Friday, April 30, 2010
I went out to Denny's with Cherri Galbiati last night, and we discussed our trade until...well actually, we only stayed until eleven. Not only that, I was good and kept my carbs down. Sigh, now I'm eating healthy and going to bed early on my writer's nights out.
I'm officially old.
Oh well, today I go back to editing. I had intended to do more yesterday, but forgot about my son's birthday party at school. That ended up taking half my day, right there. I will make much better progress today. I'm also marshaling my resources and doing research for my upcoming marketing endeavors.
When I'm done editing this novel, I think I'll take a break and go back to short stories for a little bit before returning to Argiope. The nice thing about short stories is you can get that feeling of accomplishment a whole lot sooner than novels. They're good for momentum. Besides, I've been working on a fantasy novel for so long, it's been months since I have worked on a horror story...although my first short stories will be Christmas stories, due to deadlines. That's okay, variety makes for a better writer.
On the home front, something has crawled into my garage and died. I'm going to have to figure out how to go digging through the debris out there and find it, so it can have a proper burial. Oh how I long for the good old days of living in an apartment! Where is my maintenance man!?!?!?
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Okay, the housecleaning frenzy of the past few days has been a bit of a mixed success. The house is still a wreck, but the clutter is a little thinner. I'll just have to keep removing stuff they can mess the house up with. Sooner or later, I'll win.
But not today.
Today, I need to change focus and restart my editing. So today and tomorrow are "Edit Day," and I will be parked in front of my computer...with my music playing...and I will start at page one and methodically work my way through the manuscript hunting errors. I'm a little disgruntled that I'll be doing it knee deep in the kid's latest mess, but I guess life ain't perfect.
If I get enough editing done, I'll round up more stuff for the garbage truck on Friday evening. Who knows, maybe I'll find my garage out there. All this housecleaning also gives me a better idea of what needs to be replaced and/or repaired.
For instance, it's about time for a new...
1. Sink/garbage disposal
2. BBQ Grill
4. Curtain rods in the daughter's room
I realize the couches may have to wait until the kids are a little older and can be more effectively threatened not to jump on them. No point in getting new ones just to see them destroyed too. On the other hand, it may not hurt to start looking at what bargains might be out there...maybe something to tide us over until we can risk getting nice furniture again.
I know, I know...It sounds like I should be turning in my man card. But hey, there is a BBQ grill and a camcorder on that list! That counts for something!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Okay, I have whined enough.
Yes, I have been doing a lot...and yes, there is very little to show for it so far...but today is Wednesday and the trash truck arrives today. So I'll take advantage of that to get a lot of stuff out of here, and get more done on this house.
Thursday and Friday will be "Edit Days".
There, now I have a plan. I'll update later.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Okay, I washed and folded laundry all day yesterday and ran two loads of dishes. The house is still a wreck, and I notice my stress levels are unchanged...only now I am completely wiped out from the exertion of yesterday. That's the problem with CMT, you can exhaust yourself and render yourself almost useless the next day or three. Right now my hands are shaking like a drunk with the DT's
I need to get back to editing soon. I put it on hold to try and get caught up on the housework. I either need to set a day or two aside just for this last editing project, or find a few hours a day to do it. I was going with the latter, but I was doing it at night and that was contributing to getting my nights and days all messed up...something that's not good when you have kids. So I will need to strategize a different approach.
I also need to start strategizing my marketing again for the upcoming novel. I will be selling books at Apollocon, and doing a radioblog interview at the end of the month, but I also need to look into other forms of marketing. I'm still thinking in terms of banner ads. An online friend also pointed out the possibility of online video marketing. So there are options to explore.
Right now though, I need to find my house under this mess. I know it's here somewhere.
Monday, April 26, 2010
The birthday boy had a fantabulous party, with lots of friends and family...and Star Wars toys galore. He's probably still vibrating in his sleep from all the excitement.
I, on the other hand, am a wreck.
I have been struggling with sleep for a while now, and it's really beginning to tell on me. After a short afternoon nap, I had a writer's night out with Cherri Galbiati. I had to end it early before I ended up face down in my plate. It was terrible. Those usually last till the wee hours of the morning, but this time we ended it at about ten thirty.
So I came home and slept for about four hours.
Maybe it's stress. Whatever it is, it's playing hell with both my sleep and my CMT. My hands have been "on again/off again" a lot lately, and that needs to stop. I'll just have to work on relaxing...or something.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I'm going to be busy this weekend.
