lydamorehouse: (renji has hair)
 Someone on Facebook jokingly said, "Since when did Minnesota have a monsoon season?"  It certainly does seem like that. I keep trying to remind myself that cool and wet are so much more normal that dry and hot.  

We had our big rummage sale today.  It was pretty much a downpour all day, but we still managed to move $70.00 worth of stuff. It helped that a couple of big ticket items--including a bicycle--sold.  Despite being wrapped in cling wrap, our signs melted. I had to replace them with ones that we put packing tape over, so I kind of spent the day in a weird loop.  Picking up signs.  Replacing signs.  Rinse, repeat.  

Given how cold and miserable it was, we thought that we might have had an even better day, had the weather decided to cooperate.  So Lisa and Shawn decided that since they had everything so nicely set up in Lisa's garage, they might as well just leave it there and try again in the morning tomorrow.  My feeling is, why not?  $70 is more than I was expecting to make, but if we could get it a little closer to $100 that feels like a nice donation.  100% of the proceeds for this rummage sale is going towards funding Mason's Wind Energy Team's trip to Anaheim. (They leave Tuesday!)  They made enough to book tickets and cover much of hotel, but not quite enough.... also currently they have no funds to cover food for all 8 kids for the three days they're gone.  Any money we make (or that you donate: https://www.gofundme.com/help-send-us-to-kidwind-nationals) will go to offset those costs.  At this point, anything helps.

Otherwise, my mood has been.... feeling my mortality.  I suppose that's not a mood, but it's definitely something that's been on my mind lately.  After Mark died, I've been working hard to stay in touch with his partner Joe.  It's not terribly hard.  He's on my mind a lot.  So it's more that I have to remind myself to go ahead and text Joe when I'm thinking about him.  In fact, we text/chatted a bit today, because he'd been thinking about bringing over some donations to the sale, if the weather had been a little less gross.

I can only imagine how lonely he must be.  It's not hard to think about "what if...?" And, life without Shawn is.... UNTHINKABLE.  And, I would have Mason to share my grief.  Joe has only friends and relatives like me.

Then, today, by chance I discovered that a Facebook acquaintance lost her husband, unexpectedly, a few days ago. He seems to have died in his sleep, probably from a heart attack. I was floored. This is not someone I know terribly well.  We only friended each other several months ago, after hanging out on Google with a mutual friend who had moved out of town.  I thought she was cool, and so I followed her, like you do.  And now... this.  

It's like this "what if...?" is stalking me, circling closer.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 Yesterday, I had to work.  For the entire month of February, actually, I'll be working fairly regularly at the Shoreview branch of the Ramsey County Library.  Shoreview just had a huge remodel, which is good in a lot of ways. The old place... well, I think I wrote about it here before.  I used to actively avoid working there, because once I was call to the carpet for "having too much fun." Seriously. I was told to stop enjoying myself--(I was listening to music and dancing a little in the stacks.)  I mean, maybe it was distracting because I'M JUST THAT AWESOME, but, seriously, I felt like the joy was sucked out of me.

After that, I decided that that particular branch was haunted by Dementors.  Any time my boss called to ask me to work there, I had to wash my hair or pretty anyTHING else.

But the new building has a lot of windows and sunshine and that has seemed to, so far, kept the Dementors at bay.  

It helps, too, that there's a new person in charge.  No more Umbridge.  (The previous branch head had a very shrill 'no problem' that had a passive-agressive subtext : "YOU SCREWED UP!" She didn't exactly have the pink kitten sweaters, but she did have that sweet smile that was totally hiding pointed teeth, if you know what I mean.)  So, I think I should be fine.  I'm a little bummed because the schedule I agreed to interfere with some of my favorite socializing, but mama needs a new pair of shoes, as we say around here.  We're going to need a new car sooner rather than later and so we need to put some money in the bank so that can happen BEFORE the emergency break-down.

I also ran into David Lenander, which was a nice surprise.  I think that David makes about four fandom-friends that I've run into at various library jobs.  In some ways, I'm surprised I don't see more.  Then, again, my hours and locations are very random and sparse, so maybe it's more impressive than it seems.

This morning I called my Senators.... again.  Lines were swamped, but I was able to leave a message with Franken's office... and went off-script to enthuse to him about how happy I am to see him being fierce. I accidentally signed off with "Love ya!" Oops. On the other hand, my goofy message probably more enjoyable than whatever hate mail he might be getting.  

Klobuchar was nothing but a busy signal, so I sent a fax. (As I was telling a friend, I kind of adore how quickly people are coming up with work-arounds to Republicans turning off their phones and/or busy signals. I'm not accusing Klobuchar of blocking calls--she is a Democrat after all--but it's still a good solution when I can't get through.) The nice thing about that was that there was no way to go off-script and I was able to remind her that it doesn't matter if we win. It's not about winning any more, it's about being seen STANDING UP.  

Though it was funny. While I was composing the letter, I literally forgot the actual format of a written business letter. I had to look it up!  And, I'm old enough to remember actually taking CLASSES in how to compose business letters!!

Sheesh.

Meanwhile, right now, Shawn is testifying in front of a congressional committee..... in the Minnesota Senate.  And, technically, she's just giving a committee information about how government records are managed by the state archives, but when she left for work this morning she was nervous, to say the least.  I listened to her speech (twice) last night, and I'm sure she'll do great.  

I had plans to attend an airport protest on Friday, but I don't know if that's still on now that our attorney general has joined in declaring a stay on deportations, etc. I suspect people will still go. I mean, the Dump and his minions will keep pushing.  Like I told Klobuchar, it's our duty to keep pushing back.

No more Dementors.

Anniversary

Dec. 2nd, 2016 07:48 am
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 Like a lot of GLBT couples, Shawn and I have made up our anniversary.  It's a fictional date, convenient, easy to remember.  It doesn't mark anything, other than the fact that we're PRETTY SURE we went on a 'date' to Target to do Christmas shopping together.  This was 1985 and I don't even think we were on each other's Christmas lists even, yet. We probably actually met months earlier at one of Michael J. Batman's D&D campaigns, where I remember very clearly telling Shawn she had the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen.  I'd been sketching people's D&D characters for them and Shawn told me to make hers have blond hair and brown eyes, and I said, "No one has that combination!" (Keep in mind I was 17, what the hell did I even know? At that point I was sure Chicago was in Wisconsin.) She said, "I do." And I looked up... and, yeah, I'd say that was the moment fate was sealed.

But, in all honesty, I wasn't even out to myself yet that December. I still thought I was a straight girl (kind of... ask me about how I was already reading Gay Comix I bought at a head shop in LaCrosse my senior year).  Thing is, I would go on after December 1, 1985, to have a couple of more boyfriends and a several girlfriends. Shawn, too, had boyfriends post that fateful meeting.

