Thursday, February 28, 2013

the bleeding love, the silent escape

I'm full-on exhausted...so much for taking it easy this week. But I slogged a full day at work, and slogged for a couple of hours before work to test the new epub/kindle files for Heiress and Scotsmen on all my devices, and start formatting the print version of Marquess since I'm woefully behind on that and want to get it in processing this weekend. Blergh. I'm 97% happy with my decision to self-publish, but the other 3% is a mixture of annoyance/regret that no editor loved me enough to buy me (yes, my self-worth is inextricably linked to what I've written), plus the exhaustion that comes from having to do all the hours and hours and days and weeks of work to create the whole reading experience rather than just writing the damn book and being done with it. I'm actually really good at the packaging aspect, and I'm pretty efficient at it...but I'm totally exhausted from it too. I'm hoping that I'll be done with all these stupid little tasks in the next few days so that I can focus on Alex and Prudence...

...but then I realized that I had blocked off this weekend in my head to a) read five books that I have to judge for a contest AND b) do my taxes AND c) format the print version of Marquess AND d) take a break. Hahahahahahahaha.

sssanyway. Today was brutal, since I slogged nonstop, then tried to catch a bus home, which was delayed ten minutes for mechanical issues. Since I think it was the same bus (or at least same time) as the bus that broke down on me earlier this week, there was no way in hell I was getting on it. So, I went to In-and-Out and had a protein-style double-double, which was slightly restorative. Then I worked at work for an hour. Then I tried to catch another bus, which was also ten minutes late, and which took well over an hour to get me home since traffic sucked.

By the time I arrived, I was in no mood to look at a screen, so I talked to Terry briefly, and then read a Christmas novella (not my usual cup of tea, but I have to judge it for that contest, and I actually really enjoyed it). And now I must sleep so that I can get up and do all of this again tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

she's walking on fire

I should have gone to bed two hours ago, but sleeping for an hour on the shuttle gave me a second wind, which I put to good use reformatting my first two books. Since my attempt last night ended in utter failure, I started from scratch and formatted both books myself so that I can make changes whenever my heart desires going forward - and it looks like this attempt was far more successful. I need to check them on my devices just to be sure, which I will do tomorrow, but i'm glad that task is done.

The rest of my day was not noteworthy. I made it to the 7:50 shuttle, got to the office by nine, grabbed breakfast, and slogged all day (with a break to have lunch with Amy Mac, one of my coworkers from ye olden days). Then, I had dinner with Terry at Fiesta del Mar, since she was down in MTV for some work stuff, and it was extremely tasty, as always. Rather than drive back with a full belly, I dropped my car off at work and took the shuttle home (and took the aforementioned nap), and then spent the last three hours staring intently at my computer and formatting my books. And now, I must sleep; I need to slog more tomorrow, and getting up is going to be brutal if I don't go to bed immediately. Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

you live for the fight when that's all that you got

I must go to bed immediately - today was mostly positive, since I got to the office early, got a lot done, and had lunch with Becky and Christine in Palo Alto, but it took a strongly negative turn after I left the office. I left at five, thinking I'd get home and get some stuff done...but then the bus broke down halfway to the city, and we had to wait over half an hour to get picked up by another bus, which was already half-full. Luckily, I got one of the last available seats, leaving behind the poor fools who didn't get seats; unluckily, it was in the very back row, wedged in between two dudes, which was both extremely uncomfortable and mildly carsickness-inducing. I read for a little bit just to take my mind off my discomfort, but I had to stop as we approached the city. So, two hours after I left work, I was exceedingly glad to make it home.

Once I got home, though, there was no time for a break; I have so much to do, and so little time, and so I worked on covers and ebook formatting until now. I wanted to change HEIRESS and SCOTSMEN slightly to have updated buy links and to add the new cover plus excerpts of my other books, but since I paid someone to format those books, the source code isn't something that I can easily edit on my own. In fact, while those dudes are supposedly the tops in the industry and were recently bought out by another epublishing group, I'm rather unimpressed with their code. So, after spending two hours on it tonight, and after all of my attempts to load the new files onto my many and varied devices failed, I decided that I'm going to reformat HEIRESS and SCOTSMEN from scratch so that I can control the files going forward. This is good in the long run, but annoying in the short run, and I don't have time to do it tonight. Instead, I must go to bed so that I can get up in the morning and do all of this again (hopefully without the bus breakdown, since I might shank someone if that happens again). Goodnight!

Monday, February 25, 2013

up on the hill across the blue lake

I have absolutely nothing of importance to say (do I ever?) - I slept a lot, woke up, drove to work, slogged all day (while trying not to fall asleep at my desk), and took the shuttle home. Then I ate some leftover thai food, contemplated my to-do list, and instead looked up pictures of dresses from last night's Oscars. And now I'm going to crawl into bed and write in my journal for a bit; I used to journal pretty consistently, but it's been years since I was in the habit, and I'm feeling the urge tonight. Maybe I'm feeling the urge because I haven't written any fiction in a couple of weeks either - I'm itching to get started on Prudence, but I need to wrap up the last bits of work on formatting and promoting Nick and Ellie first. Blergh. But sleeping tonight is probably a better idea than staying up until four a.m. toying with photoshop, given that I wrote "SLEEP AND DON'T GET PNEUMONIA" on my to-do list. Sage advice, Sara. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

fugue in some key or another

I shouldn't have left the house today. I should have stayed holed up, sleeping and coughing and working and coughing, and tried to rest in anticipation of going back to work tomorrow. Instead, I was lured out by that usual siren's call...Adit hit me up to see if I wanted to grab lunch, and I of course said yes because I was itching to leave the house and pretend that I'm all better. He had heard that I was sick, and since he wasn't feeling well himself, he suggested soup. But when I met up with him around 12:30, it turned out three more people were coming (including the lovely Katrina, so that was great), and the place we went to refused to seat us after we stood there for awhile, so we had to drive to another place, and then walk around some more, and then eat Vietnamese rice noodles (which were v. tasty, but not enough to rejuvenate my lungs). Then Katrina parted ways with us, and we walked even more to get superfluous ice cream before I got a ride back to my car.

