lenora_rose: (Baby)
So; this is how the week has been:

Saturday:

- I turn 40. Celebrating with family is put off until next day because Mom is sick, and we all suspect that won't be long enough.

Sunday:
- Nice church service. Family celebration put off again until Tuesday. Not surprising. Alex is a bit fussy from a long-running running nose, and Wilma asks a couple of times if he feels warm to me, and he doesn't, any more than usual, I think.

Monday:
- First day at my new job, a few weeks' term position for a company that makes pharmaceuticals. ("All" I'm doing is sorting and documenting and other paperwork tasks). This day is pretty much all training meetings: First an intro to the company and its vision, then health and safety, then Good Manufacturing Practices (And why they exist; the long history of how and why the regulations for pharmaceuticals exist, including everything from snake oil up to the person who tainted Tylenol on store shelves). Then good documentation practices, the only part directly relevant to me, I hope, health and safety being the sort of thing you need to know but where you don't want to have to use the knowledge.
- I get home to learn Alex has been feverish, very fussy and altogether not well. He throws up a bit in the evening before supper.
- Regardless, I get to go out and do the planned birthday thing with some friends, which is essentially go to Baked Expectations for dessert. I bypass my entire general favourite category of dessert (cheesecake!) of which they have many excellent ones, in favour of a hazelnut meringue torte. The hazelnut meringue part is amazing. The hazelnut buttercream filling is excellent but starts feeling very heavy at the end. I give it 8/10, would order again, but maybe to split a piece with someone.

Monday Night/Tuesday Morning:
- Alex is very fussy and ends up sleeping with me in bed from midnight or so on. Around 3, he starts wriggling and kicking and being very awake, so I move him from where he's kicking Colin to the other side of me (Also so he can try to nurse a new side) ... and he promptly throws up instead. Clean up, temperature taking, anti-fever meds, and a long slog to convince him to go back to sleep ensue. He falls asleep after 4:30, but before 5.
- Fever was 103.1, enough we know he's going to the doctor in the morning, not enough to run him to Emergency on the spot.

Tuesday:
- Work starts giving me real work. Yay! Also, there's a lot of what's effectively self-directed on computer training to do. I am closer to zombie-like than I would like to be on my second day, but it seems alright.
- Colin takes Alex to the doctor around lunch; the doctor sends him for blood tests and asks for a urine sample to be dropped off next day. I contemplate the logistics of getting such a sample from a 15 month old; my best suggestions is tell him we're going to give him a bath, and stand him naked in the bathtub for about 30 seconds (water in tub optional).
- Later, the doctor calls back, and says that the fever (103.6) plus the elevated white blood cell count means Alex should be seen by emergency. Which Colin has to do, me being at work at the time.
- At least this means I can go for my usual run with Joseph... although Joseph does in fact make this a bit less fun when he both tries to run down to the river in the park without me, AND has a minor accident (The kind that means he needs to change his pants, not the kind that means he's hurt or upset). While the fire pit near the river is a frequents spot for some of the transitory and homeless populations and that meant that this time he was being watched before I got there, "Down to the river" is really a place I do NOT want a 4-year-old with a tendency to run off to ever get the idea it's safe or permissible to go alone.
- Colin and Alex stay at the hospital until past 1 AM. this at least means I get 4 hours of unbroken sleep first, before they get home and I nurse and settle the baby in bed.
- Alex, alas, had been catheterized and given a battery of tests (as Colin put, it, probably the worst day of his life to date) while they tried to find out what was wrong. They eliminated many possibilities but didn't yet have a concrete diagnosis; some tests take longer to resolve. They're expected back the next day.

Wednesday:
- More work. I'm more awake and getting the hang of the general idea, though there are a lot of things about how a typical day will go that aren't gelled yet. I also chose an earlier start (eek) and end time, because the earlier end time works better for seeing the boys.
- Colin takes Alex back to the hospital. More tests, more items eliminated. Alex is home before I am.
- Alex seems on an upswing; lower fever, and some cheerful play. Right up until bedtime, when he gets warm, gets fussy, and is up late. And up a LOT. Basically it feels like a reoccurrance of the worst of things, though he does not, in fact, throw up in the bed this time.

Thursday:
- Would have been an employee appreciation day, over at Investors Group Field (The football stadium), except I call in "Baby sick". The manager's remark was, "If you're going to miss a day, this is the day to miss."
- This means when the doctor calls and says Alex has signs of bacteria in his blood, and we should go to the hospital, it's my turn.
- The good news is, this also means they can start giving in an antibiotic because they know antibiotics as a genre are the thing to do. Details about whether the antibiotic is a resistant strain left as guesswork. Less good; the IV comes loose in the last few moments (while flushing out) so it can't stay in to the next day. Which means more needles for the repeat dose, hurrah.
- Alex seems to start feeling better, but also he and I get a nap in the afternoon. His fever by nightfall is borderline maybe-still-there maybe-not.
- and as a minor insult-to-injury, my brother has been sick a couple of days by this time, so even if we'd wanted to push Alex, we couldn't do the family gathering.

Friday:
- Canada Day!
- Starts off with ANOTHER trip to the hospital and another shot of antibiotic. On the plus side, his fever seems to be gone at last, and this was more like a routine doctor's visit, even if it happens in the emergency ward. And the IV stayed in.
- Taking Joseph on his usual run is not nearly so usual, as it weaves us in and out of the Osborne Canada Day stuff. He really doesn't like the crowds but did seem to like his ice cream sandwich. He tried some bouncy castle type stuff (Even said an explicit yes to trying one. Explicit yesses are less than 3 weeks old at this point and usually meant), but was less than wholly delighted after all.
- the fireworks go off shortly after Alex woke and fussed anyhow, so he fell asleep not long after they ceased without being overly troubled.

Saturday:
- the LAST shot. The last hospital visit. We go home with a prescription for more antibiotics. (And they call to confirm Sunday that it's not going to be resistant to the change in medication.)
- I get to do a get-together with my brother and some friends for my birthday. Not quite the long since cancelled family gathering but great anyhow. Alas, the Indian place we wanted to go for dinner was closed for some event (My first thought seeing the saris through the window was a wedding but it could have been any kind of banquet) so we had to make do with good burgers. Nice but not the same...



This week, incidentally, is no better for busy-ness, even if it's much more cheerful and much less fretful - work is settling in nicely, and the real project is starting to take over, but also, it's Folk Fest time. I was on shift at the fest today, I'll be at work tomorrow, and on shift volunteering again on Friday at the crack of seven AM.

This will be the first time EVER I have been working but not had the opportunity to take the Monday off.
lenora_rose: (Default)
August was a significant step up from July, though almost anything would be. And it started with one more small kick.

Context: We have (had) an RV, a rather small one. It was basically a converted van (Ford Econoline size or only slightly longer) with a raised roof so a second bed could be put in above the driver. We got this from Colin's parents for $1.00. It gave them a place to stay when in town that was on our property (sorta, see below) but not in the house, which was a good balance between making their visits easier and giving us a semblance of privacy. (the area with the spare bed in our house is separated from my private study by some shelving, not even a wall. This is Not Good for any of us.)

Thing is, our property is a lot of house and not much yard. We do have a two car driveway but even when we didn't have two cars, we used both spaces because there's not a lot of street parking.

