Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Changing Times

Will this turn into a rant? I hope not. "Positive" is my word for 2012. It may turn into "positively horrible," but January isn't even over. I'm not going there yet.

A co-worker introduced me to her daughter as Pollyanna yesterday. I explained I'm a cynic the rest of the time.

"That's kind of the opposite," she said.

"I know. It takes a lot of energy to be positive 8 hours a day. Have to recoup the loss somewhere."

So I changed to the new FB timeline. Welcome to way TMI. I'm so grateful The Machine will now publish every second of my life from conception to death for the entire world to see. Makes me feel special. High price to pay for my FV addiction, but I'm paying it.

Anyone else seeing us turning into Aldous Huxley's Brave New World? Little bit chilling, me thinkin'. 

I changed to the "new" Blogger interface. I was encouraged to change months ago but I just couldn't handle one more thing, you know? I hate it, of course, but I'll adapt. Or die.

After doing some sketch work for a friend, it occurred to me this morning I might want to do some sketch work for myself. Splashdown likes to use symbols as chapter headings. I could go with the obvious "star of justice," but maybe Merritt's kilt clasp is more interesting. Or Radiac's symbol. Or something else I haven't thought of. April sounds far away but it really isn't. I need to focus, write stuff down and get to work.

I'll be starting what I'm calling "final edits" on Star of Justice next week. This really means I'll read it for consistency and smooth out any remaining rough spots. Will rabbits be rabbits or erguk? They're kind of both. Does hafmet officially replace paces or hands as a unit of measurement? I say yes, even if it does sound funny when halved. It really does. Try it.

Just how big is Aidan? I have no idea. Not knowing how fast a horse can travel, I kind of guessed most of the time issues. It is magical. I suppose distance could change due to intermittent spacial anomalies of a magical nature. Yeah. Cheating. I agree.

I need to put final touches on the map, too. Yes, I have a map, which officially makes it a "high fantasy." I think Kat wrote a blog about defining high fantasy. Maybe it was Jill Williamson and I got to it from Kat's blog. I can't find it now, which is too bad, because it was hilarious and totally appropriate. Help me out, people. Give me the link.

That's enough. Day job calls and I have breakfast to make.

Hey! No rant! Good on me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

That's Not Food

So I'm going to lunch yesterday, and I mention I'll be eating "fake spaghetti."

"Spaghettios?" asks a co-worker.

It wasn't spaghettios, but it did get me thinking.

What are spaghettios made of? I know they list ingredients on the back, but what other item we label "food" has the texture and consistency of canned pasta?

Take raviolis. What is that stuffing? Post-processed meat product? Have you looked at it? Have you tried to peel back the outer covering to take a peek? You can't, by the way. It may as well be glued together. Except for that one ravioli in every can that didn't get glued and comes apart when you slide the whole gelatinous mass onto your plate with a gloopy plop.

Don't get me wrong. I've eaten my fair share of canned pastas, even as an adult.
I guess it finally hit me how truly gross they are.

Good thing they're packed with sugar or I might have to swear off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In Case You Missed It...

God willing, my first novel will be published this year. I signed the contract last week.

April 15, 2012 marks the public debut of Star of Justice (date subject to change *grin*).

I'm pretty calm at the moment. Except for those two nights of staring at the ceiling wondering why I was doing this and what ducks remained to be lined up, and where the line was and did I have all my ducks in the first place or had one been eaten during that Thanksgiving food binge where I briefly blacked out after bolting an entire pot of stuffing?

You know, normal thought processes for the turtle.

Here's some tentative snippets of what's to come.

Cover design: Gungho Iguana, aka Keven Newsome, will revisit his initial envisioning and...do something. I hear I get final approval but the way Iguana works, I might not realize the cover is done until it's been published. He's pretty quick.

Headshots: little referenced but always loved "third brother" Brian Cowen. Yes, mom and I played around with my phone camera, my concrete turtle and a couple cats this weekend, but I intend to have something slightly more professional for the book. Of course, we all know where good intentions lead.

Editing: mostly done. My thanks to the Lioness and Vaulter for their official comments, and Grace for the final say, but after eight years, the book is well past ready to go. I know I'm sick of looking at it. Yes, yes, you'll find the one typo we miss. More power to you. Be sure to mention it on Amazon.

Reviews: I'm absolutely not going to read ANY of these, so, should the muse goose you, feel free to unload without fear of hurting my feelings. I can't handle FB chatter; I certainly can't handle waiting for Galadriel's Daughter to tell me how hackneyed my plot is.

Dedication: I thought I had this one, but I don't. The way the world is tilting, this may be my only shot and I'm not quite arrogant enough to thank myself for writing a book. We'll see.

