The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. I really enjoy this service and wanted to share their results!
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.
The 19th Element
(James Becker #1)Written by: John L. Betcher
Pages: 330Terrorists plan to attack Minnesota’s Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant, but they’re not your typical band of Islamic extremists. True, there’s an al Qaeda connection. But the heart of the ‘terror cell’ is homegrown, right here in the United States.James “Beck” Becker is a former elite U.S. government intelligence operative who has retired to his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota – just six miles down the Mississippi from the Prairie River Power Station. He recognizes connections between seemingly unrelated incidents – a murdered agronomy professor, a missing lab assistant, an international cell call, a stolen fertilizer truck, an explosion in the street in front of City Hall – but can’t piece it together in enough detail to convince government authorities that a larger threat exists. Only his American Indian friend, “Bull,” will help Beck defuse the threat.So it’s Beck and Bull versus the best terror cell west of the Mississippi.
May the better men win
Guess what time of year it is!
What is NaNoWriMo? It’s 30 days of intense writing insanity barreling towards 50,000 words fueled by copious amounts of gourmet hot chocolate, cheeze-its, and maybe some chicken nuggets if I remember to eat something real.
It’s intense fun, it’s sleepless nights, it’s fancy math calculations and charts to ensure I make my goal. It’s only 1,667 words a day every day, how hard can that be? You have no idea.
Still I try to:
However, I dare you to try to keep calm as characters act naughty or worse yet, you realize you have NO PLOT!
They say no problem, but I’ve been there. Really. It’s not fun. That was 2006 and my first year with NaNoWriMo. Guess what, it ended up all right and I made it to 50k. Barely. The next year got a little better. With six victories, I’m nervous about my 7th year of this.
Especially since I’m also spending another year mentoring at the local high school for:
I actually think I get more out of the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program than the students. I enjoy their zeal and only pray that I truly encourage this growing generation of writers. The world is truly their oyster. Mostly, I want to read all their books.
In November I focus on my writing, but I know that this sort of intense writing does not necessarily mean the greatest product.
What Cherryh said, got it?
Here’s the secret for becoming a better writer:
In case you missed that, the secret is to WRITE. Which I plan to do as soon as I finish this blog entry.
I will use my math and science skills as well as my writing skills, all stories have their own anatomy. It’s as much science as art:
This year I plan to use two main tools in my NaNoWriMo efforts.
Scrivener: The hands down best piece of software for a novel writer ever created. They don’t even pay me to say that, I just love the product that much. I love them so much I actually pay for their software, even though I’m a big fan of the free. Says something. Once you see the power of story bible, novel, character dossiers, and summary index cards all in one place you will simply never go back to a simple word processor again.
Yarny, a cloud based product much like Scrivener, popped up last year and I found it invaluable for when I didn’t want to lug my laptop around. It has many of the features I find vital to my novel-writing and yet it’s cloud based so I can have it on any device anywhere with internet access. Sweet!
NaNoWriMo is never the same without our good friend, Dr Wicked:
Write. Or. Die. I can hear “Banana Phone” already. Someone pray for me.
What can you do to help? Chicken nuggets and gourmet hot chocolate, thanks!
And, a word to the wise since this seems to be the year of “Let’s Annoy Ozma”. I’m a writer. I’m creative. You seriously don’t want to mess with me.
You. Will. Die.
Sometimes you see a Blog Dare prompt and know you need to join in. Like talking about your favourite movies.
Admission time: I love movies. I really love going to the theatre, but it’s so hard to afford that. It’s just the experience from the fatty popcorn to the eight gallon drink to the big screen. I love it. I also love watching movies at home and make excellent use of my Netflix account. And Redbox.
How do you choose just five movies, though? Impossible! I’ll feature five that I love, but I’m not claiming them as my favourites. There’s just too many that I love dearly that I can’t include in a Top Five Playlist.
I love playlists!
5. Back to the Future
You get Michael J. Fox in a DeLorean time machine and all kinds of hijinks from an accidental trip to 30 years into his parents past. Paradoxes are fun! I even enjoyed the following two movies. However, we’re getting awful close to 2015 and I don’t have any of those nifty gadgets.
