NaNoWriMo 2013: Ready, Set, Start!

Well, it’s now the first of November. Meaning we are into NaNoWriMo! Yay!

Turns out, I’m not just doing The Trickster’s Trade (though don’t worry, Dad, Mayumi and Darrel are still the priority); I’m also doing a second novel that I’ve been meaning to get more written of for several years now, currently called The Pack. So my personal goal for this November will be to get 100K words – 50K for each of them. (Winning NaNo will be good. Getting to my personal goal – which I’ve accomplished 2 out of the 3 years I’ve won, in terms of word count, will be even better. Actually finishing both books will be a delight! ;))

As mentioned above, TTT has priority, meaning I’ll work on that first each day. (Today, I’ve written 1,904 words on it so far – more than the daily goal – yay me!) Once I’ve got at least the daily goal met, I’ll also work on The Pack, which has been stalled on v7.0, beginning of Chp. 3, for several years now (even longer than TTT, which I got some writing done on a couple of years ago). Both are stories that I really want to tell, and really want to get finished, so NaNo is, of course, the perfect time to work on them.

(No fanfiction words will be counted for NaNo, even if I also write some fanfic – Sanzo presented me with the summary and an image from “Summer’s Pleasure”, the second in my Saiyuki Seasons series [Pt. 1, “Winter’s Treasure”, has 4-1/2 of 7 parts written thus far] last night just before I fell asleep. How do you throttle a character in your head?)

Anyway, that’s the report from the start of NaNoWriMo 2013. Enjoy, all!

[Edit: 23:56 hrs.] Got 364 words written on TP, so that’s a total of 2268 for me today. Yay me! 1.36 times the daily goal! [/End Edit]

‘Later!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

NaNoWriMo 2013 Doth Approach!

It’s October 31st. Hallowe’en. But more importantly… it’s the day before NaNoWriMo 2013 starts! Yay!

I’ve had… not the best luck with NaNoWriMo the past two years; I kept getting sick partway through Week 1, and never caught up afterwards. I am determined that this is not going to happen to me this year. Bound and determined.

The plan has been to work on The Trickster’s Trade, Book 2 of my series The Fox’s Journey. Going to have to re-read what I’ve written already (which is not getting put towards the word count!) this evening. This year I also plan to update more often; at least once a week. That should also help keep me on track (the years I’ve been more inclined to update have also been the years I’ve won).

So, Happy Hallowe’en to everyone, and even more importantly, Happy November and NaNoWriMo!

‘Later, all!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

Saiyuki Fic: Entangled: Reload

Finally finished my (authorized) sequel to Vathara’s Saiyuki story Entanglements. If you haven’t yet readΒ Entanglements, I highly suggest you read it first, because what happens in Entangled: Reload relies heavily on the events of that story.

Summary: Sequel to Vathara’s “Entanglements”; takes place after Saiyuki: Reload Vol. 9. Hazel overhears the Sanzo-ikkou discussing his presence, and the fight with Ukoku. What are akuma, anyway? And… who is Gonou? And Kenren? Also, Hakkai and Sanzo discuss Heaven, and Heaven’s Plans. (Contains non-specific implications of Sanzo/Hakkai slash.)

Continue on to read!

The Fox’s Journey & NaNo 2013

So, way back in 2009, I wrote a fantasy novel for NaNoWriMo. In fact, I wrote one and a bit – A Fox’s Fight (Book 1 of The Fox’s Journey), and the beginning of The Trickster’s Trade (Book 2 of The Fox’s Journey). It was fun; it involved a kitsune – Miyanobo Mayumi, or as we would say in the west, Mayumi Miyanobo – and a Detective Sergeant of the Metro Toronto Police Services Drug Squad – Darrel Greene – having to deal with a vicious new addictive drug that had been hitting Toronto’s streets… while Darrel didn’t believe in spirits, which was a problem, because the spirits were heavily involved.

