Otherwise known as my "hey, I'm back from camp and I feel like a zombie" post.

Why a week away from home with no cleaning duties and three delicious meals served daily should prove mentally and physically exhausting, much less feeling like I'm about to get the mother of all colds, I cannot tell you. Suffice it to say that it is so.

I was also hoping that the week away from home would persuade my brain to stop going all OOH SHINY over Touching Indigo and prudently switch gears back to Wayfarer, which is after all under contract and therefore the more needy of my attention. Unfortunately, this did not happen, though I have confidence that it will once I get to know Timothy and Linden better... which, despite all my note-taking and emotional mapping and poking about on Getty Images looking for lookalikes, is not going to happen until I start actually writing them.

Some good things happened while I was on vacation, however: I got passports for myself and three kids with zero waiting time (thank you so much, [livejournal.com profile] risti, for the suggestion about doing the online application -- I think it made all the difference), I had Bubble Tea with [livejournal.com profile] erinbow (who is probably still laughing about the O_O face I made when the first tapioca pearl came up the straw), and we successfully converted my crib-sleeping toddler to a bunk-sleeper with nary a hitch.

Also, I came back home to find that [livejournal.com profile] fuseno8 had posted about our meeting in her blog, with a nice picture of the two of us and everything. Thank you, Betsy! It was a pleasure, and if you should return to town I shall take you out for cream tea.

Well, the house is woefully a-clutter since we have been moving Oldest Child and his enormous collection of toy farm equipment into the room that used to be the baby's, plus trying to unpack several suitcases and do two loads of laundry at the same time. So I must stop trying to catch up with my F-list and get to work, which means I am about to borrow a page from [livejournal.com profile] kalquessa and make this general appeal:

If you've written (or found) anything in the past week that you think I should see, please put a link to the relevant post in the comments.

That would help enormously, thank you.

Oh! And one more thing. I re-read HP Book 7 while I was gone -- taking it slowly and carefully this time, with particular thought given to criticisms I've heard from other readers, as well as my own initial sense of dissatisfaction. And I am happy to report that this time around, I thought it was brilliant. More about that later, when I am no longer surrounded by guilt-inducing household debris.

*hurries off*
I'm not supposed to be working on Touching Indigo today, but I keep getting ideas just the same... this must be a good sign. And speaking of ideas, I'd like to acknowledge those of you who've sent me links to stuff about synaesthesia -- thanks! I really appreciate it.

I was kicking myself all day Friday for staying up so late Thursday night, especially since I'd made my word quota by just after 11 and still didn't get to bed until 12:30. However, it's a good thing I did stay up, since the [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey contest started at midnight, and they got way more entries than they'd anticipated -- so if I'd waited until morning to send my hook, I might very well not have made it in. As it was, though, my number is 92. We shall see what the judges make of it when they post their comments in a week or so. In a fit of optimism, I plan to rewrite the first five pages of Indigo this week, so they'll be ready in case I'm one of the fortunate few (well, sixteen) to make it to the next round.

In other news... uh, I got nothing. *hides*

Hey, lookit!

Apr. 4th, 2007 09:44 pm
rj_anderson: (Touching Indigo - Thea)
Today's Word Count: 3600.

O_O

I can't shake the suspicion that the story is really boring so far (I'm not used to writing psychological drama -- I keep thinking something ought to explode), but wowzers.

Will hang onto that happy feeling for the next 45 minutes, as I suspect I'm going to need it to get through this week's House.
Crossposting from a comment on [livejournal.com profile] jmprince's Fast Draft Express thread:

Well, I've done three days' worth now and exceeded my total every day. Today was harder than the last two days since I was breaking new ground -- but I managed to exceed my quota by fifty words even so. My total now stands at 6690, hooray!

Unfortunately, I forgot about the Easter weekend, which is likely to screw up my quota like whoa unless I can grab some extra writing time between now and then. And I have a few other obligations coming up that are going to make things a little difficult. But I think I should be able to stay on track if I just discipline myself.

