Considering that I started my first blog in 2002 you would think I would be a little more assiduous about maintaining it, but frankly these days I haven't the energy for much beyond Twitter. Plus, I have been so busy beating my head against the first draft of Quicksilver and all the associated research (which will NEVER END, I swear) that I have neglected even to report on my weekend at the Nebulas. But really, does anyone care about all that? Except for possibly wanting to hear how I (along with four other authors) ended up serenading Neil Gaiman in an elevator?

(Before we got on the elevator, however, I should mention that he also serenaded us with a rendition of Derek & Clive's "Jump", which is pretty much the sort of song one would expect Neil Gaiman to perform on short notice. He has quite a nice singing voice and can even keep a tune unaccompanied; clearly his wife has trained him well.)

(And before that he told us a few bits of trivia about his Bradbury-nominated [and later winning] script for "The Doctor's Wife", such as that it was called "Bigger On The Inside" until practically the last moment, and then Steven Moffat decided to change the title on the grounds that it was too spoilery. To which Neil objected, saying that he could think of any number of other story ideas that could be called "The Doctor's Wife", but Moffat said patiently, "Yes, but in the case of your story it's actually true.")

(All this happened late on the Saturday afternoon before the Nebula banquet, because Ellen Kushner, Diana Peterfreund, Franny Billingsley and E. Lily Yu had decided to sing folk ballads in an out-of-the-way corner, and invited me to come and sing along. Neil came looking for Ellen because she's an old friend, and the best bit was sitting across from Diana and Lily when they realized what was going on and watching their jaws simultaneously drop.)

(And that's about the whole story I think, except that the song we sang to Neil in the elevator was "Greensleeves", in four-part harmony, which dwindled to three-part and two-part harmony as we got off at the various floors, and Neil later described it as the best lift ride he'd ever had, which I have to agree with because it was tremendous fun and would have been even without him, but it's always nicest to have an audience.)

(Also, you should read E. Lily Yu's Nebula-nominated short story "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" because it is really clever and she is a lovely person, whom I hope I shall meet again some day. Ditto on Ellen, Diana, and Franny, of course, and also on Delia Sherman, whose Freedom Maze is utterly wonderful and thoroughly deserved to win the Norton, so I am thrilled for her and not even sorry I didn't win.)

(And I also met Genevieve Valentine who is delightful, and then I bought her Nebula-nominated novel Mechanique to read on the plane ride home, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.)

ANYWAY, after that truly epic series of parentheses, the actual point of this post was to mention to any of my readers in the Toronto region that I will be signing the Canadian paperback release of Arrow this Saturday at Chapters Brampton along with Megan Crewe (The Way We Fall) and Leah Bobet (Above), and we will even get to speak and answer questions for a few minutes first, which makes it more of a Proper Event than any bookstore event I've done yet. So I am quite excited about that, and if you should happen to be in the Brampton area around 2 p.m., please stop in and say hello!

(And now I must go and put dinner in the oven, and then I shall collapse.)


Dec. 6th, 2006 04:25 pm
rj_anderson: (Saffron Cake)
My Inner Editor and I have come to a truce. Fixing Chapter Four turned out to be positively simple after a good night's sleep ("Weeping endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning," and all that). Then when I re-read Chapter Eight, which two months ago was the Worst Chapter Ever, and discovered that it was actually rather good in parts, I felt much better overall. I still have a few technical glitches to fix, and I'm still dealing ruthlessly with redundant and overused phrases wherever I find them, but I no longer feel as though I am up to my armpits in a cistern of my own authorial suckitude.

I went to the doctor this week about a strange visual/neurological symptom I've been experiencing every six weeks or so, with a blurred halo around my vision and wavy/jagged lines on the right side. Turns out that I am having migraine auras without the headache part. Funky! Now I can stop worrying and enjoy the ride, since it's probably the closest I'll ever get to synaesthesia.

I have a lovely fat slab of saffron cake, fresh from my mother's oven, and a steaming cup of Earl Grey. All's right with the world.
1. Yes, I am alive. I CANNOT WRITE COHERENT PROSE AND I WANT TO DIE, but I am alive.

