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: (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...)

_____________________


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: (Gryphon)
(Note. At the bottom, I ask for suggestions. I'm not kidding.)

Once upon a time, in a job interview (Not this recent one - this was years ago), I was asked the dread question of where I wanted to be in five years. I gave what I thought was a reasonable answer; I'd like to still be working within that same business, at a higher eschelon from where I began - then I added the caveat. Not too high. Not a position like controller, or vice president. I wouldn't expect, or want, to have that much control over other employees that soon.

The woman taking the interview wrote, flatly, "No ambition."

I knew I didn't have the job in that moment; if she could that drastically misunderstand my intent, I didn't really regret it. And I've tried to find other accurate ways to answer that which circumvent the question of how much command I want to have over other people.

Should I have said I wanted to be in charge of all of accounting in a mere five years? Not in five years - I think that fast a rise to that high either implies full specialized training or high-level experience elsewhere, not starting as an AP/administrative assistant. I thought I was showing realism.

I was sincere, too, that if I liked the business, I *would* want to keep at the same place for years. After three years being driven crazy there, I would go back to RCC, in any department, in a shot.

I was also sincere that staying there only in the bottom rung for forever would have been a problem. Had I continued at RCC, I would have wanted to start pressing for full-time work, different work with more training, a permanent contract. Something like J was doing, where the low end of her job was similar to mine, but the high end included far more complex work. Or, someday, replacing the person who was my official manager -- a job which K, the former front-end receptionist, took over partway through my stay.

But it's also true that I wouldn't feel need to *ever* be on the BoD. It wasn't my ambition. It never will be.

I've been thinking about ambition lately.

Mostly when I realised I don't know what Ketan's ultimate ambition in life is, or would be, if he didn't have X, Y, and Z to cope with meantime.

It hardly matters, in one sense: by the time Ketan gets to catch his breath, look around and decide what he wants to *do* with his life, I'll be done with the plot of four whole books. And certain obligations left from all that plot will force certain things from him, enough to have some kind of denouement. For instance, he's married, a state which carries a lot of its own obligations. For another, he's trained in two main things; Kinging, and soldiery, with other talents and possibilities coming apparent around the edges.

But by the end of the Serpent Prince, what he doesn't want is to be King, the job he was raised to. And through Soldier of the Road, Poisoned Tongue, and onwards, his chequered experience convinces him he was right. Even if it's a job he can do, and might take up for sheer need.

Except that it highlighted something for me. My characters tend to have modest ambitions. Even the ones born or pushed kicking and screaming to greatness.

Carl would like to be the archipelago's equivalent of a tavern singer, well enough known to draw local crowds, and a lover at his side - all unattainable objectives, once he's on the path the goddess asked of him. Gaitann wanted to be a composer/historian -- although he was pleased to find he also had the skill to make a decent ambassador. Patar would like to settle down with a nice family and a farm.

Finno wants to have enough money not to be worrying week to week. And he wants his friends to be happy. Jen wants to be an actress, but she's okay with modest roles; she just likes playing out stories. And she wants Finno to be okay.

Francesca, one of the few who actually wants glory, wants her family's approval, and to be known as someone who saves small children and fights blackguard villains (Saving a few scantily-clad young men would do nicely as an occasional change. There weren't enough scantily-clad men in peril in the adventure, dammit.) I think her ultimate goal is to have her grandchildren stare at her in open-mouthed awe.

But nobody wants to be President, or King. Nobody wants to be a General, or a rock star, or a CEO, or Bishop, or any other variants of rich and famous and powerful.

Heck, most of my D&D characters even only care for treasure as a means to get the equipment needed to defeat the enemy.

Some of this is that I don't write epic save-the-world fantasy. The most people seem to need or want to save is a country - and usually, they do so in the process of a smaller goal - save this person or these people, uphold this ideal against all pressure to yield. And those cases seem to be based around the littlest countries, in the corners of the world I invented. (Except in the Apocalyptic novels. But there, they're too late to save the world).

But another part is that somewhere along the way, I learned that done right, the jobs that most obviously bring wealth and glory and power really involve crushing responsibility and tedious effort and thanklessness. That done right, they should be the place where the buck stops; that in good times, the thanks should go to everyone working for them, but in bad times, they should take the burden of the blame. But also that, of necessity, they distance one from normalcy. That rock stardom dazzles, but exhausts, surrounds one with fakery, distances one from everyday pleasures, and from the ability to tell real friends from flatterers and entourage. That the rewards aren't actually so appealing as the cost, and so anyone who wants to be there for the rewards is at best mad.

