Multi-passionate writer, author and solo-preneur

Month: November 2008

Things I am thankful for right now

Because what is Thanksgiving without a thankfulness list?

♥ My job, because I need it.

♥ My husband, who is awesome and sweet and handsome and a fantastic cook and who texts me love notes and updates on the pets all day.

♥ Last week’s Survivor, which featured the best Tribal Council EVAR that is still keeping me amused and satisfied almost an entire week later.

♥ Shirtless Sylar scenes (it’s my list. I’m allowed to be shallow).

♥ Being thisclose to finished with my novel OMG!

♥ My mom, who not only gave birth to me, but is also being very patient about me moving my remaining things out of her house.

♥ My mom-in-law, who not only gave birth to the love of my life, but will also feed me some of the finest cornbread stuffing I’ve ever tasted tomorrow.

♥ My house that I can still afford to pay for.

♥ The organic food coop we joined, which turned out to be one of our smarter choices.

♥ Hand lotion.

♥ Having my Christmas shopping list locked up.

♥ Free coffee (even if it is usually awful) and pain relievers and allergy meds at work.

♥ Sanity pills, focus pills, and deep sleep granting pills, even if I do hate taking all those gorram pills.

♥ All of my family and friends, each of whom are wonderful in their own ways.

♥ Our fur-babies, and the fact that Speedy Pete the Wonder Pup is recovering from his surgery nicely, even if he does have to wear a cone on his wee head.

♥ The fact that the cone somehow makes him even cuter.

♥ The abundance of babies in my family, both already here and on the way.

♥ All of the new TV to look forward to next year (Dollhouse! BSG! LOST!).

♥ All of the movies to look forward to next year (Watchmen! Trek! HP!).

♥ My closet full of clothes (and too many shoes), that I need to remember how blessed I am to have when I get depressed about having nothing new to wear.

♥ Home Depot’s 12 month, 0 interest, 0 payments special introductory plan, without which we would have no appliances, and the New Home Buyer’s tax credit that will allow us to pay for them before the year is up. Awesome.

♥ Our new car. It’s the reason we’re stretched so thin right now, but we needed it, and I kind of adore it even without any bells and whistles, and that tax credit will let us pay off the rest of it so we won’t have a car payment anymore. Double-plus awesome.

♥ The internets, without which my life would be very different, and probably not for the better.

You guys. Seriously. I don’t have an abundance of friends, but the ones I do have are tried and true. Some of you guys got me through some really tough times and made me realize the importance of sincere friendship. Your encouragement always means the world to me, even if I don’t always remember to say so, because see previous posts re: my flaky nature. Give yourselves a big ol’ hug for me, please, because you’re too far away for me to do it myself. I love you.

Please have a fantastic Ritual Sacrifice With Pie. And if you’re in Canada, pretend I wrote this last month.

A symptom of bulimia you never hear about (warning: one of the grosser posts I’ve concocted)

Okay, first off, I am not bulimic. But apparently, if I was, this is how you could tell: my eyeballs would be totally bloodshot and I would have tiny red dots all around my eyes from blood vessels erupting from the strain of making myself gag forcefully.

I now know this because I just ate a bite of undercooked pork (which is otherwise fabulous; Husband may not always cook meat long enough, but he sure knows how to make it yummy), and with my recent history of multiple food poisonings, I tend to be a little on the paranoid side when it comes to consuming undercooked white meat of any kind. So you can bet I’m going to do everything I can think of to avoid coming down with another case of dysentery on Thanksgiving eve. And the only thing I could think to do, after popping my plate in the microwave for several minutes, was to force it back up. I failed, by the way, only succeeding in giving myself major facial and eyeball strain, and now I just get to cross my fingers and pray that a single bite of red pork won’t kill me or, at the very least, make me wish I was dead. Or come between me and my ability to enjoy pie, which…same diff, really.

At any rate, consider this a public service announcement on how to tell if your very pale friend has just purposefully upchucked her dinner. Carry on.

Lamentations & Blatherations

If I don’t learn to make better use of the time I’m given, I’ll never amount to anything.

If I don’t learn to do a better job of making time for the people in my life, eventually I won’t have any people in my life.

To say that we’re one missed paycheck away from homelessness is an exaggeration, but not by much. I need to bring back Personal Finance Blogger Jean. She knew how to stay on top of things.

I haven’t written today, and I kinda don’t think I’m going to.

Writing this was supposed to inspire me to get in gear, but instead it has depressed the bujeezus out of me.

It’s not all that bad.

