Here, There be a Writer

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Round 4 is put to bed...2014

It is the end of Round 4 of A Round of Words in 80 Days and I honestly feel like ..."Not with a bang, but a
whimper!" I did so good, and then POOF! Oh well, I am not going to be too upset. The year is ending on a high note overall.

Christmas was a delightful day, expect for a sinus headache early in the morning. Spent time with the Scott family and then opened presents with the Hubs in the afternoon. The even was Doctor Who Christmas Special. Yeah, a pretty great day around. I got a Lil Bub and new Tardis blanket: other goodies included a My Little Pony Cocoa/Cup set (old school), Doctor Who Haiku, a figurine of Peter Capaldi and Amy Pond, and some new jeans. A good haul over all. Present that were given were enjoyed equally.

Yesterday was a trip to Ithaca and a bit of shopping and waffles with the Hubs, and then dinner and Munchkin at Soulful Cup Coffeehouse (with coffee). A friend was up from Knoxille, TN visiting and it was a nice night for hanging. While today was laundry, vacuuming, and dishes (which I have yet to get to. Not my favourite chore). I also  got my blocking schedule complete and emailed out. I am begin to do some preliminary blocking and going to work on the Murder Chorus that will play at the top of the show. The murder that happens at the top of the show will be a prerecorded bit at the beginning (that is not a spoiler). So, I will be writing a bit to top of this Round at least. Feeling very excited about Mousetrap and excited to start rehearsing. Also am glad for a few weeks of rest and recuperation.

I learn quite a bit about my ability to multitask and what I can and can't do at the same time as 5 other projects. A good thing to know. I also know how much editing is a thing I need to work on and how much I like to write when not overwhelmed. So, maybe only 3 projects at a time. Hehehe :-)

I performed as Trinculo in The Tempest, I wrote a 1 act and co-wrote a Christmas Show with the Hubs, learned how to produce a show, did a lot of improv with awesome people, preparing to direct a classic piece of theatrical history in the new year, and met Amanda Fucking Palmer and Neil Gaiman.

Not really anything else to report, Dear Readers. For once I am quiet, that is strange to say. 2014 was  very good year, despite some rough patches and a fully crazy life. There are a number of plans and early goals to work on in 2015. This is also very exciting. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my Little Ol' Blog. definitely got some new plans and revamping to Here There be a Writer. Stay tuned for more...

Come and visit the last Blog Hop of 2014!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pre-Christmas Eve by two days check-in!

A Round of Words in 80 Days, a blog challenge that knows you have a life. Visit the Blog Hop, catch up with all us writer/blogger folk.

So, I got the Yule cards out, barring one or two that I needed to look up the address or ran out of stamps.
Only 2 presents to still buy. The house is actually clean, when still need to vacuum, but it's close enough. And most importantly, I haven't killed anyone yet. YAY!!

Been watching Christmas specials, yesterday was Muppets with The Christmas Toy, Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas, The Great Santa Claus Switch, and Mr. Willoughby's Christmas Tree. Then earlier this week, A Wish for Wings that Work and George and the Christmas Star.  That's just the tip of the iceberg.

So, what is your favourite Christmas specials, Dear Readers?

Let's get back to a little more normal routine. It's still been quiet and I haven't quite returned to regular schedule of writing or editing. I have caught up on my sleep and my house is almost presentable again. Thinking I needed to take some time for me. My head is focusing more on what I need to do now. so, it'll be holidays and then back to business.

Funny how fast Christmas comes once December arrives! Okay, here's what I have been up to this week.

This week:
    *Reading: started Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman). I only a a week and a half to try and read three more books and complete my Goodread's 2014 Reading Challenge. I had lofty goals, but I think I can still make it.
    *Theatre: cast my show and had my first read thru, and then my first full production meeting. Feels good and right as both the cast and crew seem to be excited. Gonna be a good show. Now I need to work on my blocking notes for January.

Up on deck:
     *Blogging: return to a regular blog schedule.
     *Editing: this is a biggie. Plan to finally finish a few projects and start some new ones.
     *Writing: when and where I can.

Christmas Song of the Day:

Thoughts on December and the Holidays

Still a day later and almost a dollar short, but 'tis the season I guess.

Still trying to find a bit of balance between everything. It's Christmas week and somewhere I left my holiday spirit. I was doing so well, maybe with my recent purchases leaving my bank account nearly depleted, or as comfortable as I would hope for. That and the general dissent over  Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays.


