her first art show so she's selling some of her first paintings and my airbrushing friend has probably painted and sold well over a hundred cars in the last few years.
I couldn't imagine putting all my time, effort, heart into a project and then just giving it to someone. With writing I do end up letting other people read it but I always keep the final copy. I keep all the rough drafts. I never have to give away anything.
Of course, I know R says she takes photos so she can make prints and people will keep her work for a long time. But I feel worse for my airbrushing friend. For one thing he takes tons of pictures but the detail on that small of a car can never be truly appreciated from a picture. Also he can't just make a copy. He can make another car and attempt to make it look exactly like another but he can't just take a picture of the original work, then print it. And he has to deal with the fact that after putting in all that time on a body, people will smash and bang them around and eventually they're destroyed. Never to be seen again.
I could not do it. So it's probably good that I have no artistic ability.

Because everyone loves pictures and so you can see what I'm talking about, when I refer to airbrushing remote control car bodies, are a few examples. It would take me forever to go through all the photos to find the best ones but here this should at least give people an idea.
And I post some of R's work but I don't have access to any. If I ever do I'll post it.




Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's all very messed up

After posting last night, I settled into reading. The more I read of Haunted the more I realize it's characters are without a doubt the most f*#!ed up people I have ever read about in any fictional works. Of course, it makes for a very interesting story, sickening at times, but still interesting.

When I finish reading Haunted I plan on reading Giving by Bill Clinton. It was recommended to me and I thought it might be a nice change of pace after the gruesomeness I'm currently reading. Besides what better book to read for Thanksgiving? The book's name is right in the name of the holiday. It seems like good time to me.

Today I attempted to rake my lawn but rain and running out of yard waste bags cut into that before it was completely finished. And I got some running around done. That means I've gotten absolutely no reading or writing done until I started this entry.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I posted on my livejournal. It's a crazy customer rant that I could end up in Behind the Naugahyde one of these days.

And I still need to write a super long e-mail to Jenni because I've been slacking off on those lately and there's a lot to keep up on. Also I haven't chatted with D.B. Echo in a while and every time I try to read Tiffany's blog, I get kicked off-line. (Does anyone know what could be causing that?)
In short, I miss my friends especially since there is so much going on. I need my free therapy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A stack of books to fill the weekend

There were five books, over the last month, that I was waiting for the library to get in so I could check them out. They all showed up in the last two days. I've got a lot of reading to do.

I started Haunted today. The first short story in it was the one I heard all the bad stuff about. It was a bit nauseating but I made it through it okay. And so far nothing has been as gross. Although, the people in the stories seem to get worse and worse in regards to what they will do to become a famous writer.

Yesterday I spent most of the day putting my writing skills to use and trying to make my resume sound as impressive as possible. There are some changes that might be going on at work that make me think I might need it soon.

Today, I bought a bunch of stamps for submissions and that also reminded me that I could do e-mail subs now that I have a functioning computer.

So that's the plan for this weekend. Reading, subs and maybe I'll actually write something. The possibilities are endless

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not as far back in the day but still...

As promised the bits and pieces of what I can remember about the lost work of the second half of my life so far.

In 10th grade I wrote that poem with the awesomest opening line, 'she's in love with herself' but that's all I remember about that except the rest of it sucked.

In 11th grade I wrote this crazy story about a penguin. I remember it was inspired by my friend who had a stuffed penguin and one time a bunch of us got annoyed with her carrying it around all the time so we thought we'd do funny things like throw it down the stairs, or microwave it since we assumed penguins didn't like heat, then we put the stuffed penguin in the freezer to make it feel better. (We were in high school that's all I can really say.) Anyway, the next Monday in class we had to write a story and then let the person next to us read it, which happened to be my penguin loving friend. So I rewrote the events of the weekend but the penguin jumped off a cliff trying to fly rather than being thrown down the stairs, he was dropped in a volcano, and then returned to his natural habitat. Awful story, I know, but hilarious to me and my friend. Our teacher thought we were idiots, I'm sure. Not that I would want it back to do anything with it. I think it would just be funny to have around. Or maybe not.

