Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall Festival and Old Friends

Over the weekend we went to the Fall Festival in Corvallis.  It's a two day craft fair where folks sell paintings, hats, ceramics, jewelry, kaleidoscopes, and women's hemp apparel.  It's very much like the Eugene Saturday Market, only with less (and cleaner) hippies and almost no tie-dye.

Near the end of our visit, I was looking at a man when something clicked in my head and I realized that I was looking at an old high school friend I hadn't seen since 1996.  It was kind of odd because when I think about him, I see the high school kid.   I'd seen him with a beard (I think he grew one for a production of "The Crucible.") but the one he had now was fuller and lighter.    I said his name and he turned and I introduced myself; it took him a second to recognize me, I think (I've always had longish hair, but my beard may have been new to him, and I'm definitely much grayer than I was even ten years ago).

His wife--they got married in 1984, I think--was shopping near-by, and we all started talking about other high-school friends, and how they've demolished the old high school and what people were doing.  M is still a grass seed farmer, but he's expanded to squash; T doesn't play the violin as much as she used to, but her daughter performs harp at the U of O.  

At one point, T commented that I had the same mannerisms that I did in school.  I'll take that as a compliment.   I introduced them to Mark and Arthur, and then it was time to leave the Fall Festival.  

Project:  OTP "Property" Challenge.  Polishing.  It's mostly done.  I should print out a paper copy for stupid typos and trim back mercilessly.

Weight-training (Monday):  120 calories in 10 minutes.  I got out of work late (first day of classes), and so I had to cut a few corners clinking weights.  

99W in Autumn

When we drive to Corvallis, we frequently take 99W.  It's the older highway system that was in place before Interstate Five, which runs to the east from Eugene to Albany.  

99W  runs through farmland which grow mostly grass and mint.   Hazelnut groves are my favorite because of the moire patterns made by the regular trunks.  There are a few windmill-pumps along the way, too.  The buildings are often shabby, unfortunately:  one-story rancher-bungalows that have seen better days and paint jobs.  The oldest have had all the paint peeled off, and the rain and sun bleaches the wood underneath.   At least the old, once-red barns look picturesque as thy decay in the distance.

For the longest time, there was a great haunted house candidate, an old gothic looking farm house with two stories and an attic under a steep roof.  A bramble was taking over one side, and parts of the porch were sagging.  For a while ten years ago, it looked like it might it might be salvagable, but it simply became more and more weathered.  Some time last year it was knocked down, because it's gone now.

The rain has returned for the autumn, and the clouds scud the grey clouds skud over the coastal hills.  As we get closer to Corvallis, Mary's Peak comes into view, its top in a white cloud.   We drive past old oaks, toppled in last year's storm.  There aren't any raptors visible today.


Sunday Workout:  It's a rest day or two, I'm not sure if mowing the lawn counts.

Project:  Finishing up the OTP "Property" challenge story.  I have the ending roughed in.  Now I need to polish it up.  I wrote the majority of it in SimpleNote on the iPad.  There's something to be said for being able to work on something where ever I have the iPad, but there's also something to be said for working on a larger screen, too. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Journal: Sept 26, 2014

Project:  OTP "Property" Challenge
WD:  560 words in about 60 minutes.

Very tired this morning.  I channeled my inner Alethea Kontis and forced myself to write.  OK.  So, I didn't actually have my butt in a chair and I wasn't exactly at a desk; I was propped up on the couch and my eyes were closed some of the time, but I managed to keep my focus going and write words.  I'm going to have to finish this manuscript this weekend, because the deadline is looming.  

Workout:  160 calories in about 12 minutes plus weight clinking.  I'm trying to find a good triceps workout that doesn't make the tendon stretching through the outside my elbow joint feel strange, but so far the suggestions haven't worked or I'm doing them wrong.  Otherwise, my Wicked Plan to Look Good Naked (And Conquer the World!) appears to be (mostly) on track -- the hard part is eating less junk food so the spare tire around my middle melts away.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Journal Entry: Sept 25, 2014

Project:  OTP "Property" Challenge
Word count:  640 words in about 60 minutes.  Some very minor editing.

