Category Archives: Just for Fun

To My Baby

Happy

Happy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before you read any further, I would like to warn you that there are going to be acronyms, and a “tiny” bit of personal information. Read further at your own risk.

 

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When I wrote about the personal and professional life, I deliberately left one thing out: That my husband and I are also trying for a baby. At that time, I wasn’t sure who were telling, as it turns out, we don’t care who knows. In fact, we’d like everyone to know so that if anyone is having similar problems, they can understand that they are not alone.

We cannot have a baby the “normal” way. At this point, I’m beginning to think that we need to redefine normal because infertility affects 12% of the population. That’s pretty high. Anyways, so we were looking into ART which includes IVF and IUI. We had a preliminary consultation with the fertility doctor.

Our doctor told us that we look like great candidates for IVF, although not so much for IUI, or hormone therapy. The cost was slightly more than what were originally thinking. And to pay for it would wipe out our savings. essentially leaving us without the money to pay for other necessities, like bills (food, electricity) let alone anything for a baby.

And on that note, we can approach things three ways. 1. There are financing options, but my credit isn’t all that good. 2. There are a few grants out there, and we have every intention of applying a few that we can (many are location specific, and sadly, none are in our location). 3. Home-grown fundraising.

We are definitely looking into the second option. And as part of the search to find grants that we can apply to, we found one that required a letter to our future baby.  And, because we’re so nice, we’ve decided to share.

Dear Baby,

Your mommy and daddy have gone through much before they could meet you. When she was only 23, your mommy was diagnosed with melanoma, a cancer that could potentially kill her. Your daddy was in several car accidents, breaking his back several times over the years.

The result was that mommy and daddy couldn’t get you like most parents do. They needed help if they ever wanted to see you. Many babies come without planning. But mommy and daddy planned and saved just so they could have you.  And that makes you a precious miracle.

Your mommy and daddy knew that they wanted a family. When some methods they tried failed, they set up a plan. Mommy and daddy both wanted to lose weight. Mommy lost 40 pounds in the year up to trying for you again. They did research to see the best place for help in their area. The looked at ways to get this help in an affordable fashion as well. They were prepared.

When their first appointment came, their doctor said they were perfect candidates for a specific kind of help. And that made them very happy.

Baby, we do not yet know if you are a girl or boy, but we do know that we will love you with all our hearts. We are prepared to care for all your needs, for the ups and the downs. We will support you when you need it.

We hope that we can show you to be a good person, with strong morals but also independent. Do not follow the crowd simply because that’s what everyone else is doing; do it because it’s what you want to do, and it’s the right thing to do. Remember that someone can only get you down if you let them. And that you can do anything you set mind your to. Dream big and play fair. Try to stay healthy. Exercise can be fun, and it’s good for you too. Learn to laugh at yourself and your mistakes. You will make mistakes, and that’s okay.

And remember “Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much.”

With all our love,

Mommy and Daddy

 

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A DIY Medieval Wedding on a Budget

Technically, I created this to be  a writing blog. However, I haven’t had much time to write recently, and I don’t see much time for writing in the near future due to personal matters. We have decided on a Medieval theme.

I decided to take May off of work and school so that I could really get down to planning my wedding. I wanted to have a venue by the end of this week. And I have one! Wedding and reception venue in one for convenience. We were originally going to marry in October, aiming to have the wedding around his fall break, but that won’t happen for a couple of reasons: fall break was cancelled, so the date was arbitrary; our 11 year anniversary is September 22, and the venue was open then, not in October. Since the rental for the venue is from noon Friday to noon Sunday (non negotiable), we will be married Saturday September 21.

The venue is about as “medieval” as we’re going to get in south Georgia. The chapel has an old feeling, as well as it should since it was built in the early 1800s. It has medieval-esque lamps hanging from the ceiling and stained glass windows. While we originally wanted an outdoor venue, the chapel is fully accessible for my groom, while the outdoors have a kind of rolling, hilly quality.

