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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Done done done done-duh-done done-duh-done


Well, almost everything I did today was in the writing column—which is my job, so it was all priority stuff anyway. I did get through some e-mail, though, and the laundry's in the washer. Ken and I ended up going out to dinner, which altered some of my timeline.

You'll note I also added some stuff to the list that I'd forgotten about this morning…
  • finish the proposal for Angelika (first draft is off to Teresa)
  • review returned Chapter 3
  • assemble first three chapters into one file for mailing (probably tomorrow—there’s one more thing we have to tweak first)
  • finish “Now You See Her” (short story) and send to Teresa for a quick crit if she has time
  • write my bits for part one of Teresa’s and my online workshop at Passionate Ink in January
  • review Teresa’s bits for part one of the workshop
  • follow up with the workshop coordinator about our workshop
  • update my website with new sales, etc. (also tomorrow—I’ve lost the brain power for it)
  • promo Like a Myth (yup, also tomorrow)
  • follow up with an editor about payment and some other small bits and bobs
  • re-read Dean’s articles about setting goals and take notes (started, but there’s a lot to process)
Tomorrow, another writing session at CB&TL. I'm hoping to focus on Ghosted, which has been languishing. The other To Do stuff I can do at home.

Now it's late and I feel the need to curl up with a good book—to read, not write or edit.

---

Currently Reading: Fathom, Cherie Priest
Lately Listened To: various holiday music
Recently Watched: nothing, but the next disc of Alias season 2 just showed up

To Do be do be do be




It’s one of those days when I feel I should post my To Do list, because it looks looming and extensive, and if I post it, I’ll feel compelled to really churn away at it. Or something like that.

Lots of writing stuff to do today (thankfully I’m meeting Ellenie at CB&TL for a few hours!):

  • finish the proposal for Angelika (which may have a new title finally) and send to Teresa
  • finish “Now You See Her” (short story) and send to Teresa for a quick crit if she has time
  • write my bits for part one of Teresa’s and my online workshop at Passionate Ink in January
  • follow up with the workshop coordinator about our workshop
  • update my website with new sales, etc.
  • follow up with an editor about payment and some other small bits and bobs

Then there’s the SCA stuff:

  • work on the Shire newsletter for January (yeah. Chronicler again. Who expected that?). We’re moving to an online newsletter so I get to do a total re-design. Fun! But time consuming, and must be done after work is done.
  • write and send Quartermaster Doomsday report (that woke me up last night—completely spaced on it ‘til now!)
  • any Black Oak Lodge stuff that currently needs poking at

And let’s not forget about Life, the Universe, and Everything:

  • holiday thank-you notes
  • laundry
  • dishes
  • e-mail
  • visit Morgana & Brian’s cat (they’re away for a few weeks, and Patches gets lonely)

I’m feeling a bit under the weather (minor stuff, nothing to worry about, but it’s very wearing and I run out of energy quickly), so I’m trying to triage and not overdo it. Ken’s on a bike ride today (I bowed out due to the minor health issues) but when he’s home, I can foist some things off on him. :-)

Anyway, I think that should keep me busy for a while… I’ll report back on my progress!

Randomness


To all my friends in the UK who got to see the Christmas episode of Doctor Who: ::pbltz!::

~ ~ ~

My friend Jenn Reese has posted an amazing story at her website. Go. Now. It’s awesome.

~ ~ ~

A reprint of my story “Peppermint Stick” is up at Circlet Press as part of their erotic advent calendar. Even though it was posted a few days ago, it’s still available—check it out before it vanishes! (Unlike Jenn's, mine is NSFW.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

Love and blessings to all my friends this holiday season.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More holiday thoughts


Stuck on what to give your favorite author this year? No, I'm not even talking about me. I mean any author whose work you enjoy. I can give you a simple solution: Take a few minutes to write to them and tell them you enjoy their work. There's a great article about this here. (Even better, buy copies of their work to give as gifts this holiday season. But if you can't swing that, the nice note will warm even the Grinchiest of writers' hearts!)

~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, Shanna Germain is giving away books on her blog—just comment about your favorite winter fantasy, and you could win!

Suggestions for keeping warm this holiday season

Winter is apparently very inspiring to me, because I’ve amassed a number of short stories set around the Solstice, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. So if you’re in the mood to snuggle under the covers or lounge in front of a roaring fire and enjoy some spicy stories to chase away the chill, may I make some recommendations?

I’m really excited about a winter-themed novella that’s just been released. “Hidden Treasure” is a Sophie Mouette story (written with Teresa) in Bedding Down. This is the first time I’ve been published by Avon Red, which is one of the reasons I’m over the moon. Plus the cover is gorgeous!

From the Introduction by editor Rachel Kramer Bussel: “The ‘Hidden Treasure’ in Sophie Mouette’s story turns out to be much naughtier than the criminals seeking it expect, and provides the inhabitants of a historic museum the chance to repeat the hottest parts of history.”

A snowbound castle folly in the Adirondacks, two bumbling redneck criminal wanna-bes, Victorian clothing, and a chance to turn a high school crush into something much more interesting… What’s not to love?

“The Queen of Christmas” was a blast to write, with inspirations from the house in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra “Wizards of Winter” video, the TV show Home Improvement, Martha Stewart, and one of the holiday displays on Christmas Tree Lane (aka the local historic district, a block from our house).… It’s the lead story in Naughty or Nice, an all-holiday-stories anthology to get you in the right spirit!

“The book starts off with a champagne popping bang with Andrea Dale’s ‘The Queen of Christmas.’ I ADORE this story! It’s so hilarious, I was laughing the whole way through, except when I was lusting after that very sexy, Christmas-loving electrical engineer across the street. And then I was kind of smacking my lips and making plans to attack my own electrical engineer husband later.” (author Donna George Storey)

You’ll never think about the Twelve Days of Christmas in quite the same day after reading “On the Twelfth Day” in the anthology He’s On Top

“Finding Perspective,” a sweet and sexy Valentine’s story, can be found in Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2007.

“Mrs. Claus and the Naughty Elf” was another extremely fun story, and The MILF Anthology is a great book with a fabulous cover.

I know I keep saying I love my stories, but “Frozen” really does hold a place in my heart. I’m not sure I’m supposed to get choked up when I read one of my own stories, but there you have it. It’s also one of my most successful, having been reprinted twice. I’ll link to Best Lesbian Erotica 2005, but check out my website if you want one of the other anthologies.

Then there’s “Peppermint,” a 2004 contest winner at Torquere Press. This one’s no longer available online, but I just sold the reprint to Circlet Press! I’ll keep you posted on its publication!

All of those are Andrea Dale stories, BTW.

Along with the aforementioned “Hidden Treasure, of course, Teresa and have the Solstice story “Bringing Back the Light” at Fishnet, and it was reprinted in Mammoth Book of Best Lesbian Erotica 2007. You can read it free online at Fishnet (NSFW, obviously) or pick up a copy of the anthology, which is chock full of excellent stories.

And there you have it!  ::wanders off to score some eggnog::

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Appearing for one day only! EDITED


Just a quickie...but an exciting one!

Circlet Press is doing an erotic "advent calendar" type of thing, wherein they're posting a different story every day for the month of December. You get one day to read the story—after that, it's gone.

I'm delighted that my story "One Thousand" will be the story for Friday, December 19! (NOT Thursday as originally posted.) It should be posted around noon (if it's not, just keep checking back) at Circlet.

"One Thousand" will later appear in the Like a Myth, anthology, but this is your chance to read it now! Enjoy!

(Obligatory disclaimer: NSFW.)

(The other cool thing: I donated my payment to the ASJA Writer Emergency Fund, which helps writers when they have crisis medical bills and whatnot.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cover me



The adorable cover for Best Lesbian Romance 2009, which contains a reprint of my story "In Flight," a sweet and sexy romance about learning to trust again, with bonus! birds of prey.

Available for pre-order now!

Friday, December 12, 2008

How did this happen?!


I’ve never hidden the fact that cooking isn’t something I enjoy. It’s just not my thing. I suspect it has something to do with the transient nature of the product; as an artist, I like to create things that last. Which doesn’t explain my love of music, but I suppose you can record it and re-listen to it—plus I get a stronger visceral experience from listening to music than I do from eating. I’m definitely not a food connoisseur; I like fairly simple, basic dishes. Ken’s the same way on pretty much all accounts (although I don’t know if the transience is a factor).

Anyway. We cook because it’s better for us than eating processed food all the time. I gather and try new recipes to avoid getting bored (“Not this again!”) and to find easier things to make (“Ooh, I can throw all these ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and then not have to think about dinner for the rest of the day!”)

