My life has a soundtrack

I cannot live without music. I am very eclectic in my taste in tunes, just as in every other category, so I will listen to just about any kind of music depending on my mood. I keep a notebook of the songs I like, and any time I write there is music playing. In fact, if you look through any of my writing, you will often find songs titles jotted in analog margins or notated digitally.

CONNECTED

Over the years, I have progressed from LPs to 45s to cassettes to CDs and,  more recently, to internet radio.

When Pandora first emerged I geeked out. The idea of being able to create my own radio stations and share my music, even with the occasional ad, was fabulous. There were a few copycats showed up not long after that, but it wasn’t till my husband started using Grooveshark that I took notice.

Grooveshark has had its fair share of issues, but has still provided us with hours of listening for free. Unlike Pandora, though, it doesn’t suggest new music based on what our likes and dislikes are.  That is something that has introduced us to some incredible music we would never have found otherwise, like Beats Antique.

PLAYLISTS

Anything listed below that has an actual song title next to it is on my current playlist. I may like some, all or none of the artist other than the ones listed, but I’ll leave that up to you to investigate.

Soundtrack: The Secret Life of Arrietty – Arrietty’s Song, Our House Below, Spiller, Sho’s Waltz, An Uneasy Feeling, The Wild Waltz
Soundtrack: Ghost n the Shell: Standalone Project – Lithium Flower, Run Rabbit Junk, Inner Universe
Soundtrack: Record of Lodoss Wars – Niji

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
the MYST series (Myst, Riven, Exile)

Newsboys – I Am Second, Shine
Rob Dugan – Clubbed to Death (Matrix)
RJD2
Linkin Park – Burn It Down
Depeche Mode – Lie to Me
Ellie Goulding – Lights, Human
Hilary Grist – Right for You, City of Green and Blue
Onra – Last Tango in Saigon
Alex Clare – Too Close
Katy Perry – Wide Awake, Firework
Willow Smith – I Am Me
Prodigy – Firestarter, Breathe (my web design music)
Beats Antique
Rammstein – Feuer Frei!, Du Hast

…and too many to list from a list that is constantly growing.

Bucket Lists and Dreams to Goals

I thought it appropriate when I titled this post that I had accidentally capped “GO” in Goals. I mean, isn’t that the point of goals, to GO? Go forward. Go toward. Just GO.

No Dust Under My Feet

I’ve had this list (below) posted to my About page forever. Inspired by the movie, The Bucket List, a bucket list is basically a list of all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”.

I have been really blessed in my life, but there are still a few things I’d love to do, most of which involve traveling. I add to this from time to time, because my goals change and grow as I do.

In Totally Random Order

  • Cure my body of systemic Lymphedema.
    (won my disability case 1019/12, started MLD therapy 2016, no cure yet)
  • Graduate with a Masters degree.
    Graduated Full Sail 1026/12 with my Creative Writing MFA.
  • Graduate with a Graduate Certificate in using current tech for education.
    Graduated Full Sail 03/13 with my grad cert in Instructional Design & Technology.
  • Register my thesis, Stalemate, with the Writers Guild.
    (WIP but 2017)
  • Publish The Owl & the Mermaid.
    (WIP but 2017)
  • Spend the day with an elephant.
  • Improve my blogging.
  • Have my own gallery showing.
  • Travel to Portugal and get a personal tour from friends.
  • Travel to Sweden and get a personal tour from friends.
  • Curate an exhibition.
  • Take a ride on the Orient Express.
  • Spend two weeks in London with my family and go on the Harry Potter tour amongst other things.
  • Take my husband/family to Rome, Italy for two weeks.
  • Take my family to New York City to visit friends and get hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya [ link2 ].
  • Take my family to Oahu, Hawaii and show them around my favorite places like the Polynesian Cultural Center, Byodo-in Temple, and Hanauma Bay.

 

Let the wordiness begin!

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter,
so I wrote a long one instead.”
– Mark Twain

Well, it’s that time of year again. No, it’s after Halloween and Christmas, thankfully, is still a few weeks away. Nope, it’s write-till-you-drop month. That’s right, it’s November – National Novel Writing Month AND National Blog Post Month.

But I Already Have Too Much To Do

Any serious writer knows that you have to make writing a daily practice. Daily. I cannot stress that enough. Writing requires effort, and good writing even more so.

I write all the time. Cheap, quad notebooks and my black, fine point .5mm gel pens are always with me. I make lists, doodle, jot down notes for story ideas, and sometimes pen a few serious pages of plot. But even I get caught up in the day-to-day and have to remind myself to get a word down at times.

Day One is my eight-ball in the corner pocket. I schedule it to pop up around lunchtime and make myself write a few words, even if it is crap, just to make it a habit. I don’t allow myself to skip or dismiss it, which takes discipline, even as simple as that sounds.

Connect With Me

http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/renmeleon

Also, if you are a Full Sail University student, drop me a note as I am looking into setting up a virtual classroom writers group if there is enough interest.

 

Dear Santa,

Please send me 72 hour days and a remote control that puts life on hold so I can take naps…

My daughter has started making her Christmas wish list early. For some odd reason a Toy Story ” Woody” doll is at the top of the list. We have no idea where the inspiration for it came from but she asked for it last year as well and we distracted her with the other shiny stuff on her list instead. a) because we couldn’t find one and b) she has too many dolls and stuffed animals as it is.

