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NaNoWriMo: word slammed

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (2)

 

I  won NaNoWriMo this year. Had some time on my hands, so I went for 80,000 words and made it.


I let it "cool" for six months and decided it was worth editing. It's my first book, and as of 7/14, I'm still editing it. If you're really that bored, you can see my blog where I chronicle this editing. Toward the middle or so I begin sharing a little more of the actual story. I started that blog just so I could keep track of my progress, but couple people actually started reading it. I didn't expect that. I looked at someone else's blog who was chronicling her work, and it just was so uninteresting to hear her dryly talk about characters and situations I wasn't invested in. For that reason, I had no thought my editing-the-book blog would be read by anyone but myself. I began to take this audience into account.

I talk about the up times and the down times. The down times I seem to have a lot of, but I plug on in spite of them, only God knows why.

Which that's actually the book's title. Something like that, anyway. For the Love of God. Read it for yourself, if you like!




Teach Me How to Dougie

Posted on November 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Diary,


I wish Cynthia Kereluk could teach me how to dougie:


"Now you bend your legs like this, but take care! See that the knee joint does not come over the toe."


"Best posture possible. Work forward and back."


"Almost finished! Work hard!"


Tee-tee-tee-teach me how to dougie. Tee-tee-teach me how to dougie.

My piano lessons

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I had to be encouraged to take them, but I'm at piano lessons again. My teacher is the very competant Patrick (we're not on a last name basis yet) who graduated from the Dana School of Music.


He has taught me a lot about Roman Numeral Analysis. I thought I knew a lot about chords and how they worked together until I started looking through this lens at them. FYI, there's not much helpful material online about this subject. I should check my local libraries next. I asked him about a good book on it, and he mentioned the textbook he used, but said it was pretty expensive. I thought maybe I could get an earlier edition of it cheaper.


Also he tolerates my forays into jazz. What I'm working on right now is "Blues by Five" by Red Garland. I've set the melody as single notes with a Bb jazz blues progression in the left hand. It runs as follows:


 

Bb7 / B7 / Bb7 / F-7 b5   bE b5 b9 /

 

Eb7 / E dim / Bb7 A7 / Ab7 G7 /

 

Eb7 F#7 / F13 / Bb9 G7 / F#7 F 7 /

 

 

I didn't care too much for the bass line they had transcribed, so I wrote a bass line for it. I'm pretty pleased with it.


 My current assignment is to put the chords back in my life by switching them to the left hand and doing some soloing over them with my right. I don't know if I'm sufficiently jazzy enough to pull that off, but you have to start somewhere. I'm liking the Bb blues scale and the C whole tone for the solos at this point.


 Solfege syllables came up in one lesson, and I decided I need to learn more about those - I know the "Do, a deer" song, but not much more beyond that. So I'm taking the bass line I was just talking about and rendering it in solfege syllables.


So, I've learned (and am learning) a lot. The bitter pill (should I take the blue one or the red one?) is he leaves after this summer. He's going to grad school which will take him out of state. If all goes well (for me, not him +smirk), I'll have his influence until August. We'll see if I continue lessons after that. I've probably missed church several times because I was tired after what I had to do that week and the piano lesson on top of it.


Just felt like sharing what I'm working on right now and so I did.

 

 

Promotion comes from above

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I am now an associate editor, editing flash fiction at the Bewildering Stories website. The position doesn't pay, but I'm happy with it. It could lead to other opportunities.


Kind of funny how it happened. I was talking with my gf about writing, and we got onto the topic of editing. I get to do some of that in order to post my own work on Zoetrope. A good find, because they make you critique five pieces before you can post one. Yes, it is more work, but the likelihood that you get a number of responses to your own writing goes up because of that.


Monica suggested I write to people who are editors to see what the job is like. The first one I thought of was Donald Webb at Bewildering Stories. He said (essentially) you learn by doing it.


Now I've published one of my best stories on there some time ago. What surprised me was he offered me the position I mentioned above. After some prayer and thought, I took it. I've edited two pieces so far, one each day since I started. He seems happy with my work.


I'm enjoying that. My natural desire to teach gets exercised this way. And there's a lot in life I can't control, but editing for a publication gives me a measure of it.

Rant against Dell

Posted on December 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Computers are a waste of space. You have to spend so much time maintenancing them. When do you have time to get anything done? I put over two hours into getting the right Road Runner bill sent to my email. And it still isn't resolved.

 

Fast forward to Christmas. (Hope you had a good one, by the way) I pull my comp out of the box and hey - I got a virus, probably within minutes. It acted up, allowed me to subdue it, and then came back with a vengeance several days later.

 

Dell, who have established part of their reputation because of their great service, now charges $250 to warranty their software. My comp has a virus, and this is considered a software issue. What happened to the Dell that would help you even when your warranty ran out? There's hardly any sense in having one if they are going to rook you for another $250 after you place your order. It's despicable. I talked to a tech help guy and then to his supervisor. I ended up hanging up on the latter. He kept trying to deflect me by mentioning the fact that I have a hardware warranty. Not happy with this garbage.

 

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised when some purchase takes a turn for the worse like this. Nothing is true anymore. We've always had to be vigilant so as to not be taken advantage of.  But when did it come to this? I mean they can't even stand by their product enough to repair what is wrong. My comp is still practically fresh out of the box. And another rant is that so many things come out costing much more than you thought they were going to. In this day and age, that's pretty standard. What you see is not what you get.

 

Knowing all this doesn't keep me from being angry about it.

