Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday 9 Meme
Paint It Black

1) This song was chosen because yesterday was Black Friday, the traditional day of sales. Have you begun your Christmas shopping?
Yes, we have all of our daughter's presents and have decided on things for the boys. Toddler daughter is getting a doll, a dollhouse and some candy/snacks. Preschooler has a mask and a Spiderman poster, a big box of his father's G.I. Joes and there will probably be a Batman Lego set. We have picked out something for College Son and I am hoping maybe some gift certificates, too.

2) Are there any Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator right now?
No, we have not done our Thanksgiving celebrations yet. We are getting together with friends later today for a dinner...though it was moved from lunch...and now Husband is having trouble waking up...hmmm. When it fits into College Son's schedule, we are taking him out for Chicago-style pizza.

3) AAA says Thanksgiving is a big travel weekend. Did you venture far from home for your holiday dinner?
We had planned to travel for Thanksgiving but those plans fell through (seemed to be the theme this holiday).

4) Keith Richards likes France but, alas, the French authorities haven't always been fond of him and his criminal record. Have you ever been to France?
No. If I did go, I would love to roam the flea markets buying some books and an old fur coat (yes, I would wear it). I would also buy my daughter and myself bottles of Chanel and some rose-scented perfume in memory of Grandma and Great-Grandma.

5) Mick Jagger jokes that, to be polite to fellow hotel guests, he always finishes trashing his room by 10:00 PM. What kind of hotel/motel guest are you? Are you rockstar rambunctious, or are you quiet? Are you neat? Have you stolen any towels, bathrobes, etc.?
We are as quiet as people with playful children can be. We only take things that will be thrown out if we don't...I am excited when this includes cups for the trip or nice coffee.

6) Mick Jagger got his financial savvy as a student at the London School of Economics. Are you good with money?
I am very good at accounting. I get so upset when companies are deceptive (I seem to find the deceptive companies that mess up your credit).

7) In the early 1990s, a then little-known actress named Angelina Jolie appeared in a Rolling Stones video ("Anybody Seen My Baby?"). Name an Angelina Jolie movie.
Girl Interrupted....that's a very memorable one with some disturbing images.

8) In the early 1960s, the Stones nearly avoided tragedy when their tour bus skidded off a bridge. Tell us about a near miss you're thankful for.
Someone thought it would be funny to pull my feet from under me though I did not know how to swim, motorcycle accident, a barely missed motorcycle incident that resulted in the death of a loved one, bridge skidding, domestic violences, something close to heatstroke, toxic shock syndrome,held up at gunpoint, wrongly diagnosed with lupus anticoagulant (that was more of a horrid scare versus near miss), house fire where we used to live that totally decimated our living quarters and we likely would not have survived if still living there.

9) In 1966, when this week's song was popular, CBS telecast How the Grinch Stole Christmas for the first time. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss story?
"Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You?" is my favorite.
I am very fond of the Lorax and it was the first movie Preschooler saw in a theater.
I often sing "You're a green one, Mr. Grinch."

Friday, November 28, 2014

As the driven snow.

I am continuing my long read of a short book "Purity is Possible:How to Live Free of the Fantasy Trap" by Helene Thorne. It seems like purity is such a simple cut and dried subject but it is not.  The author shows great sensitivity and bravery in pointing out an often underestimated or overlooked problem that taints the minds and hearts of so many women.

I appreciated the talk about what a real beautiful life looks like (vs. how media like Cosmo portrays it). I have a friend who wants to jumpstart a long fantasized, dreamed of and longed for life...and has recently moved into a relationship that is far from any of what they wanted....and it seems that one wrong choice is going to stick with them and result in a pretty unhappy marriage. Another friend might as well be married to their fantasies and the sex toys, erotica books, etc. bought to feel adequate. I have no idea how to help either friend other than to pray and to model the way one should act when it comes to relationships/purity/sexuality. I am not judging either friend....just pretty bummed out about the situations, feel they could be doing so much more if only they could see the right timing and worried that we will lose at least one of these friendships.
(Henceforth, they will be known as Stubborn Boy and Plastic Girl here on my blog....and hopefully they earn new pseudonyms. Looking back on my writing, I see that Plastic Girl is a very bold allusion to some of my friend's addictions....but I am sticking with it because someone needs to discuss things such as this boldly.)
---I am starting a regular feature here on this blog called "Being the Woman that Cosmo Wants Me to Be?" To make it easy on myself, I will discuss anything that is brought up in Cosmo's Facebook posts.

