Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Whole New World...

Another week has gone by and there's still not much to report. The cats are still crazy. The baby is doing well, and I'm still sewing away. Right now I'm finishing up a shirt order, then I have some spats to make for someone who is going to AnimeExpo in July, after that I have some cowrie shell hair falls to make for another customer - which I'm really excited about because it's the first pair I've sold! 

I was able to do a little writing, but not nearly as much as I would like. Hopefully this week things will be a little better.

And on to the WIPpet!

Since today is the 18th of June, here are 10 paragraphs from The Descendants (6+18=24, 24-14=10) I know it's kinda long, but it was such a good scene that I just could not break it up! Anywho, this bit takes place the chapter after Vivian feels the stone at Audra's house buzzing. She eventually blacks out, and when she comes too, well... let's just say she's not in Kansas anymore.

First she needed to get out of here - wherever here was - before the rest of the roof collapsed on her. She continued to crawl forward, heading towards the door she had seen in one wall. Her hands bumped into rubble as she went, banging up her fingertips and tearing at her fingernails. Some items were smooth, like metal bowls and chalices, that burned her skin. There were other things too; oddly shaped things that felt a bit porous and rough. The image of the skeleton she had seen hanging in her high school biology class came to mind, but she refused to acknowledge them as such for fear of panicking again.  
Then her hand encountered something she did not expect at all. 
It had a rounded tip that was smooth and cool to the touch. At first she thought it might be the remains of a crushed marble ball - perhaps something that had dropped off of one of the statues overhead - however instead of being spherical, it was oblong in shape. She followed it back to where it connected with a vertical shaft, her fingers encountering heavy stitching and laces.
Vivian frowned. What was a boot, especially a combat boot, doing here? 
Whoever it belonged to yelped and stepped back. Another breeze pushed the smoke aside, and Vivian looked up to find someone dressed in what looked like a swat uniform standing over her. A gas mask hid the face, making it impossible to see who the person was - or if they were even human - but judging from how the bullet proof vest stuck out a little in the chest area, she was willing to bet whatever it was was female.  
“Who are you?” A garbled voice asked her. “And how the heck did you get here?” 
Vivian opened her mouth to answer, but the stone underneath her was vibrating again. She could almost feel it buzzing in her blood. Around them, multiple stones began to glow - breaking up the smoke filled darkness with dim pinpricks of light like the stars overhead.  
“Not again! It’s too soon! I haven’t found it yet!” The figure standing over her cursed, pulling off her mask to reveal a pretty girl with short black hair and grey eyes. She continued to spit out expletives, taking various names in vain, but her voice faded in and out - just like the girl was beginning to fade in and out. One moment she was solid, but the next she was as transparent as a ghost.  
She wasn’t the only one who was beginning to disappear, Vivian realized with a start. When she glanced down at her hands, she saw that she could see the floor carvings through her fingers and palms.  
And then there was darkness once more.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Just Another WIPpet Wednesday...

I keep thinking it's Thursday, and that I only have one more day until I can catch up on my sleep, but then I look at the date and realize it's Wednesday.

Unfortunately I don't have much to report this week. The baby kicks are getting stronger and they still freak out my husband. The boys are still up to their shenanigans - this week they learned that running on linoleum and trying to make a sharp turn is dangerous. There were kitties sliding EVERYWHERE!

I have been doing some writing. I plugged away at The Undying Ones some more, but it's still rough going at times. I also started on the next chapter of The Descendants - which is where we begin to get into the time travel stuff, and reintroduce a character we haven't seen for a couple of chapters. Though, the unfortunate side of this is no more Matthew for awhile - except in flashbacks - and he is probably one of my favorite characters in this series.

In addition to that an idea for a new story began to take shape in my mind. Damn plot bunnies. Though werewolves are also partially to blame for this one. Specifically Ossory Werewolves. I wrote just enough of it down to get rid of the itch, and hopefully I can return to it once TUO and TD are done.

And now for the WIPpet update!

