Monday, December 30, 2013

and the wind catches your feet and sets you flying

I'm back in San Francisco, in my own bed, after a day of triumphs and tribulations (as per usual). I awoke in Iowa earlier than I wanted to but later than I should have, and I did most of my packing and took a shower before brunch was ready. My father made bacon, eggs from his chickens, and fried potatoes (I typed 'friend' by accident and almost left it), and we discussed life and mortality and all sorts of other fun and interesting topics. Then I finished packing, did some photo stuff with my mother, decided to repack, and left approximately fifteen minutes later than planned. Oops.

But we got to Des Moines in plenty of time to have an early supper at Johnny's (I plan my flights around mealtimes there), so I had prime rib to fortify me for the voyage ahead. I needed to be fortified mainly for the walk from the truck to the terminal, as it turns out, since it was ten degrees, I'd already packed my winter coat in my suitcase, and I was slightly damp from having [censored] hose me down with Febreeze in the parking lot. But I survived and have not yet caught pneumonia, so that's good. I checked in, verified that my suitcase was under weight (at forty-eight pounds, I should have put two more things into it, but c'est la vie), and then bid a fond farewell to my parents and [censored]. No one kissed me on the nose Ox-Cart-Man-style, so I guess they weren't sending me off to be worked to death and/or slaughtered, so that's a good thing.

But I may work myself to death anyway. On the plane, I read a book on self-publishing that I've toyed with reading for awhile, and while I didn't learn all that much, it got me fired up for the next phase of my career. I also wrote out my goals and dreams and focus areas for 2014, which I need to revisit and refine over the next couple of days. And I read a long chapter from an interesting book on the War of 1812 (the thesis is that the War of 1812 was a civil war between the US and Canada more than anything else, which I find intriguing), so this may go down in history as the dorkiest plane ride I've ever taken.

When I got to SF, the plane was almost thirty minutes early, which excited me, until I got to baggage claim and found that the carousel they were routing four planes through was broken, so it took forty minutes to get my bag. I was filled with foreboding when I picked it up since the ziptie I'd used to close it was gone, and I was worried that the fine folks at the TSA had confiscated my hatchet. This would have been a fitting close to the day, since I'd gotten word from Terry that she found the box for a package that got delivered to me after I left here, but the box was open and the two dresses inside were stolen. Stupid cities and their stupid thieves. This would never happen in Iowa! Okay, it could totally happen in Iowa. But probably not.

sssanyway, the TSA didn't take my hatchet, but my quart jar of sweet pickles was rewrapped in its protective bubble wrap and covered in TSA inspection tape, so I wonder what they thought the pickles were. But otherwise everything seemed to be intact, so that's a good thing; we'll find out more tomorrow. And now I really must sleep if I'm going to get up and get ready for all the festivities I have in store for myself while also writing a million words - goodnight!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

got two reasons why i cry away each lonely night

Tonight is my last night in ye olde Iowa for awhile (insert sadface). So I spent the day being lazy and taking care of small tasks to avoid packing. I slept for ten and a half hours, spent a couple of hours lounging in my robe and talking to my family and snacking on leftover ham (breakfast of champions) and finishing a book on screenwriting that I'd started a couple of days ago. Then I showered, took care of some stuff around the house, went with [censored] on a v. brief visit to my grandmother, came home, messed around on the internet, and then ate supper with the fam. We also played one and a half games of hearts; it might have been two, but there was an interruption during the first game (it involved a kitten almost getting eaten and there's now a bloody pawprint on the cat food bowl, but I'll say no more), and we were all too tired to finish the second round.

So I suppose I should go to bed so that I can get up, eat breakfast, pack, and prepare to go to the city of corn, where I will catch my flight back to California. It's a shame that it isn't cheaper to go back and forth (or that I don't have a wormhole connecting my closet in San Francisco with my closet in Iowa), since I think my ideal life would involve days spent in peaceful rural Iowa and nights spent in chic San Francisco wine bars. C'est la vie. Hopefully I'll survive reentry with minimal trauma, and I'll have a few days to recover since I have Monday-Wednesday off and plan to work from home Thursday and Friday. Goodnight!

Friday, December 27, 2013

like a twister i was born to walk alone

Today was lovely, although my time in Iowa is all too quickly coming to a close. So I slept in a bit, ate some lunch, ignored the workout I should have done, took a shower, gathered a whole bunch of stuff that I needed to mail/ship/take care of, and ran some errands in town. Then I came home, procrastinated, ate supper with the family, and played hearts. I very nearly won, which would have been a dagger to [censored]'s heart since I won Rail Baron at Thanksgiving, but I made a critical error (I should have let my mother run the table near the end, since it would have ensured my victory) and so my father won instead. Sadness.

But it was all still v. fun, even if my knowledge of song lyrics leaves something to be desired. And now I'm desperate for sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

you don't remember, but i do

I was going to go to bed an hour ago, but I got distracted making a spreadsheet of my 2014 travel plans, which reveals that if I pursue all of the plans I currently have, I will be gone from home ninety days and will need thirty-five vacation days to accomplish all of this. Ha. This doesn't seem like a successful recipe for writing three books next year, although I suppose it doesn't count the long weekends and other corporate holidays, during which times I could theoretically do mini writing retreats to accomplish stuff. But between the day job (22 days), the romance conference circuit (28 days), my family life, and a vague dream of going to Paris again, I'll be getting in quite a bit of jetsetting this year (unless I hang it all and go live in a cabin somewhere).

But despite that dawning horror, today was good; I slept until almost noon, then spent the afternoon reading a book and helping to set up my mom's new tablet and the Chromecast that [censored] and I gave to our parents. So that was all v. good. We had leftover zucchini lasagna for dinner, and then I experienced some fine CBS programming ("The Millers", which was really funny) before coming downstairs and chatting with [censored] about [censored]. Then I read for another couple of hours, which a v. short break to almost fall asleep, followed by a burst of insight about what will happen in Thorington's story. I'm hopeful that I can plot this thing before I go back to work, but we shall see.

And now, I really should go to sleep so that I can get ten or so hours of sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

feliz navidad

Merry Christmas! I just realized that I stayed up way too late tonight...as per usual, I was exhausted at eight and almost went to bed before getting a second wind. Oops. But today was lovely, even if my introverted hermity side didn't get enough alone time. I woke up at 7:30 and the four of us had a delightful time opening presents. My list of gifts continue to be absurd, and I think I'm prepared to survive an apocalypse and then document it after, if you consider the hatchet, fountain pen ink, and wine decanter (among other things) that I got from various members of my family. I also got a fake rat, so that's something.

And then the rest of the day was spent socializing rather than getting to play with my ink; Mark/Kathy/Drewbaby came out after we had finished breakfast (which was yummy), and we hung out for a bit until my sister showed up. After her kids arrived, we opened presents, then ate supper, and then thought about playing Cards Against Humanity, but the timing didn't work out since they still had presents to open at home. So they left, I got out my laptop with the intention of doing a few tings, and I did those few tings (plus a million more) while listening to the Cyclones game on the radio (needless to say, the Cyclones weren't on CBS). But then I continued to work, which was good for my to-do list and very bad when I realized that I spent three hours working on Christmas. Luckily it was on stuff for my writing life, but still - that's pretty sad. I need to check myself before I wreck myself. Or not. Whatever.

Now that I'm turning incoherent, I should sleep. I hope all of you had lovely holidays, full of great times with your families/friends, great presents, and limited quantities of food poisoning. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

reindeer games

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! Today was utterly lovely, perhaps verging on perfection. I woke up and failed to do the workout I theoretically should have done, but I did make gluten-free chocolate chip chewies (is that the opposite of a workout?) while talking to Uncle Mark, Aunt Kathy, and Drewbaby, who had arrived from the big city to hang out for the day. Then I showered, dolled myself up in a dress that was perhaps too formal for the occasion (but since I wear dresses almost every day, this was par for the course for me), and ate lunch with the fam. We spent a couple of hours in the afternoon playing Cards Against Humanity, which is an absolutely awful game that is perfect for horrible people like us.

We all took a break then so that the guests could check into their hotel and retrieve Gram, and we all reconvened with Aunt Becky and Uncle Brian (the scandalous husband) arrived from Des Moines. We talked and nibbled on meats and cheeses, and it was all fun and games until Gram forgot about [censored]'s existence, and then, when Drew and I reminded her of him, she exclaimed, 'oh, right, he's my favorite'. Heh. Then we ate supper (zucchini lasagna ftw) and opened presents, which wasn't really opening presents so much as it was toying with the 'kids' in the room. Aunt Becky made a game of Clue with people and weapons replaced with known things in the family (weapons like CBS Programming and Dexter Cows, for example), and Drew, Michael and I had to play it to find out where our presents were. It turned out that the answer was a box of Lucky Charms in the kitchen, but it was quite entertaining since it turned out Michael and I had never really played Clue and had no idea how to do it, and we all lost. Oops.

But it was pretty hysterical, so that was good. And then we played some more Cards Against Humanity with those of us who were still awake before everyone left. So all in all it was a great Christmas Eve, even if the traditional lasagna is now gluten-free and everyone is older and we no longer go to church because a) we're heathens and b) that church shut down anyway. Goodbye, youth! And now, I must sleep so that we can do it all again tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, December 23, 2013

i fell into a burning ring of fire

I really wanted to go to bed three hours ago, but as usually happens with me, I got a magical second wind that kept me working even when my eyeballs felt rather Saharan and my back curled up like a burning piece of paper. No, that second wind is not meth - ask my dentist for proof that I'm not a methhead. But wherever that second wind came from, it enabled me to take care of some minutiae for my romance writer career, write a much-belated journal entry, and generally get myself organized.

And really, that's what my day was - an attempt to get organized in the face of overwhelming task lists and self-inflicted pressures. I woke up earlier than I wanted to, which was still later than I should have, and took care of some tings before going upstairs and scrounging for the breakfast I had missed. Then I spent the afternoon taking care of more tings, including wrapping all the presents I needed to wrap, going with my father to Chariton to check out walkers for my grandmother (never thought I'd be a walker model, but since I'm only two inches taller than her, it turned out that it was good that I went along since I could test drive them), doing some more wrapping, watching some fine CBS programming, etc.

