Catch up, breathe deeply

After what seems like forever, I am finally getting caught up. Most of last year was spent with one or all of us bed or house ridden, one passing it on to the other as is the way of things in homes with children. There have been a lot of people disappointed in me, a lot of people who knew me and understood, and still more who have been supportive beyond the call of friendship. I think all of us have dealt with snowballs at least once in our lives and but this one created an avalanche. I’ve not given up though and things are getting better each day. I am moving forward.

LITTLE BITS OF WISDOM
A few of the many things I have picked up along the way, that I try to instill in my daughter, have been active in my life lately…

  • You should always be “straight up” with people. Be honest. Whether they will understand or not, your conscience is clear and you’ve done the right thing.
  • Pick your battles. Do what you can to the best of your ability and honor others as well as yourself. Help as much as you can but know when to say no.
  • If it is worthwhile dream, don’t give up.
  • When everything is a priority remember that family comes first. When it is hard to label what is the top priority in a pile of pressing deadlines, always pick the one that will give you the most trouble.
  • Breathe. There is always time to take a moment, close your eyes, and just breathe.

COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED

I own an HP laptop and frequently receives updates from HP including their Personal Again campaign that features some incredibly well-done and creatively inspiring videos. Recently I found Paulo Coehlo’s The Experimental Witch competition that led me, breadcrumbs in hand, to his Alchemist site on HP.

The guitar music that plays on the site has me completely in thrall. I am hooked on it, sometimes leaving the browser window up in the background to listen to it while I write or work. I don’t know that he will actually see it, but I sent him an email on his MySpace requesting the name of the piece or the guitarist and thanking him for his contributions to the creative community. Admittedly I do not own personal copies of his books yet but hope to soon. His stories are wonderfully rich and I look forward to reading more.

PUBLISHED RECENTLY

I have been so busy on this end that I’ve not had the chance to tell you all about some wonderful things that happened recently!

100 Days of Monsters. My family and I found Daily Monster, Stefan Bucher’s absolutely addictive video blog, and have been glued to it ever since. We crank the volume up so we can enjoy the sounds of his pens as they glide quickly across the paper. It is fascinating to watch what each seed of ink will become, even he doesn’t know till he does it which makes for a wonderful mystery. Stefan asked people to post little stories about his monsters, what we thought they were doing, who they were, and the madness began. Everyone got involved and the stories rolled in. Incredibly funny stories, emotional stories, off the wall weirdness, and all of them great fun to read. Well, he made a book with a DVD. All of his videos for the first 100 monsters and then some are included. And two of my stories made it into the book. So pick up a copy and read about “Reggie” and “Herman”, monsters 91 and 95. They will be very happy that you did. And if you do, please post a reply here and tell me what you think. I hope you like them both.

Thank you Stefan for your inspiration and your kindness!

Never Forgotten. I am a member of the ZNE network and was able to contribute to a book project for one of its members who recently lost her mother. I encourage everyone to take a look at the book and purchase one for yourself or for a loved one who may need some support or encouragement. I do not received any kind of compensation and am even purchasing my own copy so this is not a sales pitch. My piece is Essence & Longing and is included under the “Healing: The Beauty of the Soul” section in the book. If you do buy a copy, remember to post here and tell me what you think.

BACK IN SCHOOL

Started back to college week before last, totally online, and love it. Wish I could have done it sooner. They have the same accreditation as the local university but without worrying about scheduling, gas prices, or the wear and tear on my vehicle. Val has been in since August, he’s on the Dean’s list, (WOOT You go baby!) and I should be there soon as well. I am working on my BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design which, mostly, is the degree for what I have already been doing for the last 22 years. I have been wanting to finish school though, needed the piece of paper, and wanted to get all of the new software so here I am. I really enjoy the interface, the structure, the whole layout of AIU. And, yes, it takes a lot of discipline. But I will have my degree in 13 months, not four years, and there is something incredibly motivating about that. When I graduate in July of next year, if not sooner, I will be working on my Masters in Education there or finding a school where I can complete my Architectural Design degree. Yup, there is the secret to my handwriting, I was an Architectural Design major previously.

