Friday, December 29, 2006

funny commercial

Ken and I watched "The Funniest Commercials of 2006" on TBS the other night, and this one cracked me up. I've never seen it on TV other than the show; from the length, I suspect it's meant to be passed around the internet. Consider it passed.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Harris's pizza=necter of the gods

I posted a comment to the last post saying that I was going to make "Everybody has to do their own yoga" as my new mantra. Yeah, that's been replaced. Maybe "replaced" is too strong a word. For certain situations, my new saying is so much more enjoyable. First, a background: last night, Ken and I went to a Christmas party at a friend's house. The husband, I'll call him ... "C", has a wicked sense of humor. He's great for metaphors--last year I came home with the gem "She's like a radio that's almost on the right station, but not quite. She's a little off." I still gotta work that into a story somewhere, and I guess that's really a simile and not a metaphor, but whatever. The point is, last night he said about his wife, "She's always got one pedal to the floor, full speed or dead stop. There's no in between. You gotta drive it like you stole it." So that's my new thing. "Drive it like you stole it." Genius.

Yesterday we also visited Ken's family for Christmas. It was good, with Harris's Pizza and Christmas booty. Our niece and nephew are in high school and they're getting so grown-up! They were in our wedding, for crissake, they aren't supposed to be driving and snuggling on the couch with their boyfriend. Aaargh!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas time is here ...

Got most of the Christmas shopping done and put up the Christmas tree yesterday, so I'm finally getting some Christmas cheer. Seeing the in-laws on Saturday and my parents next weekend, so there is some good Christmas booty in my future. Tonight I'm wrapping gifts, watching a Christmas movie, and reading. I'm not going to feel guilty about not going to the gym and not writing. Though, I got another rejection today, so I have to resubmit it somewhere tonight. I can do that.

Why is it when I read a good hook or idea or something that someone else has written, my first thought is "Damn, that's good, I so want to read this book/story" and the second is "All of my work sucks, I can't do as good as that. Maybe I really should throw in the towel?" Why can't I get it through my head that just because someone else is talented, that fact does not make me untalented? Stupid writing angst.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ta-da!



Here's pictures of the kitchen, as promised. In the pictures it looks pink, but it's more of a pinkish-brown. That's such a chick distinction to make. The dining room--which you can see in the second picture if you squint--is a burgundy/cranberry color, and our living room is tan, so the kitchen flows a lot better than it did. Before last weekend, it had yellow walls, blue curtains, and yellow/blue accessories. I still need to buy towels and a sheer to go over the kitchen sink. Right now I feel a litte exposed at night.
Yesterday I received a rejection for the first book of my trilogy. Bah. Though, the rejection letter said, "while there was much to recommend the writing," it wasn't for them. Onward. I've been adding to my short-story idea log for the next year, and the current book is coming along nicely. I've lost a pound or two, and I've actually started Christmas shopping instead of just talking about it. Life is good.
Last night Ken and I had a "couple date." We went out to dinner with a co-worker of mine and his wife, and we all seemed to hit it off. These things only work if all four people click--one wife can't hate the other husband or worse, the other wife, that sort of thing--and I think we did. Afterwards, we went to their house to play games. We played the variation of Uno with the contraption that spits cards out at you, then two rounds of Pictionary. They actually wanted to play Pictionary first, but we chose Uno, and I found out after we left Ken had the same reasoning I did: Pictionary was the game we played with Bridget and Jimmy, and we didn't want to make any new Pictionary memories. They really wanted to play after we got done with Uno, though, and we couldn't protest without looking like idiots, so we did it. We had fun, but it was a little bittersweet for us, I think. For the record, we played Uno with B and J too, but it was old-school Uno, and so playing the new kind didn't seem like such a betrayal to me. Perhaps "betrayal" is too harsh a word. It's close, though.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

this and that

Friday night Ken and I saw a Lotus Elise in our hometown. The license plate read "UOMERNT", so we figured it was one of the super-rich rental property owners that populate our college town. It immediately made me think of the scene in Pretty Woman, when Richard Gere's character pulls over for Julia Robert's character, and J.R. says to her hooker friend, "That's a Lotus Esprit" and Laura San Giacamo's characters says, "No, that's rent."

This weekend I got no writing done because I repainted the kitchen. I wanted it to look sort of like an italian villa, and I think we pulled it off. I'll post pictures once it's all back in order. Now all of my muscles hurt, as well as my hands and feet. I'm tired. I'm going to shower and lay around and veg for the rest of the day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

influences

On the Wyrdsmith's blog there's a discussion going on now about which authors influenced the writers. I thought I would give it a go. Here they are, in semi-cronological order:

Laura Ingalls Wilder
The various authors of Choose-your-own-Adventure books. I don't remember anyone specific, but I loved those books.
The Encyclopedia Brown books
Paula Danziger
Judy Bloom (what self-respecting girl would leave her off the list?)
Phyllis A. Whitney
Agatha Christie
Edgar Allen Poe
Stephen King (he's one of the bigger influences, I'll admit)
Dean Koontz
J.K. Rowling
Robert Jordan (I know, I know, but I can't help it. Just because he's dragged the story on for six books too long doesn't mean he didn't create a kick-ass world.)
Steven Brust

What's the common thread with these authors? Off the top of my head, I think Danziger, Bloom, King, Rowling and Brust write characters you want to give a damn about, while Whitney, Christie, Poe, and Jordan weave a fine tale. Not that King's storytelling is lacking or Jordan's characters suck, but this is what sticks in my head when I think of these authors. Mostly, they entertained me/scared me/made me think, and that's why they resonate with me. Ah, to do that for somebody else. Someday.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

an addition or three

I've added a link to Paul Genesse's website, a link to the book I'm reading for the suburban-housewife book club, and a new Word of the Week. This word, pulchritude, makes me think of Vicki Sharrow and the fifth grade. Our class had to put together a newsletter during a journalism unit; our job was to do "man on the street" interviews about a vocabulary word. We went to my house, sat at my kitchen table, opened up the dictionary, closed our eyes, and pointed. Pulchritude was the winner. Of all the people we stopped--I don't remember how many--only one man that lived next to Vicki knew what it was. Funny, the things you remember.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Insanity

When I filled in my submission spreadsheet just now, I noticed that F&SF has had really quick turnaround-times for my last two submissions. This means either one of two things: 1. They recognize my name, think, "Hey, maybe this one we'll buy" and read it quick or 2. they recognize my name, say, "Crap. Not another one from her. Let's get this over with." and read it quick.

Or maybe they're just having a slow time of year.

I've gotta stop thinking about this. I'm going to bed.

Love note from F&SF

Thank you for submitting "Sudden Death," but I'm going to pass on it. This tale didn't grab my interest, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.

On to "Realms of Fantasy."

I swear you have to be a little bit insane to want to do this for a living.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Winter Storm

We've survived the first winter storm of the year. Actually, in my neck of the woods, we got off pretty light--a little freezing rain, a little ice, a few inches of snow. Our power did go off during the ice storm, though, and stayed off for about 20 hours. That sucked.

Second round of vet visits for the kitties. Kahlua had to go back and get three rotten teeth pulled--poor kitty--and Moonshine and Bailey went for their shots. Actually, only Moonshine ended up getting her boosters. The vet heard a heart murmur/arrhythmia in Bailey, and she had also lost 3 pounds, so the vet was concerned. She drew some blood work to check for hyperthyroidism and liver/kidney function. Turns out she has some kidney issues. Next week when I take Kahlua back for his post-op appointment I'll talk with the vet about low-sodium food for Bailey. At this point I don't know how serious it is--will the special food be enough to resolve the issue, or is this basically the beginning of the end? I don't even want to think about that. Bailey's 12 years old, and I can't really picture life without her. I know it will happen eventually ... I just don't want it to happen quite yet.

The other day Ken pulled a word--accouterments--out of nowhere. He called the cats his accouterments, and it ispired me to make a "word of the week" feature for the blog. I was going to do a "word of the day," but who am I kidding? That's too much pressure. Let's shoot for "word of the week" and see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Publishing news

I found out today that my writing bud Paul Genesse sold his first book! Five Star Publishing (a small press) is publishing the first book of the Iron Dragon series called The Golden Cord. It's coming out in hardcover late 2008. This is such good news for Paul, and I'm so excited for him. Although, I have to admit ... I can't wait until the day I announce I've sold a book. Hell, at this point I'd like to sell another frickin' story. I really don't want to be a one-hit wonder.
But this is not about me. Three cheers for Paul Genesse! We can say we knew him when.

Embracing my inner geek.

Instead of going to a movie to "celebrate" the rejection I received yesterday, I bought two CD's: The When Harry Met Sally soundtrack and All-Time top 100 TV Themes. Listening to the latter brings a smile to my face. It's broken up into 2 discs; here's my breakdown of the first one.

Six Feet Under: Haunting, yet lively. The only part of this show I saw was the last five minutes of the series finale on YouTube.

Sex and the City: Jaunty. This sounds like 1962 to me. I feel like I need to be eating off of pink-and-brown plates.

Ally McBeal: overplayed. Nice tune but it's too mainstream for me.

Will & Grace: I hear this and I see Jack. Just Jack! He went to Illinois State University, ya know.

Everybody Loves Raymond: Understated. I've really only ever watched this in reruns.Somehow the theme doesn't fit the show.

Frasier: Funny tune. Kelsey Grammer wrote and sang it, I think. I miss that show, sometimes. Niles ruled.

Friends: Jesus, talk about overplayed. Uck. Fast-forward.

