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Showing posts from April, 2016

Funky Friday: Here I Go Again

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I'm leaving town soon, but I thought I have time for a brief post.

1. Ecstatic - My guitar was ready yesterday, so naturally I packed less than I should have and didn't bake the bread. It sounds fantastic!



2. Hungry - Waiting on my bread to finish baking. There won't be a dog or even other humans in my hotel room, so no ill should befall it this time.

3. Excited - Ad Astra!!!! I missed it last year due to a prior commitment. So much to do and see! And do many of my writing friends will be there. It's wonderful being around people who love something as much as you do.

4. Busy - Still have turkey bacon to cook and veggies to cut up. I can almost finish loading the car. I should also dust it. It's overdue. Then gas up and pick up a member of my writing group. Oh, and I better export a copy of my manuscript into word, so I can view it during…

Ultra Busy Weekend Ahead

Ack! I forgot about Wonder Wednesday this week :(

I assure you my brain has been pondering lots of things given the tips and tricks provided to me this weekend to improve my martial art. Also, because people have been suggesting I write something for the national magazine. I'm not sure how I feel about that given that I'm only a lowly Shodan rank, but perhaps I'll find something to say.

I'm off again this weekend. This time, it's for Ad Astra 2016 in Richmond Hill. Back to the GTA I drive tomorrow.

I spent part of yesterday deliberating between which panels I should attend. Here's the plan:

Friday

7:00 PM - Give Them a Laugh (Comedy is something I'd like to improve on)
8:00 PM - Loving What Happens vs Loving Who It Happens To (I love love!)
9:00 PM - Cropsey Slender Man and the Angels of Mons: the Roots of Religion and Folklore (Sounds like something that will provide inspiration)
10:00 PM - The Dos and Don'ts of Writing Erotica (Aligns with possible future goa…

Merry Monday: First Tournament

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This Past Weekend

Near the end of last week, I acquired a cold and cough that progressively worsened as the weekend went on. After driving south, Oshawa became my home for the duration of the weekend, which began with The Great Bun Crisis. Thankfully, that was assuaged by an emergency trip to Costco. Celebratory pho was made extra tasty and complemented by great conversations.

Day one had us travel into Toronto for the seminar, which taught us the format and rules for the tournament. We also got feedback on where we could improve. Some were kata specific and others were more general. A tip I received was to square my hips, for example.

They mentioned my group would be competing around 11 AM the following day, so I believed I had plenty of time to mentally prepare.

Dinner at an all you can eat sushi place was very enjoyable. As is common with all you can eat,…

Wonder Wednesday: What are Romantic Relationships For?

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A fundamental thing about relationships, that I think it's time to talk about, is their purpose.

A romantic partner isn't someone who replaces your mother or father. You should know how to cook, do laundry, clean, take out the garbage, etc. and not expect them to do it for you.

A partner isn't for completing your identity. You should know who you are. You should have your own goals and dreams.

They aren't your property. Even if you're married.

A partner isn't a replacement for a social life. You both need friends and it should not matter what gender those friends happen to be. If you see all your partner's friends as people they might have sex with the moment you're not hovering, you have personal issues that you need to deal with.

A partner NEVER attacks you. They don't physically or emotionally harm you. They don't sa…

Merry Monday: Busy, But Happy

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The Weekend

Health

This weekend started off with me feeling pretty terrible. My parotid salivary glands were hurting and I felt generally unwell on Friday. Saturday was better. I got blood work done in the morning as the rheumatologist wants to recheck the numbers to see if they've changed at all.

Writing

While in the waiting room, I wrote furiously, which continued when I got home. I have a list of ideas to build upon. I did some baking. I took a cinnamon roll recipe and made it into GF cinnamon muffins.

Geocaching

Then I went geocaching. I found two on my own and met a nice old man by the third. It was lucky I did as my app wasn't getting me close enough and I had lost my pencil during the hunt. I walked with him back to the caches I had already found and he told me of his caching adventures with his son. Apparently, there is a gondola in the Caribbe…

Funky Friday: Progress, Protests, and Politics

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This week in the news in my life, Ottawa, Canada, and the world.

Accomplished: I figured out some major story revisions for The Page & The Magician and I'm looking forward to writing them into the current version. I'm on chapter 12 of 24 but need to go back and add some words to 11.
Pleased: I finally got to a paint nite and painted a cherry blossom painting for my bedroom.
Ecstatic: I finally ordered the electric guitar I've been wanting for several years. I'm a 3/4 size player and the selection is small. It's hard to find one that is decent. I read reviews and chose the mini strat based on things like musical style versatility and its dependability as an instrument for serious playing or in my case, Rocksmith. There wasn't one in stock at Long & McQuade's, but it should be here by May 1.
Upset: I missed a neighbourhood r…

Wonder Wednesday: Determination

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I was upset to find out I had a useless guitar that I was trying to sell and spent much time wondering how to get rid of it. The neck was too twisted to be fixed with just a truss rod adjustment, which meant it couldn't keep tuned. It was worth $200 new, and repair would've cost more than that.

