Thursday, August 30, 2007

Londinium Calling.

Wrote another fifteen or twenty pages longhand and realized I needed to get back to typing. Somehow it's easier to get all of it done at a computer, whereas I go back through what I've handwritten and see that something needs to happen in between the chapter breaks... Hrm. Of course, once I get that cord thingie for the Alphasmart I can type anywhere, but as for now I don't want to put a bunch of pages on there until I'm sure I can get them off. At least my hand is getting used to all the writing; back in middle school I could write long hand all day with nary a pain. Added four songs to the soundtrack I'm using for writing the book;

Rob Zombies' More Human than Human (for a fight) (hey charles, bows and arrows are kind of useless in houses right? i don't want that part of the fight to be weird),

Mandalay's Please (because several of the characters are either hopelessly in unrequited (or assumed unrequited) love or are going to be at some point),

Passion Orchestra Version (from Kingdom Hearts Two because it makes me think of how Londinium would look with all that Roman architecture),

and the Closing Credits Bolero from Moulin Rouge (because it makes me think of Sophie and how her life goes; very weak and almost lost in the beginning and growing stronger over time)

Hrm. (looks at iPod) Guess I'll post somg of the rest of the soundtrack, since I did so well above.

Expressions of Loneliness by Moonsocket (sourced from LFN, again with the unrequited love thing)

Gorecki by Lamb (sort of the penultimate love song).

Juliet's Aria (Sono Andati) sung by Kate Winslet from Heavenly Creatures. (It's the song I'm planning on using when I write the Temple of War scene)

Otherwise by Morcheeba. (From LFN as well. It's for later, when Sophie is older and can't quite get Lucas to see her that way.)

There are about fifteen other songs but they're mostly repeats of the unrequited love theme, heavily picked from LFN (surprise surprise) so I picked the best of the best. There will probably be more 'fight song' kind of stuff added as it goes along, right now there really isn't all that much action going on... And the past 130+ pages have had a lot of sad stuff happen, hence the not-so-upbeat tunes.

Anyway, 1:27 and I'm at 78,646 with a lot of pages to type up.

2:08 I'm too hungry to write any more. 79,522 words. Woot.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fianancial Aid Fiasco (again)

Well. Not like I actually expected them to do anything, but, when I went up there last Tuesday the 21st to see if my SAP Appeal had gone through or not (since I hadn't been notified either way) I got to talk to a really nice lady who seemed to be able to do a lot to help me in that office. Her name is Torri.

Torri checked the FA computers for me and told me I had indeed won my Appeal and could have my financial aid back, which is really good because the day that they tell you the status of your appeal (the 21st) is one day before the FINAL DEADLINE to pay for fall without fees (the 22nd). If your appeal doesn't go through you've got very little time to come up with the cash; it didn't apply to me (since my appeal passed) but distressed me none the less, especially when I was waiting for someone to get to my case and didn't know the results yet.

I had to go on the KSU Owl Express site and accept my financial aid in a drop down form. I did as soon as I left, with the promise this would help my paperwork be filed faster. Friday I should have gotten a refund on part of the tuition money, money I planned to save and use for the next two semester's books.

Friday came and went; no money.

I didn't expect anything to happen over the weekend but I still checked my account enough that I memorized the numerical passcode to the KSU Debit site.

Monday came and went. Got a funny form email telling me generically to check my KSU Debit account to see the a) total, b) transactions, c) fill out forms if necessary. Went to the site, nothing there, was redirected to the KSU Owl Express site.

Which informed me that I should probably pay out of pocket for fall since they've received no money from my loan.

Tuesday I went up to the office, waited in line, spoke to someone who wasn't Torri.

Apparently the aid money doesn't just go from the loan company to the school, it goes to some holding location which is probably a bank or something, and the school has to access the bank to get the money. And the get-the-money system is down right now. And I'm accruing late fines for not having paid yet. Apparently they have a manual system for getting the money from the bank (or whatever) and they're working really hard on getting all the money pulled in, but it takes time (and I should learn to respect that, her tone said).

The server thing I could understand, and I asked how long it had been down, and how much longer they expected it to be down.

Well, apparently it's down for SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE as of today. Like, they took it down this morning or something, and knew it was coming, which makes me wonder why they couldn't have gotten my tuition in say, THE LAST WEEK. Or YESTERDAY.


As for the late fees I huffed about them and the lady assured me that "If" I'd followed all the steps correctly, and done all my paperwork on time I should be able to have taken off.

I liked how she phrased it. "If" I'd done all my homework, filled out all my forms, ect.