Karla works this morning, so I'll have the kids all morning. The poor girl also got a citation for having a brake light out, so I'll have the kids all afternoon while she's off having that fixed.
The third day of the NFL draft is today, so I'll have that running in the background, plus I need to go out and get Sheridan's birthday gift for his party tomorrow.
And there is also the matter of cleaning the house for tomorrow. Oh boy. Lucky me.
And of course, Sunday is going to be pure chaos...in a good way. I hope the boy enjoys it.
Friday, April 23, 2010
This weekend is Sheridan's birthday party. He is reaching the grand old age of seven! Now that he has discovered the joys of Star Wars (and is completely obsessed with it), toys or other items in that theme would make for great gifts.
I woke up at four this morning, which is actually an improvement. I get on the internet to discover that the Dallas Cowboys have drafted Dez Bryant in the first round.
He'll be a great addition, especially lined up across from Miles Austin. But they really needed a left tackle. Here's hoping they pick a good one in the second round. It also makes me wonder if Micheal Crayton is on the trading block.
Oh well, enough football. I'll be working on editing the proof that Pill Hill sent me. That should keep me busy for most of today. Not a lot else to report. My hands have calmed down, which makes life easier, so that's something.
Back to work.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Went to bed early last night, trying to straighten out my nights and days. Has anybody noticed this is a running theme with me?
I had a "bad hand day" yesterday, meaning the CMT was causing my hands to act up and making them fairly useless. It's odd, I can still type fairly well, but I'm losing the ability to use a pencil or pen. It's all in the way you have to hold your fingers. And pretty soon I may have to start taking somebody with me when I need to gas up the car because I'm losing the hand strength to open that gas cap. It's because of the way the cap is recessed down in there...it requires more finger strength as opposed to just arm strength.
I guess I've never really considered myself disabled. It's a tag that I've managed to keep out of my self image for the most part...at least until recently. I usually don't even have this condition in my dreams, which kind of shows how little I think about it.
How do I do that?
By making immediate concessions to it where I can, so it doesn't hamper me, and then lots and lots of denial. Sure, I usually wear shorts which lets my braces show, but I don't think more of those nowadays than I used to think of my shoes...at least until I'm trying to get around without them. So the truth is, I usually don't dwell on it. That's why I usually don't feel, "disabled."
And it's not a good feeling.
I think the first time I really felt it was when my little boy wanted to ride on my shoulders at the zoo, like some other kids with their Dads. I couldn't, and it hurt. And seeing the disappointment in his eyes hurt even worse. That's when I truly felt something had been taken away from me, that should have been mine. That's the first time I felt "disabled." So I make compromises, and try to not set myself up for situations where it might matter...yet still try and see to it that I'm not keeping the kids from enjoying life. It ain't a perfect solution, but it works.
Oh well, enough about my shortcomings. I got to see a rough sketch of what my book cover is going to look like...and it looks promising. So that's a good thing. Jessy is putting together the proofs and soon I will be able to see what the book will look like on the inside. It's going to be cool. Pretty soon I will be able to hold a book that I actually wrote in my hands.
I'm looking forward to that.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
...makes Nate something something.
Just woke up in time to go pull Rowan off the bus. The driver chuckled at my stumbling out to retrieve the daughter, but I did make it. The kiddo gets to come home and have supper this evening and that's what counts. Karla is bringing home tamales...yummmy!
Now I feel the call of STALKER...
Cherri Galbiati and I went out to Denny's and talked writing till the wee hours of the morning. It was great, but I didn't get home till late, late, late. Now I'm sitting here cross-eyed with fatigue, and typing aimlessly on Karla's computer.
I've got the boy home sick with me again...he's got a spring fever...but Rowan still seems to be resisting it. I had wondered because she fell asleep on the bus ride home yesterday, but was in good spirits all evening, so I guess she's alright.
I guess I'll work on a couple of Christmas short stories this week. Might as well knock those out while the deadline is still a couple months away. Pill Hill Press told me they won't be able to get to my edits till next week, so that frees me up to tackle something else this week without having to worry about checking the email every so often.
