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I am so excited [ profile] duikermeisie and [ profile] used_songs and E (not on LJ) and I are going to have a biking and writing weekend in San Antonio the first weekend in February.  I LOVE having adventurous writerly friends!

Now to drag my bicycle, which is a very good one thank goodness, out of the garage, dust it off, make sure it is good to go.  I plan to take the Friday of the 5th off work so I can drive up early and find a lovely place to write the afternoon away until Helen arrives, then we'll bike adventure the next day, and then have writing time, then go home on Sunday.

This last week was well spent hammering out the last ten chapters (THE OUTLINE, NOT THE CHAPTERS) of my current novel.  I have to write them still, but this hammering-out the plot helps tremendously.   I have got to step up the production now and get this thing done!  Now that I have a map to guide me to the end, I am confident I can make it happen, stick with the Hodderscape synopsis (mostly--my character doesn't seem to want to be magical in any way, so I am letting her win on that), and it will be way too long in the end, but I'll address that problem later.  I estimate hitting 130 words, dammit. DAMMIT.  Way too long for YA, but perhaps because this is 'crossover' I can get by with 110,000.  I shall not worry about it!  Nay!

And now it is time to go to bed.  I'm doing 100 days of keto on reddit and can't wait to weigh in the morning.  Work tomorrow, but because of hte banks and court houses being closed, we should, SHOULD, have a relaxed day.  Better.

I had a good day, a good weekend, especially with my puppies.  I bought Shelby (the red) two new clouds. She loves them!  Maddox has no wish to lay on them.  He does, after all, have the couch.

EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION of what I hammered out. :)

Okay so I am really and truly enjoying this show.  I've tired of dark shows (looking at you Jessica Jones--though you were brilliant, I am just worn out by brutality) so after mainlining Eureka, where I would like to live thank you, I decided to finallly get going on this show that I've heard about for so many years.   Am well into season two now and it is really cool to see the variety of situations they come up with.  A time or two a few things have sparked ideas for my story, which is very unexpected.

Today's writing was a continuance of working on the rest of my plot.  It is weird that I can't quite see the ending yet, but I think I sort of kind of know how it is going to go.  I had to come up with something for the hodderscape synopsis -- it may work, but may not, not sure.  I just sure wish I was done with this first draft.  Even though I'm writing one way or the other almost every day, it is just creeping along so slowly.  How do you people write so fast, you who write fast?  My brain just doesn't work that way, though I am writing faster than I have been.  So I guess that is something?  Was hoping it would be done by end of January - end of February is probably more reasonable.  WIsh I could just take a week off, grab my dog and head out somewhere pretty and beautiful to work on it nonstop.  Ah well.  Gotta work. Sigh.

I think Maddox has the right idea.   Night folks.

I seriously am not sure how to use this planner I bought.  It is a coloring book as well.  I got it to help me keep track of what needs to happen when, even though my phone is perfectly capable of doing this.  But my daughter suggested writing down things would be helpful, and as I've recently discovered, I really like writing down things.  So I am giving it a whirl, writing down...things...into it.  We will see if I abandon it.  But some things are better typed up, like this stuff:

WRITING.  I sat down today at lunch and this evening at B&N (my favorite writing place) and hammered out a rough outline for the rest of my current ms.  I am being careful to follow the synopsis I submitted to Hodderscape, as I figure it would be pretty unwise to change things dramatically from what they are reviewing.  I estimate about 8, possibly 9 more chapters to go. Or 10.  At a chapter a week pace, it will be more like the end of February before this is done, but I think that is okay.  There are no signs that Hodderscape is in a rush now, so I feel a little more relaxed about it all, but am still pushing forward.  No lollygaggling here, nope.

EXERCISE.  We have a new gym here, called Youfit.  It is purple and green.  And gorgeous. And smells good. My son and I joined and today we had our assessments which mostly consisted of what a personal trainer can do for us.  I loved talking to James, and he is now my personal trainer for the next two months, twice a week. I am super excited about working with a personal trainer.  It is something I've always wanted toay's do, but frankly didn't have the money - it is expensive.  But I need to do this for myself.  I want to get strong, I want to lift weights, and I want to live.  So now it is time.  My first session is Saturday morning.  We shall see how it goes!

AUDIOBOOKS.  I love audiobooks - current listen is non-fiction, "Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Yourself... by Shonda Rhimes, read by Shonda Rhimes, who is head writer of Greys Anatomy, Scandal, etc.  Talk about a fun, interesting, and empowering book.   It was recommended to me by two of my writing group friends and I am glad they did as it somehow is reinforcing in my mind all the things I have already figured out about me and my writing, creativity, balance, etc.  A good listen for sure.

