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.

Morning

Oct. 21st, 2014 06:28 am
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
I woke up this morning in the same frame of mind that I went to bed with. The outline was a waste of time better spent cleaning. Even accepting that I could write a non-horrible novel, I can't write to the popular taste. I should stick to crochet: at least then I'm making something useful.
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
I woke up this morning and decided I was going to finish the outline of my novel, even if it meant I got nothing else done today. That's pretty much what happened: I got the dishes washed, took out the trash, and cooked for for the next few days, but none of the laundry got done or anything else on my list. But the outline is done.

I guess having an outline is a good thing, because now I can start writing. Maybe. I have discovered that I am the kind of writer who needs readers, and I'm not convinced I'll have any beyond my alpha and beta readers. I had readers for L5R because I had a captive audience. I've shown my non-L5R story, the one I'm shopping around, to seven friends, and of them two of them really liked it, one of them kind of liked it (I think?), one didn't like it (but admitted it wasn't his preferred genre), and three never told me what they thought of it, from which I deduce that they didn't like it at all and are taking the diplomatic way out. These are not great odds.

If I had spent the day cleaning I would have had something to show for my efforts: a cleaner home. This is widely considered praiseworthy behavior. I would rather write than clean, but if there is one thing my life has taught me, it's that my opinions and desires don't matter.

I am tired, and that doesn't make sense. I sat at my desk all day, and finishing the outline wasn't like trying to compose War and Peace. I need to get to bed regardless, because tomorrow is a work day and then I need to come home and get some of the cleaning done. At some point I'll have to talk myself into starting writing, but that pint is not now.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This was a week to get stuff in the mail. One package was expected: it was my ink order from Goulet Pens. The other was somewhat of a surprise because though I knew i had placed an order with Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, one never knows how long it will take for them to ship it out. (The price one pays for dealing with a really small company that hand-blends its oils.) I won't be getting any more fun-packages this month, as that takes care of the fun-money for September and October.

I spent part of last night emptying and cleaning pens, so that I can try some of my new inks. Tomorrow I think I'll be able to start using the new stuff. I have PR Ebony Purple, N Red Black, N Blue Black, N Navy, and D Majestic Blue. The season of cold and dark is descending upon me, and I decided I needed some inks with suitable gravitas.

My BPAL order was the result of me getting to the end of my second bottle of Rose Cross, which has become my clear favorite of their offerings. I ended up ordering two bottles, because they have been discoing or out-of-stocking a number of my favored scents, and I was feeling skittish. (Honestly, if Bow and Crown of Conquest doesn't come back into stock I may throw something. Losing my favorite carnation perfume after losing my favorite lily of the valley perfume is annoying.) I will probably record reactions to my new perfumes after I've had a chance to wear them a few times.

And now I'm heading towards bed. It has been a long, hard week, and I need sleep
daidoji_gisei: (Cooking)
I came home feeling I needed something approximately healthy for dinner but not really in the mood to cook. So I chopped up half the turnips from today's CSA share and threw them into a pot with chicken broth, a chopped clove of garlic, and a Parmesan rind. Then I chopped all of the turnip greens, including the stems (look, I paid good money for those stems), added them to the pot, simmered till tender. Then I added a package of seitan chunks for protein and let it warm back up. Dinner, done.

It tastes delicious, mainly due to the chicken stock (home-made, thanks to my pressure cooker) and the Parmesan rind. So much flavor! It I do something like this again I'll put the greens in at the same time as the chopped roots, I like my greens tender. And since it's such a basic recipe, the sky is the limit for proteins.

Goings on

Sep. 15th, 2014 05:44 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I've been bad about journaling this past year, and it's gotten really bad since my laptop died. My iPad gives me internet access, but two-finger typing on the screen keyboard gets discouraging fast. (And I don't always catch autocorrect's oh-so-helpful improvements, either.) But I was recently reminded of how nice it is to dip into old memories, so I am going to try to do better.

