Mar 30, 2015

Misoneism Monday

misoneism ~ hatred of novelty

I'll start with the weather report 'cause I know how much you all like that. :-D

Despite the fact that it snowed twice last week, my deck is finally snow free!

Of course if you look closely you'll notice there's still a substantial amount of snow in the back yard. But it's getting there.

Once again I spent most of the week working on the second draft of Lucky Dog. I've got another 25 chapters under my belt, bringing the total to 43. I'm finally into the section that needs paring down and I'm finding some of these chapters are a little on the long side. Barring any unforeseen interruptions to my time, I should be able to finish by the end of the week.

I never did get my more detailed progress report done on My Writing Journal. Maybe this week.

In the typical way my luck runs, the snow we got on Thursday caused a power outage right before my sister arrived for lunch. It's a little hard to heat up homemade soup when there's no power. But all was not lost, I had a pot of coffee that just finished perking before the power went out, so at least we had that. ;-)

And while I might not have got a lot of editing done with my sister here, I did manage to finish this:

I originally started this for my granddaughter - my daughter assured me Ellie wanted a catghan in purple. But since Ellie is only 22 inches long I made it throw sized and apparently I was supposed to make it bed sized. So . . . the throw is mine and I can take my time with the full sized catghan since it'll be a while until Ellie needs it.

Something to look forward to, eh?

Mar 25, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week Six

For anyone who's new, you can catch the previous weeks here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4
Week 5

Wrecking a journal can be fun, but it can also be time consuming. I was a little short on time this week, so I picked some easy ones.

First, I found this page:

I didn't want to just rip the page out, that would make it too easy. So I used a craft knife to carefully remove just the cup form, then, as instructed, used some tape to stick it together. You might need to click on the picture to enlarge it to see that I really did fill it with water. It wasn't the most water-tight of vessels, which is why it's sitting propped up in a glass.

This next one was even simpler:

Pretty straight forward, eh? In this next picture my lovely assistance Dante is showing how much fun paper balls can be:

And finally, we come to the last of the easy ones:

Had I thought of it at the time, instead of ripping the page out and making a paper airplane, I should have used different colours of paper and made a bunch of them, then glued them to the page. But I didn't, so I'm stuck with just the one plane. And once again Dante deigned to pose for me. Doesn't he look thrilled?

I don't know if it was the quality of the paper or the design, but this plane is one of the best I've ever flown. :-)

Why not give it a try yourself? Here's a LINK to a website with a bunch of different designs for paper airplanes.

Join me here next week to see how I continue to wreck my journal!

Mar 23, 2015

Maundy Monday

maundy ~ custom of sovereign washing feet of poor or giving alms

Woo hoo! It's Spring! Can you believe it? Or were you like me and thought spring would never get here?

I was writing a letter to my sister on the weekend, telling her about how the snow was receding a little more every day, and then Sunday morning I woke up to about two inches of snow coating everything. But despite the fact it was super cold yesterday, the new snow was pretty much gone by sunset.

It kind of makes you wonder what kind of drugs the weather is on though. The temperature has been above zero for a week, and then all of a sudden it plummets and we get snow. The long range forecast has the temperature going up and down like a Mexican jumping bean. It's only March, and I remember past snow storms in early April.

Of course any time I get discouraged about the amount of snow left over, I just have to remind myself that it could be worse, I could be living in the Maritimes, like my sister. They celebrated the first day of spring with another blizzard. Check it out HERE.

In case you missed it, I posted a flash story to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on my other blog. It's a flash piece I wrote a couple of years ago, but I thought it would be fun to drag it out of the mothballs.

I spent most of last week working on the second draft of Lucky Dog and although I got off to a slow start, I've got 18 chapters under my belt. I don't know how many words I deleted, but I've added about 1500 to the document, which was already too long. I'm crossing my fingers I'll find some words to trim later on.

