wyld_dandelyon: (Creative Joyous Cat)
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful, primarily, for my friends, here and elsewhere, from the closest loved-friends to the casual acquaintances. I count myself lucky to know and interact with so many people, people who are different from me and from each other in so many ways. I love having friends from so many different ethnic backgrounds. I love having friends who are introverts and who are extroverts. I love having friends who follow so many different religions—and some who follow none. I love having friends who live in red states and blue, and who live in other countries altogether. I love having so many women friends, and so many friends of other genders. I love having friends who are unrepentantly out about their orientations, their quirks, and their passions, and I love having friends who are just starting to experience and express new passions and new things about themselves. I love having friends who are curious about everything, from people who find an unusual color of mold on their pie and grow more to try to identify it to people who relentlessly fact check internet memes. I love having both friends who are comfortable with the role they were told they should fill as a child and people who forge new ways to live their lives despite those expectations. I love having friends who care about the world and the people in it, and I love it when they come to my page to discuss politely their differences regarding how to best move forward in the future.

I love the people who post cat memes and snarky internet comics. I love the people who write, who paint, who draw, who edit, who publish, who dance, who drum, who sing, and who quilt, and the people who do not. I love the people who stop to help strangers in the grocery store or on the street, the people who share kickstarters or go-fund-mes to help someone make a new thing real or just to help someone they know pay medical bills or care for a stray cat. I love the people who share recipes and pictures of their families and homes, the people who garden and sew, and the people who share their babies’ milestones. I love the people who share their travails with home ownership (and inevitable maintenance) and the people who share techie tips. Just as much, I love the people who share stories of their explorations, whether those are making something new or wandering the world in body or in imagination. I love the people who share cool stuff, from comments that glitter or display in mirror writing to cool stuff I’ll never be able to afford to restaurants that can safely feed people with weird food allergies. I love people who share our world’s history and people who share new discoveries. I love people who share their delight in cool stuff even when, or maybe especially when I never saw that particular stuff as delightful before.

I love having both friends with strong opinions and friends with questions.

I love the people who help me understand those who are unlike me in some way and the people who understand some facet of me so well because they feel that thing too. Your diversity enriches and delights me.

Thank you all for being a part of my world, in whatever ways you have chosen to do that. Thank you for sharing some part of who you are and what you love with me.

I hope that your winter holidays (regardless of which secular and/or religious holidays you personally celebrate or try to ignore) are not too stressful, and I hope the season brings you delight both in the fashion you hope it will and in unexpected, life-enriching ways.

Peace.
wyld_dandelyon: (wigged Deirdre)
A long time ago, I was more active in the SCA than in fandom. No one hassles you about glasses in the SCA, but they're Not Period. So, when I got out my sketchbook (which I did a lot, since autoharps are also not period), I drew people without their glasses.

Through some strange mental alchemy, I stopped noticing people's glasses. It was as if they became invisible to me, unless something called attention to them. That persisted during the years when I rarely picked up a pencil to draw, and why not? It's the person that matters, not their clothes--or their glasses!

Then My Angel fell, nearly bleeding to death, and afterward joked to the nurses that her balance was better if she couldn't see. Sure enough, her eyes had, with age, degenerated to the point where she needed different prescriptions for each eye, and the lack of glasses was a bad idea. Suddenly I needed to retrain my brain to notice if she was wearing her glasses. Or at least try to. It's not as easy as you'd think to undo years of habit.

But I've made some progress.

At Worldcon, I joined my sister, Dragon, and her daughter at one of the Sketching From Life panels. At one point, while we were sketching, Dragon talked about the sketching she'd done while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. She mentioned doing 30-second poses, and the teachers pressing them to draw at least something for each pose. In that zen-drawing state I was in, I responded that that sounded like fun. Several people nearby stared at me as if I was nuts, and Dragon answered, "What it is is really hard." "Well, yeah." I said. But hard doesn't mean not-fun. If you push enough past your limits and dive into the flow of the process, hard can be a great deal of fun.

Later, I went to the Hugo ceremonies, again with my sketchbook, and I thought, "Well, I said it would be fun, so why don't I just do it--sketch the people presenting and accepting Hugos. So I did--with varying levels of success, of course. Pushing your limits is always like that. And it was, indeed, fun.

I drew a lot of people--and I drew a LOT of glasses. The exercise made me very aware of an unsurprising fact. Most of my people, like me, wear glasses.

Poetry!

