Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winning Nanowrimo! (Where have I been??)

So, it's been a while since I have posted, and most of that blame goes to Nanowrimo!  If you don't know what that is, visit for more details.  I remember first seeing info on nanowrimo a few years ago online, and brushed it off an forgot about it.  This year I happened to come across it again through watching various youtube vlogs and got inspired.  I used to love writing, since when I learned to write in grade 1, all the way through high school.  University killed any creativity and enjoyment towards literature for me.  Anyway, I decided to do Nanowrimo when there wasn't very much time to come up with a plot, characters, setting etc...  But after reading about different attempts people use to get through nanowrimo, I went with the 'fly by the seat of your pants' method.  I had a few days to come up with an idea, so I went with YA urban fantasy (about faeries). 

Nanowrimo dictates that the goal is to write a 50, 000 novel in the month of November.  So, I tried to write 1667 words every day to stay on target.  It didn't happen every day, and I did have a few times where I spent hours catching up.  When I signed up, I knew that I really wanted to beat the goal, but I had doubts because I'm at work for 40 hours a week; one of my evenings is spent with my uke group, and I was spending 8 days in Cancun Mexico at a destination wedding.  There were times when I was going to through in the towel, especially once I got to Mexico.  However, I persevered!  I took my netbook to work every day and tried to write on my lunch hour, and I even took the netbook to Mexico.  I wrote in my resort room, outside on the resort, and even on the plane back to Toronto while listening to 4 babies scream in unison.  I cleared 50,000 with 10 minutes to spare (and I chalk this up to my experiences with timed writing during all those bloody English exams where I ran out of time and had 45 minutes to write an entire essay). 

I am here to say hooray!  I am proud of myself for doing it-and will probably do it again!  I didn`t really treat myself for the win, but I did buy two nano t-shirts to congratulate myself and spread the word of glorious nano.  I am hoping that the next time around, I will be able to attend some write-ins with the local nano peeps.  I`ve even been thinking about giving Camp Nano a try this summer.  I did put up a small display at work, advertising National Novel Writing Month and had 2 fellow co-workers give it a go, but I was hoping more people would be into it.  That`s okay, I stayed motivated and I shared my experiences on the nano forums. 

Congratulations to all Nano 2011 participants!  (we have out lives back now!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nanowrimo (National Writing Month)

So, I've decided to be crazy and sign up for this year's nanowrimo.  I've thought about doing it in the past, but never registered.  Are you doing it?  Any tips or suggestions?  If you don't know the premise of nanowrimo, the rules are that you are to write 50, 000 words in the month of November.  I've been thinking about what I could write.  Urban fantasy maybe?  Post-apocalyptic?  Zombies?  Then I thought maybe I could do something silly like a month of fan fiction.  I used to love writing.  In high school I won an award every year for the literary festival we had.  I took writer's craft in grade 13 and wrote a short novella.  I wish I would write more-I really need to set up a schedule and just do it.

Reading Rainbow
Rainbow Card

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekly Obsessions

It's a very windy, wet saturday evening.  I'm drinking hot apple cider and watching anime episodes of Supernatural.  So, this week I have continued my obsession with Harry Potter.  I've come across things that I never knew existed, like wizard rock (wrock), mass quidditch games, and Harry Potter conventions.  I wish I knew more about these things before the end of the Potter movies and books, but of well.  I still have the beginnings of Pottermore, and I've been harassing the bf to take a journey to Florida so we can go to the Wizarding World of HP at Universal. 

I have actually started to re-read the HP books now, and I'm currently on the Philosopher's Stone.  On a second note, I've also started to obsess about D & D and role playing.  I've always had a desire to play D & D games (I actually have 2 d&d games in the basement), but have never been able to find people to play with.  I'd love to get into it now-but still have the same problem.  I think I might purchase a new video game tomorrow-Alice the Madness Returns.  It looks like a lot of fun-quite eerie. I'm excited for tomorrow night too-the 2nd season of the Walking Dead comes on!  Yeah zombies!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dog Presents

I don't pick up presents for my dogs too often-so a few days ago when we stopped at Petsmart, I took much glee in choosing a costume for Willow the weaner-a witch hat and purple hair. I also bought a stuffed snake-which needs to be mended already. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Tees

I always thought Threadless was a pretty cool t-shirt site, until I found Society6 .   Look at the Clementine shirt from Eternal Sunshine from a Spotless Mind!  So cool.  I also love the cats and their cameras (polaroid, holgas, dianas...!), and the Where the Wild (Hip) Things Are.  Sweet.  Check out this site.  Pure geekdom. I've been on a real t-shirt kick lately.  It might be because I can't really wear skirts and dresses at work anymore when I'm hauling 2000 skids of textbooks with a pump truck-jeans seem to suit the job a bit more now.

Monday, October 10, 2011

'Tis the Season for Costume Changes

Happy Thanksgiving Canadians!  Today I took the dogs for a long walk down Cootes, snapped some Diana photos of some swans and geese, and then spent my afternoon getting dressed up and putting listings on my etsy shop.  These are some items I put up.  I also went to the Rockton Fair this weekend, and was totally disappointed that I could even get a standing spot to watch the super dogs or the crash up derby. So, we left early and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1 on t.v and went to bed early.  I am so, so happy this is a short work week coming up!  Yeah! 

