Thursday, March 31, 2016

sucker love i always find someone to bruise and leave behind

Another day of small town life, another day of minimal writing productivity. I did spend the morning doing some key marketing things while drinking my Philz coffee (namely, contacting all the retailers about doing a big promo in May), so that all felt really good. And I spent some quality time with the parents, took a walk down the road to inspect my aunt's property (verdict: aunt has many, many ants), took a nap, and curled up with my journal/planner for some introspection.

But really, I've got nothing else of interest for you tonight, unless you care about my reviews of tonight's fine CBS programming (Big Bang was good, Life in Pieces is really excellent, 2 Broke Girls is awful, and the Rush Hour pilot was lackluster). So I'm going to go to bed and hopefully dream of new ways to torture Rafe and Octavia tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

you can't go back to constantinople

Today was the day I was supposed to return to the city of sin, but thanks to last week's blizzard misadventure, I had extended my trip and will be leaving on Sunday instead. I have begun to ration things to make it through my hiatus in the hinterlands (okay, that means I had to reuse one pair of contacts once, and I might run out of Philz coffee, but I still have Starbucks Via packets and some Harney and Sons tea, so I think I'll survive). But other than the dwindling caffeine stockpile, I'm glad that I stayed a couple of extra days - it's always good to test, once in awhile, how long the parents will put up with me (and feed me) in case everything goes to hell and I never write another book and also can't get another job. Yes, that seems like an extremely unlikely scenario - but you have to prep for level 5 disasters, not just level 1s.

sssanyway. I slept later than I meant to today, and so wasn't particularly productive in the morning (and by that I mean I did absolutely nothing). I mostly hung out and gave my parents an impromptu mini lesson on the Crusades, which probably downgraded the length of my welcome here by at least a week. Then I spent the afternoon discussing genetics and 23andme with my mom (verdict: we don't know where my Native American / East Asian blood came from, but I kind of doubt she cheated on my dad, so it's lurking somewhere in their lineage...but definitely not in my paternal grandfather's lineage, since it's on one of my X chromosomes and Granddad would have given my dad a Y).

My evening progressed along similarly low-key lines - I took care of some business, finalized my tax situation, ate supper with the parents, etc. But tonight was a "Criminal Minds" night, which I hate, so I came downstairs and forced myself back into my own story, where I ultimately wrote four pages. Not forty pages, but better than nothing.

And now I need to sleep, and hope that I'm not as lethargic tomorrow morning as I was this morning - goodnight!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

i've been downhearted baby ever since the day we met

I'm dreaming again of far-flung lands and parts unknown...and that could probably be the beginning and the end of this blog post, since there's no reason to say anything else because I've made no decisions (and also because I had told myself I wasn't allowed to make any decisions until I finish this fucking book, which is not tonight). But there are a lot of things I want to do this year (mostly telling stories, but also finding places that are conducive to the telling of those stories). So, I'll try to stop teasing you and save further posts until I've made some decisions (which shouldn't be until May - so if I make a decision before then, tell me to stop procrastinating on the writing and get some actual work done).

sssanyway. I didn't get any writing done today, but I took care of a variety of other things. I also made myself a gigantic cobb salad for lunch, which required cooking chicken and boiling eggs, but now I have stuff for lunch for the next few days, so that's pretty winning. I also introduced my parents to the joys of cobb salad, which went over much better than my attempt to convert them to risotto several years ago, so perhaps someday I'll convince them that I'm a decent cook.

Eventually, I absconded with my mom's car and went into town to see Lorena, who is technically our neighbor (she and Ross own the land across from us, although they live in town). Her grandson Duncan was visiting, and the three of us spent three hours talking about a variety of writing-related topics over tea and chocolate - he's starting a business to record peoples' histories and turn them into memoirs, which I found pretty interesting, and he wanted to talk about my publishing experience, etc. So it was all quite delightful, although I am beginning to wonder if thirty-four is officially the age at which newish college grads begin to sound like young whippersnappers - he's so full of excitement and passion for his venture, while I am a withered old hag.

Okay, so that's an extreme overstatement - I am not withered, thanks mostly to moisturizers, nor am I that old (although I am perhaps a hag, but only on my sarcastic surface - I think I still maintain a bit of a heart of gold? maybe?).

sssanyway again. I enjoyed the conversation a lot, and it's always good to see Lorena - and to be reminded that I need to do my own project here, sooner rather than later, which would potentially be a good thing to do this summer. I left there around 6:15 and came home to find supper almost ready - my mom made ham and beans (Katie's favorite!) and gluten free cornbread that was super tasty, and I ate it all with gusto. Then I watched some fine CBS programming (NCIS, NCIS New Orleans, and a James Corden special), but I mostly ignored the tv and played around with marketing stuff.

And now, after having written in my journal (some ideas for my spinster book + some travel plans, because I suck at reminding myself that I'm supposed to stay put and finish this book), I should sleep and plan to write tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, March 28, 2016

switching to glide

I feel like I got a lot done today, but that didn't result in a lot of words produced...so hopefully I can change the output tomorrow. But I had my usual half-sloth, half-productive day in ye olde Iowa - I got out of bed at 10:45ish, which was way way later than I should have (and probably threw off my energy for the rest of the day). Then I ate some bacon and fried myself an egg while talking to my mom - my breakfasts in Iowa are a little more delish than the granola bars I tend to eat at Philz (although the omelettes I make when I'm not at Philz are less likely to burn me than frying an egg in bacon grease).

After that, I came downstairs and worked for awhile. I read through all the stuff that I sent to my editor in a haze at 3am the other night, and it turns out I really like what I sent her, so that's good news - we'll see if she feels the same way. Then I was going to write some new stuff, but I took a break to eat lunch, and then I had some admin-type stuff to accomplish (booking and canceling hotel rooms, dealing with taxes, etc.), so I did that instead.

Eventually, I slacked off and took my mom into town, where we bought some groceries - I'm going to make stuff for cobb salads tomorrow, since I tend to eat v. weirdly when I'm here (my parents eat a big breakfast, no lunch, and big supper, while my eating situation in SF is snacky breakfast, decent lunch, more snacks, and wine for supper). Then we went to the town where our mail comes in and visited Gloria for a bit - she's in my secret society, and I missed the meeting I had hoped to go to last Wednesday thanks to the blizzard; she's also in my mom's garden club, which my mom skipped on Friday. So we stopped by to see her and pick up some stuff my mom should have gotten at garden club, and it was good to see her - I would say more, but none of you know her, so it would interest you even less than the rest of my blog does (although she thinks that people with Parkinson's should fish more often, since her husband did amazingly well with fishing in Texas, possibly because of the movement his tremor caused for the lure. idk, ymmv.).

sssanyway. After seeing Gloria, we came home, my mom made tenderloins for supper, and I spent the evening alternating between fine CBS programming and working on admin-type stuff - I'm going to a reader event at the end of April that I need giveaways/swag for, and so I was designing stuff and ordering books for that. After several hours I feel like I made no progress, but we'll see whether I feel the same in the morning.

And now I need to sleep and force myself out of bed earlier tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

my following days are over, now i just gotta follow through

Today was consumed, as Easters in Iowa usually are, with family (my blood family, not my #familytime family). I got up at 8:30, which was approximately two hours earlier than I probably wanted to get up, and I showered and ate a snack and made some coffee before hopping aboard the [censored] train to Uncle Mark and Aunt Kathy's (note: the [censored] train was not actually a train, but rather a [censored]).

While Christmases are usually hosted at my parents' house due to proximity to Gram, Easters are always hosted by Mark and Kathy. This was the first time I was in Iowa for it in several years, but it was nice to go up and see them in their native habitat. Also, Andrew was home for his last spring break before graduating college, so we spent some quality time with him. And Kathy's brother and nephew on her side were there as well. It was a pretty lowkey affair; Aunt Becky wasn't there, and so we were not asked (forced) to hunt easter eggs, but I think we all survived.

