Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Candy as Art

I had to share this blog with you, again. The candy is so pretty!

http://narastoryteller.blogspot.com/2011/06/edible-art-in-nara.html

San Francisco


Another picture from the SF trip.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pretty lavendar

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bay Bridge



























From my SF ride.  A cloudy morning.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rest of the Chalk Art Fest Photos


Large turnout for the festival






Cute batman and robin


















A different style from the rest but I like it

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chalk Art 3


















This is the drawing they start with.  Then they make grid lines on the pavement.  Then draw with chalk.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chalk Art 2




































 Do you recognize this?  From National Geo.  Amazing.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chalk Art Festival



























Every year Fairview hosts a chalk art festival.  It is pretty cool what people can create with just chalk.  The weather was ideal for walking around this year (overcast).  So it wasn't as hot as it normally is. 

I'm always amazed at the talent  and what they can accomplish using only the tools on the left.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Far East Chop Suey

The first time I saw it, I was kind of offended.  What is a Chinese Restaurant doing in Little Tokyo?  Also, isn't the term "chop suey" an Americanized version of the real Chinese word(s)?

Anyway, I did some digging and the restaurant has been there since 1935 because "Japanese people like Chinese food" says the owner.

In my personal experience, this is true.  Everytime we traveled with my Father, no matter where we were (Mexico, South Dakota, etc) he'd always be looking for a Chinese restaurant.

We ate here a few times, My Dad and me.  It is as you expect an 1935 restaurant to be - very dark.  Kind of like you'd find in a Raymond Chandler novel.

Turns out they filmed a scene from  "Farewell My Lovely" with Robert Mitchum here.  Figures...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Little Tokyo

This symbol I found outside a sushi restaurant in Little Tokyo.  It also happens to be the family crest on my Mother's side of the family.  It is two feathers.

Apparently, or so I have been told.  It was also the crest of Asano Naganori - the feudal lord who inspired such loyalty from the 47 Samurai in the famous Japanese story.

Not sure what it has to do with the sushi restaurant but whatever...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Busy Weekend

I've been very "stalled" when it comes to writing.  So thanks to a kind suggestion from Critique Partner #1,  I got myself a creative coach!  Well, kind of.  They have this training program for creative coaching and the students need to practice on somebody, right? 

Anyway, after chatting and my telling  coach a little bit about the problem she said that all writing was not to be done this weekend.  Instead, I was to go see the movies I was wanting to see and watching the DVD's I've got stacked up, and basically, going out and doing the things I've been putting off so that I could stare at the blank computer screen for hours on end.

So this is what I did:
a) Dentist appointment (previously scheduled)
b) walked around Little Tokyo for the first time in 6 months
c) went to chalk art fest
d) went to classic cars fest (it was next to the chalk art fest so I went)
e) watched "Roman Holiday"

I think the break did me some good.  At least I have tons of photos to post...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day




































This space in Little Tokyo used to be my Father's office.  They turned it into an art gallery.  But I guess they don't have the funds to remove the sign or think it is cool to keep it up.  It still says my Father's name and Opthamology in Japanese.  So it is kind of a memorial to my Dad.  I thought it was an appropriate photo for Father's Day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Contest Winner

AND THE WINNER IS #2 = LW.  Congratulations!  I will contact you offline.

Contest part 2













This is what I'm using to select the winner

Today is contest day

Okay to make this as fair as possible:
Here are the numbers assigned to the 6 entrants of my anniversary contest:

1 - VS
2 - LW
3 - DM
4 - IYC
5 - MP
6 - TVJAN

Note: Date and time is 5:16 PM on 6/18

San Francisco



























Last week I had to go on a market ride to San Francisco.  Here is the famous Coit Tower.  Did you know it is built in the shape of a fireman's hose nozzle?  I didn't, but our fabu rep/driver did.

Not the best of days to be out, and my camera-for-idiots only does so much, and we weren't there to be tourists so I took this from inside the van, but still, it is a change from the flora and fauna photos from around Fairview.

Friday, June 17, 2011




































We are the City Of Roses afterall...

Anniversary Contest

Reminder, today is the last day to enter!  Your chances are still one out of six to win!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trumpet Flower Tree

Don't normally like yellow flowers but this tree is lovely

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hollyhock

Pretty flower in bloom this week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Prize for Anniversary Contest

This is what you get if you win my random anniversary contest.  The $114 version.  Right now your chances are one in six - or a 16.6% probability of winning!

If you already have a Kindle or don't want it, I'll get you a $114 certificate to Amazon instead.

If there are some rules I'm not following, let me know?

You have until Midnight June 17th to enter.

All you have to do is follow this blog, or leave me a comment on the Anniversary contest post (the post below - not this one).  Make sure you include an e-mail address to contact you if you comment.  I can't figure out who won if you leave a comment anonymously.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Anniversary Of blog contest

okay, so here it is, the fancy scientific contest I came up with.

if you post a comment to this blog entry by next Friday June 17 that I don't have to delete for foul language etc, then you will be entered to win a prize. winner will be selected randomly. one entry per person. if you are a follower, no need to comment, you are automatcally entered. Or if you decide to follow me, no need to comment too. V sorry, only counting you once!!!