Bought a new computer game for myself for the first time in forever. It's STALKER: Call of Pripyet. It's a good first person shooter/rpg hybrid that hasn't been dumbed down like so many computer games nowadays. My laptop can't handle it, so I'm back on the old main machine to play it. It pushes this machine as well, and I know that it won't be too long before this computer won't be able to handle new stuff either. It's almost five years old though, so it's done well.
Oh well, Karla is getting the kiddo off to school so I'll probably catch a little shuteye soon. Goodnite/day
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I've been working hard on the edit to Part III and now there is a very good chance I will finish it tonight. I only have few pages left, then I'll go back over it to see if I missed anything. This has been quite a project, and its sort of odd that a lot of work has gone into changes that really don't change the story at all, but makes it read smoother. But I guess that's the whole point.
My nights and days are now completely backwards, so I guess I'll have to stay up on Sunday to straighten that out. That's just added incentive to finish tonight, so I can sleep tomorrow evening. I won't be able to write during the day because I'll be groggy...and Nate don't write well groggy. Trust me, when I try it's a trainwreck.
I'll be glad to get this behind me because it has also made me fat again. I lost twenty pounds over the course of February and March, and in April I gained it all back without the month even being over. Sigh. Maybe I'm just supposed to be a fat writer.
Oh well, back to work.
UPDATE: I've finished and sent it in to Pill Hill Press. Whew! Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do next. I still need to rework the ending to The Barrow Wolf, and there is also the matter of getting back to Argiope. While I was working on the old novel, I figured out how I was going to handle a scene in the new one. Sometimes stepping away from something really helps.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The nice thing about being a writer is that you get to call this "research." And who knows, maybe if I make a bunch of money at it, I will be able to write it off as a business expense...okay, that might be a bit much. But there are other types of payoff
It makes you popular with the kiddos. And it gives you a chance to see the world through their eyes. Watching him soak up the midway like he did, inspired me to do the same. I savored the sights, the smells, the feel of a warm spring Texas evening at a carnival. The sky was electric blue and the scents of cut grass blended with popcorn, sausages, and cigars. I told Sheridan to look at everything, and try real hard to remember it all. I hope it's a good memory.
Now it's time to get back into rewrites and rewording awkward sentences in my manuscript. Things are going smoothly, and I still think the loose deadline of early next week is reasonable. I just want to do a good job of this. It's my first book being published, so I want to really, really get it right.
Ah well, back to it...
Friday, April 16, 2010
Okay, I have gone through the manuscript of Part III: The Ghost of Candlewalk Lane and accepted or rejected almost all the suggested changes. I'm still debating a couple, as too close to call so I'll come back to them. It's now time to start working on rewording awkward or wordy sentences. There are a fair number of those, since this story was one of the first stories I ever wrote and I was still learning on the job. But I guess that never stops.
Anyways, that milestone has been crossed and means I have a reasonable chance of getting this edit done by early next week. Then we start on the second edits. Those should go a lot faster.
Soon, I should be finding out what the artist who is doing my book cover has come up with.I'm waiting with fingers crossed, baited breath, and an enormous amount of curiousity.
On the home front, the boy did good in school today and is trying to be on his best behavior so he can get a milkshake tomorrow. This weekend is the carnival, and I intend to take him to that come hell or high water. I'll check the weather to see what day works best. I would like to do it on Sunday, as I hear thats when you see more families, but if the weather forecast even looks remotely doubtful I'll take him earlier. There will be no repeat of last weekend.
He also has a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. I'll have to think about presents.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I stayed up late working on Part Three of the novel and got a lot done. I'm about two thirds of the way through accepting/rejecting changes...then it's time for the rewrites. I'll jump back on it after the kids go to bed.
At least I got enough sleep, even though it meant sleeping in late. I took advantage of the last two hours of having the house to myself by just listening to music and surfing the web. It was kind of nice. Once I get the kids home, I'll do a little laundry just to keep that happy "getting somewhere" feeling.
Oh well, still got twenty minutes of freedom left. Back to youtube :P
Well, I feel better about today.
I've finally been able to start working on the edit for Part Three of my novel, and have been making good progress. At this point, I'm just accepting or rejecting changes, with acceptances at the usual 90+ percent. Once I get through the whole manuscript, then I go back and look into the requests for rewording or further elaboration. It feels good to be doing it, since I really haven't been able to write this week.
I think the lack of progress earlier might have been part of what had me feeling down. I chafed at not getting anything done, knowing that I have a lot to do. And somehow that takes on a life of it's own and things start piling up around me. So getting some editing done...and sorting a load of laundry...has me feeling that I'm finally on track again.
