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almost over

Nov. 5th, 2016 08:27 am
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
DSCN9611

There is still some color left, but more and more trees are bare now, ready for winter. I'm trying to get out every day to enjoy what's left of autumn before it's all gone.

golden

I went to see "Doctor Strange" on Thursday night. They had a secret screening a day early, so I got to beat the weekend crowds. I absolutely loved it! I had high expectations, and they weren't let down. I even didn't mind (much) that Benedict had an American accent in it. He was fantastic, just perfect for that role. Everyone in it was great. I will probably see it again in the theatre, and buy it when it comes out on DVD. Such a treat, especially after being disappointed in the last couple of Marvel movies.

Untitled

I start a new job on Monday, and I'm both nervous and excited. It's for a web services company, which is right up my alley (much more so than the last couple of gigs). I worked really hard to get it, too; in addition to the phone and in-person interviews, I had to do a couple of test calls so they could hear my phone manner and pitch style. I really hope this works out, because the company sounds awesome.

Untitled

I am attempting to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I haven't had a lot of words yet, but I'm pretty happy with what's come out of me so far. I've had a couple of fun ideas about how to structure the story, partially inspired by a classic of horror literature that has come up repeatedly in the last month or so. Figuring out how to work it all in has been a fun challenge.

Untitled

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
lizziebelle: (crow)
Another festival has come and gone. It seems to take forever to get here, and then is gone in a flash. It was so good to be there, in a place that feels like home. Our little village springs up each year like Brigadoon, always changing but ever the same.

Walking along the drive one day, I happened to look up at the sky (I do that often) and saw a rainbow splashed across the clouds.

IMG_6402

If that's not an omen, I don't know what is. It was glorious. A perfect reflection of the colorful village below.

I got to play my ukulele with my friend Snoo. I learned a new song: "Leaving on a Jet Plane." Shades of my childhood.

IMG_6421

The weather was hot for most of the week. The only time it rained while I was there was early one morning, before I got up. My tent stayed nice and dry.

DSCN9080

I saw lots of birds around camp, including a new one for me: an American redstart. I thought at first it was an oriole, but the patterns weren't quite right, and it was smaller. The pic above is a fledgling robin, waiting for his mama to feed him. He hopped around our kitchen area, and onto the grill. I didn't tell him we had cooked chicken on that grill the night before. ;)

I proposed having a write-in at camp for anyone who wanted to come and write. Two of my peeps took me up on it, and we wrote (and talked about writing) for three of the days we were there. I like writing with other people; it was one of the things I enjoyed most about Nanowrimo.

The last morning, when I went up to the lot to get the car, the sun was coming up and a mist was rising from the pond. It was so beautiful.

misty sunrise

A perfect ending to a great week.

waning

Aug. 9th, 2015 08:39 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)
I usually start to feel the waning of the season after my birthday (which was a week ago), but this year I felt it a few days before. Not just the days getting shorter, although they are (today the sun set before 8:00); more that the season is past its prime, and from here on out it's all downhill. My spring flowers have almost withered away, the Queen Anne's Lace has started to go to seed, and little flocks of sparrows gather in my hedge every day, chattering away about this and that. The nights are cooler, although I know, just as in March we will likely get more snow, in August and September we will still get some hot weather, so the a/c unit stays in even though it's off more than on these days. But I like having the windows open, even if it means I hear the traffic going by and the neighbors coming & going.

They say there's a big El Nino this year, which means we will have a warmer than usual winter. I'll believe it when I see it. It would be nice to have a break, though: the past three winters have been monsters, the most recent one being the biggest monster of all. And California sure could use the rain.

As I get settled into the new job, my brain is starting to think about other things, and story bits are bobbing to the surface more often. I had a flash the other day at work, and quickly typed it into Evernote on my phone so I wouldn't lose it. I'm starting to get back into writing mode, when for months it took such a back seat that it was almost invisible. Never quite gone, as the story is always whirling around some part of my brain, but never quite ready to come out and play, either. Another fun side-effect of depression, I suppose. Which I'm slowly climbing out of, as things get a little better day by day. I'm reading more lately, which always leads to writing, and now that the weather's less beastly hot, I can get out walking more, too. That always gets the writer-brain going as well.

