Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: GIMP

A Guest Cat

Guest cat!

My friend Daz’s cat, Inara, who is our guest tonight.

When I finally pulled myself out of bed this morning, I did so around 11:30, I think, feeling depressed. I’d stayed in bed because of it, but, thankfully, this was my more typical depressive state, where once I get up and about the mood fades a bit. Oh, it’s still there, it’s just easier to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Daz and I were supposed to go grocery shopping together, so I contacted him. Over the course of the first couple hours of my day, we texted and eventually settled on going to groceries at 18:00. He was out. I think I mostly idled. Called Mom for a brief chat, did some more GIMP.

A little after 18:00, Daz contacted me. One of his friends needed help. He asked if I’d mind watching his cat for him. I said no problem, and he brought Inara and the stuff he’d need to take with him to his friend’s up. We went to groceries, and ended up spending longer than expected there. By the time we got the train, it was going to be too late for Daz to catch the bus to where his friend lived, and he didn’t have the money to spare for a cab or something. On the ride back, he told me who it was (someone I’ve met once), and since I had the money to spare, I told Daz to go—that I was not going to let his friend suffer without his help—I’d give him the money he spent on the trip later this week. So, as soon as my groceries were put away and he’d reassured himself his cat was doing well, he went to his friend.

I settled in with the cats and chatted a bit with Daz via text and a couple other friends online. It’s now past my bedtime, but I’m WIRED, so I’m not sure when I’ll get tired, even though I did take my night meds.

Forgot to Post Yesterday

How-To-Gimp Book

My friend JA Marlow got me the GIMP books.

Well, Wall O’ Tired hit suddenly last night, and totally obliterated my thoughts of posting before bed. It was a good day, though. Got in touch with my friend Anita and made tentative plans to get together with her this week.

Also cracked open one of the GIMP books, and discovered that it didn’t mesh with my version of GIMP. I’ve hunted down the version of GIMP the book seems to go to, but I’m not sure just which link in the list to follow to download, so I’m waiting for Jam to get a day off to ask for her help. I figure if I learn 2.8, I’ll be able to move to 2.10 without a lot of problem. I’d just go with the book and shrug the differences off—they’re minor, really—except coming across the differences hit my anxiety and I’m not sure I can just tough it out. But I think if I get 2.8 I’ll be able to learn it with ease. The book I’m using, GIMP for Absolute Beginners by Jan Smith and Róman Joost, is very easy to follow and literally took me through even the earliest steps possible: Downloading the GIMP program itself. So yeah, I think that’s the one to go with.

I chatted with my mom a bit too. She wants to come over on Tuesday, so we set those plans down.

And it looks like I’ll be gaming with Kit’s group this Friday. At least, everyone agrees 3pm is a good time for us to meet. Not sure about gaming on Saturday with MLTGF, though, as Oasis is having 3 major events that weekend and all the rooms are booked and it’ll be very busy otherwise. We’d all have to arrive right at 10:00 to get any tables.

Crazy Days

Gift Books from Somebody

GIMP books gifted to me. From who? Dunno.

This is the kind of craziness that comes from bipolar disorder, not from having hectic days, and the craziness started on Wednesday.

I took my night meds and went to bed. Then I spent the next 3-4 hours babbling D&D plans. Needless to say, I was no longer tired enough to sleep. So I pulled myself out of bed and worked on the D&D plans.

Wednesday, I’ll have you know, is also the day I was to go paint minis with Kit, then spend a couple of hours playing MTG with some friends. All of which I did. But boy was I tired after that.

And what do I do when I get home? I fire up the computer to read incomplete wips instead of going to bed. I think I finally made it to bed around midnight.

Thursday I was up bright and early. I’m counting it, even though I didn’t actually get out of bed until near 10:00, because I laid awake after that initial phone call from Mom. She brought over a window AC unit for me, and we installed it in one of my bedroom windows.

So today was D&D day with my long-time gaming friends and Greg. Today because I was supposed to go grocery shopping Saturday, but those plans fell through after I changed D&D’s date, so I just left it. I think I did better in some ways with the DMing, and in other ways worse. Overall, though, I think it was a fun session for us all, and that’s really what counts most. Phil asked what we should do for next month, and I said MTG since we did Vampires last month. He agreed to that and invited Greg to both the other games, and I think Greg’s going to go for ’em both. I know he’s interested in doing MTG, and he seemed interested to do Vampires too.

Because I expected to meet someone who’s buying my one Nook from me after gaming, I moved with Greg into the main part of the store after gaming. That person had apparently come earlier, mistaking the time we’d agreed to meet. So, for a while, I sat with Greg and went over a method I hope helps him with his MTG playing a little more. I basically wrote out the steps I go through when playing and did a couple of examples for him, then went through the steps with him a few times to ensure he understood the process. He said he’d been having trouble with it all and that my step-by-step format helped him work through it easier, and that makes me happy. I’m glad I could help him with it.

He was kind enough to help me cart some of my D&D stuff to and from Oasis, and on the way in, I checked my snail mail box as I like to do on days when I’ve been out. Found a package box key in my mailbox. Now, I hadn’t ordered anything delivered, so I thought the mail carrier may have misread the name or address or something on the package, but I found two packages in the package box with my pen first name and legal last name and the correct address. Brought them up, then visited with Greg for a while before he had to go—but as soon as he was gone, I opened those suckers.

Someone sent me those GIMP books in the pic above! I think I know who, but I’m not sure. I’ll definitely be asking them, though. LOL

And now I’m going to go to bed early and sleep until I wake up naturally. I am pooped.

Two Days Here

I didn’t do much besides try to work on D&D prep stuff on Monday. Didn’t even do my languages. Went to bed pretty early by my standards, too. I think I hit the sack by 22:15.

Tuesday wasn’t much more active, though I did get out to my volunteer shift. I packed my D&D prep stuff and Kevin picked me up at my request. We stopped at the post office to pick up pride center snailmail, then we went to the pride center. While I was there, I reapplied as a volunteer at the request of the new volunteer coordinator, learned about the volunteer site we have to keep track of our hours and all, and assisted a bunch of people between working on D&D prep work. I took my computer so I was able to get online and my friends on Writing Groove helped me figure some things out (thanks, Zette, and Jam!).

Got home a little after nine and fed the cat, and I’ve been idling since then. Did download GIMP and play with it a little bit. Also put a couple books about GIMP on an Amazon wishlist to research later when I’m feeling more analytical. Oh, and before I went to my volunteer shift, I did both my languages! And I also left a message on the work voicemail for the lawyer Anita referred me to for my VA claims stuff.

Molasses is Faster

I’m a slow thinker. Though I can be witty, it takes a little time to happen. Frequently, I’ll come up with witty and clever comebacks to comments days after the conversations which inspired them. It takes me time to adjust enough to habitually include new things in my daily habits, even if I’m at a job. If there’s a typical pattern to things, it takes me a while to adjust to changes regardless of what that change might be.

This slowness of thought is evident in my learning process. It takes me seeing a movie several times before I catch the whole thing, even if I’m focused on it throughout the first viewing. Same goes for videos. For this reason, I prefer not to learn by video, especially if I’m in a class situation where I’m unable to stop it or watch it multiple times to make sure I’m picking up on things as I should.

Part of the reason I haven’t been opening GIMP is because most of the tutorials I’ve been referred to for things are video tutorials. The two or three I’ve actually tried to use have had instructions like “Click on this, then enter this number in this field here . . .” which are not helpful to me at all. Unfortunately, GIMP is not a very intuitive program; I need the tutorials. I’m not quick enough to follow the mouse around the screen and see what all is happening.

I work best with written instructions, and friends have been pointing me toward more of them. My experience with the video tutorials has turned me off of GIMP for the time being, however, though I do intend to open it up and try to learn. Just need to print out the instruction booklet that I found online and do the same with the tutorials my friends have pointed me to.