It was a fun story to write, not the least because I got to play around with Toronto, but also because I got to explore some alienation issues (Mayumi has problems with her family / clan back in Japan, and problems with certain relatives in Toronto as well), and have fun playing around with making one protagonist a predator. *grins*

More on my writing, and what this has to do with the present….

Fanfiction Cover Images

So, I mentioned in my last post that I’d put my fanfiction stories up on Archive of Our Own. What I didn’t know until after I’d put my fics up there was that AO3 lets you download fics as ebooks (in epub or mobi formats, no less!). And, hey, I like reading my fics as ebooks. So, rather than having to go through converting them over to that format through iWork’s Pages, I simply downloaded some of my favourite completed ones directly from AO3 in epub format.

Then I thought, Hey, I’ve got a cover pic for Something to Live For already, since I translated it to epub way back… but not for any of the others. So my next decision on what to do was easy – I created covers!

The covers are in gallery format below. And I plan to upload the epubs I’ve got to tag’s Library and Bardd’s Tales to make them available to others to download… sometime. Not immediately, but hopefully not too far in the future.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go start uploading those particular stories to WattPad as well….

Click to see the gallery!

General Update; and AO3

Been a while, huh? Well, couple of things to update.

First of all, unfortunately, didn’t complete Camp NNWM in July, either; ended up getting sick (again) and couldn’t focus. The fact that it was hot out (see my rant about heat and thermoregulation on my Other Blog) didn’t help in the least. I did get a bit more written, but not much. Oh well, it’s still an improvement over what I had at the beginning of the month.

Have spent the last two months mostly suffering from the heat, unfortunately, but things are getting a bit better (it’s been cooling down a bit). I’m kind of hoping it will stay at the mild temperatures for the next couple of months; that would be good!

Have started getting a bit of exercise; using Mom’s treadmill for 20 minutes three times a week (I’m up to covering a mile). That should help somewhat with the depression.

And I now have my fanfics available on Archive of Our Own (as well as fanfiction.net)! So if anyone doesn’t care to use FFNet, then I now have them available for you to look at on AO3! The link (aside from being in the first sentence of this paragraph) is also on my link page.

‘Later, all!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

First Day: Camp NaNoWriMo July ’13 #3; and Cats

Well, the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo July 2013 is over, and I’ve managed to get 1,508 words written. I even increased my word count goal for Here and There to 45,000 from 35,000; and the goal for each day is to get 1,452 words written. So I reached today’s daily goal! Yay Me! Got started (and fairly well) on “First Day”; I’m about halfway through Ryuu’s part of that story.

Click for Pantser Badge – I fly by the seat of my pants when writing, for the most part – and details on my brother’s cats

Here and There Stories: Camp NaNoWriMo July ’13 #2

Was thinking this morning while supervising the New Beginnings students working on their resumes, and came up with some of the stories I’d like to include in Here and There. So, here you go – let me know what you think of the ideas!

Click for story details!

NaNoLandia: Camp NaNoWriMo July ’13 #1

So, July is approaching already. It’s been a long and somewhat stressful month (explaining partly why there’s so few posts in either of my two blogs), and somewhat gloomy part of the time here in St. John’s. But July is the month of Camp NaNoWriMo (the second this year), and I’m rather looking forward to it.

Details on what I’m doing:

My Nieces and Nephews

Here’s a picture taken of my nieces and nephews (including Milo) from when my brother’s family was visiting my sister’s on their way to Toronto (they moved there the end of May / beginning of June). From left to right:

Julia (my brother’s daughter): 5 years old
Danny (my sister’s older son): 3 years old
Zoe (my sister’s daughter): 7 years old
Milo (my sister’s younger son): 4 days old (at the time the picture was taken)

Nieces and Nephews: Julia, Danny, Zoe, Milo

My nieces and nephews, taken May 29, 2013.

Aren’t they adorable?

(Posted with permission of their parents.)

πŸ˜‰ tag0

New Nephew: Welcome, Milo!

I’m an aunt again!

My middle sister gave birth to her third child – a boy, Milo Ulysses – yesterday. So Zoe and Danny now have a new brother (thankfully less than nine days after the original due date – only two), and Julia has a new baby cousin.

