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Well, until about 7 pm tonight, I had a word count of 0. It's a bit better now. I'm starting to get into my character's head space, and to explore what's kind of different about this sister of hers. I have spent the last couple of weeks using a Book in a Month Kit haphazardly, trying to brainstorm key scenes and story arc, something I have never done in a previously attempted story.

The initial idea came from an early morning dream-- the kind you have after you get up to pee at 4 am and come back to bed after to sleep a couple more hours. Or the kind you have in the 9 minutes between when the alarm goes off the first time and when it goes off again after you hit snooze. I forget which one this was. But it's the kind where you're just awake enough to be able to somewhat shape what happens.

Anyway, I'll share more about it later. I'm kind of excited about trying to create an actual story and not 50K words of brainstorming and wittering and freewriting. I still may spend some time on WIPs if I get stuck; might as well make the discipline of the month count for something. But I really hope I can get this story to go where I want it to.

Hugs and good thoughts to friends who are embarking on the madness this year. And if you aren't-- why not? It's still the first day. Write something!
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Well, new to me anyway. My Beloved upgraded to a larger screened Macbook, and in the process I am inheriting his very shiny old one. I used to have one kind of like this from work, but when I saw the handwriting on the layoff wall, I quickly moved to buy a refurbished Macbook that would hold all my music and writing and programs. Wee Hob will someday be the owner of my little white Macbook.

This one runs so much faster than my old one. I made the mistake of upgrading the OS recently and it has been sluggish ever since. Once all the stuff I want to keep has migrated over here, we'll probably wipe the old one and reinstall the OS or go back to an earlier version of it. Wee Hob only needs it for Word processing and Very, Very supervised internet use. He'll probably get to take it out for a test drive during Nano.

I'm slowly building up characters and a plot for Nano-- thought I'd try something new this year, and not merely continue stories or launch out on day one with no preplanning whatsoever. I'm finding the asking what if kinds of questions before I actually need them for the story is not unlike how my fanfic stories started-- taking an already built world and idly wondering about an aspect of it. The only difference is that I'm creating the world myself. It's not the epic thing I thought it would be (though perhaps I'm doing it wrong.) It's more just getting glimpses and building up slowly what needs to be there.

As soon as I get the photo on this new machine and download it into LJ correctly, I will share my new desk, with its Welsh Flag front. I've had it a month, but I've been so busy with my new classes I haven't felt like fighting the technology to post a pic out here.

Cheers to all.
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Gallileo Was Wrong

SP found this on slashdot. I was sure it was a hoax, but looking around, I couldn't find any evidence that it is. We're already changing the liturgy in 2011 to be more faithful to the original Vulgate (that's sarcasm, btw), and given the behavior of the Church in general these days, it doesn't seem like such a stretch for them to jettison years of scholarship and intellectual tradition to go back to a different, simpler tradition.

Still, I hope I'm wrong, and I'm sure my faithful f-list will be able to tell me. Feel free to point and laugh. My nightmares involved this situation.

In other news, Wee Hob attended the Homecoming dance with the girl his quasi girlfriend told him to invite, and -- he now has a new girlfriend. I could not begin to navigate his strange social life. But he seems perfectly content.

And I am still playing a piano a day until the 17th. I already have played all 42. Will post more stuff about that later. Probably in a couple of weeks after finals, when I have time off. Hugs to all.
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Just wanted to share a couple of photos that are not of pianos. The bumper sticker kind of says it all. And the photographer who captured that moment is here, too - Wee Hob in all his caffeinated, cool glory. He is really growing up, isn't he?

I'm still struggling with learning how to post pictures at all on LJ - forgive me for not having placed these behind some kind of cut.

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I'm busy tonight uploading photos to the Cincinnati Play Me, I'm Yours website, but I thought I'd take time out to share the video SP made and uploaded to YouTube. Someone asked what I play traveling to all these pianos (I'm at 32 of 42 now and have played one every day since they came out on the 9th.) This is the arrangement of Simple Gifts I wrote a couple of years ago for a friend's wedding (well, not exactly-- it's different every time I play it.) This was my farewell to the Piano under the Bridge at Sawyer Point last night.


