Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I don't know why this sleepiness hasn't left me yet. Anyways, since I forgot my exercise gear, I'm going home tonight and crashing.

I will need to work on the Resource Guide while at work, I suppose. Ugh, it's going to be a caffine dependent day.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Building a mystery

I didn't have a chance to get online last night. I was too tired and tried to work regardless. Mondays and Fridays, I'm always late because of my doctor's appointments and spending time in the library next door. *Innocent look* What?

I did get three laps done yesterday. No official step-age because I left the pedometer at home. Oops, it's probably a little over 6000.

And I've been researching on building my garden labyrinth. I need to remember to copy my survey map to use for garden layouts. Anywho, the intial idea was to use the Labyrinth as a sacred space as described in Walking a Sacred Path by Dr. Lauren Artress. I walked one three or four Yuletides back, and it moved me prfoundly.

When Chad and I walked Rosedown's gardens, we stumbled into the rose garden. INSERT PHOTO HERE I liked the seclusion, wanted to grow roses, generally a win-win.

Well I'm researching roses now, and appearantly they like lots of sun. Where in the yard I was considering putting it is surrounded by tall trees and I don't think it gets enough. *Pout*

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, June 27, 2005

Posting picturesfan pics to you

Appearantly I can again, but it will have to wait till I can get home for testing. That's where all the pics are.

Nope, still no pics. I'm not sure why.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, June 24, 2005

This is annoying

I'm going to have to put my regularly visited sites URLs on the blog. My work profile isn't working, and I got logged into a temporary account. None of my favorites are here. I've found most of the comics but I'm missing some stuff.

*Sigh* My discipline flew out the window. I had pity on Chad and got him off the Faire site, but I didn't get home until 9:30pm. No writing time. He was apologetic once he found out, and I tried to explain the circle train of logic I had yesterday. I don't know if he understood it any better than I do.

I had a creative brainwave dealing with the hypertext novel, Night Storm: Forget the Sun. It hasn't been online in forever because I was unhappy with parts of it and needed to add more to it. Now I'm think of no longer making it hypertext but branching off into a new art form. Once I get the mail out sent ing July, then I'll start working on this idea.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What Am I Worth?

"The Law of Money: When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are." From The Courage to Be Rich by Suze Orman.

I've been letting my mind fallow for a while, but it's time to start working at night when I think will be my only time for writing work.

The other inspiration is reading a professional seamstress's site and what it took her to create a home business. (See the Garb Closet for the sewing stuff that led me to that site.) Another side effect of my cold feet, fear of success, inertia, or whatever it is that keeps me stuck where I am. I do not take enough pride in my writing. I am doing what I did when I first graduated, happy to take any piddling amount above minimum wage despite it not being enough money to live on or what my skills are worth. It's what I felt they were worth. Part of me still feels that way. I'm charging $25 an hour on the job I don't know when I'll get paid for and that's the bottom of the technical writer's pay scale.

So it's time to make a change here too.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Anybody know how to discipline a cat?

Actually, I just need to stop him from jumping over heads. He didn't clear his back paw this morning, and I got a lovely surface scratch down my cheek.

I'm going to try for three laps today when I go walking. And I'm going to have to do something with the weekend schedule. I need one day of rest--as far as exercising goes--but I never make it out to the track on Saturday or Sunday.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, June 20, 2005

Mondays are hard

Especially after a weekend of not getting to bed until after midnight. Friday night was a movie night at home. Saturday we went to the social and ended up at Kenn and Amy's for a sewing party. Sunday I did laundry, worked a couple of hours on the resource guide, and updated the Garb Closet.

Not that anyone cares about the sewing projects but me. And I have to get the photo hosting fixed with this paycheck.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, June 17, 2005

Walking is Working

Not on the weight loss yet, but my muse is starting to wake up. I thought about a story on my laps yesterday.

The only problem is that it is an old story, maybe a decade old. And I still couldn't get it away from sounding like a D&D/Willion/dimension travelers from Earth pointless derivative. *Sigh*

A group of kids end up in a fantasy world where magic works and technology is nil. Typical. Have to go on a quest to find the Key. Typical. The Key controls portals between dimensions, had shut them off when it was created, but now strange creatures are returning. The heroes fell through one of these tears too. The only way to get home is with the Key. Typical. A race called the Kablancs are the Willow refence and the other character I thought up was a half-elf ranger.

