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July 2017

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This has been a strange writing year.  I wrote Tons and Tons the first couple of months, then hit a wall when I finally accepted my YA fantasy was not YA, but was in fact just one character who's storyline belonged with my old epic fantasy.  So the next two months were spent weaving those two stories together.  I finally accomplished that at end of May.  Damn hard work because first I had to rewrite Aneli's story (the YA-not-YA) back into third person.  INSANITY.  But I did it, and am extraordinarily, thoroughly, wildly pleased with the result.  

Then June happened - work on my house - my dad getting sick (he is doing great yay) - and work slaying me - and insert 20 more excuses - and I didn't get any writing done. July has been better but I am still way behind the goal I set for this year (like 145k behind) in the GYWO group I am involved in.  I figure about 60k of that will finish this draft of my current novel.  Seems about right.  The rest would go into a book I haven't even started plotting yet.  I may need to start playing with that soon - by October at the least.  

Anyway - I calculated what it would take to still hit 200k by December 31st.  179 days are left in the year, after today, so all I would have to do is write 810 words a day every day for the rest of the year.  There is, honestly, no reason why I can't do this.  So I am making a new challenge as of this very moment (and Camp Nano is a huge way to kick it off) of getting those 810 words a day.  I can do this. I want to, too.

Other goals for the rest of the year:

1.   Diet. 17 down, 16 to go.  That will put me, at 55, at a nice 172 lbs.  at 5'8". This has always been a good weight for me and my build.  The goal is for it to be gone by Sirens, which is the end of October. Totally doable.  CICO rules.  

2.   Exercise.  Kettlebells thrice weekly, treadmill thrice weekly, 6k regular steps a day thereabouts, no trauma if I don't hit that.  I have opted to be more relaxed on exercise as when I stopped stressing about it, I started to enjoy it more. Hmmm.  That also coincided with finally starting to lose, so go figure that.

3.   Reading.  My gosh I am behind on reading!  By now I should have TONS of the books on my Sirens booklist read but I don't!  I find it really difficult to make myself just Sit Down and Read Dammit. LOL.  So I am going to pick four from the list and work on reading those by the time Sirens comes around, including the GOH's books. 

4.   Budget.  I have a big bill to pay off (rest of the roof), a plane ticket to buy, property taxes to save up for, and I'm a bit nervous about being able to do all this. I can, if I stick to my budget hard-core. 

I cannot wait for Sirens.  It is like a shiny beacon in the future, calling to me.  I am sad though that one of my friends I made last year now can't come - she and her friend (one of the few guys in attendance) were a lot of fun, but her workload is just too much to take off. Pout. On the other hand, on Reddit I met two more Sirens attendees who I didn't get to know last year, so we're already making plans. This year I will know so many people!  I am ecstatic about this!  Attending that con fills me with possibilities, and hope, and not necessarily just hope about the writing future.  Hope in people, good people, women and men, diverse and intelligent and creative and determined.  I love that, need that.  It is already sold out but if anyone is out there reading this, there may be other slots opening up later. If not this year, how about next?  I'll be going for sure.  



 

My 20 gallon long tank is finally cycled, and I love it!  I have wanted to start a betta sorority for ages, and today is the day!  I will be looking for 4-5 female bettas to join my girl Bette Midler lol.  I keep calling her Poppy though so I guess that is her nickname.  These silly fish (3 tanks now) have truly brightened my life, and I love them.  The 20g long, the 20g tall, and  2.5 though that one needs an upgrade as fighting the ammonia is hard.  It spiked horribly yesterday and I don't want Thor to get ammonia burns. There was a cute little 5 gallon at my new favorite pet store for 10 bucks so I think I will get that for him today, which means an empty tank, which means...  I am going to get another baby!  I loved growing a baby betta. I'll get a female this time though so she can go in the 20 long.

Enough fish talk.

