lydamorehouse: fish obsession (makoto)
 Who wants to see a picture of my new baby??



Look at that majestic delta/fan tail.  So handsome.  I think I actually got a clearer picture of him, but this one really shows off that tail.  He was mugging actually.  He seemed to be looking at me saying, "This!  This is my good side, monkey!  Take the shot!"

This, of course, is in between bouts of trying chase off that SUPER-HANDSOME other betta he keeps seeing in the reflection of the tank.

Anyway, he yet lives, so, as a reward, you can now see all of his Awesome.

In other news, I got a 99% on the quiz at last night's Japanese class.  So, turns out, cramming is a thing.  College students everywhere are unsurprised by this news.  

Last night's class was a blast.  I decided to show off the Japanese edition of Archangel Protocol to my teacher.  He was very cute about it.  He kept saying, "This is you?" To which I said, "Well, I sure hope that's my name there" (pointing to the one kanji I recognize, which is the "R" which I know starts my name, because it also start's Renji's.)  He's like, "Oh! It is!" Then he says, "You are famous!" To which I started to brush off until he cheerfully announced, "I am also famous."  Who can resist that bait, right?  So, I say, "You are?  What for?" 

Turns out, he's a knitter.  He's gotten some serious attention for a knitting pattern he invented for men's hats.  

My response?  HOW F*CKING COOL IS THAT?

I tend to agree that there is possibly a niche for men's knitting patterns by men for men.  I told him that he should totally go for it and try to make a book of patterns.

Anyway, I was sorry I couldn't get a copy of Archangel Protocol for him to keep.  I have no idea if it's even still available in Japan.  If it was, I'd love to get extra copies of it.  I'd love to give one to him, and another to my friend who is studying Japanese (and can actually read it.)

In class, we are now learning colors.  I was telling my Japanese-studying friend that I feel like I'm four years old again.  Numbers!  Colors!  Simple things like: school!  Building!

There was a very funny moment about traffic signals.  Apparently, in Japan, traffic signals LOOK the same, but when you get to the light we would go at, they call it "blue."  Tetsuya-sensei wanted us to know IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that if you are standing in Japan and someone says, "Hey, the light is blue, go."  Do NOT turn to them and say, "What? That light is green."  I found this amusing because it was very clear that Tetsuya-sensei had some issues.  He made us promise just to never, ever do this IN JAPAN.  I mean, yeah, d'uh.  Your country, your signal colors.  Sure, I see that as green, but you know your language.  I'm guessing, however, this is something that comes up a lot in his life and it just F*CKING bugs him.  I'm down with that.  Any time you can say to students who are potentially going to your country of origin,"Traveling Americans: don't be dicks" it's probably a good thing.  

*grin*
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I write so many things these days I'm sure it's hard to follow along, but, if you ARE following the School for Wayward Demons (looking at you, Frank G.) there is a new chapter up:  Gabe Sees Demons... And They See Him. Today's story is the introduction of one of "my" characters, Gabe Herrara.  The story also features art by Alexis Cooke:

 

If you didn't know, we actually have TWO artists working on the School for Wayward Demons.  So far, you've mostly seen the work of Mandie Brasington, but today, we not only get Gabe's debut, but Alexis' too.  This is just a small bit of a large piece I'm sure we'll see later on.

Anyway, I need to report that Glory is still alive.  I did try to take pictures of him, as I promised, but he's very concerned about that OTHER Siamese Fighting Fish that he can VERY CLEARLY SEE IN THAT REFLECTION, so he's always darting around trying to scare that troublesome dude away (my, but he is a handsome devil, though....)

In other news, today was super-busy. I worked from 9 to 1 at the Roseville Library.  I'm there today and Thursday shelving... it's all to see if I can continue to pass the numeric and alphabet quiz.  I guess I did well with the fiction, but I don't know how I did with the non-fiction because I had to leave before John had a chance to double-check my work.  Two things, I discovered today.  1) When allowed to work at my own pace, I shelve about a cart an hour, except non-fiction which takes me an hour and a HALF.  2) Yeah, I can see why John is testing people.  While shelving I came across a couple of books that were out of order.  I left notes for John saying, "Hey, I spotted this but didn't move it."  Because I wanted him to know that the problem was decidedly NOT ME.

Oh, and another thing, their adult graphic novel section needs me.  Badly.  But, because it was quiz day, I could not spend the time organizing that.  The problem, frankly, isn't entirely the shelvers fault.  The problem is the way comic books are read and the way the librarians want things organized (which makes FAR MORE sense to a reader of graphic work than it would to your average shelver, who doesn't.)  BECAUSE how it's organized is first by manga, then (and this is different at Roseville) by general non-titled graphic work, and then by collected series (ala Batman, Spider-Man, etc.)  So that people can know what is collected and what is NOT, there is a handy list, which I consult regularly because (of course) it's different at each branch (kind of. Mostly it's the same, but the collect somethings I wouldn't think to and don't collect some I think they ought, so I always double-check.)

Anyway, that was my work day.

THEN I drove right to pick up Mason, even though it was hours early, so I could sit in the car and study my Japanese, which I have to leave to go to in about ten minutes.  Our instructor quizzes us every week.  And I'm that student, so I'm highly motivated to try to get as many right as possible.  The only problem this week is that Mason didn't have swimming due to the MEA (or whatever the teacher conference thingies are called) and so I didn't get my usual practice in on Saturday morning.  I crammed today.  Thus, I have a feeling this time it isn't going to go as well as numbers, time, and counting did.

TBF, the previous week was HARD.  This week we mostly learned how to ask where things might find themselves, like, "Sumimassen, kaisuiyokujo wa doko desuka?" (Where is the beach?)  To which I've also learned ridiculously unlikely answers such as, "Kaisuiyokujo wa koko ni arimasu." (The beach is here) and "Kaisuiyokujo wa asoko ni arimasu." (The beach is over there.)

I'm pretty sure if I asked, "Sumimassen, yakkyoku wa dojo desuka?" (Where is the pharmacy?) I would get a complicated answer that might start, "Whoa, dude, you are so LOST...." and possibly end with "Holy crap, you puked on my shoe!  Do you have ebola or something??"

Which, again, is why I wish I could write my own Japanese how-to class exercises.