My break is going far too quickly, and I'm really not looking forward to going back, if only because next year is shaping up to be a crazier repeat of this year - I'm already signed up for as many or more trips than I took this year, and I want to write three books instead of writing one and releasing two, and I will probably have more work to do at the day job, and I want to see my friends at some point (and in this one instance, 'friends' means the people I knew from college/work, not the fine fellows at my favorite French bistro). Oh, and I want to keep working out and get more focused on my health. Soooo...that's all totally doable, right? But only if I get the year off on the right foot by getting in some deep, deep relaxation this week, so maybe I should put the laptop down and go on a tech moratorium. Ha. Something close to that wouldn't be a bad idea, though. Goodnight!

safe and sound

Remind me to never offer to give away a bonus epilogue unless I've written the fucking epilogue first. I knew that I was asking for trouble when I decided to say that anyone who bought a copy of Prudence and Alex in the first month and sent me the receipt would get access to a secret bonus epilogue, but I did it anyway under the belief that it would help to boost those crucial early sales that would help me to show up on bestselling lists. And I do think it worked, so I don't entirely regret it. But I do regret writing fourteen pages in the last three or four days when I wanted to be relaxing and when I am thoroughly and completely ready to move on to Thorington instead of revisiting Prudence and Alex's happily ever after.

Happily, though, it's done, after a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth today (silently and internally, since I didn't want to scare my family, who aren't accustomed to seeing my process up close). And I even sent the emails to all the people who sent me receipts, which took quite a bit of time even with the benefit of a canned response. So now I can sleep the sleep of the just, hopefully not wake up until ten (this is code to my family to not wake me up for breakfast; I can eat cold bacon just as happily), and then spend tomorrow relaxing/wrapping/baking/reading/catching up on email (one of these things doesn't belong here). Goodnight!

Friday, December 20, 2013

we stand up in the palace like it's the last of the great pioneer town bars

Today was lovely, although far more productive on the day job front than on the writing job front - but since I was working from home for the day job today, I suppose that was appropriate. I woke up to my alarm, which was meant to roust me out of bed in time for lunch with my mother's garden club (in my defense, lunch was at 11, which meant waking up at nine, which is seven in California, so this wasn't exactly late) - but it turned out lunch was canceled due to copious amounts of ice on the roads. So I ate breakfast with my parents instead, which was lovely (cholesterol with a side of politics!).

But breakfast had to end, as all things must, and so I showered, took a videoconference meeting, and then slogged until dinner at seven p.m. All told, I got through quite a few things on my to-do list, or at least enough to feel like my vacation can begin in earnest. Then we ate supper (roast beef), watched some fine CBS programming, and then I watched the news while my parents slept. The weather is looking brutal for the weekend, with a prediction of eight inches of snow on top of the ice we got, so we shall see whether I can ever leave the house again. But [censored] made it home from [censored] just ahead of the ice that followed him all the way up here, so that's good. And now I must sleep so that I can do some writing and socializing tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

no sugar tonight

I made it to Iowa entirely uneventfully today, despite some grim forecasts of ice hitting Des Moines around the time I landed. And thanks to the first class upgrades I got, I was able to knock out four pages of the short story I need to finish tomorrow. I should have kept working tonight, but after a steak dinner with my parents and a long drive home, and after I procrastinated and unpacked, it's suddenly time for bed. Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

don't wake me up

Happy birthday to two of the most important people in my life...my mother (aka Jeanie Baby to my high school friends) and Chandlord (aka Vidya to law enforcement/the piano player at Martuni's). I celebrated by working from home, which meant I slogged a lot with a brief break to grab breakfast/lunch at the cafe down the street. I stopped working at five so that I could pack before dinner, which was a successful move. Then Terry and I went to my favorite French place, where one of the waiters clearly theorized that I have terrified Terry into submission, since she ordered the exact same things I did, until the point when I drank all the rest of the wine and appeared to have cut her off. Ha.

The wine made me sleepy, but I rallied enough to go to Martuni's for an hour and celebrate Chandlord's birthday in style. She seemed to have had a good time, and her birthday song was particularly well-sung since Jessica did it in a highly operatic way that stunned the crowd. And then I came home, and now I must sleep so that I can catch my plane on time tomorrow. Goodnight!

i love the way you lie

I'm falling asleep sitting up in bed, which means I need to go to bed immediately. Today was pretty good, though; I slept until eight, got ready, had meetings from home, went to the gym and got guidance from Alyssa on workouts to do while I'm at home, went to the post office, and then slogged all afternoon. I skipped out to have a v. long overdue friendship renewal dinner with Tolu, Joann and Jane, which was lovely; we went to Fiesta, where we ate far too many chips. Then I came home, with a detour to hang out for an hour and a half with John and Jess.

And now that I'm falling sleep as I'm typing, I should really go to bed -- goodnigth

Monday, December 16, 2013

someone like you

I'm suddenly unable to keep my eyes open, so that's probably a sign I should go to bed. Today was a pretty long and brutal slog, with a lot of unwelcome emotions (what are these, feelings? oh.), but I somehow survived it. I also had lunch with Alaska Matt, which was v. welcome. But then I worked until six, worked on the shuttle all the way home, and then worked for almost three hours at my favorite French place. I've never worked on day job stuff there before, and I broke down and begged them for the wireless password even though I usually stay away from wireless networks like the devils they are when I'm trying to write. I need internet for what I was going, though (a rage-fueled monkeyish data task), so I had to accept it. Luckily Todd kept the wine flowing, and luckily I'm doing this data for myself more than anyone, so if it turns out that I stopped being able to type, I can rectify it at some point.

But now I desperately need to go to bed - goodnight!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

your heart felt good, it was dripping pitch and made of wood

Today was both wonderful and rather melancholy, so you'll have to forgive me if I sound a little all over the place tonight. I got nine and a half hours of sleep, which was crucial to setting myself up for success (or at least not failure) during the week ahead. Then I cleaned, made breakfast (bacon and eggs), and cleaned some more so that I could turn my desk around to meet the feng shui advice I've been reading up on. Not because I think that turning my desk will make me millions of dollars, but because I've never been particularly productive at my desk, and the research I've been doing would indicate that I'm not productive here because a) I can't see my door and so am subconsciously on edge as a result and B) I'm facing the wall, which is limiting. So now it's facing the door at a slight angle, and I like it so far, even if I spent far more time than I should have straightening everything up.

But after I did that, I went down the street to have my final hurrah at Nettie's; they're closing next week, but since I'll be out of town I shall never see them again. Boo. It was really kind of sad, since I love going there and will never have their fish tacos again :( I also said goodbye to Chase, my favorite bartender there; he showed me how to make my favorite cocktail (they call it a 'high tea', which is basically tea-infused vodka and lemon juice), and at the end we exchanged contact info so that we have the opportunity to make this a farewell for now rather than a farewell forever.

I left feeling rather sad, but I rallied to do a bit of Christmas shopping and run some errands. Then I talked to my parents before meeting up with Kathia for a v. unplanned, v. impromptu writing date - I need to write the epilogue that I promised to send my fans since it's due this weekend, and she's knee-deep in her next book, so a writing date was great for both of us. Then I came home and talked to [censored] about [censored] for over an hour; as per usual, we did more [censored] than making any actual decisions, and I laughed my [censored] off over the thought of [censored], but it was good to catch up with him.

And now, I must sleep, since six a.m. is going to come way too soon - goodnight!

if you close your eyes does it almost feel like nothing changed at all

I'm exhausted, but it was all worth it. I got up later than I should have but earlier than I wanted to to go to the dirty east bay for my romance writer holiday party. Last night's gin made this more difficult than it should have been, but I regret nothing. The party turned out to be super fun, and it reminded me of how much value and joy I get out of attending those meetings - I reconnected with a bunch of people whom I haven't seen in forever, and I had a lot of great conversations over lunch. Also, one of the speakers was a member of the chapter who writes romances and is also an Episcopal priest, and her talk about her career was more like a sermon and may have been one of the most inspiring things I've heard in awhile.

But it ended, as all things must, and I came home and took a nap from three to four before attempting to get ready for my remaining parties. First up was Lauren and Nathan's holiday party, which was perfectly wonderful; it was great to see them, and also nice to connect with some new people (and more nice to reconnect with people I hadn't seen in awhile, and by that I mean Katrina). I had intended to leave their party at seven to drive down to the glorious south bay to see Chris and Connie, but as it turns out, I got lured into staying in the city, and so I hung out with Lauren (aka Subz), Nathan, Terry, and their friend Allison (? I'm so terrible with names) for another few hours, which included ordering takeout Indian food. Subz and I may have spent too much time reminiscing about India for everyone else's tastes, but they were good sports about it.

And now that I'm home, I must go to bed; I intend to not set an alarm for tomorrow, which is totally shocking, so wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

you know you make me want to shout

Today was an absurd mix of highs and lows, but it ended on a positive note, so that's all that really matters. I crawled out of bed and made it onto the 7:45 shuttle, which I thought was a minor miracle. When I got off the shuttle, I ran into a coworker who was also having breakfast in a cafe where we didn't recently see a rat (aka all the other cafes on campus except for the one in our building), so we ate together before walking to our building. Once there, I slogged incessantly, except for a cessation to go to the dentist (who pronounced my teeth perfect).

I left early, however, to beat traffic, which also allowed me to get my bangs trimmed (sorely needed, since I could no longer see through my hair). But I got some pretty tragic news about a coworker when I checked my phone at the salon, so that was a serious downer. I managed to do some Christmas shopping after that, but my heart wasn't really into it, so I went home and had dinner with Terry. That was also a mild downer, since the restaurant (Nettie's) is closing next week and I'm really going to miss it (as evidenced by the fact that I went there last night and again tonight, then made a date with the bartender to go in on Sunday so that he can teach me how to make my favorite cocktail). But I had two cocktails, some oysters, and my beloved fish tacos, plus a good conversation with Terry, so that all helped.

