Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The problem

Yesterday I found out from Tor.com or somewhere that Kelley Armstrong had taught a week-long workshop at U of T about writing dark urban fantasy. And I thought to myself, I should have gone to that, if I had qualified, and I could get the time off, and, and, and. But the real problem was that I didn't know about it until afterwards.

So today's question, for all my faithful readers out there is, how would I have found out about that? I don't think online stalking of Kelley Armstrong is the answer, because what if it's not her, it's Carrie Vaughn next time? I can't online stalk everyone. I can't keep watching U of T wherever they would have listed something like that, because what if next time it's at York, or Ryerson? I can't watch all institutions. And what if it's not even at an institution?

Is there a clearinghouse type place, preferably online, that would tell me about things like that happening in, say, a 100-mile radius of my house? Even a bulletin board at a store or library that I should be looking at once a month?

I guess rather than just ranting about it here, I should be using my awesome research skills to find it myself. If in fact I have awesome research skills. If I find it, I'll post it in the comments.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Proving some forgotten English teacher wrong... or maybe it was Strunk & White

We've had sackings here at the dayjob. There are people who are "affected by the layoffs". These are people who have been laid off. Well, not really. There's no hope of rehiring, and that's what I always think of layoffs as meaning. But firing isn't the right word, either. I guess restructured it is.

Anyway, the woman in charge of transferring a satellite office's stuff to my office told me someone was "very affected by the layoffs", which meant not only was she being laid off, she was also angry about it.

You know how your high school English teacher said that no sentence is ever enhanced by the addition of the word "Very"? This one was.

Monday, July 19, 2010

This week in crazy

I got an email from the CEO of the professional organization I belong to (it wasn't personal -- I assume she sent it to everyone). In it, she outlined in over 500 words why she'd changed her name.

It reminded me of this woman I worked with (same first name, now, actually) who sent us really long emails about how much flute therapy (playing her flute for seniors) was helping her depression.

I sit to the right of the flutes in my band, and I wear an earplug. This actually makes the nearest one, who used to be an audiologist, happy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I wish insects would discover my shoes

I'm not going to be able to wear out these rope wedge platform sandals before they go out of style (mostly because I can't get up sufficient speed to go anywhere in them).

I wish termites would discover them, so the heels disintegrate as I walk. Today would be a good day for this to happen, because I have spare shoes in my desk.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Nail Polish obsession

This evening I took the boy to the mall to buy season 2 of Smallville. Whilst there, I continued my search for the perfect nail polish. And I found it. Turns out the nail polish of my dreams is "Rumple's Wiggins" from OPI's Shrek ever after collection. And all the 14-year-old girls beat me to it, so it's sold out at the mall, because being 14-year-old girls they don't have jobs.

The color I wound up with (because once I'd found the color I wanted, and discovered it was not in stock, I was committed to buying something, somehow) was "Panda-monium Pink", which I think is a Kung-Fu Panda tie-in color. There's a whole world of movie tie-in nail polish that somehow I had missed out on before. And now I'm wearing it, at work. Normally I don't wear nail polish at work (just on my toes, which my coworkers rarely see), because I have enough problems being taken seriously already, what with the bad seated posture and whatnot. But now I am wearing not only light pink nail polish, but it's movie tie-in nail polish that is SO last year.

Maybe this is a message that I should be working on that story about nail polish I have a first draft of?

And also, in order to put a picture of Morrigan on Ravelry, I had to take it with my phone, upload it to facebook, copy it to my computer, then upload it to Ravelry. There has got to be a better way... except that my camera seems to have forgotten how to communicate with a computer.

Oh, and Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl" is waiting for me at the library. Whee!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Uncomfortable

I don't know how long the link will work, but

http://www.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/baby-inside-blast-walls

It kind of reminds me of when I was pregnant and one of my (male) coworkers came up to me and asked me if I really thought I should be riding my bike, in my condition.

