bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
My annual list of books I read in the past year. In 2016 I read 97 books. I started something new this year, and some of the books were read out loud to my mom. My favorite books read this year "The Martian" and my re-reads of the Street Cat Bob books: "A Street Cat Named Bob," "The World According to Bob," and "A Gift from Bob." The story of James and Bob is beautiful. It's a true story that's still ongoing. James and Bob are still around.

As before the list of books I read (divided by genre) is under the cut. Books marked with a * were books I thought were particularly good. Books with (2) are re-reads, and books with (M) are books I read out loud to mom.

2016 Books )

2015 Books

Jan. 1st, 2016 05:38 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
My annual list of books I've read in the past year! Just about the only thing I post anymore. Anyway, I read a total of 95 books in 2015. Normally I read a few more, but this past September was a bad month. I only read 4 books. Specifically I read 40 sci-fi/fantasy, 5 historical fiction, 12 historical fantasy, 19 nonfiction, 6 mysteries, 5 general fiction, 7 young adult, and 1 in French. My favorites were A Street Cat Named Bob and its sequels. A full list is under the cut. A (2) next to the book denotes a re-read while a * means I really liked the book or it had special meaning.

2015 Book List )
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I don't know if anyone still reads my journal. I know I don't post in it much. I feel I need to post about this though. My father passed away September 13th. Even though he had health issues, this was extremely unexpected. We'd been talking about possibly returning to Disney World in November of 2016. He died the night my aunt and uncle arrived from California, and he'd really been looking forward to their visit. My mom and I were very luck that Aunt Denise and Uncle Sal were here. They were a huge help. The morning it happened I screamed and cried a lot. The first week I was fairly sick. That's how my body reacts to high levels of stress. I was able to pull myself together for the funeral on the 19th. I'm very grateful that he didn't die on my birthday and that the funeral also wasn't on my birthday, which is the 21st. It was not a great birthday this year.

Now it's been just over three weeks. I've stopped thinking it's him every time the phone rings, but I still dream about him at night sometimes. Mom and I miss him, and we're sad, but we're coping. We're going out to California for Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with mom's family. We will get through this, but it will take time, and I know I'll always miss him. I love you dad.

Dad and Mom photo DadandMom3.jpg
Dad and Mom in 2006

Me and Dad photo MeandDad.jpg
Dad and Me in 2006

2014 Books

Jan. 1st, 2015 04:42 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I'm posting what's become my annual post about the books I read in the past year. In 2014 I read 106 books. I read 11 in January, 6 in February, 9 in March, 6 in April, 8 in May, 8 in June, 13 in July, 3 in August, 9 in September, 8 in October, 9 in November, and 16 in December. I will list them below by genre. A (2) next to the book means it was a re-read, and a * next to it means that book touched me in some way, I really connected with it, or I just really liked the book. I might add small notes about some of the books here, but mostly it will just be a list. My favorite books of the year were hands down all the books about lions and other big cats by Joy and George Adamson. I really felt like I got to know the animals through the books. I cried when Elsa died.

Books This way! )
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I just finished the book in the subject, and I have to say, it was not interesting. The characters all started off as teenagers with lives they weren't really happy with. They went through adult life into middle age, still living lives they weren't really happy with. I don't need every book to have a happy ending, but I wanted at least some of the characters here to be content. They author might as well have ended the book by saying, "And they all lived in mediocrity ever after. Except for the one guy who died from cancer." Below is a list of the main characters, and my impressions of them (in their own voices). Mainly because I feel like venting.

Julie Jacobson: I change my name from "Julie" to "Jules" near the very beginning of the book. I do it because I was invited to hang out with the cool kids, and the name "Julie" wasn't cool enough. I stay friends with the cool people, and I think that should magically make my life awesome. Except I'm not really happy with my job, my husband is depressed, and we hardly have any money. Even when I do take my dream job I decide it wasn't my dream after all, and I go back to my old life.