Late Show with David Letterman: Interesting. I don't think I've ever really listened to this before. The world is divided into the Leno's, the Letterman's, and the people who are asleep. I am a sleeper.

Mad About You: This makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I think of late high-school and college. I took a break from moving out of my last college apartment to watch the series finale. I still think about that episode sometimes. I wouldn't mind owning it.

Melrose Place: I didn't actually watch this much. I do remember that some bars had "Melrose Mondays" where they had drink specials while the show was on.

Beverly Hills, 90210: I watched this show before it was cool to watch and I stopped right after they began college.

Law and Order: Jeez, what can I say about this? So iconic. I don't think you'd have to try to hard to watch an episode of L&O or one of the spin-offs for 24 hours straight. Somewhere there's an episode playing right now.

Northern Exposure. Fun song. I didn't watch this show very much, but I seem to recall there being a hot doctor. Every drama needs one.

The Simpsons: Another iconic theme. If you're not in the mood for L&O you can watch The Simpsons. I like the "Lisa plays the sax" part the best.

Thirtysomething: I was too young for this show. I can't remember if my mom watched it or not. The only thing I remember about it is people fighting alot.
For some reason this makes me think of that show with Claire Danes, her name was Angela, she kissed Jared Leto and her best friend was a drunk ... "My So-Called Life." Now there's a show.

Full House: How embarassing to admit I used to watch this show. Even more embarrassing is admitting I used to like it. I need to rent The Aristocrats to see Bob Sagat be crude.

21 Jump Street: Two words: Johnny Depp.

L.A. Law: Very 80's. Don't remember much about this show.

Pee-Wee's Playhouse: I can't listen to this without seeing a seedy porn theater in my head, which isn't really fair, but there it is.

Perfect Strangers: Ah, Balki. Who didn't like Balki? That guy was one of Tom Cruise's friends in Risky Business.

Growing Pains: Big smiles with this one. I may have had one or twelve Teen Beat pictures of Kirk Cameron on my wall back in the day.

Moonlighting: Nice tune. My mom and I used to watch "Moonlighting" and "Remington Steele" when I was an impressionable youngster.

Who's the Boss: More smiles. I was a huge fan of this show. I so wanted to be Samantha Micelli--a girl that could beat up a boy but lived in a kick-ass house.

Miami Vice: This is about as '80's and you can get. Synthesizers, drumbeats, horns. I liked that show, too. This makes me think of Don Johnson testing cocaine with his tongue.

Night Court: Loved this show! I especially liked Bull.

The A-team: I didn't watch this all that much, but I need to make Ken listen to this. I bet it'll make him smile. Then I can say, "See? It was worth twenty bucks."

St. Elsewhere: Now we're beginning to edge into the shows that I was a bit too young to really get into. Any show that has Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel as alumnus has street cred, though.

Cheers: Oh, this makes me feel safe and happy and sad inside all at the same time. I watched this show alot. Another iconic one that everyone one knows. "How I Met Your Mother" did a play on the "Norm!" business at the end of an episode a few weeks ago.

Knight Rider: Ah, Kitt. I remember this being so cool but I bet if I watched it now I wouldn't be able to stop laughing. Is David Hasselhoff still huge in Germany?

Cagney & Lacey: Didn't watch this at all. Didn't this play around the same time as "Kate and Allie?" I'm too deep in the nostalgia pool; I've lost all perspective.

The Greatest American Hero: Now, I did watch this. Around 1981, which would have been first grade for me. That I still know the words to this theme song speaks highly about the spong-like qualities of the young human brain.

Hill Street Blues: Didn't watch this, but I remember mom and dad watching it. Hearing this song makes me think of dark, rainy streets and big Ford cars. Was that the opening montage of the show?

Dynasty: Didn't watch this at all. I get this show and "Dallas" mixed up in my head. "Dynasty" had Joan Collins and "Dallas" had the whole "Who shot J.R." business, right?

Magnum, P.I.: Tom Selleck with a 'stach. He's got nothin' on MacGyver.

The Facts of Life: Aww, yeah! I remember there was an episode in one of the later seasons where Tootie loses her virginity. There was a little "This episode contains adult themes" thingy just before the episode, and of course my mother walks into the room just in time to read it. "What was that about?" she says. I give her the TV guide, because even though I know I don't want to have this conversation. She looks at the descriptions, decides I can watch it, then proceeds to leave. It wasn't as bad as it could have been; at least she didn't want to have a Meaningful Conversation about it afterwards.

Diff'rent Strokes: There was an episode of this where the older sister washes her hair with NYC rainwater and it turns green. Good times.

WKRP in Cincinnati: I remember watching this show a bit, but I was young enough that I didn't get the jokes about sex or drugs. Come to think of it, I didn't get this show at all.

Taxi: I think my dad like this show. We've been in the "3 stations to choose from" era for the second half of this disk, which is probably why I remember the themes even if I don't really remember the show. Odds are good that I've seen at least one episode of all them at one time or another.

Dallas: Ah, here it is. Yeah, still can't tell the difference.

Fantasy Island and The Love Boat: I'm combining these two because last Friday night Ken and I were bumming around the house, and at 8:00 he says "Fantasy Island Love Boat!" and I say, "What are you talking about" and he says "That's what you watch on Friday nights. At least, I did when I was a kid." and I say, "Yeah, that sounds familiar, but I don't remember it being on Friday nights." Wasn't on ABC?

Soap: Billy Crystal as a gay guy. Love that. I remember my mom watching this sometimes and I didn't get some of the jokes. Although, I did understand the whole soap-opera-satire business about it. My mom watched a lot of soaps, so I was totally down with it.

Eight is Enough: Too young for this, really. Or maybe we didn't really watch it.

Three's Company: I liked this show a lot as a kid. Sometimes I watch "The Class" now just to support Jason Ritter (that's Jack Ritter's son).

Wonder Woman: Didn't really watch this. It makes me think of Underroos, though. Remember those? I remember really wanting a set of "She-ra" Underroos.

Charlie's Angels: Didn't really watch this, either. Nice touch with the narration throughout the theme, though. Because we're too stupid to remember the conceit of the show from week to week, right?

The Muppet Show: Awww, yeah! Huge favorite of mine as a kid. I'm playing this one twice. Okay, three times. I loved the hecklers--I always forget their names--and Animal and Gonzo and ... hell, I loved it all. It's muppetational!

Alice: Watched this sometimes. Mel's diner, baby. Mel's diner.

What's Happening!!!: Never saw this.

Laverne & Shirley: I remember watching this alot in reruns. When I went to camp in second grade I told people I like Pepsi and milk. They never made me prove it, thank God. When I first started dating Ken, he had a murphy bed much like L&S's in the living room of his studio apartment. Yeah, I was totally creative and called it the "Laverne and Shirley" bed. I think in my friendships I tend to be the Laverne.

Okay, that was completely awesome. What rejection? I'll do the second disk some other time. The laundry is calling to me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

another one bites the dust

Got a rejection today for the "Love and Sacrifice" anthology. I'm really sort of in love with this story, and I'm bummed it didn't make the cut. Never fear; it's going out to F&SF tomorrow. John Joseph Adams is going to be sick of me by this time next year.

I'm sort of in a depressive funk now. I'm going to work on my book and let my characters do horrible things to the bad guys. That'll make me feel better. Probably won't keep any of it, but it'll be cathartic.

I have tomorrow off. Maybe I'll treat myself to a movie. I've been wanting to see The Departed, and that might make me feel a little better. Much more constructive than cake.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

visiting the vet

So yesterday we took Morgan and Kahlua to the vet. Morgan doesn't mind the trip so much; it's being cooped up in the carrier that pisses him off more than anything. Kahlua, on the other hand, wets himself every time he gets shoved into the carrier. Yesterday he even pooped while he was on the examining table. Poor kitty. We discovered Kahlua has an infected tooth--one of his front fangs--that has to be pulled. He has to have blood work before he can be cleared for anethesia, then there's the actual extraction and antibiotics. I'm about to make my vet's Christmas a little be merrier, I think. It's pretty infected, so I don't want to wait until January. He could get septic or something, and that would be bad news. Next Friday I'm taking Bailey and Moonshine for their visits, so perhaps I'll schedule Kahlua's extraction while I'm there. Maybe they could give me some kitty valium to give him for the trip.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

undead

So it turns out I know why the bad guys are the bad guys in my book. All the Powerful people, see, are underground, see? And the Powerful Mafia types are even more underground than the normal Powerful people. But the Mafia types want to "come out," as it were, and show the world how great and Powerful they are, and are gonna use our hero to do that. Of course, once they're out, they're going to rule the world. Mind reading, telekinesis, and alchemy for hire? You bet they're gonna take over. And, of course, our hero's not going to let anyone mess with the Powerful people's way of life.

Which brings me to the question: wouldn't the government really like to have a Powerful person like that on staff? Hmmm. Maybe that would be a subject for a future book ...

I have to say that right now, I'm not in a festive frame of mind. I have to work the next five days (it's my holiday to work, rah-rah-health-care) and so Ken and I aren't really celebrating with a turkey dinner. I think we may hit the movies tomorrow night, and maybe find a chinese restaurant to eat at. But still, it's the season, so here's a quick list of what I'm thankful for:
Ken
kitties
warm house
good friends
all five senses

Now, I'm gonna go work on da book.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gulp

It occurred to me that it was hypocritical of me to put other people's full names on my blog and not my own. So I have made the leap. Hopefully no weirdos come out of the proverbial woodwork.