Yet, we count December 1, 1985 as our anniversary because we were certainly already living together at that point (and having sex).  I moved in, and never, ever moved out.  By the end, my girlfriends would look at me and say, "How can I compete when you're living with the one you love?"  

They were right. I was cheating on all of them with Shawn.

The story would have been pathetic and sad, if Shawn didn't also finally have the same realization when we were living in our first apartment on Franklin Avenue.  After a friend of ours visited and regaled us with the stories of his gay single life and his heartaches, we looked at each other over the top of his head and knew.  We knew it was time to make things official.  Why keep seeking when we'd found love already? If we could remember the date of that day, that would probably be more accurate in a very strict sense.

But, relationships are messy, so why not just count from the real beginning? Why not skip the mess and embrace that first wonderful moment?  So we do.  Your rules do not apply to us.  Or, at least, before we were mainstreamed by marriage, there really were no rules, no sense of how any of it was supposed to work, so we just made things up as we went along.  I think most people do, anyway.  It's just that the majority of people have... well, I guess, traditions and institutions to fall back on.  Marriage dates. First dates.  We never thought to mark any of those, either. I'm sure we eventually picked a date because people asked us how long we'd been together and we had no idea.  

Ask me when Shawn and I were married, and I'll say, "It was a Monday!  Oh, and hot!"  I'm sure it was in August because that was the first month it was legal and we did the official thing in front of a judge as soon as possible because I'd gone over a decade without any decent health insurance. 

Of course, I'm generally terrible about dates.  I feel like I must be the only mom in the universe who hesitates when health professionals ask for Mason's birthday.  I've finally got it down, but for a while I used to switch the last number of his birthday with the last number of the year he was born.  I also have memories like this, "It was hot."  (Apparently important things in my life always happen on the hottest days of the year.)  

So last night we celebrated our made-up anniversary the way we have been for decades.  Actually, maybe more like a single decade, since we started this tradition when Mason was an infant and Shawn and I were too exhausted to even consider dressing up and doing something fancy.  I remember complaining to my friend Ember about how it wasn't going to be romantic with a baby, and she suggested that I surprise Shawn--that I get take out from a favorite place and fancy up the table with candles (and the high chair.) It was PERFECT. I picked Vescio's in Dinkytown.  Vescio's was one of the first restaurants I remember taking Shawn to when we did finally become 'official.'  And, miraculously, it's still there. It's still EXACTLY the same and has the EXACT same menu.  Bonus: Mason loves it and always has, even when he was in his toddler "I will only eat noodles" phase.  

We had a lovely night. 

Here's to another thirty-two years!
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I feel somewhat responsible for the snow that fell this morning.  I was out of coffee in the house and decided to 'turn that frown upside down!' by using that as an excuse to fetch a fancy latte for me and muffins for my family.  At the coffee shop, I was talking to the barista about the weather (like you do in Minnesota) and I said, "It's raining, but I wish it would snow, instead."  Everyone in the coffee shop looked at me like I'd sprouted a second head.  Thing is, it's only February.  The warm is nice, but it's not natural.  More than that, it's going to break our hearts when it does start snowing again, because March hasn't even started yet!

Here on Sunday evening, I can say I've had a pretty good weekend.  

Mason had the day off on Friday, and so we ended up taking a friend of his Christy out to lunch and Japanese candy shopping at United Noodle.  Then, she came over to ours for a little otaku bonding, aka watching anime on our TV in the basement.  The funniest interaction I overheard was this:

C: Um, so... would you be willing to watch dubbed?
M: Oh. In English. Um, yeah, sure, I guess.
C: A true otaku friend! Someone who prefers sub, who will watch dub with you!

Meanwhile, upstairs, I was thinking: Man, I don't know if I like anyone THAT much.

That same night, I had an invitation to a board gaming night at a friend's house. Shawn and Mason were also invited, but they are true introverts and had filled up on their people quotients.  Mason was pooped from having entertained Christy, and Shawn has been having to deal with Swedes all week (guests to the Minnesota Historical Society, naturally, but Shawn has been required to do those dinner out with work colleagues things that tire her out).  So, I went to the party on my own, which was still a great deal of fun. I played <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Cash-N-Guns-Second-Edition/dp/B00KU10OUU">Cash 'n Guns</a>, which was a tremendous amount of fun, and had also brought along a card game called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sushi-Go-Pick-Pass-Card/dp/B00J57VU44">Sushi-Go</a>, which Shawn had bought the family for Solstice, but none of us had figured out the rules.  The nice thing about bringing along a game you haven't played before to a party like that was that someone usually has played it and/or is willing to read through the rules and figure it out with/for you. It was a fairly fun game.  Low-key, I'd say.  Not like getting to point a foam gun at your former martial arts head instructor.  

Saturday was the insanely beautiful day here, and, so of course, I had to work.  It was one of my tiny 3 hour shifts, however, at North Saint Paul.  I really enjoy working there because not only is my shift super-short (3 hours, from noon to three,) but also so is the library.  It's so small that usually by the time someone turns in a book, we can have it back on the shelves within the hour.  There just aren't that many books (or patrons.) Plus, I've done so many shifts for them there that the regular patrons sort of know me and the staff trusts me enough to set me up on the desk or wherever and get their other, backlogged work done.  Which makes me feel useful.  

Today, I just didn't feel like doing much, and I absolutely managed it.  I mean, I did some basic maintenance things like taking out the garbage and doing the dishes, but a lot of they day was spent like a Sunday should be, IMHO: relaxing. I finished a book that is up for the PKD award, (R)evolution by PJ Manney, which I'll have plenty to say about on Tuesday, when my review goes up on BitterEmpire.  (Not a good book, IMHO. Actually, I'm kind of surprised there hasn't been a fail, because there is much fail in this book.)  Last night, I started Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong.  I can no longer remember which award that one was up for, but I had to read it because of the title.  I should probably be reading either of the last two PKD nominees: Brenda Cooper's Edge of Dark or Windswept by Adam Rakunas.  I will say I've hesitated to rush out to get Cooper's book.  I was not overly fond of Creative Fire, the first book in the series that this new one continues.  I just bought Windswept for my Kindle, so we'll see if that one is any good.

I have to say the PKD has been a mixed bag this year.  I liked both Archangel and After the Saucers Landed quite a bit, but the rest have been a really mixed bag (including one serious stinker.)  I feel like last year the quality was consistently much higher.  Out of the 5 books I read (I skipped the short story collection), all of them were at LEAST more than passably entertaining and well written, if not knock-your-socks-off amazing like Memory of Water, Elysium and Book of the Unnamed Midwife.

There are new judges every year, and I did a little research into the two groups (not hard, as their names are published on the PKD awards page.)  Out of the five judges, one was a woman... The previous year, the year with all the books I found fantastic?  THREE out of the five were women (and women I know and respect like Ellen Klages and Laura J. Mixon.)  

lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 1.  Met a Deatheater at Menards.

