Wednesday, February 29, 2012

some days it don't come at all and these are the days that never end

It's definitely bedtime. I worked all day, and yet feel like I got nothing done -- I'm not done with edits for SCOTSMEN like I'd intended to be, but I keep getting distracted by the other million things on my to do list. Sigh.

That's all I have to say, really -- I'm still mildly sick, which means I'm majorly cranky, and my only errand outside the house was to the grocery store, where I bought hamburger and potatoes and made myself a v. midwestern meal in an effort to feel better. And the edits that I did finish with SCOTSMEN are great -- if I could just ignore everything else on my to-do list for a couple of days, maybe I could finish. So tomorrow I'm going to go to the gym, then either go to the library or come back here (depending on how cold/rainy it is) and try to ignore the to-do list all day/night and see how far I get. I can't totally ignore the to-do list because there are some pressing things that must get done, but I can at least make more progress than I did today.

Sorry this is boring! I will be more interesting someday, I promise! Or, if I'm not more interesting, I will at least be less cranky and so better able to fake it! Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

you stole my star

I've stayed up later than I intended being less productive than I should have been, but I'm going to go to sleep rather than attempting to reclaim my work ethic. I woke up this morning hacking my lungs into my pillow, but I managed to drag myself down to Palo Alto, where I pseudo-trained with Alyssa. We were reassessing today, which meant it was going to be a light workout anyway since we spend a lot of an assessment session talking about goals and progress and stuff, but I was clearly in no shape to do a major workout, so we just did some light cardio and foam rolling after finishing with the reassessment. Then I sat in the sauna, which did seem to help a bit, before showering and getting dressed and attempting to gird my loins to go to Stanford and work all afternoon/night. But there wasn't enough girding in the world to convince myself to do it. So I ate a salad, grabbed some coffee, and drove back to the evil city, where I promptly worked half-heartedly for the rest of the afternoon/evening/night.

I didn't do as much editing as I intended today, but I did cross a bunch of stuff off my to-do list and reread most of the book, so that's good. Also, Katie called and we talked about the book for almost an hour, which was super helpful -- it was great to see where her feedback matched what the editor said and where her feedback differed, and what my gut reaction was to both sides of those arguments. And I listened to a super interesting YouTube video while cleaning my room about how you should never, under any circumstances, answer any questions posed to you by a cop. I'd encourage you all to listen to it sometime as well -- the video was really long (45mins), but starred a lawyer and a cop, and it's a little crazy how you could incriminate yourself without even realizing it out of a natural human desire to be helpful/defend yourself/tell the truth.

And now, I must sleep -- tomorrow is an all-day editing extravaganza, so don't expect tomorrow night's post to be any more cheerful. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

i could really use a wish right now

I'm going to go to bed and sleep for ten hours, which sounds absolutely lovely -- I'm still wrecked from my cold and my trip, and I'm supposed to work out with Alyssa tomorrow, which should be a joy (this would be a good place for a "not" joke). I did manage to wake up this morning in time to shower, get to the airport, and fly from Long Beach to San Francisco without any issues at all. Terry was kind enough to pick me up at 8:30am, and so I came home and intended to take a nap before editing all day...

But my plans were immediately thrown off because I walked in the door and found a box on the kitchen table that contained the proof copy of HEIRESS!!! It wasn't supposed to arrive until tomorrow, but it had arrived after I left on Friday, and so I got to hold a real print copy of my book in my hands for the very first time. It was a v. exciting moment, and I adore it so much. So rather than edit SCOTSMEN, I sat at the kitchen table and admired the book for awhile, then admired it some more, then sat on the couch and flipped through every page to check the formatting and make sure that the margins, fonts, sizes, etc. were all correct. Since they were all correct (yay), I finished the publication process for it, and so it should show up on Amazon sometime this week! And then there will be much rejoicing, I'm sure.

Anyway, the joy and my cold pretty much knocked me down for the count, so I stumbled down the street and had a v. unsatisfying breakfast (the place I ate at makes decent gluten free options but could not produce enough coffee to satisfy the whole restaurant, so I only got one and it only showed up halfway into my meal). Then I came home, looked at my book some more, and took a nap. Then I wrote a blog post for a history blog site that I'm up at tomorrow (no link yet, sorry), which took even longer than most guest posts do because I felt the need to be accurate and interesting (a benefit you don't get here!). Then I talked to my parents, who stole my voice from me again. Then I came downstairs and took a break (yay for taking breaks) by watching the Oscars with Terry. We got Indian food delivered and drank a v. nice bottle of wine in honor of my book before we both start being good with our eating and drinking again, and while I probably shouldn't have drank wine given my general health disaster, it was quite enjoyable.

And now I must go to bed; I accidentally watched two episodes of the modern revival of "Upstairs Downstairs", and I think I may be hooked, but I must finish SCOTSMEN before I'm allowed to watch more tv or have any more fun. Goodnight!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

disappear in the golden sands

Today was great, but I am a freaking wreck -- my voice is almost entirely gone, which surprised me greatly when I tried to say my name at the registration table for this event I went to today. Damn. Despite all my best intentions last night, I didn't sleep very well because I was so congested, which made for a rough morning. But I dragged myself out of bed, got all dolled up (and I looked cute, if I do say so myself), went downstairs, and got checked in for the event. Then I had a quick breakfast in the hotel restaurant; they were serving snacks and also lunch, but I was concerned about the gluten possibilities (quite rightly) and so ate in advance.

Anyway, the event was really good -- I'm not sure it was entirely worth my money, particularly since I had to pay for the hotel, but it was a good learning experience. The event was ostensibly geared towards readers, even though I think the ratio in the room was more like 50/50 authors/readers, and I was attending as a reader since they only let forty people register as official authors. So I didn't have books there for people to sign, although the event organizers had let me mail them bookmarks to put in the promo bags (which may or may not have resulted in any sales -- who knows, although I think my bookmarks are pretty snazzy). But it was good for me to see how other authors handle themselves at these events, and the keynotes were great -- one was by Gail Carriger, who writes these steampunk books I adore, and since she was speaking the event was able to sell her next book (and the final book in her current series) a week earlier than it's supposed to launch, which was exciting. The other was by Meg Cabot, of "Princess Diaries" fame, who is always great.

I also got to hang out with some other authors whom I have quietly been stalking (err, gotten to know) on twitter, which is good career building, if nothing else. The event ended at three, but I hung out with a couple of authors until 4:30ish -- until my voice was entirely gone, at which point I excused myself and came upstairs to keep my hideous rasping croak to myself. I spent the past few hours alternating between procrastinating and catching up on the many dozens of little tasks that have been piling up, and also packing my carry-on to fit the dozen or so books I acquired today. And now, I really really must go to bed. My flight is at 7am, which means I need to be out of here by 5:30, which means I need to wake up around 4:30, which means I'm going to be a v. surly camper tomorrow. Goodnight!

Friday, February 24, 2012

international love

I'm curled up in a comfy bed in Long Beach, about to sleep even though it's not quite 10pm. I flew down this morning, which necessitated getting up at 6:30am, which is the earliest I've gotten up in...I don't know when. 6:30 is not my friend. But I managed to drag myself out of bed, into the shower, into some clothes, and to the airport (thanks to a ride from Terry, who dropped me off on her way to work), where I got onto the flight with no issues at all. However, getting up that early left me feeling jetlagged all day (to be fair, I haven't been sleeping and have been running on fumes for a couple of weeks, so it's little wonder I'm exhausted).