I've spent the last two weekends doing pretty much nothing, which I really needed. Next weekend is a quick trip to NYC for [livejournal.com profile] grrlfriday's big birthday bash, but that's it for a while. I need my weekends to unclench.
lizziebelle: (book)
I'm still plugging away at the novel I started for NaNoWriMo, go me. I'm pretty proud of that. It's starting to go new places, and surprising things keep happening. I'm not much for outlining, but I have a pretty good idea of where things are going when I start out. With short stories, there aren't a whole lot of places to go, but with a novel, things can take off in a number of directions, many of which I hadn't anticipated. This started out as a ghost story, which it still is, but other things are happening now, too.

I'm trying to keep things reined in, though. I don't want it to get out of hand. I'm trying very hard not to make my protagonist a Mary Sue, because it drives me crazy when other writers do that. I don't want her to be too perfect, for things to come too easily for her. Also, I don't want her to be too much like me. Because she's not me.

Another thing I don't like is when too many mythologies get crammed into supernatural stories. It's one of the things I didn't like in the Sookie Stackhouse books, and other series. There will be no vampires or faeries in my novel! But there will be witches. And they will be real witches, not fantasy witches. They can't do anything I can't do. Well, I've never sent a ghost on to the next plane, but in theory, I could. I know how it's done, and that's how my characters are doing it.

Also, there is no hint of romance. I have nothing against romances, but that's not what I want to write. Maybe somewhere down the road, in book two or three (if I ever get there), but that's not the point of the story.

I'm writing something I would want to read. Hopefully, it's something other people will want to read, too.

new icon

Dec. 2nd, 2014 04:10 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)
On my walk today, a crow landed in a tree just ahead of me and started cawing. I stopped under the tree and took out my camera, intending to get a good silhouette of him sitting on a branch. Just as I snapped the shutter, he took off, resulting in the pic in my icon. My reaction? "Awesome." I love crows.

My car has been out of commission for a while, and today I had it towed to the dealer to get fixed. I wanted to do it last week, but because of the snow the tow truck driver refused to even try backing down my driveway. Thanks to a couple of warmish days, the snow is gone, and Morgan la Fe is finally getting that new starter. Hopefully by the weekend I'll be mobile again.

I finished off NaNoWriMo with just over 19K words. That's a lot for me. I've got a good start on the novel, a fairly good idea where it's going, and a great new habit of writing every day. I did take yesterday off, just because, but I'm back in the saddle, and it feels good. Depression isn't good for creativity, at least not for me. Having NaNo to get me motivated was a very good thing. The hardest part is always getting started. Once momentum is built, it's easier to just keep going.

writing

Nov. 27th, 2014 10:03 pm
lizziebelle: (book)

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!




I tried this thing again, and I like the results better. Last time, I got Bram Stoker (probably because what I had written was in first-person). This result is from my current NaNoWriMo novel.

I'm not going to make the 50K goal by the end of the month, but that wasn't my aim. It's gotten me into the habit of writing every day, which is what I intended. The story I've had simmering in my brain for ages is starting to take shape, and is going places I didn't expect. New characters are showing up, and I like them. I'm getting better at blending dialog with descriptive passages. I'm learning to just get the words down, and worry about editing later. Most of all, I've had fun with it.

This is the first time I've had a serious run at writing a novel. Last time I tried, my story just didn't support a novel-length size. My forté has always been shorter fiction. Novels are a whole different animal. I hope I can keep up the momentum, and actually finish it. I really want to tell this story.
lizziebelle: (crow)
I tend to think of November as a rather bleak month. It gets dark alarmingly early, most of the trees are bare now, and the weather is far from charming. As it turns out, there is much out there still to interest an amateur naturalist and photographer.

The other day, I had my protagonist go for a walk at the Assabet Wildlife Refuge to clear her head from the whirlwind of things going on around her. While she was there, she made an unexpected breakthrough that is helping her solve at least one of her problems. I decided to go there myself today, not expecting any lightbulb moments myself, but just looking to walk the paths and enjoy the woods and water.

