Sunday, November 30, 2014

"It's hysteria. Relief after a near-death experience."

        NaNo's over, peeps. After a whirlwind month of exams and presentations and goatlings and hey! writing, I have more than 25,000 words in my notebook. 25,051, to be exact. Boy, am I glad I only did half NaNo!

        It was tiring. It was stressful. It was cramping hands and loads of pencils and tea. It was amazing. I love my book. My characters are awesome - I know them so well it feels like we're best friends. That never really happened before with any other story I wrote, but even before I started writing, I took a lot of my spare time to write stuff down in my everything notebook about them, and how they talked, and all sorts of other rambling nonsense. And it worked! At least, I think it worked - I guess I'll have to wait and see.
        By no means is my book done. I'm probably not even halfway through the first draft. But it's a start, and now I have only to develop a plan to KEEP WRITING. My continual struggle. Once NaNo's over, I just kind of... Blah.
         So even though I can't share the plot with y'all yet, I'm going to put some pictures on here that I've collected on a secret board on Pinterest.
         This is my main character, Marian, only she's not so skinny as this actress. Isn't it hard to find pictures for characters that aren't perfect looking?!

        This is her best friend. She's quite mischievous.

        Little brothers...

        And sisters...

        And now for some pictures that I'm not going to describe because of Reasons.

        Any ideas? I didn't put any of the giveaway pictures on here so probably not *evil laugh*. I'm sad that NaNo's over, and I'm relieved as well. I'm really glad it did it this year, though, because next year I'll be taking college classes full time and probably won't have this much spare time to write. Maybe I'll just have to do it on the computer, then. Any NaNo experiences from y'all?
        Last, but not least, I want to give a HUGE thank you to the friend who convinced me to do NaNo this year. You made this month an awesome one. And congratulations on winning too!


P.S. The post title is my favorite quote from an adventure novel my cousin wrote two years ago for school.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Goatling Pictures

        Because there's no such thing as too many.

This is Wynnie, named finally!

Dain (my Moosie)


        They love hanging out under the wheelbarrow here since I've been letting them out in the back more now. I've started milking Eponine a bit as well, since I'm hoping to sell the babies soon. Wynnie will be disbudded within a week or two, and the boys are polled so that's not necessary for them. Lilly, our neighbors' goat, also kidded last Friday. That's why you haven't seen any more pictures of my babies - I've been super busy! With Thanksgiving preparations, NaNoWriMo, and nine goats running around, I just haven't found a spare moment! Lilly did have a bit of trouble with the first baby, as it was in the wrong position, but everyone is now healthy and eating and growing like mad. If you live around the SF Bay Area and are interested in a Nigerian Dwarf goat pet, let me know LOL.
        Anyway, I'm off to bake pies and get my word count up! I'll have a post on Lilly's babies hopefully in the next week or so.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November Goatlings

         Yesterday evening, just before six o'clock, Eponine had her babies. When I had gotten home from school at eleven, I noticed that her sides were a bit sunken in around her tail, which I remember happened to Lilly before she had her babies. Lilly didn't end up kidding until over twelve hours later, though, so I figured it would be the same for Eponine. I wasn't especially looking forward to birthing baby goats at midnight, but there wasn't anything to be done about it. Then, around four-thirty, I noticed she was having mild contractions. Each time she had one she would go and stand with her front feet up on a brick, I assume to get the babies into position. 

        I checked on her every fifteen minutes or so, and nothing else seemed to be happening. Then, I went over to our neighbors' house to tell her my goat was in labor. Then, I heard Eponine call to me from our yard. It was just her normal talking, so I figured my mom had gone out and she was just saying hi. But, all the same, I went back to check on her to make sure everything was all right. 
        Well, it as all right, but she was lying down on the ground trying to push a baby out. As soon as she saw me she started hollering (like really hollering). After maybe thirty seconds of pushing, in which I hurriedly spread out a towel on the ground and got my stuff together, her first baby was born, a little brown boy with a white saddle. We got him dried off, and over by Eponine's head so she could lick him and dry him off. The sun was pretty much gone at this point so we were trying to make do with a lamp and a flashlight.

