Feb 27, 2013

Hump Day Hunk

I think this guy needs a little help with his robe . . . what do you think? ;-)

Feb 26, 2013

the Muses - Part VI

In the beginning Melpomene was the Muse of song, along with Erato and Euterpe, but became the Muse of tragedy and all things drama.

Her name was derived from the Greek verb melpĂ´ or melpomai meaning "to celebrate with dance and song." Her chanting charms and inspires her listeners and she is often invoked when a poet wished to create beautiful lyrical phrases.

While strolling along a river one day, she met and fell in love with a river god name Achelous, son of the Titan Tethys. Their offspring were the Sirens, the seductive deities who lived on an island.

Melpomene loves music and is very inquisitive by nature. At times philosophical, she is helpful to those who seek her guidance or counsel. Despite being the muse of tragedy, she is happiest when she is expressing herself creatively, often through her joyous singing. She dislikes conforming to a strict routine.

She is always portrayed with a tragedy mask, often wearing a crown of ivy on her head and cothurnus (boots worn by tragic actors) on her feet.

Feb 25, 2013

Myrmicine Monday

myrmicine ~ of, like or pertaining to ants

Last week was as up and down as . . . the weather. While mostly last week was dull and grey, the temperature ranged from really, really cold to really, really not cold. :-) Now it's settling in to a warm spell again - this week is supposed to be on the plus side of freezing, yet they're also calling for snow later in the week.

Monday I had a really good day, writing wise. I got some editing done and I'm ahead by a couple of chapters in Water - I'm into the part that overlaps with An Elemental Fire and I have to keep checking back to make sure everything lines up right.

Then Tuesday I picked up Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward, and didn't put it down again until I had to make supper. I've had it sitting in my to-be-read pile for ages, but I had a hard time getting into it. Obviously I overcame whatever was holding me back.

Wednesday I honestly expected to get some more editing done, but I read another book instead. Hey, at least I didn't spend the whole day gaming, which is what all too often happens when we have too many gloomy days in a row.

If you saw Friday's post you'll know I mastered the Sashay scarf, and I finished knitting it on the weekend. The instructions said it's supposed to be 62" when it's done, but mine is much longer than that. So I've started another one, this time out of purple, and I'm doing the one that's wider, but shorter. If it turns out the way I think it should, I'll probably re-do the gold coloured one after.

My tiredness on Saturday (resulting in lack of constructiveness) was my own fault entirely. I knew I had to get up extra early in the morning, but I was up late Friday writing a story for the Absolute Write blog chain. If you want to read it, all you have to do is scroll down a bit. :-)

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: Part VI of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 55 of Water - let's see just how badly Ravi can screw up trying to "comfort" Rayne.
Friday: At this point . . . I really have no clue at all. But rest assured, I'll post something.

Weekly Words

I did do some extra writing last week, but most of it was on Water, so I'm not sure if that counts. Technically, I didn't have to write as far ahead as I did, which makes them extra words, but they will be used in serial posts eventually . . .

And, as I've already mentioned, I wrote a story as my link in the AW blog chain. It's kind of creepy, but that's just the kind of mood I was in. It's under 1,000 words, and it was written in kind of a rush so I might add some more to it when I polish it up a bit.

So . . . While I'm pretty sure I made my 3500 word goal for the week, I don't know if it really counts. But hey, it's a step in the right direction, right?

Feb 23, 2013

February Blog Chain

Time once again for the Absolute Write Blog Chain. This month was an interesting challenge. Each link in the chain was given a different prompt, provided by the person who posted before them. My prompt was Visitor.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Visitation Rites

The wind was rattling the shutters of the stone cottage as Celeste awoke and she thought she heard thunder. She was groggy; it took her a few minutes to remember where she was.

She was a story-teller, here in search of a story for the upcoming festival. This year she was determined to beat out Ethan for the Alice Kane Award, she just had to find the right material.

There wasn't one library in the city she hadn't scoured, looking for something fresh, something new, a legend that hadn't been used ad nauseum. Almost ready to give up, she stopped for a cup of tea in dark, cosy tearoom and overheard a couple talking about the creepy stories they remembered hearing from this woman who lived near the family cottage.

