Monday, July 31, 2006

Amazing poetry.

The Missing - Philippa Boyens

Héo naefre wacode dægréd

Tó bisig mid dægeweorcum

Ac oft héo wacode sunnanwanung

Ðonne nihtciele créap geond móras

And on ðaere hwile

Héo dréag ðá losinga

Earla ðinga ðe héo forléas.

Héo swá oft dréag hire sáwle sincende

Héo ne cúðe hire heortan lust.

Look the translation up. This is amazing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Knight in Shining Armor

An excerpt from a poem I adore.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, burning bright,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I am at a loss for a title...

Ok, so I'm a geek. I'll admit it.

I didn't fully realize the extent of it until I did the following:

As I was outlining my manuscript in the effort to make editing easier I had to do something to make it easier to visualize how the battle was unfolding for a scene.

First I attempted to role-play the scene. It worked in the past when I had a difficult time determining how situations unfolded in something I was writing. Initial evidence that I am a gamer and I play in a LARP. Sad thing is, I've been doing this long before I started LARPing. When most children stopped playing pretend, I continued doing so for the sake of improving my writing.

Now that you all know *that* dark secret...

This didn't work entirely. Made it clear for me to understand how the action unfolded for one character, but not the scene. So I made my second attempt...

I took out some graph paper and drew a diagram. Have you ever played a tabletop role-play game? Like Dungeons & Dragons? Well, I had a flash back to my highschool days as a DM. (That's Dungeon Master for the unititiated. Also known as GOD or Games Operation Director.)

The sad part of all this, I've realized that I will probably need to continue this geekery to get my battle scenes consistant in my manuscript.


Boy am I glad that I'm home alone as I'm writing. I'd be embaressing if I got caught doing this. :P

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What I'm currently doing:

1. Rocking out to Led Zepplin's Kashmir. :)
2. Digesting lunch of ramen noodles and salad w/ a side of V8: Spicy & Hot
3. Taking a break from building an outline for the beast of a manuscript I've been fighting with
4. Wondering what the heck I'm going to make for dinner tonight
5. Debating if I should drag out the sewing machine I'm borrowing and do some mending
6. Contemplating folding and putting away laundry
7. Refusing to wash dishes until 5 pm


I think that about covers it. :p

Last night, I had a minor anxiety attack. It was horrid. After Dan and I talked for a bit, I then chatted with Stargazer. Out of it all came one rather prevelant theme:

Stop fighting to make things happen before they should.

I feel like a crazy lady about 80% of the time recently. It's made it hard for me to do much of anything, let alone get serious progress made on my fantasy manuscript. Combined with this recent spat of hot weather, I've been having nightmares again. Odd things that I can't fully remember, leaving me only with this unreasoning bit of terror that I need to cover myself with blankets and hide my feet.

Yeah, I don't get it either. It was a little fear during the night that I had as a child. Not quite being afraid of the monster under the bed, but something simmilar. To say the least, I'm having to struggle along with that fear. It's way too hot for me to put a blanket over myself. Somehow, I managed to keep the sheet on me. I didn't sleep well last night. When I woke up at 9:30 this morning, 2 hours later then I planned on, I was rather well wrapped in that thing. :P I think it took me about ten minutes to untangle myself.

As I do my best to follow the advice of all of my wonderful friends (thanks again Andrew!) I hope that these fears will ease up some. If not, well... I may be writing gibberish up here as I will have lost my marbles.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

okay... this is odd...

I'm probably a bigger space geek then the next gal. My primary argument on the whole Wal-Mart business is that they'd be producing more light pollution in my neighborhood, unlike my neighbors.

But this inflatable spacecraft concept? This is crazy. It's like trying to go to the ocean with a rubber dinghy. You just don't do it and expect to survive.

What are they going to think of next?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The image says it all

Which tarot card are you?

Stargazer, I *know* you're cracking up at this. :)

I was doing a search to find more places seeking tarot readers and stumbled on to this site to determine what card you were most like. This was the result.

You ever get the feeling that the Divine is laughing?

Monday, July 03, 2006

email is not always reliable

As I have now gotten home, I discovered that there was a comment in reply to my most recent posts. As I approved the comment for publishing (thank you very much for your kind wishes Heidenhamer btw) I discovered that there were other comments awaiting publication.

