I listed WHAT I want to accomplish this year, but in the meantime I've been going through my calendar to figure out *when* and in *what order* to do these things. The Camp NaNo's are giving me some structural goals. 

The Camp NaNo's are in April and July and NaNoWriMo is in November, of course. Right now I'm stuck with Blue&Bronze Book 3. I know what I think I want the story to be, but it's not coming together in my head. Sitting there with a notebook and pen isn't helping, and neither was my personal deadline of starting it in the next couple of weeks. My brain has noped out of that pressure. So instead I'm going to work on either DireWolf&Coyote's sequel OR finish Diary of a Were-Dog which is where Dire Wolf come from. 

So, here the possible schedule:

Jan - work on story and outline for DIre Wolf - and revision for Blue&Bronze Book 1
Feb - start writing Dire Wolf sequel - continue revision of Book 1
Mar - Dire Wolf sequel writing - Book 1 revision (however long it takes)
Apr - Camp NaNo - power through the last 50,000 words of sequel (and revision of Book 1)
May - finish up sequel, let it sit. Work at finishing story for Were-Dog
June - Were-Dog writing - revision continued for Book 1, maybe some story work on Book 3
July - Camp NaNo finish up Were-Dog if it's not done yet. If it is power through the revision
Aug - Start writing Book 3 of Blue&Bronze
Sept - repeat, and work on Book 1 revision if not finished by this time 
Oct - repeat. And same on through November and December. 

The interface for this is funky - on DreamWidth I'm only getting part of the writing box showing, and the text is not scrolling down so I can see what I'm writing. Frustrating and strange. 


Jan. 6th, 2017 10:19 pm
gategrrl: (Shells Leopard)
 This is a test to see if this crossposting thing works for real. Or not. 
This is a real life thing.

A designer at an online scrap booking store I sometimes shop at had been scarce for the past three months. It turns out she woke up to a man on top of her, her face covered. She screamed, he pistol whipped her several times until she shut up and then he raped her. Then he made her shower. Her husband was on a business trip and her kids weren't home (they think that was on purpose, he waited until she was alone).

They moved from where they were living in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands back to the States.

She's currently in therapy to recover from the PTSD and the trauma.

This has really, really bothered me. It's a nightmare come true. Well, one of them. She mentioned American rape culture when she wrote about it. But now this fear of mine has bubbled back up to the surface. I mean, it was *planned*. I just can't -- no, I *can* imagine it, and that's the awful horrible part of it.

I don't know exactly why I'm writing about this. It's upsetting, and I can't get it out of my head now.

This is Murray (Slaughter) named after the Mary Tyler Moore Show character. Our other two dogs are named Baxter and Teddy, so it was inevitable. As it happened, it's a perfect name for him, because it rhymes with so many words: scurry, flurry, slurry, furry -- it's pretty awesome.

It's been 7 months since I took him home from the shelter, where he was traumatized, I think. He's come SO FAR from the terrified little dog he was. The people there, in the guise of "helping" him would put a thick rope around around his neck to get him out from the corner where he'd hide his head. They'd lift him up and he'd pee and shit from pure panic.

After I brought him home it took him about a two weeks or so to finally come out from hiding behind the couch or in the kennel travel box we have (with door open) or under whatever he could find. Fortunately, Teddy and Baxter were wonderful and never pushed him or tried to scare him or come on strong. They were truly truly the awesomest dogs ever.

Murray adopted Teddy, the more even-tempered guy, as his big brother. He follows Teddy around, shadows him, curls up with him, all that. And Teddy is a trooper. The Guy (husband) has called Murray "Teddy's dog" and I almost died from laughing so hard, because it's true!

He seems to have gotten over, or coming over, another behavioral hump. Like I said, it's been seven months, so I think it's finally sinking in that he can trust us - all of us - and he's letting the kids and the Guy pet him more often and more thoroughly, but I'm the one he seems to trust the most. He follows me around the house a lot. He gives me puppy dog eyes.

His back story is, a local woman living in the town next to ours is a part time/full time dog rescuer. A lot of dogs are found on the streets of the area (predominantly hispanic, they tend to let dogs loose, and it's also a big dumping area with large parks north of the town). My area was also a huge dumping ground a few years ago, but that stopped. So she tracked down two little dogs running wild - in a high coyote territory, mind you - skinny, underfed, terrified of people little dogs. She caught Murray, still don't know how exactly, it must have been difficult, and took him to the city shelter where he was given food - he was bone skinny - and was neutered.

