Monday, December 22, 2008

ZG: Day 49, 50 & 51 - More snow, less writing

Day 49: 2,045 words
Day 50: 0 words
Day 51: 0 words

Snowpacalpyse continues, and I found myself doing some serious slacking off this weekend. Perhaps it was due to the lazy feelings 6-8 inches of snowfall inspires. Whatever the case may be, I expect I'll be spending whatever the amount of time my flight is delayed on my laptop, catching up.

Saturday we stayed indoors and tried a new mod for Civ IV called Fall from Heaven 2. Awesome. I wish we would have found it sooner. It's exactly what I've been looking for - something that turns Civ IV into a slightly different game, with different goals. It was awesome fun. I'm sure we'll be playing it some more with Erik's cousin when I get home after the New Year.

Sunday the snow just kept coming, and we braved the elements for some Qudoba burrito babies and a trip to Freddie's for trash bags, noodles, mac & cheese, and Age of Empires III (an RTS (real time strategy) game for the computer). I was Spanish and Erik was the Germans. The goal is to beat up the other colonies on the new world. You make all kinds of little units, and build different types of buildings for producing different trade goods and military peeps. RTS isn't my favorite type of game play, as you can't pause when you play with other people. The first matched ended with Erik and I building everything we could, then blowing each other up with mini cannons and musketeers. Later, we repeatedly conquered the computer as a team. It's nice to play something where the games are short, and one of the really cool features is that you can level up your "home city" and get special things to send to your colony from the motherland. Overall, $30 well spent.

Oh, and we took the kitties out in the snow again, so here's some pictures of that and other general snow fun. For anyone who uses facebook, I have a bunch of different pictures up there as well.

That would be Erik's tush, all up in my picture. Check out the snow progress on the little table. This was Sunday afternoon, around 1:00 pm or so.

Here's the snow on the rail.

Kyra sayz: "Oh noes, not again! DO NOT WANT!!!!"

Then she stopped crying, and watched the snow fall.

Chunky was much more calm and interested in what was going on.

Okay, maybe she wasn't that interested. But she didn't hate it.

Here's a shot down the street. It was really coming down! Nice big fluffy flakes make for some very pretty scenery.

And that was about enough snow for Chunky and I. Might be pretty, but it's damn cold out here! Like my hat? That's swag from PAX 2008.

For all her whining, Kyra was very curious about the snow.

This picture is from this morning before I left for work. As you can see, the table has a lot more snow on it.

And a shot on my cell phone from the walk into work. A chilly, but fun, morning stroll.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The reason people have pets...

is to torture them of course!

I love throwing my cats in the snow. It's hilarious to watch them shake their little paws and examine the strange white cold stuff with pained interest. Aside from a few days ago when we had a light dusty of snow, I don't think I've ever forced Kyra to check it out. Chunky, on the other hand, has been tossed out the front door into a pile of snow four feet deep before.

Chunky always sits nice for the camera, like this, apparently unaware of the evil scheme in the mix.

Add whatever caption you think might be correct for this. Something along the lines of "I'm with stupid" or "I don't know that cat" might be appropriate.

Anyway, here is the staging ground for kitteh snow adventure on my balcony.

And Erik bringing the unknowing Kyra, aka Sausage, out for some fun.

So we plop her down on the table, and she proceeds to howl like the world is ending.

Over and over, unable to wrap her little brain around the concept that moving and going back in the house would solve the problem of her cold little toes.

Chunky sayz: "Like dis." As she walks back inside as soon as I set her in the snow.

So I pick her up for a minute and let Kyra go inside, before bring her back out into the snow for more fun. As you can see here, her totis are not happy about returning to the cold place. But, as you can guess, I set her down anyway. This time she apparently grew a brain for a nanosecond, and turned around to jump off the table. With a quick reaction, Erik shut the glass door, thinking to deter her escape. Well, things backfired slightly.

This is me, LMAO. When Erik shut the door, Kyra was looking at her paws and jumped without glancing back up. Look before you leap? Nope. She jumped into the closed door at full force, smacking her head hard enough to make the "DWONG" sound against the glass. Laws of momentum applied, and her butt and legs lifted completely into the air. It was HILARIOUS.

Kyra, as evidence by her tail, did not find this as funny as we did.

In fact, she looked a little perturbed by the whole situation.

Don't worry, I snatched her up and gave her a good snuggle for her troubles.

