lmeighmy: Found Photo. I Do NOT hold the copyright and am only using it for entertainment purposes. (Typewriter)
I've been struggling for the past two weeks over what I wanted to write here. I'm resistant to the thought of going back to a "This is what I did today" format, so I'm trying to find interesting things to share on my blog. My friend, Patti, told me to write about my passion. Right now, that's writing--but not just my own, and I'll talk about that in a minute. Right now, I just want to say that things have changed a lot for me. I don't have as much free time as I did a year ago, but in many ways, that's a very good thing. It's forcing me to grow as a writer, to learn how to better manage my time, to learn discipline, to make time for what matters (even when it seems frivolous) rather than just doing whatever strikes my fancy in the moment. While that may be well and good for some people, it's very undisciplined, and one cannot be successful letting the winds take them every which way.

In an effort to earn some extra money while having fun with something I enjoy, I've become a part of a new Web site for writers. It's called Your Story Starters, and we're trying to gear it toward writers suffering from what many refer to as "writer's block," as well as teachers looking for material for their students. We offer prompts--story starters--that will get people thinking and, of course, writing. We've seen many sites on the Internet, many books, offering prompts. Most of them are very basic, or they're just plain weird or funny or--definitely not what we're offering. We try to give some tips and questions to get the writer or student thinking, to get them excited about the piece. We're not getting these prompts from other sources. We're putting a lot of time and effort into them because we want to offer the best product out there. We want to go above and beyond what everyone else is doing. We want to put out a product we can take pride in, something that people will recommend to others.

As a result of this, I'm learning a bit about social networking. I've had a Twitter account for a long time, as well as a Facebook account and a Google+ account, but I haven't used them as much as I could have. Mainly, they just seemed very overwhelming for someone who didn't really have anything to say most of the time. Now that I have something to talk about, I find I'm actually looking for things to Tweet or update about. And I'm finding I really love our hashtags (#yss and #yourstorystarters), even if we've only just begun using them. We're not making any money with this yet, but it's only a matter of time, right? The most important thing right now is that we're having fun, but we're also treating this as a real business, because that's what it is. It's work, and hard work at that, even if it is fun work. I'm glad to be a part of this, and I plan to do my part in making it the success I believe it can be.

In other news, Nanowrimo is coming up. I have no idea what I'll write. I haven't worked out any storylines. But I think I'd like to write some kind of fantasy. I have a D&D-style story I was working on, but I want to change it to fit my own fantasy world. The character names will all remain the same, but I'll have to tweak certain details. Should be interesting. I think for this year's Nanowrimo, I'll concentrate on the character's backstories. I should have plenty of information to come up with a novella length document. :)

I also have another story in the works. I'm working on the outline. It's slowgoing, and it's not for publication. It's for the roleplay. It's an interesting concept, and there's a lot to consider in this story. I want it to be complex, but interesting. Most of all, I need the characters to be real. Shouldn't be a problem. The hardest part is plotting, which is always the case, and I've got lots to go on in that regard. I'm still really loving my character, Dakota, too!

And now for the personal stuff. Eric and Chelsey have moved back up to Joplin. I won't go into detail, but Eric's already got a job, and he's also working on their new house with Chelsey's dad. It's a ton of work. Chelsey's been really busy, too. And Josiah's started pre-school. From what I've heard, he really loves it. :)

Jeff's still working at the greenhouse, and I still can't help wondering when they'll "go out of business" again or something, but I'm trying to stay positive and learn contentment where I am. Most of the time, it's relatively easy, but there are times when it's not. Just need to keep from letting those times bog me down. Easier said than done. 'Nuf said?

My mom's here. She's been here for more than two months. It's been a good visit. I feel kind of guilty spending so much time back in the studio working on this or that, but we get time to socialize in the evenings, too. And I imagine she loves the peace and quiet as much as I do.

We're hoping to go up to Joplin before my mom goes back. When the kids moved back up there, we went with them. Jeff drove the truck, and I kept him company. This was when Isaac came through, but it wasn't really that bad. It was kind of nice, actually. And as always, it was great to see Jeff's dad and step-mom. We want to go up there again within the next six weeks. We need to sit down and discuss when would be a good time. We'll also need to head to the airport at some point, when my mom has to fly back home.

