Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fixing Old Writing Mistakes Makes Me Scream & Book Reviews

It's been yet another rainy week. So exercise has been a bust :/ We had a bad drought last summer so I am happy to see it rain but I'd like to walk sometimes!

I got to finish read two book this week after finally getting around to it.
I was excited to get around to reading the second installment of Kat Falls' novel Rip Tide. Her books, with its focus on the oceans and the environment has definitively caught some attention here in Florida. Her first book Dark Life is already on the Florida Sunshine State reader's list and Reading Count's list as well as on her website, for science teachers, you can make lesson plans from the book.

Rip Tide continues the underwater journey of Ty as he runs into a new set of characters after his folks are kidnapped by the nomads of the oceans who live on Townships (giant floating cities). If you ever wondered what happened to the oil rigs if the seas ever rose or that giant pile of trash floating around in the Atlantic the size of Germany, you get to run into it again. Gemma joins him as she learns to overcome her fear of diving. A definite read and absolutely enjoyable. I'm not going to give anything away because it's worth reading for yourself!!

The Princesses of Iowa is a huge difference from what I normally read. These girls have grown up together as the elite of their tiny (nothing to do except football and be homecoming queens) town. After drinking at a party and getting into an accident, their lives change forever. The focus is on a princess named Paige. Me being the outcast my whole life, it was hard for me to understand Paige until 2/3 through the book when she decides that she doesn't want to stay in the town forever and her "friends" begin to hate her. I liked her even more when she starts to stand up for what she believes in. Even though she's still whiny and annoying.

I do believe the book does point out the realities of life, there is too much drinking in underage kids (among other things), too much prejudice against anything different and close mindedness. I have seen how beauty, shallow mindedness and wealth is considered a better aspect of a woman my whole life and because I believed otherwise, I never fell into the wrong crowd. Okay, so I was always alone but now my life has a better sense of purpose because I always followed my heart.

A great read. A little hard to get into at first and a little too much foul language for my tastes but it does show what I believe to be true, people are ruder, meaner and full of hate more these days.

Now onto to another subject: editing past mistakes. I have no idea what I was doing. When I first decided I wanted to write about the universe in my head, I wrote scenes, back stories, and sometimes, even whole parts of books. I never knew I'd be putting them together one day.

The worst part is that now I have to go back in to fix all of my grammar and punctuation mistakes. -_-;;;; It's like banging my head against a wall. I keep telling myself that "It's okay! It'll be fixed in the end." Yeah, I just have to do this for how many more other scenes???

Even up until a year ago, I was putting the punctuation in the wrong places. So now 165 pages of B2 has to be fixed. I wrote up a little example here (it's not my story, just an example):
The original bad text with Word's suggestions
You see? Okay, now here is AFTER I read through it and attack it with the red pen:
Makes you want to cry, huh? Imagine 165 pages of this. It takes FOREVER to fix. Even now, I can see more I would do to it.

So I pace myself, ten pages everyday. It's all I can mentally handle. I currently have 25 more to go but today, we're working on the kitchen so I may get to fix maybe no more than 3 tonight.

Stay dry, Florida and drive safely. Until next week!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Purging & Middle Eastern Omelet

Well first, I have to start with what my husband and I had for lunch. I just call it Middle Eastern Omelet. When I fist made omelet for him, he looked at it weird (you know, the scrambled eggs and then you flip it, then add cheese). "This is not omelet." So then he made omelet that he is more used to and unlike Americans, they don't usually eat omelet for breakfast.
Middle Eastern Omelet made by my hubby <3

Veggies (tomatoes, green pepper, green onion, garlic) are at the bottom. 4 eggs on top. And of course my mushrooms. I made sure he put only a pinch of jalapeno pepper because I'm not a huge spice nut. 

This is a shared dish. He had it with slices of  toasted sourdough and I was fine with one small roll. 

I'm happy he made the yolks over-medium. I find that the dish overall doesn't taste as fabulous when the yolks are too runny. 

And now, the best part about my weekend, purging. Since we sold my car, I pulled out my auto folder. I was an excellent car owner and I planned on keeping that car forever so that meant maintenance. Well, it's gone so I was able to put well over 90 papers into our "reuse" pile (I print of those for editing and couponing), some went into the recycle bin and the rest will be shredded. Since I was on a role, I went through my old college papers (pre-internet age) and discarded old FASFA forms (remember when it was done on paper??) and lots of other garbage I never will need again. 

It felt really good to see it all go. Felt like that drama of a life before is gone. Then my current drama reminded me that I was sitting on the hard floor for two hours. My back screamed at me and I had to lay down and stretch. Luckily, my husband lent me his thigh as a pillow and made me laugh. 

AND we got his car tinted!!! :D It feels 1000% better. I've been to this guy before and he's awesome and reasonable and he doesn't put the cheap crap in your car. If you need a tint, seriously call Darren Carlson, owner of Tint USA in Lake Worth, FL. (561)-723-3728. 

Overall, an excellent weekend. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Anyone Looking For a Car?

You know, I had this whole blog topic sorted out for this past Sunday, but as always, life happened and it has now escaped me!

This past week was busy, both at work and home. We're selling my car (total bummer). Anyone needing a very reliable car that will survive the hypothetical Apocalypse can view it HERE :( Ya'll have no idea how upset I am but my husband is going to school (yay!!) and we will not need two cars for now. It makes no sense to pay for its insurance with money we don't have AND pay the parking fee to never use it.