I took a route I've never taken before, and found things I hadn't known were there. I also found all sorts of interesting things to take pictures of, as November is turning out to be not as bare as advertised.

out in the woods )

I will definitely be taking that route again, and exploring some of the paths on that side of the pond.

progress

Nov. 7th, 2014 03:39 pm
lizziebelle: (book)
While I haven't kept up the momentum of the first day, I'm making good progress on my NaNoWriMo project. The story's starting to take shape, and unexpected things have happened. This is good. I like stories to surprise me, even my own.

I had to get out of the house today, so I went to the Lime Quarry & Kiln in Bolton to ramble about in the woods.



It's a bit chilly today, but the sun came out for a moment or two periodically, and the woods were peaceful and quiet.

The lime kiln is built into the side of a hill, and is pretty cool to come across.



They have maps at the entrance, but I always get off-track somehow. As I have a really good sense of direction, I attribute it to either poor mapmaking skills or perhaps faeries. Whenever I would come across a "You Are Here" map, I was not anywhere near where I thought I was. Somehow, I always find my way out.

As I was already in Bolton, I took a quick detour over to the library to take pictures of it. Some of you may remember this place as the Pirate Rest Stop from a few years ago that we set up for the big bike ride some friends were riding in. The library really stuck in my mind, and is now making an appearance in my NaNo book as the library in my fictional town of Dorset, MA.



I wanted Dorset to be located in this general area, but I didn't want to use a real town so I made one up. It has elements of Bolton, as well as Stow and even Hudson. It's a place I would like to live. Well, except for all of the ghosts. *g*
lizziebelle: (book)
Well hey, I made my goal my first day. Go me! 1,718 words, a good part of chapter one and an additional, later scene written.

nano

If you're participating too and would like to buddy up, you can find me here.
lizziebelle: (Elvis)

dishes, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I've been trying to remember to take pictures of different things, and semi-succeeding. Here, I liked the shapes and patterns of my dishes drying in the dish drainer. Not something I would normally think of as lens fodder, but it caught my eye the other day.

It's been a bit of a rough week. Tummy troubles, compounded by the bitter cold, have made me one unhappy kitty. Even though it's supposed to be relatively warm tomorrow, it's also supposed to rain quite a bit, so I plan on spending the day resting. Maybe by Sunday I'll feel up to getting outside. I sure hope so; I'm getting a bit of cabin fever. It's only January 10th and already I'm tired of winter.

I started a new story today, and it's a vampire story. I keep telling my brain I don't want to write vampire stories, and it keeps giving them to me. This character really wants his story told. I am helpless against it. And don't you worry: there's nothing sexy about my vampire. That's just silly.

lizziebelle: (Iris)
Another thing I've found the iPhone to be really handy for (besides taking fabulous pictures) is taking notes for writing. I've been using the Evernote app (which someone, I don't remember who, recommended to me way back when I got the iPad) to keep writing prompts. What I like about this app is that it syncs with the iPad and the MacBook, so I have those same notes on all three devices. Ye gods, I'm becoming a tech head.

Before this, I put things in little notebooks and promptly forgot about them. Now I have them all in one place, so to speak, and since I use it often I am reminded they are there, and I actually use them. Pretty neat. I do love this technology stuff.

I was thinking today, as I was walking around at lunchtime in the glorious autumn sunshine, about how much how I think of myself has changed in the last few years. If you'd asked me ten years ago what I was, I would have said "Witch" or "Wiccan" first, because that was pretty much the most important way I defined myself, and had been for a long time. Now, I'd probably say "writer" or "photographer" first, because those are the things that take up more of my consciousness now. I'm always thinking about writing, always looking for the next photo. It's how I express myself creatively.

I no longer define myself by the Craft, because it no longer defines my lifestyle. I am more of a kitchen witch than a Wiccan priestess, which suits me fine. It was the right thing at the right time; I learned so much and met so many wonderful people (who are still an important part of my life). These days, however, I'm much more likely to be out wandering the woods taking pictures or sitting at the computer writing than I am to be at a ritual. How I connect with the gods has little to do with ritual and a lot to do with how I live my life every day.