Starting with a blank file and working backward from multiple endings.  Still not completely happy with the ending... but it's getting there.  It probably needs to be less talking heads.  This flailing around is what I get for writing by the seat of my pants.

Reread the story draft before I went to be to try to sleep on the story.  As I was drifting to sleep my mind immediately played back old pop songs.  Not helpful.  I did dream something, but all I have this morning is a sense that something important or interesting happened.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autumnal Musings

Autumn and rain have returned to the valley.  The ground in our backyard has been so dry the last few weeks that we've had big cracks in the garden, and I hope the rain closes things up.  I think the only way we could fix the cracks permanently would be to bring in a truck of soil and sand and replace all the clay in our yard.  

It's the new moon.  New moons are sometimes difficult for me--as I've written before I want to be mystical and prophetic during new moons, but I end up feeling sleepy and depressed.  Especially when I get story rejections.  I was looking ahead at various astronomical  events, and I noticed that for the next few quarter days (winter solstice, spring equinox), there's a new moon.  The full moons fall a little after the traditional cross quarter days (Halloween, Ground Hog Day).  If I were very clever, I would submit stories so that the editorial response happens during the full moon, and then I could be manic about rejections acceptances!

It's always amusing for me to read Dion Fortune's accounts of her equinoxes, as she would stay up all night keeping some sort of vigil and writing about the dangers of the time of flux -- I never quite understood what she was darkly hinting at, and suspect it has something to do with polarity:  with everything being equal she'd feel like all of her mystical cosmic batteries were uncharged; it's very different from the equinox rituals of the later Neo-Pagans celebrating balance and harvest.

Fall term at the university is starting soon; the new students arrive tomorrow and suddenly the campus will be filled with eighteen and nineteen year olds.  Already the foot, bicycle, and automobile traffic is becoming congested, and I expect pandemonium tomorrow.

Wednesday mornings are frequently skip days.  Tuesday night is Wordos night, and usually we go to the local bar and grill afterward for food and drinks and discussion.  Last night's discussion was focused on writing the feminist agenda in fiction, identity politics, and using writing to change the world.  I'm not sure how one sets out to write political fiction which works as fiction.  I believe that writing should be more about expressing one's experiences, the human condition, and telling a good story, and less about a manifesto... although I've enjoyed many of Sheri S Tepper's novels, so I think it can be done.  

The down side to post-Wordos socializing is that I end up staying up past 10 PM, and then the next morning is difficult.  I'm always tempted to drink more tequila than just one drink, and on those occasions when I channel my inner Alfred Doolittle, I'm always regretting the lost productivity the next morning.

Project:  Uh? Project? Blaming an emergency at work for cutting into afternoon writing ...

Workout:  150 calories in 12 minutes.  Plus weight-clinking with some increased reps.  (I lost momentum skipping Monday's workout)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Journal: First Day of Autumn

It's the first full day of Autumn.  It was supposed to rain, but I don't think it has here.  The last two mornings have been grey and cool, and while the leaves are turning red and yellow, many trees are still green.

Project: OTP "Property" Challenge
Word Count:  about 500 new words and some editing in 90 minutes.  The ending really needs work.  I tried to imagine the characters speaking with each other just before I went to bed, with the hope that I might dream their situation, but I had different dreams instead.

Workout:  0 -- wasn't sure what was going on with my shoulder, so I skipped the gym.   After talking with Mark, we're pretty sure that I overdid some building in Minecraft: our desktop has terrible ergonomics and I got focused on the initial foundation of a Hanging Garden of Babylon. 

In the dream department, I had some kind of traveling dream.  It wasn't too unpleasant, as the theme wasn't being lost or missing mass transit.  At one point it was the winter holidays, and I was speaking to my Grandmother Agnes (who hasn't been alive for several years) about what flowers were blooming in the snow.   The conversation started out fine, but gradually petered out and I have a sense that either the phone connection had gone out or she had put down the phone.  

This would be the fifth Talking with an Older Lady dream I've had in a row.  I'm not sure if this one is part of the same sequence, as I was doing most of the speaking.  Maybe my earlier interpretation of what the dream meant was premature.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Where's Brunhilde ?

