Weekend Coffee Share – 3/12/16

Well, it has been some time.

*settles in with eggnog latte and blueberry scone*

How have you been?

I can’t complain. Work proceeds as usual.

I am happy to say I did win this year’s NaNoWriMo, after last year’s dismal showing. And managed to make it to the All-Nighter we have here. 7 p.m. To 7 a.m. Which I much needed and helped me get over the hump.

But crazy December is on us, leaning into what is hoped will be a much different year of 2017. I refer more to those personalities that we have lost, so many more than seems to be the usual.

I shall shy away from the current political scene. We can all see the new layout of the land. Only thing that matters is how we personally react to the new reality.

I have finally gotten a new phone. My last two were old ones of friends. Woke up one day and discovered phone wouldn’t charge and got hot so off to the store. Still getting used to it. And wondering if there’s any hope of getting the files trapped on the old one.

I still been playing around with the bullet journal. Seeing if can make it work with a cheapy journal before spring for a upgrade for the new year. 

Decided to do my own reading challenge on Facebook for next year, roped a few friends into it. Just one or two books a month under broad genres. Work up to that 50 book one been fighting the last couple years.

I loved Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I saw it with me best mate at a theatre where they bring food to your seat as you watch the movie. I had a good hamburger and fries with hot tea. Glad the Wizarding World is off to such a great continuation.

A friend of mine had a video spotlighted on the offical Wizarding World YouTube channel. He did it on cosplaying Newt Scamander.

I’m ready for a refill, can I get you another?

And don’t forget to visit the others.

NaNo 2016

It is day two of this year’s NaNo. 

My goal is for 60,000 as opposed to the usual 50,000. It will be a fantasy story.

Two days before NaNo started, I was trolling around the forums (in my day, trolling meant just rambling thru something, seeing what there was to see. I continue to use it in this way while conscious of its current meaning) when I came across a posting about bullet journals. 

If you haven’t heard of bullet journals, they are self made versions of store bought journals, personalized to your needs instead of you trying to fit into the proscribed formula. You decide how much room is allocated to each section and can gussy it up as you see fit.

While reading thru the posting, one Wrimo stated how they were going to use their bullet journal to track their Harry Potter word crawl. This lead to another discovery.

Word crawls are devices used to help you grow your word count. Usually in story form, you must meet mini word counts based on the results of timed word sprints, choices made, and randon acts. Here is the link to its page on the NaNo wikipage.

So I am trying out both those methods this year. We shall see how things progress and how long they shall be in use.

Silent Reading Night

​Last night I went to a Silent Reading event, my first. And happily me best mate was able to attend as well.

It was at a local coffee place downtown, one whose facade I had admired from afar but had never entered. The Grand Central Coffee Company.

The venue was quite lovely as the stock pictures below show. We both had the chai, hot. I had a chocolate chip cookie and her a lime bar.




We sat on very comfy chairs upstairs in a small through way. There were around 40 attendees throughout the spacious venue.

It was a pleasant time, with the silence en masse broken only once by a patron at the bar who was not aware of the event and was unnerved by the silence enough to loudly ask everyone was so quiet and were we reading the same book or what.

Work permitting, it is definitely something my friend and I look forward to attending again.

Micro-exploring

I decided to do some exploring today.

Since today used to be Columbus Day here in the Valley, and yesterday was Leif Erickson Day.

There is a strip of street downtown called Roosevelt Row. Kinda a trendy, artsty neighborhood. I had heard mention of it a couple of years ago but had never looked for it.

I had decided to go to some bookstores I either had never been in or only did once before. A quick googling showed up a nice list. A couple are in the East Valley and will require planning, provisions, and actually turning on the GPS on my phone so my body will be found.

But there was one bookstore in the aforementioned Roosevelt Row. It was called Lawn Gnome Publishing and sounded like just the thing I was looking for.

A quick enough trip on our Light Rail and I was walking down Roosevelt. It was kinda what I was expecting from a intention artsy district, but still a pleasant walk. I found quite a few food places, one law firm, and a couple of unconventional business.

While looking for the bookstore, I came across a community garden attached to a small business. There were labels for the plots, the water cistern, and hydroponics plot.

A bit down there was a stand to leave that which you no longer had a use for but could be used by others. With interesting graffiti.

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I almost walked past the bookstore, since it was in a single house that was split into two businesses. The other side was a head shop.

Only one employee who greeted me when I walked in, but left me alone to browse. There were three rooms lined with bookshelves. Tidy but not crowded. Hand-lettered subject dividers made everything easy to find.

