Sunday, December 31, 2006

The End of 2006

So, the car is dead. When Russ came in to tell me this tonight, I laughed. It went right along with that check we were supposed to get today that didn't show up (and now, of course, can't get here before Tuesday). And then there's the storm and snow we're supposed to get tonight. Dead car? Of course it's dead. This is still 2006.

Russ got a ride to the place he had to be to work tonight, and a friend will be by tomorrow to get the car jumpstarted... then off to find a battery for it with what little money we have on hand.

When I told Russ tonight that I thought 2006 was our cursed year, he laughed and said it would be real hard to argue with that one.

I have hopes for 2007. I don't know why, but I do.

I have finished my writing for the year, which came in at a little over one million words. It was a hard fought year as far as writing went, but I have some nice stuff out of it. I have some packages ready to go out, and just about everything is cleared to start 2007. I have an idea for what I want to write on the first, and I'm going to 'fly without a net' with it, which I haven't let myself do for a while. No outline or anything -- just talking with Russ about the story and seeing where it goes when I get there.

I have a bit of work to do at FM still, but mostly I'm done with everything. So, for the next 22.5 hours I'm free of writing. It's probably about the longest I'm ever likely to go. (grin)

It's nice when you love something that much, even on the years when it does not go as well as you like.

And now I'm off to bed for a few hours. And hoping that the last day of 2006 doesn't bring yet another disaster. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 30, 2006

So, it's still 2006, right?

My left knee hurts. A lot. I'm not sure what I did to it, but it started giving me problems yesterday and it's worse today. I'm doing my best to ignore it and just play with pictures and stuff.

My art-related site ( is down. I can't upload my regular journal.

I am only about 450 words short of reaching one million for the year, so that's good. I'll probably have it before I go to bed. I'm also down to the last three chapters to outline for Mirrors 2, which is also good. Besides finishing it, there's only the rewrite of Joey Mousekin's Tale that I started just the other day and is going very well.

Can I get together another three or four submissions before the end of 2006? Maybe so. I should have done one today, but I just couldn't seem to get focused enough on something like that. I did get some art done, though. And that was fun.

Other than that? It's almost 2007 and I haven't a clue what story I'm going to start writing on the first. I also don't have Vision put together because my poor copyeditor is having connection problems and hasn't gotten the material back to me yet.

Ack. 2006, right?

But we'll get there.

Edited to add:

Russ has a job tonight out at the comedy club where he announces for them. Just enough money to get us through the weekend, so it was quite welcome.

The car won't start.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Paint Shop Pro XI

The program arrived today. Yay! And then it wouldn't load. Of course it wouldn't. This is still 2006, right?

We eventually figured out the problem and loaded it up tonight. I love this program. I had the trial download back in October, and I've missed it ever since. But now it's back, and I can do silly things like this picture... and some pretty serious stuff, too. I can play with it all I want. And Painter, which I love. It's nice to finally have a couple fun things to end the year out.

It would be nice if the email now worked. I can't get Outlook to open. I figure a restart on the computer is probably in order.

So, I now have more graphic programs than a writer should own. I really didn't need a second adiction, but you know... it's been pretty fun so far. It's not helping me with some much needed words the last few days, but I'll get there.

I am having horrible connection problems, too. We think they might be on our end this timea nd we're working on the problem... but Russ is working a lot of hours this week, so it might be a while before we get it cleared up.

But hey, I have my graphics programs, and I have my writing. I'll keep busy. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 23, 2006


We drove up to pick up Russ's check yesterday... only to be told they'd put it in the mail, despite Russ talking to them twice (once that morning) saying be sure not to do that. That was a 140 mile round trip for nothing. And not only that, it meant no money whatsoever for Christmas. I was annoyed, but really, it's not all that bad.

The check did show up in the mail today... three hours after all the banks closed. So it did us no good anyway.

It's been that kind of year.

I'm mostly annoyed because I didn't get a chance to get Russ anything. He's bought me a couple things already -- Season 3 of Starsky and Hutch (which we've already been watching) and Painter! Yes, the big, expensive program that he got at a great deal because he's teaching at a community college!

I, wisely, decided I was not going to open and upload it right away. I'm waiting for Christmas so that I'll have a gift to play with on that day. Oh, and I found Paint Shop Pro 11 very cheap on Ebay and ordered it as well. It should be here by the end of the week. So there -- I have the two programs I really, really wanted and I can't complain about that!

