Monday, March 31, 2008

To Do

For today: Made a list of things I'll be buying from Ikea to furnish my new place. Suddenly an actual possibility now that I don't owe $1133 in taxes. Also, new workouts with Health & Wellness program at work started today! yay!

For tonight: another apartment showing!

And then: homework! My Econ and Marketing classes from Sinclair start today.

For Tues: catching up on all my novel writing

For Weds: Date #3!

Some weeks, I really love being busy.

The Benefits of Working for a Tax Company

I've done my taxes about four times, and went from getting back $900 to owing $1100. I had finally resigned myself to giving $1100 of next month's book check to taxes when I finally gave up staring down the cold, hard tunnel of multiple State returns and brought it in to work to take advantage of my free tax prep benefit.

I went from owing $1133 on Federal to owing $107, I'm getting $8 back from the city of Dayton, $80 back from Ohio, and $2 back from Illinois.

This means I went from owing $1133 to owing, all told: $17

I'm never going back to doing my own taxes.

Today's Song, Stuck on Repeat

"Coconut Skins" by Damien Rice
(this guy is lovely. See also here. Another of my favorites)

You can hold her hand
And show her how you cry
Explain to her your weakness
So she understands
And then roll over and die

You can brave decisions
Before you crumble up inside
Spend your time asking everyone else's permission
Then run away and hide

Or you can sit on chimneys
Put some fire up your ass
No need to know what you're doing or waiting for
But if anyone should ask
Tell them I've been licking coconut skins
And we've been hanging out
Tell them God just dropped by to forgive our sins
And relieve us our doubt
La la la la la la la...

Oh you can hold her eggs
But your basket has a hole
You can lie between her legs and go looking for
Tell her you're searching for her soul
You can wait for ages
Watch your compost turn to coal
Time is contagious
Everybody's getting old

So you can sit on chimneys
Put some fire up your ass
No need to know what you're doing or looking for
But if anyone should ask
Tell them I've been cooking coconut skins
And we've been hanging out
Tell them God just dropped by to forgive our sins
And relieve us our doubt
La la la la la la la...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Resident Evil: Extinction

There's no need to think at all during the course of this movie, and that's a good thing, too, cause thinking would much diminish the experience.

Instead, the filmmakers have happily allowed the viewer to forget all that plot nonesenese alltogether by making Milla Jovovich JUST THAT KEWL:

There are zombies, and some kind of council, and clones, but it doesn't really matter at all because, THERE IS MILLA JOVOVICH AND SHE IS JUST THAT KEWL!!!!!

No, look, there, Milla Jovovich kicking zombie ass!!!

OK, it needed more Jedi and less cloning, and, um, an actual plot and story BUT I DID NOT CARE. At least, not when I was watching it.

At some point, I turned to my date and said, "Someday I will be as cool as Milla Jovovich."

OK, actually I said this about three times. Why he agreed to a third date, I do not know.

Maybe because someday I will BE AS COOL AS MILLA JOVOVICH!!!!!

And yes, this is exactly what the God's War movie poster would so look like, only without the Las Vegas sign, and she'd be wearing a billowing burnous, and would be broader and buffer:

Also, the God's War movie would have plot and character and no lame clones.

And somehow, against all odds, all comprehension NYX WOULD BE EVEN COOLER THAN MILLA JOVOVICH!!!

Hard to believe, I know.

The end.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Well, I'll definitely be seeing *him* again....

Friday, March 28, 2008


I'm always curious to see how other people write books. Mainly because mine are always such a damn mess.

When I hit the 3/4 mark, I have to go back and hack apart all the pacing. It's all about timing action scenes and shuffling POV scenes into the right order. Putting in additional POV scenes where necessary, adding foreshadowing elements. I like to do this right before the last quarter because if I'm prepared for it properly, the last quarter flows like a dream. But you have to get the pacing right first, and everybody's plot threads, before you can tie them all up at the end.

Yeah, yeah: details.

And then there's chapter length, varying sentence length (there's a lot of rambling in this one. Cutting commas is going to be one of my biggest projects when I do the first pass of rewrites).

Books are like any other type of writing, on a grander scale. It's putting everything in the right order, in just the right way, to produce just the right emotional effect in your readers. Marketing writing is like like. Technical writing is drier, but you're still trying to take complex concepts and make them comprehensible to the greatest number of people possible.

And you do it in fiction, too. You organize it in a way that gets you the emotional reaction you desire. You want people to connect with your characters. You want them to care. You want to show them a complex but (mostly) comprehensible world.

And you do it all with letters and punctuation.

And pacing.

Fucking pacing.

Sex Change

The fact that the two primary folks who put Nyx back together again are men really bothers me.

So one of them will be getting a sex change. I mean, not within the book (though that certainly would be something interesting to explore in this weird body-swapping world... hm...), but an authorial one.

Sometimes I think what the difference is between feminist science fiction and everything else is just being aware of what you're doing. I've got a lot of heavy cultural biases. I work hard at being aware of them when I'm building worlds, and seeing where they drive me off track. Not every world is like this one. I love reading about places where things are really different. Not just the gadgets, but *everything.* There's so much we just automatically assume, stuff that doesn't fit into the worlds we build. It's the Martian husband reading the paper and the Martian wife serving him tea.

