Thursday, May 31, 2007

deep breaths...

Okay, I just sent Summer off. They wanted electronic submission, so that's what I did. It's a much easier process than sending it by mail. I spent some time tonight going over it several times, checking for spelling and grammar issues, even though I've edited it about five times. I sent a cover letter, synopsis, and the first three chapters, which is what they said they wanted in their guidelines. I prayed over it before I hit "send." I did everything I was supposed to do and now it's out of my hands.

all about writing

I figured out that the extra hour will be enough to write what I need to write each day. I did a test play and it's actually kind of funny... I sort of like the direction it was going, so I might just have to continue with that idea some other time! Not that I'm going to give up writing novels and start writing plays, but it was getting sort of interesting, and my community theatre is always looking for interesting local work to produce. You never know, right?

In other news, I think Summer is finally ready to send out again. I didn't think the rejection bothered me that much, but I think if I'm really honest, seeing that letter made me lose confidence in the story, and in all the stories I planned for the series. I can't let that happen. It was the first of what I'm sure will become many rejections, and writers should have thick skin. Rejection doesn't mean your writing is bad, it just means it didn't fit what they were looking for at the time. Sure, it probably means you need to improve your submission packet, but one rejection doesn't doom a project. I have to keep telling myself that, because seeing that letter still makes me a little sad. But I keep going. I will keep submitting my work until someone, somewhere, decides it's good enough to publish!

But back to Script Frenzy, I'm really excited about doing something new. My first script. I wonder how it will turn out...

the Frenzy begins tomorrow...

I've got my character descriptions, my outline, my format, and my coffee ready! Tomorrow morning I will wake up an hour earlier than usual so that I can write before getting ready to go to work. My brand new coffee maker will be helpful, since it has a timer I can set. The coffee will be ready for me when I wake up, which is always good! Tonight when I get home, I'm going to do a test to see how long it takes me to write the required amount of words in script format. That will give me an idea of how much time I need to dedicate to writing each day. I thought an hour in the morning and then an hour in the evening would be sufficient, and then of course I have my lunch hour at work. I think three hours a day is pretty good, although I know I won't need that much time to write the required amount of words. But this is about getting into a routine more than anything, and I want to really work toward that. If I want to have any success as a writer, I have to get into a routine of writing every day, not just blog posts, but actual work on my WIPs.

My horoscope today said this:
The solar system is shifting gears today, dear Scorpio, and it is liable to trigger a great transformation that will last seven months. The change will center on the means you use to fulfill yourself, in terms of both your career and your love life. If you feel somewhat hemmed in by your training or your upbringing, you can expect to seek liberation from these inhibitions in the months to come.

I find that very interesting. I could actually use a transformation, something to shake things up. Although it isn't career or relationship focused, my involvement with community theatre is certainly shaking things up. I certainly find it fulfilling. Perhaps this renewed commitment to writing will also shake things up a little. Actually, I'm sure it will.

So here's to transformation! I hope it doesn't hurt... :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

the theatre (theater?) obsession

Okay, I am obviously suffering from an obsession. I knew it would happen. The minute I auditioned for Fuddy Meers I knew I would become hooked on being onstage again. I just found out a community theater is doing Guys and Dolls in November, so of course I'm trying out! I love that show! I have always loved it, and now I'm going to (hopefully) be in it! I'll take any part in this show, just to be in it.

We had a play selection meeting last night and it went very well. We're meeting again on Saturday to read some additional plays that were ordered last week and hadn't come in by yesterday afternoon. I'm looking forward to reading these plays too. The committee is great, and I really enjoy working with them.

So it looks like the rest of my year will be spent doing Hamlet in August and Guys and Dolls in November. I think I'm going to become a theater junkie!

Initially, I worried about this getting in the way of my writing, but as long as I continue writing and learn to balance everything I think it'll be okay. I'm going to start waking up earlier in the mornings so I can get my writing done before anything else. It's just a matter of training my body to wake up earlier. I think I can do it. But, of course, if it starts to get in the way, I'll slow down. Writing comes first. Always.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Photo Hunters Theme: Colorful

For the "colorful" theme, I decided to take a picture of the yarn I'm using to make my mitered square blanket. I thought all this yarn was pretty colorful! I'm still playing with the color combinations for all the different squares. That's one of the best parts of the process, I think!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Getting to Know You Day - Create A Connection

Today's Getting to Know You question is: If you could have a redo moment in your life, would you do it and what would it be? Not changing history drastically-it's all just a what if.

