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Mission 101-2009, Part Two

 

August 09 Update   September 09 Update  October 09 Update (oops!)  November 09 Update (oops x 2) December 09 Update


End Date:  September 29, 2011
 

 

 

1. Cut credit card debt by 10%
August 18/09 - I spoke with my neighbour, and he's willing to wait until next year to replace the fence. Yay! As it stands right now, I'm only going to be -0.17% more in debt than when I started the year. Well, every little bit of progress helps... :D  December 4/09 - I was doing pretty good - almost 2% less in debt (!!).  But...it's Christmas.  :(  Good-bye progress.  Sigh.  December 22/09 - Worse than Christmas:  my furnace died.  Fixed it for $700 but initial estimates to replace it:  $4000-$6000.  *sobs quietly* My progress is shot to hell, plus, #15 is a FAIL because of it, too (that, and because of the !%#$#@ airlines who charge ginormous amounts of money to spent 1 hour and 40 minutes in the air at this time of year. *cursing under my breath*.  December 30/09 - I'm currently 2.21% less in debt on my credit cards than when I started.  Of course, that will change next month... *sighs*

2. Read all the books in my house I haven’t read yet – and want to read (38/911 or 4.18%) (38/912 or 4.17%)   (48/918 or 5.23%)  (51/919 - 5.55%)
September 19/09 - Yes, bought another book yesterday.  Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (seriously, how could you resist it??).  I have to say, I'm finding it funnier than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  :D  I'm actually rather appalled that I haven't read a book for a month?!  Well, that's not technically true.  I"ve been reading through several collections of short stories, but I have to pick up each one to see if I've finished them or not (since I haven't been reading them in order this time).  So, there may actually be another 3-5 books to strike off the list...but I need to confirm...  :) ).  

3. Finish tiling the floor in the office
August 24, 2009 - Well, I was tempted to start doing this on the weekend, and then talked myself out of it. Why? I'm PMS'ing, which usually means impatience and really loud and obscene swearing happening when something doesn't go right, which may (or may not) be followed by tiles and other objects being thrown around. Back AWAY from the tiles, and nobody gets hurt... 

 

4. Finish tiling the floor in the hallway

5. Finish tiling the floor in the bathroom

6. Finish tiling the floor in the kitchen
7. Finish tiling the floor in the dining room

8. Finish tiling the floor in the attic

9. Finish yard clean up

10. Sell house
August 24, 2009 - Well, not going to happen this year (unless I lose my job and I have to sell in order to pay bills...but I digress... ;) ). 

 

11. Go to Europe the year I turn 45 (2011)
December 4/09 - Yeah, don't think this is going to happen.  My progress on #1 is way slower than expected, so... *shakes head* I'm not crossing it off YET, but let's just say it's on shaky ground.

12. Go to Manitoba to visit friends.

13. Go to BC to visit relatives.

14. Go home in June/09.

15. Go home for Christmas/09. (FAIL) 
August 18/09 - Starting to think about this. Location? Check. Gift exchange? Check. Holidays available? Check. Now to just decide if I'm taking time before Christmas or after Christmas??? Not to mention what presents I should buy. We're going to do a second year of this new type of gift exchange (for us, I mean). All the girls buy presents for girls; all the boys buy presents for boys. You buy the same gift for everyone. So...in my family, for example, there are 8 females and 12 males. So, I would buy 7 of the same little gifts for all the girls (a candle, for instance). They would do the same and we all end up with 7 gifts under the tree. How cool is that!?! My sister suggested it. I think we're limiting it to whoever will be home for Christmas - which is what we did last year, only I wasn't home for Christmas last year (bummed). Anyway, it was apparently a LOT of fun!! And the intent is that if you were going to spend, say $100 on one person, you would just spread that $100 over the 7 people (or however many you have).  December 4/09 - If I would get off my butt and book my flights, this would be practically a done deal.  :)  I do need to start Christmas shopping, though.  December 22/09 - Unless a miracle happens and the prices of flights go down dramatically, this is a big, fat FAIL.  I can't believe it!  Of course, it's mainly because I need a new furnace and to spend $1000 or so to go home when I need $4000-$6000 for a furnace just makes me cringe (and I have no personal fiscal responsibility whatsoever).

