My son's iPhone finally died. He was using my husbands old one for the last two years. We don't have a house phone so if we leave him in charge he needs a way to contact us or 911 etc. Anyway since we severely use our phones it wasn't exactly brand spanking new when we gave it to him and in the last few months it's lost all touch screen capacity which means we can't unlock, reboot, etc. It's well past it's apple care help, and neither me or my husband want to add yet another monthly payment to buy another new iPhone. (Ours are both paid off, kid would be getting my phone and I'd get the new one.)
Then as I was looking up prepaid go-phones to swap his sim card into I stumbled upon the Nokia 8110 4G, a modern version of the old Nokia 8110 “Banana Phone”. This new version has things like Bluetooth and WiFi etc, but no vast app store or anything. The reviews on it were low because of this, and the fact the reviewers were all so young they've probably never used a flip phone. It was funny to see complaints about how long it takes to text using a numpad, or the lack of social media apps, or lack of selfie camera. Excuse me, this phone sounds great. A teenager doesn't need access to the app store or social media, they need access to us.
Anyway, I ordered two new ones off eBay. One will be for the kiddo and the other will be our emergency backup phone should one of our iPhones go swimming or get dropped on the concrete. Will report back with how they act.
It's still small but I've been busy. I also included some podcasts I like, because they've been all the rage for the last decade. The best ones are informative or commentary on film or books, both of the ones in my list are about books so hopefully you've read some of the ones mentioned.
I ordered a series of pencils last week which showed up yesterday. Normally I use a trusty Kuru Toga mechanical pencil for such erasable needs but these days I've been trying to buy stuff made in the US, and well I found a place in Tennessee that does so. I ordered a sampler pack which came with one of each of their types. Three of them were the big beefy kind I haven't used since Kindergarten. They are yellow with a train that says CHOO CHOO on it, amazing. I love it. The thickness and weight remind me of my fountain pens.
Hey yall, hope everyone survived Christmas. We lost our four month old puppy to a severe intestinal blockage a few days ago almost exactly a year after our previous dog passed away. Let's just say things could be better.
Installed a video doorbell and smart thermostat in my parents house this weekend, glad I know enough about wiring and such in order to save them the costs of an electrician for something so basic.
Got some new switches for my keyboard in my stocking. They're tangerines, making them my first ever linear switch. I prefer the smoothness of them compared to the tactile halo trues I had in here before, those thing pinged like crazy.
I've been so busy with everything this is the first time I've been back on my computer since last week. Two weeks off will feel like three days off but I can't complain. Gonna go read some of the books I got for Christmas.
It always happens. Some last minute thing you forgot to order or in this case, some items that were ordered got cancelled due to lack of stock. This weekend I've been scraping up the last few orders of things I needed. The fact that every single place does curbside pickup + shows a full inventory on their website has made it way easier to get things in time.
Sending some delivery cookies to friends, might get cards done for everyone else, not sure yet. Time is running out and I'll be ultra busy with work this week before the holiday break. Normally I'd be out shopping for things during my lunch break or after work. Hooray for local cookie delivery.
Still slowly working on my story for this month. With work I'm not able to keep up with the wordcount but I can get this one done in a reasonable amount of time. Should have it ready for editing in January.
Set in the late 60's, a young woman comes to terms with a rare genetic anomaly that allows her to become invisible at will. The only issue is that while she is cloaked from view the urge to do harm rises. Spanning a month in her life, this story covers her fight to control the problems that she faces both externally and internally with her condition.
Yeah I'm behind on writing. Work has me busy all day, then the whole house to deal with afterwards. Blah blah blah. It's a poor excuse. Here I am on my lunch break doing this, so you see where my priorities are. I did write last night and hit a little boring part. People will tell you if it's boring to write than it's boring to read, that's not true this is just a very calm scene that I've replayed several times and will just take a few paragraphs to get down properly. My number count on the site is behind. I haven't added up all the handwritten bits yet either. That's not really important though.