        You can never really tell how many babies there are, especially when the goat is lying down. But pretty soon she started to push again, and soon I could see one hoof, one nose, and a pink tongue. And she had another boy! This one was brown, and super fluffy once we got him dried off. 

        Originally, the plan had been for her to kid in the little shed in the goat yard. Obviously, that didn't happen, but we were running out of towels and the kids were getting into the dirt. Once everyone was relatively clean and dry, we moved the babies into the shed and the clean hay, and Eponine followed them over there. 

        She continued to lick them, and since we had a heat lamp in there we didn't have to worry about them getting too cold. She was a very good little Mama. Then, she put her front feet up on the doorframe of the shed, and started pushing again. It had been about ten minutes since she'd had the two boys, so I figured she was just trying to expel the afterbirth. So I just payed attention to the babies in the shed until all of a sudden, another baby fell right out onto the ground!!! Thankfully, we had a bunch of green stuff growing right there so it wasn't dirt and sticks. My mom picked the baby up while I frantically searched for a clean towel. Eponine, that's not how you're supposed to do it! I said to her. We got the little one cleaned off and breathing, and then put her under the heat lamp so Eponine would lick her. She was really lethargic at first, but perked up in no time at all. And no, I don't have any pictures of when she was just born. Ain't nobody got time for that.

         We didn't have any more surprises after that, thankfully. Eponine is such a good girl and took care of her babies wonderfully. They all ate some, and the fluffy brown one (who is a sight larger than the other two) even attempted some jumping. He is the most energetic of all.

         The two boys.

         My little girl.

        I didn't decide on names last night because it really was hard to see well. Temporarily, though, I had to have something to call them. This one is Moose because, well, he looks like one. He's the biggest and strongest.

        The little boy is my Bull Calf. Again, because he just looks like one.

        And my little girl is Little Girl.

        Sorry for the overload of fluffy goatling pictures, but I took more this morning.

         Moose is now named Dain, although he'll always be my moosie.I decided to name the boys after Dwarves because of their father who I named Thorin.

        The Bull Calf is Frerin. He has little goblin ears - it's so cute! They must have been bent when he was growing or something.

        My little girl still doesn't have a name - I want to make sure it's perfect for her. Yes, I will be selling all of these babies, but the names still have to be perfect.

        The little girl will have horns, but I'm pretty sure both of the boys are polled.

        I'm so thankful kidding went well and that everyone is healthy! Oh, and prepare to be overloaded with baby goat pictures!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

In Which I Confirm and Dispel Common Beliefs About My State

         So I kind of dropped the ball with regards to this post. Sorry 'bout that. But it's here now, a month late, yes, but here all the same. I first got the idea for this post when I was in Texas and people would say stuff about California and what they have heard goes on here, and although some of it was very true, and some of it partially true, not all of it was. So that's what I'm here for, right? Crazy Californian for ya!
        I'm going to start with some of the questions my blogging friends asked (thanks for doing that, by the way) and then move on to the ones I've heard myself. hopefully you'll be enlightened. :)

Evie asked:

Do all Americans say y'all? Funny you should ask, Evie! The fact is that pretty much every state (or small group of states at least) has it's own accent of sorts, special phrases the people use, and slang. I can't really describe the Californian accent because, well, I have one, but I can certainly tell the difference from, say, a Boston accent. The majority of people in America do not say y'all, although there are many who do. It's mainly a Southern thing *smiles*. But wait!!! Why do I say y'all? Because I like to. It's easier than saying 'you guys' and frankly just sounds better. Everyone looks at me a bit strange, but that's fine with me. I really don't care.

