Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Almost there....

That's Edmond Black Kitty in front and Zaphod's Just a Cat behind. They're out where I now have my desk set up. I moved out into the dining room to get a change of view and to help with the cooling cost this year, since it means we only have to run the one air conditioner. I've turned the guys loose out here, too, which they seem to enjoy -- though the older cats are still abit worried about these little black streaks that race from one end of the house to the other.

Last night I finished the rewrite of Vita's Vengeance. I'm doing some clean up on it today. It's much better than I expected, and I'm actually pretty happy with it.

I'm also very happy to be done with it. It's gone well.

This was going to be my year to get a number of things out -- but finances put a stop to that one. I have continued to work on the material, though, believing that I'll get a chance to get it into submission. I've had to make allowances for the fact that things cannot always go out, and mark them as submitted on my list, even if they aren't quite out the door. As long as they're done and ready to go, I've counted it as gone. It just sometimes takes a few weeks longer to actually get them in the mail.

I've also had to do some odd submissions, but they've worked out for me. The 2YN book is very nearly ready. There will be a print version of it too. And there will soon be a print version of Muse, if Russ can get the time to help me put it together. And thanks again to Jean who has done a wonderful job of catching problems in both of those books and making me look like a professional.

What I don't seem to have, even still, is time to get everything done. Or the concentration part. May was a rough month, but I got the work done that I needed to -- mostly.

Russ has a job interview tomorrow in Omaha. Depending on how I feel, I might go to the zoo again. There is a specific picture I want to get, and it's time sensitive -- the little bird will be out of the nest before too much longer. I might just go for a couple hours and hang around in that area, seeing what I can catch.

I am putting together a new zoo website. That's been my reward for having survived May without being too depressed. Well, you know, you can't be too depressed if you have kittens running around, right? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Not a bad weekend

Yes, I would have preferred to go to the convention, but it just wasn't possible. I did go to the zoo on Friday and then Russ took me to De Soto Wildlife Refuge on Saturday. Both were fun, of course.

I am very nearly done with Vita's Vengeance. So close, in fact, that I wonder why I keep doing anything but work on it.

Part of the problem is that I'm preparing to move the computer out to the dining room. This is for a couple reasons. First -- I just need a change of scenery. I've found myself less enthused about sitting down to work, and I know from experience that changing things around a bit will help.

Second, it means we won't have to put the second air conditioner up this year, and we can save on bills. I think the two reasons are pretty good.

The problem will be the Internet connection, and the fact that I'll be working on a table, rather than my desk -- which would be too much of a hassle to move out. Besides, it would just make it feel like I'm in the office still.

The guys are six weeks old. They went to the vet and had their first shots. He said they're wonderfully healthy and he is really impressed. They were apparently very good little kittens, too.

Okay, time to go do some more writing work. It would be nice to have this book done soon! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A picture for Jean

This is Edmond, who has lovely eyes. I think they're going to be green when they finish changing, though they could still go all the way to gold.

I spent all of tonight sorting through zoo pictures. Not the pictures from the trip a couple days ago -- these were pictures from the trip before that. I've gotten behind. I intend to do the next group tomorrow.

Unless some check miraculously shows up between now and Saturday morning, we won't be going to the convention. Since I don't think we're even expecting a check, that seems unlikely. I'm really sorry not to go, especially since I'm listed as a guest, and you don't get that kind of opportunity very often. But it's just not going to happen this year. Maybe by next year things will have improved.

In the meantime, I'm making myself relax and do things like the pictures. I think it's working. It's 4:30 am, though, and I really need to stop now and get some sleep! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sleepy Zaphod

The guys had been playing in the office for a couple hours and they got tired out. When Russ came home I just handed him the camera. (grin) And yes, they are getting bigger! But they're still cute little things!

And no, I didn't get much work done that way.

I've spent most of today doing one of two things -- trying to get caught up on stuff that I need done, and cleaning bits of the house. I made the first sort through on the pictures from the zoo, at least.

