Script Frenzy kickoff for me is about four hours away but I rather doubt I'm going to be able to stay awake for it seeing as how I've shorted myself on sleep every day since Sunday and sleep not at all in the last 28 hours. I think I'd be doing my script and story more honor by sleeping first and getting started tomorrow.
I spent part of this afternoon reading the how-to material on the Script Frenzy site, reminding myself of what sluglines were and their standard format, the fact dialog is indented nearly to mid page and single spaced without quotation marks unless the speaker is quoting someone else, that ever change of scene (place; location;) requires a new slugline establishing where and when and every slugline must be associated with action text also single spaced establiching what is happening on scene whether or not there is any dialog. Sluglines are all caps as are all occurances of character names and the significant action verbs.
INT* MOBILE HOME BEDROOM EVENING
JOY sits on the edge of the bed a netbook open on the tray table in front of her. She types at steady and considerable speed but frequently BACKSPACES to correct typos as her head TILTS ever closer to the screen. Suddenly she jerks upright with a START and a GASP. The cat curled against one hip sleeping startles awake gripping her leg with extended claws. JOY DISENGAGES the claws from the denim.
____________ Egads! I'm seeing two of everything! You've got yourself a twin Merlin.
JOY SHAKES her head vigorously.
___________ Yikes! If I don't lay down, like NOW, I'm going to be drooling on my keyboard any second.
OK a bit silly and far from perfectly formatted which is hard to do in a blog post without tables but it gives an idea of what is entailed. And also dramatized my very real current situation.
[*note: INT = INTERIOR while EXT = EXTERIOR]
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Last night I was racing to finish a novel that was due at the library today. I finished but not until after dinner tonight so it didn't go back yet but will on Thursday morning before the library opens. Since our branch isn't open on Wednesday anything in the drop box on Thursday morning is checked in as if it were returned before midnight Tuesday. Yes, I do take advantage of that more than I probably should.
The next priority is the DVDs due Thursday. Over six hours worth won't renew as there are queues for them. I could, of course take advantage of the fact the library is closed until Monday morning so I'd be safe from fines as long as they are in the drop box before the library opens. But that isn't much help in light of the fact there are another 10 to 15 hours worth of DVD due between Monday and Tuesday. And the library is open on both those days so anything due on Monday must be returned before the library opens Tuesday.
And there are four more DVD waiting at the library for either me or Ed. Which well all be due next Thursday, all but one not renewable and that one only if no one gets in queue between now ant then.
There are so many at once because we have come to the head of several of the queues we've been in for weeks or months. Plus I had also sent for a bunch of others in my effort to binge on movies as part of prep for ScriptFrenzy which kicks off Thursday at 12AM.
Monday, March 29, 2010
moar funny pictures
I have a slew of books and DVD due at the library in the next 8 days. And like an over-optimistic fool, I started a 500 page novel last night that is due tomorrow. So no time to chit-chat tonight.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
As I discussed in last night's post, Holt's The Planets is going to be involved in my Script Frenzy screeenplay on several levels. Holst's organization of the movements will probably inform my own organization of the scene structure. The protagonist is obsessed with the piece because she is also obsessed with the planets and outer space. I'd like to imagine the music of The Planets integrated into the soundtrack of the film if it were to be produced. And last but not least, I've designated The Planets and Motzarts Jupiter symphony as two of the main CDs that I will listen to while writing as a way to set the mood for scenes and my own mind towards the project at hand.
The fourth movement, Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity, is accompanied in this video with images of earth from the space station. It is truly awe-inspiring and moving to watch and listen.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The last 24 hours have been all about prep work for Script Frenzy which included research on Wikipedia on Gustav Holst and his symphony The Planets; on the planets themselves and on the mythological characters they were named for and a bit of astrology too since Holst named his movements based on the astrological significance of the seven planets.
I also spent some time on the Script Frenzy Writer's Resources page for a brush up on the rules for formatting scripts. And more than a little bit of time on Think Baby Names looking for likely names for characters.
But by a very high ratio, the bulk of that time was spent learning my way around the Celtx Media Production software in which I will write my script. It is the same open source application I used last year but it has upgraded from 1.0 to 2.7 and A LOT of new features have been added.
Here we are with the main script writing feature with both sidebars open. Either or both can be closed to lessen distraction if desired. One new feature is the Notes that can be inserted in the draft and an extra tool downloaded from the Celtx wiki community provides a color picker so the notes can be color-coded.
Technically I'm not supposed to start writing on the script until Thursday at 12AM so all I did in this was put in a possible slugline for a possible opening scene as an exercise for learning my way around the ap and for purposes of these screenshots for this post.
To really follow along you're probably going to want to view the image at its full size by right-clicking on them and opening in a new tab or window.
Celtix has a tabbed environment. All items opened from the Project Library in the left hand sidebar remain open until closed and can be accessed by the tabs across the top below the toolbar.
Above shows the Master Catalog opened. This is the database containing all items from Actors to Wardrobe. It is a long list and includes the categories of Character, Scene, Animal, Prop, Extras, Camera, Lights, Set, Location, FX, CGI, etc. Like I said, this is set up to carry a script from concept to screen.
My catalog so far includes only two characters and three scenes--opening, climatic and closing. I've selected Opening Scene and below the catalog list is the top of the form to be filled out with the info relevant to that scene. The form fills the screen twice:
My focus will be primarily on the steps from concept to first draft and I will try to refrain from playing too much with the director's and producer's toys.
By the way Celtx provides the industry standard for all major media production: TV and big screen films; Audio; Audio-Visual, Theater; Graphic Novel or Comic Book. It also provides an environment that fosters teamwork and collaboration on and offline from start to finish.
As you can see, it is possible to close the catalog list window, allowing the selected item's form as much of the screen as possible. And when one is working on a netbook screen that is very helpful.
And now we proceed to a character's form. Note how the forms for scenes have a green bar at top and those for characters have blue ones:
Again, the form for a character fills the window three times. At least on my netbook screen.
I was going to list the elements of this forms but instead I'll leave it to those who are interested enough in it to click on the images to see the 1200x600 version in which the fonts are readable.
