Monday, December 22, 2008

inventing patterns - Simple Camera Case

I bought a new camera the other day to carry around in my purse. It didn't come with a case, so I made one that night. It took about an hour to make, but it was totally worth it. Check it out:

This pic is of the camera and the case. The yarn was dyed with Kool Aid: Berry Blue, Cherry and Strawberry.
The camera, in case anyone is curious, is a Kodak Easy Share, with 8 megapixels and a 4 x optical (3 x digital) zoom. I bought a 2 GB memory card and it will hold over 1600 photos. I haven't taken video with it yet, but the photos are pretty good. It's great for a purse camera.

I didn't use a pattern for this case. I just picked a set of double pointed needles that I knew would work with the yarn (Paton's Wool) and worked in the round. I used the full set of needles (4 for the stitches and 1 working needle) and had 10 stitches on each of the 4) This was perfect to go around the camera I bought. Your camera may be larger or smaller, so work with the yarn until you have the right number of stitches for your camera's size. I worked in the round until it covered the entire camera, then bound off the two sides and the front.

The back flap has to be worked in stockinette because you are no longer working in the round. I just used two of my double pointed needles and worked back and forth like normal, knitting one row and purling the next. On the knit rows, I did a K2tog on each side to get the shaping and then stopped to do the little flap for the velcro. Eventually, I'll sew a button onto the outside of the little flap to make it look a bit better. So that's it! Total knitting time was about 1 hour, but if you're faster than me, it won't take that long.

Finished Christmas shopping

I finished all my shopping this weekend! Yay! I've never been so happy about it in my life. This year, my parents and I decided we wouldn't go nuts with the presents for the kids because we have already booked a vacation to Disney World for all of us in June of 2009, so that's the real present. So we decided to split the cost of one big gift for each child and then get a couple of small ones so they will have enough things to unwrap. The big gifts are going to be a huge hit this year!

Noah (12 years old) Guitar Hero World Tour - complete band kit
Hannah (6 years old) Biscuit the anamatronic dog - it obeys six commands
Kohl (5 years old) Kota the anamatronic triceratops (sp?) that he can actually ride.

I think they are going to be very happy. The smaller gifts are smaller but still fun. Every year I think it will be the best year because of what someone has found for them, and every year is better than the one before. I'm totally looking forward to playing Guitar Hero with Noah. I'll play the drums while he plays guitar!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

being single during the holidays

If you know me personally, you know that normally, I'm pretty happy with my status as a single woman with a career and a life bursting with hobbies and activities. I sometimes wonder where another person would fit into this life and how I could manage a relationship while juggling all my other responsibilities, my job, volunteer work, theatre stuff, and of course - we can't forget the most important thing - the writing.

At Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, it's inevitable that I will be asked the "dreaded question" by at least 12 people, mostly well-meaning aunts or cousins who know how old I am and who know my past history, so they wonder, as any normal human would, about my status right now and whether or not that might change in the future. Normally, I brush off the question, which usually goes something like this: "What aren't you married yet?" with something amusing that is meant to show them that I still have a sense of humor about things and am not taking it too seriously - because most of the time, that's how I feel.

This year, however, I was hit from another angle - one I didn't expect. My cousin was there with her newborn. You know where this is going. My first mistake was holding the baby. I know, I know - this is so stereotypical. The 32 year old single girl holds a baby and everything changes. Well, that's not exactly what happened, but it's close. I watched her watching everyone - so aware at such a young age. I watched her watching me while I baby-talked her and tickled her nose. We looked at the Christmas lights on my aunt's tree. I could see the lights reflected in her big blue eyes. It reminded me of when each of my sister's kids were born and how much I loved holding them and just looking at them for hours. And I was sad. Truly, deeply, devastatingly sad. I usually brush off the whole thing - marriage... children... it's probably not for me because if it was, it would have happened already. But when I held that baby and she fell asleep in my arms, well - it was a moment. But that wasn't the thing that got me. What got me was when my cousin (the baby's mother) came up to me and said, "you're a natural." I've never thought of myself as "good with babies" or "good with children." I mean sure, I'm great with my sister's kids, but they are special. But when she said that, I nearly started to cry. And then a voice inside me - the independent, busy, career-minded, single woman - started to scream at the other part of me. Started screaming that I am happy being single and I don't want a family. But this other voice, the new voice, it wouldn't shut up.

So now there's this new fear. A fear that I'm going to come across as desperate. That's that last thing I want - to be one of those women who is just looking for a husband. And I especially don't want to come across as one of those women who just wants a man so she can have a baby. That's not true at all. Loneliness is powerful and we all have a deep need for companionship. I've been alone for a very long time. I'm not sure why, other than the fact that I'm not society's vision of pretty or attractive or whatever. But I look at other couples and think that I'm at least as pretty as that girl so how did she manage to find happiness and I haven't yet. That's petty, I know, but most of the time I think that's the main thing keeping me from finding someone, because if people take a second look they will realize that I'm a great catch! See, I have lots of confidence in my inner beauty, just not much in my outer... whatever.

And I know I'm supposed to let go and let God take care of things. I know I'm supposed to trust that if I'm supposed to be with someone, He will make it happen. But still, I worry. Still, I get impatient. Still, I fear spending the rest of my life alone.

So okay, this post took a really interesting turn, but I intended it to be just a glimpse into what it's like for me, being single during the holidays. I think that mission was accomplished. I'm going to stop now, though, before I humiliate myself any more!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

still sick - getting better

Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm still sick but am getting better.  I finally went to the doctor and got meds, so I'm on my way to a full recovery.  It's a severe sinus infection, which is exactly what I thought.  It's been miserable for something like 12 days, so I'm looking forward to the medicine kicking in.  I hate being sick.  I'm such a baby when I'm sick and I know it so I try to stay away from people so they won't see that side of me!

So anyway, it looks like things are looking up.  I can't wait to have energy again.  That's the worst part of being sick - it's exhausting just to walk across the room.  So anyway, more later.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel

I was asked in the comments for this, so I thought I would post it here, in case anyone else is curious! This is the show I'm stage managing right now and it is an absolute RIOT! The actors are amazing and the script is hysterical. The Theatre 98 audience won't know what hit them!

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel
A rare comedy with a surprisingly heartfelt lesson. Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is the uproarious story of two bumbling Alabama brothers who have never shot a duck but think they shot an angel. As they lament their fates in a murky swamp, they are chased by a cynical tabloid journalist and his reluctant photographer, who don’t believe any of it—until feathers, wings and a tiara are discovered along the way. The play hysterically interweaves a love story, sibling rivalry, tawdry media, race relations and cultural stereotypes as the chase to find the angel builds to a crescendo in the swamp. Ultimately a sweet allegory about redemption, written by the best-selling author of Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day.


Yep, I'm sick today. It's my annual sinus/cold problem, but just because it happens every year doesn't mean I am used to it or know how to deal with it any better than the first time it happened. ARGH!

Anyway, usually it lasts a few days and I'm fine, so here's hoping it follows the usual pattern.

Nothing else to tell really.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

trying again

So I lost 20 pounds during the show over the summer, which was completely awesome, but since the show ended, I haven't lost any. I haven't gained any, but the loss stopped - which is very upsetting. It totally makes sense, I'm not as active as I was in the show. So I've decided to get serious about it (again) and really try to lose the rest of the weight I need to lose.

It's all about changing my attitude and my habits when it comes to food and exercise. That's so hard, but I'm going really try to do it this time. Usually, I'll do really well for a little while and then totally fall off the wagon. I'm going to try to not let that happen this time - and if I fall off the wagon, I'll get right back on it!

I went back to sparkpeople and rejoined. It's such an amazing tool for living a healthy lifestyle, so I'm going to use it as much as I can.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hello out there!

I do this every once in awhile, just to let people know that I welcome comments. In fact, I love comments! If you are visiting for the first time or if you've come by several times, or if you accidentally stumbled on this blog because of a bizarre google search, WELCOME!

Stick around and say hello. I'd love to chat!

Since I'm doing this anyway, I'll go ahead and mention some new things that I've added recently. You'll find my twitter update, a facebook badge and a badge directing you to my youtube channel. I think they are pretty cool.

