Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Catch up from the Notebook

February 21: I started thinking this morning's commute on how to deal with the Blue Man's central problem: my protagonist doesn't detect much and my alien is flat. Tuesdays must be my new editing days, the influence of the Creative Writing class perhaps?

The problem is restructuring for the sake of this story without messing up anything I've alluded to in the novel. I'm pondering separate chases for them both, but it doesn't help develop a relationship between them. Requires more pondering and surrounded by cubicle walls not very conductive to pondering.

Now waiting during the break in class. The problem if they meet defeating Thirsten, there is no reason for Murdock to take pity on her and take her to outer space.

February 22: Pondering a bit more, maybe it's the morning commute. I could totally see Cyndia finding the crashed spaceship and finiding evidence that it's Thirsten's ship, and oh by the way he's an alien. Well at least that is forward momentum on the editing front and my brain actually wants to deal with the problem.

I have an appointment with a PT tonight finally. And I just discovered that the new cell phone has no off switch. Must study the manual more.

A coworker helped me find the off switch. So I don't come across as a total idiot, I went from Nokia phones to a Motorola. I'm not used to pressing the green send button either.

February 23: Finally got to see a PT, Rachel--a nice girl who wants to be a nurse. And she confirmed what I expected, I wasn't doing enough cardio to lose weight. My ability to lift weight is impressive for my overweightness I guess, or maybe for a girl. I ended up going to bed late because I had to cook supper. This weekend is my birthday weekend, 29-years-old on Sunday, and I don't really feel like doing anything but resting and pampering me.

Reality though, the massage spa was already booked yesterday for Saturday. I need to clean out the fridge and package food in correctly portioned meals for lunch and supper. I need to do laundry. Aside from sleeping in, that's not a whole lot of pampering. *Shrung*

Writing pondering: will probably be more detailed in Reading Diary, but the chapter on details in Lawrence Block's book made me wonder if I was getting trapped on details and frozen on progress. It goes a long way explaining jumpiness over Zy's Novel. Another thing to get to this weekend.

I'm writing everyday, but it's not fiction. Well, that just popped in my head but it's true. Reading Diary entries and posts for this blog, no problems. Concentrating on a story, big problem! I can guess why. I got yelled at just as I finished Capt. Kate's story, so I have to watch what I do at work. And it's easier to break up blog writing and homework between breaks. Might as well say lunch is a bust. By the time I get the laptop set up and have an idea to go with, lunchtime is over. By the end of March, things should be caught up and settled down. We'll have to see what happens then.

February 27: I forgot to clean the fridge and I didn't get to work on fiction, but I found fiction folders that have been missing since unpacking from my Katrinea evacuation. I did find my two desks and got to work on the resource guide for Acadiana Faire, which is more of a rush job. No teachers' workshop this year and we're publishing to a PDF on CD so I can use color. I also got my Valentine's day/birthday sewing table present put together.

No class tonight or tomorrow. I really want Mexican, but I'm going home and have frozen pizza. I have a lot of writing to catch up on. Tomorrow already has a large chunk of the day reserved to help Krista hunt garb fabric.

Today: Well, that was the plan before two hours stuck in a traffic jam stole my energy last night. And I had stayed late at work and must go in early Wednesday to deal with the end of renewal season mail that we didn't get to finish. So right now, I'm trying to get caught up on stuff and work on fiction. I've started on the Blue Man edits even though that hasn't completely gelled yet for me. I have to pull out Zy's Novel and see where I stand with it.

And at some point today I must clean the fridge.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Can I have a happy birthday?

In a world without Don Knotts?

I watched him the Disney movies. Apple Dumpling Gang was my favorite. I enjoyed his Scooby Doo Mystery Movies guest appearance, and later on Matlock. Sorry folks, but I could never get into Mayberry.

And Darren McGavin died today. I always had his Night Stalker series on my "to watch" list. At least now it is on DVD and I can.

Enjoy the Happy Lands, fellows. You deserve it.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Too Many Distractions!

