Sunday, April 29, 2012

not so fireproof

Today was amazing. I'm not even sure that I should blog about it, because you're going to be super jealous, and I don't want you to feel bad :(

But I shall blog anyway, because that's what I'm expected to do. I got up somewhat early and took care of some romance writer tings this morning before getting ready to finish my romance video shoot. And really, the video shoot took up the entire day -- the video itself was over by four p.m., but since I was drinking throughout the shoot and then went to a wine bar after, I was in no shape to do anything productive afterward. Lauren (aka Subz) was the first extra, and she arrived a little before 1pm to shoot one of the scenes. I popped open a bottle of champagne for her, and the champagne itself might not have gotten me into trouble, but adding whisky to my mint tea in one of the shots certainly didn't help my cause. Katrina showed up at some point to provide moral support, and Vidya came later to do the second scene, and it all went very well...

...but I will admit that I drank enough alcohol to float an armada, which helped me to get into character, so I'm chalking it up as productivity. We filmed the final scene and were done by 4 or 4:30, and then Chandlord and I went to a wine bar down the street and continued our drinkfest until it was time for her to go to dinner. Terry collected me at that point and we came home, ordered Indian food, and started to watch Mad Men, but the scene where John Slattery's character does LSD was waaaay too confusing in my inebriated state, and I ended up taking a wee bit of a nap rather than watching the show. But Terry roused me with the second half of "How To Train Your Dragon", which was much more my speed, and then I rallied and watched TV with her the rest of the night.

And now, alas, I must go to bed; I need to do as much work as possible the next few days because I'm going to Mexico on Friday (yay!) and intend to leave my laptop at home (crazy, I know). Goodnight!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

now it's just a bar fight

I was mostly lazy today - I slept for like eleven hours, which I think was necessary, and I'm vaguely starting to feel better even though I still have a cough and congestion that just won't quit. When I got up, I messed around on the internet, made breakfast, ate breakfast, showered, procrastinated, etc. Finally, I made myself look marginally cute and walked down to Fort Mason to check out the 'set' for tomorrow's attempt to finish shooting this video that Terry and I are working on; the good news is that the set looks ready to go, so I think tomorrow should be fun. Then I sat on a bench at Fort Mason and watched the ships while thinking about Nick and Ellie; I didn't have any major breakthroughs, but I think I'm getting closer to one...

Then I came home and did some work for 45 minutes or so before it was time to go out for the evening. The first stop was a little wine/cheese/jewelry soiree with some of Lauren (aka Subz)'s friends; I wasn't super psyched to go mostly because I'm not usually super psyched to meet new people, but the hostess lives all of a block and a half from me, so there was really no excuse at all not to go. And I'm really glad I went -- I hadn't met any of the other women before, but they were all lovely, particularly the hostess and one of Lauren's other friends who got super excited at the prospect of my Olympics party and volunteered to bring layered Jello shots, so she's obviously catapulted herself into the inner circle. Terry went too, so we spent a couple of hours hanging out and drinking far more champagne than I had any need to drink (but really, champagne is my fave, so it's little wonder I had a good time).

Post soiree, Terry and I stopped at Roam to grab burgers, since we needed fortifying, and then went to Fred's birthday party. Fred used to work on the same team as Terry at our mutual old place of employment years and years ago, although he left and eventually ended up working for the enemy (aka Facebook), and his wife Jamie also used to work there before pursuing dental school, so it was great to see them both. The party was speakeasy-themed, which neither Terry nor I were dressed for, but it meant that we got to drink cocktails and moonshine, which was fun. And Jamie had procured a lot of gluten-free snacks, including cupcakes and bread for PB&J sandwiches, so obviously I was happy regardless.

We didn't stay super long, though, since I at least was a little oversleepy from champagne, and so we just got home. And now I must get my beauty sleep so that I can get up tomorrow and make myself look like a star -- goodnight!

Friday, April 27, 2012

we run the night

I'm dangerously close to too late to blog - I took some cold medicine fifteen minutes ago, and I'm about to collapse on the keyboard. So, briefly, today was lovely - I went down to Palo Alto to reconnect with Alyssa (and found that I'm still making progress, albeit slowly and with less muscle building, without her). It was great to see her, and we reassessed everything and did an abbreviated workout. I'm going to get together with her again at the beginning of June and see whether there's some way that we can work together without me having to drive down to Palo Alto all the time, but more on that when I actually make some decisions. Post workout, I met up with two writer friends, and we discussed the industry and life over a nice, leisurely lunch at my favorite cafe. Then I went to Target, washed my car, and hung out at Philz for a couple of hours to get a bit of work done (but it's never enough...but I need to stop thinking that, since I'm clearly destroying the lining of my stomach by never letting myself be satisfied with what I've accomplished, sigh).

After Philz, I met up with Terry for dinner; she was coming down to Palo Alto, which is why I stayed down there. So we had dinner, and then as I was walking to the bank to deposit a check, I ran into Lauren (aka Subz) and Suzanne; Suzanne still works for my old place of employment, and they were catching up over dinner/drinks, so it was quite entertaining to run into them in Palo Alto since none of us live there. I hung out with them for half an hour or so, then came back to the evil city, took care of some tings, and am now going to bed. My cold is getting slightly better but hasn't healed itself, so I think nine or ten hours of sleep is in order. Goodnight!

i've wasted my nights, you turned out the lights

Must...sleep...now. I was moderately productive today, or at least so it seems; I managed to clear out of the apartment around eleven, and I went to a cafe to work/eat for a couple of hours, which was an effective strategy. I got through a couple of things on my to-do list that I've been putting off, although I'm not really caught up yet. Then I came home with the intention of working hard here, but instead I messed around and took a nap, since I'm still sick and had totally crashed by 3pm. When I woke up, though, I spent an hour or so tackling a guest blog post that I've been dreading (an interview with my characters, which sounds fun but is effectively like writing a scene in the book).

