Wednesday, December 2, 2020

No Snowball

I actually tried the snowball method of writing. Many months after I blogged about it. Turns out, it isn't the breakthrough method I've been waiting for. 

So, back to pantsing. Rather, think of parts of a story and if I ever write it, get stuck and give up. 

I did publish a book of my poems, though. They seemed to be fitting for Halloween. I suck at self-promotion. 

In any case, I've got a new idea, but I think what I'm itching for is roleplay. But it's hard to find now days. 

So I just go into Watch_Dogs 2 and crash cars. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020


Autumn is an energizing time for me. Here's a list of what makes it so.

  • Cooler Weather I absolutely hate being hot, and feel hot at lower temperatures. I prefer needing to wear a sweater. I love bundling up. I love feeling warmth spread through my body.

    Girl, Forest, Road, Little Girl, Childhood, Walking

  • Warm Drinks I love coffee and it needs to be hot. I also love hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and hot tea. This is the time for this.

    Coffee, Winter, Warmth, Cozy, Cup, Drink, Hot, Warm

  • Soups, Stews, & Chili I love these foods and I love what they signify. Add some hot rolls too!

    Sausage, Stew, Noon Tips

  • So Colorful It seems as nature is preparing to sleep, it puts on a magnificent finale. And the orange afternoon sky. That's my favorite.

    Bench, Fall, Park, Rest, Sit, Autumn, Park Bench, Wood

  • Smells I don't mean pumpkin spice, though I do love that. I mean the smell of smoke. People burning the ditch grass, bon fires, fire places, and wood stoves.

    Fireplace, Fire, Flame, Hot, Heat, Wood, Firewood, Home

  • Flannel I love flannel, especially in plaid and argyle. It's finally cool enough to wear them!

    Chess, Board, Flannel, Plaid, Shirt, Red, Black, Glass

  • Cuddle Time! It's the PERFECT time and excuse to cuddle for "body warmth." :D
    Cute, Adorable, Friend, Portrait, Dog, Animal, Pet


All images are from Pixabay and link to the site where the creator posts it.


Friday, October 2, 2020

I Am A Dolphin!

I don't know why, but at one point I figured out the "normal" timing of things. Waking at 7, lunch at 12, dinner at 6 and bed around 9. Below is the list of things I know about myself that make me feel I am closer to a dolphin than the other types. (I got the Wolf result, but the questions were also inadequate... What if one never had jetlag?)

    • If all things go well, and I don't have to set an alarm, I naturally wake sometime around 9. Though getting up at 7 isn't an issue if I set an alarm. Any earlier than that, and I will curse the morning.

    • I cannot eat within 15 minutes of getting up (or longer if I wake up sooner than I like). Sometimes I can't even stomach the idea of it. If I do eat (mostly because I know I must) it's the smallest meal of my day. (And the first few bites are mere willpower sometimes.)

    • My most productive time starts within 15 minutes of waking (leading to forgetting to eat by the time I can stomach it) and starts to decay (or just abruptly stop) sometime after lunch. I go through the motions at that point. Still productive and energized if there's something to do, but if it's mostly quiet, I have to struggle to stay awake. I learned to save the more hands on tasks for that time, and do my "thinking" tasks in the morning.

    • Staying up past midnight does weird things to me mentally and emotionally. (Though that won't always stop me.)|

    • I nap everyday if I am home and not busy. I might not sleep, but I do get in bed at least once during the day. If I had an early morning, it can be two times that day. I even find these times somehow more peaceful or something. I figure less pressure.

    • Lights and sound WILL keep me awake, but once I am asleep (especially with earplugs) it has to be really bright or really loud to wake me. (Or really shaky.) I found this to be the one thing that's only half true for me in the dolphin type.

 Now to look at what the internet says ...

But first, as I got up around 9:40 and it's now 12:22. As per usual, I have yet to eat. Let me grab something before I continue.

Well, according to the MEQ, my meletonin starts shooting into my mouth about 9:45 and my "natural bedtime" is about 11:45. This sounds right. That 6:30, though, is a NO GO. I think they're just trying to sell those lamps. 

