NaNoWriMo 2011 In Progress

NaNoWriMo has finally gone live with their word count widgets. Here's mine, so you can see a (relatively) live word count update:

This year's novel is back in the Federalax (did I post about 2009's werewolf novel, Shards of Lunacy?). I'm telling the story of a new ship, named _Kestrel_, and her crew as they discover something never seen yet in this universe I've created. Actually, two somethings not yet seen. grin This year's novel has a working title of Kestrel's Thread.

If you're NaNo-ing this month, here's to solidarity and making it to the 50,000 word finish line. As of the writing of this post, I have crossed the half way point (last night, so I'm barely on target).

reCAPTCHA, register and comments

I finally installed reCAPTCHA, thanks to a suggestion from Randy. With that in place, I felt confident enough to open the site to user registrations again. My status report says I've already had 1701 blocked form submissions -- but that hasn't changed in the last hour, so I suspect that the basic CAPTCHA module has contributed to that. We'll see what kind of user registration spam I get.

This means comments are open again on all posts. I require site registration to leave comments. Maybe I'll move that to allow anonymous posts but still require use of the reCAPTCHA module eventually.

In the middle of all the productivity, Randy helped me get my favicon back: a little "headshot" of Ukiah!

So, "all" that's left is to work on the site's them a little more -- despite my love of all things purple, no I don't like this theme -- and to finish the re-design of the site's banner image. No big deal. Ha! Since the tasks I delineated in the previous post seemed so gargantuan, maybe these won't be so bad?

I've only got about:

days until NaNoWriMo begins. Maybe I'll put this counter over on the side somewhere? I received an email from the folks who put NaNoWriMo on that they won't be opening the site for the 2011 participants until the 10th of October. I'm not sure when the website badges for participants will be available; perhaps at the same time, since those badges usually link back to the site?

As for what I'm going to write, I mentioned in my earlier blog today that I have no clue. I had an idea about 3 or 4 weeks ago, but wasn't anywhere I could write it down...and now the idea that I lost an idea (whether it would have worked or not) is distracting me from the process of coming up with a new idea. Dumb? Yes.

So, I'm going to dive into my old ideas folder and see if I can't slam some things together. Hmmm... sparkles and vampires.... wonder if that would work?

Eek! Okay! Stop throwing things at me! I was just kidding!!!!

Invisible Illness Myth #1

Invisible Illness Myth #1: "You look great - you must be feeling better." We're likely getting better about concealing how we feel, not feeling better. Or it might be a single good day after a month of horrible days. -- from FM/CFS/ME Resources, "What We Don't Want to Hear"/

This is very true. Most days, I don't think about my fibro. But if I stop and consider, my life has been adjusted so I don't have to: I have a C-PAP machine and nighttime meds so I'll sleep better. My spices try very hard not to wake me, so I get enough sleep (even if that means I sleep later than I really wanted to!), I (usually) avoid all caffeine so I *can* sleep. And I pace myself every day. If a task is wearing me out, I take breaks to keep from overdoing it.

Sometimes, I feel like a huge "faker" because I don't have it as bad as some of the women in my support groups do. I try to remind myself some of them have it so bad because they weren't able to make the changes in their lives I could. I don't work (outside the home). I don't have a set schedule I must keep. I don't have a handful of little kids I'm trying to keep up with. And I now have both a husband and a wife to help me manage the household. How many wives out there have joked about needing a wife themselves? I got one!

I'm expecting NaNoWriMo to cause a flare-up -- that's just the nature of the beast. I've given plenty of warning to "my peeps" (aka my spices) about what November will be like because I want to participate. (Never mind the total lack of a novel idea --in both senses of the word "novel"!)

I came across the myth (my name for it) and felt I needed to blog about it a little. I do my best to not be whiny on here -- maybe I've mentioned it so little my readers (all 3 or 4 of you waves) don't realize I even have fibromyalgia. Well, that's part good and part bad. Good because that means I'm not whining too much. But bad because we "fibromites" need to be able to see each other, so we don't feel so alone when our flares keep us home- and bed-bound.

