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    Busy Weekend

    2012 - 01.31

    Between getting Abandoned Towers ready to launch, Robbie Burns Night for the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band (my brother’s band) and the Led Zepplin/Pink Floyd laser show at the Planetarium, we had a crazy busy weekend.  I even managed to get some blog posts cranked out over at Abandoned Towers and on Random Synapses. :)

    I did not, however, manage to get much of my own fiction writing done.  Soon, my pretties.  Once we have the AT site finished, I’ll have a lot more time to get on that. (stop laughing…let me have my delusions.)

    Karin’s Resolutions

    2012 - 01.04

    This year, I’ve actually made some resolutions that aren’t “quit smoking” (I don’t smoke, so haha, I did it…go me…etc.)

    • Eat breakfast.  I’ve been having this nasty crash in the morning when my blood sugar drops. Dizziness and nausea are not fun in the morning.
    • Exercise. I started doing almost daily yoga/Pilates on Boxing Day.  I need to remember how good I feel when I’ve done yoga. I am very bad at remembering things that are difficult but enjoyable.
    • Write. I kind of stalled on the novel again.  I’M SO CLOSE TO FINISHING!!!!  I need to get it down, then start editing.  Also, I have several websites that are collecting dust.  I need to get myself moving on those.
    • Focus. I have things I need to do, things I want to do and things that would be nice to do.  Time to focus and do them…in that order.
    • Not be so hard on myself. I have a LOT of negative self talk, and I tend to spiral myself into fits of anxiety over what someone might be thinking of me.  Time to let some of that go.  Also, just because I make a mistake or mess up on a resolution…doesn’t mean it’s all over.  If I discover in March that I totally forgot to exercise for three months, then it’s just time to start again.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Sleep Hygiene

    2012 - 01.02

    Today is the last day of vacation for me.  I tend to be nocturnal when left to my own devices (aka: not being forced to get up early due to work) and this vacation was no exception.  A week of staying up past 3 or 4 wreaks havoc with my schedule, so in an attempt to regulate sleep patterns, I’ve tried to get up early (ish) the last few days and last night I was in bed by around 8 with a dose of melatonin in my system.

    This was a risk, albiet a calculated one.  Sometimes I’ll go to bed early and sleep through and it will be absolutely amazing.  Other times…well…not so much.  I wind up sleeping like a baby.  Awake and grumpy every half hour.  Fortunately, it seems to have panned out.  I (mostly) slept through the night, waking myself up around 0600 (yikes) with a teaching dream.  Ugh.

    Messed around on my phone for a while until Dave came to bed (apparently he’d been working on the Abandoned Towers website since 9 the previous evening. O_o) then got up to look at the changes, write some email and mess around on the computer for a while.  Now I’m going to have something to eat and do some yoga…two resolutions: breakfast and exercise.  Writing this post is another resolution in the can…trying to keep up with the blogs. :)

    Haven’t You Always Wanted a MonKEE?

    2011 - 11.11

    Watching a Telus ad tonight (the one with the monkey, in case the title didn’t tip you off) reminded me of my uncle’s store in Calgary.  Pisces Pet Emporium is pretty much the most amazing place EVAR, even according to other people.  Anyway, the Telus ad reminded me that I really wanted to buy a marmoset from them.  Yes, they have marmosets.  I managed to refrain and just took some pictures, especially since I thought I should PROBABLY ask permission before bringing home a pet larger than a gecko.  But if I did buy a marmoset, this is what I would do with it.

    • train him to write rejection letters for me
    • train him to give head scratches
    • give him the bananas that start getting spotty and I don’t like any more
    • share my pizza crusts with him
    • string up a hammock between the posts on my bed for him to sleep on
    • take bajillions of pictures of him
    • not call him Marcel (although according to Wikipedia, the Friends monkey was a capucin)
    • get him a little Canucks jersey to wear (but only if he wanted to)
    • teach him to play disc golf (and help run tournaments)
    • train him to poke me in the back of the head if I start playing Facebook games when I’m supposed to be writing.

    In a strange synergy kinda thing, today I had my first taste of the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream “If I Had A Million Flavours” inspired by the Barenaked Ladies song “If I Had A Million Dollars”, which is where I got the title of this post from.  WOW!! (it’s really tasty…swirl of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, toffee, white chocolate chunks, chocolate covered almonds, peanut butter cups and probably something else I missed…)  I’m sorry that you can’t have any ice cream, and I’m sorrier that you now have “If I Had a Million Dollars” stuck in your head.

    …I’d buy you a green dress…but not a real green dress, that’s cruel….

    Huh, Who Knew?

    2011 - 11.05

    Was getting ready to write a post for today when I got distracted by the fact that we’ve posted 200 posts so far (this is 201).  I was a little surprised by that, but given that we’re only about 3 weeks shy of being here for a year I guess it’s not that surprising.  Well way to go us.


    2011 - 10.08

    Anyone out there got a nice looking typewriter?  Karin’s wanting to do some author pictures, and I thought it might be fun to do also do a photo shoot that used a typewriter.  Just a thought.  If you have other suggestions for authory props, or author photos that you thought were particularly good or effective, please share them.

    Award Winner!