Another thing says the same thing. I COULD if I HAD to get up at 6:30, but that's the curse the morning time. Let me sleep. Going to bed at the recommended time is no issue. It's the waking before 7 that feels just so wrong.

I was about to give up as these things weren't getting it right. I found some things in other types that was more me, but finally I found that last link. I copied it and added notes.

Daily schedule for "dolphins"

Morning: from 6 AM to 10 AM

  • It's better to start your day with a morning run and some exercises. (Stretches maybe... Getting ready is sort of an exercise?)
  • Take a cold or contrast shower to wake up completely. (No.)
  • Have a balanced breakfast at 8 AM: carbs and protein should be in equal amounts. (Also, not gonna happen.)

Basically... I'm fine without all that. I'll eat crackers or something. They're not wrong. I'm just not gonna do it.

Maximum productivity: from 10 AM to 6 PM

  • Drink coffee with less caffeine and in small amounts. (Yes to coffee. Moderation? Maybe.)
  • The time of your energy peak is between 10 AM and 12 PM. It's the best time to complete the most difficult tasks. (Somewhere else said 9 and 2 and that seems more accurate. Or maybe those extra hours and the ebb and flow? I do know that these times of no work, left to my own devices, I wake about 9 ready to go and 2 is about when I'm ready for a nap.)
  • You start feeling tired after lunch. That's why you should go out and walk for 20 minutes. (Hm. An excuse to go outside on nice days. I can do this. Not saying I WILL, but I don't mind this recommendation. It's also when I get the wild hair to go somewhere, but end up just napping.)
  • You'll have enough energy to deal with all of your tasks until 6 PM. (If I HAVE to. If there's stuff to do, sure. If it's slow in the afternoon, I need to get up and move once and awhile or I'll fall asleep.)

After work: from 6 PM to 10 PM

  • Have a light snack (a banana, a protein bar, or salad) and go to the gym. But don't do strength exercises as they won't contribute to proper sleep. (Again, this doesn't sound too bad. But I'd eat first, then exercise (at home), then shower for bed.)
  • Have dinner at 9 PM. It's also a good time to talk to your friends or family members. You can also solve problems and conflicts during this period of time. (Oh goodness no! First off, I prefer eating around 6, but can eat 2 hours before and a light snack around 9, but not the whole meal. Too much! And I can solve stuff, but I rather just shut off my brain at this time. It's been busy all day, mostly in the morning.)

The end of the day: from 10 PM to 12 AM

  • Take a warm bath, put all gadgets aside, and read a book at 10 PM.  (Bath yes. Gadgets stay with me. Read a book ON the gadget, maybe. Do meme's count?)
  • Go to bed by 12 AM. You might not fall asleep immediately. Try to change positions until you find the most comfortable one. (I shoot for 11:30, and ... like I have to TRY to move around... Dude, that happens naturally.)

So, there's that. Some of it sounds really helpful, but dinner at 9 sounds absolutely ridiculous. And who has to be told to change positions until they're comfortable? I'll leave it there because I think my notes are kinda cute.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Design Tools

I designed a book cover for my little poem book. I wanted to share the little gems I found.

Well, one gem: Pinetools

The other has become well known: Canva. But if it's been awhile since you checked it out, they've added some awesome new free tools. I used the CRAP out of the effects.

Also, I want to add something about the last couple of posts. Other than the type of work I want to do, I also know where I want to do it. In order of preference:

  1. Theatre There are very few around here, and most are voluntary. Still, I'd love to be a paper monkey for one. I'd even do box office! I LOVE theatre and I am willing to do the heavy lifting and get dirty for it. I have some education in that as well as being a stage manager in a local playhouse. (Little story: I learned just how sensitive my skin was removing that makeup every night. I got raw and sore skin all over my face. I learned the joy of cold cream.)
  2. Museum There's a few more of those around, but still voluntary (and I know that's pretty normal all around but still would love to be paid cuz you know life) and I've even done that with a school work program.
  3. Library I might even get a degree in Library Science so I can just do it all.
  4. Any Small Company As long as they're legal, of course. And the atmosphere fits.