About a week later I saw his pathetic, sorry looking face up on the website. Kept going back to it. He was SO SAD and in shock. Still skinny when I saw him at the shelter - I went specifically for him, too. He'd gained weight, but not enough. I got the Guy to agree to let me get him.

And here he is. Everyone likes him, he's getting more adorable as his personality comes out. He plays with Teddy and Baxter and we laugh at how happy he looks. His fur coat is now healthy instead of smelly and breaking from rubbing on it. His tail is spectacular and the fur on his ears has filled out. I think he was younger than they thought - the shelter estimated 2 years old from the teeth, but honestly, dogs don't get their full adult coat like Murray has until, well, they're fully adult. I think he was coming out of his puppy stage. Maybe 14 months old?

Anyway, he's a doll now. I'm waiting for the day he jumps up onto my lap.
I'm looking for up to 10 Cabin Mates in April's Camp NaNo for next month!

Any one want to join the cabin? The rules are lax for Camp Nano - you can start with what you have, or with an outline, or whatever. I'm going to be pushing to finish my Novel that I started back last...Holy Moly - last May!

I want to finish this sucker. If you're in the revision stage or rewriting or whatever, it doesn't matter to me. Join up! (Please?)

Let me know if you're interested.
Anyone ever use it? It's like Scrivener for iOS iPads and iPhones.

You can import documents from Dropbox if they're in .txt or .rtf formats, which is what I do. I'm thinking of trying it out (ok, buying it). It's not exactly cheap at $15, but if it can help me with revisions - - so, any input on this app program?
gategrrl: (Black Shiva)
I used to have a file with my NaNoWriMo documents in it. I remember seeing it on my hard drive. So I managed to check my desktop computer and can't find it!

I was really hoping to not have to retype in the stories, but, oh well. If the files don't turn up on another hard drive I have, that got unplugged years ago, then that's what I'll have to do.

I'm pretty blind, anyway, to most of my writing faults, so maybe it's for the best I can't find them?

Hmm. I remember the oldest one I emailed to a couple of friends way way back when. I'll have to check. Yes, I still have email from 2005 and earlier.

ETA: Oooo, I seem to have found some very very old emails that have parts of the Rough Draft in the body of the emails. The first section seems to be missing, and I don't think part of the end is there, but that's okay.

I do have hard-copies of three of my NaNo attempts. I'm quite happy with two of them. One of them is an urban fantasy style story that I only got about 1/3 to 1/4 of the way through, and stopped. And I can't find my notes for it!! Wah! S'okay, though. I think I can come up with better stuff than I initially had planned for that one, if I remember the direction I was going in correctly.
[Error: unknown template qotd]Infidelity by a partner.
Betrayal of any sort.

Here's the first big news (in a picture):



hmm. I'm doing this from my iPad, so I don't know if what I'm doing will work!  Anyway, about four weeks ago now, an adorable little dog followed a friends family home. They'd seen this dog around for a month or so in their neighborhood but this time he followed them to their house and Mermaid & I happened to pull up at the same time. We took him home. He had no microchip. No collar. He had fleas and (it turned out) roundworms. He was dirty & weighed 17 pounds when I took him to the vet three days later. He's very, very smart. And he was only about 3.5 months old at most.

He is so freaking cute. The vets think he's a Labradoodle of some sort. In the three weeks since I took him to our vet, he gained three pounds. He's stronger, he's healthier, he likes being gently brushed while he sucks on a finger. He does have a grudge against dark haired dark skinned type men, though. Fortunately he loves other dogs, so I don't think he was attacked while he was roaming around his neighborhood.

Tall Boy named him Baxter, after the dog in The Anchorman movie.