FICTION.  I have too many books to read.  This is not a bad thing at all.  I didn't join in on any reading list groups but I do have some certain books I plan to read soon.  The first is Uprooted by Naomi Novik.  I read the first few chapters at DragonCon as it was a booklet set out to grab--and I couldn't get it out of my head (read it during a boring panel).  So I finally treated myself to it today.   In book form.  It has been a long time since I've bought a hardback but I did today.  After this will be the next Lhind book, Lhind the Spy, by Sherwood Smith.  I am late to the party on this book, grrr (at myself) because I missed when it came out.  I love Lhind!

DOGS.  Awesome and silly as always.

FAMILY.  Well, my son is suddenly single - his g/f broke up with him and I am happy that he recovered so quickly. I liked her, but I guess it wasn't meant to be, and he says much the same.  Still it hurt, especially right after Christmas and her birthday and he went all out for both. Sigh. He has moved back in with me (with cat) and I love having him around.  I like living alone, but I love him here.  He does intend to move out again, of course, so I will just enjoy him while I can. He needs a better job, and to figure out a few things, but I trust he will get there.

My daughter is doing fantastic - she has an amazing job with amazing pay and amazing travel and has an amazing boyfriend who has an amazing new job, they are amazing, so amazing!  And they just got a new condo in Dallas (AMAZING never thought she'd land there) and they plan on getting an amazing Corgi.  Amazing!  I am so rocked out by how well she has been doing.  She's with a fantastic company and is moving up quickly in responsibility.  I am not surprised at all.

My sister-in-law is in jail for criminal trespass.  Wow.  Not much I can say there-- Nope.

And now it is 11 o'clock and time for me to go to bed.  That is it for now. Amazing!
I've felt drawn lately to return to LJ to ramble about things - I have become a Facebooker, yes (though honestly mostly a Redditor), but to actually put myself out there makes me not so comfortable.  So I post a lot of dog and food things as a result.   I've decided I need to just be here more often as it is a good place to at least sort of know who is reading my intimate ramblings.  So onward with the update, which is in list form, because I am tired and sleepy and want to go to bed now.

Read more... )

Catching Up

Oct. 6th, 2015 10:01 pm
paragraphs: Come Travel with Me (Default)
It has been many months since I wrote a post, except for the GYWO community posts I write now and then.  I just came back online last night after almost 2 months without internet.  The first 3 weeks were great!  I got so much done! I got into a good treadmill habit, cooked, read a lot, hammered out words...  And then it started to get dark earlier, and though the cold isn't here yet, the darkness made me feel lonely.  So next thing you know I am using all my data up on my phone.  Not good.

So got back on the internets and here I am watching netflix, some documentary about water. This is however research, for real!  Water and the lack and manipulation of plays a big role in my ms so I thought this would be interesting.  In fact it is, and has given me some ideas, but it sure is frightening too what parts of the world do with precious water.  (Focus on a tanning factory in India made me nauseous, watching that chemical-laden brackish water pouring into a  river where people bathe and wash and I don't want to know what else).

I am waiting to hear from Hodderscape.  Decisions started going out on the 29th of September.  Nothing yet.  Will they want more?  Will they say thanks but no thanks? Who knows?  Whether or not they want the rest, I'm having so much fun with this story.  I'd like to have it finished by end of the year but we will see.

I also pulled out my ancient fantasy I stopped working on about 15 years ago.  I have no wish to pursue self publishing with it, or traditional publishing (as I am pursuing that with the current ms).  So I am seriously considering having fun with Wattpad with it.  I've got quite a bit of it and I'd like to finish it.  It is funny, rereading that which I wrote long ago makes me realize just how well I wrote back then.  Would that I had never let those who destroyed my belief in what I was doing get near it.   But I am happy with what I am doing now. YA fantasy aka A Girl's Adventure Story is my jam.  As is writing in first person. SO MUCH LOVE.

Otherwise not much else going on.  Kids are good (and both have serious partners! oh my stars), work is good (busy as always), getting my treadmill time in almost every day.  I'm doing Couch to 5k but took off last week. Why did I do that?  Got to get back into it.  My son is staying with me a couple nights a week which is nice, and that is all.

Now to curl up and reread what I wrote by hand at lunch today. I only meant to jot a few things down and ended up writing six handwritten pages. 
When scrolling through my friends list flist thing, I do not like my name crammed next to your name under YOUR icon.  Can that be turned off? WHAT IS THE POINT?

