Monday, November 30, 2015

All Out of Words

NaNoWriMo Win 2015

I'm all out of words.

Plus I was supposed ot be packing for trip home.  And spend last evening with Ed.

Questionable priorities.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Yeah. I Know. I Know. Finish Something Already!

Scarf Crocheted with Diversity Yarn
 This Diversity brand yarn has an elastisity to it and they call it memory yarn.  I ti lace weight and soft enough for baby  blankets.  This is another of the yarns I got on my 2014 birthday shopping spree.  I began this scarf for myself in January.  Had hoped to have it done before it was too warm to wear it last spring.  Ha.

I decided i wanted a hat to go with the scarf but wasn't sure one skein could do both so I tried to find more online.  Could not find the Zebra but I did find this:


And these are the colors of somebody on my list so I got it.  I'm winding it into a cake on my winder tonight and hpe to start a scarf tomorrow.

Yeah.  I know.  I know.  Finish something already.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Serenity -- Crocheted Infinity Scarf

Croheted Infinity Scarf
Lace weight wool, silk blend with silver thread.  Handpainted
Last month when I finally got the 400 yard snarl out of this yarn I targeted my birthday for finishing this scarf.  This picture was taken a month ago and I've added another couple inches to the width but I'm still at least a quarter out from done.  I would have finished it if I'd not spent the last ten days working on snarls in three other projects.

This was one of my finds on my birthday excursion to La Favorites in Kelso WA last year.

Well maybe I can be wearing this by Thanksgiving.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Drama! Drama! Everywhere But On My Novel's Page

WhizFolder Delux NaNoWriMo 2015 File
The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life

ROW80 Check-In

It seems like every year around the time NaNo starts some kind of drama in my personal life or someone who's part of my daily life heats up to a boil and there doesn't seem to be room on the stovetop in my brain for my novel as well.  This time the drama is mine and had my thoughts in a froth.  My fingers were flying to keep up with them--in journaling, email and texting. After two or three days of this I decided to do a wordcount on the words generated around this personal dram and found I was having no problem at all making daily quota...and more.

If only it were in my NaNoWriMo file.  And that's when I decided to abandon my planned novel and transfer all these words already generated into the file and continue to transcribe the events as they unfold, muse on them, add backstory, try to access other POV and give myself free reign to novelize an see where it might go.  I'm sure it will be too autobiographical to publish but it will still be a good exercise.  It will give me the space to tell myself a story that might help me make sense of what feels like chaos at the moment.

Meanwhile I didn't move the other story out of the file.  If the personal drama returns to a simmer and allows the Funny Bunny story to share the stovetop again I'll return to it.  Who knows I might be able to weave the two toegether in some way.  That's one of the things I'm so good at--bringing characters from one story on stage in another in ways in which their stories enhance each other.  That's how I ended up with one storyworld that's generated over 100 major characters and at least 16 novel lenth WIP and that many twice over in shorter WIP.

Having made that decision and then watched the words swarm like African ants over screen after screen I'm even starting to feel a true pleasure in the writing again.  Something major broke loose.

I'm still a bit hit and miss on my ROW80 goals:


  • Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15min Daily -- hmm. Depends on whether I can count the time spent obsession on the personal drama...
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily Average -Again sadly under par.  A couple days each week.  My reading has become consumed by the autism spectrum theme since my diagnosis in September.
  • 7.5 hours of sleep daily --  the last two years have taught me the importance of this for keeping my anxiety low and energy high, weight down and creativity sustainable -- Fail!  This devolved from adequate before November 4.  I slept little in the first and second week of November.  Was awake from 9am Tuesday Nov 3 until at least midnight Wednesday.  Slept about 9 hours and was awake until the wee hours of Saturday.  Got back on schedule through Monday morning and then was awake until Tuesday night.  Slept about twelve hours, waking around 9am on the 11th and then did not sleep again until 4:30 this morning Saturday, the 14th and am still awkae in the wee hours of Sunday morning as I write this.
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily  -- I know it is crucial to health.  Both physical and mental.  And most especially creativity.  Yet I struggle to make it happen.  It is one of my Asperger traits to hate change and that includes switching from one activity to another.  I spend way too many of my waking hours sitting in my desk chair either at the computer or the craft table.  Switching between those is a matter of scooting a foot and swiveling about 80 degrees.  Swiveling another 45, standing up and taking two steps puts me on the mini-tramp.  Yet I've been on it since the crisis began on the 3rd.  It probably would have been as much help as the all the words generated around it.  It could have helped me think about things.
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily  -- 2nd Biggest goal success so far this round.  Way more than minimum.
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily Average -- none since NaNo began.  this waa a solid habit before my Asperger dianosis but the autism spectrum has taken over my reading list.  There is one novel in the mix with several memoirs and a few other NF featuring info, advice, and speculation.
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- another thing I've a strong resistance to.  The autism diagnosis helps explain this but doesn't let me off the hook.  If anything it makes it more important -- Biggest success this round!  Possibly even overdone it.  Since like everything else, once I get started it is hard to stop.
  • Engage with the Blow Me a Candy Kiss structural rewrite file 30 min Daily*  --  except for November when I'll be working on the companion story from husband Greg's POV called To Embrace a Funny Bunny.  These two likely belong to the same novel but I'll be pretending they don't for the duration of NaNo. -- On hold as of the middle of the first week of November.  See above. 



