And the Contest is on!!!

And the Contest is on!!!

I know… I am late.  But RL has not been kind to either Robin nor I. Stuff happens, life goes on.

But we have LOTS of entries, enough to make me think I may do this next year with a different theme.

Now here is the idea.  You vote for your favorite banner.  You can leave comments on the Project page. And if one spurs a writing idea, please let us know!!!!  After the contest is done, there will be the banners with the artist’s cards.  That is when you get the chance to grab these awesome banners for your stories.

I know there is a couple I look forward to seeing if anyone takes and am anxious to read…. And I admit there is one that I am telling myself so freaking firmly that I have enough stories in my queue.    But….  No….

So please go on, vote for the best banner, the banner on the top of the post is the link to the contest.  The contest is open until the 20th.  After that, it will be open season on the banners.

Good luck to everyone.

Reminder!!

The banner contest seems to be a hit!!

I have received multiple entries, and can’t wait to show you guys the amazing artwork!

You still have time to get your entries in!!  I have a class tomorrow, as well going to be busy the rest of the day and Saturday, so you can get them in!!!

For those who are wondering how I am doing, I am getting there.  Luckily Quilting seems to be the antidote to me needing to be busy while trying to settle my mind.  My Muse is slowly waking back up.  She was traumatized as much as I was by the sheer horror of what was going on around me.

There are piles of people’s lives out on the curbs everywhere you drive.  The only exceptions being either the lucky few who did not get flooded, (And I mean LUCKY few.) or those that have already had their lives picked up by the trash companies.  It seriously breaks my heart as you drive around on your errands and see the sheer amount of damage of people throwing away things that mean something to them but are growing mold on them from the flood.

Bleach is the #1 commodity now.  Sadly for the houses, since a lot of the items are cloth and so on or wood that was left too long in water.  NOT from the owners, but from nature.

All in all, it has been one of the experiences that drive home a couple of things.

  • Houstonians (which is the city and the surrounding areas) are some of the most helpful people to their neighbors.  Strangers out helping strangers, not caring who or what that person is.
  • It has taken a long time, but I am finally proud to be a Texan.
  • Your life matters more than belongings.  As my Hubby’s uncle taught us, money can’t be taken with you.  It’s only money, and people are worth more.
  • And you can rebuild from any catastrophe.  With hard work and determination.

I have to clean house, then work on the last step of my middle nephew’s Spiderman quilt that I am making for Christmas.  I have a Batman quilt next, so it will be interesting.  I have fabric coming in for my sister in law’s quilt she asked for, as well as tons of fabric for my own quilts.  I also will try to make my brother and his wife a quilt.  Then Christmas will be done except for my mom and dad.  Also my in laws, but M hasn’t come up with anything yet for them.

But I will be starting to work on the food blog here shortly,  I figured that it would be the ideal thing to get back into working on a computer again. It needs to be done, as well I am looking forward to completing that chore.  Then I should be getting close to starting to write again.

My hubby has pointed out that this might have been a good thing to happen.  Now I have a hobby that I can do anytime I get stuck on writing, letting my muse work out the issues so that I can write easier.  It is also helping with the depression since I am still working on something which doesn’t make me feel worthless when I can’t do anything. Though I fully expect to have days with me stuck not doing anything due to the bouts of depression.

For now, I am going to clean my house since I am feeling up to it.  Then either work on the binding of the quilt or if M is home, working outside together to get rid of more of the damage.  WE have to figure out how to take the top off the pecan tree since it is now dead dead. (It had some greenery up there in the form of small leaves, but that is all gone now.)  The good thing is that the rose bush that was taken out by the neighbors when they cleared the lot next door is coming back with a vengeance.  Thank goodness, since it has the best smelling roses!

We mostly have damage from items sitting too long in water, which killed the grass in some areas, wood that floated in from other places, that we had no place or will to get cleaned up.  And we have the garage that took some time to look over, though we expect that we will be finding damage for awhile on that one.  We already lost cement in bags.  Hubby didn’t even think about that stuff until I mentioned it.  We also lost my Christmas tree.  Which never occurred to either of us until yesterday.  It sounds so petty next to the sheer loss of others here in Houston and in FL, but there are many good memories wrapped up in that tree.

It may sound petty, but there are still items in the garage that are from M’s and I’s lives in Tucson, that we are waiting for when my parents move out to bring in.  Sadly, over the years we have lost more and more of that life, which is sad since a lot of our wedding stuff and other memories are being thrown out that I had painstakingly bought or made for our homes in AZ.  WE had been very short with money, so a lot of the things I had from then were carefully bought to make an apartment a home.  Thankfully, some of the more precious things have been brought in, the afghan my grandmother made me was the latest item brought in thanks to my great aunt (yes the same who we rescued) giving me a quilt rack.

