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Coming Home

It's that time of the year where I travel to visit my family as I'm not from Ottawa. I was born in North Bay, Ontario and I still have a lot of friends that live there. I always enjoy the trip home in the warmer months as the northern landscape is often breathtaking. I won't see much of that beauty on this trip, but at least this year I have my snow tires on. Last year I felt extremely lucky to be alive by the time I reached my parent's home. If the freezing rain hasn't started, I'll leave town soon, but I may have to postpone by a day.

Books and knitting are probably coming with me. Also ice skates, snow shoes, and winter wear. My parents don't have the Internet, so keeping busy with a variety of activities is key to staying sane during the holidays. I don't mind disconnecting though. I get out and see friends that I haven't seen in several months. I often get to do a lot because parking is pretty much a non-issue there.

While this post is about my trip home, it's also about my return to WordPress, which feels like coming home. I tried a new place out for a while (Wix), but ultimately felt like it's not what I need for my author platform. It was too arduous to post to my blog. I also felt that the load time on the site was far too long considering I turned every animation off in order to streamline it. I wanted a more pleasant user experience on my site and I learned I could have it all on WordPress after consulting a web designer friend. Thanks again, Stephanie at AloeRoot Web Services!

What Wix did help me with was design prototyping and figuring out what I wanted and didn't want in my webpage. That's valuable in its own way.

My Christmas shopping was finally completed yesterday after some challenges with one brother's list. He originally provided me with the list of things he already had, so that lead to some returns and shopping twice for him. I was fairly upset with him about it and told him never to provide me with what he already had because I don't have time to run all over the place. It wasn't my finest moment. In my defense, I had just finished fighting through lines at Walmart to end up in some pretty terrible construction traffic on the way to the Vanier Parkway - Coventry - Riverside intersection. If he had told me about 10-15 minutes prior, I would have still been in Walmart and known not to buy what I bought. It was also quite difficult to see what was going on in his messages through a smartphone screen rather than a computer monitor. Still, I'm trying to keep my emotions in check these days. I'm learning a lot about meditation, in part for one of my novels, but also because of the myriad of benefits linked to meditation. I'm also learning about Geocaching, which has been something I've been wanting to get into for a while now. The idea of trekking around in nature searching for hidden boxes with neat things in them sounds fun and gets me out of the house.

On the writing front, I'm around 50,500 words into "The Page & the Magician". I'm currently researching about Nepal as my main character is trekking through Nepal to rescue a little girl and I need about 30,000-40,000 words to fit the genre, minimum. As far as "Scion" goes, there are things I decided about it that are secret. It's on hold until I finish "The Page & the Magician" though as it needs quite a bit of help in the character development section.

With "The Page & the Magician", I have a lot of spiritual concepts going on and I will need to lighten some of the text up when I get to editing. I decided that I'm not allowed to touch it until I finish the first draft as I'm trying to curb that bad habit of editing before a draft is done.

I'm still waiting for my NaNoWriMo winner's t-shirt to arrive. That should be any day now.

I'm also waiting for the Writer's Emergency Pack from the Kickstarter initiative I sponsored, but that isn't expected until April 2015. I sponsored for the one where I get a pack and so does a youth.

I should be receiving a proper copy of "Sex Lives of Monsters" by Helen Marshall soon. I bought the book of poems on the last day of Can-Con and reached home to discover my copy was blank! Every page is empty. I wondered if it was a clever joke to say that monsters don't have sex lives, but nope, it was just a mistake. Now I have a collector's edition ;)

On the home front, I'm finally done most of my painting. I'm done all the walls except the TV wall, but I think I want to faux brick that one. I have some trim left to do, but there's no rush on that with the walls done. At least trim can be done more quickly.

I'm off soon to get some groceries and pack for the trip north. If I have time, I'll bake a couple of things tonight.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season celebrating in whatever way works for them. Stay safe and enjoy yourselves.

Ciao,
R~

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