No, I can't let myself get sucked into my Fans archive CDs. There's stuff I need to accomplish today, so tomorrow is free from all petty concerns.

First: the office. The exercise bike keyboarding experiment is a failure for now. I'm still too rotund in the torso to do it comfortably. Maybe I'll go back to it when I've lost 20 - 40 pounds. Next I have to get the printers set up and the new books shelved so I have room to work.

Second: is to get my sister's help on the mundane tasks. Laundry, refrigerator clean out. Back bedroom shifting so we can start demolition in there, probably Mardi Gras.

5:00pm update Well, we had to pause in my house and take care of some business in Covington. But I have the printer installed, and my computer desk reconfigured without the exercise bike. Course now, Mustard thinks that means come sit in front of my monitor.

I have to find a new home for the shredder, since I'm now out of electric sockets under the desk. I had a crazy vision of the next home office I do (which will be over the detached garage but is still in planning stages). Built-in line of sockets, I don't know if they would be on or under the desktop surface, but just the idea of creating a huge power strip with room for twenty or more plugs and I could keep all the computer wires and cords straight really hit home while I was trying to plug in the new printer.

Now I need to go check on laundry and start on the boxes stacked next to my desk. Maybe I can get through a couple before it's time to leave for the movie.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, February 20, 2006

Racism in Marketing

Whoa, I spent way too long reading most of the links I could find on this topic. Not that it isn't fascinating, not that I don't care, but I have other things I need to be doing today. But I am going to do my part.

Jim Crow Publishing by JA Konrath. First entry I read on the issue, which is African-American writers being shelved in the African-American section even though their book does not have anything to do with African-American issues, and the author protests.

On the Wrong Side of the Alligator. Reading her entire blog is a wake up call to this issue. From there I ended up at the following links in no particular order.

A Stop at Willoughby: Racism and Publishing... and Comments by Patrick

Taking Care of Business: Publishing Suppression ~ Suffer in Silence? by Millenia Black

Taking Care of Business: Storm Brewing - The Motive for Racism in Publishing

The Way There: Controversy by Monica Jackson

My Irrationaltities: Publishing and Race by Shesawriter

Race and Publishing by Tess Gerritsen

Blogger to Blogger by Tess Gerritsen

Romancing Paradise: Segregating Literature by Lynn Raye Harris

I really had no idea this topic had been brewing for a few months (I don't read enough author blogs but I can't keep up), so I'll add my late, unpublished, white female voice to the chorus. Placing books in a certain section because of the color of the skin on the author is WRONG. I think it is an issue stemming from the marketing takeover of the publishing industry, but it really doesn't matter who started it or why it started. It must END.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

To Do List

I've been keeping it by the week right now. Some things get added because I don't have my shopping list handy. Some things do scroll over because I didn't get to them. More will be added to it, but if I go back to the three to four pages list I had in 2004, I really will go nuts.

  1. Homework:

    • Read and edit short stories

    • Post to Reading Diary

    • Read Franke Chp. 5

    • Read Dante Purgitorio 12 - ?

    • Start brainstorming final Dante paper

  2. Write resource guide (paying gig)

  3. Write Zy's Novel (hasn't happened in months)

  4. Reserve hotel room in Houston for June conference

  5. Update Alt BM Site

  6. Clean office

  7. Set up new printer

  8. Put ink in old printer

  9. Pay Dad for ink and car insurance

  10. Cook

  11. Take books back to Library

  12. Unpack

  13. Buy sticky notes for work desk

  14. Buy air gun for black cat problem

  15. Edit Blue Man

  16. Update Library Site

  17. Download Penchant and Baskerville fonts to laptop

  18. Buy good office chair

Boy, I wish I could take a week vacation. Everything done lately has been for everyone else. Some me time would be a neccessary relaxation break. Unfortunately, I don't think I have enough time saved up for a whole week off now and be able to take the trips I want to later in the year.

This first rehersal weekend went well. We got a lot of character work done, but we could have done it all on one day. Something to remember for next year.

