Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: We will not vanish without a fight!


It's the first Wednesday of the month! Time for another round of IWSG: Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. If you haven't already, head on over to the new website and check out all the great things going on over there.


Thirteen has continued to be an unlucky year for us, but we take the small victories to push us through the battlefield of life. A little dramatic? Maybe, but with things going the way they have, that's exactly what it feels like. It seems as soon as soon as we get on our feet, someone has to come kick us back down.

With the stress and my lovely medical problems I've struggled to get out of bed each day, let alone actually sit down and write.

Then a little miracle came in the form of a free edit. Just what I needed to get my butt in that chair and get to work on finishing my novel. It just happened I finished my novel and sent it off to be edited right as NaNoWriMo was approaching. I had a new goal to work towards, and I started off strong.

Then yesterday happened.

I woke up this morning with stress and dread already filling my mind. All I wanted to do was curl back up and pretend I didn't exist.

But that would solve nothing. That wouldn't help my husband who needs my support, and that wouldn't help me complete that goal I committed myself to.

Then I remembered the quote from Independence Day, and it gave me the strength I needed to get up and face the demons of my day.
"We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on!
We're going to survive!"


It's my go to when I need that little extra push. Do you have a favorite quote, song, or movie that helps you when life gets tough?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I set fire to the rain!

Love that song :P


Ok, so I didn't set fire to the rain... It was my kitchen...

I guess I will be doing my kitchen a little sooner than expected.

Friday I managed a nice kitchen fire when I tried to turn my tea kettle on and instead turned the burner under the pan of oil on. I'm out one set of cabinets, a stove hood, a set of curtains, blinds, and a faucet, but no one was hurt... except my pride of course.




My Mom said if I wanted my kitchen redone, I didn't need to go to such extremes. To which I replied, had it been intentional, I would have included the living room carpet so I could finally have the hardwood floors I want. We have been planning a remodel for a while now, and although this isn't the best time for it, I now have very little choice. With NaNoWriMo right around the corner I was hoping, and trying, to get my house super clean so I could devote most of my time to writing, but now it looks like I will be painting.




Yay.

It's times like these that you just have to laugh at yourself and move on.

Moving on now...

Friday, October 18, 2013

No More Bullies!


October is bully prevention month, unfortunately someone forgot to tell the bullies. I found out this morning that my nephew was a victim of bullying recently. Some kid thought he could push my nephew around and humiliate him, but that ended when the kid threw the first punch. My nephew was willing to walk away, until the bully tried to hit him. Now my nephew is suspended for defending himself.

I understand the school has a policy of no fighting, and my nephew was found with the kid in a choke hold, but I still think it's unfair he is being punished for something he tried to walk away from. Whatever the school says, he has his family backing him. I'm proud of him, as is his uncle.

I suffered bullies all through school. I think I may have been a better student if it weren't for the fact that I hated getting up everyday and returning to my own personal hell where I was constantly tormented by kids who hardly even knew me, and it was impossible to say anything about it, because they were the popular kids, the teachers pets, the kids that ruled the school. Even when I tried to fit in, I was ridiculed.

I had the pleasure of talking to one of my bullies after high school, and I asked her why she did what she did. You want to know the answer?

Because I was different, and she didn't understand me.

So here is my plea to help stop bulling. Take that one person you don't understand, and get to know them. Have a conversation with them, ask them what they are passionate about, and who knows, maybe you will find they are not so different from you, that you could be great friends.

Don't leave anyone to sit alone in the corner suffering daily a world that refuses to understand them. Be the hero, and rescue them from the torment of others.

Have you been the victim of bullies or were you a bully? Share in the comments. I would love to hear your story, and how it affects you today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

NaNo take me away...

With book one officially out of my hands, I am now in full outline mode. I have my note cards, my outline templates, and a hoard of outline writing books. Now, where do I start?

