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My love of photography.

#ROW80 Check-in 2/11/18

Not a whole lot of progress this week. I think all the snow we’ve gotten is making me want to hibernate.

~2nd round edits on secret project (I am contemplating releasing it around my birthday in March. We will see how things go). ~I’ve received another beta, and (due to the fact that I can’t count), I  haven’t received the last TWO betas yet. One betaer did give me some preliminary comments, though, which I am pondering. Would like to start poking at it soon.
~Revisions on Fireborn ~Haven’t received my edits back, either.
~Covenant words ~Don’t have wordcounts handy at the moment. Maybe 1,000 new words? I’ve stopped working on this book due to being stuck. I am working on an older novel, Oubliette, and it’s up to 25k now.
NEW GOAL ADDED: Get to halfway point on Oubliette ~I’m at 31.9k right now; 37k would be halfway.
NEW GOAL ADDED: Get to 50k by the end of the round ~Up to 45k. Slowing down a bit.
~Survivor Sundays (Survivor my book, not the TV show) Have not started yet. 
~Poke at Fireborn cover?~Yes, although it’s not working as well as I’d hoped.

Non-writing stuffs:

~Read 1 book a week ~Still working on Blood Fury by J.R. Ward.
~Water 5x a week
~Print out test roll pics in darkroom Nope. But have been pondering this.
~Poetry, maybe? Nope. 
~Housewalking 3x a week Nope. 
~And everyone’s favorite, chocolate consumption reports ~ Hot chocolate and Junior Mints.

#FirstFriday Photo

Jumping into this blog hop. I kept seeing it around and kept saying, “Self, I should join this” and here I am.

Basically, you share a photo on the first Friday of every month.

And since I am making a better effort toward taking more pictures (and regularly), this will work nicely.

So onto the picture!

This is our dog, Butch. He is a mini-schnauzer and he’s an older dog. He sleeps a lot. And I love this position he sleeps in. It is too cute.

 

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To see more photos in this blog hop, go here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: The Shape of Water

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

….

…..

SERIOUSLY.

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TSOW2

Okay. If you’re still here, I’m assuming you are okay with being spoiled or you’ve already seen this amazing movie.

Hubby and I saw it this past weekend. The synopsis really doesn’t do it justice. It sounded interesting to me, an experiment in the Cold War era, but it didn’t even touch the romance or what the creature was. Maybe intentionally, I don’t know.

So…Elisa, the main character, who is mute (but can hear fine), works as a custodian for some kind of research facility. And she finds this amphibian-like creature and befriends it. She teaches it sign language.

Her kindness and wonder was really cool. She did not want him to die, so she — and her neighbor — break him out of the facility and take him home with them.

Here’s where things start getting seriously cool. Now, I had a feeling there’d be a romance. But I did not realize how deep it would go. The creature more or less lives in Elisa’s tub, and she spends a lot of time in there, and you can pretty much guess where that leads. And…it’s not gross. The way it’s portrayed, it’s actually beautiful and ethereal and really cool. (Please note that there weren’t any actual sex scenes, just the suggestion of them, which I think was the right way to go so it didn’t turn into a sexfest. The focus was on the characters and their feelings.)

But there’s a problem: the creature is getting sick and the a-holes at the facility are after Elisa and the creature. She has to let him go back to the ocean.

I expected a sad farewell, and for awhile it was looking that way. But then something else happens and Elisa needs medical care.

Well, the creature can heal. And so he does, and takes Elisa with him into the ocean. He revives her (and I read that he gave her gills, but I didn’t see that at all) and they live happily ever after.

Honestly? I cried like a baby. I think what got to me was Elisa and the creature being different somehow, and mute, and they found each other and connected. It seemed like fate, the universe giving her something, because she had nobody. She was a bit quirky, but in a good way.

Also? She had scars on her throat which were supposedly undeveloped gills? And then I wonder, well, maybe she was some sort of creature that just got the gills. She didn’t know where she came from, so it could be.

The colors in this movie were astounding. Deep blues, turquoise, greens. Made me think of the sea. A lot of the movie felt ethereal and not-quite-real. But those colors…it’s making my photography muse stir awake and start thinking.

