Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Ever been worried about doing or telling someone something?

Well, as some of you might know... I've been working really hard to get together the guts to tell my mom about my economics.

Yesterday we were driving and spoke about completely other things and studying somehow came up. Before I knew what was happening, I blurted out that my economics were well beyond salvage now. To my surprise, it didn't turn into our customary fight, but rather we started speaking about why I was struggling to study the work required. 

For those of you that were wondering, think four old family Bibles. In essays. With the succession of essays having nothing to do with each other. And most of the essays have a lack of coherence. The authors clearly never learnt that the intro needs to involve the topic, or that the body needs to involve the intro. Or that the conclusion must have something to do with the essay they had written.

Sorry. I really get angry that we are marked strictly on the form and structure of any essays we write, but are then forced to sit through work that is far below that standard, just because the writer of that essay has a M or a PHD tagged to his degree.

I know that they know more than I do, but it does not cancel out the fact that 75% of them need an editor.

Oh. And while I'm this hideously off topic, wouldn't it be nice if our lecturers actually read what they selected? That way, they would notice that what they give us in a way of information, does not correspond to the lectures...

"Read tomorrow's essay before class,"  they say.
And then forget to mention which of the essays happen to be the ones that need to be read. I was not aware that economics students need to attend Paranormal Studies 148: Telepathics.

Phew. Aaaaaanyway... I pretty much went into that rant yesterday, and I assume my mother got what I meant. Well... She commented as follows...

"So you always think that you're above average. Are you saying no-one passed?"

My reply:

"No, but I estimate that about 80% of the class sat through the course at least twice." Which is a valid point to make. Our average third year subjects have around 200-250 students enrolled. Economics: 600-800. Hmm...

And that was that. My secret is out. I still have my head...

Kidding. My mother is seriously an awesome woman. Just the fact that she took the news this calmly attests to it. We just don't always understand each other the way we'd like to. It is the curse of being in a stubborn family. We take a point, form an opinion and stick with it until the time that someone can change our opinions. And that means conflict.

Lots of it.

But there isn't a woman out there that I love and respect more than her. It's just that our opinions about the direction of my life tend to differ.


To think that I've been ranting about coherence. I think I covered three topics in one composition...

Academia here I come! 


How are you doing? Who finished their NaNo's? Any stories of telling someone something scary? How did it turn out?  

Friday, November 26, 2010

The post where I apologize for the lack of an inner filter...

Hey all!


I don't even want to read what I had written yesterday.

Very very sorry for that.

I've been suppressing my feelings for some now (almost two weeks), so I guess it kind of exploded the first time I decided to write about any strong feelings I've been having, despite the fact that those feelings had nothing to do with what I was suppressing. Maybe it's because I SUCK at emotional suppression.  

Anyway. I just realized that I was very rude yesterday, so, may I wish my US readers a belated Happy Thanksgiving?

Hope you all had a great time with your families.

How are you doing?



Thursday, November 25, 2010

The post where I wrote what I didn't want to say.

Don't worry. I'm not going to rant.

It's more of a venting...

Fact is that I'm ten days away from my last exam. I wish I could say last exam ever, but since I don't know if that is the case, I decided to rather not be the die-hard optimist. Anyway...

That's not what I want to go into. I'll go into it when I'm really really back. Right now I'm more of a I'm hiding out from my other responsibilities back. Which is why I must keep this post short.

If I write too much, things are going to come out that would serve me better tightly caged. So...

Sometimes I hate thinking. In stead of making things clearer, thinking muddles everything up. Like worrying about what happens next.

There. See? I did it again. I freaking can't stop. It's like trying to stop a runaway train with a penny.

Right now, not thinking is taking so much concentration that I can't really think about anything else.

Not a good state in which to find myself when I have to finish my exams.

Not that it matters. Since my economics happened again. This time slightly differently, but with the exact same effect. Well... not exactly the same. I got two poems (I think) out of it. In two languages.

Did I get a degree out of it?

A most emphatic no. See... when you write your predicate test in October and suddenly draw a complete blank (and I do mean complete) remaining calm to get through the work with a miraculous second chance just isn't as possible as people seem to think. I studied for five weeks this time. I gave up my NaNo aspirations in order to get through the work. I did everything I could. 

I kept myself together admirably if I say so myself, even when I knew I wasn't nearly prepared enough to feel good about writing. I sat down and turned the page. 

And... Nothing. Not a single solitary thing registered. I sat through an hour and a half out of three, trying to recall what I knew. I wrote two poems just to calm down enough to think. Nothing... Actually I think I wrote the poems just to create noise. It felt strange to be the only person in the room except the invigilator that wasn't writing. 

In some sort bleak irony, that was the first time in months that my mind went completely quiet. 

Not that peaceful, calming quiet with running water and laughing children in the distance. I'm talking about that eerie roaring silence you get after a bomb went off close by. 

I think that I wrote "Sorry" in the answer sheet.


I can't remember. 

Oh my word I wasn't even going to write about this. I was going to mope fore a bit about how I can't study because I want to write, but can't write because I need to study. Something like that. But I guess this had to get out.

