Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's the 31st of January - Fuck!!

Janowrimo - has been a trip! I've learned a few things about myself. One, I can spontaneously organize a desk space and carve out a writing nest in 15 minutes. Two, I write better with the monster sized headphones on. Three, The kids see the monster sized headphones (MSH) as an invitation to ask me stuff of a lame nature, like "Mom, my leg hurt when I sat on it funny." Then don't sit on it funny! "Mom can I have the ...." Yes, whatever, just GO AWAY. Where the MSH were supposed to be a visual sign to leave me alone! Failed. Failed MSH. Three, I kept getting stuck and bored with my characters. They weren't exciting enough. Then I re-read what I'd put down and noticed; I write in all dialog. There was so little narrative it's no wonder they were boring. They had nothing to react with except each other. It's interesting that in a free flow exercise, I think in speech. Perhaps I should write stage plays instead?

Will I make the 50K target by tomorrow? Sadly no. Not too far off but I can't see me getting there. I lost a few days going on a spontaneous vacation (I wasn't passing up a free beach holiday) and then the few hot days we've had I can't use the computer as it overheats. I try and get all my "hot" chores (ironing, baking, tumble dryer) done early so I don't have to do them when the house is in the 90's. I have a lot written in my notebook that I've not transcribed and to be honest - I don't know the final word count. I may have made target after all! However, I'm erring on the side of no. Especially since, it's still not finished. Haven't got my conclusion.

I started reading On Writing and No Plot No Problem and both advised just writing, and that the characters should carry the story along without so much reliance on plot. I'm giving the characters free reign but they don't seem to be all that adventurous. I'm beginning to lose my patience. Where is this magic moment of plot bomb Eureka!? It's not happening yet.

I will keep going. I keep getting is flashes of ideas for other projects. I have to turn my notebook over and write those ideas upside down at the back to keep them separated from the main working one. You know, like the extra long advert sections at the end of some magazines.

When the writing part of the day is done, and I've done my chores, fobbed off vacuuming again until tomorrow (I really should get that done...but not now) I am cro-knitting. I found an easy knitting project pattern for a cardigan and am following the knit directions but using Tunisian crochet. So far so good. I still get a ribbed edging, a stockinette stitch and it's much easier. Annoying thing is it curls but that's the nature of TC. Once all the pieces are stitched up and it's blocked it'll be fine. It's given my hands a needed break, too. I was getting sore thumb and index joints but that's improved since I moved onto this. It's very hand friendly. Again, I'm following YouTube tutorials and it's all been good. I'll show you what I've got when it gets bigger. I may fuck it all up once I move onto other pieces and frag the whole thing.

Finally, I read a romance. I've been holding onto it for a while. I read Scoundrel by Zoe Archer as it was recommended by both Dear Author and got an A from the Smart Bitches Book Club. I thought I was in with a winner! I didn't mind shelling out actual cash for it as it came so highly pre-reviewed. My overall opinion? Meh. Maybe I'm just too nitfuckingpicky but if I have to be reminded every paragraph that the Hero is an experienced seducer and excellent lover, then they're doing him a disservice. I got a bit grumpy and was mumbling "Get on with it already, yeah yeah he's a sex god, I know." I felt the Heroine was better thought out and realistic as a character, even though she accepted her father's evilness a bit too easily in favor of the Hero. It wasn't that important, but I thought she could've argued Dad's case a bit more to make the eventual "You're dead to me!" bit more dramatic.

All the Greek history, sailor adventure stuff was good, too. The magic and warlocks and witches...not my thing. Gods had power and magic, magical creatures had power and magic, average people didn't.

I also found some of the sex scene language a bit icky but that could my prudishness sneaking in. I don't like all the soaking knickers and drenched pussy stuff. Even he was leaving slick trails along her skin from his cock - like a snail? I'm happy with a simple "wet" without making me wonder if they have bladder control issues. All that aside, I will say this is the first story I've read in a long time that made me believe in the "He says he loves me but I know he doesn't really love me? Wait...He really loves me?" line without me wanting to drop kick the heroine for being completely clueless. Nope, I actually like London, despite her confusing name since I kept getting mixed up at the beginning between the city and the character. I think you should only name your kids after great cities you don't plan to live in. People named Paris shouldn't live in Paris, people named Phoenix, shouldn't live in Phoenix. It's not like she didn't have a dozen other names.

So where everyone else gave it an A, I'm more of a C+/B- but only because of the constant reminding me that the Hero is a rogue in narrative and private thoughts.