In other news: driving Mermaid up to her job last week, a spinning bouncing piece of metal damaged the undercarriage of my wheezy Honda Civic. Turned out it damaged the radiator and cracked the catalytic converter thingy and sent my A/C on the fritz. Two days later, while driving Mermaid & her boyfriend to a place near Pasadena, we heard a musical flute like whistling sound followed by a smoking engine & a car slowing drastically down. Fortunately we weren't on a freeway. Had the car towed to a Honda dealership, and ended up having tons of work done it--not all of it because of the spinning metal object. It was only afterward I realized this was a claim-worthy incident, and called my insurance company. They're sending an assessor to the dealership to talk to the mechanic. Hopefully we'll get some money back. God knows we need it right now.

Right now I'm waiting for a window company to arrive with some new windows to replace our ancient, horrible aluminum single-pane large windows. We finally bit the bullet.

And tomorrow, the Guy and I have an appt. with a college finance advisor. Crap, I have to fill out the papers with our numbers!

That's it for now. Thank heavens. 
We found out this morning that she has mono. Oh yeah. She's been out of school for two weeks (minus one day she went in and I took her home early). She's going back to school on Monday because of CST testing. Great. (California State Test) She's not worried about those. She IS worried about the upcoming SAT and AP exams.

I am so glad I don't have to take those tests!

And I'm not feeling great either!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake!

Be sure to click "share" to find on your wall later to make! 

http://www.facebook.com/christa.lammers.9 ; (note: don't visit the FB page if you don't like ultra-conservative/Tea Party stuff...if you can ignore politics, she does have some great recipes & crafts up)

1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 box (5.9 oz) chocolate pudding
1 C sour cream (I use low fat)
1 C oil (just made up for that low fat huh?) (Mermaid used olive oil)
4 eggs
1/2 C water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of those ingredients with a mixer. This batter will be quite thick-much thicker than typical cake batter. Scoop into 24 cupcake paper lined muffin tins.

Unwrap mini Reese’s, push one in to each cupcake batter portion.

Bake for 18 minutes. I don’t bake them a minute longer than that. At 18 minutes they are just barely done. I like them very soft and moist. If yours don’t appear done let them go a minute or two longer but try to pull them out when they are barely done.

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar
5 teaspoons milk

I usually use a ziploc bag to pipe the frosting on because I like to be able to throw it away when I am done. Fill the bag, snip a corner off and pipe. I also melted some chocolate chips, threw in some
butter and then drizzled a little chocolate on top.
Hey there!

Let's see...my 48th birthday was on Friday! I wasn't exactly thrilled to see my age edging closer and closer to the big 5-0, but, hey, that's what life is. Right? Thanks to all who wished me a happy birthday here and on Facebook. You're all super, and even tho I've been distracted I still love you all. It's been over TEN YEARS since I've met many of you either online or in person, and I'm wowed by that. My life would be much less rich without my LJ friends (many of whom are also OS veterans). Just being here online with me for so long has been and is a tremendous gift.

What happened on Friday? Mermaid was all secretive and stuff, and had a surprise planned for me. Unfortunately, my car's battery died while I was at the gas pump filling up the tank! We sat in the car for about 40 minutes waiting for the tow truck guy to arrive. I thought for sure it was the starter motor, but luckily (?) it was was only the battery. He jump-started the damned thing. I dropped Mermaid off at home, and without turning the car off puttered over to Pep Boys (the nearest place I knew of to get a battery) and dropped about 45 minutes and $150-ish on a new battery. Ugh! But it ended well enough. Mermaid baked a fantastic Reese's Peanut Butter chocolate cake (I'll drop the recipe in at the end of the post) that was UBER CALORIES but WHO CARED?!! It was awesome. And we went out to eat at the Pizza Cookery where the Guy found a website with creepy Easter Bunny & kid pictures with the most hilarious captions ever, and we all just about died laughing at some of them. Brilliant stuff!  At least it was memorable, eh?

In other news, two years ago I weighed in at about 186 pounds (more or less, depending on whose scale I was weighed on, my own or the doctor's scale). These days, whatever I've been doing has been slowly working; I've been hovering at around 166. Luckily, I'm not getting "skinny-fat", which is what happens when you lose weight, but have no muscle tone whatsoever. I'd ideally like to go down another ten pounds or so, but really, I'm more focused on tightening and toning up my core and back muscles at the moment.

