Enlightenment

From within the depths of my soul. . . without fear.


eSigma
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
Wow, I haven't posted anything on here in 249 days--and my LJ is still here!

I've been working hard on a new e-newsletter for PARSEC called "eSigma" and I hope you will join other fans and sign up!

~Begin ad for eSigma:

Science fiction, fantasy and horror buffs: PARSEC is kicking off a new e-newsletter, eSigma.
The Pittsburgh Area Science Fiction organization has a lot to offer. Feel smart! Be in the know for upcoming meetings, conferences, book release dates, Alpha and more.
Once you're signed up you can also send your new book releases, signings or other Pittsburgh, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror event to be included in the newsletter.
The first edition is due to be released on Sat Oct 1st. Be the first to receive this new information!

http://eepurl.com/fT8s9
Use this URL to Sign Up Now!

~End ad for eSigma.

Please help spread the word by re-posting or forwarding to all your friends!

Thank you!
Karen

eSigma
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
Wow, I haven't posted anything on here in 249 days--and my LJ is still here!

I've been working hard on a new e-newsletter for PARSEC called "eSigma" and I hope you will join other fans and sign up!

~Begin ad for eSigma:

Science fiction, fantasy and horror buffs: PARSEC is kicking off a new e-newsletter, eSigma.
The Pittsburgh Area Science Fiction organization has a lot to offer. Feel smart! Be in the know for upcoming meetings, conferences, book release dates, Alpha and more.
Once you're signed up you can also send your new book releases, signings or other Pittsburgh, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror event to be included in the newsletter.
The first edition is due to be released on Sat Oct 1st. Be the first to receive this new information!

http://eepurl.com/fT8s9
Use this URL to Sign Up Now!

~End ad for eSigma.

Please help spread the word by re-posting or forwarding to all your friends!

Thank you!
Karen

The one paragraph pitch
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
So, would you pick up this novel and read it?
This could be the Back Blurb for Hidden Design . . . maybe.

Just as successful NY designer Mikki Daneen's life was coming together, it started falling apart. Using her psychic gifts, she discovers a terrible secret about herself, a secret that she must unravel before time runs out. Pursued by a prophecy of her birthright, she now must face the demons that haunt her and hunt them down before they find her.






12 more days
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
One of my friends gave me a nudge to update my journal. So here it is. Are you sure you want to read it?

So it's 12 days until Christmas. Yep.
I try not to get too depressed this time of year, but I watch people shopping for their families and always wonder where they come up with the money to get the gifts they want. I try every year to put something aside, but never quite manage to get there. Something always comes up.
One of the kids gets sick (I just stayed home with Kat for three days due to strep and a visit to the ER on Sunday)or the car breaks down or one of the kids needs to see a Dr for one appointment or another. Jess is still being treated for her JRA, so she sees three different doctors every three months. Usually it ends up being once a month for each one, and that doesn't include dental exams. Yep, it's always something.

I've put in a few applications for employment, but I don't think my heart was really in it to begin with. I've been sick for over a month now, first with walking pneumonia and then with a secondary infection that I let go a month too long before seeing the Dr and now it's taking forever for the pain on the left side of my face to go away. For about a week I could hardly open my mouth the pain in my jaw and ear was so severe. Why did I let it go so long? Because that $15.00 co-pay was used to buy my kids the stuff they needed. I even get samples from the Dr so I don't have to pay the $5.00- $25.00 for my prescription co-pays.
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I still go to the SHIM food bank and get free Christmas gifts for the kids. In fact, we went tonight. The only problem with that is that they didn't have even one of the gifts on any of the kids list that they asked Santa for. I'm not bitchin mind you, I really do appreciate that the program is there for us to use. It's just that now I will feel compelled to go out and spend money we don't have and get them something from their list so they will continue to believe in the magic of Christmas. Heck, I still wake up on Christmas morning and rush downstairs to check and see. Silly, isn't it. All these years I've never given up and never lost faith that the magic still exists. I'll probably be rushing down this Christmas morning too. I'm never disappointed though. The kids are usually a couple steps behind me and I get to watch their faces as they light up with the realization that Santa came and filled their stockings.
This year, I'll only have two of my five children for Christmas morning. Imagine for a moment only getting to spend every-other Christmas with your children since they were 11, 7, and 2 years old. I've gotten used to it now and call it my "breather" before the next wave of Christmas hits two days later. Yes, we celebrate Christmas on two days every other year around here!
Couple of years back I got to be Santa to one of my best friends. What a thrill that was for me to be able to give something that was wanted so much. I like it when I get to do that. I definitely prefer playing Santa. : )

I don't know how people do it all. They work full time jobs and still manage their families and homes. Only they don't. That's what I see is one of the greatest problems we face; Children raising themselves in nothing better than filthy homes. :::sigh::: Such is the way of America today. The value is placed on the money and being able to provide *things*, more than the psychological security of our young. Ask me sometime why two of my children live with their dad.