Our neighbours' house is a rental property mostly used by seasonal workers. The main regular there, R, we get along with pretty well when we see him at all. And they have a pretty good sized parking area that's underused.

The house owners had trimmed their hedges back then left the pile of cut branches on their parking pad, a pile of wooden debris that, when our yard was a mess, other neighbours also blamed on us in their note asking us to clean up. (which we did, but often have to re-do...) So we made an agreement with R that if we cleaned those branches etc up for them, we could use that space for the RV. It's been there since the summer before Joseph was born (we turned on the engine a couple of times to make sure it would run, but that's it.)

So at the tail end of July and start of August, the property owner decided that was it and asked us to move it. Which is fair, no complaints, and he agreed to let it stay until mid-September (ie, yesterday) when the in-laws would be heading back to BC.

AND, it turns out, if we sell it, R wants to buy it, to use when he goes up north.

But that left the dilemma, where do they stay when in town?

They'd been considering renting, but priced it out and looked at the Winnipeg market and didn't like either. They considered also buying a condo, but for at most 3-4 months of the year in use (2 months most summers, and some extra weeks as needed, usually just for mom-in-law), went nope.

They then looked at our house, at the amount of money they were considering, and said, "if we give you this, you could do the next big stages of renos you were considering. Would that possibly work out?"

...

yes. yes it would.

So, we have plans. It starts with redoing the half-bath on the main floor (the only part of the main floor under current consideration), because there will be a lot of plumbing done anyhow, and it's the one most guests use, so it should be pretty.

Then it involves a nigh-complete rearrangement of the upstairs floor. (Joseph's, later to be Joseph and Alex's, room will remain unchanged).

-Colin's computer alcove and our closet will become a significantly smaller but completely separated study for me.
-Our master bedroom will be a guest bedroom/sewing room.
- The bathroom will be enlarged by about 6-8 inches to fit a better bath, and redone.
- The chunk of my study right up against the bathroom will become an ensuite bathroom with a shower stall.
- The hall alcove across from the bathroom, and a part of my study adjacent to that will be a laundry area.
- The last bit of my study and the entire back storage area will become Colin's and my master bedroom.
- My much-neglected pottery stuff, which is occupying a lot of that back room now that isn't sewing stuff, will go in the basement where the laundry was, where it's sufficiently separated from Colin's woodworking stuff that I think we can live in harmony - we could even have a door or curtain. (the reason I wanted to set it up upstairs anyhow, before the back room got turned into as much of a sleeping space as it is.)

I will need to reduce my books and even more, reduce the depth of my shelf space (most of my shelving units are 12" deep and that won't do in a smaller room) but I definitely do not mind a smaller room. And while it's tricky to do reno projects around a curious pre-schooler, Colin being home allows for doing more stuff himself to save on money. He's fully capable, as demonstrated last time, of drawing up the plans, and he has a fair chunk of those done. He's already started on taking out the remains of the chimney that does nothing but cut into the bathroom space, and the plumber was by for initial estimates and to arrange times to start each phase of his work. (plumbing is not a DIY part of renos like knocking down walls -- at least not parts that involve moving and adding stacks. Colin feels up to putting in the shower stall we bought, and that level of plumbing.)

Anyhow, so that will be the big project going forward. We're not likely to have it far enough along to matter for my mother-in-law's next visit, in a month and a half (IE,. she'll still be sleeping in the current spare room) but we should be through at least the lower bathroom and working on the others.

I've mostly been boxing up a few of my books and starting to unearth my desk from the crud and papers. My main job this time around is almost certainly going to be keeping two small boys.
lenora_rose: (Default)
It's been a long week. At the tail end of a long month. I am so totally not feeling Christmas is here.

Colin's aunt passed away earlier in December of pancreatic cancer - it was a decline of about a month, sharp and fast as these things go. In a way, it was as good as such a thing can be; it lasted long enough for a lot of out of town kin to come in and say goodbye, and short enough she didn't suffer horribly. She actually passed on in the presence of her brother (my father in law) and a friend - literally the day he returned to Winnipeg to help with funeral arrangements and packing away her apartment. Her funeral was well attended and there was a lot of sincere respect and love expressed, from family, from people who worked with her, people who went to church with her, friends in the community, people she volunteered with. She was 83.

We usually spent Boxing Day with Colin's aunts, and found a day on the Easter weekend, and some other occasions. He visited slightly more often to help with her computer issues, or other things of that nature. She wasn't a huge presence in my life specifically, but she was the one of Colin's kin we saw most often after his parents.
_____________

This week in particular was mostly about being sick. I took Joseph to Children's Hospital last Friday for a false alarm (He'd got into a bottle of Tylenol, but there was, it turns out, only one pill left in it; the one he took out of his mouth and offered to me still intact when I found him).

Thanks to the 2 hours and up of waiting surrounded by 20 other kids and their parents, he picked up a flu bug from someone. I'm pretty sure it was there and not as school earlier the same day, but of course it could be either.

So yeah. Fevers, aches, and while the worst only lasted a day or so each, the cough lingers. Ever had a cough while 6 months pregnant? Let's just say you spend a lot of extra time on the toilet because the bladder is already under serious pressure.

So we were well enough yesterday to feel up to getting to a friend's Christmas party and not worrying too hard about infecting the whole room. I REALLY hope I'm right about that> otherwise I owe most of the people I like best some serious apologies.

Also, I don't know if I'll be up to singing for the Christmas Eve service, because between this and the family stuff, I've missed all but one practice this month AND I don't know how I'll be cough-wise by Christmas Eve. (And the one practice I *Made* it to I had to pass over a favourite alternate activity to get to.) So argh.

I'm not a soloist, I don't think *the choir* will lose a lot for my absence, but I did want to end my singing with them with the big day, and it meant something to *me*. Because I've been losing breath control rapidly as I get more pregnant, so I wasn't really intending to press on in the new year.

I'm not even sure we'll make their Christmas party tomorrow. Because we kinda pushed our limits this weekend.

At least the Christmas Eve service is early enough i think I'll make it to See it.

____________

We're also not doing anything resembling the family get together with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. For several different reasons, nobody is up to hosting, and some aren't up to attending. Not doing Thanksgiving, as we didn't, is one thing - we've missed that before as a family. But Christmas and Easter are sorta bigger deals.

____________

And, tiny and petty as it is compared to the rest, my brother and I haven't been able to do our annual shopping session together yet - it got put off to Tuesday because mom is also sick so no Joseph-minding was available Friday - and I have even less idea when I'll go shop for *him*.

____________

AND we're not doing our new Year's Eve cabin retreat, but this one I think was a good choice, and we're *hosting* a New Year's Party with the same suspects instead, possibly bookended by another friend hosting related activities to attempt to get the same "2-3 days of escape" feel. I also think we need to suggest an outdoorsy session of something during that stretch. IF it bothers to snow a bit more by December's end, instead of giving us freezing drizzle. Sledding, skiing, snowmen, quinzy-making and skating are ALL better with actual snow (Or rather, skating is better when the only ice is the ice deliberately meant to be there, not the stuff that makes you fall on the way...) Even just a quick romp through a park feels better if it's in snow proper.
lenora_rose: (Default)
For reasons probably known to just about everyone, including fellow people addicted to the damn place, I just posted a version of this message to facebook:

In the interest of sanity and actually being productive when I get writing time, I am going to attempt to avoid facebook for the foreseeable future.