Done wrong, of course, they each lead to vice, to indifference to others who have none. To excess reward for minimal real endeavour. To excess of profit or fame at the outright expense of others. Seeing ordinary people only as a mob to be manipulated, tools to be used and discarded. The separation from normalcy becomes permission to do all the things, violent of psychopathic, self-indulgent or self-destructive, that regular laws aim to prevent. Seeing one's own short term gain over long term annihilation.

I also learned that even in cases which are the exception, to people who hang onto their roots, who "keep it real" (A term I have issues with in its own way, but which seems most apt here), who took that level of fame and power but didn't forget their ideals, who do the job right for the right reason, the million-to-one chance really is million-to-one. Narrativium aside.

That in, say, the writing business, the majority of reasonably successful writers don't make enough to quit their day job. That the thousands of aspiring writers are blinded by the story of J. K. Rowling making enough to shame the Queen, and miss the stories of, say, Jim C. Hines' likely-permanent inability to quit his day job and its attendant health insurance. Of writers trying to make it without a day job working themselves to exhaustion and ceasing to have fun with writing. That this leaves them unable to take to correct pragmatic steps. Leads to cursing out editors for daring to stop their precious vision from reaching eyes. Leads them to believe the flattery of scamsters. Honing the craft takes time. Worse, publishing itself is a glacial business - most first novelists are in their 30s, and some in their 40s. And of course, there's all the things the writer has no control over; editorial or publishing trends and tastes, manuscripts lost to mail or e-mail vagaries. Changes in the business model that really are shaking the whole scene right now. The fading midlist and the rise of modest-selling e-books.

To learn how to navigate the business, a matter I have studied in some detail, I needed to have realistic aspirations.

But I feel like somewhere in the last while, being aware that the business is slow and that I should be modest has meant that I have slipped form even modest aspiration to no actual plan or expectation. To no actual ambition. That I want to be more published but lost grasp on the actual motions that need to be made to get there.

To that end.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

*After two miscarriages, the caveat is very real.
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
(Note. At the bottom, I ask for suggestions. I'm not kidding.)

Once upon a time, in a job interview (Not this recent one - this was years ago), I was asked the dread question of where I wanted to be in five years. I gave what I thought was a reasonable answer; I'd like to still be working within that same business, at a higher eschelon from where I began - then I added the caveat. Not too high. Not a position like controller, or vice president. I wouldn't expect, or want, to have that much control over other employees that soon.

The woman taking the interview wrote, flatly, "No ambition."

I knew I didn't have the job in that moment; if she could that drastically misunderstand my intent, I didn't really regret it. And I've tried to find other accurate ways to answer that which circumvent the question of how much command I want to have over other people.

Should I have said I wanted to be in charge of all of accounting in a mere five years? Not in five years - I think that fast a rise to that high either implies full specialized training or high-level experience elsewhere, not starting as an AP/administrative assistant. I thought I was showing realism.

I was sincere, too, that if I liked the business, I *would* want to keep at the same place for years. After three years being driven crazy there, I would go back to RCC, in any department, in a shot.

I was also sincere that staying there only in the bottom rung for forever would have been a problem. Had I continued at RCC, I would have wanted to start pressing for full-time work, different work with more training, a permanent contract. Something like J was doing, where the low end of her job was similar to mine, but the high end included far more complex work. Or, someday, replacing the person who was my official manager -- a job which K, the former front-end receptionist, took over partway through my stay.

But it's also true that I wouldn't feel need to *ever* be on the BoD. It wasn't my ambition. It never will be.

I've been thinking about ambition lately.

Mostly when I realised I don't know what Ketan's ultimate ambition in life is, or would be, if he didn't have X, Y, and Z to cope with meantime.

It hardly matters, in one sense: by the time Ketan gets to catch his breath, look around and decide what he wants to *do* with his life, I'll be done with the plot of four whole books. And certain obligations left from all that plot will force certain things from him, enough to have some kind of denouement. For instance, he's married, a state which carries a lot of its own obligations. For another, he's trained in two main things; Kinging, and soldiery, with other talents and possibilities coming apparent around the edges.

But by the end of the Serpent Prince, what he doesn't want is to be King, the job he was raised to. And through Soldier of the Road, Poisoned Tongue, and onwards, his chequered experience convinces him he was right. Even if it's a job he can do, and might take up for sheer need.

Except that it highlighted something for me. My characters tend to have modest ambitions. Even the ones born or pushed kicking and screaming to greatness.