    2011 - 09.10

    Not quite an official press release, but it is a scan of the information from the Burnaby Writer’s Society bi-monthly newsletter.  Collecting the 3 place prize is everyone’s favourite new author: K.E. Abel.  Note: the K does indeed stand for Karin with an “i”, but typos like that really don’t diminish the accomplishment or her greatness.

    Burnaby Writers Society, Writing Contest 2011: Fire

    BWS’s 2011 contest on the theme of FIRE

    Our judge was BC poet Peter Trower. Peter, who has worked for years as the poetry editor for Raincoast Chronicles and has reviewed a lot of submissions in his time, said he was amazed at the high quality of work submitted for the 2011 Burnaby Writers Society contest, and had difficulty picking the winners. He was impressed to see a sestina among the entries. He knows of only one person that wrote sestinas well, Earle Birney.

    Winners and finalists will read from their work at our September 20th Spoken INK awards night, La Fontana Caffe, #101-3701 East Hastings (at Boundary Road), Burnaby .Readings begin at 8:00 p.m. Everyone is cordially invited to attend.”

    from http://burnabywritersnews.blogspot.com/2011/08/contest-results.html

    Spam Comments

    2011 - 09.03

    I guess we’re doing something right at the moment as we’ve started to attract a bunch of SPAM comments to the blog now (50+ a day for the last few days).  Hopefully it’s not something that will continue, but if you haven’t commented before, it may take a while before your comment is approved, and please do your best to make sure it doesn’t look like spam.

    One thing I don’t understand about these spam comments is that most of the links which they are trying to get you to follow are to places like Google, Bing and Yahoo, which doesn’t really make a lot of sense.  I suppose they could be trying to generate enough spam to get those servers blacklisted which would be embarrassing, but also presumably really difficult.

    Things (blueberry related) I Learned Today

    2011 - 08.20

    Cross posted at Random Synapses.

    1. In under two hours, I can pick ten pounds of blueberries.
    2. One batch of jam needs 1.4 kilos of blueberries (just over 3 lbs…so pretty much 1/3 of my pick)
    3. Giant pots of water take FOREVER to get to a rolling boil.
    4. Despite a) using the right amount of ingredients, b) using more jars than necessary and c) losing some jam in a tragic boil-over incident, there will be more jam than you have jars prepared. (Seriously? WTF? Oh well, an excuse to eat the jar and a half that weren’t sterilized properly. Fridge jam FTW.)
    5. The largest regular sized pot is not big enough for one batch of blueberry jam. Use the stock pot. Tragic jam boil-overs CAN be prevented.
    6. Tragic boil-overs of jam stain washcloths like a mofo. Use dark cloths…unless of course you’re trying to mop up as the jam boils over. Then, grab whatever is handy.
    7. Jam jars that are in the process of sealing hiss, and then POP! Oh my god, it’s actually working! SCIENCE IS AWESOME!!!! (erm…I’ve only heard four pops and I made nine jars that should work. Slight worry ensues…we might be eating a lot of toast in the next couple weeks….OOH! Another one just went!)
    8. Making preserves with food that you picked yourself is awesome and empowering.
    9. Making preserves with food that you picked yourself FOR FREE!!! is even better. Muhahaha…

    Tomorrow, I will finally get to the blackberries that have been hanging out in the fridge…also picked for free by myself.

    100 Book Challenge: still in second place?

    2011 - 08.17

    We’ve been playing around with Shelfari for the last few days, and it’s been fun, although I wouldn’t exactly call all of the features “intuitive”, and I don’t know why there’s spots for advertising to appear and yet none does*.

    Anyway, we’ve created a “Community List” called Random Synapses: 100 Book Challenge (2011) which allows existing users of Shelfari to create a goal to read books on the list (doesn’t have to be all of them, doesn’t have to be this year).  Anyway, if you’re a current Shelfari user and are interested you can do so in the following way:

    1. Go to Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/
    2. Login, or create an account
    3. Go to your Profile
    4. Under “More” select “My Reading Goals”, should be the 5th choice.  More should appear at the end of the list of: Public Overview, Shelf, Friends, Groups, Edits, More.
    5. Beside “Current Reading Goals” click “add goal”
    6. In the drop down which defaults to “Number of Books” select “Books from a List”
    7. Select whether you want to read “all” of the books, or some other number  [I picked 15 as my goal, although it’s supposed to be a list of 100, and 92 are currently identified at Random Synapses, there are only 85 on the Shelfari list at the moment]
    8. In the “from the list” field type: random synapses: 100 book challenge (2011)  [the auto search should find the list before you finish typing, so you can select it rather than finish typing]
    9. Decide if you want to include a timeframe for the goal
    10. Save the goal, and voila, you’re done.

    This will allow you to easily track your progress on Shelfari, if you’re so inclined.  I think I’m still in second place overall with the measly total of 5 books from the list read.  Although I’ve read at least 26 books so far this year with an estimated page total of 15,790, most of them just weren’t on the list.

    Enjoy, and feel free to brag about how well you’re doing on the challenge (even if you’re not officially taking part).

    * not that I want more advertising in my life, but either it’s a new feature or it’s not attracting any advertising dollars which could be a bad thing, except it’s owned by Amazon so it’s probably worth them keeping it running.

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