Tag Archives: other hobbies

Glad That’s Over!

Today was my last day of the school nursing assignment that’s been stressing me out to near anxiety-attack levels and I am so glad to be done with it. What started out as a cold snowy grey morning turned into a bright sunny afternoon; it feels like the world is celebrating with me.

I’ve pretty much taken the last week off from doing much with any sort of writing or editing but I’m hoping to get back to one or both this weekend. (Come to think of it, I haven’t done much of anything at all this past week. Except cough. I’ve done a lot of that.)

Anyhow, one of the things I need to do this weekend is work on an entry for the QSF (Queer Sci Fi) flash fiction contest. I have a couple ideas kicking around in my head and I’m pretty sure I’ve decided which one I’m going with, but the problem is the 300 word limit. (And names. I need character names.)

It’s also going to be a little warmer this weekend than it has the last couple days so there may be some yard work in my future, clearing away some winter debris and getting ready for spring. (I have crocuses starting to bloom, so spring is on the way. Plus I saw a flock of seagulls on the Allegheny River this past week, and a couple early robins in yards in Pittsburgh.) The back yard is still a slippery mucky mess, though, so I’m trying to figure out how to put cleats on my Crocs.

I did get some crocheting done the last day or two. I gave up on the waffle stitch scarf; I had two different charts for it and neither one looked like a waffle when I did it, so I’ve switched to a V-stitch infinity scarf. It’s working up pretty quickly so I might get it done this weekend. (And it’s easy enough that I can take it on the bus with me during the week so maybe by the end of this month or next I can get caught up on my goal of one scarf a week. Then I can get to work on my goal of one prayer shawl a month.)

(How can I be so far behind when it’s only March? Procrastination.)

I have a long “To Do” list for tonight, so I’d better get To Doing.

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Night Shift

In a moment of insanity I agreed to work a night shift tonight, and, as usual, as the time to work it draws nearer I am regretting my decision. (Although I do have to admit that it was kind of worth it just to hear the confusion in the voice of the person from my agency who called to ask if I’d pick it up as the client had requested me. It was quite obvious that she had expected me to say no and she was kind of fumbling for a response when I said yes.)

Anyhow, it’s an easy assignment; most of my work is done by midnight at the latest and then there’s basically nothing to do (except check on the residents a time or two) until 6:00 in the morning.

Which begs the question: what should I take along with me tonight to work on to stay awake?

I can’t take counted cross stitch because the lighting in the nurse’s office sucks. (I’ve tried before; it just doesn’t work.)

I could maybe take yarn and a crochet hook and make a scarf, especially since I’m behind on that goal.

I should take something to edit but I don’t feel like lugging my laptop along and working on Onyx Sun and I don’t think I have any current print outs of The Academy of the Accord to swear, cry, and pull my hair out over.

Maybe I could take a note book and work on the outline of Song and Shadow? That won’t take all night, though. At least, not in a solid stream of working on it. (I tend to do outlines in fits and starts: write some stuff up, let it sit for a while, ask/answer some more questions about the story, add to the outline, repeat… And it’s even worse for this book because it’s started, and I know pretty much how it ends, but it’s getting from one point to the other that is giving me problems.)

Part of me wants to take my portable DVD player and the complete series of Fraggle Rock DVDs that I got for my birthday and have a Fraggle Rock night.

But on the other hand, I should do something productive…

*sigh*

In brighter(ish) news, I’m still chugging through fixing the spacing in that Academy of the Accord book, paragraph by paragraph. And I have another book ready to print for editing. (And might get another one ready before I go to work tonight. The Word doc is open and ready to work on at any rate.)

But I really just want to go to bed.

 

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Happy New Year!

Time to dust off the blog and get back to regular postings other than Wednesday Words. I have no idea how I got out of doing them, but it happened, and now I’m going to make it unhappen.

Hopefully.

I’m making it one of my goals for this year, so we shall see.

Ah, yes. New year. Time for the annual new goals list.

I have some (don’t I always?) but they aren’t really solidified yet with steps needed, etc, but I thought I’d list them anyhow.

 

Non-writing goals:

Improved health.
Which means losing weight and building strength and stamina.

