Saturday, October 29, 2011

Inspire Me World

I am so stoked for NaNoWriMo right now. Just had a plot planning event and it got my mind into writers mode. On the walk home I started to look at everything with different eyes. It reminded me that inspiration is just a slightly altered viewpoint away.

The tree that was lit up white against a black sky could stand for anything. In one viewpoint it standing strong and defiant against a menacing dark sky. Or as a lonely sentinel, waiting to be released from the prison its own roots had created for it.

I passed a kid (to me) stumbling his drunken way down the sidewalk. The he looks, the sound of his steps in the fallen leaves struck a chord. "Stumbling, stuttering steps" was the phrase that popped into my mind. (I love alliteration). I ran with it and posted the results as my Facebook status.

Inspiration is everywhere, all you need to learn is how to look at it in the right way. Or at the very least, in a different way than you normally would. Then take your imagination and expand on it.

A great exercise is to take something you see or hear everyday and try to describe it in a completely new light. Turn the ordinary everyday things into something extraordinary with a new point of view.

Inspiration is everywhere. All you need to do is open your mind and allow your imagination free run. Go ahead, let it take your emotions and imagine the possibilities of things you would never do.

Now look at those imaginings in a new light as well. Don't dismiss them as idle wanderings of the mind. Embrace them and develop the images. Give them story, give them more detail...even if it disturbs you to do so. Maybe you can use it in a story somewhere.

Remember. Inspiration - it really is everywhere and in everything. All you need to do is let it in.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Common Cold

I don't often get sick. I can count three, possibly four, times in my entire life that I have been really sick. I mean so sick I could barely move sick. And one of those times I worked through anyway and landed myself in the hospital. Normally I get short, mild versions of the common cold. Now the oddest part, of all (or maybe not so odd depending on your POV) is that I typically get sick on a Wednesday.

So, when the first "normal" work day after weeks of busting my butt landed on a Wednesday, it's no surprise that I woke up sick. Slightly swollen glands, rough throat, runny nose. Yup, the common cold.

After finishing up a reasonable 9.25hr shift I did the first thing that I typically do when I know I am getting sick. I reach for the home remedy. What do I use? I have two choices depending how sick I feel and the time of the day.

Option 1:  Lemon & Ginger Tea with honey.  I steep lemon and a touch of ginger in hot water and sweeten with honey. Best choice for sore throats.

Option 2:  Hot Toddy. There are a lot of recipes for hot toddys out there, but mine is one of the most basic. Very similar to my lemon ginger tea, but add some demarrara rum to the mix. Whiskey will do in a pinch.

A note on honey : The darker the honey the better. Regular honey is just fine, but many darker honeys of known medicinal properties. Buckwheat honey, for example, has been proven to be as effective on colds as a DM cough medicine. Read the study here

Both of these remedies actually work extremely well for me. Of course it helps that I have a kick ass immune system. The only problem is that even when the symptoms don't show...even when I don't even know I'm sick - I am a carrier. That is why my friends call me Typhoid Mary.

So what home remedy for the common cold do you swear by? What works best for you?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another NaNo Year

The first time I participated I joined at the last second and flew by the seat of my pants. The second year I spent two weeks writing out a 10K detailed outline. Last year, my third in case you need help with the math, I pantsed it again.

The first year, what I wrote was barely salvageable. There was some really good elements I would love to use later on. It was a story that I had always wanted to write. I learned a lot that year.

That second year, I flew through those words. Most of what I wrote wasn't too bad. I liked it enough that I am heading in to my third draft of it. I still like it, but I know it needs a lot of work....

Last year was a lot like the first in results. There was some good stuff, but I started in one direction and ended in a different direction. Where I ended was what I should have been writing from the beginning.

I also did Camp NaNaWriMo this year, not that I did too well, but it was something that I am very happy that I did.

Those last few years have taught me somethings. I've learned that I work better with an outline, but even with an outline I tend to go off course - a lot. I learned that I work better with deadlines. I learned that it's fun to experiment, but more often than not, my writing leads me to where it wants to go and not where I always want to take it.

When I was younger, long before I gave up on the idea of being a writer, I dreamt of writing science fiction. Even then, as much as I loved reading humour, I knew I couldn't write it. Yet, even then I always focussed on the human drama.

