Book Frenzy

I am way behind in my Goodreads reading quota for the year. So, to make up for it, I’ve been reading at least two books a day since yesterday to catch up. Any faster and I wouldn’t derive enjoyment from the books. Any slower and I’d get bored with the material, open something else and basically do for books what I do for knitting and crocheting.

 

Thus far, I’m doing pretty well. I’ve read Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World…finally. I started her book in January. I must say, it was an interesting read. I learned a lot about a few things, mainly those elusive Soft Skills I wasn’t taught, just in reading her book. It was heartening to see that, at my age (thirty-six years), it isn’t unique to struggle in this area. Reading through her life story encouraged me to redouble my efforts at all the things I’m currently working on to better acclimate to the changing strata I’m finding myself in as I navigate these new business and volunteer opportunities before me.

 

Then, for a bit of light reading, I picked up Twilight from the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium. Don’t hate or judge. I mainly got it because I wanted something that was cotton candy reading after the meatier offering I’d just finished. So, I’m going to finish all five original books, which shouldn’t take long. If I recall my ancient reading correctly, I didn’t mind the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner so much but it has been a while.

 

Once I finish those, I’m going to read Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by Robert M. Hazen. I also have a host of other books waiting in the wings to be read. Most of them, I’ve read before and I’m just going over them again because I’m playing reading catch up with myself and they’re an easier read. Once I get back to where I should be in my reading list, I have quite a few good ones lined up. L’engle, Atwood, etc., that I just have sitting here, collecting dust for want of a good reading.

 

Onto the WIPs Clearout Extravaganza. I am presently on round eight of the doily for my neighbor. Sustained injuries have not only kept me from this blog for an extended period but have also kept me from doing any meaningful crafting owing to the pain. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep trying. My left arm’s elbow and my right shoulder hurt something fierce right now but, long term, I can’t let that get in the way of all I want to do. I am loathe to make a deadline but I am shooting for finishing this Pineapple Doily by tonight. To be honest, it has been long enough lounging on my desk. The other intended doilies may have to take a back seat depending on factors influencing my getting them to their intended recipients.

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Once the doily is completed, I am going to make a genuine effort at stitching together the In Love With Color throw. At the very least, I can get the sewing aspect out of the way, even if I have trouble lifting the actual throw for long periods or stitching the edging.

 

Getting clear of these will enable me to focus on the volunteer work I’ve picked up with regard to knitting and crocheting. I’m also doing other things but this will be eating up the bulk of my volunteer time. I’m going to do my level best to aim for making as much as my yarn supply will allow. I’m hoping to deplete my worsted/Aran yarn supply completely actually without having to buy new yarn. Though, if I run out of a particular color, I may have to buy one more skein of it but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

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The plant babies are growing fantastically. Everything is so verdant, the mood in my room is definitely a cheery one. The Mega Cherry Tomato and Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper are competing for which can out fruit the other. As far as I can tell, it is a statistical dead heat. I’m looking forward to the first true harvests from both though, I have been sneaking peppers.

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I am, somewhat, in shock at what I’m about to type. After years of avoiding makeup of any kind at all cost, I purchased three tubes (Do they call them “tubes”?) of lipstick. I also purchased some nail polish, base coat, top coat, and remover. I loathe the stuff but it is a necessary function to get by on in business settings. So, I found the least offensive colors to me that were still acceptable to the masses. I hope this works. It seems such a tedious waste of my time.

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I guess the next step would be styling my hair. *cringe*

 

Regardless of my feelings on the matter, I have already mixed the hair stuff from available oils and such that I had around the house. It is only a matter that I use it. When I’m earning expensive tastes money, I’ll consider the Carol’s Daughter/Shea Moisture options. For now, it has to be homemade hair cream and Suave shampoo.

