Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pre Class ramblings

Location: Classroom.
Feeling: Very tired.
Listening to: Aerosmith blasting in my ears.

I'm currently sitting in my classroom, 25 minutes until class starts. My bus gets me here about half an hour early, but I don't really mind because it lets me relax or finish up things before class begins. There are a couple other people who get here early as well... I like to dub us the early birds. There are a couple people who I will also dub the late fates... those who are constantly late for class... Seriously, how can someone be chronically late every single day? This baffles me... If you're late every day, then leave earlier..

Anyways, I'm exhausted. The last week or so I've been having nightmares again, keeping me up or waking me up constantly throughout the night. I'm not sure why. Haven't been sleeping well and lately I haven't been feeling well either. Blegh. The last 2 weeks was spent profusely working on multiple (about 12 or something...) projects that we had a 2 week window to complete. We handed them in on Friday. I hope I did well!

G. design has been awesome so far. My instructor is pure awesome and most of the people in my class are great too. We're just beginning to learn Illustrator and we just finished sketches for our own personal identity project which includes us making our own personal logos, letterheads, business cards, envelopes, etc, etc. And after we're done learning Illustrator, we'll be creating them. Awesome.

On our first exam I got the highest mark in our class. For our second "exam" (which was more like a project) I got the second highest mark. So I'm not doing too bad so far. :) I really enjoy it and can't wait to see what else this course brings.

Not exactly sure where to begin updating about the Life of Ash... I'm really sorry for not updating in the blogworld lately. Yikes! I really need to get on this and keep going. I'll say that basically since I've moved there have been things that have made me extremely happy, some that have made me sad or mad... Tired, giddy, excited, down... The list goes on. There are a couple reasons for it, but things have been looking up pretty well lately. I find myself smiling a lot more, laughing a lot more, and just being happy. I've missed that. I hope it sticks around for a while.

Anyhow, should cut this one short. I'm going to try my darndest to keep updating this more often.

Happy Hump Day!

-A

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Annabel Lee - Edgar Allan Poe

(One of my favorite writers. Figured I'd share this beautiful poem with all of you on this Sunday morning.)

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Orientation Day!

Good morning y'all.
So today is good ol' Orientation Day for school. At 2pm today I'll be brushing elbows with my new instructor and classmates. Hopefully everyone is awesome! I can't believe this whole school thing has snuck up as quick as it has, but I guess it's almost time to start cracking down. School officially starts on Monday!

Still no luck with the jobs.. Got a call back on one that I REALLY wanted, but they were looking for full time. It's really too bad too because it sounded like they really wanted to hire me, asked if there was any way I could switch my school courses to evenings and everything. So, damnit! It was a really good opportunity too. But oh well, guess I just have to move on and keep trucking.

Getting fairly used to the new apartment and living alone. I actually haven't been alone all that much (except for during the days, but errands and a lot have been keeping me busy...). Lots of people to keep me busy so I don't have time to just sit and think about everything.

Anyhow, this is kind of a short blog post, but once again I have to get at 'er. I'll let y'all know how the Orientation goes!

My question to you: Those of you who have gone to post-secondary school, do YOU remember YOUR first day? If so, post it in a comment! I'd love to hear your stories.

-A

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Job Hunt

Well, anyone who lives in Edmonton knows that the job market has been struggling for a while now. When on earth will it be back up again? That's what I'd like to know. Job hunting/searching is proving to be quite difficult. It doesn't really help that the last time I had to look for a job like this was over 5 years ago... I hate the feeling like you're starting from the bottom, starting ALL over again, the last 5 years just wasted. But I know that's not the case. I have a pretty beefy resume, thanks to these last 5 years, but it's just a matter of finding a decent part time job for while I'm in school that also pays enough that I'll be able to cover rent, bills, etc (basically all of the FUN things of LIFE. Ugh, give me a break.)

I've applied at a couple great sounding places and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It's a little stressful seeing that school starts on MONDAY (yikes), and I'm beginning to worry about being able to pay rent while in school and everything. Luckily if need be, I DO still have some savings that would cover my ass for a couple months, but being me (the financial wizard/money squirrel), I really don't want to have to go to 0$ in my bank account.

So it's a liiiiittle bit stressful over here on my end. Nothing compared to about a month or so ago, but it's more of a different kind of stress. Anyways, I think that's enough bitching for now. Hopefully next post will be filled with great news, rainbows and sunshine and all that jazz. Hope everyone is doing fantastic and not shaking their fist too much at mother nature for this cruel weather we've been having.

Ash out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Queens Will Play

Thanks to @TysonDueck, I'm totally addicted to this song now.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Quiet Moment

Alright. New place, check. Move complete, check. Buzzer hooked up, internet *finally* hooked up, check check.

Ashley getting used to living alone? Wellll lets come back to that at a later date.

Move went well, or as well as a move can go. Was hard, for obvious reasons, but got through it. It was a REAL moving weekend, as the ex-bf, me, AND my brother and his gf were all moving in the same weekend. What a rush.

The new place is slowly (but surely) coming together. I'll post pictures as soon as I'm done getting stuff organized and put away, etc.

I have to admit, yes I'm relieved the move is over and done with. It's probably the worst part of ending a relationship with a significant other whom you have lived with for 4 years. On the other hand, I'm still coping with it all, but have been (definitely) keeping busy. This last week has been non-stop equaling exhaustion and a bit of disorientation. I'm hoping things will start to calm down (dear god, please...), but I don't think that will happen for a bit. See, I'm still stressed as I need to start looking for a part time job now, knowing it will be a stressful encounter to endure. Hopefully getting said part time job before school starts (another slightly stressful key) on Sept 20th. Holy. That's come up quite fast.

Big (huge) life changes flipping me upside down. I just hope I'll end up right side up with a smile on my face and the sun shining. I'ma working on it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Almost moving time

I hate moving.

I don't think anyone likes it really. Having to pack up EVERYTHING and I always feel so disorganized, even though I'm TRYING to be organized this time. I even made a list of things I need to do beforehand, things I'll need to get after I move, places I need to call to change my address... These lists just seem to keep getting bigger.

It sucks having to split up a lot of things over a 5 year relationship... Who gets this, who gets that... If you get that, then can I have this? It's a good thing me and him are still friends, because that part of things has been going fairly smoothly. It's going to be VERY different living alone. I've actually never lived alone before, have always had a roommate or him living with me. I think this will be a good step in the Life of Ash in creating more independence and learning, etc, etc. I think I'm ready to take on this new chapter in my life. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be a big adjustment? Oh yeah. But all in all, I'm SO grateful to have the wonderful, supportive, and amazing friends that I do to help me through these times.

So, I'm worried, stressed, overwhelmed... but I keep trying to look at the positives and focusing on THAT instead of worrying about future stuff. One day at a time...

Anyways, I have more packing to do. Will give an update soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Losing Ourselves & Soul Searching

Hello friends, Ash here.

So in these past few months I have been a terrible blog post updater, and I apologize profusely for that. You see, a lot of things have been going on in Ash's life that has forced her to be MIA and distracted and such. I figured now would be a good time to blog some of these things off my chest, get 'er out in the open and explain a bit of why I've been internet absent. Step 1 (or 3.. or 6...) of coping, dealing, and accepting hardships of life.

Lets travel back a few months (ok, 5 months.. Has it really been that long!? Dear god...). I was laid off, as you all know from a previous post a while back. I STILL have no job, things kind of gotten in the way of that and took priority. But don't worry, I'm on EI right now so that is tiding me over for the time being.

Within the last couple months, I had to deal with a LOT of stress at once. The job loss was the beginning, and then I found out my parents were separating. That was a shocker, I mean these things don't happen  when you're 23 years old. But I mean, I knew they were having problems. It was a very hard thing to deal with and still is at times, but it's getting better. My mom moved away from home and I finally took the long drive to see them (separately), which was hard, but I'm glad I did it. Like I said, this situation is slowly getting better (or I'm just getting used to it), and I know it is for the best right now.