So how did I end up having to cook for other people four nights in a row this week?!

Last night we had some friends over to do some Black Oak Lodge plotting and planning. Ken actually did most of the work on the honey-mustard chicken and black bean burritos, bless him, although I wielded the food processor and chopped three onions (because two would be needed for future recipes), and made salad, and set the table, yadda yadda.

Tonight’s progressive dinner through the Historic District somehow mutated into a potluck, so I’m making a white trash version of scalloped potatoes (frozen hash browns, butter, cream of chicken soup, and Velveeta. And since the scary blocks of Velveeta come twice as big as I needed, I’m making this on Xmas Day, too. Deal with it.) because they’re easy and frighteningly tasty. Although I will probably avoid them because I’m trying to lose weight.

Tomorrow night is our Shire Yule party, and we’re making a beef stew in the crockpot. Rah.

Sunday we’re hosting a Men’s Italian Costuming Overview class because Ken’s teaching it, so we’re making sloppy joe’s in the crockpot. Of course, I’ll have to prep this before I leave for the LARA meeting in the morning.

And then, by the gods, I’m going to find somebody else to cook for a while. (Do you know you can order Pizza Hut online?!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ah, life


Story is in the mail, as are the four contracts. On the downside, my massage therapist cancelled on me last night, leaving me with a stiff neck and the remains of a migraine to deal with on my own. I was so looking forward to my chiropractic appointment this morning!

So now I’m home, and I’ve mostly cleaned off my desk (sorted mail, paid bills), put away all my laundry, and unpacked everything else. The cleaning lady is here, thank goodness. I went to the grocery store after my chiro appt so we have food again. Now I’m going to see how much e-mail I can churn through in the next hour or so, which also includes checking edits on a story and responding with any changes… Ah, the mundane home life returns with a vengeance!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Did you miss me?

Home, and officially swamped, with a short story due now and four contracts to review, print, sign, and mail.

The mail also brought comp copies of
  • Bedding Down, containing the Sophie Mouette wintery novella “Hidden Treasure."
  • Never Have the Same Sex Twice, a combo fiction and how-to book edited by Alison Tyler, which contains an excerpt of my story “Breakfast in Bed” as well as something I posted in a comment on Lust Bites about music. (Amazingly enough, I didn’t even mention Styx!)
Mmm, comp copy goodness!

More soon, as I pull my life back together!

How have you all been?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy December!


Happy December! Let the Wild Rumpus of the Holiday Season begin!

(I believe in the order of things. First comes Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then the December holiday season, however you celebrate the latter. No overlap. None of this “Christmas decorations in stores before Halloween” shit. Deep down I think you should hold off ‘til December 1, but I know a lot of people use the T’giving weekend to start decorating, and I’m cool with that. But now it’s December, and I’m happy about singing along with all the holiday music!)

Smokin'!


Not one, but two acceptance e-mails today!

My story “Fanning the Flames” will appear in the Playing With Fire anthology, edited by the delicious Alison Tyler! pompoms! *\o/*

The other is a preliminary sale, meaning the publisher gets the final say—but the publisher seems to like my stories (it’s the same publisher that’s doing Playing With Fire), so squee! I’ll announce that one officially when I can.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday 13: Thirteen Places I’ve Traveled to This Year (or Will in the Next Week or So)


(meaning I spent the night somewhere other than home)

  1. Upland, CA
  2. San Diego, CA
  3. Lincoln City, OR
  4. Plattsburgh, NY
  5. Hillsboro, OR
  6. San Francisco, CA
  7. Midway, UT
  8. Salt Lake City, UT
  9. Hot Springs, AR
  10. Saratoga, CA
  11. Keene, NY
  12. Tampa, FL
  13. Las Vegas, NV

Can you guess how many of these were for Styx shows? LOL

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tripping the light fantastic


So we just took my car in to get serviced. Nothing major, just hadn’t really been serviced since I bought it last year, and we thought there might be a minor coolant leak plus some other bits and bobs. I mention it here because it’s a Saab, and we found an independent automotive place that specializes in Swedish cars.

My mechanic has a Swedish accent, wears clogs with white socks, and smokes a pipe, and this pleases me more than I can possibly explain.

~ ~ ~

The other reason we took the car in this week was because we’re going on a trip. Yes, another trip. No, we hadn’t really planned this one, up until a few days ago…

Ken needs to do a couple of day’s work in Oregon. We’ve been apart way too much this year, plus on Monday we attended a funeral for one of his cousins, and as funerals tend to do, it reminded me that life is short (and so is Tommy). I’d been waffling about whether I should go with Ken, because any trip involves some stress, and the cats will be miserable, and it always takes time to prep for the trip and catch up after the trip, but this clinched it. I can work on the road, after all, and we decided to make a vacation of it.

So we’re leaving the day after Thanksgiving and taking extra time to get to Oregon, stopping at the Oregon Caves and a big cat sanctuary and a birds of prey sanctuary (multiple squees!) on our way.

Then a couple days of work (for both of us), dinners with various friends (still setting those dates up), and Powells, before heading back out. But just to shake things up and keep it interesting, we’re not going home! We have Things To Do and People To See in Las Vegas over the first weekend of December, so we’re just going straight there. That’ll be two Shaw/Blades shows, Bite, seeing Julie & Jim (not to mention all our Styxfan peeps), much frolicking at the Stratosphere and elsewhere. Then we’ll go home!

~ ~ ~

As for Thanksgiving itself, the usual folks we hang out with are scattered, and the family invitation came too last-minute. We’d already decided that we were going to lounge in front of the TV, eat junk food procured from the TGIFridays and Claim Jumper frozen foods sections, and watch all three Lord of the Rings movies, because Ken’s been listening to the unabridged versions on his iPod during his various rallies). And I’m going to get a bunch of handwork done. There may even be pictures. And hot tubbing. But there won’t be pictures of that.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another sale!


This time to Circlet Press' Like a Myth anthology, for "One Thousand," a story based on the Kuhimo myth that turned surprisingly tender, for all the Kuhimo is supposed to be pretty evil...

But I think that's typical of me: always wanting to find the romance at the core of things.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pictures!


I finally got around to uploading some recent pictures!



More Halloween party pictures can be found here on Cat's site.

Enjoy!

Statistic


James Lee Burke's fourth novel was rejected 111 times over the course of about 10 years.

It went on to earn a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1987.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New story available!

Published this month: Frenzy: 60 Stories of Sudden Sex, an anthology of flash fiction stories, which contains my story "The Heist." A spicy story about a bank job gone wrong...or maybe right? You'll have to read it to find out.

Well, squee!


Another sale! "Mirror Mirror" will appear in Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, to be published in March 2009!

Don't you just love hotels...?  ;-)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"And we adoped you a walrus." "A LIVE one?!"


Two amazing Styx shows in Florida, with so much love from the boys. I love the looks on their faces when I show up somewhere unexpected—but even more, I love that they appreciate I’d spend the time and effort and cost to do it. We were able to give Lawrence’s and JY’s birthday presents (charity donations and cards) to the tour manager and briefly got backstage to talk to JY…although Lawrence came along and I had the chance to talk to him about the charities. And I got a hug. Maybe two. It’s all such a blur…

Annnnnd, I sold a story and a half! My solo story “Come to My Window” and Sophie Mouette story “On Display” will appear in the anthology Where the Girls Are! Wahoo!

I’m having a blast hanging out with Helen, whom I haven’t seen in over a year and a half, and all my other Styx peeps, old friends and new alike.

Life feels pretty much perfect right now—if Ken were here and the request for a full novel ms (which I got right before I left and mailed to the publisher pronto) had been an actual sale, I think my head would explode!

::wanders off to take a shower, beaming like an idiot::

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do I want to know the answer to this?


I don't usually do these me!me! things, but this one made me laugh, and that's always been a good excuse to do something:

Answer the question for me. then, post in your journal (if you care to) to see just what you are accused of doing!

If you saw me in a police car, what would you think I got arrested for?

Thursday 13: Thirteen Places I Want to Visit


  1. The Great Wall of China. And the Terracotta Warriors.
  2. The Pyramids.
  3. Ireland, again. I’ve been there only twice, both in the dark of winter, and didn’t have ample time to see and do all the things I wanted to.
  4. India. The Taj Mahal, and the ruined temples in the jungle that tigers roam through…
  5. A safari in Africa (and visiting friends in South Africa again!).
  6. Mount Rushmore.
  7. Skye. Despite all the time we’ve spent in Scotland, we never made it there.
  8. For that matter, the Isle of Lewis.
  9. Japan.
  10. Budapest. (And more time in Prague, because one day was not enough!
  11. Machu Picchu and the Nasca Lines.
  12. Spain. (We had a trip planned there, but then there was this big gas strike and we didn’t want to be stranded in a foreign country on the motorcycle…)
  13. Alaska.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

It's an honor to be nominated...


