Sparta's Worlds

The LiveJournal Page for PJ

NaNoWriMo and other thoughts
Lady Writing
sparta5
Part A:  I am participating in NaNo this year.  It is 11-5-12 - I have 50 words.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  But wow, what a crazy few days it has been.  I think I'll cut myself some slack, you know?  Besides, for me, NaNo this year isn't about the word count, it's about actually getting back to writing.

Something Depression has taken away from me for a long time.  

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Part B:  I saw Cloud Atlas with my hubby yesterday.  I loved it.  It is very cerebral, and thus, not everyone's cup of tea.  I think those who heard Wachowskis and thought "action movie" will be disappointed.  It's not that there isn't action, it's just the action is really not the point of the story.  I may work on a post to share my thoughts about what the point was, but I'm still digesting what I experienced for the moment.

It's been a long day's ... erm ... year?
Tired
sparta5
Actually more than a year since I posted here.  Yeesh!

I basically shifted life to Twitter - and I sometimes peek in on Facebook.  Blogging just sort of slid down, down, down the list, until I just noticed it was about to fall off.  LOL!  I wasn't sure I wanted that to happen, so I here I am.

I don't even know how many of you from my former friends list will still get this - or even read it - but here it is.  I am sending it out into the Interwebs like a message in a bottle to the ocean.  There are no guarantees.

So what has this past year+ looked like?  Chaos.  Last fall I pulled my youngest son from traditional school and re-enrolled him in the district's home study program.  My oldest is still attending the local high school - although they recently turned into a charter.  NOT a for-profit charter, thank goodness.  We are still accessing how it's working out, as they've just finished their first quarter.

I have had various health concerns, but the fog seems to be lifting - and answers materializing.  Finally.

And I've been depressed, to put it bluntly.  Dealing with a range of issues, along with my older son's learning problems and my homeschooling my youngest, took its toll on me.  I am seeing someone, lest anyone worry.

My writing, or artwork of any kind, pretty much screeched to a halt, as did my social life.  Not unexpected for someone who is depressed, but probably also not suprisingly, this has created some guilt on my part, and further contributed to my depression.

Layers and layers, eh?

But today is a new day, and I am being the best me I can be right now.

How is everyone else doing?

*winding rope and grapple hook*
Diana-n-Bow
sparta5
Hello!

Just climbed back up off the edge of the Earth here.  *whew*

I am really trying to get my house in order - both literally and figuratively.

It's been a loooong few months for me - for my family.

I think we're finally sorting it all out, though.  I hope we are - because I really don't want to go through another 6 months like the past 6 months have been.  Ugh.

On the good news front, however, I am getting back into acting (YAY!).  I have finished one class at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, and will be starting the second soon.  I am really enjoying it.

For now, I have kids home for the summer.

More later.....

~PJ~ 

Factlets About: Diving Horses
Diana-n-Bow
sparta5
Diving Horse I was looking through one of the vintage photo groups, when I came upon a picture (not this one) of a horse and rider making a dive.

This was not a big surprise to me; I had known about these shows, but I had forgotten I knew - if that makes any sense.

So I decided to go looking for information on these shows, the horses and their riders.

Here is a bit of what I discovered:

Horse diving gained popularity in the mid-1880s.  The legend goes that it was conceived by a man named William "Doc" Carver after he and his horse fell off/through a bridge into a river below.

Training began, and soon "Doc" had a show.  In 1924, his daughter-in-law, Sonora Webster Carver joined, and became quite the attraction.  She and the show became permanent fixtures at Atlantic City's Steel Pier.  Sonora was blinded when a dive went badly and she hit the water with her eyes open.  Even blind, she continued to dive.

The platforms themselves were 30-60 feet above the water.  And as for the horses, there have been allegations that prods and trap doors were used to get nervous horses to dive anyway.  Some reports say horses dove four times a day - seven days a week.  Some believe that's exaggerated.  The riders were all women (from what I can find) and many suffered broken limbs - especially those whose horses would twist during the dive, landing partly or mostly sideways.  There were a few horses who would not wait for their riders, charging up the ramps and off the edge before the women could hop on.

The horse diving at Steel Pier stopped completely in 1978; popularity of the attractions had been waning since 1942.  Partially because of changes in peoples' tastes and partially because of rumors/allegations of animal cruelty.

Have any of you witnessed a horse diving?  I haven't, and I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.  On the one hand - wow!  A horse that will dive!  and on the other - That's crazy!  That poor horse!

