shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
The last week or two has seen a significant decrease in my creative output (as tracked on my super nerdy spread sheet!)  and, while there are some good excuses -- a trip to Seattle, working on the studio -- a lot of it is that I hit some serious stumbling blocks with my writing, and lost momentum summoned in the nigh inevitable crash. I do tend to a bit of a go-go-go-go-STOP cycle. I can be very happily almost overloaded with projects for quite awhile until I feel them all crashing down around my ears. I don't want to get stuck in the low spot, though, so I've been really, seriously working at pushing through.

Monday night I cancelled my normal game time with Emony42 and used the time to make a decent dinner with enough for lunches, fold some laundry, write, and practice voice for twenty minutes. It was only twenty minutes, but making myself get up from the PC and go do it was hard. That's the crash -- I don't feel bad, exactly, I'm just seriously craving real downtime, preferably in front of a video game. That's really all I want to do.

The spreadsheet is helping me push through, though, with that reminder that even fifteen minutes nets me a little bronze-star reward. It's what got me out of the chair Monday night, and what's keeping me pushing on with writing, especially over the rough spots.  I usually don't have a lot of writing-oriented self-doubt, but there's something different in what I'm doing right now -- it's more plot focused, with more changes to canon -- and I'm getting less of the motivating review-crack. More importantly, I'm now getting negative responses, especially this one over-zealous person who seems to want me to write an entirely different story. It's hard to stay motivated when that's the first response you get every time you release something new.

On t'other hand, writing the Giant Thing seems to help motivate me for other projects. It's probably related to the go-go-go-go-CRASH cycle -- when one thing's workin', everything's workin'. Episodic fiction also lets you get something 'in the can' regularly, which helps give little rewards for a long project, and those little rewards help push everything along. Which again explains why having the little reward fall through (either because something just didn't work or because of negative responses) is so demotivating, I suppose.

shadesofmauve: (Bob the Builder)
The last week or two has seen a significant decrease in my creative output (as tracked on my super nerdy spread sheet!)  and, while there are some good excuses -- a trip to Seattle, working on the studio -- a lot of it is that I hit some serious stumbling blocks with my writing, and lost momentum summoned in the nigh inevitable crash. I do tend to a bit of a go-go-go-go-STOP cycle. I can be very happily almost overloaded with projects for quite awhile until I feel them all crashing down around my ears. I don't want to get stuck in the low spot, though, so I've been really, seriously working at pushing through.

Monday night I cancelled my normal game time with Emony42 and used the time to make a decent dinner with enough for lunches, fold some laundry, write, and practice voice for twenty minutes. It was only twenty minutes, but making myself get up from the PC and go do it was hard. That's the crash -- I don't feel bad, exactly, I'm just seriously craving real downtime, preferably in front of a video game. That's really all I want to do.

The spreadsheet is helping me push through, though, with that reminder that even fifteen minutes nets me a little bronze-star reward. It's what got me out of the chair Monday night, and what's keeping me pushing on with writing, especially over the rough spots.  I usually don't have a lot of writing-oriented self-doubt, but there's something different in what I'm doing right now -- it's more plot focused, with more changes to canon -- and I'm getting less of the motivating review-crack. More importantly, I'm now getting negative responses, especially this one over-zealous person who seems to want me to write an entirely different story. It's hard to stay motivated when that's the first response you get every time you release something new.

On t'other hand, writing the Giant Thing seems to help motivate me for other projects. It's probably related to the go-go-go-go-CRASH cycle -- when one thing's workin', everything's workin'. Episodic fiction also lets you get something 'in the can' regularly, which helps give little rewards for a long project, and those little rewards help push everything along. Which again explains why having the little reward fall through (either because something just didn't work or because of negative responses) is so demotivating, I suppose.

shadesofmauve: (Default)
I took my plans (site plan and plan view) for the garage remodel to the city permit office yesterday, and they didn't say no!

They didn't say yes, either, but, hey, they didn't say no!

The older guy who I talked to started with asking questions about heat, and explaining that I couldn't do radiant flooring in the garage "because the heat --"

"Goes straight down to the slab, I know. That's why I've drawn in joists over 2x4 sleepers -- I'll have room to insulate between the joists."