Hello lj

Jul. 3rd, 2015 04:00 pm
paragraphs: Come Travel with Me (Default)

I remember you fondly, and with much love, but I've mostly moved on.   I still am involved in GWYO, and do have notifications when a lot of you guys post, but mostly I am on Reddit, hanging out on the writing/fantasy subs there, and some on Facebook though not every day.   Twitter and I are still pals (hey_cee) but am not even there that much anymore.  I've been focusing on the writing and I realize the more time I waste on social media. the less time I have to write.  And... hardly anyone is here anymore, though I remain in touch with a lot of you via chat or email.   With that said, my email is   Email me sometime!

I am also going to DragonCon this year!  So if you are and we haven't chatted about it, let me know.

Otherwise - that's about it.  I am about to hit 32k on my wip (YA fantasy), and my job is going very well though it is very demanding and keeps me whipped a lot.  I recently got a sizeable raise, which has made life MUCH easier (or will, once my son gets a new job - am supporting him right now so yeah, there goes the extra money!).    Fingers crossed he gets the vet tech position he is trying for.  He should find out today or Monday, or maybe tomorrow.  He has a wonderful girflriend named Jordan.  My daughter is doing great too and on her own, has her own place, has an amazing job that pays more than I make and is her dream job (and she earned that job, by golly!) - and has a great guy named Harry.  But tomorrow is July 4th and I am happy that just the three of us will be spending the day together!  Been TOO LONG!  Or there is other family or the SO's are there - which is lovely, but I am excited it will just be us.

So life is good.  This isn't a goodbye to lj entirely, but...  life is not here anymore really.   Wish it was different but alas.  I thought about using here to ramble about my book progress, but I am so wary of putting this story out before its time!  TRUST NO ONE IT IS CRAZY OUT THERE lol.  Anyway - perhaps later, dudes!!


I got a new computer this Christmas from my kids. :)  It is a Toshiba laptop, a larger screen than I had before and I do have to say I like that.  But my fingers slippy slide off the keyboard so easily!  I suppose I will get used to that but it is a bit frustrating.  (and a few days later, I am getting used to it - and also I've now got it set up on the table with my split keyboard for Serious Writing.  Maddox is my little helper:


I honestly didn't need a new computer.  My old laptop is only a couple of years old - the only thing wrong with it is it has a broken keyboard as in the qwer keys don't work. And the monitor has some damage. But otherwise, it is fine!  So I guess I now have a backup computer.   The NEW computer - Darth! - oh my stars it took forever to get it set up properly for use.  First of all Windows 8.1 is just as bad as 8.0.   Thank goodness Start8 is usable on more than one computer. That took care of that nonsense - it now has a Windows 7 environment. So much better. Those apps are stupid.  I can't deal.

This Christmas was good.  It was a...monumental Christmas for us for many reasons, and it was mostly focused on the kids, their grandma and the new boyfriend, who has become The Boyfriend. I like him.  He is a good guy and he and Tiff have been through a lot in six months, and come out on the other side.   So I am super happy about that. And the son - he starts back to school after having to take a semester off because he totally tanked the previous semester. Sigh.  I have faith though - got to, right? - that THIS time, he will be successful.   He's a junior - again - and wants to change his major but has to pull through this semester first (i.e., has to retake the two classes he failed).   

As for me - I look back at 2014 and realize it pretty much was a year of drifting and not accomplishing anything to be proud of. I fought the blues a helluva lot (and started 2015 with a bout - dammit) despite the happy meds. I guess I will always batttle that.  I read a lot (35 books, most of which were YA), and didn't write much, though a lightbulb moment occurred mid October - I read so much YA because I like it so much.  So, why not write it? And that set me on the path to reworking an old fantasy idea so completely that for the first time in ages, I feel like I have something good here and worth pursuing.  I attempted Nano but I wasn't ready yet - I had a lot of work to do on things to be ready to write it.  Ready now (got about 16k on it so far).

And.... 2014 got me visiting Canada for the first time, which was awesome.  N and I went up there and visited Klaudia aka [ profile] sheswatching which was incredible fun. I want to go back! It was so much fun! We had a blast!  So much to see and do!  I also went to Florida and met up with [ profile] amand_r and attended a writing con and met [ profile] count_to_seven and then [ profile] momebie. I had a great time though I didn't leave there feeling all jazzed about continuing to write in the m/m genre, despite loving the people. Good people. I am just done with it - and at that point didn't really want to accept that just yet.  Now, I have.  My two books (not the third, which I am going to pull eventually) continue to march along happily and that is good but it just isn't where the heart is.

