Through no fault of her own, my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] bnharrison, author of the as-yet-unsold but thoroughly brilliant YA novel FIND ME HERE (which some may remember me raving about on Twitter) has just found herself without a place to live for the time being.

With her characteristic wry humour, [livejournal.com profile] bnharrison is trying to make the best of the situation, remarking that it's one way of "expanding my understanding of the human experience, which is never to be sniffed at, if you’re an author." She is continuing to look for work in her field (which is working with autistic children) or any other opportunity that may come her way, and she's determined to stick it out in her current location because it really is where she feels she belongs. However, I'm sure you can imagine how scary and overwhelming it is to be without any place to live, even temporarily.

It's not in [livejournal.com profile] bnharrison's nature to take without giving, so she is offering to make thank-you dolls for anyone who cares to make a donation toward her living fund, as you can see in her public post here. If you haven't seen the delightful dolls that she's made for me in the past, here are some examples:

Click for cuteness! )

You get the idea. She's a talented lady.

So if you know [livejournal.com profile] bnharrison, or even if you don't, please consider dropping by her journal entry and showing her a little support.

ETA: Crisis averted: [livejournal.com profile] bnharrison is moving into an apartment this weekend. Thanks to all who helped out!
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What exactly does that mean, anyway? The "returns" thing? Never quite got that. But in any case, I would like to wish a large sparkly "Happy Birthday" to three of my favorite people:

[livejournal.com profile] shoebox2, whose snarky wit is paired with generous good nature, and who also possesses a remarkably shrewd critical eye;

[livejournal.com profile] lizbee, a dear and loyal friend and savvy bookseller/librarian type-person whose online companionship and encouragement I value more than I can say, and whom I long to meet in person sometime (accursed Antipodes!); and

[livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63, a terrific author, a delightful personality, and a fervent lover of pugs -- which is how she came to have a cameo (albeit in dog form) in Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter a.k.a. Knife. She has helped me untangle many a snarled plot premise (including that of Wayfarer when I was hammering together the original outline), so I am greatly indebted to her.

I wish all three of you a wonderful day full of happiness and the company of good friends!

sparkle - http://www.sparklee.com

mst3cake
Originally uploaded by rj-anderson
Well, not really a vacation. I took a shuttle to Detroit and flew from there to Houston on Friday morning, and then reversed the process to come home late Sunday night. But it was well worth the trip, because I went for the wedding of [livejournal.com profile] lydaclunas, one of my oldest online friends, and while there I had a wonderful chance to visit with [livejournal.com profile] callyperry, [livejournal.com profile] wahlee_98, [livejournal.com profile] risti and @melanie_seibert as well.

Rather than give you a detailed recap, I shall simply list for you some of the brand-new experiences I gained from this weekend:

Details, which include harrowing escapes, book reviews, and culinary and cultural adventures )

And now I am home again!

Pesach Wishes

Apr. 8th, 2009 08:48 pm
rj_anderson: (Bible - Isaiah Redeemed)
Chag sameach to all my Jewish friends!
I've been thinking lately of how nice it is to have so many loyal readers (some of whom have been here since this journal started in 2003!) who have not only stuck with me as I hopped from fandom to fandom, but even bore with me patiently as I turned into one of those Crazy Author Types who hardly ever talks about anything but writing (and worse, her own writing).

Some of you make yourself known by commenting regularly; others only chip in now and then; and some of you just quietly lurk in the background. But I just want to say to all of you -- thanks.

And speaking of readers, this week I received a very special piece of fan mail:

Dear R J Anderson

Me and my Mum are loving reading Knife together. I want to be a story teller when I'm older.


Megan as Knife
Originally uploaded by rj-anderson
I like your book much better than the books they make for children, Knife has attitude!

I dressed up as her for schools book day and told my whole class about what the story was about. I said that fairy stories didn't need to be all girlie.Mum put talc in my hair to make it white.I could send you a photo.

Thank you for writing such an interesting story that both me and my mum love

Megan Kerridge (8 1/2)
Warrington England


Well, of course I wanted to see the picture! And now, with her Mum and Dad's permission, I'm posting it here in my blog.

This really is the kind of thing that makes an author's day -- no, really, week. So thank you, Megan (and your Mum and Dad too!).
Glitter Graphics

to [livejournal.com profile] cesario!

*ducks and runs*
In reference to the "Senior Picture Meme" that's been going around -- would you believe I don't have a senior picture? But it's the truth. I have pictures of myself at that age, but no school pictures, and definitely no graduation picture.

It's funny -- I was extremely anxious to get good marks and maintain a high average all through high school, but when it came to my actual graduation, my English teacher had to bully me into going at the last minute. And even at that, I opted out of wearing a cap and gown (a decision I did not in the least regret, especially when I looked around the school auditorium and saw a hundred of my fellow students sweating it out in their robes).

Anyway, I will have to scrounge around in my photo album and see if I can find any amusing pictures circa 1987. But not today.

