Dec 31, 2013

Signs of the Zodiac - Aquarius

Quick facts:
You were born between January 21 and February 19
Your sign is the water bearer
Your planet is Uranus
Your element is air
Your metal is lead
Your birthstone is the amethyst
Your flower is violet
Your color is light blue
Your body part is the calves
Your descriptive phrase is: I know, therefore I am.

The eleventh sign of the Zodiac, Aquarius is the sign for humanitarians and philanthropists - those who are interested in making the world a better place. The typical Aquarian is a visionary with many friends and acquaintances, although they can be impatient and somewhat temperamental. While they're normally sympathetic and compassionate, they also tend to be rigid in their opinions.

Those born to this sign are often physically large and rather slow, although this is the sign of the scientist. They are often quiet and gentle, not forceful, and not inclined to insist or demand their own way. They have more humor than most people think. Sensitive, they hate to be criticized. Their most tiresome character trait is their inability to explain themselves; they rely on the passage of time for vindication. They have difficulty expressing feelings of admiration and are therefore often thought to be cold and unfeeling. They are not impressed by pomp and pretentiousness, do not attempt to pass themselves off as better than they are. They tend to exaggerate grievances but have a faithful and dependent nature.

Your best matches, whether as friends, lovers or partners, are those born under the sign of Libra or Gemini, and to a lesser degree those born to Aries and Sagittarius.

Famous Aquarius include: Abraham Lincoln; Franklin D. Roosevelt; John D. Rockefeller Jr.; Thomas Edison; Jack Lemmon; James Dean; Lord Byron; Mikhail Baryshnikov; Jennifer Aniston; Ellen Degeneres; and Johnny Winter.

Dec 30, 2013

Maieutic Monday

maieutic ~ bringing out latent thoughts; socratic

Last week at this time Christmas was almost upon us, this week it's the New Year. Where does the time go?

Our power was still a little iffy last week, but I still managed to get my Christmas baking done. Twenty-four dozen cookies on Christmas eve. I do not recommend a cookie marathon like that - especially when you have game hens to make for supper. My oven was on from around 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. :-)

We spent Christmas Eve with my daughter and her husband, having our traditional dinner of Rock Cornish game hens. One for each of us and yes, I even stuffed them. Then we opened our presents so we could sleep in Christmas day.

Christmas dinner was spent at my in-laws with just a fraction of the extended family. However, dinner was excellent, as always, and we enjoyed ourselves. And we were kept entertained by my great-nieces - two of the most adorable little girls you'd ever want to see.

It warmed up enough on the weekend that the ice came off of the trees, and other than the downed limbs things look pretty much like normal. Actually, it's a little messy out there. The warm temperatures created a slickness to the ice underfoot, which is still a few inches thick in most places. And Sunday night the temperature started to drop and it's supposed to stay cold the rest of the week.

As you may (or may not have) noticed, I never did get around to making any changes to the blogs last week. Maybe this week.

My kitties made a boo-boo with the books they gave me for Christmas. I started reading one of them and it seemed really familiar. I know I've read it before. But I cannot find it on my bookshelf with the others by the same author, so I really don't know if I should return it or not. The other book was one I'd been waiting for, and I've read about two thirds of it. I'm trying to make it last. ;-)

I took down the Christmas tree Saturday, so Christmas is officially over for me except for the pile of red and green tissue paper in the living room that the cats have been having a ball playing in.

Blog Stuff For the Week:
Tuesday: The eleventh sign of the Zodiac is Aquarius.
Wednesday: No hunks today. Because it will be New Year's Day, I'll be doing my year in review thing.
Thursday: Chapter four of my new draft serial, Earth - book IV of the Ardraci Elementals.
Friday: It'll be a little late, but this is the day I'll be doing my goals for the year to come.

Other Stuff
I've got editing to do. Lots and lots of editing. And not just my own, either. :-)

You're probably wondering about the smile at the end of that statement. The thing is, I actually enjoy editing. For other people that is. My own . . . not so much.

I did get some work done on Water last week, not as much as I would have liked, but any progress is good progress, right? Previously I had about sixteen journal entries finished and inserted fourteen of them into the story. However, when I looked at it as a whole it was a little messed up. The journal was telling the same story, but not in sync with the rest of the book. I managed to salvage about three or four of the journal entries, and I'm back up to twelve, plus two at the very end.

