Swing ball, Hellboy 2

The ball was, as predicted, fine. I was still more shy than I normally am, and I wasn’t brave enough to ask any men to dance, but the dancing I had with Lee was fun and my dress looked good and my seams were straight and my shoes adorable. Lee danced more than I did due to the slight lack of leads, and he seemed to have fun.

It did emphasise to both me and Lee how little swing steps we know though, and it does get boring after a few songs just doing the same thing over and over. Need to go to more classes!

On the walk to the ball we went across the wharves and saw a shooting star! It was neat. On the way home we saw drunk teenage girls. No penguins at all. It was a very beautiful night actually, still as anything, just very cold.

Have some neat photos.
This morning I wrote most of the ‘girl and guy finally kiss’ scene from the end of WtWTCH? which I got so wrapped up in I was still in my pjs when Chelle and Jase came over. After a hasty shower on my part, we all went out for Yum Char, which was yum and then to see Hellboy 2 which I liked.

The guy from Bros was awesome as the evil elf, and the girl playing his sister was great too. I kept thinking about Neil Gaiman all the way through, and actually parts of it were like Mirrormask. It was a similar sort of film to the first one, good action, scary monsters, jokes, romance. It wasn’t the Greatest Film You Will Ever See but it was entertaining.

I also really liked the soundtrack and now have ‘can’t smile without you’ stuck in my head.

PoF: Sunday
CO: sleeping


I’m feeling uncharacteristically shy and uncertain about the Swing dance ball tonight. It’s been interesting to me to recognise my reluctance to stand out in this situation. usually I love the idea of dressing up and being flamboyant, but in this case I’m not brave enough. There are a few reasons I can immediately put my finger on:

->I’m new to the crowd, I don’t know that many people, and although the ones I have met are all lovely I am worried that they will somehow be mean. This is a ridiculous worry, so I shall ignore it.
->My dress/hair/makeup/shoes will be wrong. Normally I wouldn’t worry about this *at all*, but I am trying to recreate a vintage look. I am trying to look like someone from 60-70 years ago, and I don’t have a very clear visual in my head of what I should be trying to achieve. Unfortunately Charm School kind of just emphasised all the ways I’m doing it ‘wrong’. Again this is a pretty silly thing to be worried about. I can’t afford to buy actual vintage clothing, so I will have to do my best with modern aproximations. I will do my best and look awesome anyway.
->I can’t dance well enough. This is mostly a knowledge thing, I know I can do what I’ve learned so far well enough but I’ve only been dancing for a few months, so I haven’t really learned that much. This is alright because I don’t have to know too much anyway, the lead does the hard work, I just have to follow.
So yeah, maybe if I knew a few more people going I wouldn’t worry at all, but here I am feeling shy, which is new and different to me and almost dreading the ball I’ve been looking forward to.

I am going to tap on this a bit and then I’m going to concentrate on writing instead. Worrying after all, will get me exactly nowhere.

Charm School was pretty fun, but I would have got more out of it if my hair was longer. We learnt pin curls, victory rolls, sweeps and rolls and listened to a talk about fashion. I bought some setting spray and some cuban heel pantyhose. Man I wish I had long hair again.

PoF: robe
CO: not reading the pre-release draft of Midnight Sun Stephenie Meyer has put on her website. It’s so bad it’s good.


Somewhat Swing this week….

  • New shoes click on product, womens, vintage and then scroll down to ‘Phiz’ in chocolate brown. So cute! They are for me to wear to the Windy Lindy, which is this Saturday, which I am very excited about!
  • My new dress, which we collected from my Angel-in-law on Monday night. Lee wasn’t immediately enamoured of my fabric choice, but I love it to bits.
  • Learning new dance moves, we started a level 2 class at Full Swing last night and it was awesome to learn all new partner-dance stuff. We did some swing out variations with ‘compression’, which is more or less when you lean into each other, a new six count move called ‘sugar pushes’ which is another lean in dance move, feels very weird when you’re starting out and doing it slowly but it looks good when you’re going a bit faster and actually moving to music. You can kinda see them here. We also bid a basket move called a ‘crossover’ and a neat six count which I don’t know the name of but involved the lead grabbing the follows hips from behind and spinning her backwards. Good fun!
  • Dancing with different leads. It’s really nice to dance with a taxi who you know has been doing this for years, and have them realise that you’re keeping up and that they can improvise a bit, and then you keep up with the improv and then they tell you that you did perfectly. *bliss*
  • Having fun dancing to cool music. I really like this bizarre (and presumably well known) song called ‘Cement Mixer’. Its lyrics are very very silly indeed. (“Cement mixer, putty putty”)
  • Charm school tomorrow night! I am so excited about this, we got an email with a list of all the things we need to bring. Must check if I kept my velcro rollers or if they were thrown out when we moved. I suspect the latter.
  • Synchronicity. In an interview yesterday the applicant said ‘I’ve realised you can either have a career or you can be a writer.’ I find that very true indeed. If I had to work overtime, be on call, come in to fix stuff on a day off, I’d never get any writing done. I’m happy the way I have things now I think, I’d like to have more time during the day to write, but I just can’t afford it.