I'm going to finish my anti-paranormal and then move onto the uptight single Mom chef and the teenage daughter's French tutor.

I have no idea why this ignores my italics commands but I assure you, I've tried to italicize book titles like a good girl.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Say it ain't so!!

I've just had my wee inner pre-teen girl's heart broken. It's true. I should've just left well enough alone but no, some old curiosity crept up and I had to poke about for information. I wanted to know what my childhood love-crush of all love-crushes was doing now. I wanted to know who he was now since he's not 12 anymore. I know I've seen him on a few of my favourite shows over the years; NYPD Blue and Scrubs. He was good in those. What's he like now??

Oh Rick! Rick, Rick, Rick! How could you?! How could you become...a Republican?! And not only a Republican but a Bush supporting, McCain promoting Repugnican?! But worser still he's converted to Mormonism!! He's a Mormon Republican!! It's very disappointing. I am rended to the core!



I am gutted. Farewell Ricky, you poor deluded man.

Thank Goodness There's still Jason Bateman.


I wonder if it's the Mormonism and Republicanism that's made Rick age faster? Carrying around all that bullshit must be a burden.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wiped out!

Just back from a few days in Torquay - Victoria's Surf Capital! It rained the whole time, but rain just makes the water wet and since we were going for a first time try at boogie boarding, the rain wasn't an issue. The weather is still quite warm (30C/86F) and really muggy. Another dip in ocean was required to rinse off the sweat.

The kids and I had a great time, staying with friends in their beach house. I brought a couple of inflatable beds and all was good. My friend's husband, Nigel, poor man, the only male in a small house with 7 females ranging from 3-39. There was a lot of junk food eaten (which my guts are still rebelling against) which was required because one burns a lot of calories being beaten to a pulp by ocean waves. At one point I had to tell Shorty she needed to sit on the beach for a while and take a rest. She became obsessed with catching the next big wave. "One more big one, Mummy. I'm not tired!" then she would float and freak me out for a second. She was asleep in minutes once we got back to the house.

At dusk the place if full of Sulfur Crested Cockatoos which are the noisiest parrots. They are screechy and annoying yet fun to watch as they fly straight up and then barrel roll back down to the trees. They genuinely enjoy flying as opposed to just doing it because nature intended them for flight. Also on the outskirts of town the kangaroos come out and feed in the fields. We got to go watch them...for about 10 minutes. They're kind of boring if you can't walk up and touch them.

Apart from a tiny ant infestation (as in the ants were tiny because the fuckers got everywhere and were after the sugar and Doritos) it was a brilliant few days. Also, it was my first time driving on the highway in 11 years. Stressful enough, but it was blinding rain for parts of the 90 minute drive. I did fine. Kind of wished our wee Mazda was a tad heavier as the water runoff would pull the car's steering to the right every so often. I was knackered just from concentrating on the drive. Nearing the city there were cars flashing hazards on both sides of the road and large plastic pallets that must have fallen off a truck. I got lost at one point because I took a turn too early (Must remember 500 meters is not the same as 500 feet) and then got lost in the roads labyrinth and ended up at the shipping docks, which was neat seeing the huge ships but was not a public road so we scarpered quickly. We got home safe though and no one wet their pants, which in the last 5km was a possibility.

My friend gave me a big bag full of lovely wool yarn (1600g in beige and cream!!) from Bendigo Woolen mill (my favourite wool shop) with instructions to make something for myself, not for anyone else. So I'm giving this Chevron Lace cardigan a try. The PDF instructions are confusing and after a few pull-outs I finally got cussy and grumpy and just did it the way I think it should be done (Symmetrical pattern please!) and now it's working. Which in all honesty means I'm not doing this exact cardigan after all. I was doubly confused when her sample swatch was a different pattern than the main garment. *shrug* Also a chain of 47 on 8ply wool made a neckline like a choker and not a collar bone exposing, more comfortable, less strangulating beginning. I chained 67. Even then, and I'm about 25 rows in, I still think it could be more open at the neck. I rarely have occasion for a turtle neck shirt in Australia.

Working on the story. It's chugging along. Uphill. Being annoying. Not as much fun just now. I think I can, I think I can...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rainbows not Gaybows!

I do not have a speck of homophobia and am very pro love whoever you want. If you prefer same sex partners, great. It's a non-issue for me. I raise my kids to consider it a non-issue. Now that's as far as I'm going to go with defending my liberal ole' self.