Comments that never reached me. Some days, technology is conspiring against me. I'm certian of it. I am even more convinced that what my husband does for work is truly the Black arts and I am the barest version of a neophyte.

computers = evil

me using computers = mickey mouse playing with magic ala fantasia

computer acting up = brooms taking over the world

And that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)

update/ranting - writing/job stuff

Well, it's summer and I'm currently looking for work. I've been looking at the job market around here and becoming increasingly ... upset. I attempted to do a position as a temporary employee at a factory. It was one of the worst work experiences of my life. It was a wonderful learning experience: I hate working in a factory. I'm amazed that I lasted a month. It really is one of those jobs where you either enjoy it or hate it from day one.

Now, dear Reader, I know you are curious as to why I'm upset with my local job market. The reason is because there is one type of job that is overwhelmingly present as a temporary position available: factory work. I know just how much I abhorr factory work. There are people that can do it, actually enjoy if not love it, and are quite good at it. My brother is a stellar example of it. God love him for it, but I just can't do it. So, I'm still looking. Nothing's exactly available in the clerical sector except for those temp-perm positions. I could do that, but then I'd need to give up that lovely job in the fall.

Things can change any day, though, so I keep looking. It's odd when not even the grocery store is hiring for help, though. If I'm lucky, I may get that diswasher position at the restaraunt down the street. If I'm really lucky, I may get that tarot reader job that I applied for on-line. Yes, you read that correctly, tarot reader. One of my hobbies is reading tarot. I've been doing it for about ten years now. I've been told that I'm quite good. So, I figure I'll take a swing at doing this tarot reading professionally. It may make a nice little thing to do on the side as school gets back into session. I know that there's a few people that manage to make enough money to support themselves and live in a comfortable life style reading cards. It's a niche market that not too many people fill around here in western NY.

Even as I am trying to muddle my way through the job market, I have been working on my writing. I am editing my fantasy novel. It is slowly progressing. I am still baffled by the fact that I need to add material. It doesn't usually happen that way in something I write. I am usually taking material out when I edit. I have the synopsis drafted out. I need to actually sit down and type it up. I'm rather terrified of doing so, however.

I will confess, I am utterly terrified of sending out my manuscript. My terror, however, is not so much of being rejected but of being a brilliant succcess. It is an unreasonable terror. I know that I can produce additional books in this particular story line. I've got the plot maps for 17 books sitting on my desk at home right now as I am typing this. I'm just afraid that I'll really screw up with having more money and put us into insane debt. I think what I'm going to do is let my husband worry about the money when it comes in. I'll just write. After all, he's better at math then I am. :)

At the same time that I'm working on this fantasy novel, I have other writing projects that I am working on. I have a children's book aimed at the toddler age group that I have half completed. It's a rather cute little story about a catapiller's chrysalis process. The concept has been done to death and yet it still sells. So, I'm going to write it. The kids at the daycare kept asking me to write a children's book after I started drawing pictures for them and telling them stories. I can't ignore it. I also have my neices that I need to write something for.

Another juvinile book that I'm working on is a reprise of a story that I wrote when I was a child. This is being elaborated upon and improved. The basic storyline and character concepts remain the same, however. The interesting thing about this story is that I had it published in a magazine as a girl. I am considering going thru my old material from when I was in junior high and late elementary school (what this particular item dates to) and scrounging up a few more peices to reinvent. This item is still in the intial stages, though.

Finally, I have a magnum opus (perhaps) of my geekery at work. No, not that marvelous theory proving Enstine wrong. I'm still working on the math for that. When I manage it, then I will present it and pick up my Nobel Prize. What I am working on is the factual history of the relgion of Witchcraft (also known as Wicca/Old Religion/the Craft/etc.). Stargazer is helping me out with this, the wonderful doll that she is. Fortunately, she and I are of the same mindset on this particular project. Collaboration is going to be most interesting. I've floated out the idea of sending this down to the wonderful nuns that educated us at college with the note attached "Here's that doctoral thesis you were asking about."

