stillsostrange: (Blood)
My lack of LJing is venturing from slothful to truly sad. A large part of it is the absence of regular writing happening in Amandaland, which both leads to fewer metrics to post and a moderate case of bookless depression on my part. I don't enjoy bookless depression, and it's especially frustrating because the cure is obvious, but sometimes elusive.

Does anyone have any good writing memes, or feel like entering into a mutually assured destruction blogging pact? I need motivation, and small achievable goals. Otherwise my main source of content is going to become fitness posts, and I'm not sure those interest more than three people. (But if they do, let me know. I'll take what I can get.)
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
First, the bad kind. Jonathan Frid died. My first summer of high school, SciFi--back when it didn't suck three monkeys before breakfast--aired Dark Shadows in the mornings. I would wake up early every weekday to watch it, and then immediately go back to bed. This resulted in some pretty awesome vampire dreams, though my habit of sleeping with the radio on sometimes gave them odd soundtracks. Dark Shadows set to Collective Soul is just not right.

Anyway, I'm glad Frid was involved with and apparently happy about the Burton movie. I, however, am not. And now I am sad.

For the better kind of loss, today I'm wearing size 10 jeans for the first time in...probably two years, maybe more. I think I need to reset my goal weight down another five pounds or so to properly fit into my bras, but other than that I'm quite pleased.

L is also for lackluster and "let's try that again." I've been trying for the past two days to find the write beginning to a chapter. It's a murder mystery, and I'm fairly certain I need to save the body for the end of the chapter. But man, the opening is giving me a hard time. I've mostly given up and am just describing everyone's clothes until I figure out where the tension is. We can always layer it in later.
stillsostrange: (Bleak)
I'm hormonally crabby and listless today, non-hormonally bummed, and my stomach hurts, which I'm not sure if I can blame on hormones or not. I need some brilliant inspiration for a novel proposal I'm working on and the inspirions are not colliding. And did I mention exhausted, crabby, and stomach hurty?

On the plus side, I took care of taxes today, and we're actually getting a refund this year. Also, I have mint tea, and it's [ profile] matociquala's marmot book day.

If I strapped kittens to a hot water bottle, would that help my stomach?

ETA: My depression-brain is often a ridiculous beast. It tried to weep and moan because we had no Moroccan mint tea. How would we ever treat this terrible stomach ache? Oh noes. Oh woes. Then my functional brain said: We have green tea; we have mint tea; does it really matter that we don't have a box of tea labeled Moroccan mint? The answer is, no, it doesn't. And having combined two different teas to produce the platonic ideal of green mint tea, the stomach ache has been treated. I may still have 99 three problems, but that is no longer one of them.
stillsostrange: (Medea)
It's a bright side/dark side sort of week. On the bright side, my local B&N had several copies of Kingdoms, and copies of Brave New Love. Also, my unfucking habits have held on: not only is the kitchen clean, but I have coffee prepped and ready for tomorrow morning, and made my lunch. Also also, I went to a new dentist today, and was quite happy with her. My cavity was filled with entirely no fuss or pain, and I didn't have any other cavities lurking out of sight.

On the dark side... My laptop Jadis died yesterday. She'd been running slow for a while, so I freed up some memory and rebooted. Only for her to never wake up from the reboot. Steven still isn't sure what the problem is, but it does seem like most of my data is intact, somewhere out of reach. Say it with me now, children:

Back up early. Back up often.

So I'm borrowing Steven's Macbook for the time being, and hoping for the best.
stillsostrange: (Baroness)
I've been bitching to my writing chat about this problem for a couple weeks now, and still have not solved it, so now I will bring out the big guns and bitch to LJ.

When I first wrote Dreams, I threw in a secondary character I'd had in my head (and RPGs) for a while, who came with a backstory that tied into the greater metaplot (read: things that had nothing to do with the book at hand). This seemed like a good idea at the time. When I started this latest revision, I realized it was not a very good idea after all; the tangents this character brought with him were doing nothing to help the pacing in the last quarter. But, the role itself--which provides exposition, conflict, eleventh hour rescues, and a romantic entanglement--was still useful and viable.

