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In Tribute to a Legend

Anne McCaffery died Monday, at the age of 85.

I'm pretty sure my entire family has read or listened to at least a few of Anne McCaffery's stories. (Some family members prefer a book on tape to one in the hand.)
I think my first encounter with her stories was in about eighth grade, when I found "Dragonsdawn" in my parents' collection of books (both are avid sci-fi/fantasy fans). I read the back, then sat down and started reading the whole thing, and I was immediately hooked. Over the course of the year, I gobbled up every Pern book I could find, entranced by the idea of dragons, and wishing I could Impress a fire lizard of my own (I didn't have a good place to be a home for a dragon, but if I could have gone to Benden Weyr...)
Pern has always been my favorite of the worlds Anne McCaffery created, but it is by no means the only one I read about. I've read at least part of nearly every series she's written (though somehow I keep missing The Ship Who Sang and the rest of that series...). For a long time her Talents series shaped my view of psychics (this only changed slightly when I read ParaNormal, which my husband finally completed last fall). I've always thought of intersteller travel the way she described it in various books, rather than having much to do with the way things are in Star Trek or Star Wars. Her way was so much cooler and more interesting, and felt somehow almost more realisic. (As much as star travel is realistic...)
I am not really sure what all I can say, or what might make a fitting tribute. How do I describe the awe with which I regard the writer who first introduced me to Dragons? I don't know if I have to words to craft a decent tribute, so I suppose that this shall have to do. Oh, and klah, or at least cinnamon coffee. Pern has always been my favorite, after all...

NaNoWriMo

~_~* I have been reading too much RK fanfic lately. ~_~* My characters (in my NaNo story) are starting to develop odd amounts of similarities to RK characters. ~_~* 
Daluin (MC) is like Kenshin (small-ish, quiet, almost overly polite). Miril (Daluin's best friend) is like Sano (tall, loud, brash, and womanizing).
And I just made a remark (to my husband) that Lissa (FMC's younger sister) is "like Misao". 

~_~* I probably ought to cut back on reading fanfic....

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This.... is rather crazy, actually. It snowed on Saturday. And I do not mean just a little snow, or an ordinary 'first snowfall'. This was a long storm (it started before Archi went to work and was still going when he came home) which dropped several inches of thick, wet, HEAVY snow.
Thing is, it's so early in the season that most of the trees still have most of their leaves--or did. So of course the snow got caught more than normal, and the trees not being ready for winter... there are a LOT of downed branches and even whole trees that snapped or fell.
I had a bit of a scare while Archi was at work. There's a big tree out in front of our house that's right next to the electric pole, and hangs over the wires...in addition to at least one or two largish branches that hang over the house itself. I live on the third floor, so anything that hit the roof would affect my place first (top floor). Well, part of the big tree caught fire, and the top of the electric pole caught fire... and apparently the fire department couldn't do anything about it since it was an electrical fire. (My neighbor on the second floor called 911. I called the electric company at about the same time to report branches on/endangering the line, because I had a different angle and didn't see the fire.) When we made the calls, we still had power (somehow). That lasted...um...half an hour or so? And then the power went out and I ran around unplugging everything, tossed things in bags in case I needed to call someone to get out of my place fast...
I ended up spending a few hours hanging out with my downstairs neighbor because neither of us wanted to sit around alone in the dark, especially with that tree freaking us out, and no real response from 911 or the electric company. Yeah, I understand that the electric company was busy trying to deal with a LOT of other people out of power (more than 40,000 in my city alone, not to mention thousands more in other cities around the state) but... couldn't someone (firemen?) at least drop by to take a look and reassure us that we'd be OK?
It didn't help anything that I couldn't get hold of my husband at work. So I called my parents. They....pretty much laughed at me flipping out about the tree on fire (this was before it started doing what sounded/looked like minor explosions every 5 minutes or so for at least a half-hour, until the power cut off) and told me that if the 911 people weren't worried about it I shouldn't be worried either. "Yeah, that doesn't help..."
Archi came home around 1am (this is normal) and had trouble getting into the driveway. We made him look to see if he could tell what had hit the house (about a half-hour or so earlier we'd felt/heard SOMETHING hit the house, but we couldn't figure out where--did no interior damage on the second or third floors and we couldn't check the first floor because the family that lives there was out). Maybe whatever it was landed on the roof, but we couldn't tell--certainly not in the dark. I brought him a shovel so he could dig out far enough to get back to our normal parking spot, and then we all headed to bed.
Tried to look at things in the light of day and realized that there's really not an angle at which we can easily SEE the roof to tell if something landed on it. Friends of ours who have a house in another town invited us over to share warmth (they had no power, but they have a wood-burning fireplace which would at least provide heat). So we hung out there for most of the day, sharing food and warmth and having fun, chatting... it was good.
Curled up last night with more cold darkness, and woke up again to a freezing apartment with no power. It's not just us, the whole street has no power...even the traffic lights on the on-ramp are out. (We live by an on-ramp for the highway.) I poked around a bit, getting dressed as quick as I could manage, digging out a suitcase and some clothes and whatnot for a couple days (so I'd be able to go stay somewhere warmer) and Archi stayed curled up under the covers, going "I dun wanna get up, is too cold". I finally got him out of bed, and we decided we'd better go run our errands (downtown had power so we didn't have any trouble doing a bank run) and find someplace to get some hot food. We dumped off library books, hit the banks, and then went to the bookstore hoping to get online for a bit (and get food at the cafe). Food was good....and the internet decided it did not want to cooperate with Archi. However, his mother had fortunately gotten power back last night, so we went over there and he was able to get online enough to tell people he was out of commission--possibly for the whole week.
So for the moment I'm hanging out at my mother-in-law's house, where there is warm and power and internet...and kitties who might possibly let me pet them if they wander into the living room. I am hoping the power at home comes back soon....but at the same time I'm worried about what might happen with that tree when the power does come back on....
And yes, according to the paper it might easily be a whole week before we get power again. Here's hoping it doesn't take that long. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and beginning the month with no electricity is going to be....interesting to say the least. Oh well. Pen and paper and flashlights still work....