So, when I got to the hotel around 11:30, I did a bit of work, and then slept from 12:30 to 1:30. Then I went downstairs and had a salad, which might have been good, but made me feel kind of ill, so I had some tea and came back upstairs to work. However, I only ended up working for half an hour; a woman I met a couple of weeks ago from the San Diego romance chapter texted me to ask if I wanted to meet her and three friends for drinks. We were already planning to have dinner together, but they were already hungry, so I went back downstairs. And as it turns out, we spent four hours in the lobby bar/restaurant, where I had three glasses of wine and some panna cotta, which was one of the best things I've had in a long time (probably because I've been avoiding desserts). So needless to say, my alcohol:food ratio today was pretty off, since food is making me feel sick, but c'est la vie. And the women were v. nice, so I'm glad that I met them all -- it was good to hang out and make connections, and hopefully I'll see them again at future events.

I got up to my room about forty-five minutes ago and took care of some emails, but I'm clearly in no state to do edits, and if I go to bed now I can sleep for nine hours and still get up in time to have breakfast before the event tomorrow. So that's what I shall do - goodnight!

hey i heard you were a wild one

I'm unfortunately still hideously ill -- the sore throat is subsiding a bit, but I've developed a cough in the last two hours that promises to settle into my lungs and take up residence for a few weeks/months as my coughs usually do. Damn.

But today was a great day -- Heiress went up on Kindle!!! I knew we'd hit the publish button today, but since it can take up to twenty-four hours for a book to go live, I'd been telling people it was coming out tomorrow. However, it went live this morning -- and, in a v. happy bit of odd wonderfulness, I found out because I reader whom I don't know and don't follow on twitter tweeted me to ask when it would be up, and then reported back that it was up. Woot! So I'm apparently reaching people who don't know me personally, which is awesome -- not that I don't love you all, and not that I don't hope that y'all buy and love all my books, but JK Rowling didn't get to where she's at by selling to just her friends and family (unless she's got way more family than I thought, in which case someone really should have taken her in when she was a struggling single mom). So it's strangely surreal and awesome that people I don't know are talking about it.

Anyway, the fact that it went live today totally threw off all my plans. I had intended to buckle down on the final edits for SCOTSMEN, preferably over some chai at Samovar. Instead, I tweeted, facebooked, answered comments on a guest blog that I did, checked my Amazon stats obsessively (no stats available until an hour or so ago, and I'm already under 10,000 in the rankings -- not fabulous, but pretty awesome considering that it took several days to get under 10,000 on Barnes and Noble and Amazon has many, many more titles than B&N due to all the self-pubbers who focus their attention on kindle), etc. I had to go downtown at 1pm to get my bangs trimmed and my eyebrows waxed so that I look like a competent, fun author instead of a wildebeest; while they may not have been able to change my bone structure or stop my shoulders from hunching up, I am definitely less hairy. Yay.

But after the bangs/eyebrows, I had to sit in the Peets Coffee below the salon and work for an hour on getting my press kit up on my site. It's still a little rough, but it's there. Then I went to the mall with the intention of buying a notebook and some pens from my favorite Japanese stationery store -- and then I ended up shopping for clothes and buying three tops from Calvin Klein and three from MaxStudio. Oops. But now I have cute, fun things to wear at this event I'm going to this weekend, and at future events that I do, and on other days when I manage to get out of my pajamas and leave the house. Sweet.

I had a late lunch/early dinner at 4:30 at Chipotle in the mall, and promptly regretted it; this illness has been v. appetite suppressing, and so while only having a banana and some coffee earlier in the day wasn't smart, the stomach definitely wasn't happy about Chipotle either. So I sat for a bit to recover, then came home, then went out with Terry, who had dinner while I nursed a glass of wine (that's like vitamins, right?) and we discussed taking over the media world. Then I came home and packed, then watched some tv, then did some promo stuff, and now need to sleep immediately so I can get up at 6:15am (the horror!), check my stats, get dressed, and go to the airport for this romance event I'm going to this weekend. I shall report back, and it shall be amazing, if I don't get quarantined at the airport. Goodnight!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

you don't seem to know, seem to care what your heart is for

Hello, bedtime. Hello, Nyquil. It's definitely time for me to go to bed -- and under no circumstances should I reread my notes for my secret gargoyle project, since I have no time to work on it right now! But since I just reread most of that manuscript, I'm probably doomed.

I woke up around eleven feeling like death, but I managed to get the most pressing tasks on my to-do list done anyway. I had to do some more stuff related to the print book for Heiress, which will definitely not be out until early next week at the earliest since I have to get the proof copy in the mail and then approve distribution -- so let's hope the proof copy looks awesome and I can approve it as-is, or else I have to go through all of this again. And I took care of some other writerly tasks while eating oatmeal (sexy, I know), before showering and eventually driving to the south bay. I still felt like death, and was v. sleepy to boot, but I made it to Palo Alto and proceeded to have a salad for a weird 4pm meal (my illness is messing with my appetite) before going to Philz and spending a couple of hours crafting a bizarro guest blog post that's live right now on the Ruby blog (see my romance site for a link -- I may have called Genghis Khan a genius at brand marketing, which is why I should never write guest blog posts while hyped up on Dayquil and coffee).

The only reason I went to Palo Alto was because I had my writing group tonight and my story was one of the two being discussed, so I felt like I couldn't skip it. It was a good meeting, all in all; the other woman's story was fantastic, and I always enjoy reading what she writes, so that was fun. And they had good things to say about the third chapter of the secret gargoyle project that I sent them -- I wrote it months ago, but want to get back to it someday, and so it was good to hear their thoughts. Granted, the sole dude in the group suggested that I have lightning shooting from someone's hands, and that I should add forcefields -- I don't think he understands the difference between X-Men-style scifi and more magic/fantasy stuff. C'est la vie.

After we finished, I sped home, worked for another hour, messed around for another hour reading the gargoyle manuscript (which I adore; it's what I want to write next, but instead I need to finish edits on Scotsmen and then write Ellie/Nick's story). So now I need to take some Nyquil, sleep, and hope that I feel better tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

in the darkest night rising like a spire

I'm a total mess and such an idiot -- I'm getting some sort of horrendous sore throat disease, and yet I'm still up at 3am because I was messing around with the formatting options for the print edition of Heiress. Stupid, stupid -- but it has to get done immediately, and it took way longer than I expected...but more on that in a moment.

I knew I was getting sick last night, but I pretended I wasn't. Then I woke up at five a.m. feeling like death. So I took some Nyquil, which promptly knocked me back out, and I slept until almost noon; twelve hours of sleep was apparently necessary after the week or two or ten I've had. When I did wake up, I still felt like death, so I took a shower and dragged myself out to find something to eat. I settled on chili, which wasn't great for my throat but was better than anything else -- the extreme downside my gluten-free life manifested itself when I got sick, since I realized that I couldn't have any of my comfort foods, and most soups have gluten in them due to the thickeners. Boo. After a late lunch, I ran to the grocery store to stock up on fruit, milk, and more soup, and then came home and started working around 4pm...

...and I really haven't stopped since then. I had to write a couple of guest blogs tonight, both of which took longer than anticipated. I also had some volunteer type activities to take care of, which were necessary since everything's slowly sliding out of control and I need to get things back in shape. And then I began my formatting odyssey to develop the print version of Heiress, which turned into a v. long, v. tedious process that required me to purchase a license for Adobe InDesign (thank goodness they have month-to-month licenses now, since it would have cost $600). Granted, I could have just formatted it in Word like everybody else, but I wanted it to look professional, and InDesign offers better font selections, better control over mirrored pages, better layouts, etc.

The downside of InDesign is that I knew absolutely nothing about it, so I had to teach myself as I went. But, eight hours later, I must say that it looks quite lovely. So I finally got the document uploaded to Amazon tonight, and will have to wait for them to review it, then wait for them to mail me a proof, which I have to approve before it goes on sale. So the print version may not get out on Friday as I intended, but hopefully it will go up sometime this weekend.