Carl would like to be the archipelago's equivalent of a tavern singer, well enough known to draw local crowds, and a lover at his side - all unattainable objectives, once he's on the path the goddess asked of him. Gaitann wanted to be a composer/historian -- although he was pleased to find he also had the skill to make a decent ambassador. Patar would like to settle down with a nice family and a farm.

Finno wants to have enough money not to be worrying week to week. And he wants his friends to be happy. Jen wants to be an actress, but she's okay with modest roles; she just likes playing out stories. And she wants Finno to be okay.

Francesca, one of the few who actually wants glory, wants her family's approval, and to be known as someone who saves small children and fights blackguard villains (Saving a few scantily-clad young men would do nicely as an occasional change. There weren't enough scantily-clad men in peril in the adventure, dammit.) I think her ultimate goal is to have her grandchildren stare at her in open-mouthed awe.

But nobody wants to be President, or King. Nobody wants to be a General, or a rock star, or a CEO, or Bishop, or any other variants of rich and famous and powerful.

Heck, most of my D&D characters even only care for treasure as a means to get the equipment needed to defeat the enemy.

Some of this is that I don't write epic save-the-world fantasy. The most people seem to need or want to save is a country - and usually, they do so in the process of a smaller goal - save this person or these people, uphold this ideal against all pressure to yield. And those cases seem to be based around the littlest countries, in the corners of the world I invented. (Except in the Apocalyptic novels. But there, they're too late to save the world).

But another part is that somewhere along the way, I learned that done right, the jobs that most obviously bring wealth and glory and power really involve crushing responsibility and tedious effort and thanklessness. That done right, they should be the place where the buck stops; that in good times, the thanks should go to everyone working for them, but in bad times, they should take the burden of the blame. But also that, of necessity, they distance one from normalcy. That rock stardom dazzles, but exhausts, surrounds one with fakery, distances one from everyday pleasures, and from the ability to tell real friends from flatterers and entourage. That the rewards aren't actually so appealing as the cost, and so anyone who wants to be there for the rewards is at best mad.

Done wrong, of course, they each lead to vice, to indifference to others who have none. To excess reward for minimal real endeavour. To excess of profit or fame at the outright expense of others. Seeing ordinary people only as a mob to be manipulated, tools to be used and discarded. The separation from normalcy becomes permission to do all the things, violent of psychopathic, self-indulgent or self-destructive, that regular laws aim to prevent. Seeing one's own short term gain over long term annihilation.

I also learned that even in cases which are the exception, to people who hang onto their roots, who "keep it real" (A term I have issues with in its own way, but which seems most apt here), who took that level of fame and power but didn't forget their ideals, who do the job right for the right reason, the million-to-one chance really is million-to-one. Narrativium aside.

That in, say, the writing business, the majority of reasonably successful writers don't make enough to quit their day job. That the thousands of aspiring writers are blinded by the story of J. K. Rowling making enough to shame the Queen, and miss the stories of, say, Jim C. Hines' likely-permanent inability to quit his day job and its attendant health insurance. Of writers trying to make it without a day job working themselves to exhaustion and ceasing to have fun with writing. That this leaves them unable to take to correct pragmatic steps. Leads to cursing out editors for daring to stop their precious vision from reaching eyes. Leads them to believe the flattery of scamsters. Honing the craft takes time. Worse, publishing itself is a glacial business - most first novelists are in their 30s, and some in their 40s. And of course, there's all the things the writer has no control over; editorial or publishing trends and tastes, manuscripts lost to mail or e-mail vagaries. Changes in the business model that really are shaking the whole scene right now. The fading midlist and the rise of modest-selling e-books.

To learn how to navigate the business, a matter I have studied in some detail, I needed to have realistic aspirations.

But I feel like somewhere in the last while, being aware that the business is slow and that I should be modest has meant that I have slipped form even modest aspiration to no actual plan or expectation. To no actual ambition. That I want to be more published but lost grasp on the actual motions that need to be made to get there.

To that end.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

*After two miscarriages, the caveat is very real.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
Looks like today - inspired by seeing a friend from Montreal for the first time in about 8 years on Sunday, and the likelihood of having dinner with a longtime friend of Colin's I haven't seen in person nearly enough this coming Friday - was my day to send "I missed you" messages to a few people I don't talk to nearly enough.

Sad that one of them is my brother.

Sadder that one of them lives in town.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
Looks like today - inspired by seeing a friend from Montreal for the first time in about 8 years on Sunday, and the likelihood of having dinner with a longtime friend of Colin's I haven't seen in person nearly enough this coming Friday - was my day to send "I missed you" messages to a few people I don't talk to nearly enough.

Sad that one of them is my brother.