Come on. Really?

Stupid things, like the assumption of a nuclear family (yes, I defaulted to a couple of these, too), the assumption of a supporting cast and background characters that are 95% male (it was a struggle to reverse this for GW, but writing anything else would have been portraying a totally different world than the one I built), het love as the penultimate in intimacy (reeeeeeaally trying to break out of this one, but it's hard), boys who move and shake the world while the girls hold their hands, one-way racism, and governments in total control (we like to think ours knows what it's doing; most governments, though, are pretty incompetent).

Things are a lot more messy (and a lot more interesting) than all that in the worlds I'm building (and, in fact, in real world; the world as assumed is much duller than the real thing). And yes, it's a pain in the ass to go back and fix it when you screw something up.

But the world is better for it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Own Ineptitude Sometimes Baffles Me

I'm applying for an apartment. I need my old landlord's phone number. Do I have her phone number? A copy of the lease? Why, no, why on earth would I have that information! Jenn handled all that!


This is why relying on other people to handle stuff explodes in my face. I tend to rend my personal relationships with an unforgivable sort of finality that bites both ways.

It's why I'm so terrified of trusting people. If they don't ruin it, I probably will. It's probably one more reason I'm happy to be moving out now instead of a year from now so I can actually stay friends with Steph and the Old Man...

Sometimes I think the person I really don't trust is myself.

Daytonism of the Week

Was at an apartment showing tonight, and the subject of Dayton and why I moved here and my job came up.

"I'm a copywriter," I explained. "It's really great, I love it. I write all of our brochure copy, promotional stuff, web copy, that sort of thing."

"Oh, you're kidding!" the bubbly leasing agent exclaimed. She was a couple of years younger than me, plump and pretty, with a daughter in daycare. I was kind of surprised at how much she seemed to appreciate what I did.

"That's really wonderful!" she went on. "I'm writing a children's book, and I'm trying to figure out how to copyright it. It's so great to meet a copy-righter!"

No, I didn't correct her. I neatly changed the subject.

All of my roommate's stories about people here are true.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Finally Caught Up

Finally on schedule again. I'm going to go collapse now.

Officially Through the Middle

I've officially passed through the Dreaded Middle of the book. This isn't so much a word count thing (I thought, until I did the word count) as a scene thing. The worst is over, and now we're going out to kick some ass.

This fact does, however, neatly dovetail with this afternoon's wordcount (still 2500 behind schedule):

Now comes the long pause while I clean up the first 3/4 of the book so I can write one long, smooth end-tying, ass-kicking ending.

Yes, this means line edits.

I'm slashing at least twelve pages and going back to get in some foreshadowing and more clearly tying folks and events together. I'd like to avoid dog-sized holes in the plot. Let's keep them roach-sized, please.

Strange Days

Why is it that the happiest scenes are always the hardest for me to write?

Maybe because, in my books, happy scenes always mean the worst is about to happen.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back to School

I'm officially signed up for my first Economics class and my first Marketing class, paid for part and parcel by the company. How could I not take advantage of that?

I'm so thrilled to be in school again, I can't even tell you. The plan right now is to just go ahead and get the AA in Marketing Management. I mean, if they pay for it, why not? Helps me diversify and keeps my brain busy.

These two are online courses to start, since I have moving and wacky schedules and writing deadlines and most classes were full cause it's the last week to register. Next quarter I'll do one or two more, real-world classes this time. I need to socialize more, and school's a good excuse.

Gets me out and about.

Also, more apartment hunting today! I have three more lined up for the weekend.

Life: it's not bad, yo.

Things I Find More Than a Little Embarrassing

Standing in line at Chipotle tonight, the one right around the U of Dayton, minding my own business....

... and then!

Some jocky 20-something college kid gets in line behind me. I did not notice him at all when he walked up.

Oh no, I did not notice him until I smelled him. I recognized the scent immediately, not because it made me want to gag, but because the smell made me want to turn around and tear all his clothes off, just like in the commercials.

Yes, indeed: he was wearing Axe body spray.

Seriously. It triggers my crazy-attraction Kryptonite response like nothing else besides the Real Deal.

I find my stunning physical reaction to this body spray - so ridiculously like the commercials - to be incredibly embarrassing.

Seriously. I had to turn my back to him. I had to force myself not to turn and look, because I knew he was just some kid and certainly not All That, but gawd was I feeling otherwise... heady scent-drunk.

Sometimes I'm just so damn easy.



One of my coworkers announced today that he and he wife officially paid off their house yesterday. They've been scrimping and saving ever since they bought it to get rid of the payment.

He's 26 years old.

He's now doing research into investments.


Um... next month, I'll pay off a credit card?


Monday, March 24, 2008

Ridiculous Amounts of Writing

20 pages today, to catch up. I accomplished this by skipping some filler scenes and going straight for the good ones. Sadly, it means tomorrow I get to write a bunch of filler scenes.