It happens every year. People feel the need to shout out loud or in the case of social media, proclaim via ALL CAPS that there is a war of Christmas. Every year I say I won't get in the middle and every year something ticks me off to respond. Now, Dear Readers, don't get me wrong, if will probably scratch some head, might even angry a folk or two. I'm sure many will agree in part with this. There is NO WAR ON CHRISTMAS! It's a delusion.


It starts...Okay, not going lie to you Dear Readers, those both old and new. I am not Christian, nor am I Catholic. I am pagan, somewhere between Wiccan, Witchy, and general believer in the natural world. I grew up with Christmas. My dad raised was raised Protestant and mom Roman Catholic. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, even went to church, blessing the basket (ham, butter, horseradish, the whole kit and kaboodle) and the Easter eggs and chocolate or the Christmas service. I knew the stories and was taught right from wrong, but that was it.

Art by UnripeHamadryad
In high school I became agnostic, well about as agnostic as I could be in high school. I just didn't know where I fit in or what I believed in. I tried the Bible Club, listening to the discussions, even trying to take part in, I also read  a lot of native Indian legends, stories, and belief structures. I wasn't sure where I belonged. It was in college where I discovered Wicca, through my best friend. Since then I have called myself pagan, more as a general term than any one sections. I associate mostly with the Greek and Celtic pantheons and my patron Goddesses are Ceridwen (Goddess of Wisedom)  and Artemis (Goddess of the Dark, the Hunt, sometimes connected with the moon), but I celebrate Christmas. I also love the story of the Nativity and my favourite Christmas Carols are Silent Night/O Holy Night. I am a little of everything!

Thank you UnripeHamadryad for borrowing your art! You should go and visit her deviantart page, pretty awesome stuff. Link is here: UnripeHamadryad!

I see that some people get bent out of shape when someone says Happy Holidays, citing that December is for Christmas, or put the "Christ" in Christmas, don't say Happy Holidays because its Merry Christmas. And it bugs me. It also bugs me when people also go too far in the other direction and are obvious about it. See, I prefer to say whatever comes out of my mouth, sometimes its Happy Holidays, sometimes it's Merry Christmas, but ALWAYS it's said with sincerity and love.

The way that I see it, if you say something with love and sincerity then it will be received with the same feelings. If you like to say Merry Christmas then do so, but don't get mad when someone says Happy Holidays to you. They may celebrate Christmas or maybe Saturnalia or nothing at all. Say you greetings with love and love will be returned. But when you make a point of making big deal what you say, then people will react.

What are your thoughts, Dear Readers? Do you say one greeting all the time, do you jump between, or do you make a point to say the one most appropriate? Thoughts on this issue? Please keep it clean and no negativity, but I do love to hear all sides. Feel free to share your thoughts...

This is a little bit of a cleansing blog, it's something that bothers me when feathers are ruffled. I still have much joy to spread this season and by writing this I can get some of that frustration out of my system.

There are many holidays that fall into December, here are a few of the ones you might not be familiar with.

Saturnalia (December 17th to 23rd): A feast and celebration of the Roman God, Saturn, with feast, drink, and gift giving.

Feast of St. Nicholas (Day)/Krampusnacht (December 6th in Western Europe and December 19th in Eastern Europe): The night when children put out shoes to either gwt candy/treats if they are good (from St. Nicholas) or get switches/beating (from Krampus). A dual character holiday, the good with the bad celebrated all across Europe from Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy to name a few.

Kwanzaa (December 26 to January 1st): an African American holiday first celebrated in 1966-7 with feasts and gift giving and honouring the 7 basic principles of African heritage: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, faith.

Yule/Solstice (December 21st): The day that is the shortest and the night which is the longest. The days begin to get longer and the winter grows stronger. A time when gifts are exchanged and holly is hung. Candles are light and songs are sung. In many ways Yule/Solstice is Christmas, and as Christmas envolved from Yule you can say the us Pagan and Christians celebrate the same holiday. We celebrate the death of the Sun God, who was then born again anew. This myth is present in many culture new and old.

These are just a few of the holiday that are celebrated in this month. Please feel free to explore more of these holidays and remember to spread the love and good will to all people.