Sunday we went to Sahalie and Koosah Falls.

We got there about 11:45, and the sun made rainbows in the waterfalls' mist.  Koosah Falls especially reminded me of the Bifrost Bridge, and so I was humming bits of the Rhinemaidens' leitmotif and Siegfried's Funeral March.

Journal: Last Day of Summer

I've managed to pull my upper trapezoid (I think) muscle or a tendon in my right shoulder.  The result is that my upper neck has reduced mobility and will send little twinges of pain down my shoulder every so often.  Woke up about four times so that I could shift and just rolling in bed really hurt.  Hot water and some stretches seem to help, but I still have reduced mobility.  I'm hoping that whatever I've done will work itself out over the course of the day.

Project:  OTP "Property" Challenge.
Word Count:  about 500 words (mostly recalling the previous night's dream) in about 80 minutes.  The ending is still not working, and feels a little preachy.

I did ask The Empress and The Hermit what dreaming Old Women was about.  While no Goddess or Sybil descended to interpret my recent dreams, I'm pretty sure that it's a desire for an older woman writer I know to have some health issues resolve so that she won't feel so badly (my shoulder issue is a stubbed toe compared to what she's been going through) and so I can study writing under her.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dream: The Old Woman Lectures

I dreamed I was going to a convention to hear an older woman speak.  (In waking life, I think she was an amalgam of Ursula K Le Guin and Kate Wilhelm).  I had A with me, and also the family cat, who was an amalgam of Machka (I love you/I slash you) and Smokey (I love you/I wash you).

The convention took place in a Hilton or a DoubleTree or possibly the MacDonald Theatre in downtown Eugene.  I remember there were some carpeted stairs we had to climb, and some glass doors we had to go through.  There was a huge crowd of (mostly, I think) women there to hear the Older Woman speak.  She was seated on a kind of round davenport or sofa, which may or may not have been on a stage.

At one point going up the stairs and through the glass doors, A and I got separated in the crowd and I had to turn back and find him (he was upset).  Then Machka/Smokey saw a mouse in the theatre, and promptly raced off to catch it.   I had to go back to the lobby to catch the cat, who was racing around in large circles.  Eventually, by placing myself on whatever path the cat was zooming on, I was able to have the cat smash into me.

I went back into the lecture hall / theatre.  The Older Woman was with two or three other Old Women getting a back massage, and I was trying to have a conversation with her, but I didn't want to sit on the circular bed she was on, because that would have made her twist on the mattress and disturbed the massage

At some point, the dream shifted to a kind of Muppet Movie.  All I really remember about it it is that the Bad Boss was named Ludo, and that I had to revive a teen aged character (who apparently was just a floating head) by putting on white Obi-Wan Kenobi robes and saying, "I am your father; search your feelings, you know it to be true.  Dress in saggy pants.  Get a tattoo.   And date that tramp of a girlfriend."  This energized the lad enough that he levitated out of the chair he was sulking in, which enabled another character to iron his brain, which was a CD.

This is the third night in a row that I've dreamed Older Women Telling Me Something.  This is a new dream development, and I've yet to figure what this symbol is trying to tell me.  I will have to pull out The Empress or the Hermit out of my tarot deck before I got to sleep and ask it to tell me what the Older Woman wants.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Journal: Wishing For Eternal Night

Saturday morning.  Earlier, as I was brewing my tea, I took a long look at the crescent moon as it sailed under Jupiter.  I'm going to miss the bright morning skies in a few weeks when the much needed rain returns.  At 5 AM, the city is so quiet and the sky is so bright with stars (and the moon), I wish that I could work underneath them all the time (even if the LED candle doesn't quite provide enough light to see the keyboard).  

Now, I'm ensconced in my writer's closet ... kind of not writing, but gearing up for it.  Darkspore, the music track, is drowning out the sounds of Stampycat Longnose and various Minecraft Shenanigans.  I've got tea, and there's enough glow from the borrowed night light (I think today's quest is for working light-bulbs for the non-working lights) to read the notes I scribbled on a manuscript to be able to transcribe them.

The other task I should do is sand the edge of the desk I installed in the writing closet some time ago.  It's sort of sharp and splintery and makes my wrists itch.

