Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #9

Thirteen Things I'm looking forward to doing after the NaNoWriMo deadline tomorrow night

1. Reading more fiction

2. Watching more movies--stories again.

3. Catching up with three to four weeks each of Ugly Betty, Gray's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Six Degrees and The Nine--the only TV series I've been watching this season because I can watch them online for up to three weeks after they air. (I may also catch up with Boston Public and Medium during prime time rerun season. They aren't available online so I gave them up so as not to be tied to the TV schedule during NaNoWriMo

4.Cleaning my room--arrrrrgh. I can't stand it. If I could actually see it better I think I would put out my eyes. (Ah, but no, that would make stories so much harder to read, watch and write. I guess tunnel vision can have its plusses--as long as I stare at the lighted laptop screen, I can't see anything else in the room.)

5. Write on some of the stories I set aside for Storyteller's Spouse, my NaNoWriMo novel..

7. Post more often to Joystory

8. Refresh my HTML skills so I can start posting to Joywrite and Joyread again.

9. Do serious promoting for Joystory, Joywrite and Joyread

10. Go for walks (and not just to the library)

11. Start working needlecraft again.

12. Play relaxing and or mentally stimulating computer games

13. Daydream--without feeling obligated to keep focused on Storyteller's Spouse

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Katia 2. Caylynn 3. Gattina 4. Southern Girl

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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NaNoWriMo Progress Report #3

This is mostly just a place setter because it completely demoralized me to realize that I was about to stack a third Thursday Thirteen on top of two others with zero posts sandwiched between. This sad neglect of Joystory is due to NaNoWriMo pressures among other more normal life and seasonal pressures--migraines, family duty, holiday commitments, the intrusive drama from the lives of those close to me that I found difficult to disengage from and which crowded out my story's drama..

Equally demoralizing is the realization that with all that I neglected in order to invest in NaNoWriMo, I am not going to reach the finish line once again which makes it 0 for 3 for me. I can only say that it has been worth it anyway. I will go into more detail in the coming week as now is not the time to be waxing analytical.

I have about twenty more hours to cram word-count--but can probably only count on ten awake hours. The meter to the left is not reflective of the reality as I stopped updating it three weeks ago. I have only a vague notion of the true word-count because, when I cut loose I stopped differentiating between narrative and notes. When a thought grabbed me while I was in the middle of writing a scene I just wrote about it from right where I was so in order to get a true word-count I would have to wade through and cut and paste those into separate files. It's easily triple what that meter says though and I hope it is more than that.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #8

Thirteen Things I am Thankful For

1. Life

2. Belonging to Family and Community

3. Stories--for their role in co-creating self, community, and culture; for the weaving of stories is the weaving of the fabric of life.

4. Home--the place of refuge and its amenities--having experienced two weeks living on the street I can never take such for granted again.

5. Regular meals--again, having experienced on several occasions their lack, it is natural to feel grateful.when they're available.

6. Libraries--how else would I gain access to several thousand dollars of books and videos every year.

7. The adoration and companionship of my two cats, Gremlin and Merlin.

8. Computer and Internet technology because it gives me the tools I need to follow my bliss and to accomodate to the various challenges my life circumstances have handed me.

9. My laptop--ditto and because it gives me 24/7 possession of and access to my projects.

10. Both Nature and Civilization in equal measure.

11. Music

12. The Fruits of the Spirit with which I have been gifted and charged with nurturing and manifesting in my life--love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, temperence, faith, and meekness as well as grace, wisdom, justice, mercy, hope, courage, abundance, gratitude, liberty of mind and conscience, balance, awe, compassion, and wonder among others.

13. That which is my Source and Sustainer and the Animating Spirit which Breathes me and seeds within me its Fruits--not to be confused with any posited supernatural entity for it is not a being but very Being, it is not noun but verb and must not be named for naming defines and delimits and thereby creates things which can be no more than idols

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1.

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #7

Thirteen Things That Elder-Caregivers Need

1. Naps

2. Patience

3. Privacy

4. Sense of Humor

5. Breaks

6. Help

7. Extra Time

8. Extra Hands

9. Listening skills

10. Persuasion skills

11. Kindness

12. Gentleness

13. Sleep

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Carol Bradley Bursack 2. Incog & Nito 3. Norma 4. Gattina

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Just got back from taking care of my husband's 92 year-old grandmother since last Monday. Was going to just let TT go this week but then thought of this at the last minute--litterly fifteen to midnight! Won't get to visit other TT until I get some sleep.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Read more...