After we'd hung out for awhile, [censored] left to go to [censored], and I rode home with my parents (and slept most of the way). Then I spent the evening doing a combo of dealing with writing-related stuff, messing around in my planner to lay out the tasks for the week ahead, and watching some fine CBS programming (tonight's lineup: 'Madam Secretary', which was great; 'Good Wife', which was mediocre; and 'Elementary', which I always love). And now I shall sleep so that I may be productive (and possibly even leave the house!) tomorrow - goodnight!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

one not-so-shining moment

After staying up until 3:30am, I did not (as you may have guessed) have the most in-it-to-win-it kind of day. I set my alarm for 11am, since I had afternoon plans, but I mostly had to drag myself out of bed and so didn't have time to shower or eat lunch or do much of anything beyond put my contacts in and make a double iced coffee for the road.

Still, I can't regret my tiredness - I'm glad I sent what I sent to my editor, and I'm hopeful that I can keep making progress this week even though I won't hear back from her for awhile. And my afternoon wasn't particularly onerous - I drove my mom over to my sister's, which is ~45mins away, and so we hung out with my sister and my youngest niece for a couple of hours. Jackie had recently painted her living room, which looked nice, and Allie is starting a new job as a nursing assistant on Monday, so that's all good.

Then my mom and I went to Walmart, which I usually despise, but I gave them some money anyway (mostly for a couple of toiletries I was running low on, plus caffeine to survive the drive home). When we got home, I took a brief nap, and then spent the evening alternating between sending emails and watching basketball. Oklahoma took care of business easily, which was fun; the Kansas game was depressing and not at all fun to watch, since neither Kansas nor Villanova were scoring well. But life goes on and I'll forget all of this by next year (or next month).

And now that I've gotten through all the business-type emails that had piled up while I was writing the last couple of weeks, I should go to bed - I have to get up earlyish to go to Uncle Mark's for Easter, and since I didn't shower today I can't pull the same 'get up late and roll into the car' move that I pulled today. Goodnight!

but let your love even with my life decay

Shakespeare is not my usual homeboy for blog titles, but I've been writing for hours and hours and that's the first thing I could come up with, so you'll have to deal with it.

Today was a v. v. productive first day in Iowa - I wanted to get my manuscript to my editor today (it was supposed to be there Monday, but I wasn't ready Monday, and then Tues-Thurs were mostly eaten up by prepping for travel, getting stranded, and recovering). It's not totally complete - I'm missing a bunch of scenes in the endgame, I think. But I got to the point where I had something to send her that I thought would be useful to get feedback on - I always tend to want feedback before writing the end so that I make sure the beginning/middle are strong enough to carry the book. So this is actually par for the course with me.

sssanyway. I got up around ten this morning, and I went upstairs and ate a snack and made some iced coffee before commencing the slog. I ended up writing from 11ish to 4:30ish, with a break for some lunch, and I was happy with what I'd gotten done, but I still had a lot to do before the end. However, I took a break for supper (early), and then took a quick shower and watched the Cyclones game - sadly, they lost (without ever being ahead), which was an unfortunate end to their season. But it was good to watch the game, so I'm glad I took the break.

Then I made myself some tea, returned to my room, procrastinated for a bit, and then wrote from 11pm to 3am before sending the manuscript off to the editor. And now my eyes are falling out of my head, and I need to sleep if I have any hope of being coherent tomorrow when I ignore the laptop in favor of doing family stuff. Goodnight!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

i'm just looking for clues at the scene of the crime

I am in ye olde Iowa, finally, after a long adventure with many twists and turns. Yesterday, as I said, was partially fun/exciting and partially stressful/exhausting. I had a lot of fun people-watching and talking to strangers, as is my wont, and I got to end the day with a four-hour convo with Katie (and occasionally James) over a bottle of wine in their basement, which was pretty much perfect.

Today was slightly less perfect - getting four hours of sleep for the second night in a row was not good for me. And then I went back to the airport, which was not good for my bank account - while my lyft last night was a reasonable $70 (when the roads were horrible), my uber this morning was at 4.8x surge pricing, so it cost $300 to get to the airport. I think my flight was $303 roundtrip, so the uber was a rather unfortunate addition. It was still worth it to see Katie (and to sleep in a bed for four hours, and shower before getting on the plane), although that would have paid for a flight to see her for a whole weekend some other time.

But my mood grew surlier, paradoxically, when I got to the airport and sailed through security in five minutes - I had planned to get there two hours early in case the lines were terrible, and while they were terrible at check-in, I had a boarding pass and TSA precheck and was through in a blink. So I sat, in a v. surly manner, and had breakfast at the airport - I must have had an epic case of resting bitch face because the server, upon seeing that I hadn't finished my omelette, asked in a v. worried manner if something was wrong with it. The only thing wrong was my exhausted body and my rebellious stomach, so I set his fears at ease (or maybe scared him away entirely).

However, my flight to Des Moines was on time, and I alternated with sleeping and writing (more sleeping, less writing). Then my parents picked me up, and we had a delish lunch at Johnny's, as per usual. We drove home after that, with a stop at a grocery store, where I got some rather bad coffee to keep me going while they grabbed some necessities.

Then we came home, and I mostly wasted the rest of the day - but I did accomplish the feat of rebooking my return ticket without a penalty, so I'm going to stay here a couple of extra days to make up for the fact that I basically lost yesterday and today. I also watched some basketball, including the Kansas game (go Big 12, I guess). And I had supper with my parents (also delish), and then [censored] got home around ten, so we spent the next hour and a half talking about [censored], [censored], [censored], etc.

But now I'm desperate for sleep - I should have gone to bed two hours ago, since I must write most of tomorrow and I need to rest my fog-filled brain (mental fog, not #karlthefog, although he lives in my heart). Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ground control to major tom

No blog tonight - I'm beyond exhausted after my encounter with the Denver blizzard, which resulted in me spending ten hours in the Denver airport before making a bold and dramatic escape to Katie's house. This required extreme tech savvy and stiff determination, and also abandoning my new friend Tex, but hopefully he survives the night with the zombie hordes at the airport. But really, that's already all a dream/nightmare that I'm moving on from, so whatever.

But I'm blogging on my phone after spending four hours gossiping and drinking wine, and after getting four hours of sleep last night, and I'll only get five tonight before getting up to head back to the airport. So I shall end this here and recap more thoroughly tomorrow - goodnight!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

there's an old voice in my head that's holding me back (well tell her that i miss our little talks)

I have a car coming to pick me up in less than five hours, so I should probably go to bed immediately if I have any hope of being productive (or even coherent) on the plane tomorrow. I'm going to ye olde Iowa for a week with the family, which should be a good break from San Francisco - not that I should need a break from San Francisco, since I haven't been here for more than three consecutive weeks since June/July, I think. But still, I'm looking forward to some #smalltownlife, so I need to go to bed and not sleep through my alarm.

But today was a great last day in SF, even if I didn't write a million words. I woke up later than I should have and did business-type stuff in the morning. Then, I went to both of my salons - today was supposed to be the recuperation day after finishing my book, but I didn't finish yesterday, so I didn't totally feel like I deserved pampering today. But I had to get it done - my first stop was my eyebrow/facial lady, who tamed my eyebrows and also declared that my skin was the most stressed/reactive that she's ever seen it (it looks fine to a casual observer, but I apparently got fast-acting hives when she waxed my eyebrows, so it's secretly a stressed-out mess - which I guess could be a metaphor for my life, but I'll pretend I didn't say that). And I love seeing her, so that was super fun anyway.

Then I went to another salon to get my hair cut - that woman used to be at the same salon as my facial person, but she has now gone into business for herself in a different location. I got her to chop off multiple inches and add some more aggressive layers, which I'm pretty happy with at the moment - it's not short by any means, but it feels different than what I've been doing, which is what I wanted. I also really like her, so my afternoon was basically filled with beauty rituals and gossip, which makes me a great Regency lady even though I'm probably not a great modern-era lady.

Then I came home and packed for my trip, and took care of dishes and trash and all sorts of things. And then I walked to Fillmore, where I wrote for half an hour (but came up with a great idea for something, so that was awesome). Then, I had a long, leisurely dinner with Lauren (aka Subz) at Fresca. We hadn't seen each other since right before I went to Hawaii, and then she went to Hawaii, and so we had a ton to catch up on. This was accomplished over two glasses of wine and a delish salad starter, and I had paella to get some rice in before going back to the midwest. Seeing Lauren makes my soul happy, so this was well worth doing even though I should have been in bed by ten instead of climbing into a lyft then.