I know my kids don't place very much value on what I can give them; I'm always here for them when they need me, they aren't in day care and they are being raised by one of their parents--not by someone with different values, morals and ideas. Someday they might. I know I would now, had my mom been there for me.

~Karen

My Web Site
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
MySite is finally up and running!
Comments are always welcome!

I even managed to find a free guest book online and add that to my home page.
There are still a few bugs to work out, but considering that I was learning html *while* building the site and created all my own graphics using PS, it's not that bad.

So far all the links work and I have a lot of galleries that show people what they can get out of a session with me.
Now if I can just start getting some paying work. If I don't start getting some work soon, Christmas is going to suck big time for my kids this year.
:::sigh::: maybe it's time for me to go out into the world and get a part-time, *real* paying job.
But I absolutely love the job(s) I have now!

~Karen

(no subject)
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
Eh, it could be worse. :)


You scored as Lara Croft. A thrill-seeking, slightly unscrupulous, tough-as-nails archaeologist, Lara Croft travels the world in search of ancient relics perhaps better left hidden. She packs two Colt .45s and has no fear of jumping off buildings, exploring creepy tombs, or taking on evil meglomaniacs bent on world domination.

</td>

Lara Croft

83%

James Bond, Agent 007

71%

El Zorro

71%

Neo, the "One"

71%

Captain Jack Sparrow

67%

William Wallace

58%

Maximus

58%

Batman, the Dark Knight

50%

The Amazing Spider-Man

42%

The Terminator

38%

Indiana Jones

33%

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Finally
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
I haven't updated in so long now that I doubt people really care anymore. But, I'm going to do it anyway.
I finally got my con pictures up on my web page. (took me waaaay too long because the only available lighting for the play was the stage lighting and most of them had to have serious repair just to make them viewable)
But they made it and they're Here

Con wasn't as much fun this year as it was in the past. For one thing I volunteered to be a Gofer, second in command, and because Kevin ended up at the hospital on Friday night and couldn't do all the things he normally does, I ended up doing a lot more than I thought I would. (hard way to get initiated into concom-dom) You know, if I spell that differently . . .Hmmm.
Anyway, combine that with my 11 year-old daughter in tow and the exhausted-kid fights I broke up between her and Ryan and I ended up spending most of my time running and never quite feeling like I was accomplishing anything.
There is always next year--right?

And in other really wonderful news . . .
I will now be assisting another photographer at horse shows on weekends. I get paid (a small amt) and I get to keep copies of all the photos I take for my portfolio.
Best of all? She also needs an assistant to help her at weddings!

I'm actually going to start writing again. "Hidden Design" needs to be finished, I can feel that it is time. Diane, Kevin and I are going to give it a go and see how much we can get done before December. Now that con is over I think we'll have enough time. I'm just wondering how committed we all are to this endeavor. Maybe we should be committed! :D

Thought for the day concerning that:
"There is nothing too difficult for a man who, before he acts, Deliberates with chosen friends and reflects privately."
-Tirukkural 47:462
My question is: For how long? As long as it takes? That could be a lifetime for some.

I should be writing. I should be cleaning my house or finishing the umpteen thousand projects that need to be done.
I'm shoulding myself.
And here I sit wanting nothing more than to do nothing.
This is not good.

An Enlightening Trip to the Dollar Store:
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
(or, how to tell when your child is growing up)

