Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blip and a Happy New Year!

We're still alive, don't worry. :)

We want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year, and thank you for sticking with us through some pretty crazy times.

And here's to 2012. It's going to be amazing.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Epic Journey XXV: The conclusion, and the letter

This is it. The last part of this epic journey of 10,000 words of nonfiction. I survived.

Thank you for all standing by me as I gave my radio blips from the middle of the wilderness, letting you know I was still there, still alive.

As to my art tag references, the first was to Monte Python and the Holy Grail, the second to Douglass Adams.

And now, on to The Letter from two Fridays ago.

It's simple.

I got into med school. :D

Thursday, December 22, 2011



Yeah, I did it.

I sent the email that had the attachment that means I'M DONE!

The EPIC JOURNEY is complete.

Or nearly so, but whatever.

I'll post a wrapup tomorrow, of course, and I'll tell you about The Letter.

Clue 2: It was the best early Christmas present EVAR!

Epic Journey XXIII.5: Happy

It's a really good feeling when you start realizing that things are actually coming together and this whole project might work.

Epic Journey XXIII: Denial

M said it. The reason we seek distraction in the crunch time is denial. Trying to deny that we really need to do this.

Oh procrastination. How I love thee.

Just get me through the next four hours, mind, and we can spend the next week writing gibberish and frivolous stuff like stories about hipster aliens who are trying to take over the world.

And tomorrow marks 2 weeks after The Letter. I'll be telling more about it then...

But the first hint? I've mentioned the process before on AdC...

Epic Journey XXII: Seeevvveeeeennn Hooooouuuurrrrssss


Midnight is the deadline.

It's one deadline that I will most definitely love the sound when it whooshes by.

Since no one got the reference made in Epic Journey XX, bonus points if anyone gets what I referenced in this post, and double bonus points if you catch the first one.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Epic Journey XXI: At least the first two pages are good...

Doncha just dread the break? You're working, you're writing, and all of a sudden, you stop. You can't figure out how to transition from the idea you just finished into the next one, and suddenly, you lose all motivation...

Yup. I know how it feels... And it happened just as I hit the 25% mark. Still got 6 pages (at least) to write!

Epic Journey XX: 'm not dead yet!

Just cuz it's been a while since I've sent out one of those radio blips that I'm still alive.

Bonus points to anyone who figures out why I've tagged this post with "art."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Epic Journey XIX: Positivity

So my question to you all today is thus:

How do you end a paper in which you talk about all the things that are wrong on a positive note? 

Maybe I should explain: I'm writing a paper about water rights in my state, and it turns out, there are a lot of things that aren't that good. I give solutions, of course, in my paper, but how do I end it on a positive note when most of the solutions aren't that practical and aren't that tangible?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Epic Journey XVIII: This post has no title

Well, I'm not exactly passionate an excited about this project, but it's definitely turning out to be fascinating. I've learned a lot about topics that are actually relevant to my own life.

It's very interesting...

Epic Journey XVII: Disinterest

Every been on one of those quests, those project, where you're all excited about it at first, and then yu actually go to get started, and it isn't as cool?

Oh yeah. We've all done NaNoWriMo. Should have remembered. We've all been there.

Well this time, there is No Way Out. Damn figuring out how to commit to projects.

Epic Journey XVI: The next stage

There has been a secret trail discovered! One of the papers isn't due until after Christmas!

But that still leaves the mountain to climb. Time to set out. This weekend was a great rest break, and now, it's time for the slog to the end.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Epic Journey XV: Kermit Like Spaz

Watch the first ten seconds of this video and you'll see what I'm talking about.

And one of my favorites, just to get it stuck in your head:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Epic Journey XIV: 19 minutes to spare


*does a kermit-like spaz*

And now, a rest break before heading on to the highest peak: A Review of Water Rights in the West.

Epic Journey XII: One hour

One hour to the summit, and the best thing that I can think of doing is posting here? I know they've entertained M, but is anyone else even reading this? Or is it just annoying?

Epic Journey I forgot which number: In which one throws up hands

And wishes that a prof would actually reply to emails.
I"m not going to say I'm in trouble yet.
But that's the general consensus.

Epic Journey XI: Three hours

This time frame makes me thankful I've done National Novel Writing Month so many times and know how many words I can crank out in a short amount of time. I have three hours to reach the summit before darkness.

Epic Journey X: Realization 3

I should have started this project a long time ago... And found the one book that details what I'm working on, and read it.

Epic Journey IX: Waking up

Every had one of those days when you wake up and realize that nothing got done what needed to be done? Then you know what Day 3 of the Epic Journey feels like. The clock is ticking at 10 hours until I'm due at the next summit, and there are things that must be done before then, like prepare my pack animal for the journey and take care of business here. I didn't get much past the way point, but I made it to a herder's yurt, and spent the night on the floor there. It was warm, that was the best part. I've grown very fond of being warm.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Epic Journey VIII: Just one

Just need a paragraph.

<3 PHD comics. Such a great way to procrastinate!

Epic Journey VII: In which I realize I am crazy(er) [than previously thought.]

Mainly for my choice of chosen sport. Watching other climbers crush outside a. makes me want to go and climb outside and not do homework. and b. makes me realize that we're um only slightly crazy. We climb big things with only 4 inches of foam between us and the ground if we fall. Right. Very brilliant.

Epic Journey VI: The Summit 1

I did it! The first summit. The Exam is finished and emailed off to the prof, and now, it's on to the next hill. The downhill stretch isn't long--there just isn't time for it, and the next peak, it's higher than the first was.
I can do this. I can do this.

Art the Unsure

Epic Journey V.5: In which I get distracted watching climbing videos instead of finishing the exam.

I think the title says it all. I should never have posted those videos. (Check out Energetic Young Men)

Epic Journey V: The Morning

All good things must come to an end. And that includes the glory of sleep.

You wake up, and it's morning. You know that this is the time when you should be leaving your warm hut and continuing on the journey, but breakfast calls, then time to read by the fire, and you know what you're doing is wrong, but it feels so right, so you do it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Epic Journey IV: The Waypoint

(This was originally Epic Journey III)

You've done it. You've made it through the first day, and you see that hut on the top of the hill where you're going to spend the night. Inside, there is a warm fire, and maybe even company, but most importantly of all, there is a soft, warm bed waiting for you. That bed is your refuge, that place where you can go when things look rough, and by the time you wake up, everything is good again.

Epic Journey III.5: Realization 2

When did I start to feel like a grownup?

Epic Journey III: The Problem with Austerity

As a student, you often run into the concept of austerity. Life, and often finances, are such that you live a life that is much less ostentatious than you might wish it to be. During certain times of the year, you retreat into your cave and don't come out except for midnight food scavenging runs and ambushes on the printer when it is time for that. But, in theory, you deny yourself the simple pleasures of life, like dessert or TV time, and there is a point at which you crack and after that, it's all downhill. You spend inordinate amount of time on Hulu and Wikipedia, researching totally irrelevant things, much like you do during NaNoWriMo, but this time, you're even more distracted, because you've been depriving yourself for so long. That's not even counting the chocolate binges that are sure to come, at least if you get your hands on the money to procure chocolate, even the cheap chocolate. Your mind slowly melts away, wishing that you had more time or more motivation and you weren't writing long and rambling a pointless blog posts, but it's useless. That's the price of Austerity.

Epic Journey II: Realization

It's late, and you're freezing your ass off. You don't know why you decided to make your Epic Journey into cold places, as you're not a huge fan of the cold, but then you remember. It's December. That's why it's cold.

Epic Journey: Motivation

There are times in the life of every intrepid explorer that they must stop and consider their motivation. Why do I want to do this? Why shouldn't I be off doing something like watching TV or sleeping? That's the big question to answer, right now. I currently sit at 682 out of what will end up being about 1500 words... which is where I need to get by midnight, and I am questioning why I'm not getting this done, why I'm still sitting here after all this time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Haze of Academia: In which I embark on an epic journey of 10,000 words into nonfiction

The title says it all. I handwrote 9 pages in 2 hours today for my last in class exam, and now, I am about to embark on the epic journey, as it says in the title, of writing two papers, one take home exam, one reflections essay, and one set of comments to the BLM. Not in that order.
Yup. Here I go, into that hazy world in which so much happens and not as much is possible as in fiction.

Wish me luck. If I survive, I'll tell you a little more about The Letter from Last Friday.

