Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Ooh...a post...

Yeah, I remember how to post. Really. Stop smirking.

So, what's been going on with me lately? A lot of editing work for Dark Quest Games, a lot of flare ups, some stitching, visiting with family and friends.

Neal gave me my first straight fiction assignments to work on. It's a bit different than editing RPG material. Particularly, I have to be more careful about preserving the author's "voice." Well, I don't have to, but then the author just change it back anyway. :)  I also have to be more careful not to get caught up in reading the story; I have to stay on track and analyze what I'm reading. It's easier to step back from RPG material, since there's rules and such to be looked analyzed, not just fiction.

I seem to have had a lot of CFS flare ups lately, although that might simply be that I'm relatively active lately and not resting as much as I should. Also, I haven't excercised in ages, which I regret. My allergies are also driving me bonkers, which either make me tired on their own or else the benadryl does that on its own. I really need to get to an allergist, but I've either been slammed with work or too tired to make calls. Or avoiding it, to be honest. I hate phones, I don't know why. Having to make phone calls frequently sends me to the edge of a panic attack.

I've been stitching a bit on both of my projects. I'm also very slowly updating my stitching website. It's now been moved to my own domain: www.catandunicorn.org/allura . I have pictures of some recent finishes that I need to get up there, but I keep getting sidetracked into tweaking the design. This has led me to spend several days hunting the 'net for decent linkware web sets, preferably ones that are more recent styles. I've found a few, however, and might change to one of them at some point. As to the stitching itself, I'm still often cursing my stand when I work on The Dreamer, but I am making progress. I'm almost done with the scroll work at the top, which is good, since I'm so sick of brown. Big Girl Panties is starting to come along as well, although I want to take my red pen to the text. It's charted as, "Put your big girl panties on and deal with it." I want to change it to, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it." It's a dialect issue, I suppose. I think I may play with the PC Stitch demo to see if I can shift the words around.

This past Saturday went from a small, casual visit with Kari & Neal to dinner and a crowd at my house after. I really enjoyed having everyone here. It's a bit tight to put 8 adults and a toddler in our living room, and the apartment is nowhere near kid-proof, but it was...cozy. Initially, just Kari & Neal were coming over and we were going to stitch and then go out. While they were on their way up here, I got a call from Manna asking if I wanted to go to the mall with her. I told her I already had plans, but they could join us for dinner later. Got off the phone with her and about 10 minutes later, Jevanyn called asking what we were doing. Next thing I know, they too are joiing us. At that point I IM'd Morte & Eric to see if THEY had suddenly materialized in NJ and were going to join us! It was getting a bit surreal. Actually, the surreal part is me realizing I have friends who want to share my company. That still boggles me sometimes. Tells you what it was like to be me growing up, I guess, huh? We stitched, we talked gaming, we all went to Cheeburger, Cheeburger, came back to our house, and stitched (crocheted in Manna's case) some more. There was a lot of geekery and the guys checked out a bunch of the Green Ronin books I have. Most of our friends are straight D&D players, so True20 and Mutants & Masterminds were new-ish to them. I kicked people out at 11:30; the guys seemed like they were going to keep getting sidetracked, but the women were drooping.

Sunday I went to the mall with Manna & Starhawk. We walked all of both floors of Jersey Gardens, and it is NOT a small mall. Also, it was insanely packed with people. I would have turned around after not finding a spot in the second or third lot, never mind the 5th or 6th it was when we finally did find a spot. It was a lot of walking, too much for me, honestly, although I did come home with 4 sweaters from Fashion to Figure: this one in red and "ocean blue," this one in black, and a red quasi-hoodie with a fake t-shirt insert because I can't dress myself. Ok, I can, but I hate the whole layering thing, although I like how it looks. So I'm in that minority that LIKES fake layers. I like this store because it's cheap and has different stuff, but sometimes the sizing is weird. It's always great to have another option in my size, though. Unfortunately, Manna struck out again. She's generously blessed in her chest and very few designers seem to want to accomodate her, especially in something structured like a suit jacket, which is what she was looking for. I left the mall utterly exhausted, although I managed to be able to walk back to the car, something I was in doubt of for a bit.

I took not one, but two naps today, which isn't much of a surprise to me. I didn't get much done in the way of, well, anything, actually. I finished one short story for DQG, though; second passes are a bit easier. I spent a lot of time just looking at web sets, since that was easy on my brain. Hopefully I'll be a bit more animated tomorrow.

Posted at 12:58 am by Allura

Saturday, November 10, 2007
Good or Bad?

cash advance

Posted at 04:17 pm by Allura

Happy Blog-a-versary to Me!

Ok, that's a really cheezy title, and the grammar is driving me mildly batty but, yeah...this blog is four years old today. I know I haven't posted much at all lately. For the past few months, I've either been really busy with work...or burnt out and sick. I'm going to try to make posts more of a priority, though, and post them as I think of them, not "later." Keep in mind, though, you might get more political stuff as the US primaries keep going. Either that, or I'll get sick of the whole mess (which I mostly am). Kinda like D&D 4e. I'll worry about it when it's done. So, yeah, Happy Blog Anniversary.

Posted at 01:36 pm by Allura

Books: Three from Kari

Kari loaned me a ton of books at one point, so I've been working my way through them. Her tastes & mine line up sometimes, but not always, and all three of these are not books I would have picked up on my own.

First, was Dragon Bones. I didn't even realize it was a duology. Anyway, it was a bit slow, although interesting. There's a lot of people and a lot of locations but it felt oddly paced, like it was both slower and faster than it could/should have been. I enjoyed it but something felt off kilter about it; I can't quite put my finger on it.

