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2016 Goals

  • write to my grandmother every six weeks or so
  • call my moms every month or so
  • cook/eat better
  • clean out and organize my writng/craft room
  • re-institute the cleaning plan
  • publish six books by September 2017
  • reach 120 to 125 pounds
  • walk the dog three times a week

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Friday, October 30, 2015

NANOWRIMO!




Otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month...I signed up. The premise is to join millions of others around the world and spew 50K or more unedited words on the pages during the month of November.

I couldn't find the stats, but I'm sure you've heard them before. A lot of people say they want to write a book. Most people never start and, of those who do, they give up at some point.

NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a fun, no pressure way to find accountability and support to write a book. I've heard about it for years, but never felt the draw. I mean, up until recently I didn't really have the time I thought it would take to write that much. And this year I still don't because I have a couple of series bibles to work on as well as my special cross stitch project to make progress on, but...

The friends I hang with online all day every day are all signed up, so I thought what the heck--I can be a cheerleader. I'm good at that. And while I don't have a book I want to write, but I do have a fan fiction assignment due Nov. 23rd, so I will be writing.

What about you? Anyone else doing NaNo? Even their own modified version?


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

American Fun Facts!


With 6640 miles of coast, Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other forty-nine states put together!

 Imaged with unrestricted permission from the USGS.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday, Monday...


Friday's tree pictures were taken Thursday afternoon...which was probably a good thing because it rained Friday and rained and rained. Then it rained Saturday and rained and rained. Sunday was just cloudy, but the moisture just hung in the air.

Saturday, I watched TV pretty much all darn day. First I watched some documentaries with DH on Netflix, then we watched NCIS, then ST: Voyager. Then DH had to go down to his mom's house so then I watched an episode of Highlander and several of Mad Men. Yeah, it was a very lazy day.

Sunday, after grocery shopping, and around laundry and other random tasks, I cross stitched. All day. You know that special project I mentioned a couple of weeks ago? I had to play catch up and since the weather was conducive to just staying holed up inside,it seemed logical.


I finished the R, though I actually had more complete than what shows in this picture, and started the first letter of her middle name, C... It's actually close to being done since its image is fairly simple. Thank goodness!

How was your weekend???


Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Fall Y'All


Yeah, it's technically been fall for a month, but sometimes it's hard to tell here in Texas, since our summer is so long it starts a bit early and tends to go a bit long.

But now we've got the wonderfully cool overnight temperatures which means we can sleep with the windows open for a few weeks.

The the most obvious harbinger of fall is of course the changing colors of the leaves, and so for a few weeks, I'm going to watch and share the changing colors of the leaves on my trees.


The one on the right is the maple, but I'm not sure about the one on the left. Apparently there are quite a few trees that use samaras ("helicopter" pods) to sow their seeds, and I didn't care that much to do the research to figure it out. Needless to say, it's already begun changing color and dropping its leaves. The oak is just dive bombing me with acorns right now.


Now this is the neighbor-across-the-street's oak. I'm sharing it is because the leaves on my tree just turn plain old brown. But if I remember correctly, the leaves on this one turn a maroon/burgundy color.

Are you a fall lover?


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Back to the Future Day!!



How does the reality of 2015 measure up to the future 2015 from the first Back to the Future movie released in 1985?


Monday, October 19, 2015

The new fall TV season...


Since I don't have access to "live" TV, I am rarely subjected to commercials of any kind, including ads for new TV shows. I hear the occasional ad on the radio, but without visuals, it's not quite the same. But due to my trips to Seattle and Omaha at the right time along with time spent in hotel rooms with live TV, I saw ads for a couple of contenders...

Quantico, Blood & Oil, and Code Black...

I started Quantico, which I'm liking for the most part. It has a flash forward/flash back feature that I'm not sure I want to deal with for a whole season, but I'll keep going for now and see what happens.