Truth is, I never outlined before. I'm a pantser (write by the seat of your pants) and just the thought of having everything pre-thought kinda gives me the willies. I know where the next two books are going, I know what needs to happen, and I know the obstacles my MC will have to face, so why do I need an outline to tell me what I already know?

Because once again I'm going to try NaNoWriMo, and I think this time I may actually succeed if I have a little road map to guide me.

I'm hoping to have my second manuscript done and ready to critique and edit by the time the first one comes back. Should keep me from rocking in a corner going insane from terror of failure. I think it's a writer thing. Insecurities and all that.

I'm hoping to get a writing group together here in Abilene during this Nano season. Hopefully meeting more like minded people will get me out of the house more often and will help with stress I've been feeling the past few months.

If you are joining the NaNo fun, be sure to add me. I'm looking forward to word wars, and write-ins! If you're not a writer you can keep track of my word count on the Counter in the side bar over there ->

Happy NaNo, Y'all!

Monday, October 7, 2013

*Tap tap* Hello?

Hello? Is this thing on?

Surprise, I'm back! If you haven't noticed by my total lack of posts, even missing this months IWSG, I have been super duper busy finishing my last round of revisions, and as of Sunday at 1am I am done.



If you have been keeping up on Facebook, chances are you already know, but for those just joining the class, let me tell you why this is so exciting. First off, I have been writing/revising/learning the craft for over 3 years now, and finally feel I have something to show for it.

Am I 100% positive my writing is all it can be and more? Absolutely not, but that is why this next bit is so freakin amazing.

Last month I won an edit from K.M. Weiland!!!


So now I'm formatting my MS and trying to get the guts up to hit the send button...

Yeah, I'm just a bit nervous o.0 But in the end, I know her advice will help me grow as a writer.

While my MS is off getting shredded  edited, I'll be busy with outlining book 2, coming up with my 5 year plan as a writer, and getting my poor neglected house back in order. Hopefully that will keep me from ripping my hair our in fits of nervousness...



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG: Jumbled Routines

Happy anniversary to the Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh! Head on over to his blog to hear about what he plans for the future of IWSG.
Summer is gone, my little girl is back to school, and it’s just little man and me. Plenty of time to get chores done, and then sit down at the keyboard for some writing.
At least that's how it plays out in my head. Only by the time I get the chores done, because nobody picks up after themselves, it's nearly time to pick up my daughter from school. After that its nonstop mommy mode until I tuck my little nerdlettes into bed, and then crawl to the comfort of my own bed with that last tiny bit of energy I have left.

Am I the only one having a hard time getting back into the swing of things?
I tell myself its just me being lazy. Like how I keep saying I'm going to start working out again, every day. Truth is, all I have to do is utter the words diet and exercise, and I gain ten pounds!
Maybe its just going to take me a few weeks to get into this new routine. Maybe I should write first, then do chores... but those dishes, they mock me from the corner of my eye, telling me what a terrible mother and housewife I am if I don't get them done pronto.
Bubby comes in, lonely now that Sister is at school. I have to take time to play with him, work with him on his speech, his shapes and alphabet, and his numbers. I want him ready for school next year, want him at his best, because mommy took the time.
That is my goal.
But then there is my dream. I want to be an author. I want to be published, but I know it won't happen if I don't work hard, if I don't put in the time.
I need to quit acting like writing is just a hobby, and start treating it like the job I intend for it to be.
I have to figure out a better way to manage my time.
I know eventually I will work it all out, its this time between that drives me bonkers.

Tell me I'm not the only one.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Scrivener: Backup in Dropbox


Scrivener is one of the top rated word processing programs out there today. If you have participated in NaNoWriMo, you have probably heard all about it. The good people at Literature & Latte provide a discount for all you WriMo’s who cross the 50k finish line.
Some of the absolute best features of this program are the save features. Scrivener makes sure all those precious words are accounted for by saving automatically every 2 minutes, and when you exit the program it saves a backup file as well.
Any writer will tell you it’s important to have several copies of your writing. I keep one on thumb drive, one on the hard drive, and two on the internet with Dropbox and GDrive.
Setting up Scrivener to automatically send your backup file to your Dropbox file is easy as pie!
First select TOOLS, then OPTIONS, or you could just hit the F12 and it will open the OPTIONS MENU.

