lydamorehouse: (ichigo irritated)
 I'm sitting on the porch because the weather is so nice.

It's 50 F / 10 C out, which probably doesn't really warrant wide open windows, but, after the last bit of winter we've had here, it's just what I need.

I spent a good portion of this morning cleaning.  Shawn is on her bi-annual or semiannual (or whichever word means twice yearly) fairly deep cleaning kick. I say "fairly" deep, because we are NOT the sorts to move the fridge to clean behind or anything of that magnitude. But, I scoot around on the floor and scrub-up bits of cat puke and dust that have become part of the decor over the past several months. Of course, the frustrating part is that when I'm finished with all of this no one will be able to tell that I've made a dent. Our house generates cat puke and dust spontaneously, I believe. Like, I bet if we moved everything out and hosed the place down, the very next day it would look Miss Havisham's.

I decided today would be a good day for housecleaning because, for reasons known only to the universe, I woke up incredibly sleepy.  It might have been the weird dream involving the sushi place that served their sushi with a bucket of live minnows and prawns, as well as a side of roe-encrusted nan.  Perhaps that wasn't restful. It seemed wise to take advantage of my sleepiness to do some mindless drudgery. 

Right, back to it!

lydamorehouse: (swoon)
 I don't think I'd have a single title to report if last night wasn't a REALLY SLOW shift at the Maplewood Library.  

Perhaps you've heard, Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounds have been bombarded with snow. 6-8 inches, easily. Yesterday, when I was driving around the visibility wasn't EXACTLY whiteout conditions, but the fourth or so block way from wherever I was, was that hazy blur you get in those kinds of snow storms.

So, of course, the library needed me to come in at 5 pm.

In a surprise to no one (but probably library administration) hardly anyone wanted to be out at the library last night.  Well, that's not entirely true. While I was shelving books in the adult comic book/manga section, I overheard two gentlemen discussing where they were planning on sleeping after the library closed. Let's say, instead, last night wasn't a high book turnover night.  So, when it was my turn on the AMH (colloquially known at Maplewood as "the oven,") there was not much for me to do.  I even asked my supervisor if I should be doing something else and she looked at me somewhat askance and said, "Read a book."

So, I hunted around for a first volume of some manga or other. I ended up readed Sapuri / Suppli by Okazaki Mari. (Amusing note about the title, it's merely a 'translation' into the same sounds as spoken by an English speaker.  This sort of thing drove me crazy in Nana when I read it because the scanlators insisted on writing Reira when she specifically says she was named after Eric Campton's 'Leila.'  If you're translating everything else into English pronunciations just write her name Leila. It confused me because I'd have to stop every time her name came up to remind myself to say it "Leila" in my head. I've seen people do this with the name Alice, too. It's dumb, because the last thing you want a reader to have to do is break the pacing of the story for something that USELESS and easily remedied.)  At any rate, the book was okay. I had checked it out and returned it within an hour.

At any rate, the roads were pure ice and packed snow on the drive home at 9 pm.  That sucked (though not as much as having to figure out how to sleep somewhere in the rough.)  I saw two accidents on the way home.

Today, at least, we have bright sunshine. However, it's stupid-ass cold, 17 F / -8 C.  Tomorrow is supposedly the Twins' first home game... they play in an open-air stadium. I heard on NPR that they're hosing off the stadium seats (metal, btw) with hot water.  Fans (if they go) are going to be sitting on ice cubes.  

While I was at the library, I also picked up some novels to try.  I have no idea if I'll actually crack these either, but fingers crossed.

How about you?
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
Yeah, I know it's not necessarily unseasonable weather, but, frankly, I'm tired of it.

I'd been hoping that the snuggly weather would make me feel in a writerly mood, but, instead, I've been kind of zoned out or distractible all day. This kind of weather always makes me want to cook and eat All The Things. So, I distracted myself with some cooking. I made a big batch of borscht again this morning and had two huge bowls for breakfast/brunch. I pity my co-workers at Maplewood tonight. (Beets make me FART.)

I didn't really want to say 'yes' to work tonight, but, somehow, I managed to miss the call last month for regular hours for THIS month.  It's kind of on-call for me for April, or nothing at all. Of course, tonight is kind of the worst possible night to have to drive all the way to Maplewood (and back after 9 pm!) They're expecting as much as 8 inches?

Did I mention how done I am with this weather?

We keep getting random texts throughout the day from Mason.  Today's best one was, "Have seen three street preachers in two days so far.  If you listen closely you can hear hundreds of people's un-given f*cks."

That's my boy, the comedian.

He also reported today that they were on the Staten Island ferry, so presumably they made it to see the Statue of Liberty and all that.  Ms. Auyeung's itinerary for them was fairly ambitious. They had to bail on a bunch of things yesterday, though I notice things aren't so tightly packed today.  Today it was supposed to be: Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, Battery Park and ferry to Staten Island (for AM), in the afternoon: Manhattan Chinatown for lunch, Museum of Chinese in America, some shopping time after, and then...?  She has nothing for the evening, but they're staying in the Chinatown in Queens (which apparently at one time was known as "Little Taipei" for all the Taiwanese that settled there) so I suspect they'll explore their own neighborhood, as it were, in the evening.

I'm really sad that I'll miss whatever texts come through while I'm at work tonight, but I'm so glad that he seems to be having fun.  Apparently, they only briefly lost some students in Times Square.... 

lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 Well, maybe you're not pagan, so you're not on her list!  But, the Ostara bunny came to ours.  She left her usual basket and a few Goddess themed eggs:

A dyed blue egg with a yellow Brigid's Cross on it

The actual basket:
Ostara basket with candies, eggs, and a cat toy

One more of the Goddess eggs:

Mottled purple egg with a sliver of a moon on it

Mason told me that he feels too old to do the actual HUNTING for the eggs, but he does still like getting the basket. I told him that he can keep getting an Ostara basket as long as he wants. I'd even send one to college, because WHO DOESN'T LOVE PEEPS AND CHOCOLATE COVERED MARSHMALLOW BUNNIES???!!!???  

Yesterday, I also changed over the altar to its spring clothes... no that that's stopped the snow from falling. When we headed out to school/work this morning, a light dusting was falling. I can see the it's sticking in places. I don't like to complain about the weather too much, but, OMG, the snow could stop any time now. People I know in Chicago are posting pictures of flowers in bloom.

Ah well.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo irritated)
I had a fair number of panels this weekend, many of which went very well, but a lot of my con was plagued by me NOT KNOWING WHEN THE LIVING HELL TO SHOW UP.

For instance, Friday--for some reason I got it into my head that my first panel ("Roundtable Discussion: What are You Reading?") was at 7 pm. I got dressed and headed out around 6:30 pm. I got there with 5 minutes to spare and started freaking out because I could not find a space anywhere in the hotel parking lot. I happened to see my fellow panelist, Bryan Thao Worra, walking up the sidewalk and so I shouted to him and asked him about overflow parking. I might even have said something like, "Well, I'll see you fifteen minutes. If not, you'll know I'm still hunting up parking!" I'm surprised he didn't look at me and say, "What are you talking about?"

Because our panel didn't start until 9 pm.

Bryan said that he'd heard that it was okay to park in the lot for the Wildlife Refuge Center, so I did, despite actual posted signs that said, "NO HILTON PARKING." I decided to risk it (spoiler: I was fine) and I dashed in, figuring I'd quick stop and register, because if I was late my fellow panelist at least knew I'd be on my way shortly. I'm glad I did, because in my manilla program participant packet was my schedule. WHICH CLEARLY SAID THAT MY FIRST PANEL WAS AT 9 PM.

Suddenly, I had almost two hours to kill.

MarsCON, I have decided, is a weird con. Don't get me wrong, I like it. I go every year. I kind of consider it the opener for the con season. But, given the situation with the parking lot, you'd figure I'd have no problem finding someone with which to pass the two hours hanging out. Nope. I don't know if it's the way the hotel is laid out, or the fact that I don't do much with the extremely popular musical track, or that the party floor is nine stories removed from the paneling area, or everyone else is invited to secret parties to which I did not get the memo/invite, or what, but I would NOT have guessed that this con apparently attracted between 900-1,000 people. I would have thought it was half that. The halls seemed empty.

This is also not necessarily a down side. I mean, it's nice to have a con that is not as overwhelmingly crowed as say, CONvergence. BUT, one thing that I told Minicon when preparing for my Guest of Honor gig there this year (in a matter of weeks!!), it's actually almost better to overbook me as a panelist than to leave me with huge swaths of time with nothing to do. As an extrovert, I really do feed off the high energy of a con. If I'm sitting and staring at the wall wishing I had a book, I crash. It's a lot harder for me to ramp back up to my "performance level."

So, I can't say that, by the time I actually sat down next to Bryan in the "Eagle's Nest" conference room, I was super peppy.

I did, at least, think ahead and prepared a list of stuff I'd been reading over the past few years. Bryan recommended a number of poetry books--like, full length books. Later, when i saw Bryan again, I thought to ask him a question that I should have at our panel, which is, is there a proper way to read a book of poetry? Are you supposed to just start on page one and power through? I've never done that with the few books of poetry that I own (granted at least half of them are Shel Silverstein). Mostly, I randomly pick poems and read them. There are Marge Piercy poetry volumes I own where I'm sure there are still dozens and dozens of poems unread, because I just never hit that page when I was leafing through. Bryan confirmed that that's totally how it's done, so I guess I haven't been missing some key to appreciating poetry all these years.

Because I'm a weird combination of extrovert and morning lark (opposite of you night owls), I went home directly after my panel.... oh, right, there was another reason I did that, too. I texted home at one point to let people know I'd arrived too early and wouldn't be coming home until after 10 pm, and I got a text reply informing me that our problem kitty, Inky, had peed all over the basement floor. Everyone was apparently very upset about this because Mason didn't see the mess until he plopped our brand-new beanbag chair right into the center of it. There was worry that it was completely ruined FOREVER. Problem kitty is also usually my responsibility, so everyone was mad at me for not being around to do the clean-up on aisle 5. (Before you assume the worst from my family, my responsibilities include one that I fail all the time. I'm supposed to pill our cat, because he has fewer accidents when he's consistently on his Prozac. My family rightly surmised that if he was peeing inappropriately, it was because I had forgotten to pill him. When he pees inappropriately when I'm the one who forgot to make sure he got his daily pill, it stands to reason I should be the one to deal with the fall out, as it were.) So, I rushed home to change kitty litter and to wrestle a pill into Inky.

In the back and forth with the kitty trauma, I ran out of minutes on my phone and so I also had to problem solve THAT on the fly at the hotel (it involved finding the business center and logging into TracFone)... it was, shall we say, an inauspicious beginning to my con. My only consolation (?) was that Bryan had had to deal with a puking puppy all day, too. (I don't know that that actually made me feel BETTER, per se, but at least my misery had company, as it were.)

So, that was Friday.

Saturday... let's see, I started my day off with probably the highest energy panel of the con for me, "Marvel Cinematic Universe." We talked a lot about "Black Panther," of course. We had two PoCs on the panel--Rob Callahan and a young woman named Kianna--so we were at least spared the awkward that is a bunch of white fans yammering on. Kianna had an interesting take on Killmonger (whom, it seems, is often misread by white people) and Rob talked a lot about the Indigenous response to the movie. That was probably the best panel of the con, for me.

Oh, but I forgot that my Saturday morning actually started way before that panel, when I was at home frantically making a powerpoint presentation because I realized when I got my schedule the night before, I was still the ONLY person on the "Manhwa/Manhua Explosion," and I thought, that as hard as it was going for me to fill an hour all by myself, I thought it would be even worse if I couldn't show visual representations of what I was talking about. I want everyone reading this to know one thing. I HAVE LEGITIMATELY NEVER MADE A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION BEFORE IN MY LIFE. Yet, the program is simple enough that I managed to cobble together ten or so slides before I left for the con.

I did, however, spend some of the downtime between the MCU panel (at 11 pm) and my solo presentation (3 pm) making more slides and genuinely TRYING to prepare... Even though I had no idea whether or not the room would actually have AV equipment that I could use. (Spoiler: it did. MIRACULOUSLY.)

So, I can't say that the "Manhwa/Manhua" panel was an unmitigated disaster, because I did attempt to mitigate it, but... I mean, there's a reason I prefer panel discussions. When there's at least one other person there, you have a CHANCE at a dialogue. I did tell my audience that I was not an expert, and that I had, in fact, proposed the panel because I wanted someone ELSE to tell me more about it....the other thing I warned them is that I could only talk about what *I* was reading and, frankly, what I read is SMUT. (Did I mention they put this in the "teen" track!?) But, the audience was sympathetic and somehow we limped through it.

My last panel was at 7pm and it was called "Writing Humorous Science Fiction and Fantasy." I... might not have been in the best head space for that particular panel. For one, I had had to kill a lot of downtime. Much of which was taken up by the other problem with the MarsCON hotel, which is they are in a virtual food desert. The Mall of America is within spitting range, but to go there, one has to be willing to leave their parking spot (or, I suppose, have enough time to hop the light rail.) There is a hotel restaurant, but the restaurant seems to always been chronically understaffed (I swear the SAME surly waiter who served everyone last year, served us again this year.) The hotel also has a kind of convenience store, but it's stocked with the sort of convenience store food that we have in this part of the country.... sandwiches wrapped in plastic that are fresh, but which have clearly sat around long enough for the various condiments to have made the white bread soggy and gross, you know? The con suite serves food, but it can not feed a multitude before having only pumpernickel as a bread option in the PBJ room.