Blessed Yule, Dear Readers! Have a Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Saturnalia, St. Nicholas Day/Krampusnacht, and Festivus!! Eat, Drink, and be Merry!

Friday, December 19, 2014

End of Week Thoughts - Falling Short?

I got my new glasses. No more duck tape on the nose bridge. Heavens, Duck Tape irritates the skin! Also is the fastest way to drain a bank account. Only 2 hours after my direct deposit went in, it was gone. Still, I have a new pair of specs, actually 2. It was a Buy 1, Get 1 free deal. The second pair I will get in about a week. Getting used to them, I think my face is crooked, but the glasses stay in place (mostly).

The inside of the frame is a pretty robin egg blue!
Been a quiet week over all, what I have gotten done has been housework, Christmas shopping (which was why the bank account was low to begin with), sleeping, and reading.

I have my cast for The Mousetrap. We had our first read through yesterday. I am most excited, it's a great
group of actors. Now, I have work to do with blocking, getting a set/scenery (well, I have a team for much of this)  and a whole slew of other things for this show. It being Christmas/Yule week and I going to slow down some and enjoy the calm of the end of the year. My cast has their scripts and will be working on memorizing their lines.

Finished Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman), going to be starting Neverwhere (also Neil Gaiman).

This Round is shaping up much different than I thought. Pleased that I finished NaNoWriMo. A bit frustrated that I let the writing slip, but not entirely, as I wrote dialogue for the H'port Xmas Show and some poems to keep the juices flowing. Could have been better, oh well, Round is not over yet and I have a better idea of what i want to accomplish at the top of the year. A Round of Words in 80 Days; come and visit the Blog Hop.

Have a safe and joyous holiday, Dear Readers!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This is my December is a nutshell!

For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute. Candles in the window, Carols at the Spinnet...

And Christmas in Hammondsport proper, 
Where Whos,Grinches, all sorts were
to gather together to sing and celebrate
to the audiences' delight most great. 

So, we had a performance of A Green Eggs and Hammondsport Christmas and now I am trying to find my brain (wherever I put it). This entry is late and I honestly don't even have anything new to report. I feel rather terrible about the obvious lack of progress, but it happens. it's Christmas and I am feeling good.

A few shots from the performance... 
Grinch, Cat in the Hat, and Max.

Thidwick the Big-Heated Moose, Fox in socks, Horton the Elephant, Sam I Am, cindy Lou Who, and Daisy Headed Maisie.
All the Whos and Such!

Yertle the Turtle and Turtles. 

Of course there's the obligatory car repairs. Grr!! My van is fixed (in one day), some small and stupid, yet highly important stuff needed. I also broke my glasses. I can't see without my glasses! Have an appointment on Thursday and currently my glasses look like this...

Gonna be a long week...
I have been auditioning for The Mousetrap these passed few days. The last night of auditions are tonight, and
then I cast the damn thing! I have a lot of awesome talent to pull from. And thankfully, Mousetrap doesn't gear up until January. There is a read thru later this week and one walk thru after Christmas and before New Years. I am really excited to be doing this, haven't directed since Charlotte's Web in 2012. It's Agatha Christie and Murder. Heh! Good times with the victims. um, I mean auditionee!  ~GRIN~

Overall, I am pretty happy, the H'port show went fantastic and the audience was receptive. We packed the church too. Now working on Christmas...there is always something, isn't there. :-)

Oh and Neil Gaiman is awesome...25 or so pages from finishing The Ocean at the End of the Lane!

A Round of Words in 80 Days, a blog challenge that knows you have a life. Go a visit the Blog Hop!

Christmas Song of the Day:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Snow and Lights!

Day off from everything! 

Am writing a bit and trying to organize things for the H'port Christmas Show on Saturday. We are in the middle of a northeaster and it is snowing, not as much as everyone expected, but snow nonetheless. Had to change plans and miss the Celtic Thunder concert tonight in Buffalo. Am bummed, but feel like I made the better choice. iI have time to get some stuff done and maybe relax a little. I have been a little stressed, more than I thought I was.

I can guess at why. Too much to do and not enough time, seems like I always get like this for Christmas, even when I am feeling joyous and cheerful. I have also been a little frustrated that I haven't set down to write anything new. Well, I did just finish a 30 minute (roughly) spell. It's a little Christmas story about a man to owns a Christmas Tree lot and is dealing with modern troubles. It's very random, but I found a bit more of the story, after I cooked and ate dinner. Meatballs and left over stuffing and smashed potatoes. Yum!

