Saturday, May 31, 2003

May sucks. That's all. It has been mostly a horrid month (though ConQuesT was great), and I'm glad to see it go.

Today we lost one of our 13 year old cats, Kincaid. He'd been ill for awhile, and we pretty much new any day now... but it was still hard to take.

And my hip still hurts, although it seems to be less so than before. I haven't gotten any writing done, but I am at 71,346 on Ruins, which is about 5,000 more than the original novel. I still have maybe 5-8,000 to go. I could probably do it tonight, if life didn't suck so much.

But I'm going to write something, anyway.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Okay, as of last night, Ruins was at 66,817. That puts it a few hundred words over the previous version, and I still have several chapters to go. That's the good news.

The bad news is that I've injured my right hip. I'm not sure how, when, or what exactly I did, but sitting and walking is not pleasant, though it seems to be better today than it was yesterday, but I'll likely be spending a lot of time in bed.

I have to say that this one is annoying. The medication has really cleared up a lot of the ear/headache/etc. problems (at least for now), and I was feeling better than I have in quite a while. I can't even begin to figure out what I did this time.


I'm going to do a little writing, and then rest again....

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Ever since I got home from the convention, I've had a hard time getting any writing done. I have one returning problem.

His name is Pip.

For some reason, Pip has become snuggle bunny kitten. He sits on the side of my desk, and when I reach for the mouse, he flops down over my hand and lays his head on the keyboar. (Often with interesting results.) He wants into my lap. He wants his ears rubbed, his neck skritched, and to snuggle into my arms.

I don't know how I've gotten any writing done, except when he's eating.

Silly cat.

I had a long busy day, and I rewrote an entire story to get it ready to go out (Playing with Fire), did about 1500 words on Ruins (would have liked more, but it's a difficult point), and worked on an entire new section to my Access Submission and story tracker. I added in a section just for characters, so that if I do write something more based on the same world, I can look at other characters that might be fun to put into the story.

I just realized another addition to the table I need to make....

Ha, that was relatively easy now that I now what I'm doing. Add the section to the proper table, add the link into the proper form, and all is well.

But I took medications, and I'm tired agagin! Well, only three more days of the strong stuff.

I'm going to go crawl off into bed now, though...

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Oh my. Running out of days in May. I have to send something else out for a submission, and I'm entirely uncertain what story I would want that to be. Odd. It's not a feeling that I have nothing, it's more of it a 'just sit back, don't worry about it' sort of feeling. I'm sure that can't be right. It's not like me at all. (grin)

Actually, I had thought about going back to the story a day dare at Forward Motion and at least try to get five more done for the dare... but just thinking about it made me starting feeling stress. So I decided against it, which made me feel stressed... but I got over it faster. (grin)

I am doing too well on Ruins to mess around with doing something else. I wrote nearly 3000 words today, and I've hit 62,830 on Ruins. I might make it a little farther tonight, but I've taken medication and I'm going to be falling over dead asleep soon. I'm coming up on the last third of the novel, and I hope that it flies soon, though 3000 words is not bad at all.

Then I start thinking about what I'll do when I'm done with this one. Maybe I'll do more short stories next month, and try to get some serious editing done on a couple novels. I need to start over with Dacey's Dream since I stopped about 1/3rd of the way in and didn't go back to it. I should get it done and turned in, and then look at reworking Eliora's World since that one came in so short. I have not finished the last book in the series, and that will need to be done before the year is out. And I need to finish Emergent as well. I don't think there is much more -- nope, just checked. A short story I don't have listed, but I know I have to finish, Emergent, Ruins, and Hope in Hell are all that need to be done. Usually by half way through the year I have more unfinished projects than I have months left to do them in.

This lack of unfinished work really pleases me. Ruins is almost done, and Hope in Hell is on hold because I need to work out some problems with Eliora's World first. Hope in Hell is the last book of the series, but I'll be editing for a good long time yet.

Emergent is the odd book out here. I started it on January 1. I have good characters, good opening, and then I wanted to do a change in the background worldbuilding. I need to get back to that work for it.

Oh, started yawning. I'd say it's time to head off to bed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I think that's a neat picture!