Cleaning up this disaster area of a house.
I’d like it to be “company ready” at all times, but I’m a packrat and so is my roommate, so you can take a guess at what the house looks like. Add to that that I’m an expert avoider of housework (so is she, but at least I own up to it) and it can be a little overwhelming even deciding where to start. I can’t do it all on my own because at least half of the mess is hers so I have no control over it, but I can work on what I can control.

New Job?
I’m starting to get frustrated with working agency (I’m a nurse, for those new to the blog) so I’m starting to look for something permanent. I don’t want to go back to long term care so I’m watching for other options that look interesting.

Creative Pursuits
Other than writing, that is. I want to do more with crochet and counted cross stitch and paper crafts (Junk Journals). I’m just not sure how to fit those things into my schedule yet. I do know that I want to make a shawl a month for Mantle of Apollon, a Pagan Prayer Shawl Ministry. And a scarf a week to donate to a drop in shelter for LGBTQIA+ youth who have been turned out by their parents. Fortunately, most of my current assignments give me lots of free time during my work day and scarves are easily transportable and fairly fast to make.

Writing Goals:

Publish Something!
I mean, seriously! It’s been years since I released Sanguine. It’s more than time to get something else out there.
Onyx Sun is almost ready to go to beta readers again, so one goal is to release it this year.

Organizing
Then there’s the somewhat overwhelming task of organizing my WsIP (Works In Progress) and Plot Bunnies. I have that project started somewhere. Actually, I have that project started in a couple different somewheres, one online and one in a three ring binder. I just can’t seem to come up with the “perfect” method, but “perfect is the enemy of done” so I need to just dive in and do it. The other part of the problem is remembering to add to the lists when a new one pops its head up.

Write!
I also want to write at least 100 words (of a novel) every day. I’ll probably write more than that but 100 words is a manageable no-excuses number, even with my somewhat erratic work schedule.

The number of projects waiting in the wings is part of the problem with writing 100 words a day. What do I pick to focus on? The Academy of the Accord series, which is near and dear to my heart? The other books in the Elven Bard series, which a friend is trying so hard to be patient for? The Other Mages trilogy which grew out of my first ever NaNoWriMo?
Sometimes I think it would be easier to just put every project on little slips of paper and pull one out of a jar every day, except I’m pretty sure that that method would ensure that nothing would ever get finished.

 

So, I think that about sums up most of my goals (and dilemmas). Am I trying to take on too much? Probably, but when don’t I?

 

 

 

 

 

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One Third

We’re one third of the way through NaNoWriMo and I’ve fallen below par. I started the day needing 2539 words to get up to where I need to be, 873 of which were from yesterday. I’m not going to get there today, and will probably end up even further behind because I’m in one of those phases where every word I put down is a struggle.

(Waking up with a migraine this morning didn’t help.)

So, I may be running (and feeling) a bit below par, but I am at least managing to write every day. (Maybe not much today, but still… some words are better than no words.)

In addition to trying to get the words on the screen to match the scenes in my head, I’m also trying to get all of my paper crafting stuff moved out of my room and downstairs to my Work Box. It’s a slow process – I’m taking stuff down each time I leave my room but I’ve dragged so much up here that it’s taking forever. Plus, I’m putting it away when I get it down there which is also taking time. (But on the other hand, I’m making great progress at organizing it as I go.)

And, of course, being November, my rats are sick so they’re getting medicated twice a day. (I don’t know what it is about November and their respiratory systems, but medicating rats pretty much an annual event now.)

And I have other things piling up on me that I need to be doing and I’m feeling guilty about them, so when I’m not writing I’m thinking “I should be writing” but when I am writing I’m thinking “I should be doing this, that, or the other.”

And, of course, now we’re at the weekend with blog hops to do and a rat cage to clean and…

Sometimes there’s just no way to win.

 

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Four More Days

Not counting today (which is almost over) there are only four days left before NaNoWriMo begins.

And my characters still do not have new (easily typed) names.

Well, the warrior might. I’m not really in love with it, though.

And the wizard’s wife has a name, but she’s a minor character. Figures, doesn’t it?)

So, yeah. Four days left and I have no names.

My outline is shaping up nicely, though. I have solved a bit of a logic problem (one that has plagued me for the entire series, actually) and I think I have enough plot points to get me through November. I am still working on it, however, and will be refining and revising right up until midnight Tuesday night.

And in between now and then I have to do a lot of running on Saturday, and then work on Monday. (I took off Tuesday – and Wednesday, of course.) And somewhere in there I have to get groceries.