Next select BACKUP.

Make sure the “Backup on project close” box is checked, then on Backup Location choose your file.



Dropbox is usually in the folder that contains the Your Pictures, Your Documents, and Your Videos files, and will be named whatever your PC’s name is. Mine is AMcBay, so I would go to that folder, open the dropbox folder, then click select folder.
Click OK, or APPLY in the OPTIONS MENU, and you’re done!
See? Uber easy ;)
A little note, this is for the windows edition, but from what I understand, the Mac version is very similar.
I hope this little tutorial helps keeps your little darlings safe, and if you enjoyed it and want some more Scrivener fun, check out my post on changing Scrivener's appearance at Scrivener: Beauty


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Encouragement


I'm not going to lie, it's been a rough few months. The kind that keep you from doing what you love, and the kind that rip at your sanity. The past couple weeks have been particularly hard. I won't be going into detail, because it's my business, and I don't like to air my dirty laundry for all to see, but I will say this, I contemplated giving up writing for good, many times, and I'm so thankful to the people in my life that wouldn't allow that.
As of today, I'm starting fresh.
No more mooping about, no more stressing, and no more giving up on my dreams.
Why the sudden uplift in spirits?
I woke up this morning to a message on my Facebook wall. It was a simple, friendly inquiry about when I would be done with my book, and when they can read book two.
I wanted to cry.
Someone, other than family, has faith in my story! They want more of it.
So you see, I have to finish this story, if only for that one reader that gave me hope when I was ready to quit (again).
As a result, I'll be doing more updates on my WIP's on facebook and twitter, and  I will be doing a weekly update here to let those who care and support me know where I am in my adventures.
I'm looking forward to this new me, and this new attitude.
Now, onward! There are edits to be done, and worlds to create!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Howdy From OK

What a month I've had. I never expect to be spending the majority of the summer in Oklahoma at my Mom's house, but one thing led to another thing, and before I knew it, the kids and I were stranded.


It's not been bad, in fact we have enjoyed our time with family quite thoroughly, but all that writing time I envisioned for the summer didn't stand a chance. I tried, but even with my best efforts I only managed about 36 pages deep edited... and that was only because I tossed my kids in the swimming pool and sat outside in the hot humid heat and worked. Let me tell you, going from Texas weather to Oklahoma weather is like going from a desert to a rain forest. The first few days I could hardly breathe, the air was so thick.

I have read by the pool with my Mom, and went horse back riding with my Dad and Papa. The kids have bounced around staying the night with family members they rarely see, and played with their cousins. It's been a treat getting to see everyone!

As much fun as we have had, I'm looking forward to going home this weekend. I miss my routines, I miss my own space, I miss my bed, I miss my dog, and really miss my Hubz (even if he is a pain in the rear sometimes). I'm ready to slink back to my cave, and hopefully be more productive than I was this month.

How's your summer going?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

IWSG: Hanging in there


It's that time of month again! Time for IWSG: Insecure Writers Support Group, brain child of Alex J. Cavanaugh.

This week has been a rough one. It’s one of those weeks where life just keeps shoveling the crap on top as I try desperately to dig my way out only to have more crap flung in my face.  It’s one of those weeks where you look back and ponder what you could have, should have, and would have done better. I’m clinging to the things that make me happy, but today I feel like a cat hanging on to a ceiling fan blade, trying not to get flung off.



It’s times like these that I cling to my writing, and after the ‘oh woe is me’ discussion I had with my mom last night I feel it’s the right thing for me to be doing right now.

