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#51
Brando

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Choc, Robin, Quetz, Brando, Jacob...
It might be the meds, but I would like to buy you guys Scivener. will PM you download links tomorrow.


I'm certainly not going to argue, and I will graciously and excitedly accept your gift, but if you wake up and realize that you were being a drugged up idiot, you don't need to feel like you have to follow through.
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#52
El Chalupacabra

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I have a few projects and hobbies, that I do when I can.  I work full time, and this year especially, I have been busy helping care for my dad, so some of my hobbies or projects either get put on hold, or take longer to finish than usual. 

 

Car

I have an older classic 1972 Chevy.  My first car, actually, which I got when I was 15.  I had it parked for many years, and started restoring it about 10 years ago.  I've done most of the mechanical work by myself, with the help of my brother, which includes installing the engine, transmission, rebuilding the brake system, etc.  Coming up on 3 years ago, I had the paint and body done.  Old cars are nice when they are running well, but as the old adage goes, they don't build them like they used to.  In this case, that is a good thing, because I am constantly having to muck with it somehow.   Working on an old black car in 112+ degree heat sucks, though, so its parked until October.

 

Guitars

I am not very good at it, but I've been trying to learn to play guitar for a few years now.  I mostly do this to relieve stress, so most of what I do is more like practicing scales or guitar playing exercises, with random blues lead jamming. Usually, all I do is make living room noise that annoys the cat.  But, related to that, I like to tinker with guitars.  I'm pretty good ad soldering.  So, I like to pick up cheap  Squier stratocasters, and upgrade the electronics with better quality, full size CTS potentiometers and orange drop capacitors, wiring, and pick ups.   This is a project that is ongoing, but only when I can find a guitar for like $20-$30 (not hard to find for Squiers).  I've done a few of these, and donated them to an organization called Guitars for Vets.  I am not as good at tuning or doing set ups (EG lowing string action), but I am learning this.

 

Computers & Laptops

In the last 5 years,  I've started taking a step back from computer side work, which I used to do for extra money.  It seemed too much like my day job and I started to burn out.  But, I still occasionally end up with computer or laptop donations (EG, people I know replacing older PCs and giving me the old ones), or I come across really good deals.  So, when that happens, I will refurbish a PC or laptop, and since usually all I have invested is my time (or very little money out of pocket), I will donate them to a worthy cause.  Earlier this year, I donated 4 older laptops I refurbished to a friend's husband's non-profit who helps rehab recovering addicts in sort of a half way house, and a couple years before that, I donated a bunch of desktops and laptops to a couple Native American nonprofit organizations. 

 

Museum Volunteering

Between 2014 and 2017, I went back to school part time for a grad degree in the museum industry.  This required a couple internships at a couple different museums.  after those internships, but while I was still in school (and for a few months after I graduated), I volunteered at these same museums I interned at.  It was usually for only like 4 hours a day on my day off.  But because smaller museums are on tight budgets, I would help out with tech needs, in particular, like digital signage (Raspberry Pis are good for this, among other things) or helping set up mediated exhibits.  I also helped with digitally archiving hard copy photographs, which is basically scanning photos, and uploading to the state capital museum server.   I haven't done much of this in the last 2 years, though, due to work demands.  I want to get back into volunteering, but I want to focus more on archiving and handling artifacts.

 

Model Building

I am a nerd for sure, and I don't deny it.  So, is it any surprise that I build and paint models, occasionally?  I like to build Polar Lights and AMT/ERTL 1:2500 and sometimes 1:1000 scale Star Trek ship models.  I have a whole fleet  that takes up 3 shelves on my book case, with various incarnations of Constitution, Galaxy, Ambassador, and Sovereign class ships.  I haven't built any new ones in over 6 months, though.  But, it is yet another hobby to help de-stress.

