Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Here We Go Again

For years, I have joined up on the Discovery site, enthused and excited about the possibilities of the new year, and wanting to start getting in shape before the warmer weather came. It always seemed to happen, though - I would peter out somewhere in the second week, being distracted by something or other, promising myself faithfully that I would catch up... I would allow myself this one cheat, and then work hard during the next few days to "erase" the calories or whatever. Never happened, of course. One cheat led to another and another, and by the fifth week I would have thrown my hands in the air in disgust at myself and quit. (With faithful promises again to myself that the next year would be different.)

This past year has seen me move by necessity halfway across the country, away from my beloved beaches and Los Angeles treks, and to the Midwest. Clinical depression has really caught up with me. The lack of pedestrian-friendly ANYTHING helped me gain thirty pounds within the first six weeks in February-March. I've shed a few, gained them back, shed again, gained them back. I've topped the scale with the heaviest I have been in my life only recently: 235.6 pounds. I have no energy, which the depression is adding its power behind. Most of my clothes don't fit, and I don't have the money to purchase new ones.

I have to lose weight to wear most of the clothes I have. I have to lose weight so I can stop huffing and puffing after just taking the laundry down to the laundry room. I have to lose weight so I can reach things, and fit into smaller spaces (which used to be absolutely no problem for me). I have to lose weight for my own confidence, and to help battle this lethargic numbness that is the depression. I have to lose weight so I feel as though I can walk into job interviews and wow the people.

Hopefully it will work this time. Hopefully, I won't go "oooh, shiny!" and wander off, because if I keep this up, I won't be able to move enough to wander off again.

Here's to raw determination that doesn't get stewed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NaNoWriMo Things

There is always that waiting waiting waiting feeling before the month of November kicks off. And during that time, there is only so much prep you can do for your novel before you start feeling burned out, or the temptation to write "just a little bit... it won't hurt anyone and no one will know if I already have a couple chapters..." hits. Just another week and a half, and you don't really want to start writing something else during this time, either. (Well, at least I never do. Your mileage may vary.)

This is my fiscally dangerous part of the year. Why? Because now I want to prep with goodies from the NaNo store online! This year I want the Camp NaNoWriMo tee-shirt, and both of the hoodies (because you can never have enough hoodies!), and the key chain, the deconstructed logo carry-all bag, the coffee mug (both the diner version and the travel mug)... ohhh, I am so very bad about all of that. And of course, don't forget the winner tee shirt from last year.

Out of curiosity, I have added all of this stuff up. If I went for everything, it would be $177.00 plus another $20.20 for shipping and handling. Yikes! I did note, however, that they are out of my normal size for the winner shirts for last year. If I am going to get one, I should get one now, and in one size smaller. I guess it's a good thing that I am working very seriously on losing weight! This can be like a pre-prize for myself on that goal.

I know I was talking about the site www.750words.com yesterday, and I still love the stuffins out of it. There only seems to be one real problem every once in awhile: the site slows down to the point you have problems logging in, or if you are logged in, you can't get to your writing page - or any page other than the one you're already on. I will need to leave to go to work soon, and I really wanted to write before I left. Here's crossing my fingers that it will be up and running soon!

Speaking of going to work, I need to get off my duff and go start some laundry. Writing or no writing, daily chores still need to be done!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

750words.com And Other Bits

Thanks to a friend of mine on another blogging site, I have discovered this nifty little website called www.750words.com. It is based on the idea from The Artist's Way about writing three pages in a journal every morning. These "morning pages" are supposed to be sort of a brain dump of sorts, just you writing, unstructured, letting words flow out of your mind, through your fingers, and onto the paper... or in my usual case, into becoming on the laptop screen.

One of the things I love about the site, and don't go laughing here, is that they give you little badges for different achievements. Ohhh, don't go offering badges to someone who runs around World of Warcraft reading obscure books and eating odd things just to gain an achievement for the hell of it. You know I'll just be all over that site! So far, I have earned a turkey (writing 3 days in a row), a penguin (7 days in a row), a flamingo (10 days in a row), and a cheetah (speedy typist!).

