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Showing posts from May, 2017

Almost Ready

I have a bookshelf with fabric and I have a clean working area. Tomorrow, I'm going to refresh some skills and check that my machine is in good working order.




Tiny Samurai

Warrior Wednesday - Planks

Planking isn't going terribly bad. I have changed the way I time. I started with a stopwatch method, but that quickly began to feel like watching a needle pierce my arm before they draw blood. Not good. It's a little annoying to change the countdown everyday, but I'm sure I'll hit a snag point where I struggle to get beyond the time and it will become ​less often.

As I said earlier this week, by the end of the challenge, I'm supposed to be able to plank for 300 seconds. That's 5 minutes. I'm doubtful, but I've decided that it doesn't matter. It's okay ​if it takes me longer to get there than 30 days. I'll just keep trying to get there even if it takes me years. The point of this isn't to be able to pompously state I can plank for however long, but to improve my posture and core strength. Of course I'll mention it if I achieve it, but that's not why I'm doing it. It's simply a numerical measure of progress to me.

Starting at…

Theatrical Tuesday - The Godfather

In preparing for school this fall, I've undertaken self-directed film study. One of the films I've been studying is The Godfather. If you haven't seen it, you should stop reading this post and go watch it. There is a basic breakdown of the plot in this post, so you've been warned.

One of my theories about screenwriting is that films have roles outside of the actors. The director has his part to play, the camera people, the other crew members, etc. And I've seen this in theatre. One of the suggestions people have said to me is to read scripts to learn about writing them, but I think you only get a part of the picture that way and here's why:

1. You might forget things that would be helpful to the actors and director. Example, the cat in the opening scene never leaves the scene in the screenplay.

2. You might not account for things like an actor who likes to misbehave. Example, Marlon Brando hated following rules or even reading screenplays.

3. You might put things i…

Merry Monday - Progress

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I'm steadily making small improvements on my living space. I have the urge to paint. Mostly, I want to paint over the mural I started in my living room, so I can have more wall space for art. That sounds funny probably as I'd be painting over art to hang other art. The problem is that in one spot I used oil paint. I'm not sure if I can just strip that section? It's a small wall, so wouldn't be too disruptive in my already messy living space. It's slowly getting cleaner in here. One small corner at a time. I decided to break down the cleaning task into smaller pieces like shredding, clean shower/tub, dishes, stove, etc. This is helpful and less overwhelming.

I also want to paint my kitchen cupboards a light blue, but I need to finish fixing the drawers and use wood playdough on a piece that needs repair before I can even think about …

Frisky Friday - The Well

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There is a well that is first dug at birth. As we gain experience in the world around us, it is dug deeper. Those experiences fill the well and mix with each other to create our identity. Some people avoid experiencing things and have shallow wells as a result. In order to write content that connects with people, one must have a deep well from which to draw inspiration. One must do things and interact with other people as much as possible when they aren't sitting in their chair hitting keys and forming words on a screen or mapping plots out on whiteboards.

Great erotica is no different. It's not about knowing 200 different words for genitals. Nor is it about knowing every kama sutra position or all the ways to say wet.

As writers, we are often told to write what we know. You have stories in you that others can't tell because we haven't lived y…

Thoughtful Thursday - Inspiration

Something writers get asked often is where we get our ideas from. It's different for all of us. For me, I get inspired by nearly everything. I'll watch a documentary and suddenly the synapses in my brain are coming up with snippets that could go in a story. I may not have the other pieces to make a full story yet, so I file it away.

Life is inspiring. Every event you attend can bring you ideas. If you stay holed up in your house and avoid meeting new people, you limit yourself.

Going on a trip, even within your own province, changes the scenery and suddenly you're surrounded by different people. Maybe you're all united by a common activity such as a martial art, but you're all different in how you talk and socialize. You may be at a table with doctors, artists, security guards, counselors, engineers, IT workers, teachers, accountants, Buddhist priests, students, park rangers, interpreters, etc. And they may be from Canada, the US, the UK, France, Chile, Japan, etc.

So…

Warrior Wednesday - Guelph Spring Seminar 2017

The 2017 Sei Do Kai Spring Iaido and Jodo Seminar had a slightly different feel for me this year. I think this was because some of my friends weren't there and also because I was challenging for ikkyu rank in jodo. Normally, I just do iaido and don't have a grading to think about, so the whole weekend is just learning and fun. It was hectic trying to fit in both arts, but it I felt it important to do so.

After checking in, I spent some time fighting with the Wi-Fi, which was something new this year. The page was automatically scrolling me down to the portion for people who already had logins rather than letting me register. Then it was telling me I needed an app and it was a mess. I got it working, but missed a chance to play with a Nintendo Switch. The Wi-Fi was a pain in the butt as it kept cutting out and we had to login again when it did that. Not sure why they couldn't just let it work the whole time.

