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My WiiFit monitor says I’ve walked a thousand miles.

This doesn’t show how amazingly much I walk, because I’ve been collecting the data for more than two years now, (although I do sometimes forget to wear the silly thing), and so I’m averaging less than 1.5 miles a day.

But once again, I prove that I have persistence in spades.

(Also I just ‘beat’ that silly WiiFit Obstacle Course game, so I gleefully removed it from my workout routine — I have discovered that I do not enjoy walking in place. Dancing and not going places is fine because the dance steps aren’t intended to travel, but pretending to walk is just miserable: I’m moving wrong. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t fix it, because if I moved right I would step off the little balance board. Grr!)

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So I’ve tried it for a week.
In order to make the switch from work to music, I set my husband’s alarm-clock to turn on the radio. This worked fine for stopping me from editing, but on Friday when I was coding, I just ignored it. ::rueful::

Still I not only got a better balance of stuff accomplished, I also got more total accomplished. Stopping working before I hit brain-dead apparently has fringe benefits.

(I used to know that. Once upon a time my wordcount goals were actually there to tell me “Time to stop,” not to push me to write more. But I guess I sort of forgot that in all the excitement of doing the publication thing?)

Anyway, here’s what I got done last week…

  • Writing: I fixed many errors in Eyes of Infistar, installed a copy on our tablet for my husband to read, got back several chapters worth of notes, made more fixes, and put a new copy on the tablet.

    I also ebook-ified a book written by my daughter, put it on the tablet, and did a read-through.

  • Art: Compiled 19 pages of ink scans for Scent of Spring.
  • Music: Practiced 5 times (inc. 3 “vocal workout” sessions). Worked on scoring Scent of Spring. (Yes, the song has the same title as the graphic novel… There’s a reason for that.)
  • Coding: Started work on an image carousel for inserting on the bottom of certain webpages. In the process, discovered that the ‘$’ jquery shortcut doesn’t work consistently when used on a page that is integrating wordpress content. The discovery process involved a certain amount of hair-pulling. ::rueful::
  • Tatting: Worked on a design that still isn’t right. (I do a lot of that.)

Plus, I did 11 holes of disc golf, played the Eldritch Horror Boardgame with my family 3 times (we just got a new expansion, so we were eager to try out all the new stuff), helped one daughter build a website and helped another make bead lizards* to give away to friends. All in all, a good week.

*My design from over 15 years ago. They were actually the body of a dragon, but the wings were futzy and delicate and the older kids and I ended up making a bunch of dragons without the wings, back when. Examples were still inhabiting my bedroom, and she wanted to make a couple. Her first one is pictured below.

Mirrored on My Website.

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I like doing things I can count up or check off. I like to be able to prove to myself that even though I am in the middle of the project, and will probably continue to be in the middle for a long time yet, I am still moving forward.

As long as I’m writing, the wordcount bar fills that psychological need. But when I’m editing, I flounder. Right now, I am editing.

In addition to that, I am struggling with the fact that I have many non-writing projects I want to be working on, and more than one skill I want to be developing. How do I keep everything organized, and on-track, and prioritized?

Right now my week-day routine goes something like: wake up, practice my french, eat breakfast, exercise, work until my brain is too tired to work (this usually doesn’t take anywhere near a whole day), futz around for the rest of the day—maybe on my various non-work projects, but as often as not just killing time.

I want badly to be getting regular music and art time in there too, but I’ve been having trouble motivating myself on the music end because I have no clear goals. And my current art project is at a non-artistic stage in the process, so that’s been an issue too. Plus it would be great if I could set aside some time when I am not brain-dead for coding. And I don’t want to neglect my tatting!

So…
Same morning routine.
Edit for only half my workday – (Change this into a wordage goal when I get back to writing)
Music – Goal: use Garageband to make recordings of my songs. One song every two weeks?
Art – Just get the Scent of Spring Coloring Book put together already! I can prioritize making art again when I no longer have a folder full of over a hundred ink scans waiting to be made into a book. So: 20 pages a week. At least.
Code on Fridays.
Tat one bookmark per weekend.