It may be from me losing those items that make me so sad looking at other people’s piles of their lives on the curbs.  But it reinforces the idea that for all we lost, we have our lives to build new ones.

So I am off to work on cleaning since I will have my grandmother spending time with us this weekend while my mother and I work on quilts.  Plus I need to put away the last of the Harvey supplies.  We still have water sitting out in the living room.  In case others needed it, we wanted it to be close to give out.  However, since Houston has claimed to have the water situation fixed in all areas, I think I can put it away now.

Too bad, I seem to have ALOT of water!!!!!

I wanted to let you guys know you are not forgotten.  The ladies in the Kittyinaz Group have reminded me of the NCIS/twilight story that I started and I frankly was mad at myself for not doing more of the chapters!!  But it just a reminder that I do listen to you guys and my muse is peeking out with little snippets of ideas.  She has brought out Damon for a second, as well as Eric and Sookie from IND.  Who knows what can happen?

I look forward to posting the results for the entries, and don’t forget you can enter.  Just click on the top Banner to be taken to the page.

Kittyinaz

Checking in

Yes, I am still alive.

For those who don’t know, I live in Santa Fe, Tx, between Houston and Galveston.  So you can imagine the last week I have had.

Give me some time to get over Harvey.  While I did not take on water, I have electricity, and food, I am going to have my first night of sleep soon without being worried or scared what the following morning will bring.

I took a nap today that lasted over 5 hours, not waking even when M walked into the room, which is HIGHLY irregular of me.  Tomorrow, I will start seeing what needs to be done around the house.

We went driving today to see the damage.  The difference each day brings is amazing. We escaped the house yesterday for 30 minutes, having to turn around when water blocked the roads.  I wish I took a video today to show you the difference.  Night and day.

But… We headed out to Friendswood to find a way to work for my mom. And it’s heartbreaking there.  While they have gas, they also have flooding on an epic scale there, along with having SEEN on friends posts others having a boat on the roads we were taking.  Full fledge boats. With only being able to see the roofs barely of the buildings we were looking at now.

While the rains have stopped, the flooding is still present.  There are areas STILL impassable by flood waters, and we can see the cars lying in the water, with windows broken to escape the waters.  The horror stories we watched, especially the first day when literally 10 minutes down the road by car, Dickinson was flooded.  The road we used today to access I45, was a raging river on the first real flood.  The one that covered my yard, flooded my garage enough to move paint cans that were half full, full plastic tubs that have weight to them.  Luckily, it did not flood our vehicles, but damn.

My family made it through it, including my extended family.  There are members who have gone out in their boats to help, in their trucks and jeeps.   WE rescued a family member and had them stay here, and hating the fact we cannot escape our town to help others because none of us had a boat or truck.

Now the cleanup has started.  It smells.  I feel so sorry for those who are by the full creeks and are suffering through the flooding still occurring for them.  The bayous are full.  The rivers are cresting, the dams are spilling water.  Areas that never flooded before are now under water. This is not a joke.

I have heard online the question of why didn’t we leave.  There are 6.5 million people in Houston (Houston includes the surrounding areas also people… All the way down to Galveston and so on.  There is no break in the roads the cities and towns are all blended into one city).  Last time we tried to escape a Hurricane, Rita happened.  It was a horror situation that looked like something out of a movie.  People were still stuck on the roads DAYS after they tried to leave.

Now let’s think about this.  I watched I45 and I10, two major evacuation routes, have water that was 16 FEET deep.  Imagine if all those cars were still on the road when that happened?  Instead of the rising death toll that is not yet a 100 at the time of this post, it would have been thousands if not reaching hundreds of thousands of people.  More people have died in a car than in their houses.  Even right now.

However, in all this mind numbing horror, there are bright spots.  Neighbors helping others.  Complete strangers coming from everywhere to help.  Knowing personally some people who fought against everything to be able to give of themselves, even when they have lost everything.

This is what Texas is about.  Don’t be waylaid on stories on the bad parts of Harvey.  There are plenty on the news that you can watch for free, instead of the lies that are on Facebook.  Look for the good stories, of people coming in to help.  Of stores that are opening, cause I can tell from a personal experience of HEB, that the stockers there bent over backward trying to help those of us that came in for supplies.  Target did the same also!!!

