The Town Square II

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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Feb 28, 2016 2:08 pm

Willow, Sty! It's good to see you both. :D Sty, would your lobster happen to look anything like this?

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(This is how I have always imagined your blue lobster. Blame VeggieTales. :P )

Hello, all! :) It's been a while since my last visit; I've been a bit distracted. In large part... by my new little niece! :D She was born on Feb. 18th, and SHE IS SUCH A CUTIE. My sister is so glad that she's here finally - she was a big baby, 9 lbs 6 oz! Her older brother, who's just under 3 1/2, is super jealous, but I'm hoping he'll come around. :P

We had some really nice weather yesterday - as in, high 50's, which, as stargazer tells me, is a record-breaking high for late February. It felt like spring - so, naturally, it snowed today. :P Minnesota never knows what it wants. Of course, now that we've had a nice day, I want spring to come so we can go camping. The bug always bits a good 3-4 months prematurely, but at least it means we'll start making plans earlier. :P

Wow, how is March coming this week? It feels like the new year just started. While I'm looking forward to spring already, it would be nice if time didn't feel the need to move at such break-neck speeds. ;))
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Apr 27, 2016 10:29 am

*sneezes from the dust in the town square* - or is it just allergies from the tree pollen?

Has it really been two months?

Ryadian mentioned the warmth in the last post, but recent weather has been surprisingly cool for April. It may even snow tonight. ;)) Maybe that will take some of the pollen out of the air.

I can agree with her that her new niece is quite cute, and both she and her brother are fun to have around.

I'm also looking forward to camping, once warmer weather arrives.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » May 21, 2016 7:29 pm

stargazer wrote:I'm also looking forward to camping, once warmer weather arrives.


Yes, please!! I'm not the world's biggest fan of summer, but this is the part I look forward to every year. :D Actually, I kind of need to get on scheduling camping plans with my friends.... Man, how is May almost over? Didn't 2016 just start???

I've had a rather interesting May so far. I've mentioned that I've been working as a contract worker at a site since September, and earlier this month my supervisor offered me a full time position with my company. :D It's been a lot of paperwork and e-mails, but it's finally all sorted out - I'm a permanent employee as of the end of the month! :D I'm finally working a job that has vacation time and benefits and all that... which means now I have to figure out what all that stuff means. Ahhh, adulthood. :P

I've also been trying to write one of my books lately, but right now my creative train of thought seems to keep running full speed into an immovable wall. (That, right there, great example. I insisted on making a metaphor even though I had no idea how I was actually going to finish that thought.) For some reason, May seems to do this to me - I get an explosion of creative energy and ideas, but trying to translate them to paper/"paper" is a nightmare and a half. One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to finish a draft of one of my stories - it didn't even have to be a good draft, just finished - but we're almost halfway through the year and I haven't finished an outline. I'm... thinking it's not going to happen this year. :P But, I actually won NaNo last year, much to my amazement, so we'll see!
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Lady Arwen » May 21, 2016 9:46 pm

* hands gazer some Benadryl *

I feel ya. Fortunately spring is almost over....

Ryadian wrote: Man, how is May almost over? Didn't 2016 just start???


Ugh, I know how you feel. In fact, earlier this evening, I was googling my favorite artist, because last year I had looked up when she was going to release her next album, and it had said sometime this year. Apparently "last year" was in 2014, because her album came out June of 2015. ;)) Time is moving far too quickly....

I'm currently looking at my summer and trying to figure out what I'm going to be doing (isn't that what I always seem to be doing???). My life seems to be a series of feast and famines. The spring was hectic, with an extended trip overseas, and now the summer is largely empty, especially since work is a feast-or-famine situation too, and summer, well, summer always falls into the famine stretch. :P Unfortunately, the more I travel, the more I seem to get restless for traveling more, which costs money. Why must everything cost money? It's so inconvenient....
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Jul 11, 2016 6:59 pm

Hi all,

Ryadian, have you had any more luck with your writing?

I've been working on some short stories/novelettes. They're taking way, way longer to write than they should, mostly due to procrastination.

I have, however, decided to take the leap into self-publishing. I thought putting some of these shorter stories up would be a good way to start, since I've still got to save up money to get awesome cover art before my novel's ready to publish. I've discovered that there's a lot involved with getting ready to self-publish. I'm currently working on getting a website set up. I've got covers for 2 of my stories ready to go and need to get 2 or 3 more. I figure I should also get a decent author photo (thinking of hiring one of my friends who's a photographer). And then I need to learn about format conversion and that technical side of ebooks.