Writing - limping along.  I hope to make some more progress this weekend.  I fell out of the habit of writing during lunch, but I am working to get back to that.  This weekend my plan is to outline what scenes I have left to fill in to get to where what was YA's main character's 'mirror moment' - that moment when she (Aneli is her name) finally realized that it was up to her to take the plunge, possibly sacrificing herself, to save her half-brother and his people (who she always felt apart from, but has finally come to realize they have been her family all along, she was the one who held back).   It was a fabulous ride getting her to this point, but I don't want to continue on with her journey until I get the others to their moments.  (not all at once, that would be boring).  Getting everyone in the same country is the main goal, I think!  And I am super excited about having Aneli meet Milandria at long last.  My two favorite women characters ever!  Especially Milandria - she has been with me for almost 17 years.  

Dogs are great.  LOVE MY DOGS.   

I wish, wish so bad, I could find one person, male or female I don't care, who is local to me who would happily meet up with me on a regular basis for writing sessions.  Everything is so crit-oriented and frankly, that doesn't interest me. Sorry.  I want to WRITE WITH PEOPLE. Like, over lunch or breakfast!  On the weekends, not during the week - everything is during the week, and I just can't do that.   I love when my friend Anthony is in town as we always have such a great time meeting up and writing and dinner and talk and such.  Everyone I know either has families, or lives in Dallas, so it isn't possible to meet regularly.  Sigh.

I have paid up my Sirens registration and cannot wait to go again.  It is in Vail this year! HIGH HIGH SO HIGH in the mountains!!  I love this con so damn much.  It is women-focused, Sci-Fi Fantasy, and this will be my second year.  THIS year I go knowing a bunch of people which makes it even better.   One of the women I met there is also local to me - and clear up north of Dallas.  We've met up a couple of times, and it was awesome, but again - she has family, so it isn't a regular thing.

I never made it to Scarborough Faire - again. I meant to, but the $$ wasn't there, and the roof drama--just too much, and too much going on.  I could go today I guess but again, not gonna happen.

Other stuff - I am loving my house, my backyard, my dogs, my world.  I wish sometimes there was someone with me to experience this, but the one person I'd want is firmly planted, and happily, in England and will stay there.  He has a dog now too - a husky! She is adorable.  I plan to get back there next year.  It has been a couple years since we saw each other :(.  Sadface.  

I suppose I could try dating, but...  Not feeling it. LOL.  Meh!

I suppose I could go do errands now - dry my hair, throw on pants and go.  Then come back and spend the rest of the day with the dogs - tonight after it cools I am taking Maddox to the washadoggery to blow all his fur off. That should be fun!!  





 
I finally found a DW style for my DW that I really like a lot.  Played around with the colors to match my Come... Travel with Me icon, which is my favorite, but that particular Tardis is David Tenant's Doctor's Tardis, thank you very much. 

So, I have definitely made peace with the Chromebook.   The lightness, the way it fits in my purse (I do have a big purse), the battery life, the keyboard, the monitor without lines, all add up to a winner.   I now have Googledocs working in my favor, and am pleased.  Zero drafting in this, then moving it over to Scrivener, will work just fine.  When it comes time to hit the rewrites, I will worry about that then.  I've got a little bit of outlining/planning to do, but will dive in again by the weekend.  I am super excited to be writing this character for awhile - her name is Milandria, and she is one of the characters who has been with me for about 15 years.  She is a strong, amazing young woman, a gifted healer, and is half of the romantic thread that runs through the story - she and her almost-husband, and father of her unborn child, were brutally separated by the attack on their village the day before they were to be married. I put these two through amazingly horrifying hell and back again, and I love every minute of it.  Taking a character, destroying them and rebuilding them even stronger is one of my favorite things to do in writing, and these two have waited over a decade for this.  I love them both so much and they are a huge part of my life - I use her name for a lot of different account names. :) 

It is good to be feeling back in the groove again.  Until today, really, I've been in a post-vacation blues funk. I haven't felt like talking much with people, either, until today.  I have been considering talking to my doc about going back on Welbutrin, but I always found antidepressants killed my writing mojo so I really have no wish to go that route.  Will try to get back on the walking train again - and back on the weight loss train.  I only (only!) need to lose 25 lbs. but it has been a very stubborn 25 lbs.  So, thinking back to what worked before was Whole 30 - and so that is what I am going to do, starting Saturday.  My daughter is doing it too, as is my boss Desiree who is very tiny, but has a real problem with eating right, and eating too much sugar.  Hopefully that and dropping my step count goal to 5500 (from 7500 steps a day) will help - I need some positivity.  That should help in keeping the evil blahs away, I hope. 