Ash Wolf: I think my family is more important than anything. You might think this is a noble feeling, but I take it to the extreme. My brother was accused of rape, and he ran away before the trial. Of course he didn't do it (because he's my brother and he says he didn't), and I hide the fact that I'm still in contact with him from my husband. I also send him money even though he spends most of it on drugs. I spend the rest of the time writing feminist plays. They're not terrible, but they're not great either. They mostly get noticed because my husband is famous.

Goodman Wolf: Yeah, I was accused of raping that girl, but I didn't do it. I swear! And even though I didn't do it, I ran away all the way to Iceland before the trial. My mom and dad sent me money, and then Ash sent some. Sure, I used most of it to buy drugs, but my life was ruined by a rape accusation. Why not have some fun?

Ethan Figman: I'm Ash's husband. I'm the one you want to root for. I was a geeky, nerdy kid, but I grew up to become rich and famous for creating a hit cartoon show for adults. After I marry Ash you stop wanting to root for me because we have a kid who ends up being on the autism spectrum. I can't handle this, and I don't even go with my wife when she gets the diagnosis. I also tell a friend I'm not sure I love my kid anymore. Oh, and by the way, about Goodman? I think he did rape that girl.

Jonah Bay: My mom was a famous folk singer, and I grew up playing guitar. I thought I was going to be a musician. But when I was a kid a man I thought of as a father figure gave me drugs, and stole songs I wrote while under the influence. But I'm not going to tell anyone about that. I'm going to brood and sulk. Also I can never play music again.

Basically those are my impressions on the main characters. They *do* have some redeeming qualities, and those were mentioned in the book, but these were my main thoughts.


Feb. 28th, 2014 07:01 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I've been reading a number of books by and about Joy and George Adamson recently. For those who may not know, they raised Elsa, the lioness from "Born Free". George then went on to raise more lions, and Joy raised Pippa, a cheetah, and Penny, a leopard. All these stories are just so beautiful. I love hearing about the trust the animals give the humans. Anyone reading the story can tell there's love and a real bond there. That's not to say the stories were always happy. The book made me laugh and cry. I felt love, anger, worry, happiness, and sadness. The saddest parts were when the animals died. When Pippa died, and when she lost a couple litters of cubs I was very upset. When Elsa died, even though I knew it was coming, I burst into tears. Maybe some people are wondering why I would cry over a lioness I never met who died over 50 years ago. To those people I say, "Why not?" I had heard of Elsa before I the read the books, but I didn't really get to know her until I read the books. I felt like, vicariously through Joy's and George's books, I also lived with Elsa, Pippa, and Penny. I felt like I really knew them. So why not cry when they died? Animals being hurt or in pain have always bothered me a lot. It's one reason I could never be a vet, even though I love animals. I know I wouldn't be able to handle the ones beyond help.

A little side note: after reading the books I found out my dad had been Meru National Park, where Elsa and Pippa were raised, in 1974. Mom and dad were both there in 1978. I now have a goal of getting there myself someday. If I'm lucky I'll get to see Elsa's grave and pay my respects.
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I think this account of books I read over the past year is going to become a yearly tradition. I read 133 books in 2013! Part of the reason for that number is that there are number of shorter books on the list. By "short" I mean books I could breeze through in only 2-3 (or in some cases 1!) days. Another part of it is that I've always been a fast reader. Under the cut is a full list. I've grouped them by genre. Some of the books fit more than one genre, but I've put them in what I consider to the main one. Books with * next to them means I particularly liked that book or it really moved me. Books with (2) next to them means it was a re-read.

2013 Books )


Dec. 9th, 2013 12:53 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
It's sad when an aunt and uncle favor one set of nieces and nephews over another set. And the thing is, I'm 99% sure it's not a conscious thing. If I were to call them on it, I'm pretty sure they'd be surprised I think they're showing favoritism. But as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. And even if it was just one actions or even just a few, I'd think maybe I was imagining it all. But it's action after action after action. Year after year. I should be over it by now, and I actually thought I was. But I recently realized I'm not. Maybe I'll get there someday.