It makes me wish there was a system of late fines for them not doing their work. Like
"If" they'd gotten my money from the bank last Tuesday there wouldn't be any fees.

When I continued to get upset, she pretty much told me that there's nothing more they can do today and to come back tomorrow and maybe they'll have my money then.

However, she assured me that if they can't get this settled by the Seventh of September (OMG) I can start applying for an emergency loan.

Believe me, if that happens, those people in the Financial Aid office are going to learn the full meaning of the word "Emergency".

Monday, August 27, 2007

I had a dream.

And it was good. One of those nice, long, there's-a-plot-and-character-development types.

It was sort of modern fantasy. Basically, I was a Mage who worked at the morgue because there was something wrong with all my magic, and all my healing spells would only work on the dead, so my job was to "fix" people. I couldn't bring them back to life but I could repair skin and bone, making people look like they'd never been in car accidents and the like.

It was really a pretty good job choice for me, considering. And my older sister was the High Mage in our city (no name), and all the other people in the family were very powerful, so I wasn't quite a black sheep, but they couldn't understand why I couldn't just do my magic right and get a cushy job like them.

So, I'm just going about my life, doing my job and one night I go to a K-Mart, and out in the parking lot I notice this man running, and he's running towards me, but all the way from the other side of the huge parking lot, so I don't feel in danger yet so I head towards the store. I glance back, just for safety and he's really closing the distance, and I get a little wary feeling and move faster. And he's still moving a hell of a lot faster than me. I get into the store and he slows down to normal speeds, but he's still following me, and I walk back to the bathrooms, thinking to hide there.

(Some part of me not in the dream didn't applaud that idea when it happened. Great, you're probably going to be alone in the bathrooms with no way out, but I wasn't really thinking like that in the dream, so I went in)

And of course he followed me in, and my useless-for-anything-but-fixing-the-dead-magic told me this guy wasn't alive. A vampire.

There was a moment of cowering and then he grabbed me by the throat and gently drew his finger down my cheek, cutting it with one nail as he leaned in to feed, and this other guy came into the bathroom, and the vampire froze.

At first the second guy (looked sort of like a cross between Methos (Highlander) and Captain Jack Harkness (Torchwood)) acted like he'd come in on accident, and that he didn't understand what was going on, which made the vampire let me go, in hopes of subduing the guy as well.

At which point the guy moped the bathroom with the vampire. Which was pretty dang sweet from my perspective, cowering on the floor by the sinks. The only problem is that vampires are really hard to kill, and in the end the vampire was broken on the floor but he wasn't really going to die (it takes more than stakes to kill them), and he was just lying there watching to two of us.

The guy came over to see if I was ok, and I said I was and he noticed the vampire watching us, and he couldn't keep his eyes from the cut on my cheek. At which point I realized he was a vampire too. He traced the cut with his fingers and it stopped bleeding, with hardly a trace of magic (only really, really powerful vampires can do magic) and then he made sure the other vampire was watching as he bit me.

Which didn't hurt. It was like one of those romance novel cover vampire bites.

Then he got me out of the K-Mart and back to my car, telling me to get out of there. Odds are the vampire in the bathroom wouldn't think to keep looking for me because they'd assume the older vampire had taken me away for the kill.

I got in the car and drove home.

And...Er, I can't really remember what led to the next part. Somehow there was a vampire near my apartment or work, and I panicked. I had to find the vampire who'd protected me before, and there was something he'd said either at the car or in the bathroom about 'cleaning up his new neighborhood' that gave me a clue as to where he lived. So I went looking, you know, at night, walking the streets, all kinds of unsafe and he found me first.

He told me that since I was such a powerful mage I should be able to defend myself from the dead, and I explained to him how my magic worked (the whole conversation took place in a empty, moon-lit park, on the swings (we were just sitting on them) but how's that for atmosphere?) and that I couldn't actually do any normal magic. He got intrigued and ran his hand down the rusted edge of the swing set, getting the sharp rust to scratch his palm, and asked me if I could heal it. (Mages aren't supposed to be able to heal the dead, or the undead for that matter. Go me.) I healed it, he was suitably impressed and made a joking comment about needing to have someone like that in his court (which gave me a clue as to how old he was- vampires hadn't had courts in a very long time. Or rather, they did, it was just a large city-wide thing, for all vampires, not just one created by a really powerful vampire).