:-)
lydamorehouse: fish obsession (makoto)
 If you're reading this on Dreamwidth, you'll see I added a new icon:


I plan to use this one to alert readers that I'm writing about my new fish (more on that in a second).  This is Makoto from Free! All the Free! Iwatobi Swim Club members have iconic/totem animals.  For reasons that baffle me, kind-hearted Makoto has an orca, one of the single most brutal dolphins in the sea.  Orca are dolphins, they're called "Killer Whales" BECAUSE THEY KILL WHALES... sometimes just for sport, to watch them die. (If you want to be horrified about orcas, watch BBC's "Blue Planet.")  At any rate, Makoto is my favorite character.  I actually am certain (thanks to a scene in the second season that has both of them reaching for a dolphin) that he's associated with the orca because it's distinctive species of dolphin and the guy who has been his best friend (boyfriend?) since forever, Haru, has a dolphin totem.

At any rate.

I have a fish.

Yep, I'm doing it again.  This time the fish is living in a tank that has previously held no life--well, I did see a snail in the tank for a while, which I think hitchhiked on a fern plant that later died (the lighting is bad.) But, SO.  I have hope for this fish, who is a delta-tailed betta we've named "Glory" because he is the colors of Old Glory--red, white, and blue.  He has "dragon scales" on his main body, bright red fins, and a tiny bit of blue fringing.  

He's lovely.  If he lives the night, I'll post a picture.

I brought him home in a jar, because that's how they sell betta at PetCo.  I tend to pick fish based on personality.  I like the ones who seem fierce and zippy.  Not that I'm always a good judge.  *makes sad face*

For those of you who have been following for a while, you know I've had some shitty luck with fish recently.  To be fair, I had phenomenal luck for nearly a decade, but have had a recent series of unfortunate events, culminating, some time last year, in the death of my beloved dojo loach, Susan.

So, I guess all I can say is wish Glory luck.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I posted the next installment of UnJust Cause on WattPad today. I'd been hoping to published consistently every TUESDAY, but tomorrow is Shawn's birthday and I expect to be away from the "desk" most of the day celebrating with her.

So, if you want to check it out, it's here: http://www.wattpad.com/43901166-unjust-cause-part-2-a-demon-named-furfur

I've named it "A Demon Named Furfur" because I introduce a character who is, in fact, a demon with this name. Yes, it's a nod to Moon-Moon, however, I seriously found this name on one of those "guides to the demons of hell" sites and I thought, "Yeah, that sends fear into the hearts of men. I am... Furfur...."

So, yeah, I had fun writing it. Also, manga/otaku/Japanese culture nerds will also recognize that Furfur is not the ONLY demon introduced in this installment.

Also, I've been using the WordPress site to review manga, and I put up my short take on Samurai Champloo vols. 1 and 2 (which is the complete run): http://mangakast.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/samurai-champ-aloo/

Otherwise, it was a typical weekend. I worked at White Bear Lake library on Saturday, while Mason played his very first D&D game (which he LOVED.) Sunday we did a bit of housecleaning and I took a nice walk out in the sunshine with [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer which was lovely.

Oh... yeah, and ick killed my entire tank. There's not a soul left. Susan died first and then the Eleventh Division fell one by one. I'd had hope for two of the mountain minnows, whom I named Kenpachi, since they were the last survivors. But, Zaraki fell today, so there's no one left.

I'm fairly devastated, honestly, but I'm hopeful that in a while I can try again. Maybe shopping at a higher quality fish shop might do the trick. I am totally getting another dojo loach, though, because Susan was possibly the most personable fish I ever had, albeit briefly.

*sniff*
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)

Since I had to go to the pet store for water de-clorinator anyway, I decided it was time to pick up some new fish:





I got Susan some white mountain minnows as friends, but... I think we're going to have to sit down and have a discussion, Susan and I.  Susan... how do I tell you this, but FISH ARE FRIENDS NOT FOOD.  Fishfood is a thing.  Fishes are not food.  Even if they are VERY FUN TO CHASE.

Oh, Susan.  I have either bought you friends or a buffet.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Susan yet lives.

In fact, she's staring at me right now, just hanging out on the substrate, as loaches do.

I'm actually beginning to have hope that maybe, just maybe the 30 gallon tank could have LIFE again.  Plus, damnit, Susan just has SO MUCH personality. Check her out:

IMG_8773

IMG_8774

Yes, she's "standing" on her fins in this picture, mugging it for the camera.  She does that.  I always used to wonder about that evolutionary moment of the fish crawling out onto land because I never realized JUST HOW MANY fish actually use their front fins this way.  Answer: a lot.  Loaches do it all the time.  There are others, too, who seem to prefer this method of locomotion.

I had no idea.

In other news, you may have heard that Minnesota got hit with "a little" snow.  I don't know what the final tally was, but they'd predicted 10 inches.  I'd believe we got close to that, because trying to get the car over to the other side of the street (for plowing), I managed to get so stuck around the roundabout, that I think I brought the entire neighborhood together to push me back out.

Also, who was the idiot who decided it was a good idea to try to go to work last night?  That's right: Moon-Moon, aka. me.  Getting there wasn't too bad. The roads were mostly slushy at 4:30 pm.  But, by 9 pm?  There were winds that gave me moments of intense white-out, particularly when I drove past the fairgrounds.  Worse, when we were doing "pros and cons" of ima calling in "sick," Mason "helpfully" calculated that, after taxes, I make about $30 a NIGHT.  As I was driving through the blizzard, I thought, "What? This for a measly $30??"

What was even stranger to me?  HOW MANY people looked out the window and said to themselves, "You know, I should go to the library right now and play some Grand Theft Auto on their computers."  Seriously, when I was shelving upstairs I saw easily a dozen people doing their library things, and I thought: "Really, your copy of Nora Roberts couldn't wait for a day when you might not DIE driving home???"

On the other hand, the bosses were happy to see me.  I think they expected a lot of people to bail.  I hope I get some brownie points for it, because my training days are over.  I now have to rely on need.  So I'm going to have a LOT FEWER hours coming March!

It's funny because that's already a good deal/bad deal.  I have to say it's easy to get used to the income.  Since staying home to write and take care of Mason, Shawn and I have always lived... tightly.  We have savings, but we've had to dip into it a lot recently, and with the little extra, we haven't  That makes life a lot less tense, because money is just one of those things, you know?