16. Write a newsletter to my siblings once a month.

17. Successfully complete NaNoWriMo 2009
August 18/09 - Starting to think about this as well...starting to get a little worried...what to write about...what to write... *ponders*  December 4, 2009 - YES!!!  50,243 words.  Whoohooo!!  :D

18. Successfully complete NaNoWriMo 2010

19. Attend a writer’s retreat

20. Participate in a creative writing class

21. Attend one Jerichon

22. Get a second kitty
August 18/09 - This should be happening soooooonnnnn...picked out the kitty I want, so hopefully they'll be delivering her sometime in the next few weeks...she's getting fairly old, though, which doesn't really mean anything, except that those first few months when they're so small and soooo stoooopid are just hilarious and adorable. :D I'm kinda sorry I'll be missing that, but...oh, well... December 4/09 - Not going to happen now until next year.  :(  December 22, 2009 - Well, when you least expect it... As of December 18th, I am now the proud "owner" of an 8 week old silver tabby female kitten.  She's tiny and precious and once she gets over the impulse to cling to my face like the monster from Alien, she'll be perfectly adorable.  Even better:  the resident Biggie kitty seems to like her, too - if his desire to groom her is anything to go by.  (I fixed you, buddy - don't get any ideas!!) 

23. Have a new job.
August 3/09 - Yes, may happen whether I like it or not. Not sure if there's going to be status quo, reassignment of staff or layoffs...As the saying goes, "we are doomed to live in interesting times..." We should have more news shortly (say, within the next month). I deal with the procurement of contracted services and with the hiring freeze and freeze on discretionary spending that was just announced for government departments, well...let's just say, if you're not doing any contracts, then you don't need a procurement person, do you?? Hmmmm...I wonder if the 7/11 is still hiring??? And damn it! I knew I should have found a second job!!! August 6/09 - Well, you might say I had an epiphany yesterday about this goal. I was wasting time - I mean, I was taking a much-deserved break from my very busy work day (although I joke, we've been AMAZINGLY busy the last six-eight weeks; we've come to a bit of a lull and I think I've just kinda keeled over in a stupor because of it)(but I digress). Anyway - I was taking a break and cruising job sites because - well, I may need to actually look for real - and I found jobs in Ontario that were paying OUTRAGEOUS amounts, and which were in my area of expertise. So, then I started wondering why I wouldn't just send in my resume and cover letter to this company for whatever may come up. And the usual arguments "my life is here"; "move EAST?!?!?! Are you INSANE?!?!?" and realized that, really, I have no good reason NOT to move if I got an outrageously high-priced job somewhere else. I'm still a little freaked out by that thought, though, so I may need to let it percolate a bit. Not to mention that I have been in my comfort zone for sooooo long - it takes a lot of energy to move out of it. Okay, now I'm just depressing myself...moving on...

24. Complete the MDP program (5/19)
August 31, 2009 - I need to register in three more courses this year...should do that this week. I'll be placed on wait lists, and we'll see how many I actually get to take...  December 4/09 - I've got two courses scheduled for February, I believe.  Oh, and this total is actually the number of DAYS I need to be in class (I know - weird).  :)

25. Go to 45 movies by July 31, 2009 - (9/45) FAIL. :(

26. Complete an inventory of all my books (1012)
August 24, 2009 - And still counting...I still have two bookcases to go and then the stragglers around the house...

27. Complete an inventory of all my music

28. Complete an inventory of all my DVDs/VHS tapes (54)
August 24, 2009 - and still counting. :) September 19/09 - Bought the first season of Fringe yesterday.  Must.  Watch.  Soon. (preferably before the next episode, but that may not happen...)

29. Buy the complete Babylon 5 series DVDs (1/5)
August 3/09 - Well, I really bought the first season on Friday (July), but I'm only updating now. :)

30. Buy the complete Get Smart series DVDs (2/5)

31. Complete my X-Files series DVDs (4/9)

32. Complete my West Wing Series DVDs (2/7)

33. Complete an inventory of all my games

34. Complete my collection of Isaac Asimov books (written by him; fiction only) (38/224)

35. Celebrate with my sister when she turns 50 in 2010
August 31, 2009 - Latest plan is to go to Vegas for her birthday.  I do love Vegas, but I was sorta looking forward to San Francisco, too...