Honourable mentions: In Bruges being released in New Zealand 06/11/2008, this worth photoshop contest that mixes fine art and movie imagery, socks, doing the laundry, snuggles and Holy crap these are the best My Little Pony mods in the world ever. Want the Batman and Robin ones!

PoF: swirl of the world
CO: I can smell delicious dinners

Gigantic Whirlpool

After a completely useless Sunday in which I moved about like an eighty year old, moaned at Lee and was convinced I was sick enough to take a week off work I managed to get up on Monday morning and go to work.

After a Kapai salad at lunch I felt almost completely normal again: no trace of aches, just a bit of increased temperature and a slight sniffly nose. I went to bed early last night to make doubly sure and today I feel better again.

Weird body. Thanks to everyone who sent get better wishes, it was appreciated.

I have finished writing the big climactic battle/breakthrough moment for Shelley and have moved on to the emotional wrap up stuff in What’s the Worst That Could Happen? which is quite comforting to write really, not stressful like difficult vampire battles and hey, I love happy endings, so I’m happy I can make one happen. I’ve switched back to a Moleskine for this last part as there’s less to fill, but I have another A5 notebook for my next project.

I have also waxed my own legs with hot wax, which works a lot better than the premade wax strips and although it hurts a little more is worth it I think. Only thing is, it’s hard to do the backs of your own legs. And Lee won’t help. Anyone got any suggestions?

I finished reading The Emperor Mage and am now reluctantly reading Realms of the Gods, the last of the Daine books. Now, I love Tamora Pierce deeply, but I can no longer remain silent about the awful Mary-Sueness of the character of Daine.

Let’s see: she is special and unique because she is the daughter of a God and has Wild Magic, which means she can talk to animals. Everyone who meets her loves her, all the characters we know from the Alanna books love her, all the new characters love her and even some of the freaking villains love her. (See: Evil Emperor Ozorne who wants her to stay and look after his birds, because she is special and unique) Also, she actually has no flaws in her personality; she is good at everything,she is better than most at a bunch of things, she’s good and kind, etc etc. It bugs me, it really does, but at the same time I have such good memories of the books that I still love them, and even re-reading them now, I really enjoyed the first two. The third and fourth get a bit too twee and annoying but they’re still exciting and interesting.

So, I enjoy them still, but I’m really looking forward to re-reading the Kelladry books more. Kell is awesome *and* she has flaws.

PoF: Destination Earth
CO: EFT and finishing my longhand first draft

seriously WTF?

So, I had been tootling along and slowly getting better from my cold. Still have runny nose, still have the odd cough. Yesterday morning I woke up with achey legs and went off my food halfway through brunch.
Came home and had a nap and some panadol and the legs ache was gone, all good. Then in the evening I started feeling….off. No energy at all, distinct weakness in my limbs. I watched a DVD from the couch and fought to stay awake, eventually ended up completely horizontal and kind of moany.

Got into bed and had serious temperature issues: my face was too hot, I knew this, I could feel the flush and my eyes felt like they were drying out. But the rest of me wasn’t warm enough. I could feel that I was warm but I had goosepimples and shivering. I guess it was a fever, but where did that come from?

All night I dreamed incredibly vivid things about Giselle from Enchanted which is the DVD I watched, also about Daine because I am reading The Emperor Mage and a long involved dream about organising a picnic to take to the beach on the huge middair moving walkway bridge that leaves every 16 minutes. It included broccoli in a bread machine.

My stomach aches, my back and legs ache some from curling up all night trying to stay warm and although I would wake up too hot sometimes if I removed any blankets I would shiver again. Plus with all the sleep I got yesterday afternoon I want to keep sleeping so that my body can fight this off.
I’m done with being sick thankyouverymuch!

PoF: still sleepy
CO: water

Romeo and Juliet

Unexpectedly I was taken to the ballet last night. Big thanks to Sokky and her mother-in-law-to-be for taking me!

It was the Royal NZ ballet doing Romeo and Juliet and it was divine.