I had everything I needed with me this year, so I had no need to go t…

It's Here!

My thread arrived while I was away passing a martial arts grading! It's just a starter pack, but it's so colourful :)



I have some things to do before I get sewing, but I'm happy to be a little more prepared.
My sewing area is mostly clean now save the floor.
Time to get making the patterns.

Tiny Samurai

Merry Monday - Success!

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This May long weekend was spent in Guelph​, Ontario. Besides catching up with friends, a focal point was Jodo grading. It was the first time in 7 years that upper levels could grade within Canada and I feel fortunate that I was there for it.

I also passed my grading challenge and now hold an ikkyu rank. The martial arts I practice are weapons based and don't follow a coloured belt system. Ikkyu is like brown belt, which seems high when looking at karate, but it is shodan (1st black) and above where the most learning happens.

Jodo is an art form that involves partnering up. One uses the sword and the other a jo.

Mistakes were made, but I didn't get flustered by them. I just continued. Part way through, when seeing my partner do jo side, I realized I didn't remember doing pieces. But it didn't matter. It was what it was and I was in the moment…

Frisky Friday - A Kiss

Think about the best kiss you've had.

Was it a first date? Second? Third? Fourth? Longer?

I find a kiss is better when you have to wait for it. Like great steak, wine, and cheese.

Sometimes all you need is a kiss to set you on fire.

The effects are far more than becoming turned on. If you have to drive right after, it can be hard to think. It can disorient you and lead you to take a longer drive home than you intended simply because you can't remember which direction home is in.

It can change your worldview in that moment.

Think about this when writing about a kiss.

If you're somewhere that celebrates Victoria Day, enjoy the first long weekend of summer.

I'm off to Guelph to see friends, train hard, play hard, and hopefully pass an exam. If I can manage to focus on martial arts or anything else after that kiss that is. Packing was much harder than it should have been yesterday...

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – On Editing

Sometimes a contract falls through and it's the best thing for all parties. Editors and authors can have vastly different visions of what a story should be and sometimes an artist needs to stay true to their vision.

This is a good time to officially say that going forward, I will be extremely choosy about writing short stories. They are very time consuming and I'd much rather be working on a screenplay or a novel or a novel adaptation as those are where my heart is.

Don't worry. I'll turn that little story into something. I think a different medium will truly let it shine.

Stay true to yourself and you will never go wrong.

Salut,
R~

Review - Bust PTSD (Android)

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From helplines that you can call to talk to someone to free counselling services, there is free help available. Some free services only allow a couple of counselling sessions and they mostly exist to help you find the people who can help you more. I used one of those in the past and while I found the exercise of tallying up my strengths useful, it didn't help me deal with the pain of the past. Some offer upwards around 20 sessions. Some are targeted to specific needs like gambling, alcohol, and more.

It can be hard to get the right help when your issues have many layers like an onion that began growing again over a couple layers of old skin. To get to that middle layer of old skin that isn't nourishing, we have to go through many other layers first. After peeling away the initial dead layers that all onions have, we see some normal layers and they&#…

Merry Monday - Ottawa Comiccon 2017

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This year I had to cut back due to my current financial situation. I normally go for the full weekend including special events. This year I planned to go for one day only. I chose Saturday because it usually has the best content in terms of panels and Q&As. The problem with Saturday is that it is exceedingly busy because of this.

When I arrived, I had to park on the grass lot down the road. In previous years this has been a huge deterrence for me. I would get to Comiccon at 7AM just to avoid it. I forgot about that and missed my first panel because of it. I was in a bit of a bad mood as such. The rain didn't help, nor did the long walk to the EY Centre.

The first Q&A I went to was with Canadian actress, writer, and producer Laura Vandervoort. I thoroughly enjoyed her Q&A. She has a lot of personality and maybe someday I'll write somethin…

Frisky Friday - How Great Writing is Like Great Sex

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Think about the best sex you've ever had.

Was each touch the same intensity, the same speed? Did you use the same positions you've always used? Was it predictable? Probably not.

My best experiences were where I didn't know what was coming next. He suddenly moved me into a different position. He varied his touches. Some were gentle. Some assertive. Now, mine aren't likely to match yours exactly. What I like in the bedroom may be vastly different than what you like.

The same goes for reading.

Books need to delight us. To do that ,they need to vary in speed and rhythm. We need a mix of short and long sentences. Chapters too. Otherwise reading the book will be like maintenance sex. Routine and boring. Some people like predictability, but most prefer variety.

Words that invoke the senses are part of it too. Many of us are good at painting the pictu…

ROW80 - Mid-Week

I felt today's Thoughtful Thursday post on Cultural Appropriation needed its own space free from my goals update. I've linked it in case you want to read it.

