Friday, May 31, 2013

the restless heart, the promised land

I'm too tired to blog, or to do much of anything else; I hit the wall this afternoon, and I realized there's no way to un-hit it unless I go to bed early and get nine hours of sleep. So, that's precisely what I intend to do. But today was good if you can ignore my exhaustion (which you probably can, since it isn't yours). I made it to the conference, met with several partners, and then took a break to grab coffee with Sarah, the writer friend I met up with the other night. We still had industry stuff to gossip about, so we spent a fun hour talking shop. Then I went back to work and met another client or two before calling it a day. I took a break in the hotel, but I eventually dragged myself out for a steak and a glass of wine down the street from the hotel.

And now, I must sleep. My mind is racing with all the million things I want to do with both of my careers, and it doesn't help that I'm feeling a massive urge to write. It also doesn't help that I have to work tomorrow. But I hope to write tomorrow night and Sunday so that I can feel like I'm making progress. But for now, after that ridiculously boring post, it's time for bed!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

that was a turning point, that was one lonely night

The conference was v. conferencey today. And by that I mean I didn't want to get out of bed, was later arriving than I planned (which didn't have any consequence other than that I didn't get breakfast), and by the end of it I was burned out and exhausted from talking to people. The people I talked to were all v. good, so that was nice, but I'm just not enough of a people person to enjoy talking to strangers all day. Well, that's not true. I enjoy talking to strangers, but these strangers were all competent and lovely and didn't give me any good story ideas, and thus they are useless to me.

After the conference, I spent half an hour on the phone dealing with a work issue, and then I came back to the hotel and took a fifteen minute nap. Then, I went out to two dinners, which you can imagine was not what my hermit side wanted to do. The first was with my coworkers to a delicious Brazilian restaurant; the food was excellent, and it was super fun to hang out outside of work. The second was something I would have skipped, but I missed all the emails in which I was included in the reservation, and when I was going to cancel, I realized that the restaurant was only four blocks from the first one, so I really had no excuse not to go. So I dashed from the first dinner to the second, where I had a margarita and some chips with Terry, Annie, and Terry's NYC friends. Thus completely stuffed, I abandoned them to their plans to go out for another drink, and I came back to the hotel with the intention of being in bed by eleven. Sadly, I went back to my workaholic roots instead, and I spent the last hour catching up on vital work stuff. But if I go to bed *right now* I can get eight or eight and a half hours of sleep, which would do wonders for my day tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

and the public don't dwell on my transmission

I must go to sleep immediately; tomorrow is going to come all too soon. But I had another wonderful day in New York, which is again making me want to move here when I forget the fact that it's a louder, bigger, more claustrophobia-inducing version of the city of sin I already hate/love to live in. What is wrong with me and my inability to love a single thing and love it well? Sorry, future children!

sssanyway. I spent the day at the office, sitting in meetings and not getting any work done. I left the office around 5:15 and took the subway over to the east side of town, where I met up with Claudia (aka The Claude), who was lovely enough to come into NYC for the evening to hang out again. We went to Mermaid Inn and had their oyster happy hour, which has now officially become the thing I must do every time I come to New York - between us, we had 32 oysters, six glasses of wine, a beet salad, and some french fries, which was exactly the kind of supper I was born to eat. Granted, no steak, but I can survive the lack of steak once in awhile, and if you replace one letter in beet, it's almost beef, right?

After catching up on life and drinking just enough wine to be v. happy, we walked over to a book event that was sponsored by some people at this conference I'm going to tomorrow. That wasn't enough to get me out, since I have a job that pays well (unlike most publishing jobs) and so won't walk twenty minutes for bad alcohol in a noisy setting (ok, I will, but Adit or Chandlord have to be involved to get me there). But my friend Sarah was speaking for a few minutes at this party, so we agreed to meet up there. We ended up sticking around there later than I think any of us planned to, but afterward Claude, Sarah and I grabbed a late (second for me and Claude) dinner nearby, where Claude and I each had another drink and split some burrata and some ice cream/sorbet. Yum. It was also good to see Sarah in some venue that wasn't a conference (even if there is a conference tomorrow), and it was nice to hang out on the outdoor patio and take in New York.

But all good things must end, so Sarah went back to Brooklyn and I accompanied Claudia to Grand Central, where I waited with her until her train was ready to leave. Then I came back to my hotel, didn't drink as much water as I should have, and am now going to go to bed and wait for my hangover to arrive. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

when i hear those voices at night

I should have gone to bed a million years ago, but I'm living the hip NYC life. The hip NYC life in a capsule hotel, which may make a little claustrophobic, but it feels v. hip nonetheless. I spent the day at the NYC office, which is in a massive building that takes up an entire city block and is super confusing to the uninitiated (or those who can't read maps that say which floors each elevator bank stops on, since we have parts of a bunch of different floors, none of which you can access from wherever you happen to be). But the pieces of the building that I saw when I wasn't utterly lost were totally nice. So nice, in fact, that I had a moment of wishing that I could move to New York. That moment stabbed itself in the face when I remembered that NYC's version of waste management is for every building to pile trash bags on the street until someone comes along to pick them up or the mythical Rat King of New York (tm) turns them into his fiftieth summer palace. I don't think I could handle that level of squalor nearly as well as I handle my liquor.

