Friday, January 9, 2015

I can't believe how long it has been since I stopped by here.
Actually I am doing really well. I feel normal most of the time. That does need a little * by it though, pointing out that I haven't exactly been doing a whole heck of a lot.  I made teaching my son how to drive a priority in July, and I made sure I wasn't doing anything to compromise my ability to do that.

    I can feel my life changing, but in super slow motion. In late spring my son graduated high school.  In late August I started driving with him to and from college- he commutes to a local branch of Penn State.  He goes to college for computer science (*update late December- after first semester he switched to IST- still computers but with a lot less math required). In November he got his license (yeah!). He has decided that he still wants me in the car for awhile longer though  (and I agree)- because the commute involves some busy highway traffic. But the long range plan is that at some point he will drive himself without me also being in the car. Well that is my plan anyway, it isn't something he seems to be striving for. He feels now that he has his license, he should be able to just relax and not have to drive so much and practice, practice, practice.  But at least now I know if I ever am unable to drive, he still will be able to get to school. So that gives me some breathing room. By junior and senior year he will go to Penn State's main campus. But since he is at home now, and I still drive to and from school with him, it doesn't feel radically different from high school (for me). He is definitely changing though -becoming more social, more comfortable. He says he is the happiest he has ever been. 

My son does however talk about wanting to be an artist instead. If he wasn't enjoying hanging around the other kids so much, he would no doubt be asking to drop out and spend his days making art on the computer. I want him to have the computer science/IST degree (he picked that major ) even if he then goes on to be an artist. You know the whole having something to fall back on thing.  I want him to have work that he enjoys, and I also want him to be able to afford to eat- and not have to struggle. Especially perpetually. It is one thing to struggle for a couple of years- it is another, to always be struggling to make ends meet. 

The thing is he complains about not having enough time to do art- but the computer programming stuff he is always working on in his free time- is um his own decision-not school work. He now has two servers, I don't even understand what he is doing with them. I know he is working on creating his own site. But I don't think he needs his own servers for that. ?

Okay this post was originally scary long- so I broke it into pieces- 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

There was a time when I was like..
a New year= a new me
Now I say, No way.
My New Years resolution is just to find out what works for me, and do it.
It involves trial and error and tweaking. It is not about rules. Or some program I can be on or fall off of. It is about aiming for something and finding out my best way of working toward it.

Sure the specters of ideal weight, hair color, parenting, housekeeping, wanting to be a writer, at times still haunt me. But it is starting to feel different from the way it did before.
There is no idealized version of me, tsk tsking over my shoulder. There is just the me I am now sitting here, working toward things that matter to me, and letting go (eventually) of the things that I can't control. I am breathing in the space where I am. And mostly I feel good.

My son is a senior in high school (my only child), so I value spending time with him. He plans on commuting for the first two years of college. But I am very aware that over the next several years my life will be changing.

I feel an internal shifting. I know it wont settle and land for a good long while. And okay.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I am so tired of writing software underlining my words in red.
Smidge IS a word, and I have it spelled correctly.
Leave in utero alone.
It goes on and on.
And since my spelling is horrible, I can have no confidence in it.
So I have to look up every underlined word.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quadruple drat

Oh apparently I've totally botched distinguishing affect from effect. What is the effect of not realizing this? As I wannabe writer (and someone who doesn't like seeming an idiot) persistent bad grammar affects everything. This issue has always confused me, so I gave up using affect (at all) years ago.  I thought it meant acting- an affectation-an emotion one doesn't feel. But that is not the impression I just got. No. And the effect is that I feel stupid, that is how this affects me. Affect is a verb, which I clearly needed to have been using. Oops.

But most of what I read about it, just made me confused. The whole aardvark easy noun thing for remembering affect is a verb. And if you replace transform which is a noun for affect in a sentence and it works then that shows it is right because affect is a verb. Say what????? Though elsewhere on that site, it does say to try using-to transform- as in transforming- transformed- etc which are verbs- but that if you can use transformation then it isn't affect it is effect (that I can comprehend).

However, I am still not sure if I am using them right. Eeeerrr, boggy brain.