So anyway, it's nice to have visitors, so I'd love to hear from you!

my head is spinning

Today was one of those days. It went by so fast and now that I look back on it I can't believe it was all one day. I got a ton of work done, which was great. I'm working on getting Christmas cards out to donors, and I think it's only right to sign them by hand rather than just sending a computer generated one, so that's tomorrow's project!

Other than that, I did research for direct mail appeals. We're doing a holiday one and I planned out the whole strategy for 2009 so that's done. I started a newsletter and planned an annual report. My department had a meeting with someone from another department, which was very productive! That ended the day on a nice, positive note.

But my head isn't spinning from all that. It's really everything that is coming up in the next couple of weeks. We're dedicating 10 houses Friday, and then we have several dedications next week and one almost every day the following week! It's a great time to work for an organization that helps people. We'll have 30 families in their homes by Christmas! Yay!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bloggers Unite: World AIDS Day

Bloggers Unite
Today is December 1 - World AIDS day. To help raise awareness and to hopefully help someone understand AIDS better, I am joining with other bloggers across the world to post about AIDS. I don't know of anyone in my world who has AIDS or HIV, but I know that it's something that affects all of us in some way. Today, I visited and found lots of information about awareness campaigns. I also visited and found some interesting information. I knew most of this, but I wanted to post it here, just in case someone reading this does not know.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. Over one million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS today. Worldwide, the figure is over 33 million. Effective HIV care—including antiretroviral drug therapies and regular access to primary health care—can help people manage their HIV disease and live longer. (

I also thought it was well worth posting this information, as there are still a lot of misconceptions about AIDS out there and prevention is so important.

HIV and AIDS are life threatening conditions. There is no cure yet for HIV/AIDS. The transmission of HIV occurs through three well documented means: 1) having sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with someone infected with HIV; 2) sharing needles and syringes with someone infected with HIV; and 3) being exposed (fetus or infant) to HIV before or during birth or through breast feeding. HIV transmission can be prevented through avoiding behaviors that expose someone to the means of transmission and by taking preventive measures if identified risk behaviors occur.

To protect yourself, do not inject illicit drugs and remember these ABCs:

B=Be Faithful

HIV is not transmitted through day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets. You also cannot get HIV from mosquitoes. (

I can't describe how terrifying it is to take that test and wait for its results. When my ex husband and I split up and I found out he had been unfaithful, I went to the doctor and asked to be tested for everything. Thankfully, I was negative for all possible diseases and six months later I was still negative - and then a year later, still negative. By that time, my doctor told me I was absolutely fine and didn't need to test again, so I was, needless to day, extremely relieved. It was an ordeal I never wanted to have to go through and one I never want to go through again.

So if you have engaged in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex, please get tested for your own peace of mind and for your future partners. Let's stop the spread of this disease. Nobody should be getting AIDS anymore, not since we know how to prevent it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Draha mind map complete!

Now, obviously I can't post this large enough so that someone can actually read it, because if someone did, they may be able to write the whole series faster (and better) than I can!  But here it is, the screen shot of the entire Draha Adventures series.  I placed the most relevant details, such as characters, conflict, locations of important things, and resolution or cliffhanger, as well as very important characteristics of the settings of each book.  This is awesome, because I feel like I've really gotten some important work done on the story.  And hey - do you see that lovely long paragraph on the right side at the bottom?  That's the end of the entire series.  A fitting end - an exciting end.  An end I can't wait to write!  Now I need to finish that lovely outline for each of the books and then get writing!  My new goal is to have the first book ready to send out by this time next year.  I'll use 2009 to finish the outline, finish the first book and get all the research done so I can just get it ready and send it out in January of 2010.  Of course, if it's ready before that, I'll do it sooner, but I want to make sure it's perfect.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


This is an absolute disaster. Not on the scale of world crisis or the horrible things on the news right now, but it is a personal disaster and I'm really unhappy about it.

I've spent the last two hours looking for a manuscript. It was my 2006 NaNo piece and this afternoon I decided to pull it up and see if I could do some work on it. It's been awhile since I've seen it, but I was sure it was on my computer, waiting for me.

It's not there. Not on my laptop, not on my external hard drive where I keep everything, not on various memory cards and not on a disc that I can find. I've checked several dozen discs this afternoon and I haven't found it yet. I still have a few to go, but I'm not positive. I found a couple of pieces of it from emails, when I emailed little chunks of the novel to myself so I could continue working on it. It's just little pieces, though. Only twelve pages total.

I'm so depressed. I really wanted to work on it tonight.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I haven't been reading enough in the past year or so. I know it's true and I know it's bad, but there just hasn't been time. I'm making time now. It appears that I'm getting sick, so I've spent the last two days in bed, reading. I took my nephew to see Twilight, and while I thought the movie could have been much, much better, it was entertaining and interesting enough for me to want to know more. So I bought the books and read all four of them in two days.

They're pretty good, really. There's a complex world with great history and all kinds of interesting rules and exceptions. To me, that's the sign of a story that was well thought-out. And it's good to experience how other writers handle world building when you are struggling to build your own world, so I really enjoyed that aspect of it.

So I've been reading a lot and I remembered why I love it so much. It's back to writing now, though - and I have some interesting ideas about a certain direction I want Draha to take.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

dazed and confused

I'm not entirely sure what to think about a certain situation, so this is going to be a fairly incoherent post. I think I'm too old and have been around too long to ask this question, but there you go. You see... there's this guy. And I'm not sure how he feels about me. Geez, I feel like I'm 13 years old again! It's stupid, isn't it?

So yeah, I like a guy - or I think I could like him. I actually really love the "just getting to know each other" stage of a relationship, but it's so much easier if I know what they are thinking the relationship could become. It's possible he only wants to be friends. I've been down that road many, many times. Not that I would trade anything for my male friends - I have more of those than female friends, actually, and they are really great. But this guy - I think there could be more to it than that.

So there's the situation. It's exciting and fun and frustrating. All the things relationships should be, I guess!

Journaling: Rejection

Describe a time when you felt rejected.

Well, this one is easy. But I don't think I'll talk about the "ultimate rejection." I think I'd rather go somewhere else.

I packed the envelope so carefully, including only what they requested, nothing more and nothing less. I had worked on the contents of that envelope for nearly a year, although it was in my head longer than that. I was sending more than a query package, I was sending a dream. All my hopes were pinned on that one envelope. I sent it off with a quick prayer and a kiss for good luck - and then I waited.

About two months later, a letter came with the publisher's address on the outside. I was excited and freaked out - what would it say? The moment I opened the envelope, I saw the words, "regret to inform" and knew. It was the most devastating moment of my life, even after dealing with an ugly divorce only a few years before.

My first reaction was total depression. I cried for about an hour, holding the letter close to my chest, rocking back and forth on the couch, just crying. Then the rage came. I was furious that they rejected my work when they had published so much that I considered inferior to mine. I crumbled the letter into a ball and threw it across the room. I screamed at it. I left it on the floor in the corner for a few days. It took about that long for me to realize that this was a learning experience and that by receiving my first rejection letter, I was a REAL WRITER. All writers deal with rejection and you have to develop a pretty thick skin or you will eventually just give up. Since I don't want to give up, I decided to deal with the rejection and move on. It made me want to write more - and write better. Rejection doesn't have to be a negative experience. Sometimes it makes you spring into action.

Monday, November 24, 2008

UFO pictures - Dragon Scale Shawl

Above: The progress on the Dragon Scale Shawl.
Below: A closeup of the shawl to show the beading. The color is a little washed out in the closeup, it's closer to the color in the above picture.