 

I’ve somewhat paid attention to the Natural Hair vloggers and bloggers in passing but, given my utilitarian manner, I normally didn’t go for the styles I saw and opted, instead, for a drawn back puff or two puffs. Quite frankly, it is far easier to deal with and enables me to put on my hat in Winter without worrying about possibly messing up my hairstyle. Crap, I guess the Cornrow obsession is going to start again. At least I have a book, It’s All Good Hair by Michelle N-K Collison, to sustain me, as well as countless YouTube videos.

 

I think that’s about it. See ya next month or whenever I can get to writing here! Yay!

Shining Brightly In The Dark

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.

–Madeleine L’Engle

 

So, I have the beginnings of a book. It is nowhere near completion and I have more than the 50,000 words required for NaNoWriMo thus far. I validated on the 22nd of November. I’m dedicated to following this one through. This is the longest string of words I’ve put together in my life and it’s coherent. It’s solid. It’s pretty good actually. At least, I think so. As soon as I’m further along, I’ll update the PDF file and pass it along to my friend for his perusal.

 

One of my SOs asked me when it was going to be completed. I admit to being a bit peeved at the rush on the timetable. It’s not like there’s a deadline for me to write this. This book is for my own personal accomplishment in writing. As it stands, I am writing as quickly as I possibly can, as much as I can. For example, my plan is to do 6,500 words today, tomorrow, and Tuesday before giving myself a much needed break on Wednesday. I haven’t been sleeping like I should or doing things I normally would be doing in place of the writing. I’ve never felt this way before. It’s like something has smashed inside of me and opened the floodgates on the innate ability I have to write things. I love it. This feeling is exhilarating.

 

Waiting in the background for this novel to be completed are several projects and another story I need to write a continuation on. I wrote a story in 2006 and finally posted it to Adult-FanFiction and Literotica a little over a month ago with the title Unintentional Advances. The chief complaint about it has been that I didn’t flesh out one of the characters enough and that I didn’t give a less ambiguous ending. My intention with the story was mainly to write from the one character’s perspective, but I concur that more could have been said about the other character, so a revisit is warranted. The ambiguous ending was intended to give the reader a chance to make up their own story (hopefully a nice one) for the two characters but, apparently, everyone wants me to write it out. I’m up to it. I just need to get back into the characters. I laid them to rest in 2006 when I wrote the story and only dusted it off to edit for publishing and give it a title (Thanks, Brandon, for your help with the title).

 

On the project front, I have an unfinished Hobbes head staring at me with its Darice button eyes. It’s for my friend on the occasion of his birthday in less than a month’s time. I also still have socks, a doily, a stole, a blanket, a Boba Fett, and a sweater to make. In addition to this, December is supposed to be the month I start the In Love With Color throw. I also, still, haven’t made my winter gear. So, I’m going to be quite busy over the next few weeks.

 

At some point during all of this, I may do a vlog. A long vlog too. Not a short, update on the Aerogarden or anything but a proper scripted vlog featuring things.

 

For now though, I need tea. Lots and lots of tea. Later.

What On Earth Was I Thinking?

So yeah, I signed up to do NaNoWriMo this year.

 

I haven’t a clue how to hammer together a novel. I barely have a clue how to write coherently or with proper punctuation. A fifty-thousand word goal seems out of my reach but I won’t know if I can do it unless I try. That’s all I can give is my best effort. The hilarious thing is that I have ideas popping out of my head all over the place but will any of them measure up to the word quota?

 

Whatever I ultimately decide to do, I am backing it up both on disk and in the cloud. I’ve had several data loss scares both personal and social reminding me to do so.

 

I’m also doing NaKniSweMo and at least with that, I am on somewhat familiar territory even if the scale is a bit overwhelming. I know how to knit. I know how to do the stitches required according to the pattern. Even if I’m working in hideous pink, I’m at least able to make out what I’m supposed to be doing, albeit slowly, and make progress.

