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Thursday, June 30, 2016

No Conflict

I'm in an odd situation right now. I have a hero and heroine without conflict.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. I don't know either one of them well enough to discover their issues.

This usually doesn't happen to me. Usually when characters make an appearance, I learn enough about at least one of them to know what their internal and external conflicts are and I can write forward until the other one coughs up the info.

I've mulled over why and I've reached the conclusion that I didn't spend enough time in what I call Pre-Book. Pre-Book is when I just spend time getting to know my h/h. I find their pictures, I find out where they live, what it looks like, sometimes I learn what kind of car/truck/SUV they drive, and any just about anything else that you can imagine. This last one depends on the characters and their story, so it's never consistent.

So my plan for this couple is to whip out the worksheets. I truly don't enjoy doing character sketch stuff and I rarely actually have to get to that, but this time I feel as if I don't have a choice. I'm not looking forward to it, but whatever works.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Six Years Five Months

After six years and five months, I finally had to get a new laptop. This made me very sad as I loved my laptop and it was still near the top of the line on speed. Not so much on hard drive capacity, but I hadn't filled it yet. But it had other issues.

I kind of had a problem, though. I'm hard on laptops. I kill them at alarming rates--or at least I did until I discovered the Sony Vaio. That baby could take everything I could throw at it. Sadly, Sony sold off their PC division to some other company, and at the time I checked, they only had a couple of models available in the US and none of them even remotely interested me.

After researching, I finally made my decision. I went for a 17 inch screen since I don't move the laptop too far or that often. Two hard drives. Yea! A solid state drive that isn't huge, but can hold all my programs and a 2 TB regular hard drive for all my files. It also is souped up.

I know a lot of people buy the cheapest PC they can find, but now that computer specs aren't going obsolete as fast as they did fifteen years ago, I've developed a new strategy. Buy the most laptop that I can afford. That's why my previous laptop was still near the top of the line after more than six years. It's more cost effective than having to buy a new one every couple of years and I would with a cheaper one. Writers are very hard on computers because of all the typing we do. It's also time consuming (at least for me) to setup a laptop with all the files and programs I need, so only doing it once every six plus years is a huge win.

So I've had the new laptop for nearly a month now. I'm still slowing adding programs I use, but the files are all transferred. I have a cloud backup and I downloaded from there. I also used up 90% of my Comcast cap for the month so I couldn't stream movies or baseball for the last 10 days or so of May. Sucks since I almost never use even 15% of that damn data cap. But that's a rant for another day. :-)

Anyway, I do like the new laptop, but I loved my last one more. The nice thing is, though, that this one is quieter because the fan isn't blowing at maximum for the entire time it's running. I also like the extra screen real estate. My Sony was 16 inches and I didn't think one extra inch would make that much difference, but it did.

I'll have to use the laptop a while longer before I render it a fit substitute for my beloved Vaio, but so far, so good.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

25 Things That Changed History

Some of these are kind of interesting, but I'm wondering if they're all true or not.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gotta Get There

I think everyone has someplace on Earth that they want to visit more than anything in the world. I was lucky enough to get to my number one place--Australia. It was an awesome trip and I was able to spend 4 weeks there exploring part of the country. I could have used a lot more time because there was so much to see.

Lately, I've been thinking of the number 2 place on my really, really, really want to go there list. Ireland.

It's still a dream-about it idea, which means it's still a ways off. Years maybe. But if you can dream it, you can do it. Eventually. I'll have to do some research, start thinking about where I want to go and what I want to do while I'm there. Sometimes I think this is half the fun of traveling--making plans and anticipating fulfilling them even if it is someday.

I imagine that going to Ireland will be like going home. That it will feel familiar and comfortable. I hope I'm right about that.

I imagine meeting people like Nora Roberts' characters from her Born In trilogy. They felt so real that while I was reading the books, I felt like I could fly to Ireland and meet the heroes and heroines.

I imagine taking long walks there, maybe hanging out in the pub, and meeting people. This last part is definitely a fantasy. I'm an introvert. Meeting new people is really hard for me. I know pubs in Europe are different from bars in the USA, so I don't think it will matter that I don't really drink.

And I imagine all the fun I'll have visiting all the cool places I've only seen pictures of or heard about from others. Dreams are good. Now to start saving up so that I can actually go one day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Polish Mansion

I was looking for pictures of mansions today and I found one that left me stunned. It's in Poland and comes complete with 14 bedrooms, 25 full baths and 14 partial baths. O_O I'm trying to figure out what someone would need with that many bathrooms. That's more than double the number of bedrooms. Now I can see the tactical advantage of having conveniently located bathrooms throughout the house, but 29 of them?

According to the listing (it's for sale), it also has a guest house, stables, tennis courts, carriage house (with real, antique carriages), a helipad, a private airport, a home theater, a billards room, staff quarters, a wine cellar, and 2 polo fields. Yep, 2 of them. It also has an indoor arena for practicing polo in the winter.

If you'd like to look at it yourself, here's the link, but I can't promise it's still active. For all I know, mansions like this fly off the real estate listings. :-) Since I don't move in these circles, I have no idea.

By the way, the stables can hold 60 horses. I know, right? But apparently polo tournaments are held there in the summer and all the visiting polo players probably need space for their horses to spend the night. BTW, there are summer and winter paddocks--whatever that means. I don't know anything about horses either.

The property is stunning both inside and outside, but the exterior is especially extraordinary. I seriously need to have a hero or heroine visit/live in a mansion like this.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

British Numbers Confuse Americans

I found this interesting, but it is a little longer than most of the videos I share.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Purses, Purses, Purses!