In 12th grade I took advance composition, which required a lot of writing. Other than a journal, that I still have, I don’t remember many of the assignments except for one that took up almost a whole marking period. It’s also the only class I regret failing but I was in a different place back then. My priorities were messed up.
Anyway, we had to write plays that we were going to enter into a competition but I never completely finished mine.
My story was an anti-feel good teen show, where everything works out in the end. So in case you couldn’t follow that not everything worked out in the end of mine. Well not for everyone anyway.
When I got the assignment I remember being really mad at my “best friend” for liking and pursuing a guy who was an absolute jerk to me and some of my other friends.
To vent my frustration I wrote a play where two friends are torn apart by one liking, and later dating, a complete ass. The other friend dates a rebellious guy but later dumps him when she finds out he was and still is childhood friends with the same ass.
Then the “best friend” gets dumped by the jerk after he gets her pregnant and she begs the other friend for help. Sadly, the other friend doesn’t forgive and forget so easily and she turns her back.
In the end everyone is alone and miserable. I think I called it “This Isn’t Dawson’s Creek, Get Over It”. Obviously, I was filled with a lot of teenage angst and rebellion or something.
I had to write an outline and three different drafts. I’m not entirely sure what happened to any of it because as I’ve said my priorities were in crazy directions when it came to this class and my life at this point.

As for work after my school years, a while a back I started writing Double Take. I had this really long wordy version that was nearly twenty pages long. My computer crashed before I saved it and I lost most of it. It was on the old school laptop that has filled in for me on numerous occasions. And I didn’t know about temporary back up files at the time. Then later it was wiped completely clean in hopes to make it better. So that’s lost in oblivion as well.

And there was once a much longer, more dialogue filled, 6 issue, actionless, complete piece of crap version of the infamous comic book that I still cling to. I saved it on a floppy disk that ended much the same way as my flash drive. “This disk has not been formatted”. At the time I had no idea you could potentially retrieve the stuff. So I started over, changed character names, story lines and so much stuff to make a definitely better version. At least I think so. The world may never know. I do still have the notebook that I wrote the original version in, so it’s not completely lost but it was changed a bit when I typed it in originally.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Back in the day

Okay I'm finally sitting down to type a long and, hopefully, interesting blog post for the first time during NaBloPoMo and it's about time too since it's nearly half way over.

So with my computer crashing a billion times this year and the trouble that I had with my flash drive, I got to thinking a lot about losing work and work that I had already lost.
Now that I take writing seriously I save different drafts and revisions of all my stuff but when I was younger I kind of just lost or threw out anything that I wrote. There are lots of reason I didn't keep stuff other than thinking that I didn't need it for anything or that it was crap. I had personal reasons that had to do with other people reading the stuff, especially my most personal stuff like journals, which may be how my paranoia of such things started. I ended up purposely getting rid of some stuff.

Recently, I decided to think back and try to remember anything I might have written but don't have anymore. Here's what I came up with in somewhat chronological order.
Today's entry will feature the first half of my life, until I was approximately 12ish and then tomorrow's will have everything after that.

In 5th grade science class we had to write a story for some reason or another. I chose to write a story about people who cut down all the trees and then there was no oxygen left. They all died or fled to another planet except for one little boy who tried to warn them and had secretly been raising his own trees.

Then in 7th grade English class we had to write a story probably because that's a big part of what you do in English class. Anyway, I wrote a story about a woman named Paula who married a man named Paul and then got a bunch of credit cards in his name, which she was able to use because there names were so close. Paul wasn't the first guy she had tricked into this scam either.
I was so onto identity theft before it was huge. How clever am I?

8th grade was when I really thought about becoming a writer. I didn't start directly with fiction, in fact it was the year I got really into rock music. So I was going to learn to play the guitar and start a rock band. And I wrote a bunch of song lyrics, none of which I can remember.

I also started writing my first novel that would never be finished, so rather my first idea for a novel. And it was about an abused child that kills herself. Not really the cleverest plot but that's about all I remember except I think I was going to title it Unforgiven.

Other than that I'm sure there were tons of stories and papers that I had to write. I wish I could remember more. I know that I did some non-fiction stuff too. I wrote for the class paper in the 5th grade and the school paper in the 8th grade. I doubt I wrote anything deep and profound. In fact, I'm pretty sure that in 5th grade I shared the advice column with my best friend at the time. I wonder what kind of advice we gave people.

