mrissa: (intense)
It turns out that "smugglers" is not the same thing as "snugglers," although I suppose one could go looking for either in the king's woods.
mrissa: (writing everywhere)
I am doing revisions on a printout, because I need to revise on printouts mostly, and when I try not to, I bang my head repeatedly against the wall and then feel stupid when it turns out all I needed was a printout. So. Printout! I need to remind myself of this in future, because I am unlikely to come admit to you-all that revisions have stalled out and give you the chance to remind me that I need a printout.

Anyway: I am doing these revisions with the purple pen of mystery. It's the oddest thing. (Where by "the oddest thing," I mean "a fairly ordinary household object.") It's a disposable fountain pen. There is absolutely no way to refill this fountain pen. It's nice, though. It's a pilot, and I wouldn't say the nib is any worse in smoothness than my refillable Pilot fountain pens, though it's lighter. I found this pen cleaning out a box of things that got stuck on the corner of the hearth when we moved in and stayed there. And yet the ink has not dried out and the nib isn't clogging. It is a good little pen.

The thing is, we cannot figure out where this pen came from. Mark doesn't use fountain pens. Timprov and I know all of our fountain pens personally and have no recollection of this pen ever joining their number. And we can't think who would have left this pen with us. Most of our guests are definitively non-users of fountain pens or else Dave obsessive enough about their fountain pens to know what kind they use and keep track of where they've gone.

It's too bad, too, because after five years I would not offer to give this pen back, at least not until after I'd finished revising this book with it, but I would want to know where the heck they got such a thing, and where I could get another, or ideally a whole pack of them. Wait! I know! The magic of the internets has told me where to get more. Well, all right then. It is a Pilot Varsity. If this might be your pen left at my house for five years, I'm dreadfully sorry, but at least I know replacements are only $3.25, so you won't be too bereft. And neither will I when the thing runs out.
mrissa: (intense)
When I was writing Dwarf's Blood Mead and The Mark of the Sea Serpent, the word I overused and had to search on to replace with other phrasings was "grim." There was way too much grim in that book. Grim, grim, grim. For What We Did to Save the Kingdom, the word in question is apparently "cheerful."

Mostly with a certain level of irony.
mrissa: (Default)
I am currently wrestling two sets of short story edits into submission, one for the story I just sold and one for an as yet unsold story. It's good stuff. It makes for better stories. But coming on the heels of doing zeroth draft coherence revisions on What We Did, it makes me sort of taciturn around here.

I think I'm done with all the laundry, or all the laundry I'm going to take with -- I may throw another load of towels in just to be nice to [ profile] markgritter. We'll see. Other than that, I think I'm getting there. Sort of. Mostly. We have Canadian money now, for example (hockey fives FTW!). My passport has been dragged up from the basement filing cabinet. My packing list is at the ready. My notes for the novel I'm not writing next are typed into the relevant file.

Wait, that last one was procrastination, not readiness. I am one of the most virtuous procrastinators I know. I'm not goofing off! I'm organizing my notes!

Anyway: I know they have connectivity in the hotel we're using, but I have honestly no idea how much I'll be online in the next ten days. If the travel is rough on the vertigo, it may be a lot. If not, it may be hardly at all. Or really anything in between; hard to say. I expect to enjoy myself in Montreal regardless.
mrissa: (intense)
Me: When you get run over by a truck, does that come with nausea?
[ profile] timprov: Ummm...I wouldn't think so.
Me: Then I definitely don't feel like I was run over by a truck.

But this was in pursuit of revision, and today was a record day since the vertigo/PT started: over 3K new words on stuff that had to happen but hadn't happened yet, in Chapter 10 and Chapter 32.

Tomorrow: more piano breaks. More not-piano breaks. More breaks. For sure.

Still, I can't really regret today.
mrissa: (intense)
Oh, noticeable progress. How I've missed you.

The thing about working on short stories for much of the last few vertiginous months is that I write them fast enough that there really isn't a sense of progress on the same project for very long. I start a short story. I finish a short story. There may be a few days when I will say, "I made progress on [story]," and they may be spread out, but there's no building sense of accomplishment: the story doesn't exist, then it does.

There has been progress on the PT front, but it's all been more the kind that we measure with fancy machines rather than the kind that lets me, y'know, feel normal and live life without leaning on somebody at every second. So the lack of progress on either novel revisions or new novel for months on end had been driving me just nutso.

