Sunday, June 30, 2013

angels fall like rain

Today was a great day, if you ignore the fact that I only wrote a page and a half. My writing ground to a halt this morning, even though I got up relatively early and forced myself to stay at my desk until one. But I think I figured out what the problem really is, and I'm feeling like I might be unblocked tomorrow. Of course, this involves killing off four characters before they're ever born, which is going to do things to my plot that might be more dire than I'm currently imagining (for one, it changes the end game, which is always the part I hate the most (other than the beginning, and the middle)). But I think it's the right thing to do, and I hope that this decision will let me move ahead again without feeling like I'm banging my head against a wall.

However, I couldn't implement that solution tonight, since I had plans. So I stopped writing, took a shower, went grocery shopping with Terry, and then came home and had a nice, leisurely call with my parents (they are doing well, thanks for asking!). Then I cooked, since my evening plan was family dinner. I haven't cooked anything for anyone in ages, and my inner need to feed people was kicking into high gear, so I invited the family time group over for dinner. Only Adit, Katrina and Terry could make it, since John/Jess/Vidya were all out of the area and Priyanka was on call, but it was v. v. lovely. I made tacos, including a dish that was supposed to be a vegetarian filling but was actually totally fucking awesome in its own right (onion, serrano pepper, tomato, potato, and swiss chard - I'm not the world's biggest fan of chard, but this may convert me). So we sat around eating and catching up, then went to the roof in an abortive attempt to enjoy the evening before realizing ten minutes in that it was freezing as usual up there even though it was eighty degrees earlier in the day. So we came downstairs and watched '60 Minutes' instead, which was more appropriate for family time (and also hilarious, since we all know Sheryl Sandberg, who was the first interview, and were highly entertained by the bromance between David McCullough and Morley Safer in the second piece).

And now, I should sleep. But first, an update on my brooding. Serendipitously, I noticed that someone found my blog through a search term that led them to this post from June 2007. So I read the post...and reading it reminded me why this blog is quite good for me, even if it is probably mostly boring and an exercise in vanity. That post was angsty about my job and life, since as I recall that was when I was in one of my worst local minima over my workaholic tendencies. But even though I'm feeling similar angst now (and have similarly sparse and stress-eaten eyebrows), reading that old post reminded me that things get better, that I'm capable of changing my life if I don't like it, and that you're never stuck forever. So that was good, and may keep me blogging for another few years. Who am I kidding - I'll probably blog forever, unless Google kills Blogger the way they killed Reader (boo). Goodnight!

caught in a bad romance

I was lazier today than I intended, but I suppose that's not entirely a bad thing. I woke up earlier than I wanted to because some asshole started using power equipment nearby at 7:45am, a sin for which I hope he burns in hell. I laid around for an hour or so hoping I could go back to sleep, which was probably not an achievable goal given that I was actively reading news and social media stuff on my ipad. Finally, I got up, showered, tried to make myself look somewhat put together, and went down the street for breakfast, where my favorite cafe was surprisingly empty. It's a gorgeous weekend in SF, and it's also Pride, so I'm guessing a lot of people were either at the beach or recovering from partying or planning to party. But their absence meant that I could linger over my laptop and coffee, which was exactly what I needed.

When I came home, I procrastinated, wrote, procrastinated, wrote, napped, wrote, at supper, and wrote. All told I only got six pages; there's something wrong with this scene, and I think tomorrow I'm just going to have to skip it and go on to the next one rather than beating my head against it. Unless, of course, I wake up in the morning with the answer, which is always a possibility. But by 7:45ish I was totally frustrated, and so rather than aggravating my irritation by staring at it more, or indulging my self-loathing by reading twitter obsessively, I picked up a romance novel at random off my to-be-read pile.

I'm still halfway into THE SWAN THIEVES, but I was in the mood for romance instead, so I picked up DARK LOVER, the first in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. This has been one of the most popular paranormal romance series around for the last six or seven years, and it's a little crazy that I haven't gotten into it until now. The first book has been sitting on my shelves for something approaching three years; judging from the pricetag on the back, I picked it up in the orgy of buying that I did during the Borders bankruptcy, in which I bought about a hundred books, most of which I still haven't gotten around to reading. There's been some speculation that the Borders bankruptcy contributed to the flattening growth curve of the ebook market in the US, and the analysis says that it's because there are fewer brick and mortar stores where consumers can 'showroom' books before going home to buy them on their devices. But I wonder if the real contribution is because a lot of power readers like me bought two years' worth of paperbacks in one glorious, hideous orgy of spending, and now feel guilty buying more ebooks when there are so many paperbacks sitting on their shelves mocking them. Or maybe that's just me. And clearly I still buy ebooks; in fact, I'm probably about to buy the next nine books in this series.

That will have to wait for another day, though. I need to go to bed, get up, and make some serious progress on Alex and Prudence before the weekend passes me by. Goodnight!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

now a piece of me is a piece of the beach

I didn't intend to stay up quite this late, but then, I didn't intend for a lot of things. Today was almost like the days I used to have six months ago, when I would get up and slog away at my desk at home, but today I spent it all doing work for the man instead of writing. I ducked offline around four, though, and went downtown to get my bangs trimmed - a task that may seem like total vanity, but one that had reached the point of necessity since I was worried my bangs were going to scratch my corneas. My brow lady, though, casually asked if I was stressed - when I asked her why, without confessing anything, she said that my brows were falling out and that is often a sign of stress.