(Once, my relgion instructor asked me what I was reading and I explained that I was doing personal research. I then explained that I had about 5 yrs of research in. She asked me when I was publishing my thesis.)

update/ranting - health

Like I said earlier, my health is "ok" with the exception of a problem. I have polycystic ovary syndrom. I've known this for years, but I didn't understand it.

"Why?" you ask.

Well, dear Reader, it is because most doctors are generally money grubbing morons with little if any sense of doing the right thing anymore. It is an exceptionally bitter statement, I know, but as you read on, I suspect you will understand where I am coming from on this matter. You may, possibly, even empathise with is. First, to those members of the medical community that may have taken some measure of offense at what I just said, I apologize for offending you. Please note the clause "most" is used in the earlier statement, not "all." I recognize that such blanket statements are invariably false. (Irony = using a blanket statement to denounce blanket statements)

My wonderful doctor, when I was diagnosed with PCOS explained to me that it causes me to have light facial hair and cysts upon my ovaries. I was told that it required hormone therapy to control the problem and it was the reason why my menstrual cycle was so horribly messed up. Over the last 5 (approximately) years, I had that simple understanding. I told myself, "Well, you don't need to fear being sterile. You just get cysts from time to time. It's not so horribly bad."

Mind you, as a child and for many years, I was terrified that I would not beable to have children due to the genetic complications that I've inherited from my maternal line. During the last 3 years, I had managed to actually convince myself of that earlier semi-positive statement. My occasional terrors were precicely that, occasional terror. Then, my dear and darling husband and I started to try to have a child.

That started back towards the end of last year. During March, I started to have problems. I had missed my period and I also felt like I had the beginnings of a cyst. I didn't worry about it, because I said "Hey, it may be that I'm pregnant." I did one of those wonderful stick tests, but no dice. I shrugged and proceeded not to worry about it. April came along, and that feeling of having a cyst had gotten worse. Also, no menstrual flow. I tried another test but it came up negative. So, I called my doctor.

As far as doctors go, I have to say that my current general practitioner is probably the best that I've had. He's right up there with the lung specialist that made it possible for me to breathe easily again with out the assistance of an Oxygen bottle at myside. He did a quick exam, deemed that an ultrasound was in order after doing a urine test and determining that I was not pregnant. In the midst of this period of time, I am having all the little stomach problems that go with having a cyst.

By this point of time, it is now the middle of May. No period, I'm utterly freaked out. Doing my best to remain calm, despite my obvious discomfort, and failing miserably. My dear friend Stargazer and my darling husband can attest to that. I was on the verge of anxiety attacks several times. The day of the ultrasound, the cyst pops. I have never had the experiance of having a cyst pop while I was conscious. I have had them rupture while I was sleeping and wake up roughly 8 hours later with my side feeling sore, almost like a bruise.

I was doubled over in pain so intense that I was immediately in tears. Two Aleve did nothing to it. It was 8 am and we were getting ready to go to work on a Friday morning. That didn't happen. Hubby and I first rushed to the doctor's office. We discovered that the office was closed on Fridays. So, we went to the other office that was affiliated. I was seen after a short wait where I recieved uneasy looks from the others in the waiting room. I suspect my face was white as a sheet at the time. A few gentle probing pokes, my nearly shouting in pain, and the time of the ultrasound was moved up. It also went from the standard investigation of the region of the ovaries and uterus to a full abdominal ultrasound.

So, we get into the car and stand on the gas all the way to the City. We just manage to get to the center for the ultrasound/radiology company (that's affiliated with the health care provider organization that my doctor is a part of) in time for my schedualed appointment. By this time, roughly three hours have passed. The pain has moved from feeling like some one had taken a hot poker and shoved it into my guts and twirled it around like spaghetti to just feeling like some one had taken a knife and done so. Still wretched, but not to the point of doubled over and crying, mostly.

The only word I can use to describe the abdominal ultrasound is excruciating. I had never had one before. I never wish to experience one again. It was most painful. The end of that day, my side had gone to feeling like it was kicked and it was determined that the cyst had ruptured. It was also determined that I had 2 more, much smaller cysts, on the other ovary. So, I got to go to a gynecologist. Not my most favorite thing in the world, but not half as embaressing as going to the dentist.