Bob rubbed his gloved hands together trying to keep the cold at bay, “It’s not like there’s a lot of money in Mercy nowadays, Mrs. Crabble. You know, they couldn’t even afford to get one of my trees for the town celebration. Or maybe they went with a Trees R Us tree. I don’t even know, haven’t been in town to see.”

“You should come over to Trees R Us, Barry. I’m telling you, they are so much better than these runty shrubs,” Mason raised his voice to cover the lot and the five customers.

“Are they real?” asked Barry who was now talking with Mason openly now.

“Guaranteed to not shed,” said Mason as he kicked Bob’s Blue Spruce trees. The needles feel off in clumps. Bob winced and blushed. The young mother with a small boy eyed the scene and had seen the Blue Spruce which had shed the most needles. It was one tree, but she walked over fingered the branch and several more needles fell off. She humphed and marched out of Bob’s lot, dragging the boy who was now crying because he wanted that Blue Spruce.

“But are they real?” asked Barry again.

Mason dodged the question as continued on the virtues of Trees R Us. Bob eyed Mason; sure he was deliberately trying to draw business away. He had the crowd’s attention, “Trees R Us trees come in every shade of colour.”

Update time...

This past week:
      *Reading: slowly reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman). It's really good and I want to adsorb all of it.
      *Writing: finished draft of H'port Xmas Show, well that was early this week. Wrote more on Christmas Trees, the working title of the story above. Not sure where it is going, but it's finding it's way.
      *Theatre: rehearsals for the H'port Xmas Show, call Green Eggs and Hammondsport Christmas is coming along. We have three more days or rehearsing before we perform this show one time and one time only. Crazy! It's the story of the Whos Christmas Star and everyone thinks the Grinch took it. It's a year after the Grinch's attempted theft of Christmas. Second story plot involves some runaway things and Horton, Cindy Lou Who, and Daisy Head Maisie trying to get them back. A fun little show! If you are in the area, you should stop by Saturday at 4:00 pm for the show.
      *Christmas: I got more lights...the house looks pretty, inside and out. I have pictures!! Tree and window lights...

Outside of House in Dark

Work in Progress:
       *Editing: well, I found my notes on The Audition, that's as far as I got. It's something. Next week I will have more time, even though Christmas will be nigh upon us.
       *Blogging: I am determined to blog on Friday, somehow!

The best part of A Round of Words in 80 Days, it know you have a life. Come and visit the Blog Hop!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Busy Sunday and Progress Was Made

Hello, Dear Readers!

I am a little behind and a touch overwhelmed. But, that's a normal state for me since the beginning of autumn.

With that being said, I am happy. I have my later afternoon coffee and my Yule Tunes. I braved the Sunday shoppers, something I am not terribly fond of. Something about crowds and spending money. It's not a Scrooge thing, but I always seem to think simply when December comes around.

So, I will give you my update and shorter as it is...

This past week:
    *Writing: finished the H'port Christmas show script. David's concept was chosen, Green Eggs and Hammondsport Christmas, using various Dr. Seuss and his characters and throwing in various songs. Basic plot centers around A Star Thief stealing the Who's Christmas Star. The Whos think the Grinch stole it, but this is a year after the BIG Christmas theft by the Grinch, he is reformed, so he sets out with Max and Cat in the Hat to find the star. I whole a big chunk of the dialogue and then David wrote the narration and filling out the dialogue.
           -Also have a story that I am working on tonight. It's been eating away at me for about a week now. that's next on the docket.
     *Theatre: working on getting sheet music and backing  tracks for the shoe mentioned above. Also organizing rehearsals, promotion, props, and costumes. Writer, Director, Producer, and Actor (but I have David and Sara sharing duties, many hands they says...). It's not really that bad, but when we do this show, which happens in a 2 week time span, everything feels nuts. Lake Country Improv performed Friday, good crowd, made a little money, made people laugh. So, was successful, seeing as we had a rotating audience as people came and went. But, it's our biggest audience on whole, about 40 or so, coming in and staying for a game or two, then leaving again. I feel good. Was about 2 hours straight of improv (with a break for the parade). Felt like a marathon.  Oh and working on audition material for my auditions next week, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. Show won't start rehearsing until January, so, after the last day of auditions (Tuesday, December 16th) I will get a break.
      *Reading: marathon read the last of Maddaddam (Margaret Atwood). At first I thought the third book was slow; the pacing of the first two were far more active, with new stuff coming at you constantly. Maddaddam was different as it was set in one place and focused more on two of the characters, Zeb and Toby. While nice, I felt the pacing slowed right down. And then WHAM the last third of the book picked up, making it really exciting. I enjoyed it and the whole series. Bittersweet end, but it worked. If you want something different, go read Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Maddaddam, Cork-Nut! :-)
      *Social Media/Visiting: Off and on. Missed yesterday, but I was sleeping and recovering from the marathon improv-o-ganza.
      *Chistmas prepping: shopping, decorating the house, thinking about baking cookies and breads (also the Xmas dinner - Roast Beast maybe?).