And then I came home, laid in bed for precisely nine minutes, and then put on a dress and fixed my makeup before calling a cab and schlepping all the way out to Legion of Honor for Chandlord's holiday party. It was super fun and exactly what I needed (even if getting back out of bed for it took a gargantuan effort); it was good to see her, as per usual, and there was open bar (with much better alcohol than was at the open bar at my party last weekend), some tasty desserts, and a lot of great dancing. The dancing (or maybe the three gin and tonics and the glass of champagne) helped me to burn off some of my stress, and the company (or maybe the three gin and tonics and the glass of champagne) really cheered me up. So now I can go to bed feeling satisfied, albeit sweaty, and hopefully rejuvenate myself so that I can enjoy all three of the parties I am going to tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

through the epic unconsciousness

Today was way more fun than one should be allowed to have while working for the man. I got up early, sped down to Palo Alto (not speedily enough, since there was a lot of traffic), and trained with Alyssa. I was unfortunately fifteen minutes late due to aforementioned traffic, but we still got through a lot, and she continues to push her nefarious kettlebell agenda, going so far as to film me while I did the swings so that I could see my own form. Great.

After working out, I went to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for the day's later festivities, and then I worked for a couple of hours. My team had lunch scheduled at an Indian place on campus, and I initially intended to skip it, but I got pressured into going (which I'm glad about, since it was a lot of fun and I got to talk to some people that I didn't hang out with at dinner last night). Then I worked for a couple more hours before making homemade eggnog for my team + some of the other teams we work with. It felt like a little cooking demonstration, since I brought all my stuff with me (mixer, bowls, measuring cups, spatulas, etc.) and had great ingredients (eggs, cream, milk, whisky, rum). It turned out great, albeit perhaps too boozy for four p.m. (I don't think so, but maybe others care about their careers more than I do - j/k).

The party kind of got sidelined in a hysterical way, though, when someone noticed a rat in the cafe next to the microkitchen where we were hanging out. We were separated from it by a glass door, and at first no one believed the guy who spotted it, but then we saw it run out into the open space, then return to its hiding place under the salad bar when we all started screaming. Yay health code violations! Yay for rats hanging out under the salad bar when I get breakfast and lunch 6-10x per week!

So on that note, everything ended very hilariously, and I spent a couple more hours at my desk before catching a late shuttle home. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

you turned out to be the best thing i never had

I had a lovely day, but it was too full of people and I must go to bed immediately since tomorrow promises to be more of the same. I woke up early and met Kathia at seven (okay, 7:15) for a writing date before going to work. This was a good thing overall, but it's too bad that it's not sustainable or practical in the long run since a) I like to sleep and b) I have too many days with morning meetings. Still, I got some good brainstorming in, so that was great. Feeling accomplished, I got on the shuttle (woe) and went to work, but the ride was smooth enough that I was able to get some work done on the way.

Once I arrived at work, I had a combo of meetings and work time all day - more meetings than work, but as that's my job, I suppose it's okay. But I skipped out with everyone else at five to go to our team Christmas dinner at Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. It was quite tasty, although Des Amis has spoiled me for all other steaks; between last night's mediocre steak and tonight's okay-but-not-perfect steak, I either need to have a Des Amis steak tomorrow to get rid of the memories, or have something entirely the opposite of steak instead. But the team dinner was awesomely fun and I laughed a lot, which was great. And I gave four people a ride home, and the person sitting in the middle of the back seat was the first person to ever insist on figuring out how the middle seatbelt in the back works...so thanks to a youtube video (which has 12,000 views, which shows how difficult/incomprehensible this system is), we managed to set it up properly.

And now that everyone is home safe and I'm all packed up for working out + working + making eggnog for my team tomorrow, I think it's time for bed - goodnight!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

it's eating through you

Today was longer than it should have been...I had meetings all morning, then drove down to train with Alyssa (who continues to find new and entertaining ways to torture me), then had meetings most of the afternoon (with a break to do some excel monkey stuff). But I left the office at six to have dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam), which turned into over two hours of catching up on life + brainstorming my next series. So that got me super excited, but unfortunately I have to write Thorington before I can write the rest of it, and also I have to go to the day job rather than curling up under a blanket and daydreaming. Sigh.

But I took the shuttle home (boo) so that I could nap on it (yay) and also so that I can get together with Kathia for a writing date tomorrow at seven a.m. before going to the office (boo). Wish me luck with that. Goodnight!

Monday, December 09, 2013

now is your time and you know where you stand

I really need to go to bed, but today was mostly great from a health standpoint even if it wasn't great from a productivity standpoint. Actually, scratch that; I spent almost three and a half hours commuting, so that totally sucked. But while I was at the office, I spent a couple of quality hours cleaning off my desk - I realized that I hate working in that space and I needed to do something about it, so I attempted to fix it by cleaning everything and getting rid of stuff. Yes, I'm still in purge mode. I feel pretty good about the new layout, so that's good, even if my team probably now thinks I'm secretly planning to quit.

After that, I had lunch with Chandlord and Heather (aka dear respected madam), which was awesome. Then I had some meetings, which was less awesome. Then I drove home, which was terrible. But when I got here, I adjourned to someplace down the street (ten points if you can guess where I went), where I had yet another steak and did some seriously good brainstorming for Thorington's book. It's shaping up better than it was a week ago, so hopefully I can start writing someday soon. But I got slightly tipsier than I had planned since the waiter poured me an extra glass of wine for the road (free of charge, and also I was walking, so it wasn't really an endangering move), which means I was slightly less productive than I had planned when I got home. But I made some more progress organizing my room, and I'm hoping that I can be totally done this weekend, barring disasters or laziness.

And now I really must go to bed if I want to get eight hours tonight - goodnight!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

save me, i'm lost

Today was lovely, if you like being a hermit. I slept until 9:30, which was desperately needed. Then I read about feng shui in bed for an hour and got myself fired up about cleaning out all of the crap I've accumulated over the last fourteen years of living in California. But before I could do that, I needed sustenance, so I took a shower and made bacon and eggs and v. strong coffee. And then I spent the rest of the day sorting, organizing, cleaning, etc. I've still got a ways to go, but things are already looking better, and I'm excited to get through the rest of my closet and reorganize my bookshelves even more.

Of course, I had to take a break to talk to my parents, which was v. welcome. And at some point I had to throw in the towel so that I could eat something...which meant a well-deserved trip to Des Amis. I was going to go and brainstorm Thorington, but Terry was hungry as well, so she went too and we brainstormed him verbally instead of in my hermity notebook. Also, in continued proof that I go there too often, one of the sommelier/manager guys said that the next time I go to my family reunion in Texas, I should coordinate with him since his parents live near there and we can do wine tasting and whisky tasting and gun shooting. Sounds like a fine plan!

But now, alas, I must sleep; I just realized that I'm going to get less than eight hours no matter how I slice it, and that's tragic. Goodnight!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

maybe if i leave tonight i won't come back

I'm way tireder than I had intended to be tonight, as evidenced by the fact that I said 'tireder'. Last night was enough fun that it was totally worth it, but even though I thought I had behaved myself reasonably well, I woke up this morning feeling like death. That could be partially because I only got five and a half hours of sleep - in retrospect I should have canceled my writing date and slept in, but I'm eager to get cracking on Thorington's story, so I held to my commitment.

I probably shouldn't have; halfway there I realized I'd forgotten my headphones, which is a rookie move, and my fountain pen was out of ink. I don't think that even qualifies as a #firstworldproblem, but it's certainly an unusual one. However, I got some good brainstorming in, and I think I'm getting marginally closer to understanding at least enough about Thorington and the as-yet-unnamed heroine to start plotting the book.

But after writing, I was in desperate need of sustenance, so I went out for a steak-filled brunch with Kathia. Then I came home, attempted to rally for a party I was supposed to go to, and instead slept for two hours because I'm a flaky octogenarian instead of a hip thirty-something who honors her commitments. Stupid. I think the real issue, though, is that I'm still coming off the book-release adrenaline + the stress of my thanksgiving travels + the general annoyances I've had at the day job recently, and when I'm in an overly stressed mode, my first instinct is to hunker down, clear my head, and fix all my problems. If I were more balanced I would have gone out just to get out of my own head, and perhaps I'll do that this week - but this weekend, I'm feeling the desperate need to sleep, clean, and brainstorm before I go crazy.

So anyway, I slept for a couple of hours, and then spent the rest of the day cleaning out my closet, obsessing over my sales rankings, and making chili for me and Terry. I'm nowhere near done with my closet, but I cleared out all my drawers and went through half the hanging stuff, which leaves my shoes and the boxes on the top shelf as the main task for tomorrow. But now, I'm going to read a bit and then go to bed - goodnight!

groove is in the heart

I deeply regret not blogging last night, mostly because it means that I must blog tonight or I may be faced with a mutiny of all hands (or at least a mutiny of my mother, which is far scarier). But today was lovely. Since I will be accused of burying the lede if I don't share my good news straight away, I'll share my good news now: thanks to some pricing experimentation + a well-timed ad with an ebook daily deal newsletter, my first book (Heiress) suddenly became the #1 Regency romance on Amazon, B&N and Apple at the same time. Shocking! It's in the top fifty overall on Amazon, top twenty on B&N, and top sixty on Apple. This spike won't last forever - maybe a couple of days, and then it will taper dramatically - but hopefully it will lead to more name recognition and better sales of the other books in the series.

Needless to say, that was pretty much all I cared about this afternoon, which made me pretty useless, so it's good that I worked from home today. I snuck offline early to get a much-needed pedicure (yes, it's a need, not a want), and then I came home, dolled myself up, and sped out the door to meet up with Kathia for drinks and dinner before my corporate holiday party. I had planned to take Terry, but she bailed for another engagement, and luckily Kathia was up to the last-minute challenge. So we had two glasses of champagne at Nectar to continue celebrating her book launch and my advertising success, and then we had a delicious dinner next door, where we gorged ourselves on peppers and animal flesh and met a v. entertaining couple (the husband claimed that he ripped seven bodices today when he found out that we write romance).

After dinner, I would have happily continued to drink wine anywhere else, but we were good sports and grabbed a taxi to go downtown to the party. As it turns out, I'm super glad we went; the music was pretty good, the drinks were strong (and the bartender was way entertaining about the fact that Kathia had to drink Old Crow whisky if she didn't want to pay to upgrade), the dancing was fun (even if Kathia pulled me out onto the floor early, when the only other person dancing was the VP of the whole group), and I saw most of my fellow teammates who were in attendance, so it was all quite winning. And we adjourned around 11:30 so that we could catch a cab before the rush, and then went to Brazen Head, where we split some escargots and had awesome bailey's cappuccinos. Her husband joined us there and we hung out quite happily for an hour or so before I decided that I had to come home and go to bed.

