Saturday, December 29, 2007



Maybe it's not such a good thing that we live next to an Office Max. I just spent about $70 on ink cartridges for one printer. So I can print stories, which presumably I can sell. It wouldn't be so bad, except that I bought paper there earlier this afternoon. I have the uncomfortable feeling that this qualifies me for membership in the techno-peasantry. Gads, I almost feel like I should find an old spin-writer. Or locate my old type-writer from ages ago (although I'm not sure what I did with it after my old housemate, Keith, blew up one of its capacitors with his volt-meter. . . ).

Granted, I haven't had to buy ink cartridges for this particular printer in over a year, so I guess it works out to less than $8 a month. But still.

Writing and Other News

Today I had some time to work on my writing. I really need to mail some stuff out (so what am I doing writing on the blog?). And what I discovered is that I have some version-itis on my computers. And I had run out of paper. And envelopes. And the entry in the story that I wanted to send to Polyphony had a syntax error in it, with the result that the story wasn't showing up in my mailcall report. Once I fixed that, I discovered that Polyphony had already received (and rejected) that particular story in 2005. So I printed out another story and I think my printer must be running out of ink because the copy has some problems.

All I can say is that it's a good think that an Office Max has opened up within walking distance of our house.

We're watching some friends' animals. They have a real cat -- kitten, actually. Instead of a meow that sounds like a rusty hinge, it has a squeak-toy voice. Instead of clomping around the house, it slinks. However, instead of snagging claws on our clothes during feeble attempts to jump into our laps, the kitten launches into a low orbit and crampons up to our shoulders.

Despite surprised yells, she purrs.

I'm not sure if I'd like to trade.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

I celebrated my 43rd birthday today.

Mark was great; he decorated the house up like it was the old Savoure tea salon and we had a tea party. There were scones, quiche, teas, petit fours, French Art Nouveau botanical prints on the walls and some wonderful conversation -- Mark even put up a sign on the front door that read, "Tea like it used to be."

Later we made some sugar cookies and listened to David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries", but not before I shot some artistic photos.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Oh boy, Oh boy!

Somehow, this was much funnier twenty years ago.

However, I just discovered this and I think it's hysterical.

Spindle, Anyone?

Today I'm carrying a little pin of Malificent in my pocket. There's always been a place in my heart for Malificent. I think when I was small, it was her horned headdress and cool purple cloak. Now it's the music by Tchaikovsky (Op.66A: III) with its sly oboe duets. Makes me want to re-read "The Thirteenth Fey," by Jane Yolen.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Yule.

This year I managed to use a magnifying glass to light a candle from the sun's rays. The candle stayed lit all day and then we used it for a Solstice Service at the local UU church. Something about the glow of candles lit from the sun is extra special to me. Now all I need is to find some really good Solstice Music. We did sing some paganized carols, but it's really not quite the same - and I did manage to re-write the last stanza of "Light is Returning" so it's not so 80's glam-rock.

This morning it was clear (for a change) and I was able to watch the sun rise (more or less). The morning was clear, though, and the leaded crystals shone their rainbows on the kitchen walls. It was very strange to see how much sunlight slants in on the western kitchen wall - especially since I know on the other end of the year it can shine in through our northern windows.

The moon is out tonight. I am hoping that I'll have a nice view of it on my birthday, which is this Monday; I don't know of any traditions about full moons on one's birthday. I think, though, that I have to wait something like nineteen years for the next time the moon is full on Dec 24.... although on Dec 25 2015 it will be full very early on that day. This Sunday should be an interesting sight, too, as Mars and the moon will be very close to each other - and by a funny coincidence, it turns out they were close to each other when I was born.

Well... off to decorate the house.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Latest Signing

Just got back from Waldenbooks. We were going to find Santa hats, but we didn't. I was going to put construction paper Santa Hats on the figure from the book cover's head, but I didn't. I tried to get Damon to sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas," but he didn't. Damon did show me the rubber pen trick, and I did startle Damon when I greeted a fellow Reed College alumnus with "Communism, Atheism, Free Love!" (the alumnus looked pre-occupied and didn't seem to realize that I was reading the caption on his T-shirt back to him). We had a great time and we managed to sell nineteen books in two hours. Many of my friends from The Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire stopped by and purchased books. This wiped out Waldenbooks' stock.

