Lucky 7 Game

Dear Jane,

My WIP is on hold. It lacks ongoing conflict. My protagonist’s actions don’t affect the big picture. It’s your fault I know about these faults. You made me read many good writing blogs. (Yes, your fault. I see your half of a conversation on Twitter and want to see the rest.)

I also need to focus on a smaller number of spinning plates. My WIP has been set down gently and is wrapped in foam on a safe shelf. There is a box beside it to collect random thoughts, so I don’t have to open the WIP and risk spinning it before I have time to do it right.

Now you make me do this.

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines as they’re written–no cheating!

(Gulp. I’m still surprised what started as 11 pages of 60 page story is now 86 pages. Fixing the aforementioned problems will make it even longer.)

At nine minutes, still damp, she reported to the office and saluted Gunnery Sergeant Hammett. He nodded at her salute, gave her a data pad and pointed to a chair. “You know the drill, Cadet.”

She wrote. Stick to the facts as I saw them. What if it wasn’t him? The assassin would still be out there, and she had assaulted an innocent victim.

Stick to the facts. He was an intruder. She had immobilized him.

Did she over-react? Should she have stopped after shooting his leg? No, he would have climbed back to the roof and escaped. Shooting the rope, making him fall, risking a broken neck – that had been stupid. She should have shot his arm. An easier shot. He would have hung there until security arrived.

Bonus: Same universe, set 5 or 10 years later. Very different person and story. Hard to believe the last time I touched the file was 2003.

She didn’t need a boyfriend. That would imply that she cared about him, that it would hurt if she lost him. She hurt enough already.

She called him.

“Keyop? It’s Hannah. I’ve got to cancel the ride tomorrow. There’s a sick bobcat in the bush, and the Ministry’s asked for volunteers to track it down before it attacks anyone.”

“Can I help?”

“Pick me up at seven. Volunteers are to meet at the dam. Bring lunch.”



This meme is courtesy of Jane Lebak, @JaneLebak,

These aren’t easy questions for me. First nothing appears for days, then a germ of an idea, then an explosion. I’ll follow the advice I gave my son. You don’t have to choose your favourite animal to write about, just pick one that’s easy to write about that’s also one of your favourites.

If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa T’s. All the family were there, everybody happy. Grandma and Grandpa were still alive. Dad and his brothers were telling stories about each other. Grandma baked pies and cookies and date squares.

Which of course leads to Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa A’s, which was much quieter and also good.

Which leads to long weekends there when I had a summer school term. Studying while watching the squirrels play, and my cousin asking how I could study during the summer. I prefered studying in the summer. It’s a happier season.

Summers at camp. Watching girls learn and grow. The inevitable pyrophobe who, with a bit of one-on-one time becomes a pyromaniac.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?

The lost year. First my fanfic, then the online role playing addiction. The kids, pre-schoolers, had very busy schedules, and all my free time was spent on the computer. I lived in the characters’ heads, not my own. The lessons were more intense versions of ones I obviously hadn’t learned the firsttime.

Bedtimes. Any that were too late, which is most. I hate going around in a fog and being unable to focus or stay motivated.

What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?

The boing guy in the street. The witness. The driver of the truck that’s in the way. I don’t go out of my way to solve murders or rescue people. I’m unaware that those three speeders are in a car chase. My memory is unreliable.

I used to think I was the person caught up in the action who realizes that, when the chips are down, she can do more than she thought. These days I have my doubts. I’d like to think I’m the person who brings casseroles to the widow, but I don’t talk to the neighbours often enough or know their routines well enough to notice they need.

Fortunately, I’m not a Desperate Housewife or anyone on a soap opera. I’m not the villain. I’m just not one of the heros.

If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?

Same as most people. A villain, if it was the most effective way to prevent them from hurting someone badly, with an eye to the bigger picture. Getting away with it can include the cops knowing, and agreeing it was justified. It also includes the rescuee’s reactions to my involvment.

I’d have to go with my gut feeling at the moment, and be satisfied that I did the best with the information I had.

Name one habit you want to change in yourself.

Lack of focus and follow-through. I go for days without working on any of my priority projects. The first would be going to bed on time every night, so I could rule that out as the source of the other problems.

Describe yourself in one word.

Can it be a German word, where all the adjectives are combined with the noun?

Eclectic. I like computer programming, writing fanfiction, music, knitting, shorthand, storytelling and homemaking. Many tell me I’m good at those skills, but I am surrounded by people who are even better.

Persistent. I’ve been working at some of those skills for three decades.

Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word.

Focused. She gets things done, with an eye on both big and small pictures. She’s in the moment.

Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence.

I’m chatty.

Name at least 3 people to send this meme to, and then inform them.