This pointless post will now draw to an end.  I intend to write a 'this is my book, this is where I am, this is what I have left to write' post soon, but I want to watch The Americans right now.

Been thinking about this for awhile.  I have a LOT of computers - 2 dead ones too - and the ones that are running are either very old (my Netbook, still running but pre-Vista), one Vista computer, my Toshiba which is a piece of junk, seriously I hate it but I use it to stream onto my tv, my desktop which is offline and only for the music and watching running videos. It is in front of my treadmill in the kitchen.

I also have an ipad with keyboard which is okay but clumsy (I am clumsy), and this computer, a very sturdy HP but the monitor is toast (lines lines and more lines) so I use it as a desktop. 

But despite having all these older, cranky computers, NONE are what I truly need right now - a light, portable, writing-dedicated computer that can go with me everywhere, anytime, always, to get the rest of this story drafted.    Enter the Chromebook!  For $193 I have this little guy coming to me: 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EGBAQXY/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I will be putting Scrivener on it either through adding Ubuntu or utilizing WINE so I can just use the Windows version of Scrivener.  Probably will try WINE first and no I have no idea what all this truly means - I've just been reading about it all this evening. :) 

In any case - this will give me a light, super-spiffy writing computer that I will be able to easily tote anywhere I want without having to resort to packing up and packing and hauling a big ol' laptop around.  I am super excited!!  

And I will NOT be using it for Facebook!  Dreamwidth! Twitter!  NO! NONE OF THAT! This is for WRITING!!!!!

SO SAY WE ALL!

(that makes no sense typed up but I heard it in my head).

Now though it is time to watch The Americans.  Woo!
I swiped this from queenoftheskies (how do I do a person on DW when using the hTML editor?) who got it from Nanoing, and I love it so I am seeing if it works for me! I desperately need a title for this thing. DESPERATELY. Nothing makes me happy!!! THAT DID NOT WORK TRYING AGAIN:
209503 / 325000
(64.46%)
YAY IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got home today from a week in Seattle. I wish I could boast that I wrote thousands and thousands of words while I was gone, but that would be a total lie. That was my intention, but that isn't what happened. I went to support a friend who had surgery - he needed help with that, recovery, and walking his doggie, a wonderful Lab pupper named Cooper.   (I am really happy to be back with my huskies - how I missed them!)

So that is what I did - after the surgery we relaxed at his beautiful apartment in downtown Kent, WA, ate Arby's (really!) and seafood - most notably at Wally's Chowder House.  I even brought a huge thing of the chowder rue home -- frozen, it passed TSA's test (lol they know about travelers and clam chowder, apparently - but do freeze it first if you ever do this).   I will make it Saturday morning - it takes both whipping cream AND half and half, and low-and-slow cooking for an hour.  Then I'm taking half to my son and his girlfriend so I won't eat it all myself.  Which is very tempting.  But also LOTSA CALORIES.  I cannot wait - then I will be on a quest to find the perfect recipe since I can't fly up to Wally's anytime I am hungry for real awesome clam chowder.

While I was gone, I started the process of moving all three of my old livejournals over here - the oldest one, Crimsonspin - 13 years old! My first! - is in the queue now.   Then except for postings for GYWO and checking on friends who are staying there whose posts I enjoy, I am done with it and will delete the other two lj's, and the paragraphs one will be stripped to super basic only.  It was fun while it lasted, and I treasure all the friends I made thanks to LJ.  It changed my life - and I don't at all say that lightly.  It absolutely, completely, and thoroughly changed me, especially after my spouse died.  I am grateful for those years! 

So now what?  I rested SO MUCH for a whole week, that even though I got up at 4:00 to catch my flight, I am feeling dark perky.  Back to work tomorrow, back to routine, and back to dealing with general aggravations of everyday life - like my MIL.  LOL.  She was a bit pissed apparently that I didn't respond to her Easter message (because she is a hardcore racist homophobic Southern Baptist is why and it was just horrifying to me what she wrote, but hey, that was no surprise).  I also am still wrangling with my old insurance company to get all my house repairs done so I can move on from this madness.  Ugh.  I'll think about that later though.