The big thing I'm thinking about now is taking a Vacation next year. This sounds kind of odd, because I generally take two vacations a year-- one to visit my best friend, and the other to go to Gencon (which happily allows me to see my other best friend, and lots of other friends, and play games, all at the same time). I still want to do that next year, but I think I need to take another kind of Vacation, one where I go someplace I've never been before and do things I've never done.

I've had this lurking in the back of my head for some time now, but the realization that I'm turning 50 this year has made it more of a priority. If I'm going to avoid turning into my mother as I age, I have to keep looking for ways to challenge myself. Taking up Latin and flailing around trying to write is a good start, but I am not going to stop there. I need to keep trying new things.

So I'm thinking of going to California. As a Vacation destination this has a lot of pluses. I've never been west of the Rockies, so everything there will be new to me. The Pacific Ocean is there, and I would like to see it. (Being a Nebraska girl, I was in my 30s before I saw the Atlantic.) I know a few people there, so I could do some visiting. And best of all, I could take the train: the California Zephyr goes right through town all the way out to the Bay Area. It means that getting there would take two days, but that's two days of seeing landscapes I've never seen before, which is part of the plan anyway.

This plan needs a lot of work, I need to come up with what I would want to do and how much it will all cost and how many days time off I plan to spend. But if I start now I can break the whole thing down into non-traumatic parts. And even if that Vacation doesn't happen, I'll have learned skills I can apply to some other Vacation. I think that's a good plan.
daidoji_gisei: "Because I'm worth it" (L'oreal)
I didn't spend as much money on games at Gencon as I thought I would (but I tried! Alas, Helen, the Witcher board game was not available yet) and thus I have extra discretionary money on hand. I could (and probably should) spend it on something useful, like a new suitcase or getting my Birks repaired. What I want is this little piece of sky.

I don't think I have to explain why I want it. I haven't gone so far as to put it in my cart, but I have decided to ink up my Black Ice version and spend some quality time with it today. I'm hoping it wasn't as nice to write with as I remember, which will cut down its appeal. And if it is as nice as I remember...well, I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
Having a bad night tonight, for no reason I can identify. I got to see Guardians of the Galaxy a second time last night, and work today wasn't that stressful. My mood just soured this evening, and all I can seem to do is surf the net and think about how lame I am. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
My arms are sore tonight and I'm exhausted, all a result of baking today at work. For various reasons we have no one to bake bread tomorrow, so I baked all of Saturday's bread and all of Sunday's, plus a large number of dinner rolls for a special order. I started my run at seven and worked almost continuously until one, when I was able to stop for lunch. (At one point I slacked off long enough to make some iced tea--baking is thirsty work!)

It's been awhile since baking has left me this wiped out. Tomorrow and Monday are days off for me, so at least I'll be able to rest up. Sunday will be a complete rest day with no exercise (except possibly to walk downtown so that I can see Guardians of the Galaxy), put I'm thinking off adding a few push-ups to my exercise plans. At the moment I'm just working on my stationary bike for its cardio benefits, but a few strength exercises wouldn't hurt. In the meantime, I'm taking some aspirin and getting to bed on time tonight.
daidoji_gisei: (Cooking)
For many months I've been stressed out by things that were going on in my life and one of my reactions to this has been making bad food choices which leads to weight gain which makes me unhappy for various reasons which raises my stress level which...you see the pattern, right?

However some things have shifted around in my life this month and I had an awesomely fun and refreshing vacation trip with friends and so this past weekend I decided it was time to change some things. Improving my general health was near the top of the list, and since it had the side benefit of helping my clothes fit better I decided I now had lots of incentive. (Got to go clothes shopping with my best friend and spent lots of money on pretty and non-work-useful clothes. It was a blast.).

With that in mind, I opened up the MyFitnessPal app I had downloaded after getting my iPad. It had been recommended as a good fitness app, and it was free, so. It has two basic functions: tracking what you eat and what you do as exercise. As you put in your foods eaten it maintains a running count of calories, carbs, fats, proteins, iron, etc. When you log your exercise it deducts the calories you expended from the total. It also provides nutritional breakdowns by the day and by the week, which I think will be useful.