Dewey Again

This is with my real name and birth date.

Real Name Here’s Dewey Decimal Section:
817 American humor & satire in English
Real Name Here = 9144815251458938554 = 914+481+525+145+893+855+4 = 3817

800 Literature

Literature, criticism, analysis of classic writing and mythology.

What it says about you:
You’re a global, worldly person who wants to make a big impact with your actions. You have a lot to tell people and you’re good at making unique observations about everyday experiences. You can notice and remember details that other people think aren’t important.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Dewey Decimal

I couldn’t resist. (I was a Jr. Librarian whenever I had the chance, and now I spend an hour or two shelf-reading (i.e. putting books in order) at the school library every week.)

Cricket’s Dewey Decimal Section:
704 Special topics in fine & decorative arts
Cricket = 3893150 = 389+315+0 = 704

700 Arts & Recreation

Architecture, drawing, painting, music, sports.

What it says about you:
You’re creative and fun, and you’re good at motivating the people around you. You’re attracted to things that are visually interesting. Other people might not always understand your taste or style, but it’s yours.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

What colour am I?

I did this based on the phase I’m moving into. We’ll just forget the last 3-4 weeks. (Not knowing whether it was 3 or 4 weeks was one of the things that coaxed me out of it.) I answered a combination of realism and knowing how the next phase usually goes.

you are turquoise

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You’re smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people’s conflicts well.

Your saturation level is higher than average – You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don’t be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.

the html color quiz

And here’s what I would have answered last week. Didn’t select a whole lot of adjectives.

you are slateblue

Your dominant hue is blue, making you a good friend who people love and trust. You’re good in social situations and want to fit in. Just be careful not to compromise who you are to make them happy.

Your saturation level is medium – You’re not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it’s required of you. You probably don’t think the world can change for you and don’t want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people’s. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You’re not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.

the html color quiz

Gotta love how they leave out the negatives!

Grocery Stores

looked at her grocery experience after moving and wondered if she were lame. Either she’s not, or we both are.

After we moved two years ago, I rejoiced with trepidation that we were closer to the Big Store. This store has fresh sushi and a snack bar, and same chain so has the same brands. It’s the one I used to consider a treat. It has housewares and clothes and a pharmacy. Anything I can buy in the grocery store comes out of the grocery budget rather than my mad money, so it was great!

Since then, I’ve discovered other things about it. Twice as much walking. Higher shelves. The front row of jars is filled every morning, but the row behind is empty. They move stuff constantly. Their rice is all in small bags. Higher prices, too. All the moms say they avoid it like the plague.

The moms here like Cheap Store. Fewer impulse buys. Better ethnic food — large bags of different rices, more international labels, interesting veggies. Same store brands. Shorter lines. Shelves properly filled. I went religiously for two months, and then compared prices line by line. About even, except for fresh stuff. (Fresh stuff varies so much day to day that it’s hard to compare.) I buy in bulk, and it varies with season, so I can’t compare totals.

But… There’s no deli or bakery. You need a quarter for the cart. You have to guess the number of bags and pay for them. (I put bagless groceries in my trunk more often than I remember to put the reusable bags in the car.) So, I go when the list allows — i.e., they have everything on that week’s list. It happens maybe once a month.

About twice a year I’m in the neighbourhood of “Old Favourite”. Things are _still_ where I remember them, even the seasonal rotations — which are done for space reasons, not marketting. Hot dogs are more popular in summer, so they’re on the big shelf beside their winter home; even I can figure that one out. Even with the drive, it’s faster. It’s like using my Daytimer — my heart rate goes down as I go in the door.

Six Quirks Meme

Philangelus  had this meme, but rather than tagging she left it open.

1. Link the person(s) who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.


1. I work best in silence. The computer fan really annoys me. I’m fine with kids TV and husband video games, but that’s it. Even non-vocal music distracts me.

2. I like keeping records. I even log my housework. Strangely enough, though, I can’t manage to keep a diary. I feel like an idiot when the doctor asks, "How long have you had that cough?"

3. I can’t play video games or watch much TV. I used to, but now every time I try, I feel there are other things I should be doing. Reading blogs and commenting, though, seem to get past the filter.

4. I’m knitting an afghan in colours I hate, so I can get it out of my unfinished bin. My MIL gave the wool to me. I’m also curious how large it will end up.

5. I’m learning shorthand, but enjoy writing things out. I like the feel of pen on paper, but can’t do anything on paper that should be reread before sending.

6. I window shop at Staples / Business Depot. Forget clothing or weekly grocery specials, I want to see the deals on office gizmos!

As for tagging, I’ll leave it to my readers, but would appreciate hearing if you accept.

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