And now I really must sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

break the walls

I just realized that I'm going to fail in my goal of getting eight hours of sleep tonight - so much for being mindful. But today was lovely; I got eight hours of sleep last night, and I worked from home, so I didn't have to sit in traffic and hate myself for hours on end. Instead, I had several v. productive meetings, took a break to have lunch (leftover steak and two freshly-cooked eggs over easy, which were divine), made some coffee, and then had more meetings all afternoon. Then I dolled myself up, met up with a writing friend whom I had met on that writing retreat I did earlier this year (she was one of the strangers who I thought might kill me, but she missed that opportunity, and she missed it again tonight). We had dinner at Nettie's, and then she quite oddly used my hair dryer and hairspray in Nettie's bathroom (she had circled for parking for fifteen minutes without success, and so wasn't able to come up to my place and redo her hair, so I took it with me and we went to dinner without parking on my street).

When we were both suitably arrayed, we went to the launch party for Kathia's latest book (she's Kate Perry, for those of you who read contemporary romance). The launch party was super cute - Kathia had all sorts of alcohol (as you might have imagined), and all sorts of guests, and I met some really cool people and reconnected with some other author friends. Terry also came shortly after I arrived, and we got some good photo booth pics with Kathia in memory of our Paris trip (je t'aime). So that was all perfect, even if I came home and wasted an hour on the laptop to wind down before going to bed later than I had intended.

And now I really must sleep if I have any hope of getting up and training with Alyssa before work tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

check your clothing at the door

No blog tonight; after a day full of staring at screens, I'm desperate to go to bed. It wasn't all bad, since I trained with Alyssa and had dinner with Terry at Fiesta...but the rest of it was exceedingly dull even by my standards. So I shall spare you the mundanities and bid you goodnight!

Monday, December 02, 2013

you ain't seen nothing like me yet

I was really really really really really not excited to go back to work today, which I suppose I should not blog about, but clearly I am too unenthused to care about career-limiting moves. Ha. It wasn't really that bad, and I'm supremely thankful that I have a flexible situation; I had an 8:30 meeting, but I took it from the comfort of my dining room table, so I avoided traffic and didn't drive down until 10:30. Then I slogged for several hours, most of which I spent talking people off ledges (my second favorite pastime! my favorite pastime is talking people onto ledges, which is quite synergistic). Then I came home, talked to Terry for a bit, talked to my sister for a bit, and then went to my favorite overpriced French bistro, where I met a new server (Haley) and drank a new wine (a beaujolais, which is usually hit or miss for me since they're often too light, but I was in the mood for something different).

And the good news is that I started writing my next book (DUKE OF THORNS). Granted, I haven't *really* started writing yet - I'm still brainstorming. And the brainstorming is a bitch since it's a whole new series, so I also have to think about who the other characters are and what they want, which I haven't had to do in ages since the Muses have been going on for so long. So this is half exciting, half absurdly scary. But I shall persevere; Thorington is an obnoxious hottie, and I want him to get his comeupance and a love story for the ages at the same time.

Now I really must sleep; I have grand plans to get up absurdly early and beat traffic so that I can work before work, and that will only happen if I sleep right now. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

the winds of change are blowing wild and free

No time to blog - I must sadly get up and go to work tomorrow with all the other poor schmucks, so I need to sleep now. But today was a good first day back in the city of sin. I slept in, showered, had brunch with Terry and her family, spent some time sorting through my massive piles of books, and then had an impromptu Blood of Lincoln tea with John, Jess, and Chandlord. It was great to see them, and I have high hopes that I can be v social the next couple of weeks to store up memories for January, when I must become a hermit again so that I can write Thorington's story. Sigh.

After tea, I bought groceries, called my parents, continued sorting my books, and are supper with Terry's family (they ordered from Delarosa, which was tasty). I'm bound and determined to cut down on my belongings, which is some sort of anti-nesting instinct in between books, but I'm indulging it since cutting down in belongings wouldn't be a bad thing. I have strong hoarder genetics, so throwing away some things is occasionally an important step to keep my hoarding from metastasizing. But I have other, mire pressing things to do tomorrow, so tonight I must sleep!

there is no one to dry your tears

I have arrived back in the city of sin, after an entirely uneventful trip that I felt I deserved after the chaos of my outbound legs. Today was a great sendoff; I woke up with my alarm, ate some tasty breakfast foodstuffs (bacon, fresh side, and two eggs from my dad's chickens), and was relieved to know that the newborn miniature calf survived the night despite the yipping of coyotes outside my bedroom window (although if the fact that my dad has named him 'Sirloin' is any indication, he might not live to a ripe old age). Then I packed my remaining stuff and loaded up with the family for the trip to Des Moines.

Once we arrived in the city, we stopped at the hospital to see my grandmother, who continues to be somewhat confounding in that she isn't responding perfectly to treatment. But she seemed to be in okay spirits, and hopefully she'll get out sometime this week. Then we all adjourned to Aunt Becky's house for lunch/belated Thanksgiving; she made chicken tortilla soup with the appropriate garnishes, along with some veggies and some meats and cheeses, and it was all v. lovely. Aunt Becky and Uncle Brian were there, obvi, as were Uncle Mark, Aunt Kathy, and Drewbaby, and the nine of us spent several hours catching up while periodically being entertaining by Aunt B's cats. But I had to break up the party to go to the airport, where I discovered that I could have broken up the party half an hour later since the line for security had exactly one person ahead of me. Ha.

But my trip was uneventful, and exactly long enough to read an entire book (HIS MAJESTY'S DRAGON, which is an alternate history retelling of the Napoleonic Wars reimagined as though all the combatant nations had dragons in addition to navies). Now, though, I desperately need to sleep; tomorrow I hope to get back into some semblance of routine, or at least do some laundry and start thinking of Thorington's story. He needs a heroine before I can go much further, so maybe I should get on that. Goodnight!

Friday, November 29, 2013

baby, baby it's a wild world

No blog tonight - I won Rail Baron this afternoon, which was so exhilarating that I have no words left. Okay, that's not why I don't care to blog - the real reason is that I need to get up relatively early tomorrow to finish packing and go to the airport (with plans for lunch with the family up in Des Moines + a visit to my grandmother in the hospital), so I should get some sleep. But today was lovely, replete with leftovers + fresh food, my Rail Baron win, and a Garth Brooks special on tv that was surprisingly good. And now, to sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

blood is like wine, unconscious all the time

I'm still not nearly caught up on sleep, but today was a v. lovely day. I slept close to ten hours, then ate some sausage, then showered, then had Thanksgiving dinner (aka lunch) with my parents and my brother. This is the first time the four of us have ever had Thanksgiving by ourselves; even in Ukraine, our grandparents came to visit that week, so we weren't alone then either (although I doubt that it was as tasty as today's meal). But it was all smashingly delicious and the solitude was actually kind of nice (this shouldn't surprise you, since I am a hermit).

The four of us eventually started playing a game of Rail Baron, which we weren't able to finish today. We were just getting into a groove when Sammi, my oldest niece, came over with her daughter. I hadn't spent any quality time with them in ages, so it was nice that they came; we hung out for an hour or two, and I was reminded that a) children can be super adorable (Sammi's daughter is four and is highly intelligent and very cute) and b) children can also be really sticky. So sticky that I'm not sure I can have kids (see hermity tendencies above - I am not used to being sticky). But it was fun to see them, and hopefully we'll see them again at Christmas.

After she left, [censored] and I went down to [censored] to leave water for the [censored], and then we all got back into Rail Baron. Sadly, we didn't finish tonight, so we're going to have to finish tomorrow - and by then, everyone's luck may change, which could do bad things for me and good things for my father (whose dice rolling has been so massively unlucky that I may have wet myself at some point from laughing so hard). So now, I must sleep so that I can enjoy my last full day at home tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

hemorrhage

Today was a v. long day, but I suppose it was a good one. I woke up a little before eight under extreme duress, took a shower, grabbed some tea, and was out the door with [censored] by nine to go to Des Moines. My grandmother had an endoscopy today, so most of the family convened at the hospital up there since she'd been transferred up there from our hospital earlier this week. She's in the same hospital that my dad was in last year, so I'm all too familiar with its setup and am unhappy that I had the morbid realization that my visits home in the future are statistically likely to contain more hospital visits than they did in the first ten or twelve years that I lived in California. Boo.

Anyway, [censored] and I got there around eleven, and we saw her a couple of times in between preprocedure procedures. When the phlebotomist came in to draw blood, I had to step out, then felt vaguely faint, so I abandoned my dad and brother and went to Starbucks (the only saving grace of that hospital) to get some quick sugar. [censored] came down to join me, and our group soon expanded to include Aunt B (who must be brutally tired since she just got back from New Zealand, was working like crazy, and spent last night at the hospital), Uncle Mark, Aunt Kathy, and Drewbaby (who must be brutally tired since he had to hang out with his family without the benefit of all that cheap college beer he's probably used to). We ended up having lunch in the hospital cafeteria, where three out of three children would agree that the food wasn't entirely up to our expectations.

After lunch, we went back upstairs just as they were wrapping up the procedure, so I delivered food to my dad and the siblings got the verdict while [censored], Drew, Kathy and I waited in the waiting room. I also may have forever destroyed my fertility by accident, since I was washing my hands in a leisurely manner after using the bathroom and then noticed the sign that said 'female patients of childbearing years must check in with the receptionist before using the restroom'. Uh. I'm going to assume that this has something to do with wanting to do a pregnancy test and not that the restroom is unavoidably contaminated, but if that's not what it was, I apologize to my unborn children.

As it turns out, it appears that Gram's issues are going to resolve themselves, and she should be out of the hospital on Friday. So [censored] and I came home, followed closely by our father, and we rendezvoused with our mother and went out for supper in town. There, we ran into the town pharmacist and his wife and encouraged them to have a drink with us while we ate, since they were on the way out the door. So that was super lovely; I see the pharmacist occasionally since the pharmacy is one of the stores I go into when I'm home, but it's usually a thirty-second conversation since he's always busy there. I also saw Ashley and Nikki, who were in my class in high school, and I think we're going to try to get together when I'm home over Christmas (thus violating my usual hermitville tendencies, but it would be fun to see them).