Fantasy vs. reality....otherwise known as policing your thoughts. It is amazing how deep this facet of maintaining purity can extend. Honestly, I think most of us engage in some form of escapism when our minds wander but, as the book points out, it is not always about someone else. Visualizing your partner as someone other than who they are, often based on some stereotype, does one's real life no good.
---Frankness: The book did not mention this but I think this also extends to how one thinks about past relationships that did not end badly. Widows/widowers who have remarried would find their current relationships and feeling about their spouse better if certain memories and "what ifs" were avoided.

Thorne truthfully points out that our hearts are idol factories. It is a constant battle not to put some longed for experience or way of life in a wrong place in our hearts. There are those who long to be in a relationship when single-ness at this point in time might be just the right thing for them. There are missteps because people want to either experience sexual relations or have their sexual relationship be some other way. And then there is a myriad of things that people do to keep from being hurt again. We all need to honestly figure out any feelings like this that our threatening to take over our lives and figure out the right things to do for the situation.
---The book did not go as much into what action plans should be implemented as I wish it had been able to. These are the kind of problems that take a lot of self-work and resolve. Mayhaps these issues should make some private New Year's Resolution lists. (Chapter 7, "Purity" is a good start....telling what "clothes" to take off and put on.)

So, that Beautiful Life mentioned at the beginning is one of liberty, intimacy and feeling God's love at all points of the journey.

I received this book via Cross-Focused Reviews and The Good Book Company. :-)
My copy will be donated to "Project Barbara's Rainbow" and gifted to whomever finds it at AudioFeed Music Festival (July 2015).

Friday, November 21, 2014

-----It definitely won't be in time for Thanksgiving but I do want to try Florida cranberries (roselles). I must make a plan for getting some.
-----I wonder if our city would allow us to have a few goats. Milk, weed control and new pets would be excellent. I must look into if there is a way.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lou Ferrigno interview

-----Officer Ferrigno. Would you recognize him? In my mind, I have started calling Mr. Ferrigno "The Incredible Cop." :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Re-Read: The Art of Social Media

This is a re-read because I have put in a lot of time and had a lot of experiences with social media. I want to make sure my review avoids bias as much as possible (just assuming that a chapter I skimmed is more of what I already heard). I also want to give the chapters that don't apply to me more of a chance...that might be a helpful thing.  Anyway, working on that re-read.

Of course, I am a bio reader and this time the bio was at the beginning of the book. I already knew a lot about Guy Kawasaki but I had only vaguely read in a tweet or blog post somewhere of his fellowship...a fellow at the Haas School of Business (UC Berkley). Everyone has their passions...I am fascinated by academic programs and possibilities. Haas is the second-oldest business school in the United States! So, for me, my fascination leads to me exploring any lecture, opencourseware or MOOC I can get my hands on...stay tuned. (That post will be entitled "Haas at Home.")

15 pages on profiles? I should say that means profiles are important. Indeed looking around on the internet, I see that profiles are really changing for some. I see people "founding" as much as they can (claiming the origins of hashtags for instance...meaning they started a chat). Does your profile stand out and show you are an individual?
So, one of today's task was revamping my profile. I have posted a "Before" photo below (screenshots aren't working).

Of couse, it's over there in the sidebar...but this is the text of my latest profile edit:
"Profile Updated: November 20, 2014. I am blessed with being a homemaker and mother. I own about 5.5 thousand books and our family has around 8 thousand! I am the founder of "Project Barbara's Rainbow"...a fledgling book giveaway program. I believe in life-long learning and can often be found glued to the screen in a MOOC course. I am very interested in urban farming and self-sufficiency. Someday, I hope to make advancements in soil science and irrigation in terms of urban farming. One of my favorite books is The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Huge Douglas Adams and Roger Zelazny fan. Avid Armchair Traveler. I like roadtrips and the goal is for our children to see a good part of every state before they turn 18. I am married to the vocalist of "Once Were Serpents." My family is involved with Asylum Ministries and AudioFeed Music Festival. I have started hosting virtual book tours.I have extensive editing and writing experience. I hope that something made you smile today."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Steaks, Chicken and Questions

-----Tenderloin Steaks with Red Onion Marmalade recipe
-----We had Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken for dinner last night. It was very good as pulled chicken with a loaf of fresh homemade bread (our bread machine is getting daily use lately). We used apple cider vinegar instead and substituted Hungarian paprika for red pepper flakes.
-----Preschooler had some very frank questions about how we get chicken to eat. He didn't think the chicken was happy that we're eating it. Still, chicken is his favorite meat.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday's Dinner was Yummy!

