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Story is my joy

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:02:38 +0000


NaNoWriMo 2017 Kickoff at Midnight

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 06:11:00 +0000

NaNoWriMo 2017
For the last three presidential election years my NaNo novel has been set in a mobile homes park named Hope Estates featuring residents whose lives are impacted by current events.  . First Mobile Hopes 2008 then Occupy Hope 2012 and then Living Hope 2016.

Since my head has remained enveloped in last year's election cycle and storytelling is my way making sense of things, I'm walking my Hope Estates characters through the last year with Trumping Hope. (That's a triple entendre BTW)

Economic, racial and gender issues will continue to be showcased but also (for obvious reasons} abuse of power, including the subject of the viral Twitter #MeToo and bullying in its many manifestations will have equal place.  And as always of course--hope!

I'm hoping that I can channel all the angst overwhelming me since mid-summer 2016 into this storyworld and maybe make some kind of sense out of it that will help me make sense out of my own life, giving me back the hope necessary for coping with my own daily challenges.

My Brain on Books XIX

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 11:44:00 +0000

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don't require a separate post..   jOde to Deweyby Joy Reneevote, fav and share for DeweyWe Miss You Dewey4:44AM - Wrapping up. Amazingly I going to make it. 40 hrs awake and counting.In spite of that I read three books start to finish in one day.  It has been years since I've done that.  Two were audio's from the BARD digital library.. The last was via the text to speech function on  my Zen 7in tablet. In all three I increased speed by 25-50% which shaved  30-40 minutes off every three hours.I began with Night Errands as mentioned below then:And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick BackmanAristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington: Understanding Political Doublespeak Through Philosophy and Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel KleinFirst time in decades that I've read three whole books in one day.  Audio is quite a different experience tho and I wouldn't reccomend speed listening to fiction or poetry.  Non Fic works fine sped up tho.  In fact I seem to listen better--comprehend and stay focused.  Wonder if that is another Autism trait...It's like maybe there is too much time for my mind to wander between words when speech is at normal speed.yikes!  it took me an hour to prep this update. It's now quarter to six. 42 hrs awake.10:00PM - Finally finished Night Errands. Now I'm itching to pick up a pencil and write a poem.Thot it would be done by early afternoon but stuff happened.  People stuff.  Then when I got back into the thon I started visiting the Dewey page and social media #readathon.and lurked. Made a few posts which I thot would take me three minutes but took me thirty at least.  Each.  After such a long hiatus (basically nothing but the thons and NaNo for over a year) Im clumsy and clueless.  Lost. Because someone's been moving the furniture around, changing the rules. Facebook is the worst of the bunch. On my fb Joystory page there is so much clutter. Bad enough for someone with good or half good vision. Which isn't me.  Some of it seems to be links to instructions on the new features but today is not the day to deal with that.  But the really irritating stuff is all the soliciting for money to boost posts, buy visits, link love, ads etc.I can not afford it;  Just a fact.  But every time I see one my mind plays the mini-movie of me saying no to some eager entrepreneur who won't take no for an answer until he perceives the shame his persistence engenders in me and his eager welcome turns to disdain.  And I feel like a loser.That's the way my story-making mind works.  It takes anticipated and remembered social encounters, makes a mish-mash of them gives them the soundtrack of anxiety (think Jaws) and plays them in endless loops. It's like I've been trapped in middle-school for fifty years!  I stand before every adult--even those forty years younger as a sixth grader with empty hands before the teacher gathering up the test papers at the end of classAwake or asleep I can't get away from it. Except by imposing another story--a movie, novel, poem made by another or my own elaborate storyworldWhy does fb have to be so in your face?  Other pl[...]

My Brain on Books XVIII

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:19:00 +0000

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don'e require a separate post..   Ode to Deweyby Joy Reneevote, fav and share for DeweyWe Miss You Dewey4:00AM (Sunday) - last hour.  After posting the 10PM update I spent the next several hours browsing among my ebook libraries on my various devises, flitting from book to book like a butterfly with ADD.  Then sometime after midnight I settled down with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on my Switch tabet which has just informed me its battery is at 5%.  The charger is in by the bed and its much easier take it in there to plug it in then to get to the powerstrip to unplug the cord and bring it back to the office.  So I'm wrapping up here with a final update before taking my Switch, Kindle and LOC Talking Book machine to bed for the final hour.  I've got Joyce Carol Oates story collection, High Lonesome, on Talking Books and with the way my eyes are burning and itching that is appealing to me the most right now.  Tho the hilarity of Hitchhiker is more appealing as a bedtime story than the heart harrowing of an Oates short story.  I'll decide once I'm settled.Anybody out there a Hitchhiker of the Galaxy fan?  I was hooked after four chapters.  Now in chapter 12.  That Zaphod B.  What a hoot!  Am I the only one who visualizes him as a certain American 'billionaire' with flyaway hair and a penchant for towers?10:00PM - I just finished Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  I had started it a couple months ago, read over half of it over two days and somehow let it drop off my radar.  I decided to return to it and finish it before I settled in with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which I'd started last month.  I thought it would take me a couple more hours, but when I tried to start in where I'd left off I was lost .  I tried backing up--from the 67% mark to the 50% mark to the 45% mark.  It was starting to come back to me but it was't the same experience I remembered from the day it had kept me mesmerized for hours in February. So I started over.  And for the first time in a very long time I read a whole book in a single day.  I never get to enter my books in the database for the thon because I never both start and finish them on thon day.  Today I will.5:00AM -  Possibly for the first time I gave sleep the night before the priority and did not prep this post to publish on the dot of 5AM. I set my alarm for 4AM to give me time to get my eyes open, coffee made and this post prepped.  But I kept hitting snooze.  So now I'll be spending the first hour doing all of that and the opening meme.Intro Meme:1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?Longview, Washington USA.  On the north side of the majestic Columbia River approximately 25 miles from the coast and 50 miles from Portland, Oregon as the crow flies.From my Mom's house.  The house I lived in from age 18 to 21 and again since January 2013.  See earliest posts under the label Lifequake for explanation.2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?For fiction: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- All of Douglas Adams' Hi[...]

ROW80 2016 Round 4 Goals

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 05:23:00 +0000

The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life
Back from an 11 month writing hiatus.  Got Life Hacked.  Outer chaos ginned up inner chaos and created a feedback loop.