TED TALKS

“Who is this Ted person anyway…” you say? Don’t worry, I said that too. During my Visual Literacy class I was linked to a TED Talk by John Maeda. An incredibly brilliant, very funny man. Maeda spoke of simplicity, applying it to design and everyday life which is something I think we all need to look at. If you get a chance to watch the video, do, it is well worth the time. I have also found the TED Talks to be a fantastic resource. I think one of my favorites so far though has to be J.J.Abrams talking about the “mystery box” and writing.

A NEW SITE FOR ART FOR CURES

Art for Cures has been in need of a site for a while and, though I had started building one, my life and health conspired to keep me from it. After seeing a few site on the Ning network, seeing the resources available and the network’s framework, I decided to build us a home there. Art for Cures is now part of the Ning network and we already have several members there. Looking forward to posting the auctions in the next week and moving forward!

SCRIBBLES, DOODLES, AND SQUIBBLES

We like to hang out in the local bookstores on occasion (read we live there) and I am always on the lookout for new things fir Ysa and I to play with. Not seeing anything I could afford to get this week, or that we didn’t already have, I picked up another Kumon book for Ysa’s homeschool. Ysa and I rummaged around the children’s section a bit and a book accosted me on the way out. Well, it didn’t actually accost me per se, but I am very visual and certain things tend to jump out at me on shelves. In fact when I worked for the bookstores (both BAM and the Noble Barn), I was the one people always came to when they couldn’t remember the name of something. Nine time out of ten I would know it by what the spine or cover looked like and sometimes the “look” of the author’s name.

This time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was coming home with us.

Scribbles by Taro Gomi is part of a three book series (might be a series, should be) and all three seriously ROCK. The books are almost two inches thick and full of half drawn doodles that you have to finish. It is total creative license, total interpretation, total fun.

…and yes, for those who recognized the name, Taro Gomi also wrote Everyone Poops. hehe

BEING ANACHRONISTIC AGAIN

I’ve rejoined the SCA after a long hiatus and have brought my family with me this time. Val is going Art/Sci, Logan is going heavy weapons, and even my girl is considering it as well since they start youth combat at age seven. She already makes a great shield wall, ran over the last guy. Val has been working on his own medieval chant notation, Logan is making chaine maille again and I have been pouring through patterns and buying fabric in preparation for garb making. It has been way too long since I have been camping so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, I was also given the honor of being the Shire’s new Web Minister (or Mistress in this case).

My new tagline?

Ana Maria Seaton
ska Ginuivive Alysabaeth Rosewood (Dragonfly or Alysa)
Shire of Amurgorod, Kingdom of Trimaris
“The Dragonfly caught in the Spidered Web.”

Web site for the Shire coming very soon. VIVAT TRIMARIS!

SCRIPTFRENZY

ScriptFrenzy is this month, brought to you by the makers of NaNoWriMo. I toyed with the idea of working on a script I have had in my head for a while now but my time will not allow it. Also, anytime I even consider working on another writing project, my two novels – Moonlight & Shadow and Odonatia – beat me over the head and throw tantrums on the floor begging for attention. My children’s book, Clementine’s Garden, can get away with it though. They don’t beat her up because she is too cute.

WAIT, YOU SAID…ODONATIA!?

Yes I did, you heard me right. Odonatia is fast becoming a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Odonatia is a fiction project I have been working on for about 10 years now. Started as a simple postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage), it quickly snowballed (read avalanched) into an epic piece of fiction with real passports, a winery and other goodies coming. Turning very steampunkish. Plans include a daily blog form the island, downloads and other goodies. Looking at a couple of other creative associates that might get involved as well in the future.

ON THE HUSH HUSH

Two major projects going on, one involving my rubber stamp line that is forthcoming, are building up speed and about to take off. Sadly though, and yes I know I am a tease, both are on the “hush hush” right now till I get the okay. I know, stop pouting, I’ll post here as soon as I get the green light. Needless to say both are of incredible proportion and I cannot wait to tell you all.

…well, that is all I can think of for now. (aren’t you glad? hehe) I will be posting scans, photos and a few updates today and over the next couple of days. This week has been a busy one so I have been trying to stay focused and push forward. Hoping this finds you all well and in good creative spirits!

Brightest blessings!

