Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Write: What to Write

As I have mentioned before, I signed up for the Fiction Project earlier this year.  I still haven't finished it yet and it is due in the mail by May 1st.  So in an effort to get stuff off my To Do List, I am going to share with you an outline of what I will be writing about.  For some reason, I seem to be stuck in the 'When April gets here I will start writing about it' mindset and it's killing me.  Hopefully I will start writing this week.  No, not hopefully, I will start writing this week.

It's a very rough outline, based mostly on dialogue.  I need to flesh it out enough to fill many many pages, yikes.  So I better get to it, right? 

1 - Man confronts a woman hanging around outside his house.
* Leave me alone and go away.
* That's fine.  I'll see you in five minutes.
* I'm calling the cops.
* Please do.  Maybe they can help.

2 - She shows up inside
* It's been five minutes.  Are you ready to go?
* He's standing over his body while his wife gives him CPR
* Him:  All I remember is a flash and a pain.  I was making dinner
* It got you quick.  I'm sorry but you are dead.  I'm here to guide you to the Underworld
* But they might save me
*  If you linger, you might live.  But you'd be in a coma.  You wouldn't be alive.
* What happens now?
* That depends on you.

3 - The Under World
* What do you believe in?
* I don't know
* Travel down gray streets - a run down area full of ghosts and those who feel like they've lost their souls but are still alive.  Humanity clinging to the gutters, not wanting to disapear.
* House at the end of the street - full of waiting spirits, an eternal waiting room.
* Purgatory for those that haven't figured out what they want
* Takes a tour of different doors in the house that lead to different beliefs, different heavens, different hells
* Someone runs out of a hell door and slams it shut, gasping and sinks into a seat.  He gets up and tags along when they go by - someone she knows.
* I told you it wasn't fun.

4 - Fields of Asphodel
* The gray plain full of wandering listless spirits trampling down the grasses.
* Judges sit in high thrones
* If you want judgment, this is it.  Or you can choose your own adventure in the house.
* The judges nod him towards an open door

5 - Hospital where a baby is being born
* They gave you a chance to be reborn.  You figured out you wanted another chance to live.
* Would I remember?
*  That's the whole point, no.  You have five minutes.
* What about you?  What did you decide?
* I chose to help.
*So will I.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Inspire: Clearing Out the To Do Pile

Oh no!  It's an overflowing To Do pile!  Quick, do something or it will drown us in unfinished ideas!  Aaaaah!

I have a long list of things I want to do, crafts I want to make, stories I want to write, places I want to go.  I make lists of these things... and then walk away.  That's part of the reason why my word and focus for 2011 is Action. 

I have been pretty blah last week and all I've managed to get done is Netflix.  But I am making it a priority to get things done this week.  Am I going to get my whole back log done?  Oh hell no.  But I can accomplish at least one thing.  I'm hoping to set up a reasonable timeline to get something else done too.  And I will try to follow at least one of the organizing strategies I have run across. 

I feel so much better when things are done.  But I get get sucked into the loop of feeling bad for not getting things done, so other things don't get done because I feel guilty, etc, spiral loop of doom.  Enough of that.  I just want to get it done.

I started this weekend and I am very proud of what I accomplished, even though it did involve a large amount of movie time.  But I finished a project and set up another one.  Let's hope I can keep this flow going all week and continue it down the road.

Do you ever get stuck by your own insecurities or guilt?  I have the most horrible time with guilt.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Create: Air Mail!

I'm excited about this last zine I made.  It was for a mini-zine swap on Swap-Bot and was open to any theme. I decided I needed to finally start using my stamps, so I made a zine about traveling the world folded up in an envelope.

It's called Air Mail.  The graphics I used for the front and throughout the zine are from the Postal Museum.  I have to make sure I never plan on selling this zine because I'm not sure on the copyright of the images.  I'm pretty sure they are free domain, but you never know.  But the Smithsonian does say we can use images for personal use, and this is personal use, and I have the Postal Museum's website on the back.

