Perpetual Post-It

Tuesday, 24 February 2037 09:52 am
mutantenemy: (dw::tardis)
When you're a kid, they tell you it's all......grow up. Get a job. Get married. Have a kid, and that's it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It's so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.
mutantenemy: (Default)
It is November 4th, do I know where my word count is?

Actually, yes!  5,012!

My count is right on track and I am very pleased about this.*  Last November was very rough with having to deal with the unexpected death of a friend and then having the heartbreaking task of dealing with his estate Thanksgiving weekend because those legally responsible did not want to.  If it were not for a handful of amazing friends, I would not have survived the month.

I made it through, my NaNo novel did not.  Only 11,000 words and some change were created and I reluctantly admitted defeat with my first NaNo loss.  My six year winning streak was crushed.

NaNoWriMo has hippty-hopped back into my life once more and I have grabbed it by the scruff with determination to win. My boss has assigned herself as my official workplace cheerleader.  A Vancouver ML, and also one of my closest friends, is inspiring me to write like the wind.  And this year, I am really enjoying my story.

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

This wonderful toon fits my mood nicely.  I have been a NaNo participant since 2006 and in all honesty, it will not matter how many years I have put myself through this 50,000 word agony, I always panic in some form or another.  Last year it was my dismal word count; this year I had no story / character outline until Halloween.  EEEEEP!!  Not a frakin' thing was clicking for me and I really wanted my story to be something I would look forward to writing, not dreading it with all my procrastinating tricks (eg: Chores, reorganizing the sock drawer, hitting the forums, washing the cat, etc).

My standard M.O. is to write in spurts: 3,000 words every other day.  This year I am adopting the not-unheard-of strategy of writing every single day.  Novel concept.**  My goal is to not freak myself out and to find joy in the creative process.  Last year was a NaNo of immense stress and sadness.  I want to change that energy.

This year will be a NaNo of energetic inspiration and humorous creativity!  This year, I shall.....

*Make note how I am not using contractions -- it is a NaNo thing.

**Tacky pun was totally worth it.
mutantenemy: (steampunk::dress of gears)
I am a gadget girl.

You can take the meaning of that phrase however you wish, but truth be confessed, I love shiny, techie gadgets. Macbook, iPod, Nintendo DS, PSP Lite, and my cell phone all hold a special place in this geek's hearty heart.

Four years ago I underwent a surprise heartbreak and decided Retail Therapy was the way to go. That is when I purchased my white Sanyo Katana flip phone -- sleek and sassy at the time. I wanted white because EVERYONE had black or grey boring cell phones. I understand needing to keep up with the zippy technological pace, but must we all possess the same thing? *shudder*

Last Saturday, after attending a local Pow Wow and getting a much needed message from the PTB (aka Universe, The Big Cheese, UPG, RPG, what have you), I decided to spend the rest of my afternoon biting the bullet and getting me a smartphone.

I've wanted one for over a year since my contract with Sprint ran out. I had options to go to another carrier and snag the ever coveted iPhone, but I have a policy about signing a contract with Satan. Because as we all know AT&T is Satan. Really.

Verizon is Satan's little brother.

T-Mobile is the weird Uncle Earl that hovers on your back porch waiting for free beer. Crappy beer. Pabst Blue Ribbon "beer".

Sprint is not infallible, they have their "issues", but they have treated me damn well for the past 10 years and some change, so they have earned my loyalty. In return I earned some mega discounts and rebates.

Ladies and Gents. Geeks and Freaks. May I introduce you to my new technokid:

Yes, it's the HTC EVO 4G in white.

**giggles maniacally**

Now before some of you get on the "HTC SUX" bandwagon let me just say this --- as there is no such thing as a perfect cell phone provider, there is no such thing as a perfect cell phone. They all have their pros and cons and thanks to a habit I picked up from my dear friend, Queen Bitch, I've learned to do massive research before buying.

No, the size doesn't bother me because I have long fingers and it fits in my palm perfectly. *wink wink nudge nudge say no more squire*

Overall, it has everything I need and then some. I've had it for a week now and already the shiny is still vibrant as I'm learning all the cool shit this phone can do. NOW I get why people are so in hot, sweaty, luv with their smartphones. Just look at it! IT'S FUCKING SEXY!

Certain apps have been downloaded and I'm keeping my EVO trim by not bogging it down with every "Hip Of The Moment" app that comes out. A few essentials (TweetDeck, eBuddy) and a few fun ones (FX Camera, Moon Guide, Kali Mantras).