36. Go home for Christmas 2010

37. Buy the complete Scarecrow and Mrs. King series DVDs

38. Buy the complete Bones series DVDs (3/4)

39. Buy the complete NCIS series DVDs (1/6)

40. Finish my Betty Neels collection (122/134)
December 4, 2009 - I need to go through my collection and her bibliography again.  They re-released some of her titles for Christmas and I have one showing up as "not owned" in my inventory, but I KNOW I own it because I've read it several times.  :(  I'm very confused.

41. Go for a hot air balloon ride

42. Use the treadmill for .5 hour once a week

43. Go for a physical every year (2009, 2010, 2011) (0/3)
December 26/09 - Well, the intent was there...but, ummm...no.  Not for 2009.  And YES, I need to get one done (it's been about 5-6 years or more by now.)


44. Find a doctor

45. Make a will

46. Make a living will

47. Clean house once a week
August 24, 2009 - Holy crow - I cleaned the diningroom and kitchen on the weekend!! Of course, the kitchen was promptly dirtied again, because...OMG - I COOKED!!! I followed a recipe and everything!! I even froze leftovers! It's one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse, I know - run for your lives!!  December 4, 2009 - *sigh*  Well, there's always next year... And this isn't over yet!!  :D

48. Do laundry once a week

49. Make at least one new off-line friend in 2009

50. Make at least one new off-line friend in 2010

51. Make at least one new off-line friend in 2011

52. Think at least once about dating. Seriously consider thinking about it, anyway.

53. Actually get stuff out of my house.

54. Keep the spare room clean and ready for guests

55. Find a way to make some extra money every month.

56. Phone each of my siblings once a month.

57. Plan my 2011 trip to Europe.

58. Buy an SAD lamp.

59. Type up all the fanfic I've written so far

60. Post stories that are actually finished.

61. Go to the dentist

62. Take a cooking class

63. Cook a full meal once a week
August 24, 2009 - I made Manhatten Clam Chowder on Saturday. I consider that a full meal, since I don't eat a lot of bread or crackers, and well, what else is there if you're eating soup?? And no, soup is only an appetizer in a restaurant; at home, it's a full meal. ;)

64. Bring lunch to work at least once a week

65. Find and participate in at least one singles-only event (trip; physical activity, etc.)

66. Type up my mother's notes/memoirs and make books for the family

67. Practice random acts of kindness

68. Accept random acts of kindness

69. Respond to e-mails every Saturday (in between loads of laundry)

70. Write one non-fiction book.

71. Write one fiction novel (original characters)
August 27, 2009 - Well, if I can successfully complete NaNoWriMo, then this should be scratched off as well. Or not. LOL I do plan on writing an original fiction novel for NaNo - it will most likely never see the light of day anywhere other than on my own computer, but that's okay, too. I just want to know I can do it... :)  December 22/09 - This is technically done since I did win NaNoWriMo this year.  However, I'm not considering this completed until the novel is actually edited/completed/finalized.  So, NaNoEdMo in March - here I come!!  LOL. 

72. Do all the tourist things in Edmonton at least once

73. Only go to the casino when my sisters are in town (or I'm in their towns)
August 3/09 - No casino so far, but will be going the weekend of August 14th, since my sister will be in town, and she said she wants to go. :) August 18/09 - Went both Saturday and Sunday; lost horribly, but my sister won (yay!her). Now I'm DONE until Christmas. :) And after how badly the machines treated me all weekend, I have no particular urge to go back anytime soon...grrrr...  September 19/09 - Well, this has been a massive FAIL this month.  :(  Oh, well, we'll start again today (well, actually, as of Wednesday night, which was the last time I went).  Sigh. (And if I had known the amount of my gas bill, I wouldn't have gone at all this month!!!  GAH!)  December 22/09 - Well, December has been good, but November was horrible.  :(  Anyway, we're starting again...

