Sunday, May 31, 2009

...

I can't think of a title tonight, but I'm not going to let it stop me. Stupidly, titles are one of the biggest reasons why I don't blog regularly on zee romance blog; using song lyrics for all titles on this blog prevents me from having to come up with a real, relevant title for every single post. But song titles won't work for the romance blog, and there are days when the idea of coming up with a title is just too much for my poor tired brain.

Much of today was rather meh; I answered email for my day job, made some chicken quesadillas (a bright spot, I must admit), did three loads of laundry, and took care of some other tings. I was in a bit of a funk, and I think it's because of the whole "Yay, I have an agent -- but there's so much farther to go before I become a wildly successful novelist" thing that I was struggling with yesterday.

The struggle continues, but luckily I recognized that brooding over this was not doing me any favors. So, I went to Coffee Bar and hung out with Katrina and Adit (and Omar, although he's a v. new addition to my crowd; he was at the wine bar that we went to last weekend, but whether he will become the first new friend I've made since Katrina a year and a half ago remains to be seen). Katrina and I arrived accidentally at exactly the same time and there wasn't room at Adit and Omar's table, so we sat by ourselves and caught up over a bag of fresh cherries that she had brought with her. It was all quite hysterical, and a welcome break from my brooding; I didn't even get my laptop out, and an hour with them was enough to put me in much better spirits.

Afterwards, I came home, talked to my parents, sent an email to my agent (I just love being able to say "my agent") about the edits I want to make before we start submitting to publishers, and started playing around with WordPress. At this point, though, I really must go to sleep; this week promises to be brutal. My boss and some other people are in town this week, which means I have dinner plans virtually every night, and I also have 7 or 7:30am meetings Tuesday-Friday. Ugh. But I leave for the glorious greenery of southern Iowa on Friday night! Here's hoping that I make it on the plane with everything necessary to enjoy myself (dresses, makeup, nail polish, the Kindle 2 that will arrive on Tuesday, and two laptops should cover it). Goodnight!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

boys like you love me forever

I had a v. productive day; it was a struggle to keep myself from just relaxing, but I'll be in Iowa for a week, and I can relax when I get there. Instead, I cleaned the bathroom, changed my sheets, vacuumed, took out my recycling, unpacked from my trip, put the new registration tags on my car, reconciled my finances, and cancelled my Netflix (which I should have done ages ago -- I watch a movie every two or three months, which means it would be cheaper to just buy a movie when I want to watch it). I also spent an inordinate amount of time looking at Wordpress templates. I'm contemplating paying someone to build me a website for my romance novels, since my time would be better spent writing another book instead of building a site. But, Wordpress might actually meet my needs, and buying a premium template would be way cheaper than paying someone to create a site for me. We shall see; the website is really the least of my concerns, but it's one of the many things on my list of things to accomplish in the next couple of months.

After I felt sufficiently accomplished for the day, I went over to Cafe Zitouna and picked up a chicken schwarma wrap and a mint tea, which made for a delicious dinner. Then, I read a book that I recently ordered -- HER LADYSHIP'S COMPANION. It's by an author who is represented by one of the agents whom I was considering, and it's clear to me now why that agent thought that my book needed more sex; this book had sex in virtually every other scene, which I suppose is to be expected since the premise is that a woman trapped in a loveless marriage hired a man to be her "companion" for a couple of weeks. The writing was good, but my style is definitely lighter on the quantity of sex, so perhaps it's a good thing that I chose a different agent...

...which reminds me. I've officially signed with an agent!!! I decided to go with the agent who contacted me last week to offer representation; she's absolutely fabulous from a sales standpoint, but even more importantly, she's very enthusiastic about my work and we clicked immediately on the phone. I mailed the contracts to her last night, and we're talking next week to discuss the next steps in terms of submissions to publishers in more detail. It's very strange to find myself with representation; I was looking at my calendar, and it was less than a month ago that I finished my edits and started sending out queries again. So far, everything has happened remarkably fast; let's hope that they don't come to a screeching halt. And that means that I can retire my "the agent hunt" label after this post, unless I find myself in need of representation again in the future.

The only other thing of note that happened today was that I had a moment at the ATM when I wondered whether I was being tested fairy-tale-style -- there was an old woman who looked quite ill leaning over a bike rack, occasionally using her cane to tap out in front of her to find the curb. I had a moment of wondering whether it would be rude to ask her if she was okay, but then remembered all the fairy tales; good always comes to those who help the old crones, and woe betide those who ignore or mock them. So I asked if she was alright; either she wasn't part of a fairy tale, or I didn't ask the right question, because she claimed she was totally fine. So I walked away, but I looked back half a block later and discovered that she had disappeared in true fairy-tale fashion. No mystery there -- she had gotten on the bus. But it was an odd moment nonetheless, and an indication of how easily my imagination runs amok.

Okay, no more blogging tonight; it's time for bed!

Friday, May 29, 2009

acclimatize but don't you lose the plot

For some reason, I have a serious stomachache -- it's ached off and on all day, which is not a good sign. As a result, you almost didn't get a post tonight, but it's been weeks and weeks since the last time I missed a night, so I decided to suck it up and keep my streak intact.

Other than the stomachache, today was nice. In my continued push to up my game, I dressed up, wearing a cute dress (#5 in the pictures below -- the pinstriped one) and silver heels. Dressing up really does make everything seem better, even when nothing else is going right. My meetings were all fine, and I snuck away in the middle of the day to have lunch with John, Katrina, and Govind. We ate in the cafe in the building that my team occupied a lifetime ago, which induced a strange spurt of nostalgia. We also discussed sex within the context of my romance novel, which is a v. popular topic these days; hopefully I'll sell the damn thing so that people can read the scenes and be done with it.

Even though it's not quite ten p.m., I'm going to read the latest edition of the Romance Writers of America magazine and go to bed. I meant to go to Stanford's Green Library tonight and research marriage and betrothal contracts in France and England, since Madeleine and Ferguson's story hinges on knowledge of the Regency-era legal system, but I couldn't summon the energy necessary to navigate the stacks. So sleeping tonight is key -- I need to do a lot of stuff around the apartment to make it more livable, I need to do laundry, and I need to take another look at Amelia and Malcolm's story while simultaneously continuing to plot/write Ferguson and Madeleine's. And a week from now, I'll be on my way to Iowa! Yay!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

what i had to do, had to run from you

This isn't even a four-minute post. I just walked in the door after my trip to Ann Arbor about twenty minutes ago, and I'm desperately in need of sleep. Sadly, I have meetings tomorrow straight from 9am to 4:30pm, which is devastating. Then again, I suppose it's not devastating that I'm employed, but my job definitely has its drawbacks, and I'm living through one of them right now.