OK. I'm cold and hungry and I need to figure out what to wear to my day job.
Thank you for your support, dear readers.

Let the game begin.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

O My Trees

I look out on a barren wasteland this morning. My broken maple, my dying redbud and, as of yesterday, my power line-entangled elm are gone. I have an unobstructed view of my neighbors. What's worse - they have a view of me.

I didn't understand how much those trees concealed until they came down. All the ugliness of low-income rental housing is revealed.

That's a bit unfair. To my knowledge, all the houses within my direct line of sight have actual owners living in them. However, they are smaller houses and tend to suffer a lot of turnover without a lot of upgrading.

I have no real room to complain. Thanks to the oddness of my current neighbors staring at me whenever I go outside, the previous thickness of mosquito swarms sheltering under my now-vanished trees and a general lack of funds, my yard has little to boast of late.

This is the year of change. God willing, they'll be good changes, and I plan to start with the backyard.

I dug out my garden magazines and spent an afternoon last weekend watching Pride & Prejudice (the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version) and marking interesting plans and plants in all of them. I intend to spend this weekend starting a planting plan, including smaller trees (I've always wanted a Japanese maple), a cutting garden (I can finally grow zinnias!) and a vegetable plot (never grown those before).

Rather than mourn my dear departed woody friends (the squirrels will mourn enough, I'm sure), I'll anticipate the blueberries, serviceberries, asparagus, scabiosa, lavender, basil and peas to come.

After all, gardening is very beneficial exercise. Why should an idiot like Mr. Collins get it all?

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Miss the 80's

Not much of the 80's, mind you. Mostly Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel power ballads and nifty color schemes.

My sock drawer contains the only remaining evidence that the 80's existed. Bright blue, lemon yellow, florescent orange, lime green, royal purple, real red: they're all there. All the colors I used to wear but cannot for the life of me find since 1991 and George Clooney's ER Roman head shave showed up and changed fashion forever.

In the 80's, if you wanted a hot pink dress suit complete with hot pink tights and hot pink heels, you could find it. I know. I had one.

Not all of us want to wear puce, oatmeal and sienna, but those have been my choices since Counselor Troi put on her first cat suit in STNG. That's 20 years ago, people! Isn't it time for the wheel to turn back to fun colors?

I need a spotlight to search my closet full of black and dark brown for another shirt I don't want to wear but must because the current version of red gives me a five o'clock shadow a Jewish rabbi would envy.

I'm a Spring, people. I need bright, clear colors. Stop giving me this Summer and Autumn crap. I can't wear it.

Of course, the difference may be I now shop in Women's instead of Juniors. I don't even want to go there.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ah, D&D, I Do Miss You

Saw this last night by accident on The Mary Sue and just had to share. Pretty sure I've gamed with these guys, although I knew them by different names. Elf and dwarf names.

My favorite part (a hard choice, even in only 2 minutes, 19 seconds)? When the nerds try to high five and can't. So been there. 

Elder Brother, you and I should memorize this and perform it at every family gathering until one of us dies, and then the other would continue to perform it alone as tribute. 

Yes, I find it that funny.

I also find it nostalgic, so, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play with my 2d20 and roll a few for old times' sake.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sick Equals Sucks

The Tickle turned ugly within 24 hours. Went home sick Thursday afternoon and have spent most of the time since either in bed or sitting in a chair wishing my back would stop hurting so I could go back to bed. The worst part about being sick is I can't be anything else. I can't write, or read, or even watch TV because I'm just too miserable. All I can really do is lie there and wish for death. I didn't, because, frankly, I've been sicker, but I came close.

I did keep up with Farmville, through one slitted eye and with kleenex stuffed up my nose, but we all know how addicts are. Gotta get my fix, right?

Even though left nostril continues to dribble, I'm going to work. I can't stay in this house any longer.
That's not true. I have no problem with the house. It's the cess pit the arborists left of my backyard that I can't look at anymore.

Yes, the tree-trimmers came Friday and left total destruction in their wake. They churned up my yard, turning black soil into clay clumps. Still not sure how they managed that. The plumbers had a 20 foot backhoe out there for two days and dug up 90% of my yard, and yet did less damage than four arborists with one tiny backhoe who left cigarette butts, fallen branches, broken paving stones, a downed phone line and a hole in my neighbor's siding.

So, in between bouts of cold medicine, I suffer crying jags and waffle between suicidal and homicidal urges.

That's not true. I've not had a single suicidal urge.

I have had serious concerns about my sanity. I need the cold to go away or snow to come and hide the backyard. 'Cause I can't handle both.