On an unrelated note, yesterday I smashed my right forefinger in the walk-in refrigerator door at work. It hurt like a bitch, but today it is merely bruised and only slightly painful. Hopefully my nail won't fall out.

Today I ate three pieces of Chicago-style pizza. I think I may have gained five or so pounds. Tomorrow, I'm going to the gym for cardio and weight-lifting. I'm also going to write and get some laundry done. If I'm feeling perky enough, I might even vaccuum.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another love note from F&SF

This one is better than the last one, maybe:
"Thank you for submitting "Mark of a Woman," but I'm going to pass on it. There's nice writing here, but this tale didn't grab my interest, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way."

Did ya see that? "There's nice writing here"? Oh, yeah. I'm da woman. Off to find another market, and then maybe write a bit on the book. I think I'm about to catch my second wind.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

D-E-A-D

I think my book is officially dead.

Remember how I said I was doing an experiment with this book by writing it without an outline? Yeah, well, I've discovered that I need an outline. Not only that, I need details about everyone's past, as well as their motivations. So I've learned that I need to have plot outlines as well as character outlines.

How did I come to this conclusion? Just before WFC, I got to the point of my story where the bad guys kidnap the hero. This should be a really exciting point, right? I should not be able to wait to start writing the climactic dramatic scenes. But I find that I'm dreading writing it, because I don't know exactly who the villians are and why they're doing what they're doing. Oh, sure, I know they're part of an Underground-Mafia-type-outfit that's out for the protagonist because he's the only Powerful person of his generation that can use all four Powers, but other than that, I got nothin'. Actually, now that I read it, it's not so bad. Maybe I'm depressed about the book because I figure my word count, at best, is going to be 50K. I consider it a YA book, so that's a decent word count, but still. It seems kind of wimpy. I dunno. Maybe I just need to put it aside for awhile and come back to it once I've done a decent outline and character backgrounds.

One could look at this as a waste of six months. I choose to look at is as a lesson learned. Also, this means I'm free to start working on my short story goal.

Sometimes this whole writing business overwhelms me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Slimy Sundays

Today has been a perfect Sunday:
1. I did a few loads of laundry, which was enough to make me feel productive.
2. I didn't shower. I tell myself this is so my skin and hair can replenish their natural oils, but really I'm just lazy. I love being lazy on Sunday.
3. I baked a batch of Rocky Balboa cookies. I'm entering the 21st Annual Chocolate-chip cookie contest at work on Friday, and this is one of many practice batches. I tried a Rocky Road cookie with mini-marshmellows and walnuts, but the marshmellows stuck to the cookie sheet and the spatula, so they sort of fell apart. The look horrible but they're yummy, so I named them the Rocky Balboa cookie. You know, "ugly champion" cookies. Yeah, I thought it was pretty clever, too.
4. I took a nap around 4 p.m. Naps on Sunday run a close second to not showering on Sunday.
5. I finished one book and started another.

And that just about wraps up my day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

rejection!

In all the hullabaloo I forgot to mention the gem that awaited me when I returned from Austin: a rejection from Realms of Fantasy for "Mark of a Woman." Bah. It's off to F&SF tomorrow. Oh, and Kelly Y: I'm sending your goodies tomorrow, as well. Be on the lookout.

new links

I've posted tons of new links (see left). They're for all my new writing buds I met at WFC. They've got cool sites; be sure to check them out. If you find yourself not included, and you consider yourself a cool WFC-writing-bud, let me know, and I'll throw a link up to your website or blog. We all rock.
Oh, and Holly: thanks for the shout-out and link on your blog. I can't wait to get to know you (and all the LJ crew) better.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bloggin' from Austin

Okay, not really. Ken and I are back home. I would have blogged from Austin, but the fucking hotel the convention was at didn't have free internet! Anywhere! Dirty bastards. We paid for one day, but I didn't have time that particular day to post properly, so I'm doing it now.

My con experience was better this year than last year. For one thing, I knew a few people, so I was able to mingle a bit more, and that in turn introduced me to more people. I only felt like a talentless-hack-poser a few times. Once I reminded myself that I had read plenty of books from people there that I didn't particularly like and that there's room in the publishing biz for all our voices, I got over myself. I met lots of writers-on-the-edge-of-discovery, a few established writers, and a few agents. It was a great con. I'd like to attend two or three conventions next year. I might have to stick to the regional ones. WFC is in New York State next year, which would be cool, but ... we'll have to see.

Friday night was particularly fun. One of my writer friends, Paul Genesse, has a short story out in the anthology "Furry Fantastic." It's his first pro story, I believe, and he had a space in the autograph room on Friday night so he could sign copies for people. It just so happened that most of the people who were going to pick up copies dined together, and so after dinner, we went to the autograph room and caused a scene. Rachel (a girl I had pretty much met just before dinner) and I ran up to where Paul was sitting and starting yelling, "Oh, my God! Is that Paul? Paul Genesse? Oh my God! Can we have your autograph?" Rachel went one step further and said "Will you sign my chest?" Paul's friend Patrick said, "Dude, your story changed my life. I was going to kill myself until I read "The Mob." Paul's neighbors got a kick out of it, and he was suitably embarrassed, so it was all good. Somebody had better do that for me when I have a book signing. Get your Sharpies ready now.

One of the established writers I got to meet was Steven Brust. You know, the dude who writes the "Vlad Taltos" novels. I only spoke with him briefly, but he seemed like a nice fellow. I caught kind of an "aging hippie" vibe from him, which I didn't really expect. I've actually e-mailed him about writing a few times in the past three years. I was able to reference that so I didn't come across as a huge geeky fan girl. Now that I think about it, though, maybe I came across as a huge geeky fan girl stalker, which may or may not be worse.

My writing goal is to finish the first draft of the book by the end of the year so I can write short stories next year. I'd like to write one a week and submit everything I write. Gotta make a name and reputation for myself, you know.

Monday, October 30, 2006

shopping expedition




So, me and da girls take a big shopping trip--usually to Chicago or Indy--this time of year. This year, Bridget obviously was out of the picture (sniff, sniff) and Jodi's all "I'm trying to save money" blah-blah-blah, so it was just me and Julie. The big news of the day is ... that's right, I got my ears pierced. Re-pierced, actually, but yeah. Here's how it went down:
Julie: You look so hot in that shirt.
Me: Yeah, thanks. What do you think of this necklace?
Julie: Ooooh, that's awesome! We gotta find earrings to go with it.
Me: (pointing to my ears) Not pierced, remember?
Julie: What? Your ears are too pierced.
Me: Not anymore. I haven't worn earrings in so long they closed up.
Julie: That's it. We're going to Claire's. You're gettin' 'em done today.
Me: (shrugging) All right.
Julie: (surprised) Really?
Me: Sure. Let's do it.
It actually didn't hurt at all. I heard the crunch, but no pain. Huh. I remember when I got my upper ear pierced it hurt like hell, but the lower lobes ... not so much. The only downside is that I'm deferred from donating blood for a year. I could contract hepatitis, ya know.
I also got a bunch of shopping booty such as a purse, belt, necklace, tank top, a flowy asian-inspired top, and a wind-breaker. I'm a sexy bitch. It's okay, you can say it.








Sunday, October 22, 2006

Road trip tunes

I read an article written by Sheryl Crow in an old copy of Vanity Fair magazine about road trip music and it inspired me to make my list. My requisite for RT musak is that I must at least tolerate every single song on the disk; no listening to the first three songs or skipping around, just put in the disk and listen straight through. Oh, and the songs can't make me drowsy, either.

Ten--Pearl Jam
Crossroads--Bon Jovi [call me a small-town midwestern hick, I don't care]
Yourself or Someone Like You--Matchbox 20
The Immaculate Collection--Madonna
Nevermind--Nirvana
Shake Your Moneymaker--Black Crowes
American Idiot--Green Day
Songs About Jane--Maroon 5

I'm sure there are others, but that's all I can think of now.

Monday, October 16, 2006

blech

It is cold, wet, windy, and miserable outside. Yesterday it was a beautiful, sunny, crisp 60 degrees. Today it's a rainy, miserable 56. This doesn't sound like much of a difference, but oh, it is. Yesterday, it was fall. Today, it is almost winter. The rain is going to knock all the gorgeous orange leaves out of the trees and leave naked branches behind. It's supposed to rain for the next three days, too. Bridget, eat your heart out.

I got a rejection from Analog today for "Last Man Standing." It's the first time I've gotten a two-page form rejection. It's basically their submission guidelines with nothing written on it, just "Thank you for the opportunity to examine your submission for publication in Analog. We regret that we cannot make use of it at this time" typewritten at the top. Strange. Anyhoo, back to the drawing board.

I got a freebie massage today. One of my co-workers is getting a massage therapy license, and she's giving free massages so she can get her required practice hours. Rock on! She said she only found one knot in my shoulder and one in my calf, so apparently I'm a very relaxed person. It's true, I guess, that I don't usually get headaches or backaches or shoulder aches or anything. Is it that I'm relaxed or apathetic? Relaxed, I think. Whatever, I don't care. (heehee, that's a joke, see.)

