Monday, December 26, 2011

Sick for Christmas, Baking Love and Sending a Character to the Bench

Well, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Holiday!

So some winter blessings to all my friends and family (they celebrate these) (in chronological order): Happy Hanukkah, Merry Yule, Happy Yalda Night and Merry Christmas!!

I spent my holiday sick. I am sure a lot of other people did. :) But I found the energy to happily make my super tender ham, my cheesy potato bread, my roasted potatoes, salad, steamed carrots and a homemade cranberry Nantucket (like a cranberry "pie"). Everything was devoured.

The best thing my husband ever told me was when I unveiled the ham (now mind you, he does not consume pork, coming from a culture where it was not available and believed to be "dirty"), he looked at it for a while and suddenly said in his serious voice; "My Honey, it's beautiful! Like something from a food magazine!" It was followed by kisses. I love my hams too, tender and buttery. :)

Luckily, I had today off again, I return back to work tomorrow. So I slept in. Not by choice but because I could not wake up. My body was like, "You aint goin' anywhere!! Muhahahahaa!"

I had a strange moment last night while I was laying down next to my husband watching tv (so rare for me!); I nearly fell asleep! It was only 10pm. I was dragging as I brushed my teeth and I was fading fast as my head hit the pillow. Next thing I know, I was consciously dreaming about being back in the Redwood Forest in Northern California.

I had a realization, pertaining to my story (of which I had taken a break from while I was ill), I realized that a character I had originally deemed to be a mentor for my heroine has to go! It was weird conversation in my half-sleep stupor with myself. Why did he have to go? I've planned him as a supporting character for decades!!

The reason was simple: I built up another character (unknowingly) who believes in the same principles as this guy. This other character has told me that he is willing to stick around for the long haul.

Ergo: Sorry buddy (the original one), ideally, way back when, you were needed. Chad has taken your place.

On a more positive note, my sister is awesome.  I worked on that empty space in 1/3 and after her poor review, we talked about where my heroine was at this time, then I adjusted it. Now it's on the right direction.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2/3 Critique & Singer Island Love

I know it's been a while since I have blogged. Life = busy. :)

Spent a great weekend with my husband in Singer Island, again. We mostly talked about our future and where we hope to be one day in our professional, personal and spiritual lives. We also went thrift store hunting. Sadly, the weekend was mostly cold and rainy, but that is to be expected. It's that time of year.

My sister got through my 2/3. I thank every second of her super busy life to read and consider how it can be better. I apparently misunderstood a crit of 1/3 and redid a section to which she replied, "Why did you change that! Its so much worse now! I liked that section." OOOOOPPPPSSSS! :) I did like one thing I changed but I think I will expand on another part a bit more, make it more personable.

So far, the pace is comfortable, she actually wanted more of a section that I thought was not as interesting. She also liked my letters. We discussed length and wording, and came to a conclusion: as the heroine gets older, her letters will be longer with mature wording and thought. I concur.

She was confused with 2 subjects, unsure as to why a certain character HATES my heroine and more clarification of the levels of society is needed. Apparently, 3/3 is highly welcomed.

I still have some things to work out and will get that to her soon. Holiday break is coming up and I have a mountain of sewing projects. So I will focus on the 2/3 crit and the 1/3 goof up.

All good. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving = forgotten descriptions and couponing

Well, I hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving.

We had a Thanksgiving lunch due to the fact my husband had to work at 3am, which was fine. I drove him because i knew he would be dying when I picked him up later that day. It was just depressing to see people not able to spend times with their families so they could buy "stuff". Nice to see that junk is more important than family in the modern world.

The only thing my mom and I purchased in tandem was a set of earrings for my sister's birthday, which I ended up buying later in the day (the sale was still going on) and a sweater.

The best part of my Thanksgiving was getting a call from my sister to tell me that she was able to find cheaper turkeys in Germany - 3 kilos for 12 euros. and that she used our family recipe and attempted a homemade sweet potato pie. :)

She did tell me that she had the week off so she finally read my 1/3. She pointed out some things that I failed to realize, one being that i neglected to describe a character completely. She told me, "yeah, Fred is obviously a very unlikable character and a jerk but I have no idea what he looks like. Did you do that on purpose?"

I didn't, it just never occurred to me to describe him. In my mind I see him clearly.  But luckily, i found a perfect spot to add a little description, an observation made by my heroine.

