Archive for 'Writing'
Thursday, December 5th, 2013
I wrote that title, making progress, like I actually am. But it’s snail’s progress. The office will be ready for furniture and shelves by Saturday. It would have gone faster if I didn’t want two colors. Tonight we’ll touch up and finish the trim painting. I say we, but if I want to trim paint, I’ll have to battle the two kids.
I’d really like to get a second home on the coast. Maybe like a mobile home. I’d want it to be on the west side of 101 and within walking distance to the beach. Maybe rent it out part of the year or something. I wonder if that’s a feasible thing. Which is to say, I wonder if I could rent it out enough to cover the mortgage, taxes, and insurance.
Incidentally, it’s very difficult to type when trapped between two corgis on the couch. One is on the arm of the couch and sliding over so that I have to lean, and the other is on the other side nosing me about petting him. Both are releasing hair like dandelions. Clearly I need to brush them and still need to trim toenails.
I’m only making slow progress on my revision. Not because it’s hard, but because I’ve not been sleeping well, and frankly, I’m not in my office. Apparently I have less discipline while sitting on the couch. It isn’t that it’s making me watch TV, but just that I’m not focusing on the work very well.
I had a really good review of Bitter Night yesterday. It’s really nice to see people are still reading it. Think of my books at Christmas time when you’re thinking about gifts. Or any other time you’re thinking about gifts.
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
I forgot to mention that I finished Trace of Magic a couple days ago. Go me! I talk about ending it over at Magical Words today. Specifically about ending creep. I’m pretty happy with the book so far, but only because it’s done and I haven’t reread it to find out what needs to be revised. I’m in that lovely state of denial.
My friend Christy Keyes has suffered some significant brain injuries this last year and she and her husband are struggling. If you can donate to her cause or spread the word or both, please do. I set up a gofundme site for her today. It’s here.
Have you ever noticed that family can drive you to a level of anger that no one else seems to be able to do? My son is a teenager and he’s behaving as such. Perfectly normal, but apparently I need to adjust better. And maybe go sit in the jacuzzi tub for awhile.
I did go to the chiropractor today. I feel better, but I’ll have to probably go back again. As long as I get better soon, I’ll be happy.
I’m tired of Black Friday commercials. I won’t be shopping on Black Friday, either. Unless I run out chocolate, which is highly unlikely. I just made a batch of rolls with mashed potatoes in them. I didn’t mash the potatoes very well. Hope they turn out. Also didn’t use unsalted butter, and didn’t adjust the salt levels in the bread. It’s my first go round with this recipe. The dough was nice an elastic when I set it to rise the first time. Here’s hoping it all turns out. I plan to make cinnamon rolls later. I ground the wheat myself, so it makes for tastiness.
On Small Business Saturday, Devon Monk and I will be signing and possibly reading at Reader’s Guide Books in Salem, Oregon, from 11-1. So if anybody can make it, please do!
And a little snippet, with names redacted:
“I hurt you,” he said tonelessly.
“You didn’t mean to,” I said carefully. I couldn’t get a read on how he was feeling or what he was thinking.
“I could have killed you. I wanted to kill you.”
“You didn’t know it was me.”
He shook his head and looked down, anger and fear rippling across his tight expression. “I did.”
I could only stare. My stomach turned inside out. [redacted] made a growling noise and started forward. I thrust out my hand to stop him. “Why?” I could barely push the word out. I felt strangled.
“I wanted to be dead.”
“You thought I’d kill you?” I squeaked, incredulous.
“You should have killed me. I asked you to.”
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
I finished a chapter today (the one I thought was the last chapter in this book) and promptly started the next last chapter. This ending is one that I’m discovering as I go. I’m feeling my way and it’s frustrating on the one hand because I don’t know where I’m going, and exciting on the other because when I know it’s going in the right direction, I can feel it. It’s a lot like walking through a maze with a blindfold on. I’m searching for the way by touch. I know when when I’m going in the right direction, even if I don’t know where I’m going to end up. I also know when I’m going in a wrong direction, almost immediately. It is frustrating that I don’t know what the ending is. I suppose I’ll know I’ve hit it when I get there. In this chapter. I’m sure of it. I think.
Went to listen to John (JA) Pitts read tonight. He’s awesome. Funny and sharp. You’ve got to read his books if you haven’t. Here’s a pic:
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
I’m just going to have to give in to going to the bone-cracker. Luckily, I met a massage therapist at Orycon who works locally in a chiro office. Now I just have to make the appointment. I keep getting headaches and a hip ache and a neck ache. So pretty sure the back needs adjusting.
I am getting writing done. But I still don’t know what the ending is. Yeah. I’m right on top of it. As in, within 2 or 3 thousand words of the ending (pretty sure). Surely some revelation is at hand? (oops, Yeats just crept in). But surely some ending must be at handing? What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Diamond City to be born? Oh dear. I really need to be drinking. Possibly writing. Possibly I could just crib totally from Yeats and no one would notice. Right? Hmmm. A thought.
