Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Staggering over the finish line

Made it! NaNo is done. The novel is not, though it is well on it's way, but I've completed and verified my official 50,084 words for the month of November. And if more than half of them were in the last week - Shhh! I'm not telling.

I'll spend the next week or so finishing the first draft of this year's NaNo. When that's done it's off to my first edit of NaNo 2003. And yes. That means it took me two bloody years to finish the first draft of NaNo 2003 when I didn't complete the plot during NaNo. I learned my lesson, which is why I'm sticking with this one now while it's fresh.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


The sweater I started last Friday is done. It fits! It's flattering!

For the first time ever I've managed to actually make myself a sweater, rather than someone else.

Now back to NaNo. 23,000 words. Two days. Crazy time!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Play it Sam!

Call me a technical idiot - I'm still trying to figure out how to post links and trackbacks. I'll figure it out sometime soon.

In the meanwhile, Susan at Grand Mental Station just said some things about the Religious Right's take on the founding of this country far more eloquently than I am currently capable of. Read it.

Edited to add: Hah! I think I got it!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Could have been worse

Back from the tournament. I had a good time, as did most of the other people from my dojo. Results are not fantastic, but I can live with them. Second in kumite (out of two), but decision by sudden death, as we were tied 1 all at the time-limit. Last in kata, but not every judge placed me there, and all my fellow competitors looked fantastic, so I'm pretty happy with that, though obviously I would have liked to do better.

Came back home to discover that the kids were still in the same clothing they had been in when I left. S had not bothered to change them at all. Sigh. They did have a good time though. Made taffy, made fondant, went to a movie - good times.

Now back to writing like crazy.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tournament Time!

Tonight I leave to go to Ohio for the Lennox Memorial Tournament. It should be a good time, and as S is kindly watching the kids, I'll even be able to concentrate!

I am a little nervous though. This will be the first major tournament I've gone to in over 9 years - the last time I bombed, big time. Much as I love competing, it's no fun to finish dead last in everything.

Mostly, though, I'm just looking forward to it. Also to the treat of going to an entirely Isshin-ryu tournament. The last two have been local Tae Kwon Do tournaments, and it's just not the same. I can't do weapons though, because I've only learned Tsu-yoi bo thus far, and it's not an official Isshin-ryu weapons kata.

Still to much to do, but the looming deadline is refining my priorities.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Random Tarot notes

This is embarrassing. I don't do Tarot.

However I followed a link from to a neat little site that does a quickie Tarot reading. I dithered between asking it about how to finish my NaNo, and what I should do to do well at Saturday's karate tournament. I clicked.

Man that thing was scary. My challenge was The Garden - an overabundance of birth and creativity - ok, check, in spades.

My resolution was The Canoe - focus on the path and the goal to find your way.

The outcome was Gaia - all will be well and in harmony.

I'm not particularly a believer in Tarot, so I kind of wish the darn thing weren't so dead on. I'm ALWAYS overabundant in creativity, too many things to do, too little time to do them in. At least half of my procrastination problem is that no matter what I'm doing, there's always something else I also ought to be doing. I'm persistantly niggled by the idea that if I could just find my point of focus it would all settle into something more coherent. Hasn't happened yet, but I keep plugging.

Life as a procrastinator

Once again I've gotten myself in trouble with procrastinating. It happens every time I turn around, and I've never successfully battled the tendancy for more than a few days. I'm behind on my NaNo (though slowly catching up), the house is a wreck and needs to be straightened before S gets home tonight. By my count, right now I should be: cleaning, writing, doing laundry, doing dishes, doing the bills, helping #1 with homework, practicing my kata, and cooking dinner.

Since this is obviously an impossible task, naturally I chose to blog instead.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Knitting a sweater - again

I was digging through moving boxes looking for my karate gear (which I found) the other day, and I ran across some perfectly beautiful yarn that I had forgotten I had. It matched gauge with a very nice sweater that happened to be in the newest issue of Cast On - which is miraculous, as I only liked three things out of twenty-two. Something clicked, and Ah-ha! I am knitting a sweater for the holidays.

The yarn is a lovely soft black with a silver metallic thread running through, dressy enough without being flashy. The sweater is a wrap style, which should be pretty flattering on me. We'll see though, since I so far have a 0 for 3 record in knitting myself sweaters. My first one went to my roommate, my second to my mother, and my third to my neice. All were perfectly nice sweaters, but either didn't fit, or didn't flatter. So I try again.

I must be nuts to do this right now, though. I have a tournament in two days, and I'm 10k words behind on NaNo. Oh well, at least my fingers have something to do while I'm staring helplessly at the screen waiting for my muse to show some signs of life.

Musings on Bullies

I was recently reading "Please Stop Laughing at Me" by Jodee Blanco. While it was not the best written book in the world, I did find it very moving reading. I related strongly to her tales of being so despised at her school that not even the outcasts would deal with her.

But this post isn't about the book. It's about what I saw when I looked the book up on Amazon. You see, I love discussing books and getting other people's opinions on books. So it's common for me to run over to Amazon or some other site that reviews them and read other people's thoughts about something I just read.

This time the comments were deeply disturbing. People either loved or hated the book, I've never seen so many one and five star ratings in my life. Virtually nothing in the middle. The really disturbing part, though, was the tone of the one star ratings. "I actually found myself rooting for the bullies by the end of the book." "Why does she hang with the mentals?" "...I decided I would probably have bullied Jodee myself."

What is it that makes people decide that other human beings are worth denigrating, bullying, putting down, or any of the other multitude of ways we have of causing others pain, simply because they're different? I was so-so on the book. I don't think Jodee is someone I would particularly like, but rooting for the bullies? If all it takes is for someone we don't care for to publish a book about how horrible their school years were to make people say publicly that they deserve what they got, what on earth makes us expect better behavior from our children? The worst thing about school bullying is how pernicious it is. Simply put, many kids feel they have the right, or even the need, to put down anyone they don't like. They don't even see it as bullying, just interaction as usual. Frankly I doubt that many, if any, of the kids who bullied me paid enough attention to even remember all this time later. And that's what needs to change.

Beginning - again

As seems to happen frequently in my life, I'm trying something new. I've been reading others blogs and commenting for some time now, and keep thinking "Gee, I want to write more about that!" So I decided to. Whether anybody ever reads is an entirely different matter, and one I'm not going to concern myself too much about right now.

Plus it's one more way to procrastinate as I slog through my second NaNoWriMo - National Novel writer's month. Something to do while my hindbrain works out what my characters are supposed to do next.

Welcome one and all. Insults, trolls, and flames will be cheerfully deleted.