But then I realized I also want to publish a book. Poems and flash fiction. Before I knew flash fiction was a thing, I was writing little scenes that I couldn't put a whole story around. So now they have a place. Poems and short open ended prose. 

I need to find the one I wrote about a decrepit house and the one about a dream about a dust land I had once.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Ideal Job

So, all the wondering and indecision, and I think I finally decided. What do I want to do Monday through Friday for 40 hours? Something boring. Something where I can do spurts of activity and have time to just chill until the next task is needing done. Where I can go go go until someone reminds me it's time to take lunch or go home. A place where I can make use of this love of paper, pens, office machines, and buttons. Where I can be somewhat nosy (just being how everyone is but honest enough to own it), but only so I make sure it goes in the right mail slot.

Side Note: I decided to be BRUTALLY honest. Even if people who are looking to hire me see this, so be it. Getting work is hard and at least this way, on the rare chance I get offered a job, it won't be because I pretended to be ok with something because I was desperate and end up just suffering and quitting or being fired. Or maybe no one will notice this and it's just my way of making those lists people keep saying you should make. Except this is too complicated for a simple list.

I want to be an OFFICE CLERK! According to some job descriptions I've found, that's an umbrella term. 

First off, a bit of a rant. I'm frankly tired of the mislabeling. I'm cool with answering phones, sitting up front, etc. Just call it what it is. A receptionist. This is the label you need to use even if they do other stuff. If their first priority is greeting guests and answering the phone (regardless of any projects or tasks they have on their desk), then you want a receptionist. Only when answering the phone as the first contact for the whole company or office isn't part of their job can you use any other label. 

Now that we got that out of the way, here is the list of things I've found on job descriptions and my willingness/ability to do them.

tltr: Documentation, mail, and office supply stock are my jams!!! Perfect job would be all of those and only those. I immediately "nope" on anything that needs taking minutes.

  • Documentation This could be creation, updating, filing, archiving, scanning, etc. Basically keeping documents current (or assuring those who can edit them are keeping them current) and accessible physically and/or digitally. This often also includes user based tech support. I LOVE this! I have experience with it all. Seriously, if there are jobs openings for "back room" clerks anymore, I'd absolutely love it.

  • Mail Using postage machines, weighing, printing and applying shipping labels, sorting through mail is part of this work. It usually only takes a small portion of the day in smaller offices or a half day in larger ones. I do absolutely love this as well. I typically prefer smaller offices, but if I could do the mail, I'd work at a larger one.

  • Reception I'll say it again. If this is any part of the job description, the job title should be Receptionist, but that's not the case, and I can't make people do this, so this is where you answer the phone, take messages, route calls, or do simple customer service or tech help (if allowed). This isn't a favorite honestly. If I'm not doing anything, I'm bored. If I am doing anything, distractions are annoying, despite how I mask it. I can do it well and I will do it with a smile. It's just not, like I said, my favorite.

  • Basic Bookkeeping and Invoicing Kind of like reception, this shouldn't be included if you want someone who needs to be qualified to work in the accounting department. If they do, you need to be clear. If it's something simple as typing receipt info into a spreadsheet, or scanning invoices, or printing and mailing invoices with a CLEAR price list to go off of, then good. It really depends on what the actual expectation is. I don't like being given discretion on how to price things. I need a formula. I tend to be a bleeding heart and WILL lowball if given the choice. Don't trust me to make you money. Just trust me to save you some. I love researching and pricing things.

  • Minute Taking and Dictation I get it. Notes are good. Delegate it to someone so you don't have to worry about it. Some people communicate better with words than writing so dictating is the way to go. But there are recording devices and computer programs. In any case, this is a legitimate part of the job description. I just don't want to do it. I'd be a nervous wreck worrying about missing something, or did I write down the right part? In school, I ended up almost noting every word the professor said... Not very useful. I will transcribe if I HAVE to. I can come up with how to word things if you give me a general idea, but you NEED to look it over and approve it before I send it. I can communicate well, but I hate communicating other's thoughts and ideas. I'm not you. I can't trust I can be your voice.