But I digress. Work was fine, and then I took the subway back to my hotel, where I was theoretically going to work until I realized I had no interest in working. Then I was theoretically going to write, but I had no interest in that either. So I read a lot of stuff on the internet, took a nap, and then went out for an unnecessarily-late 10pm dinner with Terry and Annie. Annie is in town from Australia and Terry is in town to see Annie, and they invited me out for dinner after the show they went to see. The food was excellent (steak, can't lose) and the company was also excellent, and it was all worth it even if I didn't get home until midnight. I spent the last hour doing work because I'm a stupid, uncontrolled addict, and now I'm going to go to sleep so that I can be worth a damn in my day of meetings tomorrow. Goodnight!

Monday, May 27, 2013

rollies that don't tick tock

I'm super tired, but I had a v. fun day in New Haven. When I woke up, Zach and Maggie made me a delicious breakfast (eggs with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheese, scrambled and then finished off in the broiler). Claudia came over for breakfast too, and she and I wandered away after to get coffee down the street while Maggie and Zach contemplated the messy move that is on the imminent horizon for them. They're done at Yale and are moving elsewhere later this summer, but in the meantime they have to get a one-month sublet, which is unfortunate. So, Claude and I left them to their own devices while we got coffee, and then we rendezvoused with them to go to a picnic up on a bluff (East Rock) overlooking Yale. Some friends of theirs were barbecuing up there, and it was all rather idyllic. The weather was gorgeous, the food was nice, and the company was lovely. Since I have only visited New Haven on nice days, I'm charmed by it, but I'm sure the months of endless winter and the constant threat of muggings and other violence would wear on me a bit if I had to live there.

Post picnic, we went back to Zach and Maggie's and I bid them a fond farewell. Then, Claude and I detoured for a drink and a bit of food on the way to the train station; I'm glad that I got to catch up with her, and I am hopeful that someday in our lives we'll be in the same city again. Eventually, though, it was time to head back to NYC, and I got on a train that got utterly, uncomfortably cramped to the point that I felt a little claustrophobic, but I survived the ride with my soul (if not my temper) intact. Then I took a taxi to my hotel, which is utterly ridiculous and not really helping with the claustrophobia; it's based off the idea of a capsule hotel, if that tells you anything, and was designed partially by someone who designs airline cabins. Their attempts to be charming and clever are not amusing me tonight, but perhaps I will be more amused tomorrow. And it seems clean, and it's only three blocks from the conference I'm going to later this week, so I suppose I can't complain (even though I clearly am).

Okay, enough's time for bed!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

we're up all night to get lucky

Today was a lovely, albeit exhausting, day - I managed to get some sleep on the flight from SFO to NYC, although five hours wouldn't have been enough even if it was fully and blissfully uninterrupted in my own bed. But I got into Newark on time, took some time to freshen up in the bathroom, and then caught a cab to Grand Central, where I had approximately fifteen minutes to buy a train ticket and catch the train to New Haven. This was perfect timing, since I got into New Haven at eleven and was picked up by Zach (aka Pincubus) and Claudia (aka The Claude, aka Claud the Fraud). We came back to Zach's place, grabbed Maggie (aka Mrs. Pincubus), and went out for brunch at a local New Haven hotspot. Then we came home and spent the afternoon continuing to catch up, with a break outside to walk to a conservatory and enjoy the many and varied succulents and cacti.

Post perambulation, we came back to the house and made dinner. And by this I mean Maggie and Zach made dinner and Claude and I mostly tried to stay out of the way. We had a couple of tasty gin-based drinks in our noble effort to help Zach and Maggie winnow out their alcohol supply, and then we had a lovely dinner of black eyed peas with chard, rice, and tomato and feta salad, with mangoes and blueberries for dessert. Then, we decided to up the camp quotient and watch 'Beneath the Candelabra', the Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. My verdict was that I thought their performances were incredible (as was Rob Lowe's face), but I was reminded that I often don't love biopics because it's hard to tell a compelling story arc with someone's life, particularly when multiple lives don't tie up together at the same time with neat little bows. But I'm still glad I watched it. And now, I need to sleep; we have grand plans to hang out some more tomorrow before I head to NYC and the day job tomorrow night, so I should get my beauty sleep. Goodnight!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

that man is not your maker

V brief post that can't do justice to my day - I got up early, overcame my hangover, went out for breakfast, and then went to the Asian Art Museum to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit (awesome). Then I came home, packed, and had a late lunch at Netties, where I brainstormed with wine. Then I made two videos for later romance writing promo, took a shower, and got to the airport just in time for my red eye flight to NYC for work/pleasure. Hopefully my trip is smooth so I can sleep, but we shall see. Goodnight!