Yes, I’m depressed, I doubt my abilities, and I often think of myself as a hack trying to make it among the truly talented, but if I allow myself to give up, to not even try, then that is exactly what I am.

I confessed to my mother that I felt I was talent-less, that I would never amount to anything. She reassured me that my talent was in writing, so long as I quit doubting myself. She told me to keep at it, even though it was hard, that my writing resonated with my emotions and touched the people who read it. I don’t know if that is true, but if I don’t keep trying, I will never know.

So my ceiling fan blade this week will be my writing, and I am hanging on for dear life.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Poolside Read


My Hubby shipped me off to Oklahoma for a few weeks to visit with the family. I managed to luck into a day off when my Dad took the kids over night, and I got a whole day off to lounge by the pool and read. Not only did I get a nice tan (no longer Casper the ghost), but I learned something from the book I was reading.
Don't rush revisions and get an editor.
Seriously, I think this book may have been a second draft at best. I had the hardest time reading it. I don't know if it was the typos, the bad sentence structure, or the story inconsistencies. I tried to give the series a second chance by moving on to the next book (it was part of a box set), but after a major inconsistency to the character's traits, I put it down, totally disappointed with the author. She made a big deal in book one about the character loving coffee and coffee shops in the first book, and then in the second book says that she could never stand the stuff.
Know your characters!
I know my characters as well as I know my own children.
Each trait is noted in a character journal, so if I happen to forget their likes and dislikes, I have a list to refer to.
I think if the writer had spent more time and not rushed her books out, she would have caught what I noticed in her rewrites. It makes me wonder if she had anyone else look at it before she published.
I may have spent a long time on my book, but at least when I do finally get it out, it will be polished.
Have you ever read a book that made you think the author should have spent more time editing?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG: Return of the Banshee


It’s the first Wednesday in which all writers voice their insecurities. It’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group the brain child of Alex J. Cavanaugh.

It is officially summer here in the McBay house. The little banshee is home for the next few months *shivers*. I love my little girl. I love spending time with her, reading with her (she now reads to me!), and I love getting to teach her how to be creative and let her geek flag fly high, but when it’s time to write, when I need that moment of silence just so I can put those scrambled words together, she can be my worst distraction. What’s worse, she is training her little brother to do the same.

I’ve posted a few audio clips in the past of her banshee screams, but lately it’s like her mission in life to accomplish sounds no human throat was meant to make. Nails on a chalk board have nothing on this girl. Sometimes my only escape is through a pair of headphones. Then they get eerily quiet. That quiet that moms fear, because you know the little monsters are up to something, and more than likely making a mess that would rival anything you saw on Hoarders. And who gets to clean it up? Mom!

I’m quickly trying to get a schedule established, one that calls for mandatory quiet time for at least one hour, which I plan to use for writing. They quit napping at the age of two, but maybe, if I’m really lucky, I can get them to sit still for five seconds, and they will fall asleep. *crosses fingers*


How is the start of your summer? What are your plans for getting your writing done with the school kids home?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Return of the Living Dead

From the show The Walking Dead
Im not dead, if thats what you were thinking. Nor did my hubz have me committed yet.

Im slowly getting out of the woods. It was a dark, lonely trek, even though I was surrounded by loving family and an amazing hubby.

Its better now though. Little by little as my energy returns to me I find my love for writing again. Heck seems Im finding my love for everything I used to obsess over! There are 500 books on my kindle that I have to read, shiny new writing ideas bubbling up from creative space, drawings I finally have the urge to sketch out, blog posts I want to do, house projects, and the return of Final Fantasy XI obsession.

Me and Hubz playing Dragoons

My only problem now is finding time to do all these beautiful things.

Im still lurking in the shadows of the woods. There are still bad days, where getting out of bed seems like torture of the worst kind, but there are more great days now, where I look forward to hanging with my kids and treating them to something nice. These days shine though the bad days like the sun through the trees.


