Monday, March 19, 2018

And The Real Winner Is....

So... a couple of weeks ago I mentioned about needing a new lap top and then I whined complained ranted related the problems I was having trying to get the lap top I’d settled on from Lenovo.

Well, I finally got all my money back from them - money they never should have taken in the first place because it said right on their order confirmation email that they wouldn’t until the order was ready to ship - and on the weekend I started researching lap tops again.

I mentioned my computer wish list to a tech savy friend and they suggested I look at a gaming lap top - apparently they’re not just for gaming. So I started looking at gaming lap tops and I really liked what I saw. Lots of power, lots of hard drive space, good screen resolution with anti-glare, and backlit keyboard. They don’t have the awesome battery that the ThinkPads have, but to be perfectly honest I seldom run off the battery for more than an hour or two anyway.

Staples just happened to be having a lap sale so I went over to have a look at what they had and I am now the proud owner of an MSI Apache. And I didn’t know it when I settled on it, but not only is the keyboard backlit, you can adjust the colour - I can make it rainbow if I want! LOL

I’m sure most of you will understand the need for speed and the large sized hard drive, but you’re probably wondering why I’m so set on a backlit keyboard. It’s not because it’s pretty (although that’s kind of a bonus) it’s because the light in my new office isn’t so great, especially when I’m working at my desk.

Of course I won’t know for sure it’s “the one” until I actually use it (they were out of stock but one’s coming from a different store tomorrow). And I have up to 14 days to make up my mind if I want to return it. For me, the keyboard is key. I’ll know the moment I start typing.

In other news....the writing is at least trickling in. I wrote three blog posts last week - haven’t done that in a while. And I wrote two flash stories and one brand, spanking new poem using a brand new poetry form.

Might not be much, but it’s a start. Maybe my new lap top will make me type faster. ;-)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Once Upon A Time

Remember the Speculative Fiction workshops I mentioned I was signing up for? Well, I had the first one this week, on writing fairy tales. I’m with a great group of people and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun over the next eight weeks.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to revive my Fiction Fridays for a while now, and I figured what better way to start that sharing the piece I wrote in class?

During the class we were asked to write an interesting thing about ourselves. Then we handed them in and the instructor passed them out again at random. The exercise was to write a fairy tale based on the incident we received. We had about 20 minutes or so to write. This was mine (unedited):

We lived a simple life in the wide ocean, and when I say simple, I mean boring. When you’re a mermaid, and a thirteen year old mermaid at that, it’s tedious to be confined to the grotto, or to only be allowed to swim back and forth along the edge of the kelp beds. under the watchful eye of our parents of course.

My sister Sonia was the first to rebel. We’d all heard stories of the little mermaid of course, and how she traded her voice for a pair of legs. So we knew the magic was out there. Sonia decided she was done being a mermaid. She wanted to walk on the shore, bask in the sun, feel the wind in her hair.

“It’s only a story,” our mother tried to tell us. “And in the original version she didn’t find her prince, she turned to sea foam.”

“Every story starts with a grain of truth,” Sonia said stubbornly. So certain was she that she stopped eating. She would rather waste away to nothing than live the rest of her life under the waves.

At last our parents gave in and took Sonia to the Hermit of the Sea. They came back alone.

“Where’s Sonia?” my sister Tanis and I cried.

“She’s gone where you cannot follow,” our parents said sadly.

Of course it wasn’t long before Tanis and I wanted to follow Sonia. After days of arguing my parents realized it was no use, and we were taken to the Hermit as well.

Now the three of us sisters live in a cottage by the sea.

After a few years I found I missed swimming and tried it as a human, but it was never the same.

I can't wait for next week's class - Steampunk!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Passion For Poetry - Dansa Poetry Form

Not only do I have a new poem to share today, I have a new form as well! Be still my heart - can the end of the world be far behind? LOL

Today’s form is the dansa, which is an Occitan verse form developed late in the thirteenth century by the troubadours in southern France. It’s actually fairly simple, which makes me wonder why I never tried it before.

It’s short, only three verses. You start with a one line refrain that’s repeated at the end of each verse, so the first verse has five lines and the other two verses have four. The rhyme scheme is Abba(A) bba(A) bba(A). Easy peasy.

Now, having nothing more to say about this form, here's my example:

Mythic Wind

The wind has blown a myth to me.
He came to me within a storm
I let him in one early morn
He was the fairest man to see
The wind has blown a myth to me.