Anyway, I'm nearly caught up on everything so that I think I'm going to do some serious writing today. I could be wrong, of course. I've been wrong before about writing. And I have medicaitons to take in about an hour and a half that will likely make me very tired, so I best use this time right now to get moving!

I'm at a point in Ruins that will need a lot of work, and I'm actually looking forward to it. Funny how getting away and talking with other writers for a couple days can have that affect on me.

Time to get to work!

Monday, May 26, 2003


I am back from the convention. I had a WONDERFUL time, despite the fact that the medication kept trying to put me to sleep, and on Saturday I had trouble reading book covers. Did not stop me from buying a lot of books from Meisha Merlin and Yard Dog Press. Spent more money than I really should have, but what a lovely time!

I have a lot of work to get caught up on. As soon as I got home last night I did the City Agenda, though, so at least that's done and out of the way. And I wrote quite a bit at the convention, but it was for a scene in Doors that I want to add, so I'm going to have to finish that writing and then get it put into the right place. In fact, it basically adds an extra day to the novel, so that means far more than shoving the story in.

But that's all right. Time to get to work on this stuff again. Really, I need to pop Ruins open and get back to work on the last of it.

And I have to send two short stories out somewhere. And I have to finish up my trip report and post it in the journal.

So... off I go, probably to do something entirely different. (Like nap since I just took both pills again...)

Friday, May 23, 2003

If all goes well, I'll be leaving in a few hours. Russ has to finish an article in the morning before we take off, but I'm betting that won't take him too long.

I hope everyone has fun! I should be back on Sunday!

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Why is it, as I put the hair dye on, it never seems like it's going to be enough for all my hair, but as I rinse it back out, it seems like there must have been gallons of the stuff on there.

I have a new, darker hair color. I think I like it.

Well, if all goes well, we'll leave tomorrow. Sounds like fun to me.

But now I must go write!
Back and with two medications for a bad sinus infection. Not a real surprise considering the ear problems I've had. With luck, this stuff will kick in and I'll feel better in the next couple days and actually enjoy the trip to KC and ConQuesT. We leave some time tomorrow, we hope.

So, not nearly as bad as I expected, really. And glad to have it all taken care of so that I can turn my attention back to writing, websites, hair dye (always a pre-convention ritual). I need to do the dishes first, though, alas.

Ack. Headach. Probably from meds and stress. Time to do dishes, rest for a bit, and then do hair...

Yes, I went to the zoo. I had a great time despite the fact that half the state's school seemed to be there. I can't believe how rude many of these kids are, which is unfortunate, because it makes you not notice the ones who aren't rude.

I was really worn out last night, and not feeling well. And now today I have a medical problem (unrelated to the zoo), and I'm heading to the doctor in about an hour. Sigh.

And I'm still tired. But I had a great time, and I got some work done on Ruins when I got home, and if all still goes well I'm heading for a convention tomorrow. At any rate, I'm going to go rest for a little while before I got see the doctor.

Snarl, growl, snarl some more...

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Tomorrow I am going to the zoo. Actually, it's later today.

I haven't been to the zoo since last November -- way too long for me. They have an entire new area to explore, and I suspect that I won't get to see nearly enough. I'll have to conserve on the picture taking as well, since I'm down to two good batteries. But I can't wait!

I'm taking my new backpack, instead of a purse. The purse has been killing my back lately, and I'm hoping that having something more evenly weighted on the back will help. I won't have much in it, either, which should help.

I'm really looking forward to this trip. And I'll be home fairly early, so it's not going to stop me from getting writing done as well. (grin)

Right now I'm off to get some other things done, though.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Isn't it neat how you can make something look like a painting without having a bit of artistic ability at all?

Russ made it home without a problem. And I wrote over 5000 words again. This section of Ruins is just singing for me.

Russ brought me home a backpack that they gave to him at the place he'd gone. It's funny, because I had just said I wanted a back pack for camera stuff. The purse I have is fine, but it gets very hard on my shoulder after a while. And there's some more stuff I would like to take with me to the zoo and such, but I just won't carry it in the purse. I'm not sure the backpack is a really good answer, but I think it will be nice. I can take off camera flash equipment, and some filters... yeah, it might be fun. If I'm not careful, though, I could find myself back to things like the old days, when I carried two 35mm cameras, a ton of lenses, filters, flash units, and who knew what else -- everywhere I went.

