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Showing posts from May, 2015

ROW80 Check-in

Editing

I finished editing chapter 7, and I originally thought it may need to be combined with chapter 8. After working through a large chunk of chapter 8, I think they can stand alone. Maybe that's something to leave for beta readers. I haven't done much in the way of editing yet today.

Guitar

I had my last guitar class for a while. It was a double length for me because I'm at Prose in the Park next Saturday. I learned Lego House by Ed Sheeran (I'm awful at it though), Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams, Let it Be by The Beatles, The Way by Fastball, Leaving Las Vegas by Sheryl Crow, and Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. I have a book of 1300 scales. It was overwhelming to figure out which to play, so I asked my teacher. She told me that C Blues Pattern 4 is what I should focus on. She said it's very useful in all kinds of songs and it can be moved around the fretboard. The picture below shows the pattern. You play both the squares and the circles. The squares are root not…

The Cursor

The cursor mocks me with its intermittent blinks. "I await your input," it says.
"But I don't know what to write. I don't know what this chapter is about. Somewhere I lost my way," I say. The cursor is unyielding.
"I await your input. I await your input. I await.."
"Enough!" I say as the blinking inspires the dormant madness within me to bubble to the surface. I continually reread the words I've already written, hoping something will jump out at me and tell me the next part of the story.

Editing

You might have guessed that I haven't finished the edits on chapter 7 yet. Do you ever feel like you know it will need more editing when you're not done editing it yet you know you need to get through this revision and leave more for later? I think editing's purpose is partially to ensure that no writer is completely sane. And obviously also to create a product worth reading.

I can't tell if I'm improving at editing or not. It p…

Is the weekend gone already?

For some reason I had trouble remembering what I did on Saturday beyond completing the edit on chapter 6 of The Page & The Magician. I think I had a nap? I know I made soup. It was a homemade onion soup base with mushrooms and sweet potatoes. Odd, but tasty and quite filling. Oh and I had my second last guitar class, which makes me sad. I hope another session will run soon. Technically there are two more sessions, but I'm having an extended session next week due to being a Prose in the Park volunteer and having to miss the final class.

I'm wondering if there is a guitar with a neck that has a smaller diameter than mine. Mine starts at 5 inches on fret one and is six inches on fret 10. I have tiny hands and they're making it incredibly difficult to learn scales. I wonder if my teacher knows of any or if I need something even smaller than a 3/4 size. Perhaps a custom one.

I'm working on chapter 7 today. It needs the most work of any so far. It doesn't currently do …

Sei Do Kai Seminar Weekend 2015

This past weekend was the annual Sei Do Kai Iaido & Jodo Seminar in Guelph, Ontario. Amongst those in attendance were practitioners from Calgary, Fredericton, Cleveland, New York, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Peterborough, and Chile.

Friday was a day mainly composed of travel and socializing. For those of us from Ottawa it was a 6-7 hour drive. Good conversation, a short nap, and some knitting helped pass the time more quickly for me. Once settled in my room, there was downtime while waiting for people to arrive. The night ended unusually early. I didn't sleep well as I neglected to pack a blanket and woke up shivering a few times.

Saturday morning began with a review of etiquette. We did some Setei kata, but this year there was a strong focus on things like proper grip of the sword handle and everything was delivered in a highly relatable way with humour. Much of what Maehara-sensei and Hatakenaka-sensei demonstrated was done in such a visual way that the English translation was …

Deadlines

The long weekend is almost upon us Canadians! For me that means the Guelph Iaido and Jodo Seminar. I think I'm almost ready.

Aside from the detailed preparations of the weekend, I also got some writing things done.

I entered the Lush Writing Contest with a horror piece about a high school girl who's had enough. I had to submit early since I would be traveling on the final day of the contest. I won't know anything until the fall. I didn't even have time to pass it through my writing group first, but I could hear their words of wisdom as I raced to the finish line. It was my first submission. I hope I did all right with the cover letter. I'm used to writing those for jobs, not for writing contest entries. They said to be brief. Knowing me, I may have taken that too much to heart.

I revised a copy of the first chapter of The Page & The Magician to put into the auction at the Guelph seminar. I hope whoever bids on it enjoys it. It will likely change in future edits, s…

Crunch Time

This weekend I'm heading to Guelph for the Annual May Seminar held by Sei Do Kai. It's a time of intense practice with the rare benefit of sensei straight from Japan.

As it's the weekend immediately following Comiccon, I'm a little stressed. My main stressor is always food with my triple sensitivity of dairy, eggs, and yeast. At least there is a Swiss Chalet nearby where I can get something if needed. A friend is also making one safe meal for me as part of a group meal deal. That helps a lot.

I hurt myself at practice last night. While doing o-chiburi, which is a method to clear "blood" from the sword, I felt a little crunchiness in my shoulder and a small amount of pain. I'm going to Guelph regardless, but I may have to spend the weekend doing yoko chiburi instead, use my wooden sword instead, or both. I bought a bandage to wrap it since I couldn't find a brace. I'll get it checked out after seminar.