My only "what if" is something that would have changed history dramatically (at least my own history!) My redo moment would be the day I chose to go to college locally instead of going to New York to follow my dreams. I stupidly chose to go to a local school because my boyfriend (who later became my husband, who later became my ex husband) was going there and I couldn't stand the idea of going somewhere far away from him. When I look back on my life, that is the one regret. I didn't follow my dreams when I had the chance. Who knows how it might have turned out? I might have been accepted into a performing arts program somewhere and I might have had a nice career in theatre, or I might have spent several years auditioning and not getting any parts. But either way, I would have tried and then I wouldn't have that one regret today.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My swap stuff

Normally we are supposed to post the things we get in the swap, but I tried a couple of new things for this swap, so I absolutely have to post them! Because this month's swap was a box swap, I decided to try the felted boxes from Mason Dixon Knitting. It was quite successful, especially for my first felted project and also considering that I altered the pattern to fit my needs. Here are some pics of the box I made for the swap.

The first picture shows the box before sewing the sides and the second one is the completed box before felting. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it after the felting process. It looked like a box when it was finished, complete with fairly square corners. Like I said, for a first attempt, I think it turned out pretty nice. Since this box was very small, I decided to do a box within a box, so I went to Michaels and bought this really cool wooden box. The top of the lid was lower than the sides, so it created a nice frame for whatever I wanted to put on the lid. I decided to do a mosaic pattern with letters that spell the word "create" and then some pretty mosaic tiles surrounding it to make it pretty. I painted the entire box black and then used black grout between the mosaic tiles. I placed the felted box inside the wooden box and mailed it to my swap buddy.

This was such a fun swap! I've never had so much fun making something for someone, and Nina was so sweet in her post about it. You can see a nice picture of the felted box and the mosaic box on her blog. I really should have taken pictures of the finished items before sending them off! Must remember that next time!

Anyway, my first attempt to make something out of Mason Dixon Knitting worked out well, and I can't wait to try something else! Oh, and my sister's kids saw the felted box and each of them insisted that I make one for them, so this summer I'm going to do a pencil box for Noah and one for Hannah, and then a small "treasure box" for Kohl. I'll have to adapt the pattern again, but I think I can figure out how to do it!

scripts are great reading material

I went to a script reading committee meeting today. It was great! I brought several scripts home to read over and evaluate. I'm really enjoying reading over the different scripts. I can see how they would be staged in our little theatre as I read them, and it's really exciting. The president of the reading committee really wants to do Misery next year. I've read the book and seen the movie, and I started on the script this afternoon. It is so incredibly intense and scary! But here's something interesting. When we were talking about it at the meeting, I mentioned I would volunteer to be assistant stage manager or something, just so I could be involved in the show, and she said I should audition for Annie. I hadn't even thought about that before, but I kind of like the idea. Imagine playing someone that completely psycho. The thought is very exciting indeed.

We're having a little trouble picking a musical. There are some limitations that we have to deal with, mostly relating to space. The theatre is small, and because of the orientation of the stage it's a very intimate space. There isn't a lot of room for large casts, complex chorus dance numbers, or large orchestras. This limits musicals severely, I'm afraid. I would love to do Guys and Dolls, but I'm not sure it would work in the space. After the meeting, I decided to concentrate on musicals, since it's the thing we're having the most trouble finding. I found about ten musicals that sound good and emailed them to the head of the committee. I hope she likes some of them!

Besides Misery, I'm going to read a play called 100 Lunches and one called The Clean House. I don't know anything about them, so I'm looking forward to reading over them and seeing what they are all about. I'm also reading The Honky Tonk Angels, which is a musical. This is so much fun! I'm so glad I'm able to be a part of this committee, to make a contribution to the arts in my community. This is a step in the right direction for me. Getting involved in things is a good step.

Reading all these scripts is actually great research for Script Frenzy, since I've decided to write a stage script. And we all know how much I love research!