That's really all I have to share. My last day in Ann Arbor was nice enough, and I read a fabulous romance novel on the plane; it's been months since I've read a historical romance, but I read Elizabeth Boyle's HIS MISTRESS BY MORNING, and I adored it. Perhaps I'll review it on zee romance blog in a couple of days, but right now, I really absolutely must go to bed. Here's hoping I'll be more coherent tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

don't trust a ho, never trust a ho

I slept for almost eleven hours last night, which was just long enough to help me recover my energy in anticipation of another crazy day at work. I had meetings straight through from 10am to 6:15pm; I managed to grab lunch, but due to some poor decision making, it was ultimately unsatisfying (half a baked potato and a piece of deli-sliced turkey, strange combo). However, I did get to see a brief thunderstorm this afternoon -- one of the things I miss about the Midwest is the extreme weather, so it was lovely to watch the lightning and thunder while having coffee with someone in the safety of the office cafe.

After I left the office, I was lightheaded with hunger and adrenaline, so I decided to check out an Ann Arbor institution -- Zingerman's deli. I went all out, eating a barbecue beef brisket sandwich with small sides of baked beans and macaroni and cheese. The baked beans weren't my mother's baked beans, of course, but since they were a different style (smoky Southern-style bbq baked beans), they were delicious in a completely different way. The mac and cheese was only so-so, but the brisket was awesome. I'll definitely go back the next time I'm in Ann Arbor -- not only are the sandwiches great, but I could spend more time browsing their specialty food sections.

I came back to the hotel, did some email, and accidentally fell asleep in the chair while looking out the window over Ann Arbor. So, I think it's time for bed; I need to get up early tomorrow to wrap some stuff up before work, since I again have meetings straight through from 9am until I leave for the airport a little after 4pm. It's been a whirlwind trip, but it's been good too, and I'm v. excited for another week in the Midwest for Aunt Becky's somber, all-black-attire wedding :) Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

your body's like a narcotic

I'm super super exhausted. I managed to sleep almost the entire way from San Francisco to Detroit; with my hot-pink earplugs, my eyemask, and my matching neck pillow, I'm sure I looked frightful, but it succeeded in blocking out the world well enough that I could sleep effectively. It was still much too little sleep for my grown-up, responsible life; a sedan picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at the Ann Arbor office at 6:45am, which was ridiculously early. Worse, while my badge works on the interior doors, it doesn't work on the exterior ones, which means I couldn't get into the building. So, I dragged my bag around the corner to Starbucks, where I spent 25 minutes in the bathroom feeling like a vagrant while I changed clothes, brushed my teeth, put in my contacts, did my makeup, etc.

However, it was quite possibly the nicest Starbucks I've ever been in, and so I spent a relaxing hour and a half lounging in an overstuffed chair and catching up on work emails. I made it to the office by nine, where I was able to actually get in, and proceeded to slog the day away. After work, I have a fabulous dinner with Dave and Bethany; Dave is my boss and Bethany is out on maternity leave, but the three of us used to work pretty closely together, and so it was great to see them (and to eat some baby back ribs).

The other excitement of the day was that I talked to the agents who are interested in representing my work. I won't say anything specific here in case they stumble across this, but I will say that it's going to be an incredibly hard decision; I would be psyched regardless of whom I choose, and so I think it's going to come down to a sense of fate. But while I'm moaning about the difficulty of my choice, I recognize how incredibly lucky I am to have some extremely savvy and talented agents eager to represent my work.

The only downside is that while I was on the phone with one of them, I realized that the whole process up until now (writing the book, rewriting the book, writing query letters, researching agents, sending out material, etc.) was like a mountain that reached its peak at the moment that I was offered representation. But now that I've reached the peak, and am very close to attaining my goal of great representation, I can finally see the next mountain in the range -- and it's much bigger, deadlier, and harder to scale. Because now that I may have an agent, the next step is publication -- and it's filled with a completely different set of terrors.

No more dwelling tonight, though; I desperately need to sleep, since I owe the agents a decision by Friday and need my mind clear to consider it. Goodnight!

Monday, May 25, 2009

you want a piece of me

I'm sitting in the San Francisco airport, waiting for my flight to Detroit. I had a lovely first half of the day - I woke up around 7:30 (to a request for a full manuscript from an agent who wasn't even part of the ongoing agent madness -- when it rains it pours), and accomplished some stuff around the house. Oniel came over around 10:30 and Adit picked us up shortly thereafter for brunch in the south bay with the boys. It was essentially the boys' drawgroup plus me, Timmy Timer, Connie, and Jav's girlfriend, since Adit, Chris, John, Zach, Jav, and Fauxneil were all in attendance. We had a lovely time, and brunch was delicious.

But maybe it was nostalgia overload, or maybe the food wasn't as good as I thought, because I've been vaguely nauseated the rest of the day. Hopefully I'm just nervous about my impending agent talks -- which I actually hope is the case, because I'm going to be seriously perturbed if I get sick on my flight. I'll just have to hope for the best.

Okay, no more iPhone blogging -- I need to take my contacts out and get on my flight. You'll get more content tomorrow as per usual -- in the meantime, vote on a dress for me to wear to Aunt Becky's wedding! Goodnight!

Possible Dresses - Round One

I need to pick out a dress for Aunt Becky's wedding, and since I don't want to bring all of them but can't see what my relatives are wearing, let's put it to a vote!

The first dress is definitely too formal for a summer wedding; it's the dress I plan to wear to the Golden Heart award ceremony in Washington, D.C. I just wanted to show it off :)

I love the teal dress and plan to wear it to a cocktail party at the RWA convention -- I want to wear it to the wedding, but don't want to be too fancy (although I hear my cousin's desire to wear shorts was overruled, so perhaps it would work).

The black dress looks awesome with my new fuchsia heels, but the heels will not feel awesome sinking into the lawn at the Round Barn, so I may have to improvise footwear.

 
 
 
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Possible Dresses - Round Two

Continuing...these are the second-tier dresses that I love, but may not fit in for the family photos. Thoughts?

Dress four: this is a black maxidress that looks super hot, but it may look too hot for a family wedding. Also, it's super maxi -- I need to get it shortened by about five inches, and even then it will skim the ground.

Dress five: super cute with a lot of nice detail around the bodice and subtle pinstripes that don't show well in the photo; but, is it too business?

Dress six: I love this dress, but the pink may be too out-there in the sea of blacks and navies that I've heard my relatives are wearing.

Dress seven: this is another dress whose detail is not showing well in photos, but it would likely look good with my relatives.

Vote!

 
 
 
 
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and the best is no one knows who you are...just another girl alone at the bar

Today was both v. productive and v. fun. Perhaps it could have been more productive and/or more fun, but I liked the balance, and I also like that I'm not so wrecked that I won't be able to function tomorrow.