Swai Two Ways. Friday's dinner.
Swai is a Vietnamese fish that is light like tilapia. It is also called iridescent shark or striped catfish (but is neither).
Side comment: I want very much to try shark.

---Roasted Swai Fish with Tomatoes, Basil and Chives. The chives were a pleasant addition from our windowsill each time I trim the plant down I smile because it reminds me of giving a Chia Pet a haircut). We also put a little McCormick's Garlic Sea Salt on top.

One of two fish recipes ready to go in the oven.
The cookie sheet is from my childhood.

-----Sweet Dijon Basa Swai Fish.
We used Rock Island, Illinois' legendary Boetje's Dutch stone ground mustard instead of Dijon.
Dill weed was sprinkled on top of the adults' portions.

There was also:
Seasoned Browned rice (leftovers).
Sweet onions sauteed in olive oil, Trader Joe's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and freshly ground black pepper.

There was a marked difference between the two Swai dishes. The tomato dish was heavier and the Dijon was very light.
Husband and I both remarked that we wished we had some wine to go with...he wished for some white wine and I would have loved a Pinot Grigio.

We will definitely be adding Swai to our fish repertoire. :-)

TBR List...To-Be-Read


Happy that I was approved to read/review this book! I would have written the publisher a letter asking for a reconsideration if I hadn't as it a very important read/PSA for me. My Mother passed away last year after battling Stage 4 Breast Cancer for almost 5 years. She tried to still enjoy food by gardening as long as she could, having small dine outs and savoring what she was still allowed to eat (also being diagnosed Diabetic at the same time the cancer was found). I wish my Mother had a book like this.
---The things my Mother missed most were probably pickles, Chicken a la King, grapefruits and Pomelos. 

High Intensity Interval Training. I have done some HIIT (but not from this book). I have thyroid issues and I am hoping this book will have ideas that work for giving me energy and assist in reducing the abdominal bloating from my hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's/IBS.
(The book comes out January 2015 and I was kindly provided an Advanced Reader Copy from demosHEALTH via Netgalley.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Preschooler wanted an Iron Man pumpkin. 
He said his favorite part was the candle and blowing out the candle.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The philodendron clippings that my mother-n-law gave me now have tiny tendrils. :-)

Mmm. Dinner. A modified version of Manwich's "No Alarm Chili" recipe. This is one of our many uses for the bottom of the pressure cooker my parents had when I was growing up. We used 2 pounds of ground sirloin, 1 can Manwich, 1 can Manwich Thick and Chunky, 15 oz. of Hunt's Tomato Sauce, 5 cans of dark red kidney beans, chili powder, garlic powder, minced onions, a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, about 4 cups of water and some chicken base...yes, we definitely modify and usually cook in large amounts. There was no cumin as Husband is sensitive to it. I am sensitive to if the spices do not blend and that means our simmer was actually 35 minutes (vs. the 10 of the recipe). We served it with sour cream and shredded cheddar. Tomorrow's leftovers will be served with some sweet cornbread muffins (homemade, of course).
---The Manwich site mentions using pouches of Libby's Seasoned Beef Crumbles in place of ground beef. I have never seen this product.

-----Mmmm. Apple Sangria for Fall would be nice (recipe from "Taste of the South Magazine," a publication I love). Every sangria I have tried has given me a headache and I have yet to figure out why (grrr).
-----I see that the doctor in New York City who had Ebola is now well and being released.
-----Reading through the media kit for a review I will be posting as a part of a virtual book tour. The book is Rich Leder's "Workman's Complication" and my review goes up on January 24th.
-----Downloaded the SavingStar app for Android (there is an iPhone app, too). One of the things we are doing is stocking up on Orerida products. If all works well, we can get $20.80 in rebates for this month. This will help with baby wipes and my non-fluoride toothpaste (annoyingly expensive and I am currently eeking out the last of the tube).
-----Another thing on our menus is simple Yukon Gold and Apple Hash Browns.  This will be nice for me because I love Yukon Gold potatoes but can never justify there expense in our area.
-----I am behind on my NaBloPoMo again. Our kitchen sink decided to start leaking. We now owe a friend for a new faucet (this was better than letting the water bill mount until we could afford the replacement next month or even the month after). Anyway, we now have the modern convenience of having the faucet be further overhead...I can water plants and actually fill pitchers without pouring or using the sprayer. Plus, we no longer have a sprayer where the sink still runs at the same time (more cutting of the water bill...awesome). The water pressure is improved and tastes better (our area has awful water and I guess that makes the sinks get a learn something icky every day). Anyway, a lot of good came out of our run to get a new faucet. Next will be a filtration system of some sort as now we run all drinking water through a Brita pitcher and that is time-consuming (especially if more than half a gallon is needed).