Enter anxiety. I've been dealing with anxiety for a while now, and this all has affected it in a really bad way. The anxiety skyrocketed and I was having the worst panic attacks (almost had to go to the hospital) which was SCARY as hell. Thank god I have an AMAZING friend who has gone through this same ordeal and has been my 'coach' through all of this. I honestly have no idea what I would have done or where I would be right now if it weren't for this person. Anxiety is something I've been dealing with for a while, but it has never been this bad or scary. He finally convinced me to talk to my doctor about it (something I had never even thought about doing, possibly because I was ashamed or figured I could deal with this on my own). And yes I am not on medication for it and it HAS been helping (was rocky to start and I had to switch medications and dosage, etc a few times, but now I think we're on track).

Next was issues with the boyfriend. We have been together for almost 5 years and the last year or so has been kind of rocky and I'm sure we both realized it, but just never brought it up. We had a huge talk a few weeks ago and then recently we decided that a break up is the best thing for us. Something I never really thought would happen, but when I realized that neither of us were happy then it was time to do something about it, something needed to change. This didn't feel healthy anymore and I know we were both hurting because of it. I won't go into detail, but basically this will be best for both of us. I know it was a huge stress load for me and adding a lot of anxiety.

All in all, now is the time I need to do some serious soul searching. In these last few months I feel like I've lost myself and I need to find her again. I haven't felt like myself a lot lately, but now is the time to do something about it and start building myself back up again. I know I won't be the same person I was, but I'm hoping that I will be a better person because all of this. What doesn't kill you just makes you stronger, right? Right now I'm currently in the process of moving (found a place - thank god I have the most wonderful landlords in the WORLD. Gave me a steal of a deal on a place in another building they manage), so we'll be out by the end of the month. I know it's going to be hard, but hopefully after it's all done and over with I'll be able to focus on myself and get my head on straight. I'll be starting school on Sept 20th (which is creeping up WAY too fast...) so I'm hoping to be all settled in, with a part time job, and able to concentrate again by that time.

I'm taking things one day at a time and trying to deal with them as they come. Baby steps. You can't overload yourself or you will go crazy. Bat them off one at a time and it will make the rough road a little smoother to drive on. You'd rather be driving over potholes and bumps opposed to crashing into a tree.

I think one of the reasons for this post was to let anyone out there know who may be going through hard times that there IS sunshine through the clouds and darkness. There IS blue sky over the horizon and that everyone deserves to be happy. As hard as things may seem, they will get better, even if you have to give yourself a little push or force yourself to realize things you'd rather not. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm pretty sure it's coming my way. It has to.



-A

Thursday, August 5, 2010

She's a pro, I'm a pro, you're a pro!

So today I was TRULY touched and smiley this morning when I was reading my dearest @CourtneyReese86 's blog, and she honored me with the Prolific Blogger Award. Amazing!
It meant a lot to me, especially considering I've been seriously lacking in the blog updates lately (sigh.. apologies..). Check out her blog here (DO IT!) - http://courtneyreese86.blogspot.com/ . A gigantic hug and humongous thank you to my dearest CP/soul mate/favorite Texan, for making me smile and making my day! Luvers you! (sincerely, your favorite Canuck <3)


Now, for me to pass this lovely award on. I give my fellow Albertan, and amazing lady @nataliexmurphy the Prolific Blogger Award! She is fantastic in keeping her blog updated frequently and always has an interesting post to read! She also loves Monty Python as much as I do. On top of that, she just recently completed her first draft of her medieval romance novel! Congrats Nat!! Give her blog a read (you know you want to!) at http://www.nataliemurphy.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Funnies.

So, @Nataliexmurphy on Twitter had an awesome blog post that took me back to the Monty Python days (http://nataliemurphy.blogspot.com/2010/08/she-turned-me-into-newt.html ) and it reminded me of MY favorite scene from The Holy Grail. So I decided to share it with all of you for a laugh.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Songs

Here's a post for anyone who needs a bit of a cheer up. Some happy, pick-me-up songs for you:



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones



Ok, maybe the last one isn't really a cheer up, happy song (Midnight Train), but it's one that always cheers me up.

-A

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bubbles

I thought this was funny. If only my brother had been cool enough to blow bubbles with us, the comparison would have been much more funny. Sigh.

Still a youngster at heart.
-A

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Things I've realized in the last few weeks.

So I've been going through a bunch of things in the last few weeks, nothing I'll go into detail about, but it's made me realize some stuff that's pretty important. I figured I'd share some of them with you.

1) When things get cloudy and dark, sometimes you just need a double rainbow to cheer you up. Go here if you don't already know what I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQSNhk5ICTI

2) It helps to be honest.

3) A good doctor is extremely important. If you go to a doctor and you tell them one symptom and they write you a prescription immediately and send you on your merry way... They are not a good doctor. Get a new one. I've recently got a new doctor and she is great. Extremely helpful, kind, thorough, explanatory, and takes her time with her patients. She doesn't get bothered by my many questions if I'm unsure about things, or if something isn't clear she makes sure to explain so I understand. Great doctors like this are hard to find (in Edmonton anyways).

4) The power of putting a smile on someone else's face is indescribable. For me, the ability to put a smile on someone's face, puts a smile on MY face. Try it sometime. Go out of your way to do something nice, whether it be a family member, friend, stranger... I do this often, and it gives me warm fuzzies (perverts). It also creates a nice domino affect. Cheer someone up, there's a good chance their good mood will cheer someone else up, etc, etc.

5) When a medication you are taking advises you not to take any calcium (aka dairy) while on said medication, DO NOT EAT DAIRY. Not even creamer in your coffee. Seriously, don't.

6) No matter how much technology has helped us thus far and has made things so much more easier, efficient, etc, nothing beats snail mail.

7) Sometimes in life you get stuck between a rock and a hard place, and you can't do anything about it. You just have to deal with each separately, and try to stay positive.

8) ..which leads me to this one: TRY TO STAY POSITIVE.

9) #VLAT was fun and should be done on a regular basis.

10) Music is a powerful tool to help you escape, distract you for a little while, or just make you want to forget about everything and dance. (I've realized this a loooong time ago, but figured it was post worthy again).

11) Lastly (because it's hard for me to concentrate on any more right now) Friends are one of the most important things in the WORLD. Never take them for granted. Take their advice (even if you have to take it with a grain of salt sometimes), listen to them. They know you (most of them do anyways). The true ones are just looking out for you and wanting what's best for you. It's these friends that you need to keep close and try not to lose. They help make you who you are, help you through tough times, put a smile on your face, and the trust between true friends is something that is very precious.

Ok. That's enough for now. I leave you with an overly cute picture of a reminder not to upset little Ash (that's my brother as Cookie Monster)
.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The new ink addition

As promised, I'd post pics on blog once it was all done. The great thing is, my friend (@spencerjmarie) came with me, the tattoo artist is pure AWESOME, and we got to watch Zombieland (which, ironically is the exact amount of time it took to do the tattoo). In the future I'll be adding something to the left of the writing so it's not so straight-lined (something vertical along the spine that semi wraps around the writing perhaps).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Something, dear god write something. (also, Tattoo news)

Alright. Due to recent events and such and life basically being life, I have not blogged in a while. I haven't even written in ANY of the WiPs in a long while either (don't even get me started...*grumble grumble*). I'm hoping that will change soon. Reeeaaallllyyyyyy hoping, but in these instances I guess only time will tell.

