The Results… Finally

The Results… Finally

Now that the contest is over on the Kittyinaz’s Facebook Group, along with Thanksgiving.  (which turned out to be a madhouse for me.  Truly!!!  I ended up sleeping almost all of Black Friday to my hubby’s delight!)

Here are the results of the Voting on this site:

And for the first Kittyinaz’s Facebook Group Choice Awards:

I thank everyone for entering and being patient.  Now I am off to work on the 4 quilts I have left to do before Christmas.  With my weekend of baking as well as hosting the new writing challenge, my dance card is definitely full!

If you want to claim a banner, I have the author cards linking to their sites for you to get ahold of them.  If you do this site, We will try to get in contact with the artists for you.  And everyone, remind me to link to your story when you are done!!!!

Congrats everyone!!!

2017 Christmas Writing Challenge

2017 Christmas Writing Challenge

Yep, it’s that time already.  I know I am running late, but RL has been a real pain this year.

I went back to the prompts since it is what I promised.  As it stands, these are the 10 for this year.  And I did throw one in there that made me laugh.  If you guys can work with it, I would be one happy little Kitty!

Just remember, any fandom is allowed.  And if the prompt inspires you in any way, it qualifies.  Just let me know which did so I can put the right prompt at the beginning of the story.  You can change any part of the prompt to work with your muse.

I’m putting these for the deadline of the 10th of December to give you time to write, but as always, if you need an extension, it will be granted.

Without much more fanfare, here you go.  (For the sake of those that have issues reading the cards, I am putting the words below)

1) With an awkward chuckle, he pointed to the mistletoe above their heads.

2) One brightly wrapped box under a tree, in a clearing in the forest.

3) Everyone received one present at Christmas that hints at what is going to happen next year in really cryptic ways.

4) Your character opens up a Christmas card to find out that it’s addressed from themselves, 20 years in the future! What Christmas wishes and advice does the future version of them have to offer?

5) Satan (or a character of your choice) traveling around the world every Christmas to deliver presents to all the young kids who misspell Santa on their Christmas letter every year.

6) Your character walked away from the life they know and the people they love. Now they are coming home for Christmas for the first time since then.

7) The fireplace animated the shadows of the living room that had many Christmas memories in the years past.

8) Your character has just received a very special Secret Santa gift from a secret admirer. The character decides to figure out who gave him or her the gift. What happens next?

9) A character receives a gift mysteriously for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Each gift is a hint helping the character recognize true love and friendship in their own lives.

10) A brokenhearted character decides to spend Christmas alone, away from family, friends and loved ones. However, fate has other plans for this character.

There they are.  I hope one of them at least inspires you to write!  And as always, the rules remain the same, but you can submit more than one story, as long as you do not let anyone know.  I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with.  The last time I did this, one of the stories so inspired a writer to publish their story!!!

I am an Idiot.

Seriously.

See, my desktop is my main computer.  It crashed on me, and after trying multiple times to make it work again, I walked away from it.  I used my laptop to work on things for the contest, such as the few posts.   Everything else was done before the stupid thing crashed.

Admit it, you want to do the same thing with your computer.  I do!!!!

Sadly, not all my settings are transferred to the laptop.  Like the Gmail accounts, that hold the entries.  And that one of the Artists sent me a message on to tell me I missed their work.

I am so sorry!!!!!!!

So, to correct this oversite, I have a contest that will now on, run with the contest here.  The Kittyinaz’s Facebook Group will be able to vote on things and give their input.  Right now, all the banners are in there including the missing ones.  I have it pinned to the top and will run it through 11/17 midnight.

The good news is that the desktop is kinda fixed.  After I finish doing the Banner contest page, I will be contacting the Windows people to see what they can do.  I cannot open anything Office related and I really wanted to start editing some stories.

I also am going to start a quilt page on here.  Just so you guys can see what I am working on.  I have 2 more that ABSOLUTELY have to be finished before Christmas, and 3 more after that that I want to finish.  I should be good, especially since this weekend I am spending getting the first project done, my curtains.  Then I will be working on the quilts with only breaks to edit some stories here and there. I have all sorts of fun things to help me make them, I have a scan and cut (it’s basically a cricut) and an embroidery machine, that I am already making my summer quilt for….

I am also having to replace some stuff from Harvey.  My Christmas stuff gets stored in the garage, and hubby forgot that they were NOT waterproof.  I also lost winter clothes and so on.  So I am going to have to make (or buy) replacements.  The things you never think of.

And for all those who are reviewing, you ARE the reason why my muse is starting to stir.  I am going to be editing what I already have written to start with.  And getting ahead with the betas and so on.  But I will be posting something as well as getting my butt moving on Christmas prompts.

So much to do, and hopefully, this machine keeps working.  I can’t afford another one.  To get one that works as hard as this one does, we are looking around $1,000.  MY laptop was NEVER meant to take the place of this thing.  It is supposed to allow me to work out of the office more.  Buying the house made it where this didn’t get replaced this year. (Yes, we save money up for the 2 or so years to get these computers, but this one is over 5 years old.  It was slated to be replaced but Houses come first.  Ancient in the world of computers, but because we spend so much money, they last longer for us.) And since we wiped out our savings for the house, it will be awhile for it to replaced.  So I will eek it out as long as I can.  Though I plan to make Quilts to see if I can supplement the income some. I have no idea how to go about this, so we will see.

To wrap this up, I fudged up bigtime.  I missed 3 entries (which are good!!) to be entered into the Banner contest, and instead, have the contest running in the Facebook Group.  It will run until 11/17.  If you want to join, you have to answer some questions to be allowed inside.  I will be editing written chapters to send to betas.  I will be doing the Christmas prompts.  And I will be working on making the quilts so I can have Christmas finished.  For gift giving at least.  And will start posting what I have done so far, as soon as I can get this thing working right.

Thanks for the patience, and double for the reviews that are motivating me to get back to writing.  Just to balance Quilting and Writing.  Both are outlets for me, and both allow me to work while thinking about the other.  Though it is more Quilting allowing me to think on writing, as well as having me listen to music and think of stories.

Holy Crap!!

So.. I went to get the results, and Robin told me there is a huge tie for 1st place, and the rest are close as well!!!!

Holy cow!!!!!

You guys are so awesome!!!

However, this presents a huge problem.

I don’t know who won, with a 6-way tie.

So… We are going to extend voting until the 31st.  You are free to go vote for your favorite banner.  And please vote!!! All of them are available for your vote.  Since they are all so close.

Have fun voting, and I am going to try to finish up the quilt I am making right now.  When I am done, I will be posting pics of the 1st three I made.  I still have 4 more to make for the holidays, then I will be free to work on my stories with quilts thrown in here and there.

See ya soon!!!!

 

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.