Here’s just saying: Welcome to the family, Milo!

‘Later!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

Very Happy Birthday To Me! Plus SaR

Yes, it’s my birthday today. And I’ve had a wonderful one. My parents and I went out to the Classic Cafe East this morning for breakfast, then came home and I got my presents. {Hugs Mom & Dad!}

I then spent most of the rest of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon relaxing with Imber, and reading fanfic. (Specifically Vathara‘s story Embers, which though currently in progress [finally starting to near the end!], is a wonderful Avatar: TLA fic – especially for those who like Zuko, Iroh and Toph, and hard, realistic choices.) Then I went out to coffee with a friend, and finally came home and had dinner with my parents, my friend, and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.

It was a really nice, quiet day, and I think it was exactly what I needed. So I’m both happy and content. (As well as tired. Didn’t sleep well last night due to writing high-induced insomnia.)

As well, for those who are interested, I managed to get a full 2 pages written on the re-write of Chapter 8 of Search and Rescue last night. I doubt I’ll write any tonight, but I’m back in writing mode! πŸ™‚

‘Later, all!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

NaNoWriMo 2008: The Continuing Story

Remember, way back in November of 2008, I started NaNoWriMo for the first time, and finished an SF novel, Search and Rescue? And I think I said something somewhere about having to re-write it, because some of what happened was seriously impractical, and I had them going from tension-up-point to eating, to tension-up-point, to eating, etc.? (Or maybe I just said that to Vathara.)

Anyway… it took me three years (until last spring / summer; mid-May, I think) to finish the re-write of Chapter 5 (there are 14 chapters). Chapters 1-4 didn’t need much adjustment, and were already partly adjusted before NaNo ’08 ended.

So, between last mid-May and now, I’ve gotten to the beginning of Chapter 8 (which has a major event… well, the major event is at the end of Chapter 7, but 8 is where the two protagonists finally really start becoming friends). I haven’t done any writing on this since… December, I think? (Last fall and this past winter were seriously stressful.) Maybe September.

But, there was the first meeting of the Newfoundland Writers’ Group MeetUp today, and I got pumped by it. So I spent the rest of the afternoon (after everyone else left) and after dinner working in minor edits for Chps. 1-7, and I’m now working on getting farther in Chapter 8! Yay me! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I am writing my original fic as well as fanfic again. (Which reminds me… does anyone want to see some stuff from my other unfinished fic, or would you rather wait until it’s finished?)

πŸ˜‰ tag0

tag’s Haven: #AutismPositivity2013 Day!

I have now posted my Autism Positivity Day 2013 blog post on My Other Blog. Please, please go over and read it (if you haven’t already, that is!); and if you feel you can, please contribute. We need to get a more positive image of autism out there to the world.

Thanks!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

Autism Positivity Day 2013

Tuesday April 30, 2013 is Autism Positivity Day 2013 (read about it from the link). I will be posting my own flash blog entry on My Other Blog, but I wanted to notify as many people as possible about it, and I think I’ll either re-blog my entry here, or I’ll at least post a link to it.

Check out the plans!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

Storage Iron, BP, and Exercise

Just came back from my visit to the doctor (GP). During said visit, I was informed that “storage iron” was not what I thought it was. It turns out it has nothing to do with low iron anemia, the way I thought it did. It’s the reserves of iron in one’s system, and only makes a difference for things like emergency surgery and the like. So, yeah, diet can get to work on that.

With the blood pressure medication I’m on now (Olmetec), my BP is normal; the GP took it and it was 100/70 (you want it to be 120 or less over 80 or less). Yay for normal, but not happy at the thought that I probably have to continue taking the medication. *sighs*

And I’ve been told that to get over the tiredness, I need aerobic exercise. (Well, I think some of it is still depression, but….) So, Dad and I are going to work at taking Sanchy out for more walks. The weather’s getting better (though it was cold today, despite the sun and blue skies… or maybe because of them), so those ought to be more pleasant than Mom’s Saturday walks in the middle of winter. (No matter how much Sanchy enjoyed those as well.) I imagine we’ll probably go to Long Pond (aka the Fluvarium area / Pippy’s Park) again; that’s a nice trail and quite enjoyable. Time to start warming up for that on the treadmill!