It felt ridiculous to spend that much time on it, but c'est la vie; while it's urgent for Scotsmen to get finished, it's even urgenter to get Heiress out everywhere it can go out. So tomorrow, I probably won't wake up until afternoon, but I'll spend the rest of the day starting edits on Scotsmen (and going to my writing group, which I would definitely cancel on if it weren't for the fact that they're discussing a chapter of my gargoyles book and I would kinda like to hear their feedback). I canceled on Alyssa, though -- it's one thing to sit quietly talking about writing while nursing some tea, but it's quite another to life weights and do cardio and generally attempt to kill myself.

I took Nyquil when I started writing this, so I should probably stumble over to bed before it kicks in. Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

it's like the sky fell on me

I think I'm getting sick, which is absolutely not allowed to happen -- my throat is getting that unfortunate pre-massive-disaster soreness, which is always a prelude to me having a massive cold that turns into a month-long merman cough a la Zoolander. I can't be sick -- I have a publishing empire to build and books to write and media plans to conquer!

But despite that, and despite the fact I didn't sleep enough last night, I still had a good day. I went down to Palo Alto to train with Alyssa, and then left and came back up here immediately to have lunch with Terry and Lauren (aka Subz), since people with normal day jobs had the day off today. Then, I came home and did some work, but it was hard to focus because I knew that my editor was reading Scotsmen all day, and I kept waiting for the hammer to drop. I was half-convinced that she would tell me I needed to rewrite the entire thing, which might have made me cry/throw things/burn down the house so that I wouldn't have to face such a horrible failure, as I would then be in prison for arson and more concerned about protecting my tender flesh from the depredations of sadistic fellow prisoners than I would be about rewriting that manuscript for the twentieth time. Yay for Plan B!

But luckily I didn't have to put Plan B into effect. My editor emailed around 4:30 and told me that she loved it and enjoyed reading it, etc. She made a couple of plot arc suggestions and some notes on the manuscript itself of areas where I could clarify issues, but these were all relatively minor changes that don't require any sort of massive overhaul like I feared. It's a minor miracle, since I wrote several of the scenes in the past three days and hadn't really had a chance to proofread or edit them, but hey, I'll take the minor miracle. This means I might be able to finish Scotsmen this week, if I can stayed focused and not get distracted by all the other urgent things on my build-a-publishing-empire to-do list.

Anyway, when I got that email, I came downstairs and told Terry that we should go out to dinner to celebrate, since before that I had planned to barricade myself in my room and avoid human contact until I was done with the book. She said I looked happier than I have in months, which may be true since I actually sat on the couch and watched tv for awhile tonight, which has not been my usual mode of operations recently. We eventually went out for Mexican food, which was delicious (albeit not Alyssa approved -- but I didn't have a margarita, so she can't be too mad).

I spent the rest of the evening watching "The Voice" with Terry while trying to figure out print production for Heiress, which is taking longer than I thought it would. And now, even though I should write three guests blogs, I'm going to go to bed and do it in the morning -- I need sleep more than I need anything else. Goodnight!

Monday, February 20, 2012

it's a thousand pages, give or take a few

THE END. Not of the blog, although I'm sure some of you are bored to bits with my drivel. Not of my liver, although I would deserve it if that abused organ gave up the ghost and moved to Tahiti. But I just finished the latest draft of Malcolm and Amelia's story! Cue fireworks! Pop the champagne! Throw glitter all over everything!

Or, perhaps, celebrate by sleeping immediately, which is what I intend to do. I feel pretty good about where the book is at right now, although I still need to do, at a minimum, and couple of proofreading/copyediting passes and several hours' worth of research on minor points like what dresses/breeches/etc were in style in 1812, figuring out the specific dates everything occurs on for continuity purposes, and all that jazz. At a maximum, I may need to write a couple more scenes and do some editing for larger story issues, but nothing like what I just went through.

So I finished approximately three minutes ago, after spending alllll daaaaay on it. I woke up around 10:15, which was way earlier than I had any right to be up, feeling way better than I deserved (although still not perfect -- it would have been impossible to feel perfect after the night I had). I showered, threw on some clothes, packed up my laptop, and took a cab to Adit's neighborhood, since I was forced to abandon my car there last night and needed to pick it up. But I grabbed breakfast first at Morning Due, where I had some scrambled eggs and worked for an hour or so while attempting to rejuvenate myself. Then I came home and slogged all afternoon, took a break to grab a burger with Terry, and continued to slog all night. I had to take a nap at nine, which was ill-advised, but it let me power through the last couple of hours, which was key.

The reason for my hard and brutal slog is not just that I'm behind and want to get the book out. It's that I had contacted a freelance editor of excellent repute last week to get onto her schedule for Ellie and Nick's book in a few months, since I've been thinking that a great editor would be a better investment than just about anything else. I don't need a lot of help with proofreading, as long as I'm not drunk when I do it, but I can still keep growing as a writer, and one of the only reasons I would sign a traditional deal right now is for the editorial assistance. But my agent recommended a great editor who has been in the industry for years, and she not only can get me a slot for Ellie's book, but said that she was willing to do a rush read on Amelia's book and give me feedback this week *if* I could give her the manuscript today. She read the first four chapters as a test last week and loved what she saw so far, but also made some excellent suggestions, all of which I agreed with, so I feel really good about what she can do to help me polish this thing and get it out the door, so that I will never ever have to read or look at it again.

So that's done. And that's all I did today, so there's nothing else to share. Tomorrow I get a brief reprieve from the manuscript while she reads it, which I will spend working out with Alyssa and then writing three guest blogs and taking care of a bunch of business stuff, including figuring out the process of staring my LLC -- fun times. Speaking of guest blogs, another one just went up on a romance site (linked from the press area of, as usual) -- since I know several of you read the guest blogs, I'll keep enabling you to stalk me as painlessly and effectively as possible. And now, I really really must sleep, since I have to get up in approximately seven hours if I'm going to make it to Palo Alto to train. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

two tickets to the gun show

Today was utterly ridiculous, and, true to form, I failed to hold to my goal of not drinking to excess at Adit's party. But, to be fair, I did get a lot done beforehand, so I can't be utterly regretful.

I shall begin at the beginning, though, as I always do. When I woke up this morning, I was in no mood to write yet, so I took care of some stuff and then got Terry to go out for breakfast (which took more time than expected, since our usual place had a line for once -- what's up with that?). As soon as we got home, I parted ways with her, walked to the post office to express mail some bookmarks and stuff to this romance conference I'm going to next weekend (which I almost canceled on, but decided to go to at the last minute, hence the express mailing). Then I walked to Readers Cafe in Fort Mason, where I got super hyped up on coffee (to the point that the barista suggested that I slow down, since she knew I was about to get totally fucked on caffeine based on the combination of drinks I'd ordered). They had this New Orleans iced coffee that was fantastic (New Orleans = chicory added to the coffee blend, per the cheap coffee ripoffs they drank during the war (the war = the Civil war, obvi)).

Anyway, between the writing I did at Readers Cafe + the hour and a half that I forced out of myself at home afterward, I wrote twenty pages and basically finished the end of the book. I need to write a bit of the last scene tomorrow and do some proofreading, but hey, it's only 3:38am -- clearly that's totally doable!!!! Sob. I shouldn't have drank anything tonight, but I'm a total sucker for peer pressure. And I'm even more of a sucker when I'm supposedly being honored at a party, as was true of Adit and Priyanka's house party tonight. So I gave out some romance trading cards, signed some men's chests with my silver sharpie (and I do mean real men in attendance at the party, not cover models), and generally hung out for hours and hours and ahours. Chris Boyd and John did a push0pu off in Adit's kitchen, which was hysterical; Chris also tried to give me two tickets to the gun show, but since the gun show looked less like a human gun show and more like a velociraptor gun show, he got more ego-killing laughter than he expected. Poor kid. We also sang some karaoke (Nickelback + Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"), before Adit's neighbor asked us to be quiet.