Technically this happened on Thursday morning, but it's worth mentioning. I went to Menards to buy a quart of paint to finish off the "Pinterest" Project that Shawn and I have been working on (we converted an old, cheap dresser into a bookcase.)  It was wicked cold on Thursday so I bundled up in my usual ultra-winter attire, including the four foot long Gryffindor scarf my penal Keri knitted me. I got to chatting, like extroverts do, with the guy mixing my paint.  It started innocuously enough about why Menards doesn't sell half-gallons and eventually he asked, "So... that scarf?"  I ducked my head a little awkwardly, but nodded, "Gryffindor."  He smiled and pointed to his forearm tattoo: a Deatheater!  I gave him a serious look and said, "You do realize we're mortal enemies."  He smiled and nodded like that was the best thing ever and added, "I'm going to get Mischief Managed' tattooed on my ribcage."  I gave him the thumbs up, "Dude!" and we discussed CONvergence, and, yes, yes, of COURSE, I gave him my business card.

2. Fell in love with a Swedish Schizophrenic.

Shawn found a BBC/Netflix show called "River," and I we binge watched all six episodes in this series over the weekend.  River is the title character of this police procedural and is a Swede, living in London, who.. sees dead people? Maybe, but, more likely is schizophrenic. I can't even begin to tell you how good this show is.  If you like British cop shows, put this one on your list.  It made me cry (and laugh, and sometimes cry-laugh at the same time.)

3. Celebrated Valentine's Day with a Nap.

Best Valentine's Day ever.

4. Finished our First Rag Rug.

Technically, most of this honor goes to Shawn, who has been banging away diligently at the loom, but I do my part every time the loom needs advancing--and, of course, I provide entertainment and company.  But, Shawn used up all the green fabric she had for our first test rug. We have no idea how it's going to look off the loom, but, besides one little glitched thread, it looks damn fine still on it.  Shawn and I are trying to decide what comes next.  A hit and miss?  Another "solid" colored one?  Regardless, it should be fun.  The loom is tremendous and we've been enjoying the heck out of it so far.

5. Managed not to Axe-Murder the Burgeoning Teenager in Our House.

What is it about pre-teens that makes them so damn prickly? Hormones, I know.  It's still a pain in the butt--or rather he is from time to time.  To be fair to Mason, he was mostly quite lovely.  But he's like that girl of the nursery rhyme.  When he's good, he's very, very good, but when he's bad he's OMG what. (I might have paraphrased that a bit.)

lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 Mercury's backwardness* continues to affect my household.

Last night, Mason was hit by a terrible bout of insomnia.  Normally, if he can function at ALL, we send him off to school.  Today?  We decided to let him catch up with his sleep.  The semester is almost over and it's the day after a long weekend. He should be fine to catch up, particularly once he's gotten a decent amount of sleep.  

Consequentially, the whole household was delayed getting out the door.  Normally, this makes me a little cranky, if only because, even without a regular job, it still messes up my routine.  Today, however, I was glad for it, because I've been meaning to get to the bank to finish off a transaction that will FINALLY finish setting up my account on ACX and I can get the whole ball rolling with my voice actor friend, Jack, and the audible versions of my AngeLINK series.  We dawdled.  I bought coffee.  I waited patiently through traffic lights, drove the speed limit....

AND THE DANG BANK ISN'T OPEN UNTIL 9 AM.

Even after all that noodling around, I still ended up having to go home for a half hour before heading back out.  Again, none of this is fatal, but gosh darn it, it's irritating.

On the other hand, yesterday was extremely pleasant.  For any overseas friends reading this, yesterday was what you would call a bank holiday here in the U.S.:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Schools were closed, as were all federal businesses.  Shawn had the day off work.

Since it was also supposed to be a bazillion degrees below zero (the scientific term), we decided to make the day a game day.  It would have been also a pajama day, but at 8:30 am our doorbell rang.  It was our neighbor, Ruthie, whose car wouldn't start. She needed a jump.  After running upstairs and throwing on some jeans, I pulled the car around and waited while they got it going.  (Ruthie is a nurse and doesn't get holidays like the rest of us and had a shift starting at 9 am.) But, outside of that tiny bit of excitement, we spent the day quietly.  We played two games of Munchkin (we have a lot of sets and we found a fun combo in Apocalypse and Mission Impossible/Spy,) and a seriously cut throat game of Monopoly.  I posted a picture of our game board on Facebook because by the end the board was RED with hotels. Ever since the time I quietly became the slumlord of Mediterranean/Baltic and brought my fellow gamers to their knees with the crushing rent of those awful properties with massive hotels on them, Mason has become obsessed with building on his monopolies. So, it was a fun game.  I actually survived paying $750 in rent. TWICE.

It was a good day, honestly.  I've been doing a lot of stamping, as I call my stamp collecting.  I'm still baffled as to why I find this activity fun.  But, it's very companionable, since Shawn will often sit next to me at the dinning room table, sewing together strips of cloth for the rugs/loom, and we will just hang out, chat, or watch/listen to a show.  She's been watching some British show (some soapy thing, I can't remember the name of it ATM)  that I've been experiencing mostly as an audible book, as it were, since it's too much trouble to try to watch and look through my stamps.  But, that's pleasant, too. Very old-timey, in a way.  Like listening to a radio play.   

Okay, well, it's just turned 9 am.  I should zip off and see if I can get my business sorted at the bank.  See you all later!


*In case you're wondering, as I often do, when will this madness end? The answer is:  Mercury goes direct on the 25th.
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
"Does that girl EVER shut up?"

"Who gives the nurse at a doctor's appointment a business card?"

"Do you think she's really an author, or... really, really STONED?"

"Cheerful as fuck, though. I should probably get some of whatever drugs she's on."

"Because, who has so much energy at eight am?"

"It must be caffeine."

"I'm totally going to look up this 'Tate Hallaway' person, because she's hilarious. Is monster erotica really a thing?"

"Can't be from around here, though. WAY. TOO. LOUD.."

#

Seriously, what is wrong with me?

I was in to see a dermatologist because, you know, my warranty expired at 48, and Shawn noticed a weird little growth on my cheek. (I TOLD you that my blogs would suddenly be all medical issues all the time!) Anyway, so there I was, and I might have had a little too much coffee and was already wound up because I rage quit watching Jessica Jones (more on that in a bit) and I dunno, the nurse was nice, okay? And, I just didn't feel up for the Minnesota call-and-response so t stopped trying to pretend like I knew when the hell anything happened with my body.

Her: "How long ago have you had the growth on your face?"

Me: "Who even knows? You'd think I'd notice a thing on my face. It's not like I don't look in the mirror every damn day, but I must have just dismissed it as 'weird thing that seems harmless.' I'm only here because my wife worries."

Her: ...

Her: "Um, okay..."

Me: "I've had coffee. Maybe too much."

Her: ... *smiles nervously* "Yeah, okay. I get that. So what do you do for a living?"