I've found a neat trick for preventing myself wasting time online: I can check my e-mail and read LiveJournal and forums if I like, but only during non-writing hours, and I am NOT ALLOWED TO SIT DOWN when I do it. That forces me to keep my computer time brief, because it's really not very comfortable bending over a keyboard from a standing position! And less time spent on random browsing means that I'm more mentally fresh when I finally sit down to write again.

My biggest challenge right now is not stopping my writing to do research. I have yet to master the skill of leaving myself little notes that say "[INSERT PLAUSIBLE-SOUNDING PSYCHOBABBLE/TECHNOBABBLE HERE]" instead of trying to figure out the logistics of the psychobabble or technobabble and squandering my writing time.

But all that is as nothing compared to my deep and abiding love for Martha Jones. Seriously, after seeing the Doctor Who season premiere I am totally amped for the rest of S3. Spoilers ) This is more like it, I say. Not that I hated Rose (well, S2 Rose was pretty annoying at times, but then so was Ten in S2), but she was a bit pathetic at times.

Come back, RTD, all is forgiven. This week, anyway.
Today's Word Count: 2726/2000

That's including a few paragraphs cut and pasted from stuff I'd written earlier, but I made a point of writing 2000 new words today and I'm quite happy with that.

I've joined a group of Fast Drafters setting their own goals, and I think my aims are more realistic now: 2000 words a day, six days out of seven. That should give me 60,000 words by the end of the month -- not quite a full draft yet, but definitely a big chunk of it. And writing at this speed feels more natural and comfortable than the 20 pages a day required by the original Fast Draft method -- I really tried hard to make it work for me, but it felt too much like falling downstairs.

Off to watch the Doctor Who S3 premiere now!
I got a bicycle for my birthday! A shiny new bicycle from my husband, who is wise in the ways of cycling! Yay! I think this may be the first new bike I've had in my life. And it's certainly the first one I've owned in over fifteen years. *huggles it*

My other birthday present: spring weather! It was positively mild today, and the snowbanks are rapidly shrinking. Dare I hope that by next week they will be gone?

In other news, I fail at writing today -- only 572 words so far. But my head feels like it has been stuffed with cotton wool, and I just can't seem to get my thoughts to cohere. So I have been using the time to do character maps, timelines, and other useful things. At least that will keep me from feeling completely unproductive.

It's embarrassing to admit how hard I have to think to do a timeline, though. I'm constantly counting things on my fingers with my tongue stuck out one side of my mouth, trying to figure out how much time has passed between on event and another -- and even after I've done my best, I'm sure I've got it wrong. Why do numbers hate me so?

I also fail at intuition. I really thought that by now I would have some word from Agent E. about Knife. However, no news is at least potentially good news, right?
I've just heard back from the editor who's been looking at Knife, and she feels that this revision has finally dealt with the problems that were making her hesitate. She plans to pass the manuscript on to her boss for him to look at (with the caveat that he is very busy right now, but she will keep checking with him and try to get me a response as soon as possible).

It's not an offer, it's not a sure thing, but it's a definite step forward. I am heartened.
Overheard from my spotty four-year-old, this morning: "I think my chicken pox needs some distracting."

This is going to be a bit of a lame LJ post, I'm afraid -- I lack the mental energy to be clever or interesting. I have sixteen books to wrap (some of which, sadly, I have not had time to pre-read), a house to clean, Christmas dinner to plan and prepare, and two itchy, fretful kids.

I made snickerdoodles yesterday, however, and they turned out to be the best batch I've ever made. [livejournal.com profile] kizmet_42, I think I have to disagree with you about them being best warm from the oven; I find them a little acidic-tasting that way. Once they've cooled and had a day to mellow, however, they're sublime.

Meanwhile, back at the stove, the carrot pudding is steaming merrily. I think it will probably turn out well, too.

I am still waiting for my number to come up on Miss Snark's Crapometer, which will likely happen tomorrow. I expect to be eviscerated for vagueness, cliches, and lack of narrative voice, and probably not asked to send pages. However, on a happier note, I've received confirmations from all but one of the folks to whom I submitted Knife, so at least I know those packages arrived safely. They both said they were "looking forward" to reading the book even though it might take them a few weeks to get to it, so that was heartening.

