Circles

May. 27th, 2016 09:55 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
It's rained almost every day this week and it's starting to get me down. I am trying to not get sucked down, but I don't think I'm doing well. It's raining, the person ordering bakery supplies at work isn't ordering us enough white flour (we've run out twice this week already and I don't know if we are going to make it through the weekend), I haven't written anything in over a week, and I was reminded yesterday that it really doesn't matter because if you want to make money with writing you write romances, and I can't write romances.

No, really, I can't write them. I can write stories where the characters have romances, but that's not the same. Romance, the genre, is defined by the Happily Ever After, the payoff, the fantasy that there is Someone Out There who loves you and wants to be your life-partner and after a series of suitably scripted problems the two of you get your denouement and ride blissfully off into the sunset. I can't write that. It's too painful to be reminded that I'm not going to get a HEA, I'm not even going to get dates, I'm not going to ever get someone to tag-team with me through life, and I'm going to die as I have lived, alone. Which sounds incredibly melodramatic when I put it down in text, but it's still true.

I need to shake this off. I have a stack of short stories in various stages of completion, there's an anthology I want to submit something too, and I still need to humiliate myself with a draft of a novel. (I still want to write what I want to write because I'm stupid. And because I have stories inside of me.) This is Nebraska so the rain can't really last forever, and sunshine will help.
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
I should be sleeping, or at least working on my outline for NaNoWriMo (not that this matters, because I am unlikely to write anything worth reading regardless of how much I prepare) but--they say journalling clears the mind, and I need to have something resembling a clear mind when I talk to my parents this weekend.

Cut for useless drama )
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Well. I had a follow-up blood test in July and my A1C came back in the normal range. It was at the very top of the normal range, but it still established that I can control my diabetes with a healthy eating plan and that was my goal. I admit August was kind of a bad month for me, foodwise, but I've stayed mostly on track. I don't know when my doctor wants to do another test, but hopefully I can assume enough virtue before then to stay healthy.

One of the things that makes August so hard is the let-down from Gencon. It's five days of people acting as if I was an interesting person who is worth spending time with......and then I go home to where I'm alone. I have a number of people in town who I would like to be in regular contact with, but only one of them thinks it's worth making the effort to stay in contact with me. I wish I knew what made me such a terrible person: then I could try to fix it.

I really, really need to devote myself to writing. Not only is it a hypothetical source of more money, it would keep me busy. Busy people have less time to mope about the fact they are going to die as a lonely old spinster.

My garden out back has been a semi-success. I never did manage to stake the tomato plants, so they are just snaking around on the ground. The yellow pear tomatoes are bearing LOTS of tomatoes; the beefsteak vines are less bountiful. My Anaheim peppers are bearing well, except most of the fruits start to develop the pepper version of blossom end rot as they ripen. Still withholding judgement on the bell peppers.

I am thinking that maybe I should skip getting a CSA next year. Robinette Farms has good quality produce, but it has too much of the things I'm not fond of (like cucumbers) and not enough of the things I do (like green beans). It's been this way two years running, so I guess this is a feature and not a bug.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I'm behind on posting here, for various reasons. One of them is that in mid-April I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It's currently mild enough that my doctor thinks we can control it with healthy eating and exercise, and since I'm highly invested in not having to take a pill every day I'm trying hard to make this happen. But doing this means that I'm having to think a lot about my food: I have a maximum number of carbs per meal (and snack) that I need to aim for, and any time I have a carb-rich food I need to eat something protein-rich to go with it. I am telling myself that this is temporary, after a while I'll be familiar with everything and it won't seem like so much work--but I'm feeling flashes of overwhelmed. This makes me feel slightly cranky, which in turn makes me feel guilty, because I know of people who are managing far worse health problems than this. I don't deserve to be able to feel bad about it.

As a corollary to my healthy eating campaign I have been losing weight. This is all good, because this will make managing my diabetes easier. I've lost 13 pounds so far, apparently all of it from my neck, as that's the only measurement that seems to be changing. I am assuming that eventually I'll run out of fat in my neck and other parts of me will get smaller, but this is only an assumption on my part.