I will usually get private messages, as they come to my e-mail, and ditto invites, so I may appear on the site long enough to answer those. No longer. DO NOT TRY TO CHAT WITH ME if you see me signed in even briefly. OR, if you do, send me this message "You're not supposed to be here."

Otherwise, I can be reached by e-mail, LJ and Dreamwidth comments (Even on otherwise unrelated topics), phones (including text). Just not there.

________________

This was the last nice thing to come out of Facebook, thought: A good pic of the family.

lenora_rose: Happy JoJo @ 2.3333 (YAAAY3)
I've been wanting to write a general stuff happening post but was kind of stalled by the fact that i had a heap of words sitting here in saved form on another topic. SO. Stuff happened:

JoJo:

- has been quite enjoying going to the park again, and getting outside.
- he also seems to be enjoying getting out of his clothes more. We've had a couple of interesting moments and had to get a bit more creative with his sleep gear.
- Began potty training in earnest about, oh, today.

Household:

- My in-laws are here (And were gone until yesterday for a week in Ottawa). Probably to the end of July, though the exact day of departure is still kind of open.
- The last patch of garden to be dug out this year was finally planted Today. This, a month after I should be saying this, has been par for the course for the year. The previous garden beds, done just over a week ago, have had days of morning sunshine followed by afternoon rain, or daytime sun and nighttime storm, or... from a newly planted plant's perspective, probably perfect weather, though the humans could have used less rain and more sun. It has been a coolish summer thus far, after our horrifically late spring.
- Mostly flowers this year, but we have tomatoes and cukes too (And mint). I tried a raspberry bush, but we'll see if, in its establishing year, any of the fruit makes it to humans. I may toss down some basil seeds just to see if anything comes; it's an annual here anyhow so no sweat if the season is too short for it to establish.
- Our neighbourhood bunnies include a bitty one who's possibly a baby but definitely adorable. Thus far, they seem to be favouring eating the dandelions over the plants I care about.

Family:
- My grandmother has had a steady decline in her health, and the end result is that she is now in a nursing home, albeit on the low-care end as far as they're concerned. Her mind is fine but her strength is gone and she needed a lot more help than Mom and her other children and grandchildren could give - and more than home-care alone would support. The place she's in seems nice as these things go (more after hearing someone else's story about the place her aunt is staying), with her own room and a fair amount of respect. The big disadvantage is that it's far across the city from pretty much everyone's place. She's on a waiting list for a closer one.
- Even grandma, now she's there, seems to agree this is an improvement in her life. As long as her kids continue to visit. Next step; Get her the hearing aid she was supposed to be being fitted for right when her last hospital stay began. (Literally, as in they had to cancel the appointment)
- The symptoms of tiredness etc Mom was having, and even some of the sadness she attributed to the care for her own mom, proved to be B12 deficiency, and having learned that, she's already improving, after just a few days of it. (Jeff claims placebo effect. He would. But even if he's right, I think Mom's happy at any improvement. :P )


Writing:
- A nightmare, an old story idea, and a second nightmare seem to be coming together as yetanother vague idea for novel or at minimum novella, this one about a world where everyone has one of two kinds of dopplegangers, one usually evil (Nemeses) and one usually not (Greens). And a weird creepy take on faerie and attempts to lure children away from the mortal world. And evil ice cream. For now I've been using the code name Nemesis, though the only Nemesis so far on screen is actually a good guy. I'm debating about whether he's up front about the fact or not.
- The issue I have with this is that I already have one relatively new half-baked story idea that's about perfect for using for NaNoWriMo if I want to participate again. I don't need another. But I have at least one scene to write along with all the notes I've scribbled so far before I set it aside wholesale.
- Otherwise, I have just switched from trying to make forward progress on older works and into the (much dreaded And much anticipated, at least by me) rewrite for Labyrinth. So far it's been the extremely crude cut and paste, forcing scenes into what seems like a reasonable order from the two separate files I had (there being two separate plotlines), and almost no in-scene work other than a few typos. I'm half afraid skimming over it enough to organize the scenes and move them around has already made me too aware of what's on paper to rewrite it with the harsh objectivity the job requires, but I'm gonna give it a go anyhow. (The other possibility is that it has given me the shape of the story sufficiently firmly that I know what I'm aiming for much better and can thus make my rather shoddy prose that much closer to the ideal in my head.)
- My main ambition is that by the end, I *will* have a better title, and fewer total words. (I would rather 120 than the current 150, and I know several spots I dither and the characters just talk -- I also know of at least two scenes that need writing out, alas.) I make zero promises of quality. :P

Other:
- Folk fest getting fearfully awesomely close.
- Fringe soon after. It's THAT month coming, alright.
- Life feels pretty good overall.
- Books recently finished, all pretty good: Silvia Moreno-Garcia's This Strange Way of Dying, Sherwood Smith's Banner of the Damned, Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to life on Earth.
- Smith's book took me a while; it starts at what feels like a slow pace, and it's only afterwards that one realises how very important all that puttering about in Colend and Colendi politics and romances and their more-alien-than-it-first-seems mindset is - how much MORE important than the "action", ie, violence, which the lead finds so reprehensible yet which we as readers are likely to find more familiar ground. Also, the unreliability of the narrator (who claims, correctly, to be able to state the definite truth about other peoples' opinions and perspectives) doesn't become clear, or relevant, until about halfway or more. and then it starts getting scary how much she denies - to herself - along the way down. I was actually reminded a bit of my reaction to Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, and how it felt at the start, because it was so alien, and how it took time to sink into the culture and grasp what was going on from that internal perspective (Or at least the reader/watcher's illusion thereof).

- painting the mural has been going painfully slowly (As in very few opportunities to do so) and I've mostly been working on landscape details, but here's an update pic:

lenora_rose: (Yaaaay!2)
I've been fighting a cold the last week, mostly just coughs and explosively runny nose and not being much able to sing. And extra care for Joseph, who has all of the same but less comprehension that this is a temporary state, and has needed a few more middle of the night snuggles than usual.

How a mom, or at least this mom, feels about mid-night child cuddles is probably the definition of ambivalent. When I drag myself from the bed, and he's howling and won't stop, or wriggling and flailing and refusing to settle, it's all bad, some of the worst mom-stuff that doesn't involve diapers at *their* worst. But when he settles and is lying on you because it's the one thing that makes all the sickness feel okay, and he's dropping off to sleep, warm and trusting... well. There's times you want it to linger just a bit more after he's sound asleep before tucking him back in his bed and sneaking off to get your own desperately needed sleep.

This is complicated by the fact that he can get out of his crib entirely, and has at least once found a way over the baby gate (We now have a knob cover on the door, so the latter part is solved. That it's almost the only door in the house that can *use* a knob cover was lucky, though.)

Dealing with the colds in the daytime is helped somewhat by the fact that my mother in law is here visiting her grandson (Oh, and the rest of us). Though I feel badly, because when we were at their place in November, we arrived with colds, too. The timing is coincidence, but we really didn't invite her to come to be a nurse.

