Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stuff for Sale

Well, as part of my attempt at selling 10 things on ebay (and getting finances in better control), I've put a few things up for sale.

#59 is not put 10 things up for sale but sell 10 items. So it won't count until the items actually sell. If you'd like to put in a bid for anything, the items are here:

"Princess Bride" on VHS

Harlequein romance: "One Hot Summer" by Suzanne Scott

Harlequin romance: "Dodging Cupid's Arrow" by Kate Hoffman

Harlequin romance: "Not the Gal!" by Glenda Sanders


Monday, October 27, 2008

Working on Reducing My Credit Card Debt

I'm focused once again on #20 on my 101 list. I've decided that, in November, I'm limiting myself to $40 in cash for spending money (toiletries, night out with friends, taking the train in town, etc.) Since it's novel writing month anyway, it shouldn't be too much of a hardship. $10 a week to spend. If all goes well, I will cut it down again the following month to $20 spending money. If not the following month (December), then definitely in January.

The trickiest thing about spending no more than $40 in November will be November 1. There's a NaNoWriMo write-in on that day. I could go in town to that after work (which I'd really like to do), but I'd be looking at spending a quarter of my monthly allowance on the train even before the week has started .. and then a few dollars on lunch or snacks (since it's in a restaurant). I could instead go to the Vegetarian Festival in town, but I run into the same problem with how much I'm spending that day. Plus, I lose out on word count while I'm in there at the festival. The positive side of the Veggie Fest is hanging out with my friend T. I haven't seen her in months, if not over a year now. My third choice is the most frugal. After work, I simply go home and write. Good for my pocket book. Good for my word count. Bad for my social life (which barely exists as it is).

Decisions, decisions ..

Friday, October 24, 2008

NaNoWriMo Prep and Working on my 101: #33 & #2

In preparation of NaNoWriMo, I'm attempting to get a few things done before November madness hits. Part of that is plotting out my 2008 nanovel (#33 on my 101 in 1001 list). Holly's course How to Think Sideways is a big part of that. In fact, my idea for this year's nanonovel is an idea generated from the course (lightning struck!). It will be a young adult novel like last year's attempt, but it's not a fantasy novel. It's more of a mystery which is a little different than anything I've tried before so I'm excited to get started on it.

Another part of my preparation is working on the EstellaDawn web site (#2 on my 101 in 1001 list). I've promised T. to have at least one version this weekend for her to check out. I'm hoping to have more than one version completed this weekend. Hopefully she'll like one of them, and then I'll simply tweak it a bit and upload to the server. Although the site has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo, finishing it will be a nice accomplishment and one less thing to worry about in November.

Lastly, although not official NaNo prep work, I'm heading in town tomorrow with Jo for a Boston NaNoWriMo Meet & Greet. It should be lots of fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

101 in 1001 Days

from Day Zero (aka "101 in 1001 days")

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: Monday, October 20, 2008
End Date: Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm keeping track a little differently than I did before.
* Completed tasks will be crossed out.
* Tasks in process will be in bold (so I can keep track of them easily).
* Incomplete tasks will be left as is.