And yeah, my words are coming back!


I really didnt realize how deep into depression my exhaustion made me until now. Im still tired, I still hurt, but Im sleeping, and Im dreaming again (so well I even went on a little sleep walk). I wake up and Im not exhausted! True, by two Im ready to crawl back to my bed, but till then, I get stuff done.

Im not recovered, but Im better, and Im ready to get back to making those dreams come true!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dropping Deadlines



I've talked a lot recently about my possibility of having Fibro. Well, I don’t. What I do have is CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is like Fibro in every way, except I have a virus living in my blood.

So ha! I’m not crazy! Well, not in that sense anyway.

My Doctor admitted to me that she has never dealt with this and would not treat me. Instead, I’m being sent to a specialist… as soon as my referral goes through. Meanwhile, every day I get more tired, more aches, and more desperate for help.
My writing has suffered the most. I've had to drop all deadlines due to my inability to think clearly. I’m NOT quitting. I will still finish my books, and I will still publish my books. It just may not be as soon as I had hoped. I will not publish anything until I feel I am competent enough in my writing, and at this point I’m not.

For those who have never experienced CFS or Fibro, I found the perfect video so you can understand what we go through. I've been feeling like this for nearly three years now, nothing compared to friends and family I know that have this. These folks are my heroes, and through them I have been learning to cope until I can get on a treatment that might revive a tiny bit of my energy.



I have to learn that there is a lot I can’t do, and that I have to pace myself. I choose one big task a day that I must finish, then I attempt as much as I can after that one is done, allowing for generous rest periods.

I hate this. Can’t stand it. But it is my life right now and I will adapt.

I don’t mean to whine, just putting it out there so folks know where I am with my writing, and why I haven’t sent out beta copies and why my blog remains quiet for long periods of time. I promise the beta copies are coming. I just can’t be certain when.

Until then, I will continue to write, revise, and edit when my mind is at its best, and when it is at its worst, I will rest.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

IWSG: Don't Quit!

IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. For more about Insecure Writer’s Support Group visit his page.

When I moved out on my own my mom gave me a lot of things to put in my own place. Among them was a little picture with a ship on it and a poem. This very picture I can remember sitting in the kitchen window where mom would do the dishes every night after working all day, coming home to cook us dinner, and then cleaning house until bedtime. She was a single mother at the time, barely making ends meet, and though I didn't think of it then, that picture must have been a reminder for her every night.

It now sits on my desk, right in front of my monitor, reminding me every day, don’t quit.




 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG: Suck it up Cupcake


The first Wednesday of every month is the official Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop, brainchild of the wonderful Alex Canvanaugh, where writers can express their insecurities and fears of the writing world.



Suck it up cupcake. It's something my mother tells me when I get down and depressed, not that she is being heartless, but that it's our little way of telling each other that bitching and moaning about it won't do any good. Maybe that is why I haven't bothered to tell her how down I have been the past month. How I hate my MS, how my kids are driving me bonkers, how I don't want to go on our spring break road trip and just want to be alone, how my wonky body is starting to really tick me off, and how all I want to do all day everyday is sleep... 

I was going to write about it for IWSG, but then I happened across Charmaine Clansy's IWSG post. It was the mental slap I needed. Thank you, Charmaine for your wise words!

I'm also taking one from the fabulous Joanna Penn and making this my new mantra, everyday.

So here I go! Sucking it up, and making art! Wish me luck :)




Friday, March 1, 2013

Hopeful Zombie Gal



Today I feel relief. Not from the pain and fatigue that has plagued me the past few years, no, that is still very much a part of my day to day life, but I do have hope now that in the near future it may ease up. I have hope that this zombification of mental and physical exhaustion will soon be lifted, and I will be able to once again think clearly. As it is now, I feel like a fish in a fish bowl swimming round and round, getting absolutely no where. At least if there is a zombie apocalypse, I'm safe. No brains here, keep walking.