And in my free time I need to finish assembling the Work Box 3.0 that I finally took the plunge and bought. It’s not all that hard to assemble, actually, but the pieces are heavy so I can only do a little bit at a time and then have to stop and rest my back.

And I need more floor space because the whole thing is assembled on the floor and when it’s all put together you stand it up.  (Me and what army? The individual pieces are heavy. The shipping weight was a little under 700 pounds.  This is going to be… interesting.)

So, I have the weekend and Monday evening and Tuesday to finish putting the Work Box together and get it upright. (And put the front room back together too because Jazzy would really love to have access to her couch.)

If I can just clear enough space to work, assembly is doable.

Naming characters, however…

 

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Downs and Ups

It’s been an interesting couple of days.

Due to some confusion at the garage I got my new muffler Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday morning, which freed up all of Thursday for a trip to a town (DuBois) about an hour and a half away to go to a craft store (Pat Catan’s) that I’d heard great things about but had never been to.

And a trip to DuBois isn’t worthwhile without a trip to Dutch Pantry for lunch – and an Apple Fritter Sundae for dessert.

Only it wasn’t.  Horrible service there this time. Definitely not the norm but definitely beyond bad.  Sort of ruined the day.

Which means that I wasn’t in the mood to explore the craft store.  Which means that I’ll have to go back to the craft store another time. (Such a sacrifice!)

My Work Box 3.0 was, according to tracking, scheduled for delivery today but apparently that only means to the freight carrier’s hub, so I’m not getting it until Wednesday, which means I have to take another (unpaid) day off work. I’m not a happy camper because I was looking forward to getting it today (since I was already off) and having all weekend to get it assembled.

So I emailed work to request the day off (because by that time talking to people was probably really not a good idea). I got a reply (that gmail, for some unknown reason, decided to hide in my spam folder so I didn’t find it until the office was closed for the weekend) stating that I can’t call off via email.

Um… Okay, but I’m not calling off.  I’m requesting a day off, in writing, just like I did for the 31st and first.

So I called and got the on-call supervisor who was as confused as I was and agreed that wasn’t calling off.  I’ll reply to the email (when I get my snarkiness under control) and will also call on Monday when the regular people are in the office.

So, anyhow, I’ve kind of not been in the mood for much of anything creative lately and I swear the universe is conspiring to piss me off. (And succeeding quite well.) It’s enough to make me want to log into Materia Magica and kill things.

But on a brighter note, I have tentative names for the two main characters (and one secondary character) for my NaNoWriMo novel.

And on an even brighter note, I have figured out how to use Asana to manage trilogies and beyond.  Name the project for the trilogy (or series) – The Other Mages, for instance. Then, instead of adding a task, add a section (it’s kind of hidden next to the “add task” button), and then add tasks below that.

This means I have no excuse not to enter the Academy of the Accord series into it now. (That’s going to be a task and a half!)

 

 

 

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Interruptions, Distractions, and Annoyances

Predictably, no writing over the weekend.

I seem to have done an awful lot of running around on Saturday so pretty much nothing at all got done.

Most of yesterday was spent doing paper crafts. I have one more artist trading card to do to finish this swap and it’s almost done but it still needs… something. I just don’t know what that something is.

I had to cancel my car inspection for Saturday – it’s been rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

So today I have to:

  • do the Rainbow Snippet blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • do the Snippet Sunday blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • write the thrice cursed space battle!

And deal with the day job that is being super annoying as I’m trying to write this.

(I got a text that they didn’t get my time card so I scanned it and emailed it, and in the process of doing that I got a phone call that they didn’t get my time card. So I sent it and got an email that they got the emailed timecard but could I scan and email my log as well. Seriously? You couldn’t have asked me that when I was talking to you? I just got my scanner and program shut down. They’re gonna have to wait because now I’m more thoroughly annoyed than I was before.)

(On the plus side, I’m gaining a lot of villains for future stories!)

Off to find my logs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Freeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

It was a crazy busy weekend but I got my swaps finished and in the mail –  including two that don’t have to go out until later this week. My next ones aren’t due until September 11th or thereabouts so I’m free to work on writing related projects now.