And now I must sleep since I'm failing *miserably* at my goal of resting and relaxing on this vacation - goodnight!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

hemoglobin is the key

I'm too tired to blog and I really need to stop staring at screens. But today was fine - I ate fresh eggs, drank great coffee, enjoyed my family, wrote a third of a page of notes for my next book, saw my latest book featured on USA Today's romance blog, watched "Rudolph" and realized that Santa is an asshole, saw some fine CBS programming, and got to hang out with [censored]. All in all it was a good day! And now I must sleep since you can never be too prepared for what tomorrow may bring - goodnight!

Monday, November 25, 2013

the only way you can know is to give it all you have

Today was far longer than I should have let it be, and I'm so far failing woefully on my goal of catching up on sleep during my vacation. That's probably because it's only a vacation from the day job; the writing job grinds on undeterred by things like sleep and hunger and caffeine withdrawal. Also, when I woke up at 8:30 this morning, I stupidly decided to get out of bed and have breakfast rather than sleeping for another four hours like my body probably needed. Oops.

But breakfast was good (I was in time to eat the sausage my parents had made, although I had to cook my own eggs), and then I messed around for a couple of hours before showering. I spent the afternoon creating the paperback for Prudence's story; I'd done most of the interior formatting on the plane from SF to Denver, but I had to finalize all of that and make the cover, which took a lot of time because I'm really nitpicky. So I was on my computer for about six hours straight, with a break to make some delicious french press coffee like the yuppie I am. Then I had supper with my parents, watched a tiny bit of fine CBS programming, and did a hangout with Steph and her boyfriend to talk about the boyfriend's self-publishing endeavors.

And then I swore I was going to go to bed, and I signed off chat and was on my way out...but then I got sucked into more work stuff, and suddenly it's after eleven. But I did some foam rolling (which hurt like hell since my back was a mess after my day of hunching over the laptop) and washed my face (sad that that's considered a break), so it all could be worse. And now I really must sleep - goodnight!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

i woke up in mid-afternoon 'cause that's when it all hurts the most

I should have gone to bed four hours ago, but as per usual I got sucked into work (updating spreadsheets, sending emails to reviewers and marketing sites, etc.) and have suddenly discovered that it's after midnight. It's only 10:15pm in California, and 11:15pm in Denver, but I'm no longer in either of those places. I only slept three hours last night, which wasn't nearly enough, but it was so good to see Katie (and her husband, and their spawn) that the exhaustion was totally worth it. Katie was kind enough to get up at four a.m. to the sound of me showering rather than her daughter screaming, which made me feel somewhat guilty since this may have been one of those rare, magical nights when she could have slept straight through rather than getting up in the dark. Sadness. But Katie took me to the airport, I got through with no issues, was upgraded to first class, and got some extra sleep because we sat on the runway for forty minutes while they dealt with a software issues. Stupid.

But my parents were waiting in Des Moines when I got there, and we had a lovely breakfast at Perkins (well, the eggs weren't that great, but the company was good). Then we ran a couple of errands and came home. Iowa in November is much preferable to Iowa in March, I think - there are still some green things, even if it's freezing cold, and there is way less mud. However, as my father pointed out, this is the season when the deer run across the road with their heads down, which makes it harder to see the reflection of their eyes in your headlights, which makes for a dangerous drive.

We made it, though, and when we got home I unpacked, organized my room, and took care of some tings. Then I talked to my parents until my energy ran out, and I came downstairs with the intention of taking a shower or a nap (I failed at the first and only did thirty minutes of the second). Then I accompanied my father into town to visit my grandma; she's in the hospital (was admitted yesterday while my parents were trying to pick me up the first time) and it's unclear exactly what's going on. So that was all vaguely depressing. But I got over my depression when my mother made zucchini lasagna - it's just like regular lasagna, but with zucchini slices instead of pasta, and it was really super delicious.

And then I came downstairs to work, and you know the rest. I need to take some time off this week, but I also want to keep flogging EARL at all interested parties since I want this book to break out a bit more (and it has a chance to - it's still in the top fifty regency romances on Amazon and B&N, which is nothing to sneeze at). But I also don't want to die of exhaustion - this ain't the Donner Party, after all, and I can theoretically take a break and rest my proverbial horses without worrying that a blizzard is going to trap me for the rest of the winter and leave me totally fucked. Yes, my Puritanical roots are at war with all the attempts I've made to make myself a more relaxed, more enlightened person. We shall see if the Puritans win or if I can somehow will them away through deep, deep relaxation. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

lord i'm coming home to you

Too tired to blog - I got stranded in Denver due to mechanical issues, which was unfortunate. But luckily Katie was home, so rather than leaving me to the tender mercies of a creepy airport hotel, she picked me up, we got wine and takeout Thai food, and then hung out with her adorable daughter (
until the daughter went to bed. Then Katie, James and I engaged in some sort of Scandinavian ritual that mostly just seemed to be taking over drinks and candles without checking our phones - highly civilized.

But Katie and I stayed up until midnight taking, and I have to get up in three hours to go back to the airport, which may have been ill advised. Wish me luck - goodnight!

Friday, November 22, 2013

this greed, it's bigger than you and me

Terry said that I buried the lede in the last post, so I'll say it again -- 'The Earl Who Played With Fire' is out now. Yay! No paperbacks yet, but you can get the ebooks on Google/Amazon/B&N/Kobo (Apple coming as soon as they approve the file, which could take a century or two). And it's doing better than I expected it to do - as of tonight it has cracked the top 100 historical romances on both Amazon and B&N, so that's a totally awesome start. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going, since awesome sales would be a soothing balm for the nervewracking period while I wait for the first reviews to come in. Yes, I'm a masochist.

sssanyway, I had to work today, but I was able to work from home, so it wasn't all bad. And I was able to slack off a bit early and send out my newsletter, which was clearly responsible for kicking the sales into gear. After that, I looked up a bit blearily, discovered that Terry was home (I knew she'd been home for hours, but I had basically ignored her even though we were in the same room), and made plans for a celebratory dinner. We went to my favorite overpriced French place, where Todd made sure to introduce me to Erica, and the general feeling of warmth and steakiness was enough to almost make me happy to be there instead of in Paris (where I would rather have been). We had champagne, which felt v. celebratory, and I had a glass of wine with my steak, and all was right with the world.

After steak, we came home and I undertook the task of packing for Iowa, since I leave for the best state in the union tomorrow morning. And now I must go to sleep so that I can get up, shower, get on a plane, and sleep some more -- goodnight!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

i'll sell you a meaning

I was going to skip blogging tonight since I mostly can't tell you anything you don't already know. But then I remembered that's true almost every night of the week. So suffice it to say that I got up far earlier than I wanted to but far later than I probably should have, left the house at 6:45, and made it to Palo Alto in time to train with Alyssa. My body is totally wrecked from the last few weeks of limited sleep and maximum wine, so I'm looking forward to taking a break when I go back to ye olde Iowa on Saturday.

Post workout, I showered, put on a dress and some red lipstick to make myself feel like a stylish professional instead of a ruined hag, and went to work, where I slogged all day. I was trying to get out early to beat traffic, but someone put a meeting on my calendar for 3:30 - and it turned out that the team had gotten me cupcakes and champagne to celebrate my book launch. They even got two gluten-free cupcakes so I could choose between them (I went with coconut, which was delectable), and they gave me a card and everything. It was super sweet, and it was a nice reminder that I'm v. lucky to work somewhere where I don't have to hide my side profession.

After that, I hung out some more and eventually left the office at six, which was prime horrible time for the commute, so I had dinner at Palo Alto Sol while working on some marketing stuff for zee romance novel. Then I drove home and messed around until now because my brain is too fried to be productive but also too wired for sleep. But I'm going to make a valiant attempt right now, since I could get nine hours tonight if I play my cards right. Goodnight!

oh...not goodnight. If you can't wait a moment longer for Alex and Prudence, they're available on Google and Kindle. Apple/Kobo/B&N will be up in the next couple of days, whenever they finish processing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

when all you've got is hurt

Another day, another series of triumphs and extreme annoyances. Mostly annoyances, to be honest. I worked from home today (triumph), which meant I was able to sleep nine hours (double triumph). But I ate a ridiculous assortment of things because I had no groceries, and it rained most of the day, and I was generally cranky and surly and petulant. I'm pulling myself out of my surly spiral, but it's challenging because the surly spiral is so warm from all of my rage energy. This is all a somewhat oblique way of saying that some day job stuff this week got on my last nerve, but I'm recovering and am determined to go in tomorrow with a different attitude (or at least brighter lipstick).

So I slogged until 6:30, put on a dress (and brighter lipstick) and had dinner with Lauren (aka Subz) and Terry at Presidio Social Club. The waiter was a bit off; when he cleared my plate, he first asked, 'are you done with your steak?', which should have been obvious since there was no steak left. Then he said, 'oh, did they forget your mashed potatoes?' and I had to say 'no, I ate them all,' which he asked me to repeat since he apparently didn't understand what I said. Tanks for making me feel like a heifer, waiter. This would never happen to a VIP at Des Amis, is all I'm saying.

But it was good to see Lauren and Terry, of course, and good to take a break. Then I came home and worked for the last two hours, which was good in the sense that I got some stuff set up promo-wise for the next book (triumph), but super annoying because my formatter sent me an email claiming he'd finished my files, but then he didn't attach them (major annoyance). So now I have to wait for him to actually send me the files before uploading, which will delay the onsale time by at least nine hours. Since I had hoped to upload tonight and go live tomorrow, this is super annoying. But I have been more angry for less reason before, so I'm sure I'll overcome this as well. And on that note, goodnight!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

love lies bleeding in my hands

Today was mostly not winning, but I'm in a surprisingly good mood despite that. I woke up at six, got out the door and on the road before traffic was too bad, and made it to the office around 7:40. I know, so crazy. To do this, I didn't wash my hair, and I chose to wear yoga pants to my director's staff meeting - perhaps a career limiting move, but it was better than sacrificing an extra half an hour of sleep. And since the director wasn't there, I feel v. justified in my decision. So I had meetings from eight to ten-thirty, skipped out to train with Alyssa, came back, and had meetings from one to four. At that point I suppose I was supposed to answer email and do all the work I don't get a chance to do while sitting in meetings, but instead I chose to skip out and drive home before the first rain of the season caused a total carpocalypse.