...especially when I didn't even know about the contest!

My short story "Some Old Lover's Ghost," which appeared in the anthology Haunted Hearts and Sapphic Shades, is up for the Romance Erotica Connection Awards in the F/F Romance short story category!

If anyone's a member of REC and liked my story, please vote for it! (Or if you're not a member and you liked my story, you can join their Yahoo group and vote in the Polls section.)

I'm in amazing company, and even if I don't win, I'm incredibly chuffed to just be on the list!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Quickie update


I’m still tired, still trying to get caught up, but things are going quite well overall.

1. Eostre seems to be fine. She was suffering from either sheer cussedness (which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s met her), a new allergy to Clavamox, or a combination thereof. When we took her off the Clavamox, she started eating regularly and not barfing, so tomorrow we’ll pick up a new antibiotic for her and hope for the best. And it took only about $600 for us to figure that out on our own… Thank you to everyone who thought good thoughts for her!

2. I had a short story due that just wasn’t getting done due to my fretting over Eostre, but the editor was incredibly kind and gave me a grace period. The story’s in as of last night, and I think it’s pretty damn good, for all the fits it gave me.

3. Thank you, America. ‘Nuff said.

4. I had a great massage tonight. Tequila was consumed throughout. Am now v relaxed.

5. Am I a total, utter geek in befriending most of the TAPS investigators on MySpace? I thought so. And I’m quite content with that.

6. “End of Season” has been accepted for the MILF 2 anthology! Haven’t seen the contract or been paid, though, so I can’t call this a true “sale” yet. But still!

7. Also had a preliminary “we love this story and will let you know for sure after all the stories are in” e-mail for a Sophie story—one that Teresa and I wrote back in 2002. Score!

Okay. More soon (including, possibly a flurry of older posts that are all currently in a state of disarray and unfinishment*), but that should hold ya’ll for now!

---
*Not a word, but it should be.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Light a candle...


Please think good thoughts for our sweet beautiful Eostre, who hasn't been eating and will be spending an unhappy night at the vet's tonight. Thanks...

Thursday 13: Thirteen Things I Love About Halloween


  1. Candy corn. I’m not huge on the sweets, but I do love me some candy corn. Funny story: Every year when I was a kid, I’d bite the white top off a piece of candy corn, put it in my palm, hold out my hand, and say “Mom, I broke a tooth!” And every single year, she would fall for it. (Love you, Mom!)
  2. It’s traditionally believed that All Hallow’s Eve is the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, so it’s a time to remember and honor those who have passed before us.
  3. It’s autumn!
  4. Dressing up! As a costumer, I like having the excuse to put together something new and silly—and see what all my friends have come up with. (At our party this year, five of us ended up in faerie costumes… Not surprising given that three of the five had been to Labyrinth of Jareth this summer.)
  5. Decorations! My house is decorated, and I’ve helped a friend decorate her house, too. Our local historic district (two blocks away; although we’re in an historic house ourselves, we’re outside of the official boundary) goes all out for Halloween, so one of our traditions is to walk the area and enjoy the decorations and the thousand (yes, 1000) kids in costume.
  6. Gummy worms. Again, I’m not a big sweets person, but a friend always has a cauldron with gummy worms hanging out of it, and I always have to eat a few worms…slowly…with them wriggling out the corner of my mouth…
  7. My Samhain playlist. Fun, spooky songs abound!
  8. Practical Magic, one of my favorite movies—Halloween’s an excuse to watch it again!
  9. My “Spooky” t-shirt.
  10. My plethora of Halloween-themed socks!
  11. My bat earrings.
  12. Nobody looks at you funny if you’re dressed Goth. Or you have a Goth-y house.
  13. It’s New Year’s Eve, a time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new year. The Wheel turns…

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vegas, baybee!


Hee! So, we’ve been planning to go to Vegas in early December to see two Shaw/Blades shows, right? We’d hoped to stay with friends there, but circumstances aren’t allowing it. I checked to see where our Styx peeps would be staying, but they were kind of scattered in different casinos, and at pricey ones at that. So we’ve been debating whether we should stay off-strip, and if so, where, etc.

Then I remembered something, checked it out, and squee! Bite, an erotic vampire show that I’ve been wanting to see for two years, is still going! It’s playing at the Stratosphere, and while the Stratosphere no longer has the cool “suspended over the city a gazillion feet up” roller coaster, it has several other scary-fun rides up top… You can see where this is going. I got a great package deal on the hotel (Tower Premier room!) and rides, and it turns out Bite is buy one, get one free tickets for hotel guests! We’ll stay a third night (which made our second night’s hotel room free), miss Sunday traffic, get scared silly, and potentially be dragged on stage and bitten by hot vampire chicks to the sounds of 70s and 80s rock. What’s not to love?!

That’s two Shaw/Blades shows, one erotic vampire show, hanging out with friends (our Styx fan friends as well as the ones who live in Vegas), and adrenalin-rushing rides. And maybe, if we have time, we’ll see the big kitties at the MGM or The Mirage

Squee!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Help me, I'm melting...


Beastly hot, it’s been for the past few days. Bleah and urgh and yech and all that sort of thing.

I did work on the short story on Wednesday. Thursday I got next to nothing done. I went through the Black Oak Lodge file box and cleaned out a bunch of extraneous useless paperwork (still to do: shredding of registration forms from too many past years), yet failed to find the budget forms for the past two events, which would be terribly helpful in putting together the current budget. And there was poking at the story, too.

Said short story is set in an indeterminate time in the Wild West, when women still wore corsets and men ruled things (at least, as far as they knew). I’m deliberately avoiding specific details, because if I sell the story I won’t get paid enough to warrant hours of research. What’s fun about the story is the voice: I really like this character and I want to do her justice. Still, I’m kind of embarrassed that the story isn’t finished yet, because it’s been taking far too long. (And yet it’ll still be turned in well before the deadline…)

Yesterday Morgana came over and helped me decortate the house, which was as usual an adventure because I always buy stuff on sale after the last holiday, so I’m always surprised by what I pull out of the storage bins. Ken had to put up with us asking him to do X, then tracking him down and asking him to do Y, not realizing he was still working on X. To make matters worse, he’s come down with an energy-sucking cold (which I’ve so far escaped, but I suspect it’s a matter of time. I was actually envious last night that he got to chug Nyquil.).

We also did a massive shopping for the party last night, and I’ll have a few things to pick up at Trader Joe’s today, along with ice and anything else we’ve forgotten. I made my killer coleslaw last night (it’s better the next day) and am gearing up for sausage (turkey sausage, natch) cheese balls and pasta salad. It’s weird catering to friends who are vegetarian and/or have other food requirements. When did that happen? Anyway, the party is potluck, but we want to make sure there’s enough “safe” food for those who need it.

Before shopping, I took Ken out to dinner at Roxsbury Deli so he could partake of their cold-healing matzo ball chicken soup, and in fact that’s all he ate. (Well, later at home he constructed a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but I choose to pretend such a thing never occurred. Ick!)

Anyway, the party’s tonight and I have a million little things to do (since Ken’s sick, I’m taking on more prep duties than usual), so I must dash! ::whooshes off::

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'd like to clone myself, please


Accomplished so far today:

  • suitcase, computer bag unpacked.
  • new cleaning lady met, house now very clean and fresh-smelling. (Although she was supposed to come tomorrow, and called two days ago to switch, so we had to get up early this morning and didn’t even have her clean the rooms that look like suitcases exploded in them.)
  • chiro appt. It was 94-effing-degrees in bluster of moisture-sucking Santa Anas. I left NY why?
  • basic necessities grocery shopping (dinner for the next two days, at least).
  • water jugs filled.

Not yet accomplished today:

  • cleaning off desk of piles of stuff unpacked from various bags.
  • commencement of Halloween decortating.
  • library book pick-up (I hope it’s still there tomorrow, since the message was left early in our trip. I don’t even know what book was still on hold, even. I have two to read already, one that’s due back in 5 days.)
  • laundry. And lots of it, too.
  • writing.

But right now, I’m all about a snack and a cup of tea. And as few clothes as possible.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Homeward bound


Hellfire and damnation! Something’s wrong with Afalwen’s sound output—it doesn’t recognize any output device, be it the internal speakers or the headphones. So we’re on a 4-hour flight from ORD to LAX, and we can’t watch a DVD. ::scowl:: (Ken forgot his computer charging cord, so his laptop is uncharged.)