What bugs me, is Sassyface has suddenly decided she can't have anything with rainbows on it because "People will think I'm gay." What?! You're a girl! Girls and rainbows and glitter and cupcakes- they all go together. There's not a thing wrong with a tweenie wearing a rainbow anything. But no, the toerag 6th graders are raised by shitheads who must be trickling their intolerant hatred upon their spawn. The 6th graders think anything rainbow is obviously gay. Gay gay gay, you big gaydo gayhead. Look at you with your cute sweatshirt with a RAINBOW on it, you so must be gay.

Those kids are now in high school. My girl is now a mighty 6th grader (in Feb) Guess who's going to be attending every single parents meeting next term. Guess who's going to raise a shit storm by encouraging all the parents to speak to their kids about not letting such prejudices seep into school and become bullying on the playground. And let's just remember: This is primary school. Not high school. These kids are 10-12 years old.

I remember 10-12 and there were no fears of the gayness taking hold because we dared to wear a rainbow! I may not remember how I first met people 20 years ago* But I remember never being concerned that someone would think I was gay. Even when I went to an all girls school. This may be because I wasn't gay so the thought never entered my mind. So far as I know, no one in our class was gay. They were all too in love Duran Duran for the subject to come up. But I don't remember it ever being an issue. Public high school, college, university...nope one could wear a rainbow and be instantly labled a fag or dyke.

Not too long ago it was purple triangles that were symbol for gayness, right? Or pink triangles? I think I'm mixing my TellyTubbies and homos, here... Yes, pink triangles because that's what the Nazis put on homosexuals in the concentration camps. That's reclaiming an identifier in a positive way. When did the gay movement drop the pink triangle begin using rainbows? Wait, look, there's a whole Wiki on the LGBT Flag.

 So, rainbows don't automatically make you gay. Spread the word. Don't let homophobic Tweenies steal the colours! I wish I knew what to say to my daughter that will make her ok about rainbows. I still think rainbows are a lovely image for childhood and that's being taken from her. I'm not mad at the LGBT movement for using a rainbow, but I'm saddened that a wee girl feels she'll be labeled if she wears a rainbow.


(Turns out she wasn't the only one I'd lapsed over and I'm just going to accept that it was all the cigarette smoking I did in college that has caused memory lapses)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Is it the old age?

I have forgotten how I met someone. It's very strange. I remember going out with them, I remember laughing, movies and conversations with them. I remember hanging out in the dorms. This was in university, so almost 20 years ago - I can be forgiven this one lapse? I have tons of memories but cannot for the life of me remember how we first met. We didn't have the same friends, didn't take a class together and they didn't live on campus. Of course I can't ask them how we first met because that would be hurtful and awkward - unless I'm being oversensitive and should hope they'd be satisfied I remembered the important stuff and not the initial meeting part. We could have met over the shared love of the giant waffle machine for all I know.

I wonder what else I've forgotten...

None of this would ever have happened if it weren't for Facebook.

Another thing; how many people have had or heard of others having High Fidelity moments since Facebook? You know, where an ex comes along and asks why things never worked out between you. Not because they want to reconnect (or maybe they do?) but because they're having some retrospective psychotherapy to find out why they can't maintain a stable relationship. I'm just wondering.

Friday, January 07, 2011

This post has no Title. Don't make it feel bad.

Writing is going well. I've not done much the past couple days as we've been out but I have scribbled some notes and ideas in my notebook so I think that counts. I'll get some words down today if it's not too hot. When it's hot (yesterday was 31C/87F) the Mac gets really slow, overheats and crashes. Even with a fan on in the room, it struggles. Poor ole' tech. Hence more notebook than type.

Caught some tummy bug which makes me disgusting to be around - I swear my guts grumbled the Star Spangled Banner last night! So I shall not eat today unless I absolutely feel like eating one of the kids then I'll take that as a sign and have a salad instead.

Shorty may have found the shopping bargain of the decade - which is high talk considering we're one week into this decade - but she found a Littlest Pet Shop VIP pet turtle* for 5¢. That's right! After many double checks on the various scanners around Target, she got her stuffed turtle for a nickle. This little girl is everything LPS. She has over a hundred of the wee figures, a few of the playhouse sets, several of the stuffed animals, colouring books, reading books, DS game you name it. She's annoyed she doesn't have the library book bag and somehow I'm at fault for not knowing one existed and got one for her. But a VIP pet, with virtual playpet on the VIP website so she can also play with her turtle on the computer for a nickle?! Awesome. She was beyond psyched.