I did manage to get some very light editing in in the window of time that I had before the family (and guest) woke up.  Looking at the manuscript, there's a bit of walking (actually, an escape) to the plot (which is the result of the escape), and I'm wondering if this is two stories.  I mostly like it, and it still needs something to make it shine.

Project:  OTP Challenge
Word Count: Editing (tightening and cleaning up staging) and maybe 200 new words in about 2.5 hours.  Current MN WC is ~2500.

I'm a little sore from yesterday's workout; feeling stiff in my feet and hands.  I'm probably at the point where I should increase the weight on a few of the things that I do, because it feels like my body has gotten used to the lateral pull-down, the free dumbbell, and the sort of horizontal bench-press machine.

I had another older lady telling me something dream.  This time it was Aunt Margot, but I don't recall much beyond dreaming that we'd had some sort of conversation.  This is probably a reminder to send her a picture of the jade plant cutting she gave us a few months ago.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mark's John Thing™ Gift

Mark came back from visiting his family on the East Coast.  One of his brothers lives near Monticello, and when this adjustable magnifier was spotted in the gift shop, the response was "That's totally a John Thing."  

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a John Thing™ this wins because it's

  • got moving parts
  • optical
  • shiny
  • raison d'être is interactive 
  • has a historical connection 
  • got a Jules Verne feel to it
  • the sort of thing you'd find at Café John
  • a good prop for a savant character in a play

And, most importantly, it's a love gift.  

Journal: Writing Under the Stars

I dreamed I was talking with an amalgam of some older women I know, and they were telling me a list of mutual friends who had died.  I would ask, "Oh, and how's so-and-so doing?" and one or the other of them would say, "Oh, don't you know; they died just last month."

This morning I managed to wake up a half hour early and get my brain working on the latest story.  In the half hour or so of dosing, I came up with something that would further the manuscript along and hopped out of bed to write it.  The crescent moon was next to Jupiter, and in the southeast sky stood Orion and Taurus; the Pleiades were in the zenith.

I decided to work outside under the stars. Being wrapped in blankets and quilts keeps me seated and typing; and if the family wakes up extra early it's less intrusive than when I'm sitting in The Burridge Chair  

Project: OTP Story
Word Count:   500 to 700 words and some editing in about 90 minutes.

I was cringing to "Newsies" -- I have a low tolerance for what I perceive as power chord ballad after power chord ballad, the shouting, and the broken English and accents, which then get lodged in my head -- when Mark accused me of  liking similarly repetitive and inane music.  "It's like the samovar calling the kettle black."

Workout:  160 cal / 120 minutes + various weight clinking.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sept 18 Journal: There Will Be Cats

Workout:  150 cal / 13 minutes on the rowing machine.  Usual weight clinking routine.  Tried some inclined triceps reps, but I'm not sure I did them the right way.

Project:  OTP "Property" Contest
Word Count:  about 200 new words, lots of editing.

Not the world's most productive morning, I think.  I got up a little after 5, but I wasn't properly awake until a little before 6.  Editing always feels like it takes longer than it should, and since I'm not creating new words, it feels like I'm just dinking around with text.  The story is following traditional folktale structures and I need to mix it up a bit.  

I sat inside, in the Grandpa Burridge Chair, figuring out tea placement and negotiating with Smokey where he would sit while I write (he becomes a bit of a pest the closer it gets to his 7 AM breakfast); as soon as he figures out, "Oh, the taller human is writing" his routine will be to go perch on top of the CD rack and play vulture and pounce on Mark when Mark wakes up. But today he kept batting my legs to try to get my attention.  

Some days the words flow more than others I guess.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Egyptian Bedtime Fanfair

Yesterday I ate something for breakfast that upset my stomach.  So after Wordos I had some soda to try to calm it and ended up staying up later than I should have.  The result was that, predictably, I slept in until 6:40.

Project:  Dream Journalling:  400 words in about 20 minutes.