Hahahahaha. As though I need a visual cue for the fact that I'm more stressed than I was six months ago. Except I don't know that I actually am more some ways, the mad couple of months at the end of a book is way worse than all the tongue-biting and commute-hating I do at the day job. But I should probably look into this, if only because I am vain enough that I don't want to lose my eyebrows.

sssanyway. I came home, had a glass of wine with Terry, and then we went down the street for fish tacos and some conversation. My conversation is mostly angsty; I'm going through a bit of a crisis of the faith in regards to my writing career, and unfortunately there are no easy answers. I don't know what I want to write after Prudence (both from a desire standpoint and from a marketability standpoint), I don't know whether to write the gargoyles as a young adult series or go a little older, I don't know whether to solely self-publish or shop to New York, and I guess I don't even know whether I want to keep writing romance.

The realization I had last night, and which I was too tired to share, was that I had considered writing something literary again, rejected it out of hand, realized I was rejecting it because I'm afraid of it...and so promptly had my usual self-flagellating instinct that I must do whatever it is I'm most afraid of. But is that a rational urge, or is it the same urge that draws me to places like the Aran Islands...places that feel like the limits of the known world, even if most of the world is mapped and I'm more fascinated by the limits of the human heart than I ever will be with climbing mountains? And would I possibly be happier, or at least have fewer ulcers and bushier eyebrows, if I could be satisfied with my current trajectory?

This is all a question for another time, since I can't solve it tonight. So I came home from dinner, picked a book at random off my overflowing pile of unread books, and ended up reading half of THE SWAN THIEVES by Elizabeth Kostova. So far, so good. And now I must go to sleep so I can write something tomorrow - goodnight!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

gonna look in every corner of the city

I'm falling asleep while lying in bed with my laptop, so I think that means it's time to go to bed in earnest rather than pretending to work any longer. Today was v productive, though; I took the shuttle down and was able to work all the way down, and then I was surprisingly productive at work. I left the office a little after six, made a stop at Anthropologie (my weakness), and then had dinner at a mexican place in Palo Alto, where I brainstormed some of my young adult/new adult non-gargoyle romance, since I keep coming back to that story.

And I was going to tell you all sorts of fun and angsty things about how I'm feeling about my writing, but you'll just have to accept a placeholder: [insert brooding here]. There's no time for more brooding when I desperately need to sleep. Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

never gonna leave this bed

I need to go to bed immediately; I have some misplaced dreams of getting up early and writing before work tomorrow, which may or may not happen, but they certainly won't happen if I don't get some sleep. Today was good, though; I slogged all day, got a lot done, caught the four p.m. shuttle, and managed to answer email all the way home without throwing up in my lap (or the lap of the nice gentleman next to me), so I'll take that as a win. I procrastinated some when I got home, but then Terry and I walked down to Chestnut to have a v. leisurely dinner with Lauren (aka Subz), where I ate way too much sushi and drank too much wine. Perfection.

And that's really all I have to share - it's hot as balls in San Francisco tonight (balls of molten lava, not testicles), and I'm guessing there is massive partying going on in the Castro over the DOMA/Prop 8 rulings, but the Marina is just as quiet as it ever is on a Wednesday. I'm sure that will change this weekend, when I'm holed up like a hermit trying to write forty pages...but we shall see. That's all you get tonight, though - goodnight!

i'm still a rockstar

I don't particularly feel like a rockstar; I'm drowning in email, to the point that I may have to go nuclear and just delete everything that I haven't responded to since most of it is already embarrassingly old anyway. And by 'drowning in email' I mean every inbox related to every persona and job that I have - this is the downside of living a double/triple life. The other downside is that I can work all the time forever and not be caught up on anything...but I suppose it's better than being dead. Or filibustering for eleven hours and then being denied on a stupid point of order that makes a mockery of our legislative system. But I digress.

Today was fine; it was raining again, so I worked from home, which meant that I had meetings all morning, then snuck out of the apartment for lunch, where I wrote for forty-five minutes while eating restorative beef. Then I came home, ordered groceries online because I'm a spoiled tech princess, worked all afternoon, had my 1:1 with my boss (the little boss, I suppose?), and then made chili for supper (welcome to summer in San Francisco!) while doing some Sara Ramsey stuff. Then I spent the evening procrastinating, reading twitter, and prepping giveaway mailings before doing some more stuff for the day job. I know, you're so jealous. And now I need to go to bed so I can do it all again tomorrow -- goodnight!

Monday, June 24, 2013

spaceman says everybody look down

No blog for you tonight! After writing six pages before work and then slogging all day, I'm totally out of words. I had wanted to write twelve pages, but I made the mistake of crawling into bed with my laptop...and now the bed is winning the battle. So, I'm going to go to sleep early and hope that tomorrow brings the words back. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

like a real aristocrat

I'm too tired to blog and had hoped to go to bed twenty minutes ago, so this shall be brief. I woke up in Texas and am now home, which is probably all you really need to know (if you need to know any of this). But the day was mostly fine, as long as I maintained my zen attitude about extreme travel delays. I ate breakfast with the family, checked out of the hotel, bid them a fond farewell, and then followed my parents and [censored] for about an hour and a half on the way to Austin. We waved goodbye to each other as they went off on the highway that would take them north on their endless drive home while I went to the airport to return my rental car and check in for my flight.