Just finished watching "How I Met Your Mother." I love that show. If you don't watch it, do. Neil Patrick Harris alone makes it worth your time, but the whole cast is great.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Haunted is haunting me

So the other day I told Ken how freaked out I was about "Guts." I didn't tell him much about the story, just that I was disturbed. So last night I go to bed early while Ken stayed up to study. He woke me up when he went to bed to show me the cover of "Haunted", which is a freaky ghost-y face, glows in the fucking dark. This book has got to go.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

warning: horrific post

I started to read Haunted by Chuck Palahnuik last night. I say "start" because I'm not quite sure I'm woman enough to continue reading. It's basically a story about a group of people that are on an island, "Survivor" style, and the main story is interspersed with short stories and poems written by the characters. It sounded like a literary horror book of sorts, and something I could maybe get into. Last night I read the Afterward first--I tend to do this because I like getting a glimpse of the author's mind--and it intrigued me. It was a discourse on the story "Guts" and how when the author would read it out loud at readings, people would faint. Every night one or two people would hit the floor. Something like 76 people have gone stone-cold unconscious while hearing this story. So of course, I have to read this part first thing. "Guts" tells the story of three people who, when they were thirteen, had a bad experience with masturbation. The first shoved a carrot into his butt, hid it under a pile of dirty clothes when he got called to dinner, and then couldn't find later because his mom had picked up the clothes to do wash. The second shoved a sliver of wax into his penis, lost it inside, and had to be fixed with surgery. The third story happened to the narrator. He used to masturbate in the family's swimming pool. One time he decided to do it over the pool filter. Well, he gets suctioned to it, and when he tries to swim for the surface, he disembowels himself. In order not to drown, he has to bend down and chew through his own intestines.

I can't even describe how much this story disturbed me. I like the horror genre as much as the next person but this story assaulted my sensibilities. It's not that I'm a prude about jacking off or that the disembowelment disgusted me. I can't pinpoint why I'm so freaked out by it. In the afterward, the author relates reading a book to an act of trust; he says investing yourself in a book is as consensual as sex. I agree with that ... and I feel a little violated. I mean, the writing was great, it's not that it was a bad story. I just wasn't expecting someone to explore something so normal--experimenting with sex--in such a visceral and horrible way.

Maybe I'm just jealous.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's good to be me.

The book is booking, I've lost 2 pounds, and tonight I mowed the yard. Life is good.

I've discovered a new pet peeve of mine. I hate it when someone narrates a movie you're both watching. As in, "Oh, look, wife's going to work. He's not though. Unemployed." It implies I am not smart enough to figure this out on my own. I hate having my intellegence insulted more than anything. I also hate when someone feels the need to talk about nothing just to fill the silence. Can't we all just sit quietly and be together? Is that too much to ask?

The above tirade has nothing at all to do with my mother and her husband's visit this past weekend. Not one bit.

This weekend I'd like to write the "Love and Sacrifice" open-anthology short story. Usually it takes me a week or two to write a short, because I like to mull things over in my head and live with one idea before moving on the the next. This time, though, I think it's going to be pretty emotional and that's not a place I want to dwell for a long period of time. So I'm going to try a marathon writing session on Saturday or Sunday and write a first draft, start to finish. Fingers crossed.

Friday, September 29, 2006

help

Yet another weekend that I won't get much writing done. My mother and her husband are coming in town, which means I'll have to clean, cook, and entertain them. Yech. Ken's going to do homework all day on Sunday, so hopefully I can get a massive amount of work done then. I'm starting to panic a bit. I have a month to finish my book and write a short story to submit to an open-call anthology. Aaaarrggghh.

Just finished reading So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld. He's a big YA author; his work leans towards the fantastical. After reading So Yesterday, I felt better about my writing. When I finished, I thought, "Huh, my stuff is almost as good as that. Maybe even just as good as that."
Rock.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Method acting

A very secret dream of mine (okay, not so secret, now) is to be an actor or a director. It's something I'll never pursue unless I audition for a part in a local play or something. Every time I think about it though, like when I watch a kick-ass movie or a cool scene in a T.V. show, I think of how similar writing is to acting and directing. We're all storytellers working with different mediums. Writers work with words, actors with their bodies and props, directors with actors, locations, and sets. It's a point I've brought up in past posts, I know, but the more I think about it the more similar I think the professions are. Perhaps this explains why my two favorite hobbies are reading and watching T.V./movies, and my favorite magazine is Entertainment Weekly, which combines the two. The argument could be made that everyone watches movies/T.V. ... but not everyone reads.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

post 101

I've officially posted over 100 times! Isn't that exciting?

In less exciting news, Strange Horizons just rejected "Last Man Standing." Bah. I also found out that a local weekly I had submitted a few shorts to is folding, so I guess those stories are up for grabs again. It's all good, though. Tomorrow I'll search for another market for "Last Man Standing" and send it out on Monday. Somebody'll pick this thing up. Also on Monday, I'm sending out a short story I wrote this past July entitled "Mark of a Woman." Fingers crossed.

Then I'll have two stories and my first book under consideration, and I'll be working on my fourth book ... it all sounds way more impressive than it feels. It feels like I'm a poser looking to catch an editor unaware. I look like a writer trying to break into the profession. Fake it 'till you make it, you know.

Friday, September 22, 2006

favorite childhood toy

A few days ago Wil Wheaton posted a question on his blog: if you had to pick one toy that defined your childhood, what would it be? As I thought about it I rejected most of the toys that popped into my head--Rainbow Bright, Strawberry Shortcake and her crew, Barbie, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Rubik's cube, Atari--and settled on something that couldn't be bought in a store. The house I spent my early childhood years in had a patch of dirt just beneath the living room windows. We called it "the dirt pile", and I spent countless hours there making mud pies, "cleaning" the area with a broom, playing house, and chasing bugs. Once I painted the front porch with mud made from the dirt pile; mom wasn't pleased with my decorating. Six or seven of my formative years were spent playing in the dirt.

Thinking of my dirt pile made me think of leaf houses. Remember those? Me and my friends made them this time of year. Once the leaves start falling from the trees, you rake them into an outline of a house. Basically it's a floor plan out in the yard. Then you play house in it. Usually a mom would donate a blanket to use as a bed, and another mom would bring us brownies or chips to eat in the kitchen. How old were we then ... between fifth and eighth grades, probably. I remember making them for a few years then stopping ... and I don't think I made one at the house with the dirt pile ... so that's probably about right.

Funny, isn't it? When we're kids we pretend we're adults; as adults we pretend we're kids.

progress

I've been making good progress with the book. After spending the last few evenings smoothing some rough edges in the manuscript, I'm ready to move on with the action. I'd like to get it into some hands of a few readers before WFC, so I have to get crackin'. I'm hoping to write 20 pages over the weekend, which should be a pretty slick trick since I work. It's going to be a miserable, rainy weekend, so I'll have no excuses.

Reading my own writing is like riding a roller coaster. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it, some lines I love one day but hate the next, some days I think I should scrap it all and forget it but most days I think I'll die if I quit writing.

A while ago--it's been about six months or so--I wondered how I'd feel if I made the decision to stop writing. Even just thinking that thoughts made me feel a bit panicky and empty inside. I figured that was enough of an answer for me.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

News flash

Just found out today that "Pandora's Closet" is slated for an August 2007 release. Mark your calanders now.

I've been getting e-mail lately telling me about open anthologies, markets for my book, etc. I tell ya, sometimes the belief that others have in me carries me to the next page, the next chapter, the next project. Validation is a wonderful thing in this business. I still wonder, though: have I done enough to earn their faith in me? Am I doing enough? Am I talented enough to even warrant it?

Great. Writer angst. Pass the cake.

This one goes out to Tasha

Yo, saw your comment. Waaaasssup? Throw me an e-mail or somethin', let me know how things are goin'.

This is your cat on drugs.


So Morgan's been doing this thing for the past couple of months. Actually, let me back up; the story starts back when I was still on evenings. During Ken's morning shower, Morgan would stand outside the shower and meeeoooowww loud enough to keep me awake. This drove me to drastic measures. One day I tossed the covers aside, said, "Okay, you fuckin' cat, I'll give you something to meow about" and tossed him into the shower with Ken. He hopped out and licked the water off. More importantly, he didn't meow.
I created a monster.
Now, when Ken and I shower, he gets in with us. With me, Morgan will prance in and out of water, but with Ken, he'll stay under the spray long enough to get really wet.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

sigh

Tripping over the idea that Bridget just doesn't live here anymore is like waking up and finding cat puke. You sigh, grab a towel or a handful of Kleenex, pick it up, and go on with your day feeling a little bummed. Example: the other day I thought, "You know, this pile of magazines is really getting unmanagable. I should box 'em up and take them to the recycling bin at Bridget's apartment." sigh. "Old apartment." Or this: "God, these crab rangoon from The Wok rock. We'll order them next time Bridget and Jimmy come over." sigh. "Or not."

This sucks.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

word

Finally received word from Bridget today. She took my advice--yay!--and made a blog so they can record their adventures. Check it out--the link's on your left.
She cracks me up. I can just picture how pissed off she got during the whole truck fiasco. Heeheehehe.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

blech

Feeling kind of blah today. I did yoga, and so that was good, but I really feel like a need a nap or three. I wonder if I have mono. Nah, too old for mono. More likely I haven't been exercising enough and/or eating well enough. Though, one of the unspoken-fringe-benefits to being a medical technologist lab work on the sly. Maybe a CBC wouldn't be out of order.

Our wedding anniversary is September 19th. The traditional gift for the eighth year is bronze, and I'm completely clueless as to what to get him. Most likely something for the house. We've been together long enough that a household gadget is a legitimate gift but not so long we've given up giving gifts altogether. Ken is a great-gift giver, but I sort of suck. It's my inherent stinginess that dooms me. To my credit, though, Ken is pretty good at agreeing to a price cap--say, $75--then shattering it to pieces, so whatever gift I buy looks cheap in comparison.

