Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hat & Coat Weather

I am clawing up from the dregs of sickness and discovering that there's a whole bright, beautiful world out there.

I'm also catching up on the three trillion things that I had to let slide while I was confined to bed, too weak to even read for long periods.

It was a bitch.

I've gnawed at the pile of stuff, and am feeling better about it. House chores, bills, e-mails, ticket reservations for Thanksgiving in Dayton, need to reserve my damn hotel room for World Fantasy, new contract writing job with a software company (paperwork, first little assignment), tackling the huge mindless waste of space that is my day job (full of dates and numbers and five daily reports and bullshit, bullshit, bullshit Xs 2), finishing the last of the Book rewrites so I can get that out by Friday/Saturday, and itching to get back to working on God's War.

I'm feeling awake, I have energy, I'll just be stirring around the rest of the week finishing up my backlog. I have lingering weakness and some trouble eating certain foods as yet, but I'm definately in recovery mode.

Monday, September 26, 2005

An Encounter with the HR Manager

I bumped into the HR manager in the hall, and she asked if I was any better.

I said, well, no.

JZ, one of the lead architects, is still out with the same thing (he still has PTO time. I burned all my up on writing days and trips to NY). After lamenting about the fact that I've been barely able to get down toast and soup for the last week, she said, cheerfully, "Well, you're getting really skinny!"


That's because I'm FUCKING STARVING!!!!!!!!!!!!


And I know it's all muscle mass. You know the amount of retraining I'm going to have to do?


You're sick and starving, but hey -- YOU'RE LOSING WEIGHT! Be joyful!

I just want some goddamn nachos.

Still Down for the Count

Tried to eat real food on Friday, and promptly gave it back over to the porcelain god. I've been living on a bowl or two of soup and two slices of toast a day, because that's about all I can keep down.

And I've been dreaming of food. DREAMING of food. Nachos, Taco Bell, hot dogs. It's a good sign that I have cravings, but I'm filled with a nausea that won't let me consume very much of soft bland foods, let along anything hardier. I'm still very weak, and I hate the nausea. It's like there's a fist in the middle of my chest, and beaneath that, this broiling slosh of burning stomach acid that refuses to let me eat anything it doesn't like.

Drinking lots of water, soda, apple juice. Apple juice is good. I just can't believe this is going on this long. I'm afraid that if I do buckle and plop down $150 for a doctor they'll say "Sleep a lot, and drink some apple juice." ARRGGG

We'll see. I tend to have more energy in the morning, less at the end of the day, when I tire myself out. I'm optimistically saying that I do feel a smidge better each day, but I can't really back that up.

I'm still down for the count, irritable, weak, tired, and have trouble concentrating. This is crappy for a number of reasons, because I have a lot of shit to do, but my body's telling me to STOP, and I have to stop and wait for it to recuperate before I can even start thinking again about doing something non-useless.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I Went To Work Today

Which was a mistake. I feel terrible. Not as bad as on Tuesday night, and yea, I can eat whole food, but damn, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. Drinking lots of fluids. Should have brought some chicken soup.

Turns out yet another guy from the office was out with the same thing. Add me to the list, and that's four people from my office, so I'm not sure what's up. In any case, ready to go home. The commute was a bitch them morning. I was such a clueless, invalid-looking zombie that somebody actually stopped and tried to help me off the bus.

Oh dear. Do I look that weak? Well.. I guess I am, actually.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

If Pirates Ruled...

Photoshopping contest.

P.S. i am still sick ug ug ug

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

In Which the Protagonist Gets the Plague

ugugug Stomach flu: vomiting, shaky, chills, achiness ug ug ug

Dee, the design manager, was out with stomach flu yesterday. Tuff was out a couple days before. Damn, who else had it? ug ug ug

The protagonist will be staying home from work tomorrow and living on green tea.

ug ug uggugug gu ug

Good morning, chiklits

Coffee is guuuuud.

I am a little bleary-eyed, but functioning. Jenn, the astonishing roommate of doom, picked up some more computer ink for me yesterday (thanks again, Jenn!). I've got a huge print job for Friday...

Worked on God's War yesterday as well, and I'll likely post another excerpt soon. I love that little book.