I'd had lunch with Naomi, her family, Rob Callahan and his friend Jei. We braved the restaurant and heard a lot of cool stories about Jay's students (they teach at a Native charter school). I'd kind of blown my con budget on that --not that I really had one, but the food at that restaurant is not varied enough--or cheap enough--to warrant a lot of return visits, so I ended up eating a couple of hotdogs in the con suite. I will say? That hungry, those hot dogs tasted AMAZING.

Anyway, I found myself feeling a little... professional jealousy towards MaryJanice Davidson, who was on the humor panel with me. MaryJanice Davidson was someone who was hot when I first started publishing paranormal romances as Tate, and sitting on that panel with her gave me a stab of the classic green-eyes "why is SHE still publishing, when I'm not." That kind of threw off my game. Luckily, the panel was totally ruled by Ivery Kirk (Melissa Buren) who co-wrote a book with possibly the single greatest title for an erotica ever: TIMEBANGERS:One Does Not Simply Walk Into Tudor.

I ran into a friend, Jason, after the panel and I told him that what was especially weird about my reaction to MaryJanice Davidson was that it caused me to attempt to talk seriously about the topic of humor in SF/F.  Jason looked aghast and was like, "What? You?  I would have wondered where my Lyda was and demanded a refund!"  And, yeah, see, this is my con persona... and, of course, the one of the dangers of running into someone you long considered a rival (I was told I couldn't use DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS for a book title of mine, because MaryJanice Davidson was putting out a book that same year with the same title.) I think I was thrown too because sometimes you set up in your mind this kind of rivalry and the other person LITERALLY has no idea who you are. (Davidson totally give me a blank look when i said i wrote paranormal romance as Tate Hallaway).  

Anyway, so that one was kind of a bust, despite how cute and hilarious Kirk/Buren was.

Today was another WAIT, WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO BE THERE days. Shawn told me that my first panel was at 1 pm today, and, since she'd been right about the 9 pm one on Friday, I believed her.  So, I'm sitting in my chair, cat on my lap, thinking about having a nice, relaxing morning when I decide to look at my printed schedule. Oh no! According to my sheet, I'm actually supposed to have an 11 am panel. I quick throw things together and rush out the door.  I get there, miraculously find parking in the lot, jump onto an opening elevator and arrive at Krushenko's at 11 am SHARP. Only, Eric tells me that the schedule has been changed. My 11 am panel was moved to... 2pm. 

Now, I could have stayed, but I'd already run out once to get Starbuck's so I thought, no, I'm going to go home, go grocery shopping, have a decent lunch and come back for my 1 pm panel.  That actually worked out really nicely. By chance, I even arrived at my house in time to introduce myself and Shawn to neighbors who are moving in across the street from us. I had a nice sandwich at home and headed back. Two panels in a row, in the same room, on similar topics.  The first was "Androids, AI, and Gender Theory" and the second was "Artificial People in Science Fiction."  My favorite fellow panelist (besides Naomi, of course,) was Justin Grays, who was on both.  Post panel, I instantly cyberstalked him and became FB friends, etc., like you do in this, the era of social media.

So, that was my con in a nutshell.  I think the only awfulness of the con was the audience member in the Gender Theory panel who wanted to insist on an old-fashioned and outdated (and now considered offensive) term for intersex people.  But, the panel dealt with the person quite gently, IMHO, but there are always some people who take the changing terminology as some kind of personal affront, it seems.  I mean, "Oops, my mistake, [use correct term offered]" is the easiest response. It's also okay to say, "I didn't know it had changed," once, but then go away and Google, for crying out loud. The panel is there to educate to some degree, but the topic was not changing terminology, so... time was wasted on that.

There were a few other awkward moments in the two Sunday panels, but, I think, for the most part, people were unintentionally awkward, instead of malicious... which I guess makes it a little better? I hope so, anyway. (For broad context, let's just say things get weird when white people try to explain away reasons for slavery.... even in the out of historical context and about why we might have clones.)

I dashed home after that, too, because WEATHER is supposed to be on its way.  In fact, Saint Paul schools just closed in anticipation of another afternoon storm tomorrow. (I imagine the superintendent does not want to deal with another situation like last time.) I think it's the right call, but if it ends up raining all day tomorrow and not snowing, people will no doubt say he was too hasty. Honestly, the poor guy can't win. I think it was smart to err on the side of caution this time, however.

Right, that's me to bed.  Hope you guys all had a good weekend.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Today would have been a fine day to call a snow emergency (and maybe even cancel school), but alas, I spent the morning unburying my car and shoveling 6-8 inches (15 cm - 20 cm) of snow from my sidewalk--officially, they're saying we only got 5 inches (12.7 cm,) but they clearly did not measure *my* sidewalk.

They're predicting another big storm to roll through on Saturday night. Of course, we had been planning to have a "Silent Reading Party" on Sunday. I'm hoping we can still do this, as it's SUCH a great idea. Forbes has an article about them, but the concept is pretty straight forward. You get together with friends and read. Our particular take was going to be: Reading plus English High Tea.  We're going to make finger sandwiches, scones, maybe a sausage roll, and, of course, tea. We were inviting our friends to bring PJs or comfy clothes, blankets, pillows, etc., and basically have a pajama day with fancy snacks.

I think even if our friends can't make it, we're definitely going to be hunkered down and reading. Luckily, I have a LOT of books to chose from right now.  Should be fun, no matter what happens. Plus, this particular group of friends (Rosemary and her mom) are very outdoorsy. I wouldn't put it past them to ski over here if the roads are otherwise impassable.  

Today, in about fifteen minutes, I'm off to Claddagh. First, I'm meeting up with the Loft manuscript guy (the one I was reading FOREVER) to fulfill the last of my contractual obligation to him, and discuss his book.  Then, I'm going to hang out with my lady friends who always gather there and probably debrief a bit, as well as catch up on the gossip... er, "networking." 

Mason is at robotics until late again tonight. They're actually on break from robotics, since everything is bagged, but the robotics folks traditionally help set up for the LEGO tournament, which is happening at Washington tomorrow.  He'll be there until 5 pm. They might actually be going later, but he wants to be back home in time to watch his favorite professional Overwatch team play competitively.  This is one of those areas where I feel VERY OLD, as the idea of watching someone play video games competitively, like a sport, seems pretty alien to me. Mason is super into it, though. He's got a team he's rooting for, players he knows "stats" for, and all of that.

Okay, I should go find some warm socks if I'm going to brave the outside again....

Ja mata! (Later!)


lydamorehouse: (cap and flag)
i can't actually say it's been a slow reading week, since I plowed through the remaining 21 volumes of Pandora Hearts. I also read an on-line, one volume, one-shot yaoi called One Yen Man / 1-en Otoko as well as got through volume 2 of another manga called Bunny Drop last night, which I mentioned here previously (and I have volumes 3-6 on my TBR pile).