I spent the day taking care of stuff around the apartment -- mostly a lot of financial tracking, making sure my writing expenses were tracked, filed, and up-to-date, etc. I also took a nap and spent almost an hour and a half on the phone with my parents. I also took care of some agent-related stuff, scheduling calls and thinking about what I want to ask. This means that the only remaining major tasks on my weekend plate are answering my work email and packing for my Ann Arbor trip, which I should be able to take care of tomorrow.

After being productive, I spiffed myself up -- I put on a black dress that I bought yesterday, which is super cute but which I also realized I can't wear to work because, depending on the angle, it may or may not display a scandalous amount of cleavage. Then, I walked a few blocks to Amelie, a wine bar that also serves delicious food, where I met up with Adit, Katrina, Lily and Omar for a night of mild debauchery. Actually, there was no debauchery -- but since I skipped the party that they all went to afterwards, perhaps there was debauchery and I just missed it. My coq au vin was good, albeit kind of cold, but the dessert (a rosemary-flavored creme brulee) was delicious, and we also ordered a cheese platter that was quite yummy. But I was really there for the wine, and it delivered; we split a bottle of Champagne (actually, cava), a bottle of malbec, and a bottle of Spanish rioja, all of which were quite tasty. In order of preference, I loved the rioja, liked the cava, and lived with the malbec, but I could happily drink any of them again.

So the evening was nice; we had some great discussions, and I shared way too much with Katrina, which she hopefully appreciated. I just couldn't get on board with the idea of going out beyond that, since the house party was in a completely different part of the city and I would have then had to make my way home later (and likely much drunker, since I'm sure I would have drank some awful homemade cocktail and thrown myself straight over the edge into drunkenness). Instead, I'm going to bed so that I can get up, get some stuff done, and get on with my day.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! My mother reported that all of our dead relatives were where they were supposed to be when she made the rounds to decorate graves last night, so that's good. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

just dance

I'm exhausted, so this will be v. brief. I had a fabulous day; I spent the morning unwinding over my favorite brunch at Samovar, where I brainstormed some questions to ask my prospective agent while drinking a delicious masala chai and eating quiche and scones. Fueled by my carb overload, I went shopping and bought way too many awesome summer dresses (or, as I prefer to call them, frocks). I've been in a dress mood lately -- it goes back to my whole desire to up my game and improve my image, given that I feel better about myself and somehow more energized when I'm dressed up. So I did my part to stimulate the economy; I'm sure Sephora misses me, since I haven't been there in over a month, but I made the people at MaxStudio very happy.

I spent the afternoon going through paperwork, filing stuff, and taking a nap before getting ready to go to the glorious south bay for dinner with some of my oldest college friends. Adit and I drove down together, and had dinner with Javier, Oniel, Chris, Connie, Zach, and a few other people -- Chris, Connie, and Zach are all in town for a wedding that Jav, Oniel, Adit and I aren't invited to, but it was nice to be able to catch up with them while they're out here. We hung out at the Mexican place from 8-10, then went to this ridiculous bar/greasy food place in Mountain View until midnight. I dropped Adit off at another party on the way home (he warned me that I'm going to have to start drinking more when I move in with him, which my liver is getting geared up for), but I couldn't rally to go to it -- starting my drinking at 1am is never a good idea, and I intend to go out tomorrow night anyway.

So that's the brief strokes; I need to accomplish a lot tomorrow because I don't want to have to do anything on Monday, and my flight for Ann Arbor (or rather, Detroit) leaves Monday night. Goodnight!

Friday, May 22, 2009

won't sign away my life to someone who got the flavor but don't have no follow-through

Thanks to all of you who have wished me well, either in comments on the blog or in emails/calls. I've realized over the course of the past couple of months that I haven't gotten as involved in the online writer communities as some authors have because I have a genuinely supportive group of friends and family -- which, given the absurdity of my dream, is something very special, so thank you!

More progress today -- last night, I emailed the three agents who had parts of my book to let them know I'd received an offer of representation. All three emailed me back this morning to say they were still interested and would read my book this weekend . I'm not going to go into any more detail than that in case any of them stumble across this, but I'm so lucky -- these are some great agents, all of whom were at the top of my list considering that I just started querying, and I would be happy to sign with any of them. At this point, it will come down to who I click best with (and whether any of the others actually formally offer representation, of course).

So, that was all very exciting! The day job was fine; I got there at seven and slogged until five-thirty, and somehow managed to make it home without falling asleep. I talked to my parents, ate some frozen enchiladas, played with Wikipedia, and now I'm going to bed. I would love to be out celebrating, but while the heart is willing, the flesh is oh-so-tired. There's plenty of time for celebrating this weekend, when I'm not considering how to approach my conversations with agents and getting ready to go to Ann Arbor. Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

and after he's been hooked i'll play the one that's on his heart

Today was pretty much the best day ever. It could have been bad; I had meetings straight from 7am-11am, which was not an auspicious start.

But, that all changed around 11:15 -- an agent called to offer representation for my book! And not just any agent -- she's currently #4 in terms of romance novels sold in the past twelve months according to Publishers Marketplace. Even better, I felt like we really clicked on the phone; we chatted for about fifteen minutes, and while we didn't agree to anything other than that we will talk again on Tuesday, this was a v. good start.

Obviously, I was super excited, to the point that I actually squealed when I told John (I was late for lunch with him because I was on the phone with the agent). I'm not a squealer, since I'm usually much too cynical, but it's hard to be cynical when your dreams are coming true. Granted, this is just an offer of representation, not a sale, but she was so excited about my work that I feel good about her belief in my chances.

Anyway, I had lunch with John; he's interning at my company this summer, and it was v. refreshing to hang out with someone who still sees all the wonderful things about the place, since most of my friends are jaded and bitter. We fortuitously ran into Katrina, who ate lunch with us; it was the first time I'd seen her in two weeks, which was much overdue. Then, I had an appointment with my allergist, who instructed me to stop taking my meds and go find a cat to play with -- this will either prove that my allergies are cured, or kill me.

After lunch, I went to Stanford to see Adit's PhD defense. It was really awesome to see him give the presentation that I watched him work on in cafes over the past few weeks; it's always nice to see what your friends have accomplished, and his explanations of his research around 3-d modeling of the interior of the heart were a very interesting contrast to our typical cafe conversations (which usually just involve glaring at each other and occasionally muttering something offensive). I also got to see Zach, Jav, and Peder (aka Timmy Timer); Zach is in town for a wedding, and so I hope to see more of him this weekend. I also saw Priyanka, who flew out for one day only for Adit's defense; since I'm moving in with Adit this summer, I'll see more of her the next time she's out here.