I don't mind that she is so one sided in her love for LPS. She plays with them all the time. She is an imagination factory with these things. If she didn't play with them as much as she does I wouldn't invest in them because what's the point? It's what frustrates me about SassyFace because she likes to just have things but doesn't play them much. She has Pokemon, Lego, robots, Star Wars stuff but it's like an old person who collects them, pulls them down to admire and then puts them away again. I get annoyed when she tells me she's bored - Go play with your toys then!! It's tough. She's a Tweenie. Not happy with toys but still wants them, but not ready to be into what the big kids are into (Thank fuck really because I hate Justin Bieber) so she's in this limbo.

My adolescent Limbo was taken up with riding my bike around town, investigating the woods, campfires, books, card games and solitaire.Too many hours watching Gilligan's Island, Three's Company and Scooby Doo. There was the Atari 2600 too and parents who loved anything that gave them quiet. I was a lonely kid too, not a ton of friends I could hang with. Sassy's the same and prefers her own company. I don't feel safe letting her out on her own - she's not canny enough. I restrict her TV and game time. So unless I go out with her, she won't go out. She's had withering hysterics at the thought of playing in the back yard. She plays between the role of Strong and Fearless and Fearful Wee Waif. Geminis!! Who'd have 'em?

When Shorty told me about her toy for a nickle, I  asked her "A nickle?!" and she said "No, 5 cents." and I have to wonder if anywhere else names their other coins like Americans do? The Brits used to with old money but once they went metric it was all cents and pounds. Unless you were a gambler then there was Pony (£25) Ton (£100) Monkey (£500) and Grand (£1000) and many others. Aussies are the same. I must come across strange when I say things like "Nickle and dime it". Is there a special name for the minted dollar coin in America? Or is it boringly called "The dollar coin". I think keeping the tradition of pet names for individual coins is special. Do Canadians use the terms nickle and dime too?

*$95?!?!? Most of her ones (and she has six, her sister 2) cost $15. I feel sad for the moron who pays $95

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Janowrimo!

Happy New Year! I just turned 39. That's enough about that.

I started my Janowrimo today. I was rather excited about it. I've thought about different things during the week but didn't commit to anything. I'm all about not setting anything in concrete. I've re-read  No Plot No Problem by by Chris Baty and even started On Writing by Stephen King again. I forgot how much I enjoyed that book. I did 2040 words and left it off for the day. I'll go back to my notebook, start on the next scene and mini plot. no big plots. One day at a time. It's supposed to be shit after all.

What's it about? Not entirely sure yet. I have a guy who writes a top TV show about psychics, vampires and supernatural everythings, and a woman who became a PI and investigates fake psychics after her Gran was swindled out of a fortune by a psychic who would heal her old age with prayer to some angel guides. He wants to know more about what she does and she's pissed at him for writing the kind of stuff that allows psychics to flourish and be taken seriously."Do you how many pages are taken up by clairvoyants in the yellow pages?" That's about all I got just now. I don't know what will happen, I don't know how they'll get along, although I have high hopes they'll eventually get to like each other. He's a nervous, observant, high energy type and she's a non stop talker who is well known for confusing non sequiturs but is highly organized and devoted.

Dealing with grief a bit just now. Got a call Wednesday from home that my Aunt had died. She'd been in hospital for a few weeks recovering from complications after a hip replacement. I myself wasn't very close to her. She lived in Texas and I only saw her a few times when she came up for family visits. I talked with her a bit over the phone, but the rest of the family had a much closer relationship with her than I did. Harder for me is knowing everyone else is so sad. I'm a weird one with grief, and I accept that. Others may not and that's their problem. I don't get all consumed and weepy. I did with my Dad when he died but I more angry about being robbed of him just as we'd started to have a normal relationship and he didn't think I was a fuck-up anymore. He started to like me as an adult and stopped treating my like his child and it was working for us, so that was hard to let go of. That's the thing with grief, it's like dominoes. In a week I'll be upset because Benji died and I loved Benji movies.

I got a call from Mom today wishing me a happy birthday, but I told her I'm changing my birthday to July. These weeks around December/January are full of deathaversaries. I was born and a few hours later my Grandfather had died (not because of that news, apparently he was happy about me being born) - my own birthday is a deathaversary. So, selfishly, I'm going to remove my birthday from this time which makes everyone sad and remember those who also died around this time of year and I'll just have a quiet champers on July 1st instead. I just don't like the association. *sigh* sadly stuck with it but bummed out nonetheless.

That's all. Happy new year. Be thankful you're alive and live well. We only get this chance once.