It's funny how, despite the number of pages that the above represents, I always feel like I've read NOTHING when I've only read manga.  That's kind of sad, because, obviously, graphic novels and manga are just as "real" reading as any traditional novel.  I don't really know why I buy into the idea that somehow they're 'lesser.' 

Speaking of my my TBR pile, on it is a graphic novel called Skim by Marika Tamaki / Jillian Tamaki, a traditional novel called The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North, the second collected volume of Bitch Planet, Bitch Planet: President Bitch by Kelly Sue Decconnick / Valantine DeLandro, and a graphic novel The Stoneman Mysteries: Book One by Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple / Orion Zangara.

We'll see how much of this I get through in a week.  I need to at least get though The Stoneman Mysteries since I told Twin Cities Geek that I'd review that one for them.  Adam is, of course, a local author and Twin Cities Geeks likes to highlight the local interest stuff whenever possible.  

Meanwhile, I still have a pretty intense case of the blahs.  I blame the weather and the Nazis.

lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
Ugh, we're supposed to hit 95 F/35 C today.

Luckily, a couple of days ago, Shawn and I performed the annual wrestling of the air-conditioner into the bedroom window ritual. This annual event is always such a huge chore, partly because the air-conditioner is heavy and awkward, but also because we have a HUGE king-size bed in a room that pretty much fits the bed and not a lot else. Oh, and of course the bed has a cast iron frame. So there's always this moment when I have the air-conditioner in my arms and I have to shimmy between the bookcase and the cast iron frame (pulled out as far was we can get it) that results in swearing and bruised and scraped arms (because? This may be a surprise for you to learn, but air-conditioners are less malleable than arm flesh. When something has to give, it's NOT the air-conditioner. I swear I rediscover this fact EVERY. YEAR.)

But we managed the job, so we should be ready when the temperatures start soaring.

Yesterday, I met a friend of mine at Ax-Man. Ax-Man is one of those uniquely Midway businesses, the way Porky's used to be, before it was demolished. Luckily, Ax-Man has hung on through the light rail construction, etc.. Technically, they're nothing more than a surplus store, but they specialize in really odd odds and ends. There is, in point of fact, an iron lung for sale there. They have a sign on their window that says, "Admission: FREE!" and Ax-Man is totally the sort of place where you could just go for the experience--though I'd bet you money, you'll be hard pressed not to come out with at least one trinket or curio. Yesterday, I was only going to hang out with Anna while she shopped, but I ended up buying a little turtle keychain light, because, when you press the light button the TURTLE says, "ribbit, ribbit!" I also found a HUGE BIN of really, really, ridiculously CHEAP (we're talking about 2 dollars a piece!) reading glasses in all of the strengths. Reading glasses are something I lose a lot, so it makes no sense for me to have expensive ones. Plus, these came in all sorts of pastel colors. And why would I not want a pair of hot pink reading glasses, I ask you!?

My friend was specifically looking for props for her You Tube series. She does show about various crafts and goodies she finds at the dollar store. Here's a link to her first show:




This trip she was specifically looking for props that would work as a science-y background because she attempted to grow crystals from one of those cheap crystal growing kits and, a bit of a spoiler here? One of the things we were looking for was a hazmat suit. (And, yes, Ax-Man had them.)

That was a lot of fun. I'm going to go through her videos, too. I mean, this is kind of a neat idea for a show, I think.

Mason is officially a 9th grader!  As of Friday, he is finished with middle school/junior high!  Whoohoo!  In celebration, I made him a steak dinner with all the fixings and he got to stay up as late as he wanted.

Tonight, I'm thinking about going to the Little Mekong Night Market on University.  This is their forth year, and my FB friends describe it as basically a block party, but it looks like they'll have lots of food and entertainment. The friend of mine who lives in Taiwan turned me on to the idea of night markets, and since I probably won't be able to be in Taiwan for a while, this might be the next best thing.  Here's an article I found that describes it: http://www.twincities.com/2017/06/06/little-mekong-night-market-in-st-paul-bigger-and-better-for-its-fourth-year/  Tonight is a night that we host Mason's friend Rosemary, so I'm thinking that after dinner, I might jump on the light rail with the kids and check it out.  If we go, I will be sure to take a lot of pictures and write up a full review!

Hope you're finding ways to survive the heat (if it's hot where you are!)


 
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
It's kind of grim and rainy out again this morning.  I spent almost two hours at Hy-Vee this morning.  That's the last time I go THIS LONG without doing my basic staples shopping. On the other hand, our pantry is now stocked with All The Things.  Ah, tomato soup again!

Mason is supposed to have a baseball game tonight, but I wonder if it will be cancelled due to weather.  As the person who will have to sit on the cold bleachers, I really, really hope it is.  If not, I'm bringing not only a PARKA, but also a thermos of hot chocolate.  Maybe some blankets, too.

This weekend is the March for Science.  I'm looking forward to it, because I have not been very good in the last few weeks about keeping on top of my congress-critters and local legislators. I think the last thing I did was the town hall, and there's still SO MUCH stuff to fight.  Still, I try to remind myself that this is neither a sprint NOR a marathon; it's a relay race. It's okay to hand the baton to someone else and let them run with it for a while. 

I depressed myself listening to the results from the Ossoff race in Georgia, especially the news of the midnight hour (almost literally) voting machine "glitch."  I can't help but feel that we were robbed of a straight-up win. The truth is, we'll never know, but the doubts will ALWAYS linger, especially since he had a clear lead before for the "corrupted" memory card was found. Shit like that makes me lose faith.  

I mean, yes, there was a groundswell movement. Yes, he nearly did it... but, what's that going to matter, if people start to worry that their votes aren't being legitimately counted? And, Georgia isn't the only place. We never even got a decent recount of Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania, despite best efforts.

ARGH.

So.... I've been reading a lot of comic books.  I've been working my way through the Hugo nominated graphic novels. So far, I read Ms. Marvel: Super Famous (Vol. 3), Black Panther: Nation Under Our Feet (vol. 1), Vision: A Little Worse Than a Man (vol. 1) and  Vision: Little Better Than a Beast (Vol.2), and Paper Girls (Vol 1.).  I started Montress: Awakening (Vol. 1), which has been interesting so far. The only one I haven't tried to get is Saga (Vol. 6) because I suspect I'd need to read the other 5 volumes to know what's going on. Pretty much everyone says I should be reading Saga, anyway, but I'm not and I'm being obstinate about starting it for some reason, probably the whole "eh, but all the cool kids are doing it, so it can't be that great." After all, I finally got around to trying Bitch Planet, and I could have done without.  Not at ALL what I was hoping for there and absolutely NOT worth the hype.