But now! Now this new revision system is so happy and fine! I am officially down to fewer than half the remaining chapters for revision, and yes, some of them are the chapters that need the most done to them, but progress, progress, progress! It's nowhere near submission quality. It is not yet the book I want it to be. It will get a few eyes on it at first, and then a few more. But today, not only did I do some things that needed doing, I was able to make them do double duty or more; it got all layered and neat and did the sorts of things revision is supposed to do. It is a better book than it was this morning when I woke up. And I have missed that so much, the sensation that I have taken action and something I care about has improved in a large enough increment to be noticeable as a result.

I may still be staggering and lurching around. I may still be dreaming of malfunctioning space stations and making myself sick by turning my head. I may still have limited computer time before it makes me sick as well. But I'm able to use that time, and that helps a very great deal.


Jul. 8th, 2008 09:13 pm
mrissa: (Default)
Almost forgot to say: I sold a story. Coyote Wild bought "In the Velvet Swamp," which was inspired by an [ profile] elisem pendant and is also dedicated to [ profile] angeyja and [ profile] callunav.

Also there are some swampish references in the chapter I revised earlier today. But not so much in the chapter I'm doing right now. Which is as far as I go toward making this livejournal entry thematic in some way.
mrissa: (intense)
Had clinic PT today. I know that it would be worse if this "two steps forward, one step back" thing was reversed in ratio. Still and all. Continuing faith from my physical therapist that this will be fully resolved. Eventually. Someday.

So tired.

I've finished revisions (for this pass through only, of course!) on the first eight chapters of What We Did to Save the Kingdom, and also on 11, 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, 30, and 34. (Just two of those today. But still, two of those today, on a clinic PT day. This? Could be worse. Even without any new fiction.)

I think one of the things about this particular type of revisions is that it's forcing particularity. I cannot wail, "It is not as shiny as it was in my head! Unless it is and I just can't see it because it's been languishing unrevised and unloved!" I have to say, "Chapter 4 is dragging," or, "I have not explained the thing about the salt magic," or whatever. The down side of this is that the whole thing may still be thoroughly unshiny when I finish this set of revisions. But I have hopes that, if so, it will be unshiny and moderately sensical. With this style of approaching revisions, I have to deal with the book that is rather than the book that is not, and this is, I think, to the good. There will be time to talk more about what it is not and could be when I can get smart people to critique it for me. For now it's time to get all the things that need to happen before smart people have the information they need to be smart about it. And progress, progress is good. Measurable progress on something. I hope.
mrissa: (intense)
So. I recently read a friend's novel, which is really good and probably not going to be published, because the said friend is not seeking publication for it, but I'm not actually posting this to say nyahhhhh. (As long as I'm here, though: nyahhhh.) And my friend's process involves each chapter being a separate file, which would drive me completely insane and lead to me never, ever writing anything ever again. But seems to result in novels for him.

And I said to myself, hmmm. My friend is not stupid. Possibly there are advantages to this system that might apply to my very own situation. Possibly I could make use of some aspect of it without having the complete crazy-making of trying to draft that way. Possibly?

And so I printed out the chapters of What We Did to Save the Kingdom with -- and you will probably find this completely radical -- page breaks between each chapter. (I know! The creativity just never stops around here.) And I paperclipped each chapter together. And then I went through the list of things that Really Truly Must Be Done Before Another Soul Can See This Book. (Filename: What We Did to Sort the Revisions. Other filenames in the same folder: What We Did to Sum It Up, What We Did to Write the Sequel, What We Did to Excise the Flashbacks, What We Did to Keep Track of the Details, and What We Did to Annoy the Readers. The last is a preemptive file. For later.) And I wrote each thing on a Post-It note, and I put it on the chapter it goes with, and if it goes in more than one chapter, I put it on more than one Post-It note.

And now when I want to work on the revisions, and I know I won't have much time before the vertigo starts to eat my brain, I can pick up a chapter and see discrete chunks of work that need doing in that chapter. So I don't have to look at what needs doing and think, "Does that go in Chapter 7? What if it's in Chapter 12? Did I check that it can happen that early? Or that late? What's going on here?" Also I could weigh the chapters in my hands and think thinky thoughts about them. How they flow and how it all balances.

