Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Fun

Weekend weekend weekend!!!!

I heard it might be the weekend

Woo! Let's get this baby started with some fun!








Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Weird: The Valentich Disappearance

Okay, so pretty much we can all agree that boats and planes disappear in the ocean all the time. And we're not even talking about the Bermuda Triangle. We're just talking about the regular old ocean.

So we're not shocked to learn that on October 21, 1978, a Cessna 182 light aircraft piloted by Australian Frederick Valentich vanished. That happens all the time. Sometimes we know what caused their disappearance, sometimes we don't.

This one is a bit of both, because we have Valentich's final transmissions, where Valentich described being followed by a UFO:

1906 hours
Valentich: Melbourne, this is Delta Sierra Juliet. Is there any known traffic below five thousand?
Melbourne: No known traffic.
Valentich: I am... seems to be a large aircraft below five thousand.
Melbourne: What type of aircraft is it?
Valentich: I cannot affirm. It is four bright... it seems to me like landing lights.

1907 hours
Valentich: Melbourne, this is Delta Sierra Juliet. The aircraft has just passed over me at least a thousand feet above...
Melbourne: Roger.. and it... it is a large aircraft? Confirm.
Valentich: ... er unknown due to the speed it's travelling. Is there any airforce aircraft in the vicinity?
Melbourne: No known aircraft in the vicinity.

1908 hours
Valentich: Melbourne, it's approaching now from due east towards me...
Valentich: (open microphone for two seconds) seems to me that he's playing some sort of game... he's flying over me two... three times at speeds I could not identify...

1909 hours
Melbourne: ... roger... what is your actual level?
Valentich: My level is four and a half thousand four five zero zero...
Melbourne: ... and confirm you cannot identify the aircraft...
Valentich: ... affirmative.
Melbourne: roger... stand by...
Valentich: ... it's not an aircraft it is... (open microphone for two seconds)
Melbourne: ... can you describe the... er... aircraft?
Valentich: ... as it's flying past it's a long shape... (open microphone for three seconds)... cannot identify more than that... it has such speed... (open microphone for three seconds)... before me right now Melbourne...

1910 hours
Melbourne: ...roger... and how large would the... er... object be?
Valentich: ... it seems like it's stationary... what I'm doing right now is orbiting and the thing is just orbiting on top of me... also, its got a green light and sort of metallic like... it's all shiny on the outside...
Valentich: (open microphone for five seconds)... it's just vanished...

1911 hours
Valentich: Melbourne, would you know what kind of aircraft I've got? Is it military aircraft?
Melbourne: ...confirm the... er... aircraft just vanished...
Valentich: ... say again?
Melbourne: ... is the aircraft still with you?
Valentich: ... approaching from the south-west...
Valentich: ... the engine is rough idling... I've got it set at twenty three twenty four and the thing is...

1912 hours
Melbourne: ... roger... what are your intentions...
Valentich: ... my intentions are... ah... to go to King Island... ah... Melbourne that strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again... (two seconds open microphone)... it is hovering and it's not an aircraft...
Valentich: ... (17 seconds open microphone)...

Those were Valentich's last words. What followed were 17 seconds of a metallic scraping sound. No trace of Valentich or his plane were ever found. He was close enough to land for a lot of eyewitnesses to say they saw the EXACT same UFO. The only issue with that is, no one came forward until after the story was released in papers, so we pretty much have to rule all of those eyewitnesses out, whether they're telling the truth or not. He was also close enough to land that if he crashed, it may not have even been in the ocean.

The DOT had two experts examine the 17 seconds of metallic scraping taped at the end of the transmission. They couldn't conclude anything.

Some people have suggested Valentich became disoriented and was actually flying upside down the entire time. The lights he saw being his own in the reflection of the ocean. Which could be a possibility, but that becomes less believable if you actually believe what he said in the transmission, that the aircraft was circling him and going faster than him. If he was seeing his own lights, they would be matching his speed and not moving outside his own path.

So, there's no solution to what happened to Frederick Valentich and we'll probably never know for sure unless they somehow find his aircraft one day.


Monday, March 25, 2013

In Which I'm Torn

Come late May, there's a Children's and YA Conference here in the cities I'm attending. I went last year and it was awesome, and this year it looks to be even better so I registered as soon as registration opened.

And then I started to browse through the catalog to decide which talks I wants to attend. Last year that had 3 tracks at the same time, a picture book track, a middle grade track and a YA track. I attended all the YA ones, though I later heard there was an awesome MG one about magic in fantasy that I regretted missing.

But this year, this year they've made it more difficult. They've combined YA and MG (yay!) But! BUT!! They've added a craft track and a career track too. Which means the choices aren't as straight forward.