I am also one who protects her investments. Before my EVO even took a step out of the Sprint store, s/he had a protective shield on. My case arrived from Amazon just the other day. Yes, I am going for a steampunk theme (I have also caught the irony that my white phone is covered in a predominantly black skin, but at least I KNOW it's a white smartphone).

Even my EVO's homepage has a steampunk wallpaper and a cool old style analog clock with gears and cogs. I am still trying to find a name for him/her. We all do it. We all name our gadgets, our cars, our pets, and our computers. My iPod is Mad Madam Mim, my Macbook is Capt. Rio of the RumRaven, my car is Roxy Sassyass, and my cat is Jameson.

Names in the running are: Babbage, Tesla, Aida, Mae West, and Ambrosine Frood.

Until a name can be found, I want to declare that I hearty heart heart my sexy, voluptuous phone.

Thrift Store Fu

Sunday, 30 January 2011 01:09 pm
mutantenemy: (misc::gempunk)
Earlier this month a friend and I felt like treasure hunting. Cash was low, but our sense of adventure was high, so we decided to hit some of the local thrift marts to search of hidden and forgotten treasures.

My friend possesses fierce Thrift Store Fu. Every time he goes he finds jackets, pants, shirts, picture frames, and anything rustic that he can polish up into a new inventive creation. All of this for under $20.

I hate him.

Fortunately during our outing, some of his thrifty mo-jo rubbed off on me. Per usual he discovered cool little chests, a pair of Doc Marten boots, and a nifty bag. I was thrilled enough to find another men's down vest in black (men's vests have better, deeper, and more practical pockets), an old style taper candle holder, an actual Chinese to English/English to Chinese Dictionary from China (for 50 cents!), and then this beauty.


That is a U.S. Navy / Marine Intermediate G-1 Flyer Jacket. All leather and in amazing condition. When I first saw it on the rack, I zipped right by it, not even registering on my radar as I was hardcore intent on finding a black leather jacket. Funny how the universe works, eh?

I was about ready to give up when a little voice in my head said, "Oooo, a brown jacket. You like brown." I do. Very vintage and steampunky. Okay, I'll give it a go. It was a men's 44 and I was sure it would be too big for me. Nope. It slipped onto my 5'11" just fine, thank you very much. And the style? Well, my friend and other customers could attest, I look damn good in a fighter pilot jacket. Like I was made for it.

The old street mission we were at was having a 50% off everything sale. For $12.50 I thought, what a steal, my first true leather jacket. Then, out of curiosity, I checked the label.

"That is a military issued label," said my friend. We gave the jacket a closer inspection and discovered air vents under the armpits and "USN" hole punched into the wind flap of the lapel. This was not some knock off or a Top Gun wannabe. This was legitimate. A pilot once owned this jacket.


When I got it home I scowered the intertubz looking for any information I could find on the G-1 jacket. I checked out photos and labels. I learned that there were dozens of manufacturers over the decades that had military contracts to make these jackets. I also learned my label was missing one crucial element.

Every label shows four things:
Type of jacket
Military parts / BIN number
Company that made it
Year it was made

My label had everything but the year. After a few hours of investigative work, I deduced mine was mid-to-late 70's. Granted, not WWII era, but very cool nonetheless. I finally found a military antique expert on line and gave them pictures of my bomber jacket. They confirmed it was legit and that it was post Vietnam war era, circa 1975-1979. Maybe even as late as 1980.

I love that I found this find. I love that I cherishly wear a piece of history every day. Sometimes my thoughts wander to the previous owner. Why did he give up his jacket? There is no such thing as an ex-Marine, so why would he part with something that was an important part of him during his training / tour of duty?

I can only come to two conclusions:
1. It is a part of his life he truly wants to forget or wants to move on from.
2. He died.

I'm hoping for the former because it would be cool for a man to approach me someday and say, "Hey, I think that used to be mine. Oh, the stories I could tell!" And I would ask him to tell me.
mutantenemy: (seasonal::stripey baubles)
Two hummingbirds are dog-fighting outside my bedroom window. Chasing. Zipping. Dodging. All for the love of a ruby red, plastic feeder and who can lay proprietary claim. Observing those itty bitty Kamikaze birds made me realize that is pretty much how the past month has been for me.

Doing this. Adding that. Doing that other thing again. Standing on my head while drinking coffee just so the caffeine could percolate my brain cells faster. Pop! Pop! Zang! But as with everything, the crash had to come. And it did. And I still won.

I am not without pride to say I am five for five; five years of participating in National Novel Writing Month and having five WINNER certificates to show for it. This is an awesome accomplishment for me as I pat myself on the back and indulge with a congratulatory bottle of something sparkly and fizzy.

I say this because, well, I am a Procrastinating Fool. If I can put something off to the last micro second, knowing I can get away with it, I will. I am also easily distract.....


