Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's here!

Yes, that's right folks! My new Alphasmart Dana is here at long last. I've already started writing Dream of a Dream on it. I got it set up yesterday, the same day that it arrived, and have been experimenting on it ever since. I'll post up a picture of it as soon as I can. I can't wait to try it out at school as well as for personal writing.

Today was fun as well because I learned how to shoot a rifle and a pistol. Now that was quite an experience. I think I like the rifle better because it had a smaller kickback (because it was only a .22). I can't wait to go back to the range and shoot some more. Might be good to recover my hearing first. Some of our fellow shooters had guns with very loud shots which set my ears ringing even though I had ear protectors on. However I did have fun despite the loud and distracting noises.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

1 Day till Christmas!

It's almost here! Christmas is just beyond reach with all the fun and joy that it brings. Of course, we can't forget the reason for the season and that is the birth of Jesus as a human baby. That is the most significant thing that has ever happened on a Christmas. Of course, some would argue that Jesus's birth wasn't on December 25th, but even if it isn't, December 25th is still the day picked out to celebrate his birth on - no matter when he was born.

A snowflake is a typical symbol of winter. It along with snowmen hail us from shop windows and peek out from Christmas trees. However, most don't think of what snow really stands for. Snow, when it first falls, is pure and white and is a great symbol of Christmas as well as winter in general. This glass snowflake ornament on our tree is one of my favorite ornaments. It is so pretty and delicate, hanging there illuminated by the lights on the tree. But, one should always remember the story behind the symbol and so one should always remember that a snowflake stands for more than just winter and cold, but for the purity of how God's creation was, before we came along and messed it up in the Fall.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 Days till Christmas!

Violin music drifts through the air, half heard and haunting. The notes, when coherent, form the tunes of familiar Christmas carols. The player is my mom, practicing her violin long after my sister has been put to bed. This music is what I hear every night, or rather every night since my mom bought her violin. Tis fitting that she should play Christmas carols to practice with Christmas Day so near. The one and only topic on my little sister's lips today was which present she'd get to open tomorrow night. We have a tradition of the kids (my sister and I) opening one present of my parents' choice on Christmas Eve and it is very exciting for my little sister.

The subject of the picture today is something she asked me to take a picture of. She has a child's nativity set that she has set up under the tree. She wouldn't rest until I took a picture of it. The resin it is made from has turned out to be surprisingly breakable for a child's nativity set. I believe the shepherd's staff has turned out to be the most breakable due to its being thin and therefore more fragile.

Until next time!

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 Days till Christmas!

Brrr...That is what most everyone in the country is feeling today. The cold winter freeze has finally reached us. I just hope it stays long enough to be productive and actually leave some snow behind. I would like a white Christmas and I haven't had one in years. It's about time for another one to grace the house I'm currently living in.

Another ornament from our tree composes today's picture. A small glass angel dangling from a branch, hands folded in prayer, shimmers in the lights from the tree.

Until next time!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

4 Days till Christmas!

Only 4 days left! I'm so excited! Today I wrapped my presents for my family. It was such a nice sight to see all the boxes, perfectly wrapped and just waiting to be put under the tree. I am truly excited. Now all will be perfect once I get the troubles with my christmas present all settled.

The ornaments on our tree caught my interest today. One in particular made a nice sight (and picture). It is a simple blown glass ball with ribbons glued on the outside and popurri on the inside.

Until next time!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

5 Days till Christmas!

Most of the day was taken up with a new project of mine. I'm crosstitching a plate for a lightswitch. My cousin should like it for her new apartment. Tis of a hummingbird and flowers artfully arranged around the light switch. Again, two pictures for today. My mother spent 3 hours picking out and buying her christmas present, a new violin. The tone on it is lovely, especially the lower strings. The first picture is of the new violin.

Second picture, of course, is my christmas related picture. It is an ornament without a tree. I positioned it on a lamp to create the light effect.

Until next time!

Friday, December 19, 2008

6 Days till Christmas!

On the menu for tonight, continued frustrations with my new costume site. Seems that the site does have a limit for the amount of pictures that can be uploaded and I've hit it. That is the only reason I can think of to explain why it continues to fail to upload pictures. Ah well, this'll just cause more trouble.