I should be writing, but I’m tired and I don’t wanna. I’ll stamp my feet for a while and read some more, and then go back to being an adult and work on the short story I’d really like to finish by tomorrow. I got so busy with scanning photos and running back and forth that I didn’t get it done, nor get any work on Ghosted done, which means I really have to get my cute butt in gear to get caught up this week!

Along with decorating the house and hosting the Halloween party on Saturday. Eeeeeeee…

[Update: Got quite a bit done on the short story—go me!]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lemon...crud?


Got up early again today to help set up for the Plattsburgh Library’s book sale, bribed by the perk of being able to snatch up any particularly spiffy looking ones for myself. I didn’t find anything of great excitement, but wandered off with books on mythology (a general one on world mythologies and a little one on Vietnamese myths), a book on Elizabethan music from the 1950s, a funny book on Welsh language (I flipped it open to a little cartoon of a man in a train station saying “You’re late” [in Welsh and English], and the response [at least, the English one] was “Hell no we’re not!” I want to learn to say “Hell no!” in Welsh, because the concept amuses me greatly), and a book on organization and finishing projects. Because I helped with setup, I could’ve had them for free, but I donated a dollar to the cause.

This afternoon we all headed back to the mountains, this time to Lake Placid so Ken could talk to the tourist folks about the possibility of a CCR in the area. They’re very excited to have us, and we have lots of info to pass on to the actual site committee (of which we are not a part).

Then we took my parents out to dinner at Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood, where Ken had homemade root beer (they have a small brewery on site) and my dad had one of their ales, and I had half a lobster topped with shrimp scampi that almost made me pass out with delight. Unfortunately, the menu description failed to mention that the entire thing would be covered with mushrooms, and to my horror and dismay, when the waitress set the plate in front of me, I almost started to cry. Seriously, tears welled up and I felt almost panicky because I didn’t want to send the whole thing back and wait for a new one. So I ordered a second glass of wine and picked off all the little mushroom bits and gave them to Ken and my mom, and the food was out of this world, because you can’t go wrong with garlic butter, even if there’s the chance of mushroom taint.  ::shudder::

Oh, and the wine menu described one of the white wines as having, among other things, “lemon crud.” I took a picture to send to Jay Leno. :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wait, I said what?!


Something strange happens to me when I come home: I open my mouth and strange things come out, things I would never say. Like, “So, Mom, are you going garage sale-ing on Saturday?” And the next thing I know, I’m dragging myself out of bed at an ungodly hour so we can be lurking outside the first garage when the sale starts. I don’t even like garage sales! But I’m here to hang out with my parents, so…

I came away with a book for my mom, a book for me (a Meg Cabot, as I’ve only read The Princess Diaries and wanted to try one of her adult books, too), and two books for the local library sale, which I’ll be helping set up tomorrow (Mom’s on the committee).

After lunch, we headed up to our family cabin in the Adirondacks. My grandparents bought the land early in their marriage, and although their farmhouse is no longer there, my dad built a log cabin just before the ’80 Olympics. I was 13 at the time, so the cabin is like a second home for me (even more so now that my parents no longer live in the house I grew up in!). My dad was already up in the area, but at hunting camp with his hunting buddies. He came out of the woods for supper with us.

The fridge had been closed at some point while turned off and had been infested with mildew, so I spent part of the afternoon taking everything out and scrubbing the hell out of it. The living room also needed a good vacuuming and tidying, so…

After supper my mother plied me with wine again and proceeded, for the second night in a row, to beat me at Trivial Pursuit, despite her insistence that she was bad at both version (they have the 80s one at the house, and some weird British edition at the cabin. You’d think I’d be okay at the British edition, but I know nothing about snooker, footie, or obscure English politics. My mom, on the other hand, made up answers and got them right.)

Today I took a walk down to the brook that borders the northern part of our property, and lay on a rock in the middle of the water and listened to the brook and the wind in the trees and didn’t think about anything at all. There are few places where I’m able to shut off my brain like that… I really didn’t want to leave.

I’d also like to know how I’ve been able to forget what autumn leaves smell like.

When we got home, I got back to scanning and indexing family photos, breaking 700. (Lest you think I have some inhuman powers of scanning, note that I’d previously hit about 580, so these are on top of those.)

~ ~ ~

If I can make my mother laugh so hard she cries, I consider it a good day. It’s been a good few days.

~ ~ ~

Today’s Halloween Sock Watch: purple with witches and brooms and black cats and bats.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It was the wine, I tell you


I got my scene in Chapter 5 of Angelika done just after midnight, hurrah! Now on to a short story today, as well as finishing a long-overdue critique, and then on to Ghosted again for a few days.

Meanwhile, I’ve discovered Anne Stuart’s blog and am enjoying it immensely. (The only reason I can do this, and post these entries, and send my scene from Chapter 5 to Teresa last night after triumphantly finishing it, is because one of my parents’ neighbors has no block on their wireless. Bwahaha!)

~ ~ ~

Today my Halloween socks are black with white “bones” up the front and orange bows at the top. In case anyone’s keeping track.

~ ~ ~

Today I also catalogued about 90 family photos (scanned, added to the database with all available information, phutzed with info in genealogy program) and been beaten by my mother in Trivial Pursuit (she plied me with wine). It’s a tough life, I tell you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Name that child after youself, and I'll...I'll...!


We got in at about 2 a.m. and crashed last night. Sleep goooooood.

Today we went out and bought a scanner so I can continue scanning in all our family photos. Despite the small size of the town, this necessitated a trip to three stores (one of them twice) and two grocery stores (okay, not for the scanner, but that’s the way my mother shops. Neither store had good tea or Dr Pepper, though.). I spent the evening adding stuff to the genealogy program, which led to the discovery that on my mother’s side of the family, there are four Daniel Loewens in a row. After tearing my hair out in frustration, I announced that I was going to create a character named Daniel Loewen for the sole purpose of making him sterile so that he can’t name a son after himself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Waking and sleeping and flying and ferrying


On the plane to Chicago. Ken’s asleep. Our other seatmate, whom I believe might be from Sweden (judging from the language her Reader’s Digest appeared to be in, although it could have been Norwegian. It didn’t look Finnish to me, but two brief trips to Finland do not an expert on Finnish make.), is also asleep, and it’s a little hard to type because I’m trying not to bash her with my elbow, being the considerate seatmate that I strive to be. As for me, I’ve read (Thunderbird Falls by CE Murphy), played Baker’s Game and Demon Solitaire and done a crossword puzzle on my iPhone, shared a snack box with Ken, and now I’m working on Chapter 3 of Angelika (reviewing what Teresa wrote so I can move ahead to Chapter 5, because I wrote Chapter 4 so I don’t need to review it).

The last two days have been extremely busy, and I was additionally hampered by being very tired on Monday. Chapter 5 should have been to Teresa Monday night, but as I was prepping supper (bbq chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli) and washing dishes, the perfect voice and opening for a short story reared up and wrapped itself around my brain, squeezing like a python until (once supper was in the oven) I sat down and wrote it.

Unfortunately, by the time we’d eaten supper and finished watching the TV show we’d started with supper, it was all I could do brush my teeth before collapsing in bed.

In other news, my hair is purple again, and my natural silver streak is growing in nicely, which makes me very happy.

~ ~ ~

Aaaaand now we’re in ORD. I have a mocha and an outlet to charge Afalwen; life looks up.

An older woman just asked, “Does your shirt say ‘Spooky’?” “Why, yes it does,” I said, moving my purse strap aside to afford her a better view. “But you’re not spooky at all!” she said. Hee! Then I showed her my Halloween socks (purple and green horizontal stripes on the top, black on the bottom, with a black-and-yellow buckle at the ankle). :-) It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

~ ~ ~

As we descended into IAD, a huge pumpkin moon glowed over the right wing. Gorgeous. I love flying. :-)

~ ~ ~

Well, that was interesting! We boarded the plane to BTV…and then deplaned because there was a mechanical problem, and it was going to take up to two hours to get the mechanics there, and only then would they know whether they could fix it or rebook us on other flights.

So I called my parents, who’d gone to Burlington early and were already at the airport (well, in the parking garage), and told them to go home (about an hour away, depending on when you hit the ferry crossing Lake Champlain)—we’d either spend the night in Burlington or in DC.

Five minutes later, they announced that the plane was fine, get back on. So I managed to call back and say “No! Come back!” and in the end we arrived 12 minutes behind schedule. (The pilots made up some good time!) Turns out the problem was simpler than they realized and the on-site mechanic made short work of it. Which is cool. I’d much rather be delayed and find out there was no mechanical problem than the other way around, you know?