......ed. A new creative idea, a new toy, a new project will lure me away with it's seductive shiny from my current goal at hand. Yet, on the ironic side, once I set my intent on something, it gets done, but only after I wade through the tides of "I'll Work On It Tomorrow" and dodge the traps of comfy laziness.

This year's NaNo almost kicked my ass. The long hours at work fried my poor, little brain and when I insisted it pound out 1,000 words before bedtime, it whined. So some coaxing was involved before my brain complied with a grump and a harrumph. Fortunately there were these amazing inventions called "weekends" where I was able to rest up and pour out 1,000's of words so I could catch up. To my surprise, Thanksgiving weekend bore me over 23,000 words and it was that final push, that last gasping sprint which propelled me across the finish line into a 51,230 word story. My tale was done and I performed a celebratory lap to the nearest Red Robin for a Cadillac Margarita.

So. One would think after spending four weeks struggling with words and timetables and self-pressure to achieve a personal goal, that the month of December would be a wonderful, peaceful reprieve. Well, you know what they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.....

Which brings me to my next point.

National Novel Reading Month

By all that is holy and strange, what have I gotten myself into? Again? From December 15, 2010 to January 15, 2011 the goal is to read one novel a week, which depending on the book can average 50-100 pages read a day. Well, one can argue that I am a glutton for punishment or insane, but I honestly want to read more. I enjoy reading, it just gets put on the back, back, far back burner located in BF Egypt. Remember the Shiny Factor? Yeah. I am horribly guilty of starting one book, finding another I wish to read, set aside Book#1 to make time for Book#2, then I find a Book#3. Wash, rinse, repeat cycle. The towering stack of tomes by my bed is damn impressive.

Because of this, it is difficult for me to finish. Earlier this year, I had set a new personal record by reading (AND finishing) five novels within six months: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, Demon Hunts by C.E. Murphy, FEED by Mira Grant, and Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. All of them spectacular in their own right, but if I had to recommend one that truly blew my Malabrigo Yarn socks off, it would be FEED. Gift it. Enable others. I personally love being in a bookstore and then happening upon a lone shopper staring blankly at the Horror section. I simply walk up, take the book off the shelf, hand it to them with a sly smile and say, "Highly recommend it." And before they can utter a response, I walk away like the Ghost of Unknown Awesome Books never to be seen by them again.

Back to the books. For National Novel Reading Month I have made my four selections. It was difficult but I was able to narrow it down by allowing myself one criteria:

Read a novel by an author you have never read before.

Out went the Gaiman, the Briggs, the Murphy, the Harris, the Adams, and the King. In came, in a rather sauntering fashion, these titles:

This is the book that I have picked up off the shelf, put back, picked up again, put back, then finally bought because the time was finally right. Think Harry Potter going to college and add more witt, more scares, and an author's delicious and odd use of the English language. I am one chapter in and hooked.

This one has been sitting on the shelves of my personal library for about two years. I always mean to read it but never got around to it. Now is the time and I will do my best to not allow the musical to taint my expectations of the book as many folks have informed me they are different creatures.

I do not do a lot of Young Adult (Harry Potter notwithstanding), but when I heard from friends, "You love Buffy! This series is amazing and has a very strong heroine." Okay, I'll bite and hence this book was purchased.

I am REALLY excited about reading this book which is one of the reasons why it will be the last one for my monthly challenge. The other is that in standard paperback size it is over 900 pages long. So if I cannot finish it in one week, it won't hinder my timetable with another book. The story is based off an actual historical event but the author spins it to add more of the horror of the Arctic Expedition by writing about the interpersonal fears and an unseen force trying to claw its way into the ship. I really hope I enjoy this author because I already have Drood queued up to be purchased if I do.

So that is what has been going on behind the blogging curtain. The one where you occasionally see a peek of fire tresses or hear a giggle of a mutant. Lots of writing, lots of reading, and perhaps a few knit and purl stitches in between.
mutantenemy: (nanowrimo::yer face has tiny word count)

I should not be writing this blog entry.


In fact I should be instead writing furiously on my fifth novel as I am grotesquely behind on my word count. Not pathetically, just grotesquely. There is a difference.

Welcome to the Month of Insanity aka "National Novel Writing Month". Where inspiring authors, dare devils, and glory hounds attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This is my fifth year participating and so far everything is moving along at its usual patterned pace.

Every year, the first week of NaNo is like sludging through melted taffy. Trying to get the story started without weighing it down with unnecessary details is difficult for me. I have to keep reminding myself that the reader does not need to be privy to EVERYTHING about the character or the place at this very moment in time. Draw it out. Allow a few morsels to drop here and there so your reader can connect the dots. And another thing? PICK UP THE PACE. That is my achilles' writer's heel (wrist?) -- not moving the story forward quick enough.

