Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We're all waiting for the Call around here.

Not "THE Call", of course, but the one telling us we can leave early and go home for the holiday.

In the meantime I'm supposed to be writing and doing my thesis work (simultaneously?) and I'm not really doing either. Suckage. I'm yawning and watching the clock and IM'ing and waiting for the Call.

I'm ready for four days off, and for turkey and mashed potatoes and pie and cake and onion dip. And for taking some time to mindfully appreciate all the bounty that I have.

I am so, so thankful. Not least, for all of you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another whew.

That was kinda harder than I thought it would be.

Some other major work came up, so I had to revise my wordcount goal. Today's was to heave 'er up over 4000. It took some major brain-sweat, but I did it. In with my two meetings and lunch date and piles of other stuff.

Now I have a million other tasks on my list. Why is this week so crazy? Is it because we're trying to cram a whole week's worth of work into 3 days?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back on the horse

Last week's challenges really helped me get back in the groove, and remember the Prime Rule:

Writing begets writing. When you work, the ideas come.

So the new challenge is: 2500 words.

No, not today. This week. Still got all that pesky Other Stuff, and Thanksgiving undercuts 2 days of writing time, so I'm being slightly easier on myself than other weeks.

But I will get back on it, and I will keep my steady writing pace. I was inspired yesterday by a fabulous, lyrical post by Toni McGee Causey: comfort reading

I like to think that I'm writing for the girl alone in her room, worn out from a day of battling the nasties at school: the kids who are evil just because they can be, the teacher who's coming down hard on her because he wants to help, but doesn't understand that she can't take a single extra bit of pressure right now. Not with her parents fighting in the next room, thinking she can't hear them because there's a wall. Or past caring. It looks like the plant's going to close, she knows that. Everybody in town knows that. And there's nothing else in this town for her parents to do, if they both get laid off at once. Now Mom's crying. They'll lose the house, she says. They'll lose everything. And then what will we do?

And she doesn't want to hear it anymore, think about it anymore. If she thinks about it all at once she might lose it, hard, and she can't let herself do that.

So she picks up a book, concentrates on the words on the page, and thinks about something else for a while. Gets to go somewhere else.

I want to give her someplace to go.

Friday, November 21, 2008


We had a brief but whopper snowstorm last night. Hubby peeked out the curtains last night at the snow whipping sideways and said "You think Pa can make it back in this?"*

So today we dragged out the snow shovel, the snow boots, the snow pants. I'm okay with that--it IS late November in Montana. Though we really do need to put the snow tires on the car.

Anyway, if you've been following along, we've been having quite the challenge week, trying to get me and anyone else who felt like joining in back up to a decent writing pace from...well, in my case, nothing. 200, 400, 600. Today is 800 new words, and I'm feeling I can do it.

Can you?

*Yes, obscure Little House reference.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good! Next!


A nice group of us made that one too. Yay to Linder, Deb, Brenda, Helene, and Gary! (and everyone else who wrote at LEAST that much yesterday)

I believe it's time for the disclaimer.

So as I might have said, I'm starting a brand-new book after not writing new stuff since August, and I'm trying to get back into the mode. My not-so-secret goal is to get back up to my normal writing pace, which is about 800 words a day.

(That may seem like a piddle compared to many of you full-time writers, but I've found with work and masters classes and thesis work and family, that's what I can do. And I still get books written--3 so far--so I'm good with that as an average, most times!)

So today, I'm adding 200 more words, for a grand total of 600 new words today.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Next challenge

So all of us made it yesterday, and many overshot. Woot for us! I ended up with 530 new words for the day. (Thank you guys SO much for participating with this! It's just what I needed!!)

Now. *Demon Physical Therapist Face* Obviously that was WAY too easy. Let's double it.

400 new words on your WIP. Come back here and post when you've done it. Ready? GO!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Story and a Challenge

First the story, then the challenge.

One day about 10 years ago, I was doing extremely boring SGML coding in my cubicle. I decided I needed another cup of coffee to make it through, so I stood up...and my knee went "POP". Owww-ooch.

Follow on with continued pain, and arthroscopic knee surgery to repair my meniscus (which, um, wasn't torn? Different story). Followed by physical therapy.

Physical therapy after surgery is HELL. Fiery evil flames of hell. Physical therapists, while generally nice, are also demons.

"I can't do that," I'd say innocently. "My leg doesn't bend that way anymore."

"Yes you can," they'd say. [picture demon face, teeth bared, roaring "DO IT"]

And they'd make me. And then next time they'd make me do more [painful evilness hell]. And after 6 months of physical therapy, my knee felt perfectly fine in spite of the fact that surgery had done nothing for it. I waved cheerily as I said goodbye to my demon physical therapists.

So I know you're waiting for the moral/analogy to writing here. You can see it, obvious: You can do it if you try, right? You can do more than you imagined if prodded effectively.

Well, right. But also: writing HURTS sometimes. It is HARD. It is the fiery evil flames of hell trying to get yourself going, and you whine and say no I can't. I don't wanna. But it is also a process, and it goes up and down, and eventually you come through the other side with a fixed knee good book, if you're persistent.

And if you challenge yourself.

So, I'm trying to build up my flabby writing muscles again, and I'm challenging you and I'm challenging me. Today we're gonna start SUPER-easy: 200 words.

You can do that with your eyes closed. Go. Write 200 new words on your WIP. Come back and post a comment when you've got 'em done. I'll come back and post when I do too (though it won't be for a while--I DO have to work first!)