In the mean time, I've been writing away. I got Oak and Ash done, plus a story I started a couple days ago -- based loosely on an earlier story, and much better in the new version. I am almost done with the Workshop for Vision and I still have another article to write there.

And -- this really shocks me -- I have only 15,522 words to go and I'll have written one million words again this year. It's been a rough year for it, and I didn't think I was going to make it until a few days ago when I finally felt like I could write without a fear of disaster striking again! Getting the 2YNY2 book done really helped. I didn't realize how much I hated having that thing hanging over me until it was done and gone. (grin)

I don't have enough writing stuff left on my list to write 15,000 words, though, so I'm going to start a new story, probably tomorrow.

And I might even write another teddy bear story this year. That's good for 1000 words. I just have to come up with... an idea.

I did not decorate this year. I haven't baked at all... though maybe I'll make a batch of cookies tomorrow. You know, I used to really like holidays, but lately I've been dreading them. It's like they're an invitation for something to go wrong and ruin any fun.

But I intend to have a good time anyway. And at least it will be a day off with Russ. Maybe we can pull out some of the old games and just do silly stuff like that for the day.

Before I load in Painter, because after that I'm not going to be good for anything but staring at the computer. (grin)

Oh, and we're having horrible connection problems here. So I might not be around for the next few days. (Can anything else go wrong to annoy us? Oh, I'm sure something could. After all, we still don't have heat in the car, either.)

Happy Holidays everyone! Have fun!

Oh, and don't forget to read my Christmas Story (grin): Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Not the kind of thing you see everyday

I took this picture a few months ago, but I haven't sorted through the zoo pictures for that trip yet. I'm so far behind!

Anyway, that's a spider monkey riding on the back of a baird's tapir. I happened to be standing there when he leapt down and caught the ride while the tapir walked along munching on the food. It was wonderful!

You never know what you're going to see at the zoo. I'm just grateful that I'm always readywith the camera. It's not a great shot, but it's not the kind of shot you get many chances at.

I might yet a chance to sort through the pictures yet this year. Who knows. I'd love to update the zoo blog.

And I have another new blog. Go check out Zette's Storybook. I have a holiday story up! (grin)

And, in even more amazing news, the 2YNY2 book is for sale at HolyShop

Yes, it's done. It's there. I have my life back.

Well, except that there are around 50 people signed up to the new class so far, but that's all right. I have everything ready for it. That's about the only thing I can say for the upcoming year. I don't know what I'm going to start writing on January 1 yet. I better start thinking about it, right?

Anyway, enjoy the picture and enjoy the story on the other blog. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 15, 2006

There ought to be choirs singing

I should be hearing 'halleluiah' from somewhere about now.

The 2YNY2 book is done. Done and in Holly's hands. Out of my hands. Done.

I have never been so happy to get something completed in my life. I had started dreading every time I began to work on it because something in real life would go wrong. It is the first book I ever had trouble getting to the publisher. It won't be the last one, I'm sure.

But now I'm done. Really.

In other news, we still have a car without a heater. I suspect it's going to be a very long, cold winter in that respect.

I still have several more things to get done from my list. But this was the worst of them, and it's done.

Time to move on! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Winter is back

Last night we had freezing drizzle and icy stuff. Today it's just below freezing. You could hear the sand and salt trucks out last night, trying to make certain the cars stay on the road this morning.

The heater in the car went out last night.

It's been that kind of year. With luck, it will just be a fuse. But we all know that Russ and I don't have that kind of luck, especially this year, right? If Russ wasn't driving 140 miles round trip to his job teaching math, I don't think it would even matter much. We don't have the money to go anywhere, after all. (grin)

But, on the good side, I only have 7.5 more chapters to do for the 2YNY2 book. If I really sit down and work, I could have it done today, except for one example that I need to go to a bookstore to do.

Cold car. Hmmmm.....

So.... there's a plan. If not today, then tomorrow. But It will be done, and then I can move on with my life! Yay! Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Little Magic

I did this picture last night of a little elf adding magic to the Christmas toys. I might try to do a set of them for the holidays. It's about all I'll be doing for the holidays this year, but it is, at least, diverting. And time consuming.

I've been jabbing at my story, Ash and Oak, and the 2YNY2 book for a couple days now and not getting much of anywhere. I know, just relax. But not doing anything at all is worse. And Russ is in New York. And when I don't write much, I get in really bad moods. I'm running out of time and excuses not to get the 2YNY2 book done, at the very least.