Still about 2500 behind the schedule, but that ain't no thing. I'll have a draft of Black Desert by the end of April.

No, really! It's like a spring miracle!

Note I did not say it was going to be a *good* draft, but it'll be a draft nonetheless. My first drafts are always pretty wild.

What $425 Rents You in Dayton, OH

Really, it wasn't all that bad. The kitchen was smallish, the closet space was minimal, and the bathroom was the size of an NYC bathroom (ya'll from there know what I'm talking about), which gives me panic attacks.

But it was right down the street, reasonably clean, and the rooms were, well, adequate.

But that's all it was, really: adequate. It was like the apartment I rented in South Africa. It was... enough. Adequate. But wandering around, looking at the panic-attack-inducing bathroom, I realized it just wasn't enough for me.

I mean, hell, I'm 28 years old. I have a good job. I'm not a student anymore, and though I want to live frugally, do I really want to live like a cockroach? There's living frugally, and then there's panic attacks in the bathroom.

So I'm upping my limit to $525 instead of under $500. I want closet space, a balcony, and a decent sized bathroom in additional to my dishwasher and air conditioning. Call me high maintenance.

Call me old.

But you know what? It's about damn time I lived like an adult and not a college kid in a fucking dorm room.

The Contract Arrives!!!!!

Happy author~~!!!!!

Happy contract!

Description of the future goods to be delivered.... For those who can't read the smallish text, it reads: "Each work shall be a Middle Eastern-inspired fantasy novel featuring organic technicians, brawling mullahs, swarms of magician-trained locusts, and a former government assassin turned bounty hunter."

Yes, yes they will.

I love my job.

Results of My Fitness Test

As part of our health and wellness program at work, we do fit tests every three months.

The results?

My weight = the same

My body fat percentage = the same

Resting heart rate = improved

Pushups = 8 more than last time

Situps = the same

Measurements = lost almost two inches around my hips and half an inch around my waist.

The rest?

You guessed it.

About the same.

This is why I don't use a number on a scale to measure my progress. I measure progress by pushups and heartrate, honestly.

Another One of Life's Little Ironies

Since it looks like I'll have my own place May or June 1, I started shopping online for my old French perfume. Afterall, living on my own means that I can, once again, use scented products without slaughtering one of my roommates! Huzzah.

Arielle, my longtime favorite perfume since highschool made by Fragonard, the wonderful French perfumerie, has, sometime over the last year, been discontinued.

I had half a bottle left with Jenn at the old apartment. I'm sure it has since been pitched at some point during the horrific endgame that was our friendship (and yes, totally my fault. Much more was lost than half a bottle of discontinued perfume, but it's one more thing lost during that time in my life that cannot be replaced).

I guess I could get some Soleil or Capucine or Reve Indien, but... but... Yeah.

One more thing gone.

It's funny how sometimes it's the little things that get to you.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


How come I'd never heard of this movie? It's worth it for the gun kata alone! Wheeee! It's like Gattaca meets the Matrix, with Christian Bale! I mean really, how could you go wrong? Or Maybe Harrison Bergeron meets the Matrix meets Gattaca meets Christian Bale.

Anyway, it plays with old themes, but they're old ideas I enjoy: classic SF dystopia. What happens when you try and make everyone the same? What happens when we all look the same, feel the same... or don't feel at all?

What it does do, however, is fall into a lot of old traps. This "new" and "revolutionary" society is still based on the nuclear family structure. Babies are still made and raised the same way, which seems a little silly when you remember that these folks aren't supposed to have feelings. Why raise your children? Out of a sense of duty to the state?

I'm always amused to find that the future looks a whole lot like the 1950s.

There are also only about 4 women in the future, apparently. Seriously, check out all the group scenes. I made the assumption, early on, that women and men were segregated. Turns out that wasn't the case, the filmmakers were just too lazy to find a reasonable number of women extras.

It also falls into an old trap that I'm trying to break in my own work. A totalitarian society is overthrown by... killing its leader. We just need to destroy the head and blow up the prozac plants and then people will be free!

Well, you know, fighting the Man with the same hatred and violence the Man uses against you... isn't all that revolutionary. You get another cycle of hate and violence. A small group of people chooses to "liberate" many through an act of violence.

Can't we think up different ways to build new societies? How effective is it, really, to kill a dictator and magically remake a country? Look at South America. Africa. Iraq. The US has been killing dictators for years, and it's made a hell of a mess. You don't just slaughter a dictator and expect things you change. It's a lot tougher than that. It's changing people. It's finding new ideas. And you can't do that with a bullet.

Killing people is easy. Real change is hard.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Slog, slog, slow

I think doing back-to-back chapters of Rhys-and-Nyx-expositing-over-tea to Nyx-and-Khos-expositing-over-beer is going to be just a little exhausting.

Time to break and re-group.

Building a(n) Different Alternative Femininity

Sometimes what I suspect I'm doing - the way I live my life, what I write - is building an alternate version of femininity.

I was at the coffeeshop today working on Black Desert, and at the the next table over three skinny, blond 14-year-old girls were drinking waters and frappuchinos, gossiping about boys and discussing the total calorie count on the container of fruit they were sharing.