Celeste knew this was her big chance. She could feel it in her bones. After she paid for their tea and biscuits, the couple were quite happy to tell Celeste all they knew about the woman and what they could remember of her chilling tales. The old woman insisted her stories were true, certainly they were based on local legends. They were made all the more creepy by the number of people who disappeared in that area.

It was just what she needed, Celeste knew. The thousand dollar prize was as good as hers.

There were no GPS coordinates for the old woman's house, but the woman from the tea room had drawn Celeste a map on a napkin. Highway gave way to county road, county road to gravel road, gravel to dirt, and at last the woman's stone cottage was in front of her. The wind picked up and clouds were just beginning to roll in as she got out of her car.

The old woman seemed happy to see her, she probably didn't get much company. She insisted on making Celeste a cup of rose hip tea - the roses had come from her very own garden. Celeste explained why she was there.

"They're not just some foolish stories," the old woman said firmly. "They're true. Each and every one of them."

"All right," Celeste said, ready to humour her to get what she wanted. "Why don't you let me hear them and I can judge for myself."

"I think I can do better than that, dear. Have another cup of tea."

Celeste sighed, and drank another cup of tea. And that was the last she knew . . . until now. Shaking her head to clear the fuzziness, she tried to rise and realized she was tied to the chair.

"What's going on? Why am I tied up?"

"Thought you could just humour an old woman, did you? I'm going to prove to you my stories are real."

"I haven't even heard any of your stories. Look, let me go and I'll just leave and never bother you again. No harm, no foul." Celeste struggled against her bonds, but she was held fast.

"The world has changed so much . . . no one but me left to see to the unseen, no one but me to remember the old ways."

"What old ways?" Celeste asked, in spite of herself.

The old woman looked at her. "Suck the marrow from the bones, smash them flat with ragged stones."

"What?" Celeste asked, thoroughly confused.

"The fairies used to visit me, you know," the old woman said. She shook her head sadly. "But no one believes in fairies any more and they've been pushed aside by the dark fae. They're so much more demanding."

There was a crack of thunder and lightning flashed.

"They come with the storm, don't you know," the old woman whispered.

"Who does?"

"Why my Visitors, of course."

"Visitors?" Celeste felt hope rise in her. "You're expecting visitors?" Surely the old woman couldn't keep her tied up in front of other people. Human decency would have them demand her release.

"By the dark of the moon, at the end of the day, the Visitors come, to look for their prey." The rhyme was made all the more creepy by the woman's sing song voice.

Celeste saw the knife in the old woman's hand and the blood drained from her face. "Wha-- what are you doing?"

"I have to have something for my Visitors to eat, dear," the old woman said.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Hope you enjoyed my little offering. Be sure and check the rest of the links in the chain - there's some awesome story-tellers out there. ;-)

orion_mk3 ~ Yuppies Who Hate the Family Business
ConnieBDowell ~ Unexpected Library Encounter
bmadsen ~ Cupcake Disaster
MsLaylaCakes ~ Unfortunate Sports
HistorySleuth ~ Less Than Fortunate Foods
writingismypassion ~ Blind Date with a Ventriloquist
katci13 ~ Evil Cupid
KitCat ~ Hunting with Hounds
Angyl78 ~ A Ghost's Bad Day
randi.lee ~ The Wrong Bar
Lady Cat ~ (you are here) - Visitors
pyrosama - http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Ralph Pines - http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
dclary - http://www.hardhobbittobreak.com/ (link to post) Topic
meowzbark - http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post) Topic
SRHowen - http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Amanda R. - http://www.twoamericansinchina.com/ (link to post) Topic
Briony-zisaya - http://fantasywriterwannabe.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
CatherineHall - http://theelephantinthetemple.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic

Feb 22, 2013

Much Ado About Crafts

So . . . I'd been hoping my turn in the AW blog chain would fall on today, seeing how I've run out of organizing type posts, but it's not going to be my turn until tomorrow. *sigh*

As I was sitting here last night, knitting away and trying to come up with something to blog about today it suddenly came to me (somewhere between dropping a single stitch to dropping the whole piece off my needles) that I was knitting. Pretty bright, aren't I? ;-)

The point is, I could blog about my crafting so far this year, which, as you may recall, was one of my goals: Make time for reading and crafts. Reading's easy - a little too easy sometimes. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday this week reading, and precious little else. I haven't updated my Goodreads so far this year . . . but that's fodder for a different post.

