Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phlegm and Cookies

Yummy title, isn't it?

Well, whether it is or isn't, it pretty much sums my day up so far. This morning, I woke up with a massive head cold. You know, the kind where you can feel a giant wad of phlegm in the back of your throat but can do next-to-nothing about it? Yeah. That's the kind. Since I have no Dayquil (or any other type of daytime-friendly cold medicine) in my apartment, I was forced to take Nyquil instead. I have been half-high/half-asleep ever since.

And to think, I thought I wouldn't have to deal with head colds in California. I guess viruses aren't prejudiced in where they hang out. Oh well...

But anyhow, to cheer myself up a little bit, I decided to make oatmeal raisin cookies. The second sheet is in the oven as I type. They smell wonderful, all cinnamon-y and delicious. It makes me glad my sense of smell isn't completely debilitated.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Busy Weekend

I'm sorry I am so boring this weekend - we've been really busy, and I'm finding it hard to sit still and write a blog post, for whatever reason. It's not like I have nothing to talk about. In fact, I have almost too many things to talk about.

Like I said...busy. My husband and I have been hanging out with two other Navy couples - the Wakefields and the Johnsons. On Friday, we went to Mission Beach and then followed it up with a grill-out/game night. Saturday, we went hiking up Mt Cowles (the highest point in SD county - I only made it halfway up, cause I'm out of shape and whatnot) and then went out for Mexican food. Today, we went to Balboa Park to the International Food Festival and then went to Little Italy for dinner. Tomorrow we might be going to the water park with them. Depends on what Mark feels like doing.

So, yup. It's been busy.

In other news, Two Captains got a horrible review that is - pardon the expression - chapping my ass a little bit today. I understand that any story - even the classics - will get a bad review now and then. (Not that TC is a classic, but you know what I mean.) But... I dunno. It's not so much that they don't like the story. I can deal with someone not liking the story. It's the condescension that gets to me. While I would love to be the bigger person and take the high road and whatnot, I would also like this reviewer to feel the sharp side of my tongue.

I realize I sound petty. I never said I was perfect.

Anyways. In the interest of not letting that little something-or-other ruin my day, here are some pictures from various points in the weekend:

This is the view from halfway up Mt Cowles. The mountainside itself was pretty cool, because it was dotted with those same jutting-up-type rocks. They reminded me of ruins or something. You know, because I'm a nerd like that. :) Maybe someday I will go all the way up the mountain. Maybe.

This is one of the better pictures I was able to take of the Food Festival. It was just so crowded that there was no way to get a good shot of any of the buildings without getting trampled on by a hoard of hungry people.

In the foreground of this photo is my lovely husband, Mark, who was told to smile for the photo, but did not listen. In the background you will see Dave and Vanessa Johnson and one of the many fountains of Balboa Park.

Again, I'm sorry I've been so boring this weekend. (And just generally lately.) I've been running around so much that it's hard to focus on anything else. You know, like writing. I'm sure once the boys have to go back to their Navy-school on Tuesday, things will slow down and I'll have more time to figure out what to say.

In the meantime, be patient with me. Please.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Well, I dropped the ball on that one.

I was so good about posting every day, whether I wanted to or not. I made it 27 days into the Blogathon, and then I drop the ball. You can blame the beach and a barbecue on that account. Bah.

It happened, but it's not going to change my resolve about posting every day for the rest of the month.

Also, by the rules of the charity we gave our alternate ending to, we'll be allowed to post the FINAL CHAPTER (alt. ending) of Two Captains on Fanfiction on the first of June! YAY! I'm excited, not only for new reviews (which I love), but also because the past couple of reviews we've gotten were a little shirty about the whole donate-to-read thing.

Little do they know, it'll be up in a few days. They'll just have to stew until then.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My 5 Favorite Places to Write

So... I realized, a few days too late, that there was another theme post I could have done on Tuesday. (I guess it's okay, though, because my post on Tues was actually coherent.) It's not required or anything, but I like to be a good blogathon participant. So I decided to do it today.

The theme isn't hard to guess. It's the title of this post.

So, without further ado...


1. Caribou Coffee - Unfortunately, my favorite writing locale is no longer accessible to me. Caribou Coffee is a chain of coffee shops we had in MN (and a few other states, I guess) that are not present here in CA. They had the most wonderful, warm cabin-esque decor and FRIGGIN' DELICIOUS coffee drinks. Coconut Macadamia Mochas, Campfire Mochas, Pomegranate Vanilla Oolong Tea Lattes... Damn, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. They were good for more than just their coffee, though. I mentioned the atmosphere - which was excellent - but more than that, they had tons of available outlet-space. Lappies didn't die there. YOU COULD WRITE FOREVER! ...or at least until they closed for the evening.

2. Pardon My French - Again, another place I no longer have access to. PMF was a lovely little French bakery/cafe in Eagan, MN. Their coffee was nothing particularly special, but DEAR GOD, the pastries were delicious! Miniature cheesecakes and Napoleons, fruit tarts and truffles... (I've noticed a trend here. All the places I like to write have access to food/coffee. Well, so far.) The cafe was open and airy, with a two-sided fireplace in the center. The seating was sometimes a bit odd, but there you go.

3. My Red Couch - More and more often these days I find myself writing, tucked in the left-hand corner of my new red Ikea couch. From there, I can glance out the sliding door to see my dwarf tangerine tree. (See? Food again...once it starts producing fruit.) I write here, usually, because I have no other place to go. Plus, it's comfy.

4. My Dining Room Table - Which is where I am right now, listening to my Instrumental mix on iTunes. The table is currently my replacement for a desk, since we don't ever eat at it. (That is what the coffee table is for.) It's close to the printer, and it's the only place in the apartment to sit (other than the couch or floor.) Again - no Caribou here in Cali, so I have to settle for this. And my meager drip-coffee. Boo.

5. Starbucks - I don't often write at Starbucks (I dunno. Something about the atmosphere there makes me antsy), but I have found myself getting stranded there more and more often as of late. There's one right across the street from my husband's Naval base and that's where I wait for him, when I need to. Usually I don't have my laptop along, so I use a hardcover journal/notebook thinger that I carry around in my purse. And I drink their not-as-good-as-Caribou coffee and suffer. *wink wink*

So. Yup. That's where I write. Nothing too interesting.

Damn it, I miss Caribou.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grasping At Straws

Or, what I feel like I'm doing with the scene I've been working on. You know, the one I had the chunk of dialogue developed for? The one I've been trying to add between-the-dialogue filler to? Yeah, that one.

I'll let you see what I mean...

(EDIT: The second half of this scene was redone by the lovely Tulio/Elise, and is much, much better than the original. The "grasping at straws" thing no longer really applies. :) Oh well.)

Ryenne had never been much of a gambler, but now was as good a time as any to start. Wasn't it?

Rhys sounded defeated, but stubborn. “Then I am afraid -”

She had never been more unwilling to interrupt him. Nonetheless, she did.

“Have you ever played Piquet, Lady Seamaid?” His fingernails dug into her arm. She shook him off, grinding the heel of her boot into his toes for good measure.

A queer little smile played about the sea maid's lips. “Are you challenging me to a wager, Ryenne Caelar?”