It was sort of like Beauty and the Beast. But the creature wasn’t ugly per se; he was just different. And I believe that’s the strength of this movie — it portrayed his  difference really well.

It also reminded me of Splash, except without the comedy. There are some parallels we can draw: man finds mermaid (genderflipped), he keeps her a secret, once scientists discover her, they go after both and study them, and eventually, he ends up living with her in the sea. I don’t think he was given gills, though. That part was always ambiguous, except for the part where he couldn’t ever return to land.

So…I fell in love with this movie. Like I said, my expectations were so different, and it delivered in a major way. Also? I am a sucker for a good romance, human or not.

Check this movie out. Be amazed.

2017 Year-End Review and 2018 Goals

Time has been flying! Holy cow! It’s almost 2018 already, and and and —

Okay, I’m a bit early. I don’t expect much to change drastically in 3 days, so here we are.

So how did I do?

~Release 1 book (besides Ever Touched) ~NOT DONE, although I got a new cover for In Flames and put Reaper Girl into KDP Select. 
~Publish Ever Touched (set for May release)~DONE! 
~Start revision of Pirouette/Death Dancer ~NOT DONE, but had an interesting idea the other day about Alisia’s lineage. 
~Finish Covenant ~NOT DONE, but it’s at 24k now. Wanted to hit 30k before the new year, but I’m not sure that’s possible now. 😦 
~Start Elysium ~NOT DONE. At all.
~Finish and release Fireborn ~DONE. Rewrote it and submitted it to TDP for publication next year.
~Outline book #1 in Fey Touched spin-off series ~NOT DONE. May toy with this next year.
~Get on a consistent, simple exercise plan and STICK WITH IT ~NOPE. 
~Eat healthier/Gluten-free ~NOT DONE.  😦 Well, made the attempt, anyway…
~Get back into darkroom when hands are better ~NOT DONE.
~Add in a second writing session twice a week (8 minutes)~NOT DONE. Have been fighting pain and exhaustion.
~Try to write more short fiction ~DONE! Fireborn (55k) and When She Sleeps (projected 60k) 
~Continue with FYFB class (so behind right now!)~NOPE. Downloaded everything that’s available that I haven’t gotten to.
~Start working on Survivor Rewrite outline again ~DONE! Not finished due to wrist issues.

This year has been roughly for me physically. I have been exhausted more, and the trigeminal neuralgia flared up again so we’ve been trying to find the right combination of meds to control the pain. So far, we haven’t been very successful.

I was also laid off from my job in August, so there’s been some upheaval there. I have been working on my freelancing/virtual assistant business to try to bring in more money. Things are kind of up in the air, and it has been wreaking havoc on my productivity.

I have decided to buckle down and make things happen in 2018!

Goals:

~2nd round of edits/release secret project (early 2018)
~Revise and release Fireborn
~Get serious about exercise and DO SOMETHING
~Take pictures regularly (once a month, 1 a day for x amount of days, etc)
~Get moving with dictation again
~Progress on Covenant
~Progress on When She Sleeps
~Start Survivor Rewrite for reals this time
~Do something with Death Dancer/Pirouette
~Get better with planning
~Start writing every day again, even if it’s 100 words
~Figure out Reaper Girl #3, Faeborn

I’ve written roughly 80k this year, which is down from last year. Would like to hit 100k and more in 2018.

#ROW80 Round 1 2018 Goals

Here are are with a goals post. Dang, this year went by so fast. And we’re almost to 2018 already. Wut. is. this. insanity.

Ahem. Alrighty, goals for Round 1:

~2nd round edits on secret project (I am contemplating releasing it around my birthday in March. We will see how things go).
~Revisions on Fireborn
~Covenant words
~Survivor Sundays (Survivor my book, not the TV show)
~Poke at Fireborn cover?

Non-writing stuffs:

~Read 1 book a week
~Water 5x a week
~Print out test roll pics in darkroom
~Poetry, maybe?
~Housewalking 3x a week
~And everyone’s favorite, chocolate consumption reports

A bit ambitious, but we’ll see how it goes.

I really would like to get back to photography and poetry. I miss them both. I am also toying with doing a 365 day photography thing, but I am not going to declare that as a goal just yet. We’ll see how January goes.

Annnd that’s it for now!