Tomorrow should be pretty good. Work is getting better now that the fundraiser is over. Things have calmed down considerably and now I can start on some projects I've been wanting to start. I have a grant to finish tomorrow and then another one to start before I leave for my vacation. It's due two weeks after I get back, but I want a good headstart on it before I go. That's one thing about vacations, you have to work so hard to get ready for them and then you have to catch up when you get back! Oh well, it will be totally worth it to have some relaxation. Speaking of vacation, only 19 days until we leave!

Sunday Scribblings: Masks

Sunday Scribblings prompt: Masks. Literal: making or wearing masks for Halloween, Carnival, Mardi Gras, the theater, any other masky occasion. Or, you know, psychological: a mask you wear, that you hide behind; the face you present the world, or that you present just to one person. For other masks, go here.

I say I should have known, but how could I? He wore the mask so well, so perfectly, that it was seamless and impossible to detect. At the time, I wore no masks, had no persona that I donned only for him or for anyone else. Young and innocent of such adult matters, I openly displayed my true self to the world. It was only after being with him that I began to put on my own masks. The mask of the "good wife" who cooks and cleans and never asks questions. The mask of the "cheerleader" who would always encourage, even when she needed encouragement. The mask of the "saint" who never said a bad thing about anyone else, who never even had a bad thought about anyone. Those masks were so easy to slip on, and I put them on willingly. Anything to save a young marriage. Anything to make the dream come true. His mask was more deceptive because his covered everything he was and everything he wanted, but mine were more damaging to me than his was to him. My true self died beneath those masks, his only waited beneath his. We wore our masks willingly, happily even.. for a short time. One day, he grew tired of his and chose to strip it off and allow his true self to show. There was no room for me in his life then, not the me I was before the masks or the masked me standing before him. Realizing they did nothing to help, I removed mine as well. Stripped of my masks, I had no idea what to do with myself. Alone, naked to the world with no sense of self, I chose to rebuild. It was (and still is) a journey of self discovery. I have experienced an awakening of my true self through writing, photography, creative crafts, and education. I have become myself again, only a stronger, more honest version of myself that I am unashamed to show to the world. Do I still wear masks? We all do. I would be dishonest if I said no. I sometimes put on a mask of confidence when I'm not feeling particularly confident. I adopt certain personas in certain situations because they are required. The difference now is that I wear the masks, they do not wear me. I can slip them off and not be naked. My sense of self is strong and will not be denied. I think he is still searching for his sense of self. I know he has put his mask back on a few times since he first removed it, but he has since removed it again. I wish him luck on this journey and hope he finds his true self one day.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Photo Hunters Theme: Cooking

My beautiful nephew Noah making his favorite thing: a cherry jello cake. His dad is a chef and I'm pretty sure he inherited the talent, or at least the love of cooking from him. Doesn't he look like he's enjoying himself?!

Friday, May 18, 2007

crochet? no way!

All my online knitting buddies keep talking about crochet. All the tutorials I've read and watched say it's easier than knitting. Are they kidding??? I tried last night. I really did. But for some reason, I can't seem to wrap my brain (or my yarn) around crochet. I can do a chain, but that's where it ends for me. The chains are rather cool all by themselves, I plan to give one to Hannah to wear as a bracelet, lol. But I wanted to try something different and I had this crochet hook just lying around, and some extra yarn after finishing a scarf, so I gave it a shot. I'm hoping it will be like knitting was for me at first. I had a really hard time with it in the beginning, but now it's easy. Of course, I'm still learning new knitting techniques, but feel like I've really mastered the basic stitches and have even moved on to some more difficult things. But crochet... it just escapes me. Hopefully as I keep trying it will get easier. You know me... always trying something new.

Wrote a few more pages on Under the Magnolia Tree last night. The story is getting more and more interesting. (interesting meaning bizarre) I might have to change some things. I found a couple of publishers who focus on Southern fiction. I'm going to do some research to see if they might be a fit for this story when it's finished. Of course, that's after extensive editing! I did some research for the FaithGirls series last night too. I wanted to see if there were other publishers I could query and I found a few. I'll be getting that package ready to send out in the next couple of weeks.

21 days until my summer vacation. Yes, I'm counting down!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


My vacation is in 23 days. I have never been so ready for anything in my entire life! I haven't been on a real vacation in a few years, so it's time for one. I wish I could take one every year, but it's just not always possible. I've needed a break for awhile, and I am really looking forward to it. Did I mention I'm looking forward to it?? lol I just want to escape for awhile, you know? It's time to get away and focus on other things. It's time to experience new places and feel the freedom of the open road. And now I sound like a car commercial. I'm not sure why that happened, but it's just how I feel right now.

