Archive for the ‘ General ’ Category

New Beginnings Wednesday (September 29)

New Beginnings is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. It’s all about your New Years’ Resolutions! Everybody knows that these are really hard to stick to, so why not encourage each other in our efforts? Why not enlist the support of our online friends?

So, here it is…

  • First — post your list of New Years’ Resolutions in a post at your blog.
  • Second — every week, on Wednesday, write a new post about how you’re doing with each of your goals … you’ll have to list them, again, each week, as people won’t remember what you’re working towards, otherwise. Be brief in your updates, as there may be several blogs to visit!
  • Third — after you’ve written your update, visit Should Be Reading, and share your link so that we –the other New Beginnings participants– can stop by your blog and encourage you!

Important! … It would be absolutely great if you could visit at least ONE other participant’s blog on Wednesdays and leave a comment on their post to share some encouragement for their efforts! Show your support! That’s what this event is all about — standing by each other to finally reach our goals!

My goal: to try to be more consistent, and finish what I start. In particular…

  1. Write 1000 words or more per day. Have started planning for NaNo now. For some unknown reason I allowed myself to be talked into writing a historical novel set during the Regency era. But hey, what’s one more impossible thing to accomplish?
  2. Read at least 75 books this year. I’ve had to change this to 75 books, because I’m just not getting the time to read at all right now. Other than research, anyway, which doesn’t count.
  3. Dazzle my professors with my research essays. I plan to have the first draft of one project finished by the end of this weekend, and 2/3 of the other one done by next weekend. Plus I have one essay overdue and another one looming, then my exam. I am drowning in overwork right now.
  4. Turn The Black Sheep into a functioning (popular?) blog. Working on it.
  5. Start exercising more. No time. Every time I see my running shoes I keep getting this desire to get back to a normal life schedule, but it’s just not happening right now. Maybe in November.

Happy Wednesday! How are your goals going?

New Beginnings Wednesday (September 15)

New Beginnings is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. It’s all about your New Years’ Resolutions! Everybody knows that these are really hard to stick to, so why not encourage each other in our efforts? Why not enlist the support of our online friends?

So, here it is…

  • First — post your list of New Years’ Resolutions in a post at your blog.
  • Second — every week, on Wednesday, write a new post about how you’re doing with each of your goals … you’ll have to list them, again, each week, as people won’t remember what you’re working towards, otherwise. Be brief in your updates, as there may be several blogs to visit!
  • Third — after you’ve written your update, visit Should Be Reading, and share your link so that we –the other New Beginnings participants– can stop by your blog and encourage you!

Important! … It would be absolutely great if you could visit at least ONE other participant’s blog on Wednesdays and leave a comment on their post to share some encouragement for their efforts! Show your support! That’s what this event is all about — standing by each other to finally reach our goals!

My goal: to try to be more consistent, and finish what I start. In particular…

  1. Write 1000 words or more per day. I wrote a short story yesterday that I am extremely proud of, about some kind of gangland hit-man and a garbage man who likes lollipops. It was from a story prompt, hence the slight insanity, but I really enjoyed how easily I found the character’s voice and personality.
  2. Read at least 100 books this year. May have to reduce the number to 75 if I haven’t at least reached 50 something by the end of the month. And somehow, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.
  3. Dazzle my professors with my research essays. Uh, yes. My profs are great and very encouraging, but my progress is way too slow for my own comfort right now.
  4. Turn The Black Sheep into a functioning (popular?) blog. Working on it.
  5. Start exercising more. I’ve been losing some weight, but haven’t yet set up a regular exercise routine. It’s on my To Do list! Which is massive and growing daily…*sigh*

Happy Wednesday! How are your goals going?

New Beginnings Wednesday (September 8)

New Beginnings is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. It’s all about your New Years’ Resolutions! Everybody knows that these are really hard to stick to, so why not encourage each other in our efforts? Why not enlist the support of our online friends?