Now I have to go get my phone out of the car cause I just realizied I didn't bring it up and I'm expecting a call back about the PT.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, February 17, 2006

First rehersal weekend

Won't be home this weekend because of Acadiana Medieval Faire's first rehersal weekend. I have to teach a class I'm really not feeling prepared for.

And all my garb is Elizabethan except for a few fantasy peices. Which goes back to the sewing problem mentioned yesterday. To which I'm giving serious thought to atleast getting half to three-fourths of the garb bought. What feels defeating about that isn't a hand-crafted vs. commercial, but that I like to sew and would like to learn a repitore of techniques and have a closet full of different centuries. The only way to learn is to actually do. And it's the kind of obsessive fun I can get into. I'm not a cosplayer, so it is just something fun to pick up that I don't plan on making a career out of. (Writing does not fit half the description, so it's not an even trade.) Everybody needs a hobby.

And I can't have one.

Maybe the reason you don't see my prioritizing and I avoid it until I'm pulling my hair out is because I have to make fucking depressing decisions.

I'm taking a half-day off work today in order to get everything packed and ready for this weekend. At least now I'm in a mood to claim mental stress for it. I'll be fine. I'll go buy more blue silk to hold until I can make Christine's outer dress properly, I'll go order the garb to cobble together into her outfit, I'll order the room for June, and I'll get Izzo out of the Library.

But I better leave now or I won't make it to Baton Rouge.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Audio Books and Other News

I found some unabridged books on CD for a decent price and bought two different books to try out on the commute. I always resisted because I didn't like the price and felt like it wasn't the same experience as reading. Which it isn't, but not in a bad way. I've been emerging from the car happier and feeling like I've accomplished something besides sitting in traffic. If this lasts through the second audio book I bought, I may join Audible.com. Of course I think I may have to upgrade to a better MP3 player and read at the gym or listen to music like everybody else. :p Looking at the Creative Zen Nano Plus 1GB, but I'm open to suggestions. Especially anything cheaper than an iPod. (I don't care how good iPod is, if I drop $300 on anything it'll be a dishwasher!)

I also need to change my format in the Reading Diary. At the rate I'm getting a chance to read, I won't have 28 entries by the end of the semester. It's not really the reading, but the digesting and writing of the entry. My review for Locked Rooms is up and hopefully I'll be able to type up "Inferno" soon. (Got finished with it this morning.)

I still haven't gotten the printer installed. Yeah, there's stuff I need to print and I'm out of black ink. Not that I feel I'm going to be home and awake long enough to do anything about it tonight either.

Now for the match up of the post: free time vs. the number of projects I have. I don't remember now, but I think I neglected to add in exercise time with my time management exercise. You remember, the one that told me I have two hours free in a twenty-four-hour-period. Then again maybe I did, I finished exercising, sauna, and cleaning up by 7pm. Of course that doesn't count driving time and the stop at the grocery store for fixings for supper. (Vegetable beef soup with 8 grain bread for the gourmets out there.)

So I currently have a list of 21 things all competing for the same time--actually more than 21 "homework" covers a lot. Now the majority of the list is mundane tasks that I need to take care of so they can be replaced with other mundane tasks. The other large groupings are homework, writing, and sewing.

There's no real way to combine tasks. You can't type on a keyboard and run fabric through a sewing machine. Ditto on holding a book to read. Some one could read to me, but the only option right now is Mustard and he thinks it's beneath him.

Damn, I'm not even thirty yet and I can't wait for retirement.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quick one because I'm tired and need to sleep

Hey Red, tried to post to your blog, and it bounced back to me via email as "undeliverable." Hrmph, I thought it was a funny story to commiserate pain. Silly bots.

Err, what do you want me to do with it?

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Saturday, February 11, 2006

New printer!

I got a new laser printer today! And my first real receipt to keep track of for tax deductions. Inkjet is still functional, but print quality isn't good enough for submissions. And I don't need them to bitch about excessive print jobs at the paying job. However new shiny printer will have to reside in the box until I find a place in the office to put it.