Art the Intrepid

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ephemera: Life Changing Letters

In my closet, there hung a cream sheet of paper with a post written on it in pencil. I wrote it last year, about this time, and the words I wrote are telling.
I'd try to imagine how I'd be feeling right now. Elation and joy, of course. The thrill of the unknown. Nerves at leaving my childhood home. But when I imagined them, they never felt quite like this. I'm on top of the world.
Truth is, I'm still in shock. I think the top of the world feeling will come tomorrow, will come later, will come when I've processed everything that just happened.

But things are never going to be the same.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just Shoot Me Now


It's because of you that I'm turning in my card as a writer.

Well, that and the internet.

But it's true!!!

If not for you, I'd enjoy writing. As it is, writing is one of those things where you want to faceplant face onto keyboard repeatedly--and sadly, it'd probably come up with better results than the actual writing is.

You know, I totally wasn't going to post until finals was over, just because I knew it would turn into another one of those rants about procrastination, but yeah... I couldn't resist.

So here's my card. Here is my badge, too, to get me into the secret writer's lounge that I've never actually visited but have heard it is really cool.

Wait... why do we have a card and a badge? Isn't that a little redudant?

Monday, December 5, 2011

The End Is In Sight

This is it ladies and last week of college...EVER!  Or until I decide I no longer hate it and continue on for my Master's.  Like that will ever happen.  I probably shouldn't say that without the appropriate conviction.  But what a ride it turned out to be.  I feel like that kid coming off the rollercoaster for the first time:  a strange twisted expression that's mostly relief they weren't killed and a little near-disappointment that it's finally over.  Now to figure out what to do with myself next!  That will be the fun part.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


One of the local consignment stores, one that consistently has typewriters, is going out of business.

Excuse me why I go be bummed. It's always hard when an awesome local business can't make it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ONE YEAR!!!!!?

Can you believe it? A year ago M and I made our first posts. I, for one, have to say thank you to the Typosphere for embracing us. For me, at least, it's so great to feel a part of a community outside my little world.

This year has been a year of up and downs. We've had some awesome memes (cowcasts and the Rhinos), and some sad times (my truck getting wrecked right after discovering Parry's office supplies.)   But it's been a very good year. I'm thankful for that.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In which I fall in love with a Lamy Safari

I held off on buying one until the day I found a shop I where I could try it in person. Sure, all you in the typosphere have raved about your Safaris, but I was skeptical. But, the good thing is that you all were right. I tried the Safari, and a week or two later (can't remember exactly), I went and bought my pink one.

Well, it's taken me a while to really tell if I like it or not. Sure, there are quirks that I still done love, like the fact that it's not happy writing in an upright position or that the grip forces me to use that proper position like my teachers taught. But overall, wow. It hangs out in my bag, occaisionally being inverted, and it hasn't yet leaked or gotten messy. It writes well on a plane or on the ground, and doesn't feather (although I'm not thrilled with it in a Moleskine... or maybe it is just the ink.) But yeah. It's awesome. I'm now one of those people who carries a fountain pen with them everywhere, just to be cool like that.

That's all for now. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Woot Procrastination

Yup. I have a precis of a paper due in the morning and I haven't started. I haven't even done the research. Woot!

Yay for being a procrastinator.

And sad news in that November is almost over. I need to get the SCSS fixed so I can at least type a page and say that I'm something of a Brigadier.

Okay, rambling is over. Sometime soon, I'm going to do my NaNoWriMo writeup and then we'll go from there...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

There was a time when I'd spend Thansgiving writing my butt off for NaNoWriMo. This year, like a few of the years past, I don't know if I'll be doing that. Unlike most of my comrades, I hit 50K and then I stopped this year.

So, what will I be spending my Thanksgiving weekend doing?
The following, and in this order:
A research project on the various high altitude adaptions of global populations
A project examining the effects of the young male population in modern china, and the propensity for revolution
And finally, a project detailing water rights and issues surrounding them and food security in Utah and beyond.

They're due in that order, starting Dec. 7 and one a week after that. And there is a thesis I wrote... yeah, it really needs to be done, and my application for a masters program--my backup if I don't get into medical school this year.

So I just want to let you know that I may not be around for a while, you know? Trying to get all of this done may well drive me crazy, but that's okay. :)



Monday, November 21, 2011

Virginia Bird

According to my mother I get my ability to read and write, really read and write, from her mother and her mother before her.  As a little girl I uncovered snippets of information about this long-lost lady of my past, Nana.  The color blue.  Roses.  The most beautiful name:  Virginia Bird.  Dancing in nightgowns.  A love of ellipses.  Colts.  A twin sister.  Homemade bread.  The color of winter wheat.  Bright lipstick.  Bolivia.  Lymphoma.  And impossibly tiny cursive handwriting.  I put away her descriptive legacy for a rainy day, and remained oblivious.  It rained this weekend and I stretched and dragged it out again and began the months long process.  I pored over those crisp and gracious letters and transcribed until my back and neck shouted complaints, but oh, what a story I found:

She finished college with six children in tow.  She spent a night in a truck bed on a ferry floating the Amazon river.  She thought it beautiful, not inconvenient.  She was a world away when her mother died, and she knew.  She called my mother, her surprise, her seventh, Janie.  She wrote about my birth and held me even though it hurt.  She left not long after.  She was a Rodeo Queen.  She forgot her wedding dress and made everyone an hour late.  They honeymooned camping on horseback in Yellowstone.  She sang opera, beautifully.  She wrote letters to her stubborn sons in all caps.  She served on the school board.  She ran away to the library, twice, when she just couldn't stand her kids for one more minute.  Each time she returned bearing picture books.  She did cartwheels in a dress at age 58.  She was lovely.  She was lively.

And I know what I need to write now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holy hell what a day.

Okay, it's been a little over a day. And it involved 12,310 words. But I FINISHED! I matched my time from way back in 2007. 17 days. Yay. Finishing like this means I get to check out this consignment shop I've been eyeing...

Wow. What a feeling.

Okay, going to watch my rhino play with his new wings. And to get a real rhino for pictures today!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In which I lose faith in local stationary shops

I went to the stationary shop I always go to to get my letterpress thank you cards. Yeah. Fail. They didn't have them. And the staff were rude today. I'd already gone to one other today, and they didn't have any I liked either. I was even ready to go with just plain cards, not my favorite:

Sadly, I have not found any I like yet. Going to have to figure something else out. :P Going to start looking for other places to shop.

Monday, November 14, 2011

0 word day

You read it. 0 words. Zero. Cero. Trippy, no?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Day 10 update.

I'm stuck. I outlined in October and now I can't look at it without getting nervous. that's not a good thing. See, Clemens, your side isn't always better. In the course of today, I've gone from two ideas to do four, the latest involving a merry band of woodland ninjas facing a sock shortage who decide to become pirates. Whoo.

Eight hundred words until I hit 30k. Then I sleep.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Hump

Eight days in and I crossed 25k. I can do this.
Now, to sleep... perchance to dream... oh wonderful world of new ideas.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two Things

1.  Best Friend + engagement ring = psychotic phone calls, all sorts of tears, and one serious sucker punch to my well-prepared-yet-still-wussy gut

2.  all you Nanowrimo crazies?  CARRY ON!  YOU MAKE ME PROUD!  (may I have time next year to actually join your ranks)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Everybody! Everybody!

It's November! It's November!

Time to Write! Time to Write!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! Betcha bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be writee... ing!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Even though I'm usually a dedicated pantster and a member of #teampantsless, still, this planning thing can honestly be kinda fun...

Monday, October 24, 2011


So I'm reworking the book and it reminds me why I do not like editing. Timelines are a bite, and figuring out where everything fits may lead me to yet another year of pantsing and putting finishing this novel off.
Maybe I should just pants this one as well... that's the problem with loving a novel. You can love it too much, making it tough to give it the tough love it needs.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


*Whistles a bit*

Yup, the blog is as empty as my mind used to be.

Now I'm moving on to a full rewrite of my novel. Not just going to write the new section for NaNo '11. I'm going to rewrite the whole damn thing. And it's going to be awesome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

And then there was light...

The clouds opened up, and within, I could see the shining nugget that was inspiration.

Yea, and though the source was not new, the inspiration was, and it is a beautiful thing.

Finally, after  4 years, this is an idea that may come to completion.

Or at least closer to it.

Let November come.