Sadder that one of them lives in town.
lenora_rose: (Default)
And in most parts of my life.

In the school: This term's professor will NOT be continuing into next year. We've known for a while that they were looking for a candidate for next term to take over THREE classes (Majors, Advanced, and the first year class for a professor heading to East Asia - I can't recall it it's Cambodia again, or Beijing.), but his name was in and we were hopeful. It also looks like it will be the woman whose class I almost took first term, whom I believe to be a perfectly good teacher (So long as I get to throw more.) I was told at one point she wasn't even standing as a candidate, but I've heard several other unreliable speculations as time goes on.

Our current prof has another class, and will be staying on in the building, but it sounds like they gave him that ahead of time, partly because they didn't expect, or intend, him to get the full-time spot.

What annoys a lot of people is that a reasonably popular prof who's been teaching first-year ceramics for a while also didn't even get interviewed. I'm not sure what i think, as I wasn't in on the discussions. I think I'd be happy with any of the above, and likely many of the outsiders they have also interviewed; ceramics has been batting pretty high on good and accessible teachers.

BUt it is going to require a bit of a change in gears.

____________________

Our current Baron and Baroness are stepping down for personal reasons. They don't want to discuss what the personal reasons are -- We have reliable information that they and their families are physically healthy. I have probably reliable information on the details, but will respect their wishes in not elaborating.

I will also, since [livejournal.com profile] frisky_turtle sometimes reads this, say I wish them both well, and send my love.

The short version, though, is that we will likely have a Vicar for Twelfth Night (Probably our current Seneschal, Berengaria, who is stepping down then anyhow), and be having a new Baron and Baroness step up in June. Nominations are open until the week before Twelfth Night. So far, I know for a fact of one couple and one singleton nominated.

Colin asked me if we wanted to let our names stand. (Later, someone else asked him the same).

In spite of my fascination with the process (I asked the most questions at the Folkmoot, albeit partly because I suspected our crop of new people might not know enough to know what to ask.) I was uncertain about this. True, it would kick in *after* the currently insane business of my life is done. True that the demands aren't actually *That* high. (We'd have to travel more -- but not necessarily much further, or at great expense. The oaths of fealty aren't problematic in themselves, although they force some of the travel. I already do quarterly reports.)

Also true that there are other plans in our lives which could make our lives even busier sometime in the unknown future. And other complications. And a lot of the things that fall to the Baron and Baroness that are unspoken would add to the muddle: I'd want to hold myself to a higher standard of garb. I'd probably want to get myself a name and personal device I can actually register, which likely means having to change my whole name. It would also mean finessing a number of politics - supporting activities in the Barony is relatively easy, but that's far from the end of it. I'm reasonably good at politics, and inclined to forge straight into them, not hide from them, but that doesn't mean I enjoy them.

(ETA: Of course, I am fully aware that Colin and I have a pretty low chance of being voted in even if we stand - there's a pretty obvious set considered Most Likely to get it if they stand - but if we do, I won't do it just so there's some appearance of competition, I want to think through all potential consequences, and put earnest thought into it. it's a long-term position, after all.)

_____________________

And as for actual politics in the real world? I just hope the budget fails when it comes up again (Unless so much of it is changed that it is no longer the same budget), and the coalition can keep its ass together long enough to kick Harper out.
lenora_rose: (Default)
And in most parts of my life.

In the school: This term's professor will NOT be continuing into next year. We've known for a while that they were looking for a candidate for next term to take over THREE classes (Majors, Advanced, and the first year class for a professor heading to East Asia - I can't recall it it's Cambodia again, or Beijing.), but his name was in and we were hopeful. It also looks like it will be the woman whose class I almost took first term, whom I believe to be a perfectly good teacher (So long as I get to throw more.) I was told at one point she wasn't even standing as a candidate, but I've heard several other unreliable speculations as time goes on.

Our current prof has another class, and will be staying on in the building, but it sounds like they gave him that ahead of time, partly because they didn't expect, or intend, him to get the full-time spot.

What annoys a lot of people is that a reasonably popular prof who's been teaching first-year ceramics for a while also didn't even get interviewed. I'm not sure what i think, as I wasn't in on the discussions. I think I'd be happy with any of the above, and likely many of the outsiders they have also interviewed; ceramics has been batting pretty high on good and accessible teachers.

BUt it is going to require a bit of a change in gears.

____________________

Our current Baron and Baroness are stepping down for personal reasons. They don't want to discuss what the personal reasons are -- We have reliable information that they and their families are physically healthy. I have probably reliable information on the details, but will respect their wishes in not elaborating.