As you can see here, no permanent damage. Though, in the great scheme of things, I'm not sure if it would have mattered anyway. Still, we love you anyway Sausage Bear. Despite her lack of any semblance of a brain, she's a sweetheart.

ZG: Day 47 & 48 - Snowpacolypse

Day 47: 2,307
Day 48: 0

Wednesday was rather quiet, the threat of the snow storm of doom hanging over our heads. I managed to stay focused, even in the face of such great peril, and got my word count done for the day. Thursday, however, was the end of days, snow storm style. The day was filled with snowball fights, free lunch, boogle death matches, and other not so productive activities. Despite not writing and being under a winter weather watch, it was a pretty fun day! I walked, to avoid dangerous roads in favor of dangerous sidewalks, and by the time I left to go how the storm was slowing down a little.

Still, it was pretty, a good inch or two on the ground. The really issue was the biting cold that equates to nasty ice over night. Hence my choice to hoof it instead of go wheels.

It was excellent packing snow, making great ammo for the snowball war that took place earlier in the afternoon.

About halfway home I realized the true danger was not the snow, but rather the wildlife.

To me, this picture says: "Oh snap! I'm gonna get eaten by a bear!"

Lucky for me, these were the only bears I met on my walk home. Shew.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ZG: Day 46

Day 46: 3,133 words

Trudging forward! Momentum is still building. The end is very nigh. Come here little ending...I'm waiting for you...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ZG: Day 45

Day 45: 3,008 words

Feels good to actually make up some lost ground. Things are getting epic and another character bit the dust. Seems if my intention is for a character to die, they're hard pressed to dodge the proverbial, and sometimes literal, bullet.


This would be a real restaurant menu. Okay. WTF?

I don't care if we're not actually talking spider spiders, like the arachnids, as in the destroyer of worlds and bringer of nightmares, but why would you put SPIDER anywhere on a menu and expect people to eat there.

I'll take a nice eight-legged terror free box of mac and cheese, thanks.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holy butt lovin' monkeys.


ZG: Day 41, 42, 43 & 44 - Snow, Gambling, World Domination and Via la Bob!

Day 41: 1,970
Day 42: 0
Day 43: 2,191
Day 44: 0

Oh snap. Looks like my little butt is falling behind schedule. Hmph. Interesting.

While Thursday was pretty uneventful, Friday was a hot mess. It was the annual Turkey Toss here at work, which means the entire Human Resources department unboxes, bags, and hands out turkeys for the home office. So, about 3,000 birds were looking for home. Oh, did I mention this took place during a winter storm? Hmph. Nothing says fun like lugging twenty pound birds from box to cart, pushing the carts into the freight elevator (which, I might add by the way, is scary as hell), running the carts across the street to the warehouse during a torrential downpour of bitterly cold rain, and nearly getting killed by some psycho in a minivan. Awesome.

Friday was hard work, without much time spent at the desk, and was culminated by a team building trip to the local casino. Now this was the real fun. We had a few drinks and I learned a little bit about the blackjack tables. I ordered WAY too much sushi. Then we moved on to the penny slots, where Coyote Moon, my old friend from Vegas, took all my money. I lost about $40 in twenty minutes. So I went and blew another twenty on different slot machines, like Jackpot Party. Unfortunately, I poopered on Steve's jackpot party (meaning I picked the icon on the screen that ended his bonus spins). It really was a fun night, sadly cut short by the incoming snow storm.

Saturday was a big fun day of nothing, including sleeping in and playing lots of video games. I did, however, remember to write. Erik and I also started a new anime, Ergo Proxy, which is confusing as hell but super cool. The main chick reminds me of Kumari, my main character in ZG. It also is a post-apocalyptic setting, which is yummy.

Sunday. Well, I just kind of forgot to write. Erik and I killed some zombies over breakfast and then started checking out some mods for Civ IV, which turned into quite the adventure in experimentation. Then it was time for the most important thing of the day: the Survivor Finale.

Bob. You are still the bomb. I'm sad I don't get to watch you on the glowing box once a week anymore.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ZG: Days 38, 39 & 40

Day 38: 1,942 words
Day 39: 1,860 words
Day 40: 4,994 words

Whew. Catching up on the blog. I was out sick on Tuesday and had a pretty rough day Monday, then wrote like an insane person on Wednesday. So, here we are.