 

Oh yeah, I did a new video (YouTube Link). Shockingly, it doesn’t feature video of the Aerogarden of Hope. In this episode, I’m reading a Richard Laymon story called Night Games. What I should be reading are my old college textbooks on writing comprehension. Instead, I’m reading Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic Wars.

 

I’m going to admit to being nervous about this NaNoWriMo thing but I’m going to face it. I’ve been running from actually writing something meaningful for a long time. It’s time I stopped running away from this and achieve a writing milestone for myself.

 

The Aerogarden of Hope is doing well. For anyone who follows me on Instagram, you’ve seen the pictures of the jalapeno pepper plant. It’s loaded with peppers right now. So much so, that the remaining flowers are dropping off because the plant can sustain no more fruit. There must be at least thirty growing peppers right now at various stages of development.

 

It will be ten weeks of this garden growing in four day’s time. From there, it’ll be two more weeks before the oldest of these peppers are ready to be harvested. At least, that’s what the updated literature says.

 

The tomatoes…are growing a bit slower. They have flowers and all but they’re very short and not getting nearly enough light. I’m really hoping that they’ll catch up to the pepper soon.

 

Aside from this stuff happening, the most amazing thing ever occurred last night. The Maternal Parental and I watched several Epic Rap Battles of History videos and…she enjoyed them. We’re talking genuine joy and not merely a feigned interest.

 

Shocking, I know.

 

I was so happy she wasn’t depressingly clawing the door for cigarettes, that I wrote a thank you to the ERB twitter. If I get the energy in me, I might make them something in gratitude for making the Maternal Parental have a happy moment for the first time in a long time.

 

Okay, I’ve put it off for long enough. Tonight’s agenda is writing and trying to flesh out the story I’m going to do for NaNoWriMo. I can put it off no longer. It’ll be September in a few hours and that’ll mark two months before this whole thing is supposed to begin. Wish my nervous ass some excellent writing skills so I can accomplish this goal.

 

*firing up the Alice in Chains and Red Hot Chili Peppers music for inspiration and relaxation*

Vlog Number Two and Writer’s Block Too

Later start time = Less sleepy and no blinding flash to avoid. Yay!

Almost completely unscripted this time, I managed to get through another eleven minutes of vlogging with few problems this time.

 

I got a much later start than last time, so I wasn’t fighting off yawns. I didn’t have the Flash of Doom in my eyes, so I didn’t squint or avoid the camera altogether. For only my second video, I consider this a resounding success.

 

About the only problem I have right now is a sudden case of Writer’s Block right when I need my writing abilities the most. As of this moment, there are no writing ideas in my head. This isn’t leading to a wave of consternation as I had expected either. I’m pretty much at peace with it. You see, I know that it’s only a temporary block. I went eight years without writing, so a few days is not going to send me packing.

 

Yes, I can see the irony in my writing this blog post. No, it’s not the same as “Writing”. With creative writing, I have to really delve into my mind to pull the thoughts out, make them coherent and then format it for Human consumption. These blog posts, on the other hand, are rather stream of consciousness and don’t require much in the realm of thinking. It’s just my internal dialog put on display.

 

So, I’m going to do two things: I’m going to pick a story to read for the next vlog and I’m going to crochet until I feel the writer’s block smashing in my mind. For the story, I’m considering going with Franz Kafka. I’m not sure which of his stories I’m going to read yet but I have The Castle and the Penal Colony. I received both as gifts from my ninth grade Mathematics teacher, Mister Pardi, who is a genius who chooses to teach us lesser mortals. He’s probably one of the coolest teachers I’ve ever had actually. I don’t say that lightly.

 

After I do this, I am going to crochet some on the October Rust Birthday Shawl. It is, after all, getting to be late in the month. I want to have this thing completed by May.

 

Before I do any of this, I need breakfast and tea.

 

Later, Peoples of the Sun! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Update On The Birthday Shawl

As you can see, I’ve been quite busy. I went from ten completed rows to twenty-nine. The October Rust Birthday Shawl is coming along quite well in my opinion. In all honesty, I am hoping to have it completed by the end of this month, which would fit quite nicely with my schedule.