Friday, May 24, 2013

baby i love the way

It is possible that I had one too many cocktails tonight. I will refrain from saying it's probable, since I prefer to disclaim all responsibility - but you can read into this what you will. The day started off perfectly normally - better than normal, actually, since I was going into the SF office and so was able to get up at 7:45 instead of 6:20. Yay. I got into the office at nine, had breakfast, and then did four hours of meetings, with a lovely lunch with Katrina in between to break everything up. Then, I sat out on one of the balconies and enjoyed the view of the Bay Bridge before joining a fellow Mountain View transplant for some wine in his temporary office. Yes, this is the life.

After work, I came home, did a quick load of laundry, and met up with Jenni at a wine bar in the marina. This is where my troubles began. We had a glass of wine while catching up, then met up with our friend Nick (also an India expat) to have a couple of cocktails at a bar across the street. We reminisced quite wonderfully while I imbibed Twilight Hemingways (Hemingway daiquiris with dark rum instead of white rum), and then Nick's girlfriend arrived from NYC. So we proceeded to dinner at a Chinese restaurant (Dragon Well), which was v. tasty even if it's quite likely that I cheated an had some gluten. Oops.

sssanyway, all of that was great, and I'm glad we hung out together. And now I must sleep; I'm going to NYC tomorrow night, which means I need to get some sleep before running errands and packing and doing other various shenanigans. Goodnight!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

the way you love me

Too many days like today are going to make me flee to the peninsula and leave the evil city behind - you've been warned. I left home at 7:25 and didn't get to campus until 9:10, which gave me just enough time to grab a subpar breakfast before my jam-packed day of meetings started. Needless to say, I was incredibly surly, verging on rage-filled. Then I had an hour of meetings before getting back in my car and going to the dentist. At least that was smooth; I had no cavities for the tenth or twelfth or fifteenth year in a row, so we're moving to doing xrays every two years. And the hygienist complimented me on my flossing efforts, so I suppose that's something.

After the dentist, I went back to work and slogged the rest of the day. Sadly, all of that slogging involved sitting in meetings, so I don't know that I was that productive, but the meetings themselves seemed good. Then I cut out of work at 5:20 to have dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam) and Jen, who had worked with me and Heather waaaay back in the day, when we were all young and optimistic. That turned into a three-hour affair, which was super fun, but it meant I got home at 9:50pm feeling like death.

So, Palo Alto may perhaps be in my cards. Or not; I'm traveling next week, and every three weeks after that for the rest of the year, and traveling tends to reset my commute hatred just a bit. We can always hope that I can survive the commute, since I like the city and my friends and the idea of not moving...but traffic better get better real quick. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the weight of love

I'm sorry my blog has been even more boring than usual of late. The problem is that I can't really blog about what I do at work, which means I have very little to say during the week. And on the weekends where I'm trying to write, there's not much that I can say about my writing process that doesn't make me feel like a whiny bitch.

Today was no different. I slogged all day, which is supremely uninteresting, although it was made slightly more interesting by trying to stay motivated through my intense headache. I think I'm not cut out for the shuttle; I always have a headache on the days I take the shuttle, which is not a good experience. This morning's ride was actually surprisingly smooth (probably because I reverse-jinxed it by spending half the ride looking up Palo Alto apartments on Craigslist), but I still felt ill most of the day. I had meant to take the shuttle home tonight, but on a whim I decided to drive home instead since my car was at the office. I stopped at a coffeeshop for a bit on the way and wrote a page of Alex and, not a million pages, but I'll take it. Then I came home, stopped on the way to buy a steak and a potato so that I could cook myself something to eat, and promptly proceeded to make and eat dinner. Yes, my Iowa roots are showing.

And now, even though I have way too much to do, I'm going to indulge my headache and stop staring at a screen - goodnight!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

nothing you confess could make me love you less

I'm too tired to blog - today was a really long day, starting with a 7:30am meeting that I was luckily able to take from home. But I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I woke up already behind, and the rest of the day just made it worse instead of better. I got home around 7:30 and was going to try to write, but instead I ate leftovers and stared at whatever Terry was already watching on TV (the second-to-last Harry Potter). And then I thought I could write, but I never hit the second wind that I usually get after dark, so I guess my latent vampiric tendencies are letting me down tonight. That's a clear indication that I should just go to bed ridiculously early and hope for the best. Goodnight!

Monday, May 20, 2013

but i hear those voices at night sometimes...they justify my claim

Today was way too long and way too unproductive (at the day job, at least) - it took me an hour and a half to get to work for a meeting that was promptly canceled, which made me surly. But I successfully took my car to get smog tested (which it passed) so that I could pay my registration, and the hours that I did slog were v. useful hours. Then I came home, wrote for half an hour (shocking, I know, but I actually wrote a page and a half, which is more than I had yesterday), and got ready to go out again. I had a v. romantic dinner date with Lauren (aka Subz), whom I hadn't seen in at least a month, so we had a lot to catch up on. After two margaritas I could have kept going all night, but sadly I have this day job that requires my presence tomorrow. And it requires it super early as well - I have a 7:30am meeting, which I'm luckily going to dial into from home so that I don't want to stab myself in the face. Or perhaps I'll want to stab myself in the face anyway, but it won't be from getting up at 5:30.