And I leave you tonight with a picture of our little Advent...um...snowman. No Advent calendar this year.

Until next time!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

7 Days till Christmas!

Today I have two very fun things to report. The first is a personal triumph. I bid and won an Alphasmart Dana on Ebay! I am most excited that I got it (though for more than I wanted to pay). The second is a family event. We went to the Billy Graham Library and rode in the carriages. That is where the picture for today comes in. I think I shall include two pictures this time because it was such a wonderful event! The first is of my little sister looking very cute as she shows her a new little toy.

The second is of the wheel of the carriage I and my family rode in.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 Days till Christmas!

Today wasn't too busy. Ordered my Dad's present (I think he'll be happy!). Won't say what it is, because I know he drops by here sometime. Another event though has made me very happy. Getting the alphasmart is definitely going to happen, because my parents handed me the money said "Order it". Yay! This will most definitely help with my writing both for school and for my fiction. I'm looking at Alphasmart 3000s and Danas at the moment. We'll see which one I can go for on Ebay.

Our nativity set at home is also a long time tradition. I was in charge of setting it up every year, until I went off to college. I miss setting it up though.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

9 Days till Christmas!

Christmas is inching closer every day. I can't believe that there is just over a week left between me and it. And I still have to buy something for my dad. It's just so hard to pick out a suitable present. In the recent years I really have come to find that it's more fun and satisfying to give rather than receive. I enjoy the looks on their faces as they open the presents and absolutely love them. It's nice to get presents, but they are just things after all. Seeing the joy on someone else's face when you give them a present will last a lifetime.

We also have a miniature village at home. I love this particular figurine. It just looks so real and what one would find in an ordinary suburb.

Until next time!

Monday, December 15, 2008

10 Days till Christmas!

Today was a change of pace. We went to a party for my dad's work department. Even though I was the second youngest there it was still fun. I also got lots more work done on my costume website. Now I just waiting on more pictures.
The picture for today is off the star at the top of the tree at home. Finally I have pictures! This star has been the center piece on our tree for many, many years. Simple, but pretty.

Until next time!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

11 Days till Christmas!

Again, I report about the same information as yesterday. Today was mostly taken up by working on my costume website. I did two graphics for it and wrote the content for a page. Also, I uploaded tons of reference pictures. Photobucket can be so slow about uploading though. On a happier note, I think I may have talked my mom into getting me an alphasmart for Christmas. We had to go to Ebay to find the old Alphasmart 3000 (though we found a Dana for the great price of $1! That's not going to last long though). We'll see what comes of it! I can always hope.

Today's picture is off the star on the ficus tree that I mentioned yesterday. I am tickled at how this picture turned out and on the first try too! Enjoy!

Until next time!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

12 Days till Christmas!

Day two of being home and we're already off to go and do something. The church is putting on a concert tonight and we're off to go and see it (we definitely have to go because my Mom is singing in it). Work on the costume site progresses as slow as yesterday. Last night before going to bed, I resolved to try to start writing an hour every day at least. That way I can write around 2k a day and that will be good for finishing my NaNo novel, Kaja Colony Crisis, and for writing the next one in line. Wish me luck! (After I thought it all up I realized that if I suceed then I'll complete 50k in 25 days which is better than how I did in NaNo! Wierd.)

The picture for today is again taken on campus. In the other girl's dorm there is a small ficus tree that they have decorated with lights and ornaments. My picture for today and tomorrow are both of something on the tree. Today's is a snowflake ornament that made a pretty picture as it hung next to some lights.

Until next time!

Friday, December 12, 2008

13 Days till Christmas!

It feels so wonderful to wake up and realize that school is over and I don't have to do it anymore. And then frustrations descend in the form of a clingy, always wanting to be with me sister and a website that just won't do what I want it to. Oh the joys of being home. Now, back to this website. I'm giving my costume site, The Door in the Sky a makeover. Originally I was just going to add two pages and update the rest, but I think I'm going to go ahead and move the whole site over to another address. Thankfully this won't involved too much more than just moving the content over, but I just hope I don't get frustrated with the other site building process as well.

Onto Christmas stuff now. I am unable at the moment to get pictures off my camera since I'm now home so I took extra pictures while at college. So this picture is of the carolers display set up in the library on campus.