This was a cute zine.  I can't wait to make another!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Write: A Meadow Invasion

The scent of mint filled the air, bringing a smile to Mintha's face.  She lowered her nose to the delicate plants and inhaled slowly before moving on to another plant.  The meadow stretched out around her, a wild garden in the heart of the woods.

Weeds full of medicinal and magical properties grew in her meadow, all tended by her careful hand.  In the center, most special of all, grew the prize of her collection.  Touched by the hands of the Gods, it was said that the seed that fell here came from the narcissus Kore dropped when taken to the Underworld.  The beautiful cup was a golden yellow, a king among flowers.  The trees grew away from the clearing, knowing not to encroach on it's bit of sunlight.

Mintha sang out to her charges as she sat beside them, plaiting dandelions in her hair.  A swift breeze skittered through the trees whispering a warning.  Mintha fell silent and so did the forest, waiting to see what would happen.  A sharp noise turned her around, peering into the underbrush.  Animals and Fae had come to her for healing, for companionship, but neither would scare the forest into silence.  Humans rarely found their way with their clumsy feet and hard hands.  But only humans would cause such a silence.  She held her breath, staring at the opening between trees.

They began swaying in agitation.  The leaves trembled and stirred as if a fitful wind was pushing against them.

"Run," they whispered.  "Run.:

Mintha stood, yellow blossoms falling from her hands.  Men stomped out of the forest in all directions, hands filled with shovels and buckets.  There was no where to run.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Inspire: A Little Zine

I've been enamored of zines for the past year or two.  My art group hosted a workshop on how to make them and I had a blast.  I don't know why I missed out on the whole zine thing before, but I am glad I have finally found them.

A friend of mine writes a zine and blog as her business.  It's a pretty nifty monthly craft zine called Craft Leftovers.  She introduced me to a wonderful zine put out by Sue Mwamba and her wonderful world of Tanglecraft zines.  There are a lot of other really great zines out there that have nothing to do with crafting.  I like checking out Microcosm and PM Press for different zines.

And, of course, I like making them!

I signed up for a wonderful mini zine swap that is due on Friday and found a fantastic new way of making a zine on another swap!  I swap on Swap-Bot right now.  It's called a maze book.  I've known how to do a maze book since that first workshop I attended.  But this makes it into something new.  I'm excited about it!  Now I just need a theme...

I'm hoping to get a list of my zines up on a side bar or page soon.  If you like zines and feel like swapping, let me know!  Or if you just want to check one out, you can let me know too. :)

Have a great Monday!  I'm off to the doctor and dentist.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Create: Shepard's Pie

It's more English than Irish, but for St. Paddy's day I made Shepard's Pie.

Here's what's left since I was too hungry to remember to take a before photo!  I found the recipe here and mostly followed it. It turned out very yummy and fulfilled my craving for it. 

I've made shepard's pie burgers before.  Take all the veggies and mix them into the ground beef and make hamburgers.  Once they are done, top with mashed potatoes and cheese.  Very yummy.

I've also been working on my new bag but keep getting distracted by netflix.  I'm embroidering the front with a pattern I found in Woolly Embroidery:  Crewell Work, Stump Work, Canvas Work and More!  Most of th e pattern lines have rubbed off now so it's a bit hard going.  I kept having to undo all my work last night.  It's not done yet, but I'm getting close.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Write: The Fiction Project

Today there won't be a story or a poem, but I'd like to share with you one of the projects that I am working on.  Some of you may know about the Sketchbook Project, where sketchbooks were sent out to be filled on a theme and then displayed in a moving library.  The Art House Co-op that put on the Sketchbook Project are now working on The Fiction Project.

The Fiction Project is a similar idea, but at least 51% of the book must be writing.  They don't want printed lettering, they want handwriting.  They want to connect people to the written word by writing it and fusing it with art.

Art?  Yes, art.  I have to be all fancy and figure out how to add art to my story.  I might do cut and paste like I've been doing for my zines, or I might doodle here and there (which is pretty likely).  