So now I'm looking at some of the tracks and I'm not sure which ones I should go to!
Urgh. If I only had a time turner...

Here are the tracks so you can see what I mean. I've highlighted the ones I want to go to:

Tracks on Craft (CR), Middle Grade & Young Adult (MY), Picture Book (PB), and Publishing & Career (PC).

  • CR—Limitations and Latitudes in Point of View with Swati Avasthi and Heather Bouwman
  • MY—World Building for Fantasy Writers with Kelly Barnhill
  • PB—Creating Excitement in Picture Books with Barbara DaCosta
  • PC—Steps Along the Way to Publication with Lynne Jonell
  • CR—“Where’s Papa Going with that Axe?”: The Sharp Work of a Good Opening with Swati Avasthi and Heather Bouwman
  • MY—Creating Male Heroes: Beyond the Brooding Hunk with Bryan Bliss, Steve Brezenoff, and J.C. Geiger
  • PB—Picture Book Dummies: Why, Why Not, and How? with Georgia A. Greeley
  • PC—Writing for the Educational Market with Laura Purdie Salas
  • CR—Monstrous Characters with William Alexander
  • PB—Reading Picture Book Award Winners with Susan Marie Swanson
  • MY—Sex and YA Literature: Choices & Consequences with Andrew Karre and Carrie Mesrobian
  • PC—To Query or to Kindle: A Dilemma for the 21st Century with Erin (Soderberg) Downing, Laura Bradley Rede, Stephanie Watson, and Patti Frazee
  • CR—Plotting and Plodding Your Way through a Novel with Kurtis Scaletta
  • CR—Revision: Cultivating Curiosity with Pat Schmatz
  • MY—Teens Do Know Best: Reader Response and the Writing Process for Young Adult Fiction with Patrick Jones and Adela Peskorz
  • PB—Authors and Illustrators on Craft, Process, Publication and How to Keep Going with Nancy Carlson, John Coy, Molly Beth Griffin, David LaRochelle, Stephen Shaskan, Charlotte Sullivan, and Mike Wohnoutka

Like, how am I ever going to decide? Some of them are easier than others, but overall, there are a lot of tough choices I'm going to make before the conference.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Weird: The Makapansgat Pebble

Today's post is less weird and more interesting/fascinating.
This is the Makapansgat Pebble. It's stream-worn jasperite, about 2 inches across, 3 inches high and about half a pound. So mostly it would fit nicely in your hand. It was found in South Africa in 1925.
The markings are natural, from living in a stream bed. So even though it looks like a face, that's just coincidental. I also think maybe he's wearing a nice little hat. A beret, perhaps? I suppose he could also be suffering from a bowl cut given by his mother. I'm sticking with beret, because then maybe he's eating macarons. Omnomnom.
But, this rock was discovered in a cave miles from the creek where it made its home. Which means someone moved it to the cave.
And this is where it gets interesting.
This rock, the Makapansgat pebble or the pebble of many faces (because you can actually see 2 more faces on it at different angles), was carried into that cave 2.5 to 2.9 million years ago. The Makapansgat pebble one the oldest known manuports (an object moved from its natural context by human agency but otherwise unmodified).
"Wait," you may ask. "There weren’t any humans around that long ago.” Very true. The pebble was found in a cave that was inhabited by Australopithecus africanus, a bipedal hominid that may be our ancestor.

So not only is this rock a candidate for the first known object moved by “humans,” it may be the first known example of a human ancestor exhibiting symbolic thought or aesthetic sense.
So what that means is, when that hominid found this stone in the creek, and recognized its resemblance to a face, this was the very first hint of what it meant to be human.
We are connected to a little ape-like hominid from millions of years ago because we, like them, can gaze at this rock and see a face. With or without a beret.

Monday, March 18, 2013

In Which I Incite An Incident

So class has been going great. Week three was when it really stepped into high gear. We had the first critique session, and guys, it was so awesome. Everyone had such great feedback for the writer. I'm really hoping that I get such helpful critiques as well.

My 20 pages are up tonight. My first 20 pages on All That Remains. Because I'm kind of struggling with the beginning. I mean, I like it, I want to hope that it's actually okay, but I worry that it takes too long to get to the inciting incident.

The issue is that in order for the II to make sense or carry the weight it needs to carry, there has to be some understanding of the relationship between the MC (Lea) and her BF (Val) and their families.
If you don't have that, then yes, the II is terrible. But if you do have that, then the II has deeper impact. (aaaaaand just like that I want to watch the movie Deep Impact.)

So,hence my struggle with the opening. I'm hoping the critique will either put my mind at ease, or confirm that my suspicions are correct but also help me generate ideas on how to fix it.