It ended up coming together quite nicely, I think, although the time I spent on it was probably too much to ever recoup; between the hour I spent on it before dinner and the two hours I spent on it just now, I doubt I'll even make minimum wage on the books it encourages people to buy. But it was fun, and it should be up next week - I'll link when I have it. But I took a three-hour break for dinner with my writer friend Grace, who self-published around the same time I did (after finaling in the Golden Heart in 2010 (the year between my two finals) and having a similar experience with trying to sell books to NYC publishers). We had soft tofu soup, followed by a long, meandering walk around Geary/Clement looking for an open coffee shop, and caught up on all sorts of stuff related to publishing and life, and it was v. nice. Then I came home, talked to Terry, finished that blog post, and am now so tired that I must go to sleep immediately. Goodnight!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

bury me in satin

I think I've figured out what I'm going to do with this blog. I'm going to start blogging more regularly on my romance blog, feeling out what I like to share there and how I like to structure those posts. Then, I'll slowly start cutting back here, until eventually that blog lives and this one dies. Or maybe this one still lives, but it's more a once or twice a week thing than an every day thing. Or something. I'm still playing around with my thoughts on this, but something's gotta give...so we'll see [cue ominous music]. But I wrote a post on the romance blog tonight for the first time in ages (about Anzac Day and the invasion of Gallipoli during WWI), so check it out if you're interested.

sssanyway, today was lovely; I woke up at 7:30, which is utterly absurd and unwelcome, but I still wasn't feeling 100% and so couldn't go back to sleep. So I took care of stuff from my bed, ultimately showered, etc., and ate breakfast/lunch around noon. Somewhere in there I made the completely unexpected discovery that SCOTSMEN had suddenly jumped up to #20 on the Nook for Regency romance, which took me totally by surprise, and I didn't get much done the rest of the afternoon from sheer excitement. Yes, I'm a child. But I did swap a bunch of clothes in my closet and put away some wintery things that I doubt I'll wear again for awhile, and I cleaned my room (in preparation for our cleaning lady coming tomorrow, of course). And I went downtown and got my bangs trimmed and my brows waxed and tinted, which was a nice little interlude.

I should have worked tonight, but instead I sloughed off and had dinner with Terry and Lauren (aka Subz) at Mamacita. I'd never been there before, but the food was great; my enchiladas were surprisingly super spicy, which I wasn't expecting, but they were still tasty, and the guac and the margaritas were great. Subz was in rare form, so it was good to get together and quite fortuitous that we already had dinner plans together tonight. A great time was had by all (in what I hope is a good precursor/omen for our upcoming vacation together), and I came home feeling v. full, still sick, slightly ulcery, and ready to go to bed. But since it was still 8:30pm, I refrained, and I did some work off and on from then until now.

And now, my darlings, I really must sleep in hopes that I will continue to feel better tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

talk about it somewhere only we know

I'm super sleepy, and also still sick, which is a total bummer. Also, I'm pretty sure my ulcer friend is back; I'd thought ulcer friend was back in Denver and had started taking acid blockers, but stopped taking them when I got home because I felt better, but now after a week off of them, my stomach hurts and I feel nauseated...so, acid blockers again. Stupid ulcer friend.

sssanyway, I woke up feeling quite ill, but I managed to shower, dry my hair, etc., and drag myself down to Mountain View to have lunch with a former coworker and give a career development talk to the team she's now working on. Yes, it's ridiculous that they invited someone who resigned to give a talk on career development, but that's the way they roll (and I have at least two more pending invitations, which I find hilarious). The talk went well and was entertaining, at least to me, and my old boss Dave vc'd in to listen to it from Ann Arbor, which was v. nice of him. After the talk, I hung out with Heather (aka dear respected madam) and retrieved the sandals I'd left at her house last week before grabbing some coffee, checking my mail in Palo Alto, and driving back to the evil city, where I wrote down some epiphanies about the gargoyle series, then sat on the couch in a sad sort of torpor and tried to ignore my ulcer friend.

When Terry got home, though, we watched an episode of "Bones", then filmed another segment of the video we're working on for my romance alter ego. I may be dimwitted, but I do recognize that it's probably not a good idea to mix a virulent cold, cold medicine, ulcer friend, acid blockers, and alcohol -- so I did this segment sober, which went well even if I was clearly a bit more tightly-wound than I was in the other segment we filmed. But I still managed to dress myself up like a hot mess, so I think it will all work out. The footage (we'll call it the 'dailies' even though we're far from being a legit production company) looked pretty good, though, and I found a Creative Commons license for some classical music to use over the intro/credits, so things are shaping up. Hopefully we'll finish taping this weekend and I can share it with you in all its ridiculous glory sooner rather than later! But now, I must sleep so that my throat/lungs/sinuses/stomach lining can heal themselves -- goodnight!

and the message coming from my eyes says leave it alone

I'm still sick, alas, but I'm not as feverish as I was yesterday, so perhaps I'll survive. I slept for ten or eleven hours last night, which surely helped, and it's a good thing since I can't sleep for ten hours tonight -- eight or nine will have to cut it. I'm sure that gets so much sympathy from all you day-jobbers, right?

Anyway, while I did no writing, I did force myself to take care of a lot of things that had been piling up that I kept avoiding, which was good. I wasn't maximally productive, but since I felt like death, that's probably to be expected. I also dragged myself out of the house to buy soup and cold medicine, which was a valuable outing. Sometime late this afternoon I got sick of sitting at my desk, so I relocated to the couch and watched the Mike Wallace tribute episode on "60 Minutes", which was both good and bittersweet. Terry's sister came over as I was finishing it, and we watched some more TV until Terry came home. MK left shortly thereafter, but Terry and I watched tonight's "The Voice", followed by "Smash", which has an amazing cast and a terrible script. And now I should really go to bed -- I have to go to my old place of employment tomorrow to give a career development talk to a team of newbies, so I actually have to get up and get dressed, etc., before noon. Ugh. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

like i was poison in your mouth

I was overly optimistic yesterday when I went to bed thinking I would feel better this morning - instead I woke up at six a.m. and vomited bile two or three (four? I lost count, since I went back to sleep each time) times over the course of the next couple of hours. Ugh, no fun, and sorry for oversharing. So I pretty much feel like death, thanks for asking. I had some cereal this morning, and eventually had bacon and eggs (a gamble, I know, but it paid off...and I had little other food in the house, so I'm glad it did). And I watched like three hours of "The Voice" and some Craig this morning, which is a sign that I'm deathly ill - I haven't turned on the tv and vegged out in front of it of my own volition in who knows how long.