I'm better off sticking to outer space.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Batman Begins

If you enjoy your Batman the way he should be--dark, brooding, and intense--this is the movie you have been waiting for. My only nitpick is they should have used the Elfman signature score. It still screams Batman, second only to the old Adam West TV show theme.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Adam West camp. And he really is a sweetheart of a horndog. But the movies should have never went there. Though I have revoked the death sentence on Joel Shaumaker because of "Pirates of the Carribean."

And I don't think all Superheroes should be "dark and brooding" as if that was some preresquite for being a superhero that appeals to adults or gets the good stories. Superman should be a boy scout if just to counter Batman's methods. Cause when you scratch the surface off you find that they are both men unwilling to see anyone die. One of Kingdom Come's many points.

On the other token, I think the Fantastic Four out to be more outspoken about mutant rights, since they're so willing to be buddy-buddy with the X-Men as long as they're not seen doing it. Course I have no idea what the current Marvel universe is doing, flipped through one cominc and apparantly some towns are becoming mutant havens.

From the trailers: "Serenity" from Joss Whedon--Mr. "Buffy and Angel" as well as a few other dozen screenwriting credits--looks stupendous. "The Skeleton Key" looks like it will be a decent horror flick, but I don't think they'll get the practice of Voodoo right. "Dukes of Hazzard" does look like a lot of fun, though Bo and Luke weren't as stupid as the movie is probably going to make them and Jessica Simpson should have died her hair. Though I was fascinated by the movie poster. The General Lee was clean. Even the tires were clean. They reflected the title off the hood. It's still jarring.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Feels like forever

Okay I know it hasn't been, but time is always so full. Hope this isn't a sign I'm addicted to the busy drug.

Walking Progress: June 9 = 2293 steps, June 10 = 2525 steps, June 11 = missed, June 12 = went plantation walking and didn't keep track, June 13 = 4197 steps in 2 laps!

I'm counting all the steps from when I get out of the car till I get back in it, minus a few as a change clothes. Unfortunately, today is a bust. The soap packed in my gym bag (for when I need to shower after swimming; I know it's after July 1st I just didn't want to unpack it) came open and covered my toiletries bag. Luckily, it was in a separate compartment of the gym bag, but I didn't get a chance to clean anything last night.

Started a financial diary of sorts. I get these really good plans or take really good notes, and then lose them. So far the diary is acting like an unpublishable blog. I'm good with keeping blogs, but there are limits of what I will make available online. It's forcing me to writing down what I want and how I want to get there, which cements it or shows the flaws of the plan.

Plantation walking: Chad and I visited Audubon State Park for the Oakley Plantation House and Rosedown Plantation for the gardens. Oakley is the best example of the Creole architecture we're thinking of redoing my house in. I'll add pictures as soon as I get the hosting stuff worked out. Chad's enthuastic about the matching landscape--meaning formal gardens and kitchen garden and slave quarters. I put my foot down about the slave quarters. Not if he wants a castle folly. And no to his idea of turning the place into a bed and breakfast and house people in the slave quarter look-alikes. I like bed and breakfasts, but running one? To his credit he recognizied I don't have the personality traits for it, as well as coupled with my cornerstone belief that my house is sanctuary from everything else in the world. And he really wants a castle.

The gardens I can agree more with. There's something to the self-sufficiency argument as well as fresh produce. And formal layout can be visually stimulating. And it all can work well with Feng Shui concept of outdoor rooms and changing vistas. The problem? I know I don't have anytime to devote to a garden (my current green thumb projects are planted in the yard with a healthy watering and a hearty "good luck"), and I known what Chad's Faire Site gardens look like and he's there to take care of them. There's no money for landscaping service and I don't know how I feel about dumping gravel to make paths in the yard. I doubt that worries the St. Augustine much, we dumped gravel on top of that grass for my driveway and it still grew through it.