The first thing I've learned is that I have not been eating enough protein. (This seems downright unAmerican, but there you have it.) It seems that all these years I've been eating enough for the weight I wanted to be, and not the weight I really am. Oops. Even worse, I'm not eating enough sodium. This doesn't seem like a huge deal until one considers that live in a place with hot summers and I don't use air conditioning--on really hot days I can sweat a lot, and I need to make sure I replace that lost salt.

The app will calculate eating plans based on your goals, whether it be to gain, maintain, or lose weight. It won't calculate a plan to make you lose more than two pounds a week (and it's set up to *strongly* suggest only one pound a week), which I think is very responsible of the developers. I am currently following the plan to lose one pound a week, but if I can get my eating habits under control I might try for a more ambitious goal. We'll see.

Spinning

Jul. 26th, 2014 10:21 pm
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I'm more than a little frustrated. I had a restful, refreshing week of vacation. I have had much less stress at work this week. I have a stack of comp books and notebooks to deface, and lots of pretty inks to do it with. I should have been writing lots this week--and I've done nothing. So frustrated.

At some point I had a writing to-do list for this year, and I have not yet ticked off a single goal. I just can't find a sentence to start with, that's all.

I know somewhere I have a notebook with a bunch of fanfic partials; maybe I should dig that out and try to finish something. One foolish project is as good as another, right?
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
So yesterday I learned that I am about to have a huge shift in my job.

About a year ago OH did some internal restructuring, with the Cheese, Deli, Bakery, and Meat and Seafoods departments being aggregated into one overall Food Service department. We've been slowly working through the changes this requires to make the whole thing more efficient, and as of August 1 one of those changes will be that there will no longer be Deli, Bakery, or Meat and Seafood managers. I still have a job, but my new position is Bakery Production Lead and all of my remaining managerial tasks are being taken over by the Food Service Manager.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, anything that feels like a reduction in status always makes me feel twitchy. On the other hand, I'm losing the parts of my job I enjoyed the least and keeping the baking parts. (And since we moved bread-baking to the daytime, I get to bake lots of bread.). And the change itself is absolutely sensible, there was too much duplication of effort under the old system. Finally, I will be changing from being on salary to being hourly, which means that extra-long work weeks will no longer be the norm. On the whole I guess it's a positive change, despite my twitchiness.

My big hope is that this will allow me to channel more effort into writing. With the new position I will (presumably) have less stress in my work life and more energy, so I need to start thinking about how to make that hope real.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I'm doing this via my new tablet, so this will probably be quick. As I am not one of those people wedded to their cell phone, typing with only two fingers is slightly unnatural.

I was reading FPN over lunch and became irked at a young man who announced that he couldn't possibly date someone who used BIC pens because obviously their thoughts meant nothing to them. Having written most of my L5R fiction using a computer and cheap ballpoints I could not possibly see how this could be true. I posted a terse rebuttal which may have included the word "horse-hooey". I hope I don't get modded, but whatever.

In unrelated news, I have a new pen in the mail. I am hoping it arrives before my new Ink Drop samples do.

Monday

May. 19th, 2014 06:54 pm
daidoji_gisei: "Because I'm worth it" (L'oreal)
I didn't get as much work done this weekend but I am feeling almost rested and relaxed. I washed some dishes today and did enough laundry to keep myself decently clothed for a few days, also finally deposited my paycheck. Spent the afternoon having a lovely, lovely phone call and I don't regret a moment of it. :-)

And now a meme from [personal profile] yhlee:

What are the, say, top 5 things you associate with me?

Sunday

May. 18th, 2014 08:32 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Cornflower field)
I got very little done today, but last week was harsh and Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest and I am not going to feel bad about resting.