I finally got my 2/3 refined. I took out all of the stupid redundancies, repeated motions, words and the hundreds of "suddenly" that just paused the story. It was not necessary. I also moved some things around. I resent it to my writing friend, telling her to just delete the older version. My sister also got the 2/3, she was interested in reading more.

Now the best part of my weekend, COUPONING!
My husband bought Perry Ellis Portfolio slacks (we went to 4 stores to find his length! I married a giant!!), $70, after reduction + sale + coupon = $4.99. Oh yeah, baby! Saved 65% at Target on toothpaste, tooth brushes and batteries. My husband and I have mouthcare for 2 years AND we did not need to compromise on our needs - for me Sensodyne, and for him, Crest non-minty toothpaste! After sale + target coupons + manufacturer coupons, this was what we got free: 1/2 a tube of Sensodyne, 1 tube of Crest toothpaste, 3 Crest Pro Health toothbrushes and Energizer Lithium batteries. All for the cost of sale priced 1 1/2 "tubes" of Sensodyne + 1 tube of sale priced Crest toothpaste. And at CVS; CVS rewards bucks + coupon + sale on Mucinex, the savings covered the cost of my dad's medicine.

My husband and I were high-fiving all afternoon. It's the best high ever, knowing that you are saving money!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Titles, beasts and laundry

Pretty much explains my week, especially my day.

I played with working titles in my mind this week after foregoing the original title. It was the title from 15 years ago and now that the story has grossly developed into a universe of its own, the old title has became moot. A year ago, there has been no title, then I suddenly had one pop into my mind, "Letters to Samantha" ....only to look through Amazon and find that another book has been named that. Lame.

It's aggravating because the title does encompass the mindset of the heroine. She writes letters to her only biological sister whom she has not seen since she was removed from her aunt's home. Knowing that her sister is alive keeps her going. She has no other family.

Now I need to think of something else. Bah. But I still have plenty of time.

My poor husband, unable to process anything in English that is not related to technology or computers or programming, cannot understand English fiction. He cannot comprehend anything I or anyone writes unless it in his native tongue. So I felt bad cornering him blabbing over something in my plot that has been a thorn in my side. but I had no one else to talk it out-loud to. He's a good listener. :)

15 years is a long time to have a group of people lay around and eat your food and use your electricity. So i have thought about every scenario numerous times, had my characters dictate to me where they want to go and what they want to do. I have no control over them. I can just throw things in their path and they can shake their fists and cuss me out.

As I was developing my universe and the creatures' mythos, I was sitting at a sushi bar in Houston, Texas drawing on table napkins - developing my governmental system and politics along with my ex. You have to realize that we took a break from visiting post-Katrina Louisiana, with me taking photos of what a post-apocalyptic world would look like. Honestly, it felt like the world has ended there. Every single thing that we take for granted; phones, internet, feminine products, clean water - was gone. There were not even birds in the skies. It was an eerie experience but one that I will cherish forever.  

As I was saying, I was developing their politics when I realized that I needed to develop more, who these creatures were. They only go by what the humans call them, a horrible mis-reference but they could care less. They're are over dealing with petty bickering with the humans. In fact, they kinda like the mis-reference, because when a human sees their true form, its a hundred times worse than what they can ever dream of.

That thought seemed to had disappeared over the years, maybe I touched on it every once and a while, and suddenly as i was coming up with an outline for B2 after making a timeline, I suddenly realize that my heroine, who is booksmart, catches irregularities in the translations of their ancient texts that had been translated into English. And begins to wonder, what did she give her life away to?

Then I was like, "dummy, she would have found this out in B1 when she began doing her research with Bill and especially when she gets Peter's old library."

Now I get to go back and expand these findings. Now I have to hope that she will be too busy to care about it right now. *crosses fingers* In fact I need her to not care about it right now.....

Note to self: "brush up on French grammar tomorrow."

My sister informed me that she recicved my 1/3 and will be reading it this week since she has the time off for Thanksgiving. I look forward to hearing her viewpoint. My sister and I have been major opposites in just about everything. Like me, she knows what she likes to read and has an opinion about everything.

Aww! She's thinking of going to Austria in February to a retreat with the kids. I hate snow and could care less about the skiing part but how awesome would it be to sit by the fire and write with a hot cup of tea, writing,  surrounded by snow covered beauty in the mountains!!! Why don't I have money? I don't shop for anything or go anywhere! I have enough time to change my last name in my passport... February is cheap to fly to Switzerland..... ;_;

Anyways, before I start moping, I am thinking of biting my nails and going to a writer's group for critiquing purposes. I'm just really freaking shy. But I am realizing that it has major purpose. To help me get better.