Several dreams last night.  The most fun image was when the Queen of Egypt, dressed in a fabulous wrap around dress of blue with raptor wing feather motifs, retired for the night.  Standing in the hallway to her bedchamber was a line of about twenty women with curving horns with great wide bells playing a fanfare.  Behind the horn chorus, the wall showed a painted frieze of women with shields (or else horns), the main pattern being an Egyptian red circle, with a wide black rim, repeating with each painted woman.   Later, the dream involved a two-foot-wide blue crystal ball the Royal Egyptian family used for scrying -- my point of view changed to someone looking out of the watery depths of the crystal at them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dream: Train and Sand

Project:  OTP Story
Word Count:  500 words in about 50 minutes.

Project:  Dream Journaling
Word Count:  700 words in about 50 minutes.

Vaguely unpleasant dream last night (I'm guessing that between the cat and a slightly unsettle stomach, I defaulted to the floating anxiety dream format).  It started out as a Dr. Who dream and there was lots of being chased and chased off in it.  The most interesting image was a steam locomotive which was chugging across the sky without any rails, and a glass goblet that filled up (don't ask me from where) with sand.  When the goblet filled completely, it exploded in glimmery, shimmery, slow motion and teleported the protagonists elsewhere.

Even though this wasn't the cheeriest of dreams, I wrote it down in an effort to encourage my dream recall to improve.  I'm also hoping that if I take the time to write my dreams down, I'll have more pleasant, fun, and magical dreams (instead of ones filled with unfocused menace, labyrinths, and (missed) airplanes).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Renaissance Weekend

This was a slowish weekend for us.  Saturday was a rest day, we didn't go much of anywhere or schedule any events.   I used the time to write in my Writer's Closet and Mark worked on his bonsai.  

Sunday, all of us were going to go to the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire, but Mark wasn't feeling so well, so he stayed home.  I hadn't been to the faire in about three years.  It was a little strange going to it as a civilian, mostly because I usually travel in the late afternoon and the road looked different.  The fair was fun, and I saw many old friends.  What I like most about the faire are things like dancing, playing chess, and the string and recorder music.  OK, and the belly dancers.   

From the writing journal:  

Project:  OTP Challenge (OMG, I can't believe this almost slipped under the radar.)
Word count: 650 words in about an hour.

Project:  Cyborg Fairy Tale
Word Count:  about an hour's worth of editing in Scrivener.

Project:  Marketing.
Got a rejection, visited Duotrope and caught up some other rejections.  Went to my personal backup story tracker and entered data into mailcall db.  Edited Urban Fantasy Magazine bio to include links.  About 40 minutes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Food of Life

I need to photograph my weight clinking workout sheet.

I've been hitting the gym for about six weeks.  After a couple of lost pounds, my weight seems to be staying the same.  I think some of my fat rolls have diminished, so I'm hoping that the muscles that are appearing on my arms account for the weight.  The rowing machine continues to be fun, and the digital readout suggests that my normal pull rate has gone up from about 550 cal/hour to about 650 cal/hour.

The only down-side to the increase in exercise is that I'm having weird food cravings.  Last week, I wandered through the store silently asking the food, ala Starhawk, "Is this the Food of Life?"  I think the Food of Life had salt and fat.  Or maybe protein, although it wasn't the bacon calling me.  I settled on piccante Gorgonzola, which was a spicy mistake; I really wanted dolce Gorgonzola.  Except, I think that was wrong, as well.  Eating is approaching a C.S. Lewis "Discarded Image" endeavor because after the feast I don't feel satisfied.

Oh well, I guess I'll stick with the celery and peanut butter.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Auroras, Princesses, and Writing

Last night Mark suggested that we go out at try to see any Aurora Borealis.  Arthur had misheard us, and thought we were going to some place called the "Aurora Bora Palace."  This led to a few jokes involving Madonna's Erotica album (by which time Arthur had fallen asleep, and presumably didn't hear).  

We drove North about 20 miles.  As soon as we got past the airport, the sky became much darker.  We saw the constellation Cassiopeia, and the Big and Little Dippers, but no aurora.  The lake we thought we'd park by was too dark for us to find, so after driving along various back roads, and heading out on 99E, we finally pulled off the road and a few feet onto a field.  The Milky Way was out and bright, but there was no aurora.  Mark was uncomfortable parking on the edge of a farmer's field, so we only stayed about five minutes and then wound our way to I-5 and back home.