"Oh, that's alright, then. You try to heat the slab, you're trying to heat the whole planet, and no one has that much money."

There were a few other exchanges like that, and then he said, "Well, it sounds like you know what you're doing!" The fact that I didn't start laughing hysterically shows my masterful self-control. I mentioned that I'd helped my parents remodel and soaked up a lot, and that my dad was in town and on the deed to my house and would be helping me, and he said, "Well, someone knows how to draw up plans. These are really nice!"

Well, yeah! I can make the pretty pictures no problem. There I do no what I'm doing (and what I'm doing is using Illustrator as a CAD program, which is just fine if you don't mind doing the scale math in your head). Then he started telling me a story about getting a plan done in ballpoint on a napkin. It made the meeting take longer, but I like this trend. I want to be one of the good guys they tell stories to, not one of bad guys they tell horror stories about.

Upshot: I need to come back with elevation and section drawings (which dad didn't think I'd need, and which aren't included in the city's checklist), add a topography line to the site plan, get a worksheet from the state to show I'm insulating to code (oh, and spec floor insulation, which I forgot, dummy), and move the exterior door three feet.

Oh, and moving the door three feet means changing the window plan, so we're back to holy shit undecided windows isn't this where I started? Only now I know I'm at least on the right track.

I need an icon for when things on the house are positive -- like the opposite of the 'I have no idea what I'm doing' meme. Possibly "I know exactly what I'm doing!" with an image that shows that I really, really don't.
shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
I'm having the sliding glass door in my bedroom replaced when I get the studio windows. It's single-paned aluminum, the most poorly insulated part of the house and an eyesore to boot. Replacing the slider is a no-brainer -- I should have had it done when I paid for the front windows.

Unfortunately it brings up the problem of trim.

Being an Aesthetic Connundrum, or, an Exploration of how the Simplest of Ideas Have Innumerable Complications )

TL;DR: My house has an identity crisis, I can't make decisions, and fiber-board sucks.
shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
When [livejournal.com profile] emony42 came to visit this weekend she came up with the brilliant idea of making fake windows out of cardboard and nailing them to the wall so we could really visualize it, and it helped! I was so close to finally making a decision on windows for my studio, so I could finally draft plans, get approval, and place the order. I could actually move forward with my garage -> studio conversion plan.

Something still didn't feel right, though.

detailed discussion of design issues and floor plans )

Dad told me today that I needed to stop feeling down about it and get back to a place where planning was fun, and stop being upset that I had options when some people have none. But knowing that I have it good compared to others doesn't make me feel more motivated; it just makes me feel guilty, less deserving of having the options I have, and more incapable of trusting my own judgement.

Update! In the three hours since I started this post, I think I may have figured out what to do. It all depends on making the front door good enough, really. If I leave the whole garage as one room for the moment (phase one), use a lot of glass in the doors, and use clerestory windows to the north with a gap where the wall would be in phase two... that might work, and be less expensive than larger windows at the outset.

I'm sure I'll come up with a reason why this plan is worthless in ten minutes, but there ya go.


*Awesome Neighbor shares a fence line with Nasty Neighbor, but Awesome Neighbor went to architecture school with my uncle in Oregon, and so had been a family friend for years, and lets my borrow his tools, mower, and expertise regularly. The only charge is letting him talk my ear off. :)
shadesofmauve: (Lert)
Last night I hit a real low -- my shop-vac wasn't working despite being taken apart and put back together, my PC wasn't working, the PC not working resulted in a game not working, cleaning and organizing definitely wasn't working, and there was evidence that my brain wasn't working, either, in that I finally realized that I double-booked myself in early October. I'm supposed to play a gig in Olympia during the same time I'm supposed to be in southern Oregon visiting my grandparents. Uh. Oops?

Anyway!

Shop-vac: IT'S SUPER EFFECTIVE! I was a total dork about the shop-vac, and the one thing I hadn't checked was the hose, which is just after "plug it in" on the trouble shooting guide. SO! Shop-vac is fixed, using the high-tech technique of shoving a 1x2 down the hose to dislodge the clog.