Ryenne tried to match that bone-chilling leer with a grin of her own. “That I am, Lady.”

“And the stakes?”

“Everything you know about the Queen's Stone...” she took a deep breath, steadying her nerves. “Or my legs.” Rhys opened his mouth to protest, but another stomp on his foot silenced him – save for a hiss of pain. “What do you say?”

The sea maid swam lazily toward the ship, her golden hair fanning out across the water behind her. “I say lower a rope, so that I may come aboard and play a friendly game of cards with you.”

Ryenne nodded to the crewman closest to her, who bent to gather up a moorline. His expression said he would clearly rather be doing anything but. She agreed wholeheartedly with him, but this was too important for fear. There would be no backing down now.

She was just about to start directing the few crewmen who had remained at the railing to start the careful process of hauling the sea maid aboard when Rhys seized her arm again. When she attempted another try at the stomp-on-his-foot approach, he danced out of the way, but did not loose his white-knuckled grip.

“What are you doing, you little idiot?” His voice came out a hiss through clenched teeth, his eyes flashing.

“Helping you find this Queen's Stone...thing.” When his fingernails began to dig into her flesh again, she gasped. “Ow, Rhys, that bloody hurts!”

He released her, scrubbing a nervous hand through his dark hair. “Don't do this Ryenne. There are other ways to get the information we need.” She had never seen him so flustered. It made it harder to contain the fear she had been trying to swallow.

“This is the simplest way.”

“No, it isn't.” He snatched the playing cards, brandishing them at her accusingly. “Besides, you'll never win. You're terrible at cards.”

She snatched them back. “I'm not planning on taking any chances.” The Queen of Hearts smiled rakishly up at her. With a quick glance to make sure the sea maid was not yet within sight, Ryenne peeled the card from the deck and tucked it neatly into her boot.

Rhys's eyebrows shot up toward his hairline. His voice, when he found it, was strangled with the attempt not to strangle her.

Or so she guessed. She'd heard that tone before.

“You're going to cheat? You're striking a bargain with an eldritch creature and you plan to cheat?” His hand scrubbed nervously through his hair again, his eyes still flashing, full of fear. “I knew you weren't bright, but this -”

She tried to act stung, tried to ignore the tightness growing in her chest. “Come off it. I've seen you cheat more than once.”

“But I only bargain with mere money.” He glanced nervously at the men still trying to haul the sea maid aboard, keeping watch as she shoved two more cards into her boot. “This is not the time for failed attempts at double-dealing...”

“I know what I'm doing.”

“You obviously don't.” He stooped, swiftly removed one of the cards from her boot, and shook it at her. “This is a nine of spades. What in hell’s name are you going to do with a nine of spades? Do you even know how to play Piquet, Ryenne?”

She snatched it back from him. “Could you try and trust me, just this once?”

“Fine. But I'm not the one who's going to end up with two wooden legs when this is over.”

She lifted her chin, trying not to let him see the effect his words were having on her. “Is that your idea of wishing me luck? Because if so, I don’t need it. And I don’t need you acting like a fussy old nursemaid. I’m a grown woman, Captain Maralan.” The anger she put into her voice wasn’t enough to completely cover her rising panic. Why couldn’t the man understand that she was trying to help him?

“A fussy nursema-“ He snapped his mouth shut, the color high in his cheeks. Then he raised his hands in defeat and turned away. “Very well, Ryenne. You do what you wish. Just don't expect me to stand around and watch.”

She watched the door to his cabin slam shut behind him. Men were just so stubborn.

I only stopped adding filler between those last few lines because I had no idea what to say anymore. (And then the lovely Elise added her say.) She already stomped on his foot. We covered the fact that they were both scared, that his eyes were flashing and whatnot... Grr. Writing is frustrating. (Except when you have a wonderful partner!)

Don't worry. I won't give up. Optimism and whatnot.

You know what, though?

Still not King. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Still Not King

Day One:
     Ringwraiths killed: 4. V. good.
     Met up with Hobbits. Walked forty miles. Skinned a squirrel and ate it.
     Still not King.
Day Four:
     Stuck on mountain with Hobbits. Boromir really annoying.
     Not King yet.
Day Ten:
     Sorry no entries lately. V. dark in Mines of Moria. Big Baelrog.
     Not King today either.

For those of you who aren't nerdy enough to place every obscure reference I dig up, the above is an excerpt from "The Very Secret Diary of Aragorn, Son of Arathorn," by Cassandra Clare. It's a parody of one of the characters in Lord of the Rings (if you didn't know that much, I'd smack you) and I'm about to use it to illustrate how I've been feeling about life lately.

(Oh, and for those of you who can decipher my nerdy references: Congratulations! You're a total geek!)

Lately, when I sit back and take a look at my life and the direction it's headed, the phrase "Still not King" keeps coming to mind. (Ooh! See! My crazy intro is about to make sense!) While I have no ambition to be the king of anything, I do have other as yet unrealized ambitions. "Still not a Writer," "Still not Thin," "Still not even Employed," and so on and so forth. You get the idea. It gets a bit depressing and I find myself getting discouraged all the time. There's a long road ahead of me before I can do (or be) any of those things, and - while my rational brain knows full well that any ambition requires a lot of effort to be put forward before it can become a reality - I think a small part of me is still hoping that success at one (or all) of these things will just fall into my lap.

I am, essentially, a very lazy and unambitious-type person. While I don't want to waste my life away watching Family Guy, making things happen - making life interesting - is just so much goddamn work. It's so much easier to contemplate the idea of becoming a hermit and going off into the wilderness to live and write.

Even that much requires a great deal of work, however. I'd have to buy the cabin, buy the land, pay for the trip to wherever I ended up. And then there would still be things in my life that would require a steady income from me - food, electricity (or candles), internet access... I am, rather unfortunately, unable to live out that fantasy.

Also (since there are so few restrictions on what student loan companies can do to claim payment) I think my college debt collectors would hunt me down, harvest my organs and sell them on Ebay. You can't run away from those guys. Heck, one of the reasons I'm so hesitant to go back to school to finish my lousy AA degree is because I'm so terrified of racking up more debt. Those collection agencies are ruthless.

What was I talking about before I started rambling? Ah yes. Still not King.

What I want to start doing, instead of being all discouraged about still not being king (or whatever) is to change my mindset to something more positive. You know, "Still not King... but here's something I can do today to help set a change in motion." Optimism and whatnot. Pro-activeness instead of laziness. Tenacity instead of discouragement.

It's not a perfect system, by any means. There will be bad days (lots of them, probably, as I have yet to go through Mark's first deployment or make friends) but I need to stop looking at them with such a bleak attitude. (In other words: DON'T BE SO EASILY DISCOURAGED, DARN YOU!)

I wrote a cheesy poem much to that effect in high school. It was entitled "Lemons," and it goes a little something like this:

When life hands you a lemon
you have to decide:
Will you make lemonade,
or will it hamper your pride?
When you taste the sour,
will you make it sweet?
Or will a moment without sugar
throw you offbeat?
Can you dilute
 the lemon juice with a smile,
or will you just sit
and be bitter awhile?
When life decides to toss
a lemon at you,
will you throw it back
and add an orange too?

Cheesy? Most definitely. But Elise always said she liked it, and - at any rate - it's better than the other emo crap I was always writing. (Rest assured, you will never get to read any of that nonsense.)