Anyways! Apologies for the lack of posts. I decided to do up a quick one. So as spontaneous as my last one was, I'm getting my next tattoo tomorrow. Yay! I've been wanting to go foreverrr, and then I got laid off and there's the whole 'money woes' (blah, blah, blah - I'm a total penny pincher, financial whiz, so it's hard for me to part with money). But! With everything going on I have decided to splurge and do something for myself.

The tattoo is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems by William Wordsworth, here is the font of what I'm getting:
And then eventually I'm going to (I think) get a large flourish of forget-me-nots (flower) beside it. This bad boy will be going on my shoulder blade (right one).
Originally, I have wanted to get this as a memory/dedication, etc for my grandparents who passed away two years ago, which was an incredibly tough time for me. Now, in light of everything else going on in my life I have come to realize it IS a great piece of prose to apply to a lot of life's hardships.

Anyways. I'm going tomorrow afternoon with @spencerjmarie (on twitter). If you follow me on twitter perhaps there will be a tweetphoto or two... If not I will post on zee blog for sure.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Argh matey! It be the Bickerin' Blogfest post.

So my lovely scalliwag of a friend, @kristenyard , has decided to host a super awesome blogfest. She be a grand mate o' mine on Twitter, she be. Yargh, a wonderful lass indeed.

For those of you who would like to see my fabulous co punk pirate's blog, it is http://kristen-takeitasitcomes.blogspot.com/ -- Go read all of the other fantastic entries!

For the record - my scene, which is in the 2nd 'book' of a trilogy my friend and I are writing, isn't so much of a friendly bickering as a minor cat fight. (Caught your attention, didn't I?) But no, it's not that great (as in this one hasn't been edited/revised yet), but sadly, me forgetting about the blogfest made for fast action in remembering a good 'bickering' scene. (A warning for the many f-bombs dropped in this one. Lexi can be a little... Well, you'll see)

---------------------------------------------------------

Lexi sat in her parked, running Mustang as she smoked a cigarette and stared out the window. The only light cascading from the darkness was from the dim, overhead street lights. The silence of the night enveloped her; it was nearing 1am, but there was one thing she still needed to do.

The large white house was quiet and there was only one car parked in the driveway. There was no traffic on the street and for a second she worried that no one was home, but she could see the bright light on inside the house. She took one more drag on the cigarette and flicked it out the window before turning off the ignition and stepping out into the brisk air of the night. Standing for a moment and closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly before walking up the sidewalk to the side door.

Raising her already clenched fist, she knocked loudly three times and began pacing as she waited. Faint footsteps were evident as they approached the door from the inside, then the lock sounded and the door swung open.

“What the hell are you doing here,” it came as an obvious statement opposed to a question from Allison as she stood on the other side of the door wearing pink pyjama pants and a matching tank top. Her hair was up in a messy pony tail, but Lexi could tell she hadn’t been sleeping.

Lexi stared at her for a moment before replying, “You know how much you fucked things up?” Lexi asked, her tone coming out unusually even, surprising even herself.

“Excuse me?” Allison replied with a frown as she placed one hand on her hip. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“You fucked around with my friends and you don’t even care, do you?” Lexi asked incredulously and let out a low chuckle. “God, Allison I knew you were stupid, but fuck.”

Allison looked taken back by the comment, but glared at Lexi with venom. “Don’t call me stupid. You can get the hell out of here and take your ridiculous accusations with you.”

She began to close the door, but Lexi stepped forward and placed her hand on it to stop. “You screwed around with Reid and hurt him bad. And of course you had to fuck around with one of his best friends too, God Allison, you’re such a tramp! How could you do that to Reid?”

Allison stood shocked for a brief moment before she recovered and returned her iced expression.

“I’M the tramp? Geez Lexi, practice what you preach…” She laughed out loud as she brushed a strand of blonde hair from her face, obviously showing no remorse for any of it.

“You fucked with too many people, and now look what happened. Stay away from Reid or any of my friends or I swear to God I’ll hunt you down myself,” Lexi spat, staring Allison down while trying to control the clenching of her fists at her side.

Allison only laughed, unfazed by her words. “Is that a threat from little Lexi? Get the fuck off my property.”

“I mean it Allison, stay away from him. You’ve hurt him bad enough already, he sure as hell doesn’t deserve it. Ever since you came into the picture you messed everything up.” Lexi started to turn then, figuring that she had said all she came to say, but Allison replied back without missing a beat.

“Are you sure that was me? I think you’ve done all of that yourself Lexi. You’re the one who was hurting poor Reid, leading him on and messing with him. You think I really hurt him? You’ve been doing that all on your own because-“

Before Allison could finish, Lexi found herself lunging forward and throwing a punch right at the blonde’s face. It was done in a matter of seconds, but Lexi couldn’t even remember stepping foot inside the house until her mind came back to reality and Allison’s hands were up at her cheek. She cursed loudly while shoving Lexi back outside.

“Get the fuck out of here you stupid cunt! I’m going to call the cops on you and have you charged with assault!” Allison screamed at her from the threshold, but Lexi only frowned and shrugged carelessly as she began walking backwards towards her awaiting car.

“Go ahead. Won’t be around anyway,” she replied back just as Allison slammed the door shut. After inhaling a deep breath, Lexi walked briskly back to her Mustang, mildly satisfied with the small outcome.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

River Valley Funny

So, earlier the bf and I went for a nice long walk down in the River Valley. I had my camera to take pretty picture of things and stuff and at one point there was an elderly lady walking ever so slowly up the huge stairs. My initial plan: Take video of old lady walking and make something awesome when I get home. New plan: Fast jogger lady decided to storm the stairs like it was nobody's business. In my head I had a plan. And here I have showcased EXACTLY what was going on in my head at that exact moment.

For the record, I have no idea who any of these people are.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Team Lizash at the Ledge

My lovely Lizzie Bear and I hung out today at the legislature grounds, and had a fantastic time (I heart her). Here is a small taste of our awesomeness (go team Lizash). (Also, I have collaborated the video with fun music!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Haunted - Kelley Armstrong (get 'er done, Ash)

It's all about procrastination, right? Enter random book post of my frustration.

First, let me say that I'm the type of person who goes through a HUGE reading binge (while procrastinating the writing), where I'll read nearly a book per day for about a week. Then the reading spurt subsides and off to writing frenzy it is. Actually, a couple weeks ago I read 4 books in 4 days (Rachel Vincent shifter series - amazing!). Anyways, seeing as this writing procrastination has been lasting a LOT longer than I could ever imagine (or want), I've been reading a ton. Now I'm stuck.

Second, I must say I love Kelley Armstrong's writing and Otherworld series. (The fact that she is Canadian makes her even better! Represent!) Anyways, a friend recommended Bitten a while ago (first book of this series). I was looking for good shifter books for inspiration and things. Anyways, FLEW through Bitten, instantly grabbed up Stolen and flew through that as well. Then with Dime Store Magic , I was a little leery because it switched narrators at this point. I'll admit, I'm not HUGE on the whole narrator switch (especially in the same book), and was a little dubious in the fact that this one was focusing on a witch's POV now. (I wanted shifters damnit. Bring back the werewolves!) But to my surprise I really enjoyed this book and also the next one, Industrial Magic. Then I got to Haunted...

Now, to be fair my friend who recommended the series WARNED me about this book and said I could borrow it instead of spending money to buy (if I like a book/series, I always buy it). She warned me this one was hard to get through and probably the worst one of the series. And I'm not huge on the whole 'ghosty/paranormally' novels. Then the lay offs happened (this friend is someone I had worked with) and haven't seen her since then so I DID buy it. Oy. I don't know if it's my non-interest in ghosty things or what, but I am STRUGGLING to get through this one. But it's one of those series where you NEED to read the book, because there will be things referenced in later ones. *Sigh*.