Devious Journal Entry


Eyes coloured
by ~miakakiri on deviantART

So this is a coloured version. Not sure I'm entirely happy with how Brin's hair came out. The colouring is based on the description in the book--Brin is described as being the spitting image of her mother twenty years before. Jair, on the other hand, is described as being more elven in his features, so I used that in colouring him. Not having all the books available, I couldn't really look up any older images, and there aren't any pictures in Wishsong (at least the copy I borrowed from the library) of Jair's face. Yeah, I gave Brin bangs, mostly because I couldn't figure out how to draw a face without any bangs.  Overall, I think I'm starting to get better with Photoshop. Once I figure out how to scan the original drawing in full-size, I'll redo it. The scanner cut some of the edges off.
Bah, it gives such a small picture in the journal entry, the actual picture is much larger.

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Theme #37: Eyes


Eyes lineart
by ~miakakiri on deviantART



This piece is part of the 100 themes challenge I decided to do, theme #37 Eyes. It's based on The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks, specifically because of a particular quote that popped into my head when I was thinking of what to do with various themes. This sorta took over and would not leave me alone, so I HAD to draw it.
The quote that inspired this is thus: (edited to just speech)
"Would you have me tell you of the eyes--eyes that follow you, eyes that seek you out at every turn? Love sees you in those eyes when they are the eyes that command the crystal. But dark intent sees you likewise when the eyes are sightless and born of your own birthright." Grimpond to Brin Ohmsford.

Yeah it's nowhere near finished, this is just the lineart, and my scanner messed it up a bit because the image is larger than the scanner surface. I drew it using up the entire page of my 9x12 sketchbook, and I think the scanner's only equipped to handle 8x11, so... yeah, it didn't quite work right. I will need to get access to a larger scanner to REALLY finish this. I'll pull up Photoshop or something to colour it with. Of course, I'll probably also make an inked copy and see what I can do with coloured pencils on it...

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On moving...

Well, I've finally gotten SO fed up with where I'm at that I am going to do something about it. Something drastic, actually. Within the next month or two, I'll be flying down to stay with my brother for a while. I'll find a job and a place of my own after I get down there, and Archi will come when he's ready. I need to get out of the snow before I have to check myself into the mental hospital. ~_~* Yeah, I know that sounds weird, but I've REALLY had it with where I am at the moment.
I've lived in this same county for the last 20 years (about) and I feel like I'm stuck in a rut that I can't figure out how to get free of. Also I haven't been able to find a job in the last year. I've felt completely trapped, and it's freezing, and I don't care for the cold. So I'm doing something about it. The eventual goal is to move to a city in another state (not the one where I'll be staying with my brother) and settle in for at least a few years. Maybe I can go back to school for something (yes I have an idea what I want to study).
The other part of everything is that I'm not really sure I want to continue to be an LMT. I've lost interest in massage, the energy has drained out of it and I just do not feel I can do it anymore. Not table at any rate, and I just don't feel it's worth it to do all the work to get a licence in a new state for chair. So I'll find a job as a bartender or something, and do that for a while. Shouldn't be too hard.
I'll find my way. Yeah, it's a little scary, the idea of going so far away, especially on my own, but I'll get through it. *^_^*

Decluttering...