74. Read all of the Discworld novels again. In order. Again.

75. Complete my Cary Grant movie collection. (3/72)

76. Rewatch all the Cary Grant movies at least once (2/72)

77. Get a library card

78. Rent movies at least one weekend a month August 2009, September 2009, October 2009, November 2009, December 2009, January 2010, February 2010, March 2010, April 2010, May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, August 2010, September 2010, October 2010, November 2010, December 2010, January 2011, February 2011, March 2011, April 2011, May 2011, June 2011, July 2011, August 2011, September 2011 (0/25)
August 6, 2009 - Just realized that this should have been phrased: "rent movies at least one weekend a month after July 31st:"...whoops...that was the intent, though... :(  August 31, 2009 - Whoops.  Forgot about this one for August...  December 26/09 - Again, not so much.  *sighs*

79. Go to the movies at least once a month (after July 2009) August 2009, September 2009, October 2009, November 2009, December 2009, January 2010, February 2010, March 2010, April 2010, May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, August 2010, September 2010, October 2010, November 2010, December 2010, January 2011, February 2011, March 2011, April 2011, May 2011, June 2011, July 2011, August 2011, September 2011 (0/25)(1/25)  (2/25)
August 31, 2009 - Went to see District 9. Hmmmm...it was...interesting...bizarrely interesting, and I'm sure saying some very deep things about refugees and human nature...still thinking about it, really...  December 26/09 - Ummmm...yeah.  Not so much.  :(  On the other hand, Sherlock Holmes has just been released, and I really would like to see that one...so maybe in January.  :)  December 29/09 - Went to see Avatar last night.  I was invited out by a friend and I went thinking it was Avatar:  The Last Airbender, and I thought "oh, cool - it's out!  Now I'll get a bit of a glimpse at this fandom."  I had never heard of this one.  I mean I knew absolutely NOTHING about this movie...Yes, I DO live under a rock, why do you ask?? LOL  So...ummm...what can I say about it?  Well, it was a decent enough story albeit predictable to the nth degree; the acting was decent and pretty good considering most of it was animation; the 3D was awesome and integrated well into the story - but three FREAKIN' hours!?  Seriously??  Somebody teach this dude how to edit a movie because it was at least an hour (possibly more) too long - especially when the storyline really is predictable. After hour two I kept thinking "I know a, b, c and d are going to happen so just GET ON WITH IT already! "  The friend I went with (although we didn't sit together - the show was sold out and we got there too late to get two seats together) disagreed with me, so this is strictly my opinion, of course. Anyway, I'm glad I went but I'm reminded once again why I try to avoid James Cameron movies.  three freakin' hours... 

80. Feed my pen fetish as often as possible.
August 6, 2009 - Meant to go to Grand and Toy today - there was an ad for a new Bic pen on TV yesterday, and ooooohhhhhh - I need to go try them!!! That and I don't think I've bought any new pens this year...my 90 gel pens were last fall, I think...NOT good...August 31, 2009 - Bought a package of 8 ballpoints in 4 different colours.  And they write very, VERY smoothly...mmmmmm....

81. Feed my shoe fetish as often as possible.
August 18/09 - Bought two pairs of shoes on Saturday - and they're soooooo cuuuutttteee.

82. Feed my phone fetish as often as possible

83. Buy a china cabinet for my grandmother's china

84. Figure out a way to display the old lanterns, phones and other things I have

85. Buy a dress mannequin for my grandmother's wedding dress

86. Replace the furnace in the house (if I don't sell the house in 2009)
December 22, 2009 - Well, this will happen sooner rather than later.  KNEW I should have done it in the summer.  !##!$@@@ 

87. Study the Tarot cards again
September 19/09 - After watching the season premier of Bones, I have the urge to reach for my cards/books and remind myself of the meanings of the cards that were shown.  :D

88. Write to friends at least once every two months August 2009, September 2009, October 2009, November 2009, December 2009, January 2010, February 2010, March 2010, April 2010, May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, August 2010, September 2010, October 2010, November 2010, December 2010, January 2011, February 2011, March 2011, April 2011, May 2011, June 2011, July 2011, August 2011, September 2011 (0/13 (1/13)
August 31, 2009 - I wrote to my friends who were waiting for a response on Facebook.  :)