 

#ROW80 Final Check-in Round 4

I’ve decided to post my last check-in today because as of tomorrow, I will be too busy to post on the 22nd.

This has been a busy round for me, and not without problems (losing revisions, my computer being in service for 11 days, being severely sleep deprived due to eczema). I think I did pretty well despite my issues. There are things I needed to let go in order to get the things I needed to get done done, which sucks. I plan to do better in the new year.

So, here’s how I did (gulp):

~Finish the Ever Touched revision.  I can do this.🙂 <–DONE and on time.
~Stay on top of FYFB class. Taking a class through Monica Leonelle. It happens to be going on at the same time as my revision, but might as well go all in. It’s three months. Should be fun.🙂 <–NOT DONE. As things got busier (revision + 2 editing jobs), I had to drop this out of necessity. Once things calm down, I’ll be catching up and hopefully staying on track.
~Make a ruling on my next project and start prepping (contenders are Fireborn, which needs a revision, Survivor, which needs a rewrite, and Death Dancer, which needs some tweaking — and may be my next Turtleduck Press release.) <–DONE! Fireborn is the next project. The second half needs to be reworked. I hope to release it in 2017.
~Drink 1 glass of water 5x a week <–DONE!
~Exercise 2x a week – <–NOT DONE. Being chained to the desk sucks. I plan to get better with this in 2017.
~Do All the Things related to anthology release (TBD — release is Nov 15th) <–DONE, (even though I lost my revisions on 21 pages and had to work like a mad thing to catch back up) and the anthology released as planned. 🙂 
~Keep up on reviews (I’m on 4 ARC teams) <–DONE, for the most part. Still slightly behind, but I’m doing okay.
~Lose 5 pounds. <–DONE, and NOT DONE. Lost 5 pounds, gained 5 pounds, and lost 3. So a total loss of 3 pounds. Still better than nothing!
~Take more pictures: infrared and normal. <–NOT DONE. Had planned on it with hubby but got sick both times. Another thing I need to pick back up in 2017.
~Post-process infrared pics from camping trip <–NOT DONE. Wanted to, but got too busy!
~Chocolate consumption report, as always! <–DONE!

Final chocolate consumption report – This round, I got addicted to Snickerdoodles and Twizzlers, so my consumption went way down.I still love chocolate, no issue there, but I found other things as well. Will keep reporting on it in 2017. 😉

So that’s it for this round. I hope you all have a great, safe holiday season and I’ll see you for round 1 in 2017! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. 🙂

#ROW80 Check-in Oct. 16th

Wow, half the month is already over! It’s insane!

I’ve been busy, mostly working on Ever Touched and my class. My knee is still a problem, and I have an appointment with my doctor in 2 weeks, so I’ll be talking to him for sure.

Here’s the rundown:

Ever Touched Revision – Up to 117 pages done, just over halfway. I will need a second pass though. There are parts I’d forgotten I’d written, and stuff that needs to be figured out yet.

Short story – We’re in the copyediting phase now. I sent mine in already. Just waiting for the story I’m copyediting to come to me. 🙂 (We share copyediting duties so one person isn’t bogged down with it).

FYFB class – I’m a bit behind now. Lessons 6-12 posted yesterday, and I need to listen to at least one today. I’m on the worksheets for lesson 4. Had a slight hiccup because I’m supposed to be comparing my book (the one I’m supposed to write for the class. Probably Elysium) to others out there, and I’m having a hard time finding any! I bought two books that looked promising to read, and I’ve started reading both (yes, I am insane!). So, next up is lesson 6.

Water – Every day except one.

Exercise – Nada, due to the knee problem.

Reviews – Just posted one yesterday. I have a deadlined one coming this week. Still working on my backlog.

Photography – I was supposed to have a picnic with my hubby at a lovely park, where I planned to take both digital infrared and regular pics. But yesterday I got really sick, so we postponed it to next week. I was not happy 😦

Weight – I have technically lost the 5 pounds I recently gained, but the plan was to lose 5 pounds, not gain any. I’m trying really hard, so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.

Next project – I am leaning toward Death Dancer, just because it will most likely be a TDP release, and it needs some work before I can offer it up. Still pondering though. I also had a brainstorm for my older project Darkweaver and I am itching to outline it. Big time. Again, we’ll see.