We will be ready.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Word of Explanation

When I write things like Apprehension, don't worry.
Like the words of the song say, Never Mind Me
I'm probably looking at the sky, trying to find a reason why...
Me writing these things are nothing sinister.
Writing is my release, my way of letting go of the fears that might hold me back.
It lays down the foundation for greatness... greatness stepping on stones of things that once were walls.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Guess I could call it practice for NaNo.

Yup. Solitaire. Internet TV. Firefly Reruns. You name it, I've done it these past weeks. You'd think it would be easy to stop.

But it's not.

It's a drug.


Writer's Drug of Choice.

Complete with harsh side effects like angry editors and self-loathing.

Get yours today!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Used to be I felt excitement.
The tingly kind, where you can't wait, like Christmas morning.
But this year, I feel something different, something new.


Looks like an innocuous word, right?
It's not. It's like fear. A word that conveys so much in so little and I don't like it.

It's what I'm feeling this year.

Sure, nerves are nothing new. I've felt that for a few years now.
This year, I'm unsure.

Unsure if I'll be able to do it.
Unsure if I'll come up with an idea.

The list could go on, but what it boils down to is

D-Day is 23 days away.

Maybe it is because there are bigger things to worry about, bigger fish to fry.
Hopefully that is the case, and come November 1, the words flow like they always do.
Let's hope that is the case.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Little Girls and Big Books

I got to know a tiny little girl a little bit better this weekend.  Her name is Josie and she's the most stubborn 1 1/2 year old I've ever had the privilege to meet.  She has big brown eyes and wavy brown hair and a rusty diaper from riding in the Radio Flyer.  She loves her Uncle Ben best and refuses to nap.  She wears her parents out and wants to do it all and all her own way.  She won me over by bringing me "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" to read to her rather than the asinine children's books they print these days.  I kissed the top of her head and wished her good wishes because I was that little girl once with the defiant tilt of a chin and big books in hand that made me angry because I couldn't read them yet.  I can most certainly read them now; they make up the conglomerate of my life.  So, Josie, stick to the big books and keep your enormous will.  You'll need them.  Oh, how you are going to need them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present...


As the teaser suggests, I did it.

Granted, I did end up paying more than I would have through Goulet or Jetpens, but still. I have the satisfaction of being able to shop local.

Though, I am going to virtually slap LFP and MT Coalhopper for introducing me to the Goulet site--I'd never been there before, and that was probably a good thing. :P

IMAG0268So.. here's the specs.

Paid $35.00 for it, 4.95 for the converter, and 4.50 for a pack of cartridges because I was impatient and thought I'd get a chance to use it before I got home where there is ink. (I didn't, but oh well. I now have Lamy Blue-Black Ink on hand and in the pen!) Bout a five to eight dollar difference when you consider shipping, but that's okay.
IMAG0267IMAG0278The color is closest to the picture from Goulet above--my phone couldn't get the color right, and I don't know where my card reader is for my camera. But truth is, it's just pretty. It'll be really pretty with black ink.

But above all:
It's pink.

IMAG0271In the shop, the pen had a medium nib on it. This is the great thing about small stores--the guy (I think the owner's son) replaced it with a Fine nib from another pen for me. No charge.

So... writing with it... it's different experience. The Fine Nib is pretty fine--my Waterman is a broad medium nib, while my Schaeffer is spidery and cool. I'm glad I didn't go with the extra-fine nib. I like superfine points for my cramped notes handwriting, but at that same time, a fountain pen isn't the best medium for that sort of writing--I tend to hold the pen more upright, and very close to the end. A fountain pen, especially one that is specifically shaped like the Lamy, doesn't so much allow me to do that, but I'm okay with that. Makes it perfect for the more relaxed writing I like when I'm drafting. I might order a medium nib, just for variety and maybe even a bold--remember, I love a bold line on yellow paper--but we'll see where things goes.

I got to say--I know why you all love these pens. I'm glad I made the purchase and supported a local shop. I also talked to the guy there, and he said I'd be great to come in and take pictures! Means some advertising for them, which is cool. I like helping local businesses. I'm excited for this pen. I think good things are to come!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011



The Dilemma

It's a simple one, really. A question of maybe nine dollars, at least right now.
I'm buying a lamy safari. I decided this last week. But, here is my question.
Do I pay more to support the local stationary shop, or do I give in to the man and buy it online and save some money?
I'm torn. Honestly. I like money and having it, which is an argument for ordering. And, more waiting might make me appreciate it more (although I have already waited nearly a week.). But, buying local is better for the environment and does good to support the cute old man who owns the shop. And he has a pink one. I like pink.
I think I know what I'm going to do... anyone else want to chime in?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Look what I found!!!!!!!


 I will be posting pictures when I go back to buy a Lamy Safari--I now understand what the fuss is about. He has Clairefontaine too. And lots of other stuff. Nearly forty years in business..

Course, less than 20 minutes after I left this place, some dude totaled his truck on mine, so the day went kinda wonky after that... But still. I've got something to look forward to. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm ALIVE...I think for where I've been:  new semester, new relationship, first illness of the season.  That pretty much sums up my complete lack of brain power.  Wow.
Anyway, the new semester brought me an awesome new opportunity:  to be on the staff of my university's student literary journal.  I'm already hooked.  We meet weekly, feed each other gourmet foods (i.e. pancakes, curried chicken, chips and salsa...whatever we have on hand), and talk poetry, short stories, and essays.  Submissions will start arriving soon and I can't wait.  I'll be editing the poetry.  I'm going to miss this when I graduate.  There will be fewer opportunities to have discussions like these; to spend time with people who think about these things.  I'm trying my hardest to relish every second.

Monday, September 19, 2011

*Pokes M*

Where the hell are you, lady? We miss you! Everyone has had to put up with me for far too long...


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Viente y seis

It's up to 26 today. Wait, better add two more to that number. Every time I check my email I just toss a few more on the pile. Today was supposed to be my day to write all 12 of those, but now with the pile reaching up to 28, my time went to watching TV and working on all the parts of the application that didn't involve writing essays. The good thing is that a lot of those parts are done now... but I still have the essays to write.

Maybe I should get on them... Okay, new question: What should be my reward to myself for finishing them?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We could be rich!

...If only we could find a cure for Writer's Block.

Yup, I'm suffering from it. I've got 12 essays of varying length to write for applications, and I'm stuck on them. Sure, I've got a few ideas, but when I sit down and write them, they fizzle. Badly. I know I've complained about this before, but it sucks! I need inspiration, and quickly--the essays just keep piling up. Five of those 12 came in today.

So, I'm going to ask you all again, as I've probably done in the past. HELP! What do you do to get rid of Writer's Block?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yay NaNoWriMo!

Okay, couldn't help myself. What with LFP posting her call about NaNo, i just thought I'd share the love. I'm heading into year five, and am kinda excited about it... That said, it might turn into last year again, where I make 50K and stop writing, but still... It's writing, right?

So are you all this excited for this too?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting caught up

With school back in session and my finally having more than five minutes in the morning on the computer, I just thought I'd let you know that I'll be around more from now on. I'll be finishing up the Vignette Challenge posts, and have a few ideas up my sleeve that I hope you'll like. Of course, I could just be psyching all of you out like I've done many times before, but hopefully, that doesn't end up being the case.

Yup, that's about it for the update right now.

I'm going to go back to working on the complete rewrite of my 2007 preNaNo project.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The best thing about being back... the obligatory trip to the bookstore for those important supplies!!! Course, my campus bookstore isn't as great as Strikethru's, but it's not that bad...

Now, this year, they didn't have everything that I was looking for, like my favorite legal pads, but I didn't do too bad...

So, take a look at the haul, all $386 of it...

Five books for one class. Looks like it's going to be fascinating, but still. It's a lot of reading.

Got the last copy of this one. The new edition comes out next year, with this one being over 10 years old, so you'd expect some used copies, right? Nope. Had to buy it new.

As I work on this post, I'm waiting for this last class to start. The prof just walked in... But the books look fascinating.

Besides the required books, I also scored a few fun things.

Like this new Zebra fountain pen. Never seen them before, never seen a review of them, but it looks pretty... although when I did a writing test (full review to be posted soon), I'm not quite sure how I like it. Maybe I just like the weight of a nicer fountain pen... but $4.99 was cheap!

I've also fallen in love with the look of a broad line on yellow paper... So, there are two pads of yellow paper in my stash, as well as some new broad points.

 I scored a few new pens and a clicky highlighter.

And of course, a pad of one of my favorite papers.

