hildy89: (happy holidays)
To use the old Helene Hanff quote, "I write to say I have got work." To wit, as of today, I am no longer a temporary employee. My current assignment liked me so much they've been plotting behind the scenes a way for me to come aboard as full time permanent staff. So guess who starts on the 29th? I have to tell it was the most surreal moment when they tell you "you have to give notice". Bwahuh? I'm used to assignments coming to me on Friday and saying it's over, not saying farewell to the temp agency of 10+ years. It's hard to believe it's been *that* long. Today I actually received the offer sheet and hopefully once the background checks out, everything will be good to know. I'm still in a happy daze of "Is this really happening?"

My father is improving. He had another procedure yesterday, but he seems to be recovering nicely. I suspect the worrying will subside... oh who am I kidding? After a certain age, you always worry about your parents, don't you?

Nano is trundling along. Hopefully I should hit 40K tonight. I'm a little nervous about tomorrow's writing, since I'll be spending it out in the hinterlands of Fauquier County.

Nano

Oct. 28th, 2008 11:04 pm
hildy89: (research is cat vacuuming)
I've posted a Pester list with my Nano research topics that include: Philadelphia, Polish culture/folklore, Catholic schools, board games/chess, and hockey. Anyone who can provide help will be much much appreciated. Why do I always wait until the last minute to develop ideas to the point of "Ack! Research!"? Don't answer that.
hildy89: (sophia)
Tor Books has started an interesting newsletter. With each issue, you receive a link to a free ebook in several formats (PDF/Html/Mobi) and two wallpapers. So far they've sent out [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott's "Spirit Gate", Peter Watts' "Starfish" and C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp's "Touch of Evil".

In my book browsing the other day, I came across an encouraging discovery, a steampunk fantasy novel "The Clockwork Heart" by Dru Pagliassotti published by Juno Books. Why encouraging? Because it was originally written as a Nano novel. Now granted Pagliassotti has been editing the Harrow for awhile, so isn't quite the same as lowly Nano wannabe, but it has started me thinking about the first completed Nano again. It's original fantasy, but is the female protagonist "strong" enough? Something to think about...
hildy89: (we're all mad here)
Victory is mine! *falls over dead* Or to borrow the bumper sticker created by Auburn, "Fear the other hand!"

This was a slow gradual Nano, rather barreling through at high speed. But I still pulled it off. I honestly thought I wouldn't finish until sometime tomorrow, but I managed my best day last night at 4,000 words. I'm still boggled that myself, since I came home with only a few hundred words done at work. This year was the year I couldn't multitask at all. Maybe I'm getting older, maybe the jaw issues are making it harder to concentrate, whatever that mojo was gone this year. I worked on Nano or nothing else. Do you know how much work I used to get done during football games? I can still write with music, thank god. Even if my Nano's soundtrack goes from John Cougar Mellencamp to Duran Duran in as many minutes.


Official NaNoWriMo 2007 Winner
hildy89: (our first date)
So I've had a longer week than intended. My parents came into town for their usual round of doctor appointments and catching up with family. Then Friday I came down with a dreadful cold/allergy attack that sapped all my energy over the weekend.

What did I do with my "free time"? I watched two movies. One was Dirigible, a 1931 movie directed by Frank Capra and starring Fay Wray, both prior to their rise to fame. I was more interested in the pretty airship scenes than the Hollywood love triangle. So much for being a romantic at heart. I also finally watched "Casino Royale" with Daniel Craig. I quite liked this incarnation. Sauve, but lethal. It was hard getting attached to the romance, though, knowing the original story.

It's October, so I've signed up for another round of Nano. Friends of mine can sigh dramatically "Of course you did". The Nano journal is over at [livejournal.com profile] nanonano. Most years it's just me talking about the writing process and updates with the occasional friendslocked excerpt. Last year I did [livejournal.com profile] mini_nanowrimo, so who knows.

I also signed up for [livejournal.com profile] bigfinishlove's Doctor Who Audio Ficathon, so I spent some of this weekend lining up my ducks on what canon I'd require. (I actually like the "Recommended canon" section of the signups. While it may seem narrow, it does let you know what your requester was thinking when they signed up. Not sure if that'd work or hurt for other ficathons.)
hildy89: (our first date)
I'm home. My train was actually later than I thought. None of Amtrak's computers were working, so I couldn't change it if I wanted to.

As promised, I've uploaded the few good photos from last year's dreadful batch of Baltimore trip photos. I don't know whether the focus was that bad or what, but I've never seen such a bad group of photos before. If you're at familiar with the series "Homicide: Life on the Street", you'll know this building: Recreation Pier at Fell's Point. The Pier served as police headquarters throughout the series. Only thing it isn't actually a police building, even though there is a nice door that reads "Baltimore Police" you can still see to this day. While I took pictures of the entrance, the actual signage is not visible. I tried. Sorry.