It took a little longer than I'd hoped because I finally clued in to the fact I needed to focus more on what Nereida was going through and less on the back story. The whole point of the journal is to tell her story from her point of view.

Mental note: No more books with journal entries heading up each chapter! Although . . . isn't that what I said when I was done An Elemental Fire?

Dec 27, 2013

Random Ramblings

This has been one crazy, mixed up week. Ice storms, snow storms, blue flashes, frost quakes . . . not to mention Christmas in the middle of it all. So here's the post I was supposed to do Monday, before something more interesting came up.

Santa's Sweatshop Workshop.

When I was little, I had a favorite aunt who loved doing crafts with us. I can't even begin to list the different crafts we did together, but they usually involved a lot of paper, glue, styrofoam and a myriad of found objects. Okay, the one that really sticks in my mind are the Easter pigs we made from coloured styrofoam egg cartons. She had a thing for pigs. ;-)

My aunt was slowing down considerably by the time I had a child of my own, and arthritis prevented her from doing the crafts she loved. But when my daughter was old enough, we started a tradition of doing crafts each Christmas, namely ornaments for the Christmas tree. We'd do a new one each year, making them for ourselves and enough to include in the presents to special friends and family members. This is a tradition that lasts even to this day.

It's a point of pride with me that my tree is covered with hand made decorations only. So is my daughter's. And even though she's an adult now and has a home of her own, we still make ornaments at Christmas, and at least one of them is a new one. But I'm getting ahead of myself. :-)

This is what my dining room table looked like for the two weeks preceding Christmas:

And I have to admit that by the time we were putting the finishing touches on this year's ornaments, I wanted nothing more than to just shove the whole works into a bag and store it away for next year.

This year's special ornament was Gnomes. I have to admit that my daughter's little gnome girls (in the red hats), though slightly demented looking, turned out much cuter than my gnome boys (in the green hats).

Now, to give you an idea of what kind of work goes into these ornaments, I broke down one of the ones we seem to do some of every year. Namely, the Christmas penguins.

You start by gluing a hazelnut to a walnut. Then you paint it black and white. The painting takes at least a day, sometimes two, because the paint has to dry. But while the paint dries you can be putting together the hats for the penguins. See that green pie piece shaped cardboard? That's the pattern for the hat. Cut one of those out of felt and then glue along the seam, and once the glue is dry, you need to glue cotton batting around the rim and a pom pom on the top. This is not as easy as it sounds, and oh, by the way, just because a glue gun says it's low temperature it does not mean you cannot burn yourself with it. :-)

Next you'll need to cut out wings and beaks for your birds. We used to glue on feet as well, but we skipped them this year. Now your penguin is ready to assemble. First glue on the eyes, then the beak. Get it right the first time because there are no second chances when you're using a glue gun. Take a moment or two to curse the spider web like strands of glue that stick to everything in their path. Next come the wings, followed by the scarf. Last comes the hat. And there you go. A Christmas penguin.

The daughter also did snowmen heads (in very limited quantities because the hats were a real pain in the butt to do) and a fleet of sleighs. I did the penguins, the angels in a half shell, and attempted a couple of Santas. All in all a respectable variety.

And now that I've had my dining room table back for a whole week, I'm actually looking forward to what we're going to come up with for next year. :-)

Dec 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

This being Wednesday, I of course have a hump day hunk for you. Or in this case, four of them. ;-)

But it's also Christmas Day, and tradition dictates that I also have some Christmas music for you. And today you get three of my favourites from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

TSO – Wizards of Winter

TSO – Christmas Cannon

TSO – Christmas Eve in Sarajevo

Dec 24, 2013

Signs of the Zodiac - Capricorn

Quick facts:
You were born between December 23 and January 20
Your sign is the seagoat
Your planet is Saturn
Your element is earth
Your metal is lead
Your birthstone is the garnet
Your flower is the carnation
Your color is deep blue, black, and brown
Your body part is the knees
Your descriptive phrase is: I use, therefore I am.

Those born under the sign of Capricorn are all about hard work. They're both ambitious and determined as well as practical and realistic. But they can also be domineering and somewhat egotistical in their quest for the top. They're meticulous with details and down to earth, preferring to stay in one place for the most part. They can tend to be a tad materialistic and greedy, but never to the point of being carried away.