Now it's off to holiday madness.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Book Signing Time

Is 1 PM to about 3 PM. Waldenbooks. Albany Heritage Mall. Ho ho ho!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Book Signing This Weekend

Damon and I will be in Albany this Saturday, at WaldenBooks in the Heritage Mall. Come visit us. Maybe I can convince Damon to sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas".

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Writing Report

Managed to find a place that stays open later than 10 PM. Unfortunately, it seems to be ringed with speakers playing irritating music. After slogging through a few changes to some manuscripts, I was on a role on a story that I started last weekend when some post-alternative-rock whiner-boy started playing. I quickly roamed around the establishment and discovered that A) the loudest speaker in the joint was over my head, and B) there was a relatively working-speaker-free area with a free table.

Thank goodness for my iPod, which allows me to play my annoying music (which I'm used to and can screen out).

I managed to get a few more pages of manuscript. Last weekend, I managed to transcribe all the story ideas from my cell phone into my laptop. There were about seven ideas; I'd say one or two would make interesting children's stories; a few would make disturbing children's stories; one or two are interesting ideas, but I'm not sure that they have a story attached to them; and one is the one that I've been running with. What I like about it is that the story is allowing me to experiment a little with voice.

I've been invited to join the league of curmudgeons. Now that I'm not feeling as ill as I was last week (and it's the other side of New Moon), I've decided that I don't enjoy being a curmudgeon so much as I do feeling righteously indignant. Oh well, I guess I have practice shouting "Betrayal!" and find an appropriate Queen of the Night outfit.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Writing Report

Did some bookkeeping to add some recently tweaked stories to my list of stories ready to be mailed, and researched some markets. I got a rejection from Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. And I have to go out and buy some more paper because I used my last blank bits of paper to print holiday cards.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Quick Report

I've been recovering from something and it's New Moon and I probably should be getting more sleep. So I've been grumpy. Grumpy! I'm not sure if I should embrace my inner curmudgeon. On one hand it would be fun; but on the other hand I found myself listening to my inner monologue while driving and I'm beginning to sound downright misanthropic.

Naw. I should drive less.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Writing Weekend pt 3

Well... the Writing Weekend ended with a 6 page story idea. The weekend was very productive... and I got sick at the end of it. I don't know why -- it was sudden and similar to the OryCon shakes (only this time there was no dancing). I'm hoping it's something silly like a caffeine overdose and not something obnoxious like a relapse of mono.

On a different note, we've survived the Oregon storm here. Although the weekend brought 4 inches of rain, and the wind blew things around a bit, we didn't lose electricity, lose a roof, or have a tree demolish anything. Considering all the damage at the coast, we're very lucky.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Writing Weekend pt 2

Very windy here -- so much so that the electricity is flickering every so often. I'm walking around with an LED flashlight in my pocket in case the lights go out.

I woke up this morning with a very typical anxiety dream in my head: I was taking a physics class, and I was failing it; the instructor hadn't figured out grades until the last minute, so it was too late for me to withdraw from the class (thus saving my GPA from the ravages of an F).

On to waking life: I more-or-less finished up the touches to my alien plant story and began working on my Wordos Holiday story. I started writing a kind of continuation of my Wordos Halloween story... and immediately the Winter story became sophomoric. I've got about 700 words of . . . well; it's funny, I guess, in a high school summer movie kind of way.

I went back and looked at the Halloween Story, and I think what it has going for it is vampire chic, campy language, and some funny juxtapositions. And surprises. I think if people like the Winter story, they'll like it because it reminds them of the Halloween story; not because the Winter story works on its own merits (although it does stand alone).

Oh well... at least this version is done and out of my head. Off to write some more and prepare for tomorrow, the third day of writing.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Writing Weekend

I drove off (with the blessings of Mark) to write.

I arrived at the family manse and set about finding a table. A little after a half hour I had a table, chair, iPod, speakers, laptop, and Pepsi. And I began to edit "Sky Dance," a 6000 word alien bugs short story that's been languishing on my desk for an embarrassingly long time. Between notes I'd made on a manuscript and screen edits, the story is at a point where any more tweaking is simply going to break it.

I started to edit "Remember," and I'm about half way through it. The beginning is much more accessible. It's a 5000 word alien plant story. There's some setting and language details that I need to work through tomorrow.

I'm hoping that by tomorrow evening I'll be working on my Wordos holiday short story (1000 words).