(Also, the last quarter to a third of the book -- the bit that is Ending in my head -- is on bright blue paper instead of white. I would love to say that this is because I am brilliant about structure, but it's actually because we ran out of white paper. It is nevertheless extremely useful for pacing purposes. Go serendipity.)

And in fact I tried this tonight, and I got rid of all the notes on Chapter 6 and all the notes on Chapter 7. They are okay. They are ready to be seen by mortal eyes. I'm not going to subject some poor mortal to the book in this form ("Here you go! Here are Chapters 1-3, 6, 7, 19, 23, and 34, which is the last chapter!"), but still, concrete, verifiable progress was made. Even if this system comes to a screeching halt in a flurry of Post-Its and paper-clips tomorrow, there were things that needed doing to Chapters 6 and 7, and now they are done.

Eeeee. There is light after all, and it's not just that I've decided that there must be something bigger and better than a lamp and called it a sun. I've been spending the last few weeks as a Puddleglum Novelist*, and it's sort of nice to think that at least some of it is back to being Under Me.

*Puddleglum paraphrased for novelists: "That's why I'm going to stand by the play world...I'm going to live as like a novelist as I can even if there isn't any novel." Also: "Reshpecto[ profile] mrissale." All right, it's late, I'm ridiculous.
mrissa: (I'm listening....)
1. My mom, who is a hero of the revolution, trimming all of our front bushes for us. Big task out of our hair! (And since she was going home to shower, I assume it's out of hers now, too.) Yay!

2. Really good cucumber on my lunch salad. Hey, I didn't say they had to be big good things.

3. Managing to keep my temper with a friend long enough to remember that there were really good reasons why I should cut her slack.

4. Being cut slack myself.

5. New framed [ profile] komododaikon photo on my office wall.

6. The extreme Swedishy Swedishness of this library book. Oh my goodness. It actually noted that if you read between the lines of one euphemism, you could discern...and then the thing you could discern was another euphemism. In other spots it is completely blunt about things American writing is not generally blunt about. Just in summary: very, very Swedish.

7. 1K of The True Tale of Carter Hall, with potential for more this evening.

8. Finishing figuring out the rest of the revisions for What We Did to Save the Kingdom, so now they are in tiny bite-sized pieces, and might be done in the available chunks of computer time while the vertigo gets bad. Maybe. You never know.

9. Finding a glimmer of hope that all of my behaving as though I can get somewhere with this...might mean that I can get somewhere with this.

10. Mango sorbet with dark chocolate bits on it. Nom.

Your turn.
mrissa: (I'm listening....)
I am not very good at the play-by-play kind of con report, so I won't be doing that. One small note of the where-I-went/who-I-saw/what-I-ate variety, though: the wee strawberry cake-ish things at [ profile] elisem's party were so very fine.

So. The Second Draft panel (initially typed "Second Drat panel," but I think I am on my fortieth or fiftieth drat by now) did not magically fix the computer time problems brought about by vertigo, but it was interesting to hear such differing writers' takes on that part of the process. This is kind of what Fourth Street is like: I showed up for panels I would have skipped at most other cons (by which I mean, at any other con that was not Farthing Party), because it was going to be interesting people with interesting ideas. It's not quite to the point where I don't care what programming is, because I'll be going anyway. But it's close.

On some panel, [ profile] truepenny said she was a fantasy writer at longer lengths and a horror writer at shorter lengths, and something in my brain went, "Ting!" like the Fairy Doll. I really hope I'm not becoming a fantasy writer at longer lengths and a science fiction writer at shorter lengths, because there are still long SF and short fantasy things I'd like to write. But that's certainly been the way it's looked in the last months or maybe even year. This morning when I sat down to get a little work in, I opened the file for...yet another partially finished SF story. Hmmmm, she said.

There have been lots of panel reports on the "Advice from New Writers" panel, and I hope the audience was taking it as I was taking it: keeping the good bits of advice panels from experienced writers, rather than the bad bits. If you're doing that sort of thing well, you don't blindly listen to everything an experienced writer says because they're experienced; some of them are extremely experienced fruitbats. You think about what they've said, and you think about the context in which they've said it, and you keep what makes sense and you throw out what doesn't. It seemed like at least one member of the audience didn't realize that was meant to be true of the new writers' panel as well. Don't listen to us because we're new! Listen to us when we make sense. Listen to the established writers when they make sense. Sometimes it'll be the same sense, sometimes not. There is -- or at least there ought to be -- as much diversity among new writers' opinions as among established writers' opinions.