I haven't told anyone yet. Everyone is assuming that there is hope, but refusing to talk about it. No one except for me, and now you, know how badly it really went. I just can't deal with telling them. Maybe I'm a coward now.

Still... I feel a lot better now. It isn't ruling my thoughts as much as before. So I can maybe pull myself together enough to get through the next ten days or so until I can face up to what I had allowed to happen to me and to the repercussions of it all.

But not right now. Now, I have to knuckle down and finish what I can.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NaNo day 23 (BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) (Oh and check out the brilliant idiot- i.e. me- proof fondant recipe at the bottom)

Hey all.

Not really back yet. Just wanted to say thank you so very much for dropping by, joining and commenting. Your support and sympathy really help. :-)

I decided to rather forget NaNo for this year and rather aim for some BEEEEEEEEG writing sessions in December. Who knows? Maybe, with nothing better/different to do, I might actually manage to hit 100k in thirty days.

Wouldn't that be something?

Anyway... I have a lot to share and tell, but it just feels like it will be a rushed/emotional mess if I start now. But I promise to be back to my compulsive posting self in December. Feel free to expect my return around the fourth or fifth (my exams finish on the third).  I'll also start dropping in on your blogs again at that time.

I really miss you all! 

How are you doing? Any finished WiP's? Any NaNo's won yet? What's up in your corner of the world? Any other news? 

Oooh ooh ooh. Before I sign off. I leave you with this beauty of a reward/treat/consolation.

Unfortunately it will be in metric, since I'm too lazy for conversions.
(From Mariete van der Vyfer's new recipe book, but I changed the method slightly so that I could enjoy the process...)

Melted chocolate tart (Or, by my name: Delightfully easy fondants.)
200 grams 80% or above dark chocolate
125 grams butter (Yes. BUTTER)
6 separated eggs
1/4 cup of sugar

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (that's 392 degrees Fahrenheit. see? I can be nice)
Step 2: Spread something like butter or margarine or non-stick spray over the inside of a small but deep cake-pan, or 6 to 10 oven-proof dessert moulds depending on the size. I prefer the latter, but please don't use muffin moulds unless they're deep.
Step 3: Mix the yolks and sugar
Step 4: Melt the chocolate and butter together in a fire-proof glass bowl over boiling water. This is the fun part since you get to watch the butter and chocolate turn into a smooth, creamy liquid. Siiigh.
Step 5: beat the egg whites until stiff (Sorry if this sounds weird, but the recipe is in another language.)
Step 6: Mix results from steps 3 and 4
Step 7: Carefully fold the egg whites into the above mixture. Make sure that everything is well blended.
Step 8: Pour the mixture into the prepared dish(es) and put into the oven. Be careful not to fill the dish to the brim, since the mixture does expand in the heat.

Now this is where you need to take a bit of a gamble, since the time left in can be a bit of a gamble, but here's a rough guide for you to guesstimate:

Cake pan: 20 minutes (cover with foil after the first ten minutes to prevent drying out.)
6 moulds: 12 minutes
10 moulds (what I got, since my moulds were a bit small.): 8 minutes

Basically, the smaller the volume, the less time in the oven.

Step 9: They will be soft and sticky when you take them out, but the outside hardens as the fondant cools. When they are cool enough to touch and stable at the bottom, turn the moulds over. The fondants should drop out without much trouble. I strongly suggest you serve them/it with vanilla ice cream.

Step 10: Break through the soft crust and relish the soft, gooey centre bursting forth.

Enjoy! ;-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaNo day 15

Oh... dear.

Well, maybe I should start a little more brightly. After all, I could have been abducted by aliens (I wasn't) or I could have been in traction with both my arms suspended (I'm not). Instead, I'm here, sighing my head off, because I haven't written a thing since the last time I posted.

Yes. Ten days ago.

NaNo is looking pretty bleak right now. So much so that I don't want to log in to the website for fear of being completely demoralized.

So, what have I been doing?

That cruel bitch of a mistress, namely Economics. I'm sure that you remember that I'm writing my exam on the nineteenth. I also have another one (Property investment) on Thursday. So... Not quite sure if I'll get round to writing until Saturday.

And if I do, I doubt it will approach the amounts needed to make the goal.

Sigh... Oh well. I knew it was going to be very difficult, so it's no use being disappointed. At least  I tried. Maybe I'll do it next year.

Or even December.

How's your NaNo going?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NaNo Days 4 and 5

Hey all,

Just wanted to post a quick update before going to sleep.

Thursday's NaNo went quite well. I finished 1908 words. But then I cleverly went and typed in 1980 words into the word count on the NaNo page.

Day five was another story. I don't remember if I mentioned that my family and I are moving house. If I didn't, sorry!

 Anyway, the furniture and private effects were delivered at 07h30 in the morning. The rest of the day was spent rearranging furniture. We haven't even started to unpack. That has been left until today.

The reason why I am even awake at all is because I felt the urge to get my words down for NaNo. I didn't do it strictly on time. 00h15 to be exact, but by the time I was done, I had written the 92 words to compensate for yesterday's mistake, as well as 1975 words towards day 5. Not bad if I say so myself.