Now I'm going to get more coffee.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Drunken Persistence, Redux

I got hooked on Laborie pinotage some time back, when I took a tour of the Winelands in Cape Town. It's amazingly gorgeous there. Trader Joe's had a special on some South African pinotage this week, and I snagged a couple bottles. Laborie it ain't, but it's made me nostalgic. And a little drunk.

Sometimes, I am struck by where I am in my life, the people I've known, the places I've seen, the accomplishments I've made at 25. I have been running, running, running, working so hard to get to this place, to have these experiences behind me, to be looking forward to more, to life, to what lies beyond the horizon.

I was talking to both Jenn and B about how tough the last couple of years here in Chicago had been. Not the actual living part - the living has been happy and mostly easy. I can pay my bills. I love my roommates. I enjoy the weather, the public transit. But I've invested two years of my life working an admin job, turning down career opportunities that would require me to curb my writing (and my health) in order to advance. A career in the cell phone industry just wasn't what I was looking for.

Every time somebody asked me what I was working toward with each successive degree, with each job, I told them I was just *this* close to making the books pan out, to making money writing, to being a writer, working to build *that* career above all others. That was my life. That's what I was working toward.

But two years of giving up on more traditional opportunities can get to you. You can start to lose hope. You start to wonder what you're doing. You start to wonder if you're crazy. I'd been talking with both Jenn and B about getting other jobs, about finding ways to take in more money, about sacrificing writing time for something more tradtional, some other life. And I talked about it like a woman who was ready to grow up, to put away childish ideas about what could be and what might be and start worrying about how these student loans were ever going to be paid off.

I started to understand how people got trapped in jobs they hated, so they could buy things they didn't need, so they could have a life they didn't want.

I've bought some of my favorite wine, and I'm sitting here drinking it and staring at line edits I need to finish by Friday, and I'm haunted by the life that I want, the life I know I can have. I've said to myself, over and over, I just need to work harder. I can have this. I just need to work harder. Because there's always somebody out there who's willing to work harder than you are.

I have a blind belief in what I do, in this writing, in what I have. I'm not a genius, but I'm getting better every year. Each book is better than the last. And I have a secret:

This is it. This is what I want to do. I want to write fantasy books. I want to make a living at it. I want to be the best at it, whatever that is or means. I want, I desire, and it's a desire that eats me up.

I want to write for a living, I want to travel, I want to dip my toes in every ocean. I want to go bungee jumping in New Zealand. I want to climb Kilimanjaro. I want to hike up to Machu Picchu. I want a big, wide, bold life. I want to be an old woman on her death bed, gazing out over the pictures of her life. I want, I desire.

How does one want so much and keep going, keep striving in a world that tells you every odd is against you; you're too fat, too slight, too tall, untalented, too talented, not pretty enough, too pretty. It's a world that doesn't believe in anyone or anything, a world that watches faces get their 15 minutes and then moves on, callous, regardless.

And there's no answer to that, really, and whatever answer you do find is a little mad.

Because the answer is you just keep doing it while people tell you no. You keep getting better at it, because you want it. And you do it as long as you have to, if you have to spend five years at a shitty admin job and traveling to foreign locales on credit cards. You do it because the alternative is not to do it, and that's a far, far, more frightening fate.

B sent me Amanda's post over at Pandagon today, about all the things men had told her was wrong with her, about how she'd finally decided to ditch her boyfriend. And I was reminded of another time, another place, when I cared what people thought of me, when I valued myself based on my attractiveness to others, when I tried to mold myself into what other people thought I should be.

I wanted to reach out to Amanda and hold her and cry and say, "Honey, fuck everybody and leave the whole world. Go buy a one-way ticket to somewhere you've never been and start a whole new life and find out how strong you are. Don't go out finding yourself, go the fuck out and fucking create yourself. That's what life is. You find out what the fuck you can do. You realize how strong you are. You realize you can fly."

I can fly.

Even in the darkest times, when I'm freaking out and stress eating and missing the gym and scared and lonely, I know exactly what I can do. I know I can trek alone 160 km into rural Africa. I know I can buy a one-way ticket to Fairbanks, Alaska. I know I can pull together an entire person from the ashes of someone else entirely, and I know that even in the darkest times, during those dark teatimes of the soul, I will come back out of it awake, alive, ready to pursue my desires until the end.