Monday, November 13, 2006

NaNoWriMo Progress Report 2

well i finaly have word count as you can see in the side bar if i got it installed right.  almost 2300 words.  but it is a mess much like this post is going to be because i have been typing for hours and haven't slept and now must get ready to leave for my husband's grandma's house where i am staying until Thursday while my in-laws take their vacation over to the coast.. No internet so I won't be posting but maybe i will get more writing done now that i have made a breakthru.  it was when i realized that i had quite a bit of material in my notes that could qualify as narrative and dialog.  so what if it started and stopped in the middle of nowhere.  so what if it was mostly in third person when i intended to make this first person.  but i was tired of trying to find my POV charachter's voice and decided that i would leave that for later.  if it doesn't come on it's own by the time i have 50,000 words... well, i don't know.  but i won't worry about it anymore until then. or at least until the end of the month. i have a lengthy list of intended scenes and i started jumping around among them on a whim. so they start and stop in the middle of nowhere.  i also stopped worrying about punctuation.  especially quote marks and commas.  i also stopped pausing to find the 'right' word.  when i couldn't settle on one immediately i just listed all of the options that came to me.  like i said...it's a mess. but it is flowing now.  i hope i don't stiffle it again by expecting too much out of it.  i hate posting this mess but will as another exercise in subduing the harpy's that plague me.  perfection ain't all it's cracked up to be.  idolizing perfection is a crak-up waiting to happen.  or so i've often found.  there is a time and place.... NaNoWriMo is neither.  A blog post can be anything it's author so desires and right now I desire to post this more than i desire to perfect it.  i feel like celebrating and there is noone else to celebrate with.

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My Birthday Means? What Now????

Your Birthdate: November 13

You're dominant and powerful.  ROTFLOL

You always need to be in charge. Is this why I prefer babies to adults?

While others respect your competence, you can be a bit of a dictator. Too busy holding the whip over myself to accomplish much else.

Hard working and serious, you never always let yourself down. Now I'll buy it.

You are exact and accurate - and you expect others to be the same way. The former--yeah, OK.  The latter--not so much.  Wish-maybe.  Expect-no.

Your strength: You always get the job done   Ha!  Well, maybe when someone other than me is depending on it.

Your weakness: You're a perfectionist to a fault   I'll cop to this one.  And how!

Your power color: Gray Bleh!

Your power symbol: Checkmark  Is this why I like To Do Lists?

Your power month: April  If I stop laughing by then, I'll let you know.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #6

Thirteen Things I feel like right now because I still have zero qualifiabale word-count on my NaNoWriMo novel

1. a fiasco
2. flustered
3. flighty
4. farcical
5. a faker
6. fumble-fingered
7. fidgety
8. flummoxed
9. a flubber
10. fatuous
11. foolish
12. flushable
13. a fraud

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Caylynn 2. Uisce 3. MommyBa 4. Norma 5. Nathalie 6. Chaotic Mom 7. Melissa 8. amy 9. The Imperfect Christian 10. Susan

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Read more...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Book Review: The Republican Playbook

LOL LOL LOL ROTFLOL LOL LOL LOL *gasp* LOL LOL LOL WAAAHAAHAHA HA HA *gasp*

OK OK OK *gasp* I think I can at least type now. If not speak.

Before I tell you what this book is about, I have to confess something that might give you cause to question my capacity to review such a book as this if not my intelligence itself. I believed, when I ordered this book that it was exactly what it’s title said it was. Nor, did I immediately comprehend the true nature of it once I held it in my hands and caught sight of the bright red front cover with the gold embossed title and the black diagonal band across the bottom left corner declaring the book to have been stolen from the White House by Andy Borowitz. Even after opening the book and thumbing through the pages and noting the grayed out shade of many of the pages consistent with photocopying; the doodles, the smudges, the thumbprints on the edges of the pages and the handwritten notes scattered in the margins throughout I did not catch on. I always was the last one to get the joke, often laughing at the punch line several minutes, if not several hours, after the fact. Knowing this might give you pause as you consider whether to read on, committing your precious time to a critique of a political satire book by someone with an obviously low HQ (Humor Quotient). But I believe in full disclosure.

Does it help to know that I had been anticipating something more on the lines of this memo acquired by Raw Story last August and downloadable in PDF format here? I didn’t think so.