I got sandals a while back because last year we g…

Life After Comiccon

Though I'm quite tired, I'm already thinking about next year's Comiccon.

Strange thing...  a few days before Comiccon I had this dream that I was throwing rocks at Ursula the Sea Witch from the Little Mermaid... then at Comiccon this lady cosplayed her in the masquerade. She did a fabulous job. In throwing rocks I may have been attempting to put an end to evil within myself according to a dream dictionary. Weird coincidence at any rate.

The clarity I received in talking to friends during Comiccon led to me ending something that wasn't working for me. As always I'm having mixed feelings, but I know it is the right thing. It was impacting my life negatively in too many areas, including my writing.

Back in the world of the day job we are defining core values at my company, which is exciting. I'm on the committee helping to make it happen. I'm planning a post to talk about my own values since it's on my mind lately.

At writer's group tonight we started talk…

Ottawa Comiccon 2015 - Day 3

Thankfully I didn't wake up quite so early this morning.

I didn't make it to any panels today. I hung out with friends, shopped, and did a lot of walking. I also had a nap in my car. My feet screamed at me, but I had to deny their request for amputation. On I went to visit a friend despite their protests.

I chatted about writing and how it can be fun to play with timeline to move a story along in a non-linear fashion. I do these things, but because I haven't studied them to the level someone with an English degree has, I wonder if I'm doing them properly. I guess when I get to the point of beta readers, I'll know.

I suppose it's odd that I never take pictures of other people in costume. I guess I don't need pictures of strangers? There were a lot of sweet costumes though. There was a Hulk that was Hulk-sized.

I want to be in the masquerade next year. I think it would be fun to cosplay a character from something and do it well. I'm thinking of doing Tiny Tin…

Ottawa Comiccon 2015 - Day 2

For some reason, my brain decided 5:30 A.M. was the time to be awake today. Despite the horridness of that, I only nodded off a couple of times.

The first panel I went to was about Doctor Who costumes and props. I learned that the Daleks that run around at Comiccon and Geek Market are actually controlled by people who sit inside of them. For some reason, I thought they were remote controlled.

I did my shopping. I bought my mom two romance novels for Mother's Day. They're written by an Ottawa area author named Aurelia Osborne who is published through Renaissance Press. I got myself something for my wall also. It's a tree of life wall hanging done in metal.

I misplaced my car. I parked near the fry truck, but didn't remember I parked there, so I went out the wrong doors when I went to drop off my purchases rather than lugging things around.

Next I went to a panel on pushing boundaries in comics. A lot of what was said I could identify with as a writer. The challenges faced w…

Ottawa Comiccon 2015 - Day 1

When I awoke this morning, I could hardly contain my excitement. I was up before my alarm and messaging my friend to plan our meet up at the con. That was around 6:30 A.M.

Nervous energy hummed ran throughout me all morning. I did things like dishes and worked on tomorrow's costume. I played guitar.

I arrived at Comiccon around 1:30 P.M. My friend arrived about 30 minutes later with her twins. It was off for food once inside, which was a perfect time for a snack for me and water.

Then it was off to Benoit Chartier's panel on writing. I learned some things. I disagreed with others though I saw the value. I'm not someone who follows a set process when I write. It feels too much like a box. I try to write the same time each day, but I don't always fully understand the story before I've written it. The journey of writing is one of discovery for me. This may change in time as I'm sure I will grow as a writer. I'm sure having a clear idea of where I'm going is h…

Training Days

On Monday I started three days of training. When my alarm went off earlier than usual I rubbed my bleary eyes, dragged myself into a shower, put on clothes, made quick oatmeal, and headed out the door. I got on the 174 by Blair. That was a mistake. Traffic was slow-moving and all of the lanes were packed. Eventually I reached my destination, which had a tight parking garage ramp as evidenced by the paint scrapings on the walls of the ramps.

Training consisted of applying some project management techniques I knew the theory of, but did not have experience applying. There were four of us from my company in the training, so we're hoping to be able to make some improvements at work.

We learned to schedule projects from the end date rather than the beginning. This leads to less missing of tasks and starting at the correct task. That's the first pass and it's done manually with post-its. On the second pass we go from the start to the end, load resources in, and adjust as necessary…

Swamped

I've been busy. Really busy.

Life:

- Making food for two long weekends (Comiccon and an Iaido seminar)
- Finishing my costume for Comiccon, which is in 5 days! (Carnival Punk Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
- Went to On the Brink on Friday to hear authors read. Won a book and bought a Steampunk anthology.
- In training this week for work (off-site) and it's an early start for me

Writing:

- Editing The Page & The Magician (just finished Chapter 3)
- Finished a short story called The Blood Waitress Club, which is on revision 3 and I'm just waiting for feedback before I put it up on Smashwords
- I've been trying to write short stories that may fit into some anthology, but I find it harder to write with some specific criteria in mind rather than coaxing the words from my soul

Guitar:

- We are learning a lot of songs (Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Bare Naked Ladies, Simon & Garfunkel, ABBA, Ed Sheeran, The Animals, John Fogerty, Ian Thomas)
- I have been fallin…