stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Yesterday my partner and ran Warrior Dash for our second year (my third). This year it fell after days of heavy rain. The parking lot was a muddy deathtrap--we watched cars being pushed and towed out on our way in, and helped push a car on our way out. The entire 3.5+ mile course was one giant mud obstacle. Muddy trails, muddy climbing frames, muddy climbing ropes... Good times, good times. The most serious obstacle for me was the water feature, which we've never had here before. The swimming and hauling myself up parts were fine, but the water was so cold my lungs seized going in and after treading water waiting for others to clear the path, the strength started bleeding out of me. I wasn't warm again for hours.

Afterward we decided not to go see the Church play, and instead went to see Spring. Sadly, this turned out to be a poor decision. The story is a bilious sack of human-centric crap, about the transformative experience of falling in love with a bland, selfish "nice guy." Fuck everything about it. Or simply stop watching it five minutes before the end and imagine the real ending for yourself.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do

Day 10 - One person you can trust

Myself. Without that, what is there?
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I saw Bestial Mouths last night, breaking my two-year SXSW curse. I shall brave the madness again on Saturday and see what I can find. Of course, my partner and I are running Warrior Dash early on Saturday. Last time I did WD and SXSW in one day, I ended up not eating enough and blacking out on the sidewalk outside the club. We will strive to avoid that this time.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without

Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do

You'd love it. Nobody tells you when to go to bed. You eat all the ice cream you want. You get to kill all day, all night just like an angel.

Teleportation would be pretty badass, too.

Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I may brave the madness of SXSW tonight and attempt to break my curse of always missing Bestial Mouths. We'll see. The gods smile on brave women, or so I hear.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget

Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without

God damn it. Alternately, for fuck's sake.

Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I mourn the death of my car today. It was fifteen years old and lived a life full of repairs. I hope the afterlife is kind to it, but its absence leaves me in dubious financial straits.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without

Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget

I don't know what I won't forget. I've already forgotten a million things I wish I hadn't, and remember things that bring me nothing but bad chemicals. And that is all this question gets from me.

Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Today I'm cooking for a friend's potluck wedding (my favorite couscous from Smitten Kitchen and a pear & bacon salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts) and poking at a novel proposal. My desire for a non-heteronormative, female-led, contemporary supernatural spy thriller has grown so strong I have to write one myself. Unless someone has some good recommendations. But I'll still probably write my own.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to

Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without

Exercise. If you had told 16-year-old me that one serious workout a week would be insufficient and four would be ideal, she would have been so bewildered. I'm so bitter at the public school system for making me and many other chubby awkward kids believe that athleticism was a thing we could never possess.

Craft and creation. I spent most of 2013 in a terrible funk that left me barely writing and not making jewelry or other crafty things. It was so gross.

The internet. It's where 80% of my friends live.

Music, and by extension dancing. I survived 2013 by dancing as often as I could and discovering a ton of new music.

Parity. I went a while without that, and it was also gross.

Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Missed a day, due to being distracted by the death of my car. I won't know anything certain until Monday, but this may be it's final death. This will be of some concern to me if it happens.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias

Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to

It changes, of course, but currently they might be:

Fever Ray - "Keep the Streets Empty For Me" (I have plans for this song. Such plans.)
Fever Ray - "If I Had A Heart" (We've been on a Vikings bender lately.)
Karen O - "Immigrant Song" (See aforementioned bender.)
Austra - "The Choke"
Bestial Mouths - "White Eyes"
Ladytron - "Destroy Everything You Touch" (I feel Isyllt leaning over my shoulder a lot these days.)

Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Default)
Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you

Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias

I've been afraid of sharks since I was eight. I'm always a little nervous in the ocean, despite my love for it.
I'm nervous about snakes when hiking, though I'm not sure I'd call it a fear.
Embarrassment? Failure? Rejection? Powerlessness? The disintegration of long-term relationships? I think that about covers it.

Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Default)
Today included dayjobbing and packing and lifting, and poking at a chapter for a proposal I would like to have ready to launch soon. Tomorrow is Agent J's birthday--she will be twelve. This is very strange to me. Things have been rough over the past three years, but we've also seen a lot of progress.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day

Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you

Aggressive or unsafe drivers.
The phone at work. Even when I don't have to answer it, the sound makes me cringe.
People who spill drinks on the dance floor. (No longer people who smoke on the dance floor in these parts--ah, the changing times.)
Security questions whose answers made sense to me ten years ago.
The necessity and vagaries of human communication.
My inability to do 5x5 overhead press at 50 lbs. I have been on this plateau for so very long.
People sneezing loudly. I'm pretty sure I have mild misophonia. (Also the squicking when someone rubs their eyes loudly. Argh!)

Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Default)
Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself

Day 2 - Nine things you do every day

Condition my hair.
Make the bed.
Futz around online.
Canoodle with my partner.
Some sort of physical activity. Most common are climbing, running, weight lifting, dancing, or the day job.
I don't drink coffee or tea every day, but it happens more often than not.
Listen to music.
Pick up at least one misplaced thing around the house. Or attempt to, at least. Right now everything is misplaced as packing starts.
Something other than the thing I should be doing.
Lament the unfinishedness of a story, the lack of time I have to finish a story, the closeness of a deadline, or the fact that I just wrote 800 words of a story starting in the wrong place. Sometimes I even make progress on stories.

Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace)
A survey sort of meme swiped from [livejournal.com profile] la_marquise_de_. Just the sort of thing I need to distract myself on a gloomy Sunday when I should be working on this short story that's due quite soon.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself

I spin widdershins when I dance.
I'm seriously considering bright blue curtains in the new kitchen.
I may be the only goth in the world who doesn't appreciate Nightmare Before Christmas.
One of my new fitness goals is holding a shield wall.
I wish I kept better notes and timelines for previous novels.
I don't know how to ride a bike, but friends are trying to convince me to do a triathlon next year.
I swim very slowly. (Which makes that triathlon doubly problematic.)
I chose snuggling over trail-running this morning. Warrior Dash is two weeks away. Oops.
Coming up with random facts is very difficult for me.
This short story still refuses to finish itself.

Day 2 - Nine things you do everyday
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Jareth)
It's a Friday night and I'm at home with LiveJournal, prepping a last minute ren faire costume to wear tomorrow. Assuming I can attach the wings to my corset the way I think I can, it will be one of the best last minute costumes I've ever thrown together. Which considering the tragedy that was my griffin wings, might not be saying much...

And to be contrary, I have to say that my February was fan-fucking-tastic, and I can only hope March follows its example. Of course, I'm going to visit [livejournal.com profile] matociquala this month and see Emmylou Harris, and then bring the Bear back to Austin with me, where we will sign books, break hearts, drink cocktails, and dance till they kick us out of clubs. So I suspect March will do just fine.

I suppose I could go back to that survey while my nail polish dries.

60. Do you believe in god and if so what is he/she/it like?

I'm agnostic, but I don't believe in gods that fit easily into human comprehension.

61. Do you believe in Hell?

Hell is other people. And the absence of god. By which I mostly mean the absence of wonder.

62. What one thing have you done that most people haven't?

I doubt I've done anything that most people haven't. Besides write the books I've written.

63. What is the kindest thing you have ever done?

I have no idea.

64. Are you a patient person?

Not when my nail polish is drying.

65. What holiday should exist but doesn't?

If you celebrate it, it will exist.

66. What holiday shouldn't exist but does?

I'm not going to take away anyone's fun.

67. What's the best joke you ever heard?

Jesus Christ walks into a bar. He hands the bartender three nails...

68. Where is the most fun place you have EVER been?

I'm not a fan of best and most and ever. I had a hell of a good time in Stockholm with [livejournal.com profile] matociquala, though, and also at Hueco Tanks Park with the Partners in Climb. And Hawaii with the spouse.

69. Is your hair natural or dyed?

Both.
stillsostrange: (Dark City)
Today I started physical therapy for my treacherous left knee. The therapist thinks the trouble is less quads and more IT band. My future has become endless weighted stretches. But he didn't tell me to cancel Warrior Dash, so that's something. (I get the feeling that physical therapists are used to people doing stupid shit against medical advice.)