I love the music, Prokofiev’s score is so full of my favourite classical pieces of all time that it’s a delight just to listen to. The story was set in Italy with inspiration from La Vie e Bella as well as Baz Luhrman’s movie (a little bit) and the set design was lovely, crisp and pretty and to the point. The costumes were also lovely with calculated use of bright red to highlight important characters.

Amy Hollingsworth danced Juliet and she was perfection, she just inhabited the role completely. Romeo was also good, but I kind of preferred the dancing of Benvolio and Mercutio. Mercutio was basically Puck, which was a little unexpected but made sense. His comedic stuff was awesome.

I figured out it was at least the fourth time I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet danced, and I have enjoyed it every single time. Here’s what I remember about the previous shows:

– The time Ou Lou danced Romeo, the setting was period Elizabethan.
– The Russian Opera ballet performed it set in a facist regime with Orwellian big brother stuff going on
– A couple of years ago with some one very hot playing Romeo and some of the same set as the current performance.

Today I have written a whole lot more new stuff. I have gone back to the smaller MoleSkine notebook since I’m coming up to the end of the story, so page numbers are less impressive. I have however now completed the epic final battle against the Big Bads.

I have also had brunch out at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen and behaved badly to Lee, because I needed a nap. He went to play soccer and I had a nap. I feel kind of awesome now.

PoF: Rock Princess World Tour, thank you Giffy!

Things I Love Thursday

  • Old Tori songs. It had been ages since I listened to Scarlet�s Walk and when I put it on again it was like I was seeing an old friend again. The melodies, the lyrics, the gently measured percussion. It all filled me with happiness.
  • OK, I�m really new to it, but I have to mention EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). As I�ve said I think they do work, even if it�s just because you are admitting to yourself that there is a problem and you are telling yourself that you love and forgive yourself. I can�t remember ever saying those things out loud to myself before. The first time I tried it, using Gala�s demo video I actually teared up a bit the first time I said �I deeply and fully love and forgive myself�. Why are we so mean to ourselves? We have to live with ourselves all the time! Plus, I�ve been super productive writing since I tapped on it.
  • Olympic….humour video of a gymnast taking it to the streets.
    ….prettiness photo of the moon and the torch.
    …fashion? Lucy Liu‘s fashion spread is all sorts of awesome. I especially want the archery outfit and the Javelin red dress.

  • Web stuff….News reporting of lost turtles!
    Whipping this happens in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. Kinda.

    From Svend Oktapodi, a short romantic action movie starring octopuses. It won the best PC animated short last year and is pretty darn adorable.

Honourable mentions: Lemon Barley cordial (hot and cold), warm feet, my friends, being productive writing wise, assembling outfits for my Winding City character, Nick saying ‘Jesus’, Burger Fuel being so very close and so very delicious, presents from Giffy, sunshine on the couch that I can bask in.

PoF: comfy
CO: my feet are cold

What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

Sneak preview! This is just a wee excerpt of one of my main character Shelley’s tangents. The book is written from her perspective, so this happens a lot, and she worries, a lot.*

Shelley is a superhero and in this scene, well, her superteam ain’t doing so hot.

So there we were: trapped and in deadly peril. I hoped Jordan’s back up would arrive soon. I wondered if I’d put on clean underwear under my costume. I actually couldn’t remember, I might have just left yesterday’s on from last night. Which would mean that I had been wearing the same undies for like, 48 hours. Gross.

My Mum would be so disappointed in me if I died in old knickers.
What was it about that anyway? Why does it matter if you have clean underwear on when you die? You still end up dead. Okay so the Emergency Services people might, maybe think you were a slob if they were stripping your body and somehow realised that the underwear you had on wasn’t freshly laundered that day, but so what? You were, by that stage, kind of past caring about it. I mean, I don’t know what happens when you die, maybe you move on to your final reward or maybe you just stop altogether but I highly doubt that you are hanging around in spectral form worrying about what the paramedics think of the state of your undergarments.
This is what I was thinking as I was threatened with death by vampire bite. There really is something wrong with me.

So, hope you liked it!
*Note to self, EFT tap on ‘Even though I have a worst case scenario brain….’! OMG do it now.
ETA: I just wrote another 11 pages of new stuff and am keen to keep going. Go the EFT! I also spread the EFT mania to my extended family. (Mother in law and sister in law)

Starting out with Scrapbooking

Sam sent me this request, I figured I could get a post out of it:

I have been meaning to ask you for some time. I want to do a scrapbook for Ayla about her first year and I have no idea were to start or what to get. Can you help me with some ideas etc.
I would recommend starting with some inspiration. Get some scrapbooking ‘hot to’ books out from the library. I can recommend especially the Enclyclopedia or scrapbooking by Creative Keepsakes magazine, Cathy Zielske’s Clean and Simple scrapbooking books and the magazines Creative Keepsakes and Scrapbooking Memories.