My 101

1. Get my ears repierced.
2. Get Estella Dawn website up and running.
('til then visit estelladawn.imagekind.com)

3. Finish one scrapbook project.
4. Attend another convention.
5. Start filming web series.
6. Get web series up and running (online, publicized).
7. Promote P7D.
8. Read M.A. Bernier’s “Dragonstone.”
9. Read one of the Pratchett books that Digger lent me.
10. Publish this list on the web.
11. Cook something in my crockpot.
12. Take a dance class.
13. Get my driver’s permit.
14. Get my driver’s license.
15. Take a class through either the BCAE or the CCAE.
16. Write in my diary at least three times in 2009. (fail!)
17. Read a book by Lois McMasters Bujold (the author Mreen always recommends to me).
18. Start an IRA.
19. Make a vet appt. for my kitty.
20. Get my credit card balances down to at least half of what I owe.
21. Try one new thing every month, no matter how small, for at least six months. (The months don’t have to be consecutive.) (5/6)
22. Take a cruise.
23. Visit Missy.
24. Visit Martha’s Vineyard. (completed Aug. 4, 2010)
25. Visit Canada.
26. Take a Boston Duck Tour.
27. Finish a cross-stitch project.
28. Have a picnic with my neice.
29. Enter a photo or a craft project in the Marshfield Fair.
30. Take the MENSA test.
31. Take a tour of the Day House.
32. Get a new library card.
33. Complete the 2008 NaNoWriMo challenge.
34. Complete the 2009 NaNoWriMo challenge. (fail!)
35. Submit one of my finished stories somewhere for publication.
36. Finish a WIP (not including NaNoWriMo, of course).
37. Make a short film.
38. Submit the film to at least three festivals.
39. Participate in the 26 Things meme.
40. Make FS commercial.
41. Produce something for local cable.
42. Organize Ella photos.
43. Replace ten VHS tapes with DVDs.
44. Plan a family reunion.
45. Catalogue my CDs.
46. Catalogue my DVDs.
47. Catalogue my VHS tapes.
48. Finish the list of books I own.
49. Copy one of my old diaries (from elementary school).
50. Put the VHS tape my aunt & uncle had made for my grandmother onto DVD.
51. Transfer my LCIII files onto my current laptop.
52. Transfer T.’s vids to digital form as she had requested.
53. Attend a film festival.
54. Get better acquainted with all the bells and whistles on my laptop.
55. Get better acquainted with all the bells and whistles on my camcorder.
56. Get better acquainted with all the bells and whistles on my new digital camera.
57. Dye my hair auburn.
58. See Cyanide Valentine live. (possible failure since Jake is now a solo act)
59. Sell 10 items on ebay. (4/10)
60. Put $20 into savings for every completed task. (0/101)
61. Organize my closet.
62. Finish a FS fan vid.
63. Make ATC series.
64. Work on altered journal (or something similar).
65. Identify 100 things that make me happy.
66. Complete at least two things off my 43 Things list. (1/2)
67. List my 100 favorite movies.
68. List my 100 favorite books.
69. Write the alphabet books for T. that I’d promised her.
70. Buy rainboots.
71. Take CPR class.
72. Start an Etsy shop. (completed 06/21/09)
73. Finish writing the first five episodes of my web series.
74. Buy pedometer for Micky & Christine. (1/2)
75. Buy pedometer for myself.
76. Visit with Brett & Mary again.
77. Get together with some Scapers (beyond 1 or 2 Boston Scapers).
78. Get a table for Estella Dawn on Norwood Day.
79. Upload five more photos to my imagekind account. (4/5)
80. Volunteer on someone else’s film.
81. Enter a music vid for the 2009 Creation Farscape con (assuming there is a con). (fail!)
82. Post the result of something inspired by The Soul Food Cafe.
83. Attend a craft fair.
84. Create an altered journal for the Library project.
85. Spend three days without once going online. (2/3)
86. Replan my torturemazes website.
87. Post ten more entries on the Beanywood blog. (0/10)
88. Make a 2009 New Years Resolutions list. (fail!)
89. Complete at least five things off that list. (0/5) (fail!)
90. Watch at least three of the videos my dad sent me.
91. Write 10 actual letters (not an email or a card). (10/10)
92. Go apple picking.
93. Start another 101 things to do when the 1001 days near their end.
94. Read the Book of Revelations.
95. Read 10 non fiction books. (0/10)
96. From Learning to Love You More assignment #53: Give advice to yourself in the past
97. From Learning to Love You More assignmnet #3: Make a documentary video about a small child.
98. Visit with my dad at least three times. (1/3)
99. Complete How to Think Sideways course.
100. Take a digital photography class.
101. Complete all the items on this list. (fail!)

Days Left: 33
Tasks Remaining: 85

** previous list
New 101 List!

This morning I finally completed my new list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I'll post it later today. If you're interested, my old list is here. I didn't complete a lot of them, but I *did* complete more than I expected. My new list will have some repeats from the previous list, plus a few newer items.

I've included the writing course I'm currently taking on the list, too. Many of the items have meaning only to me (as well they should), but some are fun items I found on others' lists that I chose to borrow for mine.

It's an interesting challenge, and there is great satisfaction in ticking a completed item off the list. ;) I encourage everyone to give it a try if you haven't already.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Writing Things

Holly Lisle is once again opening the online writing course I'm taking for a limited time starting Monday Oct. 6 until Mon. Oct. 13, and she offered a pdf which gives others a glimpse of some of the lessons along with a link to download a free module from Lesson 7. I personalized it a bit with my name (hee hee) and included the link here if anyone wants to take a peek. The course costs but the pdf and link inside the pdf are free. :)

Think Sideways PDF

The course is opening up to a limited number of students so if it fills up before Oct. 13, she'll close it again for a bit.