The start of NaNo was the impetus I needed to jump back in.  I kinda knew if I ditched NaNo the fact of a first miss since 2004 would ditch my morale so that it might be months or years before I found the motivation again.

Because I jumped into NaNo Monday night, I decided I should also join ROW80 even tho its a month late for Round 4.  I need the motivation and accountability only a group can provide.  It also provides the incentive to keep going after November 30.

For my goals I'm going with what I set up for Round 1 in January (which I dropped out of before the end of the month) with a few tweaks for NaNo.

My Round 4 intentions: seek to regain my joy/Joy in writing and to prepare the soil for its blooming with these time investment goals:
  • Storydreaming 15min Daily 
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily 
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily 
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily 
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily 
  • Blog post Writing/Editing. 15-60min Daily. (this is also a boundary.  60min max even if that means the post isn't ready to publish.  No more pressuring myself to post daily even if it means spending 2, 4, 6 hours and upwards getting it prepped.
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc)
  • Fiddling in my Fiction Files.  30min Daily (includes editing WIP, outlining, character sketches, editing, adding/subtracting, and organizing info in WIP note files. 30min Daily
  •  Scene Writing. 500 words or 30min Daily whichever comes first.  (for November that means my NaNo Novel, Living Hope.  And I will have to step it up if I hope to keep my NaNo winning streak.  But I know I can't come back from an 11mo writing hiatus and require myself to maintain a 1666 word pace.
Current Joy Meter: under 50% 

NaNoWriMo 2016

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 06:11:00 +0000

NaNoWriMo 2016
I waited until the last minute to commit.  I've been on an unintentional writing hiatus since last January.  Well not zero writing but so little and so infrequent as to rank as negligible.  So the thought of a 50,000 words of fiction in 30 days challenge was nearly too intimidating to think about.  But the thought of missing my first NaNo since 2004 was too demoralizing.

Apparently morale trumped fear.  Or rather fear of a tanking morale trumped performance fear.

Two hours before the midnight kickoff I still had not settled on the story.  But then a fresh memory from earlier today when I entered the county courthouse to register to vote on the last possible day to do so here in Washington state, reminded me that this was a presidential election year and for the 2008 and 2012 election years my NaNo Novel was set in a mobile homes park named Hope Estates featuring residents whose lives were impacted by the 2008 economic bust with the election cycle running as a backdrop.

First Mobile Hopes then Occupy Hope and now Living Hope

Because the premise, setting and most of the characters are already established and the story's current events are dictated by our current events most of the prep work is already done.  That makes hope of actually winning again this year less laughable than it was yesterday at this time.

So off to the flying finger races.

My Brain on Books XVII

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 11:44:00 +0000

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004 and will again next month.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges unless required to have a separate post..   Ode to Deweyby Joy Reneevote, fav and share for DeweyWe Miss You Dewey1:44 AM - Just finished Against All Things Ending, the penultimate book in Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant Unbeliever series of series.  Two trilogies published in the late 70s and early 80s followed by a four book series in the early 2000s.  I read the first book Lord Foul's Bane in 1979 and by 85 had read all six of the two trilogies. When the first book of the Final Chronicles came out in 2002 (or at least when I became aware of it) I decided to wait until the whole series was complete to start it but not until I'd reread the first two.  The last book came out in 2013 I believe so in late 2013 I started reading Lord Foul's Bane.  Did not get far before life interrupted me and by the time I got back to it in late 2014 I had to start over.By then I'd conceived the idea of making the Covenant series an integral aspect of one of my character's character with the themes in this epic fantasy reflected in his life and him making sense of his life by viewing it through the lens of the story's events, symbols and metaphors.So the rereading of the first six books and the reading of the last four became a project requiring me to read slow while trying to embody Greg from Blow Me a Candy Kiss, while musing and meditating, highlighting and note taking and looking for ways to weave relevant elements of Donaldson's story throughout my own.I was working on the final book of the second trilogy for April's Thon and am still hoping to at least begin the fourth and final book before this Thon ends.  I must confess that this afternoon out of frustration with the epub ap on my Kindle balking every time I tried to highlight, I finally gave up and read the last hundred pages without highlighting or note taking.  The relief made me regret having ignored my first inclination to set aside project mode for the first read-thru of the series.I may just do that for the final book as chance are I will have to start over from the beginning anyway as all my notes and highlights for the first 7.5 books are trapped on my Nexus 7 which stopped taking a charge in August and I have yet to get it to a technician to see if it can be repaired or the data rescued.11:55 - The last couple of hours have been a rough patch for me and it is hardly surprising since I hit my 24 hour awake mark at 2pm this afternoon.  It will be a miracle if I make it to 5AM PCT.Around 10 it became increasingly difficult to keep my eyes open and I kept finding myself reading the same screen over and over.  Sometime due to not realizing that the screen tap had not advanced the text but most times because I was not processing the text.  I briefly considered packing it in early but decided instead to take a break and get active.It was then that I truly regretted not getting my mini-tramp unburied befor the thon.  The mini-tramp has been an integral part of my thons since I got it in 2008.  But this year there was a pile of bagged crochet projec[...]

