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Joelle's misc Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Joelle Duran" journal:

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February 19th, 2018
01:22 pm
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A belated FYI, finally!
Running later than late this year--didn't manage to finish in January. But I finally finished. This is an FYI that the revised version of my third Geren novel is now available for anyone who read the older version and might like to read it again. I've also made some very minor tweaks and cosmetic changes to the first two Geren novels.

Available formats
- pdf
- epub (for Nook, Kobo, Onyx Boox, etc)
- mobi (for Amazon Kindle)

Please let me know if you want paper copies, and they will get a higher priority on my ever-lengthening purchases list!

And now for Geren book 4...and that will NOT get finished in a year unless I really do find a time-turner!

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
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February 17th, 2018
12:00 pm
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25 Years


After a week of celebrating (or more accurately, trying to get through even half of the items on my want-to-do list) the long-anticipated day has finally arrived!

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February 14th, 2018
07:04 pm
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Inception
February 14, 1993 was the day I marked for starting on that very first drawing of what would become the Defender as a fledgling. (More about that in my 'Defender Rising' essay that I wrote in 2008). Amazingly, I wrote the dates on the back of it, February 14-20, 1993. And more amazingly, for some bizarre reason I signed it.

I observe my anniversary date on the 17th. This due to my hunch that by that point the picture was far enough along that I had come up with the backstory associated with it, as well as the fact that the 17th is halfway between the 14th and the 20th.

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February 10th, 2018
01:37 pm
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7 Days Out - Silliness
Only one week left to my 25th anniversary of first 'meeting' t'DoL! I've got a lot in progress, but I decided the best way to kick off the celebration postings was with a little fun.

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February 1st, 2018
06:31 pm
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25th Anniversary post: The One Against the Many
[Composed February 2018]


For me, the Defender of Life (t'DoL) has always been the avarii. He was and remains the first and central character in the world of my stories. In fact, it was not until writing 'One Shining Day' in 2005, and about Heruvael's youth in 2006, that any avarii save him entered my writing, save for secondhand references to the Changer in my Geren books, and t'DoL's own testimony of loss near the end of Hope's Passage, also in 2006. That meant twelve years in which I wrote about no other avarii, while avarii culture didn't even start getting described until I wrote 'A Song in the Twilight' in 2004.

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06:28 pm
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Inspirations for my Writing, chapter 3
[Composed February 2018]

Inspirations for my Writing, chapter 3: Themes, Challenges, and Motivations


Chapter 2 for inspirations, that I wrote ten years earlier, focused on books I encountered as a child or young teen containing thematic links or plot parallels with my stories. This chapter is more focused on what impacted my motivations and perspective. In a sense, the why, rather than the what. The below are listed in attempted chronological order, ranging from childhood to high school years.
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There is probably a fine line between influence, challenge, and ideas I intentionally worked into my writing. Which is to say, I have no clue if there will be a chapter 4! Maybe if I ever finally find that last stubborn quote...

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06:08 am
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Delayed December and Jouncing January
December was a grueling month on the job, especially in the beginning, and a month for frustrating delays in other areas. I was glad to get the 2018 single page calendar completed in decent time despite some additional hurdles. I kept working at pass 7 in the third Geren book, but got stalled waiting to hear back from my editor. Started on what was supposed to be a 'quick' art project that ended up taking over a month due to how difficult it was for my pc, but at least the art project following stuck to schedule better.

January got off to a very interesting start due to being called up for Jury Duty starting on the 2nd. Thanks to God's grace, I narrowly missed being put on a weeks-long criminal trial, and ended up spending only one day away from work, which was a real blessing with how crazy busy it has been there. Since book 3 was stalled, in January I moved ahead with a quick review of the first two Geren books, to take up some of the changes and details I've learned from my wonderful editor. Started on initial prep-work for my 25th anniversary celebrations, and finally got the awaited reply from my editor toward the end of the month. So I'm free at last to get Geren books 1-3 all wrapped up once I make some final decisions and tweaks.

December-January were the months in which my body decided to emulate my father and quit digesting lactose entirely. That has not been fun. They have also brought an amazing and long-lived cold snap (with fantastic frost) and a snowstorm on January 22nd so heavy and magnificent it actually paralyzed a chunk of Minnesota--that takes some doing! And now the state has rolled out a nippy and somewhat snowy welcome for the Super Bowl visitors, hah!