Plus, I actually secretly ADORE the work I do at the library.  None of it is particularly hard and I actually like helping people get library cards, renew books, and all the stuff I do at the front desk.  I also love getting a chance to see what people request, when I'm filing those, and browse through the non-fiction when I'm shelving that... I mean, I've come home with such a broad variety of books thanks to this job.  And libraries, like the university jobs I've had in the past, attract a very interesting crowd.  My colleagues are all smart and interesting and READERS.  Chatting with them is a highlight as well.

But, of course, not working means more writing... so... yeah.

They cancelled school today, which is no trauma for us, because Mason is still off school and will be for another week.  Hopefully, with all this snow, we'll get some more chances at sledding.  We also have movies to watch and games to play.  I've been working evening hours, so my days have been free.

I think that's all the news... oh, no wait.  I wanted to point people to this lovely review of Resurrection Code: http://booksfantastic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/resurrection-code-angelink-universe-by-lyda-morehouse-mad-norwegian-press-paperback-isbn-9781935234098-14-95/

And to point out that, alas, Norwegian Press has put this book out of print.  So, if you want one, you'll have to contact me (best way? lyda.morehouse@gmail.com).

Also, I have a lot of up-coming appearances.  Here's the list from my web site:

MARCH 2014

On Wednesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 7:45 pm, I will be the Speculations readers at Dreamhaven Books and Comics. Dreamhaven is located at 2301 E. 38th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406. You can get more information about the event by calling 612-823-6161 or visiting: http://dreamhavenbooks.com

APRIL 2014

On Saturday, April 19 from 1:00-2:00 pm I'll be the Loft's "First Pages" instructor for "Read to Write" a program for teens at the Chanhassen Library. The library is located at 7711 Kerber Blvd., Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The program description reads: Can reading The Hunger Games teach you to be a writer? You bet it can! By reading as much fiction as you can get your hands on, available right here at your public library, you can become the writer you’ve always wanted to be! Come learn what Harry Potter can teach you about world building in fiction; what Neil Gaiman can teach you about creating memorable characters; and what Veronica Roth’s Divergent series can teach you about plot! After this 90 minute session you’ll be inspired to write your own mind blowing fiction.

For more information call (952) 227-1500 or visit:https://www.carverlib.org/SitePages/chanhassen.aspx

MAY 2014

On Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 2:00-3:30 pm I'll once again be the Loft's "First Pages" instructor for te "Read to Write" program. This time it will be a little closer ot home at the Roseville Library (where I work as a page!). The library is located at 2180 Hamline Avenue in St. Paul, MN. The program description is the same as for Chanhassen. For more information call (651) 724-6001 or check out: http://www.rclreads.org.

JUNE 2014

If students sign up, I'll also be teaching a course called "More Than the Zombie Apocalypse: Writing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel" for 15-17 year olds as part of the Loft's Young Writer's Program. The class is currently scheduled forJune 16 - June 20, 2014, from 1:00-2:00 pm.

The course description reads: What do Hunger Games and Dr. Who have in common? They're both science fiction! Did you love fantasy novels like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief or How to Train Your Dragon? If writing stories with zombies, robots, vampires, fairies, (or even unicorns!) is your thing, then this might be the class for you. We’ll discuss the difference between science fiction and fantasy, learn how to build believable worlds, and make readers rip through the pages of your short story or novel. We will play story games and have idea prompts with a science fiction/fantasy edge. If one of your goals is to break in and get professionally published, we will also discuss strategies that can make that happen!

For more information check out:https://www.loft.org/classes/about_youth_classes_6-17/!

lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I'm going to tell you that I bought a fish for the 30 gallon tank, which has, in the recent past, been quite sick.  But, then again, it's probably already too late.  We named her.  Plus, I kind of already adore her.

She is a golden dojo loach (also called a pond loach or a weather loach.)  Her name is Susan.  And she's f*cking adorable.  I mean, look at this face!

IMG_8769


Of course, by the time you read this, she may be dead.  I really, really hope not.  I've been working like a mad lady to try to figure out what is UP with this 30 gallon tank.  So much of the stuff I've put in it as died, like, almost instantly.

But weather loaches are supposed to be remarkably hardy.  They're native to Japan and China and live (like beta) in rice paddies, which are fairly filthy places.  They've likewise adapted to being tank mates to goldfish, who produce a crap ton of.. well, crap.  The tank Susan is in was once the home of our mighty and long-lived Joe, who lived to be almost a decade old, but whose death may have polluted the tank beyond the Pale.

We'll see.  Maybe if you put out some good energy for our Susan?  Also, she has two golden snail companions, too, who I'm also hoping will live through the night (and possibly much, much longer.)
lydamorehouse: (me)
I haven't even been posting much about my fish because... well, first, because it became routine maintenance and Joe (our biggest goldfish) just got bigger, and then after Joe's death it became one horror show after another in both tanks for some reason.  I suspect they just got old and riddled with some kind of virus or crud.  I tried a number of things to revitalize them.  Currently the 30 gallon tank is sporting some of the most beautiful plant arrangements I've ever had, but the 10 gallon tank...

...sprung a leak.

Yeah, and right before work too.  I was eating sushi (ironic?) and I looked over to see water on the floor under the bookcase that that tank sat on.  LOTS of water.  So I quickly drained what remained of the tank water (remember the fish are long gone at this point.  In the 10 gallon even the plants are plastic and not worth rescuing.)  Finally, the tank was light enough for me to pick up and so I put it in the downstairs tub.  Then we had to pull out the bookcase and check the damage.  We caught it early enough that the floor is fine.  The books in the bookcase got a serious soaking, but since we  knew the danger of having a fish tank over a bookcase, the books were... well, we LOVE all our books, but in this case it was 1970s encyclopedia set that had some sentimental value for Shawn but... well, only a few volumes were a complete loss. We can probably find replacement volumes on eBay or elsewhere.

The silver lining for me is that I get to buy a new tank.  I'm kind of excited about this, because I was thinking that a complete strip down was my next move anyway.  But, getting to buy the whole thing again is EVEN MORE FUN.

I've been indulging my love of Japanese garden designs in my fish tanks.  The 30 gallon, which is currently only home to a couple of ghost-glass shrimp and two snails, is actually LUSH with plants (most of which are real).

Here, check it out:

There's a java fern on the driftwood and that other really spindly one is also real. Here's my little pagoda...