But c'est la vie - now I am going to sleep for four hours, throw on some clothes, and go to the airport. Wish me smooth flying and no delays - goodnight!

it's a bit of a dance, a bit of a posture, it's a bit of a stance

I don't feel like blogging, and I possibly don't feel like writing any words ever again....but we know that's probably a lie. Today, though, was a good reminder that I can actually get work done in the city if I make a real attempt at it - but it wasn't the most comfortable attempt, given that it was raining off and on and my apartment was too cluttered to write in, since I didn't finish unpacking yesterday and need to repack for Iowa tomorrow.

But I got up at some point, put on some yoga pants, and walked down to Philz on Golden Gate, where I worked for three hours and also stocked up on coffee to take back to Iowa with me. I also enjoyed some great people watching, including many many umbrellas that were blown inside out and at least two hats that flew off heads and into oncoming traffic (both hats were retrieved, which seemed miraculous/not worth the potential death). Then, finally, I went to Mangosteen and had pho to warm up and to get some immediate carbs since it was almost two p.m. and I hadn't had a real breakfast (tragic).

At that point, I wanted to go home, but I also wanted to write, so I went to Jane and had a tea and wrote for two more hours. At that point, I was dying, so I came home and took a nap, and then took a shower. And then I was going to write again, but my evening plans moved up slightly - I met up with John at Hôtel Biron, which is not a hotel, but rather pretends to be a French-style private establishment (see: hôtel, which I am required to know for various romance writing reasons).

I made some mistakes in my meat/cheese ordering (the real mistake was not eating dinner beforehand), so the tastes were all slightly off - but I had two glasses of wine that were decent, so I survived. And we talked about a variety of ridiculous topics, as per usual. When we were done we walked toward Civic Center so he could take BART and I could grab a lyft, but as we were approaching Civic Center is started pouring, which was an inauspicious end to the night. However, neither of us died (that I know of), and I made it home in one piece, so that's all good.

And now that I've procrastinated and vegged and eaten some fritos to make up for the cheese/salami debacle, I should sleep so I can write a million words tomorrow (and hopefully get something to my editor in the next couple of days, but it won't be today). Goodnight!

Monday, March 21, 2016

i remember that dreamlike candlelight like a dream that you can't quite place

I was clearly in need of a break from my book and my own head today, which means I didn't get much done - which is perhaps rather unfortunate, but whatever. I woke up later than planned this morning, so I scurried around, packed, showered, and made it out of the hotel just in time for checkout. Then I stopped at Starbucks, grabbed some coffee and a granola bar for the road, and drove back to SF before the rain turned traffic into a disaster.

The north bay was gorgeous on the way back - all green and misty, with rolling hills giving way to the Golden Gate Bridge, which must be once of the best views in America no matter how many times you see it. So, getting back into the city after several days away was the rude shock to the system that it always is. But I stopped in the marina to have breakfast/lunch (definitely lunch - it was almost one p.m. at that point, even though I had huevos rancheros, which makes it feel like breakfast) at Tony's cafe since I hadn't seen him in awhile and was craving comfort food. They were packed, which made it less relaxing, but still delish.

Then I came home and was home for perhaps thirty minutes before abandoning all thought of productivity and driving over to Connecticut Yankee to have a drink and watch the second half of the Oklahoma game with John and his friend Ping. They were headed to San Jose to watch the Sharks play tonight (apparently there's a hockey team or something down there - sounds made up to me), but we had fun for as long as it took me to drink a margarita and for Oklahoma to pull it out in the end, so that was all good.

Then, on a whim, I called Adit to see if he wanted to have family dinner. I drove over to his place without getting a final confirmation and sat in my car outside his house for half an hour talking to my parents, and then I went into his apartment and said hi to Priyanka and infant. Priyanka had a friend visiting, so we talked high Indian wedding fashion and other topics, which was delightful. And I held infant for a little bit, but apparently I wasn't hitting him hard enough to make him fall asleep, so I guess I failed that test. Oops.

Priyanka had to stay home because she has to be at work super early every day this week, but Adit and I had our own family dinner - we went to an Italian place (Trattoria da Vittorio) in West Portal, and it was really perfect. I never, ever go to West Portal, even though it's 20mins from my house - in fact, I mostly forget that that neighborhood exists. But this was like an upscale version of our Olive Garden days - nothing too fancy, but they had gluten free pasta which I got carbonara style, and they put a whole egg on top of the carbonara, which was pretty killer.

So we poured one out for our memories of the days in which we used to go to Olive Garden, and Applewood Pizza, and some taqueria in Redwood City, and all sorts of other places and times that are now dead to us. And we caught up on work and life...so even if some parts of the past are dead, some parts can always be renewed over pasta and so-so wine and family dinners.

Then I dropped Adit off at home, came back to my own home, and should have spent the past three hours writing, but I instead mostly read about Napoleon (which is fucking pointless since he has nothing to do with the current book, but whatev). And now I must sleep so I can be productive tomorrow - goodnight!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

a candidate for my soulmate bled

I had another long, brutal day in the word mines....Rafe and Octavia's story is coming out of my veins now, in long, slow, steady fountains, and I'm totally tapped out by the time I crawl into bed. Again, I didn't write as much as I wanted to - and again, I need to remember that my expectations of myself are always highly unrealistic, and I'm actually pleased with what I did write (both in quality and quantity).

I spent the morning avoiding the pain of the page, and so I went to a diner down the road to eat something other than the hotel's offerings for the first time since Wednesday. The corned beef hash at Breakaway was decent, but it's no Saul's in Berkeley (which I will have to continue to visit even if John and Jess move away from the east bay - but luckily that will never happen, so my love for Saul's (and them) is safe). Then I went to Starbucks for a change of scene and did a couple of hours of work - this wasn't producing words, but was instead analyzing the effectiveness of some facebook ad testing that I was doing. The end analysis seems to indicate that I am spending too much per click and so am unlikely to break even on the ads, even though it's done good things from a visibility/brand standpoint, so I paused the ads until I can do a deeper analysis and perhaps tweak things to improve my CPC. But for a first effort, it was a good attempt, and I have some ideas for how to improve going forward...

...but marketing should be on the backburner until I finish this fucking book. I spent the afternoon in the lobby writing/messing around, and then I came back to my room and actually wrote - but then I watched the end of the Iowa State game, which was a great break. And then I procrastinated some more before going down to the bar, where I had a salad and some wine and some chocolate and was generally quite productive. Granted, I went down some internet rabbit-holes and ended up having a ridiculous text conversation with Katie as a result, but that was all positive in the end.

And now I think I need to sleep - I wanted to keep writing tonight, but I'm past the point of feeling coherent, and I have to pack and leave at some point tomorrow, so getting enough sleep to survive the drive back (likely in the rain) is important. Goodnight!

Friday, March 18, 2016

got a feeling that i'm going under

Today went pretty well, all in all....still not enough words, but the words I got were pretty good, so I'll take it. I'm still in Sonoma, obviously, and I have firmly established myself as the eccentric person sitting in the corner of the bar with her laptop. However, I didn't sit in the bar allll day today - I spent some time working outside by the pool, which was nice. And I sat in the lobby for awhile, which was also nice.

Eventually, though, I took a bona fide break - I booked a last-minute massage in the spa, and it turned out that this was key, because even though I "wasted" three hours between changing, going over there early to use the steam room/jacuzzi, getting the massage, showering, and changing back into bar-appropriate clothes, I was able to eke out another ten pages after I was done that I doubt I would have gotten otherwise. My neck was killing me after all the time I've spent on my laptop recently, and so a massage was great for it - and some enforced downtime, with no cellphone and no screen to stare at, was probably even more helpful. In fact, it was so helpful that I may have to pay to use the pools/steam room tomorrow even without getting a massage...but we'll see if I actually follow through on that, or whether I instead torture myself for not writing ninety million words.

sssanyway. The massage was one of the best I've had, and made me wish that I still had someone in SF whom I felt like going to regularly - I may have to put some effort into finding someone. Then I came back to my room, changed back into real clothes, and went down to the bar, where I had a steak and some wine and wrote quite productively for a couple of hours. I was a wee bit distracted by the tv, and so I saw the UNI/Texas buzzer-beater live, which was pretty thrilling - but since I had blocked the internet on my laptop and left my phone in my room, I couldn't react to it online as well as I wanted to. C'est la vie, I guess. But it's great to see all three Iowa teams advance, even though one of those teams holds more than its fair share of my loyalty.