Dealing with not being able to sing has complicated a second project of mine, though, which is my current pledge to practice mandolin at least 1/2 hour for every day for 55 days (Ends March 28th. As I explained, it's a purely arbitrary number based on a vaguely remembered and probably equally wrong thing about 55 days being what it takes in ingrain a daily habit (And 3 months for a habit that is not purely daily). But hey, pledging to do NaNoWriMo is arbitrary. And pledging to have to write 5000 words to allow myself a coffee flavoured drink until such time as my draft of Labyrinth was done was also successful in producing a finished draft. As of yesterday.

My last three days therefore, have been me being up past midnight to respectively:
- Finish the whole of the book besides the epilogue.
- write what I thought was the full epilogue, though I had a nagging feeling some loose end of the dissatisfying kind was straggling
- write the piece of Epilogue that I had figured out I needed to add.

AFTER which i finally scrambled to get in the mandolin practice. (I kept telling myself to get the mandolin work in firs,t and kept going, "But I just need a few more words...". I actually the think the chosen order might have got me to bed marginally sooner, because doing the mandolin practice last, I tended to stay much closer to the 1/2 hour minimum, where I might have lingered if I'd done it the other way. I'm still regaining practice and callusses both, and I'm not making my elbow explode, so I think I'm not doing the mandolin wrong by it.)
____________________

SO. I have a complete draft.

It's 150,272 words. It's much more drafty than a lot of finished drafts of mine, and oddly, most of the bits that I already know need the most revision are prior to the NaNoWriMo rush.

What the NaNo rush did on that front is prevent me from going back to do the small revisions I always do during a draft when I hit a later point that makes me change my mind about a previous one. Or where I realise there's a plot hole. Instead I just inserted notes for the most part. (There were monsters in the way a few minutes ago. What happened to them?).

There's also a LOT of dross wordage. Partly due to those not-revisions, but also when I was failing for the key plot or figuring out world-building on paper through the NaNo and post NaNo bits. (These characters stand around and TALK so damn much, and a lot of it is "As you know Bob"s I needed to write but nobody but me should ever be forced to suffer through reading.)

AND there are some plot twists on paper I'm debating dropping and possible others I'm considering slipping in. (One ends up fucking with gender. Also making one character more consistently reliable in spite of having their brain played with, and another much more bitchy and antagonistic even though they're decidedly a victim not an antagonist. Whether these are plusses remains to be seen, but it's all in character for the villain's fondness for mind games.)

I anticipate being able to make this a 120k book.

Final verdict? I think it's a solid story under all the first draft baggage. I mean, I would and should think so. But I have done a bit more attempt to pick apart the viability than just "Well, I liked it or I wouldn't have wrote it." I liked and wrote books whose immediate commercial viability I doubt, after all (Looks sadly at Raising the Storm).

It's much less bog-standard fantasy than the Serpent Prince books but in a way that might be pitchable as "fresh" not "Look, it's weird". (It's a portal fantasy - though one in which the word "Unsustainable" is directly relevant) It's MUCH less depressing than Bird of Dusk, but has some of the same urban fantasy audience accessibility with the modern world protagonists. It has a non standard heroine (or two). I think it can become a less unwieldy and unsalable length than Raising the Storm. Unlike Bird and RtS, some of the ways it's less traditional feel like things I can point to as selling points, not forces working against it. It's easier to sum up the gist of the story for a blurb, which always helps. (The fact that the heroines are lesbian and bi of course can count against it for some publishers and readers, but for it for others.)

It's also at least one significant revision from even a beta reader call, which probably means a year or even two to sales pitch time, especially as I need some time to clear my head of it (And do some relevant research) before I dive into revisions. So I'm not stopping shopping around Bird (or Serpent Prince if I get the rewrite of THAT down pat). But I think it's more likely than either to get more positive attention.

I could be wrong, but I'm content with it until the betas destroy it.
_______________

So... what's the next project? Well, #1 is actually a beta reading for a friend with a relatively short deadline. So, not writing per se, but analysis of someone else's writing is always good for the editorial muscles.

#2 is some of the research I need for Labyrinth itself. (It's all character background stuff, and I could probably leave it as fudged as I have. But could and should aren't the same.) That can be relatively ongoing until i decide it's time to do the revision though.

#3 is that I have a small hope of scraping together a working short story for one of the Eggplant anthologies, but the deadline being in March, it's a slim hope.

#4: I don't know. Back to revising Serpent Prince. Back to writing The Poisoned Tongue. Off to try another of my various partly finished projects. I was after all looking at the old OLD OLD draft of the Allerleirauh screenplay, and thinking how to make it A) a stage play rather than screen play, B) less cringe-worthy when it comes to a few racial tropes I was doing my then-best on but are horrid now C) More selkie-y, if that can even be a word and D) both better and finished. And I was thinking about Meri's tale because a story about a girl saving a god from the Fae has to have some appeal. And there's the apocalyptic one. Or ones.

#5: After whatever I choose comes the revision of the Labyrinth story.

Made it!

Nov. 27th, 2013 11:50 pm
lenora_rose: (Yaaaay!2)
Got to Kamloops safely and are having an excellent time with friends here. (Saw Pacific Rim. Awesome movie made of big explody stuff. But with real like plot and thinking. Played PAndemic twice and won twice.) But this is what I did on the bus on the way here:





50916 words. I have a ways to go on the book itself (I'm on the downhill slide and advancing on the climax... I think), but that is a whole lot closer than I was a month ago.

And I totally need an updated happy Joseph picture. He doesn't look like that one much now, a year on....

(He just had his third ever haircut. Boy did he need it. But he looked so different. I say looked because he's still in Abbotsford with grandparents.We\re away from him to Friday evening.)
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
- Today is the day the second of Colin's best friends (And his roommate, another good friend if not quite as close) leaves town within the last half year. I wish Nathaniel (and P.) well, but I suspect that there are going to be some gaps ion our world in the next while. One or both of us did get to see them four out of the last five days, so we managed a lot of goodbyes. They're going to be living in BC, not too close to Colin's parents, but near enough that when we visit, we will be able to make a trip out to see them.

- We have a kitchen sink again! (Actually, we had it in working order yesterday) This after over a week of not having one. It would have been less but Colin was sick this last weekend. In other words, kitchen cupboard installations continue only slightly behind schedule, and it will look good when it's through. Naturally, on the days my father in law can't do quite as much because Colin is gone, he's found other side projects, or we've had other things break down, or in one case, the attempt to fix a minor issue lead to discovering it's a bit more intensive a repair than first thought (That would be the main floor toilet, alas.) So he's stayed busy. And the results are decidedly worthwhile, even if we ahve had to occasionally do interesting things like figure out how to wash dishes in a pair of pots and a bathroom sink, or sort the dishes from the tools.

- JoJo managed to be green again yesterday. I turned my back while getting his breakfast ready, even though he'd made it into the kitchen (Not a place he's usually allowed, and never unaccompanied, during the reno), turned back to him, and there it was around and in his mouth. I do NOT know for sure what he got into; I scoured the kitchen for every possible source (and most of the main floor for every possible greenish substance) and found nothing at all that could turn him green, never mind nothing poisonous. (Everything dangerous that was under the kitchen sink is in the bathroom he is NOT allowed into).

Right now my best theory is that he found some small fragment of his green crayon (Most of which is up here), and it's just that, like with his first encounter with it, the colour spreads amazingly once dissolved.

