Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sadly the story is not done. My character has a new bad guy after her, and she still has a kidnapping to solve. So her and I still have some time to spend together while I get to the real end of her story, but it was a great month. We really learned a lot. I'm taking a break for bit. I really need to catch up on my reading!! And I have a pile of critiques to clear out of my studio. And a studio to create!!
My English final is due tomorrow - 3 essays. I have finally finished them. YES!!! I can't wait for this darn class to be oooooooovvvvvvvvvveeeeeeerrrr!!!
The funeral was exactly what I expected. But I loved seeing my aunt and uncle.
I needed some cheering up, so my long-time BFF Crissy, cute preK teacher extraordinaire, and I went out for dinner and a movie. We watched 4 Christmases (HILARIOUS! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT) and had a bit of my favorite Italian cuisine at Olive Garden. (I would have loved an Italian Margarita but guess I couldn't finish my paper drunk, and I don't want to be hung over tomorrow - those drinks have kick).
An uneventful weekend for sure. I went shopping at some local flea markets - bought a bunch of stuff for my new studio. And I have some great new vintage pieces for my altered art and art journals. (I can't wait to get into some paint soon!) My niece and sister are going Sassy Scrappers with me. Woohoo! I've created monsters. My brother-in-law is mad at me (my sis keeps buying scrapbooking supplies - hehehehe). I look forward to working in some art. Words are kinda getting on my nerves this week.
My first short story is published and available for viewing online at www.theshinejournal.com/blanchardm.htm . Go check it out!
Music: Katy Perry - Hot n Cold
Motivation Level: 1.5 (out of 10)
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I threw my obligations into the (recently cleaned) backseat and opted to have a grand day filled with spur of the moment activities, like shopping at local flea markets, buying stuff for my new studio/workroom/writing room, visiting the local scrapbooking store which I never seem to find time to do, and watching a movie I purchased 3 months ago and never got around to opening much less watching, called Dedication, with Billy Crudup and Mandy Moore. (I'm a Mandy Moore movie-fanatic). He's a writer, she's an illustrator - really good!
Seeing Billy put me in the mood for another movie of his, so I pulled out one of my favorites, Stage Beauty. I started the day in a rut, depressed about a funeral I'll be attending this weekend, not wanting to write anymore, for my novel or my English class, and just in a general funk. (Wait! Me without words, (shudder); now what kind of world is that - a scary place for sure. But don't get too excited I can still manage to talk your ear off!)
Regardless, I made the best of it. And while the words were lost, I did the next best thing. Chin up with a smile, I escaped. And finding that escape I returned to my precious movies and found the passion and emotion that is missing in a lot of the movies that are made today.
I guess it's easier to show passion and emotion when you're quoting Shakespeare but Claire Danes and Billy Crudup really light up the screen, which is just what I needed right now. Because my character is headed for her onstage debut - which leads to her next BIG (hot) scene with the hero. Hmmmm. I should be able to breeze through 6000 words now!!!
Drinking: Coke Zero
Music: Sick Puppies - My World
It's sad to see the heroes of our past fall. Rather than think of the recent situation - where I'm the hated black sheep of the family - I will remember us as we used to be. The family get togethers, crawfish boils, cousins everywhere, and the 6 men who stood strong as one family. I'll remember the man who came to the circus with us, who hung out with us, and who made us laugh. I'll remember the good days. Rest In Peace.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
My family does not believe in a traditional turkey dinner. I can't remember what we ate when I was a kid, but Thanksgiving, as with most holidays, were usually at my grandmother's house with the whole gang (aunts/uncles/cousins). But the tradition seems to have changed as everyone got older, and Thanksgiving is at my mom's house each year. It's a small affair. Lunch is cooked by 10 am, and you had better be finished eating by 12:30pm cause the 'kitchen's closed', and we get kicked out. The rest of the day can be spent doing whatever we want to do, at our own houses (lol).
Until I started working at AT&T 6 years ago, I have never experienced a "real" Thanksgiving feast like I read about and see in the movies. A friend of mine, Licia, decided to cook a Thanksgiving meal for me. She started at 3am and by 12pm (what is taking so long) I still had not eaten. After we raided her neighbor's apartment for some of their turkey grub, I decided the whole turkey fiasco was not for me.
This is the Blanchard Family Thanksgiving meal:
Some of my Mom's finest seafood gumbo and potato salad (the potato salad was a bit dry this year - so it may not look that great but it sure tasted good). My niece and I usually are in charge of washing dishes so we love using paper plates instead of the "fine china." You can keep all that meat and mess. I'll stick with the easy fixin' foods.
Stacey, the world traveler and scrapbooking fanatic, wonderful mother of 2 beautiful kids, photographer, best big sis a girl could ever ask for:
Jason, my fav and only little brother, electrician extraordinaire, dare-devil, hard working, lover of toys (trucks, bikes, 4wheelers, etc)
Today I'm feeling a bit melancholy. Our family is growing and changing and yet for me it feels like my life is standing still. Daddy's birthday just passed on the 22nd, and I miss him more and more every day. How different would our lives have been had that one moment been altered in our pasts? Who would we be? But what happened happened and cannot be changed.
But I miss you, Daddy. I wish you could see us now and see Michael and Lauren grow up. I wish they could know what a wonderful person their grandfather was. I wish I could see your smile and your eyes light up in laughter just one more time.
I'm thankful for the day spent with my wonderful family, and for the fact that we were all together this holiday! Thanks for keeping my family and friends safe and healthy. Thanks for every day that you give us. Thanks for life!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
J/K. The final piece is a secret so I can't post that picture (I know you're so disappointed).
This was a great opportunity to enjoy the company of some wonderful ladies while creating on such a beautiful Saturday. I plan on attending many more meetups as I learn what scrapbooking is all about. Anyone in the surrounding areas who loves to scrapbook or create altered journals should check it out and JOIN US FOR SOME FUN-FILLED meetups.
Its amazing how much work we accomplished. I thought I had brought too much stuff (okay I had) but I could have brought more because this meetup was SO PRODUCTIVE.
Find out more about this group at http://scrapbook.meetup.com/624/ . I hope to see you at the next one!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Good News:
I did the impossible and passed that History test with flying colors (yep I set the curve) - Go Me! It seems the answers I got wrong were only worth 1 point. The big points were in the short answers, identification, and essay - and guess what - I'm a writer so I rocked that test! WooHoo! So my History class is officially over. I don't have to take the final - YES!
In English I only have one more assignment, which my professor will give out on Monday - a take home test - dealing with Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson - good times. I'll have to struggle with that during Thanksgiving week. But the semester is definitely winding to a close.
My first story will be published online IN 10 DAYS, YIKES. I'm experiencing mixed emotions of super excitement followed by the need to vomit in fear. And this is only for less than 800 measly words - jeez.
We bid for vacations last week at work - it goes by seniority, and I received the three weeks that I bid for: Easter - Washington trip with my girls!, My Birthday Week - hmmm maybe a cruise like in 2007, and Christmas - I'm really hoping there's a good reason to take Christmas off! (Even though Shawn cursed me out because I got it - sorry, love, I know you wanted it, but ITS MINE! lol)
Celebrated the great day with supper at my favorite sushi restaurant - SHANGRI LA - I love how the waiters just bring me my drink without having to ask what I want. Kind of sad really. But anyway I NANOWRIMOed over complimentary edamame while I people-watched. Life is Good!
Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I'm at 27,334 words which is way behind schedule. I only have 10 more days to meet deadline, but the story is coming along. My plot has progressed from where I started in November and it seems to be headed toward an ending. Hopefully, I finish this one.
Some days, I feel like a wannabe talking about writing novels and never actually finishing anything. It's not my fault. I sleepwalked through life for about 5 years, and I'm finally awake and living. So I have to play catch up with the dreams, new and old, that I ignored for so long. Part of the problem is being a Gemini and part of it is just being semi-ADHD. I can't sit still. I'm afraid if I stop for a minute, I'll fall asleep again.
Those who have known me for a few years know what I'm talking about. The person I was even 3 years ago is not anywhere near the person I am today. I was absent from life, just getting by. In 2007 I woke up and I changed my life and now it just spirals, and I have to follow where it leads because there's no going back.
Sometimes, I'm so focused on the "prize," I miss out on the obvious, like those people standing beside me along the way. I forget to ask, "how are you, do you need anything, whats going on in your life?" It's not that I don't care. I'm making excuses, but I just figure that since I say what I have to say when I feel I need to say it, you will, too. But that's me and you're you and you don't. And I'm sorry. I'm aware now, and I'll work on it. (That's the best I can do).
I guess the point of all this is that it's going to be okay. No matter what happens, even if or when the other shoe falls, you'll deal with it, however you need to and you'll get up even when you want to crawl under the covers and hide, and you'll keep on going. And it doesn't help to look for the bad when there is something good staring you in the face.
During the month of November there is so much to be Thankful for. Every day is a blessing to me, and I hope it is to you, as well!
Drink: Pibb Zero
Tunes: Sade - Lover's Rock
Question on My Mind: Is it possible to be alone but never lonely? - (English professor asked us in class on Monday)
Lesson Learned: Do not let the errors of the past guide your future.
Strive To: Let hope in. Dream of the possibilities. Do not be afraid to close your eyes, and leap - You haven't sent anything out since August so submit something already!!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
It's for my mom's orchid society auction. Couple screwups on there but it's the first. Hopefully it brings the society some funds and she doesn't bring it back home because she felt she had to buy it herself rather than hurt my feelings. lol
The day is gone, and I have done nothing! Only accomplished 2400 words. Have only 4400 left to be caught up for the month. Then I can worry about my 2000 words each day from this point forward rather than continuously playing catch up. YEEEYYYY! Why is it that I always accomplish more when I spend 8 hours at work yet when I'm off I have no way of functioning and I get nothing done!?
School Update: The LAST ENGLISH PAPER assignment I was supposed to receive today has been pulled!!! Professor decided she will only give us the Final - Thank GOODNESS!!!!
Work Update: just found out I will be out of my second job come July - the state is downsizing ha - and that's my spending/spa/extra/vacation/book/art supply money job. Darn! I'm so bummed. I never save money like I should. It is what it is I guess. I'm lucky and will not complain; I still have another to fall back on - for now and its not until July. It's been over 2 and a half years since I didn't have 10 jobs. Whats a girl to do?!!?
Music: Gavin Rossdale - Love Remains the Same
Drink: Sprite Zero and Water
Mood: Too bummed out to write; but I would love to lay on a hammock among these flowers and listen to the waterfall and relax with a glass of red wine:
Ahhhhh.....peace at last!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I wonder what I ever did before Blogging? Oh I probably wrote, created or did stuff - had a life maybe. I've only written 1000 words today. Stupid distractions and procrastinations.
The Bayou Writer's Group Bridge to Publication 2008 Conference is now over, and I'm washing clothes and trying to get ahead of myself while I'm so far behind already. The Lafayette crew consisted of: Mike (taking the pic), Me, Regan, Lynn, Skeeter (in order of seats at the table).
We're getting so much smarter - I can tell. The Conference was wonderful, and the Speakers were Fantastic. My notebook is full of info and ideas but I think I'm so intimidated by all of the WORK involved with writing, that it may take another 2 weeks for me to write again, which does me no good because I have to finish NaNo.
Couldn't wait for it to get here, and now its over. I feel it was a wonderful success, and I hope the fantastic Conference Committee realizes what a great job they did to make it all happen. I hope it is as successful next year.
Regan won the First Page contest! We are so proud of her. She's not bragging nearly enough. (I may have to start sending out emails on her behalf to brag about her wonderful win.) I have found that I must be the president of the Regan Rules! fanclub as I keep getting congrats on her behalf. (Yes folks, I am her minion and will do my best to get the fanclub newsletter out next month. lol) I had such high hopes for my page, Blood Kiss; oh well guess serial killers, blood, shit-kickers, and demons are not for everyone. There's always next year!!!
I always leave Lake Charles with a touch of sadness. There are some people that I have come to care for in the group and that I just hate not being able to visit over coffee on random days like my friends back home. To make matters worse, it seems my friend, Nona, is going away in December so I won't see her again until NEXT YEAR!! Oh no! She is the twin of my heart! I just love her to pieces.
It was a great conference. I would fawn over all of the speakers but I think I may be limited in blogging space. And kudos for the food; the cheese ball and wine have my vote any day.
The road trip, as always, was a treat. This gang cracks me up! Please do not give us ANY alcohol. Who knew an hour and a bit could be so much fun. You really don't want to know some of the conversations we had (and in front of mixed company - such a bad idea). I may not be able to show my face again! Here's the girls!
I had my first creativity session with my little "student" today. I'm giving my friend's daughter lessons/time on/for creativity. Basically we just have tons of fun at Allison's house and then I leave and her hubby, Chad, has to clean paint off the ceilings - j/k (if there's any there it wasn't me, Alli - I swear. and no I'm not blaming the kid) lol. Creating with Jenna is such fun. Can't wait to see the results after she is finished.
Well, I've done all the procrastinating I can allow myself to get away with for today. Have to put the clothes in the dryer and start NaNo-ing. Only 1 zillion words to go!
Music: Tool - Eulogy (HA!)
Drink: Nothing - I need more water
Plans: Reorganizing My Life - Major spring cleaning is needed!
School: Almost over; thank goodness
Art: Working on Orchid Project (keep your fingers crossed)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
The projects are piling up: doorprize for Momma's orchid club, doorprize for BWG Conference, present for Christmas Party BWG, baby blanket for baby showers. Jeez! (Everybody wants some altered art lol)
Well I have found a way to get rid of some of my clutter. I found a Girl Scouts troop to donate some of my wheelchair/walker bags to bring to a nursing home for the holidays - YAY! Frees up a bit of space for more junk.
History test this week to study for; I'm taking a break every 30 minutes to write for 15 minutes - really keeps me from passing out at the table at Barnes and Noble! So I'm writing away. The iPod is blaring. And I'm oblivious to everything. I move along to another place as the day progresses and realize that...I don't have my iPod.
OMGoodness, whats a girl to do?
Have I become too attached that I cannot function without something in my writing process.
I listen to a particular musician for all writing time dealing with a particular story (only on the longer ones). I can go anywhere and turn that music on and the words flow onto my Word Processor. I don't listen to this particular musician at all, unless I'm writing THIS story - no excuses. This establishes a pattern and the writing just happens.
I didn't realize that what I do in my writing has a negative side. What happens if I can't listen to the music? The words take a lot longer to come. I get them but its after I've bitten all my nails, twirled my hair into some freaky 'do, and cleaned my purse out two times.
So now I'm curious. What do you do? Do you have a system in place for your creativity? Is there something that you do to get into the creative "mood" and get the work flowing? (This is for writing, art journaling, scrapbooking, anything.) Let me know!!!
Word Count for NaNoWriMo: 7545 (yikes!)
Music Playing for Wolf Moon: Sick Puppies
Accomplishments This Week: I finished the first chapter (or prologue?) to Wolf Moon and sent it to my critique partners - can't wait to hear what they have to say!!!
Things On Hand During the Writing Process: Alphasmart 3000, iPod, pen, paper/napkin/post it, water, mints (I'm nauseated all the time - thanks Alli! lol), and a window - so I can see what's going on outside.
Tell me what gets you through the creative process!
Friday, November 7, 2008
To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit organization to help kids with suicide and depression which often leads to other problems when untreated: drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, or self-injury.
This organization started over one young woman’s struggle with drug abuse. She was considered too much of a health risk to be admitted to a clinic. Her friends stepped up for this girl they loved, and they stayed with her for 5 days to help her overcome her addiction. They helped her save her life. She is alive and well today.
This group of remarkable people has a mission to spread the word and help others. They speak out on this “brokenness” that can be found within a lot of us, promoting love and help for anyone who has or knows someone who struggles with self-injury, depression, drugs, alcohol, body image issues, sexual addiction, etc.
There are many variations in place for spreading the word by other groups that have been inspired by this original group. Here are two:
(1) Have a day where anyone who wants to support the cause will go around their schools/jobs and write LOVED in red on other people’s arms; that day is December 13th.
(2) Write the word LOVED in red on your own arm for one day each month; people will be curious and ask, and you can spread the word.
The story of the original group who worked so hard to save a friend they loved and the inspiration and help that they have given teenagers with the many issues that they have to deal with has really touched my heart and inspired me to take up the cause.
I have friends and loved ones who at one point in their lives have suffered with struggles of self-injury, depression, body image issues, etc. (including ME). And I never want them to feel that they do not have a place to turn. So I’ll take up the cause, and on the 13th of each month, I’ll write LOVED in red on my arm to let them know that I’m here for them, for everyone, and they are LOVED!
Who’s with me?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Question of the Day: How did the writings of the Transcendentalists lead to the abolitionist movement?
Answer: No clue! I have 5 pages of quotes and no idea what to do with them. Deadline: Yesterday (Yikes)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
All Hallows Eve: work, shopping, went to a costume party hosted by one of my friends from high school. As I get older, I'm reminiscing about the 'good ole days.' I find myself thinking more and more about the friends I lost touch with along the way. I decided to go see some old friends at a Halloween party. Though scared to pieces, I ended up having a great time. There are some people that you meet up with and its almost like no time has passed. You get together and talk and laugh and it seems like not a day has gone by since. That was how it felt last night as I became reacquainted with my old friends, who are two fellow artists and extraordinary women. Here's me and the hostess, Tanya:
Saturday: Ugh!!! I'm too old for staying up til 130am. Way past my bedtime. Woke up tired and late. Rushed to get ready and to Lake Charles for BWG.
I went to the Hobby Lobby in Lake Charles, OMG it's huge. Boy, did I spend some money! Drive home was horrible, I was so tired. Took a nap and now I have to start my English paper that is due Monday. (*sigh*) I need a vacation!
Side note: There must be some kind of secret challenge going on to get me 'hooked up' because I can't even count the propositions from today. Whats up with THAT?
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- ▼ November (12)