4. The King’s Speech
Warning – this movie is rated R for several scenes using the F-bomb as a way to help with stuttering. That is it. If you have an aversion to R-rated movies, this is one that is worthy of an exception or you can find a copy with those scenes cut, do so. This completely moved my entire family and it gave all new meaning to a speech I know very well. I honestly had no idea the King stammered like this and Colin Firth will just about bring you to tears as well as laughter. This movie is so well done and utterly amazing. Regardless of the R-rating, I highly recommend it.
3. The Best Two Years
BYU TV shows this every General Conference. It is now a tradition for us to watch this movie and it just wouldn’t be General Conference without it. The trailer really doesn’t do it justice. It’s got some truly hilarious scenes as well as some moving moments. It’s not the greatest movie on earth and definitely fits into a niche audience, but any movie I watch two times a year with my boys in an hour and a half of good times should definitely be on this playlist!
2. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Honestly, my favorite of all the movies. I’ve seen it the most and it never gets old. And I get to watch [The one and only real] Spock…I mean Leonard Nimoy.
Seriously. David Bowie. Goblins. Puppets. Awesome Music. YOU CANNOT GO WRONG. (Did I mention David Bowie?) Did I mention that the first audiotape I ever bought was the soundtrack to this movie? When I left for University I owned a whopping four tapes and zero CDs. This was one of those tapes. And it was kind of dying. (I don’t count mix tapes, but I probably had about a half-dozen of those.)
Bonus video because I love it – Dance Magic from Labyrinth
Share your thoughts! I’ll happily hear what you think I needed to mention.
Written by: Elle Strauss
Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this—she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.
Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?
When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.
Which of course, she does.
I picked up this YA e-book from Amazon for free this summer. The plot centers around a girl who slips through time. She always returns to the present day within seconds of the slip, however time passes in pre-Civil War New England when she is not there. This allows for people in the modern-day to not notice what she does, however the physical toll is hard on her.
She doesn’t know why this happens, however it seems to happen more than ever when she is around the BMOC, Nate. Even more interesting is that she can take someone with her if they are touching one another. Imagine Nate’s surprise to suddenly find himself transported through time!
The book read quickly and was quite enjoyable. Given the chance, I would read more so I can find out what happens next for young Casey. Without giving anything away, she discovers a few things towards the end of this novel that sheds some light on her special gift.
The historical aspect is also enjoyable, as long as you don’t consider it a real glimpse at history or an in-depth study. More, history is used as an interesting backdrop as opposed to a serious inspection.
My recommendation is that if you enjoy lighter reading and/or Young Adult novels, this book might just prove enjoyable to you.
I’m cruising around my Pinterest and wondering what I can do next when I decided to bite the bullet and make some mixes. Admittedly, I didn’t make as many as I wanted to, but that’s because I took Caramon to finish his Eagle paperwork. And he did! About time!
We started with this pin:
Seemed simple enough. One large box of Borax, one large box of washing soda, three bars of Fels Naptha soap. We grated the soap and this ended up in boys alternating. Those bars are hard! We did read that you can attempt to swap out for ivory and that might be nice. We like ivory a lot and it might be smaller. The smell is O.K. but definitely not like some of the detergents you purchase. Easily solved, and we’ll work on that and put in a future post! This ended up filling not only a 19 cup plastic container but half a quart sized ziplock baggie which I plan to share with a friend. I did some quickie math, the container is about 300 tablespoons and this only takes 1 tbsp per load. Holy wow, that’s going to last forever and I spent a whopping $12 on this stuff. Hoping it works out well!
We made up some muffin and pancake mixes next. This will work well as we like to make those a lot. We made the muffins up and for whatever reason all our chocolate chips sank to the bottom. That happens with us sometimes anyway, but still a bummer. I will admit that the muffins tasted OK, but they were a bit “eggy”. We’re going to try to cut an egg next time and see what happens.
We planned to make the brownie mix, which seems a little friendlier with less sugar, but we’re short on containers so I decided that with nine box mixes, we could hold out.
On the brownie note, we did try this:
Consensus: Where have you been our whole lives? Oh wait. Awful. Don’t do this one. Your hips will thank me. (Really, this was fantastic and a true winner!)