I am horrifically behind my wordcount!  BEYOND BEHIND!!!! IMPOSSIBLY BEHIND!!!!!!   But while I didn't do much (any) writing (like none), I did a lot of work before I left, getting everyone (characters) moving toward the eventual resolutions.  I have TONS to write, so I think I am going to adopt the wordcounter fun on here and start keeping track, and making regular posts about it.  I also still have some major planning to do - I spent a lot of my dog-walking time thinking about the ending, and what I want to accomplish, and if I want to continue on to another book or two or not.  I am just not completely sure what I want to do, other than finish THIS one. 

One last thing/comment - moving over here has made me want to post again.  That's not a bad thing, I think!   I'll continue to cross-post over at LJ though - comments either place are fine and dandy. 

(Oh, and though we had tickets to go to Norwescon, my friend's surgery recovery was a little rougher than planned, so we opted out of going.  It is what it is - I could've gone by myself but.... I really just enjoyed the quiet, dog-walking-thinking time.  I need that more than attending more panels). 

I am so excited [livejournal.com profile] duikermeisie and [livejournal.com 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. :)

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. 

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. [livejournal.com 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. :)

PLANNING NOTEBOOKS

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.






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...

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 [livejournal.com 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.

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.
And, I've been doing writerly things, and a lot of work things, and there has been ice, and I must go be a zombie now (truth!) but really, I really really want to write a real post.

Really.

Was iced in the house for several days. SO much fun. LOVED IT.

So did my dogs. :)


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and lastly, the little Prince

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Every evening when I get home I am greeted by those things in my user pic up there. OH THE GUILT! I feel SO horrid and mean for leaving them from basically 8 a.m. until I get home which is around 6:30, and sometimes later. It never fails though, early or late, when I get home I am met with happy woos and wiggles and lots of licking and wags. And of course I make a HUGE fuss over my beasties - they have been so very good, dealing with this new situation of ours since my son (their Lord and Master lol) moved out. They miss him, *I* miss him, mostly because now I have to go straight home as that is a heck of a long day to be stuck in the house.

But I think I am letting guilt, and the dogs, have too much control over me. As soon as they are let outside, back inside, fed and scritched, it is cuddle time... which means in the evenings, what am I doing? This:

lazyday

Is it any wonder I am not getting a thing done in the evenings?? I plan to behave tonight though. I will work on my ms from 7:30 - 9:00 and then from 9:00 to 10:00 cuddle the dog. That seems fair, doesn't it? (Cuddle Maddox, that is - Shelby is an on-the-floor-girl which given she is around 65 pounds, this is good. I make darn sure she gets plenty of scritches every night and morning and on weekends - I just have to go down to her level. She is the Queen, after all!).

:)

Just downloaded my crit buddy's new draft - am so excited to get started hacking and slashing and writing wicked red comments... bwa ha ha ha ha! No, seriously, this is an awesome story and I am VERY PROUD of you, [livejournal.com profile] jealousofstars for not letting Evil Things sway you from getting this story out. It will do AWESOME.

Okay best log off this here thing - must run to the post office for the boss. Dang it, I am just so weird these days - I absolutely love being here every day, doing this work. The only thing that could make it better is if I could have my dogs at my feet all day. Wouldn't that be the best?!

12-13-010

Shelby thinks so!
6:25 at the end of a holiday weekend and I finally perk up. Also! My new desk setup is all set up. What I need now is plants. More plants. BIG PLANTS.

Where does one find plants, cheap? Do cheap plants exist? I used to know someone who worked at a plant store and she told me when they would throw out old plants... But that place is now a golf store. Dammit!

Is there an online cheap place to order big house plants...

Okay let me take a picture of the latest version of Carolyn Creates a Place to Write Seriously This Winter.

The only problem with the desk is the edge under the pullout drawer- in shorts I have already scraped my leg. Hmmm.

desk are

And the other direction... Still need another chair for my little table. But they cost $179 apiece so they have to wait.

DINING AREA

Look all nice and everything but the carpet needs to go, really badly, and the walls need repainting. Sigh. It is always something!!!