I suppose I should get back to the endless survey questions eventually, but today I'm going to dust off the first line meme (short story edition only) in celebration of finishing "Snakebit."

For those of you new to this meme, we post the first lines of various unfinished projects in hope of finding inspiration.

"Flood"

Nan doesn't mean to fall asleep--she never does. But Evie's soft breath and the steady creak of the ceiling fan lull her, till her eyes sag and the worn paperback slides from her fingers.

"Salt"

The sea left footprints.

"Serpentskirt"

All Souls Night and the gutters still brim with shed Hallows skin. Broken glass crunches under Jane's boots as she carries an amp to the van, glittering beside limp feathers and cracked sequins, tattered black and orange fliers. One hell of a party, she heard--Sixth Street is still subdued and sleepy. But even for the day after Halloween and a Monday to boot, the crowd is still better than last night's in Dallas.

"Spore"

"I got it from my girlfriend," the boy says. "Ex-girlfriend." Color rises in his light brown cheeks. "Wow, that makes it sound bad. Simpler too, I guess."

"Waiting For the Train"

When it's raining here you hear the trains. You hear them other times too, with the tracks so close, but the dusty heat of summer bakes the sound out of the air, till it gets buried under cars and trucks and TVs and voices and all the other small-town noises. But when the rain comes, and the trains come, the whistles carry all over, low and mournful and rumbling in my chest.

Eternally untitled queen in the tower story

She watches from her tower as the sky burns.

Ash rains from scabbed clouds, drifts in grey-silver sheets toward the broken ground. Razored black rock cracks again, leaking flames and the hot blood of the earth. Heat seeps through her windows, shimmering against etched glass, and no matter how much incense she burns her room still reeks of the end of the world.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
A somewhat productive week. I made progress on "Snakebit," which has been languishing unfinished for a year since the last time I made progress on it, and even longer before that. When it's finished I need to turn my attention to either "Flood" or "Waiting For The Train," since novels love me not. I also need to find a market for the ghoul-smut sestina, which has been lying around for far too long.

I also have a referral for physical therapy now. We'll see what that does for my knee. Sadly, I think it's too late to hope for the half marathon in March. But I already have my Warrior Dash registration, by god, and dash it I shall.

And now, on to the inanity of the survey.

50. Have you ever saved someone's life or had your life saved?

In the intricate web of causality way, probably. In a dramatic direct intervention way, no.

51. Make up a definition for the following silly words...

No. I am too much on my dignity today, meme.

52. What was the last thing you made with your own hands?

I assume we're not counting books, no matter how they make my wrists hurt. I haven't made jewelry in a long time, sadly. I helped assemble the Gothtopus, and made the (tragically underfeathered) wings for my griffin costume. Or perhaps the cookies I baked to bribe a coworker.

53. What was your favorite toy as a child?

I can't remember a single favorite, but it was probably something She-Ra related.

54. How many TV’s are in your house?

Two.

55. What is your favorite thing to do outside?

Climbing, followed closely by hiking and swimming.

56. How do you feel when you see a rainbow?

Grateful that we've had any rain.

57. Have you ever dreamt a dream that came true?

In a symbolic sense, yes. And a few that were just that boring.

58. Have you ever been to a psychic/tarot reader?

I had a tarot reading on New Year's Day. It gave me good advice.

59. What is your idea of paradise?

A dancefloor.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
40. Have you ever been a girl scout/boy scout?

I was a Brownie in second grade. Our troop dissolved do to lack of members, which is probably for the best. Even at 6 years old I found flag folding to be a ridiculous activity.

41. If you were traveling to another continent would you rather fly or take a boat?

I have flown to other continents a few times, and I like flying, but I wouldn't mind taking a cruise ship.

42. Why is the sky blue during the day and black at night?

Light scatter.

43. What does your name mean?

Amanda means "loveable", or "beloved." Elizabeth means "consecrated to God." I believe Downum involves hills and fortresses.

44. Would you rather explore the deeps of the ocean or outer space?

Outer space. I still want to be an astronaut. And outer space has the sexiest monsters.