I did a little bit of writing, but mostly it spent the time getting caught up on other things and answering emails. And chasing raccoons out of the yard. It's spring. They always show up in the evenings.

I'm kind of tired tonight. Not really a 'go to sleep' tired, but more of a 'worn out, no energy and I don't want to do anything' kind of tired. Kind of like that kitten tired, I guess. I just look at that picture and I want to go crawl off somewhere and stretch out for a while. (grin)

Not the most exciting day... but a day can't be all bad when you have kittens fall asleep in your arms like that. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I went to the zoo today. Well, yesterday, actually. I have some interesting pictures, and I'm sorting through them and trying to get caught up on other things... but it was a good day. I'm a bit tired, but I had fun!

Buying the pass to the zoo was the wisest thing we've done in a while. It cost us nothing for me to ride along with Russ, who had a class to teach. I sat outside the zoo for an hour before they opened, but that wasn't bad at all. I did notes on my pocket PC. We did buy a set of Hostess Cupcakes so that I would have a little something to snack on since I would be there for eight hours. I drank water so I didn't even buy a soda. A nice, painless cheap getaway for the day -- and the pass has pretty much paid for itself already. I told Russ that I want to go at least once a month and he thought that's a great idea. So far I've made March, April and May.

I came home and slept for a few hours -- mostly because I hadn't slept the night before and between that and the all the walking I was pretty worn out! I'm still tired, and I don't think I'm going to stay up much longer, either. In fact, I think I'll go feed the babies again and crawl off to bed... after I do a couple update things at FM. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Little Monsters

Yes, they're still little cute monsters. That's Zaphod at about five weeks old. Such a cute little guy. And they have this 'instant on' switch -- if you pick them up, they immediately start purring.

I spent most of today working out the final guidelines for classes at FM. Now it's up to anyone else to decide if they want to present classes under these guidelines or not.

Being a volunteer, either at FM or elsewhere, doesn't mean that you just get to do what you want. Sorry, life doesn't work that way. Every place from the Red Cross to the local library has rules, and you don't walk in and tell the people that this is what you're going to do without the people in charge having some say. Yes, this is a change in how the classes were in the past. That's going to happen now and then, just as it happened when Holly ran the site.

I have pretty much given up all hope of making the Story-A-Day dare. Every time I get going on it something else comes up, most of it at FM. Most of the problems were all 'back scene' stuff that I took care of, but it takes time. And more than that, it takes me out of the writing. Sometimes it's just hard to get back in. Today, besides trying to find a good, working compromise on the chat/board classes, I also had the two 2YN classes to get done. I just got those posted a few minutes ago, and then went and helped Russ feed the kittens. And now it's late and I still haven't finished the story. I'm tired. I think it might be time to call it a night and hope for better tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006



This appears to be a word that some people don't understand these days. That makes it very difficult to deal with situations in which I want something specific for the site that is a bit more work for the person to do.

So if poeple want to do chat classes, here's the deal --I want them to give it at least twice at widely different times (it does not have to be the same day!) and write up a class to be posted on the boards , so that people who can't get to the chat class can take part as well. I've even set the word count for the board-based class at about 1000 words. It can be more, of course, but a measly little 1000 words is all that I will ask for as a minimum.

I'm really not certain why anyone would have a big problem with this, but apparently some people do. I'm getting email complaints, snide remarks in blogs/journals, and messages at the site. I'm also getting far more support for the idea than complaints, but it's always the complaints and rudeness that sets the tone.

I didn't want chat classes at all, but this is my compromise -- do both. I'm sorry that people seem to think this is a horrible, terrible thing to ask of people who are volunteering to teach classes at the site, but... it's the way it is going to be. I would love to have more classes, but I'm not going to have them held just for the select few who can make it, and then have the transcripts thrown up on the boards and consider that good enough for the rest of the obviously unimportant members. (Yes, I know that's not really how they feel, but that's how the members felt for a while and why I stopped even suggesting chat classes.)

And yes, people, it really is MY SITE now. I took over in August of 2003. That's coming up on three years now. For the first two years I hardly changed anything, except to add stuff like Back to School and 2YN -- things, in fact, that Holly and I had discussed before she turned the site over to me.