The upshot is that I'm still glad I went out, and it was great to hang out and have some fun and take a break and etc., etc. - but even though I feel leagues better than I felt last week, I'm still pathetically weak and need to keep from pushing myself. So I got home at 3:30, called my parents, and then spent the rest of the night watching Oscars stuff with Terry - which was fun, but was not one of the hundred things on my to-do list I should have done tonight. C'est la vie. I was going to get up and go to work super early tomorrow and get a head start on catching up, but now that I realized how ridiculously stupid that idea is, I'm going to sleep until 7:45 and plan to roll into the office by ten (which is when the rest of my team gets there anyway). And maybe someday I'll stop whining about bronchitis, but it's not tonight. Goodnight!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

to everything, turn, turn, turn

On a whim, I checked my blog for last February to see what I was up to and whether I've made any progress. And I discovered that, this time last year, I was in the midst of a mad scramble to get HEIRESS up and marketed everywhere after the Nook promo ended, while simultaneously recovering from a terrible cold/losing my voice after going to LA for a reader event. This was preceded, ten days earlier, by getting drunk with Adit and having to abandon my car after staying out with him until four in the morning (a night that involved karaoke, but ended with a drunken trip to Sparky's diner rather than cheese and egg sandwiches at his house). Clearly my Februaries follow a distinct pattern, and clearly I haven't learned from it.

sssanyway. I tried to pretend that I felt great today. I got up, showered, dried my hair (until I was too fatigued to keep drying), and put on a dress, thinking that putting on a dress instead of pajamas would trick myself into feeling well. Then, I went down the street to have breakfast, but the walk winded me (which it shouldn't, since I walked approximately a block), and I only ate half my breakfast instead of the 90% I can usually consume. Then I came home and chained myself to my desk. And, actually, I got through a lot of stuff that I had needed to do for awhile - I made a comprehensive list, then did all the things that only take five minutes and/or don't require actual thought. I also reimmersed myself in twitter, which, contrary to popular belief, isn't just procrastination for me - if I'm careful not to spend hours reading other people's updates, it's actually a great way for me to interact with authors and readers and (hopefully) promote my books. Yes, I feel like a douche for even saying that.

Around five, I bounded downstairs with all sorts of grand intentions of walking to the mailbox and grabbing coffee at Starbucks and taking out the trash and making chili for dinner...and then realized that bounding down the stairs had sapped all my energy. So, instead, I made tea, sat on the couch, and ordered Thai food. Clearly my albuterol and my codeine-laced cough syrup is making me feel better when I'm conserving energy, but I need to be careful for the next few days. I spent the evening messing around online, trying to read a book that I despised, and throwing it aside to read a quick novella by one of my favorite authors (verdict: I don't like novellas, which is challenging since I want to write a few - if there are any novellas you like, let me know, because I need to figure out whether I can do this successfully). And now, I should sleep and hope that I can do a few things tomorrow that require a bit more thought. Or, at least, hope that I can climb the stairs without running out of breath. Or, at least, hope that I won't be such a freaking drama queen. Goodnight!

Friday, February 22, 2013

mercy

The world ends not with a bang, but with bronchitis. I suppose it was inevitable that my heart and mind and even my ulcer-producing stomach would be eager to carry on with my war-on-all-fronts mentality, but that my lungs would reveal themselves to be, as they always have been, weak little traitors. Stupid lungs.

Needless to say, I did not go to work today. While my congestion is getting better (I think I only used half a box of kleenexes today, rather than a box and a half), my breath is getting more ragged, and despite sleeping for eleven hours last night I was too exhausted to contemplate dragging myself into the office, and too mentally deficient to do anything when I got there. So, I showered (a chore), ate some oatmeal (unappealing), and went to the doctor (even more unappealing), where they shoved a probe into my nasal cavity (HORROR) to determine whether I had the flu. I do not have the flu, but I do have nightmare-inducing memories of a nurse trying to pull my brain out of my skull with a sharpened stick. Instead, they determined that I have bronchitis, and they gave me a prescription for an inhaler and some drugged-up cough syrup, with instructions to come back if my fever spikes or I have any other signs of pneumonia. YAY.

I spent the rest of the afternoon being v. lazy; I dropped the prescriptions off, ate fries and a milkshake in an attempt to restore myself (mildly successful), and took a three-hour nap. Then I picked up my prescriptions, sent a few work emails, and spent the rest of the night reading a book and trying to not fall asleep and not check for new reviews of my book (a failing task, I'll grant you). And now, I should sleep, and then figure out a gameplan for the next 2-5 years that does not involve me collapsing of exhaustion every three months. Heh. Goodnight!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

why are there no songs about coughing?