Nov. 2nd, 2013 03:21 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I'm doing Nanowrimo again this year. My word count after day 1 is 2052. Before I started my story yesterday I had a small outline written. When I began writing I obviously started with the first scene I had laid out. Initially it was a small scene; I thought it would be maybe 500 or 1000 words. 2052 words later my first scene was finished. This always happens when I write. I get general ideas in my head, and as I write the ideas get fleshed out. I try to make the ideas more detailed in my outlines, but often the details don't come to me until I'm actually in the process of writing. It's not necessarily a bad thing, and I'm not complaining, but I'm curious. Does this happen to anyone else? I sometimes hear about writers saying their characters change things in the story (alter the plot, a minor characters becomes major, etc.), and while that's happened to me too, it's not quite the same as what I described with the outlines. So, other writers on my friends list, does this happen to you too?


Jul. 9th, 2013 11:54 am
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I'm feeling very blah right now. Not sad, not depressed, just blah. I wish I knew why. If I can pinpoint the cause of a feeling I can do something (or at least attempt to do something) about it. But this is just a general, free floating, blah feeling. Sigh. At first I thought maybe I was coming down from enjoying Chicago, but that's not it. I was happy when I first got back. It was good to see my cats, and I was excited about all the books I got. Nothing really bad is happening right now, at least nothing I know about. Maybe it's that nothing really good is happening either? I don't know. Hopefully this feeling will lift on its own or something will happen that will change it.
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I'm working on finishing my story I started for National Novel Writing Month last November. I fell off of writing it for a while, but I've picked it back up in recent months. I'm up to just over 61k words. I really want to finish the story. I'm curious about how it will end. That may sound odd since I'm the author, but I mean it. That often happens when I write. I refer to it as "stories writing themselves". A lot of the time I'll have a broad, overarching idea of what I want to happen in m story. Say, a character will start at point A, go to point B, and finally end up at point C. But how exactly does the character get from A to B and B to C? Those are the things I don't plan out. Here's an example from the the story I'm writing. I knew my main character was going to travel from her small village to the capital city to take music lessons. But how was she going to get there? Walk? Ride? Was she going to meet anyone along the way? Will she got straight to the capital or stop somewhere? Will she get lost? And what about when she arrives? How's she going to go about finding music lessons? So, while I know where I ultimately want my character to end up and what will ultimately happen I don't know all the details about exactly how it will happen.

These might seem like crucial points in the story, and it might seem odd that I don't plan them out. That's how I've always written though. I just write details as I go along. Often when I'm writing an idea will come up that just seems to fit the situation or the character. The story itself can also add more details. They'll come to me while I'm writing. Last evening I was working on my story. I knew the very next thing I wanted me character to do was go down to the kitchen to eat dinner. I wrote a little over 1000 words last night, and my character had just set out for the kitchen. Despite what I had planned details came to my mind when I started writing. I know other people who write and plan out all sorts of details about their stories in advance, but I just don't think that would work for me.

Another thing I've decided now that I'm working on my story again is that I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't work on it enough or even at all for a little bit. Sometimes I feel guilty because I don't write much one day or even at all. A questions finally hit me: why? Seriously, why? I'm not on a deadline for anyone. I don't have anyone waiting for me to finish so they can read my story. This doesn't mean I can just ignore my story for days and weeks on end. If I did that I'd never finish. However if I write little or nothing for a few days? No big deal. Things happen.

Leg Waxing

May. 22nd, 2013 04:20 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
Extremely random subject, I know. I'm posting here because I felt like sharing, but not sharing to the extent of sharing on Facebook. Anyway, every summer I shave my legs every few days. It's not because society thinks I should or anything like that, it's because I'm more comfortable that way. This summer I decided to try waxing. I didn't want to spend the money to go to a salon, so I ordered a home waxing kit online. I looked at several and chose the one with the best reviews. I tried it today. The attempt... did not go well. It didn't got horrifically wrong or anything. I didn't hurt myself or do any damage. It just didn't go as well as it could have. The wax strips removed maybe 1/4 of the hairs and left little red bumps where I tried. (And I tried multiple places.) I finally gave up and showed dad the bumps.

Dad: Where did that rash come from?
Me: I tried that home waxing kit I got.
Dad: Oh, your skin is too sensitive for waxing.
Me: Couldn't you have told me that before I tried it?
Dad: I didn't know before you tried. Now that you've tried, and I can see the results, I know. Your skin is too sensitive.
Me: *grumble*

So apparently people with very sensitive skin shouldn't try waxing. Maybe a professional salon could have made it work, but I'm abandoning waxing and going back to shaving. It's not as if it's horribly time consuming.

Doctor Who

May. 13th, 2013 01:28 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
Maybe it's because I'm having a bad day, but the more I think about the season finale for Doctor Who that will air on Saturday, the more depressed I get. There's one main reason for that, and her name is River Song. I really, really don't like her. She's rubbed me the wrong way since she showed up in the library in season 4. She's so smug, and the way she says "spoilers" really irks me. I refuse to accept that she married the Doctor since it wasn't actually him, but a robot (or whatever it was) that looked like him. I just don't like her. I was going along fine, enjoying the second half of season 7. I didn't like as much as earlier seasons (1-4), but I was enjoying it. Amy was finally gone, and I'd forgotten River even existed. Then she popped in the preview for the finale. Sigh. I'm probably getting way too invested in a TV show, but I love Doctor Who! And I used to love it even more.

I haven't been as into the show since the end of season 4. A bit of background: I didn't get into Doctor Who until 2010. I also didn't get BBCAmerica where I was living at the time. I borrowed seasons 1- 4 on DVD from a friend and another friend burned season 5 for me. I watched them all. I liked Christopher Eccleston fine, but I fell into love with David Tennant and Ten. I was heartbroken when he regenerated. It took some time, but I like Matt Smith. (However David Tennant will always be my Doctor.) The people I was never able to warm up to were Amy and River. With Amy I was pretty much indifferent. I didn't hate her, but I didn't like her either. She did nothing for me. With River it's clear hate. I don't like her at all.

So, on to the current run. I wasn't a big fan of seasons 5, 6, or the first half of 7. Of all of those, I liked season 5 the best. (I loved "The Lodger" and "Vincent and the Doctor".) I always assumed my major problems with those seasons were Amy and especially River's arc. I was very hopeful that once Clara showed up my interest in the show would go way up (back to the levels of excitement I had in seasons 1-4) since neither River nor Amy would be present. That... hasn't happened. I've enjoyed the episodes with Clara, but I haven't been really grabbed by any of them except "Nightmare in Silver", and even that wasn't as good as it could have been. I can remember episodes during the earlier seasons (Blink, The Shakespeare Code, and Turn Left immediately come to mind) that I absolutely adored. Unfortunately I haven't had any that I've loved like that lately. Maybe another episode later will grab me. Or maybe the 50th anniversary will change things. I am beyond excited that David Tennant is coming back! However I really think we need to get rid of Steven Moffat and probably most or all of the writers. I just want to be in love with the show again like I was before. I'm not giving up any time soon, but my expectations have been lowered in recent seasons. A lot.

Now maybe (against all expectations) I'll love the season finale. Maybe it will be the episode I've been waiting for that I'll fall in love with that will have me on the edge of my seat. After all, I AM interested in solving the mystery of Clara. And provided they don't come right out and say the Doctor's name, I'm curious about that too. But the way the rest of the season has gone coupled with the fact that River will be back, I'm not optimistic. I'm certainly not going to give up on the show. Not right before the 50th anniversary, and David Tennant's return! I still hold out hope that there will be more episodes in the future that will cause me to fall in love with it like I was at the beginning on the new series. Here's hoping! *fingers crossed*
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
So, after the most recent episode, I had a Doctor Who story (or really a short scene) bouncing around in my head. So I wrote it down! It only contains spoilers for "The Snowmen", but in my mind it takes place after "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis". If you haven't been following the series it probably won't make much sense.

