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Showing posts from June, 2016

Review: Staple Guns and Tiny Me

For my garden, I'm building a simple cage for protecting my plants from rodents. This cage features thin framing screwed together with chicken wire stapled to it. Pretty standard. I've gone through three staple guns.

The first one I bought was the Stanley TR35 Light Duty Tacker. The fit was perfect fit my child sized hands and it was easy to squeeze. For some reason, it jammed to the point of complete blockage and could not fire a thing.

Next, I tried the Stanley TR110 Heavy Duty Staple Gun. I got about 4 staples in and couldn't work with it any longer. It took my entire weight and both hands to squeeze the trigger and more often than not the staples would misfire.

Finally, I went to home depot with the intention of buying a specific Dewalt one, the Dewalt Heavy Duty Stapler. Trying the handle it was too hard to squeeze and so I tried the others in the area. I considered the Powershot by Arrow as I used to own one of those (ex got to keep that), but it felt harder to press t…

Wonder Wednesday: Am I too sensitive?

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Today's Wonder Wednesday may be a little morbid or upsetting for some. If you're the sensitive type, feel free to skip this one.

Something I saw during my commute home upset me and made me think about the ghosts that haunt my past.







[caption id="attachment_5338" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The bird was brown and yellow.[/caption]

A bird. Caught in the hinge of the trunk of the car in front of me. Its lifeless wing flaps in the wind. It hurts me to look at it but I can't avoid it. I want to scream at the driver to free the poor thing. I want to ask them how they could be so oblivious.

Is it that they don't care about the world around them? Are they too engrossed in their own problems to notice anything else? Is the life of another creature worthless to them?

Or am I too sensitive? Too observant?

For a time, I li…

Merry Monday: Obstacles

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I'm fighting with squirrels. They are intent on eating my 3rd-floor balcony garden. This, of course, has given me ideas for the scenes in my novel that involve squirrels. To be clear, I already had squirrels in it, but the scene is better now.

And as I learned to shoot guns this weekend, those critters are lucky I live in a condo instead of the country. I'll stick to shooting bad guys in Uncharted. For now.

I bought some wood to build cages with chicken wire so I can hope for something to harvest later this summer. Cayenne didn't seem to help much in the squirrel war.

It was a tough day at martial arts yesterday. Early on, my quadriceps began to seize up in protest. Did I give up? No. I drank a bunch of water and switched to standing versions for a while. After a bit, my legs were fine and I could do it properly. Well, as proper as my current ra…

Funky Friday: Week of June 24th

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It has been pretty quiet for me this week, so I've gotten a lot of things done around the house and in the virtual landscape.

Personal

Calm & Collected: On Monday morning, a screen door was installed on my balcony. I'm loving the air flow. It makes me want to go outside more. As day turned to evening and I was about leave work, the power went out. I was in the bathroom at that moment where there were no emergency lights. In the pitch blackness, I assumed a ready stance and felt my way to the sink to wash my hands. I was forced to wipe them on my skirt as the electric dryer was useless. Upon entering the hallway I heard scared voices searching for guidance. I promptly contacted someone I knew that would know what to do as the disaster plan had no useful information within its pages for this situation. Once the proper authorities were engaged, I l…

Wonder Wednesday: The Call to Write

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Today, I am wondering if my writing will ever accurately portray the story to the reader as I see it in my mind. I expect this is something all writers struggle with but it gnaws at me. This niggling feeling in the back of my mind says I'm not good enough.

But is it really our job to make them see every bit the same as we do? Or is it to provide the reader with enough to spark their imagination, so they can fill in the gaps?

Perhaps it's somewhere in between those two extremes; in the Goldilocks zone.

When I think about my characters, I smile as though they are my best friends and I am enjoying their recount of the latest shenanigans we all got into. Indeed, sometimes I even laugh out loud because they feel that real to me.

I want my readers to know them as well as I do. Or at least pretty close. I like keeping some secrets.

I'm on a writing break…

Merry Monday: Father's Day Weekend

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For Father's Day, I took a trip to visit the family. The drive was frustrating as people wanted to go about 10 below the speed limit. Also, there were some motorcycle enthusiasts who couldn't pass cars in an appropriate amount of time.

I arrived Friday around 4:45pm, chucked a gluten free pizza in their oven, ate half the pizza, and got gussied up for a wake. My next door neighbor of almost thirty years passed away earlier in the week. He was very ill due to diabetes and kidney disease and is no longer suffering. But he will be missed. He made a mean Rusty Nail and loved getting into mischief.

On Saturday, I shopped. I had forgotten my phone charger and was trying to make plans with friends as I watched the battery dwindle. It shut off mid conversation with my brother. I bought some other things as well such as several new to me LPs between $2 and …

Funky Friday: Light in the Darkness

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Let's face it, the world has been awful for a lot of people lately. Are mass shootings happening more frequently? In 2014, the data said no. In 2015, the data said yes. Did it really change that much in one or two years? I don't have answers, only questions.

The thing is, we can cause ourselves pain in constantly ruminating on an issue we feel powerless to do anything about. Normally, my advice is to break something down into smaller chunks to find the pieces that can be fixed by me. The thing is, many of these issues feel too big to me. What can I do about the mass shootings in the U.S.? I'm not even a citizen of the U.S.

It's quite like the wars overseas. I feel powerless to help them too. Indeed, a friend went over there and came to the conclusion that outside help is making the problem worse; they need empowerment to clean their own …

New Section! - FLASH

[caption id="attachment_4384" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image courtesy of Arthur's Pub in Dublin.[/caption]

I've added a new FREE content section for little stories that I write for fun or to improve my writing skills.