So now I look to the new year.  I don't want 2015 to be like 2014. It just can't be. I need a good year, dammit.  Hopefully the plans are laid well and that will happen.  More on that, later, as I want to post here weekly for the accountability (to myself, if anything).


How many of you writerly types make and keep up with writing notebooks? As in organizing notebooks, specific to the story you are working on currently.  For the first time, I am preparing one to drag around with me instead of relying on keeping things straight in my head.  Am curious for those who do use them, what you put in them and why you decided to use one in the first place.

I do have Scrivener thoroughly organized, but due to work and craziness I have been doing some handwriting as well when I find a few quiet moments.  I don't like dragging my laptop with me, and can't have Scrivener on my work computer (not that there is any real time to write during work, not with work as crazy as it has been the last few months okay ever since I started work there) so I've been mostly writing in a purple Moleskin notebook, then transferring whatever later to Scrivener.  It is getting rather tatty now though. [ profile] jealousofstars gave me a huge and awesome notebook that I intend to transfer all the notes currently in the Moleskin, along with other notes I have on Scrivener, and write first draft scenes in.    

There isn't any real reason to do this, I suppose, just in order to have it with me, but I like having it all with me.  I like the thought of being able to grab my book and go to the right tab and have all the tidbits there about my characters, cities, etc. etc.   It is also very satisfying to me to hand-write this stuff over again, simply for the sake of doing so as it helps sort things in my brain (which needs all the help it can get).  I do have another, smaller notebook - I may put all the notes stuff in that one and write in the big one.  Oh, decisions!  

I have a new friend, btw!!  He is an Australian Cattle dog named Clanger.  Don't worry, it's a stuffed dog, my Reddit Secret Santa gift from a very sweet Australian university student.  Anyway, for grins, have a picture of the notebooks in question, and Clanger. :)


And now I must get back to this blasted summary thing I am trying to figure out for this book.   Bah!  I know it will change, and change a lot, but I have this crazy need to get it right, now.  For now.

I don't want to go to work tomorrow. Dammit.

I have no idea why the banner isn't working for me.  BUT ANYWAY.  I committed to 200k for 2015.  Pretty daring considering the last 4 years I haven't even written 100k.  But I am moving along with this story, I have real, firm goals, and know what I want.  And I miss community, I miss people, and I really am looking forward to that.  Oh look, the banner mysteriously decided to start working.

Just five minutes ago I realized that so far during nano, I have basically written two chapters. That doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, but that has been a chapter a week, which was always my happy pace In Times Before.  I still have about 12,000 words total okay less now that I spent the afternoon choppiting at what I have because of changes to a character that needed to be fixed, and the need to weave in a journal of folk songs that will prove important later. And somehow now I have more like 9,000 words over 2.5 chapters.  A chapter a week is a good pace with me what with helping MIL, tending to stuff at home, and working.  I'd like to do more than that, sure, but 1100 or so words a day most days seems to be where my brain is geared. So I'm going with it.

more nonsense behind the cut )

My daughter has a Ron Weasley sweater on it.  Big R (for our last name too - convenient!).  I want one!!!

Hello Livejournal. Been two months since we spoke last - about the time I got super busy with my MIL after her foot surgery.  Man that has been a beast, getting her over that and there is still a long way to go. She goes for another checkup tomorrow and I really do hope she gets a good report even though one of the evil screws is working its way loose. Dammit.  And on top of all this, work has been super busy--the more I do, the more I have to do! If that makes sense? I didn't leave work until 6:30 tonight. Sigh.

Yesterday though I had off work - and that was lovely even though it made today more difficult Spent the afternoon at Starbucks with my daughter, me working on my ms and she working on work.   Then we went home, she made dinner for me before taking off for the boyfriend.

So life has been nutsy busy, been devoting lots of time to my MIL, her dog, and working on my writing stuff - I'm sorta doing nano, but really only as a way to keep the focus going.  More important to me that I just keep working on storyline (which has changed dramatically - VERY dramatically).   Why is writing so HARD?  I have to admit though, doing extensive structuring has helped a heck of a lot.  I've gone from 6 pov's to one.  LOL.  I've completely changed the focus of the whole kit and kaboodle.  Oh well.   I wish I was one of those who had the time to write about process, as I'm approaching this in a way that is a it different than what I tried before...because what I did before did not work. AT ALL.  (which explains why nothing I had before is being used now).  Because... because...   Yeah.  Talking to myself. yeah

I miss all you people not reading this. You know who you are.

Watching Sons of Anarchy.  Very different world.  My eyebrows are raised!!  LOL.  Do people live like this for real? They do don't they?  And yet... these guys are good guys at heart.  I think. I'm only on episode 5...