My flight wasn't supposed to be until 6:45, but since I got to the airport at one, I decided to pay the $75 to get a confirmed seat on the 3:01 flight instead. And this was the best $75 I ever spent (except for the cost of the sex show in Amsterdam, but I guess I didn't pay for that, so this is back on top of the list). As it turned out, all flights to San Francisco from anywhere in the country were delayed by approximately three hours because SF wanted to remind me why it sucks to live here and why I should be constantly questioning all of the life decisions that led me to this point. Or I could be less melodramatic and just try to fly in/out of Oakland instead of SF, but I digress.

So, my 3:01 flight took off at 6:45...the time that my original flight was supposed to take off. But when I landed in SFO, I got an email saying that the original flight was canceled, so if I hadn't done what I did, I would still be in Austin, and likely much surlier than I am now. Since I was in a relatively zen mood, though, I took a nap in the airport, played on my phone, and enjoyed watching strangers freaking out over something that was absolutely uncontrollable. Heh.

The rest of the trip was uneventful; I drank a glass of wine and wrote twelve pages on the plane, then came home and unpacked some of my stuff so that I can be ready for work tomorrow. And now that all the family fun is over, I must get back into the swing of my day job/writing life. And for that I require massive amounts of sleep - goodnight!

where seldom is heard a disparaging word

The second day of the family reunion was, in some ways, even more lovely than the first. For one, I almost died at the hands (paws, hooves, feet) of a more varied assortment of animals, since the drive back from the ranch was fraught with horrors in the form of deer, jackrabbits, and wild boars (both adult and piglet varieties). For another, I have verified that there is something genetic within my great-great-grandfather's descendants that leads to overactive imaginations, a fast and loose grasp on facts, wildly overambitious dreams, and extreme stubbornness (not that I will admit to any of those shortcomings myself). It also leads to the appearance of a strange new food that I've never seen: the Frito salad. If you can guess what's in it beyond Fritos, you get ten dollars and a heart attack. It's basically bbq fritos, canned corn (I believe it was canned; it may have been fresh), shredded cheddar, red pepper, onion, and I believe mayonnaise. Delish, right? I'll have to open a Fritos salad truck at Fort Mason food truck fair and see if that gives me enough money to retire.

I also heard many interesting stories today (notes for posterity: Wendell's father moving his whole family after getting pissed off at a school board for hiring an underqualified indigent widow; the five Comanche sisters getting someone to swear to never farm over their ancestors' cemetery; lessons in end-of-life planning; the Indian buried with a clamshell full of the teeth of a twenty-two-year-old white man and evidence of several bullets in his own body; the silver cross of Marquette and Joliet). And, even better, I got to hang out with my second cousin Lawrence, who is a few years younger than me and whom I hadn't seen since his grandfather's funeral five years ago. It was super fun to see him, and since he lives in Austin and I would like to visit, perhaps I'll see him again at some point in the future.

I spent some quality time in the swimming hole as well, which was absolutely perfect in terms of temperature even though I might have died if I had lost my water noodle (okay, I wouldn't have died, but I would have had a rough few minutes of it as I stopped panicking long enough to remember that I can swim). And I talked to a bunch more people, and generally enjoyed the evening. The whole shebang ended with a fireworks display that rivaled most of the ones I've seen put on by medium-sized towns - Wendell's sons went up to the top of the bluff overlooking the canyon, so the fireworks were perfectly clear and easy to see. Then, we bid our fond farewells, drove an hour back into town, had a bad experience at a Sonic (the shakes were tasty, but the speed was somewhat lacking in sonic-ness), and then hung out on Aunt B's deck.

And now, finally and sadly, I must sleep if I'm going to get up in time to have breakfast with zee family. Goodnight!

Friday, June 21, 2013

now you're just somebody that i used to know

I'm super, super sleepy, but I must report that the family reunion has been amazeballs. Granted, I know no one and am having trouble remembering names (when in doubt, say 'wamp'), but I'm having a truly lovely time. The morning started off right with a shower after five and a half hours of sleep (not enough), followed by breakfast with [censored], where we sat at the same table where the 'rents and Aunt B and Uncle Mark had been hanging out for awhile already. After we all had breakfast, we adjourned to the cars, where we had a loose convoy going - due to carsickness being a genetic commonality amongst us, we had to take three cars for six people so that no one had to ride in the backseat. [censored] and I beat the rest of them to the ranch, which took a good forty-five minutes. Even with a Google Maps tour from the comfort of my bedroom a couple of nights ago, I didn't fully appreciate just how remote this ranch is...

...but for all its remoteness, it's amazing. The facilities we're using are only used officially for a week a year plus some family events for the owners plus our family reunion (since Wendell is tight with the owners of the ranch) - and it's totally insane that this place is only used once a year for a large group of horseback riders. But they have a ninety-nine year lease on this part of the property, and have put in amazing bunkhouses, an amphitheatre, a swimming hole, and all sorts of other stuff that was v. cool to see.