Have a look through the books and magazines and decide what kind of style appeals to you; do you like lots of stuff going on in a page or do you like it to be more streamlined? Maybe make some notes about things you especially like to use later. What colours you prefer is also worth thinking about.

Once you have an idea of the kinds of pages you want to produce go to a scrapbooking store. My ‘local’ is Craft House on Thorndon Quay. There are also great shops in Paraparaumu Beach and Waikanae. You can also get supplies at Spotlight, Whitcoulls and The Warehouse.

Pick out an album in a size you feel comfortable with, if it’s your first album, for a finite project, like Ayla’s first year there’s no reason why you couldn’t get a cute little 8 x 8 (that’s inches) sized album or an A4 sized one. I generally work on the standard 12 x 12 format because you can fit so much onto each page, but these albums do get heavy pretty quickly.

Pick out papers in the colours you like, matching stickers, acid free adhesives, ribbon, anything that appeals. This is where scrapbooking gets expensive, there’s just so much pretty pretty stuff available.
When you come to start your first scrapbook page, choose a photo or group of photos that you really love and play around with how they look on different papers, what accents/accessories you want to put with it. Scrapbooking pages usually have a title and a wee bit of journalling explaining something about the pictures, it’s good to get detail into the journalling and record your personal experiences in there as well.
There are whole books about journalling, so I won’t go too far into it here. I like to make sure I’ve named everyone on the page, put in the date and info about the event (Turkey dinner, November 17th, Giffy and Beau, for example) and then maybe explain the whys, wheres, hows, if they are interesting.

Things to remember when you are starting out:
->Nothing is set in stone. You can always add more later, you can always pull your photo off and start again, if you make a mistake you can cover it up with a sticker.
->There’s no right or wrong way to do it, just make how you like it.
->Have fun!
->Show other people, it’s a little but surprising sometimes just how much other people can enjoy looking through your scrapbooks, but it is very rewarding when they do!

Some links:
NZ scrapbook is a shop in Auckland but you can shop online via their website. Navigate using the categories menu on the left hand side.
The Paper Peacock which you used to be able to order pretty things from but not so much now. Great layout galleries though.
Scrapbooking supplies on Trade Me, a great source of all sorts of bits and pieces, just do a price compare before you buy 🙂

Tuesday of unexpectedness

I had expected to be well enough to go back to work today, but it didn’t turn out so good. Still with the brain fuzz, nose running and now gunk coughing up! Last night I was still pretty bad as well, so I figure one more day at home to really kick this bug and then I will be well again.

I’m pleased I did because I ended up reading all about EFT and trying out some ‘tapping’ and I don’t know if it’s had any effect, but I feel good about it, so that’s a reason to keep doing it.

EFT I learned through Gala Darling and the website for the guy who invented/refined it here. I was encouraged to do so by Sokky’s report that it had worked for her mother. (I *heart* Sokky’s mother. And Sokky too.)

Actually, I lie, I have had a benefit from it. I’ve been frustrated with myself not writing anything new since last Monday, so I tapped on ‘even though I am not motivated to finish my novel I love and accept myself’ and this afternoon, between drinks breaks, coughing and snot removal I wrote 16 new pages (A5 notebook) of stuff. I usually manage an average of 6 pages of new stuff and am pleased with myself if I get to 10-12 so 16 was an impressive effort. So, maybe this EFT does really work.

I also received a gift in the mail, so happy happy Jenni! I wrote Giffy a love letter, partly to expand on Things I Love Thursday (you know, dwell on the good stuff) and partly because she had written one to me, and her responses to that were lovely. Made me cry a little wee bit. I’m surprised, but her being on the other side of the world has made us even closer I think, because our letter writing is so open and honest, not so much like when we were writing letters in university and it was all “and then I went to a dance, and then I went to a movie, psychology class is fun!!!!”

Also, she sent me a kick-ass tshirt that says ‘Rock Princess World Tour’ on it. Giffy is hereby made of win. And a postcard from Erik! With a hilarious tiny cartoon strip on it! I LOLed.

I also LOLed at this write up on Defamer about how Dan Radcliffe has dyspraxia. Love love love that article writer. (Link from cleolinda. Really need to work out some new sources!)

I leave you with this video, animated poetry by Billy Collins, called ‘Forgetfulness’ and the promise that if you are very good I will post a sneak preview of What’s the Worst That Could Happen? on this blog tomorrow.

PoF: Brown
CO: being a writer