My ambelivence is getting better about what to do in the creek ravine. Which means I'm actually considering the options and not just having my stomach tie up in knots at the thought of doing anything. Funny, I get that feeling more about the landscaping than the thought of jacking up the house and making it two stories.

One more note before I have to get back to work. I think the 600mg of calcium is working to relieve PMS. I need to get some other feedback on my mood swings, and the exercise may have some part of it, but I really think I haven't been as snarly this week.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, June 09, 2005

3 years?

Heather Sellers says it takes three years for her to fully ingrain a new habit as part of her life. I hope it doesn't take that long for me.

Day 2 went much better. I found my biking shorts, which ended the chafing and ride up issue. If those lycra shorts ever die I'm in serious trouble. Apparantly all biking clothes for us common riders is now made of cotton cause it breathes. I guess I'll just have to shop where Lance Armstrong does. 2069 steps; I don't know where the extra hundred came from since I actually stepped off the track more my first day. They went to all the trouble of putting in the complete work out stations and I had to see what the piles of non-maintained wood was.

I'm also on a reading spurt. Yes, I had a library splurge looking for resource guide sources. The Mothman Prophecies I picked up because I knew about the Mothman phenomena from my research in Bigfoot and Nessie, and remembered the Richard Gere movie coming out in 2001. Haven't seen the movie, and it always struck me as weird for Hollywood to decide to do a movie on a giant winged thing that terrorizied a town in West Virginia in the 1960s. There was a lot of UFO of the regular variety--strange lights doing strange things--going on in the same local, but Keel was one of the few investigators to put it together. Fascinating read, but I'm still lost as to why a movie?

Currently working through the Female Stress Syndrome Survival Guide. I'm going to buy copies of the book for Christmas presents. Things that I always knew were out-of-sync and horrible way to treat people--my damn temper tantrums for example--are stressed induced, not a sign of mental incompetence. There was episodes where crazy seemed to be the only solution. Yes, I'm going to be taking Dr. Georgia Witkin's stress management advice. Apparantly, my get off my butt exercise decision is a step in the right direction for that. I'm already sleeping better.

I've got about two or three chapters in the Survival Guide left, so I started the 9 steps to Financial Freedom by Suze Orman. I've read her column and another book, and she doesn't try to confuse you with all the options. And she recognizes the psychological power people give money. I know I do. I stress when I don't have any, go on buying binges, get more stressed, raised and the oldest so I always knew there never was enough money and there never will be enough. You get tired of living that way. And since it looks like I will be the primary breadwinner for a long time--with or without a mate--I have to fix me and my attitudes.

At lunch I should finish the "World View of the Renaissance" without turning it into a theological lecture. Fascinating stuff too, once you get past Tillyard's prose, but I don't want to overwhelm them.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

First day of walking

Did one lap yesterday which equaled 1960 steps. I'm working up to the 10,000 steps a day. I need to go around the North Oak Park track 6 times to get that and then some. I also found out that the pool is closed for renovations until June 30th.

Daily writing took a hit since I was exhausted and crawled into bed by 8pm. Not really surprised by the exhaustion since I stayed up till 11pm reading The Mothman Prophecies Monday night. Very little about the Mothman and I still don't understand how they made a Hollywood movie out of it, but I am intrigued by his theories on the UFO phenomena and how it correlates to legends and myths from ages long ago. Intrigued enough to go find some more books by John Keel.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, June 06, 2005

Weekends and Dealing with Rejection

I finished the sample Resource Guide Saturday. And I think it looks pretty damn good for only being 1/4th of the final product. There's 21 sections of the Resource Guide--not counting the Table of Contents. As of Saturday, I've finished 5 sections (the text not the questions, vocabulary puzzles, and potential activities), and started on 4 more. That does leave 12 sections I haven't done anything for, barely even researched. It's coming along nicely though. As of Saturday (Sunday I took a break), I'm owed $1937.50. I'm only charging $25 an hour, which is the low end of technical writer's pay and I fully expect to be getting paid on this long after the founders of RLHC have retired and moved onto something else. Especially when I have to edit content for different Faires of different time periods.