One thing that frustrates me a lot is when people try to act as though all writers should be willing and able to become editors and publishers at the drop of the proverbial hat. I am not an editor. I am not a publisher. I don't want to be either of those things, or my life would have a very different shape. I recognize that this means that there won't be an editor or a publisher who thinks exactly like me. I consider this a feature, not a bug: we already have a me on board for all of my projects. Having a backup me would be wasteful. One of the editor's jobs is to be not me.

I started this three hours ago, with loooooong breaks for vertiginous coping. I'm going to post it now and come back for the thoughts I had on the general topic of the "From Cool Idea to Story" panel later.
mrissa: (Default)
I have directly conflicting writing needs:
1. I need to get the revisions done on What We Did to Save the Kingdom, at least to the point where I can get other eyes on it. Really. Need.
2. I need to start another book. Really. Need.

I do not, however, have the bodily resources to do this concurrently. Or even particularly quickly consecutively.

My method of coping with having novels out on editors'/agents' desks has always been:
1. Work harder.
2. Send out stuff to which 1. has been applied.
3. A miracle happens.
4. Wiktory!
(Steps three and four are purely conjecture at this point.)

This is not particularly functional when 1. is not physically possible. Problem is, I can't really think of anything else that will work, either.

At least I'm pretty sure that, since I finished "Snapshots of Breath" this morning, I don't need to add, "3. I need to write more short stories," to the top list.



Jan. 12th, 2008 11:22 am
mrissa: (Default)
So mostly what we have this week is hope. Big hope. Little hope. Lots of it.

Robin's eye is healing well, and he has some small amounts of vision in it at this point.

My new vertigo specialist seems smart and dedicated and is doing some really comprehensive testing.

Those are the big two for this week. Those are the ones that were bothering me most last weekend. There are little ones, too, things taken care of, things removed from the list and out of our hair. I haven't gotten hopeful news about everybody this week, but it's astonishing how hope feeds on itself. Like despair that way, but far better from the inside.

Last night I finished the short story novelette revisions I'd been trying to do forEVer, and that's a big relief. It makes me feel like I'm actually getting somewhere and not just moving things around on the to-do list. It also makes me feel like Copper Mountain revisions are within my grasp.

The problem is, revisions tend to be draining on me in a way that writing new fiction is not. Yet you have to revise or you're stuck with whatever you put down the first time, and that's not always (or often) feasible. Running off and writing new fiction when you have stuff that needs revision...just creates more stuff that needs revision.

On the other hand, maintenance of sanity is not to be sneezed at. So there will be a new short story alongside the revisions of What We Did to Save the Kingdom. And I will be trying to put Copper Mountain out of my head, on the theory that 1) I can do it when it needs doing, and 2) revision of a sequel to an unsold book that has been languishing on the same editor's desk for quite some time now is not perhaps the best use of my time at this point in my life, and 3) fussing about revisions is not perhaps the best use of my time at any point in my life. Do, or do not do. There is no wibble.
mrissa: (reserved)
Yesterday Santa 'Prov and I did some shopping. We're not done -- I am not even close to done shopping -- but we got lo these many items, and had a good time along the way. And now there is so very much wrapping. Uff da, the wrapping. And the things I have ordered are only trickling in at this point. And there are entire important people for whom I have nothing more than a vague idea and a very small token.

The wee beast would like her stocking stuffer dog biscuits nownownowplznow, and while we're at it she believes she would enjoy a few of the stocking stuffers purchased for the rest of her (monkey) pack as well. But it was not to be. It is so hard being the dog.

[ profile] markgritter and I decorated the tree this afternoon, and I made Robin's chocolate chip cookies this morning. I don't generally make chocolate chip cookies for Christmas -- or ever; I make bomber bars or double chocolate cookies with stuff in -- but when I asked Robin what he wanted, that was his answer, and he is my very best godson ever, so what're ya gonna do. It's not like chocolate chip cookies will go begging except for Robin's interest. While we were doing these Festive Domestic Tasks, [ profile] timprov was dispatched for a take-and-bake pizza and some DVDs, so we are going to stay tucked in and watching Animaniacs tonight. I hope it snows again.