‘Later, all!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

Welcome: New Blog Site

First of all, welcome, everyone, to the new site for tag’s Haven. I’d like to thank you all for following me here. Please, feel free to subscribe to my posts – the link is in the sidebar, just under my recent posts.

For those who are new and have followed a link here, Be Welcome! This is the blog where I talk about my life in general, moan and vent about the weather, and pre-publish my fanfic to get comments on it in order to improve it further before it goes to FFNet and tag’s Library for the wide world to see. πŸ˜‰ (If you want to see the fanfic I’ve put up, links to all of it are available through the Fanfic page, as well as a bit of a summary.)

Over the next little while I’m going to be wandering around the ‘Net, changing the URLs of my blog everywhere I’ve put it up. But there is news, for anyone interested… see below. (Also, question re fic. Sorry, RK fans, not quite ready for updates yet, but have been reviewing and doing a bit more writing….)

Continue for more about me, my family, and fic….

20 Years Coming

Today, I had something monumental – for me, at any rate – happen.

I passed my road test!

It’s been 20 years since I first got my first learner’s permit (called a three-sixty-five in Ontario at that time, for the number of days that you had to pass the road test), and I’ve finally done it.

It took a wonderful instructor, who has worked with people with Aspergers and autism before, to give me the knowledge, confidence and support necessary to do it; as far as I’m concerned, thanks go to Frank Cody. He really made a difference, explaining things so that I could understand them and working on my confidence. I was nervous and anxious today when I went for the test, but not nearly as nervous as I was the first three times I tried (and failed).

(Thanks also go to my colleagues at the Independent Living Resource Centre, who cheered me on and gave me good wishes before I left to take the test; and to Jeff, my best friend here in St. John’s, who was willing to provide someone different from my parents in the front passenger seat while I practiced.)

So, I’ve finally done it. I’m understandably proud of myself. Now I just have to really get used to the St. John’s streets! πŸ˜‰

Later, all!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

Posted in Accomplishments, Life in General | Tagged | 7 Replies

IL Internship!

Hi, everyone! Sorry for the long delay between my last entry and this one, but I’ve had not the best summer, and before that I was busy with the Stella Burry New Beginnings program.

Anyway, I have wonderful personal news. Starting Monday until March, I’m going to be working as an Independent Living Intern for the Independent Living Resource Centre here in St. John’s. This is the place Mom and I have been looking for since last June; it’s the centrepoint of information, resources and communication for people with disabilities.

The internship will involve making connections with the St. John’s community, both the disability community and the wider community, doing presentations for organizations about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, adaptive technology, and all sorts of stuff. I’m really looking forward to it.

Hugs to everyone!
πŸ˜‰ tag0

#scriptfrenzy Chat

I know, I know, I haven’t been posting much about ScriptFrenzy. *sighs, shrugs* It’s been a very busy month for me so far.

So, basic update – I’ve got 74 pages, split between two graphic novel scripts: The Rowan Leaf (working title) and White Horses. I’ve told you about The Rowan Leaf – the basics at least – and the logline of White Horses is: Kathleen is an ordinary girl. So why is she seeing mythological creatures that tell her to “Be ready”?

But anyway, the point of this post is to tell you a bit about the ScriptFrenzy Twitter chat that went on today. I was reluctant to get into Twitter back last fall, when I finally did, but things like the chat that happened tonight might just change my mind. It was really fun – fast and frenzied (not a surprise, that last! ;)) – but definitely fun. All kinds of opinions and discussions going on. If you want to read it, check the “#scriptfrenzy” hashtag from midnight GMT (daylight savings time) to 1am GMT on Thurs. April 19 – go back or forward however many hours are appropriate. Currently trying to get past 1 hour ago on the Twitter website so I can save myself a copy of the chat to refer to when I need suggestions/prods. (The 74 pages were all written by the 10th; the 11th and 12th were really busy, and then I had a migraine-intensity headache from the 13th to yesterday.)

