Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010
Full moon
Rainy and cold

Got up at 5:30 in the morning to run. Misery. Not only have I backslid since Friday, but the driving rain, high wind, and partially flooded streets made it impossible to get in a good session. I was wet, cold, and cranky when I got back. And the brook’s very high — I may need to move the car in an hour or so.

Thank goodness we actually had hot water this morning, so I could take a hot shower when I got home.

I ran some errands on Saturday. I got a book on running. I seem to be doing most things correctly, although my stride is too short. I was worried about leaning forward, which causes all kinds of problems, so I’d shortened the stride, but it turns out that causes all sorts of other problems! I tried lengthening the stride today, without tilting forward — a challenge. But it does feel better, on those strides I manage to hit correctly. Also, I’m already getting up at 5:30 — I am not getting up an hour earlier to have a snack before I run! I am drinking juice as soon as I get up, so I don’t go out there dehydrated.

Bought another book, for fun, by a new-to-me author, and also got to work on the assignment for Confidential Job #1. It’s a challenge, not my favorite type of material, but that makes me better.

Spent a lot of time on the workshop on Saturday. The work that’s progressing progresses very well. But too many of them are ignoring my notes on grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and I find it disrespectful. I’ve also never had to repeat notes so often – with some of them, it’s like talking to wallpaper. By the third time I’ve told you to learn the difference between a possessive and a plural, you damn well better have bothered to do it, especially when I’ve told you where to find the information. And yet others completely absorb and grow. I suspect a good many of the former are simply cutting and pasting from old work, instead of creating new material as required by the class. Some, however, are finding new styles of writing they never thought they’d venture into and are excited at the prospect. What’s exciting for me is watching them grow as writers. Also, as much of a Dragon as I am about structure and as specific as I am in the requirements for the exercise, I don’t tell them what genre in which to write. So I’m getting to read some really interesting work in areas I might not normally read.

Sunday morning was lost. I got out some queries and a requested proposal packet. Then, when I switched to the little printer to print manuscript pages, it threw a hissy fit. MacGeorge responded by dumping the software for BOTH printers, and I couldn’t reload them.

Frantic call to Apple Care. My tech was a really nice woman. Even though it was another of “I’ve never seen this type of incident before”, she stuck with me, and together we figured it out. We figured where the big printer was hidden, and got it back where it was supposed to be. Turns out MacGeorge was suspicious that the little printer’s hissy fit might endanger the system as a whole, booted it out, and won’t let it reinstall because something is seriously wrong with the printer.

I’ll have to get on the phone with Canon. It will probably cost more to repair the small printer than to dump it. But I don’t think they have an equivalent of a Baby Bubble anymore, and that’s what I need for travel and for manuscript printing. I don’t believe that the MX860 is sturdy enough to cough up the amount of manuscript printing I do on a daily basis. It’s great for the submitted work, faxing, scanning, photos, copying. But I need something little I can cart around to do simple print jobs, and, at home, to just print manuscript pages. I’ve had bad experiences with HP, Lexmark, and Epson. I want to figure out what my options are with Canon. Also, I’m going to have to upgrade my OS to Snow Leopard soon, and the little printer isn’t compatible. The big one is — it came out the same weekend Snow Leopard did, the week I bought MacGeorge (who does not have Snow Leopard).

Spent many hours catching up with the workshop material. I’d planned to split it into a couple of shorter sessions throughout the day, but because of Printer Kerflamma, I couldn’t. And I’m not going to punish my students because I had technical difficulties. I expect them to be on time. I will also be on time.

Printed out the 86 or so pages of POWER OF WORDS. Sorted out some more logistical issues. Figured out how to break the overall piece down into several shorter books covering the lifespan of the story I want to tell, but each being a reasonable length and able to stand on its own. That takes a lot of pressure off — I was trying to compress events, but that left holes. Now I can tell each part of the story, and structure it in a way that’s not overwhelming. It is kind of unwieldy because of the sheer number of individual characters necessary to present the piece believably, and it’s written in a far more cinematic style than I usually use. I’m still head-jumping too much in the early sections. I need to pick a POV for each section and stick to it. That’s a note to myself for revisions. I’m not yet sure how many POVs I will use in the course of the piece — so far, there are three. I don’t want it to be too many, or it will get confusing, even if each section is clearly delineated. So I know I have to fix that, but the head-jumping is in sections in which I haven’t yet decided whose POV serves that section best. I have to see the overall balance, and then tweak as necessary, so it’s not skewed. It always throws me when I read a book and 85% is from one POV, with only a chapter or two from others.

