“Fairy tales are more than true. Not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”
G. K. Chesterton

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

i have a sad, so i am counting my happies
Tue 2015-01-13 23:49:11 (single post)

As expected, I did not skate at BCB's first practice in the "Barn Shelter" tonight. As expected, this made me sad. So I am thinking of cheerful things, so as to keep the sad away.

Some immediate cheerful things are right here on the desk with me. They are a bottle of beer and a bowl of pasta. Tasty things to eat and drink are inherently cheerful. They add cheerfulness to the sum of cheerfulness at the cheerful end of the cheerful/not-cheerful see-saw. What I'm saying here is, even if you're not all that happy, treating your tummy and tastebuds to something yummy is an easy, no-effort way to increase your happy points score, if only by a little.

Some cheerful things happened today. John and I went to see Into the Woods at the Cinnebar in Louisville. Being somewhat familiar with the musical, I was worried there might be an excess of Disneyfication in the film adaptation. It turns out there was not. With regards to Act II, Disney did not flinch. Oh, the body count is slightly lower, but mostly that's because the character count is too. Where in one really notable case they spared a main character's life, it was very much not to make a happier ending. It arguably made another character's ending that much more tragic. (Yes, I'm circumlocuting. I'm spoiler-adverse. Go see the movie.)

More importantly: the adaptation is really good. It's faithful to the feel of a Broadway musical, not just in preserving the score but also in preserving the sense of limitations in what you can show onstage. Which is not to say that they didn't take advantage of the possibilities of film, but rather that the choices they made were artful and wise.

Some cheerful things had to do with writing! For the first time since October, I put up a post on Boulder Writing Examiner. Yes, my Examiner gigs are supposed to be at a much lower priority than my fiction. It's not meant to be a huge deal. But after two months without a single post on BWE (and barely anything on Puzzle Pirates Examiner other than the obligatory weekend blockade round-ups), it feels triumphant. Like waving a flag and shouting, "Not dead yet!"

I also finally put up all the accompanying material for last week's Friday Fictionette. The Wattpad version of the teaser is up, as are the excerpt and cover notes posts on Patreon. Woot! Just in time to swing into action on this week's edition.

And some cheerful things are coming soon in the future. As you know, I have been reading and thinking about the wisdom of Havi Brooks quite a lot lately. And one of my thoughts was, "It's a brand new year. It's been a while since I purchased a Fluent Self product and made myself feel happy and creative and productive thereby. Maybe it's time." Right on cue, Havi announced a New Year's "Plum Duff Days" half-off sale! So I ordered myself a copy of the DIY Rally/Retreat kit, which will arrive any day now.

By stunning coincidence, the DIY Rally/Retreat kit includes a 2015 calendar. I was just thinking I'd like a new wall calendar...

Anyways, it appears that Plum Duff Days continue through January 19th. For information on that, read a recent post by Havi (this'll do nicely) and look for the Plum Duff link and password.

Yet more cheerful future things: "Broken Bombers Trivia" tomorrow night (a group of BCB skaters, the core of whom are on injury league of absence, show up for Geeks Who Drink and rock the house), me getting back on skates very carefully on Thursday night, the knee brace that a league member loaned me for my sprain recovery, the fact that I'm almost done my writing for the day and can play on Puzzle Pirates for a bit before bedtime, a whole new day full of possibilities will begin when I wake up tomorrow...

My! The world is full of cheerful things. I am a very lucky person!

The creepy thing reaching across the book is actually a very cute beanie frog on page-weight duty.
please excuse fleur from class today, she got all used up this weekend
Mon 2015-01-12 23:53:32 (single post)

I'm very sorry. The Friday Fictionette went up on Saturday morning instead of Friday afternoon. It did, however, go up, so you can now read the excerpt here or, if you feel like chucking a buck in my direction, downloading the whole thing as a PDF. It's called "Three Reasons to Be Afraid of the Dark," and it's about a wizard.

Not that it's an excuse... well, it is an excuse. I am full of excuses. But it's a good excuse. I just had a ridiculously big roller derby weekend, this weekend. First, there was the annual Black & Blue Ball on Friday, for which outfits needed to be assembled, gifts needed to be packaged, and pot-luck contributions needed to be arranged. Then, at last, it was time to actually go to the event. Basically, it was tons of the sort of fun that swallows up a whole day. There is always a price to be paid for fun.

Speaking of paying the price, I'm eternally grateful to our Events Committee for putting on the Ball in the first place. For them, it was everyone's fun that took up probably weeks of their spare time and energy. So. A toast!

Saturday, our league hosted a mix-up bout tournament. That's another event that takes a huge helping out of everyone's lives to make happen. And this one I feel like I can speak to with a little authority, since I'm on the Bout Production Committee. I don't feel like I near hardly pulled my own weight there, though; next bout I hope to be of more help. We set up the venue starting at 1:30, the coaches checked in at 4:30, my team started warming up at 5:15, the venue was done and cleaned up by 9:45 or so, and we were at the afterparty until 11:00. So that was Saturday.

I would have been more cheerful about the whole thing if I weren't done and out of the tournament by about 6:20. My third or maybe fourth time out on the track, I managed to sprain my knee, and that was it. The only time I hit the track after that was to join my team for their consolation/congratulation laps. Otherwise, I was sitting down with ice on my knee, or very carefully floating around the venue, keeping my left leg as stationary as possible while propelling or stopping with my right. It sounds stupid that I didn't immediately take my gear off, but, oddly enough, skating was easier on the injured joint than walking was.

And of course Sunday morning I could barely put on my own shoes. The knee didn't want to bend enough to get the foot into arm's reach.

I whine, I complain, but in reality, I'm very lucky. Three seasons of roller derby, and my worst injuries have been sprains. I know at least three skaters who are out with broken ankles at various stages of recovery, and one who tore an ACL on a skiing trip not two weeks after passing her minimum skills test. She was looking forward to trying out for the travel teams, but now she's out for at least six months. It's heartbreaking. A sprained knee? That's nothing. The timing was disappointing (seriously, knee, couldn't you have waited until the last ten minutes of our final bout instead of the first ten minutes of our first? sheesh), but I'll probably be back in action in just a few weeks. I'm very, very lucky.

And I benefit from having gone through the exact same injury two years ago. I'm not going to keep reinjuring myself for two months before taking it seriously. I'm taking it seriously right now. I'm taking it to the doctor on Wednesday, I'm pulling out my old physical therapy instructions and doing the exercises, I'm borrowing a knee brace from a league mate--all the good things.

Speaking of lucky, on Sunday we got to lay track in our brand new practice location. We have been on month-to-month leases for years, and 2014 found us homeless not once but twice. But now one of our very own skaters has offered to be our landlord. She's given us half her huge barn to convert into track space, and we're happy to pool our resources and put in the sweat equity to do it. The dirt floor got pounded flat and covered with plastic last week, and yesterday we assembled the sport court and taped the track boundaries. Today another crew from the league came in to take care of a few remaining tasks. Tomorrow night we'll have our first practice there. (Which I will probably miss, thanks to the sprained knee. Drat.)

I was on the track laying crew yesterday. Wouldn't miss it for the world. Sure, my left knee was stiff and swollen, sure, I was hobbling a bit, but as long as I moved slowly and carefully I was able to cary sport court tile around and lay it in place. I was even able to very carefully stomp the tooth-in-loop connections down with my right heel.

I won't say it didn't hurt my heart not to be one of the first people skating on the track. But seeing people skating on it Sunday afternoon gave my heart a lot more joy than pain.

Today? Pfeh. I have been absolutely useless today. I was owed an absolutely useless day, darn it, and I darn well took it. So there.

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