As I mentioned in my old entry, I remembered the building when I was casting the Euclid Ballroom in my Nano "Alter Egos". I had gone past it in my original trip to Baltimore. Because I hadn't seen "Homicide" at that point, I didn't take much notice of it, except the useful location by the docks. Lt Giardello (Yaphet Kotto) mentioned offhand that headquarters spent some time as a ballroom in its glory days. And so I created the Euclid mostly out of whole cloth, if a bit fannish and a little faded.

The other Baltimore photos are here. I'm hoping to get the next group processed over lunch, if I can finish off the roll. I'm not even going to bother with the disk. Kodak's software is a pain in the tuchus to work with.
hildy89: (mackie)
Queen Elizabeth II is visiting Virginia for the Jamestown celebration. Hopefully she brought an appropriate hat for the trip down to Kentucky for the races. The old backstretch will have a somber air this year after Barbaro.

Some good news from Georgetown library: the bulk of their famous Peabody collection escaped damage during the blaze. The fire started on the other side of the second floor. While there's some material waterlogged and smokey, it isn't nearly as bad as they initially feared. The current reports think the fire was accidental, started by a construction worker using a heat gun to remove paint. The construction team tried to put it out themselves when it started to rage out of control. Add to the bonus some nonworking fire hydrants.

Sad news for the DC Nanowrimo community: the longtime DC Municipal Liaison Rise passed away. I only met her a few times when I could get to DC write-ins, but she was a tireless organizer. Even with all my health problems last year during Nano, her story puts it in perspective.

And astronaut Wally Schirra died. He was one of the original Mercury 7 and the only one to fly in Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions.

Nano

Oct. 29th, 2006 09:53 pm
hildy89: (cherry blossoms)
Just my usual reminders of my two other journals: [livejournal.com profile] wabbitseason is my predominantly fannish journal for all my fanfiction and rants. For some stubborn reason I've kept WENN and Doctor Who on this journal. [livejournal.com profile] nanonano is my Nanowrimo journal. I've posted a explanation on how my mind worked towards this year's offering. For some unfathomable reason, my Nano decided it wanted an Asian feel, mostly Chinese but there are bits of Japanese as well. These ideas wouldn't take no for answer, so of course I had to figure out a way to use them all. But at least it takes my mind off my health.

Retreat!

Oct. 3rd, 2006 09:43 am
hildy89: (writer's block)
I'm feeling much better. The sinuses are still recovering from the weekend, but I hope that was more allergies than reoccurrence.

I left on Friday for the CVS writer's retreat, catching a ride from [livejournal.com profile] ariadnesthread. We were staying at the Lion & Crow Lodge in Luray, Virginia. We made good time so it was only about a two or three hour drive. Nine people and two dogs stayed for the weekend. Both dogs were golden Labs, trained as seeing eye guide dogs, but one was retired. My allergies don't love dogs, but strangely they seem determined to win me over. The place is very nice with five bedrooms and large living room. The decor was eclectic to say the least. Some of it was lodgey with wildlife pictures, but they also had Mayan sundials as well, not forgetting the giant chess set in the master bedroom. Being writers, we of course posited our own version of Clue: Miss Scarlet in the bedroom with the rook! We did get some rain, but it didn't ruin the weekend. It was a lot chillier than I anticipated, though. We joked that we brought enough food that we could have had a surprise blizzard and we probably would have made it okay. We had delicious waffles and crepes for breakfast and pasta for dinner one night.

The writing retreat was much less structured than our marathons, more like a giant write-in in that respect. My muses decided to confuse me. Frustrated by my lack of interest in my original fiction projects, I brought down the notes for several fannish ones. I figured I had enough original snippets on the laptop to make up the difference. And of course, guess what happened? Two older projects resurfaced, both from old CVS challenges. Hopefully this is a good sign for next month.

I signed up for yet another year of Nanowrimo. The forums are already burbling with activity. I have no clue what I will be writing this time around, which scares me. I've tossed around a few ideas that have been germinating in the brain, but all seem very research heavy, particularly the Asian influenced one. I really want to go back to my fantasy roots this year. I know I've waited until the last minute to make a decision before, but I feel more panicked. As usual, my Nano journal is over at [livejournal.com profile] nanonano.