Eventually, the only people left were me, Adit, Priyanka, Boyd, Timmy, and Folky, and so we all went to Sparky's (a 24-hr diner) to refuel and stave off our (inevitable) hangovers. Since I'd had several drinks + two shots (one 'tequila blackberry' shot, which was self-explanatory as a tequila shot with a blackberry in it; and one vodka shot straight out of the dregs of the bottle), food was a great idea. What wasn't a great idea was Adit insisting on roadies for the walk to the restaurant, which means that Priyanka, Folky and I finished off the remnants of a bottle of prosecco (disaster). Surprisingly, Priyanka, Timmy and I were still the most sober people at the restaurant when we arrived, so at least the food got ordered properly and the waitress got paid. After easting, though, I realized I would rather sleep in my own bed tonight -- and so even though I'll have to go back and get my car in the morning, I took a cab home and am about to enjoy the sleep of the just (or, at least, the sleep of the drunk). Goodnight!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

we might be laughing a bit too loud but that never hurt no one

I was told that my blog has been bad lately, since I'm mostly incoherent and semi-crazy (or vice versa) -- and for that I would apologize if I could remember the words. But it's not going to get better this weekend, even if there is a light at the end of the tunnel (yes, I'm using cliches -- sorry). I was too tired to work particularly effectively today, so I'm going to go to bed at the v. early hour of 11pm and hope that sleeping in my own bed rejuvenates me enough to continue the war tomorrow. We go over the top at dawn, as they say (or as they said in World War I, which I realize was almost a century ago, which seems crazy -- although why it seems crazy I don't know, since it's not like it was in my lifetime, but there was a time in my lifetime when there were still WWI veterans around and now they're all gone, like the WWII veterans soonish will be -- anyway, sorry, will cut off the tangent now). Luckily I don't face mustard gas when I emerge from my trench to go over the top (sorry, tangent came back!), but I've probably had enough caffeine to pickle my innards anyway.

Phew. Must rein in my thoughts and produce something coherent or you'll all leave me, and that would make me a sad panda. I woke up at 8:30 this morning, took care of a bit of stuff online, packed the rest of my belongings, talked to my agent for half an hour (nothing exciting, just going over logistical stuff around getting Heiress out to more channels, since we're out of the exclusive phase with B&N next week and it should go up onto Kindle on Friday!!), took a shower, and left Santa Cruz around 10:45. I was sad to leave, even if it's going to be great to sleep in my own bed. I drove straight to Palo Alto, where I had a salad at Sprout, then sat on a park bench (if it was covered in urine, it was at least dry urine) and talked to Katie for a glorious half-hour. Properly rejuvenated (okay, not rejuvenated at all, but I was in high spirits even if I was exhausted), I went to the stationery store and bought some silver Sharpies to use when signing bookmarks (since it's apparently all the rage to use metallic Sharpies at signings -- good enough excuse for me), then went to Stanford library and slogged until 9pm. It wasn't the most effective slog ever, and I took a break to leave campus at 5 and get some Chipotle (eating Chipotle three days this week probably wasn't wise either, but c'est la vie). But what I wrote was excellent, and if I buckle down tomorrow, I think I can finish the last scenes tomorrow so that I can proofread the last half of the manuscript on Sunday...

...and that means I have to avoid getting drunk at Adit and Priyanka's party tomorrow night, and as devoted readers of the blog know, avoiding alcohol in a setting like that is not exactly my strong suit. In fact, it was with Adit that I had a disastrous run-in with a bottle of port the night before my senior thesis was due. This feels all too similar to that, so may history not repeat itself (or if it does, may it repeat itself with something better than port). And now, I must sleep so that I can slog brutally tomorrow -- goodnight!

Friday, February 17, 2012

try to wrap your arms around a memory

Blehsdghad.fg. I'm sick of staring at my screen and sick of typing and sick of looking at letters and trying to rearrange them into some semblance of order. I mean, all in all it's gone really well the past few days, and I've gotten a lot done. But there's still a lot left to do, which means this weekend is going to be pretty hellish.

Anyway. Let's try to be upbeat here. I got up around eleven, putzed around, and eventually made it out of the studio by 1pm to find some food and start editing. The place where I had lunch was slightly disappointing; they are famous for their gluten free bread and so I was going to have a sandwich, but they were out of bread. Then I asked what their daily scramble was, and they said it had asparagus in it, so no go on that either. I ended up with two plain scrambled eggs (since I panicked and forgot to ask them to add anything) and some okay home fries. The lady was super nice and gave me a bit of the bread she had left over, which she toasted -- and, it turns out, I didn't love it, so I'm glad I didn't get a sandwich. The place was still really chill, though, so I sat there for an hour and a half and powered through a couple of chapters of edits.

Then I left, wandered down to the beach, and sat out on a patio in the sun for a couple of hours and edited some more while overlooking the water (and some people playing beach volleyball). It was quite lovely, but it perhaps made me less than optimally productive since there was so much loveliness to behold. So I came home, took care of some urgent non-editing stuff (namely booking tickets to writing events), and then went out to grab dinner at Chipotle. I was going to write at Starbucks after that, but I really wanted to get into my pajamas, so I came back to the cottage and worked for the past five hours. Fun.

As I said, it's going well, but it's going to be a really rough weekend. I would be tempted to find someplace here and stay if it weren't for the fact that I would love to sleep in my own bed again. So I think I'll go to bed now, even though it's only 12:30, and then get up tomorrow and drive up to Stanford, where I will work until they close (and hope the closing of the Bay Bridge doesn't totally screw me when I try to go home after that).

Okay, wish me luck -- as soon as I finish this book, I never have to write this book again, and I can move on to something else, which is super exciting! Yay! Crazy laugh! Crazy laugh turns into a sob! Sob turns back into a laugh! Brain explodes! Goodnight!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

me against the music

I'm out of words for the day, and my fingers don't want to touch the keys, and my eyes don't want to try to unscramble and reorder all the letters, so I need to wrap this up. I was v. productive today, despite not waking up until 10:30; I took care of email, wrapped things up around the studio, took a shower, ate some gross leftover Chipotle, and then adjourned to Starbucks, where I edited for hours and hours (and hours and hours). I was there from 2ish to 8:30ish, with a break for sushi, before coming back to the studio and collapsing on the couch. Sad fact #1 was that I only made it through eighty pages of edits (which is actually respectable -- the first half is more dire than the second half, so I knew it would be a brutal slog a la invading Russia in winter). Sad fact #2 is that I couldn't stop when I got home. I had to answer questions for a guest interview that will be up on some blog at some point in the future (I hate promo), and it took almost two hours because I try to be witty and concise and to the point, and readers of this blog know I have trouble with all three of those things when I'm tired and strung out on caffeine.

But I finished the interview, answered some email, and then (because I couldn't bear the thought of editing more stuff from scratch), I input the first thirty pages' worth of edits on my computer. But I can't keep my eyes open anymore, and there's no sense pushing myself to keep going when I'll just make mistakes -- so I'm going to go to bed, set my alarm for 9:30, and start it all again. Wheeeeeee! If y'all want to see me in person at some point...maybe don't expect to see me for awhile. It's gonna be a rough week or two, but the end for this book is definitely, truly in sight at this point -- even if that means the reboot of Ellie and Nick's book is approximately one day beyond the end of this one. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

why does love always feel like a battlefield

I intended to go to bed ages ago, but I'm a complete failure at that, as you all know -- if you didn't know that, your reading comprehension on this blog is seriously flawed. Anyway, I was v. v. productive today, which was kind of painful. I got up around 9:30 (which will likely happen again tomorrow), took care of a bit of email, and unpacked all my stuff (and as usual, I way overpacked for what's really three days and four nights away -- I brought fifteen books - research books, in my defense; five pairs of shoes, four sweatshirts, five pants/leggings, and approximately eight tops). Then, I hole punched the entire manuscript that I printed out yesterday, put it in its pretty binder to cover up the fact that it's a seeping, oozing mass of dreck, and walked out in search of breakfast/brunch/lunch.