How's hubby-kins getting to school, you ask? Well, as we know Palm Beach County bus system sucks, in comparison to other countries I've lived in. BUT we are super blessed to live on the most opportune road only .25 of a mile from the college AND have a bus stop right outside of the development's entrance in front of the park that have 3 buses per hour (absolutely unheard of in this county!!!)  that'll take him to the college.

Bus passes are, of course, not cheap but we do quality for a transportation disadvantage program because we are poor that will get him a cheaper bus pass. At least being poor actually amounts to something for once! And no, I am not ashamed. Being the coupon princess that I am, I am always looking for a good bargain.

I've been getting back to my walking and enjoying it. It's a bit hot but I wait until it starts to cool down and head on out. My heat gear is all ready for another burning hot summer! I just have to wash my hat and I'm set!

Work is work. It's summer now and expecting all the kids to ransack (I hope not) the library. Our library made the cover of the local-local paper (not the county one) which was nice.

Lastly, writing is writing. I've been blaming Anne McCaffrey for stealing me away. I'm been lost in her Freedom series. Oh my goodness, I forgot how awesome her books are.

Now that I am back to the present, I have been waiting patiently for my criticizer to get through my first book. Her opinion is valuable, there's no way I feel good sending anything out until she's given me her two cents. *nudge nudge* :) The wait is making me loosely work on B.2 (how funny, I have a title for it) and character background stories. I've been doing extensive research into all sorts of things (best part about working at a library is that everything is at my finger-tips).

That's it. I will have a pic up for our June display next blog (hopefully on time!). 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Gun Range

My week was very random. We've been having constant rain and the low pressure + stress caused me to suffer with migraines for most of the week. My husband and I started to nerd it out and are making our way slowly through the History Channel series Cities of the Underworld Season 1. And we've been enjoying pausing the DVD and discussing parts of it. Now we have some places we are definitively going to travel to one day! The host is a little annoying but it's alright. It's great for my husband who is not super familiar with Western Europe places and myths and ancient history (unless it's WWII related). That's where I come in! :D

The highlight of my weekend was a LivingSocial voucher we finally redeemed. It's for a concealed weapons course. Now y'all know I don't like guns and don't condone using them for anything other than to protect yourself (I don't even like hunting) in your home. I grew up in a house with guns (mostly rifles) but we were NEVER allowed to touch them and my dad always had them well hidden. I could not tell you where they were, ever.

So we went to a gun and archery range. Y'all know I did archery for years and love it (note I did not use the past tense), but here, they have no open ranges, not like out in east of Town and Country/Tampa in the archery forests near the Boy Scout Camp. I miss that place :/

The instructor Michael Henry was very thorough. Yeah, I felt bad I needed to handle the semi-automatic multiple times to understood how it worked but I was just happy he let me practice with the unloaded one first. It was hard to load, my left shoulder is significantly weaker after the injury but I did it. But it's near impossible to pull the barrel back to load it. I'm sticking with revolvers. I like things that are low maintenance anyways.

We got to shoot (part of the class) and it was so funny. I pressed myself into a corner with my target shivering. The room was hot, small and shells were flying everywhere. It was so damn loud even with the earmuffs.

I watched my husband go and he did so-so. Which I still think it's funny because he's military trained! I waited to go almost last, just until I got used to the explosive noise of guns going off around me. I get to my little area, he hands me 10 bullets and tells me to let him know when I'm done loading. Now having a elbow height table to load, made it easier and somehow, I got 10 bullets into the magazine. He hung up my target, moved it to 5 yards and shaking, I held the gun, he adjusted my hands. Watch my stance! I adjusted and I had a fabulous moment. I remembered using a spot meter in the photo studio.

When I can compare things to art it's easier for me. Using the gun was a like the spot meters we trained with in college for studio photography. You had to align your sights, close one eye and press the trigger and you get a metered result.

Ditto. I fired. I jumped and I remembered him telling me "Do not drop the gun!", I held onto that hot piece of metal. I was sweating and I did it again, I hit and hit and then it jammed. I get a moment to breathe (thank you!) as he explained about bad bullets. It jammed again. Again, I got to breathe.

I just kept my eye on the target, leaned in with my shoulder, and tried to hit area 5 (stomach/abdomen). When the barrel looked weird (like it was open), I ran out of bullets. He hollered something at me, maybe "What do you do next?" (I was so freaked out) and I dropped the magazine and stepped back.

He pulled the target in and I was so shocked. Out of the other 4 students, I hit the blue figure-shaped person with my bullets!! I can aim and hit. Wow...

My husband was so proud, I think everyone expected me to fail but I did it. So I passed. We went home and dad showed me his baby, his .22 revolver (I don't know anything about brands). So I am going to be keeping that guy in shape. The range we were at have half-price Mondays and you can rent guns too. So every once and a while, I'll practice with a semi-auto just to remember.

AND the best perk out of all of this, I know what's it like to fire, load and hold a gun. It will be a billion times easier to write my main heroine since she uses a gun. I already have the Crime Scene Tech education and now gun handling. If I could do paintball (when my back is not sore), that would be even better and I'm set on her hobbies.

I was working on a short story for a competition and last night, I went in and adjusted a scene JUST because of this course. Thank you SOOOOOO much!

Just to add a note. I told my husband in bed, that was loud and scary. I would rather have a baseball bat to hit people with. I cannot even imagine the emotional trauma I would endure after watching someone scream after I shot them in self defense. Just gives me the willies thinking about it!

Until next week!