Next, was Resenting the Hero, which is nowhere near as cheesy as the cover makes it look. It was pretty good, but I prefer my main characters to be a bit stronger.  She sorta floats along until the end, but she also has no training to do anything but, so it makes sense. It feels like it's going to turn into a particularly sappy romance novel any minute, but it never does. The world is really interesting; it's a "fantasy" world in the sense that it's been forgotten by/has forgotten the original offworld settlers. Tech seems to have regressed awfully far for starting with that conceit. I think I would have preferred a "generic" fantasy world that just sprang up somewhere; I don't think the "we know we were settled in the distant past" adds anything to the story. Other than that, though, the idea of natural disaster controllers is interesting and unusual. I think there's a sequel to it, and would like to read it.

The last was Dhampir, which, honestly, I almost put down. It was SLOW. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it, bc I picked it back up again a few days later and finished the second half rather quickly. They mixed a dark ages vampire story with a bit of fantasy (we've got some elves, a small bit of magic, etc). The problem is that the opponents were more sympathetic than the protaganists, I think. There's a bit too much in the way of coincidences, too. But, I did finish it, and it wasn't bad, just not my first pick.

Currently reading:
Dragon Bones (The Hurog Duology, Book 1)
By Patricia Briggs

Currently reading:
Resenting the Hero
By Moira J. Moore

Currently reading:
By Barb Hendee

Posted at 12:00 am by Allura

Friday, November 09, 2007
SBQ: Recycling

When you have to frog out stitches, do you reuse that thread or do you start over with a new strand?

It depends what it looks like. Often, the thread gets frayed or broken or knotted. But if it looks fine, I'll keep going with it, particularly if I didn't have to frog the entire thread.

Posted at 11:59 pm by Allura

SBQ: Designing

If you were a cross stitch designer, what would your design style be?

Ooh...That's a good one. I like bright, jewel colors in a traditional style. I like fantasy topics and a lot of the portrait style ones (ala Miarbilia or MLI). I'd probably do some home decor/useful item stuff, too. There's only so much wall space in most homes.

Posted at 04:03 pm by Allura

SBQ: Railroading

Do you railroad?

Nope. I'm not even exactly sure what it is. IIRC, it's a technique where you lay each stitch over a little cynlidrical tool, so the stitches lay perfectly and have even tension. I know folks who say it's just as fast once they get going, but I have enough coordination issues, thanks. :)

Posted at 12:57 pm by Allura

Thursday, November 08, 2007
Grammar Test

I'm always glad when I "pass" these...


Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Posted at 10:20 am by Allura

Sunday, October 21, 2007
SBQ: Gift Giving

What proportion of your stitching is for your own personal use versus gifts?

I think the ratio is 8:1 if you count the current projects. Basically, I've never done something just for me, which is why I'm working on The Dreamer. I figured after finishing 7 projects for gifts, it was time. Of course, my travel project is another gift...

Posted at 10:03 pm by Allura

Books: Grave Sight

This novel's a mystery with a twist, which I hadn't realized when I started it. It's one of a pile of books that Kari said, "Here, read these," and I had assumed they were all sci-fi/fantasy. The twist is that the main character, Harper Connelly, can find/sense the dead. No talking to them, just a sense of where they are and what their final moments were. Usually she just finds a body/confirms how someone died and then moves on to the next town. This time, she gets more involved and ends up sticking around and finding out the who, how, and why beyond the what. I had figured out part of the "who" early on, but if there was a clue to the other half I missed it. Also, even now that I've finished the book, I just don't see the motive as a good reason for committing murder, but I guess that's me not understanding the f*ed up mess that passes for logic in nutjobs, real or imaginary.  My other issue is that I felt Harper was a bit of a wuss, although she got better as the book progressed. Then again, she's overwhelmed by the unusual circumstances, so I guess it makes sense. I haven't read a mystery in ages, and I did enjoy this one.

Currently reading:
Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1)
By Charlaine Harris

Posted at 05:37 pm by Allura
Comments (2)  

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The personal blog of a freelance RPG editor, former engineer, wife, mom to two cats, voracious reader, cross-stitcher, pianist, gamer, browncoat, etc.

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Current Stitching: The Dreamer and Big Girl Panties

Current Editing: Crown Tales for Dark Quest Games

Friends and Family Links
  • Cross Stitch News
  • DH's Blog
  • Tensen's RPG Company, Dark Quest Gaming, and his LiveJournal
  • Karistan's website, blog, and our shared yahoogroup, NJ Needleworkers
  • Morte's blog and website
  • Gyr's blog and his leather business, Potted Fox
  • Becky's blog
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    Books/Projects I've Edited:
    For DQG:
  • Teams: Hit Squad
  • NPG: Rangers
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  • Alien Races: Zizak
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  • Temporality
  • Parry & Riposte
  • Lost Creatures
  • Alien Races: Grallick
  • Weapon Rack: Daggers
  • Fell Races: Goblins
  • City Guide: Nautical Necessities
  • Lost Prehistorica
  • Dwarves: Hammer of the Dwarven Lords
  • Huts, Hovels, & Homes
  • Lich
  • City Guide: City Watch
  • Dweomercraft: Alchemy
  • Bestiary: Underground Critters
  • Grimoire: Abjuration
  • NPG Clerics
  • Clothing Bts 1
  • Hoards

    For Green Ronin:
  • Crisis in Freeport
  • True20 Worlds of Adventure
  • True20 Adventure Roleplaying
  • Bleeding Edge #1: Mansion of Shadows
  • Hamunaptra: Exile
  • Murder at the Vulgar Unicorn
  • Blue Rose Fast Play
  • The Black Company Campaign Setting Web Enhancement: Thieves of the Silver Spike
  • Trojan War Web Enhancement: Greater Divine Offspring
  • Book of Fiends Web Enhancement #2: Foes of the Fiends
  • Bleeding Edge #3: Dirge of the Damned
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