Last year's novel I am very proud of. I ventured into unknown territory by writing a Young Adult Scaery Tale (think a faerie tale without faeries). Within the first chapter, shit was happening and it was exciting. In past novels the adventure would not start until word count 10,000. Not that time. Under the inspiration of Patricia Briggs, I clipped that story right along to where it went from a trot into an impressive gallop. That novel has a special place in my heart for many reasons and it is the one I can see myself revisiting to polish for publication.

My NaNo this year goes back to my supernatural roots when I was twelve years old. Back then I devoured teen horror books of the supernatural and eerie bent, as well as, some Judy Blume coming of age stories. Yes, I was a contradictory child.

Those horror stories ignited my imagination and I learned that for something to be scary it did not have to be gory. Simplicity at its finest is what freaked people out the most. The less they see or know, the more terrifying it is. I also learned the craft of the cliff hanger that wanted the reader to know more, not piss them off. For school I would write these short stories and at slumber parties they would be read by my friends. I had a knack for the Scare.

Many stories and movies are inspiring my 2010 NaNo novel with their style and atmosphere: "Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, "Sleep Hollow" by Washington Irving / movie by Tim Burton, anything Vincent Price has starred in, "FEED" by Seanan McGuire (proving undoubtably WOMEN can write horror, thank you very much), "The Mist" by Stephen King, and the small town witchyness of "Practical Magic".

So far I'm over 3,000 words in and I'm working on keeping up the pace.

The word count may not be impressive, but considering I have a job this year which insists on overtime, I'm very happy I've been able to squeeze out 600 - 1,000 words an evening before collapsing into bed. But, hey, catching up is what the weekends are for, right? Write?

mutantenemy: (misc::thoughtful)
As a child, during long road trips to the coast or the desert, my parents impressed upon my young, squishy brain many different flavors of music. I grew to appreciate Chuck Berry, Elvis (Mom could NOT get enough of "Blue Hawaii". I swear, it was a thing), and Barry Manilow. However, I would always stop figgeting in the back seat of the car and stop poking my older brother whenever these gentleman lilted through the car speakers.

John Denver, Jim Croce, and Gordon Lightfoot.

John had a country twang which was not really my taste, but I LOVED his voice and could not get enough of "Grandma's Feather Bed". As an adult, my heart soars whenever I hear "The Eagle and the Hawk". Jim Croce on the other hand, helped me get my funk on. My butt would wiggle in the seat as I would jam my childhood self to "Bad Leroy Brown" and "Don't Mess Around with Jim".

Yet one of these folk masters would consistently wrap my attention around his golden tones and that minstrel was Gordon Lightfoot. In 2nd grade, I had the most awesome opportunity, along with thirty other kids, to sit in the cafeteria for a private Gordon Lightfoot concert when he was in town. Sitting on one of the plastic, bendy chairs and with the guitar rested upon his knee, he talked to us. He would answer questions and take requests. I raised my hand and asked him if he could play my favorite song ever. "Sure, darling. What song is that?"

"That song you sing about the boat sinking. The Wreck....The Wreck....", my memory faltered but he grinned and started the first few cords. Strumming I perked up and smiled, "Yes! That one!" And he sang to me. He sang to all of us.

Yesterday I was at a local coffee shop sipping my drug of choice and ka-nitting away on a pair of socks. The wind howled and buffeted against the storefront, while the rain opted to perceive the world sideways. At that moment of perfect synchronicity, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" wound it's haunting tune through my ipod and back into my memories.

mutantenemy: (Default)
May 15, 1980
"Hey, son, would you mind going to the thermostat and turning it down a bit?," asked Dad. With a grumble and the footfall of a growing teen still awkward with his gait, my brother tromped down the hall like a mutant buffalo. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.

I was sitting in front of the tv, just about ready to watch whatever was "Must See" back then. Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Night Court were my absolute favorites. Suddenly, through the floor, a vibration occurred. Then a ripple. Finally a low throttle rumble as the house shook upon its moorings and my first thought was a sisterly eyeroll of, "What did my brother do now? All he had to do was turn the dial."

That evening was my very first earthquake.

I was 10 years old. )
mutantenemy: (Default)
The past month has been a combination of being wonderfully chaotic, newly anxious, and sadly disappointed. I am so behind on reading folk's Tweets, LJ entries, and FB statuses that I've pretty much given up on trying to catch up. Nothing personal, it's just too mammoth a behemoth to master. Or something like that.