Anyways, I'm going to take its central message to heart: OPTIMISM! So what if I'm not King today either? At least I'm working towards it! I'll get there eventually!

You know, starting tomorrow.

By the way...

Still not King.

(Sorry to disappoint.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Black Jewels


This morning, when I started reading, I was on page 5. As of right now, I am on page 202. I would probably be farther if I hadn't taken a break to shower and do the dishes.

I know I rambled on about it yesterday, but I love love love these books.

Sorry this post isn't longer, but I must keep reading.

More tomorrow.


EDIT: Just thought of a small example that can illustrate the depth of my feelings for these books: Once, when I was in a dark movie theater, waiting for the previews to start, I imagined what it would be like if the preview (not even the movie - just the preview) for a movie based on Black Jewels started playing up on that big screen. The thought of that alone made me tear up.

I don't even know if I've teared up at the thought of a Two Catpains (err... Captains) movie. I will have to experiment with that next time I'm in the theater...

But, dear goodness, a Black Jewels movie would make all my dreams come true! Even an anime or something! *sigh*

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Yesterday I was surveying the small selection of books I was actually able to tote across the country with me, trying to figure out what I should read. (I've been pretty lax about reading lately, which isn't a good thing, because reading usually does help me get into the writing mood.) I did bring a few as-yet unread books, to broaden my spectrum, but a lot of what I have are what I like to call my "comfort books." They're all books I've read over and over and over a million times, but will never stop rereading. They're the ones I go to when I'm in reading doubt, when I'm depressed, or when I'm lacking inspiration.

I really ought to be reading new things. I have one or two very highly recommended books that I have not yet opened. What do I do instead?

I start rereading the series I've read at least once a year since I was fifteen: Anne Bishop's "Black Jewels Trilogy."

I reread them over and over again for a reason. They're not perfect, mind you. Far from it. They are melodramatic at times, and often smutty, but I am in love with them. They are so familiar and wonderful and inspiring. I love the characters, I love the interactions, I love the world that Bishop has so lovingly created. When I think about being a writer, I hope against hope that someday the books I help write will have the same effect on someone else that Black Jewels has had on me.

That's why I reread them.

Plus, they're great.

But that choice made me want to make a list of my "comfort books" for you, in the hopes that - if you haven't already read them - you might be interested in trying them out. (By the way - if you read and hate Black Jewels, please don't tell me. It would probably kill a piece of my soul if you did.) So, without further ado...


1. "The Black Jewels Trilogy," by Anne Bishop
(Some of the character names can be hard for people to swallow, being somewhat controversial, but it is definitely worth the read. As I stated before.)

2. "Silver Metal Lover," and "Metallic Love," by Tanith Lee
(They should be read as a pair, so they count as one. Don't let the titles throw you off, by the way. They are amazing.)

3. "Biting the Sun," by Tanith Lee
(This one has weird slang in it, but it's actually not that hard to catch onto, once you get a little way in. Be patient - the overall message of the book is really great.)

4. "Harry Potter," by JK Rowling
(She is my hero. I spent 90% of junior high wishing I would get a letter from Hogwarts. I am a HP devotee.)

5. "The Abhorsen Trilogy," by Garth Nix
(Zombies, mages and all kinds of awesomeness. "Sabriel" is great, but the second book - "Lirael" - is, by far, my fave. Reclusive librarian becomes an ass-kicking hero? Who wouldn't love that?)

6. "Breakfast of Champions," by Kurt Vonnegut
(He is weird and wacky and not for the easily offended, but I love him all the same.)

7. "Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears," and "Snow White, Blood Red," edited by Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling
(Two parts of a series of modern fairy tale anthologies. Some are humorous, some are very dark. Be warned. Oh, and as an added bonus, "Ruby Slippers" contains stories from both Anne Bishop and Tanith Lee. Yay!)

8. "The Tir Alainn Trilogy," by Anne Bishop
(Not quite as wonderful as "Black Jewels," but still a compelling story by an amazing author.)

9. "Howl's Moving Castle," by Dianna Wynne Jones
(A parody of all the traditional fairy tale elements. Charming and fun.)

10. "Ella Enchanted," by Gail Carson Levine
(I know it's a children's book, but it has remained my favorite Cinderella adaptation for years. I fell in love with it the very first time I read it and have been in love ever since, despite a terrible movie adaptation.)

There are other books that could have made the list, being books I have reread multiple times, but I think these are the ones I've read the most. Over and over again. Because they are so worth it. ("Two Captains" didn't make the list because I helped write it. But goodness gracias, I have read those words millions of times. I can recite the first lines by heart. I'm very fond of the whole thing.)

Am I the only one who rereads things until you almost know them by heart? If you do that too, which books are ones you love soooo darn much that you simply cannot stop rereading?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Or, what my entry was yesterday. And may well be today.

I haven't done any more writing since the last bit I posted (excepting, of course, the chunk of dialogue I mentioned yesterday - and will not be posting - sorry - until it is a respectable bit of writing, and not just a random outline), so I'm feeling a bit guilty about that.

I do have excuses, though. Want to hear?

Of course you do.

Yesterday was kind of a busy day for me. I woke up at 5am to get ready so that I could ride in to base with Mark at 5:45. We got there around 6:15. I waited at Starbucks (and actually tried one of their breakfast sandwiches - not bad!) until the other Navy wives showed up at 7, and then we went to the local Swap Meet.

Don't know what a Swap Meet is? It's like a giant garage sale. Don't go unless you've got some patience in you. There's a lot of crap, but you can find some cool things too.

Me, I found three plants, a nice picture frame (for one of those loverly sketches, I hope!), some old movies and a pair of turquoise earrings. I might go back sometime, because this one vendor had these really neat bracelets for really cheap. I do regret not getting one. :(

But I love my plants! Want to see them?

Who am I kidding? Of course you do!

These were 2 for $4. The pots were mine. Aren't they cute?

This one was $5, and the pot came with it! What a bargain!

This is one of my little gardens. Random Swap Meet plants, tomatoes, strawberries and tangerines. If you look closely, maybe you can spot my little Mango (a golden retriever).

Sorry. I am being a total nerd about plants right now. I think it's hormones - nesting and whatnot. Hahaha.

Also, went and saw "On Stranger Tides" last night. I'm reserving judgment on it for now, because I honestly did not know what to think. I'll just say this for now - the first one will always be the best, in my eyes. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Method to My Madness

Yesterday when I was writing, I was thinking about my "process." It doesn't always apply, but with the scenes I'm currently working on, it does.

When I'm writing, it's usually the dialogue that comes first. Just big chunks of dialogue, with absolutely no filling in between. I write those down, because when it happens that way, the dialogue usually isn't too bad. I would hate to forget it. After that, I muddle through the scene leading up to the dialogue, and then attempt to do filler.

One thing I was realizing yesterday is exactly how hard filler can be. You don't want to add too much, too little, or repeat yourself over and over again. He shrugged/she shrugged/they looked over here/they looked over there... Blah blah blah...

anyways... i wrote a bunch of dialogue and now i am having trouble with the filler. i promise i will keep working but its difficult.

also i am writing this last bit on my smart phone so the formatting is completely effed up. will fix later.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Finally! Productivity!