Important events? I've finalized the end of the book - more or less all the details. I've started "part III" and the story is going from a strong jog to an all out sprint, and intends to continue this way until the end of the novel. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to reach the end by 100k words, so I'm giving myself to 110k. I think I can, I think I can. And this isn't "I think I can finish." This is "I think I can do so in a reasonable amount of words."

On another exciting note, I've joined a writing group with some people from NaNoWriMo. We're exchanging our work (mine is part one of ZG) and the plan is to start critiquing in January. We're calling ourselves "Word Hawkers."

I had my first two sentences critiqued on the blog Miss Snark's First Victim, and put my first paragraph (of my Dark book) up in a contest on Nathan Bransford's blog. The winner can select a partial critique from Nathan as their prize. And that is awesome.

So, on we go. I need to really get my ass moving if I'm going to finish by December 22. I bought an extra laptop battery, just in case. Either way, I'm going to be working on ZG for my plan ride, be it editing or writing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

ZG: Days 35, 36 & 37

Day 35: 0 words, editing done for part 1, draft 1
Day 36: 2,815 words
Day 37: 1,870 words

Friday was an asshole of a day. I'll spare everyone the details.

Friday, December 5, 2008

ZG: Day 34 - Editing. You needs it.

Words: 943
Editing: lots

So, yesterday I tried a different method of attack. I wrote a little first, then starting my editing. At least I had a little bit of creativity yesterday. Otherwise, I trucked through everything but the last nine pages of editing. So, easily finished today. For the sake of perspective, part one is 59 pages according to Word. I have one chapter and about 4k words left to edit on this section. Then, off it goes to my new critiquing/writing group for feedback.

I wanted to push through it last night, but I just had to take a break. My eyes were getting so tired, so I started to doubt I was catching all my probable mistakes.

So I took a short break to play more NWN2. And what did I learn for that experience? I'm not the only one who needs an editor! Luckily for me, right now at least, my mistakes are in my first draft, not a finished product like, say, a video game for example. I was quite perturbed when my quest giver told me to go west, when the thing I was looking for ended up being to the east. Tsk, tsk Obsidian! And they have people they pay to edit!

I've seen a few grammar errors here and there in the text of various video games, and I grin because I sympathize with how hard it can be to catch EVERY error, especially after looking at the same thing for months. However, my sympathy waned a little after walking in circles for fifteen minutes. In the west.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ZG: Day 33

Day 33:
190 words
3 chapters edited

Whew. After some hardcore editing yesterday, I found it impossible to shift my gears back from edit mode to create mode. I was exhausted. I tried though - see my itty bitty 190 words?

My brain is sore. But I'm halfway done. Another day or so and I should be able to get back into the writing and ignore the editing until 2009.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This is Rad!

My co-worker Adam just finished up directing and creating a DVD of a live show for the band The Long Winters. It's only $15, so if anyone has an interest in live music or supporting local bands and artists, check it out.

He also received an incredible first review.

Yay for success!

ZG: Day 32

Day 32: 968 words, 1.5 chapters edited out of 8

The word count looks like suck, but there are two reasons for that. One is relevant, the other is not. First, I'm submitting the first 30k words to a writing group I've joined, and need to do some editing and have it ready by the end of the week. For those who are curios, editing is just as tedious as I remember.

Secondly, Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir came out, and I somehow missed the release date. (This is the non-relevant excuse, for those who didn't figure that one out.) So, I had to test it out at least a little. Good news is, despite some cool features, it doesn't look like it's going to be epic. Good...I guess. At least I'll be able to tear myself away from one of my favorite game series of all time to edit.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cruise Photo

Erik and I are in the top right, last row. He has the gray and red jacket on if you're having trouble spotting us. Being that this photo is not of the highest caliber.

Scan, however, is > $10 per copy.

ZG: Day 31 - Cruisin'

Day 31: 2,893 words

After work yesterday, Erik and I went on the Holiday cruise for my work. We went out on the Goodtimes III boat, and took a tour of Lake Washington. As we made our way around the lake, one of the other boats in the festive fleet was broadcasting a choir singing Christmas carols. Lucky for us the rain let up, and all we had to cope with was fog and cold. We had lots of hot chocolate (which was upgraded thanks to our "pockets of fun" - if you know what I mean. *winkwink*) Good times, good times.