This year I started looking at other parts of the site, like simplifying the adult content tag, making the rules a little more clear, setting up a number of private critique circles, and dealing with the change in chat systems -- and believe me, the last was something I didn't want to do at all. For the rest... we're still running almost the same dares and challenges, the same boards, and the same rules as when Holly was there.

What has changed the most is the membership. That's only natural. I've been with Forward Motion since the very first incarnation, and I can tell you that the turnover in the more active people happens every four or five years. Of course some people stop spending so much time at the site -- they have mined it for everything that will help them, and because the new people are not on the same level as they are, they get bored. I'd love to have more stuff for people farther up the line, but I can't do it all myself, and too often when the people reach that point, they're no longer interested in helping others, either peers or the people still working their way up the ladder. I can't do anything about that part if none of them are willing to help push things in that direction.

Some people never fit into the site well to begin with and often find something that suits them better. That's great too. FM does have a specific focus, and that focus is not for everyone -- but it is the focus the site has had from the beginning. Holly's idea was to help people trying to work toward publication, and that's what the site has continued to stress and will always stress.

So for those of you who keep accusing me of changing the site and making it worse... fuck you. If the site doesn't suit you, then don't bother to come around. It's a real simple answer. I don't often feel that way, but you know -- there is a point where you just have to say go away. It's not a site for you. Go play somewhere else and stop complaining about something that obviously isn't important to you. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006


Okay, I admit it. I came very close to a Because I Said So moment at the site today. LOL I could even hear my mother saying it, and that brought me up short. (Laughs)

Anyway, it was very funny.

Other than that, I haven't gotten hardly anything done. I'm working on a new short story, but it's not really progressing very fast. I had it in mind, then got sidetracked today, and I'mhaving grouble focusing on it again. I'm going to try again after I sleep.

I've started to read the book on reptiles. Only a chapter into it, and I'm already really intrigued.

I let the kittens run around the bathroom while I took a bath today. Had one funny moment when I looked over the edge after splashing around a bit, and found Zaphod with his back arched, his ears back and his tail buffed out. He looked so cute! I probably shouldn't have laughed at him. I've probably given him a complex for life, now, thinking he'll never be scary and tough... but it was so funny!

But now I'm tired. I think I'm going to go to bed and give up on the writing for the night. I did enough. I'll get some more tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


And another couple days of things not exactly going right. This time it was the fault of the city people who didn't notice that Russ had made two payments and turned off the power to the house yesterday. They were, rightly, embarrassed by the mistake and turned it back on today -- but it wasted an entire day, and I didn't sleep last night, either -- so I slept through most of today when we finally got heat again.

I suppose it wasn't really a wasted day. I finished reading about Fishes and Ambphibians -- fascinating book. That means I get to start volume 6 -- reptiles. That should be good! And I'm down to the last few pages in a book on Queen Victoria. I started a new story on my pocket computer, and I spent a good amount of time with the kittens and cats.

I did end up with a sore throat and cold though. Of course it had to be off on a day when it was cold and windy. Tomorrow it's supposed to be up to 80. Couldn't have had it happen then -- oh no, of course not.

On the other hand, we feared that it wasn't the city and that we were facing some expensive electrical work on the house. So it's not all bad.

But it's left me with a bad headache today and an inability to connect with things I need to do. Since it's now 1:30 am, I suspect that I'm not going to get much more done except to read the rest of the book on Victoria (I have, it appears, just four pages left to read), and more work on Vita's Vengeance. I think I have about 200 more pages to go on that book, so with luck I'll have it done this month.

But that's it. Really. I need to finish reading this book so that I can feel like I accomplished something again! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wasted Weekend

I was just working away on something when my computer informed me that I had stuffed it a bit too full, and if wanted to get anything at all done, I had better work on that problem.

So I spent most of the weekend copying files, praying that the backup worked this time (seems to be fine), and deleting programs and such. I have a relatively small hard drive by modern standards -- just 30gig. It would be fine if I didn't do digital photography and 3d renderings.