Darn research, and grammar, time swallowing annihilators.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Typing up my notes for NaNoWriMo is diving into a crazy mind hopscotching through a story. What mind writes everything out of order? Certainly it can't be mine. Turn a notebook page and land anywhere in the story. Scenes are strewn and scattered, never sequential. Never.

 At least now that I am on the second notebook, entries read from left to right, in the first one, I put entries in from the back of the notebook to the front, plus I randomly opened it and wrote notes in. So when I turned a page I never knew if I was looking at the first or last page of an entry.

 I type and type on, even though some of it is clearly awful. No point in struggling over single puzzle pieces before I see the overall picture.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Well it is that time of the year again-November-National Novel Writing Month- NaNoWriMo. And so I have to decide what, if anything, that means to me. It certainly doesn't mean playing by the rules and totally pantsing (sp?) it through an entire novel. Nope, so no badge for me even if I make it to the 50,000 goal. My best bet as far as personal progress goes would be to type up all the bits of my novel J.A.D. which I have scattered across different notebooks. This would not follow the rules of play at all, as it isn't coming up with stuff on the fly. Though my typing up stuff does always include coming up with additional ideas and scenes. Still, intermittent bursts of spontaneous inspiration aside, it would be masses of notebook prewritten cheating.

So why am I considering signing up at all? Well if you look over at my novel progress bar on the right- all those that are over 50,00 words well that is because I worked on them for NaNoWriMo. Because of the energy in it- the daily word count goal- the virtual company. Generally NaNoWriMo requires over 1,000 words a day to finish on time. And if I toss myself into that stream, that flow, and require myself to play along- then it will be a giant push to end November with 50,000 words typed in, rather than the 8,000 I have now. And it isn't that exciting going through my notebooks, trying to decipher my scribbly scrawl, butt in chair transcribing. I need an outside push. I did sign up for the same reason with the same project last year- but let myself be sidelined by confusing and frustrating health quirks and questions. I shouldn't need this external motivation. I have been working on typing this project up. But I want my words to surge forward rather than waddle forth. So I guess I have decided, I am going to play  under this heading, a different game with the same goal, so yes count me in.  Okay signed up- and stated in my synopsis that I am working on the same novel as last year. Conscience clear.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My new playmate

Scrivener. I love it. And I haven't played around with it much yet.  First I have a lot of JAD to type up from three different notebooks, when I am done with that and feeling restless, confused, and uncertain- that will be a good time to procrastinate by learning more about Scrivener.

Right now I'm just using it to write. But with the added bonus of chapters and scenes- which are wonderful compared to what I was doing. The old way- I would be going through these notebooks and having to scroll repeatedly through the whole body of text to find my section. Now I know where things are-listed on the main page, in order-so I can find things. I turn a page in my notebook and find something I wrote for the end of the story- and type that up in a chapter- then turn another notebook page and I'm in the beginning of the story- so I click on the first chapter and add the scene there. It is so much easier than the stupid way I used to work. And is turning notebook pages that flip back and forth randomly through time, into a sequential entity.

I also really enjoy the ability to drag photos in for my characters- and to see them all on a page together. I click on them, type info about them there- click back. It is much more useful than my old way of doing things with desktop folders with different bits of info and related parts scattered all over. Plus it is fun. It is so easy to go back and forth between things. I usually write in fullscreen composition mode- I imported a picture of the beach- which I faded out behind my text-it's a lovely way to write.

There are many other features just waiting for me to take the time to learn how to use them. I have no doubt that in the future, they will prove extremely helpful too. When I first read about Scrivener, and watched the tutorial on youtube I was intimidated. I am not a computer person. It looked complicated to use to me. But then I downloaded the free trial, and realized I didn't need to learn how to do everything right away. I just needed to know certain things for right now to move forward with my writing project- and I didn't find anything I needed to learn for that to be hard at all. It was straight forward enough that I could figure that out by just playing around with it.

My only complaint is that I had to abandon my outdated laptop because it wouldn't run on it- not much will these days- and move upstairs onto my husband's computer. So I had to reconfigure this whole space so his desk has a view out a window (he doesn't care one way or the other)- and clear piles of stuff off of it- so I can set down my notebook and a glass of water and work here. Headphones are now important too, as it is still summer, and my 17 year old son is on the other side of the room, on his own computer, listening to music that I am not at all able to block out. Though I try and try and....