Mark got up twice during the night, but didn't see any aurora.  I got up at 5:30ish, and also didn't see any aurora.  While my tea was brewing, I did manage to watch the ISS fly through Orion and past Jupiter.  I wrote outside under the stars and the moon until the family awoke, at which point I moved into the writer's closet. 

Before I went to bed, I set up the tea and wrote a few opening lines for the file that I'd work on in the morning (today).  This story is a little challenging, because it's taking some more erotic turns than I originally thought it would.  I almost got stuck, but I wrote "What are you afraid of?", then had one of the characters address the question, and managed to move beyond it.  I shouldn't be surprised the story is getting a little sexy/gritty, given that  I'm trying to write a story that hits most of the points made in "Fairytale Queens" which spent a chapter or two on the queen's reproductive role as a engine of dynasty.   My story is also about identity and agency, so I need to sit back and bring out those aspects more so that it doesn't turn into mere titillating eye candy with narrative bits thrown in.

The other difficulty writing it is that the fairy tale voice is out of vogue, and generates critiques of passive vote and narrative summary.  Also, I have to make sure that I break out of the fairy tale habit of reinforcing patriarchal values (a princess only has worth as a producer of male heirs).

In terms of process, journalling my writing has brought home how little I actually write.  I thought I was spending more time, but between not jumping out of bed at 5AM, stumbling around with tea and set-up, it's usually 5:30 or 5:45 when I start typing words.  I'll take the hours when I can, but if I really want to get two hours of writing in a day, that means setting things up before hand, getting up at 4:45 in order to be wrting at 5, and writng quietly before the family wakes up.  No e-mail, FB or Girl Genius.  I also need about 8 hours of sleep; if I stay up too late (past 9PM) it's a heck of a lot harder to get up, and I spend the first hour just waking up.  

Critique:  about 80 minutes.

Project:  Cyber Fairy Tale
Word Count 1350 words plus editing in about three hours + some not well tracked editing 

Workout:  150 calories in about 13 minutes, plus the full clinking weights routine.  Plus I did some back stretches on a pool floatie thing.   I'm pretty sure this yesterday was the first time I've experienced "See Tarzan, Hear Jane" at the gym where it hasn't been me (well, at least for me the Jane part).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Call of Portland

We just learned that some friends of ours who have lived in Eugene for the last fifteen years are moving away to Portland.  It's job related and we're sad to see them go, because we do things with them; they're nice, intelligent, dynamic people.

I'm hoping we'll be able to stay in touch.  Portland is about a two hour drive away, and the saying in Eugene is "water only flows down-hill," meaning it's typical for Eugene friends to visit Portland friends, but not the other way around.  It seems we've a lot of friends who've recently moved to Portland.

Mark and I sometimes think of moving to Portland, and the discussion usually goes something like, "The great thing with Portland/Eugene is that it's a large/small urban center/college town.   The problem with Portland/Eugene is that it's a large/small urban center/college town."  

From a professional writing standpoint, Portland has the advantage of being the seat of SFWA, and going to OryCon would be a zillion times easier.   Going to Seattle for Clarion events wouldn't have a five and a half hour car ride associated with it, either.  I'd miss the Eugene Wordos, though.

From a personal standpoint, and looking ahead, when my parents get older, visiting and caring for them them in Corvallis will be easier to do from Eugene than doing so from Portland.  (Pause to imagine complicated elder care arrangements and co-habitations...) 

Ah well.   On a completely different front, my hair has developed a fan base on campus.

Project:  Cyborg Fairytail
Word Count:  about 300 new words plus editing over an hour

Workout:  about 150 calories in 12 minutes, plus clanking machines.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sept 10 Journal

Project:  Cyber Fairy Tale
Word count:  500 words in an hour

This morning I wrote out on the deck underneath Sirius, Orion, Taurus and the Pleades.  The sky was clear and black, and the moon dimmed the lesser stars, which made the constellations clearer.  As I wrote, the sky became greyer, then a pale turquois.  My neighbor woke up and clattered pots around in her kitchen.   And then the previous night's merriment asserted itself and I rested on the couch.