This sign was derived from the Babylonian god Ea, who was the god of the region described in the Bible as ‘the waters of the earth'. People born under this sign tend to be over serious, pessimistic and emotionally inhibited. They often have an economical streak, though not to the point of meanness. They are typically clear headed, self-critical and set high standards for themselves. They display economy and brevity in both composing and writing - they say what they have to say in the fewest possible words. Effective public speakers, they are shrewd and to the point. They produce the maximum effect with the minimum expense of effort and energy and always knows when and where to draw the line.

Your best matches, whether as friends, lovers or partners, are those born under the sign of Virgo and Taurus and to a lesser degree those born to Pisces and Scorpio.

Famous Capricorn include: Mozart; Schubert; Francis Bacon; Benjamin Franklin; Isaac Newton; Elvis Presley; Clark Ashton Smith; Howard Hughes; Robert W. Service; Isaac Asimov; A.A. Milne; Rod Steward; and Dolly Parton.

Dec 23, 2013

Multisonant Monday

multisonant ~ producing many or very loud sounds

I was all set to do a picture post about Santa's Sweatshop Workshop (aka my dining room table) today, but then something came up. Or rather down, I should say. Namely, freezing rain.

It started late Friday/early Saturday as just regular freezing rain.

But then it turned into the Ice Storm.

So now my sad little post about my messy dining room table has been superceded by pictures of things covered in ice. Like the name sign at the end of our driveway:

And my wind chimes hanging from the shepherd's crook on the deck:

This is the view from my office window. Yes, that tree is actually weighted down with so much ice that it's touching the side of the house, just missing my window. There's more of it above, resting on the roof of the second story of our house.

I'm actually writing this post late Sunday afternoon. Our power's been out (for the second time) for a while now, but I had the battery in my lap top fully charged. I figured I might as well get this written ahead of time and once the power's back up (knock on wood) I can schedule it to appear at the proper time. That way if/when the power goes out again it won't matter. Well, at least as far as this post goes. ;-)

The first time we lost power was Saturday night, just as I was getting ready for bed. I came out of the bathroom and there was this humming sound, and then a bright blue flash outside - like blue lightning. It did it about three times and then there was a yellow flash and the lights went out. Freaked me right out.

The power came on again in time for me to have scrambled eggs and a cup of tea for breakfast, but promptly went out again and the hubby was stuck with a sandwich for his brunch instead of the eggs and sausage he'd been looking forward to. The freezing rain has passed, but the temperature is supposed to go down and the wind is supposed to pick up, so we're not out of the woods yet. Icy Christmas anyone?

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Christmas is only a couple of days away. Are you ready? I'm sure not. Still too much to do and not enough time to do it in. I was supposed to get my baking done on the weekend, but that's a little hard to do with the power out and all. I have one batch of cookies in the fridge (they're slice and bake), but the other batch I was going to make needs to be baked as soon as you make the dough. So . . .

And once Christmas is over the New Year is right behind it. One of the things I've been promising myself for ages is to revamp my Random Thoughts blog so it's more writerly. Not sure what I'll do with the Random Writings blog. It seems kind of silly to have two blogs that are showing the exact same content. I could use one for general blogging and one for writerly stuff, but do I really want to try and keep up two blogs? I don't know . . .

At any rate, don't be alarmed if you see changes to the blogs in the next couple of weeks. I'll be moving stuff around and trying things out, and hopefully I'll have everything settled down again for the first week of the new year.

Blog Stuff For the Week:
Tuesday: I was going to skip the Zodiac post this week, but the tenth sign of the Zodiac is Capricorn, which is not only my sign it's the sign for this time of the year.
Wednesday: There'll be a hunk, but Christmas music as well, seeing as it's Christmas and all. ;-)
Thursday: Chapter three of my new draft serial, Earth - book IV of the Ardraci Elementals.
Friday: Good question. I think maybe I'll do the post I was going to do today, which is my post on Santa's Sweatshop Workshop.

Other Stuff
When I'm not baking, cleaning house, and otherwise getting as much Christmas preparation done as I can, I'll be working on the edits for Water. And if time, the weather, and my schedule permits, I might even get a little recreational reading in. A little bird told me my kitty minions are getting me books for Christmas. :-)

Dec 20, 2013

Christmas Ramble Three

Less than a week until Christmas. Are you ready?