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Moving Right Along in My World

-----Roid!: One woman's rage and struggle with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Disease. Tenative title. A blog column for now but I think I will be organizing it into a free ebook (unsure of no-cost platforms for this...maybe a peer-to-peer). What a project. When you are highly symptomatic, it is like the delicate balance experimenting that one has to employ if they are fighting diabetes. For instance, I have IBS, don't think gross as it usually manifests in not being able to go right now...I took stool, for two days...then I made oriental food which has oil in it....that worked in a most urgent manner, it wasn't my cooking, it was the cooking oil that finally helped. I am not one to just put up with the sudden weight gain or look of a triple chin that I am currently having. Hence 2015's project is born.
-----It is amusing that I like butterflies so much...that is what the thyroid is shaped like.
-----I earned 220 Kellogg's Family Rewards points today. I have no idea what we are saving towards.
-----I am about 20% of the way to earning the frequent flyer miles that I need for us to stay at least one night at the Hilton or Doubletree for a convention next year. :-) I hope I can get someone to give me a tour that I can cover on this blog. I love both hotels (and the famous Doubletree chocolate cookies are okay).
-----That convention we are going to is also looking more hopeful on me paying for the gas with Swagbucks. I just discovered that there is a Bing Reward that can get you (500)Swagbucks and have set that as my goal. You can convert the Bing Rewards into Swagbucks up to 50 times per account! I get 2 points for up to 10 searches each day...since I have not found a program for Google, I am going to go ahead and try Bing as my homepage for a while (especially since it has a little icon connecting to my Rewards account and showing my points). :-)
-----One way that I started earning Swagbucks tonight is to use the RadioLoyalty program. If Ubuntu lets it recogonize what I am doing, I will earn 5 Swagbucks for every half hour I listen. I am testing this as I type.
-----I don't understand people that pretend to be sober or spend great amounts of time talking others out of their sobriety. Some people just DON'T learn.
-----Discovered that our Toddler daughter likes The Black Crowes. :-)
-----I was looking online to order some deodorant (I have been earning points so I can pay for our hygiene products with gift cards...paying a bit more and it takes a lot of time but it is slowly freeing up money for bills and debt). It was interested to see that one tube of Secret was listed as "New" but with a noted expiration date of early 2010. Another thing to watch for. No surprise that this seller has the lowest rating I have ever seen on Amazon. Read those descriptions.
-----I found out that Garnier now has skincare products. I sent for a sample of a blackhead eliminating scrub and a sample of nourishing cleansing oil...both for oily skin. My samples should arrive in 6-8 weeks. Expect to see a review here. :-)

An essay that I need to write for a Philosophy and the Sciences class I am in:
"'In what way can philosophy or philosophical thinking contribute to the physical sciences? Give a clearly argued answer....."

One of tonight's bedtime stories.

A repeat bedtime story. We first watched this one last year when Toddler was still putting her toes in her mouth.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Okay getting back on track with blogging every day as intended (NaBloPoMo and beyond). Blogger has been dating my posts wrong and I have given up on that-I think some posts are when I first started and others are when I hit update after making revisions. Then there has been a time of emotional upheaval, sick relatives and car problems. Anyway, moving right along.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

My Little Corner of the World

-----Mmmm. Easy Stuffed Green Pepper recipe we are trying in a week or so.
-----Oh, cool! The new Star Wars movie has just completed principal photography. Husband and I both agree that we don't like the title though..."The Force Awakens."
-----A MUCH cheaper way to insure cell phones that we might do at some point. :-)
-----Decided to start writing a section on here called "Roid!" It will deal with my rage and fight against Hashimoto's Disease (an inflamed thyroid) . :-) I have been very symptomatic lately particularly with goiter issues and IBS. I am tired of it. I would start a similar column dealing with the headaches I get from my eye problem (true alternating exotropia) but I don't know where to begin on that.
-----Signing up for Kellog's Family Rewards this evening. Husband's friend tells me this is a good program.
-----I am in the third week of a Philosophy and the Sciences course. I am currently learning about the history of astronomy and the history of cosmology. Husband and I both learned very little of Newton in school. It is making me feel intelligent to learn more of Einstein. :-) #HelpfulForHomeschooling #FiguringOutReligionAndScienceTogether
-----I have been doing Secret Shopping for several years. For the third time, I managed to miss a weekend getaway by not checking my e-mails until later in the day. Big sigh.