Did I mention I am tired?

You see, I'm a workin' gal now and my day starts when I sludge out of bed at 4:30am. Get to the office by 6:00am and work until the work is done. Usually as late as 3:00pm or as early as 1:30pm. Such is the life of a contractor.

The thing is, by the time I get home and do chores or run errands, I am WIPED and bedtime around 8:00PM sounds heavenly. I barely have the energy to write and my blog posts have suffered for it. My plan though is since I won't be working Friday, I can take the three-day weekend to finally blog the following:

1. My Rebirthing Party (with pix!)
2. Knitting Guild's Shop Hop (shiny, yarny pix!)
3. Last weekend's Southern Beltane festival (yes, you guessed it....with llamas!!)

I hope everyone on my F-List is healthy, happy, and being dangerously creative.

Snugs and Spanks,
mutantenemy: (humour::bunny ear flop)
The past week has been a whirlwind as I celebrated my 40th Rebirthday and then was treated to a trip to the coast for a few days. There are tons of photos I still need to wade through, as well as, things to catch up on, and a celebration to attend. I hope to have a write up on my very fun, very cool, very funny birthday tomorrow.

Until then, I give you DJ Earworm and his 2009 mix. QB played this in the car on our way to the beach, so of course, I've been infected. ;-) You cannot listen to this and NOT smile or NOT dance. Enjoy.

mutantenemy: (charmed::fangirl)
March 31, 2010

The time is 4:30pm, two and a half hours before Patricia Briggs, author of the Mercy Thompson Series, arrives at my local Powells Books. I come ready with knitting basket in hand, to knit and purl and ssk the minutes away while I wait. Patiently. Earnestly.

Strolling through the double doors, my eyes immediately fall upon vibrant book covers. Book covers with the titles, "SILVER BORNE" scrawled across them. I practically scream of pure geekdom within the stacks as I grab a copy and hug it like a precious, fluffy kitten. People stare. I blush. I suppose my suave decorum could only last for so long. Hey, I tried.

Fortunately, I was not alone. Huddled with the comfy chairs were other fans, some of whom I had seen last week for the Cherie Priest signing, and they were waving me over. We chatted, we knitted, and I kept my eagerness to dive into the new novel at bay. "When I get home, I'll start reading it," I promised myself.

At 6PM, Powells employees were setting the stage and unfolding the chairs. Because of our preparedness (or overzelousness, which ever you prefer), the early birds were able to snag the front row. Minutes ticked away as I counted the rows in my shawl pattern and searched in my bag for my measuring tape. I was curious as to how many people would show up. Every reading I've been to, the numbers have always been unpredictable. Twenty? Fifty? Five hundred? I also find it humbling and cool to peer upon the guest author's face as they survey the crowd, jaw a bit slacken, and say in awe, "Wow. There are so many of you here." Not once are they grumpy because not enough readers showed up, they are always surprised people actually like their books.

Patricia Briggs was no different. )

End of a Decade

Friday, 2 April 2010 02:21 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::firelady)
The first birthday card of the year arrived in the mail four days early. My first guess as I reached into the cavernous mail box, fingers searching for the small envelope was, "Ah, must be Mom."

I was mistaken. Ripping it open right there in the driveway, I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted with a lovely homemade card with beaded accents. Within was "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" stamped in a calming teal ink. Hand-written was, "Best Wishes From The Audubon Society."

How very, very cool. I've only been an official member for less than a month and the kind birding fanatics remembered my birthday. Even before my own mother. *chuckles*

It occurred to me this morning, as I poured my very dark, very rich, and very caffeinated coffee into my Cedars mug, that today is the last day of my 30's. Not simply the last day of a year, but the final day of a decade.


My pre-java-jolted brain wheeled from the significance of just how much time has past. Ten years of learning, stumbling, growing, hurting, loving, and coming into one's own. I started my 30th year in pure Wonder Woman fashion -- literally. Red, blue, white, and yellow streamers decorated my old apartment as Seasons 1 and 2 of the TV show played in the background. One friend brought a specially made WW cake, while another brought his muchly coveted Bennie Berry Juice. The party was filled with friends from all aspects of my life: childhood, dance club, wiccan, and other. I loved introducing them to each other and sitting back to watch the freaky geek sparks fly. The evening eventually ended up at the EMBERS where my dancing friends partied with me until I was the last one standing.