PC: IT'S ALIVE! I'd *correctly* guessed that the video card was fried, and was able to confirm that by scavenging the video card from [livejournal.com profile] madalchemist's unused box, which is currently purring away in Gonzales now. It was about time to upgrade my machine anyway, so a brand-spanking new video card is on it's way from newegg, along with 4 more gigs of ram. Gonzales shall live up to his namesake once again!

Game: the PC crash corrupted files for ME2, but I was able to put 'em back where they belong. Energy Drain shall be mine, darn it!

Cleanliness: Because I didn't have the lure of a PC this morning, I cleaned my room. With dusting and vacuuming and organizing of three months of mostly non-important mail and everything.

Still Unresolved...

The fact that I was a total flake who doesn't know how to read a calendar is still icky, but I talked to Erik and we worked out some options. Namely, he'll try to switch his vacation days so we can spend the earlier weekend in Oregon and then do our gigs (Oh, did I mention he didn't realize he had a gig that day either? And these are two separate gigs, not one we're doing together). Plan B is that we ditch the gigs and run away where no angry co-musicians can find us. Plan B is not a good plan, but they're both really short, non-paying gigs, and for me it's one where another fiddler can fill in (if they want. There are three fiddlers, so they don't need another).


So. I may not be bound for total misery and squalor after all.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you 5 questions.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this offer to interview someone else in the post.
5. When others comment, asking to be interviewed, ask them 5 questions.

Questions from [livejournal.com profile] padparadscha

1. Who is your favorite comedian?
I like a lot pretty much equally, but I give bonus love to anyone who, er, comedifies to music (Tom Lehrer, Flanders & Swan, Roy Zimmerman, Mark Graham (No YouTube vids of him performing, but here's someone doing I Can See Your Aura with random giggling from the person taping), and of course my dear friends Zeke Hoskin and Rob Lopresti.

Keen observers* will note that my love of comedy/commentary songs heavily plays into my goal of knowing a song about everything. If anyone is interested in an even longer list of musicians and groups, I'd be happy to supply it (as well as take suggestions!).

2. What goes on top of your pizza?
In the ultimate admission of un-American-ity, I don't much like pizza. But when I do eat it, my absolute favorite is from a place in Oly called Vic's, where each slice includes a ton of veggies and several whole roasted garlic cloves. Mmmmmm, garlic!

3. Can you remember appointments, or do you have to remind yourself? If so, how DO you remind yourself?
I'd usually say that I remember appointments without difficulty, but Wednesday I totally forgo about a meeting until my boss showed up to tell me we were five minutes late for a meeting in a different building. So I suppose I should say that I normally remember appointments, and when I don't I require a personal reminder from the guy who signs my timesheets.


4. What got you interested in World-building?
That's tough, because it's in the oh-so-distant past. I started with reading a ton of fantasy and wanting to write my own stories, especially stories that weren't quite so heavy on symbolism and prophecy, because black-and-white morality and doing things Because They Are Written always bugged the hell out of me. Then I ran into [livejournal.com profile] bluwyngz, who did the same kind of thing and was working on fashion design for various cultures in her world, and it sort of solidified into World Building: World History Class Avoidance Edition. Since then it's kept up partly because it adds direction to anything I'm currently interested in - when I studied linguistics, I thought of how to apply it to my world. Geography, ditto. Random bits about pre-longitude navigation? Also useful! World building allows you to take *any* study into the "synthesis" stage of learning, which helps keep me involved in potentially dry subjects.

Downside: I refused to take a geology class in college because I was terrified of being trapped by the impossible plate tectonics of Calenthe and never being able to think about conculture again.

5. Tell me about the coolest project you're working on right now.
I'm actually in an odd lull, since I just got back from a big trip. I finished the Ursula Le Guin illo that was the Coolest Work Project Ever, and Sheep in Space have slowed down a bit. I have felt a sudden urge to work on world-building, specifically architectural sketches and maps, so that's what I'm most excited about now.


*Anyone who hangs around me more than an hour or two

Artz

August 10th, 2007 05:39 pm
shadesofmauve: (baby)
Immediately after I posted that long-ass project list, I sat down out in the sun and worked happily at a totally different, unlisted project, for an hour. That was kind of silly.