You have changed my friends feed thing to a really crap aka NOT in my style version, and now I no longer see my header.  WTH LJ, I am so sick of this.  I miss the old lj.  

This week has had and will continue to have its challenges - my MIL had foot surgery Thursday morning, and it has been a difficult road since then to try to make progress in healing.  We've ended up back at the doctor's and though he hasn't been overly concerned about the bleeding at the incision site, I sure am!  It has been a real concern.  And the pain, and the massive cramps (we finally got her meds for that). The last two days and today have been mentally exhausting, plus, my MIL LOVES TO TALK OH MY STARS.  Nonstop.  About everything under the sun from Religion (my least favorite subject, pretty sure she'd flip if she knew my true thoughts on the subject)) to politices (another least favorite subject when she is the other person) to who did what when where she lives.   She loves it there, and I am glad, but it is maddening how everyone is into everyone else's business.   This will continue for the next two months, as I will ahve to go see her daily, to walk her dog and check on her.  I AM going back to work on Monday though.

Anyway, it has been a few rough days for us all, and time spent cooking is not what I want to be doing, so I decided what we all needed was a huge pot - or two - of minestrone soup (although Tiff didn't want the red beans, so I left those out).

Here is a cuppa:


One of my daughter's best friends who I also adore because he is awesome loves my soup so of course I had to make twice as much as necessary so he could have some. (Okay the truth is, I ALWAYS make too much of this soup.  Without fail.) [ profile] venivincere asked for the recipe, and of course there isn't one.  I have never had a recipe for this because my mom taught me to make it, and she never had a recipe for it either.

But, here you go - what I did tonight.  Everything canned or boxed (broth) was low or no salt.

We're mostly eating vegetarian at home these days so there isn't meat in this, but it is easy to add of course.

2 boxes of vegetable broth (my favorite is Kitchen Basics unsalted - it is a dark broth which is fine for this)
2 cans of whole tomatoes - big cans that is.  Do not cut your finger like I did, okay?  I need a new can opener
1 can crushed tomatoes (big can again)
1/2 box of tomato sauce (or a couple cans if you have that, about 16 oz. total)

I have my toe in a CSA thing and had a bunch of pretty tomatoes so I cut them up and put them in too.

I used a LOT of tomatoes.

One whole bunch of celery cut in little pieces
A bunch of carrots, also from the CSA thing.  Cut up nicely.
2 big yellow onions
1 bag of frozen pearl onions, because my daughter loves them
1 bag of frozen corn, because I had some
And really any other vegetables you want to throw in.  Rutabaga, bok choy, cabbage, whatever. Stretch your imagination!!  I bought a napa cabbage and totally forgot to add it, btw.  Now what to do with it I am not sure.

ANYWAY - chopping veggies is very therapeutic. Needed that today.  Peaceful veggie chopping, IN MY OWN HOME, dogs at my feet, documentary on the Roku - I highly recommend watching this documentary while chopping your vegetables, though it made the process of chopping said vegetables last the entire link, because the documentary was so amazing. Now I want to hike the John Muir Trail.  Sigh. Awesome Hiking Video for Chopping Up Veggies.

Other ingredients:

Pasta, because the daughter wanted it, and pretty yellow taters, again cuz she wanted them. This soup was really for her, see.

More tomato sauce to taste.  I just add however much looks good and some water to where it looks good and tastes tgod and is good. LOL.

So, I throw all this stuff but the pasta and potatoes (last 30 minutes so they don't get mush, if you use beans, same thing, wait last 30) in those big pots on my stove - 2 pots because I had a LOT of each. A LOT.   Then, I throw in a package of my mom's secret ingredient - Knorr Swiss Leek Soup.  LOL yes that. AND a package of Knorr Swiss's vegetable soup.  Instant perfect seasonings!   I do not add salt as there is plenty in those.  Pepper to taste, we like red pepper in ours but if you don't, don't use it.

I think the basic part is the most important, the broth - the 2 cartons, the half a carton of tomato sauce, the whole and crushed and fresh cut up tomatoes, and the Knorr stuff.  Oh and fresh oregano and parsley which I also had.  :)   Get the basic part right and the veggies slide right into the awesome.  :)

Damn I love this soup!  Serve with corn bread if so inclined.   It would be far better if it was cold outside, but sometimes, you just gotta have soup.

And now back to my MIL's to walk the dog and change her bandages.  And try to get home before my ears hurt. LOL.