Even cooler was seeing some of the extended family that I don't know/had only heard of. The attendees are all descendants of my great-great-grandfather (aka Patriarch Wamp - j/k), and since my great-grandfather was one of eight siblings, there are quite a few descendants. My immediate branch looks quite small by comparison. But I heard some truly amazing stories (note to self: rescuing shipwrecked sailors from the USS Indianapolis; a fourteen-year corresponding romance between a merchant marine/Clark Gable lookalike named Virgil and a girl with gorgeous blue eyes who'd suffered a severely debilitating bout of childhood polio that led to a shipboard wedding in Mobile; a cousin who died in a car accident and the attendees of the funeral who died in a car accident on the way home; the photos of my granddad and his twin brother on Wendell's wall; shooting wild hogs out of a helicopter rather than killing them with dogs and knives 'like you see on tv'). And I got a chance to hang out with the fam in a way that I wouldn't have otherwise.

After, [censored] and I survived the drive back to the hotel, and then we hung out on Aunt B's deck and drank some wine (okay, I drank most of it, even without Adit here to lead me astray). And now, I must sleep so that I can make another trip out to the ranch tomorrow. Goodnight!

all the federales say they could have had him any day

Hello, Texas! I have arrived in some small town in the middle of nowhere, where the hotel clerk thought that I was an axe murderer here to take out [censored] (sadly, I flew only with carry-ons, so I have no sharp implements with which to do [censored] in). There were more deer than I've seen in years along the two-hour drive from the Austin airport to my hotel, which was just slightly nervewracking, but I think my hands were shaking from the large McDonald's coffee with four creams and eight sugars (hello, diabetes!) rather than fear.

sssanyway, today was v. long - I went to work, slogged until two, and then sped to the airport, where I went to the wrong terminal because apparently United has started sending some flights out of Terminal 1. Luckily I was there early, so I took some stupid shuttle bus to the other terminal, grabbed a coffee, and got on a ridiculously small plane for 3.5hrs. I arrived in Austin at ten, got a rental car, discovered that the gas tank door wouldn't open, and so took the car back and got a different car instead. By that time it was eleven, so I was not looking forward to the drive - but I made it, and now [censored] is regaling me with tales of [censored]. And he's very upset about [censored], so now I feel bad because I don't watch videos. In that, [censored] and Terry have much in common to be frustrated with me about. And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

mystic crossing

I leave tomorrow for Texas. Yes, I'm as shocked as you are. Which is not very shocked, hopefully, since I've mentioned this before. But still...I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with the family (the very extended family - this seems to be a gathering of descendants of my great-great-grandfather, almost none of whom I've met). But most of the more nuclear family will be there too (my parents, [censored], Uncle Mark, and Aunt Becky), and if nothing else I will hopefully get some great stories out of this. And, if I'm lucky (or rather, diligent), I'll get several pages of Alex and Prudence done on the plane.

The rest of my day was fine. I would even dare to say it was great until I spent two hours on the shuttle trying to get home. Boo. But the morning commute was good, all my meetings were good, I had some time to write some emails (not that any of you who have been waiting five months for me to get back to you about something would know), and I ate some pizza and went bowling with my team. Then I came home, had dinner with Terry, and packed for Texas. And now, alas, I must sleep - I have to work tomorrow morning/early afternoon, then hustle to the airport and hope that everything is on time. Goodnight!

get busy child

Too much work, too little time. The day job was good, or at least good enough - I still feel perennially behind, but then, it's easy to feel perennially behind when your boss is telling you to take it easy and not burn yourself out while you're ignoring his advice and secretly plotting to overthrow the entire publishing industry. I'm running into my 'count to millions' problem again, which means my personal goals and what I expect of myself are wildly above and beyond what others expect of me. Stupid, I know, since life would be a lot easier if I could be satisfied counting to ten. Perhaps I shall work on this...

...or perhaps I shall do what I did today, which was stay at the office until six-thirty, leave to gorge myself on Chipotle, and then drive home, where I worked for three solid hours on Sara Ramsey stuff. I wanted to get out another newsletter + giveaway (this time to choose the covers for Prudence's book - you can see them by clicking on if you're so inclined). And I wanted to do it immediately, since I hadn't sent a newsletter since March and I don't want my mailing list to go more stale than it already is. So, I drafted the newsletter, set up the Rafflecopter for the giveaway, saved the potential covers, wrote the blog post, and scheduled everything to start running...and now I'm exhausted. And I have to get up in less than seven hours to start the whole shebang again. But my uptick in marketing is clearly paying off, judging by my improved rankings on there's no rest for the wicked. Or, in my case, no rest for the Puritanical.

And on that note, I must sleep so that I can slog hard tomorrow, come home, and pack for Texas. Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

fall from grace

Today was v. productive in the best/worst possible way. Best because I wrote ten pages; worst because I'm buried in day job stuff with no end in sight. I actually managed to get up and drag myself down the street to meet up with my writer friend at seven a.m., which is totally unprecedented and unheard of. Even more remarkably, I wrote almost ten pages in the two hours between when I got there and when I left to catch the bus to work. Crazy, I know. If I could do that a couple of times a week + a lot of weekends, I would feel good about life.

However, I went to work and had to ignore my writing the rest of the day; I have more stuff to do than it is possible to do unless I want to revert to my old bad workaholic habits, which I don't want to (although you'd be fooled, since I just worked from nine to midnight). Also, I ate a lot of gluten-free chocolate chip bundt cake, and the sugar kind of made me sick. Also, I have an eight a.m. meeting, which means I need to go to bed immediately if I'm going to get enough sleep (although I suppose that the naps I took on the shuttle will help me to stay alive). Also, this post is boring - I'm out of words. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

why we gotta fall for it now

I should have gone to bed forty-five minutes ago as planned. The reason? I agreed to meet a writer friend (the girl from my retreat last weekend) at a coffee shop to write at seven a.m. tomorrow. SEVEN AM. As in SEVEN IN THE MORNING. What am I thinking?!