And, last, but of course, not least, a new General's Layout Pencil. As you can see in the picture below, the last one I bought is growing shorter by the day. I love this pencil.

And thus concludes the tour de supplies for this semester... or at least this first week. I'm sure I'll be picking more up as the semester goes along...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Book - August Edition

Because I go back to school in a week, this is all you get.  I have no brain.  Enough said.
  1. a second chance
  3. the Chuckwagon, the scandal, the ambulance, the river rafting...
  4. two hours of cheesy Taylor Swift sing-a-long with the Bartman
  5. and the resulting voice loss
  6. Polynesian dance
  7. discovering the teacher I've been all along
  8. passing notes
  9. coming home late to the blessed relief of oreos on the kitchen counter
  10. being told I clean up well and a guy staring just confirming it
  11. three fat kittens on my lap all at once
  12. the mossy swimming hole
  13. Chick and Bandit, oh the doggy devotion
  14. eight-year Ginger driving me on the four wheeler, I thought I was going to die
  15. goat meat
  16. sleeping on the screened porch listening to sprinklers, trains, coyotes, and Uncle Steve baling hay
  17. the laundry rock and the view that goes with it
  18. hunting the broody chicken
  19. birthday plotting
  20. Dad

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We apologize for The interruption...

...your regularly scheduled program will resume shortly... once I'm done working twelves and have time to.type up the rest of my vignettes.

Enjoy what's here... more good stuff to come!

Friday, August 12, 2011

On Losing Family

It's funny who becomes our family. Half the time, they're not blood at all, but something better. Friends. They say blood is thicker than water, but friendship is thicker than both, and I heartily agree. Not having siblings of my own, I've adopted family from all over. People come into our lives, and if we embrac them, they can surely change ours lives.

There's a song from Wicked that I love.
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...
 You never really think about what someone means to you until they're gone, right? You might see them everyday and say I love you, but that's it. You don't tell them thank you, thank you for all of the things that they've given you or the way they've changed your life.

For me, the saying goodbye is the hardest part. Death, while but the next great adventure, is tough. Even though it isn't the end, while the spiral just continues on, at the time, it feels so final. I always come back to the same Big and Rich song at times like this.
It's complicated, when love has faded
And you can't hold on anymore
You gotta let go even though you know
Your heart's gonna hate it
And it just might break it
The only solution, is making the conclusion
That it's just another lesson in life
Even though it's over,
it's never really over at goodbye
No matter how hard you try
You never stop loving somebody
No matter what you tell yourself
You never stop loving somebody
You just, start loving somebody else
 I've cried my tears, and now, it's time to celebrate a life. The life that gave me two of dearest friends, the ones who have been there when all my human friends have gone away. I'll see you on the other side, mama horse.

I have him because of her.

I guess there is just one last thing to say...
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good 

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Written a few days ago...

Close your mind to sentiment and your heart to feeling.
Run, run faster than you've ever run before.
Hide away, lock yourself away from the pain that is sure to come.
Forget the joy, the sorrows, the laughter, forget it all.
Embrace the unfeeling twilight.
Embrace the fall.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I fully understand why repetition is such a part of religion.  I walk these trails, swim these lakes, climb these mountains, and search this feeling out in the same order, every year.  It is my trip to Mecca, my cathedral, and my Wailing Wall. My pilgrimage begins in a drive to the top of the world and a small descent into a dimple in it.  My supplicant steps take me over the flats and to Ferron, Deep, Duck, and Emerald waters respectively.  I bow to the family trees and meditate in the fields of indian paintbrush and count my riches in the creeks running gold.  And the rhythm gained here lasts the pilgrimage is complete.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hands II

Written Wed Sep 10, 2008, 11:15 AM

I take a second look at my hands, and I see more than i saw the first time.
They've been ripped up from doing work on the house, long red marks where the blisters have popped and the skin hasn't quite healed yet. There's white bits of skin too, loose skin that I'm constantly picking at. There's scrapes and slashes from the world, where I've been doing construction where and a loose nail just happens to catch on my skin, or a errant dog claws tends to find a home, long lines on my arm.
Looking at my hands, I wonder if I'm going the right place in my life. Would I be better as an artist, finding time to paint and to sculpt, always having clay under my nails? I see my fingers and feel the strength in them, strength that lets me throw a damn sexy pot on the wheel. I wonder if working with clay all the time is the way that i should go, or if people is more my style. The, I remember what I was doing a few days ago, remember why I chose the path that i was on.
It's still raining outside, and I can feel the coldness of the support pillar against my back as I lean on it and drink my coffee. I'm here, sitting, watching the people at the museum, again, knowing why i do what I do.
But back to the hands again, hands that can span ten white keys on the piano without thinking, hands that love to play jazz and blues and everything in between. These are hands that are more than just a writers hands, more than just the hands of a sometimes horse trainer and potter. They're not just working hands. They are hands that hold a story in their depths, each crease, each line and scar a memory, a tattoo with a better story.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hands I

Written Sun Aug 17, 2008, 5:51 PM

I wonder it would be like if someone were to change bodies with me and see my hands.
They aren't the hands of someone who spends a life inside, fingers white and soft, the nails manicured. No, my hands are those what have done a day's work outside.
But if someone were to look at my hands, what would they say? Would they comment in the numerous scars from years of playing with knives and other tools, the burns from ropes, the calluses of a shovel, and the fine lines the sun and clay leave in someone's hands. I've got long fingers perfect for playing the piano, and the strength in them from long years of doing just that.
My nails aren't perfect--and i don't want them to be that way. I'd rather have paint and clay under my nails than the perfect French Manicure every day.
I look down at my hands right now, and I see many things. There is the scar on the back of my right hand from where I got hit with a garbage can, and the three white scars on my thumb from metal ribs and glass when casting one of my first glass sculptures. I've got blisters from remodeling, angry red patches that hurt when I type, but remind me of the happy work that I've been doing.
I've got calluses, too, calluses from long days using a shovel and a pitchfork, calluses and scars from the effects of baling twine and hauling hay. Mine are working hands, and I like that about them. I like the constant black smudges from ink and the perpetual hard spot on my middle finger that comes from writing with a fountain pen.
I wouldn't trade my hands with anyone.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Yes, I'm missing World Cup Soccer. <3 watching it on Univision, where the announcers make the Goal last for 30 seconds or longer. I haven't had the time to get any sort of soccer fix, truth be told, but that's okay, because I achieved a goal of my own!

Last year, I wrote that I wanted to tighten up my writing, to remove the fluff and crap that had long been the bane of my sometimes existence. Well, I've officially done that. Try cutting words to make character counts out of pieces that are super tight. IT SUCKS! But, it's definite improvement--last year, they were so fluffy that it is now nauseating.

Yup, just wanted to give a shoutout to myself.

Now, I may well go find some fútbol to watch.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Programming Note

Due to lack of time and computer access for the time being, I'm going to be posting the rest of my vignettes in August, as they're not conducive to being published on my mobile. Please forgive me for being tardy with this, but life gets in the way sometimes.

Friday, July 29, 2011

12 - Simplicity

Tree blows in the wind
Leaves twist in sweet melody
Life in harmony

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Once - Fire on the Mountain

Fire on the Mont

Fauxcast using Mr. Polt's Byron Mark I Font.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#10 - Hands III

This is an iteration of an old theme... Come August, you'll see my work from 3 years ago on the subject.

There's a new callus forming on my right hand, this one on the webbing between my thumb an fingers--from the rope constantly sliding through. It just adds character, along with the countless other calluses I've got.
There's a new scar too. Looks like someone tried to take a bite out of my hand, like when my dad got bit trying to break up a dog fright years ago. Mine's from the wall. It sits in a different plane than my scar from California, where I did nearly the same thing, but on sea rocks when our bridge was washed out by the tide and we were forced to jump for it. To this day, I saw the seawater kept it from getting infected.
In this light, my veins seem to melt fully into the muscle--normally, they are an ER tech's dream--big and defined, waiting to be poked. But tonight, they are quiet and everything is smooth. just the scars as a landmark in the map of the places that I've been.