So send your prayers, stop back talking the Mayor of Houston, he had Lives he had saved taking the route he did.  And try to look at the fact that it is regular joes who bought out the stores of boats so they could use them to rescue others.

That is being #HoustonStrong.

Challenge!!!

Challenge!!!

No, this is not a writing Challenge.  I am not sure I am up to dealing with that at this time.

But, My mind wouldn’t let it go when I was watching tutorials on photoshop.  I ended up making a banner that made me think of a way to have a challenge that will be for the purpose of challenging others that normally are not shown on this site as much.

Banner Makers.

Yes, I am Hosting a Contest for Banner makers to enter into.  I am hoping the banners will inspire writers to do a story on them.

The theme is Steampunk.  You must have one item in it that is considered Steampunk in it to qualify that is NOT the Font.  I have an example below which contains a Clockwork horse that qualifies as the Steampunk idea.  I figured it would be a different idea that might allow those of us to stretch our mental muscles.

Depending on the outcome of this will determine if there will be more Banner contests.

This is open to all, with the hopes that you will inspire others. All fandoms are welcome, or generic people that can be replaced later if the banner is adoptable.   Which will be an option for the ending.  You get bragging rights.  I’m sorry I can’t offer more, but all banners will be linked back to the artist’s choice of a site with their Author card, and if the banner is adopted, to that site.  The rules will explain more of how, what, and the other questions you have, hopefully.  The top banner is linked to the challenge page.  Any other examples from me will be added, and since I am using banner making to get me back to being able to sit in front of the computer, I will be endeavoring to make more examples.  And, no my examples are NOT eligible for the contest, but they are up for adoption.

Just remember, I am trying to make it where we inspire more stories period.  If you get inspired by your banner, you are more than welcome to let me know so that I can mark it taken at the end of the contest.

I am excited to see what the banner makers that take up this gauntlet can come up with!!!!

Results Are In

Results Are In

So Sorry everyone.  I had no idea what was happening until it was way too late to do anything about it.  And even then it took me until a week and a half ago to admit I needed more help than I was getting.  I got it and I am finally getting to where I actually wanted to be on the computer.

I didn’t even really want to play games or anything.  I was thrilled on the days I got out of bed.

If anyone else is going through Depression, please know you do get out of it and are able to breathe once again.  It has taken me a long time, as well as this being one of the worse episodes that I ever went through.  Luckily, M and I talked daily about it, with me letting him know when he needs to do to help.  It is one of the hardest things I ever done, but thankfully, he listened.

One of the things I was suggested, was to pick up a new hobby, so I am learning to sew.  My mom was a seamstress, so she is the one teaching me.  I am 41 years old, and I am just now learning how to sew.  My thing though, is I like household items more than clothes.  She already signed me up for a Quilting Class, and I am currently learning to sew a Roman Shade and Valance.  Thank Goodness my mom knows how to do these things since we had to scrap the pattern and make our own.  Sadly, we forgot to buy regular needles… So guess what I will be buying this coming weekend?

Enough about me, here are the results for the contest:

1st Place:

2nd place was close.  Literally, only 3 votes separated them!

Thanks again for those who entered.  I will not be hosting a 3rd Quarter contest due to the depression.  I will be working forwards to the Christmas one, so be on the lookout for that one.

And huge thanks to those who wrote to me during the time I was battling depression, your words helped me more than you know.  Now I am off to hopefully sleep since I have appointments to run Grandma to.  Have a blessed day, and thanks again.

Kittyinaz

Let’s Talk About…

Depression.

Specifically my personal Hell aka Depression.

First, there is this general idea that if you have depression, you are depressed.

Not true.

For me, it means slowly going numb,  I might feel something once in a great while, but it is fleeting and gone before I can realize that something cut through the numbness.

It also means I have to talk to myself each and every time I wake up on why I should get up.  And then try not to feel guilty when I cannot manage to get out of bed.  Or when I actually managed to get out of bed, why I didn’t get dressed, why didn’t I take a shower, why didn’t I do anything?  Even though getting out of bed was a major achievement, I am reminded by myself how pathetic it is that I think that is huge.

It makes me wonder why I keep trying, then shrug and keep on trying.  Since to me the alternative is worse.

I try to talk to my hubby.

I try to get back on track and do the things that were so easy just yesterday, this past week, last week, and so on.

I feel ashamed that I could not clean house because it felt too big a chore and start hating everyone and everything that didn’t clean up after themselves.  I get mad and feel like it is useless to clean up when everyone won’t care to keep it up so why should I?

But it is an excuse to not clean.  Because again, it is too hard to acknowledge that I failed to do anything.

