Wednesday, July 31, 2013

no sugar tonight

I'm too tired to blog...zee day job is kicking my ass this week, which is rather unfortunate since my parents are coming into town tomorrow and my book is due to my editor in twenty-six days. Luckily, I've stayed pretty good at compartmentalizing since going back to work, so whatever isn't done by the time my parents land won't get done until next week. Unluckily for my boss, the list of undone things is likely to be quite extensive, since I have meetings straight from ten a.m. to four p.m., then another from five to six, with a fifteen minute break for lunch. Woe is me, indeed.

But today was good, despite being in meetings almost straight since 8:30 a.m., and despite being ready to murder anyone and everyone who talked to me after five p.m. (since I had intended to leave at four and write for a couple of hours, but got bogged down in some other stuff). I didn't leave the office until six, unfortunately, and then I had another quasi-work activity, since I had dinner with a woman who was visiting from the NYC office. So that was from 6:30 to 9, and while it was totally worthwhile, it left me with no time to catch up on my own stuff. So I drove home, straightened up the kitchen and my room in preparation for the cleaners coming tomorrow (yes I'm turning into my mother), and now must go to bed before I die. Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

we are all innocent

Work is way too brutal this week. But then, as per usual, I'm trying to cram a full workweek into four days, since I'm taking Friday off to hang out with zee parents. So today was v. busy, and tomorrow and Thursday are absolutely jammed with meetings. But my boss continues to think I'm doing a good job, and even suggested that I take it easy in September...so I suppose I'm not going to get fired anytime soon.

Beyond the day job, there's nothing of interest to report. I was going to be v. good tonight and work all night, but Terry kidnapped me for a margarita at 5:30. She caught me in a moment of weakness, since I was in the midst of a particularly annoying data project, and so I said yes despite my better intentions. And then our favorite waiter at Fiesta comped our margaritas, which is always dangerous. Then I worked at Verde for an hour while she hung out with her brother, and then she drove me home, so that was all v. nice. And now, even though it's not even ten p.m., I'm going to go to bed - I have to be in the office at 8:30, and I have a million things to do before then, so I'm going to try the plan that never ever works and go to bed early so I can get up early and work on the shuttle/in the office before the meeting. Ha, good luck with this stupid plan, Future Sara. Goodnight!

Monday, July 29, 2013

he tastes like you only sweeter

I wanted to write tonight, but I'm too tired, probably because I'm still vaguely sick and have the remnants of a smashing headache. I think the headache is from my office, though - there's something about the lights or the noise or something that gives me a raging headache (probably because I've irrevocably become a hermit and can no longer handle being out among the people).

However, today wasn't all bad; I managed to write on the shuttle and then again late this afternoon, so I got six pages for the day, which is a great way to start the week. And I slogged all day and felt somewhat accomplished with what I did, so I'll take that as well. I feel like I'm never going to catch up on the day job stuff, but I somehow manage to stay on top of what absolutely must get done, so as long as that holds true, I think I'll be okay. And I ended the day with a long, lovely dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam), and she was as delightful and perspective-filled as always.

And now I must sleep; I have an eight a.m. meeting, which I should probably go down to Mountain View for, but I think I'll sleep for nine hours and take it from home instead. Goodnight!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

not a kitchen story

I'm not ready to go back to work tomorrow, mostly because I still feel like crap. But on a brighter note, today was both v. pleasant and v. productive, so it was a win-win despite my sinus situation. The day started earlier than I usually like to start on a Sunday, but I managed to drag myself out of bed, through the shower, and into a dress/tights/heels in time for a 9:30am family breakfast. Yes, I was way overdressed for family breakfast, but I intended to write after, and I know I write better if I'm dressed up and professional instead of comfy/slovenly.

I made it to the appointed rendezvous location exactly on time, miraculously found a parking spot half a block away, and was just getting out of my car...when I got a call from John saying that the plan had changed. Typical. So Adit, Priyanka, John, and Jess rolled up in Adit's car and picked me up from the appointed restaurant, and then we drove to a totally different restaurant that hadn't even been on the (admittedly brief) list of suggestions. That restaurant is substantially more popular, so there was a line, but there was no wait if we sat outside, which we did. We managed to cram five people around a table meant for four people, with a somewhat serious downhill slope, and this all made it more cosy/comforting/ridiculous. I also adored our waitress, who seemed to adore us back, which is a testament to how endearing my friends can be in their insanity.

So many jhokes were told and much food was eaten, and then we parted ways so that they could all go to the dirty east bay on a variety of errands. I came home to write (with a brief stop at the salon to get yesterday's manicure fixed, since it started chipping two weeks earlier than it should have - they were super gracious and quick about it), and I procrastinated for an hour before realizing I was getting nothing done. So I walked down to Fort Mason and wrote about six pages, which was much-needed and actually felt like they were good sentences rather than utter dreck. Then I came home, talked to my parents, did a bit of tidying up of my room, and had a relatively early dinner down the street (steak was v. necessary for my recovery, I think), where I wrote another four pages. Thus feeling v. smug with my ten-page day, I came home, procrastinated some more, and then did an hour or so of work for the day job.