Chocolate consumption – pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, chocolate caramel thingies, WW sundaes, ultimate chocolate sandwiches. Lots of snickerdoodles again. I am really addicted to those.

 

#ROW80 Round 4 2016 Goals

Happy Round 4 ROWers! Dang, what happened to the year? It’s almost over!

Here are my goals. I am trying to keep things simple and relaxed, as I have a revision due to my editor on 12/1 and I suspect I might end up wanting to take a break. But I would like to do something, so I may choose a project and go slow with it for the rest of the round.

I am still feeling exhausted, and I seem to be in another fibro flare, so I need to concentrate on taking care of myself. Meditation, trying not to stress, and earlier bed times will hopefully help. 🙂

Here are my goals:

~Finish the Ever Touched revision.  I can do this. 🙂
~Stay on top of FYFB class. Taking a class through Monica Leonelle. It happens to be going on at the same time as my revision, but might as well go all in. It’s three months. Should be fun. 🙂
~Make a ruling on my next project and start prepping (contenders are Fireborn, which needs a revision, Survivor, which needs a rewrite, and Death Dancer, which needs some tweaking — and may be my next Turtleduck Press release.)
~Drink 1 glass of water 5x a week
~Exercise 2x a week
~Do All the Things related to anthology release (TBD — release is Nov 15th)
~Keep up on reviews (I’m on 4 ARC teams)
~Lose 5 pounds.
~Take more pictures: infrared and normal.
~Post-process infrared pics from camping trip
~Chocolate consumption report, as always!

Annnd that’s it. Good luck everyone!

 

#ROW80 Round 3 2016 Final Check-in

And here we are at the end, sniff! I think I did pretty well, considering the challenges that sprang up. I’ve been fighting exhaustion, and I sprained my knee, which slowed down my exercise. But apart from that, I’m pretty happy with what I got done.

Here is the final rundown:

~Finish and submit TDP short story by July 15th deadline (I’m in the home stretch now on the rough draft, so I *should* be able to do this.) <–DONE! Actually, the deadline was extended several times, but we are on track now. Everything that could be done by now has been done.
~Do All the Things related to anthology release (TDB later) <–DONE, to the extent that I could do it.
~Restart Ever Touched and finish by end of round (32k left to go) <–NOT DONE, but so close! I’m at 22k of 32k today.
~Read-through of Fireborn <–DONE!
~Reinstate Covenant/8 minutes a day writing 2 days per week <–NOT DONE! I don’t think I have it in me to do this right now. Maybe next round.
~Drink one glass of water 5x per week <–DONE!
~Exercise 3x per week <–DONE, then knee sprain, then I never quite got back into the swing.
~Experiment more with digital infrared <–DONE!
~Take more pictures! <–DONE!
~Keep up with review books (I’m on 4 ARC review teams) <–KINDA SORTA. Not perfectly, but I’m managing.
~Complete 2 author interviews <–DONE!

Chocolate consumption: I think we all know how I did there. Lots of chocolate-y goodness the entire round.

#ROW80 Check-in Sept. 11th

A moment of silence to remember 9/11.

Okay, let’s get right to it. I’ve been dealing with exhaustion again. And migraines. So I haven’t made as much progress as I’d like.

Here’s the rundown:

Short story – Done and ready to submit.

Ever Touched – Had to rip 3k out b/c the twist was not working. Wrote 1,432 words since last check-in — just over the minimum to finish by the end of the month. Would like to start having 1k days again. Hit 101k again last night.

Covenant – Nada, but thought about it. No energy. 😦

Water – Mostly every day.

Exercise – Yes, twice this week.

Secret project – Nada.

Reviews – Still working on getting the one book read. Need to focus.

Office organization – Got the filing cabinet! Forgot about the folder frames, which my wonderful hubby picked up for me this morning and installed. Now, all I need to do is transfer some files from the packed-to-the-gills one and figure out what else to throw away. It’s coming along.

Darkroom – Would have loved to get in there yesterday, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Too tired. Had a migraine.

Chocolate consumption: Gluten-free brownies, WW chocolate caramels, French Silk pie, WW Ultimate chocolate sandwiches, chocolate-marshmallow cookies. I think that’s it. We’re having Boston creme donuts today for dessert.