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

breaking my back just to know your name

I was hermity again today, but it was all quite productive, so I'll take it. I was out of bed by nine, shockingly, and I showered and made myself breakfast and everything in an attempt to be an adult. Then, I tried to go to the Asian Art Museum to see an exhibit of China's terracotta warriors; I've been meaning to go for weeks, and then suddenly realized that the exhibit ends while I'm in NYC next week, so I thought I should try to see it today. But when I got there I discovered a massive line out the door, so I promptly turned around and came home. So much for my attempt to get some culture.

But when I got here, I didn't mope. Instead, I grabbed my notebook and walked over to the Ghirardelli Square area, where I spent a couple of hours in a cafe overlooking the water. And I think I got some of the second half of the book nailed down - I'm feeling pretty good about it, actually. So good that I started writing when I got home (or rather, while I got a pedicure - but I took my laptop to my pedicure, so it's almost like it was work). Granted, I only wrote a page, but it was a promising first page, and I'm excited about this book in a way that I hope bodes well for its future (if not for my sanity).

After the pedicure, I talked to my parents, who were in fine form. I also wished my Uncle Mark a happy birthday, although it sounds like they had tornadoes in his area a couple of hours after I talked to him, so hopefully everything is okay. Then, I spent the evening procrastinating; I took care of a couple of vital marketing-related activities, and I also answered a few of the many long-simmering emails in my multiple inboxes. But I must also confessed that I watched a lot of clips from old SNL episodes on Hulu - apparently I needed a break or something. But now, I really need to sleep; I have to take my car down to work tomorrow to get it smog tested, and since I have a 9am meeting that I scheduled (stupid), I should probably be on time, which means I need to leave here early. Ugh. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

i remember all the feelings and the day they stopped

Per my hopes and dreams for myself, I was a total hermit today. I slept in, messed around, and eventually made myself a delicious homestyle breakfast (fried eggs + a shitload of bacon). Then, I spent the bulk of the afternoon sorting through the massive piles of paper in my room to put away all my notes and notebooks on Ellie and Nick so that I could clear the psychic space necessary to focus on Prudence and Alex. It took a few hours, but my bookshelves aren't stacked with papers lying across all the book spines for the first time in months, and my desk no longer has piles of notes to myself about the different stories I'm playing with. Granted, this state will deteriorate almost immediately, but it's a very pleasing thing for an OCD hermit like me.

After that, I made myself supper (cheeseburgers + some v. awesome potatoes, if I do say so myself; yes, the skillet is the most important piece of cookware in my repertoire), poured a glass of wine, and brainstormed another several pages of Prudence and Alex. I was thinking about them all day in the back of my mind as I organized my notes, and I'm feeling really, really good about the first half of the story. The second half...not so much. I need to spend some more time on it to see whether the issue is something in the first half (since I don't want to write the first half and then scrap it like I always do) or whether it's something that I need to do some more research for. But I think it's going to be good - and, the cool thing is that my most recent idea for Alex leads seamlessly into a new series featuring some dudes at his secret archaeology club (about whom I know nothing, but it sounds like it could be sexy?).

Oh, and I also took a nap, and I made a playlist for Prudence and Alex. Both very vital tasks, right? And now I'm going to read back through my notes, see if anything else strikes me, and then head for bed. Goodnight!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

we're not broken, just bent

Today was great, albeit uninteresting for you - I made it into work in time to grab breakfast, and then I slogged without much break for six hours, which helped me to get through a lot of stuff on my to-do list. Then, I took a break with my team to drink caipirinhas, since a couple of women on the team are Brazilian and decided to bring in Brazilian treats for a Friday afternoon happy hour. By the time that was over, I was in no state to do anything worth getting paid for, so I cut out at five to have dinner with Heather (aka dear respected madam).

We had a lot to catch up on, since I hadn't seen her since before I went to Kansas City, and she had spent most of that time with relatives in town. Needless to say, we talked for quite some time. We were going to go to Fiesta, but it was oddly closed, so we went to another Mexican place instead. But while all of the experience was great, the best part was that I had a major breakthrough on the plot for Alex and Prudence because of we were discussing it, it suddenly became clear what needs to happen to pull together everything I've been thinking about, and I suddenly feel unblocked. YAY.

So, I'm glad that I have no plans this weekend beyond holing up and writing - much productivity needs to happen this weekend if I want to feel good about life. But now, I must sleep - goodnight!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

til we can learn to love again

I'm way exhausted and can't bear to look at a screen anymore, so this is all the blog post you're getting. Suck to be you! Or perhaps it sucks to be me, since my commute was terrible both ways and I was super busy. But I shall recover, I'm sure.