And now, it's still early, but I have the lungs of an octogenarian, so I might as well have the bedtime of one. Goodnight!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

kiss me hard before you go

I didn't write any new words on zee manuscript today, but I was stuck, so I can't be too mad at myself (says the person who is always mad at herself for not writing enough). I think I figured out how to unstick myself, though, thanks to a lot of scribbling in a variety of notebooks and a brief 'conversation' with Terry (where 'conversation' is in quotes because I rambled out loud to her for a few minutes, without expecting or asking for much input from her). Or, at least, I figured out the plot for the next part of the book, and what I need to change in the first part to make it work. Thankfully, this doesn't require rewriting the first half, which is a major miracle.

It wasn't all hermitage, though. For one, I felt too ill this morning to cook or go to the grocery store, so I had breakfast down the street while plotting in my notebook. Then I came home and took a nap, since I felt wretched. Then I worked for a couple of hours before getting a mani/pedi (a requirement for romance writers, since we need pretty nails to liven up our usual pajama uniform). Then I picked Terry up and took her to the airport. On the way there, I got a missed call from Adit, so I called him back, and I ended up meeting him and Priyanka for a restorative supper at My Tofu House. I had absolutely no desire to go out, but soup was exactly what I needed, and it was good to see them even if I wasn't up for going out for a drink after. So I left them to their own devices after dinner, came home, and worked for the last three hours (mostly plotting + looking through a bunch of name books and maps to come up with a Christian name and title for one of the characters in Prudence's book, who is currently only called [big bad]).

And now, I must sleep; my book is due in thirty days, and I've got a metric shit-ton of writing to do before then. Yes, that's a precise measurement. Goodnight!

Friday, July 26, 2013

hapsburg jaw

I am supposed to be at a party, just as I was supposed to be at a party last night, but I feel like total crap, and so I have decided to go to bed at ten p.m. instead. Yes, I am old and sad. At least I was in a decent mood today, despite my illness; I had to go into the office this morning, but I left at 12:30 to drive back to the evil city. I ran a couple of errands when I got here, then grabbed coffee and came home with the intention of working. But Terry was here when I got home, so instead, I talked to her for awhile, ordered some stuff online for a secret side project, and then ate supper while watching the first episode of this season of 'Top Chef: Masters'. Then we watched two episodes of 'Drunk History'. Then I tried to rally for zee party, but I failed, since I can barely breathe and have no desire to choke on my own phlegm while trying to do karaoke.

And given that I'm attempting to misspell everything (in that last paragraph, I started typing 'shef', 'breethe', and 'caraoke') and I'm not drunk at all, that's probably a sign that I'm incapable of thinking (or 'encapable', as I started to say). So, I desperately need to sleep and hope that I can recover from this cold so that I can write a million words this weekend. Goodnight!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

there are many things i would like to turn you onto

I'm in a moderately less shitty mood, but I'm still just as sick as I was yesterday, which is super annoying. I got up this morning at 6:30 and was going to make it down to the office...but the act of getting dressed wore me out, so I decided to work from home. Unfortunately, the internet was not being very cooperative, and unfortunately I had so much to get done that I felt compelled to slog like crazy when I wasn't in meetings, but I still managed a half-hour nap this afternoon, which may have saved me.

I didn't stop working until almost seven, and then I had to drag myself down the street for a massage, which I sniffled through in a most pathetic way. I also missed Nathan's birthday party, which I was supposed to go to post-massage, but I'm in no state to go out. And now, I really should sleep; I need to make it into the office tomorrow, partially to do a couple of key tasks and partially to retrieve my car, but I want to leave Mountain View at noon to avoid the predicted carmageddon that will result tomorrow night, when there are several concerts and sporting events all starting at the same time. Boo. Goodnight!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

i know more of the stars and sea

Today didn't go as planned - I woke up sick, after thinking that I had escaped the usual cold that I seem to catch after traveling. Boo. Unlike my usual strategy, however, I decided to stay home today rather than trying to work and make myself sicker. So I didn't write, I didn't get everything done at work that I had planned to get done, and everything was generally shitty and full of malaise. But I did sleep for eight and a half hours last night, and I took a nap this afternoon (only half an hour, because I got up for a meeting that was then canceled), and I did a bit of testing some stuff for the day job, which always amuses me.

And now, I'm going to take my malaise and go to bed - hopefully tomorrow I will be in both better health and better spirits. Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

born to run

I still didn't get enough sleep last night, but I took two naps today (one in my car in the parking lot during my lunch hour, one on the shuttle on the way home at eight p.m.), and I think I'll get eight hours tonight, so I hope this helps me to survive the rest of the week.

I was going to say today wasn't all bad, but that might actually be a bit too rosy. I had an eight a.m. meeting, which I took from home, but I awoke to discover that the hot water was totally gone (which never happens), so I didn't get to shower before. And I didn't get to shower after, so I had to accept that I was going to look like a hot mess and go to work. Feeling like a hot mess never improves my mood or my productivity, so I was a little surly for the meeting I got there for, but the secret nap helped me recover. I lost the secret nap buzz, though, when I went back to my desk and found that a coworker's dog was whining and howling next to my desk, which was super annoying - this is one of those times that I really don't love our policy of letting people bring dogs to work, since I was distracted during my only free hour of the afternoon. Boo.

But the rest of the day picked up a bit; the rest of my meetings were good, and I talked to Katie for a few minutes (always lovely), and I talked to my parents, and I read too much coverage about the royal baby. I left the office at 6:45, grabbed a v. quick dinner at one of the office cafes, and then slept on the shuttle all the way home. When I got here, I procrastinated, then worked, and now I should sleep. I have grand plans to get up in the morning and write for a couple of hours before work, and I want to honor that plan since Prudence is being a lazy wench and refuses to write herself. Goodnight!