And as I was sitting there, the old despair started welling up in me again. That certain knowledge that I never have and never will look like that or live like that. I spent my pre-teen and teen years trying to conform to that mold, and it didn't work. The problem with having one dominant femininity is that not only does everyone start looking and acting the same, but you've got this vast majority of women who - even with the help of loads of plastic surgery, strict diet control, and abstaining from all things non-trivial - will never, ever conform to that mold, no matter how hard they try. And they'll spend their lives hating themselves for it.

Note that I'm not about complacency. I'm not about giving up and hiding under your couch and eating bon bons for the rest of your life. I love watching succeed, find power. But most people can't get there by reaching for the 21st century American ideal of "femininity," or skinny blond bauble in heels. It's an incredibly transitory ideal (as all of them are). You can hit it from 16-35 if you're genetically blessed or spend loads of time and money on it, and then you're pretty fucked or very rich (and even the very rich will only get another 10 years out of it).

We have no Amazon ideal. We have no Tough Matron ideal. We have hot Britney. And when Britney has kids and loses her teen popsicle image and goes wacky and has real problems like most folks from her end of town, she's nothing. That's all of us: we're nothing. No worth; not worth looking at, not worth noticing.

Youth and beauty have always been sought out and valorized, but there are alternative role models, alternative ways to find strength. When did we stop worshipping heros and start worshipping youth? In fact, real strength can often be found only outside of our narrowly-defined version of femininity. Young, thin and air-headed only gets you so far. "Hot," if used in tandem with "smart" can get you called a bitch or send you right to the top... so long as you have the strength and financial ability to maintain it.

So what about all of us who'll never be blond, thin, and believe youth should be left happily behind along with bad sex and credit card debt? Cause honestly, there's very little I miss about being young. Perhaps I miss being invincible, but the bad sex and credit card debt? Yeah, that I could do without. I much prefer life on the downside of 25.

I remember throwing my first punch and how amazing it felt. All of a sudden you realize that this big clunky body that you thought was worthless by virtue of its so-not-hotness is actually *good* for something. You channel 200 lbs of strength into knocking over a 200 lb punching bag, and for the first time in your life, you feel strong. You have worth. Worth not measured by the width of your ass.

If fact, there were all sorts of things my body was good at. I just never had the courage to give it a try. If I wasn't worth looking at, what kind of worth did I really have, as a bag of flesh and blood? Oh, sure, I had a brain. My dad always told me I was the sort of girl guys married, not the sort of girl they fucked around with. Problem was, I didn't really want to get married. And I had a real problem with my worth as a person being decided by what it was guys wanted or didn't want from me.

How about the world? How about, what can I, physically and mentally, as a whole person, give to the world? What am I worth to myself? What can my body, my mind, do for *me*? .... Besides attracting or repelling a bed partner?

And when I sit down to write I write about women whose sense of self-worth is defined by what they know, what they've done. Asses and breasts and hips and legs are tools, body parts, stuff you trade off and shuffle around, shit that gets you from here to there. It's not who you are. It's not what drives you.

In my world, you look for a friend and/or bed partner based on what they are, what they can do, strength and reliability and skills and flat-out usefulness. Beauty is lovely. Beauty is fun to look at. Beauty can stop your heart. But it's a passing thing, candy, no more permanent than its component parts.

I build worlds where strong, scary women build and control the world. That's not to say that there's not a place for other kinds of women, for men of all stripes, in those worlds, but the people running the show have a different set of values. There's no cult of youth and beauty there. There's no 24-hour news channel. There's no roadside advertising. There's nobody in your face telling you to measure your worth by the width of your ass.

Thick or thin, doesn't matter out there.... question is, when the shit hits the fan, will you stand and fight, or cower and die?

That's the real question out there, the only one that matters.

And with those kinds of odds, nobody gives a shit about how many calories are in their goddamn fruit cup.

Med Expenses Paid Last Year:


This is the amount I actually paid out of my own pocket, not how much I was charged or what I still owe. As of last count, I owe about $1700 more, $700 of which has been tied up with my insurance company and which they should hopefully pay.

If we counted how much insurance paid, the number is easily twice that. Easily.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Seriously needs to happen tonight. I'm behind 5500 words again. Blast.

A Train Wreck of a Day

God, today was awful.

It has to do with a lot of stuff, including the fact that my health insurance doesn't work and I have to run around the office begging for money. Then there were loud coworkers, fighting down hysterical responses, being asked to get coffee for one of the IT guys (it was an innocent request, it just brought up my lingering animosity toward being a useless secretary), first official meeting with a new supervisor in a new department. It was a poor to terrible performance during our Zumba class (I move like a stone; the only part I felt confident with was when we punched). It was waiting too long for meds at the pharmacy. It was being overbudget on fun money for the month. It was not enough workouts. It was moving departments. It culminated in me spending an hour waiting for an apartment showing... in front of the WRONG apartment complex. By the time I called the guy a second time and sorted out that I was in front of the wrong place, he'd gone home, and I felt so stricken and stupid - it was so much the perfect end to a perfectly shitty day - that I just walked home and cried the whole way.