So all is well. Welcome to autumn in upstate NY!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Away away! My heart's on fire!


Off to New York tomorrow! The last two days have been busy: laundry, unpacking and new packing, hair appointments, massage, grocery shopping, chiro appt, writing, phone confab with Teresa, some snuggling time with my beloved and the wee furry ones on our comfy new sofa, library runs, Black Oak Lodge stuff, and goodness knows what else. No time for catching up here (that's what plane flights are for, right?)…

So I'm really looking forward to long, mindless walks in the Adirondack woods!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The War is won!


Home from War! No time to post in detail about it now, except to say it was quite lovely. Ken took up rapier again, I bought a gorgeous handmade ceramic cup with a Welsh dragon on it (after waffling for hours) and a pair of fibula (fibulae?) for my various peplos (peplini, we decided the plural is), and I seem to have been suckered onto War staff again (damn you, Rowen, and your compliments about how well I did Publicity last time! Curses!), but I still came home with the deep knowledge that my career comes first. The fun stuff (and I do count insane volunteerism as fun) is the sauce on the pasta. (I like pasta better than cake, so the icing metaphor is weak with me.)

Now we have two days to get a million things done before we leave for a week visiting my parents in upstate NY. (Cross your fingers for me that the autumn leaves aren’t completely gone—we’re spending some time at our cabin in the Adirondacks and I crave Real Autumn!) Things like a minimum of grocery shopping so we don’t order pizza for lunch and supper for the next two days, and laundry so we have clean clothes to pack, and packing so we have clothes to wear (and can we do it all as carry on? Hmmm…), and all that sort of thing. Oh, and a chiro appt and massage for me and hair appts for both of us.

I’d feel stressed, but instead I’m feeling energized, and now I’m off to get a million things done. Hopefully I’ll post again tonight!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A day of squee!


Sale! I can now officially announce that my story “Breakfast in Bed” will appear in the anthology Afternoon Delight, edited by the delightful Alison Tyler and published by Cleis Press. ::does happy dance, albeit carefully due to bum knee*::

~ ~ ~

And, new Loreena McKennitt album! Squee!

~ ~ ~

And because it’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I wore my new Spooky shirt today, and got lots of comments!

~ ~ ~

So, we were supposed to leave for Great Western War today, but we’ve decided to head out early tomorrow and spend another evening at home. It became apparent that we weren’t going to make it out before traffic (thanks in part to a last-minute-scheduled chiro appt for my knee and in part to my printer suddenly deciding that it didn’t want to properly print the Halloween invitations that it was printing just fine and dandy yesterday), and going out after traffic didn’t make a lot of sense: We wouldn’t go to the site in the dark, so all we’d really be doing is checking in to the hotel.

So we’re staying home to get a few more shows off the DVR, pack at a leisurely pace, get the invitations folded and labeled and stamped, that sort of thing. It is good to be leisurely.

~ ~ ~

*Yeah, I have no idea what I did to my knee. It’s been stiff for a week or so, and definitely has some fluid on it. I haven’t done any high impact sports, wrenched it, done absolutely anything unusual. My chiro has adjusted it (on Monday, and then again today) and loaned me a knee brace that’s less about bracing the knee and more about the magnets in the brace, and I’m to keep icing it or putting Biofreeze on it, and pay attention to how I’m walking so I don’t sneak it out of alignment. Sheez.

---

Currently Reading: Tribute, Nora Roberts
Lately Listened To: The Good Catches Up, Gowan
Recently Watched: Fringe

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Life imitates art?


Eddie Van Halen is marrying his publicist.

Has he read A Little Night Music?!

(Just to make the connection a little closer, we saw Eddie at a Styx concert a few years ago...)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

*\o/*


Ken got third place! Wahoo!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The most wonderful time of the year (again!)


October already. Holy… Well, holy holidays! Celebrate, for it’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Not only is it autumn, it’s Halloween Season!

~ ~ ~

Ken’s off at a 24-hour rally in New Mexico this weekend. He left yesterday morning, got as far as Orange County, and came back, thanks to yet another emergency call from the company in Oregon. Thankfull, this time he was able to talk them through the problem, and it sounds like they’ve sorted it. It was a little touch-and-go yesterday afternoon, though, as we waited to ascertain whether he’d be headed back east or up north…. At least I got a few more hours with him!

Meanwhile, I’ve been a wee bit grumpy and distracted, which means I’m more likely to be doing things like dishes and filing than, oh, writing. In preparation for our trip to NY, I’ve also installed iFamily and have been working on genealogy things, because the anal-retentive side of me glories in that sort of work.

~ ~ ~

I have a post up at Lust Bites about The Mammoth Book of the Kama Sutra, which contains my story "The Tigress," if you’re interested in some juicy excerpts and scintillating discussion!

~ ~ ~

Originally I had plans for both days this weekend, but now it looks like I’m staying home, which I’m actually reasonably comfortable with. I’d planned to carpool to an SCA event with someone on Saturday, but I guess there was miscommunication, because I found out they were carpooling with someone else. Then I found out they weren’t, but the new arrangement would have required me to be ready to go before 8 a.m., and, um, no. I’ll see most of the folks at GWW next week anyway.

Sunday is the LARA picnic, but I find I can’t summon up a whole lot of enthusiasm about it. I can’t figure out why, but I’m going with my gut on this one. It would be lovely to spend the day with a bunch of smart, funny, gorgeous, and talented ladies and meet their families, but it’s a heck of a drive (even if I left the car in Thousand Oaks and carpooled the rest of the way, as none of the local writers are going), and as with the event, I’m loathe to drive long distances unnecessarily by myself (I’m so not into adding to the pollution and traffic problems).

So I’m going to stay home, go to yoga, make a beef stew for the war in the crock pot, watch Ken’s progress via the spiffy tracking system, and ideally get a buttload of writing done. Maybe even do some sewing. Who knows? The world is my oyster! (What does that mean?)

---

Currently Reading: Just finished The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Sutterfield. Awesome book! All sorts of gothicky goodness! I finally gave in and indulged in my desire to lie on our new comfy sofa and read for hours. Pbltz, I say to all the things I needed to be working on. Next in the queue is La Nora’s latest, Tribute. I suspect I’ll be reluctantly dragging myself away from it to be productive over the weekend.
Lately Listened To: Celtic Pride, various artists. Mmm, modern Celticy goodness!
Recently Watched: Law & Order: SVU

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ow.


Note to self: When pulling something down from a high cabinet on utility porch, try to avoid can of Dr Pepper smashing onto face.

Result: small cut on bridge of nose, annoying but minor ache in sinuses, nerdy looking Band-Aid on face. Sadly, other than minor, expected temporary swelling, there seems to be no real interesting affect to shape of small, unremarkable nose.

Additional comment: Not even as amusing as the time Lawrence dropped an almost-full water bottle on my head, although tonight's episode resulted in actual blood loss, which must count for something.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Ken!


Happy Birthday to My Beloved!

We’ve been having a lovely day together. Celebrations this morning, followed by walking to a downtown restaurant for brunch. Then we had to take the car in because one tire was flattening (we’d pump it up, and two days later it would be flat), and another was soft. Turns out they both had nails in them. Sigh. And the front two were worn, so we got four new tires, alignment, the works. Not fun, but at least something accomplished!

Then we bought a new sofa (to be delivered Wednesday) for the media room, since the one in there (a Fagelbo from ::spit::Ikea::spit::) was very comfortable to sleep on, but awful to sit on. (Plus it faded almost immediately, cheap piece of crap that it is.) So now I’ll finally have a comfy place to lounge and read, and my ass won’t go numb when we’re watching TV.

Then it was a quick trip to Costco and home again to grab a snack before trotting out to the cheap theatre to see Mamma Mia!, and then we filled all our water cooler bottles and picked up a pizza to cook later. In a few minutes we’ll toss the pizza in to cook, maybe head down to the pizza place on the corner to pick up some wings (Ken’s having a bizarre craving—usually I’m the wing obsessor!), and watch Kinky Boots.

And there will be more celebrating, too. ;-)

Tomorrow I’ll have to get back to reality and work and whatnot, but today is all about Ken!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What I Did on My Summer Vacation, by Dayle, aged 42 and 5/12


Being an Account of Our Annual Trip, This Year to Utah, August 2008

So, Utah! Even getting there was something of an adventure. As you know (Bob), Ken blew the clutch on the bike on the way home from the Midwest (this was after the rear drive failed and was replaced). Turns out that the clutch blowing resulted in oil and tiny bits of shredded metal and gods know what else spewing all over the innards of the bike. When it became clear that the bike wouldn’t be ready for the trip, we had to regroup.