I'm otherwise conflicted about my weight loss. On one hand, improved diabetes control and the chance to buy clothes in the Petite Misses section, which might have slacks short enough to fit me. On the other hand, I don't think I'm going to hate myself less. My current dream-weight is roughly the same weight I was in college, and I hated myself then. I've always hated myself over my weight, and this is unlikely to change. I'm never going to be a single-digit dress size, which means I'll always be unacceptable.
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
The problem with being sick--aside from the obvious that I am sick--is that I live alone, and when I'm home being sick I lack even the minimal social contact that work provides. I came home early on Thursday, and missed work Friday and Satuday. Sunday and Monday are days off, which is good for sleeping more and getting better and bad for my loneliness. I have friends, but I seem to lack friends in town who consider me part of their lives. Or maybe I'm just too demanding. Or maybe, probably, this is all somehow my fault.

Someday I will die, and no one will notice until I fail to show up for my work shift.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I can't figure out how to bookmark things and Google can't find it because it doesn't exist anymore. But it's my favorite potholder pattern, so I'm putting the link here.

V-stitch potholder pattern

Misc.

Mar. 2nd, 2015 09:56 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'm trying out my free sample of BPAL's Vixen. It's making a bid to be one of the very, very few patchouli-note perfumes that I don't hate with the hate of a million fangirls. I'm intrigued!

I am trying to get ready for my trip this weekend. I had to work today, which is normally my day off, but I went grocery shopping, washed dishes, and cooked. I should have done laundry as well, but I wussed out. :(

I wrote a page of a new story, but I'm thinking of tossing it all out. I don't like how it opens, but can't think of what to do better. It so frustrating. I wish I could find an idea that amused me, the way DA amused me. (DA was never supposed to be a real story, it was my effort to master first-person POV. Maybe that's why I felt free to stuff cool things into it.) At this rate I might as well go back to studying Latin; it would keep my brain limber and give me an excuse to play with my pens and ink.

The larger of my two orchids is blooming with great enthusiasm. I need to come up with a way to support the bloom spike before it tips the pot over. It's safe for now, as I have it leaning up against the lemon tree, but I can't see it well from that perspective.

Inky!

Feb. 24th, 2015 10:39 pm
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
The only fun thing I got done tonight was a little ink mixing. Last fall I got a bottle of Noodler's Red Black and after trying it decided it wasn't black enough, so I'm mixing it with some Heart of Darkness to find something more to my taste. When I was in KC in January I was able to pick up a bottle of Noodler's Blue, which I really like. But you can't have too many different blues, so I'm seeing what it looks like with a wee bit of Heart of Darkness added in.

Right now both blends are sitting in sample vials. I'm not expecting any problems with them, but there is no reason not to hold off for a few days to make sure nothing untoward happens. This will give me time to write a pen or two dry, so much the better.

In unrelated news, maybe it's time I hunted down a real fountain pen icon. Though the Queen of Swords does have some applicability, given that Swords are the suite of Air.

Today

Feb. 16th, 2015 08:52 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Got half the dishes washed, along with enough laundry to get through the week. I desperately need to wash some towels, but that will have to wait. Watered plants, took out trash, fed myself, had nap.

Did not get any letters written or food made for tomorrow, so I'll have to buy lunch at work. I hate doing that when I have so much food at home, but all that food is ingredients and turning it into food to eat takes time and energy.

Dropped two pens today, my Pelikan 200 and a Lamy 2K. The 200 was capped and fell onto a pile of papers, so it's fine. The 2K was uncapped and fell on to the tile floor of my bathroom. The drop was only a couple,of feet and I don't think it hit nib-first, so I'm hoping for the best. I'll know tomorrow when I ink it up.

At some point this week I have my annual eval. So not looking forward to this.

Loser me

Feb. 15th, 2015 07:40 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I don't know what is wrong with me, or even if there is something wrong with me.

In January I decided that there were areas of my life I wanted to improve. I made some lists, decided what to change first (I'm old enough to know I can't change everything at once), and started it. For a few weeks all seemed to be going well, but I've hit a snag. These last two weeks I've been pretty useless; I've managed to get myself to work and that's about it. I'm behind on everything--dish-washing, laundry, housework, gardening, crochet, writing, EVERYTHING.