But by eleven or so, the bar was starting to fill up with people from the large group that's here right now (they were at dinner offsite earlier, but came back to party like they did last night), so I vacated and came to my room. And it's becoming clear that I'm not going to get any more done tonight, so I'm going to sleep and hopefully dream of the scenes I need to write tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

green to red

I'm pretty tapped on out words tonight...today was a brutal slog, which was what I needed, and while I'm happy with what I accomplished, I'm hoping to double it tomorrow. This morning got off to a rough start because last night was rough - I think it was the combo of taking claritin for the first time in ages (I thought I was getting either a cold or allergies, and luckily it appears it was allergies, but the claritin may have kept me awake) + the fact that someone either above or below me was playing music until the wee hours. I eventually went down to the front desk and secured earplugs, which helped, but I didn't get the million hours of sleep last night that I hoped for...

But I got up this morning, had breakfast around nine, and chose to fuel myself with chilequiles, which is the breakfast of champions. Then I did a bit of work in the lobby, but I was still weirdly tired from my night, so I took a quick nap. Then I walked to 7-11 to get a bit of fresh air and to ruin all of my fresh air health by buying Mountain Dew and some Fritos, since I revert to the snacks of my youth when I'm up against the wall.

Then I slogged all afternoon, and I slogged all night, with a break around six to take another nap, and a few breaks to stare off into space and rest my eyes, and a few wikipedia rabbit holes that tend to happen when I need to research stuff. I should probably take more non-computer/non-phone breaks tomorrow, but that's a struggle for another day. Right now I desperately need to sleep, since I've been fighting homonym typos this whole post (stare/stair...okay, maybe that was the only one, but my almost-typos in general are running at a much higher rate than usual while typing this, which is always a sign that I'm done being verbal for the night). Wish me luck with the story fight tomorrow - goodnight!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

you know it used to be mad love

I have run away to an undisclosed location to finish this fucking book - I still have so much to do that I'm not totally confident that I'll hit my deadline, but I am going to give it my best attempt. Of course, once I'm "done" I'll have a month of editing madness, which is a whole different type of craziness...but getting through the rest of this draft is the first step.

However, today wasn't as productive from a writing standpoint as it probably should have been. I had to spend the morning packing and getting ready for business-type stuff, and then I drove to San Rafael to meet with my new CPA. I really liked him, and he's pretty familiar with writing-related taxes (he does taxes for several of my writer friends), so I think it will be good to get his perspective going forward (and he okayed writing Bora Bora off if I write SPINSTER HONEYMOON, so that's a big thumbs up - I thought it would be okay since I got a lot of research/story development done there, but it's always good to have a legit opinion).

After that, I drove up to Sonoma (err, my undisclosed location), checked into my hotel, and spent three hours writing in the bar while drinking a couple of glasses of pinot noir and eating a v. early dinner. But by 8pm I wasn't feeling so well - I'm super tired, and getting enough sleep is pretty imperative if I'm going to get through the mental disaster that is trying to write the end of a book. So I came back to my room, unpacked, and took a break from the laptop to watch TV. I haven't watched live TV since I was in Iowa over the holidays, so I turned on Food Network and spent a couple of hours doing absolutely nothing - and it makes me wonder why I don't do that a little more often. But I know the answer to that, since I've been crazy forever.

sssanyway. Now I am going to go to bed early, sleep as long as I want, and then hit it as hard as possible tomorrow. Wish me luck - goodnight!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

we were built to fall apart, then fall back together

Most of my day was an exercise in misery, but I went out for drinks and had enough fun to salvage the end of it. After staying up late last night to work on my taxes, I only got seven hours of sleep before I had to get up again and deal with my leak situation - Chandlord came over with some people from the building to look at the leaks, and the verdict was as expected (there's nothing to be done right now, but they're going to talk to the people above us). So that only took five minutes, but it meant I had to get up, get dressed, make my bed, etc. Yes, my life is hard.

Then I slogged on taxes straight through from 10am to 5pm, with a v. brief break in there to talk to Katie, and another brief break to eat an omelette. I probably should have had way more food and way more caffeine, but I was trying to stay in the zone, so I just sorted through receipts and typed things into quickbooks and generally monkeyed around until it was all done. I really need to get better about doing this throughout the year....but you've heard that before. But I'm ready for my CPA appointment tomorrow, so at least I got through it all.

But that meant I did no writing, because by 5pm I could no longer bear to look at screens or type anything. So I took a shower, walked to Union Square, and met John at Bartlett Hall, since it was close-ish to where his friend Srini (who we also met) was staying while in the city. We decided we didn't like the vibe, so we had a single drink there, and then I dragged them up a v. steep hill (Nob Hill, as a matter of fact) to Hopwater. I'd been there once before, and it was as delightful as I remembered it - or maybe it wasn't delightful, but the fries and tots and deviled eggs were delish, and I had a couple of good glasses of pinot noir, and we hung out for several hours. Srini, it turns out, is quite good to hang out with, and obviously I always have fun hanging out with John, so the three of us had a v. good time. And I may have said 'cock' more times than I usually do in mixed conversation, but we were talking about my books, so it's required.

But all fun things must end, and I need to get my taxes done tomorrow and then run away to write and finish my book, so I said my goodbyes and walked home earlier than I wanted to. Hopefully Future Sara will reward my forbearance and write an amazing book, but that remains to be seen. Right now I need to sleep, which is what I shall do - goodnight!

Monday, March 14, 2016

but the monsters turned out to be just trees...when the sun came up, you were looking at me

I went back to my former place of employment today to have lunch with my old boss. Before I did that, I got up not-so-early and did a couple of hours of work (some admin, some decent writing) while drinking iced coffee and regretting having to get out of bed. Then I showered and drove down to Mountain View - the traffic was fine at that time of day, but it was a good reminder that I never want to have to commute again.

When I got to campus, Sriram suggested going to Pear Republic, which is a cafe that opened sometime after I left - it's kind of amusing how trendy things are on campus, and he told me that no one goes to Coffee Lab anymore (which makes me sad, since I loved writing there in the early mornings before anyone showed up...although I suspect he's exaggerating). So we drove over there and checked out the cafe, and really, it was like every other fucking cafe on campus. Yes, I'm still jaded and spoiled despite having been gone for ten months.

But we caught up v. well, and I had a salad and some ice cream and grabbed a latte after, none of which I would have had if left to my own devices today. Then we went back to our building, and I hung out in the couch area with some of the people who used to report to me (actually, all four women who are still left on the team; the only remaining survivor missing was Andrew, which was too bad). It sounds like things are good there, and while I'm not tempted to ask for my job back in any real sense, it certainly would have been easier to just hang out there all afternoon and answer some email in exchange for millions of dollars rather than going off to write for nothing....

....but that's all an exaggeration. After I left, I went to Belmont and met up with Anne for a writing date, which was mostly a gossip date - she was in a bad mood/tired because her car battery died (and it's an electric car, and it's less than a year old), and the tow truck situation was a disaster, which interfered with her unusual biphasic sleep schedule, so she only had five hours of sleep today instead of eight. So she talked about her car, and her writing, and how difficult all this 'write for an audience' stuff is when we both really just want to write weird and interesting things. And I talked about going back to visit my old job and how it's both delightful and weirdly stressful/unhappy-making, and it was probably good that I met up with her and got it off my chest rather than coming home to do my taxes and spiraling into a 'I miss free food and easy companionship' mess if I'd spent the night alone.

sssanyway. So we talked for quite awhile, and then we forced ourselves to write for an hour, and I got a decent amount done. Then I drove home, procrastinated for a couple of hours to unwind from my social time, and then spent the rest of the night dealing with my tax situation. I'm seeing my CPA on Wednesday, so I was trying to get organized tonight - and after four hours of work, I'm getting there, but I still have a bunch of receipts to sort through tomorrow and reconcile with my Quickbooks. But the end is in sight, and hopefully I won't owe too much or else the 'I miss free food' spiral may start again in April.

