Updatey

May. 17th, 2017 05:51 pm
silailo: (bottle rose)
I finally used that Amazon gift card I got for my birthday. I meant to buy music, but I suddenly lost interest in searching for new artists and bought two books instead. They came in the mail today, There Is Power in a Union and The Six Gun Mystique Sequel. I didn't realize Union would be so big. For the price I though it would be thinner. It's 500+ pages. I can't read either of them right now because I'm still not done with four other books I started a while back and haven't touched lately. I get overwhelmed if I have too many books going at once. And only one of them is fiction. I am a super slow reader of nonfiction.

I got a call back from my case examiner after I called and left a message yesterday. He said there will be a decision on my case this Friday. I have an appointment that day with my occupational doctor, and he said my private insurance would have to be billed, but if the case turns out in my favor then my insurance will be reimbursed. My hand has been doing okay, but I still feel a bit of pain if I move it the wrong way. Sometimes I'll feel it more if I use my hand more intensely, like when I cleaned the house the other day. It felt sore for a few days after that.

Earlier I went to the store and bought a twin bed sheet set and a twin mattress pad. Both are going to be a little too big for the mattress I'll be using because they are made for 12" and 15" mattresses respectively. I think my mattress is going to be one of those thinner types, like the old styles they used to make. I'll just have to tuck the sheets under really well.

My entire family has been getting those horrible "robo calls," or scammer calls. My dad will get several of them a day. I went around town with him today and he must've gotten three or four calls. We block every number that comes through, but they could be using thousands of numbers for all we know. They think they're sneaky by using local numbers, but I never answer an unknown number unless I have good reason to think it's someone I know (like if I've seen their number and/or location before). My dad got two messages left on his phone from people talking about loans, one from Quicken Loans and another from some other place, all in a span of six minutes. He suspects maybe someone is trying to use his identity to get a loan, but they won't get one because he has a credit freeze. It's either that or a scam, but either way he's not worried. It's just annoying. I found there are subscription services than can block known scammer numbers for a small fee but I'm not even sure it's worth it.

Books

Mar. 25th, 2017 04:18 pm
silailo: (adios)
Been trying to declutter my spaces and reorganize things. It might be because spring is upon us that I've had the desire to clean up. This winter was very depressing.

Finally finished Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon. It was very heavy on the emotional side, which is why I had such a hard time getting through it. One piece of writing advice I've heard for creating obstacles for your character is figuring out the worst thing(s) you can possibly do to that character, and Robert McCammon has that down pat. He has put his main character through the wringer--or maybe I should call it a meat grinder, on more than one occasion and it's just amazing to see Matthew grow and change.

What I'm trying to figure out at this point is what direction McCammon is taking his story in terms of genre. These started out as historical thrillers and they'll definitely stay that way, but the atmosphere is getting weirder and weirder, or maybe I should say darker and darker, because it's definitely darker. Like, really dark. But with the introduction of his newest villain, it almost feels like the story is bordering on the supernatural. I think maybe some of his characters and some of his settings are so bizarre that it only seems like the supernatural would exist within the world he's created, but it doesn't, because really these characters are just insane. Certainly the story has a historical setting, but everything else seems better suited to an anime. Something about it reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist (I've only seen a little bit of it plus one movie), as well as a bit of Baccano!. But what really made me laugh were the similarities Fell's criminal empire and background had with the villains in Et Cetera. Maybe the idea isn't very original, but I was still amazed.

Next I need to finish People of the Earth, which I almost gave up on. There's just a little bit left. I just feel like the story is way too long, and the authors recycle the same characters over and over, and the same could be said of the plot. The story wasn't holding my interest. It sounds too similar to all their other books. I hate to say that because their writing has inspired me a lot, and maybe even my career choice.

After that, I think I'll try an author I haven't read yet. There's a reason I buy all those books to put on my shelves, so I have a ready library to pick from when I'm done with something.

.....

Jan. 31st, 2017 05:21 pm
silailo: (she monster)
I should really try to finish Freedom of the Mask. Really I should. I'm past halfway. It's just that the main character is about to get tortured and his friend is gonna die (I skipped ahead, oops) and I don't know if I can handle the gory details. But I don't want to skim it in case I miss something important. This author does a great job of making me hate his villains.