And I do have two digital cameras -- and three 35mm for that matter. Oh, I need to curb that kind of thinking right now!

I still need to buy at least one more battery, though, for the main camera. I now realize, copying off these pictures, that the batteries had more than enough reason to run down on me. I'm just copying off a few picture disks tonight before I go to bed. I need to get these last few sets done so I can get back to the FD91 pictures. Those are going to be a pain to do because they are on so many different disks, but I think it should work out all right if I can just keep my attention on them.

I'm just about through reading Doors. Just reading it as though it were a real book and forcing myself not to make too many notes along the way. It's not too bad. I can see areas I need to expand, but then that's not unusual for me.

Okay, time to copy this set of pictures and read a little while, and then get to bed!

Monday, May 19, 2003

Russ will be home in about an hour.

The Claritin made me very tired, and I slept for a few hours. It helped, but I just feel lethargic now. I'm working on Ruins -- about 2000 words on it so far, but I probably won't go much beyond that tonight. I didn't do anything with the pictures yesterday since I was so caught up in writing. I'd like to get at least one of the last three sets done tonight.

Amazingly, the house is cleaned up. I think the house cleaning elves must have done it, because I don't remember doing much except sit at the computer and work.

I'm going to try to get through this chapter. Oh, and better go do my regular journal!

I wrote 5027 words before I quit yesterday. Ruins is now at 47,872 words. I hope I can throw myself back into it this afternoon, but right now I'm suffering from a bit of a sore throat (argh), and I'm going to make some soup to see if that helps. Actually, first I'm going to feed the horde of animals so that they allow me a few bites of soup of my own.

It has turned cool again -- the 60's -- with a brisk wind. I think it might be kicking up some stuff that's giving me the sore throat. Going to try a Claritin (r) and see if that helps.

By the way, I used to say that Claritin was worth its weight in gold. Then Russ and I looked up the exchange rate for gold these days, and found out that Claritin is a better investment -- worth far more than the equal amount of gold... (grin...)

Sunday, May 18, 2003

It took me about eight tries to post that, and they were all stupid mistakes on my part. I think I'll just take a little break here...

Oh, nice. Got to 'play' with Anasazi pottery, Chacoan Type III walls, and assorted petroglyphs.

And now we're about to reach the ruins themselves. It's been a long time since I walked through any such ruins, but the feeling stays with you. Since my POV character is going to be doing this for the first time in his life, I'll have to recall what it was like to walk up to Hungo Pavi at Chaco... it wasn't actually my first ruin -- I'd been to Mesa Verde before, and a couple other places -- but there was something magical about Chaco.


That's better. 2,364 words so far. And that on a very tricky spot where I had to look up information on southwestern pottery as well as stuff on South American birds. And now I need to find my book on petroglyths and pictographs...
Ha. I immediately hit a continuity problem and have to go back and do a little rewrite. One way to make sure I don't get a new word count...

I've nearly caught up on all the non-writing sort of things that I needed to do. I've opened up Ruins, and the word count is 42,845.

I lost my glass of Diet Pepsi somewhere. I cannot possibly work like this.

There. Now I'm about set except that the cats seem to think that I should feed them before I start writing. They're going to have to wait. I'm going to get some writing done tonight. They'll have to wait... a little while.

Starting count: 42,845

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Working on the PDF and PDA versions of Vision today. Or trying to despite being miserable. It is creating the PDF version now, and after that I'll delete all the graphics from it and have it do the PDA version. Unfortunately, I won't be able to check the PDA version afterwards since my Visor isn't working.

But it should be all right. And it should be done.

And then I have the city agenda to do, but it shouldn't be too bad. (Well, I cursed myself with that one, I'm sure!)

I've already been working at this for four hours. It's amazing how much time it can take to do something like this... and this is a 'short issue' (only 184 pages or so), and all of it already edited and such.

Ah, there. PDF is created. Now I have to go in and do all the bookmarks for it.

