Friday, April 30, 2010

On Trying to Blog in the Spring Time:

It is hard to keep up on a daily blog in the spring. It is not just me. Some of the people I follow have been falling off in their posting too.

But I am only responsible for myself. I am trying to get gardens ready for plantings, spring clean my house, rewrite stories, and keep up with family and friends. Frankly, I don’t know how people with jobs or kids can do it. And if they have both, well I did it when I was younger, but not now.

The weather here is supposed to be very nice, hot even this weekend, so I’ll take the time to sit and blog as I melt. I’ll be staying out of the sun, but I will take a few pictures.

I do have pictures that need tweeking. You know cutting off the junk on the side, so I can pretend that my yard is perfect.

And there are other projects on the back burner that need my attention before they are ready to be blogged about.

I’m renewing my commitment to blog daily. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On Rewrite of 'The Gravedigger'

Fuzzarelly was nice enough to help me out as proof reader for one of my stories and I have rewritten it. I posted the Rewrite of 'The Gravedigger' on 'Thrill or Shiver'.

On Cleaning Up After the Time Off:

Were does all the laundry and dishes come from. I was sick and I really didn’t get dressed most days. And yes, I did live on my home made soup, but really that much?

Those are mostly quart jars. And Mountain Man did eat too. So I can’t claim it all.

But I do have to wash all of them.

Tomorrow I’m treating myself to a new knit cast on. What it will be yet, I do not know. If I really want to treat myself I should finish a UFO (unfinished object). And get another bear off my back.

Back to cleaning! Charge!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On Flowers, While I Get Un-sick:

I was really laid out for a few days there. I’m still a bit slow, but I’m back.

Some pictures of the flowering bushes outside my house.

We had some frost, but these made it through just fine.

Lilac, purple and white.

Wisteria, purple, not all bloomed. Only just getting started.

Friday, April 23, 2010

On Boy, It’s Hot in Here:

I discovered why I was having so much trouble getting that story accomplished yesterday. By eight o’clock in the evening I was in bed with a fever.

I picked something up at my cancer support group meeting the other day.

On going back to bed and I’ll see you when I’m feeling better.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Busy, Busy, Fuzzy, Busy:

Fuzzarelly, of the blog with the same name, heard my cries for help and proof read my story ‘The Gravedigger.’

She sent me a paragraph by paragraph run down of the story and I had fun seeing my story through someone else’s eyes.

I have been busy rewriting the story and I will putting it up on ‘Thrill and Shiver’ when it is done.

Thanks also to Dorlana of Supernatural Fairy Tales. She said I needed some dialog.

Thank you to the other people who have commented on this and my other stories. It is always good to get feedback.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Oh No! Not Again!:

I thought I finally had a proof reader. A long ago friend I had lost touch with, over twenty years ago, and I were reacquainted. They had since become a college English Lit. prof.

They offered to look at my work and help me out in the places I was deficient. They loved my writing and called it wonderful and inventive, but they didn’t want to spend their time on horror fiction. (Frankly, it scared them.)

This is both good and bad. Good because now I know I ‘can’ write horror fiction in more than the short story form, but bad because I still ‘need’ a proof reader for my books and stories.

So, I am back to looking for an English teacher, for those years I missed out on in grade school in English lessons when I didn‘t know how to read. (Long story.) I know my sentence structure is bad. I get by here on the blog, because I can write like I talk. But you just can’t do that and get by in fiction writing.

I have been busy struggling along for the passed few weeks trying to fix my stories by myself again.

Anyone who wants a stab at it can comment on my stories over at Thrill and Shiver. But don’t do it if you don’t like horror. I really do want constructive comments I can learn from. You know like, ‘The sentence in the third paragraph is backward and it reads like the bird is talking to the boy instead of the boy talking to the bird.’ kind of thing. Or, ‘you used the wrong spelling for ‘blew’, you have the color.’

I have the trouble of knowing what I want it to say and seeing it, even if it is not there on the page, when I try to proof read my own work. A lot of writers have the same problem.

I may try to get a college student to work for me again. But I really don’t want to go that route after a bad experience with theft of my work some years ago. (I wasn’t paying them so they could turn in my work as their homework.) I just can’t bear to go through that again. It set me back years and years in my writing and my trust issues.

I try to entertain over at Thrill or Shiver while holding back my better stuff for the day I can get published and paid for it.

It is hard to ask for help like this. But I am on my knees here.

“Please help me become a better writer! I’m begging you.”
Sincerely, Lady Euphoria

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Goth Runs Deep:

I’m going to let you in on a little known secret about Goth clothing.

