Month: October 2012

Four Eyes

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For the first time in my life I have glasses! They are just temporary until I finish vision therapy and can get my prism frames but they will help make the therapy more effective.  Since I don’t need them for long I could get less quality and went to a great website called https://www.zennioptical.com/  The glasses only cost me about $35 including shipping!

What do you think?  Do I pull off the whole cute nerd/sexy librarian look?  Its going to take some getting used to.  Its strange looking through boxes at the world.  I will probably want contacts once I have my permanent prescription.  I am sure I will get more used to it in time.

Its also hard to get used to the prescription. I’m so used to compensating that it feels strange to see things differently.  I bet I’ll adjust quickly.

So, that’s the new look 🙂

October Almost Over

Can I just say I’m glad October is almost over?  It has definitely been one of those months that I look back with a sigh of fatigue.  In one month I had a near panic attack, worked 50+ hours every week, got in a car accident, helped plan a reunion, battled a wicked infection, started vision therapy, and hit some roadblocks on my house build. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  Thank goodness I had a weekend off at the beginning!

I certainly hope that November is less eventful.  It may be the other extreme because I will be home a lot writing my book.  Sounds nice! I do have book club, swim meet on the 10th and some kind of Thanksgiving to break things up.  Plus, I will probably start boxing up non-essentials towards the end of the month.  I am so not looking forward to moving and stress of closing/buying my first property. I looked into hiring movers but it was so outrageous $1200 for just the big pieces in a 2 bedroom apartment.

I’m sorry in advance if I’m not the most festive this Christmas season.  It will be all I can do to just get through it.

I kind of wish I could do Thanksgiving and Christmas in January and February. Would that be too weird? I will go to Messiah Sing and and Christmas Carol.  Got to keep those traditions alive.  Will miss my memory tree but will definitely have to get an ornament to symbolize this crazy time of my life.

Not visiting my folks this year for Christmas or Thanksgiving is going to be interesting.  Luckily I have so much going on there won’t be much time for loneliness.  Like I said just got to get through the next couple months.  If I complete my novel, move, close my house, get tenants moved in, survive end of the year at work without going insane I will be a happy camper.

I’ve got to think of simple Christmas gifts that can be easily shipped, won’t take much time or cost much (between vision therapy, surgery, accident and home purchase, my pocket book has taken a hit!).

Anyway, excuse me for complaining a bit but I really am grateful to get through October.  Now on to November.  🙂

 

 

Outside the Utah Box

I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for something outside the box.  Something different, unique, and fun (and right now, cheap!).  Knowing NaMo is coming up I particularly wanted to fill this weekend up with a lot of experiences, make it jammed packed!  (I’m going to be starting at a screen for probably 12 hours a day including work and NaMo so got to be careful to keep my sanity as I write.

It all started on Thursday I met my friends Emilee and Rachel M for a silent movie at the Edison Street Events.  It was a really unique place.  A traditional Wurlitzer theater organ that was originally built around a chicken coop and then expanded.  The building is obscure and hidden away and I’m not sure how I heard of it but they were doing a screening of Phantom of the Opera (1925 version) with live organist.  This is not an ordinary organ but literally the pipes completely surround the room.  The keys are different too with sound effects such as drums and screams that are not in a normal organ.  The screen is small but I was completely immersed.  The organist was AMAZING!  and never missed a beat of synchronization with the movie.   He also included sections of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical which was a lot of fun.

I will definitely go back.  Next up they have a Harold Lloyd screening, followed by Laurel and Hardy.  So great!.

http://www.edisonstreetevents.com/silent-movies/

On Friday I continued the fun (btw I worked 53 hours last week so it was not a complete fun ride…) by going to see my friend Etsuko’s Middle Eastern Dance recital.  I am the worst dancer ever and I am not saying that to be modest.  I really have almost no natural sense of rhythm or timing.  Because I am so bad I appreciate anyone who is willing to dance in public and perform.  I would never have the guts.

The recital was gorgeous and exciting with sword balancing, belly dancing and hip moving.  I have never seen that kind of dance so that made it more fun.

3rd person from right is Etsuko.
They had some professionals there along with the students and they were pretty great

After the recital I went over to my sisters and we decided to go to a movie.  Its funny because we are both movie goers yet have not been to a movie together in over a year! Crazy how that happens.  I had been telling her about Perks of Being a Wallflower because I knew she would love it, so we went and saw and no surprise she loved it.  ( I was so sure that I bet $100 she’d like it! Good thing I got to keep my $100).

It is not a movie for everyone because of its darker elements but I’ve seen it twice and loved it more the second time.  The characters are so well developed.  They feel so authentic, like I can actually picture people I knew in high school saying those lines and experiencing those things.  I definitely want to read the book as the movie is written and directed by the author.  It is definitely an outside of the box kind of movie and those come around so rarely I’m grateful when they do.