Sunday Serenity -- Celebrating a Life

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 06:33:00 +0000

Bernie Altman with Marciahis wife of 69 yearsLongview lost one of its heroes last month--one of my heroes--and yesterday I attended the Celebration of a Life service held at the Kelso High gymnasium in Kelso WA. A forum necessary to accommodate the size of the crowd turning out to honor this man whose heart was bigger than any I've ever encountered before or since.Bernie Altman, advocate and teacher, dies at 92 | Local | 'via Blog this'Bernard Altman (May 9, 1924-September 8, 2016) was born and raised in New York City and met and married his wife Marcia while they were both teaching at a four teacher school in a small Montana town.  They moved to Kelso where he taught history and government at Huntington Jr. High until his retirement in 1976.  Close to a third of the attendees yesterday stood up to identify as former students when asked.  A remarkable indicator of the positive influence on lives in our community which he wielded.But that was just the tip of the iceberg because he didn't conduct himself as a typical retiree--sun and surf and RV vacations, TV game show marathons and recliner snoozing?  No!  He would have none of that.  He set out to make his retirement years as significant and as time and energy intensive as his three decades of teaching.  He became a political activist and an advocate for social justice and those in dire straights.  Especially those unable to advocate for themselves--the mentally ill and their families, senior citizens, the disabled and the homeless.I'll refer you to the obituary for the details of his advocacy work--the organizations, committees, support groups, newsletters, conferences etc.It was in his capacity as organizer and moderator of a support group for depression and anxiety sufferers that I met him in the late 90s and learned to admire him and care for him and Marcia as deeply as any of my grandparents.  For nearly a year of the several that I attended that weekly group he and Marcia picked me up and delivered me back home.  Both to take that burden off my parents and to encourage me to participate more openly with the group as it was his insight that their presence was inhibiting me.It was Bernie's words early in my attendance of the group that lifted the burden of shame I'd carried for decades over this dark nemesis that had plagued me since my pre-teens.  He called it a disease that, like diabetes, was a chemical imbalance that left untreated was likely to be fatal.  Those words probably saved my life. He also said that, in spite of popular opinion, depression was no more of a character flaw than diabetes or a broken leg.  Because of this I was eventually able to seek professional help.  One of my regrets now is that I never got around to contacting Bernie last year to let him know that I'd finally gotten the definitive diagnosis that had so eluded the many professionals I'd encountered over five decades--high functioning autism aka Aspberger's Syndrome.At the time I bid farewell to the group when my husband got the Silicon Valley job in 1999, Bernie expressed his pleasure and pride in me for how far I'd come since the beginning.  A few weeks before that he'd demonstrated his belief and confidence in me by turning the duties of moderator over to me for one of the rare occasions he could not attend.  That contributed significantly to a sense of personal competence that carried me through the month that I had to live alone to pack up and close down our house while Ed was in California starting his new job and preparing for my arrival.  Something I could not have come close to accomplishing three years earlier.Bernie was also the first--and still only--editor to accept and publish one of my poems.  He was for some years the editor of a special senior citizen newsletter insert for the Longview Daily News and the poem he[...]

My Brain on Books XVI

Sat, 23 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +0000

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004 and will again next month.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges unless required to have a separate post..   Be sure to scroll to bottom of this post for advice on how to ward off those scary nap attacks. You won't be sorry.Ode to Deweyby Joy Reneevote, fav and share for DeweyWe Miss You Dewey10:00 PM - This day did not go as I planned.  And no matter how flexible I tried to be about it, adjusting my plans and expectations, events would NOT cooperate. Don't want to waste anymore reading time giving the play by play so suffice it to say it involved malfunctions.  Many, many malfunctions--of the connection, of the clumsy fingers, of the eyes, of the tent door, of the sky, of the memory, of the wardrobe...Well, I guess the sky was functioning within normal April parameters and it wasn't its fault the tent door had lost its defenses.The story I started to tell here promised to be a bit of a hoot but I could tell it would take me the rest of the thon to do it right so I cut it out and pasted it into a new post.  Watch for it sometime this week.  I can't promise it for Sunday or Monday--tho I may surprise myself--as I'll be in the throes of a Thon hangover.  No I'm not drinking alcoholic beverages.  It's the fact that I did not sleep the night before the thon started so I passed my 24 hour awake mark at about 10 AM.  Which could explain a whole lot of the malfunctions related to memory, clumsiness, staying on task, OCD and ADD moments and such.Well, I'm going to post this update and then settle in with a book until my eyes or my consciousness gives out.  My husband's asleep, the kids in the treehouse next door are asleep and their parents have banked the campfire and taken their murmurs and chuckles inside.  The sky is behaving itself and I've got a good hour before I'm forced by nature to fuss with the malfunctioning tent zippers and make the trek up to the house.I'll probably make only one more update--the wrapup and I can't promise it will be before I sleep.  I want to devote as much as possible of the remaining time to reading.5:00 AM - Good morning fellow thoners.I'm going to be reading on a theme today: Reading about reading.  Like Jane Smiley's 13 Ways of Looking At a Novel, Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer, and Mortimer J. Adler's How to Read a Book to name just a few of such titles I have at hand.I'm not limiting myself to that tho.  I'll also be spending time with a stack of library books recently checked out--browsing in them for the most part unless one of them reels me in for longer.  That is my way with a new stack of library books.I will also be reading the third book in the second Thomas Covenant trilogy by Stephen R. Donaldson, White-Gold Wielder.  I began the re-read of these high-fantasy novels over a year ago as a project related to a story I'm writing in which reading the trilogies together played a big role in a young couple's courtship and throughout their marriage creating shorthand references in their communication.  I need to re-read them especially as a way[...]

On the Move

Sun, 03 Jan 2016 07:55:00 +0000

Crocheted Headband and Hairbow Set This headband and hairbow set is two of the thirteen fiber art WIP I've finished in the last two weeks.  See my albums on fb (WWF and Crafty WIP)  I'll probably bring most of those photos into upcoming posts but by then the fb albums will have new stuff as I've taken to posting my current craft endeavors to share with my crafty cousins.Today we had a family gathering at my brother's house in Portland OR to celebrate our Mom's 84th birthday.  Tomorrow is her actual birthday so I'll save pics of her and the gifts for tomorrow's Sunday Serenity post.Tonight I'll share the three fiber art WIP I worked on today.Crocheted Belt to  Go with Headband and HairbowThis is the belt made with the same yarn and same stitch pattern as the headband and hairbow I finished the other day.  it is now 30 inches long.  it will need at least another ten for a buckle belt and another twenty for a tie belt.  Which one it becomes may depend on how the yarn holds out.  The ball is shrinking fast..I worked on this for the hour or so we waited for dinner to be served.  I worked on it a bit turning the game of Telephone Pictionary we played but put it away when I realized I would need to start measuring it frequently from that point on.A Crocheted Granny Octogon Slouch Hat (maybe)I ws working on this one in the car on the way to Portland. About an hour's ride door to door.  I'd put half a row of white in before realizing that I'd left off last week at the spot wher I change color.  So I took out the white and started working with the pink.  I didn't wind the white back onto it cake, thinking that since I was sitting in one place in the car I should be able to put in the row of pink and then switch back to the white and use up all the loose white well before we arrived.  But I was having issues with sun glare.  I kept making mistakes and having to take out an average of half of all the stitches I put in.Then less than a third of a row around I discovered that the pink thread had been dragging up globs of the loose white loops and there was a snarl forming.  I spent the rest of the drive and about twenty more minutes sitting in the car in their driveway before I was able to get the yarn gathered up in such a way it wouldn't get worse if handled carefully.  Needless to say I left that project in the car.I'm not sure what it is.  I started out with the concept of making a granny square slouch hat.  But when I put in the second row I put the six stitch set in all of the chain spaces of row one.  Instead of taking it out I decided to see what a granny octagon would look like.Well after row five it already had a significant ripple so I started decreacing by skipping the chain space in the middle of each side.  After three rows of this it was starting to lay flatter again but it was also pulling the middles into Vs making the octagon into an eight-pointed star.  I kinda liked that lookOn the pink row I'm now working I have stopped decreasing and in fact increasing by the granny square rules.  I'm sure it will start rippling again in two or three rows.  I'm thinking the ripples will look fine on a sluch hat tho so I'm strongly leaning that way.It took me an hour to get the snarl out after I got home last night.Crocheted Infinity ScarfThis was the one I worked on the longest from the lateafternoon through the late evening when we left my brother's home in Portland where we'd been celebrating Mom's 84th birthday.This is an infinity scarf I'm crocheting for myself from a lace weight merrino wool and silk blend with a metalic thread.  Handpainted in shades of teal.  The pattern is puff stitches joined with chain loops.  I started out following a stitch pattern called ZigZag Puffs bu[...]

