Creatively Antsy

I’m running a little late tonight. I was working on an assignment for my Western Civ class (which I was doing last minute because DRAMA and also CARP but I won’t go into that.)

To be honest, the assignment was a little difficult. Not the part about “you’re a vassal for two different lords, who are about to go to war and both have called you up to fight. What do you do?” No, that part was pretty easy. The hard part was doing only the assignment, and not going beyond.

 

By my oath, I owe fealty to Count Moliere. By my oath, by tradition and right, I owe fealty to Count Lumiere. When this bleak winter ends, the two shall meet on the field of battle and I am called to take my place–on both sides of the argument.

Five years ago at Christmas, I did homage to Count Moliere and spoke my oath, took my place as his vassal. He gave to me the lands and rights to this castle through which the wind blows. This castle he reclaimed when my predecessor broke his oath of fealty, and bore arms against him.

This castle stands, cold and drafty, amid a manor my lord Moliere had nearly emptied of useful persons. He gave me a fief of the old, of the infirm, of women and children. When we meet he boasts of his generosity as a true knight and pokes at my lack thereof, when I have sunk …

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7 Weeks

So about seven weeks ago, coincidentally enough, I blogged about an app called 7 Weeks. It’s supposed to help build habits. So how’s that going?

I think I should have invested in the Cattle Prod app.

Don’t get me wrong! The 7 Weeks app itself is great. Easy to use, appealing, intuitive…the problem, as always, is me.

The free version tracks your habit for the titular 7 Weeks. I paid $1.99 for the pro version, knowing I was going to need more than seven weeks. And after those seven weeks, I can unequivocally say I was right–I needed it.

Probably I’m trying for too much at once. I didn’t just stick with the two habits I talked about last time, oh no. Not ME. That would be too easy! I stuck with writing every day. I altered “watch the money” to “update budget spreadsheet.” I added “clean kitchen.” And “at or under calorie goal.”

Most days I get one of them (clean the kitchen, generally. It’s the least mentally-challenging). Some days I get two! I’ve even gotten all four once or twice, but definitely not more than that.

As I see it, there are a couple reasons for my less-than-stellar performance here:

  • I take on too much. Always. Instead of one habit at a time, I went for four. I’m also doing these while I take a three college classes (two of them only one credit each, but still!) work full-time, and continue my adventure-seeking in the great …

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  • Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate V

    Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.

    But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.

    Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.

    It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.

    Part I

    Part II

    Part III

    Part IV

     

    Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate V
    A Serial Story by KD Sarge

     

    A chill rain fell as the group walked within a growing stream of traffic, all headed for the tall white walls smudged with murk. At the sound of thudding hoofbeats from behind, Flame jumped out of the way of a galloping horseman and while she was in the ditch stooped for a mudball to fling at his back. She thought the smear improved his blue cloak. Ryahled didn’t; he scowled at her. She grinned back, wiped her glove on a passing wagon. Kessa looked from him to her and didn’t speak. Again. Flame poked her.

    “What is gnawing on you, little one?” Though Flame was smaller in …

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    Happy New Year! Or Something.

    Due to a scheduling issue, Siri Paulson is busy being awesome elsewhere. So you get me again this week.

    Are you sick of reading about resolutions yet? Have you blown yours already?

    Come sit by me. Have some ice cream.

    I understand, and I don’t, the thing about starting a new life in a new year. I’m optimist enough to believe we can change our lives with determination and courage. I’m cynic enough to think if I can’t do it any other day of the year, the 1st of January isn’t looking so great either.

    So I make decisions. Proclamations. Plans. And I expect they turn out about as well for me as they do for many another, and we all sitting around thinking of the things we could have done if we’d just gotten around to them.

    Yeah, me too.

    Have some more ice cream.

    So anyway. I’m trying something a little different. Because I love my phone and gladly submit to its technological dominion, I got an app. It’s called 7 Weeks, and the idea is to track the habit you want to build for seven weeks–that’s when it becomes a real habit, supposedly.

    So far I’m only doing “write every day” and “watch the money.” And really, I have to decide what I mean by “watch the money” because if I’m just watching while I happily spend it all, that’s probably not going to be helpful.

    Anyway. That’s what I’m doing. I’ve got my to-do lists, …

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    Bad Habits are Hard to Break. Good Habits? Not So Much.

    They say it takes twenty-eight days to make something a habit. I think that must be for normal people.