My tree is up, Santa's ornament sweatshop workshop is officially closed and I've reclaimed my dining room table, and my knitting projects are done. I still have half an afghan to crochet though, and my sewing projects haven't even been started. And oh, yeah. I haven't done any baking yet either, unless you want to count the banana bread I made last night.

Banana breads are festive, right? :-)

Okay, maybe not. But ready or not, Christmas is coming. So to generate some holiday spirit, here are a few holiday classics:

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland

Winter Wonderland - Doris Day

Silent Night - Bing Crosby

Drummer boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby

Faith Hill – Where Are you Christmas

Dec 17, 2013

Signs of the Zodiac - Sagittarius

Quick facts:
You were born between November 23 and December 22
Your sign is the archer
Your planet is Jupiter
Your element is fire
Your metal is tin
Your birthstone is the turquoise
Your flower is the narcissus
Your color is light purple
Your body part is the thighs
Your descriptive phrase is: I seek, therefore I am.

Those born under this sign enjoy knowledge and for them the best way to do this is to travel and talk to others. They're clear thinkers, able to see the big picture. Quick to take a chance on things, Sagittarians are usually pretty lucky, although they can also be somewhat self-indulgent. They love to socialize, usually through some sort of physical activity.

This sign is associated with flying and journeys to distant lands. Those born under this sign are generally enthusiastic travelers. They are filled with idealism, ranging from altruism to dangerous fanaticism. Always eager to progress to something bigger or better, their ambitions range from the ruthless desire to amass a large fortune to the natural wish to succeed in life. They remain optimistic in spite of repeated disappointments. Generosity comes naturally to them, although they can be possessive, especially of those they love. They are always trying to find a more amusing way of doing things than through sheer hard work. Quick and enterprising, they are also demonstrative in affection and loyal. They are inquisitive and witty and love people.

Your best matches, whether as friends, lovers or partners, are those born under the sign of Aries and Leo and to a lesser degree those born to Aquarius and Libra.

Famous Sagittarius include: Sir Winston Churchill; Mary, Queen of Scotts; Jane Austen; Walt Disney ; John F. Kennedy; Woody Allen; Brad Pitt; Keith Richards; Steven Spielberg; and Samuel L. Jackson.

Dec 16, 2013

Macarism Monday

macarism ~ a beatitude; taking pleasure in another's joy

The good news is, my tree is up. And it even has decorations on it. AND the hubby and I did a marathon shopping spree yesterday and the Christmas shopping is pretty much done. The only presents I have left to do are the ones I'm making.

The bad news is, I still haven't started my Christmas baking and my crafts aren't finished. *sigh*

However, I only have five rows of pattern and the ribbing to do on Fair Isle sweater number two and it's done. I must have got the hang of stranding the yarn because I wasn't having to constantly stop to untangle the yarn. I'll be taking another look at the first sweater before deciding whether or not I really want to re-do the sleeves. It would mean ripping out the yoke with the Fair Isle pattern and while I'm sure I'll have the time, do I really want all that extra work? Oh, and I have over half an afghan to crochet.

Craft-wise last week . . . well, a picture paints a thousand words and this is what I got finished:

But my daughter made the sleighs and snowmen heads and some demented girl elves. And of course my kitty minions were always available to lend a paw. Usually in the dark, after I was done for the day. :-)

Blog Stuff For the Week:
Tuesday: The ninth sign of the Zodiac is Sagittarius.
Wednesday: A new pair of Christmasy hunks for your viewing pleasure. ;-)
Thursday: Chapter two of my new draft serial, Earth - book IV of the Ardraci Elementals.
Friday: Christmas is just around the corner, which means it's time for some serious Christmas music. :-)

Other Stuff
You have no idea how much I struggled with the first installment of Earth last week. LOL I kept changing my mind about where I wanted to begin. And then I had trouble with the ship Zephryn and Da'nat were in.

The good news is, I already have the next installment written. I wrote it in my head while watching Thor with one of the cats on Saturday, and later all I had to do is type it out. The really nice part about this series is how much I'm enjoying it. Which, when you think about it, is how it should be.

I'm still not really in a Christmasy mood, despite having the tree up, most of the shopping done, and listening to vast amounts of Christmas music - although I haven't broken out the big Christmas guns yet: the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. ;-)

On this week's agenda is finishing crafts, baking, and oh yeah, the edits on Water. My goal is to have Water in shape to send out to my betas by Christmas.

Ho ho ho!