UFO pictures - Log Cabin Blanket

Two squares down - a lot more to go! But see how pretty they are turning out?!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


In knitting, when you have unfinished objects, they are often called UFOs. I have a TON of UFOs right now and my new knitting goal is to finish most of these projects before starting a new one. A couple of them will be ongoing projects for awhile, but there are some that must be finished! Here's the list and the progress so far:

Ribbed Wool Scarf - about 25% finished
Dragon Scale Shawl - about 20% finished
Kool Aid skinny scarf - just started, may not continue.
Christmas Throw - about 50% finished
Log Cabin Blanket - 2 blocks complete, not sure how many it will take

The two I want to finish are the scarf and the shawl. Before I start anything else, I will finish those two items. I'm sure other knitters have more UFOs lying around, but for me, this is way too many!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

framing is fun

We did a Women Build project today and it was a blast! It was the first day of our framing blitz and we got so much of it done! I was really impressed. The coolest thing about it was that it focused on women over 50, so we had about 30 women over 50 out there building all day. It was great - and I think they had fun too.

About halfway through the day I had a moment of panic. I couldn't find my cell phone. It's funny how much you depend on things, but don't realize it until they are not there. I literally felt naked until I found it. It was horrible!

We're out on the work site again tomorrow. I love working out there, it's a great break from office duties and it's really helpful for us to actually build sometimes, especially when we work together. It's been a tough time for all of us lately, so it's really important for us to have some bonding time.

Tomorrow is a big press conference about the build. I feel very prepared, but still have a fear in the back of my mind that I've forgotten something. It's always this way, though, and things always come out right.

Draha is moving along nicely

and all is right with the world! The outline is still going very well. Things are coming to me more quickly now, which is great! A new character is appearing on the scene and I couldn't be happier about it. I love when new characters just happen! I'm really glad I decided to go back to it instead of working on something new.

I really think this story can go somewhere. I was telling a friend about it and she really liked the concept. Since she's getting her Master's in English, I am going to trust her opinion!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

first gloves

This is my very first pair of fingerless gloves! I'm so proud of the way they came out. The yarn was Patons Classic Merino, dyed with Kool Aid: Blue Raspberry, Strawberry, and Cherry. The striping happened all by itself, which was totally cool. The pattern is called Knucks. You're supposed to embroider letters on the knuckles to simulate knuckle tattoos, but I haven't decided if I want to do that. I'd also have to really think about what I want them to say. But anyway, here they are!

Stage Managing Adventures: First rehearsals

Well, this cast is simply amazing. We had one read through, one walk through and a stage rehearsal last week and they all went very well. We have a couple of people who are already comfortable with the script enough to put the book down for awhile. It's great to see how serious everyone is about this, but also how much fun they are having. After my last experience with theatre, it's nice to see people having fun again. Not that we didn't have fun during Quilters, but it's just a totally different vibe this time. Everyone is getting comfortable with each other and they seem to really like each other, which is great. It's such a funny, crazy, interesting play, so it's good that they are enjoying the experience. The audience always knows when the actors are enjoying themselves.

My favorite part of theatre is getting to meet new people each time, and this play is full of new people! I'm also having a great time getting to know everyone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

feeling better

I'm feeling so much better about NaNo now.  I really think I made the best decision for me right now.  I've been really working on the Draha outline since I decided to go back to it and it's going really well.  I love this story and I love the world.  World building is something I never thought I would enjoy or do well, but I was wrong, at least on the first count.  We'll see if I was wrong about the second part - I hope I was!

More on the progress later...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stage Manager Adventures: Auditions

Well, we had auditions for "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel" this weekend and they were pretty successful, if I do say so myself.  We were able to cast the show, which is always good.  Having met the cast, I can say it's going to be a fun group.  There are a few people I've worked with before and a few new people, so that's always a good mix.  One thing I love about theatre is that you get to meet at least one new person every time you're involved with a show.  This time, I'm working with 5 new people!  Well, 6 if you count the director.

Last night I made a contact list and sent it, along with the rehearsal schedule, to the cast.  I'm meeting one cast member at the theatre tonight to hand off his script.  Our first rehearsal is Tuesday.

I had the difficult job of contacting the people who didn't get parts, which is never fun.  The sad thing is, they were all good.  Really good.  But when you have 20 people auditioning for 7 roles, it never works out for everyone.  Someone has to get disappointed.

So anyway, that's the beginning of my Stage Manager Adventure, I suppose.  I can't wait to see what else is going to happen!

Wow - Day 10 already?

Yeah, I've pretty much failed this year's attempt, I think.  There's just so much going on - and the story I was writing went nowhere fast, and all I want to do is work on Draha.  I want to finish that outline and get to the good part - the writing!

So this year, I'm not following the NaNo rules.  I'm going back to the outline and working on it every day.  If I can finish it by the end of the month, I've won my own personal challenge.  If not, I'll keep working on it.  The NaNo story wasn't a horrible concept, but it's just not right for right now.  Draha seems to be crowding my brain so much that it's difficult to write anything else.  I'll come back to the other stories later.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

Current wordcount: 1700
Time spent writing: 1 hour
Current mood: Annoyed

The NaNo site is driving me nuts.  When it comes up, it's really slow but most of the time, it isn't even coming up.  I think they must be having some serious problems right now.  Hopefully they will get those fixed.

We had our kickoff party today and it was great.  I made goodie bags for all the participants in the region.  They were colorful and bright, and contained little notebooks, pencils, some sugary treats and the NaNo stickers.  Normally I would put more stuff in the bags but I've been so busy I didn't have a lot of time to get them together. 

So today's writing went relatively well, although I'm not exactly happy with the content.  I'll probably end up deleting half of the stuff I wrote today, but there are a few good things in there I can use for later.  This month is always an exercise in restraint for me because the thing I want to do most is to just delete all the stuff I think is crap and start over, but if I keep doing that, I never get anywhere.  I had that problem with Draha the first time I started it, which is why I'm doing the insanely detailed outline before starting over.  So yeah, the story should be interesting and fun to write. 

One thing I'm finding difficult this time is shifting gears.  I've been working on that crazy Draha outline for so long and have been so focused on that world that I'm finding it difficult to leave it and come back to the "real world" where this book is set.  Hopefully that will go away soon, because I want to finish this story.  I think it could be really cute.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm afraid it's going to be difficult to describe this, but I'm going to try.  I got home this afternoon from my very quick trip to New York to see Equus.  Shannon and I flew out yesterday morning - very early yesterday morning - and arrived in the early afternoon.  We got a cab to the West Side YMCA, where we had arranged to stay for the night.  Yeah, we were going for inexpensive rather than luxurious.  It wasn't really as bad as I was afraid it would be, although it was my first experience using a shared bathroom since my time in the dorms at college! 

Anyway, we got there and decided to go ahead and dress for the play and go explore before dinner.  We walked around a bit and took the subway to Times Square.  I was pretty proud of us, actually - some guy came up and asked us a question about the subway... I guess we looked like we belonged there or something!  At the time, we didn't know the answer to his question, which happened to be our question, but when Shannon found the train we were looking for, I went back and told the guy what we discovered. 

I love New York.  The energy, the people, the buildings... there's just something amazing about the city.  I want to spend more time there, to really experience the city more.  One day I'll go back.  It was interesting because while we were walking around and I was taking in all the sights, I kept thinking about being a senior in high school and making plans with my friend Jamie to move to New York for college.  I was going to go to Julliard and he was going to go to NYU.  I gave up on that for a guy, and I regret it now, more than I can say.  Know what's funny?  He lives in New York now.  He's the artist he always wanted to be.  I think that's amazing, especially since I'm still where I've always been.  It kind of made me sad, you know?  

So anyway, back to the trip... we walked around some, looking for a restaurant.  We had tossed around the idea of Thai, but as we walked toward the theatre, Shannon saw a restaurant she was familiar with, so we went there.  It was wonderful - great Italian food and a friendly atmosphere.  Since we didn't have a reservation, they needed the table at 5:30, so we finished up and went next door for an Irish coffee - which was great, by the way, and by the time we finished, it was time to head down to the theatre.  Keep in mind that this was my first experience seeing a play in New York.  The Broadhurst is so pretty inside - I really enjoyed just looking around before the play started.  But when it started... I couldn't look anywhere but the stage.