89. Buy my friend a wedding present before her first anniversary (!)

90. Write at least one fan letter to an actor or TV show I'm really enjoying
August 9, 2009 - I've been considering this the last couple of days. I'm finding that I have a real mental block about it, though. It makes me feel rather...stalkerish...even though I have a fairly firm grasp on reality (most days) and it's highly unlikely I'm going to start following anybody around claiming they're my husband or asking them to father my baby. But...still...You know, I worry about the most bizarre things sometimes... August 15/09 - hmmmm...upon re-reading this, I realized this sounds like I think everyone who writes a fan letter is a stalker. NOT SO. It's just that I usually show my fannishness through my pocketbook - I watch the TV show, buy the series, go to the movie, buy the book, etc., etc. I just think that I'm one of millions of fans, and seriously, is the celebrity really going to care if I write to them or not? Ummmm...no, although fan mail is always welcome, I suppose. This is just something that is so extremely outside my usual behaviour zone that it makes me rather uncomfortable. Which, I suppose, is the point of the 101 in 1001 days thing... LOL.

91. Provide feedback or comments on fanfics I really like.
September 19/09 - I'm about 6 weeks behind...  :(  My Heck stories are first; Jericho stories are second and everything else is an equal 3rd (although I do have favourite authors)...but I'm still 6 weeks behind... 

92. Respond to feedback and comments on fanfics I write and post
September 19/09 - I'm doing pretty good here on LJ, but I have to get off (on??) my ass and respond to feedback from other sites.

93. Buy a Wii

94. Buy a big(gish) screen TV
August 24, 2009 - The Brick was having it's usual "buy a mattress and boxspring, get a free TV" deal this month. 42" LCD...now if only I had the $1600+ for the mattress and boxspring...sigh. Well, maybe next year. :)

95. Upgrade VCR and DVD players

96. Go shopping at least once a month - whether I need to or not (August 2009, September 2009, October 2009, November 2009, December 2009, January 2010, February 2010, March 2010, April 2010, May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, August 2010, September 2010, October 2010, November 2010, December 2010, January 2011, February 2011, March 2011, April 2011, May 2011, June 2011, July 2011, August 2011, September 2011 (2/25)
August 15/09 - Realised that I haven't gone shopping since I bought my glasses...good Lord! Oh, well, this weekend will make up for some of it, because I'm going to West Ed Mall twice this weekend, so I should be shopped out for awhile. August 18/09 - Oh dear God - two solid days in West Ed Mall - I should be able to strike off two months for that!! It was a very successful shopping trip though - I bought 5 shirts, 1 skirt, 2 bras, 2 pairs of shoes and 7 books. Aaaaaahhhhh...life is good... ;)  December 26/09 - Of course, Christmas.  :)  Have gone shopping for two solid days - yick.  This may be better in the new year...  :)

97. Go to Craven in Saskatchewan at least once

98. Go to at least one concert in Edmonton

99. Complete my Jimmy Buffett collection

100. Complete my Five for Fighting collection

101. Create a Things to Do Before I Die list.


 


 
10/ 101 Things crossed off. 10% crossed off!

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
phyllis629
Sep. 7th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Your Mission 101 List
I'M POSTING THIS COMMENT AGAIN. THE FORMAT GOT MESSED UP WITH THE FIRST POST!

Sep. 7th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
Your Mission 101 List
I love your Mission 101 list. I would have a number of the same items, if I ever took the time to compile a list!

Some specific comments:

32. Complete my West Wing Series DVDs (2/7)


I highly recommend the West Wing DVDs. The West Wing is slightly ahead of Jericho as my all time favorite show. I especially loved Season 7, since I was a big fan of the Josh/Donna romance. (I may even try writing a Josh/Donna fan fiction after I finish Redemption.)


71. Write one fiction novel (original characters)


I’m impressed that you’ve almost completed this. I’ve always wanted to write, but never had the time or the discipline. I’ve recently had some life style changes that have afforded me more free time. The great Beck/Heather fan fictions that you and some of the others have written gave me the inspiration and motivation to write Redemption. I would like to keep writing after I finish Redemption.