It only took me ninety minutes to get home, so I think I won, but I won by taking 85 to 280, then getting off 280 in Noe Valley and driving all the way back through the city rather than staying on the freeway. I think this was a win, since maps was predicting 2hrs on 101. When I got here, I ended up slacking off for a couple of hours, which was unprecedented - Terry and I ordered a pizza and opened a bottle of wine, and we watched 'How I Met Your Mother', 'New Girl', and the pilot of 'Dracula' (which is fascinating because I have a scary crush on the lead, but the show itself is pretty terrible). Finally, I dragged myself back to my to-do list and slogged through some of it for the past two hours, which isn't enough but is better than nothing. And now I'm going to try to sleep for nine hours - I'm working from home tomorrow, so hopefully I can catch up on sleep and also catch up on work.

But first, two things:
- happy birthday to my father! yay!
- Prudence and Alex's book is now available on Google Play, if you feel you must read it immediately (or if Play happens to be your media vendor of choice). It should be out everywhere else by the end of the week, if my formatter doesn't keep sitting on it.

Goodnight!

Monday, November 18, 2013

arriviste

Today mostly passed without anything of interest to you, particularly since I spent three hours commuting and nine hours at the office. However, I made it home in a fog of complete exhaustion and knew that I needed to get something that would revive my dying spirits. So I went to my favorite French place, where I had a steak and two glasses of wine and a pot of green tea while drafting my newsletters (my real one and my friends and family one) and writing in my journal. This was just what the doctor ordered, if the doctor is a sadistic asshole who is determined to make me work sixteen hours a day.

I kid, I kid. I got through what I wanted to get through and left feeling satisfied. I also me the official VIP list at the restaurant, thanks to Fabian and Todd, who decided that they love me enough (and, likely more importantly, that I spend enough) that they should hook me up. Not that hooking me up means anything, since I always order the same thing and tend to show up when the place is relatively quiet. But they got my phone number, which apparently means I can call ahead if I need something special. Or something. As long as they keep pouring me wine and bringing me steak, and don't care that I have my laptop with me, the rest of it is pretty superfluous.

But unfortunately the commute has not put me on the VIP list, so I have to go to bed immediately. I'm so tired that I may make the questionable move of going to my boss's boss's staff meeting in yoga pants tomorrow because I can't be bothered to shower. Yes, it has come to this. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

i ain't got no crystal ball

I'm going to bed nearly two hours later than I had hoped, but I'm v. pleased with the progress I made today to finish Prudence and Alex's book. I finished proofreading, input all of my edits to my own source doc for use in the paperback, sent the edits to my ebook formatter for use in the ebook files, and also made a test epub of my own for some nefarious purpose (not really nefarious, just stupid). And I managed to talk to my parents and flirt with the bartender at one of the restaurants I usually go to (and wave at the sommelier at the other restaurant I usually go to - he probably wondered why I've forsaken him), so it's almost like I was social.

But really, I wasn't social; I missed the only thing I was supposed to go to this weekend (Jess's recital) because I couldn't take an hour and a half off. This probably needs to end soon - it's not really sustainable to work fourteen hour days every day of the week without rest or respite, but I also don't want to drop the ball on either of my jobs, and I'm determined to be successful in all arenas. The problem is that my life is also an arena, and I'm clearly dropping the ball there if you look at how many times my blog posts have mentioned 'work' instead of 'friends' in the last couple of months. Sigh.

Still, I'm super psyched to get Prudence and Alex out this week so that I can maybe take a couple of days off over Thanksgiving - I don't even know what I'll do with myself if that dream of not doing anything for forty-eight hours comes true. And on that sad, stupid dream, I'm going to bed - goodnight!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

i've got my rock moves

My productivity per hour is really falling - I blame the fact that I'm constantly tired and slightly surly. Of course, I did get stuff done today; I proofread about half of Alex and Prudence, I bought a new laptop since my old one was on the verge of dying just when I need it most, and I took care of some various and sundry tasks. I also had a lovely dinner with Priyanka, where we split a bottle of BYOB wine, ate some spicy vegetarian Thai food (I realized that I didn't eat any meat at all today, which is a new, unwelcome record), and discussed our mutual obsession for the royal family.

But I still have far more stuff to do this weekend than I have time for...so we shall see how this works out for me. Now, though, I'm desperate to sleep - goodnight!

Friday, November 15, 2013

won't you smile awhile for me

You can probably guess how today went down. I sat in traffic, had a bunch of meetings, had lunch with some people from my team (you can't guess that we went to San Jose for poutine, which I couldn't eat because the gravy had flour in it), had more meetings, and then escaped to drive back to the city with one of my coworkers in tow.

You can also guess that I was exhausted through all of this, since I say it all the time. But I put on a dress and rallied, then grabbed Terry and met up with Kathia and her sister for drinks. A single glass of champagne turned into multiple bottles of wine and some finger food, which was lovely, particularly since we kept asking for sexy reds and the owner kept complying. I was out with them for four hours, but when kathia and her husband decided to go out beyond that, I called it a night. And now I must sleep as much as possible so that I can work all day tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

some days i just pray to the gods of sex and drums and rock and roll

I continue to be hideously overworked between my two jobs, which is quite unfortunate, so I haven't come anywhere close to catching up on my sleep or getting caught up in general. Today was more of the same; I got up early to train with Alyssa at eight, then made it to work by ten, where I had meetings straight from ten to five. Then I worked for an hour, had dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam), drove home, talked to Terry, and worked on a variety of tings until now. And now I desperately need to go to bed so that I can attempt to function appropriately tomorrow. If I don't sleep this weekend I'm going to die - but I also have to wrap up final stuff with the book, do some marketing stuff, make a couple (or three) presentations for the day job, organize some household tings, and try to get through more of my to-do list. Ugh. Yes, I know everyone is busy and this is not particularly exciting - tanks for listening. And now, I must sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

why are you my gravity

I think I've hit a massive wall - I was so tired this morning that I couldn't really think properly, which was detrimental to my plans to get caught up on all the million things on my day job list. But I worked from home so that I could sleep until the glorious hour of eight a.m., and then I worked pretty steadily until 6:30 (other than the times when I caught myself staring off into space). After work, Terry and I went to Des Amis, where Todd may or may not have been surprised to discover that I have a friend (I won't go so far as to say that he assumes I have multiple friends, but this is a start). We celebrated the fact that I'm done with my book, so that's exciting, even if I still have many many things to do to release it. I had intended to go out more hardcore tonight, but between my extreme exhaustion and the fact that Alyssa's workout yesterday left me barely able to walk (seriously), sticking close to home was a good call.

We got home around eight, and we v. serendipitously ran into our downstairs neighbor, who told us all about the man who gives him and his wife private yoga lessons (and has for a decade) - the guy is apparently a yoga instructor and a nude model for one of the art schools in the area, as well as being an ex-Navy guy, and the guy's girlfriend (or ex?) is or was a professional dominatrix on the side. It was all v. odd, but Terry remains more convinced than ever that someday I will be a seventy-year-old Marina-dweller with those kind of stories (which is probably true). Then I planned to work for 30mins, which turned into 2.5hrs. Oops. There go my plans of getting nine hours of sleep - at this rate, I'll get less than 7.5. But that's better than five, and hopefully this weekend I can get caught up. And on that boring note, it's time for bed!

in a tidal wave of mystery

I'M DONE. YAY.

Of course, this would be more exciting if I had slept last night, or if I didn't still have a million things to do to release the book. But I sent off the entire file to the formatter, so I should have an epub to put up for sale next week (unless I decide to push it out). And I really am excited, despite my nausea-inducing lack of sleep - I think this book is possibly my strongest yet (although I'll always have a soft spot for Nick and Ellie), so hopefully the readers enjoy it.

The rest of my day was long and also exhaustion-inducing - I woke up at eight after sleeping for five hours and did two hours of work from home before driving down to train with Alyssa. I was super tight from sitting at my desk working for a million hours, so it was a struggle, but a good struggle. Then I had just enough time to shower and grab a smoothie before going to work and sitting in meetings for 4.5 hours (most of which I was leading, but I didn't get caught taking micronaps between my sentences, so that's good). Then I had dinner with a writer friend of mine who happened to be in town from Dallas for one night only, and it was fabulous to catch up with her even though it put me three hours behind on my night.

But now I'm done, I can sleep the sleep of the just (if the just only get seven hours of sleep), and I'm going to work from home tomorrow so that I can get more stuff done with the day job without burning three hours on the commute. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

timber

Today was a remarkably miserable day, considering that I spent it doing mostly what I wanted to do. I got up, worked from home for a couple of hours, then went into the office, where I was marginally productive and got through the three performance reviews I needed to give. Then I bounced around 4:30, picked up John, and carpooled back to the evil city. That was a nice interlude between my two jobs, since I got home and promptly worked from 5:30 until now. You will notice that 'now' is almost three a.m. I'm going to die tomorrow.

But I'm so very very close to being done with Prudence - I might have made it tonight if I hadn't remembered that I needed to write a guest blog post for a historical blog, which took way more time than I anticipated spending on it. Sadness. Now, though, I think I had best go to bed before I stay up all night, since I have to be on tomorrow at work. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

feliz navidad

Today was more of the same, mostly - in fact, Priyanka guessed what I did today based on the last month's worth of blog posts that she's read, and she got an 8/10 for accuracy (I deviated from course by ordering pizza instead of going out for steak, and she couldn't have guessed that I met up with John after my writing date). So you can probably guess it too - I met up with Kathia at 8:45, wrote for a couple of hours, and then had coffee with John. Then, I had a late breakfast, during which I wrote some more. When I got home, I had an hour of administrative tasks to take care of, and then I took a nap before writing for another couple of hours. Then I ate pizza with Terry, dolled myself up, and went out.