Writing is going well. Who knew that writing under pressure could be so productive? Maybe after WFC I'll try to do another book, start to finish, by New Year's. Maybe throw a short story in there to kick up the stress a notch. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

back on the horse, part duex

So, Kelly Y sent me a cool website that's basically a search engine for writing markets. Kelly Y rocks. Anyhoo, I sent my "Killer Survivor" story to Strange Horizons. Fingers crossed. I'm not going to send it out anywhere else yet, and that's basically my ego talking. In reality, the assumption is no one is going to want your brilliant story so you send it out to ten places at once hoping for a hit. I, however, really like this story, dammit, so I'm convinced someone's gonna want it, and I don't want to have to tell nine other editors, "sorry for sending you my stuff, don't even read it, because even if you like it you can't have it, phooey on you."

I didn't go to the gym today. Bah. I'm just exhausted for some reason. However, I'm not too exhausted to go spend some time in Max and Zoey's world (Max and Zoey are two of the main characters in the book I'm working on). Zoey is about to ask Max out to a party. She is nervous for obvious reasons--she's only 15, after all--but this is also good because unbeknownst to them, they're both Powerful but have to hide that fact from each other. Who knows what could happen when they get liquored up in someone's field.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Batting a thousand ...

I've gotten two rejections this week. One was from a submission I sent last November to a children's magazine. The second was from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for my "Last Man Standing" story. The first was a form rejection; the second definitely wasn't. While that in and of itself says good things (editors don't usually take the time to write a personal rejection note) the note itself was pretty brutal. At first I didn't think it was so bad, but the more I let myself brew on it the worse it gets. Decide for yourself:

Thank you for submitting "Last Man Standing," but I'm going to pass on it. There are some amusing moments here, but overall this tale didn't hold my interest, I'm afraid; I did like the idea of using a Survivor-type show for satirical purposes, but in this case, I felt the show was too-thinly veiled. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.

Good and bad. Back to the market listings. On another note, the book is going okay, I guess. My next one will definitely be outlined. This whole "I have a vague idea where I'm going" business is for the birds. It was a good experiment--I mean, now I know how I work best--but I'm also too stubborn to let the story die. It's a good story, I think, it's just going to need a lot of polishing and fleshing-out when it's "done."

Tonight Ken and I went to a new friend's house for a barbecue. I think we'll really like hanging out with this couple, and I hope they feel the same way about us. Couple-dating is tough, because you've got four people that have to mesh. But this couple's sensibilities are pretty much on par with ours. They're as big of geeks as we are, I think, and that's pretty tough to find.



Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Yikes

I've given myself the arbitrary deadline of finishing my book before World Fantasy Con. This means I have to write 50,000 words in the next two months. Not only do I have to write them, I have to edit them, which means I'll actually be rewriting about half of them, so ... 75,000 words in the next two months. Actually seeing the numbers is making me hyperventilate.

One word at a time, man, one word at a time.

Let's see. Let's round up to 80,000 words over the next 8 weeks... that's 10,000 words a week ... that's about 1,500 words a day ... that's about six pages a day. What the hell? I can totally do that.

Okay. Breathing normally now. I will have a finished manuscript by World Fantasy Convention.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm famous!

Check this out: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/commentary/0,6115,1301310_+311800960_0_,00.html
It's Dalton Ross's weekly article called "The Glutton." I read it religiously every week, and I email a response to him once a month or so. Check out the reader mail section. Weeeheee! Seeing my words in print never gets old.

new digs

As you guys can see, I've spruced the place up. New paint, a few new pieces of furniture, cleaned out the closets, that sort of thing. Let me know how ya'll like it. The new blogger programing allows for easy changes, so expect template changes at whim. This could be fun.

Still getting over my summer cold. Now it has progressed to a chunky cough. Yech. Worse, I gave Ken the cooties, so he's pretty miserable. He doesn't move more than five feet without his box of lotion-tissue, Cold-eeze drops, and Actifed pills. Poor guy. Hopefully he'll get over it soon. It's nearly fall and the weather will be too nice to be cooped up inside.

Friday, August 18, 2006

In honor of Bridget ...

You Belong in San Francisco
You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!
Where Does Your Inner Californian belong?

back on the horse

I sent my "killer Survivor" story to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Might as well shoot for the top. The website says their turn-around time is eight weeks, so hopefully I'll hear something by Halloween.

I've been getting lots of writing done in spite of a cold I think I picked up in Indy. Stupid geek germs. I've also gotten lots of encouragement of friends and writer-type folks in the last few days. Thanks, guys. You don't know how much your kind words mean to me.

Busy weekend: dinner out with friends tonight, a going-away party of sorts for Bridget and Jimmy tomorrow afternoon, dinner with Ken's new boss tomorrow night, and brunch with friends on Sunday morning. The best part of all of this? I don't have to clean my house. Love that. I do, however, need to do some laundry today so we have clothes for all of our social functions.

Of all life's chores, I think I hate laundry the most. As bad as lugging carloads of clothes to the laundrymat sucked, there's something to be said for spending only two hours a week washing, drying, and folding. Sort of a "wham-bam-thank you ma'am" for clothes. If you add one washer and one dryer together and multiply by my tendancy for procrastination, you get a load of dirty laundry in the living room, a clean one in the dryer, and unfolded towels on the kitchen table. Grrrr. I feel my blood pressure rising already.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

yeah, well, I suck.

Just received word that my "killer Survivor" story didn't make it into the anthology. The rejection letter was funny and clever, which didn't make me feel better, but I appreciated the sentiment. It said something along the lines of the story being good but didn't really fit in with the direction the anthology was taking. I suspect it was a form letter even though it had my name at the top. I'm licking my wounds tonight, then I'll hit ralan.com tomorrow. There's gotta be a sick mind out there that'll publish it.

On a brighter note, I wrote four pages on my book yesterday. If I can pull myself out of my funk, maybe I'll accomplish that much tonight.

Friday, August 11, 2006

bloggin' from Indy

I'm here at Gen Con Indy, and so far I'm having a great time. I attended writing seminars all day yesterday. The woman who edited the anthology I'm in was a panelist, and she called me out a few times, pointing out that I had gotten my first professional sale. She also mentioned she had read a book I had written and "there was something special there." That made me feel all warm and fuzzy. To make the day perfect, I played poker in the evening. I played really well, and got down to the last two tables. I won a free pass to play this evening, so it wasn't all for naught. This afternoon I'm attending a few more writing seminars, a few readings, and hopefully an improv-comedy act. Then I play poker at 9. Whew! It's a good thing I took Monday off, too; I'm going to need a vacation after my vacation.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Take that, flab!

So I did the mini-triathlon yesterday for the fourth year in a row. Keep in mind that I didn't train at all this year, not really. Normally, I'm biking, running, and swimming all summer long, and a few weeks before the tri and actually do the race a few times to practice the transisitons. Yeah, didn't do any of that this year. The first year I did it, my time was 1:05 something (that's one hour five minutes) and the next two years it was 1:02 something. This year, without training at all, it was ... 1:02 something. What the fuck? I totally walked half of the run, too. I definitely wasn't in as good of condition, but my time was better than the first year I did it! Aargh. The friend I did it with said, "Kinda makes you wish we'd trained, huh?" And the logical response is, "Yeah, if we'd trained I'd have totally done it in under an hour." But would I have? I don't know. This friend has talked me into doing a half-marathon next year. I'm thinking of revoking her friendship card.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Christmas morning

This is what it's like checking my e-mail now: I'm so excited, thinking, "This could be it, this could be the time I get my acceptance e-mail." But then that fucking "You have 0 unread messages" banner bloops up, and I'm lowered to new depths.

It's like Christmas morning in third grade, when all I wanted was a Cabbage Patch Doll, and I opened all my presents thinking this is it, then no, it isn't. The next one would be, then no, it's not either. Then the last box, this one is it, it's gotta be, then blammo! It's a doll, alright, but it's a rip-off fake cabbage patch that my aunt made, not the real thing with a birth certificate and everything. I act happy to get it, I smile and squeal because I know we're poor and this is all my parents can afford and if I reject it I reject them, but deep down I hate that doll. Deep down I want to take a pair of scissors to the arms and rip the hair from its head. Getting no Cabbage Patch is better than getting a fake one, every kid knows this, but somehow this concept has managed to elude my parents.

I'm not quite sure how this post devolved into a stream-of-conciousness about my poverty psychosis, but there it is. Maybe the empty inbox isn't so bad. Maybe I need to take a few deep breaths and go write something.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Good things

Okay, you'll have to get past the "Martha Stewart" title.

1. I have joined the gym and have just completed my second group cycling class. It's amazing to me how much less I want cake after a workout. Before the gym: "Hmmm, cake." After: "Hmmmm, water and cheese, please." Gotta love serotonin, baby.

2. I just got an e-mail telling me that "Webmage" has been shipped to me and should arrive August 3rd. But of course, you all knew that, because you've bought "Webmage" through Amazon.com and received your confirmation e-mails today, too. I'm jazzed for next week. In the meantime ...

3. I still haven't bought a new book. Dammit. That's on the to-do list for tomorrow.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

things to do.

1. Join the gym. This extra ten pounds on my body is pathetic. I need group fitness to motivate me, and so that's what I'm doing. Tomorrow night, dammit, I'm joining the gym.

2. Write more. Paradoxically, this will be easier when I join the gym. My routine two or three nights a week will be to write at the bookstore after work, then go to the gym, then go home. This routine is exciting to me, I can't help it.