Oct. 19th, 2012 10:09 pm
wyld_dandelyon: (full moon in the Mulberrry Tree)
A friend of mine wrote a Samhain poem that I really like. It's over here:

http://animaltofriends.livejournal.com/6998.html

wyld_dandelyon: (joyouscat by Djinni)
When I was growing up, I was told the idea of friends is simple--people who you like, and who like you, and who are on your side. People you know, in person; people who like the movies or books you like; people who play the games you play. It seemed so simple and easy.

Of course, even before Facebook and LJ "friends", it wasn't so simple. Your friends don't always like the things you like, and they don't always vote the way you vote or pray the way you pray. Their friends don't always like you, and "Which Side Are You On?" isn't as simple and straightforward as in the old protest song.

I have come to value not only bosom buddies, but friends who are more challenging. I love having friends that make me think, friends that challenge my assumptions, friends that share lives very different from mine, and friends that support me by telling me (kindly or bluntly) when they think I've got it wrong or could improve.

I've had friends who pretended they loved everything I do and the way I do it until they got angry or frustrated enough to make a scene, and I learned to value people who tell me the things they don't like about me up front even more--maybe I can modify my behavior for them or maybe we will agree to avoid the situation that causes friction (another friend's example is two people who performed together, and who emphatically agreed to stay away from each other during the hours before a gig because they react to pre-performance stress so differently).

I have friends who are heart's-family who I see far too rarely and friends who will never be close, but who add something to my life even so.

There was a girl in my dorm at college who saw my posters (either unicorns or lions and tigers at that point) and told me straight out that if there was anything weirder than that about me, not to tell her. Well, that pretty much limited our conversations to weather, classes, and laundry--but every time I saw her she greeted me with a smile, and if I needed laundry change or a pen or something mundane like that, she was always willing to loan me , one. Some days she was the most friendly face I saw all day, and I thanked the Goddess for her (though, of course, I couldn't say those words to her).

I've come to see friendship as complicated and quirky as well as vital and wonderful. To all my friends out there--old friends or new-met, near or distant, bosom or near-acquaintances, I want to say I'm so glad you're out there. I'm so glad you're all different, and that you trust me with at least some of your uniqueness. Whether I hear from you daily or once a year, whether we see eye to eye or figuratively butt heads, you all enrich my life and broaden my world.

Thank you.
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I have a 2200 word story, working title Treetop Theory, available for sponsorship for $22 or 22 Torn World Credits, or a combination thereof. I'm willing to microfund this one; please send a minimum of $5 if sponsoring by Paypal, though you can send just one Torn World credit, if you want. (My permanent paypal button is at www.wyld-dandelyon.com and there's also one on my profile here)

You can still leave prompts over at torn_world.

Also, I haven't had many votes in my poll, and my characters are almost all tied for first.  If you want to spur me to write about your favorite Torn World character, the poll is still open:  http://wyld-dandelyon.livejournal.com/180902

I'm very excited about the story, and I already have permission from the creator of Oranaan for my portrayal of him in it!  The canon board has to weigh in, of course, before the story is finalized, but I hope to share it with all of you soon!

Now I'm headed off to a friend's pool party, where I'll alternate between swimming and writing for a while.  I don't know if I'll have internet access there, but I'll be back online this evening in any case.

I hope to hear from you!
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I have a 2200 word story, working title Treetop Theory, available for sponsorship for $22 or 22 Torn World Credits, or a combination thereof. I'm willing to microfund this one; please send a minimum of $5 if sponsoring by Paypal, though you can send just one Torn World credit, if you want. (My permanent paypal button is at www.wyld-dandelyon.com and there's also one on my profile here)

You can still leave prompts over at torn_world.

Also, I haven't had many votes in my poll, and my characters are almost all tied for first.  If you want to spur me to write about your favorite Torn World character, the poll is still open:  http://wyld-dandelyon.livejournal.com/180902

I'm very excited about the story, and I already have permission from the creator of Oranaan for my portrayal of him in it!  The canon board has to weigh in, of course, before the story is finalized, but I hope to share it with all of you soon!

Now I'm headed off to a friend's pool party, where I'll alternate between swimming and writing for a while.  I don't know if I'll have internet access there, but I'll be back online this evening in any case.

