Sunday, August 26, 2012

Botany Research

It has been a rough week so I'm throwing myself into research with the hopes that I can get lost for a while. For the record, there is not enough coffee or alcohol in this county to make this week any better. *grumble*

Anyways, so I have seen some beautiful pictures of rural roads with flora and fauna tunnels. I have seen such locally way out in the boonies, as well as in some suburbs. The rural ones are natural formations following the creation of a road. The suburban ones are a result of meticulous landscaping and planning usually covering a driveway. Either way, they are very beautiful. Check out a Google search of "tree tunnel" for some amazing photos. I wish I could post them here, but I really don't want to be sued.

Think of the literary possibilities for such a driveway or road. Different times of day. Different weather. The scenes are literally running rampant through my mind right now. Off I go to do some research on local flora and fauna involved in natural tree tunnels and in landscape based tree tunnels.

Someone drink a few shots for me today. Espresso or vodka, I'm not picky.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back To School

It is 8:24 pm and the girls are in bed. *breathes sigh of relief* School break is over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

E&L got their showers and school clothes are set out. Their backpacks have been filled in true minimalist style (1 folder, 1 notebook, 1 pencil case with 1 pencil each of 5 different colors, and 1 little pencil sharpener). The rest of the school supplies are inventoried and put away.

  • 3 packs of loose leaf paper? Check.
  • 5 spiral bound notebooks of varying colors? Check.
  • 1 pack of highlighters? Check.
  • 5 folders of various adorable animals? Check.
  • 1 pack of pencil top erasers? Check.
  • 2 packs of crayons? Check.
  • 2 packs of colored pencils? Check.
  • 2 packs of markers? Check.
  • 4 glue sticks? Check.
  • 1 extra pencil box? Check.
  • 1 extra pencil sharpener? Check.
  • 1 pair of children's safety scissors? Check.
  • 2 20-packs of pencils? Check.
  • 1 pack of pens? Check.

We should be good for the first week of school. And by that, I mean Thursday and Friday. I am betting that come Monday, they will be "out" of paper or pencils. They are so not liking the fact that when they went to bed, it was still light enough out to read outside. *snicker* I know, I'm mean. But damn, I've been looking forward to tomorrow since the end of May!

We are eagerly awaiting the list of required school supplies. I'm sure we will end up having the wrong color/type of notebooks, the wrong brand of crayons/markers, the wrong kind of glue, etc. Also, I'm sure they need 100 boxes of Kleenex and 50 bottles of hand sanitizer from each child. At least, to hear my mom talk about what they had to send last year, that sounds about right. I recall asking students to bring in 2 boxes of tissue, 1 container of clorox wipes, and 1 bottle of hand sanitizer when I taught. But that was 1 item per quarter. I had about 150 students and no classroom so storing 300 boxes of tissues at the beginning of the school year would have been an interesting feat.

Have your children/siblings/grandkids/neighbors/students started back yet? Did I leave anything off the list of needed school supplies? Have ideas for useful things for others to send into the classroom?

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Essentials for Writers

Writer's Digest posted Erik Larson's top 10 Essentials for a writer. Find it here. The article is a list of things that Erik, author of In the Garden of Beasts, see as must have items for successful writing. This is just his opinion, but I think its pretty good essentials. Read the article then come back here for my own list of writer essentials.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What I'm Reading

Over the weekend, I found myself swallowed up in the architectural history of Cincinnati and neighboring Covington. I took a walk in historic Covington a little while after the last Red's game and got an amazing tour of some of the older buildings along the river while Mercy Me played in the stadium across the bridge. When I got home, I continued the research. I thought I would share some of the articles I have been reading.

Architecture of Cincinnati
Gothic Revival Architecture
Gothic Architecture

I have found so much good information just between the 2 Wikipedia links and the Cincinnati page. Very interesting reads if you are of that kind of mind-set. I find the information fascinating now, though 8 years ago when I took art history in college it was so very boring. At least I have found myself nodding in understanding or at least recognition of different terms and bits of information!

Here are a few more pages to browse!
Architecture diagrams
Gothic Revival diagram

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Images Removed

If you glance through previous posts, you will find

Edit: 8/15/2012 Image(s) removed. I don't want to be sued.

in place of pictures I have posted. The reason is here. In short, while nearly every image I have posted has been posted along with credit toward the originator and/or a link to where I got it from when possible, it still would not cover me if the owner of a photo decided to sue for copyright infringement. As I have already ran into the issue of copyright and fair use once with a clipart image I used when I first started this blog, I figured I should cover all my bases. I spent several hours pouring through almost 400 posts to delete all photos that are not mine or that I do not have permission to use and replacing them with the above statement. My own photos, those that my editor Steven has taken, and the cover for Journey of Shadows are still around. Some images removed included a link to find the image elsewhere online, but others were stricken completely as I have no earthly idea where they came from now. This purge included pictures that became viral, a Google Doodle, and several comic strips.

What I didn't remove were video trailers and clips from YouTube. I am still a little confused about those. Most movie trailers are from "official" YouTube accounts that suggest sharing it with your friends. So I'm thinking this is a gray area. If anyone has clarification on this, let me know.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekly Writing Goals

Since I am in "downtime" between waiting for Immo2 to get through editing and waiting for NaNo2012 to get here to start Immo3, I have a list of items that I am working on.