But what I'm thinking is this: I told my editor I would send her Prudence and Alex at the beginning of August, and as it is now the middle of June, I need to get cracking. If I can write for a couple of hours in the morning a couple of days a week, and maybe one or two evenings, that would help me get there much faster than writing nothing. Obvious, right?

Despite my lofty goals, I didn't write today; instead, I slept until 10:30, had a leisurely lunch with Terry, John, and Jess, and then hung out with Chandlord for a bit when I went to her place to retrive my car. Then I came home, talked to my parents (Happy Father's Day!), did some work-related tings (and by work I mean Sara Ramsey - some mailing list maintenance stuff in preparation for sending out another newsletter this week), and then had a fancy roommate dinner with Terry since we're likely not going to see each other again in forever (one of us, alternating, is out of town every weekend between now and the end of July). And now, I must go to sleep so that I can get tomorrow off on the right foot. Goodnight!

i woke up as your friend

I did not intend to stay up until almost three a.m. And if I did intend to stay up until three a.m., I intended to stay up because I was writing, not because I was socializing. I had grand plans to be a hermit today...but my heart thwarted them. Sorry, Hermit Sara.

The day got off to a slightly brutal start since I drank a bunch of wine last night, but I'm going to hope that it was the gluten I had with the wine that made me feel like shit, since I had an equal amount of wine tonight (sans gluten). But I dragged myself into some clothes and down the street for breakfast, which helped to revive me. Then I came home, worked for a couple of hours, and then took my laptop to a spa to get a fancy pedicure because I'm fancy. While getting my pedicure, I set up new tracking sheets for my word counts, sales figures, etc. - I've been tracking income, obvi, but I have gotten really lax on tracking sales by day/week to understand exactly what impact various marketing endeavors are having.

And while I was doing that exercise, I read through my old business plans/goals from a couple of years ago. The cool thing is that I've actually met most of the goals I had when I quit my job the first time - so I redid them with a new three year plan that is 10x more audacious in hopes that by putting those goals out there, I'll achieve them. We shall see, we shall see - but given the progress I've made in the past couple of years, and the fact that I'm still able to write despite the slings and arrows of day jobs and the occasional bad reviewer (like the lady who thinks Nick is a rapist and that my stuff belongs to a horrid pre-feminist world, when I think Ellie is a way more feminist figure than most romance heroines out there...but I digress)....given all those facts, I have every reason to believe that I can meet my goals (or, if not meet them, at least keep doing better).

Anyway, I came home with grand plans to write, but maybe I was feeling self-sabotaging because it's scary to put out there that you want to accomplish amazing things. So I didn't accomplish anything today. I did order Thai food, but that wasn't exactly a beacon of accomplishment. So when Chandlord texted me at eight asking if I wanted to come over and drink wine, I almost said no under the guise of forcing myself to be productive - but I hadn't hung out with her in forever, so I threw my laptop away and went over to her place to hang out. I made the minimal effort of putting on jeans instead of sweats, but I shouldn't have bothered - we drank a bottle and a half of wine, had a mindblowingly good time talking about life and tings, and watched five hours of a 'Friends' marathon. At some point, Maya and Jesse (aka Jasvinder) showed up, but that didn't lure us out of the house; instead, we drank more wine, watched more 'Friends', and talked a bit about the low carb life because we're old now.

Finally, though, I desperately needed to go home (and Chandlord desperately needed me to, as evidenced by the fact that she fell asleep in the two minutes when I was in the bathroom). And now, I should sleep; tomorrow is going to come much too soon (in fact, it's already here, that sneaky bastard), and I really do need to write tomorrow. Goodnight!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

i got this feeling on a summer day when you were gone

Hello, weekend! I'm v. excited; this is the first weekend in a v. long time (four weeks?) that I don't have substantial plans that require me to be out of town. Also, looking at calendar, this is only the fourth weekend in the last twelve where I wasn't traveling or doing something major in SF that required one of both full days of the weekend.

Needless to say, I'm stoked about turning into a hermit and writing my little heart out. Maybe I'll change my mind on Sunday and socialize, but Saturday is for writing twenty or thirty pages of Prudence and Alex. Sadly, Saturday is also for recovering from whatever wine hangover I have; I just got back from dinner at Lauren and Nathan's, where I had more wine than was strictly advisable. C'est la vie, right? (or c'est Adit's vie, if that is at all understandable grammatically).

My day was mostly fine; I am having nightmares with too much regularity, which leads me to believe that I'm stressing about the day job and shouldn't be. Or maybe I'm stressing about the fact that the day job stresses me out. How meta of me. The day job was mostly fine today, though, particularly since I had a lovely (if unbearably hot - so hot that my silverware almost burned me when I picked them up after they'd sat in the sun for half an hour) lunch with Alaska Matt. I left at 3:30, spent an hour and forty minutes fighting traffic (I was surprisingly zen about it, since I wasn't running late and would rather sit at a standstill while driving than get car sick while sitting on a stop-and-go bus), and then got a much needed massage (because I'm a delicate flower who must pay people to make my body behave). After the massage, I put on some lipstick, gave up on fixing my hair, and went with Terry to Lauren and Nathan's for dinner. That was totally lovely, even if we're all concerned about 'kids these days' and the upcoming technology-driven apocalypse. Yay conspiracy theories.