It's change. It's terror that I can't actually hack it on my own now, after getting sick. It's terror that in fact, I am crazy and incompetent, and once I'm on my own, that will become abundantly clear. I have a lot of really fantastic stuff going for me right now, and now I have to bring it, and after failing to fucking find the right apartment complex absolutely killed me tonight. Look at the level of my incompetence! I can't even show up to an apartment showing! What if being sick has permanently fried my brain? What if I can't make it?

I hate relying on health insurance to live, and relying on an employer for health insurance. I hate being so crazy-busy that my brain just... stops. That I can find the right apartment place, circle the block and *stand outside the wrong apartment a block away because they look alike for an hour.* I should have, at the very least, re-called after half an hour. I should have - duh! - seen that I was now standing in front of a complex that was in the middle of a street, not a corner lot like the one I passed while doing a loop around it. What the hell? How did I not see that? I just stood there like a sheep, like my brain saw it, and clicked and all reasoning power turned off.

And this is who needs to hack it. This is the one who's corp copywriter, building sales projects, has a three book contract, and lives or dies by how well she can calculate her insulin/food/exercise percentages four times a day each and every day. And, of course, that's the rub, isn't it?

How many things can you keep in your head? How much can you do until your brain shuts off what it considers non-vital? How much until you just overload and have to shrug everytime you blow a gasket and go, "OK, well, shit, I guess that was one thing too much."

I hated almost everything about today.

Tomorrow will be better.

I can do this, but I'm scared as hell, and until I prove to myself that I can do all this in the face of... all of this, everything I carry along with me, I'm going to be a little freaky about it all for the next couple of months.

Man, I want it all to come together.

Man, I want to shine.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Crazy

I'd never realized what a powerful thing it was to take control of your own emotions and reactions to things. What's the quote? "Life is what you do with what's been done to you."

You can't go back and change how things went. You can't change people. You can't change the past. What you *can* change - right now, this minute - is how you react to those things. How much or how little you allow them to eat you up, consume your life.

It's hard. It's fucking unfair, especially when you feel you were in the right, or you were the one abused, or you were the one treated unfairly or fucked over.

Yes, you were.

Now what are you going to do about it?

Because I can't change other people. I can't change their reactions to me. I can't be more loveable. I can't be more than me. All I can be is the best I can be. The only thing I'm in charge of is my own reactions.

Life is what you do with what's been done to you.

There's this bitter, cynical guy at work who comes in every day and every day there's some new way that he's been screwed over, that life is unfair, that his life is crap, that it's not going his way.

In fact, he's pretty successful, I think. He has a spitfire wife he seems to get along with quite well, two absolutely gorgeous children, a great opportunity with this young company, great health insurance, tons of friends around here and back on the east coast where he's from. He owns his own house. They have two cars. I'd bet they have an IRA, too. They're in a good place. His life is in a good place.

But that's not how he chooses to take it. He comes in and everything is hell, everything is bad, everything is doom and gloom. It's waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And you know, though I have some fear and trepadation about losing everything in the back of my mind, I don't live that reality. I don't have nightmares all night about losing everything (OK, not usually!). Sure, sometimes I'm afraid I'll lose things, but what drives me is hope. Hope that I'm building toward something more. Striving to be better. Hope and faith.

I've done some terrible things to people the last couple of years, and I've had crappy things happen to me, but you know what? Shit happens. You can hate somebody for breaking your heart and scream at them to fix it, or you can fix your own damn heart. You can patch it up yourself. No one's going to do it for you. You can choose to figure out how to live the life you want - chronic illness and all - or you can lie in bed all day screaming at the unfairness of the universe and sit around feeling sorry for yourself. You can bitch and moan about losing your job and being stuck in Dayton or you can thank your incredible friends for giving you the opportunity to start over in a new town.

You can drive yourself with hate and fear and a deep sense of persecution by God or the Universe or whatever. Or you can say, "OK, this is what I've been dealt. Now what the fuck can I do with it?"

I think the thing that pisses me off about it is that it tends to "absolve" others (or the Universe, or whatever), for their actions. It's like saying, "So what, you were mugged in the street, get over it!" But what's the alternative? Sitting around waiting for the mugger to apologize and give your money back or watching him strung up for theft?

In this scenerio, whose actions/reactions do you have control over?

You're damn right I want the assholes to get their just desserts, but when I'm sitting around waiting for that day, on those nights when I'm not out campaigning to get them incarcerated or trying to change gun laws or whatever, what am I doing to take care of myself? How am I looking out for my own emotions? Cause nobody else is, especially not the person or external force that hurt you.

One of the things I hate the most is being dependent on other people. I hate having my well-being so dependent on the actions of someone else.

There's something incredibly freeing when you stop yourself, when you clutch at all the hurt and pain and say, "This isn't about that crazy fucked up person who hurt you/fucked up thing that happened to you. This is about how you choose to handle it."

Some people do things to you that are hurtful because they're wacky or crazy or completely fucked in the head. And that's something they have to deal with. What can you do about that? Just run after them, screaming?