Because this is who I am, this is what I do.

And I seem to have finished this bottle of wine.

I am a little drunk

This is a healthy thing


Wasting Time

I am sitting here at work spinning around and around in my chair. I am kinda sick.

Yellow and Sarah are off to Indy until Friday.

heh heh

I'm going to go eat some cookies.

It's not a bad life. Still wondering why I haven't quit this job yet?

Back to line edits...

Reading NOLA in Dhalgren, or, the Dhalgren in NOLA

Dhalgren in New Orleans - what an old science-fiction novel can tell us about the Big Easy.

Well, yea. Disaster novels will certainly have similiarites to, um, actual disasters.

Yarrr~! Instead of Having Babies, Women Could be Pirates!

Oh, look! Another hysterical "OMG, I FORGOT TO HAVE CHILDREN!!!" peice! Yarrr!

Women who wait until their late 30s to have children are defying nature and risking heartbreak, leading obstetricians have warned.

This assumes:

1) all women want to have children

2) not having children is heartbreaking

2) women don't want to become pirates


Check Out This Scurvy Crew!

(via Sisyphus Shrugged, via Pharyngula)

I Just Can't Stop Laughing

Yarr! How I love ta'day's new photoshopped header...

Harrdy harr har

Fuck, I just can't stop laughing.

Email Day, Me Chiklits!

Arrrr! I will be catchin' up on the e-mail me chiklits, so for those of you expectin' mail from me, get yerselves a bottle o' rum fer the mornin' coffee and sit tight!

Harrrdy harrr harr har

Aye! Avast, Me Chiklits

Arrrr! It's that time o' the yar agin me chiklits!

Ta'day be talk like a pirate day!

Check out me matey Pharyngula's digs! It's all pirate talkin' all the time!

Here be some excellent pirate loot.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Getting There

I have 34 more chapters to line-edit by Friday. I'm on pass 3. Haven't done much else this weekend except laundry, grocery shopping, reading the first chapters of all of the big fantasy sagas on my shelf, and trying to ignore the Lost marathon that Jenn & K are indulging in.

Ignoring Lost has been very difficult. It's a sweet little show.

But NO!! I MUST BE STRONG!! I can't get addicted to another tv show. I... must... work... write... yes... must... work...

Also, I slaughtered a bunch of nations playing Cossaks.

heh heh

That was great.

Then I worked on some fight scenes for God's War.

That was sweet.

Lost is still playing.


Michelle Rodriguez is guest starring in season two.


The Most Useless Quiz Ever

(via tempest)

It's Catching

And yet, why is it that something tells me the bisexuality has been there the whole time and isn't something that has only recently come upon college co-eds?

I'm interested in how common it becomes among both men and women to have sexual experiences with those of the same sex the more we take down the social barriers that dissuade people from acting out their desires.

You Mean Men and Women Are Just People?

A study has found that the differences between men and women have been vastly overestimated... The American study found significant differences in only 22% of traits. These included sexual behaviour, where men were less willing to show commitment, and in aggression — men were more prone to anger. Men were also, the psychologists found, better at skills involving co-ordination such as throwing.

Hyde analysed the studies by recalculating the data from them so they were comparable. In 30% of the traits analysed, she found almost no difference that was statistically significant between men and women, while there were only small differences in another 48%. “This means 78% of potential gender differences are small or close to zero,” she said.

And even these differences could be largely explained away by the ways men and women are raised to use their bodies, how to rate relationships and commitment in their lives, and how to react when threatened or frustrated.

(via Jennifer Warwick)

Collect Them All

Katrina: The Gathering

Propaganda Poster Remix

I love this stuff.

Friday, September 16, 2005

An Open Letter to Myself:

Dear Kameron -


You have to get to World Fantasy in November and visit Stephanie & Ian in Ohio for Thanksgiving.



Thank you.