It's not that it's bad writing... Maybe it's hard for me to relate because the MC in this one is, I'm guessing in her 40s (I'm 23). Although, the male MC Kristof, well he's an alright vision in my head. It could be the whole fact that she's a ghost and it's all about HER on the "other side". There isn't a lot of action, mainly just a mission that keeps taking her in circles and blah blah.

Seriously struggling. I'm on page... *grabs book from coffee table to see*... 227/448. If I'm really into a book I will continue reading it until I'm DONE (one of those "can't put the book down" people). This one I've mainly been reading in the tub. I'm trying though. Really, I am! I can't WAIT to get to the next book (bring back the werewolves! YES. Can't wait.)

Although, I DO have to admit that there has been one exciting part in this book for me because it involved PIRATES. My reaction: YES!! And then the pirates were done and it's back to trudging through. I'm hoping the plot picks up or at LEAST gives me some action here.

Even with 'the dud', I HIGHLY recommend Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. (besides Haunted), her writing is fantastic, plot lines are great, and her characters are really well written (Gotta love Clay... *dreamy sigh*)

-A

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Twitterview #4 - @stygldpnyby

Well, it's about time I ventured back to the Twitterviews... I have to say that this one is one of my FAVORITE ladies, be that in Twitter OR in person, I <3 her. With that said, I'd like to introduce you all to:


@stygldpnyby















Q: How did you come about blessing the Twitter World with your presence? (AKA – When/Why did you start up a Twitter account?)
A: 
I started it up in February of 2009. I was just reading a lot about this Twitter site and decided to check it out. Pretty simple!

Q: What consists of an average day in the life of Liz?
A:
Average day of the jobless wonder would consist of waking up (hopefully) early (meaning no later than 9:30), treadmilling it up, working on Physics by correspondence, eating at some point, usually running a couple errands, getting distracted countless times, and usually hanging out with someone in the evening.

Q: What is the last movie you rented and what did you think about it?
A:
Tristan and I watched this Korean film called ‘Biyeolhan Geori’, translated into ‘A Dirty Carnival’. It was great. I really enjoy foreign films. I find them to be… I don’t know… less about the gimmicks and explosions and poo jokes and more about the story, characters, character development, etc.


Q: You look up at the clock and, yikes! It’s lunch time! What are you craving?
A: Hmm. Well, it doesn’t matter what I’m craving because I usually just end up eating leftovers! Ideally though, I’d eat Subway every day.

Q: If there was a type of person that could be wiped from this world, what type would you want it to be?
A: Very good question! I would say… hm. small-minded people. Those who are unwilling to open their minds and learn about and potentially even accept things that are different from what they’re used to. Like, somebody just having the mentality that ‘You’re wrong, I’m right, and since I’m right, I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.’. Those kinds of people are extremely frustrating to deal with.

Q: It’s 10.00pm on a Thursday night. What are you doing?
A: Let me check back on my 5 year journal and let you know what I typically do on Thursday nights… June 10th: nothing, apparently. I did a physics experiment on waves. June 3rd: Was at Tristan’s at 10pm. May 27th: Hung out with Tristan. Conclusion: usually, I am with Tristan on a Thursday at 10pm.

Q: If you had to describe yourself (and you do) in 3 words, what would they be?
A: Gypsy Punk Revolution!

Q: What is your least favorite household chore and why?
A: Vacuuming because it’s too loud, and because I have a hard time spelling vaccum. vaccuum. Vacuum? Ah, yes.

Q: You’re sitting around, playing on Twitter and suddenly you smell smoke. Oh no! The bathroom has suddenly caught fire! What 3 things would you be most upset about losing?
A: I’d be upset about losing my wonderful MacBook, (so very clich├ęd, but true for this next one) my countless photo albums and photos, and lastly, I’d be upset about losing Quatchi! He’s very special to me.

Q: Phew! It turns out the bathroom fire was only a dream. You wake up in a cold sweat from the horrific nightmare. What do you do?
A: Go pee, have a drink of water, and go back to sleep.

Q: If there was one animal you could have and train to be your own personal minion, what would it be and why?
A: “minion: a follower or underling of a powerful person, esp. a servile or unimportant one.”
Yes, I had to look that up (I do that with words that I sometimes need clarification on). Well I guess it’d have to be a Dik Dik. David Attenborough introduced me to them while I was watching Life of Mammals. They’re these adorable deer-like animals, but they are extremely small. Like, they only come up 40 cm, max. I’m pretty sure @steenyweeny was talking about them a while ago.  I’d want a Dik Dik specifically because they’re damn cute and I’m sure it’d let me cuddle with it or something. I would name it Popcorn. Yes.

Q: Say something in Ukrainian.
A: This will be difficult because we use a different alphabet, which I don’t have on my compy, so here goes using English letters:
Koly ya bula mala divchyna, Ya bavylysya z robotim tsiloho den.
(When I was a little girl, I played with robots all day long.)

Q: Ok, so that last one wasn’t a question. What foreign language is the sexiest in your eyes (ears)?
A: I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of that. I guess Spanish. I took it when I briefly was at Grant MacEwan in the Fall of ’07, and thoroughly enjoyed hearing it all around me when I was in Mexico last month.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve (or one of them)?
A: Wet. Socks. Ugh.

Q: Is there anything you would like to share with the rest of the class?
A: Umm. *slouches into desk*. Nope.

Q: Lastly, who is the last person you @ replied to on Twitter and why should we follow them?
A: That would be @cfskinner and he’s a self-described ‘traditional skin’. He’s incredibly nice, knows so so much about GOOD music (we had a great little discussion about Desmond Dekker last week), and he’s located right here in jolly old #yeg. So… follow him!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Playlists4Writing - Talkin' bout ROMANCE (ish)

So, seeing as Twitter is broken (SERIOUSLY broken, I give up!), I decided I would run up a post.

I'm pretty sure all you writers out there are like me in the sense that music is a good helper/inspirer for you and your WiPs (no matter how small the music plays a part). I think I will do a blog post every now and then with a list of songs related to a certain mood/genre/action, etc, for any of y'all who would like to cruise on by and see if any of them strike your fancy. I know I LOVE finding new songs that click something in the back of my head and makes me go "OH. I can use this. I think a scene is beginning to form for later use... Muahaha!"

Anyways, tonight's topic of choice is *gasp* ROMANCE (or... more physical forms of such things). Here are a few to get you going (heh. Not literally, perverts!)

1) Roads - Portishead (I've said it before, and I will include this bloody song in any playlist! Fantastic.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQYsGWh_vpE

2) Playground Love - Air (You may recognize this song from the Virgin Suicides. Very slow, sweet, something that can be applied to multiple scenes.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAgX1jO3No0

3) Crazy on You - Heart (Ok, so Heart is one of my fav bands, and this song just proves why. Faster for those more intense romantic, passionate type scenes.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZuW6BH_Vak

4) Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event (How can you not love this song. It's just so cute. True story - inspired a scene I otherwise wouldn't have thought of for one of my WiPs.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJi2z3tGKIg

5) How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - Al Green (Confession: I hardly listen to this song. But came across it on my iTunes. I hear Al Green is pretty good when talking about this genre.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO6Rknx5xyI

6) Colorblind - Counting Crows (This, by far, has got to be one of my favorite ever 'slower' songs for the... more 'physical' (GENTLE physical, not.. sigh.. anyways,) romantic dealings.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0s7ycdUcHk

7) I Will Follow You into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie (This song is just so overly cute, I had to include it.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6XZsau7CSk

8) Lucky You - Deftones (Ok, strangely enough, YES this did inspire a physically enhanced {perhaps not as 'romantic'} scene for a WiP of mine, though it may have been a drug induced-like scene. Nonetheless, I couldn't have a playlist without including Deftones.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80wz3_CAlg4

9) Ride A White Horse - Goldfrapp (Ok, confession again, yes I have used this scene in the mood of choice. Hey, I'm going for variety, ok?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8Qw8gN4uag

10) Iris - Goo Goo Dolls (What can I say... A cute classic.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-scESgTnoUM

11) Wicked Game - Chris Isaak (Another slow, lovely song. Though I do like HIM's rocked out version better, figured this one would apply more for the post.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oaHHrNQVrg

12) Fade into You - Mazzy Star (Mazzy Star is another main one for me and writing. This song has also inspired me for a scene. A great, slow one.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF0lRYhhiwI

13) Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers (What can I say, I love this song. Though, I do have to point out that it MAY possibly be because of the spoof in Naked Gun 2 1/2.....)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6xb_ddP4nM

14) Paint the Silence - South (Suuuuuuch a cute song. I absolutely love this one.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qIyUpCPVkI&feature=related


I think that's enough for now. What do you guys think? Should I do up a specified playslist post every now and then? Any specific mood/genre anyone is looking for? Let me know!