I had a nice weekend. I did great at Thursday night’s write-in, and ended the day with over 2,000 new words and only 7 scenes left to go. No writing happened Friday, but after taking my puppy to the vet and Pet Smart and picking up our co-op food and coming home to clean house before meeting with a life insurance agent and then going back out to buy groceries, I hung curtains in the living room. I did it by myself, and I really should have waited until Husband got home from band practice because I hung them too low and drilled too many unnecessary new holes in the wall in the process; but since they were already up, I figured I might as well go ahead and de-wrinkle them, which took all the rest of the evening just to do most of one panel, because I had to steam them, because I left the iron at my mom’s house. But the end result is that we have curtains to close over our massive patio doors and keep at least some of the cold out, and that’s the main thing.

It was adoption day that day at Pet Smart, which I didn’t know, and it was very dangerous, and I came thisclose to coming home with a wee orange kitteh in my pocket. You guys, he was seriously the cutest, sweetest kitten I have ever seen. His name was Chevy because he hitched a ride on a Chevy truck and rode about 60 miles before anybody noticed. The only thing that kept me from picking him up and calling him mine, and also George, was Sasha, who is just beginning to get over her puppy shock. If he’s there again next weekend, though, we just might cave, and the Delicate Princess will just have to adjust.

Saturday was slightly less busy. I went with BFF to see The Rat Pack, which I enjoyed more than I expected to. Since BFF’s Mom and a friend got season tickets this year to the same time slot we did, we all went out to eat after, and that was a nice time. BFF’s Mom’s Friend seemed pretty fun, and now we’re all planning a movie night together, and I’m excited for a girl’s night out.

There was another write-in planned for that night, but I ended up not going, because I was stuffed too full of Tilapia and angel hair pasta and tiramisu. But I still wrote, and finished another scene before settling in to knit and watch Serenity. 6 more to go.

Then there was Sunday, aka the most relaxing day I’ve had in a while, which involved light housekeeping and cat box cleaning and two loads of laundry, but also involved sitting around and knitting on Christmas presents for much of the day. I also wrote a bit–just a short scene that I realized I needed from the villain’s POV and typed up before I forgot all about it. So there are still 6 more to go.

And now it’s Monday. Day one of a three-day work week, which is something to be thankful for in and of itself. Pete had to go back to the vet this morning to join the ranks of the testosterone-challenged. They just called to tell me he’s out of surgery and doing great (as great as anyone who just had his boys snipped off can be doing, at any rate), and I bet he’ll be starving when his grogginess wears off.

Now I’m going to distract myself from wanting to go get him and take him home right now by working on a plan to address the first half of this post. I hope the rest of you had weekends that were just as pleasant.

Sniff and sneeze

It’s an incredibly slow day at the office, which would be perfect for running up my word count, except that my allergies are making me absolutely miserable, and that’s all I can seem to think about. So maybe if I let myself whine here a little I’ll be able to suck it up and get to writing. Except, what is there to say about allergy headaches and burning eyeballs other than, “Owww! Please stop!”

Seriously, please? I’d have taken a sick day today if I didn’t already get majorly sick twice last month. There’s no way they’d have believed I wasn’t playing hooky, especially with this being a Friday-off week. So here I am, trying to muster the energy and mental clarity to write and talking myself out of clearing space from under my desk to lie down.

I also talked myself out of going to Starbucks on my lunch hour. The coffee here just isn’t doing anything for me, and Starbucks always perks me up. I don’t know whether it’s the coffee, the exposure to fresh air and daylight, the sugar I always forget to ask them to leave out, or all three combined, but on days like this a Starbucks run usually helps me feel better. But I thought of the expense, both money-wise and calorie-wise, and talked myself out of it, and settled for a diet Dr. Pepper from the 25-cent vending machine downstairs instead, and patted myself on the back for my responsible frugality. And now I’m regretting it, because I still feel like bleah.

Now that that’s off my chest, maybe I can get to work. Write-in’s tonight, and I want to have my word count built up some more before I get there. Besides, it’s stupid to be sitting here clicking refresh on my Google Reader and Friends page when I’m so close to the end. Get it done, Jean, and then get to editing!

Yes ma’am, bossy-pants self. I’ll get on that right now.

A Solid Plan B

We live in scary times, yo. It seems like every day I’m hearing another sad story about someone losing their job, and those stories are beginning to have fewer degrees of separation. The circle is closing in, going from affecting total strangers, to people I kinda-sorta know, to people I know quite well and have worked with until very recently, and while my department isn’t directly threatened, it’s still feeling like time to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst.

My employer has already completely shut down an entire branch office and downsized two departments, and told two more departments that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for them to brush up on their resumes and networking contacts. The admin staff, meanwhile, was told not to worry, that we would be the last on the chopping block, that it will probably never come to that, that if it did part-timers and temps would be the ones to go, and that the full-timers are safe. Probably. I guess we’re not quite as replaceable as they tried to tell us we were, huh?