Following Stanford, I went to Palo Alto for a haircut; while I love my long hair, I wanted to get it cleaned up in preparation for family photos at Aunt Bridezilla's wedding. My tinsel is still going strong; even after a head massage, a cut, and a full blowout, there is tinsel in my hair. I tried to convince my stylist to learn how to do it, and she was definitely intrigued, so hopefully she sets up shop.

Now, I really need to go to bed; there was work I should have done tonight, but I'm just too tired, so I have to go to work early to accomplish it. But, I had a really nice realization tonight on the way home from work -- while today was awesome, the agent's call didn't send me into a fit of euphoria, and I think it's because I'm just genuinely happy with my life right now. And I intend to keep these positive thoughts going as long as possible -- but for now, it's time to sleep!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

i wish i could be as cool as you

This is a four-minute post. I should have gone to bed an hour and a half ago when the mood struck me, but at least I'm sort of caught up on emails. The unfortunate thing is that I have a seven a.m. meeting tomorrow that is going to give me a massive headache -- I'm trying to be a "player" and remember that it's my responsibility to compromise and behave well, but it's hard when I really just want to come down hard on something and block it from ever happening. Sigh -- there are times when I think I would have it easier if I hadn't trained myself out of some of my more brutal tendencies. But then I remember that I wouldn't have any friends, and I kind of like having friends (even if I never see them), so I suppose my carefully-cultivated weakness is worth it.

Today was great; I had meetings all day, but I had a ninety-minute break to go out for lunch with my management team. Even though we get free gourmet food, we decided to go to downtown Mountain View and have lunch at Cascal; they have amazing paella, and our other tapas-style things were good, so I'm glad we went. I managed to wrap stuff up by 5:45, then I went to the gym, and then I did some more stuff around the office before coming home. I was greeted by another box from Zappos -- similarly to last time, one pair worked and one pair totally didn't, so there are some returns in my future.

Tomorrow should be great; I'm working in the morning, and then going to Stanford in the afternoon. I can't wait -- but if I'm going to stay awake for it all, it's time for bed!

But finally, I forgot to mention -- yesterday was Uncle Mark's birthday! Happy birthday! And today is Salim's birthday, so hopefully he had a good one too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

you can run if you want but you can't hide

Today was pretty much an exercise in frustration. And the worst thing is that it's myself I'm frustrated at -- all of the tasks on my to-do list were so unpalatable that I procrastinated excessively, which means I had to work until now because I wasn't very effective earlier in the day. And, I have one of those weird gut feelings that indicates everything is about to crash around my ears; hopefully I'm wrong, or, if I'm right, it will be like the last time everything crashed -- the layoffs sucked, but were balanced by the Golden Heart finalist announcement. So maybe I'll get an agent and lose my job tomorrow!

I really don't think that will happen, though. And today wasn't really that bad -- I worked out of the city today, so my commute was good (although my car usually doesn't smell like an old man's body odor, so the bus does have its drawbacks). Also, the weekend is shaping up to be tres fun -- Chris, Connie, Zach, and possibly others are in town for a wedding, and John started working at my place of employment as a summer intern, so I've got a sudden explosion of old friends. I leave for Ann Arbor Monday night, but the weekend promises to be a good time.

Okay, I must go to bed; an eight a.m. tomorrow and seven a.m.'s Thursday and Friday are bound to make me unhappy. Goodnight!

Monday, May 18, 2009

you've got me wondering why i like it rough

I'm sitting at my desk wearing pajamas and a pair of fuchsia heels. Last Friday, after I got home from Nordstrom, I bought three pairs of shoes via Zappos (love them!), and they upgraded me to free one-day shipping (as usual - they have excellent customer service), so my shoes were waiting for me when I got home. Two pairs worked -- the fuchsia heels and a pair of black patent leather flats. The third pair, a huarache-inspired heeled sandal, didn't work at all; they didn't fit and likely wouldn't have appealed to me in any case. So, since those are going back, I ordered two other pairs instead -- a cute flat sandal and a low-heeled business-y loafer.

I guess you could say that I'm on a kick to upgrade my image. Despite the tinsel in my hair, in general I feel much more confident and portray more of the persona I want to portray when I'm spiffed up (like today, when I rocked a grey dress and silver heels) than on the days when I'm wearing jeans and an old sweatshirt. But my shoe collection trends heavily towards ultra-casual (flipflops and sneakers), so I'm justifying my love of new shoes by buying shoes that I can pair effectively with my more professional look.

Today was actually quite excellent. I gave three performance reviews, all of which went well, and then spent the rest of the day getting shit done. The getting shit done continues tomorrow, when I have to work out of the city and so have cancelled all of my non-critical meetings. I even managed to get caught up to the point that I felt good about going to Cafe Borrone after work, where I ate an overpriced cheese sandwich and wrote ~1200 words of Madelene and Ferguson's story.

The best news, though, was that I got another request from an agent to see the full manuscript of my first book! She seemed quite eager to see more after she had read the first three chapters, so fingers crossed that she likes the rest of it. Time will tell; several agents have either partial or full manuscripts on their desks right now, so I'm either in for some good news or a lot of heartbreak.

Okay, time to admire my fuchsia heels one last time before bed. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

how can you be so heartless

Today was a complete reversion to all my bad old habits; other than two loads of laundry this morning and a conversation with my parents this afternoon, all I did was work on stuff for my day job from 11am until now. Granted, I spent a couple of hours doing work email from a cafe with Adit and a couple of his friends, so I still managed to see people for a bit. But this last week was brutal; I had so many pressing things and so many meetings that my method of triage was to ignore all incoming email (except stuff from my boss and director) for several days, which was really not a good thing in the long run even if it helped my sanity in the short run. So, I spent the afternoon wading through the hundreds of emails sitting there waiting for me (I'm down to 37, although they're the ones that require thought, so I need to get to them soon). Then, I spent the evening writing three performance reviews that I have to deliver tomorrow.

Luckily, because I took today to get more caught up, this week is shaping up to be almost manageable. That's of course dependent on how productive I am in my off-hours at work -- but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to squeeze out a couple of hours to work on Madeleine and Ferguson's story this week. Time will tell, but hope springs eternal.