Last night's portmanteau:  pumpkininity

Workout:  Yesterday was a rest day.  As it progressed, it became apparent that I had done my lateral pull-downs too quickly (or something) Monday, as my trapezoids and (I think) deltoids were sore.  So now I'm not sure how much of yesterday's soreness was the morning clouds.

I dreamed I was sky diving ... sort of.  It was more of a class than an actual dive, although at one point, I was floating about under canopy as if I were driving a car.  

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Humidity, Joints, and Non-Productivity

Arg.  I woke up at 4 AM -- I think my shoulder might have woken me, as it was cold and achey.   I should have popped out of bed and started to write.  I think next time I will.  Woke back up again at 5AM, stumbled into the living room, and promptly collapsed on the couch.  I felt tired and a little sore, and wondered if I'd worked out a little too hard the previous day.

I  proceded to have a dream about Perter Capaldi's replacement as the ten an a halfth Doctor, who was kind of a jerk.  The dream was set in a kind of cabin in the woods, which was supposed to have been cleaned by sub-letters, but wasn't exactly.   I had some sort of conversation about scheduling last minute work with someone while floating down a combination of a river and Oak Creek Drive in Corvallis.

At 6:30, I managed to haul myself off of the couch, opened the front to let Smokey in, and into the kitchen to start some tea.  While the water heated up, I went outside and looked at the sky.  The clear sky the moon had shone in last night was gone, replaced by steel grey clouds and patches of turquois.     While I'm glad for the autumnal weather, the tightness in my joints now had an explaination.

Then, working on a critique, I managed to make a silly mistake with file versions.  

So I'm calling this morning's productivity a bust.  CRITIQUING:  10 minutes of straightening out files.

Monday, September 08, 2014

There Will Be Cats

I managed to get up at more-or-less 5AM.   The previous night, in a rare fit of planning, I laid out my kettle, tea and spoons so I didn't have to wander about the kitchen, blearily reminding myself what steps to follow to brew tea.

This morning,  I was being a bit of a wuss and I decided that it was too dark, cold and chilly to write outside -- so I wrote inside.   It didn't quite go as I had planned.

I've recently become the owner of a Morris chair that once belonged to my grandfather.  I've always dreamed of owning it.  Its arms are exactly the right length, and if I had any complaint about it at all, it's that the legs are a little lower than I would normally like.  Every time I sit in it it feels like I'm sitting in the captain's chair on the Enterprise.  Unfortunately, while it's a wonderful chair to read in, it's not so great for writing:  there's no good place to rest the keyboard, and I don't have a properly placed tray or table to prop up my mobile device.

I also didn't count on the cat.  Smokey thinks the chair is his chair, too; so I spent some time either typing with a cat resting on my left forearm or convincing him to not jump up on my lap.  By the end of the session, I'd curled to the left to better see what I was editing, and he settled for sitting Sphinx-like on the right arm rest.

Edited for about 70 minutes (out of 90).  Firmed up a scene.  The intro suffers from "driving to the plot," and I need to bring the conflict in sooner.  I'm pretty sure I'n not engaging in too much Tolkien Sclerosis.

Continuing on the Smokey Front:  He decided to perform one of his super-sonic charges through the house and zoomed from our bedroom, through the living room, across the breakfast nook, and outside onto the deck.  The fact that the screen door to the deck was closed was, apparently, a small impediment--and we now have a new cat door.

Workout: Various stations.  150 cal / 12 minutes on the rowing machine.  Judging from various indicators, the most obvious how swimming felt Sunday, I'm fairly happy with the results I'm seeing.  I don't seem to be losing any weight, so I'm assuming some of my new muscle mass is off-setting fat loss.

Sunday, September 07, 2014


Editing:  about 45 minutes.  Moved text around from a Very Very Rough Draft to a Not Quite As Rough Draft.  About 2200

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Work Journal


Christmas holiday craft project:  3 hours.  Finished up design in Inkscape, imported it into Blender, tweaked it into 3 dimensions, then exported it to Shapeways.  Had to tweak and re-tweak the design to thicken walls and make the object 4 inches across -- but still, as an object, the $17.00 price tag to produce it kind of makes it prohibitively expensive.  I'd secretly planned to maybe sell these things in the Holiday Market, but the mark-up would probably price me out of any sales.  I'm beginning to understand why most of the decorations I'm seeing are made out of very thin plastic instead of ceramic material.   I might be able to bump the price down to $10 or lower by embossing instead of having raised ridges.

