Friday, November 11, 2011

Albedo One, Aeon Awards

The Capriciousness is on its way.  (Deep breaths.  I'm not panicking.  Honest.  NOT PANICKING AT ALL! ARRRGH!!!)

Here's some silly cats set to music.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I just sent Viral r/Evolution to  Panicking a bit, even though I know full well that it'll likely be months before anyone rejects, I mean, reads it. 

Now I just need to finish up Capriciousness' New PaN and send it off.  That one's for a contest so I'll get my rejection over with sooner. *Bad, bad, Crys.  Stop being negative*  I actually have a lot more confidence about Capriciousness.  I have tons of background and world-building in my head.  It's just hard getting it all into a nice neat, short story package (it must be under 10k).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Arkansas Weather

Ugh.  You have to love (hate) Arkansas weather.  There will be around 30 degrees F (about 18 degrees C) difference between the highs and lows for the next week or so (and have been for the last week).  It's warm in the afternoons when I head to work, but I have to take my heavy coat with me, because by the time I head for home the temperature is hovering just above freezing.  Joy.

In other news, I picked the last of my watermelons and gave them to my friend in order to foil my watermelon thief.  I had been saving a particularly large one but it was stolen out of my yard a couple weeks ago.  Last week another (my smallest) was taken.  I had two left, hidden in some high grass that had grown around them, so I picked them before my thief could come back and take a closer look around.  Honestly, some people are just beyond belief.  Either grow it yourself or go to the store!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Let There Be Pirates!

I've pretty much given up on the Yonaguni story. It just refused to go anywhere. Horror is officially not my genre.  Instead I've been editing Viral r/Evolution and Capriciousness' New PaN.  I've added quite a bit to the end of Capriciousness and therein lie the pirates. ^^  I've got to keep it under 10k for the International Aeon Award, but that shouldn't be too hard.  I have about 6k right now and my main character (Erin) is getting all settled into his new life on board (he's a flirtatious thing ^^).  It's going to be good.  I just need to wrap it up in the next week or so, force feed it to my friend for critique then pay the 7 Euro entry fee.  I hope to have Viral's edits done in the next few days, then I'll be sending it off for its first rejection letter. >.<  I shouldn't say that, but let's face it, it's a bit long.  I like it, but I fear getting lots of tl;dr type comments from people...actually I already have! *sigh*  But, but, but, it's all necessary! *sob*

I still think Capriciousness may yet turn into a book.  We'll see.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Never Slow Down

There's this new-ish site called audioboo where you post audio clips.  It's kinda like twitter, only with sound.  It's free and one of my absolute favorite musicians, SJ Tucker (aka s00j) led me over there.  This is her reading a poem.

And while I'm at it, she has a new online "album" of 2 songs...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I still don't have anything on my Yonaguni story yet, but at least my head no longer feels like it's going to explode with every miniscule little movement I make.  It's time I stopped trying to plan it out and just start writing and see what happens.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I'm stuck and stuffy and achy and generally yucky, so here's a Japanese cat video.

As far as translation goes it's the 12 months of the year and a holiday or item associated with each. January is Oshigatsu (New Year's), February is a snowman, March is Girl's Day, April is the start of the school year, May is Children's (more accurately boy's) Day, June is the rainy season, July is the beach, August is the summer festivals, September is the Moon Festival, October is Halloween, November is autumn of reading and December is Christmas.

And here's an old favorite.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe

If you go to The Anime Blog and search for recipes you'll find a recipe for tonkatsu sauce, which those of us in more rural areas will find hard to come by.  This sauce has to sit for a while, so I thought I should make up a bunch so I wouldn't have to do it when it came time to make my yakisoba later.  I did a 4X recipe and it fits perfectly into a 44oz ketchup bottle I emptied out in the process of making it.  (It doesn't take that much ketchup. ^^  That bottle was nearly empty anyway.)

