Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Blessings

Today has been a wrong type of time day. It's frustrating because there are a bunch of things I have to do when I'd rather be doing something else. And my time is being cut up into inconveniently short bits.

Probably the most irritating is how my own geo-spacial impairment prompted me to turn right out of the dump (where I had been turned away with a load because I didn't have cash) thinking I could re-connect to the way I wanted to go and ended up in i-5 half-way to Skateworld instead of on Franklin Blvd. to go to a ATM.

I used the time on the roads to mutter "Bless you," at the other drivers. The advantage of muttering "Bless you," is that it doesn't contribute to my road rage. It's difficult to lose it when shouting (ooops, I mean muttering) "Bless you" calls to mind jokes about Southern wives going to charm school and young devout movie Christians angrily yelling, "I am filled to the BRIM with the healing love of Christ!"

And... another task is calling me.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Monday night I tried to find comet PANSTARRS, but I was unable to see even the star Alpheratz, in the constellation of Virgo, much less the comet. Part of the difficulty is that we were in the city. And then there's things like the houses in the neighborhood. I really though the comet would be up far enough to be able to be seen.

On the plus side, I did manage to see the moons of Jupiter and our own moon. Also, Smokey apparently was an astronomer in a past life, as he spent about an hour hanging out with me as I swung Mark's telescope around trying to see an interplanetary evaporating snowball.

The clear(-ish) sky Monday night meant the night was clear. But the clarity didn't last. Tuesday morning dawned cloudy with a threat of rain. It's amazing to me how much sunlight makes a difference in how I feel. Monday and much of the weekend was very sunny and bright. Tuesday is drizzly and grey--a good day for hot chocolate.

Tuesday night the Wordos were displaced for a concert. Some of us met at a local Market of Choice and we worked on various stories. I spent the time going over critiqued drafts and marking changes on a master draft. I still need to re-write the end of the story to give it more sparkle; it's flat and passive right now.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tech Fail

Simplenote has failed me again. Somehow it's lost about an hour's worth of work. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but Simplenote will occasionally lose notes as if I'd never created them. It's happened enough times that I'm looking around for alternates. I don't know if I'm somehow closing Simplenote incorrectly, or if jumping between wireless networks is confusing its sync function.

Originally, I started using Simplenote because it synced with Scrivener, but since our Macintosh is dead, it's one less reason to use Simplenote.

I thought I'd try Google Drive; I saw that they had a work off-line option, but apparently working off-line isn't what they mean, as the EDIT and CREATE buttons go grey when there's no local WiFi.

I've read rumors of a Google alternate to SImpleNote, but it hasn't been released yet.

So that leaves me with writing long-hand or using some other tool like the Blogger app to save bits of text.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing Moments

Writing in the car is paradoxic and strange.

The car's engine is off. I wonder how long the car battery will last with the ignition key turned half-way, classical music playing on the radio and the car's clock counting down the minutes until I have to hop out and go to work.

A wireless keyboard rests on my lap; I'm staring at the iPad, which is propped up on the steering wheel.

This narrative I'm working on is moving forward, even though the car is still.


I'm trying to write, and it's a chore. I'm tired. My throat hurts. I give myself permission to rest.

But after the rest, which goes on much longer than I expected, I'm looking at the stack of revisions I have to do with a sense of weariness. I always seem to feel tired and rundown when I have a largish chunk of time to write. So here I am, trying to jump-start writing by blogging.

On the business side, the computer with my submission tracking software on it died. This isn't so bad, and I have a back-up, only runs on a different platform. I'll have to see about porting it somehow. And then there's that longish, wandering, non-fiction thing I wrote. I should do something with that--on one hand, I could serialize it; but on the other hand, it might be interesting to e-publish it and see where it goes.

Ugh. Business decisions. Quick! Start writing!

Star Globe

I'm inordinately pleased with myself for having made a star globe out of cut paper.

This is the latest cutter-plotter project.  I made a panel out of ten sheets of heavy paper, glued them into to halves, and then glued the two halves together.

When I was finished, I posed as one of my favorite Burne-Jones paintings.  (...and on the eight day God made paper projects).

Now all I need to do is add an LED light for the center.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Fighting Illness

I'm fighting off something. The balls of my feet and the tops of my knuckles have been aching for the last several days. I'm guessing it must be some sort of flu, because going back to sleep with a large quilt and a hot cup of tea sounds really great now.

The worst part about it is that it makes me wonder what the next fifty years are going to be like. When one is walking to the store and it's mildly painful, it brings thoughts of mortality and decay to the forefront. My calves and knees were complaining as I walked down the grocery aisles. "If you can walk you can dance," is a snappy rejoinder I like to tell myself--but what if you can't walk?

Ibuprophin was my friend last night, and soon it will be my friend again. In the meantime, I'm thinking about various relatives and in-laws with arthritis who somehow remain cheerful.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

More Advanced Praise

I wanted to wait until I was sure the editors were actually talking about me before I posted this link:

[The Gear Master's Wife] does one of the best jobs of SF worldbuilding I've ever seen from an author who isn't already famous for writing great SF - On The Premises (

Oooh. You pressed the Capricorn's FAME! button. Do it again.

Today was a writing day; I had the house to myself for about eight hours. I spent some time outside writing in Café John, which was warm enough after wrapping myself in some wool blankets. The day stayed sunny, but got more cold and I moved back inside after lunch.

I wrote more slowly than I wanted to in part because I was getting back to the vampire story I started over a year ago and I got bogged down in some old scenes and in part--and it took me most of the day to figure this out--because I was tired all day.

I'm not sure why I was tired.  I thought I got enough sleep last night; maybe I'm fighting off a cold.  Being tired meant I spent too much time on little decisions, and too much time staring at the screen wondering how the connective bits between the scenes was going to work. Being tired meant I got easily distracted.

The most productive time was when I just sat down and told myself, "this is the part where they do X" and worried about connecting the dots for later. Not a stellar word count... but better than zero.

Worldbuilding Feature

I'm pleased to be featured in this week's blog article about worldbuilding at On The Premises ( 

The Gear Master's Wife, [...] contains some of the best worldbuilding our magazine has ever received. The author, John Burridge, manages to mix questions with suggested answers in such a way that, even though we don't fully understand the world the story takes place in, we feel we understand enough. 

I'll add that I do have a kind of "Burridge-rillion" building up for the world this story is set in, and that my writing became more clear once I started to recognize when it had veered away from the plot and into way too much detailed back-story.  Editing the extra bits out of the story and into a world bible also helps.

The Gear Master's Wife will be published on-line in about two weeks.