Me: *already reaching for business cards* "I have the most awesome job. You won't even *believe* how cool it is."

The nurse agrees that being published is, in point of fact, WICKED cool and goes on to confess that she LOVES to read and she's super-sad that she hasn't be able to read for pleasure because she's in the middle of school (she's going for her RN, I asked,) and, yes, paranormal romances are RIGHT up her alley and her husband LOVES science fiction and she WILL take that card, could I write down a few titles? She goes away and I get undressed and stuff. When the doctor comes in, I can tell the nurse was talking about me, because the doc smiles brightly at me and says, "I hear you're a famous author," to which I reply, "Yes, award-winning."

Because I f*cking have NO shame.

And, because this is a skin check, I'm basically saying all this COMPLETELY NAKED. I mean, yes, I have a sheet draped over me, but the doctor is checking out my boobs and butt, because that's her job, and all the while I'm yacking away about why I have a pseudonym (a lot of people don't understand the mechanics of why you would, and when I told the doctor that the romances are under a different name, she was very curious why that would be.)

I'm SURE I was the talk of the office after I left.

On the other hand, I may have sold a few more books.

Speaking of creative content, I'm watching Netflix's Jessica Jones. I just rage quit in the middle of episode 5. I may go back, but I'm having serious problems with this show. I will put the spoilers under a cut, but let me first say that "noir" and "dark" shouldn't mean humorless and unthinking. The epic fan fic I write has been categorized as dark because I tackle hard issues realistically. But that doesn't mean that my characters are inhuman to one another (at least not ALL THE TIME) or that there aren't moments of lightness and insight and kindness. Jessica Jones misses some opportunities for clever humor, IMHO, that could go a long way to making the characters sympathetic. As it stands, I don't like anyone on the show (with the exception of a hapless neighbor.) Read more... )
lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
 Woke last night to sound of thunder/How far off, I sat and wondered....

Actually, I woke this morning to thunder and lightning, which was pretty spectacular, though mostly the rain has been a steady pitter-pat/drizzle instead of the wild storm the thunder seemed to promise. I have a few places I need to go in the rain, but not many so I'd say this is a pretty good start to my birthday week.  

Alas, my birthday this year is being overshadowed by the fact that we're having a lot of guests (some from overseas) this year for Thanksgiving, which Shawn keeps a running count down of the days until.  I keep saying, hey, this week, we should be counting down until my birthday! (Three days in case you're wondering.  Nov. 18.) 

Plus, since we fixed up the space for the loom in the basement, we've been working on making the other half of that downstairs area into a LEGO repository/gaming space for Mason.  We have actually removed MOST of the LEGO models from our dining room and the next big push is going to be to move the sorted and unsorted LEGO pieces downstairs as well.  But, that was all work that Shawn and Mason did this weekend.  

My jobs involve re-painting parts of the kitchen that I'd started to shift to green (we're going back to black, until Shawn finds the exact right match to the color she wants.)  My other big job is going to be to take the rag rugs to the laundromat.  I took a couple on Friday and I'm going to take a few more today after my chiropractic appointment at 10:15 am.

Speaking of, my shoulder pain is down to mostly a dull ache, which I'm considering a win.  I'm going to keep the rest of my chiro appointments in the hopes that they're the difference to making me ALL better.  Considering how sore I was after working five hours yesterday at Maplewood, the problem clearly isn't SOLVED. I still don't know what I did. I should not have this much problem from... sleeping.  I mean, I know our mattress is old and I'm old, but dang.

The library called twice just now to try to get me in for more hours.  I had to say no to both.  I kind of hate that.  But, Shawn has blocked off much of December with notes that say "no library," so I'm pretty sure my boss is starting to think I really don't want to work at all in December. I think I'm scheduled for all of two days.  Oops.  On the other hand, this is why I will be a sub for the rest of my life and never take a full-time position.  I LIKE the flexibility of being able to say no (and to say yes spontaneously, too.) I once showed up to work covered in blue paint because they were so desperate for a sub that they said, "JUST COME NOW PLEASE" so I stowed away the stuff I was working on (the downstairs bathroom) and showed up.  I like being able to be that person, too, though I did have to say no to the other one today because I would like to keep my chiropractic appointment, like I said, and they really needed someone to start at 10 am.  Ah, well.  Flexible employee is flexible.  :-)

Okay, well, I should pack up some rugs and other things to take with me to the laundromat.  

God my life is exciting.  Thank goodness I write this stuff down for posterity.   


lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
What better day to schedule an appointment with the Tax Guy, than a Monday, eh? Yeah, well, it shouldn't be too painful. I made some money writing this year thanks to Audible.com and trickling royalties, but I was also having the government pre-take-out taxes on all the work I did for the Library. Between that and the money Shawn paid quarterly, I suspect we overpaid and will be getting a refund, as usual.

The only reason we go to a Tax Guy (this should be a title, like Captain, so I am capitalizing it A. A. Milne style) is because I don't want the headache of figuring out all the things. We have a child, we have a house, I have, like, at least three jobs (if you include my teaching) so it just makes sense to pay a little money to avoid tears and possible arguments. I think of the money we pay Tax Guy as money that we DIDN'T have to spend on couples' therapy.

The other trauma in my life is that our blinker on our car has become utterly RANDOM. It's not just blinking fast or suddenly quitting in the way that would make me think "Ah, I must replace a fuse" but RANDOM. Like, works some times/doesn't work at all/blinks twice and then quits. As Mason points out that makes our car one giant moving violation, so I'll be taking it into our friend Dave's Auto in Roseville tomorrow morning. Honestly, I suspect they'll find a whole bundle of wires that have been damaged by water or squirrels or something because I also have a very RANDOM (which I think should just be all-caps because it's deeply frustrating and random seems like a thing one should respect by shouting) engine light that pops on and off, as well as other dashboard Gremlins.

Otherwise, life continues apace. Shawn is fully recovered. She says she still gets weird twinges just after eating, as though the phantom gallbladder is trying to do its thing, but otherwise she's as good as new. I'm especially happy to report that she's taken back over laundry duty which is a huge relief to me personally.

Mason and I also recorded our MangaKast podcast: The Ywach Puppet Show

Having given up 200+ pages into THREE BODY PROBLEM, I'm currently reading a book that's up for a Lambda called AFTERPARTY which I absolutely adore.... except for one weird problem. The main character's name is... Lyda. For real, Lyda. Lyda Rose, no less. And, I know that most people have to deal with this all the time, but I NEVER come across a book with my name in it. NEVER. Add on top of this that the Lyda of AFTERPARTY is also a lesbian and is hallucinating angels. It's like someone wrote an alternate universe, real-person fic about me.

Honestly, in my head, I've just been switching to Lydia. That makes it all better.