I have all the Hugo nominee novels at home, but I have not been able to really get into any of them.  As I was telling a friend of mine the other day, I go through these periods where I read a LOT of novels and other times when my brain can only handle shorter, graphic stuff.  I've been in that second phase lately.  Like, I'll sit down with a book in my lap and two seconds later I've set it down and wandered off.  The thing about graphic novels is that in two seconds, I've read half of it, so it's no as much a strain to continue on for however many more seconds it takes to finish the thing.

I also haven't been able to write much.  I'm THIS close to finishing the latest installment in my long-running Byakuya/Renji fan fic, but I just haven't been motivated to keep on with it.

I blame Trump.
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
 ...but it probably won't.

The last few days have been very dreary. There's been cloud cover and cold, moist winds that smell like rain.  Yesterday, it actually sprinkled for all of ten minutes (it even thundered), but when all was said and done, it was a very lackluster show of moisture.  I think my plants would really like some wet.  If it's going to be dark and stormy-looking, I wish it would just commit to the idea.

Weather people are saying it might actually snow. Of course, it'll do THAT, now that every Minneapolitan/Saint Paulie spent the weekend uncovering their various gardens. My luck, the snow will kill the few things that have managed to sprout in my otherwise dead yard.

I think this is the year I give up on grass.  I've been trying to re-grass the top of our hill, under our maple tree for the last couple of years.  I usually have pretty decent luck getting grass to sprout, but it never manages to really take hold and survive the winter.  I think it's time to look at a shade garden for the top of the hill.  Ferns and hostas and stuff like that.  

Usually, my biggest hold up for projects like this is money.  Hostas are surprisingly expensive.  Plants, in general.  So, if you're local to me and you hear about plant sales/giveaways please let me know.  I think this week I might go to Menards some dirt and start prepping the area.  Somewhere in this house we still have a gift certificate someone gave us to Gerten's. I might have to make a trip out there soon to see what they have that might work under the tree.

In other, possibly more exciting news, I'm doing a reading tonight at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis from 7 pm to 8 pm.  I'm going to be part of a group that's reading from the anthology we were all published in: BOUNDARIES WITHOUT: The Calument Editions 2017 Anthology of Speculative Fiction (link is to the Kindle edition, but it's also available in paperback).  It's sometimes tough to find parking in Uptown, but I usually park in the ramp there behind the square or whatever it's called. Should be a good night. I hope to see some of you there.

For some reason Magers & Quinn could not get copies of PRECINCT 13 to sell, so if you go, you might want to ask them to order a few copies and/or bring your own for me to sign. This has been happening to me a lot--where I agree to be at various venues, and the book purchasers say that they can't get my most recent publication.  The first time this happened, I discovered it was because SONG OF SECRETS was showing up as my latest release.  That book has been completely pulled by the publisher for various and sundry reasons. But, even when I underscore to bookstore people that, no, please get my most recent Penguin release, they can't seem to manage it.  I don't really understand why not. From what I can tell, all my romance books are still available.  It's concerning.  I suppose I should see if I can order some from Penguin for myself to sell (because that's what Magers & Quinn wanted me to do--bring my own for them to sell on commission, but I don't normally keep my own books around, since they SHOULD be easy to order.)

On the other hand, maybe my lack of other books will inspire more listeners to buy a copy of the anthology.  I'll look at it that way.  Besides, I suspect that a lot of people who know me have already bought their copies of Precinct 13 some time ago.  :-)
lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
I've been terribly neglectful of Tate's WIP on Wattpad. I updated today, finally, after a several month hiatus.

There a lot of reasons I let the work languish. The first and foremost is that I felt like the story had gone off the rails some time ago. It's super easy for that to happen when you're writing like this, out loud, as it were, in front of an audience. Normally, I tend to write everything away from the public eye, so, when I make mistakes or go down a rabbit hole, I can pull myself up and revise before anyone is the wiser (besides my writers' group, of course.) Not being able to do that this time stymied me. I knew it could, and, while I normally don't worry overly much about looking like an idiot in front of a crowd, this tangle fed into my general sense of failure.

Yeah, I know I'm not a failure, but as I said to someone who poked me for an update on Wattpad, Precinct 13 and its universe is a particular trigger for my... well, for lack of a better term, depression around writing. I've been on the verge of being clinically depressed, so I don't mean to use this term lightly. There should be a word for the behavior that mimics depression but isn't quite it... because that's how I sometimes get around my Tate projects. I _want_ to do them, but when I think about finishing Unjust Cause/writing an e-book or e-novella, and even when I work myself up into a bit of excitement around various ideas, when I finally sit down to write... my first impulse is to crawl under the covers and not come out.

It's very unlike me.

Normally, I'm very self-motivated. I would not have gotten as far as I have in writing if I weren't. So, I don't know why I have this block and, as I've said in numerous other posts, I've determined that this is the year I push past all that.

I wish I knew what worked. I started to type that it helps me when people ask after projects, but what's funny is that that kind of thing only works when it's STRANGERS (fans/readers/FB friends/casual acquaintances/con friends) asking. If you're my relative (or gods forbid, my wife) asking, I double-down into a weird, bitter resistance-- a very 'don't tell me what's good for me' kind of attitude.

Well, regardless, the plan is to get over THAT.

This weekend I had another sparsely attended Loft First Pages. This one was writing "fan fiction" and was supposed to be a teen event, though I ended up having an adult sit through it (I tried to tell the folks on my FB feed that they should come, even if they were grown-ups!) The First Pages are generally hard to do because the way they were explained to me, at least, you're meant to show up in a state of unprepared preparedness. The Loft wants the experience to be walk-in, drop-by, and flexible. So, while there is a general theme, I'm supposed to be ready to go whatever direction that the participants want. Luckily, I teach all the time, so I can lecture on a lot of writing-related subjects without too much prompting. However, I always end up feeling like I'm flailing around since, at least when I teach, I do quite a bit of prep work or at LEAST review some things other people have said on the topic. This time I knew I might have one student since a friend of mine told me her daughter was planning on coming, so I had done a bit of research into "common fan fiction mistakes." I based my rambling on that.

It still felt like rambling, though.

But at least I had people this time.

I also read all of MY REAL CHILDREN by Jo Walton over the weekend. I powered through that book, which is very unusual for me since I'm slightly dyslexic. It's a funny book because it's not action-packed in any stretch of the imagination, but I found it weirdly gripping. Maybe it's just because Jo Walton is such a good writer. I loved her Small Changes series and this is very similar in that there's a strong alternate history vibe going through it. Now, I'm on to THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS by Michel Faber.

I also gardened in between the bouts of rain. Now we've got a forecast of FROST, if you can believe it.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
St. Paul didn't close schools today.

