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Beyond the moor
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11th-May-2014 10:01 pm - Another Spring Update
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 Another Spring Update:
 
- the ice storms we had this past winter felled two of our mature cedars. T_T We have lost a big chunk of the privacy in our yard (and unfortunately, a pair of nestlings who came down with the tree when it fell). Hubby was there when it happened and was heartbroken. Good man that he is, he tried to save the surviving bird by making it a new origami next and putting it back into one of the surviving trees, around the same height; the mother robin wasn't able to save it. A part of nature, but still, it was sad.
 
- in positive news, we hope to open the pool soon—preferably before next weekend (a long weekend here in Canada). Again on our own (instead of asking a company to do it), since it will save us $500. Which we could really use these days. ^_^;
 
- no new job yet, but I still look every day. I have taken up with Pampered Chef in the meantime in order to improve my small-talk skills. I am terrible when I am put in a room with people I don't know *really well*. But I'm working on it! And it has been fun to reconnect with some old friends. ^_^b 
 
- my kids are my life. XD  And they make it a great one. I took my son to a fair yesterday (and we built a catapult together!), and today I took my daughter to Toronto to learn simple (computer) coding through Processing (an open source processing program) with different generative art examples. She had a great time! We are also out to karate and t-ball, often multiple times weekly for each. I live with my dayplanner attached to my left hand these days.
 
- writing. I want to write. So much. Between the kids, volunteering, the job search, and PC, though, along with regular housewifely duties, and my husband's broken knee, I don't get much time to myself. I miss the Studio so very much. I feel so rusty, grr! Especially when I have wonderful people cheering me on and supporting me; I feel terrible I can't put more time towards it. As it is, I've had to give up exercising in order to get enough sleep. XD
 
- my husband & kids went out of their way for Mother's Day. :) It was so cute. I am so very, very fortunate to have them. :D  No, things aren't perfect; but we try hard and we recognize each other's efforts more, now, and I think that's a very important thing to note. I've found recognizing another person's contribution around here goes a long way to that person feeling valued and appreciated. : )  We're trying to instil that 'attitude of gratitude' in our kids. 
 
- my plans for the summer: go home (the coast). I think I mentioned this in my last post, but I truly mean it. I need to reconnect with home again. It is a physical ache, this homesickness. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I really miss my parents most of all.
 
- I am making an effort to go out with my friends to socialize more. This may seem silly to some, but I really am a borderline recluse when left to my own devices. I like it that way; but I know it isn't mentally/emotionally healthy to be like this all the time (and a number of my really good friends have reminded me that other people miss *me*, too). This means picking up a phone. Going to visit. Going out to coffee. Reaching out by e-mail. Not passively reading and 'liking' or commenting on FB posts. Reaching out. It is amazing how scary and intimidating this has become to me, and I realize now just how much what happened to me at my previous jobs has affected my socialization. I have become afraid of being around people, in a way, because I do not trust them not to hurt me. Even close friends. When I figured this out I realized this was completely unacceptable. It is terrifying getting in my car sometimes to go meet my friends; but I make myself do it. (I might be bordering on an anxiety attack at times, but hey, what's life without its challenges?) But I don't want to be afraid of simply going out; I don't want to feel ashamed of myself; I really, really (and this is my spiteful side talking) don't want the mofo bosses I've had to still have that kind of effect on me, even months after I left that godforsaken company I used to work for. So while it is hard, I am making myself get out of the house. ^^; PC is helping me with that, in that it forces me to put on my  'show' face and just get out there. I'll be 'me' again, someday. It's just a rocky road getting there, some days. It'll smooth out. (And as Paolo Coelho [sp?] said, "Straight roads do not make skilful drivers." Obviously, I'm on my way to being a frickin' social rockstar.)
 
- I want to make plans again. When I started looking at the summer and decided I really did want things to work out so I could go visit my family, it made me realize how long it has been since I made proper plans. (Birthday plans turned into a suck-awful affair, btw, which we won't go into). I want plans. I want goals. I want to *meet* those goals for my plans and feel productive and accomplished again. I miss that.
 
- I have loved helping out some of my friends recently. Whether it was being a sounding board for a story idea, sending concrit, or stopping in to help with their kids or their business, even for just a few minutes, it is nice to be able to help others. I try to carve out a bit of time each week to help whomever I can. It might not be much (to some), but sometimes it means the world. I wish I could lighten the load for more of my friends. I am still trying to figure out how, for some. I am not tooting my own horn; I am writing this for myself to remind myself that while I sometimes feel like I don't 'do much', I probably do more than I realize and  need to take ownership of the pride I should feel for this. I am too used to sitting quietly at the back with my shoulders hunched hoping no one notices me and that I don't bother anyone else. I need to start making myself feel 'okay' for being happy to help others, instead of guilty I can't do more. ^^;  (Have I mentioned how awful it is to have social anxiety? It is a battle against an enemy who has outposts in one's head, as they say. You're your own worst enemy.) 
 
