Thursday, May 17, 2012

Closer ,,, closer ...

Having just finished my latest edit/review of my book, it's starting to feel like an actual product. It certainly needs some editing. Even as I read there are times I think, "Why is that here? There's no connection with the previous paragraph." But at least it's getting closer.

I've discovered during this process that while I like to write on the computer, I like to edit on paper. There's something satisfying about using a red pen, marking up the paper, crossing things out, using that little symbol ^ to indicate I want to add something.

My plan is to let a few select people read the draft so they can offer feedback. I want to know if it's making sense, or if it only makes sense to me. I want to know if there are questions I haven't answered, or things I haven't adequately explained. Once I get that feedback, I'll make some final changes, then "publish" one copy just for me. I want one copy that's my book, the way I want it.

Then, I'll look for an actual editor and let them do whatever they think is necessary. Once it's been professionally edited, and the appropriate changes made, it'll be time to publish for real. And by publish, I mean let my friends know they can download an e-copy, or order a hard copy (probably paper back). I expect it will only be people I know who will even want to read it, so I'm not going to look for ways to reach a larger audience. I'm really just writing this for myself. If other people are interested - that'll be really fun.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Not the Most Qualified (or able)

My dad and I both have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and we both wish it didn't affect it like it does. We both sometimes pretend that RA doesn't affect us. We both ignore that we have it and that it affects so much of our lives.

Yesterday we decided to cut down a tree at one of dad's rental properties. Well, we cut down part of it, then realized there was no way we were going to be able to fell the whole thing; it's just too big.

In the process of cutting one of the branches, I was hit with the cut end. I fell where I expected it to fall, then sprang back into me, nearly knocking me off the ladder on which I was standing, while holding an active chainsaw. It hurt, but not enough to keep me from working. I've been on blood thinners ever since my last DVT, so I knew it would cause a quick bruise.


It was swollen, and tender to the touch, but nothing to worry about. Here's what it looks like 24 hours later.

I imagine it will continue to grow some, then start turning lots of pretty colors.

Dad and I are not qualified to be cutting down trees.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Iz Wannabee

For about 4 months now I've been hiding something from my mom. I've been working on a project, waiting for the right time to reveal it to her. The first time she got wind of it, I had it sitting on my desk when mom came back to visit. When she walked in, I realized I hadn't hidden it, so I had to quickly turn her so she wouldn't see it. I took her by the shoulders, turned her and said, "Wait here. I have something I need to hide."

I can only imagine what was going through her mind. From then on every time she'd visit, I'd have to quickly hide it before she came in the house. I wasn't going to tell anyone until I was ready to tell everyone, but I was having so much fun with it, I had to tell. Janae, my niece, was the first to know. Soon after I told my dad and my sister, but made them promise not to tell mom. Everybody kept the secret.

Well today I revealed the surprise to mom. At the beginning of January I bought a ukulele.

It's a Makala MK-C, a concert ukulele. It has been so fun to learn. I'm really not a musical person, despite the fact that everyone in my family is very musical. I've tried learning harmonica, and although I could play a few songs, it just didn't keep my attention. Inspired by the 4th graders in Wendell, who learn the recorder in music class, I bought one and learned some songs. But that didn't last long either.

This ukulele however, is so fun. I'm not very good yet, but I've learned 4 chords: C, F, G and I'm working on A. And I know how to play some songs. I can play "Stand By Me," "Unchained Melody," "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Claption, "Imagine" by John Lennon, and I'm learning "Stuck On You" by Lionel Richie.

My favorite song is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Iz. I know all the chords, and can play the whole song, but not like Iz does. I can get his strumming pattern down. But my ukulele teacher, Piko Johnson, says I'll learn the strumming eventually. For now we're concentrating on learning the chords.

BTW, if you want to take lessons from Piko, click here.

Even with my limited experience and skill level, I gave mom a performance today. It was fun. Someday, hopefully not to far in the future, we can have a family sing along. Susan can play her piano, Janae can play her guitar, I can play my ukulele, and everyone can sing (except me of course).

I haven't done it yet, but I will take some photos of my ukulele. The picture above is something I found on the interwebs.