We're talking about crafts here.

Although I do a variety of crafts, the two I've been making time for (so far) this year are knitting and crocheting. A little sporadically, mind you, but so far I've knitted two pair of slippers (both of which turned out to be too big for the recipients), started a scarf and crocheted three bookworms.

Okay, so maybe I'm not off to a great start, but it's something. And I'll really get going if I can just decide on what my bigger project is going to be. I'm thinking sweaters for Christmas . . .

I didn't think to take pictures of the slippers, but here's what they look like:

That's not my picture - I found it on Ravelry, but it's the same pattern. You can find it in the Beehive book # 115 (Bazaar Novelties and Gifts) and also in the free Patons Speedy Slippers Leaflet #304 (if you can find one).

I mentioned on Monday that I dipped my toe in the Sashay scarf pool . . . and how annoyed I was when I discovered a knot in the yarn. I ranted about this on Facebook too, and one of my buddies, who's done a bunch of these scarves, told me she finds knots in the yarn all the time and what to do about them. So I gave it another try:

I've got about a foot done so far. It's stupidly easy, but slow going because it's kind of loose on the knitting needles and I live in fear of dropping a stitch, which I've done a couple of times or worse, having the whole thing sliding off the needles, which I've also done twice - the first time I had to start over again, the second time I managed to pick up the stitches again. Notice the nice red cap on the end of the needle for when I have to set it down?

If you click on the picture to make it bigger, you can get a better look at the yarn itself. It's more of a mesh like ribbon than yarn, and you have to kind of stretch it apart and pick up loops on the upper edge to knit with. If you're interested, you can find a pattern - with a video - HERE. I found the video very helpful and it not only proved it's as easy as the instructions make it seem, it had a great tip that isn't in the instructions.

I've been crocheting bookworms for as long as I can remember. I'm kind of disappointed in the way the picture turned out, but I'd already put everything away by the time I thought to check it, so you're stuck with it as it is:

Again, you can click on the picture for a bigger view. These little guys have been around our house, hanging from rear view mirrors in cars, and used as cat toys for years. The hardest part about this trio was their glasses. I've always put eyes on them (unless they're going to be used as cat toys) but this is the first year I've tried glasses. I think it makes them look even cuter.

So there you have it. My crafting for the year thus far.

Feb 19, 2013

the Muses - Part V

Euterpe is the Muse of lyric poetry and music. The name Euterpe comes from the Greek words eu and terpo, which mean "giver of much delight." She is well named, because she brings delight and joy to everyone who hears her sing. Two of her favourite pastimes are singing and playing the flute.

She doesn't limit her blessings to just poetry and music, but includes all forms of expression, believing everyone has their own unique talent in the arts. Always conscious of the feelings of others, she inspires them to unlock their heart's desire through creative expression. Her arms are always open to those who wish to share their thoughts and feelings.

The river god Strymon was her lover, and she bore him a son named Rhesus. According to Homer's Iliad, Rhesus was a hero who led a band of Thracians and was killed by Diomedes at Troy.

True lovers of music turn to Euterpe for inspiration. She is usually shown holding an aulos, which is a type of ancient Greek flute, and she is often surrounded by many other instruments as well.

Feb 18, 2013

Morbidezza Monday

morbidezza ~ an extreme delicacy and softness

Did everyone remember that Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday last week? Does anyone, besides me, even celebrate it any more? I love Pancake Tuesday, and I'm not even Catholic. Not only did we have pancakes for supper, I made them from scratch and used whole wheat flour. They were quite yummy if I do say so myself.