So I work hard to let it go. I remind myself that all the stuff that changes is going to change within me, not inside of someone else. I can't change other people. I can't change situations. I can't change screwed up genetics.

But I can change how I deal with it.

I can take control of it now, this moment.

And that's how I live my life.

That's how I keep going.

That's how I succeed even in the face of catastrophic failure.

Fall down seven times. Get up eight.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Cthulu is on Second Base

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Collapse. After our second day of video shooting tomorrow, I'm hoping things at work will slow down (ha ha).

Apartment viewing Friday! Yay!


I've finally decided.

You don't get people like this every day.


Work writing. Fiction writing. Chipotle. Looking for apartments. More work writing. Work socializing. Fiction plotting/planning. Some reading (not enough). Some working out (not enough).

I need to go bowling next month and get the hell out of the house, but there's so damn much going on right now and so many deadlines that I'm having trouble getting my head unstuck.

Good news is: things are good.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Black Desert

I get really irritated when the Plot gets in the way of the exploding heads.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Life, in General

Behind at work. Behind in fiction. Behind with workouts. Too much Chipotle. Not enough time.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dear Hobb

Um. Two words: Time management.

Writing is writing. Manage your writing in the way that makes the most sense for you. If you're bleeding all over blogs and not bleeding enough in your fiction, stop blogging.

If you get satisfaction from both, manage both. If you write about insurance and tax prep at your day job in return for health insurance, write on your blog about writing, and fulfill your three-book contract on the weekends while taking kickboxing classes and working out four times a week and eating pancakes, awesome.

There's this fiction that we can have one thing and not another, that we're all or nothing. I write to survive. Health insurance, yo. I blog to reach to different sort of audience and fill a different need. It does completely different things for me than fiction writing does.

And I write fiction because it's what I love, what I've always done, because the pleasure I get out of that keeps me sane.

Survival. Socializing. Sanity.

I need all three.

And so I manage my time really, really well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Grand Revelations

Working on writing up website text about insurance, revising a bunch of scripts for work, then come home, use up some more Chipotle money (carnitas fajita burrito, no rice, no beans, no sour cream, no cheese - wow, this has suddenly become a full-on "healthy" meal. "Only" 745 calories!), off to bookstore, crank out the requisite 1500 words of Black Desert:

Home now, time for line edits and reading and packing up gym clothes for tomorrow (they apparently have kickboxing at the Y downtown on Thursdays. Our membership is free through work, so really, why not go? We'll see how it goes).

Another day, another dollar.

It's all a step at a time. Sometimes there are no grand revelations, just hard work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Black Desert: Still Behind

...but gaining. Am about 7K behind schedule, but that's 3K less than I was this morning, so that's something. This week is more relaxed at work, so I figure I'll be able to catch up a bit before falling behind again next week. Heh.

As you can see, I am not the world's fastest writer. But I'll have a draft by the end of April, come hell, high water, and sales season.

Also, Rhys sure is long-winded. I think I wrote 2K of pure internal self-introspective narration. Whine, whine, whine.

See, I like unreliable narrators, but I believe that there are these moments when some of us really do truly see our actions for what they are. These moments of lucidity are fleeting, and immediately after we realize them we tuck them away again and hide from them, cause if we lived with the truth for too long, well, then we'd actually have to DO something with that truth.

So I do enjoy putting in those moments when we stop hiding our motives behind our actions and see them for what they are. It's nice to capture it in print. Doesn't mean they're any more reliable. We just got to see a brief moment of lucidity.

Nyx and Rhys are incredibly different, but they both lie to themselves with the same incredible desperateness of ingrained self-preservation and perpetual self-hate. It hurts them. And it hurts the people around them.

Also, this printer the not-Boyfriend got me months and months ago? It kicks ass beyond all measure. It's like 30 pages a minute, yo. It's amazing.

It's like, the sort of printer a WRITER would have.

And yeah, if you wonder where I get all of my material from? You don't read this blog. It's all sillily transparent.

But hey: the blog inspires folks on one end, maybe the books will inspire folks on another. I actually like the idea that they'll reach totally different audiences, and I'll get totally different sorts of fan mail for each (yes, I've gotten my fair share of blog-related fan mail. It's why I post things here that are so personal. Sometimes it *does* help people. Other times, yes, I'm just ranting).

Mostly, ranting.

I'd like to say I should be ranting a little more in fiction and a little less here, but they tend to feed each other. When I'm writing, I'm writing, no matter where it is. When I'm not... well, I'm not.



Now I'm just drifting, so I'll stop. Good night!

Black Desert: Excerpted line of the day

"Her name was Azizah, and she ran with a crew so hard-bitten and bloodlusty that they made Nyx nervous."

I can't wait until I finish this book. Not because it's a BAD book. It's actually a pretty GOOD book, but I feel like I've been working on it, like, forever.

And yes, I decided on my own that "bloodlusty" was one word.

Sue me.


Today's Song, Stuck on Repeat

It's been stuck on repeat for two days, actually. This may have something to do with reading and (thus far) enjoying Armor over the last couple of days, too (full rant to come).