He offered me a deal in the end. He'd only just come to the city and was planning on staying a while despite the riff-raff that ran loose. He'd be cleaning them up, as it were, like at the K-Mart, but he needed to also do away with the Court in the area and all the powerful vampires in it, since they simply allowed this sort of behaviour and they were obviously unfit to rule. Odds are he wouldn't win all the fights and he'd need someone for during the day and to have someone to heal him would be a great benefit, and having a human working willingly under him would be an example of his power and help earn trust, for getting into those hard to get into Court buildings. In return he'd protect me from the other vampires, and make sure they stayed away from my work and apartment and me.

I accepted the deal, and time kind of lept forward a few weeks or months. We were bluffing our way into a Court sponsored Ball, and some of my High Mage family were in there hobnobbing, which I hadn't known about. My sister came over with her date (oh god, the Vampire leader of the city) and made a few snide comments about my being dateless and how did I get in anyway. At which point Jasper (the vampire finally got a name in this part) showed up, and my sister boggled. The Vampire Leader didn't think anything of Jasper, since he was using some kind of vampire magic to pretend to be mortal, and the party continued as usual, except during the dancing my sister kept staring over her date's shoulder at Jasper. As the night wore on more and more of the humans went home, including my family, while Jasper and I stayed (dangerous for mortals, because once the humans get few enough in the room a bloodbath might occur). Once it got to the dangerous part and we were the only humans left the vampires lowered the lights, closing in on us.

Jasper stopped his magic, at which they all recoiled, and a few bolted for the door, but didn't make it. Jasper had his bloodbath, which took out about half of the powerful vampires in the city and just at the last second one of them pulled out a weapon and shot me.

It was pretty bad. Blood everywhere. Jasper tore the last vampire apart, which I didn't see, and then came over to where I was slumped on the floor, pressing my hand to the wound. He picked me up, and I was already starting to get tunnel vision- I didn't remember how we got back to his house, which on the inside looked like a Mesopotamian Temple (that's where Jasper was from, apparently) at which point Jasper did some really powerful vampire magic and saved my life, but left himself very weak (thus the need to retreat to his house where he'd be safe, before doing it). I took care of him for a few days until he was better, and by then the whole city was in an outrage about the slaughter at the ball and even my family was up in arms because they thought I'd been killed.

I went to tell them I was ok, at which point the remaining powerful vampires stormed in and "escorted" me back to their last stronghold, determined to have the information out of me as to what happened. Jasper showed up, there was another bloodbath, and I kept healing him, and just as the battle was over we both looked up at each other and our eyes met and-

My alarm went off. There was some story about the Midwest and the flooding and some guy trying to clean his house with a mop and bleach.

The Hope Diamond...

...Was donated to the Smithsonian Museum by being mailed through the Postal Service. Supposidly the Hope's Curse fell to the Post Office, delaying and slowing all mail since then.

Having ordered an Alphasmart, three textbooks, and a Torchwood Novel, as well as Dad shipping me a new cell phone, I've never seen more proof of the curse. Not a single thing is here yet. Hope they come tomorrow. I really, really need the school books...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Typing for Rome

Just sat down to start typing up all those pages I wrote on vacation and since then, I'll update this when I get done, just as a progress thing.

Currently 130 pages, 77,025 words. 12:40PM.

UPDATE: 12:53. It's seriously freezing in the Burruss Lab. I'm going to relocate to another one after lunch in hope of less absolute zero temperatures. Page 131, word count now 77,782.

UPDATE: 2PM. Had lunch, answered a survey for the Health Center (which won me a new water bottle and lanyard), checked on my math text book at the store (still expensive), ate free piece of pizza. Now I'm in the Writing Center, which, while not muggy is a hell of a lot more temperate than the Burruss Lab.

UPDATE: 3:13PM. Word Count 78,386. Page 132. Have to go to class now.

In other news, I just bought a Alphasmart. Yay.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Books, books, books, books.

Ran my fall booklist for classes past Abebooks today. It was awesome.

Shakespeare By Stages should be (according to the College bookstore) a $28.95 book. Abe sold it to me for $10.00.

Out of Many Volume Two is a $62.50 dollar book sold to me for... $1.40.

And, the Out of Many Documents Volume is a $29.25 dollar book, sold to me for $1.00.

Shipping and handling brought the whole thing up to $23. Which is pretty darn good for $120 worth of books.

But that's not all that's coming in the mail. The first Torchwood Novel is on it's way.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

First Day of Fall Classes

(and already trouble on the horizon) (he he he)

First, the college decided to do something to the Burruss parking lot, which is a pretty busy and packed parking lot, which due to the rent-a-fence surrounding most of it no one can park in. Now the limited campus parking is even more limited. I had to park in the dorm garage this morning and hike across campus to class, in the heat. Blarg. Good exercise though. And good thing I had my water bottle.