It's late and I'm tired. Luckily I work at the library in the evening on Mondays.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rat Kisses, Plot and Couponing

My ritual for Sunday mornings are usually as follows:
1. Sleep in until 9am
2. Breakfast
3. Pickup my Sunday papers
4. Fire up the big laptop
6. Sparkpeople
7. Clean the critters' cages.

I had no idea how couponing changed my life until my husband suddenly said to me, “Honey, why are food and house products so expensive?”

And it was soon after that that I became very very ill and dumped all of our savings, $1400 into medical services. I have no health insurance. With my husband and I working PT jobs, we realized that we have to save every penny. And we do. My Sunday newspaper subscriptions are all purchased with coupon codes or Living Social discounts. which averages out to $0.56 per Sunday newspaper. We make that up easily by the coupons. We buy our own ink and OEM cartridges and save hundreds of dollars a year on ink. And we print, cut and use a calculator when figuring out our savings. We proudly coupon. It's my high now. I average about 30% savings on everything. An awesome day is 70%. My biggest thrill was my 93% savings on feminine care products, I am set for two years!

Now it was a sad morning as I realized that my Reepicheep, now going to be 4 years old has a small tumor. She had become lethargic and eating less over the last week. I gave her cage a good scrubbing and held her for a long time. Her time will be coming soon.

Last night, as I was editing my 3/3 I realized that my heroine is missing something, the final bit of oomph to prove her value and worthiness. My mind wandered for hours as I suddenly was like:
“Maybe I should move all of this to the 2nd book – well that makes no sense, it has to begin with a mirrored scene of torture and biscuits – My readers need it to be established in the first book that she is suffering. Because in the 2-2/3, the territory is going to be taken away – maybe I can end the book at the trial? - no that seems like a piss poor ending, talk about leaving people in the dark. You yourself hates books that just END – But I could do it. We end with the Captain and begin with the Captain. - No, we need to see her branded. My readers want to know if she makes it or not – I need to do more research into wolves.”

My husband thought I was probably watching TV. I was actually staring at my small Buddha statue – the emphasis of 2-1/2. And it was then that it came to me; a criticism of the 1/3, “I wanted to see her duke it out. Earn that position.” You know what Manda-chan? Your wish is my command.

And finally, the tiles fell into place.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Job. Farewell Gremlins.

New jobs are always a good thing. Didn't get anything full-time (oh, how I miss benefits) but I ended up just "transferring" to a different department for the city I work for. Its really kinda funny, I volunteered most summers at a library but never wanted to work at one, never thought I would get one completely by accident.

I can remember being introduced to the library, I was at least five years old. Ever since then, I spent numerous hours in there. My book has some semblance of my real life and one of it was, during lunch time at school, I would sneak into the library to be alone. The librarians never minded because I was not destructive or noisy. My folks would drop me off super early in the morning and I would sit in the library until it was time to go to class.

Good memories indeed. But I had been in training for a few days and so far enjoy it. It's a small municipal library and it's quiet. Not like the large county ones where its as bustling and noisy as a coffee shop. The gals are nice and very knowledgeable at what they do. The one thing I do love that on the end caps of the aisles, if there is not a dewy decimal system chart, there is a "End banned books. Celebrate awareness!" poster of some sorts. These are my kind of people.

Don't really have anything book related to share. My sister flew in from Switzerland for three weeks and now has gone. ;_; But it was nice to see my gremlins and her. I will have to post some pics eventually. I had promised myself NOT to write while she was here and now that she is gone, I have not turned on my normal laptop to do anything with my camera. I only use my netbook for writing. Blog included.

But the best part was that I had found another person who would be honored to give me some good critique of my writings. My sister of all people. Now some may be like, "She's only going to tell you what you want to hear." My sister is the kind of person that will tell you what she thinks, whether you want to hear it or not. She is a thriller and mystery kind of reader with good romance thrown in the mix. Familiar with fantasy but not a super huge fan of it. I figure that she will bring in a good point of view since I am writing a dark fantasy with an urban setting. She knows nothing of the story (and I refused to tell her).

Now I just have to send the same 1/3 (unedited from being read by my writing buddy) so that I get fresh thoughts. Then i will combine their notes.