I think that’s doable. It looks doable. I may need to break the “one song every two weeks” down into smaller sub-goals, but everything else is pretty well defined.

I will give it a try and see how it works.

Mirrored on My Website.

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My son went to the library the other day, and came home with a particular book because “I saw it and I thought of you.”

Which book makes him think of me?

The Big Book of Swashbuckling Adventure: Classic Tales of Dashing Heroes, Dastardly Villains, and Daring Escapes, edited by Lawrence Ellsworth

I would guess that this isn’t what reminds most college students of their moms, but Vive la Difference! :)

And, in other news, I have been slowly revamping the “Art” area of my website into the “Arts and Crafts” area of my website, so that I would have a place to put my tatting patterns. I also included a link to the instructions for the origami fold from Across a Jade Sea, but it looks kind of lonely as the only “craft design” that isn’t tatting. Clearly I need to figure out what else I’ve invented over the years that is worth posting instructions for. My bead dragons, maybe? Or “How to sew your very own Coral Palace gisgir”?

Mirrored on My Website.

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I published another book.

Yeah, yeah, I know normal people have a party on their birthday. Since when was I normal? But I did go out to dinner.

Many thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!

Except my Wii. It claimed I was 20 two weeks before my birthday, but just as my birthday was approaching it changed its mind and decided I was 54. Bad Wii. No cookie.

Mirrored on My Website.

Filk and Me

Jan. 4th, 2015 02:18 pm
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It occurred to me that before I posted another ‘Making of Cantata’ post where I blamed part of the Coral Palace culture on the filk community, that I really ought to explain what the filk community is. Especially since a lot of non-filkers define filk as “song parodies about scifi, computer games and other geeky things”. Which doesn’t quite cover enough ground to explain the Filk-Cantata connection.

As a young reader, I delighted in the bits of poetry/verse that I found in some of the books I read: Tolkien and McCaffrey come most particularly to mind. I would often memorize the poems, and even sometimes improvise tunes for some of the ones that were supposed to be songs, so that I could sing them. When I started writing, I sometimes included songs in my own stories. The “folk songs” I made up for use in one particular story with a historical setting (I wouldn’t do that now, I don’t think, I would use actual existing folksongs) I even created tunes for, thinking that because they were “folk songs” I might get a chance to sing them to someone sometime. You never know. But there didn’t seem to be any possibility of finding an audience for the more “fantasy” type songs, so I didn’t bother making up tunes for those.

And then I went to college, and the guy who would eventually become my husband took me to my first ever science fiction convention, and in the evening, even though I said I was tired, he insisted I attend something called ‘filking’. “You’ll love it!” He assured me. I walked in and discovered a group of people sitting roughly in a circle, and singing a song called “Pride of Chanur”, about the science fiction books featuring a race of intelligent cat-like people by C.J. Cherryh, with a tune that I had never heard before… but luckily I’m good at picking up tunes, and in no time I was singing along with the chorus. We went on to sing many other songs, some of which, like “Pride of Chanur”, were songs with original words and original tunes, some of which were new lyrics to familiar tunes, and some of which took poems from out of books and set them to music. Clearly I had found ‘my people’.

And when the convention came to an end, I went home and started writing tunes for my “fantasy” songs. :)

So: the filk community is a musical community that grew up around science fiction and fantasy conventions. (It is now large enough to hold conventions of its own.) There are two key elements to the filk community: the interest in fantasy and science fiction and related topics, and the emphasis on participation in music rather than just passively listening. Everyone is encouraged to sing. Everyone is encouraged to write songs. If you can’t do tunes, write new words to someone else’s tune. If you can’t do lyrics, write music to someone else’s lyrics. Take a turn singing in the circle. If you know the song someone else is singing, join in. Learn to play an instrument. Don’t just be a fan of filk, become a filker.

Mirrored on My Website.