Here's the 4X recipe

Tonkatsu Sauce

1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2/3 cup each of the following:
rice wine
rice wine vinegar
Worcestershire sauce
soy sauce
yellow mustard
1 cup ketchup

Mix it all up in a big bowl (I put the dry stuff in first, then all the thinner liquids to dissolve the sugar, then I did the mustard and ketchup, which also got broken up by the other, thinner liquids), use a funnel to pour it into a 44 oz bottle, screw the lid on tight and shake the dickens out of it.  Stick it in the fridge and you'll have all the tonkatsu sauce you should need for lots of yakisoba and any other Japanese dish that calls for it.

Thank you Rachel of The Anime Blog for all the recipes!


Well, the netbook showed up yesterday, even though the tracker said it wouldn't.  USPS left it in the usual hiding spot and ran while I slept.  It's functional, though typing on the tiny little keyboard is challenging.  If nothing else, the apostrophe is in the wrong place.  I haven't managed to put Ubuntu onto it yet.  There is a forum thread over there 121 pages long on the subject.  The method required is technical enough that I may never attempt it.

There is one thing it can do that no other computer I've ever had could do . . . it fits in my purse!

For now, at least, I'll work with the extremely basic (Blogger's interface has more formatting options!) WordPad that's pre-installed on it.  It uses .txt files, and I can go back and forth between it and OpenOffice on my laptop (though I would prefer something that used .odt as OpenOffice and the Writer program that is part of Ubuntu does).

Poor little thing can't handle modern Flash at all, and can't be updated, which means no YouTube.  Of course that's why I wanted to change the OS.  Thankfully, I knew from the start that it was a super basic little thing.  (What do you expect for $60?)  I bought it for writing at work without pencil and paper, that's all, and it can do that, if only just.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I've gone from this.... this.

Why? Because USPS is a tease.  The tracking has said I'd get my new netbook today...until today came and now they say it will be tomorrow.  Somehow it took it 6 hrs to make a 1.5 hr journey.  Now I work in distribution, so I understand...really.  It's just that they went and got my hopes up. *pout*  The worst part is that my work week starts tonight at midnight for my half shift (6 hours as opposed to the 12 I work Fri-Sun), so I would have had time to mess around with it if it came today.  When it comes tomorrow, I will be asleep (or should be).  I know full well that I'll be up and messing around with it before work. *sigh*

All that being said, I should finally go to sleep instead of staying awake waiting for something that's not going to show.  I do still have work tonight.  I'm going to throw my work clothes in the wash and do just that.

From Wikipedia: Urashima Taro

I got lazy and found the Wiki entry for the story instead of finding the Japanese language one floating around in my library somewhere.

The following is a direct cut and paste.  Love the pics. ^^

One day a young fisherman named Urashima Tarō is fishing when he notices a group of children torturing a small turtle. Tarō saves it and lets it to go back to the sea. The next day, a huge turtle approaches him and tells him that the small turtle he had saved is the daughter of the Emperor of the Sea, Ryūjin, who wants to see him to thank him. The turtle magically gives Tarō gills and brings him to the bottom of the sea, to the Palace of the Dragon God (Ryūgū-jō). There he meets the Emperor and the small turtle, who was now a lovely princess, Otohime.
Urashima Tarō illustration by Edmund Dulac
Tarō stays there with her for a few days, but soon wants to go back to his village and see his aging mother, so he asks Otohime permission to leave. The princess says she is sorry to see him go, but wishes him well and gives him a mysterious box called tamatebako which will protect him from harm but which she tells him never to open. Tarō grabs the box, jumps on the back of the same turtle that had brought him there, and soon is at the seashore.
When he goes home, everything has changed. His home is gone, his mother has vanished, and the people he knew are nowhere to be seen. He asks if anybody knows a man called Urashima Tarō. They answer that they had heard someone of that name had vanished at sea long ago. He discovers that 300 years have passed since the day he left for the bottom of the sea. Struck by grief, he absent-mindedly opens the box the princess had given him, from which bursts forth a cloud of white smoke. He is suddenly aged, his beard long and white, and his back bent. From the sea comes the sad, sweet voice of the princess: "I told you not to open that box. In it was your old age ..."