Home again, home again, jiggety-jog

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 9:22 AM Comments comments (0)

My journey has ended. Jiggety-jog. The ice, clunking and simple, is dashed away and Spring has come. I've found a church.

 

The winner (I tried four churches, most of them multiple times) is Grace Pentecostal Church. For the most part, the choice is intuitive. I can't say why I chose it. I do have a couple logical reasons that suppliment my feelings.

 

One factor is it's in town. It's a short drive and many of its members probably live here. That makes it easier to get together outside church.

 

A much lesser part of it is I got chills while the worship leader was playing "Shout to the Lord."


Some of it would be the pastor's presentation of Esther. He had done his homework.

 

I had him over when Monica was here and he seemed to be reasonable in his thinking.


So there's that.

 


My first published fiction piece

Posted on September 8, 2010 at 4:48 PM Comments comments (1)

My first published fiction piece! It's very short, what the kids are calling "flash fiction" these days. Before this I've published a wrting how-to article and a flash fiction sci-fi piece, but I should qualify that as it was published in "the Zap Room," the place where Alien Skin puts all the stuff they think isn't fit to be in their ezine.


So in some way this is my first published fiction piece! Yay me!

The church search

Posted on August 10, 2010 at 1:13 PM Comments comments (4)

My latest musical creation: "i love you i love you i love you."

 

My search for a church continues.

 

At the church I went to, the people were friendly, but not overly so. I met a guy named Wade. I note that because other than the then president of Pinecrest (Bible Training Center, which I went to), I've never known anyone by that moniker.

 

Worship focused on the longing we have for God. I would have preferred focusing on God himself, singing more directly to him, lifting up His attributes and such. But I don't know, for all I know they do that on every other occasion. The service reminded me of Pinecrest in that the worship time overflowed and filled up the time that the sermon was supposed to be preached in. So they decided to let the pastor sit on what he wanted to share until next Sunday.

 

There were two women up front that waved flags during the worship. I found that distracting, but told myself I could get used to it. I grumbled to myself: "why can't they do that at their seat?" But I quickly realized there was no room to do so. I tried to take the other side and told myself it was good these women had a place where they could do this - an outlet.


They honored the family of a four-day-old baby. Very tiny!

 

I liked that the pastor gave a word about "spontaneous combustion" and then prayed from the pulpit, "Lord, we don't know what that means." I find I too often think I know what a given circumstance means when I really don't.

 

They asked a question: "when's the first time you remember feeling God's presence?" For me it would have been after I was fourteen, but due to my leaky memory I can't remember the specific occasion.

 

When's the first time you felt the Lord's presence?

 


Hot Fudge

Posted on June 27, 2010 at 5:08 PM Comments comments (3)

Pretty tired today. Tired enough I didn't go to church. I get this way often, ever since my college years. I've had some kind of energy drain that takes all the fun out of life. It hits me hard all the time.


I got a Hot Fudge Sundae today, something I haven't had in a long time. Our Dairy Queen presents this succulent dish, no lie, in a Styrofoam cup. So I went to Dairy King. And for the price of a gallon of ice cream I got what I wanted. Although if you figure it one way, that after buying the whipped cream and the cherries and the hot fudge, which would all just waste away until the next Sunday you had, never mind take up room, in a way, it's more economical. Or not. I'm not convincing myself, although earlier I bought this line of reasoning.


I read and looked at the pictures in a book about painting in America from 1900-1970. I was encouraged and challenged by the artists who forged ahead in abstract expressionism, throwing their reputations to the wind. They and their work were ridiculed, but they stayed with it. I admire their bravery, but I'm not sure I could cut a path like that. In a moment of extra expansive self-inflation (maybe it's the Sundae talking), I say "time will tell."

Steeeee-rike two!

Posted on June 14, 2010 at 2:58 PM Comments comments (1)

Day two in the "hunt for a new church" yesterday. Last week I visited a nearby church. Today at the church I went to the worship leader was a little intense for my taste (I did feel chills on a song she did, to her credit). And they had the mic turned up too loud when the pastor spoke.


 All was forgiven when I got coffee cup full of stuff they give in return for filling out and turning in a visitor card. I say all was forgiven because the cup contained a Hershey's chocolate bar!

  

The people were extremely friendly. I bet I met fifteen to twenty people. Also I saw a couple people I knew from elsewhere. While I was waiting for Sunday school to start, one guy and I shot the breeze.  He highlighted ministries and pointed out the people who head them up. He is the leader of the motorcycle group. I asked him if he had a favorite scripture and he didn't.

 

Sunday school was about not taking revenge. The sermon was about our words - how much they effect ourselves and others.

 

What I got out of the sermon was a welcome re-visitation to 1 cor 13:2 "If I...can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge...but have not love, I am nothing (niv)." You can pile it all up, more knowledge than anyone could ever have, but without love you're less than a nobody.


 I was ready to leave about fifteen minutes before the service ended. Three-and-a-half hours (I came early, went to Sunday school, and they have a generous break in between sessions) is a lot at this point. My guess is that's due to my low energy. 

 


Lost my causes

Posted on June 2, 2010 at 5:33 PM Comments comments (0)

If you are blogging for the first time, and someone says you don't have to type it up in a different program, you may go along with that.  You may think it's fine to just type your post into the blog web page itself.  Maybe you could allow yourself to be talked into thinking you can't lose your work this way.  If this happens, don't listen to your well meaning friend.

 


Ask me how I know.