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Old 12-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #1501
tjwriter
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tjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentstjwriter is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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Originally Posted by storygirl View Post
Happy anniversary. I hope this gives you two some time to reboot a bit of your relationship and I hope the dinner and shopping go well.
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TJ, best wishes for a lovely evening. I saw the message earlier and wasn't sure what to say. May some time alone over a nice meal let you each see anew what you saw in one another in the first place. Enjoy!
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Hope the dinner goes well, tj.
Thanks for all the well wishes. We had a wonderful time. He took me to Red Lobster, though he doesn't care much for seafood and then we went to do some shopping for the kiddos. We laughed and joked and got to spend some much needed time with each other.

After we picked up the girls, got them home and settled into bed, I started wrapping the presents from Santa. After doing a few, he told me that if I sorted out which presents went to which girl, he would wrap them during the time he was home, but us girls were still on our way. He thought it would be easier on me to do that way since he gets about an hour and a half at home before we get there. It was sweet of him to offer.

Today is our actual anniversary, and things have been so much better lately. I was only slightly frustrated with him this last week, lol.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:38 PM   #1502
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Maryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Poor, poor daddies!

Mr. Maryn has long been difficult to shop for, and now Kid Two is following in his footsteps. Mostly I admire that neither one is very materialistic and doesn't want a lot of things (unlike me and The Kid), but it makes Christmas gift giving quite difficult.

Maryn, considering coupons for "unmentionable acts"
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:39 PM   #1503
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Maryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
TJ, I'm so glad to hear your celebration was a good one.

Maryn, who wants everybody to be happy
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:39 PM   #1504
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NF, I know what you mean. I always try to get something nice for the men, but I always get the not-really-answers answers when I ask.

I did manage to get my husband a few goodies some years, though. He got them early and knew what they were, but they were wanted and well-received.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:54 PM   #1505
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It's strange, because "putting some thought into it" requires paying attention to things well before Halloween gives way to the first Christmas ads and Thanksgiving to the first big sales. I usually don't have to ask, "What do you want" because I already know about wants and needs without that late-coming confirmation. And this is where the joy of giving plays so well. But being human, some of that shine comes off when one is consistently an afterthought rather than a careful thought. That's why it's so much fun to get things for the kids and the relatives. No thought is hoped for in any returns.

I suspect this goes both ways in various relationships, with husbands and wives equally represented so unequally. It is particularly acute in a relationships in which one partner is very self-centered, and there is no gender ownership of that trait.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:58 PM   #1506
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Maryn, considering coupons for "unmentionable acts"
This would be a wonderful second place to just springing them on him from time to time without any telegraphed (or coupon-ed) expectation. (most) Guys love to be "jumped" in that way. Although, letting him lay down a coupon would be an additional spice to the stew.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:15 PM   #1507
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I think that this year may make it a little more difficult, too. A lot of us have limited funds, and while I know of some things my husband and my father want, I can't afford those things. I have to ask to have any idea of what to get them that fits into my price range.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:49 AM   #1508
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Well that took a bit longer than I hoped only cos I'm such a silly person but my shopping was done in basically four hours today, including travel time. It's not like I had a ton to buy, but going to the mall I wanted to took me 20 minutes both ways and then there's the madness in the mall.

I also got talked into buying something that when I was 30 minutes away at another place, I realized I didn't want so I drove back and returned it.

This is why I never shop very often. I am too easily swayed by sparking lights and totally stunning young men who pander to a lady's ego.

Next, year, online shopping is my friend.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:06 AM   #1509
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HI!
I sent my cards today.

Now- baking.

Next week- Jam.

Also I want to clean out the basement while Hubby is off and organize my office.

TJ I am glad you had a nice time.

Sass- who has no trouble shopping for Mr. Groove as he telegraphs what he wants quite well. Actually he's having trouble with me because I don't really want anything this year. I told him I want a clean basement. He said he still wants me to have something to unwrap. SO I made a list.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:40 AM   #1510
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Good night, House.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:34 AM   #1511
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Good Night.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:41 PM   #1512
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Good morning, House.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:05 PM   #1513
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Good morning. I'm exhausted for some reason.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:22 PM   #1514
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Thanks for all the well wishes. We had a wonderful time. He took me to Red Lobster, though he doesn't care much for seafood and then we went to do some shopping for the kiddos. We laughed and joked and got to spend some much needed time with each other.

After we picked up the girls, got them home and settled into bed, I started wrapping the presents from Santa. After doing a few, he told me that if I sorted out which presents went to which girl, he would wrap them during the time he was home, but us girls were still on our way. He thought it would be easier on me to do that way since he gets about an hour and a half at home before we get there. It was sweet of him to offer.