Monday, July 25, 2011

#M4 - The View from the Ice Cream Churn

As a child I hated this job:  it was nother better than captivity with a cold bum.  I would slouch and scowl and sulk over the latest exclusion by my sister and her age appropriate cousin-playmate, something I lacked in this branch of family.  Dad would usually lose patience with my dour face and threaten to make me churn rather than serve as precarious ballast for the ancient, rickety ice cream churn.  That shut me up fast.  But I hated that job.  I know better now.
My cold bum tingles and I stuggle to stay aboard as the ice cream hardens and the churn bucks and shivers.  Dad is groaning and trying to pressgang some boy cousin into taking over.  I scrunch my toes and pry up deck slivers.  Grandma fusses and swipes at passing faces with her ever handy damp rag.  Small Ella staggers past, trying to keep up with all the other littles.  She trips over my feet and tries again.  Liv and Luz twirl for Grandpa.  He hums Vivaldi under his breath.  The interrogating aunts have congregated and my sister is hunting for cover.  The Jeremy Uncle is probably ensconced in the bathroom. Uncles Tim and Dal taunt my sore-armed father. Boy cousins play Annie-Ay-Over and the Sarah cousin defeats them all. There is the thrum of babies and fifty-six feet and the clatter of dishes and misguided balls.  There is us and we and a symphony and then there is ice cream and me in the middle.  And it is good.  It is good.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nine - Contention

 "My ass hurts."
"You're the one who fell."
"Thought you were going to catch me."
"What?" Dave asks, walking into the conversation, "just happened?"
"He dropped me!" Call shouts, pointing at McCoy in an indignant fashion.
"That's what you get for for not tying your bloody knot properly." McCoy retorts, "Not all my fault."
"Yeah, but you should have checked the damn knot! Didn't you learn anything?!"Call says, face going even more red.
Dave just shakes his head, turning away from them and sitting down at the desk. They never learned.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ocho - Desert

The sage is in bloom in the desert. Afternoon breeze carries the small across the sand, mixing with the piñon and juniper as it comes. The smell wakes up my memory, and I'm there again, 10 years old and kneeling in the sand. There's a lizard in the sage next to me, and I'm trying to capture him on film. Only he isn't cooperating, the reluctant celebrity pursued by paparazzi. So I wait. Somewhat patiently, my behind warm on the sandstone, camera ready for that moment when he pops his head out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Numero 7: Energetic Young Men


Fauxcast typed with Mr. Polt's Royal Vogue Font.
(click link to download font!)
Based on a conversation I overheard at my gym.

And, as there is confusion, here are some videos of bouldering, most in my backyard.
(Neither AdC or myself are responsible for the content, if it's not totally appropriate. I tried to screen them, but yeah. Stuff happens.)


Just Beautiful

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No. Six: Opener

Okay, folks, a preface to this. I'm thinking about using the following vignette as the opening for the personal statement of my medical school application.

It was the day before Christmas Break, 2010.
"Paul, try to be calm."
"I'm not calm! I'm not calm!" Paul shouts, dancing around, icing bag in hand. I instinctively duck as a stream of icing lands on his gingerbread house with a splat, obliterating the icicles we had just finished adding to the roof line. "Oops." He says, sitting back down with a thud, "Avalanche." He sticks two pretzels and a marshmallow snowman onto the icing and turns to me with a satisfied grin.
"What's he doing?" I ask.
His logic was sound, and all I could do was laugh.

Okay, folks, I need your opinions. BE HONEST, PLEASE! Would you keep reading an essay that started with this, or would you just throw it aside, citing my writing as juvenile and the subject matter totally irrelevant? I plan on linking my love of teaching to medicine, but that comes in the next paragraph.


Monday, July 18, 2011

#M3 - Grape Hyacinth

Once I was a Goddess and made my home in the roots of the snowball bush:  shoots for walls, violets for my carpet, apricot blossoms for my chandelier, and wallpapered it all with tall grasses and the stems of the forsythia.  My fingers sunk into the green and the soft of the earth and I slept and swung and sang; invisible dryads for dolls.  I kicked my heels toward the leaves.  I perched in the apple tree.  I counted the flowers and what they meant:  Magnolia for an uplifted heart; Lilacs for womanly grace; Pear for softness and Apple for refuge; Lavender meant sunlight and Grape Hyacinths were for imagination; Dollar Plants for stories; Sage and Dill for calm and humor.  Johnny Jump Ups meant indomitable good cheer.  And Buttercups were the souls of fairies. 
I hung upside down from the clothesline poles, I jumped from stone to stone, and stripped the raspberry brambles of their fragile fruit.  I made the sky my cathedral and the water in the pond my marble floor.  I wove the branches of the pine to make my pavilion; the arms of the sycamores my thicket; and I was a doe, a fox, a hare, a red wing blackbird.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Five - Circles

The other day, while scrounging for change to pay for chalk, I came up with the following idea...

The Circles of Wealth.
It starts with prosperity.
In the fourth circle, you're giving a ton of money away. And spending. And saving. 
The third circle is when you've started to give money away, as well as spend and save beyond what you did in the second circle.
The second circle is when you start to save some money, as well as spend it.
In the first circle, you finally have some money to spend, which is what you do.

That brings us to flush, when you're making ends meet. You probably can't spend a ton of money on fun stuff, but you're not worried about paying the bills.

After flush comes broke, and the corresponding circles.
The first circle of broke is when you're down to your last 20 dollars to cover what you need to cover.
In the second circle, you're breaking the piggy bank and looking in the couch for change to cover the cost of your morning coffee.
By the time you hit the third circle, you're also hitting your savings account to live.
The fourth circle is when you hit your stash, that emergency cash you've put away for years... or not.
In the fifth circle, you're selling things to get by, and may or may not be living out of your car.
And the sixth circle of broke? It's one that sometimes goes hand in hand with other circles, depending on where you are in life... You move back in with your parents and start making your way back to flush and beyond.
And the circle continues.

What is a Vignette?

Well, halfway through the challenge, this question has been coming up: what is a vignette?

From Wikipedia:
In theatrical script writing, sketch stories, and poetry, a vignette is a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting and sometimes an object. This type of scene is more common in recent postmodern theater, where less emphasis is placed on adhering to the conventions of theatrical structure and story development. Vignettes have been particularly influenced by contemporary notions of a scene as shown in film, video and television scripting.

Personally, I see the vignette as something a bit lighter. A snapshot, if you will, of a person, place, time, event, thought, or feeling. It could be an essay, a poem, a journal entry, or even a script like Snohomish posted the other day. I always see it like a vignette picture--you're looking through the  window at whatever is before you.


But the honest truth is:

IT'S WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

IV: Summer Rain


Fauxcast using Mr. Polt's Rem-Blick Font

Monday, July 11, 2011

#M2 - Clean

The water is off for the winter, so it is pot baths in spring water all around.  I kneel over the shower drain and pour scoops of scalding water over my back; it takes a meandering path between each of my vertebrae.  My hands shake.  The fat candle sputters next to me as I dip my hair into the pot.  I have to keep washing as I inadvertently pick up more pot black from the base of the kettle.  I alternately shiver and burn; I can't help but find it eerie to crouch bare and white in the silver of last light, the forest creeping in through the open window--not a soul to see me. 
Strands of wet hair stick to my freckled shoulders and I feel the cleanest of cleans; beautiful.  It is only to be found in this spring, these streams, that lake.  Clean.  Why do clean and dirt and green all crop up in the same thought phrases?  I comb my dripping hair in the dim.  A hummingbird zips home to sleep.  I rub lavender oil into my skin.  The cracked mirror gleams.  Bag balm for my lips.  Lastly I dress:  softest of shirts, oldest of shorts.  I hear the last pops from the fire pit and the generator roaring to life.  I step out into the bedtime bustle.
Pajamas on, beds set out, treats unhidden, the snap and hiss of Black Cherry Shasta cans, the crack of stuck matches, puff and glow of lighting candles.  Dark descends.  Dad puts on the kettle.  We scrounge for cards.  Grandpa turns off the generator.  And we sit up into the night.  Dark and light. Beautiful.  And I always win at cards.  Beautiful.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tres: Hot Coffee


Typed on my 1955 Smith Corona Silent-Super. Oh how I wish this machine was running full steam, rather than mostly out of commission. I forgot how much I love the feel of the SCSS. And, it's a ton more readable than my handwriting--was originally going to pencast this.