For some reason, these fit together in my head. Though this one's more upbeat.

The Decemberists - Sons & Daughters

When we arrive
Sons & daughters
We'll make our homes on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
We'll fill our lives with cinnamon now

These currents pull us 'cross the border
Steady your boats
Arms to shoulder
'till tides are pulled
Hold our grounds
Making this cold harbor now home

Take up your arm
Sons and daughters
We will arise from the bunkers
By land, by sea, by dirrigible
We'll leave our tracks untraceable now

When we arrive
Sons and daughters
We'll make our lives on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
We'll fill our mouths cinnamon

When we arrive
Sons and daughters
We'll make our homes on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
We'll fill our mouths cinnamon
(when we arrive sons and daughters
We'll make our homes underwater
When we build our walls of aluminum
We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon)

Here all the bombs fade away
Here all the bombs fade away
Here all the bombs fade away
Here all the bombs fade away

Deal with the Devil

One of my coworkers has offered to pay my 6-month Wow subscription if I do his resume and he gets to run other characters on my account when I'm not logged in.

These guys are serious addicts, yo. This could be my future.

Honestly, tho, you know: I'm sick of being better. I would like to hide in pixelated goodness for awhile.

There are no broken hearts in pixelated goodness, just rending the flesh of my enemies with my mighty fists.

But really, I should be doing that in kickboxing class.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Whine Whine Whine Bitch Bitch Bitch Moan Moan Moan

I find my ability to be full-up with self-loathing even when my life is full of awesome to be incredibly annoying and certifiably silly. Which just goes to show you that happiness has nothing to do with external stuff. It's not that you just need a new house, a new car, a new significant other (OK, yes, sometimes that's the case, but sometimes you're just full of self-loathing), it's that what needs changing is so often on the inside. It's the rotten, poisonous core that needs to be given a shot of antibiotics, right there at the heart of it.

Cause the hate and self-loathing, though fleeting now and merely something to gnash my teeth about on a Monday night, never go away. I have to change something inside. Some key part of how I see the world, see myself, see my place in it.

I'm not sure where that change needs to come in, or even if it does. After all, I get down on myself far less often now than in the past. But still... something inside needs to change. I need to let myself be happy with what I have, what I've accomplished. I need to stop focusing on what I don't have, what I could lose.

Now is all we've got. External "fixes" won't change it. It's all about me. I'm the one who has to change. To let go.

Other things I discovered today that are silly: Chipotle burritos without sour cream and cheese. I mean, really, what's the point?


I think some days you just get tired of trying to be better all the time and you have to just hole up and say "fuck it" for awhile.

Another of Life's Inexplicable Truisms

The dates you WANT to call you back?

They do not call back.

Le sigh.

At least I still have my brutal bounty hunters cutting off people's heads in Tirhan? And World of Warcraft? And Chipotle? And Zumba on Fridays? And a killer job? Yes.

Yes, indeed.

Hard Heart

There needs to be an ambush scene.

And then, the infamous Meeting.

And then: HORROR.

Writing books is full of teh awesome, really. It's writing all the in-between stuff that's so fucking tedious.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ways to Spend a Snowbound Weekend

I now have a level 10 WoW warrior... and no additional words on Black Desert.

Hey, my Cossaks disk finally went kaput on me. I needed something to fill the void.

Also, I don't think you can write off your WoW subscription even if you name your characters after your book characters. Thank goodness I can't afford a subscription. Free trials are just the thing for a snowbound weekend.



Saturday, March 08, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes bad things happen, but life is good."
- T.A. Pratt

Friday, March 07, 2008



You Just Can't Make This Shit Up

I mean, seriously.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Devil, it is full of Wireless

The Starbucks where I do my writing is now in-range of a free public Wifi hub.

Dammit, people, if I thought writing with distractions would get anything done, I'd be writing at home. Fucking A.

Reality-based Valentine's Cards




Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Black Desert

Dammit, man, I want to crack 60k!

Currently running about 5500 words behind.

This is what putting together sales conference presentations all week and working on resumes (mmmm extra Chipotle money!) will do for your book.

Guess who'll be writing this weekend?

Smart, Sexy, & Successful... in Dayton, Ohio

One of the biggest enemies I struggle with is myself.

I've been aware of what I'm good at - and what I'm not - for, well, since forever. Or, you know - what I *think* I'm good at, what I am; and what I'm not.

These two categories didn't just include things that you could physically do, but also things that I *am.* Too tall, too big, too strong - for a girl. Too loud. Too outspoken. Too self-conscious. Not pretty enough (but for what, exactly?), not fast enough (who am I running from?), not good enough (again: for what, exactly?). When you put all that down it looks pretty silly, but when it's mowing through your head, it's deadly serious.

Never enough. Not enough.

Enough for what, I don't know.

All I know is that I've got a great job, a great writing career, as much health as a T1 diabetic can have, good friends, a roof over my head, and soon - a place of my own.

I have all the tools and goods for incredible success. The key is to keep going. To not defeat yourself. To remember that yes, of course, all things shall pass and for every up there's a down, but here, right now, things are good and have the potential to be incredible.