Putting the 'MOVE' in 2016

Sat, 02 Jan 2016 05:52:00 +0000

Peacock--the symbol of 'joy' in India.This is my third year participating in One Word, an alternative to New Year's resolutions.  I kept 2014's word thru 2015 mostly because 2013 was more than half gone when I signed up but also because I felt I still needed so much work on that issue.  The same is true now so I was tempted to stick with 'joy' for another year.  But I decided instead to find a word to focus on that contributes to or is a component of 'joy' for me.  As of late last this week I'd narrowed it down to a handful of possibilities: accomplish, spontaneity, passion, breathe, belong and home.While talking via vid chat with my husand the other day he asked if he could make a suggestion.  There was a word, he said that fit the criteria of being a component/contributer to 'joy' in his opinion and it was something he wants to encourage me to include in my life plus it could be said to subsume all six of my possible words:One Word 365MOVEaccomplish = move toward my goalsspontaneity = move on a whimbreathe = moving air in and out of my lungs via exercise or meditationpassion = the energizing emotion that 'moves' one to act on desiresbelong = to acquire my longed for sense of 'belonging' requires me to move out of my comfort zonehome = to move back 'home' which is not a building but wherever my husband is and to live with him and be homemakers together again that is my top priority for the year as it has been for two years running.I will be doing a followup post or posts to explain the meaninfulness of each of those six words.  But one more thing I can say that is true of each of them (besides contribuing to 'joy' and involving some kind of movement) is that they each represent a particular challenge related to how the autism spectrum manifests in me. My diagnosis in September has been both disconcerting and a relief.  Why it was disconcerting is probably obvious--it would throw any fifty-something for a loop.  But a relief?  well after several months of reading, research and processing of information and emotions I realized that so many of my shortcomings are not character flaws, were never about will power.  Many otheres were imaginary based on unrealistic images of unattainable perfection.  And yet others were never shortcomings in the first place.Now that I've had time to process the diagnosis I'm starting to sense a direction in which to move in order to accommodate this reality.  I'm hoping that means I will be ready to blog more regulary again.  And not just about autism/Aspberger's but about all the things I used to blog about: reading, writing, research, videos, music, fiber art, crafts, LOLs, ideas, spiritual path and Joy's story.  And let's not forget words!Best Boyby Eli GottliebMy first book of the year i Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb.  it was one of the titles that came up when I put autism in a search box.  It was one of the few novels I found that way and I'm very interested in seeing how autism is represented in fiction.I've not finished it yet so this is not a review and I'm adding this commentary as a post script to this post because of the 'First Book of the Year' meme at Sheila's Book Journey.  A bit of a last minute thing as it isn't even still January 1st where Shelia lives.I also added it to this post instead of in a separate post because images from the story kept intruding as I was writing about 'move' above.  I realized that the narrator/protagonist in Best Boy, a man in his fifties who'd been committed to an institution at age 11 after his autism diagnosis, had been on the move from page one.  He was moving both physically and emotionally, including in both cases outside his comfort zones.  He was moving into new social circles and he even moved off the comp[...]

All Out of Words

Tue, 01 Dec 2015 06:27:00 +0000

NaNoWriMo Win 2015

I'm all out of words.

Plus I was supposed ot be packing for trip home.  And spend last evening with Ed.

Questionable priorities.

Yeah. I Know. I Know. Finish Something Already!

Tue, 17 Nov 2015 04:34:00 +0000

Scarf Crocheted with Diversity Yarn
 This Diversity brand yarn has an elastisity to it and they call it memory yarn.  I ti lace weight and soft enough for baby  blankets.  This is another of the yarns I got on my 2014 birthday shopping spree.  I began this scarf for myself in January.  Had hoped to have it done before it was too warm to wear it last spring.  Ha.

I decided i wanted a hat to go with the scarf but wasn't sure one skein could do both so I tried to find more online.  Could not find the Zebra but I did find this:

And these are the colors of somebody on my list so I got it.  I'm winding it into a cake on my winder tonight and hpe to start a scarf tomorrow.

Yeah.  I know.  I know.  Finish something already.

Sunday Serenity -- Crocheted Infinity Scarf

Mon, 16 Nov 2015 04:59:00 +0000

Croheted Infinity Scarf
Lace weight wool, silk blend with silver thread.  Handpainted
Last month when I finally got the 400 yard snarl out of this yarn I targeted my birthday for finishing this scarf.  This picture was taken a month ago and I've added another couple inches to the width but I'm still at least a quarter out from done.  I would have finished it if I'd not spent the last ten days working on snarls in three other projects.

This was one of my finds on my birthday excursion to La Favorites in Kelso WA last year.

Well maybe I can be wearing this by Thanksgiving.