Monday, July 22, 2013

all that she wants is another baby

I'm super tired and wanted to sleep for ten hours tonight, but it's not going to happen - particularly since I may have guilted myself into getting up in time to drive to MTV for my 8am meeting tomorrow. Yes, that sounds silly, I know. I may have just unconvinced myself. Today was good, but it was a v. rude return to the day job; my commute took nearly two hours, which was particularly rough, and then I was hungry and cranky and tired all day. I also had more work than I could possibly get done, so I took my usual tack and didn't do any of it. Okay, that's not true, but I would like for it to be.

However, the royal baby was a bright spot, even if I realized that I know way too much about all this stuff when I would say things like 'well, James is her brother's name, so I don't know whether that's a pro or a con', or 'Camilla is the Duchess of Rothesay when she's in Scotland, not the Duchess of Cornwall'). But I can pretend that it's my job, right? I skipped out of work around five so that I could catch a ride home with Terry, and we ended up having dinner in the evil Marina so that she could hear all about my conference experience while I ate steak and tried to recover from said conference experience. Then I came home and worked until now, alas.

And now, I really must sleep if I'm going to stave off whatever illness is sure to descend upon me as a result of my travels - goodnight!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

the city by the bay, the city that rocks, the city that never sleeps

I am home, yay. Sadly, I got home later than I had hoped because there was an inconveniently-timed thunderstorm in Atlanta that led to us sitting on the runway for an hour and a half. But I was in the door just after ten p.m., so I suppose it's all good.

And the conference itself was awesome - it's going to be hard to go back to the day job tomorrow when my mind is furiously thinking through all the million and one things I want to do with my writing career. I'm sure I'll be able to focus once I get in...but I have to say, again, ad nauseum, that I'm feeling v. inspired. Also, I'm feeling slightly hungover; drinking water for a few days is probably just as important as fixing my metadata.

Anyway, today was good; I woke up at 9:45, showered, finished packing, checked out of my room, and ran into Courtney at the reception desk. We discovered that we both had six p.m. flights, so we had breakfast together at the hotel, then shared a taxi to the airport, then wrote for a couple of hours before having sushi at the awesome sushi place where I said goodbye to Ritu and Bill after Puerto Rico a few months ago. So, it was fun to have someone to share my halfway lazy day with. But once I got on the plane (and once we were in the air), I was mostly productive; I made a few pages of notes about what's working (or, more accurately, not working) with Prudence, and then I paid for internet and answered a whole bunch of four-month-old email for my Sara Ramsey account. If you have a four-month-old email sitting in my personal inbox, perhaps your time will also come before my desire to answer email wanes again, but it might already be gone, so don't hold your breath. Sorry that I'm terrible.

And now, I must sleep, so that I can confront my work inbox in the morning (and hopefully just delete all of it and start over). Goodnight!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

and he laid that golden fiddle on the ground at johnny's feet

I am both v. sad and incredibly relieved that conference is over for another year. Sad because I think this is the best conference I've ever been to; relieved because I need to finish this damn book, then write several more to fulfill my one-year plan for world domination (call it a Great Leap Forward, sans Mao Zedong and the forced relocation of a bunch of intellectuals). Today was utterly exhausting and rewarding, though. I woke up hungover, which is what I deserved, but I made it downstairs in time for a metadata workshop with Courtney Milan, who is one of the smartest selfpubbers in the business. Then I had lunch with Grace, Tina and Kristin, which was lovely. After lunch, I spent half an hour thinking about writing and instead making a list of all the things I want to do publishing-wise when I get home (which is v. extensive), then went to another couple of workshops, then went to my room and rested for a bit.

Tonight was the last night, though, and it was also the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony, so I needed to rally. I put on my dress and some eyeliner, met up with some friends for dinner, and then had a drink in the bar and another while standing in line for the ceremony (the hotel v. smartly sent waiters down the line, so I got some more red wine, which was a triumph and a tragedy). The ceremony was fun, although I personally think last year's was better, but I may be biased since I planned that one. Yes, my inner bitch is showing.

After the ceremony, I hung out in the bar for three hours or so with Kathia and whoever happened to wander by. Then I came upstairs, packed most of my stuff, and am now blogging so that you know I'm not dead (as of when I hit 'publish'; my liver makes no promises after that).

But if you care to know my heart and soul rather than just the facts of my day, I will say that this conference (and this year) has been quite excellent for me in terms of figuring out my priorities, feeling like I know what I'm doing, and making or reinforcing connections that will hopefully be good friends in the long term. Whether I'm faking it until I make it or I'm actually becoming friends with people, I would say that I'm getting to know some of the awesomest people on both the historical side and the selfpub side, which is wonderful and enjoyable even if it does nothing for my career. And I'm feeling that now, more than ever, I can see a path toward gaining a ton of readers and making a ton of money with my writing, which is a goal I've theoretically had all along but have not worked particularly hard to achieve.