- me

Friday Beer Blogging

Oh how I am glad it is Friday.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Feel Like My Eyes Are Ready to Bleed

Finishing up the big round of edits, which is Pass 2. Pass 1 was just find-and-replace. Pass 2 is cutting and rearranging hunks of text to delete and compress characters. Pass 3 will be re-reading from start to finish for logical errors (wrong name, a mention of someone who doesn't exist anymore, lingering scenes that don't go anywhere). Pass 4 will be cleaning up spelling and grammar issues, which will also involve reading the whole thing again.

I print it out and send it by the 23rd.


You Know You Created a Shitty Character When...

You can substitute another character's name for theirs without changing the dialogue.


Lotto Money

Illinois state lottery's up to $250 million. Our office is pooling resources and buying a bunch of tickets.

Oh, why not?

I Love My Androgynous Name

I work as a project assistant for a company that builds, designs, and upgrades cell phone towers (I don't know why everyone was so surprised when the towers went out in NOLA. Towers in Indiana are only enginneered to withstand 70 MPH winds. Every time a hurricane goes through Florida, we wait for a repair contract to come through. A couple guys from our office are down in NOLA right now fixing towers whose equipment shelters were under 20 ft of water. Radio equipment, in general, usually doesn't work under 20 ft of water).

In any case, what this means is that I hang out with a lot of architects and construction and site acquisition types, and they're overwhelmingly male. I'm used to being the only woman at meetings, and I've had several of the older guys ask me to get them coffee at some of the bigger national meetings, which left me with my mouth hanging agape (I told them I wasn't out of this office and had no idea where the coffee was. Having a vagina doesn't mean I know where the coffee is, let alone mean I'm gonna get it for them).

We have about 34 people in our office. Six of them are women. Me (the project assistant), Cyllia the secretary, the sole accountant (the other one just got fired for the second and final time), the HR/office manager, one of the architects, and Sarah the construction manager (she is very cool).

Not only do I have an androgynous name, but I'm in a field that's mostly guys, so whenever I start corresponding with a new vendor or client contact, I invariably get "thank you, sir," or "Thanks, Mr Hurley," responses. And the gender marker titles always come from guys (or, people who have guy-like names).

It amuses me, so I never "set them straight." It's worth it for the look of surprise on their faces when they finally meet me, or the odd moment of startled silence when I introduce myself over the phone.

heh heh

Now There's a Musical I Could Get Behind...

Wouldn't it be lovely?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Well, Wouldn't That Be Obvious?

Use Lohin, not Zhodai. Zhodai is a redundant character. And Lohin makes more sense.

snip snip

More On God's War

Working on God's War, which helps me shift gears from the rewrites on The Dragon's Wall. It's the nice thing about working on two, well, three books at once: if your brain stalls on one, you can switch to the other.

Things are going to be pretty quiet here until the end of the month when I finish up my edits for The Dragon's Wall. I've just got a lot of projects going on at once.

I've also got an application for the MFA program at Brooklyn College that I need to get out. After considering a lot of diff't options, I've decided on applying to just one program and seeing what happens. It's only two years, which would be the max amount of time I could do in NY. If I don't get accepted, then I just do one year in NY.

We'll see what happens. I'm holding off on the law school option for awhile. It's still something I'm interested in, but I'm not keen on doing it in New York, and I'd like to be in New York next year, as flying in and out of there is getting exhausting for me and B, and I'd like to wake up next to B every day instead of two or three days a month.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

In Which Everything Starts to Feel Like Work

Ug. Tired.

57 Percent Of College Girls Want To Sleep With Angelina Jolie

Who would have thought?

But isn't that kinda gay?

heh heh

Proving That My Naming Schemes Are Actually Pretty Good

British Office Compiles List Of Odd Names

... discoveries included Boadicea Basher, Philadelphia Bunnyface, Faithful Cock, Susan Booze, Elizabeth Disco, Edward Evil, Fozzitt Bonds, Truth Bullock, Charity Chilly, Gentle Fudge, Obedience Ginger and Offspring Gurney

Oh, Danika Darling


I think she looks hotter in the jump suit, personally. I'm hoping that her new promotions involve her wearing more clothes.


Would you see a male race car driver posed with no clothes in front of a car?

Um. No.