  • All of this in service to the overarching goal for 2015: Regain the joy in writing that I lost sometime last year.  The Joy/joy meter hovers around 6 out of 10 this week.  Joy in the writing maybe an 8 which is a sharp increase.  Not only am I feeling more joy I'm feeling calmer and more sorted out.  Maybe that's the same thing.


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    Friday, November 13, 2015

    Birthday Boots and Sisterhood

    Keen Boots
    My sister, Carri, took me shoe shopping for my birthday.  It was part one of the shopping excursion I asked for.  Part two will be for clothes.  Both are needed because my entire wardrobe except for a handful of items are one to two sizes too big for me.

    She took me to a high-qualit shop in the Portland area first and I thought it would be primarily for fun--in store window shopping.  But two hours later I walked out of there with these boots on my feet.

    I'd never paid a 3 figure price for shoes in my 58 years! I'm still feeling a bit weird about it.

    After we left the shoe store we stopped to pick up a take and bake pizza--artichoke hearts/bacon/cheese--and headed over to our sister Jamie's apartment where she left me while she went to a Christian rock concert.  Jamie and I polished off that pizza as we visited together for the first time in months;

    All in all a good birthday which kept my lucky Friday the 13th birthday streak unbroken.

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    Wednesday, November 11, 2015

    Joy's Needled

    Problem Solved?  Such a Small Solution
    Jig Pro hollow ended needle for paracord and leather laces
    The Joy's plaque I'm needlepointing to be mounted on a bag above where it already says: Getting Things Done, has been languishing for want of a needle.  A needle of a kind I wasn't sure existed.

    I was picturing something hollow on one end and with a dull point on the other and some way of securing the end of the cord in the hollow end. And slim enough to fit through the plastic mesh without breaking it.  I also pictured it with a tiny clamp or pincer instead of hollow but couldn't picture how that could be made not to snag the cord.  So hollow was better but I couldn't picture how the cord could be secured.  Turns out screw threads are the solution.  And to make the cord grippable you melt the end first..  I didn't need to do that as it acquired a good grip onto the end I'd treated with Fray-check.--a kind of chemical melt I suppose.

    I found it in leather-working supplies on Amazon.  I wasn't positive it was small enough because my eyes were not able to judge the measurement of the mesh hole and there was nobody around to do it for me so I took a gamble thinking that it was so close the canvas with the larger mesh would work with the needle on future projects.

    Why do I need such a bizarre sounding needle?  The paracord is too thick to go thru the mesh doubled over in the eye of a needle.  Besides needle eyes big enough to hold the cord are already too big to go through the mesh holes. I had resorted to fraying the end of the cord and then painting it with fray-check and twisting it into a point as it dried.  This worked.

      Sorta.  But it was slow going. Like threading a cooked spaghetti noodle through a bead.

    But it did work OK as long as there was just one strand occupying the hole.  When trying to put the strand through the hole already occupied by the stitch in the neighboring row tho the fray-check coat on the point began to loose its stiffness and without that it was like trying to push a worm through a straw.

    The new needle works exactly as I imagined and it fits the empty hole.  But when I push it through the already occupied hole I must be very careful to go exactly straight as any pressure toward the side will break the mesh.  So far it only happened once and I managed to repair it by wrapping thread several times around the mesh bars on either side of the gap to replace the missing bar.  I hope that doesn't happen very often as it is a pain'

    I would send for another hollow ended needle in a size smaller except I'm pretty sure the specs on this one said it was the smallest.

