I'm Alive!

Nov. 21st, 2016 01:12 am
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Sorry for the delays. I got caught up in writing an OUAT-Pete's Dragon Crossover that consumed about 6 months of my writing. Seriously. Bunny galomphed into my head and didn't leave me enough space to write anything else. It's done now. 29 chapters later.

Then I got caught up in Yuletide.

So now... finally getting back into my regular writing. A new chapter of Hero In My Life should be up soon.

Health Issues )

One of my ferals wants to move in. Hubby's opposed to it. I've told him that when the winter turns brutal, Soot is coming indoors. For once, he said 'maybe' and 'but he'll have to stay in the basement'. I'll take it. He's just such a loving little guy. I'm positive he had a family once. First: he's vocal. Not normal for ferals at all. Second: he loves being picked up and cuddled. At least, by me. If anyone else gets too close, he bolts. Third, when I've snuck him into the house when hubby's not home, he behaves himself. He might explore a bit, but he doesn't hide. I don't have to chase after him. I know he doesn't have a home now. He's been TNR'd and has the cropped ear to prove it. But I would love to know his backstory. If he ran off one day and got lost, that's one thing. But if he was abandoned... I am not normally a violent person. But if I knew for a fact that someone did that to this sweet little guy? I would SO make an exception.

I guess that's what's new and exciting with me. How about you guys?
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No real excuses beyond just not feeling like posting. I've felt like writing fic. And listening to music. And playing Cinderella Story on Facebook. And watch a feral cat grow into a cuddle-muffin around me (I strongly suspect he had people at some point and ended up on the street afterwards. He's got one docked ear—sign of being trapped-neutered-and-released in the past, so I know he's not a housecat that gets to go outside. And let anyone else come into the yard and he'll bolt.)

But I'm on day 2 of antibiotics for cellulitus and Yuletide is coming. The neighbor just came to put up our sukkah today, and I'm dusting off the journal.
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Finally have an "Ojibwe-picker" for Hero In My Life!

I went downtown to the Port Credit Nation exhibition at Old Fort York (They're the official First Nations host for the Pan-Am games and this was part of their involvement) and talked to some people. And... I think it's going to happen.

Now for the hard part. Accepting that I probably HAVE made mistakes without meaning to and that I WILL need to change stuff. Otherwise known as "Waaaaah! It's not perfect as-is!" Please, let me recognize that when I said I was so scared I was getting stuff wrong... it's probably because I was getting stuff wrong. And I can fix it now or wait until I publish and then get called out for errors I should have caught earlier.

Okay. Okay, I can work with this. It's not like I've spent whole chapters describing religious ceremonies from the perspective of a cultural outsider and pretending they're authentic. I just want to have a character whose heritage is one of the things that informs her character and since it's not my heritage, I'm nervous. That's why I'm trying to get her right. And it's got a chance of happening now.
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[personal profile] a2zmom gave me the letter F so...

Something I hate: Flying off the handle over stupid little things when I'm stressed.

Something I love: Fanfic

Somewhere I've been: Freeport, Me. Good shopping there.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Florence, Italy

A film I like: Finnian's Rainbow

A book I like: Feeling Sorry for Celia



If you'd like a letter, comment below!

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Was a bit worried for a spell, but the bunny is cooperating now.

Got another article to edit for Indyfest #82. Gotta proof Indyfest #81. Gotta prepare my interview questions for Indyfest #83. Oh and finish the Beyond Panels fic in plenty of time for my betas to proof it.

Busy busy...

Squeeeee!

Feb. 4th, 2015 11:34 am
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Congratulations!

"Changed For Good" has been chosen for publication in Chicago Literati's TV issue. Please forward us your headshot and a brief third person bio to feature at the foot of your story.

Cheers,

The Editors
Chicago Literati
chicagoliterati.com


Chicago Literati is doing a feature on old TV shows and put out a call for fanfic, fanart, essays, etc. I sent in my one TV fanfic (Facts of Life fandom) and... they're printing it!

Squeeeeeee!

Whoa!

Jan. 9th, 2015 12:40 am
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Ever Google folks you knew years ago and lost touch with? I just did and discovered that my friend Carl won an Oscar last year!. He was one of the filmmakers on The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life, which won Best Documentary Short last year.

Not sure I'd recognize him on the street today. He's grown a full salt-and-pepper beard. But his voice hasn't changed a bit.

Posted congrats on his Facebook page.

Just... WOW
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It started last July when we got back from Killarney. The day we left, my parents came in from Montreal. They have a key to our house and that was the only time they could come in. (I kid that we're the hotel and my sister with her two adorable kids under the age of three are the entertainment.) So we went Sunday to Tuesday. They came Sunday to Thursday. And when we get back, Dad smiles at me and says, "you're feeding a cat, right?"