I will also, since [livejournal.com profile] frisky_turtle sometimes reads this, say I wish them both well, and send my love.

The short version, though, is that we will likely have a Vicar for Twelfth Night (Probably our current Seneschal, Berengaria, who is stepping down then anyhow), and be having a new Baron and Baroness step up in June. Nominations are open until the week before Twelfth Night. So far, I know for a fact of one couple and one singleton nominated.

Colin asked me if we wanted to let our names stand. (Later, someone else asked him the same).

In spite of my fascination with the process (I asked the most questions at the Folkmoot, albeit partly because I suspected our crop of new people might not know enough to know what to ask.) I was uncertain about this. True, it would kick in *after* the currently insane business of my life is done. True that the demands aren't actually *That* high. (We'd have to travel more -- but not necessarily much further, or at great expense. The oaths of fealty aren't problematic in themselves, although they force some of the travel. I already do quarterly reports.)

Also true that there are other plans in our lives which could make our lives even busier sometime in the unknown future. And other complications. And a lot of the things that fall to the Baron and Baroness that are unspoken would add to the muddle: I'd want to hold myself to a higher standard of garb. I'd probably want to get myself a name and personal device I can actually register, which likely means having to change my whole name. It would also mean finessing a number of politics - supporting activities in the Barony is relatively easy, but that's far from the end of it. I'm reasonably good at politics, and inclined to forge straight into them, not hide from them, but that doesn't mean I enjoy them.

(ETA: Of course, I am fully aware that Colin and I have a pretty low chance of being voted in even if we stand - there's a pretty obvious set considered Most Likely to get it if they stand - but if we do, I won't do it just so there's some appearance of competition, I want to think through all potential consequences, and put earnest thought into it. it's a long-term position, after all.)

_____________________

And as for actual politics in the real world? I just hope the budget fails when it comes up again (Unless so much of it is changed that it is no longer the same budget), and the coalition can keep its ass together long enough to kick Harper out.
lenora_rose: (Wheee!)
I'm In!

What happened with World Fantasy Convention is simultaneously simple and inexplicable. My regular e-mail address - which is a working e-mail address on which I have received things as recently as today - bounced. Twice. They finally reached me on the query I sent yesterday via Gmail. But they've wanted me in all along.

There are days I hate e-mail.

Anyhow, I'll be sending them the forms at minimum by tomorrow evening.

Happy Lenora.

I've also had an invite to 1000 Miles Apart, the ceramics convention that we hosted last year. This year, it's in Regina. At the start of October, as WFC is at the end. The Professor will be going (He has, by his own description a diesel/vegetable oil van that seats 14, and there are only 5 in my class), so it won't count as missed class time, which makes me moderately tempted. Although I may refuse just so I have the free studio time. (Also so I don't have a motel fee.)

However, our professor is explicit that, as the Majors class, we should send work for the show even if we don't go ourselves.

For some reason, I keep thinking about sending some of my nicer mugs, not my figure work. Is it because it's fragile? Because Comiccon is immediately after, and WFC after that? Or because I like my mugs?

I need to open up ALL my boxes of pottery and scan them over again, and see what all I have in there. (The figures are sitting in our living room, not in boxes, but there are a lot of plates and mugs and bowls I've half-forgotten.)


Anyhow. I must to choir.
lenora_rose: (Wheee!)
I'm In!

What happened with World Fantasy Convention is simultaneously simple and inexplicable. My regular e-mail address - which is a working e-mail address on which I have received things as recently as today - bounced. Twice. They finally reached me on the query I sent yesterday via Gmail. But they've wanted me in all along.

There are days I hate e-mail.

Anyhow, I'll be sending them the forms at minimum by tomorrow evening.

Happy Lenora.

I've also had an invite to 1000 Miles Apart, the ceramics convention that we hosted last year. This year, it's in Regina. At the start of October, as WFC is at the end. The Professor will be going (He has, by his own description a diesel/vegetable oil van that seats 14, and there are only 5 in my class), so it won't count as missed class time, which makes me moderately tempted. Although I may refuse just so I have the free studio time. (Also so I don't have a motel fee.)

However, our professor is explicit that, as the Majors class, we should send work for the show even if we don't go ourselves.

For some reason, I keep thinking about sending some of my nicer mugs, not my figure work. Is it because it's fragile? Because Comiccon is immediately after, and WFC after that? Or because I like my mugs?

I need to open up ALL my boxes of pottery and scan them over again, and see what all I have in there. (The figures are sitting in our living room, not in boxes, but there are a lot of plates and mugs and bowls I've half-forgotten.)