Well stay tuned tomorrow. Since it wasn't as long ago, I remember the stories in more detail. Although, I can't say they are much better.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I got nothing

I've got nothing. I had to leave work to let the plumber in so that cut down on my writing time at work. And I got sidetracked reading. However, while waiting for the plumber I did get my office area cleaned up. I got work filed away and books put back into place. Also I've been working a resume just in case a position opens up that I might be interested in. Other than that, I got nothing done. No work on anything, not even an awesome blog post. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday sucks but everyone already knows that

It's amazing to me how quick things change. Yesterday was a fabulous day. I had a lot of fun, met awesome new people, got to hang out with a friend. I was in such a fabulous mood I didn't want the day to end.
Then today started. Work sucked as it usually does on Monday and I didn't end up getting out early like I should have because someone called in sick. Then add in an argument with a family member, which lead to more drama than it ever should have. Not to mention that my drain in my basement is backing up so hopefully a call to the landlord in the morning will get it fixed but then there's the problem of who will let in the plumber. Where are all the useless, nosey, annoying house guests when you need them?
So needless to say I'm in a bad mood. And I didn't bring anything to work to work on because I really hadn't planned on being there that long by myself. I've spent the whole day being moody and unproductive. But tomorrow brings eight hours of fantastic solitude so perhaps I'll get something done then. Like a better blog post perhaps.
I do have some cool stuff planned and/or started for future posts. Stuff about my favorite songs, lost work and painting but I just don't have it in me right now. Also I need to clean the basement.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Whattcha reading?

Can you believe that yesterday was my 300th post and I didn't even realize it? How amazing is that?

Anyway, another thing that I can't believe is that I've never read a Chuck Palahniuk book. Everyone has recommended at least reading some of his stuff, whether or not they thought it was good. We even referenced his work in our query letter for Behind the Naugahyde. Obviously, on Jenni's suggestion.
So I've decided to changed this and I went to the library today. The branch that I was at only had one book, Haunted, so I checked it out. But I must admit after everything I've read about him and from what I've read on the book jacket, I'm a little worried about reading it. I haven't started it so if anyone has input please let me know.

As for what else I've been reading lately, I've gotten back into comics a bit thanks to a friend who buys a few things regularly and lets me borrow them. Of course he's a Marvel fan and I like DC titles a bit more but I'll take what I can get.

I've also been reading books too. I finished Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty. Before that I was reading the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe. I had already read a bit of his work but I thought I'd reread some and read others for the first time. It seemed to fit since it was right before Halloween and I started reading it the day my dad had his surgery.
I know it may seem slightly odd to read work mostly about death when someone is having a very serious surgery and then thinking that the work was fitting but I don't mean it in a morbid way.
My dad used to talk about Edgar Allan Poe when I was younger. He really liked the Tell-Tale Heart and the Black Cat. Once, when I was younger, I checked out a book with these stories for my dad but I don't think he ever picked it up. Anyway, that's why I decided to read it.
So that's what I've been reading and what I plan on reading. I still have yet to get anywhere near those Tolkien books but I will eventually, I'm sure.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kindness made my day

Okay this has very little, if not absolutely nothing, to do with writing but I'm posting it anyway. I was having a very bad day. I went to bed upset, and confrontations with different problems were making my day worse and worse. Then I went out to lunch with my grandma. And we were driving along about to turn left on a green arrow when a car coming from a perpendicular direction decided to turn left at the same time although he did not have a green arrow. I swerved and slammed on the brakes avoiding a van slamming into my grandmother. After completing my turn I carried on. Then all of a sudden a young girl comes running jumps over the sidewalk, over the little strip of grass and BAM! she jumps right in front of my car. I once again slam on the brakes, thank goodness I saw her in time, and missed yet another death. Of course both times people honked either at me because they didn't know I was narrowly missing killing people or at the people causing my dramatic driving reactions. So when I pull up to the next stoplight someone is honking again. And I'm thinking it's some ass that's mad at me about one of the previous incidents so my idea is to just not look. I already know what a middle finger looks like. Then my grandma says that it's a woman motioning for me to roll down the window.
I turn and roll down the window and this woman, probably about 60, says "I just wanted to say, you're a really good driver. You avoided two serious accidents that most people would not have even noticed until it was too late."
In shock, I said "thank you," and the light changed so we took off on our merry little ways
but I felt good. My day had gotten a hundred percent better because it is absolutely so rare when someone takes the time to go out of their way to tell you when you are actually doing something well, particularly when driving. I've gotten flipped off a million times and a lot of times I'm certain that I was in the right but whatever. And I try my best to not lose my temper with other drivers because mistakes happen and there's no point in getting angry. But it was so awesome of that woman to let me know that I had done something right for a change. Especially because she was older, I was younger and I feel like most older people think young drivers are careless.
I wish I had more of a chance to let her know that it meant a lot to me. But it was the last thing I was expecting and it happened so fast. Yet, it changed the whole dynamic of my day. So much so that I'm breaking policy and writing about it on my blog that I usually save exclusively for writing related topics. But I guess when you think about anytime I write, regardless of what it is about, it's about writing because I wrote it.
Anyway, I know the odds of the woman ever reading this are about a gazillion to one but to her I say 'thanks'. I sincerely hope that she didn't think I was just some young kid that rolled my eyes and made fun of her for being some weirdo lady. My reaction was the farthest thing from that. And since I have no other way to pass on how it affected me I'm writing it here. Hopefully, it will inspire others to do the same, which is why people write or at least why I do. To inspire others and to show them the other side of the story.
In the end it really kind of was about writing but I think just about everything in my life is.
Now I've got to go out of my way to tell someone something great about them because I'm truly inspired.