So, here it is…

  • First — post your list of New Years’ Resolutions in a post at your blog.
  • Second — every week, on Wednesday, write a new post about how you’re doing with each of your goals … you’ll have to list them, again, each week, as people won’t remember what you’re working towards, otherwise. Be brief in your updates, as there may be several blogs to visit!
  • Third — after you’ve written your update, visit Should Be Reading, and share your link so that we –the other New Beginnings participants– can stop by your blog and encourage you!

Important! … It would be absolutely great if you could visit at least ONE other participant’s blog on Wednesdays and leave a comment on their post to share some encouragement for their efforts! Show your support! That’s what this event is all about — standing by each other to finally reach our goals!

My goal: to try to be more consistent, and finish what I start. In particular…

  1. Write 1000 words or more per day. I’ve been writing a lot of fanfic lately, which has made me go well over 1k several days this week, which is nice. I have a reputation as a crazy-mad overachiever in our local writing group, which makes me laugh, because I am nothing if not lazy.
  2. Read at least 100 books this year. Making very slow progress with this at the moment.
  3. Dazzle my professors with my research essays. *insert the panicked scream of the procrastinator here*
  4. Turn The Black Sheep into a functioning (popular?) blog. Working on it.
  5. Start exercising more. I keep meaning to…

Happy Wednesday! How are your goals going?

On Hiatus, Sort Of.

So, I don’t know if y’all have noticed, but I really haven’t been posting as much recently. First it was just a Thursdays in Black post missed out here and there. Then Teaser Tuesday became tricker to keep up with. Then Sunday Spotlight, and now the Monday Poem. I’m not even reading that much anymore, either. So I’ve decided to put the blog on hiatus until the end of October. I’ll still be posting my New Beginnings Wednesday updates, and I want to write up my experiences at Au Contraire before I forget the important parts, so I’m not going to fade away completely. However, I have some important deadlines coming up and I just can’t take the time to give Black Sheep the attention it deserves until my essays, projects and exam (eek!) are out of the way.

But do not despair! I will let you in on a secret: when I come back, I’ll have the new site up and running. New look, new url, and all new content. I’m also working on some ideas for ways I can get more involved in social justice projects, perhaps even hosting some myself, so if you can think of anything you think I should look into then please drop me a line. I will be blogging through NaNo as a co-ML this year too, so that’s something to look forward to.

Thanks for reading, and see you on the flip side!

New Beginnings Wednesday (September 1)

New Beginnings is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. It’s all about your New Years’ Resolutions! Everybody knows that these are really hard to stick to, so why not encourage each other in our efforts? Why not enlist the support of our online friends?

So, here it is…

  • First — post your list of New Years’ Resolutions in a post at your blog.
  • Second — every week, on Wednesday, write a new post about how you’re doing with each of your goals … you’ll have to list them, again, each week, as people won’t remember what you’re working towards, otherwise. Be brief in your updates, as there may be several blogs to visit!
  • Third — after you’ve written your update, visit Should Be Reading, and share your link so that we –the other New Beginnings participants– can stop by your blog and encourage you!

Important! … It would be absolutely great if you could visit at least ONE other participant’s blog on Wednesdays and leave a comment on their post to share some encouragement for their efforts! Show your support! That’s what this event is all about — standing by each other to finally reach our goals!

My goal: to try to be more consistent, and finish what I start. In particular…

  1. Write 1000 words or more per day. I managed to keep this up even while I was away, which I am quite proud of. This month, I think I may participate in KiwiWriters’ Fantasy Madness Challenge and/or the Urban Legends Challenge, depending on whether or not I can come up with any ideas. Loving the idea of SpecFic Month!
  2. Read at least 100 books this year. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll be able to manage this. Things kind of crashed around July and I have hardly picked up a book since. Time for a last-ditch effort, I think!
  3. Dazzle my professors with my research essays. As with everything else, I feel terrifyingly behind with these at the moment. Definitely nose-to-the-grindstone time if I want to get things done before the end of October!
  4. Turn The Black Sheep into a functioning (popular?) blog. I’ve been shopping around for webhosts these past few days, and have decided where I’m going to host my new site, as well as the name for it. I’m really looking forward to getting started – but first I need to save up enough money for the hosting fees!
  5. Start exercising more. Er. Working on it?