[ profile] catsintheattic posted her results on this test so I decided to give it a go too.  Hello LJ, I have been so busy with work and real life and such that I haven't posted in a long, long time.  What's new? Going to Canada a week from tomorrow!  WHEE!   There will be hiking, canoeing, exploring, eating foods, relaxing hopefully, and swimming.  I've been doing the Zombies!Run program to help get into a bit better shape after the long cold winter, and it definitely is helping.

In other news - my daughter is moving home after finishing grad school.  She snagged a fabulous new job here set to start on the 26th. It will be amazing to have her home though it will probably be only about a year or so, then she will get her own place. I rather like living alone, I have discovered (eyes my results below lol) but it will be nice to not have her in another state anymore. :)  I am very glad.

That's it for me - not writing, mostly concentrating on me, though I do plan on doing Nanowrimo in November.

Cee's Personality Type Results


Apr. 6th, 2014 06:42 pm
paragraphs: Come Travel with Me (bearhug)
I can't believe I still have this lj. It was my first - and I am about to change it back to its original name, crimsonspin. I can't believe I remembered the password either! YAY!

Been over a month since my last post but the last month has been busy.  This creates a problem - a post stuffed full of Things that Happened.  So to cram stuff in quickly:

Work. Work is BUSY. We have a very huge, very $$$$ case that will be going to arbitration (rather than trial) the first week of May. We've had a lot of depositions, lots of discovery to organize, etc. -- I will be soooo glad when this is done.  My job consumes me.  it would be very easy to make my job my everything but I just can't do that to myself.  It sure seems like it is everything at times! LOL. Thankfully, I really do love my job and the people I work with, the environment, and my boss.  Working in law can be super frustrating, challenged, and awesome. We won an enormous case this week through summary judgment (hearing with just the judge) - I wasn't at work Friday but our client sent champagne, gift cards, roses, donated to St. Jude's in the firm name... I've known this client since I was in college and he was a friend of my spouse's, he was in the fraternity Kel was in and I was a little sister in, so am super happy for him that we blew this out of the water.

Writing. Continuing to work on merging the two storylines together - about halfway there. I've never used such an intense, thorough outline before, on anything.  It freaks me a bit to have done it this way but the story is so complicated, even though I know it so well, that having a backbone down just seems essential.   I meant to start the actual writing today but my sister came into town this week so I've put this aside all the past week.  So therefore!  My goal this week is to get the rest of this put together.

Reading.  My sister gave me her unused Kindle Fire, which is connected to her account, but she has such an interesting library I'm going to keep it connected.  I've not read mystery in awhile but she has the first three books by Jeff Abbott's Sam Capra series.  I'm in total love.  I love the character (he does parkour!! and makes it work!) and I love the adventure, the adrenaline (which is the title of the first book lol), and the storyline has me excited... just...  Yessss...  happy reading.

Rainbow Con. April 17- 20, in Tampa, Florida! This is as it says a very rainbow-colored conference, focusing on LGBTQ fiction. I'm going with [ profile] mand_r. I'm not really active in m/m anymore but I'm looking forward to just getting away to somewhere for the weekend, meeting Mandr at long last, meeting other online friends, and eating Dim Sum. :)

Niece. Alexandra aka Lexie aka Lex Cox is my sister's daughter - she's a senior in high school, is a National Merit scholar, and she has five universities so far that want her. She's going to study Physics. The wee child has the smarts but is funny and goofy. Very. I want her to go to OU...because then she could take the train to visit here whenever she wanted to. But we will see how that goes.  She has a huge decision to make.

Daughter and Son. Daughter still in Orlando, now will graduate with her masters in July. I have no idea if she will stay there, move home, go elsewhere - got to get graduated! I miss her lots. Son is struggling a little right now with school - he is frustrated by a couple of the classes required for his degree in Biology. I am frustrated for him but all I can do is encourage him and if he decides to go back to take those evil non-major classes at the junior college then he has my blessing, without doubt.

Health Stuff. Forever working on this. Am about to do my second Whole 30 starting tomorrow. I am excited! The first one went great - Sigh - if only I'd kept it up!  If I am concentrating hard on eating right, plan ahead, have good stuff stocked in the fridge I do great, but I fall apart so easily and I've realized that dammit, growing older DOES make losing weight and being in shape harder. VERY HARDER. LOL. WHINE MOAR. It is what it is, I'm almost 52, gonna stay focused on eating right and getting more exercise in - my daughter bought me a Fit Bit and I am STILL WAITING for her to send it to me. ARGH. Send it NOW... She is so busy she hasn't had time to send it. (grrr - she should never have told me lol I would've bought it myself).

