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Writing Bug

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading, Writing | Posted on 15-08-2008

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I’m more and more tempt­ed to write some fic­tion again. It’s been years since I did that. I’m good with char­ac­ters and envi­ron­ment, but not so good with plot. I don’t like to write about neg­a­tive things, or nasty peo­ple, which is rather prob­lem­at­ic when you need to have con­flict.

I know part of it is read­ing books and think­ing, “Damn, I could do bet­ter than that.” But to be real­is­tic, any­body who has fin­ished a book is doing bet­ter than I actu­al­ly have done.

One thing that’s real­ly get­ting to me is the num­ber of anti-fat state­ments that get thrown in to so many sto­ries. They have noth­ing to do with the sto­ry – they just hap­pen because of the authors’ prej­u­dice. Describ­ing a minor char­ac­ter as fat is a cheap short­cut, because most read­ers will assume the per­son is lazy, slop­py, and not ter­ri­bly intel­li­gent (or a hyper­fo­cused geek with no social skills if he is smart).

I know that start­ing out with a “mes­sage” is a crap­py way to write fic­tion, though. Mes­sages are bet­ter expressed in essays, not sto­ries.

Still, I have this itch. Bah.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Holidays | Posted on 11-05-2008

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I’ve cer­tain­ly had a sweet one 🙂

Michelle Sagara wrote a won­der­ful post today about how moth­er­ing is like writ­ing.

Laptop Research & Shopping

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery | Posted on 21-02-2008

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Sam and I spent most of our date time look­ing at lap­tops. Yes, we’re final­ly replac­ing the one that died last sum­mer. Yay!

I find it eas­i­er to put what I find online in con­text after hav­ing actu­al­ly played with a bunch of machines tonight, so I’ll be doing a lot of research online.

Any­body have any strong rec­om­men­da­tions or good/​bad expe­ri­ences to share? Knowl­edge of any places that give “edu­ca­tion­al dis­counts” that aren’t just “steer your stu­dents to us and we’ll give you a lit­tle low­er price on your own machines” deals? Sure expe­ri­ence exor­cis­ing Vista from a “Vista-com­pat­i­ble” PC? Please speak up!

What do you want to read or hear?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Needlework, RPGs, Writing | Posted on 13-02-2008

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I record­ed some more pieces, but need to wait for Sam to “pro­duce” them (clean them up and add appro­pri­ate music). One of them isn’t some­thing I would have cho­sen myself, but Todd, who cre­at­ed Live Read­ings, asked to hear oth­ers read it. It turned out bet­ter than I thought it would. And it was fun to do some­thing that I wouldn’t have cho­sen.

So it’s request time! What would you like me to record, or write about?

Semester Is Past the Half-way Point!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College, Writing | Posted on 10-02-2008

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And so far, I’ve only lost one point in my Project Man­age­ment class, none in the oth­er class. That was due to a stu­pid mou­s­ing error — bad hands! Oh well, if that’s all my hands cost me this semes­ter, I’ll be hap­py.

The career course required us to do “long-term career plan­ning” this week. I don’t know how use­ful their idea of career plan­ning is, to be hon­est, in today’s econ­o­my. There aren’t many peo­ple who can count on mov­ing up steadi­ly in one path, due to the fact that the econ­o­my changes so much more quick­ly than it did 30 to 50 years ago. Do I feel san­guine about mak­ing pre­dic­tions as to where I’ll be, pro­fes­sion­al­ly, in 30 years? Um, no. For one thing, I’ll be 71 years old then! For anoth­er, I’ll be hap­py just to get back to work, peri­od!

Today’s Thing-a-Day time was spent col­or­ing. It was nice.

I have a hap­py Sam­bear danc­ing in front of me, because he just post­ed Chap­ter 17 of Heart of the Hunter. He already hit his word tar­get for the nov­el, but hap­pi­ly, he isn’t stop­ping ’til the plot is wrapped up.

Adult: FMS from What?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery, Humor, News, Sex | Posted on 05-02-2008

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I have a Google Alerts search going for “fibromyal­gia,” because if there’s some­thing out there that will make this crap bet­ter, I want to know it yes­ter­day. The alert brings in all sorts of non­sense from quack reme­dies to naysay­ers, in addi­tion to the actu­al con­tent.

Today’s alert takes the cake, though. Some­body wrote to Dan Savage’s Sav­age Love col­umn ask­ing, “Can I Sue Some­body for Fist­ing-Induced Fibromyal­gia?“1

Savage’s med­ical expert is out of touch regard­ing the lat­est FMS research, but I have to agree with his reply to the let­ter-writer.

Sam and I tried to game a lit­tle tonight, but he was sleepy and I’m fad­ing, too. I did some writ­ing today, and more web­i­fy­ing, and worked on a cou­ple of school assign­ments. Then I got all-too-obsessed with try­ing to fig­ure out how to make the out­put of a cou­ple of Word­Press plu­g­ins work nice­ly with my tem­plate.

I hope y’all had a love­ly week­end!


1 http://​www​.vil​lagevoice​.com/​p​e​o​p​l​e​/​0​8​0​6​,​s​a​v​a​g​e​,​7​9​0​4​4​,​2​4​.​h​tml

Thing-A-Day 1!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Art, Needlework | Posted on 01-02-2008

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If there’s a way to auto-cross-post rel­e­vant entries from here to Thing-A-Day, I haven’t fig­ured it out. Doing it man­u­al­ly feels inel­e­gant.

I don’t have a pho­to to post, but I got out the draw­ing tablet for the first time in an embar­rass­ing­ly long time, and worked on a cross-stitch design. It split into two designs, some­how, but I’m hop­ing to post pics tomor­row. I dis­cov­ered that Pat­tern­Mak­er isn’t installed on this machine, so I’ve made graph­ics that have to be trans­lat­ed into graphed designs.