If you are still with me, I am grateful but I must tell you I would be given pause in considering you for any task dependent on good judgment. Because it does not cast any the least bit less of a shadow on my credibility to know that before I encountered this book I had never heard of Andy Borowitz, nor read or even heard of any of the half-dozen or so titles he had previously published. But now that we’ve established a relationship of complete transparency maybe we can at least have a bit of fun as we take a quick romp through the pages of Andy’s wickedly funny Republican Playbook masterfully reverse engineered from meticulous observation of GOP behavior while running the offices they had successfully run for.

This little book is replete with talking points on major issues, keys to victory in a number of key states, leadership lessons for George Bush, suggestions for tricky uses of new technology to advance their domination of the elections, the electorate and each branch of government and musings on lessons learned from the past, some of which are in the included forwards by previous owners of the manual--Nixon, Reagan and Papa Bush. Every page is a minefield of guffaws and adding to the piquancy of the jokes are the scattered notes to self in the purported handwriting of GW.

Among the amazing things you can do with new technology is the hard to detect manipulation of photos for campaign mailers and ads. Such as, for alarming their base, create a pic of the Dems Dream Supremes--Bill Clinton as Chief Justice, the three Dixie Chicks, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand, and horror of all horrors, Michael Moore. Especially helpful is the ability to take a photo of any Dem and morph it into the Demon of the Day--Osama, Saddam, Kim Jung Il, Satan. Then there is the ease of pasting a pic of a Dem into a background that associates them with criminal or treasonous activities.

Wicked fun with Wikipedia is another thing new technology has made possible: anyone can creatively embellish any Dem Pol’s bios, giving them illustrious careers in the (recreational) drug industry and porn, credit for passing laws that endanger children, or fingering them for the unsolved murders of celebrities.

Advice on running elections includes diabolic diagrams of proposed voting machines that dynamically enhance GOP results; reminding everyone of the etymology of the word Democrat --conflating of the Greek demos, meaning demon with cratos, meaning creature gives demonic creature; countering the Dems demonic Rock the Vote by spreading the word on election day that Wal-Mart is giving away free Sony PlayStation Portables and Ted Nugent and Kid Rock are throwing a free keg party; and motivating the base with reminders of the Dems sinister message machine promoting gayness for all--cartoons! (Take the Flintstones--Barney and Fred spend more time with each other than their wives and never wear pants. And, well, the theme song says so!)

The one that had me in hysterics as I set out to attempt to describe in my own words the experience of encountering this uproarious romp through the GOP mindscape was GW’s attempt to make sense of the disaster of Katrina. The PR disaster that is. His attempt at independent analysis of that debacle led him to conclude that we needed a Disaster Preparedness plan. He resolves to create a new cabinet level position with the mandate to prepare all future catastrophes ahead of time in minute detail so that the GOP would be in complete control and could take credit for all catastrophic successes. And no, I did not inadvertently omit the word ‘for’ between the words ‘prepare’ and ‘all’ in the previous sentence. That was all GW. Or at least Andy Borowitz’s concept of him. Based on his careful observation of his past behavior, of course.

LOL LOL LOL ROTFLOL LOL LOL LOL *gasp* LOL LOL LOL WAAAHAAHAHA HA HA *gasp*

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Friday, November 03, 2006

NaNoWriMo: Progress Report 1

No word count yet. But significant progress in other areas. Areas that should have been established before the 1st!

I had settled on the story idea by the time I wrote the post 'Permission to Make a Mess' but I had little in the way of notes on that story. Which was supposed to be a plus for the purpose of cutting loose. And, since I have been dreaming this story intensely since early spring, I still think it will be once I get a few things established.

Two things especially have been snagging me: 1. No names for my two main characters. 2. No voice for my narrator(s).

I settled the first by the wee hours this morning after spending hours at this baby naming site which includes etymology of the names and alternate spellings. I am picky about names. I have to like them. And whenever possible the name needs to point to the theme via its etymological meanings, or via connotations arising from the sounds of one or more of its syllables, or associations with a famous living, historical or fictional holder of the name, or a nickname, including nicknames made from the three (and occasionally more) initials of the names.

Thus, for my novel, Storyteller’s Spouse, which explores the theme of story and through that the themes of fact/fiction, truth/lie, reality/imagination, myth/history, perception/actual and so forth, there are two main characters:

Lorinda Iris Learner married to Brayden Lysander Teller

Lorinda goes by Lor most of the time, which is meant to imply, lore as in story. She is both lore learner and lore teller. She is a published fiction writer. Her stories have been aimed at evangelical and fundamentalist Christian children and young adults. A traumatic event will force her to call into question everything she ever thought she knew and eventually break irrevocably from the doctrines and world view she was raised under. She has lost the tether of the faith of her fathers and is afloat on a sea of mystery which often feels like insanity. She feels like she is losing her mind. And maybe she is.