Besides the script itself, you can have multiple text documents and other files in the Project Library. Below shows the one in which I dropped the text from the three flash fiction pieces I wrote previously in which the protagonist for my screenplay stars. I named this one Storyseed which is a term I made up years ago to reflect a barely begun WIP.
Above and below show two sections of the Misc text file in which I am dropping notes, thoughts, citations, links etc. Above is some of the info on Holst and The Planets including the list of movements with their full titles. Below shows me playing with the word 'hitch'. I'll be doing the same with the words 'glitch' and 'snag'. All three words are in my title as you have probably spotted if you enlarged the pics.
The calendar is a new feature in this version. You can set events as well as tasks with or without reminders. The task list in the left sidebar has check boxes and as you can see just above, when you check the box it also puts a strikethrough through the text. For demo purposes I checked as done the task of learning the Celtx application. I was thinking I'd uncheck it after this but I'm having second thoughts. I think I'm good to go and I now need to put my focus on the needs of the story itself.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I took the plunge again. Was dithering right up until last night. But if I could do it last year while away from home helping to care for my Mom post surgery and stroke, I can do it this year even with everything I already got going. The key is to treat it like play instead of work. Thus, as last year, I'm not going to measure success by number of pages but rather by how much I enjoy the process and how much I learn about the process of script writing which is still so new to me I'm like a toddler learning to walk or work a hula hoop.
Last year, I chose to adapt one of my own short stories as my project so that I could put all my focus on learning the techniques of script formatting. This year I'm stepping out a little further. I'm taking a character for which I've done a few flash fiction pieces for fun and and developing a screenplay mostly from scratch in terms of the story though a scene or two from the flash fiction pieces might end up in it.
Since I set those pieces in the same mobile home park as my NaNo novel Mobile Hopes, which is much like the one I've lived in the past ten years, setting is also settled. Also a plethora of supporting cast is available. So plot is the issue I need to figure out before next Wednesday night at midnight.
As you might guess if you've seen any of the flash fiction I did with this character, (here, here, & here) this will be a comedy. As to whether it will also be a love story, I haven't decided. Probably. Since I can't think of any comedies that weren't love stories except for those in the Porky's genre which I've no interest in emulating.
So that means developing a love interest for a 40 something, never-been-married, visually impaired klutz with such poor social skills she won't look adults in the eye and carries on multi-syllabic conversations only with birds, cats, small children and her comatose (or otherwise aphasic) father.
Here's the link to my Script Frenzy profile, which at this point I'm still in process of filling out since there is so much I haven't settled on. I've no title yet. I'm also going to be changing the name of my character.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The date has been set for Saturday, April 1o.
Oh, but wait...
That means 24 hours without a crochet hook or needle in my hand. No DVD or podcast playing. Just me my book, my netbook and a bright light.
Oh but that does sound heavenly.
This time, I swear I'm going to switch my schedule in plenty of time to start out Saturday morning with at least six hours of sleep behind me. The last three times I couldn't sleep at all the night before and began the Thon having been awake over 15 hours.
The sign up post is not up yet but they are looking for volunteers for various organization tasks and offers to host mini-challenges and prizes for the challenge winners.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Here I am at my workstation for reading, writing, net surfing, DVD and podcast viewing, and sewing, and crochet. I've been on a finishing spree since the new modem was installed Monday. I'd crocheted the main body of half a dozen bookmarks over the four days I went without web access and since five of them were still attached to the thread spools until their tails were tucked so their borders could be crocheted on, I was motivated to get those tasks done so the colors would be available for new projects. I finished up the forth and fifth one today and as reward, I started a new one after dinner.
See the little drawstring bag hanging off my left wrist? That is a method for carrying single projects about in--as long as they use only one or two spools of crochet thread. I pull the thread(s) up through the top and as I work a gentle flick of my left wrist is usually enough to pull up enough thread for a couple more double crochets. Sometimes though I need to reach over with my right hand and give the string a strong tug.
Above is a close up of my hands at work with the bag hanging off my wrist. The crochet hook is in my left hand as I deal with a small snarl.
This has been nice for taking my work out on the porch this week. It protects it from Merlin our cat, dust and cigarette smoke.
It is working so well I'm thinking of making a bigger one that will hold up to four spools for those projects with multiple colors or for multiple small projects with one or two colors. I tried to get a third spool in this one but the fit was too tight, leaving no room for them to turn and release the thread.
I didn't make this one. It was just one of those container things I tend to collect (bags, pouches, purses, boxes, trays, envelopes, etc) in hopes of fining a use for them. Many such items tend to contain little but each other, serving as storage for empty containers waiting for uses. But this pouch, made of windbreaker material has seen much use over the last 6-8 years and I can't even remember where it came from or if I ever knew its original purpose.
Here I show off the bookmark in progress next to the half-loaded bag. This is the size of the variation of the one pictured below which I've been making this past week. The five I finished in the last two days were five different pastels where the purple is here and a pastel variegated where the turquoise is.
The week before I made two of the long ones with the bright Mexicana variegated where the blue is--one with red, the other with royal blue. And also the first of the short ones in yellow with the Mexicana. They are all ready for blocking and tassels. When finished they'll have the shape of this one:
The bookmark I started tonight is intended to accompany this Bible cover which I'm (still) making for my niece. It has a third panel for holding a tablet and pen. I finished the needlepoint on it nearly a year ago during my stay at my Mom's. I still need to sew the lining onto the back
I am motivated to get cracking on that this week as my in-laws are going to be seeing her on their trip next weekend. They are leaving Thursday morning so that gives me a week. As I confessed in this post last summer, I started work on this six months before her sixteenth birthday. I think it is her 27th coming up in July.
I think I may really do it this time.
That silver fabric is what I'm lining it with. It is stretchy which intimidates me. I'm not sure how to sew on it without puckering it. I researched the hand stitches and chose the backstitch done while the two pieces are facing each other. Which means it will be wrong side out until I have all but a few inches done and then I have to turn it right side out and sew up the remaining inches with a blind stitch. I had considered doing it right side out with the blind stitch all around but I'm sure the puckering would have been impossible to keep under control and besides it is not a sturdy stitch.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
WAS is the operative word there.