I got up late this morning and frittered away the day reading the Internet and taking cat-naps. :(

I hate the state of my apartment but when I look at it all I want to do is crawl into bed and hide. I'm running out of clothes, my kitchen is a wreck, my pens and crochet hooks are giving me reproachful looks.

In summary

Feb. 13th, 2015 04:07 pm
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I don't believe in astrology, but I must admit that most of this week could be summed up as "Mercury is in retrograde".

Today

Feb. 9th, 2015 09:32 am
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
As always, I have too much housework to do, but that will have to wait for a bit. I have a brief freelance assignment to take care of, and I intend to get the rough draft done this morning. My deadline isn't until a few weeks, but I don't want to put it off until the last moment. On the one hand, that's just a bad habit. On the other hand, I've become infatuated with a pen on the FPN classifieds and the sooner I get my money the better.

More long-term I have a few short stories I want to write and start sending off. If I intend to make money off of writing (and I do, even it is just enough for some luxuries), I need to always have a story or two out for consideration. I need to get back to the novel, but that can wait--I want to get some short-term money flowing.
daidoji_gisei: (Cornflower field)
It's a change of topic, at least?

I've gotten an email from Robinette Farms informing me that enrollment for this summer's CSA subscription is open for past customers. I have about a week to make up my mind whether to enroll again or not. On the one hand, I was satisfied with the amount and quality of vegetables I recieved last year. On the other hand, part of me knows that I could grow just as many vegetables myself for less money. But that takes time, and part of me wants to use time somewhere else. But if I did it myself there would be more of the vegetables I liked, and a complete absence of beets. I keep going in circles.

To make it all more complicated, there's the possibility of doing both. Then I could grow more of my favorites, and use the CSA share to fill in the rest. It would also give me space to experiment with long-season crops like dried beans or winter squash or even melons. Having a third option is not making my life simpler!
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I have scribbled and stumbled my way to the sixth scene in my outline. (I specify in my outline, because as I've been writing I have figured out that I need at least one more scene before now.) I need to push on, because that's the only way I will finish. But it's an important, pivotal scene, and I'm intimidated by it.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
November is half-over and I have a little over 8K words written. It takes very little math to see that I am very behind. I'd like to say that I think I can catch up, but given my experience from being on the writing team for L5R I don't think that's possible.

Nevertheless, I'm not depressed. I need to write this novel, need to learn how to write novels, and NaNo was a psychologically good starting point. I'm still engaged in finding out just how many words I can get done this month, so the game is still live for me. Also, I've promised myself some more ink samples when I hit 10K and an incense buying spree when I hit 20K. (The key to writing bribes, I have discovered, is to find something I want, but not want so badly that I'll just abandon the task and order the thing right away.) It's too far away to think about what the reward for finishing will be. (But I'm considering some bottles of Iroshizuku.)

I've tentatively decided that handwriting the first draft is the way to do it. Not because of some claptrap about it making me more creative, but because it makes it impossible for me to change things. If I was doing this on a computer, every time I reread what I had written I would see things I didn't like and would need to stop and change them. This is fine in a short story, but in a long project like this I need to keep moving and fix stuff in the next draft. When I see something that I think needs fixing, all I do now is grab a pen loaded with a contrasting color of ink (this totally justifies my habit of keeping about a dozen pens inked, btw) and make a note in the margin. Then I move on.

I'm planning on writing today. If there are no emergencies I should be able to order some ink samples tonight. Go me!
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
Having missed three days in a row of writing on my NaNoWriMo novel, I really really need to hit the 2000/day mark if I am to finish on time. Trying to stay calm about this.

Yesterday I inked up the fox pen! I used Diamine Sepia, because that is the first in sample I came across that coordinated with the color of the pen. The pen itself feels nice in the hand, which makes me happy. The ink, on the other hand, is very blah. I think I'll try switching out the fine nib for something more dramatic and see if it helps. If not, I'll just make an entry in my ink log and dump it. I have too much ink on hand suffer through one I don't want to look at.