For several weeks now I've been trying to fill that role. Using the same character with a backstoryectomy seemed cheap. Then I asked myself does this character need to be a man? and the answer was not particularly. This opened up so many new possibilities.

And now I'm completely stalled. I don't have any handy preexisting characters I could plug into the role, and my initial attempts at creating a new one have not been satisfactory.

Anyone have any stray characters lying around who'd like to audition? I can provide guns, fast cars, and a snazzy wardrobe.
stillsostrange: (Plot Octopus)
I'm waiting for my kitchen floor to dry so I can put down sealant (again), wait for that to dry, and then start tiling. In the meantime I'm scurrying after book ideas and seeing which ones I can catch. So far I've collected a magical cataclysm, places frozen in time, a family of sorcerers navigating it all, a sunken city of the dead, and a creepy circus. What these combine to form, I do not know. Maybe Voltron. Maybe only another file in my unused idea graveyard.

Novels are hard, yo. Especially ones I haven't been working on for eight years.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Based on multiple recommendations and a trial run of the chickpea picatta, I bought Appetite For Reduction tonight. I will report back on further recipes.

This purchase was apparently well timed, because tonight I started looking through old photos, and saw with fear and loathing the difference between me last week and me six years ago. Reader, I weep. No wonder I have such a hard time hauling my ass up an overhang. (It's also amazing how five years can lend perspective on the quality of photos.)

Starting today, Operation Valkyrie is getting a kick in the pants, mostly involving more choosing/slaying and a lot less mead. Climbing! Yoga! Walking! No more refined carbs!
stillsostrange: (Bored)
RIP my Fluevog boots, August 2007 to April 2011. For nearly four years they were the best boots I've ever had, but a short walk after the concert last night resulted in wicked blisters. I think their magic is over. That or I need to get them resoled.

I don't have intelligent and insightful writing topics to post about, so I will complain further about my home improvement projects.

The bedroom is nearly painted, but remains evil. It's like painting with watercolor--old layers can't be covered up. I don't know what singular evil is contained in "vin rouge," but it's the most evil supposedly inanimate object I've ever encountered. It would probably take five coats to get an even tone, and since each coat is a gallon of paint, that is not happening. We've decided to embrace the slightly streaky, mottled result as a feature instead of a bug. We'll pretend it's coffee-house chic. Also, we'll hang a lot of pictures.

While the paint dries, I'm starting to tile the kitchen. This involves one round of scrubbing the slab with a brush and picking at lingering scraps of linoleum paper. Next, I mop. If that leaves the floor reasonably clean, I'll then put down the sealant. When that dries, I can start tiling. I'm not sure where "praying for the sweet release of death" falls amongst these steps, but I know it happens somewhere.
stillsostrange: (Rilke)
To celebrate my 30s, the meatpuppet decided that what it really, really wanted was tendonitis. Yay! This isn't particularly surprising, considering that I type, climb, and every job I've had post-college has involved hauling and shelving books. Repetitive stress is my middle name. For the past couple of months my right wrist has been more and more often sore and sometimes swollen, with occasional accompaniment from my left wrist. I've finally accepted that this probably isn't going to stop, and that my life will now include wrist braces and buckets of NSAIDs. Okay, fine.

The side effect of this is that now I'm hyper-aware of my wrists and how I hold them. Which apparently looks a lot like:

Also, sleeping. How the hell do you keep your wrists straight when you sleep? Especially if you're a paw-curling mammal like me. Clearly I need to perfect Lost Boys-style upside down sleeping.

Now I just need to get some custom spiked black leather braces, preferably with attachable Wolverine claws.


Nov. 14th, 2010 11:44 pm
stillsostrange: (Stuck)
The latest painful lesson I've learned from writing novels:

If something sounds like an interesting complication, it will probably turn out to be a lot more complicated than it is interesting.
stillsostrange: (Default)
My saffransbrod didn't rise. Alas and wellaway! I blame a combination of cold kitchen and spite, since I know the yeast was good. I'm sitting deathwatch on the rolls now, to see if any of them cooked through without burning. Oh, well--if they didn't, I get bread pudding and Steven's potluck gets rolls from the store. The bits of one that did cook were delicious, though, and the saffron/milk/sugar/butter combo was the most amazing thing I've ever encountered.