So, that's where I'm at. Does anyone else self-publish, or have you thought about doing so?
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby shastastwin » Jul 12, 2016 10:35 am

Hi, Shawna! Long time, no see.

I know what you mean about things taking longer to write than you expect. Novels don't surprise me in that respect, but the shorter forms always do. ;))

Hooray for you taking this step!

I've not looked into self-pub as much as I'd need to if that's the route I end up taking, but I do know it's a lot of work. I have some friends on Facebook who've done it before and may have some pointers. I do know that a professional edit is key (and not just for spelling and grammar), as is a professional-looking cover. I've heard the best thing as far as formats go is to get your book on Kindle and iBooks. Smashwords is the only place I know of that will put your book up on all the platforms and work the conversions. The only tricky thing with that is making sure none of the formatting goes wonky when that happens (for instance, if you want to link to other books/stories you have up, make sure iBooks gets the iBooks links, etc.).

I've also heard that having a website/blog and/or some other author platform (like a Twitter, Facebook page, etc.) is useful because it gives readers a place to find out more about you, your books, and so on. In this area, it's mostly a do what you like/are comfortable with, but having at least the website/blog is key. Some people are able to balance multiple accounts to maximize their online presence and others (like me) have a bare minimum of online presence because any more would kill what writing time they have.

I hope that helps some. :)
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Jul 19, 2016 4:08 pm

I feel like an excited puppy locked alone in a room.

For some reason, for the past few days, I've been overcome with a desperate need to write a Vampire Fancier story. Why? I have no idea. But there it is.

So, I'm writing a Vampire Fancier story. Not sure how I'm going to post it yet or if anyone will be around to read it, but it's getting written anyway.

[It's set in an AU where the VF never left Ditto Town. And of course I had to create some new vamps.]
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Jul 19, 2016 10:20 pm

Shawna wrote:Ryadian, have you had any more luck with your writing?


Actually, I made myself a promise at the beginning of the year that I'd finish at least a draft of one of my stories, and I decided to pick a specific one and stick with it until the end of the year. I kept beginning with the first chapter, second-guessing myself, and starting completely over. So, around the end of last month/the beginning of this month, I decided to do an unofficial Camp NaNo. I'm not so much worried about getting the full 50K within a single month (which is good because I'm still just under 24K ;)) ), but I've gotten much farther than any of my previous attempts, and if I keep it up next month, I might actually finish this draft by the end of the year. :D This is, of course, not taking into account the fact that I've got other, collaborative projects that I don't want to put off until next year.... Sometimes, I kind of miss having free time. :P (Well, it would help if I would get off Netflix a little more often.)

I've thought a little about self-publishing, though at this point I'm more concerned with just finishing a story. ;)) Actually, my brother and I are working on a comic book together, and we're considering just uploading that as a webcomic once we start actually producing it. Admittedly, we haven't really looked much into the logistics of that, either, especially since my brother seems to constantly be just getting back from military training and we have just about opposite schedules when he is home, but if we ever get ambitious enough to pull that off, then I'll have to see where it goes from there. I feel like running a webcomic is somewhat similar to self-publishing, and at the very least, it would go towards what stwin was talking about with establishing a presence online. I'm not thinking about it too much right now, though, just because... honestly, I too easily stress myself out about my writing and the feasibility of ever finishing, let alone publishing, and I'd rather keep my ability to write for the pleasure of writing, at least for the time being.


Shawna wrote:So, I'm writing a Vampire Fancier story. Not sure how I'm going to post it yet or if anyone will be around to read it, but it's getting written anyway.