 

Drawing

I'd not claim to be an artist at all, but I like to draw cartoon figures from time to time.  Many  moons ago, I had a pipe dream of starting some cartoon strip about a bunch of cats living in a pumpkin patch.  Stupid, I know, and that petered out, but I still like to doodle from time to time.  I can still draw a decent cartoon kitty.   My brother is a kindergarten teacher, and he keeps telling me he wants to get into the business of writing children's books, and use me as an illustrator.  Maybe that will happen some day, but our schedules are so different it hasn't happened.

 

Writing

Another pipe dream, that probably never will happen.  I am not that creative when it comes to story telling, and especially, writing dialogue.  I'm an introverted person who doesn't really talk a lot to people I don't know well, therefore writing dialogue confounds me.  So, most of my writing experience is more of a research paper variety.   But I had this idea of writing a book that plays to that strength, which is sort of a cryptozoology and mythos encyclopedia book, with creatures I made up, and the narrative being sort of a psuedo scientific record written by the main character (basically me), documenting these creatures.  I may have kind of subconsciously stole that idea from years as a teen reading the Monster Manual, Dieties and Demigods, along with some Cthulhu thrown in.  I have a few word documents I have typed up, stored somewhere on an external hard drive I have packed away.  The likely hood of me working on this again, right now, is slim to none. 

 

Hiking

One of the nice things about where I live is there is no shortage of park trails to go hiking in, and the weather here is agreeable to that.  On days off, I like to hike at least once a week. 


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#53
Cerina

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I'm seriously impressed with all of you people right now. I've never been a creative writer. Never. And unfortunately, that's what most writing in school used to be in the 80s and 90s, so I grew up thinking I was just a bad writer overall. And now, I'm gearing up to tutor a writing class next school year. I've also been doing assignments to get certified as an instructor for this particular writing program. It's incremental and formulaic and exactly what I needed when I was younger. 


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#54
Quetzalcoatl

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Zambingo,

 

 

Regarding history and doing research, a lot of that went into developing my world.  For example, I modeled my races after specific historical periods.  I modeled human society after iron age patriarchal ones.  They worship a solar deity who embodies all those values that we associate with iron age religions.  The other races are much older and hold values similar to matriarchal societies of the bronze age.  Theirs is a much “darker” culture, their goddess transcending categories like good and evil, therefore having characteristics of both.  She is the giver and taker of life.  They are closer to nature and worship the earth, and the moon too, I think.  These races (elves and dwarves are among them) were displaced by a race of griffins who came from a mythical land across the sea and vanquished the dark goddess.  These griffins later departed from the world, but they were preserved in mythology and are believed by humans to be the “great civilizers” who taught mankind how to live.  They are also believed to be servants of the sun god I mentioned earlier.  At any rate, at the time in which my story is set, the older races now live in seclusion (deep in the forests and underground).  This submission of the older races to humanity represents a real historical “event,” when hunter-gatherers began to filter into Europe at the end of the Bronze Age and conquered the matriarchal planter societies that were already living there.  This is also reflected in the defeat of the earth goddess by the sun god.  Many actual myths are reflections of historical events, and my intent is to create the same effect here.  And in developing the history of the world, I like to make use of variations of specific myths and legends, the idea being that those myths and legends are actually distant memories of the events and myths that I’m writing about.  I’ve also drawn a lot from Celtic mythology.  A lot of what I described above was inspired by the Irish Book of Invasions. 

 

I love world-building and I can go on and on about this stuff.  But my brain comes to a screeching halt when its time to actually write something.  Here’s a concrete example of what I’m talking about.  The humans in my world have a myth regarding a large earthquake that resulted in a large continent sinking into the sea (inspired by the Atlantis legend).  This earthquake came about when a king in this land failed to make a required offering, something that was to be delivered across the sea to the aforementioned mythical land and used in a religious ceremony by the priests.  This is what I know needs to happen, but what is this offering?  What is the nature of this ceremony?  And how does not doing it cause an earthquake?  The minute I start pondering these questions, I am immediately frustrated.  I want to do something a little more sophisticated than “God was pissed so he caused an earthquake.”  To complicate matters even more, given that this is a myth held by people who I’ve modeled after Iron Age Europeans, I’m taking great care to evoke the same themes and symbols that we find in those mythologies, so I can’t just use whatever explanations pop into my head.  I’ve already set constraints on what I can and can’t do, if that makes sense.  Now, I have arrived at some satisfactory answers to the above questions, but they only create even more complicated questions that I have to figure out.  Large scale world-building seems to just flow out of me, but the minute I try to answer specific questions, I find myself in a quagmire of half-formed ideas that I can’t navigate through. 

