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Merry Chri---err Happy Valentine's Day
Hey Reader,

Oi, I gotta tell you, we haven't even had Christmas yet and I spent half the night last night putting out VALENTINE'S candy. You read that right. I'm like WTF? I don't get it. People have been spending tons of money on candy and the like for a couple months now and now you're trying to get them to spend some more on Valentine's when we haven't even had Christmas yet? Gah. I gotta tell you, that's just twisted.

The DUMBEST box of chocolates I have ever seen, hands down, has to be the BOXER SHORTS box of chocolates. Who ever gives this lovely gift has only one thing on their mind. . .hmmm maybe it's the kind of chocolates geared towards Miroku?? The rest of it was the typical stupid little kids stuff for the classroom, though I don't really know what it was but this one thing wouldn't shut up and kept saying "I love you" over and over for about five minutes. I wanted to smash it. . ,

I also have gotten Christmas Eve requested off. After last year spending it in the hospital with my dad being sick, I want to stay HOME and do normal things like attend Midnight Mass and everything. Regardless of what other people think of the religion thing, at least most of us won't have to work those days, right?

Now for the real stuff you wanna read. . .I've got eight pages of the next chapter written so far, and my beta likes what I've shown her, so that's good. I'm hoping to get some more done before I'm stuck working the next four days in the final push of the shopping season. Wish me luck, cause I'll be working while actual customers are shopping. . .God I hope I don't totally screw it up!!

Now I must go to sleep or I'll never get any writing done. . .

Until next time,

Far Away Eyes

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I hope you have happy dreams about family, presents (no valentines), good food and no worries!

Hmm, I don't think I had any dreams today. I think it's that during the "daytime" thing that gets to me.

And yes, NO valentines just yet..gah.

I hope since Christmas Eve actually falls on Sunday they'll give you the day off so you can be with your family.

You know, stores used to wait until after Christmas to put out the valentines stuff, but then again, they also used to wait until after Halloween to put out the Christmas stuff and they certainly don't do that any more. It seems like Labor day was barely past when the christmas trees and the like started showing up.

I look forward to your next chapter. I'm sure you probably won't have it done before I leave town, but I can look forward to it when I come next week if it's finished by then. I need to post my next chapter after I return as well.

good luck working while the customers are in the store. I guess one good thing is since you're used to putting stuff out, hopefully you know where most stuff is if they ask.

Well my boss didn't seem to think it'd be a problem when I asked how I could go about making the request. I just really want to stay home and do the normal stuff this year for a change. . .I don't see it being too much of a problem, mainly since I haven't really worked Sunday in a good while. We shall see.

And yeah, I just couldn't believe it when I got there and my supervisor said that the Valentine's stuff had to go out. I'm like "WTF? We just had a lot of Christmas candy and now you think people will want to spend money on stupid valentines already? Okaaaaaaaay"

I'm quite a ways from having the actual chapter written. I've got a few more scenes to work out. It wouldn't have taken this long if it hadn't been for the fact that some of it involves setting some things up. But that's how it goes sometimes.

valentines... gives me a great excuse to use my newest icon... holy shit

hope you get xmas eve off. i used to hate working the holidays themselves. the build up was ok, but when the time comes, it's really nice to be NOT working and home like all the people in the TV commercials....

Yeah, I know. Can't we just take a little breather between holidays??

And yeah, I really really want that day off. Do my thing with my family, relax and have a nice holiday. That's what I'm looking forward to.

*chortles* Boxer-shorts chocolates?? *snicker* You're kidding me right? XD They're not surplus stock from last year, are they?

¬_¬ But yeah, I think I can see Miroku giving those to "someone special" on Valentines Day . . . And likely getting them thrown back in his face.

^_^ Aww, midnight Xmas eve mass . . . That reminds me so much of being a kid! Haven't gone to that since I was about 11 . . .

Oooh, yay! Progress with the next chapter! *dances* You think you'll have it out before Christmas?

Nope. They're brand spanking new. AND the lamest things I've ever seen.

Poor Miroku. . .he just tries so hard to get the love but goes about it all the wrong ways. He'd do better to stay AWAY from the boxer short chocolates. .

As for the next chapter...not gonna be done by Christmas, nope. I wish, but with all the work and all that, I won't get to get it all done by then..I know, I know. Almost been a full month...sigh.