Eighteen chapters down, only thirty-seven to go. :-D

You can check for a more detailed report on my writing progress in a couple of days on My Writing Journal. My goal is to post there at least once a week. Twice would be even better, but let's not get too crazy.

You know, I always think I should come up with something pithy and really interesting for these Monday posts, but when I sit down to actually write them, my mind kind of goes blank. Don't you hate when that happens? Or maybe it's just me.

These posts kind of read like I'm writing a letter - in fact I've been known to refer to my Monday posts when writing a letter or email, mostly because my memory is so bad and I can never remember what's been going on.

Surely I've got to have something more interesting to talk about than the weather and what I've been baking this week. Or maybe not.

Maybe I just need to get out more. ;-)

Mar 18, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week Five

For anyone who's new, you can catch the previous weeks here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4

As I continue my wrecking journey with my journal, I can't help but notice some of these pages have instructions that are a little hard to document. This one, for instance:

There are all kinds of ways I could pick up my journal without using my hands - use my forearms only, put it on the floor and use my feet, nudge it to the edge of the table and use my mouth - but they don't exactly leave a mark.

And this one:

Off the top of my head I can think of a couple of ways to wear my journal - using it as a hat is the most obvious, or put it on a string and wear it like a necklace or as part of a belt. But again, it's not like it's going to leave any evidence, unless I wear it like a hat and get my hair stuck in it. ;-)

And then there's this:

Okay, while I could probably talk someone to take pity on me and buy my journal page, once they've bought it, it's gone.

Obviously these pages are going to require a little more consideration. And I'm open to suggestions - leave me a comment if you can think of anything, please!

All righty then. Next I did a couple of easy pages. The first one I was instructed to glue a random page from a newspaper on it. So I randomly chose a page from the comics.

And another easy one was a page where I was to include my grocery lists. I've been pretty good at throwing them out once I'm done with them lately, so I could only find three of them:

And finally, I came to a page that I was supposed to cover in tape. As you can see, I have some pretty tape available to me, but much to my chagrin it was really, really hard to cut into shapes. Especially the duct tape. It kept sticking to the scissors and leaving a residue behind. So while the picture is sort of like I wanted, the execution left a lot to be desired.

And that's it for this week. Join me next week as I continue to wreck my journal.

Mar 16, 2015

Madescent Monday

madescent ~ growing damp

Did everyone survive Friday the 13th all right? Normally I don't mind Friday the 13th, they're usually lucky for me. But the one we had last month was most definitely not. This one was kind of a mixed bag of good and bad. Dare I hope the last one of the year will be better? Guess we'll have to wait until November to find out. :-)

Remember that picture of my back yard I posted a couple of weeks ago? You can refresh your memory HERE.

Here's what it looks like after a week of slightly above zero temperatures and a weekend of light rain:

Although the snow on the deck is greatly reduced, the snow on the yard is taking its time. That's probably a good thing since a slow melt reduces the chance of our basement flooding, but it's still hard not to be impatient. I'm so done with winter!

It took staying up until 2:30 a.m. Friday night, and a marathon word sprint of almost 2500 words for the day, but I am finished the first draft of Guardian of the Sea (which started out as my NaNo novel this year). Now the real work of polishing it can begin. You know, right after I finish with Lucky Dog and An Elemental Earth. ;-)

So Saturday I was feeling a bit of the empty nest syndrome (kind of). I'd gotten so used to having Guardian hanging over my head that it was downright weird to not have to add new words to it. I wasn't sure what to do with myself.

So I sat in my office and stared out at the rain . . . Then I updated my Goodreads for the year, which wasn't too bad because I haven't been reading much lately, so I only had 9 books to update.

Then I took a look at my writing journal blog and was appalled at how long it's been since I made an entry there. So I updated the status bars and did a new post. If you're getting this blog post in an email you probably don't have access to the tabs at the top of the page, but you can check out the blog HERE.