Of the new shows, I'm adoring "Heroes". I had recorded the pilot on a whim, just to see what it was like. I'm enjoying it a lot more than Studio 60. I want to like that one, but something is just off with the humor and interactions. The DVR picked a beautiful weekend to fritz up however. It messed up both episodes of "Doctor Who" from Sci Fi. I've seen them already, but I still liked the idea of watching them on the big screen.
hildy89: (bree)
I don't think I ever finished off my Baltimore travelogue from August. The day I left off was my busiest day on Sunday. In retrospect, I should have pushed myself to do some of it on Saturday, rather than cramming it all in one day. I don't know whether it was just the muggy awful weather condition or what, but I just didn't have the same energy I had hoped for.

Taking a tour of my Baltimore Nano )
hildy89: (writer's block)
Zokutou word meter
50,239 / 50,000
(100.5%)

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Winner Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Winner


My NaNoWriMo Progress


To paraphrase the irredeemably snarky Josh Lyman, "Victory is mine, victory is mine! I drink from the keg of glory. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land." Or at least chocolate.

Wow. My 4th straight Nano. I wrote over 2800 words today, my highest total throughout this Nano. Eeep. I was half kidding myself I might get it done tonight. And I actually managed the feat before midnight. Excuse me while I sit here in dumbfounded shock. After the fourth time, it shouldn't be, I know, but eesh.

Um, [livejournal.com profile] isabeau, should I thank you for bringing me into Nano in the first place or just shake my head in bafflement? Nodding your head is an acceptable answer. Congrats to all my friends who've crossed the finish line and those still going, there's one more day! (And apologies to any who see this multiple times.)
hildy89: (writer's block)
I'm seeing if the pretty graph I've seen all over the Nano boards will work for me. Didn't get as much as I'd hoped yesterday, but Thursdays and Fridays are usually my off days for some weird reason. I should get more done during the weekend. Having dinner with [livejournal.com profile] confettiofstars and [livejournal.com profile] darthblitzkrieg clarified some things in my brains about the ships and technology. As much as I love grand space opera, I don't necessarily write them very well.

My NaNoWriMo Progress
hildy89: (doctor who)
What color should my eyes be? )

Actually an accurate quiz, since my eyes are that color.

The indexing continues at work, although it has gotten more and more depressing as I hit certain stretches of news events. Nano has gobbled what little free time I have left over from work. As usual, I'm behind going into the weekend, although it's still 28K, so certain friends are probably shaking their heads in disbelief. Tomorrow is looking like it'll be a busy with errands and comics and groceries and light bulbs. Why do all light bulbs blow at once? Is there some philosophical thing related to lightbulb jokes or something? Anyway, then I come home to the Iron Bowl. Should be fun.

Oh, yes, he's back! The new Doctor is quite goofy for lack of a better description. In a good way, mind you, but still...
hildy89: (lion gate of mycenae)
Nano updates are over at [livejournal.com profile] nanonano. After being blocked on a crucial set up chapter and having my perpetual crisis of Nano faith, I finally did get over 10K this weekend. So I'm on track.

I haven't been archaeology geek in awhile, but the ancient church discovered in Megiddo is fascinating, especially the mosaic floor and its inscriptions. The slideshow has some great closeups of the detailwork.

I remember when I was in the SCA in college. I wanted to do a cross-stitch as a Christmas gift for friend who was a Pelican. While digging through the Bama library, I found a book of needlework patterns based off mosaics from the Middle East. Included in said book was a Byzantine pelican from Caesarea. The shading on that project was maddening. In retrospect, maybe I should have picked a different fabric color to make it a little easier to see the off-whites.
hildy89: (writer's block)
So it's officially countdown mode till Nanowrimo begins. I'm still dithering over some names, but basically I think I know how the novel starts. (Which is more than I can say for Miss Perky, obviously a writer who couldn't turn off her internal editor.) As usual, the main updates are at [livejournal.com profile] nanonano.

I'm actually sleeping better. I don't know whether it was the clock change or getting over the cold, but I'm grateful for small things. Maybe I'm just a winter girl. Which is ironic since the temperature is supposed to hit 70 here today...

Generics

Oct. 5th, 2005 09:51 am
hildy89: (big sleep)
At some point along the line, FDA approved a generic version of Allegra. My pharmacy has started using it with my latest refill. It's cheaper, but I'm still a little nervous about the change. Allergy meds and I have a history. Some meds work, some flat out don't. The pharmacist claimed the "active ingredient" was still the same, only the inactive ones changed. Not that they actually list the inactive ones, so you can say "Whoops, I've taken something with that and it won't work..." Or maybe I'm just paranoid. Knowing how miserable I am when the allergy meds fail, I don't think that's too much.