I haven't sat down in a long time to just read. I need to do that again because there are some nonfiction books I'd like to finish, and I want to start new ones, but I don't like having too many going on at once.

I bought some witch hazel today. I haven't used witch hazel in a long time since I started using medication for my skin because my doctor told me to quit all other skin treatments, and I had been using a lot. But I liked some qualities of witch hazel, and I won't use much. I bought the Thayer's brand with lavender because it doesn't have alcohol in it. However, it has artificial fragrance. I thought maybe I could get away with it because I never believed artificial fragrances hurt me that much, if at all, and I'd only be using it on a small part of my face. So I put some of the witch hazel on a cotton ball and immediately noticed the light fragrance. It didn't smell like lavender. I have a bottle of lavender oil so I know what it smells like. If anything, it smells like powder or something. That's all it smells like. I used a different brand of witch hazel before and it had a woody smell to it. So I'm not sure what the deal is with this one.

Uploaded the first chapter of my fanfiction Glass From Heaven Will Save Them. I figured I'd been over the first chapter enough times to post it. Not sure how often I'll update, probably until I reach a chapter I have yet to really edit/rewrite. The story is finished, though.



silailo: (Mingchao gun)
Still making my way through Freedom of the Mask. I don't know why I keep reading these books, they are incredibly violent and graphic. I don't usually gravitate toward stories like that, but I guess the author does a pretty good job of sucking me in with his characters. And his nonviolent descriptions are absolutely wonderful. I wish so much I could write like that! (It's Robert McCammon in case anyone is wondering.)

I bought three more volumes of Oh My Goddess! because I am so far behind on collecting the series. I have this big gap between Volume 13 and 21, and then after 37 things get spotty because I was buying whatever I could find cheapest. I am such a massive tight wad it makes me sick spending more than $10 on anything. But I splurged, only because I'm worried the individual volumes are going out of print as the omnibus editions come out. Every time I wait until something goes out of print I can't find it anywhere for a halfway reasonable price. This happened when I didn't pick up the whole of Twin Spica when I had the chance. Now I have a hard time finding any of them that isn't a used "library copy" because most of the higher volumes are insanely priced. So now I feel like I have to buy all the rest of OMG before it's too late. But then I'm probably worrying for no reason. Plenty of manga titles go out of print and stay pretty cheap, even in new condition. However, I did make sure to buy all of Children of the Sea in one sitting.

I somewhat regret selling off my Trinity Blood manga because I actually liked it way more than the anime and tons more than the novels (must've been Tokyopop's translation, yeeeeeaach). And I enjoyed the artwork and some of the characterizations. But I started losing interest after Tokyopop went kaput and stopped publishing them, and the only way I could keep collecting the newest releases was by ordering English versions from Singapore at twice the cost. So I decided I didn't love the manga that much and I chose to sell them. Hardly got back what I paid for them. [/bitter]

It's snowing like the dickens out there right now, oh my gosh.

Reading

Dec. 19th, 2016 06:49 pm
silailo: (Mingchao gun)
I've been reading Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon, who happens to currently be one of my favorite authors. I've been reading his Matthew Corbett stories for a while now. But this new novel worries me. I really hope Matthew doesn't end up staying in London because I really enjoy these novels for their unique setting in 18th Century New York. I don't want to move the setting to London because then I'll feel like I'm reading Sherlock Holmes--albeit Sherlock Holmes in 18 Century London, with more violence and strange characters, but it feels overused nonetheless--to me, anyway. I also really hope Matthew doesn't join a street gang or whatever.

I'm not even halfway through this book.
silailo: (benkate)
Awwwwww, yeeeeah. Writing is going so good right now. Things are just coming together so well and I just....YES. I love how sometimes I don't know what will happen next or how a certain situation will turn out, and the ideas just sort of write themselves. Love that feeling!

Got two new books today, one used and one on discount, at a local bookstore. Yesterday I went to a thrift store, and I didn't intend to, but I ended up getting three books: one on Indian warriors, one on the Old West (can never have too many of those), and one on Aboriginal Australia. I'm really going to need those new bookshelves soon because I'm even running out of space to stack books. I have a whole pile of books I haven't read yet and might not be able to for years to come. But at least I have a library I can choose from without having to leave my house.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a family reunion in a city a few hours from here.