I hope to hear from you!
wyld_dandelyon: (Torn World)
First, a note that if you've subscribed to Torn World, you should spend your credits. Ellen goes over how it works (including a warning that you lose the right to bestow those credits as you see fit, in this post:  Ellen is Not A Bank:  Spend Your Credits.  As one of the Torn World creators, I assure you--if you put money toward one of my stories, I pay attention.  If you want to encourage a particular story line, you can tip me on the site, leaving a comment to tell me what you want.  (Of course, you can also tip me in my donation hat, over on www.wyld-dandelyon.com.)

I'm still so excited to have my own website!  When I remember to think about it, anyway; I'm currently distracted by other things creatively:

I want to catch up on some of my story arcs--Jrilii's Wild Snowy Chase and Dini and Lalya's wedding in particular.  (Poor Lalya still does't have a wedding dress.)

I'm also trying to get back to doing #fridayflash regularly.  Like Sketchfest, it's a good stretch for my skills.  And I want to get back to my Feather-Blessed Dragons too. 

Of course, right now, the biggest time drain is the anthology, which needs black and white art for specific stories, and I'm pushing my drawing skills right to their limits.  I'm finding this surprisingly draining; it's much more tiring than sketch fests--there, if a sketch doesn't turn out, I can just move on.  I can push my skill level and feel good about the result whether it's good or not--I learned something from it, after all.  But this--this is important to me, and to everyone involved in the project.  And there's a deadline, which isn't at all distant.  I can't just put it aside and come back to it in a few days or weeks, it needs to get finished!  So, wish me luck with them!

Oh--and this weekend is the Muse Fusion!  I hope you'll stop by and leave us all some prompts.  What would you like to see more of, in Torn World?  What questions do you have?  What have we not done yet, that you would like to see or read about? 

In other news, yesterday I got an IM from my kid that started, "I know this is super late...." inviting me to go to the art show her pictures were in, at the school (one day only and starting in about a half-hour), and got to go see that, and chat with the grandmother of one of her classmates who I haven't seen in years, and then got a call from a very old friend who hasn't called me in even longer, and we chatted, and except for financial worries (I haven't gotten any surprise calls from potential employers) it's been a good few days.

Oh, and one of the cats has decided that the canvas bag that holds all my tax papers (the taxes are thankfully done) is the bestest bed ever!  He'll be disappointed when I pack them into an envelope in a box in the attic and put the bag back with the other grocery bags!
wyld_dandelyon: (Torn World)
First, a note that if you've subscribed to Torn World, you should spend your credits. Ellen goes over how it works (including a warning that you lose the right to bestow those credits as you see fit, in this post:  Ellen is Not A Bank:  Spend Your Credits.  As one of the Torn World creators, I assure you--if you put money toward one of my stories, I pay attention.  If you want to encourage a particular story line, you can tip me on the site, leaving a comment to tell me what you want.  (Of course, you can also tip me in my donation hat, over on www.wyld-dandelyon.com.)

I'm still so excited to have my own website!  When I remember to think about it, anyway; I'm currently distracted by other things creatively:

I want to catch up on some of my story arcs--Jrilii's Wild Snowy Chase and Dini and Lalya's wedding in particular.  (Poor Lalya still does't have a wedding dress.)

I'm also trying to get back to doing #fridayflash regularly.  Like Sketchfest, it's a good stretch for my skills.  And I want to get back to my Feather-Blessed Dragons too. 

Of course, right now, the biggest time drain is the anthology, which needs black and white art for specific stories, and I'm pushing my drawing skills right to their limits.  I'm finding this surprisingly draining; it's much more tiring than sketch fests--there, if a sketch doesn't turn out, I can just move on.  I can push my skill level and feel good about the result whether it's good or not--I learned something from it, after all.  But this--this is important to me, and to everyone involved in the project.  And there's a deadline, which isn't at all distant.  I can't just put it aside and come back to it in a few days or weeks, it needs to get finished!  So, wish me luck with them!

Oh--and this weekend is the Muse Fusion!  I hope you'll stop by and leave us all some prompts.  What would you like to see more of, in Torn World?  What questions do you have?  What have we not done yet, that you would like to see or read about? 

In other news, yesterday I got an IM from my kid that started, "I know this is super late...." inviting me to go to the art show her pictures were in, at the school (one day only and starting in about a half-hour), and got to go see that, and chat with the grandmother of one of her classmates who I haven't seen in years, and then got a call from a very old friend who hasn't called me in even longer, and we chatted, and except for financial worries (I haven't gotten any surprise calls from potential employers) it's been a good few days.