45. Word association.

46. If you could meet any person in the world who is dead who would you want it to be?

Is vampirism an option, here? Because I'm on board for that.

47. What if you could meet anyone who is alive?

I meet a lot of living people every day. Some of them are even pretty interesting.

48. Is there a movie that you love so much you could watch it everyday?

No.

49. You are going to be stuck alone in an elevator for a week. What do you bring to do?

Since I doubt I get to install plumbing in the elevator, there is nothing that would make that scenario bearable.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
31. What 3 things do you want to do before you die?

Only three? That's not much of a challenge. In the fairly immediate future I would like to do unassisted pullups, Warrior Dash, finish (and sell) more novels, and travel more, most especially to Wave Gotik Treffen. Climbing in more states and/or countries would also be nice.

32. What three things would you want to die to avoid doing?

I don't think I'm likely to go on a killing spree anytime soon, but if I do, it will be because I didn't want to die to avoid it. And as long as I'm not inflicting terrible harm on others, I'm not much of a believer in fates worse than death.

33. Is there a cause you believe in more than any other cause?

Being a decent human being sentient entity.

34. What does each decade make you think of:

Skipping this one because I only have so many cats to wax.

35. Which decade do you feel the most special connection to and why?

The 80s are the decade of my childhood, and my strongest musical influences. I don't miss shoulder pads, though.

36. What is your favorite oldie/classic rock song?

I don't have a lot single favorite anythings, but I really love "All Along The Watchtower."

37. What country do you live in and who is the leader of that country?

38. What's your favorite TV channel to watch in the middle of the night?

The internet.

39. What Disney villain are you the most like and why?

Probably Ursula. And I have the tentacles to prove it. Though I'll have to have the Gothtopus taken in before I wear it next.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
My dancing stamina remains undiminished, but going out two nights in a row with a full day of work in between can take it out of a girl sometimes. So today I slept till noon and have accomplished very little beyond procuring coffee. GYTO is going to suffer this week, as the rest of today will be spent doing homework, tomorrow will be lost to tiling my kitchen, and on Wednesday I have a date with my tattooist and Octavia the mermaid. Which means I will need extra words on Thursday and Friday.



26. Who has done something today to show they care about you?

My husband. I don't think the dog peed in the entryway because he cares.

27. Do you have a lot to learn?

Until I am dead. And while I'm not invested in any belief about an afterlife or lack thereof, it would be pretty great if I could continue to learn after I die. Especially if it were like auditing classes.

28. If you could learn how to do three things just by wishing and not by working what would they be?

Keeping my house clean. Keeping my house clean. Keeping my house clean organized.

29. Which do you remember the longest: what other people say, what other people do, or how other people make you feel?

These things are in no way separate.

30. What are the key ingredients to having a good relationship?

I assume this means romantic relationships, but since it doesn't specify, neither will I. I'm personally fond of respect, affection, and wanting to do things with them--whether it's watching TV, running from zombies, dancing, raising children, or reading drafts of their novels.
stillsostrange: (Lily)
20. Have you ever been given a second chance?

Yes. And probably some I wasn't even aware of.

21. Are you more of a giver or a taker?

I am by nature a very self-centered person. I try to compensate for that when dealing with the world. So I guess it depends on how well I'm compensating on any given day.

22. Do you make your decisions with an open heart/mind?

Some of them, sure. Others, no. Because in the choice between risotto and couscous, I'm not sure how open my heart needs to be.

23. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?

I'm really not sure. No, wait. Yes I am. I had a kidney infection once.

24. What is the most emotionally painful thing that has ever happened to you?

High school.

25. Who have you hugged today?

My husband and my daughter. And I danced briefly with a dog.
stillsostrange: (Dark City)
14. How do you handle a rainy day?

With much delight. At least until I have to mop up after the dogs.

15. Which is worse...losing your luggage or having to sort out tangled holiday lights?

Has the author of these questions ever lost their luggage, I wonder? Or do they just have a morbid fear of tangled cords?

16. How is your relationship with your parents?

Much better now that we're all adults.