Prize, I'll list tomorrow when I'm more coherent.

no still not the anniversary blog

First off, apologies. I have definitely over-extended myself these last two days. It's just that everything conspired to happen at once.

Yesterday, I went to tour coffee making place. Very interesting. I kinda felt like I was on one of those Huell Howser adventures. I took some surprisingly good photos so you will see those soon.

Then last night, I tried the new writer's group. The one where you had to audition to get in. Boy they are hard core! You have to turn in your pages by midnight on Sunday. Everbody critiques them by Wednesday and we spend an hour on each submission (2 per week) and they meet every week. But here is my problem, again, nobody writing YA Fiction. But I went, critiqyed, etc. etc. The leader has an advanced degree in writing and it is definitely the most advanced group I've attended.

Anyway, got done at 10p then I had to feed the sister's cats. So by the tome I got home, it was 11p. I was i bed by midnight.

Five hours later, I had to get up and get on a plane to SF to ride boards. No, I didn't get to see Todd. He won GM of the year!!! So he was in Phoenix accepting the award.

Then we had to do the walkthru of BART. Then my plane coming back was delayed. So I was late to the children/teen writers group. They are nice and they gave me some good feedback but they are telling me opposite things from the other IHOP group. Hmm.

Anyway, then I had to go feed cats. It is 10pm again and the sis's cats are mad. They left me a "present" at the front door. I finally get home and my cats are also mad. Four cats mad at me. That must be a record.

So the icing on the cake is that the originsl writing goup which i thought was dead and made me go in search of other groups is NOT dead. oy.

ComiCon

No way! Stephanie Perkins, Amanda Hocking, AND Nathan Bransford all on the same panel at ComiCon?  Do you see I follow all three of their blogs?  I gotta find a way to get there this year.  Hmm.  A friend offered to let me be a segway operator there.  Maybe I'll do that.  Or I'll put on a funny costume and hand out shite. 

P.S. No, this is not the anniversary blog.  This is just a random comment since, well, this is my blog so I'm allowed! (right?)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anniversary Tomorrow!

Believe it or not, tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of this blog! I'm going to have something special tomorrow.  I just have to figure out what... And quickly...

But it will be worth it to check this page tomorrow... hopefully.  I actually have no idea... making it up as I type...
  

Pretty Bambi Blog

Here is another Daily Photo Blog I follow.  I didn't put it on the list because she doesn't post every day.  I believe the blogger lives in Nara Japan which is close to Kyoto (the first capital of Japan)

Anyway, they have this deer park.  Deers used to be sacred so nobody was allowed to hunt, or kill deers in the area.  In fact if one ended up dead of natural causes in front of your house, you'd hurriedly move it to your neighbor's house for fear of punishment.  This is where the term "Pass the Buck" came from  (at least that is what the tour guide told us).

The photo I took is here.  The deer just come right up to you.  You can buy deer pellets and feed them.  They swarm around you so it is kind of scary.  Anyway, the photos at the attached link are much better.
http://narastoryteller.blogspot.com/2011/06/from-country-of-deer.html

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

four good pages today

Yay, got four good pages out of "Jane" today.  You know what was stalling me was having to write those awful "connect-the-dots" type pages where you need to get from point A to point B where nothing much exciting happens. 

So I skipped them, just went straight to a scene that I'd been thinking about and wrote that.  That is what is fun about writing.  To be able to make your characters do something or have something done to them.

Need to review and critique two sets of pages now...

Stephanie Perkins' Blog

I follow Stephanie Perkins' Blog because she is the author who I would most like to emulate in terms of writing style.  She also has no vampires/pixes/goblins/other assorted fantastical creatures.  Someone who actually got published without all the 'creatures'/worlds.

Devoured her first book, hungry for her second.  Okay, I put the countdown widget to her book on my web.  But not because you can win anything if you do.  I did it just because I myself, would like to be reminded of when the second book comes out.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Richelle Mead's Blog

Another of the blogs I follow is Richelle Mead's.  She writes and just finished the Vampire Academy Series.  There are six books in the series, and the last one "Last Sacrifice" came out in December 2010.  She's starting a spin off series - the first one is called "Bloodlines" which comes out this summer.  Again, not keeping track.    I got hooked on Vampire Academy.  Turns out she has two adult series as well, The "Georgia Kinkaid (Succubus Blues series)" and the "Storm Born" series.  I tried reading both and they are just too 'adult' for me.

I admire that she is so prolific, and that the quality of writing (at least for the Vampire Academy) stuff doesn't suffer, AND she's still able to post on her blog, facebook, twitter quite often.  Very funny posts about her neighbors (KGB maybe?) and her encounters with fans, and Tim Gunn.  Check out her blog "Even Redheads Get The Blues"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A day devoted to writerly pursuits

Today I went to Alameda Writer's Group (AWG) monthly meeting. I've been a member for a long time and last year I won the first prize in the fiction category contest.  (yeah, they must have had one entry - mine!) but I earned my first money for writing , ever.