Oh, and one of the cats has decided that the canvas bag that holds all my tax papers (the taxes are thankfully done) is the bestest bed ever!  He'll be disappointed when I pack them into an envelope in a box in the attic and put the bag back with the other grocery bags!

Upcoming!

Dec. 18th, 2010 08:54 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Polychrome Wizard)
Next Tuesday is the Torn World Muse Fusion! I hope you'll all stop by and give me some prompts. And if some of my regulars here do stop by, I'll publish an extra freebie. Do you folks have any preference?[Poll #1658210][Poll #1658211]In the meantime, this space is open for scintillating conversation, questions, and weird words!  Have some eggnog and chocolate, and stay warm!

Upcoming!

Dec. 18th, 2010 08:54 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Polychrome Wizard)
Next Tuesday is the Torn World Muse Fusion! I hope you'll all stop by and give me some prompts. And if some of my regulars here do stop by, I'll publish an extra freebie. Do you folks have any preference?[Poll #1658210][Poll #1658211]In the meantime, this space is open for scintillating conversation, questions, and weird words!  Have some eggnog and chocolate, and stay warm!
wyld_dandelyon: (full moon)
In the second half of last year, [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion  [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith  and the others involved in the beginning of Torn World started holding contests.   So I entered a few contests, and in time got more involved in Torn World.  And thus I met [livejournal.com profile] valdary .  

This is another friend who I only actually met online.  And very shortly after meeting her, I learned that she had terminal cancer,  that the doctors had sent her home to die before I'd ever met her.  The whole time I knew her, she was in and out of the hospital, but always cheerful and friendly, creating art, poetry and stories for Torn World, tweeting updates about the site, and being a lively presence in the forums.

She was the first, after me, to write about skycats, one of the  animal types I entered into the second Torn World contest.  I remain delighted by her poem,  Bathing a Skycat.  Go check it out.  I'll wait.

She also has other art and stories on Tornworld.net, including her last story which was just posted in the last couple of days. 

She blogged about her experiences with cancer on the Severn Hospice site.

I just learned that she has died.  It was expected, of course, though not at any particular time.  And, of course, if the doctors had been right, I'd have never met her at all, and we'd never have had her contributions to Torn World to enjoy.  And I'd have never read about the Joys of Negative Thinking or her Secret Tattoos.  My connection to her  was one of the blessings of the year.

But even knowing she must leave us soon, I wasn't ready for her to die. 

Go gently, Val, you will be missed--and remembered.
wyld_dandelyon: (full moon)
In the second half of last year, [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion  [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith  and the others involved in the beginning of Torn World started holding contests.   So I entered a few contests, and in time got more involved in Torn World.  And thus I met [livejournal.com profile] valdary .  

This is another friend who I only actually met online.  And very shortly after meeting her, I learned that she had terminal cancer,  that the doctors had sent her home to die before I'd ever met her.  The whole time I knew her, she was in and out of the hospital, but always cheerful and friendly, creating art, poetry and stories for Torn World, tweeting updates about the site, and being a lively presence in the forums.

She was the first, after me, to write about skycats, one of the  animal types I entered into the second Torn World contest.  I remain delighted by her poem,  Bathing a Skycat.  Go check it out.  I'll wait.

She also has other art and stories on Tornworld.net, including her last story which was just posted in the last couple of days. 

She blogged about her experiences with cancer on the Severn Hospice site.

I just learned that she has died.  It was expected, of course, though not at any particular time.  And, of course, if the doctors had been right, I'd have never met her at all, and we'd never have had her contributions to Torn World to enjoy.  And I'd have never read about the Joys of Negative Thinking or her Secret Tattoos.  My connection to her  was one of the blessings of the year.

But even knowing she must leave us soon, I wasn't ready for her to die. 

Go gently, Val, you will be missed--and remembered.

Ley Lines

Dec. 10th, 2010 07:37 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
It was a nice little set of readings. For the curious, the theme that seemed to run through most of the readings was connections -- the connections between people, the connections between the querent and the world, the connections between our dreams and our realities, even the connections between different parts of ourselves.

And, for me, that emphasized the importance of the ephemeral connections between me and you out there, in all the various corners of the world where you live and dream and write. You enrich my life. I'm glad you're here!

Even you lurkers, I'm glad you're sticking around.

So, what are you doing this weekend?

Ley Lines

Dec. 10th, 2010 07:37 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
It was a nice little set of readings. For the curious, the theme that seemed to run through most of the readings was connections -- the connections between people, the connections between the querent and the world, the connections between our dreams and our realities, even the connections between different parts of ourselves.