Finally, it is a remarkably lonely lot, creatively speaking, to be an evangelical Christian with no interest in the religious publishing industry, a fantasy/SF author with conservative views, a Canadian with primarily English sensibilities trying to capture the interest of American editors and agents, and someone whose creative background and connections are mostly in fandom. I keep looking at various writing discussion boards like a kid with her nose pressed to the window, not knowing where to begin to introduce myself. I feel like I don't fit in anywhere. And even though I have all this fannish background, I am no longer active in any fandom now, so even those ties are increasingly tenuous. If it weren't for you I think I might fall off the edge of the virtual earth.

Some days I really miss the old FidoNet WRITING echo. Sigh.

ETA: What kind of title is that? I think from now on I'm going to refer to Book Seven as "Harry Potter... FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!!!"
Inspired by [livejournal.com profile] lizbee's recent adoption of a meter for her own novel project, I proudly present one for Knife:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
39,000 / 100,000
(39.0%)

This is assuming the book actually does end up at 100,000 words. Depending on how much more I cut and the length of the new stuff I put in, it may well be shorter.

Chapter Nine is going swimmingly so far, which is nice for a change.
That's it, I've had enough, I'm deleting my LJ and leaving the fandom.

Ha ha! Only kidding. (And half the list is still going, "...which fandom?")

Actually, I'm just headed off to camp for a week. Cozy cabin, handy swimming pool, all meals provided in our air-conditioned dining hall etc. And this time I am borrowing my husband's laptop from work, so there's a possibility I might actually get some work done on Knife if all goes well.

Take care, everybody! See you when I get back!

I'm Baaaaack!

Aug. 13th, 2006 09:55 pm
rj_anderson: (10th Doctor - Bookish)
It took me a whole week, but I am now in business again, with a brand-new computer (yay!) and the old one fixed. Turns out it was just the fan to the power supply, much as I thought, and that the hard drives were not affected, so I didn't lose any data. Although I do have a lot of reinstalling software and general tidying-up ahead. And, of course, a whole lot of catching-up on my f-list and e-mail, too.

Sadly, after this and other unexpected delays, I have had to give up hope of having the reedit of Knife completed in time for the SCBWI-MI Fall Conference in Kalamazoo, MI so I could hand-deliver it to Very Helpful and Patient Editor. It's now looking like it'll be closer to Christmas before I'm done, and I shall just have to mail it in the usual boring manner. But I am still going to the conference, D.V. I don't suppose anybody else on my list is interested/planning to go? Anyone? Bueller?

[livejournal.com profile] lydaclunas has been here for the past few days and we've been having mucho fun. Lots of Doctor Who has been watched, among other things...

I'll have more to post soon, I hope.
I'm not dead! I'm only editing. Up to Chapter Five now, and almost back on schedule. Only problem is, to make my deadline (which is purely self-imposed, but necessary for my own mental discipline) I'm going to have to start getting more than one chapter done a week -- and since the next few chapters are going to involve a whole lot of rewriting from scratch, and I've also got a bunch of graphic design work to do by early September, things are not looking so good.

*whimpers*

But anyway, just so you know I'm still around. I also owe [livejournal.com profile] mistraltoes a ramble about May/December and [livejournal.com profile] kalquessa one about defending original characters, so if I make especially good progress on the book one day I may pop in here and do that.
I won't be posting for a week, since we're off camping. (No, not rustic in-a-tent camping, more like hanging out at a nearby resort/conference centre kind of place where our meals are all provided and we sleep in air-conditioned comfort. My biggest challenge will be deciding whether or not I really want to be venture out in public wearing a zebra-print maternity swimsuit. I suspect my nerve is likely to fail me there.)

Anyway, y'all take care and don't let HP fandom explode without me (oh, wait, it already has done, never mind).
I'm still working on refining the ideas stated in the previous post and tying in various bits of data as people remind me of them, including spoilers ), so hopefully nobody will mistake the ideas I've stated so far for a proper systematic essay on the subject.

When I have time I hope to set things down more clearly and answer the various questions people have raised, so it might be a good idea to wait until I've made that post before linking to it (as several folks have asked if they could do).