Last weekend I bought myself a book that I was saving to reward myself with when I finished Guardian. However, it's such a great carrot that now I think I'm going to keep saving it until I get one of my three drafts polished. I'm afraid it might trigger a reading binge, and we can't have that now, can we? ;-)

I seem to be transitioning well to returning to my office to write, and hopefully I can keep up the good work this week. I confess it's much easier when the sun is shining, and this week looks like it's going to be a mix of sun and cloud. But there's no snow in the forecast, so I can take heart at that.

Maybe Spring is here after all! ;-)

Mar 11, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week 4

For anyone who's new, you can catch the previous weeks here:
Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

As fun as it is to wreck a journal, it's also a little time consuming. So I only managed three pages this week.

First I was instructed to trace my toes. Sounded simple enough, but I found it really hard to get the pen between my baby toes. And then I wanted to be a little more creative, but it didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted.

The next page I did, I was instructed to do some rubbings with a pencil. It didn't specify that it had to be a lead pencil, so I used pencil crayons instead. The first thing I learned was, the pages of this journal are a little too thick to use for effective rubbings. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have used a lighter weight paper and then glued it into the book. Oh well.

The purple rubbing is of carved box I have on my dresser. While you can definitely see that it's a rubbing, the thickness of the paper makes the image a little hard to make out. It's supposed to be two dragons facing each other, but it doesn't really show up well in the rubbing. The dragons are a little hard to make out on the box itself, so it's no wonder it didn't translate well.

The other rubbing I did using a small candy tin I have on one of my bookcases that's full of white sand from a beach in the Bahamas. You can sort of make out the ship from it. The water below it turned out really well. For that I rubbed over the scales of one of my dragons. It was a little awkward, but it worked.

And finally, I was instructed to drip something on the page and then close the book to make a print. I decided paint would make the best print, and I dribbled a pretty design but apparently I was a little heavy handed on the metallic paint because it turned out a little blobby.

Once again, hindsight is 20/20. I should have added another colour or two to spiff it up.

That's it for this week. Join me next week as I continue to wreck my journal. :-D

Mar 9, 2015

Mussitate Monday

mussitate ~ to mutter

What's that in the air? Could Spring be on its way?

We've finally emerged from the deep freeze. The temperature has been slowly rising and this week it's actually going to be on the plus side. Okay, so maybe it's only going to be one or two degrees above zero, but it's a start. And Tuesday or Wednesday it's supposed to go to plus five!

The hubby was outside on the weekend shovelling snow away from the house, hoping to help stem the flooding of the basement. Notice I didn't say prevent. I can't remember a time when we didn't get at least a little water in the basement during the spring thaw. Last year the basement didn't dry up until well into the summer.

Meanwhile, my sister in Hamilton has frozen pipes. The city advised the residents in her area to keep a thin trickle of water running in their basement sinks to prevent the pipes from freezing. She went to visit her son in London last weekend and her granddaughter, thinking the tap had been left on by mistake, turned it off. They haven't had water since.

Just so you know, I'm not a fan of this whole time change thing. Spring forward, fall back . . . Bah! Humbug! It takes a good week to adjust, twice a year, and why do we even do it? Because we're told to, that's why. I think we should all stand up and rebel. Refuse to change our clocks any more. Who's with me? Anyone? Anyone?

Still haven't got much reading in lately, but I picked up a couple of new books and I'm really itching to get into one of them. So this week should be better in that respect.

The writing went a little better last week, but there's always room for improvement. To that end I decided it's time to give up the easy chair during the day and get back to my office. So Friday I started out by ferrying all the stuff from my office that's migrated to the living room around my chair, and then actually sat at my desk and got some writing in. :-)

The rest of the weekend however . . . Saturday I settled in and caught up my journal, and then the daughter and I went shopping for the rest of the day. We had a blast, but very little else was accomplished.