For Immo3, I have some research on writing battle scenes as that is something I am feeling iffy about writing. Although, I have never written about sailing before (and honestly can count the number of times on a boat on one hand) yet managed to do so fairly well in Journey of Shadows. So winging it isn't out of the question. 11.5 weeks until NaNo starts so I have a decent amount of time.

My writing goals are:

  1. Research specific topics
    1. realistic and descriptive battle scenes
    2. 15th century Moldova
    3. colonial America
    4. Cincinnati in the 1800's
    5. antiques from 1300's and up
  2. Write something daily
    1. back story for a few other stories in the works to pick up on next year
    2. journaling through NaNo prep
Do you have writing or goals related to your profession that you are working through?

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Writing Posts

Below is a list of the blog posts I wrote since June 2011 related specifically to writing:

The Writing Process Part One and Part Two
Writer's Block
Writing Tech
Writing Your Bio
Giving Feedback
Applying Feedback
Short Story vs Novel
Writing for Prestige
Twitter Hashtags for Writers

So out of 375 posts to date, 11 have really been about writing if you don't count the NaNo prep through October. If you do, add another 31 days of writing talk that doesn't always include stuff about actual writing. Let's see if I can fix that.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Clearing up the Clutter

I spent a lot of time writing daily posts about random things when this blog started. I have posted some neat art, funny comics, political commentary, NaNoWriMo information, and the occasional writing post related to writing/my projects. I ran full tilt for a while last year, blogging an average of something like 1.3 posts a day between June and December.  Daily posts, NaNo info, and my NaNo journal make up the bulk of my posts. 

When my computer decided to crash back in January, it came about just as I started a new job. Prior to that, I was unemployed so I had all the time in the world to blog, research, write, and generally waste time on the internet. Since then, I have posted a little over 60 posts as a result. Not great. I’m averaging less than 1 per day, and that is only because I have random spurts of 2-3 posts in a day. I decided to dig deep and find out the real reason why I am not posting as much now compared to last year. The reason is this: I would rather be writing. Yes, blogging is writing, but it isn’t the kind of writing I would like to do, so I haven't been as good about it lately. My entire blog is a mashup of various ideas with no cohesiveness or clarity of thought. If you came to this page today and browsed the blog posts on the left, I highly doubt you would know that this is a blog for a writer trying to build a platform. It is exactly as the sub-title describes: random.

I am going to try to make an effort to clean that up a little bit by focusing on more writing and less random. This is just a trial like everything else so we’ll see how it goes. So what am I going to blog about? No, I’m not going to blather on about “buy my book” over and over again. I am still abjectly against that. But I am going to blog about my life as a writer. I just posted a blog about Twitter hashtags and have decided to streamline my posts into similar categories. Check it out:

Twitter Hashtags for Writers

I have been doing a lot of research on platforming for writers as I am struggling in this realm of the self publishing universe. I will be instituting my own version of platforming over the next week but I thought I would share some interesting Twitter information.

If you use Twitter then you should be familiar with # or the hashtag. Its purpose is to collect tweets into categories by linking the hashtags. The most heavily used hashtags become the "trending" or top categories listed on the main page, which can be viewed by region or worldwide settings and is updated as a new trending topic emerges on top. Pretty neat to watch, in my opinion.

The writing community uses a lot of various tweet hashtags. Listed below are some of the ones I find more useful and/or interesting as far as the content:

For writing:

For editing:

For publishing:

For friendly promotions (not sales):
#WriterWednesday or #ww
#followfriday or #ff

Basically, if it is something that interests you, search Twitter and you'll probably find a category of tweets of use to you.

Do you have a specific tweet hashtag that you follow?

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Five: My Tattoos!

I am no stranger to the tattoos. I have been a fan for over 10 years. However, I have not been inclined (most of the time) to just get a tattoo for the hell of it. Below is the story behind my tattoos and some really crappy pictures of some beautiful art. I have 6, but the last two are combined. Read on to find out why!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Friday Five: Most Annoying Habits of Those Around Me

Call me a snob or worse, but I easily annoyed. I rarely show that annoyance because I was blessed with a lot of patience, but the annoyance is still the same. Here are some things that happen on an almost daily basis that makes my eyes twitch.

It is annoying when people:

  1. Act like I must be 12 years old because I look a lot younger than I am.
  2. Speak over me because I am literally shorter than them.
  3. Call me weird because I don’t get blitzed every night, don’t slack while working, and tend to follow the rules however stupid they may seem.
  4. Assume that I have no life experiences and/or must be very immature because I am not married and do not have children.
  5. Say “One day I’d love to be a writer.” You either are a writer or you are not.

Just so its clear, I know I do annoying things too. Sometimes I'm not actively aware that I am doing them though. You would not insult me if you called me on the following:

  1. Running a conversation and/or just not getting the hint that its time to stop talking.
  2. Ignoring a speaker because I either don't hear them or don't realize they are talking specifically to me.
  3. Getting lost in my own mind and shutting out everyone else as I work in a mindless haze.
  4. Singing and dancing as I go about my business when I have no talent in either.
  5. Refusing a social invite because I actually enjoy being a shut-in most of the time even though I complain about not having anything to do.
Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS