Category Archives: musings

Musings on NaNoWriMo

November is quite a ways off, I know, but usually this time of year I start my coordination with the library to host my National Novel Writing Month events.

Last years turn out was dismal. As was the year before. When I first took the role of Municipal Liaison for my region, plenty of people came to the library write-ins. It was great. We talked, wrote, had pizza parties. I even met with people outside of the events, at my local coffee shop, to keep the spirit of the event going, and helping those people who love writing motivated. It breaks my heart that for the past two years the numbers have plummeted.

The library I host at is a good 45 minutes away. Its a great library, and they are enthusiastic about clearing a community room for the event to be hosted in, and provide things like coffee and whatnot.

Outside of the gas and snacks I’ve provided in the past, I also try to bolster a little competition by offering a prize pack to the highest word count among those who attend the write ins. These packs are basically gift bags with books on writing and unique coffee mugs. Things like that.

Last year I got really depressed after the event due to its poor turn out. And since then, I have been pondering what to do.

I am considering that this year, rather than work so hard on a project that no one attends, I will forgo the event at the library and host personal write-ins at the local coffee shop for those who do want someone to sit with. I know the library will be disappointed.

This may sound terrible, but one thing that does make me feel a little as if ‘its not me’, is the fact that NaNoWriMo as a whole, I mean world wide, seems to have been hit with this decline. The organization has not been receiving the donations needed to support their own events. They have cancelled a yearly event meant for we Municipal Liaisons. They aren’t reaching donation goals. Its sad, because the idea behind NaNo is great.

So, even though I have pretty much made up my mind about what I will do with the event this year, I am dragging my feet on contacting my library on it.

Ugh. Adulting is hard.

 

 

 


Self doubt runs rampant…

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So, lately I have been having some serious self doubts about myself and my abilities. All my abilities…as a parent, grandparent, partner, writer, artist…

 

It started in November. It just started as a small inkling behind the eyes…a small thought here and there. A doubt in judgement here and there, and it just escalated.

 

Then I was sitting here the night before last working on something and I thought…should I continue to even try? My book is far from being as perfect as I want it. My writing doesn’t feel as smooth anymore. I have lost many followers and readers.

 

Should I keep my Zoe Ambler persona, all the time and work. Should I just let it go? Should I refocus elsewhere?

 

I am feeling very inadequate of late. Its a nagging feeling that is bringing me down more and more. I can attribute some of it to the holiday season. I always get a little depressed this time of year, no matter how well things are going.

 

However, I dont seem very productive. Mind you, we are all busy this time of year. This is a big book time. Here I am with the promise of a new book, yet not producing the final product.

 

I have family things going on that I was not prepared for.

 

I just have to question myself on why I keep up with things when I seem to be failing and falling behind. Am I disappointing anyone? The answer to that may leave me in tears.

 

I had a dream. I have talent. I am squandering it, I know. I am just not finding it within myself to chase these things. I feel so very let down.

 

Perhaps after the holidays I will feel better…if not, some hard decisions will have to be made.

 

Take care, my sweets~

 

 

 

 


Sick mama, sick fur-babies…

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Howdy All…

 

I’d love to be able to tell you all is right in the world in Zoe-Land, but alas, it is not.

 

I was taken down by a terrible stomach/intestinal flu for the last few days. Today is the first day I have felt remotely like myself. It was horrible though. Absolutely horrible.

 

On top of that, three out of six of my kitty cats are sick with upper-respiratory infections. Quinn and Baxter are doing alright, but Spencer, my baby, isn’t doing that great. He had a trip to the vet yesterday for some steroids, antibiotics, eye drops and a ‘Camel Hump’ (IV solution placed sub dermally at between the shoulder and neck area to keep the baby hydrated). He is not eating, drinking or using the litter.

 

Today I found the poor little man laboring by breathing out of his mouth and drooling horribly, so back to the vet he went. Thankfully, it’s nothing as alarming as my heart and head seemed to make it. He has developed a sore in his mouth, hence the drooling, and he simply can’t breathe from his little nose being stopped up, so that’s why he is breathing through his mouth. The vet said to continue with the daily anti-biotic, try to temp him to eat some soft food or tuna that has been heated in the microwave just enough to make it stinky (if a cat can’t smell it, they won’t eat it) and keep watch over him.

 

Jeffrey has the sneezes, but he also has allergies, so that may be his reason for sneezing. He isn’t showing any other signs of being sick. He is grumpier than usual though. Sid and Seifer are just fine, however. We are attributing their good health to the fact that they are used to being outdoors, and have heartier immune systems.