I guess I have become, in the immortal words of Joss Whedon, a Techno-Pagan.

onward

May. 15th, 2012 04:06 pm
lizziebelle: (Default)

Bedside, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Life plods ever onward. Last week, I decided to use up the rest of an Amazon gift card on a decent fountain pen. Neil Gaiman had recommended the Lamy Safari on his Tumblr bog, saying it was a good pen but reasonably priced. He was, of course, correct. I bought the pen and some violet ink refills, picked up an inexpensive faux-leather notebook at the drugstore, and started a new paper journal. It's amazing what comes out when you have the freedom of not writing for anyone but yourself; I had forgotten the nearly lost art of journaling, and it's been refreshingly liberating. I find myself looking forward to just writing whatever comes into my mind, not worrying about structure or storyline or even complete sentences. I love the pen, and I've always favored ink in shades of purple. It makes me feel more creative than blue or black.

Some pictures of where I've been roaming recently )



Next week, I'm planning to go to NYC to take my cousin [livejournal.com profile] grrlfriday's workshop on Social Media & Social Justice. It should be fun and interesting, and my first time in Brooklyn. I can't believe how cheap the bus to NY is! $38 round trip. That's less than gas & tolls to drive there.

I'm looking forward to a change in scenery, and to hanging out with my fabulous cousin and some of her fabulous friends. It's nice to have something to look forward to.

lizziebelle: (Default)

stories are gifts, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I think the sentiment on this cup of coffee is a nice one. I believe in it wholeheartedly.

I had an idea come to me (while perusing the New York Times website, no less) about the main character in my WIP that quickly made me very excited about the story possibilities. It will take the story in a whole new direction, which is a good thing because I was getting stuck. I knew where I wanted it to go, but I wasn't working out how to get it there. Now I think I have a better idea how to do it. Hooray for breakthroughs.

This evening after work, we're getting together at a local pub for a sort of informal holiday party. Since they no longer give us a proper party, I figure this is the most I'm going to get, so why not? Free drinks & appetizers sounds good to me. I do actually like some of my coworkers. ;)

It's been an odd weather day for the first of December: very windy and wet, but also quite mild. I went out without a coat at lunchtime, with only an umbrella against the elements. I can hear the wind now; it's quite vocal today! Whooooosh

lizziebelle: (Default)

stories are gifts, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I think the sentiment on this cup of coffee is a nice one. I believe in it wholeheartedly.

I had an idea come to me (while perusing the New York Times website, no less) about the main character in my WIP that quickly made me very excited about the story possibilities. It will take the story in a whole new direction, which is a good thing because I was getting stuck. I knew where I wanted it to go, but I wasn't working out how to get it there. Now I think I have a better idea how to do it. Hooray for breakthroughs.

This evening after work, we're getting together at a local pub for a sort of informal holiday party. Since they no longer give us a proper party, I figure this is the most I'm going to get, so why not? Free drinks & appetizers sounds good to me. I do actually like some of my coworkers. ;)

It's been an odd weather day for the first of December: very windy and wet, but also quite mild. I went out without a coat at lunchtime, with only an umbrella against the elements. I can hear the wind now; it's quite vocal today! Whooooosh

lizziebelle: (Default)

drip, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

After a sweltering morning (during which I huddled inside, in the air conditioning), we had quite a loud thunderstorm move through, and I found myself glad that I wasn't still camping. From posts people made last night on Facebook, it sounds like they had some really intense storms come through western NY, and the ones we had today were probably from the same system. I was remembering the microburst (or tornado, depending on who's telling the story) there about ten years ago. That was scary.