And I just remembered that I still haven't posted any pictures from my trip. I'm taking my laptop with my tomorrow so maybe in the evening I can get around to resizing and uploading more pictures.
silailo: (mingchao colors)
It's just a little over a week until the spring symposium at school. I practiced my presentation "for real" today in front of my parents since they're the only audience I have at the moment. They may have to suffer through a few more practice runs. ;) According to my teacher, I write well, but I know my speaking abilities can be a bit rough because, like anyone else, I get nervous and speak too quickly when I present.

Lately I've been watching The Big Valley because I'm a dork like that and I like to watch hunky cowboys on TV. I've also been watching Bonanza and Gunsmoke, and on the weekend I'm trying to catch The Virginian on a different channel. TV shows from the 1960s can be dorky and cheesy and yet I still like them somehow. Sometimes the stories are actually interesting.

Been plowing through People of the Thunder, but I haven't touched The Mammoth Book of Westerns because the size of the book is a little too inconvenient to put in my backpack to read on the way to school, and I haven't been able to take the time to read at home lately. And speaking of books, I bought some books from the book sale shelf at my school library, which made me happy because there was this huge book about the American West that was worth the whole dollar I spent on it because it's so detailed and just...wow. What a find.

I haven't heard anything yet about the job I applied to. Makes me think I wasn't selected and they aren't able to tell me yet.

Catching up

Apr. 6th, 2014 08:40 am
silailo: (mingchao colors)
I'm already behind on my reading for school. It doesn't help that I read the wrong chapter for my human geography class, and my sister came over with her baby because she's showing her house to sell. I get so easily distracted. But I managed to read the next chapter in my physical geography book and get about halfway on the chapter I should've read for my other class. I still need to write notes for each one and make flash cards. I want to do well in these classes because I already took a class on geomorphology and another on map/air photo analysis and I really ought to know things by now!

My GIS class hasn't really taken off yet. We're supposed to choose an "internship" and commit to it by some point in the next few weeks. Being an anthropology major among geography majors, there really wasn't much related to social sciences (even though geography has aspects of it that are social science). I talked to my teacher about anything else there could be and she mentioned something about historical archaeology, but she can't find a GIS professional to take up the project. I'm not even sure there even is a project. The only other option I feel would be good for me is one about making a map for the university having to do with demographics and such. I'm thinking that's where I'll end up because my teacher isn't even going to be here this week, and really I can't wait around for something to happen, and end up waiting until the last minute to submit a proposal about what project I've committed to.

In other news, I got a few Barnes and Noble gift cards for my birthday. I've already used up one, but I have another $50 on another I think I'll spend online since books are a little cheaper there. There's a B&N in my hometown, and as much as I like going to look at their books, as soon as I see the pricetag I feel a little sick. ^^; A librarian I once knew used to work for Waldenbooks, and the price of books was what prompted her to become a librarian. That and she was unhappy with her current career path (it was something like organic chemistry). It always made her sad when she would suggest a book to someone but they couldn't buy it or didn't want to buy it because it was too expensive. I just don't know how brick-and-mortar bookstores stay in business without a website that offers cheaper prices. But then you have to pay shipping and sometimes tax and by then you might as well have just gone to the store and paid full retail.

So far I've bought The Mammoth Book of Westerns, Wagon West: Washington!, and Heart of the West (by O. Henry). Seems I'm on a western binge.

I've been trying to read instead of write lately, because I feel like my writing has suffered for some reason. Maybe it's lack of practice or I'm just not into it. I'm determined to finish a fanfiction, but when I go back and read some of my older fanfiction, I feel like I wrote better than I do now. It's not entirely true, though. One of the biggest problems I had was head-hopping, and as much as I tried to fix all of it later, there are still some areas I missed, and a reader might not know whose perspective I'm writing from. A while back I was determined to go through and edit a second or third time, but never got around to it because of college. Then I decided to let it set while I learned as much about writing as possible and practice in other ways.

Today I don't know what's going to happen. I was supposed to go shopping with my mom, but now we're not sure we really want to. All the places we want to go to open late on Sundays, and my mom seems intent on cleaning the house. Might as well put our Sunday to better use than spending money.

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