 

EDIT:  Tank, wow!  Your generosity is much appreciated.  I second what the others have said.  No need to feel obligated.  You can always blame it on the drugs.    


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#55
zambingo

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I find your backgrounding quite interesting, but of course I cant really say anything like how about doing this or doing that specifically (in your story) to help spur you because its your story. Thats why I spoke about the examples of big scale, small story stuff (and how Tank put it much more succinctly). I think the only other thing I could suggest to consider is to ask yourself what do you lean towards in regards to genre? Maybe you are hung on a tone, maybe you desire it to be something but the story is more tonally something else. As a modern example of that conundrum on film it was represented in the lead of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Which isnt me telling you to write a dramedy, btw. Whatever your story is... well it is your story and thats right. With as much thought as youve put into it, Im certain it will pop in there at some point.

#56
Brando

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I started outlining the whole thing. Similar to what I said before, I know the big points and what needs to happen, and now I'm trying to fill in what needs to happen to reach those points. I'm actually excited about it for the first time since I wrote my sitcom pilot 7-8 years ago.
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#57
Destiny Skywalker

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I could use a new car, Tank

No ****, right?

#58
Tank

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I was on drugs.

But I'll still do it. PM me your computer platforms.
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#59
The Choc

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I was up at my lakehouse with no wifi or cable so didn't see this. I could never accept that. Add on the fact that I haven't written anything in years and I really can't. Someone posted that the price of what you offered to buy was 45 each and you offered it to 5 of us. If you have that kind of money to give to others please give it to someone who really needs it. There are plenty who do. 



#60
Quetzalcoatl

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I'm with Choc.  I'll have to decline.  This project is only a hobby for me, and I can't even say I'm that good at it.  Doesn't feel right having someone invest in it.  Thanks all the same, though. 



#61
Tank

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I have success guilt and it's a tax write off. Just spreading love, you don't have to take it... you don't know where it's been.


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#62
Ms. Spam

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Are you writing screenplays or books? Cause novels can do that. You just described Neal Stephenson or Stephen King.

I like world building, but I find it to be way more hard to build a world then find a story for it than they other way around.

I try to limit my world building to just the immediate setting the genre calls for, and to do story first. I think this is because you are always telling a story first.

Actually, I think that my best stuff happens when I craft them at the same time.

I think the best writers figure this out. A way to create the world around the story.

 

I'm very good at description and love dialogue. My writing never quite finishes though because I can't stay focused on the same story line for too long. I like short stories. I've written about 6 and sent them in to different short story competitions. Published a few but more often than not my stories get rejected. My favorite is a story I wrote about a suicidal delusional woman dying by being struck by lightening at a highway picnic stop just outside of Roswell - it was very moody and almost X-file-ish which was on purpose. It's been published in little college type journals and such 3 times. The other one I got published 2 times was a poem about First Friday which is a art walk description for something that happens in San Antonio the first Friday of every month. Everyone comes out in the evening and walks a strip in South Town that is galleries and pubs and foods. They used to give out free wine and beer but no longer but my poem was about the people and setting. If I can dig them out of a file somewhere I'll post them here.


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#63
Brando

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I've written short summaries of 7-8 scenes, which has been really helpful in seeing how the characters relate without writing all of the dialogue.

It's probably the first time I've enjoyed writing an outline
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#64
Ms. Spam

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For my actual projects. I really need to replace all the baseboards in the house and paint. But it's hot. That's the project I need to work on. 

