lydamorehouse: (renji has hair)
 Last night was the speculative fiction smut reading at Kieran's Pub.  I spent much of the day, yesterday, feeling very nervous about the whole thing. Nervous probably isn't the right word. I do a lot of public performance, much of it off the cuff, but I'm NOTORIOUSLY bad at reading naughty bits, out loud, in front of a crowd. I have _literally_ hired stunt readers, while rolling around in embarrassment under the table at cons during slash readings.

So...

A friend of mine who is an actor in New York volunteered to listen to my pieces and give critique to help improve my performance. They are also a Bleach fan, so we probably spent more of our time together lamenting the ending of the manga.  But, it was really neat to finally see them in person (we did a Google hangout) and put a face and a voice to text, as it were. But, knowing I was going to read to Taylor meant that I practiced both pieces several times, even before talking to them over Hangouts. 

Then, [personal profile] naomikritzer came over and, my random luck, I made an amazing "pot roast hash" out of some leftover rump roast and some veggies.  We chatted for a bit, but both of us had errands to try to get in before the snow started, so we said goodbye early and I headed out with Mason's laptop to Computer Revolution.

I totally recommend Computer Revolution in Roseville to local folks, btw. First of all, they did what we wanted the "Genius Squad" to do at Best Buy, which was test the cord with a voltmeter. The cord, they determined, was shot.  It is, of course, still possible that there is more than one problem going on with the ROG, but we have an easy place to start. Shawn ordered the cord as soon as I told her what I'd learned, since she'd already done all the research in case we might need one. I asked the guys, though, if the cord doesn't solve the issue, are there other options that don't involve replacing the motherboard as Best Buy seemed to suggest would be the only other issue (and far too expensive a prospect). They had lots of options, several of which were very potentially reasonably priced.  So, that's a huge YAY.

Mason came home a bit early from robotics, despite it being "stop build day," the day they have to literally wrap up their robot and put it away until competition, because he was feeling kind of sick. He seems to have caught a cold.  

After picking up Mason, feeding him, etc., I got dressed and headed out.

I got lost at least twice, mostly because I don't know left from right, but I managed to get there by 7:30 pm, which was perfect, as it gave me a chance to find a place to park and get in and get the lay of the land.

Kieran's pub is kind of beautiful. The Not-So-Silent Planet folks managed to have their own private section, a part of the pub that is legit called "The Poet's Room" and it has its own doors, own bar, etc. I was really sad to hear that they will be having to move the venue next season, because it could not be a more perfect place for this kind of event.  It's both public, but very intimate and private.

interior of pub with painted mural on one wall, a small stage in the corner and a few people at tables

The structure of the show was that the first 3/4th were open mic, which... with erotica was.... kind of hoot? I mean, the first person up did two pieces, the first of which was revenge porn with implied rape and I thought "OH SH*T, MY HUMOROUS STUFF IS GOING TO BOMB" but then they did a second piece which was a clever story about an app that allowed you to experience other people's fetishes.  

The whole night was like that--some of the pieces were very INTENSE, some hilarious, several of them were body horror, a number were more traditionally romantic, and then, a few were... well, HOT.

I was horrified to discover, however, that I was scheduled to be the finale. I'm NOT finale material. So. NOT.  But, I did my best. I read a sweet/sensual piece from the sequel to Precinct 13, which is the book I just sold to Wizard Tower Press.  That seemed to go over well. I only stumbled over one line at the very beginning.  

The second piece I read (the first one clocked in at 4 and a half minutes, and I was booked for twelve, so I had to read something else) was actually bit of fan fiction of mine that involves kinbaku, the Japanese art of rope bondage. As noted at the start of this, I get very flushed and flustered reading anything erotic out loud. For a while, when I first starting writing sex scenes as part of my profession as a romance writer, I had to touch type them while LOOKING AWAY FROM THE SCREEN, I was so embarrassed. So, I decided to ask for some help from the audience--audience participation, if you will. So, I asked people to shout out a word for anatomy that starts with "c" and sort of looks like a single finger when I raised one finger, and another part of anatomy that is plural and is usually connected to the first one when I raised two fingers. The audience was very enthusiastic about this. 

But what was funny? I think they were quietly getting into the story, which was kind of unexpected?  I mean, it's out of context and there's some bits that can not possibly have made any sense, but the first time they did their bit and shouted out the words for me, I tried to make a little editorial comment about how wonderfully enthusiastic they were, but the vibe I got from the audience was very "yeah, yeah, get back to the STORY!!"

Which I mean... I guess it never occurred to me that the audience might be very _into_ the story.

I still think it worked pretty well. Having other people say the stuff that I find particularly difficult to say out loud without giggling or stammering awkwardly certainly made the reading more fun for *me.*  

But the unexpected reaction was just sort of funny.

Hopefully, it all worked, I don't know. Personally, I would not have had *me* go last, but people seem to expect great things from me. (You win one second place Dick....) In all seriousness, the other guests were much more polished and professional than I was and I was super impressed with them all. [personal profile] catherineldf read an amazing bit about being a temp worker in an office full of SUPER HOT vampires, which she delivered with her usual style and grace. Laura Packer performed (and I mean PERFORMED) this spooky, mesmerizing retelling of Snow White, where Snow White is the monster of the story. Tom S. Tea read tentacle porn to DIE for.... and then I bumbled in.  Still, the show was super. I am seriously considering making Not-So-Silent Planet a regular thing next season.

And now it is snowing buckets. 