 

I have been alternating crocheting this shawl and writing the Untitled Melusine Gordon story while listening to music during the nighttime hours. An odd thing for me, I haven’t felt the urge to turn the television on these past few weeks. That really does make a change from what I’m used to doing. The television is usually my default background noise or high altar depending on what’s on it at the time. Yet, within the past few weeks, I’ve hardly had it on. I’ve been getting my news from the Breaking News App and my weather reports from Accuweather’s App. Could this be one more thing that aging has changed for me? Confused smile

 

Last night into early this morning, I eliminated the adverbs from a part of the as yet untitled Melusine Gordon story. All these years, I’ve been writing with adverbs and weakening my stories in the process. That changes now and it’s thanks to last night’s writing assignment. I will complete the first draft of the story I’m working on now but, in future revisions, I will be eliminating as many adverbs as possible. They are now the enemy to my writing.

 

Tomorrow, I’m considering filming my first proper vlog. I am still unsure about just what I’m going to put in it but tomorrow has presented itself as a good time to do it. I might read from one of my books for part of it. I’m partial to my one Ellis Peters book, The Virgin In The Ice, as a potential filler. It’s semi-historical and it’s a mystery as well as being a very good read. Well, I’ve got the rest of today and early tomorrow morning to figure it out. The finished video should be live by tomorrow night. What on Earth am I getting myself into? *sigh* Embarrassed smile

 

The thing is, I’ve bought the stuff to film with, so I might as well do it. Wish me luck!

 

Later, Peoples of the Sun! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Stream of Consciousness Free Writing Exercise

I believe introductions are in order. My name nom du net is KaliTime Camaralzman or KTC for short. I have been writing on and off since my childhood and I’ve been writing online since 1999. My first forays into the writing world as an adult were mostly badly written fanfiction. Since that time, I’ve written several stories that are not fanfiction related, I just haven’t got the guts to post what I have so far or, furthermore, I haven’t got the guts to finish what I’ve started.

 

It mainly due to a fear of, well, what’s the opposite of a fear of failure? A fear of success? I am, in essence, afraid that someone will read my work, consider it noteworthy and expect more of the same from me. As much as I love writing, I just don’t know if I’m capable of producing more than a few somewhat good pieces. So I cringe in terror when someone asks to read my work. At least, I did until this point. This writing exercise is my effectively putting myself out there for the world to see, warts and all, so I can learn from my mistakes and, hopefully, become a more effective writer.

 

Earlier, I mentioned that I didn’t have the guts to post my work. I did do it with a few stories. They’re either on my story journal waiting for follow up (if they’re not complete stories) or they’re languishing on various sites across the internet where I have given permission for them to be posted or have posted them myself (as is the case with Fet). I’m really hoping that this exercise will not only improve my writing but will build my self-confidence to the point where I can accomplish my 2015 goal of doing NaNoWriMo later this year.

 

I’ve been trying to do it for several years but I canned my own work as not good enough. Now, I won’t bash other authors by name but I do know for certain that there is far worse out there than my writing. I am hoping to get to the point where I can become a published author.

 

A little about me personally: I am Agoraphobic, Atheist, Polyamorous, Pansexual and have Bipolar Disorder. In addition to the above mentioned things, I’m hoping for this writing exercise to offer me a further means of having a creative outlet for my conditions and my identifications. Specifically, I’d like to write a story featuring Polyamorous relationships. The funny thing is, the story is already in my head, I’m just afraid to put it into words out of that aforementioned fear. I am hoping to overcome that as well.

 

Aside from these things, I am a Knitter and Crocheter. I’m also a gardener with a fully indoor container garden. When I’m not knitting, crocheting, writing or gardening, I can often be found in my room, listening to a plethora of musical artists or watching various visual media and even reading. I’m something of an indoor firework. Well, I’d have to be given my Agoraphobic tendencies.