Monday, December 1, 2008

ZG: Day 28, 29 & 30 - Writing and Not Writing

Day 28: 4,756
Day 29: 0
Day 30: 2,390

Well, if you average those three days together I made my word count "per day" minimum. Still, I need to move away from this developing habit of double days and nothing days. Focus, focus!

So, what did I do with my weekend besides write and not write?

Saturday was the ultimate nothing day. I can't say I did anything productive, besides migrating my characters on Warhammer Online to the higher population server of Ungrim. I'm not sure if that really counts as productive, per say. It was video game day! After some nice RvR in Warhammer, I move on to some matches of Civilization IV with Erik. For lunch we had some leftover turkey translated into our sandwiches of choice.

His: Butter pickles, sliced bread, turkey, and stuffing
Hers: Mini sub roll, turkey, stuffing, mayo, salt, pepper, and cranberry sauce

Then my smart self decides we should watch 28 Weeks Later at 9:30 at night. Yea, that worked out great. That movie is as awesome as it is scary as hell. Much more intense, violent and graphic than the first movie, 28 Days Later. As soon as the movie ended Erik started yelling at me, as it was clear that neither of us was going to be sleeping any time soon, at it was almost midnight. Hahaha! Awesome movie though. The Guppy recommends: Watch in daylight, with all the blinds open and someone to snuggle with. And for all those who are curious, yes, I had more zombie dreams. Again. And I'm starting to look outside and wonder what Issaquah might look like if the end of the world came to my town. Over saturation much? The fog all weekend did nothing to help this mindset.

Sunday I was a good girl and did my writing. Made some nice progress, and set up the scene for the next action packed event my characters will be struggling through. Hey, it's a post-apocalyptic world. Life sucks, yo.

After some more Civ IV and Left 4 Dead, Erik and I went to Applebee's and pigged out, then went to see Bolt. Very cute movie. The digital cartoons are awfully fun this year. And I needed something else besides zombies in my day, like puppies and sunshine.

Well, this is interesting.

You’d think I’d have better odds with all this research I’ve been doing.


As for this, I think my love for lolcats is detrimental to my rating. Also, I tend to make up words and stuff when I'm excited about something. Like, OMGWTFBBQ THAT IS SO WOOOOOOTIES!!! I hope my rating didn't go down after I posted that...

blog readability test

Friday, November 28, 2008

ZG: Day 26 & 27 - Turkey, Tree Trimming and Zombies!

Day 26: 1,432 words. A little low, but I finished an important scene, and wasn't sure what came next.

Day 27: I forgot to write! Gah! I was making a turkey for the first time, which consumed the day. I didn't remember until 10:00 p.m. while watching the all day House marathon that I was supposed to work on my manuscript. Opps! No big deal - my huge word count on Tuesday covered my butt. Now, however, I need to get down to some serious business. If I flake any more, I'm going to run the risk of falling seriously behind.

So, anyway, no time for lamenting lost words. Yesterday was really fun. We did turkey dinner, played more Left 4 Dead (which resulted in more massively messed up zombie dreams for me last night), finished trimming the mini-tree, and watched some House. And since you all know me, here's some ridiculous pictures chronicling the day.

Here's Erik, stuffing our bird Tom. Cliché, I know. The sad face is because he didn't want me to take a picture of him stuffing Tom.

Tom is ready to go!

And into the oven...

Peep at Tom halfway through...

Ding, Tom is done!

Here's the nice spread. Yum yum yummmmmmm!!!!!

Me, looking all nice for the camera.

Me, how I really looked, diving into the corn so I could stuff my face.

The aftermath. Man, the stuffing was so good - both Erik's and my favorite part. Tip of the day: boil the giblets and use the water from that to make the stuffing. Mmmmmmmm.... I also put spicy sausage and walnuts in the stuffing - my own take on Mom's classic. No celery!

We went on to finish setting up the tree. We bought three fancy ornaments to add to the tree, as well as hooks. Since ornaments don't come with hooks. Whoever decided that one should be shot.

This one is Erik's.

Chunky Butt, checking out the decorating action.

Here's mine. Rudolph! My favorite childhood Christmas movie. And guess what? Oh yes, that reindeer's nose lights up AND he sings to me. The bomb. Period.

I got this one for the kitties. The little name tags say "Miss" and "Chief". Ain't that cute? And so appropriate.

Snuggling the Chunky face.