And finally, the full view:



The only bummer is, as pretty as it looks, there's still something possibly quite foul in there, since I've discovered a few of my ghost-glass shrimp dead.  I can NOT figure out what it is, and it's pretty so, I've been letting it slowly clean itself.  I keep up with the water changes and filtering and I keep hoping that it will soon be a great home for some actual animals that have spines. In the meantime, I'm trying to see if I can keep the little ones alive.  If the snails croak, I'll know it's going to have to be a SILENT forest (or I'll have to restart this one too.)

At any rate, this is your warning. I may have a number of posts about the research I'm going to do for setting up of the new tank.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I'm out of coffee in the house again, and I was feeling lazy, a bit down, and very self-indulgent, so I stopped off at my new favorite coffee shop in Downtown St. Paul, Claddaugh. Mary, the owner, and I are casual friends--we've known each other on and off since back when she used to work at my previously favorite coffee shop (before it moved) called Café Amore. At any rate, she asked me how things were, and I started in on a little whine about how I'm still without a contract. The guy standing beside me, who was waiting on his latte, asked me what I write. I told him I wrote science fiction and fantasy novels, which were, until recently, published by Penguin. He gave me a funny look. I figured the conversation was over and then he said, "How would you like to be a content manager for a web designing company?" And I said, "What? Are you offering me a job?" To which, he said, "Well... er, I'm offering you an interview."

I don't know if he was high or utterly charmed by my dog/bear hat or what, but I thought about it for about two seconds and said, "Sure, why not?" and handed him my business card.

I have no idea if anything will come of this, but it was a cool random act of... well, randomness, which I sorely needed this morning. I'm feeling a bit down because I have a sick fish. I haven't even wanted to write about my fish escapades lately because they've been so f*cking depressing. Death, death, with more death sauce. But, I was seriously considering getting out the camera yesterday because I've had one fish who I really thought was going to make it. We NAMED HIM AND EVERYTHING. But, this morning he's listless and kind of sunken to the bottom of the tank....

And, oh my god, it just about killed me, you know?

I mean, I have to say that, for the most part, despite the set backs in my life, I try really hard to remain a chipper and upbeat person. But goddamn fish.

sigh.

I should try not to let this bring me down, but I hate being a bad fish mommy, you know?

But, back to the happier news, Shawn, Mason and I had a wonderful Halloween night. Mason got a decent haul of candy and we went to our usual spot at Sargent Avenue (near Cretin). The next block up decided to get into the spirit, too, so we ended up with twice as many houses to trick-or-treat at. Mason, however, seems to be getting to that age when what REALLY thrills him (beyond the costume) is handing out treats. This used to be my favorite part of the holiday, too, and I felt all warm and nostalgic sitting inside the house last night with Shawn listening to him talk to the little trick-or-treaters on the porch.

Here are a few pictures of the evening festivities:

I went as defeated Renji, because I found this just-a-bit-too-orange wig, but which had the right cut to be down-Renji hair at Party City where we bought Mason's costume:
costumes 002

Mason (as evil jester) and I getting ready to head out:
costumes 014

A close-up of Shawn (as witch) and Mason (still the scary harlequin):
costumes 020

As is typical for our neighborhood, and despite all my house-decorating efforts, we normally only get a dozen or so kids at our door. So, we're also left with a huge bucket full of the candy we bought. But, since this happens every year, we've gotten in the habit of not only buying cheap, but also buying a lot of the stuff we know _we_ like. So, I may eat every Sixlet we bought over the next several days. All I can say is that I'm glad I was weighed and had my cholesterol test LAST week....
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I was considering calling this post "Because I SWORE I'd Start Earlier Today." And then I was going to complain and whine about the fact that I didn't get a chance to start on my WIP yet because I was ever-so busy promoting a new interview that came out from SF Signals this morning.

Egads.

What is *wrong* with me?

Because, you know what? I'm a doofus if I'm going to complain about the fact that AN INTERVIEW CAME OUT IN SF SIGNALS AND IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!!!

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2013/01/interview-with-lyda-morehouse/


Honestly, it's a very, very lovely interview. Paul Weimer does his level best to keep me on topic and not looking like a total asinine moron. (It's a fine line, you know, between being terribly clever and a jerkwad... and I do love to dance along that high wire!) I make a reference to it being awfully early to get all existential, and that's because this interview was conducted by e-mail and, inevitably, I'd be answering around six o'clock a.m., having gotten up before my family to get some fanfic writing in before the day started in earnest. Imagine me answering Paul's questions with a black-and-white cat stretched across my lap (and one arm), coffee beside me, and the gray light of dawn peeking through the window behind the loveseat -- upon which I'm sitting covered in a pile of blankets. I'm sure my answers will make more sense that way.

In other more mundane news, I finally got around to cleaning out the small, ten gallon fish tank in which Thor and Loki spent their last moments. My final job with that is to scrub the rock bedding as best I can before refilling the tank and letting it begin cycling. I'm considering the idea of adding a few live plants again. I've had good/bad luck with those. Currently, in the only occupied tank, the thirty gallon, I have a lovely aquatic plant I don't know the name of because I got it from my vet when they decided to dismantle their office fish tank. That's been THRIVING. I should really learn the name of it because I should get _more_. The problem I've had with aquatic plants in the past is that many of them are as difficult to keep as fish. Some of them need an extra boost of CO2, others want specialized light fixtures, and so most of them DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH AT MY HANDS.

And some can be crazy expensive.

So maybe I'll try doing a little research into plants before I start up that tank again. I have this dream of a super-lush, fully organic tank with zippy little tetra or white mountiam minnows happily darting through the underbush. But usually, in reality, what I get is a tank full of rotting plant matter and a huddling bait-ball of terrified/sick fish.

Worse. Fish Mom. Ever.

Today, I also finally broke down and purchased a bad of de-icing pellets because OMG, THE FREEZING RAIN, PEOPLE. Seriously, this is Minnesota. We're supposed to have EITHER freeing OR rain, not a combination of the two. Luckily, my often annoying morning radio DJs told me stories of their icecapades, so I was able to warn my family that the stuff that looked wet was actually SHEER ICE. We managed to make it to work/school with only one incident. I was trying to stop at a stop sign on side street when a school bus came barreling through at high speeds. I skidded to a stop about three inches from them, while they blasted through blaring their horn like I was the jerk. I didn't even raise my finger, though, because, you know what? I don't want to ever hit a school bus, so I'm just f*cking glad I was able to actually stop at all.