    The brand of the needle was Jig Prol  It seems a very fine quality of metal with nothing on the surface that could snag the paracord.  What impressed me most about Jig Pro so far tho was that of the three different brands selling leather working needles that I ordered from in the same order they were the only one whose method of shipping made sense to me;  But that was probably because Jig Pro itself was supplying whereas the other two orders were being supplied by Amazon.  Amazon sent one needle set in the same box along with a couple other items in my order but I almost missed it as it had slid under the flap on the bottom.  The other one was in a box the size of a hardback book all by its lonesome.  Jig Pro sent theirs by snail mail in a greeting card sized envelop.

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    Sunday, November 08, 2015

    Sunday Serenity -- Snarls and NaNo and ROW80


    Snarls.

    I've been spending more time unsnarling yarn and thread in the last week than actually crocheting.

    The brown one above is the Mobius strip bottom/sides/strap for the quilter's tote. I made the silly mistake of leaving one ball of bamboo thread attached and adding another one to do a a couple of short stretches across the width before returning to continue along the outer edge where I left off..

    not so brilliant





    The pink one isn't a project yet. It's just a ball of bamboo thread that was rolling around in a drawer dropping loops.




    The purple is one of my new bamboo yarns. I tried to find the inner string as I prefer to pull from the center as then I can have it in a smaller project bag or even a pocket. Pulling from the outside string requires room for the skein to roll and flip.

    Well, before I found the inner string I'd pulled out a lot of loops and when i pulled on the inner string it yanked out a clump of loops it was snarled with. I decided to stuff them all back inside and wind the skein into a ball on my winder from the outside string.

    But the skein rolled and flipped in the tray out of my line of sight as I operated the winder and the clump I stuffed inside came out and tangled with loops falling off the outside.

    A serious mess.

    All three are lace weight..

    Its a good thing unsnarling is one of my favorite things to do. Dont ask me why but I find it relaxing.
    But I don't really have time for such fun now. It's too close to Christmas. And I hate having the winder out of action.

    Plus NaNo is in session and I'm falling behind.  11111 words at the end of day 8.  8x1667=13336.  Which leaves me 2225 words behind.  More than a days quota.

    Plus my life itself just developed a snarl of similar proportions to that of the purple above.  Drama!  Why is it that every November some kind of drama heats up in either my personal life or that of someone close to me who's part of my daily life and whose drama sticks to me like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth?

    I was way more seriously behind as we entered the weekend--sitting around 5555 on Friday afternoon when Mom left for her weekend with my brother's family.

    How did I double that in two days?  By adding the real life drama to my story.  Or rather adding a second story that I'll try to work into a relationship with the other one which is probably a long short story rather than a novel anyway.

    I'd been generating a lot of words in emails and texts over the drama and by transferring those words--all written since Tuesday--into my NaNo file I nearly caught up.  I might have done so if I hadn't decided to write a blog post instead.

    I'm still a bit hit and miss on my ROW80 goals:

  • Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15min Daily -- 2 or 3 days in a week.  Not good enuf.  Especially since they are seldom contiguous.
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily Average -- Again sadly under par.  A couple days each week.  My reading has become consumed by the autism spectrum theme since my diagnosis in September.
  • 7.5 hours of sleep daily --  the last two years have taught me the importance of this for keeping my anxiety low and energy high, weight down and creativity sustainable -- Doing better than I used to but in the last month I've averaged two 24 hour plus days each week.  The other nights tho I do tend to get more than 7 and often more than 8.  It is a huge improvement not having frequent 6 hours and under nights.  And yes, they are nights and not days.  Another improvement.  I seldom sleep beyond 9am.
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily  -- I know it is crucial to health.  Both physical and mental.  And most especially creativity.  Yet I struggle to make it happen.  It is one of my Asperger traits to hate change and that includes switching from one activity to another.  I spend way too many of my waking hours sitting in my desk chair either at the computer or the craft table.  Switching between those is a matter of scooting a foot and swiveling about 80 degrees.  Swiveling another 45, standing up and taking two steps puts me on the mini-tramp.  Yet I've been on it maybe twice in the last ten days.
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily  -- has not become a daily habit yet.  After not touching it since February I did start to dabble again but average twice a week.  Still feel serious resistance to it which probably means I need to be doing it.  Especially to help me assimilate the autism spectrum diagnoses and how it affects my writing goals.  Not to mention the drama mentioned above.
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily Average -- this waa a solid habit before my Asperger dianosis but the autism spectrum has taken over my reading list.  There is one novel in the mix with several memoirs and a few other NF featuring info, advice, and speculation.
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- another thing I've a strong resistance to.  The autism diagnosis helps explain this but doesn't let me off the hook.  If anything it makes it more important -- I guess there is one place where I shine after all.  I haven't been time tracking it but I'm sure I've more than fulfilled this.  Possibly even overdone it.  Since like everything else, once I get started it is hard to stop.
  • Engage with the Blow Me a Candy Kiss structural rewrite file 30 min Daily*  --  except for November when I'll be working on the companion story from husband Greg's POV called To Embrace a Funny Bunny.  These two likely belong to the same novel but I'll be pretending they don't for the duration of NaNo. -- Another fairly well met goal. 
  • All of this in service to the overarching goal for 2015: Regain the joy in writing that I lost sometime last year.  The Joy/joy meter hovers around 5 out of 10 this week.  Joy in the writing maybe a tad higher.  I do seem to be gravitating toward the writing as a means of desnarling my life.  Afterall i have generated over 5000 words in the last five days in emails and text messages



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    Saturday, November 07, 2015

    Taking a Switch To It

    Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-012 10.1" Laptop 2GB 64GB 
    Altho I love my Nexus 7 and seldom go anywhere without it--not even from room to room--there are some things it won't do for me:

    • It won't let me play music while I read or write
    • All of the office productivity aps I've tried so far suck for anything more than note taking
    • Transfering those notes over to the Aspire and into my prefered Windows aps is a pain
    • Reading PDFs is nigh impossible for me as they won't wordwrap so when I set the font so I can see it I am forced to scroll sideway back and forth for every line
    • It won't run my favorite aps.



    The PDF issue by itself was enough to justify looking at a 10 inch tablet but when I realized I could get a refurbished Windows tablet/laptop for about the same price I got my Nexus I did look back.

    It didn't hurt at all that it was also an Acer Aspire just like the refurbished 17in laptop I've been happy with for over two years now.


    It took me longer to shop for the cover.  Hours and hours of reading the fine print of the tech specs on nearly a dozen 10 inch tablet w/keyboard covers.  Until I found this one the only time the SW5 model was mentioned was to rule it out.


    Here is my Nexus 7 case on top of the Switch.  I can't show the Nexus itself as it's the camera.  The Switch is just a tad bigger than my 11 inch Windows 7 netbook which was my only computer between January 2010 and September 2013.  But the Switch weighs about a third of the Netbook. Even with the case.

    Since it arrived on Thursday I've only been doing set up tasks with it. I haven't even tried to read a PDF on it yet.  I always seem to forget how long it takes get preferences and other settings adjusts to my satisfaction.  

    I'm not going to start doing anything too serious with it until after it upgrades to Windows 10.  It came as 8.1 with elegibility for the upgrade.  It is 0000000000busy downloading that in the background.  First it had to download over 160 updates to the current system which took hours Thursday evening.

    There is one thing that frusterates me but its not unique to the Switch it is a bane for me on all Windows computers and that is their insistance on using 9pt font in all their dialog boxes and their refusal to allow me any control over it like the did in Windows 95 and XP.  Their so called accessibility options add more frustration than thay take away.  The magnifying glass forces parts of what I'm looking at off the screen and I can't track it when moving the mouse to scroll over to what I need to look.  Often something else I need to see at the same time disappears off the other side.  Its very inconvienient.  And there is no excuse for it.

    All of their high contrast themes except the black and white gag my eyes.  I hate the colors and they won't let me create my own version.  I worked with the black and white one for awhile on the 17in Aspire but found that loosing the cues provided by color was too high a price for the very slightly clearer fonts.  Really it looked nothing so much as white sand after birds with wet feet walked across it.

    My nephew has suggested I try changing the DPI to make everything on the screen 125%.  I saw that option but it said 'not reccommended' with warnings that sounded dire to me.  Whenever it says 'not reccommended' I feel guilty as I did as a child when my Dad frowned at me when I disregard and unless I know absolutely for sure the possible consequences I can't bring myself to disobey.

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