Until next time!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

School is over and 14 Days till Christmas! (that's a fortnight you know)

Ah, it feels so good to be done at long last! Exams are over and an extremely long Christmas break awaits me before I have to face the dreaded spring semester. Now I can focus more on finishing Kaja Colony Crisis and writing the first draft of the new novel. However, I shall also endeavor to design more costumes, update my costume website (Door in the Sky) and work more on my own personal author's site. So much to do and so little time!

Today it rained again, however it was more interesting this time. Instead of light, steady rain it either poured heavily or didn't rain at all. As I went outside several times today I made a point of looking at the creek. It was very nice to actually see water in there. Granted it was muddy, but there was enough water to blast away all the leaves clogging the creek bed and that much water is a rare sight. A still picture does not quite do it justice, but I did take a few videos. I shall include a picture that I took, and I hope to get a video working soon so I can post it up here.

The Christmas picture for today is quite appropriate in that it is the wreath on the ground level door to the staircase. This was one of the last few things I saw before I left campus. Why I like this picture of it (I took quite a few) is because due to some odd reason, the picture looks like it's framed or has had some effect added to it.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

15 Days till Christmas!

Today was a quite relaxed day thankfully. Nothing to do except filling out a take home test. Right...I'm gonna be up all night again due to my well developed habit of procrastinating. Lovely. The rain today didn't help much. A light, steady rain all day with cloudy gray skies does not do much for motivating one to do anything but nap.

Anyways, the picture for today is off the cute little village set up in the other girls' dorm. Unfortunately there weren't any people set out with it and the lights inside weren't working. Oh well.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

16 Days till Christmas!

And juries are over! I didn't get to practice this morning like I wanted to though so juries did not go as well as they could have. Oh well. It's over now. My other exam today was fun. I can't wait to see what the professor says about my essay. He asked us to explain how music has changed through history in regards to conservatives and progressives and I spun a very nice story, I mean essay, for him. I hope he gets a kick out of it at least.

The picture for today is of a lovely glass angel from another nativity scene. It's a very beautful thing to look at when the light is shining through it. The angel is strumming it's lute, accompanying the other angels in their chorus of "Glory to God in the Highest!".

Until next time!

Monday, December 8, 2008

17 Days till Christmas!

And exams have started. Today I was examined in what I know of Paradise Lost. Though I be a writer, I do not appreciate that book at all. I am fond of direct and terse sentences. Paradise Lost is the exact opposite of that. However, it is over, thank goodness. Now the most terrifying part of exam week lies before me...juries. I have to get up and play in front of my professors to show that yes I did learn something from my piano lessons this semester. I shudder just to think about it. However it must be done if I want to pass the course.

The picture for today is quite apt. It's an advent calendar which is practically the offline version of what I am doing here on this blog. Tis fun!

Until next time!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

18 Days till Christmas!

It's inching closer and closer than ever. And so is the end of the semester! I'm very glad to be done with this semester in a few days. Then I'll be able to rest and relax and write for almost 6 whole weeks. What a lovely idea!

My two things for today are not both Christamsy. The first is my video that me and friend made a while back. A Fairy Mistake is the title of it. Enjoy!

Click here for the video.

As for the second item, tis the usual Christmas picture. This time of the Christmas tree set up outside the elevator door at ground level in my dorm. Tis nice to wait for the elevator beside a tree decorated with such pretty ornaments.

Until next time!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

19 Days to Christmas!

Tonight was the big performance for my college choir. We gave an hour long (or so) concert that was pretty well attended. I also played my christmas piece. I hate the fact that I cannot perform on the piano without my hands invariably starting to shake. At least my knees did not join them this time. When they do, it makes it very hard to sustain constant pressure on the pedal so I end up halfpedalling whether I want to or not. But it is a fact of life that my hands shake when playing and that makes me miss the keys and thus play the wrong notes or no notes at all when there should be one or more played. Ah well, at least the performance is done. Now all I have to worry about are juries on monday. I am signed up at 4:45 pm which will allow me some time to practice before my jury on monday. Of course, my task for tomorrow is to make sure I have the pieces down and the correct one memorized. I hate juries and that is most certainly a fact that will not change soon.