I will say that I ended up having to reach out to the author, Daryl Gregory to tell him just how eerie it was to be reading about a Lyda who has so many similarities to myself and I got a Tweet back from him:

tweet from Daryl Gregory

Which was just perfect. I am now rooting for him to win the Lammy (sorry Alyx!)
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 Yeah, okay, I don't think 2015 has started off very... organized, given that today is the first day I thought to sit down to write to y'all.

I blame my dreams.  Had a nightmare that I just couldn't shake last night.  I woke up a couple time from it, thinking, "Damn, glad that's over," only to fall asleep and go right back to it.  It was a strange one.  You know that video that went viral several years ago about the woman who was supposedly living in some guy's cabinet?  A web cam supposedly caught her coming out at night to raid his fridge?

I think it's turned out that this is faked, but my dream was loosely based on something like this.  I dreamed my friend Naomi came over and showed me a picture she'd taken in one of her daughter's bedrooms.  It clearly showed someone lying under her daughter's bed.  The dream continued on where Naomi told me that they finally caught this guy and he'd been living with them, undetected for DECADES.  Okay, brain, here is where I should have stopped to consider the fact that Naomi hasn't even lived in their current house that long, but you know: dreams.  Anyway, it was super creepy, but I think because my subconscious decided this wasn't at MY house, but someone else's, it was OKAY TO KEEP GOING BACK.

No, brain, just NO.

Needless to say, I woke up a lot.

This was a bummer on many levels, not the least of which is that today is the day everyone goes back to school and work.  The alarm in our house went off at 5:30 A-f*cking-M and we all struggled awake, got lunches together, had breakfast, and bundled out the door into -22 degree F wind chills.

Damn you, Minnesota!

I will say, though, as I chatted up a storm on the way into school and work, the sky was beautiful. When I was a kid, I used to get up before the rest of the household on purpose.  I was a weird, emo kid, who happened to be a lark, so instead of being a normal teenager who stayed up too late, I got up too early and went for long walks while the coffee brewed.  The sky this morning was the color of those pre-dawn skies I loved.  It a "backlit" blue that so deep to be almost indigo.  It's that very odd, "the sun is about to rise" quality of the light that I adore most about it, I think, because its vaguely reminiscent of those deep blue Christmas lights shining in the dark.

Otherwise, I spent much of the day so far working the the Demon School novel.  I'm really making progress, though.  I've at least made one pass through the first 275 pages.  The book, currently, doesn't have many more pages than that, so there's actually still a lot to be written, alas.  BUT, I'm filling in some gaps and formatting everything to look the same.  I think, actually, I'll have a fairly decent draft at the end of this week to send out to my beta readers.  That'll give me next week to go through their comments, make corrections, additions and adjustments, before it goes back to my collaborator, Rachel, on the 15th.

This week I return to writing UnJust Cause, too.

It's going to be a busy 2015...

Now if I can just get more organized. 

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Because I forgot to come back and post our podcast link, "30: Still No Aizen" and my link to the Gangsta manga review: Gangsta by Kosuke, A Review, you are now inundated with the linky-links.

Also, today is a new Tate chapter. I'm rather proud of the opening line this time. It goes like this: "After being told I was off the case, I did what any well-adjusted grown-up would do: I sat at my desk and sulked." You can find this gem (and others) in Part 27: With a Little Help from Friends.

Later today, there will also be a new School for Wayward Demons chapter for you, but I think that Rachel has those set to go up around 1 pm. If you go there, be sure to check out all the little improvements we've been making around the site. We have a lovely new Table of Contents page, which you can go to to check out any chapters you may have missed (or want to re-read!) We also have link to our Patreon page, so you know, if you feel like supporting our work, you should go for it.

I support you supporting us.

In other news, I'm starting to get excited about Yuletide. I checked out the Sign-Up Summary and I found out that someone actually requested that funky little food manga I adored called, "Kinou Nani Tabeta?/What Did You Eat Yesterday?" and I'm super-duper hoping that I get assigned to write that one.  But, seriously, OMG, if I don't get this one, I'm SO writing someone a treat in that universe.  Because: food!  Because: gay men! Because: ridiculously boring slice-of-life.  IT IS ALL THE THINGS I LOVE.

Yesterday, as Mason and I were headed to school about a zillion police cars raced past us on Rice Street.  An ambulance raced up and then back down the street, faster than I have ever imagined an ambulance would go.  Police had blocked the road off near school, and a cop directed traffic.  It was crazy.  We speculated about what might have happened as we made our way to school.  Only once I was home an scouring the new sites did I find out that a boy, 11 years old, was hit by a car while walking to Mason's school.  I spent much of the day yesterday worrying that it was Mason's friend Donte, who I've written about on my LJ, because he's a frequent guest for sleepovers.  He walks to school every day, along that exact same route.  I was briefly relieved to find out it was not, but then I spent the rest of the day feeling sad about this recent Napali immigrant who has yet to regain consciousness and who wants to be a policeman when he grows up. (Please, goddess, let him grow up.  Because there but for the grace of fate... go we all.)

So, yeah, Monday kind of sucked.

Here's hoping today will be better for everyone.
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Dang it.

Sorry that I haven't kept up with my blogging. Here is another MangaKast, though, if you're interested in Mason and my thoughts about the latest Bleach, Toriko, and Fairy Tail: mangakast.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/26-mason-and-lydas-inter-directional-adventures/

I think the problem has been work. Something happened at Roseville (someone quit unexpectedly? Got ill?) and they needed a reliable sub for two weeks running. I worked last Monday through Thursday, and this Tuesday through Thursday. PLUS, I had a pre-scheduled gig on Saturday for EIGHT hours at a different library (North Saint Paul.) So, I've been working a lot.

And then, today, John, the big circulation boss, says there's been a lot of mis-shelved books so he wants to quiz me. Would I please do a cart of fiction and non-fiction and set the books on their sides so he can check my work? No problem I say. I get nearly all the fiction right (one policy one I blew because I wasn't sure if all articles were skipped or just "the" so I mis-shelved a book that started "a".) Then came non-fiction... yeah, to be fair, out of fifty some books I only got five wrong, but that's kind of a lot for a library. What can I say? In my defense I normally don't try to shelve nearly as fast as I did today. I was feeling the pressure because I knew another person was covering my time on the desk and I felt responsible to get back as quickly as possible. So, you know... but *sigh* I'm not in any real trouble, but I still feel like a dope. I got a reminder of how things worked and I'm going to have to put little bookmarks in my work for a while so they can make sure I'm not messing up.

On the other hand, I work exactly once at a totally different library (Maplewood) in the entire month of October.

So, you know, not a lot of opportunity to screw up! Bonus!

But, you know, while I have to admit I messed up, I kind of doubt that the mis-shelving was down to me. I didn't actually do a whole lot of shelving the whole two weeks I worked there. Most of my time was on the desk or the phones. The first week I was there I did some new things like interlibrary loans and new book shelving, so...

Thing is, I like this job. I don't want to lose it.