Thirty feels like so long ago. My third decade was when I became an ordained Priestess, loved three men, and watched my father die of prostate cancer. I nourished fledgling friendships and had two of them crash and burn before the decade was out. I made tons of mistakes, but was also gifted with just as many revelations. I wrote first drafts of four novels. I ballroom danced. I got corporately laid off three times and fired once. Now I am curious where my new career will take hold. I learned it was okay to be honest and to say "No". I learned who my real friends are. I learned that all the rebirths I've done from the ashes is not a punishment but what I am meant to do to be who I am. I gained weight and lost it and gained a little of it back. I grew hips on this once stick-straight body and grew my hair long. I reveled in being a redhead and embraced my inner geek. My sass has grown sharper and my heart stronger. I've learned I can be tough when the need calls for it, and be compassionate when others won't. I've learned what I am and what I'm not and have accepted both. All of this in just my third decade of life.

Forty will be awesome. There will be burning, there will be flames, there will be a Firebird spreading her wings; soaring over her old shell as she shines vibrantly in all that she is. And there may even be a margarita or three. Whatever this decade brings, I will not shy from it, I will not cower. I will look it proudly in the eyes and say, "Let's rock."
mutantenemy: (humour::take it to 11)
There are ebbs and flows, mountains and valleys, dry spells and monsoons in one's life, but it definitely correlates to my social life as of recently.

I am not one who needs company 24/7. I don't need to be in constant contact with anyone. I can be perfectly happy entertaining myself by going to the zoo on my own, knitting in a coffee shop, or checking out the latest Tim Burton flick-a-roo. Ever since I was a kid, playing in my room brought me the greatest satisfaction because I only had me and my imagination to keep me from getting bored.

However....this does not mean I am a lone wolf or despise human contact. Quite the contrary. The only thing human I despise is undiluted stupidity / ignorance / over-inflated sense of self-entitlement. In other words, to use one of Dean Winchester's favorite words, I stay the hell away from the douchebags.

I may be an independent person, but I am not 100% myself without my friends. My friends keep me sane, they remind me of how loved I am, and they help me get my groove on when needed. This past weekend was just that. After a long dry spell of social activities (seriously, tumbleweeds were rolling through my apartment), I was inundated with activities galore and reminded, yet again, that I love going out with my fellow freaks. )
mutantenemy: (misc::steampunk watch)
Last Thursday I finally finagled my energy to pick up "Boneshaker" and finish it. I had been reading it for the past few months, until something expected happened. I got a case of The Shinies. Something glorious and new and sparkly caught my attention which caused "Boneshaker" to sit upon my nightstand, collecting dust. I cannot remember what was so amazing to put a steampunk zombie novel on hold as it was very engaging and chock-full of adventure.

Was it a knitting project?

Perhaps a quick short story idea which needed to get written STAT before I forgot?

Or did I succumb to the hypnotic, thrumming purrs of Jameson to where I slipped into a pleasant coma?

I suppose it's not important. What is important is I finally finished the novel! And Friday morning I learned the author, Cherie Priest, was going to be at our local Powell's to do a signing! How synchronicitous! And, wow, Spell Check does not recognize "synchronicitous" as a legit word. Scary.

Friday afternoon I camped out at Powell's with two knitting projects in tow and waited. I met up with Tanuki and MartianMoonCrab and before long, a petite pixie with vibrant blue hair appeared. It was none other than Cherie Priest herself.

All I can say about the author, well I cannot simply say ONE thing, so I shall just rattle off what is impressive about her:

1. Cherie Priest's bubbly attitude is infectious. Perhaps being a former goth, she might take a slight comedic offense to the word "bubbly", but she had every right to be bouncing all over the place. She just received an email from George R.R. Martin (yes, THAT one) regarding a project they're working on together. He had written how much he LOVED her storyline ideas and Cherie was simply beside herself. She was practically giggling out of her skin. "I am so holding back the urge to bounce around this store yelling, 'G.R.R. Martin doesn't think I'm a moron!'"

2. The author has seriously done her research. Seriously. The world she created for "Bonshaker", called The Clockwork Century, is so wonderfully detailed and has so many branches, I was in awe. She knows her Civil War history and she shows no remorse in pushing up the Klondike Gold Rush if it allows her to have 50,000 zombies in 1880 Seattle, rather than 5,000.

3. Digressing is her most polished skill, as she so cheerfully admitted. There was no such thing as a "Yes" or "No" answer.

4. The author can totally pull off blue and aqua green hair.

This photo was taken with my ancient camera phone, and with her permission, so I apologize for the lack of quality. Regardless, Cherie Priest was very charming, very personable, and very inspiring as she joyfully signed everyone's books. Upon my turn, I had mentioned I found her through Kyle Cassidy's LiveJournal. She laughed and started regaling stories of her cat and how he would try, without much luck, to take a photo of her.