3. Stop checking my e-mail obsessively every hour (yes, I'm back to that again). They really are going to reject my story, and checking the computer all the time isn't going to change that. In fact, it only insures that I'll be rejected sooner. But maybe I'll be--I mean, my story will be--accepted ...

4. Go buy a new book already. I've been bookless for three days, and I'm very nearly breaking out into hives.

Monday, July 17, 2006

ridin' high

I've been in a funk lately. Those of you that have been following my saga know that a few months ago I submitted my "killer survivor" story to a dark humor anthology. According to the submission guidelines, they were going to notify you--yay or nay--by June 30. If you'll note the time stamp it's waaaaay after that. I've been assuming I got rejected, but I figured I should e-mail the editor and get it over with. I sent a polite, business-like letter that basically said, "yo, it's after June 30, what up?" This is the response I got:

Argh! Another e-mail that didn't make it through!We received a lot more submissions than anticipated and were only able to get through the first wave of reads. What you SHOULD have received at the end of June/beginning of July was a note saying that "Last Man Standing" made it past the first read. So we'll be going through the (thankfully, much smaller) pile of second read stories over the next couple of weeks and should have a final answer shortly!

Yeah, bitches, you read that right. I don't want to celebrate too much--clearly I'm going to not make the final cut, at least that's what I'm telling myself so I don't become suicidal if that happens--but hot Damn! I MADE THE FIRST CUT!!!! I'm soooo going to write for, like, three hours today (I normally poop out after an hour-and-a-half, so doubling that is good for me). After I have a celebratory Jimmy John's sandwich. Or a slice of Papa Del's pizza ...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

random thoughts

Two things I heard or read today that made me laugh:

"Better Living Through Chemistry"

"No matter how hot she is, someone, somewhere, is sick of her shit"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

So maybe I'm not an athlete after all

Last night I played in a church-league softball game. The coach decided to change things up and put me on second base. I was a little freaked out, because I've never played second, but I thought I was up to the task. I got hit with a quick bouncer to the shin in the second inning, and I thought that would be my injury for the night. Yeah, I was wrong. Later in the 2nd, a runner was on second, trying to sort of advance to third. The pitcher got the ball, and seeing that the runner is being funny, wings the ball to me. I'm on the base, but in my mind the runner wasn't going anywhere, so I wasn't looking for the pitcher to throw the ball. He fires it to me, and I couldn't get my glove up in time. I took that fucker right in the throat. My friend who was catching says she heard the ball hit before I fell to the ground. I don't remember hearing it, so I guess it's true what they say--you don't hear the one that gets ya. All I remember is seeing the ball, thinking "oh fuck", getting smacked, then sitting on the ground. (Yeah, I've got a bruise on my flank from taking a seat.) My first thought was along the lines of "owowowowowowow pain pain in my throat I can breathe, yes, good, I can swallow too even better owowowow" followed quickly by "Please don't let me cry in front of this field full of boys." Everyone--including the runner--circled me, asking if I was all right. I managed to croak out, "I'm fine, I'm fine, go away, I'm fine" because I knew if they kept fawning over me, I'd start to bawl. I finished out the inning, then made it to the dugout before the tears came. I drank a ton of water and managed to finish out that game (we lost) and half of the second game (we won). My throat still hurts today, as well as my shin and my flank. I also have an ultra-sexy, 900-phone-operator voice going for me. A sadistic part of me hopes that the coach will put me at second again, because I don't want to wind up scared of the ball. Get back on the horse and all that. The sane part of me wants to hide out in right field.

Oh, yeah, I managed to write two pages of my book today. Screw you, softball injury.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Stupid California sun

The four of us hit Santa Monica beach today. We didn't go to the pier, because we had to apartment-search in the afternoon, but we did wave-swim in the ocean and soak up the sun. Where I put SPF 45 didn't get burned, but the places that got missed ... wowza. Red and swollen and painful. Not nearly bad enough to blister, but not enough to forget I'm burned, either. Ken got it pretty good on his tummy. Ouch. We were out for three hours, but it didn't feel like it because of the cool breeze off the water and the mild temperatures. Deceptive, that California sun. I'll post good beach pictures when I get home. Although, I have to say, somehow I have to get Ken over his camera phobia. He actually get angry if you try to take his picture, and I hate that. I always tell him "I'm not going to have any pictures for your funeral photo collage, and I'll look like a bad wife" but he doesn't care. One of these days we're going to have a huge fight about, and I'm so going to win.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

sunny California

Third day in California. Aside from the traffic and the layer of grime that covers everything, it's pretty cool. Shopped at the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills yesterday. Didn't buy anything, of course, but I think I maybe saw a celebrity. Ming Na, I think her name is, from ER. I swear I saw her on the elevator. The best news of the day is that Bridget found a job at the blood bank at Cedars-Sinai, which sounds like a very cool gig. The HR guy tried to recruit me, which was fun in a odd sort of way.

More later. Next on the agenda is dragging Bridget out of bed so we can score some free breakfast, then it's off to Santa Monica beach.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sweet!

My pirate name is:
Mad Jenny Kidd
Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Took me long enough

I think I've finally figured out why I've been so freakishly obsessed with my 'killer Survivor' story getting picked up. My anthology score happened because of people I met at conventions; if this one gets picked up, it's fully on my merit. They liked the story, period. Perhaps this will go a long way towards me feeling like an actual writer.

Friday, June 23, 2006

six more days!

We leave for Cali next Thursday, and I'm starting to get a little freaked out. I'm such a fucking homebody--I already miss the cats, for cryin' out loud. We're only going to be gone six days, and I've got a friend checking on them every other day, but I'm convinced that they'll be lonely, scared, and malnourished while we're away. Not to mention unloved and abandoned.

I went for a three-mile jog yesterday, which was good. I definately need to do it more often. The mini-tri is coming up in August, and for all my talk about doing it in under an hour, I haven't been putting in a lot of pavement time. Other priorities, I guess, such as writing and spending time with the husband and reading.

The writing front is okay. I only like one of the short stories I wrote this month, so I'm submitting that to an open anthology. The dark short-story contest will receive a re-configured old story of mine. I've resumed work on the book I let fall by the wayside to write more stories. I'd like to have a first draft done by August and a finished manuscript done by World Fantasy Con in November. Ideally, I'd like to have another book in the works by November, as well. Self-imposed deadlines are the hardest to keep.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A few random questions with answers

1. If your life were a drinking game, everyone would take a shot when ...

2. In the movie of your life, who would play you?

My answers:
1. I fart. A second possiblity would be when I curse.
2. Judy Greer

what would the soundtrack of your life sound like?

Here's mine:
1. Gloria/Laura Brennigan
2. Reubin James/Kenny Rogers
3. Thriller/Michael Jackson
4. Material Girl/Madonna
5. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun/Cindy Lauper
6. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go/Wham
7. I Want Your Sex/George Michael
8. Sweet Child O' Mine/Guns-n-Roses
9. Bad Medicine/ Bon Jovi
10. Take It On The Run/ REO Speedwagon
11. Ragdoll/ Aerosmith
12. Summer Nights/ Grease soundtrack
13. Once/ Pearl Jam
14. Smells Like Teen Spirit/ Nirvana
15. God Shuffled His Feet/ Crash Test Dummies
16. Zombie/ The Cranberries
17. Stay/ Lisa Loeb
18. Don't Speak/ No Doubt
19. Can You Feel The Love Tonight/ Elton John
20. Everything You Want/ Vertical Horizon
21. Underneath Your Clothes/ Shakira
22. Take Your Mama/ Scissor Sisters
23. Harder to Breathe/Maroon 5
24. Black Horse and a Cherry Tree/ KT Tunstall

Sunday, June 18, 2006

happy father's day

Goin' to my hometown today to buy my dad lunchn in honor of Father's Day. I don't think he really cares one way or another, it's just another day to him, but it's the 'daughter' thing to do. I always feel bad for Ken on days like this, because his dad has passed. Actually, now that I think about it, his dad's been gone for nearly seventeen years. Ken's lived as long without his father as with him. I wonder if he realizes it. Maybe I'll buy him a father's day card from the kitties today. Cheesy? Yep. But it will make me feel better.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I need to see a movie, already

Movies I want to see the summer:
Cars
The Da Vinci Code
X-Men
Nacho Libre (okay, who doesn't love Jack Black?)

Movies I haven't seen but need to see, apparently, to be American
Bad Santa
The Godfather Trilogy
Old School
This Is Spinal Tap

Movies I love that everyone loves
Ocean's Eleven
When Harry Met Sally
Pirates of the Caribbian

Movies I love so much I know most of the words
The Princess Bride
Scream
Pretty Woman
A Few Good Men
Maverick

Friday, June 09, 2006

goin' good

Stories are goin' good, I think. I've written a rough draft of one for the assasin open anthology, and I'm working on a "dark" story for a contest. That one is about half-done. Next I think I'll work on a script for the TV show "How I Met Your Mother" just for kicks. Not that I think anything will come of it ... but you never know. I don't even really know who to contact to submit the thing. I should probably do some googling and some e-mailing, see if what I can dig up.

Last week Ken and I got new flashy-dashy camera phones. I can't wait to take incriminating pictures of my friends for my own personal enjoyment.

And I lost two pounds this week. I've starting running again, so that's how that happened. Working out is key to keeping the lard off my ass. Some people can do it with diet alone ... not me. Gotta keep it up.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This has got to stop.