Yesterday was my first appointment with my new on base doctor. I was so nervous. My last doctor had shut me out as soon as I started explaining my symptoms, and I may as well have been talking to a brick wall. The way he looked at me made me feel like he thought I was crazy. Maybe I am, but that doesn't mean that what I’m feeling isn't real! The pain I wake up to and go to bed with is very real, as is the fatigue that makes me feel as if I haven’t slept in a month.

I can’t focus on my writing, it comes out as slop, and I’m embarrassed my critique partners have to put up with both my writing and my crummy critiques lately. I’m so thankful they understand what a tough time I’m having.

My new Doc is amazing though! She really listened to me, and talked to me, not through me. By the end of the appointment she had a list of tests she wanted me to do, but said that she agreed, sounds like I have the fibro.  I figured as much. I have done everything I can on my own to treat it. I exercise, eat healthy, and take my vitamins, yada yada yada…Helps when your mother and grandmother have it and can instruct you on how to treat it. But there is only so much you can do before you have to get help.

We have to rule out the chances that this is something else before she will put me on Lyrica, a depression medicine known to ease Fibro symptoms. So it’s off to the lab for me to get my blood drawn (Ick! I hate needles!). I also get to go to a sleep study. Now this test I’m actually excited about. I get to go to a lab and sleep! No kids waking up with nightmares, no hubby snoring in my ear, and no dogs curled up next to me… Okay, I’ll miss the dogs. They make wonderful heaters.

Until all of my tests are in, and Doc gets me set up with whatever treatment she thinks will work best for me, I will have to continue on as I have, struggling to find my words, chugging pots of coffee, and doping up on Benadryl just to get to sleep at night, but now I have the hope that I will soon have a bit of relief. Hope is such a wonderful feeling.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Working Out Fun






One thing I miss about the military is PT three times a week. It’s not like it was a grueling workout, but it did get you up and moving first thing in the AM, and it felt good to be in shape.  With the constant pains and fatigue I suffer these days, fitness is crucial. I try to walk when I can, and I was doing yoga for a while, but it just wasn’t cutting it. I was putting pounds back on. My husband started to say I was fluffy. This won’t do.  I’m very conscious of my weight, and have always shrived to at the very least stay within my weight bracket for my size.

So I started looking into new workout programs. We had just purchased a new Xbox because our old one was crapping out and with the new one came the Kinect.  I tried the workout game my husband got for himself, the UFC Trainer.  The next day I felt like I had been pushed through a meat grinder! It was too much for my body and my level of fitness.  So I started to look into Your Shape Fitness2012. It was one of the top rated fitness games at the time and sported everything I wanted and then some.

It’s wonderful!


I set up an objective, which is energy for right now, then set up my profile with my weight, height, yada yada… Then it flags the workouts I need to be doing three times a week. Not only can you work out specific parts of the body, but there are cardio workouts, dance workouts, boot camp, yoga, and my favorite, the Zen workout, which is a mix of yoga and tai chi.

The Kinect sensor tracks your motions and counts the calories you burn. I don’t have to feel embarrassed if I’m doing a move wrong, because I’m in the privacy of my own home. Every move is corrected until you eventually get it right. Working out is fun!

You also can keep track of your progress online, and on the xbox PlayFit App. You can get together with a friend and compare scores and even challenge each other.  I don’t have any friends on there yet, and I’m also taking it a bit slow until I get my body back into shape and I can take on the harder stuff, but if you do get it and get on there, add me to your friends, I would love to workout with you!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rooting my KFire