Dogs.  Maddox gained 5 pounds over the last year. He is now on a diet. No more stealing bits from my plat (meaning I am no longer allowed to give him the last bits from my plate). So sad! I feel awful I made him gain weight. Too many treats!

Otherwise this month I did a lot of fixing of things - from cars, to house to buying new furniture, buying new clothes I checked through my long list item by item and got it all done.  Life is expensive! But am very pleased with things.

The last thing I had on my list was to get new contacts.  About six months ago, I suddenly realized that with my contacts in, it was super hard to see my computer screen whereas distance-seeing was fine.  Sigh, yes, it finally happened - my vision had flipped and the only way I could see the computer was to have glasses with my contacts up close.  I made do with this for the last few months but got so sick of it so yesterday I got a pair of monovision, with my left contact for up-close and the right for far seeing and somehow they are blending together so that though there is a smidge of unfocusing when I go from far to near (like from Face Off on the television to my computer screen) I think this will work great!  I hope so anyway.

Not much else here - I've had so little time for things!  I'm behind on watching all the shows ever, I hardly am on twitter because of Life, and all that good whiney stuff, but am ready to start April with a good kick in the right direction. Yeah baby.

There are so many things broken around my house that I need to get fixed:

1. Kitchen sink - garbage disposal is dead, and my hot water is turned off under the sink because of the leak i had a few weeks ago that totally saturated through to my bedroom before I discovered it. I can't fix this one myself dammit.

2. Bathroom toilet - it is dead. I know how to fix toilets, but for some reason the water won't shut off. It is bizarre. Fortunately my half-bath is right next to my room, but what a pain. In fact I need to redo my entire master bath. It looks like a college dorm bathroom. Boring.

3. Fence. I need help turning my fence into Sibe Quentin - there are two main places where the dogs have destroyed it (chasing squirrels and possums) and so the places are covered up with junk. I need desperately to get planks replaced, fencing generally fixed, and chicken wire/gravel put around the perimeter (best cure for husky escapes). If I do that, then I can get a doggie door and the dogs can go in and out all day.

4. Carpet - needs ripping up and replacing. Badly. BADLY. I spent soooo much on that carpet - and then got huskies.

5. Walls - got a professional paint job 9 years ago but it needs serious touching up all over - love my yellow walls but edges, baseboards, etc. yeah. Kitchen needs repainting too.

6. There is a hole in the wall in my bathroom. Needs repair.

7. Little bathroom - needs baseboards. Tiff painted it a pretty green and I like it but it is so generic. It would be nice to spiff it up.

8. Upstairs - major cleaning, throwing away of old furniture, two aquariums need breaking down - son owes me and needs to take care of this crap

9. And then of course my car - needs cosmetic work (new side mirror, new front grill, the hood has dents that I think can be fixed, the dark blue paint is being beat up in the Texas heat and I would love to get that spiffed up).

10. Backyard - huskies are very hard on yards, and my yard sucks. I would love to build a new back porch, big slabs - I know how to do it as my co-worker did and told me how to do it but damn, hard work. I also want more trees. I have a big backyard. Wait - more trees means more squirrels....

I also want to get a new table and chairs for the dining area, sell my treadmill and move the little marble table into the kitchen area - I want to steam my floors too. And fix the front yard up, plant flowers...


Okay not really - but seeing this list makes me think I need to figure out what of this I can do myself, what I can get my son's help, and who can do the other stuff for me. I need a handyman! Or woman! Someone! And a plumber.

At least, thankfully, I know my a/c won't give out on me this year - it is brand new! It CAN'T!!!!!!! And is under warranty.

Also - this afternoon I went to Starbucks and poured through my oldoldold fantasy and the newer one and realized that yes, they belong together - it was interesting to read back through my outline of the old fantasy and see where I lost focus on some of the characters, especially Milandria, but where in the new fantasy, she has a rich role... and I realize that it won't take much work to rework the entire outline, weaving them together... the story arcs... so important they all work, and in the oldold it all fell apart and I couldn't see it...

I definitely think it is worth the effort of seeing if it truly will work as I see it in my head. Definitely.

Finished the Cleopatra Selene trilogy this morning from 2:00 a.m. to about 4:30. LOL. I woke up at 2:00 and went to the restroom and thought oh man, so close to the end... shouldn't take long! And so I did. And bawled like crazy, hit my emotions hard and awesomely - absolutely LOVED this trilogy (Stephanie Dray is the author). If you like first person, female POV, an MC with incredible insight and a damn good journey, exquisite writing (well I sure liked it) and a writer who makes a world and time and place come to life... yeah. Good story.

