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

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A good life

Oh, so much goodness over the past few days!

Monday night was my birthday dinner. Not only were there wonderful people there (including Lareej, who was working a show that night and couldn’t stay, but drove all the way from Ventura to give me a hug and sit for a few minutes before dashing back), but there was suuuushi and, as I posted earlier, a dessert made out of Stitch’s head.

And there were prezzies, like an acorn teapot (thank you, Tomi!) and a Wendy Froud book and chocolate/rose love potion scrub (thank you, Morgana and Brian!) and booze (thank you, Mattea and Robey and Albra!), and handmade cards (thank you, Egan!) and a writing book (thank you, Erica!).

The next day, Ken and I went to the LA Zoo, which I’d never been to before. People, it is huge. Enormous. I had no idea. My back was killing me by the end of the afternoon! (It was uphill both ways, don’t’cha know.) But oh, there were otters and birds of prey (Russian eagles!) and tigers and lions and ocelots and jaguars and…! Although, despite what the map said, there were no slow lorises. They’re doing a lot of construction there right now and some of the displays have been moved around, so it’s possible the slow lorises are on hiatus….

I pondered and pondered what kind of food I wanted for dinner, since traffic was going to be horrible and we figured it would be best to top somewhere on our way home. Finally I decided Greek, and my handy dandy iPhone map program found me a great little Mediterranean place, and lo, it was good.

The only minor thing that marred my birthday is that Styx’s website has been revamped and even though I’m still a Lounge member, I didn’t get my annual birthday e-mail from the boys. It always made me squee quietly. Oh, I knew full well it was automated and the band had no knowledge of it, but a girl can always fantasize. I have a very rich fantasy life (for which they pay me, I might point out).

Wednesday and Thursday were mostly work days. I’ve been steadily productive, getting a work e-mail account set up, getting the rest of my books into my Amazon store (if you buy my work directly from there, I get a teeny tiny amount of money), that sort of thing.

On Friday Ken dropped me off at Borders in Thousand Oaks so I could meet up with Christine! whom I hadn’t seen in six months! for a writing day. Well, it was mostly a catching-up day for us, but that’s okay, too. We talked life and writing and more writing and plans (we want to jointly apply to Soapstone) and all manner of things. And she, bless her, brought me Yule and birthday presents (I had for her only a birthday present): a plaque, a pair of earrings of hers that I’d coveted and she says she never wears (copper crescent moons with silver spirals) and a tea infuser and a mug with a tea infuser insert.

The latter made me decide that my afternoon tea each day should be something interesting and different. I’ll do PG Tips for breakfast, but I’m going to really enjoy and savor my afternoon tea. I have loose leaf teas and white teas and who knows what else, and I want to be drinking them! Today I had Glengettie.

Anyway, after lunch Christine had to leave, and I hung out at Borders for another couple hours, working. I pitched some editing ideas (phone confab on Wednesday! fingers crossed!), submitted some reprints to audio and/or online markets, read the first three chapters of Heat Wave (the Castle book. Okay, that wasn’t exactly “working”…!), and started re-reading Out of the Frying Pan because Teresa and I have to get that back out, and the delay is entirely on my lap right now. Time to pull my weight.

Eventually I pinged Ken and he came to get me. He’d dropped me off because he needed the car to help Morgana’s mother move stuff from her house to her new apartment, because he is The Awesome. Upon realizing that we hadn’t, in fact, remembered to shop for food and had, in fact, eaten all our leftovers, we made salad and ordered a pizza. Damn Pizza Hut’s $10 Any Pizza deal! But I ate only two slices while we curled up and watched TV.

Oh, and waiting for me at home were two exciting things! The brand-new Return of the Strange Animal remastered CD/DVD package arrived in the mail! Mmmm, vintage Gowan goodness! And my birthday present from Ken (which had been delayed in the mail): the Castle book! I howled when I saw it.

So, this morning I checked e-mail and discovered our friend Lev from Portland was going to be performing with his Morris side (team) at Heritage Square, just a few blocks away. (I knew he was going to be in town for a Morris Ale, but hadn’t gotten the local performance detail until just then!) So we took a jaunt over there, enjoyed the performances, and on the way back wandered through the park, where they were having an Earth Day celebration. Picked up a map of bike trails in the area, yay!

I’d thrown in the fixings for potato leek soup into the slow cooker this morning, and the house smelled so good today. Over a week ago at the farmer’s market, I’d bought leeks on a whim, with the idea that we’d learn how to cook something new. After perusing various recipe sites online, it became clear to us that leeks are mostly good for potato leek soup. Live and learn! So we had sandwiches and soup for supper, and the soup was as good as it smelled. Definitely a keeper.