The book revisions are going neither outstandingly well nor outstandingly poorly. I occasionally wonder if I am introducing new flaws as I obliterate the old ones. Probably I am. I repeat to myself in firm and kindly tones that this is what smart critiques are for.
mrissa: (intense)
The driveway service came around at 2:30 a.m. (I know because Ista woke me up so we could watch), and so all I had left to shovel this morning was the front walk and the end of the driveway where the city plow had come after the driveway service. The driveway service had cleared the road in front of our house all the way up to the neighbors' driveway, just to reduce the results of the city plow, but it doesn't really quite work that way, so there was a fair lump of snow to handle at the bottom of the driveway. Plus the top bit right by the garage where their blade can't reach without damaging the house, and I wouldn't want them to try. So call it 45 minutes of shoveling. I could have made it more if I'd done a better job with the side of the driveway we don't use, but I had gotten shaky-ish and will go back and do it later if need be. And anyway it's supposed to snow in "plowable" amounts again tomorrow, so handling the touch-up work then should be fine, if it's even needed.

On Sunday at dinner I said, "I need this stuff. We're really going to miss you guys if global warming forces us to move to Churchill." And Mike said, "We'll come too." So that's tidy enough.

I hope those of you who are observing Hanukkah got off to a good start last night.

I'm having ones of those days where I'm adding more things to the to-do list than I'm removing from it. All good things, of course, sensible things, reasonable things, things I really should do. But they are, in fact, additional things. It turns out -- you will be quite surprised to hear -- that I was not actually short on things to begin with. Sigh.

I am drawing myself a map today, and figuring out some logistical details so that you lovely people don't read this book and go, "Wait, what? How do they feed that many people?" or, "That didn't make any sense when the Habsburgs did it; it sure doesn't make any sense now!" I have seen enough people bog down in these processes that I am a little leery of them, but I console myself that mostly that's when people use them for excuses not to write the book, and mine is written. Drafted. Getting improved. Really.

One of the bits of silliness that goes with this book being What We Did to Save the Kingdom is the attendant file names for related stuff: What We Did to Sum It Up, What We Did to Keep Track of the Details, What We Did to Annoy the Readers, and (of course) What We Did to Write the Sequel. (Also known as "The Evil Regent Visits the Evil Empire." But that's a long ways away; I may not have to figure out which book to write next, but unless there is a contract in my hand, it won't be that one.) And now I will go add to the actual book. I think this part will be fun. I don't much care for this stage of revisions, but today in specific looks just fine.
mrissa: (writing everywhere)
So. I was talking to some folks about critiques for the current book, when the time comes, and I had to keep saying the same thing enough times that it just needed to be public: I think it's extremely valuable to have non-writers read and critique books. This is not in lieu of having skilled writers doing critiques but in addition to it. Ideally, the finished books will be read by non-writers, and just as only having people of one sex or only having people of one age critique a book can skew the type of critique one will get, only having people of one approach to the written word read it might skew the response.

I think some non-writers are a little shy about this because they don't necessarily know what a good critique looks like. Trust me, writers sometimes have all the jargon down and brilliant ideas for exactly how, technically, to fix a scene -- and other times we will look at each other and go, "I dunno, it's just that this part kinda goes whoppita whoppita whoppita when it should go whirrrrrr, y'know?" Or else, "I think it needs to be more, kinda, um, um...manic...does that make sense?" If you socialize with writers you should know that we are not necessarily more coherent than other people until we've had several drafts to hammer out the whoppitas and the ums. And we probably ask each other, "Does that make sense?" more often than the international average, not less. And sometimes the whoppitas and the ums are the bits that make for a good and useful critique and the detailed, technical jargon ideas about how to fix something turn out not to be very useful.

Also writing-related: awhile back people were talking about what, if anything, writers owe readers. And watching Season 3 Veronica Mars made me think of something in that direction. I think one of the things we owe readers is to put telling the current story to the best of our abilities ahead of marketing future stories. And another thing is to do our damnedest to tell them whole stories. The ending may be unresolved, but as long as we're alive and able to work, it shouldn't be unresolved for no reason. An ambiguous ending should be a choice rather than a failure to finish. Because a story is not about the storyteller being able to continue telling tales. It's about itself, and it should have a pretty firm dependence upon the storyteller's tales being worth telling.