I can't come up with any songs appropriate for the blog title tonight because I haven't left the house, have run through a box and a half of kleenexes, and am thoroughly and utterly miserable. At least the internet is back; today would have been even more misery-inducing without it. But I woke up feeling just as awful as I did yesterday, and my symptoms didn't improve at all. You know it's bad when my own crushing sense of Puritanical guilt didn't make me do any work at all, either for the day job or for my not-so-secret writing pursuits. Instead, I laid around on the couch, watched three episodes of "Project Runway" and an episode and a half of Craig, read part of an awful vampire romance (emphasis on awful), and was generally mopey.

Anyway, if I don't feel better tomorrow I'm going to drag myself to a doctor, so hopefully all my incessant whininess will stop soon. And really, that's all I have to report - goodnight!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

tell me baby do you do more than dance

The internet is back (thank heavens), but I still feel like death, so I'll keep this brief. I had to go into the office today because there were things that I had to do at all costs, and the internet wasn't up this morning. So, I shuffled my way to the shuttle, got to the office around 10:30, and slogged fitfully and without enthusiasm until four. Clearly no one else wanted me there either, and I tried my best to stay away from all of them, but the lure of the internet was too strong.

Then, I came home, slept all the way back, and arrived to find that the new modem had arrived. Yay! But I tried to set it up and couldn't finish until Terry got home, since the Comcast account is under her name. I suppose I could have tried to hack into her Comcast account, but given that they would probably try to charge us to resolve that issue was well, I refrained. When she finally got home, I managed to get the modem hooked up and the wireless router turned back on. And then I promptly, woefully retreated to my room and tried to read a book, but I'm too congested to enjoy anything.

Oh, did you not realize that you'd been invited to a pity party when you opened this post? My bad!

sssanyway, I'm going to go to bed now, and unless I feel utterly restored in the morning (which will only happen if it turns out that my body now requires a constant wireless internet signal to function, which actually would not surprise me), I'm going to work from home and hope that this is the last time I get sick this season. Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

too busy writing your tragedy

No blog tonight either - the illness that began last night seized me in earnest today, and I stayed home to nurse myself back to health. However, the illness that seized our Internet last night was also not cured, so we still have no Internet in our apartment, which means I have to type this on my iPad. Worse, I had to drag myself into the San Francisco office for a couple of hours to take care of some urgent stuff, since I couldn't go to a coffeeshop for fear of being the person to accidentally leak trade secrets (or, more likely, get rained on while walking there). At least we have an SF office, and I managed to convince myself that paying for parking there was about the same as driving to my regular office and back, so I suppose it all worked out, even if I was in quarantine mode and didn't seek out any of my friends while I was there (hi Katrina!).

But now I need to sleep; since our Internet will still be out tomorrow, I'm going to the office unless I feel markedly worse than I do today. Great idea, right? Goodnight!

Monday, February 18, 2013

a deceitful country

No blog tonight - our Internet went down around 4pm and never came back, which is super annoying and awful, and I don't feel like typing this on my iPad. I especially don't feel like typing this when I'm pretty sure I'm getting some awful throat/lung disease - which will be even more unpleasant if I can't work from home tomorrow. Boo. So I'm going to go to bed and hope that when I wake up none of these calamities have befallen me. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

til now i always got by on my own

I'm back from Tahoe, which is good - I had an awesome day and an awesome trip, but I'm really excited to sleep in my own bed and get some downtime tomorrow before going back to work. Today was lowkey, but it ended with a four-hour drive (well, 3.5hrs, plus time at In-n-Out), so I was destined to be tired no matter what I did today. The four of us had brunch at a restaurant in Kings Beach, and my huevos rancheros were super tasty and restorative - almost like eggs over easy on top of a plate of nachos, since the base of the dish was tortilla chips rather than corn tortillas. Yum.

Post-brunch, when we were all feeling a little bit more human, Lauren (aka Subz), Terry and I went down to the village, where Terry and I hung out at Starbucks for awhile while Lauren looked at ski boots. Then they went to the gym and I went to the adult rec center, which was basically just a room full of couches where I could work while I waited for them. I didn't get a ton of work done, since I had my usual Sunday call with my parents, but I contacted a couple of reviewers and dealt with some cover issues, so that was all good. Then we went back to the house, hung out in the hot tub for awhile, packed up, and were on the road by sixish. Terry and I spent most of the drive back dissecting a book I had made her read (POISON PRINCESS), which morphed into a discussion of career/life, which is always interesting and intense at the same time. And now, I'm super exhausted and must go to bed immediately - goodnight!

time can do so much

I continue to be in Tahoe, which should not surprise you, since no one comes up here for the night (except for the time I came up with John just to drop off the top to his convertible and have a sandwich with his dad before turning around and going back to Stanford, but obviously that was one of the many strange and bad decisions I made back in the day, so we'll leave it at that). Today was lovely, though; I was in desperate need of a break, as should be obvious from the increasingly frenetic language of my previous posts. And today was totally a break. We had a v. leisurely breakfast in the cabin, despite me being called out for my overly controlling nature in the kitchen/life (I'm just trying to hack y'all, you know - it's not a judgment, just an attempt to unearth the most optimal outcomes). Then, Subz and Terry went skiing while Nathan and I retreated to our separate corners with our laptops. I had intended not to work, and I didn't *really* work - but I did do some Prudence/Alex brainstorming, and set up some marketing campaigns, and answer some email, and tweet some tweets...