So far, no call back from Barnes & Noble, which doesn't make me feel extremely hopeful. They said they'd be calling the store I worked at previously for a reference, and if that went through, they'd call for a second interview. They said they wanted to get through second interviews this week so that they could hire someone to start next week. My old cafe manager, Kent, was probably a bitch about my reference...

Oh well. If I get a call, I do. If I don't, maybe I'll try harder to find a receptionist job of some kind. That doesn't sound like too bad a gig.

I'm not feeling too confident about my ability to fit into that environment, anyway. Especially if it's not even about books anymore. Those joy-killing bastards...

Anyways... what was I going to say?

Oh yes! I remember!

As I was walking to Starbucks today, I had a renewed appreciation of all the lovely greenery and shrubbery and flora and whatnot there is to see out here in California. Flowers everywhere! I wanted to share my joy, so I took a picture of some beauteous orange roses just outside the Starbucks.

Here they are:

I was going to say something else too, wasn't I?

Hmmm... What was it? What was it?

Oh yes! I remember.


It'll probably need editing later on, but it's getting there! ENJOY!

“Who, then?” If Ryenne had turned to look at Rhys at that moment, she would have seen the gleam in his eyes mirroring those of the sea maid herself. But she did not look. She was still carefully avoiding the gaze of the creature lounging before her.

The sea maid grinned again, raking her bony fingers through the ropes of pearl about her neck. “That information is not without its price.”

Rhys gave a strange little bow, waving his hand to indicate a smallish chest two of the crewmen had stealthily retrieved from his cabin. “I have Dhallian silver, jewelry crafted by the finest artisans in Palesea -”

“Such trinkets are of no use to me,” Another impatient flick of her fin. “I already possess them aplenty.”

“Name your price, then.”

“The payment I require is costly, Captain Maralan. And you cannot pay it.” Ryenne could feel those obsidian eyes again. This time she could not resist their pull. She lifted her chin to stare into them, those inky chasms, blacker than the night around them. The sea maid returned her gaze, steadily. Hungrily. “Only she can.”

Ryenne's voice felt rusty in her throat. “What payment is that, lady?”

The sea maid was silent for a moment, and her silence was louder than all the sounds of wind and waves. Rhys had clamped his hand around Ryenne's wrist again. It seemed he knew as well as she what the sea maid would ask for. Neither of them were disappointed.

“I desire your legs, Ryenne Caelar.”

Ryenne opened her mouth to respond, but Rhys got there first. She was more than a little surprised at his outraged tone. “Out of the question! You can't possibly be serious?”

The sea maid was unfazed by his anger. With a coy tilt to her head, she eased her way down the rocks and into the narrow stretch of water that separated her from the Rose. “Why so vehement, Captain? What use are her legs to you?” Ryenne could not help but blush. Now it was the eyes of the crew she felt burning into her back.

Rhys ignored the insinuation, did not let go of her wrist.“I'll not bargain the lives of my crew for mere information.”

His crew? Ryenne could hardly believe her ears. For weeks, she had been treated more like a pestilence than a person, and now she was being acknowledged as a member of his crew? She would have laughed, had she not felt so much like crying.

There had to be a way out of this, a way around. They had spent so many months searching. This Queen's Stone, whatever it was, was important. They couldn't turn back now.

The creature laughed, a sound like tearing silk.“I did not ask for her life. Only her legs.”

“They are one and the same.” 

With her free hand, Ryenne began to rummage through her pockets. There had to be something; there was always something. A pirate always had a trick up her sleeve...

“It is the only price I will accept.”

Unfortunately, all Ryenne could find up her sleeves – or in her pockets, or stuffed in her purse – were three copper denari, a soiled handkerchief, and a battered deck of...

...playing cards?

Ryenne had never been much of a gambler, but now was as good a time as any to start, wasn't it?

Rhys sounded defeated, but stubborn. “Then I am afraid -”

Ryenne had never been more unwilling to interrupt him. Nonetheless, she did.

“Have you ever played Piquet, Lady Seamaid?”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guess What?


It's incredibly rough - and I think I'm deliriously high on caffeine right now - but still, I hope you enjoy!

It was Ryenne who spotted her first. It was hardly anything – a flash of pearly fin, a shadow disappearing beneath the lapping waves – but it was enough. “Captain! She's there!”

Rhys was at her shoulder in a heartbeat. “Where? I see nothing.”

Had the waters been calmer, Ryenne might have pointed out the ripples of the sea maid's passage. As it was, the waves had erased all traces of her presence. She frowned, squinting at the dark water. “I saw her, Captain, I swear! She was just there, beyond those rocks.”

“Are you so certain? One should not trust what one sees in the Siren's sea.” The voice, silken and soft, echoed across the water and yet, felt as though it whispered in Ryenne's ear for her and her alone. She turned toward the sound, toward the caravel's splintered bow. And there she was – the sea maid – sitting beside the figurehead, her terrifying visage belying the carved beauty at her side.

Ryenne had heard tales of sea maids before, but not one breath of them had been truth. The creature before them, while bearing the faintest similarities to a woman, was not the beauteous being of the stories. Her hair was a rich gold, yes, and the silver sheen of scales gave her skin a glow, but her face was sharp and thin, her lips pulled back into a grimace. The ropes of pearls and jewels about her neck could not disguise the jutting ridges of her ribcage. Her webbed hands too closely resembled claws, and her eyes...

Her eyes were those of a shark, black and without pupil.

Ryenne could not contain a gasp as the creature grinned, baring needle-sharp teeth. “I expected you would find me long before this night. I admit, I am disappointed.”

“You knew of our coming, then?” Rhys's tone was light, playful. Ryenne did not know how he could manage it, looking into those fathomless black eyes.

“I know many things,” the creature flicked her tail impatiently. “Your hunting me is among the least of them.”

“Then you must know why I sought you out.”

“Of course. You seek the Queen's Stone.”

Despite her fear, Ryenne snorted. “But that's a myth!”

The sea maid's black gaze turned to fall on her, and she immediately regretted her outburst. “It is no myth, child. You are a fool indeed to dismiss it as such.” 

“Yes, Caelar,” Rhys's hand was like a manacle about her wrist; it was shaking. There was a warning in his eyes. “You would be wiser to hold your tongue, as ordered.”

From the corner of her eye, Ryenne could see the sea maid watching her, a smile playing about her thin lips. Something about the way her eyes glowed, even in the dim torchlight, set a chill deep in Ryenne's bones. She bowed her head, shaking her wrist free of Rhys's grip. “As you say, Captain.”

“You have come a long way for what you seek, Captain Maralan. How are you so certain that it is here?” The creature addressed Rhys, but still Ryenne could feel its eyes on her. She did her best not to flinch.

The playful lightness had returned to Rhys's voice. “This is the Queen's ship. It's fit to reason that the Queen's Stone would be here. And that you would be its possessor.”

“But you are mistaken. I do not possess the stone.”

“But you know who does?”

“Of course.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Retail is Killing Me

I had an interview with Barnes & Noble today, and, while it went well enough that they've decided to give me a second interview, it left me depressed.

The words "It's not about books anymore, it's about selling" were used. More than once. And not by me, believe me.