    I wear sunglasses. Not cute little fashionable sunglasses, but big, cover everything, I want to preserve my eyes sunglasses. I rarely go outside without them, and I never drive without them. At home they hang safely on my closet door. On the go, they hang from my neck or sit on my head. When I get to work, I take them off, wrap the cord around them, and put them carefully in the back pocket of my purse, which holds nothing else so I don’t accidentally scratch my sunglasses.

    Except sometimes, very rarely, I take them off, carefully wrap the cord, and set them on top of my computer tower instead. Pretty much every time I do that, I forget them and have to go back—sometimes unlocking the gate I just locked, unlocking the front door, turning off the alarm I just set…

    Three times I’ve had over a hundred days in a row on 750words.com and then blown it. Just didn’t write anything one day. Two other times, I was over two hundred days when I blew it! Yet if I drive up a certain street in Tucson while thinking of other things, I may well drive to my old house that I haven’t lived in for two years and not notice until I’m turning into the driveway.

    In short, I need to find a way to break the habits I …

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    Last Traditions Standing

    I have a very dear and marvelous friend whom I invite for Thanksgiving very early each year–like, in February if not sooner. I always want to get that invitation in early so she can truthfully say “oh, I have a prior invitation!” when asked to celebrations that make her uncomfortable.

    This year, the invitation went out before we found out that my dear friend has some special dietary needs she is just figuring out. And, also a surprise to me, now she has a new-to-the-city roommate, who also has special dietary needs. The list of things the two need to avoid is rather daunting.

    Know what, though? I don’t really care.

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    Burning Bright

    Burning Bright cover, a flaming phoenix on a black background

    Free Chaptersprint edition buttonKindle EditionSmashwords Edition

    Seize the Fire Book 1

    The demons come, devouring life and light. Armed with sword and spell, Keepers meet the scourge. Above nations, beyond the law, to be a Keeper is to hold power–but power always comes with a price.

    To Keeper Apprentice Hiro Takai, Keepers are heroes, risking their lives to battle with sword and spell …

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    Stuck Forever in a Too Small World

     

    When we were lucky enough to go to DisneyWorld, my family and I had an agreement. We weren’t going on the It’s a Small World ride. We didn’t care that it was quintessential Disney. We’d heard stories of it getting stuck, and if there’s one ride where you wouldn’t want to chance that… So we didn’t do it.

    A few years ago, budget cuts threatened to take my job from forty hours a week to thirty. It was decided in April—when I came back to work in July, I’d be at 30 hours a week. I was terrified. I loved my job, needed the schedule that gave me the same days off as the kid—I didn’t know how we’d survive.

    Life, though, went on. I had to do stuff, not hide under my bed. Music helped with that, but at my most terrified, all my songs but one stressed me out more. So I listened to that one song over and over. For weeks, I listened to Adam Lambert sing “Time for Miracles.” People would stand at my desk for one reason or another, realize they’d heard that song three times, give me a funny look and move away…

    Eventually I was able to expand a little bit. I made a “HALP!” playlist ten songs long—seven other songs and “Time for Miracles” three times over.

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    Introducing Burning Bright

     

    The demons come, devouring life and light. Armed with sword and spell, Keepers meet the scourge. Above nations, beyond the law, to be a Keeper is to hold power–but power always comes with a price.

    Introducing Burning Bright, the first book of the Seize the Fire trilogy.

     

    Burning Bright, Chapter One

    by KD Sarge

    “Keeper-Apprentice Kunihiro Takai,” Ume said, “well done. Harmony herself, Lady of Harvests, would be pleased to call this place home. She might even bring the twins, Binder and Unwinder, which holy children—”

    “Little thanks to you.” Hiro pushed a book on the shelf nearest him more in line with its fellows. There. The little library was perfect. The kitchen behind him sparkled. The porch was neat, the garden weeded, Eshan’s bedroom freshened…he never should have let it get so bad. But now Eshan would never know.

    “I did my part,” Ume said, flopping into the big chair Eshan curled up in on winter evenings. “I trotted up here and warned you the healers were letting him go today.” She flung long brown legs over the arm as she sprawled. “And when you asked for help, I told you. Demons to be defeated? Drunkery to be debauched? I’m in. Cooking, cleaning, sewing, minding? Not this wench. Especially if I’m not allowed to use magic.”

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    When the Muse Takes Over

     

    Like many writers, I haven’t always had the friendliest relationship with my muses.

    Actually, that’s a very diplomatic (and less than honest) way to put it. I’ve been known to throw bricks at them. I have threatened them with fire, called them obscene names, and sang a certain unmentionable song from a certain DisneyWorld ride at them over and over and over until they coughed up a scene I wanted.

    Yes, it’s childish, but they started it.

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