...so yeah, I continue to suck at taking vacation. Sorry, me. But it was all lowkey, and Nathan and I took a coffee break, which was nice. Eventually, we met up with Lauren and Terry at the village for some apres-ski action (that's 'drinking', for those of you who don't speak French). We had some fantastic tacos at some Mexican place, and then we found seats by a fire pit, where I indulged in a glass of wine and a fantastic hot chocolate with vanilla vodka and butterscotch liqueur, which may have been too sweet, but I was past the point of caring. We came home, spent some quality time in the hot tub, and eventually went back into the village for a late (and, consequently, hurried) dinner at the sushi place in the village. We had to get our act together because it turns out the shuttle closes at ten p.m. - this is such a family establishment that it's apparently unheard of for anyone to want a drink past 9:30. Crazy. But the sushi was fantastic, and the company was even moreso.

And now, after much hanging out and merrymaking and winedrinking and all the rest, I should go to bed. My only regret is that I couldn't do this weekend twice; Pincubus was in San Francisco today, but I got my dates mixed up and double-booked myself, and so I missed him. Sad, because I love him, and also because today looked like an amazing day in the city. Sigh. But Tahoe has been lovely, and I really needed a break, so I'm looking forward to another day of fun tomorrow. Goodnight!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

i never really cared until i met you

I'm officially taking this weekend off. Or, I'm taking it off as much as I can allow myself to take it off - I may respond to a few emails. And the books I hope to read are books that I need to judge for a contest, so that's sort of half work. However, reading a couple of books and answering a few emails is like a blissful vacation compared to what I've been up to, so I'm pretty psyched.

Oh, and I'm in Tahoe. Yay. Today was a brutal slog to get here, though; I had a lot of work to do, and I was v. productive even though I worked from home. I spent my lunch break looking at stock photography for the redo of Malcolm and Amelia's cover, which was fun, but also work. Around four p.m. I threw in the towel and took a v stressful drive downtown to get my bangs trimmed and my brows waxed by my two favorite hair/brow professionals - the brow lady also does makeup, and if I get my headshots redone (which I'm considering, since I think the bangs are here to stay and I look different with them), I need to get her to do my makeup, since she's done amazing things for my brows. Yes, I've become that kind of person.

Post-beautifying, I stopped at Whole Foods, endured the torturous drive back home through rush hour traffic, and then had a fishy Catholic dinner with Terry at Nettie's Crab Shack. Then, I threw a bunch of stuff in a bag, and we left for Tahoe at around 8:30. I belted out 80s power ballads all the way up, which she mostly slept through, so either my singing is great enough or terrible enough to fall asleep to. We got up here a little before midnight, and spent an hour drinking wine and watching Siberian meteorite videos with Lauren (aka Subz) and Nathan, whose house we're staying in. Even though I have no intention of skiing or doing anything else wintery, I'm super psyched to take a break - I only brought my chromebook with me, so I can neither do work for the man nor get sucked into spending the weekend formatting the print version of Nick and Ellie's story.

But now, I should really sleep - may you all sleep safe from meteorites (and, more importantly, not wake up to find yourself in Siberia). Goodnight!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

you begin to wonder why you came

I'm super sleepy, and I've totally hit the wall - I suppose that's to be expected since I did nothing but work today. I got up relatively early and was on the shuttle by 7:15, worked on my book stuff until I got to the office, and then I slogged very brutally and without much of a break until 4:30, when I left to come home. Unfortunately, the shuttle took over two hours; I expected this, since I figured there would be insane Valentine's traffic, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite that bad. But I got my reader newsletter out while sitting on the shuttle, so I suppose that's a good thing.

When I got home, I had intended to grab a burger at Roam, but the line was really long, so I ate a sad frozen enchilada instead. Then, I did some work for the man for a couple of hours. Then, I was going to do more stuff for my book, but I'm too tired to think, and I should have gone to bed half an hour ago. Boo. Hopefully tomorrow I can be slightly more well-rested, but since I'm going to Tahoe for the weekend and have to work a full day first, I kind of doubt it. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

the a team

There is a day when I will not stare at my computer for sixteen hours in a row, but it is not this day. Actually, that's a lie; I drove to work and back, so I didn't stare at my computer for approximately two hours today. That's a positive thing, right?

So today was good, despite the fact that I've had a smashing headache since approximately my third day back at work. I had a nine a.m. meeting, but rather than scramble to get up this morning, I took it and the meeting after it from home, then drove down to the office. How civilized, right? Then I slogged nonstop until six and felt v. pleased with myself for it. Post-slog, I went to Palo Alto and had dinner at one of my favorite cafes (they were v. surprised to see me at night, and even more surprised when I ordered a steak and a glass of wine, since they only see me eat scrambled eggs). While eating dinner, I drafted newsletters for my readers and for my friends and family - the life of a writer never stops. Then I drove home, tackled the kitchen, folded laundry, and should have just gone to bed, but I decided to get my friends and family newsletter out instead. I also uploaded the content for the reader newsletter, but since this is now going to 1200+ people, I need to test it a bit more aggressively than I tested the friends/family one. But hopefully I can send it out tomorrow...and then move on to the next ten tasks on my to-do list.