This would have been the perfect LOL to head Friday's post. I had even been plotting some on the theme for if I'd been able to visit icanhascheezeburgers.com when I finally gained access at the Ashland library Saturday. But with our arriving with less than an hour before the library closed, I didn't dare visit my kitties. Minutes just melt away when I'm on those sites.
But my experience of forced withdrawal off the net from midnight Friday through 2:15pm Monday (except for the minutes between 4:15 and 4;55pm Saturday in which I did nothing but put up three blog posts) I learned how pathetic my dependence had become and I'm making an effort not to fall into the same patterns.
For example, in the wee hours this morning before I lay down, I closed the browser which meant that I couldn't just lift the lid of my netbook to view my gmail, which I have been in the habit of doing several times during the hours I sleep and of course the very first thing when I wake up and multiple times per hour throughout my waking hours. During the day today I closed my gmail tab several times and made myself wait a minimum of an hour to check on it.
I also spent several hours on the porch crocheting this afternoon and another after dinner. In the process I crocheted one of the 14 row bookmarks, tucked its 14 tails and crocheted the border around it. Then I tucked the tails and crocheted the border on two more previously crocheted 14 row bookmarks. That makes four of those plus one of the 22 row version ready for blocking and application of their tassels. I have two more of the 14 row ones waiting to have their tails tucked and border crocheted.
At one point I had six of those waiting for tails and borders which was not very bright of me as each one had to stay attached to the spool until its border was crocheted on if I didn't want to have two extra tails to tuck by finishing off and then having to restart the thread later. During the time all those spools were attached to unfinshed bookmarks, I had to deal with about six major and three minor snarls. Because as much as I tried not to handle them, I was carrying them back and forth to the porch in the bag in which my crochet supplies were tucked in between the spools so the spools got disturbed every time I took something out or put something back. Also at least twice the bag tipped over on the bed and one, two or three of the spools would roll out.
I hope I've learned my lesson.
After it cooled down too much on the porch for comfort--which was about the time I lost light enough to crochet by--Ed and I returned to our room where we watched the movie, Fast Food Nation.
Last night after posting, I closed the browser and watched the rest of the extras on the Dr Who series 1 DVDs (watching the 13 episodes had been one of my occupations over the weekend) and then watched an episode of Lost at ABC.com. That last was more frustrating than fun though as streaming videos has never been smooth since I got my netbook last Janurary. Just about every video-even many on YouTube--plays a few seconds then loads a few seconds and plays a few seconds ad infinitum. With YouTube I can pause the vid and wait until the whole thing loads but with ABC streaming that only gains me approximately one full minute of unstuttering video.
I was hoping the new, supposedly faster, modem would have solved the problem which is one of the reasons I chose watching Lost over one of the library videos. Also, I need to watch a couple or loose my chance until they put them back up months from now as they only keep about five or six previous to the current episode available online.
Tonight before posting I was greeted with the news that updates were ready and when I looked at the record of updates since we got connected again yesterday I found there were quite a few--my computer had its own catching up to do I guess. I'm wondering now how much that had to do with the issues I had with the Lost episode. Also with downloading my podcasts on itunes. Because Ed has been raving about how much faster the connection is now but every piece of evidence I've had points the other way. Less speed or possibly the same. Some of the itune podcasts were taking twice as long as usual or more--a 40 minute news show that averaged 60-90 minutes before was taking 3-4 hours!!
One of the upgrades tonight had something to do with Aethernet and another one had something to do with the modem so I'm hoping.... At the very least I'm hoping some of the speed issues had to do with the updating and that that is done with for now.
It irks me that there was never any evidence that downloads were happening in the background.
Well, I'm planning to spend more time with the two novels I started over the weekend tonight. It is not typical of me to have two novels going at once. I was trying to decide between them and kept going back and forth that first night and next thing I know I'm thirty pages in on one and fifty on the other. May also watch a movie as there are two DVD that won't renew on Thursday and if I don't watch one tonight I'll have to watch two tomorrow night.
Monday, March 22, 2010
moar funny pictures
The new modem was delivered at 1:30 this afternoon and Ed had us up and running by 2:15.
The first thing I did was check my email and spend an hour reading and dealing with it. The next thing was check our library accounts to renew items, remind myself just what was due when this coming week and check on the availability of several more things ordering a few of them.
There is so much to catch up on after four days without web access. Blogs to read, news to read and watch. Data to look up. Questions to get answers for (llike where exactly in Africa is the Oldive, which figures in the navel I began Friday?). Reading and writing challenges to sign up for (ScriptFrenzy and Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon). Emails to write. LOLcats to look at and laugh. Blog stats to check on. Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads to check in at. IM conversations to engage in. TV shows to stream. My Book Drum profile to work on. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
moar funny pictures
But I did (maybe) take to heart some of the lesson I learned Friday about the addictive nature of my relationship to the Internet. I made myself go out on the porch with my crochet and books for about an hour before dinner.
Well, one could say it was our cat Merlin who made me. He sat beside my right arm for most of that hour I was dealing with email and kept grabbing my elbow, wrist or fingers every time I reached for the mouse. He had food and water in his bowls so I suspected what he wanted and sure enough when I got up off the edge of the bed he led me through the living room and pointed his nose at the front door. I said to him, You might as well be speaking English.
Spending time on the porch in the sun with either me or Ed or both of us was one of the fallouts of the dead modem for Merlin and it only took him three days to learn to expect that to be part of the afternoon. It would be good for both of us to keep that up.
Other lessons I learned: I can survive without checking for email or IMs every five to fifteen minutes. I don't need to check icanhascheezeberger.com several times a day or even every day. Ditto for Facebook and Twitter and even my blog stats. I learned how my frequently compulsive checking on such things has sucked time and energy out of my days and joy out of my endeavors. Especially my online endeavors. I hope I can resist returning to the status quo of last week.
Things I did instead of Internet between midnight Friday morning and Monday afternoon (besides fretting that is): Read in three novels. Wrote. Crocheted. Watched DVD. Sat on porch soaking up Spring. Sorted and organized some craft stuff--mostly related to crocheted bookmarks. Daydreamed. Visited with Ed. Watched a move with Ed--The Pursuit of Happiness starring Will Smith (talk about lessons to learn).