Meanwhile, Ken crawled around under the house looking at wiring, because he’s figured out how to make our fabby office-sized laser printer (aka The Behemouth) work here. It runs on 240 (British) power (wattage? I have no idea) as opposed to American 120 power, and I just typed up a long explanation that nobody would be interested in, so suffice to say he can run a cord under the house and the printer will work in my study downstairs, meaning we’ll be able to print double-sided and 11x17 and all that groovy stuff that makes geeks like us salivate. It’s especially good because I have a bunch of novel partials to get in the mail. Soon…! I didn’t marry Ken for his engineering degree, but damned if he doesn’t impress me on a regular basis. :-)

Tonight we went out to see Alice in Wonderland with Morgana and Brian, and then the two of us dashed off to the cheap theatre to see the only—and very late—showing of Sherlock Holmes, both of which I really wanted to see on the big screen, and both of which I adored, although for different reasons. (Alice for the visuals and the actors; SH for the plotting, the setting/costuming, and Robert Downey Jr.; and both for the humor.)

And now it is well past time for sleep…

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Let the voting begin again!

Almost forgot to spread the word on this one!

I have another story snippet/flash fiction/whatever as part of a contest at Alison Tyler’s website. As with the last one, I don’t want to say which one’s mine, because I’m not asking you to vote for me. I want you to vote for your favorite story without prejudice. (Of course, I want my story to be your favorite! But because it’s your favorite, not because I wrote it.)

That said, astute readers of mine will be able to guess which story is mine, because it’s a prequel of sorts to “On Tour” (which appeared in Sex on the Move). “On Tour” is kind of the first chapter of a novel I say I’m Going to Write Someday™, and thus my story “Party Favor” (which appeared in Dirty Girls) is sort of a later chapter. Kinda.

Note: Alison’s site is NSFW, and several of the snippets are pretty intense and may not be to your taste. Or, who knows, maybe they will be? Just consider yourself warned and don’t blame me for the consequences! ;-)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Birthday treat!

Dayle B-day 2010

What the sushi restaurant brought me for dessert. It looks like Stitch from Lilo & Stitch! Plus plum and green tea ice cream, and mochi!

Birthday week!

Friday, I was productive and accomplished the following:
  • added more books into my Amazon store. This is going to take a while—there are a lot of them… I did all the fantasy and Andrea Dale stories; I still have Sophie Mouette and Sarah Dale to add. I’m changing all the links on my website bibliography, which is why it takes a bit longer.
  • filed the serial numbers off an unsold WFH story for a possible submission to the Music for Another World anthology, and sent it to a couple of first readers to see if it still hangs together.
  • ran errands: dry cleaner, pharmacy, grocery.
  • dealt with more Kingdom Chronicler stuff.
  • laundered, but didn’t yet put away, my thrift store purchases.
Saturday, we were at King’s Hunt, and it was windy and chilly but lovely to hang out with friends old and new.

Sunday, we tidied the sewing room, I did some hand work (made a finger-crochet cord for one of Ken’s shirts, and tacked down some hooks-and-eyes) and dealt with some e-mail, and we curled up and caught up on lots of TV. Mmm, nice mellow day.

Today, my goals are thus:

  • write Cleis editing proposal and mail.
  • write library essay.
  • apply for more freelance jobs.
  • start Waking the Witch print submissions.
  • catch up on all Kingdom Chronicler correspondence.
  • continue cleaning off desk.
  • do more laundry. Argh.
  • put away all clothes.
  • other e-mail. Would be nice to clean out my In Box, really.
  • maybe some sewing? I bought tablecloths to turn into kitchen curtains as well as dish towels—or there may even be enough for a table runner—and I’d love to start working on that! But I suspect there won’t be time.
Plus, it’s my birthday dinner tonight!* Hurrah—birthday sushi! (I actually dreamed about sushi last night; guess I’m excited! Even if I’d’ve preferred to go to Cho Cho San rather than Genmai. Both have non-sushi options for the non-sushi/non-fish eaters, but Genmai was closer for most folks, and I’m all about making my birthday celebration amenable to as many of my friends as possible!)

*For those not in the know, my actual birthday is tomorrow—but tomorrow night is Textile Guild, and I didn't want to conflict with that. Because, again, I want to make my celebration as enjoyable and easy for the maximim number of friends!

Seismic waves

Yup. This was me during the earthquake today…