I will get to some writing tonight. And actually, for the first time all day, my headache is starting to ease. I think the medications must finally be kicking in. I hope I can take advantage of feeling better soon!

Friday, May 16, 2003

I feel like I keep falling in and out of my life.

It would help if I could get focused on a writing project. I'm working on Ruins, and it's going well, but it's not the kind of focus I usually have. A few minutes writing, wander off, stare at the walls for a while, remember that I'm writing, and go back to it. I'm getting better, though. I wrote about 2000 words yesterday. Of course, I've only done a couple hundred so far today, so that's not as good.

The picture copying is going very well, though. I'm quite pleased with that stuff. I'm right at the half way point for the CD1000 pics, and enjoying that stuff. Hitting a lot of the zoo pictures. Since I'm just dropping them into a file folder for the zoo, those go quickly. I need to get to the zoo again soon before it gets too warm.

Russ leaves in about four hours. Sigh. It's going to be a long weekend.

I better get back to writing and get a few hundred more words done before I go to bed!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

A word for the unwary...

Wendy's Spicy Chicken Fillet sandwiches actually get spicier if you leave them in the fridge for a couple days and then eat them.

I like spicy. Good thing.

Calmer now. Doing a little more writing, trying to be serious about it again. Not that I stopped writing, because it has always been my escape -- but the work on Ruins that I did will likely need another entire edit.

On the other hand, I am sorting through all my digital pictures, and that's going far better than I hoped. I had always intended to make copies of the small cds that the CD1000 uses. I'm doing both that, and then sorting the pictures by catagory. It's amaing how many pictures there are, and I'm only four months into the collection, which started in March, 2001 for this camera. After I get this group done, I'll go back and do the FD91 3.5 inch floppy diskettes, which are going to be a real pain. There are about three thousand of them. And prior to that were the FD7's collection, but I should have those on a disk already. Then there's years of slides I'd like to get scanned, and then back to the prints and negatives...

It's not a short term project. I hope I have the stamina to keep at it this time. The problem is there has to be at least 10,000 pictures just from the CD1000.

Yes, in many ways I'm just finding ways to keep busy right now. But at lest it might be productive. It would be nice to have some idea what I have in pictures.

And I am getting back to writing. I'm just in need of other distractions as well right now.

Monday, May 12, 2003

There is a funeral in Tucson right now. Even though I can't be there, my thoughts are still with them.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

I have the world's most wonderful husband.

He's gone over to see my mother without me today. I know I'm taking the coward's way out, but he pretty much agreed that having to lie to my mother might not be real easy for me right now. And I was starting to get physically ill with worry that I'd mess up or something.

So he's gone over. I'm going to hide out in the house for a while longer. Tomorrow is the funeral. My father and Erin will be back not long after that... and then the next round of horribleness starts when they tell my mother.

The writing is going slowly, of course. I'm just grateful to have it for this escape.

Can I go to sleep now and maybe wake up in another time or another place? That would be helpful.

Things are settling. I do not look forward to tomorrow. I feel like I'm walking on a mine field right now, and going to see my mother -- who likely doesn't know her granddaughter died -- isn't going to be easy. On the other hand, it would be worse if she did know. Her health is not good, and she's had several heart attacks and two strokes over the last few years. No one is telling her anything until we've had word from her doctor and all the precautions that can be taken have been.

On the other hand, it may well be that my sister has called her anyway. I don't know.

I'm still working on Ruins, a little bit at a time. Escape. It works.

Friday, May 09, 2003

This has not been a good week. As some of you know, my niece unexpectedly took ill and died. The shock has lessened, at least, but the feeling that things are not right remains. My father and my neice's older half sister have headed for Tucson to be with my sister and her family. Russ had to take a business trip to Cincinnati and will be back tomorrow night. I am taking some quiet time in my house, which I badly needed. The phones are off -- Russ is keeping in touch with everyone and will email me if I need to know anything. I have a truly wonderful husband, you know. He took me on a long drive yesterday, even though he had an incredible amount of work to do before he left. That helped as well.