*Although it would have been awful, how much more of an entertaining story would this have been had I said that while I was so in shock of the woman's kindness, I took my foot of my brake and rear ended the person in front of me? Here's hoping I don't jinx myself.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Blame Jenni for everything, that's what I do

Well I signed on to write this huge post because I finally had time to do so. Then I noticed that Jenni was online so I tackled her IM style since it's not often I get to talk to my Jenni through non-e-mail form.
Anyway, we caught up on things that have been going on and then I was set into a fit of laughter when Jenni pointed out something to me that I hadn't notice yet. When we started writing Behind the Naugahyde we based a lot of the characters on real people we worked with or worked next to. The further we got into the book the more fictional they became but still they are inspired by real people. And one of those people we didn't really know all that well since he worked next to us.
He inspired a character in the book. Then after a while the store he worked at moved and the person we knew that he worked with got fired so we just didn't see him anymore. Until recently. Now he has ended up back in our lives in a very interesting way and it's was hilarious when Jenni reminded me about all of this.
I know very cryptic and hard to follow. Sorry about that but if I said more I'd be giving away either stuff about the book, which I won't do without Jenni's mutual consent and/or personal information about one or more people that I won't do without their consent. So vagueness it is.
And this lame post is all Jenni's fault so go to her live journal and blame her in the comments. She's a comment whore so she'll love it.
Oh and did you notice Jenni's got her own label now?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

T.V. troubles

Tonight is t.v. night. Thursday and Monday are the two days a week that I succumb to the calling of the glowing box with people living in it that sucks the life out of all that are entranced by it, including me. When the t.v. is on I get absolutely nothing done and I get hooked. I cannot walk away. So now I just don't turn it on. It does seem lonely without the chatter of others but the radio fills in the silence and allows for focusing on other things.

I'm in love with the Thursday night comedies on NBC and come to think of it the two shows I watch on Monday are on NBC. And I'm excited they're having a green week, which has been pretty interesting.

I know that soon my t.v. nights may resort to reruns. I don't pretend to know enough about the writers strike to give an educated opinion or even a summary. I haven't been keeping up well on the news lately. I do see that Tina Fey seems to be the person they refer to the most. Probably because she's really the only recognizable t.v. writer and that's due to her acting as well as writing.
I love my regular t.v. schedule and I will be completely annoyed by reruns. I also think that generally people in the entertainment industry are overpaid but if actors and directors are getting there fair percentage then writers should too. Where do you start if there's no writing?

So I'm off to watch 30 Rock. I know some people may not agree but I think Tina Fey is a hilarious writer. And it seems to be rare to find funny women that make it anywhere, not that women aren't funny they just don't seem to get as far in their comedy careers.
But regardless of who starred in Mean Girls it was hysterical and true. I really appreciated the sketches and comedy that were more aimed at women when she wrote for SNL, like the Barbie sketch where they joke about the giant brush and Barbie losing all her shoes. I doubt many guys would understand it.