I found a fantastic DVD by Karen Voight which incorporates mainly Pilates moves (killer stuff, people, killer stuff!). The first time I used it, my sides, rib cage/lats, triceps, and abdomen felt the burn for two or three days! It's not so bad now--I do the routine about once a week. And there's another 50 minute routine on the DVD called Total Body, but what it really is, is an exercise in "torture" that works your butt and your *inner thighs*. I sure felt that the next day! Voight is an excellent teacher, gives great cues, reminds you to breath (yeah, you can forget to breath), and tells you where you should be feeling it AND what not to do so you don't injure yourself. Highly recommended:
Click on the image, it should take you to the Amazon page. And no, I'm not getting points from Amazon for this: I seriously LOVE this DVD. Oh, you can go to Collage Video, which specializes in fitness DVDs, to see actual clips from the workout.

What else...omg, yesterday Mermaid's boyfriend came over and they watched Sinister. Since there aren't many places to go in the house if you don't want to be either in your room or in the computer den, I stayed. I'm not a huge horror movie fan (gives me nightmares), this one...holy crap. While not huge on the gore and slash, it's atmospheric and has more than a bit of disturbing voyeurism in it, with these mysterious and horrible Super 8mm films being discovered in a house's attic portraying bit by bit, who and how the families in these films were murdered.  And now, of course, my mind is gnawing away at it like a distressed mouse. See, THIS is why I tend to avoid scary or horror type movies, because the images stay with me for a long time afterward (whereas books, *I* can control what I see in my mind's eye).

And for now, that's all that comes to mind. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Hey there!

Mar. 19th, 2013 01:36 pm
Here I am again!  I'm off to deliver a bill to the post office, run to staples to find another bill organizer for all the medical bills we've got coming in from half a dozen places...an iPad and apps helps, but not if I have nowhere to put the actual paper bills.

Nothing new since last time, except Mermaid was hammered yesterday by a sudden onset of seasonal allergies. And I mean *hammered*. She felt so awful she stayed home on Monday but did go in today. Luckily her school has an online service, and her teachers (most of them, anyway) post up their assignments each day, so she never gets behind. And the instant feedback of knowing her grades is excellent, too. It enables her to stay on top of things.

Tall Boy, on the other hand...he gets his grades updated several times a week depending on the teacher (most of them are really good about it), but it doesn't exactly spur him on. I have to get on his case to get him to focus on the work. Even so, it's a struggle. He's VERY self-directed when it comes to his friends and worlds in Minecraft. School? Not so much.

And I leave you with this:


What ARE those? They're ducks! In space shuttles! If you live near a space shuttle like we do---we have Endeavor at the Science Center--visit it! Damned impressive machines. HUGE, too, when you get right up to it.
It's a calm weekend. Nothing much doing except chauffeuring Mermaid around. Tall Boy *should* be working on a rough draft that's due tomorrow (one of his sources is an eBook on my iPad, so he has that right now...hopefully reading the book!). Let's see if I can find something to post up!

Seriously, I haven't posted since January? Wow, so not what I was planning.

What's been happening in Casa Gategrrl? Not much. Really. No snowstorms here in Los Angeles, so we're missing out on that excitement (yay!). My mom was smart and rented a house somewhere in Florida for the month. She's finally sick enough of the winters in Massachusetts that she's gone to where the snow don't ever fall!

Mermaid got straight A's last semester, something she's been aiming for for a while. She also had an emergency appendectomy at the end of November (did I mention that? I'm not sure). There's some tissue adherence where the doctor went in to remove the appendix, but that's it these days.

I've moved predominately to the iPad Mini the Guy got me for Xmas. It's pretty much what I always wanted out of a PDA (remember those little things?) but didn't have. I sent my Nook Color to my mom. She was sick of her paper style screen of her early edition Nook.

And what else...I'm sorry if I've been missing out on news, etc. I'm planning on being more diligent about my LJ friends. I've known many of your for years-longer than I've known many in-person friends.  And, I'm also on Skype and when I'm not out or making dinner, I'm available for chats. Even chats with a camera! Whee!

The Guy still does NOT want a dog in the house. He's almost become militant about it. Granted, dogs do cost money to keep, and lately, money has been a tight commodity in our house. So I still volunteer at Best Friends Shelter down the road (reminds me, I should go in this weekend, get some hours in with the pups).

And that's it for now.  I hope everyone's doing well. Or, well enough.



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