There's only one story up currently, but there will be more in time.

Check it out here!

Wonder WTF Wednesday: It's all the same sickness

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I'm sorry for this post, but the world is sick and I just need to get this out of my head.

There are lots of other awful things I won't talk about today, but two I do want to talk about. There are boys being raised who don't understand they've done wrong when they've raped girls. There are people who think killing others is an acceptable way to deal with their personal issues. And there are politicians wanting to exploit these situations rather than fix anything, but that's par for the course.

What the actual fuck?!

I first drank alcohol at age 16. In high school, we partied whenever we had the opportunity. There were a couple of occasions that I passed out from over-drinking. Most of my friends were male. Guess what? They treated drunk me the same as their drunk male buddies. They didn't try to have sex with me or their buddies.…

Merry Monday: This Relaxation Thang

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It's weird "relaxing". I'm interspersing it with getting things done around the house.

I've hung a bunch of things on my walls such as art, medals, and diplomas. I've learned not to trust any "damage less" hanging things. Everything I've hung up lately in that way fell off the walls on Saturday. It was really annoying. I felt like everything I had worked on had been pointless, but I switched to nails to fix it for good. Really, nails don't make large holes anyway. I've done almost all of my laundry and I'm working through the dishes.  I've planted peas, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, scallions, flowers, kale, dill, and basil. I've organized my guitar sheet music.

I've played hard too. I watched the Martian and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, it was the first new movie in a very long time that…

Funky Friday: Week of June 10th

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Well, it's been a strange week.

Personal

Tired: I raced feverishly at the beginning to meet my deadline and submit my novel for the Half the World competition. The next day, I thought I would be tired. It wasn't until Wednesday that the tiredness came. But I wonder if the tiredness was because of all the pushing I have been doing on the novel, or because I started working out?
Sore: On Wednesday morning, I did a 7 minute HIIT workout. On Thursday morning, I did some belly dance. On Friday morning, I was supposed to do HIIT again, but I'm still sore and needed to give blood.
Productive: I played quite a lot of guitar, finished planting my vegetables, and am making headway on my messy home.
Relaxed: I watched a movie without feeling guilty because I wasn't writing. Also, been playing video games without guilt. Feels so weird.
Thrilled: I have bee…

Wonder Wednesday: Extreme Editing

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Prescheduling this one as I think I might be incapable of much on Wednesday.

The day before I submitted my manuscript to the Half the World competition, I signed up for Grammarly Premium. Grammarly found nearly 2000 issues. This was bad, yet good. Bad because time was so short and good because there was time to fix things before sending it out.

It was submitted on the morning of Tuesday, June 7th.

What I learned:

I had messy battle scenes that I was convinced I needed to print out in order to cut up and move the pieces around. Well, my printer was out of ink. I was about to head out and buy a better printer because I actually hate inkjets. Then I said, "Don't be stupid. All you need are your brain and fingers." I hunkered down and it was way easier than I thought. I'm still going to replace my printer with a laser printer but it's not p…

Merry Monday: Brief Update

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Hi, readers!

The weekend was packed. Saw the Rideau Valley Roller Girl travel teams take on those from Tampa Bay Florida on Friday. Ottawa, unfortunately, got crushed but I think they learned a lot. They should be proud anyway. When you're ranked 60 and you go up against a team that is ranked 17... Well, you have to have some gumption to even try that. Tampa had many phenomenally skilled skaters. Seriously, some of their jammers looked like ballerinas because they were tiny and extremely light on their feet. Perhaps we'll see the Vixens catch up in the future. Watching Roller Derby on a Friday messed with my brain as it's usually on a Saturday. When I realized I still had tons of weekend left, well that felt pretty awesome.

Saturday had me at Prose in the Park. The weather was excellent. I should have drunk more water as I felt a little awful a…

Funky Friday: Week of June 3rd

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What's been up this week? More than enough.

Personal

Happy: There's a new member of my extended family. A healthy 7lb boy.
Worried: The mom of the baby had a tough time delivering and is in ICU. Many moons ago she was my flower girl. Hopefully, mom and baby will get to go home soon.
Stressed: My writing deadline is fast-approaching and I keep finding major issues in my manuscript! They're all near the end of the story. My word count isn't high enough either for the genre.
Well: I've done some trials with yeast and dairy. So far I haven't been reacting to them. One major change I made recently was to go completely gluten free.
Tired: Been working so hard on my book it's probably wearing me out, but it must get done!
Excited: My new boss likes meetings way less than the previous one.
Nervous: I haven't met my new boss yet. That happ…

Wonder Wednesday: Burning Out

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I've decided to take some time off of writing in June. I've not had much of a break in the past few months. I could use a breather before I burn myself out long-term.

What will I do in that time?

1. Geocaching
2. Playing guitar
3. Videogames
4. Clean
5. Garden
6. Visit the folks
7. Practice martial arts
8. Whatever else I feel like. Perhaps date.

My boss announced his retirement a couple of weeks ago. I hear a lot of people say they wouldn't retire because they'd be bored. I doubt I'll have trouble keeping busy when I get there. Besides, retiring from office work just means more time to write stories ;)

One thing I'm thinking about is getting another pet. Right now, I'm thinking two female mice. I briefly considered a snake, but I just couldn't feed it cute little mice. Also, I want something cuddly. I've been reading about them.…