As I left the book signing, I was reminded how success can be quite the tease for some authors. One can get it right out of the shoot on the first try. Cherie, on the other hand, this was her seventh book and, like a perfect storm, it happened to hit pop culture at just the right time we needed some steampunk. To date "Boneshaker" is what truly put her on the map.

I felt encouraged, not dismayed, by this thought. Cherie finally found what she loved to write. It took her seven novels (a few Southern Gothic) to find it, but she did. And I will too.

My signed copy of "Boneshaker" now sits upon the inspirational shelf of my library. Right next to signed copies by David Sedaris and C.E. Murphy. Tomorrow night, Patricia Briggs will be added to my growing collection of authorial motivation.

Life is a Beach

Thursday, 25 March 2010 11:26 pm
mutantenemy: (geek::pirates cooler than ninjas)
Or at least it was yesterday. Today was "Gonna enjoy the stormy spring weather by writing, reading, and knitting in my PJs" day.

My dear friend Hedwig, every year, takes the week of her birthday off. And every year, she treats herself to a day trip to the beach. More specifically, Lincoln City. And for the past four years or so, I've been able to accompany her on this little adventure.

The gods were definitely smiling down upon us as the skies were blue and the sun was practically obnoxious with its rays. We high-tailed it out of town, with Starbux in hand, early in the morning and arrived at the coast just before 10AM.

First stop? A little yarn shop we discovered last Spring. She acquired some lovely lace-weight yarn, while I picked up some beautiful yarn to knit into a pair of phoenix coloured socks. Heh-heh.

Second stop was none other than Crystal Wizard. Stones, tarot cards, incense, wands, anything a metaphysical practitioner needed, they supplied. Each time we visit we're not sure what to expect. Sometimes we only stay for about fifteen minutes, others we've been known to peruse the wares for over an hour. Yesterday we split the difference.

Lunch was had at the most famous chowder house in the PNW, Mo's, and then it was off to Depoe Bay for whale watching and YARRR pirates! Yet when we arrived, Hedwig noticed a new little store called "Things Rich & Strange". Not ones let an intriguing name pass us by, we popped inside and were greeted with the most classy and high end pagan products we've ever seen.

Not snobby. Not ostentatious. At first glance, one assumed they were walking past an independent art gallery. Yet upon closer scrutiny, if one was educated in symbols and mythology, it was very pagan. Well, okay, and maybe some of the Scott Cunningham and crystal reference books gave it away too.

But not everything there was of the shiny or spiritual bent.

I fell in love with this little guy right away. I transformed from a well poised customer to a dribbling geek squee in a matter of a nanosecond when I first saw him. So, of course, I took another photo of him.

(clickenzee to biggenzee)

Finally, Hedwig and I came to the final part of our trip -- the walk on the beach. Weather was gorgeous. Company was fun. The wind was insistent. And, I got to show off my new hat that I finished last week.

mutantenemy: (humour::dear life)
The radio silence was not intentional, merely me suffering from a hardcore bout of Procraftinitis. So many things I wish to share and / or write about and when faced with the daunting task, I crumbled underneath the weight of my own expectations and resorted to watching my favorite episodes of "NCIS".

What did I learn? First off, that there is no such thing as too much Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Secondly, I learned I need to get off my ass and back into writing every couple of days rather than the odd chance sighting once in a blue moon.

"Oh my goodness? Did you see that? It flashed right by!"


"A UWP! An Unidentified Writing Piece! I recall seeing it a few times around Ember's blog so long ago, but now, golly gosh-gee-willikers, it has resurfaced. QUICK! TAKE A SCREEN CAPTURE."

All silliness aside, I shall try to do better. Now on with the update.

Last weekend I performed my first official duty as an Audubon Society Volunteer by helping them with Non-Native Vegetation Control. In other words, on the spring equinox I played in the mud and pulled English Ivy for six hours along the hiking trails.

I loved every minute of it. My body didn't, but I sure as hell did. I tromped through mud, played in the mud, placed mud on areas of my skin which brushed up against Stinging Nettles (not very annoying as some might think, but then my tolerance for itch is quite high), and came home with mud all over my cargo pants. Wheeee! I figured the equinox was a darn tootin' good day to give back to the Blessed Mother and to the nature loving community.

My muscles eventually did not agree. While they griped and moaned, I got myself all dolled up to take a dear friend out dancing for her birthday. We hit one of the popular clubs and, ee-gads, I cannot believe I used to frequent this joint three nights a week to dance my ass off. I did hit the dance floor, my body remembered the moves and created new ones, I was back in my element though I was quite a bit out of shape. Regardless, I had strangers approaching my friend saying, "You're redheaded friend out there is a really good dancer." Thank the gods, I have not lost my gift. While others feel lost if they're not writing, or photographing, or crafting, or singing.....for me, it's dancing. Why I haven't danced for so long...well....there are many excuses. The most embarrassing one is I'm not in the physical shape I used to be and my pride cannot imagine dancing if I'm out of breath. But then, how else am I going to get into better shape unless I exercise ala dancing?