This is going to be hard.

Keeping the inkject for stuff I want in color, and inkjet is not in the most accessible spot on top of my computer desk hutch. Okay, so I'm short and I have an exercise bike in the way. Exercise bike needs a new seat, but that doesn't get the printer put up. The rest of the hutch is filled with speakers, DSL modem, label printer, and camera dock.

The pennisula of the computer desk is filled with boxes from the neverending scanning project. Okay, I plan on consolidating tomorrow.

No, the plastic drawers stacked next to the desk for paper won't be sturdy enough. The cart on wheels usually rests in front of the AC unit. Putting printer on top of that does not keep the room cold. Table desk across from computer desk is space for spreading out and handwriting. Plus cords would have to cross the room. I'm a klutz.

Maybe behind the monitor? Course then we have the loading paper problem. Maybe if I shift the scanner and the USB hub. That might make the scanner harder to use.

Okay, so who's the moron who said technology makes our lives easier?

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Capt. Kate sent off and posted

Yes, I finally got my edits commited to computer memory and emailed the document to my professor. And while I was at it put the rest of the story up at Discipline Under Fire.

Use the Categories links to find all the post for Capt. Kate's short story, and that will give you this second draft version in peices.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Not to sound totally gloomy

Because I'm not. Most of the previous weeks stuff was written in the center of the depressing maelstrom. That was last week, and the weekend got me past the hump. I got Captain Kate's story edited today, so I'll be able to email it off to my professor tonight. Fitness Assessment went well, even though I didn't hear from a personal trainer today. I have to remember to give them my new cellphone number tonight. I forgot yesterday. Work sucks and I'm foaming at the mouth over completing homework (and I'm not even going into the dreaded V Day shopping), but I'm surviving. I still have some creative juices trickling. And hopefully tonight, I'll get home in time to actually work on the creative ventures. Need to try for the 4am writing time again.

Now I really dodn't understand these Meme things, but I'll give it a whirl.

The Meme of Four

Four jobs you've had in your life:

Office gopher
Underpaid, stressed out civil service bureaucrat

Four movies you could watch over and over again:
Fifth Element
Lord of the Rings
Edward Scissorhands
Princess Bride
and... oh that's four... still... most everything else I have bought in the DVD collection. Haven't catalogued yet, but I'd say about a hundred.

Four places you've lived:
Hammond, Louisiana
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Savannah, Georgia (It was a month out of summer vacation for two years.)
Claremore, Oklahoma (for six weeks my sophmore high school summer)

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Well, I don't watch TV now, so series I'm interested in getting on DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The X-Files
Firefly (Already have Serenity, must get the "Joss Whedon is my Master" now TV)

Four places you've been on holiday:
Chicago, Illinois
Boston, Mass.
Washington D.C.
DISNEY WORLD (Would like to spend some time in the new parks now)

Four websites you visit daily:
Okay, I'm excempting the webcomics and blog traul from this list
Southeastern Louisiana University
Dear Abby
Tell Me About It by Carolyn Hex

Four of your favourite foods:
Chicken and dumplings
pizza (no pepperoni or anchoives)
Sonic extra-long coney without chilli add mayo
Cheese dumplings from a Chinese restaurant
(Yeah, I know most of it isn't good for me. And please draw no judgements that I follow the same eating habits as the main characters do in two of the universes I write fanfics for.)

Four places you'd rather be:
At home writing
At home reading
At the gym working out (which means going to sauna. I think I'm using it as a sweatlodge)
In Houston in June because I would be in the writer's conference I want to go to

Meme passed to:
Whoever reads this post?

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Catching up on previously written blog topics

New entries under January 27th, 30th, 31st, February 1st, 3rd, and 6th. All caught up on everything I had previously wrote before this date. Keeping up with blogging has never been this bad before. I'm going to try to have a weekly update at least. This entry maybe a little disjointed. I have a lot of topics to cover.