Eventually I tired of the tv, so I came upstairs to take a quick nap and ended up sleeping for two hours. Then I talked to my parents, who let me whine about being sick, which was v. nice of them. Terry got home from her weekend trip just before I called my parents, and since she could tell I felt miserable, she went and picked up supper (salad for her, soup for me) and we watched two episodes of "Mad Men" and an episode of "Once Upon A Time". Then I hauled myself upstairs and read for a bit, but my head hurts and I can't look at the book anymore, so I think I'll go to sleep. Fingers crossed that I feel better tomorrow - I've got too much to do to be sick, and even if I procrastinate and don't do any of it, I'd rather procrastinate and not do any of it while still feeling healthy. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

i'll carry you home tonight

I took a nap this afternoon...odd, since I slept enough last night, but I suppose I understand why I was suddenly overcome with exhaustion when I woke up sick. Like, sudden onset cold with absolutely no warning. Bleh. It's no wonder I didn't get as much done today as I'd intended; I had a call with another writer this morning, and I made a delicious supper (caprese salad to go with a hamburger left over from last night), and I plotted half the gargoyle book, and I read a novella, but my email inboxes are all complete disasters and I'm stressing about Nick and Ellie. But then, I'm always stressing...what else is new?

That's really all I have to report; I decided to make this a hermit weekend, and I'm following through on that intention, although now I suspect it's the illness that will make me a hermit rather than any sort of virtuous desire to get some work done. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow, but we shall see...goodnight!

Friday, April 20, 2012

that was then and this is now

I had a perfectly lovely day, despite the heat; summer has suddenly shown up in San Francisco, and while I have no doubt that it will disappear again and not make another appearance until autumn, it looks like the heat will be here for a few days. I woke up at 8:15 and actually got out of bed, which I know is terribly shocking. And I actually ate breakfast right then and there, rather than spending three hours online - double shock. So I had bacon and oatmeal, and made some coffee, and cleaned the kitchen, and then came upstairs to work...

...and ended up playing around on social media, which, oddly, is work for me, albeit a more fun form of work than anything else I could have been doing. Finally, sometime after noon, I dragged myself out of the house and schlepped sixteen books over to the Marina post office to mail to various contest winners, etc. These were the books that I labeled yesterday, and as it turns out, I'm glad I didn't stand in line at the Mountain View post office; the line at the Marina was oddly only three people deep, which is nearly unheard of, and I took a nice walk as a result. After the post office, I went to the Marina library and finally got a San Francisco library card, which I should have done ages ago as it only took five minutes. I browsed the stacks and checked out a couple of books (one fantasy novel, one historical treatise called "Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe" - yes, gargoyle research). Post library, I walked to Fort Mason to check on my beloved cafe there (status: still closed), then sat on a bench overlooking the water and brainstormed gargoyles for awhile.

Eventually the odd combination of hot sun and cold sea breeze (not an alcoholic beverage, fyi) got to me, so I packed up my notebook and came home, with a stop at Safeway (where I bought more groceries than I could comfortably carry home, as is my wont). When I got home, I showered, made and ate supper (hamburger and corn on the cob, v. Iowan of me), talked to [censored] for a bit, and then worked until now. The storylines for the gargoyle series are really taking shape, which is exciting; there's still a lot left to figure out, but I think I can write the second half of the first book (or second 3/5s - it's unclear how much is left vs. how much I already have) in relatively straightforward fashion once I figure out a few more plot details. And yes, I know I'm being wildly overly optimistic - let me labor under my delusions for a bit longer. And now, I think I shall throw open the windows, strip the blankets from my bed, and hope that it cools down enough to sleep -- goodnight!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

be the one

I had a lovely day, but there's nothing particularly interesting to share with you. I spent the morning taking care of various and sundry tasks before driving down to the glorious south bay to have lunch with Gyre. I was twenty minutes late due to unexpectedly bad traffic, but luckily he'd blocked off half an hour after our lunch, so we were still able to hang out for an hour as planned.

Amusingly, when I called him to let him know I was downstairs, I also accidentally dialed Heather (aka dear respected madam), who called me back and said she was having lunch with Alaska Matt, Josh (whom I hadn't seen in ages, but he just started working for my old place of employment this week), and Arod. So Gyre and I crashed the end of their lunch and seduced Heather and Alaska Matt into hanging out for all of our lunch as well. It was totally lovely to see them, and a grand time was had by all (or at least me).

After lunch, I went to downtown Mountain View and spent forty minutes in my car getting a bunch of book packages ready to send...only to walk into the post office and discover a line that I had no intention of ever standing in. At least the packages are ready, though, so perhaps I'll mail them tomorrow. Then I talked to my brother for quite some time before going to Philz and working/drinking coffee for a couple of hours; no writing, but I answered a bajillion romance related emails, which made me feel quite good. Then I grabbed dinner at Chipotle (man I miss the south bay), drove home, watched some tv with Terry, came upstairs and read a chapter of "The Forge of Christendom" (I know, you're jealous), and spent the last forty-five minutes brainstorming the gargoyle series. And now that I've caught you up on all the inanities of my day, it's time for bed!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

i just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart

I'm surprisingly intoxicated, but more on that in a moment (spoiler!). Today was lovely; I slept until eleven, which shouldn't be a surprise since I stayed up reading until three a.m. Then I putzed around the house, made myself breakfast (oatmeal and bacon = breakfast of champions), showered, etc., and worked on my gargoyles for awhile (yay gargoyles who have nothing to do with gargoyles). I also hauled my suitcase upstairs from last week's trip to Denver and considered doing laundry, but I abandoned it as a fool's errand and decided to save it for tomorrow, when the washer can run without disturbing me or overheating me since I'll be out of the house for a few hours.

I spent the late afternoon/early evening preparing for a video shoot; Terry and I are doing a video for my romance writer alter ego, which has proven to be super super fun and ridiculous. I worked on the script this afternoon, and also figured out my costume and rearranged my room so that we could get the right shot of my desk. Terry got home around 7:30, and we ordered a pizza and had two (v. strong) cosmos to get the "talent" (aka me) in the properly inebriated state for filming this video. Then I slathered on the lipgloss, perched my tiara precariously on my head, and we went to town with the filming, getting all the shots that we needed to get of me at my desk. Since the shots ended with me doing a shot of whisky out of my tea mug, I'm glad we got that one in one take -- I'm not sure I could have done another shot of whisky without retching onto my laptop, which would have been cinematic in an entirely unwelcome way.

