Friday, April 30, 2010

I can't summarize happiness.

About a week ago, we went for a drive when we were taking a break from our writing. We found a "highway" with this pretty wooded area alongside. We decided to try to take pictures of the two of us. These first ones were just us holding the camera out to the side and trying to look natural. Some of them turned out kind of fun.

See Paul's FHSU shirt? He really likes that shirt and insists on wearing it at least once a week. (He usually has two or three favorite shirts that get worn ten times more than all the rest. He's silly like that.)

The picture below is the one picture that actually worked out when we tried to use the timer function on the camera. We had several hilarious blurry ones, ridiculously off-to-the-side ones, and the sun going down kind of destroyed the lighting. (I'm starting to think full-body shots of me are pretty funny. I look like someone took a regular person and squished them down into a stump!)
We were exploring Hays and found this little place that had a bunch of plaques for Hays and her "Sister Cities" around the world. Here is the Hays one. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly what a "sister city" is, or I would explain.
We're doing very well right now, and experiencing real happiness. I don't know how to summarize a happy life. Sure, we're worried about millions of bills just like everyone else, but we're just having fun and loving being here and being together. We're both spending hours every day writing. Paul's working on papers for school and I'm working hard on my book and some articles here and there. The writing life suits us very well, and I prefer it a thousand times more than having a conventional job. I'm so glad to have found a lifestyle that works so well for the person that I am!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Music brings memories.

So I finally found the camera (in my backpack, ironically) but after copying pictures to my computer, I managed to lose the memory card. I'm sure it will pop up again as things usually do, but sadly... the blog will still have to go without pictures until I find it again.

Well, I might be able to get some pictures off of my computer to put onto the blog at school tomorrow, but I never remember to do things like in the morning. I always get up as late as possible and have to run and scramble to get out the door. I have been known to forget all kinds of important things like my wallet, my cell phone, my notebook, my pen, and just about anything else that I might need. I don't know how I can be expected to remember to get pictures from my computer to take to school!

It has been fun these last few days to listen to a bunch of my old music. Before our old computer died, most of the music that we listened to was either downloaded from the internet (OC Remix) or copied from cds from the library and from my mom. We lost hundreds of songs when the computer died, including just about everything that we had been listening to.

So recently, I took all of our cds and copied most of them onto our new computer. It was SO FUN to listen to music that I have not listened to for years. It's so funny, because every song reminds of things from certain time periods of my life. The Remember the Titans soundtrack reminds me of my friend Ruth and the good ol' days of junior high school. Blessid Union of Souls makes me remember riding with my brother James in his blue truck before his mission. I have music that is distinctly high school to me and much more that reminds me of Southern Virginia University and Snow College where I went to school when I was single.

It's funny because some songs make me feel the excitement of being in love for the first time and others the sadness of being rejected. Most songs make me think of my friends and I remember us laughing and singing together. It's almost like each song comes with a private folder of memories and emotions and I can't seem to separate each song from all the things it makes me feel.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How do you create real female characters?

So I'm working on my latest book, and I have decided to focus more on some of my female characters. I think it's unfair and stupid that most stories are about men, and that most of the women in books and movies are one dimensional and are only there to be love interests to the men. I've seen so many movies which have only one female character. And that one female is usually extremely beautiful, over-sexualized, and completely lacking in anything like a real personality.

Come on! Real women are beautiful (in individual ways), but there's much more to than us than our faces and our bodies. We have personalities too!

It's funny, though, because I find it difficult to break outside of the stereotypes in spite of my strong convictions. I KNOW that we women are interesting and have depth. Sometimes we're mean and sometimes we're nice. Every woman is an individual with unique preferences, habits, and ideas. It should not be so hard for me.

The two characters that I'm developing right now come across as so shallow and frivolous, and that's not my intention at all! I want them to be normal nineteen-year-old girls who try to look good, (with a sense of style in their clothes and jewelry, etc.) who are crushing on boys, but who also work hard at their jobs and who react to things in characteristic ways. Despite my best efforts to create depth, these girls just seem so FLUFFY!

How do I write female characters that are real, deep, and still stylish and beautiful?

Later on in my book, I'm putting in a girl who's a bit more like me- quiet, geeky, and none too concerned with physical appearance. Maybe a girl like that will be easier to create.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's officially not fun being a grown-up!

So yesterday was an exciting day....! (The word exciting usually has a positive connotation, so maybe I should say that it was eventful instead.) I had to do one of those lovely adult-type things: taxes.

But before that, I finally got to see an eye doctor and get a trial pair of contacts! That's good, because it means that sight has returned to my eyes after a week of perpetual blurriness. The entire last week, I was constantly getting a headache from trying to read things and figure out what I was looking at. And Paul wasn't happy to have to drive me everywhere since driving was completely out of the question for me.

As soon as my vision was restored, I could see how nasty the bathroom was becoming, and so I pulled out the Comet and got to work. I'm happy to report that the bathroom is almost ridiculously clean right now! And before I attempted the taxes, I was in quite a happy mood. I got out all of my music books and sang for two hours in the middle of the day. It didn't really feel like wasting time because singing makes me so happy.

But happiness passes so quickly! Having done the taxes the last two years without a hitch, I was thinking it would only take a few minutes, some basic arithmetic, and I would be done. I didn't realize that being self-employed takes the process to a whole new nightmarish level. There are forms, forms, forms and more forms. There are things I was supposed to keep track of that I didn't know I was supposed to keep track. I was wading through endless paperwork and calculations and kicking myself for not keeping better records.

I suspect that I may have made a mistake somewhere, but I couldn't figure out where. I finally just decided that if I did my best, at least the taxes would be in on time.

So, yeah. It's officially not fun being a grown-up.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I've gone blind....!

So I would love to post some pictures, but our camera is lost. Yes, the memory card is inside it, preventing me from being able to retrieve pictures from it.


I'm also having difficulty typing because my glasses are broken, and I have to lean awfully close to the computer screen just to read the words. Yesterday I spent a long time trying to type an article without being able to see the words as I was going along. It's not the most efficient way to get things done.

Last week on Thursday, I realized that my glasses were breaking. I could see that they were breaking where the bridge connected to the right side of the frame. When they actually broke on Saturday night, they broke not on the bridge but over on the part that holds the lens. On Sunday, some people from our ward tried to fix them, but they were broken in such a way as to make them impossible to repair.

Unfortunately, I have no other glasses or contacts and I was unable to get in to see an eye doctor until Thursday of this week. It has been a long few days. You never realize how much you depend on your glasses and contacts until you don't have any. There are so many basic things you just can't do without being able to see.

I keep getting a headache because I still have to do things like go to school and write articles. I hope that tomorrow when I go to the eye doctor I can get a trial pair of contacts so that I don't have to wait another week or two for a pair of glasses.

Isn't life fun?