I did, finally, get the story finished. That's something at least. I need to write a couple more at least, but I am running into a lot of work and less time again. Well, five is better than none at all, and that's what it looked like I was going to have if I didn't push the first few days when I had some free time.

Beyond that, everything here is fine. I have a horrible headcold and headache to go with it, but I'm fighting it off and pretending that I can get work done. I want to go write, and I think I had better take advantage of that for a few hours. I did some county web work tonight and a bit of DTF work, and some general clean up on the computer again. It's time to get back to work! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 11, 2006

And I'm supposed to work like this?

That's little Zaphod on my shoulder, telling me secrets. I took the picture with the old FD91 -- the camera that uses a drive disks. It has one really nice feature that I wish Sony would put back on their newer cameras -- the LCD screen flips up so that you can point it at yourself and see what you're getting.

I'm really amazed at how heavy that camera is, though!

If you look closely, you'll also notice that I suddenly have an incredible amount of grey hair. It's been that kind of year. I'm not upset by it. I know some good hair dyes when I get the money again. (grin)

Today's work has been mostly for DTF again. I haven't finished the short story-- that would be number 5. I need to get moving on it again. I have done some work on Vita's Vengeance mostly because I would like to get it done this month.

Gah. I think the spacebar might be going out on this keyboard. It keeps running words together tonight. That's not as big a problem as it could be. We do have another of the Microsoft Natural Keyboards, for which I am very grateful. I can't type well on a regular keyboard anymore.

Beyond that, not much to say. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Three Weeks Old

I love this picture. I really do. I'm grateful to Russ who stood by and held them down while I got the camera into place -- and put them back into the basket for several pictures. Silly little guys.

Right now the names are Zaphod's Just A Cat and Edmond Black Kitty.

Today I spent hours and hours working on DTF stuff. I am no where near caught up, but it's looking better. I have to work on the submission pile. I took care of three or four of them today -- stuff that I had been reading, rereading, and making final decisions on. I have about twenty more to go through, but I'm determined to have it all done by the end of the month so that I can concentrate on some of the other things that need to be done. Yeah, there's always something else.

I am still working on my sixth story for the dare at FM. I would like to move on, but I had a couple days where I couldn't get up enough energy to do much of anything at all. And when I could, I mostly used that energy to get work done. However, I think it's time to get to work and finish it up, and move on. I'd love to do a couple flash fiction pieces, but my mind just doesn't think that short. Most of my flash fiction has been rewritten from longer works, so I suspect there's not much hope there!

Beyond that.... not much to say. Russ unexpectedly got called to Omaha this morning for a class, which is good. He has two more this week and one on the following Monday. We haven't had any income for a while again, so it's nice to see a few classes come in. I do wonder when or if he'll be home tonight, though!

Do you think working until 8 pm is late enough? Can I stop now and go write instead? (As if that isn't actually work -- but it's work that I really want to do!) Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

Slow, slow, slow

I can't seem to get up enough energy to do much of anything today. I did the needed things -- fed cats, changed cat litter, swept the hall. I have written about 25 words. Mostly, I just sort of stare at the computer and try to decide what to do next. Answer some more email (did a little of that), feed kittens (did that, but it's going to happen again soon), write. I want to write.

Brain just isn't there. And I'm going to start dinner in a few minutes, so that's going to slow me down a bit, too.

Maybe I should work on zoo pictures for a while. I still have a whole ton of them from my last trip that I haven't gotten to yet. I would like to get my site updated, too. Or completely changed.

You know, that's the first thing that's kind of gotten my attention all day.

I need to do some DTF work as well. I'll pull up the next novel in the slush pile and start working through them. I can do one a day, usually, if I really don't do much else. And right now is the time to do it, before I start up on Vision work again.

Okay, so talking to myself helps. I finally have a list of things to get done.