See, I have no problems with selling products using your image. The Williams sisters got some great Nike contracts, and Nike has some great ads (of course, with their religious upbringing, I don't think their father would let them be caught dead half-dressed for any reason, which gets into issues of why in the hell 20-something women are still getting bossed around by their dads, but I digress). Anyhow, as somebody who's always looking for ways I can get my passion to give me two pennies to rub together, I can see the allure of throwing on a bikini and photoshopping in front of a car.

But ideally I'd prefer the ad to say something more about my image than, "I can wear a red bikini and look super sexy after a good airbrushing."

I mean, shit, after a good air brushing I'd look good in a red bikini.

If you want to sell shit with bodies, why not sell us people instead of flesh? Why not sell greatness, talent, people who are really fucking good at stuff? I guess it's easier to sell stuff if you think, "Hey, I'll buy XXX and then I'll be hot!!"

Instead of, "Hey, buying XXX will help me on my way to being a super athlete!"

I gotta say I'm not surprised Danika's taking her clothes off, but I was hoping for better.

I've Been Found Out

Got a call at my desk from Yellow yesterday.

"Can you come back here?" he said.

I walked back to his cubicle expecting that I was going to get into trouble for putting in the wrong dates for something or miscalculating the number of LMUs we've installed.

I saw that he was surfing the internet.

Yellow: "So how does this thing with your agent work? How did it go?" (I'd mentioned in my e-mail about time off that I was taking last Friday off to work on my book because an agent was interested in it).

Me: She wants the whole thing, but I've gotta do edits first. If she likes it and thinks she can sell it, she'll sign me. If she doesn't, she won't.

Yellow: So, like how much money can you make off something like that?

Me: Depends. Low end, 5K-20K. I'd like to make 40K, which is enough to pay off all my student loans and credit cards. If I'm really, really, lucky, the la-la land figure is six figures for book one with an option for book two.

Yellow: I'm soooo getting your resignation letter in a couple months.

Me: Uh. It'll be a lot longer than a couple months. And then, I'd only leave it was six figures. Anything less, and I have to keep the desk jockey job.

Yellow: You know, I'm thinking about writing a book.

Me: I'm sure you are, Yellow.

Yellow: What? I totally knew you'd laught. So, you know all about this blog stuff, right?

Me: ??

Yellow: What are some good blogs to read? Tuff over there is looking for some love poems.

Me: Love poems? (????)

Yellow: Yea. He's Italian. Love poems.

Me: Yellow, you're asking the wrong person.

Yellow: But you know all about blogs (??). What's a good blog? What do you read?

Me: (is he fishing to see if I'll recommend mine?) I mostly read feminist and science fiction blogs.

Yellow: So, what's a good one?

Me: (does he really think I'm going to recommend mine??) Well, there's this one called Bitch Ph.D. She's pretty cool.

Yellow: (covers his face with his hands) Oh, man, you would recommend a blog called that.

Me: Yup.

Yellow: Tuff! Hey, Tuff! Kameron says she doesn't know of any love poetry blogs.

Tuff: That's OK, I'll google it.

Yellow: Google "love poetry."

Tuff: Oh, yea. There are lots of love poetry blogs, I just know it.

Yellow: You know, Tuff, you can google all sorts of things.

Me: Yellow, did you actually call me back here for something work-related, or are you just bored?

Yellow: I'm just bored.

Me: OK, Yellow

I have a sneaking suspicion I may have been found out.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Good Morning, Chiklits

I emerge from NY well rested, well fed, and have a shitload of edits to do on the Fantasy Saga. I need to alter some names and compress several characters into single characters (the problem with cutting 60K from a book and keeping all of the original characters is that you realize some of them only exist to accomplish one task, and they're the sorts of tasks I can make other people do). Once those are done - I've given myself a 2-week deadline - the whole thing goes off to the Agent, and then we'll see what happens.

It's like roulette, with no death involved.

My parents called last night to let me know that I apparently had a parking ticket on their old station wagon from 1999 that I hadn't paid.... hmmmm I'd almost forgotten about this one. They never sent me anything about it, so I ignored it. At the time, I recalled that it was $350, and impossible to pay, but according to my dad, it's only $150. I'm sending them a check...

