Countdown to NaNoWriMo…T-minus 6 days

26 10 2009

Weather: High: 60º & rainy.

Well the weekend proved productive after all.

Spent a good part of Saturday trying on Bridesmaid dresses and remembering why I hate the process with a fiery destructive animosity. Sigh. Nothing makes you feel like a bucket of reprocessed horseshit than having to stand under fluorescent lights wearing a dress 4 sizes too small to figure out what won’t make you look like a moose in a tutu even when you DO get the right size. Needless to say, I came home with a massive self-flagellating attitude. The dress I decided on at least is flattering. Sigh. Need to get back on the workout wagon. These grandma arms are not in the least bit sexy.

I did actually accomplish something more fun in that my outline (or the rather stream of consciousness collection of plot points I’m loosely calling an outline) for NaNoWriMo is DONE. It has a beginning, some credible events that could be called a PLOT in the middle and, as most people would call the stopping point, an END. (This last bit is always the stickler for me. I’m fab at beginnings, moderate on middles and just BOLLOCKS with endings.) But there you go. Norse Mythology Urban Fantasy with a heavy tweak. Have to admit, the research has been fun. Norse Mythology has about 40 bajillion possible versions. Someone could be the son of one god or not, making him either the brother or half brother of his uncle…I just went with the most common permutation. Also lots of loopholes. As a writer, I find loopholes in mythology INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. Loopholes give me nice little footholds for my plot.

Was happy that I got to get inundated by the muses this weekend. (Three Days Grace were on MTV2’s rock show on Saturday night and BBCAmerica had a Being Human marathon on Sunday. GLEE!)

I also made cobbler this weekend. Now, since I’ve mentioned this about a dozen or so times, here’s the recipe:

Set oven to 350°

You’ll need a 9 X 13 pan for this.

For the batter:
1 Cup flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
Whisk these together in a bowl until the lumps are gone and set aside.

You’ll need about 4 cups of fruit.
I reccommend any of the following combos:
Cherries (Preferable tart)
Blueberry/Raspberry
Apple/Plum
Blackberry/Cherry
But you can use pretty much any berry or pitted fruit.
You’ll want to pit the fruit, and if using Apples or Plums, slice them thinly. (I peel the apples, but leave the peel on the plums.)

Mix the fruit in a large bowl with:
1 Tbs flour
3/4 cup of sugar (You can use less if you have less fruit.)
Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the pan. (1 stick) And yes–USE BUTTER.

Pour the batter over the melted butter.

Scoop the fruit on top of the batter. (Make sure it’s evenly distributed)
Bake for 1 hour (or a little longer) until the edges are browning. (The cakey parts will caramelize in the corners-OM NOM)

Best served warm.  The cooking time may vary depending on what fruit and how much you end up using. Also, you can use a little less butter and still get good results.

All right. Have a writing mix to make for NaNo. Castle tonight is vampire themed (WOOT!) so I’m geebling already. And broken toe seems to be on the mend. 🙂

—————-
Now playing: Marilyn Manson – Redeemer
via FoxyTunes





Monday rolls around again…

5 10 2009

Weather: High: 63º & sunny.

So. Stuck in Ennui Gear again.

The wake and the funeral tomorrow have kind of absorbed all my focus, so writing and work work have taken a sort of back seat to everything else.

Got a bonus bit of fun today. Local radio station was streaming a live in- station acoustic concert of Three Days Grace, so at least I could listen to my boys while working. 🙂 ETA: Nice little interview with acoustic versions of “Pain” & “Lost in You”. Geebling fangirl is Geebling.

Have decided to go with the Manx/Norse myth mash-up for my NaNo story. Need to get my outline done and the necessary research compiled.  If it works out, I should end up with a 75K novella I can shop around. Cross fingers.

Allright. Been too brain locked and distracted to post a proper blog today. Promise there will be much more pithy and entertaining blogging later.

Probably won’t post tomorrow as I’ll be at the funeral and sundry get togethers most of the day.

See you on Wednesday.

—————-
Now playing: Lacuna Coil – Spellbound
via FoxyTunes





Wow. This week has kinda sucked.

2 10 2009

Weather: High: 58º & rainy.

So I haven’t really posted much this week. Work has been a flurry of catch up and h0me life has been a rollercoaster of bad news and bad health. My whining, let me show you it.

Last night we lost power during the storm that rolled through, starting at 8:00 and finally getting it back at 5:30 this morning.  Candlelight, me sewing and my husband scribbling away in his notebook caused me to comment: “Sigh. I love the 1800s.”