I feel that I’m real­ly in the “getting orga­nized” stage, which I should have done last week. But the tablet is attached now, and I know where my stitch­ing bag is. I’ll find out in the morn­ing just what my daugh­ter did with my col­ored pen­cils and such, and locate the Pat­tern­Mak­er install CD. And the cam­era, that would help. Yep.

It did feel great to have time on my sched­ule devot­ed to “being cre­ative” and noth­ing else!

Further Prof of Insanity: Blog365

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Family, Fun, Geekery, Health, Holidays, Home, Homeschooling, Music, Reading, RPGs, Writing | Posted on 01-01-2008

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I got through NaBloPo­Mo, as ridicu­lous as it was to com­mit to post­ing at least once a day for a month. So of course that small suc­cess has led me, in a moment of more-than-usu­al-luna­cy, to sign up for Blog365 (oth­er­wise known as “Out of the Fry­ing Pan, Into the Fire”).
Blog365
The pur­pose is fair­ly clear: to post at least once every day of 2008. Feb­ru­ary 29 is a “rest day.” Posts may be writ­ten on any site, rather than stick­ing to just one blog, so I’ll try to spread them around on mine/​ours. If I can’t get some­thing on the actu­al site on a par­tic­u­lar day due to net con­nec­tion issues or what­ev­er, I have to write (yes, write! like, cuneiform or some­thing!) a jour­nal entry and trans­fer it to a blog as that day’s entry.

It would be far sim­pler to have a sys­tem of some sort. Maybe I’ll cre­ate a rota­tion:

  • Fibrant Liv­ing — health, liv­ing with a dis­abil­i­ty, pod­casts
  • Acad­e­my Car­i­tas — home­school­ing, edu­ca­tion, col­lege
  • House Fire­heart — polyamory, par­tic­u­lar­ly my and Sam’s approach to it
  • Heart­song Hand­i­crafts — home of my orig­i­nal needle­work pat­terns, and soon to be home for the rest of my stitch­ing infor­ma­tion
  • Cyber­stalked! — inter­net safe­ty and pri­va­cy issues
  • Cyn­thia Armis­tead — my pro­fes­sion­al port­fo­lio, where I put the geeky stuff
  • Ene­my of Entropy — here, of course, where I put gen­er­al stuff, book reviews, and the like.

Hope­ful­ly there will be new pod­casts up soon. There will def­i­nite­ly be more music, as we have that love­ly con­cert piano we received via freecy­cle all repaired and put togeth­er. It’s beau­ti­ful and sounds great! Not at all bad for one dri­ve to pick it up and less than $200 in repair fees! (Sam want­ed to just take it to the near­est autho­rized repair cen­ter rather than doing it our­selves.)

2007 wasn’t a stel­lar year, but nei­ther was it ter­ri­ble. Sam has a steady, secure job that he enjoys, in an orga­ni­za­tion that’s allow­ing him to advance. , Katie had a lot of health prob­lems, but I’m hop­ing that we’re on the right path to resolv­ing them. Shel­ley passed away a lit­tle shy of her 18th birth­day, but since we’d been told in 1999 that she only had a year (at most) left, we felt that we’d got­ten an “extra” 8 years with her any­way. Kioshi has grown into a nice com­pan­ion, too.

We real­ly kept to our­selves a lot through the past two years. When you’ve been betrayed and hurt as deeply as we were by our for­mer housemate’s sud­den crazi­ness in 2006, there’s a lot of heal­ing to be done. I don’t know if I’ll ever approach Thanks­giv­ing with­out trep­i­da­tion again, but we had a good one any­way. The stress did con­tribute to the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of my health, and that does make it hard­er to get out. We’re work­ing on it, though. We cer­tain­ly learned who our true friends were, and we’ll nev­er for­get that.

So on to 2008, which we hope to be full of more time with friends, bet­ter health, much more music, Katie spent last night and almost all day today with friends from the school she was attend­ing as well as her new beau. Sam and I spent the day gam­ing, upgrad­ing some web sites, eat­ing good food and watch­ing movies. If it’s true that what­ev­er you do on Jan­u­ary 1 indi­cates how your year will go, we should be just fine.

R.I.P. Madeleine L’Engle

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading, Spirituality | Posted on 05-11-2007

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I start­ed this post on Sep­tem­ber 7, the day after the grand lady moved on to find out what’s next. I find myself cer­tain that she wasn’t afraid, that she looked for­ward to a reunion with her hus­band Hugh and oth­ers who had gone before. And yet I, who nev­er even met her in per­son, was too upset to fin­ish the post or even look at it again for two months.

NaNoWriMo, NaPodPoMo, NaBloPoMo

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Geekery, Memes, Podcast, Writing | Posted on 02-11-2007

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Utter insan­i­ty. All of it. My fall class­es just start­ed. I’m in a flare (when am I not? but seri­ous­ly, I am).

But hey! I hate my birth­day, and three insane new things for the month should, at least, be dis­tract­ing!

So, yes, this would be my sec­ond NaBloPo­Mo post. I’m hav­ing a lit­tle tech­ni­cal trou­ble actu­al­ly post­ing the NaPod­Po­Mo part, but I’m doing them. And fine, might as well top it off with NaNoW­riMo.

It’s Hope’s fault. And Sam’s. And, um, right. Kioshi’s. All of you. Dread­ful.

Don’t mind me. By the end of Novem­ber, at least, I won’t have any hair left, so I won’t be spend­ing any more time wor­ry­ing over whether or not to get it cut, or col­or it, or what­ev­er!