Palm trees? Hollywood? Now I'm pretty sure this is what a lot of people think when they think California. Do y'all have famous people running around all over the place? Yes and no. Down near Los Angeles, there are actors and other celebrities all over. In fact, my friend's mom said that she's seen Dick Van Dyke out taking a walk many times before! I mean, imagine that! But it's pretty much a localized thing. I've lived in the SF Bay Area my whole life and never seen anyone famous beyond sports players. And palm trees? Yes! Lots of them. But not so much along the coast, as you might tend to think. The California coast (the northern 3/4 at least) is not so much sandy beaches as rocky coves and cliffs. Which I like better than sand anyway. The coast is actually pretty cold a lot of the time, even in the summer in most places it's overcast until noon or so. (pictures my dad's)

(And by the way, if you couldn't tell, along the coast there was veeery cold and windy.)

Beth asked:

How about the California cliche of blonde surfers? Crazy movie people? Are there as many of those in CA as we see in movies?? :D Blonde surfers? Now I'm afraid I'm not too qualified to answer that question, as I don't live in surfing territory. I think there are a lot more surfers down in So Cal, but here, not really.

Okay, now on to the ones I've heard myself.

All Californians are gun-fearing, Obama-loving liberals. No. Of course no one thinks that all Californians are liberals, but still, the percentage isn't as high as you might think. It might just be because the people I chose to associate with are definitely more conservative, I dunno. But although there certainly are a lot of ban-all-guns people, there are a lot of people who oppose that strongly. It is sometimes a bit overpowering with all the media and everything here, though, and the people as well. Going to Texas was a breath of fresh air. ;)

All Californians are gay. Now, I don't want to get very deep on this one (all I want to say on this topic is 'love the sinner, hate the sin'), but this is NOT TRUE. Even though most people here are, shall we say, very receptive of this sin, it is still not very common yet. It was funny, 'cause when I was in Texas, at the youth group at my friend's church, this girl gave her friend a hug and then felt the need to tell me she was straight and they were best friends. Peeps, it's not like anything of the sort even crossed my mind! Boy, people do think Californian's are crazy!

California is all sandy beaches. Now this kind of ties into stuff I said before, but our state actually has more cliffs along the shore. And since it is so long vertically, the climate difference is amazing! We have lots of forests along the coast 1/4, then a bunch of farmland, desert and otherwise mild climate, and then mountains along the Nevada side. It is anything but Hawaii type climate. Well, actually, I wouldn't know. I've never been there. 

        So there you have it! If there's anything else you think of that you are wondering about, let me know in a comment and I can add it to this post! Hope you enjoyed. :)


Saturday, November 15, 2014


        I think I mentioned in a post a veeerry long time ago (perhaps early this year?) that I was thinking about doing NaNoWriMo in November. For those of you that don't know, that's National Novel Writing Month. Where a bunch of crazy people devote a whole month of their lives to pumping out thousands of words a day, and by the time December comes around, they have a novel length draft. Sure, it needs a ton of editing, but the whole point is to get writers writing. So a while ago, I thought 'Hey! That sounds about right for me!' And I resolved to do it once November came around. But when it did, I looked at my schedule and realized I just didn't have the time. Sad, I know. I was really looking forward to getting started on my new book, too. And I found out that my dear friend Aspen and her little sister were doing it as well, and that made me wish even more that I was doing it. But November was looking to be a very busy month for me, what with a bunch of school projects and exams, and goat babies, so I gave up the idea entirely. 
        But then! A friend at church asked me if I was doing NaNo because he was looking for a writing buddy, and I had to tell him no. But then he said that if you sign up with the Young Writers Program you can switch your goal word count to whatever you want, so instead of 50,000 words at the end of the month you can shoot for something else. He was doing 25,000. So that got me thinking again. Since I knew someone here who was doing it, that would make it a little bit better. So ten days late, I started writing. I already had almost 5000 words, but I was 4000 behind. I decided to set my goal at 25,000 - I didn't think I'd be able to manage more than that. I'm doing NaNo, peeps! So I've been turning out 1000 words per day trying to make it up to the daily average line. It's slow going, but I'm getting there. 1000 words might not sound like a whole lot, but I'm writing by hand, so it takes longer to write, and then I have to count. 