I love my Kindle Fire. My husband got it for me a few years back for my birthday. It had my 300 books ready to load, my writing magazines, and internet access. I could also watch Amazon videos which was wonderful since we didn’t have BBC America and it was the only way I could watch the new Doctor Who episodes.
There is one major down side to the KFire. The OS (operating system) sucks!
This is an android device, but it hardly does half of what an android device should do, including the capability to use a keyboard. This is a big throw back for any writer. Sure I’m good with typing with my thumbs, in fact mixing it up a bit often helps with the ouchies, but it’s nice to have access to a keyboard for those fantastic sudden creative outbursts where those fingers must keep up with the words flowing from your mind.
A few months back I tried to root my Kfire, and failed miserably, turning my fire into a brick that wouldn’t load past the startup screen. After two months of fiddling with it in my spare time, I somehow managed to unbrick it. Don’t ask how, I have no clue. It was a complete fluke!
After getting it back in working order you would have thought I would leave well enough alone... Nope! I went right back into trying to root the darned thing. I read tons of how-tos, found the best OS Jellybean, The kindle fire Utility, TWRP, and went to work rooting my fire.
It took me an hour after I knew what I was doing, and I had to order an OTG cable from Amazon (2 bucks) and I can now use a keyboard with my Kfire!
I’m not an expert in roots by any means, so I won't sit here and try to show you how I did it, but I will provide you with the links I used to root my fire.
Rooting comes with a huge risk. If you do not follow steps, you chance turning your fire into a brick. I am not responsible if this happens. The people in my links are not responsible. You are responsible. If you brick it, Amazon will not help you. You are voiding the warranty by trying to replace the OS on this device. Consider yourself warned.
If your warranty is up, and you want to take the risk, I highly recommend rooting. I love it, and will never go back to that hideous OS my fire started out with.

Rooting:
Kindle Fire Utility: this is a must. I had some problems getting ADB to work with my vista but it worked perfectly on my Windows 7 laptop. You will need this to install TWRP, firefirefire, and SuperUser controls.
Jellybean: This is the OS I put on my fire
Lilputing: This is the post I followed to root my fire.


After superuser, firefirefire, and TWRP were installed I followed this video to install jellybean







Keyboard I ordered from Amazon


http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=27637440

OTG cable: Basically, it makes the port read instead of charge.



As I said before, I'm no pro. I just know how to follow directions ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG: How PTSD affects my writing



The first Wednesday of every month is officially IWSG where writer's can blog about their insecurities about writing. 

My husband serves in the USAF, and has been on more tours overseas than most people twice his rank. I worry for him each time he has to deploy. He is the type of person to have their hand in the air before they even finish asking for a volunteer. He can’t sit in one place for too long, and he can’t sit by when there is adventure to be had. I admire him for this, but it has come at a cost.





A few years ago he was diagnosed with PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder.  He can't even walk through Wal-mart without feeling queasy.  For the rest of his life he will be on medication to counteract the effects of the PTSD. Unfortunately, it messes with his emotions in a big way. If he forgets to take them, he becomes obnoxious, always looking to pick a fight it seems. Even though he is playing, some of the things he might say come off as hurtful. When he is on the medication, he has the emotional range of Kristen Stewart.

I’ve had to harden my own emotions to counter his, so my own feelings don't get hurt. Before, I was full of emotion, fast to laugh and fast to cry, and could put it into words easily. Now, I feel I’m losing that part of me. I keep them closed off and struggle to understand what I should be feeling in certain instances.

This hinders me in my writing. All too often my Crit Partners have to help me draw out the emotions of my characters. They talk me through and brainstorm with me. It’s been a huge help in my struggle to add more emotion to my writing. Without them I could not do this.

Using the Scene and Sequel technique really helped in focusing on the emotions that need to be happening in my story. Great tool for your toolbox.

Finally, I use the Emotion Thesaurus by The Bookshelf Muse gals (This is one of my fav sites). When I just can’t figure out what a person would be doing while they are feeling this emotion I turn to this book. It’s been a huge, HUGE, help in my writing and even in real life.I have it on my kindle, my kindle fire, and my phone. It goes everywhere with me. I’m paying more attention to what people do and how they behave in certain situations, and trying to discern how they may be feeling. I’m learning how to express my emotions again, and show them through action, and I’m learning how to write about them again through my morning pages. I doubt they really expected someone like me to be using their book in such a way!