What can I do with all these badges, you might ask? Well, nothing really. But a giggle or two over them, and a grin when I see a new one pop up is more than worth it to me.

NaNoWriMo is coming up in fifteen days. Do you have your plot bunnies well fed? Mine have decided to whisper in my ear as I sleep and give me dreams of the very vivid sort. This latest dream had me hanging out, talking with a couple guys who were working on a private plane. We were in the country somewhere; huge, leafy trees offering shade, and what looked like a boathouse-cum-shack with peeling white paint was very near. The sound of a couple small jets overhead cut though the nature noise, and we looked up, for some reason instinctively moving closer to the shelter of the plane to help hide our presence, although there was nothing we had done wrong. One of the guys made the comment that they were marking the perimeter, or doing something with the perimeter. This seemed to be enough of a reason for me to run up to the larger house for supplies. I don't know why we were going to run, and I don't know why the military (because that was who the jets seemed to be) were flying and dropping some sort of sonar markers along the lake shore, but it was apparently enough of a reason for the character I was to be alarmed.

In the larger house, a Native American man in his thirties was working, renovating a sunlit room. I greeted him, and tried to act as nonchalant as possible as I pocketed Band-Aids, Mercurochrome, and scoured the little medicine cabinet for whatever else I could sneak away with. He came in, though, alerted by the sounds of my scrounging, and asked me what in the world I was doing. Not in a threatening way at all, but for some reason the two guys at the plane and I were supposed to be a group unto ourselves. I turned, plastering a smile on my face that I was hoping looked a bit more genuine than it felt, and tried to play my antics off as just that - the nutty chick's silliness that everyone around was supposed to be used to.

I remember the sunlight streaming in through the glassless window in the other room, the room where he was working, and lighting the area behind him as he stood over me, and the motes of sawdust and tree fluff dancing erratically in the shafts of yellow gold. And I remember having the feeling of knowing him, and of his knowing me a lot better than either he or I would publicly admit.

And now, after writing all of this down, I have a funny feeling the basis of my NaNo novel has just been changed by the characters who inhabit that world. That's just fine with me... I have learned through the years not to fight them. They will take you where they want to be, and if you fight, you wind up with a story that doesn't come off nearly as well as you had hoped, or (and this is the more common result) you will find yourself with a half dozen or so partially written stories that have no life and no luster to them, and will never see the words "The End" to complete them.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 And Other Bits Of Amusement

It's cloudy out today, and on my day off! No, I can't be enraged about that, really. It's still too hot outside for my Southern California moods to long too much for the sun here in the Great Plains.

It's that time of year - NaNoWriMo fever is beginning in my soul again. I know it's still a little over a month and a half away, but every September it begins. What will I write this year? Will I be able to stick with it, or will mundane bits of life come again to take over my time and energy, sapping both from me and leaving me with 382 words written on November 29? I'm lucky in that the job I hold right now allows me to bring my laptop to work and mess around online, doing whatever, as long as the customers are taken care of.

I actually have a good idea of what I want to write for this year. No, I'm not telling, at least not yet. Last year, I wrote paranormal. I still have the sheets of paper printed out, begging for editing. I think it's been long enough since I wrote it to go back and go through it with a fresh eye and mind. I have two days off right now; maybe I will do that.

Blender, a 3D imaging program, has been played with a bit as well. It has one hell of a steep learning curve, especially for someone who gets confused with PhotoShop! But I am hoping to figure out the basics relatively quickly and see what I can get done in there for SecondLife.

At any rate, that is what is happening lately, or at least some of it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Musing On Today... So Far!

I woke this morning to the distant sound of thunder, and the pattering of raindrops on my bedroom window. It is a nice change from the feeling of being beaten with the heat of the sun's rays every day, but not so nice that I would wish for cloudy days most of the time.

I suppose I am in the mood to write today. I don't feel like writing about the Pan character, though... but I don't know what I do feel like writing about. I feel like messing with photos I have taken over the months, both in SecondLife and in the real world. My trial for Corel is over, and right now I don't have the $60.00 I need to buy the full license. I have GIMP. GimpShop, and MyPaint, but they aren't the same when it comes to really being able to fix little bits of things in a photograph.