At some point, I’d love to progress from fan faction to a novel (or at least a short story) with completely original characters. I realize that I first have a lot to learn. My writing still sounds too stilted. (I blame it on all those years practicing “corporate speak” as I’ve worked for big financial services companies!) I need to work at making the writing and especially the dialogue sound more natural.

By the way, what is NaNoWriMo? Also, have you found creative writing classes to be useful?


80. Feed my pen fetish as often as possible.


Finally, somebody who shares my pen fetish! I love pens – especially gel pens. My husband forbids me from going to Staples, because I always come home with a number of new pens that I don’t need. (Of course, he’s yet to realize that you can easily order them by the box on line!)


91. Provide feedback or comments on fanfics I really like.


I think you're great at this! I really appreciate your comments on Redemption and look forward to your feedback on each chapter. (Sorry if I’ve been overwhelming you. The last few chapters have come quickly. I will probably be posting chapters 7 – 9 over the next week or so. There will then be a brief hiatus, since I will be out of pocket for a week or so with some minor surgery.
shirleyann66
Sep. 7th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Your Mission 101 List
The West Wing is slightly ahead of Jericho as my all time favorite show.

The West Wing was my last major obsession before Jericho, and Josh/Donna are one of my favourite pairings EVER. I adore Josh with a passion that is probably pretty unhealthy. LOL If you write Josh/Donna fic, I'll read it, believe me!! :)

71. Write one fiction novel (original characters)
I’m impressed that you’ve almost completed this.


Ummm - I haven't even started...just starting to think about it, actually. It's what I'm planning on doing for NaNoWriMo, though. More about NaNoWriMo below... ;)

I’ve recently had some life style changes that have afforded me more free time.

I hope these life style changes were (a) voluntary, (b) for the better and (c) made for positive reasons.

The great Beck/Heather fan fictions that you and some of the others have written gave me the inspiration and motivation to write Redemption. I would like to keep writing after I finish Redemption.

*blush* I'm so glad that they inspired you and got you writing as well. :) And I hope you keep writing after Redemption - in whatever fandom or original universe you like - although I'm hoping for more Heck fic, of course... :)

My writing still sounds too stilted. (I blame it on all those years practicing “corporate speak”

Were we separated at birth or something? O_O I hadn't written anything but academic papers and legalese* for 20+ years before being inspired by Beck/Heather. Believe me, my first few efforts were...well..."bad" is a polite term for them. :D I think I've improved somewhat, but I've learned that writing creatively rather than corporately takes (for me) a lot of practice.

By the way, what is NaNoWriMo? Also, have you found creative writing classes to be useful?

NaNoWriMo stands for "National Novel Writing Month", which is November. The challenge is for participants to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The LJ community is here: nanowrimo and the official website is here: Nanowrimo Non-LJ Site .

As for a creative writing class - I've never taken one, and I haven't registered for one yet. I've been getting cold feet on this one - simply because I'm having fun, and I'm worried that a creative writing class will take that fun away...or severely hamper it...

Finally, somebody who shares my pen fetish! I love pens – especially gel pens.

Ooooh, yeesss - pens are awesome, especially gel pens. It's a running joke in my office because I have a round-table sort of pen holder that holds 90 pens and it's almost full. I've told my boss that I don't expect him to support my pen habit (but it would be nice... :D ).

91. Provide feedback or comments on fanfics I really like.

I think you're great at this! I really appreciate your comments on Redemption and look forward to your feedback on each chapter. (Sorry if I’ve been overwhelming you.


*blushes* Thanks! I've been a reader of fanfic for years, but only started commenting in the last year or so.

And you're not overwhelming me - at all! In fact, post faster! :D There are so few of us writing Heck fic that when it's posted, I tend to gulp it down, and then need to take another, slower read (or two) because I love the pairing so much and I want to savour it.

I've been slow in feedback lately because I've been obsessed focused on my Oasis fic - getting the prompts "assigned" and tentatively pegged into the timeline. This weekend, I've started typing up all the letters in the first year of the timeline, and I hope to start posting in about...two weeks (I've apparently misplaced a notebook, because some letters that I know I've written in some detail are missing...which means I need to search my bedroom...).