I'm using this course right now as my prep for NaNoWriMo. (I'm determined to finish it this year!) I *will* be using it to help me along with some other writing that's on hold and for web series plotting & character help.

Oh, and I'm enjoying Scrivener so far. I can see loads of potential for organizing and writing .. and less chance of me misplacing my notes when I go to write something. :)

cross-posted to live journal

Friday, October 03, 2008

Writing & Other Updates

I've joined Twitter. Holly Lisle dangled prezzies in front of me, and I'm learning so much from How to Think Sideways that I couldn't resist signing up/the opportunity for a free writing clinic. Holly has a rockin' way of celebrating her birthday. ;)

I've also downloaded a trial for Scrivener. If anyone has thoughts on that particular program, please feel free to share. I'll be playing with the program a bit this weekend. Hopefully I get a good sense of it.

This weekend will be busy. I promised to start on a simple (because I can't do anything more than simple & basic *g*) web site for my sis. We'll be showcasing and selling some digital art (hers more than mine *g*). I'll post a link once we're up and running. ;) I need to find a dress for Laura's wedding! I also need to clean (why are you laughing?) for S.'s arrival next weekend. Maybe get some con book letters out (I've already missed a few deadlines!) And write. And research. And go to Boston Sunday with L.? And figure out the dinner plans for next Wednesday. What I won't be doing is finishing any videos for the Burbank con. I didn't get much feedback from the people I showed them to, and I have no energy to start new ones since my mind is focused elsewhere anyway. Actually, this weekend won't be very busy compared to next. Next weekend will be action-packed but fun. Scott & Laura's wedding, S. visiting, maybe an outing in town or to Salem or somewhere else (depending on the weather), maybe a concert Sunday night .. busy, busy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Prepping for NaNoWriMo & Jumping Slightly Ahead of Myself

I've put my current writing aside while I prep for NaNoWriMo. Part of that preparation is Holly Lisle's Think Sideways course. I'm using one of the ideas generated during the coursework as this year's nanonovel. The techniques and lessons learned so far are helping me with plotting and characterization, and I think I will feel ready to just write come November 1. Plus, most of what I've learned so far (and I'm not even done with the course yet!) can be applied to other ideas I'm working on. In fact, this'll help with the duality issue I've been having with one of my characters (that story is on the backburner while I prep for this year's NaNoWriMo). I think I'll be able to pinpoint what exactly is wrong and where; I'm very excited to jump ahead and rework the idea using techniques I've learned. For now though it's best for me to focus a bit on what I'll be writing this November.

In fact, many of Holly's techniques will help me with the web series idea, too, since I've been having problems with that as well. But I'm jumping ahead of myself again. (One step at a time, D.!)

Speaking of jumping ahead, I've just received in the mail business cards I ordered from VistaPrint. Yes, business cards. I figure something semi-professional looking that states my interests in writing (and filmmaking) & has my contact info. on it will aid me in realizing my dreams. I know that sounds a bit silly, but if I have a card that says I'm a "writer" or "filmmaker" (aspiring!) that I can pass out at networking events or classes/workshops, I feel I will come across less nervous (scribbling my name & email addy on a tiny scrap of paper becomes an illegible mess to anyone but myself) and more willing to learn & gain experience. Plus, at the end of a long day, when someone looks over the contact info. collected at a networking event, I figure a neat, professional card will have more of an impact than a hastily written note on a torn piece of paper. Don't you think? "Yes, I'm a writer. Keep in touch." "If you need an extra hand on your film, I'm willing to learn. Here's my contact info." "Oh, yes, I sell some of my photos online. Here's my card. Take a look. Drop me a line."

Today was an okay day at work but still stressful so it's the little things (like the business cards!) that keep me motivated to continue pursuing that which interests me the most. Creative opportunities ahead .. I can't help but feel a bit excited and hopeful. When I finish my nanonovel, I have every intention of revising and then sending out queries and proposals. When I have a few episodes of my web series written out to my satisfaction, I will start filming and posting the series online. And there are other things cookin' in the not-so background. I'm trying my best not to jump ahead of myself. :)

* I'm still involved, though from afar, with S.'s film "Passengers of 7D." The website will be update once the film goes into post, I think. (I just remembered I have to get my bio to Sharifa!) I'd intended to blog about my film experiences at New Film Nation (formerly Beanywood) but haven't gotten over there much lately. (research! writing! work!) I'll point you over there once I've posted a few updates. For now if you're interested in the film, check out the site. More info. will be available as the film nears completion.