I also tried the Franklin-Christoph Dark Denim in my Black Ice pen. I like the color, but it seems like a very dry ink--the nib just kind of drags, and I know from previous experience that this is a smoother nib. I'm tempted to add a pin-prick of dish detergent to the converter and see if that helps.

While browsing a writers forum over breakfast I came across a post that broke down just how impossible it is for a new writer to get a short story sold. At least now I can tell myself that it isn't me, it's just the numbers. And DA started life as an experiment in writing first-person, so I still got that much good out of it.

Now on to a busy day of housework and NaNoWriMo.

NaNo update

Nov. 7th, 2014 06:00 am
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
By Wedneday evening I had reached the 5000 word mark, which was still behind schedule if I wanted to finish on time but not impossibly so; the trick is to always keep nibbling away. Also, I had noticed I was starting to pick up some momentum, and getting more done each day.

Alas, Thursday was physically and emotionally exhausting, and I got nothing done. It was horrible, I feel horrible, I am horrible. I'm still tired, I have a bowl of oatmeal I need to eat and a half hour to do it in and I'm not sure I have that much energy. And I have to go to work and bake all day!

NaNoWriMo!

Nov. 2nd, 2014 09:01 am
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I started writing last night. I didn't get very far, but I started. I am resolved not to be angry at myself because I was sick, I was tired, and that first paragraph is always so hard. I need to pick up the pace if I am to finish on time, however.

One thing I have decided is that I absolutely need to stop expecting impossible things from myself. I have always written in short, ~500-word spurts, and this isn't going to change overnight just because I want it to. If I'm going to hit my 1667 daily target I will have to plan around this. So, after breakfast I will write. When I come home from work I'll write a little more. I'll cook dinner, eat, wash dishes. Then I'll do a little more writing. Real writers can toss off a few thousand words without breaking a sweat, but I can't. So I'll act like a real physicist and break the problem down to solvable parts.

The ink for last night's writing jag was Pilot Iroshizoku Fuyu-gaki (Sweet Winter Persimmon). I put it in my M200 demonstrator because I've decided that all my Iroshizoku samples deserve time in a demonstrator. I chose this one first because all the other pens I have inked have cool, dark colors in them and this would, I thought, give some contrast. And how! Fuyu-gaki is like Diamine Coral with less pink, so it really pops off the page. I don't loathe it, which given my normal reaction to orange is something of an achievement. I have no desire to own a bottle of it (after all, I already have a bottle of Coral), but I plan to use up the sample instead of dumping it.

Every time I sit down to write I am going to use a different pen. The non-practical reason for this is I love all the pretty colors. The practical one is that I can tell at a glance how long a particular writing jag lasted by seeing how many pages I have of that color.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I didn't go to work today, having woke up with a sore throat and sinus pain. This was frustrating all around, because I could look around at all the housework that needed to be done but couldn't summon up the energy to do anything about it. My brain was frizzy as well, so I could neither write nor read anything needing concentration. It's been frustrating.

I did get a pen flushed out, the M200. I have decided that for my NaNo first draft I am going to use my Iroshizoku samples, so tomorrow when it is dry I'll choose the first one and load it up. Whee!
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Still feeling down.

It's raining now, which I have mixed feelings over. Still, it was sunny when I walked home and the clouds didn't start rolling in until close to sundown so there is that. After dinner I hung out with my friend V. Neither of us had any pressing errands, so I suggested going down to Trader Joes for a scouting expedition. TJ really isn't my kind of a store--it's the kind of place where all the frozen food directions assume you have a microwave--but I'm planning to give some food gifts this Christmas and I decided now was a good time to explore my options.

I ended up buying a few food things to try out. More importantly, I bought myself a miniature rose in bloom in hopes that flowers would help cheer me up. They haven't done anything yet, but I've only had them a few hours. It's a bicolored rose, red with white splashes. I would have preferred a pure red but none was available. In the symbolism of roses red is for knowledge or passion, and white is for innocence, making this a somewhat confused plant. Maybe that is why I am starting to warm to it.

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