I ended up at some cafe that seems very popular with the hippies/surfers that populate Santa Cruz -- it's so odd to see people who aren't hipsters or Marina douchebags, and I couldn't help but stare at them. I had a seafood omelette that disappointed me because the shrimp didn't taste super fresh and I don't really like omelettes (why do I always forget this?), and some hash browns that I didn't finish because they weren't that great either -- but the coffee was good, and I sat in the sun for a couple of hours and read the first half of my manuscript. Then I walked down to the beach and relocated to another cafe, where I enjoyed an Italian soda at another sun-drenched table while finishing the reread of the manuscript.

And I must admit that it's not total garbage -- I'm my own worst critic (so far, at least; I'm sure someone will savage my book at some point), so I'm probably not being fair. But it's good that I had to walk home, since the sunshine and fresh air dulled the sharpest edge of my incipient panic attack. When I got here, I took a nap, then wrote out everything I want to change, then went through chapter-by-chapter and put a post-it at the front of each chapter saying what needs to be fixed.

Granted, a lot of these fixes are a matter of adding/removing a couple of lines, not wholesale rewrites, thank goodness. And after this experience, I will never again try to salvage a manuscript -- rewriting the whole thing from scratch might have been easier, since the biggest problem in the first ten chapters is that I tried to save some stuff, and now Malcolm and Amelia's motivations (Malcolm's in particular) are a total mess because he's basically got two wildly different goals shoved into the same character. Damn.

I did take a break to go to Chipotle, which was oh-so-romantic, since I'm spending Valentine's Day by myself, tearing my hear out and gnashing my teeth and cursing my fate. Then I came home and worked some more, and then I put the manuscript aside to answer a bit of email, thinking I could take care of the most pressing things on my to-do list and make it to bed by 11pm. And instead, it's almost 2am, but I feel better about my myriad extracurriculars now that I've sent out emails about all of them. Remind me to never again claim that I'm going to publish four books in a year -- and if I do claim that, don't let me chair a national romance convention committee and be a VP for a local romance chapter. And really, someone should stop me from pitching workshops to all the conferences I'm going to pitch workshops to -- but you know I'm not actually going to cut back. It's a disease, I tell ya.

Now, though, I must sleep -- I want to make it through the main fixes in the first half of the book tomorrow, and that means I need to get up sometime before noon, which means I should sleep. Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

in another life

I'm totally exhausted, but I'm in my secret writing hideaway (which I will divulge the whereabouts of to loyal readers who make it to the end of this post). And I was v. productive today, even if productive includes packing and getting ready for my trip. I had a guest post up at a romance review blog today (see where through the 'press' section of zee romance blog, since I try not to link directly to them from here), so I had to deal with comments on that (of which there were several, which was nice). And I had to print out the latest version of my manuscript, pack copious quantities of pens, inks, markers, highlighters, sticky notes in a variety of shapes and colors, and all sorts of research and grammar/usage books so that I can start editing in earnest tomorrow. I also packed some clothes, and hopefully I brought the right ones -- but since I intend to spend all my time either in the hideaway, or at nearby coffee shops/beaches (hint #1!), I suppose it doesn't matter.

Anyway, I finally left San Francisco around 1:30, which was later than I anticipated, but earlier than totally necessary. I sped down to Palo Alto and had a late lunch at Sprout, which was v. satisfying since I've been low on my salad intake, and I got some work done there. Then I went to my old place of work and had coffee with Katrina to make up for our aborted dinner from last night; she's leaving for New Zealand this week, so we got all caught up before her trip. I left Katrina sometime after five and went to the Starbucks down the street, where I worked like mad for forty-five minutes before dinner.

Dinner was awesome -- I met up with the Heathers (Heather aka dear respected madam + another Heather we used to work with/I used to manage) and their spouses (Salim, who needs no introduction, and Eric, who married the other Heather last fall) at Fiesta del Mar, where I confused the waiter by sticking to diet coke instead of getting a margarita (which he always upgrades to top shelf 'cause he loves me). We spent some extreme quality time together, which was v. entertaining. And the Heathers are organizing a talk/interview for me at our former employer, which should be hysterically awesome/embarrassing, particularly since apparently the big boss and Alan, who's now a VP, will be interviewing me. Ha.

I finally parted ways with them, went to the bank and got some gas, and then drove to my secret hideaway....which is a studio cottage in Santa Cruz, a block or two from the beach. The place is a little strange (isn't everything I do a little strange?) but totally lovely, with a gorgeous outdoor patio that I can use, and some very quirky/charming furniture. I settled in easily and quickly, and then spent the past three hours writing two more guest blog posts and reformatting my manuscript so that I could share it more easily. And now that I'm done with all the most pressing tasks for the night, I'm going to go to bed, get up, go to a cafe for breakfast, and read straight through the book tomorrow to start making notes on what I need to fix/change/delete/etc. I'm going to try to stay away from the internet as much as possible while I'm here, so yell at me if you see me doing stuff online. Goodnight!

Monday, February 13, 2012

i feel my heart start beating to my favorite song

I didn't finish the book today - damn. However, I did make some good progress, and I also worked through some of the plot lines that are either unresolved at the end, or not sufficiently planted at the beginning, and figured out where I'll likely need to make changes to ensure that it all comes off smoothly. So, I think I'm almost prepared for my mad writing endeavor this week - of course, I haven't packed yet, but otherwise the writing is going well.

However, I didn't get as much done overall as I intended today - chalk it up to a combination of procrastination, doing laundry/dishes/cleaning tasks, and too many research rabbit holes on Wikipedia. So, I'm ending this blog without anything interesting, since I was a hermit. Actually, I take that back - I did leave the house to grab a late burger at Roam, since my dinner plans fell through (sad - I wanted soft tofu soup, but the logistics ended up being too much of a debacle to follow through on). And while at Roam, the only patrons there were me and this couple (a typical Marina douchebag and a Snooki lookalike) who were sitting right in the big window facing the street, making out with each other rather explicitly (to the point that she was straddling him, and they were grinding into each other) It was all rather awkward and weird, but I guess it takes all kinds, and I suppose someone has to be a vector for hepatitis and I think I found them. Yay.

And now that I've been prudish and judgmental, I need to go to bed so I can write a hot make-up sex scene in the morning, then go to my secret location for the week. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

i know you can save me and make me feel alive

Today was long, and I'm exhausted; romance meetings take a lot out of me, probably because I revert to my inner introvert and need some alone time after getting up earlier than I do any other day of the month and spending five or six hours being 'on' with people in the industry. But, the meeting went well, and I got my first rose for publishing my first book (they give out fake roses of publishing books -- white for the first book, red for subsequent ones). I suppose I could take as many roses as I wanted, since I now keep the rose box between meetings, but I'm being good, so it was exciting to get my rose. And, while I was in the meeting, I checked my email and got my first bona fide fan email from someone I don't know, which was super exciting! So yay for that.

After the meeting, I had to coordinate some more stuff, then have lunch with the chapter people who stuck around, which always takes way longer than it should since service is kind of ridiculously slow. I ended up not making it home until three, and I was pretty useless after that; I took a nap, did some desultory procrastinating on the internet, took a bath, wrote for a bit, made some notes on the final 2-3 scenes I need to write, and then spent the past four or five hours researching libel/slander, Gothic romances, Romanticism, etc., etc. It's all stuff I needed to look into, but it doesn't make me feel any better about not writing twenty pages tonight. Oh, well, there's always tomorrow. And now I must go to bed so that tomorrow's productivity can start in earnest -- goodnight!