***

In other news, I met [livejournal.com profile] risti for the first time today. We've known each other since 2003 or so, having met way back in HP fandom. But this was the first time we'd had the chance to get together, since she lives about a thousand miles away. Anyway, it was a nice experience -- we chatted about books and fandom and our respective experiences in church and Bible college, and browsed around a couple of bookshops, and drove all over creation because I kept getting turned around, and had a nice lunch in a restaurant overlooking Lake Ontario. Hope the rest of your visit goes well, [livejournal.com profile] risti!
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Jet Lag Day

Sep. 4th, 2008 09:53 am
rj_anderson: (Top Gear - Speed of Henry VIII)
I am home from the UK now but absolutely delirious off my rocker, despite having gone to bed at 9:30 p.m. (EST) last night and slept until 6:30 (EST) this morning. My body still seems to think that I was up until 2:30 a.m. last night and slept in until 11:30, and it DOES NOT WANT.

So I am taking today off, mostly. I have to get some Emergency Groceries to tide us over until next week, and I have Youngest Son to look after (and speaking of whom, the welcome I got from him last night after 10 days away was spectacular, I have to tell you, he lit up like a three-year-old roman candle and squealed "Mommmyyyyy!!!" as he flung himself around my ankles). But other than that, I am going to spend the rest of the day doing approximately nothing.

Also, my f-list exhausts me. I love you all, but I am currently at Skip=100 and have yet to get back as far as the end of August. So I will beg you all to indulge me, and say that if over the last ten days you have posted anything of Great Importance, Tremenjus Hilarity, Deep Philosophical Import, or to which a comment from me is Urgently Required, would you please put a link in the comments here? Thank you.

*collapses*
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Which being translated from the original Owl is, fond Happy Birthday wishes to the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] lydaclunas!

Got two fantastic packages in the mail today, just in time for Christmas.

First, a lovely calendar from [livejournal.com profile] avarill full of wild animal photographs, which my kids were very impressed by -- all the more so when I told them "Aunt Sylvia" took the photos herself!

Second, a ginormous box from [livejournal.com profile] cesario, which was full of FANTABULOUS BOOTY including at least three kinds of homemade fudge (NOM NOM NOM), a copy of Writing Down the Bones, a canister of fancy tea (Ginger Peach, YUM), her old CD player (since she overheard me lamenting that mine had died) and -- AND AND AND --

Cut so I don't EXPLODE all over your Friends Page with the sheer unadulterated squee of it -- oh, and because there are pics, too )

Seriously, I am overwhelmed. Thank you SO much, both of you!
Despite various efforts to control my internet addiction, I recently found that I was still struggling with self-discipline when it came to Getting Stuff Done. The Time Map I did a few months back was a little too vague to be useful, so this past Sunday night I drew myself up a new Daily Schedule, starting when I get up at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 10:30 p.m. when I go to bed.

Most of the items on the Monday-Friday chart are the same every day -- prayer and study, getting the kids off to school, meal prep, family time and so on -- but I also divided up my household chores and assigned myself two tasks a day, the morning one intensive (groceries, bathrooms, vacuuming) and the afternoon one lighter (laundry, garbage/recycling, organization). I made sure to block off 2-3 hours for writing and/or editing each day, as I've been doing for several weeks now, but on this schedule I also set apart three distinct 20-minute blocks for checking e-mail and LJ. That way I know that I do have time to maintain an online presence, but I (hopefully) won't be so tempted to fritter away spare moments clicking around the web when I could be doing something more worthwhile.

After two days, I'm already feeling more relaxed and contented. Instead of struggling to keep track of all the things I have to do and worrying I won't have time to do them all, I just have to look at the schedule to see my responsibilities for the day. It makes everything seem so much more manageable and less daunting. I realize that I really do have enough time, not just for the things I have to do but even for the things I enjoy -- if only I manage my days responsibly instead of just letting them happen. Sure, things are bound to come up that throw off my schedule, but because I do have a schedule then I know exactly what I'm missing, and what things I need to do to catch up.

My plan is to follow the schedule consistently, making adjustments and refinements as needed, for the next three weeks -- I'm told it takes 21 days to form a new habit, which sounds about right to me. I'll let you all know how that goes.

And before I shame myself by forgetting again, a very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] halseanderson, who is not only a superb author and an inspiring speaker, but knits beautifully and cans a mean tomato. Oh, and runs marathons, too, thereby making the rest of us look like sorry American Idol-watching slackers. Seriously, it's a good thing she's such a lovely person or we might be forced to take drastic measures.
For the past nine days I've been enjoying a visit from the always-delightful [livejournal.com profile] avarill, who has stayed in my home on several occasions now, and yet for some strange reason is still willing to fly here all the way from Californ-eye-eh to experience the mayhem again. This time she even made us pulled pork, which was far above and beyond the call of visitor duty.