Drama! Drama! Everywhere But On My Novel's Page

Sun, 15 Nov 2015 07:47:00 +0000

WhizFolder Delux NaNoWriMo 2015 FileA Round of Words in 80 DaysRound 4 2015The writing challenge that knows you have a lifeROW80 Check-InIt seems like every year around the time NaNo starts some kind of drama in my personal life or someone who's part of my daily life heats up to a boil and there doesn't seem to be room on the stovetop in my brain for my novel as well.  This time the drama is mine and had my thoughts in a froth.  My fingers were flying to keep up with them--in journaling, email and texting. After two or three days of this I decided to do a wordcount on the words generated around this personal dram and found I was having no problem at all making daily quota...and more.If only it were in my NaNoWriMo file.  And that's when I decided to abandon my planned novel and transfer all these words already generated into the file and continue to transcribe the events as they unfold, muse on them, add backstory, try to access other POV and give myself free reign to novelize an see where it might go.  I'm sure it will be too autobiographical to publish but it will still be a good exercise.  It will give me the space to tell myself a story that might help me make sense of what feels like chaos at the moment.Meanwhile I didn't move the other story out of the file.  If the personal drama returns to a simmer and allows the Funny Bunny story to share the stovetop again I'll return to it.  Who knows I might be able to weave the two toegether in some way.  That's one of the things I'm so good at--bringing characters from one story on stage in another in ways in which their stories enhance each other.  That's how I ended up with one storyworld that's generated over 100 major characters and at least 16 novel lenth WIP and that many twice over in shorter WIP.Having made that decision and then watched the words swarm like African ants over screen after screen I'm even starting to feel a true pleasure in the writing again.  Something major broke loose.I'm still a bit hit and miss on my ROW80 goals:Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15min Daily -- hmm. Depends on whether I can count the time spent obsession on the personal drama...Read/Study Craft 15min Daily Average -- Again sadly under par.  A couple days each week.  My reading has become consumed by the autism spectrum theme since my diagnosis in September.7.5 hours of sleep daily --  the last two years have taught me the importance of this for keeping my anxiety low and energy high, weight down and creativity sustainable -- Fail!  This devolved from adequate before November 4.  I slept little in the first and second week of November.  Was awake from 9am Tuesday Nov 3 until at least midnight Wednesday.  Slept about 9 hours and was awake until the wee hours of Saturday.  Got back on schedule through Monday morning and then was awake until Tuesday night.  Slept about twelve hours, waking around 9am on the 11th and then did not sleep again until 4:30 this morning Saturday, the 14th and am still awkae in the wee hours of Sunday morning as I write this.Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily  -- I know it is crucial to health.  Both physical and mental.  And most especially creativity.  Yet I struggle to make it happen.  It is one of my Asperger traits to hate change and that includes switching from one activity to another.  I spend way too many of my waking hours sitting in my desk chair either at the computer or the craft table.  Switching between those is a matter of scooting a foot and swiveling about 80 degrees.  Swiveling another 45, standing up and taking two st[...]

Birthday Boots and Sisterhood

Sat, 14 Nov 2015 07:43:00 +0000

Keen Boots
My sister, Carri, took me shoe shopping for my birthday.  It was part one of the shopping excursion I asked for.  Part two will be for clothes.  Both are needed because my entire wardrobe except for a handful of items are one to two sizes too big for me.

She took me to a high-qualit shop in the Portland area first and I thought it would be primarily for fun--in store window shopping.  But two hours later I walked out of there with these boots on my feet.

I'd never paid a 3 figure price for shoes in my 58 years! I'm still feeling a bit weird about it.

After we left the shoe store we stopped to pick up a take and bake pizza--artichoke hearts/bacon/cheese--and headed over to our sister Jamie's apartment where she left me while she went to a Christian rock concert.  Jamie and I polished off that pizza as we visited together for the first time in months;

All in all a good birthday which kept my lucky Friday the 13th birthday streak unbroken.

Joy's Needled

Thu, 12 Nov 2015 07:54:00 +0000

Problem Solved?  Such a Small SolutionJig Pro hollow ended needle for paracord and leather lacesThe Joy's plaque I'm needlepointing to be mounted on a bag above where it already says: Getting Things Done, has been languishing for want of a needle.  A needle of a kind I wasn't sure existed.I was picturing something hollow on one end and with a dull point on the other and some way of securing the end of the cord in the hollow end. And slim enough to fit through the plastic mesh without breaking it.  I also pictured it with a tiny clamp or pincer instead of hollow but couldn't picture how that could be made not to snag the cord.  So hollow was better but I couldn't picture how the cord could be secured.  Turns out screw threads are the solution.  And to make the cord grippable you melt the end first..  I didn't need to do that as it acquired a good grip onto the end I'd treated with Fray-check.--a kind of chemical melt I suppose.I found it in leather-working supplies on Amazon.  I wasn't positive it was small enough because my eyes were not able to judge the measurement of the mesh hole and there was nobody around to do it for me so I took a gamble thinking that it was so close the canvas with the larger mesh would work with the needle on future projects.Why do I need such a bizarre sounding needle?  The paracord is too thick to go thru the mesh doubled over in the eye of a needle.  Besides needle eyes big enough to hold the cord are already too big to go through the mesh holes. I had resorted to fraying the end of the cord and then painting it with fray-check and twisting it into a point as it dried.  This worked.  Sorta.  But it was slow going. Like threading a cooked spaghetti noodle through a bead.But it did work OK as long as there was just one strand occupying the hole.  When trying to put the strand through the hole already occupied by the stitch in the neighboring row tho the fray-check coat on the point began to loose its stiffness and without that it was like trying to push a worm through a straw.The new needle works exactly as I imagined and it fits the empty hole.  But when I push it through the already occupied hole I must be very careful to go exactly straight as any pressure toward the side will break the mesh.  So far it only happened once and I managed to repair it by wrapping thread several times around the mesh bars on either side of the gap to replace the missing bar.  I hope that doesn't happen very often as it is a pain'I would send for another hollow ended needle in a size smaller except I'm pretty sure the specs on this one said it was the smallest.The brand of the needle was Jig Prol  It seems a very fine quality of metal with nothing on the surface that could snag the paracord.  What impressed me most about Jig Pro so far tho was that of the three different brands selling leather working needles that I ordered from in the same order they were the only one whose method of shipping made sense to me;  But that was probably because Jig Pro itself was supplying whereas the other two orders were being supplied by Amazon.  Amazon sent one needle set in the same box along with a couple other items in my order but I almost missed it as it had slid under the flap on the bottom.  The other one was in a box the size of a hardback book all by its lonesome.  Jig Pro sent theirs by snail mail in a greeting card sized envelop.[...]