Been watching Mad Men. Nick dragged me into it by watching it while on vacation, so I got hooked despite myself. Am trying to watch it slowly - only one or two episodes at a time - to savor it. I think I actually already said this in a post, didn't I? I am sure I did!!!

Just ready to get started on my Nano novel, NOW.

Thanks to all of you who stop by... I seem to be mostly talking to myself but I guess that is the best use of LJ anyway, right?

Today my mom would've been 78. Or maybe 79, geesh - my dad is almost 81, at the end of the month. Lost mom so long ago... and before she even died (strokes, I hate them so). I miss her all the time, miss having her to call and talk to and share stuff with and just be a kid to. My dad is always there of course but there's nothing like a mom. Miss you so much, Mom. So not fair we lost you so young.
Writing for me has never been a must-do-or-die thing. The closest I came to that was when I wrote Red back in 2003. Writing that book was my way of coping with an incredibly stressful time of my life. I was a very lonely, super-stressed person then, so writing was pretty much what I had in the way of inner happiness, the one thing that was all mine. I worked on Red and I began toying with an idea for an epic fantasy... actually it was the other way around, the fantasy led me to looking for pictures for characters which led me to a Savage Garden cd which led me to looking for stuff online for more pictures which led to slash (OH MY!) lol which led to writing the first incarnation of Red. I have not felt that kind of drive to write since finishing and publishing Red, but life is way, way different now and I am also so much happier than I was then. (just deleted a lot of self-analysis drivel lol as to why this or why that).

(and just deleted a whole bunch more drivel about my past writing. LOL. Let's stop looking to at least that slice of the past, okay? Good.)

What it comes down to is for now at least I have put m/m aside. It is on one hand a bit scary to leave 'a sure thing' behind, but another to find something that makes me excited, and changing genres seems to be what is bringing out the bounce again. I've been happily working on my science fiction story off and on the last few months, but recently I started to think about stories I had started but for one reason or another left unfinished (including that epic fantasy). So, since life here has calmed down, both kids are back in their homes after a nice week long visit, vacation is in the past (sob), and I am living alone, just me and the dogs, and my free time is all mine, I decided to drag all that old stuff out. Again! I have done this so many times! LOL. (THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT I SWEAR.)

Over the last week I've been going over this epic mess. I have around 99k written (about a third, I'm guessing), it is completely outlined (said outline I just found buried in a folder I had at sometime dumped into dropbox), but until recently I could never see how to organize it, make it work. What a mess! But I love this mess! For years I have adored this mess!! Such a mess I could never figure out how to organize it...and then along came Scrivener!

How I love Scrivener!

Thanks to Scrivener I am finally getting things organized, and have realized what I need to change on the outline, and am gaining a solid grasp on the story, and am just totally smitten with the storyline again as I reread it. It also depresses me a bit. What happened to this writer of 13, 14 or so years ago, that she totally lost the spark and fire and creativity I am finding in these scenes? Sigh.

Oh well stop crying, Cee. Now is actually the perfect time to get this all together. Scrivener is a HUGE help, I have the option of self-publishing now which will be perfect for this. I have a friend who is eyeball deep in self-publishing AND does amazing covers who will be a giant, enormous help. This is finally gonna happen, yes it is. Woo! Technically there are 3 stories I have outlined and two with basic but solid blurbs.

My other current project is my science fiction story that is coming along quite nicely despite not working on it since before July (vacation month/kid visit month). I also have plugged it into Scrivener which helped me see what was lacking scene-wise. I have about ten or so scenes to write, then polish the whole thing to perfection before I send it in to the publisher I have eyeballed for it. I had toyed with self-publishing this but no, not for science fiction, not for this story. This little story has gone through the ringer, but I am finally getting it where I want it. I have two other stories planned to follow too. I have a strong desire to get this done and out there...I want very much to sell it while my dad is still around. He is almost 81 and he is why I love science fiction as I do. And fantasy, but mostly science fiction. So yeah, Dad is very much incentive to get this done but I can't rush it either...no rushing, I want this book to succeed! And it has been rejected twice (thankfully!) so I need #3 to be a success.