        See, I'm catching up! So although I have a half dozen posts sitting in drafts waiting to be finished, my other writing is taking priority right now. Sorry. Anyway, it's been so fun writing this story! I can't tell y'all what it's about yet, but can I just say that I love it? Of course I do! But in reality, it's the first thing I've written where I feel like I really know my characters. To tell the truth, the characters in my previous stories were, well, dry. But these people, they're amazing. They're my friends and I love them. :) Are any of you doing NaNo? If so, how's it going?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Battle of the Five Armies Trailer Breakdown - Part Three

        The third and final installment in the Trailer Breakdown series for the third and final installment in the Hobbit trilogy!

        Now when I watched the trailer the first time, I didn't really catch much of the last part because, well, I was crying big time, but there is a lot of mystery in these last 25 (?) screencaps. If y'all have any ideas or opinions please comment and let me know - I'm still trying to process the awesomeness. I mean, talk about defining moment! This is the climax of like, five years! Ever since we all found out there were going to be Hobbit movies. And in no way am I ready for this.

        No idea who this is. He's got either a sword or a bow in his hand, but that doesn't narrow it down much. This is a gorgeous place, though, but then again I'm not sure that matters a whole lot at this point.

        Nasty goblin creature. 

        I see Bilbo and Dwalin, but I'm confused as to where this is. Is it in the ruins of Dale? I know we've seen a lot of behind the scenes footage of Thranduil fighting in Dale, but does the majority of the battle take place there? If not, this could be near Erebor, as in the next picture you can see a lot of rocks.

        Here we have Thorin jumping down to fight a big orc...

        ... And it doesn't appear to be going too well for him. I seriously doubt this is where he dies, but he is getting thrown against a rock. That would result in some legitimate injury. My baby is going to die and I cannot keep calm!!! THORIN NOOOOOOOO!!!! 

        Legend? This stuff is history, not a simple myth.

        Imagine looking out at the world, and seeing only the destruction and death you yourself have caused. I think that is what is running through the dwarves' heads right now, and how heartbreaking that must be. Not only that they have failed to get the Arkenstone (not sure if Thranduil has it yet), but they have unleashed a wave of fire and death into the world.

        Bard with his black arrow, still hanging off the edge of a house. 

        Tauriel. I think she actually looks quite pretty in this part. Very sad.

        MY GOODNESS.

        Now the reason I took so many screencaps of Tauriel getting thrown against a rock by Bolg is that I'm trying to determine whether this is where Tauriel dies. It has been my opinion ever since I knew there was such a character that she would die in the third movie, and I believe Evangeline Lilly even said that Tauriel "has a tragic ending".

        It does really seem as though this is where she dies, although I'm not sure why they would put that in the trailer. 

You have but one question to answer. How shall this day end? - Gandalf

        Legolas looks fake again fighting this orc. Oh well, I had high hopes.

        Apparently this part of Laketown didn't get burned? I thought it all did. Do you suppose this is from before? 


        Thorin is still alive here, and battling with Azog. Now since Azog isn't in the book (only in the LOTR appendices), we don't know if Thorin ends up killing Azog. I'm saying yes, because revenge and bitter victory and everything else that makes a good movie, but does Thorin defeat Azog as he's *sob* dying, or does he die in some other way?

         Bofur and others rushing at the orcs (and no, spell check, I did not mean bourbon).

        Is this Thorin again?

         I couldn't get a picture right as Bilbo disappears, but I think it only fitting that they should end the trailer with the ring. 

        #OneLastTime? Did they have to do that to me? *wailing* And stunned silence reigns.

        So congrats if you made it through all 90 screencaps! And my ramblings and sobbing too, of course. Are you as excited about this as I am? Also, if you want any of the screencaps in better quality than you can copy off my blog (feel free to do that as well, though), email me and I'll send them to you. You can leave your email address in a comment and I won't publish it if you don't want me to. Let me know which ones you want (and also tell me not to publish it if you want - if you don't let me know otherwise I'll just go ahead and post it).