The scene I wrote today is about 200 pages beyond where I am in the current draft, but it was fully formed, and I didn’t want to lose it. I suspect it’s the last scene in this particular book, so now I have something to write towards. I already have much of what will be book 2 outlined (since I thought it would be part of this volume).

There’s definitely an audience for this story, although selling it will be tough. I can’t get so wrapped up in it that I let other, more easily marketable (not to mention deadlined) projects fall by the wayside. Yet more restructuring of my time in the future.

I booked a part-week gig in mid-April at my favorite site. I love being there, because I’m in more of an oversight capacity and can do my own writing, as long as I’m physically present.

And no, I did not even look at my taxes this weekend. Oh, well.

Devon

PS The only comments I have to make regarding all these celebrity infidelities eating up media time are:
–if you’re going to mess with skanks and hos, don’t be surprised when they turn on you for profit.
–if you like sleeping with lots of different people, don’t get married.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009
Waxing Moon
About to snow like a mother!

Originally, they predicted 3-6 inches for this area. Now they’re saying 16+ inches, with blizzard conditions.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. The Buildings Dept. got the hot water back on, but who knows how long that will last? Got out the door, to the post office. Thank goodness I only had to mail letters, not buy anything — the line wrapped around the inside of the building twice and spilled into the street. Paid bills. Drove to Costco. THAT was interesting.

Costco is behind a big shopping complex one town over. It has its own parking lot that’s about the same size as the store. The traffic to get to Costco ran for about a mile up the street.

I finally get the parking lot, and I’m looking for a spot and witnessed a case of Karma being an even bigger bitch than I am: This couple, probably in their late 40s or early 50s, were pushing their cart down the aisle in the parking lot. They were right in front of my bumper. Instead of moving to the side so I could pass, they intentionally weaved back and forth in front of the car. I couldn’t back up because there were other cars behind me, and, every time I tried to maneuver around them, they jumped in front of my car, laughing their heads off. I was not amused, but, short of running them over and getting in trouble myself, there wasn’t anything I could do.

Finally, they reach their own car — and they have a flat tire!

Costco was out of my needed ink. That’s the gamble — when something’s in stock, you better buy a lot of it, because it might never be there again. So I got into the car, and, with dread, drove to the local Staples, the one that usually doesn’t have anything I need. I got the last cartridges of the ink I needed that they had in stock — and it was THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS more than at Costco. That’s a huge difference, at least to me.

I could have bought another pair of boots on clearance at DSW for that! 😉

Dashed in to the liquor store. Got another bottle of wine — don’t want to be snowed in without wine — and the tawny port in which I will soak the lemon sponge cake for the Trifle.

Overheard in the Staples parking lot: “It’s the season of peace and good will, you fucking moron!”

Even though the sky was clear, it was really cold, and I could feel the storm — my “pre-storm headache.” It’s not sinus — it’s more like a giant grabs the top of my head and squeezes. Once the storm starts, it goes away, but in the hours leading up to the storm . . .

Elsa moved the decorations on the coffee table so that she can sleep tucked against the greenery basket. Guess she likes to pretend she’s sleeping under a real tree — the artificial tree holds no interest for her. When I had real trees, the first day I had to leave it up without any decorations, because Elsa would climb it. The tree would shake and the little tortoiseshell head would pop out at the top. She was always so proud of herself for climbing the tree. And then I had to get her down.

My shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped, all is good.

The friend I’ve been trying to reach to deliver the last platter FINALLY called back and suggested we get together last night. He said he’d call to set a time — and never did. Good thing I have a strict no-waiting-by-the-phone policy. I understand that things come up, but at least have the respect to call and let me know. Maybe I should rethink whether or not this person actually fits into the “friend” category. There’s just been too much unreliability in the past few months.

Baked the lemon sponge cake for the Trifle (it’s really good — I hope I don’t snack on so much of it that there’s not much left for the Trifle) and an eggnog cheesecake. I had to use brandy extract in the cheesecake, because I couldn’t find real brandy in my cabinet — ironic, since a Mormon friend of mine just had to go out and buy real brandy because she couldn’t get her hands on any extract! I meant to bake maple-walnut-date muffins this morning for breakfast, but just couldn’t face any more baking. They’ll be good tomorrow, when we’re snowed in.

I’ve got to print some photos and send off another couple of cards — must do that immediately — it’s just started to snow. I want to stay tucked in and warm. I look forward to working on the decorating and getting some writing and reading done.

Devon

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