For the past week--ever since I submitted my killer Survivor story--I find myself compulsively checking my e-mail. I think it's because I really like the story and have high hopes that it will be accepted. The editors said they would respond by the end of June. I have to find a way to get over this obsession--there is a contest and an open anthology whose deadlines are the end of June, and dammit, I'm submitting to both of them if it kills me. Checking e-mail every half-hour is cutting into my writing time.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

shameless author plug

I'm going to try and get fancy here and post a link to one of my writer-friend's book. Here it is. It's his first book called WebMage, so everyone one reading this blog (that's right, all five of you) have to order it right now so he has awesome debut-novel sales.

I got your back, Kelly Y.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

musings

So last week I got an e-mail from one of the women in my book club. A few months ago I had announced I was having a short story published. This woman, I'll call her Xena, has apparently always wanted to write a book and so finally worked up the nerve to ask for my advice. (I say worked up the nerve because it did take her a few months to contact me, after all. And it's a big leap of faith to tell people you want to be a writer.) We're meeting for drinks and dinner tomorrow night. On one level I feel like I'm the worst person she could ask--I'm a publishing-world rookie, what do I know?--but on another I feel like I've got some good advice to give a newbie. I'm thinking of swinging by the bookstore before we meet so I can pick up a copy of Stephen King's "On Writing" to give to her. In my mind I can picture us as writing buddies, like we'll meet once a week at out-of-the-way coffee shops to write and inspire one another. That would be very cool.

Which brings me to my next musing. To someone like Xena, I'm a writer. I've written three books, I'm having a story published, my current goal is to submit a story a month to various places, I'd like to have another book written by November. In my mind, though, I don't feel like a "real" writer. How do I know this? I'm trying to decide if I should apply to have a reading during World Fantasy Con in November--maybe the story that will be published, maybe something else--and the rookie in me says that I'm not qualified yet. I don't have enough of a resume to give a reading. Why would an agent want to hear my words? I'm nobody. But then I tell myself that everyone starts somewhere, that an agent would come hear what I've written because I'm a nobody and he's looking for new talent, that the only way to be a "real" writer is to act like one. I keep oscillating between the two. Maybe after dinner with Xena I'll be so jazzed that I'll apply for a reading slot before I have time to question myself. The margaritas will grease the way, probably.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It hurts to blog

This year I've joined a summer softball league, and Sunday was our first practice. Actually, I think it maybe our only practice. Anyhoo, I hustled. I jumped. I threw. I ran. I batted. I got sunburned. And I woke up the next day pretty stiff and creaky. Monday was our first game. I hustled. I ran. I batted. I threw. Tuesday I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. It hurt to walk down steps. It hurt to walk up steps. It hurt to laugh. I hurt to drive. I'm so fucking old.

An interesting side note: I ended up in the ER after practice on Sunday for reasons completely unrelated to ball. I've had a recurring stomach pain for the last couple of years. Sunday after dinner it hurt so bad I was doubled over and on the verge of tears. Ken convinced me to go to the ER, where I was told I have an ulcer. What the fuck. The list of foods/drinks I'm supposed to stay away from is basically a list of my favorites: spicy foods, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, and alcohol. I guess this means lemon drop shots are out. I say chocolate martinis and white russians are still in; any liquor with milk can't be all bad. Stupid ulcer.

Finally finished up the Survivor short story. Next on deck are two short story contests/open anthologies for June. One is a dark fantasy contest, word limit 4000 words. The other is a sword-and-sorcery assasin anthology. I have all sorts of thoughts swirling in my head; I just gotta pluck out two and get crackin'.

Monday, May 01, 2006

"United 93"

I have conflicting feelings about whether or not I should see this movie. I feel that as an American, I need to see this film so I can honor the passengers and their sacrifice. But I don't think I'm strong enough as a person to go see it. I just don't think I'm ready.

Everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy was assassinated, when Princess Diana died, and when the planes hit the twin towers. It's one of those events that etches itself into the collective conscious. It bonds us together because we all watched and grieved together. For me it's too soon to go back.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Thank your Laboratory Professional

Yeah, yeah, I know this post is a bit late ... but last week was National Laboratory Professionals Week. I was on the lab week committee, which is a lot of work and a lot of fun. Lab week at Carle is pretty cool--lots of food, games, and prizes all week--and this year was no exception. I'm particularly excited because one of my ideas was well received. We decided to raffle off a few $50 dollar gift certificates and donate the money raised to charity. The Lab Week committee has tried to raise money in the past, but no one ever donated. Dangle a spa gift certificate in front of them, however ... and they go crazy.

My short story is in the hands of a few choice readers. I've gotten some pretty harsh criticism back from one, but it was good. He told me exactly what he didn't like and exactly how he thought it could be better. It helps that he sweetened the harshness with phrases like "it's obvious you have talent" and "you've built too good a story to take the cheap way out." Silver linings. Hopefully I'll hear back from the others in the next week or so.

Probably on Monday I'll start on a new story. This idea came to me in a dream, actually. What if one day some one knocked on your door and told you that you could go back and change one decision you've made. The caveat is that it can't be an obvious life decision, like where to go to college or who to marry. It's got to be seemingly innocuous. So of course you say yes and you decide to wear blue instead of pink one day in grade school. And it changes your life. So now you're in your new life, and it's great. But you know what you've lost, so you want to go back. Or, you're greedy and want to change another choice to make your life even better. But the rules state that each person only gets one shot. How far would you go to get another chance?

Or, maybe I'll write the contract dead people have to sign once their dead. I made a allusion to that in one of my stories, and ever since then I've thought it'd be neat to write that contract. What do they have to agree to? It seems a little cliched to sign it in blood, especially since they're dead, they don't have blood anymore. Yeah, maybe I'll do that one.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

another one bites the dust

I'm about 2/3 of the way finished with another short story. I'm submitting to an open "dark humor" anthology, and so far I'm happy with how the story is turning out. It's a satire on Survivor, written in screenplay format. It's been so much fun to write. The editors will either love it because it's out of the box or hate it for the very same reason. I'll probably submit it in a few weeks, but I won't hear anything until the end of June. Fingers crossed. After that, I'd like to write two short stories a month and submit them to various places. Get my name out there and hopefully get a few more sells for my resume before World Fantasy Con in November.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Goin' to Cali

Well, it's official. Ken and I are joining friends of ours on a trip to Los Angeles. It's a scouting trip--they're moving out there in September, and so we're going to help them look for apartments and jobs and such. It's going to be a good time. A day or two at the beach, a day in the mountains, I can't wait. It's going to be interesting, though, since we've never vacationed with another couple before. It'll either make us friends forever or enemies. Probably friends forever because B and I aren't into petty bullshit. I'm jazzed.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Prep

I just finished reading the book "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld. It's about a middle-class teenager going to an eastern boarding school for high school. The author nailed a lot of things about being middle-class in a rich world, being insecure when everyone around seems so sure of themselves, and general teenage angst with boys and friends. One of my big gripes about the book: the protagonist played herself to be a victim for four years, and I just can't see where someone would allow that to happen. She wanted to go to boarding school, and the whole time she's there, she feels that she can't fit in, and goes to a lot of trouble to be alone. She is sad and angry most of the time, but won't allow herself to quit and go to a different school. She wants to fit in but would hate herself if she did. There's even a line towords the end about how she only feels like she looks like a boarding school kid when she's away from the school.

I don't think as a teenager I was that angsty. I related to a lot of the book--a lot of the experiences the protagonist had were the same ones I had when I went away to college--but I only wallowed in self-pity for a half of a semester. There's no way I could have done it for four years. She denied herself a lot of happiness, then was pissed off that she had been denied this happiness by others.

One scene in particular touched a nerve. Her parents visited during parents weekend for the first time during her junior year, and her feelings of shame and protection towards her parents were something I remember myself doing to my parents. When they would visit me at school, I'd want to rush them through a tour or not spend time in the dorms. My friends would see them and know they were poor, but that's not why I didn't want my folks to linger. I didn't want them to be surrounded by the wealth that I was surrounded by on a daily basis and feel less of themselves. I wanted to protect them from being humiliated and feeling what I felt when I first went away. It probably played off that I was embarrased by them, and I can't say that wasn't part of it, but mostly I never wanted them to feel out of place in a world that I felt increasingly comfortable in.

A few years ago I read a great essay in Unte Reader written by a man who had grown up blue-collar but was now white-collar. The overlying theme I remember is that there's a segment of the population that shares his conundrum: you have one foot in both worlds, and so you don't truly belong to either of them. There's guilt if you leave the blue-collar world behind and resentment if you turn your back on the white-collar world you feel you've earned. I feel this most acutely whenever I go back to my hometown to visit my parents. I wonder if that will ever change.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Is it bulimia if you only do it once?

I have just had one of the most memorable weekends I've had for awhile. Ken and I attended a Swanky Wedding in Chicago. It was on the northshore, and included: gift baskets for hotel guests, passed hordeurves while waiting in line to see the bride and groom, monogrammed towels in the bathroom, an open bar, personalized mini champagne bottles that doubled as place cards, waiters with white gloves, a five-piece band that sang during the four-course, sit-down dinner, and a reception with over three hundred guests. I have no idea how much the whole thing cost, but I would not be surprised to find out it was more than my annual salary. The whole affair was made bearable because the families involved are family-oriented, caring, genuinely nice people. The bride made me feel like she was glad I came when she doesn't even know me, and the mother of the bride made it a point to tell me the following morning that everyone had such a nice time dancing with me (which I think is polite-speak for "fucking slut, dirty-dancing with strangers for two hours", but whatever. I love to dance and I had a great time. So what if I'm remembered as the "crazy dance chick" at all their family functions for the next ten years?).