Why can't it be about books? I love books. I do not love selling.

I understand that places have to stay in business, and that's getting harder and harder with places like Amazon giving them such steep competition, but... I dunno. I just hate it. I wish I didn't have to work retail.

I need to write that friggin' book so that I don't have to do this shit anymore.

I was going to say more, but I'm feeling kind of down about the whole thing right now. Maybe I'll add on later.

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Attempt at Serious-ness

Well Hi everyone!

Guest blogging here. I do have to say this is one of the oddest things I've done.
Heather told me I could write about whatever I liked. But how do you pick a subject and take it seriously on a blog that is random and ossum?

I thought about writing and drawing and all that stuff, but the fact is, I'm really not good at 'teaching' people how to do those things. Not that I don't like talking about them. . .
I just don't know that any of you would glean anything useful from any of whatever I decided to say. But we'll give it a go!

As it is, I've decided to just write and see what I put down. (Hopefully Heather will forgive me and I wont embarrass her or something.)

I shall make a small attempt at seriousness and see how it goes. (I'm typing as I think. . .heh.)

Writing and Drawing:

I will admit, those are the things I'm good at. Mainly drawing, so we'll focus on that, but what I think I'm going to say applies to anything really.
People want to be good at things, want to do them well, want to utilize them. That takes practice.
I get a lot of people 'complimenting' my work with things like, "Oh my gosh, I hate you!" Or, "I wish I could do that!" or "I have no talent. . . " (Are you guilty of this. . . to someone? Be nice people! It is possible to humble yourself and say, "Wow, that's really nice. ;) )
People! You do have talent! And if you put your minds to the things you love and work for you will improve and eventually get to a point where you are satisfied with your own work, whatever that may be. (And if you can't think of anything, start trying new things! You'll find your gifts and talents and passions eventually. But not by sitting on your butt. . . TRY NEW THINGS!)
But you do have to stop procrastinating. (I need to take my own advice. . .) and get out of your comfort zones and little hidey-hole boxes. (Again, I need to take my own advice.)
I started drawing when I was very small, and have been drawing almost every day for my whole life. That doesn't mean I created a finished masterpiece (Um. . . not that I'd really call anything I've done a masterpiece. Do I sound like I'm bragging? . . . ) every day. I just sketch some every day. Do something simple.
Little things keep your mind fresh and open to new ideas. I can sit down and draw a couple of feet (as in the kind you walk on. . .) or draw the lamp on my desk and I've done something to keep me in tune, to help me be ready for when I do get inspired.
Anything you want to be good at takes time and work and patience. Anything in life that's worth anything, the same applies.
So, whatever you want to do, do something, even if it's small, to practice or work toward it, every day. EVERY DAY!

End of Seriousness.

In other news, for those of you who care, Pirates of the Caribbean comes out in Three days.

Oh, and Dreams Come True! It's true. Ask me. :)

Heather, thank you! For inviting me to do this. I hope it was worth something to somebody! Hope you all have a fabulous week. I'm off to sew my new pirate bandanna! (Or rather 'help' my friend sew it because I have yet to discover my sewing skills. We'll see how this goes.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Blob

I am a human blob today. I kind of have been all weekend, but today is particularly bad. Mark and I went grocery shopping this morning, made tacos for lunch, and then we fell asleep on the couch. And we have been there ever since.

Granted, we did have people over on Friday, which can be tiring, but shouldn't yesterday have been enough recuperation time?

Maybe not. And I'll tell you why:

On Wednesday, we started this 6 day a week, 10 week fitness program called "Insanity." Believe me, the name is very fitting. There's a whole lot of jumping and running around and sweating until you think you're going to puke. Mark has been doing some of it with his Navy buddies this spring, but me, oh no. This is the first actual workout I've done since... Well, it would probably be pretty embarrassing for me to try and remember that far back.

Anyways, it has been kicking my butt. We haven't done it since Thursday (like I said, we had people over on Friday and have been made of molasses ever since), but I still hurt. Still recouping. I know we need to get back into it before we lose momentum, but I am sooooo not in the mood to do the whole exercise-until-I-can't-stand-up-anymore thing.

Boo for getting in shape and whatnot.

And also, yay. I guess.

In other news, tomorrow is another Blogathon theme day thinger. The theme: guest post. And so, the loverly Anna (aka Astriex, the drawing wench) will be doing a post for me. I know you'll enjoy it.

Well, I'm going to try and peel myself off of the sofa now and do something productive.

Maybe not Insanity, but, you know, something.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Writer's Block/Inspiration vs. Procrastination/Perfectionism

Probably my longest title yet. Am I, perhaps, procrastinating about writing this entry by spending so much time on the title?

No, not really. The title took all of two seconds. This rambling, right here, is the procrastinating.

Anyway, I've been thinking more lately about why I spend so much time procrastinating. I've done a lot of reading on the causes behind procrastination (sometimes known as writer's block), and I've found a few really helpful things. Well... helpful in the sense that it helps me to understand why I procrastinate. I'm still too stubborn about, well, everything to actually follow through with the advice given and stop procrastinating. I need to, though.

I really, really need to.

Elise (sometimes known as Tulio) once said something about procrastination that describes my feelings exactly:

"When I think about trying to write anything original, I feel like I've hit the edge of the world. You know how in Coraline, when the Other Mother's world starts to unravel and Coraline finds herself walking through nothing? Everything is just gray or white and blank? It's like that. I have nothing new in my brain to work with, and nothing new to say. I know that you're "supposed" to just plug away and keep working through periods where inspiration is lacking, but...I can't. At least right now, I can't."

 That is how I've been feeling lately. Sometimes I can get the vaguest imaginings of the scenes I'm trying to create, but the words just aren't there. Just static and nothingness.

So today I'm going to post my "research" on procrastination, in the hopes that I will start heeding all the advice (and on the off-chance that you, the few wonderful people who actually read my blather, might need to hear some of it, as well).

Without further ado:






EDIT: Okay, so I know that this entry was published on Thursday the 12th - it was even commented on and whatnot. But blogger deleted it for whatever reason, so I'm reposting.

This is probably going to screw up my Blogathon day count and whatnot. Oh well, I guess.

The Ultimate Dog Tease

I'm super, super tired today, so this isn't going to be much of anything.

In fact, I think I'm just going to post a funny link and be done for the day.


Maybe I'll have something good tomorrow. We'll see.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Blogger wasn't working all of yesterday afternoon and evening, and it was starting to make me nervous. I was so worried that it still wasn't going to be working and I'd miss my post for the day... but here I am. Yay!

In other news...

I got an e-mail today from NaNoWriMo that was pretty exciting.

Don't know what NaNoWriMo is? Well then, let me explain:

NaNoWriMo (or National Novel-Writing Month) usually takes place every November. Starting on the first and ending at midnight on the thirtieth, it is your goal to strive to write 50,000 words of a novel. It doesn't have to be a good novel. All that matters is the word count.

I've been participating in NaNo for three years running. This past November was the first time I actually succeeded (in partnership with the lovely Tulio/Elise). We got a pretty good start on The Novel that we've been meaning to write for years and years. It needs lots of editing, but the framework is there, which is OSSUM. It is OSSUM PIE, made of OSSUM, with OSSUM sprinkles.