Today is our actual anniversary, and things have been so much better lately. I was only slightly frustrated with him this last week, lol.
I am so happy to hear this! Kudos to you for making yourself heard, giving him a chance to listen, and giving this all another chance.
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Maryn, considering coupons for "unmentionable acts"
Me too, now.
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It's strange, because "putting some thought into it" requires paying attention to things well before Halloween gives way to the first Christmas ads and Thanksgiving to the first big sales. I usually don't have to ask, "What do you want" because I already know about wants and needs without that late-coming confirmation. And this is where the joy of giving plays so well. But being human, some of that shine comes off when one is consistently an afterthought rather than a careful thought. That's why it's so much fun to get things for the kids and the relatives. No thought is hoped for in any returns.
Hubby and I don't buy each other gifts at Christmas. For us, it's all about the kids. The kids buy us one little gift (pajamas, every year, it's cute!). For his birthday, in June, I always end up starting my gift considering now. I look at what he browses in the stores during all the sales, listen to what he says is a good deal, or what he thinks he could use. The problem with him, it's usually tools or some big ticket item, so I have to put away money for months to get it.
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I think that this year may make it a little more difficult, too. A lot of us have limited funds, and while I know of some things my husband and my father want, I can't afford those things. I have to ask to have any idea of what to get them that fits into my price range.
Yeah, that is always the issue I have. Men don't seem to really want the things I could afford. The men in my family want something practical they can use, and it's usually way more than I can afford. My father in law thinks I'm the queen of gift giving as he always loves my gifts. He says I'm the only girl in the family who gets that he wants something he can use, not something pretty to look at.

I totally forgot about one person on my list. Other than that, I'm done. And I just need something little for her. Shouldn't be difficult. For some reason, at least at this moment, I'm not dreading Christmas as much as I usually do.

Oh, one thing I completely forgot to shop for, Christmas dinner. Oops. Again, the family is all gathering at my place. I'm not a great hostess, hate being one, and somehow, my house (the smallest of them all), is always picked for the meeting place. I don't get it. This year, after having the house crammed with 16 people at Thanksgiving, I preemptively volunteered my mom to host Christmas dinner. For a week, it was set, then somehow, I was informed they decided my house would be better. *shrug* I tried. They are the ones who have to eat my cooking, so they punish themselves.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:36 PM   #1515
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Maryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMaryn is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I have much to report. The Kid, whose birthday was yesterday, was feeling rather miffed that Kid Two, once her best friend and closest ally, seemed to have ignored the day completely, so I managed to send him a very fast email (by faking a trip to an upstairs bathroom) telling him to call or text her at least, but not right away, and as if nobody'd had to nudge him. He waited about a half hour and she was all smiles again.

We took her to a restaurant--something she never does on her budget--and shared a nice meal and a bottle of wine, then home for presents. As always, the gifts Mr. Maryn didn't 'get' were among the big hits, this year a 1930s train case (thanks, GoodWill!) and a derby that's not costume quality but real. His big gift, a generous check packaged to look like a ransom note hidden within a DVD, was fully adorable, too.

We went to bed late and dead tired, only to be awakened by an electronic beep which woke me first. It took some exploring to find it was the smoke detector downstairs. No fire, just a stern female voice announcing her battery was low. Okay. Since I can't even reach it and don't see how the cover comes off, I figured I'd just go back to bed. Only an hour or so later Mr. Maryn got up to use the bathroom and heard talking in the house. He didn't hear the electronic beep at first, and thought someone had broken in, so he wasn't sure what he should do, ultimately deciding he should check it out since it seemed to be a female. Of course he found the smoke detector lady going on about her low battery, but he's taller and knew where the batteries are, too, so he fixed it. And could not get back to sleep until around six. So he'd kind of wiped out.

Anyway, not a lot left for me to do for the holiday. I need a fast run to the grocery store, which I intend to do early tomorrow morning, and to do a lot of wrapping, which has to wait because one of the things I need to buy is tape. How can we be out of scotch tape?

Maryn, having bored you all to death
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #1516
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Morning, House!

I've been busy so I haven't had a chance to keep up with the thread. Must have missed ten pages or so...

Christmas shopping was mostly done online this year. Hubby kindly enough takes care of online purchases so that helps a lot. And it all got done unusually early because his side of the family celebrated on November 22 this year. It was the last date before Christmas that all 19 people could get together in one place. Then, last weekend, we had Christmas at my brother's house because he'll be visiting his in-laws for Christmas. So the real Christmas will be extremely quiet this year. Just us and my parents. I'm not complaining.

In other news, I passed my first certification exam!

If I don't get back for another while, then best wishes to everyone here! I'll make sure I'm back for that February writing month. I'm really looking forward to it!

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Old 12-23-2009, 04:11 PM   #1517
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Hi Perle!!
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:18 PM   #1518
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Hello, Housekins. After buying what was supposed to be the last Christmas gift yesterday, we are once again wildly uneven on what we've spent on each kid. Now what? We're hard-pressed to come up with a surprise gift for the one who's being shortchanged.