Today was okay. I got two contracts done and started on a grant report. There are three grants due close to my vacation week, so I'm going to get one of them finished and sent before I go and the other two I plan to do as much as I can before I go and finish them up when I get back. They are due about two weeks after I return, so it won't be a problem.

I left work a little later than usual and started laundry when I got home. I worked on Under the Magnolia Tree for about an hour, which was good. After that, I checked the Script Frenzy site for new posts, answered a few, and settled down to work on the last miter in my first square. I stopped for a moment when my phone rang. It was a wrong number. When I picked it back up, I started purling back over the stitches I had just done. When I finally realized my mistake, I had to basically rip half the row. How annoying! That's why I don't like to stop in the middle of a row. So I fixed that and kept knitting. At the color change, I stopped to turn on Lost and then decided to post to the blog before it got too late. So that's what I'm doing now! I'll go back to the miter when I'm finished here. Hopefully I'll have a finished square to post sometime soon! It has taken me way too long to knit this first square! Of course, considering that this was my first attempt at a more complex project, I think it's actually going well.

So overall, not a bad day really. Tomorrow should be even better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

a day of.. whatever!

Today didn't start well. I had a migraine this morning that came with all the bells and whistles - pain, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, and just a generally miserable feeling. I called in to work, took some medicine, and slept the rest of the morning. When I woke up from that, the migraine had calmed down, but my allergy eyes decided to flare up, so I decided to drop off the prescription my eye doctor gave me a few months ago. I never filled it because I hadn't had problems with my eyes, but now the pollen has declared war on my eyes. The prescription took forever, so I decided to go to the bookstore to find a book I've been really anxious to read. Unfortunately, not a single bookstore in the area had this book! I'm going to have to go to to find To the Castle and Back. How can four bookstores not carry this book? Oh well... I can just order it online and have it delivered to my door. I still managed to buy a book, though, and I'm really excited about it. 200 Knitted Blocks. Once I finish my mitered square blanket, I will certainly enjoy trying out the different blocks. I can mix and match them to make other blankets, and use the blocks to learn new techniques. I'm really looking forward to it!

The other thing I did while waiting for my prescription was a trip to the post office. I mailed my CaC swap for the month! Nina, this means you should get it by the end of the week! I hope you like! After I know she got it, I'll post pictures, because I'm kind of proud of it.

So after all that, I came home and crashed again, mostly because of the allergies and residual exhaustion from the migraine and the medicine. I'm up again for awhile because I have to do some laundry before I go to sleep tonight. I have absolutely nothing to wear to work tomorrow!

I've been tagged!

My lovely new friend Nina tagged me, so here goes!

First: List 7 random facts/habits about yourself.

1. I am becoming just like my mother, and I'm not upset about that!
2. I like to eat Hershey's chocolate and cheddar cheese together for a snack (really, it's good!)
3. Three times in my life, I've a dream that someone died, and then three days later, they did.
4. I dream in vivid color and surround sound.
5. My favorite perfume is Beautiful.
6. I have a countdown clock on my computer desktop. It is counting down the days until my summer vacation and the release of the last Harry Potter book.
7. I have a collection of postcards from everywhere I've been. One day, I'm going to do something really cool with them, but I haven't figured out what yet.

Second: Choose another SEVEN bloggers to tag and list their names in your blog.

1. Chris
2. MD
3. Devon
4. Erin
5. Jenn
6. Ed
7. Jaybizz

Third: Leave your seven tagged bloggers comments to notfiy them of their tagging and to direct them to your blog for tag instructions.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

a tribute to my mother

She is not just my mother, she is my friend. We spend quality time together, we talk about our day, we share our thoughts about important issues. Almost every week we have a movie night, where I'll bring a movie and we'll watch it together. We usually have pizza or something else fun for dinner that night. Most of the time, it's a chick flick of some kind, and we giggle like teenage girls while we watch it. We dye each other's hair and go shopping for clothes together. So yes, she is more like a friend now than a mother.