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I think I’m supposed to be saying something Christmasy right now. So Happy Holidays everyone!

We don’t do a lot of celebrating at our house, just because we’re not into making a big fuss. But I always enjoy having my family around and getting to spend time with them, and the presents are appreciated and all the Christmas chocolates fully enjoyed. :)

It’s also the end of the year, so I am desperately trying to finish everything I hoped to get done this year, and, as usual, failing. But here’s one thing off the list: Velvet Lies, a Coral Palace murder mystery novella is now available for the kindle at Amazon.

(You can only get it at Amazon right now, because we decided to try some of their exclusive programs and see what we thought of them. In three months we will start making it available elsewhere. In the meantime if you are a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program you can read it for free.)

In the meantime, my health slump continues, and now with a traditional Christmas cold on top of everything, I am once again reduced to playing boardgames while lying down in bed instead of sitting up at a table. ::grumble::

But I am still taking regular walks, and will get back to a more extensive exercise program as soon as I can! (Mood: determined)

Mirrored on My Website.

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I’ve actually been doing remarkably well this summer… as compared to, say, last summer and the summer before that. I’ve been hoping this was because I’m stronger and fitter than I was last summer, but it might just be because this summer has been cooler, or something.

But although I’ve stayed pretty active (for me) for most of the summer, for the past couple weeks my energy levels dropped severely, and so I feel like I haven’t been getting anything done.

This is slightly illusory. I do get some stuff done, just not as much, and not the stuff I feel like I’m supposed to be doing. For example, I have set up worldbuilding databases for three of my daughters. The databases have places to store characters, events, and locations. And include the capability to show dates according to an imaginary calendar (assuming it’s not too complicated… no leap days, for example), to display character images on character sheets, to place locations on a map by clicking on it, to assign certain events and characters to certain stories, and to dynamically build family trees and personal timelines.

(This isn’t as impressive as it sounds… I already had created those capabilities for myself, so all I had to do was alter the website code I was already using, so that it would work for multiple people each with their own separate database.)

But even so, I’ve been spending far more time watching tv and playing solitaire than I’m really happy with, and it’s been a bit of a relief that I’ve actually managed to get work done on my primary project these past two days. Yay!

As a final aside, I think I’ve figured out why sometimes my post cross-poster doesn’t cross-post. One of my other plugins was conflicting. Apparently all I have to do to fix it, is to repost the post… but sometimes I forget. :(

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Somewhat ironically, given how rarely I post in my own blog, I have just had a guest blog go up on Book View Cafe

It’s about how to make up slang for your invented cultures. :)

There are some other things that happened last week that I probably should have posted about. (And I would have if I didn’t have so many things happening at once!)

Lets see… I’ve been married two dozen years, now. There’s a nice number. I still haven’t had my anniversary dinner with my husband, however — life has been interfering.

My concertina and I went to a folk sing-a-long. They sing out of folk “Hymnals”, so I can usually follow along with the chords on my concertina. It’s fun, and great practice.

The brakes on our car died. Since we had been planning to replace it, we did that rather than having them repaired, and I am now co-owner of a vehicle (mini-van, seats 7) that is about half the age of our previous one. (So just over ten years old, instead of just over twenty.)

I joined an online tatting guild (tatting is my new hobby), posted pictures of stuff I was working on, and was asked to share the pattern for the little tatted dragon pendants I had invented. I did so, and had bunches of people wanting to try make them. So I have not only blogged, and I have been blogged about: here is one tatter’s take on my pattern (I’m linking to the central of three post so far.)

And here is the original:

Mirrored on My Website.

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So, does anyone else get tingling fingers, dizzyness/light-headedness, eyesight going dark, severe balance issues and static in the ears, from doing less than twenty minutes of not notably strenuous exercise?

Not that I always get all of that. Usually it’s just the dizzyness/light-headedness. (And I assume I also look terrible, because my kids keep asking me anxiously if I’m okay.)

But today I’m doing significantly worse than usual. :(

Mirrored on My Website.

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