Thursday, March 12, 2015

Well, I'm Back

So the battle raged, and the cannons flashed, and the beleaguered soldier, running low on supplies and completely out of ammunition, hunkered down in the trench, and waited for it to be over. And then: a sun rise. A bird call. The soldier cautiously peered over the top, and realised that the battle was over and all was peace.

All right, so that description is a little extreme. However, for the moment, that rather idiotic stream of bad luck seems to have abated. I think I have manage to go a whole week without a single episode of drama worth talking about. I want to thank all of you lovely people who still left comments and encouragement during the time when I was computer-less. And thanks also to all of you who have tagged me - especially Miss Muffin for the Lord of the Rings tag - I always love a chance to talk about those books! I intend to get to all the tags as soon as possible, but this post is primarily a wave to the world.

So what has happened since the last time I posted? Well, the Perpetually Overheating Subaru came back. It does not seem to be overheating any longer - quite the opposite. The temperature gage seldom moves off the cold setting at all, even when I take it over the mountain to see if it will behave itself. I find this very unsettling, and find myself watching the temperature with as much concern as ever I did when it ran hot. Still, I must admit that it seems to be running quite well. The engine... purrs.... my very ordinary snow-country car has a purring engine. I understand why car-guys like that sound so much. And it's handling very well. I find myself cruising along so smoothly that I am suddenly 10 miles over the speed limit and felt it not. Indeed, it seems to be running almost too well, and I am suspicious of its motives. On the advice of my sisters - who have a thing for naming cars, I have decided to christen mine "Loki"- partly because it is green and gold, but mostly because Loki is called "The Doer of Good and the Doer of Evil" which seems to fit my car's unchancy behaviour. I have also decided that I like it well enough to finally apply the Tree of Gondor decal I got for Christmas:

F O R     G O N D O R !

It sits right smack in the center of the back window, and is subtle enough not to make me look like the total Tolkienist that I am, but at the same time, obvious enough to delight the eye of my fellow Tolkienists. I can now yell, "For Gondor!" when I run for my car after work, if I want to. This pleases me exceedingly.

I also am in possession of a new laptop. It is a brand new Toshiba, which I bought on an insanely good sale through Amazon. It is quite nice - solid black, lovely keyboard, wide screen, much lighter than the old one. It did come with the Windows 8 Operating System, which I have found completely obnoxious ever since it first came out, but have downloaded and app to make it behave more like Windows 7, which is handy. There are a ton of apps on the thing, which I will never use, and I am deleting them from the computer. I suspect that they are the reason it seems to run slowly some times. I shall have to sit down sometime soon and see if I can look up what I actually need on the computer, and what I can jettison. But in the meantime, it is working out better than I thought it would, and I am liking it more than I expected:

Let the blogging begin!

Contrary to what that picture suggests, I am not really being that cavalier with liquids near the new Toshiba. I am mildly paranoid of ruining it. I mean, the car is running and I have a computer and it has been a whole week since the last spot of Drama.... best not to take any chances!

With the abatement of trying things, my creative streak, which, had hunkered down as well, seems to have revived. I have just started writing again, and it is as slow going as it was back in November, between the research and the way the story is deciding to tell itself, and me having to really care about it when I am writing it. Mostly, I am doodling in a moleskin notebook - some pencil sketches and some watercolours. Not much to speak of, but there is a sense of satisfaction in keeping one's hand in, so to speak:

Typical Mahri stuff. There is the ever present piper, drawn from the back (my favourite pose for a piper, as I have mention in various previous posts. A sword, of course, because I seem to draw a lot of swords. A bottle of ink and a fountain pen, sketched from life during a break at work. A diced glengarry bonnet, also sketched from life, during a longer break from work. Ship's sails, because I am trying to get into the feel of the story I am writing. The dragon was done in a slightly more challenging pose than is usual for me - there is no point in practising if one does not make an effort to test oneself. Free hand watercolour doodles, because I am intimidated by the idea, but really want to be able to do it.

And then there is this:

It is a haiku, and a very odd splashy illustration to go with it. I don't normally write haikus, for all they are a very traditional form of poetry and I am a very tradition poet. However, I run a small teen writing group at the library, and I really want to be able to do some quick poetry exercises with my kids next month, April being National Poetry Month. I thought that haikus would be an excellent form as an introduction to poetry, because they are very short, they don't have to rhyme, and they are very strict about rhythm: five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five in the last - seventeen syllables all together. Furthermore, they would make wonderful warm-up writing exercises, as they force one to pay particular attention to economy with words - to take care to use just the right word, and leave out what does not need to be... So far, so good, but, as I said before, I don't write haikus. If I expect my kids to write one, I'd better be able to come up with one myself.

I sat and I mused. It was rainy yesterday, and cool. A welcome change from the abnormal warmth we've been visited with this winter. It smelled nice, and it was beautiful, and my poor, winter-starved heart was happy to see it. This is pretty much how I have felt on the extremely rare occasions that we have gotten precipitation this year. I jotted this down, tweaked the wording over the course of the day, and then came home and painted this. 

And that, in a nutshell, has been my week. Now that things have returned to normality, I intend - though, of course, know better than to promise - a more regular blogging schedule. 


Katrina DeLallo said...

Mwahahaha, I can't wait to see your blogging schedule.

Hurray for no drama! *Crosses fingers for your continued good luck*

Treskie said...

*snort* you funneh.

And unfortunately, because of that stupid Lion's Blaze, every time I hear the word Haiku, and feel the urge to scream< 'GLUTEUS MAXIMUUS!' and that would be awkward.

Mahri said...

Kat: No doubt the blogging schedule will still be pretty scant. I tend to feel rather Entish about the matter - I don't say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.

Treskie: Perhaps I should start writing many death haikus...

Amy said...

Oooooh, pictures! I love pictures! :)
Your posts are fun. You really should post more often!