Goths Run Deep. Most people know that Goths tend to be thinkers. And some know that they are deep emotionally too. But this is usually looked upon in a bad way. The trouble that Goths are now having is that too many people are using the Goth style and are not truly Goth underneath.

Here is the secret part. There is a double edge sword to the clothing that true Goths wear. On the one side it is a style that they like, but on the other it is a double sided shield.

One part says who the Goths are, but the other part of it sifts out the people that don’t understand just how vulnerable they are.

As a Goth I know personally the so called ‘friends’ that have only hung around to get information from the smart Goth only to stab them in the back, walking away while counting the money that they made on the Goth’s smart ideas.

A Goth takes their friendships very seriously. And in knowing this, it is just helpful for the Goth to be able to weed out the people that don’t know how to look deeper then the makeup on the skin and the clothing on ones back.

To be a BFF (best friend forever) with a Goth you need to be able to see past the makeup and costume and to be able to offer and share your best depth of feeling and understanding with them. (I’m not talking secrets here.)

Once that has been met, that friendship has been forged in iron.

But also be aware. Once this friendship has been broken there is little likelihood that it will be repaired and less likely that it will ever run as deep again.

You don’t have to be Goth to be a Goth’s friend, but you need to know how to be as fierce of a friend if it is going to last.

The clothing of a Goth sets a boundary. Not a you and them thing as much as a test. The quest for lack of shallowness. If you are unwilling to find out what is under it and open to like what you find, the clothing forewarned you. It says, ‘I am complicated to get to know, but don’t bother to try if you just want to take advantage and then walk away.’

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On My Own Goth Arch:

Okay so it is not Gothic in a pure sense. But it is mine and Mountain Man made it with his own two hands and a back thrown in to boot. About ten feet high, over three meters, at it's highest point.

A few weeks ago it started, and I showed you how rocks and stones began accumulating in my yard again, round about where the stone wall Mountain Man made last year.

This has been an on going project of Mountain Man’s, encasing the larger garden on tree sides with a stone wall. There is not one bit of concrete to his walls. They are about three foot/one meter thick walls of stones from around our property, collected and carefully placed to stand on their own.

Now this year he has enclosed the opening into the garden and I love it. All it needs now is a rustic gate to keep the animals out at night.

I wonder if I can find a gargoyle at a really reasonable price for the top? Anyone have an extra one laying around they like to add to it?
A girl can hope.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On The Word Goth:

I don’t know if you have been hearing it, but I have. The word Goth.

It once meant Gothic or a Dark Punk Music sub culture.

Now it means that anything:
Black - the color
Odd - not the norm
In - In fashion, d├ęcor, fad… to be sought after
Mixed - Eclectic, a group of things not normally seen together
Dark - as in scary bad
Crying - tears
Too much - as in more then enough stuff, makeup, hair, layers of clothing…
Insane - scary crazy
Off center - Not even
Is Goth.

These days, the little black dress is a touch of goth. Mimes are not a set of actors who don‘t talk to get their point across, but a sub set of Goths. (So Not.) And someone with a black eye or smudged makeup, is going for the latest look.

The middle aged black, hide your fat, pants suit is now becoming granny goth. A little girl crying in the toy store for something she can’t have is being told by her parent to ‘Stop being Goth.’

The over use of the word ‘Goth’ is making me crazy. It confuses things. It waters it down and makes it worthless.

At this rate all things imperfect with be Goth and all Goths imperfect.
And that is a troubling thought.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On Talking a walk:

I’m in writing mode and I’m having a hard time pulling myself away from the story at hand.

Have fun walking with us a few days ago.

Up and right.

Down and left.

We took this walk on a County Trail made over an old railroad track the other day. We walked to the bridge and back, a leisurely hour.

Some guys climbing the falls.

We should do this again when there are more leaves out.

Friday, April 9, 2010

On Goth a Skirt, How To:

I like to change up my clothing. Partly because I am and have been loosing weight, all be it slowly, and partly because I don’t like to spend extra money if I don’t have to.

I like to make extras that can be easily added or removed from a dress or top and skirt and reused on something else at another time. Over skirts and tops that add interest without adding too much money, time or weighty layers are the way I like to go.

You can use this over skirt pattern in anyway you like. It is great for a princess, ballerina, or fairy costume in bright or pastel colors. You can wear it over pants if you like and it looks great over a short skirt if you can put it off. Just go with what feels right to you. More ideas on Youtube here.

I used black so it will go with all my clothes. You can go with the color or color combination you like.

I made mine in about an hour, so I’d say if you’ve never made one before it should take no more then three hours for someone new to crafting.