Doing something different for #NaNoWriMo this year and have gone the notebook route for a majority of my scenes. During breaks or meals I write and at the end of the day I transcribe it all to a doc to do the wordcount. These little pages range about 75 words each so I can get through several in a session depending on how fast I write. If you ever dealt with blank screen = blank mind issues, the use of paper to write seems to help me so maybe try it out this year.
That means #NaNoWriMo is coming. Yes, that once a year writing exercise that gets people to (attempt to) bite the bullet and just write the damn thing. Several new folks have been joining the writing group im in have already done the worldbuilding, character arcs, conflicts, resolutions, and all that but still ask “How do I come up with a story?” Honestly that should be the first thing well before you start making the bricks to build the house. Other folks join and complain they don't want to use their Best Idea Ever because they aren't good enough to write it but don't have the motivation to write anything else. Like, yall gotta get over that.
Tips for November:
Write something totally new. Don't beat your head against the wall with the same concept you've been working on since you were 16. Start fresh, get some inspiration from short stories or movies. Anything you can consume in the next 2-3 days.
Outline it: Sit down and write out an outline for the story (not the synopsis and not the summary). What happens at the beginning, middle, and end that are so important you can't not have them occur. [Guy goes to a bar, guy meets a girl, takes her home, she turns out to be an alien creature, gets beamed back to the space ship, wakes up back at home with a thank you note from the alien girl the next day.] << That simple.
Get a notepad/spiral Use the notepad for things like character names, places, and such so that you can just glance at it while typing. Interrupting your flow by swapping screens or pulling up another window will cut into your progress. What did I name the bar? Oh yeah, type type type.
Stop trying to write Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Wheel O' Time This is 50k in a month. Unless you regularly write 2k words a day for work you aren't going to bang out a vast immersive world. If you are into that and don't already have the back end made for it then try for fanfiction. I wholly encourage fanfiction for new writers to practice pacing, dialog, etc.
Schedule Writing Time You will not just sit down and be inspired to do this. You might for a few days but after a while you're gonna wander around the room thinking about how the story goes and not actually get it written. It's a pace of 1667 words per day minimum. Don't waste time thinking about what to write. (Do that before hand.)
I had originally outlined something I thought would be easy to roll through next month but turns out I don't have enough story to tell for it. This is why I outline first, easier to toss out or put away for a while. So now I've come up with something that is a decent story (altogether different) that just needs the motivations fleshed out to make it work. Will see how it goes. It's about a young woman who has the genetic ability to visibly disappear. (The invisible man but a girl, kinda.) Not from a freak accident like the Marvel character, she can't make things she touches disappear, no force fields etc. Just good ol fashioned vanilla ability to turn invisible and the consequences that come from that.
Anyway, my 500 word spooky story got put on the Halloween site at work. I'm halfway through doing Earthshine, and will probably do the Halloween short the day of if I have time. Short stories give the impression of productivity don't they?
The last two weekends have been spent visiting family for the first time this year. (Very small towns.) So I'm just now catching up on my bloggery. Work has kept me busy all week and while catching up on emails I caught one that had a spooky writing competition for employees etc from corporate. Being a public thing and designed for families they had several rules including no violence, gore, blood, potty words, etc. So while they had to be spooky stories they couldn't be drag out horror (the way my Halloween short is). It also had to be no more than 500 words. Now, I do a fortnightly flash fiction contest on a discord server where the limit is 750 so I thought I could bang this out easy. No. That extra 250 words is a world of difference. Managed to tell a story about a ghost wolf in 500 words without anyone yelling fuckwords or ripping out an artery. Good times, we'll see if the judging panel thinks it's as fun.
New puppy gets picked up this afternoon which means house needs to be cleaned and all the cables need to be taped up. It also means that when he stops peeing the floor we rip this 6 year old carpet up and get hard flooring.