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day. I finally christened my heart-shaped silicone cup cake form and made, you guessed it, heart shaped chocolate cup cakes. Of course the form only had eight spaces in it, so the rest of the batter went into a heart shaped cake pan. I saved the cake for the weekend, filling it with fresh strawberries and icing it with whipped cream. :-)

I confess I did a little more TV watching this week, but my daughter requested a pair of slippers like her father's, so it wasn't time wasted. But as tempted as I was, I did NOT watch the Planet of the Apes marathon on AMC on the weekend. That was just too many hours of Roddy McDowell even for me. :-)

I got some flack last week over my chapter for Water when I still didn't let my characters have sex. Have you guys never heard of sexual tension? LOL It'll happen when it happens and I, like my characters, refuse to be rushed. I can tell you it won't be happening in the next couple of weeks though. I got this week's installment done yesterday and it turned out much longer than I expected, so it'll be continued next week.

Anybody out there know what's up with Blogspot and including images in a blog post? I work from the html editor, and it used to be you just clicked on the image for uploading an image and a little window would pop up letting you choose the size and position before you upload. Now pretty much the only thing it'll let you do is browse for your image. If you want to alter the size and position you have to do it manually. Very annoying!

Last week was kind of up and down for me. Lost quite a bit of time to a couple of major headaches. My big accomplishment for the week was getting my closet (and dresser) cleaned out. I was pretty impressed with the size of the pile of clothes for donating. But don't worry, despite the pile to get rid of, I still have plenty of clothes in my closet. And one of the treasures I found was a pair of dark green jeans that I didn't know I had and look like they've never been worn.

You know those curly scarves everyone seems to be wearing - more for decoration than warmth? The yarn is called Sashay and I picked up a couple of balls to try my hand at making them. Sunday night - a big TV watching night in our house - seemed the perfect time. If you're interested in such things, you can go HERE for the pattern and a video. Anyway, I only got a couple of inches done when I came to a knot in the skein of wool. And by knot I mean the wool was cut and then tied together. There is no working around something like that. So I guess I'm destined to not have another of these scarves (my sister gave me one for Christmas). *sigh*

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: Part V of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 54 of Water - Ravi meets up with one of the outsiders that were brought to the compound.
Friday: If luck is at all favouring me, then my turn for the AW blog chain will fall on this day. If not, then I have no idea what I'll be posting here.

Weekly Words

Yes, well . . . There's a very good reason why I didn't get a lot of extra words in last week, and I'll let you in on it as soon as I figure it out. :-)

I started writing down notes for the third Jessica story, tentatively titled Wandering Wizards. There's only a few hundred words there so far, but there's a couple of scenes I really want to get down before they're lost, so I'll keep track this week. :-)

Because the only post I didn't get done ahead of time is Friday's (getting posts done ahead of time almost never happens to me), I have a lot of time this week to get writing/editing done. I just hope my numbers for the week reflect that.

Feb 15, 2013

Another Closet Bites the Dust

I like clothes. I always have. One of my most vivid memories of my child hood is visiting my Aunt up north in the late summer and she would buy me a complete back to school outfit - skirt, top, tights, shoes, and upon occasion a hat.

By the time I was a teenager, I had learned to sew and could make my own clothes. I didn't really enjoy sewing, mind you, I just liked the variety of clothing sewing them myself afforded me. It's no wonder that my first job was the sewing section of a department store.

However, like I said, I really didn't enjoy sewing, especially after I tried to make a living at it at one time. Then I discovered discount stores and second hand clothing stores, and I was able to feed my love of clothing without having to work so hard at it.

I have trouble resisting a bargain when it comes to clothes. Giant Tiger had light, summer t-shirts on sale and I bought one in every colour. Value Village is a mecca of gently used clothing. And then my sister started to volunteer at a second hand clothing outlet and she'd send me clothes she thought I might like - they were free, so if I didn't like them I could just pass them on without feeling guilty.