I mostly believe them. We’re the least expensive employees, for one. We’re also pretty necessary. We might not be this company’s reason for being, but we are its backbone, and without us everyone else would flail around in a panic, not knowing where to find anything or how to do any of the mundane behind-the-scenes necessities that keep things running smoothly. But then again, stuff happens, and it wouldn’t be the first time I went from being told I was too necessary to be cut to holding a pink slip and trying to figure out how long I could live off of my severance package.

So this time, a little more wizened, I’m not trusting their assurances. This time, if the worst happens, I’ll have a plan to put into action immediately instead of sitting around, dazed and depressed, wondering what the heck I’m going to do next. As soon as my novel’s finished, these are the things I will do to prepare for the possible storm:

1. Sign up for that copyediting course, while I’m still in a position to have the company pay for it.

2. Update my resume.

3. Apply for disability (actually, that’s Husband’s job), and get a plan in place to appeal if his claim is denied.

4. Think of things he could potentially do to bring in money if the disability doesn’t work out for some crazy reason, like maybe they’ve handed out too much money already this year for people with depression or bad backs to be able to help out the guy with one leg (not to disparage anyone with crippling depression or back pain).

5. Hope that Husband’s band is successful and they get lots and lots of paying gigs and sell a lot of CDs and get a record contract and become rich rock stars.

6. Hope that my novel is so successful online that it gets discovered and bought before I even finish editing last year’s NaNo to try to sell.

7. Stop dreaming and start blogging for money again.

8. And stocking my Etsy shop.

9. And culling my stuff for more things to eBay.

10. And writing shorter things to try to sell.

11. Get very familiar with the Virtual Assistant industry.

12. Get very familiar with the freelance networking sites.

13. Get in touch with my contacts at my old temp agencies.

14. Brush up on obscure Word and Excel functions that I never use in case I have to take an Office test again.

15. Pray. A lot.

Oh yeah, my husband’s in a band now.

It’s a Christian rock band. Well, it’s more a rock band made up of Christians, and not so much a band that’s out to write and perform “Christian Rock,” because let’s face it, “Christian Rock” is, for the most part, not good art. They’re not out to evangelize with their music. Rather, they want to make good music with a positive message and an eye toward not causing people to stumble with their lyrics. At any rate, it’s full of talented people who met for the first time only a few weeks ago, and already they’ve written a radio-worthy song. Even so, it’s too soon to tell whether this will ever be anything more than a group of talented people sitting around and jamming together for fun (although with all of the Christian coffee shops and mega churches around here, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get a gig). Either way, I’m very proud of my rock star husband, even if I don’t get to play bass in his band (darn that total lack of time for practice).

I haven’t written today.

Boo on me. I have a headache, though. I didn’t write in the morning, when I felt fine, because lately the late afternoon has been my most focused and creative time of day. But now my head hurts and I can’t focus on the story and I’m just biding my time until I can go home and lie down. Tomorrow night, though, I’ll attend a write-in, and then I’ll have a long weekend to work on it. A busy weekend, mind–I have appointments and errands all day Friday, and tickets to see a show with BFF on Saturday. But if she has family plans for after the show, as is often the case, then I’ll have another write-in that I can go to while Husband’s at band practice. I hope she can hang out, though. We don’t do nearly enough of that since I got married.

And now it’s close enough to 5:00 that I can go home and crash. See ya.

Zokou-woohoo!

First, a note on Heroes: in case there was ever any doubt, last night’s episode made it very clear that I am a sucker for redemptive former Big Bads with rock hard abs. Hel-looooooo Sylar-nurse!

On to NaNo. I made it to 15,000 words over the weekend. That’s not where I should be here in mid-week 3. And I just realized there’s no way I’m going to make it to 50,000 words. Is it because it’s too hard, because I can’t make the time, because I give up?

No. It’s because I only have eight scenes left to write. Eight scenes, you guys! Oh Em Gee, I am so close to being done with this novel! Eight scenes isn’t even a whole episode of Dancing Lessons! This thing is so far in the bag I might not ever be able to pull it out again.

Happy dance! *tappity-tappity-tappity*

Hi Internets! I guess I should post an update before I take off for the weekend. My daily word count this week has been pretty hit-or-miss–or just miss if you take into account that 2,000+ word a day goal. That Write or Die site has been a life-saver–it’s the only reason I have any word count this week at all.

I’m not too worried about it; at last night’s write-in, I realized I probably don’t have 50,000 words worth of story left to tell. I didn’t realize how close I was to the climax when I decided to invoke the Zokutou Clause and make THF my NaNo project. So whether I reach 50,000 or not, I’m pretty confident I’m going to get this thing finished. Yee-frickin’-haw!