I had a sudden, overwhelming desire to go back to India about half an hour ago -- I could actually picture myself in the upstairs lounge area of the first apartment I lived in in India, with the cold marble floors and the couches outside of Irish Matt's bedroom. Maybe my memory was triggered because I was working late into the night in an uncomfortably warm environment (it was almost ninety degrees in San Francisco today, which the city does not handle well) -- but whatever triggered it, I'm dreaming of India tonight. Don't worry, I'm not going to run off to another far-flung locale; but for one night, the memories are nice.

i can't keep myself and still keep you too

I wasn't as productive with the writing as I wanted to be today. I spent six hours staring at the laptop, but only produced 2000 words; I should have produced around 4000-5000 words in that time. I blame it on the fact that I'm at a turning point in the novel, and so I did spend some time brainstorming/plotting out a rough outline of what the second half will look like. With the second half sketched out, the writing went a little faster later in the afternoon, but I'm still far from being done with the first draft. I did break the 40,000 word mark, though, so that's a great feeling -- if I could get to 45,000 words by the end of the weekend, I would be halfway through the first draft!

I spent the afternoon writing with Adit at Coffee Bar. I had an amusing realization as he was showing me some computer-generated 3D models of hearts that he was working on for his PhD defense -- he and I are both focused on the human heart, albeit from very different angles, which may be why I find it somewhat conducive to work together in cafes. We did briefly discuss whether I should rename the "city of sin" tag to be "city of feces"; the last two times we've hung out, we've come across large, nearly human-looking piles of feces on the sidewalk. I think I'll stick with the sin over the feces, but he has a point.

After Adit and I parted ways, I went to the gym, then picked up a takeout chicken schwarma sandwich and mint tea from the Moroccan place down the street. After consuming that much deliciousness, I was in no mood to write or do much of anything else, and so I decided to take a break in anticipation of tomorrow's efforts. I picked up Kasuo Ishiguro's AN ARTIST OF THE FLOATING WORLD, which has been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for ages, and ended up reading the slim volume straight through. I probably should have read REMAINS OF THE DAY instead, since it's a bit more relevant to my writing in that it's set in Britain instead of Japan. But, I think I was in the mood for something that was as far away from romance novels as I could get -- and the elegiac first-person narrative of a retired artist in post-war Japan fit the bill.

The book was quite good (and I'm apparently not alone in this feeling, since it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Whitbread), although I'm not sure what I think about it -- and perhaps the definition of a good book is one that lingers, one whose characters you think about long after you've put the book away. The protagonist spends the book reflecting on his past, his faded greatness, and his role in creating the Japan that was destroyed by the war. He's a clear example of what my creative writing teacher this spring calls an "unreliable first-person narrator" -- he remembers things a certain way, but it's never quite clear whether his perception of a conversation, or his memory of a chain of events, is really accurate. I found this to be highly effective, even if it's too subtle for me to use in romance novels. If I ever write literary fiction someday, I think I would play around with unreliable first-person narrators. We're all unreliable narrators of our own existences, embellishing, glossing over, or cutting where necessary to make the remembered thread of our lives better/more exciting/more bearable. What becomes a defining moment for one person may not even be remembered by the other person who was there at the time, and I think that's all totally fascinating.

Anyway, enough about books; it was a v. nice break, and one I need to take more often, but I should really go to bed. I figure I have about ten hours of work for the day job that I should do tomorrow, and I want to try to cram it into six so that I can do some writing too. That won't happen unless I have a clear head, so it's time for bed!

But one last thing...happy birthday, Michael! He now has to share May 16 with our niece's baby, who was born this morning -- but he said that he would rather share his birthday with a family member than with a national tragedy [my birthday is 9/11 for those of you who don't know], so I guess he has a point.

Friday, May 15, 2009

see i want to move, but can't escape from you

Today was a long day, and it was totally my fault. I worked effectively and fairly productively from 9am to 4pm; it wasn't nearly enough to get caught up for next week, and I'll likely need to work most of Sunday, but it was respectable. By the time I left, I knew that traffic on the way back to the city would be bad, so I decided to go shopping for a dress to wear to the Golden Heart ceremony in July.

I was wildly successful, to the dismay of my bank account. I found a dress at Nordstrom -- it's blue and tea-length (well, knee-length on a normal girl) with some beading on the straps and hem. I love it, but I'm not getting attached yet -- after trying it on again at home, I think I likely need to get the straps shortened, which could be difficult due to the beading. So, we shall see.

But, I was successful beyond the dress, even though I spent twenty minutes hating on my fellow women -- I stopped first at the new Nordstrom Rack in East Palo Alto, where the line for a fitting room was twenty minutes long, and I was unfortunately stuck next to three v. obnoxious teenage girls. And, the person running the dressing room was the queen of inefficiency, which drove me crazy; she would wait for five or six people to leave fitting rooms, then herd in five or six people and count their garments, but not give any of them rooms until she could "take everyone back together". Given that this was not a journey, since the hallway was about thirty or forty feet long, and given that I stood for three minutes about two feet away from the open door of an empty fitting room waiting for her approval to enter, I was v. annoyed. But, I walked away from there with two more casual dresses; theoretically I could wear either of them to Aunt Becky's wedding, but she's anti-pattern since she doesn't want distracting outfits in the family photos, so I still need to put together something for the big day.

I also got a cardigan and a pair of manager pants at the mall -- but my most ridiculous purchase was in the shoe department at Nordstrom. In a moment of sheer nostalgia, I bought a pair of Minnetonka moccasins. I don't even like moccasins, and was surprised when this trend came back -- but they had a pair almost identical to the pair my mom had leftover from the seventies when I was little. And, they are super comfortable, even if Tammy will disown me when she discovers that I now own the Native American cousin to Crocs.

Now, though, it's beyond my bedtime. Tomorrow I intend to write alllll daaaaay looooong, so getting some sleep in preparation for making serious progress on book two is paramount. Goodnight!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

just live your life

Today was a crazy up and down day, as they all seem to be. Some things were totally fine and some totally weren't; by the end of the work day, I was so worked up that I left at 5:15, fought my way through the incoming traffic that was attempting to get to a Grateful Dead concert (there are downsides to having an office building that shares a dead-end road with the biggest concert amphitheatre on the peninsula), and spent ten minutes in my car with a 7-11 cappuccino. Strange choice, I know, but I was dead tired, in need of caffeine, and also in need of a few moments of silence. By the end of it, I had decided that I need to stop being a victim with everyone else and start being a player, even if player in this case probably equals martyr. So, that was good, or bad, depending on how everything shakes out.

But, the evening was a noticeable improvement -- I met up with Terry, Tom, Chris, Natasha, Fred, and Jaime at Iberia in Menlo Park for a couple of hours' worth of sangria, tapas, and hilarious conversation. We had a fabulous time and I'm more full than anyone should be after eating tapas. But, it was v. bittersweet; this was likely the last time that I saw Terry before she takes off on her two-month odyssey and then goes to business school. Luckily, she's meeting me in Washington D.C. for the romance conference, but I will still miss her v. much; once she's gone, my only remaining regularly-seen friends are Adit and Katrina, so I may need to consider expanding my base.