Friday, February 10, 2012

what if your words could be judged like a crime

No writing happened today, but I kind of expected that. I did have an epiphany about what was bothering me with Malcolm's character arc, which was wonderful, so hopefully I can fix that and finish the clean up on the ending and have something I can start copyediting next week. I'm going to a secret getaway Monday night and staying out of town until Friday, and I intend to edit and polish until my fingers bleed (not so far off, since they're already desiccated), so hopefully I'll be done in a jiffy.

Anyway, today was good and productive despite the lack of writing. I got up and had breakfast and took care of tings before driving down to Palo Alto to train with Alyssa. She was rather brutal with me today, and I hope I can lift my arms tomorrow -- I would make a joke about John McCain and the Hanoi Hilton, but it may still be too soon. Post workout, I showered, made myself moderately presentable for the rest of the day's activities, and then had a quick lunch with John at the place where I used to work (verdict: food is still as good and as ridiculous as always, even if No Name Cafe now has a name). He had a two o'clock and I needed to get back to the city, so we parted ways quickly, I grabbed gasoline and coffee, and came home.

I had intended to go to a cafe and write when I got back to the city, but my need for an afternoon nap struck again, so I came home and slept for forty minutes. Then I figured out the plot hole re: Malcolm and started revamping the formatting of the manuscript (things like adding chapter numbers takes a surprising amount of time). But I had to leave again at 5:15 to go pick up someone and take her to the romance chapter board dinner in Emeryville. Getting on/over the bridge was just as bad as expected, so it's good we met early, but it gave us some quality time to get to know each other (she's visiting from the San Diego chapter, and is hanging out because she's friends with the speaker, so we let her come to dinner).

Dinner ended up being super fun and totally delicious; I had scallops with mashed potatoes and green beans, and got to spend some quality time talking to the former president, whom I love. We all eventually parted ways at 8:30, I dropped off the San Diego person at her hotel, and then came home and messed around on the internet for a bit before having a 20-minute call with the current president of the romance chapter to discuss some stuff for tomorrow that we didn't get a chance to cover at dinner.

And now, I really should go to bed -- the meeting is tomorrow, which I have to be at (obvi), and then I need to write all weekend and pack for my secret getaway. It's probably stupid if I take my printer with me, right? So that means I need to write everything that needs written pre-printout so that I don't have a need for a printer. It's doable, if only barely, so wish me luck. Goodnight!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

you don't know me, but i'm your [censored]

It's only ten p.m., but I'm going to bed as soon as I post this. If I post tomorrow saying that I lied and stayed up and read a book until four a.m., please punch me in the face. Today was good, but I hit the wall and can't think anymore, and since my building's water is getting shut off from 9-10am tomorrow (precisely the only hour I intended to spend awake in my apartment), I need to get up before that if I want to use the facilities and make breakfast before the water goes bye-bye. Yeah, I just wrote that sentence. All my word-making synapses are dead.

Anyway, I got up, showered, and made it to the airport in time to pick up that agent who was flying in. She came into SF, but the hotel's in Emeryville, so I had to take her over the Bay Bridge and get her checked in. Then she asked if I could drop her off in San Francisco on my way home, since she has friends here. I wasn't coming home, and instead planned to go to Stanford, but I came back through SF instead of down the east side of the bay and across the Dumbarton so that I could drop her off -- which didn't add all that much time, but still. Then I sped down to Palo Alto, had a salad at Joanie's (the bright spot of the day), went to Stanford library, and attempted to slog. I was trying to drink more water and less caffeine, so I only took a bottle of water into the library -- which promptly proved to be a mistake, since I took a 45-minute nap in a chair in the Bender Room. Afternoons are really the worst for me; I need to stop pretending I can accomplish anything worthwhile most afternoons and use it to take care of nonsense instead.

So I roused myself, went outside to the Coupa trailer, got some coffee, snuck it back in, and slogged until 7:30. Properly caffeinated, the slog went well; I wrapped up another brand new scene with some sewn-in remnants from the previous version of the book, and next up is Malcolm and Amelia's final showdown. It's all coming together, and I got ten pages today, so yay. I left the library to get a smoothie for supper, but I decided that rather than forcing myself to go back and be less-than-maximally productive, it made sense to come home, zone out a bit, and get nine or ten hours of sleep to make up for the deficit I'm running so I can accomplish stuff tomorrow. We'll see how this plan works out, but given how excited I am to sleep, I think it'll be good.

In Heiress news, my book has mysteriously shot back up (down) in the rankings -- when I checked just now, it's right at #100 in the Nook Top 100, #32 in romance, #8 in historical, and #6 in Regency. Holla! If this just happened because all y'all are buying another copy of my book every day, I'm still flattered (albeit slightly sad that I'm selling hundreds of copies to a handful of people, rather than single copies to hundreds). But I think it means that I have an awesome cover, a great back cover blurb, and some good reviews building up, which is all v. exciting. And it also means that people are talking it up to their friends -- so if you're one of the people doing that, double thank you. I'll give you your choice of a shot of Fernet, a Diet Coke, or a cup of tea the next time I see you.

Speaking of giveaways, those romance trading cards / bookmarks that I rush ordered last weekend were sitting outside my door when I got home tonight, which was even rushier than I anticipated. They're totally awesome, so if you want any, let me know. And now I must go to bed before I break my promise to myself to sleep for many hours tonight -- goodnight!

but you will come to a place where the only thing you feel are loaded guns in your face

I really must go to bed immediately; tomorrow is a rinse-and-repeat of today, with the added wrench of needing to pick up an agent who's speaking to my romance chapter this weekend at the San Francisco airport and deposit her at her hotel in Emeryville. Boo. But I was quite productive today, if I do say so myself; I woke up just in time for a 9-10am Twitter chat with some fellow historical romance writers, then spent the rest of the morning taking care of some small tasks and writing another guest blog post that should be up somewhere online sometime in the next week or two (this promo business boggles the mind). I also had to [censored] for [censored], which I was happy to do, if only because [censored].

By the time I crossed everything off my to-do list, it was almost three. Perhaps I should have just stayed home then, but I've come to the sad, embarrassing realization that I get more work done if I drive an hour each way to sit in the Stanford library than I do in the comfort and drive-less wonder of my own house. So I drove south, stopped at Philz and worked for an hour or so over coffee, grabbed an early dinner at Chipotle while doing an online chat with another group of writers, and then went to Stanford library and worked from seven to a little after eleven. And I got 15+ pages out of it, so it was worth it, I suppose.

The end is still in sight, and I even managed to salvage half a scene -- shocker. At the rate I'm going, I should be finished with this draft by the weekend. But I hope to have an absolutely brutal, overwhelmingly productive slog tomorrow -- the agent lands at eleven, which means I could be down to Stanford by one or two p.m., which means ten hours of madness. And I'm serious about the madness -- things in my head are heating up when it comes to this book, and they aren't pretty. It's kind of wearing me out, but I fueled myself tonight with rage; someone online (whom I kind of despise anyway) said something that made me absolutely incandescent with anger, which was a little awkward since I was sitting at Chipotle and kept inadvertently glaring at children while I tried to calm down. Oops. Still, haters are gonna hate, right? And it wasn't a review or anything, so it really wasn't a big deal.