 

I am almost out of time, so I will just thank you for reading this rambling enterprise of mine. I look forward to reading your works as well.

 

Later, Peoples of the Sun! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

In Memorium–Pimlico Library Branch 21

This is another writing assignment from the annals of the WordPress Blogging U’s Writing 101 courses. The reference for this writing assignment is a daily prompt called Ode to a Playground. This library was actually closed years ago but I felt a need to reference it as it was very close to my heart. I should preface this by saying I am not a Eulogy writer. This is one of the reasons I am doing these, to improve my writing. Cheers! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

 

I knew nothing of the history of Pimlico Branch 21. All I knew was that it was a safe place to go in a rather rough neighborhood. It was a place where I could allow my imagination to soar through reading books and listening to the stories told by the Librarians.

 

The first time I went to this particular library was during my school year of the First Grade. At the time, I lived in mortal terror of the place because it was a high altar of books and I was someone who could barely read and write. Yet, no one among the staff made fun of me when I checked my first book out. I can still recall it to this day. It was a Curious George picture book on how to make a paper hat or paper sailboat depending on how far you were willing to follow the instructions.

 

Of course, I got derided by most of the students and the teacher but the Librarians never made fun of me once. In my mind, they became the Graces from that moment on. After that, I begged my mother to take me to the library and sought out all the educational programming I could find in order to learn to read. It was all fine and well checking things out and returning them. However, I wanted to truly utilize the Library as it was meant to be used. So I worked pretty hard that year until I could read through the book Ox Cart Man without struggling.

 

At the end of the year was the Summer Reading Program. At about the same time, PBS brought on the BBC adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. When I saw that it was a book, I knew I had to read it, regardless of the challenge. There was my local library waiting with most of the series available for checkout. I picked up the title I recognized, not knowing at the time that it was a series. It took me two weeks to read through one hundred ten pages of writing but I managed it. Once I’d finished with that book, I checked out the rest of the series from Pimlico that they had available.

 

For several years, they had all the books excepting The Last Battle. So, for several years, I read through the series and beyond, going through the children’s section of the library like a forest fire in a pine forest. The Librarians were ever so helpful and knew me on sight by name. I was never put down or disrespected in any way when I went there. Eventually, they finally got the Last Battle into the library and I was able to read it. It changed my views on a lot of things I was raised to believe in.

 

Then, one day, tragedy struck. During the riots, after the Rodney King beating and subsequent acquittal of the four police officers, someone firebombed the library. Thankfully, the incendiary device only hit a storeroom but, still, who in their right mind would firebomb the one place in the neighborhood where education was free for all? If there was a disconnect between myself and that neighborhood before, it was nothing compared with after that happened.

 

A few years later, the Proposal from Hell was mentioned. I nearly had a heart attack. They were suggesting closing twenty-eight of the City’s libraries as a cost cutting measure. Included on the chopping block was my beloved Pimlico Branch 21. It was at this point that I knew, I would never vote for the person who suggested the cuts regardless of the capacity of the office they went for. Once the library was closed, it was suggested that people in the neighborhood surrounding Branch 21 go to the next closest libraries.

 

That wouldn’t have worked well for most patrons as one was nearly in the County along Reisterstown Road and the other was well into the City at the corner of Pennsylvania and North Avenues. Both were miles of walking distance from the easier to get to Branch 21. After several protests, a rotating Bookmobile was suggested and implemented. By then though, I had given up on the notion of a Community Library and began buying my own books. It wasn’t much but it was better than having to wait weeks and weeks for the Bookmobile to come with a checkout limit when one is used to reading dozens of books in a week’s time.

 

Even though the library eventually opened again, that drought in availability was the death knell for it. It was closed again, for good this time, a few years later.

 

So, I’d like to take this moment to remember Pimlico Branch 21 of the Enoch Pratt Free Library system. My foundation in education and the catalyst of my zest for learning.