You’ll need:
Elastic - waist length, or ribbon - long enough to tie around the waist and still make a bow, unless you add a hook and eye closure.

Tulle material
, (that is the netting you see brides veils made out of. It comes in a lot of colors.) At least 4 yards, more if you want it longer or fuller. Tule runs from about 99 cents a yard to 7 dollars a yard. I usually get the $2.00. This $2.00 kind is not too stiff like the cheaper stuff and not too expensive when using a lot of yards.

. Lots and lots of ribbon of different widths and lengths. Different looks are good too. Velvet, grosgrain, satin, patterned, what ever you like as long as it is not the wired or the craft kind for packages or floral arrangements, that stuff comes apart too easily, can‘t be washed and sometimes the color runs if it gets wet. You can get bargain ribbon in lots of places other then fabric stores. Try craft stores, second hand shops, close out stores, flee markets, department stores, church jumble sales, or even raid your grandmas basket of left over sewing goodies. Ask first so she can still respect you even if she doesn’t like the look.

- to cut the fabric and ribbon.

Needle and thread
to close the waist elastic into a circle, some people just tie it off, but I don‘t like the knot poking me or showing.

There is a tutorial here and here for making the tule or netting part of the over skirt. And you can use the instructions for the ribbon part in the same way for the front of the over skirt.

Put all the netting strips in the back and sides of the waist with the ribbon strips in the front for the look I have. You can do your own thing if you want. Just remember that if you mix it up with the ribbon here and there, the ribbon will tend to make its way to the inside and the netting will cover it, making you have to pull it out every so often if it is going to be seen.

If you are not into video, you have a slow dial up connection, or just like to read it over first, Here is what you do.

Make a circle of elastic to fit your waist. Making sure it is not too tight and will stretch over your hips so it can go on and come off easily over your other clothing. Sew it closed or knot it tightly.

Measure the tulle fabric to be twice the length you want the over skirt to be. Ankle length - you go from your ankle to your waist and back down to your ankle again. The same for your mid calf, knee or mid thigh. I used ankle, knee and a knee length with one tail longer then the other to make one side of it med thigh and the other mid calf, thus a combination of lengths all mixed up. I’m fat so yours will probably be thicker with the same amount of tulle. Then again I’m also short.

After you cut the length, you are going to cut this into strips. The easiest way to cut it is to fold it lengthwise or end to end (not side to side) a few times. Cut this in strip pieces about three inches wide or about the width of your hand without the thumb.

Take the strips and find the middle of each strip or there about and lay the loop end under a section of the elastic waist ring. Now take the ends of your strips and run them through the loop end of the strip around the elastic ring. (Pictures are of ribbon so you can see it better.)

Use the same directions for the ribbons, but it is best to cut the ends of the ribbon on an angle or a ‘V‘ cut so it doesn‘t unravel and trip you. So that’s, twice the length and then fold in half, loop under and ends through the loop around the waist ring.

You can wear this over any dress, skirt or pants and move to a goth look in seconds from your school, work or grandma friendly wear.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

On Not Spitting Bubbles:

Today I went to the store to by food and other items I was in need of. I do this most weeks. Some items are regulars and others less frequent.

This time I needed laundry detergent along with the food. I was out of it and the laundry pile at home was starting to creep out of the laundry room. It was getting so big I worried about the dogs safety at night.

Laundry was the first thing I was going to do when I got home.

We parked, found a cart with no major flaws. I hit the produce, milk, cereal, and paper isles. Now we are almost done. Will I find my detergent brand? They were out of it last time and that is why I had run dry. I find my brand in the cleaning products isle and in the no perfume, no dye kind that I prefer. Score!

We go home put away the groceries and I am armed and ready to attack the laundry. In goes the water as I add the water softener, the bleach, then I pour in the detergent.

It was not the same thickness as I was used to. I looked at it again. No bubbles were forming. I poured more out into the little cup on top and stuck my fingers into the liquid.

Water. Just plain water in my extra large container of detergent.

I don’t know if it was a customer who returned it full of water after using all the contents just to get their money back and save/steal a buck. Maybe an employee of the store was taking there pound of flesh on their employer. It could have been at the factory as a joke.

I don’t know and I don’t care. My time and gas and good faith was abused. Watch yourself out there. Bad times lead to people taking advantage. My money is hard to come by too and I‘m spitting mad about it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On A Little Thunder, A Rain:

We had a thunderstorm yesterday morning and I never got back to the computer to blog.

But I do have to say that it helped the flowers grow. Today was just a wonderful sight. How do they grow so fast?