And now, I must sleep. I don't know if I can continue to be insanely productive in all areas of my life (the answer is no, unless I also want to be productive in the realm of ulcers), but if I can just keep it up through the end of the month, I should be more clear on my job and also through the initial crazy phase of the book launch. Of course, that means I'll be up to speed and ready to do real, labor-intensive things at work just as I'm starting the real, labor-intensive work of trying to figure out what Prudence and Alex's story is...hmm. Wish me luck, I guess? Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

starships are made to fly

I'm super, super tired - please remind me not to make plans two nights in a row now that I'm working again. Of course, it doesn't help that things are speeding up at work just as I'm in crazy launch mode with zee romance novel. But, this is what I signed up for, and I'm actually much happier this week, when I'm too busy, than I was my first week, when I had nothing to do except go through trainings I'd already sat through half a decade ago.

Anyway, before I go any further, I realized I made a classic rookie marketing mistake and told you that my book was out, but failed to tell you where to go if you care to buy it. Right now, you can get it on Kindle or on Nook for the low low price of $3.99. The print version is coming in a couple of weeks. Kobo (I know none of you know or care about Kobo), AllRomance eBooks, and Google Play are coming whenever we get around to uploading to those sites (yes, I realize the irony of backburnering Play).

So, on the whole my day was lovely, but it started and ended with feeling carsick, so that kind of put a damper on things. I was too aggressive in my attempts to work on the shuttle this morning, and the drivers was too aggressive in general, and there was an accident on the freeway that created too much stop-and-go traffic, and the woman sitting next to me had heavy perfume and was eating something that smelled revolting, so I arrived at work feeling incredibly nauseated. I calmed my stomach with some breakfast, slogged hardcore until noon, took a break to have lunch with John, and then slogged again until 5:45. Then, Heather (aka dear respected madam) picked me up, and we went to downtown MTV to have dinner with Denise, who was a director way way back in the day when I was involved in doing quality for the temp program. Ah, the memories.

Post dinner, Heather dropped me off at work, where I caught a shuttle home. But since I didn't get here until 9:45, and I have more to do than I can shake a stick at, I made only a brief attempt to slog before deciding I would be better served by nine hours of sleep. So, I'm going to go to bed immediately - goodnight!

Monday, February 11, 2013

book birthday

And so, in an utterly surprising, rather anticlimactic turn of events, my latest book came out today. Color me shocked. Also, color me exhausted. My agent uploaded to Amazon and Nook this morning, and both systems have gotten faster, so they were live by noon or 2pm. Yay!!! And now begins the waiting game of seeing how it does in the rankings, and waiting for the first review, and hoping the first review isn't from someone who f'ing hates it. I'm a little nervous because I don't feel like I had enough time to promo it, and I have virtually nothing lined up...but what I do have lined up is good, so hopefully I can pull some more stuff together and go into overdrive to get people to read it.

And if nothing else, it's done. So if you were sick of hearing me bitch about Nick and Ellie, get ready for the names 'Prudence' and 'Alex' to burn themselves into your retinas - I apologize in advance for the next eight or nine months.

Anyway, I was nonstop-on today, which is probably when I'm at my happiest, so that was good. I spent the whole shuttle ride updating my website, uploading to Apple, taking care of business, etc. Then, I slogged hardcore all day; I'm done with training and starting to answer customer questions, which is actually kind of fun, even if it's something I did nine years ago and had long since graduated from. I also had lunch with Ziv, whom I managed back in the dark ages, and coffee with Alana and Joy - Alana is a longtime blog reader (yay) and Joy used to work for the big boss with me, so we all go way back. And then I caught a shuttle to the evil city, dropped my backpack off at home, took a taxi to the movie theatre, and met up with Lauren (aka Subz) to watch 'Argo'.

The movie was totally awesome, although I feel just a little weird that the last two movies I've seen have involved me eating tasty snacks while watching regime change/torture in the Islamic world (although this was way, way less intense than 'Zero Dark Thirty'). But, go 'merica, right? The real revelation in this movie for me was Ben Affleck -- not that he can direct (although the movie was fantastic), but that he's so freaking hot. When did that happen? The beard and the slightly world-weary look in his eyes makes a huge difference. Or maybe it was half a bottle of zinfandel (although I maintain that the zin was medicinal and an attempt to disinfect my stomach while eating movie theatre ceviche). But seriously, dude can rescue me from Tehran any day of the week. Also, did the Argo crew find Kyle Chandler asleep in the CIA set that they borrowed from Zero Dark Thirty and ask him to play a bit role, or was it the other way around?

And now actually seriously, I'll say that the movie was v. satisfying (well written, well paced, well directed) and also made me deeply, deeply wish that I had grown up in the seventies. Also, I wish that I were Alan Arkin - Subz told me that I could pull off his attitude, but I think that while I may have the wit/sharp tongue, I don't have the killer instinct to tell someone to go fuck themselves. Perhaps this would be a good area for development for me. Or perhaps I like having friends. But then, if I told people to go fuck themselves, I wouldn't end up getting my breasts massaged in India. This is a tradeoff that will haunt me, I'm sure.

Enough of this nonsense - it's time for bed. Clearly I'm giddy and irrational because my book is done and I can contemplate not writing for two or three days - yay. But now, I must sleep; hopefully my dreams are a little less psychotic tonight, since last night I dreamed that I was a hostage on some tropical island, which turned out to be the tip of a peninsula that developers wanted to take over, and Seeley Booth, the sharpshooter/FBI agent from Terry's beloved show 'Bones', came in to rescue us, which was super hot. Also, the guy holding me hostage really liked my glasses, so that was nice, but he was a total dick and not really a good person, so I'm glad Booth came in to rescue me. So maybe I do hope my dreams are psychotic again? We shall see, we shall see. Happy book birthday to me, and hopefully tomorrow I'm a little less insane (unlikely, right?). Goodnight!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

css sucks

I am v. pleased to report that Nick and Ellie are officially, finally done. YAY. I finished inputting my post-proofreading edits this morning, then took a break, then talked to [censored], who had been gracious enough to [censored], which was super helpful. I also talked to my parents at some point, and I ran out to grab a burger with Terry (not quite the same as the lovely French restaurant we had discussed going to last night, but at least it was food, and at least I left the house).