  • Office Supply Stock Keeping an eye on the pens, notepads, etc. and ordering more if needed, or requesting it from another department (in the case of high-cost materials or machines). Yes, please! I can spend hours looking through catalogues. I will search for that pen that you prefer. Can I keep the samples no one wants please?

  • Travel Arrangements, Reservations, etc. Calling and setting things up, updating calendars, preparing the itinerary, etc. I want to include event planning in this. I have no experience in this, but it's something I've always wanted to to for my bosses. I've never had a boss that needed it yet, though.

Clues Into What Job I Want.... & Etc. Misc.

I won't go into what brought me to this idea because my trains of thought have so many switches... Anywhoooo...

I am going to go beyond what this list of questions was intended for. I am going to imagine I am the one answering them from my ideal point in life.

  1. What do you do at [Company] and in what circumstances would I come to you for something? I am the office clerk and you can come to me if you need someone to do things like filing, copying, sorting, mail processing. I also sort your and the other employee's mail. Basically anything that needs to be done, but can be handed off to me as the nerd I am for loving to do these things, and being darned good at it.

  2. What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on? Technical writing. I love writing front desk manuals and the like. No one lives forever. People get sick and have emergencies. I want to make it easy for someone to know what I do, and even how to do it. They may not be as fast or as awesome as me, but at least it will help keep things going.

  3. What’s your go-to productivity trick? If possible, I put in ear plugs.

  4. Are you an early bird or a night owl? I tend to be most ambitious in the morning but can slack off late into the night.

  5. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work? No one in particular. I've learned from several different personalities. How to strive for excellence while not killing yourself over something that won't matter in a week. How to put the customer first but set boundaries so that you are also respected. How to help co-workers without being their crutch.

  6. What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why? Organization. I thought too long on that one. I have things like creativity, but as to this particular job, it's organization.

  7. How do you prefer to start your day? Coffee. I've worked long enough, and in enough places, where you can't always plan on a quiet morning. You may be able to catch up on emails or get an early start on a project, or start the research or whatever, but someone may come in to see someone early. There may be a meeting someone forgot to tell you about.

  8. How do you prefer to end your day? I check the to do list and make a new one for the next day. I change the stamp date.

  9. What was your first job? Pulling weeds at an electric utility headquarters that turned into more of a secretarial job, then more mail delivery and hospitality.

  10. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it? I can't decide, but I know that all that come to mind had hostile work environments. Petty and passive aggressive co-workers. All that I learned is that no job has yet been worth being in those conditions. Other than 4 hours a week I had with one co worker.

  11. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it? There were issues where I didn't know what was going on. I need to "check in" and ask if there's anything new I should be aware of. If there's an intranet, look at it. Just try to keep up with things.

  12. What led you to this career? The economy, really. Also for socialization and the need to matter somewhere.

  13. What energizes you at work? The work. I know it's cheesy, but being given a pile of papers to put in order... I am energized by the fact that it needs to be done.

  14. What drains you at work? Socializing when there's something to be done at my desk.

  15. What’s one thing that surprised you about working at [Company]? This one I can't answer because it doesn't work in hypotheticals.

  16. What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of? Redesigning loan posters to be smaller and take less ink, saving that company money.

  17. What’s your biggest work pet peeve? Not being able to find my favorite supplies. Someone writing in my favorite notepad... on a page I'm using or used... MINE. There's pens and paper everywhere. These are my favorite. Grr...

  18. What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position? It's not a misconception. It's menial and tedious. It can be boring and soul draining for others. I LOVE it. Sometimes I get less loving about it, but the love is still there.

  19. If you could add one thing to [Company’s] office, what would it be? Again, not really fitting with a hypothetical, but I will list what ALL companies SHOULD have.