But that's a worry for another day (and I don't think I'll owe much anyway)...now I need to sleep so that I can write like crazy tomorrow and also receipt-reconcile like crazy. Goodnight!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

baby boy, tell me i'm all you need

The time change did me no favors - I found it difficult to get out of bed, which was unfortunate since I had morning plans in the east bay. I met John and Jess at 9:30 for breakfast (don't call it brunch or Jess will stab you) at Saul's Deli, which is an excellent reason to go to Berkeley (okay, John and Jess are excellent reasons as well, but Saul's makes an excellent corned beef hash). I hadn't seen them since before my trip to Hawaii, so we had a lot to catch up on, although I probably didn't tell them everything since most of my February was lost in a haze of wine and laughter.

But I'm glad I got to see them today, even though John had just pulled an all-nighter and so it felt a little bit like a more upscale version of many of our breakfasts in college. Their baby is due in six weeks, and we discussed whether Adit's baby will make life difficult for him in "family time: the next generation" for several years/decades by claiming to be cooler than John and Jess's baby, or whether the sins of the current generation will stop with the next one. The jury is out, but I look forward to seeing whether these kids will someday become friends - check back in a couple of decades and I'll give you the full report.

sssanyway. After breakfast, we ran a quick errand at the bookstore down the street, and then we parted ways and I drove home in the rain. When I got here, I was feeling brutally tired - I probably would have been better served by mainlining coffee, but I took a nap instead. However, since there was a bowl on my couch to catch water, I crawled into bed for my nap, which was a mistake since I slept for over an hour and so was groggy when I woke up. Oops.

Then I messed around the apartment, and then I booked a hotel for a solo writing retreat later this week - I'm starting to panic (well, the appropriate word would be 'continuing to panic') over my deadline, and I always seem to do well when I go away. There's still a chance I'll cancel it, but the current plan is to see my CPA on Wednesday and then run away to an undisclosed location until Sunday. We shall see, we shall see.

Then I called my parents and caught up for an hour, and it seemed like things were good with them, so that was great to hear (particularly since I'm going to see them in a week and a half, and it's way more fun when we're not all depressed or sick). And then I ate supper (leftover soup that I realized was five days old, so hopefully it doesn't poison me), and then I procrastinated for a bit, and then I worked for a couple of hours, so at least it ended on a high-ish note.

But now it's suddenly 11pm and I need to sleep if I'm going to get up and write before my day of south bay ridiculousness commences - goodnight!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

even if the sky is falling down

If you were to go back in time to visit fourteen-year-old Sara, you would find someone who was far, far less fashionable than I am. Seriously, she was a total mess, and it's a wonder I have any style at all. But that's a given. You would also find someone who lived in a safe, old, remote farmhouse, which occasionally leaked and only had one bathroom and also didn't have heat the upstairs bedrooms, so there were some downsides. But also, to the best of fourteen-year-old Sara's knowledge, it did not have any people regularly defecating around it (either on the sidewalks, which didn't exist, or on the ground), so there were also some upsides.

Fourteen-year-old Sara dreamed of riches, and possibly of cities, and was pretty sure she would have her life figured out twenty years later, when she would be thirty-four and making a killing as a writer or doctor or something equally glamorous. Thirty-four was *so old*, and she would obviously know what she was doing by then....or at least own a house, right?

Now, let's tell fourteen-year-old Sara that, twenty years later, she would be making a living as a writer. Yay to that. But let's also tell her that she would be spending $x/month renting (renting, not owning) a studio apartment (which you would have to explain to her, since she didn't know what a studio apartment was, or that there were any people in the first world living in a single room), and that the fact that parking was included would be a big deal (isn't parking always included?). And now let's tell her that that studio apartment is going to leak in not one, but two, places. And now let's sit back while fourteen-year-old Sara thinks that she has failed at life and at everything she set out to do if she's spending that much money to live in a tiny tiny sieve in the middle of a city full of human feces.

Okay, maybe that's all dramatic. But the apartment has now sprung two minor but worrisome leaks. Chandlord came over this morning to check out the first one, and I also pointed out the possible development of the second one (which went from questionable paint damage to actual dripping later this afternoon). Then I made her tea and an omelette and we caught up on real life stuff, which wasn't fun, precisely, but it was certainly a good way to spend an hour.

That kind of derailed my morning, and after she left I ended up taking a nap. But I rallied and drove down to Fort Mason, since I really wanted to pay a visit to Goody Cafe - and I got some really good writing done with a few hours spent toiling while drinking my favorite 'cloud and mist' green tea. Then I rewarded myself with some colored pencils and a new backpack from Flax (the colored pencils were planned; the backpack was an impulse, but #noregrets).

Then I came home, showered, dealt with the second leak, and walked down to the Tenderloin for Rajiv's birthday party. He and Sheila hosted it at Chambers/the Phoenix Hotel, which I didn't really realize existed there - the hotel has a heated pool (wasted on us with the rain, although some other party decided to jump in), and Chambers has cocktails and food, so we hung out in their room and occasionally ventured to the bar for more drinks (if we felt like drinking professionally-made cocktails rather than whatever we could make in the room).

John was there when I got there, and Vidya and Katrina and a host of other people eventually showed up, and I ended up staying way later than I planned. I met some v. interesting people, including a woman who is a private investigator and wants to be a screenwriter, and also someone who loves all my books (although I've met her several times before, but it's always nice to hear compliments, although I sometimes struggle to take them). And I had a great time hanging out, even if Katrina did ill-advisedly mention Prom King (talking about my fake baby doesn't really make me sound sane, as it turns out). And when someone said they wanted to write a book about a tickle monster, I heard fecal monster, which proves I've lived in SF for too long and need to leave immediately.

Anyway, after several cocktails (one more than I planned, since the bartender mysteriously made me an extra one), and after some fries and the toppings off some pizza, I really need to go to bed - the time change will mess with me and I also have breakfast plans, which means sleep is imperative. Goodnight!

Friday, March 11, 2016

hypnotized by you if i should linger

Today was...not good, if I'm being honest (which I sometimes am). I need to finish my book, but I'm scared of it, and daunted by how much I have left to do, and so I sank into fear spirals this morning/early afternoon. This was disconcerting and unfortunate, since I hadn't sunk so deep into fear spirals in awhile, and I had planned to be highly productive today (but of course the pressure of being highly productive is probably what caused the fear spiral to being with).

sssanyway. It also didn't help that it's gloomy and rainy and windy, which made leaving the house unappealing. But I finally ventured over to Jane on Larkin, which is only two blocks away (a survivable distance, as long as I don't get stabbed), and I wrote for a couple of hours while drinking a latte, so that helped.

But then I came home and ordered thai food, and felt the fear start again while I waited for my delivery. After I ate, I crawled into bed with my laptop and was on the verge of starting to write again when I realized that the skylight above my bed was leaking. It's not a major leak, and it may have just been some odd condensation from all the rain we've been having. But if I had been lying down instead of sitting up, it would have fallen right on my face. Ugh.

Luckily, I was sitting up, and I was home to catch it, so it did no damage to my bed. And it seems to be v. minor - I stuffed some paper towels around it and it hasn't soaked through in the last three hours, so hopefully it's contained (and it's not supposed to rain much more tonight, so I can deal with it in the morning). Unfortunately, that means I have to sleep on the other side of the bed tonight, but I think I'll survive.

So after I dealt with that, I was not in a better mood (shocker). So I poured a glass of wine, sat on the couch, and eked out another hour of writing. Then I sent an email to Chandlord about the leak, and then I texted with her about it, and then I considered running away to wine country but decided against it.

But now I need to sleep - hopefully today's fear spirals were a minor blip caused by dehydration/odd sleep patterns (both of which I had for the past couple of days) and I can get back on track with the productivity tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

but i won't be just another mistress

As expected, today got off to a late start since I didn't go to bed until 2:30am last night - sometime around seven I woke up and put my eyemask on, which helped to blot out the unwelcome daylight streaming through my skylights, but I really just dozed fitfully after that. I finally got out of bed around ten, and I stumbled around and cursed my poor decisions (which were entirely bedtime-related - last night was fun and I moderated my consumption enough to avoid a hangover, but going to bed after two is not a recipe for morning success). But I made some iced coffee and did three hours of work at my dining table, so I wasn't totally worthless.