Then again, I intend to go into deep hermitage/travel mode over the next few weeks -- I'm going to write all day Saturday and likely all day Sunday as well, and then I'll write next weekend, and then I have a last-minute three-day trip to Ann Arbor right after Memorial Day, then a week-long summit here, then a week in Iowa. I get a couple of weeks off, but then my uncle is coming out for fourth of July, I have to pack up my whole apartment, go to DC for a week for the conference, and then move while simultaneously planning the biggest conference/event of the year for my department at work, which takes place in August and which I stupidly volunteered for on top of my regular responsibilities. So, this summer is going to be rough.

But, there's no reason to stress about it now; it's time for bed!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

don't want no paper gangsta

It's eleven p.m. and I find that I have little left to say. I made it into work by 7:03am, was not thrilled to discover that our India counterparts (the reason why the meeting was at seven) had failed to appear, and then spilled tea all over the table and managed to drag my sleeve through it. Then I didn't hear a question and had to ask the person to repeat it, which was particularly embarrassing; usually when I'm only half paying attention, I'm still paying attention enough to hear questions, and this time I failed.

So, that was a particularly poor start to the day, but luckily it got a little better. I had a long lunch with Lisa, which was v. nice, and the rest of my meetings were okay. Alan, my former director, saw my hair tinsel, asked if he could touch it, and then asked me if it was a special Iowa thing to keep birds away, which was funny and offensive at the same time. And, I left a little before five; unfortunately, traffic sucked and so it took an hour and twenty minutes to get home, but at least I got here. I made some delicious veggie fajitas, ate them (of course), and then wrote two performance reviews for my team, which I have to deliver tomorrow.

Clearly work is taking over my life, which is a dangerous sign; I somehow need to get enough done in the next couple of days that I can spend the weekend working on the romance novel instead, but we'll see how far I can get. But right now the farthest I can get is to my bed, so goodnight!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

i'm not loving you the way i wanted to

I've suddenly discovered dance music. Terry discovered a few weeks ago when I rode in her car that my dance music knowledge ends sometime around when "Umbrella" came out, and even that was the last gasp of dance music knowledge that really reached its heyday sometime around 2001. But, I set up Pandora to play some dance music based on this woman named "Lady GaGa" whom everyone in the world knows of but me. And it turns out that I love it all! There's some really great music out right now!! Of course, that's where "great" = "terrible", but for me, "terrible" = "great", so it all works out.

Today was good -- work was alright, and I had a lovely lunch with Pete and Heather. Tuesdays are baked potato day at my favorite cafe, so lunch would have been lovely even if I ate it alone, but Pete and Heather were an added bonus. Pete also told me about some good advice his grandmother gave him before he went to Iraq regarding "blooming where you're planted"; you can read about it on zee romance blog if you're so inclined, since my fingers are hurting from typing so much today and I think it's about time to stop blogging for the night.

The only other piece of info to share is that I got a request for the full manuscript from an agent today! My latest round of queries is going very well, and so hope springs eternal. It could all dry up tomorrow, but today is good. Now it's time for bed; tomorrow will definitely suck in some capacities, since I have meetings straight from 7:00am to 5pm with two half-hour breaks, so sleep is essential. Goodnight!

Monday, May 11, 2009

a stranger with your doorkey explaining that i'm just visiting

I'm suddenly exhausted. I thought I was tired at 9pm, but that was just my body conspiring with my brain to convince me to procrastinate some more by going to bed. I recognized their clever tricks and also saw through their lies that I would be able to get up at 5am to finish the stuff I had to get done tonight, and so I powered through and worked until now; but, despite my victory, I suddenly feel like it was a defeat. I did finish the one thing that I absolutely had to get done tonight, even if it took twice as long as I anticipated -- it's performance review season at work, and even though our written reviews are supposed to be briefer than they used to be, I somehow can't accomplish it in less than eight pages. The first three pages are filler, but still. Performance reviews are *not* what I want to be spending all of my creative juices on, but luckily it's only twice a year, and since I genuinely like my team I don't really mind putting in the time. It's just the getting started that is hard, since it, like, requires thought and stuff, and I'm generally not in the mood to think by the time I get home.

Beyond that, the rest of the day was fine, albeit not great. It was just one of those eh days that was perfectly balanced on the neutral; either a good or a bad even would have tipped it, but nothing interesting happened. And it says a lot about me that I consider the days when nothing interesting happens to be the worst days of all; while I don't really wish ill upon myself or my circle of acquaintances, I would much rather live in "interesting times" (with all the curses that implies) than in a state of complete boredom and apathy. Since today was apathy, I'm hoping for a jolt (preferably a good jolt) to break me out of it tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

come on and break it on down

I forgot to mention my favorite part of yesterday's "Star Trek" viewing -- early in the movie, there's a lush, panoramic shot of farmland, and then "IOWA" flashes on the screen. I said to Terry, "I KNEW it was Iowa, only Iowa could be that gorgeous!" Then I got a bunch of evil-eyes from the people sitting in front of me; apparently my excitement made my voice carry a bit more than I intended.

However, all is apparently not beautiful in Iowa right now. My parents told me today that my father's gorgeous chickens were massacred by a fox yesterday :( They drove up the driveway to find twelve of the chickens dead or dying in the yard, and a fox eating one of them. It's strange to me that the fox would kill all of them when he couldn't possibly eat or carry away all of them; you would think he would pick them off one by one. Anyway, the two chickens left are absolutely terrified, and the yard is apparently covered in feathers. While I grew up with regular animal carnage, this story made me really sad, particularly given how pretty the birds were and how much my parents (especially my father) seemed to enjoy having them around.

Anyway, in the safety of my highrise city apartment there were no deaths, although I didn't really get anything done. I did five loads of laundry, which was good, but I didn't do any writing at all. I think I just needed the weekend off; one key indicator of this was my strong urge to eat a comfort food from my childhood. I had decided on tuna salad, but after opening the can of tuna, I discovered that my Miracle Whip had expired (clearly this is not an ahi tuna and mesclun salad -- it's canned tuna, Miracle Whip, and my mom's homemade sweet pickles). I went across the street to buy some, but discovered that the corner store carries multiple kinds of olive oil and most other condiments, but NO MIRACLE WHIP. Boo! And Whole Foods would rather close its doors than sell Miracle Whip, since it's the opposite of organic and locally-produced. I threw the tuna away and ate peanut butter instead, and then got my childhood comfort-food fix by making Kraft mac and cheese for dinner. Mmm mmm good.