BUT, now I have a colored cartoon to work from for the my fishhook painting ("cartoon" in this case, is the sketch used as reference/exploration for a painting, not something by Disney). It's only a pale, poorly drawn imagining of what the splendid actual oil painting will be,* but [livejournal.com profile] bluwyngz has been asking me to put up some art, so here it is. )

The image came to me out of the blue one evening, then the details were inspired by the Yeats poem "The Song of Wandering Angus" -

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.



*I HOPE.
shadesofmauve: (irish)
I went out on my bike to do some errands this afternoon. A very clean-cut business-type told me I was gorgeous while we were stopped at a stoplight (cat-calls are cute when they're polite), and since it's WA state pay-day there was apple juice and cookies at the credit union (I got a few odd glances when I turned from making my deposit and exclaimed "It's cookie day!").

On the way home I noticed a yard full of political signs, including a few I thought were running for the same position. Now a manic little voice in the back of my head is yelling "GOTTA ELECT 'EM ALL!"

Catherine's busy tonight, and this evening the giant I-5 North Project Of Doom starts, so I won't be dancing in Seattle. Suxxor...just when I'd found someone stalk-worthy interesting there. On the upside, my fambly, [livejournal.com profile] madalchemist and I are going to see Stardust.

My to-do list, cut for boredom )
shadesofmauve: (baby)
Did you get a Skellington in your mail today?
I'm the covergirl for the FiddleTunes brochure. It arrived in the mail yesterday, and I almost didn't notice (I'm wearing someone else's hat. It's a disguise!). Yes, my 15 minutes of fame was being mailed, without warning, to several hundred fiddlers. Hooray? You'd think I could hold Centrum up for a tuition break or something, since they didn't get a model release.*

Spent the morning stripping the finish off the bedside table I bought last fall, until the laquer thinner had eaten through two pairs of nitrile gloves and I decided I needed a break from the nasty chemicals. I got out my bike for the first time this year and rode down to the market, where I caught the last of Back Porch Swing's set and saw a bunch of musickers, a dancer, and a coworker. All the musicians, and I was in their mail!

I rode home around Capitol lake, past the walking bridge and around the undecided bit. "I'm a lake! No, I'm a river. Wait, I'm a lake!" Meanwhile Capitol lake proper says "Fuck this shit, I'm a tide flat" and launches into Queen's "I've got to Break Free" with choreographed geese. Freddy Mercury is spinning in his grave.

*Yes, I know this is wrong. But fighting nonprofits lowers your karma points.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
When/if I get a car, it's going to be a three-door hatchback. One of the big reasons for getting a vehicle at all would be so that I could transport things I couldn't otherwise move on my bike or the bus. I don't need to move lots of people, and being able to open up the whole back and fold the back seats down means, to pick an example entirely at random, that when I've just bought a little maple secretary to refinish at a garage sale in the rain on impulse, I will not have to call [livejournal.com profile] meliz113's mom and her stationwagon to help me get it home when I realise it won't actually ffit in the car.

Yes, you needn't say it, we all know I'm turning into my parents.

Dad used to take me out garage saleing as Saturday morning entertainment when we were broke, when I was very little. First, we'd stop at dunkin' donuts. He'd get black coffee and an unglazed old fashioned. I'd get orange juice and a choclate cake donut with rainbow springles on half, and proceed to pick all the sprinkles off and not drink the juice, because OJ tastes NASTY when you pair with a donut, and sprinkles are gross. We did this every time. The sight appeal of the sprinkles was too much for me to resist, and I had an irrational dislike of milk that came in little cartons.

Some people don't get garage sales. To them you explain the logical benefits. Basically, it's recycling. You look at a lot of shoddy junk, occasionally find things that are decent or at least usable, solid wood furniture or a lawnmower or whatever. Then you don't have to buy it new, and save money and natural resources.

This is rationalization. The actual fact is you see the signs and you MUST FOLLOW THEM. It's like a scent-hound on the trail. There is no concious decision. You cannot abandon the hunt. It's instinctual.
Suddenly, you find culdesacs you never knew existed, and your ability to make u-turns in small neighborhoods becomes refined by your focus on the hunt.

Two hours later, you find yourself at home, hungry, with a maple secretary in need of refinishing in the middle of your living room, and not the foggiest clue what you're going to do with it.

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