As always with folklore, there are many different versions of this extremely famous story. In one, for example, there were three drawers in the box. After he turned into an old man he found a mirror, then took the body of a crane when touched by a crane feather from the last box, in another he ate a magic pill that gave him the ability to breathe underwater. In another version, he is swept away by a storm before he can rescue the turtle. Also, there is a version in which he dies in the process of aging (his body turns into dust), as no one can live 300 years.


Statue of Urashima Tarō in Mitoyo, Kagawa
A shrine on the western coast of the Tango Peninsula in northern Kyoto Prefecture, named Urashima Jinja, contains an old document describing a man, Urashimako, who left his land in 478 A.D. and visited a land where people never die. He returned in 825 A.D. with a Tamatebako. Ten days later he opened the box, and a cloud of white smoke was released, turning Urashimako into an old man.
Later that year, after hearing the story, Emperor Junna ordered Ono no Takamura to build a shrine to commemorate Urashimako's strange voyage, and to house the Tamatebako and the spirit of Urashimako.

Some four-kanji idioms are even officially child's play | The Japan Times Online

Some four-kanji idioms are even officially child's play | The Japan Times Online

Though I've been a bit (more than a bit) lax in my studies lately, I love learning new kanji.  (Yes, I'm nuts.)

One of my fave yojijukugo is one of the few that has a direct English equivalent: isshunichou, literally "One stone, two birds".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More on Yonaguni

It's official.  My brain is fried.  Too. Much. Information.  But oooh, the possibilities here.  Do I attack it from the ancient past or from the point of view of an archeologist who gets drawn into an underwater  world of DOOM?  *snort, giggle*  Was it built by humans?  Aliens?  Dragons?  There is always the tale of the Water Dragon's underwater palace...need to find it, but I think I only have it in Japanese and I am way too brain fried for that right now.  I am now going to eat a bit and vegetate whilst I process all the information I've taken in today.

I swear that I've already written more pages of notes on the facts of the place than I'm allowed for the fiction, but you gotta build your fiction on a sound base.  Reality doesn't have to be believable.  You have to give your fiction readers something to believe in before you can start messing with them.  That's why truth is always stranger than fiction.

Oooh, just found old episodes from the History Channel that have bits about Yonaguni in them.  Darn.  I'll watch one while I eat. I love the History Channel. ^^

Yonaguni Research

Okay, while I let Capriciousness' New PaN sit a bit (it's always best to set a piece aside for a few days so that you can look at it with fresh eyes during editing and rewriting), I'm doing a bit of research for another piece.  There's an anthology with an open call for submissions through the end of October called "Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations".  I'd be willing to bet that no one will think of doing anything with Yonaguni (an underwater site off the coast of Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan), so I'm researching away.  I don't know if I can come up with anything Stephen King-esque in 4k words (if at all) but it should be a good exercise nonetheless.

In other, happy news, my new netbook should be here tomorrow.  It was an ebay steal at $75 with shipping and a 16gb sd card.  The netbook is only a 7" model with 2gb solid state hd, but it's just for writing when I'm not home.  I'm going to chuck the nasty Windows CE that is incompatible with anything at all useful and replace it with Ubuntu.  I use for my word-processing, but the built in writing program on that lean little os is compatible it and Windows.  Of course OpenOffice works with pretty much everything except Mac's Pages program.  (I miss my Mac.)  ;_;  Ubuntu only takes up a little under 700mb of room on the hd, where my Windows (Vista) folder on my laptop takes up nearly 20 gigs!  The recovery disc (which takes everything back to factory settings) has 9 gigs on it.  Sheesh.