After I got off the phone with my parents, I got a request from one of the agents whom I queried last week, so that put a bit of the bounce back in my step. And I'm feeling recharged after a lazy weekend, but I will pay the wages of my sin tomorrow -- it's shaping up to be a brutal couple of weeks at work, but at the same time I vowed on zee romance blog to make substantial progress on Madeleine and Ferguson's story in the next couple of months. So, it's time to get cracking again -- after a good night's sleep tonight, of course. Happy Mother's Day, everyone! (but particularly to my mother -- Jeanie Baby, as some of my high school friends called her, is the awesomest)

you need a girl with electrical hair

Today was fabulous. I woke up at 7:30, messed around the apartment for a bit, and then made some major progress cleaning out my closet. This culminated in my taking four bags of clothes and two bags of shoes to Goodwill; while I still have many boxes of books in my closet that I want to sort through, this was an excellent effort. After dropping the stuff off at Goodwill (in Palo Alto, part of the glorious south bay), I took my car to the carwash -- since I took the time this morning to thoroughly clean out my car in anticipation of the wash, I have a v. clean car for the first time in a long time. Not that my car is ever too messy, but its current state is better than the state it was in over the past few weeks. I also picked up some stuff at Target, so I'm all stocked up to become a hermit again.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was even better. With Terry's recommendation, I decided to indulge in something totally ridiculous -- I went to a salon where a woman named Daisy affixed strands of tinsel to my hair. It's subtle -- about ten strands of dark purple reflective tinsel, tied to individual hairs near the scalp, so you only see them when they catch the light. They apparently stay in until those hairs fall out, so we'll see how long I can keep them. Since I have never dyed my hair and have no intention of starting now, playing with purple tinsel satisfied the need I've had building within me to do something drastic to my hair, so the absurd length of my hair lives to see another day.

Following the sparkle increase, I went over to Terry's, and we watched a bit of "kill Bill vol. 1" while decided what to do for the evening. We settled on dinner at Naomi Sushi (yum), and then went to see "Star Trek". We both totally loved it -- I actually can't think of any movie that has made me cry within the first ten minutes, so the fact that this one elicited tears that early was something of a shock. So, I recommend it; it's a good way to kick off the summer movie-going season. Not that I have any friends who will see bad movies with me anymore, but I'll have to scrounge people up for some of the better-looking action movies and comedies of the summer.

Now, alas, it's time for bed; while today was a totally lovely break from my writing and my day job, tomorrow requires productivity in both arenas, so sleep is key. Goodnight!

Friday, May 08, 2009

by the way i tried to say i'd be there waiting for

Today had all of its own unique and ridiculous annoyances, starting with a seven a.m. meeting and going straight through until five p.m. It was bad enough that I ate lunch while VC'ing with my boss because I was scheduled straight through lunch and he was, ironically, the most informal meeting in that whole block.

But, I had a great post-work time; it was Terry's last day at work (sniff, sniff), and so a bunch of us went to Fiesta del Mar. The waiter laughed at us because it's the same place that Terry and I went to with Lauren (aka Subz) last night, but I adore that place, so it was fine going back. We spent a lot of time talking about babies, TWILIGHT, and marriage, likely to the chagrin of Terry's brother Tom, who was the only male in attendance. The conversation pretty much convinced me that I never want to get married, although the jury on babies is still out. Natasha was there, and since she doesn't read my blog, I may have creeped her out when I said that I would blog about her tonight -- little does she know that I blog about everything in excruciating detail, but she will find out if she ever finds this!

The fun continues tomorrow -- I'm going back down to the south bay to see a movie with Terry. That means I need to go to bed (yes, it's nine p.m. on a Friday, and yes, I'm old) so that I can get up early, accomplish a whole bunch of stuff, and write before I meet up with her. Fun times, right? Goodnight!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

don't even look at the clock

I just got home, and I have to be back on the road in 7.5 hours so that I can make it back to the glorious south bay for a not-so-glorious seven a.m. meeting. But, today was lovely -- I didn't have very many meetings, spent a couple of hours getting shit done while sitting in the waiting room of the wellness center between my allergy shots and a check-up with my doctor, and generally felt somewhat productive. Then, I had coffee with Joy from 5-6, coffee with Terry from 6-7, and dinner with Terry and Lauren (aka Subz) from 7-9. So, I'm feeling v. caught up with some key people, and the non-working evening was v. nice and probably just what the doctor ordered.

I had a realization on the way home from dinner that in my current capacity, I'm almost (and I use this v. v. loosely) like a conductor on the Underground Railroad. I'm really not like that at all -- but I probably have a couple of meetings a week at least in which someone solicits my advice about their career, how to find their dream job, etc. Since it's well-known that I'm actively pursuing publication for my romance novel, which is as far away from my current straight-shot-to-upper-management path as you can get, and since I've also worked hard to develop a reputation for my discretion, I can somehow simultaneously keep doing well in my current job while helping to conduct others onto a path towards their own bliss. Or, perhaps I just like thinking of myself as an Underground Railroad conductor -- it has a lot more cachet than saying I'm a middle manager who is willing to listen sympathetically to anyone who sits on her couch and expounds on their problems.

Okay, that's enough for one night, it's time for bed!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

whether your girl look like a minga or a supermodel

I'm really not exactly sure what kind of mood I'm in! If I were a mixed drink, perhaps I would be "contentment with a twist of annoyance", or "happiness on the rocks with salt in the wounds". Actually, we all know that I would be cheap rum, a fresh blueberry, and some black food coloring, but I prefer to be more dramatic than that.

Today was okay, albeit not perfect; I did have lunch with Katrina and Adit, which was nice even if it did serve to keep my annoyance (at tings, not at people) at a high simmer. I also refrained from strangling anyone, which I took to be a good sign. Then, I came home, ate some Amy's enchiladas (man I love those things, even if they are frozen), and worked from 8pm until now on stuff I should have done a month ago. It's too bad that I still have way too many of those tasks on my plate, with several deadlines looming -- all I really want to do is get back to Madeleine and Ferguson. But that's overstating things; while I supposedly only want to write, I also want to eat, and travel, and buy clothes, and blow money on makeup, so finding the balance between my writing dreams and my actually interesting and worthwhile day job is a challenge.

No more thinking though; I already wrote in the romance blog, so this is enough blogging for one night. I maintain high hopes that I will be able to write this weekend, but I can't make any guarantees -- I may just need a break, although I will likely refuse to take one. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

out where the dreams all hide

This is a four-minute post. I stayed home from work today; the smashing headache that I had yesterday continued unabated today, and I decided that battling traffic and sitting in meetings would only exacerbate the desire to scrape my brains out of my skull just to relieve the pressure. Obviously, the pain made me rather less than productive; I did stay caught up on emails, but there are many things on my to-do list this week, and I haven't accomplished any of them thus far. I watched an episode of Craig, but it says a lot that he didn't hold my interest, and so I turned to my laptop for solace. But, staring at a screen for sixteen hours a day is likely contributing to my headache, so I put that away as well.

