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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How the personal affects the professional

We’ve all seen it. That point in your life where suddenly everything is happening at once. And that’s kind of where I am right now.Graduate school is still in full swing, work is going well at 20 hours a week.  I’m married, but we’re having a ceremony so all the family can come down. As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve got the personal/professional goal of finishing several short stories, and starting to edit my completed novel. Somewhere, something has to give. Either that, or I need to invent a time machine, so I can go back and relive several days so that I can complete everything that needs to be done. Oh, and taxes need to be finished too. Sigh.

While I am more confident in my schooling, I still have five more classes to go before I graduate. Since my GA position pays for 2 classes a semester, that makes three more semesters after this one is over. Oh, and my GA expires at the end of the year. Time to start looking for a job in the real world.

I’m told that planning a wedding should be fun. I don’t even have a budget yet. But I do have a date, and  a theme. Medieval. Full regalia. On the plus side, that could actually lower the cost of the wedding dress. But we definitely are looking at this thing from two sides. I’m practical, and cheap. He wants something grand and memorable. I wouldn’t mind grand and memorable, if I won the lottery and could afford it. The average cost of a wedding these days: $27,000! That’s more than twice what I make in a year (minus the tuition waiver). I’m constantly thinking of ways to cut costs, and he’s constantly thinking about ways to make an impression.

Since May of last year, I’ve lost 30 pounds. Not too shabby for someone who never seems to find time for exercise. I do try to walk (and by the way: I did make it to Rivendell last year, just one day before my deadline). After talking with one of my best friends, who looks amazing after losing 50 pounds in far less time, I realized the secret is movement. I’ve sort have always know that. But she rides her bike 3 miles 3 times a week. And has lost 50 pounds since October. Looks like I know something else I’m adding to my to do list.

With that on my plate, I’m not sure how I’m going to find time to write, although I have been writing. Google docs is my best friend. I can write from anywhere there’s a computer and internet access…which means…just about anywhere. I did finish one short story, but haven’t had the time to edit it yet. Or the much bigger project of editing my novel. And that great idea I swear I had, still have it. But I haven’t started it. Sigh. I know that if I want to make it as a writer, I need to make time to write. And I do. Just not nearly as much as I’d like.

Sometimes, when my personal life gets too full, I feel my writing slipping. And when push comes to shove, the writing falls completely by the wayside. I don’t want that. Something has to  give. But does it really? The more I think about everything that’s going on right now, the more I feel like I’m drowning. Maybe things will get better if I don’t think about it. Maybe, if I take a few calming breaths, I’ll realize that things are not nearly as crazy as they seem. And maybe I’ll actually get everything done, while keeping my “me” time, staying sane, keeping up my grades, losing weight, planning a wedding and keeping up with my writing. It’s possible I’m sure. I know some awesome women who have full-time jobs, are going to grad school and have children at home as well. With that in mind, it must be possible to do everything I am trying to do.

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Reviving the barely living blog.

West Hall, Valdosta State University

West Hall, Valdosta State University (Photo credit: jadjadjad)

In a couple more months it will have been almost a year since I have written a blog. In the interim, however, not all of my writing has gone half so wrong. And much has happened, although not all of it is of note.  But before I get into everything else, allow me to apologize for my absence. I had to sink myself wholly into my graduate studies, and if I didn’t I may not have continued. I seem to be slightly obsessive compulsive when it comes to doing one thing. I can do that one thing fully and completely, but then everything else falls by the wayside. While it may not be o/c, this is not the first time I’ve noticed this tendency in myself. I hope that when I have a full-time librarianship, and hopefully more time, it means I’ll throw myself into my writing with abandon.

And here’s the important news, I’m just about half-way through my graduate studies. When I first started in the MLIS program, I had no idea what APA, let alone how to use it. I’d never taken a fully online class. And to be honest, I felt like I was drowning. I’m quite afraid if I hadn’t given up everything, for a little while at least, I was going to fail. I very nearly did barely scraping the two “B”s that I needed to continue my studies. Since then, my grades have gotten better. I can at least understand APA, even if I am still wrestling with how to arrange my time in fully online classes.

As things with my online classes have gotten better, my writing has improved. I have a new best friend: Google Drive. Yep. I save almost everything in Google now. From ideas, to bits of inspiration, to excerpts from stories, and full short stories. The only thing not on there, my novels. Google Drive is the most accessible, travel-ready storage in the universe beyond the human brain. And for some reason, my brain can’t always keep what I “write” in my head especially when I’m awake. Gradually, as I’ve become more accustomed to my studies, new home (almost one year here), and job, I’ve been able to “find” more time for writing. Something for which I’ve been grateful as life without writing is a drag.

But it also seems that my interest has shifted from fantasy towards speculative and science fiction. My husband says I’ve been watching too many movies, he made that comment an hour ago when I told him of my dream that I had to write down before I forgot. But the most recent movie I’ve seen in the theater is Les Miserables, and the most recent at home is Brave. In fact, I haven’t watched a science fiction movie since…I’m not really sure as I don’t watch many movies anymore. Even my TV watching is more geared toward fantasy and/or contemporary fiction rather than science fiction (Once Upon A Time, Monk, and a few oldies that I grew up with thanks to Netflix).

I now have a new project. Thanks to my acid dreams that I’ve come to welcome as inspiration. My most recent short stories have all been inspired by dreams. I have one complete short story, roughly 5K words, that was started at the end of January. I finished it a few days ago is about humans becoming the abducting aliens causing terror among other beings. That was quite fun to write. But now that I have wasted enough time babbling to everyone who will listen, perhaps I will spend my next hour or so before sunrise to start hashing out last night’s dream into a real story.

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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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Strawberry Filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was browsing around, killing time, and putting off my final project when I found these. I had to share, partly because strawberries are my favorite food group and partly because they look so delish. I’ll have to try them out soon.

 

Strawberry Filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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First of March Update: Walking to Rivendell

I honestly didn’t intend this to turn into a fitness blog with updates of my Walking to Rivendell challenge. But on the first of March, I’d like to say how happy I am that (drum-roll please) I met my quota! Woohoo! For the first time I met my quota for averaging 1.4 miles a day. Which means instead of having to average 1.5 miles this month, I can still shoot for 1.4 miles.

My work and school are also both going very well. I’m getting A’s in both my classes, and am thoroughly enjoying my work. I’m currently in charge of a preserving a collection of slides from the 40s and 50s. The database I inherited was in terrible condition, but I’m ironing it out and working on it with enthusiasm.

And for more good news, my fiance and I have decided to buy a house. While this is just one more thing to do, we have both started looking with enthusiasm. We have found a couple of houses that are “possibilities” but almost all the houses down here need at some work, and that is making us a little hesitant.

On the down side, I haven’t been nearly as happy as I could be, and it’s my own fault. I haven’t taken the time, as I should, to be writing for pleasure. In fact, I haven’t written anything since the beginning of February.  And I haven’t found the time to edit my novel either. It seems to me that something has got to give, sooner or later, and I’m looking forward to summer, when work will be slower, which might give me a little more time to do everything I need to and still have time to do the things I want to.

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Acid Dreams or Inspiration?

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

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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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Filed under Inspiration, Just for Fun, Writing