But that path requires a lot of writing and a lot of business stuff - and since I have a full-time dayjob, I may need to reconsider all of this (or hire an assistant, which I've considered doing). For now, though, suffice it to say that while I'm looking forward to returning to my real life and my real-life friends, I have enjoyed being Sara Ramsey this week, and I'm so psyched to finish Prudence and Alex's book. I'm sure that feeling will die a hideous death when I try to write on the plane tomorrow, but c'est la vie. Goodnight!

Friday, July 19, 2013

i'm staring right at the other half of me

The conference continues to be a perfectly hot mess. Today was lovely, and I learned a lot even if I didn't make it to a single workshop. I woke up in time to meet with my freelance editor, who gave me some v. good career advice, and, more importantly, told me that my book is due August 23, which is about twenty days later than I thought it was, which is a good thing since I'm so not done. Then I had dim sum with some writer friends, which was a carryover tradition from Kansas City - one writer friend in particular is a freaking genius at self-publishing, so that was a v. useful endeavor. Then I came back to the hotel, listened to some soothing music, and pitched an editor at Avon for the idea for my next Regency series (which I think I'm only considering publishing with a NYC publishing house because I want the prestige; I doubt I would make more money doing it, which is such an oddly liberating thing to say). But the pitch went really well, so if I do decide to go that route, at least I have something of an in.

After that, I grabbed some free books, grabbed a Snickers to recover from my rapidly dropping blood sugar, and met with someone for the day job. Then I had dinner with my friend Grace, which was perhaps the highlight of my conference - we joined the San Francisco writing chapter around the same time, and she finaled in the Golden Heart in between my 2009 and 2011 finals, and she self-publishes, so we have a lot in common. We had food and margaritas at a steakhouse down the street, then came back to my room with the intention of making a list for a crash-course book club we're going to force each other to do (in which we read a whole bunch of currently-successful selfpub stuff to see what's working with it so we can try to replicate it), but we started laughing at awful covers and even awfuler samples and had to take a break. So we went to the bar, where I had six times as much to drink as she had (since she had half a mojito and I had three), and then we dragged our mutual friend Tina back upstairs, where we plotted world domination for a couple of hours.

And now that I'm thoroughly energized by writing and publishing and the industry and life, and now that I'm destined for a join alcohol/gluten hangover tomorrow, it's time for bed. Goodnight!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

well let me tell you how we do it in california

My best laid plans continue to go awry. Blame it on the alcohol, indeed. But I'm having a glorious time at the conference; this year I'm feeling no pressure at all, since I'm not up for anything, wasn't responsible for anything, and had to give one workshop that was done by noon on the first day (that would be today). So the rest of the conference is pure working and fun. Actually, I suppose I should be thinking about the editor meetings I have tomorrow (both my freelance editor and the editor I'm pitching), but I prefer to ignore all of this.

Today was utterly lovely - I woke up too early, since I thought my workshop was at ten, but that meant that I was able to meet up with my friend Sarah in the lobby and write over coffee for an hour or so. I didn't get much done, since I discovered a massive fucking problem right in the middle of my manuscript, which I now think I know how to fix but wasn't making me happy this morning. Then I gave the workshop, skipped out of the hotel (not fast enough, since I kept running into people, which meant I had to take a taxi), and went to the office, where I did one meeting while eating a whole plate of steak. Then, I left the office, got to the subway, realized I'd left my phone in the office, went back to the office, and then had to call an Uber to take me to the Ritz-Carlton, which was an expensive but luxurious way to roll up to the fanciness in style.

At the Ritz, I had high tea (and a bellini) with some historical writer friends and the readers who won having tea with us as part of a charity auction we participated in in May. And I utterly gorged myself on gluten, but for once I don't regret a single bite, because it was all totally amazing. They had this grand marnier infused cream puff that was the best thing I've ever eaten, and there were all these great tea sandwiches, and they had scones, and I wanted to die from happiness. Then I almost really did die when the taxi on the way to the hotel had no air conditioning and took forty-five minutes, which meant I sweated ('glowed') all the way through my dress and missed my meeting with my freelance editor (who was luckily in communication via text, so we're meeting tomorrow).

So after all that, I was going to take it totally low-key - but instead, I took a cold shower, went downstairs, and had a v. lovely dinner with my San Francisco writing chapter (a dinner I was way too stuffed to eat, so I just had alcohol and a potato, which is like my perfect meal). Then I was going to go to my room and write, but I walked out of the restaurant with Rachael, so I ended up in her room talking selfpub over a glass of scotch. Then I actually made it to my room...but Kristin texted me, so I met her in the bar, where I had two drinks and networked with a million awesome people, and also told two Microsoft guys my father's distinction between romance novels and porn, which is too dirty to repeat here. The Microsoft guys were perhaps initially uncomfortable, since I overheard one of them whispering to the other that 'all the women here write *smut*), and I v. uncharacteristically interrupted and called them out on it. But then we had a rambling half-hour conversation about romance, which was made particularly shocking to them when they learned that I work at [tech company] and one of my fellow writers is an Episcopal priest. Heh.

sssanyway, after having a v. fruity drink with Tessa Dare (namedropping) and her v. high-powered literary agent (who lives in the same town as my former agent, may her name live forever in my heart), I have finally returned to my room, and I shall stay here for eight blessed hours. And then the fun will commence again, hopefully without me developing cirrhosis overnight. Goodnight!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

you'll still be standing next to me

My best laid plans went ridiculously awry tonight - but it looks like I'll be in bed before 12:30am, so it's better than last night. Today was utterly lovely; the conference doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but I had a full-day retreat for current/former Golden Heart finalists, followed by a signing, followed by dinner, so I already feel exhausted by the whole endeavor. Shockingly (both in light of my hatred of mornings and my eyebrow-raising scotch consumption), I made it up in time to have a real sit-down (my Iowa roots are showing) breakfast before going to my nine a.m. event. Crazy, I know.