Sunday Serenity -- Snarls and NaNo and ROW80

Mon, 09 Nov 2015 04:49:00 +0000

Snarls.I've been spending more time unsnarling yarn and thread in the last week than actually crocheting.The brown one above is the Mobius strip bottom/sides/strap for the quilter's tote. I made the silly mistake of leaving one ball of bamboo thread attached and adding another one to do a a couple of short stretches across the width before returning to continue along the outer edge where I left off..not so brilliantThe pink one isn't a project yet. It's just a ball of bamboo thread that was rolling around in a drawer dropping loops.The purple is one of my new bamboo yarns. I tried to find the inner string as I prefer to pull from the center as then I can have it in a smaller project bag or even a pocket. Pulling from the outside string requires room for the skein to roll and flip.Well, before I found the inner string I'd pulled out a lot of loops and when i pulled on the inner string it yanked out a clump of loops it was snarled with. I decided to stuff them all back inside and wind the skein into a ball on my winder from the outside string.But the skein rolled and flipped in the tray out of my line of sight as I operated the winder and the clump I stuffed inside came out and tangled with loops falling off the outside.A serious mess.All three are lace weight..Its a good thing unsnarling is one of my favorite things to do. Dont ask me why but I find it relaxing.But I don't really have time for such fun now. It's too close to Christmas. And I hate having the winder out of action.Plus NaNo is in session and I'm falling behind.  11111 words at the end of day 8.  8x1667=13336.  Which leaves me 2225 words behind.  More than a days quota.Plus my life itself just developed a snarl of similar proportions to that of the purple above.  Drama!  Why is it that every November some kind of drama heats up in either my personal life or that of someone close to me who's part of my daily life and whose drama sticks to me like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth?I was way more seriously behind as we entered the weekend--sitting around 5555 on Friday afternoon when Mom left for her weekend with my brother's family.How did I double that in two days?  By adding the real life drama to my story.  Or rather adding a second story that I'll try to work into a relationship with the other one which is probably a long short story rather than a novel anyway.I'd been generating a lot of words in emails and texts over the drama and by transferring those words--all written since Tuesday--into my NaNo file I nearly caught up.  I might have done so if I hadn't decided to write a blog post instead.I'm still a bit hit and miss on my ROW80 goals:Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15min Daily -- 2 or 3 days in a week.  Not good enuf.  Especially since they are seldom contiguous.Read/Study Craft 15min Daily Average -- Again sadly under par.  A couple days each week.  My reading has become consumed by the autism spectrum theme since my diagnosis in September.7.5 hours of sleep daily --  the last two years have taught me the importance of this for keeping my anxiety low and energy high, weight down and creativity sustainable -- Doing better than I used to but in the last month I've averaged two 24 hour plus days each week.  The other nights tho I do tend to get more than 7 and often more than 8.  It is a huge improvement not having frequent 6 hours and under nights.  And yes, they are nights and not days.  Another improvement.  I seldom sleep beyond 9am.Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily  -- I know it is crucial t[...]

Taking a Switch To It

Sun, 08 Nov 2015 07:28:00 +0000

Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-012 10.1" Laptop 2GB 64GB Altho I love my Nexus 7 and seldom go anywhere without it--not even from room to room--there are some things it won't do for me:It won't let me play music while I read or writeAll of the office productivity aps I've tried so far suck for anything more than note takingTransfering those notes over to the Aspire and into my prefered Windows aps is a painReading PDFs is nigh impossible for me as they won't wordwrap so when I set the font so I can see it I am forced to scroll sideway back and forth for every lineIt won't run my favorite aps.The PDF issue by itself was enough to justify looking at a 10 inch tablet but when I realized I could get a refurbished Windows tablet/laptop for about the same price I got my Nexus I did look back.It didn't hurt at all that it was also an Acer Aspire just like the refurbished 17in laptop I've been happy with for over two years now.It took me longer to shop for the cover.  Hours and hours of reading the fine print of the tech specs on nearly a dozen 10 inch tablet w/keyboard covers.  Until I found this one the only time the SW5 model was mentioned was to rule it out.Here is my Nexus 7 case on top of the Switch.  I can't show the Nexus itself as it's the camera.  The Switch is just a tad bigger than my 11 inch Windows 7 netbook which was my only computer between January 2010 and September 2013.  But the Switch weighs about a third of the Netbook. Even with the case.Since it arrived on Thursday I've only been doing set up tasks with it. I haven't even tried to read a PDF on it yet.  I always seem to forget how long it takes get preferences and other settings adjusts to my satisfaction.  I'm not going to start doing anything too serious with it until after it upgrades to Windows 10.  It came as 8.1 with elegibility for the upgrade.  It is 0000000000busy downloading that in the background.  First it had to download over 160 updates to the current system which took hours Thursday evening.There is one thing that frusterates me but its not unique to the Switch it is a bane for me on all Windows computers and that is their insistance on using 9pt font in all their dialog boxes and their refusal to allow me any control over it like the did in Windows 95 and XP.  Their so called accessibility options add more frustration than thay take away.  The magnifying glass forces parts of what I'm looking at off the screen and I can't track it when moving the mouse to scroll over to what I need to look.  Often something else I need to see at the same time disappears off the other side.  Its very inconvienient.  And there is no excuse for it.All of their high contrast themes except the black and white gag my eyes.  I hate the colors and they won't let me create my own version.  I worked with the black and white one for awhile on the 17in Aspire but found that loosing the cues provided by color was too high a price for the very slightly clearer fonts.  Really it looked nothing so much as white sand after birds with wet feet walked across it.My nephew has suggested I try changing the DPI to make everything on the screen 125%.  I saw that option but it said 'not reccommended' with warnings that sounded dire to me.  Whenever it says 'not reccommended' I feel guilty as I did as a child when my Dad frowned at me when I disregard and unless I know absolutely for sure the possible consequences I can't bring myself to disobey.[...]