Happy writing :)
-A

Friday, June 11, 2010

Can't sleep. Late night musings.

Day: Friday.. or is it Thursday..? June.. the.. something... *heavy sigh* I'm so unemployed...
Time: Well, according to the little clock on the bottom right, it's 1.25am.
Current Mood: Le sigh.

Well, it's been happening all too much lately - I can't sleep. Not even my beloved make-me-fall-asleep-listening-no-matter-what playlist can't help me tonight. The song that never fails to put this little chickadee in slumber's eye isn't even doing it's job. (Into Dust by Mazzy Star). All I can think about the lyrics.

Still... fallinggggg.
Breathless and on again.
Inside todayyy

Inside me todayyy
Arounddd brokennn in two


I went to bed an hour ago. Laid in the dark, waiting for the playlist to do its job while forcing my eyes closed. Nothing. Zip. Nada. So up I got, stumbling blindly into the living room to get some water, then out to the balcony for a smoke. Now I'm sitting in my all-too-dark (*cough* creepy *cough*) living room, laptop screen GLARING oh, so brightly in my face, while the ipod sings in my ear (yes, still have that 'sleepy time/inspire for writing' playlist going. Maybe it will kick in soon...). Even with the music blaring in my ears, I can still hear our beloved annoying kitchen clock ticking ever so loudly. Has it always been this loud!? Dear god.

*turns volume up on ipod*

So, to be honest, I don't even know where I'm going with this post. I'm being honest, alright?? (2 points for honesty). I can't sleep. My eyelids are so heavy, yet my mind won't shut off. I could write in the WiP, but I'm afraid it won't make any sense (much like this blog post I presume), and when I wake up in the morning I'll smack myself and delete.

Phew! I must say, thank god for @nataliexmurphy . She's still up and we're tweeting loopy nonsense to each other. Must be an Albertan insomnia wave. Hey, at least we have each other. If you want to see her super awesome, random, loopy blogpost of the middle of the night, check it out here: http://bit.ly/a5If89

Do any of you ever have so much flowing through your mind at mach 1 that it just will NOT shut up to let you sleep? The mind, our greatest friend, our greatest foe. Usually the music will help for me. If I can't sleep I let the ipod play and after a few songs I catch myself waking up to something playing 10 songs later. "Umm.. I guess I fell asleep...?" Most of the time I will nudge myself awake somehow so I can pull out the earphones and sleep safely (there may have been a time or two.. or more.. where I have fallen asleep with music playing and woke up to the headphone cord wrapped around my neck. I know, I know, *bad Ashley!!*)

Sometimes tea helps. I have a cupboard STOCKED full of tea (I'm worse than an 80 yr old woman, I swear). Amongst that stock is my beloved Sleepy Time tea, which sometimes actually does help (not lately).

Alcohol is a no-brainer "sleep aid", but we're trying to stay away from doing that anymore.

I won't take sleeping pills. I had before when I was going through some things and had some SERIOUS insomnia action going on, but then you can become reliant on them. I don't like taking pills if I don't have to.

What else...? What are YOUR helpful tips for getting to sleep?

Ok, better end here before I start talkin' crazy (a tired, sleep-lacking Ash is one who confuses many). Plus I'm REALLY starting to get creeped out by the fact that the only light in this whole place is coming from my laptop screen and I can't see anything in the darkness surrounding me...

Now where's that gnome with the magic sleepy dust?

-A

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When it rains, it pours.

So I'm really, really bad at taking my own advice. Like, really bad. I've always been good for those inspirational, sympathetic, comforting words when someone is down. I can whip a frown upside down in seconds (usually), make someone laugh when they're about to cry, pick someone up when they're falling.

But what am I supposed to do with myself? It's not like I can hold myself up (literally), or look into the mirror and make stupid faces until I start giggling (ok, maybe I can, and/or have, but it's besides the point).

I'm quite an introverted person when it comes to dealing with my own issues. I don't like to bother others with my own problems or make them worry about me. I mean, come on. Goofy, fun-loving, joke-cracking, perverted Ash? No, no. I can't let THAT rep. fall, are you kidding me?

It's not a bad thing. I will deal with things eventually, within time. Everything will be ok in the end and all that jazz.

I feel with like how the weather has been lately, it's really matching my mood. I used to always joke that my mood controls the weather, because whenever I would be in a crappy place it would rain and storm and be all gloomy. I'm really starting to believe it! (Ok, I know what y'all or thinking - my mood is probably because of the weather, not the other way around. Hey, let me at least THINK I have some kind of supernatural powers! Please? Humor me, folks.)

For me, it always feels like when it rains, it pours (speaking metaphorically now). Usually I can just ignore it when I sense it happening and be on my merry way. But sometimes those sneaky clouds just come in too fast.


When things get like this I tend to hermit up, act like nothing is wrong, and deal with it myself. Sometimes you can just wait for the clouds to start clearing.

No matter what though, the sun will always find it's way to sneak through the clouds, no matter how dark they may seem. You just have to hang in there and soon enough you'll see a sliver of sun starting to stick through the darkness.



If you're lucky, and you're in the right spirits you may even get something like this:
 
 
Or even this:



I guess what I'm trying to say, is that no matter how down you feel, no matter how far deep you think you have dug underground, no matter how dark the world may seem, that sun will always shine through. Just hang in there and in the end, there will be nothing but blue skies again.


(All photos are that of my own and the trusty BB)



-A

Monday, June 7, 2010

Robot Short Story - This'll show him.

So, earlier this morning I had tweeted that I was up and doing some early morning writing. I was ready, I had my coffee, and I was so ready to tackle some scenes in my WiP. Then, the little shit (@TysonDueck , if you want to know) decided to tweet something in reply saying, and I quote,

"TysonDueck : @AshleyTenille Write me a short story. Preferrably one about a robot that falls in love. And I want a twist ending!"

So, instead of replying to his smart ass reply with my own smart ass reply, I decided to show him up. Ditching the writing I SHOULD have been working on, I opened up a new word doc and spit this little number out in about 15 mins. 

This will teach you to mess with me Tyson! Didn't think I would, did ya?

----

“Please… Don’t… leave… me…”

It could talk. She didn’t know how, she didn’t know why, but it could talk.

Her head whipped around so fast she felt a bone crack in the side of her neck, but she ignored the brief pain and stared at it with wide eyes.

“You… you… But you’re just a bunch of metal and screws… It’s not possible…” she stammered, eyeing up the intricate parts that had been put together specifically to make this life sized robot. Sure it could move; its job was to deactivate bombs and pick up hard to reach items. But its makeshift eyes were unblinking, it had no heart to beat or to feel, and it had no lips to speak.

“Anything. is. possible. Sharon. You. of. all. people. should. know. that. by. now.”

Its voice was quiet and spoke on one computer-like level. Its metallic jaw moved slightly as it spoke.