With cloven hoof and curling horn
He was not from a human born
His eyes they held a silent plea
The wind has blown a myth to me.

His sweet embrace was oh, so warm
A night with him I was reborn
And now we dwell beside the sea
The wind has blown a myth to me.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Lap Top: A Sad Story

I love my Samsung lap top, it has served me well over the last..umm...many years. But nothing last forever, especially in this day and age. And let’s face it, things just aren’t built to last anymore. It really doesn’t owe me anything - I think it’s actually lasted longer than it should have.

But alas, it’s starting to feel its age. It’s taking longer to boot up, a few of the letters are worn off of the keyboard (which tells you how much use I’ve made of it), and it’s starting to slow down. In fact, as I type this post I have to keep waiting for the letters to catch up. And this is after I gave it a rest because it was all but frozen earlier.

So a couple of weeks ago I started looking at other lap tops. Having worked in tech support at one time, I’m not a fan of Dell or HP. And it’s a sign of the changing times that most of my research was done online.

Though our town has doubled in size since I was a kid, it’s still relatively small. Which means there aren’t a lot of places to check out computers. At any rate, I had it narrowed down to three: Asus, Acer, and Lenovo.

I loved everything about the Lenovo that Staples had, except the keyboard. But then I was looking at them online and found I really liked the look of the keyboard on the ThinkPad T580. I checked out the Asus and the Acer online too but I kept coming back to the ThinkPad.

Decision made, I went to the website and...they were out of stock. Figures. But I kept checking and finally they were back. I navigated the ordering system, ended up with two lap tops in my shopping cart, deleted one, and placed my order. The next day I was looking at my order confirmation email and realized I had deleted the wrong one.

So I called them up and you can’t change an order once it’s placed so I had to cancel it. Got the confirmation email that my order was cancelled and went back to the website and ordered the right lap top and saved enough money that I sprang for a wireless mouse and a messenger bag too.

Here’s where the story turns sad.

It says right on the order confirmation that your payment won’t be processed until the order is ready to ship. So when I got an email asking me to get in touch with their accounting department in regards to the second order, I figured it was because I used my debit VISA instead of a credit card. Until on a whim I checked my bank account and saw that they’d taken a payment out for the first order on the day I ordered it. And I guess they forgot to give me my money back when I cancelled that order.

Anyway, I talked to their accounting department this morning (only yelling a little), and everything is supposed to be straightened out now. *knock on wood* Now all that’s left is the waiting. And the crossing of fingers.

And if nothing else, at least I've got a good idea for my story for the Please Hold, Your Murder Is Very Important To Us anthology (about customer service) I've been invited to participate in.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Easier Said Than Done

As you can see by the lack of my wordage summaries, once again there was no joy in Wordville.

To be honest, it’s starting to get a little frustrating. I’ll open up my WIP and my mind goes blank. And the thing is, I know what’s supposed to happen next, I’m just lacking the words to make it happen.

I get lines of poetry appearing at random in my head, only to have them disappear as soon as I have a piece of paper in front of me.

And yet....I’m far from ready to give up. I keep trying because I know that sooner or later the words will be back.

To spur them on a little, I registered for a night school course. One of the local colleges (and by local I mean about an hour’s drive from here) is offering a whole bunch of interesting courses, but it was the one for speculative fiction that caught my eye. It’s actually a series of workshops - once a week for eight weeks, two hours long.

The workshops, starting March 14, are as follows: Writing Fairy Tales, Steampunk, Inspiration From Improv, Inspiration From Music, Adjectives and Adverbs, Writing Poetry, Writing From Dreams, and Alternate History. The way it’s set up you can take as many or as few as you like. I looked them over and there were a couple I thought were a little iffy, but I figured maybe they’d help me step out of my comfort zone so I signed up for them all.

I’ve taken a couple of night school courses in the past, a long time ago. One was at our local high school, run by a local author, and was pretty much just for fun. The other I took with a friend at a different college in the same city as I’ll be going to in a couple of weeks. It was a little more serious, although the instructor was not a writer herself. Still, I enjoyed both courses, even though I didn’t keep in touch with my fellow participants.

I’m sure I’ll enjoy these workshops as well. There’s nothing like being around like-minded, creative people to get your own creative juices going. And there’s always something new to learn, yes, even from the Writing Poetry workshop.

Wish me luck, and I’ll keep you posted.