Tackling the Biggest To-Do

Thu, 22 Oct 2015 04:27:00 +0000

Crocheted Quilter's ToteIt was my intention from the moment I started the travel jewelry kit in June for my sister that I would give it my disciplined focus until it was done--hoping that meant in time for her birthday in mid July--and then transfer that same discipline to this Quilter's Tote project that was my Secret Santa gift for my sister-in-law in 2012.  Well, tho I did manage to maintain the disciplined focus on the jewelry kit and gave my sister half of it the week of her birthday and the other half the last weekend of August, too many unforseen things happened with it (just like with the quilter's tote) and multiple rethinks and redos became necessary as reported in earlier posts and the final handover to my sister did not take place until this past Friday afternoon.The weekend was all about the read-a-thon but on Monday I cleared my craft table of the tools and materials from the jewelry kit project and got out the quilter's tote.  I layed it all out for this photo but also to re-familiarize myself with its current status.  I got out the to-do list for it and re-read it.  It is in a small notebook that travels with the project and the first page reads:Prep mobeus strip (in blud basket above)Prep wraparound panel (folded on left side above)Prep back/front flap panel (folded on right side above)Crochet 5 4" x 4" squares--4 for pockets on the carry strap 1 to wrap around the twist in the top of the strap.Crochet 3 small flowers for buttons to secure flap on front of bagCrochet 1 large flower for the strap wrapAssemble toteExcept for the squares and flowers which have patterns, each one of these items require multiple pages of instructions and task lists broken down into sub tasks and dependencies (tasks that must be done before another task can be started). Those lists were disorganized and missing some things I'd thot of since writing it so I tore them out and started over.  Assuming I've thought of everything...But if there is one thing this project has taught me is that it isn't likely that I've thought of everything.  In fact it might not be possible to think of everything before beginning a project and that has too often been my reason for procrastinating or quitting after encountering an  unforseen snag in my plan.I've done the same thing with my creative writing...But if there is one thing that sticking to it thru all the snags with the jewelry travel kit (a three week project that became a three month project) taught me it was that I'm clever enough to figure out a way around or through the snags.I think I've solved the structure problems I encountered a year ago when I tried to assemble the tote with the original plan and ended up with a flop.  Literally a bag too floppy to be useful.  Who wants to always have to depend on having someone hold a bag open while you put somethng in or take something out unless the bag is already stuffed to the gills?I think my solutions are going to work--installing cord on all the edges and lining the bag bottom and sides with microfiber pads. I'm in under no illusion that there will be no further snags but I'm confident I can work them out too. Tho it's possible that I'm going to be late for this Christmas too having gotten such a late start and that kind of disappointment has often tempted me to procrastinate.  Not this time.This will be my main focus for every day that it is possible.  It's not always possible--appointments outside the house, company, illness, Mom's needs--life sometimes has its own ideas.  But it will become nor[...]

A Round of Words in 80 Days Round 4 2015 Goals

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 20:02:00 +0000

A Round of Words in 80 DaysRound 4 2015The writing challenge that knows you have a lifeI'm back after dropping out for Round 3.  It's been a rough year.  Life threw some new curves.  One of which was the diagnoses of high-functioning autism aka Asperger's Syndrome in mid September. Apparently one of the crucial things for someone on the spectrum is a highly structured day which means that participating in things like ROW 80 can only be of help.The fact that I've had the experience of ROW 80 since 2012 is helpful as I it has given me the tools I need to create that structure.  Now tho it needs to apply to my whole life and not just writing.ROW80 ROUND 4 GOALSsimilar to Round 1 and as always they are time investment rather than word count.Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15min Daily (until about mid summer this year I never lost this one since instating it in my first round in 2012.  A ROW80 win!)  --this had become an integral part of every day for me. I never really stopped the dreaming but I wasn't taking notes.  But even with notetaking it's not enough if it never leads to more than jotting notes as I live inside my story.Read/Study Craft 15min Daily Average -- This is one of the writing tasks I hung onto all year.  At least a significant amount each week if not always daily.7.5 hours of sleep daily --  the last two years have taught me the importance of this for keeping my anxiety low and energy high, weight down and creativity sustainable.Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily  -- I never got this back after the respiratory illness last winter.  I know it is crucial to health.  Both physical and mental.  And most especially creativity.Personal Journaling 15min Daily  --has not become a daily habit yet.  in fact i've not even reached for it since late February.  I feel serious resistance to it which probably means I need to be doing it.  Especailly to help me assimilate the autism spectrum diagnoses and how it affects my writing goals.Read Fiction 30min Daily Average --this is one thing I kept up even while sick except for a few of the worst days.  And continued right up through mid September when I began the big research project I've discussed elsewhere after my autism spectrum dianoses..Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) --another thing I've a strong resistance to.  The autism diagnosis helps explain this but doesn't let me off the hook.  If anything it makes it more important.  Engage with the Blow Me a Candy Kiss structural rewrite file 30 min Daily*  --  except for November when I'll be working on the companion story from husband Greg's POV called To Embrace a Funny Bunny.  These two likely belong to the same novel but I'll be pretending they don't for the durration of NaNo. All of this in service to the overarching goal for 2015: Regain the joy in writing that I lost sometime last year.  The Joy/joy meter hovers around 7 out of 10.this week.*I've been struggling with this structural rewrite since my first Row 80 Round in 2012.  The autism spectrum dianoses helps explain why I have no problem accumulating words but can't seem to hang them on an appropriate plot scaffold.  Apparently issues with cause and effect are common on the spectrum.I'm hoping that working with Dramtica Pro wi[...]

Sunday Serenity - Travel Jewelry Box

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 03:36:00 +0000

This is part of the travel set I made my sister for her birthday.  Which was last July.  I finally handed this over for the second time on Friday.  The first time I gave it to her was labor day weekend but I had to take it back to fix a couple things. I'd given her part one the week of her birthday.  That was the first version of the earring wallet made from the same plastic needle point canvas as the box and meant to fit inside it.  But the same day I handed her the box she gave me back the earring wallet because the hook earrings would not stay put.  I had to comepletely rething the concept and start over and the result doesn't even fit in this box.  She has decided to use it for make up instead of jewelry.Now she is asking me if I can install some plastic loops on the lid to hold mascarra pencils and I sad no problem.  Hope it won't take me another month.  :)The clasp is what I forgot to install the first time and my original concept didn't work and I had to rethink it.  What I settled on was sewing a button on the bottom and attaching elastic loops to the front edge of the lid and the top edge of the polar bear picture which is opposit the front edge of the lid.  Not shown in these pictures is the vinal pocket on the back of the polar bear picture.It took me an hour to prep the pictures for the box and there are more pictures for the earring wallet so I'm going save those for another post later this week. I just don't have it in me to prep the pics and write about them.  I'm still read-a-thon hungover.  Six hours of sleep after forty awake was not nearly half enough.  To be sure I would sleep again at a fairly decent hour tonight in spite of waking up at one I denied myself all caffeine and even my perscription Adderal today.You can see pictures of it as a work-in-progress here.[...]