And now, I must sleep; Prudence and Alex aren't going to write themselves (until I become a cyborg with a brain chip (tm), in which case they might). Goodnight!

Friday, June 14, 2013

mama said knock you out

I made it through my day without throttling anyone, so I'll consider that a success. It wasn't easy, particularly since I was wearing a power dress (which always tends to make me feel more badass and take-no-prisoners-ish), but I was in a good enough mood about life in general that I survived my occasional homicidal urges. Or rather, the people around me survived my occasional homicidal urges, and I'm about to crawl into my own bed rather than into a jail cot with my new cellmate lover, so this is really a win all around.

I was probably in such a good mood because I took the shuttle down (not good) and wrote four pages of Prudence on the way (great!). Also, I had dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam) at my favorite Mexican restaurant, where my favorite waiter behaved himself and only rubbed my back suggestively once. Also, tomorrow is Friday, which means the weekend has arrived again, and I have high hopes to write a million words (or at least eight thousand). But now, alas, I really must sleep; I should have gone to bed two hours ago, but I failed as usual. Goodnight!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

i saw the devil wrapping up his hands

I should have gone to bed two hours ago, but I'm an idiot and stayed up putting tinsel in my hair and playing with (personal) spreadsheets. Clearly that means I'm out of words and am incapable of doing anything writing-related. It's no wonder; I got up early, did two meetings over video from home before nine a.m., and then snuck out for a glorious hour of writing over huevos rancheros before sullenly getting in my car and going into the office. To make up for my laxity, I stayed at work until 7:15, which was approximately two hours later than anyone else on my team. I grabbed supper at work, drove home, and said about three words to Terry before telling her I couldn't bear to talk and needed to go upstairs immediately.

Once upstairs, I had planned to write - but as I mentioned I'm out of words, so instead I put tinsel in my hair. Then I started playing with earnings spreadsheets for my self-pub endeavors; since all the vendors pay out on different schedules with different reports, compiling the data is a bit of a beast. But sometime in March I crossed the 20000 mark for number of books sold; granted, some of those were $0.99, but overall I'm pretty psyched that I've sold that many copies, particularly since I only have like two friends - so obviously almost all of that is made up of strangers who didn't buy a copy out of pity. Yay.

And now, after sharing too much, I shall go to sleep and hope that the commute doesn't kill me tomorrow (and that I don't kill anybody at the day job). Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

all your love is just a dream

I'm exhausted and bitter, but simultaneously overjoyed and excited. Yes, I'm a seething mass of contradictions. Sorry for not blogging for the past two days; I was at a writing retreat where I not only didn't have email access, but I also didn't have phone access. So, blogging had to go on hiatus. But those lost words weren't wasted - I wrote almost sixty pages while I was gone, and I now have the full plot/structure/bones of Prudence and Alex's story. I was also deeply, deeply inspired by the three writers I was hanging out with, so that was totally wonderful...

...but then I had to drive three hours this morning to get back from the retreat and make it into the office at a reasonable time, and just about everything that could go wrong during my day did (including spilling barbecue all over my favorite shirt; luckily I had another shirt in the car, but I hope the stains come out of this one). And since I was feeling so inspired by my writing and so blah about my day job, it was v. tempting to walk out and never go back. But I suppose I'll go back tomorrow...which means I need to get some sleep to fortify myself for the slog ahead. And luckily I decompressed a bit with a friendship renewal dinner + catching up with Terry, so it's not all bad. Tomorrow will be better - and if it's not, I'll come up with a new plan. Goodnight!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

she's up all night to get some

Today was a v. long but ultimately rewarding day. I woke up a little after seven, went through my hacking cough routine as I tried to wake up and remember how to breathe again, and then showered and dolled myself up so that I could go to my monthly romance writer meeting in Berkeley. I had to get up slightly earlier than usual because Vivi also had to shower, but we made it out the door on time (if you're aiming to be on time to the meeting rather than getting there an hour early to chat with all the other attendees). We walked in about five minutes before the meeting started, got settled, and then sat through an absurdly long discussion about the tax ramifications of various activities engaged in by our chapter (with no actual knowledge shared or point to discuss, as far as I could tell, other than a general expression of dismay followed by half an hour of uninformed speculation). Yes, I'm bitter about that, since I dislike wasting my time (or rather, I dislike other people wasting my time; I'm totally fine wasting my own). But the rest of the meeting was great. Even better, a few of us seceded from the general lunch group and had lunch together downstairs, so Vivi and I ate with Kristin, Allyn and Amber, all of whom were a blast and a half.