Speaking of reviews, Heiress is still doing really well from a review standpoint on the Nook, but its ranking is starting to slide (down to ~900 in the overall B&N store, and #13 in Regency instead of #3). But, it's all a weird game -- I can't tell what drove the sales I got, and I can't tell why it's slipping either. I think a big part of it is that all the new releases for this week came out yesterday and there were some big ones, which means anyone who preordered them got them fulfilled yesterday, which pushed everyone else down. C'est la vie, though; it could still come back, and even if it doesn't, it will hopefully get a bump again when I release Scotsmen. But that won't happen unless I go to bed and hit it hard tomorrow -- goodnight!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

drive until you lose the road or break with the ones who followed

My eyes are rolling back in my head and my back feels like it's been hunched over a desk for half an eternity, so I think it's time for bed. I managed to drag myself down to Palo Alto to train with Alyssa, who tortured me in such a good-natured way that I can't really resent her. Then I did some work in the gym cafe while eating a salad; then I did some work while getting a coffee at Philz; then I went to Stanford library, where I stayed until eleven p.m. and wrote approximately 15 pages. The end is still in sight, but perhaps it's one of those desert mirages where the cool mountains always seem to be within a day's journey, until the day you break down and shoot your friend so you have something to eat. Yum.

Uh, not yum - sorry. I really should sleep. I took a break to grab supper, and v. stupidly had pasta since it was the only thing appealing on campus (since I knew that if I left I would have no desire to go back), and now everything is vaguely itchy and my stomach hurts. Stupid. When I finally left campus, I realized I needed to get gas, but my usual go-to station was inexplicably closed. So I got off at the Menlo Park exit, which should be safe enough, and pulled into a station with three other cars at it, which should be even safer -- only to end up in the middle of a marital (?) dispute in which the woman came over to ask me for gas money (I refused), and then they started screaming at each other. Needless to say, I only got enough gas to get me home before leaving, which appeared to be the game plan of everyone else at the station, who were all looking at each other nervously before leaving at the same time (since I don't think anyone wanted to be the last man there).

sssanyway, I made it home alive, and then spent the last half hour looking at places to go for a last-minute extreme hermitville hideaway next week so that I can finish this damn book in a slew of fourteen-hour days. I feel kind of ridiculous that I have to go away to finish the book, since I'm funemployed and could theoretically do it here -- but going away has proven hugely useful in the past, so perhaps it's worth it. We shall see, we shall see. Now though, I must sleep -- goodnight!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

my body needs a hero, come and save me

I've got nothing nice to say about Malcolm and Amelia at the moment, so I won't say anything at all -- other than to say that while the end is in sight, they're dragging me over the coals on every single step. It's getting there, though, but the less said the better, or else I might jinx it and they'll make me start all over again.

Today was a lot of blood and tears (sans literal blood and tears), but I crossed a lot of stuff off the to-do list and made some progress on zee book, so whatever. I didn't leave the house, though, which may be why I'm thoroughly surly -- going to the gym tomorrow will be good for me, even if I resent the time it will take. When Terry got home, I threw in the towel and watched "The Voice", followed by the premiere of "Smash" -- you can tell I'm desperately eager to procrastinate when I watch a musical show, but it was actually quite good, and I'll likely keep watching both of them.

And now, I'm going to sleep so that I can get up and try to force Malcolm and Amelia into submission. Goodnight!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

settle for a world neither up or down

I'm so, so achingly stupid sometimes. I tried to go to bed at midnight last night, but when I didn't fall asleep within three minutes, I picked up my nook, thinking I would read a chapter of a romance novel I'd recently purchased...and ended up staying awake until 4:30am. Stupid, stupid. At least I forced myself to go to bed rather than finishing it, right? And I really should be reading a lot more than I do so that I can keep up on the industry, so I can't totally regret it. But given that I'd intended to go down to Stanford library today and write all day/night, and instead I woke up after five hours of sleep and wandered around in a haze all day, perhaps regret is part of it.

Anyway, I woke up at 9:30 (slightly hungover, but since I lived through the descent into a hangover while reading in the middle of the night, it wasn't all that bad), took care of some promo stuff (giving the last bit of feedback on the romance trading cards I ordered, which, I have to say, look totally awesome), and then had breakfast out with Terry. Yesterday I went out for breakfast with lovely hair and a cute maxidress; today I went out with my hair pulled back, no makeup, and an old top and jeans; tomorrow, I'll either be in sweats or a glam dress, depending on the constantly-shifting state of my overly hyper/depressed writer brain. Anyway, we had a lovely breakfast, and then I came home and spent two hours working on a guest blog post for tomorrow (which I think turned out well - I'm over at the Dashing Duchesses, which is a real site; I won't link to it here in cases it creates a pingback that reveals this blog to the romance world, but if you want to read it, click through from the press area of my Sara Ramsey site).

After finishing all that, I took a bath/nap, which was as lovely as it sounds. Then I talked to my mother for awhile, who was in fine form, particularly since her beloved Cyclones are doing so well. Then I worked for a bit, then I made chili (yum), then I watched the end of the Super Bowl in an utterly desultory and surly manner. My father called at some point, so I caught up with him; then I returned to the couch and basically did very little, despite all the pressing tasks mounting, mounting, mounting around me. Terry and I watched a bit of a documentary on Jesse James, which was v. interesting, before switching over and watching the season premiere of "The Voice". And I wrote another guest blog post for a different blog, which should be up sometime this week. And I brainstormed more guest blogs, which makes me want to cry, since there's a big difference between coming up with witty, succinct, interesting content for strangers and just vomiting onto the screen for you guys every night.

So now I'm going to go to bed and hopefully get ten hours of sleep so that I can wake up and hit Malcolm and Amelia hard (very hard, preferably with a bat or stick or blunt instrument of some sort) in the morning. Goodnight!

i serve my head up on a plate

I drank far more wine tonight than I intended to drink...don't tell Alyssa. I prefer to believe that I can barely type because I didn't eat anything, rather than that I drank too much. However, given that my father (hi dad!) asked me last week what Lindsey Lohan and Sara Ramsey had in common, and then hinted that perhaps my public persona was becoming too alcohol-saturated, perhaps I should at least feign sobriety. And since I'm not in any kind of legal trouble at all, nor am I under contract to play a porn star, nor do I have a crazy mom whom my favorite gossip blog calls White Oprah, I think his comparison was beside the point.

sssanyway. I actually did write today, whether you choose to believe that or not. I slept later than I intended, but I did get up eventually, and I took care of some promo stuff before showering and going out for a late breakfast. My only fun plan for the weekend was to go to Lauren's house for a small, intimate housewarming, and when I texted asking what she wanted me to bring, she replied with cheese -- which was the only excuse I needed to finally check out the specialty cheese shop on Union Street a couple of blocks from my house. As it turns out, that cheese shop is dangerously wonderful. I asked the dude for recommendations, and he guided me toward a triple creme brie-like soft cheese, a double creme gouda that was out of this world amazing, and a truffled goat cheese that made me happier than anything (other than the other two cheeses, which were even better). I'm going to have to go back all the time, since all of those cheeses were fantastic. And yes, I'm such a snob. I know. Sorry.

After getting my cheese on, I came home, painted my toenails, wrote on the roof deck for awhile, and then came downstairs and kept writing until it was time to change to go to Lauren's. Terry and I went over together, and I suckered her into driving, which is how this wine debacle in my bloodstream happened. Lauren and Nathan just moved in to their new place today; it's been undergoing renovations for ages, but it's finally done enough that they can live in it, and it's totally wonderful. They only had over a handful of people, since obviously it's not done done, but they wanted to warm it up in style, and I'd say they were quite successful. It was lovely to see them both, and I love their friends (particularly Jesse and Danielle, whom I find quite entertaining), so it was a great break from this weekend's endless writing extravaganza. I lobbied subtly (not subtly at all) for purple bridesmaids dresses, since I look great in purple, but we'll see what happens.

Terry and I eventually left and came home, and then watched a lot of tv while I progressively, inexplicably, got drunker. Odd. And now I should go to bed -- I either intend to write here all day tomorrow, or go down to the Stanford library to force even more productivity, but either way there will be no more fun until this book is done. Goodnight!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

pucker up for heaven's sake, there's never been so much at stake

I need to write another 2000 words, but screw it, I'm going to bed. I've been working nonstop all day (well, I suppose I stopped when I drove, and I stopped when I had coffee with Gyre, but that's fairly negligible from a time standpoint), and I need to do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, so sleepy time it is.

