Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nine Children, Three Cats, Two Dogs and One Precocious Hamster

I haven't been updating this blog, haven't been online much, and Nanowrimo has come up without me being aware of where the days have gone to. Nanowrimo starts tomorrow and even though I'm not sure if I'll make it to the 50,000 mark before the end of November, I couldn't help signing up.


My list of things to do has grown in leaps in bounds. From creating more attic space, finding someone to help me rescue the garden from giant weeds, throwing birthday parties for one seven-year-old, and trying to catch up with reviews, I'd quite forgotten about Nanowrimo. But okay, instead of writing this really serious novel which I've been trying to catch hold of since last year, I decided to write this wacky, crazy mix-up thing entitled: Nine Children, Three Cats, Two Dogs and One Precocious Hamster.


Because...for some strange reason, the weird, off-kilter things inside my head seem to work lots better than when I am seriously trying to write something.

Darn. I am so jealous of people who neatly outline everything they write. My brain seems to be just one chaotic mess that cannot outline. Maybe because I never learned to do it? I really don't know. The Precocious Hamster is certainly in for a gigantic adventure, and I'm just going along for the ride. I'm glad I am not a hamster.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Baby Things

I confess to just dashing off the last words on I-Walk and posting it to the shop. Six thousand and something hundred words and I don't have the energy to go back and edit it before posting. I'm quite curious about the feedback this time. I hope I get some really crunchy, solid feedback. Like, I have been trying to discover some facts about the soul ( weight, mass, energy levels ) but all I get on google are pages of theological stuff. Heh. Of course, the soul thing is theological, but I remember reading a couple of months back that scientists did discover that the soul weighs something. Brain on a bad run and I can't seem to locate that issue of Scientific American. Drat!

So, to cheer myself up, I took out some of the lovely little gifts we've gotten for the new addition to our family. The baby isn't born yet and everyone's determined it's going to be a girl. Here's a photo I made of the little baby things :)

I am so looking forward to Autumn Break when I can go shopping for baby things and not worry about getting back home before Joel gets out of school.

Coming soon, my list of things to buy ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What pregnant women do to stimulate their brains...

It's quite easy to connect a camera to the computer and transfer photographs taken. I confess that I've just been lazy. However, my desire to share some scrumptious reading has gotten me off my butt long enough to connect the cable from the camera to the computer.

One reason why I decided to buy Mark #4 is this awesome quote by Andreas Angelikadas:

"Cities are always big, but a world can exist inside your closet." (Andreas Angelikadas, Mark #4)

After reading that quote, my buying this book was a done thing. Plus, of course, it's in English, which makes it easy reading. Lots of food for thought in this volume, plus there's this report entitled: "Living Dangerously", which features challenging houses in Japan, designed by the poets Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins.

Just looking at the drawings is enough to make my brain water. There's enough food for thought in there to feed an entire generation of stories built on another planet.

Certainly, our trip to the Home and Lifestyle fair in Amsterdam RAI, was well worth it.

Another really great mag ( which we got for free ) was Eigen Huis & Interior. A really posh, design magazine which features the latest wannahaves. I'm not mad enough to go out and buy thousand euro shoes, but the pictures in this mag are really stunning, and I find myself trying to imagine what a design mag would look like some hundred years from now. Considering how everything goes around in circles, and even fashion is recyclable.

Reading these mags has helped me solve one of the major dilemmas I've encountered in I-Walk. It also brought this moment of epiphany between two of my major characters:

“Their family signs a release form,” Matanya had replied. “Earth is in need of alternative energy sources, what’s the point of wasting all those souls when we can harness them and put them to good use?”

“The ultimate recycling job,” Sue commented dryly.

Matanya laughed.

“It's what we’re good at.”

“Long live Dutch thriftiness,” Sue said.

He, he. And I'm not even done yet. But the story is definitely set in Holland sometime in an improbable future.

There's this page on Eigen Huis that I couldn't resist taking a picture of and posting on here. The lights blurred the text somewhat, but it's a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson that goes: "Wine is bottled poetry."

Take an eyeful of that designer wine rack. It certainly looks poetic with all those graceful wavy lines.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

columns up

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Baby Fever

And so this blog sidetracks into Baby Fever as we prepare for the arrival of our new family member. All the things I wish I'd done before I was pregnant are coming out of the woodwork. Like how we should have moved the furniture around before I got pregnant. Uh-huh. Part of living in NL is being able to do everything yourself. For instance, when we moved this huge display case in our living room, I did that together with Jan. Yep. Feel those upper arms. That's not fat...those are muscles with a capital M.

But now that I'm pregnant, moving stuff is out of the question.

In the meantime, there's tons of stuff to be sorted in the attic. Don't even try to guess how many bags of useless stored stuff we tossed into the gray container. Dutch people are so "zuinig" (thrifty). I had a great laugh looking through the clothes my husband had kept in storage from way long ago in his bachelor days. We had to toss out a great deal of shirts which had turned yellow over time. I did let Jan keep a couple of shirts from his Delta Flying days. Well, I could sense the nostalgia there. And I think it's good to keep a souvenir or two, but good grief...and entire bag of shirts is beyond the question.

Sorting stuff up in the attic is a bit of a nightmare job. Most of it is Jan's stuff. Thank goodness I'm nearly done with sorting out our clothing and packing them into boxes. Another sentimental moment was looking through this box where I'd stored a lot of baby things. Thankfully all still in good shape, and inspite of that box being raided a couple of times by other pregnant ladies ( I thought I'd never have a second child ) it surprised me to discover we still had a whole lot of baby clothes we could put to good use...socks and little shoes...and that lovely knitted sweater my aunt made for Joel.

ME: Was he ever this small?

Afterwards, I ended up having to box up my winter sweaters, as my belly has become too big to squeeze into them. I'll probably go through that box again once the baby arrives.

In the meantime, we feel so very blessed to be receiving all sorts of lovely goodwill blessings. For instance, we're inheriting a baby bed and a changing station for the baby. We've already got a tummy tub in the house, and a child seat for baby's earliest months. Everything is a blessing.

I keep on making long lists of things to do. I keep thinking of all these books we've got to move upstairs, as well as the computer and my workstation. And I have a long list of things I really want to buy. What's it about having a baby that arouses the shopping beast in mommies? Thank goodness I don't get to go to town as often as my hormones tell me to, otherwise we'd be forever in the red. A condition I really hate.

I keep thinking of how much I've changed since I came to NL. More than anything this pregnancy shows me how much I've grown up from being a dependent girl into a mature woman. Yeah! It's a pretty cool feeling :)

Baby at 17 weeks

In the meantime, we've passed the five month mark. But for friends and family who haven't seen the baby pictures yet, I wanted to show off photos from our ultrasound when the baby was only seventeen weeks old.

If you look closely, you'll see what I think are the baby's eyes. It looks a bit like a surrealistic picture, if you ask me .

Arm or leg? I can't tell.

Baby's head. According to the doctor, everything looks fine. Prima in orde.

Here's the baby's spinal cord. It's amazing to see this new life. I think the ultrasound is a miracle. After seeing these photos, it came home to me that this is really for real :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 2

I am pleased to inform you that your story “Borealis” will be part of Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 2.

It wasn't my imagination. Visiting Dean Alfar's blog confirmed I wasn't hallucinating or suffering from another bout of pregnancy dementia. There it is, listed among the stories to be included in this up and coming anthology.

I know I'm supposed to do gentle jumping up and down, but I can't help jumping up and down .