Yesterday I took my sixteen year old daughter--Bethany--to the dollar store to get a few things for her class project. We headed straight for the candy and toy isle as usual(she needed tootsie rolls and dice) and then we proceeded to the other isles to look around for a few things I needed.
We reached the house wears isle and she found me the nicest mugs that can be used for soup or stew. “Meal Mugs” I like to call them. She couldn’t believe that you can get a mug for a dollar. Working our way further down the isle, she spied a collection of plates and bowls that she really liked.
“Mom! You can get plates like this for a dollar each?”
“Yes.” I replied, a little surprised by her rather obvious statement.
“And look at this! Silverware! You can get two pieces of silverware for a dollar? I could get my whole set of butter knives for only four bucks!"
“Yes.” I replied again. “Everything in this store is a dollar.”
“And plastic containers! And a set of drinking cups! And a set of measuring cups! And they even have knives! And look at these placemats! And a set of three towels! And a set of washcloths! There are six of them in the set! And pots and pans too? You can get all this stuff for a dollar each?”
I pointed out that the towels and washcloths probably weren’t the best quality, and most of the stuff in the store probably wouldn’t last long, but continued to confirm her discoveries and asked her why she had never noticed all thsese things for a "dollar" at "The Dollar Store" all the years we had been going there.
She just shruged, said, "I dunno." and skipped on to the next isle.
She kept pulling items off the shelf to show me and talking about how wonderful it is that you can get all these things for only a buck. At one point she exclaimed, “When I set up my first apartment, I’m coming here! It’s good starter stuff, Mom.”
Nesting? Already? At the age of sixteen? At least she’s a smart girl when it comes to spending within her means.
You see, about a year ago she met a guy and they have a fairly strong relationship. Furthermore, she got her first job working at Hershey Park last summer, discovered how hard it is to earn money and how quickly the money--you just worked your butt off for--goes.
Yes, she is growing up. Instead of heading for the makeup and toiletry isle as she did the last time I took her and asking for everything in site, she was happy just to get the things she needed.
Somewhere along the way she has discovered the value of a strong relationship and learned of the reality of earning and spending money.
This morning when I woke, I realized what I had witnessed yesterday and I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad about it. In a blink of an eye, my little girl has grown up.
I better keep my eye on my other children. I bet they’re going to grow up just as quickly.

Looking for Angels
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
Okay, okay! So I haven’t posted in a while!

Although I had this written out with all the things that have kept me from posting, I think I would like to start with the good news in my life. I have decided to start a photography business! It's going to be out of my home for now and my prices are going to be reeeaaaalllly cheap. Some as cheap as “trade for portfolio.” I have started putting together a portfolio of my own and I have already made business cards and started distributing them. I have three people lined up in the next two weeks. They all want headshots so the shoots should be quick and easy.

My problem is getting the equipment that I desperately need. It's going to be slow, but I know I can manage it--uh, somehow. I have been looking online for free or inexpensive items but I am learning to make do with what I have for now. It’s hard not ever having money to do anything. I can’t go out and get a regular job because I don’t have a degree and the best I can work for is minimum wage. After I pay for daycare expenses, over half my pay will be gone. It makes more sense to stay home and try to find a way to get this business going. This is something I know I can do and more importantly I know I will be able to support my children.
:::sigh::: Life is difficult. Does it also have to be so frustrating?

I’m not in the habit of asking for things, especially not in a venue like this, but it doesn't hurt to ask. I really think I need an angel (possibly several) to help me get started. Does anyone out there know any angels that might be willing to help someone fulfill a lifelong dream? I’ll take anything from advice and used photo equipment to old large pieces of fabric, pvc piping and monetary donations.
I need so many things that they are just too numerous to list here.

I came about this decision about two weeks ago when Kevin Hayes and I went to the open call at the Talent Group so he could submit his portfolio and see if they will represent him. (They are! He signed a contract Thursday. Hooray!) He showed the owner, Steve, his headshot and the first thing he said was "This looks like an expensive portrait; I wish people wouldn't submit expensive shots."
Kevin and I just looked at each other and I told him it wasn't expensive and that I had taken the photograph. Steve looked at me and then looked through the other pictures in Kevin's portfolio and said he likes my work, but there are certain things *he* is looking for and suggested I look at the Talent Groups web site to see what those things are.
I called back this week and asked if I could make an apt with him but he can't because he is too busy right now. But, he did say that if I send in some samples of my work and a business card that he would take a look. Yeah, I know, I know, what are my chances--right? Well, if you know me you know how persistent I can be.
Since then I have made contact with other people about doing the photography and all I have had is good results.
I never imagined myself doing something I love so much and getting paid for it (eventually) and/or the possibility of having a business that revolved around that. Now I can and I do. I think about it all the time.

It’s been a rather busy two months around here. I knew I had been taking my children to a lot of Doctors lately, so I decided to get out my calendar and see jut how many times we have been. As of August 29 I have taken my three children to doctors, hospitals, dentists or for blood work a total of 15 times. That also includes a trip for myself for a nasty bout of bronchitis that knocked me down for a week.
And it’s not over yet. Jessica had her first cast removed and replaced on Friday and in two weeks I get to take her back and have the new one removed.
Ben needs two more casts made of his teeth so he can have spacers made and put in. That's two more apts, one for the casts and one for putting in the spacers.
Kat now medically needs braces. Oy! I’m not looking forward to that!
Jess and Ben need to see the eye doctor. Jess for her regular every three month apt (because of her JRA) and Ben because I am starting to wonder if he is blind. He sits right under the TV to watch it. Is this normal for boys?
All three kids need to get their flu shot (yes, we get them because Jess is high risk due to the JRA).
And,--oh my! I think I may have come to the end of a very long two month period. I just hope everyone stays healthy for a while.