Anyhow. I must to choir.
lenora_rose: (Default)
I've been wondering one of those big usual questions that plague people at times. It's simple and complicated at once. Where should I go from here?

Teacher Potter Office Drone Writer Mother )
lenora_rose: (Default)
I've been wondering one of those big usual questions that plague people at times. It's simple and complicated at once. Where should I go from here?

Teacher Potter Office Drone Writer Mother )
lenora_rose: (Default)
This week to date:

The weather the last couple of days is beating even Winnipeggers down. 37(!!!??!!) degrees. Pre-humidex. I can be pretty reasonable about coping with even 30-32. This... Just that nudge off the edge.

We'll be leaving for Alberta in about 4 days.

Of my two part time temp jobs?

The Rehab Centre I seem to like more as time goes on; the shift to two days a week combined with the length I've been there have contributed to me feeling more like I do fit in, I like the work, the workplace, the attitude.

The other one has shifted from mostly filing to a great deal of data entry, and the data entry isn't stuff like entering in orders or numbers to assist the accountant, or name after name into a file... it's enter exactly the same information, the same 16 keystrokes and mouse-clicks each time, into a good hundred-some files in a row. It's the sort of thing the computer program ought to be able to automagically do with one or two extra commands; but apparently they were too cheap to buy one more module that would support it. We are talking beyond boring and into wrist-slitting. This makes entering name after name into a database look fun.

On the plus side, I determined that I have indeed memorized the words to every Flash Girls song but three, and I amended that vis-a-vis Personal Things by the Fringe. because I was singing them all over at my desk in song order in album order so that *some*thing would be happening. (ah yes. No music in any of the offices. Another strike against the company.)

Until they switched, the work itself wasn't much more tedious than the Rehab Centre, but now.
Combine that with the fact that the atmosphere isn't entirely as comfortable to me (more big business, more strict) and the product itself is... well, it's basically various plastic packaging for food products. Not only is it not enthusiasm-engendering (Bread and pastries are not-enthusiasm engendering but they're also inoffensive), this is down there with parking lots**, or even below parking lots - even seeing the company offering nice benefits to its employees, and listing off how it's trying to be as environmentally friendly as plastic manufacture ever can be, it's very much not a Lenora place.

Now I just need to talk to the temp agency about that when I get back. I've been having a hard time voicing it, because until the data entry, it was adequate as a thing to get me out of debt through the summer.
____________________________

I have to head back to the University tomorrow to sign on as a special student for a second year. Of course, with all official entry requirements out of the way, I can aim for things for my own interests. I'm starting to think something in music theory, plus another hope to get into the ceramics - though Butler did explicitly invite me to do 17th century Lit, I think the music would demonstrate better branching out, and the theory part would help with the ceramics being a different kind of learning than academic. It would be less than last year for a course load, so I could keep on temping, and be far less broke than last school year.

All of which of course requires one flat statement I haven't made: One thing I found out in the course of the Folk Festival is that I was refused from the Faculty of Education.

Strictly speaking I could appeal -- and if they looked at my transcript and didn't check the rest of my pending grades, then refused me on the basis of insufficient GPA, I have cause. HOwever, I also had barely-adequate letters of reference (Due to ahving to call on people last-minute instead of take some time) and a Biography I hate (Not that I'll hate it less next year). I'm feeling more like it makes more sense to just wait and make a better application next year, and be able to apply to both Universities.

____________________________

The Winnipeg Fringe Festival started Wednesday. I'm missing roughly half of it due to being out of city, and more due to actually, you know, working, and doing other things. Still, wheeee! Much fun has been had already. This year's show I want to recommend is Giant Invisible Robot because, really, how can you go wrong with a story about the friendship between a boy (And later man) and his giant invisible robot who periodically destroys cities? Well, it also has some emotional heart and a serious side which caused the audience to go from umpteen laughs to utter silence for a while. Saw it twice by accident (The first time I saw it, first night, I hadn't realised I would be getting it on an usher shift), but I'm not complaining.

Also really good:
Underneath the Lintel: John Huston & Co's current work. 90 minutes in a venue that starts air conditioned and ends sweltering. *Very* much worth it. A Dutch librarian receives a book returned 113 years overdue, and starts looking into what he starts to think might well be a myth made real.

The usual suspects: Chris Gibbs, T.J. Dawe, Rainer Hersch all have one man shows with material definitely recognizeable to longtime fans as their style. Only seen Chris myself so far, but most reviews are coming in warm. Erik De Waal is doing two shows again, one kid's one adult. The kid's show is partly repeat material, but for me, the viewing was made rather fresh since last year I was in an audience with few children, and this time with many, and of course they respond delightfully en masse (One was trying to heckle, but got drowned out more than not, in spite of having one of the loudest singular voices.)