Sunday, March 21, 2010
The beautiful old Ashland Library which we got to visit Saturday. The only library in the system open on Sundays so I'm hoping that now Ed has discovered it's joys he'll be more willing to go more often.
Me climbing the steps toward the new addition where the adult sections and the computers are. Maybe someday i can get some pictures of the interior.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
So obviously we got to some WIFI this afternoon. But Murphy's Law was still hounding me. Another long story could be told but we just got the fifteen minute warning that the library is closing and I still need to prepare Sunday's post and schedule it to post sometime tomorrow.
See you on the flip side. (Hopefully Monday afternoon)
Friday, March 19, 2010
3/19/2010 10:38:23 PM
As I write this offline in my WhizFolders ap knowing I can't post it any sooner than late afternoon or evening tomorrow (Saturday) I am suffering the pangs of a withdrawal from an addiction as powerful as any I've ever heard or read about. It's closing in on 24 hours since our modem died and not having Internet access for that long has me feeling tremulous, nauseated, fevered, headachy, anxious, agitated and not sure whether I feel more like curling up in the fetal position or punching pillows and cursing.
Pathetic is it not?
I've spent most of the last twenty hours fretting--first about what had gone wrong and then, while waiting impatiently for Ed to get up at 6am then waiting for him to troubleshoot and after he'd discovered the 3 year-old modem had died and that the new one Quest is sending won't arrive until sometime Monday even with overnight delivery because UPS won't deliver on a Saturday without tacking on an extra $15, I fretted about whether/how/when I could get Friday, Saturday and Sunday's Joystory posts posted so I wouldn't break a three year streak of never missing a day.
If only this had happened one day earlier!!!! We'd only be looking at one day without Internet and the Phoenix library with its WIFI is open on Thursday.
By 9am Ed and I had discussed the possibility of going to the Ashland library or some other place that had public WIFI but first I needed to get a few hours of sleep. Then this afternoon there was a miscommunication between me and Ed about timeframe and other things. He woke me at 1:30 saying get ready and we'll go to Ashland. He didn't give me a 'leave-by' time and what he meant by 'get ready' wasn't everything I understood it to mean. He meant get showered and dressed so we can walk out the door as soon after 2 as possible. I intended also to get as much of the prep work for three posts done here while in my comfort zone because I knew that my anxieties would be triggered by the library environment I had not been in for years coupled with knowing he would be expecting me to hurry and would have little patience for it taking more than an hour even though I average 3 hours per post on normal days.
I knew that the only way I could get three posts done in approximately one hour would be to have each one planned and as much of the work for them that could be done offline done before I left the house. So I spent close to an hour prepping three posts and an email which included setting up Whiz topics for each to drop notes into, collecting possibly needed links into them, listing a few thoughts and the things that would need to be done to accomplish them. Then I hibernated and packed up my netbook for travel and proceeded to prepare my self for travel and while I did that I continued to compose those posts in my head, especially today's. Which by the way wasn't this one because everything changed when I came out on the porch ready to go at 3:15 only to have Ed tell me it was too late because it was too close to dinner to make the round trip to Ashland plus spend an hour there.
We argued in soto voice there on the porch beside the open front door for twenty minutes before I conceded defeat and accepted his alternate plan to walk up to Jack-in-the-Box which he said had WIFI. It might sound picky, even petty, to most that I wasn't OK with using the near-by WIFI source over the one necessitating a 25 minute drive each way but see, the where wasn't the problem. I would have been fine with any place that gave access to the Internet. My problem was with having the plan changed which made 60 percent of my prep work useless and meant starting from scratch and needing an extra hour of time to get the three posts up.
Because the post I had planned for Friday was the story of the expired modem and the trip to Ashland and visit to the Ashland library for the first time since 2005 topped by a picture of the beautiful, historic, Ashland Carnegie library. The Saturday post I had planned was pics of the several crocheted bookmarks that I have in progress, all begun in the last week. And the one for Sunday was to grab a music video off one of my YouTube playlists for a Sunday Serenity post. And because we were walking up to Jack-in-the-Box instead of taking the car to Ashland, I didn't want to have to carry the crochet stuff with me along with the netbook which meant no pics and thus two out of three post concepts were done for. I couldn't get the pictures ahead of time because the camera batteries were dead so my plan had included sending Ed after batteries and having him take the pictures of the library and the bookmarks while I got busy online.
Another drawback to the change of plan that would also increase time needed to complete the tasks was that everywhere but at the library I would need to run on battery power which meant working with a dimmed down screen or a 45 minute time limit.
So on the walk to Jack-in-the-Box I came up with alternatives for both posts. Friday's would be similar in topic but topped by a tacky pic of a fast food franchise instead of the gorgeous stone and brick library. Saturday's would be a YouTube trailer for the movie Notes on a Scandal which I'd finished watching last night just before discovering that the usual flood of email that comes in between midnight and 2am had not which led, of course, to discovering the lack of Internet connection.
If not for this fiasco, Friday's post would probably have been a Friday Forays in Fiction post with Notes on a Scandal as a topic since it is a story that contemplates storytelling itself.
Anyway its all moot. Jack-in-the-Box no longer had WIFI.
On the walk over I had remembered that last November when I met my family who were traveling south over at the truck stop across the freeway from us, my nephew had gained access to the Internet with his new netbook while we were parked in the parking lot outside the restaurant. So Ed said we'd take the car over there after dinner.
It was after 6pm when I was finished doing dishes and 7 by the time we left.
But it was another wild goose chase. No free access outside the truck stop restaurant anymore.
Ed had one more idea. To drive over to the Phoenix branch library and see if their WIFI was active and accessible from the parking lot while the library was closed.
So we return home where we sit on the porch discussing my various obsessions--among them the need to not break the three year (as of April 6) streak of daily posts and why I can't just relax into a weekend off, letting the dead modem take the fall for causing the 'dereliction of duty'.
Then I leave Ed on the porch with his cigs and library book while I head inside intending to use the camera freshly loaded with new batteries to take pictures of my week's worth of crocheted bookmarks. But I encounter a massive snarl in my thread--two spools still attached to an unfinished bookmark with over a yard of thread between the spools and the inch long WIP had tangled.