Anyway, after we shot everything, we watched it on the camera and it all looked great, so yay for that. We still need to get a few more scenes over the next week or two, but I feel much more secure and comfortable about it, so onward, Christian soldiers, right? If the Christian soldiers are willing to go on Crusade to make a video about romance novelists, which is unclear. Anyway, I digress. The video was fun, and I still need to do some script work, but I'm quite happy with where we got tonight, and Terry seemed to be happy too (although she was nearly as drunk as I was, despite her lack of a closing whisky shot, so maybe she'll change her mind in the morning).

And now, I really must sleep; I've got tings to do tomorrow and they don't involve lying around in my bed bemoaning my encounter with a bottle of Maker's Mark. Goodnight!

kingdom of the gods

I must go to bed immediately...after days and days of going to bed before midnight, I suddenly stayed up until three a.m. reading, which didn't kill me only because I took a long nap this afternoon. I spent the morning hanging out with Salim; he made me breakfast, and then we watched cartoons and some Food Network programming, which was great. Then I drove to Palo Alto, bought a bunch of padded envelopes at Office Max, grabbed lunch, and was going to go to Stanford Library, but I came home instead, where I promptly took a nap. Then I wrote for a couple of hours, but it was somewhat slow going since I'm still working through some of the issues of Nick and Ellie's story. Bleh.

So I spent the late afternoon/evening/night, with a two-hour break to hang out with Terry, reading a book - THE KINGDOM OF THE GODS, by NK Jemisin, which came out last fall and which I've been hoarding on my shelves waiting for the right moment to read it, since it was the end of her Inheritance trilogy. I read the whole thing, of course, and I cried through the last eighty or so pages...not sobbing, precisely, but my duvet is now wet with my tears, which is a little weird. If you're into epic fantasy, this is a great trilogy, but I'm not sure who amongst my friends I would recommend it to, since it's more of a dark musing on theology and immortality than it is a swords-and-sorcery epic.

Anyway, I really must sleep if I'm going to get any writing done tomorrow -- goodnight!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

twinkle twinkle little star

I'm super sleepy, but I stayed up past midnight, so maybe I'll get back to my normal self someday. Today was mostly productive, even though I didn't write; instead, I got up at 8:15 and immediately started dealing with romance community stuff (the presenters for the awards ceremony). At some point I took a break to make coffee and a smoothie, and another break to shower, before finally packing up all my belongings and heading south. I had made a date to have a sleepover with Heather and Salim tonight back when I thought I had plans in the south bay tomorrow, but as those plans are now off, the sleepover was somewhat unnecessary. But I didn't want to cancel since I'm going to be gone most of May, so I came down anyway. On my way, I had a late lunch at Joanie's, and then I went to Philz and worked for awhile. By the time I came out of my laptop-induced torpor, it was 4:45, which was way later than I'd intended to drive to San Jose (which means the traffic was awful).

However, I eventually arrived, and we had a v. lovely evening. Heather and I sat outside and watched Salim get the grill going before eventually getting too chilled to hang out. So we moved inside and proceeded to spend the night vegging in front of the tv. We watched an episode of "New Girl", then watched "Jeopardy!" when Salim came in with the food. Salim also got us ice cream, which was totally rad, and we ate it while watching "Dodgeball" (yay yay yay). Then we watched the last half hour of "The Craft" (starring a younger version of the woman who plays Lisbon on "The Mentalist", which was kind of distracting)...and then we started watching "Horrible Bosses". Heather went to bed at some point during that movie, but Salim and I watched the rest of it before I decided I needed to come upstairs and send a couple of emails before going to bed. And now, I shall sleep; I think I'll go to the library tomorrow and write all day, so wish me luck with that! Goodnight!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

mdma got you feeling like a champion

I'm super tired; my mother warned me that I may be resetting my body clock to always get up at seven, but I highly doubt it given that I got up at seven (or eight) for years and years and promptly abandoned it as soon as I quit my job. But I'm not going to fight the attraction of my bed much longer; I wanted to go to bed at eight, so staying up until eleven is progress, right?

Today was lovely, even though it started oddly. I had book club today, and as I hadn't finished the book and was too tired to read it last night, I got up at seven to read. It was actually really awesome to laze about and read in the morning hours; perhaps I should do this more often. Sadly, I didn't finish the book in time for book club, but I really enjoyed it, and ended up finishing it tonight. We read THE WEIRD SISTERS, which I really liked a lot. I didn't think I would like it when I started it, since it's written with an odd first person plural narrator (aka 'we') who represents the intersection between the three sisters in the novel, but I ended up feeling like that choice really worked well to explore their family dynamics. I recommend if you like literary novels that explore families and returning to one's childhood small town -- it was quite good.

Anyway, I did take a break this morning to shower, and so I was in some semblance of order in time to go over to Lauren's. We had a lovely discussion of the book over brunch and champagne, and told many other jhokes, and it was all good. Terry had to leave early for a kid's birthday party, which means we had to cancel the original plan of going to Katrina's and borrowing her cat, which made me sad. But the other four of us sat around and finished the champagne, which was great. Then Katrina, Chandlord and I had coffee nearby before splitting ways so that I could come home and call my parents.

Post parents, I was so tired that I had to take a nap before going downstairs, eating a strange dinner (cottage cheese to start, followed by frozen enchiladas), and then curling up in my bed to finish WEIRD SISTERS. It made me want to read hundreds and hundreds of books, but I didn't want to start one immediately, so I updated my Goodreads shelves instead (friend me there under my romance alter ego name if you'd like!). And now, I may write in my journal for a bit, then go to bed -- goodnight!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

if i was your boyfriend

I'm flippin' exhausted, and even though it's not quite 10:30, I'm going to go to bed - yes, crazy, I know. I got up at 7:30 this morning so that I could go to Berkeley for my romance meeting, which went quite well even though I had to skip the first half of it to go to the Apple store in Emeryville, wait for it to open, and then buy every type of computer-to-projector connector they had because our guest speaker didn't have one and the meeting location has an ancient projector with no Mac adapters. However, I made it back to the meeting just in time, and all was well. The speaker was really excellent (all about Goodreads), and lunch after was fun (I got to catch up with my friend Grace, which was lovely). Then, the speaker and I hung out for a couple of hours (including returning all the other adapters that we didn't need) before I dropped him off at the Oakland airport.