My theme is "In Five Minutes..."  I think my story  my be about a descent into the underworld and thinking about how every person, not just every religion, has a different take on what happens when you die.  So my ghosts will wander through different vistas and ideas.  I'm still mulling it over, even though I need to start writing, trying to decide if it's too morbid of an idea.  But I think it will be fun. 

The book is due in the mail on May 1st.  Let's hope I can get it done!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inspire: It's Pi Day!

Happy 3.14 Day!  Those nerds among you may now this as Pi(e) Day.  March 14th reads, of course, like 3.14, the first few digits in the mathematical Pi.  So why do we celebrate this day?  Because Pi is a great number that helps you figure out circle measurements and we get to eat Pie.

Everybody loves Pie.

This morning I got up earlier than I normally due (but still after a couple of snooze hits) and threw a breakfast pizza pie in the oven.  Then I discovered that I was still sick so I went back to bed after breakfast.  For lunch, the kiddo (who is on spring break) had turkey pot pies.  For dinner, we are getting together with friends and having pizza pie, apple pie, and pumpkin pie (yuck). 

It's a pie kind of day. 

I think I will try to figure out Mincemeat Pies for next year.

Are you celebrating the joys of Pi?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Create: My Supernatural Planner

There have been a lot of shows and movies that I have loved, such as Firefly, Doctor Who, and (guilty secret) Make It Or Break It.  But even though I love love love Firefly, I've never really gotten around to making any item from fandom.  I only recently bought the DVD of the series.

So why is it that only a week after watching Supernatural season 1, I felt the overwhelming urge to make something based on the show?  I blame stationary.

Stationary and I have had a torrid love affair for awhile.  I lust after it, get it, then worry about making a mess with it.  Only recently have I said, screw it, I'm writing on you and I don't care if I mess it up.  It's still a work in progress.  Some friends have to be drug out of the shoe aisle.  I get dragged out of stationary supplies.

I like to think that there are three main characters in Supernatural.  Dean, Sam, and John's Journal.  John, the dad, is a big figure in the show and they are searching for him, but the journal itself is in almost every episode.  They actually show the pages not just the outside of it.  It's an old planner that has been repurposed into a monster hunting guide.  It's awesome. 

So when the bright lime green binder I had been using as a planner started tearing, I figured I would make it into a Supernatural journal. 

John's journal looks like a leather planner and while I wanted to do something based off the show, I wanted it to be my own as well.  After all, I might write stories about monsters but I didn't plan on my planner being a how to guide.

You can see the lime green in the photo above.  I chose that color originally in an effort to keep track of it.  If I turned it into a brown journal, I would loose the color.  So I chose a different color.

The belt holding it closed is a lovely bright lime green, close to the original color.  It's not as eye catching, but it catches the eye.  I repurposed the buckle from an old belt of my sons, just two D rings that are easy to undo but hold it all together.  I didn't want to mess with rivets and this way I can expand my journal as needed.

Before I made the cover, I had a bunch of stuff stuck in the pockets, so I made sure I had at least one in the cover.

The cover was made the way you cover a text book or a reading book.  It is just folded over and sewn in place.  I added the pocket by sewing the edges around the flap before sewing the flap closed to the front.  The belt was made before that and sewn into place on top of the flat fabric.

Now I am ready to go monster hunting!  Or at least remember when my next meeting is.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Write: Donut Hunting

I had my days mixed up yesterday and kept thinking it was already Thursday.  So I apologize for the late post with no warning.  I hope you enjoy the quick flash fiction introduction to my newest creations.  

Have a happy Thursday! 

“Felix, butts and elbows!”

“It’s six in the morning, Moe.  What the hell am I doing up this early?  No monster attacks at six in the morning.”

“Maybe not monsters, but cops attack donuts.  Humans attack the road.  And dawn attacks the night.  Get up, lazy, and get going.”  Moe grinned at the redhead and slung his duffle bag over a shoulder as he headed out the room.  The door banged against the wall and morning light filled the room.  Moe started whistling at his highest pitch as he slung his bag into the backseat.  He could hear Felix groan as the high pitch woke up him further. 