But before she was a friend, she was (and still is) a great mother. Growing up, I always admired and respected her. She is strong and beautiful. She does anything that is needed and never complains. She is respectful and kind to everyone, no matter how they are to her. She finds joy in everything, and sees the beauty of the world even in the midst of crisis. She looks at people and sees their potential, not their faults. She is encouraging and loving. But even with all that, she is not a pushover. She stands up for herself and demands respect. She is adventurous and full of life! She taught me to respect people and myself. She taught me to be strong and to be able to take care of myself. She said over and over that I could do anything I wanted to do. She was my encourager through my divorce and through going back to school. She helped me do what I needed to do in order to take my life back, and she helped me to see just how valuable I could be to the world. She supports me in everything I do. It is because of her that I am the person I am now, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

If I ever have the opportunity to be a mother, I hope I will be the kind of mother she has always been to me. Also, the relationship she has with my dad is something special. They will celebrate 40 years this summer, and I hope if I ever get married again, I will have the kind of relationship they have. It's inspiring and beautiful.

She will never read this, because she doesn't know this blog exists. She would not be happy that I posted her picture, but that's because she thinks she doesn't photograph well. I think she photographs just fine. In fact, I think she's beautiful, inside and out!

Sunday Scribblings: Second Chance

This week's prompt is: Second Chance. Is there someone who you need to give a second chance? Do you wish you could have one with someone else? Do you need a do-over? Is there something you wish you could do all over again? Have you failed at something that still bothers you? Is there a Sunday Scribblings prompt you would like to use again? Is there a day you would like to live all over again? Do you have a character in mind with regrets? What would you like to do differently given the opportunity? Here's your chance - your second chance!

I thought long and hard about this topic before posting. I wasn't sure if I wanted to admit this in such a public way, but here goes. As anyone who has read this blog more than once or twice would know, I got married young. Really young. 19. (I said I was young!) We divorced when I was 22. Actually, the divorce papers arrived at my house on my 22nd birthday. How's that for a great gift?! As horrible as that time was, it is not what I would choose to do over. In fact, I'm grateful for the experience, because it helped to form the person I am now. As a result of this experience, I went back to school and was driven to succeed in life. After all, living well is the best revenge, right?? But I can't really blame him, or me, for the problems in our marriage. He was still in denial about his sexuality, so I truly believe he didn't know things wouldn't work out between us.

So if it's not the marriage and divorce, what do I want for my second chance? Love. I have finished school and have a great career. I have become a confident, independent woman and I don't need a man to make me happy. But I do want one.. lol! Now I know what I want in a man and what I really don't want. Is it possible to know that at 19? I don't think it is! I had no idea who I was at 19, so how could I know the qualities I want in a partner? Bit now, at 30, I have some very concrete ideas about it! So anyway, that's my dark secret. I want a second chance at love. I want to have a relationship like the one my parents have, and I want to have a child. Along with my other dreams and ambitions, along with my personal and professional goals, I want those things too. Not because they are expected of me, and not because they would complete me (don't get me started on that stupid mentality) but because I want them. But here's the thing... I'm not willing to sacrifice who I am to get them. I will never again lose myself just to be in a relationship. It's not worth it.

More second chances here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

longer day than expected...

I finally left work at 7 p.m. today, making it a longer day than I expected. I was supposed to leave at 5, but a television station showed up right before I left, so I stayed until he got all the footage he needed and all the interviews he wanted. I didn't mind staying, because our director really wanted good coverage of the food drive. Thankfully, we got it! The down side of the whole thing is that I was going to take my mom shopping. I was going to buy her a new dress for Mother's Day, but because it was so late and because I was so tired, I just went home. So it looks like I'm going to be taking her out to lunch for Mother's Day, which just doesn't feel right. I wanted to do something special, something personal, but am just going to fall back on the typical thing that people do. I hate to do something typical! Next year I'm going to make something for her. I wonder what I can make...

Friday, May 11, 2007

reading, writing and other stuff

I've been reading more lately, which is a luxury I didn't allow myself while I was doing the play. I'm actually reading Hamlet again right now, because the theatre is doing it in the fall. I know I'm not really right for the limited female roles, but I want to be involved somehow and it makes sense to know the play, even if you're not going to be on the stage. I'm thinking of volunteering to be assistant stage manager or something. I'm still waiting to hear from the leader of the script reading committee about which plays I can read. I found a great forum for people in community theatre and there were some interesting suggestions in the messages, which got me even more excited about helping to pick next year's slate.