Excerpt from the journal of Andrea Wallace, founder of the Bar W Ranch, dated July 1884. The journal was discovered in the attic of the main house during renovations, along with a great deal of early ranch documents an history.
July, 1884.
Woke up cold this morning. Couldn't quite see my breath, but the reminder was there just the same--winter never really leaves this place. Suns not yet up, and I'm sitting by the fire with my coffee, listening to the horses grazing nearby. There's 40 in the bunch, plus whatever the night guard got with them. They should be here soon, wanting their coffee, hot and black. Already got it bubbling on the fire, filling the air with that sweet aroma. Over the ridge is the herd, 500 head of half wild longhorn, heading North to Canada. Been riding drag myself, me and the dogs chasing down the renegades who break off, hell bent on escape. But come  daylight, I"ll be riding out front, a welcome escape from the dusty air and dirty water left by the herd. We're heading into my territory now, the rugged mountains and grassy valleys where I was raised. Back to old growth forests and a ranch to spend a few days rest on. We all need it--even Cooky agrees this time. Family'll be there, most likely, at least a few of them. The boys will like that, specially if Ma cooks--Cooky don't got nothin on my mama.
Days about the break. By sundown, we'll be in the Rockies. Can't wait to see them trees.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

II - River

There will be no silence tonight. River's rushing all around, the day's melt finally making it into the valley. Up above, you can finally start to see the mountain peaks under their caps of snow, but it's not all happy. Those snowcaps, waterheavy and dense, melt, sending raging torrents of water downhill. We're at the bottom of the drainage, stuck. It's a catch-22, of sorts. The water is good for us, the land happy, not dry, but there can be too much of a good thing. There is too much of a good thing. I stand by the pond, and watch as the water slowly swallows the road.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#M1 - Western Grebe

Foothold slats, tall tree, two planks; one knotty rope and the I-pod blasting.  My legs tremble in time with the beat. Short guy films; carrot top yells; I swing, squeal, fly, and sink through reflections...deep.  The water is cold, the way I like it.  It is green, the way I like it.  It is silk and vibrations and a welcoming hum.  Small fish brush my white legs and my white arms gracefully stroke through lazy mosses.  I am slow to leave it, rising to the surface gasping and spitting in the inhospitable air and loud music and cheers; making the grudging change from solitude to togetherness.  I slowly revolve in this wet dimple between the swells of alfalfa hills and come face to face with a Western Grebe.  The Grebe eyes me and mine irritably and I make chuckle bubbles and he dives.  Oh he dives.  And I follow.  I can't follow far, but suspended I watch him loop and glide out of sight into the furthest, most inscrutable green.  And I am left to do my own gliding into the shallowest, churning murk to grab one warm hand and clamber out of the silk and into gravel and noise and dust.  I take with me only my quickly quieting rhythmic huffs of clean, green breath.  There are claps on my back and the next swinger takes the plunge.  Short guy shows me the video and his admiration and I smile but think that the best part is what you can't see for all the ripples.

#1 - Fireworks

Our neighborhood displays are mostly legal this year, finally. No, we haven't made any changes, but the state finally saw the truth in the matter--prohibition never stopped nobody. So, along with our bootlegged beer we bootlegged fireworks, slipping down back roads and dirt roads, avoiding the cops who sit on the highway at the state line, waiting to confiscate any and all contraband. They're smart, but we're smarter. We stockpile our shows, making Sunday runs across the border long before the 4th, long before the Smokies line 80 waiting for us. The pile grows in the garage, waiting for Independence Day, where we celebrate a longstanding American tradition: a bit of anarchy, throwing some color into the mix of legality. And it sure is a good show.

Friday, July 1, 2011


The Vignette Challenge begins today!

Get Writing!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Warmup #1


IMAG0196 hdr


Everybody! Everybody!

The 15 vignettes in thirty one days challenge starts tomorrow!!! Later, I'll be posting my warm-up piece (typecast!), but for now, I just want you all to get excited, and, if you haven't already taken me up on the challenge, please to consider doing so!!!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Vignettes...A Taste Test

I took A up on this challenge and will be posting my vignettes here as well.  Since I'm in the middle of making bread and raspberry buckle I'll take the easy way out today and post an old vignette as a preview of the joys to come.  See you next week with the real deal.

...As a child I don't much remember sleeping.  I do remember the heels of Dad's running shoes glowing in his closet and the hard floor beneath me and my sister's mumbling and her leg thrown over mine.  But mostly the window torches.  The glass of my window was old and opaque and wavy, distorting the neighbor's porch light.  I imagined it a torch--many torches, and a band of people to carry them.  I would lie and think of them as an angry mob, a band of outcasts, a welcome home; as a farewell, a fairy dance, a gypsy camp.  They were pirates and shepherds and witch-hunters and stars.  I would lie and imagine 'til I no longer thought but dreamed.  So I don't much remember sleeping.

Friday, June 24, 2011

15 Vignettes, 30 (one) days.


As many of you know, I love vignettes. Small portraits of a moment, a place, a time. So, to help with writing the many essays that will be coming this summer, I want to introduce a challenge.

15 vignettes, thirty (one) days. 15 snapshots, related or unrelated--it doesn't matter. The challenge starts July 1.

Indicate your interest in the comments. I look forward to seeing the vignettes you all come up with--I for one will be posting my 15 on arsdecarta.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being Grown Up

Being grown up isn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

Wait, scratch that. Never thought growing up was a good idea. Which is why I've been avoiding it.

But, right now, I'm working two jobs, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Teaching all day leaves  me tired, so I just go home and crash. This isn't cool. I like having the time to hang out and think and write...

But, there are definite upsides to this gig. Like no longer being a broke student, and maybe even being able to afford a typewriter if I find one... that's a good thing. Plus I've discovered a few new thrift shops that I might drag M along to visit one weekend.

Yeah, that's about all right now... But!!!

Stay tuned for Friday! Big announcement coming!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Brain... come back...

 I want to play:

And I'll be back next week with actual content, not just haiku and links... once my brain returns from wherever it ran off to at noon yesterday as I walked out of the MCAT.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Moment of quiet won'dring.
Mixed with violent thought
Quite often, leads to brilliance.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Book, June Edition

  1. weather that's finally appropriate for the season
  2. a Solstice party
  3. "Oh, Karl..."
  4. my first Real game
  5. playing soccer mom, juice boxes and all
  6. clothes that make me look tan
  7. brand new in baby goats
  8. Memorial Day malts
  9. borrowing the neighbor's toddlers for a few hours entertainment
  10. homemade apple pie
  11. broadening my culinary capabilities
  12. being the dictionary/encyclopedia/overall reference book girl
  13. summer walks to DQ
  14. riding in the new (read ancient) Saab convertible
  15. having time to blog

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Inquisitive Eyes

She's got inquisitive eyes, staring at me from the top of the steps, waiting for me to

Step out of the door.

The minute I do, she'll slip in, a wraith, a ghost. A soft and browngrey and fluffy ghost with bright bluegreen eyes that change color in the light.

She thinks she's fierce, going to battle with a magpie out on the lawn, fur and feathers turning into a blur as they circle.

Today, the magpie wins, flying triumphantly into a tree to brag while she scowls below. Just wait, magpie, she says, One day, I'll be victorious.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brown Velvet

There's something magical about the sight of a fresh plowed field. Last night, I went to bed with the sound of a tractor outside, and when I woke up this morning, the fields were perfect. Brown velvet with a coating of dew.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lost in Thought

More often than not, someone in my family will walk into a room and find me there...just sitting and staring into space. Usually I'm supposedly reading or ought to be doing something else at the time.  They'll ask, "What are you doing?" and I guilitily say, "Nothing," and get back to business.  Well I'm not guiltily saying nothing anymore.  I'm thinking.  Deep thoughts or's a worthwhile pasttime.  And that is all.  Amen.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sometimes, things happen for a reason.

This isn't my own, but it came at just the right moment for me.

Facing the Mistakes of Life

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Price of Being a Luddite

I guess I always knew it would come down to this.

I would have to pay for my love of paper.

Now, I'm in the final days before the biggest test of my life, and I think I finally know what the problem is. It's a computer based test, and I'm a luddite. I like my science on paper in front of me, where I can highlight and annotate to my heart's delight. Even a fancy program like Skim just doesn't do it for me. I've now got 12 days to figure out how to improve my reading comprehension and test taking on a computer.

Any suggestions on improving my performance?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Notebook Dilemma

The Dilemma
I'm coming to the end of yet another notebook, and right now, I've got no clue of where to go next. My current choice is the one you see to the left--softcover Miquelrius, squared pages. It's taken a beating over the past 9 months and still looks good. But choosing a new notebook is always tough. Here's what I've got in my current stock. I'd love any opinions.