The pair had gotten into town at a decent hour last night, but Felix decided that it was his duty to investigate the different bottles at the hotel bar.  Moe leaned against the door and dug into the box of donuts he had liberated from the shop before the cops got there.  In all his fifty years, he wasn’t sure there was a greater joy than getting to the donut shop first.  He hid a grin behind a chocolate glaze as Felix stumbled out of the room.
The younger man was only in his mid-twenties.  He constantly had bedhead, no matter how many times he brushed his hair and this morning Moe didn’t think the redhead had even tried to tame his shaggy hair.  Felix scowled at the sun like it was shining just to spite him, opening blue eyes just enough to not run into things.  The younger man had only one arm in his flannel jacket over a black tshirt and faded jeans.  Moe had taken the time to button his plaid shirt and make sure his black jeans were clean, but Felix tended to roll out into whatever was laying closest to his bed.

“So what are we hunting so early in the morning?  Whatever it is, I think it should die.”  Felix groaned as he slung his own bag into the back.  At least he took care not to hit the gun cases. 

Moe offered him the donut box after Felix finished putting on his jacket.  When his apprentice took the box, Moe pushed off and opened the door.  Sliding into the seat, the old man tried not to laugh, “The open road, kid.  I thought we’d get an early start.” 

Felix stood where he was, meditatively munching on his donut for a few moments and staring at what had been his bed.  He heaved a heavy sigh and got in the passenger side.  He shook his head and closed the door with disgust.  “Some days I hate you, Edward Mosley.”

Laughter followed them out of town.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Noumenia: A New Month Begins

I had big plans for this month.  I was going to change the way I posted things here at Mused.  I was going to start up my new blog.  I was going to do lots of things.  But, of course, only a few things managed to get done.

I did finally post to my new blog, The Gods and I, and plan to update that blog at least once a week.  It will host my religious ramblings and events.  I hadn’t posted there yet because when I started it, I thought I would cut out all religion from this blog to make it more accessible for different sorts of people.  But I never really liked that thought.  Now I am going to use it to make myself accountable for practicing my religion. 

I had a conversation with a friend about changing the blog and his response made me rethink my drastic measures.  I was going to drop the name tags for each blog and turn it more into a ‘what I’m doing’ sort of blog.  There would still be inspiration - what is going on right now, writing – my process and ramblings rather than pieces, and creating – things in progress and what others are doing.  I think I will keep some of these ideas, but I would rather integrate them into what I am doing now.  My friend made me realize that I just needed to change the way I approached it than to redo it entirely. 

I’ve started that this week and a bit last, focusing on what inspires me than what is going on the calendar.  That bogged me down too much and made it boring to post.  The writing and crafting sections may not match the inspiration for the week, but that’s okay because it doesn’t have to.  The writing section may at times be an update on a project I am doing rather than a piece of fiction or poetry.  The crafting section may be about something in progress like it was last week with my daisy square blanket or it may be a review of a new craft book that I enjoyed. 

I’ve been going a million different directions lately and I need to stop and return the focus to where it needs to be.  My house is a disaster, my kiddo is going through a bunch of stuff, and I barely lit a candle for Noumenia this month instead of the rituals.  I need to center, come at things from the bottom up, and not take on more than I can chew.

This month is a new beginning, a return to finding joy in everything, even cleaning my house.

Have a great month!

Inspire: Something Supernatural

I had a conversation with a friend a couple weeks ago about TV shows.  He was looking for something new to watch.  I suggested Being Human and, being an addict, Doctor Who.  I also said that I had caught an episode or two of Supernatural and it looked interested.

His response was an emphatic get it, watch it, love it.  So I borrowed the first season from the library and I have to say, I love it.

Supernatural follows two brothers around the US as they follow supernatural occurrences in a search for their father and the thing that killed their mother.  They killed a Bloody Mary type creature, a White Lady ghost, a Tibetan thought form, and a Wendigo.

In the first season, they came to Iowa twice.  Twice!  Granted, they didn't really come to Iowa and they didn't do very good research, but they still used Iowa.  I guess that's 'cause we are awesome and so boring to most people that we should be the place where supernatural things happen.  But Ankeny does not have a university, thank you very much.