Happy Wednesday! How are your goals going?

Monday Poem: “Wild Swans” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

As I said last week, I’ve been going through some of St. Vincent Millay’s work after encountering her at random in a piece of fanfiction. While I haven’t liked all of the poems I’ve read, I will say that she has a great deal of imagination and I have enjoyed exploring them. I particularly enjoyed the imagery of this piece that I’m featuring today:

Wild Swans by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more:
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!

(courtesy of this site)

Sunday Spotlight: Beware Bloggers Bearing Gifts!

I’ve been a pretty bad blogger this week – no new content since Wednesday! What’s up with that? Well, the reason I haven’t been blogging is twofold:

(i) I’ve been busy, away at the Au Contraire Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Wellington this weekend.

(ii) Because of this, I’ve been staying in a hotel and thus have had pretty minimal internet access for, like, EVER. Okay, so it was only two days. Shut up. Two days is forever when you’re as addicted to the ‘net as I am. Do you know how hard it is to navigate Opera on an ancient cell phone? This is what I was reduced to! It was terrible!

I had a great time at the Con and learned a great deal, although unfortunately I was sick on the third day (today) and decided to head home early, which meant I missed out on some great stuff and some great people. However! I have the internet again! Which has at least cured me of my withdrawal symptoms. And I still have a whole load of fantastic experiences to share with you guys which I’ll be writing up and posting over the next week or so. The first of which is today. For this week’s Sunday Spotlight, let me share with you some of the amazing people and pages I’ve encountered over the past couple of days.

  1. Introducing SpecFicNZ! I’ve talked about this before, I think, but now it has officially launched: NZ’s go-to organisation for Speculative Fiction. If you read, write, publish or are otherwise involved in the production of fantasy, sci-fi, horror and anything in-between, then do join up! Membership is pretty cheap and the organisation sounds like it’s going to be fantastic once it gets off the ground. Plus, I was at the launch and met some of those who have put it together (maybe this makes me a little biased, but this is my blog, so deal with it) and they are all very dedicated and creative people with some awesome ideas and I want to help them work towards the fulfillment of those ideas as much as I can.
  2. Nicholas Chrustowski’s blog, Storyteller. I met Nick at the Convention (hi!) and learned that he had self published his own anthology of short stories called Dreams and Nightmares, which has since been nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collected Work 2010. The Sir Julius Vogels have been voted on and will be awarded tonight at Au Contraire, so good luck, Nick! Stop by and check out what he has to say about writing.
  3. Russell Kirkpatrick’s site. Technically, I was never introduced to Mr. Kirkpatrick, but I attended his seminar on Worldbuilding and it was one of the highlights of the convention. FYI, Mr. Kirkpatrick, if you ever read this: I was the one who made the comment about fairytales having a certain loose rule structure. I had a great time and learned heaps, thank you! Ahem. So, anyway. I will be posting more about that later, but in the meantime, check out some of his fantasy novels on his website!
  4. Juliet Marillier’s site. Again, I attended Ms.(?) Marillier’s writing workshop (this one on Voice) rather than talk to her much in person, but I enjoyed that a great deal too. Check out what she’s been writing and if you can catch her at WorldCon later in the year, I highly recommend it!
  5. Last but not least, Writer Unboxed, a gorgeous site about writers and writing to which Juliet Marillier contributes (and through whom I obtained the link). Another blog for the favourites list!

Anyway, I had such fun and I’m sad it’s over, particularly as I didn’t get to see the grand finale. Maybe next year. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy exploring these links as much as I enjoyed meeting the people and finding out about them.