Then I took a quick shower and a very very slow drive to the south bay - it was raining all day today, which made for a miserable drive to San Mateo even at the offest of off times. In other words, it was less than 20mph most of the way, so it took an hour to get there. Blergh. But I met up with Anne and Poppy at Philz - we usually go to Starbucks, but Barbara was out of commission today and so I lured Anne and Poppy into hipsterville instead. We were super lucky to get a table for just us, and I like Philz coffee way better than Starbucks, but we all agreed that Barbara would never want to go there, and since Anne only drinks tea it's probably not the best location since tea is $4+ per cup (and she drinks two cups), while Starbucks is $2.75 per cup with free refills.

But I enjoyed Philz while I had the opportunity to be there, and I got some decent writing in, so I'll take it. We also had fun talking about back cover blurbs (I told Anne that the one she was working on was definitely on the right track for selling it, while Poppy trashed it instead (which matched Anne's husband's opinion, which is why Anne didn't want to show it to Poppy at first - but Anne wants to sell books, and for selling books, it's better to write something with a lot of buzzwords + excitement rather than trying to say anything specific or even relevant to the plot (yes, I'm a cynic now))). And I was glad I went, despite the traffic.

Luckily, I didn't have to brave it back to SF during rush hour - instead, I met up with Shedletsky and Tina for dinner at a restaurant across the street. We talked a lot about spinsters and wizards and jihad and television and trips to a variety of cities, and it was as delightful as it usually is. But after 2+ hours, I realized I needed to go home if I wanted to go to bed tonight at a reasonable hour so I can reset myself for tomorrow. And that's exactly what I am going to do now - if I go to bed at eleven, I have high hopes that I can get out of bed by seven (okay, maybe eight). Goodnight!

though my mind could think i still was a madman

I need to go to bed immediately, but I didn't have to take a nap before writing this - probably because I took a nap this afternoon in preparation for the night's activities. Today was pretty great, all in all - I got up too late (which will definitely happen again tomorrow, since it's now 2am), but I did several hours of excellent writing this morning/early afternoon thanks to a judicious combination of Freedom + Brain.fm. Freedom blocks the internet, and Brain.fm plays hypnotic crazy-making music that forces me to work and then have nervous breakdowns after, so the combination made for a very strong writing session today.

But I finally took a break to have lunch, and then I spent the afternoon doing my laundry + organizing my tax documents. I still have a lot to do on the tax front, but I finally sorted things out and made sure I had all my 1099s and other documents, so that makes me feel a little better. And laundry always makes me feel better, since I live like a Victorian lady and change clothes two or three times a day, which means a week's worth of laundry is 2-3 weeks for someone else. Did someone mention we are having a drought?

sssanyway. At some point I finally showered, and then I walked down to the Mission to have a drink and some snacks at ABV with one of my old coworkers. Amy and I worked together many millions of years ago, back when I was on ads before I left work the first time, and she wanted to get my insight on the publishing process. Luckily I can be bought with a whisky cocktail and a fish taco, so I told her everything I could think to tell her, and it was all good.

When we were done, I left her and met up with John and Papalote, where I had two more tacos and some water, which was restorative. Then we grabbed a drink at some random bar, and then we went to Alamo Drafthouse to see 'Hail Caeser', which is the new Coen brothers movie with George Clooney et al. Alamo Drafthouse is a relatively new addition to the SF movie theatre scene, and it's kind of interesting - they offer table service throughout the movie, so you can order food and drinks and stuff while watching, which is cool. However, they only had three rows of seats for the screen we saw, which means a) I don't know how they're going to make enough money since the tickets aren't marked up compared to the rest of the city theatres, and b) 30% of the people there (us included) have pretty bad seats because the front row is too close to the screen.

That said, I would see it again (and try the food/drink) if I could get tickets for the rows farther back. And the movie itself was enjoyable - it was actually pretty terrible, but individual scenes were great, so I enjoyed myself. Then John and I walked back down Valencia and ended up at Monk's Kettle, where he had a couple of beers and I had a couple of glasses of wine and we split some fries and talked about Communism and zoos and women dying in elevators, and it was all good.

And then I came home, and now I need to sleep immediately before I fall asleep on the couch - goodnight!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

make that money, watch it burn

Today was super hermity, but not as productive as I had dreamed - part of the problem was that I didn't get out of bed until ten, since I had stayed up way too late last night reading the last of the books for the contest I was judging. And then I had a variety of tings to take care of, which meant I worked solidly from 10:30ish to 1:30ish but didn't get any writing done during those hours.

However, I eventually showered, and when I realized I was having trouble getting into the words, I did the right thing and walked over to Fillmore rather than staring at the laptop and hating myself. The walk was restorative, and I got some face cleaner at Kiehls to help me deal with my skin situation (they have some fancy tester that said my skin moisture level is only 36% and it should be 45-55% - this is definitely a #blameitonthealcohol moment). Then I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up a couple of things, and then I took some more time to decompress by making chicken tortilla soup. It's always a cure for whatever ails me, even if what is currently ailing me is my own feeling of laziness (although really, I'm not being lazy - the business side of my writing is going really well. It's just that I need to pour all that energy into words instead of spreadsheets for the next few weeks).

While the soup was cooking, I finally got an hour or so of writing in - again, not enough, but I think I figured out what was bothering me about the last couple of scenes I was working on. And then I basically procrastinated the rest of the evening. I'm going to chalk it up to residual exhaustion from yesterday, stop beating myself up, go to bed at the relatively early hour of 10:45, and dream of tomorrow (when I have a variety of fun evening plans, so while I intend to be home and in bed by midnight like a good girl, don't assume I'm dead if I still haven't blogged by 2am). Goodnight!

and they will all agree that i'm a suffocator

I almost can't bear to look at any more words tonight, but I shall persevere for your sake (and for the sake of any arguments this blog post could settle years from now, since that's an unexpected side benefit of recording my whereabouts...but since I only saw two of the nicest people I know today, there are unlikely to be resultant conflicts).

But the word well is nearly tapped out - I got some good writing done, and I read two books, and I did a bunch of other word, so my eyes are starting to cross and my language processing centers are burned out. I spent the morning working at home, sustained by coffee and a granola bar (and later a homemade cobb salad). I also read most of a book that I had to judge for this contest, but eventually I realized that I was going to be super late if I read any more of it, so I showered and went down to San Mateo for a writing date.

Anne and Barbara were, as usual, delightful to hang out with - and for once I actually got some decent writing done, which is easier to do when we see each other more regularly and so have less to catch up on. It may have also helped that I decided to stay until 5:30 instead of trying to leave at 4 to beat traffic - traffic has consistently already been bad at 4, so today I decided to see what waiting did to the commute. I think it was lighter than it usually is anyway, but leaving at 5:30 was no worse than leaving at 4, and I got way more done. And I also had twenty minutes to talk to Anne at the end, which was good because I had some writing-related stuff to vent about and she's a v. good listener for that.

But I eventually left the peninsula and drove home, and it probably felt faster than usual because I talked to [censored] the whole way. I hadn't talked to him on the phone in ages, so we had a lot to catch up on. Then I got home, finished the book I'd started this morning (verdict: meh), took a break to read royal family gossip (très importante), and made a tuna sandwich before picking up the last book that I had to judge.

I had hoped I could just skim it, but I ended up reading most of it (all of it, but I skimmed bits), which took four hours. The prose was really pretty good and I liked a lot of the characters, but it's in the 'inspirational' category, which I've never judged before, and so the book by definition wasn't just about the hero and heroine's relationship with each other, but also about their relationships with God. This brought back bad flashbacks to my hometown library, and the horror that ensued when a new librarian took over when I was in high school, tossed almost all of the romance section, and replaced it with religious books. Sigh.

Still, most of the story was pretty good - although perhaps I should be taking away the message that I'm a bitter, vengeful heathen, but I find it a little difficult to believe that all of these people forgave each other for a lot of horrible things (dead secret babies, adultery, emotional abuse, etc.) after single, relatively brief conversations and a reminder that God is love. Good for them, I guess. But forgiveness is one thing....peace is quite another. And all the conflicts between all the characters wrapped up a little too quickly and conveniently for my liking.