What do you think?

Lost: One Mega Book Wish List
books
sparta5
So I had a list.

It was a great list.

It was a listing of all the books coming out in 2010 and 2011 that I wanted - SF/F and otherwise.

That list is now gone.  :(  It wasn't a paper list - it was on my computer.  I have looked up the filename I remember it being; I looked up filenames it might be; I looked up names I seriously doubted I would use.  All to no avail.

So - if you would - could you in comments list any books you know of [whether your own or not ;-) ] that came out this year or will be coming out next year?  Sure, I can dig through page after page at Google, but personal recommendations/notations are best.

Lots of love,

~PJ~


P.S.  For those who have read her, which titles by Georgette Heyer should I add to this list?

Visual Update: Hiro and Pepper
Photos
sparta5
Hiro and Pepper are both a little over a year old now - and it occurred to me that I haven't posted their pictures in a while.  So here you go:

Hiro (Orange Tabby) and Pepper (Gray)

Walking Adventure #248: Rupert
Panic
sparta5
On my walk today, I saved a puppy from getting run over.

Wow.  It's really strange to type that.  But I did.  There was this puppy that was just getting ready to bolt across the street, and there was a car coming, and it was obvious that the driver didn't see it.  So waving my arms to make sure he or she saw me, I darted into the street, scooped up the puppy, and jumped back to the safety of the sidewalk.  The driver did slow down before the last minute, but if I hadn't been there, that little puppy would have been hit for sure.  The driver did not, however, stop.  I suppose he figured - no one got hurt, so no reason to at least slow, roll down the window, and say sorry.  Granted it wasn't my dog, but he or she didn't know that.  And I didn't get a license plate, and the problem is it was a silver Generi-box type car.  :(  I was more worried about the dog, to be honest.

So once the both of us stopped shaking ... well, okay, once I stopped shaking ... I found the number on the dog's tag and called Rupert's family.  It was an elderly couple who didn't know he was out and were very, very grateful.  They adopted Rupert a month ago from a place called Muttville, which "Let's old people like us adopt older dogs," as the gentleman told me.  He said they'd become pretty attached to him and didn't know what they'd have done if anything had happened to him.  

I was glad that they patted my shoulder and went on toward home when they did because I was about to cry.  

I guess my icon for this post isn't really accurate because I didn't panic - I don't think I really thought about it - I just did it.

I've been thinking about it since I got home though.  The hubby says I deserve to reward myself with some ice cream - and so I shall....

Update: Oh, so this is what crazy feels like....or how I've learned to like phase drafting.
Lady Writing
sparta5
Things are amok.

My garage is stacked full of boxes and stuff. There are stacks and piles of books and toys. Neatly arranged, but still not put away. And there is no way I can use my desk for anything.

And yet, in this cauldron of chaos that is my home life right now, I stumbled onto something. It began innocently enough with my following a link to an article about archaeology and ended with my starting the draft of a new WIP (please don't string me up, Crit Group! LOL!). Along the way, I hit other highlights, and took a nice lengthy stop at an article on phase drafting by Lazette Gifford.

Now, I know this article has been making its rounds through the Internet's various writing communities (again), so you may have already seen this.  I had tried something similar myself a couple of years ago - but something in Lazette's article just clicked, and before I knew it, I had the first 67 phases of a new WIP.  Plot and sub-plots are just weaving themselves together.  As I finish one, the next phase just becomes obvious.  It's kind of amazing.  Especially for me, who has typically been a seat-of-my-pants kind of writer that has not done as well with outlines, line per scenes, and so on.

Now, I don't imagine I'll be writing 10k words a day like Lazette states she was able to do, but I am hopeful that this pseudo-writing method of phase drafting is going to help me move over my writing slump and into a first draft.

And that means sub'ing to my group again, which makes me so happy I can't really express it here.

It's amazing what a little chaos can do.

Question for the Internets
Diana-n-Bow
sparta5
Does anyone remember the name of an older t.v. show - say before 1986 or so - that involved time travel and a Toyota mini-van. It's not Ark II, but something else. ETA: It might also have been dimensional travel.

Thanks.

I need to post a real update soon - things have just been totally off-kilter since the move.

~PJ~

I respectfully disagree....
Lady Writing
sparta5
H.P. Lovecraft?! Really?

I mean, H.P. had dialogue issues - and most people tell me I do dialogue well. Hmmm - perhaps another sample reading is in order.....



I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

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