Again, scary.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Selfish people = more fuel for my world

Living back here in southeast Florida has only ONE advantage; I am surrounded by the most vilest, selfish, rudest human beings alive. How is this a plus? Well at first it was difficult to see how this can be beneficial to me. I was brought up to say 'please, thank you, yes sir/ma'am' and most importantly, take responsibility for my actions. Something which NOBODY does down here.

So, as I and a student was about to be hit in the street because someone did not want to yield for pedestrians (which really scared the begezzesus out of her), I suddenly realized that not even human life is sacred in this region horrible. I am surrounded by monsters. Real life monsters.

Last night, while my husband and I was driving to Target, I was telling him how much I am finding myself hate people more and more. And the thought really scared me. I told him that my dream was to live as a hermit anyways but now more than ever, knowing that a serial rapist is running around the street behind my neighborhood at night, people cuss at you for doing something good, I cannot even get a since smile out of nobody for giving them a compliment or being polite. I wondered, "what happened to people?"

My life sucks too. A lot. But what good is it going to do to sit around and be negative and start treating people like dirt under my feet? I feel even worse for my husband who is an immigrant. He was taught integrity and morals, something which he is slowly realizing does not exist here.

Wow, even took me a while to remember that word.  

So how is this useful to me? well, since I have very few people where to whom I can vent at, I use my story to do so. I worked so hard to create the world of my humanoids that I forgot to flesh out the world of the humans. So nice to know that I do not need to look very far to create what I was trying to aim at. I see its example every single day. It was once really hard to come up with the human aspect of this world when i lived in another region of Florida where people actually said, "good morning" and if your car broke down, people stopped to help you. I could not imagine what monsters were like.

10 minutes until work again.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Forgetting the Tree

So before I head off into some writing for this afternoon, I wanted to continue this thought about forgetfulness.

Last night, I was finishing up some plot stuff. My heroine receives a gift of a human. Someone whom my ruler prays will help her calm down before she does something like burn the capital to the ground. This person is Taoist and is supposed to show her the Way. (Yes, I spent 4 years researching Taoism and chose it over Buddhism because I enjoyed more the principles it teaches. I have a folder full of notes on it.) BUT when i wrote these notes for this scene five years ago the ONLY thing I had written was "Charlotte receives Sifu from Richard - 'The Tree That Will Sacrifice Itself' "

..... I have no freaking clue what "The Tree That Will Sacrifice Itself" means and it is driving me crazy. I have forgotten things along the way. It is VERY annoying like you cannot believe. So now what does one do?

Simple, just redo what this person will teach my heroine. In a way it is better because she had changed so much over the years and at least this way, maybe she will absorb it better. She's a bit obstinate and sometimes she won't even listen to me. Ah, dames!

So some funny stuff. So I have this torture hold run by these centuries old beasts and it's out in the Mediterranean Sea closer to the south edge of France. I decided to call it by it's french name but since i do not speak french, I used one of my language dictionaries that I take with me abroad (They mostly speak French in the French part of Switzerland) and since the French alphabet is weird for me, I used a speaking bot to sound it out.

I had it said the name of the fortress and my guinea pig, Tiny, who is in the cage at the other end of the room began to purr. I did not think much about it and trying to learn how to say it correctly myself i played it a couple of times more. Every time, Tiny purred. I called my husband and had him listen to Tiny when she hears the French phrase. We were laughing hysterically. So our rat chatters to Yiddish and our guinea pig purrs to French. So cute...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thoughts - characters that once were

The critique of my 1/3 went well. The areas where I had the most problems were extremely noticeable. At first I dreaded it, not used to sharing my work with anyone - photo or writing. But I realize how important it is. I cannot see my flaws and I need another opinion. Needless to say, I was satisfied, I jotted down notes and now have it paper-clipped to my 1/3 - more fleshing out is needed.

I think my biggest concern is running out of steam - well it's more of my husband's worry than mine. But i can feel it sometimes. I don't know what great race I am trying to win but I was joking with my friend, "They owe me 5 years worth of back rent, it's time for them to go!" I think I just want them down, they've lived with me for nearly 15 years, these characters, I know everything about them. Sadly, I know more about them than I do about myself.

I think it's because I am forgetting. I had a couple of blood clots a few years ago and after that - I've forgotten a lot. Thank my stars that i write things down and my memory is able to be somewhat jump started but there are things and people and instances where I am clueless. I've ran into old classmates whom I just stare at like "Who the hell are you?" and these people remember me clearly. It happened right after the hospital, an old classmate named Sean, I ran into hum at a video store in Jupiter and I could not tell you who he was. It wasn't until hours later when i had a flashback of him breaking my apples in half with his bare hands.  I've kicked myself in the ass everyday because I remember the look on his face when he realized that I had no clue who he was. Heartbreaking, indeed.