Interesting. Ocean Spray now has a Cranberry Mango drink. We will be seeing if our children like this. I am hoping our Walmart carries the 100% juice.
---There is also a $1.00 coupon for cranberries in the coupons section of the Oceanspray Facebook page right now! Our printer is not available right now due to a couple of issues (one of which a frustrated  Husband has been working on all day). It is nice to see that now has an option where they will mail you a coupon. We will have to wait a little longer for our cranberry coupon but will still get it. :-)

The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor
That was a quick read!

In addition to a glowing review by Stephen King:
“A page-turning exploration of unexpressed love and unnecessary loss. Riveting and heartbreaking.” —Geraldine Brooks.

I felt dread just reading the description on the Netgalley site. This was such a quick 245-page read because I was so interested in the storyline. There was much flashback but it was done in a simple and rarely confusing manner. The storytelling was not similar to Stephen King but I can see why he admires how the telling is organized. Quietly haunting, horrify and sad.

-----Wife is mainly selfish and spoiled.
------Husband has a hard time with any emotion but nostalgia and how things should be.
-----Children have plenty of avoidance and hurt.
-----Wife disappears and we slowly find where she went.
-----We also slowly find where everyone's heart went.

Clever title...bring it all out into the daylight.
Seeing their marriage in the daylight has both sunny and harsh moments.

5 out of 5 stars for me.
I think this would be a great book club read.
I would love to lead a read-a-long.

I read an Advanced Reader Copy...
and plan to re-read it, too.
The book comes out May 5, 2015. :-)


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Getting Ready to Read

Besides the glowing review by Stephen King:
“A page-turning exploration of unexpressed love and unnecessary loss. Riveting and heartbreaking.” —Geraldine Brooks.

Yes, I am getting a feeling of dread just reading the description.

Extroverted wife becomes introverted.
Introverted husband becomes more introverted.
Children in the middle silently observe it all.
One day the wife disappears...
Follow the wife's footsteps & the husband's flashbacks to that fateful moment.
A mixture of crime, failed marriage and (probably) broken hearts.

Clever title...bring it all out into the daylight.


Monday, November 03, 2014

Why Walmart, Why?

So, the other night I was actually contemplating taking a part-time job at Walmart when the kids get older. I have some sort of photographic memory which is great for working the floor of a retail store. Only it will never happen because of my eye problem...the last store I worked at I was tortured for the whole time and ditto the job before that....approximately 9 years straight of being told I was ugly (no seriously), having no chance of promotion, being treated as if stupid and general gameplaying. Sue you say? No it would be the same anywhere for me. Apply for disability? No, they don't send you to the proper doctor for evaluation unless you have already afforded to be under the proper really expensive doctor's care.

Anyway, Walmart just really depressed me tonight and since Halloween when we have gone in. The employees are under some sort of stress and right now actually just ignore anyone standing at their customer service desks as they are so busy training each other. Our Walmart is going to a new system where no clearance is allowed in the store (seriously). Their following of trends has become so bad that there were only a couple of sock choices in the entire store for our children and it took at least a half hour to find those....they just want to sell "no-show" socks vs. anything with an actual cuff and its winter time. Constant being nice to surly employees does not soften them up. Yeah, I could complain for quiet a while.

This evening, the cashier put things through the wrong way repeatedly. Then she proceeded to explain to me about people using multiple forms of payment as we did being flagged for committing fraud and calls being made to their bank and so on...basically a nasty, veiled demeaning/threat. Husband and I were both thoroughly embarrassed and obviously judged by the customer behind us.So, we had intended to divide the receipt across three debit cards and by the time we got out of there at least 8 transactions were made (many being declined because of her error). The cashier did not know how to operate her machine but made me feel sad out of some sort of attitude issues and refusal to actually learn her job. Now, we have to wait for next month to get Preschooler's Christmas presents despite my working so hard to arrange finances for this month....correcting her errors would only result in messed up accounts. There will also be no extra travel for us this month beyond relative visits (meaning Husband's artwork will have to be held even longer at venues).