Anyway, going to bed within the next half hour, because I’ve got to be up around 7:30 to get going to the New Beginnings by 8:40 (the bus comes at about 8:55, but better to get to the bus stop early than late!). Will fill anyone interested in the details of what’s going on there later (possibly tomorrow).

‘Later, all!
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World Autism Awareness Day

Well, it’s a bit late in the day for this, but I’d still like to draw attention to the fact that today is World Autism Awareness Day.

Asperger’s Syndrome, which I have, is basically High Functioning Autism – the only difference in diagnosis involves an advanced vocabulary. I’ve been becoming more aware of the details of dealing with autism since I moved to Newfoundland in August, and as such, more aware of how it’s affected my life in a number of subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For instance, I can’t tolerate spice in my food, and get headaches from even the mildest sunlight: heightened senses – or, rather, problems with controlling sensory input – are one of the symptoms of autism.

The main website that deals with the World Autism Awareness Day is at Autism Speaks. You can also find some very basic information on the history of WAAD at Wikipedia. [Edited: Sat. April 20/13] Sorry, but I can no longer recommend Autism Speaks as being anything but bad for autistics. Please see posts on tagAught’s blog, especially “Autism Speaks, I Want to Say” for more details.

And it turns out April is Autism Awareness Month. So maybe I’ll find out more this month, as well as get some support. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please!

‘Later, all!
πŸ˜‰ tag0

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Script Frenzy and Graphic Novels

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this! *shakes head* Going to try not to let it go this far again. *sighs*

Anyway, as you can probably tell from the userpic and the title of this post, I’ve gone and joined Script Frenzy – for the first time, I might add. I discovered that you don’t necessarily have to write a play/movie/television show for it; you can also write (a) graphic novel(s)! So, guess what I’m doing? *grins*

My working title for my graphic novel (of which I am 9-1/2 pages in, out of 100 necessary to win) is: The Rowan Leaf. My logline (which is the one paragraph or less summary) is as follows: Rowan is a medieval squire given immortality by the Fae. Now, in modern times, he must save them from an abductor who plans to drain their magic.

Here are the links!

My Script Frenzy page

My page count widget:

And, if you happen to feel like making a sponsorship donation for me to Script Frenzy, check out my Script Frenzy Fundraising page.

Got to go for dinner now!

Later, all!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

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“BiMonthly” Personal Update: Sat. Dec. 10/11

(Okay, so it’s Sunday. It was still Saturday when I wrote this.)

Hey, all.

So… I have apologies to make to everyone. I am terribly sorry that I’ve ended up getting so far behind on my weekly updates. It’s just… well, first I was busy working on getting ready for NaNoWriMo, then November hit and suddenly my stress levels went through the roof. Fans, picture a Sentinel starting to come online without a Guide. That’s what it felt like. My senses were starting to overwhelm me (random note: “whelm” means to cover with water, according to the Scrabble dictionary), particularly sight and hearing, and particularly at work. I’ve been wearing my yellow sunglasses and a bright pink (Fighting Breast Cancer pink) visor to work every day, to try to control the headaches from the CRT screens and the fluorescent lighting. And the noise… don’t get me started. Over the past week and a half or so, I’ve been using an earplug in my left ear (I keep the phone headset on my right) at work. It helps somewhat, but….

I ended up taking a week off work, doctor’s note included, at the end of November to the beginning of December, because my stress level was so high (taking sick days off work due to headaches and nausea, most of which could be put down to stress, and the rest of which could be put down to my senses, which contributed to the stress). It helped a huge amount, though my stress level still isn’t down where I’d like it to be. So, thanks to my lovely training supervisor (who is no longer my supervisor, except in a general sense during the late nights – I got moved to a new team at the beginning of December), I met with the scheduler, and I’ve cut back to 4 days a week, starting today – Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – with slightly reduced hours and generally ending my shift at midnight (on the weekdays) or before 11 (on the weekends). (Except on the weekend after Christmas, which is bound to be busy – but given I’ve actually got Christmas Eve and Christmas off, I am not going to complain about that.)