Happy [censored], [censored]! And now, goodnight!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

right from the start you were a thief, you stole my heart

I have nothing to stay tonight; today was v. long, since I had meetings almost straight through from nine to five. It would have been totally straight through, but luckily someone canceled on me, so I had forty-five-ish minutes to do some actual work. Yay. But my meetings were generally good, and I had lunch with John to belatedly (and cheaply, since it was free) celebrate his birthday, so that was fun. I also got my quarterly performance evaluation from my manager (if he's not the big boss, should I call him the little boss? that seems wrong); given that it only covered two months there wasn't much to say, but I'm apparently not going to get fired anytime soon. Remind me to be glad of that when I'm struggling with Prudence and Alex this weekend.

Speaking of...I'm struggling with Prudence and Alex. Ugh. I left work at 5:30, checked my mailbox in Palo Alto, and spent an hour writing at a coffee shop before heading back to the evil city. And I'm loathe to really get started writing them for reasons that I can't figure out, but as I keep having to remember, whenever I hit a patch of writer's block, it's because there's something wrong with the story. Tonight I was worried that what's wrong with the story is that I no longer want Prudence to end up with Alex, but I'm already publicly committed to that pairing. But maybe my imagination is just being stubborn; I *do* want them to be together, I'm just having trouble figuring them out. Hopefully all of this will come together sooner rather than later.

I got home around eight, ate some leftover fajitas (yum), and talked to Terry for awhile. Then, I took care of a few pressing alter-ego things, and suddenly it's 11pm and I need to sleep if I have any hope of being worth something tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

where there is a flame someone's bound to get burned

I've already written in two other blogs tonight, so Imma keep this brief. Today was somewhat good, albeit not exactly what I wanted; I had meetings straight from eight a.m. to noon, which I took from home in a state of grumpy hunger. Then I had an appointment downtown that took way, way longer than it should have due to some scheduling stupidity; I was supposed to get my hair cut, which should have taken an hour + another fifteen minutes to get my brows waxed, which should have gotten me home round-trip in less than two hours. That would have left plenty of time to be productive with the rest of my afternoon. Instead, the new receptionist scheduled an hour of dead time in between the wax and the cut, which I had to spend, surly, at a nearby Peet's, attempting to be productive on my Chromebook when I should have been productive on work stuff instead. Boooo.

But I got home eventually, and I did just enough work that I didn't feel like a total and utter slacker. Then I made dinner (skirt steak fajitas with peppers and onions), talked to Terry for a bit, came upstairs, procrastinated, and finally wrote the blog post I was avoiding (my semi-regular guest post with the Rubies). I also, on a whim, wrote a Sara Ramsey post and included the first few paragraphs on the weird Christabel project I'm working on - posting early stuff is probably stupid, but it at least feels good to put something out there as proof that I've written something recently.

And now, I must sleep; tomorrow I have meetings straight from nine a.m. to five p.m., which is going to be just as miserable as it sounds. Goodnight!

Monday, May 13, 2013

nicky can't drive with a broken back

I have nothing of interest or importance to say. I spent a lot of time working, with a day packed mostly full of meetings...I knew this was a peril of going back to managing people, and I was correct in that assumption. So, I'm feeling ridiculously behind on everything, but since I was already behind, I decided to screw everything and go out for steak and a glass of wine with Terry. That made my stomach happy, even if it didn't help my inbox, and now I'm sleepy enough that I'm going to go to bed rather than keep working. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be more productive (or at least more interesting to you), but for now, it's time to sleep. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

you took my heart and you held it in your hand

As it turns out, writing this morning's blog post was the most exciting part of my day. Sad, right? I was pretty much worthless this morning, and I stayed in bed until noon, but I finally got up to shower and eat some leftover thai food. Then, I spent the entire rest of the day being surly and/or contemplating Alex and Prudence (hence why I was surly, since I'm still brainstorming and have no idea what I'm going to do with them).

But I talked to my parents and wished my mother a happy mother's day, so I suppose I accomplished something worthwhile. And I wrote several pages of notes on Alex and Prudence, so perhaps the day is coming when I know what to write for them. And...that's all, really. Hopefully work is good this week so that I can write in the morning or at night, but we shall see. Goodnight!

a new dawn, a new day, a new life

I'm going to write a rare morning post because I just checked last night's post and it was incomprehensible to the point of concern. I wasn't actually that drunk...I was just exhausted (I hadn't stayed up until 2:30 in a long time, and I'm still a little bit on midwestern time, so it definitely felt like 3:30 or 4:30), and I remember falling asleep over my keyboard and having trouble remembering the words that I wanted to use. So, suffice it to say I had a good time, but I was merely in the same state of mind that I was during that memorable Stanford finals period where I tried to argue in a paper that Russian intellectuals like to eat at Senor Taco - I was not at the point where someone had roofied me. And, like that paper, I've awoken with a clear head and can rectify my mistakes in time.

sssanyway. Yesterday was totally lovely; I took the day off (shocker) in the interest of seeing friends and having some semblance of a life. Priyanka's birthday was last week, so Adit invited a bunch of people over for what was supposed to be a lunch party. It should surprise none of you that a lunch party turned into an all day/all night extravaganza of fun. I went over a little after noon and spent close to three hours hanging out in their house and backyard, catching up with them, John and Jess, and some other randoms (who are probably not randoms to Adit and Priyanka, but they were to me and I intend to keep them that way because I'm a curmudgeon who has no time for new friends). I also, quite shockingly, saw one of my first managers from my first go-round at the day job oh-so-many years ago; his younger sister is also friends with Adit/Priyanka, and they apparently hang out with Bill sometimes as well. I did not know this. I also didn't know he was still alive (hence my shock); the last I had heard, he'd been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer a year and a half ago, and since neither I nor any of my friends at work had heard any further updates, I kind of assumed that the statistical odds of living with stage four lung cancer (very low) had claimed him. But he looked good and seemed to be in good spirits despite having had chemo every three weeks for the past sixteen months. Crazy.

I left the party around three to come home for another crazy development...some researcher at USC wanted to interview me about this blog for research he's doing, and he had a film crew with him who are filming a documentary on people who blog frequently about their personal lives. I knew I was a dying breed in this respect, since I have no friends who still blog and most blogs are now career-focused (i.e. fashion or food blogs where the person is hoping to build an audience/get ad revenue). But apparently I'm such a dying breed that my blog may be of interest to 'science' and there are potentially other researchers out there who have/will scrape it because I've got what must be approaching a million words of free content about daily life. Odd.

But the people were v. nice; the researcher asked me some questions, and then the documentary guy asked me some questions, and two other guys filmed it all. And I suppose my key takeaway is that I don't care that this is public, since I came to terms years ago about what I share here (my daily life in all its minutiae) and what I don't (some personal subjects, emotional reactions to or criticisms about friends, family, coworkers, other writers, etc.). And I will probably only stop if Sara Ramsey gets so famous that this becomes a liability, but even then I might just keep going and be more circumspect.

For what it's worth, the researcher also said that I was very good (better than most of the other subjects) at keeping my identity secret - which surprised me, since I wasn't trying that hard, and also since my blog is one of the first search results for my actual name. But I suppose that's by design - if you know who I am, I'm very easy to find, but if you find the blog first, it's harder to identify my full name. Similarly, you can get to Sara Ramsey easily from here, but it takes more digging to get here if you start with my writing name. And I think that's probably a good thing.

After the researcher left, I ate some leftover Thai and considered writing for the rest of the night...but my hair and makeup were better than usual, and I succumbed to the lure of going back to Adit and Priyanka's. I had a most excellent time at the second part of the party; Katrina was there, and Chandlord eventually came back (for the third time, although the first two were during my initial absence), and I built a friendship with Jesse (aka Jasvinder) and Maya - Jesse was in SLE with me, although I'd forgotten that since I wasn't a model pupil and we lived in different dorms. I may have drunkenly promised him that he could be my maid of honor someday, so that's something. I also drank a lot of bourbon (which I don't like) and red wine (which I know I shouldn't drink heavily because it gives me headaches), plus a tequila shot, and this is a recipe for the kind of post I wrote last night.

We did karaoke for hours, but Chandlord/Jesse/Maya/I plotted our escape a little after midnight and went to Sparky's, where I had a v. restorative two-egg breakfast with bacon and hash browns and coffee (which did nothing to help me stay awake to blog last night). Then, Chandlord and I shared a taxi home, I was sober enough to wash my face and brush my teeth before writing that disaster of a blog post, and then I fell immediately into a deep, deep slumber.

Now you're caught up, my head doesn't really hurt (thank you, poisonous Diet Mountain Dew), and it's time for me to get cracking. Good day!

trust no one

I'm way beyond title and can't think of anything useful to broccoli matching. Aso, I'm drunk (hes I hung out with Adit), so I can't be inestimable. I'll keep touch when i'm itting at myse al week.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

sister christian, oh your time has come

Today was lovely, surprisingly enough. I say 'surprisingly enough' because I had an 8:30 meeting on a Friday, which should be illegal (for clarification, that's a.m., not p.m.). So I got up at 6:20, made a half-assed attempt at grooming, and hied myself off to the shuttle. But, I actually wrote on the shuttle (Prudence), and I wrote four fast-draft pages, which I will totally take. And I figured out a couple of key little bits of the plot, which is even better. Maybe I'll just continue this trend of working on whatever strikes my fancy, although I need to have a first draft of Prudence by August if I have hope of getting it out in a reasonable fashion...

...but that is a pressure and a terror I can deal with later. Work was v. hectic, since I had a lot of meetings, but I made it out by 3:45 so that I could bear the traffic on the way back to the evil city. I had to drive, since I left my car down there last night, and I made it back in time to take a ten-minute nap before going to get a massage. I've decided that massages count as physical therapy for me, since my back and neck are such a mess that I need to invest in them, so I had no shame about leaving work early to make it back in time for my appointment. The woman worked her usual magic, and I left with the utterly oxygenated high I got last time, since she encourages me to breathe deeply throughout in a way that I don't do in real life. If you had told me when I was growing up in Iowa that I would someday pay a stranger to manipulate my naked body, I wouldn't have believed you...or, I would have believed you, but I wouldn't have assumed you meant massage. See what I did there?