Costco is carrying this kettle corn drizzled with dark chocolate. In my house this is known as Mom Crack. It is good stuff. I ran out of it, but was told today that going to Costco just to buy it was irresponsible. So I didn’t. Because I was going to be responsible. I know, who’d have thunk?
Been listening to Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire. Love the album, love the song.
From the song:
Dorothy, Alice and Wendy and Jane,
Susan and Lucy, we're calling your names,
All the Lost Girls who came out of the rain
And chose to go back on the shelf.
Tinker Bell says, and I find I agree
You have to break rules if you want to break free.
So do as you like -- we're determined to be
Wicked girls saving ourselves.
I get to talk about Worldbuilding on Romantic Times Book Reviews Website.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Corgis are the cutest dogs ever. Here are mine, being spoiled and cute.
And then there’s this picture of Mount Shasta, near Weed, featured in Crimson Wind. If you don’t know about that, why not?
The man smashed his hand and finger today. I had to watch while he drilled two holes in the nail to release pressure. He wouldn’t let me do it. He didn’t trust me. Thought I might drill to the bone. He’s right.
I’ve been making progress on the end of Trace of Magic. Here’s a snippet (it’s rough and hasn’t even been proofed, so be kind):
We loaded up into a one ton SUV near the entrance. Price and Touray took the front and Josh and I got into the back. None of us spoke. Price was seething and Touray was icy. Josh had lapsed into total silence. I pushed him into his seat, bending his arms and legs like a stiff doll and buckled his seatbelt, more to keep him from freaking out and attacking the rest of us than anything else.
I hobbled around to my side and slid into my seat. I shut the door with a long sigh.
“I’m taking you to Maya,” Touray said to his brother as he keyed the engine over.
“We need a dreamer for Josh,” Price said. “The sooner the better. He’s in worse shape than I am.”
“He can wait. I want you looked after.”
“Go to Cass first. You can travel to fetch Maya.”
“Can I? My magic doesn’t seem to be working at the moment.”
Touray glanced over his shoulder at me. I shivered at the greed and speculation in the look. Like he was shopping and had just found a Picasso in a thrift store. Not that he’d be caught dead in a thrift store. But you get the point.
Sometime in the fight I’d swallowed the quarter. It was fast reaching its limits. Between sucking up the null field and the magic in the mountain, it was nearly overloaded. I shrugged at Touray because I had no idea when it would run out and when he’d get his powers back. I could deactivate it, but that would take a lot of energy and at the moment, I was fried. They could sort out what they wanted to do. I was just along for the ride at this point.
I leaned my head back against the headrest and closed my eyes. Mistake. I instantly became all too aware of my injuries. My entire body throbbed like Yosemite Sam’s thumb after Bugs Bunny wacks it with a hammer. Fifty times the size it ought to be and pulsing like a pufferfish on crack.
Touray made a frustrated sound. “Fine. We’ll go to Cass. Where is she?”
“In a house on the top level.”
“Maya’s closer. I’ll travel for Cass. As soon as I can.”
I felt his eyes on me again.
“She won’t like that,” Price said.
His voice was a little louder. He’d turned his head to look at me, too. My fingers twitched and I clenched them together.
“Too damned bad,” Touray said. “I’m not wasting time driving in this mess if I don’t have to.”
They started talking about the attack the building and what they needed to do to head off their enemies and pretty quick I drifted off to sleep. No dreams, thank goodness. Apparently my mind needed to rest as much as my body.
I woke up awhile later. We were still driving—if you could call it that. We inched along. Snow whirled around us. The headlights showed nothing but a wall of white. I wondered how Touray was even staying on the road.
Maybe he’d drive over the edge of the caldera and solve all my problems in one quick fall.
“Finally,” Touray muttered. He started to glow around the edges and the rest of him thinned so I could see through him. He began to speed up, following some sort of path his magic opened up to him.
Monday, November 18th, 2013
We got home from my MILs funeral. It was sad, but funerals tend to have a component of catharsis and the renewal of connections to family and friends. So in that much it was a good experience.
I haven’t much else to say. Been trying to catch up. For Peeps in the Salem, Oregon, area, John Pitts will be signing books at Book Bin East (the old Borders), this Friday at 7:00.
We’ll be going to the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert on Sunday.
I’m feeling a bit awful today. Morning was great with raking leaves and running errands (where did all the milk go?) and then this afternoon I started feeling like garbage. Headachey and feverish. This pairs nicely with my sinus pain going over the mountains driving down to California and back. Owie.
In the meantime, I write this week so I can finish Trace of Magic and pain my office so I can put the rest of the shelves up so I can unpack books and my son can thereby find the books he wants that I haven’t found yet. Oh, and that would allow me to put some other stuff away. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
My parents have come to visit for about a week and a half (well they’ve been here a few of days already) so I’ve been off having a good time with them. Also my SIL was in town for work for a couple days and we had a good time with her.
Tonight we did some pumpkin carving (started), but the faces will get carved tomorrow. And trick or treating. I’ve also put some more stuff away. My living room is almost functional. I may need some furniture But I don’t know what I want.