On a lighter, better note, Imber is improving by leaps and bounds! She regularly comes up to the main floor of the house – she’s even been known to do so when I’m sleeping in my room – and while she still growls and snarls at Thor, the two of them spent last night in an uneasy truce (punctuated occasionally by said growls and snarls) on my bed. In fact, she is up here in the living room, where I’m typing this out, draped over my forearms asking for scritches, and generally making it hard to write. (Scratch that – Dad just came up, and made a remark, “Look at that baby!” and Imber rolled forward onto the arm of the chair. She doesn’t mind the other animals – except Thor – seeing her lying on her back, but Dad is a different matter. Not that she dislikes him, she’s just wary of someone so tall.)

So, back to the somewhat gloomy, but getting hopeful stuff: We’re looking to get me a local psychologist (though I’ve still got Dr. Garling on consult for a bit, in case it doesn’t work out) and I’ve got an appointment just before Christmas at the START Clinic, recommended to me by my Aspie friend (whom I’ve only seen once this past month! *pouts*), which will hopefully lead to a semi-rapid official diagnosis of Asperger’s. (The alternative is waiting 1-2 years to see a qualified psychiatrist, then waiting more time for the team to be assembled to render the diagnosis….) I’m also seeing an occupational therapist who has a very good method for working on getting me to focus on dealing with feeling unwell, and who is trying to get a consult with a specialist in sensory over-stimulation. (No guarantees on that one, but it’s worth a try!) Hoping the combination of these factors will get things resolved with reasonable rapidity – or at least get things on the road to being resolved. Dealing with mental health is, unfortunately, a years-long process.

Family news is, unfortunately, not as good. A few of you already know this (my family, namely), but my “adopted” aunt Gloria was admitted to hospital on Monday. She’s been fighting cancer (uterine and stomach, I believe) for several years, and it’s gotten fairly bad. They don’t think that she’ll live to see Christmas. She’s going to be going into Palliative Care as soon as there’s a bed free. Mom flew down to Toronto on Thursday, staying with Daphne’s friend, to see her, and is currently on her flight back here.

Hm. What other good news do I have to break the gloom?

Well, Daphne’s got her audiology hours finished, is waiting impatiently on the Praxis scores (they were supposed to be up last week), and has only her final anatomy exam, on Tuesday, to complete her anatomy course. She’s got paying work for the rest of the time she’s here in St. John’s, at least. I’ve had two interviews for more clerical type jobs (one with RONA, one with the Canadian Red Cross), and continue to send out resumes. Even with the problems I’ve been having, I’ve been able to continue to enjoy Scrabble Wednesdays, and this past week spent Tuesday evening (before and during making dinner) making cookies for the group. They were much appreciated by the family, at least, as well as the one member of the Scrabble group who decided to start nibbling before I had to leave at 12:30, and I found even the burnt ones quite addictive.

A wonderful link from my aunt:
Man With Autism Absolutely Stuns an Entire Crowd

Also, a Happy Belated Birthday to .

Thanks for your patience and continuing friendship, everyone.

‘Later, all!
πŸ˜‰ tag0

Halfway Mark…. #NaNoBlog

I know I promised regular blogging posts throughout NaNoWriMo 2011. Unfortunately, I’ve been having trouble with this NaNo year. Between my work hours (not good – 5pm to 1:30am), the weather, and a few other things starting to creep up on me, I’ve not had a great month so far. In fact, it got to the point where this morning (well, yesterday morning really, it’s currently just after 2am here) I was worried that this would be the first NaNoWriMo I wouldn’t win. Not a happy thought (the fact that I can win NaNoWriMo keeps me going during the blahs of November, which I need, desperately…).

I was at the point where I challenged myself on Friday to make 25K by today (Sunday) at midnight. (We’re supposed to have reached 33,334 words if we’re on schedule with the daily word count goal.)