Aww, that's okay. I can be patient. Journey's worth it! You just try to take it easy and have a great Christmas, hon! *hugs*

Here's hoping a certain slayer doesn't find some interestingly-shaped chocolates in her stocking this year . . . XD

I definitely hope you get christmas eve day off. Myself, I've got a few unexpected days off here due to old man winter vomiting all over my state. You heard about the blizzard in Colorado? Yeah, it's as bad as they're saying. I'm kinda stuck in the house, today.

I hated working retail. Not just around the holidays, not just ON holidays. I hated retail, period. I've just always been a really bad fit for it; surly, sarcastic and strange, people don't want to buy things from me.

I hope this coming holiday is good for you and I'm sorry to hear about where you spent last Christmas. That just sucks.

I haven't been to a midnight mass in... nearly a decade now. I always preferred to go to less crowded masses, but since most of the time I was in choir, that wasn't possible. I kinda miss being in a choir, but I don't miss the religion aspect of it.

Since you referred to it as mass I'm assuming you're Catholic? My in-laws are Episcopalian and while the teachings are quite similar, it always comes as a shock to me to hear my Mother-in-law refer to it as "service" instead of "mass". I'm not a practicing Catholic anymore so I'm not sure she realizes that I grew up in a completely different religion.

Anyway, good luck on that next chapter! I'm looking forward to it.

I got both days off (they're closed on Christmas Day and no truck anyways) so my Christmas is set. I just have to make it through tomorrow and Saturday morning.

I don't really mind retail, but I would rather work nights than days. I'm not exactly very brave sometimes with people I don't know. I'm kind of a walking contradiction. One on hand I could care less what anyone thinks of me and will be kinda brash and loud and all that, on the other I'm kinda nervous about approaching those I don't know. Like the night crew I usually work with (and would be right now if my boss had THOUGHT when he made the sched, but that's another journal) I'm always laughing and having fun with while we work. But some of these day people, who seem to know me but I couldn't place if my life depended upon it, kinda intimidate me. That and since I'm working a department I know NOTHING about I'm afraid of assisting customers because I need just about as much help as they do! Other than that, the job isn't bad. I'm kinda surly and sarcastic myself, so I'm hoping after Christmas I'll be put on more nights again. I have one more day shift in next week's schedule, but we'll see how things go.

Yeah, it sucked last year, but this year looks like it's a go for being at home and doing the traditional stuff. YAY. I don't like opening gifts in a hospital room.

Yep, I'm most certainly Catholic. My mom's half Irish so we're not just Catholic, we're Irish Roman Catholic. . .that tends to scare the Mormons away when they come to the door. My mom has red hair so it's kinda obvious. Okay, so we don't go to Mass every week or do everything we always should, but we try. My aunt traveled to St. Francis of Assisi's home town and got me a blessed medal. I wear it constantly. I took his name as my saint's name at confirmation as he's my fave saint. A dude who also cared for the animals as much as he did the people can't be all bad. I may be religious to a point, but that doesn't mean I always agree with the Pope, either!!

And thanks for the luck on the chapter. It's not going as fast as Inuyasha's did, I think, because Rin's got a few more things going on than he did. She can't get away with eating, doing some hunting, and then having sex to round it off. She's got to do other things cause she's too young yet and that means she's gotta deal with growing up and that kind of thing. Gah, sucks to be her, huh?

I'm Irish Roman Catholic as well... or was. My mother is 2/3 Irish, 1/3 German, all Catholic (once upon a time, she left the Church too). And my dad's mother was Welsh/Irish Catholic, so the family went to mass. I now refer to myself as a "recovering Catholic" kinda making a play on the similarity between the words "Catholic" and "Alcoholic". Not the most politically correct choice of words, but mildly amusing to me.

I took Josephine as my Confirmation name, officially for Joseph, "stepfather" of Jesus, but actually it was for Josephine March of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. She was a hero of mine back then as a "writer", but as I grew up there were more reasons she was a hero. I never was able to find the sequel to Little Women, but I know the premise. The house Jo inherited became a home/school for orphans. I never saw a reason I couldn't admire a fictional character who exemplefied the traits I most wanted to develop in myself.