Wish me luck!

Two Months
Hidden Design
renaissancewomn
Two months? Has it really been that long since I have posted an entry? I guess it has.
So much has happened that I don't really know where to begin
I got my story "The Minds I" published in this years Triangulation here My first paid publish! Unfortunately it's not a pro publish and in the writing world that means it doesn't count for a lot of things. I'll get there
I had two pieces of simple hand drawn artwork used. One in the Program book and Play program and one in Triangulation. Hmmm, maybe it’s time to get a web page so I can display these things.
The Calendar got finished on time for Confluence! It came out just beautiful and we have received many compliments on the project and the artwork.
Special thanks to all the artists that submitted their work!
Confluence was a blast! I worked the Parsec table dressed as a sexy cop to help promote last year’s short story contest “High Crimes and misdemeanors.” DianeTurnshek
was my counterpart and dressed as “Miss Demeanor.” I have pictures!! Bwhahahaha! Oh, wait, so do other people. :::sigh::: Oh well!
I got to join the Triangulation and Calendar signing and then read an excerpt from my story at a reading set up just for Triangulation stories. After that I decided it was time for a break and took some time just to enjoy myself for a bit.
The play started at 7:00 and went really well. We had so many compliments from the other Con-goers. The backdrops, some of the set pieces and signs got finished in time--barely. I really busted my butt (along with the help of all my children and Kim Eklund) to get them done in time. I surprised myself by managing to remember all my lines and blocking and I didn’t even throw up!
The poetry reading started immediately after the play and I ran to get out of my Chani costume and into something a little more appropriate for the reading. KevinHayes read his poem “Would You Like to Dance,” then I read my piece that was inspired by his, “It would be my pleasure.” I read a second piece called “Submissive Canvas.” When I reached the end I read, “Drench me with the colors of your passion
And leave me . . .”
Then I paused for several moments and read/whispered “Wet.” I could swear I heard several of the audience members quietly gasp. I think that was the best part--no, wait, it gets better. I wanted to read one more piece but we ran out of time so I showed it to Ann Cecil after the reading. A man was reading over her shoulder and after they both read it the man asked me where the poem was published and I said it wasn’t. He asked me why and I told him I only wrote it a month ago. He critiqued it for me and suggested I only take out one word, told me it was really good and that I needed to find a home for it. Then asked me sign his copy of Triangulation and we were on our way. I didn’t know it at the time, but the man was TimonsEsias a published poet who’s work has appeared in over a dozen different countries, and fourteen languages! I guess if he is telling me that my poem needs to find a home, then it is time for me to find a home for it.
After that I got to go wine tasting and to a Dorsai party. The Dorsai Irregulars are the people that come to the Con to keep the peace and make sure everyone is safe. Kind of like a security guard only much more fun! Dorsai I listened to them Filk in one of the rooms with the group and got a chance to talk to several of them over the course of the evening and the next day. What a nice bunch of people!
Con ended the next day--much to my dismay. It never seems to be long enough. I went to the art auction and brought home a piece of art called “Cold Fire” by Charles J. Urback. SeeArt
It wasn’t the piece I wanted which is called “Reborn” but it is still beautiful. I was beat out by Brian at the art auction! :::raspberries:::: Oh well, there is always next year or I can order it online if I really want it that badly!
I made the Cover of the August Sigma Hmmm, I’m not quite sure how that happened. I don’t remember sending that picture to Dave Brody. I only sent it to Greg Armstrong! “Greg!!!” Greg Dang! If he wasn’t cute, I might have to--ummm, do something . . . hmmm. ;) Just kidding!

Now that things have slowed down a bit, I can finally breathe and get to some of those promised "home" projects that can be done a bit more leisurely.
Currently I am painting a castle mural on my daughter’s wall. It's a bit more detailed than I had envisioned and as a result is turning out to be more work, but it will be worth the extra effort--if I *ever* get it finished.
I'm also attempting to make a t-shirt out of my dragon and scribble that was published in Triangulation.
I’m trying to help distribute the calendar, put together several images to try to promote as posters, write “The minds I” as a screenplay, finish a book (The Write Lovers) that Kevin Hayes and I are writing together, and still manage to find time for home and family.
Last Sunday I took a whole bunch of really cute pictures of the three youngest kids against the green screen. Can you guess what my next projects will be?
I’m tired just writing about all this, but it feels wonderful to be part of this group of people. I feel so welcome! I hope I make people feel the same way with me.

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