Cleaning out the family home in Minnesota revealed some interesting things. Like my mom's purses. Most of them were mom or old lady purses and we donated all of those to charity, but we also found some really interesting bags, too.

Like the alligator bag with like an actual alligator head and little legs on the flap above his head.

It made me laugh and I had to take a picture of it. I can't remember if there are little legs on the back, too, but I think there might have been.

My mom also had some super cool purses, too, and I brought those home so I can use them myself. One of my favorites looks like something straight out of Mad Men. It's a red clutch with a clipping closure on the top. You can't really see it in the photo, but it's a fairly typical clip.

Of all my mom's purses, I had a favorite. It's a definitely a bag of its time and I don't care. I think it's fabulous. I haven't used it yet, but I should while it's still summer. It's a white bag.

I'm not a huge fan of the plastic handles, but everything else about the purse is awesome!

I also found a couple of super cool scarves, the kind you just drape over your head and wrap around your neck, great for riding in a convertible. :-) I don't have one of those, but maybe I can use it with my sunroof open instead. It kind of makes me wish that scarves like this would make a comeback. They also seem like a very 1960s look, but one that I could get behind.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

On Your Feet

I don't know if anyone else has this problem or not, but I forget to stand up and move around. It mostly happens at work. I'll be really involved in what I'm working on and will sit in one position for too long. Then, when I finally do get to my feet, I feel horrible. My knees hurt, my back hurts, I feel stiff and uncomfortable.

Telling myself to remember to get up didn't work. I thought about setting a reminder on my calendar, but that seemed like an awful lot of work. And then it dawned on me. Why not find an app that will tell me to get up?

I found it on the iOS store and best yet? It was free! (I'm sure there's an Android version as well, but I didn't check.)

Every 45 minutes, the app dings and I stand up. Sometimes I walk around, sometimes I stretch, but I get to my feet. There's a button to touch to let the app know you're standing and it sets the 45 minutes from there. At least I think it does.

Sometimes the 45 minutes is a little off for me. Like I get up to get coffee or something, sit down for 3 minutes and the app dings. I've been getting to my feet anyway because what the hell?

I wasn't sure how this app would work for me, but I gave it a try and I love it! It was exactly what I needed.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fantastic Language Features Missing in English

I do not want the absolute direction one. I'm not good at east, west, north, south.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Worst Advertising Has to Offer

As bad as advertising is during regular viewing hours, it’s a billion times worse during the daytime. While I was up in Minnesota, helping my dad clean out the house, I worked with the television on. Most of the ads were geared to retired folks or (apparently) people who are entitled to some kind of compensation.

At home, I just hit the mute button and ignore the crap. It wasn’t so easy in Minnesota because I was trying to work and repeatedly reaching for the remote wasn’t conducive to progress.

It wasn’t only on that game show channel I found either. I’d discovered another station, one that did a weekend binge of Black Sheep Squadron with Robert Conrad, and it was every bit as bad with one added commercial for some replica watch. Gah!

How bad were the ads? After a few days, I started muttering STFU every time a commercial break started. Luckily, my dad wasn’t in the same room I was in most of the time, and when he was, he doesn’t hear real well. :-)

I’m not sure about this, but I wonder if they alternate ads from big pharma with lawyer ads to sue big pharma for bad drugs? It sure seemed that way.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

In the Bag

One of the things that took a lot of time for me to get used to when I first moved to Georgia was grocery shopping. The store I went to in Minnesota didn’t bag the groceries—that was self-service. In Atlanta, however, they do bag for you. Heck, one store even takes your groceries out to your car with you!

So we’re back in Minnesota, and because my dad had been down visiting me for four months, there was no food in the house. We were forced to immediately go shopping. Usually, when I visit, he goes to the store without me, but his car wouldn’t start after sitting in the garage unused for so long and I went with, grocery list in hand.

My dad abandoned me while I was waiting in the check-out line, so I’m standing there oblivious when it finally struck me like a lightning bolt from the blue—I had to bag my groceries!

I stepped up to the task, though, and I like the way I bag even if I used more bags than the kids in Georgia use when they do it. My dad arrived when I was nearly done. Just in time to put the last item in a bag and walk out with me.

It’s amazing what four years does to your memory banks. I went from shocked in Georgia back then to shocked in Minnesota now. :-)

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Buried Treasures

I wrote this post while I was up in Minnesota, helping my dad go through his house.

As I write this, my dad and I have already made three trips to a charity to donate things. Three trips with my car packed full—not only the way back, but also the back seat. Most of what we’ve come across hasn’t been anything I’ve been interested in, but I’ve also discovered some treasures.

The most exciting find was old cards. Cards from when I was adopted, cards from my first birthday, cards for other important events. Just priceless!

I don’t keep cards so no one is going to find anything like this in my house. Sorta sad, but clutter.

We’ve also found some pictures, although nothing that’s blown my socks off yet, but it’s been fun to see photos of when my mom and dad were younger and when I was little. We’ve also come across pictures of people neither my dad nor I recognized and that was kind of sad. We had a 8x10 photo of a couple with a baby and my dad could only come up with the guess that one of them was some sort of cousin to my mom. That’s sad.

I also found a couple of super cool purses my mom used to carry. I guess this was back before she got into the boring mom purses that I remember. She also put aside a few dresses that she told my dad she wanted me to have.

Mostly, though, sorting through the house has been hard work. My parents honestly threw nothing away and my dad and I are paying the price for it now. Big time. And even though I threw out a ton of stuff a few years ago before I moved to Atlanta, it still makes me want to sort through my stuff and get rid of more because wow.