Anyway, got an e-mail that said the AWG as an organization was in trouble and to come to the meeting, which just happened to be covering YA Fiction.  There were three panelists.
Gretchen McNeil who is coming out with a novel called "Possess".  Suzanne Lazear who writes 'Steampunk' (yeah I had to look it up).  It is victorian era with with sci-fi or fantasy.  Like Libba Bray if you've read her.  And the third was a college student (I'm so sorry, but I forgot her name) who has an agent, but is not yet published.

I like to hear their success stories.  Interesting to hear their take on the industry. The first author, Gretchen had a three book deal but it still wasn't enough to quit her day job.  The second author, Suzanne ran a blog and has published several books from the sound of it. Very interesting lecture.  My take-away lesson?  I gotta put some vampires/zombies/fallen angel/werewolf or something into my novels in order for them to be of interest to publishing world.  Sad state of affairs for someone with no vampire experience...

Next I attended a three person writer's group taught by Famous YA Author.  She writes middle and young adult novels and has more than ten titles published! I was at a slight disadvantage because I hadn't done the on-the-spot critique in a while.  Plus we had to read the pages out loud so it is hard to read and critique at the same time.  But this group was good because Famous Author gave us her expert opinion on our writing and some very good suggestions on improving.

I brought my new book pages but I think she suggested I work on finishing the first book.  I'm just so tired of it though.  Between Famous Author,, the excellent work of the other two writers in the group, and Critique Partner #1, I feel like trashing mine and starting over.  Ugh.  Ugh Ugh.  Burying head in sand right now.

Next week, I will try to get to two more critique groups.  Critique group eight (I'm calling it that because there are eight people in it) sounds pretty tough.  I had to submit pages and get approval to attend.  They meet every week, each week 2 people from the group submit 15 pages each beforehand.  Then we spend two hours doing reviews/critiques.  Sounds pretty intense, and the potential for further depression exists.  I'm definitely not doing novel #1 there.  Rather they trash novel #2.  At least that hasn't been raked over the coals to the point where I have become allergic to it.

And then the SCBWI critique group.  This is the last one from SCBWI I'm going to try. No more SCBWI folks for me if this doesn't work out. These guys meet twice a month (supposedly), although it has been a month since the last meeting.  I'm in SF that day but hopefully I'll be back in time to make it. See? look at my dedication.

Now I just have to have something to critique.  ha ha.  Too busy with attending groups to actually write...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Maggie Stiefvater's Blog

Today I figure I'd talk about Maggie Stiefvater's Blog (link on bottom lower right).  I loved her two books Shiver and Linger.  Both part of her "Wolves of Mercy Falls" Trilogy.  The third book, Forever is coming out sometime this summer.  I tried to win an early copy by posting a short video here but I didn't win.    She's been having some other contests where you have to promote for her but I kind of feel like I'm being used if I participate.  It isn't like my readership is breaking any records here anyway.  Let's see... can I count my cats as readers if I have them on my lap as I type?

But I digress.  I read some of her earlier stuff, but I wasn't enthralled like I am with the above trilogy.  Anyway, as usual, I had to find out if she had a blog and, guess what, she does.  She is awesomely talented.  She plays instruments, draws, paints, and writes.  All at professional level.  And did I mention she's 29? 

Her posts are most amusing and entertaining.  I definitely would urge you to check it out.

She gets lots of questions about writing so she sometimes posts helpful little tidbits.
She had this critique partner match-up and I found a critique partner that way.  I guess it helps that we both liked her writing.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pasadena Daily Photo Blog & Shinjuku Daily Photo Blog

The Pasadena Daily Photo Blog is the whole reason why this blog exists.  I had been toying with the idea of an online scrapbook/diary because I had nothing better to do...

Anyway, the Alameda Writer's Group (which is in trouble, BTW), monthly meeting was by Petrea Burchard, a very popular blogger and one of the "Daily Photo" blogspot group.  She came and spoke and explained how to do it in a non-technical, very understandable way.  She gave us tips (don't write a whole novel on your blog).   I went home and in two hours, I had a functioning blog! 

I love waking up each morning and seeing what she's posted.  There are a ton of Daily Photo blogs.  On certain days of the month they have a common theme.  Like "Bridges" or "Sunsets" and the like.  Through the Pasadena Daily Photo blog, I've found one more I like to check out the Shinjuku Daily Photo.  This one is in Japan.  I've actually been to Shinjuku more than a few times and it epitomizes Tokyo for me. 

So on days when I don't have stuff to say, I started posting photos.  I  have one of those point-and-shoot idiot-proof cameras and let's face it, my photography skill level is on par with my camera.  But maybe one of these days I'll accidentally snap a good photo!

Check out the Pasadena Daily Photo and Shinjuku Daily Photo blogs on my blog roll (bottom right)