Saturday was more subdued but still a lot of fun.  I slept in (didn’t get home until after 2 after chatting and shopping with Anna) and then went to the local NaNoWriMo kick off party in South Jordan.  It was a little chaotic but I got to meet 2 other writers who had both done the challenge before and they gave me some tips. I feel pretty confident in my ability to finish and write something I will be proud of.    The guy was writing a fantasy novel and I can’t imagine inventing a whole world and characters in one month.  I feel overwhelmed just telling my own story, but I guess they are both hard in different ways.

After the party I went home and then called my friend Sarah to see if she wanted to hang out and she did!  I love it when you call someone spur of the moment and they are free.  Doesn’t happen very often any more but makes me super happy when it does.  We went to this yummy sushi place that is like 2 steps from my house (hurray new find!) and then watched an old staging of Macbeth (to get ready for book club next week) by the Royal Shakespeare Company (from 1979 with Judi Dench and Ian McKellan).  The filming looked dated and was a little hard to get past but the play and performances were amazing!  Again, it was just fun to watch something out of the ordinary, something I might normally have selected.

I know this is a bit of a rambling post but I’m always hearing people say ‘Utah is so boring’ or ‘There’s nothing to do here’.  Look at all I did in 3 days in Utah for under $20 total, $30 if you count the sushi.  I’ve often wanted to make a blog of 52 weekends of fun in Utah, where you profile new and exciting things to do every weekend in Utah, give reviews, have a calendar of events etc.  I think wherever you live it just takes a little bit of digging to find a wealth of fun, unique, exciting things to do with your time.

And think a little outside the box.  Try something new. You might hate it but isn’t that what makes life exciting? If we are totally predictable and never do anything different than we will never grow or develop.  I say that as a fairly predictable, but accepting person. I know what I like and usually go for it but every now and then I push myself and decide to grow a little.

Anyway, stop saying Utah is boring and get out and do some of the great things we at our fingertips!

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/in-defense-of-utah/

 

 

 

Creativity vs Convention

My brain is fried from entering accounting all day but I have something on my mind I wanted to explore.

Here it is-

I’ve always respected refreshing, unique stories.  Not necessarily fantasy but just out of the ordinary enough to make me think.  That’s why I loved A Girl Named Zippy and The Book Thief.  That’s why I like Juno, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Inception etc.

Then why I am writing such a conventional story? And worse off its my life and probably the most dramatic thing that’s ever happened to me. Quitting my job…What does that say about my life? Kind of depressing when you think about it. Sigh…

But I also love convention.  I love a good Hallmark movie, a Sophie Kinsella book, Anne of Green Gables, sitcoms, The Help, Edenbrooke, reality tv, and a good rom com.  Sometimes I wonder if that means I’m not as much of an intellectual as I like to pretend? This worries me.

Do any of you struggle with these types of feelings?

The one thing I know I care about regardless of creativity or convention is strong characters.  A Nora Ephron movie may seem conventional to most but I love her characters and snappy dialogue.  Perhaps why I tend to not like fantasy/dystopian novels is they tend to get so caught up in setting and atmosphere that the characters and dialogue get lost.  Like a George Lucas movie, all fluff and no heart.

So, how do I make this character one I would want to read despite convention?  That seems easy enough given the character is ME but I don’t know about that? What makes my story unique? I’m not begging for compliments here just exploring.  Having never tried I am SURE it will be harder than I can imagine.  Its perhaps a little tricky as well to create the character I was then and not the person I am now.  The change will not feel real if I already know all the answers.

I love in You’ve Got Mail how Meg Ryan’s character deals with losing her store and how it makes her this different person.  That’s the kind of thing I’d like to tap into when sharing my story but keep it light like that movie.  I know that’s a high standard but you have to keep something in mind for tone.

Maybe I will be surprised at how interesting I am? You never know it could be easier to capture this story than I think.  I’ve just had that gut feeling that this is important for me to write for some reason.  It’s just getting that character right.

Convention vs creativity?

Hmmmm.  What do you all think?

LOL

Preparing to Write My Story

NaNoWriMo coming up!

So as many of you know I am going to participate in the National Novel Writing Month challenge in which you must write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days of November.  It is something I have wanted to do for many years and believe me this year had a lot of excuses but I just decided to go for it anyway.    My twitter friend Abby and I have made a pact we would both finish or we have to do a polar bear plunge!  That’s motivation for you!

My story is one I’ve wanted to put to paper for some time.  It is based on my experiences in 2007 when I took the great leap of faith and quit my job.  I have written about that moment greatly on my blog but have always felt it had the inherent drama necessary for a good book- something along the lines of Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisenberg.

I will be adding a romance to the story which will be a lot of fun considering I’m a bit of an amateur in that department.  Hopefully I’ve seen enough romantic movies to make it believable.

A couple of challenges I have run into as I’ve outlined my piece.

1. How religious should I make the character?  Since it is my story it is hard to imagine not making the character religious.  My faith was a huge reason I took the leap of faith.  I knew for sure from God that it was the right thing to do.  Without that reassurance I may not have been so brave.   Not that it is going to be published by any means but I want my story to be as accessible as possible.  It seems so rare in modern literature that there is a character who is Christian without it being a ‘christian novel’.