I feel guilty for not doing things that are so easy for others.  I feel guilty if I feel happy for a fleeting moment in time.  I am depressed, I shouldn’t be happy.

I am bored to death, can’t find myself interested in even reading, or start on a new hobby that I asked to learn.  I play crystals on a game only because for some reason it is the only thing that allows me to exist and not feel so lost.

I am not saying all this for sympathy points, but to have the chance to tell someone out there, that I DO know what you are going through.

One of the things that have helped me is a page on Facebook called the Mighty.  Reading that, I find out more about people like me, who suffer through the same things.

Found out about the fog, but that other people might call it other things.  I never thought of it as a fog, since to me fog meant I was not clear minded.  I could think very clearly, but my feelings?  The urge to get up and type out the stories playing out in my head was overridden by the inability to get out of bed.  And for me, that is unusual.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a week. But RL keeps butting in and those few days that I feel able to work, are instead used to take people elsewhere, to spend time with hubby, who is trying, but not succeeding in cheering me up.  I have actually taken days to write this post, in fact.

I forget to eat unless he makes me food.  Unfortunately, this feeds into the existing condition where my body thinks I am starving it.  I don’t eat enough but I never lose weight.  Which of course doesn’t help with the depression.

Then there is my insomnia.

My personal demon and what led to everything going worse.  It comes to haunt me all the time.  Its been worse lately, leading to more and more of the thoughts that aren’t helping.  The ones that make it harder to deal with everything.

But, through all of this, I will say this.  My pets.  They DO help.

They are freaking wonderful.  When people talk about the things that make them conitnue, it is them.

Just this morning, they were the reason I got up.  And I had all of them lying at my door looking up at me.   Since then I’m not alone.  At least one pet checks up on me, including my moms cat.

And then there are the wonderful ladies that help me.  The betas and especially Royal Ember.  They tell me they are there.  That if I need to talk or just vent to they are there.

I just wanted to let you guys know, I’m alive.  I’m fighting.   And I’m grateful for you guys.  Thanks for being patient as I work myself out of this funk.  I know I need to announce the winners, and I will try to get there soon, as well as writing and posting.

please be patient, I’m getting there.

And please, if you need to talk, feel free to reach out. I will gladly listen to you.

For I know what it is like to think that I am a burden on others or that this is all a waste of time.  Very intimately.

It happens, and you are not weird, wrong to think or anything else.  You just need to realize that it is your depression talking and not really you.

i hope this helps someone, as it has helped me these last few days as I fought my way to being out of bed.  To eat.  To shower.  To do anything at all.

You are worth it.

Let’s Get Ready to …. READ!!!!

Let’s Get Ready to …. READ!!!!

If you have been a part of the Kittyinaz’s Group, you have already seen the banners.  As well as my goof that I fixed.

But now is your chance to read, review and VOTE!!!  You have 10 days to Vote on what story you think is the best.  There will be a first and Second place in this contest.

Click the banner to be taken to the contest.

Also, for those following along on the voting in the group, that chooses the next story for me to work on, (hopefully soon since I am getting tired of being 1) side tracked with drama, 2) Tired from weird insomnia bouts, 3) I wanna work!!!) it is now being tied for 2nd place.  A reminder, that you can vote MORE than one time.  I purposely made that a choice as well as allowing my readers to add any stories I may have missed (I found the Edge story was missing!).  IT’s kinda funny to see the stories move up and down the list.  A late entry of the Mummies made by Star is now on the list and moving slowly up.  I had no idea anyone enjoyed it that much!

So enjoy this, wish for rain for me, so that I don’t need to mow the lawn and can work.  Since I got maybe 3 hours last night, I am going to be crashing soon.

Kittyinaz

Just Some Friendly Prime Day Tips!

Just Some Friendly Prime Day Tips!

As some of you may know, today starts the buildup for Amazon Prime Day which is on July 10th.  (And I am apologizing ahead of time for no pics, but I am stopping in the middle of getting some stuff done so I can work on my computer!)

Thanks to the Krazy Coupon Lady, I have some information I can share with you.  And yes, the links I have here, are for me to get credit, cause, well I need it!  Also, by the way, the Krazy Coupon Lady is great for those who want to save money, but have someone else do all the work.  And though her name says coupon, she is more about how to save you money without needing to cut coupons.  She looks for sales, like for Old Navy, Carters and so on.  She is as in love with Target as I am, so it really helps me!!