I’m getting some sense of what’s missing from my developing ending. I think I’ve found a spark. But won’t be able to get to it right away. Planning to be busy the next few days. Might get a little time in on it next week. Maybe not until the folks leave. I might need a little more percolating. But at least the percolating is working.
Did I mention it snowed in MT and tomorrow it will be down around 20 overnight there, and I won’t be there! Bwhahahahaha!
In other news, we have extra corgis staying with us while the folks are visiting. A corgi horde.
ooops. I just broke into the Halloween candy. Don’t look at me like that. I didn’t eat that much.
Oh, how cool is this? Was in Radio Shack today and they have Big Bang Theory flash drives of Howard, Sheldon, and Leonard. I took a picture. I had to. Which would you pick?
Saturday, October 26th, 2013
Over the past few days I’ve sorted through all my books. I’ve shelved a bunch and I’ve boxed a bunch to get rid of. I haven’t dug through my research books as I haven’t got those shelves set up, but I’m fairly confident I’m keeping all of those. Then we took the books to Powell’s. Over 40 paper boxes full. They didn’t buy as much as I hoped, but they did buy some, so we got rid of about 10 gone. Then we took the rest to a local used book store, and got rid of more than 75% of the rest, and then we took the final books to The Friends of the Salem Library. I had to do it fast or I’d decide to keep them. The problem was that I really needed to cut ties with that old life. Plus I needed to get all those boxes out of the house. We still aren’t really moved in. More like camping in a lot of places as we get things done. The worst part is figuring out where to put things and where to hang pictures. Plus the man is working a ton of overtime and so it’s a lot slower to make things happen.
For whatever reason, that reminds me that I want to make some cinnamon rolls. I think I’ll have to do that later today or tomorrow morning.
My parents are coming to visit on Monday. Really looking forward to it.
I think I have begun to come to an ending on Tracer. Still not quite all together, but getting there.
My dog is snuggled up to me so tight I think he is afraid I’ll leave again. I was gone too long in the past couple of days. Poor thing. I’m about to leave again. The other dog is curled up in a ball on the couch a few feet away. He’s sulking I think.
I will start painting my office this next week, having delayed that by a) doing some writing this week, and b) working on books. I am going to rope my mom into helping me. Little does she know . . . Bhwahahahahaha!
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I am not going to be doing any more academic research or teaching in my area of specialty. That doesn’t mean I won’t be reading and enjoying what I love, but I won’t be delving into the theory and writing articles. This means that I have to get rid of a lot of books. I just decided to do it. Rip off the bandage quick. So I’ve sorted through about half of the boxes and prepped them for going away. Over the next few days I’ll do more so that I can get these boxes out of sight and out of mind. I’m keeping anything that might be useful for writing and any beloved books.
I’ve been feeling like I’ve been camping in the house. We finally got the shelves in so I can put the books away (read unpack the books), and get rid of the great barrier box reef. That will mean getting the table in place and putting the chairs away so we can thereby get other things put away. It’s like we’re going to actually live here!
Of course that meant not getting very much writing done today. The bare minimum. I still think I can finish by next week. I think an ending is coming together. Maybe. slowly. In the meantime trying to enjoy the sunshine and get some walking in.
Sunday, October 20th, 2013
Today we slept uber late and then I went to Costco where I spent a lot of time. Go figure. I saw someone come out with a bag of dog food. Just a bag of dog food. I think they did Costco wrong. Got home and we started working on screwing the shelves in. After that, I started unpacking books. Yes, I’ve rediscovered a bunch of books. I still have many boxes to open. But I’ve run into a problem, and that is all the books from my past life of research and academia. I have some amazing books from my research days, but I’m not likely to ever use them again. I don’t know that I would read them again, either. I don’t know what I want to do with them. Many of them I wrote in. They are probably only useful to grad students in literature or women’s studies.
The question now is, what do I do with them? Part of me wants to keep them, but realistically I won’t have room. But I’m back to what to do with them.
What the hardest thing to figure out is how many of the Victorian novels I want to keep. There’s always the library after all. Right now I’m putting aside all the books I don’t want to shelve. And I’m also making a box of books to get rid of. Make that two–so far.
And I still have no ending for my book. This is beginning to be troubling. I’ve never run into this problem before. If this keeps up, I’ll be painting my office this week instead. Which would be good, insomuch as I could then install the shelves in that room too, and put away more books!
In a fit of unhappiness over my inability to think of an ending,I crocheted my first hat last night. Took me a couple of hours and came out pretty well. It’s purple, and a slouch hat. I’d like to make a flower to go on it. It feels loose, so I don’t know how well I’ll be able to wear it. Daughter has put an order in for one of her own.
I’m already trying to figure out where I can put more shelves. I have not told my husband this. I don’t think he wants to know.
The weather has been absolutely lovely. The trees in our yard are lovely colors of red, orange, and yellow. One tree is absolutely maroon.
On a less happy note, my mother-in-law went into intensive care a few days ago. Tomorrow she’ll be moved to hospice care. I don’t know how much longer she has. It’s kind of a blessing, because she can’t remember her children or her husband and she feels lost and afraid. At the same time, my husband feels like he’s losing her for the second time and it’s really hard.