After the rain stopped, I went out for a fairly short walk (maybe a mile round trip, probably less). It had cooled down some, but was still quite muggy. After a popsicle (Edy's pomegranate - yum), I took a nice cool shower, where I found a spider the size of a Buick (name the reference!) hiding behind my shampoo. Eek! He slid down into the water, where I caught him in a Dixie cup and tossed him out the door after I got dressed. Why do spiders like my bathroom? I'm always finding them in there, which is the farthest place in my apartment from any outside door or window, and there are no bugs on which to nom. *shudder*

what else I found on my walk )



I had some thoughts about my work-in-progress while walking, specifically about how I'm finding it difficult to get to the meat of the story. I decided that I had too much backstory, which isn't really needed by the reader, only by me. So I'm going to toss all of that and see how it flows. This is what I get for taking what was a series of short stories and combining them into a book. *g*

lizziebelle: (Default)

drip, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

After a sweltering morning (during which I huddled inside, in the air conditioning), we had quite a loud thunderstorm move through, and I found myself glad that I wasn't still camping. From posts people made last night on Facebook, it sounds like they had some really intense storms come through western NY, and the ones we had today were probably from the same system. I was remembering the microburst (or tornado, depending on who's telling the story) there about ten years ago. That was scary.

After the rain stopped, I went out for a fairly short walk (maybe a mile round trip, probably less). It had cooled down some, but was still quite muggy. After a popsicle (Edy's pomegranate - yum), I took a nice cool shower, where I found a spider the size of a Buick (name the reference!) hiding behind my shampoo. Eek! He slid down into the water, where I caught him in a Dixie cup and tossed him out the door after I got dressed. Why do spiders like my bathroom? I'm always finding them in there, which is the farthest place in my apartment from any outside door or window, and there are no bugs on which to nom. *shudder*

what else I found on my walk )



I had some thoughts about my work-in-progress while walking, specifically about how I'm finding it difficult to get to the meat of the story. I decided that I had too much backstory, which isn't really needed by the reader, only by me. So I'm going to toss all of that and see how it flows. This is what I get for taking what was a series of short stories and combining them into a book. *g*

chill

Mar. 27th, 2010 08:21 pm
lizziebelle: (Default)

sunshine, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I managed to take a nice, long nap today, which was most welcome. It was cold but sunny today, so I went for a nice, long walk after my nap. I found a few more signs of spring at the park and out in the woods.

chilly spring )



I'm getting ready to observe Earth Hour, and turn out the lights for an hour. I'll probably spend it writing, as I had some thoughts about my story as I was walking. Pen & paper, of course. :)

Oh! [livejournal.com profile] pkmorrison, I got some hawthorn branches for you. I'll send you a message on Facebook. :)

chill

Mar. 27th, 2010 08:21 pm
lizziebelle: (Default)

sunshine, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I managed to take a nice, long nap today, which was most welcome. It was cold but sunny today, so I went for a nice, long walk after my nap. I found a few more signs of spring at the park and out in the woods.

chilly spring )



I'm getting ready to observe Earth Hour, and turn out the lights for an hour. I'll probably spend it writing, as I had some thoughts about my story as I was walking. Pen & paper, of course. :)

Oh! [livejournal.com profile] pkmorrison, I got some hawthorn branches for you. I'll send you a message on Facebook. :)

lizziebelle: (eye)
I called the courthouse today, and I do have to go to jury duty tomorrow. It's not so much that I mind serving, but it's going to be a gorgeous day tomorrow, and if I have to spend all of it in the courthouse I will not be a happy kitty.

My best hope is that it turns out as it usually does, and I get to leave at lunchtime. Then I can walk around downtown Springfield and take pictures. In all the years I've lived here, I've never really explored downtown.

I had another good sales day today, despite the fact that I was alone all day and couldn't make as many calls as I'd have liked.

I wrote another piece at lunchtime that needs to be inserted somewhere in the story. It doesn't really move the story along, and may not make the final cut, but I like it. There are cupcakes involved. *g*
lizziebelle: (eye)
I called the courthouse today, and I do have to go to jury duty tomorrow. It's not so much that I mind serving, but it's going to be a gorgeous day tomorrow, and if I have to spend all of it in the courthouse I will not be a happy kitty.

My best hope is that it turns out as it usually does, and I get to leave at lunchtime. Then I can walk around downtown Springfield and take pictures. In all the years I've lived here, I've never really explored downtown.

I had another good sales day today, despite the fact that I was alone all day and couldn't make as many calls as I'd have liked.

I wrote another piece at lunchtime that needs to be inserted somewhere in the story. It doesn't really move the story along, and may not make the final cut, but I like it. There are cupcakes involved. *g*

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