Which is how I ended up with this as my closet:

The white bathrobe is hanging on the door because there's no room for it in the closet. I have no idea why the black blouse is hanging on the other side, but the skirt is there to remind me that it needs mending, and the purple dress is the one I wore at my daughter's wedding - it's only been hanging there for a couple of years. The pile on the shelf is made up of work out clothes, t-shirts I thought I could use for working out in, and sweaters I didn't have room for in my dresser.

Many of the articles of clothing in the closet are old favourites, some of them are left over from my days working in an office, a few are no longer my size, and some I've never worn. When I'm shopping in the second-hand stores I tend to gravitate towards clothes that look interesting and are in my size. This does not always mean they look good on me. But I'll hang them in my closet in hopes that maybe some day they will look good on me. :-)

Thus began the long, heart-breaking process of going through the closet and weeding out the clothes that I haven't been wearing and will probably never wear.

Here's what my closet looks like now:

The basket on the left side of the shelf holds my sweaters, the one on the right my work out clothes and my Disney t-shirts - I really have to stop buying them - and that small pile between the baskets is mending to be done. I have no idea what's in the box on the far right - I never thought to look. On the floor of the closet is a laundry hamper I never use, and you can just see the corner of the blue bin I keep my shoes in with it's cat hair covered denim cover that Taz likes to sleep on.

While I was at it, I cleaned out my dresser too, and was a little appalled at just how many t-shirts I have. I have a veritable rainbow of colours - long sleeved, short sleeved, three quarter length sleeves, and let's not forget the ten or twelve Disney t-shirts now in the basket in my closet.

And proof of all my work . . . here's a picture of the pile of clothing I have to donate:

The stack actually looks more impressive in person. :-)

Feb 13, 2013

Hump Day Hunk

Here's a little something to warm you up on a cold winter's day. ;-)

Feb 12, 2013

The Muses - Part IV

Erato is the Muse of lyric poetry, in particular love poems. The name Erato is derived from the Greek word eratos, which means the lovely or passionate. She is said to turn those men who follow her into men who are desirable and worthy to be loved; she favours those who write love poems.

She is something of a romantic, and enjoys people a great deal, particularly their humour, charity and warmth. She provides both inspiration and guidance to those who wish to explore various aspects of the arts, hoping to help them recognize their potential as story tellers, poets and historians.

Often being found writing romantic stories or poems, Erato is a bit of an idealist, always looking for the bright side to any situation. She married King Malos of Malea, and had one daughter, named Kleophema.

Erato is the Muse to call upon if you wish to write poetry or lyrics.

She is most often portrayed holding a lyre in her hands, usually with a wreath in her hair. Sometimes she's shown holding a golden arrow instead, a reminder of the days she spent with Eros, entertaining themselves by shooting arrows at random people to make them fall in love on a whim.

Feb 11, 2013

Melologue Monday

melologue ~ recitation with musical accompaniment

Wow, where did last week go? It went by so quickly and I have so little to show for it . . .

I was still deep in my funk last week - extremely tired and lethargic. Monday and Tuesday I did more reading than anything else, but the rest of the week I'm ashamed to admit that I slipped back into my old gaming habits, namely the Shockwave games.

The good news is, I was whining writing about this to a friend on the weekend and it seems to have snapped me out of it. I was actually quite productive on Sunday, and although very little of what I accomplished was writing, it was still better than gaming.

Yesterday was the Chinese New Year, so I decided to celebrate by making Chinese food for supper. While I like to eat Chinese food, it's a pain to make - all that chopping and slicing and shredding . . . I made the chicken fried rice ahead of time because I only have one super sized stir fry pan and I needed it for the chop suey as well. I don't mind fried rice re-heated, but I like my chop suey fresh.

In light of my fledgling healthier eating habits, I used brown rice in the fried rice and I have come to the conclusion that I don't much care for brown rice. There's just something about the texture . . . I'm not a big rice fan (except for rice pudding) in the first place so for the small amount I eat I think I'll stick to the white.