So instead of getting the pictures taken before Ed needed to go to bed, I spent over two hours un-snarling thread. Ed had been snoring for half an hour before I got it untangled. (As I write this paragraph, I realize I should have just gotten the pictures, snarls and all because that would have made an excellent picture to head this post!) Now I can't get the pictures until after he gets up but if I'm at all sane I should be long asleep by then myself seeing as how I got less than four hours of sleep this morning.
Which puts me, upon waking tomorrow, right back in the same position as when I woke today--with no pics to head the planned posts except by then one post will already be twelve hours past due. I'll either have to use time before we leave or after we get to WIFI access (he has either the Ashland library or the Medford Starbucks in mind for tomorrow after he gets home from work) to take the pics and prep them for posting or use the WIFI access time to hunt for pics, LOLcats or videos to head my posts. Which points to another obsession--the need to head my post with pics or vids. Not only does having them increase traffic to Joystory, the ones without now look naked so the hunt for images or vids accounts for over 60% of the time invested in most of my posts.
Which, as I type that admission, I recognize as quite illogical and inefficient of me as well as topsy-turvey since as a writer wanting to showcase my writing I should be putting the bulk of the time and effort into the writing and because the hunt for images often exhausts me I tend to tack on a handful of choppy sentences that are too often apologies for not wanting to take time to write a post even though it probably took me over an hour just to find the image or vid.
So tonight, without Internet access to scavenge off icanhazcheeseburger.com or art.com or youtube.com etc or the ability to take pictures, I put the effort into writing up the events of the day and find that in a similar amount of time and effort I've reached 1700 words which is more than a NaNo daily wordcount quota. But no one ever reads 1700 word posts. And Google image search will never offer up such a post.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Discovered a new TV series. Had checked out a DVD from the Library Monday with two episodes of Inspector Lewis a spin-off of the Inspector Morse series. Watched both of them back to back last night. 90 minutes apiece!!
It should be obvious what attracts me to this. It's set in Oxford an ancient college town and often the campus itself. The mysteries are smart with clues often rooted in literary reference, word etymology or history.
Above is a clip from one of the episodes on the disc: Live Born of Fire
Above is another local station trailer. Local somewhere not local to me.
Below is a fan-made trailer with clips from several episodes including the two I watched.
I was delighted to discover our library system has the complete first and second season available.Not full seasons at once but individual discs holding two episodes like the one I just had. Can't wait. But will anyway as I've got eight DVD items checked out currently and one is a complete season of Dr Who.
Thank God for libraries!!!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This is the version of this song that is in the closing titles of the movie Hounddog. It is sung by Melonie Daniels and the arrangement is quite unique as compared to any of the better known ones such as Elvis Presley's or Johnny Cash's.
A piece of this one--the open notes and first verse--also plays on the special features section of the DVD which is where I first heard it. I left the DVD on that section to listen to it over and over both before and after watching the film. And then I went back to the ending titles and played it over and over there and finally I went to YouTube to search for it. And boy was that a challenge. A plain old search for the song by title did not bring up Melonie Daniels version at all. I listened to a bunch of other versions and none of them gripped me like this one.
There is something about the rhythm being a bit jerky and the notes hit by the string instrument (guitar?) being in an unexpected key. Key? is that the right term? I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to talk about music with clarity. All I know is what I feel as I listen and those sounds call up something deep and both sad and hopeful at once. Which made it the perfect song for that moment in the film where Dakota Fanning as Llewellen began singing it as she walked out of the despair of her past into a possibly hopeful future as credits start to roll and this version begins.
As far as I can tell from listening to other vids of Melonie Daniels, this isn't a signature sound for her. So I guess if I want to hear other songs with a similar sound I need to find out who wrote the arrangement and who the musical instrument players were. Was it a group that plays together often or was it just for that one recording?
I remain haunted both by this song and by the movie itself more than twenty hours after first encountering them.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Love You by The Free Design
Give a little time for the child within you,
dont be afraid to be young and free.
Undo the locks and throw away the keys
and take off your shoes and socks, and run you.
La, la, la...
Give a little time for the child within you,
dont be afraid to be young and free.
Undo the locks and throw away the keys
and take off your shoes and socks, and run you.
La, la, la...
Run through the meadow and scare up the milking cows
Run down the beach kicking clouds of sand
Walk a windy weather day, feel your face blow away
Stop and listen: Love you.
Roll like a circus clown, put away your circus frown
Ride on a roller coaster upside down
Waltzing Matilda, Carey loves a kinkatchoo
Joey catch a kangaroo, hug you.
Dandylion, milkweed, silky on a sunny sky
Reach out and hitch a ride and float on by
Balloons down below catching colors of the rainbow
red, blue and yellow-green: I love you.
Bicycles, tricycles, ice cream candy
Lollypops, popsicles, licorice sticks
Solomon Grundy, Raggedy Andy
Tweedledum and Tweedledee, home free.
Cowboys and Indians, puppydogs and sandpails
Beachballs and baseballs and basketballs, too.
I love forget-me-nots, fluffernutters, sugarpops
Ill hug you and kiss you and love you
La, la, la... Love you.
We had a glorious Oregon spring day here in the Rogue Valley. After returning from the library where I dismantled my bookmark display and raided the DVD shelf, I sat on the porch reading for about an hour before dinner and another hour after finishing the dishes--for the first time since October.
I was planning to save the vid heading this post for next Sunday's Sunday Serenity post but it just seemed fitting. Especially since I discovered it overnight and it set the tone for my day even before the sun rose. The song was on the closing titles track for the movie Stranger than Fiction which I watched in the wee hours. That was an unexpectedly good story and movie. I even watched the last twenty minutes a second time and all of the extras on the disc. The theme is of storytelling itself among other things.
I was so taken with this song when it played, I backtracked to find the credits for it and went straight to YouTube to look for it. I had never heard of The Free Design before and there are more intriguing songs from them represented on YouTube which you can find in the related list.