The wind chills are expected to reach -35 F (-37.22 C for my foreign friends--also is this right?  I don't know that my converter can handle minus temps). Winds are expected at 15 to 25 mph. How wind chill works is that it's "the measure of the perceived decrease in air temperature felt by the body on exposed skin due to the flow of air."  Another fun fact is that when the real temperature is -19 F, exposed skin can freeze in one minute.  The REAL temp outside at the moment is -23 F.  (My family thinks the skin freezing thing is false, well, fine: it's still colder here that it is on some parts of Mars.)

Minneapolis closed school.  

For a point of reference, Minneapolis is 10 blocks from my house to the west.  I can drive down University Avenue for less than a minute and arrive in Minneapolis.  

So... Mason is home today because I'm not sure what St. Paul is smoking, but it's not safe.

St. Paul has decided that all absences are excused today, at least, but we would have kept Mason out regardless and he doesn't even wait for a bus.  Why?  Well, firstly, in protest, because most other people do have to wait outside and buses do not run on time always.  Secondly, because the last time we decided to go in temperatures like these our car broke down and Shawn and Mason had to walk several blocks home while I was forced to sit in the car to wait for triple-A.  I was lucky, our break down was tire related and I could have heat, but our car door also sticks open and super-cold temps, so I was really very chilly.  

The decision, St. Paul has said on its Facebook discussion about this, was partly to aid homeless youth for whom school is the one place they can get a regular meal.  At the same time they announced this, a call went out to the neighborhood for warm winter coats for homeless kids because there's a real shortage.  So, St. Paul required homeless kids to leave the warmth of their shelters, wait for the bus without winter coats, just for a meal?  I'm not entirely sure how well all that works in terms of logic. 

So, yeah, that's my morning.

As I just told my friend in Wales when she asked me if I was writing--not yet, I have to drink more coffee and complain about the weather.  It's the Minnesotan thing to do.

:-)

I also thought I do a very mini review of Ms. Marvel #10.  My subscription finally came, btw.  Long ago, I decided to subscribe to Ms. Marvel because at CONvergence many years ago, I was on a panel with Sigrid Ellis, who suggest that the best way to support women comic book writers was to subscribe to the titles they wrote.  So, dutifully, I went to Marvel.com and put in my credit card info.  I was pretty sure I was being ripped off because nothing ever came.  Turns out, I apparently signed on to start AFTER #9.  At any rate, #10 "Generation Why" showed up at my doorstep a couple of days ago.  

Read more... spoilers.... )

In general, I'm just as happy my subscription starts now.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next (though I'm really hoping for an actual defeat for the Inventor soon).  I really like G. Willow Wilson's voice for Kamala.  Like my example under the cut, it's funny and sharp and smart.  Also, I'm growing very fond of Adrian Alphona's art.  It's stylized, but in a way I like?




lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Shawn and I discussed whether or not we're "officially" done with winter or not this morning. I believe I'd been in the "eh, I still think the snow is pretty" camp, until we got stuck, spinning our wheels, at the intersection of Summit and Snelling.

Now, I'm officially done.

Thing is, I probably would continue to be the "meh, winter is okay" camp, if PEOPLE WEREN'T MORONS. Because as we were very clearly struggling to get going several people thought it extremely clever of themselves to go around us.  This was stupid for a couple of reasons: 1) I could have easily gotten a sudden burst of traction and sideswiped them as I fishtailed, 2) they made me tense, thus making it even harder to do the tricky work of trying to get the car in the right gear and move slowly enough to get going, 3) their random pulling out in front of me could have also resulted in a crash if I'd had a sudden burst of uncontrolled sped.

The only satisfaction I got was, after I'd had a chance to back up a bit, I was able to get moving and the MORON who was next to me, hoping to go around, got stuck.  Ha! Ha! Ha!  I gave her the one finger salute as I pulled ahead.  It was deeply satisfying.

Shawn and I spent the rest of the drive wondering why the roads SUCK SO MUCH still.  Do they no longer put down sand in this town?  What is the deal with the snow plows that seem to hover about an inch over the asphalt?  If they're hoping this will save on wear and tear on the asphalt, they're wrong.  The few places it is clear to the ground the streets are riddled with potholes.

Also, as Mason and I were leaving Great Clips this afternoon, I noticed there was a cop car with its lights on at that same intersection I was stuck at.  S/he was either directing traffic or there had finally been an accident there.

No surprise.

Oh, and in other news, Susan is still alive.  In fact, I can see her right now dancing around at the top of the tank munching up the tubifex worms I put in for her lunch.  I had to change a bit of the water in the tank, however, because she is NOT FOND of the sinking pellets she's supposed to like, and they were sitting on the substrate looking ready to rot.  So, I sucked them up and gave her a tiny little water change.  I don't want to change the water too much, because I'm now fairly convinced that Susan is helping condition the tank.  I'm hoping, given some time, I can actually introduce some other fish.  As it is, I'm so, so happy to see Susan every morning, it's almost sad.  I (whispers) even did research on dojo loaches, so... yeah, I'm officially in love with her. [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer said, when she was over, that Susan reminds her of a mermaid, the way she wiggles her long, flowing tail.

The other thing I've been doing is updating my deviantart page with all my juvenallia (stuff I drew when I was young and foolish); that's been fun.  I'm still trying to find my Marvel stash. I know I have some pictures of Gambit that I drew when I was in college, but damned if I can find where I've put them.

It's made me what to draw again, though, and that's fun.

Have I told you guys what I've been reading lately? I'm about three chapters into Haruki Murakami's 1Q84.  It's a novel that was translated from Japanese, and it's... trippy.  It's starts with a young woman whose name is 'green pea,' Aomame who is stuck in traffic on her way to an "important business meeting."  She takes the advice of her taxi driver and ditches the taxi to go down a service staircase in order to hop the subway and make it to her thing on time.  Only, as she leave the taxi, the drive makes some cryptic remark about how "there's only one universe, you know."

Well, clearly, there isn't, and our heroine somehow ends up in an alternate one.

But that's really not clear except on the dust jacket.  Because the second chapter is from the point of view of a crappy wannabe novelist named Tengo, who looks like a linebacker and whose salient personality trait seems to be that he's haunted by vivid memories of "someone who is not his father sucking his mother's breast."

F*ck I hate mainstream fiction.

I may be giving up on it soon, but, just when I was ready to, Green Pea busted out and assassinated someone.  And, I was like, OKAY, I'm in!  So, I don't know.  It's also dauntingly gigantic at 925 pages, so we'll see...
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I thought that I'd missed the horrible coughing thing that Mason had over Christmas break (we even ended up taking him to the doctor's on Christmas eve day because we worried he might have strep.)  But, alas, no.  I've been feeling pretty miserable these last four or five days and I LOST MY VOICE.

Perhaps you have no idea what a tragedy this is for me, but I can't talk!  Me!  Who loves the sound of her own voice so much that I've been known to carry on conversations with myself when I'm alone in the house!