There will then be a brief hiatus, since I will be out of pocket for a week or so with some minor surgery.

Oooh, I hope it's very minor - and good luck with it!

----------------------
* I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But the work I do is very formal, and is a legally binding process, which means the documents I create follow legal styles and language (aka "boring as hell").
phyllis629
Sep. 11th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
Re: Your Mission 101 List
Shirleyane66,

I can't believe your first writing efforts were bad. Was "For God, Country, and Heather Liskinski" one of your first fan fiction posts? I thought that was a great story, as was "Lost Sheep" and the others that you've written.

With that said, I was blown away by your last chapter of Oasis, specifically your depth of characterization. From a comparative perspective, I was almost embarrassed to post Redemption. I'm hoping that I can keep getting better. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep improving, other than just lots of practice?

One question - do you have anybody Beta read your stories before posting them? I notice that some of the fan fiction sites recommend or even require it. Obviously, the Beta reader needs to also be a fan of the show. (I have some good friends who have asked to read my stories, but since they weren't Jericho fans, the plots and characters won't make sense!)

Also, thanks for asking about my lifestyle change. All in all, it was for the better although it didn't necessarily feel that way at the time.

Bottom line, I left my job through a "mutual separation". It was a job I used to love, but I had started to hate for a variety of reasons. I was also consistently working 70+ hours a week which meant I had no life. I'm now taking a deep breath and figuring out what I want to do next with my career. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the time and opportunity to try new things such as writing fan fiction.
shirleyann66
Sep. 12th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Your Mission 101 List
I can't believe your first writing efforts were bad.

Aww...thanks! :) Believe me, they were! However, I loved writing them so much that I continued, until I finally started having things I liked to read as much as I liked to write.

Was "For God, Country, and Heather Liskinski" one of your first fan fiction posts? I thought that was a great story, as was "Lost Sheep" and the others that you've written.

First - thanks!! *blush* I'm glad you liked them! :)

for God and Country and Heather Lisinski was, I think, the third story I posted, but it wasn't the first I'd written. I can't really say how many "stories" I'd written before that one, because I don't necessarily write a story from beginning to end - I write scenes or snippets of dialogue, and then sometimes the story progresses from there - and sometimes not. :) For God and Country and Heather Lisinski started in my third journal, if I recall correctly, and I'd been writing pretty obsessively for about three months or so before then.

From a comparative perspective, I was almost embarrassed to post Redemption.

No need to be! Redemption is great! It's a very realistic continuation of the storyline, and I love your portrayal of Heather and Beck to bits. And it's your story to tell, however you want (or need) to tell it.

Do you have any suggestions on how to keep improving, other than just lots of practice?

Well, not really (but I'll proceed to talk for hours now! LOL ) Reading a lot is, I understand, also a good way to improve writing skills - in addition to practice.

For me, though, "practice" is key as well as, well...relinquishing control and letting the story take me where it will.

For me, that means not forcing the writing to happen, and it's accepting that the first draft of that scene doesn't have to be good, it doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be perfect - it just has to come into existence. The rest of it can be worked out later. (That doesn't mean I don't "plot" the storyline once a story gets going. Oasis, for example, has a bunch of little notes about events that I want to have happen, along with a general timeline for them. But the "plot" changes and shifts as the story gets fleshed out.)

But that's just me...LOL

One of the most interesting pieces of advice I read recently (of course, I can't remember where or who said it...grrr...) was to take a break from the story, and then read it all again like a READER – without editing as you go. If you, as READER, have problems with it, then you, as WRITER, can proceed to fix it.

None of this really talks about "improving", though...other than practice, practice, practice - and read critically. :(

One question - do you have anybody Beta read your stories before posting them?

No, I don't. Mainly because I didn't know anybody when I started who would do it. I'm also too much of a control freak to listen to anybody else...(which is another reason why I'm re-thinking the "take a creative writing class" goal.)

Obviously, the Beta reader needs to also be a fan of the show.