Some of our wedding is going to be d-i-y to save money, and because we’re both pretty particular on what we like. I’ll be sewing both of our outfits (at least his, one of my bridesmaids may make mine instead). I’m designing our invitations, programs, and other paper accessories. My father has agreed to officiate. My mother in law is doing the flowers, along with a friend of hers. We will be setting everything up and taking it down. I’m trying to talk my way out of cooking our own food, although I don’t mind providing the drinks (alcoholic and non).

To continue the theme, and because we want something different, we are going to provide activities for adults, as well as children. We’ll have outdoor activities (weather permitting) that include lawn bowling and (possibly) archery. We want a tent for the children shaped like a castle tower, other activities.

I’m really getting excited about all of this. I’m taking notes, and will possibly write further about planning a medieval wedding in my area. To help get an idea, I thought I would provide pictures of where it’s going to take place.

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Compulsive Creative Writers

I apologize for the gap in my blogging. Most of my writing has seen this gap. Between midterms and finals my school work, plus work, plus everything else, was just too much and I gave up a lot. Not just my writing, my walking suffered a severe drop as well. I’ve found a way to fix that, but it was a little late, and I’m embarrassed to say, I did not meet my Walk to Rivendell goals for the month. And before we go on to the main attraction a few quick words. First: Happy May Day! Second: We bought a house! Yay! One thing down, a million more to go.

I read an article recently that compulsive liars may be creative writers in disguise. And while I can no longer find that article, it got me to wondering. Why do people lie? It turns out that there is a “disease” called compulsive lying, which is completely different from a normal lie, I suppose, and it’s also different from people who lie because they are sociopathic. But does that mean people who have an “overactive” imagination (not to be confused with psychosis) are automatically liars? Well, the first step is define what a compulsive liar is and what is an overactive imagination.

Compulsive liars are creatures of habit. Lying is an addictive trait, much like drinking and smoking, and has similar effects on people and relationships. A compulsive liar is someone who feels best when lying rather than telling the truth. According to the Truth About Deception, compulsive liars often experience a time early in their life where lying has become necessary, the child of an abusive parent lying about their bruises for example, and from that they start lying about everything.The website futher states that “Lying feels right to a compulsive liar. Telling the truth, on the other hand, is difficult and uncomfortable.” Unlike manipulative sociopaths, compulsive liars are simply creatures of habit. This problem can be a symptom of a bigger, and more distressing personality disorder. In addition, this habit can ruin a relationship. There is help for compulsive liars, however, like most addictive behaviors, getting the person to see their own problem is difficult and often leaves them at rock bottom.

Overactive imagination, on the other hand, isn’t easily defined. What is overactive to one may not be active enough to another. The definition of imagination is the ability to “think of clever and original ideas, possibilities, or solutions.” Whereas the definition of overactive is being abnormally excessive. I suppose that there a certain amount of “normal” imaginative abilities, we all have dreams don’t we? And that does take some imagination. The ability for people to dream is only a small step into the deep waters of the imagination. The way I would define an overactive imagination is a person who, while they can tell what is reality, they can experience the imaginary on a sensory level. They can, willingly, see the worlds they (or another) have created, smell the flowers and feel the breeze. They can feel the emotions of invented people. And it is a person with an overactive imagination, in my opinion at least, that makes the best writer.

What does all this mean? I suppose that this could mean different things to everyone who reads this. To me, all this means is that compulsive liars were in some way unhappy with thier lives and fell upon lying as a way to make up for it. I believe that compulsive liars have overactive imaginations, and if it could be caught early enough it could be steered towards more productive, artistic, means. I believe that the article I read could be right, and that with the proper direction liars could stop lying and start writing, or painting, or finding another outlet for their feel-good fix.

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Acid Dreams or Inspiration?

Philip Burne-Jones Bt. (1861-1926) Français : ...

Image via Wikipedia

I have a tendency to remember dreams, and nightmares…and acid. No, I’ve never really done drugs, but many of my dreams strike me as weird and sometimes horrific. Like my most recent nightmare was of black widow spiders biting me and laying their nests inside of me. Just remembering that still makes me shudder. However, Last night’s dream felt very real, but it was also obviously a dream.