And who knows...maybe me being in a better frame of mind will rub off on the kids.
Sheridan had trouble in a particular class the last couple of weeks, so he had been scolded and warned that he needed to be extra good in that class this week if he wanted to go to the library. So naturally, Mr. Literal was a perfect angel in that class and a total trainwreck in the others. Therefore his mother, Mrs. Literal, took him to the library as promised, but then made him work his butt off in the yard helping her rake and bag leaves all afternoon.
Oh well, I look forward to a brighter tomorrow :)
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Once again, my sleep schedule is messed up. Not a good time for that, since Tuesday and Wednesdays are the days I pick Rowan up at noon and take her to her therapist. Sigh. I have always been a night person, trying to be a day person.
Then, on top of being tired I let myself get bummed out by a website that wouldn't review my book when it came out because I'm not a real author in their eyes. They must only believe authors from big name publishers can write, and are worth their time. I remind myself that Rome wasn't built in a day, but it was still sort of depressing.
Maybe it's something in the air. The boy had a bad day at school and didn't earn his early week reward of an afterschool milkshake, and the girl was such a stinker this morning her teacher actually had to call Mom at work. She was okay in the afternoon though. Her moods are sort of like the weather, they come and go without explanation or reason.
Oh well, if I can get some sleep tonight, then maybe I can do something to make Weds a little better.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The spate of bad fortune continues. My nifty new lighted cane arrived from Amazon.com today, but when I put the batteries in it didn't work. Yeah. So now I'm going to have to go to all the trouble of contacting these people and getting another cane.
This unlucky streak has got to stop. I've got things coming up I don't need any wonky luck interfering with.
For one thing, I just set up an interview on blogtalk radio for the release of "The Ways of Khrem." It will take place at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, on Monday, May 31st. I have never been interviewed in my life, and needless to say I'm a bit nervous. Now I've got a date I can count down to that's earlier than Apollocon.
I also got the edit in for Part III: The Ghost of Candlewalk Lane. It doesn't look as severe as the other two did...no entire sections need rewriting...but since it's a longer story all those awkward sentences and stuff add up. It will still take some time to do.I have Rowans therapy for the next two days, so I'll probably get a little done on it, but not really be able to dive into it until Thursday.
Oh well, at least things are moving along. I just need to buy a suit made of four leaf clovers before things move along right off a cliff.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Another weekend like this, and Sheridan is going to want to divorce his parents.
Saturday we told him we were going to the movies, then that didn't work out. Then we told him we would go to the inflatable "bounce" house, and that didn't work out. Then Sunday I told him I would take him to the carnival that evening, only to get there and discover it closed early on Sunday. I felt so bad for the poor boy. We managed to get his hopes up three different times this weekend, only to take him right to the door of the place and then disappoint him. He knows we tried, but that still has to be rough on a six year old. There were a few tears involved, and I couldn't blame him.
We did manage to get the carpets cleaned, though. So the adults are happy. I also got the carnival hours for next weekend.
Now I guess I'll need to pick a project to work on while waiting for the edit to Part Three to come my way. I'm thinking of working on a couple of short stories I promised a friend. They will be Christmas stories...a genre I have never tried before. We'll see how that works out. I'm normally a fantasy/horror writer, and my instincts are usually the more dead bodies the better. The only body I'm allowed for this one is the turkey on the table.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Alas, Poor Sheridan.
We got up this morning to go see the autistic friendly showing of How To Train Your Dragon. We drove half an hour, only to discover that they had already sold out when we got their. Rowan didn't know what was going on, so she didn't care, but Sheridan was very unhappy. So we decided, since we were already out for the morning, to go to one of those places that have inflatable slides and bouncy playgrounds. This cheered him up...until we got there and discovered they had a party going on and no non guests were permitted.
Now he was truly devastated.
We decided to throw in the towel, and go to Lowes and get the carpet steamer so the day wouldn't be a total loss. Needless to say, he didn't see it the same way we did. While sitting out in the car and waiting for Karla to show back up with the steam cleaner, he pronounced that today was "the worst day in his entiire life." I asked him if it could possibly get any worse. He thought about that seriously for a minute and concluded, "maybe if my eyeballs were to pop out." Ah, six year olds...