The show opens with a group of new recruits at the FBI Academy--an eclectic mix to be sure. Then at some point we fast forward approximately nine months to the site of a terrorist attack. Alex Parrish, one of the recruits--now a newly minted agent--is the prime suspect. Her escape is orchestrated by the assistant director of the academy as she knows Alex (in the image above) is being framed. Alex has 24 hours to clear her name. In order to do so, she flashes back to the her time in the academy and the things she was taught.

I read the description on Blood & Oil, but ultimately decided against watching. Just seemed to soap opera-ish for me.

Code Black actually came across my radar via radio. The premise is an ER in probably the poorest and most violent area of Los Angeles that finds itself under code black night after night after night. The opening sequence alerts viewers that the average ER calls code black approximately five time a year. This particular ER calls code black three hundred times a year... Oh, what's code black, you ask? That's when an ER is overrun with more patients than they have resources (personnel, space, medical equipment/supplies) to handle. So, yeah, sounded intriguing. So far, I'm enjoying it.



Anyone else watching either one of these (or both)?? What do you think?


Friday, October 16, 2015

Hamlet!Ben




I saw this!!!

Okay, not in London at the Barbican, of course, but at my local theater where the most recent performance was beamed around the world.

I admit right now, Benedict Cumberbatch was the draw for me, not the play itself. I know who Shakespeare is, of course, but I've never had to read one of his plays for school. I know vaguely the story of Hamlet and I struggled a bit following the nuances of the plot, but it as I said, it was all about Ben.

And I confess this is not an objective critique. I thought he was beautiful and brilliant. Seeing it live would have been lovely, I think, but seeing it through a camera and being able to be right there rather than stuck up on a balcony or in a back row behind someone six foot two was marvelous. We could get up close and personal with the story and with Ben.

And we were in the theater with the roomy seats that turned into recliners, so, yeah...

Here are a few my awful pictures, taken with an iPhone in a dark theater with no flash.

Images of the live audience.

 Bene doing a special interview prior to the performance.





This is one of the bows at the end.



Monday, October 12, 2015

Movie Monday


So I discovered the TV show Madam Secretary starring Tea Leoni as Secretary of State McCord and Tim Daly as her husband...


So I've plowed through all 22 episodes of the first season over the past week or two and am now ready to keep up with season two as it airs on prime time. I really enjoyed the struggles and juggles of the most powerful woman in the United States. There is no blatant indication of which side of the aisle our team is on, which I like. I really enjoy the international intrigue and the drama, as well as the more personal family interactions. It also brings home the fact that the world really isn't black and white.

Anyway, I give it very high marks.

Have you seen it? What do you think?

Friday, October 9, 2015

A year ago yesterday...


A year ago yesterday, I watched my son climb aboard a bus for Navy boot camp. It was, without a doubt on my part, the hardest thing I've ever done. Not kidding. Not exaggerating for effect. The thought of it can still bring tears to my eyes.


I spent the better part of last winter depressed and out of sorts, in a haze, writing letters to Sonshine, who himself was undergoing tremendous change, trying to keep us both going.

It's been a year and I still miss him like crazy.

I've wondered when it should be time to get over it, but I still get teary eyed when I see old men with Grizzly Adams beards, and my dad died almost six years ago and I hardly ever saw him. I know my son "growing up" is not the same as a death, but we were close and he was a huge part of my every single day. Is it really so surprising that I still have a hole in my heart and life his shape? It's getting smaller to be sure, but I've heard (several times of late--is the universe trying to tell me something?) that grief is as individual as the person suffering through it. It is what is it and it lasts as long as it lasts.

Sonshine playing Xbox hockey in out hotel when we visited Seattle a month ago.

But each day I look forward to what the day has to offer and enjoy the journey.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

American Fun Fact


America is one of the only countries in the world to do display its flag just about everywhere!

