~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday 13: Thirteen Favorite Holiday Songs

1. All I Want, Styx

2. All I Want For Christmas, uh, the kid from Love Actually (I really need that soundtrack!)

3. The Chipmunks Christmas Song, The Chipmunks (stuck in your head yet? hate me yet?)

4. December Will Be Magic Again, Kate Bush

5. Dickens’ Dublin, Loreena McKennitt

6. Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Band Aid

7. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, Loreena McKennitt

8. I Believe in Father Christmas, Greg Lake

9. Mid Winter’s Night, Blackmore’s Night

10. Ring Out, Solstice Bells, Jethro Tull

11. Ring the Bells, Styx

12. The Twelve Days of Christmas, Bob & Doug McKenzie (and a beer…in a tree!)

13. Wizards in Winter, Trans-Siberian Orchestra (it inspired my story “The Queen of Christmas” in Naughty or Nice!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

This is what it looks like

In lieu of actual content…my projects.

Three of the four encampment walls, detail painting drying. They need grommets and ironing (to set the paint), and will be turned in at the Shire meeting tomorrow night. The humongous pile of stuff on the dining room table? All purged from the sewing room and waiting to be sorted: Salvation Army, SCA garage sale, eBay, and stuff for raffles/gifts/etc.

Bins of fabric being organized in the sewing room.

And my novel, patiently waiting for me to stop phaffing about with crafty bits and organizational frenzy and get back to it. Which I shall do now.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Busy couple of days there. Not that I remember much of Monday already, other than a chiropractic appointment and a walk to the post office with Ken to mail all our overseas Yule presents. (Yes, you may resent me now, if you must.)

Today we threw ingredients for coq au vin into the crockpot, and then I toddled off to the gym for the first of 12 sessions with my trainer. She kicked my butt, and it felt great. I really want to end the year feeling like I’ve made serious progress where my health is concerned. Anyway, came home, showered, and Ken and I went through aaaaaalllll our posters and unframed artwork (the stuff that we’re keeping, anyway. We purged a lot of it on Sunday, and a few more things today.) and measured it, so as we find cool frames and whatnot we’ll be set to go. Morgana has a mat cutter, so we’ll be able to do a lot of the framing ourselves. We also did a quick grocery shopping to replenish some staples we’d run out of. (At one point in the store, Ken asked what was left on the list and I said “Pickles, pastrami, and fish. Sounds like I’m pregnant!” Hee. I ended the day (up ‘til now) with a great massage (she also beat me up, and it hurt so good), and dinner and Heroes with my beloved.

Tomorrow there will be the chiropractor and a trip to the shelter to check if a friend’s cat is there, and then much more sewing room organization—measuring each piece of fabric we’re keeping, stapling a swatch into a notebook with a description of it, and sorting it into bins.


I brainstormed my next two short stories today, for Paper Blossoms, Sharpened Steel and Kama Sutra, the latter with able assistance from Teresa, because it’s sort of backstory to the novel we’re writing next (the short story will be about the heroine’s mother, the goddess Budhi Pallien, and our heroine’s conception, so I wanted to make sure Teresa was cool with the concept so I didn’t mess up something in the novel-to-come).

But I also have to get back into High Spirits and really crank on it. I want my trophy, dammit! To that end, I’ve stepped back and looked at my career goals and made some revisions. I did this two years ago, and it was time to do it again.

Basically, it’s like this: I’d been fighting and fighting with an anthology story, and finally I stepped back and realized that even if I finished it (that would be finishing the third attempt at a beginning), what I’d make for my time was pitiful. My hourly rate would be something like a buck fifty. And that just makes no sense. A couple of years ago I said “No more submitting to places that pay less than $X,” and now I’m again saying that, but I’m raising $X. I may occasionally submit if I know/like the editor—it’s not a rule set in stone—but the bottom line is, novels are my bread and butter. Stories sales are little gifts, as well as major warm fuzzies, but they can’t keep taking away from the novels.

So, the stories I brainstormed today fall into the new pay category. There are two more on the list that don’t fall into the category, but I like the editor, so I may try for them if I feel like I have the time. If not, no problem.


So our DVD player, which we bought for like £100 in Tesco’s (UK supermarket) with the idea that we’d use it for a year in Wales and then buy a better one when we moved back here, and has mostly worked since? Died. Taking a Hex disk with it (although I suspect we can rip it open to retrieve the disk.) It would die during the WGA strike… We’re currently debating whether to buy another cheap one to get us through, or to step up the research on multiregion DVD recorders and buy ourselves a joint Yule present. I’m currently voting for the former, as it will be much faster and the Netflix DVDs on the coffee table won’t look so forlorn…


Currently Reading: Melancholy Baby, Robert B. Parker—I finished it in less than a day, whoosh! I’ll probably read another Jenny Crusie next.
Lately Listened To: RWA session while working out
Recently Watched: Heroes

They say it's our birthday

Over at Lust Bites, we're having a Scavenger Hunt to celebrate our first birthday! Each Lustie has offered up scrumptious prizes--what better way to kick off your holiday season than with gifts?!

Come on over and help us blow...out our candles!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Ken was been under the weather for most of this week—an infection in his knee, nothing serious, but it seems to have wiped him out. The problem with being madly in love is you want to spend gobs of time with the person with whom your mad love resides, so we have been lounging on the sofa watching hideous amounts of TV. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that when we got the first DVD of season 3 of Veronica Mars from Netflix, we watched all four episodes in one night.

Of course, our normal TV schedule is slowing down because of the strike (and may I note here that I keep wondering if I should get my ass down to Hollywood and march to show my support), so we’re mostly caught up on the stuff on the DVR. Which makes Netflix, and our DVD collection, A Very Good Thing indeed.

Except I’ve been cuddling with my wibbly honey instead of, oh, working, so I’ve gotten a bit behind. Not horribly, but a bit. His knee is now much better, and we’re back to our more productive routines.


I’m liking my new writing keyboard very much, thank you. Once we sell some of our old Apple/Mac stuff (including the last incarnation of Alfalwen, which is just like this iBook G4 except it doesn’t have Bluetooth built in), I’m getting the same keyboard for upstairs. It’s so responsive. I like that in a ma—er, a keyboard!


Damn LibraryThing! Now that I have a full number keypad again, I figured I should add in my writing books and reference books. Granted, in the process I did cull some books I don’t use anymore, but still. I used to have a life. (No, really, I did, I swear!)


I’m back at the gym (three times this week), and feeling good about that. I’ve signed up for another six weeks of training, to get back in the game. With the recent traveling, I slacked off, not to mention that I ate like a horse…


Rejections from Tales of Moreauvia for “Queen of Hearts, Hand of Fate” (their gls say they take time travel, but apparently they want far-past time travel) and from Clockwork Phoenix for “The Rising.” The latter will be off to Weird Tales shortly; the former, I need to figure out where to send next. It’s been to a fair number of markets already…


We’ve had a very productive and satisfying weekend. Saturday a few folks came over and we painted canvas walls for the Kingdom. Each local group has been asked to do two walls with Caidan crescents and two walls of the local group’s heraldic device. Wilhelm, Ken, Brian, Morgana, and I all painted, and the walls are done except for a few touch-up spots. Go us! Then I made a vat of chili along with salad and corn flat (I didn’t have an 8x8 pan, so I used a 9x9 pan which created a flat sheet of cornbread), and Sean and Elyramere and Janet and Sean’s mom came over to join us, and a fabulous time was had by all. Dessert was about 15 different kinds of chocolate bars….

Today we started The Great Sewing Room Purge and Organization Project. See, when we moved here, we threw all the sewing room stuff into bins, and threw the bins into the sewing room along with everything else that didn’t have a place in the house. We’d mostly removed the non-sewing stuff, and I’d opened most of the boxes and sorted them, but the bins of fabric were disorganized and too heavy for me to move. Plus, we had a lot of fabric we knew we’d never use: stuff we bought before we knew better, projects we’d abandoned, items folks had given us, stuff that was good for newcomers when we hosted sewing nights but we were unlikely to use ourselves.

In other words, a big ol’ mess.

So today’s goal was to go through all the fabric and purge anything unusable (by us), including nice stuff that we wouldn’t ever honestly use (colors that didn’t suit us, etc.). We emptied five plastic tubs! Phew! We also pared down posters (for some reason, they were in a box of sewing stuff) and a few other things. Some will go to a big local SCA “take what you want and donate what you think it’s worth” party, some we’ll sell on eBay, some we’ll drop off at the Salvation Army. The dining room table is covered with all that.

Wednesday we’ll do the second pass, purging anything we’re still iffy about, organizing everything into bins by type of fabric, and cutting swatches and putting them in a book along with description and size/length of the fabric. I should probably tackle the art stuff in there somewhere, and we should do another pass through trim and buttons. Then we’ll be able to set up the sewing machines and actually start working again! I have gorgeous fabric for curtains for the living room and dining room…

Meanwhile, Ken has started upgrading all the computers to Leopard. He’s backing everything up and completely wiping each computer, then installing everything from disk. His laptop is done; the main computer is in progress (which means there’s part of a journal entry stuck on it for now) and Afalwen will be last.


Currently Reading: High Noon, Nora Roberts
Lately Listened To: holiday playlist!
Recently Watched: Hex, Torchwood