Important lesson: Always take care of the bag before going to bed! Or at least unload most of it so I have to pack in the morning. Over the weekend, I bought a Samsonite rolling laptop bag (link to one that looks the closest to what I bought). It has been great, except for Dante's Inferno making things really tight.

I also bought a new cellphone and had to get a new cellphone number. I'll probably post my complaint letter to the FCC and Tracfone here once I have written it. Enjoying the new phone so far, except not being able to hear the ringer in the car.

Also bought a flash drive on the 6th, and got it working today. The wireless network connection between my Windows XP desktop and Windows 98 laptop is tempermental on when it wants to work. Files saved to the flash drive and I can connect between the two easily.

Upgraded to Firefox at home. Turns out what was triggering the dial-up box to come up was a Javascript virus that attacks older Mozilla users. And it's somewhere lurking in my daily browse through. Hopefully this will finally stop it from driving me nuts as I go online.

Cast call had a decent turnout. I didn't take any pictures to share, since two video cameras were going and I was checking people in and putting my phone book into my new cell phone. *Sigh* I really need to find time to sew our garb.

But on that front, I hired my out-of-work baby sister to housekeep for me. She needs the money, I need the house stress to go away to concentrate on everything else that has to happen. She's even willing to help on the evil scanning project, which has made my office space nearly unusable.

I had to tweak the diet, but this version seems to be holding. Snack in the car by 5:30am or 6. Breakfast at 8am. Lunch at 1pm. Snack at 4pm. Supper at 7:30 or 8pm. So far this is keeping from getting hunger pains in between feeding times.

Job issues. Where to begin? My supervisior reacts the same way with anyone taking college class--we're trying to take her job. Personally, I don't want it. It looks like I'm stuck in the state civil services until I retire (because that will happen before I can live off a bestseller), so I have time to wait her out. No need for grand Machievellan schemes. Though the whole thing has left a taste in my mouth for the accounting classes the department will pay for and consider useful for my job performance.

Finding another job: I can't afford to give up state service because of the benefits. And no other departments are really hiring after Katrina and Rita. Have no idea how long that will be going on. And I have no control over what my supervisor tells them, because as sure as she doesn't want me to outdo her, she can't lose me.

Okay, fine. Like I said, I can wait it out. I wait out better with more sleep and less caffine than I had last week. And I never handle those confrontations well. I always ome up with what to say after I've edited the scene. Doesn't work as well when my brain froze on "I'm being yelled at for getting here early and not falling asleep behind the wheel. I'm getting yelled at for doing my job in the order I see fit to make the fewest mistakes. I'm being told I need to pile all the work on my desk so my count is the highest, no matter how long it actually takes to do the work. I'm being yelled at for not being a team player, which the previous command does not compute with." Fun cycle.

I dealt with it better after getting a chance to talk with my coworkers, and after exercising and more sleep. They assured me I hadn't wandered into a Kafka version of my life. Looks like the mail has slowed down to a normal pace, so that makes everyone easier to deal with.

Stress affecting creativity? Big time. I keep promising myself I will do better, but it's like I have limited willpower. Right now, it's all focused on the health and there's none left over for anything else. Should be the more you use the more is there when you need it. Maybe it's depeleted by feeling overwhelmed. Not exactly sure, but hopefully I get some things cross off the to do list tonight.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, February 06, 2006

Friday, February 03, 2006

Why does the "To Do" List grow longer with the more tired you feel?

Has anyone else noticed this? I'm looking at a 15 item list of things I have to do before leaving for Lafayette. Unfortunately, the one thing I need to do--workout--is the one thing I won't because they close early on Fridays. Ugh.

Meanwhile, this week has spiritually and physically exhausted me. All I want to do is crawl into a massage bed and be pampered. Not going to happen on Cast Call weekend. Better happen soon or I'm going to be even crankier.

I was going to download the Blogger add-in for Word in hopes of making updates easier, only to discover my version of Word is too old. So will it be helpful enough to warrant spending money on the latest version? I really need a laptop bag that my other black bag stuff will fit into, now that I'm actually getting to use the laptop. Carrying five bags a day doesn't help my muscles rest and repair.