So I was supposed to go down to train with Alyssa today, and was even in my gym clothes...but I got an email this morning saying that the designer could do the bookmark/trading cards that I wanted to order for the conferences I'm going to this spring, but if I wanted them in time for the event I'm going to in Long Beach at the end of the month, we must do them *right now* so they can go to the printer on Monday. I forget that getting things printed takes time, since I'm used to all e all the time (that means electronic, not ecstasy, my hyper mood notwithstanding). Since she was doing me a favor by saying her team could do it this weekend, I didn't want to delay -- so I canceled Alyssa and spent an hour figuring out what to put on a prospective bookmark. Fun.

I had to send her the bookmark and leave the trading card questionnaire for tonight, since I had a lunch meeting with my CPA that I didn't want to cancel. It was lovely to see her, as usual, and we discussed my writing situation and whether I should set up an LLC (which I will likely do -- yay for incorporating). Oddly, the lunch meeting then turned into a discussion about whether I should/could get involved in this startup she's involved in, which came completely out of left field since I didn't go into the meeting expecting to discuss job opportunities. But it's totally right up my alley and is writing related, so we'll see (in a way that doesn't take focus away from Malcolm and Amelia, since I must. finish. them. immediately.).

Anyway, after that, I went directly to my former place of employment and had coffee with Gyre, since we haven't gotten together in awhile and he's headed to Dublin next week. We caught up for an hour, which was v. nice. Then, I went to Stanford library and worked from four to nine, with a break for supper (an aight cobb salad from Coupa). I still managed to obsess over Heiress's rankings (holding steady ~#120), but I also wrote fifteen pages. Not the twenty pages that I promised to write yesterday, so I guess you'll have to shoot me, but given that I spent so much time on the bookmarks/trading cards, I'll take it. Then I came home, talked to Terry for a bit, came upstairs, and spent the past three hours finishing the trading card stuff. Yes, my life is amazing.

And now, I must sleep -- Malcolm and Amelia await tomorrow, salivating for yet another attempt to kill me, and I must not let them win. Goodnight!

Friday, February 03, 2012

make me come alive, come on and turn me on

There's no point in talking about Malcolm and Amelia - they're not done, which is all that matters, and so what if I want to kill both of them? Beyond that, today was fine. I took care of a variety of other things beyond them, and I went for a walk along the water, and I had a delicious Blue Bottle latte at the cafe I found in Fort Mason last week, and I eked out a few words, so it's all good. I'm just getting distracted by promo stuff, from the guest blogs I'm writing to the pressing need to design and/or order printed promo materials, etc. And I'm still slightly distracted by Heiress's rankings, although since they've held remarkably steady (#117 on the site / #3 in Regency / #8 in Historical right now), I'm getting slightly less obsessed.

Anyway, I threw in the towel tonight to have dinner with Tom and Rat at Flybar, which was really quite delicious, and it was great to see them. I also successfully limited myself to one glass of wine -- I know, I'm so classy and restrained. Then I got home, messed around with possible bookmark options, and finally threw in the towel and contacted the woman who designed my book covers to see what her turnaround times are like right now so that I can possibly hire her to design the stuff. Terry got home sometime after that, so we talked for awhile, and then I came upstairs and investigated stationery/address stamps until now (partially because I love stationery, obvi, but partially since I'll be sending out book giveaways/more correspondence in the coming months and want to look professional).

But all of that, even though it's all necessary, is ultimately procrastination from Malcolm and Amelia, which needs to stop -- so I'm training tomorrow, seeing my CPA, and then holing up at Stanford library until it closes. If I don't get twenty pages tomorrow, shoot me. Goodnight!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

i used to be love drunk, but now i'm hungover

I need to go to bed; I've spent the past three hours reading about the differences of British vs. English vs. Scottish peerages and what those differences mean in terms of who was allowed to sit in the House of Lords, and while that research was necessary at this point in the book, it was still a lot of time to spend doing something other than writing. But I learned a lot about stuff that I'm sure none of you care about, so I'll refrain from geeking out here.

The rest of my day was good; I had to go downtown in the early afternoon to get my bangs trimmed and my brows waxed, which I've now decided to do on the same schedule since a brow wax is v. necessary whenever my bangs are trimmed enough to reveal them. Then I had a late lunch at Jillian's, which was pretty terrible -- the salad was utterly subpar, which was annoying since I'd chosen it over my beloved Samovar in the same complex, but I guess it was better than spending $30 on a bowl of rice. Then I bought groceries, came home, and worked (with a few breaks to keep pounding caffeine) until Terry got off work. We went down the street and had dinner at Perry's, which was a nice break, before I came back here and read about the House of Lords until now.

And now, sadly, I must sleep, and then incorporate all this fascinating research in Malcolm and Amelia's book tomorrow. Malcolm may have just earned himself another title; he's already an earl, and the title has been in his family for centuries, which means it's Scottish, which means he isn't necessarily guaranteed a seat in the House of Lords. So I either need to get him elected as one of the handful of Scottish peers allowed into the Lords, or I need to give him a second title that was created in England or the UK. The second option seems easier, and so hey presto, Malcolm's now Earl of Carnach, Viscount [something]. Sweet. If only I could get a title that easily!

And now that I've gone back on my promise and failed to spare you from the boring details, it's time for bed. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

want you to make me feel like i'm the only girl in the world

I'm going to shut off the internet and write until I fall asleep (which may be sooner rather than later), but I don't want to leave you without a blog post, since I know I'm sooooo interesting. I got a lot done today, which was v. necessary, although some of it was more administrative than actual writing -- keeping on top of everything that's going on is a struggle, but hey, I love me a struggle. And it gives me an excuse to overcaffeinate (not like I need one).

Anyway, I'm rambling. Today was good, with lots of productivity, even if I subsisted on scrambled eggs, coffee, and trail mix, and didn't shower or get dressed until almost five p.m. I probably wouldn't have showered at all, but I'd agreed to do family time dinner with Priyanka/Adit/Katrina in celebration of the end of Priyanka's latest awful two-month nonstop residency rotation and the launch of my beloved book. So I went over to Adit and Priyanka's around seven, drank a few sips of wine (contrary to Alyssa's wishes, but then again, she probably wishes I would live on coffee and trail mix either), and then we all walked to Eiji Sushi for dinner. The food was fantastic; I'd been craving sushi, but the Marina isn't a hotbed of fine sushi dining, so this was exactly what I wanted. Katrina and I split a lot of fish goodness, while Adit and Priyanka confined themselves to the few vegetarian things on the menu, and we generally had a delightful time.

When we were done with dinner, I declined the offer of more wine, drove Katrina home, and then came back here and watched some "Big Bang Theory" with Terry. Then I wasted the last hour trying to gear myself up to write and instead taking care of email and obsessively checking out my Barnes and Noble rankings, because I can't stop checking them. While Heiress is not quite as low as it had gotten on Saturday (currently 214; the lowest I saw it reach was 94), it's still doing remarkably well, and I'm relieved that it's sticking around at the top of the historical/regency lists. Tuesday is traditionally the day when all the new releases hit, which means any preorders for new books are fulfilled today, which means it's natural that my book would take a hit as new books show up. But, fingers crossed that we'll weather this wave and keep doing well for another week or two...and then the fun starts all over again when I need to do some promo pushing to launch it successfully onto the Kindle and in paperback.

But that's all a fight for another day...and while that day is coming quickly, the day when I need to finish Malcolm and Amelia is much sooner. I'm just praying that I've actually made it better and haven't utterly ruined it, but we'll see. And on that utterly non-cheery note, goodnight!