So I returned the BBC series To the Manor Born plus two movies today which left me with season one of BBC's Black Books and the movie Hounddog at home for a couple more days. And we brought home between us five more DVD, one of which has two 90 minute movies on it. I'm on a movie/TV show binge. I'll talk more about what I brought home as I watch them. Right now I want to get back to the novel I'm reading for a bit. Until my eyes tire. And then watch another movie. Probably Hounddog starring Dakota Fanning as it may have to go back Thursday.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I watched this trilogy of DVD several years ago and was in awe at the cinematography and music but most of all the synchronization of the two. The message, like poetry, is multi-layered and meant to encourage contemplation. Just checked the library catalog and they still have all three which is somewhat of a miracle. I think I'd like to order them again soon.
wow. Just found this one which is apparently the entire 90 minutes provided by MGM and it's embedable. It has commercials but it's so worth it:
I seem there are more full length feature films provided by MGM on YouTube. Will have to return for a closer look soon but tonight I have two DVD checked out of the library that I need to return tomorrow so they have priority.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
moar funny pictures
As declared in last night's post, I'm having a DVD watchathon this weekend. I began with the BBC series To the Manor Born since that was the one I'd already begun last fall. But I couldn't remember where I left off so I began at beginning thinking I'd skip ahead until I didn't recognize an episode's beginning. But I ended up watching the complete episodes from the beginning. They're about thirty minutes each and I've watched 14. There are 20 total plus a special episode and other features on the forth disc which I estimate to be 2-3 more hours of material. I'm a sucker for the special features stuff so I'll probably watch it all. So I've got five to six more hours of To the Manor Born before I move onto something else.
Ed wants to have a marathon with Black Books tomorrow afternoon and evening so that leaves me with the three movies to fit in between now and Tuesday morning--after finishing Manor Born of course.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I'm forcing myself to give the crochet hook a break. It's time to make room for other things when the thing you spend all day doing also takes over your night dreams. It's gone into the monotonous zone.
I'm reading today and planning on having a DVD binge all weekend as several are due at the library Monday and Tuesday.
I guess it's obvious why this first one would attract my attention. A story about story telling. A story about a fictional character who discovers he is a fictional character because he begins to hear the voice of the narrator narrating his every move. And it is a woman's voice.
As if that weren't enough to hook me, Emma Thomson plays the writer.
Hounddog staring Dakota Fanning is a story about keeping hold of the dream that gives your life meaning even when everyone around you tries to take it from you. Its about the spirit that is at the heart of all creativity and all creation.
This one too has a literary theme in that it is based on the life of the poet Dylan Thomas.
Black Books is a BBC comedy series about a book store owner who hates his job and his customers and loves his booze. This disc contains all of the first season.
To the Manor Born is another BBC comedy series about a widow who is forced to sell the manor after her husband's demise. She moves into the manor lodge on the edge of the property and watches the life of the manor continue through binoculars. The 'classless grocer' who bought the manor and the lady of the manor bumble into each other frequently, aggravate each other constantly and are obviously meant for each other from the get go.
I had this checked out last fall before NaNo and didn't finish. In fact watched only half a dozen episodes I believe. This boxed set contains the whole seeries.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
All but two of these were made since last Wednesday when my eight new crochet thread spools arrived in the mail. The blue and bronze on the bottom right were made in the weeks before putting together the library display and missed the last blocking session. I'd found the blue one on the floor and the bronze one in the bedding in the days after.
The remaining four on the bottom represent the four solid colors in my order from Jo-Ann's--Parakeet (turquoise), Melon, Hot Pink, Fudge. The next row up represent the four variegated that were in that order-Mexicana (Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange, Purple), Oasis (cream, tan, blue, sage green,), Pastel (lt blue, pale blue, yellow, pink, lavender), Lt. Pastel (pale blue, pale yellow, pale pink).
The third row up were made this past week also but not from the new thread but from the original stash of thread in Ed's grandma's sewing basket that was given to me when she passed in 2006. I'd noticed that I didn't have any of those two colors--variegated green and white; variegated purple and white--to dress for the display last week as I'd given the last of them away while in Longview in January. I've tried to keep one or two of each color thread done up in the original pattern I learned last April.
The four remaining bookmarks are from the newest pattern I learned last month. The first one I made in white plus five pastels for the inserts and it made it into the library display last Tuesday. It is pictured in last Tuesday's post.
As you can see, this one is nearly twice as long as the original pattern even before the tassel goes on. It's around eight inches before the tassel and just over a foot with it. It also takes much longer than the 30-40 minutes to crochet that the granny square original takes. I haven't done one in a single sitting yet so it is hard to know precisely how long they take me. I estimate well over two hours just to crochet the horizontal stripes. Nearly an hour to tuck the twenty-two tails. Another fifteen minutes to crochet on the border. And another five to fifteen to make the tassel. Five if the thread is already free of the drawer and there are no glitches in winding, cutting and looping the thread through. Common glitches include one or more strands bunching or sliding so they show longer or shorter at the ends. Only one of these has gone togehter with no glitches.
While I waited for the pinned bookmarks to dry, I prepared the tassels for those four.
In an earlier post I mentioned the 'box' I used to wrap the thread for making the tassels. It is actually a prescription dispenser made to hold the cards with foil covered bubbles. I discovered it was the perfect size, being six inches on each size. But what really makes it valuable for this purpose is the slot on one end with room to slip the scissor blade in to cut through the strands.
I made this one from beginning to end today. The inserts are done in Mexicana variegated. I'm planning to do versions of this using every solid that is represented in the Mexicana in place of the black.
I started this one yesterday and finished it today. The inserts are done in parakeet blue. I made this one for myself as this shade of blue is my favorite and I'm known for wearing it combined with black.
This was the second one of this pattern I made though I didn't get the tassel made until today. I was inspired to do this one because I saw the potential to combine the new fudge brown with the Oasis variegated almost as soon as I pulled them out of the box. It was either this one or some variation on the two-toned ones I made up in December and January. This won out because I was a bit bored with that other pattern and have over two dozen of them made already. Though none with the new colors yet.
This is closer in spirit to the pattern in the book off which I made the white and pastel one last week as it too uses five different colors for the inserts. Ed loved this one so I gave it to him
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The movie I watched on the big TV last night to reward myself for getting chores done was The Straight Story starring Richard Farnsworth, directed by David Lynch and soundtrack composed and conducted by Angelo Badalamenti. And what a reward it was. I've loved Lynch and Badalamenti ever since I saw my first Twin Peaks episode in the early 90s.