And Kyra proves the ornament’s clever observation.

Here's the kitties, begging for food. If you blow up the photo by clicking on it, you can see Kyra's tongue sticking out. They wouldn't have been hungry if they ate their giblets!!!!!

It's decided.

My niece and nephew are the cutest kids on the planet. Behold the adorableness of Isabell and Simon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ZG: Day 25 - Personal Best

In an attempt to sample the life of being an author without a full-time job, I resigned myself to the million and a half 5-minute tasks in my inbox yesterday, and between each of them I worked on my manuscript.

And oh snap, I wrote 5,129 words yesterday, my highest word count in a single day since the first day of NaNoWriMo (which was like 5,001). That, folks, is some hot sexiness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ZG: Day 24 - Erik's B-day!

Got in 1,223 words yesterday. Not bad, not great.

When Erik got home from work, I made him open his gifts. I got him a bunch of swag for his side of the dork room, based on his two favorite animes, Trigun and Full Metal Alchemist.

Then we went to Costco to stare at big TVs. I was actually in the warehouse during the day, and found myself completely fascinated by Blu-Ray. It felt like I was in the movie Transformers, and Megan Fox actually looked human! Crazy. Don't worry though, I resisted. I still don't have a 50" flat screen TV. Some day, some day.

Next we went to a Thai place on Gilman St (the "main street" of Issaquah). Was pretty interesting. We had a seared beef appetizer, and shared cinnamon duck and pineapple fried rice. Afterwards, we went to Baskin Robins. Erik had two scoops, since it was his birthday!

We got home a little before Heroes, so I played a bit of Warhammer while Erik did the rounds of family birthday well wishing on the phone. We watched Heroes, which was a pretty decent episode. Then it was bedtime for us old people. Heh..

Oh, at the top right side of my blog here you can see my winner artwork from NaNoWriMo. Spiffy stuff! I can't decide which one I like better, so I just slapped 'em both up there.

Monday, November 24, 2008

ZG: Day 23 - Research and Relaxation

In celebration of my tiny success, I decided to take a day off writing yesterday for some fun. Not that writing isn't fun for me, but I needed a little time to deflate. I did set up my combined document, verified my word count and readied my new tracking spreadsheet. Then I printed out what I have done to give myself the much desired once over.

Then I played zombie games. For research purposes, of course.

I actually played some of Dead Rising under Erik's watchful eye on Friday. The premise is that you're a freelance photographer going to get the scoop on crazy zombie action in a random town in Colorado. You get dumped on the roof of a shopping mall and have 72 hours to get back to the helicopter. It's a third person game, and the nifty gimmick is that you can pick up nearly anything and use it as a weapon. Baseball bats, steel pipes, umbrellas, gems, golf balls, chairs, CDs. Just about anything can be used. And if it can't be used, it can be worn. Basically, you can walk into a number of stores and change your characters appearance as you continue through your zombie laden adventures.

So, being all curious, I run into the first store on the map, which happens to be a toy store. Sweet. I see an icon for "change clothes." So I do. And I put on a big smiley face head for a hat. The kicker is that I looked exactly the same way in the cut scenes. My next step was getting a fantastic track suit and knee high socks with white sneakers from the sporting goods store. Now, you tell me if you could take the end of the world seriously if you looked like this?

Needless to say, we laughed hysterically and the immersion was completely ruined. It was hard to be scared when I looked like that.

On a more awesome note, we picked up Left 4 Dead on Saturday. Now this is a scary, heart pounding, exciting game. And also a first person shooter, which I suck at. The best part is that the game is co-op, so Erik and I can destroy zombies together, when I'm not accidentally shooting him in the back of the head.

We've played through three of the four campaigns, and I've had dreams about zombies the last two nights in a row. It's intense, the controls are great, and the action never stops. The variety of monster types keeps it interesting (five different "special" zombies with unique traits and behaviors) and the horde is comprised of fast, sprinting zombies, not your slow moving pansy zombies - so watch out! You always have a total of four characters (in our case, us and two NPCs) and keeping each other alive is important. It takes good teamwork to be successful, and the AI of the NPCs is remarkable. I love the fact that they heal you, save you and cover the rear, instead of picking their noses and walking into walls. Great game. Can't wait to play it more.

However, I'm hoping at some point I'll stop spinning in circles while shooting the wall and my teammates with my machine gun when the shit hits the fan.