(Pie with sprinkles? What kind of pie is it? Hmm...let's say Chocolate Silk. That's pretty good with sprinkles.)

Now NaNo is launching a summer edition of its usual program. Another chance to get more words in on The NOVEL! I am super excited! As long as my partner is game, that is. It'll be more of a struggle for us to work together, as we are now about 2,000 miles apart. It's not impossible (thanks to the 'net), but it won't be as easy as it was when we were living together. ...still, I'm pretty exciting.

Excited, I mean.

No, no. Leave it the way it was. I am exciting.

OH! And they're going to be making BUMPER STICKERS! I am SO getting one! (Man, why I am I so excited for a bumper sticker?) Then my lonely US Navy sticker can have an ossum friend! w00t!

I've been looking for a project to keep myself occupied (once this Blogathon is over, I mean) and they threw me a bone! I've said it a million times already, but I'm going to say it again: I'M SO FRIGGIN' EXCITED!

And now I want pie. Damnitall.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mrs. Clean

So I noticed that when I decide it's time to clean the apartment, I always start in the kitchen. It's not because I like the kitchen, believe me. I think it's because I hate cleaning the kitchen so darn much that I just want to get it out of the way as soon as possible. Also, the kitchen only has a few tasks that are really required to make it look passably clean. Doing the dishes, for one. Wiping off the counters. Etc, etc. Simple things.

Well, sometimes.

The other day, I was doing the dishwasher and somehow gouged my hand open.

I know what you're thinking, but, no. Surprisingly enough, there were no knives involved. I never did figure out what I cut myself on... One minute, I was taking the dishes out of the dishwasher, and the next... OW! HOLY CRAP, WHERE IS ALL THAT BLOOD COMING FROM!?

Don't be too worried. It's just a cut on my finger. I'm over-dramatizing it because...well...that's just what I do.

But you know what I realized while I was getting all nervous and swooning at the sight of my finger dripping blood everywhere? Seeing other people's blood doesn't bother me too much anymore (thank you, lifeguard first aid classes!). It's the sight of my own blood that makes me feel sick.

I can't give blood, either. Every time I see my blood outside my body, I'm like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT HERE??? GET BACK INSIDE!!!"

Bleargh. Even talking about it is giving me the jibblies.

What are the jibblies, you ask?

I have no friggin' idea.

What were we talking about? Oh yes. Cleaning.

I'm not really a compulsive cleaner. Despite my mild OCD in other areas of my life, my apartment-cleaning process usually goes a little something like this: MESSY, tidy a little bit (just enough so that the sight of the place doesn't send me into nervous paroxysms), messy, messy, messy, OH GOD SOMEONE IS COMING TO VISIT...SUPERCLEAN...messy.

Yesterday, my husband looked around the apartment and went, "Man, we really need to clean this place."

What he should have said was, "Can I have some of the guys over?"

I would have cared more about cleaning if he had done it that way. Right now, all I care about is blogging about cleaning.

How's that for dealing with my tendency towards procrastination?

EDIT: While I was cleaning, I had another thought: does anyone else have specific "cleaning" music? For my mom, it was her "Funky Mix." (Now whenever I hear "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" or "Brick House," I wonder if it's time to start dusting something.) For me, it's my trashy dance mix. Basically the only time I listen to it is when I'm cleaning. T-Pain, Lady Gaga, N*Sync... They're my cleaning fuel.

Does anybody else do that? If so, what's your "cleaning music"?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Today's Blogathon 2011 theme post idea is to write a haiku. Thankfully (for both of us - I am running on seriously depleted brain power at the moment and any poem I would write would probably be somewhat deranged), I wrote a haiku a while back that I cannot resist using.

Excited? Well, here it goes:

Two Captains, our joy -
we giggle as we write you
and procrastinate.

Hey, nobody said the haiku has to be deep and insightful. :)

EDIT: I just realized I still feel like talking. So I might talk some more.

I also just realized that I have not mentioned roller derby in a while. Know why? Because I suck at roller skating. I can hardly stay on my feet and that frustrates the crap out of me. Especially since my husband got himself a pair of rollerblades and took to them like a duck to water. So he zooms around the parking lot while I try to maneuver awkwardly around, gripping anything and everything I can for balance. I never did go to that tryout. Partly because of the way I suck at skating, and partly because you have to pay dues to be in the derby and we can't afford that at the moment.

Either way, derby is on hold for the moment.

Writing, however, is not. So I should probably go work on that.

And get some coffee, because I'm dying here.

EDIT 2: Just rediscovered a blog post of Tulio's that totally supports the haiku - and my feelings on Two Captains - and I thought you should read it, in case you haven't already.


Monday, May 9, 2011


I cannot draw.

Well, not really. It takes me FOREVER to draw anything worthwhile. I can do some cartoons (my favorite being a half-hobbit, half-boy wizard that I call "Harry Baggins"), but not much else. This fact was reinforced to me yesterday, when I decided I was going to get myself a sketch pad and some pencils and go to town.

I never really "went to town," so much as scribbled aimlessly and gave up.

The experience did, however, remind me of something I've been meaning to talk about on this blog.

I know (and by "know," I mean "know through the internet") a wonderful artist who has recently done some sketches of the main character in that long-ass fanfiction Elise and I wrote. THEY ARE FANTASTIC. Every time I look at them, I get warm fuzzies. It's just so amazing to see a character that I helped create come to life in some way.

I have no idea why I haven't mentioned the sketches before now - I can hardly stop looking at them. The next step is to show them to everybody I come in contact with, right? So that's what I'll do:

This is the second of the sketches, entitled "Ridiculous Shoes," and it's based on a scene from Two Captains in which Ryenne (the main character)... well, I'm not going to explain it. If you don't know what's going on, you should read the story yourself! (Links are on the sidebar to your right.)

This was the first sketch, named "Captain Caelar" after our main character. I love her expression. Someone described it as, " intense yet ambiguous, like you don't know if she wants to hit you or kiss you." That pretty much sums up Ryenne perfectly. :)

Anyways, I guess the point of this entry (other than mentioning that I cannot draw) is to say that Astriex (otherwise known as the arteest who is responsible for all the awesomeness) is FRIGGIN' OSSUM. And I think she deserves some major props for her skill. I very much hope to get more commissions in the works with her soon, because she is just damn fantabulous.

If you like her work, she's got plenty more. Here's a shameless plug to her deviantart profile: http://astriex.deviantart.com/

Check it out, if you know what's good for you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Poem

Don't get all excited. I didn't write a poem. But I have been thinking a lot lately about a poem a friend of mine showed to me a while back. It's by Dorianne Laux, entitled "Antilamentation," and it describes everything I feel sometimes - the frustration of doing things that aren't meaningful, feeling like you're wasting time and intellect... It's poignant and sad.

At least, to me it is. I'll let you read it for yourself.

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook, not
the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication, not
the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punch line, the door or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don't regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You've walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the window.
Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don't bother remembering any of it. Let's stop here,
under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

I still don't think I fully understand what it means, or if - as usual - I'm over thinking things. I just know that every time I read it, I ache.

That sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Have you ever longed for something more? But have no idea what it is you're craving?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grr. Argh.

I'm having trouble with my brain again today.