“…How?” Sharon fell to her knees from weakness, only a few feet away from the mangled robot. She wiped a hand across her brow, smudged with black from the recent explosion. As she took in their surroundings, the broken structures that had once been a building, she felt like she was in a dream world.

“Just. because. I. have. no. heart. does. not. mean. I. cannot. feel,” the robot continued, snapping her attention back to the pile of metal. The shine was dulled by the soot marks, and she knew it was missing one of its specially designed arms that was created to pick apart the smallest of wires and was even equipped with a small camera on the end of its fingers.

This wasn’t possible. She must be delirious from the explosion.

“You’re… you’re just a bunch of parts… You can’t talk…” she sputtered and felt her shoulders slump.

The robot’s head twitched to the side and a red light started blinking sporadically on its chest.

“I.... Feel.” Its monotone voice continued as its right arm moved at an odd angle.

The red light started blinking faster.

“It. is. why. I. have. to. do. this. It. is. the. only. way. It. is. what. I. have. been. programmed. to. do. in. this. situation. I. am. beyond. repair. I. know. that.”

A frown flickered across Sharon’s face as the realization hit her. Her eyes focused on the rapid flicker of the red light and she began to feel her eyes well up. A large tear fell and slid down her cheek.

“No…” she whispered and began crawling towards the robot, ignoring the piercing pain in her injured shoulder. He couldn’t do it, she couldn’t let him…

Its right arm twitched again, but this time it didn’t stop jerking from side to side. “I cannot.. stop it. It is what.. I am programmed.. to do. Farewell Sharon. Thank you. For. Showing. A. Robot. How to… Love.”

At that moment the blinking stopped and shone a solid red. Sharon’s eyes widened and her hand gripped around one of the robot’s cool, metal legs. A shrill beeping sounded from the complicated pile of masterfully designed parts, a creation that had taken years to master before it could be put in the field. 

The robot blew up in a loud, ear-splitting self destruction. The engineers had created the robot to do exactly that when it was damaged beyond repair so that the enemies couldn’t steal any of their workmanship.

The last thing Sharon heard was the nearly human, screaming sound come from the robot before she was blown to pieces by the robot's self destruction.

The end.
-I also have to mention that this was all just for fun. I'm not expanding on this or anything, just proving a point! :P

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dream Scene Blogfest!

Confession: This is my first EVER blogfest submission, thanks to my lovely CP @CourtneyReese86 whose raving about them convinced me to give 'er a go. I also have to thank @kristenyard for "guiding" me this morning in posting, since I'm such a blogfest virgin. Arrr ye always have me back, mate!

What this one is about: Congrats @AmaliaTd , for being the one who caught my eye and drove me to sign up! Her fantastic idea for a Dream Scene blogfest is what got me to sign up. Check out her awesome blog (and all of the other great writers who signed up for this at http://hellia.blogspot.com/ .!

Ok, just smidgen of info for my submission - it's a scene in a 3rd novel of a 'trilogy' my friend and I have been collaborating on back and forth through email for the past three years or so. This series started out as something to pass the time (we did the same back in high school, passing a binder back and forth between classes, collaborating on stories), and now it's turned into 3 joined stories.

Fact: I was actually going to use a different scene for this, but this morning I woke up and decided to go with this one instead. Not sure why... maybe because it's the reference of 'zombies'.

Without further ado, here's my scene:

     “Reid! Reid, help! …You have to help me!”
      Reid’s attention snapped to his left, struggling to focus on the irregular, matching faces of the crowded club. Everyone looked the same; everyone had the similar meaningless expressions on their face as they danced to the wonky, disruptive rhythm of the music pouring from the speakers surrounding them all in the high energy club.
      He could hear her. He couldn’t recognize the stuttering, fuzzy sound beating all around him, or the loud, screaming noises of the waves of people in front, behind and beside him. But he could hear her. She was calling for him.
      “Lexi! Lexi, where are you? I can’t see you!” He heard himself shouting back frantically, but he couldn’t feel his lips moving. He frowned at the realization in the back of his head, but disregarded it as his eyes flew over the zombie-like bodies moving at odd angles to the music.
      “REID.” Her voice sounded to his immediate right, as if she were right beside him. His head snapped towards her in an instant, and he just caught a glimpse of the back of her head, with her long flowing dark hair before she disappeared among the multiple expressionless zombies.
      “Lexi!” Reid called again, spinning around in a circle while frowning to himself at what was happening.       The music changed beat and seemed to be melting through the speakers and the bodies surrounding him immediately slowed to match the beat, moving in wave-like motions that almost hypnotized him on the spot.
      “Reid, over here!” He heard Lexi’s voice again, behind him now, and he spun around to see her. He actually spotted her, only a few feet away. She looked frightened. Her face was unnaturally pale and she was staring at him with worried eyes.
      “Lexi! Hang on,” Reid called and moved to take a step towards her, but as soon as he did a large group of people, the lookalike zombies, materialized out of nowhere and walked in front of him, separating him from getting to Lexi. He struggled to push past them, shouting and shoving, but it was almost like they were made of cement and didn’t even bat an eye toward him at his motions.
      “Help me, Reid!”
      He could hear her, further away this time. When he spun ninety degrees to the left, he spotted her across the dance floor, across the huge mob of dancing...things. How did she get over there so fast? What was happening?
      Reid’s mind was numb of the answers, but he was about to dive into the mob of people to get to her. They seemed to be multiplying in the hot, crowded club. The strobe lights going off made it hard to see and when he glanced back to judge his movements, Lexi was gone.
      “Reid, please… help. You have to help me,” her voice seemed to echo so clearly, as if only her hushed were were audible to him and the blaring music was only mindless background noise.
      “Where are you? Lexi, I can’t… I can’t see you, just please, tell me where you are,” Reid pleaded out loud, desperate as his eyes flew over the pale faces surrounding him. They all looked so similar... None acknowledging anything around them, only swaying with blank expressions on their faces.
      “Reid,” her voice whispered from behind, her lips only a breath away from his ear. He reached out before he even turned around, and grabbed onto her. When he spun around to face her, before his eyes could confirm her presence, finally with him, a sharp pain dug into his right shoulder, knocking Lexi from his grasp.
      “Reid!”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Writer's "Block" (but not)

Last night, talking with my newest Twitter friend/writer friend/fellow Albertan (@nataliexmurphy), the subject of Writer's Block (but not) came up and led me to one of her blog posts regarding the terrifying annoying subject. I've been going through the same thing for the past little while, and boy is it frustrating. But after @nataliexmurphy led me to her blog post, I found there were many comments from multiple people. (If you would like to check out her post & the great comments, go here: http://nataliemurphy.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-writing-best-way.html  )

It made me reflect on my own writer's block procrastination stubbornness STRUGGLES. From reading everyone's comments on her post, I felt RELIEVED in the fact that I'm not the only one going through this. There were many great ideas and suggestions to drive past it, but I'm not entirely sure what it is I'm trying to drive past. At first I thought it was the Block, but I don't have the lack of ideas floating around in my mind. And I definitely don't have the lack of time to write (quick update on the layoff situation - yes, still jobless...). Thought it could have been procrastination, but it feels more like I'm being stubborn with myself. Or that I WANT to write (god, do I ever), but when I sit down and try to get myself to do it, I don't. It's almost as if the front of my brain, my immediate thoughts, is to WRITE, now! And the back of my mind, the "hidden" thoughts, are like 'do this instead, do that, do you REALLY want to write right now?'

I want to kill that voice. 