Second, my Math Teacher is hot. He wore this white dress shirt that was just a little unbuttoned, a black suit jacket, and a black tie which was kinda loose (i thought guys only pulled the collar and tie loose when they were... i don't know. lounging by the pool while jet setting. not teaching statistics, anyway). Khaki slacks seemed out of place with all the black and white, but supposedly men can wear them with dressy stuff. Go figure.

Third, the Literary Geek in me got a huge thrill when I saw there was an almost $90 dollar Shakespeare text on the fall book list.(hooray! i have a whole class on The Bard!) I went to look at it and it appears to be nothing more than a very over sized Complete Works, which I already have a copy of. With my own notes and underlining in. I flipped through most of it, and there doesn't seem to be any special notes or annotations (more than my own, or most copies). Granted, mine is falling apart due to use, and this new copy isn't, but the new copy is a lot of money and it's not even leather bound.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Vacation Recap

Vacation was good. It was family vacation, which meant by the end of it there was drama, but the beach was nice and hot and the water was just great. It was sort of an emerald green, but there wasn't much to see under it except for Remoras and these lemon sized silver fish with yellow fins that I've forgotten the name of. And Jelly Fish. Which I've already had to unfun of experiencing close up and personal.

I managed to sun burn my right forearm the first day, which put a hamper on my beach time, but it wasn't like I was planning on being there between the hours of ten and two anyway.

Read the whole of Eclipse on the day it came out. It made me feel terribly girly, because the entire time I was cheering Edward and Bella to get married. I mean, I read romance novels and feel less girly. I donno. They're so cute together.

Watched some good Mythbusters episodes too, when Fred wasn't constantly changing the channel to CNN or Fox News then proceding to rant about how America keeps failing it's citizens about EVERYTHING. I got tired of the news really fast. And anytime we were in the car he'd set his XM Radio to the news, so there wasn't an escape from the news/rants.

Well, thats not entirely true. There was an escape. Not being around Fred. *chuckle*

Uncle Gary came on vacation with us, with his golden Saddie, who is one of the shyest sweetest dogs ever. Bailey of course displayed a complete lack of manners, stalked her around the house the entire time, barked at her, and finally pissed Saddie off to the point that Saddie bit her. Fred immediatly freaked and wanted to take her to the Emergency Room. At the People Hospital. And put her on Antibiotics.

Fred also took Bailey on at least eight walks a day and got chased from the beach four times by the local Sherrif because vacationers can't get permits for dogs on the beach, and Fred really didn't care because he was taking Bailey to the beach by god.

Because really, really this was Bailey's vacation with Fred, and we just happened to go along because we're her entourage.

But I did try to point out to him that his complaining about the lack of law enforcement in relation to CNN and Fox News was kind of silly when he wanted the law not enforced on the beach for him and the dog. He didn't get it. Started ranting again.

I retreated into my books around then.

Uncle Gary and I had a spat, which he started, when he got angry that I didn't like him elbowing me in the car. Quoted a lot of Dr. Phil at me (which is kinda scary). I'm just not used to people elbowing me when they want to talk to me. I'm still not sure what he was so upset about. He acted like me asking him not to do it was like me telling him I never wanted to speak to him again.

Um. But vacation was great. We had this little beach house, with a pool, and the food was good, read three books while I was there, and then on Friday night I suddenly knew how this conversation between Lucas and Terry went (from last year's Nano) and I had to have a notebook RIGHT THEN, which meant we had to drive to the local Publix. I got my notebook and a new pen, and sat down. I wrote twenty pages right there, in one sitting. And on the way back in the car I wrote about seven more. Got past their conversation, which was holding me up, and got through the battle that followed, but I know thats going to need a rewrite since I wrote it in the car, cramped in the backseat with the dog and Fred hollering every half hour when the news cycled back around to the story that pissed him off.

And now I'm off to my first Freecycle pickup. Hooray! Free recycled stuff!

And later, work! Hooray!

Oh, and by the way, Stardust is pretty good. Much better than I expected, since I didn't much care for the book. It has a real sense of grandure in all the shots, sort of like some of the big vista type scenes in Lord of the Rings. And the ending is different, which is a real plus for me. Bourne Ultimatium was great, even though Jason did not kick anyone hard enough for their head to fly off. But there were guns and explosions and action stuff and so much spy speak that my little fangirl heart was going. Even Almighty was funny, I'll give it that.