 

Yesterday marked the midway point for NaNoWriMo. I am working really well on my writing, my word count grows every day. I will surpass the 50k mark well before the 30th.

 

On a more depressing note, as a Municipal Liaison, attendance at the libraries this year is nearly none existent. In the whole month, I have had one participant show for an event. I did note, however, that participation in my entire region is way down from previous years. People who have not participated in the group Write-Ins, but still wrote from home or work, updating their word counts, are not even participating in writing at all this year. Donations are way down. I had a long talk with the library director this evening about it, and he said numbers for their events are way down as well.

 

I have to mention here, that working with both the director and event planner here at the county libraries (this county has like 5 libraries) has been wonderful. These guys are so accommodating. They have helped me since day one of being a Municipal Liaison 3 years ago.

 

We are sort of chalking up everything to being ‘2017, the bad year for everything possible’.

 

Gaming news…there really isn’t any. I have been avoiding my game for the most part because I tend to lose too much focus on NaNoWriMo when I try to do both, as they are both writing based. My little character is slumbering with her hubby, being quiet for once.

 

Well, that’s our little game of catch up for now. I’ll try not to take so long before my next post, and will keep updates on Spencer.

 

Be sweet, my lovelies ~


When things just don’t go right…

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So the past few days have been a little annoying for me. Things just don’t seem to be lining up right and running smoothly.

 

My fancy Antique typewriter? Well, I had many a plan for writing fun with it. So, the significant other and myself sat down yesterday morning to clean it up and replace the tape.  Only, said significant other is the type who needs to know all about the inner workings of things. He broke something. The typewriter is now useless unless I can find someone local who can work on a vintage typewriter. I think I found someone, I mean, he advertises typewriter repair…but what is on his web-page a newer examples. We shall see come Monday. Until then, I have been kind of giving Mr I Have To Know What This Little Piece Of Metal Does is getting the silent treatment.

 

My NaNoWriMo projects. This year, I am feeling overwhelmed. Nothing has changed since last year, I just feel stressed for some reason. I am also torn between plotting and pantsing. I mean, I have 15 stories and outlines on my external drive to choose from, but do I want to go that route, or do I want to sit down on November 1st and just start typing with abandon?

 

Online gaming. My character and her husband have been planning a special celebration. It is being done in both the role play writing forum and in a live Discord channel chat this evening. I have had the role play writing thread started like two weeks ago, and there are only 4 participants out of 16. Its aggravating. Now, some people in are group just don’t have time to sit down and write a long form role play segment. However, I have given ample time to just make a single post of their character interacting. Tonight, we will see how the live event goes. I will be disappointed, and I’ll admit, pretty hurt, if people don’t come and play it out, seeing as they gather for nearly every other event, especially in Discord, where we can have music and live talk rather than just typing. We shall see.

 

We are actually getting cooler weather here in the south. I admit, I am torn. I miss my heat, however, the cooler temperatures are nice. Especially at night because all the cats want to cuddle with me in bed. The downfall of the cooler temperatures is the bugs. Most bugs go die or hibernate or whatever…except roaches. I am getting crazy amounts of roaches and water-bugs coming into the house. Now, its not uncommon for them to get in in the summer due to the cow field and crops on this little back road. But, I am getting a lot more than usual. The moment you open the door they fly in. And spiders…a lot more spiders. Thanks to the cats, we aren’t having any problems with field mice…yet. An assortment of wild critters have been trying to get into the garbage can lately, like possums and raccoons, but that’s pretty normal. The coyote packs are bigger this year, and making all kinds of racket in the back at the treeline at night. All that I can deal with…except the bugs. Ew.

 

I have a feral mama cat and a single kitten that I have been feeding. I place food on both the front and back porch every evening for them when I bring my rowdy bunch in. I know where the mama cat is keeping herself and the kitten during the day, and for hiding, but I would like to bring them into a safer area, closer to the house, with better conditions. I plan on having the two men in this house build the kittehs a shelter big enough for both mama and baby, blankets and to keep food and water inside for them. Its just a matter of getting the men-folk to get off their butts and doing it.

 

Well, I suppose I have whined enough for now. My next post will be a review of a show or two I’ve managed to sit down and watch. Currently I am watching the second season of Stranger Things. Love that show.

 

Be sweet, my darlings!

