Sunday, 30 November 2014

strong hints of summer

The red in the thermometer is rising steadily and all the blinds are down on every window in an attempt to keep the house cool and dark. It is working in a limited fashion. I am not prone on the bathroom floor seeking solace from cold tiles so the temperature has not reached unbearable yet. Early days. we are due for a sudden cold snap which usually occurs late November early December and sprinkles the mountain tops with a dusting of snow for a nano moment before the blast of summer sun makes us doubt our sanity.

I am in Melbourne this week for my niece's 21st masquerade birthday.

and here is my lovely niece. There were a number of my lovely nieces at the party but this one was the belle of the ball.
The guests all made an effort to wear masks and it was fascinating to see the individuality of their choices only two of the guests chose the same mask and they are closely related but had not seen each other prior to the party so had no idea that the other had purchased the same one. If they had purchased mass produced cheap store masks I would expect a possible double up but these were very elaborate and expensive ones. Interesting coincidence.

I found my own perceptions being changed by the mask I wore. It felt as though the mask provided a barrier between me and those around me. It enabled me to feel more confident in my interactions with strangers and I began to think about superman. Odd thing to think about except I never could figure out why the people in Superman's version of Earth could not recognise that he was Clark Kent, nor how people are unable to recognise any masked super personage from their daily ordinariness. That was until I had my hair and make up done professionally and went into work and people did not instantly recognise me. I didn't feel like I was any different but other people's perceptions had somehow shifted.
I am sure there are many good studies about the affect and effects of wearing masks, including all the invisible masks we wear for different places in our lives but this was a night of my own light bulb moments with a dash of metacognition. The whole thinking about thinking thing is a favourite pass time of mine.

I am going swimming with my sister so I will be back...watch this space...I am so glad you were watching because I had an asthma attack in the water and I was, quite frankly, terrified. I managed one lap and was on my way back and lost it. Luckily my sister was watching me and helped me to the edge and then the pool guard ran over with an inhaler.
Once I was breathing again and the young man, Will,  had filled in an incident report I was back in the pool doing gentle water aerobics. No laps. This has really pushed the message that I need to loose this excess weight and get fit. I had my bronze medallion in swimming when I was half the woman I am today. I miss the water.
As I was attempting to gasp to my sister that "I can't breathe" my inner editor said "don't be ridiculous of course you can breathe, you simply cannot breath out, or in for that matter." Some days I wish my inner editor would shut up and have a bit of sympathy.
I walked away thinking I wish I had been more sympathetic to my son when he was in that state rather than doing the tough jolly along thing but then that was my way of coping with him turning blue and gasping for air. My sister was cracking jokes that I just needed attention, which was her way of coping with the look of terror on my face. Thankfully young Will remained calm and professional which is what we both needed and his team mates came over to check on us too. I had a spa and we went back to her house in 34o heat to sit around doing nothing. My shoulders are very sore though.

So art. Week 48 of the challenge is Fox and here are my little scribbles.
 This is my little arctic fox. I have been exploring art classes online which I have mentioned before now, there are so many wonderful people sharing their skills online I could learn practically anything I want to but recently it has been art. I am trying to learn how to use ink markers properly and to adopt the manga style/ graphic novel type of art. This little fellow is my best shading yet. I did him after the red foxes.
 The last fox I drew is this Fennec fox. He is quite cute and more lifelike than the other four.
 My grey fox was inspired by foxes on DeviantART which has hundreds of tutorials on how to do the outlines to how to shade. My shading is a little clumpy on this fellow but it is improving. Practice makes perfect so they say.
 This little red fox is an adaptation of yet another tutorial on deviantART. I like the  fur look I managed with small marker lines and two tones for his fur.
finally here is my first fox for the week. He is a lot more two tone than shaded but it is effective none the less. I loved the way his eyes turned out. This was from an online tutorial on how to draw foxes for kids. I will put in links when I find them again.

I always try to put in my own unique style and characteristics when I do the tutorials so mine are never quite the same as that demonstrated but I would like to acknowledge the generosity and skill of the original creative.


So more good news. I received a 2 for another story sent to Rate Your Story. Rate your story is a service provided by professionals in the literary world who volunteer their time to give initial feedback to new and emerging writers. http://rateyourstory.blogspot.com.au/RATE YOUR STORY

This is the third story with RYS that has received a 2 on the scale. Now to polish them up and send them out and keep trying for a 1.

I had some beautiful feedback from some young mums to whom I sent some of my stories and they loved one in particular which they read to their little girls. I need to spend some time researching my target recipients before i send out any more manuscripts.

NaNoWriMo went my in a whirl and I managed in the first week to put 19000 words or so on paper. By the end of the month - today that is- I had managed around27k which is not bad all things considered. I did keep up my sketching for SkaDaMo and the 52 week challenge and i have written my 12 x 12 monthly draft and revised with ReVi-mini and I found quite a few ideas which I have jotted down for PiBoIdMo. Not quite the gargantuan effort of last November but still quite good. I have plenty of ideas to turn into full stories now.I must pop in to the RWA forum 50/30 and cheer them all to the finish line with their novel outlines and tell them I will be back for the next round.

I revised a story for the SuperHERo anthology 2014 which will be out soon and all proceeds go to 'because I'm a girl' charity. this is a follow up anthology to the 2013 SuperHERo anthology. I had quite forgotten what this story was all about and when I revisited it I saw quite a few mistakes I had overlooked so thankfully I had time to correct them and reacquaint myself with the story. This happens too often when I write a short story, I send it out then promptly forget it so I can move on to the next one.

 I have two other anthologies coming out soon. One is a fractured fairy tale which I will post a separate blog for and one is a collection of stories loosely woven together with a tale to link them. titled Charms. Like with Keepsakes last year, the writers chose a bracelet charm to write a story about or incorporate in a story.  I contributed that story at the beginning of the year. Nothing happens quickly in the world of words. Then there are two more coming out in early 2015. I said six months ago I would not write for any more anthologies and I haven't but it all takes time.

So if you are in warmer climates. Keep watch over your loved ones in the water and don't forget sunscreen, hat, shirt and shade. If you are in the colder north. Keep warm at the extremities.