I have addresses for my Bone Palace winners, and will get those in the mail this week. (Except [ profile] akashiver, who I promised a copy to at WFC--send me your address!)
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie)
Despite Monday's V2(-), I continue to not send my project V2. I get stuck on the antepenultimate move every time, and am not confidant enough with the holds to hoist myself up. By the end of the night I couldn't send easier problems that I sent last week. Blah.

Next Wednesday, problem. Next Wednesday.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
Peter Steele died.

I am so sad right now.
stillsostrange: (Veil)
This morning I put on my big-girl pants and went to a CPA. (Good news, I set aside enough money for self employment taxes: Bad news, I set aside exactly enough, and am now broke.) On my way to the office, I had the divine revelation that Holy crap, it's March, I have a book due at the end of the year! So I'm packing my post-novel ennui a lunch and kicking it out of the house.

Which of course works exactly as well as you might think. I have the file open, and am rearranging sentences, but forward motion is slow. I don't like my opening sentence, and now I'm second-guessing the inclusion of a character from Bone Palace. Blah. This book is precocious--I don't usually get stuck till 15k.

Maybe I should run Isyllt out of town on a rail, instead of waiting for her to mosey away....
stillsostrange: (Stuck)
Pan-seared swordfish steaks with garlic and lemon and spinach, and cauliflower with cheese? Epic win. I lament my earlier virtue at the store, because I really want a dessert now.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
The latest news about Kage Baker isn't good news.

I never met Kage. I know her only as the stories in Dark Mondays, which I love. [ profile] jlassen gave me a copy of Mother Aegypt a few years ago, and I always meant to read it and never did, because my to-read pile is huge and teetering. I think I'll read it now.
stillsostrange: (Squirrelly Wrath)
Today I got to climb into the ceiling at the bookstore to find a dead mouse. In a trap the Orkin guy claims to have checked twice in the past week. (The stench has been there well over a week.)

Good times, good times.
stillsostrange: (Isyllt)
Is my deadline sailing past overhead. The Bone Palace is now officially late. Luckily my benevolent editor has given me the rest of the month, so the deathmarch continues.

The moral is, if you suspect you won't be able to make a deadline from the get-go, ask for another month. Unless the moral is really that I need a basement full of enslaved ghost-writers... That's a thought too.

Also luckily, the first half of the book is quite readable, and just needs a few more scenes and some plot points wedged in. It's only the back end that's a steaming pile of [transition]s and suck.
stillsostrange: (Squirrelly Wrath)
I am generally a mellow sort of person. I don't get stressed often--monthly mood swings aside--and other people's stress usually rolls off me.

Last night, the deadline stress kicked in. Today it got worse.

Symptoms include:

*Increased blood pressure
*Unhappy stomach
*Tight jaw
*Rapid breathing
*Adrenaline scald in my arms
*The constant and near-overpowering need to scream

I survived eight hours of that at work. At least now I'm at home where I can indulge in scream therapy. I will now eat pizza, write some more, and find a martini to drown myself in. Not necessarily in that order.

A plant?

Oct. 20th, 2009 11:31 pm
stillsostrange: (Agony)
I survived a writerly rite of passage tonight: the signing where nobody came.* Poor little books doomed to be returned. The good news is that the Borders had several copies of Lovecraft Unbound in stock, so I got to read something besides TDC. I think I'm getting better at reading out loud.

The Bone Palace

80000 / 100000 words. 80% done!

The last thousand words was pretty much all unconnected bits of description, because I've hit another point where I have to stop and regroup and figure out what happens next.

I still don't know what my Halloween costume will be. Steven thinks I should be either Miss Scarlet or Mrs. White from Clue, which I admit has a certain appeal--all I need is a dishy dress of an appropriate style and color and a candlestick or lead pipe shoved in my purse. What do you think?

*Steven was there, and three other friends, so it wasn't terrible. I read them "The Tenderness of Jackals" and then we went for gelato.


stillsostrange: (Default)

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