However, there are worse ways I've spent four hours in the past, so I'll take it. And I entered my final scores just in time - interestingly, the two best books of the five were the two self-published ones (I'm including the inspirational that I read tonight as one of the two best). The other three were by publishing houses that have ebook-only lines, and the books were likely printed just to be entered into the contest - and I've got to say that I would never word for any of them, given the editing and formatting issues (and also the fact that going with an ebook-only press is pretty dumb, since you can do all of that yourself for more royalties, and the only advantage of going with a publisher right now is if they can put you in print and sell you to big stores like Walmart).

But enough of my inside-publishing talk - you don't care and I'm out of words. Goodnight!

Monday, March 07, 2016

even if it's just in your wildest dreams

I'd say today was pretty good, all things considered. I slept later than usual, for reasons that are something of a mystery - but maybe my body still occasionally remembers what it was like to have a weekend, rather than a series of writing/slogging days interspersed with series of drinking/debauching days, and is trying to help me get back into a standard person's calendar. Or maybe I'm still detoxing and last night's moderate wine consumption set me back. It's all unclear.

What I do know is that I got out of bed sometime around 9:30, and I considered going down to the Marina/Fort Mason, but decided I didn't want to walk there, didn't want to take a lyft, and also didn't want to drive because the farmers' market at Fort Mason would ruin my parking plans. So instead, I stayed home and worked - first, with a banana and some iced coffee to fortify me, and then, way later (way way too much later, since my blood sugar suddenly tanked while I was cooking) with hash browns and eggs over easy cooked in a bit of leftover bacon grease. I remembered that I had bought hash browns forever ago and stuck them in the freezer, so I tried making them for the first time - and I also remembered that I had bacon grease in the fridge, which made for some totally delicious fried eggs. This was exactly the breakfast I wanted, even if it was two hours later than it should have been.

But the morning was quite productive, even though I need to sternly remind myself for the next two weeks that there are no business things more important than finishing my book - getting distracted by things like social media and ads aren't really all that useful, even though they temporarily feel productive. And I spent the afternoon writing, and it was all going pretty well.

Then I took a break to call my parents, which took two hours rather than the usual single hour, so that kind of reshaped my early evening. I did a bit more writing after I got off the phone with them, but I had to put away the laptop and meet up with Katrina, Adit, and Priyanka at My Tofu House for family dinner. It was a smaller group than usual, but that was kind of nice - unfortunately, we waited in line for far too long, but the soft tofu soup was worth it. And we discussed housing and crime in SF, all of which are getting all of us down, so it may be time for me to move to Sonoma and start a winery/writing retreat space and then encourage all my friends to move up there with me (or at least visit on the weekends).

But that's a story for another time (perhaps another lifetime). After dinner, I came home and read another book for the contest I'm judging - it started off promising, but I decided that the main characters are just awful people, which made for a kind of annoying couple of hours. But it was short and to the point, so whatev. And now, I need to let the rain lull me to sleep so that I can write/read/potentially allow myself to have fun tomorrow - goodnight!

Saturday, March 05, 2016

give your heart a break

Apparently the thing I do now is come home from a night out and immediately fall asleep on the couch so that I can take a nap before blogging. I can't wait to see how blogging goes when I'm fifty! Which begs the question, of course, of whether blogging will still exist, and what form this will take...but I've been going with this since 2004, so hopefully I'll find some method somewhere (unless the machines have won by then).

Also apparently, the nap didn't help to make me any more coherent or cool, so I'll keep this brief. I spent the day working (or pretending to work) - the rain maybe should have helped, but I'm no longer used to going two days in a row without seeing friends, and while the manicurist I saw yesterday is super friendly, I don't think she counts as a friend yet. So I was going a bit stir crazy, even though I did a quick hangout with Terry around noon to catch up on life, since we hadn't talked in ages.

But I got myself less stir crazy - at 5:30 I was going to work in a cafe for an hour before my dinner plans, so I got in a lyft (I normally would have walked, but I walked that far in the rain two weeks ago and it was totally miserable, so I didn't want to repeat it) and went to the Castro. I had texted Adit to see if he wanted to work with me, but he texted back as I was on the way and said he was home alone with the infant, so I went over there to say hi. It was good to see him alone for a few minutes - we had caught up at Misha's birthday party in January, which was legit, but that was ages ago and also it's hard to have a conversation in the middle of a party (although we made it happen).

So we talked about life and work and babies and families, etc. And then Priyanka and her parents got home from running their errands, so I talked to them as well. Vihaan woke up at some point, so I held him for a little bit and tried not to let his infant scent distract my ovaries, since I need to write a book more than I need to let some dude put a baby in me. But he was super cute, and Priyanka seems to be adjusting to going back to work, and Adit was his usual delightful self, so it was a  nice hour of family time.

Then I walked down the hill to rendezvous with Claudia for dinner - I had missed her birthday party last week because of my stupid conference, so I took her out to celebrate privately. We went to Beso, which is a tapas place on 18th, and it was delicious - we split a bottle of a petite verdot/cab franc blend that was quite good, and we also split bacon wrapped dates, brussels sprouts with chorizo, octopus (like, a single tentacle, lol), and the seafood paella. It was all really tasty, although ordering paella for two meant we had to limit the rest of our options - but I was in the mood for rice, so whatever. We also caught up on life and work and boys and families, so it was almost like talking to Adit, only for longer and with less talk of raising infants.

But after 2.5hrs I needed to go home, so I got a lyft and came here, where I promptly fell asleep on the couch. And now I'm going to go to bed for real and get up tomorrow ready to embrace the day and the writing - goodnight!

Friday, March 04, 2016

i guess you didn't care, and i guess i liked that

I was pretty hermity today, and it was a good reminder that I often am not any more productive on the hermit days than I am on the non-hermit days. Granted, I was more productive today than I have been in ages, but that could easily be attributed to the fact that I was sober, not hungover, and not in the middle of packing for / unpacking after / going on a trip. In other words, you'll be shocked to know that it's easier to get shit done when I'm mostly healthy and mostly in one place. I know, I'm shocked too.

Anyway, I spent the morning working in bed, which I'm quite enjoying - the geriatric movable bed frame is paying off. I drank the last of my kona coffee, did a bit of social media stuff (I'm trying to force myself to post to facebook every day - I have almost 2000 fans there, and I should theoretically engage with them, but I hate fb so much...), took care of some emails, and wrote for a couple of hours. And the writing that I got done was good, or at least good enough.

But I eventually had to drag myself out of bed, eat some lunch, and shower before going to get my nails done. I had gel on my fingers that had to be removed, so I got a regular manicure and pedicure and talked to one of my favorite manicurists (Mimi) about her upcoming trip to visit family in Vietnam. I also sat around for quite some time to let my nails dry, since I usually screw them up immediately. Then I came home and sat on the couch until my grocery delivery arrived (I'm so spoiled, but #noregrets).

I decided to dash to Philz then to get more ground coffee so that I can make coffee at home in the morning - it's supposed to rain for the next few days, and I didn't want to have to walk to a coffee shop in the morning when it was still dry tonight. So I got my coffee, came home, and cooked dinner - I fried up some bacon, boiled some eggs, cooked some chicken, and cut up an avocado, some blue cheese, and some lettuce to make a cobb salad. It turned out beautifully, although I forgot the tomatoes, which would have added something, and next time I probably won't cook the chicken in the bacon grease since it made it almost too rich (given the whole salad is basically fat with some protein and a bit of lettuce for color, I didn't need more grease). But all in all, it was super tasty, and probably better for me than the chicken nachos I had originally intended to make.