Actually, I can talk, just not very well.  On Friday when I went to my library job despite feeling crappy I sounded like a deranged mouse.  They sent me home early because I really couldn't work the front service desk squawking and squeaking.  Now that the cold/laryngitis has progressed I sound a bit more like a growling bear.  So I guess it's improvement that I've moved up the food chain.  :-)

I used to kind of enjoy losing my voice because, in the past, I'd hit a stage where I sounded like some kind of sultry drag queen or jaded phone sex operator.  But, I guess that just cements the fact that I'm an odd duck, because I used to love to just say strange things out loud to crack myself up or call up Shawn's work and croon sweet nothings into the phone in a scratchy  voice.  Alas, if I tried that now it'd sound more like, "bark, snarl, growl!" and not much else intelligible.

I suppose I ought to mention the weather.  Apparently, outside my door right now, it's -20 degrees F/-28 degrees C.  I could guess it was cold because there's so much frost on the INSIDE of our windows, it's not even funny. I could hardly see out this morning before the sun came up and melted things a bit through sheer force of will.  -20 F.... that's probably the coldest I've seen things, ever, because I don't believe that temperature includes windchill, which I'd heard on the radio might be as low as -60 F/-51 C, which frankly is f*cking arctic.

The governor closed schools in advance, which, in my opinion, should be his re-election platform for next year.  "Remember that stupid cold day?  I didn't make you go out in it.  Vote for me!"  except I think Dayton might be on his last term, which is also a shame because he's possibly one of my favorite governors.  I like him not for political reasons (though his are pretty good), but because he's the single most depressed puppy on the planet.  It's like having that sad dog from Looney Tunes (Droopy Dog?) as your governor.  When Mason and I went to see him announce the passing of marriage equality, he gave a short speech that was like this: murmuring in a kind of wet blanket voice.... any pause at all in monotone, and WILD cheering and squeeing from fabulous gay people... more monotone.... At that moment, I thought, "I love you, Governor Dayton.  For so many reasons." Plus, he's actually been upfront about the fact that he does/or has, in point of fact, suffered from depression.  He also adopted a puppy at one point and when we drive past the Governor's mansion on the way to Shawn's work every day, I always look for the sign that says "SLOW DOG AT PLAY."  Which is, of course, meant to be read, "Slow.  Dog at play."  And it is, in point of fact, interrupted with a picture of a dog, but it has no official punctuation, so I've started waving to the mansion and saying, "Good morning, Slow Dog."

Right, okay, it's probably time to brew another pot of coffee and hunker down under cats and blankets.
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)
From talking to my folks last night, it sounds like my dad got moved back into the nursing home without any hitches. He even got his old room back. I guess, too, the PT schedule has been really pushed up, because, with the new/temp hip, he can really start working on getting up and walking again.

So that's all good news.

As you know, Bob, it's been hot as hell here. Our house is going to be 100 years old next year, and doesn't have central air. We do have a window unit that we struggled into the master bedroom earlier this year. The entire family, including, at times, all four cats and both gerbils, have been crammed into this room at night to sleep. This has not made for the most restful evenings, alas. Especially since the cats, being cat-like, insist on going in and out all night, and I'm the one person in my family who sleeps light enough to hear their scratching and meowing. And the only one foolhearty and soft-touch-y to actually pull myself upright and stumble over every time they want to go in or out.

Also Mason is a bed hog.

Anytime I got up to let a cat in or out, Mason would instantly take six more inches of my space. I could, ocassionally, shove him back over in the direction of mom, but as soon as I settled back down, he'd wrap himself, octopus-like, all over me.

I can't WAIT for the heat to break. We've got to get that kid back into his own bed!!

Anyway, I guess Captain America opens this weekend. I need to call my Marvel dates and see when they want to go. I'm still very nervous about this one, because I love a particular Cap and it's not actually the silver age one. I did watch the bootlegged Avengers trailer that Gizmodo had posted, and that got me all happy.

A gentleman at kuk sool wan who was wearing an Avengers tee-shirt tried to tell me that the original line-up for the Avengers included Black Panther and Storm. I, however, insisted that it was: Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Ant Man and the Wasp. With Captain America joining in an early issue. (I thought #2, but Wikipedia tells me #4). I'm glad to see that I'm vindicated. After all, I REMEMBER reading Storm's introduction in an X-title during the 1980s, during the time of the great gathering (which brought us Colossus and Nightcrawler and Wolverine.) Again, Wikipedia corrects me that it was 1979 Claremont, but I DO remember this.

Anyway, I should make plans for this weekend. I hope Cap doesn't suck.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I am such a weirdo.

I think that pretty sums up everything you might need to know about me, but I was thinking specifically of the fact that, unlike almost every other writer I know, I ADORE the revision process. I think it's the sense of accomplishment I get while I'm going through each page. In front of me today is a big pile of paper. It's a completed (if somewhat flawed) story. I don't have to figure out how it's going to end any more. It's written. I may, in point of fact, need to utterly CHANGE the ending for the novel to actually be any good, but I have a spare, you know?

I like that feeling. A lot.

Even though I know that when I get through this round of revisions another one is on its heels (or waiting in the wings and other such metaphors) -- around and around until publication.

But, you know, I've taken my first stab at it. I hit something. Now I just have to make sure my aim is true and I hit home.

Which is kind of a disturbing image since last night I had a really awful nightmare about discovering a serial killer had been to my house while I was away. And then I became a strange sort of magical-yet-evil house spirit myself who continued the killing spree. It was particularly disturbing because it's one of the first dreams that I remember taking place in THIS house, exactly as it's laid out. Usually, I have a stock stand-in metaphor for my house. It's partly my parent's house combined with this one with bits of other houses or apartments I've lived in or known, and a hotel (or a museum). But it's always generally the same place that my subconscious has dubbed "my house" even though it looks nothing like the place in which I currently reside. So besides being creepily violent, it was also very specific.

Banish, banish, banish!

Luckily, it's incredibly beautiful outside today and I have something I'm looking forward to doing in front of me. I'm sitting on the porch with the windows cracked open. There's coffee in the pot and a cat perched on the head of my chair behind me. The thing that's going to be hard is to stay indoors, when what I really want to do is start mucking about in the garden (even though there's still patches of stubborn snow in our back yard.) We're going to expand Mason's veggie garden this year. I really want to try growing lettuce. The seed catalogues all have these cute little individual serving size minature lettuce varieties and I just adore them. I want to see them growing in neat little rows in Mason's garden.

Ah, hurry up summer!!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
The excitment over various "snowpocalypses" is so yesterday. And yet, what did we get on Sunday? More snow. Blah, blah, a dozen or more inches. Blah, blah, I struggled to get my car out. Blah, blah, everything is white and almost beautiful, but completely buried.