The downer for the weekend? Ken contracted food poisoning, probably from Staph aureus on some salmon he had for lunch. I have never heard anyone be so violently sick before, and I hope never to hear it again. Cleaning up projectile vomit is no fun, but my job makes my stomach stronger than most, so I was able to deal.

I've thought alot about success and money and love over the past few days. I won't make six figures in the foreseeable future, and I can't fathom having a second home. I'm 31 and I don't have my first million in the bank. Does that make me less of a person? Doesn't loving my job and helping save lives count for anything? Would I love my husband more if he brought home more bacon? Is spending my free time pounding on computer keys in the hopes the stories I produce move people in someway a big fat waste of time? The answers I came up with are: no, yes, no (but I'd dress better) and hell no. Take that for what you will.

Monday, March 20, 2006

the saga continues

So, the dumbass camera people sent us the wrong charger. Fuckers. Allegedly they're sending us the right one. Yeah, whatever. Saturday I bought a universal charger for the fucking thing, so Sunday I got to play with my new toy. It looks like it takes great pictures. I haven't downloaded any yet, mostly been playing with settings and such. Now I totally want to go for a drive or go on vacation and take pictures of Ken and I in America. We're going to a wedding in Chicago on Saturday so that will have to do. Turns out Kahlua is a camera hog--whenever I point the camera at one of the other kitties he walked right in front of the lens. What a ham.

Writing is going well. I've started on the three wizard story. I've decided this time to go sort of off-line with it. I've written an outline, but I don't really like it, so I think I'm just going to write the characters for awhile and see where they take me. It might end up crappy, but whatever. That's what rewritting is for. I'm also working on a submission to a dark humor anthology. It's a satirical take on a futuristic "Survivor" type of reality television program. I'm a self-professed Survivor geek, so I'm having fun with it. Deadline's not until the end of May but I'd really like to get it done in a month or so. Having two projects going at once is kind of nice--if one isn't working for me today, the other one will, so it's easier to get a few pages of something done each day.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

ain't technology grand?

Ken has finally fulfilled a deep-seated desire: he's hooked up wireless internet in our house. Currently I'm camped out on the couch upstairs while I cruise the information highway, and I gotta say I love it.

I can't say so much for my new digital camera ...

We ordered this kick-ass Panasonic Lumix camera three weeks ago. After some headaches, we finally received it, except it's missing the battery charger. Which means we currently have a kick-ass Panasonic Lumix paperweight. The company we bought it from is supposed to be fed-exing us a charger, and it should be here Wednesday. Fuckers. This is what we get for researching cameras and buying the one we thought was best instead of buying blindly off the shelf. It'll be worth the wait, hopefully, but what a pain in the ass. Hopefully soon I'll be able to dazzle you all with pictures of kitties.

Springtime weather today! Ken and I went to Lowe's--the mecca of suburban married couples everywhere--and bought some lawn goodies. We drooled over the seeds for our vegetable garden but decided that we needed a plan this year instead of planting things willy-nilly. Knowing my husband, he'll break out the ruler to make a map of the ideal garden. He's such an organizer. More like he likes for things to be organized without actually organizing anything. He delegates. I ignore. It's a system that works well for us.

Last night we played poker. Ken was first out, and I came in third. I should have won--I had the chip lead for most of the night--but when it got down to three I pulled a bonehead move. I had a pair of fives, but decided to bet big so I could push my opponet around with my chip stack. She pushed all in. I easily had her covered, and my first instinct was that she was bluffing--trying to call my bluff with a bluff of her own. I called, and she fucking flips over a straight. I lost something like $15 in that hand. That loss made the three of us remaining about evenly matched. Usually if I lose a big hand like that, I get scared off of betting, and last night was no exception. I finally go fed up and went all-in with a A-Q. Lost to a pair of kings. I was so pissed off at myself for making the bonehead move. I'm still a little bitter. Not that I lost, but that I made a bad decision. Losing I can handle, as long as I played a good game. I'm the same way at work--I can handle screwing up if it's something I maybe didn't know before, or if I made the best decision I could with the information I had. If I screw up and I should have really known better, it'll bother me for days.

Friday, March 03, 2006

letdown

I just finished reading Stephen King's "Cell". I want to preface my review with this: during my formative years, King was my idol. I was in junior high school when my dad lent me his copy of "Christine", and I didn't look back. For years my all-time favorite non-series book was "The Stand" (it has only recently been replaced by "The Genesis Code"). While I haven't read every single word the man's written, I'm pretty damn close. So maybe my expectations are a tad high. I didn't like "Cell", though. It had a great concept, great suspense, good characters, and some parts really made me think. The ending, however, was terrible. And there was a little bit of gore, but not much. Sometimes I wonder if King's gone soft in his old age.

Maybe I'm more critical because I'm older, or because I'm so critical of my own writing. I have noticed that in the past few years I've become a more discerning reader. That's a good thing, I think, because it makes my own writing better. It makes it harder to enjoy reading, though. Hazard of the job, I guess.

Speaking of jobs, micro is going well. I've begun training on Acid Fast cultures (that's tuberculosis for you civilians) and next week I'll start on strep and respiratory cultures. A few days ago I worked with organisms that could potentially kill me. Jealous?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

it finally feels real

Friday I recieved payment and a contract for the anthology story. Contract says it'll be published by DAW books in 2007. Yippeeeeeee! The check is just gravy. I almost want to frame it instead of cash it. Almost. I'll keep a photocopy, probably. I'm sure that's a crime of some sort but I don't care. In celebration of my first writing sale and my 31st birthday (which is today), Ken and I are buying a digital camera. Finally entering the 21st century. Ken is usually such a techie-geek with computers and gaming, you'd think we'd already have one. He's camera-shy, though, and so it's never been a priority for him. He's willing to make the concession, though, since I've made a sale.

I feel pretty good, having sold a story. But it also makes me think of how far I have to go to reach my writing goals. One story is basically nothing--lots of people sell a story and then you never hear from them again--but I want more than that. I want hundred, thousands, millions of people to read my books. I want to touch them, entertain them, open their eyes to other worlds with my words. This sale is the first step of about a thousand more I have to make. I feel a little intimidated by that.

This post turned out to be a little more philosophical than I intended. Maybe it's because I turn 31 today. For me, turning 26 was a lot harder than turning 25--I was suddenly in my late 20's, not mid-20's--and 31 is proving to be the same. I'm in my 30's now, not just on the cusp.

Last night I hosted a girl's night poker party. Two old friends and two new friends attended, and it was a blast. Three of the people had never played poker, so it was fun to teach them. I won, but the three newbies did really well considering it was their first time. One of the old friends is moving to California in a month, and I'm a little sad by it. I'm just going to miss her so fucking much. She's one of only a few people who knows I've sold a story. (For some reason I'm not shouting it from the rooftops. Don't ask me why. Maybe I'm reserving that for when I have an actual book in my hands.) Have to make the most of the time we have left. Sounds like she's dying, doesn't it? Maybe I'm being a little melodramatic. That seems to be the theme of the day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

bios

Ken surprised me for Valentine's day by skipping class and cooking dinner. Salmon, corn, rolls, and candy apples for dessert. I especially liked the salmon--I've recently read "Fast Food Nation" and I feel guilty if I eat meat. They didn't really talk about the horrible fish conditions in the book, though, so salmon's still golden. Looks like I'll be getting my protein from fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and nuts for awhile. This goes perfectly with my goal to lose fifteen pounds. Spring is just around the corner and I'm excited to start working out outdoors on a regular basis again.

I have to write a paragraph bio about myself. It'll go at the end of my story in the book. Here's what I'm thinking so far:

Kelly X is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist by day and a writer by night. She and her husband, Ken, support a home and four cats in Illinois. She never wears earrings. This is her first published story.

I'll work with it over the next few days or so. It's tricky to be witty and informative at once.

I've got the beginnings of my wizard book in my mind. I'm hoping to start chapter one tomorrow. It's tough to find the motivation, sometimes. I've written three books that are basically going to wither and die in the proverbial drawer, so it's hard to start a new one when it could go nowhere, too. I'm trying to think of it like this: those books were practice, and even if they never see print, they made me the writer I am now. I couldn't write the stories I've written lately if I hadn't written those books. Those books will make the next book I write better.

I'm doing a fabulous job pumping myself up. I'm stoked to start on my book tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

doin' the cabbage patch

So I e-mailed my story off yesterday. I got an e-mail back today, and the first words were, "Great story, smoothly written."

Whee-heee-heee!

My editor changed a few words here and there, added a sentence or two to make things clearer, and told me to think of a better ending sentence. I thought of one, zipped it off to her, and now it's time to boogie. I'm in the best fucking mood ever. Now it's on to the next thing ...

... which automatically brings me down a peg or three. I need to start my wizard book. Starting is always the hardest part for me--all those possibilities, which one to use?--but dammit, it needs to be done. So maybe no celebrating tonight.

Now I have writer insecurity. Shit.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Poker night

Ken and I hosted a poker night last night. I lost most of my money in one hand--I had a K-6, the board had two sixes, I thought I was golden, but I ended up losing to a friend that had A-6, the bastard--and I was out within the first hour. I won the last time we played, so I suppose I was due.

Tomorrow I'm going to send off my story to the anthology editor. I have no idea what to expect. In one fantasy she showers me with compliments and tells me how much she loves it and she's not changing a word, and in the other she tells me that clearly her invitation was a terrible mistake and to go back to english class. The reality will probably be somewhere in the middle--"It's good, but let's change x, y, and z"--but that doesn't stop my insides from churning.