The ultimate bad news was that my husband’s uncle passed away.  So we will spending a lot of time at wakes and the funeral over the next few days.

My writing brain has ground to a halt. I’m having difficulty constructing any semblance of coherent sentences. I’ve printed out the MS and am attacking it with highlighter and post-its. Re-writes were going do well… until I hit the wall.

I think in general between fighting off colds and having all this conflagration of stressful events has finally burnt out a few brain cells. The apathy has sunk it’s claws in me again. Hate when this happens. It tends to take a monumental effort to get back up out of this damn pit. I’m not wallowing, I’m just annoyed with myself.

So. Two weeks after getting the new Muse and Three Days Grace albums I’ve pretty much played them into the ground.  And I’m still not sick of either. THe music on both has proven to be good writing tuneage. Especially the 3DG album, in light of how it’s corresponding to the story re-writes that I’m doing. Coincidence? I think not.

Ah well. Gotta dash. I’m hoping that once this weekend is done and some things are settled, my mind might proffer better blog content. Bear with me folks, I’m not always such a drag. 🙂

Now playing: Three Days Grace – World So Cold
via FoxyTunes





The return of Meh Monday…

27 07 2009

Weather: High: 85 degrees & sunny. Possible rain later.

The weekend started off so promisingly…Sigh.

Friday was the Torchwood finale. I think my chest still hurts. That was incredibly hard to watch. And possibly the best ending to the best 5 days of tv I’ve seen in a good long while. I’ll probably get strung up by some of TW Fandom for saying that, but the mini-series elicited all the strong emotions it should have. If you didn’t come away from it hating politicians and the government in general, I don’t think you watched closely enough. I realize it’s fictional, but let’s be honest. The possibility of something like this happening, aliens aside, is frighteningly possible. We are a reactionary species. And our reactions don’t tend to be reasoned ones when something  threatens our families. Bluntly honest here, I despise most politicians. Of BOTH parties in this country. Most of the people that have been elected in the past 20 years or so have done so based highly on their charm and television presence.  I’ll take a boring candidate who knows his shit, over a highly polished and quip happy candidate who spends every minute on the microphone playing evasive games to avoid exposing that he knows NOTHING. But guess who we inevitably elect.  I can go on about this for ages, but I don’t want the vein to start popping out in my forehead again. Sigh. So yes. I liked Torchwood: Children of Earth a lot. And it made me take a good hard look at a lot of things ACTUALLY going on in the world. We really should be ashamed of ourselves as a species. But that is a much longer blog post than I have time or energy to write. Maybe later.

Saturday was nice and quiet and replete with housecleaning. And the evening was nicely rounded out by Being Human which is now my new tv obsession. Don’t get me started. I can go on about this show for a good long time. Nutshell? Irish Vampire. Adorkable Werewolf. Proper vampire effects. Lots of sex & blood & addiction metaphors. All things I hold close to my…heart. VBEG. Yes, this will be must see for me on Saturdays.
Here’s a vid on the Vampire “rules” in Being Human.

Sunday dawned with family stuff on the horizon, which evaporated thank goodness. So usual errand running and FINALLY some writing time.

Sat at the Dining room table, butt in chair for a good 4 hours straight. And realized fairly quickly that I needed to do some plot examination. Couldn’t really get my head around what was missing, what needed to be written and where all of it fell into place. So, lacking a giant whiteboard or a clear wall to stick things to, I MacGyvered myself a board by taking a large framed picture of  La Belle Dame Sans Merci we had lying around waiting to be hung, and used that instead. 🙂
My husband got a good chuckle seeing me prop this framed artwork on the arms of a chair and start covering the glass with post-its covered in my usual seizure-ridden serial killer scrawl.  (I swear that if someone wandered in and looked at my notes with an intent to figure out the ending, they wouldn’t be able to decipher the chicken scratch. ) So now I had a series of post-its with loose plot points (green), major plot points (yellow), transition points (pink) and final possible scenes (blue). Visually, it looks like a pastel factory exploded all over the picture, but it helped me a ton to see things laid out like that. As I’ve said before, whatever works for you is your writing method.

Well, water heater update: Tis fixed! (At the low low price of $600. Oy.) So at least I can shower when I get home tonight. Velly important after my 8 block walk in this sweltery weather.

I have True Blood to watch tonight and obviously need to put some time in at the Writing Cave.

Just saw the teaser Trailer for Dorian Gray, which will star Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) and Colin Firth (of Mr. Darcy Fame). It looks exactly as dark and disturbing as the story warrants. I’m looking forward to it, practically salivating to be honest. Don’t know what it is about the whole debauchery side of the story that appeals to me. Granted the repercussions are well noted and the story’s message well played out. But I do have a part of my that revels in that sort of dark pleasure, even if it is vicariously. Gods know I write enough of it into my stories. Probably explains the vampire fetish, to be honest.