There is a wonderful artist in SecondLife, with the avatar name of Jewell Lamourfou. Some of her texture packs are designed to be used with photos, and I am thinking of playing with some of them today... that is, if I decide to go that route.

I also still have a wonderful little (okay, not SO little) project in cross stitch I have been working on for that person people know as "the boyfriend". Not only is it great for me to finally have someone who doesn't think it's stupid for me to make things for him, and who doesn't see it as something only his grandmother would foist on him (and therefore, something he is forced to display somewhere in his home so it doesn't cause a family row), but it just simply makes me feel good as I stitch, because I am thinking of him while I make the project.

Yes, I know this is a disjointed post, and I apologize. The morning coffee has yet to really kick in, and I am listening to the aforementioned male on my headset in Skype right now, too. Visually, I am a multi-tasker. Throw something my way in audio and everything scatters to the winds!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I don't dream that often, or at least I don't remember them most of the time. When I do, they are likely to be a bit bizarre, and usually in full color... one of those "real" dreams, that leave you in an awake state wondering if it really happened.

The other morning I found myself still a bit sleepy, so I went back to bed for a little nap. One of those bizarre dreams began playing itself out in my mind, full-color, scents and touch and even the feel of the night time breeze. There was a character in the dream that, while he was only there for a few minutes, he stayed with me after I woke, even as the rest of the dream faded into memory.

By yesterday morning, I wanted to write a story, bringing him into it. I don't have a clue where the story will go, or what the reason is for him to be there, but it seemed urgent that I at least begin this. So I did.

Over the years, I have written quite a few short stories that came to me first in a dream. It seems to work well for me, and for that I am grateful. When I write, they seem to develop of their own accord, much like a dream does. I have to admit, I love being along for the ride in these things... It's like sitting back and watching a performance from my Theater of the Mind, to borrow a term a friend uses for hers. I am like my characters - I don't know what will happen next, and this means I can suggest choices for them from the same viewpoint they have. Sometimes they disagree, and if I have to fight to get them to do what I want, I know I am heading in the wrong direction. Just let them do their own thing, and the story unfolds in vivid reality, with me as the historian of events.

Of course, then I have all these other distractions, like blogging about writing when I really should be writing the story...

But procrastination is one of the things a writer excels at, right?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

At Work

Working the night shift isn't so bad, even on the weekends. Well, provided you don't really want to have a social life. If you like being left alone, it's pretty good for that.

Take me at this moment. I am sitting around, waiting for the breakfast lady to make an appearance in about thirty minutes. I stay for another hour and a half after that. Outside of actual work, one of my main causes of frustration has been the fact SecondLife keeps crashing on me all night. That, and I have got to pee. I don't want to go pee, though, not until Janessa comes. I know it is completely ridiculous, but I have got this horrible paranoia when I am in that bathroom: I keep watching the light under the door for shoes, or shadows of legs.

Freaking myself out right now as I type it!

It is silly, and I know this. It is something straight out of a 50s horror movie or old comic books. Still, you know... just in case.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Heat, History, And Ham Sandwiches

If someone were to ask me, I would tell them that it should be simply wrong for the heat index to be 115*. Wrong, wrong, obscenely improper.

Of course, no one is asking me.

I have been trying to change the way I eat - trying to go for more healthy foods, more natural stuff. (You won't see me giving up my Splenda with fiber anytime soon, though.) It's really only been about four days, but I've noticed a slight but steady upswing in my energy. Hey, I like that! It's too soon to tell if I am really going to start losing weight this way, of course... but if I do, I am going to be crowing about it like mad.

There is a lot of fun involved. I have given myself carte blanche in the kitchen! I can start playing around with all sorts of recipes and things, as long as they are pretty healthy... or at least won't turn to plastic in my belly. Or sit there and, ummm, rot.

Disgusting thought.

The Art Appreciation course I am taking this summer is at its halfway point. There is a paper due tonight, and do you really think I have it done? Yeah, you know I don't. Of course, I could be writing it right now, like I should be doing... but instead, I am working on a blog post. Then I will probably clean the apartment some more, and maybe go do some laundry....