I don't know why ANY part of my brain would try to defer me from writing. I love to write. ALL of me! So this whole struggle is very unfamiliar and very frustrating. It feels like all I want to do is RUN, but my feet are glued to the floor. Sure, I've had my share of the "block", but this is different. I think (like @nataliexmurphy) I have too much personal stress/anxiety going on that it is taking over all of my mental and emotional efforts that I need to put into my writing, so maybe that part of my brain stupid voice is trying to tell me that I need to deal with other things before I can focus on writing something new. There is nothing wrong with taking a break and putting things on hold to deal with something else (I have done it before), but it shouldn't take this long. I'm bad for giving advice and not listening to myself on it - if you force yourself to write when something is holding you back, you won't be happy with what comes out and it will feel too FORCED. That is how I feel. You just won't be happy with what came out and will most likely change it when you're back on that writing train later on. 

Boy, I want to be back on that train. Anyone have a spare ticket? I've been doing a bit better lately, but it feels like I'm sitting on that train while it's not moving. I want to go for a ride.

A few of the suggestions involved reading. I admit, I usually go into 2 phases - a writing frenzy phase, and a reading phase. I'll write like made for a couple months, then the train stops for some sightseeing - this is when I enter the reading phase. Which, I guess is still productive because a writer NEEDS to read. It's in reading where we gather more knowledge that makes us better writers. A couple weeks ago, I got REALLY into a new series and read 4 books in 4 days (series is Rachel Vincent 'Shift' series in case you are wondering) and read countless writing blogs/posts/tips. If that isn't a reading frenzy I don't know what is. But that is what I generally do, I spit out multiple pages in writing, stop or slow down, and then read an insane amount. I call it entering my reading mode. 

So how long is TOO long to not be spitting out writing pages like mad? I got laid off 2 months ago (I can't believe it's been that long...) and one of my thoughts when I got laid off was "YAY. I can have so much time to WRITE." And yet I've hardly done any. Why?! Sometimes (and this is probably just for me) I have to sit myself down (like a bad child going to 'time out') and FORCE myself to write. "Alright Ash, you are going to SIT here until SOMETHING shows up on that page."

Last night it worked (kind of). I managed to write (even though it was only half a page *cough cough*), but overcoming that small   large hump of writer's... whatever you want to call it... felt GOOD. I don't care that it was only half a page - it was the first part written for chapter 1 of my new WiP (had previously written a prologue, then stopped), so in my mind it is a HUGE obstacle overcome. I feel like now that I have that initial "start", now I can just continue. If that makes sense. 

Anyways, this ramble has gone on long enough. I'm curious - what are YOUR solutions to being STUCK with your writing?

-A

Thursday, May 20, 2010

For your writing inspirational needs!

Ok, I've been a baaaaad girl and haven't updated my bloddigy boo in some time. But! I will make it up to you all, I promise!

Firstly, I'm VERY excited to say that I have been dabbling and progressing with my new WiP that I have dubbed The Violet Hour. Yes, I'm weird and for some reason I always come up with the perfect title while plotting a new WiP, without having any words down! *brushes imaginary dust off of shoulder* And with the fantastical boost of AWESOME from my Critter (@CourtneyReese86), I have giddily dived (dove?) back into it. *confetti everywhere!*

And with this renewed vigor for my new WiP, I have gathered some great new inspiring writing songs, and I will share a handful with you. Enjoy!

God's Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash
Unstoppable - E.S. Posthumus (for those intense scenes)
You Got Me All Wrong - Dios Malos
Eden - Hooverphonic (always one of my favorites for writing)
Requiem For a Tower - Clint Mansell (always fantastic for INTENSENESS!!!)
The Handshake - MGMT
Panic Prone - Chevelle
This is Your Life - Low vs Diamond
Lucky You - Deftones (another all time fav.)
(while I'm at it..) Minerva - Deftones (another great one)
Death of a Party - Blur
Chemtrails - Beck
#1 Crush - Garbage
Bulletproof - Kerli (MUCH thanks to @CourtneyReese86 for introducing me to Kerli. This song has totally inspired an incredible scene in my head for later on in TVH :) <3)
Glory Box - Portishead (Couldn't do a writing playlist w/o some Portishead - one of my fav bands for writing. This one is a good slow, perhaps sexy scene song)
Krwlng - Linkin Park (one of my fav LP remixes of one of their best songs 'Crawling'. Both versions are scenes in my WiP.. or will be...)
Bad Romance (cover) - 30 Seconds to Mars (rawr! Much love to @kristenyard for introducing me to THIS one today. Absolutely love the version by these guys. Possible WiP scenes swirling while listening to it)
The Infinite - Dargaard (a dark kinda song)
Into Dust - Mazzy Star (another long time fav)
 
-A

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kleenex, Vitamin C, and a pouty Ash

Blegh! Someone made me sick. I have to find someone to blame, but it's not going so well. Started with a sore throat, then suddenly the next day it spread into every possible part of my head. After a HORRIBLE night's sleep (if I can call it that) I am now sitting on the couch in my pjs, covered in my blanky, with kleenex shoved up my nose. I'm sexy like that.

So anyways, what's new with me you ask? Well the other day I OFFICIALLY enrolled for Reeves College's Graphic Design program for the fall. Gadzooks! I am "technically" a student? I know, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. The good thing is that since I enrolled, I have secured myself a spot for the fall semester and if something happens during the summer, I can pull out with no penalty before classes start. And the other good news, is that the class is filling up quick for fall, but they top their class size for this program at 12 students. 12! That sounds wonderful. So now I just have to work on finding a job that I would be able to work part time while in school. Wish me luck, I'll need it.

I have to take this opportunity to mention @MauStCha (twitter) for what a fantastic friend she is. She's like this ray of sunshine and support group, confidante, all rolled into one. She's been super in keeping my spirits up, giving me encouraging words and praise all while going through her own stuff! No matter what she's going through, she always manages to shoot me an email with a supportive spirit (even though lately I haven't been great at reciprocating these emails as quickly as I should!).


Also, I would like to mention my fab crit partner @CourtneyReese86 - what a lovely diamond in the ruff I have found! She's helped me find my renewed drive for my new WiP and has been grinding some plot details that I haven't been able to hash out with anyone. She's a great writer and fantastic friend, and the best crit partner I could have asked for! 


Well, I should go and get some more juice into me and find some soothing lotion for my poor nose. I shall leave you all with this question:


What is your best remedy for a cold? Without caving in to the multiple cold medicines of the drug world. I'd appreciate any answers you can give!


-A

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In the Life of Ash - College? Really?

Yesterday I had a meeting with the student advisor at Reeves College. One of the first things I noticed with talking to a couple Reeves people over the phone and from my meeting yesterday, these people are all so nice. (1 point). They're also very helpful and considerate of individual situations (1 point). For those who didn't know from Twitter, I've been looking into their graphic design program and met with a lady yesterday to get more information and ask any questions I had to make a valid (and oh so serious and life changing) decision.

Something ironic - one of the girls I had worked with (who also got laid off with all of us), had enrolled at Reeves college (for a medical assistant, or something like that in the health field). She agreed with how wonderful all of the people seem there.

Anyways, their program seems really great. I'm kind of excited at the possibility of enrolling for this program (and school in general!) - I'm glad it's strictly graphic design and computer-related courses, because if it was like the Grant Mac program (which includes multiple hand-drawn projects, portfolios  I believe, I would be so screwed. With all my awesome quirks and personality traits and my ability to use words to write fantastic things, I was left out of the 'artistic', drawing, sketching gene of my family {my brother got that}). So in other words, phew! Dodged that bullet. (1 point)

I have lots to think about now. I'm pretty sure I really, really want to take this program. The opportunities from taking it are fairly wide open (1 point) and one of the main selling points for me is that it's something creative, different day to day - I need a career that would keep my creative juices flowing and keep me intrigued. I can't do the robot work thing anymore - punching in numbers, doing the SAME thing day to day, boring work. I think it's time I need to really jump the gun and do something I want to do. (1 point - for the creativeness).

So, summing up the goods - great program, great people, they help at the end of the program to soup up your resume and find work at a company you would really like (2 points).