YouTube Link: hobgoblinn playing Simple Gifts

Oh-- here's the main Website for Play Me, if anyone wants to see some cool photos and comments, not just of me:

Cincinnati Play Me, I'm Yours
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Pianos update. )
Nook Study App. )
Finally, since I am more "back" now as a denizen of LJ, I have been casting about for a name for my Beloved. I wanted to call him "Saint Patrick", as anyone who cheerfully drives all over town with an obsessed Hobgoblinn deserves the title, but he objected that such a name put too much pressure on him. He'd prefer "Sinner Patrick." I shall call him SP and let his actions speak for him. Have I mentioned how very lucky I am?
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Not sure how well this will work, but I uploaded a few of the pics Wee Hob took tonight on our piano pilgrimage to the Purple People Bridge and Sawyer Point. I tried a cut, but it didn't work. So far, I have played at least one piano every day. The one under the bridge at Sawyer Point had great acoustics, and the instrument itself was in decent shape, so that was fun.

8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano 8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano
8-11-10 Purple People Bridge Piano 8-11-10 Purple People Bridge Piano
8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano 8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano
8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano 8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano
8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano 8-11-10 Sawyer Point Piano

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The big day is finally here! More to the point, the Pianos are here! Luke Jerram's public art installation, "Play me, I'm Yours" has come to Cincinnati. Here's a link.

My ambition since I first began hearing about this last month (on the local NPR stations, incessantly) was to play ALL the pianos set up all over town. Looking over the locations now, I may have to cough up the money for a ticket to a Reds game to get to that one, as it's inside the ballpark. But all the rest look fairly accessible.

I hit three today, all within a block of my work. I should be able to get the ones in Downtown and Northern Kentucky by the end of the week. Then the road trips will begin.

And yes, I am still writing on my HP stories, too. I'm not neglecting them while I play with the shiny new pianos.....

Wish me luck. I have until August 27 on most of them, and into September on the rest.

Update: there are 35 up until the 27th, and another 7 from then until September 17th.
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1. Beer imbibed in sufficient quantities before a diagnostic mammogram makes the process MUCH more comfortable. Will have to try this next year for the routine one. I always forget how bad they are.

2. Due to said beer, I can't tell you exactly what they saw that they needed a second look at, but part of it was "calcification." I think. At any rate, when they took the extra pictures of my poor squashed breast, they found nothing of note. I will not get the "come right away for a biopsy" card in the mail-- in fact, they held me there this time until it was read and gave me the results right then so I wouldn't go home and worry.

3. Group work is great for my students. And those who only come once in a while are hating the extra work they have to do at home to make it up. Very cool. Will probably have more drops this term from people who are realizing much sooner that coming once every couple of weeks and enduring a lecture will not in fact earn them a D. But those who are left will benefit.

4. I actually learned this a while ago, but reading in the fandom is a good way to get back into it.

Arsinoe de Blassenville's "The Best Revenge" is a great retelling of the books with some welcome changes. A little too perfect at times, but a neat "might have been" exploration.

I also really enjoyed a great EWE story last night: The Lost Chamber. Of course, there's a lot of stuff out there that holds no interest for me (PWP for instance.) But these two are raising new issues for me; probably more than rereading the books would at this point.

5. Rereading fic I've already read is not as helpful, but maybe as I get back into it, it may be. I'm still up for recs, if anyone wants to make them. I haven't read anything new in over 2 years, so feel free to go back to some outstanding things in that time span if you think of something.

Going to watch "Brother, Where Art Thou?" tonight as a treat. I've never seen it, but Beloved tells me I will love it. There may also be Ice Cream, as today was Traumatic.
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For those who care, a revised Chapter 3 and a new Chapter 4 of "No Malicious Haunting," my sequel to "Lost Boys" is up. Ch 3 makes some corrections I got after I posted it. I didn't remember that deleting and reposting a corrected version would make it see the installment as a "new" posting. Ch 4 is new to everyone, though.

Also, anyone who uses Scrivener, have you noticed that it does not catch a lot of spelling errors? I'm seeing them only when I post to FF net, which is kind of sad. I admit, I do use the red underline/ squiggles to alert me to spelling problems. Scrivener gives me some, but by no means all. Any idea why?

Wee Hob is coming back today from a SAREX with his Civil Air Patrol buddies. We are so awash in acronyms these days in the hobgoblinn household. Stands for "Search and Rescue Exercise." He's doing well. There's some drama in the scout troop, but I don't want to go there now.