But the majority of the afternoon/evening was spent finishing the formatting, which I think turned out really well - we'll see if I get any major complaints about usability issues. I reverse engineered another ebook to figure out why my ebook was having some weird inter-paragraph spacing issues on Nook; while I didn't figure out why it was only doing it on Nook and not on iBooks or Kindle, I did figure out how to fix it, so score one for that. It involved changing a bunch of css stylesheets and copious amounts of testing to make sure I hadn't broken something else, but it looks good on all of my devices and web reading apps, so I'm hoping there aren't any edge cases where it fails unexpectedly.

Anyway, I sent it to my agent around nine, then spent some quality time emailing people who had won copies of it in previous contests to let them know it's done. And then I said a brief farewell to Terry, who is leaving for NYC tomorrow (and is likely glad to have a break from me, since she said I reached a nadir sometime this afternoon - I was v., v. cranky from formatting, and apparently this crankiness leaked out more than I usually let it). It's sad that I reached a nadir, but that could have been the aftermath of this morning's champagne - we had book club at Lauren's, which was awesome and lovely, although I didn't even start to read the book because I had intended to take a break and do it this weekend and instead I spent the whole weekend reading css stylesheets and being hungover. Stupid. But it was good to see the book club people, even if I was woefully unprepared.

And now, I must sleep at once - I have this other job that I have to go to tomorrow, and I'm planning to get up at six a.m. so that I can make it into the office before traffic becomes atrocious. Goodnight!

in the waiting line

As you might guess if you have read the blog post I wrote this morning, my day was just a little bit brutal. As much as I'm glad that I enjoyed myself last night, and as much as I don't regret hanging out, it was still rather dumb to wreck myself when I am still recovering from whatever weird illness I had last week and am also trying to get my next book ready to go live. But then, I did the exact same thing with Adit ten years ago this spring, when I went out to a lowkey dinner with him the night before my honors thesis was due that turned into a night filled with port and ping pong - so it's either comforting or intensely sad that we've all changed so little.

Anyway, I spent the afternoon recovering, but I wasn't surly, just sickly. And i managed to finish proofreading the whole book and get about halfway through inputting all the edits I wrote down, so I'm feeling good about the book. Luckily, I didn't hate any of it on this readthrough, so I think it's ready to go out into the world! Beyond that, I did nothing; Terry and I were going to have roommate dinner tonight, but she wasn't feeling well and I was hungover and trying to finish proofreading, so we ordered in instead. And I left the apartment briefly this afternoon for some restorative huevos rancheros that were only mildly restorative, but they were facing an uphill battle that they couldn't win on their own, so they gave it their best shot.

And now, I should sleep; I have brunch plans, and then I must slog hard and fast to get the finished ebook to my agent (easy) and start building all my promo campaigns and listing out other tasks to do this week (hard). Goodnight!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

born to run

Obviously, I should have posted this last night - I never post at eleven a.m. But last night ended sometime after five in the morning, and when I finally got to my laptop, I was capable of neither thought nor typing, so a blog post didn't happen.

However, I feel it is imperative to verify that I am still alive. Last night started, as all of my bad decisions do, with a v. low-key, romantic dinner with Adit (some people call him the cat). Or rather, I had intended to have a low-key dinner (my original suggestion was Korean hot pot), but it turned fancy when we ended up at Central Kitchen, a place that sounds like it should be part of some food court full of off-brand chains, but is actually the kind of place that has the gumption to charge $23 for an "entree" where the main ingredient is celery root. Wtf, man...wtf. Also, there were more white people there, in a higher white:nonwhite ratio, than I've seen anywhere since eating at a buffet-style restaurant with my sister at Christmas, which is bizarre and unusual in San Francisco.

But the food was good, albeit overpriced and pretentious - although if I were to have a low-key, romantic dinner in the future, I'd rather go to Mission Beach Cafe for that level of expenditure. The ambiance was cool, though. I'm pretty sure our waiter was drunk, but he seemed like a nice dude. And he asked us if we were in the food industry, so I must have looked hip enough with my weird sweater poncho to not drag Adit down, since Adit always looks hip (do kids still say 'hip' these days?) - the chef asked the waiter to ask us, since the chef thought he recognized Adit. Ha.

The wine was excellent, though...and that's where my troubles began. We split a bottle, which was an aggressive move on what I had intended to be a low-key night. But I was destined for trouble anyway. I was in a celebratory mood, since I seem to have fought off the flu (which will undoubtedly sneak back in and try to kill me since I let my guard down last night). And more importantly, my next book is suddenly, awesomely/regrettably coming out next week - the Nook people want to feature it as part of their Valentine's Day promo, which is fantastic news, but also means I need to work all weekend. But I hadn't taken a break, or hung out for an appreciable length of time, or done anything beyond the occasional dinner, in what feels like months...(but maybe hasn't been months, although I feel like a total hermit)...and so that half-bottle of wine turned into the beginning of a fun, slow-motion trainwreck.