Sunday, when I had to push to finish stuff, I found myself really wanting to just read stuff I’ve written so I could get back to work on them. I was hoping to do that today but still had a couple things to finish up before the post office closed, then my dog had a chiropractor appointment, then a trip to Tractor Supply where the checkout lady fed him treats. We dropped him off at home then went for supper and for my roommate to do a mystery shop at a frozen yogurt place. I’m stuffed and too tired to do anything else tonight.

So tomorrow I’m going to clean up the disaster area that is my bedroom and try to organize craft supplies.  And I’m going to do writing related stuff.  I’m thinking of maybe setting up some sort of rotation, maybe 15 minutes of craft clean up and then write a set amount of words (unless I really get on a roll with one or the other).

Tomorrow and Wednesday are my last “free” days as I start my new job on Thursday, and I have the feeling that Wednesday is going to have a bunch of errands attached.

Still, the future is looking pretty promising at the moment as far as getting some writing and such done.

And I’m going to be careful not to take on so much stuff that’s all due at the same time.

(Yeah, yeah, I know. We’ve all heard that before.)

But The Academy of the Accord is calling (but I should work on Onyx Sun first) and I want to get back to work on the sequel to Song and Sword (which is now tentatively titled Song and Sight).

What was I saying about not taking on so much?

 

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The Best Laid Schemes…

(of crafters and writers)

… gang aft agley.

Remember on Friday when I said that my plans for my weekend home alone involved rearranging some stuff in my craft room? (I believe the phrase I used was “editing my living space.”)

Uh-huh.

A plot was outlined. The characters (myself, the dogs, and an absent roommate) were developed. The scene (a craft room that looked like an episode of Hoarders) was set.

In short, plans were made.

The gods laughed so hard they had hiccups.

Cue inciting incident on Saturday morning in the form of the panicked voice of my not-done-packing-yet roommate yelling, “Paula! The washer’s overflowing!”

Sure enough. Apparently the washer had decided that “full” wasn’t “full enough” and kept on filling… and filling… and filling…

There was about half an inch of water covering roughly half the (carpeted) floor in my craft room.

So, instead of just moving the buffet table and the bins of yarn, I spent the weekend running the shop vac and moving over half the contents of my craft room into the back half of the basement and then back to where they belong.

I really didn’t lose anything to water damage because most of the stuff on floor level was in plastic tubs. (I learned that lesson a few years ago when the hot water tank declared war on the carpet.)

Epilogue to the weekend:

The carpet is a lot cleaner than it used to be.

The new washer comes on Wednesday.

My craft room is still a disaster but there is more room in it now. Not because there is appreciably less stuff, but because it’s better organized. (I “tightened the writing,” so to speak.)

There is still a lot to do.

The carpet is still slightly damp. (I think water is leeching back up to the surface.)

There is still a lot of unsorted stuff in boxes. But at least the mad rush on it is done, although I do need to still make more room by Wednesday. (Mostly I just need to move some stuff that is rather precariously stacked so it doesn’t get knocked over by the guys bringing the new washer.)

And the sink needs cleaned out – I was emptying the shop vac into it and it’s kind of full of sludge.

Let round two of the edits begin…

 

 

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Free to Write

Well, I did it.  I had two Swap Bot packets that had to go out today and I took them to the post office this morning.  The next ones I’ve signed up for don’t have to be mailed until next Monday, so I have time to clean up my mess from this last batch (one thing about writing, it’s not nearly as messy as other crafts!) and to take my time working on the next ones (an artist trading card and a pair of bookmarks).

And maybe even be able to focus on writing.

Actual writing, as in putting words on paper (or in a Word doc).  My mind is always on writing, and it’s been working overtime these last few days. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been focusing on the story that it needs to focus on. In fact, it’s not even thinking about any of the more pressing writing projects in my life.

Nope.

Instead, it’s been fixated on when a character should first put in an appearance in Sea Witch (working title only), arguing over having her show up first in the hospital or the court room.

Not very productive.

But it’s Monday, and one of the writing groups I’m on Face Book always has a post on Monday to set your goal for the week. So mine is to finish that blasted scene I’m trying to add to Onyx Sun.

Next week it’s going to be a follow up scene to this one – one that will segue into another already written extra scene that I need to work into the story.

So.

Weekly goal.  No word count, just… write the scene. Finish it. Even if it’s just bare bones, finish it. It can be fleshed out later.

Oh, and make an ATC.

 

 

 

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