But food is first. If I do dinner now we'll be done before I have to go feed the small bottomless pit kitten-monsters. (grin)

I am working on an odd short story for the SAD dare. The prompt brought to mind two characters from Vita's Vengeance, which I am rewriting (and it's going well!), so I sat down to do a later story with them. It's not much of a story, but it's fun to write. Just have to get moving on it and on to the next one. SAD has been good for me this year. I was right about that -- it was just what I needed to get moving on short stories again. They aren't great (though I like two of them), but they are allowing me to get the feel of such stuff again.

I need to get a couple submissions out this month. Hmmmm....

But right now it's time to go make dinner. Hunger wins out today! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A moment of calm

These are fleeting moments, when the kittens are asleep and cute. (As opposed to awake and cute, of course.) It's funny to watch them in their little playpen, because they'll run around and chase each other for about three or four mintues, and then nap again.

I will have had them for three weeks tomorrow.

Hell. I think it might be time to feed them again. Well, they're asleep at the moment. I'll wait a little while.

I've gotten very little done today. I can't even say where the time went, but it did. I read most of an older book of mine (2003) and I think it has a lot of promise. It's going into the rewrite pile.

I have the start of my next story up, but I haven't been able to work on it today. Lack of concentration. I've been fighting headaches, and they haven't gotten better, but at least I relaxed some.

I feel like I'm not really getting anything done, though. I hate that feeling. Like I'm just floating along, but it's been that kind of day. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 04, 2006


My lilacs did well this year, despite having several parts of the bushes ripped out last year during two vicious storms. It helped that we have had a lot of rain, and despite cold temperatures, not really much in the freezing range.

I've finished my first SAD story for the May challenge at FM. I should have had it done on day 2, but work caught up with me again. I've just started story # 2 with no clue at all where it's going.

Vita's Vengeance is going very well, though. I hope to have it done in the next couple weeks. Then I think I'll go on to Badlands and maybe to Rat Pirates afterwards.

I don't know. I haven't gotten that far.

But now... it's time to go feed the kittens. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Caught up on something, at least!

I have just uploaded all the pdf versions of Vision that hadn't been done, including the one for this issue. I have just uploaded all the pdf versions of Vision that hadn't been done, including the one for this issue. Normally I would wait a few weeks to do it, but since I was working on the others, I just did it. With luck, nothing major will come up and I'll have to change it.So, all 33 issues are done and posted in the back issues area for Vision.Speaking of Vision, I'm considering opening it up to sponsors for each issue, like they can buy one page of advertising. Book or writing related material only, and I can say no to anyone. Names on the Index page and links to the ad on the TOC part of each page.

I don't know. I'm still considering it. We've been getting about 10k hits a month for a while, and it might be something profitable for a sponsor. I don't know yet. I would rather not do this, but I'm falling behind on payments (and today we had to give virtually every cent we had to the local power company). I'm still hoping for a check in the mail soon.

Beyond all that, the kittens are doing well... and oh, look. It's time to go feed them again! Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 01, 2006

Is it time yet?

I find that I live within a balance of two times -- time to feed the kittens and almost time to feed the kittens. There doesn't seem to be any other time in my life these days. It's as though I hit a time flux the moment I walk out of the bathroom after feeding them, and it's suddenly time to go back in again.

I'm at the almost stage again tonight, but at least I got a great deal of work done between 10:30 and now. Vision is up. FM is updated for the current challenge and the weblog page is updated.

It's May. I want to join in the Story-A-Day challenge this year. I'd love to actually do a story a day, but I really don't think I can handle that much, even if I kept them short. Still -- I misss doing short stories. I haven't really been writing many for a while.

Actually, I haven't been writing much new stuff this year at all, now that I really think about it. Return is the only new thing I can think of that I've finished.

I didn't think I would get everything done on time this month, so I'm really happy about it. And now I can go feed the little guys, take a bath, and maybe get to bed before the next feeding. Russ will likely do that one when he gets up. They go a bit longer between the 2 am and the next feeding, but it doesn't appear to have hurt them any.

Ugh. I'm tired. But my work for the day is nearly done.

And it's time to go feed the kittens. Posted by Picasa