Blog Archive

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I remember when I had something worth saying

You ever have one of those days that is just utterly discouraging?

I got in an argument with the husband a few days ago, one of those unresolved things that never goes away and no one ever apologizes for, and it hurt, and I've been sort of emotionally off balance ever since.

Related to the argument is an overhanging need of mine, to find steady employment. I mean, freelance is great for the ability to pick and choose my clients... but I need to have clients to choose from. I've decided that what I really need is a publisher to be, you know, my employer. And they can send me things, and I can edit them, and they can give me money, and maybe a benefits package, and life will be good. We could do that, right?

Not today. Today I am feeling useless and unemployable. And overwhelmed and helpless. And... *sigh*. You know. The usual.

I wanted this blog to be a marketing tool except that I hate marketing. I wanted it to be a creativity blog except I haven't done much that was creative in a while, apart from writing lots and lots and lots of fanfic. And of course today, I feel so far from creative it's not even funny.

I just feel sad.

One upside of clinical depression: you get used to functioning while sad, where you can. So I'm doing laundry and catching up on correspondence. And trying to beef up my virtually invisible LinkedIn profile, and maybe poke at my wants-to-be-a-resume...

God, I hate the job search.

Anyway. Like the title says. I remember the days when I had something to say, but today is not one of those days and it feels like I haven't had one of those days for a long time.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Stuff I have taken up since my last post

  • Weaving. I built a loom. Now I'm making things on it. I'm not actually very good at it, but it's fun and I'm learning. I wanted to understand how weaving worked, and that part I have succeeded at.
  • Choir, although actually I think I was in that at the time of my last post, so never mind.
  • Calligraphy again, as part of a project called "Calf to Codex" which will make an authentic medieval book in honor of the SCA's 50th anniversary this summer. Everything is being done as accurately to period as possible. I don't even have a pencil; I have a stick of lead.
  • Editing, still.
  • Henna, still, although I'm having some doubts about starting up the next Mosey season. I'm getting tired and out of shape and my back kills me after every Mosey, from the lifting and setting up.
  • Writing, fanfic. And getting rave reviews. When someone tells you you're their favorite author out of hundreds in a fandom, that's... wow. I might even work up the courage to try some original work.
  • Revamping my aquarium, with live plants and more fish and a new cabinet and lighting and the whole shebang. I blew a whole lot of money in just one weekend, but it was worth it. Tank looks amazing (even if the plants do hate our tap water and have decided to die slowly).
Let me know if you're interested in hearing about any of these things in greater detail. I'm struggling not to do the cliche apology for the delay since my last post, etc etc. So I'll leave you with this instead.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Words on Wednesday

As soon as I promise to write something every Wednesday, I stop writing every Wednesday.

Henna has been nice. Editing has been okay. Perhaps tomorrow I will post my editing blurb that I put together finally.

I've also been writing fanfic and getting good feedback. If I ever thought I could craft an original plot or characters, I might consider writing my own stuff, but I seem to suck at plot.

Mother's Day was nice. Choir performance was the same day and we did quite well, to wrap up my first season with them. Having no rehearsal tonight is going to feel weird.

And that's pretty much it. Mostly I feel like I don't have anything to say that would be worth anyone's time to listen to. I've gotten very quiet lately as a result.

I hope all is well with you and yours.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Words on Wednesday

Hello all,

I've been trying to get into a habit of posting more consistently here at Little Fiddly Bits, whether I'm posting as an editor or just in general. In my head I've been calling it "Words on Wednesday", which is admittedly a little cheesy, but then I try to convince myself to clean the house with "Mundane Monday", so, there ya go.

Not much on the editing front today, except that the world seems out to get me with the constant misuse of the words "rein" and "reign". The second one means rule of a kingdom. Think "regnum" which is Latin for kingdom. The first one is what you use to steer a horse. You do not give someone "free reign". You do not "reign someone in" when they get too crazy. You do, however, "reign supreme." Can we all please just embrace this and stop putting all over everything I read? I'd be really grateful.

I have two henna gigs this weekend, which is unprecedented given that it's only he beginning of March. Henna doesn't usually start up for me until May at the earliest. So. Yay! Now I just need to mix up a fresh batch of paste, rather than using last year's. There is generally nothing wrong with using last year's henna, but this time around my final batch didn't turn out right and didn't do much for clients anywhere other than their hands. Which was disappointing, given that I'd mixed it up for a cancer patient to do on her scalp, and we ended up with hardly any color. So I'm going to give that stuff away for free to people who are curious about trying henna, warn them that it's not very dark, and let them have fun.

