I Apologize for the Silence

I apologize for the month-long silence on these pages.  But two things happened:

First, my medical leave was up and I went back to work.   I was on medical leave from September to November.

Second, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the very first time and I spent a lot of my free time furiously writing a 50,000 word first draft of a novel.  I am very pleased to announce:

I Won!!

Yes, I wrote 50,315 words in 28 days!   I don’t get a book contract and wealth and fame beyond my wildest dreams, but I do get to brag and after the first of the year, I get a substantial discount on a writing program.   I also get the satisfaction that I started something and I saw it through until the end.

Participating in this has truly liberated me as a writer and it helped me smack down the inner critic and the inner editor and just let myself write.   In order to succeed in this endeavor, you have to give your self permission to do two things:  write crap and to not finish.   Then you just sit and you write and let whatever happen happen.

In the future, I plan on providing more written content along with all the You Tube links.

My participation in NaNoWriMo was mostly spur of the moment.  I do plan on getting content together before I participate in this next November to avoid the silence.

But, if you like what you read here, you can subscribe and be notified by e-mail when I make new posts.  This way, you don’t have to keep checking back every day if I’m silent.  And next time, I will announce if I have to go on hiatus.

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Road Trip!

Two weeks from tomorrow, my husband (who shall be known as mrannomalley) and I are taking a road trip out west to South Dakota, the Black Hills, and the Badlands.  I can’t wait, since it’s been so long since either of us had a real vacation!

Both mrannomalley and I are connoisseurs of kitschy roadside attractions.  I plan on writing about all the kitschy roadside attractions and other kitschy things we see.  (Yay!  A post that I actually write!)

Sorry for the Silence

Sorry for the silence, but I’ve been very busy.  I know, I know, excuses, excuses.  My job leaves me with little time to write and leaves me too tired to think of things to write, but I’m hoping that in the next month to month and a half that will change.  In the meantime, I will try to post more often, if not every day, then maybe once a week.

ETA:  I will try to post something at least once a week, depending on my work schedule.

And Knowing is Half the Battle

Just in case you ever wondered, here is how Slovenien children learn about poop.

And if you weren’t wondering, now you know.  And knowing is half the battle.

Link via @BillCorbett on Twitter.

Six Months and a New Direction

It’s been six months since I posted.  I am thinking of retooling this blog yet again because I am trying to pursue my dream of being a writer and blogging is one way to hone the craft and get my name out there without having to take the risk of quitting my job to do this.  Although part of what I am considering is just getting a domain and starting over, but keeping this in the interim.

I’m not sure what I am going to do with this yet, if I am going to keep the posts or delete them.  Since this won’t be a knitting blog anymore, I will most likely rename it.

What brought this on?  Another midlife crisis moment.  As I have posted before, my dream as a kid was to become a writer.  After some thought, I feel it is not too late to give it a shot and the internet makes it a lot easier to put my work out there.  I am not shooting to become a mega-millionaire writer (and if that were to happen, I’m not going to complain).  But if I can put my name out there, create a body of work, and then self publish the novel that is still in my head, I will consider that a success.   You can, if you spend the money, pay a fee to obtain a copyright for your work, and then pay another fee to obtain an ISBN number (which makes you a publisher), and if you have a website, you can make your work available for download.  Lots of starving writers do this.  This is how I feel I should do it, too.

In all honesty, I haven’t picked up much new fiction in the past few years, mainly because what is put out there just doesn’t appeal to me.  Instead, I end up re-reading older books I have enjoyed in the past and reading non-fiction.  I find the urge to write fueled by my desire to read something that interests me and doesn’t appeal to the lowest common denominator and follows the same formula because the media company who owns the publishing company doesn’t want to deviate from something that they think makes a lot of money.

I am still thinking of how I want to re-tool this and what I want to write about.  They say that when you blog, your blog should have a topic.  This is where I struggle, because I used to blog years ago and just wrote whatever random crap I thought of, but somehow it got people’s attention and I had an audience, so I think that maybe that is the direction in which I want to go.  I wrote random essays, a lot of my style is humorous, and then I posted all sorts of weird stuff I found online.  I also did a lot of stuff that would be better suited to Twitter, but Twitter did not exist back then.  My other sticking point is having enough material to post once per day and making the time to write it, especially with school.

Stay tuned….

ETA: I am going to keep the old posts for now, but some of the sidebar stuff will change.   If I end up migrating, then I may delete that stuff.

Johnny Depp in Oshkosh


Johnny Depp in Oshkosh, WI 4-16-2008

Originally uploaded by Ms. Ann O’Malley

Long time, no write.

Well, about two weeks ago, Johnny Depp was down in Oshkosh filming a movie and everyone was all excited about it. Including me. 🙂 On April 16th, I saw him in person, and now I can die a happy woman.

We went on Wednesday, because on Tuesday morning, I saw on the news that he came out and shook hands with people after filming was done for the day. All day Tuesday, I was kicking myself hard because Hubby and I were talking about going down to watch on Monday night and then we didn’t. So Wednesday, we went and we figured that even if Johnny Depp didn’t come out and shake hands with people, seeing him from a distance would be good enough for me. I wasn’t close enough to actually shake his hand, but I got to see him and that was cool.

My Hubby and I went down to Oshkosh after work that day and we got to watch some of the filming, at a distance, of course. First, we were on the corner of Main and Merritt, and we couldn’t see anything. People were kept back because the movie cameras were pointed in that direction, and cars were not allowed to cross, nor were pedestrians allowed to cross the street until the cameras stopped rolling. At one point, we were down on the corner of Main and Otter, looking up the street at what was going on. Hubby had the binoculars and I had the camera. They were filming a bank robbery scene and you could see people moving around. Then you heard the tommy guns going off.

The Sunday before, we were among all the gawkers who went to downtown Oshkosh to walk around and see what the movie crew did with the downtown. I live in Neenah, but I go to Oshkosh enough that I know what the downtown normally looks like, so seeing what was done with those buildings was pretty cool. My husband is a movie geek, so he was all sorts of happy looking at the “set” and the props and watching the crews work. On that Sunday, they were out transforming the Masonic Temple into a bank and setting up some scaffolding for a green screen.

Seeing all of this really makes me want to go see this movie when it comes out. It’s going to be a trip to see Oshkosh on the big screen. It was also nice, for once, to have something exciting happen here that didn’t involve the Green Bay Packers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Packers, but it’s nice to have something so exciting happen that didn’t involve them.

I do have to mention that I also have made my sister insanely jealous of me. I threw all my Wednesday pictures on a thumb drive, took it to get my pictures printed, and then I took the drive to work and the picture you see here is now my desktop at work. I also e-mailed it to some people, including my sister. She is now insanely jealous of me. But we’re even because she took her kids to watch Packer’s traning camp a couple of years ago and my nephew got Brett Favre’s autograph. They have this thing at the end of practice where they pick some players to sign autographs and by sheer dumb luck that day, Brett Favre was one of the players, and I am insanely jealous of those guys because I am a big Brett Favre fan.

I’ve heard nothing but now nice everyone associated with that movie was, and now, if other studios decide to come to the area to film, they’re going to be measured to the standard that this group has set, which is pretty darn high. It’s been two weeks, and I still can’t get over that even though he was probably tired from working all day, Johnny Depp still came out to shake hands with people on more than one occasion. My respect for him has just grown that much more. I’ve always had a ton of respect for him and what he’s done, but this just made it grow by leaps and bounds. 🙂