Yes, I went out. Shocking, I know. Tonight was Adit and Priyanka's holiday party, which is absurdly early so that they can throw the first one. It was at a bar in the financial district, and Terry drove us there since she planned to leave early, but I had to uber it home. I had been looking forward to this with high anticipation and mild dread for a couple of weeks - high anticipation because I always have fun at their parties, and dread because I can't afford to be hungover tomorrow. And I'm shocked and surprised to report that I didn't get drunk tonight. I had a couple of cocktails (a Hemingway daiquiri, because they're my fave, and a 'doctor's orders', which was a gin fizz renamed for Priyanka for the night), but I was too freaked out about finishing the book to really let myself go.

However, the party was still fun. I saw all the usual suspects early; Chris and Connie (who are having a little Boyd in February) were there, as were Jav and Folkman, so it was good to catch up with them. Katrina and Chandlord were there, although I didn't talk to them for very long, and John and Jess showed up late and left early in a rather confusing turn of events. I also talked to strangers (gasp), including a guy named Andrew who was my year at Stanford and said that the page I made for our ten-year class book was deemed by consensus in his friend group to be the second-best page in the book (probably because I crassly and obviously marketed my romance novels and put my racy covers on my page instead of standard pics of babies and weddings). And I chatted to Jose, who I had met before, and Sumeet, who I had also met before. In fact, there were probably quite a few people I had met before, but I'm so terrible with names that I totally forgot most of them. Sadness.

But I left a little after one, despite some serious peer pressure from Adit and Priyanka, and now I'm going to sleep the sleep of the just and get up tomorrow to crank out the final edits. Goodnight!

Friday, November 08, 2013

don't make a scene don't make a sound

I'm typing on my phone, so please forgive any typos. Today was the kind of day I wish most of my days were - I took it off from the day job, so I was able to do whatever I pleased. And whatever I pleased meant that I met Kathia for a writing date at 8:40, wrote for a couple of hours, and then adjourned to spend a couple of hours with the girl I've hired to be my part-time marketing assistant. In really excited to work with her, and I'm hopeful that investing in some more marketing now will result in better sales in the future. I just don't have the time to execute all the ideas that I have right now, and since I'm the only one who can write my books, it makes sense to outsource the rest.

After that, I got a facial and a haircut too repair the ravages of the last few weeks of too much sleep and not enough primping. Then I went to Nettie's and had fish tacos and chardonnay while writing and flirting with the bartender (who is in a committed relationship, so he's safe from cougars like me). And now I must sleep so that I can write like mad tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

i want to be the sand inside that hourglass

Today was ridiculously busy, but I'm oddly in quite a good mood despite it all. I woke up around six and took too much time getting ready, so I wasn't able to write before going to the gym, but that may have been too much to expect. But I left in time to make it to Palo Alto without being late, so that was something. I trained with Alyssa, showered, went to work, slogged for a couple of hours (with a break to attempt to eat a rib, which was a messy proposition while standing at a table near my cube), and then had meetings from one to five. I then washed my coffee mug, switched into yoga pants, and drove home - and I'm glad I got comfortable, since it took an hour and forty-five minutes, with enough stop-and-go that I almost made myself carsick. Blech.

But when I got home, I spent ninety minutes talking to another historical romance writer on the phone, and then I watched the last quarter of the Stanford/Oregon game, which got far too exciting for a few minutes. Then, when victory was in hand, I went down the street to my favorite expensive French bistro, where I worked on Prudence, ate steak, and continued to befriend the staff (the main guy on duty, Stephen/Steven, comped me some wine, so clearly they have added me to their list of odd eccentrics who must be appeased). And now I must go to bed - I'm taking tomorrow off so that I have a three-day weekend in which to wrap up the most pressing remaining stuff with Prudence, so I have grand plans to make tomorrow super productive. And I'm getting a facial and a haircut, which is less productive but perhaps just as necessary for my vanity. Hopefully I can get through everything this weekend, get the book out in ten days or so, and then be done with this so that I can take a break, remind my friends that I exist and that I love them despite my absence, and then begin this whole sad, epic torture all over again with my next book. Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

i hope you spend your days and they all add up

I'm typing on my tablet, so apologies for any typos - I left my laptop in the car in an effort to avoid doing more work, which I think was wise despite the inefficiencies caused by trying to your on this thing. Today was much better than yesterday from a mood standpoint, although I was at the office until 8:30, which was a bummer. And driving down today took an hour and forty minutes even when I left at 6:40, so that was a double bummer.

But work was mostly fun, including a champagne social at for, and I took a break at five to have dinner at Fiesta with Terry. So, don't cry for me, Argentina (or, don't cry for me, people who have regular hours but can't drink at work). And now I must go to bed do that I can get up at six and start this all over again. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

settle down, it'll all be clear

The internet isn't working, so you don't get a blog post. Which is probably for the best since I'm in an utterly foul mood. But I ate zucchini tonight, so that's a positive! And now I'm going to journal all the feelings so they will let me sleep - goodnight!

Monday, November 04, 2013

a hurricane of frowns

You don't get a blog tonight - I feel incredibly nauseated for some unknown reason, as I have for most of the afternoon/evening, so I'm going to lie down instead of typing anything fun for you to read. If you really want something to read, go to my romance site and check out the back cover copy for Prudence's book. Otherwise, carry on with your day and perhaps I won't want to throw up on my keyboard when it's time to write my blog tomorrow night. Goodnight!

safe and sound

I think I'm about to die, but I sent the final draft to my editor just now. Today's interminable writing slogfest was brought to you by caffeine (I overdosed by noon and felt queasy all afternoon), steak and wine (which would have been great, except my new best friend/host at my favorite French place sent me a small chocolate brownie for dessert, which I shouldn't have eaten, but it was delicious enough that I'll take the gluten hit), two naps, and a lot of pain. I was out the door by 8:45 this morning and wrote with Kathia until almost one. Then I took a couple of hours off to eat lunch, nap, talk to my parents, shower, and procrastinate. But I hit it again at 6:30 and worked until now, with a short break to take a nap at 9:45 that I somehow miraculously awoke from feeling more clear-headed (which never happens with ill-advised ten p.m. naps). And I somehow managed to write a decent new scene for near the end of the book while watching a couple make out for ninety minutes at Des Amis, which I found quite odd and just slightly offputting.

But the final draft is done!! This would be more exciting if I didn't know that I have another thirty hours of work to do in the next two weeks to research little bits of stuff that I hadn't looked up yet, do a deep copyedit of the second half (I neglected copyedit/word choice issues on the last half in the interest of getting it to the editor), proofread the whole thing, set it up for print and proofread it again, and write the dedication/acknowledgements/etc. Ugh. Still, I'm really happy with how this book is turning out - I think it might be my best yet. Or if it's not, I won't know it for another few weeks, when the reviews will begin and all my sunny optimism can be crushed by the interwebs.

Now, though, I desperately need to sleep, since I have to slog all day for the day job tomorrow. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

the final countdown

I'm out of words. I went to Goody at 9:30, where I met up with Kathia, and I wrote for four hours straight, with a short break to have 'lunch' of two hard-boiled eggs and a Mexican Coke. Yes, I'm living the dream. Then I came home, took a bath, wrote the back cover copy for Alex and Prudence's book (a necessary evil that I'd been putting off forever), and then met up with Kathia at a wine bar to write for another two hours. Thus rendered completely braindead, I abandoned her and met Terry at Nettie's, where I had an absolutely amazing dish of halibut, clams, and slow-cooked pork. Yes, that sounds like a mistake, but it was totally wonderful. And the 'high tea' cocktail I had with it wasn't so shabby either.

But now I'm desperate to sleep; tomorrow is going to come all too soon, and I am so fucking desperate to finish this book that I need to get myself in gear early tomorrow and write all day without relief. Goodnight!

Friday, November 01, 2013

carry on, carry on

Today was long and brutal, but I'm in a much better mood than I was a few hours ago, so I'll take it. I got up somewhat early, drove to the office, and slogged for five hours or so before deciding that I would beat traffic and come home early. Once here, I worked for another couple of hours, took a nap, and then fought my own surly nature to decide what to do next. A big part of me wanted to crawl even deeper under the covers and pretend that I had never decided to become a writer. But I forced myself out of that mood, put on a fancy dress, and met Kathia for a writing date. We ended up going to Nectar, which was hilarious because we ran into Terry there, who had met another of her friends for a drink.

So Kathia and I ended up being the eccentric writer friends who talked for five minutes, then abruptly said that it had been lovely but that we had work to do. We grabbed a table and wrote for three hours, with help from a couple of glasses of wine and champagne. And I must say that I'm in a much better place than I thought I was - hopefully tomorrow will be enough to get through the bulk of the rest, but we shall see. It was nice, though, to have a friend in the hell I was going through, since Kathia was feeling similarly despondent and our dark nadirs somehow canceled each other out.

We finished around eight, and then we retrieved Terry from the group of people she was with and dragged her to dinner with us. I ate copious amounts of steak, although I didn't finish it, and I am still friends with Terry even though she ordered a chicken salad. Then we parted ways with Kathia and came home. And now I must sleep as much as possible, since I'm meeting Kathia tomorrow morning to end this fucker once and for all. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

sunday evening in your street

I continue to work nonstop - it's like it's 2006 again, except I spend three hours less per day working because I'm driving back and forth from San Francisco instead of Palo Alto. And some of my work is for myself, rather than the man. But still. Today was somewhat brutal; I woke up at 5:45, was out the door by 6:15, and made it to Palo Alto around seven to do some writing at Starbucks before seeing Alyssa. The traffic was so blissfully good that early in the morning that it's almost enough to tempt me to do that every day. But then I remember that I hate mornings with the fire of all the sunrises that I never want to see, so I doubt that will happen regularly. Still, I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow as well...wish me luck.

Anyway, I wrote for an hour, then trained with Alyssa, then tried to make myself look presentable (I was clothed, so that's good enough), then sat in meetings straight from ten to three with approximately ten minutes to grab lunch. Yay. I cleared out as soon as I was done with meetings, since I didn't want to deal with Halloween traffic, and when I got to the city I wrote for ninety minutes at Philz. Then I came home and Terry and I had dinner at Zushi Puzzle, which was tasty even though I think it gave me a headache. Or maybe my ulcer friend sent a headache for me as a present. Then we came home, and I abandoned her to do day job stuff for the past two hours. Alternating between writing and the day job is actually going surprisingly well right now, if you ignore the fact that I'm essentially working two full-time jobs and do not see any of my friends who don't live with me.