After that, my day took a sharp downturn when it took almost an hour and a half to get over the bridge back into the city...a distance of <10mi. I wanted to shoot myself, but I survived. Then I met up with Heather and Salim for an early Thai dinner, since they were in the city for another event and asked if I wanted to hang out. We had a delightful time, and I'm glad they waited for me to make it back to the city. When they left, I was about to go home, but I got a text from Chris Boyd asking if I wanted to have dinner, so I met up with him, John, and Jess, and we went out for a second Thai dinner (although I only had wine, since I was completely stuffed). When I finally got home, I was surprised and delighted to find Lisa and Doug here with their small child, since they were hanging out with Terry. So I hung out with them until they left, then came upstairs with the intention of reading, but I'm too tired. So I'm going to go to bed, then get up tomorrow and work on some fun marketing stuff (ha) -- goodnight!

Friday, April 13, 2012

you light up my world like nobody else

I'm in a much better mood today, even if I did get up at seven a.m. - bizarre, I know. Since I went to bed at ten, I really didn't need any more sleep than that. It's a feat I need to repeat tonight, since I have my romance meeting tomorrow morning and I have to be in the east bay by 8:45, but we'll see whether I continue this trend (methinks I won't; I got up at 6:30 for two years while I was living in the city and driving to the south bay, and I clearly stopped that as soon as possible).

Anyway, I left the house around ten and hung out at a cafe for a few hours. I didn't get any writing done, but I did spend the day carefully crafting newsletters to my friends/family and my reader mailing lists. The emails were short, but it takes a ridiculous amount of time to write them, test them, make sure they look right, etc., etc. I got them out, though, and since that was the main task hanging over my head, I'm glad I'm done. Now if I can bust out a couple of guest blogs this weekend and get through the other little promo things still clouding my to-do list, maybe I can avoid the internet next week and write like a madwoman.

Terry got home around six, and we ended up ordering a pizza, having a couple of cocktails, and watching "Get Him To The Greek", which, oddly, just made me want to be a rockstar (I'm pretty sure that's not the takeaway Russell Brand was going for). Then I cleaned up the kitchen, came upstairs, and am considering reading a book for an hour before going to bed...goodnight!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

so let's set the world on fire

Today was pretty much hideous. I had to be out of bed at 7:45 so that I could shower, get dressed, pack up, etc., and vacate the place before my landlord showed up at 9 to fix the washer/dryer, since I didn't want to be here while he was. So I went to Morning Due, where I was moderately productive and wrote a couple of pages of Ellie/Nick before checking my sales rankings on Amazon and discovering that someone had left a shitty, harsh, untrue (at least to me, since I have the mistaken belief that my writing is polished and my characters aren't cardboard) review of SCOTSMEN on Amazon, which they felt so strongly about that they also posted it on Barnes and Noble and Goodreads. Assholes. I'm not supposed to respond to reviews, and so I didn't -- she's entitled to her opinion, etc., etc. But that didn't make me feel any better, so I went to a stationery store and bought myself a new fountain pen and a bottle of ink, which was exactly the retail therapy I needed. Then I came home, ate some ice cream, had a conference call with some other writers who are considering self-pubbing, and talked to my mom for awhile.

At that point, Terry was home, and since I was clearly having a lousy day, we went to Tortilla Heights, where we ordered a pitcher of margaritas, and I drank all but a glass and a half of the pitcher. Ha. By the time we got home (at eight p.m.), I was well and truly soused, which made for an entertaining evening for Terry even if it means I'm going to be ridiculously hungover tomorrow. And now, I believe I shall go to bed, so that by the morning I may forget about that bitchy review and get back to Nick and Ellie, who are begging me to tell their story. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

tell the world i'm coming home

First, happy birthday Aunt B! I should have called today, but I took a nap during prime calling hours, and then didn't want to interrupt any birthday fun with her scandalous husband. Oops. But happy birthday anyway!

Second, I'm back in San Francisco. My day started off on a surreal note; I had to get up at 5:45 (surreal bit number one), but I was ready to go when the cab showed up ten minutes early (surreal bit number two). Katie came downstairs to say goodbye to me, and it was v. sad since I had an awesome time and wanted to continue having an awesome time instead of coming home and facing my utterly out of control to-do list. But I went out to my cab instead of bailing on my flight, and discovered surreal bit number three: the cabbie had his dog (some sort of terrier) with him, and after the dog crawled all over me, the dog spent the rest of the cab ride to the airport riding in the cabbie's lap. I'm pretty sure this is highly suspect, if not illegal, and I'm glad I took my allergy meds this morning -- but I got to the airport in one piece and for half the price of a sedan car, so I suppose I'll take it. (?)

Once at the airport, I discovered that the Denver airport is not pleasant to fly out of; I'm glad I got there an hour and forty minutes before my flight, since it took forty minutes to get through security. But I had time for a quick breakfast before boarding, which was much appreciated. And the flight was utterly uneventful, with one of the nicest flight attendants I've had in recent memory, so that was good. On the ground, I claimed my bag, recovered my car, drove to the city, bought groceries, and came home. Then I tried to be productive, but ended up taking a nap instead. Still, I did get some stuff done this afternoon/evening, including a guest blog post I had to do (should be up on Friday), a bunch of emails that had been piling up (email me like you're a reader or promo person if you want a response from me; my personal gmail has emails that are weeks old and still waiting for a response), etc.