Oh, well, maybe we'll just hand him some cash. People still like money, right?

Maryn, who still has a little
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:24 PM   #1519
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I don't remember what I was listening to, but some survey said that cash was still the number one preferred gift. You can never go wrong with it.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:12 PM   #1520
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My dad gives me money. This year I'm thinking some quality winter gear might be a good investment for his green presents.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:12 PM   #1521
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Good morning, House!

I hope you'll forgive me but I thought I'd ask my friends here the same writing-related question I posted to Uncle Jim's thread.

I believe the greatest stumbling block that keeps me from writing is that I don't know how to plot a story. Over the last year, I wrote 3/4 of a first draft by the seat of my pants with no outline and only a vague idea where I wanted the story to go. I delighted in letting my characters run amok and was amazed at the creative turns the story took. However, I ended up with rambling manuscript that had no cohesive glue and really no reason for existence.

I truly want to write but I don't want to repeat that particular experience. On the other hand, I can't see myself writing a strict outline and filling in character sheets ad nauseam either. So I end up writing nothing.

Are there techniques out there that I could try? Are there plot-related books that anyone on this thread can recommend? I really need something to kick-start me again so I can be ready for that February writing month.

Any and all help greatly appreciated!

Perle, who'd love to receive cash for Christmas...
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:26 PM   #1522
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Perle, I often start a story without an outline. But I've had similar experiences to yours, with meandering plots and lack of focus. So what I'll sometimes do, is as I'm going along, I just jot down where it needs to go next. I often have a vague idea of how it is going to end, so I'll just write a chunk of the manuscript, then stop and consider what actually needs to happen to get from a to z. A lot of times I'll leave myself notes in my WIP about the next few scenes, where they need to go, what they need to show. I still meander a bit, but that can always be fixed in editing, but just thinking one or two steps ahead keeps me more focused, and still gives my characters the freedom to constantly surprise me. Sometimes I will work from a very loose outline, just the bare bone of the major plot points, this and this and this needs to happen, then the end, adding in little tidbits as they come to me, and keeping a "growing" outline as the story and characters develop. I don't know if my way would work for you, but it helps keep me focused without tying my hands. But it took me a long time to figure out what worked best for me, a lot of trial and error, and it is something that is still always changing and evolving for me.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:50 PM   #1523
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Here are two excerpts I posted in a thread on outlining problems. They may help (maybe not).
<o:p> </o:p>
One thing you might try is experimenting with different levels of outlining. Some outlines can be extremely detailed so they appear almost like a rough draft. Other outlines just list important events and scenes so they may not really be outlines at all, but just a series of guideposts to help with overall story organization. And there is everything in between. Find your level of comfort in that range that also helps you develop a coherent and complete story.

No matter how you choose to outline, let the writing parts have their own life, so you are not married to the form and function of a pre-specified skeleton. New and interesting creatures can be built from a compliant and dynamic scaffold.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>
And…<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
First of all, it helps to come to the keyboard prepared to write. That means you've thought about the scene you are about the write, so you know something about who will be in the scene, what they will be doing, the setting, how it all fits in the general story arc you have in mind, and you know something about how all of these will fit into the pace and tone of the scene that will best accomplish what you want to accomplish for the reader. None of that has to be hashed out to the point of writing it down, but if you've thought about it, you will start moving your fingers with some direction. You don't even have to know the entire story arc, just the general direction.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
Pearle, it seems to me you need to get a rough story arc in place before you start to write. That means you know something about where the story is going, maybe even know the ending (which can still change). How much one outlines or thinks through a story from that point is up to the individual, and shaped by experience.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
If you are going on vacation, do you just head out the door assuming the best destination will just show itself as the journey progresses?
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:15 PM   #1524
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One thing that's helped me with plotting--by far my greatest weakness when it comes to novels--is a structure chart intended for screenwriters. Add a hook to the opening, or open at the ten percent mark, and it works for novels. It's not the only way to do it, of course, but it's certainly helped rein me in.

I simply cannot permit myself to free-write anything longer than a short story. If I don't know where I'm going, I'll most certainly venture into some interesting places, but I'll end up tens of thousands of words later in Timbuktu or East Overshoe without having resolved the basic conflict.

So try Hauge's structure chart. One sentence for each element. It can make you focus.

Maryn, who uses it still
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:52 PM   #1525
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
One thing you might try is experimenting with different levels of outlining.
Good comments, Neuro.

I've finally discovered that I like a very light outline. Point A to Point B to Point C. Even if the line between two points is very squiggly, I know that my immediate goal to make it to the next point. How do it is up to the creative process of the moment.

It's given me guidance and freedom at the same time.
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