The Classic
This is the notebook I started out with, or nearly so--my first was smaller. But the Moleskine. As we all know, it's...
The legendary notebook of Chatwin and Hemingway.
Course, that may mean something, or it may not. My first notebook when I decided to be a "writer" was a little Moleskine that took me a  year to fill up. Now, I've gotten faster, but also, more abusive. My last Moleskine was falling apart by the time i got done with it, and that's a major disadvantage. I'm tough on my books, and how long they last is a major determination. That said, the Moleskine is a classic, full of history for me, full of a lot of good times.

The Royal
I found these notebooks a long while ago in my university bookstore, and fell in love with the pretty colors and softness of the leather. They're a limited edition put out by the Victoria and Albert Museum, and are luxurious. Soft calfskin, thick, smooth paper with tiny lines, they're nearly perfect. Not to mention they smell absolutely lovely.

But I feel bad for disrespecting them this way, by dragging the book around everywhere and it getting beat up and nasty. Last time I had one of these was one of the toughest times in my life, but at the same time, one of the good times.

The New Kid
 The Miquelrius was the surprise to me. The mini version I bought 4 years ago finally died when it got washed, but until then, it looked amazing and was holding up great. Because of that, I decided to try out the big version, squared, and I liked it. The lines were small, the gridding was nice a lot of the time, and it has more pages in a smaller package than the typical Moleskine.

But, there's the smell. A polysomething smell that doesn't go away--it doesn't smell like good paper or any of the things we love. It can handle the beating that being in my bag entails, but lately, I haven't felt super inspired to write lately--and make that's just me. These past 9 months, they've been very up and down. Now, I know that notebooks don't determine how things go, but...

The Slight Disappointment 
This is the Paperblank. Taller than a pocket Moleskine, narrower than the Miquelrius, it's a nice size. The paper isn't bad, but the cover has a way of doing strange things as it gets used.
The last one of these corresponds with what I guess I could call my hell year, when things weren't so good, so do I take that into account? Or do I give this book another chance? 

The Unexpected?
I have two beautiful handmade leather journals that I got from M in a trade--she got dishes I made. They're beautiful and smell of the most divine oiled leather. Do I use them?

Final Thoughts...
Writing this, I came to a realization, one that kind of makes me wonder... how does a notebook play into our lives? Does using one or the other have any effect on how things go, or are they just along for the ride; a correlation, not causation?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happiness is...

...a belly full of soup on a cool spring day.

...getting the job! (My first outside the science sphere.)

...lying on the grass, feeling the chill burn off and the world grow shiny.

...having MnahMnah by the Muppets running through my head.

...happy sighs.

...The thought of creativity.

...Summer on the horizon.

...bright blue toenail polish.

...typewriters on the grass.


and most importantly?

...loving life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rainy Day II

It's raining again, and hard.

I wonder if this is what it is like in the rainforest, only warmer--right now, it feels more like February than May.

The tree I ran into earlier is back to dripping water--took only a few minutes to recoup the water it dumped onto my head when I ran into it.

I look out the window and see water pooling at the edge of the plastic covering the potted plants on the back porch--they're still fragile from being potted and it's going to get cold tonight.

There's tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner, and I'm excited. Perfect food for a perfectly rainy day.

Monday, May 16, 2011


My mailbox stands on the opposite side of the street.  I don't know that I've ever gone to get the mail while wearing shoes.  I'm always reminded of the poem, The Young Housewife, by William Carlos Williams, who comes to the curb "shy, uncorseted, tucking in/ stray ends of hair" to summon the ice-man and the fish-man.  I feel like that as I pad along the soft tar lines to the mailbox, in my pajama shorts and wispy hair and bare brown feet and return clutching the mail to my chest, a little exposed, but mostly free.  In summer I go slowly, in the fall I bow my head in the rain.  Spring brings an uncharacteristic mincing step, and in winter I just bolt.  But always shoeless, uncorseted, and free.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

It's my first summer off in I don't know how many years. No formal classes, no job, nothing save for prep for another application cycle.

So what do I do with myself? I plan on writing more, and for the blog, as it I think will be a major help for my applications. I've been wanting to try and get two pieces published for this blog network I read, so I'll be glad for the time to finally sit down and write them. And I think I want to finish my scripts, maybe write another summer novel...

It's going to be strange to not have classes this summer. Everyone keeps telling me I should take a gap year between gradation and going to med school, but the thing is, I have absolutely no clue what I'd do with myself. Like I said--the thought of even a summer off is crazy. I love being busy and having somewhere to go and something to do.

So I'll leave it here for now. Stay tuned, as I think that there is some pretty awesome stuff on the way.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rainy Day

Summer starts with a series of rainy days.

Not the summer we're used to, for sure.

But, I kind of like it. Makes it feel like the UK, just a bit, makes me miss the people there just a bit less.

I dug worms earlier today, to be used to paint.

And yes, they are real worms, as I just heard her say.

I'm in a bit of a daze, that pre-summer daze where nothing quite seems real.

So is it real? Or is it just a figment of the rain?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stacks of Books Three Feet High

So I went through my books over this past week (they desperately needed to be repacked in their boxes after having been shuffled through all winter long looking for favorites to bring back to my college apartment).  I stacked them all on the floor of the living room and catalogued them before putting them all back.  I think I threw out a few discs in my back but it was worth it now I don't have to unload a whole box to find what I'm looking for.  My parents were appalled at the sight. 
I covered a six foot by four foot area with stacks of books almost three feet tall, and that doesn't count picture books and the ones scattered around the house.  See,  I have this sneaky system:  if I don't keep all my boxes of books in the same place, my compulsive-anti-pack-rat mother doesn't realize how many there are, precluding her from feeling the itch the throw some out.  She realizes now.  The look on her face was classic horror.  And my dad said that he'd just start checking books out from me rather than the public library.  I think he looks forward to the day I'm gone for good, because between my antique furniture and my books waiting for a less transient home he'll be getting half of his workshop back someday. 
Henry Ward Beecher says that, "Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house."  When my Dad gets his workshop back a house will come into existence where every room has bookshelves and every flat surface has a stack of books on it.  They will line the walls and the halls and the top of the piano.  My children will use them to hold down the corners of their blanket forts and be the floors and walls of their doll houses as they reenact the stories in them.  I can't wait for that house.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I'm proud to be a scientist.

That said, science is mind blowing. And usually in a good way. But then there are those days when your mind feels like mush and all you want to do is curl up with some fiction and ignore anything remotely intellectual. That's where I should be, having been working on this paper for at least 8 hours. But, strangely, I'm not.

9:45 PM
Well, I wasn't when I started this post 4 hours ago. Now I'm nearing the twelve hour mark, and I've still got an essay to write on cooperation and selfish genes.

Sorry for a most uninteresting week, folks. Summer will be here when I push the submit button for this essay, so you can hope for a slight jump in quality...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


So I thought writing all day would be awesome.

I was wrong. I haven't written much, even though about 10,000 words is due by midnight tomorrow. Instead, I played a drag racing game on my phone for a while. And then thought about doing my essays and paper. And thought some more. And then looked through Richard Polt's site looking for new typerwriter fonts. I'm officially in love with the Royal Vogue font. I want one of those machines. Badly. That would make a great present. (hint hint wink wink)

I think that's all I have to say today. My brain is still somewhat fried from finals and trying to not think like the scientist I am. It's difficult.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Frenzy is Over

May 1. The Frenzy is finished and once again, I lack a finished screenplay. But I've got the finish for the one. I know how it ends, know how it will tie into the sequel that I may well write next year. And I know where I'd like things to go for my other script, which is exciting. Well, except for the fact that I don't know exactly where they're going. But that's alright.

This year was a good year for the Frenzy. I really like my scripts, and I think they have potential. That's a happy thing.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The word GUMPO, a dinosaur anecdote

This was inspired by a contest on the OLL Blog, and is posted there as well. But I thought I'd share here as well.


The thing is, you have to have a working understanding of Dinosaur and it's derivatives to really understand the language of someone like Blobby. Take the word GUMPO. For most dinosaurs, this is well outside what we would expect in the normal vocable range. However, as demonstrated in the interview, Blobby is unique. Therefore, we must venture into the vast array of dialects that this wonderfully complex and beautiful language encompasses.