The Hustas popped out of the ground over night.

The Daylilies are twice as tall.

My Myrtle is sprouting oh so many flowers.

And the Daffies are in crowning glory.

Monday, April 5, 2010

On Pestilence:

I don’t know about where you live, but here there has never been so many bugs.

Before the snow was completely gone we were having a Deer Tick problem with the dogs and on us when we walked in the woods. And the ants had also invaded the house.

Yesterday we had a swarm of mosquitoes in the house because I hadn’t put all the screens up yet. I’ve never had the screens up this early before. I never needed to. It never even got to 70 degrees Fahrenheit yet up here on the mountain.

We’ve had Stink Bugs, beetles, and spiders galore.

I am not a bug-a-phobe. But that doesn’t mean I like to have so many of them around. Nor do I like to be chewed up by them. Itch, itch, scratch, scratch.

We had a hard long winter and that usually means a slow spring, But I’m fighting summer bugs and I can’t even put the snow shovel away because we may still get some snow before the warmth is here to say.

I miss having my spring days of no screen doors, the house open wide and the freedom of not having to jump up to let the dogs in and out all day long.

What is with all the bugs?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On Making Ent Branches/Wings:

Ignore the fat woman in the costume. And I haven’t put the sleeves on it yet, so it will look better when I’m done. I just had to catch Mountain Man when he wasn’t busy so he could take the pictures. You can use leaves if you would rather then the moss.

The pictures didn’t come out very well. If there was enough light to see what it was the shadows got in the way. But here goes. These are kind of like the ones from this link.

1. I cut the twisted part and the hook from a wire hanger with a pair of wire cutters and used what was left. Then I bent it in shape with a pair of pliers. I didn’t use the full length only a side and the bottom length of the hanger.

2. Using 12 gage Aluminum Floral Wire from Darice in 5 yd / 4.6 m lengths, I used a little less then two packs for the branches a head piece (Not shown) and the wrist and elbow bracelets. It bends easily and holds its shape and if bend the wrong way it can be easily moved back to the place you want. (I found Brown colored in my craft store.) I used pieces long enough to go from about the wing tip to the hanger and out to the opposite tip, adding about an extra 12 inches / 30 mm for twisting and bending. The first cut would be the a little longer the next the one sized for the wing spread and the last a little shorter adding the 12 inches to each.

I made a small loop at each end of the wires, so there was no sharp ends and there would be a nice bit of wire to hot glue the moss to.

3. I centered the shortest of the three brown wires on the bent hanger wire at the center cross piece. I twisted this wire around the holder to half way from the center of the cross piece to the place where the hanger wire turns down doing this on each side of center, leaving the ends pointing up from the top.

4. I centered the mid sized piece of the three brown wires on the bent hanger wire at the center cross piece. I twisted this wire almost to the turn down in the hanger wire of each side, leaving the ends out to the sides.

5. I centered the longest of the three brown wires on the bent hanger wire at the center cross piece. I twisted this wire around the holder a third of the way down the side of the holder, leaving the ends out to the sides.

Now the wires are on, but they will like to twist and turn on their own.

6. Remembering to have them come out a bit and not lay flat to the table because you want to be able to have room to move your arms. Take the lowest wire at the side and the wire at the turn and cross them a few inches up, above and out from the corner turn and twist them together a few turns. The longer of these wires should be on top and the shorter on the bottom, if not give it another half twist.

Repeat on the on the other side. They do not have to be exact only close enough to keep the weight even.

7. Take the longest of the two you just twisted and one of the wires from the middle that is not twisted in yet and cross and twist them in the same way only farther up, above and out. This should make it so that they are no longer slipping around and hold a basic wing skeleton shape.

8. I cut six lengths of wire about twice the length of my hand, finger tip to wrist. I bent the ends in small loop and placed a bend at one third. I lay the longer end along the one of the branches from the tip down the branch. At the bend in the piece you are adding twist the two longer ends together a few turns bend the not added piece to the shorter piece and twist a few turns. This should make it so the pieces are now locked together. Twist a little more if you need to, but don’t use up your small branches. Remember you will be gluing it when you put on the moss.

Repeat for the other branch ends and bend them into interesting turns.

9. Put hot glue on the loop ends and wrap a bit of moss over the ends. Wire around the center of each clump of moss with green floral wire, 24 gage, a few times around tightly to hold the rest of the moss in place and tuck the ends of the wire in when done. Do this for each end wire and where you twisted the branches together.

I added some moss sheeting to the holder to hide all the twisted wire at the top of the hanger.