With Valentine's Day coming up this week I did something yesterday that's even worse than making Chinese food from scratch - the annual Valentine's Day cookies. *sigh*

The first Valentine's Day that my daughter was in kindergarten, I didn't know the name of her classmates to write on Valentines for them, so I made heart shaped, raspberry filled, oatmeal cookies on a stick, which she gave to each child in her class. They were such a hit that I did them the next year, and the next year, and pretty much every year since.

My daughter is all grown up now. She has a Masters degree. She's married. And I'm still making those damned cookies, although they're no longer on a stick. And she still gets people she went to school with asking about them!

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: Part IV of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 53 of Water - poor Ravi. He was so upset that Taja never got around to making her request. Maybe this week. ;-)
Friday: I've pretty much run out of office stories, so I'll have to come up with something else. Ideally I'd like to get my clothes closet re-organized, but will I get it done in time to post about it this week? We shall see.

Weekly Words

There are seven days in the week and I pledged to write 500 extra words per day, so that would make 3500 words in a week (look! She can do math! LOL). Let's see how I did:

New story idea: 731
Short story: 490
Nereida's journal (to be added in to Water during edits): 587
Total: 1808

Hmm. Only about half of what I should have done. Looks like I'll have to work harder this week.

I also edited about 20 pages of my latest book (which doesn't seem like a whole lot when you consider how big this book is), but I'm not sure how that figures in the word count.

And, just so you know . . . I said I wasn't going to count email words, but out of curiosity I kept track anyway and I wrote 5157 words in emails last week. Looks like I was in a chatty mood. :-)

Feb 8, 2013

Addicted to Office Supplies

I have a sickness. It's called: can't-resist-office-supplies-itis. I am a border-line hoarder of office supplies - paper, pens, notebooks, binders . . . One time I went to an office supply store for a pen, and came home with a colour laser printer. I'm no longer allowed to go to Staples without an escort, nor am I allowed in the school supply aisle of the dollar store.

Think I'm exaggerating? Here's a picture of the supply cabinet in my office:

Inside this cabinet is the following:
8 coil bound 6 x 9 inch 200 page notebooks
4 extra thick (280 pages) green steno pads
3 hard bound notebooks, 6 x 9 inches
3 composition books 200 pages, 9 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches
6 spiral top bound office pads, 8 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches
12 report covers ( 4 card stock, 8 plastic)
15 binders, 1 inch wide
5 single subject note books, 8 x 10 1/2 inch, coil bound
8 1/2 x 11 inch lined pads of paper:
- 13 white
- 4 yellow
- 4 pink
- 1 beige
- 1 grey
1 large stack of boxes and packages of coloured printer paper.

This list does not include any of the notebooks or pads from this stash that are being used or are lying around the house or are stuck in file folders. But wait! My stash doesn't stop there! This next picture shows more of my madness:

The top drawer is full of notebooks of various smaller sizes. You know the kind that are easy to carry around with you in case an idea strikes. It's hard to see properly, but the drawer below it is filled with packages of decorative printer paper for letters or printing poems for my poetry group.

In the upper right of this picture is a desk drawer full of coloured paper for the printer. The drawer above it holds plain white printer paper. The drawer below it is full of paper from a temp job I had in the mail room of a large corporation one Christmas.

When I wasn't fixing photocopiers or making sure people didn't stick their hands in the giant laminator, I was pretty bored. So I used the heavy duty copier to make note paper in different sizes and different colours. And we're talking A LOT of note paper. I even made sets for each of my sisters and one for an Aunt too.

Anyway, have still have most of this paper 'cause really, what am I going to use it for? Mine is mostly full sized with either a fairy, a dragon, or a spider queen sitting on a throne of bones on it. Yes, I used to draw at one time. :-)

This last picture is a stash that I gathered together for the purposes of the picture.

On the left are note pads that I keep on my desk or near the phone for quick notes. Not shown is the eight or ten steno pads, which have varying numbers of pages left in them, in a ceramic planter. These are left overs from the days when I'd jot down notes in the nearest steno pad and then rip the pages out. I'm keeping them in the planter in hopes they'll get used up.

