I imagine after 3 months of not posting that I've lost most of my audience. If you do check in now and then to see what's up, I apologize for being "dark" all this time. I've come here a number of times in the last couple months, opened the "create post" page and stared at the blank screen for a while, then closed the browser tab without posting. I kept thinking there's nothing to say anyone could have the remotest interest in. Today, however, I realized that I really shouldn't let that stop me here. I mean, it certainly doesn't stop me when I'm talking face to face (it's the way people start yawning or making lame excuses that gives me a clue in real life) So, what the heck, here we go with what's on my mind today.
Beading: I've pretty much decided that I'm going to start a new blog for any rambles about my beading, so I won't afflict you with that here, except occasionally. Like now. I've sold 3 pieces on Etsy, most recently today, which is gratifying and gives me a little "squee" moment every time it happens. (somebody likes it! squee!) And, I've probably made a couple dozen new things since I posted last. I'm also trying new techniques, like making things with wire and chain, learning to connect things using loops and links, and trying wire-wrapping. The wire-wrapping isn't going too well yet, and I might not be patient enough to keep at it, if everything looks like a two year old made it and then the dog chewed on it afterwards.
I'd also love to learn to create beads or focal pieces with metal clay - the whole "need to use a torch or get a kiln" has blocked that for now, since I really don't have a place to use either. Maybe someday.
My son: Ever see a movie or tv show or read about a soldier whose paperback book, Bible, flask, some keepsake from his sweetheart, etc., stops a bullet and saves a limb or his life? Apparently my son's iPod stopped one from hitting him somewhere; I'm guessing arm or leg. He forgot it was in a pocket and it came along on a mission with him and now it's toast but my son is ok. Thanks, Apple!
My daughter: Doing great. Got a call from her the other day all excited because she got an A on a mid-term when she had thought she hadn't done so well. She's also all set with her summer job - working at the Y summer camp again. I think this is year 3 for that? I know last year she directed a gymnastics camp, this year she may try something new - haven't heard yet. But she's great with the kids. Which is why I keep wondering why she isn't interested in teaching elementary school (like her ol' ma did). She says she wants to teach High School. I loved teaching kindergarten, myself. Probably because I like crayons and paste and the complete lack of hormone driven teen angst.
Me in general: I think I feel more like blogging now that the days are longer and the weather is getting better. Winter is really rough on me. I suspect I have a bit of seasonal affective disorder. Out of 10 symptoms I have 8 of them pretty intensely from late October to early April, and two of them to a more minor degree. Of course, I'm too withdrawn and lethargic to get myself to a doctor until it's spring and I feel better and I don't need medical help anymore.
In February my uncle passed away and I spent a week down in Southern Calif. with my Dad, which, even under the circumstances involved, was really wonderful just because it's been ages since I've been able to spend more than a few hours with him in many years. I miss being near family a lot and I truly wish I could figure out a way to get down there. Another "maybe someday" thing - I can only hope sooner rather than later.
Around the web: I've been entertained recently by a series of videos called "You Suck at Photoshop" It's part tutorial and part soap opera presented by a guy, Donnie, who's life is falling apart rather disastrously, and yet he gives these Photoshop lessons - insulting the students all the while. Really funny stuff. If you haven't seen these, and you have a quirky, dark sense of humor, do.
Here's the first one so you can decide if you want to click on the link above and watch the rest of them:
Otherwhere on the web, I'm still faithfully following my favorite online comics, A Girl and Her Fed, Questionable Content, Girl Genius, Sheldon and about a dozen more. Thank goodness for Google Reader and RSS feeds! I bought a Going Postal mail pouch recently (its the second one on the page) and put some buttons I got from A Girl and Her Fed's creator, the Girl Genius site, and the Sheldon store amongst others (like a Star Trek delta badge, Discworld pins, my Sputnik pins from LACon and more). I plan on using it as my convention purse when I go to Denvention (66th World SF Convention) this summer.
What I'm Reading: Just finished Strangers in Death by J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts). I forgot that I'd ordered it from the Science Fiction Book Club, so I have two copies - if you'd like this book, I'd be happy to send the SFBC edition to you free of charge. It's a hardback book in pristine condition, although it's a slightly smaller size hardback than non-book club editions. Use my contact me link to email me.
Anyway, it was another good one. I enjoy reading them because I've grown fond of the characters and can't wait to see how they develop as the series goes on. If you're unfamiliar with the series, it's romance set in the future about a female police lieutenant who meets, falls in love with and marries (in the early books) a very rich, powerful, handsome man, Roarke, with a less than legitimate past he's (mostly) reformed from. In the later books the two of them often work together to figure out 'who done it'. The secondary characters are colorful and fun to know as well. One thing I might note in passing is that there's no dearth of love scenes between Dallas (the protag) and Roarke and they are somewhat explicit.
I've also been reading through David Drake's epic fantasy series starting with Lord of the Isles, mostly in eBook format. My introduction to it was via the Tor.com subscription - which is a really cool deal. Weekly free eBooks in many formats (I use MobiPocket since I have the reader already). They offered the first book of the Isles series and when I finished it I wanted to read more. So I purchased the eBook bundle for books 2 - 7 via the Baen Books WebScription site. Right now I'm reading the latest book in the series, Mirror of Worlds, in hardback. Who says giving away eBooks isn't a smart idea? Got me to spend money on the rest of Drake's stuff, and I'll probably keep reading his work when I'm done with the Isles books.
I've never been a big fan of epic fantasy. I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy because, well, everyone I was friends with in 1971 either was or had read them - I even got notes from one friend in either runes or elvish (I don't recall which). But I've always been more of a SF reader, so with the exception of short stories in the magazines I get (primarily The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction) I don' t go out of my way to read it.
However, I've enjoyed the Drake books. There is a bit of the same things happening over and over - if I'd had to wait 6 months or a year to read the next book, it probably wouldn't have leaped out at me as much. I mean in every book people end up getting lost or kidnapped in some other dimension or time and there are quest-y type things, then at the end they all end up at some place where they all have to be together with the stuff they've learned or gotten to overcome the big bad whatever. This must be SOP for epic fantasy books. Even so, I'm enjoying the writing enough to keep going on to the next one.
By the way, if you sign up at Tor.com you are entered in a cool contest for an Asus Galaxy EEE mobile PC, and you'll get free eBooks, too. And they're good ones - Farthing by Jo Walton and Spin by Robert Charles Wilson were in recent emails - both of which I've read and *heartily* recommend. By the way, this all ends on May 15th when the official site launches.
Ok, this has been enough rambling for two or three posts, so I'll quit now. Glad to be back blogging - hope I can keep it up, at least once or twice a week.