So, I was in that sort of state until about 2:40pm this (Sunday) afternoon. Then it occurred to me that at least part of the problem I was having was with the setting of my story. It wasn’t working, and it was leaving my story rather bland and boring, even considering the confrontation with the redcap that Alan had. (And killing off Alan’s partner and potential girlfriend via said redcap.) I kind of shrugged, and went, “Okay, I’m going to change the setting. What I’ve written so far will still count for my word count, but I’ve got to change it.”

Less than 1-2/3 hours and about 3,750 words later, I was pretty sure that was a good part of the problem. *grins wryly at everyone* As I mentioned on Twitter, with this change, I seem to be back to my fairly steady 500 words/20 minutes flow (when I can write for more than 15 minutes at a time). Between what I got done before work (*points at aforementioned word count, plus 370 that I got in this morning*) and what I got done during my breaks and “lunch” at work, guess what goal I made?

Yeah, you got it. I hit 25,001 words total just at the end of my last break, at about 11:30 tonight (Sunday). Such a relief.

My next goal is to get to about 33,000 by Tuesday night (which will be my first night meeting the St. John’s NaNos, because of my work schedule). I’m rather looking forward to it. And if I keep at the rate I’m going, I may even reach the daily word count goal by Wednesday or Thursday! *crosses fingers* I’m getting there, finally. No more days of no writing! Down with bland scenes! Lead on to excitement!

(No, there will be no zombie ninja pirates. Sorry, fellow NaNos. But there are vampires and werewolves… sort of….)

Anyway, off to get some sleep, and then: More Writing!

‘Later, all!

πŸ˜‰ tag0

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WAMUN: Medical Genetics Talk with Dr. Jane Green

Tonight, WAMUN (the Women’s Association Memorial University of Newfoundland) presented a talk by Dr. Jane Green on Medical Genetic Research.

I was lucky enough that I sat at the same table as Dr. Green for the potluck dinner. We had a nice discussion about “The Immortal Life of Henriette” (a true story about the cancer cells of an African-American woman that have provided us with a lot of information about cellular genetics, but at the same time is an ethically thorny issue because the family didn’t know about this), genetics in general, and the state of genetics in 1965, when she got her Masters, as well as details of a trip she made up to Labrador in the mid-1980s with a few other doctors, and the talk she’d given on genetic diseases at noon for GPs all over the province. (Apparently Wednesday at noon there’s a teleconference for GPs all over the province about a variety of different issues; last week it was prostate cancer, next week it’s conjunctivitis….)

The talk afterwards was really interesting, and ended up going on for quite a while (from 8-9:15/9:30). It was mainly focused on how the population of Newfoundland, with their isolated outports, large families, and so on, were able to help with quite a few genetic diseases. HNPCC – Lynch Disease – (genetic colon/endomitrial cancer), two variations of genetic breast cancer, ARVA (something right ventricular arteriomyelopathy) – sudden early cardiac arrests, Addison’s Disease – adrenal insufficiency, and juvenile macular degeneration (Starsgard(?) disease) were the ones she concentrated on telling us about. It was really, really interesting. She’s a really good speaker, and there were definitely interesting questions at the end.

The focus was on genetic diseases that have one gene mutation that is what affects them; at the moment, there isn’t enough information about the human genome to look at the ones that are affected by a whole host of genes. But she explained the basics of how molecular genetics analysis works (not the process, but the results), and how in 35 years we went from not knowing much about genes and how they work, to mapping the human genome, and in ten years, how we’ve gone from mapping the human genome to being able to identify mutations in genes that create genetic diseases.

She also pointed out that companies like “23 and Me” are, at the moment, not of huge use. Sure, they can provide you with a genetic readout/map of your genome… but they don’t provide the bioinformatics information that lets you know what are just common variations (like hair colour, etc.), and what are potentially rare – thus possibly genetic disease – variations.