Yikes.

So on Mason's advice, I'm now hunkering down and not going anywhere for a long as humanly possible.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
So with all my extra jittery energy yesterday morning, I did, in fact, spend the wee hours between 2 am and 6 am working up a one-week proposal for writing SF/F for teens. It's called MORE THAN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Writing SF/F and, despite the fact that I was composing it completely on raw nerves, apparently it was exactly what the coordinator of the Loft's teen classes was looking for and she's going to put me on the schedule. I told her when she emailed me with the news, that I'd also really love to propose a couple of other classes, including on one writing fanfic.

So now I've been thinking about what I might like to do with a class on fanfic. My first question to you, the fanfic writer, is this: when you were 15, would you have been more interested in ALL THE FEELS: FanFic 101 or NO MORE KUDOS: Making the Switch from FanFic to Original Fiction? I think that either would fly, so don't try to think in terms of which is more "legit" to teach.

I've been asking people for advice on FB and Twitter, but it occurs to me that LJ is probably the best platform in so many ways. A lot of fic writers live here, after all.

At any rate it's probably only going to be a one-week class, so that's only five days of teaching (I might try two weeks, but...). Anyway, I have a couple of *for sure* topics to cover: how to take critique from strangers/find beta readers, the power of the psuedonym, and some of the basics of writing. Here's the thing, my biggest problem is that I came into fanfic both as a reader and writer AFTER I wrote and sold my first professional novel. That makes my perspective wonky. I knew how to write (at least the basics) and had already struggled with the craft of writing in a way that stressed/fostered the skills especially needed for original fiction. I'd love to know if you've seen any trends/problems that are very specific to having learned to write in someone else's world with characters pre-formed. I can imagine some, have read a few, but I suspect that some of my perspective is... well, too outsider-y, you know? That I come with the wrong set of expectations when I read fic. Because, as my friend [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer said in the comment thread on FB, fanfic is a large part play (and the big draw for me, honestly,) and so it should be judged by different standards perhaps.

Thoughts? Counterpoints? Arguments? Ideas?

In other news, I've been failing NaNoWriMo, somewhat. I've been writing a lot, but I've clearly been playing the game wrong. Yesterday, my word count only went up by 16 words. The problem? I'd done a massive amount of revision and there's no way to record that in the competitive writing that is NaNo. But, I've decided to be a rebel. I'm going to actually just try to have something sellable at the end of the month, and worry less about writing 2,000 words a day on it.

Ha!

Also, I'm going to have to take some time to update you all on my continuing saga of the fish obsession. Loki's tank? It's totally posion! I tried putting a 12 cent feeder fish in it and it was dead within four hours!! Creepy! I'm going to have to stip that tank to the bone and try to restart. The other tank, the thirty gallon one I tried to give a vague sort of Japanese garden look to is doing well. I have two white mountain minnows in there conditioning it and they seem happy as... well, not clams, but some other appropriately happy fish-type thing. My plan with that tank is to have, as Mason calls it, a "bait ball" of minnows. The tank could hold as many as seventeen, so I'm going to slowly built toward that.

Okay, that's all the news for now. Must run. Have a lot of outside work I need to get done!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I guess I'm glad I didn't write this morning to report on Loki's good health.  He was, in fact, in good health until sometime today.  Just now, at dinner time, we found his lifeless body behind the Grecian ruins. 

I'm... well, I'm sad, but I'm also kind of mad.  Damn it.  I nursed that fish back to health.  He was swimming!  I was just telling [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer today how I babied him by keeping the light on all night for him (he seemed to be afraid of the dark, honestly.)  Now he up and croaked on me.  Stupid carp.  Crap.

Now I have to get ready for Wyrdsmiths, and all I want to do is stand in front of the empty tank and gnash my teeth.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
When I left the house to head for the coffee shop this morning, Loki was still alive.  He's completly shell shocked and hiding under the filter, but so far so good. 

I had a HORRIBLE fish dream last night, though, clearly about the recent fish-related trauma.  I dreamed I had a tiny fish, like a white mountain minnow, who kept flopping out of his tank and I had to try to pick him up off the floor--except in my dream, every time I got my hands on him, he'd slip back out and fall into some horrible new place.  The most memorable image?  Him getting tangled in a huge spiderweb, and when I finally got him out of that he was gasping and covered in dust and webbing.

Clearly, I feel like a terrible fish mommy.

Since I was asked to provide some pictures of the recent house project, I have a couple for you:

home improvement and more 294

This is a view of the picky bits.  It may not be obvious in the photo, but the crown moulding is painted brown.  In the furtherst room visible in the picture is what the real moulding should look like.  But all of the crown moulding in the downstairs was badly mistreated by our previous owners.  They used that popcorn plaster spray on the ceiling and, for reasons known only to the dark recesses of their twisted minds, they sprayed the same crap all over the lovely hardwood moulding.  Possibly because owners previous to them had painted it as well.  I know this because in the golden room, our dining room, I scraped all the popcorn plaster crap from the moulding and then used a heat gun to remove several layers of paint.  Underneath it all is a beautiful dark (red?) maple or possibly even oak.  But that's a sh*tload of work, and not anything resembling a weekend project. Shawn and I have decided that painting the moulding will work for now, and that eventually, when Mason is off to M.I.T. or Yale, we will tackle the messy, arduous project of refinishing the moulding for real.

I also painted the walls, which used to be a dirty, grayish sort of white, but are now a color that doesn't show terribly well in the photos but is a sort of creamy yellowish white.

home improvement and more 295

Here, perhaps, is a slightly better sense of color.  The "new" paint is the lighter colored one.  The other wall of the foyer is the deeper gold of the dining room.  I also painted those radiator pipes going up the wall and the crown moulding you see there.  The ceiling still needs to be done at some point, but that's a little less critical because it's held up fairly well and will be repainted a very similar sort of egg-shell whitish color.

You wouldn't think such tiny bits of wall and moulding would take so long, but I spent nearly all of Sunday working on this stupid project.  The upside is that it really looks quite lovely now, and it's done.  We shouldn't need to repaint for several years.

And, now for something completely different:

home improvement and more 297

Here's the latest of my fan art: Renji and Zabimaru.  Yep.  Still obsessed.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
As of this moment, Loki yet lives. 