However, if you want to go ahead and link now, that's fine as well -- just so anyone coming here realizes that what they're looking at is basically me thinking out loud and working my way through the evidence in bits and pieces, as opposed to a well-rounded and coherent argument of the sort I hope to present later.

Thanks to everybody's who's thrown in their questions, additions, agreements and objections so far! I haven't had so much fun in HP fandom for a long time.

And now I shall be gone all day, so those waiting for more info will have to wait until Monday, I'm afraid. Sorry!
First things first: Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] jalara! And congratulations on the new job!

In other news, to those on my flist still hoping to receive some kind of intelligent reply to their comments or e-mails, I'm afraid you'll have to wait another day or two -- sorry! As I'd feared, my throat was so painful last night that I really didn't get much sleep, and today I won't even be making it out to church (I had to ask my mother to call another pianist on my behalf, as my voice is now nonexistent), so I think that today my few functioning brain cells will have to be devoted to keeping an eye out on my (much healthier) offspring.

Thanks for your patience.

*waves*

Apr. 22nd, 2005 02:34 pm
rj_anderson: (Dalek Exterminate)
I'm off for the weekend to a women's conference, won't be back until Sunday night, and if anyone spoils me for this week's Doctor Who before I've had the chance to watch it, I shall be Very Put Out, so do keep that in mind, won't you?

Which reminds me, I haven't reviewed the last two weeks. Uh... "The Unquiet Dead" was not nearly as bad as I'd feared, and actually had quite a few charming features, but definitely creepy as all-get-out. Oh, and I totally called spoiler )

"Aliens of London" I didn't like so much, although there were some great bits in it. And now I really have to go RIGHT NOW, so -- have a good weekend, all!
Happy birthday to me, and all that, she said in Eeyore-like tones of utter despondency.

Tonight I let the kids play games on the computer for half an hour or so, and one of them shut the computer off mid-game by poking it randomly with his toe. I scolded him and turned the computer back on, only to have the other kid cancel Scandisk on me halfway through the scan. Then I saw the oh-so-comforting message on the screen:

Windows Protection Fault
You will need to reboot your computer.

Press any key to continue...


Needless to say, pressing any key did not continue; it never does. So I rebooted again, and this time the computer would only start in Safe Mode. I ran through various troubleshooting scenarios, all of which yielded nothing. Finally I resigned myself to reinstalling Windows from the CD, only to discover that the CD drive is inaccessible.

All together, now: Arrrrrrggggggh.

So, needless to say, I am not spending the evening as I had hoped, watching The Amazing Race with my husband and then settling in for a productive couple of hours of editing. I have been forced to squander it on a fruitless attempt to fix my computer, and now here I am downstairs on my parents' machine typing this message to let you all know that it may, once more, be a couple of days before you hear from me again.

Like I said, hooray and happy birthday to me. *gloom*
So I popped off all the keys and cleaned my keyboard thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, and then I gave it a few hours to dry. Tonight I decided to test it out by typing "the quick brown fox".

The result looked like this:

wx

No, I'm not kidding. It's really that bad. *weeps*

Right now I am typing on a cruddy old keyboard borrowed from my parents, but it also happens to be the only keyboard they have for their computer so I may have to return it at any moment. Meanwhile my beautiful Microsoft Natural Keyboard lies face-down over the register, in a last vain hope that all it needs is just a little... more... drying. I don't hold out much hope, though.

Anyway, all of that is to say, if I'm not around quite as much as usual the next couple of days, you'll know why.
In the middle of an unusually busy and demanding week, my hard drive has decided to develop multiple bad sectors and generally refuse to behave in a most obnoxious manner. If you don't see me for a couple of days, that would be why.

Sigh.
Merry Christmas to me,
I have Windows XP,
My brother, 'twas he
Who installed it for me,
Ho ho ho hee hee hee,
Merry Christmas to me!

I would have something serious and thoughtful to say, but I have company and I have neglected them shamefully, plus I must prepare for our big Christmas dinner tomorrow, so... happy holidays to you all!

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