Speaking of the write-in, it was at the same location as last week, but this time there was no game so I was able to park where I was told and find my way in with no problems. I’ve talked about how neat the writing/reading room in the stacks is, but I haven’t discussed how disturbingly creepy the rest of that part of the building is. I don’t think I realized last week because I was with people, but this time, all by my lonesome, I fixated on how old the building is, and not in a pleasant, charming antique way. It’s dingy, and dim, with flickering lights that seem like they could either go out or start a fire at any minute. The ladies’ room and the ancient, teeny elevator were especially creepy. They made me feel like I was in a Japanese horror movie, and that if I looked behind me or at the mirror I’d see a faceless little girl with long, black hair who wanted to swallow my soul. Or maybe this guy. Eep!

And now I’m going home, where tomorrow I have nothing planned except to write and knit. I’m aiming for 10,000 words tomorrow. For every 2,000 I write, I’ve promised myself I can stop for an hour to work on one of my too many Christmas knitting projects and watch one of the shows I missed this week. Husband’s going out with some friends, so I’ll have the house–and the computer–all to myself tomorrow night, with only the fur-babies to distract me.

Happy weekend, y’all!

NaNoNoWriMuchMo

Well, I’m far enough behind that I need to write a little over 2,100 words a day to make 50,000, and so far today’s a wash. I think it’s the weather making me unable to concentrate. I mean that in both a literal and figurative sense, because the political climate change is hard to tear my attention away from for too long. Also, it’s rainy, and I’m sleepy. Yawn.

I’m not getting too stressed about being behind. For one thing, it’s early yet, and last year I didn’t even get started until the second week. For another, I was pointed to Write or Die, of which the Kamikaze setting is truly motivating. It won’t actually kill you, but it will kill your words, which is almost just as bad. I don’t think it’s a good idea to use that setting if I’m writing at the office, though; too many interruptions.

Thursday night I went to a write-in at one of the local universities’ libraries. I almost didn’t make it, because it turned out to be game night (basketball), and Okies tend to be fanatical about their college sports, so the campus was packed with cars and security not letting anybody into parking lots if they didn’t have game tickets. I finally got a security team to let me park near the library, but the way to the library from there was under construction. Another NaNoer pulled in and parked right as I did, so together we ducked under string and stumbled over stray wood and chunks of concrete and wet gravel and hit one dead-end after another, before we FINALLY ran into yet another NaNoer who knew where the aych she was going. She’s probably the reason I wrote that night, because I was thisclose to going back to my car and going home to watch Supernatural.

But thanks to her I found my way into the library, and we were escorted to the very top floor and a room that reminded me enough of the Sunnydale High library that I was very happy to be writing there. Except that instead of writing I wanted to pour through all of the old books lining the shelves to identify which demon tore up the path from the parking lot. Nobody else was up for that, though, so I hushed up and wrote, and had a pretty decent output before were all kicked out. I found a much more sensible way back to the parking lot, but the campus was kind of deserted at that point (and my parking buddy from before had already left for work) and kind of spooky. I, being already in a Buffy frame of mind (as if I’m ever NOT), distracted myself by pretending to be a Slayer patrolling the campus for vampires. Except with a can of pepper spray instead of a stake. But no vampires (or muggers) got between me and my car, and I made it home safely.

I managed just a little over 1,200 words over the weekend, but I also put together a microwave cart and organized my kitchen and my living room chachkes and awesomely rocked this recipe, so I will cut myself some slack.

Today, however, work is almost over, and then I’m going to the gym, and then I know all I’ll want to do at home is watch Terminator and Heroes, even though I know perfectly well I could wait for the weekend to watch Heroes online and I wouldn’t really miss it; and then it will be time to get ready for bed. So now I’m going to force myself to end this post that I totally started just to procrastinate on the other kind of writing, and go do that other, and not leave the office until I’ve hammered out at least half of my quota. Scout’s honor (not really).

Stuff and…uh, more stuff

So apparently getting vomit-my-guts-out sick the first week of NaNoWriMo is becoming a tradition with me. Thankfully, this year wasn’t nearly so severe as last year, with the ambulance ride and all the dysentery. Just a fun round of puking followed by two days of sleeping off a low-grade fever. During my brief awake periods I did manage to find the energy to prop myself up and finally finish reading The Graveyard Book, so that’s a silver lining.

I did manage to drag myself out of bed long enough to go vote. And look how that turned out.

My word count, though, is–well, actually, not as abysmal as it could be. I “should” be at 8,335 words by the end of today, by all official reckonings, but after filling every spare moment with sprints today, I currently stand at 5,304. If I don’t manage to write any more today, I’ll be okay with that.

In other news, Pete was supposed to get his goodies snipped off yesterday, but his pre-op blood work showed an elevated liver count, so now I have to sneak pills into peanut butter for him for two weeks. So Little Pete & Re-Pete got a reprieve. I’m a little dismayed. Husband is a little relieved. Pete is a lot oblivious and I believe would gladly trade his wee balls for a spoonful of peanut butter. Dogs have no pride.

Now I’m gonna go eat a snack and pour some coffee and have another go at that word count.

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