Dec 5 - Finished "With Sound Effects!" 2018 calendar project
Dec 11 - Fourth platelet donation of 2017

Jan 12 - Finished "Midwinter Mercy"
Jan 26 - Finished "Sea of Leaves" (Shado-blanket project)

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout COMPLETE!
Pass 7 Final sweeps In Progress, 97% complete


As for February, I am very much looking forward to February! It brings me to 25 years since I first 'met' t'DoL as a senior in high school. I am going to celebrate getting to enjoy a quarter century of such a blessing! I've got seven days off work coming up, which turns into eleven when I add the weekends. Since I couldn't save up the $2,500 a 25th anniversary merits, I had to settle for a spendthrift enjoyment of time instead, which is equally precious. I've got plenty planned, even if a chunk of it is just clean-up work related to my writing that I can't find the time for in normal circumstances. And just maybe I can get the ball rolling on the rewrite for book 4, too!

February also brings taxes and finding out if I get a yearly bonus from my employer, so hopefully by month's end I can be full-tilt into working on buying Quartus, my replacement for my elderly and longsuffering desktop Tertius. As always, time will tell!

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January 17th, 2018
05:19 am
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Essays and Remembrances
This is a hub page for essays I've written over the years related to my writing. Some are about beginnings and how my writing for t'DoL got started. (t'DoL = the Defender of Life.) Others are about influences on me and my writing, or how my writing has impacted me, or what I might now choose to do differently. Those at the bottom are full of book spoilers and restricted in access.

If you're struggling with insomnia or just plain curious, dive in!

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January 14th, 2018
02:18 pm
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2017 Silver Lining: Art
While 2017 was a really horrid year on all sorts of levels, as I mentioned in my yearly summary post, there were a few silver linings. And probably the biggest of them was how great a year it was for art projects.

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January 7th, 2018
07:31 am
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2017 Books
Another new year means another round of moving my books list from my shouts_of_joy bio page over here to be a reference down the road. 55 for 2017 (not including my own, of course), so at least better than the past two years.

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December 31st, 2017
03:39 pm
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2017
Back with the quiz I've posted yearly since 2004. 2017 was awful. Awful awful awful...in fact it could be up near the very top of the worst years of my life, vying with 2008 and 1997. Except. God has brought me to the place where I can bear it better than in prior years. Jonah-style "meltdowns" were about once a week toward the beginning of 2017, and further apart later on. Those would have happened multiple times a week to daily, along with bucketfuls of depression, had I experienced a year as bad as 2017 three or more years ago. I am so grateful for the work God has done, but really really wanting to be finished with this horribleness. Setbacks and poverty everywhere. Closed doors, burned ladders, barred gates, blocked paths, and way too much darkness. The only aspects of life that did not go badly this year were personal health, staying employed, and art projects. Easier to make that list than describe all the bad stuff!

Whatever happens in 2018, at least it's got my 25th anniversary since first meeting t'DoL in it, therefore it can't be as bad as 2017, right?
 
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December 1st, 2017
05:54 am
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Normal November
November felt like a stasis month for me. Nothing changed on the car front (3 months now) or the Triune front (6.5 months), or pretty much any other front. But at least no big hurricanes or other bad events for me or my family. The month started out feeling like early December and then moved backward, so now it's as warm as early November. I was finally able to finish my first draft of 'Deceptions' after it dragged out for months. Got started with pass 7 work on my third Geren novel, and continued working on my single-page calendar for 2018, which as always brings drama and setbacks, course corrections, and struggle with my aging desktop. November also brought the joys of t'DoL's birthday and Thanksgiving, both of which were quite good and passed too quickly.

As usual of late, not much on the accomplishments list, but anything is better than nothing!

Nov 11 - Third platelet donation of 2017
Nov 13 - Finished writing 'The Deceptions of Hu-Havenn'

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout COMPLETE!
Pass 7 Final sweeps In Progress, 36% complete


As for December, wrapping up 'With Sound Effects!' (the 2018 calendar picture) and also trying to finish pass 7 work will be top priority. Hopefully I can get 'Deceptions' pounded into shape as well. It will be interesting having Christmas at home in my small one-bedroom apartment, since it means I can decorate "more" as my prior place was far too big for my limited collection. No space for a Christmas tree, mind, not with my dwarf umbrella tree Schleffie occupying the dining room!

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November 3rd, 2017
08:38 pm
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Pending October
Thank God, October was not nearly so bad on the hurricane front, or overall--in many ways it felt like stasis and waiting. With the local weather, I feel it brought one of the shorter autumns I've seen in my area. Color got started very late, and then abruptly ripped to shreds by the rain, wind, and finally loads of snow that came near the end of the month. It would have been nice to have more than one Saturday all month with decent weather, but oh well.

I'm grateful the cooler weather helped me recuperate from summer, and I've managed to make more progress with the ghastly story I'm writing. Finish line before year's end? I truly hope so! Very pleased with progress on the art front, since I now have another wallpaper to enjoy and a good start on my 2018 calendar image. As my editor spent the month working through the third Geren novel, October proved a fantastic time to enjoy reading too. Triune remains in limbo and I passed my second month of being carless.

Oct 22 - Finished 'Face-off,' Geren book 3 eBook cover image
Oct 24 - Finished 'Face-off' alternate wallpaper version

The prospect of November always cheers me, since it brings Thanksgiving, t'DoL's birthday, and cool weather. My wonderful editor just finished with Geren book 3 review, so November will certainly be busy, juggling pass 7 work, writing, and the art project. Getting by without a car in increasingly cold weather will be interesting, as I won't want to bike unless it's warm enough. I got a cart for hauling groceries and I'm shopping for boots with better traction, as my annual competition with Winter to get through without falling will be a bigger challenge when I have to walk more.

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October 1st, 2017
09:20 am
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Savage September
So maybe I'm not curious anymore. What a ghastly month September turned out to be. And I'm not referring to the fact that September was more like August for temperature while August was like September. Or the new challenge of my first month living without a car. That was just a challenge. The heat didn't help my attempts to recuperate from seasonal depression at all, but what made the month ghastly was the hurricanes. I thought it was dreadful enough to feel the scourge of Irma bearing down on Florida and aimed to show up at my editor's city right when she was supposed to start editing my third Geren book. That felt like a bolt from hell aimed right at my heart. Thank God, my aunts, cousins, and editor escaped with minimal to no damage and just a few days without power (but so many others suffered worse).

If anyone ever reads these posts who is not related to me: I am Puerto Rican (or mostly, with a little dash of Cuban). So then came Maria, as if Harvey and Irma weren't dreadful enough. That made September go from feeling like a bad dream to feeling like a nightmare that can't be awoken from. My grandparents are no longer living, but I still have cousins and a great deal of extended family in Puerto Rico, and it is a horror to contemplate how their lives and so many others have been upended, and how many months it is likely to last.

So, not much to show for September except a lot of grief and dread and prayers.

Sept 13 - Second blood donation of 2017
Sept 30 - Finished 'Autumn Play' (art therapy)

As for October, well, I really hope there won't be any more destructive hurricanes. (I fear otherwise.) Hopefully I can recuperate enough to keep struggling ahead with the story I'm stuck in, and I certainly have more than enough to work at for art projects. I'll be missing out on the height of fall without a car, but just have to make do with what's in range. Since my editor is working on my third Geren book, I can continue enjoying my extended editing break with more reading time on the bus rides. Not much else to say at this point--only hope that affairs stop going from bad to worse eventually!

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September 10th, 2017
09:32 am
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Oregon!
Below are a few photos from the wonderful trip my mom and I took to Oregon late August. Got to see great new places (Columbia River Gorge, Jacksonville, Bend, Sisters) and revisit others (Ashland, Florence, Hecata Head). Most memorable was seeing the total solar eclipse north of Madras, but aside from too much wildfire smoke in places, the whole trip was amazing.

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September 2nd, 2017
11:39 am
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Awed August
Another challenging month, with nothing to show on the summary list. At least I finished pass 6, while taking a break from Geren book 3 editing has provided me more time to read. But the story I'm struggling to write is very difficult to get traction with, while loads of time was spent either preparing for, or on, my Oregon trip with my mom.

That, at least, was completely worth every cent and every minute. Getting to see the 2017 total solar eclipse on August 21 is a memory to cherish for a lifetime. It was also a good time enjoying the scenery and scouting out various cities to see where I might like to move, as well as revisiting some fun places. Thanks to the smoke, didn't make it back to Crater Lake, but I really hope I'll be back in Oregon "soon."

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout COMPLETE!
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


As for September...it will be another interesting month. As of today, I am both carless and uninsured, so no driving for me until God gives me direction (and money!). I will certainly appreciate a break after all my driving in Oregon! What I'm not anticipating is being stuck near home during autumn color, unable to visit my favorite parks.

I hope to keep struggling ahead with my current story, and my wonderful editor will start reviewing the third Geren book later in the month. Triune is still in limbo; still waiting on God.

I've very curious to find out what happens next...

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August 2nd, 2017
07:23 pm
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Jarring July
Another strange and somewhat eventful month in which life just keeps going in odd directions. The one good thing remains the Geren book 3 rewrites, which stayed ahead of schedule and got close enough to the end of pass 6 that I contacted my wonderful editor near the end of the month. Despite the other looming issue, God gave me the go-ahead to put out the money for the editing, for which I am immensely relieved.

How I'm going to get around is another matter! Various things have been breaking on my dear 2000 Saturn, Cerulean, over the course of this year, with too much spent on repairs. Then, after not touching the car for 6 days (after it developed another issue) the air conditioning quit working on July 15. That was my sign that it is time to say goodbye to Cerulean a year earlier than I'd planned. (I've had it since March of 2003.) Thanks to the Towner's generosity, I got to borrow their minivan for two weeks while they were on vacation, which helped me get through the latter part of July and was a huge blessing.