This was a much different story from any by Lynch that I've ever seen and the only one I feel comfortable recommending to my Mom and mother-in-law. And yet the Lynch touch was there in the framing of the shots and Badalamenti's hand in the music was obvious by the third note.
This was a true story that has all the earmarks of a classic quest tale. It has all the elements which makes great literature or art great.
Seeing Cissy Spacek playing the adult daughter of the lead character was an added treat as I've followed her career since my own teens. She really showcased her talent playing the woman Rose with a stutter.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
moar funny pictures
Ed's folks left town this morning and Ed had the day off work. So what did I choose to do with the day? Yeah. Laundry. I stripped the bed and washed everything--quilt, blankets, sheets. I also cleared the floor on the free side of the bed and at the foot in preparation for vacuuming which Ed did as every time I try to use the vacuum cleaner in there I end up killing the rug-beater belt by picking up something like a shoelace still laced into Ed's work boot because I didn't see it. So for several years now I've swept the carpet into the hallway and then vacuumed it which I can only do when Ed's folks are gone. But with Ed home today he was able to use the vacuum cleaner directly.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to give myself the reward I've been working for..watching DVD on the big living room TV with the 4ft wide screen.
Monday, March 08, 2010
moar funny pictures
Couldn't have created a better one of these myself to illustrate the main event of my day. I got the bright idea to try to measure the crochet thread it takes to do one of the original pattern bookmarks. I'd been guessing it was approximately five yards.
I began by pulling the thread off the ball in the same way I do when crocheting but didn't crochet so I had this pile of loops by my hip. After I'd counted out the approximate number of 'pulls' I stopped to wrap the thread around this plastic box that was six inches long with half inch edges. I got about half of the loose thread wrapped when I encountered a snarl and when trying to unsnarl it I pulled the wrong thread too hard and ended up with a knot.
I'm stubborn about knots. I know that most workers in thread will just cut the knot or bad snarl out as they view their time as worth more than a few centimeters or inches of thread. But I've always been obsessive about getting knots out of my thread whether embroidering, needlepoint, cross stitch, or crocheting.
Today I spent two hours taking out two knots and unsnarling the mess of loops until I got it all wrapped around the box. 22 times around. Began to crochet and got 8.5 of the 12 rows done before I ran out of the loose thread. That meant I had just past two-thirds finished and if 22 feet plus 22 inches was approximate two-thirds, I should be able to finish with just under 8 more wraps around the box. Which I did without incident.
I can't claim my measurements are precise to the fraction of an inch but the completed bookmark used approximately 32 feet 6 inches. Just under 11 yards then. So much for my guestimates. Off by more than double.
Just FYI I guess. Don't know why but I'd been really wondering almost ever since I made the first ones nearly a year ago and trying to figure out a way of measuring it.
By 'original pattern' I mean like these done with what i think of as the granny square stitch. Two shell stitches per row for twelve rows. A shell stitch is six double crochet with a single chain between the first and second three inside a single 'space'. In the first row the 'space' is on of the chain stitches on the foundation chain. In the rest of the rows the 'space' is that created by the chain stitch separating the sets of three double crochet.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
I'm watching the Oscars.
I'm pulling for Push aka Precious. Just spent the day reading the novel and am blown away by the story. Haven't seen the movie yet but if they did half a good job with it....
Haven't seen any of the movies in contention yet have heard things about many of them that makes me finger-tapping eager to get my hands on the DVD soon as our library system has them.
OK. Comercial over.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
moar funny pictures
I crashed early last night--before 9pm and then woke at 4am. Been awake ever since and using my eyes hard--reading and crocheting. More reading as I made only two original pattern bookmarks though I read nearly two-hundred pages today in several books. Finished the novel Dead Until Dark and then browsed in several other books before settling on Elegance of a Hedgehog as the next one to focus on. It wasn't even a close call as it is the only one with a long queue waiting their turn so it is not going to renew and I already had to send it back unfinished last December and just now got my turn again. I had to start over though I may be able to skip ahead to where I left off after i get my bearings.
It's definitely not escapist fiction. It's heavy on philosophy and irony. It takes as much focus and acuteness of mind as The River Why. In fact I'm thinking that I would like to do a Book Drum profile for it after I finish the River Why profile. But if I were going to do tha I would have to buy my own copy of the book as I couldn't depend on the library copy staying with me long enough.
Meanwhile tho I can barely keep my eyes focused for this. I gotta call it a day.
Friday, March 05, 2010
moar funny pictures
Still taking it easy and yet managed to be productive. I got sixty-some tails tucked on the bookmarks I crocheted this week; got the borders crocheted around the two needing them. Still need to make the tassels for three of them. I also reorganized the drawer I store the thread balls in and managed to get all eight of the new ones in though it is a tight fit in two layers and I can't get to the bottom layer without removing several from the top.
It also means I can't just open the drawer and gaze upon the selection at one glance. I'll have to keep both colors and their positions memorized and keep them in their position when not in use. That last will be the most challenging. Quite likely not achievable. LOL. Staying organized is not my forte. And when I demand it of myself, I tend to be less creative and less productive. After all the best way to keep them organized is to not pull them out to use them at all.
I think I'm fighting a cold though I'm still hoping it is just massive fatigue after last week's push towards two big finish lines. Either way I'm continuing to take it easy and am planning to sleep early again tonight. Meanwhile I'd like to get back to the novel that has me in its grip--Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Completely escapist paranormal-mystery. Fun and easy.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
moar funny pictures
On my second day of doing what I want when I want, I continued to crochet. I have now made one original pattern bookmark from each of the eight new thread colors plus two of the newest pattern--the one that has a tassel instead of a ribbon--the first in black with five brights pictured in yesterday's post still on the hook and a chocolate brown with a greens, blue and tan variegated also still on the hook as juas as with the black and brights I need to tuck the 22 tails before I can put on the border and then the tassel. I decided to wait until I get all that done and the tails tucked and the ribbons etc applied to the eight smaller ones before I take any more pictures to post. I hope to make that tomorrows project.
I'm really liking this new pattern. There are endless possible variations on the theme. As with the white and pastels or the black and brights the five inside stripes can each be a different color or they could be all the same contrasting color to the background color. It'll take awhile to get bored with this one.