I would really like to just sit back and have some fun. Well, okay -- what I would really like is about $100 so I can go to the Daz site and buy some really neat stuff to play with. Yeah, I know. Don't waste money on stuff like that when you know there are other things you should be worried about. (Goes and looks at PayPal account. Goes and looks at sales at Holly's site...) (Reminds self that it's the holidays and really shouldn't be looking at things for myself.) (slaps fingers)

Oh, and as long as I'm thinking 'art' stuff... Corel Paint Shop Pro XI would be wonderful. I played with the free download for a month and loved it. and Corel Painter 9.5 (yeah, right). The last is way out of even my 'pretend going to buy it' league -- although, since Russ is teaching part time at a community college, I think we can get the educator version.

You know, writing is so much less expensive, especially since I already have basically everything that I want for it. Good thing I already have a good digital camera, since the other one did die. Oh! And some of my stuff is showing up on the Animal Diversity Web now. My resource page there:

Soon they'll be showing up with the proper animals, too. They're just putting stuff into the database now.

Really, I can't complain. We are holding on here, and while it's sometimes annoying and unpleasant, we are still doing all right. There is food for us and the kitties. We have heat in this house, and although I still owe money to and some damned Vision payments, we are mostly caught up on everything else for the moment. You know, that's not bad since Russ hasn't had a full time job in a couple years. We are living on part time work and writing -- and there aren't a lot of people who can do that, even at the basic level we're at.

And I am grateful to Holly Lisle and the people who have been buying my books at her store. Since I get paid for those each month, it's helped keep things going and helped me from going crazy. I know that if I can just get the 2YNY2 book done, it will help. It's just that every time I get moving on it something bad happens and knocks me back out of it again.

I don't want to think about that right now. I want to do something fun.

I've opened the 2YNY2 book and I'm going to make another couple jabs at it. I'm well over half way through it -- though some of the pieces are not in the right order yet. It's not as long as the previous book, either. So I can do this, right?

And it will keep me away from the Daz site. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 07, 2006

We lost Kwi

Kwi, the sweetest cat I've ever known, died. He was also nearly 18.

I really hate this year. Between the deaths of Kwi, Zelda, Cricket and Gracie and the lack of money that meant selling off things I really hated to see go (but I should be grateful we had them, I suppose), and the fact that nothing is going right.... I just wish I could believe 2007 will be any better.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Survived NaNo!

NaNo was great this year, and just the thing I needed to take my mind off of the depressing stuff in life. I got two good novels out of it, and some stuff on the end of the second novel that will probably eventually go on to a new novel... I do tend to write too far past the real ending sometimes, and NaNo kind of encourages me to do it. However, I wrote 200,000 words in a joyous rush of creativity. It was great and fun, but I'm still glad it only happens once a year!

There were far fewer rude people this year than in any of the previous five years. Oh sure, there were a couple of the usual 'you're not doing what we're doing, you shouldn't be allowed here!' people whining over the fact that I wrote more than they did. Get over it. Someone is always going to write more than you, especially if you spend so much time complaining about what other people are doing. It doesn’t mean we can't enjoy the fun of NaNo. And if you aren't enjoying it, maybe it's just not for you after all.

But those people were really off-set by the large number of people who wrote to say how much the little NaNo book helped them out. That was great! And nice to hear, since this was something I did just in hopes that it would help them. If I'd done it for any other reason, I'd have charged for it. (grin) (And the sudden realization of how much of the current real life problems that would have solved is kind of overwhelming. Ah well. Things usually work out anyway!)

But now it's back to the real world and real work. So far since midnight, I've updated the Forward Motion site, done a bunch of DTF work, and I'm about to do some writing and then head into Vision work. I need to get the writing done. I would like to get Paid in Gold and Blood completed and maybe even sent off. I'm within a hundred pages of finishing it, and I think it's a really good book. I could, of course, be entirely wrong. Writers can fool themselves very easily sometimes.

And, yes, I am working on 2YNY2 as well. It's going well. I have an outline and one other shorter story to finish this month... and something else. There should be five things, but I can't think what the other might be. Not a good sign, I'm sure. Oh! Another outline, but for a nonfiction work. Okay. I can get this stuff done, right? Posted by Picasa