To the right are my stick notes. Many, many stick notes of various sizes, shapes and colours. The collection looks more impressive in person. Ask my husband - the man who brought home a package of the long, thin stick notes in different colours in a nice case and then wouldn't let me have them. He seems to think I have enough stick notes. Go figure.

You can't really see my pen collection, it's in a gargoyle coffee mug behind the alien. :-) My husband owns his own business (with his brother) and feeds my pen fetish with the free samples they keep getting. And when the free samples dry up I just steal the ones with their business logo. Some of these pens make their way to the gargoyle mug, some my desk drawers, some my purse. The rest are scattered throughout the house. We won't mention the box of 14 black pens I picked up from the Staples clearance bin this week. ;-)

I also have an unnatural number of file folders (both coloured and plain), envelopes (regular, manila, and padded - in different sizes), and index cards (both coloured and plain). I don't just have thumbtacks for my cork board, I have bumble bee tacks, ladybug tacks, and happy face tacks. I have plain paper clips and coloured paper clips as well as more the heavy duty paper clamps (in both basic black and pastel colours).

My name is Carol, and I'm addicted to office supplies.

Feb 6, 2013

Feb 5, 2013

the Muses - Part II

The name Clio (also spelled Kleio) is derived from kleos, the Greek term for heroic acts, which in turn comes from the Greek verb kleo which means to make famous or celebrate. She is the Muse of history and writing.

Clio is both a scholar and a researcher and is often called the Proclaimer. She is credited with introducing the Phoenician alphabet to the Greeks. Clio ignites the desire to investigate and record, to give an account of events that have happened or as they are happening. When we record our past, we learn from both our victories and our failures, thus learning from our mistakes and being better equipped to plan for the future.

She teased the goddess Aphrodite for loving Adonis and Aphrodite in turn caused Clio to fall in love with Pierius, the king of Macedonia. They had one child, a son named Hyacinth whose beauty attracted the attention of both Apollo and the West Wind, Zephyrus. He became Apollo's lover and when he was accidentally killed, Apollo had him turned into a flower, the hyacinth, rather than allow Hades to claim him.

Clio is usually shown wearing purple, with laurels in her hair. In her hand she holds an open scroll or book, and often with a clarion (a medieval brass instrument similar to a trumpet) as well

Feb 4, 2013

Moorlog Monday

moorlog ~ deposit of decayed woody material under a marsh

Last week I mentioned that I was going to do knitting or crocheting or some other craft that would keep my hands busy at night so I couldn't snack. I confess I spent a lot of time looking at patterns and wool and more or less procrastinating until the weekend when I remembered I'd promised my husband a pair of slippers. So Saturday I pulled out my only pair of size 4.5 mm needles (4 mm needles, only the other hand I have five pairs of - probably because I did a lot of knitting projects that called for that size and it was easier to buy a new pair rather than locate them in my craft closet) and some nice, medium weight wool, and got to work.

Can we say OUCH! I know it's been a while since I've picked up a pair of knitting needles, but when did knitting start hurting my hands? Not Saturday, while I was knitting, but yesterday. My hands ached so much it even hurt to type. Hopefully it's just a matter of getting used to it again, I'd hate to think I'd have to try and convert all those Dr. Who patterns I downloaded over the weekend from knitting to crocheting. :-)

The week was a bust as far as getting anything other than my blog posts done. *sigh* But the good news (for me at least) is that I wasn't alone in my deep funk. Everyone I talked to had the same symptoms - extremely tired and lethargic. We couldn't decide if it was some kind of strange flu bug going around or the weather, which had gone from unseasonably warm back to cold again. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what this week brings.

The My Fitness Pal site continues to surprise me with the calorie counts and fat contents of some of the food I enter into it. The fact that according to my bathroom scales I haven't lost any weight has not discouraged me in the least. I've only been working on this for a short time and it just means I have to work harder. ;-)

In light of my lack of . . . well, anything constructive last week, I'd like to talk a bit about a new feature I'm going to add to my Monday posts. If you're a regular reader of my blog(s) you'll know that at the beginning of the year I posted a list of goals. If you're not a regular reader you'll just have to take my word for it. ;-)

In any case, one of those goals was to write at least 500 words every day on something other than blog posts and emails. Starting this week I'm going to keep track of the number of words I write and what I'm writing them on. Then I'm going to start reporting on these words in my Monday posts.