Then Sunday I got de-railed by a Star Trek marathon. As you know (or maybe you don't) I'm a Trekkie from way back. What little writing I did was done in the living room in front of the TV. ;-)

I'm close to the end of Guardian of the Sea, which was my NaNo novel. I'm ready for it to end, the characters are ready for it to end, but I'm not quite sure how to end it. I've already killed off one bad guy, now I have to kill off the other one. Editing this is going to be a nightmare. The story kept changing as I went along - it being a NaNo novel the idea was to write without looking back - and now it's a mess. My one Super Secret Society morphed into two and the motivation of a couple of characters kept changing. *sigh*

So on the agenda for this week is getting some reading in and finishing up Guardian.

Sounds simple enough, eh? But you never know what else the week will throw at me. :-D

Mar 4, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week Three

It was pointed out to me last week that I was mistaken. I thought you were supposed to wreck the pages in order, but apparently the order doesn't matter. This makes it a little more fun 'cause now I get to pick and choose. ;-)

So . . . last week I mentioned that I tried the page where you're supposed to stand on the page, or wipe your feet on it or jump up and down on it, and it didn't really work out well for me. So this week I had the bright idea of painting the sole of my shoe first. It left a great print, but what wasn't so great was getting the paint off my shoe afterwards. Oops!

The next page I tried was kind of fun. There were a half dozen large dots scattered over two pages and the instructions were for me to close my eyes and connect them from memory. I didn't do too badly either. Well, all except for that last one. LOL

Another fun page to do was to create a nonstop line over two pages. If you squint you can see the places where I had to stop and sharpen my pencil.

And finally, I came to a page where I was instructed to doodle all over it. I think I'm going to have to pick up a set of coloured pens for pages like this because the pencil crayon doesn't show up very well.

Join me here next week as I continue to wreck my journal!

Mar 2, 2015

Metaphysics Monday

metaphysics ~ study of principles of nature and thought

Got snow? We sure do. Here's the view from my dining room of our deck:

And we're supposed to get another snow dump tomorrow. But I'm not too worried because they're predicting it ahead of time, and it seems when they do that we don't get nearly the snow they say we are. Like, yesterday we were supposed to get a couple of inches and we barely got enough to have to brush off the car.

Of course the snow could be worse, I could live in New Brunswick where my sister is. She and her hubby went on a three week cruise down south and came home to eight feet of snow on their car. Eight feet!

My big concern is what happens to all that snow come spring? Normally it snows and then gets a little milder and the snow compacts or goes away completely and then we get more snow and repeat the process. This year the snow's not going away between blizzards. It's just stacking up.

A friend brought up a scary thought about it the other day - what happens if the weather suddenly gets mild and then we get several days of rain? I can't even begin to imagine the flooding that would result.

So last week was kind of a bust as far as getting things done went. A friend kidnapped me and took me to a nearby city for lunch on Tuesday, and by Tuesday evening I was sick as a dog. Was it something I ate? An IBS attack? The flu bug that's going around? Who knows. All I know is it took me until Friday before I was feeling okay again.

But good news! I found the cord for my camera that allows me to download pictures to my lap top. So here's one of the pictures I wanted to share a couple of weeks ago:

Doesn't it look yummy? It's minestrone soup with barley instead of pasta and kale instead of spinach. Incredibly healthy, yet tasty too. Pair it up with some garlic bread and you've got yourself a meal:

Speaking of soup . . . yesterday I started a huge pot of turkey soup. I had two turkey carcasses, one of which was from the turkey we had at the family Christmas dinner and it was huge. I probably could have used it by itself, but I already had the other (much smaller one) ready to go. So I boiled the bones for a few hours, and then, because my soup pot is so big, I strained the broth through a colander into my roasting pan. However, the soup pot fits into my fridge easier, so then I poured it from the roasting pan back into the pot, scalding my left hand in the process.

Somehow a fitting end to a long week. Let's hope I have better luck with my week this week. :-D