I am starting to wish that ordering everything, EVERYTHING online were a viable option. We only have Walmart, a gourmet store and a couple of dollar stores here.
I need to get some items at Walmart tomorrow and I actually find myself dreading going there.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Welcome to My World

Day 2 of NaBloPoMo....that means making the effort to post every day this month. Hmm, what shall I write today. Well, I am mainly concentrating on writing and books as far as the blogosphere goes lately. Tonight, I think I will take a break and offer you some bits and pieces of my life lately.

This is the Chicago-based band Leper. My husband made the skull panels and they made wall pieces to put them in. Awesome.

My fave Leper song:

Fall is Dragon Breath Season at our house. Nighttime guests join us on the porch for a chat, a cup of warmth and a toast to the fun months ahead. Our Dragon's Breath consists of hot mead, honey, mulling spices and Krakken Rum.
---In a few days, we will have our annual Pumpkin of Sorrows Toss. We take a pumpkin up high after writing whatever has made us sad during the year and toss it down. A spotter is used and the pumpkin makes a quite explosive sound. Cathartic.

-----I taught Preschooler how to play dominoes and he is going to teach Daddy.
-----I plan to listen to Leonard Nemoy reading Ray Bradbury stories. 

I want to make something similar for daughter. This has been a fun theme of ours ever since I saw "Baby's First Camo" at Bass Pro Shops.

Toddler over the past few days:
---Looked at me intently and said really clearly, "Hello, friend. Hello, buddy."
---Suddenly started speaking full sentences for a while during the stopping to eat a piece of Trick or Treat candy. An older boy fell and dropped his candy, "That one guy falled."
---Told me that a Caterpillar back hoe was a baby and had to show it to her uncle.

Toddler was in charge of her own popsicle for the first time. :-)

Preschooler's wisdom:
---"To make coffee you start with beans. But if you use other beans, then you can eat them."
---"Little s is for little spider and big s if for...big spider."
---"I'm like a rainbow because I just stretch and stretch."
---Told me that he loves me because I am soft and warm and my barrette fits.

In response to an online friend's Frida Kahlo costume:
Toddler said "brow" for the first time. Our Preschooler now wants a unibrow toy for Christmas. He has decided that is a good name for an action figure. The kids are getting goldfish for Christmas. Preschooler now wants fish and a good Unibrow for him and a bad Unibrow for his sister.
---We have purchased a tabletop tank and decided on shading of the fish. There names will be Spiderman, Peter Parker and Beep Beep.

Our comfort food before Trick or Treating. Husband is allergic to soy now and misses Oriental Food. I experiment with making homemade sauces that are soy-free. The veggie stir fry sauce consisted of Worchestershire and water (for the soy), Ty Ling Naturals Five Spice Seasoning (anise, ginger, cinnamon,fennel,black pepper), garlic powder, sea salt and sesame oil (in addition to the cooking oil).

I hope MADD encourages people to do this next year, too. 

Winter is coming. One of our last flowers!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Sitting Back and Catching Some Rays (of Writing).

So it is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). That means, I am definitely concentrating on improving my writing skills this month....I am participating in both. :-)

This is my favorite photo of Ray Bradbury. I am not sure who the photographer was.

Working through Ray Bradbury's 12 pieces of advice for young readers from 2001 will be my first order of business.
The first advice to contemplate:
Don’t start out writing novels. They take too long. Begin your writing life instead by cranking out “a hell of a lot of short stories,” as many as one per week. Take a year to do it; he claims that it simply isn’t possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row. He waited until the age of 30 to write his first novel, Fahrenheit 451. “Worth waiting for, huh?”
(Paraphrased by Collin Marshall on Open Culture)
What I intend to do with said advice:
---Well, of course participate in NaNoWriMo.
---Find a lot of writing prompts and look at them as assignments. Do them all! Use (blog)memes as a warmup for doing this.
---I am into non-fiction and lengthy research. Make plans for implementing this advice on that front. Oh, and poetry, too. And I want to learn to write songs (there is a course on Coursera on this).

I liked this little RIP for Mr. Bradbury. :-)

Other Rays I will be learning from: Raymond Carver and Raymond Chandler. 
This post is a work-in-progress for the month of November. :-)

:-) 2009-06-11 daily 0.5 2009-06-11 daily 0.5