Dec 13, 2013

Christmas Ramble Two

I have to admit, I'm finding the Christmas spirit in short supply this year. My tree is not up and my baking has yet to be started. However, my dining room table looks like Santa's ornament workshop, covered as it is by craft supplies and ornaments in various stages of completion.

And I've been knitting and crocheting like a crazy person to get a couple of projects done on time - the two sewing projects may end up being post-Christmas presents. ;-)

Anyway, I still managed to scour the internet for a few more of my Christmas favourites. I promise next week I'll have more serious Christmas music for you. Ho ho ho!

The Night Santa Went Crazy

Jingle Bombs

12 Pains of Christmas

Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire
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Dec 10, 2013

Signs of the Zodiac - Scorpio

Quick facts:
You were born between October 24 and November 22
Your sign is the scorpion
Your planet is Mars
Your element is water
Your metal is iron
Your birthstone is the topaz
Your flower is the chrysanthemum
Your color is red
Your body part is the genitals
Your descriptive phrase is: I desire, therefore I am.

Those born under this sign are very serious in their desire to learn about others. The world of the Scorpios is black and white - they have little use for gray. Their curiosity is vast, which helps make them great investigators. They love to get to the bottom of things and have a keen sense of intuition. They also like to be in control which can make them a little overbearing.

Scorpio is ruled by Mars, the planet of courage, energy and activity. People born to this sign are often uninhibited and impatient. Work, to them is a pleasurable pastime, not a chore; nothing is too much trouble. Any attempt to turn work into a burden is offensive. They have a positive attitude and are very thorough. They are often impatient as they would rather be active than do nothing. They tend to be secretive and do not easily comply with the wishes and dictates of others.

Your best matches, whether as friends, lovers or partners, are those born under the sign of Cancer or Pisces, and to a lesser degree those born to Virgo and Capricorn.

Famous Scorpios include: Christopher Columbus; Theodore Roosevelt; Indira Gandhi; Martin Luther; Pablo Picasso; Katherine Hepburn; Johnny Carson; Sylvia Plath; and Bill Gates.

Dec 9, 2013

Modius Monday

modius ~ cylindrical headdress of the gods

Once again I was having health issues last week, which can be somewhat frustrating, which in turn makes me a tad cranky. Okay, a lot cranky. But mainly because it meant I didn't get a lot done last week.

One of the things I did manage to do was to finish organizing the document files on my lap top. On the one hand, it's nice to have all those files organized - and when I say files, I mean electronic files only, I still have a bunch of stories in paper format in my file drawers - but on the other hand I was kind of surprised at just how many files there were. Some were finished, some just needed polishing, and a lot were stories I started and then abandoned. There were over thirty flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words) alone!

But I think the worst part of it is the fact I don't do anything with all these stories. In my early days I sent a few out, but that was years ago. I think this will be something I'll be addressing in the New Year.

Craft-wise last week I did get the second sleeve finished for the Fair Isle sweater I'm working on, and both sleeves are now attached to the body of the sweater. This means I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as far as the sweater goes because all I have left to do is the yoke. But first I think I'm going to watch a couple of YouTube videos on stranding, which is how you change colours while knitting without tangling your yarn up.

Wednesday the daughter and I went north to the big city of Peterborough where I found the colour of yarn I need to finish the afghan I'm working on. Unfortunately it was the last ball in the store so I hope it's enough. On the weekend I crocheted another stripe and a half - a nice change from all that knitting. :-)

The kid and I also started doing some Christmas crafts on the weekend, but we're finding the crafts we want to do are very time consuming. They're not hard, mind you, they just take a while. Like, you have to glue things together and wait for the glue to dry. Then you have to paint them and wait for the paint to dry. Or it's something that has to be sewn by hand or crocheted . . . Yeah, it's a pain in the butt.

Blog Stuff For the Week:
Tuesday: The eighth sign of the Zodiac is Scorpio.
Wednesday: A new Christmasy hunk for your viewing pleasure. ;-)
Thursday: Chapter one of my new draft serial, Earth - book IV of the Ardraci Elementals.
Friday: Christmas is coming, which means I'll be filling Friday with more Christmas music. :-)

Other Stuff
I did manage to get started on Earth last week - I posted the introduction and this week I'll be posting the first installment. I'd like to keep ahead in this serial, just in case there's changes I want to make as I go along.