    • Free coffee with the free creamer and sugar. I seriously don't know why some companies cut this off. If it's the cost, just get off brand stuff. The snobs will buy their own and us poor slobs can be very, very happy.
    • Free pretzels. Again, these can be super cheap. It's for the poor temps or people who are too busy to go to lunch. Hangry is NOT a good mood to have anywhere, let alone an office.
    • Vending machines (or even Concession Stand). And don't try to push health food on us. Include them, by all means, but also include the empty calories. We know what choice we're making. Sodas, chips, cookies, apples, salads, etc. 
    • I want to say in building cafeteria but this one is a bit costly. Very convenient and helps productivity if a company can afford it, though.

  20. If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be? I want to say dance, but that would also require physical changes like flexibility. Excel. Those formulas look super useful, but confuse the crap out of me.

  21. If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why? Let me just say, this is why I don't have a tattoo either.

  22. What advice would you give to your teenage self? You'll find your people in time.

  23. What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day? Memes. I look at memes. I do that on good days too.

  24. What drains you outside of work? Traffic. I LOVE driving, but traffic is exhausting. I wanna gooooooo.

  25. What energizes you outside of work? People listening and watching.

  26. What’s a trip that changed you, and why? Trying to move to Canada before he and I were married. ALWAYS ask someone who is actually in the know. Don't just jump and try because you're too shy to ask someone in authority.

  27. What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year? Working the front desk at a bus company.

  28. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? Well, there's a reason they don't know. ;)

  29. What’s one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit? Getting ready for bed starting at 9pm.

  30. What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important? I am learning what I want to do. It's important so I can narrow down the many choices of jobs to apply to. And so I can be motivated and enthusiastic to keep learning things I need to learn to do those jobs.

  31. What’s something you saw recently that made you smile? Teenagers socializing. Homeschooling won't stop the extroverted kids, and the introverted kids finally have it their way.

  32. What’s something you’ve done, but will never do again? Jump off a cliff. I did it once. Once. Seriously. I tried cliff diving all afternoon after that first time. Just couldn't. Wasted the whole afternoon too.

  33. What’s something—big or small—that you’re really bad at? Drawing a straight vertical or horizontal line. Even it's straight, it's gonna be diagonal. This may also explain why my handwriting is a mess.

  34. What’s something—big or small—that you’re really good at? Imaginative scenarios.

  35. What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from? I can't remember his name, and honestly, he's just the first person who said it. Others have said it too. "If you're afraid, it means you should do it." That was paraphrased and not an absolute. I was scared to audition for a play. I'm sure he didn't mean it for if I was scared to go ... jump off a cliff.

  36. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? When my husband married me. :D

  37. What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? TV and video games.

  38. What’s your guilty pleasure? If you enjoy it, don't feel guilty over it.

  39. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Many things. One thing that sounds really out there for me was a chemist. I wanted to make perfumes.

  40. If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose? My life isn't full of luxury, but I'm pretty happy with it.

  41. If you had to pick one age to be permanently, which age would you choose? 25. Old enough for everything, yet young enough to be, well, young.

  42. What three words would your friends use to describe you? You'd have to ask them.

  43. Who would play you in a movie about your life? I really don't know how to answer this. LOL Are we going with looks? What genre/emotions they're most talented at portraying?

  44. What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend? On Twitch streaming some random game.

  45. Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)? I like both. Which would I own? Neither, but if I had to choose? Likely a cat. They're pretty chill. I like to VISIT both.

  46. Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? Um, if it's hidden, how would I know about it? ;)

  47. If you could choose a name for yourself, what would it be? Anna. I think.

  48. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? Teleportation. Too many loved ones too far away. Well one. But one too far is one too many.

  49. If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Well, considering patterns of the past: Pizza.

  50. If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick? Hangouts (to talk with Dave), Camera (to document the weirdness that pops up in the world occasionally... and the beauty more often), Bricks Breaker Clash (boredom killer even when offline).

  51. If you were the only human left on Earth, what would you do? Explore ALL THE THINGS! Go through people's stuff... then realize I am the only person left to carry these memories, so what's the point... I hate this question.

  52. What book are you reading now? Random articles about random things.

  53. What’s your favorite sport to watch and which team do you root for? I'll pause on channel surfing for gymnastics, ice skating and the like. In a bar, I'll focus on the basketball games. I just want everyone to have fun.