In any case, he didn't appear to suffer ill effects - after I'd cleaned his mouth as best I could, I fed him breakfast, on the reasoning that if it was dangerous, diluting it was a good first step, and watched him all day for anything out of the ordinary. He was fine, though his diapers got interesting later. He's been fine today, too. But wow, it really does take no time at all...

- One of the first things I did upon getting the e-reader was to look through my own book. It's ... an interesting experience. I did find three typos, only one of which (Free reign instead of free rein, because it's a personal peeve) did I manage to report to Raechel, so if you spot the other two, which are places two words run together, let her know!

BUt the part that interested me is seeing something I wrote in 2004 but have no chance to edit or amend. Normally, there's a difference between reading my prose and someone else's. When I spot something I would want to edit in someone else's work (This happened a lot reading Tamora Pierce recently - more than it did in Illusion of Steel, and no, I am not saying I am a better writer than someone so oft-published, though it does give me a kind of hope -- we're writing for different audiences with different expectations), I know it's hands-off. When it's my own, I can simply tap a few keys and voila. Fixed. So reading a work of my own that's about nine years old, knowing I can't tweak it, gives me a little bit of an itch.

It could have used the edit. I've improved as a writer. I can see a number of ways I would tidy the prose. Mostly, as ever, tightening it up. Shaking out some of the formalities in the dialogue, so that people sound a little more natural, (or at least if they don't it's obviously on purpose).

At the same time, I'm relieved that to my eye, the plot hangs together, and overall it works as a story (Someone else can of course disagree and pick it apart. I'd be curious.) I like the dealing with the souls in the sword, and the multi-generational complexities, and the past not being left behind. I like Kanna, and her wariness and her refusal to dwell on nasty stuff, and I hope it came across to others as it does to me that it's a character trait, not a failure on the writer's part to account for the traumatic nature of trauma. I was kind of sad I hadn't been able to flesh out Daemon a bit more, but there's no room. There's no saving it from the "He's evil, I say EVIL!" of the villain, it doesn't work if he's not.

It was, as one says, the best I could do at the time I did it. It's not bad, just not ideal. I'm not ashamed of its flaws. A little chagrined longing to take it back in and see what I could make of it now is reasonable, as long as I don't actually do so. It would be stupid to refuse to forgive my younger self for being younger.

I have other stories to tell in the now.

Pics!

Apr. 30th, 2012 04:45 pm
lenora_rose: (Yaaay!)
Colin moved some of the pics. Reposting with correct urls.

Lessee. First there's the fuzzy Tardis:

With cat for sizing )

Door off but better angle )

Then there's this baby (for both grandmas: more at Colin's photobucket, all from the last 2 weeks):

April 28th, showing off his latest fashion accessory )

He inherited his talent for putting his foot in his mouth from his mother )

And a video:
My son the skirt chaser )
lenora_rose: (Baby)
Wow, that was a day.

First, there's a phenomenon they call "nesting" that tends to happen in late pregnancy. IT involves
- a brief burst of inexplicable energy
- a strong desire to help get things ready for baby.T his tends to mean that the energy gets focused on nursery prep or housecleaning (Things one otherwise has been struggling with energy-wise).

All good, right?

Well, I had my first direct experience of the phenomenon last night -- when I got out of bed at 1:00 or 1:30 to deal with a combination of restless leg and mild acid reflux. So instead of doing a few leg exercises and crashing again, I ended up sweeping out a couple of the places downstairs where the plaster had made a mess (Again), moving a few itemks around in the kitchen part of the new extension so as to make more room, and roaming between that and the middle bedroom making plans -- because even I could tell that running the shop-vac in the kitchen extension at 2:00 Am was not a good idea. So instead I quieted it by laying in plans for today.

Anyhow, I slept poorly after that, too (After I fed the cats at 7:00, I lay awake for at least an hour and a half). SO not only was I the usual backachy, I was also short of sleep and disinclined to do much but nap.

Hah.
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In spite of what I said a handful of time ago about how long things might take, this is how it went:

- While I got up and went to my latest doctor's appointment, Colin and his friend Chris Q worked on laying down double-sided tape for the flooring upstairs.
- While I came back and ate lunch, they laid down the flooring itself.
- Also, I hashed out with Colin where we'd started thinking at cross-purposes about certain things regarding what would go where for storage. And how much of a priority baseboards are. (This sort of planning and communicating happened in tandem with some of the other stuff, but takes its own time, and really is essential...)

- In spite of having no energy, I decided to start the first steps of what I'd been planning to do the night before; while they guys ate lunch, I moved some *more* things around in the kitchen extension to provide even more useful space (And a bit more room to get the dryer through to the basement), and applied the shop-vac to it so that one could get to the back door without walking on splinters of lathe, broken tile, and plaster chunks.

- Swept the upstairs hall, bringing up the pieces of the crib, and giving them all a thorough wipe-down (especially the mattress) due to plaster dust, general dust, and just being cautious. While I was doing this, the guys were cleaning out the construction related stuff in my study - then consulting me on what could be moved where to get it out of the way.

- Chris Q. vaccuumed out my study, while I washed/dusted a number of other things in urgent need of attention, in and out of study and nursery. (Like the stair rail that had gone from creamy to grey with ingrained dirt during all this summer). Including the bookshelves we were about to move.

- We all moved most things out of the nursery and either into the storage side of the new upstairs extension or back into my study (they did the bookshelves and chests, I just hauled armloads of books or small boxes). (Books are not in order; this was somehow not a priority yet. Lord knows, there will be a day or two or three coming when I obsess over it...)

- I swept out the nursery -- and stripped and moved the bed around, and actually put baby things in the dresser drawers now I could reach them -- while Colin and Chris Q cleared out the passage into the basement and hauled up most of my wheel, some shelves, most of the boxed-up pottery, and most of my working supplies. I also helped arrange/rearrange these once they were upstairs; Chris just left the boxes to me once they were in the room.

- After dinner (Which Chris made), I also mopped the nursery.

- In short, we went from three rooms which couldn't be used for their intended purposes and didn't even contain the right furniture, to three rooms that are all back to fully useable for their intended purposes, *even* conceding that none of them is completely *finished*.

Beforehand, I'd have said that this was at least two days of full-time work. More once they started digging into the basement for boxes and stuff. But most of this was done by 5:00 - actually the biggest bout was done by 4:00, after that we were slowing down. We also fit in a viewing of Kung Fu Panda 2. If we'd also got the dryer into the basement, I'd call it a full out miracle.

And thanks to my lovely timing, I did most of what I did without the benefit of nesting energy. OR any decent sleep.

My back hurts. But as I noted to Colin, it hurt when I sat still too long, too. Right now I don't think I overdid it, just that I should go to bed NOW.
lenora_rose: (Default)
So.

My back has been nigh screaming all day. I've been tired like a tired thing. I was this tired yesterday and it resulted in a nap from about 2:00 till 5:00.

And my head hurts, which it didn't yesterday.

I wimped out of work early by about three hours - which I got away with because until yesterday, that was the plan ANYWAY. (I work 2 1/2 days a week. Another woman works the other 2 1/2 days a week on the same computer, and this week, she needed to get some extra time in due to doing payroll. We found me a plausible non-computer thing to do if I had half the morale or energy or desire for pay I usually do. I don't.)

