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About Nameless1

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    Lavish Linker
  • Birthday 05/07/1966

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    My fascination with how we shape our environment into a sense of "home" led as far as writing a chapter in Lindstrom & Bartling's SUBURBAN SPRAWL. In a hands-on sense, Dad built my first dollhouse (which I still have) when I was about three. In my twenties, I collected vintage tin litho dollhouses, but when we moved back to California, I sold the collection and started over with my original dollhouse and whatever I could build myself.<br /><br />In ordinary life, I've abandoned both California and college teaching in favor of Arizona and (currently) working at a real estate investment firm. I build my houses partly to decorate and partly to tell stories about the lives of the inhabitants.

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  1. Wowza! Very nice! If I were going to critique -- and it wouldn't have occurred to me if you hadn't mentioned it, so maybe you don't need a critique at all -- I'd say go a little darker toward the bottom and/or wherever your stones would get less sunlight in their final setting. But I wouldn't have thought of this if I hadn't been staring at the photos looking for something to critique, so don't take it too seriously. The stone texture is great.
  2. I analyze investment opportunities -- so, financial statements, various ratios among financial numbers. This week will probably be mostly descriptive stats to characterize different funds, but there are other projects that involve more predictive analysis. This is part of a career change, so I'm still somewhat of a beginner. But I also have my little non-investment hobby project for online pals on another site, where I have an excuse to trot out chi-squared and Welch's t-test and the like. Getting tone right in a scene can be a beast... the scene can be perfectly well-written and yet not do what you want it to do! And characters do tend to slip their leash on first drafts.
  3. Exactly! I cannot write a sexy scene to save my life! Well, not without cracking up giggling. You're actually substantially nearer being publishable (which I know isn't your goal now, but why not, maybe, eventually?) just because you recognize that writing can be hard. There was one group where I got so frustrated with the people who'd talk about how "it just flows" and then show off their unpunctuated, misspelled, incoherent ramblings, and what do you say to that to be supportive? Incoherent notes, sure; but when that's their "final" draft? Like anything you like to do, there are days when it's all easy and fun, and there are also days when it's an effort to move ahead, get better, get it "just right" and so on. Even a good day of writing left me more tired than a bad day of statistical analysis does.
  4. Oh dear! While I respect category romance novelists -- writing a novel on their timelines is hard work, even if it's relatively formulaic! -- the two writers just don't have the same lives at all. It's similar to the difference between running your own company (Lucia) and being middle-management at someone else's firm (Pam) in terms of what's demanded of them and what support they get. I've encountered well-written romance novels... but... how popular fiction portrays "business" gets on my nerves, so I mostly read non-fiction anyway.
  5. The good news is that you should be sharing it -- agents want to hear that your novel has been workshopped, been to conferences, etc. Many won't even look at a sample chapter if they haven't met you at a writers' conference. And as you already know, you'll need an agent to get a publisher to look at the manuscript, as very few publishing houses will consider "over the transom" submissions. So it's defnitely worthwhile for you to join an in-person or online writer's circle to start your networking. Doing the workshop/conference/networking process is no guarantee that you'll get the book published, but it does vastly increase your chances of success. (Genre romance novels are probably the one fiction area where this is much less true, since Harlequin actively solicits submissions from new writers.) Good luck and have fun!
  6. Large sponges can be cut to appropriate sizes for beds (the fluffy, soft rectangular sponges are nicer than the ones that feel wet coming out of the bag). Wrap in fabric. Cut a headboard from cardboard and either paint that or wrap it in fabric too. Same method works to make simple, modernist chairs and sofas. One chunk of sponge for the seat; one for the back. Put buttons on the bottom for low feet if you like. Large spools make good end tables. Smaller spools with large buttons on top are nice counter stools. Sometimes, the bits-of-wood section of craft stores will have bits-of-wood shaped like table lamps! At thrift stores, keep an eye out for salt and pepper shakers shaped like kitchen appliances. Several lines were made, and they'll be cheap at thrift stores because often only one shaker shows up. Scale is usually closer to 1:18, but when the kid is old enough to notice, she's also old enough to be gentle with better furniture. Alternately, the Corona Concepts kits also give you a lot of furniture for very little $$$ -- you can save a ton of time by spray priming them, then spray-painting in nice colors. Do any detail decorating with stickers or glue-on motifs. The one problem with this method is that the furniture is too hefty for some of the smaller GL houses. (I'd bet it'd fit nicely in a Laurel, though.) Once it's built, the furniture should stand up to anything short of a toddler sitting on it.
  7. I love American Accents' Stone textured paint but have not tried Krylon's version.
  8. Bless you! Back when I taught at SUNY-Albany, I even had an irate parent barge into my office! Now that Nat's middle-school worries are over, and after she's had a bit of a summer break, it's time for her to think about what she wants to accomplish in high school beyond slogging through to graduation. The more she has goals she's willing to fight for, the more easily she'll be able to endure the dull or apparently meaningless bits. To the extent that she's allowed space for electives in the first two years, one goal should be "trying new things" -- for all anyone knows, she has some fabulous talent in some field that she's never been exposed to yet.
  9. Just about everyone has these slumps. Go out and do something else for a bit. Run around in the sunshine. Resolve other issues in your life. Read books you thought you'd never be interested in. Take more vitamins. After a while, your brain will recharge and the mini-building part will function again. You're very fortunate to have a whole room where you can shut the door -- my sporadic work on my Orchid takes place in the living room, which is a disaster when other priorities cause it to stall. So take advantage of this fortunateness -- shut the craft-room door and give yourself a break.
  10. When I used to collect tin litho houses, I'd have dreams about finding incredible ones in obscure antique stores. Can't recall any dreams about building dollhouses, but I suspect that's because I work on my houses too erratically and infrequently. If you're dreaming about something that you've been doing, it's usually because your brain is tidying up after whatever you've been learning.
  11. What's uncreative about black and white? RGT's site has a tendency to promote pastels or bright pinks as the colors for their houses, so you're swimming against the flow. In any case, white with black trim is the classic farmhouse combination, so you're not being uncreative... you're being authentic. I'd be tempted to do the interior in stylish black-and-white as well, but that's because (a) all ideas tempt me for about five minutes, regardless of merit; ( black-and-white is extremely "in" among real-life design afficionados right now; and © it's really easy to get small-scale black-and-white fabric and scrapbook paper and such. Your house is off to a great start and will look fabulous, anyway!
  12. You've found the "Yorktown" Houseworks windows and doors, I take it? Those are Colonial/Federal era -- good for houses from the 1760s or so through about 1830, and then again for "Colonial Revival" houses that show up from the 1920s onward. So think Georgian... think Queen Anne furniture... but don't think Victorian. Of the GL/CC houses... if the windows and doors are the right size, they'd be excellent in a Willow, but that's about it. You could make an argument for putting them in a Laurel. With most other candidates, you'd be putting Federal windows in a Victorian house. Real-life people did that to update their Victorian homes to Colonial Revival in the 1920s, so that would be terrifically authentic if your house is to be set in the 1920s or later but off-key if it's intended to be completely Victorian.
  13. Not exaaaactly... but I managed to set the bathroom wall in my Orchid off-square more than once... and there's the half-scale RGT house that I completely disassembled because the colors I'd pre-painted the interior turned out to look horrible, and I had to take it apart to get in the corners. As you'll see in the Orchid team blog, I have also entirely ripped apart houses just because I changed my mind late in the game. (I need to update that, come to think of it.)
  14. Fish oil pills. Wonderful stuff for skin and hair.
  15. *gasp!* That is a gorgeous house and a great blog. More, please!
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