The way TV shows are made is terrible for this, and I know that. No book editor in the world would ever look at someone who had written two 100K novels and say, "Okay...well...I might let you write another 100K about these characters, but...give me a 30K novella about them first. Then we'll see if we can tack on a 10K novelette. Twice. And then we'll see if another 40K novella does the trick, and no, wait, you can't have those last 10K; oh well. Hey, you appear to have turned in incompetent directionless crap! Huh, let's see how that sells. Badly. Oh. Bye, then." But the choices Rob Thomas made in the way he handled the impending cancellation of VM were not about bringing the story to as much of a close as he could at that point in its telling -- they were not about giving us the ending of a decent "middle book," say. They were about flailing around desperately trying to demonstrate to the network that he wasn't done telling it. As if the network cared.

I feel sorry for him, but having watched the director's commentary, I just wanted to shake him and say, "Idiot, the network was already screwing you over. It was going to keep screwing you over. And doing a crappy job for the actual viewers, few though we may have been at that point, was not the answer. Dude. You have just been telling two seasons worth of a story about how everything has consequences. I want you to watch the old episodes of your own show and think about what you've done. And for your penance, write me a show starring Percy Daggs as a bioengineer and Francis Capra appropriately snarky and conflicted, okay? And Tina Majorino as Mac In A Very Slight And Unconvincing Disguise. All right, you can go now."

mrissa: (Default)
1. My Onion horoscope for the week, copied and pasted rather than retyped because I just could not make myself replicate those mistakes any other way:

Your meticulous attention to detail willl once again ruin an other-wise fun and pleasureable pasttime.

Yeah, you know what? Guilty as charged, but shut up, Onion horoscope.

(I've never had a horoscope of which I said, "That's uncanny," before, and I'm not all that pleased that it's this one. Okay, a little bitterly amused.)

2. And speaking of bitter, I have had a nonstop craving for dark green leafy things -- bitter greens, mostly -- since before World Fantasy. We're going on six weeks of this now. I understand that I am not permitted to subsist on spinach, but -- waaaant. It has not yet gotten to the point where I am trying to gnaw my mother's curly fern, but this is one heck of a craving. It's not as though I have been neglecting the bitter greens in this interval, either. I just don't think I should have to have them for lunch and dinner.

3. You know that thing where you solve the last problem? Yah. I have finally managed to avoid having to cross out a hundred and one sentences reading, "He walked across the room to the window," from my rough draft. Sound the horns, bang the drums!...and use the bright green pen to write, "Huh? When did she get here?" and, "Place him earlier in scene," half a dozen times. The problem with excessive stage direction is the excessive part.

4. I finished making the pepparkakor, down to the bit where I wrote [ profile] markgritter's and Robin's names in frosting on their train cookies. It occurs to me that this is four years in a row I've done this for Robin. He is five years old. From his perspective, Christmas always comes with a train cookie Auntie [ profile] mrissa wrote your name on in frosting, all the Christmases he remembers and most of the ones he can't. There goes my carefully constructed uncaring tough-guy exterior. (No, I totally had one of those! Really! It was around here somewhere...perhaps behind the sofa with Squiddie....)

5. The movie The Manhattan Project: this is awesome! Why had I never seen this movie before? It's not about the Manhattan Project at all, but it is about implausible uses of nuclear technology, and I am filled with the love that generally fills me when I watch '80s geek movies. I mean, it's no Real Genius. And you can drive trucks through the plot holes, as is generally the case with '80s geek movies. But the things they get right are worth getting right, and oh, the great fun!

(Obligatory Former Physicist PSA: people. If you are working with powerful lasers, wear your eye protection. Seriously. It does you no good hanging around your neck looking just as geeky as it does on your face. It is there for a reason. Use it. Also do not wear your contact lenses to Orgo lab. You know how there's that standard thing where you hear your mother's voice in your head saying, "Get plenty of liquids, and keep your feet warm," when you have a cold? Certain organic volatiles trigger my father's voice in my head saying, "Take your lenses out before lab! I really mean it! This is serious stuff; do you know what it could do to your eyes?" And then he told me. So. Also do get plenty of liquids and keep your feet warm when you have a cold; my mom was right. It's just not as relevant to the immediate situation.)
mrissa: (helpful nudge)
1. How to throw in lines of operetta without boring or appalling the readers.