Empowerment

So Logan comes home raving about this new song he heard and that I have to hear it. Logan, thankfully, has a pretty good ear for music having once been a musician himself. He knows that as a bellydancer I love a good bass beat and that I love Latin rhythms. I am just getting back into the swing of things after a long illness and there is nothing I love more than a good beat to shimmy to. I think he is regretting showing me this because I think I have played it about 40 times now. LOL

I love the tributes to Billie Holiday and Frida Kahlo. You gotta love the beat on this one. :::happy shimmy:::

…and the chick with the bald head? I want her clothes, she’s gorgeous. I know a lot of women who proudly wear their heads shaved and I think it is beautiful. The ones I know wear it by choice in honor of their sisters or as their mantle of victory in their fight with cancer. I applaud their courage and the fact they want to make a loud statement to the world.

From the Jzabehl site: “It’s All About Me” is a girl power anthem celebrating confidence, self-indulgence and promoting the beauty of commanding respect for what you believe in. It starts and ends with women putting themselves first.

Oh, and the dancing grandma just rocks! Lyrics below. Turn the volume up! (kid safe)

One bad word, but they don’t say it audibly, so don’t worry mom’s…

* * *

I will never be that pretty little girl
that always gets a round of applause and public approval
once a month I flip out act like a bitch and trip out
fall on the ground and cry like a baby till I feel better
All I want is R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
I’m not your basic, average, typical hottie
edumacated, complicated, and unique
Domesticate me, dominate me, and you’ll see
Machismo isn’t really doin’ it for me
don’t try to aggrevate me, cause I might…..

La la la la la la la la la la

It’s all about me, hey hey aha (x 3)

What I wear is my choice, pretty in pink and with poise
but I make noise
so cover your ears if I ruffle your feathers
Watch me put my boots on
hang with the boys I get down, but not around
with tough skin, lipstick and razor sharp glances
All I want is R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
I’m not your basic, average, typical hottie
don’t try to aggrevate me, cause I might……

La la la la la la la la la la
It’s All About Me, hey, hey aha(x 3)

Love the music, crazy, sexy
Random thoughts, get racey, edgy
Stand up, get down, rhythm take me

I JUST WANT TO START A RIOT!

Little secrets, hate it , keep it
Black box, voice speak, think it, dip it
Hips sway, gyrate, humor seek it

I’M JUST LOOKING TO START SOME SH**!

its all about me hey hey aha!(x 3)

Empowerment

So Logan comes home raving about this new song he heard and that I have to hear it. Logan, thankfully, has a pretty good ear for music having once been a musician himself. He knows that as a bellydancer I love a good bass beat and that I love Latin rhythms. I am just getting back into the swing of things after a long illness and there is nothing I love more than a good beat to shimmy to. I think he is regretting showing me this because I think I have played it about 40 times now. LOL

I love the tributes to Billie Holiday and Frida Kahlo. You gotta love the beat on this one. :::happy shimmy:::

…and the chick with the bald head? I want her clothes, she’s gorgeous. I know a lot of women who proudly wear their heads shaved and I think it is beautiful. The ones I know wear it by choice in honor of their sisters or as their mantle of victory in their fight with cancer. I applaud their courage and the fact they want to make a loud statement to the world.

From the Jzabehl site: “It’s All About Me” is a girl power anthem celebrating confidence, self-indulgence and promoting the beauty of commanding respect for what you believe in. It starts and ends with women putting themselves first.

Oh, and the dancing grandma just rocks! Lyrics below. Turn the volume up! (kid safe)

One bad word, but they don’t say it audibly, so don’t worry mom’s…

* * *

I will never be that pretty little girl
that always gets a round of applause and public approval
once a month I flip out act like a bitch and trip out
fall on the ground and cry like a baby till I feel better
All I want is R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
I’m not your basic, average, typical hottie
edumacated, complicated, and unique
Domesticate me, dominate me, and you’ll see
Machismo isn’t really doin’ it for me
don’t try to aggrevate me, cause I might…..

La la la la la la la la la la

It’s all about me, hey hey aha (x 3)

What I wear is my choice, pretty in pink and with poise
but I make noise
so cover your ears if I ruffle your feathers
Watch me put my boots on
hang with the boys I get down, but not around
with tough skin, lipstick and razor sharp glances
All I want is R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
I’m not your basic, average, typical hottie
don’t try to aggrevate me, cause I might……

La la la la la la la la la la
It’s All About Me, hey, hey aha(x 3)

Love the music, crazy, sexy
Random thoughts, get racey, edgy
Stand up, get down, rhythm take me

I JUST WANT TO START A RIOT!