;)) I have a self-indulgent fanfiction that's spread over a couple of documents and a couple hundred pages that no one will ever read but me, but it's one of my favorite stories to go back to because I just enjoyed writing it so much. Sometimes you just have something you have to get out. Still, keep us apprised on that - I've missed the VF! :D

So, in non-writing news (*gasp* such a thing EXISTS! :P ), I might be moving into my own place somewhere in the near future. :D I've got an appointment to see an apartment I'm interested in this Saturday, and if I like it I might be moving in as early as next month. I'm really excited about the idea, but also really nervous. My mom is so excited and keeps giving me all kinds of suggestions for furniture and dishes and the like, and I'm still in the stage of just figuring out what it's going to be like buying groceries for myself every week. :-bd Still, I'm pretty excited about it, too - nervous, but excited. I really hope I like the apartment - it's about 5 minutes from my job (I could potentially walk if I felt like taking my time, though that does mean crossing a couple of large roads), and the pictures online looked really nice. :) I'll just have to see what happens.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Jul 20, 2016 6:42 am

Good luck with the writing, Ryadian. I myself struggle with staying on-task and procrastinating, which appears to be my biggest hurdle with finishing (my own worst enemy kind of thing). Do you outline or "pants"? I've learned that for myself, I usually need to have a very detailed outline of the whole story going in, otherwise I'm liable to write myself into a corner, get frustrated, and give up on it.

Good luck on the apartment too. With housing prices these days, it's so much more of an accomplishment to be out on your own than it used to be. Try not to stress too much about the actual process. The main concern is if you can actually afford a certain place and whether this particular manager/management company seems like they'd be good to work with. Personally, I'd avoid any that tries to nickel-and-dime you, extra charges for every little thing. I once looked at a place that said you could rent a garage for your car for a certain fee per month, but it was extra each month if you wanted the garage door opener.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Jul 22, 2016 11:09 am

Good luck on the apartment hunting, Rya! I know that it can be both exciting and a little frightening to live on your own at first. (I'll be glad to help you move when the time comes, if I'm available).

My writing has been languishing of late, partly due to real life getting in the way. ;)) I'll be making a move of my own at the end of the month, so I've been packing, tossing things, and donating others. So much work since I really haven't downsized much in the last 30 years. :ymblushing: And this heat and humidity doesn't motivate me either.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Jul 22, 2016 4:01 pm

I would also offer to help you move, Rya, except that purely based on the odds, I doubt we live near each other. ;)

I need to do some cleaning/purging of my own as well, and I need to help my parents do some of theirs. It really is one of those things that's not really ever much fun and seems to take forever. It is satisfying once you accomplish it, though.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Lady Arwen » Dec 13, 2016 11:05 pm

Soooo, I absolutely love the decorative type boxes and use them to store all sorts of stuff, as well as to give gifts, so I had bought about seven or so on Black Friday, and I just realized about ten minutes ago that the smallest one has "Cozy Mittens" written all over the box. ;)) Which actually, now that I think of it, means absolutely nothing, as it would have to be "Fuzzy Mittens" to be a nweb reference, but it's close enough.

I'm also in the purge and box category of people, but so far it has mainly been books and music CDs. Most of these have been living at my parents', as when I moved out, I had moved overseas, and literally left everything pretty much as I had lived in it (I did, at least, strip the sheets of the bed, but not much else). Ever since then I've been at home or living short term in various spots, so it's been a strange evolution of coming home then picking out the right sorts of things for the next place and switching out what books I planned to travel with. I've finally been sitting down and going through things, and despite having boxed a ton of media items and donated far more clothing than I care to think about, it barely looks like I've scratched the surface. It's slightly annoying, actually. ;)) Anyway, Rya, how did the apartment looking go/did you decide to move?
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby stargazer » Dec 15, 2016 11:53 am

I had grand intentions of purging when I moved last summer but still ended up with a lot of stuff (I was able to discard some, donate some to Goodwill, and also give furniture to friends and family, but still have a rather full storage locker).

I like to think I'll clean it out more when the weather permits, but nice weather is so short in these parts that I'm busy camping or building campfires or doing other things outside (I guess I'm just not disciplined enough ;)) ).

Right now Minnesota is shivering under typical winter weather so camping seems so far off.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Ryadian » Dec 15, 2016 12:15 pm

Wow, it has been a lot longer coming back to post in here than I thought it would be. :ymblushing: (Lady A, thanks for the reminder that it's been about five months. ;)) ) As to the apartment hunting, sadly I realized after the fact that I couldn't actually afford the apartment I was looking at. My mom got me in touch with someone at our church who is also looking for an apartment, but we decided to hold off until January or so to look at apartments, since we were talking to each other in October or so and neither of us wanted to be moving out during Thanksgiving and Christmas. ;))

Shawna wrote:Good luck on the apartment too. With housing prices these days, it's so much more of an accomplishment to be out on your own than it used to be. Try not to stress too much about the actual process. The main concern is if you can actually afford a certain place and whether this particular manager/management company seems like they'd be good to work with. Personally, I'd avoid any that tries to nickel-and-dime you, extra charges for every little thing. I once looked at a place that said you could rent a garage for your car for a certain fee per month, but it was extra each month if you wanted the garage door opener.