But all good things must come to an end (although I'll see Kristin tomorrow, since I'm going up to her cabin for a couple of days of writing retreat), and so Vivi and I went to Starbucks and grabbed a drink before I dropped her off at the airport. It was slightly earlier than she needed to be there, but since I knew getting back over the bridge would take over an hour, I couldn't afford to hang out any longer. So we bid each other a fond farewell, I struggled vainly against traffic, and then I took an hour-long nap as soon as I got home, which was the only thing that kept me going the rest of the night. I had a dinner party to attend, and I thought numerous times about bailing, but I felt that that would have been the height of rudeness, particularly since I'm still establishing my friendship with the hosts. So I rallied and went over, only to discover that Jesse (the male half of the hosting couple) was just as tired as I was and had wanted to cancel as well. Somehow that made me feel better, and so I was in for the rest of the night.

Dinner was lovely (lamb, yogurt and eggplant, all of which would have been anathema to me during my small-town-life childhood, but was delicious now), and the company was even more lovely (Jesse and Maya, Chandlord, Katrina, and some other nice random strangers who were strangers to me but obviously not strangers to Jesse and Maya). I stayed until ~11:20, and then Chandlord and I caught a taxi back in our general direction.

And now that I've been obscenely social for nigh on two weeks, I need to retreat into a hole and write. I shall accomplish this by going on this writing retreat tomorrow, and hopefully I can concentrate there and not have to talk much, since I'll have to start talking again when I go back to work on Tuesday and I'm not sure I'm ready for it. Luckily my bronchitis is getting a bit better (cough is the same, but tiredness is improved), so hopefully I can get some shit done. Goodnight!

Friday, June 07, 2013

don't you know your kingdom's under siege

I'm thoroughly wrecked. It has been a long, long week, particularly since I was gone all of last week and then spent this week trying to recover from the plague (with mixed to poor results). I thought I felt better this morning, but that was when I sat around and did absolutely nothing; talking or working or doing much of anything else makes me feel like total crap. So much so that I can't really contemplate doing any of the myriad social activities on my calendar for this weekend - I really just want to crawl into a hole and not come out. Bleh.

But it's not all bad; I got some work done today, and I did it from home, so at least I got to sleep in a bit and not have to fight traffic. However, I had to take a break in the late afternoon to go get my bangs trimmed, which had become v. necessary since I could barely see through them. Then, I came home and made mojitos for me and Vivi (and plied her, and later Terry, with most of them, since I quickly realized I shouldn't be drinking given my incessant coughing). We talked for quite some time, and then when Terry came home we decided to order pizza rather than going out. So we sat around, ate pizza, and watched 'So You Think You Can Dance'. Yes, we're lame. But that's okay; I didn't have the energy to go out anyway.

And on that incredibly dismal note, I shall apologize to you for being so negative, and I shall go to bed in an attempt to get not-negative (aka positive). Goodnight!

such a bitter form of refuge

I should have gone to sleep an hour ago to consolidate that gains I have made on my health, but it appears that I've failed at that endeavor. Today was mostly good; I got to work in good time, slogged all day (with a break for an Indian lunch with my team), and then got mildly carsick on the shuttle on the way home. When I got here, I hung out with Vivi for a couple of hours, and then she, Terry and I went out for Mexican food (the main point of which was margaritas, most of which we forced on Vivi).

But now, after that v. boring post, I need to sleep - goodnight!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

dance monkey dance

I've still got the plague; I'm feeling better, but my cough is getting worse. Yay.

But I made it into work, after an hour and a half of driving, which nearly made me homicidal. I had a bunch of meetings, but I cut out at 3pm because I felt like crap. When I got home, I slept for an hour, then did some work, then had dinner with Vivi at my favorite fish taco place down the street. We talked about the industry and writing and life, which is always v. fun (except when the industry isn't fun), and then we came home and I did some more work. Bleh. And now, I shall sleep so that I can go to work at some semblance of the right time. Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

were you born to resist or be abused

Sorry that last night's post was incoherent - I was out of energy by nine and attempting to blog on my phone, which was clearly not the wisest course of action. Tonight isn't really much better, but I'm at least typing on a proper keyboard, so muscle memory may take over where my brain fails me.

Sadly, I'm sicker than I was yesterday, which is super annoying. This round feels exactly like the bronchitis I had in February. So I didn't bother to go to the doctor; I still have most of the inhaler that they gave me last time + 40% of the codeine cough syrup, so I'm going to medicate myself and hope for the best. But today was not good. I slept for almost twelve hours last night, which helped, but I probably should have napped more this afternoon rather than trying in vain to be productive. Needless to say, I wasn't productive at all, but I so wanted to be because I'm feeling v. behind on the day job due to my trip last week.

But instead of being productive, I laid around, laid around some more, attempted to answer some emails, and then laid around again. Sometime this afternoon, though, I had to get up because my friend Vivi (aka Sarah) showed up. She's visiting for the next few days, and the original plan was that I would leave a key for her so she could let herself in while I was at work - but since she showed up, I was here to greet her. We ended up going out for a late lunch since I had no food in the house (does a milkshake count as lunch? cause that's all I wanted). Then we came back here, I laid on the couch some more and took a couple of calls for work (with mixed results), and then I laid on the couch again. Are you sensing a theme?

Eventually Terry came home, and we ordered Thai food and watched 'The Voice'. And now I'm desperate to go to bed; I'm really really going to try to go into work tomorrow, so that means I need to get myself out of bed and into my car / onto a shuttle before traffic is bad enough to make me want to kill someone. Goodnight!