How to describe this play?  I'm not sure I can do it justice.  Daniel Radcliffe was, in a word, brilliant.  I didn't think of Harry Potter at all while watching the play, which is a good sign, but besides that, I really felt the character's struggles, really experienced the character's tragedy.  From the first moment until the last, I was totally involved in the story.  The play itself is so strange, but also strangely beautiful.  There were so many lines that just really spoke truth about life.  I love when that happens.  The other actors were amazing as well, and I would be remiss if I didn't say that.  The entire cast was amazing.  I also really enjoyed the technical aspects - the smoke, the lighting, the music, costumes, the music, the set, etc.  It was all so wonderful.  And so amazing to see real, professional theatre.  I haven't been able to see enough of that. 

So yeah, the play was wonderful and totally worth the trip.  We left the Y at 4:30 this morning and flew back.  I've never had a travel experience quite like it, but as we said goodbye, I told Shannon if she ever wants to see anything else, I'm totally ready to go.  I hope we can do it again sometime.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

An idea!

I got an idea for NaNo!  I personally think it's a good one.  There's a lot of potential, anyway.  I'm actually very excited about this story and I think it could be something pretty special.

We are kicking off our local NaNo on November 1.  I've contacted everyone who is signed up in our region and let them know about the kickoff.  We'll be doing a write-in at the same time.  I think it's going to be great.

So here are the details I have so far.

Blindly Dating

Juliet Smith, a thirty five year old woman who got her "exotic" first name from a mother who wanted to offset her "boring" last name, is a high school English teacher.  On an evening out with some friends, she confesses that she wants to get married, but can't seem to find the right guy.  Her friends tell her she's too picky and name a list of guys she turned down because of tiny little flaws in their personality and looks.  One friend comes up with an idea - a challenge, really.  She challenges Juliet to put up a personal ad on an online dating service and to go out with any guy who contacts her for a date.  They lay down some ground rules saying that unless the profile sounds crazy or scary, she's required to go on at least one public date with every guy - most of the time with her friends sitting at a nearby table for safety.  Her dating adventures are sometimes crazy, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes even a little dangerous.  The question remains - can she find true love by blindly dating?

Monday, October 20, 2008

NaNoWriMo - again!

So here we are, only weeks away from the next NaNo adventure!  I've sent messages to people in my region, have started recruiting new people, and have received my goodies for the kickoff party.  The only thing I haven't done is.... figure out what I'm going to write!

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

I could start something new that I haven't thought of yet and just see where it goes, but that kind of writing tends to stress me out and I end up producing something I can do nothing with at the end.  I work so much better after carefully planning what I'm going to do, which totally explains why I've spent almost a year on this crazy outline!  it's funny, I've worked on it a lot but have removed such large sections of it that the word count has remained the same.  I've also done lots of notes, handwritten things in my notebook, so they don't count toward the word count either.  So the outline is actually a little better off than it looks right now.

So anyway, I guess in the next couple of weeks I'll come up with something to write.  I went onto the NaNo site and read some of the novel summaries that other people were doing and actually recognized some of the stories as ones I've read before.  For instance, one person is writing a book that sounds just like the premise of The Neverending Story (a story I've loved my entire life, by the way) Of course, that's fine if they don't ever want to publish, but I think it's more of a challenge if you make up the story yourself, if you create the world and you come up with the premise, rather than just retelling someone else's story with your own spin.  To me, that's fanfic, and not what NaNo is about.

But hey, at least they have a story, right?  I don't even have that yet!

duck hunters, angels, and gators (oh my!)

My work at the theatre is getting even more interesting as the days go by!  I'll be stage managing the first production of the season.  It'll be my first time in this particular position, so I'm a little nervous, but I think it's going to be great.  I haven't read the script yet, but I hear it's hilarious.  Even the title is intriguing - "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel."  I can see the promotional poster now, set up to look like a supermarket tabloid with photos of the duck hunters holding angel wings (or something like that.)

The director set auditions for early November, so we're about to kick things into high gear again.  Another very interesting development is that we have a new board president now and he's got some really ambitious ideas about how to take our theatre to the next level.  I think it's long overdue and I can't wait to hear what he has to say.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to get this theatre to the point where it can have a small staff running everything full time?  I would take a pay cut to do that.  It's a dream job!  We could do it - I can see so much potential - but it's just a matter of getting out there and fundraising and offering more community classes and workshops to help promote the theatre better, and really becoming a true community theatre in the sense that everyone in the community feels comfortable coming to auditions and joining in the work that we do.  It's really important to me that we become more of a community theatre than we are right now.

Expect lots of fun updates from the rehearsals as soon as we start.  It will be interesting seeing it from a different perspective.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

decisions, decisions

Lots of choices to make in the next couple of weeks!  Do I stay or go?  What novel for NaNoWriMo?  Save or spend?  Vacation dates for next year?  House or apartment?

There is so much to consider.  In my current situation, the money I spend on lodging is so very little that I am in a position to save lots of money and pay off some bills.  If I could pay off certain ones, I would be in excellent financial shape in about a year and would have LOTS of options about where to move.  Or I could take a place I've just found right now that is cheap but just as small as my current place, not save any money at all, not pay off any bills, and end up in the same place I'm in right now, just with a little different geography.

Granted, this would be an "on my own" situation rather than a "with my parents" one, which is where I am now.  But still, it's a converted garage in someone's back yard, so I'm not sure it's much better.  The rent is fairly cheap, but it isn't much closer to work, so it wouldn't help with that.  It is, however, about two blocks from the theatre, so that would be good.

I don't know.  Tonight I'm going to make a savings/payoff plan to see what I can do in a year and maybe I can use that to decide what to do.  The funny thing is, when I approached the subject with my parents, they both said they thought I should wait.  They say they are concerned with the economy, but I think they just like having me around.  We are so much like roommates now - we all get along really well and do lots of things together.  I know it's a little strange, but I actually really like living there.  It beats going home to an empty garage apartment, anyway.  (At least, I feel like it does.)  What's annoying is that people judge me for still living with them, like I haven't grown up or anything.  But that's not true at all.  I do the same things I would do if I were living with a roommate.  I'm extremely independent and they are very respectful of my life, my privacy and my decisions, as I am respectful of theirs.  This societal pressure that you have to move away from home at a certain age makes me a little crazy.  Obviously, it's good to get out on your own, but having been out on my own before, I can honestly say I have grown up just fine.  And just because I can't afford a decent place by myself doesn't mean I'm in some way deficient as a person.  But still, every time the subject comes up, I feel strange - not because I think it's bad to still live at home, but because other people do.  I wish I didn't care what other people thought about me.  It would make everything so much easier.

So yeah, lots of thinking to do.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

have you ever...

A coworker came to me a few days ago and said she was, and I quote, "sick of herself."  I thought that was such an odd thing to say at the time, but thinking about it further, I realized I've felt that way myself.  In fact, I kind of feel that way now.  I don't like my hair, I don't like my clothes, I don't like anything.

Has anyone out there felt that way?

So yeah, it's time to shake it off and get out of this funk.  There's no reason for it that I can see, so I need to just get over it and get happy again.

It's strange because I'm usually the happiest and most content person you will ever know, but for some reason, sometimes, I just feel this way.  Maybe it's the rain we've had for the past couple of days, I don't know.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

a spiritual journey

I've embarked on a spiritual journey recently and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it takes me.  I've started going to a new church and it's amazing.  I've gone to service about four times now, and this Sunday I'm taking my nephews and niece, and hopefully my sister will come too.  Sunday night I'll go to small group for the first time.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the small group is like.

I've also been doing a new devotional study called Walking With Frodo , which is a really neat study of the biblical lessons of Lord of the Rings.  I just started it a couple of nights ago, but I'm already really interested in the insights in the study and the thoughts it provokes.

Aside from all that, I'm just really paying more attention to how I conduct my everyday life.  It's one thing to be a Christian at church and another to be one all the time.  I'm working on practicing the truest form of Christianity - one that calls people to love everyone no matter what and to seek out those who need a friend.  If I can make a difference in one life because of the love I share, it will all be worth it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Patons Wool Adventure

Quite some time ago, I very enthusiastically purchased 5 skeins of Patons wool yarn in a lovely sage.  I planned to make an arrowhead lace shawl whose pattern contained only instructions I was familiar with or could look up online to identify.  I felt sure it would be simple enough for me to complete without too much trouble.  I was WRONG!  The pattern is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but with the endless yarn-overs and no way to really keep track of how many you've done in any given row, I kept screwing up the pattern and having to rip it back.  After ripping the entire thing back three times and then forgetting where I left off, I decided to make the shawl into a kerchief and do something else with the lovely wool.  Here's the awesome kerchief that I made from the shawl.  I somehow had just enough done to make it the perfect size.