Oh, and school was cancelled for today. Whee!
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
I guess we only ended up with 4 inches on the ground, but St. Paul Schools shut down early last night. You might wonder WHY the capitol city in a state that often prides itself on toughing out temperatures and conditions worthy of the arctic panic closed when the forecast looked bad. You only have to look back one year to find out: www.mprnews.org/story/2018/01/23/many-students-stuck-in-schools-buses-hours-st-paul. (Last year, some students' buses didn't make it home until LITERALLY after midnight. Might be fine for high schoolers, but imagine kindergartners....)

Pretty sure our superintendent is going to close early and often, rather than let something like that happen EVER again.

I know closing school on a day like today makes a lot of parents mad and inconveniences them, but I kind of get it. I mean, I can say that, because, of course, our family is fine. I'm home today, anyway. Having Mason here is a feature, not a bug. Of course the superintendent might get in Big Trouble again, since the temperatures are supposed to plummet dangerously low over the next couple of days and schools are required to close if the temps drop into the 'your face/skin ACTUALLY freezes within a minute of exposure" range. So, people have implied that we could end up with several days off this week, given the forecast.

Honestly, I can't believe this kid's luck. He needed a mental health day on Thursday, had Friday officially off (some kind of end of quarter grading day for teachers), a weekend, and now this. It's like he really gets a Christmas break do-over, like we wanted. It's only too bad that we had to take Mom in to work, or we could have had some lovely, much needed family time.

As it is, we're probably going to spend the day filling out the Yale Global Scholars application. Mason finally finished the last of the THREE essays required for the program (and we gathered up all the documents needed for financial aid.) Whee.

All right, I promised to catch you all up on my spell-a-day project. I have skipped a few here and there, but part of that is being determined not to do anything ill-advised again.

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 24 & 25) )


Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 26) )


Spell-a-Day Project (Jan. 27) )

lydamorehouse: (renji has hair)
That means I missed "What are you reading Wednesday?" which is probably okay, since, once again, I read a lot of yaoi and not much else.

We had one heckuva storm here on Monday. Luckily, Mason came downstairs early that morning complaining of an upset stomach. I mean, that part isn't lucky, per se, but because of Mason's irritated bowels, I was able to convince Shawn to stay home, too. After all, we'd been promised this big storm and it seemed to have missed us. We all deserved a snow day. Shawn agreed.

Best. Decision. Ever.

The snow started sometime late morning. By noonish, I couldn't see the end of the block, the winds were blowing so hard and so much snow was falling. We ended up officially getting 12.5 inches, but with the wind there were easily drifts bigger than that in a lot of places. Schools didn't close early and some students were stranded until AFTER MIDNIGHT. I can only imagine how horrible it must have been for some of the kids, especially the very little ones.

Tuesday, St. Paul did declare a snow day. I'm sure, in part, just so students who had been traumatized would not have to get back on a bus. The main drags were clear by Tuesday morning, but our street wasn't completely plowed until afternoon. St. Paul spent the day digging itself out.

Mason and I celebrated the day off by going out to ramen at one of our favorite places up the road. We timed it perfectly again, as the plows had come through by the time we came back from lunch.

I don't even really know what I did with myself yesterday... oh, yes, I was very social. My friend [personal profile] naomikritzer came over to chat about life and eat a pot pie I made with some leftover turkey. Later that same day, my friend Sean Murphy came by to talk about Marvel movies and eat pizza. Mason stayed late to work on robotics.

Today, in fact, Shawn and I will be at the Washington Technical Robotics... event? evening? I don't know what they're calling it, but it's a little demonstration of what they do for everyone's parents. Oh, I think they're just calling it "parent night." Anyway, it should be fun. Mason hinted that I might get to pilot a robot. That would be cool. Tonight is also Wyrdsmiths, so I'll be rushing from parent night to my writers' group.

I'm also feeling kind of low today. I'm not sure I got enough caffeine. I came home and made a pot of coffee rather than stopping at my favorite coffee shop to get an espresso. Also, the anime I'm watching while I do the dishes is low-key depressing.

I'm watching Natsume's Book of Friends / Natsume Yūjin-chō. There are some 76 episodes and I think I'm on... 11, maybe? Natsume is a high schooler who can see yokai and who has also inherited from his grandmother a book containing the names of the monsters she's defeated and enslaved. Natsume is very kind-hearted and is quite happy to return the stolen names of the enslaved creatures. So, a good number of the episodes feature the stories of the various yokai and Natsume helping them out in one way or the other.  On the surface, this is all very light, even feel-good. Except, Natsume is really lonely. We find out that he's been shuffled from relative to relative over the years because his parents are dead and no one believed him when he told them what he could see (yokai are traditionally invisible to most people, except the gifted.) Even in episodes where things work out, he just sort of exudes this sadness...  it's really hard to explain.  I mean, he's finally in a place where he's stable.  The relatives he's with now are childless and very loving, they've very much adopted him, but he still acts like a guest. He found another student who  is partly gifted, with whom he COULD share some of his burden, but he doesn't.  Likewise, there's an exorcist potential mentor type that skirts around the edges of Natsume's life that he could form a friendship with, but, as he said in this last episode, he's lived so much in fear, he doesn't even know how to begin to trust in order to open up.  Part of his personality is that Natsume actually gets along better with the monsters than he does humans.  And, I like that a lot, but it's just... like I said, low-key sad.  

I just finished an episode (and the dishes) and I've wandering around the house feeling lonely.  I blame Natsume.

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