I freaked my daughter out yesterday, accidentally. She'd been cheerfully humming "The Hall of the Mountain King" while she puttered, just quietly going "bum-bum-bum-bum Bum bum Bum, Bum bum Bum, Bum bum Bum" and I recognized it and brought it up on Youtube for her to listen to... yeah. She didn't know that it turned into the orchestral equivalent of a heavy-metal mosh pit halfway in, and she gets emotionally affected by music the same way I do, so it was like forcing her to watch a horror movie. I felt terrible.

Then I told her the story of a friend of mine who, back in high school, was in the marching band , at a football game, and his team wasn't doing well, and he was bored, so he fired up the tuba and just quietly started going "bum-bum-bum-bum Bum bum Bum" etc... See, "Hall of the Mountain King" sounds amazing on tuba. And the rest of the marching band was also bored. And they got into it. And they got louder. And their football team heard them and also got into it, and started hitting harder. And the game kinda turned around from that point. Once my daughter was laughing, we turned the music back on again and she listened to it a second time and decided that it was pretty awesome, as long as she could pretend to be a dwarf with a hammer and chisel and go pound things. Which, let's face it, is pretty much what that piece of music is for.

That's pretty much it for my words on Wednesday. Got a deadline to meet for someone presenting a PhD thesis, first time working on one of those. Novel length, only nonfiction and with bigger words. And I'm writing fanfic again, I've got a chapter I need to clean up and post. If you're curious, I'll only tell you that I like Loki far too much to be healthy.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to make your own chai

Okay, I admit it, this has nothing to do with editing. But if you're like me, drinking something tasty and caffeinated could have quite a lot to do with your creative process.

So. I got this chai recipe from a friend of a friend via Facebook. Unfortunately, I have gone hunting for the original post (it was a comment in someone else's thread), and for the life of me I cannot find it to give proper credit where it is do.

But anyway. Chai.

I wrote the recipe down originally, but am too lazy to get off my butt and go look for it, so this is from memory - but it's pretty easy.
  • Three cups water (or 750 mL)
  • Three black teabags (you can use loose tea, but you'll have to strain the chai after it's done, before serving)
  • A pinch each (HA! I used more like 1/4 tsp at least and then added some more to garnish) of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom (or I think it was three or four whole pods if that's your thing), ground cloves, and black pepper. Don't forget the black pepper.
  • Two cups milk (or 500 mL) (preferably whole)
  • 4 tsp sugar (or 50 mL), prepare to add more to taste. I started with sugar, but when it came time for the "to taste" part I added honey.
Put the water, tea, and spices into a medium saucepan and bring to boil over HIGH heat. I personally had to watch out for foaming from the tea, although that may have been the teabags. And by foaming, I mean the pot was less than half full of water and threatened to boil over.

Anyway, once it's boiling, reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer for ten minutes. You're gonna end up with some seriously strong tea, here.

After simmering, add the milk and sugar, bring heat up to MEDIUM, and bring it all back up to a simmer. Remove from heat. If you used loose tea, strain before serving. So that's most of what was in the recipe, with a little of my commentary added because I get verbose about things I like.

This next part was not in the recipe I was given: Once it's in your mug, you can add honey instead of sugar to bring it up to your preferred sweetness level. You can also garnish with another little sprinkle of your favorite of the powdered spices you used (I go for ginger).

They also don't tell you that this recipe makes at least three or four mugs' worth, so unless you have friends or are a chai junkie, you'll have to let the extra cool to room temp, put it in a sports bottle, and store it in the fridge. Now, I only made this for the very first time yesterday. However, speaking from experience this morning, you can just shake up the cold chai to stir up the spices that have settled out, then pour into a mug and microwave for about 1:20 to 1:30, and it will be just as flavorful and possibly even a little spicier than it was yesterday. And yes, if you want, you can totally drink it cold too.

Warning - black tea has caffeine in it. This is not at all a caffeine-free beverage. If you're looking for a caffeine-free alternative to coffee, this ain't it. You will be stimulated. You may possibly be wired. Just... keep that in mind. But it is really, really good. It takes like the tea I got at an Indian restaurant once, as opposed to the mixes you get made from powder at your local coffee shop or the grocery store.