Monday, June 03, 2013

i feel that m fading like a flower

No blogging tonight - I am way tired and also sick with something that may become bronchitis. So I'm going to go to bed and ignore how my manuscripts and catastrophically overflowing inboxes. Good night!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

lips and teeth to ask how your day went

I'm beyond tired, which I suppose makes sense since it's one a.m. in New York and I'm going to be jetlagged for a couple of days. Also, I didn't sleep well last night, since I've got a cold that will doubtlessly turn into bronchitis at some point (since everything I do turns into bronchitis). But I got up at 8:30ish, took care of some tings, showered, packed - and managed to pack everything into two carryons, which was totally unexpected. I didn't go wild and grab a whole suitcase full of free books at the convention like other people did (mostly because I didn't have any time, not because I was picky or too honor-bound), and I had to leave a couple of the free books that I did grab behind, but I'm really glad I was able to live out of a carry-on for eight days without any real disasters. I always pack the wronge combo of shoes, but at least I wore all the shoes I brought at least once (I managed to squeeze six pairs of shoes into my carry-on, which is one of the prime beauties of having small feet).

Anyway, you don't care about that. Perhaps you don't care about any of it, but I'll keep going. I checked out at 11, went downstairs - and found a ridiculously long line to store baggage. The luggage is actually stored by a robot (named Yobot), which seems awesome in theory (the robot picks up your luggage from where you put it, then moves it to a secure cubby behind a thick glass wall until you're ready to claim it again). But in practice, most people have never used it before and so are really slow, and in this case the Yobot just gave up the ghost and needed a maintenance guy to fix it. At this point I'm totally starving, since I'd been standing around for twenty minutes. So I dragged my stuff upstairs and had brunch in the hotel restaurant, where they put my luggage in their coat check.

The brunch was funny; clearly this place is trying to be hip. It was a fixed price brunch with unlimited drinks and food for two hours, which was utterly wasted on me since I just wanted something tasty and some coffee and a place to sit and work for a couple of hours. But even though it was way overpriced for what I had, the food itself was good, I liked their coffee, and they said nothing about me pulling out my laptop on their fancy outdoor terrace. Of course, I had three mimosas since otherwise the bill would have just been stupid, so I was a bit tipsy when I left...

...which explains how I just got in a cab to Newark five hours early. I'd already decided last night that I would go to the airport early and work, but the champagne made me temptable and almost lured me downtown to go shopping on Bleecker Street. But I ignored the fashionable bitch inside my head and kept my eyes on the prize today. And I'm so so glad I did; when I got to Newark, I was able to get onto an earlier flight (with no change fees) that left at 3:46 instead of 8:46. It was a middle seat, but I decided to take it so that I could get home five or six hours earlier. And I'm v. relieved that happened, because I'm now getting notifications for my original flight, which was delayed by at least four hours and wouldn't have gotten me home until two or three a.m. Thank you, travel angel, wherever you are.

On the plane, I wrote ~12 pages of the secret young adult series that I'm working on, which felt really, really good. Then I got home, unpacked everything (crazy, I know), ordered pizza, and was going to write...but I'm way too tired, and in the interest of not getting bronchitis, I should probably sleep. Goodnight!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

if i took you home it'd be a home run

I didn't go to a club tonight, but luckily YOTEL is delivering the club to me - now that's full service, right? Yes, I'm being utterly sarcastic; their outdoor terrace may be a fun place to club for clubgoers, but not so much for the people living above it. Luckily I have earplugs; unluckily, I'm definitely getting a cold, so my last night in NYC may be a long one.

But today was v. v. good, even if I woke up feeling like death and had no desire to go to anything at all. I had to be at the convention at nine, though, so I dragged myself out of bed and into something vaguely respectable (okay, I wore jeans) so that I could sit in a conference room all day. Today's session wasn't a corporate meeting; I was spying on the self-pub crowd, where I ran into people who know me as my alter ego and have no idea what company I work for (although it said my real name/company on my badge, so my secret is getting out). Some of it was good and some of it was completely and utter dreck, as is anything I attend on self-publishing. The good mostly outweighed the bad, but by the end I was so tired and bored that I couldn't even feign interest when one of my San Francisco romance writing friends was on the closing panel. My bad.

However, the evening was substantially better; I won't name drop because that's obnoxious (and you wouldn't know them anyway unless you read a lot of contemporary romance), but suffice it to say that I hung out with two wildly successful self-published authors in the penthouse suite one of them had at 5th and 41st, overlooking the New York Public Library and Bryant Park. omg it was beautiful. The woman was there with her husband and daughter, who now runs her own book publishing/assistantship/consulting company, and so the five of us hung out for four hours and discussed the industry in great detail. It was totally worth it and I had a great time, even if I'm sure I'm going to pay for it next week when this cold turns into bronchitis.

Bella and I finally left around ten, and we shared a cab back to this side of town. Then, I did work for the man for the past two hours like the sad, stupid little corporate drone that I am. But I wanted to get through that stuff tonight because I am freeing up tomorrow to write incessantly - it's my only free day for awhile, and I may have just committed to an editing slot with my editor in August, which means I need to get cracking immediately. So I think I'll sleep until I wake up on my own, shower, pack, go out for lunch and work at a cafe for awhile, and then maybe head to the airport early and buy a day pass to the United lounge so I have a quiet place to work and a place to shower off the grime induced by NYC's 100-degree heat. Sounds like a plan, yes? Maybe a plan for a total workaholic, but a plan nonetheless. Goodnight!