One of my favourite shows from last year (Cabarlesque) is doing a repeat run, claiming some new songs and dances, but who knows, as with this little time, I probably won't make it again. However, i will say that I've liked everything I've seen the troupe do, adn I loved this last year, so it will be damn good.

And the performance poet doing "Genghis Khan's Guide to Etiquette" I actually liked very much in spite of wariness about performance poetry; I liked him a lot better than Jem Rolls, the usual sell-out* in that genre. Jem made me laugh a bit, but... he's hard to understand at times, more by style and speed than by accent, and his poems are themselves a bit more disjointed.

I disagree with mom on one: Bye Bye Bombay was okay but not great.

Grudge Match was a good step up for Josh Knazan as a writer, and decent but far from her best for Primrose Madayag-Knazan as same. That it's about WWF style wrestling didn't hurt its accessibility for my very non-wrestling-inclined self, so it probably won't for others.

___________________________________
*Sell-out as in "plays to sold out houses", and utterly, decidedly not as in "Shamelessly attempting to appeal to the masses" the only way he does that is by *still* putting out tons of flyers because, gasp, he once had five whole seats empty.

** Working for a company dealing with parking lots: Nobody EVER calls to tell you how much they like the lot. Or the machines. You only ever get calls when something breaks or someone is ticketed. At least with bread, people someitmes phone to say, "Yum" or equivalent.
lenora_rose: (Default)
This week to date:

The weather the last couple of days is beating even Winnipeggers down. 37(!!!??!!) degrees. Pre-humidex. I can be pretty reasonable about coping with even 30-32. This... Just that nudge off the edge.

We'll be leaving for Alberta in about 4 days.

Of my two part time temp jobs?

The Rehab Centre I seem to like more as time goes on; the shift to two days a week combined with the length I've been there have contributed to me feeling more like I do fit in, I like the work, the workplace, the attitude.

The other one has shifted from mostly filing to a great deal of data entry, and the data entry isn't stuff like entering in orders or numbers to assist the accountant, or name after name into a file... it's enter exactly the same information, the same 16 keystrokes and mouse-clicks each time, into a good hundred-some files in a row. It's the sort of thing the computer program ought to be able to automagically do with one or two extra commands; but apparently they were too cheap to buy one more module that would support it. We are talking beyond boring and into wrist-slitting. This makes entering name after name into a database look fun.

On the plus side, I determined that I have indeed memorized the words to every Flash Girls song but three, and I amended that vis-a-vis Personal Things by the Fringe. because I was singing them all over at my desk in song order in album order so that *some*thing would be happening. (ah yes. No music in any of the offices. Another strike against the company.)

Until they switched, the work itself wasn't much more tedious than the Rehab Centre, but now.
Combine that with the fact that the atmosphere isn't entirely as comfortable to me (more big business, more strict) and the product itself is... well, it's basically various plastic packaging for food products. Not only is it not enthusiasm-engendering (Bread and pastries are not-enthusiasm engendering but they're also inoffensive), this is down there with parking lots**, or even below parking lots - even seeing the company offering nice benefits to its employees, and listing off how it's trying to be as environmentally friendly as plastic manufacture ever can be, it's very much not a Lenora place.

Now I just need to talk to the temp agency about that when I get back. I've been having a hard time voicing it, because until the data entry, it was adequate as a thing to get me out of debt through the summer.
____________________________

I have to head back to the University tomorrow to sign on as a special student for a second year. Of course, with all official entry requirements out of the way, I can aim for things for my own interests. I'm starting to think something in music theory, plus another hope to get into the ceramics - though Butler did explicitly invite me to do 17th century Lit, I think the music would demonstrate better branching out, and the theory part would help with the ceramics being a different kind of learning than academic. It would be less than last year for a course load, so I could keep on temping, and be far less broke than last school year.

All of which of course requires one flat statement I haven't made: One thing I found out in the course of the Folk Festival is that I was refused from the Faculty of Education.

Strictly speaking I could appeal -- and if they looked at my transcript and didn't check the rest of my pending grades, then refused me on the basis of insufficient GPA, I have cause. HOwever, I also had barely-adequate letters of reference (Due to ahving to call on people last-minute instead of take some time) and a Biography I hate (Not that I'll hate it less next year). I'm feeling more like it makes more sense to just wait and make a better application next year, and be able to apply to both Universities.