Title: Nightmare
Author: bitter_suite24
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Clara, the Doctor
Rating: G
Word Count: 367
Spoilers: "The Snowmen" This takes place after "Journey to the Center of the Tardis," but there are no spoilers for it.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Doctor or Clara.

“Aaaaaah!” Clara screamed as she sat up in bed. Realizing she was in the Tardis and safe she stopped screaming. She was still breathing heavily though.

A second later the Doctor burst into her room scanning his sonic screwdriver around. “What happened? Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. It’s nothing,” Clara replied. She was a bit embarrassed and angry at herself for screaming in the middle of the night like a child.

“Are you sure?” asked the Doctor looking at her anxiously.

“I’m sure. Really. It was just a nightmare,” Clara told him.

“Maybe it would help you calm down if you talked about,” the Doctor suggested.

“I don’t need to calm down,” Clara said. “Besides, it was silly. It didn’t even make any sense.”

“Nightmares that don’t make any sense are the best kind! Come on, tell me about it,” the Doctor said, smiling expectantly.

Sensing that he wasn’t going to leave until she complied, Clara relented. “All right, here’s what happened. I was living in Victorian London.”

As she said this the expectant smile fell off the Doctor’s face. However Clara didn’t notice as she continued her story.

“I was a governess or a barmaid. Or maybe both? I can’t quite remember. Anyway, that’s not important. You were there too, and we were fighting snowmen! Some other stuff happened… it’s hard to recall all of it. And then… I died. That’s when I screamed and woke up.” She paused for a moment and then added, “See? I told you it made no sense. I mean, fighting snowmen?”

The Doctor didn’t respond. He seemed to be staring off into space, lost in his own little world.

“Doctor?” Clara asked.

“What?” the Doctor came back to the present. “Oh! Yes! Very silly. Dreams and nightmares can sometimes be silly. Well, there are no snowmen here, and you’re safe Clara. Go back to sleep.”

Clara nodded and yawned. “You’re right. Goodnight.” She lay back down in bed.

The Doctor left her room but paused just outside the door. He turned to look back and murmured, “Who ARE you?”

“Hmm? Did you say something Doctor?” asked Clara.

The Doctor forced himself to smile. “Nope! Not a thing! Goodnight Clara.”
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
I just finished re-reading "11/22/63". For those not familiar with it, the premise is this: a man finds a portal (he calls it a "rabbit hole") to early September 1958. At first he goes back and forth using it to buy cheap beef for his diner. Later he decides to do something important - stay in the past for five years until 1963 and save JFK from getting shot. Unfortunately he comes down with lung cancer and dies, but not before passing on the secret of the "rabbit hole" and the task of saving JFK to the main character of the book. I love time travel and alternate/speculative history, so I thought this book was great! The first time I read it (last year) I didn't think much past the plot. Does he succeed in saving JFK? Do things change in the future? How much? Is anyone in the past going to find out he's really from 2011? I am not going to answer those questions to avoid spoiling the book for anyone. If you want to know, go read it!

This time I gave more thought to some of the national background events that happened over the course of the book. Bay of Pigs is mentioned in passing, and the Cuban Missile Crisis is mentioned a lot more. Of course JFK getting shot is central to the plot. I'm aware of all these things. I learned about them in various history classes. But that's all they are to me: things I read about in history just like ancient Rome and the pharaohs of Egypt. Of course intellectually I know the events in "11/22/63" are a heck of a lot more recent than ancient Rome or Egypt. It's still all in the past though. I think what really made me realize that were the discussion questions at the end of the book. The first one was, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" Well... mom and dad weren't even going to meet for over ten years. Mom was in high school and remembers being in Spanish class. The French teacher came and told the Spanish teacher what had happened. So I was nowhere. But mom and dad were around for all of this. To them it isn't history, it's their lives.

I started asking them questions. According to the book people were very divided over JFK. Some people seemed to see him as the second coming of Jesus, and other people seemed to think he was a communist who was going to kill them all. Mom said that seemed fairly accurate. I had not been aware of that fact. I thought most people loved him. I also asked mom and dad if they were worried about nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dad said he wasn't too worried. At the time he hadn't realized how precarious things were, and he was more shaken by what *could* have happened after the fact when he learned details. Mom said she wasn't educated enough at the time to be really scared, but she did know some people who were stock piling things they thought might become scarce should the worst happen. Mom also wrote a report about it as a current even in Spanish class. She still remembers the title.

In addition to being around for the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, and JFK assassination mom and dad were also around for the all the slang, music, dances, and cultural things that were happening at the time. They were about the same age as some of the high schoolers in the book. Again, these things are things I've read about but not things I actually lived through. So what's the point of me writing about all these things and whether I lived through them or not you ask? It makes me wonder if someone who lived through all this would have a different reaction to the book than I do. It also makes me wonder if I'm not getting all I could out of it because I wasn't around for any of the events. I could also be giving this way too much thought, but I can't help but wonder.
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
This past September I went to the beach (Cape May, NJ) for a few days. I went all by myself. I'm sure I could have found someone to go with me if I'd really wanted company, but I chose to go by myself. Several people expressed surprise when they found out I was traveling alone. Their reactions surprised me a bit. There is nothing wrong with traveling alone. In fact I enjoy it a lot. Traveling with other people can certainly be fun. It's also very helpful to have someone to share the costs of a hotel room and/or the driving if you're traveling by car. However traveling alone definitely has its perks. When you're alone you get to set our own schedule - you can do what you want when you want. The weather might interfere (rain kept me off the beach one day in Cape May), but other than that it's all up to you. You can also make snap decisions without having to consult anyone else. I was driving in Cape May near sunset, and I suddenly decided to turn around and drive to Sunset Beach. It offers a very nice view of the sunset, but I hadn't thought about actually going there at sunset until that moment. However since I was alone it didn't matter.

I think one of the main reasons I don't mind traveling alone is that I'm an introvert. Big groups of people, even if they're my friends, take a lot out of me. I need time to recharge my batteries. Going back to a hotel room by myself in the evening doesn't bother me in the least. The only thing that really used to bother me was going to a restaurant alone. I remember when I studied abroad in France the spring semester of my junior year of college. We had two weeks for spring break, and I spent the first week by my myself in Cannes. I remember seeing a restaurant that looked really good but also being really nervous about going in alone. I finally got over my fear and went in. It still feels weird to go out to eat alone, but I've mostly gotten over it. There's nothing wrong with traveling with other people, but there's nothing wrong with traveling alone either.

2012 Books

Dec. 31st, 2012 11:47 pm
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
The final count for the books I read in 2012 was 107: 67 fantasy, 9 mysteries, 7 general fiction, 7 science fiction, 13 historical fiction, and 4 nonfiction. Anyone who knows me should not be at all surprised that I read the most fantasy. Below the cute, for anyone interested, is a comprehensive list of what I read this year. I might give my thoughts about some of them, but no spoilers!

2012 Book List )
bitter_suite: (Carmen Hiding)
There was a segment on the local news last night about how to avoid a "holiday hangover". At first I thought they were talking about the alcoholic type of hangover, but they meant the hangover of getting holidays bills in January and finding out you spent too much. The report surprised me because I just can't grasp the concept of spending more than you have. To clarify, I understand that sometimes emergencies happen. Things break and need to be repaired or replaced, and sometimes unforeseen things happen that require money. Or course in those situations you do what you need to do. However the news segment wasn't talking about emergencies. They interviewed several people and one women said, "I don't have a budget or plan what I spend. I just buy what I want and see how much I spent when the bills come." Now maybe that woman is lucky enough that she doesn't need to worry about money, but even if you have a lot of money I can't imagine not thinking about the amount you're going to be spending!