Got hand-washing done for event. Put stuff in washing machine (And dryer) for same (And so I have something to wear for work et al when I come back on Monday, really.) Brought some stuff up from basement for packing. Piled up garb & toiletries that are ready to go. Found feast gear and Herald gear. Charging up the electronics I may or may not even need, but want with me.

Still to do:

Put garb & such in bags. Probably will wait for the dryer to be done. Some of it, in fact, must and will wait for the morning, though my ride is planning to leave noonish. (Colin is not going, due to prioritizing house renos over medieval stuff. I expect real life will do that to us both a lot more in the not-too distant future. Which is part of why I do want to go. Though the lack of about 4 people I'd really want to spend time with, one my husband, who would usually go, is not encouraging.)

Finish sewing project I've been working on in lieu of writing or housework this week. (Last step: Grommets! AKA, yay for my headache. Hammering is just what I need.) POSSIBLY, but probably not, also attempt to finish the cotehardie thing I also have almost finished, but have for months (Probably over a year). Which also involves grommets if I do. (I was hoping for loops and buttons, though, and since I don't have the material for making loops, that's kind of a non-starter for this event.)

Get to the archery range and get my bow and arrows. (Generally, events go better with these things in hand.)

Attempt to memorize the melody of "The Goodman" for Bardic.

Possibly help Colin clean the basement. (This is part of house renovations; it ALSO needs to wait for the dryer to be done, as one of the things to move will be the washer and dryer. But so are a lot of my pottery supplies.)

What I really want to do: Curl up with a cat & a book or movie (or the new Doctor Who episodes I have not seen yet) and a nice cup of tea.

Hmm. At least I can have the tea.

Anyhow, See you after this weekend. I expect to: have fun, not overdo it, miss Colin, miss the cats, shoot badly, sing mediocrely. (Not bringing along the mandolins, I'm not remotely in practice enough.)
lenora_rose: (Baby)
That long since I posted. Eep! Not that the last DDOS attack on LJ helped any, since I think in the middle of it was the last time I rather wanted to.

And it sounds like the DDOS was again politically motivated, trying to silence dissent in Russia. Which... rargh. How do you even start to discuss that sanely? But it does suggest that, for every 13-year-old blurting out their life, and every Lenora Rose not saying much, there really are things this tool is useful for above and beyond the advantages of community and fanfiction I see.

The fact that I'm technically writing this in Dreamwidth notwithstanding, LJ is still where I get most of my comments and reading (Though I have journals I read on both, the majority on DW - crowdog66 is the biggest exception -- are journals I follow but who don't follow me. I still think of DW as the backup for LJ, in case the political stresses there get big enough to put the kibosh on the whole place. I don't want to have to either lost the text or scramble to save it all last minute.

Anyhow. Life.

Gestation continues. Colin and I have had the serious name discussions and the silly ones, sometimes all in one. Colin doesn't want to name our child Cornelius, but he likes to bring it up. I'm not actually quite as sure about Yorick, though he concedes it doesn't go with Patrick at all. So far I think my only vaguely silly suggestion is Gilead, which I might name a character, but not a baby. But we were having a lot of fun with initials, too (My two loudest objections to Y.H.W.H. were "Too many parents give their kids inflated egos as is." and "OH, god. That puts Yorick back int he running."), and jokes about multiplying his middle names ("We could include all the Prophets! So-and-so Ezekiel Elijah Jeremiah Mohammed ...")

So far, my second choice seems to be the front runner. The only problem I have with this is that my brain keeps trying to imprint my first choice on the baby already.

A part of me has suggested that since Colin doesn't like my first choice as much, we save it to use if something goes badly wrong and we lose him still. (Both the miscarriages ended up with names, though I'm not telling them to anyone but Colin. it's a reasonable grieving mechanism, especially for the one where I KNOW I touched it with my own hands.) But that way the name we both agreed on doesn't end up used, and he still gets a name that says eh was loved.

Yeah. I still have some pretty dreadful anxieties. Even though it's all going well.

We've made it swimming twice this week, too, which is good, both from a bit of back relief (Floatation!) and from exercise perspective.

Which leads me to a positive thing with Colin; he's been going to the gym with R., a friend of ours, most of this week. Some of it is his therapist giving him one more push, part of it is that they've been talking about it for weeks, if not more. He bought the pass during one of our swimming trips (It also gives him access to the pool, so it's only me paying day by day.) I've reminded him not to push it, and I don't think he's been exercising LONG each time, but it's a good start. My only worry is that it might continue to put other exercise forms aside. We've neither of us arched this summer. And September event isn't so far away as that.

I have my own gym thing I've been wanting to do, but for the moment, I decided that trying to figure out an annual pass with maternity in the middle was a bad idea, so I'm hoping to start a month or two after Baby is born, depending on healing, general craziness, and at what point it becomes as much a way to get out of the house for an hour or so and do something adult. I'm also thinking very much that one of the things I'm likely to be asking for at Christmas will be Mom & Baby Aqua classes.

(And there is is again. My brain is mentally substituting name choice #1 on that sentence. Bad Brain. Baby is not named. Husband DOES get input...)

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My in-laws are away this weekend, down in Morden; possibly returning tonight, possibly as late as Monday, depending on who they get hold of to visit (They weren't done phoning before they left.) Sicne no reno can really happen over the weekend at this point, this makes sense. So the house is suddenly quiet. This... is pleasant to my introvert brain.

My M-i-l is leaving us for home a week Monday. My f-i-l is staying until the renovations are done or near enough for Colin to settle for himself. Since we're still in the phase when other workers are doing the work, he's mostly acting as contractor and contact point, which is no small thing.

The Framers are done. We have the solid wood shape of our extension, including roof. The roofer and the windows are coming this week. HVAC has at least been here to make the first arrangements. Other than that, I believe it's my F-i-l and Colin doing most of the insulation and electrical and drywalling. (Back to "Sunday electricians" and the fact that, yes, I believe when it's inspected, Colin's work will be up to code.) And taking out the still-standing wall to the rest of the house, patching the floor, and putting down whatever flooring we're using. As far as I know, we haven't decided at all on interior paint colours, or flooring on either floor (Not carpet for either,t hat's all I know. And what that does to the carpeting in my study, if they're not putting BACK a wall in the new extension, which we probably aren't, I don't know. But I haven't been asked to move the computer or desk because they're on the "safe" side of the room) We only just finally picked the *siding* colour, and we'll need that rather sooner.

Some setbacks:

Our original framers backed out a week before they said they could start, but gave us an alternate who A) Could start DAYS sooner, which is a plus, B) As far as those who do woodworking could determine, did good solid work we won't have any reason to regret, and C) finished a day earlier than their original estimate. Even though one other day was a half day based on the heat last week. So. 4 1/2 days fee instead of 6. So... I can't really consider that a setback. But it sure felt like it the moment the first set backed out.

Our roofer backed out this last week - though he was supposed to start yesterday. (Even those who think he had a legit point still looked on his behaviour about it as... unimpressive. I wasn't even told he backed out until the next day, though, so I can't swear as to the validity of his reason. But it does strike me as being kind of like backing out on a wedding on the day instead of bringing up the problems at the usually numerous chances beforehand to run away.) We've had some other names recommended, but they may not be able to start as soon as we want.

________________

Writing: I kind of took time off to work on a project that was wholly for fun, but I managed to pull some good progress on Soldier of the Road yesterday.