Then I was going to write some more, but I realized I was hitting the wall, so I read another book for the RITAs instead - I have three more to go between now and Monday, so this was a good use of time. Sadly the book sucked, so I skimmed most of the second half (and it was clear the editor skimmed most of the second half as well, since it was riddled with typos and grammatical errors, as well as errors in titles/forms of address (a duke is never addressed as 'lord' - in other words, the Duke of Cambridge would never be called Lord Cambridge)....and this book was published by an actual publisher, not selfpub, so I'm striking that publisher off the list of people I would ever consider working with).

sssanyway. Now that I am reminded that total garbage can be published (and get at 4.5 average rating on Amazon, which slays me), perhaps I'll be a little less precious about my own writing and the words will come faster tomorrow. Or maybe my smugness will choke me in my sleep, idk. It's time to find out either way - goodnight!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

don't be a fool for the city nights...i know it's cool but it's only light

I woke up today feeling way way better than yesterday - it's amazing what sleep + drinking water instead of alcohol will do for you. But I still chose to work in bed for a couple of hours, which went really well, so if it's raining tomorrow morning (as it is likely to do), I'll probably hole up in bed with my laptop rather than venturing out to a coffee shop.

But that's tomorrow...let's talk about today. I worked for a couple of hours this morning, and then I showered and sped down to Palo Alto to check the post office box I have there to make sure I wasn't missing any tax documents (answer: no). But I didn't feel like I wasted the trip because I then had lunch at Joanie's, which I adore - their cobb salad is perhaps the best anywhere, and I enjoyed every last bite of it while talking to the hostess, who told me about her adventures in learning to play baseball as an adult. Yay for continuing to be remembered by all the staff at Joanie's despite only going there every few months now.

Then I sped up to San Mateo for a writing date - I got there early to chat with Barbara about some business-y stuff, and then Anne and Poppy showed up and we all wrote for a couple of hours. It wasn't the most productive session ever, since we fell into gossip (which stopped again when I abruptly said I needed to leave, which guilted them into working again and guilted me into staying for another forty-five minutes). But I got through a lot of what I wanted to get through today, so I'm happy with my progress.

Then I failed to speed home because traffic was already bad, but I made it home despite that. And then I should have done a million things, but I fell into some procrastinatory things instead - I think I was still tired from the last few days because I really just wanted a nap, but I watched youtube videos and was surly and forced myself to stay awake. But I spent the last hour and a half messing around with my journal and my planner and considering Rafe and Octavia, so it all ended up good.

And now I shall sleep, and hope that tomorrow is more productive - it's the first day in ages where I don't have anywhere to be (other than a pedicure, tough life) and/or won't wake up hungover, so I'm pretty excited about that. Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

the memories of me will seem more like bad dreams

Today was really, really rough, but I think I had enough fun last night to make today's pain worth it. I need to stop having fun immediately, though, if I'm going to finish my book in time for my deadline - I can't keep going out hard at night if it means I miss my prime writing time in the mornings. Or rather, I can't do that for the next three weeks - then it's game on again.

So today was mostly an exercise in paying for last night's sins. Not that I actually sinned...although I did drink a lot of cheap wine and follow it all with an old fashioned, which probably is a sin, and I should have known better. But the variety of things I did last night was quite entertaining. To fill in some blanks, I went to Connecticut Yankee briefly to watch some Super Tuesday results. Then I had dinner with the original Jen Lui at Frances - I've wanted to go there for ages, and we made the reservation a month ago. Frances is owned by the same chef who has Octavia, which is much closer to me and while I like a lot. So perhaps Frances was a little overhyped for me - I'd say everything was consistently good, but I wasn't wowed by all of it. However, the chickpea fritters, which were the first thing we had, were fucking delicious.

So Jen and I caught up for a couple of hours, which was delightful. Then I walked her to the 16th and Mission BART so she wouldn't die alone if someone stabbed her. Spoiler: no one stabbed us, but some dude touched my arm and asked if I wanted to hear a secret (answer: no, I didn't want to hear a secret). Then I walked over to Rite Spot, which is home of an occasional Beatles karaoke night. I was the first to arrive, so I drank some wine and befriended the bartender, as is my wont.

But other people showed up shortly thereafter - Katrina organized it, and she showed up with Jamie in tow, and then John and Sheila arrived, and Vidya brought some friend of hers named Sri. So we commandeered a table and hung out for a couple of hours (which is where I poured cheap wine on top of the nice wine I'd had at Frances), and it was all super fun and ridiculous (and it became clear to me I really don't know that many Beatles songs). By 11pm, the karaoke was over, and everyone else left, but John and I ended up walking down the street to another bar (Homestead, I think), where I had an old fashioned and he drank all my water so he could sober up and drive me home. This seemed like a good trade at the time, although I probably would have felt a lot better this morning if I'd had more water and less whisky...but it was really fun, so #noregrets.

But I got home at two and promptly fell asleep on the couch, and I only blogged at four a.m. because people tend to think I'm dead if I don't blog. Then I crawled into bed and slept until 8:30, which was not enough, but it was the best I could do. I then spent the morning drinking coffee and water and working in bed - I had stuff that I really had to get done this morning, but I couldn't bear the thought of getting out of bed, so this was a good compromise.

By noon I knew there was only one thing that could save me, so I stumbled down to the marina and got Tony to make me some huevos rancheros, which went a long way toward restoring my health and wellbeing. Then I came home and took a nap, which mostly finished the recovery. And then I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening doing a variety of crucial but boring tasks, since I have enough brain power to get through emails and bills and paperwork and scheduling, but not enough to write a sex scene. Tomorrow is soon enough for that, I guess.

And now I think I'm going to crawl into bed with a book and read until I fall asleep....and hit the writing hard tomorrow, when my head is clear and my schedule is even clearer. Expect a hermit weekend - nay, *demand* a hermit weekend, since neither my deadline nor my liver will be happy if I keep repeating the weekends I've had recently. Goodnight!

i don't know why you say goodbye, i say hello

Um, I got home over two hours ago, but I fell asleep on the couch as I was starting to write this, and now it's 4am. So much for detox, amirite?

So I'll just say that today was a whirlwind of work (morning, at Philz), housework (mostly laundry), late afternoon drinks to watch the election returns at Connecticut Yankee, fancy evening dinner for fancy ladies at Frances (the chickpea fritters were to die for), and then many more drinks with a variety of people at Beatles-themed karaoke.

But even though I want to give you more details, and even though you deserve more details, I have to go to bed immediately before I die of exhaustion. Detox starts tomorrow, I guess. Goodnight!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

those days are over, you don't have to sell your body to the night

So much for detox...I had half a bottle of champagne, a shot of bourbon, and two glasses of wine, and a v. long lunch and a lovely showing of 'Zoolander 2' and some shared barbecue after. But I vowed to detox in March, so technically this was all allowed!

But first, to recap. I spent the morning working v. v. diligently and focusedly (that's apparently not a word) thanks to brain.fm. It's also possible I killed a homeless person and don't remember it - the music is that good. Then I showered and went down to Ghirardelli Square (where I never go) to have lunch with a combo of people from my old place of employment + romance writers. This was pretty fun, even if it wasn't probably the best use of my time ever - but that's where I had half a bottle of champagne, and a v. v. tasty seafood cobb salad, and the conversation was fun. So I'll take it.

Then I came home, took a long nap (life is hard), and worked for a couple more hours. I had to scurry to get ready for my evening plans after that - John and I had made plans last week to see Zoolander 2 and weren't able to because we had dinner with Adit, Ritu, et al instead, so we went tonight. But we had both heard it was terrible, so we met at Whisky Thieves and had a shot of bourbon first. That was v. nearly undrinkable for me - I really can't shoot very well anymore because my body instinctually rejects pain, and so I mostly sipped it, which probably resulted in less immediate pain but more cumulative pain (especially when John made me laugh and I snorted some of it into my nasal cavity).

sssanyway. We then went to the movie, and I don't know if it was the bourbon or that all the critics are so wrong about so many things (see: Sahara, King Arthur, Day After Tomorrow), but I thought the movie was awesome. Okay, it was probably terrible. But I laughed a lot, and thought some of it was genuinely funny, even if they went a little overboard on the celebrity cameos. And I would watch it again, but it can't replace the first Zoolander in my heart.

After the movie, we went to Bitters Bock and Rye and split some barbecue (brisket - not bad, but not the best ever), and I had a couple of glasses of wine. Then we went to Rye (unrelated), but we ended up not having another drink because we were both falling asleep. So I came home and should have blogged an hour ago, but instead I took a nap on the couch because if I had blogged then, it would have been total hallucinatory nonsense liked all of my falling-asleep posts are.

So now that I've gotten through this without making too big of a mess of myself, I'm going to go to bed and hope that sleep restores me - goodnight!