I did do other things with my day though. I read a novel for two hours. I took a four hour nap. I listened to about five hours of news podcasts. I daydreamed a lot. And Ed and I watched another DVD this evening before he slept.
And in spite of my four hour nap earlier I'm tempted to join him.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Today was my first day out from under the pressure of a deadline in over a month and the first time in three weeks that I could allow myself to do whatever I felt like for a whole day. I thought I would be sleeping a great deal of it but I woke at dawn after only eight hours of sleep (after days and days in which I rarely got six and mostly snatch 2-4 at a time) hungry and thirst and eager to start my all-for-fun day. And then I started by cleaning out my email inbo which I'd let fester for half a week. Oh well, some of that was kinda fun.
Then I settled in with a novel other than The River Why for the first time in over three weeks. But I didn't get twenty pages in before my in-laws returned for going after the mail and brought back the box of crochet thread I ordered from Jo-Ann's 12 days ago. 8 brand new colors.
Any guesses how I spent the rest of my day?
Before breaking out the new thread though (except for opening the box and stripping the balls of their cellophane in order to feast my eyes) I made myself finish attaching the tassels to the pastels and white bookmark i crocheted late last week. it was supposed to go in the display at the library but I didn't get the tassels in. But I had cut them and I knew that if I started working with the new colors before I finished that it would languish for who knew how long and what were the chances of keeping track of dozens of 1.5 inch pieces of thread?
That pattern is one I thought I was inventing myself as I had the idea of making a mini-scarf as a bookmark when I was crocheting the scarf for my nieces Xmas present in November. But then not long after that I saw more than one example of it online. Oh well I guess that means my concept was valid. And I didn't use a pattern to make mine. I made it up by fell as to how wide and long and how many colors. The first one I made was shorter and only alternating burgundy and bronze. I still haven't attached the tassels on that one but nor have I cut them either. i cut the tassels for the white and pastels one at the same time as I cut the big tassel for the other one using the same colors yesterday when I was prepping bookmarks for the display case.
The first one I crocheted after that was the bright variegated on the original pattern with the granny square stitch. Those take me just under forty minutes most of the time now. I tucked its tails immediately after it came off the hook. Visions of that stack that accumulated since January and the 5-6 hours of tail tucking I put in Monday haunt me. I hope to be more disciplined about it now. But I sure know how to set myself a hurdle when I aim intend better for I chose to start on a pattern destined to create 22 tails.
The black and bright stripped one is still unfinished as it needs a border and a single fat tassel on the end. An example of it in white and pastel is featured in the pics of yesterday's post. I can't put the border on until I tuck the tails. But it will stay attached to the black ball until I can put the border on so if i hope to use the black thread for another project anytime soon....
I took a break from crochet for almost three hours this evening to watch The Mists of Avalon on DVD with Ed. Excellent movie.
I'm itching to pick up the crochet hook again tonight but I'm afraid if I do I'll still be at it at dawn. Far better choice is to sleep now and play again tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Well today I finally got my bookmark display at the library set up. Above is the picture I took after we closed and locked the case. Now let me backtrack to Sunday morning:
below is the top half of the bath towel I pinned the naked bookmarks to for blocking. Once pinned I misted with water and let dry for several hours.
And the bottom half:
Here I had begun to dress them up with ribbons and beads and buttons and tassels:
Ever since I started making these last April, I have taken a picture of each one after it was dressed. I had to forego that practice and after taking this one group pic I stopped turning to the camera as I was so pressed for time. I'll get their pics after I get them home again in a couple of weeks. I decked out nearly thirty yesterday and another five or six since then. I put the tassel on this one this morning:
That was the last bookmark i crochet before I started prepping Sunday night. That is also the first one I've made by following a pattern in a book. I learned to crochet from my Mom teaching me the stitches by demonstrating them. I still don't really know how to read patterns but I'm starting to get it--like being a beginning reader again sounding out words one letter at a time. And since I never did learn to read that way in the first place reading these patterns is an extra strange sensation for me. I learned to read whole words by watching my Mom point at the words as she read to me.
Anyway. This pattern used a new stitch as well. They called it the cross stitch. You do a double crochet and then a single chain and cross backwards across the front of the double crochet and do another double crochet (de) two spaces to the right. Spaces that were empty because you skipped them in preparation for this move. When you move to the left again, you skip two spaces before beginning the first dc for the next cross stitch. This makes a pretty lacy pattern. I can't wait to incorporate it into a design of my own. It would lend itself well to spaces for ribbons and braids. but this one called for a tassel which I'd never made before so I've now learned another new technique.
I can't wait for my order of new crochet thread to arrive with the eight new colors as I am envisioning this pattern done in black plus five bright colors. I found this pattern last summer but was unable to do it without duplicating colors for the stripes as I didn't have five different pastels. I needed two more which I finally acquired about three weeks ago. I now need two more brights before I can put together a black and bright version of this.
I can picture this being pretty as two-toned too with any two colors that go well together.
Below is the left half of the display case after all the bookmarks were laid out:
And the right half:
This red and black one did not show up well in either of the above and I was especially pleased with it. I designed the crochet pattern for it using vertical rows of double crochet with strategically placed spaces for weaving in the ribbons, with options for either a single ribbon through the center or a doubled over ribbon laced like a pair of sneakers. These can be made in a single color or either two or three colors. Or, if you're not wanting symmetrical rows I suppose you could make each row a different color--as in a rainbow. Each color change generates two tails that need to be tucked. I've mention the tail tucking here often as I'm notorious for procrastinating that task. All the pattern books I've looked at emphasis tucking the tails as you proceed. I leave them not only until I've completed the crocheting step of the project but often until I've accumulated a dozen or so of the naked bookmarks. This last time I'd accumulated over thrity and over half of those had 6 to 22 tails each. So the tail-tucking task Monday morning took hours--over five.
This is a close up of the music box shaped like a leather-bound copy of Dr Zhivago which i icorporated into the display:
OK I've off catch up on my sleep. Been getting it rather hit and miss for three weeks now with the Book Drum and the bookmark display deadlines looming. And as soon as I've got a good long sleep I'm going to indulge myself with story--reading novels and watching DVD.