It's hard to compete, too, when people who have never seen snow in their lives, like in Atlanta, are dealing with stuff we get every day around here. AND, on top of that, people are out there protesting in blizzard conditions.

On that note, I had an interesting exchange with a neighbor who helped me unstick my car from the roundabout. I'd rolled down the window to talk about the stupid rain that we're getting on top of the ten inches of snow, and he said, "You know, for all the crappy weather we get, we ought to have a higher standard of living in exchange." I'm sure he was thinking about Norway or Sweden, but my first thought was, "We did. Before Pawlenty. Before Michele Bachmann and the other crazy teabaggers." And it made me think about why people are taking to the streets in Madison. Having decent wages and good schools with happy teachers and fire fighters and police officers and garbage pick-up and decent wages and good health care and dozens of other services that union employees provide *is* what we trade-off for living here and putting up with the winter.

My mother wrote from Texas where they snow-bird in a trailer park. Before Madison exploded, she was talking about how garbage seems to pile up outside of businesses there in Texas and no one cares, and how ALIEN that is to a Wisconsinite like her. She said something like, "I guess we're just more civic-minded in Wisconsin."

I'd say. :-)

One thing I have to do (on top of making my 2,000 word quota for Tate) is write another Mouse vingnette for y'all to have tomorrow. I was smart to have done those three ahead of time, and now I'm totally feeling the pressure. Though I think I'll use it as the carrot to my stick. If I get Tate done quickly, I'll write some Mouse.

Shawn is home today since she's one of those "privledged" government employees. She's sitting across from me rather grimly balancing the check book. Yeah, we totally live the high life. (Not.)
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm in desperate need of motivation. The thing that usually kicks my butt, a looming deadline, isn't working the way it should. Normally, at this point in the novel, I look at the calendar and realize I only have a month and a half to finish the book and I start running around like the proverbial headless chicken and then I buckle down and get serious.

I'm not chicken-running or getting terribly serious.

This is not good.

Add to that that Mason is on Intersession break and it's been warm and welcoming outside. We keep trying to build a fort. My folks bought Mason these nifty little snow block makers. Imagine sand pails, except with snow. At any rate, this time last year we'd made a fort large enough that Mason could look out a window at eye-level. This year, we build and build, but when we come out the next day, it's puddles and melted brick shapes. I'm not used to that in February. It's supposed to be almost 50 today. That's above, folks. In Minnesota. In February.

Unnatural.

I almost wonder if my lack of motivation has to do with the fact that, in a money-saving effort, I've been making coffee at home. I'm not sure I make my coffee as strong as the folks at the Coffee Grounds do. I'm here at the coffee shop today, so I'm hoping that their coffee will perk my brain back up to freak-out stage.

I need that.

Mason and I have earned another private lesson at kuk sool wan. I'm going to ask Nikki Jo Kyo Nim to help me with my kicks. I realized the other day at the adult class that my body/brain has forgotten the side kick and I have never quite gotten my brain/body around the roundhouse or the tornado kick. Though I'm torn because I LOVE working on form.

In other news, the dojo may be moving. Apparently, they've been having a lot of trouble with their landlord and, of course, the light rail will be coming down University starting this Spring that will mess things up for them even more. They're hoping to move within a mile or so of their current location, but whatever happens we'll keep coming. We may not be able to walk in the winter, but we'll still attend. As I told Nikki JKN last night, we'd keep coming even if (God forbid!) they moved to the suburbs.

Okay, well, I need to go. Mason is anxious and we need to go pick up Eleanor for our women of Wyrdsmiths Wednesday.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I think the heat and humidity melted my brain. It certainly ated my ability to do much other than lay around yesterday after Eleanor, Mason, and I hit Como Zoo. It was actually pretty pleasant walking around for the most part, but we luckily gave up before 2:00 pm when the humidity, etc., became soul crushing.

It was quite fun to show off the new interpretive center, tropics trail, and fern room to Eleanor who had not been to Como since all those big changes. It's funny the sort of vicarious pride I have. I didn't build it, after all. But I think it's getting to share the joy of discovery. We got to the big cats by early afternoon, and the Siberian tiger was making "sick cat" moans (or perhaps roars, but they really sounded a lot like what my cats do right before they hork up a hairball.) The osterich also looked pretty miserable, but the giraffe and primates couldn't have been happier. I had been hoping the polar bear exibit would be open but I guess we came a month too early. We also missed out on the butterfly garden, though they had the tent set up. Alas.

I also didn't get much writing done yesterday because we're such complete luddites that we have no central air (no cable, and no wifi... what, am I living in the Stone Age? Yes, I am.) It was too hot to even consider lugging the window air-conditioner out of the attic, so we all just collapsed on the bed and tried not to dehydrate on the spot. Now that it's a bit cooler, I think we'll plan ahead. If this is what May is going to be like, I dread June, July and August.

However, by sitting absoultely still with a fan pointed at my body, I was able to get some reading done. I finished PRETTIES, the second book in Scott Westerfeld's UGLIES series, and ran over to my shelf (despite the sudden burst of sweat that caused) and picked up SPECIALS. This is a great series; have you read it? It's a YA, but it's really very good science fiction (which I would expect from the author of EVOLUTIONS DARLING, among others.) Westerfeld is someone who has one of those literary voices that I just sink into, you know? I'm usually a very slow reader, and I've been pounding through this series. I did find an adult series of his at a used bookstore that I initally bounced off, but I'm looking forward to trying the books again once I finish these.

I'll miss you all at WisCON, though I think I'll be there next year. Perhaps by myself, though figuring out the logistics of this maybe somewhat difficult. I'm thinking that Shawn and I will bring Mason down to grandma and grandpas as usual, and then I'll abandon Shawn and family for a day and one evening (so like, I drive down early Saturday morning, and then drive back Sunday morning) so I can at least attend one day and still get some time in over Memorial Day weekend with my folks. At WisCON I'll need to crash in someone's room, but I have a year to make such arrangements if we decide to do it this way. It's better than nothing, and I will have a science fiction novel to promote, as RESURRECTION CODE will be out by then (it should be out this December, in fact.)

I've been chatting on line with someone who will be doing the Madison as setting panel (my books are mentioned in the description,) and it made me all nostalgic to go. Also, I got invited to participate in another MIND MELD conversation/discussion and suddenly I didn't feel quite as ostracized by the SF community as I sometimes do. What's funny to me is that it's really all about publisher's labels. I've always had romance in my books and fantasy, and Tate's books just capitalize on what was always there --- but the spine says romance and that's that. Locus doesn't even note when my books come out any more (though to be fair, they did review the first few Tate books and the Many Bloody Returns anthology I was involved in.)

Sigh.

Poor me, I guess. ;)

The point is, I miss WisCON and am starting to feel ready to go back. I only hope they'll have me.

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