I guess that my body got tired faster than my mind. But I must say that I'm now bushed. So I bid you all good night.

P.S. Please let me know how you're doing at life and at NaNo. :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNo Day 3

Morning all.

I know that it's day 4 already, but since my day 4 has hardly started, I thought that I'd just recap yesterday.

For those of you that hasn't guessed, I'll be somewhat NaNo minded until the end of November. Still, I will try to make things a bit more interesting for those of you that aren't NaNo'ing.

Yesterday marked the arrival of the contractors. Which meant that this was more or less the symphony I've been hearing all day:

BANG!!! Bowow BOWOWOWOWOWOW! Bowow. Bow. Wow. BANG! Bowow BOOOOOOWOOOOO Bowowowowowow Bowowow...

For hours. Needless to say, economics was pretty much out of the question. So, since writing takes up amazingly little of my concentration, I decided to write as much as I can between the bangs and the barks. Later I found two pigeon chicks on our patio. I suspect the contractors scared them and they toppled the nest out. It looks like it will be OK though. My mom and I made a nest with newspaper and a basket, and their mother has been in it, so I assume they'll be fed. Now the thing will be to keep the cats away from them.  

Anyway, back to my writing... I ended up with some interesting things. Callan's complication didn't go away. I'm not really going to go into it, but let me just say that his name is Quinlan and he isn't going anywhere in the near future. *grins evilly*

Interestingly, Ward and James's friendship has started changing looong before I thought it would. I used to think that the change would come towards the end of the novel, or even the beginning of the second one. (Yes this beast of an epic has between two and four siblings.) Instead... they surprised me yet again.

It's leaving me a bit bewildered, but after thinking about it for a while, I realised that it improves the story if this change shows early on, rather than just towards the end. On the other hand, it throws a complication of the large story arch, since the change is happening too early for me to put what I saw in the right place. 

There's also the fact that I can see Doorways's Bigbad working behind the scenes, but I can't seem to get the bastard to show up to the story. An introduction would be great about now. After all, I'm a quarter of the way through the story. 

But... I am actually contemplating the idea that the Bigbad has already been introduced. The introduction was short, but it's there... Hmm... I actually like the idea, but it would significantly change the story. More pondering needed there. 

Oh I almost forgot! I got 3015 words done yesterday! *does happy dance* So I'm at almost seven thousand words for NaNo.  I doubt that I'll get that much done for today though, since I have to catch up on my economics reading. But who knows? I might actually get this book done, after all...

What about you? For those of you who have been NaNo'ing, how is it going? Anything interesting pop up in your writing yet? For those of you that aren't, what are you keeping yourselves busy with? How is it going?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo day 2.

Sigh... to do something that isn't either economics or NaNo related. So heavenly.

When I write, I'm worrying about economics. When I study, I'm thinking about writing.

Still, I'm slowly getting ahead of schedule with Doorways. (I'm about 400 words ahead of their daily goals.) So if I manage to write at my current rate, I will have gained a day by next week. I may get more writing done this weekend though, but I haven't decided if I will make my weekend writing-only, or studying-only.

Choices... Choices...

Especially when I consider that both will leave me more or less equally exhausted.

I'm at this stage still wringing the words out of my muse. I get them down, but the effort involved is rather tiring. When I'm not wringing, I'm cramming portions of my economics into my head. Will I be more efficient doing only the one, or the other?

Yes... but I might also kill myself in the process.

Then there's also the fact that something very strange happened in James and Ward's story, while a complete stranger appeared in Callan's. Oh the joys of pantsing.

I do like the stranger, although, he further complicates her life when she really doesn't need it.

Wait... why am I complaining about that? Complications are good... Complications give me stuff to write about... Hopefully.

How is your NaNo going so far? And please leave your user names so that I can buddy you. :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNo Day!

Hey all!

Just want to say thanks and welcome to everyone that followed recently. You guys are really awesome.


Thanks to everyone that gave advice about what I should write. I decided that Doorways is the best thing to write.

Even if it means that I don't win... Sigh. Did I mention before how much I hate losing?

Aaaaanyway... Today is the first day of NaNo, and the goal is 1667 words (which means mine will hover at around 1800-2000 words. But... I have to write those words in four hours or less today.

I won't be studying this morning, not due to NaNo, but due to the fact that we moved yesterday and my cat was less than amused, and so proceeded to keep me awake most of last night. If I had two hours of continuous sleep that would be a lot.

This pretty much explains the style (or lack of it) of today's post. Keeping my thoughts in order is a little impossible. But for some reason, exhaustion tends to open my writing up, so...

Today's plan will be...

1) Finish today's post
2) Shower and get ready to go.
3) Drive to Cape Town (my brother is writing his last twelfth grade exams today)
4) Write in car while waiting 3 hours for him to finish.
5) Drive home.
6) Sleep.
7) If possible study.

Still, I'm pretty sure that the plan may change. Exhaustion does that to me.

Anyhow. Who's starting NaNo today?

What are your plans/strategies to get it done? What are your word goals?