Oh! One other thing on the subject of writing--sort of. I actually won a book! I follow The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson, on Twitter and Facebook. I also subscribe to her email, since I tend to miss a lot of tweets and status updates. In one of the most recent e-mails, I saw that she was doing a mini tour on the Internet, and I could possibly win her new book, The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-By-Step Exercises To Help You Create Compelling Stories. All I had to do was comment on an entry to be eligible. I didn't expect to win anything, but I wanted to comment and let my support for The Plot Whisperer be known. I figured I'd buy the workbook after a little while, so winning wasn't really all that important to me. But I won! I actually won! :D So far, I really love it. It asks a lot of really great questions about the plot, the characters, etc. I plan to use this for my Nanowrimo book of backstories, too. It should help make my characters and their world ever more complex and realistic, as well as the main story, when I get around to creating it. :)

~L

lmeighmy: Found Photo. I Do NOT hold the copyright and am only using it for entertainment purposes. (Default)

I've been doing a bit of writing lately. I've got three stories going right now--sort of. I've got one in progress that goes along with the roleplay, and it's going well. It involves Dakota McCabe, from my Lucky Raven stories.

I'm also planning a fanfiction mashup story that also involves Dakota. I don't write a lot of fanfiction, but I've been watching Highlander lately, and I wondered what would happen if Dakota, an ex-Marine and former journalist, came across Duncan MacLeod--either saw him fight, win and have a quickening, or saw him die and come back to life. With his sense of curiosity, there's sure to be some kind of adventure in there.

And the third is in the character journaling stages. I've been writing character journals for Damian and Casandro, two of my Immortal Watchdogs characters. They're brothers from Crete. I have a good grasp of what Damian's story is--or at least his purpose. I've been stumped on Casandro's purpose for a while now, but I think it's finally coming together. This is what I love about character journaling. You can learn a lot about the character, but you can also learn some things about their backstory and their current and future stories. Awesome! :D

My mini is doing well. She's not as fast as she could be, since she's got a single core processor, but she's great for writing. She's my main word processor, but I've done a little writing on the biggie, too. The biggie is having some problems. That's nothing new, since he's about three or four years old now. We plan to take him to a computer repair shop at some point. If he can't be fixed, we may just get another mini laptop.

Jeff and I went down to Moka Joe's on Tuesday. We took both the mini and the biggie. Jeff used the biggie to check out some companies on Angie's List, and he loved it! I wrote a character journal entry on the mini and talked to Maria. I also got a free decaf Americano. It was a good night. :)

The pupplet and the kitty are both doing well, and we've only lost one fish recently. It was one of the neons, and it wasn't totally unexpected.

Jeff started laying carpet in our third bedroom. He also repainted the walls. He had to move everything out, of course, and he put our empty 20-gallon aquarium into the master bedroom. I want to set it up for fire-bellied toads, but I need to find out more about keeping them. And I'm not sure what to do about the crickets. If I can buy some in town instead of going eleven miles to PetCo, that would make it easier. I don't want to raise them myself, but that's a possibility, too.

My mom went back home last weekend. She had a good trip, but she was kind of annoyed with security for making her take off her coat and shoes, and I guess they had a hard time getting her off the plane at the other end. But now she's home, and all is well! :)

And my battery is starting to get low, but the nearest outlet is too loose to hold the power supply's plug in place, so I'd better wrap this up for now. I hope you're all doing great!

Lois

lmeighmy: Found Photo. I Do NOT hold the copyright and am only using it for entertainment purposes. (Frog Tea)
The past eleven days have been good. The weather has been nice. No storms to cause us to run for the storm shelters, but it's been very hot and muggy.

My birthday came and went, and so did Josiah's. I took pictures at Josiah's party. Here are some: )
Josiah loves Dora the Explorer, and my mom got him a couple of Dora books, one of which had a music player included. He loved it!

And for my birthday, I got a Kindle from Jeff and my mom. My mom also got me a new slow cooker and an espresso machine. Eric and Chelsey got me a red dish drainer to match my other red kitchen things (I've been wanting this for a long time, so I'm really happy with it!) and some lilac candle tarts...and something else that's coming in the mail.