Happy weekend to all.
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This review of a new novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ends with a line that gives further support to my feelings about Modern Literature. Peter Grier concludes:

"This spare book is thus an examination of the nature of complicity and fate, and of how a searing event can alter many lives over time. It is not nearly as wild and mysterious as ''One Hundred Years of Solitude,'' or as experimental as Garcia Marquez's other novel, ''The Autumn of the Patriarch.'' It is probably not a major work at all. Yet it is an exquisite performance, for its evocation of a frontier village ethos if nothing else. It makes novels about midlife crisis and divorce in Manhattan seem like whining, not writing."

I'll have to have a look. Though I know less about South American frontier villages than I know about midlife crises and divorce in Manhattan....
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First, for anyone who cares, I have gone back to another WIP and put out another installment. It's the sequel to "Lost Boys," the one with Ghost Snape and David Dursley, called "No Malicious Haunting." On this one, I am trying to see if I can take material already written and round it out, as opposed to doing an epic adventure as it was originally conceived. I am really surprised at what I wrote over a year ago, (at how decent it is) and I'm not sure if I can continue that level given how far I've drifted from the fandom in the intervening time. At any rate, the link is here.

Second, we got Wee Hob this morning, and-- Wow. I am so proud of him. Several of Troop 21's leaders came up to us while the boys were unpacking the trailer, telling me what a great son I had, what a joy he'd been to have around all week, how he was a "fine young man" and a "self starter" and a "great role model for our younger boys." Not only that, the boys themselves were making plans for him to come with them again next year. They all really liked him-- you could see it in their interactions.

Except for the "self starter" thing I knew all this, but it meant more than I can say to hear others say it, especially after all the problems he was having just a couple of short years ago. It also reassures me-- yes, at times here at home he may well be lazy and unmotivated and mouthy-- but out in the world where it counts, he can function. If he can reinvent himself out there, I can deal with redirecting a little boundary testing here at home. And I know he loves us and is not deliberately trying to be disrespectful when he pushes. All in all, a successful week. I think his own troop leaders will be very proud of him, too. And I am so happy for him, that he was able to go off on his own and make friends like this.

That's about all for now. He's out with friends at a local Church festival. And now that it's getting late and a bit cooler out, I'm thinking about taking a celebratory walk. I have posted on two different stories in the same week. Go, Hob.

Week 1 over

Jul. 9th, 2010 09:01 pm
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New School Term Update )
Wee Hob Update )
General Writing and Doubts Update )

More on Doubt:

Most people on my f-list have already seen it on [livejournal.com profile] sahiya's journal, but if you missed it, she recently posted a link to a very helpful article: Too Much Self Doubt? Try Thinking Like a Creator. I posted a link on my school blog. Some students assume they're the only ones who have ever been paralyzed by self doubt and feelings of inadequacy when they are trying to write. I hope they are helped to know the feelings are normal and that I've been there, too.

Sitting by the lake tonight with my Beloved gave me an idea of something I might be able to write. He teasingly told me I loved the green growing things because I am a wood elf. It struck me that I have always felt an outsider, a changeling in my world. That's a theme I think I could explore in fiction. A lot of what passes for modern "literature" leaves me cold-- even if well written, why do I really want to read about 2 couples having dinner where the husband of one and the wife of the other are having an affair and they all know it? Bleh. I hope never to have anything in common with that.

The foregoing example came from Francine Prose's How to Read as a Writer, which is excellent, even if her examples make me despair a bit of having anything literary to say. Ever. Also of knowing enough to say anything not stupid, which is why the other article was so timely for me.

Thus ends the State of the Hobgoblinn Address for this week. Stay cool, everyone.
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Well, my week of vacation is over. I managed not to use too much time trying to revamp my classes, which means tomorrow may be more exciting than I'd like. But I think well on my feet, and I do have some ideas about how to tackle persistent problems.

I got some things accomplished that I meant to. )

Oh-- for those who care, the link to the continuation of "In Loco Parentis" is here.
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Quick question, for Harry Potter fandom types:

If you had to recommend one or two fics that capture the characters of Snape or Hermione particularly well, what would they be?