Well, the truth was, I wasn't and I told him as much. He was surprised. "I saw a skinny hungry cat passing through the backyard," he said. Yeah. Toronto has a feral cat problem. I'd seen them too from time to time. But I wasn't feeding them.

Well, a couple of days later, I was looking out my window and... yeah. Thin, scruffy, hungry, hunted... went I went grocery shopping, I picked up a can of tuna in water for him/her.

A few hours later, I look out on the patio and there's a cat eating it. And when I look out a bit later... the cat is lying down, staring at the empty can. If I'd had a pic to caption, it would have said "Did that really just happen?"

For about a week, I bought more tuna. Then I found out that

  1. Tuna, even if it's water-packed, isn't great for cats. (Something about the salt content.

  2. Catfood... even the premium 85% animal protein kind... costs less than a can of tuna a day.


I picked up a food-water combo dish at a dollar store and started buying the premium food. I just figured that, without knowing where else the cat was eating, if I was the sole steady source of nourishment, then I wasn't going to put out something that listed corn or soy as the first ingredient.

Well... that was early July.

I now have a shelter in my back yard from a cat rescue (Hubby doesn't want pets in the house and I'm not positive that a feral would adjust anyway).

I also have metal food and water bowls instead of the plastic 2-in-1 I bought. It seems that when the water in the dish freezes overnight and you tap it on the concrete patio to dislodge the solid ice...

And I've got five regular visitors.

  1. Simone. Long-haired tortie who, initially, seemed to be warming up to me. (I'd get in the habit of putting down the food and then moving to sit on a patio chair on the lawn. Simone would come into the yard, even if I was there, which was more than the others would). She's now gotten more standoffish. But if the food dish is empty, she will look up at my window. And if I'm in it, she we stare at me. As if to say, "Don't just stand there, Useless. Fill it. I'm hungry!"


  2. Snake. Grey-and-white. Has a bad leg and slithers a bit when s/he walks. Will slow-blink me from the neighbor's yard. Sometimes stays in mine when I go to feed them, but at the far fence. Periodically stays in the shelter.


  3. Soot. Solid charcoal grey. Might have some Russian Blue in them. Very laid back and easy-going for a feral. By which I mean that when I come into the yard, if he's lying on the cushioned patio chair near the water faucet (opposite end of the patio), he'll lift his head, slow-blink, and then just lie back down and watch. Now, if I need to fill the water at the faucet, he'll bolt but... this is Toronto and it's winter. I've been refilling a plastic bottle indoors and pouring that into the water dish. Pipes freeze. He's making very good use of the shelter.


  4. Ol Punk. Longhaired ginger tabby. Friendliest of the five. Runs up to me when I come into the yard. Lets me pet him. I start filling the bowl and he's got his head in it before I can even add the dental treats. Rubs against me. Hasn't started purring yet, but I think it'll happen. Of course, when Hubby came into the back yard to tell me something, he streaked out in mid-pet.


  5. Cayenne. Red-and-white tabby about half the size of the others. I believe they're an adult, but probably was a kitten not long ago. Trades on cutes to get by. The only one who isn't afraid to move on the food dish while another cat is there. (Will approach while I'm there, but stays a few feet away until I leave.)


Oh and the shelter? Rubbermaid container, insulated with Styrofoam, lined with straw. When I got it, the first couple of days, I strewed some kibble in front of it, as well as what I put in the food dishes. (The shelter is as far from the patio as possible; I was worried that if it was on the patio, I might be getting too close to them when I went to feed them.) Two days later, I go out to feed them and I discover a single piece of straw laid down precisely in front of the food dish. No wind. No other straw in the yard anywhere. Somehow, I think that one of them was trying to tell me that they'd found it and I could stop putting the food there now...

Winter's starting to get brutal. The shelter is supposed to sleep three. Two are using it. (Snake and Soot.) Meanwhile... I think they're getting to like me.
dragonbat2006: Canon Error (Default)
I didn't scream. I didn't puke. Sigh. I'm trying to let them know I'm friendly. They seem to accept this. I'm sort of flattered. In a 'Oh dear L-rd, I've got to dispose of this now, don't I?' kind of way.

Other Observations:

Cats can snarl and growl just like dogs. Particularly when they see a strange cat going after their food.

2 cats seem to have this sort of agreement where they take turns coming into the yard. I don't see them together. I don't hear them fight. And when I put out the kibble, the first one to show up never finishes it. (And I put out a half cup per day. It's not like I'm pouring a whole bag into a trough).

I've been getting that slow blink thing a LOT!

But they still bolt if I come into the yard
dragonbat2006: Canon Error (Default)
As I've mentioned before, I volunteer write and edit for Self Publisher! Magazine. My official title has just been upgraded from copy editor to (drumroll, please)...