10. Add elastic to the top corners of the hanger, up around your shoulders and down under your arms to the bottom hooks of the holder. Leave your branches plain or add flowers, leaves, bugs, and/or birds.

11. The wrist and elbow bands are just a wire cut almost twice the length of around the wrist or elbow and turn the ends in a loop, glue and wire the moss on. Wrap around arm and pull up the ends a bit so they stick out like twigs.

I added a butterfly because I had one. I will look for a bird instead and maybe a small nest. The sheet moss I used is messy to use and flakes off easy if brushed up against. I need to spray it with something to keep it from happening as much. I’m sure I can find something at the craft store or I’ll just use hair spray.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On Ents and Things Found in the Woods:

For me the weekend is craft time. Not that I don’t craft and knit the other days of the week. But the weekend is a more creative time.

I let loose, try new things, and experiment. I get Ideas while walking in the woods now that the weather is turning nicer and today I’m planning on making Ent branches.

For those that don’t know, Ents are ancient tree herders who are care takers of trees. And they look quite a bit like the trees that they care for. You may have seen trees with faces on them. That was an Ent.

I have loved the idea of Ents since I was a child and first heard of them in an old fairy tale.

Watching ‘The Lord of the Rings’ again the other day made me want to attempt making an Ent costume again.

I don’t expect to make anything as good as in the movies, but I feel that I can come up with something that gets the idea across.

I did find some nice branch type wings at ‘Art of Wings’ in their online store. They have some really nice stuff if you are into fairies, light or dark. Their things are a little pricy for me, but they are lovely. I like looking at the weddings using a fairy theme and costumes.

As to other things in the woods. Lady Dark Firefly will be back after a computer cleaning and overhaul is complete. She tells me that she was looking for some fairy art for her blog and got hit hard by a virus. So, she is out in the woods making more fairy houses and learning how to use a digital camera until they get her computer back to her. Happy building my Firefly friend.

Friday, April 2, 2010

On The Aftermath of Panic Cleaning:

Well, I’m still trying to get my house back together after my daughter, her husband and their dog came for that unexpected week.

Not her fault that I panic cleaned.

You know the ‘grab and stick it anywhere out of sight’ cleaning you do in a pinch. And I was fielding phone calls and running here and there. So, my head was exploding everywhere and I can’t remember where I put anything that day.

I’ve been wanting to show you the gauntlets I knitted for my baby doll. A quick easy knit and I could make another pair in no time. But it’s a ‘I know that they are in this house somewhere so why would I do it again’ kind of thing, so I keep on looking.

I also have to go shopping for a new set of knitting needles. In the panic cleaning my knitting bag fell over and the vacuum chomped on my size US 6 bamboos. It turns out that I do have a wonderfully working beater bar on my vacuum. Splinters, splinters.

There is also the exchange of belongings after an unexpected visit. They left things of theirs and inadvertently took things of ours. I’m off to the post office to take care of my end of that too.

I’m looking forward to a nice quite visit next time. One where I know where I put things and I can find my belongings and my mind in an instant.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Writing Better Stories:

I am Ignoring the date, so this isn’t a Fools Day blog.

I put a new story on my Thrill or Shiver blog page yesterday. 'The Guillotine' is a longer short story so I put it in the blog in two parts. I put it in first part last and second part first so that you can read it from top to bottom of the page and not have to move around in the middle of the story.

As always, I hope to learn more about writing with each story I put out there. Feel free to point out any mistakes or discrepancies in my writing.

I am trying to become a better proof reader of my own fiction. But I find I still need a proof reader that doesn’t have the story already in their head. It is so very hard to proof read when you already know what is going to happen. It is just harder to find the mistakes when you mind is rushing ahead because you already know what comes next.

I had 'The Guillotine' Part 1 and Part 2 laid out on paper some time ago, and I didn’t stray far from my old writing style when I filled in the blanks and connected the dots.

I have been told to write more dialogue into my stories and I’m trying to break away from the story telling style I’ve been used to relying on. When I tried to add dialogue into this story it got so long I deleted it and went right back to the old story telling style. In my heart I think I am more of a sitting around a camp fire story teller and not a fiction writer as such.

I like to be challenged in my writing thou. So I will try harder in the next story to beef up the dialogue.

I do have a dialogue driven story in the works for over a year now, but I have yet to come up with an ending for it. So it sits un-birthed in the vat of stewing goo called my brain. Maybe it needs a collaborative effort. Who knows?

It will come together when it does and not before.

Until then, I hope you like what I’ve written so far. Tell me what you didn’t like so I can improve the next story. And spread the word so I can get more input. I’d like to improve this writing thing I’m doing.