____________________________

The Winnipeg Fringe Festival started Wednesday. I'm missing roughly half of it due to being out of city, and more due to actually, you know, working, and doing other things. Still, wheeee! Much fun has been had already. This year's show I want to recommend is Giant Invisible Robot because, really, how can you go wrong with a story about the friendship between a boy (And later man) and his giant invisible robot who periodically destroys cities? Well, it also has some emotional heart and a serious side which caused the audience to go from umpteen laughs to utter silence for a while. Saw it twice by accident (The first time I saw it, first night, I hadn't realised I would be getting it on an usher shift), but I'm not complaining.

Also really good:
Underneath the Lintel: John Huston & Co's current work. 90 minutes in a venue that starts air conditioned and ends sweltering. *Very* much worth it. A Dutch librarian receives a book returned 113 years overdue, and starts looking into what he starts to think might well be a myth made real.

The usual suspects: Chris Gibbs, T.J. Dawe, Rainer Hersch all have one man shows with material definitely recognizeable to longtime fans as their style. Only seen Chris myself so far, but most reviews are coming in warm. Erik De Waal is doing two shows again, one kid's one adult. The kid's show is partly repeat material, but for me, the viewing was made rather fresh since last year I was in an audience with few children, and this time with many, and of course they respond delightfully en masse (One was trying to heckle, but got drowned out more than not, in spite of having one of the loudest singular voices.)

One of my favourite shows from last year (Cabarlesque) is doing a repeat run, claiming some new songs and dances, but who knows, as with this little time, I probably won't make it again. However, i will say that I've liked everything I've seen the troupe do, adn I loved this last year, so it will be damn good.

And the performance poet doing "Genghis Khan's Guide to Etiquette" I actually liked very much in spite of wariness about performance poetry; I liked him a lot better than Jem Rolls, the usual sell-out* in that genre. Jem made me laugh a bit, but... he's hard to understand at times, more by style and speed than by accent, and his poems are themselves a bit more disjointed.

I disagree with mom on one: Bye Bye Bombay was okay but not great.

Grudge Match was a good step up for Josh Knazan as a writer, and decent but far from her best for Primrose Madayag-Knazan as same. That it's about WWF style wrestling didn't hurt its accessibility for my very non-wrestling-inclined self, so it probably won't for others.

___________________________________
*Sell-out as in "plays to sold out houses", and utterly, decidedly not as in "Shamelessly attempting to appeal to the masses" the only way he does that is by *still* putting out tons of flyers because, gasp, he once had five whole seats empty.

** Working for a company dealing with parking lots: Nobody EVER calls to tell you how much they like the lot. Or the machines. You only ever get calls when something breaks or someone is ticketed. At least with bread, people someitmes phone to say, "Yum" or equivalent.
lenora_rose: (Default)
So, since my brain is suffering from a surfeit of Henries*, I opted to poke about online a while instead (A smart me would be rereading Utopia for the other exam.)

Mom ([livejournal.com profile] eleanore_c) recently put up some old folk festival pictures, including two of me (A dreadful one face on and a not bad profile). She asked me if I could make icons of them, so I went to look again and see whether anything looked promising...

... and decided promptly that I *really* miss my brother.

Jeff, if I'm too busy on your birthday with the exam and all, happy pre-lated Birthday. And get back up here soon, would you?




__________________________
*Medieval history. English Henries I-VIII. Several in France. And at least V in the Holy Roman Empire. And that's just the Kings. There are also all the other less royal Henries. The Phillips and Richards aren't quite so bad. And while Italian rulers have no consistency whatsoever, keeping track of which Leos were Emperor and which Pope... It's nice to get to the Turks and their Bayezids, Mehmeds and Selim and Suleiman.
lenora_rose: (Default)
So, since my brain is suffering from a surfeit of Henries*, I opted to poke about online a while instead (A smart me would be rereading Utopia for the other exam.)

Mom ([livejournal.com profile] eleanore_c) recently put up some old folk festival pictures, including two of me (A dreadful one face on and a not bad profile). She asked me if I could make icons of them, so I went to look again and see whether anything looked promising...

... and decided promptly that I *really* miss my brother.

Jeff, if I'm too busy on your birthday with the exam and all, happy pre-lated Birthday. And get back up here soon, would you?




__________________________
*Medieval history. English Henries I-VIII. Several in France. And at least V in the Holy Roman Empire. And that's just the Kings. There are also all the other less royal Henries. The Phillips and Richards aren't quite so bad. And while Italian rulers have no consistency whatsoever, keeping track of which Leos were Emperor and which Pope... It's nice to get to the Turks and their Bayezids, Mehmeds and Selim and Suleiman.

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