And, once I’m comfortable with it, I have the insane desire to go through whatever video tutorials I find I must use and transcribe them with better instructions than “click this here and enter this number in this field.” It’s a goal. LOL

In other real-life things, I put a lot of forethought into them. For instance, my fitness goals. Up until the first part of last month, I was in the process of contemplating how I could become more active in my lifestyle. But this was only in a general sense. I was working myself up for taking walks, not realizing part of my aversion to it was due to a mood swing which had made me incredibly antisocial (to the point of not even checking my snailmail daily—I was that afraid of encountering someone I’d be hooked into having a chat with).

I was discussing contemplation of fitness goals in Forward Motion for Writers chat with a friend who happens to be a Beachbody coach. I mentioned part of what was holding me back on anything besides walking was my knees, and she did a search of the Beachbody site and came up with a fitness program based on tai chi, which had been developed by a fitness expert who also is an expert in tai chi—it’s called Tai Cheng. I watched the little video she pointed me to, and I heard some things from people who’d used it which I liked, and ordered it the day I got paid in May.

Ever since then, I’ve been contemplating adding this fitness regimen to my daily habits, and I’m getting there. Buying the program was just what I needed to galvanize me into thinking of fitness more seriously, and I’ve already done the best I can with my current budget to change my diet according to the program’s suggestion.

On occasion, I make quick decisions like with the Tai Cheng fitness program, then put the thought necessary behind them. But, there’s always that thinking process I go through, whether it’s before or after the decision. It’s just the way I think.

Still, when compared to me, molasses is often faster. LOL

Nano Winner

I have completed the 50,000 word goal of Nano.

I’ve won in previous years, but this year there’s a big difference. I still love my stories. Previous years, writing the gay romances, I absolutely detested them to the point of not wanting to look at them the moment I reached 50k and had won Nano. This was the same whether or not the project I’d actually worked on throughout the month was complete. I had to set it aside because I absolutely detested it.

I wrote more on TPOM3 than I did on Brotherhood. Part of the reason for it is that I’ve been struggling with the latter’s outline somewhat. The rest is simply because I have quite a number of plot cards done on TPOM3, and I knew I wouldn’t reach 50k before I finished those plot cards.

My problem with Brotherhood is that I need to organize the last plot points before I can finish the outline. I’ve done some math, and if I want the story to come out at 120-150k, I have about 25 plot cards left I can do on it. I’m not sure I can fit everything into it with that few. Now that I’m done with Nano, I can spend a day getting down the remaining plot points in order and work out plot cards for them. I have quite a number of things which must happen before the end of this book.

TPOM3 is a little easier to work with. I’m getting better ideas for what to do with the finale, and I need to work out a syllabary for the language. Then I’ll have to go through both wips, since Bremma is mentioned in Brotherhood, and change the name of the country and whatnot. This is simple and straightforward, so I should be able to get it done if I just focus on it.

To help me with the syllabary, I have Holly Lisle’s Create a Language Clinic book, which I’ll use judiciously. The way she has it worked out, I’m afraid I’ll end up with repetetive languages if I just go through as instructed and do everything as it advises, so I pick and choose the exercises I use to create my languages. This was a great help when I worked out some aspects of a language I created for a Science Fantasy project I’m not sure I’ll get back to, so I can’t see a reason why it won’t help with a syllabary.

Once I have everything done with the Syllabary and a new name for Bremma and Enemy Mage, I should be able to make further progress on TPOM3’s outline. I figure I’ll work the rest of it out, alongside the remainder of Brotherhood‘s outline, so I can pick them up and finish them in one fell swoop later.

For next month, I’m planning on printing out the online instructions for GIMP, a graphics program I hope will enable me to make decent covers. It’s a free program, which is why I got it. I can’t afford Photoshop, though I’d love to be able to buy it and use it. I intend to spend all of December working on GIMP, aside from necessary plotting on my stories. I don’t plan to add new words to my wips next month, but I may if I get desperate. I just want to get to know GIMP well enough to fiddle with it for my covers.

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