Speaking of the mail, I'd ordered a cook book for Chelsey, and it arrived in the mail yesterday...just in time for me to wrap it and take it over to the party! :D

We also went to the Farmer's Market yesterday morning. I bought some huge green onions and another small bottle of Goatie Girls Bug Be Gone lotion. My mom bought some snow peas, which I'll add to one of this week's meals, and a small loaf of Parker Pond Farms' Pumpkin Bread. The three of us (Jeff, my mom, and I) shared the bread over some drinks at Sweet Bay while I downloaded more of my Kindle library. :)

And after Josiah's party, we went grocery shopping. We spent a bit too much, but the important thing is that we put some weight on Jeff without buying the cheap, unhealthy crap you find everywhere. I've been fixing most meals in the slow cookers, and they're mostly healthy. I admit to using some cream of chicken in some of them. Next time, I'll get the fat-free kind so it's better for my mom.

Anyway, since I've been using the slow cookers a lot more, we've been having a lot more fruit and vegetables.

Speaking of...I need to write up an article, complete with photos, of the fruit salad I make, as well as the ensalata caprese, for Milli over at Fear of Writing. I'll try to post a link here once it's up.

Jeff's doing a lot better. He's still got some recovery left to go, but he's progressing well and is back at work. I just hope he doesn't overtax himself. Today's temp is hovering at 100°, and I'd hate for him to get sick!

He's also mostly done readying the hallway and part of the front entrance for painting. He just has to remove some wallpaper scraps, touch up with the primer, and then we can paint it. We bought the paint yesterday. :)

I haven't been doing much writing lately, but I've been working on a knit cardigan for myself. It's my first sweater, so it's a learning experience. I've had to scrap it three times (at least), and I have to undo about three rows and redo them. I hope I don't have to keep doing this. It's becoming a nuisance! :/

I plan to get back to my writing tomorrow.

Have a good one!

Lois

Crazy Times

May. 9th, 2011 11:06 am
lmeighmy: Found Photo. I Do NOT hold the copyright and am only using it for entertainment purposes. (Marlon Teixeira: Brazillian Cowboy)
I've been absent from here a lot more than usual lately. First I had a "Windows has encountered an error and must shut down" | "Windows is restarting" loop. I couldn't back up my files, because every time I'd restart the computer, it would go into this loop. Every three to five seconds it would do it, and no matter what I tried, nothing worked. I even had help from Eric and Patti, both of whom told me what to do through texts. Finally, I just formatted the hard drive and re-installed Windows. It seemed to do the trick.

Then, about two or three days later, my connection started dragging. Most pages wouldn't load at all. I tried shutting down the program I thought was causing it, but I still had the problem. Nope. It didn't work.

So, once again, I formatted the hard drive and re-installed Windows...after backing up what files I needed to. In fact, I just finished. I'm in the process of updating Kaspersky now...or soon will be, at any rate.

I had a good Mother's Day. It was quiet and boring. For once, I didn't let the computer problems frustrate me. LOL! Jeff and I bought Chelsey a slow cooker cook book. Before I wrapped it, I looked through it...and promptly told Jeff that I wanted one. He was open to that, and we went to the store last night and bought me one. :)

I talked to my mom last night before we went out. She's coming here on the 21st...Chelsey's birthday. Jeff won't be able to do any medium or heavy lifting, so that leaves me to load her wheelchair and super heavy luggage into the trunk...and to push her up the back ramp. Oh, joy! :P It will be good to have her here.

I just hope we can knock out the fleas by then! I got bit twice on the arm yesterday. We're planning to get generic Frontline. I'm not sure what else. I'd like to go down to Petco and see what they have that Walmart doesn't. It's at the point where I want to find another home for Nikita. She's a good dog. I just can't take the fleas anymore! O_O And as if the fleas aren't bad enough, my skin's been really dry and itchy. Anyone know of a really good lotion that's not greasy?

Oh, and about Jeff. He'll be having minor outpatient surgery on the 16th. He's not looking forward to it, of course, but it has to be done. I have to stay at the hospital, so I plan to take my laptop with me. Chelsey will drive us there, then pick us up when it's done. He'll have about a month of recovery. The first two weeks, he'll be able to do light lifting. The second two, he'll be able to do medium lifting. I sure hope they tell us what that means exactly. What constitutes "light" and "medium" lifting?

So, that's the crazy life I've been leading lately. What's up with all of you, my peeps?

Lois


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