Managing Editor



Go me!!!!
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Not really that shocking. While many of us moved away, going back to visit the parents around the Jewish holidays happens and many are still in the old neighborhood.

I've mentioned it before, but I was socially and physically awkward as a kid. A bookworm, uncoordinated, lousy at sports, poor at small talk, intellectually smart but emotionally and socially, not so much. Which made me the kid everyone picked on.

It's funny but I don't actually remember having a miserable childhood. I mean, I can remember being bullied and crying every day. There were times when I felt miserable, but when I think back about those days, it's like the bad times mostly blur and the memories are of arts and crafts at summer camp, discovering favorite books, watching cartoons, having fun, even if it usually was on my own. (Things got a lot better when I got to college and found out that there were more geeks and introverts like me out there.)

So, last passover, I took my niece to the park near my parents and ran into one of the guys who used to pick on me. Most of the teasing tapered off after elementary school. This guy kept it up in high school too. And... he recognized me and apologized. Without my mentioning anything about the past. Heck. It was about 25 years ago. I stopped agonizing and moved on. But the apology did mean something.

Recently, I've started reconnecting on Facebook. My high school graduating class has a Facebook page and... you know how it is. Friend one person and FB starts recommending anyone that person is friends with who isn't already on your list. So, yeah. I've been sending friends requests. I got one person message me to ask if he knew me. (Not that shocking or painful. I go by my married name these days.) I told him "you used to. I was [maiden name]". And... he apologized too. Said he's felt bad about it for years and actually tried to find me a while back. (Yeah, changing my name will complicate stuff.)

On the one hand... it's really water under the bridge at this point. On the other hand, it kind of gives me hope. One of the small-t tv tropes out there has got to be "Person A suffered at the hands of Person B years ago and finally wants to confront them and demand an apology for the event that ruined their life. At the confrontation, Person B barely remembers Person A's name, much less what happened. This major major event in Person A's life was just a passing blip on Person B's radar. Or, Person B looks at Person A like they're some sort of fool and goes 'Whoa. You've been bothered about this for the last 25 years? You really are pathetic.'"

I think at this point, I don't really need apologies anymore. But sometimes even things you don't need are kind of nice when you get them.
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Killarney Village and Killarney Provincial Park, here we come!

Camera at the ready. Clothes packed. Food packed. Ereader packed. Printout of novel, so I can jot down notes where changes need to be made... packed in bag that comes in the front seat with me!

Back on Tuesday!
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It's been a year since the last time I had any contact with D. Right now, I don't think I could track her down if I wanted to. 411.ca still shows her last address and phone number. She didn't know how to get online and every time I'd show her and write down the steps, she'd phone me saying that she couldn't concentrate and couldn't figure it out and can I do it.

I don't actually miss her. I know I'm better off without her in my life. MUCH better off. But I still wonder if she's okay. Did that second apartment work out or is she on the street? Did her father remember that he IS a father and have her go live with him in Florida? I don't know. I do care, but it's really not my business anymore. Just... wondering.
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My two little nephews aged 26 months and 20 months just got into my father's pills. Thank G-d they didn't eat any. And I'd just pushed the 26-month old out of the computer room because I'm trying to get some editing done. I closed the door behind him to keep him out. My parents hadn't closed their bedroom door.

And my sisters and brothers-in-law all thought someone else was watching those two while they were eating/working/looking after the seven-year-old and the six-month-old.

They're okay. Thank G-d. But for a few minutes there...
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Nephew turned 2 today. Party tomorrow. Kind of a double party since my birthday's tomorrow.

One batch chocolate-avocado cupcakes with chocolate glaze and green sugar crystals. One batch vanilla rainbow cupcakes with buttercream frosting and sprinkles.
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I can sort of see where the inspiration is coming from. I have a number of OCs who sort of invade every fandom I've loved since I was about 10. And with every fandom, they've grown and changed and fleshed out and become less Sue-ish. Or, at least, I've become aware of when they're upstaging the characters too much. They were Dryads and Naiads when I was into CoN and the D&D cartoon. I played them in AD&D and GURPS and they grew more 3D. I tried writing about them in my teens and there are probably a bunch of old handwritten drafts of various incarnations and settings (present-day, SF, Fantasy... I may have tried some sort of frontier/Little House thing too, but I don't honestly recall and that one was short-lived). Madeleine L'Engle's time quartet helped me name Brandon and Bronwen. Jill Percival/Perkal was a homage to CoN's Jill Pole (although the character certainly changed. I invented her when I was 12!)

They made it into the first fanfic I posted at ff.net and its unfinished sequel. And then I stopped. I didn't need to tell their stories in the Bat-verse. I had Bat characters to work with! Some scenes I'd pictured happening between Bruce and Callie or Callie and Bron ended up playing out just as well between Bruce and Leslie or Bruce and Alfred.