That left with me nothing to do. I thumbed through all of the Crate and Barrel, CB2, Pier One, West Elm, and eBags (one of those things doesn't belong there) catalogues that have piled up, but nothing caught my fancy. Finally, I decided that the only thing that could cure my headache was reading a book -- under the assumption that my headache was stress-induced, and that reading would take my mind off of whatever is stressing me.

My head still hurts, but I did read THE FIRE ROSE by Mercedes Lackey. I have a weakness for retellings of the Beauty and the Beast story, and I read this one way back in high school; now, while my close attention to writing mechanics made me enjoy it less because the writing itself is not particularly good, I was able to better appreciate the setting. It takes place in San Francisco and Pacifica in the months leading up to the 1906 earthquake, and so I recognized many of the places that she described in a way that I was completely unaware of in high school. In fact, I read it before I really knew much of anything about Stanford, and so I caught references to Leland Stanford that I would have missed before (the 'beast' in this book is a rail baron). So, while it didn't cure me, it was probably good for me to spend a few hours absolutely disengaged from everything related to both my job and my writing.

Four minutes were up about two minutes ago; it's time for bed. I'm going to work tomorrow despite my headache, and so I'll just have to hope that it clears up on its own...

Monday, May 04, 2009

uh let me tell ya how we do it in california

This is a four minute post. I had a smashing headache all day, likely precipitated by not sleeping well last night; I woke up at two a.m. after a nightmare in which I was covered in fire ants, and I had to get out of bed to convince myself that my legs were not actually on fire. So, I came home early, did some work from home, made some excellent veggie fajitas, and watched an episode of Craig.

But, I did reread all 170 pages that I have of Ferguson and Madeleine's story -- while I didn't get up quite as early as I planned, I did make it to Starbucks for an hour before work. The good news is that I love what I have so far (you can read more on zee romance blog); the bad news is that I still have ~50,000 words to write before the first draft is done. So, I should go to bed so that I can get cracking!

I shall leave you with this totally awesome video -- it's the opening to Craig's 4/20 show, and it's worth spending <3mins of your life on. Craig is clearly the best thing on television. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

stomp it to my beat

I am totally wiped out after one of the more productive Sundays in recent memory. My hermitage is paying off; I finished edits on AN INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE, researched which agents to target next, updated my agent tracking spreadsheet, and sent new query letters. I also went to the gym, cleaned my kitchen after last night's cooking, talked to my parents and my brother (who remains convinced that my core is evil after I asked why some of my grandmother's neighbors are still alive -- more to the point, what are they doing operating a tractor at the age of ninety, since they called looking for my father to help them pull it out of the mud, but apparently this was Exhibit A in my brother's latest case against my cold heart), ate some delicious chicken tortilla soup, caught up on almost all of my work email in preparation for the week ahead, and painted my fingernails a lovely muted rose while watching an episode of Craig to unwind at the end of the day.

I'm tired just typing all of that, but there's no rest for the wicked. Work promises to be busy this week since I have to write a dozen performance reviews on top of my regularly scheduled activities, but I don't want to lose momentum -- while I wait for the rejections to start rolling in from my latest round of queries, I'm jumping headfirst into Madeleine and Ferguson's story. And before you think that today was a total hermit move, I must confess that I did spend the afternoon working on the book and query letters at Leland Tea Company with Adit -- with Adit's occasional mutterings of "stupid", his attempts to convince me that Nickelback is a group of child molesters and date rapists, and the proprietor's v. friendly conversational overtures, I still felt like I socialized even if my particular form of socializing is far from normal.

Okay, bedtime -- and let's see if I can get up in time to write before work tomorrow. I think my chances are 50/50 -- the will is strong, but the flesh and the ability to keep myself from hitting snooze is oh so weak. Goodnight!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

but you can never wrong this right

I am ready to throw in the towel so that I can get cracking on the book again tomorrow. I'm hoping to be done with the latest round of edits by this time tomorrow night, but only time will tell; it depends on whether I decide to add a whole 'nother scene, but I don't think I will. Then, it's back to querying with a vengeance.

Today was okay, albeit not stellar. I woke up later than I intended, and so didn't get much done before brunch with Shedletsky and Joanna -- I hadn't seen them in at least four months, so I felt like I should maintain my commitment to them. We went to The Grove on Fillmore -- it's the ultimate yuppie brunch place, and was quite crowded, but a good time was had nonetheless. After seeing them, I came home, canceled all remaining plans for the weekend due to an itchy, driving need to work on the book, and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening working.

The only non-book-related thing I did was procure ingredients for, make, and consume some totally delicious chicken tortilla soup. It was cold and rainy today and I was in the mood for soup, but not for my potato-leek standby, and so I pulled out the "Culinary Institute of America's Book of Soups" that I got for Christmas, and this is the recipe that I settled on. There was a bean soup (sort of an upscale version of my mom's traditional ham and beans that Michael and Katie both hate) that sounded appealing, but the tortilla soup appeared to be less effort. The only thing that sucked about the tortilla soup was that it had to be strained at the end to remove the pureed bits and pieces, which was kind of a pain; but once it was garnished with chicken, avocado, and tortilla strips, it was perfect. Better yet, I have leftovers for tomorrow, so there is no more cooking in my future for a couple of days at least.

Despite the fact that I'm theoretically a twenty-seven-year-old, I'm going to go to bed now; I'm wiped out on all things book related, and sleep will hopefully reset my drive so that I can plow through my to-do list tomorrow. Goodnight!

Friday, May 01, 2009

yippee-ai-oh mini sirloin burgers

I have the song from a Jack in the Box commercial stuck in my head -- this ridiculous commercial where Jack sings about the midget cowboys who herd the miniature "cows the size of schnauzers but they're cattle" used to make their new mini sirloin burgers. It's so stupid, but it's one of the few commercials that I won't fast forward through on TiVo.

Today was okay, although not as productive as it could have been; I only had an hour and a half of meetings, which was practically unheard of, but I had trouble willing myself to be productive. Tracy showed Pete my blog, so he found out about my tricks for staying awake yesterday -- but I managed to stay awake today while having lunch with him even though we were inside and I wasn't wearing my sunglasses, so I'm pretty proud of myself.

After work, I went to Phil'z Coffee and read through about 200 pages of my romance novel flagging places that I might want to insert a couple of small details. I think I'm really close to done with my edits, and I'm hoping to finish this weekend so that I can start querying agents. Then, I drove back to the evil city, made some supper, did some laundry, and watched an episode of Craig, in which he had an awesome interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau. Now, after one of the more boring blog entries in recent days, it's time for bed; there's much to accomplish this weekend, and sleep is vital to make it happen. Goodnight!