I wear this thing all the time!  It's perfect for keeping the hair out of the face when on the work site or when painting sets or just doing laundry.  I even wore it when I took my nephew to Fort Morgan and to the beach, because it keeps my hair from blowing around.

So anyway, I've been searching for several months to find a good shawl pattern to use up this wool.  It's so pretty and nice, I just had to find something good.  I tried designing something, but it's going to be more of a stole, I think, and I wanted a triangular shawl, like the arrowhead lace should have been.  So here's what I'm working on now:

This little beauty is called the Dragon Scales Shawl and I love the way the pattern is starting to emerge.  I think it's going to look great!  I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out, and if I decide I like the pattern, I might get some variegated laceweight and do another one.  It really should be done in laceweight rather than worsted like this wool is, but I wanted to use up what I had.  I like substituting needles and yarn anyway, so it's fun!

So yeah, I'm having a blast with this pattern!

Sidewalk was a blast!

As always, I loved my weekend at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.  It was amazing.  The movies were phenomenal, the company was awesome, and fun was had by all.  It'll take a few days for me to do reviews of all the movies we saw, but suffice it to say that several of them were the best I've seen in the four years I've been going to the festival.  I'm already excited about next year!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sidewalk starts tomorrow!

I'll be offline for a few days because I'll be at the Sidewalk Film Festival.  This has become quite a tradition for me.  Chris and I always go to the festival and we absolutely love it!  I'm driving up tomorrow morning.  It should be a blast!

I'll post details about the weekend later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

you want me to what?

I got an email the other day from a fellow board member at the theatre.  She asked me if I would be interested in directing a show.  Huh?  I've only been doing this for a little over a year.  I actually said no, which I think surprised her because I haven't heard back.  Yes, I'd like to direct sometime, but it's important to me that I have experience doing every job before I even attempt to direct.  There's no way I'm ready for that yet.

But still... it was flattering.

Our annual party is coming up and I can't wait for it.  We always have a blast.  I'm decorating the back wall with posters from this season's plays.  It's a tradition for us to recognize the season we are ending and then we read descriptions of the upcoming season's shows.  I think it's going to be great.

We are also considering putting together a show for a one-act community theatre competition.  I hope we do it - I think it would be great.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

lovely time of year

The weather is getting cooler and there is a distinctive scent in the air - the scent of Fall coming slowly to us. I love this time of year. We finally get a break in the unbearable heat of summer and enjoy wonderful days with a high of 75-80 and cool nights in the low 60s. It's awesome and I love it!

Unfortunately, the change in the weather usually makes me sick, so here I am struggling with sinusitis and an ear infection, again. But oh well... I still love this time of year!

So quick update: I've been fighting the normal post-show letdown by working on my Draha outline and trying to design a knitting pattern for a shawl. I wanted to make something to take with me to NYC when I go in Oct, in case it's chilly inside the theatre. I may not get it finished in time, but hopefully I will. Designing is fun, but complicated.

Everything is going fairly well - except that my sister's life has gotten bad again and there's absolutely nothing I can do to make it better. I have a serious problem admitting I'm powerless in any situation, so I can't stand this!

Back to regular posting now. Sorry for the long absence. Crazy life!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So sorry!

Well, it's been quite a long time since I've posted! To tell you the truth, I gave this address to some people so they could see the clips for the play and didn't want to clutter the page with posts until I knew they had a chance to see the clips. I'm sure they've seen them by now, so it's back to posting as usual! Of course, I have nothing to say, but that will come later, I'm sure...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


This is one thing I love about being in shows! While talking backstage with the stage manager, we discovered we had something in common - a very strong desire to see Equus when it comes to New York. We have both been reading about it a lot but neither of us thought we could go, simply because neither of us could really afford full prices on hotels in addition to the cost of tickets and flights. So anyway, we talked about it and decided to go! I bought our tickets two days ago - we fly out on October 28. It'll be a quick trip: fly up on Tuesday, see the show that night, and fly back on Wednesday, after spending a bit of time in the city. I would love to spend a little more time, but she's in school and has to get back for class that night. We will arrive early enough to get some sightseeing in that afternoon and then dinner, and will most likely go somewhere for drinks after the show. I've never done anything this spontaneous before and I'm loving it! I'm so looking forward to this trip.

Quilters wrap

Wow. I can't believe it's over. We had our last show Sunday and it was a difficult and amazing experience. I think it was our best show ever. We all got a little emotional near the end of it, which was actually appropriate because the end is rather bittersweet anyway.

I initially got involved in theatre again because I don't have a lot of local friends who are not connected to work or church. Even the people I meet through professional organizations are more work friends than "hanging out" friends. One thing I wanted to do was find some friends to keep in touch with, people to care about. Fuddy Meers gave me the chance to get to know Cathy. We have a great email friendship and serve on a committee on the board so we are staying in touch that way. I've kept in touch with Tim and Mark and Anastasia, which is wonderful because they are all great people. With Hamlet and Misery, I didn't really make new friends because I worked tech all by myself, so there wasn't a lot of interaction with everyone else. But this show.. it pretty much demands that the cast bond with each other during the rehearsal process. If there isn't a bond, the show feels wrong. We all totally bonded and by the end, when we sang about "sisters" we all really felt like family. We depended on each other, we trusted each other, and most of all, we cared about each other - and I think that will last. Dallas, Nicole, Lesley, Donna, Carolyn, Pat, Shannon, Megan, and Maribeth are all incredible people and I hope we all stay friends. It's hard to find words to describe how much I loved getting to know each cast and crew member.

Of course, even though I've never been in a show with Brenda, we've worked closely together since she is the Production Manager and I'm the Publicity Chair, so we've become friends too, which is great. Also Hilary, who I've worked with several times. Those are two awesome women!

Several of us are going to see a show in Mobile this weekend - Richard II. Hilary is stage managing the show and the guy who directed Hamlet is directing it, so it should be incredible.

That's one reason I love working with the theatre so much. I never would have met any of these incredible individuals if I had never auditioned for that first play.

But back to Quilters, it was a heck of a run and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I feel like it really helped me as an actress and a singer. It made me step out of my comfort zone and really feel the part in a way that I've never had to do before. It was a challenge, playing all those different roles and switching between them so quickly. I think the hardest part of it was going from complete tragedy to the joy of being a child in a matter of seconds. I really had a hard time with that, but I think in the end, I managed. I'll be posting some video clips from our dress rehearsal later, just in case some family and/or friends didn't get to see it and want a little taste. We didn't video the actual performances out of respect for the copyright, but we did video that last dress rehearsal so that we could see how we looked on stage and adjust things that needed to be adjusted. It was a great learning tool for me - and now I have a video keepsake of this amazing experience! The clips are a little rough, since they are of the dress rehearsal, but they are a good representation of how the show looked and sounded.

So tonight was my first night without rehearsal (well, last night, but we had a hurricane to deal with) and I'm enjoying the rest, but I really miss everyone. That's always the way it is. I did have a busy night, though. I'm working on rearranging things in my house and am trying to finish a knitting project. Tomorrow I'm going to Michael's to get a big frame for my play poster and other keepsakes. I always do a neat thing with all my stuff from a show. I'll post a picture when it's finished.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Quilters pics

Hurricane Season

It never fails. Right around the end of August, all eyes turn to the oceans and the gulf. I can't believe how crazy this year has already been, and what we are in for during the next few months. Before Katrina, hurricanes were merely an inconvenience for most of us living along the coast. But that storm opened everyone's eyes to the destruction that can happen with these storms. I'll never forget seeing the Mississippi coast after the storm. It looked like someone dropped a bomb on it or something.

Gustav was bad in Louisiana and Mississippi, but the Alabama coast was spared the worst of it. We did have tropical storm winds and a lot of rain - the river near my house was under a flood warning but I don't think it actually did flood - thank God. It was strange walking outside during the storm because the rain smelled salty, like the gulf water. I don't remember ever really noticing that during a storm before.

So now we have Hanna, Ike, and Josephine out in the ocean. I am hoping for the best, that they go out to sea and not hit land. Some of those areas on the East Coast have not had a hit for awhile, so I fear they will be unprepared.

Good luck to all coastal residents this season. I have a feeling it will be a busy one.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Opening Night!

Well, tonight is opening night for Quilters and I do believe we are ready!  In fact, we had our invited dress rehearsal last night and it was amazing!  Everyone really got into their parts and the audience was right there with us the whole time.  It was a wonderful experience, especially for our newbies.  I'll give a full report (with pictures) later, but I just wanted to do a quick post to say that it was wonderful and I'm having a blast!

Here's to opening night!  I hope it goes even better than last night did!

Friday, August 15, 2008

my fault!

Boy, yesterday was a bad day all around.  The story about the show ran in the paper and two of the actresses names were misspelled.  Totally my fault.  Typos and trusting information that I shouldn't have trusted... rookie mistakes in the PR game.  I could chalk it up to being stressed and crazy because the show's about to open, but I'm not going to do that.  I didn't do my job right and now two of the ladies in the show are disappointed because their names were misspelled in the paper.  I don't blame them - they have a right to be upset.  I've sent a correction to the ones that haven't printed the release yet.  Hopefully they will do something about it.  I also sent an email to the entire cast and crew making a public apology for misspelling the two names.  I feel just awful about it.

And then last night's rehearsal didn't go well for me at all.  Everyone else was exceptional, but I stumbled over lines, dropped props, tripped over my skirt and broke character during an important scene.  I was a mess.  I think it was because I broke one of my rules and was thinking about other things.  For one thing, I was upset about the misspelled names.  Also, work has been fairly stressful.  Add to that the fact that I haven't been sleeping well and you have a disaster waiting to happen.  I'm determined to focus tonight.  We run with lights for the first time.  I hope we see some magic!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

running the show

We've been running the show from start to finish in the last few rehearsals and I have to say I think it's going well.  There are still a few things I'm concerned about.  We'll be rehearsing with lights for the first time on Friday, which is always a pain but great once we get through it. 

I have no doubt everyone will shine when the audience gets here, because we had a few people watching late last week and they did so much better, but rehearsals should be just as energetic and animated as performances.   Tonight we're working music and several scenes that are just not working yet.  I'm so glad we're doing that!  What we really need is to run lines once - just lines.  I think most of us have our blocking down, but those lines are causing trouble for some people.  Oh, and picking up cues. 

I do have a couple of funnies to share. 

There's a childbirth scene and I'm playing the midwife.  The "pregnant" girl actually has a quilt block under her dress as the baby - a quilt block that I use in the next scene.  Well, we did the show with costumes last night and she tucked the "baby" into her bloomers so it wouldn't fall out.  When I reached under the blanket and her dress to get the baby out, I couldn't get it because it was in her bloomers.  I had a second of panic as I tried to find it without grabbing anything personal and she struggled with it to get it out so I could grab it.  Finally, after several seconds and after all of us losing control and laughing, I got the baby out.  I begged her not to tuck it into her bloomers again.  She agreed.  It was funny but a bit uncomfortable for everyone!

The other funny involves a scene where we are all naming our children, all at the same time.  We each have 12 names and we start at different times.  I know the first five names I'm supposed to say, but for some reason the ones in the middle just fly right out of my head.  Since we are saying them at the same time, it's less important if we get them exactly right, so I've been just saying names that come into my head at the time once I've given the next person their cue.  One night I named the Beatles and other musicians from that era.  Last night I named all my high school boyfriends.  This morning on my commute, I finally got all the names right!  Hopefully that means it's in my head now, but I'm not holding my breath.  Maybe tonight I'll name the characters in my favorite books.  I'm sure I can come up with 12 of those!


Seriously?  Is it always like this?  No matter what environment I'm in, it always seems to spiral down into some kind of chaos.  Is it me? 

I am seriously speechless and even if I wasn't, I couldn't go into any additional detail.  ARGH!

Friday, August 08, 2008

always plotting

Yes, even when there is no writing news, I'm always plotting in my head.  Yes, even though I'm concentrating on lines and dance steps, I'm still thinking of Draha and it's adventures.  When the show is over, I should be able to finish that first outline without too much trouble at all! 

There were a few things I didn't know, but I think I've figured them out now.  I had a couple of problems that needed solving and I think they have been solved.  I have finally figured out where each portal will be placed in each world, and I know what they will look like.  I'm struggling a little with the symbol for the portals - because they will all be different, there should be some kind of identifying mark that isn't too obvious but can be seen by Cindy and Justin.  I'm either going to make the symbol the same thing, something I make up to go along with the culture of Draha that I'm creating, or a symbol that means what each island represents, probably also made up but possibly some kind of hieroglyphic or celtic symbol just to give it a little significance in reality.  I want it to be (or seem) old, ancient even.  I'm also dealing with the language issue.  I've always found it suspicious in books when people or creatures from other worlds or dimensions speak English, just like the main characters do.  Maybe Cindy and Justin have some special gift for understanding all Draha languages or something, being that they are the chosen two.  Or maybe that's even more cheesy than everyone speaking English.  I dunno... something to think about.

Do you know what else I love?  Back story!  I'm having a marvelous time creating back story for each of the Guides.  There's one on each island and they go back generations, knowing this is their job and waiting to be called into service.  It's a fun exploration of family and duty.  I've been making notes on all this backstage and while waiting for rehearsals to start.  I love when I know my lines, because I have so much more time!

So yeah, September will be a big month for Draha.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

First off book rehearsal

Yay!  Last night was our first off-book rehearsal!  I didn't have to call for lines at all, which was kind of a shock to me because I thought for sure I'd need it for one of the scenes.  That just goes to show you that we use the script as a crutch sometimes and it needs to be ripped from our hands for us to realize we can go without it.  We did Act 1 last night and it was about 1 hour and 20 minutes long, which is actually pretty good considering all the calls for lines and all the big pauses we took between scenes.  Oh, and the fact that none of us picked up our cues fast enough!  But I think it's really good considering we have 16 days left and most of those are rehearsal days.  Some of the cast members are getting nervous, but I'm just getting excited.  I love this so much!

Tonight we do Act 2 without our scripts for the first time.  It will be a little more challenging, even though it's shorter.  There are some pretty complicated parts, especially concerning who strikes what and when. 

Oh, and we tried our costumes on for the first time last night and they have to take mine in 2 inches!  I had no idea I had lost that much weight!  They also have to take about 2 inches off the length because I'm short, but that's okay.  I tripped over the skirt a few times during rehearsal last night, so I'm all about making it shorter.

Wednesday we are going to try to run the show from start to finish.  It will be the first time we've tried that.  I love that particular rehearsal - everything really starts to come together then, you know?

I think I've figured out one reason I love theatre so much, and I may have said this before but it bears repeating.  You have a chance, in that one moment, to experience something with a group of people that you will never be able to repeat.  That one moment in time, that one performance, will never happen again, and the audience has the same unique experience that you are having in that moment.  That's why recorded theatre is never the same as seeing it live.  It's one of the few times in entertainment that you can't rewind the Tivo or whatever if you missed something, so you have to pay attention all the time.  In a world of entertainment on demand, live performances are the only real unpredictable entertainment, the only real experience that you can never rewind or duplicate.  There are other reasons, but that one is key, I think.

Monday, August 04, 2008

painting sets

We had a work day on Saturday.  I fought a cold or something all weekend, but when I woke up on Saturday I was feeling well enough to go down to the theatre and paint.  At least I didn't have a fever like I did on Friday, so I wasn't contagious or anything.  So Noah and I worked for a few hours and it was a lot of fun.  We got almost everything finished, including cutting some fabric for a scene where we all needed this black, almost sheer fabric to cover ourselves to symbolize the effects of the fire.  And Noah helped build the fence!  He had a great time, and even asked me if he could help when we do this for every show in the future.  I'm not sure how long that will last, but it was nice that he asked.

But about the set - it's basically a black box with some brown pieces (stools, ladders, etc) and the color comes from the costumes and the quilt blocks.  I think it will be very effective.

Play selection is still going on, although we should have picked something by now.  One play we considered for this season is now on another theatre's slate for next season, which is sad because I was going to ask them to reconsider.  I'm going to go see it at the other theatre because it seems very funny and fun.  I might even try out!  But for play selection, I read "A Doll's House" (again - we read it in school) and I think we could really do it justice.  I'm reading a play called "Sealed for Freshness" right now, which seems funny so far.  We've had a lot of comments about how dark this year's slate was and how people would rather see lighter shows, so I think we are going to focus on funny a little more next year just to help counterbalance the darkness of this year's shows.  It's true, when you look at it, all the shows dealt with death in some way.  Even our comedy, "Dearly Departed," was about a funeral and had some truly dark moments.  We're trying to put on quality shows that make people think and really challenge them, but I think there is some merit to putting in one "fluff" show to help cheer things up a little.  Our committee is having this discussion right now and there are people who strongly support both sides of the argument.  I stand in the center, because I see both sides.  There's no use in putting on four heavy shows a year if nobody comes to see them - and if nobody auditions!  So that's our current problem.

Rehearsal tonight!  We've shifted to a Mon-Fri schedule and have dropped Sundays, which is good.  Only 17 more days until opening night!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summertime Fun with Habitat

Today we kicked off a special building blitz at work.  We called it Summertime Fun with Habitat, and we got t-shirts and summer treats for our volunteers, all in an effort to quickly build ten more homes.  There are so many families who need our help, and we are just trying to serve as many as we can.

It was a great kickoff day, with only one glitch.. it rained... A LOT!  Right after lunch, we were hit with some crazy thunderstorms.  Yeah, we got soaked.  It was fun, though.  And all you people out there who know me - you won't believe this, but I actually did some hammering while I was out on the build site!  A lot of hammering!  It was great exercise, but of course I'm sore now!

I'll be in the office tomorrow to take care of some things.  A person I was going to hire accepted the job but then today she emailed me and told me she got another offer and was going to take it instead.  Now I know why some people say that when you do that, you burn bridges with that company.  I replied and said I wasn't offended, which is true, but now I have to call someone back and say "you got the job after all," which isn't the best way to hire someone.  It just puts me in a bad position, which I hate! 

Other than that, things are going great!  I love the job and it's really allowing me to grow and learn a lot - which is exactly what I wanted.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

rose yarn - first dye project

I've joined the Ravelympics as part of Team TARDIS. It's a game we're doing on Ravelry where we sign up to participate in an event and knit during the Olympics. My event is the Bag -n- Tote Backstroke and I'm doing a simple felted bag. I'm using the yarn I used as a test for my Kool Aid dyeing project. It was supposed to be purple but it turned out more like dusty rose. That makes it perfect, though, because I can relate my project back to Doctor Who by saying I'm using rose colored yarn in honor of my favorite Doctor Who companion, Rose Tyler. A lot of my Team TARDIS teammates are doing Doctor Who related projects - some of them are knitting toys based on various characters and some are doing TARDIS iPod cozies and other related things, so this way I won't feel left out! Not that I care about being left out, but it's nice to fit the theme. The bag is pretty plain on the front, so I'm thinking of things I can do to decorate it.  I'm going to look up needle felting and see if it's something I'd like to learn how to do for this project.  Maybe a Celtic or Chinese symbol that means something to me.  Or something like that.  Anyway, here's a pic of the yarn:

Just one more word about Kool Aid dyeing... it's fun!  I used one package of Blue Raspberry and one package of Cherry to get this color.  While it didn't turn out purple like I originally wanted, I still think it turned out pretty.  It'll make a nice felted bag, I think.

Currently working on my second Log Cabin block.  I need to get back to the Christmas Throw too, or it'll be Christmas before I'm finished. 

I'm still thinking very seriously about making a blanket using the quilt patterns in the show.  It'll have to be after the show is over, but I really think it would be a neat project.  Lots of intarsia work, but totally worth it in the end!

Act 1, first run through

We ran Act 1 through for the first time last night.  It was pretty rough, but we managed to get through it without the whole thing unraveling completely, so I'll call it a win!  I had to call for a line twice - two different scenes - but I thought that was actually pretty good considering everything!  After the rehearsal, the director talked to us about starting to put some character into our characters.  She said nobody has gone too far yet, which means I need to stop holding back.  I've been sort of holding back in a couple of scenes because I'm interpreting them as very emotional and I'm not sure she agrees.  We will run Act 1 again tomorrow night, so I think I'll hit her with both barrels and see what she thinks.  She'll probably tell me to reel it in, but that's okay.

We run Act 2 tonight.  One of the girls will be out, but we'll get through it.  I wonder when we will work ourselves up to running the entire show in one rehearsal... it should be soon - I hope!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

finished except the curtain call

Yay! We finished blocking Act 2! We ran most of it after we finished blocking, but it was getting pretty late, so we stopped.  One of the girls has a sitter for her kids who has to be home at a certain time.  That's the way it works in community theatre, I'm afraid!

I'm almost completely off book now.  I do have a couple of parts that I'm a little unsure of, but those are the new ones that were given to me just last week, so I figure I've got a pass on those for another day or so.  I'm also setting up publicity now so that we will have a lot of it before we open.  It's a tough time for a show and our run goes through Labor Day weekend, so it's going to be a challenge getting the audience in the seats.  Add to that the fact that it's not one of the "famous" musicals that the other community theatres do every few years, and you've got yourself a publicity challenge.  We're trying some new things and are really hitting the quilt and craft shops hard so that those folks will know about the show.  I think it'll do well - but there's always a little nervous feeling in my stomach before a show because I don't want the actors to play in front of a half-filled theatre.  Almost my entire family is coming, so that will fill a few seats!  I have several friends coming too, and my coworkers all said they would like to come, so hopefully I'll have some support out there!

Have I said how much I love this show?  I absolutely love it.  There is so much to it, you know?  It's challenging and fun - and I think the audience will leave the theatre and talk about it, which is what you want.

The lovely woman who is making our costumes told me the other day that another local theatre is doing Company in May.  I've never seen it before, so I looked it up and it sounds great!  I bought the soundtrack from iTunes just to see what the music was like and I really enjoyed listening to it.  I think it will be a fun show.  I'm going to try out.  I'm in the right age range for several of the female roles, so that's good!  By May, I should be in much, much better shape too, so that will be perfect!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

10 down, 90 to go!

I made my monthly goal!  I lost 10 pounds in July!  I have to give most of the credit to all the exercise I'm getting in the show, but other than that, I've been really focusing on eating right and limiting my daily calorie intake to 1200-1400 every day.  I'm hitting about 1300 most of the time, which is pretty good.  The best part about it is that I'm not feeling hungry or deprived.  I seem to have more energy and I'm feeling better.  Sparkpeople is helping me a lot because I can enter whatever food I ate and it tells me the calories, fat, carbs, and anything else I want to track.  I'm tracking calcium and iron because I don't usually get enough of those.  One thing I've been doing is if I don't have enough calcium at the end of the day and I have some calories left to consume, I can drink a glass of milk to help boost that number.  It's great. 

Since I made July's goal, I'm going to call around and find someone to detail my car, because that was the reward I set for myself if I made the goal. 

For August, I'm shooting for another 10 pounds, to get me down to 226 by the end of the month.  If I make that goal, I will reward myself with a new iPod for my workout music.  I'm thinking a Shuffle or Nano - I don't want to spend a ton of money on it, but I do want to get something that will do what I need it to do.  I might get the Nano this time and then next time make my reward a pair of Nike+ shoes and the Nike+ sport kit.  It looks like fun!  There's another possible reward, the Nintendo DS system and My Weight Loss Coach.  It looks like a neat way to keep track of weight loss on the go.  It would fit in my purse and I could eventually get other games to play on it too.  So those are the options for rewards.  I'll decide during the month.

sooo close

We literally have about five minutes of the show left to block.  I'm not sure why we didn't just finish the show last night.  Well - I know why, the director was being nice and let us go a bit early.  What's funny about that is that the stage manager, another actress and I, all sat outside and talked for awhile after everyone left.  It was nice to just chat after rehearsal. 