End of day has found me. Must close down and head for the train home.

Hoping for a productive evening.

—————-
Now playing: Midnight Syndicate – Witching Hour
via FoxyTunes





Meh Monday.

20 07 2009

Weather: High: 79 degrees and partly sunny. Weekend was unseasonably cool as well.

So. Weekend got away from me again. Went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Sunday, which kind threw my plans to write that day to the wind. And Saturday was kind of off kilter anyway, so not much got done there either. Snoots took a tumble off the counter late Saturday and was favoring his hind leg for a bit. Seems okay now, but we’re watching him.  Think he may have sprained it. Doesn’t seem like a break, because he’s still jumping up and down and walking with no trouble. ::is typical paranoid CatMommy::

I hate lost weekends. Always want to kick myself for wasted time lost.

Half Blood Prince was good, but it was the first HP movie that I actually came away from a little irritated at what was cut out. I’m all for the movies taking a little creative license in editing to get the story out, but losing the big battle at the end? Kinda dampened the impact. As did the revelation of who the Half Blood Prince was. The revelation was kind of a throwaway statement that had no resonance because any build up or interest in that plot point had kind of been buried in the rest of the story. Still, they are my small quibbles and I still thought the movie was pretty damn good. Saw the full trailer for Sherlock Holmes and nearly wibbled myself into a coma. Yes I know it’s anachronistic and the purists are practically apoplectic, but it looks like 40 shades of awesome to me.

Torchwood: Children of Earth starts tonight on BBC America. Sadly I’ve been spoiled for a bunch of things (All inadvertently. Really. I was trying to stay spoiler free for this.) But Hubby and I will still be watching. It’s been a dearth of Whoverse this year, and I’m starving for some Captain Jack.

Also, I’m really looking forward to watching True Blood tonight. Really need to look into getting the first season on DVD. Really have loved this series so far.(More Eric is all I can say. )

And Being Human starts this Saturday. This is the show I’ve actually been looking forward to for quite  bit of time. A vampire, werewolf & ghost living together. Sounds like the start of a great joke, but truth be told, the show looks nicely dark and angsty and they have a tasty Irish actor playing Mitchell the vampire. Not complaining here. And they do the full black eyes for the fully vamped. Dear to my heart that is. 🙂

I know I seem to posting  a lot of television related stuff today, Unfortunately I’m feeling a little under the weather today, for reasons I won’t go into, and I’m having a damnable time trying to focus on anything. Thus insight is giving way to trivia.  It happens. Also think I may have to stop taking St. John’s Wort every day as I’m starting to feel a little dizzy and lethargic. It IS helping regulate my moods though, so that’s a good thing. Probably will just scale it back to when I seem to be going through a down cycle.

Have found a wealth of new friends and good writing advice by way of the #writegoal hashtag over on Twitter. Writers of various stripes are using it to network and track their writing goals, wordcounts and just generally passing along good advice. Very helpful and motivating all around.

Alas, my hazy brain and troublesome gut have to get going home. Actually got some work done today, in spite of my lessened capacity.

New quest! I need to find Strange on DVD. Apparently the BBC have either never released it or it’s out of distribution. Watched the marathon on The Chiller network over the weekend and LOVED IT. Was nice to see Richard Coyle (Jeff on Coupling) doing a dark & scary role for once. 🙂 It was only one season but my Google Fu is not yielding much in the way of DVD sale information.

Speaking of DVDs, and then I must sign off, Coraline Collector’s Edition will be on my doorstep tomorrow. So there will be squee tomorrow on that front.

Anyway. Enough rambling. More writing related stuff tomorrow. If my brain decides to actually kick in, that is.


—————-
Now playing: Folk Implosion – Natural One
via FoxyTunes





Wow…Have I been lax posting or what!

3 07 2009

Weather: High: 73 degrees and partly sunny. Very un July like weather!

Sorry for the EPIC LONG NON POSTING! Got sucked into the short attention span delights that are Facebook and Twitter.

Lots has happened since I last posted.

Passed the 77K word point on When the Lights Go Down, which is epic for me. Add on that I spent a good bit of the afternoon getting the outline written for the last chapters and I may actually have this bloody thing done before Dragon Con!!

Been thinking about whether I should be shopping the manuscript around down there or wait until I can get it through an editor’s hands first .Probably be prudent to  do the latter first.