Hopefully my health issues will settle down this week, I have baking to do! I'm not doing a lot of Christmas baking - pinwheel cookies, gingerbread cookies, and spritz cookies - but I need to get at it soon. I can't believe how time is flying!

I also have the sweaters to finish, the afghan to finish, and a couple of sewing projects that aren't even started yet. Yikes! And have I mentioned I'm not in the least bit of a Christmasy mood?

And of course when I'm not crafting or baking, I'll be working on the edits for An Elemental Water (which at times are more like re-writes than edits). And of course I'll be discovering what happens next in An Elemental Earth. ;-)

No rest for the wicked!

Dec 6, 2013

Christmas Ramble One

Yes folks, it's that time of year again. The time when I start scouring the interwebs for Christmas videos to share for your viewing pleasure. :-D

This week I found a few new ones to add to my collection - four lovely songs by Bob Rivers that I had never heard before. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Ho ho ho!

There's a Santa that Looks A lot Like Elvis

All You Need Is Elves

It's the Most Fattening Time of the Year

Carol of the Bartenders

And one of my personal favorites: I Am Santa Claus

Dec 5, 2013

Earth - Book Four of the Ardraci Elementals

Today I'd like to introduce you to the fourth book in my Ardraci Elementals series, An Elemental Earth.

First, be still my heart, I actually have a blurb written for it already. Well, a tentative blurb really. I'm sure it will change as the story changes.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

She's trusted him with her secret, but can she trust him with her heart?

Chloe has spent her whole life feeling like an outsider because of her unique gifts. Now she has met someone whose gifts rival her own and it's both thrilling and terrifying.

Zephryn never expected to meet anyone like Chole when he came to this world. But he has a hidden agenda, an agenda that changes drastically once the Illezie Da'nat discovers something about Chloe that shouldn't be possible.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Just to give you a better idea of what my main characters look like, I did a Google search to find a couple of images. So you can keep these two in mind as the story progresses. ;-)

We'll start with Zephryn. Isn't he pretty? You met Zephryn briefly in An Elemental Water. He was Kairavini's best friend, or as close to a best friend as the children from Dr. Arjun's compound were allowed to have. After he and the others were rescued they found freedom a hard thing to get used to. For a while Zephryn tried living on the elemental homeworld of Ardraci, but he had a hard time fitting in. Because he had been part of the breeding program conceived by Dr. Arjun, his gift was considered unnatural by many people. So he opted instead to join his friend Ravi on the starship Valkyrie. While on Ardraci he was befriended by a young Illezie, the caretaker race of the Ardraci, named Da'nat who went with him to the Valkyrie. Because Zephryn had studied the art of flight his whole life, it took very little for him to become a full fledged pilot. An Elemental Earth begins with Zephryn and Da'nat flying a scouting mission together.

Which brings us to Chole. Chole's mother, Tierra, escaped from Dr. Arjun's compound, somehow managing to take Chloe with her. She begged passage for them on a mining vessel which was headed out to the Deadlands, an area of space low in law enforcement but rich in minerals, ending up on the planet of Belspar. To pay for their passage, Tierra used her elemental gift to help with the mining process, intending to earn enough for them to continue on to one of the colonized worlds. But the mines took a toll on her, and she became ill. When it was discovered that the young Chloe had a talent for seeking out precious gems and ores, Gannon, the master-miner, forced her to work for him in her mother's place to pay for Tierra's medicine.

This novel in the Ardraci Elemental series takes place several months after An Elemental Fire and An Elemental Water. The massive surge of energy Pyre let loose at the end of An Elemental Fire has not diminished during its journey. Zephryn and his Illezie companion Da'nat were flying a reconnaissance mission, following the energy burst's trail. The energy that created it had been somewhat twisted, and there was growing concern about what it might be turning into. The story begins with Zephryn and Da'nat crashing onto Belspar.

Don't forget to check back every Thursday for the weekly installment of this on-line, draft serial, An Elemental Earth.

Dec 4, 2013

Dec 3, 2013

Signs of the Zodiac - Libra

Quick facts: You were born between September 24 and October 23
Your sign is the scales
Your planet is Venus
Your element is air
Your metal is copper
Your birthstone is the opal
Your flower is the cosmos
Your color is yellow
Your body part is the lower back and buttocks
Your descriptive phrase is: I balance, therefore I am.