I was already flying out on Tuesday, so Ken booked a flight that would bring him in about an hour later. We also decided not to stay through the following Tuesday, because Ken wouldn’t be running the rally that started that day in Utah. While we were looking forward to going to Utah, it wasn’t specifically all that high on our list of travel destinations, so we agreed that heading home (me) and back to Oregon (Ken) on Sunday made sense. It meant Ken had an extra week of work so that (::fingers crossed::) we have him home* for the next month and a half or so.

Other than getting up at an unholy hour of the morning to get to OXR (where there was a bit of panic about paying for parking, which involved stuffing cash into an envelope and loosely writing down where my car was, because it was dark and I couldn’t read the parking space number), I sashayed onto the plane, had a quick change in LAX, and soon was at SLC. Ken did indeed show up about an hour later, although he walked right by me and thankfully called my cell before he’d gotten too far. (I think I must’ve turned to look at the gate just as he went around me or something.)

We had a pleasant drive to the Zermatt Spa and Resort in Midway City, found our chalet (where our friends Ernie and Pauline and their friend Mo had already set up base), and ate lunch.

Then we took a nap, because my 4-5 hours of sleep the night before had been luxurious compared to Ken’s 2 hours.

When we registered and picked up our swag, I found a lone flyer for a birds of prey show, and I snapped it up so fast the paper was a blur. The next day, we were so there.

But first on Wednesday, there was High Tea.


The woman at Zermatt who organized it used to run a tea shop in the area, and she knew what she was doing. She even provided tea hats for all the ladies! (And now I’m so inspired to haunt thrift stores for hats and decorate them accordingly.) I say “for the ladies,” but Ken is an amazing sport with a silly sense of humor, and yes, I have pictures of him in several different hats.

The tea itself was gorgeous to the point of gorging ourselves: broccoli and cheese soup, cheese and crackers, and of course tea sandwiches and scones (although apparently rural Utah doesn’t “get” clotted cream, so we had to put up with whipped cream ::shudder::). I’m surprised we ate dinner that night.

But we had at the opportunity to work up a good appetite that afternoon—flying birds of prey!


They flew a prairie falcon, a gyrfalcon, and a red-tailed hawk. The prairie falcon essentially flew away and didn’t come back for an hour; apparently her sister flew off during the morning show and hadn’t been seen since. (Sadly, there have been golden eagles in the area, and they think one might’ve gotten her.)

The gyrfalcon flew to the top of the barn and pretty much came down only occasionally—apparently he wasn’t very hungry, so after landing on a couple of kids’ heads (yes, that was planned) he got lazy.

The hawk, however, was fabulous! And we got to fly her, too. Ken got pictures. Another guy there got an awesome picture of her in flight, just about to land on Ken’s hand.


It was just incredible. Squee bouncity!

I love vacation. :-)

We truly intended to go to bed early that night, but best laid plans and all that…. Still, we dragged ourselves out of bed the next day at 5 a.m. because the carrot was a hot air balloon ride!

This was our 10th anniversary celebration, and Ernie and Pauline’s 30th anniversary celebration. I admit, at first I was pretty nervous, as I do have occasional bouts of vertigo (and height/falling dreams), and I was afraid that it would hamper or even ruin the experience for me.

The basket was tinier than I expected, with two sections for passengers and one for the two operators (flyers? pilots?). There were six passengers (another couple from CCR rounded our group out), and we were divided between the two sections, and to my horror I was separated from Ken, although truth be told we were right next to each other, just not touching from the waist down. (And when things started, I regretted not being shorter, so that the edge of the basket wasn’t at my waist, but farther up….)

It took me about 10 minutes to logically look up and process how the basket was attached the balloon and that there was no way barring a hurricane that the thing could tip over.

At that point, it just became sheer awesomeness, in all senses of the world. I know I say things are magickal, or amazing, or stunning, and all those words fit here, but it was so much more. It was…impossible. We floated. Gravity did not have any power over us. How is that possible? I still can’t wrap my brain around that concept.

When they weren’t firing off the burner, it was silent. Just us and the light wind. Floating, drifting. The sun rose over the mountains, and then we cast a shadow on the ground.


We watched people get pulled over by cops, too, way down below, but that was just amusing.

The best part for me, though, was coasting 10 to 15 feet over the ground towards landing. That’s when it really felt like we defied gravity, that it had no meaning.

Imagine if you jumped up in the air…and just stayed there.

I’m embarrassed to say the rest of the day must have paled in comparison, because I can’t remember anything else we did. I know there was a dinner and silent auction that night, but that’s about it.

Friday was a pretty low-key day, due to some minor medical issues on my part. We went into Park City to find a bookstore, and met the world’s mellowest cat therein. We bought no books, though. We simply went into the attached Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and spent our money there!

That night was the big banquet, where we learned that through the various fundraising efforts, most notably the auction, we raised $28,000 for Utah Children’s Justice Center, Wasach & Summit Counties branch. The director was in tears. So were a lot of us.

Ernie, Pauline, and Mo left very early the next morning, well before we were prepared to drag ourselves out of bed. So we had a more leisurely awakening, and then walked across the street to the Homestead Crater: the only warm-water scuba site in the continental United States. We decided to just snorkel, though, rather than take scuba lessons. (I took lessons in college and did everything but my fresh-water dive, because I couldn’t afford it, so I never got certified. Sigh. Someday!)

This was another amazing experience.


The mineral water was 95° and impossibly blue; the sun slashed through the hole in the ceiling to send one corner sparkling. There wasn’t a lot to see, per se, but there’s something to be said for just floating, drifting, experiencing.. Watching the air bubbles from the scuba tanks burble up from the depths. Savoring the moment.

After we showered and checked out, we made our way into Salt Lake City and checked into another hotel, then met up with our friend Thom for a late-ish lunch. We found a Thai restaurant in an outdoor shopping area, and had a lovely time eating and chatting.

And then, after Thom headed of to a rehearsal and we headed to the Apple store to buy iPhones!

We’d been talking about it for a while. Ken really disliked our current phones, and needed something that would function loosely as a PDA as well (for contacts, calendar, etc.—iPhones still aren’t good with other types of information management, but we’re hopeful). My biggest holdout was having no option other than AT&T, because I don’t like not having options. Plus I’ve been quite happy with T-Mobile. But I agreed that our phones were less than optimal, and in hindsight, it’s a good thing we did get them, because when Ken’s laptop was stolen a week later, he still had e-mail and Internet access via the phone and thus didn’t lose any work time.

Clutching our booty (which included not just the phones, but cases, Bluetooth earpieces, etc.), we determined that if we were in a new city, we really did have to do some proper touristy things, so we headed to Temple Square. We didn't take any tours, just walked around and admired the flowers and water features and architecture.

I was still a bit under the weather, though, and just plain wiped out, so we didn’t spend a lot of time there. We headed back to the hotel and collapsed for a bit, playing with our new toys and just sort of being mellow and brainless. We eventually roused ourselves for a late supper in the hotel cafĂ©, and called it an early night.

Our flights weren’t stupidly early the next morning (yay!) so we were able to have a leisurely breakfast in the airport. We were on the same flight to SFO, and then I had to rush to make my connection to LAX. A sad kiss goodbye, and then I was winging south and he was pointed north. Sigh. But, as you know, we were together a week and a half later in Arkansas, so…

Anyway, pictures are here. Enjoy!

---

*”Home” being a relative term, since over the next month and a half we had/have a trip to Arkansas, a trip to central California, Great Western War, and a visit my parents in New York.

Thursday 13: Thirteen Projects to Work On


  1. Ghosted (urban fantasy novel)
  2. Angelika (paranormal erotic romance novel)
  3. short story for CinemaSpec
  4. short story for In & Out
  5. short story for the lesbian cowboy anthology
  6. Ken’s birthday present (can’t say what it is here, in case he reads this!)
  7. getting to the gym more often
  8. Italians for Black Oak Lodge, March 2009. I have fabric for four. Four! Sheez. I may not complete them all (it’s only a 3-day event, and nobody really dresses on Sunday) but I’ll get ‘em started.
  9. For that matter, Black Oak Lodge. The first Crown Prints ad has already been sent. :-)
  10. various kumihimo braids and finger-crocheted award cords
  11. living room curtains
  12. For that matter, curtains for the media room and bedroom…
  13. Lawrence’s birthday present. ::evil laugh::

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Celebrate!


Happy National Punctuation Day!