Another thing I've been doing lately is writing!!! I actually got back to it about a week ago, and I feel so much better about everything! For some reason, writing just makes everything all right. I get very stressed and tense when I go a long period of time without writing. So I worked a little on Under the Magnolia Tree. The 50,000 words for NaNo last year were not enough. It's looking like it will be more like 75,000. Some crazy things are happening in the story, and I love it! I did some character work on my Script Frenzy piece. I think the title is going to be Tightly Knit. My basic plot so far involves six women of various ages who come together through a knitting circle. They form friendships and learn more about each other, and as they do they find that each one has some kind of secret. One woman's secret could end her life, especially if her new friends don't intervene. Anyway, the plot isn't fully formed yet, but that's the basic idea. I actually drew a diagram of the stage, which was cool.. made it seem more real, you know? I'm excited for June to start, because I'd like to start working on this story. But for now, I'll work on finishing Under the Magnolia Tree.

Work was pretty good this week. It was a long week, for some reason. I'm actually going in tomorrow too, for our National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive. It's the only Saturday I have to work out of the entire year, and I like it that way! This food drive is so important to us, and it's always a fun day, so I don't mind going to work at all. I usually spend most of the day walking around taking pictures of everyone volunteering, and watching out for the media so that if they come I can give them press releases and find someone to talk to them. Our executive director is usually the one who goes on camera, so if he's there I'll get him to do it. It's a really big deal for us, but unfortunately two big things are happening in the city right now that might trump our food drive. A new steel plant was just announced in Mobile, so that was on the news all day today and will probably be on the news all day tomorrow. Also, a hotel is opening tomorrow in Mobile. Not just any hotel, though, this one is a renovation of a very fancy hotel (the hub of Mobile's social activity in its day) that closed about 30 years ago. The Battle House Hotel is just one of the projects that will hopefully revitalize downtown. From what I saw on the news this morning, it looks absolutely beautiful. Mobile needed something like this. Now if we get that second cruise ship and some of the other interesting projects that are being discussed, Mobile might actually be a cool place to live after all! I do hope we are going in that direction, because it really is a nice location - near the water, nice weather, great people - and all the wonderful small towns that surround Mobile have so much character! One day very soon, I'm going to take a photo tour of Fairhope so I can share its beauty and character with everyone here. Maybe that can be my project next Saturday. I do love projects!

Nation's Largest Food Drive

NALC Food Drive

Tomorrow will be the nation's largest annual food drive, so if you are reading this, and you live in the US, please consider finding out how you can participate. It's so easy! All you have to do is put a bag of food out by your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick it up and take it to a local food bank. If your letter carrier doesn't pick up the food, you can take it to a local post office and they will take care of it!

So join the largest food drive in the nation, and help people in your community who need food!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Getting to know you day at CaC

Here is today's question:

If someone from your local community college approached you about teaching a class, would you do it? What subject? Would there be field trips? What books would be required reading? Any guest lecturers?

My answer? That's a tough one! I'm not sure I know enough about anything to actually teach a class on it! If I knew more about writing, I'd want to teach a class in it. Maybe one day I'll have enough experience to actually do that. I suppose I could teach public speaking. I think I'd make a good public speaking teacher because I have helped people become comfortable speaking in front of a crowd before. Also, I think it would be really interesting to see what people decided to speak about!

If I were to teach a class at a 4-year university (not a leisure studies-type class at a community college) I would want to do a media training class for public relations students. It would be set up like a workshop. Every week, the journalism students and the public relations students would be split into pairs (one of each per pair) and they would be given a crisis situation to deal with. The journalism students would spend the week figuring out how to get the story from the public relations students, and the public relations students would spend the week coming up with a crisis communication strategy. At the end of the week, they would play out the scenario in front of the class, each dealing with the crisis in whatever way they see fit. This, of course, is based on something I learned when I got out of school... nothing we studied prepared me for crisis communication! I've actually decided to start this class if I ever manage to get my Master's degree and actually teach!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

101 in 1001 update

I crossed two more things off the list: return to the stage and knit something wearable. That makes 8 tasks complete and 93 to go. That sounds like a lot of tasks, but most of them are fun things, so I'm not worried! I'm close to crossing a few of them off, but I won't do it until I've actually completed the whole task. I guess I could have crossed off the "return to the stage" one when I got the part, but I waited until the run was over to do it. I guess I'm just strange that way! But anyway, so that's my progress so far. Hopefully I'll be able to complete the tasks before the deadline...


