So much for writing. (Oh, I got two rejections.)
The latest crash happened in the middle of e-mailing a story submission. Grrrr.
A few moments later the 3 PM afternoon became as dark as twilight as the rain clouds thickened.
So welcome November. Even if today I -- despite two cups of tea and another of hot chocolate -- wanted to hibernate.
Last week was extra spacey -- I managed to forget my cell phone and wallet in Corvallis Thursday and had to drive back to retrieve them. I think I must have been pondering if I should be a UU Worship Associate very heavily. In the end I decided that it wasn't the right time to go down that path. It was hard, because I really like some sort of group; but helping out with a Protestant liturgy ultimately wasn't going to feed my Neo-Pagan soul.
We got many more trick-or-treaters this year. The signal in our neighborhood is to keep your porch light on (last year we had lots of pumpkins lit, but no porch light). Mark got a bunch of glow-sticks, which were a big hit with the kids.
The rains have returned. I'm hoping that it fixes the ground underneath our house so that the door between the kitchen and the garage goes back into alignment. Of course, it's kind of grey now, and I could feel the dopamine transmitters in my brain turning off. Or something. Looks like it's time to break out the halogen lamp and stare into it for the next six months.
Had a fun weekend with the family on the train. It's more expensive than driving, but more relaxing. Mark found a good deal, so it wasn't quite as expensive as it might have been. Our Thanksgiving Fantasy is to rent a Silver Slipper and have it do a round-trip up and down the Willamette Valley collecting relatives so no-one has to travel far for Thanksgiving Dinner.
In the writing department: Got two rejections; on presumed one on Halloween and a nice "please send us more" rejection on All Souls' Day.
Mark was inspired to paint the trim around the front windows and door. Our friend George said our house looks, "Artsy-fartsy."
On the spiritual front:
I'm wrestling with if I should become a UU worship associate. There's pros and cons.
On the writing front:
The PHP scripts that I use to track markets and stories is working nicely in terms of helping me rank which story to send to which market; it's a little clunky, but that's kind of okay because it makes me actually think about what I'm doing.
However... it's not foolproof. I typed in the wrong word count limit for a market and managed to send a story that was too big to a market (I got a form rejection).
New record. I submitted a story (the traffic one) to a market and got it rejected in three hours. Any faster and I would have thought I was in some kind of time warp.
In related news, I'm having problems with the 'mktime' function in PHP, because it only returns today's date or the beginning of the epoch (Jan 31, 1969). It would be nice if it computed dates for data that I gave it, because then I could clear out the markets that are closed until such-and-such a date from my market suggestion lists.
At first I thought it might be a problem in my markets array, and I tried tweaking the closure date with the 'trim' and 'settype' functions to make sure that I was passing a correctly formatted data point to the 'mktime' functions.
It's one of those finesse things -- I can just keep track of when a market will open up manually. But it would be nice to have the software have markets pop up only when they're accepting manuscripts.
Uhhg... the iPod has just recycled for about the fifth time, and I'm carefully not looking at what time it is. If only I could time warp my sleep...
Been working on the story tracking PHP software; the old program is great, but it needed some tweaking so it could respond to markets with non-linear pay scales.
Did some minor post-critique work on the traffic story. It's ready and I hope to send it soon.
Tomorrow is supposed to be nice; so I'll probably be painting the house.
Now that Mark is back, there's been some re-alignment of The Great Garage Clear-out. Most notable was the space in front of he lateral files. Some ladders and other stuff got placed in front of the files; after I moved the ladders to a new (and hopefully acceptable) place, I put blue tape on the ground to outline how far out the file drawers pull out. I think that will keep the area in front of them clear. I'm hopeful that the new arrangement in general will keep our garage a more usable space. . . . and yes, I have a lot of useless garbage that needs to be sifted through for the good stuff and then thrown out.
Sheesh. If you'r going to be that loud I want to here a shriek of, "I am so drunk!"
Today is Tales in the Mail -- so I need to de-clutter the house.
I found a recording of Clara Rockmore playing "The Swan" by Saint Saens, on the theremin. Watching her hands as she plays (wearing a kind of purple turban, too) is wonderful, and she makes the theremin sound like an analog cello. As she played, I realized I'd found a new goddess, and I lamented that, as far as i knew, she had not done any collaborations with Laurie Anderson.
It's raining... no, wait, the sun is out. Nope. It's raining.
Managed a lot of dialog on the serious Mars story; edited the not-serious Mars story.
Muriel continues to be an irritant.
Muriel continues to express her little kitty needs loudly and often.
And thank goodness, the tea's come!
At least they're mostly filed now. It amazing what a bad filing system can do, but now at least everything is mostly consolidadetd -- I need to decide what to do with old critiques... they're sort of interesting but it's a little early to start a museum to critiquing.
I've run out of milk and O.J. -- so it's off to the store before writing.
But there's still one problem; or rather two.
I recognize the eggplants, the tomatoes, the cabbages and broccoli. But I don't know what one green leafy vegetable is -- I know it's not spinach, and I suspect it might be related to kale.
And I have no idea what the long white thing is. Last time I saw something like this I called it a white carrot (it was a turnip) and Mark's never let me forget it. So, it wants to be purple, like an eggplant, except that it's mostly white; and it's long, like a cucumber -- I think I'll call it an "albino eggumber."
If you can identify either of these mystery vegetables, let me know (and send a recipe).
Last night I printed out my story marketing data so I have concrete goals for the next few days. Today is a backlog day -- there are several manuscripts that need minor tweaking so I can send them out.
Interesting dreams last night. I think my oral hygenist symbolized my anxiety about not "writing enough." OK, and I need to floss more. Then there was the "returning to school" motif; when I tried to walk passed the art building my legs stopped working -- it was like walking through molasses.
I must not have been awake.
A rocky start this morning -- I stumbled around this morning and didn't quite get to writing at the stroke of 9 AM. Slogged forward, reminding myself to type when I stopped, and slowly the setting for a story on Mars is taking shape.
My little break is almost over, more later.