(And a shout-out of thanks to Cat for alerting me to this very important holiday!)

There's a face in the photograph...



Our photos from the three most recent shows:

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Saratoga, CA (with Bonus! photos of Ken and our trip home)
Newport Beach, CA

I got a little silly with the captioning...

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thoughts on nom nom nom


I don’t really enjoy cooking at the best of times—about every other holiday season I get the urge to bake, but if I sit for a while, that too passes. I like to eat (this statement should be self-evident), but I don’t get the creative thrill from spending hours on my feet in the kitchen. There are far, far more things I’d rather be doing, and when it comes to creative projects, I like it when the thing I make doesn’t disappear within a day or so (no matter how much it was enjoyed).

So while Ken’s been gone, I slowly got to the point where salad or sandwiches were the most elaborate things I was putting together in the kitchen (note: I don’t believe in, or eat, non-elaborate sandwiches. If I’m going to make one, I’m going to make a loaded one, with fresh spinach and tomatoes and pepperoncinis and gods know what else). Now that he’s home, we hauled out the recipes and forced ourselves to actually consider cooking again. (Since neither of us enjoy the process, we either do it together or take turns/negotiate other chores.)

Last night we make sausage and peppers from a recipe I snerched from my mom the last time I was home. It didn’t taste like I remembered when she’d make it, but it was close, and it was also easy and healthy (served over brown rice with a side salad), so it’s a keeper. While I was there (and Ken was overseeing the actual cooking parts), I also made a balsamic vinaigrette, which I’d been meaning to do for ages, and cut up a canteloupe, and we both did dishes.

I can’t say it was wildly exciting, but I did come away with a comfortable sense of accomplishment. Can’t beat that!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random niceness


Our tenant came by today to say that after half a century of life, she figured out how to fix her toilet. She was so proud of herself, and I’m so proud of her! She’s the type of person who needs—and appreciates—a confidence boost like that.

Then she gave us her father’s wooden cigarette case (from the 20s or 30s, she wasn’t sure). Her father owned our house for a good 40 years (she lived in it on and off growing up) and she occasionally unearths things that “belong” to the house. But this was something personal, and I’m really touched.

~ ~ ~

Happy Autumn Equinox!



Friday, September 19, 2008

Perfect days



You know, the last couple of days have been pretty close to perfect.

We headed up to Saratoga, CA, on Wednesday, listening to music and talking. We didn’t hit a lot of traffic, and found the hotel just fine. Humungous suite (Tani booked the room for us, and all we knew was that she’d asked for a king-sized bed!), complimentary chocolates and Oreos and popcorn. Dude. I showered and “fluffed and buffed” to get ready, and we ate the popcorn before meeting up with Tani and Annalisa and heading to the venue.

The Mountain Winery is, as expected, up in the mountains, and the view was gorgeous, if a little hazy and overcast. We grabbed food at a grill onsite, Ken bought a Styx hoodie because it was really cold! (I’d brought a long-sleeved shirt to wear afterwards, and it was a good thing, because I hadn’t realized the venue was outside. I did, of course, take it off for Styx, because I believe in sharing the wealth of my cleavage with those who appreciate it. And appreciate it they did.)

We were on the “wrong side” in front of Tommy, but the stage was small and low (thigh high on me) so I got to look across at Lawrence and see a lot of facial expressions I don’t normally catch (because the keyboard was spun away from where I usually stand). We were at the end of the second row, and security let us stand parallel with the shorter first row, so that was just fine and dandy. We weren’t allowed to approach the stage, but were very close, and that just gave more room for dancing.

Afterwards we hung out in our enormous suite with Tani and Annalisa before calling it a night. Fun!

We drove home Thursday along Hwy 1, one of the most beautiful roads in the country. It’s just amazing: you round a corner and see this incredibly stunning view, and then you round the next corner and somehow the view is even more stunning. How is that possible? Your brain just can’t comprehend.

We had to stop for some roadwork, and the incredibly cheerful worker warned us that it would be a 20-25 minute delay, but there were sea lions. Well, yes there were, waaaaay down there. We could hear them clearly, but they were just specks. My vertigo did kick in, thanks in part to the fact that there was nothing more than a knee-high wall between me and a sheer drop, but I managed.  ;-)

I had a blast on those twisty-turny roads. The Saab doesn’t handle as well as the Talon did, but it holds its own. We popped in CDs and sang along when we weren’t talking. And as much as I admired the view, I didn’t admire it so much I drove off the road….

An interesting note: Of the 12 CDs in the holder in the car (for when the iPod connector can’t find a no-station area), only 1 has no ties to the UK. Every other band/artist had at least one UK member (Styx being the most tenuous, as Lawrence was born in Scotland but grew up in Canada). Kinda weird.

Anyway, we stopped for lunch near San Simeon, at a Mexican restaurant we ate at about 12 ½ years ago on our first trip together as a couple. And soon we were home with cats who insisted they hadn’t been fed in weeks, and I dashed off to an Herbal Guild meeting while Ken went to Fry’s to pick up memory and other stuff to get his new laptop up and running.

Today we’ve just been working on various things that have piled up in our absences. I’ve booked my flights to FL in November, bought tickets to one of the shows, sent out the e-mail about Lawrence’s birthday, made turkey reubens for lunch, and, um, oh I don’t know. Paid bills, printed out a fresh To Do list, called my parents, and avoided running errands. Which I should probably get off my cute butt and do now!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yay and wahoo


Okay, not so much with the work stuff yesterday. I was truly too exhausted. I did manage to make it to a chiro appt, pick up a reserved book at the library, buy basic groceries, have dinner with Morgana and Brian, and have a very brief Full Moon ritual with Morgana and then chat with her before heading home and mostly collapsing (yay, glass of wine!).

Today, I did reasonably well. Churned through e-mail, cleaned off Ken’s side of the desk, worked out with Jen, etc. Now Ken’s home (yay! hurrah!) and we’re about to go out to dinner with Morgana and Brian. We won’t be around for Morgana’s birthday tomorrow, so I’ve got her present wrapped and ready to go.

~ ~ ~

Today’s e-mail brought one and a half story acceptances (a solo story and a Sophie story for the same anthology)! Wahoo! They’re pending publisher approval, so I can’t announce anything just yet. The solo story was a new one that I wrote for the antho (one of those “Hm. Ponder antho theme. Ooh! Write story in one sitting.” stories), while the Sophie story was one that had gotten nice comments but had never quite placed anywhere. I’m chuffed about both!

On the downside, I had three story rejections and one novel rejection while I was gone. Phooh. But it’s all part of the job, and today I worked on getting them circulating again where I could. (One story is a romance, and there are almost no markets for short romances.)

---

Currently Reading: The Host, Stephenie Meyer (about to start)
Lately Listened To: American Drag, American Drag
Recently Watched: Eureka

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about



(Thanks, Ken!)

Fwump


I’m home! I’m home!

::topples over in exhausted contentedness::

Okay, that last part isn’t entirely true. I have to say, it’s weird getting home this early (I drove up at about 11:15 a.m., and may I note I can get almost exactly door-to-door, airport-to-home, on one listen of Styx’s One With Everything: Live With the Contemporary Youth Orchestra?). Usually I get home, drop everything and scritch the kitties, turn on the computer and check e-mail, unpack the most essential items, rifle through the mail for anything interesting (like acceptances, payments, comp copies…), drink a glass of wine, collapse in front of the TV for a short while, and go to bed.

But no, getting home so early means I don’t have the luxury of pouring a glass of wine (at least, not yet. Not for hours yet. Sob.). I have to do useful things. So far, in roughly this order, I’ve…

  • dropped everything to give the kitties scritchies
  • explained to them 18 million times that no, the other lady did feed you this morning, and in fact let me in the back gate and was talking to me about it when I opened the back door, thus no, you cannot have food
  • showered
  • discovered I lost 5 lbs on the trip
  • eaten leftover mac-and-cheese, a 100-cal bag of Funyuns, a piece of string cheese, and a dark-chocolate-covered Joe-Joe; and drunk a cup of tea
  • washed the delicates (laundry, you perverts)
  • sorted the mail and paid bills
  • read e-mail, journals, etc.
  • copied files from Afalwen to Arianbach (that would be from my laptop to the main computer, for those of you who don’t speak Welsh)
  • talked to Ken (he’s just outside of Albuquerque, a city name I love to type because it’s just so bizarre)
  • cleaned out the laptop bag
  • partially unpacked
And it’s still not even 2 p.m. yet. What am I going to do with the rest of my day?

Work, probably, as much as I can given that I was up at 2 a.m. local time. The guy in front of me on the DFW-LAX flight put his seat back, so I couldn’t use Afalwen, and I didn’t have the brain power to pull out the Palm and keyboard to write. Instead I read a mediocre book I probably won’t bother finishing, and played Demon Solitaire and listened to various Gowan albums on my iPhone.

Hm, I should probably update and print out my To Do list for the next few days, too, instead of dreaming over customizable organizational forms I just found online…

Bleary


The nice thing about flying at 5:40 a.m. out of a small-ish airport (16 gates total) is no security line.

The bad thing about flying at 5:40 a.m. is, obviously, that it’s 5 effing 40 in the morning.

Ugh.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Better hope we can hitch a ride


Have I mentioned how much I love this band?! ;-)

So not only was it a fantastic show in AR—extra long, with pretty much every possible song from their current repertoire, including a three-song encore—but my boys (especially Lawrence and Ricky, and Todd at the end) totally acknowledged our “far from home” presence, which was just incredible. Even the merch guy was surprised and happy to see us.

The best part, though, was after having a shouted conversation with Lawrence outside the venue (he was at the top of the ramp and the front of the buses, I was at the bottom of the ramp and the backside of the buses and trucks, which were idling). We finished and he headed off to his bus.

Then he came back and down the ramp to chat with us for 10 or 15 minutes. And that just blows me away. He’d already acknowledged us, said hello. He didn’t have to come back.

::grin stupidly::

~ ~ ~

Of course, I have to balance that with the fact that my flights were cancelled, I rescheduled them, and the new ones were canceled. In the end, though, it’s not that bad. I fly out at o’dark early tomorrow, and actually get home a wee bit earlier than I would’ve today, so less than 24 hours’ delay. Plus, Ken and I are hanging out in a motel for a bit, and then we’ll have an early dinner before he gets on the road—I got to spend a little extra time with him. (Okay, it’s time we would have had at home together, because he would’ve gotten on the road that much earlier, but still. Bird in the hand, and all that!)

We had a good time with Ken’s grandmother, too. She can’t see or hear very well, but she’s sharp as a tack, and told us great stories while we went through masses of her photographs. We even found one that was so old, it was printed on metal! So along with getting all my family’s photos scanned and indexed, we need to do hers! We also got to visit with Ken’s aunt, his cousin, and his cousin’s new wife.

We’ve got another busy week coming up, though. Ken’ll arrive home Tuesday. Wednesday we drive to the Bay Area for another Styx show, and Thursday we’ll drive home. Saturday is a Styx concert in Newport Beach, and Sunday is the LARA meeting.

Of course, I’ve gotten no writing done on this trip (in between everything else, I’ve been dealing with some icky health issues that have really sapped my energy). Maybe I’ll do a little tonight after Ken leaves, or on the flights tomorrow. I also have Christine’s fabby novel to crit! :-)

Now, however, I believe some pre-supper cuddling is in order…!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Upside down and backwards


Christine and I got together yesterday and had a successful writing fest at Borders. She finally nailed the opening of her latest book (and it rocks) and I finished the last scene of Ghosted (I’d written pretty much all of it, but for some reason left a chunk unfinished along with a note about what was supposed to got there). So next I’m going to write the second-to-last scene, and hopefully the key to unlock the rest of the book will be revealed to me. If not, I’m just going to keep writing backwards. Hey, it’s an adventure.

Then Teresa and I had a phone confab about Angelika (which needs a new title; comments welcomed!), which did blow open the problem we were having with it. We didn’t really know our main character, what her internal goal was, and what her flaw was. Whee! It won’t massively change what we’ve already written—we’ll just have to tweak a few things—but it will definitely help with both the internal and external conflicts. Go us!

Now I’m on the plane to Houston, where I’ll swap to a plane to Little Rock and be with my beloved again! They actually fed us lunch on this flight. I’m gobsmacked. People have been very friendly today, even early this morning when we were all yawning on the bus from parking to LAX. Maybe it’s because of the date?

It’s also Tommy Shaw’s birthday! (Apropos of anything else, except I am on my way to see the band!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sometimes, I really love technology


1. I wasn’t entirely sure I understood the point of Facebook, especially since I already had a MySpace account. But I had a few friends who were on one but not the other, and I have to say, Facebook is much prettier and easier to use. My point, though, is that an editor I worked with five years ago (on Dyke the Halls) managed to track me down via Facebook, and was delighted because he wanted to invite me to submit to a new anthology! In fact, he said, “Hope it might be of interest to you (maybe even a few times, since I can use more than one story under your many pseudonyms...).” Major warm fuzzy, and I’ve already sent him a Sophie reprint; a new solo story will be written before the deadline.

2. Ken bought a tracking device for the bike that pings a website about every half an hour. I’m trying so hard not to get obsessed with checking the site to watch his progress across the country, but it’s so addictive!

3. YouTube, and finding video clips of David Tennant licking an ice cream cone. (Yeah, I’m in that kind of mood.)

4. Digital cameras allow us to capture random but wonderful images. When the cats sleep in the laundry basket, Eostre always picks the whites basket and Grimoire goes for the colors basket…

(Yes, we have a window in our closet...)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Random Things to Celebrate


  • I got my comp copies of The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction, which contains the Sophie Mouette story “Under a Double Rainbow.” It’s a truly pretty book. I love the cover design, the feel of the cover (close, but not quite matte), the title and author fonts. I keep picking it up to pet it… It's just luscious.
  • I get to see Ken Thursday!
  • I get to see Styx Friday!
  • I worked out today with Jen, and it felt goood.
  • I get a massage tonight. Not only will it feel great and help put my body back the way it ought to be, but Melanie and I always have fun.
  • Extra-tasty and smooth hummus.
  • The last scene of Ghosted is almost finished! Of course, the book is far from done, since there’s roughly the last quarter of it to write to catch up to the end. But I sort of know the second-to-last scene—I’ve typed up some brainstorming notes about it, anyway—and I feel in my gut that that’s the one that’s going to crack the code of this book for me. And even if it does’t, it’s going to be a fun ride.
  • I’m meeting with Christine tomorrow to write together (and laugh and inspire each other and, I suspect, eat lunch).
  • Trader Joe’s dark-chocolate-covered Joe-Joe’s. Like fudge-covered Oreos, only infinitely betterand they’re all natural. I try to limit myself to one a day…

Okay, off to write until Melanie gets here!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Irrational fear and the breaking down of sanity


Dammit, why does CB&TL have free wireless now? I come here to escape the temptations of the Internet!

~ ~ ~

I have this urge to run away. Go on a retreat. I wish I had some cottage or cabin where I could gather all my writer friends for a long weekend, to write and read and talk and take long walks. No Internet, no TV, although maybe a DVD player to watch movies while we drink wine and laugh.

I wish I had the money to rent such a place. Of course, the hotel in Oregon is now for just this purpose, but then I’d need the money to fly all my friends there….

~ ~ ~

For now, though, I’m sitting here in CB&TL with Sabrina, and I’m writing, and it’s mostly crap but it’s happening. I’m writing the last scene of Ghosted, because I have to write the last scene in order to figure the rest of it out (or figure the beginning out. Or to move ahead. Or something.). Then maybe I’ll write the next-to-last scene, because I don’t know a lot of it, and the only way I’m going to find out is if I write it.

That probably sounds insane to a non-writer, but there you have it.

~ ~ ~

Ellenie and I had an extremely productive writing day today! I forgot to note my starting wordcount (in part because I’m trying to get away from worry about exact counts and enjoying the process more), but I think I wrote about 1K. Kinda lame for 3.5 hours of work time, but the important thing is that I broke past my irrational fear of…whatever I was irrationally fearing.

Then, because a mom and her small boy plopped down on the couch next to her while she was working on a love scene, Ellenie suggested we go out for an early supper, which we did at Roxsbury Deli.

I may do some more work tonight, since I’m back to being fired up about it and don’t want to lose that, but first I’m going to do some other bits that need doing (e-mail, etc.) and then I think I’m going to indulge in a celebratory bubble bath. Because, among other things, I’ve realized lately that I need to celebrate the small successes!

~ ~ ~

I also stopped stressing about the fact that Ken hasn’t called, because it’s probably due to the fact that he has to buy a new phone charger. He’s set up a tracking device on the motorcycle that occasionally pings my e-mail with a link to a Googlemap that shows me where he is (how cool is that?!), and he was nearly Salt Lake City mid-afternoon today. Since he still had a banquet ticket to the rally he couldn’t run due to the second bike problem (the clutch), he figured he might as well attend, and then continue on to Arkansas. He’ll probably call me from a hotel phone later.