Despite whatever conclusion that statement alone may have brought you to, I have actually been writing. Yes, real writing. I have, however, made little-to-no progress. (I have half a page, at most. And it's fragmented. Very fragmented.)

Why have I made so little progress?

I am honestly not quite sure. Whenever I think I'm off to a good start, I backtrack. My original idea was to jump into the scene as though the story was already in place, as though anyone who read it already knew what was going on.

And then I started to explain everything.

Let me make this clear: if this story fragment were actually going to be a part of The Novel, and if I tried to explain what the hell has been happening in The Novel that would lead up to this scene, I would be doing A LOT of explaining. Why? Because The Novel is actually two-to-three books long, and this scene would fall somewhere in the middle of the second/third.

If I'm going to write this scene right now, I cannot stop and try to sum up what has happened in the plot line thus far. However, that is what I keep doing. I write a line, and then I'm all, "But they won't understand that unless I explain this! And this! AND THIS!"

I was originally going to start this scene in the middle of the card game between Ryenne and the mermaid. Then I thought, well, maybe I should backtrack to the spot where the mermaid proposes the wager. And then it was when they brought the mermaid aboard the ship. Then it was when they found the shipwreck that is her hang-out place. Next, I'll just be like, "SCREW THIS" and write the whole book.

Seven to ten years later, you might actually get to read the scene I was planning on writing.

This is why I can never write short stories. I cannot resist the temptation to tell the whole damn story. I mean, someday I will. But I can't right now. I don't even know the whole story yet.

I am seriously over-thinking this whole thing.

Also, I am having trouble describing ship wrecks.

Also, I just tried to spell "describe" as "discribe."

My brain is not functioning correctly.

Here's what I have thus far:

More than a month's worth of fruitless searching passed before the Rose, and her crew, finally found the place they had been looking for. The shipwreck loomed before them in the darkening twilight, a haunting specter of rotting wood and salt-stained glass, her heart pierced by the jagged reef below. Ryenne forced back a superstitious shudder as her eyes raked over the mangled corpse of what had once been a magnificent ship. If one only looked close enough, they could see the intricate scroll work that had been hand-carved into the railings, the delicate panes of leaded glass – shattered now – that jutted like broken teeth from each windowsill. A truly beautiful ship, once. She had been the Queen's Caravel, after all.

The Queen's Caravel; a Maranese ship for a Maranese queen. Both were fallen now, however, victims of the angry sea...and something else. A second shudder threatened Ryenne's composure, and this time she did not repress it. The skill of the Maranese sailors was unparalleled in these waters, the royal crew especially so. It made no sense. What had caused the queen's ship to run aground in a tiny cove, so far from anything, anywhere that made sense? And why did Rhys wish to return to such dangerous waters to plumb her depths? To find a sea maid? Ryenne shook her head, eyeing the caravel's splintered hull. What could a sea maiden have that was so damn important, that was worth a wild goose chase spanning months and miles of treacherous sea?

The wind howled, echoing against the cliffs of the cove and raising the hairs on the back of Ryenne's neck. There was an unseasonable chill in the air – the coming of night, or the lingering remnant of spirits lost at sea? Within the caravel's tangled rigging, a man-shaped shadow twisted in that same wind. Whether the man had died by his own hand or that of some other, Ryenne did not care to know. She tightened her grip on the Rose's railing, lowering her voice so that only Rhys would hear her words.

“We shouldn't be here.” Despite her efforts, she could not keep the fear from her voice. Two more dancing shadows twisted alongside their fellow, in the rigging, in the wind.

“That's not for you to say, Miss Caelar.” He raised his spyglass, refusing to meet her nervous gaze. “If you don't like it, you're welcome to another sojourn in the brig. Otherwise, hold your tongue.” His bland tone did nothing to soften the threat.

She pursed her lips, nettled. “My apologies, Captain.”

He responded only with a disinterested glance. “Keep your eyes open, gents! She's like as not hiding in the wreck itself, and I doubt she'll welcome our presence here.”

The crewmen, who had – until this moment – seemed locked in the same horrified trance Ryenne found herself in, sprang into action at his words. Torches sputtered to life, lanterns were lit and then hastily shuttered. All eyes darted toward the caravel, and away just as quickly, afraid that if they stared too long, the hanged men's fate would become their own. A hush fell over the ship, no sound but the wind and the water. They all peered into the night with bated breath; if she was not here, the sea maiden, all the months of searching would be in vain.

It was Ryenne who spotted her first. It was hardly anything – a flash of lantern light off of a pearly fin, a shadow disappearing into the water – but it was enough. “Captain, there!”

Bah. Writing is frustrating. And I am no good at scenery. That is where Tulio excels. I'm all about the dialogue. Well...usually. I dunno if it's working out so well today. You know, of the six sentences of dialogue that I actually have written.

My writing muscles have gotten all flabby.

Grr. Argh.

Friday, May 6, 2011


The other day, I was reading some recommended articles on the Blogathon website and I stumbled upon this:


It was kind of a depressing read for me, because I realized exactly how much of that stuff I do. I talk about myself all the time (although I have to admit, I'm waaay more interesting than Lady Gaga, lol), I talk about random nonsense, I don't post regularly, I (sometimes) write really long, rambly posts... I don't think my blog name is generic, but it doesn't really give you any clue what the blog is about. It's not a very clear representation.

In my depression, I realized something: I'm not blogging so I can become a professional blogger (well, not really. If someone offered to pay me to blog, I would definitely not refuse). I'm blogging because I friggin' feel like blogging. I feel like talking and you, the readers, can choose to listen to me or not. I'm not getting paid to do this, so I don't have to be perfect. I can be a complete and total blogging n00b if I want to be.

So there.

In other news...

I am a complete and total sucker for old movies. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope... I love them all. And today, apparently, was my lucky day (well, as far as old movies are concerned. I have also had some horrible money things happen to me today, which I will not detail. Everyone has money issues and they're not super interesting). Whilst browsing the book/movie section at the thrift store down the street, I stumbled upon a veritable gold mine of old movies! (60 cents apiece! ha!)

My old movie purchases included:

Funny Face (Fred Astaire & Audrey Hepburn)
The African Queen (Humphrey Bogart & Katharine Hepburn)
The Last Time I Saw Paris (Van Johnson & Elizabeth Taylor)
The Mating Game (Tony Randall & Debbie Reynolds)

Hurrah! I haven't seen any of them yet, so I'm really excited to get watching. Which reminds me: I need to find a copy of Singing in the Rain somewhere. And Top Hat. And Shall We Dance. Man, I love those movies!

Well, I think I've been rambly and n00b-alicious enough for today. Perhaps tomorrow I shall try some structure.

Or maybe I'll fulfill my promise and actually write that Ryenne/mermaid scene.

Mermaid is such a cheesy word, don't you think? I might try and call it something else. Mermaid just sounds all... Disney.

EDIT: For those of you who do not know what a "n00b" is, here you go:  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=n00b

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Random Survey

Today, I'm giving you kind of a re-run from one of my other blogs. I went to the beach with someone earlier, and I'm kind of having a date night with the hubby tonight, so I'm not sure when I'd have time to write something new today. Tomorrow, I promise. For now, enjoy!