And on that bleak note, I'm going to go to bed and hope that my rage at the loud, drunk Marina kids doesn't keep me awake. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

she's holding her tonic like a cross

I think my brain has melted. This is an unfortunate situation, since I must think during every active moment of the day for the next few weeks if I'm going to stay on top of my many games. Today was brutal, though; I met Kathia for a writing date at seven (okay, I showed up at 7:20), wrote until 8:30, and then caught a v. nausea-inducing bus to Mountain View, which deposited me at 10:15. Then I had a string of meetings and tasks all afternoon, which was quite painful, but I got out of there at 5:50 to catch another nausea-inducing bus back to the city. The commute is not my friend, and I am reminded that I'm happier when I drive even if I have theoretically less chance to work (although since I can't work anyway, it doesn't really matter).

So I got to the city at 7:15, and then met up with a girl who may do some marketing/promo stuff for me (or, rather, for my alter ego). She seemed really smart and cool, but I was a little braindead since I had just woken up from a nausea-avoiding nap and didn't really wake up until halfway into our meeting, at which point she probably already thought that I was a lost cause. But we're going to talk again next week, so hopefully this will work out. Then I went to Roam for a burger and ended up writing over truffle fries and a glass of wine for close to two hours, which means that I finished writing a new first chapter for Alex and Prudence. I have grand plans to get up at 5:30 tomorrow and read through it one more time before sending it off to my editor (and then training with Alyssa), but this grand plan already sounds like a bad idea.

But I'm too tired to edit it tonight, particularly after getting home and dealing with a day job issue, so I think I'll go to bed instead and hope for the best tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

no sugar tonight

You get another boring blog post because I had another boring day - actually, it was a heavily productive, interesting day, but none of it is of interest to you. I woke up early, wrote for a couple of hours, did some day job stuff, trained with Alyssa, and then was in the office from one to six-thirty. Then I grabbed some coffee with the intention of writing some more, but that was a failure. Then I came home and tried to write again, but it was still a failure, so I'm throwing in the towel. Tomorrow is another day, though - one that will start with a writing date at seven a.m., since I'm bound and determined to finish this book no matter how many friends I lose or how many people I leave dead and bloodied along the way [yes, that's a Zoolander quote]. And on that note, goodnight!

Monday, October 28, 2013

we are all just runaways

I had meant to write tonight, but I'm too tired, so I'm going to go to bed and hit it hard before work. I did the same this morning - I met Kathia at 7:15 and wrote until 9:30, when it was time to speed down to the office. This was actually a v. good plan, since I avoided all traffic, put in a full day of work, left at 6:30, ate some Chipotle, and avoided traffic on the way back as well. If I could get out of having morning meetings I would do this every day, but unfortunately it's not possible.

However, I'm going to try to write again tomorrow, so wish me luck. And that, sadly, is all I have to say - all work and no play, etc. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

maybe i'm a different breed

First, I must say that I wasn't drunk last night - I was typing on my tablet because I didn't feel like getting out of bed to get my laptop, and I didn't realize how many typos I'd created. Oops. sssanyway, today was another writing odyssey, or at least the morning was; I met up with Kathia in North Beach at 9:30 and wrote for a couple of hours, which was excellent. I'm feeling good about where I am, although I need to work all week when I'm not at the day job to meet my current goals. After that, I walked back to the Marina, had lunch (huevos) down the street, and didn't get shot in whatever shootout happened on Chestnut Street, since I luckily had decided not to go down there as I had previously considered.

I spent an hour or so procrastinating after that, then had a ninety-minute massage, which did wonders for me. Then I talked to my parents, who were in good form as usual. After that, Terry and I had dinner at Nettie's, since I was craving fish tacos - and we were v. sad to learn that they're going out of business at the end of the year, no doubt because having a restaurant in San Francisco is not a great proposition unless you're totally full every night. Then we came home and I worked on a variety of administrative tasks while watching "Project Runway".

But that's all boring. This tidbit isn't: I found out that the Russian version of HEIRESS is now available! I hadn't heard that it had been released, but I started getting the occasional hit for my name in Russian on zee romance blog, so I started searching. And I found this: http://www.labirint.ru/books/411681/. Isn't the cover gorgeous? I can't read Russian, but I can understand just enough to tell that the first chapter sample is indeed the first chapter of my book. They've retitled it something that translates to 'Forbidden Pleasures', but that's to be expected; Madeleine and Ferguson still have the same names (Мадлен and Фергюсон), so that's cool.

So that's my exciting news for the day. And now I must go to sleep since I have to get up for a writing date before going to work - goodnight!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

you're giving me such sweet nothing

The writing is going shockingly well - I keep waiting for it all to go sideways, but thus far I'm on track. I was, v uncharacteristically, out the door this morning before Terry was, since I had a writing date with Kathia at 8:30. I wrote very diligently for two hours, then abandoned Kathia and my laptop to go to a museum with Chandlord.

The museum was the deYoung, and the exhibit was a retrospective of Bulgari jewelry from the '60s to the'90s. Some of it was truly hideous, in keeping with the times, but there were some gorgeous trembnlant brooches in diamond and platinum that I would wear m if I had a) the occasion aand b) the funds. And I found myself in love with the emeralds in the collection, which makes it somewhat likely that someone in one of my boss will get some fabulous emeralds at some point.

After that, Chandlord and I found an ice cream truck with the usual artisanal soft serve (okay, only usual in San Francisco and probably Portland). Then I dropprd her off, took a nap, took a shoGoodnighhtet Kathia at a wine bar for another marathon writing session. I accomplished way more than I deserved since I was quite distracted by all the marina kids in their stupid must-get-drunk-at-5 kind of life. I eventually left, had dinner with Terry, read a magazine, and realized my body is now trying to sleep. And I shall let it - I have another writing date tomorrow and I want the end to be in sight before I go back to the editor. Goodnight!

Friday, October 25, 2013

i push the trigger and i pull the thread

Today was utterly lovely, as productive days that end in steak always are. I woke up, showered, put on yoga pants, and went to the office, where I claimed that my yoga pants and fingerless gloves were my Halloween costume and that I had dressed as a romance writer. Yes, I'm lazy. But I got a lot of random stuff done, which was good. Then I left around 2:00 to beat traffic (but not enough, since the approach to the city was a standstill), got home, checked email, did a bit more stuff, changed into a dress and redid my makeup, and then met up with Kathia at a cafe down the street. We wrote for some time before being joined by Terry, who is on probation until we determine whether her work style meshes with ours. Yes, this sounds harsh, but there are few people whom I can meet up with at a cafe and work with, and the need for productivity right now forsakes all bonds of fellowship (yes, that's a Lord of the Rings quote).

Anyway, we wrote at Rapha, then adjourned to the wine bar across the street and wrote some more. All told it was about three and a half hours, and I feel great about what I got done - I probably wrote ten or fifteen pages and edited another five or ten. Then Terry went to a party and Kathia and I had dinner, which consisted of prime rib and a whole vat of wine. Her husband joined us, which was lovely, and a great time was had by all.

But now I really must sleep, since I have grand plans to write in the morning - goodnight!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

heading for the open road

I meant to go to bed an hour ago, but I started messing around online and that was the end of me. Today was pretty good, despite my ridiculous headache; I trained with Alyssa, made it into the office by ten, had some really productive meetings, had lunch with Alaska Matt, and got down to <20 emails in my work inbox (my personal inboxes have abandoned all hope). And I spent some serious quality time talking to Heather (aka dear respected madam) in her car like the sketchy people we are; we were supposed to have dinner, but she canceled because her stomach hurt, but then she stopped by my building and we talked almost as long as we would have talked at a restaurant. The only downside was that I didn't get fed, so I had to survive a v. unexpectedly unpleasant shuttle ride home by eating some string cheese and taking a nap.

But now, I must sleep so that I can go to work, get done everything I need to get done, and leave so I can write a million words this weekend. Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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

Today was somehow v. productive, v. social, and v. frustrating all at once - I think my head is about to explode from trying to manage it all. Or maybe my head is about to explode because I'm on the knife-edge of getting sick - nothing feels quite right, and I keep losing my train of thought in a most uncharacteristic way. But I'm hoping that I can be in bed in ten minutes and get eight hours of sleep (the math doesn't add up, unfortunately).

sssanyway, I got up at 6:15, caught the 7:15 shuttle, and regretted that I had taken the time to dry my hair since that shuttle took an hour and forty minutes to get to the office. Ugh, nightmare. I had meetings almost straight through all day, and the bits of time that had originally been free got filled with impromptu conversations with people. So that was all good, although I didn't answer any email or do anything else worth noting.

But I held true to my goal of leaving at four so that I could get back to the city for a writing date. And I happened to run into Chandlord at the shuttle stop, so we sat together and talked all the way back, which probably means that someone is going to find a way to get us fired, since talking on the shuttle is the biggest faux pas known to man. She made some excellent jhokes, though, including one with a guidebook that cannot be recreated in a way that will give you satisfaction - so if I get fired, it was worth it. I made it to the city at 5:30, and I got off at the stop after my own so that I could meet up with Kathia for a writing date. On my way to the date, I stopped in at Benefit and got them to put mascara on me, since I somehow forgot to put mascara on this morning - total amateur move that left me ashamed all day.

But the ladies at Benefit rectified my tragic situation, and so I was able to walk into the cocktail bar with my head held high. Kathia and I wrote for almost two hours, which was v. necessary; I rewrote most of a scene and I think I'm happy with the results. Then we parted company and I met up with Terry and Lauren (aka Subz) at A16 to have a v. v. belated birthday celebration for Lauren. Her birthday was in August, but we hadn't formally recognized it, so the three of us had dinner and a much-needed catchup (since I hadn't seen Lauren since our infamous drink-fest to celebrate Terry's birthday six weeks ago).

And now, I'm falling asleep and must get up early to train with Alyssa at eight a.m. Ugh. Goodnight!