At the dentist, it's obvious that I take poor care of my teeth. The gynecologist is usually fairly happy to see that I take good care of my body, teeth not withstanding. Does the drama end here, with the specialist? No. I'm never that lucky. Life simply is not easy. Don't ever assume there will be a simple answer for me. Just ask my friend Stargazer, who complains every time I ask for a tarot reading "No, not the major arcana again!"

I had the dubious joy of being told by *this* doctor (ironically enough the one that had done the surgery to remove my cyst 5 yrs ago and diagnosed me) that we could not be sure that I had PCOS. We needed to do tests. I was upset, but I went forward with the tests. Tests that included one for my insulin levels, which had not been explained to me. I didn't understand the role that test would have for me in this situation. Thus, I engaged in another fit of anxiety.

After roughly a week of anxiety, I managed to not flip out. I also made sure I had a list of questions with me to get answers out of the gynocologist. (She walked in as I was writing the last few down and as she answered, I made sure I took notes!) I had the entire matter explained to me. I also had the less then stellar joy of being told that my insulin levels were off. I am hypoglycemic. Or at least, that's the diagnosis that can be made given the current tests.

I get to go and have another battery of tests done this week. I'm not looking forward to it. I freaked out initially, went to my general practitioner and said "Ok, what do I do to keep from getting diabetes?" After I had it explained to me the general changes I needed to make to my diet and that I should wait on the panic until after the fasting tests are done, I've calmed down some.

And I made the mistake of asking the Gods for some additional motivation to take care of my health and lose the extra weight I had. I'm not sure if I should be happy with this because I now know that I have a problem or upset because I am going to have to give up some of my favorite foods.

update/ranting - read if you really want to

I suppose since there is a remote possiblity of my having readership, I should probably post *something* to prevent people from assuming that I've some how died. Currently, I'm in "ok" health. There's something of a problem, but that will be ranted in it's own little post. The marriage is sound and we both seem to still be quite happy with each other, though I think that fling with the computer is more serious then I expected initially.

A little over a week ago, the school year ended for the middle school that I was a teacher's aid at. I was given the little mum that apparently I was the only one to keep alive in the room and lots of good wishes for the summer. As it stands right now, I am expected to be back in the fall, they just have to decide what student I will be placed with. The principal of the school all but promised that I'd be there in the fall. At about the end of the summer, I'll find out what room/student I'm assigned to. I expect it to be the same child.

He was a sweet kid, when he felt like it. His biggest problem isn't the ADD or his reading/visual disorder. It's a self-dicipline matter. He kept throwing tantrums and his mother would keep treating him to things like watching tv all day and ice cream when he was thrown out of school for the week. It made me .... upset. While I respect that it is not my child, nor is it my place to tell the woman how to raise her child, I have to admit it made me more then a little angry. Capitulating to children isn't exactly a healthy thing.

It doesn't encourage them to take responcibility for their actions and it tells them that they can manipulate adults to get what they want. It lays down the foundation for them to grow into irresponcible adults that attempt to bully, lie, cheat, and fast talk their way thru life. Unless the child in question is going to grow up to be a politician, those life skills aren't exactly going to serve them well. Even more so, when the parent is enabling said child to avoid doing school work that is within their abilities and hindering their intellectual growth and development of vital skills for entering the workforce.

[pauses to take deep breath, hold and exhale to the count of 3.... 2..... 1]

To put that lightly, I'm a little upset with that. It made me angry. Almost as angry as learning that a child had been sexually assaulted on the school bus on their way to school by older children. Almost as angry as learning that a child would intentionally not do their homework and get into trouble so they would have somewhere to be after school, instead of home alone. Those two things made me livid, the first... it just made me quite angry. Some how, and I still don't know how, I managed to remain calm, genial, and plesant. Right up until 5 min after I was home and I then proceeded to rave about that.

So... the school year is ended. I'm now looking for work and doing some work on my fantasy novel. Editing is an interesting experience. Especially when you discover that you have about half of the word-count that you need and your story could use more details. Normally, I'm taking material out when I edit, not adding more to it. Needless to say, my deadline of sending the manuscript out to publishers for review by the beginning of this month did not get met. The story, however, has improved dramatically and will be sent to my beta readers in the near future. Additional ranting/updates follow this one, but are focused more on the individual topics.