2. How many characters to develop?  Well, I have 5 siblings, 2 parents, lots of friends etc but it seems too much so I’m tempted to make her an only child but maybe one or 2 sisters wouldn’t be too much to follow.  I also am morphing 2 of my former roommates personalities, Emily and Camille, into one roommate for the character.  You don’t want to make it too cluttered but also want to have enough drama for 50,000 words.

3.  The other challenge is to make a pretty dark time in my life real without making the character seem unlikable.  I was very unhappy at that time, even depressed, and I want to show that without having the character seem whining and annoying (which I’m sure I was at this time. Sorry friends). I’ve been thinking about Drop Dead Diva and how they take some tough things the character has been through (like dieing!) and still help it feel light and funny.  The whole reason that show works is because the characters are all so likeable.  The plots are kind of stupid but we don’t care because we like Jane so much.  I hope I can pull off that kind of likability while showing a relatable version of the workplace.

Tone is going to be a challenging thing to maintain in this story.  With panic attacks, anxiety and a lot of unhappiness I will have to work to keep the chicklit tone but I think it will be all the better for it.  (If you look at most chick lit it involves some kind of sadness, usually at the beginning, like a death, divorce, break up, infertility etc).  Wouldn’t it be the greatest thing if someone , someday read my story and thought- I’ve been there, I’ve dealt with that, let’s see how she does.  That ‘d be awesome!

4. Character names?  Because this is coming from real life I am having a hard time picturing the characters as anything else but their real names.  I’m using those for now but eventually I will have to give them different names because they are not accurate portrayals just inspired by true characters.   My sister had some good suggestions for choosing names.  Do you out there in cyberspace have any suggestions?

I’m really excited about writing my book.  I wish I could get started now.  I read my outline to my sister Anna and she liked it.  Hurray!  I am sure I will write a lot of it in the first week and then cool down a bit after that but it helps when you can type 120 words per minute touch type.

It will be so exciting when I get my certificate and it says ‘you have written a novel in a month’.  I will frame it!

I love a good deadline and challenge.  Makes me very happy.

So, who wants to read my book once it is done?  I might let a select few…

Think the whole process is a waste of time? (heard that from some) Check out this article with some reasons why to do NaNoWriMo

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2010/11/12-reasons-to-ignore-the-naysayers-do-nanowrimo.html

Romney’s Funny

So I’ve been sick the last few days and been working more than I should.  I still struggle to sleep at night even when sick so after my 20 minutes of trying to go to sleep I turned on the TV and stumbled up on Mitt Romney’s remarks at the Alfred E. Smith dinner.   It made me laugh a lot.  In fact, I thought it was much funnier than anything SNL has done this season.

Favorite lines:

“…tomorrow’s headlines would read, “Obama Embraced by Catholics; Romney Dines With Rich People.”

“Usually when I get invited to gatherings like this it’s just to be designated driver”

“In the spirit of big bird this dinner is brought to you by the letter “O” and the number 16 trillion”

After looking at recent job #s President will boast “you’re better off than you were four weeks ago”

On the bias of the press, headlines will say “polls show Obama leading from behind.”

Nice to have a good laugh! Hopefully it will make a few people see Romney in a new light. Not as stiff an unapproachable as the primaries made him look.

Macbeth

Our bookclub book this month is Macbeth by William Shakespeare.  Kind of funny to go from Sophie Kinsella to Shakespeare but I guess that says a lot about my eclectic reading taste more than anything else!  I’ve really enjoyed reading and listening to it again this month.  I hope the language doesn’t seem too daunting for some.  I love it!

MacbethMacbeth by William Shakespeare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time, and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle, life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”

Who could not like such poetry? What a ghastly and ghoulish tale full of murder, revenge, uprising, ghosts, witches and the madness of the human mind. It is without a doubt one of the greatest of Shakespeare’s works and one of the most unique, having elements of Hamlet, King Lear and Othello but still remaining a singular work.

I hadn’t read it for many years but what struck me this time is the theme of time. Macbeth learns his future, as many of us would wish to do, and then is compelled to make that future his own at any cost. How many of us would do the same? How many of us dream of a grand life and don’t realize that what we have at the moment is already as grand as we are meant to be?

I think most of us if given the opportunity for our dream life would make certain sacrifices that we would later regret. Hopefully not as dramatic as Macbeth but still I think we’d be lying if we didn’t admit to at least be tempted to do almost anything to get where we knew for sure we could get.

I also find the madness of Lady Macbeth very interesting.  How can we go from being so sure of something to being completely controlled and mad from anguish from it?  In a tail of witches and ghosts it is perhaps the twisting of the human brain that is the most terrifying of all?  They say all of Shakespeare’s tragic characters have fatal flaws.  No doubt Macbeth’s is the ability to be controlled and Lady Macbeth is the ability to control.  Can we not all also see ourselves in both flaws?

Makes you think right?

What would you do for the sure thing? for prophesied glory? What frailties would manifest themselves in you in such a moment? Those are  the questions of Macbeth.

PS. No surprise that I bring even Macbeth back to work and career ambitions…
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