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I was in Atlanta this week for work – three days with four hour meetings and then networking events. It was delightful for me as an introvert, as I am sure you can well imagine.

I may have gotten bored during one or two – okay, three – moments, and I decided it was an ideal time to look very involved while actually practicing my attention to detail skills. So I went around the room and wrote down a one to three line description of everyone’s ears. And for the first time, I actually understand that Monk episode where he says he can identify the bad guy by his ear. Did you know every ear is unique? Some of them you have to study hard to figure out why it is unique, but there are an amazing variety of ears out there, people.

I am sure you are sitting there, imagining me, during a meeting, staring studiously at someone’s ear. And yeah, that’s basically what happened. But I did try to wait until someone at least in that general direction was speaking so it could, at a cursory glance, appear as though I were watching the speaker.

Are you curious about the outcome of my experiment? I hope so because I’m about to post them below, word for word on what I jotted down! So if it isn’t polished sounding – that is because it isn’t. Also, I got better as time went on. It is surprisingly difficult to describe what an ear looks like.

  1. Almost elf-like ears, sticking out from the head just enough to distract. Bit of a curve as it attaches the lobe to the cheek/neck (what is that area called?)
  2. Giant ears, especially for a rather thin face that one envisions perhaps sickly, but mostly sulky, as a child.
  3. Ears that looked as though they could flap and maybe fly once given the chance.
  4. Appropriately flat against the head, and the part that might be unattractive covered by distinguished white hair. A bit on the long side, but that rather matched his somewhat elongated face.
  5. Tips of otherwise quite appropriate ears curled over just slightly in an attempt to distinguish themselves from an otherwise blase face.
  6. Hair concealed the ears, making one wonder just what she was hiding. Large, small, pointed, round? Something to detract from an otherwise dainty visage, other than the nose?
  7. Ears that rather matched the whole of his face – a bit broad and fleshy and definitely loath to smile.
  8. Rather reminded one of a curving path, with multiple venues from which to choose. The irregular lines could perhaps be a maze rather than a path.
  9. So flat that the curve along the inside of the ear peeked out like an irreverent schoolboy in a church pew.
  10. Almost kindly, when looked at alone, but become absurd once compared with the triangular face and broad side of the cheek.
  11. Almost inflamed, but actually just lots of tissue. The wrinkles on the lobes strangely matched the wrinkles across the forehead.
  12. A wealth of hair covered all but the rather large lobe, which stuck out underneath as it desperate to breathe.
  13. A significant indent did its best to separate the lobe from the rest of the ear, rather unreasonably as the only significance was in the ear itself, shaped more or less like a cup.
  14. Top of the ear curled gracefully into the ear itself as if curtsying. Following the curve of the rest of the ear led to rather unremarkable features and a broad, flat, lobe.
  15. Unremarkable if it wasn’t for the large inner ear that looked like a basin lined with a lip to keep from falling in.
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I was healthy for the first two days of my new job – and then sick for a week and a half. The second week of my job I lost my voice and couldn’t even talk. Is there anything worse than not even being able to answer properly when the director/vice president of your new company comes to ask how it is going and your voice goes in and out while you  try to respond? Thankfully a long weekend came up and apparently all I needed was three nights of 12 hours of sleep because my voice came back, my cough receded, and my congestion went to almost non-existent. Then four short days of doing actual work, and everything was starting to get bad again, so apparently I just have to figure out some way of keeping up my health and getting enough sleep if I want to remain healthy while working in DC proper.

But now it is Thanksgiving week and thanks to a no-work-from-home-for-six-months policy at my new company I get the entire week off instead of teleworking. Which, based on how busy it has already been, is probably good. We started off our trip to Oklahoma by going to our second to last citizen’s police academy training class, wherein we got to practice spinning out in old cars, drive in police car, and pretend we were officers at a traffic stop. We then started our drive, and stopped at Horton Vineyards, which is our favorite VA winery, for a tasting, and finally really got on the road a little late, but still managed to get about 6 hours in before stopping for the night. We drove almost nonstop on Sunday and finally arrived around 7:30 PM.