I've never been a "crafty" person. In fact, I would look at the beautiful things that people made and would envy them their talent, knowing I could never do something so pretty. Recently, I've been trying to be more "crafty" and I must say I'm fairly happy with the results. Of course, I've had my failed attempts, but all in all, it's been a great experience.

I'm so excited about the box swap at Create a Connection this month. I've decided to make the box for my swap buddy. That's all I'm going to say in case she's reading this blog. I want it to be a surprise, Nina! I will post a pic of the finished product at some point, but only when I know it's in her hands!

Here's an interesting result from these attempts to work with my hands. I find the creativity is leaking out onto other aspects of my life. I find myself getting inspired about other things, even writing, while I'm doing crafts. It's just incredible! I love stretching myself creatively. I think it's extremely important to do that, to always continue to try new things and to constantly challenge yourself, especially creatively. It even helps me in my job, which is an added bonus!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Script Frenzy!

If you look at my sidebar, you will find a new category for writing projects. In that category is a participant icon for Script Frenzy, which is a NaNoWriMo-type challenge from the Office of Letters and Light (who also run NaNoWriMo). Of course, you have guessed by now that I'm planning to participate in this new challenge! I'm actually taking on ML duties for this challenge, just like for NaNoWriMo, simply because I find it so unbelievably fun to be a part of such a crazy challenge, and it's great to meet all the local people who are also participating.

So in June of this year, I will attempt to write a play. This will be my first attempt at anything like this, so I expect it to be interesting (to say the least) and I'm not really sure what will happen, but like I do with all my projects, I intend to jump in with both feet! The next few weeks will be interesting, as I am trying to come up with viable ideas for a script.

I actually have a plan for this script when it is finished.. I want to take it to my favorite community theatre and see if they would like to perform it in 2009. (this is after lots of revisions, of course!)

So anyway, that's the news for today!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Ocean

I have lived by water my entire life, and it holds some kind of power over me. As a child, I used to sit on the beach and wait for the sun to set. Why? Because at one particular moment, there is a path of light that stretches from the beach to the horizon. It looks like the path can take you to the end of the earth. When I was little, I used to imagine stepping onto that path and walking to the end of the earth. What did I find there? Well, that depended on what I wanted to imagine that day! Sometimes it was a magical land with beautiful creatures who all wanted to be my friend. Sometimes it was a dark and scary world that only I could save. Sometimes it was just the end, and I would stand over an abyss, wondering what could possibly be beyond it.

As an adult, the water holds a different kind of power. I go to the water for peace. If I've had a bad day, or if stress is trying to take over my life, I simply go to the water and sit. Sometimes I catch the sunset and I always try to have my camera to capture that moment, but even when I miss that moment, the beach is a special place for me. I sit on the beach and close my eyes, allowing the sound of the waves to wash over me, cleansing my soul and bringing peace to me. Sometimes I pray, sometimes I write, sometimes I just sit and think about everything or nothing. No matter what I do when I'm there, I always leave feeling peaceful and happy.


Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43:5

This verse comes at a good time for me. With everything that is going on, I'm trying to keep a sense of hope and peace in my life. When I feel pressure to be perfect, when my family is facing trouble, and when I am unsure about the future, I fight against becoming downcast because I'm a positive person who likes to look on the bright side of things. Do you know how I do that? By focusing on God, and by letting Him love me. I get my strength from His peace, hope, and love.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Photo Hunters Theme: Childhood

I chose this picture for the theme "Childhood" because it represents the pure joy that children find in everything. I snapped this picture several years ago as my mother and my nephew ran into the waves on a bright summer day. Even in adulthood my mother still has the ability to have a childlike joy in everything. It's something she and I have in common, and it's something I hope we will both always have.

have you ever...

I saw this on another blog and thought it was cool, so here goes.

The ones I've done are red
The ones I haven't done are black
The ones I haven't done but want to do are blue.