Probably because it was about vampires. At least that’s what I think they were. Only, they weren’t any kind of vampire that I’d ever seen before. Like some, they can eat regular food, in fact, in my dream that’s all I actually witnessed them eating, although I felt grossed out by the fact that they ate human food.

Still, when I woke, I wrote down everything I could remember of the vampires. The entire dream didn’t really matter since it morphed and changed, as dreams often do.

What really struck me, however, was the emotional roller-coaster that dream took me on. When I woke up, I felt exhausted, my eyes were red and my pillow wet. My conclusion was that I had been crying in my sleep. Even now, 8 hours later, I can feel the heart-rending loneliness that suffused the main “character” (the eyes I happened to be seeing through) felt as she looked out the window towards her past. Well, I’m assuming it was a she, although I could be wrong on that count.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so sad when waking up before. And the more I think about, the sadder I become.

And I’ve thought about it a good deal since waking, trying to find a story in the bits and pieces that filtered through. What did filter through, was a sense of the vampire and immortal. There was a sense of history, and something greater and I could probably write a history on the vampires that were in this dream. That’s how real this was to me. I could describe the texture of stones, the cold water in the “baptismal” chamber, and I can still see the rustic town at sunset as the character looks out the window. But I’m probably overreacting.

I tried to figure out a reason to be dreaming about vampires (the night I dreamed of the spiders I had been watching X-files so that kinda explained it to me because I also dreamed about UFOs), but I can’t figure it out. I haven’t watched anything to do with vampires in over a month, nor have  I read anything about it, and all of my vampire books are put away for the time being.

Then I started thinking about how dreams are supposedly your subconscious’ way of dealing with issues. What does it say about someone who dreams that they become a “vampire” and leave everything they know behind? Or about a person who obsessively reflects on said dream? On the plus side, I got some really good material that I can at least use for background notes, even if there is no story there. I mean…who ever heard of a person becoming a vampire through a test to see if you’re worthy or not?

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The Arm Bone’s connected to the…Leg Bone?

An animated gif of a walk sequence.

Image via Wikipedia

This is actually my monthly Walking to Rivendell update. I’m surprised that I got as much walking in as I did considering I took almost an entire week off (and hardly ever walk on weekends to boot). For a quick review: when I started the month I had 435.7 miles to go and would need to maintain 1.3 miles/day for the rest of the year to make my goal.

As for the title, the third week of January I over-extended my right elbow. Ow! Well…I never realized, until that week, just how interconnected the body is. I mean, I knew that the body depends on all parts to continue working correctly, but I had no idea that walking could be excruciating for an arm.  I walked as little as possible that week.

Let me explain. Usually I park about 0.6 -0.8 miles from where I work. The round trip theoretically makes my walk done for the day. So that week, my round trip walk to-and-from work ended up being about half a mile. Up to that point, my daily average was 1.5 miles a day. It ended as 1.06 miles per day with only 402.8 miles until I hit the goal.

Now I need to maintain 1.4 miles/day if I want to meet my goal. I now see that every month (so far) my goal has gone up by 1/10 of a mile,  if I keep this up I’ll need to walk 2.3 every day in November to reach the goal. Yikes. Well, as I said, walking 1.2 miles (to and from work) definitely takes some of the edge off of the need to walk every chance I get, and a 1.5 miles for today is a great start to February. I just hope I can keep it up.

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Happy New Year!

I realize that it’s been a while since my last post. Between two families, and all the holiday stuff that goes with it, and finishing my novel, I haven’t had much time to blog. From now on, every December I’ll be taking off. There’s just no way between two Thanksgivings, a birthday (or several), and two Christmases and still do everything I need to do.  I promise, however, to maintain the blog over the course of the rest of the year. Even if that means I’m writing ahead of schedule.

I said I finished my first novel. It currently sits at just under 100K. I haven’t started editing it, yet. And I’m going to take all of January off of that. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I thought I’d share with you the working title, and I’d appreciate any feedback. Lilith’s Children. Although I’m toying with the idea of turning it into a series, and that may become the series title.