Since today is June 11th, I'll be sharing 6 paragraphs from that Werewolf story snippet. Basically Claire is visiting her mother, who was recently ill. Her mom is a bit weird - she puts salt across the threshold of her house and every night she leaves a bag of food out by the trashcan. One night she's out later than normal and asks Claire to put the food out for her, claiming it's contaminated. Claire thinks she's crazy, because there's nothing wrong with the food, but she goes and does it anyways.
Beyond the yellow glow of the security light the woods behind the house were dark, darker than the moonless sky overhead. The stories the old man at the diner had been telling her suddenly flashed back into her conscious. What had he said about there being a weird cult in town that worshiped werewolves? And then there had been that story the other day about that young girl drowning her friend because some demon had told her too. Was her mom one of those wackos that believed there was more to the woods? 
It’s just a bunch of trees, she told herself. Just like the trees in central park. There is nothing out there that can hurt you.  
However, as she slipped out the kitchen door and took the steps down to the back yard two at a time, she couldn’t help but feel like something was watching her every move. Far off, she could hear something rustle through the leaves, and the crunch of gravel in the driveway. Claire quickly dumped the bag of food in the trash, then sprinted back up the stairs and slammed the door behind her. She made sure deadbolts were locked and then collapsed against the solid wood door, suddenly winded. 
Slowly the absurdity of how she was behaving began to hit her; there was no such thing as demons or werewolves or ghosts. There was nothing stalking her - except for maybe a hungry raccoon or possum - and she was simply letting her imagination get away with her.  
But a small bit of doubt lingered, questioning her. What raccoon or possum would make that much noise? It asked. Even if there was one nearby, they weren't big enough to stir up such a ruckus. 
Fine, she sighed. She would look through the window, even though her mother told her not to, and prove to herself that it was simply nothing. She lifted the gauzy curtain and peered through the glass in the door, expecting to find some critter perched on the lid of the trashcan, however the yard was empty except for two big yellow eyes stared at her from the edge of the woods.
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Friday, June 6, 2014

The Preggo Diaries #2

The doctor put me on Progesterone supplements the day after the ultrasound. The next time we saw her in person, she told me that I was one of the most unusual pregnancies she had seen so far. Since my progesterone levels were so low, I should have lost the baby. She had no idea how it didn't happen and just said that it was apparent that this was one stubborn baby who desperately wanted to be born.

In addition to the progesterone issues, it appeared that my fibroid was shrinking. According to the MRI it had been 10cm but was now only 8cm. She still firmly believed that it would not affect the pregnancy in any way due to it's position, but wanted to keep an eye on it just in case.

We nodded and agreed - better safe than sorry after all.

Despite the rocky beginning, the rest of the first trimester passed fairly quickly. Morning sickness did rear it's ugly head eventually, but as long as I made sure to snack on crackers and drink a coke every morning (It had to be coke, sprite only made me feel worse) I was able to keep it at bay. I did develop a food aversion to bacon, which made me very very sad since bacon is one of my favorite foods. I blame this aversion on my Grandmother who regaled me with stories of when she was pregnant with my Aunt L. Apparently she was working at a diner and she couldn't go near bacon. She couldn't stand the smell or taste of this. I think maybe my subconscious heard this and seized on it, because it wasn't too long that the smell of bacon (heck any pork product) cooking made me nauseous.

Also, I was so tired all the time that I ended up closing my etsy shop temporarily, and going to bed at 8pm - something I had laughed at when I was younger - became a regular occurrence.

We eventually started to tell more and more people that we were expecting. We knew that most prefer to wait until after the first trimester is over to make the announcement (since the first trimester is such a fragile period) but many of our friends had already put two and two together, so it made no sense to keep mum about it.

Around 12 weeks we went in for the First Trimester screening, where they do a blood test, and check your babies measurements, and somehow combine that information to figure out what your odds of having a child with certain genetic defects would be. We had done the blood test portion at the doctors, and then drove down to a lab in South Orange County for the Ultrasound portion.

By that point the baby no longer looked like a bean - instead it looked like a normal baby. It stretched and moved around, and it really enjoyed bouncing on my bladder. Thankfully their ultrasound machine was really strong though, so there was no need to drink a lot of water to get a good picture. Then towards the end of the ultrasound, the baby proved that yep, it was definitely a stubborn bugger. The tech was trying to get one last measurement, but instead of cooperating, the baby turned on it's side and presented it's backside to the tech. No amount of pocking or prodding or drinking cold water could make the baby stir.

