Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Delinquent Blog

Normally I try to post something on Tuesday or Wednesday, while my hubby plays hockey, but I failed at that. Now, I’m not apologizing, but I thought you might be interested in why. You see, I’ve been map making. :}

On Tuesday night, I got so absorbed into making my map that I stayed up until midnight. And then last night I was up till eleven working on the same map. But, what map, you might ask? Why, the one for the city state of Solaris.

Solaris is the name of the city state in which I’ve set the Choose Your Own Adventure, The Prisoners, I blogged about a bit ago. I’ve got two wonderful women helping me with the project, Moonwalker and AmandaQuirky. We’re each taking a character to write for and see if we can’t get this interwoven tale going.

Anyway, back to the map. It’s nearly done. I’ve got some coloring to do and than I will be scanning it to share with my coconspirators. Yes, I’m probably going all out on the map, but at least it’s only one city, not a whole country or world. It also took two drafts and umpteen erasures to get it right. Okay so I’m a perfectionist too.

But just wait! It’ll look awesome. *grin*

:} Cathryn Leigh

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Power of Dreams

Dreams and the waking conscious are powerful things. How many times do we wake up with a strong idea rattling around our head? Or perhaps, you suddenly bolt upright because yesterday’s problem now has a solution. Yet, even when they aren’t giving out story ideas or solving problems they can be entertaining and sometime frightening. Dreams also give us insight into ourselves.

When I was younger, around the time of my parents’ divorce, I had a reoccurring dream. It never happened the same way twice but it was always the same thing.
I would be at a place waiting for my mother to pick me up and take me home. I’d wait for a bit and then shed arrive. Sometimes she’d get out and talk to the person whose house I was at. Sometimes she’d just say something through the open car window. But, every time she would drive off without me. I would be left there, standing where I was crying.
Even retelling the dream makes me misty eyed. I’m still afraid of being abandoned or forgotten, just not so much that I continue to have that dream.

Another dream form my youth, about the same time frame I think, is the one in which I died; yes, died. It’s a bit convoluted and hard to describe, but I’ll try.
It starts off at night in an abandon bus yard. The yellow school buses are all park, silent for the night. There is a jacket lying on the ground and, being cold, I pick it up. No sooner do I put it on then all the bus headlights flick on like monsters opening their eyes. I run and manage to make it inside the house. I’m not quite sure what happens inside the house, but there are more people and I think ghosts that chase me. Then it’s morning and I go for a walk with my dog. We head just into the woods where I’ve dug out a fort. Climbing inside we curl up for a nap, oblivious to the construction equipment nearby. We get bulldozed over and die. Now a spirit, I wander about until I come across this amusement park. I can still clearly see it in my mind, but describing it is a completely different story. Take the Titanic, cut it in half and set it on land, slightly buried into the ground. Now paint it pink, hot pink. Add zip lines from the decks to the ground in multiple places, and then populate it with arcade games, bowling allies and kids. Yeah, something like that. So, as a spirit, I float up to one of the decks and meander about. Then I take possession of a girl. I have no idea who, but I’m alive again I guess.
Looking back I can say, my dog’s death had to do with the fact we had to put her down eventually. But the Bright Pink ship, and there is now way I knew this when I had the dream, but the Bright Pink ship was related to my mom’s first boyfriend after the divorce. The man hated the color pink. The brighter and more fluorescent the more he hated it. He also happens to be the only person I hate.

So this turned out to have nothing to do with my original thought. But hopefully you were at least entertained by my dreams. Because what started this dream blog idea was my waking up early in the morning two days ago thinking about St. Malroy’s Forever and the fact that I might get to be a beta reader, and what kind of valuable feedback I might be able to give, being an American adult over 30.

:} Cathryn Leigh

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scared to Write

I need to stop procrastinating my writing on Phoenix Triumphant. And, it really is still writing more than editing since I haven’t gotten to a point where I can merge things together. I’m a bit fearful that I won’t be merging anything together at this point.

Right now I’m at the point where Phoenix is going to get his siege set up. And, I’ve got questions. Perhaps you do too. I know at least one of my followers is current on the story.

How long is the siege going to last?
Will Phoenix show himself to Wholawski?
Will he risk everything to get inside and be with Sarah?
And if he does, will Wholawski catch them and torture them?
What about Ryan, how much of a part will he play? (I know we’d all like him to keep out of harm’s way, but I know the Gods have plans for the boy.)
Who gets to kill Wholawski?
Will York get a chance to possess his brother, Chester’s, body?
And how are we going to get Lady Miriam out of the dungeon?
Will I ever get a chance to translate the God mixed up message she was shouting when Sarah first saw her?

I could go on, but some of my questions deal with wondering if stuff I’ve already written will come into play. Since there is the possibility it might, I’m not going to give you the spoilers.

At some point I need to stop checking e-mail and replying to my Protagonize notifications and just hunker myself down and write. I am just very scared of what I might end up putting down on paper. Wholawski scares me. He really does. And if you read any of In Support of Vervell, especially those chapters from his point of view, I’m sure you understand. Heck just reading Sarah’s dungeon tour, probably give you enough of an idea of how twisted the man is.

:} Cathryn Leigh

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Feeding the Family

One of the big time sinks I do is cooking for the family. Okay it’s not a time sink, but it’s a tough job. I have to provide delicious and nutritious meals that satisfy my husband’s need for variety. When you consider that the kids are 3 and 5 it’s a tall order to make something that everyone loves.

Thankfully my mother-in-law gave me a subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray. Normally I take out that weekly menu and use it one week of the month. That usually works for about a week and a half because her recipes feed four plus and my kids barely eat ½ a recipe together! (I know that’s going to change when the teen years hit, especially for my son.) But, in her September of 2011 issue, she had an article, twenty dinners, One Day.

The premise sounds good. You make five base, long time cook, dishes in one day and portion them up to freeze. Then you pull out what you need, the night before or morning of, the day that you make the dish. The dishes have other, quicker cooking, ingredients to add variety to the meals; salad one day, then tacos, then a quiche.

Well I’ve finally gotten to testing that premise. Yesterday I spent all Day (okay technically half a day) working on those five main dishes. I started sometime around 1 pm and didn’t finish until 10 pm. Mind you I had a brief rest for dinner (plain old mac-n-cheese, a quick go to for tired nights). But, I got it all done!

Eighteen cups of pulled pork, twelve cups of tomato sauce, eight cups of roasted peppers and onions, eight cups of roasted squash, seven and a half cups of pulled chicken and fourteen cups of rice pilaf.

That was yesterday, and let me tell you all that cooking tired me out. I was exhausted. But you know what? So far, in my one night’s experience it’s paid off. Got home around 6:30 pm and dinner was ready before 7 pm! (Normally on nights like that it’s a lot closer to 8 pm, good old bedtime, before we eat.)

Holy cow I hope that’s the trend for the rest of the month. I like having time to play with the kids after dinner. We even managed include sight words as part of their game. Fiona knows them, mostly (we didn’t do the greatest job at continuing education at home, me especially) but Brendan is just starting.

So if the rest of those twenty meals goes as well as tonight. I’ll sacrifice another day. In fact, I’ll make it two days; Pork, Sauce and veggies on day one and chicken and pilaf on day two.

I know my followers don’t have to cook for themselves yet, but hey, now you know you’ll get feed well when you come to visit. *grin*