Ready? 200 words. GO!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another recommendation...

Because it is genius, for anybody who needs help on where to go next in the plot:

Thank you, Elizabeth Bear!



Hermiting is done for now. I think. I'm writing SSP (and it is FUN to start a new book and play!), I'm at work for a full normal week (last week was too weird and disjointed), and I get to go out to dinner with hubby tonight. And we had a lovely weekend.

Plus...I'm just tired of listening to my own voice in my own head. It gets a bit monotonous. So in an effort to mix it up a little, I'm declaring it Recommendation Monday.

Idea: for those two people still reading this blog, post with a recommendation for something you love. Anything. Book, movie, food, hobby, computer game, music, art, blog, whatever. The idea is to share the stuff you love with other people, so we can all discover something new today.

My recommendations for today:

Book: WAKE, by Lisa McMann. I'm not done yet, but I'm enjoying!

Movie: CASHBACK. Again, haven't quite finished; we were watching last night. But I love it!! Quirky and original.

Recipe: Honey Mint Glazed Chicken. Made again last night, and it's sooo moist and flavorful and yummy. And easy! I don't have a grill, so I broil it.

Most Excellent Funny Blog Post: Courtney Summers guest-blogging on The Swivet about YA "rules" or not-rules.

Web Programs to Make Your Life Easier and More Fun: Google Reader. Statcounter (if you have a blog). Pandora.

Your turn!! Please share at least one thing you recommend!!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Oh, uh...hi.

Look at that, it's been more than a week since I blogged. Hmmm. Let's see. I...

--only ended up working for about 2 days. I went home sick Monday afternoon, Tuesday was Veteran's Day, Wednesday Child went home sick suddenly, Thursday I was home with her, and today I've been here for most of the day, though I had to run out for an appointment. Whew.

--had meetings every day I WAS at work.

--did not write. With everything else, I just didn't manage. I tried to get back in the swing today, and discovered my writing muscles are weak and flabby and sore. Now I have to get back in shape again. *sigh* But I will not let it beat me! SSP, I will get going with you!

--on the day no one was sick, and yet we did not have work, hubby and I caught 4 beautiful rainbow trout, about 4-5 lbs each. Most excellent.

And so here I sit on Friday afternoon after a mostly unproductive week. Yet I had fun spending time with Child and hubby, which is much needed. And *right* this second I'm sending out powerful good-luck vibes to one of my closest friends, hoping for The Best News Ever. You know who you are. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday linkage

And with all that time on my hands, I've clicked on some links that I absolutely LOVED.

First, an interview with Michael Crichton and his editor, Bob Gottlieb, on the editing process of The Andromeda Strain, courtesy of Sarah Weinman. Priceless.

For fun, a wonderful and wonderfully weird video of a cappella singing (a group named Moosebutter) to John William's music, about Star Wars. Yes. I mean it. It's fabulous.

Last, Sharpie Art. Because why not, really.


Between book blues

(I know I've blogged about this before, but I can't find it, so good luck on anyone ELSE finding it.)

I am useless between books.

Absolutely blooming useless. I sit on my butt and do nothing. I am not motivated to clean, or get working on my thesis, or catch up on things that have been long-undone, or even read! I watch YouTube. I click on links I don't even really want to read. I annoy people on Twitter. I stare at my screen and feel empty.

It's like if I'm not using my willpower to fit book-writing in between everything else, my willpower runs away and takes a holiday. Even though there are things I should be doing, I don't want to do them. I am adrift.

Yeah, I've been Without Book for 3 whole days. *eyeroll*

Okay, that's not really true. I haven't been working on a new book since...August. I've been doing revisions since then. So maybe this is all an accumulation of all that blankness of new creativity.

Anyway. Enough is freaking enough, and I'm going to start real work on SSP* today. Thank God. Things can get back to crazy-normal, which is normal for me.

*Super-Secret Project. This will be its name in public for quite some time, I imagine...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

At last.

I cried last night.

Actually, I teared up a lot yesterday.

When I stood in a voting booth, surrounded by all the enthusiastic bustle of a whole town's worth of people, and marked the space next to a candidate I REALLY want to be my President.

When I was knocking on doors for Obama, and I had a long talk with a lovely 82-year-old lady in a housecoat about how voting for Obama reminds her of things her father, an immigrant from Ireland, told her were important. How excited she was that he might actually win.

When I was holding Child in my lap and watching election results, and she was keeping track for me, cheering as the states came pouring in.

But mostly when the results were announced, and I realized I could stop holding my breath in dread that something-would-go-wrong, that it would all be a dream, that it really couldn't happen. That I really could allow all that pent-up hope to come out, at last.


And then I saw his speech, and I blubbered my way through it. All those emotions that I'd been keeping in, free at last. (and no, I didn't type that accidentally)

More hope. Joy. Optimism. Gratitude. Pride.

Thank you, Americans, for giving hope a shot this time. And for those who didn't, I hope you're pleasantly surprised. I've got lots of hope to share, now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Please, please, please...


I'm off to volunteer for Barack Obama's campaign, most of the day. Fingers crossed. I still have hope.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hiring Obama

Maureen Johnson is made of awesome.

Her post on YA for Obama about how McCain/Palin would run a Starbucks, vs. how Obama would:

Edited to add:

I kept reading. Libba Bray's is pretty amazing too.