Wedded Bliss

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One week ago, the Scottish fiance became the Scottish husband!

The wedding and planning and visas and details consumed my life, so you can understand why this blog has suffered.  That will hopefully turn around quickly, especially since I will (hopefully) soon be ensconced back in Scotland with my wonderful husband in wedded domestic bliss.

In book-related news, I got one gift for the wedding that was certainly for me, and certainly awesome.

I have actually had the gift for a few months, as my wonderful friend Heather was too excited to hold on to it any longer.  I opted to open it after the wedding, as it should be, and was delighted to find that it was not knitted lingerie (This expectation was due to the fact that I watched Heather’s sister knit lingerie once and I only assumed that the knitting-gene would pass on to the sister).  The gift was in fact a 10th anniversary copy of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods!  I was pretty excited.  I was even more excited when I opened the book:

That’s right. Neil Gaiman wished me congrats on my wedding.  You can all commence jealousy . . . now.

P.S.  As a sort of wedding present to myself, I’ve upgraded the blog to  WordPress should redirect all of you, but you know, just for kicks remember it.


Absence Explained – Terrible Excuses Included

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I have been missing from the blog0sphere  for nearly a month.  That is not like me, I know.  Two weeks, sure, when I get busy.  But a month?  And tweeting has taken a major hit as well.  I want to start out by saying – sorry.  Unless you could care less that I’ve been gone, or haven’t noticed, then it’s business as usual.

I feel a little life update is in order to explain that month away.  First, a date is set for myself and the Scottish fiance to become the newlyweds. Hurray!  We were trying to go about this the best way possible, which meant immigration paperwork before a wedding so we don’t get penalized later.  The process has been long and hard, and a lot of waiting, but we are sort of nearing an end.  Well, one end.  Marrying someone from another country basically means there will be no end to your paperwork. We actually found out about a month ago, which means the recent weeks have been filled with wedding planning.

Another hurdle in my life was my participation in a writing contest, thrown by the amazing Carol Lynch Williams and Ann Dee Ellis over at Throwing Up Words.  The prize is 5 pages read by an agent (I am on the Play at Home side), and it involves weekly challenges that must be completed within a ridiculously short time period, and then voted on towards the end of the week.  That has consumed by Mondays through Wednesdays for several weeks now. (Last week I won for the week! It was a dystopian challenge and my entry is below).

Last weekend, my family and I traveled to San Antonio to watch my brother graduate from Air Force Basic Training (AFBMT).  It didn’t really affect my reading other than the fact that I cannot read in the car without getting motion sick.  I just wanted a space to brag that he was an Honor Graduate (top 10% of that graduating class), his flight (group) was a Warrior Flight (had to score over 170), the Honor Flight (top scoring flight), and they achieved Academic Excellence (highest academic scores).  His next step is technical school, and he will actually graduate two days before the wedding, which means my entire family will be there after all!  Ok, bragging over.  The resultant car ride did afford me the opportunity to watch season one ofDownton Abbey in its entirety.  Holy cow that’s a good show.

I suppose those are all of the excuses I can come up with for the moment.  I do promise to be a bit better about blogging more often, even if it is not quite as often as I would like.  Seriously, someone pay me money to read and review books already.

As promised, here is my dystopian entry for the writing contest:

Cold.  The world is always cold.

Some would say it is my fault the world is cold.  You see, it is not cold for everyone.  It is cold for those, like me, who disobey.  We are put outside to work as punishment for misbehaving.

I am always outside, always chopping the frozen trees, gathering ice, or trying to catch the few animals that remain above ground.  We do not need the trees for fuel, because we have other forms of energy below.  We do not need to gather ice, as we can make it below.  Animals are bred below for food, and those that we catch are never eaten.  Our punishments are practices in futility.

My crime is always speech.  I am outspoken, and that is not allowed.  Being outspoken is what created the ice age.  Being outspoken is not living as one with your fellows below the ground.  Being outspoken will cause you to stand outside in the cold that creates a silence like death.  Being outspoken means you are alone except for others who have done wrong.

I stand a few feet away, staring at the entrance to Below that is hidden amongst the ice trees.  It looks like a round slab of stone, resting on the ground, but even through the fog my breath creates I can see the flaws in its supposed natural design.

In my punishment, I have seen stones, real stones, and they are not like these.  They are rough and jagged, with an imperfection that is beautiful.  I am like those stones.  I am imperfect.  I am rough.  I am not a clone like most Below.  I even gave myself a name, not a number.  In my head, I am Fria.  Not 3542.

I turn my back to the entrance and walk, ice crunching under my feet.  The steam my breath creates floats in front of me, guiding me to my usual spot where I wait out the six hours of my punishment.

But today, someone is already in my place.  I know it is that boy.  The boy who angered me into being outspoken.  I hate that boy.

NaNoWriMo Follow Up

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If you were paying any attention in the month of November, you’re probably wondering what happened to NaNoWriMo.  I had been doing very well, a little ahead of target for the first week and a half.  I knew that it was going to be harder to write once my fiance came for Thanksgiving, but I planned to be ahead so I could write a little less.  I missed a day because of other activities, but didn’t think it would get me behind.

And then, the tease by the immigration people came.

You see, our first half of the process took five months to get approved.  Long story short, my little brother decided to join the Air Force (yay!), but his basic training date is in January, a whole lot earlier than we really expected.  So we made some appeals to get the process moving faster.  About the second week, it did.  The first half got approved.  We were now hoping that we could work with the embassy where Paul is so that he could get the necessary interview quickly and in the country to be married before January.  And honestly it would have been possible, but the two and a half week delay from them killed all hope.  The temporary euphoria and idea that we needed to plan a wedding by December 30th-ish killed NaNoWriMo.  Oh well.

GinnyI also got a cute cat.  Her name is Ginny and she is adorable.  And if you know Harry Potter, you understand the name.  Good thing the fiance didn’t realize where the name came from when he agreed to it. Ha Ha.

The more space I get from NaNo, the more I wish I had planned out better anyway.  I like the book I was going to write, but I’m not sure if it’s one I want to finish right now.  I have other ideas floating in my head that are begging for words and pages, and I have to figure out how to give voices to all of them.  In a way, I guess it’s ok that I couldn’t finish this year.  Maybe I’ll have my own NaNo in January or something.  Or just a plan to write more often than I am doing now.

I want to apologize that the blog kind of died there for awhile.  Even without a December wedding, we have been deciphering immigration legalese and trying to plan my brother’s wedding next week (that is another story all together).  Also, I switched to a new iPod Touch and for the longest time could not figure out how to get audiobooks on it.  I swear that it was the dumbest thing that stumped me the longest.

Here’s to more time to devote to reading great (and sometimes mediocre) novels.


NaNoWriMo – Week 1

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I had no idea this month would be that crazy.

I am still trying, and I am slowly but surely adding words, but I am afraid I will not “win” this NaNoWriMo.

First, my older brother got engaged.  This is very happy, and I have little to do with the planning, but it is planning.

Then, my own engagement has finally gotten a light at the end of the tunnel.

My fiance is Scottish, so we need permission from the US government to get married and for him to live here.  It’s a two-step process, and we finally got the first bit of approval last Friday.  We are now planning to get married by the end of the year.

This is all happy, happy news.  But it is taking a toll on NaNo.  Not to mention that I am working on PhD applications, the Scottish fiance will be here next week for a visit, and Thanksgiving/Christmas season is starting.  Needless to say, I am lucky to be chipping away at the count at all.

Word Count: 8,823

Technically, I should be sleeping.