Now, I know what you all really want to know about – how is NaNo going? Well, I’ll tell you. I am at 20,300 words. I am supposed to be at 33,340 words. So. . . could be worse, but could definitely be better. I have very high hopes of miraculously catching up and even surpassing my supposed-to-be word count this week. But – considering it is already 11:30 AM here on Tuesday, and we are going to a movie this afternoon and then shopping and tomorrow we are going shooting and then to see Daniel’s brother’s new house, and prepping for Thanksgiving, and then Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then tree shopping and decorating Friday and then leaving Saturday . . . I might be a little optimistic. But better that than giving up, right?

I am rambling something horribly in my story right now. But as long as it gets words out that is better than not at all. And I can always delete and rewrite later. Besides, it’s not as though I am as bad as Tala and Yuki!

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. . . that are true for me right now.

  1. I got sick my first week at a new job. Like, seriously???? It could only happen to me. Thursday and Friday – sore/swollen throat and lots of congestion. Yesterday – a not very happy cough and today lost my voice as well. Great first impression, definitely. On the bright side, I am still doing introductory stuff so I don’t have to use my brain much. I just want this to go away before I do. Sigh.
  2. My husband is the epitome of perfection. All these work days as I drag myself out of bed to go to work sick he has gotten up with me, packed me lunch, made me breakfast, laid out vitamins and essential oils, and as soon as I get home from work makes me a hot toddy. He also has kept up with the dishes, laundry, basic housecleaning, found us food, and even cleaned out the fridge yesterday.
  3. Despite all this, I have started NaNoWriMo – granted, I am a few days behind at like 6,000 words, but I have every hope I can catch up – after I get lots and lots of sleep. I am loving seeing all the inspiration on Instagram and NaNoToons and my friend is keeping up with it marvelously which makes me eager to get well enough to catch up as well because I don’t feel like I’m in it alone. It’s amazing what having writing buddies will do.

And that is life right now.

everydaymaynotbe-min2

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I dedicate this perfect post from BlondeWriteMore to my husband Daniel and entreat my friend who is doing this with me to print it out for her husband as well. :p

https://wp.me/p4yGBR-lbB

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NaNoToons!

Yay, I’m so excited! NaNoToons is back! I just had to do a quick share, since they are one of my favorite parts of NaNoWriMo!

https://wp.me/p2NFKH-sW

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Updates

So, quite a bit has happened since I last wrote. I can’t believe it has been almost a month. But – I am in a new job! I accepted a position as an analyst at the E-ISAC, which stands for Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center. I’ve been here three days and am learning all I can, although a majority of my time has been made up of just doing the reading and introductory items. I think I am going to like this new position though – essentially we are working to increase the physical security of the power grid by monitoring incidents and analyzing trends.

I know a lot of people were surprised to hear that I had taken a new job since I had never or rarely expressed dissatisfaction with my previous job. IT is true, I really liked my previous job; however, the travel was becoming a bit much, I was getting bored, and I had reached the top possible position with no room for promotion or even a raise, so it was only reasonable to move on. This new position is with a private company -which will take some getting used to after working with the government for so long – came with a raise, additional PTO, and plenty of promotion potential. I am also now working in DC proper, which has both its benefits and lack thereof. While I hate the metro and commute, it will be kind of fun to be in the city and able to take more advantage of the museums and restaurants and other things.

Daniel and I are also starting to look at the possibility of buying a house outside of the city area. It will be a longer commute to work, obviously, but we are both about ready to own our own place, so I am pretty excited. We are going with our realtor/friend to look at several houses on the 4th – while we aren’t quite ready to buy yet (have to save a down payment), she said it will help us figure out exactly what we are looking for, which is probably much needed since we have already discovered we had different perceptions of what we wanted.

I’ve not even thought about NaNo, which starts tomorrow and hope that doesn’t come back to bite. 😛 I am sure it will be a little difficult getting back into the mindset of the fantasy I am hoping to finish (remember Ethrill?), but I am also excited to see what happens with it since the characters are taking on lives of their own and I seem to have no control over them whatsoever.

Anyway, that is my lunch break and my updates!

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It’s like they were reading my heart when they posted this.

You have been working at the literary coalface for months. Your second draft has taken far longer than you expected. At times working on your second draft has felt more like going to war than embarking on a wonderful journey of creative discovery. You know far too much about your characters and after spending an […]

via The Benefits of Taking a Break From Novel Writing to Craft Short Stories #MondayBlogs #Writer #ShortStories — BlondeWriteMore

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