Now, the picture for tonight is of a friend's wreath that she placed on the door to her room. Tis a lovely thing and caught my attention. And it also makes a lovely picture. Enjoy!

Until next time!

20 Days till Christmas!

There is only one thing to put up for you today. However, I have a wonderful account of what happened this evening. Holly Jolly, the local Christmas event, was tonight. I, along with the chamber choir on campus, sang a mini-concert of carols. We repeated our performance twice this evening. While all the rest took off after we finished singing, I stayed with two of my friends who weren't in the choir. We had a wonderful time browsing the stores and got some free samples. We spent the most time in a shop that sold dulcimers, psalters, and other musical instruments. The picture is of the trio that played Christmas carols in the store as we shopped. All three of us tried our hand at playing the psalters. I found it very fun and not too hard as I have had many years of piano (which is similar). We all had a very, very fun time and I can't wait till next year!

Until next time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

21 days till Christmas!

And again I have two Christmas related things for you. And again it's a song and a picture! This song is much more funny and easier to get for you non-musical people. Though again it's a version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, but it's by Straight No Chaser this time. If you haven't heard of them, well, let's just say they're a 10 men a cappella group who have a really good sense of humor. Enjoy!

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser

The picture is of a mirror in the dorm that is part of the Christms decorations. The girls sprayed some white stuff on it that was like snow and drew their names and pictures in it with their fingers, or so I gathered as I wasn't there when it was done. However, it is still pretty to look at.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

22 days till Christmas!

Christmas is closer than ever and I've got two christmas themed things for you to see and hear. First off, the thing to hear. My music professor introduced us to a rather interesting christmas song this morning. His choir in graduate school had sung it. It is called A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas. Each part is sung in a different musical period style. It is hilarious! This is the only free version I found on the internet. (Note: It's from Rhapsody so you have to download the player to play the song but it's worth the effort. Really!)See how many different pieces you recognize playing in the background.

Click here for the song.

And now for the second thing which is a picture of the star on a friend's mini Christmas tree. Stars are so prevalent in our day's culture, but why? Simple, it was a star that guided the wise men to where the child Jesus was and so a star is always associated with Christmas.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Q is out! (And only 23 days till Christmas)

The Q, the school literary magazine of which I am an editor, is finally out. It was printed before break, but I was in charge of distribution today. I stuffed the mailboxes, which was interesting to do as I got to see all the other mail in there, and put piles of the magazine in various other places on campus. Only took less than an hour to complete the whole process as there weren't that many copies printed.

Now, onto my picture countdown till Christmas. This time, I thought we could do with a picture of Mary holding Jesus from the nativity scene set up in the school's library. Very pretty set up it is.

Until next time!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The End has Come!

The end of NaNoWriMo that is. And I made it at 50,046 words! I dragged my poor tired fingers over the finish line late last night shattering my record of 6k words in a day. The new record is 10,623 words in a little over 5 hours writing. I'm very exhausted from all the late nights but also very proud of myself. Now, my goal for next year is to not only write a 50k word novel in one month, but also to finish sooner and write more. Perhaps 60k would be a nice even goal. I'm glad it's over though. I'm still very busy, but now my task is to catch up on all the homework I ignored over the month. Nice thing is, I'll be out of school next week. Then I'll attempt to finish writing the first draft of Kaja Colony Crisis. Oh yes, it is not done yet. I haven't even reached the climax scene and there is quite a bit left after that. Another 10k may wait for me to write it. However right now I must turn my attention to writing a paper due tonight and finishing my one act play. The latter is going to require a lot of work to get done and I've only got 3 more days to finish it completely and rehearse it. The problem of finding 3 actors still remains and is causing a lot of trouble.

Another aha moment hit me for the new novel I'd planned. I was reading a pep talk for NaNo and the person called us writers fools and dreamers. I now have the perfect name for my allegorical writer. They shall be called Dreamer. The name fool will also be applied, but by others and it won't be their real name.

Now I'm going to try something new for the countdown till christmas. I'm going to try to post one picture a day that has something to do with Christmas or the season. So to start us off, here's a picture of my little artificial Christmas tree that I set up in my dorm room today.

Until next time!
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