I rather want to be able to call the book done, and have made a good way into the next, before Baby comes. It's, if nothing else, an obvious deadline...

________________

Just finished Malinda Lo's Ash. It's a good solid YA book, strongly based on Cinderella.

I had a few nitpicks. Her stepmother's motivation in turning her into a servant is never made clear. Did her father legitimately leave them in a pile of debt? It's implied that he might not have, that the real reason for selling property and any further debt is the stepmother spending their wealth on herself and on presenting her daughters as rich and attractive enough to marry. But it's not sure. And it's also not clear whether Ash could, if she stood up for herself in court, make a legitimate complaint of being defrauded. I got this nagging feeling that if anyone looked at inheritance laws and her father's will, she could have done a lot more than just walk away. Now, it's true Ash wouldn't care enough to do so, but it still felt like an unexplored corner. (I grant you, if she knew when she finally walked away that her stepmother wouldn't dare make a fuss, because if she did, **things** would come to light, it might undercut some of the courage of that step.)

Similarly, we nee nothing of her brief life with her stepmother AND her father, or much relation between her and her stepsisters. The only time we see Ana before her father's death, Ash snubs her. We don't see Clara much at all until later. Yes, Ash is absorbed in her own grief, and her stepmother doesn't help, and certainly in the long run, none of her stepfamily treat her well, even the almost-sympathetic Clara. But ... were there overtures on either side? I wanted a bit more flesh on the stepsisters.

I also felt a bit cheated at not actually seeing the fairy world at the end. I can understand why that bit is skipped; Ash has already come to all but the very end of her character arc, as has Sidhean. And we've had glimpses throughout the story. But... a part of me wanted even a few lines, even in retrospect after the fact.

But I liked the story, the writing was solid, Kaisa was an appealing romantic interest, and Sidhean was given more substance, and more legitimate lure than the cold appeal of being a fairy. I am curious about the next book.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Hmm. A while since I posted. Colin and I did our little run out of town, I went to Keycon, we watched a verra good concert with S. J. Tucker and Heather Dale and their musical teams, we've been making lots or prep work for house renovations with my father-in-law, and am now at 17 1/2 weeks, or over 4 months. Yow.

I'll try not to blather too long about any of the above, but I do have a few things I thought were interesting and/or cool.
_____________

On a writing-related note, there is *nothing* more frustrating than waiting for an answer from an agent.

To be specific, during Keycon, I got an e-mail from one agent that she'd like to see my full MS (Dance! Dance!).

So I e-mailed the agent who's had the partial for a while and might want the full -- in hopes of speeding up the response now she knows there's other interest. I thought sicne she requested the partial first, this was the appropriate order. No reply yet.

Of course, to me, this is *TWO WEEKS AUGH EEK!* but for her, I presume she's swamped with work for her current clients. (Not least because she replied to my earlier "You've had that 4 months now" with "Sorry. Swamped. I still have it, but haven't had a chance to read." (In more professional words on both sides, of course).

But really. NOW would be nice, says the writer-anxiety brain. I don't suppose anyone knows how much longer before I should push again? I really would like to be able to say something to the one who requested the full.

____________

Keycon was fun, I missed a lot of panels, and did a lot more singing. A good year, and good to catch up with a number of people I hadn't seen, especially among the filkers. I danced a bit at the social, spent a lot less time than you'd expect in the Consuites, and listened to yet more music. I was completely floored by Lanna (I THINK that's the right spelling) and Wolfgang's costume pairing of a young Steampunk scientist and his Igor, who was complaining about this newfangled steam tech and how the old days, and the lightning, were so much better. (Lanna was inside the Igor puppet, melting to death and Not Dropping character.) Also cheered Suninherhair's gorgeous dress , and a highly impressive Red Queen who used an amazing wig and makeup job to make her head look genuinely big. Did catch a good panel with Robert Sawyer, Derryl Murphy and Craig Russel (Not to be confused with P. Craig...) on writing, which was entertaining but mostly 101 level writing advice. I didn't get into the writing pitch and advice session as it was full.

More interesting, though not necessarily to his benefit, was the talk I heard by the author GoH, L.E. Modesitt. The first thing that annoyed me was how he interspersed interesting remarks with things that struck me as painfully over-generalized, especially as regards gender (Your examples of humans as a tool-using species are "Look at any man's garage and any woman's kitchen"? Really, if you'd dropped the "any", I might not have gnashed my teeth).

Although the one that really stuck for me was when he was talking about his magic system, which seems to combine magic-as-engineering, IE, people will develop reproducible results where possible, and the "You need to HAVE the innate talent to do it at all" approach. But he did concede that not everyone who has the talent has the same amount -- but most of them, except the least talented, go to the big equivalent of Engineering school, if one had no choice but to go to engineering school if one had the aptitude. So I asked, "So nobody in your world ever does magic as a hobby? The way people who don't have or want the formal training still paint watercolours on Sunday?"

He answered very quickly, "Put it this way. You don't see very many ... surviving ... Sunday Electricians."

Which admittedly got a laugh, even from me. But also had me immediately think that Colin has done a fair bit of the wiring in our house, has done it safely, and up to Code (And no, I have no fear of out house ever showing up on those "worst mistakes" type renovation shows. Not, at least, for unsafe electricity.) By actually reading up on it of his own free will, and being shown things by other people who've done it at what is, effectively, a hobby level -- and at least a couple of times, by watching the mistakes people have made that might be dangerous and vowing not to repeat that. And knowing when (as with the reno coming up), he wants a real electrician to do the work, or look over it.

I didn't say so, but I was thinking it over ever since. Really. Is there no way to get a hobbyist magician in a world where magic has as strict and firm rules as physics and chemistry? No text for how to do it safely? And if not, then doesn't that make people with a smidgin of power MORE dangerous than hobbyists?

(It seems unlikely in my particular fictional world, but it really doesn't seem to contradict his stated rules for Recluse)

I have no idea right now if that's a plot kernel or merely a cool toy for my brain to play with. But there it is.

______________

Everyone in my local circle (Though not necessarily everyone on LJ/DW) has a pretty good idea who Heather Dale is. (Lookie, official video!) But I felt like I was about the only one outside the filkers who had heard of S.J. Tucker, and that was via the band Tricky Pixie.

I discovered the existence of Tricky Pixie because Alexander James Adams is one of the members, and I've been a fan of his since around 1992, but the very first song sample I heard din't impress me much; it was kind of rough around the edges (Plus Alec was obviously still getting used to a different vocal range, and was not singing terribly well). Later, someone (either aymaera or Greek_Amazon, I genuinely don't remember and don't really want to dig through OMG journal entries to figure out) linked to their version of Tam Lin, which was much smoother, much more impressive, and told me the band had really come together since the first sample (Also, that Alec's voice had settled nicely). Anyhow, once I registered that this was *that*( singer, I decided that Sooj solo would also be a pretty fair bet. Yay! I was right.

Turns out S.J. also brought fellow Pixie Betsy Tinney, the cellist, so I got to meet the other 2/3 of the band. And S.J., in spite of some of her banter being about how little sleep and how little brain she had, was also quite good at the between song banter and the overall performance, as well as writing interesting and enjoyable songs. (Sometimes in live concerts, the presentation itself is key. Loreena McKennitt, for instance, barely spoke in the concert I saw, which, from reports I hear from her being pretty boring when she does, via those who saw her at the folk fest, meant she gave exemplary concert by not doing banter. Where, with Heather, I think you'd lose a lot from the live show by *not* hearing her and Ben doing commentary.)