I’ll have plenty to keep me busy, since I’m starting grad school, a graduate assistant job, and my fiance and I are looking for a house. Add to that three short story ideas that came to me while I was trying to finish my novel. I’ll definitely have my hands full.

I promised once a month updates for walking to Rivendell. My current location, a la Tolkien, is somewhere between the first night and second night. According to the website, the hobbits walked 18 miles that first day! Erm, well, I’ll admit to only finishing 22 miles (although I started mile 23) in the month of December. This means I did not meet my daily goal of 1.2 miles every day. With that, I now must up the ante to 1.3 miles every day to finish my deadline of November 30.

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Who would you like to write like?

As I was cruising the forums on www.nanowrimo.org, wasting time by not writing to meet my quota, I came upon a thread that asked who would you like to write like. Curious, I clicked and read about an online “test” that could tell you who you write like. There are several authors who have inspired me to write and it was interesting to see if I could score to be like them. If you want to take the test go here: iwl.me

For myself, I took a couple different excerpts and tested them, getting several different results: Stephenie Meyer, Jane Austen and Ursula K. Le Guin. While I don’t know how the test works, in the following sections, I’ll explain what I posted and how I think it relates to the results.

I write like
Stephenie Meyer

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

The above came from a heavy talking scene (I do a lot of that). I like Stephenie Meyer. She’s not my favorite by far, but I definitely respect her for several reasons. I won’t go into that here, but I will say that I know why this came up. One of my main characters, of which I have two, is named Jacob. He’s been Jacob for years. I love that name and it just fits the character. When I read Twilight, I thought about giving up on that name as a character, but I can’t. Jacob has existed in my head since high school, and I just can’t change his name now. Still, I don’t know if it’s that, or the fact that it was heavy on dialogue that scored this excerpt as Stephenie Meyer. I’m actually quite please with this result for several reasons: she hit it big time, she came up with a fairly new idea, and it was about vampires, a species that I’ve had a crush on since I read Dracula the first time. Or maybe it was when I first saw Dracula: Dead and Loving it. Not that it matters. It did not bother me that her vampires sparkled, perhaps because I saw the movie before reading the book, but I’d like to think that I have an open mind.

I write like
Jane Austen

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!


This one came from a heavy description scene. Yay! My favorite all-time author. I went through a few phases of what I liked to read while growing up, however, in my AP English class in high school I was introduced to Jane Austen. I had never thought of reading literary fiction for fun before. It was a chore to be done. Also, I just don’t like being told what to read (I was also introduced to Faulkner during this year. I hate him to this day). I fell in love with her style. Her prose flows so well, so when I get this, as I usually do, from my descriptive scenes, I’m ecstatic. Of course, this could be a not-so-good thing. When Jane Austen was writing flowery and heavily descriptive writing was what was in. It’s not really in today. At least, not in the same genre as she was writing (thinking contemporary fiction would have fit her category if she were writing today). I still see some language that can be over the top, but they are usually in Fantasy books, where description is often necessary to help the readers see worlds that don’t exist. Since I write, primarily, fantasy that’s not such a bad thing. Still, if I could write like Jane Austen every day, that would be awesome!

I write like
Ursula K. Le Guin

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!


This one came, and regularly comes as I expand on my nanowrimo novel, from the entire manuscript. I’m ashamed to admit, that while I’ve heard of her and seen the TV/Movie adaptations of her works, I’ve never actually read any of her books. So I can’t really explain why I think my novel sounds anything like the Earthsea novels. It could be because I have several words that I have made up, as I know she must have. It could be that in several places I put a stress on names, as I believe she does (at least I get that from watching the adaptations). It looks like I’ll be adding these to my Christmas wish list.

The really odd thing, to me, is that I seem to write like women. I’ve read, and have been inspired by male writers as well, like Piers Anthony, CS Lewis, Robert Pullman and Stephen King. Perhaps I’ll have to reread some of their work and find out what they have that I don’t. Not that I’m putting much faith into this game, since that’s all it is, but still, it’s interesting that they were all female writers and I’m a female writer.

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