The retreat was awesome; I don't know that I particularly learned anything, but I was v. inspired. Susan Elizabeth Phillips started it off, then Courtney Milan talked selfpub (the most useful part of the day for me, since she's crazy smart), then Nora Roberts (aka Nora, since there is no other) gave the keynote. She happened to say that we should 'do your writing a solid', which I thought was rather hip phraseology for the queen of the genre, so needless to say I was impressed (if having two hundred books out wasn't impressive enough). Then I ate a v. hurried lunch so I could sneak back to my room and take a thirty-minute nap, which totally saved me today.

The afternoon session was mildly interesting, if I'm being frank, so I left as soon as it appeared to be wrapping up and wrote in the lobby for forty-five minutes before grabbing coffee with some writer friends. Then I went to the huge literacy signing and signed books; the event lasts for two hours and I sold five books, which I was actually thrilled with considering that I was competing with 400 other authors and am relatively unknown. Then I had dinner with the Rubies (we rented a bus to take us away from the hotel, which was a good move), then came home and was about to go to bed...but when I got to my room, my keycard was demagnetized. So I went downstairs, got it reprogrammed, was coming back upstairs - and then ran into my friend Kathia, whom I've been writing with in SF. So I had a gin and tonic with her and nibbled on her fries while she had a late dinner, and it was all v. lovely.

And now I must really go to bed - I'm giving a workshop tomorrow, and having high tea with some historical writers at the Ritz Carlton, and generally being my fabulous Sara Ramsey self instead of my hermity regular self. Goodnight!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

the devil went down to georgia

It's not even officially conference time yet, and I must report that I had entirely too much scotch tonight. I don't even like scotch. But I was hijacked as I was going through the hotel lobby, and I ended up hanging out for a few hours with two of my very favorite San Francisco romance writers (Rachael, whose birthday party I went to in Oakland last week, and Sophie, who would need no introduction if you knew her). So, I have no regrets at all, but my boss may have regrets, since there are many emails I meant to send tonight. j/k, he has no regrets either, since I'm a rockstar. And clearly I'm drunk if I typed that publicly. So perhaps tomorrow I will have regrets!

But today was great - I had a fabulous day at work, and wished that I could work out of Atlanta all the time, since I was closer to Dublin (my Europe meetings started at the v. civilized hour of 11am) and could actually afford to buy a house here. Also, I felt like I contributed something valuable in every meeting I had, which is rarer than I wish it would be. I left the office around 6:15, came back to the hotel, took a wrong turn coming out of the subway and ended up a block away from the hotel, and on the way back ran into one of my fellow '09 Golden Heart finalists. I ended up having dinner with her and two of her friends from Houston at a place called Juke Jive or something - there was live music and pretty good food, so that was all nice. And then I came back to the hotel, was on my way to my room (having valiantly forsaken the bar in the interest of getting work done), and ran into Rachael and Sophie. And the rest was gloriously drunken history.

And now I truly must sleep; I have a retreat tomorrow that is going to be the fucking best thing ever, and registration starts at eight, so I should skedaddle. I would never type that sentence sober. Forgive me, Sara Ramsey. Goodnight!

Monday, July 15, 2013

in this tidal wave of mystery

My first day in Atlanta got off to a v. late start; I tried to get up at eight, and promptly went back to bed and slept until eleven. That was only eight a.m. my time, which still felt rather unfortunate, but at least I got eight or so hours of sleep before starting zee day. I got ready, contemplated eating at the hotel, and instead figured out how to take the subway (aka MARTA) to the Atlanta office so that I could get some work done (and, more importantly, eat a free lunch).

The Atlanta office is really nice - not any nicer or less nice than other offices I've been in, with a small cafe that seems to be mostly catered in (but, since it's caterers, they seem to care less about broader health and wellness initiatives, so I saw my first bag of Fritos at work in a million years). I procured a desk, slogged away all afternoon, and then got called into a 6-7pm meeting with the guy who sits next to me at my regular desk. This was fine, since the meeting needed to happen, but it meant that I forgot to call my parents as promised (sorry, parents!), and didn't make it to the hotel until 7:30.

So, I messed around on zee internet, played on Twitter (this is 'work' for Sara Ramsey), and ate a decent room service cheeseburger. I also wrote three pages of Alex and Prudence, since this book can wait for no man, and answered some work emails on my phone. And now, I desperately need to sleep; I want to try to get on Georgia time so that I can get some work done in the morning before California wakes up, and it would behoove me to get on EDT anyway because the rest of the week will start early as well. Goodnight!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

take you where you want to be

I'm on my phone, in Atlanta, and it's nearly three am here, so I must be lonely. Jhokes. Sssanyway, I spent the day packing, and I ended up fitting eight dresses, four tops, jeans, unmentionables, and five pairs of shoes into my carry-on, so I felt quite pleased with myself. Terry was kind enough to take me to the airport, where she said goodbye (or good riddance). Everything at the airport was smooth, our plane boarded in record time...and then we sat for an hour due yo a maintenance issue. Boo.