Here we go:

  1. Sign up for a FREE 30-day Prime Trial to gain access to the sale.  Then cancel if you want to.
    1. Yes, you can really get it for free, and take advantage of the great deals.  Plus, if you use my link (Hint!) I get extra credit for Prime Memberships.  (every bit helps!!)
  2. Get $10 for streaming your first video or movie by July 7th.
  3. Follow the Krazy Coupon Lady to get “Up to the minute” information on Prime Day Deals.
    1. She has an App, that I use all the time. Also, I get emails with the great deals on them.  I often pass them on to my family. It really does help me, as well as telling when there are great deals!!! She also tells you HOW to get the deals.
  4. Shop a day early (July 9th) and view deals that will be on July 10th!
    1. Just click “Upcoming” to see what deals are coming up.
  5. Sign up for Paribus and get Amazon gift cards when your shipments arrive late.
    1. If any of your Amazon Prime shipments arrive even one day late, Paribus will negotiate with Amazon to get you either a free month of Prime or $10 Amazon gift card.
  6. Add Lightning Deals to your cart before the sale is live.
    1. They are called Lightning Deals for a reason.  These things sell out FAST.  So if you want the deal, click it in your basket, and be ready to check out with 1-click to get the deal.
  7. Shop through Alexa for exclusive (and better!) deals.
    1. Just ask, “Alexa, what are your deals?”
  8. Take Advantage of the daily deals featured from today to the 9th.
    1. Today is Alexa voice shopping
    2. July 6th is Amazon Music
    3. July 7th is Amazon Prime Video
    4. July 8th is Everyday Essentials
    5. July 9th  is Amazon Reading.

For more information (since I only highlighted her blog on this) please visit this page: 18 Amazon Prime Day Tips You Need to Know.  As I mentioned, I have been using her and noticed some awesome deals that I have taken advantage of through her. And again, She gets all the credit for researching this, I am just sharing her post on it for my wonderful readers!

As for the chapters and the writing contest, I am working on the banners.  You guys submitted some awesome stories, so I am trying to stretch my banner skills to showcase your stories!  I already learned one technique that I suspect will be handy other times also! I am off to finish cleaning, then mowing the grass since I am up early.  Then I will be in the nice cool office working after all that.  If I don’t need a nap!!

Here is the link again for me to get credit for your shopping at Amazon.  Remember, it does NOT cost you a single penny, or even a halfpenny!

http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=kittyinaz-20 The Kittyinaz-20 part is what gives me the credit, so look for it when you open the site up at the top, after that it will disappear, but as long as you don’t leave the site, you are good.

Have fun shopping!!!

Kittyinaz

Writing Contest

Writing Contest

Just a heads up, I have all the submissions for the contest.  I am going to be working on the banners and posting the chapters this weekend.  Robin is on vacation, so I am unsure if I will be posting before she gets back or not.  There are some parts she does, so I might be trying to figure out what she does.  (It shouldn’t be that hard…).

But I wanted to let you know things are being done, and there are reasons for the delays.  As you know, I am more than happy to grant extensions, since I, of all the people out there, know how capricious Muses can be!

And just a heads up for those wondering, I finished up the rough draft of I Never Did Chapter 24.  What that means, is now for every chapter I write, I will be going back to editing a chapter.  Hopefully, that means you will have a chapter of I Never Did until it is done.  Nothing guaranteed, but with me being five chapters ahead, I feel better about editing the chapters I have.

Have a great weekend!

Kittyinaz

No One Go Into Shock…

No One Go Into Shock…

Seriously.  I had long thoughts on posting this on the shock value alone.

Cause… I got a chapter of I Never…Did for you guys.

Take a Breathe.

Inhale…

Exhale…

There we go.

Now before you go off to read it, I will need to say a few things.  (And give you more chances to be calmish…)

The Writing Contest entries have been accepted and sent to me.  If you needed an extension and we didn’t get back to you, it was accepted.  You have until Friday to contact us again.  Otherwise, I will be reading and making banners.

I am up to chapter twenty-something on this story.  So this is not the last post on this story for awhile, it will be beginning.  Editing the chapters evidently got my muse on board for some more chapters and hinting she wants to finish this.  I am trying to accommodate her right now.  Feeding her might help, just saying.

Also, as I mentioned to my group last night (or this morning, who knows) the vote going on in the group is fluid.  They can vote as many times as possible, and IND has won it’s place.  So you guys are the ones who determine what story is next.  No guarantee that the muse will finish, but I will edit what I have at least… So vote as many times for what you want next.  Right now you got IND being worked on until it’s done.

Now here is the chapter you guys have waited on.  And I hope this shows my promise of finishing my stories.  No longer how long the updates take.  And you get a partial Lemon…