Considering NaNoWriMo

I hadn't been thinking that I would do NaNoWriMo this year, since I have been too busy to write for longer than I can remember.  But I just realized something.  It starts tomorrow and:
a) Glen has his son this weekend, so my time will be more free than usual and I might be able to start strongly enough to make up for next weekend being completely booked. (Saturday, I have a meeting for WiD and plans to visit with Janiece, but those are my only extra-curricular commitments for the weekend.)
b) My nephews are no longer within driving distance, so my usual "every other week" visits are no longer on the schedule.
Hmmm... maybe I can try it this year.  Would be nice to play around with words again.  Have no plot or characters or even a genre picked out, but hmm... maybe...


Seeing Myself Clearly

Thinking about who I was in high school because of a reference on FB today made me think "that's an interesting subject for a blog post."  I came to my much neglected blog and find, to my amusement, that I have a draft that was written, but never posted, about 18 months ago.  Granted, the post says something about the end of my journey rather than the beginning, but I'll include it here, unchanged from the words I wrote over a year ago.  It's interesting that I never posted it, since it refers to (and may be the only blog post to date about) a really significant shift in my life.

The thoughts that brought me here were these:
My one regret for my high school days is that I didn't embrace the friendships that were offered to me.  Through Facebook, I've been able to reconnect with some of them and then my visit to MD for my 20th HS reunion cemented these reconnections.  It was never that I doubted the merit of the people who offered their friendships.  Many of them are generous, creative, funny, intelligent, and thoughtful.  What I seriously doubted was my own merit.  I didn't know at the time that I poisoned myself with the thought that I was unworthy of deep friendship and that if people really got to know me, they wouldn't like me.  I'm not entirely sure what I thought they wouldn't like, but I do remember thinking they'd find me boring.  If I could send a message to that girl and say "Don't listen to that!  It's a lie!  A pretty egregious one at that!"
I don't know where the lies came from or if they're just standard propaganda from the teenage brain, but it took me 20 years to overcome them.  Luckily for me, I learned from my mistakes and enjoy the blessings of friendship from some really wonderful people. 

And now, my thoughts from Feb 2, 2012:
A couple years ago, I got Lasik surgery on my eyes.  I'd been extremely nearsighted since the fourth grade.  One of the amazing things that I felt after the surgery was that I could dispense with all the old thinking about what I could and couldn't do.  I could see my toes in the shower.  I could read the clock at night.  It was invigorating.  Once my eyes had healed and returned to normal moisture levels, it felt like I had brand new eyes.

Now, I've had a breakthrough in my inner vision that is similar in concept and effect.  For a long time, maybe even as long as I'd been nearsighted, I've been unable to see myself clearly.  I thought I was unattractive and unlikeable.  I don't know why.  Maybe there was logic behind it, but I doubt it.  Almost 20 years ago, when looking at myself in the mirror, I suddenly heard the crap I had been telling myself.  Thus began a long long journey out of blindness.  A little over a month ago, I suddenly had a breakthrough.  My vision of myself has cleared and I have dispensed with old thinking about what's possible and not possible. 

Like the Lasik surgery, this seems to be a permanent shift, thank goodness. 

Editor's note from the present:  the euphoria has died down a bit, but the new vision of myself has stayed.  It's a lot like falling in love with myself and going through that always wanting to cuddle and hug myself phase to a more grounded this-is-it kind of love where I can actually get things done, but when I look over at myself, I smile.



Because it's so so true. Kudos to the originator of this graphic. Wish I could thank you personally.
Sad that I'm putting this up here right now when I am not only working on my knee, but also recovering from bronchitis and feeling further from a return to running than ever. However, I freakin' WILL get there eventually and I'd like to store this hilarious and true graphic here while I work on it.
Also stored here for posterity is Janiece's moving post about why she runs and minus the running 8 miles thing is true for me too.  In fact, after I get "running" back into my "things I can do" column, I'm going to work on my endurance and see exactly how far I can run.


'Tis the Season (for Muppets)

Just heard an instrumental Carol of the Bells and it made me think of this rendition.


 I love the Muppets!


Kindle Reading

When I first got my Kindle last birthday, I was ecstatic and cautious all at once. After all, I have an enormous pile of to read books that occasionally gets whittled down by me changing my taste in books and giving them away. My fear was that the impulse buying issue I have in bookstores that leads me to avoid them in the same way an alcoholic avoids bars would be free to deplete my bank account unchecked.

My fears were thankfully unfounded. I do impulse shop, but mostly from Pixel of Ink's free (or nearly free) daily listings. I prefer to visit the website rather than get the email notifications, mainly because the former has pictures and the latter, only text. I highly recommend it if you're in tough financial straits because you can get some good, well-reviewed (by readers) books in a decent range of genres (ie. not just romance).  I do have a pile of cool books I might end up reading, and a shorter pile of must reads, but they no longer take up so much space.  :)

My other big discovery was Instapaper. The site calls it, "A simple tool to save web pages for reading later." For example, say you're websurfing during your lunch hour and you encounter a neat, but very lengthy article. In the past, you might bookmark it for later, but you'd have to remember it was there and be on a computer to read it. With Instapaper, you click your "Read Later" bookmarklet and through the magic of computing, the article is sent to your Kindle via your Amazon account. That means it comes over wirelessly. Now they have iPhone and iPad and Android apps for those wanting to read it that way too. I've been using it for a couple of months now and it is super cool and very easy to use. I highly recommend it.

Now, if only I had more time to read...


Blogging Breakfast

(I've been too busy to blog, but I'm determined to try and keep it up...)

To continue my blog's trend of posting yummy pictures, here's what my brekkie looked like this morning.  As usual, it was delicious.  :)

Mis en place (toasted sesame oil not shown)

Final product


Blog Reboot

This isn't a true reboot (or would that be "reimagining?").  I've been tempted to do so and have been ogling Squarespace for a little while now.  But I'm not sure it's worth the expense for just a blog that has, for the last year and a half been mouldering in obscurity.  When I'm back into a good routine and feel better about having something that is linked to my full name, somewhere I can promote my activities (writing, architecture?), I'll probably look at Squarespace again, but right now, I think this will have to do.

I've been thinking lots about writing recently, especially since I went to Worldcon (Chicon 7) and have started watching The Story Board, a Google Hangout once a month, moderated by Patrick Rothfuss.  I have more to say on the subject of writing, but will leave it for another post, as I really ought to get back to things I'm "supposed" to be doing.  Also, so I have something in the bag to post about next.

And finally, I will do NaNoWriMo this year.  I considered writing with an audience (like this woman is doing) but considering how exploratory this year's effort will be, I think I'll simply blog about my progress and my discoveries during that progress.  A bit like an explorer's journal entry, rather than taking you on the excursions themselves.

Anyway, welcome back, dear readers and if you're a new reader, there's plenty of old posts here if you're curious what I'm about.




Moonlight Scotch Broom plants were on sale at the local nursery and, since there was one on the property when I got it (way overgrown, but did not make the move from the patio area to the side yard) I thought it might be nice to have a new one -- in the side yard, as originally intended.
The hole digging went much more smoothly than I expected, so now I'm enjoying one of my birthday presents (bought with a gift card): Family Guy: Star Wars Trilogy. I'm not generally a Family Guy fan* but it is really good (especially the first one, Blue Harvest).  I highly recommend it to any Star Wars fan.  (And for any of my friends, you're welcome to borrow mine.  :)

*I once dated a guy who disliked South Park because of Cartman, but loved Family Guy. I, on the other hand, dislike Family Guy because of Peter, but love South Park. The humor of this was not lost on me, as both are extremely similar, boorish and unpleasant.