And then someone else who overheard the comment went to human resources, and HR made him come and apologize to me.

I continued riding my bike, to my doctor's appointments, even. I hope scientists "discover" soon that being extremely bored and housebound is bad for fetuses.

And also, the themes of the short story that is in my brain and needs to be written make me feel awkward.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

What I read -- June 2010

"Specials" by Scott Westerfield. He's really good at the ending that concludes the story and yet leads to a desperate need to start the sequel. Most irritating. This one took me a little while to get into, but then I finished it in about two sittings. I found the ending satisfying, and don't really feel the burning desire to read book 4, which is fortunate, because we don't have it around the house.

"Under Heaven" by Guy Gavriel Kay. After all the YA stuff I've been reading, the first chapter of this book was harrowing. Ed told me the first chapter of a GGK book always is, except the first book of Fionavar. The second chapter just flew by.

I didn't really finish this book in June, but I felt ridiculous only having finished one book. That's lame, I guess.

I love how he manages foreshadowing, and how he ties up various characters with expository sections (i.e., Rain), and handles multiple POVs.

Friday, July 02, 2010

In Process, June 2010

Manners. First draft novel. 98% complete. A few days ago I wrote a list of the next five things that need to happen, and then I can end this wretched mess. I think it will be done and gone in July. Maybe even next week.

"TheBogWitch". I hadn't reallly finished the fourth draft (character/dialog) in May, so I finished that (4500 words). Then I let Ed read it and did the fifth draft (prose) which took me to 4080 words. By the time I put it on OWW for feedback, it was down to 3934 or thereabouts.

After reading the feedback I got, I think I may have cut too deeply. It has less than half the words it had before, having started around 8900. Atmosphere, setting, and characterization may have suffered. The only thing I really added was a different ending. This should be done-for-real by the end of July. That's a reasonable goal.

Karate Zombies. The boy became my third reader on this novel, and when he finished it, he asked me "What do you think was the climax?" I told him what I thought the climax was. He said "Don't you think it needs some tension, then?" Um, good point. I'm now collecting notes for how to punch up the crisis there. they have a massive logistics issue that I don't know how to solve, and a time issue. So the problem isn't that there's no tension, I can throw that in. I don't know how to solve the issues that I would raise. Maybe I'll have a useful dream, now that I'm thinking about it.

Then we went hiking in the forest, and Ed and the boy had a long, in-depth conversation about how patient zero would have become infected, so I guess I need to decide that, at least in my own mind, too. I should know, whether my narrator does or not.

"The Bezoar". I let Ed read this story, and he didn't hate it. And then I started reading it, and I had to apologize to him for making him read something that was so obviously not finished. I mean, I had sentences that went into a paranthetical clause and then just stopped. But he said no, it was charming.

Since I'd already been working on this one before the new editing system came into place, I started with prose (I was in prose mode anyway, and I'd spent a lot of time before) and now I need to put it on OWW. I came across a note I'd written when I started the first draft, back in August of 2009. I don't think I hit the theme very well, but maybe it works as a story anyway.

"Rabbit". A couple of hundred words of notes on a short story.

Knit...
Morrigan.
I have about nine inches of the body.
Noro Henley. Back complete in May; front, neck, and both sleeves in June. Now there's just the collar, buttons (to be purchased), and five seams to go. Should be done by Sunday.

Out There -- June 2010

"Unicorn". Still at market #5.

"Dolphin". It had been read by five people now, so I figured it was time for a last pass and then to ship it out. And so I have finally graduated from VP. That only took me seven months. At market #1...

I so wanted to have a third thing out there by the end of June, but it was not to be. I think I was trying to fit the story into too short of a package, and now I need to add part of a thousand words back in. Different words, though. And it's not so far from being done, really. I totally want to send that one to Weird Tales, as I've heard really entertaining things about their rejection form, not that getting rejected is the goal, but, oh, you know what I mean.