Well anyway, I hope it gets worked out so the world doesn't go mad from reruns. Although, I'd probably get more done if shows went into reruns. But then again if it was a particularly good episode I'd just watch it anyway so maybe not.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We'll find time eventually

In yesterdays post I mentioned the occasional meeting of a writer's group. We haven't met in over a month. Finding time to meet has been near impossible now that the school year has started. I guess that's a hazard when two of the writers are teachers and the other is an editor of a college newspaper. There's lots going on.
It also got to the point where a few people would show up but only one person, me, would bring work. At that point I just felt selfish like it was the Ashley's editing group. So we decided to only meet if at least three people could make it, because there's not much point if only one person is reading your work, and at least two people were bringing work. We haven't actually had a meeting since this rule. There was one attempted meeting but it was cancelled at the very last second.
We have been looking for new members, figuring it would give us better odds of having three people available at the same time and two of those people having work. But finding new people has worked out about as well as when I originally tried to start the group. Although, we did get a response from one person and hopefully she'll be able to make one of the meetings eventually.
Right now, I'm waiting on responses to see if anyone can meet next Monday.

That's the status of the writing group for now. I have to head to work. I'm back to the night shift but only once a week. Now that I've had the whole day off to do things the way I used to, I'm starting to seriously want my old schedule back. It just seemed to work so much better for me. I think mostly because I am not a morning person.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

No Expectations

Right now I have a huge to do list. I need to finish editing Going It Alone and I’d like to start a query letter for it. And that would involve sending it out to agents as well.
Remember that Christmas story I was working on, nearly done but not quite, so I need to do that.
Then there are submissions for other stories. Like the stack that I got ready a few weeks ago but have remained on my desk due to my lack of postage.
Also, every now and again, I work on editing one of my previously finished short stories every time we actually manage to have a writing group meeting.
And I haven’t forgotten that I’m suppose to be posting somewhat entertaining stuff on my blog everyday as well as working on Human Decency.
Combine all of this with all the hectic personal stuff in my life and I’ve got one conclusion. I’m not likely to finish Human Decency during November. I know it may seem awful to give up so soon. We’re only six days in. Although, the odds of me not finishing are pretty good considering my track record for NaNoWriMo.
I think it was a good time to start and I will try to write as much as possible, just to see how I do. The problem for me is that I’m pretty sure Human Decency will be longer than 50,000 words. Also I have spent more than a year reading, interviewing, researching and being completely scared to write this novel. So it seems kind of weird to say to myself, ‘it’s the most important thing you’ve ever written, get it done in 30 days.’
I do think NaNoWriMo is a good motivator to get me restarted after the loss of my previous start to Human Decency and it will still push me to write, because honestly I do have a little hope that I might get beyond inspired and crank out the book over a month, but I’m just saying, it’s not likely. And that’s gonna have to be okay.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Left Behind

I’m getting really frustrated. I keep leaving all my stuff behind. When I was at the hospital last week I left my bag, that had all my reading and writing material, in the car, which my sister parked valet. Do you know how hard it is to get stuff out of your car when the valet has your only set of keys? It’s a pain.
And now today I’m at work. I left behind my notebook filled with notes on Human Decency for the second time now that NaNoWriMo has started. I know I can write without them. I can always go back and reflect on them later. Yet, it would be a lot easier to remember what I was planning on writing, what I’ve already covered and what I need to cover, as well as character names and such, if I had that friggin’ notebook with me.

Also these past few weeks have been that clich├ęd emotional roller coaster for me. I have a lot going on in my head. There’s been a lot of really good and a lot of crappy stuff going on. I just want to write it all down in my journal. Unfortunately, I haven’t really found a lot of time for that lately. So I figured I’d get to work on Monday morning and let all the craziness spill over into the pages of my journal. But guess what? I left it at home.
This makes me even more annoyed because I have writing paranoia, as some may already know. I’m bad with my fiction but I’m neurotic when it comes to my most personal writing of all, which is my journal. And to think I left it sitting at home where there is a recent flow of house visitors that need to be there when I’m not there. It disturbs me and drives me mad.
I know it seems awful that I have people at my house that I can’t trust with something like this. It’s more me than them. I have issues.
Anyway, so I’m at work while I’m writing this and it is driving me beyond mad, to the point where I want to run home and get it. But I will be strong. I will trust. I will be okay. I think.
I’ll just try to keep my mind off it by working on Human Decency and typing a gigantic e-mail to Jenni.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

An art show and not much else

I have gotten absolutely nothing done today. I did go to the art show. R's work was amazing. She's got serious talent. I'm not really knowledgeable about the technical aspects of art so I don't really know how to describe her work. She does drawings of people, mostly portrait style. Some in charcoal, some in soft pastels and I think a few other types. I'll have to reread her artist's statement.
One thing I did particularly like about her work was that her people weren't stereotypically gorgeous. They were just everyday people who weren't drawn to be glamorous. Real, I guess is the word I'm looking for.
Seeing the results of R's hard work should inspire me to get moving on my novel so that's what I need to do. When I'm at work tomorrow, I'll try to write a really moving and substantial post that talks about more than the things I'm doing to procrastinate writing Human Decency.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Is it really the weekend?

