Merry Monday: A Challenging Day

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

It’s one of those Mondays where I’m having trouble being positive.

I took today off after Ad Astra to recover from the last two weekends of heavy socialization, a head cold, and a lot of learning. I was doing OK and might have stayed so had I got out of bed before 10AM. You see, I lounged about and let my schedule get all wonky. Normally I do this on weekends, but I remember to get my medication into me.

Oops.

I didn’t realize I hadn’t taken my morning dose until I was in line at Walmart, which I was only there because I was looking for an Xbox 360 breakaway cable. Mine went missing and I can’t play Rocksmith without it as the guitar cable needs that piece to plug into the USB port. I was hoping to play it today. Instead, I got pain and fatigue.

At least I got pho today since I had just missed out on it last night when I arrived back in town.

I can’t seem to get the mall security to email me back despite sending them a copy of my receipt as proof that I was shopping there and not parking and riding. Where I could’ve gone in an hour on OC Transpo and actually come back, I have no idea. I wonder if there’s any hope in getting it canceled.

As I’m editing my book, I feel like it’s never going to be as awesome as I want it to be. I read the first bit of Ed Greenwood’s Hellmaw: Your World is Doomed and was astounded by the immediate transportation into another place. I want to be able to do that! I know I should definitely not compare myself to such a prolific writer, but damn it’s solid and wonderful. I should find his first novel and see how that one compares to what he is writing now. Everyone starts somewhere after all.

I’m still coughing. Been doing so since around the 22nd. I’m wondering if that will ever end as well.

I had planned to get so much more like laundry and dishes done today also. All I managed was getting a few things from the store and editing a chapter and a half.

So I don’t really know if I have a point here. The week has started off pretty crappily. I suppose that means it should get better from here?

It’s 9PM and I have yet to eat supper. I should probably fix that. Maybe I’ll have something light given the time.

Do I have enough clothes to get me to Wednesday night? I play this game way too often… Maybe someday I’ll be on top of that. I might edit some more while I snack and watch something on Netflix. Or I’ll play some guitar. I was really hoping to play Rocksmith. The cable is going to take a couple of weeks to get here.

Oh, hey I have dairy free chocolate pudding. The day is looking up 🙂

Ciao,
R~

Funky Friday: Progress, Protests, and Politics

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

This week in the news in my life, Ottawa, Canada, and the world.

  1. Accomplished: I figured out some major story revisions for The Page & The Magician and I’m looking forward to writing them into the current version. I’m on chapter 12 of 24 but need to go back and add some words to 11.
  2. Pleased: I finally got to a paint nite and painted a cherry blossom painting for my bedroom.image
  3. Ecstatic: I finally ordered the electric guitar I’ve been wanting for several years. I’m a 3/4 size player and the selection is small. It’s hard to find one that is decent. I read reviews and chose the mini strat based on things like musical style versatility and its dependability as an instrument for serious playing or in my case, Rocksmith. There wasn’t one in stock at Long & McQuade’s, but it should be here by May 1.
  4. Upset: I missed a neighbourhood rally about the violent deaths that have been occurring too close to my home.
  5. Confused: An Ottawa man was put in isolation for 18 months and had a psychotic break as a result. I’m not surprised, but I am confused as to why they isolate people if they know it causes problems like this. They’re supposed to go to prison to be rehabilitated, not to come out worse.
  6. Surprised: Apparently, there was a cock-fighting ring in Cornwall. I hate when cocks fight. It makes such a mess.
  7. Relieved: The city has green-lit Uber. Given how the taxi drivers have behaved in recent months, it’s no surprise to me. Besides, innovation was necessary. There are rules, though. At least we can probably stop talking about it now.
  8. Impressed: They’re actually trying to fix the overcrowding issue at the jail. Grammarly is telling me that should be gaol, which I’m aware is another spelling, but I don’t think that is Canadian English… Unfortunately, this has not helped some of the inmates as one committed suicide rather than moving to a different jail.
  9. Interested: Montfort is getting an advanced heart scanner . Sounds like something Cristina Yang would be excited about.
  10. Unsure: The Supreme Court of Canada has extended rights to Métis and non-status Indians. Is this a good thing? It seems the Métis are happy about it. Will it do anything to solve the major issues like what is happening in Attawapiskat?
  11. Happy: NDP finally voted out Mulcair. Maybe now they will get a candidate that has a chance?
  12. Funny: It appears spring has finally arrived for the raccoons.
  13. Indifferent: Vaping seems to have become a hot-button issue. I can see both sides. The vapour hasn’t been around long enough to know what its health effects are.
  14. Glad: door-to-door energy company is finally getting charged. It’s nice when the scam artists are exposed, though often comes far too late for the victims. I hear energy costs are rising again next month in Ontario. We have so much potential to be a great province, but our premier keeps making it hard to afford to live here. Can we vote her out, please?
  15. Excited: It’s Emma Watson’s birthday! That’s Hermione from Harry Potter, in case you somehow missed that. It’s also Emma Thompson’s birthday! That’s Sybil Trelawney, the Divination teacher, also from Harry Potter.
  16. Unimpressed: Justin Bieber is trying to ride the adult colouring book wave…
  17. Shocked: A fire caused by fireworks killed over 100 people in India. We normally don’t think of them as safe, but this is the first time I’ve heard of deaths that weren’t drunken idiots in their backyards.