- no racing my little Civic yet this year; I hope to make time for that later on. I have some track time booked for October, when I return from the coast, but for now it isn't in the cards (until I have a job again). ^_^; Motorsports. The ultimate pay-to-play. 
 
- I am trying to read printed fiction again (as opposed to living on fanfic; which, while awesome, does often lack the standards of printed fiction) to bring my editing skills back up to par. XD Those have really suffered over the past two years. Time to break out the red Sharpie and get cracking on those WIPs! ("Merits", "FFII", "Competition", "MMII", I'm looking at you.) Argh. >_< Need to carve some time out this summer to work on everything. And finish up the coding on the author's site I made on WordPress. And fill out "Isra" more, following the concrit I received. And get that special tax number I need to publish online through Kobo / Amazon. 
 
One of these days. It'll come together. :) 
 
For now, I'll just sling my folding camping chair over my shoulder and head back out to the t-ball fields with my kids. ^_^b
 
Happy Mother's Day to all, and have a great week!
 
PS: No, I did not edit this post. You get it raw. Enjoy.
23rd-Mar-2014 12:15 am - Spring Update
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 Spring Update
 
- I have officially started writing "Forest Fire II". Mostly planned out; many thanks to ff.net's pokesimmo for kicking my butt about that. ;)
 
- have I mentioned how much I love volunteering? (Especially compared to working for pay?) I do. If we had the money, I would spend all my time volunteering. :) I love it. Especially working with the kids at a nearby elementary school. They're awesome. :)
 
- have I also mentioned how much I love robo-vacuums? XD We nicknamed ours The Hispanola, as it searches for filthy treasures.
 
- it is my birthday soon, and for the first time in years I am organizing a party; this is kind of scary and awesome at the same time. 33 candles shouldn't make me feel like a kid, but this year, with me not being inundated by ulcerous levels of stress, I'm practically giddy.
 
- it has been fun to be creative with my kids: we've sewn together stuffies from random scrap fabric, painted birdhouses to make a fairy garden for the yard, and started learning crochet & knitting. I think we've all needed this 'creative together' time, and while it takes away a bit from my writing time, it has made all the difference with them and their behaviour. We're even taking 'adventure/discovery walks' around the neighbourhood and finally exploring! After living here for nearly 3 years!
 
- since I've started running 10+ km/day (with hills, and now, increasing resistance), I can't believe how much healthier I feel. When compared to the state I was in this time last year, I feel like a different person. :)  In a GOOD way.
 
- almost a year ago, I had to put away Bliss (my electric guitar) b/c there was so much stress in my life from work that I couldn't find any time to play. I have finally decided I want to pull it out again. :)  It feels like a good sign.
 
- Still no new job; I have decided it will happen when it happens. 
 
- this summer, instead of suffering through the stifling humidex of southern Ontario, I think I'll return to the coast to stay with my family. Exploring sea caves, hiking through the woods, and swimming/sailing in the ocean sound like far healthier alternatives. :)
 
If this post seems a bit too... positive?... compared to my previous ones, I think it is safe to blame it on the fact that I have good things happening, and control & choice, in my life for the first time in a long time. :)  I wish things could stay like this. As they cannot, I intend to enjoy it while I can.
 
If you're looking for writing updates, I will try and make a more thorough one soon. :)  I have been working on my previous stories again, whenever possible. I also intend to transfer some of my stories over from ff.net to Archive of Our Own (AO3) when I have a bit of time, too. 
 
Have a great weekend!   
not taking any shit from you, Temari

Just noticed today. Fixed it. I hope.

Also, happy early birthday, Severus Snape. If I had more time, I'd finish the Severus/Hermione fic I started several years ago (which is almost done). And post it... somewhere, on your birthday.

... but that's not happening (yet). XD

6th-Jan-2014 11:20 am - Happy 2014 :)
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Er, long time, eh?

A quick update:

- after much harassment from my supervisor (and her supervisor) after I reported them for inappropriate conduct (including illegal activity) at work, I left my job at the end of August 2013.

- I have been blacklisted by most local financial institutions, and have spent the last 4 months unemployed.

- luckily, my application to the government for financial support was approved (after 3.5 months), so we do have a small amount of money coming in to help us get through the worst of the winter.

