I am officially ready! Have been for over a week now, amazingly enough. I will be continuing work on my NaNo WonderSaga. I've been working on this story for three or four years now. It's the tale of the first generation ship. My first real attempt focused on world building my ship, Akupara. The second attempt was more a character study as I figured out my starting crew and focused on the actual launch. This year, I'll be jumping ahead fifty years and adding fantasy elements. In a way, this is the real story I wanted to tell. A bunch of scientific-minded colonists head out in search of a new planet and, while isolated in space, discover that magic can indeed happen. Ideally, I'd like to be able to write most genres set on Akupara if the itch hit me.
This year will be really different than my previous attempts, but I'm excited about it. I killed off a bunch of people, determined who the new ones would be, who had what job & apprenticeship, and who would be affected by the mysterious “anomaly” that causes some people to change or gain powers. Here's my official blurb, as posted on my nano page:
A blend of science fiction and fantasy, the NaNo WonderSaga follows Earth's first generation ship as they begin exploring the Universe in search of a habitable planet. Fifty years after leaving Earth behind, the crew experiences an anomaly that opens the ship to a world of magic - and threatens to change both the ship's mission and the evolution of the human race.
Who else is definitely in for this year, and what's your idea? I have a NaNo filter, so please let me know if you want on or off of that. Most of my updates will probably be public, but any excerpts or plotting will be f-locked or filtered.
I'm also really excited that Eden & Ivy will be doing their own NaNo with me. Ivy wants to write an adventure about herself and a flame thrower. Eden is more like me my first go-round with the WonderSaga, in that she's thinking of a bunch and will decide on her idea at the last minute.
The garden is still producing an occasional serrano or jalapeño. Hot peppers do really well in our yard! Wonder why we didn't have a lot of luck with bell peppers. I have no more sprouts or seeds going. I'd love to have a winter plot. We're still hoping to get one of those, but we have to finish the yard and various other projects first. I think some kind of flat system is going to be needed to at least provide a bit of fresh greens for the chickens through the winter. The feed bills were getting wild there, and I don't think feed itself is a very good diet for a chicken anyway.
The sickest chicken finally died shortly after we returned from IL. The girls were heartbroken. It was sad, but I was glad he was finally out of his suffering. I worry about the other one, but Josh doesn't really want to put it down. I guess we'll see.
Not counting the two chickens we had with the mystery illness and the two who died during/shortly after arrival, that leaves us with twenty-one Buckeyes. They're fifteen weeks old now, though I was actually surprised when I figured it up because they're so big. They've been free ranging during the day for several weeks now, and we started feeding them kitchen scraps. I like them more now that they're old enough to start telling apart and watch them doing cool chicken things. They follow us around and I'm starting to be able to talk to them.
Unfortunately, I think we only have eight females. We need to buy a deep freeze and probably process the roosters before winter. We had contemplated keeping one to guard the females, but since they're all probably related (from the same hatching), we'll probably just buy another bunch next spring. We might keep one male from each batch and swap. We'd planned to separate the roosters and keep them longer, but the sick ones took the second pen. Josh will probably have to build a rooster tractor next spring, as I don't think I want to use the pen until we've sanitized it several times. Then maybe let it sit over a winter/year and sanitize it several more times. I wouldn't be so paranoid if anyone on Earth knew what the mystery disease was. Don't want to go through that again!
He built a pen for the back of the truck, and we're supposed to go pick up two goats this afternoon. I'm excited. They're wethers, and mainly we hope they'll keep down our overgrown pasture a little bit. I really want to get dairy goats soon if we're having goats, but we're not really ready for that while my work schedule fluctuates so much. We'll see how things look in the spring, I suppose.
The other day, Josh carved up the jack-o-lantern, and the girls painted smaller pumpkins of their own. Yesterday they decorated the porch with Halloween and fall decorations. It's pretty nice to be able to sit on the porch with my honey, relax, and watch the chickens. I like that it's getting pretty farmy piece by piece.
I've been trying to buckle down on school work a bit. Eden is reading and writing a lot better since she was introduced to Calvin & Hobbes, although she has a tendency to borrow heavily from their adventures. Ivy has increased with her writing skills dramatically. She always had a bit of trouble making letters, and it seemed like she would get them backwards a lot. She's been working hard, and she's doing so wonderfully even if it's slow going for her.
They are both taking dance classes now. They have a one hour class every Monday, and they're learning ballet and tap. Eden really wants to do jazz too, but they have to have at least one year of the beginner class first. We'll have to see if we're able to continue beyond one year. This is proving to be more expensive than we anticipated.
It's nice though, because we've found a wonderful little bar and grill just a block or two from their classes. Josh and I have been having date night every Monday, which is awesome but probably not helpful for the money situation. They do half price appetizers though and we can get one or two and be filled. Date night usually comes in under $20 unless we're really splurging. The waitresses are awesome and make sure we get out of there in time to pick up the girls. It's been pretty nice to finally start having some alone time together again, especially since finding a restaurant Josh will frequent more than once (let alone look forward to!) is hard.
We're not pregnant yet, but the scheduling didn't really work out, what with our impromptu trip to IL being right around my fertile time. We're not really rushing it though. We figure now that the IUD is gone, it will happen sometime soon. I'm trying to focus on losing more weight, cutting back on the drinking (and I've cut back quite a lot), and generally just getting healthier.
Life is pretty lovely right now.