I thought for sure he was a goner yesterday, however.  At one point he seemed to shed his entire skin/slime coat.  It was... stringy and disgusting.  Mason looked at Loki and asked me, "Is he rotting alive?"  Turns out, not so much.  I'm now thinking that the medicine I put in stripped the crap off his skin/slime coat, and that might actually have HELPED. 

But with all that gross crap floating around in the tank, I decided I'd better keep changing the water a lot.  I must have done a 25% water change twice since then, and now Loki isn't just sitting on the bottom of the tank but ACTUALLY SWIMMING (albeit hiding underneath the filter.)

So... yeah.  Fins and fingers crossed.

I feel like the worst fish mom ever, but, well, I'm doing everything I know to do.  I think we just have to play wait and see now.  I'm not sure that I will go back to PetCo to replace Thor, though.  I'm thinking they may have brought this horror with themselves, especially since I can't imagine anything left in the tank that could have acted so fast.

I'm also currently avoiding writing.  I'm still stuck on my proposal, but I'm also in the middle of writing some porny bits on my slash/fan fic.  For someone who has technically made a living as a romance writer, I have to say, writing sex is always difficult for me. I get so incredibly embarassed by it.  I had to already write several lines touch typing because I was too flustered to look at the words as they appeared on the screen.  It's weird.  I think part of it  with fanfic/slash is that I know people are going to read this (in fact probably this more than the ones where there's only romance/sexual tension) and I keep thinking, "What if this is only hot to me?"  (Yet, a literature survey has shown me that, no, a lot of people go for what appears to be my kinks.)  Even so, it's like a minature version of the slash reading...  I keep thinking that if I'd had to read something as explicit as Kyell's Road Runner piece, I'd have actually expired from the embarrassment.

Anyway, I should go do something productive.  Either just bite the bullet and write the sexy parts, or plot out my proposal.

Gah.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
First of all, I'm completly bummed out.  We bought two new shubunkins (calico goldfish) at PetCo and happily brought them home.  They've been doing great after what seemed like the inital shock of being in a new place where the lights go on and off.  We named them Thor and Loki. 

Thor is dead.

I was so shocked to discover Thor's lifeless body this morning after dropping the family off at school and work.  I mean, he was swimming happily a few hours ago!  I have no idea what happened.  My only thought is that the fish either brought some disease with them or, somehow, despite several thorough water changes, there was still something lurking in my tank from the previous fish. 

The only good news is that PetCo knows that fish are risky, so there's a 30 day "return" policy.  If your fish croak, they'll replace them free of charge.  So, if Loki pulls through this, I will go back and get him a new companion, and perhaps name the new fish something that would make Loki happier... perhaps Fenrir?

In other less depressing news, I started the sequel to Precinct 13 (and it's hillarious!).  Having talked to [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar off-line a bit aout this, I think I'm going to try the serialization model.   The plan is that once I get a couple of thousand words written, I'll post the first part "for free."  After that, I'll follow with an offer for more, if folks are interested in paying for it... or maybe, I'll just link to a tip jar for a while until I'm sure I have an interested readership.  I think besides some of the nitpicky deals (like setting up the tip jar icon through paypal), the challenge is going to be getting the word out. 

I thought I'd post here as well as the vastly under-used tate hallaway blogspot blog, and promote it via twitter and facebook. If you folks have ideas, now would be a great time to send them along.

It's going to be an interesting experiment, at any rate.  I've been writing like this (in small installments) for fan fic, so I'm not worried that I can push myself to continue to post every several days and that the story will be coherent.  What worries me is that these stories will go out into the world with a resounding thud, as they fall from the nest completely unable to fly.  I have a hard time believing I have enough fans to make this work. 

If nothing else, I should have something resembling an e-book at the end.

And, it should be fun, regardless of any profits made along the way.

Meanwhile, I've gotten several pages written on my next stab at a military SF proposal for my editor.  This time I'm going for a much simpler, straight-forward story with an uncomplicated hero.  As Shawn said to me the other day, "Think: Captain America."  That very well be the peice that's been missing from the other tries, and, as they say, nothing ventured.... I've been stuck on some plot points for that, but I've decided to let my brain turn things over and percolate a bit.  Still, I hope to have something for Wyrdsmiths to look over at the next meeting, which I think is this Thursday.

Oh, yeah, and I spent all day yesterday painting the foyer.  It's a tiny space, really, but this included painting the crown molding (which the previous owners sprayed over with that bumpy plaster crap), and the door and a bunch of other picky bits.  Still, it looks marvelous now.  I'm quite pleased... and tired now.
lydamorehouse: (cap kneeling)
I guess it's been a long time since I've written about my fish obsession, because it seems that I've gotten rid of my jumping shark icon.  You'll have to make do with cap.  He's there to warn you I'm going to talk about something potentially very boring.

The last of my fish died last night. 

I thought that "finfish" (cleverly named by Mason) was going to pull through, despite having contracted what seemed to be a touch of ich.  But, some time just before dinner, I found him on the bottom of the aquarium.  Dead as the proverbial doornail.  Alas, poor fish, I knew him well.  Gucci, gucci.  He had a lovely burial at sea (aka the toliet), though we've all become rather hardhearted after the death of the much larger goldfish, that I'm afraid there weren't terribly many tears.  Finfish was a white mountain minnow, and the final survival of this year's fish massacre.  The other three were too large for burials at sea, so they're actually buried in the herb garden. I would feel like a loser fish mom, but, as you should guess from the lack of fish posts, my fish have survived for several years without any hiccups. They lived very long lives; we had Joe for something like seven years. Considering he was 12 cent feeder fish, I think he had a much better life with us than he might have elsewhere.   

For whatever reason, this just seemed to be the time for everyone to go. 

But, now I'm staring at two empty tanks.  I actually spent some time several weeks ago redesigning the 30 gallon tank.  We're thinking about making our herb garden into a Japanese meditation garden (hence all my photos on Pinarest,) so we've collected some interesting rocks from Shawn's brother Keven's north woods cabin.  There's been a live plant in that tank for years, and so I restructred the tank to look more like a rock garden.  I'm thinking about buying a bag full of white mountain minnows to flit around in the large tank like a giant bait ball.

Shawn wants some goldfish for the little tank.  She's particularly fond of shubunkins, so that's what we'll get.  Unlike me, Shawn actually finds certian types of fish "ugly."  She disliked my female betta.  She found her creepy.  Also the gourami--the wavy bits freaked her out.  So normal, happy goldfish it will be.