I have done a little writing each day, mostly as a diversion from thinking about real life. Nothing on Doors or the new stories, but Ruins turned out to be a good way to spend some time. Being here alone with the cats and the dog has helped. I'm starting to feel more like myself again.

So now is just the time of calm... Not a return to normality, just a settling of the emotional nerves, which will likely not last very long, but helps right now. We have one more huge hurdle to cross -- no one has told my mother about her granddaughter's death. My mother is in a nursing home and we need to talk to her doctors before we do anything. She can't travel to the funeral, and I doubt she'll even be told until after it, when my father and niece bet back.

This is the sort of time when you think of every missed opportunity, every thing you should have done differently... and none of it changes anything, of course. But it won't stop me from thinking about it.

I would like to get back to writing, and slip away from the real world for a bit longer....

Monday, May 05, 2003


Busy couple days. I've had a hard time even keeping up on the writing, but things are going well enough. Four stories so far, the fifth just started. Slowing down on Ruins a bit, and the editing for the first couple chapters of Doors is a pain... but it should get better after that section. I hope.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

We're having a very windy, rainy day. And there is the thunder again now... not much though. It was pretty intense last night.

I love stormy days.

I manged my third short story last night. It was less than 1000 words and didn't quite have the feel I wanted, but it was a story. You know the real problem? This story-a-day game has taken over my brain and is making it very hard to get the other work done. I now have the new material to work with, but I keep telling myself that I need to leave it alone and get Ruins and Doors done first. Carrots... I want to write the short stories, so I have to hold them out there as the reward for doing the other work. (grin)

Okay, so go do the work, right?

Good plan...

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Good day over all, bad day for writing. I have the plan for my third short story and I hope to just go in and write it soon. I've done a little editing on Ruins, and I have the next chapter of ... No, that's not right. I've done a little editing on Doors and I have the next chapter of Ruins set up to run with it. It should be fun. If I can just get my head to click over to it.

Maybe in a little while...
There. 2111 words for story # 2. It went well. I'm amazed at how much I enjoyed that bit of work. I doubt they'll all be as 'easy' as these first two, but even getting just two unexpected stories like that is fun.

I can see where this could be very difficult for a lot of people, though. If you're not used to picking up ideas from other places, or not used to working within limitations of any sort, it would be hard to put material together based on the short list of story elements. It's fun in the short term, at least.

I am still working on my second story. But damn... I'm really happy with these. It would need work to flesh out, but the characters... and hell, it's not at all in a genre I would normally write. But it's fun! I'm over 1000 words on it. And I just got the ending in my head.

Everything else is going well enough. Ruins is great. Doors is doing well, though getting the opening right is a pain. Looking for the Exit (current short story) is nearly done.

Friday, May 02, 2003

I took a very bad real picture (flower totally out of focus) and made that little drawing from it this afternoon. It was my way of celebrating the fact that Ruins has gained 7,000 new words already. Not to mention an ever so slightly more coherent story line. (grin)

I have my second story to write tonight. I have the idea in my head, but it hasn't completely come together yet.

I still have editing to do as well, though that's partially finished.

But even so, I,'m happy with the progress and changes in Ruins. It's now ove 21,000 words long and I'm about 1/4 of the way through the original material, with a great deal of new stuff coming up.


Thursday, May 01, 2003

Last of the Agenda is going up. Pant, pant, pant.

I am about 2/3rds of the way through a very short story. I need to just kick my brain over to it and write the last of it out. It's going well enough for all the distractions I've had.

There. Agenda done. Back to the story.

Another rainbow for Ruth. (grin)

Well, Vision is up! That's always a good thing! It looks like another nice issue. I'm really happy with how well things have gone with Vision, even though I do grumble my way through the last few weeks, trying to get it all put together.

I have started my first short story for the 'story a day' dare at Forward Motion. I have not done my editing yet. And, alas, I have an agenda to put together tonight. That's next up on my list of things.

My plans for this month are basically in a daily routine:

Write new short story for dare
Edit novel for dare
Write more of Ruins

That looks so nice and simple. Things have not been that simple for quite a while, but I'm willing to give it a try.

Of course, I blow it right off by having to go and do the agenda. At least I've got 543 words on the new story already!