Then I gave up on writing. Not as conscious decision and I never even realized that I had done it. I had become so focussed on trying to find a career and a stable job and to "do the right thing" - whatever that meant.

I came back to writing during a time of change in my life. I picked up where I had left off, maybe even a little bit back of that point. Boy, what a learning curve. I still feel like the quality of my writing is quite lacking.

This all leads me to another year of NaNo.

This year, I've only just decided what to write. I've followed my instincts back to the human drama. All I need for this one is a single character and I am looking forward to it.

I don't know if it'll be good, but it'll be mine. So if you don't hear from me for a bit, this time you'll know why.

I hope that what I've learned in the past helps me this year. My goal is 80K. A nice reasonable goal....

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh the drama!

So, last night was interesting. I made frenchfries and was sooo tired that I forgot to turn off the burner. The oil caught fire of course and I grabbed a pot lid to put it out and then moved the pot off the burner, in the process knocking a nylon spatual onto the not-yet-turned off burner.

I went around and opened my windows, turned on the fans and blocked the gap under the door so that none of my neighbors would call the fire department. At which point the acrid stench of burning plastics brought the spatula to my attention. I removed it from the burner and turned the burner off. By that time it was too late.

Eyes stinging, lungs burning, I grabbed a bandana and double checked how good I blocked the gap under my door and then I lifted the curtains and tried to help the smoke out by waving a towel for a bit. Eventually I decided that my bedroom was a priority.

I partially closed the door and focussed on getting that area as smoke free as possible. Of course my cats needed access to "their room", so I cracked my door a bit then I  laid by the window and went to bed because there was nothing else I could do and it was the only place where I could be without choking to death. Of course this was after working a 12 hour shift (again) at work.

Yeah. Drama.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Versatile Blogger

I was surprised and honoured when I logged on (quite a while ago now) to find that the incredible and talented The Capillary has passed this on to me:

Now, I've been averaging 11 - 12 hour shifts at work for the last few weeks so even though I wanted to acknowledge the hours I've been pulling in haven't really allowed it. However, we are back up to full staff (but just as full a work load) so I have something resembling energy. So I am writing this over several days.

To start, I must say "Thank You" to The Capillary. This honour makes me want to really try harder to make my blog a bit better and more focused than it is right now. I doubt that'll happen, but it makes me want to try. Or perhaps, at the very least, more regular entries! To those few that do follow and do read, thank you to you folks as well. It is appreciated.

Besides the thank you to the person that gave the award to me there are two more things I must do. I need to share seven things about me and pass the award on to other blogs. I still need to think about who I want to pass the award on to. I don't read many blogs nowadays so I want to put some good thought into this, but the seven things. Well, you get those right now.

  1. It is incredibly easy for me to get a song stuck in my head. I usually don't mind having a song stuck in my head unless it's a song I hate....of course I pretend that I hate having songs stuck in my head...I don't know why I do that.
  2. I drink a LOT of coffee, but even the four or five giant mugs worth that I have at work regularly is waaaaaay less than I used to drink. Yeah, I used to be one of those people.....
  3. I hate ice. I don't like having ice in my drinks and will always order my drinks sans ice. This is even more crucial if they use an ice machine (which all establishments do) because, well, I've heard stories.
  4. When it comes to cell phones, I may love new tech, but I approach my usage with an old fashioned set of rules. I do not think that one should take calls while in the company of others with few exceptions. When you are spending time with someone that means you are spending time with that person - not someone on the other end of the phone.
  5. I love food. There are very few foods that I don't eat, just foods I can't eat (but still will sometimes anyway). Most of the foods that I don't eat fall under then category of exotic fruits (mango, papaya etc...).
  6. Falling asleep in cars is very difficult for me. I have literally been up from 4am of one day till 11 pm of the next because of an overnight drive to BC. Even if I am beyond exhausted I will constantly keep jerking awake in a moving vehicle. I have yet to be on a long enough flight to see if this applies to planes as well.
  7. I love to cook and I especially love cooking for other people, but I hate cooking in other peoples places.- no matter how well stocked their kitchen is. Although, I think I take greater pleasure in planning meals than I do in actually cooking them.

OMG. I cannot believe I finally got around to finishing this post. I still have to look up some people to pass this on to (that haven't already been nominated).. *phew* I think this only took a week for me to write.