Ok, so last night I decided to go through the books on our bookshelves. I'm planning to move somewhat soon, and planning to go pretty much cross-country, so taking ALL my books (I am a distinct bibliophile) would be a pain. I pulled a TON of books off the shelf to find new homes. Tonight I weighed them: 164lbs of books in all! I told my husband the full number and he went "D: That's almost MY weight in books!" (I'd mentioned that I was pretty sure I'd pulled my own weight in books off the shelves.)
This isn't even counting the pile of anime and games that got pulled from the neighboring bookshelf. We haven't weighed those yet. We did get 20lbs of dead laptops out to the car, to be dropped off at Best Buy (I think they take old electronics...) later in the week. We'll have to hit GameStop to unload the various games and the old DS for store credit.
We'll be doing a LOT of unloading extra stuff over the next few months as we work to pare down what we have so that we can take most of it with us. Furniture, of course, would have to be stored and shipped later, or taken in a moving truck. For the initial trip at least, we'd have just our car (which we need to clean out, but that will probably wait for either spring or a thaw, it's been hanging out in the single digits most of the time lately, and not always to the right of zero).
It'll be interesting to see just how many pounds of stuff we can get out of our place....

Snow Day...

I think this pretty much qualifies as a blizzard. The snow is STILL coming down, having started sometime last night. I know it was snowing pretty good around 3am. I think we've gotten at LEAST a foot of snow, which we've had to try and clear off the walk and the steps, and dig our car out of. I came in a few minutes ago from the second round of 'shovel-it-out' and my arms still feel like jelly. I think the major problem is that I am both ill-equipped (I have a shovel designed primarily for pushing and a job that's mostly lifting) and out of shape (this is my own fault and I need to get back to doing WiiFit).
I managed to succeed in getting the entire walkway from the door to the driveway shoveled out and widened (when Archi originally shoveled it out he made a path about one shovel wide, I went back and shoveled at least another shovel-width from the sides of that path). I think I cleared off about the top step and a half of the granite steps in front of the house before I decided it looked a little too dangerous and that I'd come back to it later. I didn't get very far at trying to shovel out the car, not with the neighbor's SUV parked in the next spot over--there just wasn't much room to maneuver! So after a little bit, I gave up and came back inside, rather than throw myself to the ground and let the snow cover me up, as I considered doing several times. Archi made me hot cocca and assured me that I "did good" even though I really don't feel like I actually did much at all.
We still need to clear the front steps if we want to get our mail--not that I really blame the mailman for refusing to climb those perilous steps when they're covered in foot-deep snow that may or may not be hiding ice. At the very least I think we need to get proper snow-clearing equipment.
Next year we're either getting a snowblower or paying someone ELSE to shovel the snow. And we won't be living here, where the landlady doesn't pay for snow removal and we have to do it all ourselves--and we're the only ones who do. Our upstairs neighbors are older ladies who can't manage to clear the walk, and the girls in the next apartment never do more than what they absolutely have to--Archi and I won't bother to shovel the walkway up to their door, we only do the part from the porch door that leads to 3 of the apartments (including ours) to the driveway.
Archi is clearing the steps right now, which kind of worries me, as they're pretty steep steps and I'm not exactly comefortable with them in CLEAR weather, let alone covered in snow. Every time i go down them I make sure to cling to the handrail so I don't kill myself if I slip. Dangerous steps...

Resolutions in action! (or not)


Daluin
by ~miakakiri on deviantART


I really think this is my best work yet! He's the male lead in the book (working title "Thunder's Gate") that's been kicking around in my head since 9th grade. I plan to write it during NaNoWriMo this year. I want the extra time to make sure I have the characters designed and some level of plot outline--as well as to get the villain figured out. Archi has promised to assist me with villain design, since I'm not much good at it on my own.

I am seriously considering tracing this piece to another sheet of paper and inking it. I REALLY like how it came out!


So I'm doing pretty well on my resolution to learn to draw--I've posted at least one sketch every day so far this year, and I really do see myself getting better, little by little. I still have a ways to go, but I also still have nearly the whole year ahead of me.
Other resolutions...still need some work. Haven't had a chance yet for driving practice, but I will hopefully be getting to that this week. I keep sidetracking myself every time I'm supposed to work on cleaning my house and/or prepping to pack things up. I haven't set my sewing machine back up, and I haven't gotten to work on my fanfic either. I'd love to join a gym to work on keeping in shape, but currently that's rather unlikely to happen, so I ought to move things around in the living room and set it up so I can do WiiFit every day at least. I think I need someone to check in with, who will help me stay on track and do the WiiFit every day. ~_~*

Resolutions.

Ya know, it appears that I've had a DeviantArt account for about 4 years now and not actually done anything with it. Well, this year I've decided to take up drawing. Bought a sketchbook, some pencils, and an eraser, and we have a scanner, so I have decided that each day I'll draw at least one thing. Maybe not very good, maybe not much, maybe really simple or plain, but I will draw. It is the practice, not the complexity of the project, that will help me to imrove. Since we have a scanner, I figure I can upload each day's scribblings to my DA account and sorta track my progress, as well as possibly get pointers on what I need to focus on to get better.
Other resolutions:
-Get into shape/keep in shape.
-Get driver's license.
-Move out of this apartment.
-Follow FlyLady.
-Learn to sew (on a machine).
-Complete and publish (to ff.n) "In Pursuit of Justice" (my Ayumi story)

I'll post a link to my ff.n account once I actually get a chapter up. For now.... here's my DA account! http://miakakiri.deviantart.com/