17. Do you tend to be aware of what is going on around you?

I am not the least perceptive mammal I know, but let's just say I didn't have a lot of spare points to sink into Perception the last time I leveled.

18. What is the truest thing that you know?

That truth is subjective, and survey questions are often silly.

19. What did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronaut, a writer, a steeplechase jockey, an artist. Hey, one out of four isn't bad!


A thousand coffee shop words today. My tits are secure. Of course, all it took was a week of flinging myself against Isyllt IV* for The Poison Court to start talking to me. Savedra's costar even gave me a song for the soundtrack. I would like a third POV to round things out, but I'm not sure who yet. Varis might steal every scene he's in, but he hasn't started talking directly to me yet.

For my next trick, I will wander next door to the vintage shop and try to find a sufficiently festive Mardi Gras skirt on the budget of an extremely broke writer.


* It will not star Dolph Lundgren, but I might be able to work in Carl Weathers.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
Thursday - 1 hour gym, mostly bodyweight exercises. Negs. Oh, the misery that is negs.
Friday - 4 hours dayjob, bouldering.
Saturday - Run/walking 5 miles, dancing.
Sunday - Dayjob, dancing.
Monday - Yoga, climbing.
Tuesday - 1 hour gym, weights. We started box squats, which are cool, but the bar bruised the back of my neck.
Wednesday - ~5k on the elliptical, since my knee is still out of commission.

Not much in the way of a rest day the past week. I may need to make sure one of those happens soon.

84 miles out of Hobbiton.

My trainer's diagnosis of my bad knee is over-tight quads. She took a foam roller to me, and... Well, I felt like I should be paying her more to hurt me that way. I'm going to be stretching daily and foam rolling at home, but if I can't reach a point of running without pain, my dreams of a half marathon may be on hold for a while. Do not want.



Project: GYTO worked fairly well last week. Wordcount wasn't great, but every day I sat down with a goal I met it. This week has been derailed by Agent J coming down with strep. Hopefully I will be back in the game next week.



The survey, cont'd...

7. What stage of life are you in right now?

A slightly frustrating one. But I'll endure and it will change.

8. Are you more child-like or childish?

Childlike. And I want my own Gmork.

9. What is the last thing you said out loud?

"I want my own Gmork." Because I talk to myself.

10. What song comes closest to how you feel about your life right now?

And every pop song on the radio is suddenly speaking to me... But no, "Superhero" is not my song right now. Thank god. I left my head and my heart on the dancefloor...?

11. Have you ever taken martial arts classes?

No.

12. Does your life tend to get better or worse or does it just stay the same?

If your life stays the same, you may be doing something wrong. My life has improved steadily and markedly the older I get, with the occasional rough patch.

13. Does time really heal all wounds?

No. But it helps with some.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
Hah, found a meme! I'm swiping the 5,000 question survey thingy from [livejournal.com profile] jennythe_reader, at least until it can no longer hold my interest.

1. Who are you?

Amanda. I'm a fantasy writer, a goth, a recent mom, and--lately--something like an athlete.

2. What are the 3 most important things everyone should know about you?

I suffer from Resting Bitch-Face Syndrome. Don't take it personally. Unless you're being a dick, and then I really am glaring at you. I'm sure other important things will reveal themselves after more questions.

3. When you aren't filling out 5,000 question surveys like this one what are you doing?

Writing, being bothered by cats, keeping children alive, working at a bookstore, dancing, or possibly climbing rocks. Notice how housecleaning doesn't rank very high on that list.

4. List your classes in school from the ones you like the most to the ones you like the least (or if you are out of school, think of the classes you did like and didn't like at the time).

I enjoyed enough lit classes to earn my degree. Linguistics and German were also a lot of fun, but I loved Physical Anthropology and Forensics unreasonably. I had such a crush on that prof. Math was an ordeal which I survived.

5. What is your biggest goal for this year?

To sell another book, or at least have one ready for [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia to start shopping.

6. Where do you want to be in 5 years?

Writing books, raising a slightly less feral child. Maybe still living in Austin. It's starting to develop a strange home-like sensation. I will still be closing out clubs.

To be continued...

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