Hmmmm...not necessarily. I think it depends on what you want the Beta reader to watch out for. If you're concerned about grammar, spelling, punctuation, plot holes, logical issues, style (to a certain extent) - basically, the mechanics of it, then the Beta reader doesn't need to be a fan of the show. If you want comments on characterization, correct canon, etc., then yes, they definitely have to be a fan. Your friends should be able to read and provide you with some good feedback, even if they've never seen the show. (Who knows, reading your stories may convert them! :) )

I was also consistently working 70+ hours a week which meant I had no life. I'm now taking a deep breath and figuring out what I want to do next with my career. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the time and opportunity to try new things such as writing fan fiction.

*nods* I understand. I'm glad you're taking a moment to figure out what you want to do next.

I, for one, am very happy to see you trying new things like writing fan fiction (especially Heck fanfic...'cause there's never enough of that! :D).
phyllis629
Sep. 14th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)
Re: Your Mission 101 List
Speaking of Heck fanfic, I'm not sure if you ever saw this recent interview with Esai Morales where he talks about playing Major Beck.

http://www.airlockalpha.com/node/6549

I'm keeping fingers crossed that there is a Jericho movie!

On a separate note, sorry to leaving you hanging at the end of Ch 9 of Redemption (which I posted last night)! I'm hoping to write as I recuperate, and since I have most of Ch 10 blocked out, I s/b able to post by the end of next weekend.
shirleyann66
Sep. 15th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Your Mission 101 List
I'm not sure if you ever saw this recent interview with Esai Morales where he talks about playing Major Beck.

No, I hadn't read that! Thanks very much. :)

I'm keeping fingers crossed that there is a Jericho movie!

I want a mini-series. Preferably, annually. :D

On a separate note, sorry to leaving you hanging at the end of Ch 9 of Redemption (which I posted last night)!

Oh, you heard my scream, did you??

I'm hoping to write as I recuperate,

I hope so, too! :) Get well soon, and I hope the Heck fic helps you feel better.
onceiwasaturtle
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Soup is so very very much a full course for me. (I eat like a bird -- small meals and often.)
shirleyann66
Sep. 12th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks this about soup!

I'm not sure what I eat like...maybe a lion - because I eat big meals once or twice a day and then want to sleep in the sun for the rest of the time. :D
b_as_in_bitch
Jan. 9th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
clearly your taste in tv shows rocks
<3 bones and x-files
good luck with everything on the list!
shirleyann66
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
LOL - thanks! Your taste in TV shows also obviously rocks! (What I wouldn't give to see Mulder/Scully and Booth/Brennan work a case together...)

Good luck with your Mission 101, too. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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Quotes

"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need...fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little --"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

-- Susan and Death in Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

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

"And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based."

-- Lord Vetinari in Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

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They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.

-- Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

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

As a wizard, it was something that Ponder had only before encountered in acorns: a tiny soundless voice which said, yes, I am but a small, green, simple object - but I dream about forests.

-- Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

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In the 24th century, there will be no hunger. There will be no greed. And every child will know how to read.

-- Gene Roddenberry, as repeated by Jonathan Frakes in the documentary How William Shatner Changed the World

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

We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make
And the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way.

-- Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Hard Way from the album Come On, Come On

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Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want.

-- John Mayer, Waiting on the World to Change from the album Continuum

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Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow."

-- Mary Anne Radmacher, as seen in Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Tales to Inspire

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I never loved the soldier
Until there was a war.
Or thought about tomorrow
'til my baby hit the floor.
I only talk to God
When somebody's about to die.
I never cherished freedom
Freedom never cries.

-- Five for Fighting, Freedom Never Cries from the album Two Lights

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It may sound absurd: but don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed: but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream

-- Five for Fighting, Superman (It's Not Easy) from the album American Town

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Had a dream last night took a time travellin' ride
Back to my childhood where those monsters reside
They snack on innocence and dine on self-esteem
But I like to be in touch with what makes me scream
Vampires, mummies and the Holy Ghost
These are the things that terrify me the most.
No alien, psychopath or MTV host
Scares me like vampires,mummies and the Holy Ghost.

-- Jimmy Buffett, Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost from the album Fruitcakes

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"I want to believe that... the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us... as part of something greater than us - greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen, to what's speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves."

-- Fox Mulder, The X-Files from the episode The Truth, pt. 2
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