Post-dinner, we joined Chandlord, Katrina, and Raja at the adjacent bar, where the drinks are printed on a booklet of Pantone paint chips (I love/hate SF) and had a cocktail. Then, we went to another bar, where I asked Adit to order me a vodka cranberry and he came back with a whisky ginger, which are two of my least favorite things...and yet I drank the whole damn glass. Then Katrina and Raja parted ways with us, and Chandlord, Adit and I continued to a third bar, where Adit and I each had two drinks while the three of us played Jenga on the bar (and we were surprisingly good considering our levels of inebriation). Then, since Chandlord had stopped drinking hours earlier and yet was somehow still up for hanging out with two drunken fools, she drove my car to Safeway, where we bought cheese and gluten-free bread, and then we went back to Adit's and made grilled cheese and egg sandwiches. Of course, we had to open a bottle of wine to go with that (mistake #20 of the night)...and then we did whisper karaoke until five, which started as real karaoke until Adit found out, via angry text, that his neighbor was still home rather than gone for the weekend like he had thought. Oops.

sssanyway, Chandlord dropped me off at home, then took my car to her place, so I'll have to retrieve it at some point - but going to her place to get it is much more convenient than going to 20th and Harrison, so I'm v. glad she has it. And now you're all caught up, and I need to get over my headache so that I can proofread - have a lovely day!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

lips and teeth to ask how your day went

It's possible that I shouldn't have gone to work today. In fact, it's probable. But I felt like such a slacker for calling in sick during my third week of work, even though it's not my fault that my immune system can't handle being around people again. And when I woke up, it merely felt like I had been hit by a rickshaw rather than a truck, so I took that as a sign that I should go into the office.

However, I had a smashing headache all day, which made it hard to concentrate on what people were saying to me. Usually I can at least feign interest even if I'm having trouble concentrating, but I don't think I managed even that basic little bit of subterfuge. Also, my teammates could tell I was not feeling well and harassed me about coming in, saying that no one cared whether I came in and that everyone else would have stayed home in this situation. So, good to know that my team is not the kind of team to force you to work when you're dying...this could come in handy.

But I managed to get through the emails I hadn't read/responded to for a couple of days, and I took care of some other tasks that I'm glad I tackled. I'm totally wiped out now, though, and I think I'm going to go to bed immediately rather than stay up and try to work on anything else - I have a feeling that I would be better served by sleeping for ten or eleven hours tonight than I would be by working on either the day job or my writing stuff. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

all this fighting with aching joints

I ended up staying home from work today. I know, being sick three weeks into a new job is ill-advised. I woke up and tried to convince myself to go to work, and had even showered, but the longer I stood up, the dizzier and more nauseated I got. So I ended up calling it in around eight a.m. Terry was also sick, so it's not like I could bask in the luxury of being home alone (ha), but perhaps I felt less like a hypochondriac since she has the same symptoms. Or perhaps we're both hypochondriacs together. But given that I have a splitting headache and everything aches, I think it's a good thing I stayed home.

So, I was online and feigned an attempt at work this morning, but by noon, I decided I was better off sleeping, so I took a three-hour nap. Then I messed around on my computer the rest of the day, alternating between browsing the internet and watching "30 Rock" with Terry. And now, even though it's only 9:20pm, I think I'm going to go to sleep - I want to try again to go to the office tomorrow, since I feel like a total slacker (and, more importantly, I'm out of food here). Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

she's just a girl and she's on fire

As is usual with me, the fact that I finished my book last night was pretty anticlimactic. Perhaps I would have celebrated tonight, but I'm worried that I'm coming down with something (either the flu or old age, although WebMD tells me I have a combination of an ACL injury and hepatitis). I'm sure this isn't helped by the fact that I didn't get enough sleep last night, although I slept the whole way to work and the whole way back, so that should have cured what ailed me.

Anyway, work was good; I had some meetings, and I had a delightful break for lunch with Elisabeth and Wendy, who were on my team in days of yore and have now moved on to bigger and better things. Happily, they still had time for me, so we caught up over free food rather than meeting and paying for wine (barbaric) like last time. I slogged until five, then caught a bus home, where I sat on the couch and contemplated nothing for an hour, and then spent the rest of the night figuring out how to format the book I just finished. It's something that is definitely within my ability to do, but I need to take some time to really learn the coding on the backend so that I can make sure it looks as perfect and professional as possible, rather than just spitting out a shitty conversion from some of the free software that a lot of the self-pubbers seem to use. Yes, I'm a snob. But I'm only a snob because I am so very picky about things like fonts and line breaks, and since it's my book, I can be as picky as I want to be. I got to a good first attempt by the end of the night, so I think I can wrap up the formatting for the advance copy for reviewers tomorrow night, and then spend a couple of weeks learning xml and css before proofreading a final time and formatting the for-sale copy.

Yes, I'm that boring. But you knew that. And now, I shall go to sleep and hope that the fever I seem to be developing is simply the result of being overly-excited by xml coding -- goodnight!

i get a little bit older

I just sent Nick and Ellie to my agent. I would be much more excited about this if I hadn't just burned out the last little bit of my brain - and if I didn't have to get up in less than seven hours. But I'm pretty excited regardless; I think the book turned out well, if I'm not too much of a crackhead now to accurately judge my own work. And hopefully we can do some cool promo stuff in the coming weeks, but that's a battle for another day.