Those born under the sign of Libra are true team players and have a strong sense of fair play. They have a strong dislike of conflict and want to do what's best for everyone. They're devoted strategists and excel at organizing groups to get the job done. They can be artistic and stylish, but when bored they can become apathetic and lazy.

This sign is ruled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty. Those born to this sign have a keen sense of equity and are good at weighing issues and reaching a compromise. They love justice and hate injustice and always try to see that justified claims are met. The arts are traditionally ruled by Venus, and a large number of poets, painters, novelists and composers are Librans. They are often collectors or experts, interested in knowing the origins and details of specimens. They learn best by using their intuition. They are exceedingly trustworthy and very sensitive. They have a tendency to cling to their happy illusions, especially about people they like.

Your best matches, whether as friends, lovers or partners, are those born under the sign of Aquarius and Gemini, and to a lesser degree those born to Sagittarius and Leo.

Famous Libra include: Pope Paul VI; Mahatma Gandhi; Truman Capote; Angela Lansbury; Will Smith; F, Scott Fitzgerald; Hugh Jackman; T.S. Elliot; and Viggo Mortenson

Dec 2, 2013

Multarticulate Monday

multarticulate ~ many-jointed

Yes, that's right. I have one more NaNoWriMo winner's certificate to add to my collection. After being behind in words the whole month, I waited until it was almost over before making a comeback. That would be Day 28 where everything just fell into place and I had a 6,000 word day which brought me to my 50,000 words. I took Day 29 off, but added another 3,500 words on Day 30 before I validated my novel for the win.

What a month! Mega-death-cold-from-hell aside, I got off to a bad start with this year's NaNo. Because I was writing the sequel to a book that wasn't finished yet, I had no idea what the starting point for my characters should be. But in true NaNo spirit I "damned the torpedoes and full steam ahead". Like last year, this book has about 20,000 more words to go before it's done, but the good news is, I know exactly how it's going to end. The bad news? What I thought would be a trilogy will, in fact, be at least four books. *sigh*

Tuesday I joined several other poets at one of our local high schools for a poetry seminar. I presented them with the poetry form of the Flarf, which is an internet based form, and I was tickled pink when one of the students read a Blitz poem she'd written. I introduced the Blitz form to the teacher a couple of years ago.

In between poetry and NaNo, I managed to get some knitting done on sleeve number two of my sweater - it's about 14 inches long now and I think it needs to be 19, so I'm getting there. I also squeezed in some reading time. One of the books I just started a couple of days ago is The Alien Bride, by Brie McGill that was part of the package of books I won during Alex Westhaven's Month O' Screams drawings. It's a very strange book, but I'm having a hard time putting it down. I might have to finish it today just so I can start getting other things done. ;-)

Blog Stuff For the Week:
Tuesday: The seventh sign of the Zodiac is Libra.
Wednesday: A new hump day hunk for your viewing pleasure. ;-)
Thursday: Introduction to my new draft serial, Earth - book IV of the Ardraci Elementals.
Friday: Since NaNo is over it looks like it's back to a surprise post on this day. As in, I'll be as surprised as anyone as to what shows up here. :-)

Other Stuff
So, yeah. I don't think I'm going to do the TraxTime reports anymore. At least for the month of December. I mean seriously, does anyone really care how much time I spend on crafts or games or email?

I will still be using TraxTime to keep track of various projects I have on the go, like the edits on An Elemental Water, or how much time I'm spending on various other writing projects. Maybe in the new year I'll try the reports again, but only include the time spent on my writing/editing projects. Perhaps I'll even include a weekly word count.

Originally I included the amount of time I spent gaming to make me realize how much time I'm wasting. And it worked. I still play games of course, but I don't spend nearly as much time on them. And really, who cares how much time I spend writing emails or reading or doing crafts? It's enough that I do them. And I'm not sure how accurate those times were anyway 'cause I get distracted easily. You know what I -- squirrel!

So. Now that NaNo's over, what will I be busy at? I was hoping to have Water ready to be released on December 13th, but it's not going to happen. Never mind the fact that I don't have a cover for it yet, I'm still only part way through the edits. Look for it some time early in the new year *knock wood*.

I'm also starting my new serial, An Elemental Earth and I would really like to get a jump start on it. At the very least, I need to find a name for my Earth Elemental. ;-)

Like it or not, Christmas is coming. I'm only going to do a minimum amount of baking this year, but I still have a sweater and an afghan to finish. Ho ho ho!