My Etsy Shop (Bohemian Oasis)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Holga Roll 3

These are my Holga pictures from when V and I were out west in the summer for my sister's wedding.  I used 120 film, and most have a filter on them to make the edges hazy and mysterious looking.  I am currently experimenting with my new Diana and I have red scale film being developed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rainy Sunday

Fall is here.  Today is cold and wet, the leaves are red and yellow.  I've spent most of the weekend being a total loaf.  I've been reading Valiant by Holy Black, a dark young adult fae book.  Black's story telling is starting to appeal to me.  She mixes modern realism with fantasy, and as someone from Goodreads wrote, 'leaves you feeling dirty,' meaning, she writes about subjects that make us feel uncomfortable.  Teens shooting up faery drugs, living in underground tunnels, having sex, and hanging out with faery's from the seeley court.  I'm hoping to finish the book tonight, and then I've been contemplating re-reading all the Harry Potter books.

I started going in to a Harry Potter frenzy this weekend, after purchasing some kitschy buttons off etsy.  That lead me to purchasing a second butterbeer necklace, to doing an online sorting test, to wanting to knit a Ravenclaw scarf (especially since it's freezing out, and I'm currently wearing three layers of shirts), to looking at Pottermore.


I am excited for Pottermore, and I just loved this girls video on the house sorting!  It made me smile and giggly-I wish I were there doing it too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What happened to summer?

I for one am happy that fall is approaching fast.  The leaves on the tree on our front lawn are already turning red and crispy.  So much time has past since I wrote last, and I think it's because I've been avoiding discussing anything too negative.  September is always a terrible month for me, because work is so busy.  I work at a university, and this year there were over 5000 first year students alone!  I stand all day, and answer questions, phone calls, deal with problem after problem... Not to mention that aside from the job itself, morale right now is really low.  I don't want to discuss the fine details of my work, but here's a general overview.  In the past few years our staff has been cut in half.  We have 6 people on sick leave, two managers have left in the past year, almost every department has faced layoffs and job changes.  People are stressed out and spread thin.  In July I was called in for a meeting with HR-I had 2 hours notice and had no idea why I was being called in.  I quickly assumed I was losing my job.  I was about half right.  I was served a layoff notice, but then was offered a new job in the same breath.  Same pay, benefits etc... The thing is, I wasn't relieved.  It was an out that I've been waiting for.  I've spent a lot of time and money becoming a teacher, and then have not been able to get e teaching job.  Partly because teaching jobs are difficult to get in this province (hello 7000+ unemployed teachers!), and also because I can't sub if I'm stuck at my job!  My immediate decision was to take the severance package and go on EI.  My bf fully supported this decision as well, because he sees how negatively the workplace affects me on a day to day basis.  However, I gave it a few days, and felt uneasy about being jobless.  I still have student loans to pay off, and what if I want to have kids?  How will I be able to start a new job and go off on maternity leave?  So, I came up with a new plan.  I requested that I be given one of the sessional jobs.  That means I work 9 months a year, and go on EI for 3 months in the spring.  This gives me the best of both worlds for now-an income, and an opportunity to come up with a new plan while not being destitute.  So, right now I am counting down until my break-5 months to go until I am off work for 3 months!!!  Hooray!

I feel like I haven't done much except for work the past two months.  But, I did manage to do other things, such as:

  • Beirut concert
  • Basia Bulat concert at Supercrawl
  • Pearl Jam last week!  3 hour mania with Eddie Vedder
  • Weekend workshop with World Renown David Swenson Ashtanga yogi
There are other things coming up too.  My ukulele classes start again next week.  I've been working on this song on my new banjolele.

I hope to post more now that the craziness of work should be subsiding a little bit (not much!).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective (Book Review)

Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective (Victoria Gallery and Museum)Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective by Matthew H. Clough

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked how this book was layed out. Not only does it have chapters on Astrid, it also has essays written by others, and interviews by her close friends (x-lovers). I've always wanted to know more about her, and this satisfied my desires. I am glad that it revealed what happened to Astrid and her photography over time, and I was intrigued about the lives of Klaus Voorman and Kemp Gibson, which I wasn't expecting. There's a lot of images in the book that I have never seen before, and they don't all focus on the Beatles. I really find Astrid's life, ambitions, and work inspiring. She really was a leader in fashion, images, and creating an atmosphere in black and white photography.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Holga roll 2

Here's my second roll of Holga shots.  They surprised me when I got them back.  I thought I was shooting with an expired coloured film, and my photos were all black and white and very dark.  Some shots look really cool though-I like the ones where I'm laying down in the grass. 

Currently I am shooting with my new Diana F+ and my Holga, experimenting with a redscale film.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting Crafty with Analogue

Last weekend I decided to make a frame so I could display my instax mini photo's I've been taking.  I saw the idea on  One Sheepish Girl's blog post, who got her idea from Talia Christine's blog.  I tackled the job by taking one of my old canvas frames from art school, and taking the canvas off.  I spray painted the wood outside (note: do not spray paint when windy, it is a pain in the butt!).  Next, I bought a picture hanging kit and screwed in hooks along the sides, and used hemp twine to string across.

I have been thinking about doing the 52 week challenge with the instax mini, but haven't totally dedicated myself yet (maybe today I will), so I haven't labelled any of my photos yet.  Most of them were taken in the rockies when I was away at my sister's wedding.

Also, last weekend I decided I wanted to start drawing and painting again, so I went to the local art supply store and bought myself some water colour pencil crayons that I have always wanted, a moleskin type drawing notebook, two paint brushes and a small pen.  I have yet to draw in the book, but I'm saving it for my next week off which is coming up the beginning of August!