Well, at least some carpets got cleaned, though there will be more to clean tomorrow.
The weekend is upon us. And it's a big one for the kids.
Friday night, Sheridan got to go to his school and watch movies and eat pizza with his friends. It's called Parent's Night Out...but I put it to better use. I had just gotten in the edit for Part II: The Cistern, and it was a fairly light job, so I buckled down and did about half of it while Sheridan was out, then the rest of it after he went to bed. So that counts as a surprise bonus for the weekend, and one job out of the way.
Saturday, a theatre about forty five minutes from here is going to have a showing of How to Train Your Dragon, and it's going to have the rules geared towards autistic kids. Rowan will be able to go see her first movie. We will be able to bring safe food with us, and the rules about quietness in the theatre has been relaxed. I really hope she enjoys this. Then, Saturday afternoon I plan to rent a carpet steam cleaner and attack our living room carpet.
Sunday, I will take Sheridan to the Crawfish Festival in Spring. He loves the carnival, and will want to ride all the rides...or at least most of them. He told me today he didn't want to ride the "big loop that goes upside down," because that's obviously for nine year olds. He'll wait.
So my plate is full. Woohoo!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Pill Hill Press's latest anthology, Pandora's Nightmare: Horror Unleashed, is now available at Amazon.com.
I open and close this anthology with the stories "So it Begins," and "And So It Ends." As writers, we were challenged to come up with stories based on something awful being let loose into the world, and I think this is Pill Hill Press's best anthology to date.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Still working on Argiope, and fiddling around with that one scene. It doesn't really have the tension I want, and seems kind of...I don't know...just happening. Not acceptable for a scene where two men are sitting across a coffee table from each other with guns in their pockets and mistrust in their hearts.
The anti-virus on my laptop just mysteriously shut down for some reason. This is my writing computer, so I'm going to pull all my writing files off of it, and take it in to Best Buy and let their Geek Squad puzzle over it. I'll just have to shanghai Karla's computer for the period that mine is down. I'm sure she won't mind :)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Not much else going on. Back to writing.
Rowan is still enjoying the spoils of Easter.
I slept all night, courtesy of the favors of Nyquil, but I'm still groggy as I get up this morning. I needed to do it though, I'm trying to get my nights and days straightened out.
I managed to get around a thousand words written on Argiope yesterday. I'm sort of tiptoeing through a scene where the protagonist finally meets a couple of members of one of the secret groups who are now involved in his life. I'll probably have to rewrite the whole scene, but I need to get the dang thing written first. I'm sort of feeling my way through this book anyways.
I found my folding walking cane. I had left it at the library. The librarian mused aloud how somebody could forget a walking cane. I couldn't think of nothing to say, so just settled for a shrug and hobbling away. I don't always need a cane, on my good days my braces are enough. Anyways, I will soon have my nifty new cane that lights up in the dark arriving in the mail. Cool.
Anyways, here is more adventures with Rowan and reading.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Stinkerbell gets busy hunting those Easter Eggs. She remembered that from last year...and the candies inside those eggs were all the more motivation for a serious hunt.
I took the day off from writing, and just visited with famile, and watched the kids and a movie. It was a pretty good way to spend the day. We can't be paragons of production every day.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I didn't do any writing today, and it felt marvelous. I got my routine car maintenance taken care of, my daughter taken to her therapist, then napped the late afternoon away. It was glorious, but now I have to do something to justify my existence today.
So I'm trying out this blogging feature on Word 2007 to see if I can figure it out. Gotta learn something new if I'm not going to write anything. Even a failed experiment is better than no experiment at all. I'm trying to learn as much as my poor old sieve of a mind can take, and it often rebels at the task. Sometimes I wish I had started this career a lot younger, but then I remember I was pretty much an idiot then too.
Especially when it comes to technology.
You know that guy, the one who just intuitively knows where each cord goes on the dvd player, and can instinctively work his way through the menus on the tv setup guide? Well, I'm that other guy…the once standing in the corner looking stupidly at the remote control and wondering if he just slagged a five hundred dollar piece of equipment by merely pushing the wrong button. Yeah, that's me. If there is a secret "detonate" button on a remote, I'll hit it.
Oh well, that's my cheery thought for the morning.
UPDATE: Well, I would call that a partial success. The font came across, even if it does make the readers eyes want to bleed, but the picture wouldn't load. Oh well, it was worth playing around with.