Did I mention that it's bright green?  Purple would be better, but hey, it was cheap, and with Ubuntu One's 5 free gigs of cloud storage and every other way I'll be backing up my work, if it gets stolen out of my locker at work, I'm not going to be out that much $$ or work.  Maybe I'll find some paint that'll work on plastic and write "dreamer" on it in kanji.  That would look awesome. : )

(Hmm, the smilies look odd in this typeface, I'm going to either have to stop using them, change fonts, or accept their lopsidedness.)

Anyway, the fact that it's not going to have room for games (and that there's no internet for me to tap at work) means that I'll be writing on it and not playing.  ^-^  I'll just back it up to the cloud (and my TimeCapsule and my laptop) when I get home each day.  I've been burned by accidental deletion recently, so I plan on complete and total overkill in my backing up from now on.  Anything else can be replaced, but my writing can (for now) only be found in one place, so I'm not taking any more chances.

As soon as I have a little more money, I'll be putting a bigger hd in my laptop (I'm becoming techier by the day ^^), then splitting it down the middle so I can dual boot Windows and Ubuntu.  There are still a lot of things I've bought and paid for that can only be used with Windows (mostly games ^^) but I'm really digging Ubuntu (which is Linux based, very fast loading, and gorgeous for those who didn't click the link).  I've found a 1TB hd for $119, and should be able to scrape that much together in a month or two.  In the mean time, I'm going to be making room (by way of archiving to DVD) on my TimeCapsule against the day I make the switch out.  Fortunately DVDs are relatively cheap and my current hd is only 160gb (half of it music and the rest things I need, so it's always maxed out), so I don't need to make all that much room.  (My TimeCapsule is 1TB, but half is taken up with the backups from my dead Mac . . . which includes tons of pics from Japan and Mexico and music . . . *sniff*)  One day I'll be able to afford a new one (or simply get the old one fixed) and recover all that.  One day.  Oh, for the days of all the overtime I could handle.  How I miss those paychecks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Capriciousness' New PaN

Done.  8 pages (12pt Times New Roman, double spaced as always) and 2785 words.

Obviously there will be rewrites and edits, though in many ways this is already a third draft.  The question for my readers (some of whom occasionally actually bother to read for me ;_;) will be, is this enough, or does it need another scene?  It's basically just an interview for the airship Capriciousness' Pilot and Navigator position.  Sounds dull, right?  But it's the society that's inherent in the attitudes of the two people that make it different.  I'm going to start drafting out another story in this world.  I may well end up with what amounts to a serial novel, with lots of short stories that flow one into the next.  I think that would be awesome.

Right now, though.  I'm going to step back from it and work on editing that other story.  The working title is From Victim to Apprentice, which sucks.  First thing is to come up with a better title, then I'll get to work on edits (which for me amounts to rewriting).

Getting Started

I figure if I make a habit of posting my (hopefully) daily page count, then my writing will pick up its pace.  I'm rather lazy by nature, so I need to use every little trick to make myself work. ^^;;  So far I've written 2 short stories: Viral r/Evolution  which is 32 pages and 11,855 words long, and an as yet untitled one involving a cat - sort of - which is 11 pages and 4,170 words long.  Tonight, however, I'm going to be taking the notes and early handwritten pages I have from my break times over the weekend and setting to work on a steam punk piece with a bit of a twist. Steam punk is always sort of Victorian, so the girls are in skirts and the boys get to have all the adventures.  Well, in my world it's the other way around . . . well, not the skirts.  I'm not putting my boys in kilts or anything (not that there's anything wrong with men in kilts!).  I don't want to give too much away until I'm done (and it is hopefully sold ^^), but I'm loving it, and my best friend (who is my harshest critic and best advisor) liked the bit I'd written (was all but forced to write) after work Sunday before last.

For now, it's time for dinner (a really yummy, and huge, salad).

See ya in the morning with my page count.  Cross your fingers.