There was also small stands for local publications and crafts.

I had decided I was going to buy one book, no mater what. I ended up with four, including one ‘blind date’ book. Also a candle for a friend of mine and a D20 die just because it was Slytherin-ish green.

I am writing this in a small coffee and tea place called the Songbird, a couple of streets down. I am having a strawberry and chocolate chip scone and an iced tea called The Four Horsemen, of four different blends. I admit I got it more for the name than anything and barely glanced at the blends.

I was supposed to be working today, but my manager switched my days around while I was off. So when I went into work this past weekend, I saw my new off day. Hence why I decided to explore (also because the library was going to be closed).

I have marked a few places to look at on later visits, hopefully with my best friend. And I hope to continue taking the time to look around my neck of the woods and finding new areas.

I might not have the wherewithal to do some real traveling and exploring, but it’s all about using what ya got.

As an aside, on the way down, I had one of my ambiance moments. Remember those?

I was reading a book on the Light Rail, called “The Book” by Keith Houston , which is about the history of books from the days of papyrus in Ancient Egypt to the modern day.

I also had with me a unlined Moleskin notebook and pen. Some time ago, on Facebook, I came across mention of a zibaldone.

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I decided to keep one and made a notation in it today regarding ambiance of my ride. And yeah, decided to go cursive just cause it fit.

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(I sit in a train of sorts, with book, map, bottled drink. A microcasm (sic) of centuries of travelers. And the important pen and notebook)

Ambiance. Might as well get it bloody tattooed on me.

Next month begins NaNoWriMo. It went from being a medieval adventure to a Western. We’ll see how it goes.

We have days, moments, that we make into what we want.
Times when events are in our hands to shape and bend.
To give the illusion that we have control
In times when so much isn’t
We can take these times to better, to Enjoy ourselves.
To live a bit of the life we’ve seen elsewhere
To roll a new character and try it on.
To just be a slightly different us.

 

“Gone to Texas”

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Bit of a surprise, this one?

I said before how Star Wars was probably my first fandom. Yeah, it’s actually Texas.

I was born here, but left when I was three. But my family never let me forget where I came from.

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My first tattoo was one of Texas. I do not hesitate to claim her as my homeland and when I talk about my hometown with my family and friends, I refer to it as ‘back home’.

I know our representation at the moment is not a sterling one. But we have had extraordinary people in our history, forward thinkers, and like to think we will again.

But my loyalty remains to the land and the ideals. To the great things we have done and accomplish. My viewpoint is not entirely through rose-colored glasses. I am realistic and honest about the less noble things.

I have lived thirteen times longer here in the Valley then I did back home. And still don’t really claim Arizona in the same way I claim Texas.

“You can’t take the Sky from me.”

Take my love, take my land / Take me where I cannot stand / I don’t care, I’m still free / You can’t take the sky from me / Take me out to the black / Tell ’em I ain’t comin’ back / Burn the land and boil the sea / You can’t take the sky from me / There’s no place I can be / Since I found serenity / But you can’t take the sky from me

Nine people on a ship in deep space, looking for something they don’t realize they alreaady have.

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Malcolm Reynolds – A man who lost his faith. But making a family.

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Zoe Washburne – Malcolm’s second in command. Strong, usually clearer headed then Mal.

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Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne – The pilot and Zoe’s husband. He’d rather stay on the ship, but is magic behind the wheel.

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Kaylee Frye – The  mechanic. And the heart.

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Jayne Cobb – A mercenary. You gotta keep an eye on him at times.

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Shepard Derrial Book – A preacher. Trying to get Mal to see the light, any light.

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Inara Serra – A Companion. Always at odds with Mal. And with her heart about him.

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Simon Tam – The doctor. Brilliant, but not as much as his sister.

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River Tam – Off the charts. In ways she can’t unserstand anymore.

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Serenity – Named after the worse event in Mal’s life. But is his truest love.

Personal note:

Firefly. Lost to us far before its time. Only one season we got of it. But oh what we gained from it.

So we fought and we protested. We were the Browncoats fighting in Serenity Valley.

And then we got our movie, Serenity.

And they still can’t take the sky from us.

“Whatcha Reading?”

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I like books.

I kinda have to, being a writer and all.

But I do like books.

I like the way they feel. Just the weight of them in your hand. The way old books smell.

Then we get to what’s inside them.

The information.

The worlds.

The ideas.

It’s time travel, teleportation, and a mind meld.

They open your mind and tug at your heart.

They become a part of you.

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