The tech tried to pull up the results for the blood tests, so she could give us our risk estimate right then and there. Unfortunately my blood had not been processed yet, so we were told to give it a couple of days. A couple of days turned into a couple of weeks though, and whenever I would call in to find out the results I would get the runaround. The ultrasound place said that they didn't handle the results, my doctor said they never got the results from the ultrasound place. Friends and family tried to reassure me that everything was fine (I even had one well meaning friend tell me that if something was wrong, nature would have taken care of it already. I promptly flipped out because who would say such a thing to a pregnant woman?!?)

Finally I broke down and called the state only to discover that while they had received my bloodwork, they had never received the ultrasound, so they hadn't been able to figure out my results yet. I called the ultrasound place only to be given the run around yet again. Finally someone sent the ultrasounds to the state, and the doctor called me the next day to let us know everything was fine - the baby was growing as expected, and there were no signs of any severe defects.

Relieved, I promptly called my husband to let him know - and then I passed out on the couch for another nap.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Of Cat Shenanigans and Strange Stones...

The cats are beginning to explore more and more. Connor, who is normally the scaredy cat, came out from under the bed first. He made it as far as the front room the first day, and then the next day he had supposedly made friends with my Mother in Law. On the third day she caught him playing with the other cats in the house and, somehow, he got into my Father in Law's armoire. Apparently when he went to open it to get a shirt out, all he saw was two big green eyes staring out at him. There was also an incident where he was sniffing around in the corner and somehow walked away wearing a bra on his back. Murphy, who was normally the brave one, still spends most of his time hiding under the bed. He has begun to explore, but he still hisses when he sees other cats, and runs away when he sees other people. He did rediscover the cat tree the other day though, and promptly claimed the top of it as his perch - much to my in law's cat's dismay.

The baby is getting stronger - strong enough that I can feel it's kicks from the outside if I press my hand against my belly when he's moving. Sometimes he even kicks strong enough to make my hand move a little. My husband was more than a little creeped out the first time he felt it (He says he's seen Aliens so he knows that something moving around inside of you is no good - dork). It also confused our friends poor dog - he was up on my lap this weekend when the baby started kicking, and immediately started looking around for the cause of it, never once realizing that the attack was coming from inside of me. The cats, however, are not impressed. On Sunday, when the baby started moving around again, Connor was sprawled out over my stomach and chest. Rather than jumping down, or being confused, he just snuggled against me a little more and began to purr.

I'm still doing a lot of sewing. I actually started keeping track of how much time I spend on an order since my Mother and my Father in Law both insist that I'm not charging enough and keep reminding me to pay myself. Well, if I pay myself $10.00 an hour, I'm actually right on track with my pricing. The only thing that may throw a kink in things is that I've had a lot of my fabric for ages, so I've forgotten how much I've paid for some of it.

I was able to get some writing done this week. I finished up one of the more risque stories that I'll be publishing under my pseudonym and sent it off to the betas. I also rewrote another risque story - I had been having problems with it for months, and had rewritten it at least four different times in an attempt to make it work. I quickly realized that I was over thinking it, and that keeping the story line simple was the best. Hopefully the betas agree. In addition to that I also switched around some chapters in The Undying Ones. Chapter 10 is now chapter 11, chapter 11 is chapter 12, and chapter 9 will be brand new. Hopefully this will fix the flow and the issues with writers block that I was having (so far it's definitely fixed the flow, but the writers block refuses to budge)

And now for WIPpet Wednesday!

WIPpet Wednesday is headed by KL Schwengel. To participate, just post a portion of your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and add your link to the linkee thing that's at the end of this blog.

Since today is the fourth of June, here are four paragraphs from The Descendants.
Underneath their feet the carved stone was still twinkling in the moonlight, and the gemstones that had been so dead and dull earlier in the evening appeared to be glowing now. And was she imagining things, or was the stone buzzing?
Vivian glanced at Matthew, “Do you feel that?”
“Feel what?”
“The stone... it’s vibrating...”
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