But the flight was fine, and I had a glass of wine and wrote ten pages, so that was all good. And now I desperately need to sleep - I have a ton of work to do tomorrow, and I need yo find the Atlanta office if I want to be productive (or, more to the point, if I want free food). Goodnight!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

even when the sky is falling down

I'm way too sleepy to blog, so this is all you're getting. But I wanted to make sure that I mentioned Vidya so that she can pull one stroke ahead of Adit in the competition for 'most-labeled' on my blog - I saw her and her cousin for brunch, but I didn't see Adit, so he's losing ground.

The rest of my day was uneventful; I got up at 7:45 and went to Fort Mason, where I met up with a writing friend and wrote eight pages. Then I ran all sorts of errands (dry cleaning, mani/pedi of which I somehow messed up the pedi - annoying, Walgreens, the bank, etc) and had a v lowkey dinner with Terry. And now that I have a list of all the stuff I need to do tomorrow and the realization that none of it is going to get done, I'm going to take my little ulcer friend and go to bed. Goodnight!

Friday, July 12, 2013

safe and sound

I didn't do nearly enough to get ready for my trip, but I suppose I am closer to ready than I was yesterday. I worked from home and slogged pretty much nonstop for six hours - at which point I realized I was starving, so I took my laptop to Roam and had a burger while continuing to work. Eventually, though, I had to skip out and go downtown to get my bangs trimmed (bad timing, since I found out later that the cops were everywhere because of a robbery that turned into a double murder about six blocks from my salon). After that, I went to sephora to get foundation, then to the mall to get a strapless bra (I may have lost mine, don't ask how) and some other things. Yes, this all sounds like pure gluttony, but I assure you it's v necessary for the upcoming moment when Sara Ramsey has to make her appearance.

I didn't get home until almost eight, and then I should have gone out to see Katrina, but I was beat. So I watched some "Drunk History" with Terry, which was hilarious. Then I put away my freshly laundered clothes, took care of some tings, and realized I must go to bed immediately. Goodnight!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

my love, my love, my love, she keeps me warm

I think I need to stop staring at screens, so imma keep this brief. I dragged myself out of bed this morning and made it to my writing date by 7:15am, which was some kind of record, particularly since I managed to put on a cute dress and be mostly polished by the time I walked out the door. My writing date wasn't as productive as I might have hoped, since I only got two and a half pages, but it was two and a half pages I wouldn't have gotten otherwise, so I'm pleased. Then I abandoned my friend and my manuscript, drove to Mountain View, and slogged through many hours of meetings. The evening took a fun turn when Terry and I had roommate dinner at Fiesta (and the waiter rewarded my short dress with free margaritas and guacamole), but then it took an annoying turn when it took well over an hour to get home.

However, I don't have to commute again for like ten days - I'm working from home tomorrow, and then doing errands and getting ready for my trip. I'm a little sad that I don't have another normal week ahead of me, since I feel like I got so much done this week, but I suppose it's time to let Sara Ramsey out to play for awhile. And on that mildly-schizophrenic note, it's time to put away the laptop - goodnight!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

they say the nile used to run from east to west

I should have gone to bed ages ago, but it was hard to go to bed early when I was in the office until 9:40pm. Ugh. It wasn't all bad; I got to the office at eight(ish), slogged all day, but then drove home at 3:30 so that I could work from home for a couple of hours before going into the SF office for a nighttime meeting. The drive home was uneventful, and then I had a 5pm meeting with my boss, followed by the need to send various emails and tings. So I did that, then went to Roam and attempted to write while eating, but I think I wrote about twenty words. Not a great performance on my part, but I probably needed a break. Then I went to the office, spent an hour sitting in a meeting where I could only present for a minute and a half (luckily I got some other work done on the side), and then came home and worked for another hour and a half. Glamorous, I know.

And that, my friends, is all. My apparent workaholic relapse aside, my job is usually pretty manageable; I'm just trying to get stuff squared away before I go to Atlanta, and besides, I feel like I'm always behind. But now I know why I'm always behind - in the last four months, there have only been three weeks where I worked a full five days (including this week). Hahahahaha. Between business trips, personal trips, corporate holidays, and bronchitis, it's been rare for me to be around a full week - and so it's little wonder I feel like I'm behind, since I'm doing a full-time job in ~30hrs/wk in the office. This is something I need to reconsider for the future, I think.

But I digress. I need to go to bed asap because I'm meeting up with my writer friend at 7am (stupid), then going to work and slogging all day. Wish me luck - goodnight!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

in this undiscovered moment

I need to go to bed immediately, since I must get up in eight hours to begin again. Today was relatively good, though; I slept until 8:30, showered, ate some eggs, and did a couple of hours of work from home before driving down to Mountain View. At work, I mostly celebrated (welcome lunch for a new person + champagne for someone who is getting married), but I also worked diligently until almost six-thirty. Then, I left the office, went to Palo Alto, bought some notebooks on impulse (my downfall), and then ate dinner while write three pages of Alex and Prudence. I really need to be writing ten pages a day, but three pages is way more than I usually write on a weeknight, so I'll take it.