Mark has voice his opinion on spending lots of money to 3D print pretty useless things on Shapeways.... so I might have to be satisfied with porting the design to a paper cutter and having a papercraft gift.

Writing:  30 minutes and about 350 words. 

Work-out:  About an hour.   Did the row machine (170 cal / 15 mintus) and various upper body machines.  My trapiziod muscles and upper right shoulder are twitchy, so I was extra careful with the things that used deltoids.


More writing:  90 minutes and 1150 words.  Very rough stuff.  Now onto editing.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Writing Journal

At some point, Mark got up and let Smokey out of the house (I'm not sure if he was tossed out or not), and I had mostly uninterupted sleep.   Managed to get up at 5:05AM.  I dreamed ... something, but I can't recall it other than it was more pleasant that the previous night's dream.  I'll need to keep a pad and pencil handy since it seems my recall has gotten out of practice.

About 700 new unedited words for a photo prompt story in about an hour's time, bringing the total to a little over 1400 words of a Very Very Rough Draft.   And a very open outline.

On the time management front, the little app I downloaded is nice, but the free version only allows for tracking two projects... which makes it good for tracking generic things, like writing or critiquing; but not so good for tracking many projects.  You get what you pay for.. and I will look around see about maybe just using a log book (which I bought a while back for tracking writing anyway).  

On the fitness front, I'm trying to decide if my right shoulder is simply tight or if my deltoid or my tricept or whatever that tendon running over the top of the scapula is called is stressed.  The gym seems nice, although I almost did have to run screaming from the place when the stero started playing Rod Stewart.  That's really the only downside of the place: inscessant 60's and 70's music.  One of these days I'm going to get in trouble because someone's going to ask me to stop singing along or else a particularly funny song is going to come on (like yesterday) and I'll have to keep from laughting so hard that I drop a free weight on my foot.

However, about six or seven weeks into the whole clinking weights thing, I'm (and more importantly, Mark is) seeing results in terms of increased muscle mass.  I'm still waiting for my metabolism to point out to my muscles that there's this little resovoir of paunch that it needs to consume, and I have a feeling that it would disappear more quickly if I drank more water and less soda.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Sleep, Projects, and Tracking

Last night was not a good night for sleeping.  I got focused on an Inkscape project that I wanted to finish and the next thing I knew, it was 9:40.  When I managed to fall asleep, I had several unpleasant dreams -- I don't recall the content, only that they were unpleasant, so I'm going to guess they involved (not) using mass transit to get to a family gathering (probably a funeral).  Then the cat decided to throw up at 2AM, so I got up and cleaned that.  Anyway, this is a long way of saying that I pulled myself out of bed at 5:55 instead of 5:00 and blearily edited a scene from a short story set at a beach.

Project:  Triton Motel
Word Count:  about 200 edited words.

I'll have to see how to track that.  Yes; it's true.  I started using a project timer to see how much time I spend actually writing, editing and critiquing.  I'm not sure how many projects the app I downloaded can handle, so I might start tracking things like playing with Inkscape and Blender, too.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Post Stay-cation

For the last couple of weeks, I've been on a stay-cation.  I always think that I'm going to get more writing done than I actually do, and in some ways I'm looking forward to the induced discipline of having to schedule writing into the demands of the Day Jobbe and family.  

I did get out more than I usually do--I entertained various friends, saw Guardians of the Galaxy and watched some other moives on Netflix.

I did manage to wake up around 6:30 most days, but I became somewhat crepuscular, and I could tell that I really wanted to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning and sleep in until 9 or 10.

But now it's time to get back into the swing of autumn.  I think I've got a few more weeks of being able to write outside on the patio before the weather turns beastly wet.

This morning's story:  glass sphere photo prompt story.
This morning's word count: 742.