I wish I could get tetra, but I have such vivid memories of the fuzzy clump of white moldy tetra that I came home from WisCON one year to find, that I swore NEVER AGAIN.  White mountain minnows are often called "the poor man's neon tetra" because they're super hearty. 

Mason and I might head to the store at some point this weekend.  Should be fun!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Alas, it seems that in order to make room for my new Renji art, I've gotten rid of the little image of the jumping shark to let you all know that I am writing about my fish obsession.  Imagine it there, and skip if you are bored by stories of fish.

This last weekend my family and I were invited to a friend's cabin.  We had an excellent time, though this is a bumper crop year for TICKS.  Mason must have pulled a half dozen off himself nearly every day. (I must not smell right or be too cold.  I didn't even find one.)  However, it was so thick with them that we even saw a wood tick crawling on the side of the cabin.  They were EVERYWHERE.  It was also pretty rainy Saturday and Sunday, and the lake was still too cold for Mason to do any real swimming.  However, we did kayak a lot, which was a great deal of fun... Mason particularly enjoyed the day when the wind was really strong and I was rowing and rowing and rowing and we were going nowhere fast.

Now the fish stuff--

When we came home, we discovered that our shubunkin, Bob, passed away.  I know that a lot of people think that fish are boring pets, but Bob was personality plus.  He might have had a past liffe as a dog or something, because he was really very playful and always met me at a specific corner of his tank whenever I came over for feeding time.  He would wiggle frantically, almost like he was wagging his tail.  Whenever I cleaned the tank and added water, he would swim joyfully in the bubbles created by the new water.  In fact, I knew something had happened to him yesterday because, after feeding the fish in the big tank, I turned and he wasn't "wagging" in his corner. 

Bob has been with us so long that he was far too large for the traditional "burial at sea."  But, I dug another hole in the backyard, next to where we buried Busy Bee (the gerbil), so we placed Bob there, in Mason's garden.  Mason said some lovely words over him.  We had done a rather elaborate ritual for BB, and Mason particularly liked all the gifts we asked for from the Triple Goddess, so for Bob he asked that the Crone take Bob to the summerland, the Mother clean his tank responsibly, and that the Maiden provide him lots of minnows to eat.  The funny part of the last one is that Bob, for some unknown reason got a little canabalistic in his old age (sometimes I called him Dexter fish) and started eating his tank mates, the white mountain minnows.  All well, even sociopaths need their own kind of heaven.  :-)

Gucci, gucci. Bob.  You were a good fish.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Having just emerged from deadline mania, I'm in that post-book stage where I look around the house and wonder what I've forgotten to do in the meantime.

Shawn is a great list-maker. I swear she has lists that keep track of her lists. I, meanwhile, wing it. Only on very rare ocassion have I actually ever forgotten something entirely, but I also have days like to day where I have to take active stock of everything I need to do.

For instance, a lot of people have sent me books to read for review or a blurb. As cold as today is, this would be an excellent day to sit down with one of them. But, I also need to get a stronger start on ideas/synopses for Ana books #4, #5 and #6 in case my publisher/editor is interested in seeing them. This weekend's wind also knocked a chunk of plastic out of our screen door, and I need to grab a screwdriver from the basement and remove that pane and get it replaced at the hardware store (probably with glass, who even knew that was plastic before it broke? Not me.) Tomorrow, it's supposed to snow (possibly as much as several inches), and I'm, once again, chaperoning Mason's class on a field trip to the Minnesota Zoo. Brrrrr.

At least I don't have to get ready for Passover or Easter, since Ostara bunny came and went months ago. I'll probably have that experience I often do around Easter where I wonder why the heck all the stores are closed, and then suddenly remember that it's some kind of holiday. :-)

Speaking of Easter, I won't be at Minicon this year. (I've been getting things for Convergence, but I won't be there THIS year, though I will next.) I will, however, be one of the GoHs at Diversicon (July 29 - 31), don't forget. Please come.

In other news, it was a fairly eventful weekend, although with some false starts. I was, of course, sick as a dog on Thursday (which, btw, does NOT impress the cats.) I felt well enough on Friday that, when we dropped Mason off for his sleepover, Shawn and I bravely attempted a dinner out at Fasika, the local Ethiopian restaurant. It was brave not only for my stomach, but also due to its proximity to University Avenue, which is completely under "destruction" (as Midway Books puts it) for the light rail.

brief rant/
Despite being a general fan of progress, I'm not terribly pleased about the light rail. It's going to significantly change my neighborhood, and I'm not entirely sure for the better. It is NOT intended to serve the local community. It's designed to shuffle business people from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul, with very limited stops in between. Currently, we're hemorrhaging businesses. Porky's is gone for good. My martial arts studio is leaving (luckily, they're not moving too far away for us). As we walk to the remaining classes there, I've been watching businesses packing up and buildings empty. University Avenue is going to be a ghost town. So, okay, maybe they'll tear it all down and build condos with Starbucks and Subways in their lower levels. Better than Porky's and Ax Man? I'm not sure.
/brief rant

Anyway, Shawn and I had a nice night out, even though I couldn't eat very much. We came home and snuggled up for a movie, which was nice, but I wish I'd felt better generally. On Saturday, Mason had a playdate with [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer's daughter for Pokemon trade/talk. Shawn and I had planned to make it a fun tea for grown-ups (and kids), so I baked scones and Shawn made her famous cranberry upside-down cake. We had Devonshire clotted cream and marmalade and jam and all that sort of lovely "tea" sort of stuff. I even pulled out the fancy tea cups and our cheery yellow tea pot, in which I brewed jasmine tea in my tea ball, no less.

I'd been planning on taking Eleanor to Kelly McCullough's annual Red Current party, but the weather had turned nasty and Eleanor no longer felt up to it. So, once again, my family snuggled under blankets and watched a movie. On Saturday night it was HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. I know this is probaby sacrilege, but I'm a bit disappointed in part 1. It's a LONG movie and yet, for someone like Shawn who has NOT read the books, it fails to explain some critical bits of information. For instance it's never explained how the Death Eaters keep finding Harry and crew. Yet, by the time they're camping out, he's calling Voldemort "He Who Must Not Be Named," which is utterly out of character unless you know that they'd had a magical trace on anyone who boldly used Voldemort's name. Also, although they show Voldemort hunting for the Elder Wand and all the various wands exchanging hands, the critical information about wand possession is completely unexplained (ie, that it's not truly yours to command unless you take it by force.)