 

I started selling these pom pom wreathes for $200 a pop on Etsy. I make the pom poms and attach them to a wreath wired type thing. Some are holiday themed. This was $150 dollar one I did for fall.

12144886_1240530955972426_32890700771113


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#65
Brando

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That's really cool!
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#66
Destiny Skywalker

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Those are super cute, Spam. How much do they cost you to make, materials wise?
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#67
zambingo

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I like that a lot, Spam.
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#68
Ms. Spam

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Those are super cute, Spam. How much do they cost you to make, materials wise?

I buy yarn on sale so the supplies to make one costs about 20$ as the wire hanger is 4.87$ at Walmart. I have three 20 gallon containers of different color yarn now so I don't need yarn as much unless a special request is made. A really full one takes about 250 handmade pompoms. I did a Halloween one with felt bats glued to it as a pre-order with orange and black yarn so I had to get a lot of yarn as I went through 5 skeins of black and 5 skeins orange (that's what yarn balls are called) in different shades and some shiny. It takes 20 hours to make and trim each individual pom poms. I am faster now so I can make 10 pom poms a hour.

 

I am working on learning to make woodland creatures out of yarn now. Birds mostly but I do rabbits and ship them to the nieces and nephews in my family.

 

My favorite one was a purple one that started white at the top and got darker and darker purple ones to the bottom. 

 

The shipping slays me. I charge 30$ for shipping because it is super heavy once you get all those pompoms on. I get a custom made box so you can store it to ship in. I haven't made one since Easter though and closed down my etsy shop or I'd link you to it. It was just too much to maintain with school ending in May.

 

All this started from me wanting originally to learn to crochet. 


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#69
Iceheart

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I'm super boring these days. I was beyond burned out when I lost my job, I could do exactly three things for the four months I was unemployed - sleep, eat, and exercise. I'm just now starting to be able to read books again, I couldn't even muster following a story.

 

Today was day seven at my new job, and right now I can manage work, exercise, and an hour or two of tv or reading before turning in. Weekends feature a lot of naps and Netflix binges. I'm looking forward to being able to add hobbies (and a social life!) in again as my life falls back into place.


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#70
Cerina

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To be fair, you also visited a gay S&M-fest-hosting peacock farm for leftover lasagna.

#71
zambingo

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That sounds like the start to a great story.

#72
Tank

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Or the end to a terrible one.
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#73
Cerina

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I already spoiled the best part. 



#74
Iceheart

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She did.

 

Well, except that there were chicks hatching while I was there, and they were extremely cute.

 

I actually went hiking this weekend! Not at the peacock farm. Though my hiking buddy suggested hiking there next time.



#75
D-Ray Kenobi

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This has been my biggest project in the past two years:

5b116fcd51e7a.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C80

The short version of the story is that my wife and I have been going to the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee for about seven years straight now.  We camped next to the couple who originally owned this bus three years ago, and my wife bought it from them when they retired and moved to Florida.

We had a small RV before this, but basically traded up when she decided to get it.  It's huge, but fits snugly in the side of our yard without taking up driveway space.  The inside of it has been gutted and has some tables, couches, and a huge bed.  So basically an RV without any of the kitchen or bathroom stuff.  I've done some maintenance and upgrades on it, but nothing huge.

This thing has a long history at that festival, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam and Neil Young have been inside it and have signed it.  Chance the Rapper came by and signed it for us last year too.  It's basically a rolling museum of the nearly two decades of that festival and had a big cult following even before we owned it.  It's kind of crazy, we've had people travel from miles away to stop by and pay us a visit to see it sometimes.  We've kind of spun it into an online travel blog too that's opened some cool doors for us.

Here's a few articles on it that have been in the news if you want to read more:

https://www.bonnaroo...tlight-roo-bus/

 

https://ourvalleyeve...m/roo-bus-tour/

 

https://www.tennesse...bus/1467603001/


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