There are two reasons for this. One, I'm curious to see how much actual writing I get done in a week. Is it more than I think? Less? And just what kinds of things am I writing? The other reason is to help motivate me. Hopefully this will be my incentive to stop procrastinating and get writing. If I don't want to get outed for the lazy slacker I really am, I'll have to put my money where my mouth is. Or maybe that should be my writing where my mouth is. :-)

Blog Stuff For the Week:

Tuesday: Part III of my series about the Muses.
A new Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday: Chapter 52 of Water - strange goings on in the compound, and Taja has an unusual request for Ravi.
Friday: This will be another post that's a by-product of my office re-organization. It will be in regards to my semi hoarding nature when it comes to office supplies. It will also explain why I'm not allowed to go into business supply stores - not even the dollar store - by myself. :-)

Feb 1, 2013

Notes and Note Taking

What do you do when inspiration strikes at an inconvenient time? And by inconvenient I mean just as you're about to drop off to sleep, or about to step into the shower, or you're driving down the highway during a snow storm?

I hear a voice in my head that sounds suspiciously like Dolly Garland of Kaizen Journaling (not that I've ever heard her voice, but it's what I imagine her voice to sound like) telling me "that's what your journal is for," (I also imagine her tacking "fool" onto the end of that sentence, but that's probably just me). But writing down an idea in your journal only works if you happen to have your journal right there when inspiration strikes. And sad to say, not everyone keeps a journal for that purpose.

My memory isn't my best feature and I know that if I don't write an idea down when it comes to me it vanishes back into the aether from whence it came. So whenever possible I write it down. And I will write it down on whatever comes to hand - the back of an envelope, a napkin, a scrap of paper . . . although I usually try to use a notebook because notebooks are harder to lose than scraps of paper.

I keep notebooks and pens all over the house. There's one on my beside table and if inspiration strikes before I fall asleep I'll turn the light back on and write it down. One night the perfect solution to a problem I was having with a story came to me after my husband dropped off to sleep, and I wrote in the dark. And yes, my writing was legible enough that I could read it in the morning. I have several pens and notepads in my purse and I have been known to write while driving, but only if the idea is really good because my handwriting in this case is less than stellar.

However, even with all these notebooks I still find myself jotting down sudden bursts of brilliance on whatever's available. In the beginning, a long, long, time ago, I would copy these notes into various notebooks. Attempts at organizing these notebooks invariably failed. There was no way to group notes together by topic because the ideas didn't come to me in a logical manner, they came to me randomly.

So then I'd rip the pages out of the notebooks to add to the scraps of paper and I'd end up with a pile of easy-to-lose pearls of wisdom that got stuck in folders marked "Miscellaneous." The problem was, these file folders also contained cards, photographs, articles, old report cards - you name it. The folders got stuck in different file drawers and I promptly forgot what was in there.

While going through the agony of reorganizing my office, I stumbled across almost a dozen of these miscellaneous folders and I went through each one, pulling out anything to do with my writing. But I was back to the same problem, what do I do with all these notes so I don't lose them? To be perfectly honest, transferring them to my journal or a notebook wasn't all that appealing, not only because it seemed like a waste of time, but I was also afraid they'd get lost in the shuffle, just like when they were in the miscellaneous files. Who wants to flip through pages and pages of notes looking for something that may, or may not, be there?

Then it occurred to me. Envelopes. I have a 6 x 9 inch envelope in a holder on my desk that's marked "Receipts" and its purpose is to keep all my receipts for the year together so I don't lose any of them. It works great. Why not do the same with my notes? I can label the envelopes according to their contents - one each for story ideas according to genre, one each for the notes for novels I'm working on, one for lines of poetry - it's perfect. I know at a glance what's in each one, and I don't have to worry about anything getting lost. I love being organized! :-)

How do you handle your notes?