Brayden is known as Brayden only by Lor. He acquired two nicknames built from his initials, Bull and Bullet, the first as early as grade school when he became known as a teller of tall tales. He is a born raconteur who weaves his stories out of the fabric of his daily life. He is the star of his stories which often depict him as saving the day like the hero of action-adventure stories whether the events transpire on the playground, at work, at home, at the bar, or on the field of battle; the second was given him in boot camp in reference to his fast-talking and sharp-shooting and quick and accurate appraisal of tactical situations in the field. Both nicknames also call attention to his stubbornness and his intense focus on whatever is at hand.

For more clues about theme hidden in their names visit Think Baby Names and plug their first and middle names in and explore their etymology. Of course, if you are participating in NaNoWriMo yourself, you may want to wait until next month as exploring names there is addictive.

As for the second snag, the voice: Aside from the fact that exploring my character’s voice requires writing narrative, which by the rules of this game mustn’t be done before day one anyway….

This story and it’s theme requires that it be told in first person. I’ve never, in all the dozens of stories I’ve started since high-school tried to use first-person POV. My stories before then were juvenile in all senses of the word and at some point I made such a strong association of first-person POV with amateur and childish I was afraid to try it again.

Then too there is the problem of confusing my ‘I’ with the ‘I’ of my fictional narrator. There are two parts to this. My own ‘I’ getting subsumed by my character and fear of certain readers conflating the two and assuming autobiographical content where there is none. Fears of the first are compounded by the mental and emotional instability of my character, Lor along with my memories of my own instability at the time of a similar crisis in my life fourteen years ago. One of the titles I considered for it, and may still use as either a subtitle or a chapter title, was, The Untied States of a Maker’s I.

My fears of the latter are grounded in experiences of a family member or friend doing just that. Once an uncle was reading over my shoulder as I typed and exclaimed, ‘What are you talking about? Your mother isn’t in a coma.‘ When I tried to explain that this was a fiction story he couldn’t understand why I wanted to waste my time telling untrue stories when there were so many true ones. His unstated implication was that I shouldn’t be using my God-given talent to tell made up stories when I could be using it to tell true stories that could bring souls to the Lord. (Think Guide Post.) That exchange precipitated a nearly ten year writer’s block.

This is complicated by the fact that many of my stories are inspired by events in my life or the lives of people around me. A few of those with intimate knowledge of my life who have read some of my stories have made a point of picking out the references to my real life experiences in them as if it was some kind of game like the popular, How Many ______ Can You Spot in this Picture? Switching to third person POV did not immunize me from that so I stopped sharing my stories and I started second and third and forth….guessing all of my story ideas. So this issue has contributed a great deal to my tendency to keep most of my stories in the planning stages indefinitely.

All of these considerations went into my decision making process as I tried to settle on the story I would work on for NaNoWriMo. The deciding factor was when I realized how much this issue had been dogging me and keeping my creative output at bay. I needed to face it. And this story, which grabbed me and would not let go last spring, is forcing me to in more ways than I can count. Because it is rooted so deeply in my personal experience, I don’t think it can be told without unabashed reference to real events in my life. But at the same time it is neither autobiography nor memoir. Because I intend to give the characters their heads and experiment with ‘what ifs’ that never happened. I guess I’m just going to have to accept that some people are going to want to play the, How Many Joys Can You Find in This Story game. Let them. If that’s the level they insist on reading it, they will be missing the point. But then, maybe I want them to. Then again, maybe I just won’t share this one at all. Maybe this is just for me. All I know is that I have to tell this story. Lor is insisting.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Thurteen # 5

Thirteen Things November means to me:

1. Joystory was born on the 2nd in 2004.

2. NaNoWriMo month!!

3. The month begins with leaves like fire against a saphire sky.

4. The month ends with branches like charcoal against smokey grey clouds

5. I have to stop going barefoot even indoors

6. Elections first Tuesday every other year.

7. Don't forget to vote on the 7th!

8. Wind, Rain, Storms Sometimes snow.

9. Getting warm after getting chilled. One of the most plesurable sensations ever!

10. Christmas themes--decor & music etc--start popping up everywhere.

11. My mood gets on a roller coaster sometime in November and does't get off until after Easter.

12. Thanksgiving on the last Thursday

13. My birthday is the 13th

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Chelle Y. 2. Tink 3. amy (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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