How's March coming along for you? Are you revising? Drafting? Querying? Tell me all about it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Fun


Know what would make Fridays even better, ape-friends? Actually getting fries. Omnomnom.

Do you know where I can find some french fries?

Onto the fun!






Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In Which I Gif

So I ran out of time to write a blog post for today (Wednesday Weirds require research, yo) so instead you get this gif. Watch it forever!


Monday, March 11, 2013

In Which I Clean

Ugh I spent the whole weekend cleaning. Blergh. I mean, yay for a clean house! That's awesome!
But also, now I'm tired and I have to get through the week before I get another weekend. AAAnd I have a wedding to attend this weekend. Me=busy.

My class has been going well, though. Tonight is the first night we're going to start critiquing. I'm really excited for that portion. I'm bringing my 20 pages tonight to be critiqued next week. I had to be a big girl and figure out how to use a Kinko's since I didn't want to print and collate 160 pages. Me = lazy.

Turns out Kinko's don't really exist anymore. Guess they were bought out by Fed-Ex? But there was a Fed-Ex Office near my house so with Twin's photocopier expertise it ended up being a lot easier than expected.

Me = mothereffing adult.

Aaand that's really all I have for today. How about you? How was your weekend?


Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Fun

What time is it?? Why, it's Friday Fun time of course, ape-friends!

I wish fun time lasted forever

Let's dance our way right into some weekend fun!







Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Here we are, the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for the next Insecure Writer's Support Group.

So this last weekend I had breakfast with the Awesome Hannah, and lunch with the Awesome Tricia. And there was a lot of talk about writing, as usual.

In both meals I mentioned my fear of laziness. I know I've talked before about how I tend towards laziness. It's just a personal flaw of mine.

So I was talking about revisions, and I mentioned about how sometimes I'm so worried that I'm not working hard enough.

Like maybe I'll get to a line. Something like "I pictured Val in his leathers."

And my first instinct is that I'm doing too much telling there, instead of showing. But then I think, well, in this case is it okay for her to say she's imagining someone? Because it's not like imagining is an emotion, that carries with it physical responses. You can't even really describe it.
So then I think, maybe this is one of those times where it's okay to leave this line as is. As long as I don't tell like this too often, it's okay for a bit of telling.

BUT. And this is the big but for me (tee hee. Big but...). I can't help but worry, am I being lazy here? Am I cutting corners because in my cursory revisions I can't think of a way to show "imagining?"

And then I start to worry. Where else am I falling back on my tendency to take the easy way out. Because I don't want to do that. I want to work hard. I want to get better. I want to reach my goals. But sometimes I have a hard time of knowing when something's okay, when my skills just aren't up to par, and when I'm just not putting in the effort or hard work.

I wish it was easier for me to tell the difference. I think it may get easier the better I become, but until then, I'm stuck wondering "is this okay? Or am I being lazy?"


Monday, March 4, 2013

In Which We "Tile"

I know I've spoken about Pinterest before. And how awesome it is. And how much I love it. Sooooo many great recipes on there. SO MANY.

I have a pinboard just of pins I've tried. Twin does as well. I've even blogged about projects here as well.

So, shocker, here's a blogpost about another project we've tackled after finding it on pinterest.

Our kitchen was kinda blah. I mean, sure it was serviceable. But we've been planning on pulling down the wallpaper border since we moved in 4.5 years ago.

Sigh. Sure is "quaint"

Obvs, that didn't happen.

One of the things that particularly bothered us, though, was our lack of back splash. Like, really? Come on. How hard it is to put of a back splash?

But tiles can be expensive. Well, at least the style we like. But then we saw a pin about Smart Tiles. Which are gel tiles pretty much like stickers you put up. They're heat and moisture resistance, and good for kitchens or bathrooms. Sticker tiles? Yeah. We could whip that out a lot quicker than regular tiles that need to be cut and grouted.

So here's the before pics:

Clearly we'd already pulled down some of the border here

Ignore the mess. We were in the middle of cleaning up and moving stuff before we could start when I took this photo

There was a bit of a learning curve using the smart tiles, but not much. They were easy to use and we did a big chunk of our kitchen in just a few hours.

close up photo of the Smart Tiles


Finished pic of the new wall

We're super happy with the finished result. Now we just have to paint the remaining walls and then at some point in the future do something about our shitty counters.

How about you? What did you do over the weekend?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Fun

Yay!!! Happy begging of March, Ape-Friends! You know what that means, right? That we're just that much closer to seeing the snow leave, so we can sit on the porch and sun bathe our tummies.

Oh snow. Please get the hell out of here

But until then, we have the weekend to celebrate! So let's launch this one off with some internet fun!

Here we go!








Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...