That's it from me for this post.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, February 02, 2006

And the really stupid thing is I looked at it this morning and remembered I needed to pack it

*Sigh* As noticed last night, it's been a week since I last updated. Have kept blog notes in a notebook along with Capt. Kate short story. I actually have time for typing this lunch hour. And the notebook is in the bathroom where I was reading it last night.

*Sigh* No typing done last night because my sister is having a crisis of the heart. And now no typing because I don't have the material. *Banging head on desk.*

I weighed and took measurements today. Lost three pounds, but no significant loss in inches yet. But it was an upper after yesterday. (There will be a post up latter to explain yesterday.) The nutritionist has me on a restricted carbs diet and eating schedule is what I call it, eating the same time so my blood sugar stays level.

Here's to hoping for no drama tonight so I can get the story typed. Or the ceiling fan blades put up.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So I'm a High Scoring Hack

This morning I got an email asking to spinoff from one of my fanfics series. I'm flattered, but no is the answer I hopefully conveyed nicely--it's hard to be coherent at 5:30am. It's also strange to be using contractions again; read Capt. Kate's short story to see wherefore... I mean why. (Yes, I will get it posted to Discipline Under Fire soon.)

So then I had enough time this morning to take the Hack Quiz. I got a 12, so I still have some artistic integerity left. I've studied enough literature to come to an empowering conclusion for us writers who want the money and the fans--the hacks are remembered. Just look at some of the scathing comments made about Shakespeare. Genius comes disguised in many forms. And genius has to eat too.

I'm not putting myself on Shakespeare's level, but I'm at peace with being called a "hack." Now deadlines, time management, and my inability to get my act together to submit: more worry consuming.

February 8th will be my fitness assessment appointment. I need to redo my measurements myself and update my file. Yes, I'm keeping a file on my measurements; I'm serious about this weight loss. I don't feel that I'm making any progress. I know, I know it's going to take time; I've only been on the diet for a week; my workout schedule got sporadic for a while. Get up, start over again, and spend 15 minutes in the sauna now that I know where the clock is to watch. I'm tired and really want a good, professional massage, but Saturday is booked already with Acadiana Faire's Cast Call.

Damn, I hate feeling like I'm going to drift asleep at any moment. And I've been feeling that way for too long. It's another reason to handwrite the blog entries. Keeps my brain wake and eyes open. A classmate expressed concern about my appearance last night.

Lunch break: Got yelled at about the notebook. Don't dare pull out the laptop either. Which leaves me trying to be good and not cause a ruckus--even though I'm not handling anything at all well due to little sleep. What was my goal not to complain about the paying job here?

The irony of just noting that the notebook was keeping me awake and then getting yelled at for writing was not lost.

Supper: My supervisor had two valid points to call me on the carpet for:

  1. I spend too long on breakfast

  2. The notebook and note taking is perceived as distracting. (I didn't even bring up how it was keeping me awake. Tired not stupid.)

What upset me to the point I almost spent the rest of the morning in tears was how she said it.

  1. I don't care about my job

  2. I'm cheating the state out of money

  3. I'm not pulling my weight

  4. She can stop me from going to school and I shouldn't be going to school because I work

  5. I'm supposed to eat breakfast before work, screw the doctor's schedule, what time I leave my house, and what time places that serve breakfast actually open.

It hurt because I've been killing myself to get to work early and take care of the leftover work. I don't dig for the batches with the highest counts, I do what's on top. And we're all doing a lot more work with the stupid scanning system and we all deserve more pay. But right now we're only getting K time that I'm spending as fast as I earn it. And there's no cash value until retirement (a little less than 30 years away for me), so don't accuse me of stealing anything. I give a damn about my job otherwise I wouldn't be in an hour early and hello, compare my errors to other workers.

I don't have enough sick time for a stress leave that will actually do me some good. Though at the rate I'm going I may get one.

Read Free!
The BookWorm