Wow, you'd think by the third day of NaBloPoMo I'd have something super awesome to write about, but no I didn't really get a chance to put a lot of effort in to today's post. First off I worked all day, which isn't usual for Saturdays but I had to make up for the time I spent in Ann Arbor. And now I'm getting ready to go out for the night because sometimes you just need a break. I've been working, running around like crazy along with starting two writing projects this week and that has pretty much consumed me so I'm slacking off for a bit.
Tomorrow my friend R (I don't know if she would want me to use her name and I know on her blog she calls me Supergirl. Yet, the best I can come up with for her is the first letter of her first name), who I also have the pleasure of working with on occasion, is having her senior art show to get her degree in fine art. I'm super excited but I have no one to go with so that's kind of a bummer since it's a bit of a drive. I hope everything goes well for her. She was having all kinds of dilemmas with framing and censoring. Goodness.
And aside from being a cool person who has an adorable yet not mainstream style wardrobe, that also understands the artistic struggle, she has a crazy resemblance to Jenni. Freakish almost. Not that R or Jenni are freakish its just that they both somehow ended up working at the same shoe store one after the other. They are the same height, wear the same hard to find shoe size, same hair color, similar glasses, both speak German, and both are very creative. R wants to teach English as a second language in Japan. Jenni is certified to teach English as a second language. Also both make things from scratch. Jenni makes a purse out of seat belts, as well as making earrings, rugs and lots of other stuff. R makes scarves, hats and I'm sure that's not all.
The similarities are not all in my head either. Everyone, who has worked at the shoe store with Jenni and R, have noticed it too.

Well this post was just suppose to be about what I am doing this weekend and how I'm slacking on writing, yet it turned out a little different. Writing without the headlights on if you will. Or something.

NaNoWriMo word count: 1325

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day two ( and yes I know that's a very uncreative title for this post)

Well I started, or restarted really, Human Decency as my NaNoWriMo novel yesterday. I only got 1015 words done on the first day. Obviously, a little short of the 1600 words I should be writing daily but it could have been a lot worse. I could have not started at all. And the way my week is going that would have been likely. So I'm just happy to have started and hopefully I'll make some progress tonight.

In NaBloPoMo news I am happy to announce that my writing pal, Ms. Jenni, is participating in NaBloPoMo this year. I've always been kind of bummed that she didn't update her live journal more. Her posts are hilarious. When we used to work at the shoe store together the posts she would write about our boss and the customers would have me in tears. She's amazing. And I will make her my NaBloPoMo friend on the profile, that I have yet to fill out, as soon as I figure out how to accept someone as my friend. Until then visit here for an awesome post that mentions yours truly. Well the first November post mentioned me. Jenni's already way ahead and has another post up. She's totally kicking my butt.

In other NaNo/NaBlo news, which will pretty much be my only news for the next month, I plan on checking out the blogs of those people that left comments about NaNoWriMo on my post over the last few weeks. I need to see if they are off to a good start. And of course I need to check out some of the NaBloPoMo participants and my usual blogs that I once read daily but have fallen very far behind on.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Time to write!

Happy November! I hope everyone had an amazing Halloween. My was a little downsized, I didn't do as much but I did get more kids than last year. I nearly ran out of candy since I didn't buy as much. In fact, I only had one piece left at the end of the night, which is probably best.

Anyway, sorry for the week long absence. I've spent most of it in Ann Arbor sitting in the U of M hospital. I did spend some of that time working on Going It Alone edits but mostly I was reading.
Never worry though, today is the start of NaBloPoMo as well as NaNoWriMo, so if all goes as planned by the end of the month I will have posted here every day and will have my novel finished.

When I went to register for NaBloPoMo I found that they have a whole new website this year where you get a profile instead of just a link on a list. Hopefully, they still have a blog randomizer so I can check out other blogs in no particular order.

I'll try to remember to get my NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo profiles posted in the sidebar until then just click on the links in this post.

Good luck to anyone who's participating in either and happy writing!