Here are my updates:

Screenplay: 13 pages have been written.
Novel: Nothing since Monday.
Short Story: Editing finished and returned to my publisher. Likely another round of editing before it's complete.
Kitchen Reno: On hold until June.
Sewing Business: On hold until after the May long weekend.
Martial Arts: Must get making the rest of my food. It would be nice to be ready early in the week. Working on the car music too.
Newsletter: Working on the short story that will be in it.
Fitness: Got out walking yesterday and danced some while working on the car music.
Cleaning: No major improvements. Just fighting the usual battle with dishes. Picking up a little at a time.
Bento Boxes: I made rice balls. Lacking salt, but otherwise good. Also not sure where to get black sesame seeds.
Guitar: Been playing a little every day. New strings…

Thoughtful Thursday - Cultural Appropriation

Please bear with me and read to the end as it's a difficult topic prone to enraging people.

The iconic image of the Japanese rice ball found its way to Hawaii. While you might hate pineapple on pizza, it's a delicious fruit we wouldn't have if not for trade.

Japan has done a lot of appropriating over the years. Their written language came from China, as did Bonsai. They got Buddhism from Korea who got it from China. Wet-rice farming also came from China.

A former friend's Chinese boss loved Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pepsi. I'm not sure if he also like collared greens or not.

Yoga is REALLY popular among many cultures today. It's from India. And I'm sure you've heard about the Kama Sutra ;)

Pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, and more pasta comes from Italy, but tomatoes are newer to Italy than you might imagine. Oh, Italy also has rice balls. They're deep-fried, but Italian rice can be used to make Japanese-style rice balls too.

The earliest record of beer is fro…

Morose Monday - Floods

Cars have been swallowed. Stop signs are barely visible. People use boats to travel. This isn't the start of a story. This isn't a description of Venice. All over Ontario, people are being forced to leave their homes due to floods. The situation has hit a critical point and the army is being deployed to rescue citizens. In the Ottawa area, Gatineau and Rockland are the hardest hit. CTV is reporting live on the situation.

I find it hard to stay positive while I worry about those I care about. Others are unhappy that it is now snowing, but this is a good thing. "New snow is composed of a high percentage of air trapped among the accumulated snow crystals. Since the air can barely move, heat transfer is greatly reduced. Fresh, uncompacted snow typically is 90 to 95 percent trapped air." (Source: https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/science/characteristics.html) Snow is better than more rain at this time. Sure, I'd prefer sun, but right now it's just not an option. Th…

Frisky Friday - The V Zone

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All right. I didn't think I would have to go here, but judging by the amount of weird articles online and the activities people with vaginas are engaging in lately, some stuff needs to be said.

Vagina's clean themselves unless you've got a yeast infection. You do not need to be shoving things up there like cucumbers to cleanse them! In fact, this is why douching isn't a thing anymore. Your vagina requires a certain level of acidity to function properly. When you shove things like cucumbers up there regularly to "cleanse" you disrupt its natural function. Using a proper vaginal wash like Summer's Eve or Vagisil on the outer part is all you need. The inside cleans itself. Let it.
Kegals are healthy exercise for your pelvic floor muscles. There is no proof currently that you need to be doing kung fu, aka lifting weights via a jad…

Thoughtful Thursday - Freedom to Grow

When did it become OK to verbally attack strangers? To suggest they are inferior to you in some way because they think differently than you? There was a time people knew how to respectfully discuss ideas and how to respectfully disagree with others.

There's a video online of a woman who is whining that her son hasn't phoned her from college. She rambles on about wiping his butt, toilet training him, making him go to karate, etc. Some people find the video funny and others find her overbearing.

I take issue with forcing a kid to do an extracurricular he doesn't like. It's one thing if he usually loved it and thought about quitting during a trying time. As you level up, it gets harder after all. It's quite another thing entirely if they dislike the activity and would rather be doing something else. People like Elon Musk become who they are by having parents that let them follow their passions.

Furthermore, posting a video online shaming your son for not calling isn'…

Merry Monday - Goal Setting

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The demonstration at the Japanese Embassy went well. I was a little nervous on the day, but I found my focus and got through it. Generally, I have difficulty with change, but after doing demos for a couple of years, they are rarely done according to plan. More people showed up than we thought and many were there just before the demo. There wasn't enough space inside to do it safely because several of the exhibits were on the stage. It's a good thing the weather was beautiful. One of the other ladies made rice balls for everyone to have after the demonstration. It was delicious and I'm now on a bento box kick.

My sewing area is getting cleaner, as is the rest of my home. I have some repairs to do on my kitchen drawers that are taking longer than I thought they would, but I'm just doing a little at a time and I know they'll get done event…