 

 

 


Tats, Good Friends and Writing…

So, above you can see my two latest tattoos. I call them my zombknee’s. Mind you, they are still in their icky stage, right before the peel. Today, all I can say is ‘itch, itch, itch’ and ‘moisturize, moisturize, moisturize’. They itch so badly. And I had to wear pants today instead of my usual shorts because I had to adult.

 

However, when adulting, someone needs to speak up and remind me that that doesn’t mean I can get away with wearing a white shirt. Yes, said shirt now has a food stain on it. ~facepalms~ What makes it so irritating is that it was my final bite…right before I put my left overs in the to-go boxes. ~cries~

 

Said food stain came from an awesome afternoon with a wonderful friend. I had met her online years ago on the NaNoWriMo website Regional Forums. We didn’t meet face to face until the next year when I volunteered to be a Municipal Liaison. Since then, we have met, had Write-Ins and enjoy nice little sneak away lunches just the two of us.

 

We usually indulge in an Indian food place down in Dothan. I don’t think anyone else in my house enjoys it, so it works for me for getting a little variety. Today I actually tried a different appetizer and entrée. Go me for trying new things!!

 

Today I tried the vegetable fritters with two different chutney sauces, and my entrée was Butter Chicken. I usually have Samosas and Beef Biryani. I was pleasantly surprised with my choice. And my friend really helped me a lot, because decisions are not an easy thing for me when trying new things. She knows what is what, how spicy I should go, and explained what true Indian curry was. It was great. And we had great conversation. Always a good time with her, and hopefully she will be able to get back to her writing for NaNoWriMo. We both have been feeling the lulls in our work.

 

I am undecided on what I am working on for NaNoWriMo this year. When updating my novel page on the website, I placed up a book series I have in my head. Its erotica. Now, however, I am leaning toward a short story compilation of brand new stories. I love doing compilations. My only issue is sometimes I get sidetracked and my theme goes off the rails. I want to do a horror/thriller compilation. I have a ton of good ideas for that in my head, and it may be easier for me to focus on several smaller chunk stories than working on what will become a series of books.

 

Decisions, decisions.

 

Well, that’s all for now, darlings…be sweet!


Shopping at 4AM…

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Unless it is online, I hate shopping. I really so. So many people, chaos, crowds, crying kids. Blech.

 

So, this morning since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to hit up the 24 hour Wal-Mart Super Center.

 

Ah, it was nice. No one but workers, the only very minor inconvenience was having to dance around where they were shining the floors or heavily restocking isles.

 

It was wonderful. I took my time, bought things I didn’t need. (Come on, everyone needs a fake skull and full mini skeleton to decorate their desk!) I bought needed things, like cat litter! Candles…unf…I bought candles.

 

I also bought adulting type things. New burner plates and covers for the stove. Slippers to keep my feets toasty warm. Its been getting a bit chilly here, at least to me.

 

And on the way home from it all, I stopped and bought myself breakfast. A pumpkin latte and a sausage biscuit with hash brown. Yum, though the hashbrown had been sitting under the heating lamps too long. Crispy.

 

yesterday was not a good day, hence no post. I was very anger filled and I avoid posting on those times due to ranting. You have to choose your words carefully, because to me, one persons rants can have triggers for other people reading. So, I played it safe.

 

Still havent gotten my tats pictured yet. I will get my kiddo to do that for me today. They are still in an ugly state due to the peeling process settling in. They are mega awesome though!!

 

So, ta for now, my sweets!


Back, Tatted, and ready for Wrimo

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So, I got my two tattoos and they look awesome! I wont be posting up pictures until they are healed because right now in the healing stage, especially where they are, they are kind of goopy looking. All part of the healing process. I love them, however.

 

I’ve taken the last days resting. I had my back injection and feel so much better. When I was finally able to take the bandages off and shower, it was pure bliss. You really miss bending over to scrub down to clean your little feet when bending over kills you. And no more precariously leaning against the wall of the shower stall to clean the feetses. I was always afraid of falling through the glass door. >.<

 

NaNoWriMo is almost upon us and I am working my little teal haired head off to figure out some fun things for my Regional Participants. I am thinking coffee days at the local shop, all drinks my treat. And then there are the regular days of Write Ins at the library. I usually provide snacks and water for those, and the library offers fresh coffee.

 

I usually have a prize pack for the local with the highest word count at the end of NaNo, but sadly, this year I just can’t afford it.