On the negative side, it's teeth grinding to realize I have to wait for this money I have earned because RLHC can't pay me right now. What makes it so teeth grinding is I'm overdrawn and hanging on till payday. When I do get this money I have to be smart with it. Reminder: go read both Suze Orman book and actually follow the advice! I can feel my resistance starting already.

Page After Page clued me into resistance. It's a great word to sum up all the negativity facing a new change. You don't want to change even when you know you should. It's a matter of recognizing it for what it is, fear.

I have a huge resistance to exercise. But nearly killing myself at the lake yesterday was scarier than the resistance. Wheezing cause you're out of breath and swimming do not mix. I think I've finally figured out a way to get back to the walking routine I had in college, timewise, and maybe combined with some swimming in a pool where I can get out if having the breathing problem again. The only drawback I see is Mustard will probably hate me because he won't get to go outside.

I will have to start that on Tuesday though. I just made a list of what I need to pack. Of course I had this brainwave during the morning commute. And I have a doctor's appointment. I'm afraid after I get done there, and go home to change, it will be dark by the time I get to the park, when it closes.

Rejection and resistance wreck havoc on my writing life too. I'm a writer, I have no problem with that. I've been a writer since I was eleven-years-old. But that has always been tied with the correllation of getting the byline somewhere. The recognition. The ability to thrust some paper in my condenscending relatives' faces and say "I'm the Coates that counted for something!" What, you didn't think revenge played a part?

Heather Sellers points out in a chapter of Page After Page that publication doesn't matter. You should pull your self-worth as a writer from your daily writing life, and look at publishing as a bonus perk. A "yeah I have readers" moment. A hobby because putting your butt in the chair and writing everyday is really what matters. She's right, and I'm not going into my struggles with the daily writing now.

This is about my submission process, or rather how I send out a peice, it's rejected, and I crumble and don't want to send out anymore. Even the rejected one to the next on its list. Yes, I know this is horrible and bad and hurting me from growing as a writer. How will I learn what is wrong with my writing if I never let it out of my sight? I know all this, and find ways to fill my time so I don't do magazine research, or even paste a label on the bloody envelope and take it to the post office.

Along with her advice of treating publication as a thrill, Sellers gives her strategy: two big submissions sendouts a year. Everything that's good goes out for an average of seventeen drafts. When a peice trickles back, she finds there's two reactions to it. The peice has cured and she sees what's wrong with it. Or she doesn't and back out it goes. She says her rule is: "No rejected work spends the night in my house. (This rule works wellin dating as well as creative writing.)" (page 201) She's concentrating on the smart things in writing life: writing everyday and submitting.

So I'm going to try it her way. A summer submission fest and a winter. July 15th everything that's remotely sellable goes out. January 15th will be the winter date.

Now to concentrate on writing time and fiscal responsibility.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, June 03, 2005

My head hurts

Possibly because I feel like my brain has been pulled out through my eyesockets. I have spent the entire morning searching for pictures for the resource guide. I was trucking along on it last night, so much so that when I looked at a clock it was 10pm. I could have sworn I only spent an hour at it last night. But the computer's clock is accurate.

I don't even remember what I was searching for. I just started grabbing everything in the time period, especially if it wasn't nobility.

In other news, we got the check scanners working at the paying job. Due to fears that my blog might be grounds for dismissal, I won't say what I think of the things. Just be sure to stop me when I bring a battle axe to work. Trust me, I'll thank you for taking it away later.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Where Was I?

Finished the "Crime and Punishment" section of the Resource Guide. Except for an extra bibliography recommended by Fritze (no idea if I'm spelling his name right) to add, I'm finished with the material that is reusable from 2004.

I want to rewrite the "A Pirate's Life For Me" section and add another privateer, but I don't think I have time for that before the Miss. Teacher's Conference Chad wants to hand something Resource Guide-ish out at. It's next week.

I'm going to concentrate on format issues and adding graphics first. Once that's done, I'll go back to working on the various sections of text I have left. Point is I want something that is ready to go by tonight, even if we end up adding to it.

I found a note in my car notebook that I was worried about focusing. That's true, I think I have lost some of the drive that kept me focused on one project till it was finished. But having gone through the office, it's more an organizational issue. I need to finish updating the files. I'm close, but not through yet.

Read Free!
The BookWorm