  54. What trend do you hope makes a comeback? Jumpers. As I know them anyway. Like overalls but a skirt. Amy on Big Bang Theory wore them at least once. Also Rachel in Glee when she was still in high school.

  55. What’s one hobby you’d love to get into? Woodcarving

  56. What’s one item you can’t leave your house or apartment without? Phone. Forgot keys? Call someone. Forgot money, apps on phone. Forgot ID... well, let's hope you don't need it. Looks like it's soda and PG events.

  57. What’s one item you want to own that you don’t? A boat. I don't care how big. I just wanna sail or paddle or vroom on the water.

  58. What’s one song or artist that you’re embarrassed to admit you like? See the guilty pleasures question.

  59. What’s one song you have completely memorized? I don't know about memorize, but I can sing along easily to it. Listen to Your Heart. I'm not sure why, really, but there it is.

  60. What’s one totally irrational fear that you have? That most of what I touch is contaminated. It is, but why fear it?  No one else does. Well, till 2020.

  61. What’s the first concert you ever went to? Something called WinterFest I think.

  62. What’s the top destination on your must-visit list? British Isles.

  63. What fictional place would you most like to visit? Middleton. That town in Good Witch.

  64. What’s your favorite place to eat around here? Moxie's or StickyZ, depending on where here is.

  65. What’s your favorite TV show—the one you’re always watching on repeat? 2 Broke Girls.

  66. What’s your go-to karaoke song? I don't think I have one. Yet.

  67. What’s your most hated household chore? Washing the tub.

  68. What’s your most used emoji?  :D

  69. Which season is your favorite? AUTUMN!!!!

  70. What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten? I tried a nibble of pig's feet once. Do not recommend.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Ten Steps to Writing a Story

I wrote a post about some sites I found helpful for writing. I remembered because I was searching for that one thing I found that perfectly suits me. I just remembered I found it on Pinterest. Then I found it on my blog. Now I realize I need to summarize, for my own need of simplified instructions. Go here for the full article by Randy Ingermanson, Ph.D. I say ignore the time suggestions (even he isn't strict on them). Just let it take as long as it needs.
    1. Write a one sentence summary. [Nameless Main Character Concept] [does a thing] [to accomplish a thing].
    2. Write a paragraph based on that sentence.
      1. Write a sentence for the setup.
      2. Write a sentence for each disaster. (3ish)
      3. Write a sentence for the ending.
    3. You're gonna get to know your character. Basically, you're doing the first two steps for each character and then some.
      1. Character name, age, eye color, hair color, other basics.
      2. A one sentence summary of their storyline, and then a paragraph summary
      3. Their motivation, goal, conflict, and epiphany.
      4. From this point, you're good to continue to the other steps, but you'll add the following as their characters and story inspires you: One-page descriptions and character charts.
    4. From the step 2 paragraph, write a paragraph from each sentence.
    5. Take each paragraph and expand it to fill a page.
    6. Make a scene list in whatever way works for you.
    7. Write a few paragraphs of each scene. Lay out the conflict. Stream of thought is ok. Include dialogue and descriptions as they come to you. Keep a notebook on you or add notes on your phone as thoughts come to you when you're without your scene list. Ideas care not for timing.
    8. This is also a good idea:
      "I used to write either one or two pages per chapter, and I started each chapter on a new page. Then I just printed it all out and put it in a loose-leaf notebook, so I could easily swap chapters around later or revise chapters without messing up the others. This process usually took me a week and the end result was a massive 50-page printed document that I would revise in red ink as I wrote the first draft. All my good ideas when I woke up in the morning got hand-written in the margins of this document."  ~ Randy Ingermanson, Ph.D.
    9. I think at this point you've done the majority of it. You've written a book. Next you're basically just putting the glue on that'll hold the puzzle pieces together. Making things flow into each other.

    No Snowball

    I actually tried the snowball method of writing. Many months after I blogged about it. Turns out, it isn't the breakthrough method I'...