But, so that's one major thing that's been happening: a whole lot of work. I nearly worked 40 hours this week, and I have to tell you, failed quizzes aside, I'm not terribly fond of the whole daily grind thing any more. Nothing I do at the library is terribly hard (with the exception of non-fiction, apparently), but you know, the ever day thing... yeah, I don't know how you people do it. It's... tiring. Also, I really, really need to paint our fence (which I "fixed" the other day), so I'd much rather be doing that. The fixed bit is in quotes because I very much did a "There I Fixed It" kind of solution. I just didn't want to have to go to Menards, so I made do with stuff we had around home. This meant making a "butt joint" with two shorter pieces for the spacer. I guess butt joints are a thing, but mine is... interesting. Still that whole fence is going to need to be replaced at some point so, really, this works for now.

Tonight is Wyrdsmiths, so I'm headed out in a bit. I also had a bunch of evening gigs this week, starting Monday--when I did the "Hobbit: Book v. Movie" panel at Common Good books. That was a small, intimate gathering, as we like to say, but lively none-the-less. I met another author who does a podcast with his kid, only his is a dad/daughter show called Generations Geek.

Then, on Tuesday night I had my first of many Japanese language classes through the Community Education program. It's going to be... interesting.  I'm feeling a bit old to be learning a new language, though I am motivated by... otaku.  I told Shawn that since my teacher said that I need to study for an hour a day that CLEARLY means I need to watch at least an hour of anime daily, right?  I'm pretty sure that's what it means.... 

Anyway, okay, I'm off to my writers' group.  I feel like a  loser writer, though, too, because thanks to work and my Japanese class i managed to miss a week of writing my Tate project.  

*sighs*

Today is a day of *sigh* apparently. 

But the podcast is fun.  Go listen to that.
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I'm beginning to believe in fate a bit. I mean, I lost all those words, right? Well, I've been going over the novel as I decide what needs to be re-keyed from paper drafts or rewritten entirely and I discovered several places where I can make the story make MORE SENSE! (and/or be more dramatic, etc.) To be fair, I tend to do this sort of massive revision at some point during my novel writing process, but I think that there are times when I think, "Oh, well, I'll change this little thing here rather than completely scrap the scene," you know? Now, since I have no scene to scrap -- well, I think it's all for the better.

Plus, I have this fancy new Toshiba. It was a super-cheap computer, because, well, I drop computers, but what I really, really like about it? The keys click. When I write it SOUNDS like I'm writing, you know?

That's almost as cool as getting a new pen and notebook. (Some of you know what I'm talkin' about.)

In other news, we're back from our trip to LaCrosse. We happened to be down at the same time as the Great River Folk Festival and River Pride (LaCrosse's GLBT Pride festival.) We attended neither, but, instead hung out with "the old guy," aka my dad. He's doing so much better. He's still in the recovery wing of the nursing home waiting for hip surgery, but every time I see him he's more and more like his old self. I don't think I quite realized how profoundly sick he was until I saw how vastly he improved.

At any rate, we have our fingers crossed that the hip surgery will happen in mid-September. Then he'll be singing, "Free at last, free at least. Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last."

Shawn and I did drive by the Pride festival because Shawn spotted the gathering out of the corner of her eye. Let's just say I'm happy that I live in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There were a bunch of idiots with the hateful protest signs outside the entrance, so you had to walk past them to get into the fair grounds. Not very good planning on the pride people's part. I did my duty, however, and flipped off some yahoo holding a sign about the sin of sodomy. If Mason hadn't been in the car I would have yelled to him, "If you don't approve, don't engage in it!" (Since it does seem that, in the case of a lot of Republican congress critters those that protest the loudest seem to have the most to hide.)

Ah well.

The other fun thing we did was that we spent some unexpected royality moneys that came via the Germans. (I actually made a profit for them on Tall, Dark & Dead.) We bought ourselves an iPad. The best thing we've done with it so far is buy the Scrabble app. Now all three of us play a game on the iPad after diner. Nice.

I didn't end up going to kuk sool wan last night because I got hit by an awful allergy attack. I've been told it's ragweed season, and I have to believe it. I suffered the entire day, even though we had plans to hang out at Como Zoo with my friend Eric Heideman. We still managed to have a good time checking out the grizzlies and the polar bears, but I noticed the woman who sold us the snow cones was also suffering.

Today seems better, perhaps because of the impending rain?

Anyway, I should go write. Clickity-clack! Clickity-clack!
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We didn't get all the snow the rest of the country has had to deal with. In fact, as Eleanor and I were saying the other day, there's a werid part of us, as Minnesotans, that's a little disappointed when we don't get major storms. On the flip side, it's been gorgeously sunny here, so I'm REALLY not complaining.

In fact, right now, I feel very much like a snow princess. Mason has a half day off school and we just played outside. I love winter days like this. It's just cold enough to put a blush on your cheek, but warm enough that you sweat under your layers. There's something about this kind of day that, when I play outside in it, that makes me feel... healthy. Or, maybe just young again, because the hot/cold of outside winter play is VERY MUCH a feeling I remember as a child in Wisconsin.

And, there's just nothing quite like the quality and intensity of light that we get this time of year. It's BRIGHT. You can almost feel the vitamin D in each ray hitting the very little part of your skin that's actually exposed.

In other news, I may also feel kind of young again because I managed to really strain myself at kuk sool wan last night. As instructed, I attempted a one-handed cartwheel, and, considering my cartwheels (shaky at best) it should be not surprise that I fell on my butt. Twice. I actually left a bit grumpy and had to cheer myself by watching "Shaun the Sheep" claymation shorts (via NetFlix) with Mason and Shawn last night. (OMG the little chicks were CUTE.) I almost never leave kuk grumpy, but I think I was also starting to get the headache that dogged me much of today. (Hooray for [legal] drugs and sunshine.)

It's going to be a busy weekend for us. We're actually invited to a Super Bowl party, and, on Saturday, we have swim class as well as a spontaneous invitation for Mason to go hang out with friends at the Mall's amusement park. Personally, I loathe the Sprawl, but Mason LOVES going on rollercoasters and so when friends who can accompany him offer, it's difficult to say no, since it spares me from having to white-knuckle those rides.

I should be writing, but it's been one of those Fridays when fun things call stronger than writing. I guess I'll have to make it up by writing later tonight. I actually am looking forward to it because I'm really delving into a character that's been on the periphery of Ana's life in the previous Vampire Princess of St. Paul books. He's not based on any particular real person in my past, but he's from a different social class than most of Ana's friends and I'm trying to write honestly about class differences and how they affect relationships. It's nothing truly political or earth-shattering, but I'm not sure it's something a lot of teen romance books deal with (although I may be completely wrong there, not having read that many.) Anyway, it's keeping me interested, which is good since I have write it. :-)

See you on Monday!
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I have a most UNinteresting day planned so far. Thursday is traditionally my day to do some stuff around the house. It's animal day. I'll clean the fish tanks (or at least one of them, I've been doing the bigger one on Sunday or Monday lately,) change kitty boxes, fluff up the gerbil cages, and do the dishes, take out recycling, etc. I'll also have to clean out the fridge since we're getting another CSA box today. Pretty damn exciting, no?