Will be able to hang out with all my writerly friends there, both the published and the non-published. Either way it will be great company just to see all my friends who live hundreds of mile away.

In laws will be heading off to Ireland in a few weeks for my MIL’s participation in the 50th anniversary of the Rose of Tralee celebration. (She was the second Rose and the first international Rose. –She’s originally from County Kerry, but had moved to the US when she was 16. Its a huge honor for her. )

Will be spending the Fourth weekend doing a lot of around the house repairs, cleaning, and of course, banging out the actual wordcount based on the outline I just concocted. Felt a huge sense of relief when the ending finally clicked into place. It make sense, isn’t tacked on and nicely ties up the storyline. Of course some events in the final chapters will require a little massaging of what’ gone before– a few mentions of a newly inserted character, a reference drop here and there that will subtly make more sense in the end.

Now the more nerve wracking part.., I need to figure out what lyrics I want to use for the face page of the book and then…I have to ask the lads in 3DG if I can pilfer them. Kinda surreal to be approaching the guys who inspired this story. (So funny looking back that I thought it was just a short story that was distracting me from the REAL book. And here it is a full fledged damn novel!)

Missing Dad again as we approach his birthday tomorrow. Can’t believe it’s been 3 years already.

Really wish he could have been here to see me finish the book. Hell, he was the one who kept kicking me in the ass to FINISH something for all these years. I think between his motivation and my mum’s, the undying belief in my ability from my husband,  and the support of my writerly friends, I finally have the right amount of self-confidence to keep at this.I have at least 4 other manuscripts in various stages of progress just waiting for me once I get this one done.  I’ve suddenly gone from just saying I’m a writer to actually being one. Who’d have thunk it?

Anyway. Just wanted to get something posted as I’ve been horrifically deficient in posting here. And I had really not wanted to stop blogging. Will be back to daily posting come Monday.





Bossless Week: Day 1

10 03 2009

weather: Just Yuck. High: 54 Degrees. Heavy rain and craploads of wind later. Just major YUCK!

Boss is in DC for the rest of the week, so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that there will be little in the way of chaos this week.

My brother is conducting his annual Paddy Rock Marathon for St Patrick’s Day. (Click on the link for the radio show (all 6 hours of it!)

Listening to my ANGER mix at work right now. Mostly rock, some metal, almost all abrasive, get your adrenaline flowing type tunes. Right now it’s She Wants Revenge, and I’ve already jammed to Anthrax, Def Leppard and Apocalyptica. Feeling all energized and wanting to go to battle. And today it’s the war of DATA ENTRY! ::pummels keyboard into submission::

Am too easily distracted today.  Need to get focused… OH SHINY!
MUST HAVE! MINE MINE MINE! (Umbrella Academy Action Figures if you don’t want to click)

Wish the weather would let up a little. The heavy rain is causing trickle level leaks in our basement. Non damaging so far. Just irritation.

Well, it looks like the Little Cal river is topping it’s banks again. Sigh. It’s running a little under a foot over flood stage right now.  The in-laws are worrying down in Florida and I can’t say I blame them.

Just a side note. Not really apropos of anything, but reading that Neil Gaiman’s dad passed away triggered my own feelings about my own dad. Been kind of in a haze the past few days. Realize that the anniversary is coming up in May and I still haven’t quite accepted that he’s gone.  I really really miss him. And there are days that I keenly hurt because I can’t talk to him or get his advice on some things.

Have decided that Rush Limbaugh is a big ole Drama Queen. Why else would he be so damn shouty and use ridiculous metaphors and poke bears with sharp sticks the way he does? Just an observation, mind you.  Not that there aren’t Drama Queens on all sides of the political sphere. (Keith Olbermann, I’m looking at you! I love you, but you’re getting a little strident these days.)

News in general is starting to chap my ass. I agree with Brian and am pretty much sticking to the BBC News. They don’t sugar coat anything and are not given to idle comparisons that are ludicrous on the surface and flimsy underneath.  I’ll be perfectly honest, the 24 hour news cycle has pretty much ruined the news. IF it’s a slow news day, they grab at pretty much anything coming down the wire and run with it, substantiated or not. Getting a little tiresome. And shouty histrionics? If I want that, I can go visit any number of Twilight blogs or LiveJournal and watch the masses feed on each other.  (Sorry, LJ. I use you. I like you. But more often than not, you are festering pit of Vipers. And that’s on a good day.)

Anyway.

Gotta run and take care of the backup tapes and then make a mad dash for the train. Hopefully the weather will hold until I get there.

Here: Have a Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince trailer to improve your day. (ZOMG IS IT JULY YET??)