I've been promising for a while now to work on the technology behind my blog, so you all can comment again and be part of this blog instead of just passive readers. I really miss hearing from you and knowing you are reading. I'll try to put "fix my blog" on the top of my to-do list this week.

And maybe it will even get done!

A Quick Note

Yes, I'm messing around with the "theme" of my blog. It could be a slow, messy process -- sometimes involving hideous default colors -- so please be patient while I try to find something I like more than the theme I've had forever (and never really liked!).

Also, I haven't had a chance to work on the comments and such yet. So, I guess y'all will have to be patient in silence, eh?

Catching Up

This is a general, rambly update. I'll try to make them more topic-specific in the future.

I haven't forgotten that I started this blog to share my knitting adventures. Most of them have been pretty basic and not really warranted a full post. But, I thought I'd "catch up" and share some recent work.

My sister's due in October with her first child, a girl. That meant "a blanket and a bear", but she declined (!) the bear. And the usual blanket wasn't to her liking. I inadvertently showed her the Tiramisu baby blanket pattern, which is crochet. When she chose it, I did attempt to make it. I don't have the patience for crochet. So, I found a knit stitch pattern which I felt would work with the border. It felt like I was knitting on that blanket forever. As usual, I let the giftee pick the colors. She picked "banana" -- and I hate yellow. At least the border called for a ribbon, for which I chose pink.

Since I didn't get to make a bear, I made a Kimono Baby Sweater for my niece.

And a bib. In the end, I'm not too fond of the I love stockinette baby bib. It curls, despite the garter-stitch edge. Not good in a bib. So, instead of making the 5 I had planned on, I made one.

In other project news, I've been trying to make kerchiefs for Jenne. I've made up several, but each on has had serious problems. I started with Liesl. When I was done with it, it might have been the right size for a doll or teddy bear. I thought it might have been a combination of just too small to start with and a poor yarn choice, Paton's Stretch Socks. I tried to double the size of the pattern (and at the same time, changed yarns). The end result was huge. Scratch that pattern. I moved on to Lichen, also too small.

What is not helping is that I believe people are tagging patterns with "kerchief", but have different meanings for that word. Some appear to be small shoulder shawls, not head coverings.

So, I'm working on my own pattern. I loved the Lattice Lace Wrap I made to wear to Marcey's wedding. So does Jenne. So, why not make a kerchief using that pattern stitch? I've got it charted and am not quite half way done with the knit-up. I'm using Plymouth Yarns Sockotta this time. Currently my only regret is that I didn't start at the narrow end and work up, so I could do a three-needle bind-off with an i-cord. Had that idea a little too late.

In other news... I'm planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year. I didn't participate in 2010 because we were knee-deep in boxes and house-hunting. This year, we're in our house, I have an office, my PC is running fine.... my excuses are gone. Sadly, I had an idea but wasn't in a place to record it -- and I've been chasing it for weeks now, trying to recall it. I think I'll just have to move on and come up with something new.

Oh. We've had some ferret losses. I've been pretty remiss in not mentioning them. I thought I'd do a complete "from the beginning" run-down of our ferret possee. (And yes, I am working on a new banner for the blog to reflect all these changes!)

In Order of Adoption:

  • Ukiah Jacob, born 25 Dec 2004, passed 14 Jun 2011
  • Elijah Benjamin, born 25 Dec 2004, passed 12 Jul 2009
  • Indigo Victoria, passed 3 Aug 2011
  • Kittanning Donovan, escaped 15 Mar 2007 and never found.
  • River
  • Maxwell Seamus Bennett, passed 11 Jun 2007
  • Octavia Juniper, passed 05 May 2008
  • Samuel MacFlannigan
  • Sebastian Donovan, passed 19 Mar 2010
  • Zoë Winifred, passed 14 Aug 2007
  • Maya Siobhan, passed 26 Feb 2008
  • Raphael Alexander
  • Horatio Sheridan, passed 13 Apr 2010
  • Theodore “Snaps”, passed 5 Nov 2009
  • Gabriel, passed Apr 2010
  • Simon
  • Wash
  • Zoey