And not too long before it is past due, I will sit here at my desk, panic riding over me in waves, and I will wind up "NaNoing" yet another paper for class. I won't reread it; I will simply send it in as is.

Because that is how my insanity on this level works!

(Please... It's got to be insane when you consistently leave things like this to the last minute.)

Don't get me wrong: I love my classes, especially the history ones, which this one incorporates. I think I love the challenge and the adrenaline rush of being forced to surrender words upon words upon words, and make clear, concise sense out of them right at a deadline. I must admit, so far it has worked to my advantage. I have received A's on all but one, and that one got a high B. (These aren't the types requiring a bibliography, thank goodness. Those I do actually spend a long time on.)

The phone was just ringing, and it was probably my parents. They will want me to go get them something or other, I'm sure. Is this a good enough reason to end a post that is otherwise a bit dangly? You tell me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Still Hot!

The weather, that is... although I'm not feeling so shabby myself with a new, much shorter haircut. It used to be down near my waist, but the last cut I had was a razor cut, and if you don't keep those up meticulously, they begin looking shaggy, then raggedy, then just like you have a head full of split ends.

A wonderful stylist named Curtis over in Penn Square Mall (At MasterCuts, if anyone ventures near) fixed it all up. Nice, healthy, curling near the ends, bouncy (even though the humidity really tries to keep this from happening)... I am really very happy with it. And bonus? He waxed my eyebrows for another ten bucks. I know that's a usual service for a usual price. I've had it done before in California, and I love it. But Curtis was very methodical and did bits at a time, instead of slopping the wax over huge portions. Then he tweezed to make it perfect, checking the alignment and evenness and everything, and then put lotion on my skin afterward. I know all of that is probably what should go with the service, but it's the first time I've had it done.

So silly me, I am all happy from what I consider pampering the other day. And really glad for the hair falling to about the middle of my shoulder blades, because believe me, it is a lot cooler than it used to be!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

If Wishes Were Horses...

... I would have a horse and could gallop on over to Kansas City, MO, on my birthday to see Gogol Bordello. As I don't hear any neighing, I might have to pass on this. Though I really want to see them again, I can wait. I think they are playing down in Texas in the fall, and that's just an Amtrak ride away. (Plus I have friends in Texas.)

It is drippy, sticky hot here. So not used to this type of weather anymore! Sleep comes in small doses, and there's lots of water to be drunk. It's hard to believe I was freezing cold only a few months ago.

At any rate, I need to finish getting ready for work. Yahoo for the graveyard shift, right?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Long Time Past!

Hi, guys!

In the time since I last posted, I have had to move from my beloved California back to Oklahoma City. I grew up here, and have left it twice already - once to move to New York, and once to California - and yet here I am again.

I came here because I thought it would be cheaper to live here, jobs would be easier to come by, and I could get back on my feet (and back out to California) in a relatively short amount of time. Let me tell you, that's not how it is at all. I do have a job now, finally, but one that pays minimum wage and is only part time. Considering a few years ago I was working more than 40 hours a week at times, and making enough to live comfortably without having to really count pennies in Los Angeles... Well, this is a huge step down.

I am also without wheels, which sucks here. Moreso than when in SoCal, believe me. I do have the use of my Dad's car, for which I am grateful, but it's not the same. And it looks like it will be at least a year, if not longer, before I will be able to buy my own.

BUT... I am managing. Most of my things (and I do mean most!) are in storage in California still. I had naively thought that after about three or four weeks here in OKC, I'd rent a car, drive to Long Beach, and get some of the things to bring back here. Unfortunately, all rental places in Oklahoma require you to have either a credit (not debit) card, or "credit-worthiness". My current score of 478 will not help me rent a car in this state. What does this mean, though? It just means I have less stuff to dust every week, and I have less stuff I will have to move back out there when *I* move back out there!

There is no Trader Joe's here, which sucks. Upside? I don't go on spending sprees at Joe's. There is, however, a Sephora, which means I can still get pretties when I want to give myself a treat. Even though I live in the middle of the largest city here, there is pretty much nothing around. There is, but very long walking distances. Upside to this? I can see great expanses of sky.

And my cat is enjoying chittering at all the birds just outside the apartment windows. :)
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