If there's time, Mason and I will try to get out and do something fun. Maybe go to the little zoo today, big zoo tomorrow? I don't know. His summer vacation is fast slipping away and all we've really done is made one trip out to Minnehaha and played a LOT of video games and read a bunch of Harry Potter.

Anyway, I can't sit around here all day. See you tomorrow when I hopefully will have something more interesting to share.

I'm Back

Jul. 8th, 2010 11:04 am
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Sorry for the long absence, I was in Indiana visiting the in-laws. Man, that is a long, awful drive. But we're only doing it once this year, so it's done. We had a good time. Probably the highlight was the fireworks show in ValParasio. It was actually surprisingly spectacular, and by chance, Shawn found us the perfect spot. Not too crowded or too buggy, and a lot of really interesting unique fireworks. I say this, too, I should add, as someone who is NOT a big fan of loud noises and whatnot.

I'm sad I missed CONvergence. I hope y'all had a good time.

Of course, the roof saga continues. We're probably going to start work on the roof next week. Shawn is hoping that their start time will coincide with her business road trip to Madison, WI. She gets VERY TENSE about this sort of thing, and, well, if she came home to a new roof, life would be a lot easier for her.

Me, I'm comfortable with all the noise and chaos. What *I* don't like dealing with is the money and the insurance company and all that hassle. But I think the only thing I have to do is follow-up with the mortgage company which has to endorse our insurance claim check. Blurgh. Just thinking about that makes my stomach flip.

In other news, I finished Tate's second YA book. I got comments back from one of my beta readers (thanks [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer and expect the last set tonight at Wyrdsmiths. Then, it's head down for a revision/polish so that Shawn can read it for stupid spelling/puncuation mistakes. I should be sending it on perfectly on time, if all works out from here on out.

Mason has the week off school, and we're hoping to do a little geocaching and beach lounging/combing.

I need to close up, as he wants to update his own blog. I hope to have some prequel news soon...
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As those of you who are also FB friends already know, last Friday night our house was hit by lightning. The actual event took about two seconds (FLASH! BAM!), but I've been dealing with the aftermath now for several days. The strike didn't cause damage that the insurance inspector would accept (though I'm convinced it made our old, rotty roof worse when it shook the house,) BUT he did see wind damage that he would. So, now we're in the process of getting a new roof (rooves, actually, as the inspector okayed the garage as well... and new gutters).

Still. Being a grown-up sucks, like as in it sucks up a lot of your time and energy with all this responsible bullcrap.

Also during this week, we've been getting ready for our annual trip down to Indiana to visit grandma Rounds, which has involved a bunch of car related hassle (oil change, etc.)

Oh yeah, and I've finishing up a novel.

The novel writing kind of turned into therapy. While I waited at the Jiffy Lube, I wrote. While the inspector and roofing contractor climbed around my steep, rotting, damaged roof, I wrote. Any time I felt stressed and couldn't sleep this week, I wrote.

I got a LOT of writing done, no surprise. I wrote "THE END." I have no idea if any of it is any good, or if it's all just "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over again. Actually, I know it's more than that, but you know what I mean. Luckily I'm printing up two copies right now for my beta readers and they can tell me what I've missed in my stressed fuge state. My subconscious is pretty sure I missed a few scenes because I had a dream I no longer remember about the book. I just woke up with that lingering feeling of having forgotten something key in the novel.

I'm not sure how much of this I can share, but I did have a nice conversation with my editor/publisher at Mad Norwegian Press the other day. The gist of things is that I have cover art (it's incredible, and I'll share as soon as that's okay,) and the publication date for RESURRECTION CODE has been pushed back a bit to March 2011. To make up for this delay, the book will likely be available for pre-order on Amazon.com much sooner, possibly within a month depending on when the paperwork is filed with the distributor.

Whoot! (or possibly even SQUEEE!)

Also, Amazon shipped the copies I ordered of SHE NAILED A STAKE THROUGH HIS HEAD: TALES OF BIBLICAL TERROR and, if I do say so myself, this is a mighty fine collection. I hope any of you going to CONvergence this weekend will take advantage of the fact that the editor Tim Lieder will be there signing copies on Saturday and pick up one or two.

I found out that one of my fellow contributors is here on LJ with us, [livejournal.com profile] krylyr aka DK Thomspson. He sound really awesome and is apparently launching (or has launched) a podcast about geeks and faith, which I'm totally going to go try to find, if for no other reason than I think he might be interested in reviewing RESURRECTION CODE.

I have to go deliver manuscipts. See you when we come back, unless I end up at the Blackbird Cafe in ValParasio, IN before then.
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Sorry for the silence. I was off the grid.

My gerbils have decided to fight. What's funny about this is that when we bought these two, the cashier (and the sales person) both warned us that gerbils can get territorial and "fight to the death." I've owned gerbils on and off for decades. We NEVER had gerbils fight. Ever.

But these two are also our first girls (and first set of siblings). Maybe it's a gender thing. Or a family group thing.

Anyway as part of all this excitment, I discovered that XoXo had actual owies on her rump, and in a panicked run -- ran off at seven thirty in the evening to get a new cage for her. Of course, in such a distressed state, I grabbed the wrong kind. In my defense, the aquarium had a picture of a gerbil on it, so someone thought it would be appropriate for a small rodent. But this person, apparently, did not have four curious, slightly overweight cats who like to sit on the top of said aquarium.

Just about two minutes after we had XoXo resettled, Inky decided he needed to take up his usual perch on the new aquarium. Whump! Like in some LOL/Stupid cat video on YouTube, suddenly he was sitting IN the cage. XoXo was unharmed; and Inky was only mildy confused. But that was the end of that particular house. Luckily, PetCo will take returns of damaged/flawed items.

And we were able to temporarily fix the cage and reinforce it with chicken wire (which involved an equally comic trip to the garage -- the funny part there was that I forgot we no longer had electricity in our garage and ended up having to trapse back to the house to get a flashlight) until I could return in the next morning, (yesterday.)

XoXo is now happily ensconsed in an exact duplicate of her sister's set-up. Weirdly, they both seem calmer. B used to throw herself onto the wire mesh top and hang, Spider-Man-style for a few seconds upside down. (I have some video of it, that I should upload at some point.) Anyway, no more of that now that she's on her own. I say its weird only because all the literature says gerbils can't flourish singlely. But you should have seen B last night. She was totally rearranging the "furnature" quite busily, like she was so happy that b*tch had finally moved out (even though it's clear B was the agressor. She had NO bites on her butt.)