Terry got home from work around six, so we hung out and caught up for a couple of hours. One of her sisters is staying with us this weekend, which I'd forgotten, but that explained the giant duffel bag of engineering text books I found in the living room when I got home today, since the sister is taking a two-day open book engineering certification thing tomorrow and Friday. Eventually, though, I came back upstairs to work, and I accomplished the most pressing bits of what I set out to do, so I think it's time for bed. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

you don't know you're beautiful

Today was entirely successful, but I'm glad it's over, since I was more nervous than I realized (even if I manage to come off as a completely cool customer to those around me). I slept in this morning, then took care of some various tings before driving into downtown Denver to meet up with a romance writing friend, Maire, who finaled with me for the Golden Heart in 2011 (and won her category; she writes historical romance, while I write Regency, but the Regency and historical categories are pretty close sisters). We ate at an Italian place, where I had some amazing lamb meatballs over polenta (which I'm pretty sure just made my father throw up in his mouth a little, given his aversion to lamb), and we talked and gossiped about writing and the industry to our hearts' content. Then I grabbed an iced latte, came back to Katie's, and spent some quality time figuring out what I was reading tonight. Yes, I put it off. If you thought I wouldn't put it off, you really don't know me at all. I also packed most of my suitcase, since I have to leave the house at 6:30am tomorrow -- bleh.

Anyway, I got all dressed up and went downtown early so that I could find the place, park, and get some fortifying beverages before the event (a strawberry soda, not alcohol). I had previously decided I didn't really need to practice, but I ended up panicking and reading the whole thing v. quietly to myself in the corner of the cafe -- irony, since I had previously looked askance at the vagrant who was muttering to herself in the other corner. I also wrote two pages of a completely different project than anything I'm working on -- I had this idea for a novella about Malcolm's distant ancestor, the first earl, and his 'courtship'/kidnapping of his bride, since I love raunchy medievals and it could be a fun promo/giveaway/sales tie-in to SCOTSMEN. So many ideas, so little time...

Finally I went to the wine bar where the reading event was held, and had a malbec to take the edge off while I waited for my turn. The ladies who organized it were totally sweet, and there were probably ~15 people there, which was just the right size for me to give a first reading in front of without feeling too small. Katie came, as did Maire, so I had some moral support. And I thought it went well, even if I think I left them wanting Prudence's story instead of Malcolm and Amelia's -- oops, since I haven't even plotted Prudence yet.

After the reading, Katie and I came home (with a sudden but v. necessary detour to a frozen yogurt place) and hung out with James until bedtime. And now I really must sleep; I have to get up in six hours, which is better than the schedule I had on the way out here, but not by much. Denver has been a blast, though, and even though I'm eager to sleep in my own bed again, I'm glad I spent a long weekend with Katie and James (particularly since their cat, the appropriately-named Chewie, didn't even bite me a single time). Goodnight!

Monday, April 09, 2012

can you tell me how to get to sesame street?

I need to go to bed immediately so that I can sleep away the last of the dark circles under my eyes before my reading tomorrow night, but I'll persevere and tell you about my day so that my mother and Katie aren't deeply upset at me not blogging (even though I'm still sleeping in Katie's guest room and she knows exactly what I did today). I slept in this morning, and then spent a lazy morning doing stuff online (including some annoying little bits for the awards ceremony I'm planning). I also made myself breakfast/lunch, consisting of virtually the same things I always eat (scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and blackberries). I was similarly mostly lazy in the afternoon, and kept considering writing, but instead spent over an hour on the phone with my parents since we missed our usual Sunday call yesterday. So, no Nick and Ellie writing today, but I'm almost in the mood; I think I'll hit it hard when I get home this week.

Anyway, when Katie and James got home from work, we made supper; they made a big salad, and I made that truffle butter pasta that I love to make, although we tried it was a rice pasta instead of the usual flour pasta. I thought the rice pasta was a slight downgrade, but only slight -- gluten-free pasta may work in my diet after all. So we enjoyed that, then watched a bit of tv, and then stumbled across a documentary on PBS called "Being Elmo" about Kevin Clash, the Muppeteer who created and still voices Elmo. We ended up watching the whole thing, even though it was well past Katie's usual bedtime by the time it was over, and it was so good -- really moving and inspiring. And I really just want to be Kevin Clash, or possibly just hug him a lot. So if you get a chance to watch it, you definitely should!

And now, friends, it's bedtime; I'm having lunch with a fellow romance writer tomorrow, and my event is tomorrow night, so I must get my rest. Goodnight!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

money for nothing and the chicks for free

Today was laid back and lovely. My morning was incredibly lazy; I dragged myself out of bed in time to hang out with Katie and James for a bit before Easter Mass (for them, not for me, since I am a heathen). After they got back, Katie made lunch (shrimp pasta, yum), and we hung out over a leisurely lunch. Her brother Tim was in town for the weekend visiting her sister-in-law's sister, and so he and his family came over in the afternoon -- but I vacated and spent three hours at a coffee shop, since I have a ridiculous amount of work to do and needed to get through some of the most pressing bits on my to-do list. I didn't do any writing at all, but I did take care of some important tasks, so that's great. And I made it back in time to spend twenty minutes or so catching up with Tim and crew, which was great.

When they left, we sat around and were v. lazy, then ordered Thai delivery - yum. Katie tried to lure me into watching 'The Scorpion King' dubbed in Spanish, but I tried to do a bit more work instead. Then we watched Joan Rivers's "Fashion Police" and last week's "The Soup", so I think I'm all caught up on the latest celebrity gossip. Katie and James have to go to work tomorrow (what is with people having to go into offices? lame), so it's an early night tonight -- and I think I'll go to bed now too, since I could use a full day of productivity tomorrow if I want to start feeling even remotely caught up on my to do list. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

mystic crystal revelation

If anyone wants to convince a semi-hermity pseudo-octogenarian to move to Denver, they should hire Katie and James to do the marketing. That may sound like an insult, but I'm having a fabulous time. Today was filled with my favorite things -- friends, tasty food, shopping, napping, drinking, more tasty food, and ridiculous television. I got up around nine-ish, showered, and then hung out with Katie while James made breakfast for us. I'm sensing that my ulcer friend is returning (I woke up nauseated in the middle of the night, but since I felt totally sober, it couldn't have been last night's encounter with several mojitos), so Katie drove me to a pharmacy to buy some antacids -- yay for that. When we got back, James served up some awesome breakfast -- fried potatoes, lovely slices of mango and oranges, and some awesome eggs that he cooked within rings of red peppers. Yum.