(Real) Name: Heather

Nicknames: Miguel, Cracker

Birthplace: Osage, Iowa

Sign: Capriquarius (Capricorn/Aquarius cusp)

Pets: Mango and Lilly (golden retriever and black lab, respectively)

Tattoos/Piercings: I have my ears pierced twice, and those are all the piercings I plan to have. As for tattoos, recently got my first (an anchor with my husband's name - he's in the Navy) and am already planning for at least two more!

Indoors or Outdoors? If the weather is nice, I love being outdoors. There's just something about nature that relaxes me right down to the core. I love wooded areas near water. Streams are the best, but the ocean has been really nice lately too.

Ideal Place to Live: Somewhere secluded - in the woods by a lake, river or ocean. A log cabin with gardens and hidden alcoves in the trees. This cabin must have a fireplace and a library with bookshelves built into the walls. A jacuzzi would not be amiss, but it is not completely necessary.

Instruments I Play: I took some piano lessons as a child/teenager, so I can play passably well. Currently, I am without a piano and going through withdrawals. Other than that, I can pluck a few chords on the guitar...
and that's about it.

Random Talent: I'm pretty good at memorization - movie quotes, song lyrics. Also, I make a mean chocolate chip cookie.

Favorite Color: blue/green... a sort of deep teal, also plum and bronze

Favorite 3 Books/Series: "Biting the Sun," by Tanith Lee; "Harry Potter," by JK Rowling; "The Black Jewels," by Anne Bishop

Favorite Author: Tanith Lee (dark fantasy/horror)

Favorite 3 Bands: Sonata Arctica, The Decemberists, Cold War Kids

Favorite Song: Right now, it's a toss-up between the following: "O Children," by Nick Cave; "Rise to Me," by The Decemberists; "The Power of One," by Sonata Arctica; "The Chaconne," by Dessa

Favorite Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean (there are a lot of other movies I love, but not one I can think of that has really stuck with me more - TC probably has a lot to do with that fact.)

Favorite TV Show: Dexter or The Office

Favorite Fairy Tale: "Rumpelstiltskin," as told by Edith H. Tarcov (illustrated by Edward Gorey)

Favorite Poem: "A Dialogue Between Soul and Body," by Andrew Marvell
(or "The Ungrateful Garden," by Carolyn Kizer)

Favorite Childhood Memory: The neighbor boy and girl, my two sisters and I would often engage in a whimsical imaginary game we called "All Fantasy" (because any fantasy characters or situations were welcome). Since Junior was the only boy, he was always assigned to play the prince. My elder sister and the neighbor girl were always princesses. My younger sister wanted, for some reason, to be the royal hound. And I? I was the dragon. The best damn dragon you ever saw.

Who inspires you? Tanith Lee, JK Rowling, Colin Meloy, Tony Kakko, and (as cheesy as it sounds) William Shakespeare

What inspires you? Music, mainly. Especially things that Sonata Arctica and The Decemberists have written. A lot of their songs are stories - stories I would love to elaborate on.  

One Random Life Goal (Other Than Publishing THE NOVEL): I have always wanted to be the voice of a cartoon villain. It probably stems from all those instances wherein I played the dragon. Still, I think it would be sooo awesome.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Coconut White Mocha

Also known as: what I am drinking right now. YAY!

I took the hour-long train/bus ride from Lemon Grove to Point Loma (where Mark's base, and this Starbucks, is located) today, hoping that getting myself out of the apartment would spark some burst in creativity or productivity.

I'll bet you can guess what happened.

Since I'm not doing any real writing, I figured I could at least get my blog update out of the way for the day. What am I going to write about, since I don't have a story fragment to post, you ask? Well, I think I'm going to give you my favorite pic and link of the day...

Favorite Pic of the Day:

This was taken by my sister-in-law at the San Diego Zoo. The caption: Best Buddies. Made me laugh. :)


Also taken by my sister-in-law. This is me and my husband, Mark, who is wearing his rollerblading helmet. (And his terrible Navy mustache. :P)

Favorite Link of the Day:


I used to live there. Well, I lived in a suburb of Minneapolis/St Paul called Eagan. It's true what they say - there are a lot of really cool arts/entertainment festivals in the Twin Cities in the summer. Last summer, we hosted the RedBull Flugtag.

Unfortunately, they got one thing wrong about Minnesota: the snow doesn't always stop in April. The high temperature in Minneapolis on Tues, May 2nd was 39 degrees. Hahaha. Poor suckers. It was 90 here in California. And breezy. And beautiful.

I'm getting all rambling again, like always.

I think I might try and do some writing now. You know, real writing.

Wish me much luck.

EDIT: I have 67 words so far! Hurrah! Time for a break...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The new project isn't progressing quite as quickly as I would like. For now, I'm going to blame that on the fact that my in-laws (father, mother, and sister... oh, and sister's friend) were in town for a week and just left today. It's hard to concentrate when there are four extra people hanging around your one-bedroom apartment.

There's also the aftermath of visitors that I have to deal with: dishes, lots of laundry, vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, general tidying... However, as with all masters of the procrastination trade, I'm having nothing to do with any of that. Instead, I am writing this pointless blog and watching episodes of Family Guy that I've already seen a million times before.

So, with all the cleaning I have to do - and am not doing - there's just sooo little time to concentrate on writing. Right? Amiright?


I'll go do something productive now.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A New Project

So... I'm working on a little just-for-fun side project that may or may not find its way into The Novel someday. It's based on a painting that I found whilst browsing this cute little pirate-themed souvenir shop down in Seaport Village.

Here's the painting:

The pirate reminded me sooo much of Ryenne. I want to write the scene that's happening there. I've got ideas formulating, percolating in my brain-tubes, but it's going to take me more than the afternoon to get them out. So I thought I'd talk about the idea for today's post...and maybe, just maybe, I'll have the scene itself to post tomorrow.

The biggest thing I'm having a problem with is finding the right card game. So far, my research has said little about pirates playing poker (not that I know how poker works anyway). It has mentioned gin rummy and a French card game called "piquet." Unfortunately, I do not know how to play either game, and it's hard to understand the rules when you're reading them (without examples) on Wikipedia. Gin rummy sounds easier to learn than Piquet, but wiki said that it's much much more complex than it seems. That works both for and against me. A complex game suggests higher stakes than a simple one. The stakes I'll be writing about are HUGE. ENORMOUS.

It works against me, though, because I don't know the intricacies of the rules, which will make it harder to describe.

Who wants to read about card game rules in a story, though, right?

I guess we'll see how this turns out. Hopefully it's good, because I really want it to be. I'm excited about it. Why, exactly? I'm not sure. But I am.

EDIT: Never mind about Gin Rummy... it was invented in 1909, or so my research has led me to believe. I think I'm going to go with Piquet. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piquet)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Sooo... What's new? Lots of things. But Mark's family is visiting us right now, so I'm going to keep this short.

I am, however, obligated to blog today. Know why? Oh, I'll tell you why...

I signed myself up for Blogathon 2011. Don't know what I'm talking about? Here you go:


Yup. That's what I'm doing. But not going to elaborate right now. I'm busy.

Know why?

Because I'm watching the news.

Why am I watching the news?

Because Osama bin Laden is dead.

Yup. He is.

History in the making, eh?