So I spent the morning dealing with returning the old cage and getting the new one (and new water bottle, nesting box, etc.) and then I cleaned the house (which I'd neglected for a few days) and waited for my friend Nick Dykstra to come over and hang out for a chat. Nick and I have been friends since college, where we bonded over the first Highlander movie. So we squandered the afternoon catching up on each others' fandom, as it were. In other words, we mostly talked movies, books, and TV with a bit of personal life thrown in for good measure. The sun came out and we sat on the porch and absorbed some of that extemely popular sunshine vitamin.

And I found out on Wednesday that Josh Whedon is set to direct the new Avengers movie. Thoughts?
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I'll bet there's something you don't know about me. I _love_ a good conspiracy theory. This all started when I was doing research for FALLEN HOST and I came across a book called, THE ANTICHRIST AND A CUP OF TEA by Tim Cohen, in which the author surrenders his copyright in case of apocalypse/the tribulation. (Oh how I wish I had thought of that! I wonder if Penguin would have let me!?)

Anyway, since then, I've bought books about any number of conspiracies: the knights templar's journey to America, the secret organizations running American politics, and the Masonic influence on architecture in Washington, D.C.

While at HPB, Shawn picked me up a new one: DARK MISSION: THE SECRET HISTORY OF NASA. I like this one because it's not the usual NASA conspiracy, which is the whole "we never went to the moon, but just faked the whole thing in Nevada" ala the movie "Capricorn One" (with OJ Simpson, no less). This book, instead, sets forth the theory that we *did* go to the moon, but we went there for more than routine exploration. Yes, my friends, we went because we KNOW that there are alien artifacts to be had and we want their technology before the Russians/China/newest enemy can get their hands on 'em.

Like any truly useful conspiracy, the NASA book works for me because it lays out stuff that would be sort of cool if it were true. I ADORE the idea that an android crashed on the moon and we went to collect its parts or that the "face" on mars isn't just a trick of shadow -- but an actual monument built by an ancient civilization.

Tell me that wouldn't be awesome!

But I can't read conspiracy books in one sitting or they do weird things to my brain, so I've been alternating between DARK MISSION and Lilith Saintcrow's WORKING FOR THE DEVIL. I mostly know Saintcrow from all the redirects to her blog that Kelly posts over at Wyrdsmiths' blogspot (if you haven't checked it out, she has great stuff to say about writing), and, anyway, while we were at Barnes & Noble I saw that they had the first book in the used section. So I picked it up thinking I'd give it a try. I've been really enjoying it so far. I'm about half way through, and I'm harboring a serious crush on her Lucifer, as well as the demon "Jaf."

I think if you're a fan of my Morningstar, read/write slash, and enjoy urban fantasy -- these books are for you. The universe she's create is loosely science fictional (certainly as much as mine ever were,) and she has a very interesting Univeralist take on religion. After an "Awakening" people develop psi powers and all of the old religions (and parts of Christianity, etc.) become "real." It's not clear how all this came to pass, but it really doesn't matter to me because I enjoy the implications and what she does with it all.

Anyway, I'm pleased to see that there are a bunch of books in the Dante Valentine series, so if I end up liking the novel all the way through I have more to get right away.

Today I have to get writing, because I ended up up skivving off from "work" yesterday. Shawn needed to renew her driver's license, so I took her to our favorite DMV over lunch. After that I kind of lost steam, so instead of writing, I mopped the dining room floor. This week is Shawn's birthday (April 1, no foolin') and part of my plan is to mop all the floors as an extra birthday gift. (If you knew Shawn, you would understand that this consitutes a MAJOR gift -- especially from me.)

Not much else is happening. How about with you?
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The plumber arrived yesterday only an hour later than promised and did the work in about two; everything was fixed by three o'clock when I had to go fetch Mason from school. The bill was not astronomical, either. Love my handyman service. I kiss them. Although now I have to get on their schedule so that someone will come and patch the two holes I have in my walls (on in the ceiling, the other behind the couch in the TV room.) Ah well. Holes I can live with.

In other news, I (as Tate only) am now Twittering. I tweet. I hear all you kids are into it. Please feel free to follow me or friend me or whatever.

Today is also promising to be very busy. After I pick Mason up in a couple of hours, I'll be headed off to Barnes & Noble to pick up a book of weird hauntings that I put on reserve on Tuesday. It was one of those books that I dithered over. It's kind of cheesy, but when I found myself telling stories I'd skimmed to my partner in the car an hour later, I thought, "I should have bought that." Luckily, when I called B&N they were able to grab it and put in on-hold behind the counter.

Mason also wants to check out the Star Wars section, since we didn't get to it during our last visit. (He got stuck in the humor section, reading GARFIELD.) Then, it's off to pick up our CSA box from Driftless Organics (beets! whoot!), and then a little cat herding as we try to get Ms. Deliah (the cat that Barney from Tate's books is largely based on) into her carrier and off to the vet for shots and "animal wellness" check-up.

I think Mason gets another fast-food dinner, which is only ironic given all the farm-fresh, organic produce we'll have in the car. He got one yesterday (McD's, alas,) because the kitchen was still completely in disarray. I'd had time to mop the floor, but not return all the tables and whatnot back in place. I let him eat some crap while I dusted and replaced everything -- from pictures on the wall to our various cups and such we leave out. When [livejournal.com profile] seanmmurphy came over he noiced that everything was much more sparkily than usual. (It's true. I almost took a picture. The kitchen, outside of the big hole, has never looked better. I'm only sad that Shawn was in Seattle and missed seeing the results. It'll be dust-ridden by Saturday, mark my words.)

This morning started out strange because I got handed a very cryptic note from one of Mason's classmates. A phone call later it turned into one of those conversations with the uninitiated that I hate. Mason's friend has a mom who decided that, after having met me, that writing must be "the life." She started a book and now called me up to basically ask when she could expect the money to start rolling in.

There's stuff she needs to pay for, see.

Oh. Well. Hmmm. How do I... Hmmm.

And, you know, I hate to burst that bubble of enthusiasm. I don't want to have to tell people that I could not afford to stay home an write if my partner didn't pay the bills. Money isn't the reason a person should consider a career in writing, because even when it's going gangbusters, like it is for me, it comes in drips and drabs and you can't count on it to pay the bills. You just can't.

That conversation sucks. Nobody wants to hear it. Everyone wants to hear how easy it is to break in, and how we're all going to end up like Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. It's really, really hard to tell someone who is looking for some hope and inspiration that those people are lucky and they only represent 1% of writers. Most of us don't even make above poverty level wages. Sorry.

*sigh*

I didn't actually get around to all that on the phone. That's a conversation, I decided, for face-to-face. Instead, I told her to enjoy the process. Keep at it. Writing can be a very fulfilling and creative and wonderful way to spend your time. And if you can find the writing itself an enjoyable task, then rest... well, the rest won't seem so bad.

Honest.

We're going to get together later this week to talk writing. I'll try to break it to her gently. Wish me luck.

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