Oh Livejournal friends, I am so far behind with you I can’t even begin to catch up. Don’t feel bad, though, because it’s that way with me and the entire Internet right now. But I miss you. How are you? Is that getting old yet? Don’t answer that.

My writing plans After Layoff are different than they were Before Layoff. BL it was simply this: edit Hero Factor and post it, and forget everything else until that’s done. But it needs a lot of edits, and I need more perspective on what works and what doesn’t, and also I need to get my name out there and make money. Especially the money part. So for now, my plans AL are this: write short pieces, fiction and non-, and submit to paying markets. Speaking of paying markets, there is one that put out a call for a specific type of novel that my 2007 NaNoWriMo project just happens to be, and the deadline for that is April. So that’s where most of my editing and revising energy is going right now. For anyone who has actually been on pins and needles to read Hero Factor, I’m sorry. It’s going to take quite a bit longer to get ready than I thought. But it’s going to be a much better story for the delay.

Speaking of short fiction and making money, suggested putting out a chapbook of my flash fiction and ficlets. Is that a good idea? Would any of you be interested in paying, say, $5 for something like that? If not that, then how much? Please answer in the comments, if you don’t mind, because I’m way too lazy to create a poll just now, my love of ticky-boxes be damned.

And now I’m going to go eat something, pour a big cup of coffee, and then write, if all of these furry attention-whores around me will let me.

One for the Awesome Files (and one for the loser section, too ;_;)

In case you missed it, I give you the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Rickroll:

Now nobody has an excuse to not know what Rickrolling is. …which probably means that this meme has breathed its dying breath. Still, how awesome is Rick Astley for having enough of a sense of humor to personally Rickroll the entire nation on live TV? Hee!

I lose at NaNo this year.

I had every intention of buckling down and finishing the novel this weekend, but I kept getting sidetracked by family wanting to spend time with me for some reason. And also wanting to see my house, which meant a few hours of frantic cleaning sucking up my time. I also put up my Christmas decorations, because I just could NOT wait, and I finally cleared out all of the boxes still piled in the living room to make room for our tree. So I win at unpacking: living room category.

We don’t actually have the tree yet. Husband insists on a live one, and since I’ve led an entirely artificial life up til now, I’m game to try something different. Although I suspect that one Christmas of Real Tree vs. Our Cats will send me running in tears back to the arms of artificial simplicity and make Husband a convert to same.

And now I need to rev myself up to write, because I WILL finish the novel this week. Four scenes to go!

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.

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*

So, NaNo.

Doing it. Working on Hero Factor. This won’t make me eligible for a shiny button or certificate at the end, but all I really want for Christmas is to finish this book, so that’s fine by me.

Here’s the agenda.

The one I made up just now, in my head, and is totally subject to change, because see my earlier post re: flakiness and me.

The rest of October: Get caught up on work projects so I’ll have some downtime at work in November.

November: Dive in. Write. Do not come up for air until first draft is completely drafted. Spam friends list with word count updates.

December: Come up for air. Recover from burn-out, then edit, edit, and edit some more. Divide into installments.

January: Start posting it at , finally.

February: Get to work re-writing last year’s NaNo-produced manuscript.

March: Figure that out when it gets here.

Earlier today I had a flu shot.

Now I have the sniffles. Coincidence?

We watched the new Indiana Jones this weekend.

It might as well have been called Indiana Jones and the X-Files of Doom. It made for a very cute piece of fanfic. I’m glad George Lucas felt the need to share his head trip with us. But for the future I’ll stick with the trilogy, thanks.

I has a clean office!

Mostly. My desk is still covered with papers and small stuff that need filing or homes. But my worktable is clear, which means that my only excuse for not making pretty, crafty things is the lack of time. And my lack of a sewing machine.

And then, there’s this.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz…

You Are an Ingrid!

mm.ingrid_.jpg

You are an Ingrid — “I am unique”

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • * Though I don’t always want to be cheered up when I’m feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • * Don’t tell me I’m too sensitive or that I’m overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • * having aesthetic sensibilities
  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What’s Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don’t deserve to be loved
  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • * expecting too much from myself and life
  • * fearing being abandoned
  • * obsessing over resentments
  • * longing for what I don’t have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
  • * are very sensitive
  • * feel that they don’t fit in
  • * believe they are missing something that other people have
  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents’ divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are
  • * support their children’s creativity and originality
  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

I’m in a good place again, which is nice, because I haven’t been for quite a little while now. Even before I got sick I was tired and moody and blue and generally no fun to be around. A number of things contributed to snapping me out of it, not the least of which were getting back into a gym routine and going to bed earlier (because if I take care of my physical health, my mental health will follow; I know this. So why do I always need to be reminded?). But what really helped was Saturday. And what happened Saturday? Not a blessed thing.