Like every obstacle, either in marriage or writing, we can either run from it, or learn from it (Lion King). I am taking this opportunity to learn to write better emotions, and learn to help my husband show his. Both my husband and writing are too important for me to give up on, no matter how bumpy the road may become, I just switch it in four wheel drive and keep on truckin.



Monday, February 4, 2013

Whew! Week in a nutshell


What a week I had last week! Monday was the reopening of the Dojo, taking it back to its roots. When I first joined it was meant to be a place where writers could get together and write, but along the way to getting its own domain it became just another writing blog. Not that the topics weren't helpful and inspiring. We had some fantastic writers posting, including myself. That's not what the dojo was about though, and it took some work to get it back to what it was meant to be. Ali, Kathleen, and I actually managed to make it better, with more chats, more camaraderie, more sprints, and more incentive to write. Sure it takes up a chunk of my day, but I’m also writing. 

So far I have added two new scenes, and am currently working on going through my checklist of suggested changes from my Critique Group. As soon as I’m done... it’s off to betas. Which terrifies me! How is it going to stand on it’s own? Is my story strong enough, or will I need to go through it once more, picking through the brambles...



This week I bid farewell to my first foster puppy Melvin. I have been rescuing animals with my mother nearly all my life, helping with PAL back home, raising kitties and puppies and praying they stayed out of the shelter, but Melvin was my first on my own. I picked him up on south 7th last year. Thankfully he was chipped and I got him back to his family, only to have them show up at my door a few weeks ago begging us to take him in. They were moving and couldn’t take him. I couldn’t have him go to the shelter. Animals have 72 hours at the shelter, if they are lucky...


Sunday a family adopted him. He was their first dog, and I was so happy they were getting such a cool little dude to start with. I was able to get him crate trained before he left, but I was sure to inform them on all my training tips and tricks.


I know dogs. I get along great with dogs... better than people on most days.

I think this helps with writing about wolf behavior. So far I’ve had positive feedback about my wolves. It’s the people and emotions I have trouble working with, but more on that later.


IWSG is Wednesday, and I have a post ready to go on all that emotional pooh that drives me nutters!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sick of sick


I know, I know. I said I was going to blog at least once a week, and it’s been past that. In all defense I wasn't accounting for another pass of strep, or the way the medication the doctor gave me would make me feel as if I just slammed fifteen shots in half an hour, or the anvil on my chest, or the glass shards in my throat, or the fact that even though I’m on medication I’m-not-getting-better. Yeah, I’m pretty miserable here…

On a good note, I have been hard at work. I have only three chapters left to revise on WF. I forgot how much I really loved these chapters compared to the rest of the book and it’s been so long since I last worked on them, it’s like I’m reading it for the first time. What a treat. They still need a ton of work, but not nearly as extensive as the rest of the novel.

I have also been working with Ali Cross and Kathleen Doyle giving the Dojo a makeover. When we are done, the dojo will be what it was always meant to be! Until then we started up a community page on Google+ that is pretty awesome! If you get the chance, sign up. Starting next month we will be holding write-ins and other fun writing activities. Until then, get to know your fellow writers. We are all in this together!

That's all for this week. I think the kids and I will just go tuck ourselves in with a movie and some hot soup, cause baby it's cold outside, even here in Texas.

Ta!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A place to call my own

I've been a busy girl today! I have been looking into getting my own domain name for a while now. Something that is all mine. Today, I took the plunge!
From now on you can access Wild@Heart by typing www.amymcbay.com.
I have my own email address too! I can't tell you how excited this make me :D
So while I am hashing all this out, please be patient. I'm new at this. Eventually I hope to have it all merged but for today, I'm done.

Ta!