And, for me, that emphasized the importance of the ephemeral connections between me and you out there, in all the various corners of the world where you live and dream and write. You enrich my life. I'm glad you're here!

Even you lurkers, I'm glad you're sticking around.

So, what are you doing this weekend?

heat soon?

Dec. 4th, 2010 11:21 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Disintegrations and Defenestrations! by)
Spent yesterday evening driving into and out of the snow storm to get a new-to-me boiler. Expect to spend today putting it in, once the expert (my savior) arrives.

Sorry if I'm scarce online!

Have fun in my absence.

If you're inclined, tell me something preposterous. Extra points if it's also true.

I love to hear from you.

heat soon?

Dec. 4th, 2010 11:21 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Disintegrations and Defenestrations! by)
Spent yesterday evening driving into and out of the snow storm to get a new-to-me boiler. Expect to spend today putting it in, once the expert (my savior) arrives.

Sorry if I'm scarce online!

Have fun in my absence.

If you're inclined, tell me something preposterous. Extra points if it's also true.

I love to hear from you.
wyld_dandelyon: (Polychrome Wizard)
I want to thank everyone who sent me thoughts and prayers for a warm winter!

One of my friends has made a significant part of his money every year installing and fixing air conditioners and heaters of various sorts. When the heat went out, he was (inevitably, it seems) out of town.

Looking at probably having to replace the boiler, I called him and we talked, and he offered to do a bid for putting in a new one with My Angel and me as his assistants. So he came over today to look at things, see where we'd have to vent a new boiler since the new ones aren't designed to vent through a chimney.

While he was here, we discussed what the repair guy told me, and what he told My Angel, and he looked at the old boiler. "That doesn't make sense," he said, elaborating that part the guy told me I need isn't that expensive, and isn't the one that My Angel said he said needed replacing, and even that one shouldn't cost as much as we were told. There are other parts that cost that much, but those appeared fine. So he went out to get his tools and do some diagnostic tests while I held the flashlight at increasingly awkward angles so he could see what he was doing, testing the electrical innards of the part in question.

And in short order, he found the problem--the transformer in the part had shorted to ground, the loose wire probably due to vibrations caused by our recent 36-hour windstorm, since the boiler was working fine before the storm.

Except for going back for the tools he didn't think he would need, the whole thing took less than half an hour--and no new parts!

Dan's diagnosis--the young man who showed up while he was out of town didn't have the necessary training. Since there's not very many people who fix oil boilers in the city, and these people are the ones I've been happiest with when Dan's sick or out of town, this doesn't make me happy.

But overall, this is a wonderful Halloween present!

And now My Angel can't argue she should stay home from the Halloween party!
wyld_dandelyon: (Polychrome Wizard)
I want to thank everyone who sent me thoughts and prayers for a warm winter!

One of my friends has made a significant part of his money every year installing and fixing air conditioners and heaters of various sorts. When the heat went out, he was (inevitably, it seems) out of town.

Looking at probably having to replace the boiler, I called him and we talked, and he offered to do a bid for putting in a new one with My Angel and me as his assistants. So he came over today to look at things, see where we'd have to vent a new boiler since the new ones aren't designed to vent through a chimney.

While he was here, we discussed what the repair guy told me, and what he told My Angel, and he looked at the old boiler. "That doesn't make sense," he said, elaborating that part the guy told me I need isn't that expensive, and isn't the one that My Angel said he said needed replacing, and even that one shouldn't cost as much as we were told. There are other parts that cost that much, but those appeared fine. So he went out to get his tools and do some diagnostic tests while I held the flashlight at increasingly awkward angles so he could see what he was doing, testing the electrical innards of the part in question.

And in short order, he found the problem--the transformer in the part had shorted to ground, the loose wire probably due to vibrations caused by our recent 36-hour windstorm, since the boiler was working fine before the storm.

Except for going back for the tools he didn't think he would need, the whole thing took less than half an hour--and no new parts!

Dan's diagnosis--the young man who showed up while he was out of town didn't have the necessary training. Since there's not very many people who fix oil boilers in the city, and these people are the ones I've been happiest with when Dan's sick or out of town, this doesn't make me happy.

But overall, this is a wonderful Halloween present!

And now My Angel can't argue she should stay home from the Halloween party!
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
There's so many possibilities![Poll #1634746]
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
There's so many possibilities![Poll #1634746]

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