"Americanflags" by Lipton sale (talk) - self-made. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia - 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Americanflags.jpg#/media/File:Americanflags.jpg

 
Monday, October 5, 2015

The latest cross stitch project...


About two years ago I started a very ambitious cross stitch project--a birth sampler for my younger daughter. All three of my kids have one, made when they were babies, but DD's was simple and plain and small. She's the middle child and the good one, so she garnered less of our attention as she grew up. Nor is it a secret that Sonshine (the youngest and only boy) is my favorite. Understandably, she has some jealousy.

So I looked online for birth sampler ideas so that I could make her something as special as she is. One particular alphabet showed up again and again and I thought it was perfect, but it was quite detailed. Never-the-less, I purchased the pattern, laid out the design, and purchased the cloth and embroidery floss.

Then I set to stitching, but soon discovered that I wouldn't be able to complete it by Christmas nor probably by her birthday three months later. So I set it aside. And then didn't pick it up again.

Until now. The goal is to finish by her next birthday at the end of next March.

And here's what I've got so far...

These first two pictures are as of Thursday, October 1.



And the second two as of Sunday afternoon...


This is (obviously) one of the letter pattrns.



Am I crazy??



Friday, October 2, 2015

Quarterly Update


It's time to ask that question again... How am I doing on my goals??

They're just to the left and down a smidge....

So let's just go down the list, shall we?

1) Do more crafts--got that one covered. Sorta. I've been doing a lot of cross stitch. I finished my Sherlock sampler and have created patterns and stitched a bunch of mini-samplers to put up for sale on Etsy. Fandom can be rather lucrative, I have discovered. A fandom friend completely funded a trip to England with her crafts. My goal is not quite so lofty, but I am hoping to at least pay for my plane ticket to Atlanta for the 221B Con next spring. We'll see how it goes.





2) Self-publish a book--not going to happen. After over a dozen years, I have decided to accept that I am a hobby writer and that any kind of career as a published author is not in my near future. I like writing fic and I like the kudos and comments that I get as a result. I have at least a dozen almost finished books. Someday, I'd like to hire one of those people to walk me through fixing a handful of them. But that service is not cheap, so that's a few years down the road.

3) Research degree programs--unlikely to happen. I came to a realization earlier this year. I'm really lazy. So the chances of me going back to school...um, slim and none. Homework at my age??? Now, I'm not ruling it out completely, but I'm not feeling it right now. Just being realistic.

4) Work on the yards--a little late in the year now. We've hired a guy who comes and mows & weed whacks every other Friday. But anything else is a no go until next year. I'm thinking just repair the grass for now.

5) Ramp up proof reading business--I did good at the beginning of the year and then slacked way off. I should try to drum up a few more jobs as I have a few things I'd like to be able to do with the money. A friend joined some sort of organization for those types of jobs. I've been thinking of signing up myself, but it's a couple of hundred bucks. I'm gonna ask her for a few more details before I spend the money.

6) Clean up/clean out the house--I can check this off the list. I've done a few things. Enough to qualify. :) There are a few more things I'd like to do and I probably will before the year's over.

7) Get healthy and well--an ongoing process. Not sure I can really check this off. Sonshine's departure for Navy boot camp and his subsequent assignment threw me for a major loop.

8) Write 2500 words a week--see #2.

9) Read three million words--yeah, hit that back in February. Closing in on TWELVE million words. If you want proof, click here and peruse the "logs."

10) Reach the 120lb. mark--not yet. There's still time. Though, I may have to re-think #7. I tend to eat when I'm feeling good. I let temptation get the better of me, so perhaps I am feeling a bit better than I realize.

How about you?


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Jen FitzGerald
Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
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Jen's Glossary of Terms

  • DH = my husband
  • my Brown Eyed Girl = my oldest daughter
  • DD = my Darling Daughter (the younger one)
  • Sonshine or Marching Band Boy = my son
  • NT = the North Texas chapter of RWA
  • RWA = Romance Writers of America