The other story I dragged out of the dust bin would pretty much qualify, I suppose, as not-urban-but-rural fantasy. Sort of. Another story I have long loved but haven't figured out what to do with, but kinda have more inklings now... Wolfhunter's been around almost as long as Epic but I only have one chapter or so and no real plot yet. But the characters! I LOVE THEM!!! SERIOUSLY! I'll keep this one bubbling on the horizon. And figure out a plot! Good idea, huh! But the characters... Yes. Love them.

I have been playing with this post all afternoon and now here it is after eight. Time to send it up! Am watching Super 8. Never seen it. This should be fun.

Night kids!!





Yawn... I have toyed with this lj all day long!
I am a very nice person. How do I know this? People tell me so, including my boss. He's said several times since I've started to work for him I am one of the nicest people he's ever known. Sweet that my ruse works so well, huh! If he only saw inside my brain.... of course there are LOTS of things my boss/workmates don't know about me that would shock them but, well, not their business, yeah?

Today, I was not so nice, and LOL my boss said, "Good!" when I told him I got MAD. This was all over trying to obtain medical records that I have been attempting to get for MONTHS! *shakes fist* Today, after STILL not getting them, I had to throw out the "Nicest Person Ever" and grab my "I AM FIERCE AND PISSED" hat, slam it on my hat and demanded to speak to this records clerk's supervisor. Finally I got it all hammered out, my request expedited, and a promise made I would have my records on Monday. ROAR!!!!

I really hate having to get fierce because that truly is not my nature. I don't like causing others to be upset, to the point where I wallow in my own frustration and misery rather than upset the apple cart. For some reason I'd rather stew in my own frustration, anger or hurt than say something. This is a life-long issue of mine, and for many years I didn't clam up and just, you know, deal in my own way (and simmer beneath the surface) but instead choose to be fierce first. I need to find a happy medium, I think, both at work and in my real life.

I just want to be liked, you know????

I was sick yesterday. Growl. Fever, sore throat and a bit of a nose issue. Am better today but am super tired. The good news? My knee is much, much better. I have to say, anyone with knee issues should take a stab at HYALURONIC ACID. LOL that is in all caps because I can never remember how it is spelled. In any case, it is brilliant how rapidly my knee has improved since starting it last Friday. Today I only had a couple of twinges! This is a true miracle!

Been working on the expansion of the sci fi which is rolling into the space opera world. Lots of work ahead, but my goal is to have it done by Worldcon which I am attending this year. YAY! It is in San Antonio so I can drive down Friday after work and be back Monday afternoon. I'll miss a bit of it, but I have no more vacation to use. Sigh. I do miss my three week's vacation, SO MUCH. SO VERY VERY MUCH!!!!!!

Anyway. I am incredibly glad it got rejected as lightning struck this past weekend and I saw exactly what needed to be done. Why I didn't see it before...? I am not sure but this story has evolved more than any other story I've ever written. Am learning a lot and enjoying studying sci fi and space opera more specifically. And perhaps that is why I can now see where to go with the story - where it needs to go - because I am more informed. It simply feels good, very good.

It got cold again - yesterday? 76 degrees and we had to kick the a/c on. Today? 38 in the afternoon!!! WTH weather! Usually this time of year we've already had the a/c on for a few weeks. Not this year except now and then like yesterday. What will this mean for the summer? I hope my plants survive this nonsense!
Thanks to    [livejournal.com profile] pir8fancier am inspired to rewrite my mystery that I have the rights back to.  It was published in 2002.  Sadly,  or perhaps not unexpectedly, I don't have a copy anymore so I ordered one from Amazon that I can cut up and scan into our Adobe OCR.  Also unfortunately, I never saw the second in the series published and it too is long, long, long gone.  There was a moose in it...  And I think maybe I have the opening bit and that is it.

So, forget the second book and it took a path I don't want to take any longer.  It will be a fun side-project, rewriting Home after all this time.  

Great weekend. Srsly.  Writer's group Friday night was a great deal of fun, and though I went to the store Saturday morning, I have not budged from home since.  I plunked a chicken in a pot to slowly cook all weekend - bone broth basically, which the dogs love.  Combined with their kibble (which omg, the good stuff is SO expensive!) makes for happy puppies.  They are also trimming up! Shelby is looking better and she is friskier, which is wonderful!  I'm going to keep this going - the bone broth will last all week.  I like this because instead of grazing, they now gobble their food up. This makes for easier-to-deal-with-digestion, if you know what I mean....  Consistency! Routine! this is good! 