Outside of food and on the craftie front, I made one of these chapstick cozies:
It went together crazy fast and turned out nice. I plan to make these as some small gifts for Christmas. I first need to pick up an actual tube of chapstick just to ensure I get the sizing correct. The one I made ended up with a slightly bulkier yarn than I think looks phenomenal, but it will work. I think this would be a fantastic use of scrap yarn!
And the process on the baby hoodie?
Awesome. I finally finished the knitting, but did not have enough yarn for the hood. I need to just put the pieces together! Hopefully that will be done by next week.
I’m hoping that all this work is good for my family. I’m saving money, we’re eating at home, and we’re just all around being “healthy” and “green” at the same time.
The internet dubbed this as “Unprocessed October” and I am grateful for the #unprocessed community, especially on twitter. They cheered for me, chatted with me, and offered me great advice in my mix making endeavors. I definitely plan to do more! I just want containers and a pretty kitchen!
I also want to give a shout out to my yarnie buddies, thanks for all the support you’ve offered as well as ideas! You’re amazing!
This week I also spent some time cleaning up my DIY board and turned it into several more specialized boards. You might want to check it out if you like to subscribe to my feed.
If you don’t know by now, I love Halloween. And if you really don’t know that, what’s wrong with you? I’m a costumer for crying out loud and have a slight obsession with skull skirts. Consider this your shaming.
So what happens when a nutty skull skirt loving Halloween obsessed Lady Ozma heads into the fabric store to purchase some fleece for a charity event and finds holiday fabric on sale? Shop-a-polooza that’s what!
Next up: Choose your fabric!
And after the shopping spree, decide on how many and what type of skirts you are going to make. The challenge: One skirt for each day of the second half of October. The mini-goal: Skulls in as many of said skirts as possible.
There’s officially 15 days left in October, so that’s 15 days of skirt wearing for me. Will they all be different? I certainly hope so. Of course, I already have a few that I can wear so that will help, however I need to make some new skirts. Follow my blog as I make this journey. I will likely end up with more than just Tuesday posts, but we’ll see what happens.
Skirt 1: A-line Spiders
An A-line skirt is somewhere in between a half-circle skirt and a pencil skirt. You get some curvature as well as some flare, but it is just not as full. You can speed walk to your next appointment, but use less fabric. A-line skirts = lovely.
Best of all, you pretty much use the same process as for the pencil skirt/straight skirt.
If not, click the link above. All you do to make an A-line is you just continue the line from C-D until you reach your desired hem length. Then make a nice curve from E to your new dot. I would recommend checking your hem length in several places unless you are much better at sketching than Lady O. Left to my devices I would end up with a hem of 19 inches in places and 21 in other. I’m just that talented.
Or in this case: Not-so-talented. I’m pretty sure I got passed in art class just so teachers wouldn’t need to see me again. I can rock the stick figures, but that’s about it.
Next up: Choose your fabric!
I chose the purple and black with cute spiders and webs. I loved it! OK, so the purple may have a wee little something to do with that. I cut out two pieces from my pattern and went to the sewing machine.
I stitched up one side seam, added the zipper to the other, and then closed that side seam. Nothing I haven’t gone over before!
I did use the serger to finish all my edges: waist, hem, and both side seams. It’s also serged under the zipper.
For this skirt I did my typical bias tape waist. I chose not to hem the skirt, but I may change my mind. I’m really not a fan of unfinished, but I’ve wanted to work on some decorative hems. I used black threads and I felt the pretty serged finish actually kind of looked webby, which fits this skirt’s pattern so I thought I would leave the hem as-is.
Here I am! What do you think?
And for the record, I have no idea why these spiders are so cute. Spiders are evil monsters and need to die. They have far too many legs and super creepy eyes in real life.
Enjoy my first skirt! Next up will be two skirts in one – a fully reversible wrap skirt! Yes, the fabrics are missing from the above photograph.
Commenters: If you’d like to see me do something special with any of the above fabrics, don’t hesitate to leave me a note. Most of that fabric is still uncut, which is a little scary since it’s time for skirt wearing!