Little secrets, hate it , keep it
Black box, voice speak, think it, dip it
Hips sway, gyrate, humor seek it

I’M JUST LOOKING TO START SOME SH**!

its all about me hey hey aha!(x 3)

NaNoWriMo Resources

I can hear it now. Nano…what?

NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. www.nanowrimo.org

I’m writing a novel…a whole one…50,000 words.

I start on November 1st, in 3 days.

…and I am going to be finished with it by November 30th.

No, I’m not crazy, and there are several thousand other people doing it too. Chances are you may know someone else who is doing it and not know it. Regardless, PASS IT ALONG!

…GLAD YOU ASKED WHY

Because I can. I’m doing it for me. I know I can do it so it isn’t a matter of proving ti to myself really. (note I am being positive hehe) I want to make my writing a practice and it takes 30 days to make a habit. So I figure if I write 1700 words a day, what is required to stay on target with my NaNoWriMo, it will help me keep doing it.

DO I FEEL SOMEWHAT LIKE A LEMMING?

Yes. :)

RESOURCES

For those about to write, I post these resources with a salute. These are also posted on the NaNoWriMo forums here.

We had our first meeting for this area on Friday night last week and had an absolute blast. There were a few things I had mentioned in our meeting that I wanted to share with everyone. Notes below are in italics…

REFERENCE BOOKS
I love and heavily rely on these books.

Descriptionary
Publisher: Facts on File; 3rd edition (February 28, 2005)
ISBN: 0816059268
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/yckj7l

Synonym Finder
Publisher: Warner Books; Revised edition (1986)
ISBN: 0446370290
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/yjfnz4

I don????????t own these yet, but will soon; I have used them before and really found them helpful.

Writer’s Guide to Character Traits
Author: Linda N., Ph.D. Edelstein
Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 2nd edition (August 9, 2006)
ISBN: 1582973903
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/y37qkn


The Describer’s Dictionary: A Treasury of Terms and Literary Quotations

Author: David Grambs
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (August 1995)
ISBN: 0393312658
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/y4jv2n

Flip Dictionary
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books; 2nd edition (January 2002)
ISBN: 1582971404
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/yzc7vb

MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS

E.S.Posthumus
If you like chant, Enigma or Dead Can Dance, their ???????Unearthed??????? album (available on [i]All of mp3 link below) is incredible.[/i]
www.esposthumus.com

GAME SOUNDTRACKS:

I think game soundtracks are one of the greatest hidden resources. Most people use movie soundtracks but what about all those great games? The MMORPG (massive multiplayer online roleplay games) have huge soundtracks with some incredibly emotionally driven music. Combat, romance, horror, travel and exploration…all themes are touched on in the games.

While researching this I was ecstatic to find that they were all available via through the All of mp3 site (link below). Take a minute to listen to the samples (low quality), trust me, you won????????t be disappointed. This is my FAVORITE writing music???????

Myst soundtrack
http://tinyurl.com/yxxb4w

Myst II: Riven soundtrack
http://tinyurl.com/yxxb4w

Myst III: Exile soundtrack
http://tinyurl.com/ycx26r

Guild Wars games:
http://www.directsong.com/index.asp?game=guildwars

Click on one of the games listed below on this site then click on ???????listen??????? at top center in yellow. I play the game and bought the collector????????s editions of them in order to get the soundtrack CD. I LOVE writing to them…

Guild Wars, aka Prophecies (original game)
Factions (1st expansion) – Oriental theme
Nightfall (2nd expansion) – Middle Eastern theme

MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS:

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man????????s Chest (2nd movie though first is also good)
Medicine Man (older movie with Sean Connery)
Edward Scissorhands
Gladiator

WHERE TO FIND MUSIC

All of mp3
LEGAL music downloads. Whole CD quality albums for 2-3 bucks! I adore this site.
www.allofmp3.com

Pandora Radio
Your own personal internet radio station; free and YOU program it.
www.pandora.com