So, yes, we're down to River, Samuel, Raphael, Simon, Wash and Zoey. The three you've not seen are Simon, Wash and Zoey. I really need to work on getting some pictures of them! Here's the only one I currently have of Simon:

I've been so absent, I never mentioned Nick took the GED and scored in the top 10% of graduating seniors in the nation. I knew he was smart! He applied for Mesa Community College and is now in classes full-time. His current plan is to get an Associates towards Web Design/Development and then apply to ASU for his Bachelor's.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... grin We're looking for land. This kind of search takes a while, so we don't expect to find "the piece" any time soon. In fact, it would sorta suck if we did 'cause we're nowhere near ready to put money on the table. We've been taking "Sunday drives" to various directions from the Valley, looking for just what we want.

We're a little paranoid, when it comes to what we want. But if you're going to dream, dream big. Right? So, we want land that is off the beaten path. Not in the direct path of "the ravening hordes" if civilization were to go a little screwier than it already is. We want enough space to be able to drop our dome on it and still be able to add others later, if we wanted. We want to be virtually invisible. We've even talked about burying the dome.

Now, if you know the Valley, you know to accommodate even half of those wishes, we need to get out of the Valley. But we still need to be able to commute into the Valley for work -- we may want to prepare for the fall of civilization, but we still gotta live in it until it does! Going south, you just run into Tucson. Going east, you've got all of Apache Junction, a lot of National Forest and then some really ritzy areas (meaning half a mil just for a small piece of land which they are going to dictate what you can and can't do with). Going west, well, you have the entire Valley to the west -- and you're closer to the ravening hordes fleeing California. That's not conjecture -- that's already happening now. So, we've been looking north.

And this last Sunday, our leading favorite spot just had the wind knocked from its sails. Turns out it's not so remote after all. If you follow the "back roads", you come out in Anthem. Precisely one of the communities we're trying to get away from.

One train of thought has been: maybe we should just stick where we are and build this place up both defensively and for our dreams. But that means giving up on our dreams of owning a monolithic dome. And in a more apocalyptic mindset (don't worry. if you're laughing, you're not the first) we would be in the midst of those ravening hordes.

We're disheartened at the moment. Jenne has really struggled to get through this summer heat -- it doesn't help that Arizona really turned up this heat this year. I love it here, but I really don't spend much time out in it -- I like the views, but from inside, where I'm comfy and no bugs can eat me. I've opened the idea that maybe we need to widen our search area to another major city/state. I love that Randy works for a university -- they always seem to have the best vacation/sick time packages, even if the money might be a little lower than "private industry".

As usual, I'm at loose ends with myself. I'm hoping for the Autumn Creative Streak to come on really strong this year. I've done as much as I can to get all the other interests "sated" somewhat, so that come that moment, I can sink into it and revel in it fully.

Until then, I'm knitting away on my first kerchief pattern and various other projects using other people's patterns. I'll try not to be such a stranger here. I want to get back into the habit of making entries here regularly.

To that end, I really need to fix the problems with the registering of accounts, so I can open that back up. It's nice to get a comment or two when I write a blog -- but it really sucks to get nothing but spam comments. So, hang tight and I'll try to get that fixed shortly.

Site changes...

Just a quick post to let any remaining readers know I've had to shut down account creation for a little while. I'm having trouble with the Captcha modules -- either it's not working or the spammers are figuring them out -- and I'm getting 2-3 bogus accounts per day. When I finally take a few minutes to log in here and delete all the bogus accounts, that creates a flood of bounced emails because the accounts were bogus.

So, until I fix it, my readers will have to just read and not respond, unless you already have an account here.

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