However, the rest of the week is going to be chaotic, since I have to work for thirteen hours tomorrow (don't ask) and I need to get ready to go to Atlanta. Luckily, my ulcer friend was mostly quiet today since I started taking some acid blockers, but I should probably relax for a few minutes and not look at my screen so that I can sleep dreamlessly and sans nightmares. Or, if I have nightmares, please let them be nightmares that tell me how to plot the endgame of Alex and Prudence's book. Goodnight!

don't let me get in my zone

I had a surprise visit on the way to work this morning from my ulcer friend, who I thought had left me for good after I abandoned him for the sweet gluten-free life. Given that I woke up after having nightmares that I was trapped in a cult, then having to drive to Mountain View, I suppose it's not a surprise that my stress finally decided to gnaw on my stomach lining again. Which is odd, because I actually don't feel all that stressed. But that's probably a lie I tell myself to feel better about my life.

sssanyway, my stomach was in quite a bit of pain for most of the drive down to Mountain View, which made me super surly. Sadly, I had to get through several hours of meetings before I could get around to the task of healing -- and I decided healing required a burrito (sans tortilla), so I did that. And then I felt better for a bit, which is another sign it's the ulcer friend since ulcers feel worse on an empty stomach when the acid only has stomach lining to go after instead of tasty tasty food. Then I slogged all afternoon, but I slacked off around five p.m., picked up Terry, and drove us back to the city of sin.

Since I wasn't feeling well, I was going to skip the birthday party I was supposed to go to in Oakland tonight (which is part of why I drove this morning - I was going to go straight there instead of coming home), but my guilt overrode my aching stomach, so I went. And I must say that I'm really glad I did; some of my favorite bay area writer peeps were there, and even though I don't know them all that well, I was v. happy to spend some time with them and continue to build our friendships. Then I came home, tried on the clothes that were waiting for me (Boden is my nemesis; luckily, only half the dresses fit, so I can return the other half and feign frugality), and then worked for the past two hours on day job stuff. I know, it's a sickness, and doing this as a way to greet the ulcer friend was stupid. But I would be more stressed if I didn't send the emails I had to send, so I have no regrets (other than the whole host of regrets that have nothing to do with this). And I rescheduled my morning meetings so that I can dial into one from home at ten and then go into the office at noon, so hopefully I can get some rest and let the acid blockers do their job.

And on that octogenarian note, it's time for bed. Goodnight!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

not listening when you say goodbye

The words were slow-going today…or perhaps it's that I was slow-going, since I wasn't looking forward to the scene I was writing. But I eventually forced myself to do it, and I got in six pages this afternoon before my brain stopped functioning. I was going to try for another five tonight, but when I tried to contemplate a plot hole, I found myself falling asleep instead. So I stopped writing rough-draft stuff and instead made three or four pages of notes about the plot hole. I'm not convinced that I've solved it to my satisfaction, but I can sense myself getting closer, so maybe I'm at the point where I can keep writing and trust that it will sort itself out.

The rest of my day was entirely uneventful; I didn't leave the apartment, other than to grab some Indian food from the delivery guy when he showed up downstairs. But I did spend an hour and a half on the roof while talking to my parents, so at least I got a bit of fresh air. And I talked to Terry, who returned from Tahoe with some dreadful plague that I hope my immune system can avoid.

But now, alas, I should sleep; I have very little desire to go to the day job tomorrow, since I'm kind of in the groove with Alex and Prudence, but I'm sure I'll survive. And besides, after I work this week, I'll be off for a week for a trip to Atlanta for RWA; technically I'm working next Monday and Tuesday from Atlanta before taking Wednesday-Friday off, but at least those will be days when I can work in my pajamas rather than schlepping myself into the office.

So, I shall now go to bed, and let my dreams of paychecks and my dreams and Alex and Prudence go to war against each other. Goodnight!

semicharmed kind of life

I got my ten pages today, but they were v. hard-fought. Okay, the chardonnay didn't help, as it turned out. But I got up at 7:45 and met up with Kathia to write for a few hours, which got me my first five pages (slow going, obvi). Then I came home, made some eggs, took a nap, messed around on zee internets, and finally dragged myself out of the house again to make another attempt. That attempt was also slow-going; I went to Nettie's, where I sat at the bar, where it was way too easy to keep drinking chardonnay while writing. I usually don't drink while writing because it never helps, but the last couple of days have been refocused on the beginning (since I just didn't write the first three chapters in a vain belief that they would be easier if I wrote them later). And the beginning, with everything I'm trying to layer in about Prudence and Alex, is driving me nuts.

But I have to keep pressing on; my editor is expecting this book in a month, which is...only a month away. Gah. So I wrapped up the scene I was working home, stumbled home, and took a break by finishing the fantasy book I started last night (THE KILLING MOON). Then I typed up all the pages I'd written, editing as I went. And now, I'm going to go to bed -- I have one more glorious day of the weekend left, and I hope to get another ten pages at any price. Goodnight!

Friday, July 05, 2013

so gentle in your arms

Too tired to blog...I spent the day writing, reconsidering my writing, cafe hopping, drinking wine, writing, and reading. All in all it was a good day, even if I didn't write twenty pages as I would have liked. But I have an 8:30am writing date tomorrow, so hopefully this bit of insanity will yield a lot of words. Goodnight!

take my breath away

I'm way too tired to still be up, but I had a v. lovely day. I slept until eight, then went back to bed and slept again, fitfully, until 10:30ish. Then I got ready, took care of some tings around the house, and drove down to the glorious south bay, where I spent the day with Heather (aka dear respected madam) and Salim. Durand and his boyfriend were there too, and the five of us ate, drank, and watched "Steel Magnolias" (I cried). Durand and John left after that, but Heather, Salim and I immediately watched "Top Gun", since apparently watching those two movies is their 4th of July tradition. I cried during "Top Gun" as well, which astounded them, but I'm purposefully just relieved to discover that I can still feel emotion for things that aren't vampire erotica.