The thing is, I've been playing in a new fandom. And I've been sort of smiling and nodding knowingly as Natalie reaches out to Matt Murdock and starts rhapsodizing over the joy of leaping from building to building when the real me gets nervous about eight feet up. It's fun to let my OCs explore, even if I'm not ready to unleash them.

But something's different this time.

I think it started when I had Matt bring Foggy over to their HQ and one of the team's support personnel casually heads into the gym and starts working out. She's not a costumed hero. Has no intention of becoming one. BUT she is damned if she's going to willingly slip into the 'frequent hostage role'. And while Daredevil and Psion Force go out on patrol, the "backstage crew" spend their time researching leads, inventorying medical supplies, and yes, training. Because the heroes have enough to worry about without having their friends and families targeted.

And that's it. Write a novel that isn't about the costumed hero. Because we've seen and read it all a million times. There ARE fresh approaches to be found but all of mine start with "and their parents got killed and they had supermetamutant powers yadda yadda yadda..." So I guess at this point, it's not in me to write a fresh new superhero that will truly stand out from the others. But is is in me to write about the Foggy Nelsons and the Leslie Thompkinses and the Jim Gordons. Not the sidekicks. The normal, non-costumed people, make that ONE normal non-costumed fifteen-year-old girl named Kerry who is so bloody sick of getting kidnapped, helping her (perhaps not-so) heroic best friend cram for tests while doing group projects herself because the [PNS]HBF was too busy saving the universe to get her part done in time, getting kidnapped again, lying to cover for her [PNS]HBF, getting kidnapped again(!), etc etc. Until she finds out that there is a place where she can go to learn how to fight back and not be a victim, how to be a friend without being an enabler. And if my OCs show up as the "older" generation, the [PNS]HBF's parents and some of the instructors at this "Hogwarts for Muggle friends of Wizards," well... stranger things have happened.

I'm going to post stuff as I write it, but this is still pretty rough. Some of my lj-friends found me through [community profile] add_a_writer. Here's where I can use some gentle concrit. Eventually, I may post to some non-fanfic comms, but not yet. Still too rough.

I'm not giving up fanfic either. I can't. I'm still in the middle of an epic AU and I don't want to leave Batman hanging! But I'm going to see where this goes too.
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First time as a member of the media.Getting a feel for the indie experience at the con. I think I have my article... and I think I have another article on ucreatecomics in the works(more on this later)! Used up my memory card on my camera.

Also ran into someone I interviewed for last month's issue of SP! and caught up with some old friends. Mostly hung around artists alley. Can't afford a Neal Adam commission, but his prints are more reasonable. And Agnes Garbowska is lovely.

As for panels... sat in on one on Canadian comics (no, not the upcoming JLC). Couldn't get into the DC panel.

Got some self-pubbed comics and novels I may review. And may have an editing job, possibly. But... note to folks who are taking the plunge and hawking their wares at cons: spellcheck is NOT a substitute for an editor. And if you're going to the expense of printing through Lulu, please don't rush it so it's ready to distribute. There shouldn't be typos on every page. There just shouldn't be. C'mon, you've got a decent storyline. Don't push people away with things you could have taken the time to fix!

(Full story: guy gave me copies of his two novellas and told me he was trying to drum up interest so he could pay for an editor before really trying to market them. I told him that if they weren't edited, I wouldn't review them, since it wouldn't be fair if they weren't ready. I tried reading one over the weekend and... it needs a copy editor badly. So I asked him if he had an editor lined up. He didn't. I gave him my name. Maybe something will come of it. Maybe not. But of course, now I can't review it because I'd have to say "I couldn't finish it due to all the typos," which is not something you want a potential client to read about his work in an online ezine, when written by someone hoping to work with him.)

But I had fun!
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Self Publisher Association

Dear Ellen,

Thank you for your accreditation request to Fan Expo Canada™ 2013. We are pleased to invite you to cover this exciting event on August 22-25, 2013 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Self Publisher Association has been accredited to Fan Expo Canada™ 2013 on the following days:

Thursday, August 22
Friday, August 23
Sunday, August 25

*Please note that due to space restrictions we are not able to accommodate your request for Saturday, August 24.


Here's the thing: Boss requested a pass for all 4 days, but I wouldn't be attending on Saturday anyway. Sabbath issues. So... not really calling this miraculous so much as "even if I'd wanted to go on Saturday, I couldn't."

Will be writing article on the indie experience at Fan Expo. Will also be having a great old time in artist alley! Can't wait!
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FIL passed away at some time before 6:30. Hubby's down at the funeral home now. Not sure how much I'll be around. I'm... okay. Just sorta numb. He's okay so far. I don't think it's really sunk in.

New house

Jun. 18th, 2013 01:34 pm
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Inspection was yesterday and there's precious little wrong with with it. According to the report:

A long list of mostly minor issues )

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