I did spend about two hours in my garden, weeding, but doing things in the garden rarely feels like work to me. Which is good, because I still have a LOT of weeds to take care of. I have volunteer sunflowers in my garden (inherited from the previous tenant) and each year they attempt to make even more volunteer sunflowers, forcing me to do a lot of thinning. I could make my life easier by not letting any of them go to seed, but I like to leave a few for any winter-foraging birds that happen to like that style of seed.

Weeding by hand (as opposed to wacking things with a hoe) can be difficult, but it has its advantages. Today I discovered that some of last years cornflowers had reseeded themselves, so I'll be having some flowers soon. I also discovered mustard that I don't remember planting, and volunteer collards in the middle of my carrots. I'm going to transplant the collards that can be dug without harming the carrots, and use the rest as greens for a salad. Which I could do tomorrow, because I also discovered that my lettuce has gotten large enough that I can start harvesting a leaf here and there.

I have a huge amount of lambs quarter growing, but I left that unmolested for now. It's technically a weed, but its a highly edible one so I'll just harvest it in a few days and turn it into a mess of greens. And my broccoli is heading up, so soon I will be savoring that ultimate dinner treat: freshly cooked broccoli, anointed with butter. :)
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I worked slightly over 10 hours today; it's my second 10 hour day this week. The next two days aren't looking good either: We have a big sale going on this weekend, two coffeehouses have placed big orders for the end of the week, and I'm short-staffed. It's an exciting life.

I'm sitting at my desk playing on the internet and gathering the energy to walk home and embark on the effort of feeding myself. I have some food already cooked at home, but I need to think of something to do for a vegetable or two. Buying something on the way out of the store is sounding too tempting!

On the happy news front, today I was surprise-gifted a Pilot Metropolitan pen (F nib, lizard colorway) and a bottle of ink (De At's Lavender) by a friend. I'm excited to try it out--I have a M-nibbed Metro that I really like, and I've been curious about the F nib ever since it was announced. I shall ink up the new pen with the new ink tonight and the first thing I'll do is write out a thank-you note.

Monday night while taking a bath I had the radio on to a station that played music from the past three decades or so (how did the 70s and 80s become so far back in time?) and they played Jackson Browne's "You Love the Thunder". This is a song I've always liked but hearing it now I was struck by how perfect it would be as a writing-soundtrack-song for the Fire Saint novel because it describes a large number of relationships going on in in it. In fact, not only can you reverse the genders in the song and still have it work, I suspect that you could use any combination of genders and it would still apply somewhere. I'm trying to decide if I want to get a CD of the album it is from or just buy the song. I'm in no rush because until I get my computer situation under control I have no way of putting a playlist together.
daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
A few years back my workplace was targeted for protests by the local IWW chapter because I had fired someone who was a member of said chapter. (This astonished me, because I hadn't even realized that the IWW still existed.) The weeks that followed were full of stress, but looking back (and yes, I realize how memories distort things) the times I am going through now at work are even more stressful. It's ridiculous; I don't even want to come to work most days. Yesterday on FB some people on my feed were sharing around a meme that had the phrase "Complaining about a situation without offering solutions is called WHINING", and my reaction to this was "F YOU". If I knew a solution for my problem I wouldn't be sitting here hoping to come down with food poisoning Monday night; I'd be doing something to make my situation better.

In other news, my garden is in desperate need of weeding. I managed to catch up on laundry big-time last week, so I have some hopes of progress here. Also, I got an email from Robinette Farms this week and my CSA pickup starts at the end of the month. Veggies!

I've been trying to write every night and not getting a lot done. I feel so strung out and tired it's hard to rally my brain into the challenge of getting words lined up in sentences. Also, I lack conviction that it matters. I'm trying to seduce my brain by pointing out that if I use up ink faster I'll have an excuse to buy more colors, but so far that idea lacks traction.

I'm not sure if I'll get to play L5R Monday night. I still haven't found time to sort my cards, and it seems pointless to show up without a new deck. I'm also now wavering about going to KC for the Kotei. It seems like a waste to spend the money to rent a car if I don't have anything decent to play at the tournament. Granted it is an excuse to take two days off of work, but still.

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