The downsides include the tuition - it is about 12,000$ (I nearly dropped to the floor when she mentioned this - I'm such a financial wizard, careful with my spendings, not liking to lay down lots of cash on things... When I bought my car a few weeks ago, that was a strike in the heart enough!). I don't know if this tuition is normal or what the tuitions are like nowadays (it's been a while since I have seriously looked into post secondary full time.. like 5 years people), but the good thing is that this cost covers tuition AND the text books. (-1 for $, but +1 for including text books). I hear text books really kill students.
I would need to take out a student loan. One plus is that I at least have 3 years of the Rutherford scholarships from high school (I think it totals to 2,500$) and I could very well be applicable for other bursaries, scholarships or grants. Who knows! I think they help with that too, when you enroll, it automatically searches for what bursaries, grants, etc, apply to you. Really? When did that happen? From what I remember, students had to physically research and find scholarships that they could possibly be eligible for and write into them, hoping they would receive or win or whatever. Grueling process, trying to find anywhere that would give you the $ to help you pay off your skyrocketing tuition. But from what I gathered yesterday, they will look for you... How do they know if my grampa served in WWII? (I think there's probably some kind of scholarship for that, who knows). Any thoughts?

Also a painstaking thought is juggling school, work, $, etc, etc. *hyperventilate*. I think one of the worst processes would be trying to find a job that would let me work full time throughout the summer, knowing that I would have to switch to part time in the fall. The course runs 1-5pm Mon-Fri, so I would only be able to work mornings.

Oh - and apparently a lot of things in my life hurt my ability for a student loan (or how much I would be eligible for, rather). 1) I have a savings account. Yes. Of course I do. We grow up having EVERYONE tell us to save money, to squirrel it away, open a savings account, etc, etc. Now I'm going to get dinged because I HAVE one, and according to the gov't I should be using this while in school and watching it dwindle away to nothing. Um, excuse me gov't - this money could be saved for emergencies or for buying a house. It's there for a reason, I haven't used it for a reason. 2) My common law live in boyfriend makes money. So? How else to you expect him to live?? Of course he makes money, and yes I do live with him. So in other words, because he needs to LIVE, I get dinged because he makes money. Nevermind that he has a huge business loan to pay off now (that he just took out a couple weeks ago btw), because he made money last year, this means he should be able to support me while going to school. Apparently the gov't doesn't take into account the fact that we pay rent, bills, and, oh, I don't know, need food?

Anyways. So, lots to think about. The lady (her name is Janice, I guess I can stop calling her 'that girl'), gave me some things to take home and mull over (I mentioned how I need to talk it over with mumsy because she is the woman of all wisdom and helps me out with HUGE decisions like this.) She mentioned, hey, if you want to bring mumsy in next week or something, that's perfectly fine! Maybe she has questions that you haven't asked or forgot to. Ironically, mumsy will be in the city sometime next week and, as elementary as it sounds, I think I'll "bring her in" to discuss all of this more. Hey. My mama knows what's best! And also she's overly excited about the possibility of me going back to school and I mentioned her coming in to the college and she got all excited about that too. I guess it's a good thing because she would understand the things I didn't, ask things I forgot to ask, etc.

Well, I guess I babbled on enough for now. Gotta go shower and such, I have a day filled with bridesmaid dress fittings and shoe shopping. Friend's (@spencerjmarie) wedding is in just over a month, yikes!

Thank you for listening!
-A

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Twitterview #3 - @RockstarJodie

Hello everyone - it's time for my next Twitterview, and my Victim #3 is a superb lady who I've come to adore. She's sweet, sexy, and LOVES Rockstars (the energy drink). Hence her name...



@RockstarJodie




 (Side note: Sorry I had to cut your cleavage-endowed boobs from the pic dear friend, but it wouldn't have fit on the laptop screen if I kept them!)











Q: Why did you start up on Twitter?
A:
I started up on Twitter about 2 years ago as @PrincessJodie because my ex was on it. It was awesome, but there wasn’t very many people on it at all. 

Q: What is involved in an average work day for you?
A:
My work day is never the same. That’s what I love about working in a bank. I get to meet many unique individuals and help them by providing them financial advice. Other than that, it’s the typical 8:30am to 5pm job except that I LOVE the people I work with. 

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A:
In your pants! Ha. I am kidding (kind of). For real though, I would now have to choose San Diego. I felt so at home while I was there and I would LOVE to live there. It’s so beautiful and there is sun ALL THE TIME! 

Q: What is one of your most embarrassing moments?
A:
Oh man, it’s so hard to pick just one. I have at least one embarrassing moment happen each day. But if I had to pick one, it would probably have to be when I was in San Diego. I was exploring the city when I was walking down University Ave. I had guys yelling out the window at me and lining up commenting to me as I walked by and I thought to myself, “Damn! Jodie, you are looking mighty fine today. Look at all these guys giving you attention.” I couldn’t understand what they were saying as it was in Spanish, but I only assumed it was something like, “You’re hot!” So I walked into this Mexican store when this guy came in and was speaking Spanish to me and I told him I only spoke English. He asked me if I wanted a ride and I was appalled. Like really? A ride with YOU?! Hell no. So feeling creeped out I went back to Edgar’s place. I was telling some of my friends from San Diego what happened when they told me the area I was walking around in was known for…..
….PROSTITUTES! Can you believe it? Sigh. I didn’t look super “hot,” I looked like I wanted “a ride,” like the guys asked. 

Q: If you were going out with the girls, what would you be wearing and where would you go?
A:
A dress. I love wearing dresses when I go out. They make me feel so pretty. We always seem to hit up Hudsons. Mostly Hudsons downtown. 

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a first date?
A:
Is this supposed to be a G-Rated interview? Haha. I kid….. A first date. I want it to be something different than the standard dinner and a movie. That’s BORING! Take me bowling. Take me mini-golfing, do something fun and where I can see you relax. 

Q: You have zero money to spend, but one of your friends’ birthday is coming up. What do you do?
A:
I would pretend to be sick until I had money :) Nah. I wouldn’t worry about it. My friends are cool in the fact that they don’t need me to buy them presents to know that I love them. But I would still arrange to take them out when I finally had money. 

Q: We all know you’re fairly tall. What’s the best thing about being so tall?
A:
That people notice me. No matter where I go, I never get lost in the crowd. 

Q: ..and the worst?
A:
People always ask me to grab things off of the shelf when I am out shopping. So now I listen to my iPod so I won’t be disturbed. Ha. Also, short guys always want to date me. No, sorry, I won’t date you. I don’t want people to think I am out with my little brother!!

Q: If you suddenly had the day off tomorrow, what would you spend it doing?
A:
I would probably sleep in. Then get caught up on my chores. Boring, I know. But I need to do laundry, organize my clothes and shoes. My shoes are all over the house. I need to stop buying so many….but they are so pretty. I love shoes (just in case you didn’t catch that). 

Q: What is one of the most important qualities in a friendship for you?
A:
Trust. I give everyone my trust until they do something to make me question it. I expect the same thing in return. I have a great circle of friends that I never have to worry about jealousy or any of that meaningless bullshit. I am very lucky.

Q: What is your favorite thing about ME (@AshleyTenille)?
A:
That you are real. A lot of girls are so caddy and uptight. You are funny, smart, and you are friends with me. What more could a girl want from life?

Q: Tell us one thing about yourself that no one would expect:
A:
I have a twin….

….HAHA! Gotcha. Suckers. Something about me that no one would expect. Hmmm…that is a tough question. I would probably have to say that I absolutely hate feet. I think they are so disgusting and ugly. Most people find this weird as I love shoes. I just find shoes make feet look pretty by covering them up.

Q: Lastly, who was the last person you replied to on Twitter and why should we follow them?
A:
Haha. Unsurprisingly it was YOU! Why anyone should follow you is because you have a damn sexy photo. RAWR!