We also did some geocaching in nearby Mennonite country (and found three more caches on the trails behind my home), spent a day meandering around the Toronto Zoo, and watched all my favorite episodes of S3 Doctor Who, after which [livejournal.com profile] avarill heartily agreed that Martha Jones is Teh Awesome. (I think I may also have converted her to Heroes, but time will tell. I definitely made a Chad Vader fan out of her, though.)

I did not get any writing done, but I'd already decided that I would be much better to just take the week off and let my ideas compost a bit. I didn't expect the composting to yield three new ideas for an entirely different book than the one I'm working on, but they were ideas for Knife and I'll be revising that soon in any case, so that was all right.

And speaking of Knife, I got my contract from HarperCollins this week! [livejournal.com profile] avarill took pictures as I signed it -- they're on her camera and she's on a plane at the moment, but I'm looking forward to having a record of the big event. The funny thing is, even though I dutifully read through all sixteen pages to make sure I knew what I was signing, it didn't really hit me until I got to the third-last page and saw that they'd assigned me an ISBN number.

My book. Has an ISBN.

I know it's hardly a rare and precious thing. But the sight of that number just made the whole book-getting-published thing seem suddenly real in a way it hadn't before. In fact, I may even have squeed when I saw it. Just a little.

Anyway, contracts are signed and back in the mail. And next week I shall start in again on Touching Indigo and see how much progress I can make before my revisions on Knife arrive...
If you haven't visited [livejournal.com profile] cesario's [livejournal.com profile] doll_shop lately (or ever), you really should. She's just come up with yet another new design, and it is painfully adorable.

Go! Browse! Buy! The Trash Heap has spoken! Nyah!

There was something else I wanted to post about, but I've forgotten it now. Later, perhaps.
--
* No, it should not be "than I". Really.
Wow! I am overwhelmed by the responses to my previous post. My LJ friends certainly are suckers for punishment generous souls!

What I've done is made a short list of the folks whose input I think would be most helpful at this particular point, and I'm going to post the first three chapters of Indigo to a private filter and let them have at it. However, if you did not end up on the list this time around, you are by no means out of the running -- there will still be opportunity for you to volunteer again when I've got more chapters (or even the whole book) done, if you'd like.

Thanks so much to all of you who offered to help me out, and even more thanks in advance to my new crack beta-reading team!
Gacked from the ever-wonderful [livejournal.com profile] fuseno8, whose links bring all the authors to her yard -- a v. interesting article about the difficulty of translating HP into Hindi. [livejournal.com profile] becominghuman, I thought of you:

Should You Address Prof. Snape with Respect?

And in other HP news, I am driving into Toronto today to have supper with [livejournal.com profile] melissaanelli! I haven't seen her in person since October 2002, which is far too long, and our e-mails to each other in the last couple of years have consisted mostly of MAJOR NEWS followed by thoughtful comments like "ajhdkjlhsdkjldfsklsdkd;". But then, she's one seriously busy lady these days, for some odd reason.

More later.
Anonymous commenting is back on, since I'm no longer worried about HP spoilers. Thanks to my non-LJ friends for their patience.
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Hey, [livejournal.com profile] seemag, you know that postcard you wrote to me when you were in Prague on 10/31/06?

It arrived yesterday. Hee!
Erm, or something like that.

The point is, [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63 is having a birthday today, and she is a splendid person and an amazing writer, as well as an insightful critic whose advice has helped me enormously. I wish her a year full of health, success, snoring pugs, and all the other fine things in life. I also bring a gift, in the form of a link to the best crossover vid I've ever seen, featuring one of her favorite characters and one of mine:


(With a link for anybody who has trouble with the embedding: By the Way)

And while I'm linking to Di's vids, I should mention that she's also made a heartbreaking Remus Lupin piece, including some non-HP footage which works beautifully in the context; and on the happier side of the equation she's responsible for one of my favorite House videos ever, Get The Cool.

But back to the main point: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63! And I use my Jack Bristow icon in your honor.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAREST [livejournal.com profile] lizbee
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!

(Well, it is in Australia, anyway.)

May you have a lovely upcoming year, with lots of good things coming your way, including wonderful fic ideas, lots of thoughtful and encouraging feedback, and general podiatric health.

*blows kisses*

Wow.

May. 16th, 2007 12:28 pm
rj_anderson: (Books - Writing)
I've been overwhelmed by all the congratulations, well-wishes, and general enthusiasm expressed in the comments to my last post. Thanks so much, all of you.

And as if that weren't enough to fill my cup of gratitude to the brim, my longtime net.friend and sometime beta reader/technical consultant, the talented and witty astrophysicist Doug McNeil, has just made me cry. Thank you, Doug. You are a gentleman and a scholar, and if I should get any of the SF-nal stuff in Touching Indigo embarrassingly wrong, it will not be your fault.

Speaking of SF, I am reading [livejournal.com profile] johncwright's Orphans of Chaos and it is making my brain come out the top of my head. I haven't even finished the first book and I want the second one already -- many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] carbonelle for the rec.

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