Have You Ever:

01. Seen the Grand Canyon
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath
08. Said I love you and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Eaten alligator
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Been to Austria
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sang karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Been in a marching band
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Driven on the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Ridden on a boat down the Danube River
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Dyed your hair
115. Shaved your head
116. Caused a car accident
117. Been elected to public office
118. Skipped all your school reunions
119. Built your own PC from parts
120. Gone back to school
121. Read the Iliad and the Odyssey
122. Ridden a horse
123. Eaten Kangaroo meat
124. Had stitches
125. Toured castles in Europe
126. Had your picture in the newspaper
127. Eaten sushi
128. Sold your own artwork to someone you didn't know
129. Published a book
130. Written poetry
131. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
132. Fired a rifle, shot gun or pistol
133. Had major surgery
134. Had a snake as a pet
135. Gone on an African safari
136. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
137. Visited more foreign countries than US states
138. Visited all 7 continents
139. Lived in a foreign country for more than a year
140. Been swimming in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
141. Been to Niagara Falls
142. Lived on both sides of the Mississippi river
143. Sang in a foreign language in front of an audience
144. Taught a child to read
145. Been a DJ

pretty good day

Today wasn't a bad day. It was nice to have a good day after so many tough ones. One good thing about the fundraiser being right after the play closed was that it didn't give me a lot of time to dwell on the ending of the play, because I had to concentrate on the fundraiser so much. It helped me get through what would have been a difficult time.

But why was today good? Because work was nice, and we got to leave a little early, which is always good. After work, I took Noah to see Spiderman 3, which was really great, by the way. I always have a wonderful time when I take Noah somewhere. He's such a great kid! After the movie I took him to the store and let him pick out a Spiderman action figure. It's kind of a tradition for us. And of course, we had to pick out prizes for the other kids, so we got Kohl a Spiderman toy too, and Hannah got a Strawberry Shortcake doll. They both loved their prizes, so that was good.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow, but I think it's going to involve reading, writing and/or knitting. I haven't had a good weekend day to just relax in quite awhile, and next weekend is a rare working Saturday, so I'm planning to enjoy it as much as possible! So anyway, it was a good day and I'm looking forward to a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

knitting pics

I finally got around to photographing the next miter. Three down, one to go for my first square! So here are a few pics of the progress so far...

getting to know you day at CaC

I love today's question! It's been interesting looking back and figuring out how to answer it.

Here's the question for today: I want to know what book, movie and song not only changed your life, but also changed the way you thought about the medium. It could have been when you were a child or a teenager or just last week. Anytime in your life.

Book: This one is easy. The book that changed it all for me was Fahrenheit 451. I read this book when I was about 13 years old. It was an assignment for school, and I think every single school in the country... no, every school in the world... should require their students to read this book. Censorship is a dangerous and serious issue, and kids should be taught about it early on, so that they will know how to fight it! I never really thought about censorship and what it can mean for society until I read this book. It really changed the way I thought about the written word, and how important it is to preserve it. Even if I don't agree with what it says.

Movie: Dead Poet's Society. I know, I know... it's a cheesy choice. But when I saw this movie in high school, it made me really think about thinking for myself. It is a beautiful illustration of individual expression and learning to think for yourself. Schools shouldn't teach us what to think, they should teach us how to think, how to come up with original ideas, and how to express our own ideas and ideals. It was one of the first movies that actually made me evaluate the way I think. I always love movies, plays, and television shows that make me think, and Dead Poet's Society is the ultimate movie for that!

Song: This one is more difficult. The song that really changed how I felt about songs was "The Boxer" from Simon and Garfunkle. It tells the most vivid story, and even the music goes along with what's happening in the song. I could close my eyes and see the story progressing, and I could feel what was happening, not just in my mind, but in my body too. Everytime the boxer was hit, I felt the pain. That song still has that effect on me, even after hearing it hundreds of times since that first time. A song that changed the way I think about life, however, is "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent. The lyrics are so powerful, and they really make me think about life and how I live it. I first heard this song shortly after graduating from high school, in a time when I was sort of trying to figure out what was important in life, and it was the perfect time to be reminded that the only thing that is really important is the love you give to others and the love you get in return. It's a beautiful sentiment and I try to live my life by it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

fundraising success!

The Fundraiser is over. Like every year I've done this event, it kicked my butt. However, also like every year, it turned out to be a wonderful success. People enjoyed themselves and we raised some money. What else could a person want? (besides a week in Hawaii to recover, I mean?!) It was a beautiful event and I couldn't be happier about how everything turned out. Now to start planning for next year...