I haven't thought much about why I left the Church, but I know it has a lot to do with the hypocriy that caused suffering for me and my family. I know it has a lot to do with realizing early that being "Christian" didn't make someone good and that some good people didn't beleive in God at all. And it had a lot to do with realizing that while I believe in the ideals of Catholosism, not all Catholics did, and there were a lot of other religions with the same basic priniciples.

As for scaring Mormans... My brother had some visit him recently, a couple of cute little jailbait blondes. He invited them in and explained Buddhism to them. They left VERY confused.

BTW, I love the way you write Rin. The thing is, there are so many different ways of writing her, so many directions you can go with her character, depending on the setting and her age. Your vision of Rin is wonderful, perfect for a more cannon setting, especially when you've placed her age as a tween, just on the cusp of the confusion of adolence. And Rin is bound to be quite confused, especially with this new talent you've given her. But I think that her "pack" will be a big help to her; Kagome isn't all that much older than her and should be able to empathise pretty well.

There seems to be an odd similarity between Rin and... oh Shoot! I can't remember her name... Poldra? Yeah. I might be imagining things, but I see a similarity, slightly, in personalities between those two, in their inherent... Peacefulness? I'm not sure. I'll think about it some more, though. I also see a similarity bewteen Kagome and C'Nedra and would like to see them become friends.

I've got a question, as a writer. How do you determine who's perspective you'll be writing the chapter, or part of the chapter from? Do you decide before, or is it trial and error? Do you ever have trouble staying in perspective?

I pretty much let people be and whatever religion they got, that's cool. If they haven't got any, that's cool, too. I don't have enough energy to convert anyone and I figure unless you're living under a rock you've probably heard about Jesus by now. People can find information on their own, I've got other things to do.

Thanks for the compliment on Rin. (She's my fave character in the series, which is odd considering how "minor" she is in so many of the story lines). I gave her the talent of the Will and the Word to balance her and Sesshomaru. Up until then, he was the guy with all the power and all that jazz. She needed to be equal to him somehow. Technically, though, I think I totally made her the more powerful of the two by default. She already had a power he could never wield: the power to make just about anyone love her. It's kinda unfair that she could possibly turn him into a turnip if she gets mad at him YET make him still love her to pieces, isn't it? She is a bit like Poledra in the acceptance department. Polgara says in her book that her father, Belgarath, taught her to question and argue, her mother, Poledra, taught acceptance. In some ways, Kagome really exemplifies that aspect. If I was to pick a character from the Belgaraid that matches Rin the most, it'd be Polgara's long dead twin sister Beldaran. She was very sunny and sweet and everyone loved her pretty much from the moment they met her. She was put on the earth to be while Polgara was put on it to do things. Rin's kinda straddling both. She makes just about everyone in the "pack" love her without doing anything, yet she has things to do. I figure as an adolescent, she'll be a bit moody sometimes, but I don't see her doing a lot of the stupid things like screaming at Sesshomaru over something, or anything like that. It's just not in her nature. I can perhaps see her, if she ever truly got mad at him while at that age, giving him the silent treatment, but most of the stupidity of adolescence will pass her by. If you think about it, she's had to grow up way too fast as it is and knows there's more important things than if everyone's looking at her. That's kinda how I've approached Rin as a whole. She's sweet and lovable but tough, too.

Hmm, as for what perspective I choose to write from and how I go about doing that varies. I tend to think about (at least in Journey) what character has gone recently, who hasn't, and if so what they should have to deal with. Other times I am kinda locked in by the plot as to what or who I'll be venturing into the mind of. Like Inuyasha's big chapter with the voice the first couple times. I couldn't really jump to Sesshomaru, now could I! He can't hear the voice! Do I have difficulty staying in a POV? Not really once I get going into it. I have trouble starting it or gettijng into it at first after working with a POV for a length of time. Like, going from Sesshomaru to Miroku nearly killed me. Those two could NOT be any different. I had to lay aside all of Sesshomaru's idiosyncrasies and slip into Miroku's and it was hard because they have such different methods. A lot of the same values when you boil it down, but totally different ways of achieving them entirely. And I did have a hard time going from Inuyasha to Rin. But no, once I get going, I just focus on them. Music helps. I try to find the music they dig and listen to it until I'm sure everyone around me hates it. Any of that help?

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