Well, I’m off to relax. It’s been a busy week while covering for a co-worker.

Ciao,
R~

Wonder Wednesday: Determination

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

I was upset to find out I had a useless guitar that I was trying to sell and spent much time wondering how to get rid of it. The neck was too twisted to be fixed with just a truss rod adjustment, which meant it couldn’t keep tuned. It was worth $200 new, and repair would’ve cost more than that.

So, I was bummed. I’m the anxious type and I’m also a planner. My nicely laid plan had just exploded. I was freaking out that I was stuck with a piece of junk, which also happened to be a rather large reminder of the past; a past I’d mostly rather forget.

Back to the drawing board, I went.

It was useless for conventional music, but there was that artist I saw a while back that made instruments from junk. I started searching for junk music players. As I was browsing, I thought about Steampunk Ottawa and posted there. There was some vague interest, but it was tepid.

Then I thought what about selling it for parts? I edited the ad, reduced the price, and got a number of responses. The guitar has sold and I’m happy. I feel as if a weight has been lifted. I had no idea it was upsetting me so much.

Soon I’ll buy a Squier Mini Strat in Torino Red. I almost have the cash for it. Then I can play Rocksmith and make progress because I will play the right notes. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is building fingertip calluses.

Anyway, the point is that I could have just given up and donated it. The thought crossed my mind. Instead, I started over and found another path. It ultimately led to success.

It’s an important lesson that can apply to writing. In my case, my novel was so full of spirituality, it was deep and heavy. I’ve taken out 90% of that to make it more relatable and more fun.

Speaking of the novel, I’ll get back to it tomorrow. I finally got into a Paint Nite, so I’ll be painting cherry blossoms tonight. I’ve been trying to get into a cherry blossom one for about a year, but they’re always sold out. I got a deal when I signed up and ironically one of the other Paint Nites has changed their painting to a cherry blossom one that is different than tonight’s. Funny how things work out sometimes.

So despite feeling slightly sniffly, I’m going to paint with wild abandon and hopefully, it will turn out okay. Then I just have to figure out how to get it home without it getting paint on Pixie’s seat.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday: Obstacles and Choices

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Image created using Bit Strips.

I’m not a stranger to people not wanting to take a chance on me. My mother had a heart attack after having boy number two and the doctors recommended she abort me as they felt it too risky to go through with the pregnancy. She told them no because she was sure I was her little girl she’d been wanting.

When I started school no one wanted to play with me. No one wanted to share toys either, so I went to the books and read to myself.

I didn’t have much in the way of friends until high school. I was bullied. I was also petite and not athletic, so I wasn’t wanted in gym class. I couldn’t understand why points mattered. They didn’t translate to marks after all.

I wasn’t quick to make friends in high school. The kids who gave me a chance were the oddballs. I found myself in theatre, choir, and band. I also got involved in various committees and helped plan events. I plan things for a living now.

After college, I had trouble getting a job. Despite doing a good job at a work placement, the Catholic school board didn’t want to take a chance on hiring me, a non-Catholic. It was a while before I landed a job.

But I never let obstacles stop me. I recognized that I was pretty horrible at the interview, if I got that far, and signed up for a government-funded course on resumes and interviews. I then landed a job on the corrections help desk.

The job following that, they only gave me the access I needed once my colleague couldn’t be there and things got into a bad state. They didn’t want to take a chance that I had the skills despite education, certification, and experience.

I chose to go back to school to upgrade because I was tired of terrible managers. That resulted in a job before graduating. A telecom company gave me a chance and I did good work until the government divested them.

I took a chance and decided to leave the stressful environment, despite how much it was like a family, then landed a job in Ottawa. The day job is going well and I enjoy the people there.

This week is starting less than great. Some of the things bugging me are minor. Small things are combining all at once into a ball of frustration.

  1. I’m trying to sell a guitar the ex-husband gave me because it reminds me of the past and because I want a 3/4 size since I’m 3/4 sized, but the neck is twisted and repairing that would cost more than buying a new guitar. It’s more twisted than a truss rod adjustment will fix.
  2. A benefits claim was only partially paid out despite 100% coverage. Their note suggests naturopathic claims are not reasonable, despite 100% coverage and that it was well under my yearly allotment for naturopathic coverage.
  3. Somehow my bank and condo got out of sync and I got an NSF charge. More money spent for no reason.
  4. I might be falling behind on NaNoWriMo and I’m really wanting to finish my editing this month.
  5. I tried to install Magic Duels on the weekend on Steam to improve my skill. The play button is there and it’s free. Problem is, I can’t add it to my library, so I can’t play it. Was just another frustrating thing.
  6. It’s so hard to find that person that gets me. I want someone to share my life with.
  7. My finances are a little tighter than I’d like. My own fault for buying a little more than I should have off Amazon.

So I’m choosing to focus on what is in my realm of control and what I can bring into my realm of control. Everything else is not worth stressing over.

  1. On the guitar, my action plan is first to try and sell it for parts. Next, see if the guitar shop will give me anything at all for it in trade, even $5, it’d be more than I can get anywhere else. Option 3 is to donate it to get it out of my life. My plan for buying the one I want is delayed now, but I have an acoustic and I should be writing anyway 😉
  2. I shouldn’t have to appeal this, but if I want to get the cash, I’ll have to jump through hoops. Really, they’ll probably lose more on my appeals than it would cost to just pay my claim.
  3. This has happened a few times now. The best course of action may be to either change the account it comes out of to the one with overdraft protection, or stop automatic payments.
  4. I guess I need to get my butt in gear. I took some time off this weekend to catch a breather and do some long overdue cleaning. I made my writing nook much easier to get into.
  5. I logged a support request. I should be writing anyway 😉
  6. Well, I bought 3 Paint Nite sessions. Maybe I’ll meet someone there? I’m also on Happn, but nothing has come of it yet. I hated OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish. Otherwise, I’m not great at opening up and getting to know others, but I’m trying to get better at it. Maybe I should hang out in the fantasy section at chapters or in the library (where books are free).
  7. Instead of buying my guitar, I’m paying off my debt. The family will be giving me money in a couple of months for my birthday anyway.

Perhaps not the merriest of Merry Mondays, but I’m trying. And one of my afternoon meetings got moved later in the week, so that’s a happy thing 🙂

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday: Time Change

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

This is a hard week for me to think positively. This “spring ahead” time change has been linked to heart attacks, car accidents, etc. Moreover, there is no reason to continue doing it in today’s world.

And it often screws me up for months. I’m not hungry at proper times. I can’t sleep at proper times. Lack of sleep makes me cranky. By cranky, I mean I’m likely to snap at people

But it does usher in the spring. Or the rainy weather that will melt the remaining snow and water the growing plants. Speaking of growing plants, my tomatoes have all sprouted and the peppers should by tomorrow or Wednesday. It’s time to plant scallions next. The rest I can direct sow a little later. I better add planters and soil to my todo list for later this month.

tomatoes

My tomatoes are sprouting!

Spring ultimately ushers in a time of new growth. I’m looking forward to this year’s bounty.

Oh it also inspires many to clean. I’m slowly plodding away at the papers and things strewn about my home. After I finish my taxes, that should get easier. I don’t really have a timeline for it to all be clean. I figure as long as I’m working on it steadily, it will happen. The world won’t end because I’m behind on my dishes.

Weekend Recap:

On Friday I arrived home with a new-to-me PC procured from work after they upgraded our machines. It’s up and running Kodi. I had to use the adapter for my monitor, which I rarely use anyway. I haven’t decided what to do with it. I have been doing more writing on the couch than in my writing nook, but I expect to get back there once I clean the place up a bit. I’m aiming to clean the living room first as that’s where I might want people to be someday. I’m enjoying such free channels as TV Ontario.

On Saturday my plans for karate and anything physical were shot. I awoke barely able to move my shoulder from a rotational perspective, which is used in many more functions than I knew until I felt pain moving. I still did what I could with one hand. I practiced footwork at home. Sometimes it’s good to separate the two anyway. I bet my karate club thinks they’ll never see me again as it’s been awhile (B12 deficiency followed by flu and now this shoulder pain). I also washed as much as I could reach of my balcony door and window. At least I could write without pain. I made progress on my short story Solarium that I’m writing for an upcoming anthology. The only trouble is that I was originally intending it to be a more optimistic piece, but it’s becoming darker. I guess I don’t believe utopia is humanly possible.

On Sunday I was too sore to be swinging a sword around, but mostly functional otherwise. I did a little more cleaning then acquired the snacks for B-Movie night. I was hosting at a friend’s place. The theme this month was super heroes. I chose Kung Fury and Scott Pilgrim vs The World as I hadn’t seen either. My friends were sad that I had never seen Scott Pilgrim, but happy to be helping me right that wrong. I’m sure the tasty “super food” snacks helped. I briefly debated bringing a superfood salad, but friend’s are not made with salad. Besides, chocolate brownies are a superfood, right?

Goals Check-in:

Solarium – I’m aiming to finish this short story this week.
Miyazaki – Watch at least one more of his films this week.
French – Continue working my way through duolingo. Try to finish reading a kid’s story.
Crafting – Finish and mount at least one of the “shelves” for my growing POP! dolls collection.
Ad Astra – Book my hotel room.
Karate – Write out the steps to Heian Nidan. Make it to class this week.
Iaido – Continue improving leg/butt/core strength.
Posture – Do the exercises from physio.
Guitar – Play a couple of times this week to work on building calluses more.

Seems like a busy week, but it’s really quite average for me.

Better get started though.

Ciao,
R~

 

Updates Galore

Writing

I submitted a horror story on Saturday. It’s a wonderful tale *possibly* involving cannibalism. After looking at the critiques from my writing group on another story, I’m slightly worried it’s riddled with grammar issues though.

I’m unsure why I’m having trouble with grammar lately. Passive voice is likely creeping into my work because I’ve been listening to classic novels. I’m a little worried about this grammar issue. I used to tutor others in English. Hopefully I’m just going through a growth period. In any case, Purple Ribbons will need more fixes before it goes out the door.

Writer’s group was tonight. We have several new members who gave great feedback. It’s really nice having some new perspectives and varied experience.

I haven’t heard about my novel yet, but they’re a small team and I know it takes me a long time to read one book let alone several. Of course I’m eager to hear from them, but I’m keeping the project manager within me at bay.

Health

I’m starting to feel more energetic, but usually by Thursday I feel utterly exhausted. Hopefully I stop feeling exhausted simply from going to work soon.

I am producing a little more saliva, which is a great thing for my teeth. This is weird for me though. I feel somewhat like a newborn experiencing things for the first time. I also keep wondering if I’m drooling, but keep telling myself it just feels like that because I’ve been dry for so long.

Small movements make my muscles hurt, like just lifting my arm. Doesn’t seem to matter how much water I’ve drank. Hopefully that lessens as it’s really not encouraging activity.

Reading

I’ve got several books on the go. I’m listening to the Libravox recording of Dracula by Bram Stoker as part of research for my own tale. Also as research, and really sheer enjoyment, I’m reading Human by S. M. Carrière.

Also on the go are Isaac Bonewits’ “Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Druidism” and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The guide is for my own spiritual growth, but will likely help me with any edits to The Page & The Magician as a bonus. I read an article that said writers often write specific stories depending on what point of life they are at. I guess I’m at the spiritual discovery point, which is on target for my age.

TV

I caved and for Netflix. I’m working my way through the old seasons of The X-Files. I was 12 when they first aired and there’s a lot I don’t remember. I also never finished the whole thing.

When I’m needing a break from that I check out movies I missed like The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo or Django Unchained.

Martial Arts

Didn’t do much last week. Hoping to get back to it tomorrow evening. I was too tired to go to karate on Saturday, but tried to practice a bit of the second kata. I did something wrong with the reverse punch on my left side and hurt my bicep muscle. I read this happens commonly with shadow boxing on the off hand. Unfortunately that made me unable to use my arm much on Sunday and meant no iaido. Driving didn’t hurt today though, so hopefully I’m good to go tomorrow.

Recently my grand sensei (my sensei’s sensei) posted about how he still struggles with sword grip. It’s very timely for me. I’ve been wondering if I’ll ever fix my grip hahaha. Now I know I’ll be working on it forever. Hopefully I improve to the point where my sword is definitely cutting most of the time. I’m only shodan, so I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m not sure if it’s reassuring to know I’ll still be struggling with it should I ever make it to 7th Dan or not. That’s iaido though. It’s an art focused on continuous self improvement.

Music

I haven’t been doing much in the past couple of months, but I’ve been getting back into my guitar this week.

Lots on the go. Getting back to normal is a wonderful thing, but I want to fit some reading in before bed.

Ciao,
R~

Music Ear

Lately music sounds different to me. At least the songs with guitar in them.

It’s hard to explain it. I can’t tune the songs out. They aren’t just background noise anymore. Not simply filler for the dead moments in between conversations. They distract me and entice me. I find myself straining to hear whether it was a downstroke or an upstroke. Was it a hammer on? I can’t yet tell if a pull off has happened, or reliably know strum patterns, but I believe that skill is forming.

I’ve begun the level 2 book by Hal Leonard and I’m really enjoying myself. I played for about an hour last night. It started with strum patterns, which is great because I need more practice with those if I’m ever to play Lego House by Ed Sheeran.

At some point I’m going to get a new guitar. I’m currently playing on a vintage cheap guitar. A Brentwood K-100. It’s amazing it works at all. It was my mom’s guitar and I think she probably got it in her 20s or 30s. My mom is in her 70s. Here’s a video of someone more skilled than I playing it: Flamenco on K-100.

I really want a 3/4 acoustic electric, so I think it’ll be a Martin LX1 for me. One thing about being tiny is that 3/4 size guitars are the best size for me and they’re often less expensive. The LXK2 is cheaper, but I read reviews and everyone said the Ed Sheeran model has a better sound quality. Plus I don’t think the LXK2 comes in an acoustic electric model, but I may just not be in the know about that.

I’m also thinking about getting a backpacker, probably the Washburn Rover. It’d be nice for traveling as they fit easily in suitcases and are lightweight for whatever I may get into. It’s rated better than the Martin backpacker and costs less.

I may want a new electric sometime too. Ibanez makes some sweet 3/4 electric guitars.

I’m off to look at guitar straps tonight as part of a first date. It’s what’s in my price range currently. I don’t know what I want though. I could go with something sophisticated like a high quality leather. I could pick one from a band I like. I could go with one that has a fun design. Who knows what I’ll come home with? It’s possible I won’t see anything I like too.

And I have other things to spend on before guitars. I’m getting more colour added to my half sleeve next week. I also want to renew my passport and attempt to save for a trip to Japan with the Iaido folks. Maybe I could get the Washburn though and bring it along… I also likely need physio on my neck from my days in roller derby. I can do about 6 visits under coverage. After that it’s out of my pocket. Maybe I’ll get lucky and won’t need too many rounds of ultrasound before the pain goes away forever. Oh and I’ll need money at some point for editing my novel and getting an awesome cover done for it. At least I don’t have to buy a sharp katana for about 10 years. When one has as many things on the go as I do, one is always needing to save money for something.

But work comes before fun and it’s needed to pay for things.

Ciao,
R~

Writing Update – June 3rd

I think I’m having an unusual experience with editing as most of the time it seems I haven’t written enough. I come across sentences like this:

“She tried pushing things away from her for weeks after and nothing happened.”

Then I realize I should be showing her doing that.

“Josy’s face scrunched up in constipation as she tried to replicate what happened two nights before.”

There will be more, but I think that’s a better start. Yes, constipation. She’s trying VERY hard to make magic happen.

Many of my chapters are expanding because they didn’t have enough words in the first place. It’s a wonder I made it to 50,000 words…

I’m currently at 62, 566 words and only on chapter 8. I realized a few moments ago that I never needed to join chapter 7 with 8, just refine a character. That probably makes no sense to you, but makes total sense to me. I decided it should be one character in both chapters rather than two. It’s much easier to connect one to the plot than two, I think.

For chapter 8 I need to write the debate scene and I need to finish editing the rest of it as above. I decided tonight to finish fixing the rest and work on the debate scene tomorrow, perhaps. I have reading to do for that piece, whereas I can do the other pieces right now.

I’m going to take a short break from editing, so I can get some guitar playing in as I don’t like being noisy late at night. I’m working on the last few pages of my Level 1 book to try and improve my fingering. Also to improve my sight reading for lower notes. I’m not going to spend tons of time on this, but I feel like I should get to a point where I’m not stumbling over the notes constantly. It’s taking me into more flats and sharps, but I’m still on the first 1 to 5 frets.

Ciao,
R~

ROW80 Check-in

Editing

I finished editing chapter 7, and I originally thought it may need to be combined with chapter 8. After working through a large chunk of chapter 8, I think they can stand alone. Maybe that’s something to leave for beta readers. I haven’t done much in the way of editing yet today.

Guitar

I had my last guitar class for a while. It was a double length for me because I’m at Prose in the Park next Saturday. I learned Lego House by Ed Sheeran (I’m awful at it though), Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams, Let it Be by The Beatles, The Way by Fastball, Leaving Las Vegas by Sheryl Crow, and Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. I have a book of 1300 scales. It was overwhelming to figure out which to play, so I asked my teacher. She told me that C Blues Pattern 4 is what I should focus on. She said it’s very useful in all kinds of songs and it can be moved around the fretboard. The picture below shows the pattern. You play both the squares and the circles. The squares are root notes, so they should be Cs in this case.

CBluesPattern4

Prose in the Park

On Saturday June 6th, 150 Canadian authors will be at Parkdale Park in Hintonburg, Ottawa, Ontario. I’m a volunteer, but outside of setup and takedown, I’ll be listening to authors read from their works and panelists discuss various topics. I don’t know what the panel topics are, but I’m excited to find out! If you want to come to Prose in the Park, it runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Life

I didn’t make it to martial arts on Sunday. I’ve done something to my back. I woke up on Friday morning, hardly able to move. It hurt to breathe deeply. Swallowing food also hurt the muscles. The gravity engaged while bending over hurt too. It’s my upper right, near where the shoulder blade meets the shoulder, I think. I’m not sure if it’s related to the year I did roller derby or if I’m just getting old. It wasn’t terrible today, but not up to lifting and swinging swords. I’ve had a rather relaxing day. I went out earlier because I realized I was nearly out of toilet paper. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t last until tomorrow. It was too dangerous to leave. While out I saw the theater and I had been wanting to see Mad Max: Fury Road for a while now. Many friends have had good things to say. It was one of the most action-packed films I’ve seen. I went to the 3-D showing and my heart was beating rather quickly and I felt a little strange after seeing it. I bought dairy free chocolate ice cream to calm my nerves.

To-Do

As usual I’ve got plenty on the go. In no particular order:

– I’m working through cleaning my house. (I actually washed my floors the other day…)
– I’ve started a research project (see below)
– Continuing to edit The Page & The Magician (On Chapter 8 of 26)
– Get Blood Waitress Club to market (It’s close…)
– Transfer my martial arts blog content to this blog and decommission it (I don’t know when I’ll do this)
– Clean up my tags and categories on this blog
– Make supper (Didn’t I just do that yesterday?)
– Do laundry (Why hasn’t someone invented clothes that clean themselves yet? We wouldn’t need as many then…)
– Finish reviewing a friend’s YA story
– Schedule a first date

Research Project

I have something coming up in the fall that I’m preparing for. It involves watching and reading things that have Japanese swords. I’m currently watching Shogun. It’s a good thing Japanese customs have changed since the times of allowing husbands to kill their wives. Yikes!

Ciao,
R~

The Cursor

The cursor mocks me with its intermittent blinks. “I await your input,” it says.
“But I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what this chapter is about. Somewhere I lost my way,” I say. The cursor is unyielding.
“I await your input. I await your input. I await..”
“Enough!” I say as the blinking inspires the dormant madness within me to bubble to the surface. I continually reread the words I’ve already written, hoping something will jump out at me and tell me the next part of the story.

Editing

You might have guessed that I haven’t finished the edits on chapter 7 yet. Do you ever feel like you know it will need more editing when you’re not done editing it yet you know you need to get through this revision and leave more for later? I think editing’s purpose is partially to ensure that no writer is completely sane. And obviously also to create a product worth reading.

I can’t tell if I’m improving at editing or not. It probably takes a few years to get comfortable with it like anything else though.

Training

I was on training earlier this week for project scheduling. The first day was rather dull for me as I’ve been managing projects since 2009 and the content was on basic project management stuff (triple constraints, relationship types, etc). The second day was better.

The Bus

I took the bus to training because it was in the downtown core. I often have difficulty with the bus system. I’m from a small city with about 10 bus routes and maybe 20 buses total. There’s upwards of around 200 bus routes in Ottawa. I try to ask the bus drivers questions, but it seems difficult for me to get answers even when I’m specific. The first day of training was relatively easy to go from my home to the school except I could have gotten off before Rideau Centre to have a shorter walk. That was remedied on Day Two. Going home on Day One, I asked the driver if he stopped in my area. He said yes. There was only one stop in my area he went to, and not realizing this, I missed that stop and had to walk nearly an hour in the rain. At least I had my umbrella with me. On the second day I ended up on the wrong #7, so took a trip to the bowels of the St. Laurent Centre. It was the first time I saw something that seemed like a big city since moving to Ottawa. The downstairs reminds me of a subway station because of the grunge and sketchiness. I’m sure I’ll take a visit on purpose for writing inspiration in the future. I then ended up taking the 101 to get where I wanted. The driver only made one stop on Bank Street. Thankfully it was close enough to the spot I needed. After grabbing food, I lugged all of my martial arts gear (oh yeah I was lugging that around the whole time) and my purchases from Steve’s music, to my dojo in the hot sun.

Iaido

We reviewed what we learned at the seminar in Guelph. The focuses were on wearing our pants properly; proper sword grip; tweaks to mae, ukenagashi, tsuka ate, kesa giri, morote tsuki, sanpo giri; and saya biki. There’s never enough saya biki, so that’s not a surprise. For those not in the know, the saya is the sword’s sheath and saya biki is how one goes about getting the sword out of the sheath. It’s also about using it to create power. Like how pulling one fist back makes the punch on the other first more powerful, we do this with our saya on one hand cuts.

I’ve registered and booked my vacation for the Bill Mears memorial seminar in July. Next to figure out is where I’m staying.

Guitar

I was really frustrated with guitar the other day. I felt like quitting. I was trying to learn more scales beyond Major C and I couldn’t reach most of the notes with my fingers. I thought it was because I have tiny hands and that maybe I need a guitar with a tinier neck than my 3/4 size. It’s good I went to Steve’s Music. I asked the guitar guy for tips. He had me hold a guitar and the neck was thinner, but we determined I’ve been putting my thumb in the wrong place. Basically the thumb should almost never be near the fret board unless you need to mute a string with it, but then it doesn’t live near there. It should be anchored on the back of the neck to let the fingers reach the strings. It feels weird and uncomfortable, but I have so much reach now. I went from feeling like there was no possibility I could get good to being excited to play again. I knew there had to be a trick as I’m not the first person to learn guitar with tiny hands, though I don’t know of a famous guitar player with tiny hands.

To-Do

– Continue plugging away at the edits on chapter 7 and play some guitar.
– Squeeze some housework in too. I’m trying to always have the dishwasher ready to run when I get home. Dishes are that thing that gets quickly out of control for me. I don’t know why I hate them so much. Maybe it’s the grossness factor. I don’t enjoy taking recycling trips to the garbage room either… It smells awful.
– Food: I’m going to make something. Maybe pizza with a spelt, yeast-free crust and no cheese.
– I got a wall mount guitar stand to hang my electric from. I should figure out where to put that.
– Can the cursor blink be turned off? Research this.

Ciao,
R~