- no, things don't look good, employment-wise

- I spend all my time searching for a new job that isn't financial- or customer service-related

- I was writing up until about November 2013, when things became too busy for me to continue

- I am hoping to write more again soon

- I am trying to fit more physical activity into my life again, since I could really do with an energy boost. ;)

- I am very grateful I got to spend the holidays with my kids for the first time (even if we were stuck inside due to the ice storm, then the crazy freezing temperatures)

- I am considering taking up knitting again, and am hoping to get my kids into it with me. :)  (I'll be re-starting from beginner level, and have set up a profile on ravelry.com to look for simple, neat, useful things to make)

- I am still reading a fair bit, when I can

- I am lucky to have been able to volunteer a bit in various places during autumn, and am hoping to be able to continue :) It makes me feel happy/good

That's about it for me! Perhaps more later. :)  

Happy 2014

smile
New chapter from  moor,
Story: Merits
Chapter 49 Title: Chapter 49
Category: Avatar: Last Airbender
Character(s): Katara & Zuko

Words: 2,463
Genre(s): Romance/Humor
Rating: Rated: M

Summary: Zutara,Jetara. Modern Vampire AU. A scholarship-student in med
school, Katara's writing a paper on porphyria, the 'vampire disease', and how
it related to the legends of evil spirits in her tribe's lore. Zuko, a
vampire, wants more.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4016930/49/
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For anyone who follows my LJ for Saiunkoku Monogatari-related updates, please note that I'm making daily (small) updates to the saiunpornium comm every day leading up to Christmas eve, December 24, 2012. All updates are found under the "12 Days of SaiMono Fest" title, and follow the format of the "Twelve Days of Christmas"... sort of. ;)

The updates started on December 12, 2012 (intro), and are updated every day. Most recent update was this afternoon's (the fourth day).

Yes, I am still working on getting "Merits 47" up. (T_T)   I keep losing part of the chapter when I try to upload it. I think it'll just have to be a shorter chapter for now, and then perhaps a longer update on December 28, 2012. I'm so sorry! I don't want to keep leaving this hanging.

If you are not a member of the saiunpornium  comm, I'll hopefully have the chapters for "12 Days" uploaded to ff.net later today or later this week. Unless the upload problem persists... but I'm crossing my fingers!
15th-Dec-2012 11:12 pm - Merits 47 - *crickets chirping*
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Hi all,

If you're following for updates on "Merits", my apologies--I've been trying to upload it since Friday, but I'm having no luck.

I'm crossing my fingers it'll be out there for you tomorrow!

A thousand apologies.

--mm
6th-Dec-2012 08:30 pm - "Merits" update schedule
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Hello out there!

Happy December ^_^

Congrats to all who finished NaNo--including those who didn't meet the word count but went Hell for Leather for it anyway! :D We rock!

(I snuck in just under the gun on Nov 30 -- and wrote 15K words that day. I thought I was going to cry from anxiety. Thank goodness I had that day off work.) XD *total cheater* Tho' I did need to take a break from the office anyway and had booked the time off in advance.

If anyone is checking in here or following me for updates on "Merits", I mentioned on Twitter that updates would be coming every two weeks or so (to the best of my ability). I pushed hard to get weekly updates out for you in November through the Grace of NaNo; my husband needs me back in action at home to help w/ the kids now that the holidays are upon us. ;)

There will not be an update tomorrow for "Merits", however there should be updates on:
- December 14 (Ch 47)
- December 28 (Ch 48)

New Year update schedule forthcoming; I'm waiting to hear back from work about what's happening to our office schedule there before committing to anything further writing-wise. T_T Things don't look good there... keeping my fingers crossed for minimal damage.

Also, yes, I'm going to *try* and do the 12 Days of SaiMono as I mentioned in the saiunpornium community several weeks ago. *cracking knuckles* Get ready for it!

As for other writing updates, the HP Sev/Mione ("Joy in Small Places") is nearing completion. Yes, it has been on the writing block for over a year--I didn't want to start posting anything (new) that wasn't at least within spitting distance of finished--if not finished and just waiting for final edits. I'm trying to curb my bad habit of running off on tangents on new stories and forgetting about the old ones. (Since I am really, really bad for that.)

Also, for anyone who is interested in writing professionally, I recommend you follow writer Vicki Essex's twitter. (https://twitter.com/VickiEssex) She started off as a terrific fanfic writer before moving on to write professionally, and was/is a big name in the A:TLA (Avatar: The Last Airbender) fandom. (Perhaps you've read some of her work? Yeah -- that's her!) She posts a lot of FANTASTIC references and resources for writers and editors, along with publishing opportunities, calls for submissions, and writing career job openings/ opportunities. Keep an eye on her blog & Twitter for updates -- she's got her ear to the ground & loves to share! (Especially Renner gifs--she has a sizeable collection... many are animated...)

As for me, it has been a long day at work and I could use a glass of water before I hit the elliptical to burn off the End of Day Office Stress that has accumulated. ;)

Have a great weekend, all! Expect some (writing) updates starting next week as we countdown to the holidays. ^_^

--mm

PS: Tell me how you're doing, too! :)
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