There were other things, too, but I was surprised by how often either Mason and I had to lean over and explain things to Shawn. I understand that people like Shawn are rare these days, but there are really long stretches of silence in the movie. It would have been nice to fill some of that with information, you know? Especially since the movie ends on such a downer note. (If I were the director, I would have ended on a bit more triumphant moment, ie the Gringotts heist. Also, if I'd directed, I would have had Harry rescue more people at the Ministry, as he does in the book. However, I approve of letting Hedwig go the way she does in the movie, rather than the book, which is so AWFUL. Mason is having us re-read this book, and I have to say I also like the way we get to see Dudley say good-bye too, though I can see why they skimmed over that.)

However, I'm looking forward to Part 2, though as a huge fan of Neville Longbottom, I'm a little worried that they haven't give him the build up he needs for that last awesome moment of his. Also Fred and George's "Freedom Radio" would have been nice to hear from, too, if only to give the audience like Shawn a better sense of what's going on out in the larger world. They could have used that for all sorts of information filler -- like what the Snatchers are doing, who they are, etc. The Snatchers completely BAFFLED Shawn.

Anyway, back to my weekend... on Sunday, Mason and I dropped Shawn off at Goodwill and he and I went in search of some new fishes. Tragedy struck in the small tank. I lost two of the white cloud mountain minnows over the weekend, I think to old age. One of them, Sunshine, had made a bit of a recovery, but... uh, he'd slowed down enough that the giant goldfish, Bob, who shares his tank, took a bite out of him. He went to the summerland headless, alas. Gucci, gucci Sunshine and Chicory, you were good fish!

We went to the Fish and Reptile store on University (which seems to he hanging on, at least,) and picked up three new fish (which now makes a total of four white clouds). The new ones are: Savannah, Stanley, and Finbird. Named, repectively, by Shawn, me, and Mason. Savannah and Stanley might actually be a slightly different fish, as they're quite a bit more golden in color. The woman who helped me did not actually know what fish I was looking for, which surprised me, because usually the staff is so incredibly knowledgable, you know? (I just looked up white cloud mountain minnow + golden and apparently there is a version called "golden white cloud," which may be a mutation brought on by inbreeding... but they are rather pretty.) But the good news is that everyone schooled up and are zippy enough that Bob could not take a bite of any of them (though he did try at first.)

Whoa, so that was my weekend, with a couple of breaks for rants about lightrail construction and Harry Potter.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Because I decided to go work out, I am beginning my writing day ridiculously late. Alas, the house is still a mess and I'm worried that if I don't change my big fish tank soon my fishy babies will expire from lack of usable oxygen or too much carp crap in the water. (I may end up having to post about the small tank too, because one of my white mountain minnows has started behaving sort of strangely.) Anyway, I imagine it's going to be a short day. I will need to write tonight.

I'm sure most of you have already seen the alternate ending to RETURN OF THE JEDI someone posted on Boing-Boing this morning, but it's too awesome not to place a pointer here. Thanks due to Shawn, my lovely partner, for sending me the link this morning. Weirdly, it made my day.

I also should note that I had a lovely chat with the publisher of RESURRECTION CODE at Mad Norwegian Press this morning and things look to be on track for the March publication. Whoot. Also, if any of you know reviewers who might be interested in reading a .pdf review copy, let me know. It's time to start seeing if I can drum up some interest in this new book.

Despite still being a bit sore, Mason and I went to kuk sool wan last night and had an awesome time. I do have to relay a conversation I had with one of the other parents who brings their child as well as participates himself. He was coming in as we were going out, and he asked as part of our conversation, "Do you ever take adult classes? They're a little like the test in terms of intensity." I looked at him and I said, "Sir, you misunderstand why I come to kuk sool wan. I come to play games, punch people in the face, and kee-yah." I'm sure he thought I was completely insane, but, you know, I am not there for the workout. I'm there to enjoy something with my kid, get out a little agression and show "the drama."

:-)

Okay, well, got to go.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm glad to see the enthusiasm for my not-so-sekrit project. I worked on a third one yesterday, but did that thing that writers' often do, which is I got totally bogged down in research. I didn't get much done at all yesterday, honestly. I didn't even manage to change the fish tanks, despite the fact that it was Thursday. (I did manage to get the recycling to the curb and remembered to go to volunteer at Mason's school, so it wasn't entirely a wash.)

Mason and I didn't end up going to kuk sool wan last night, despite the fact that we will be TESTING !!! for our yellow-stripe TOMORROW !!!!

As I was telling Sean last night, I think I'm especially freaked out by this up-coming event because I have never before in my life successfully passed a single physical test. Though this may seem out of character, when I was in junior high school, I tried out for cheerleading. I learned to cartwheel, and I got really close to doing the splits. I did NOT make the team, however. I'm not sure what possessed me to try out, honesty, because I have *always* been that kid who gets picked the very last for various teams.

Likewise, I never passed the presidental fitness test, either, because I couldn't hold a chin-up for more than a micro second. I have never won a race. I've never even been part of a winning team. I didn't even pass my driver's test until the third try. Yet, I often enjoyed sports from the side lines, though, and have even had FUN participating in losing various games.

I realize, too, that it is extremely likely that I WILL NOT pass the stripe test the first time. But, I think this test has been haunting my subconscious (which it has, as I've had several dreams about it,) because I can't even _imagine_ what it would be like to pass. I don't think that if I don't pass the test that I will cease to have fun at class, however. As a writer, I'm fairly immune to the sting of failure. At any rate, I may feel it, but I have developed a TON of coping methods thanks to years of rejections.

I worry a bit more about Mason, who has an opposite problem, which is, because he's smart and a lot of the challenges of school come so easily to him, he has a hard time imagining failure. Mason is very average in terms of his physical prowess. Plus, he's relatively popular at school, which is a school fairly stocked with bright, science-oriented kids.

It should be interesting.

At any rate, I should go. Shawn has a dental appointment this afternoon, and I forgot my phone at home. I need to stop by and pick it up, and probably try to tackle some of those dishes I left rotting in the sink so that I could have a nice chat with Sean M. Murphy last night.

Oh, and I should change the fish tanks.

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