Nanowrimo signups have started. The panicking can now commence. I'm still debating what to write exactly, possibly veer back to nice safe ground in sf/fantasy. I'm surrounded by the news of the real world at work, so the last thing I want to do is write about it. [livejournal.com profile] nanonano will have any updates if you want to friend that journal. Or not.
hildy89: (girl hunt ballet)
So I spent another Thanksgiving with the family. To my surprise, we were not going out to a restaurant after all, but staying in. Actually that suited me fine. We had an amusing parlor game involving seeing how many well known faces we recognized in various pictures. The pictures included some politicans, some poets, some actors and some public figures. I managed #22 out of a possible #31, which wasn't bad. I was amused I could recognize Michael Eisner, but not our Virginia governor, nor Al Gore. Both bad photos to judge by, though. [livejournal.com profile] ladyofchulak may or may not be amused that one of my relatives thought the picture of Harry S. Truman looked like Dick Cheney.

I also discovered that my Nano cover has been blown sky high. My uncle found my Nano profile through a Google search of my name, which includes a link to my Nano LJ. Ooops! So my quiet day away from the books was spent trying to explain things to my family. At least their eyes didn't completely glaze over.

Leave it to my other uncle, vintage car and Civil War nut, to provide the entertainment in the form of old highway safety films to serve as warnings for his young impressionable nephews. One was "Last Date" which featured a very young Dick York of "Bewitched" fame as a reckless driver. The other one was "Signal 30" that my uncle recalls having to get a permission slip signed to be allowed to watch. Glad it was after dinner rather than before.
hildy89: (Default)
They must be doing some work in the building. They keep tripping off the fire alarm for the short bursts. Which is old after about the third one, much less the tenth.

I went down to St Elmo's cafe for a Nano write-in. If it wasn't so far away, it'd be ideal for our purposes. Decent music and cushy chairs. I even discovered that the old comics store is only a few blocks away, when I accidentally missed my cross street in the dark. I only had the Alphie along, so I really couldn't proclaim "I've written X" and have the cheers, but I did get some written. Some of it got rewritten today to improve the narrative. I wish my text would answer my questions initially rather than being cross examined. Which means I'm sorta behind for today. I finally caught up to [livejournal.com profile] whytcrow's frantic pace and was briefly ahead when I turned in last night. She has named me her nemesis, "She who must be stopped". I can live with it, as long as she doesn't do 7000 in one sitting, like she did last year.

Finally sent two of the Netflix dvds back without watching them. I kept "Bridget Jones' Diary" figuring I could use a good recap before the new one is released. Hopefully that means I get more Homicide!

Silly link I spotted on the Nano boards: The Curse Engine. It translates your chosen fields in Irish Gaelic curses.
hildy89: (Default)
Darling, those nails!
Darling, those clothes!
Lentils are one thing but
Darling, with those,
You'd make us the fools of the Festival
And mortify the Prince!


Ahem. Something about doing housework makes me start quoting "Into the Woods" or humming "Cinderella" songs. Certainly not "Whistle While You Work". Note to self, could you please have a less messy shampoo than Head & Shoulders? Because cleaning up an unseen blue spill on the bathroom is not my idea of Friday fun.

Nano continues. I spent part of the day chez murky coffee with [livejournal.com profile] writer_rivki. They do have a few cushy chairs upstairs, but none of the big sofas. It was nearly empty when we arrived around noon, although it was filling upstairs later. I wrote a fair amount, I'm over 7K now, but I want to see if I can catch up from taking off yesterday. Fortunately I have a snarky family that adores wordplay. I plead brain frying from interview that went well, torrential downpour, Borders book spree, and CVS meeting. All coincided to make me feel less than enthusiastic about writing anything. I was doing well to remember my name.
hildy89: (Default)
Saturday was the writing marathon at the soon to be renamed Common Grounds. I'm about as prepared as I ever am for Nano. A few notes here, assorted chapter synopses and a lot of character and plot questions... just the usual. The Redskins weren't playing this week, so I used the bye week to catch up on errands, including getting a new printer cartridge and assorted Nano office supplies. You simply can't go into Nano without an array of pens, pastel colored notecards and sacrifical legal pads. Maybe I'm just weird that way.

I'm getting back into needlework, working on Mirabilia's "Garden Verses" during the World Series. I feel like I've been working on this big project forever. I prefer doing the older patterns by some designers before they've become overly enamored of beads and metallics. Mirabilia's patterns usually have nice solid blocks of color I can manage while I keep a weather ear on the score. This piece has one metallic thread, but at least it isn't blending filament. Also a few blended colors, but again it's just a few accents, not a confetti effect.

With the filing project done, I'm back to being unemployed tomorrow. Being a temp sucketh mightily right now.

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