Am rewatching Orphan Black in prep for the next season/series. So excited, so fabulous to watch again - picking up more stuff, little hints, and am clearer on things. So damn good.
I want to start keeping tabs on myself regarding progress on my story (ok stories) I am working on, so figure the only way to do that, is to actually do that. LOL.

1. Altered Fates - part one of my epic fantasy - current word count is just over 100k. The outline is about 15k, and at this rate this first book is going to be 400k... a wee bit long, yes? LOL. I don't care - this is my 'for me' book that I really am enjoying sinking back into, the one I've had around in different forms for around 15 years. Who knows what I will do with it in the end but it makes me very happy to think about these characters again. :) The outline is just in Word right now which is difficult to work with so I'm going to start plugging it into Scrivener tomorrow. I realized though as I read through the outline again that my other story (2. below) weaves into it in several important ways, and now I am wondering if I shouldn't weave the two together, removing some of the silly stuff that one writes out of this... Going to consider that, and ponder that further.

2. Song of the Siren - the one that dovetails into the above. Hmmm. The more I think about this, the more I like the idea... Hmmmm... Ponder. Only 6,173 words written so far in this one. Hmmmm....

3. Wayward, my poor dear science fiction story. At 41,292 and complete for now, it is a wretched wordcount, but I do have it figured out how to get the story bumped up into a better wordcount. Science fiction aka the science fiction world continues to freak me out but is freaking me out less with all the good that is coming out of the bad. There are some great people out there determined to make changes, and that is a good thing. I love this genre, have been an avid fan since I was a kid (thanks Dad) but the genre itself has always been such a turnoff because of well, many things. Lots of things. Things I never experienced in the mystery genre, but my heart just isn't in writing mystery. But this story... I love it so much and it WILL get out there eventually.

4. Stage - my first person story I refuse to talk about anywhere because I am guarding it so fiercely - currently going back through my massive dissertation I bought on the particular subject at the root of this story. I finally realized what was wrong with my plot - things happened TO my character. That was it. He did nothing, was just along for the ride! No wonder I just went meh. This one is heavily influenced by my love for Jacqueline Carey's work, will be in first person, and wicked, and has been in my head not as long as 1. above, but about 6 years or so. It needs to live.

Tomorrow the plan is to watch a movie with Nick and Klaudia (we are making our way through all the Oscar nominations and tomorrow is my turn to choose so I am choosing Captain Phillips) then I will walk Maddox for a good hour, then dash to the store and then go hide out in Starbucks, maybe, or somewhere. I need a table to spread out on, and a comfortable chair. Starbucks has new chairs and I question whether they will be comfy - am disappointed they redid the store and took out my favorite bench seating. Will be seeing the son later on...just spent 926 bucks to get his car fixed. SIGH. Not exactly the birthday present he envisioned (and the one he envisioned would've been much cheaper for me! LOL).

Otherwise, that's it - was sick last weekend and Monday and it is gorgeous this weekend, so very much looking forward to the next two days.

Current read: finishing up (I read so slowly) a trilogy written by Stephanie Dray about Cleopatra's daughter, Selene, pretty much set in Rome. I love it. It is supposedly historical fiction but to me it reads historical fantasy because hello, magic, and lots of it. But I love the author's voice (first person) and love stories set in this time period, and am impressed with many things about the storyline and characters... so much so may have to tap thoughts down later. Then I have a friend's book to read next, also about Rome, I am looking very much forward to. :)

Also, I keep thinking of things - will start another Whole 30 next Saturday - my sister and her daughter are coming for a brief visit and well, you know, gotta look good! Plus I just loved doing it before and I have found myself slipping into laziness and eating processed foods again and way too much bread bread beautiful bread how I love you bread... which always makes me feel like crap. LOL. So yeah, a week from tomorrow, whee! Can't wait!

And that is all from me.
Busy busy busy busy busy at work, and I didn't get much of a lunch, but I swear, I work for the coolest people. I love the way both Jim and Desiree are so freaking appreciative, about everything. My insisting that 'this is my job'! gets ignored. LOL.

Today was a beautiful day so I raced home as fast as I could, tore into the house, ripped off my work clothes, slammed on my play clothes, threw Maddox's gear on and we got out of the house for a nice long walk. A bit chilly but with brisk walking warmed up plenty. It got dark before we got home but I stuck to the busy streets and street lights and we were fine. It felt SO GOOD to be out and moving about - we got a good walk in Sunday too (then monday and tuesday were icky). Surely spring is just around the corner? SURELY??????

Okay, that's it for the moment! Until tomorrow! :)