sssanyway, I came home, ordered Thai food, and watched an episode of 'The Voice' with Terry. Then, I debated writing, but my mind was too blank, so I read a romance novel instead (WHAT HAPPENS IN SCOTLAND, which is an early-Victorian retelling of 'The Hangover', and was pretty funny despite being somewhat anachronistic). And now, I should sleep; I'm still operating on a sleep deficit, and I have some v. ridiculous plans tomorrow that you're going to want to read about tomorrow night (if I survive them and am not killed by the film crew coming to my's that for a teaser?). Goodnight!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

you already won me over

I wanted to stay up and write tonight, but I'm beyond exhausted; going back to the day job on five hours of sleep wasn't the best move in the world, even if there was nothing I could do to change it. But, I got up in time to stop at a coffeeshop on the way out of the city and grab a latte, so I survived the drive down to the glorious south bay. Then, I sat in a mixture of meetings all day, with just enough time at my desk to get caught up on some stuff without having enough time to actually fall asleep in my chair.

But, rather than drive home and risk killing myself, I left my car on campus and took the shuttle home, which gave me an hour and a half to sleep. Then, I answered a few Sara Ramsey emails and wrote for half an hour, which netted me a page and a half -- not the million pages I wanted to write, but it's a page and a half more than I had before, so I'll take it. I need to get better about writing in those odd twenty or thirty minute chunks between activities, rather than feeling like I can only write when I have hours stretching out in front of me.

I threw in the towel when Terry got home, though, and we had a roommate dinner at Tortilla Heights. There was much to catch up on since I'd been gone and she has also taken a trip to NYC during my absence, so we caught up over margaritas and too many chips. Then we came home, I came upstairs with the intention of writing (but got sucked into some more Sara Ramsey email/business stuff), and only wrote another few sentences before realizing I would be better served by going to bed. But hopefully I can write tomorrow night, and all day Sunday - Saturday is potentially turning into a wash, unless my jetlag continues and I get up at six a.m. of my own accord. Goodnight!

darling won't you ease my worried mind

I wanted to be in bed two hours ago, but unfortunately my flight from Denver to SFO was delayed by approximately that much, so I didn't walk into my apartment until almost midnight. Boo. This is a double boo since I have a day job now, and I have a nine a.m. meeting, which is all v. unfortunate. There are many things I like about my job, but getting up for it is not one of them.

Anyway, my trip was uneventful other than the delays; I got out the door on schedule this afternoon, and my parents and I had lunch in Millerton (one of the only remaining restaurants in the county; good thing it's tasty) before I drove myself to the airport. It was quite odd to drive myself there, since I usually don't have a rental car, but it was all quite smooth and I had way more time than I needed. As it turned out, we were delayed in DSM too; we sat on the runway for half an hour waiting for Denver to tell us we could come, since the weather in Denver was messing things up. When I got to Denver, I had supper and a margarita, which made me sleepy, but I did some writing on the DSM->DEN flight and in the Denver airport, so I'm happy about that.

But now, I must sleep, even if my brain is racing with ideas for the stuff I was writing on the plane - it's the start of yet another new book (or, more likely, serialized story), starring Christabel, who showed up unexpectedly in Nick and Ellie's book. I thought I was going to serialize the twins, but I'm more interested in Christabel, so we'll see where this goes. I need to pick something and stick with it, since this is the third book I've broken ground on in the past three weeks (not to mention the secret non-gargoyle YA project I keep picking up and putting aside). But for now I plan to see where it takes me. Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

she'll absolutely drive you wild

I meant to go to bed two hours ago, but that lament is not exactly an unusual occurrence. Still, I have to get up relatively early tomorrow if I'm going to get some work done, finish repacking, and hang out with the parents for a bit before going back to the airport. I'm flying back to San Francisco tomorrow, where I will trade my #smalltownlife for the usual hustle and grind of my commute, the stupid Marina kids, and my attempts to have a social life while writing a million books. Life is hard.

Anyway, today was fine; I worked all day, then slacked off to go into town with my mom and to go out to feed my grandma's cats with my dad. He must be getting soft, since he feeds those cats almost every night rather than encouraging them to go find greener pastures (or rodent populations) elsewhere. I spent the evening alternating between unproductive attempts to answer email, paying vague attention to whatever hit shows were on CBS tonight, and then working on my Sara Ramsey site some more (it's up and live at, should you have any feedback). Now, sadly, I really must sleep - goodnight!

it's the end and the beginning

I meant to go to bed two hours ago, but I got sucked into a web project that ate the last four hours. On kind of a whim, I decided to redesign my Sara Ramsey site; I haven't been happy with it for awhile, mostly because I felt that it was too dark and that the dual navigation bars were too confusing. And I had been thinking of paying someone to design a website for me, but I was too lazy to get quotes, and also too convinced that it was stupid to spend several thousand dollars to redesign a site that was probably fine.

But today I snapped, reaching the point where I was suddenly beyond sick of what I had. I think that I would be more prone to blog if logging into it didn't make me feel sad. And I want to do some new things with my marketing and promo over the next few months, and a slightly cleaner/fresher/brighter blog could help. So, I found a new theme, bought it, and spent the last four hours customizing it and bending it to my will. I still need to figure out how to create a bigger header that matches what I'm looking for, but so far so good - I think the color scheme works for me, and it's hopefully easy for people to find what they're looking for. The proof will be in whether site engagement and length of stay improves or declines after the site launches, but for now, I feel good about it.

However, I really should sleep rather than playing with my site; I had to slog all day today, and I need to slog all day tomorrow as well, so I really should get some sleep. Tomorrow's my last full day at home, which means I have tons of tings to take care of before my trip back to the evil city, and I should probably spend at least a bit of time with my parents. Goodnight!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

and he talks like a gentleman, like you imagined

I'm bitterly tired - even nine hours of sleep last night wasn't enough to restore me. Sadly, the day job beckons tomorrow; yes, I'm still in Iowa, but I'm answering emails and doing projects and taking meetings from home all day, so it will be business as usual in that respect. But I'm predicting it's going to be a brutal, shocking reentry. Spending the past ten days focused more on writing/industry stuff and less on day job stuff (although it's still kind of the same industry) has my head spinning with all the cool things I could do with my writing, and all the limitless potential of the future (no, I'm not on cocaine right now), and all the amazingly fun and cool interactions I had with readers and writers and booklovers of all kinds.

So, needless to say, I had fun at my convention. I wasn't sure about it at first, mostly because all of Thursday was insanely busy and I didn't feel like I had a chance to sit down and enjoy myself. But Friday and Saturday were slower, and I got to hang out with a lot of really awesome authors as though we're friends and colleagues and I'm not just their fan (which is, oddly and awesomely, becoming the case with many of them).

I was going to leave Saturday morning by noon so that I could make it home at a relatively early hour, but as I was checking out I ran into Jenn (who shot the photos for my most recent covers), her assistant Kati (a blogger who likes my books), this other author Hillary (with whom Jenn/Kati/I had spent a v. fabulously hilarious evening eating prime rib and then making jokes about me writing a male/male tranny-surprise Regency duke romance the night before), and one of my roommates in the lobby. They were waiting for Maire, who I'm friends with, and then some of them were going out for dim sum (yes, Kansas City has dim sum) with Courtney Milan and Sherry Thomas. I know Courtney vaguely and admire her hugely, and I got to know Sherry when she came to visit SF last year - so when they invited me along, I couldn't resist. And it was the perfect cap to a fun weekend, even if the gluten-filled shrimp family coma made the drive back to Iowa a little rough.

But I got home in time for dinner last night, and then I spent some quality time helping my father set up his first smartphone (something he could have done himself, but I insisted). Today, I slept in a bit and got up in time to have breakfast with them. As a result of their low-carb life, the potato and muffin-filled brunches of my youth have been replaced by a pound of fresh side, twelve strips of bacon, and six fried eggs...not that I'm complaining. Then I kind of half-assed worked all afternoon, attempting to make a dent in some of my email and not having a very good time of it. Eventually, my father and I went to see my grandmother (a sad and depressing endeavor), then came home and ate supper. My mom and I watched the finale of the Amazing Race, but my head was killing me after, so I demurred from the implicit invitation to keep watching CBS with her and instead came downstairs, where I gave up on productivity and read most of DEVIL IN WINTER by Lisa Kleypas - which I somehow failed to read years ago and now deeply regret having missed all this time.

Now, sadly, I must sleep - tomorrow requires massive productivity, and I'm hoping tonight's break will give me the willpower necessary to focus. Goodnight!

Friday, May 03, 2013

when we were young

I'm super tired, but I had a totally awesome day - that, plus a day job email that really annoyed me just now, are conspiring to make me want to hole up and write forever, but I'm sure I'll get back on the day job train when I have to pay my conference bills. I spent all day talking to writers, which was enjoyable, and my head is spinning with all the stuff I want to do and all the strategies I want to employ. But now, I need to sleep - I'm going back to Iowa tomorrow and need to survive the drive. Goodnight!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

i will wait, i will wait for you

Today was both tamer and way more frantic than yesterday. In case you couldn't tell, I had four drinks last night (well, three drinks plus a sniff and a bit of a sideeye at this nasty white zinfandel that I was served in the hotel bar). This would normally not be that much, but the first two were on an empty stomach, which turned me into a total lunatic. So, this morning was rough. Sadly, it was the only morning that I needed to be 'on' during this event; I had two panels back to back, and a book signing this afternoon, so I was totally wrecked by the end of it. But, both panels went really well, and I signed books and met fans, and it was all lovely!

Sadly, you don't get any more than this; my roommates are trying to sleep, and I want to sleep like nine hours tonight, which isn't quite possible since I need to get up in less than eight. Boo. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

you didnt have to cut me off

I'm lying in bed in Kansas City,vaguely drunk and typing on my name phone,. So.this is the best you're going to get. But I'm having fun with my writer friends AND I had prime rib tonight, so life is good. More tomorrow - goodnight!