We had planned to go to my mom’s to do some cleaning and retrieve some stuff we left there, but both of us started the day out feeling completely wiped. Must have been something in the air, because even Speedy Pete was more Sleepy Pete that day; although I’m sure all of the errand-running I’d done the day before, coupled with dinner and a night at the opera with Tess (La Boheme, which shall henceforth be known in my house as “Boring Italian Rent,” because that’s pretty much what it is, and I gotta say, I prefer the Catchy English Rent; I am so not high-brow), had something to do with it.

So I declared it an official Lazy Day, and we both proceeded to ignore the messy kitchen and living room and all of the boxes that still need to be unpacked and instead sped the day alternating between napping and vegging. The most productive thing I did all day was read a magazine. And man, I cannot tell you now much I needed a day like that. Even when I was sick, I puttered around between naps trying to get things done around the house. It had been so long since I’d had a DO NOTHING day that I wasn’t sure I remembered how to do them.

Sunday was a different story altogether. I had energy, I had motivation, I had a new magnetic To Do List pad on the fridge that I was rarin’ to put to use, and let me tell you, things in my house got DONE. The kitchen and living room got cleaned, the recycling got sorted, the bathroom shelves got assembled and installed, the bathroom got cleaned and organized, a puppy sweater got halfway knitted, and I was a domestic DIVA. I finished a new scene for the novel, too. I RULE.

Or at least, I ruled yesterday. Today, not so much with the ruling. But for now I’m content to rest on my laurels.


So in an effort to both restore sanity around here and maintain it through NaNo and the holiday season, hopefully avoiding becoming burned out and spending Christmas in a rum-scented, nutmeg-garnished funk, I’m abandoning the ridiculous notion of having Hero Factor both finished and ready to start posting this year. This doesn’t make me a flake. There are SO MANY OTHER things that make me a flake. This only adds more weight to the accusation. But I am a flake who knows her limits. Sometimes I forget them, and bite off more than I can chew, and then remember said limits when I choke and almost die. But anyway.

So, for now I’m writing, a little bit each night before bedtime, a little in the mornings before work (on the days I don’t hit the gym), a little on weekends. And I’m editing the earlier chapters when I get time. I still want to finish the manuscript before NaNo. Maybe that’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I’m not going to make myself crazy trying to get it done.

But I WILL get it done. That’s the important thing.

UPDATE: Y’know, it only just now occurred to me that NaNo is optional, and that the truly sane thing would be to skip it this year. I could still play along, unofficially, by trying to finish THF by the end of November. But I have this novel to finish, and I still have last year’s NaNo project to rewrite, so…why am I wanting to dive in and hammer out a third novel right now, exactly?

I need to examine this question. And somebody needs to examine my head.

Pretty toes are the cure to all my woes.

I’m not sure whether it’s because I haven’t had time to indulge any of my creative outlets lately (which always drives me a little buggy and/or into a fit of despair), or if it’s that today has been particularly overwhelming (our plumbing broke, and work is trying to be stressful, and I’m having to stay at the office really late to make up the time I lost this morning to the broken plumbing), or if it’s just general tiredness (this weekend was productive, as far as putting things away and getting organized, but it was pretty dumb of me not to just get some rest), but I’m dealing with some pretty major self-doubt right now.

Specifically, I’m doubting whether Hero Factor is worth even finishing, let alone posting. I’ve been working on this story for far longer than common sense would allow, and by this point finishing it is more a matter of principle than desire. Well, sometimes there’s desire. I still love these characters and I want their story to be told. But at times like these the only thing that keeps me going is principle, because I’ve got too many unfinished stories under my belt and by golly, this won’t be one of them.

Unless maybe it should be. Maybe it’s time to let it go and move on.

What I really need right now is a pedicure. Thirty minutes in a pedi chair is as good as any massage, plus at the end I have pretty feet to show for it. And it would put me in the right frame of mind to make these kinds of decisions; the kind that probably wouldn’t even arise were I getting proper amounts of R&R; the kind of non-dilemma wherein I should stop whining and get to writing.

Right then. I guess that’s settled.