Yup. Nasty catch-22 of the subconscious kind.

Sunday crawled into being and I crawled out of bed. Muscles were in a full throttle roar of such aggressive disappointment you'd think they were Republican or something. Pulling ivy and then dancing put me over the edge, but not without grasping four Advil Liquid Gels in the process. My left shoulder and right knee moved as if they were made of poppy paper (bubble wrap), as I shuffled around the house. Yeah, I need to dance more. I also need to stop making excuses for not dancing more. Before I was a writer, a reader, a girl with a crafty soul....I was a dancer.


I AM a dancer.
mutantenemy: (humour::shit happens)
Life has been a tad stressful, so my daily blogging and daily photos have had to take a backseat.

My job hunting has intensified as my UI benefits slowly dwindle down to zero. I've lost count to how many resumes I've submitted with nary a response in return. Fortunately, I did attend "Ignite Portland" last week and made a few connections thanks to a friend, as well as, received a few leads as to who is hiring.

Inside the Bagdad Theatre where Ignite Portland 8 was held.

Secondly, my adorable furrkid, Jameson, decided now was the opportune time to develop a nasty case of diarrhea. Two vet visits, two prescriptions, and about $400 later we still do not know exactly what is wrong with him. Popular theories are either an Irritable Bowel Disease or a food allergy. As the meds were screwing with his appetite, the vet recommended two days ago I take him off them. I did. And he wouldn't eat. Finally, this morning, his hunger overwhelming him, Jameson took to a plate of dry prescription cat food (Green Peas and Rabbit) and started eating again. I am thrilled. Nothing is more nerve wracking than a pet that will not eat.

Thirdly, I've been in a bit of funk the past two weeks. Nothing specific, just everything and nothing. When I'm in a funk, my creativity takes a dive and my motivation is full of blah. Jameson feeling better has relieved some of the stress, but I will feel more sure and secure once I find that elusive job.

In the meantime, let me share with you some photos I took in February at the Audubon Society's Wildlife Care Center Open House. My first venue in volunteering will be this month as I help maintain their sanctuary and hiking trails.

Clickenzee to biggenzee.

Aristophanes, Common Raven

Finnigan, Peregrine Falcon, Nature's Skydiver

Julio, Great Horned Owl

Hazel, Spotted Owl, sees what you did there

Syd, Red Tailed Hawk

Oh, Raptor!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010 09:00 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::redhawk)
Ten days ago the Audubon Society of Portland sponsored their quite unique and quite fun Raptor Road Trip off of Sauvie Island. This was my second year attending and apparently word traveled fast from the previous year because over 1,600 people showed up for the day.

Originally I was planning on going with my friend Hedwig, but the way things turned out, I ended up going by myself. Honestly, I LOVED going on my own. No schedule to keep and I could stay for as long or as short as I wanted at each designated look-out point.

This year I was prepared as I had a traveler's mug full of coffee, my camera with extra batteries, light layers, hat/gloves/raincoat in the trunk, my Peterson's Hawk Guide, and a thermos of spicy, black bean soup which can coat your ribs and shoo away the chills. I was ready for anything the Oregon weather decided to dish out.

A local joke in the PNW is if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. Well, I waited five, ten, fifteen and the day still opted to be perfect. Clouds hung back along the horizon and gave us Raptor Watchers a lovely, hazy sky. There was no glare which would provide squinting, nor cement gray darkness to make it difficult to spot eagles and the like.

I drove over the Sauvie Island Bridge around 8:50am, ten minutes before the event started. I was excited about what I might see this year as last year was breath-taking with all the bald eagles, hawks, and falcons.

This year did NOT disappoint. )

Rough Night

Monday, 1 February 2010 11:47 am
mutantenemy: (humour:: T.P abyss waves)
The past few weeks I've been getting a spattering of very weird, very odd dreams. A few even borderline disturbing. Nothing I shall publicly dissect on my blog, as I prefer to write about it in my physical journal with a dream interpretation dictionary by my side. But all that traveling made me wake up feeling exhausted, groggy, and like I had gotten ridden hard this morning.

How hard? I just had my first coff of cuppee ten minutes ago and my eyes still have luggage.

Ember is a zombie.

On that note, I've opted to embrace my tired brain waves with some wickedly fun, mildly morbid quizzes.

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaa )