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.