Stop focusing on what you don't have. Stop focusing on the "not enough"s. I have enough. That "enough" got me here, and will get me much more.

There's enough.

Everything we lose, we lose for a reason. One lesson ended, another opportunity begins.

You just gotta make sure you're ready for it.

No more self-defeating talk. That's how people fail.

And I've certainly had enough of that.

I'm ready to have enough of something else entirely.

There are parts of my old life, things that change, that I'll miss. So many people I miss. Some of them choose to come along with me. Some of them don't.

Sometimes, it's best to go it alone.

Sometimes, there's someone waiting for you at the top.

Sometimes, there's somebody struggling along right there next to you.

I hope those folks have enough, too.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Way of the Wolf, by E.E. Knight

Wow, that was really terrible.

Inexplicable Attraction

... it's my Kryptonite.


And now I will go home and be brilliant.

You are always stronger than you think you are.


Monday, March 03, 2008


It occurred to me tonight that if Nyx had a blog it would be really awesome.

Thing is, Nyx is a really shitty writer.

Also, I have too little free time to assist with such endeavors.


Little Bastard

Just got an email from my brother, who's in Japan right now. Then he'll be in China for a couple weeks as part of his MBA in International Business.

I'm insanely jealous. My little brother beat me to the far east.....

I'm pretty proud of the little bastard. heh heh

Sunday, March 02, 2008


It almost felt like it wanted to be Spring or something.

Quote of the Night

"Whenever you lose something, it just means that you've lost it so you'll have the opportunity to get something better later."
- The Old Man

Conversations with my Roommates

In conversation about the shortcomings of the not-boyfriend, the Old Man said, "Really, what you need to do is find somebody who's rich and not fucked up."

"Oh gawd," I said, "how BORING. Somebody rich and tortured, how about that?"

"Rich and depressing?"

"It would be a lot more interesting," I said, and thought about it for a moment.

And then it occurred to me, in one shining moment of pure brilliance:

"I need to marry Bruce Wayne."

Life By the Numbers

Saw my endo on Thursday for my every-three-months checkup.

My A1c is a respectable 6.2, which she was ecstatic about, but which I still found rather deflating. I'm aiming for 6.0 or less, cause 6 and under is a "normal" person's blood sugar. Yes, I'm being obstinate (the goal for diabetics is to have an A1c under 7.0. What can I say? I have high standards. I also had a 5.9 six months ago, so I know it's possible).

She found my reaction hilarious, because she'd just congratulated somebody for having an A1c of 8.6 (down two points from their previous one!).


Anyway, we went over the bloodwork that I had done 3 months ago as a part of trying to get my pump. Everything looks lovely except... well, I knew this one was coming at some point.

My "good" cholesterol numbers are high (which is good), but my "bad" cholesterol numbers are borderline high (which is bad). If I wasn't diabetic, she said she wouldn't have been concerned about it, but I need to drop about 30 points to get to where I should be, optimally.

Horrific cholesterol runs in my family (I think I remember hearing I had an uncle with numbers in the 400s). She wants under 200. I'm at 219. She knows what my diet and exercise schedule is like, and once I told her about my family history she was like ahhhhh... you know, I know you'll hate to hear this, but I really think we should go with a low dose of Lipitor.

And yes, I do hate to hear it. I knew it was coming, of course. Bad cholesterol runs in the family, and it was only a matter of time before somebody did a blood test where mine showed up. Taking action now means fewer complications in the future. Diabetics die from complications - organ failure of one type or another, heartattacks in particular. So doing what I can to avoid placing undue burdens on my heart would be, you know, a good thing.

I asked her what I could do, dietwise, to help this along on my own. Ideally, I'd do the lipitor now, alter my diet, go off the lipitor for six weeks, and see if I'd managed to get it under 200 on my own. She gave me the name of a nutritionist that I can work with up in Centerville. Dropping 30 points through diet alone - after looking at what I eat already - probably isn't feasible. At best, she said I could likely drop about 10 points through diet alone. But let's be honest here, people: I eat a shit ton of full-fat dairy products and meat. Sure, I eat lots of vegetables, too, but meat and cheese and other dairy products are a mainstay of my life. These are foods I let myself eat as much as I want (and it likely the reason that, though I work out regularly, my weight stays the same).

Eliminating animal fat is going to be a big part of the diet change. That's going to hurt. I went ahead and took out butter, red meat, and took out all cheese but low-fat mozzarella on my own, and I'll be switching to egg whites over time. I'm using up the last of the whipped cream in the fridge, and will need to keep to my 0% fat yogurt religiously. This will also mean dumping sour cream.

I'll be replacing some of the meat I'm eating with beans and tofu and fish, which I don't mind. I already have turkey bacon on the weekends, and you know, there's some stuff I'm just not going to give up completely. Like bacon, yo.

So I'll be working on moving that over over the next few weeks and then seeing the dietician sometime in the next few weeks as well.

I need to make a habit of cutting out some of that animal fat on a regular basis. Cheese and steak should be treats, not everyday fair.


And don't even get me started on the Chipotle burritos.


Diabetes: not fun, people.