Properly fortified, Katie and I went to the mall, where we wandered through several stores. I was so, so close to getting out of the mall without buying anything (even though we hit up several of my weaknesses, particularly Anthropologie and the Nordstrom shoe department). However, we walked through the Nordstrom jewelry department on the way out, and I wanted to show Katie my favorite cocktail ring designer (Mars and Valentine)...and the saleswoman helpfully pointed out that some of the rings were on sale. They happened to have a ring from an earlier collection that I'd coveted wistfully for months, and they happened to have it in my size, and it happened to be 50% off...so I bought it, and felt absolutely no regret. I'd given myself permission to buy a new pair of sunglasses, but I'll take the ring any day -- so I felt quite pleased with myself. Yes, I'm ridiculous.

After the mall, we went to Whole Foods and stocked up on food and snacky snacks before coming home and taking a nap. Several weeks ago James had made reservations for us for this new restaurant that is difficult to get in to, so we went at eight p.m. -- and I must say that the hype was entirely deserved. It's called Linger, and it's in an industrial-looking space that used to be the Olinger Mortuary, which is morbid and also fascinating. They brought us popcorn to munch on while we waited for our table, and then more popcorn while we decided what to order. I had a Hemingway daiquiri, of course, and it was quite good; James had a Moscow mule, which I've never had, and which is apparently served in a copper mug, much to my surprise. We split an order of dates wrapped in bacon and stuffed with goat cheese, which was absolutely fantastic.

The restaurant is inspired by street food, and they had varieties of street food from around the world. Katie got this v. interesting mediterranean dish that was chicken, almonds, raisins, cinnamon, etc. wrapped in a puff pastry, which I think won entree of the evening for its sheer uniqueness (although I only had a tiny bite due to the gluten sadness). James had some tacos that were also fantastic, and a sort of duck bun that looked terrific. I had the beef sliders with bacon, which I ordered because they had gluten free buns as an option (classy of them), with some great sweet potato fries and a chipotle ketchup.

But dessert was out of this world amazing. James and Katie shared a Mississippi mud pie that looked good, albeit a bit too crazily decadent after stuffing ourselves with meat. I ordered the only non-ice cream gluten free dessert on the menu, the 'peanut butter and jelly cup', which I wasn't sure I would like at first -- but it may be one of the best desserts I've ever, ever had. It was this v. creamy, interesting peanut butter, with a homemade grape coulis and some whipped cream, wrapped in a 'cup' of v. thin dark chocolate. That still sounds simple, but you'll have to believe me that if I never get to have dessert again in my life, I would be happy that this was the last one.

Properly stuffed, we came home and watched some tv, and they initiated me into 'Portlandia', which was v. entertaining. And now, I should really go to sleep -- goodnight, and happy Easter!

Friday, April 06, 2012

you didn't have to cut me off

I'm curled up in Katie and James's guest bed in Denver, which is v. lovely -- and a much better end to my day than the start was, given that I woke up thirty minutes before my 4:05am alarm because I had a nightmare that ended with a bunch of children stabbing me to death with sharpened spoons. Ugh. So I sort of laid in bed for a bit until the alarm went off, but the dream was too creepy to sleep any longer. Then I got out of bed, showered, etc., and left the house on time -- only to park my car and arrive at the terminal to discover a v. v. long line for check in. So long that I tried to use the curbside baggage check, and still waited there long enough that they came through the line and culled those of us on my flight so they could check the bags in time. Then I begged my way into the priority security line, and I made my Southwest flight in time to board in the A group as I was assigned, which means I scored a precious middle seat. As it turns out, I chose poorly, since I was across the aisle from a threesome of strangers who would not shut the fuck up the entire way, which was super annoying since I just wanted to sleep and instead was considering turning my dream into a reality, only in reality I would be wielding the sharpened spoons and they would be mourning their eviscerations.

I just took a deep breath...I'm back. Anyway, I landed in Denver and Katie and James picked me up at the airport. We proceeded to have a v. lovely day; we hung out at home for a bit while James helped me to mainline coffee, and then we went out for brunch/lunch at a really cute cafe, where I had possibly the best huevos rancheros variation I've ever had. Then we abandoned James and went to a Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at a museum in Denver, which was v. lovely and made both me and Katie feel quite acquisitive. We refrained from spending all of our hardearned money at the museum gift shop, however, and instead went for tea at a nearby teashop and spent an hour catching up on life.

By this point I was looking rather haggard (Katie was too polite to say it, but I sensed her trying to distance herself from my beatdown face), so we came home and I napped for half an hour. Properly refreshed, we went to a Cuban restaurant that was totally fantastic; the wait was half an hour, so I had two mojitos at the bar and another mojito at dinner, which, Katie and James rightfully pointed out, was a bold move given my airplane dehydration + the altitude here. But the food was amazing -- we split some arepas and some plantain chips, and then Katie and I split a steak entree and some paella that was some of the best paella I've had in recent memory. Then we came home and ended up watching "Revenge of the Nerds" after I said I'd never seen it before; I'm pretty sure that in this household, I would be the nerd, but I wear my shame proudly. And now, I really should sleep if I'm going to overcome my likely hangover + my sleep deprivation in time to be a good guest and greet my hosts pleasantly in the morning -- goodnight!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

round two

This is going to be v. brief since I have to get up in less than six hours, but I had some unexpectedly awesome news today - SCOTSMEN PREFER BLONDES is up on Kindle already! I didn't think it would be up until next week, but my agent got it back from the formatter this morning and got it up before she left the office. She also uploaded it to Nook and Kobo, but their systems take longer to process uploads, so it's only on Kindle until at least tomorrow. And I hit publish on the paperback version today, but that will probably take a few days to work its way through the system as well.

But yay for SCOTSMEN! And I'm suddenly a multipublished author! You can get it on Amazon, and if you buy a copy I'll love you forever (who am I kidding; I already love you forever).