2. I had a fabulous time at the SCBWI-MI Fall Conference last weekend. Nice drive, gorgeous grounds, enjoyable (and practical!) speakers, delicious food, helpful critiques, and I finally got to meet Cheryl Klein. We geeked out over HP and yammered at each other so long that the conference staff started to worry that I was holding poor Ms. Klein hostage while I regaled her with the entire plot of my novel, or something equally horrific. Fortunately another staffer who actually knew the score set the story straight before they felt obliged to march over and remove me bodily from the con suite.

Also, my 3-minute reading from Knife was a big hit at the Open Mic night. People kept asking me about it all weekend and saying they'd love to read more. Yay! (I read the pond scene, for those who know what I'm talking about.) I also got to talk to a lovely agent-type person who responded to my post-conference query within twelve hours and told me to send her the full ms. when I'm done the revisions. Which would be really nice EXCEPT I CANNOT REVISE FOR TOFFEE.

3. Oh, Heroes, I think I love you. I love your hokey dialogue and your breathy, earnest voiceovers and your improbably pretty cast (except for Greg Grunberg, who is neither pretty nor improbable, bless him). Oh, and your brain-eating** cliffhangers, too.

4. Also, I have seen the Lost premiere and FISH BISCUITS ARE LOVE. Even if the bears are smarter. (Sometimes it doesn't take much, admittedly.)


* For [ profile] lizbee and [ profile] cesario, a brief sample of our conversation:

CHERYL: So how's RUSS-L been doing?
ME: *mirthless, hysteria-tinged laughter*

** This may or may not be a pun.
I'm still around, really... just having a remarkably busy week. I keep meaning to sit down with the printed manuscript of Knife and read through it scribbling notes on every chapter for the rewrite, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm thinking about it all the time, though, and occasionally jumping out of bed at 11:30 p.m. to jot down ideas that I'm afraid of forgetting otherwise. I've had at least one thought of this sort that made me very happy, as it resolved an issue that has bugged me about the story ever since I first wrote it in 1993.

Funny, though. I thought that taking a fannish hiatus would give me more time to work on other things, but it really hasn't -- not much, anyway. I used to grab a few minutes to read forums and such whenever the baby wasn't actually screaming the house down, snacking on guinea pig poo (don't ask) or otherwise obviously needy of my complete attention, but I became guiltily convinced that those bits and pieces of browsing time were adding up to hours over the course of the day. Which was, no doubt, the case, and it's not a bad thing that I'm now using that time in different ways: but the problem is, I can't edit my novel, or study the Bible, or spend quality time with friends and family, in random five-minute installments. So anything meaningful I want to do still has to be crammed into the times when Paul is napping, or after all the kids are in bed at night.

Mind you, I've discovered one unexpected gold mine of productivity: seems that five or ten minutes here and there is not a bad way to work on web pages. And [ profile] lizbee was so kind as to provide me with a subdomain after I lost access to my previous web host. So for the first time since *cough*, I've completely redesigned my personal web site with new content and a catalogue of all my online fics (or at least the ones I'm prepared to admit to writing, anyway). I even bit the bullet and polished up my Mary Russell page. Now I just have to figure out what to tackle next...
Using the updater more as a prompt than a substitute... though by rights this ought to be in the blog and not an LJ entry, but whatever.

I got out of bed a little later than usual because the kids let me sleep in for a change, but the two-year-old woke me twice during the night just so I could give him a drink of water and cover him up again. Gnarr.

I feel strange because the antibiotics I'm taking give me a horrible taste in my mouth. And I do mean horrible. I mean, as in, bad enough to wake me up in the middle of the night just to say "blech".

I'm so tragically inert. I can't seem to get anything even remotely creative done these days.

Last night I had to wash the kitchen floor, sweep the hallway, and do two loads of laundry. Hm, I wonder why I wasn't feeling very creative?

I am terribly pleased with myself for having Zoned my favorite sweet-and-sour meatballs recipe, just by swapping fructose for the brown sugar and cutting back a bit on the pasta. And hubby couldn't tell the difference! Yay!

Today, I got a digital camera! Yes! (*sigh* I wish.)

I want to say thanks to my friendslist for helping me procrastinate relax.

That's enough for now. But I'll leave you with this thought - sharing your life with strangers on the internet is the cheapest form of therapy available. Unless you get fandom_wanked for it.

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