In ornithomimid (the language of bird-like dinosaurs), there is the word "garah." More colloquially, it is "garop". Granted, at first, this does not sound like GUMPO, but if you understand the etymology of the word, the connection becomes clear. It means "love." Love of flying, love of life, and of art, much like "rawr," a word well known in Common Dinosaur. But what differentiates it is 'Rawr" is often "I Love you." "garah" is general love for everything. It comes from the common word "quoop." Quoop is love.

Quoop came out of Dinostock 92, the precursor to our own Woodstock. Unlike most common dinosaur words, it is difficult for sober land dinosaurs to vocalize. But throw in a little weed, and anything becomes possible. Well, Dinostock 92 faded into legend, but the word remained well loved in the stoner community. Well, some of those stoners eventually grew up, but they retained their heritage. But they could not produce the joyous Quoop while sober. So, they came up with a new version, and it spread like wildfire, as many dinosaurs were forced to grow up in the boom extinction event that took out much of the older population. Without parental support, they were on their own. The word was Rumpro. They kept the meaning the same, one of free love and joy and love for the world.

Well, years have passes, ad it's taken on many forms. North American dinosaurs turned it into GUMPO. European dinos kept on using Rumpro, but for the rest of the world, they embraced innovation, and Gumpo spread as the word for love. Love of writing, of life, of music and caffeine and good friends.


theanab, dinosaur linguist.Love.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


A while back, I posted about actual intellectualism. Today, I want to talk about another favorite subject: psueointellectualism.

Now I'm not talking about the ignorant sort of snark that you find on the internet today, where people get together and act all smart and mean. Not in the least. That's not how I define it.

What I'm talking about is a bunch of smart people who get together and talk about random things--chaos is important (and we've been known to discuss chaos theory, though that lends itself more to being intellectual.) But while talking about these random things, we manage to sound all intellectual, even though for most of us, we only have a cursory knowledge of the subject. Truth is, I don't know how we manage it. Maybe it is just because most of us are somewhat educated and understand language and grammar. Or it might be that we talk loudly and with passion, throwing our hands in the air and drawing on imaginary chalkboards... Take your pick; I'm sure you can find a good reason for it.

Finals are upon me now, so I'm honing my intellectual brain. See ya on the flip side.

Monday, April 25, 2011


There is nothing I like more than arriving at a final to find an essay question; but especially an essay questiong that says something like:  "Why is (subject of class) important to you?" or "How does your favorite work of American poetry figure in larger worldview?"  I can say whatever I want.  I can write to my heart's content.  There's no stipulations.  No length requirements. It's wonderful.  Those open-ended questions are the best.  What's the earliest thing you remember?  Where do you come from?  Who's the one person who's most affected your life?  Open-ended questions; they prompt all the best writing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Script Frenzy Week Three

I did it.

Took me 20 days.

That's the longest I've ever spent to win a Frenzy. My first year, 4 days. Second, 3 days. And last year, it was either 2 or 3.

But this year, life just kept happening and I didn't have the long blocks of time to sit and bash out a ton of text. Once my NaNo ran out, I was flying solo (I didn't even know how the story ended), something I didn't do last year. Last year, the whole thing was completely written out for me, just needed to be strung together. But, I like how it turned out. The script isn't finished yet, but I know how it ends. And I know how the sequel starts, and I"m pretty stoked about it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If I'm not around much...

... it's because finals are approaching. Three exams and two papers in the next two weeks. And a Frenzy to finish. So, truth is, I don't have time to write a post right now and no idea what to write it about.

So, back to the standby. Enjoy a bit of noir.

Int. Jack's Office

Shot fades in as Jack is talking.

She walked, no, she stalked into my office, gun still in her hand.

JESSICA is silhouetted in the doorway as she walks in.

(to Jessica)
Hey kitten. What you doing with that big of a gun.

I've been doing what needs to be done.
As all the men in this town were afraid to do it.

Sets the gun down.

Couldn't see what color her hair is beneath that hat, but I'd bet you it's red.

She walks out and he picks up the phone and dials.

That dame, she's seen it all. She's been around as long as any of us could remember, and she was the one that could get you any information you ever could want.
She was called Sylvia, but we never know if that is her real name. She had a reputation and lived up to it, if you could pay the price. Now, I didn't know if I could, but that woman had shaken me and I wanted to know why.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pardon my hacking...

It's finals week and I'm coming down with something...heaven help me.  But at least I survived my week in the house with no books.  One more week and I'm home and it's summer (sort of) and I can start all my projects and laugh at my little sister's forays into the adult dating world!  I can do this!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Script Frenzy Week Two

Sorry guys, spaced that I was doing this.

My script about the robot has stalled. I'm to this scene where one of my fave chars shows his extreme social awkwardness and how he copes. And honestly, I'm nervous to write it, because it's kinda crazy how he copes. With a sock puppet.

But my noir? I'm nearly to the end of where I wrote for NaNo. But the good thing is that I have the rest of it laid out. Now I just have to write the dialogue for it.

Page counts?
Calvin: 27
Red Hot Steel: 47

RHS looks like it may run shorter than 100 pages, but I'm okay with that. It's not meant to be long and drawn out. I'd rather it be a bit shorter and a whole lot sweeter. Although it does mean I may be able to add more characterization and backstory in somewhere... But I'm not to the second draft yet.

Until next week.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy People

This'll post at 11:59 my time so yeah, it's a Thursday post, but you'll all read in on Friday.

In light of all the crap that has been going on in my life, I took some time to think about what I was doing wrong, what could lead to everything seemingly going downhill. I've got a lot of theories, but it's one of them I want to focus on right now.

That's gratitude.

I realized that I was acting like an ungrateful little brat. Which means that everything that happened makes a lot more sense now. So today, I want to list a few people that I am grateful for. They made Thursday a better day than I had thought it would be.

1. Ryan from my gym. He taught me how to lead climb. For free. Instead of insisting I pay like most people. And he's just a cool guy.

2. Mr. Ken Sanders himself. He took the time to talk to me about the books I bought, and it was like "Wow. This guy that I barely know did something amazing. He made me feel important." That's something that I haven't felt in a while.

3. The guy at Now and Again. He was just nice, and not rude to a random kid like some shop owners are. And his dogs are cute. I'll go back, even though he says that typewriters last a day, max. That's an interesting sign. Where are all the Utah typospherians? Or are they just decorating with typers?

I like 3. It's a good number. So I'll leave it there.

Until next week.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Life Hating Continues

I wish I knew what was going on, but right now, everything just seems fucked up.

Yeah, I just used that word. Sorry M and others who don't like it.

But it fits.

Was going to whine about how I'm mad at myself for screwing things up in my life, but I don't know. Maybe I'll just rant about language. Or pseudointellectualism. Or any of the other random things that I could write about.

Or not.

Well, enjoy what I found on Matador.

Notes on the Underground

Monday, April 11, 2011

Crazy Cat Lady

It's finals week.  A family friend is out of town for two weeks.  I'm house and cat sitting and studying.  I was excited.  And wanted Cowboy to clone himself a few times to make the crazy cat lady experience a little more true to life.  Until I arrived.  There are no books.  NO BOOKS IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE!!  NO BOOKS!!!!!  I will die.  I will really truly die.  There isn't a single one.  Have you ever heard of such an insane, horrifying, panic inducing, hyperventilation causing, nightmare bringing, awful, hateful, I'm-running-out-of-adjectives-I'm-so-freaked thing?!?  I will die.  And the cat is needy and sits on my anthologies.  I hate my life.  The end.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Script Frenzy Week One

Well, we're just finishing up the first week of the Frenzy. So, I thought I'd let you all know what is going on!

Working on two scripts right now--the noir that you've seen parts of already and a story with the the following tagline:

In which a misprogrammed, fatalistic robot and a bunch of ragtag heroes embark on an epic quest to save the world.
Yeah, that one's awesome. It involves the circus. :) And even better: The whole idea came out of a bunch of Script Frenzy dares I took a couple of years back and never used.

I'm 22 for sure pages into the robot story, with a bunch to transcribe, and 18 into the noir, which is an adaptation of one of last year's NaNo novels.

Doing an adaptation is always interesting. If I've got an idea for Script Frenzy and want to start on it before April, I'll write it as prose, as a novel, and then follow the rule for adaptation. But this one came to life first as a novel--I though it might be cool to adapt, but it wasn't the one that was written for that purpose. Last year's Dieselpunk NaNo was meant to be SF this year, but it just didn't feel right. I think I'm an action writer at heart. :)

Okay, enough of my ramblings. Stay tuned for next Friday's week two update!