In addition to them being wonderful hunters, con artists, and identity thieves, they are cute.  Although I'm only interested in Dean Winchester. :)

I've got season two on reserve at the library and I can see this show being something that I bring home. 

I normally don't care for thrillers or horror films because I have a tendency to think too much and get nightmares.  And I hate mind thrillers because of that reason.  It sticks in my head and makes me wonder about every closed door and mirror in the house.  Let me rephrase that.  I love them, but I don't like the after effects.

This show has elements of everything.  There are some gory scenes, some mind games, comedy, and tears all interwoven.  I typically try to watch something else before I go to bed after watching Supernatural, and the Bloody Mary episode made it so I didn't want to look at the mirror that night, but it still draws me back in. 

If you are looking for something new to watch, I highly recommend Supernatural.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Create: A Work in Progress

I decided, like every year, to start on my xmas presents early.  This year I actually started some xmas projects.  Maybe they will be xmas projects...if I can get them done on time.  I've got months to go and I'm worried about getting them done!

I found this fantastic book at Hobby Lobby back in January.  It is Crocheted Afghans by Melody Griffiths.  I normally don't buy new craft books, I rent them from the library or find old ones at book sales.  But I had a coupon and there were a good number of projects that I wanted to make.

The project I decided to start on and am dreading the weaving of ends is this one.  It's called Roses and Daisies Throw.  It has one hundred small squares joined together to make up roses and daisies.  Right now I'm working on the daisies and I may double up the number and leave out the roses all together.  I'm not that big a fan of them.  But I may change my mind. 

Part of the reason I wanted this book is that it has a bunch of projects perfect for scrap yarn.  I have a bunch of yarn that I got from my great-grandma.  She can't crochet anymore and so gave most of it to me.  That means I have a lot of yarn, but not all of it in the best of colors.  This throw lets me take the smaller colors and use them for something.  It doesn't matter how much I have or how little, I can just switch out colors as I will.

I've been rotating a group of three colors to make six squares and then I change colors.  I've just about reached the point where I think I might have to repeat colors. 

Here is the one I'm working on now.  It's not the best choice of colors, but once I use the blue outside the center on the next set, I think it will look fine.

I haven't been working on this for awhile but I picked it back up this week.  I've been watching the first season DVD of Supernatural and doing this keeps me from feeling like I'm extremely lazy for sitting on the couch. 

And tonight I go to my concert!  Yes!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Write: "Before the Band"

The crowd was restless, constantly moving in one place like a sea bodies pushing against the shores of the room.  They jabbered at each other, talking to fill the space with waves of sound.  There was no clock on the wall, but they all knew what time it was.

The doors opened at seven, letting them in as small groups, couples, trickling into the empty room where canned music was largely ignored.  They weren’t there for the stereo.  The dance floor had slowly disappeared under clumps of feet as the night wore on.

Stella shook her head as she made her way through the bodies.  With five minutes to go, the floor was packed.  She had to use an elbow judiciously here and there to make it all the way to the bar.  She was had been having fun watching everyone glance up for a clock, then down at their cellphones and watches.  Everyone around her was antsy with anticipation.  She was jumping up and down in place waiting and yelling along with the crowd.

Then her boss called and she had to push through the sea of humanity.

“Stella, I’m so glad you were already here.  I can’t believe Ryan called in sick,” John shot her a look of gratitude as she reached the bar.  His large hands never stopped moving, pouring shots and pulling beers for the crush of bodies against the long wooden bar.

Stella slipped behind it and tied an apron around her waist.  She quickly braided her long brown hair back and secured it with a hair tie.  Wrinkling her nose, she grabbed a glass and started filling it.  “Just wait until it’s time to add all this overtime to my check, boss man.  This is my favorite band.”

She filled the order shouted at her loud and clear as the canned music shut off.  The silence lasted only a moment before the crowd filled it, chanting the name of the band.  The house lights had gone down and bodies were starting to take their places on stage.  Stella sighed, turning her back on the sudden flare of stage lights, and making change at the cash register.