Aside from the Towners, my "hero" of the month is definitely my wonderful new portable air conditioner, which has immensely helped me survive the summer heat by night. And again, not much for the accomplishments list, though at least I finally got started on some writing. Triune is still in uncertain limbo.

July 22 - Second platelet donation of 2017
July 24 - Started writing 'The Deceptions of Hu-Havenn'

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout In Progress, 84% complete
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


As for August, that will be another interesting and eventful month. I'm trying to restrict any driving to approximately 2 miles or less from home, knowing that I will need to junk my car at the end of the month. I'm also greatly anticipating a trip to Oregon with my mom, in which we hope to get a fantastic view of the total solar eclipse. Pass 6 will be done soon, which means a nice long break from Geren book editing for a few months...and hopefully that will yield more time for reading, art, and writing. Alas, while I have a growing list of books I'd like to get from the library, it's still too hot to want to try to bike there...maybe in September.

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July 2nd, 2017
08:26 am
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Waiting June
Limbo month, in many ways. But thankfully not devoid of bright spots. As seen in the list below, I did finally get that interminable, life-devouring, ulcer-inducing, computer-torturing art project finished, if too late to get it printed out for my birthday. And now I'm glad that I did! The whole picture doesn't look good as computer wallpaper, but three pieces with the three characters do, and I have been immensely enjoying them in the past few weeks. (Albeit petting my monitor screens a little too much as a result!)

My other blessing is that Geren book 3 rewrites are the one part of my life not stuck in limbo and still proceeding. Got pass 4 wrapped up and launched into pass 5. Since that can only be done at home, rather than bus rides/lunch breaks, it pretty much wipes out any opportunity for much progress with any other major projects until it is done. But I am still ahead of schedule, and very glad for it.

The future of Triune is still in limbo and my other big prayer requests are largely unanswered, except for knowing which story is my next project. The darkest one on my list, of course! Quite fitting.

June 14 - Finished 'Laughter' (Parent's Woe illustration) at last!
June 22 - First platelet donation of 2017 (finally!)

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through In Progress, 28% complete
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started


As for July, I'm not sure. Keep pressing ahead with book 3 work, and maybe get the ball rolling on the next art project, or story, or both. Maybe. Thanks to the latter part of June bring the blessing of some below-average days, my seasonal depression defenses haven't been thoroughly tested yet. July brings the horrible height of summer, so my level of functionality will be directly correlated to my ability to manage semi-decent sleep.

Hopefully some sort of breakthrough will come soon, but I have to be prepared for July to also be lost in horrid limbo. Time will tell...

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June 1st, 2017
05:25 pm
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Mangled May
Mangled is definitely how I feel after toppling through the finish line of this month. It proved a brutal, challenging, and very frustrating month. The one and only bright spot has been my continuing progress with Geren book 3 rewrites. Though unfortunately I'm no longer much ahead of schedule, at least I am not yet behind.
 
I really wanted to have my current unending art project on the pathetic accomplishments list below. Unfortunately, it is proving too much for my old computer, and so many things have gone wrong over the past few weeks that I feel close to a nervous breakdown or at least a massive bout of ulcers. Worse, I expect I will thoroughly hate the sight of it by the time I actually manage to finish. So much for printing it out and hanging it in my bedroom for my birthday!
 
But the maimed art project is far from the most painful event of the month. That was actually near the beginning, when I abruptly realized that what I had to sacrifice at the end of April not only changed my future but destroyed what I needed for continuing the second Triune novel. God made me surrender the hope I required as "fuel" to write those novels, but the worst part is not knowing for how long. Weeks, months, years, or permanently? If it's permanently, I would really like to find out soon so I can throw it all out and stop hanging in limbo.
 
But I'm not getting an answer to that, or any of my other big prayer requests at present. Hence it being a frustrating month. Very.
 
May 2 - Finished chapter 1 of 'TDoT'
May 3 - First blood donation of 2017
 
Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots In Progress, 20% complete
Pass 5 Verbal read-through not yet started
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout not yet started
Pass 7 Final sweeps not yet started

 
As for June, all I can hope is to keep rolling with book 3 rewrites and maybe even finish that art project before it puts me in a padded room or makes my pc explode. I would like to start writing something, but that's another prayer request that's not getting answered. June will also bring my first real challenges with summer light and heat, as I'll find out how well I can maintain my health and mitigate summer depression symptoms in my new place. Probably not as well as at Aldamar, but hopefully not too dreadfully badly, either...
 
June also brings a pay raise and my birthday, so there are bright spots!

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May 14th, 2017
05:48 pm
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Spring!
Been blessed with some nice weekends and gorgeous venues in which to practise with the camera I got for Christmas. Spring lovers, enjoy!

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