This Week:
      *Writing: try to squeeze some between the hours, even if it's just a poem or a blog. Something to keep the juices flowing.
      *Editing: time to take The Audition off the back burner and work on it. It's a re-write, but it's been slow cooking for a while and it's time to finish it. Also, I will be printing a copy of The Real Road Trip (my NaNoWriMo Novel) for editing in January, well, Round 1 of editing.
      *Reading: start The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman) and finish The Art of Asking (Amanda Palmer).
      *Theatre: See H'port Christmas Show above.

A Round of Words in 80 Days; a blog challenge that knows you have a life. Come and visit us at the Blog Hop.

So question time, Dear Readers! What do you feel about snow and the holidays? Do you like snow for Christmas/Holidays? Do you get snow? Or have a green holiday? I need some snow to complete the feel of the season. I grew up in Fredonia, NY, off of Lake Erie where Lake Effect is a state of being most winters. Don't get a lot of Lake Effect in Corning. And for that I'm thrilled, because I don't miss it, but I do miss having snow in December. I am still hoping for enough snow to make Christmas awesome. What about you?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday is...

It's a Wednesday, yes it is. And again, I seemed to have almost forgot about it. Almost because it's not 11:00 at night. So, that's good. NaNoWriMo has been done for a few days and I am waiting before I work on the revisions. I am still not sure how I am going to do it. I'm gotten some advice and watched some video blogs on the subject matter. Still not sure. I know i want to actually work on revising this sucker. I have worked too hard to not make a solid attempt at revising, rewriting, and then moving into the seek out publisher. I have a long way to go before then, but it's time to try it. I also have two other novels to do this with. Oy!

Anyway, today is really low key. I have been staying low key for the last couple of days.. It's December and I need to work on Christmas now. Funny each year I am living, I find that time passes much faster than when I was a kid. why is last, Dear Readers?

Time for the ROW80 check-in!

This Week:
     *Writing: This week I have been working on dialogue for the the KLP Xmas show that week put on every holiday season for Hammondport's Christmas in the Park. If you don't know where Hammondpsort, NY is, then you are missing out. A quaint little town in the Finger Lake Region of New York State, on the shores of Keuka Lake. It was voted America's "Coolest Small Town" in 2012. I do a bit of theatre up in this area.
     *Reading: finally moving on Maddaddam (Margaret Atwood), almost halfway.
    *Social Media/Visiting: I have returned to my daily goals. I went and visiting 8 blog yesterdays (for Monday and Tuesday).

To Work On (going to stick with three goals this week):
     *Editing: this has been pushed back constantly, because of other project. I am going to get to it before Round's End. I swear I will!
     *Blogging: 1 new blog this week (not counting ROW80 check-ins).
     *Goals: going to make the most of the rest of this Round.

Also, Round a Words is a Blog Challenge that knows you have a life. Check out the Blog Hop. See what we are all up to.

Still in my two weeks of theatre craziness. If I seem a bit befuddled, that would be why. I have a Christmas Tree up (alas don't have a picture to post, yet). I feel like I should be writing, Dear Readers. I have seen others comment on the NaNo withdrawal, other call it mourning, some are glad for the break. What are you up to post NaNo, pre-holidays, snow or no? Me, working on the shopping part, trying to get done before it get too late, getting yuletide cards on the mail, and other holiday prep work. Feeling cheerier than some, but also a little overwhelmed. No real happy medium this month it seems.

Ah well! Have a great week, Dear Readers!