I've sent away 2/3 to this dear friend. I hope one day to repay her kindness. Now I am trying to flesh out 3/3/ I told her, it's not going to be done now, after all of her critiques, i will go back and rework it even more. I described it like an oil painting, you build up from the darks to the lights.

I am happy to hear that my characters - once based off of people we both knew - still have the same energy but are completely their own person. It was the greatest compliment I could have heard. Cookie cutter characters were not what I wanted but I want to look back thirty years from now and remember who they started out as. Unbenounced to them, maybe this was how I viewed them. ;-) Or maybe, this was how I wished they were.

I had a whole different direction for this entry. Oh well. Another time.


Monday, August 29, 2011

In someone else's hands.

Such a scary thought. I rarely share my work with anybody or anything for that matter. Last night before bed, I finally got the balls to send off the first 3rd to a good friend. Ugh, my mind is so far away today, thinking of everything that can be wrong.

My husband told me not to doubt myself but being an artist, you of course feel like everything you do is awesome (well some of us anyway) but you know that not everyone is going to like it.

I just hope that the point gets across, its not too slow, not too boring.......

Editing the 2/3 but I may go ahead to start the 3/3. I am happy that it will stay within my goal of 90K- 95K words.

Maybe I should take a short nap before work again. Stop thinking about the book for a bit. :) (like that actually happens)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The best part about writing... that I get to kill people anyway I choose and not have to get in trouble for it! Yay! :D

Hahahaaa... or I should be saying, Muhahahahaa!! (Que lighting and thunder sequence in the background). Yeah, it's late and I feel sinister! but this sinister princess is going to bed in 10 minutes...

Just finally finished setting up for a scene that I will be writing in the next couple of days. For my heroine (not the drug!!!) to progress, I got to kill this one guy. It's not like they like each other but him being dead is crucial to her getting to the next level. Sorry gotta go buddy... it's okay, people will mourn you. Ciao!

A funny scenario happened today. As I am typing away, my husband comes over and i do not even notice him, he suddenly says, "Honey? Are you sad?"

I guess the expression on my face was rather somber. I shook my head, "I'm not here right now." And I am so lost into the scene that I forgot what he said, but I guess it wasn't that important because he just came over and kissed me. cutie pie!

I am actually excited, I saved up money for a net book. I want to keep my laptop for my photo work and use a netbook to work on my writings on. Some people may think a tablet is better but I am not always guaranteed a flat surface to use the portable extra keyboard and I like using a keyboard to type with. I just want a portable device to have Word or, bluetooth and....that's it. My husband who is super techie, helped me choose one to suit my needs and most importantly, one with a keyboard I would like.Yay it will be here Thursday! Super stoked. :)

Off to dreaming of death and murder in the Everglades!

Schlaff Gut alle!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book 1: 70 pages, retyped...phew!

Took those 70 pages and retyped them, that was enough to wear me out. The best part was that I had the chance to rework a few things, edit out a whole bunch of stuff that I was hesitant with and take what I wanted in a different direction. Yay!

Replaced a older section with a new one, yet similar and got to re work it. But i once I do the written edits, i can continue adding the other parts.

See, the bad thing (or maybe it was bad), was that over the years, I wrote parts. I thought, "Oh, well, i just piece them together." the only bad thing is to now having to piece them after 15, 10, 5, years or so. So stuff will have to be re-worked.

I think the best part is that all my characters are on board to get this done.  - sounds crazy I know.  :)

Let the fun begin!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

And Book 1 begins

And a great thing has happened - (back story first) about oh, 5 years ago, I lost a file. And it was the file to the early version of the beginning of Book one in a series I am slowly writing. So for me, as an artist, it was as if someone stole my child from me - or I assume so. I was frantic, I flipped out and went crazy and feel into a depression for a year or so.

Luckily for me, I am still old fashion and need to print out my pages to edit (I cannot do editing on the screen, my eyes get tired after a while). So I had everything on paper...but came the daunting task of re-writing at least 70 pages of information, and I just stopped.

My husband has realized that the wooden chest in the bedroom is filled with written notes, research and stuff to be edited. I thought I told him I wrote; he just knew I did photography and painting. He has no idea what the series is about (since English is his 3rd or 4th language and he is not from a European background so abstract concepts, Western European folklore and American myths are a little hard for him to comprehend. To him it makes no sense.) BUT it has not deterred him to help me the best way he can. He has been an inspiration for me to complete my first book.

We laid in "bed" (or the make shift Shiki mattress (oh i dream of having one!) since he sleeps like they do in Japan) and he wanted to know my goals. It felt silly telling him - someone like him who is very scientific - that I hope to publish my first book in a year or two. To go back for my Masters in Photography and if I could find a way to spend everyday doing my art and make a living from it, I would be the happiest person in the world.

So he introduced me to that free printing service online (Vistaprint? - I have so much going on, I do not remember what comes in my mail anymore), and I took advantage to make 100 free note cards with the tagline of my book, like the cards you would pick up from an aspiring author's table at a writing or themed genre convention. I got it in the mail Friday, and to see something printed with my plot line...made me cry.

"I can do this Alizza!" I said to my husband. "The world and people in my head that I have worked on for over 15 years, I can give them life."

He just smiled and kissed my hand.

So starting at the beginning, means taking those 70 or so pages and retyping them. And you know what, I am happy I did because I was NOT entirely satisfied with the beginning I had written back then. This is a good new start. So far I have about 20 pages left to get through before I can continue on with the first book.

Now I just need the balls to share my work with someone for a sound critique.....oh, such a scary thought.

Friday, July 8, 2011



---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

6 weeks in.

So far, all is good and I am very happy. A little stressed out but when you live at home, that's already a given.

My beloved hubbykins is really motivating me to push forward and challenge myself - and he knows how to do it the right way with a new lens for my camera. Then filters to fit those lenses and finally, something I have always wanted, a really good camera bag that is ergonomic and I can travel and hike with. ... like I said, the best!

 Took advantage of some Vistaprint awesomeness and ordered some promotional materials. That will be coming in sometime in the next few weeks. 

Plans for the summer? Of course!! Alizza revamped my laptop so I need to reload everything into it. This summer is building a new portfolio and getting my writing into gear and also get down the last 40 lbs. I do have one student for the summer that I meet twice a week for English. She needs to be able to read at a 2nd grade level for the next school year. 


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wow! Happy early Chinese New Year!

Aside from the end of the year insanity, it has been a good start to the new year.

I enjoyed my trip to Turkey again. I got to fly Turkish Airlines from Zurich and I could never get over watching the screen where they talk about airplane safety. 1. It takes forever!!! They say it first in Turkish, then its repeated in English. On the corner of the screen a man that looks like Mr. Bean appears and does sign language for the hearing impaired in both Turkish and then in English. There are also subtitles. I like that they are effectively throurough but it is dull. The best part of the whole video is when they list EVERY SINGLE electronic device that is not permitted to use on the plane. Seriously, an electric razor? its only listed because someone has tried to use one!!

I loved seeing my fiance again. We sat in the airport for an hour just looking at each other. All those months of talking and we had nothing to say, just to sit quietly and hold each others hand and look. It was a wonderful moment. Then we began talking. Oh how I have missed him!

mmmmm...ground lentil soup!
Cheesy bread from the corner vendor :D <3
Hot cups of corn from the street vendor
In the Ulus bazaar you can buy leeches!
Hole in the ground toilets. >: | (bad memories of Italy suddenly came to mind)
Brought the wrong shoes to Ankara, so had to go show shopping. Not like I mind but my feet size is unusual for women in Turkey!!! :(
I am marrying the best man on the planet, he suffered through 4 hours of looking for shoes shops that carried my size.
In retrospect, I suffered through 2 days of looking for a suit that will fit him! My beloved is 6'2.5 and very lean. :) While Turkish men are average height and built in the shoulders.
Bought Kebab spices!!
A sweet afternoon eating Turkish Baklava and drinking Cappuccinos.
Keshar cheese!

Then I sadly returned to Switzerland to spend time with my sister and cutie pie nephews. Such handsome little boys! They are just a delight!

My trip was too short this time but I will travel again in 2012.

I came back to then suffer with 2 bulging disks in my lower spine (oh the misery). Thank you work! bastards. But I have used all my wedding savings to get my back into shape. Bittersweet. :/

Walked slowly yesterday with my mother a breast cancer survivor at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I enjoy doing these events with her. It boosts her spirit and how can you say not to walking on a beautiful sunny morning. The best part was walking down the street afterward to grab some munchies at the Green Market.