Anyway, that was all v. odd and surreal, since it happened days before I was ready for it to. I also got my first income from my writing direct deposited today, so that was great too. And I sold some books, and I took care of a lot of tings, and I packed for my trip, etc., etc. I also went down the street with Terry and had a glass and a half of wine at our local wine bar, since we won't see each other for days and days; we were only having a glass, but the guy likes us (or, more likely, likes Terry) and poured us another half glass each when we'd already paid. So I came home quite happy, sent an email to Katrina asking to borrow her cat, finished packing, and then watched 'The Voice' with Terry. And now, dear friends, I must sleep; my flight to Denver is at 6:15am tomorrow, which is super brutal, but the destination (and my fair hostess) will more than make up for it. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

could have had a castle, worn a ring

I may try to go to bed earlier than usual...or I may stay up and read. I shouldn't read, but I'm late returning a critique to somebody and need to read it at some point sooner rather than later, so we shall see. But today was good, even if the productivity went in a different direction than planned. I talked to my agent this morning (to give her my bank information - my first book payment is being direct deposited! yay!), and she asked me to send some books to her foreign rights agent so that the foreign rights agent can try to sell foreign rights, which would be super exciting if it actually happens. So I had to take care of that, which necessitated going to the post office. I also had to get a minifacial (which was free, thanks to a promo my salon was doing), which left my skin feeling sublime. I hung out at Peet's Coffee before the facial, but failed to get much done; Nick and Ellie are scaring me, but I need to force myself to stay focused and write through the painful first draft.

After I got home, I did some reading for a critique (I have two critiques that I'm late on), then hung out with Terry and watched some "Bones" with her. And now, I think sleep is in order...it would be smarter to sleep now and read tomorrow, since I have to get up at like four a.m. on Friday to make it on the plane to Denver. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

she is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel

I really need to stop listening to my custom Ellie and Nick playlist; even though I'm not writing right now, I'm listening to their playlist nonstop to get myself in the proper frame of mind, and the proper frame of mind is apparently fucking bleak. Ellie's theme song is "She's Always A Woman" by Billy Joel, for what it's worth, and I totally adore her -- but this book is going to be super heavy going emotionally, so expect more rending of garments and gnashing of teeth (or passive aggressive attacks and oddly aloof behavior) in the next couple of months.

sssanyway, I was pretty productive today, all things considered. I made both breakfast and lunch at the same time by making scrambled eggs in one skillet and cooking chicken in another -- great plan, since when I made a salad for lunch, it took approximately three minutes (and since it was lettuce, chicken, gorgonzola, walnuts, grapes, and homemade vinaigrette, it was a pretty awesome three-minute meal). I also did a couple of loads of laundry, then sat up on the roof and tried to tackle my out of control email situation. I got to absolutely nothing with my personal email, but I took care of some tasks for a variety of volunteer things I'm doing (all romance related), answered some fan mail (ha), and carefully crafted and sent a newsletter to my non-friends-and-family group. All of that was v. necessary, so I'm glad I finished. I threw in the towel around 6:30, though, and changed out of my sweats into something more sophisticated (you know you are a hermit when more sophisticated = jeans) before going to my old neighborhood for dinner with John (note: I realize that 'old neighborhood' could be four or five different places; in this case I mean the place where I lived with Adit in 2010).

We ended up at Canela, which was totally lovely; it's a tapas place that wasn't there when I lived there, more's the pity. We split a carafe of white sangria and a few tapas -- an incredible scallop, a fantastic pepper stuffed with goat cheese, and a v. satisfying Spanish tortilla (potatoes and egg, for those of you uninitiated in the ways of the Spanish tortilla). We also had cafe con leche and briefly fell into a v. college discussion of whether we were drinking out of a cup or a mug (unanimous verdict: cup). Then we walked back to his place and he gave me the tour; it was lovely, and while I have absolutely no desire at all to move, I do see the appeal of living there. I had to leave before Jess came home, since I was running out of energy, and I should have just gone to bed when I got home since I've been pretty useless since then. But Terry got home from New York an hour ago, so I went downstairs and chatted with her for a bit, so that was nice. And now, it really is time to go to bed -- perhaps tomorrow I shall write. Goodnight!

i guess you better go and get your armor

I'm in a better mood than I was yesterday; sorry (not sorry) for the bleak and melodramatic post. I didn't sleep well at all last night, unfortunately, and what sleep I did get was fitful, but I dragged myself out of bed at ten a.m. and spent the morning/early afternoon compiling the necessary edits for SCOTSMEN so that I could send them to my agent and the ebook formatter. Once that task was done, I felt much better about myself, and the belated shower that I took made me feel even more human.

At that point, though, I wanted to take a break, and even though I knew it was silly, I drove to the south bay to return my Stanford library books. I'd forgotten to take them back when I was down there last week, and they're due before I get back from Denver, so I had to do it sometime, and today was the best day, I suppose, since I didn't really want to think about anything. So I drove to Stanford, checked my mailbox in Palo Alto, dropped off the books, got a tiger spice chai at Coupa outside the library, and drove home. I also talked to Katie about my impending visit to her fair city; her plans for me sound more like Stephen King's "Misery" than anything particularly appealing, but at least I know she wants me to keep the blog going, so even if she does kidnap me and lock me in her basement, at least you'll hear from me about it, right?

When I got home, I messed around on the internet, took a nap, and then met up with some former coworkers (and former direct reports) at a wine bar on Fillmore. It was lovely to see them all; they'd come to my Authors@Google talk a couple of weeks ago and we'd decided to get together more informally and catch up, which was v. nice. Then I came home, curled up on the couch, and read one of my favorite comfort reads (Robin McKinley's THE BLUE SWORD), which never fails to make me feel better.

And so now, properly restored, I need to go to bed; hopefully by tomorrow the last remnants of surliness will disappear, since I have a ton of stuff I need to do. Goodnight!

Monday, April 02, 2012

i never meant to start a war

I'm in an utterly foul mood and wasn't going to blog tonight, since I can't encapsulate my foul mood in a blog post. But I don't think I've missed a night's blog since I was in Germany, so why start now?

Most of the day was a waste, but I did manage to finish proofreading SCOTSMEN and found that there weren't all that many errors to fix, so that's good news. And I read a book (written by someone else!) after I finished proofreading, which didn't soothe me quite as much as I'd hoped; I should have chosen something lighter. And I didn't get April Fool'd by anything, so that's good news too, right?

That's all I've got. I think I'm going to go to bed and hope that the foul mood fades back into my nightmares...it usually does. Goodnight!