She talked about how they distinguish genetic cancers from familial cancers (familial being it happens in your family, with a few people, and genetic tending towards early onset, large numbers of people in the family having it or related cancers, and multiple instances of cancers), and both of those from general population cancers (the low risk, aging population ones). In general (at least in the US), the incidences of colorectal cancers are: Genetic: 3-5%, Familial: 10-30%, and population: 65-75%. In Newfoundland, I believe she mentioned that familial is at 40%, and I think she said genetic was 5-10%.

Like I said, really interesting, and very informative. One of the last slides she showed us was of the variety of genetic diseases that had been identified throughout Newfoundland (and a few in Labrador) which included the ones mentioned above, ocular albinism, hemophilia (in Newfoundland and Labrador), myotonic dystrophy (in Labrador), MEN-1, BBS, and several others.

Quick Update and Imber

Hey, everyone.

First of all, sorry about going silent the last couple of weeks. I’m afraid that they haven’t been the best (last week I was at home Thursday and Friday with nasty migraine and feeling sick), and I couldn’t really think of much to say. I hope I’m getting things back on track now (certainly working on doing that with work and my NaNo novel)… but that’s not entirely why I’m writing.

As you might guess, looking at the subject line, I’m writing about Imber. My adorable, lovable, so brave kitten.

Who came upstairs – to the kitchen – to meet me when I came home from work tonight.

I was stunned. It’s still something of an effort to get Imber to come up to the den (1/2 level above my bedroom and unfinished “living room”); to get her upstairs to the main level, I’ve been carrying her every afternoon. (We have to go past other cats and Sancho, you see.)

Well, I get in this evening, and I come over to the door from the hall to the kitchen, glance downstairs to see that Dad’s still working… and Imber’s looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs. I crouched down and beckoned for her to come up, and lo and behold… that’s exactly what she did! She even came onto the kitchen floor from the stairs and over to me, so I lifted her up and cuddled her for a minute. Then I put her down on the kitchen table, she got down, and headed downstairs. But it’s a breakthrough! She’s never come up on her own before!

And it means a lot personally as well. She misses me when I’m gone, and waits impatiently for me to get back. She’s been mewing when I get in since about two weeks ago, when I had a call that lasted until 2:15 so was about 45 minutes late getting home. The next night, Imber was crying for me as soon as she heard the key in the lock.

Well, I’ve got to work on winding down now, but I wanted to let you all know that I’m not dead, and to share the marvelous news about Imber. I’m bouncing about it, and how I’m going to get to sleep tonight I don’t know….

‘Later, all!
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NaNoWriMo 2011: Wild Hunt

And just because I have this insane need to share my stories with the world, here are the current synopsis and excerpt of my NaNo 2011 novel, Wild Hunt. (Making it fairly obvious what my question about “Seleighe” vs. “Seelie” was about…. πŸ˜‰


Synopsis

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November 1st Is Now Over #NaNoBlog

And now the first day of November, of NaNoWriMo 2011, is over. *heaves happy sigh*

Okay, I didn’t quite make it to 2K words… but I did make it to over 1.7K, which is better than the word target for the day. And tomorrow’s another day. And I’ve started to really get into my characters’ heads – that was, I must admit, something I was a bit worried about. The prologue was easy. Getting into their heads, on the other hand, has been harder.

But, as I said, I’ve made it past the target for the first day, which is a good start to things. If stuff goes as well as it has in the past, I should be at over 4K words by the end of today. *looks forward to it*

And I dragged my supervisor into NaNo as well – I’m really hoping she’s going to enjoy it. I’m certainly looking forward to chatting to her (when we get a chance at work) about what our characters are doing, and bemoaning the fraught sailing through the seas of our imaginations….

Yes, I like the Viking analogy NaNo creator Chris Baty came up with. It’s fun to play with. πŸ˜‰ Not to mention that the alfar might just show up in Wild Hunt as well… I’ve got the Celtic fae, why not the Nordic?

One question I might be interested in delving into: is it spelled “Seleighe” or “Seelie”? I’ve always thought “Seelie” was the anglicization from the Scots or Irish Gaelic. Thoughts, anyone?

Talk to you soon!
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