What fics to you find yourself returning to, as a reader and/ or as a writer, and why?

Betas have my next chapter of "In Loco Parentis" -- something might be able to be posted before my vacation is over. But I need to keep the story going, hence the questions above.

Vacation is going well. Still have enough left that I'm not stressing too much yet about starting next term. Weather has been gorgeous for hiking the past couple of days. Cheers to all.
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Wee Hob just got back from the Great Lakes Region South Basic Encampment (Civil Air Patrol). He spent a week in a highly militarized and structured environment, and not only did he do okay, his flight (cadets in his little company of 10) was selected as the honor flight - best at the encampment. He has been regaling us nonstop since his return with tales of the great week he had and all the cool things he did. We can only hope he will begin to apply all the organizational skills to his own bedroom. (He did just cut his shower time from over 30 minutes to less than 2-- cool.)

He is not a little boy anymore, and while I am proud of him, it also makes me sad. I had the past brought home to me a little yesterday when one of my students had her little granddaughters with her, and the 2 year old decided she loved me. She and I conversed very gravely about matters of import to her, and at the end, she gave me a hug, and I remembered what it was like when I used to see my little birth daughter, or what it was like when Wee Hob was small. I don't know what it will do to me, honestly, when I am a grandmother myself. I missed so much. And those small kids I hold in memory now, are nothing like that now. And I won't ever get that back, even if they come looking for me.

I bought this Joseph Curiale CD last night; I heard "Wind River (I am)" on WGUC Cincinnati, and the only way to get it was to download the whole album, which is wonderful. It's not on iTunes: I had to buy it from CDBaby. Great writing music, and Wind River itself is reminiscent of both Copland and some of the Star Trek music (DS9 especially)-- the trumpet solo is reflective of that ideal of the West and of the Star Trek universe, of beings, human or not, who rise above. Who overcome with dignity and grace. I don't know if I can explain it.

But I will issue, not a fic rec, but a short story rec: James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues," which I love even more every time I teach it. This time I realized: the Blues is born of sadness, but people who are defeated do not sing them. The Blues is a type of music for survivors-- for people who are going on. I pointed out to students, when I asked them to describe the blues for me, how many of them were smiling as they remembered some blues music they knew. The Blues is not about wallowing in the depression, but about living through the pain and rising up again in spite of it. They got it. Some of them.

I need to start writing again now. I have the week off, my grades are all in but one class (where some irregularities require input by the Powers that Be), and I don't set foot in a classroom again until July 6.

Have a good night, everyone.
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My last entry (which was on a filter-- so not everyone may have seen it) got me to thinking about the past, and I realized there's another entry I would have made in early March when I found out about this, had I been here. I correct the error now to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Tom Willenborg.

He was my lawyer for most of the proceedings involving my children, and he got way more than he bargained for when he took on my very complicated case. He did a goodly number of things he didn't have to as the years dragged on, much of it pro bono. He was a genuinely good man, and he will be greatly missed.

Cut for length. )
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One of the major Plot Devices of "In Loco Parentis" is the Age Regression curse Cut for spoilers. As if anyone cares. )

Among the many ways I have neglected this story, I have never named this curse. If anyone has ideas or resources along these lines, I would be forever grateful.

And no, I am not procrastinating on writing: the next couple of scenes are written with no name for the curse. But if a good name comes to me from somewhere before I finish editing, I would love to swap it in.
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First, I have more of In Loco Parentis written.  )

Second, work rant. )
Finally, Wee Hob and my Beloved. )

It's also been fun, this past week, to read the doings here, even if I am sad to find I don't always understand your doings now. Know that even when I don't comment, I wish all of you well. And I'm sure I'll be commenting more as other procrastination kicks in.....
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Well, the FL cut has really made checking my list less overwhelming. Then again, I have not let days/ weeks/ months go by since my last check. Too soon to tell if I can keep up with every day. The input of others is part of the conversation writers must have to generate and refine their ideas.

More on conversations )
And on leaving bits of ourselves behind-- and what that has to do with DNA and RNA. )
I guess that's enough rambling for today. It has got my brain cells jump started a bit, I think. Now I have to come up with a lesson plan that will give my Basic English students a fighting chance at being able to write me a 5 paragraph essay in the next 2 weeks. Oh Lord.
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