 

As for what I am doing to entertain myself other than prepping for NaNo, I have taken some time to watch the SAW movies. I have only ever seen the first and second one, so now I am finishing off the series of them. I tend to avoid movies with 2 or more sequels, because so much is lost or sullied. But, I will give this a shot. I’ll do a review when done!

 

So for now, be sweet, my darlings!!

 

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A day late… and a few days off…

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Howdy!

Sorry I missed you all yesterday. Still had problems with the AC and could not stand it in here…being THAT hot in my own home makes me irritable. So I went to one of my favorite places, and that is the tattoo shop. Which, happened to be a good thing. I found out they are having a special of 25% all Halloween or horror related tattoos. So…guess who is getting two tattoos done on Wednesday. That’s right, this girl.

The AC was fixed before I got home, and I pretty much just took a pain pill and went to bed. It wasn’t a restful night, however. I was up and down at all hours, my back hurting and not being able to get comfortable.

So today has been alright. I am worried about the amount of pain pills I am taking, so I am trudging through it. The injections will be done on Tuesday, usually done in the early morning, so I don’t think I will die from the pain between now and then. I’m just cranky and can’t do anything. I am going to attempt to get my own laundry done tonight, and get the rest of the family to pitch in on the rest of the house. I really would like one of these knuckle heads to steam clean my office carpet.

Also, I will be taking a few days off from the blog. I will be back to posting on Wednesday, Thursday at the latest. I want you to see my new tats, after all.

All my cats are doing well. BaxterMarie has been extra clingy and acting very kitten-like lately. She sleeps in front of me on the desk, or on me or at my feet in bed. She and Spencer fight for the little cubby to the right of me.

The rest of the cats come to me when they want extra momma lovin’s. They aren’t so demanding of it.

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Well, until next week, be sweet, my darlings!


A Bad Day…

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Well, this will be a short post. Just an update on my dreadful day.

We started with excruciating pain in the damaged nerves of my lower spine. It was like someone was plucking each one of them, and it reverberated all the way up my spine and down my left leg. It caused a jerking action, like I was having a seizure. I took my hydrocodone and my anti-inflamitories and relaxers. No relief. And I didn’t want to over medicate myself, because I am still fighting a cold.

So I tried to sleep through it.

Late morning everyone, including myself, gets up because it’s blazingly hot in the house. The thermostat was set at 65, the temp was 90, and it was 97 outside. My house turned into a sauna. So we get the heating/cooling people out. He does a quick fix to get us through the night, but has to come back in the morning to replace 2 parts.

So…that was my day.

And it is 9:30 and I’ve had no dinner yet…add to cranky factor.

 

I hope you all had a much better day than myself, and here to tomorrow being better!

Be sweet, my darlings!


What’s on my bookcase: Stephen Knight

Stephen Knight

61BV4Eppf7L._UX250_Stephen Knight is one of those authors I just happened to stumble over…and it was instant love. I read one of his books on my best friends Kindle and fell in love.

I had to have the book. I tootle on over to his page and BAM! He has a whole series!!! I had to have them all. He actually has two different series, but, me being me, stuck to the zombie series.

What makes Stephens Knight’s zombies in the Gathering Dead series so great, is that some are slow, some are fast…and some remember. That’s right! They have memories of people, loved ones, how to do things like drive (badly) and use weapons.

I was floored by this. And of course, you are going to fall in love with a character only to watch them go out blazing. Or whimpering.

The Last Town was just a series of novellas, but I know see they have been condensed into one book. The Gathering Dead and The Rising Horde, as well as Left with the Dead have also been condensed into an omnibus.

If you love zombie tales, that have a very good grounding in a reality type world, these are the books for you. Great characters and plots. Even those you are meant to hate are written to perfection.

I don’t know what his other series is about, just from titles and cover art, they seem more sci-fi. Not quite my bag.

Another thing that is so great about these books, especially with them being zombie books, is they touch you as a human. It’s not all about zombies, nom, nom, nom, shoot, shoot, shoot. No, these books touch deeper into the lives of the people trying to survive. It nearly had me in tears several times, and that is a pretty heard feat to accomplish.

So, as the weather gets a little cooler, and you want to snuggle up with some good reading material, zombies and people, this is a good series. 10/10 on my scale. Great for reading through October.

I hope you check these books out, and if so, enjoy them as much as I have. I am waiting for more, as the end seeeeemed to be left open for a continuation. But Mr Knight is involved in several other projects, so that remains to be seen.

Happy reading!

Be sweet, my darlings!

 

 


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