My parents raised me to very aware of finances and saving. A few examples spring to mind readily. When I was a child my grandmother sent my brother and I checks for $125 on our birthdays and holidays. Walt and I got the $25, and the $100 went into savings. At 15 I asked dad for a raise in my allowance, and he advised me to get a job, which I did at McDonald's (ugh). When my grandmother passed away in 1996 she left all her grandchildren some money. Since I was only 16 it was put in my and my mom's name. I remember begging mom for just a bit of the money for a new CD player. She refused; instead it went into savings. Because of all the examples above and other things, I'm very aware of my finances. I've never overdrawn my bank account, and I never charge more to my credit card than I can pay off entirely at the end of the month, barring any unforeseen emergencies. Of course when you buy something like a car or a house you can't pay it off all at once, but I'm confident that when the time comes for me to buy a house (or anything that can't be paid off all at once) I'll take the time to be sure I'll be able to afford monthly payments. I'm not going to pretend I've never wasted money or bought things I shouldn't have. I'm sure it happens to all of us. However I think I'm generally pretty good with money.

This is why attitudes like those of the woman the news interviewed kind of boggles my mind. How can you not know what you're spending? This time of year people tend to rattle off the names of people they need to buy gifts for. Well, you don't need to break the bank to get gifts for people. In the past I've given things I've crocheted and homemade baked goods as gifts. There's also the option of not spending very much on people. If they're truly your friends, they won't care how much their gifts cost. Of course getting an expensive gift is nice, but it's not necessary! I wish more people thought that way instead of to often running for the newest/shiniest/most expensive gift.
bitter_suite: (Default)
I made it to 50,150 words today. The deadline to finish isn't until tomorrow, but I'll be busy most of tomorrow, so I wanted to finish today. I'll be taking a short break from writing, or at least writing with a deadline, but my story isn't finished yet. Actually, it's not even really close to being finished. I do plan to finish my story sometime though. Then again, I'm also still telling myself I'll finish my stories from 2009 and 2010. (And I will! I really will! Someday.) Hopefully this year I'll do better about finishing my story in a timely manner. I'm just glad I managed to win again this year. There were a few days in there when I wasn't sure it was going to happen.
Nanowrimo always gets me re-interested in writing. Now I just need to hold onto that interest through the year! I've made a start. I have a sequel idea for my story, which will hopefully push me to finish it. I also wrote an 810 word intro to another story this morning. I wanted to capture the idea before it got away. And of course there's always finishing my stories from 2009 and 2010. I am making a (pre-New Year's) resolution to write more the rest of this year and next. Whether I keep that resolution remains to be seen.
bitter_suite: (Default)
I'm still working on my Nanowrimo novel, and I'm now up to 30,804 words. The words and story are coming very easily to me. This is a change from the previous three years I've done Nanowrimo. I work on my Nanowrimo stories the same way I work on any story: I think up a general plot, do a brief outline, and then start writing. I don't plan out more than generalities. Details get added while I'm writing. For example, I might want my character to travel from one town to another. That's a generality. Then, as I'm writing the story, I'll add in details such as what happens to my character while traveling. How long does the trip take? How do they travel? If it's more than one day what do they do at night? Do they meet other people? Sometimes these questions aren't easy for me to answer. I'll know I want my plot to go from point A to point F, but I need to have points B, C, D, and E to make it work. But what are those points? In the past I've often found myself sitting in front of my computer wondering how I'm going to make my it work. I know WHAT I want to happen, but I'm not sure HOW to make it happen.

That hasn't happened with this story. Even though I did the same thing I always do - didn't plan more than generalities - I'm having little to no trouble moving my plot forward. I think that's why my word count at this point in November is higher than it's been at this point in the past. Because I'm not stopping in my writing to consider my next step. I know what's going to happen, and I write it down. I'd like to think it's because I'm a better writer now than I was in the past, but I'm not sure. I've barely written since 2011's Nanowrimo, so how much better could I be, really? Still, I'm not going to question it. I'm happy that my plot is moving right along.
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