Sooj's style is a bit closer to the singer-songwriter folk, with an occasional gospel-like bit thrown in, but her lyrics are strongly fantastical. I especially liked Ravens in the Library myself (And the very silly Alligator In the House, which she blamed on Betsy songwriting wise, though the album credits them together). Of the two albums of hers, I found the current one, Mischief, mostly good, and the 2005 one, Tangles, rather more generic; had I bought it before hearing her, or the recent work, I'd have dismissed her as promising but not really interesting.

Anyhow, two superb acts. Lots of fun. Plus, of course, getting to see the Bhigg House crew and others of that ilk.

_____________

House reno plans are ... a lot bigger than they were when we started talking about it idly in march/April. Like, a whole extension. Colin has been toiling away at the computer on the plans (He has an amazing program for doing so, plus it's exactly the sort of thing he's skilled at.) We got the surveyor to confirm the actual property lines, he had an engineer in twice to look over Colin's drafts of the project (Ha approved them, confirmed this would be fairly easy, but also told him exactly what he'd need for the actual permit that he hadn't drawn out in detail yet) and a concrete guy to give is price estimates on foundations.

My Father in law was intending to return to BC on Friday, but had to cancel his flight due to illness. He seems a bit better, though far from well, and he has antibiotics. And I'm under firm orders not to go near him (My mother-in-law is exceedingly protective of her unborn grandchild, even if she has to call from BC to be so. I do want to remind her that I'm ALSO very interested in the fate of said little one and am indeed taking care of myself. But some things, like walking up or down a flight of stairs, don't exactly worry me yet. Not until the bump is much larger. And exercising is strongly in my interest. Though I agree that exposing myself to ill people, even ones I care a good deal about, is not. So I'm fretting at a distance.)
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Doctor Who this season seems to be aiming for cracktastically weird as its gold standard. Which the emphasis on the cracktastic, not the gold, or even the Who. It doesn't quite feel Whovian as I'm used to thinking of it, even less than last season, but whatever it is, it's having fun.
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The Sea Thy Mistress just cemented Bear's Edda of Burdens as my favourite of her series'. (Okay, I'd have to read all three and the two Stratford Man books in rapid succession to be sure, but I think if I tried that just now, my head might explode). Though it seemed to me for the first half of the book that there was a lot of not-much happening, most of it did turn out to have accomplished more than it first looked like, and the second half more than paid for the slow start. Wow.

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Similar wows for N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Kingdoms. (If you haven't read the first one, the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and you've ever wanted to read something a little different and a lot amazingly good in fantasy, FIND IT. NOW.)
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
To my relief, after the first bike ride I took seemed to be significantly more gruelling than I thought could be accounted for even by "Yeah, i AM in crappy shape", I noticed that the tires seemed a bit soft. Turned out I was right: now they're properly inflated, I can bike twice that distance, if not with ease, then with reasonable tiredness.

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Had my second dream this week that, when I woke out of it, had me thinking, "yeah, I know. I have a lot of anxiety right now. Shut UP subconscious. Leave me alone."

Course, it would be better if the worries themselves went away.

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For unrelated reasons, I've been thinking a lot about this old post recently...

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I recently imported the whole of my LJ entries into Dreamwidth finally, mostly as a back-up in case LJ suffers another DDOS or some other shut-down, rather than as an "I'm moving" sign or any such. This means, unless I'm mistaken, that I lost any previous Dreamwidth exclusive comments to my entries. Thankfully, these were remarkably few. (ETA: I am mistaken. Which is nice to see.)

Anyhow, this action was partaken as part of a look at all the things I need to back up but hadn't lately. (It took a while with the revamped computer to get the Dana to communicate, so for what felt a really long time, I could only charge it and had to trust the file that was ONLY updated there wouldn't disappear due to low battery power before I even noticed... and that was true even after I found myself working more on an editing project on the computer.)

So. People. Back stuff up if it matters to you. Even online.

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Worked three days this week, if for inconsistent amounts of time, and it looks like I have more shifts lined up for LITERALLY every day next week, Monday through Sunday. All temping, two locations. Yay for some income into the house.

I did, however, decide that I wasn't completely happy that, should I ride instead of walk to the current one, I would need to park my bike where I can't see, it at a business on Broadway & Sherbrook. I know it's locked up, but even so. Unless I do what abacchus did, and pick up a mini-cable or something, the tires aren't secured, just the body. I think I'd be *less* worried if I had to lock it up mid-downtown.


Anyhow, time for bed.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Two job interviews so far this week - the first went quite well, the second didn't seem to be as good, to me.

I haven't, however, managed to get new resumes out this week. Someone needs to kick me in the arse. (I was looking at postings today, and some are flagged to go for tomorrow, because I do feel weird e-mailing past 10:00.)

Went to archery Monday and shot noticeably worse than I had Saturday. Tried to go on Tuesday after that interview, and the third time horrible pain shot up my stringside forearm, stopped and packed it in. The first was early on, and seemed isolated - I had a twinge or two between, but hard tot ell if that was the nerves settling down again or warning. The second and third were one shot right after the other, and I stopped immediately. (Though I couldn't exactly shoot well while clutching my forearm the way I was.)

Alas, one thing I did notice was that the twinges and the shooting pain happened when i was using better technique. So, lest I accidentally start committing aversion therapy on myself, I'm not going to shoot again until Saturday, though I will see if I can't do some strength building exercises meantime. And if one happens Saturday, call it until Monday.

Went to dance practice; alas, there ended up being only three of us for most of the evening, and a fourth showed up late enough that we shrugged and kept talking, even though four is usually the point at which we can be productive. OTOH, we made plans for making goodies on Pi Day (Monday) to use to supply as a dessert revel for next dance practice, and lure out dancers, non-dancers and anyone who likes pie.

So far, I got a fair bit of writing on a necessary plot summary done, but not much actual text. This two-pronged thing with Labyrinth is kind of strange; I wrote Heather's stretch to date as one steady sequence. Not that it lacked scene breaks, but one writes slightly differently if one knows there's a pause and cut to another locale coming up. Certainly, Laurel(formerly Holly)'s side is being written with me fully aware there are time gaps. But mostly the issue is that I know what the end result of the next big scene is, but not how to get there.

Tomorrow, I need to lock myself in the library or something. After I've put out some more resumes and done all the tax/financial stuff on my to-do list.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Just got back from the usual New Year's Cabin retreat. This year, it involved a slightly shorter visit, but much pleasance, more board games than Wii games, weather too miserable for any but the die-hards to go out in, a newly announced engagement (which the male of the couple started to tell his parents by saying, "L___ and I have decided to stop dating" - for which his mother's sound of genuine distress was probably highly reassuring), hungover parents, and a lot of fun.

Also I just finished Sherwood Smith's Once a Princess, which caused me to quietly curse my mother for getting me the first in a two-book series (And myself for choosing to read that before Coronets and Steel or I shall Wear Midnight, the other Christmas goodies), and to go and make an Amazon order.

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A quick evaluation of how I did writing wise the last year.
Read more... )
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