We finished all the difficult scenes, last night was my last very emotional one, so I feel pretty good about everything so far.  Next week, starting Tuesday, we'll be running Act 1 one night and then Act 2 the next until we can start running the whole show in one night.  It shouldn't take long to get to that point, since our rehearsals are about twice the amount of time the show should actually take!  No rehearsal today, but we'll finish blocking tomorrow and will hopefully be able to run Act 2 completely.  I really hope I haven't forgotten Act 1!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blog structure

I've been thinking about this again and I think I need to restructure this blog.  I'm finding that most of my posts end up with so many labels that the labels are not really useful anymore.  I might start doing different posts for each subject rather than a post with all the subjects.  That way, if you click on a certain label, that's the only content you will see.  This may end up creating more than one post a day, though. 

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?

blocking progress

We blocked the scene that I consider the most difficult one last night.  It took nearly the entire rehearsal to do it, mostly because each person has a lot of "business" to take care of before, during and after their lines.  It's also the most difficult because of the subject matter.  It's just extremely emotional, especially for the actress who is playing the lead in the scene.  To make things even more interesting, though, the actress who played a fairly large part in this scene went to the director with some concerns about memorizing all her lines and asked if she could switch parts with someone who had fewer lines to learn in this scene.  Wouldn't you know it?  She chose me.  So now I have more lines to learn and I'm almost completely off book!  I don't mind, though.  It's a great part and I'm enjoying doing it.  I got the part two nights ago and almost have all the lines down already.  It's not hard, so that's good! 

So anyway, it was a tough night.  My character sits on a stool the entire scene and just talks when it's time, so I didn't do much more than work on the lines and watch everyone else work on their blocking.  Tonight, though - tonight is going to be a very active night!  We'll be blocking a very fast, very fun song, and I know there is jumping involved in the dance because the director mentioned it.  This might be the night I wear my ankle brace! 

I love getting to know the other women in the show.  Last night, one woman who has been a lot of fun backstage (and really onstage too!) whispered to me that we needed to go get a glass of wine tonight after rehearsal.  This was just after the director said it was going to be the most difficult night of rehearsal yet.  Of course, she says that every night!  Anyway, so I mentioned our local Irish Pub and she said that was a good idea, so it looks like some of us will be going for drinks afterward.  I told her to be on the lookout for single men - she's in the National Guard and hangs out with mostly guys one weekend a month - and she said she would, but that most of the guys in her unit are married.  *Sigh* The story of my life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

wow - this could have been me

I saw this on PostSecret and it really hit me hard.  I could have sent this postcard in myself.  It's always what I'm thinking deep inside me and my greatest fear.  I feel for the person who sent in this card, because I know exactly how she feels.  It sucks when the wonderful things you have to offer the world, and a potential partner are not the kinds of things anyone cares about.  I thought it would get better as I got older, but it still seems that all men care about is physical attractiveness.  Even into their thirties and forties, that's all they seem to care about.  Sometimes I feel like screaming: "I'm a great catch, why doesn't someone want me?"  Of course, that would never work.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

first log cabin square

So here's the first square.  I'm using Caron Simply Soft (no dye lot) yarn in the following colors:
Dark Side: Royal (I Love This Yarn instead of Simply Soft), Autumn Red, Dark Sage, Violet
Light Side: Orchid, Soft Green, Soft Pink, Soft Blue
Center Square: Black

It took me about two weeks of working about 30 minutes a day while waiting for rehearsal to start to complete the square, which ended up being 14 inches by 14 inches.  It was a little bigger than I expected it to be, but that just means the blanket will be larger than expected, or I can make fewer squares.  Either way, it's going to turn out really cool!  I'll cast on the second square sometime this weekend.  For the rest of today, I'm concentrating on lines!

Friday, July 18, 2008


We blocked The Butterfly last night.  It was the second scene I was looking forward to working and it was great!  I love, love, love this scene.  I'm trying really hard not to watch this too much, but here's the one I found on YouTube.  It's really an amazing scene and I can't wait to really get into it.  The director said last night that I was doing fine.  She was setting up appointments with different people to work on their scenes individually - for some more intense direction, and when I asked her when she wanted to see me, she said she didn't.  That felt pretty awesome, actually.  One thing about this show that I'm really working on is that every scene is a different character, so you really have to make every character different.  Now that I have most of my lines down and we've finished blocking Act 1 (completely! yay!) I can really start fine-tuning everything and give each character her own personality.  That's the fun part!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

log cabin - first block complete!

I finished my first log cabin block! Pictures to come a little later. I would have uploaded the pictures last night, but I was so tired and it was almost midnight when I finished the block that I decided to wait until this evening after rehearsal. I am so looking forward to the finished blanket. It should be very snuggly.

Draha stalled - for now

I did a little more outline work on Draha. I'm always thinking about it, even when I'm not writing, so there has been a little progress on plotting too. Now, my lines for the show, the songs for the show, and the plots for Draha are competing for my brain's limited time and resources! Oh, and work stuff is also thrown in there too! So it's no wonder I haven't done much on the writing lately. I do miss it, though and will get back to it as soon as I possibly can.

music and dance

Last night we had our music directors for the last time until next Sunday, so we worked on the music from Act 2 and the choreography from Act 1.  We were all off, though.  The music portion went much better than the choreography portion did, I will say that.  When we sang "Never Grow Old," the stage manager just looked out at us and said "wow."  That was cool.  It really is beautiful and I can't wait until we do it in front of a real audience.  We did have some guests last night and I'm not sure if that's why we were thrown off a bit or if it was just an off night for everyone.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Act 1 dancing complete!

Rehearsal was great tonight. We finished the choreography in the first act! We'll be doing all the non-musical blocking next week because our musicians and music director will be out of town. I'm looking forward to doing that blocking because my best scenes fall into that category.

where did the weekend go?

I really feel like the weekend just went by too fast.  I'm not even sure what I did yesterday!  Oh right - laundry.  Lots and lots of laundry.  It's almost all finished now, but I still have some clothes to put away.  I did work on my log cabin blanket some.  The first block is almost finished.  I'll post a picture when it's done.  I have two more strips to do and then I'll be able to measure and figure out how many blocks I need for the full blanket.  I'm thinking queen sized or similar. 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Arrowhead lace not working out

I may have to frog the arrowhead lace shawl. I'm having so much trouble with it! If you forget just one of the many, many, many yarn overs, it screws up the entire pattern and you have to rip back and start over. The only problem is, you don't always know you messed up until a few rows later, so all that effort is wasted. Because of the complex nature of this project, I decided to start on a simple one that is also designed to get rid of a lot of the yarn I bought when I first started knitting. It also fulfills my desire to quilt (sort of) because it's based on a quilt pattern. It's a log cabin blanket and I had started a variation of it for my nephew some time ago but I don't really like the way it's turning out so I might rip it out and start over. I want to do a traditional log cabin design, as a tribute to the quilters who made them long ago. I'm thinking about using the "barn raising" design, because something about it really appeals to me. So anyway, the good thing about knitting a log cabin blanket is that it's fairly mindless - all garter stitch - but it's interesting because you only knit a little of each color so you get to change colors fairly frequently. I can't wait to see how the first square turns out! I will be posting a picture when the first square is finished.


The log cabin pattern is such an interesting design.  I can't stop thinking about it.  I'm working on the first square right now and if it looks okay, I will continue to make squares until I have enough for the entire blanket.  Here are some sources of inspiration for me as I begin this project:

Cara's Log Cabin

Square Instructions

Log Cabin Sample Layouts

Traditional Log Cabin Settings

Piecing Animation

Design Dynamics of Log Cabin Quilts

Log Cabin pattern PDF

And when I'm finished with the one I'm working on now, I think I may start working on this: