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Showing posts from May, 2013

When teenaged attitude gets all academic like



While rolling around the internet today, I found this video. As the mother of an almost 12 year old, these sounds have become more and more familiar. It could also be because I use some of these noises myself on a daily basis.

I guess there's a whole thing on this here, if you're into linguistics and understand what a "glottal fricative" is.

In which I mildly complain about my job.


Currently I work as an Admin in a call center. I basically do things the managers don’t have time to do. Scheduling, assigning workloads, escalations, lots of reporting. And it seems like every week they find something else for me to do. Every week I grumble about the extra work, but I manage to squeeze it in.

Last week at we had a visit from the boss’ boss. She has a title, I just never bother to know what it is.

Anyway, she’s big on ‘team building’, and she had the management team do an exercise involving tin foil sculpture. We could choose to make something that represented our role in the department, the department as a whole, or an improvement to our processes.

I often say I’m book smart, but I can’t think my way out of a paper bag, so process improvement was out of the picture. And I don’t think the boss’ boss really wants to hear what I think about our department. So, I sculpted a work horse. It looked more like Marmaduke, but hey, I’m a writer not a foil-baller-upper-to-make-pretty-things-er.

Anyway, after presenting my workhorse, one of my coworkers made a joke comparing me to Boxer the horse from Animal Farm. Sadly, I don’t think most of my coworkers got the reference, and even I (having last read Animal Farm sometime in high school, forgotten everything except that it involves Animals on a Farm and Communism) had to go home and Wikipedia it (that’s right, I used Wikipedia as a verb. That is now a thing).

He was right. So right. Spoilers: Boxer the horse works until he can’t work anymore, and then the commie pigs sell him for dog food. The end.

That’s kind of my life at work. I have no official title. I just do whatever the managers tell me to do. I don’t even bother asking why anymore. I don’t even think the managers bother asking why anymore. It’s that kind of place.

The one thing I hate about the Kindle

I don't exclusively read from my Kindle. I, like everyone else, still read analog books. For instance, I just finished reading Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman. It was my "work book", the book I keep at my desk to read during my lunch at work, and I was reading it in 15-20 minute spurts over a couple of weeks. The thing is, whenever anyone asked me what I was reading, all I had to do was turn the book over and show them the cover.

I realized this action just a few days ago. Everyone does it. You see someone reading, you say "Hey, whatcha got there?", and the reader turns the book to show you the cover. Sometimes they tell you the title and author when they do it. Sometimes you have to make the effort to read the information yourself. Either way, it's a universal thing, that showing of the cover.

A lot of attention is paid to book covers, whether the book is in print, or electronic. We judge books by their covers, that's just how we as humans work. But, if what someone comes up to me while I'm reading my Kindle, and they ask what I'm reading? I can't just show them the cover. I have to tell them, "Perdido Street Station."

"What's that?"

"It's by China Mieville."

"What's it about?"

"It's about this city, and the people living in it. There are humans, and bug people, and bird people, and people who are a combination of man and machine. There's a scientist..." (Actually, I've just started reading this, so I really don't know the whole plot so I'm not going to get into it.) The point is, if I had the book in print, I could just show them the cover, and the inquisitor could get the title, author (and I wouldn't have to mumble my way through his name because I have no idea how to pronounce it), and possibly the genre of the book, and I wouldn't have to be bothered to speak to them.

Inspiration Monday: Plans


Hey Look! It's another first Monday of the month. Time for Inspiration Monday.

I skipped last month because of the A to Z Challenge. As with the IWSG, I can only focus on one thing at a time.

Which brings me to the plans thing mentioned in the title of this post. I had planned to complete another round of edits on Weaver, but never got around to it. So that is what the month of May is for. I've already started, and I'm hoping after this, I'll be done with the big picture stuff and I can focus exclusively on the smaller plot inconsistencies, spelling errors and grammar stuff.

Next on my list of plans: I'm thinking of taking  a few of my short stories from the A to Z Challenge, expanding on them, and putting together a collection that I hope to self publish. But that's a little bit down the road.

The next BIG PLAN is Camp NaNoWriMo in July. Yes, I have finally succumbed to the insanity. I have no idea of what I'm going to write about, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

So do you have any plans for the coming month? How about Camp NaNo? Anyone else doing that?

Redecorating

As you can see I redecorated again. I wanted something a little lighter this time.

For anyone who might be thinking of redecorating I found a site called Colourlovers that has thousands of backgrounds, most of which as far as I could see, free to use with attribution to the creators. The background I used is called Snow-frozen, created by manasijoshi and sunmeadow.

Snow-frozen is a variation on a pattern. At Colourlovers you can make your own background using pattern templates that you can color in yourself.  Another great thing is that if you choose a pre-made pattern the colors used are listed in the pattern, making it easy to match the colors in the Blogger template. Without this feature, this whole thing would be a hot mess. I'm not exactly color blind, but if left to my own devices I would come up with a scheme that would make your eyes bleed.

There are still a few tweaks to be made, I'm kind of iffy on the fonts I chose, but otherwise I'm happy with it.

A to Z Reflections Post

 
This year's A to Z was very intense for me. I had resolved to write a new story for every day of the challenge. As always with my writing, I ended up with about 18-19 flashes of inspiration, a few pieces that were actually self contained flash fictions, two reprints and a poem.  The fact that I made it through the month was a feat in itself. I was really struggling near the end there.
 
I had planned to pre-write all of my stories beforehand so that I would have more time to visit other blogs, comment, overall be a good blogger buddy. None of that really worked out. I got six stories pre-written, pulled the rest out of my butt as I went along, and really struggled with the visiting part.
 
I'm an introvert in real life, and that bleeds over into my blogging life. According to some definitions, introverts expend energy when interacting with other people, and need time to "recharge" afterwards. That's how I feel much of the time in real life, and that's how I was feeling during the challenge. I really wanted to interact with everyone more, but there were so many participants this year, and the task just seemed too daunting. I really did stop by and read many wonderful posts, but I always have a mental freak out when it's time to leave a comment. In addition to being an introvert, I have a fear of saying the wrong things to people, so I skip the commenting part, and then feel bad when I don't leave a comment.
 
Anyway, that got a little off topic, but it's just an insight into the mind of Jennifer, and why you never see her leaving comments.
 
I don't really have any suggestions to the madmen who organize and run the challenge every year. Really the whole thing is what you make of it.
 
I'd like to give a shout out to a few of the blogs that I enjoyed in particular during the A to Z.
 
Melanie Shultz wrote super short fictions of 150 words each (give or take a few) every day of the month. She was really inspiring, and caused a little jealousy on my part, in the way she got so much out of so little. She also just released her first novel on May 1st.
 
Colleen of Colleen's Write Brain had a really interesting theme this year. Each night she would go to sleep thinking of a word that began with the next days letter, and then she would write about her dreams. I don't think any of her dreams had anything to do with the words she was thinking of, but the descriptions of her dreams are funny, creepy, sad, cringe-inducing and sometimes just plain weird.
 
J A Bennett had  a lot of great tips on becoming a better blogger.

IWSG: May


Hey people. Another month another yada yada yada.

Anyway, I skipped last month's IWSG post because of the A to Z Challenge. I can only do one thing at a time. It was an experience filled with highs and lows, and I'll talk about that on Friday for the Reflections post.

Today marks the one year aniversary of A Creative Exercise. I started this blog because after last year's A to Z Challenge I decided I would give this writing thing a real try.

One year ago today, I started writing my first novel. I'm still writing that novel, because when I started, I had no clue what the hell I was doing. Somehow I thought that novel writing just involved writing about people doing stuff. What stuff and why didn't really matter. (Yes, I have actually read a book or two in my lifetime, but when you're doing it yourself, you find out it's a lot harder than it looks). Well, this last year has learned me good. So, I'm still writing, adding depth to my plot and characters. Maybe by May 1st, 2014 I will be done.

The people I've met through the Insecure Writers Support Group have been a great source of support. Just reading about what other people are insecure about makes me feel like less of a weirdo. So thanks Alex J. Cavanaugh and the whole Insecure Writers Support Group for all that you do.