Meet the Parents weekend went well. B's parents are very cool and smart and funny and nice, and they use the word "fuck" at the dinner table, which made me feel right at home! They live in one of those Brooklyn brownstones whose price tags make you choke on your coffee.

Anyhow, looking forward to a very productive week. Lots to do, very exciting, all the hard work is starting to pay off.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I Find it Appropriate That My Cure is "LIGHT SELF ON FIRE"

What kind of disease are you?

Kameron Hurley:

Kameron Hurley is caused by monkeys.

Kameron Hurley disease causes deadly flatulence upon infection.
To cure Kameron Hurley, light self on fire.

Off Again & Clarification

I have a good deal of things to say, but I'm channeling a lot of energy into fiction writing (selling fantasy's going to be getting more and more popular, eh?). Hopefully, I'll be resuming something more like my usual blogging schedule on Monday. Tonight, it's off to NY for some good-old-fashioned quality time with B. It's "meet the parents" weekend.

I'm bringing a very nice shirt.

Also, since I just can't resist, after nearly a year of gender-neutral blogging, I realize that I've previously been somewhat ambiguous about who exactly Jenn's SO is. Now that Jenn's Out, I get to use the pronoun SHE, and for blogging purposes, let's call her K.

Yes, that's right! I'm now officially able to say that Jenn's SO is, in fact, a GIRL!! Yes, I live in a houseful of BRILLIANT LESBIANS! They've been watching TENNIS all week and comparing notes about hot female tennis players (I don't much care for blonds, alas)! We go through oddles of FEMININE HYGIENE products! There is all sorts of GIRL LOVIN' in our house! They are both getting DOCTORAL DEGREES!

And, wow, our house hasn't been struck by lightning.

Neener neener neener

So ends that clarification, which I know several readers had asked about at some point...

You can all go back to your regularly scheduled programming.

CEO Barbie Gives Girls Unrealistic Career Images

Why is it these days that I'm having more and more trouble realizing I'm reading something from The Onion?


(via twisty)

Good Morning, Chiklits

I have coffee. It is good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I Sure Do Feel That in My Ass

Totally revamped my morning weights routine, which had gotten stale and boring and wasn't doing much for me anyway. Now it's back to kicking my ass, literally.

I've added front squats and deadlifts, and ohhhhh does my ass notice.

Keep in mind that I've only got 20 lb and 30 lb weights at home, so it'll be sometime before I deadlift 100 lbs at home, as I need to work up to 50 lb free weights. Right now I'm just happy I can do one set of eight squats.

Don't push me just yet.

My ass is already upset with me.

Wow, People Actually Buy This Stuff!

Wow, people are buying stuff at my CafePress store!

Superkewl. I make a buck or two for every sale, so hey, send me to World Fantasy in November!

And if I see you wearing BW apparel at the Con, I'll, like, sign it or something.

Hey, I might be famous in twenty or thirty years! And oh yes, wouldn't you just love to have such a token to sell on ebay, and then you can use the money to go to a Con or your daughter's wedding in, say, 2025.

Now that's planning ahead.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Good Morning, Chiklits

Thank goodness it's a short week.

Off to NY Thursday night.

Only 3 days of mind-numbing desk jockey work until then! Yay!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Lemons and Melons and Pears, Oh My

I'm just gonna second Scalzi:

Now things get really interesting.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blog Down

I'll see you all Tuesday.

I have a shitload of work to do...

A Million People Homeless

Still trying to get my head around that one, let alone the fact that an entire city just basically sank.

I'm reminded of a local city of mine that did a similiar disappearing act. They didn't recover. Try finding Vanport, Oregon today:

Vanport, the 2nd largest city in Oregon and the largest public housing project in the nation was flooded when a dike holding back the Columbia River gave way at 4:05 p.m. on May 30, 1948. Vanport, 15-feet below Columbia's water level, was completely underwater by nightfall. Fifteen people died in the flood. Houses were washed off of their foundations and the entire town was lost.

Vanport, a combined name of the nearby cities -- Vancouver and Portland -- has been erased off maps and all visible traces of the city have disappeared.

Just like that.