She and I have an agreement that predates all of it anyway: No more stuffed animals or toys until we go through her room and cull out all the other stuff that has accumulated. She was all for the idea when she found out she could get new stuff. LOL I told her I would take photos of her old stuff so she could keep the memory and there were going to be a few things that would end up being packed away for safe keeping; special gifts, like from her beloved great-grandmother who is now gone fall under that category.

I have gotten practical about Christmas, looking more for functional goodies for her more than for trinkets. She loves to paint and create so anything I can buy her to encourage that – canvas, colored pencils, papers – I try to pick up throughout the year. She still gets clothes, pretties for her hair, the occasional toy and doll but it isn’t over-running her room like it used to. Last year her father found her a lovely cedar chest off Craigslist so the rest of her animals are in there and not strewn around so that helped too.

One of my most treasured holiday memories was from when I was about 13. My cousin Sandy gave me an enormous box, huge, full of individually wrapped mini presents floating in a sea of shredded newspaper. I remember opening the box and the sheer joy of rummaging through it looking for treasure. I don’t remember everything in the box but I do remember getting the LP for the Fleetwood Mac Rumors album. Yup, dating myself.

August

The start of a new month and I am entering simplicity mode. My life has been stressful this year in both good and bad ways; thankfully more good than bad though the bad tends to tinge and taint your thoughts if you allow it.

This year has been one of opportunity and growth, deadlines and stresses, all moving in the right direction though so it makes the pill easier to take. Looking forward to seeing this month through with the completion of a lot of things, a “clearing of the plate” in some ways.

Namaste and welcome to August!

Small Wonders

The day-to-day has become a blur as of late except for a few frozen moments here and there that stand out that I thought I would share…

And the rockets red glare
And the rockets red glare

Fourth of July

We love Fourth of July here and not just because it is a good excuse to play with fire. We get together with family, eat really good food (understatement), and watch the men get stupid trying to outdo each other with the mortars.

This year we brought my mother with us to my ex-brother-in-law’s house…and about 50 bucks worth of fireworks with us. He was already well prepared though with over 200 dollars worth so needless to say we had a good time.

I didn’t have my digital camera last year so I thought I would play around a bit this year. I was lucky enough to catch the shot above, an actual mortar going off, by using my Twilight (delayed exposure) setting on my CyberShot.

As far as the food, well there were meatballs in a crockpot full of sauce, to-die-for baked beans being served right out of the oven, some fabulous green beans, three different kinds of ribs that were REALLY good and a myriad of other snacky odds and ends. We ate just enough to be confortable plus two bites and spent the rest of the evening outside on the back deck under the stars watching the kids run around and the men see if they could blow each other up. It was a wonderful 4th.

pigtailedportrait

Pigtail Day

You have to be pretty secure in yourself to wear pigtails as an adult. I have only seen a few people that could carry it off. Ysa asks me to wear them occasionally but I never thought I would be leaving my house in them. I did for our weekly write-in one week, in fact this was earlier in the day, and no one stared at me like I thought they would.  Ysa looks much better in them.

objectsinmirrormaybeolder

Objects in Mirror May Be Older Than You Are

We have a lot of car shows here locally and you can always tell when one is going on by who is out on the road.

I personally prefer the old Classic Muscle to the new vehicles on the road. They were sturdier, sexier, and it was about how you got there not when you got there. My favorite cars? There are three: The 1951 Hudson Hornet, the 1950 Merc Led Sled (suicide doors prefered), and the 1967Ford Anglia 105e. Yes, the Weasley’s car from Harry Potter, no clue why other than I would happily drive one and have a Golden Snitch hanging from the rearview mirror. LOL

Oh, and as far as the photo above. don’t worry I was sitting at a light.

seeingdouble

Seeing Double

As an illustrator and designer, and even as a writer, I try to be as original with my work as possible. When I saw this in the bookstore recently I had to do a double take. Who designed the cover? It seems a little blatant to me. Twilight came out in 2005 and Words to Live By came out in 2007, a full two years afterward.

I have a shop on Cafe Press and one of the newsletter recently stated that apples were not to be used in any of the Twilight fan art posted to the public shops per the request of Meyers, author of the Twilight series.

The whole thing is amusing when you think about it though. One being a vampire novel and one being a book on Christian thought. I think C.S.Lewis might have had an issue with this.

Art Day

We had an “Art Day” play date over the weekend and my best friend brought me a lovely little paper mache box to play with. Having collaged and painted it, I decided it needed something to fill the empty space so I made a little mini book to go inside of it. We had a lot of fun and it was a much needed break.

Perpetually Catching Up

Ever feel like you dig out of one avalanche then get stuck in a blizzard on the way out? Things have been busy around here – full-time college student, homeschooler, freelance work or trying to get freelance work  – so I am always trying a new tactic.

I have tried assigning days for clients, assigning days for tasks, and something always seems to come along and disrupt my well-intentioned plans; normally it is my immune system. I am paring down my schedule so that I can focus more on school and the things that matter to me.

I am looking at my work as the Creative Director for PetsNPatients as a full-time job now and am devoting more time to it so that I won’t have to push so hard for freelance work which, up till now, has been my sole source of income. I want to get Art for Cures back on track, get the book projects off my plate, and be able to focus on my illustration work. The house needs seriously reorganized as well so I am doing that bits at a time.

With any luck you should see some major changes in the next couple of weeks including a lot more art from past and future projects as well as more bloggy goodness. It has been a long haul, one day at a time, and I know I have made some enemies, but it is going to be worth it in the end when I can get it all done and still retain my sanity.