Thanks for the advice! Yikes, there's no excuse for the garage door opener thing. Right now I'm still trying to wrap my mind around everything. Yes, now I'm looking at getting a roommate (which I'm already nervous about for a whole different set of introvert reasons :P ), but even with the rent cut in half, I've just started realizing all the other things that I take for granted.... I feel like I'll never be ready, though I've thought that about a lot of things in my life and found out I was wrong. :P

Lady Arwen wrote:Soooo, I absolutely love the decorative type boxes and use them to store all sorts of stuff, as well as to give gifts, so I had bought about seven or so on Black Friday, and I just realized about ten minutes ago that the smallest one has "Cozy Mittens" written all over the box. ;)) Which actually, now that I think of it, means absolutely nothing, as it would have to be "Fuzzy Mittens" to be a nweb reference, but it's close enough.


Well, "Cozy Slippers" is actually a NarniaWeb reference that predates my time on the forum, so I guess it was just trying to fit into the best of both worlds. ;)) (Wow, I don't even want to think about how long it's been since I've heard that.)

Shawna wrote:Good luck with the writing, Ryadian. I myself struggle with staying on-task and procrastinating, which appears to be my biggest hurdle with finishing (my own worst enemy kind of thing). Do you outline or "pants"? I've learned that for myself, I usually need to have a very detailed outline of the whole story going in, otherwise I'm liable to write myself into a corner, get frustrated, and give up on it.


Ehhh... I kind of do both. :P I'm also very bad about staying disciplined as well, so I've tried to do an outline first, but I often times find that I get so stuck on little details while outlining that my story never moves forward. At the moment, I'm so desperate to keep my inspiration going for more than a couple of weeks that I just write whatever I feel like when I carve out the time - a scene from any place in the story that's been bothering me, some random world-building, or talking out my plan for a while so I have a rough idea. It's nice for the short-term, but in the long-term I tend to end up with a lot of random notes and documents that don't really help me when I come back to them.

Oh, but stargazer, we're getting such lovely Christmas snow! :D The last few years have had kind of pathetic snow, so if we stay at about the amount we have right now, I'll be pretty happy. :D Yikes, Christmas is only in 10 days!! I still have almost half of my Christmas shopping to finish, so I suppose I'd better get on that, huh? :ymblushing: I was going to see how much brick and mortar shopping I could do this year, but I may have to resort to online shopping after all if I don't find everything I'm looking for tonight. As it is, I'll probably have to pay for expedited shipping for everything. :P
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Shawna » Dec 15, 2016 4:10 pm

Sharing an apartment, even as an introvert, isn't so bad if you like the person and get along well with them. And, of course, if they're responsible for things like paying their share of the rent on time, keeping their stuff clean, etc.

I've never heard 'fuzzy mittens' as an Nweb term, but of course we used to use 'cozy slippers' as the standard greeting. You guys are making me feel old. (I don't remember how it started. I think someone just randomly said it one day because they thought cozy slippers were a nice thing to wish on someone.)

We actually have snow right now. We don't even get snow every year, so it's a sometimes sort of weather for us. I hope it all melts by the time we have to be out driving to other states for trips.
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Re: The Town Square II

Postby Lady Arwen » Dec 15, 2016 10:03 pm

Ditto to Shawna about sharing an apartment. Fortunately, every time I've shared one has been in situations where each individual is responsible to the landlord for their portion of the rent, so no one else got stuck with it (which was good, because at one place, we had an empty bedroom for a couple months). But I've found that the best way to find a flatmate is to find someone who has similar habits to you, not so much similar likes, and I think most people look for the latter. I must say, I'm much happier sharing a place with someone who has the same views on dishes and trash disposal as I do than with someone who likes the same shows but is continually handling dishes and cleaning (and cooking and...) in the exact opposite way that I normally do.

The Fuzzy Mittens things was a things when Briggs was around--I actually don't remember who else used it. I think it was generally a return wish to Cozy Slippers :-\ not sure.

Have fun with the Christmas snow, Rya :P the nice thing about fog is you don't have to shovel it to drive places. ;))
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