My Brain on Books XVII

Sat, 17 Oct 2015 11:44:00 +0000

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004 and will again next fall.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. If you happen to be doing NaNo this year you can find me there as joywriteThis post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges unless required to have a separate post..   Be sure to scroll to bottom of this post for advice on how to ward off those scary nap attacks. You won't be sorry.Ode to Deweyby Joy Reneevote, fav and share for DeweyWe Miss You Dewey3:00 AM - Where did all that time go?Still awake.  Not even struggling.Well maybe a little.  Not having any trouble staying awake but am having trouble staying on taskI've done more reading on the blogs and social media following the thon activity and reading Dewey's archives than in books since last eveing's vid chat with Ed.  I opened a lot of books.  Mostly eooks but a few tree books and skimmed around in them.  Reading table of contents and other frontal matter--intros, epigraphs,  acknowledgements, and such.  It's one of my favorite things to do with non-fiction.  It may not be very productive in terms of stats but it's fun and that's the operative word for a thon is it not? Besides it can be very productive in terms of comprehension, retention, and connecting the dots when reading them later.  I call it 'Einstein whispering sweet nothings in Emerson's ear'  or is that visa versa?  At any rate I wrote an essay on that theme in the late 90s.  I've shared it here before.  Not sure I feel like hunting the link right now.Ambition is at low tide. Awake for over forty hours.I mostly lurked on the blogs and social media.  Played the videos, imagined how fun this or that challenge might be, admired page layouts, followed comment threads and drooled over images of books. But my ambition would not rise to the level of leaving more than a few comments with already familiar names.One little project I accomplished was sharing the image of my Ode to Dewey poem on facebook, twitter and google+.  And while I was on fb I stumbled on my neice's posts in the newsfeed and discovered Im a great-aunt again.  Since October 1!  How did I let that get past me?I spent half an hour at least drooling over baby pictures.Well, because I've not been on social media much in the last month.  And even when I was it was only on my blog's fan page after the rare blog post.  My focus has been on autism research, NaNo prep and the fiber art project I finally finished Friday (original due date July 11) that will probably be the subject of tomorrow's post.Very little of what happened conformed to my plan for the thon.  The only thing besides sticking to the dual theme that I adhered to was my intention to be OK with a pliable plan.  No shouldas or any o[...]

Read-a-Thon Rev Up

Sat, 17 Oct 2015 01:44:00 +0000

Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey

It's that time again.  The fall 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  

As I type this now I've got exactly ten hours before my 4:44 alarm goes off so I can get up and unglue my eyes in time for my 5:00 AM Pacific Coast start time.  So if got two hours to get to sleep if I intend to have a solid 8 hours to bolster me for the full 24 hours.  If I make it that would be a first.

My tendency to insomnia is triggered by upcoming events.  All my life I've had trouble sleeping the night before a trip, the first day of school, my birthday, a family get-together, a doctor appointment, shopping excursions.  Basically anything with a social element or anything I'm highly excited or anxious about.

For the April thon this year I did not sleep at all the night before and made it the full 24 so I was up from noonish on Friday to after 6am Sunday.  Because of that there were several stretches that were a struggle to stay awake and even when fully awake my abillity to focus my eyes and mind were so compromised the pleasure of the event was severely curtailed for me.  I swore I'd not let that happen next time.

So I'm getting ready to wrap up my day.

I limited my caffeine today so that should help.

I've got my Thon post My Brain on Books XVII all ready to schedule for 4:44am.  I've got my Nexus 7 loaded with ebooks and audio books and I've got a pile of library books incuding one audio and I've got several talking books from the Washington Talking Books Library.  I plan to listen to audio a good deal while I crochet.

Tho I'm not going to hold myself to it like a rule, I've got a general dual theme going for my reads: Autism research (including novels featuring a character on the spectrum) and NaNoWriMo prep.

That has been the theme of my reading for the last month.  September and October have been NaNo prep for me for a decade but the autism research began in earnest for me in late August when my councelor and I decided to pursue an Asperger's diagnosis for me which was then confirmed in mid September.

Yikes!  it's almost 8pm.  I better post now so I have time to get my thermos of coffee made before I go to bed.

Sunday Serenity -- Having a Ball

Mon, 05 Oct 2015 03:55:00 +0000

Blue Muse Having at It
she seems a bit bemused but she's game
My Blue Muse and I were having a ball today playing with ideas for this ball of lace weight yarn. There's 420 yards so I believe that's enough for a scarf and hat set and maybe a vest or prayer shawl as well.  I think we settled on an infinity scarf to begin with.

One of the gems I got on my birthday binge last November, it's a blend of superwash wool, silk, and nylon with a metalic silver strand.  I first got it out to make a scarf in February but when I undid the hank and began winding it I ended up with a snarl:

click to see post from February

The night it happened I managed to untangle enough to create a ball from each end the size of golf balls and over the next several months with occasional fussing with it I increased the balls to tennis ball size.  Since Wednesday I took them both to softball size and then wound one onto the other.  It is shotput size or the size of a large grapefruit.

That's how it looked last November when I brought it home

Upside-Down Nachos

Wed, 23 Sep 2015 06:56:00 +0000

Upside-Down Nachos
Ready For Chips
 One of my duties here at Mom's is to make her lunch but since I'm usually reading aloud to her while she eats I wait until after she's eaten to fix my lunch.  Nachos are one of the few lunches where we eat the same thing but since I"m not eatinc until as much as an hour and a half later it is still like fixing two separate meals.  So I devised a variation on a theme that makes putting together a nacho plate for a single person quick and easy.

First I paint the plate with refried beans straight out of the can or the fridge.  Then add any other ingredients that are already pre-prepped which also need heating up, including the shredded cheese and heat that in the microwave.

Next I add any uncooked or cold ingredients--salsa, sour cream, olives, green onion, tomato, avocado.  Only the first four are on on this version as the others were unavailable that day.

Upside-Down Nachos
Chips Ahoy!
Last step is to add the chips.  I usually just pile them on but I stopped to take this picture while the bean goop was still visible.  Sometimes for Mom I'll take the time to slide the chips in along the outer edge until the cirle the plate then add a second an third row behind that, pushing the bean goop towards the center.  It looks a bit like a sunflower.  But that takes at least another ten minutes and I seldom have that kind of time to spare.

Because this is a quick and easy way to make single-serving nachos this way of making them is handy on the weekends when Mom is with my brother's family and I'm responsible for all my own meals.