So, I was bummed. I'm the anxious type and I'm also a planner. My nicely laid plan had just exploded. I was freaking out that I was stuck with a piece of junk, which also happened to be a rather large reminder of the past; a past I'd mostly rather forget.

Back to the drawing board, I went.

It was useless for conventional music, but there was that artist I saw a while back that made instruments from junk. I started searching for junk music players. As I was browsing, I thought about Steampunk Ottawa and posted there. There was some vague interest, b…

Merry Monday: Obstacles and Choices

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I'm not a stranger to people not wanting to take a chance on me. My mother had a heart attack after having boy number two and the doctors recommended she abort me as they felt it too risky to go through with the pregnancy. She told them no because she was sure I was her little girl she'd been wanting.

When I started school no one wanted to play with me. No one wanted to share toys either, so I went to the books and read to myself.

I didn't have much in the way of friends until high school. I was bullied. I was also petite and not athletic, so I wasn't wanted in gym class. I couldn't understand why points mattered. They didn't translate to marks after all.

I wasn't quick to make friends in high school. The kids who gave me a chance were the oddballs. I found myself in theatre, choir, and band. I also got involved in various committ…

Funky Friday: April 2nd - 8th

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It has either been a quiet week, or my writing has made me oblivious. Most of this I was completely unaware of without Google.

Personal News:

Happy: I'm doing OK for NaNoWriMo. I've finished editing chapter 10 of 24 and there are 22 days left. My word count is not rising substantially, but I figure a smaller book that is (hopefully) well written is better than a crappy book that meets word count.
Strong: I rearranged my bedroom and could lift things I couldn't before. Martial arts is paying off! But, oh, am I sore today...

News around Ottawa:

Annoyed: They're still trying to figure out this taxi "issue". Apparently, there may have been a plan to blockade city buses. Of course, the taxi union is saying there was never a plan to block buses. Personally, I think they should just innovate already. If Apple attacked Android phone users ev…

Wonder Wednesday - What Does It All Mean?

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Should a writer know the deeper meaning behind their book before they ever start writing it?


Some think so.
I don't work that way. I find it stifles my creativity. I find my characters won't open up to me if I try to force them into some box. I write stories about people. I figure out who my protagonist is, then I build the world around them. When I know who they are, the main story problem happens.

I only recently figured out that The Page & The Magician is largely a tale about learning to accept oneself. I didn't start there. I started with a character who had been through an awful marriage and was moving to the big city for a clean slate. Josy really wanted to live a boring government worker life, but she discovers she belongs to this whole other world that is far from boring. That whole other world scares her because she's scared of …

Merry Monday: Or is it Tuesday?

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Sorry. I was exhausted after a weekend full of martial arts and my draft was only on my phone rather than the computer, so I went to sleep last night without posting.

Well, it seems Ottawa is having a cold spring so far as it was -16 C on Sunday, but I'm not letting it stop me. We're also expecting a huge dump of snow tomorrow, so I have a doctor's appointment, naturally.

I'm training a little more in martial arts now. I made it to karate on Saturday after meeting my Camp NaNoWriMo goal for the day. And on Sunday, I finally started Jodo before Iaido, which I'd been planning to do since January. At iaido, we did a really awesome partner exercise that involved throwing our opponent to the ground and punching them in the face. It was like an aikido meets iaido moment.

As sore as I am, my body mostly feels better. We did a lot of roundhouse …

April is Sjögren's Syndrome Awareness Month

It's the start of Sjögren's Syndrome Awareness Month and it's no joke.

For my first post on Sjögren's Syndrome, I'm going to list some key facts about it.

It's pronounced "show-grins".
The disease was first identified in 1933 by Dr. Henrik Sjögren.
In the U.S. alone over 4 million Americans have Sjögren's, yet it is virtually unknown or completely misunderstood by the medical community. In contrast, only about 250,000 Americans have Multiple Sclerosis.
90% of sufferers are female. I'll talk more about this in a later post regarding Sjögren's impact on sexual intercourse, which may also help women who don't have Sjögren's.
Those who have heard of it think it's just dry eyes and a dry mouth, but it's actually an autoimmune disease. Other autoimmune diseases you may have heard of include multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac's disease, mixed connective tissue disorder, scleroderma, Epstein Barr, Addison's d…

Funky Fridays: March 25th through April 1st

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I'd say I'm sorry I didn't post on March 25th, but it was Good Friday and I was traveling for Easter. That said, I'll try to briefly recap some things that happened. I apologize that many of them are depressing. I put the happy ones at the beginning in case you'd rather not read about the awful things that happened recently.

Relieved: I finished writing, editing, and submitting my short story Solarium, which is about a failing Mars simulation.
Excited: Camp NaNoWriMo starts today! Let's hope me and my cabin mates are ready to get some serious writing done. I'll be editing The Page & The Magician. I'm currently on Chapter 7 of 24.
Brave: Today also marks the beginning of April, which is Sjögren's Syndrome Awareness Month. I was diagnosed with Sjögren's recently and given the amount of misinformation there is about t…