Sadly, I decided to leave them rather than spending the night, so I came home and am now going to go to bed. Tomorrow must contain all the writing - wish me luck!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

but when they cut me open, i guess i changed my mind

Today was a totally lovely way to kick off my long weekend. It didn't quite start out that way; I had meetings straight from eight a.m. until noon, which made me hungry and cranky. But luckily I worked from home, so that I could avoid traffic, and luckily one of my meetings ended fifteen minutes so I could make myself some bacon and eggs to fortify myself for the long slog ahead.

When my morning meetings ended, I snuck down the street for lunch, then came back and worked until 4:30. Then, I put on shoes and sauntered into the Marina, which is normally a hellish cesspool of bros and hos - but I found a spirit guide to take me to all the best places, and she succeeded tonight. And by 'spirit guide' I mean my friend Kathia, who is also a romance writer and who was also on that retreat I did a month or so ago. She lives in the Marina as well, but since she writes full time and seems to write almost exclusively from bars and cafes, she knows where to go to get some stuff done.

So we met up at a wine bar at five for a writing date...which then turned into a five and a half hour wine-fueled odyssey of writing and gossip and general life stories. I actually did write from five to seven, and got about five pages, which I will totally take. But at that point I had had a glass of bubbly and a glass of zin, and then the bartender (sommelier?) poured us each half a glass of something he wanted us to try...and then my ship sailed. So I abandoned my notebook, and Kathia and I went to a restaurant next door, where we had a very leisurely dinner and a couple more glasses of wine. We also befriended the man sitting next to us and talked to him for an hour or so, which was quite entertaining.

Finally, I pulled myself out of my wine haze long enough to realize that I needed to go to bed, so I came home with that intention...and then promptly stayed up until now finishing that vampire erotica that I was reading yesterday. And yes, I cried through the rest of it too, because that's apparently how I roll. And now I really must sleep; I promised Heather (aka dear respected madam) that I would come to the south bay tomorrow, so I'm going to have to get up at some point. Goodnight!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

welcome to the new age

I had intended to go to bed two hours ago, but I got sucked into a book, so I failed. Today started as an exercise in complete and utter frustration, but it ended on a series of high notes, so I guess overall it was good. My seven a.m. meeting turned into an ambush (which would be fine, except I was the ambushee rather than the ambusher), and I was utterly unprepared for it since I had woken up thirty minutes earlier and hadn't had any caffeine yet. But I recovered from that, had another meeting that was more productive, had a third meeting that was boring, and then I drove to Mountain View during my break between events.

However, things started looking up from there; I got a bit of work done, had another good meeting, and then had a delightful barbecue lunch with John, which provided some much-needed amusement. Thus properly refortified, I slogged through the rest of my afternoon, then went to a bar at four for a going-away party for a coworker. We adjourned at five, and since I had only had a diet coke at that, I felt free to indulge in a margarita when I met up with Terry for dinner at Fiesta del Mar. Then I came home, thought for about thirty seconds that I should either work or write...and instead picked up my Kobo and read half of a filthy vampire erotica novel that, as per usual with this author, is making me cry on like every fifth page. I don't know how she manages to intersperse really raunchy sex with some of the most gutwrenching character development in any novel you'll ever read, but I want to learn her secrets.

If I didn't have a day job I would stay up all night and finish this, but since I have to get up for an eight a.m. meeting, I must go to bed. Luckily I can work from home all day tomorrow, so I'm going to do that, then skip out at five to have a writing date. Yay. Goodnight!

Monday, July 01, 2013

and then you'd lie with me til i fall asleep

My angst is high and my productivity is low. I suppose that's not entirely fair; I got enough done at work that I'm not totally embarrassed with myself, and I wrote about five pages tonight. But they were five hard-won pages, bled out onto paper in longhand with ink that really does look like fresh blood. And while I didn't want to strangle anyone at work today, I spent my commute napping (don't worry, I was on the bus) and daydreaming of moving to Russian River. And MARQUESS continues to get hideously uneven reviews (some are amazing, but my latest negative review said "this author is getting worse and worse" - tanks), which doesn't really help my productivity or my self-confidence, and just contributes to the feeling that I should scrap my romance career and write something that better fits the kinds of stories I want to tell, even if that's a ridiculously over-the-top overreaction to a couple of negative reviews.

Not that I should be blogging about my reviews at all, so please don't start an online lynch mob against the reviewers, since that would ruin my career. Not that you would, since there are a) approximately five of you and b) you all seem like rational, well-tempered people who don't have the time or energy to go after strangers online. And that's why I love you.

sssanyway, at least I was able to write *something* tonight, which is better than I was able to do last night, so I'll take it. I'm trying to pull myself out of my funk before the long weekend, since I want to make serious progress on Alex and Prudence while also getting ready to go to Atlanta in a couple of weeks...but we shall see. And now I shall go to bed before I get any whinier - goodnight!