Beyond the book, today was good; I made it to the office by 8:20ish, had breakfast, and slogged without break until noon. Then I snuck out of the office to check my mail over my lunch break, grabbed some food on the way back (at a cafe in a building that is not mine), and slogged for another couple of hours. Then, I had a series of meetings with people in partner organizations that I will be working with; they sit in different buildings than I do, so I ventured out to a different part of campus, which was fun. And at the end of my last meeting, I promptly caught a shuttle, and traffic was so miraculously good that I was home by six. Yay for everyone being too hungover from yesterday to go to work today. So I sat around here for an hour (and by that I mean I cleaned up from yesterday and ate some leftover chili), and then worked on the book until now (with a brief break to talk to Terry). I sent it to my agent at exactly midnight, which seemed auspicious. And now, I'm out of words and my fingers hurt from typing and I think the adrenaline is going to make me sick if I don't sleep immediately -- so, yay me! and goodnight!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

when the lights go down in the city

There is sadness in San Francisco tonight. Granted, the pragmatic, doesn't-want-to-die prepper part of me is glad that the 49ers fans didn't burn the city down to celebrate winning, but the competitive side of me is v. sad that we lost.

But today was lovely. I woke up around 8:30, showered, made myself some breakfast, and wrote for about three hours (and by 'wrote' I mean 'edited', if that matters to you). Then, I talked to my parents earlier than usual before going downstairs to help Terry with the preparations for her Super Bowl party. In normal circumstances we would have both invited people, but a) I care about football whole orders of magnitude less than I care about the Olympics, and b) as you may have gathered from a read between the subtle lines of my blog, I'm trying to finish writing Ellie and Nick's book. So, I didn't invite anyone myself, but I love the people she invited (Lauren (aka Subz), Nathan, Fred, Jamie, Angela, and Lauren/Nathan's friend Mary, who wasn't invited formally but was a v. welcome addition). Terry pulled together the vast majority of the party, including some delish crab dip, her homemade guacamole, and other appetizers. She also made a baked potato bar, which was winning. I contributed a pitcher of mojitos (dangerous, since I think I drank half of them), my verging-on-famous chili (which I made a double batch of, so I'll be eating it later this week), and I grilled the lemon chicken skewers that she had skewered earlier in the day while the chili was cooking, since it was better for me to stay in the kitchen where I belonged than to pay attention to the game.

But I missed less of the game than I might have, since the infamous power outage happened while I was pulling the last bit of stuff together. And the post-power outage comeback was magical, and would have been truly epic if we had won. Unfortunately, not winning put a damper on things, and everyone pretty much left immediately, although Nathan and Lauren chose to watch an episode of "New Girl" with us until Terry was ready to drive them home so that they weren't subjected to outrageous surge-level pricing on Uber (a transportation/cab app, for those of you who don't live in SF/NYC). Although I suppose I should mention that we did watch more of "Puppy Bowl IX" than I had expected before everyone left. Also, I'm a little glad that the Ravens won, solely because the Ravens' owner looks like a true mafia don who would have killed John Harbaugh on the field if he had lost. As much as I would have liked to have seen that, I suppose it's best if both Harbaughs live to fight another day.

And now, I must sleep; apparently I have to go to the office or something tomorrow? Ridiculous. Goodnight!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

she can ruin your faith with her casual lies

omg so tired. I think I worked on Nick and Ellie for twelve hours today, which is about ten hours longer than I normally have the mental capacity for - so it will be interesting to see whether I can be a functioning adult tomorrow, or whether I will be a gibbering mess. I'm rooting for functioning adult, since I'd like to put another six or eight hours in on the manuscript and also enjoy at least some of the Super Bowl, but my track record does not make 'functioning adult' seem like a probable outcome.

But I'm pleased with what I accomplished today. I finally rewrote the end, which, as you know, has been killing me for months. And, I made copy-edit type changes to the first third of the manuscript, and combed through the rest of it fixing little plot threads and dangling issues. There are still a couple of plot threads to weave back into the mess, and then I need to do copy-edit type changes to the last two thirds (this means word-choice type things, not wholesale rewrites), and then I need to proofread it and format it and send it to reviewers and and and...

It's enough to just focus on finishing the edits for now, and worry about all the rest of that later (i.e. Monday). I'm so freaking close, and I like the way the end came together today even if I wish it had come together for me three months ago. So, I'm going to try to stay focused on the positives, hopefully fall asleep in the next five minutes, and then dream about waking up refreshed and reenergized so that I can achieve the same zen-like flow I did today. Miracles happen every day, and I'm hoping this miracle happens for me. Goodnight!

Friday, February 01, 2013

now i'm dying to forget you

I have nothing positive to say about Nick and Ellie, so I won't say anything at all. In fact, I wasn't going to blog tonight, but I haven't missed a night in 2013 yet, and I want to see if I can keep that trend going since I missed thirteen days in 2012 (inexcusable, I know). So, here's a brief recap. I worked from home today, which was lovely, although I must say that I have already forgotten what it's like to feed myself all the time, and so today was challenging. I was pretty productive, though, and I dialed into a two-hour training and also had a video chat with another writer, so that was fun. But when it finally came time to knock off work, I was ready to - I went to the grocery store to get some tings to sustain myself for the weekend, and then came home and started contemplating Nick and Ellie.

And really, it's not as bad as I made it sound earlier; I just need to power through my inevitable end-of-book doubts and get to the point where I can comfortably say that it's finished. Hopefully that happens this weekend, because I'm pretty much ready to be done with them and move on to something else. So, in order to make that happen, I'm going to go to bed so taht I can get up tomorrow and write - wish me luck!