2. How to keep from panicking at the smaller-than-peak but still utterly reasonable number of short stories I have in circulation.

3. What I am doing for Christmas baking, other than the obvious things. (Pepparkakor, fudge meringues in both raspberry and pistachio, gingerbread of the loaf variety, apple bread with toasted hazelnuts, layered fudge. Those are the obvious things. What else?)

4. What to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. (This problem is subtitled, "Can you teach a 95-year-old great-aunt new greens?" I suspect in this case the answer is yes. Your auntage may vary.)

5. How to send someone else grocery shopping and still end up with enough groceries to feed us actual meals.

6. What to read for ten minutes in the group reading at Fantasy Matters on Friday.

7. What to get a favored small person for his birthday. (Hint: not a rocket cake. Because [ profile] ladysea is already making that. I had this explained to me very carefully more than once by the said small person.)

8. What to wear for Fantasy Matters that will also be appropriate for a concert that night, where by "appropriate" I mean "will not kill my feet, freeze my butt, or require [ profile] timprov to look unduly menacing."

9. When I can wedge in additional lunch, dinner, tea, or general hanging-out with people I like but don't see enough of (that is to say, all the people I like, individually or in very small groups), and how I can do it without going into an introvert coma and hiding under my desk until Lucia Day.

10. What is wrong with the bathroom and who should fix it (who as in which professional, not which housemammal).

11. How on earth it can only be Tuesday, and, simultaneously, how on earth it can be mid-November already.

12. What novel to write next.
mrissa: (tiredy)
I have officially caught [ profile] markgritter's non-con crud.

So that's not the best thing ever. But I'm weirdly happy about it, because the decongestant is actually working and making me feel more human, and while I'm still sick, I can do things like drive and walk up and down the stairs. I just keep clearing my throat a lot and drinking lots of fluids and feeling punky. No falling over! No room spinning out of control! This is so great! This is like when normal people get sick, I bet!

So I'm working on the book revisions, a bit, gently, and I'm doing laundry and figuring out house stuff and not pushing too hard. [ profile] timprov and I have started watching Season 3 of Veronica Mars, and I don't think it's going to take us too long to finish. We tend to binge on VM. After this there'll be no more VM to binge on, but I don't think that's going to change the pattern, really. Story arcs are like that -- it's a lot less episodic than most television, even in this season, and so it's a lot harder to put it down for a hiatus of any real length.
mrissa: (Default)
Things About Which I Am Enthusiastic


Okay, not real snow. But flurries. Enough flurries that a skiff of snow was blowing around on the road.

I am so pleased.

2. Most of the people I saw this weekend. Extremely enthusiastic. Yay, other monkeys. New monkeys! Previously known monkeys! Go, monkeys!

3. Space to be introverted. Go, immediate lack of monkeys!

4. That Orange Stuff (made by [ profile] tnh). Wow. Layered and complex and astonishing. And with a kick like an entire team of army mules who were Clydesdales on their grandmother's side. I kept telling people about the orange stuff. It was noteworthy.

5. The hot chocolate at Mrs. London's down the street from the hotel. Bitter. Very fine. See also: brioche with vanilla custard and chocolate chips; farm bread with fennel sausage, stinky cheese, and arugula. Go, Mrs. London's. They made a travel day culinarily noteworthy in the good direction.

6. Mmmyyyyy precious. I will try to get a picture. One link broke when I went to take it off in security (and that was ridiculous anyway, but whatever), but next time I have tea with [ profile] elisem I will ask her to fix it. It is called "The Day She Stopped Waiting," and it is so shiny.

7. Big piles of books on my desk, whee!

8. My book, the revisions to which I will start typing tonight or tomorrow. Book! Still looking interesting and fixable! Yay, book!

9. Being home.

10. Having gotten to be somewhere not-home that was pretty kind to me. (I've heard others didn't have that experience. I'm sorry.)

11. Hot water poodle on my lap.

Things About Which I Am Less Enthusiastic

1. Post-flight vertigo. Bah.

2. Post-travel laundry. Bah again.

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