So much to do!  The amazing and wonderfu [livejournal.com profile] blue_fjords s coming to visit!! Which means of course I HAVE TONS TO CLEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oy oy oy!!!  I need a list!! I shall make a list!!!  But every room and the back and front would be on the list so maybe that is useless....  LOL.

Finished my hard-copy edits of the sci fi and am now plugging in my changes.  Not sure how long it will take - a week or so?  Next weekend I am going to this con: ttp://www.condfw.org/, A Literary Science Fiction and Fantasy Event. I definitely will be going to this one:  2 pm: Tweaking Reality: How to Alter History Believably   an 4 pm: Who Killed the Courtroom Drama?  Trends in Mystery.  

Should be awesome fun and awesome hard deciding which panels... Oh my!  I am not sure about Sunday.  or about this underline that now will not go away. LOL.  

I am hoping that I will come out of that con ready to burn rubber on my fantasy.  :)  You know, that same one I've had ready to write for a few years now....  well since 2010? Yeah. Since then. 

That's it for now.  Why am I craving a Twix????

I really am.  I have eaten SO WELL all week but have I lost? ANYTHING? NO.  I weighed this morning exactly what I did Sunday....   I tell you what this plateau I am on is ROCK SOLID.  If it was ten pounds less I'd be fine. LOL!!!   I know that a lot of people are into body acceptance, which I totally believe is important, but I am a stubborn sort and don't wanna just yet.  I think it is absolutely true that once you hit the 50's aka post-menopause, weight is harder to get off.  Mind you, for real, I've had no problems at all - no crankies, no hot flashes, nothing.  Just everything...stopped. Lucky me!  But yeah.

Anyway - am considering there may be other factors involved with my body's stubborn determination to keep me right here. Stress would be the big thing which I have plenty of, working as a legal assistant now.  Generally, I love my job, love the often-crazy-pace, but when it doesn't let up and I leave work with so much yet to do that I feel like I should stay late (2.5 hours overtime this week) or come in on a Saturday (um, hell no?) then, well... yeah.  

This week was insane.  I had filings in bankruptcy court - omg, talk about nuts? the rules! the things to do!  Whenever I file anything via Pacer I am always so certain I will screw up!  And then I discovered we did - but - this is the thing - it was not, is not MY job to make sure we have the right things to file. Right? I am the mere typist/filer.  Yet we totally screwed up the notice of hearing (totally fixable, btw) and I am CRUSHED.  And of course my boss says 'don't bring out the horribilizer..." he knows me well. LOL.  But yeah.  Bankruptcy filings, Northern District of Texas FW filings, filings in Dallas court, the appeals court... oh and even an administrative court...  all this week.  There is just so much to do and dear attorneys forget, often, that there is always so much to do AFTER the filings are done. They move on but I have a lot of cleanup online and hard copy-files and such-left to do.  *thunk*

I am whiney about this and yet I love it, my job is mine mine mine, I am awesome at it, my boss told me 'you saved me' - lol - yes I love that - cuz I did - cuz I am awesome....  But DAMN. STRESS!!!

So that and knee still healing and being swollen may be contributing to the problem.  Not sure. Going to keep on soldiering on though with eating 1350 calories a day because well that is a good thing, right. 

Bought a physical book today.  Karin Slaughter, CRIMINAL.   I'm getting drawn back to mystery in a big way these days....my first love, after all.  I have a lot lined up for this year but I am thinking that Fall 2013 is going to see me returning to hardcore mystery. If not before, with my new writing group.  Yeah.    *sitting here nodding*

I hate GoodReads.  Will not be back.  No I will but I am going to make myself a new one with my real name to keep track of the books I read, and keep far, far, faaaaarrr away from the m/m world there.  I miss the days where I was oblivious to readers and their opinions and esp. those who enjoy being vicious and mean.  Seems to be a thing there these days which is sad.  Oh well.  I only quit writing for two days and am back at it.  Never, ever seek out reviews.  Ever ever ever. EVER. 

I am rambling. I need to finish these sci fi edits because I want to send this in, dang it!!!