typing

typing

So I type very fast. The last time I did a computer-based typing test, which was, jeez, nearly 20 years ago, I typed about 130 words per minute, and I haven’t gotten any slower.

The first time I became aware of how odd my typing sounds was at home one afternoon ten or fifteen years ago when my mom said “What’s that sound?” and I stopped typing to listen and couldn’t hear anything and she said “It stopped” and I said “Huh, I donno,” and started typing again and she said, “There it is again.” It may have taken one more iteration before I realized it was the typing she was hearing, but I remember her saying “That’s your TYPING?!?!” when we figured it out. :)

*Several* times over the years other family members, especially Ted’s family, have overheard my typing from other rooms and have gone “What’s that sound?” Ted, of course, knows what it is by now and can just tell them, but they’re inevitably incredulous. And I’ve always thought it was pretty funny, because to me, it’s just my typing and I don’t really hear it and have very little perception of what it sounds like to others. *I’m* aware of the pauses and moments between hitting the letters and the difference between hitting the space key (okay, admittedly, that’s not real noticeable) and things like that, so it’s always been pretty bemusing to me. I know I type fast, but unrecognizeably fast?

But the other week on my little writing retreat I guess I was really in the writing zone, or something, and I had something almost like an out of body experience. It was exceedingly brief, but there was this moment when for the first time ever I heard my typing the way other people do.

And it actually almost was a “what is that noise?” experience. Because holy cow, everybody is right. It doesn’t sound like typing at all. :)

I think what must have happened was that the desk was in a little nook-like space with a mirror right in front of me, and there was a hard floor in the room, and I think the echoes must have somehow pulled the sound into a place I don’t usually hear it from, and so I finally got to hear it how everybody else does.

No *wonder* everybody is incredulous. It sounds *weird*!

that heart-breaking moment in Winter Soldier

that heart-breaking moment in Winter Soldier

I’m seeing a lot of mention going around about that heartbreaking moment in Winter Soldier, and everybody I’ve seen commenting on it says they thought they were the only one who was crushed when it turned out to be what it was instead of what it looked like.

I want everybody to know that it wasn’t just you. It was all of us. It was certainly all of us women, anyway; I’m not sure I’ve seen any guys commenting on it. But every single woman I know seems to have been seized with an inutterable and terrible joy in that moment, a full-spirited OH MY GOD *YES*! that turned into “…oh. Oh. Oh. Well, that’s okay too, but…”

So, yeah. It wasn’t just you. It was all of us. And boy, does that say a lot about our culture, our expectations, and our hopes.

(The actual scene is named/described/whatever behind the cut, but I’d kind of like to see how many people know what I’m talking about just from what I’ve said before the cut. :))

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lovely day

lovely day

The weather has taken a sudden turn for the better, causing me to accidentally work on my sunburn a little yesterday. Gonna have to find the sunblock today. (Or not, as it’s all foggy-ish now.)

We spent over an hour at the park yesterday chasing a frisbee around, which was great fun. My nephew has this lightweight mostly-fabric frisbee that rises and drops much more dramatically than a plastic one, as it’s much more affected by the wind. After a while I got to where I could throw it to my sister and she could catch it almost every time, but the rest of us only managed to catch it a couple times each. It would come right for you and then leap up five feet, or suddenly just hit the ground several feet in front of you. And sometimes it would saaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiil foooooooreeeeever. :) Anyway, it was lots of fun. :)

Then last night I finished polishing up the PADYA proposal and sent it off to the agent (who was out of the office. usually that only happens with my editor!), so that’s one down, one to go, and, er, then one to write from scratch. But not right now. :)

And this morning the first of our house guests arrived (they brought DOUGHNUTS! real american DOUGHNUTS!), so my blogging will probably be even more sporadic for the next three weeks… :)

more gardening

more gardening

We went forth and got some reinforced plastic container-gardening bags, and yesterday Young Indiana and I filled two of them with seed potatoes and compost. The plastic is strong enough that the bags will hold their shape even if violated, so I did two layers of potatoes by way of cutting holes around the middle of the bags. I’m given to understand that root vegetables will grow toward the light if it’s made available, so we’ll see if that works. At least I’ve tried.

We’ve got carrots and lettuce and tomatoes to sow, too, although with the tomatoes I’ll probably at least try to grow them from seeds to seedlings. Today we sowed several rows of herbs and planted five rather pathetic-looking strawberry plants, all of which have gone into the mini-greenhouse that I need to jury-rig some kind of improved cover for, because the cover is too snug and the plastic is old enough that every time I try tugging it into place it tears somewhere. Perhaps a couple of big transparent garbage bags. :)

I’m disproportionately pleased at even trying to grow stuff. I really don’t know why, except there apparently really is a heavily hippie-dippie part of my brain. “Maybe it’s your farming roots showing through,” Mom said. “Both your grandfathers were farmers. For generations back.” :)

If I manage to persist and not just kill everything through neglect, maybe in a year or two I’ll get something like one of these garden towers, which look like a pretty great way to do small-yard gardening.

At the moment, though, I need to find another cardboard box top or something of its ilk to put my little starter-seedling toilet roll ‘pots’ in so they don’t all fall over, and then I can get the tomatoes and stuff going. :)

thirty directions at once

thirty directions at once

Despite it all meaning nothing, I may have accidentally-like written 2000 words on the PADYA last night (in 90 minutes, which is spectacularly fast for the first fly-by on a project). _And_ I included descriptions! :) It’s not the opening chapter (and here I sing Scrivener’s praises again, because it’s just a scene in a file that I can move to wherever it needs to go when I get that far), though I expect it to be early enough in the book to be useful for a proposal. I hope.

Chapter 8 of MAGIC & MANNERS went up yesterday for the Patreon patrons, which means I *really* have to finish chapter 10, and ideally do, oh, five more chapters after that, too.

And I’m going to need to spend some writing time with an internet connection, too, so I can work on the Regency stuff some more and get that proposal off to the agent.

The problem, and when I say problem, I mean “I am inflicting this on myself” is that I feel like I should get all of this done by next Tuesday evening so I don’t have any work hanging over my head while we have guests. This is not actually possible, of course, not unless I give up sleep, which would rather lead to its own set of problems. :) Anyway, regardless, I feel like I’m being pulled in thirty directions at once on projects, and I’m trying really hard to remember that it is, in fact, all in my head. (I do have good reasons for wanting to get proposals to the agent sooner rather than later, but even so.)

I got the revision letter for STONE’S THROE yesterday, too, and negotiated a due date for them that isn’t appalling. Late(ish) May. That’ll be fine, then, she said with the careless air of one who has no respect for her future self. :)

Agents of SHIELD

Agents of SHIELD

I had to stay off the internets yesterday because everybody was all OMG SHIELD SQUEEEEE SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER and I didn’t want to be spoiled. So we watched AoS last night and

OMG SHIELD SQUEEEE SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

Okay, not actually spoiler right now, maybe behind the cut, but seriously, that was the first really *good* episode of SHIELD. I wish they’d held off for a January premeire instead of September; I think they could have cut a lot of the mind-bogglingly slow and dull crap from the first half dozen episodes and developed the characters and storyline more strongly if they hadn’t rushed into a September production. Then they could have started more strongly and really hit us with this as a brilliant mid-season high point, but, well, for some reason Joss didn’t consult me.

I’ve talked to a bunch of people who watched SHIELD without having seen Winter Soldier, and they all thought it worked just fine and wasn’t horrifically spoily. We saw Winter Soldier first and then the 2 relevant SHIELD eps, because the movie opened here earlier than in the states, and that worked too. But I think it’s probably the most *fun* to watch last week’s SHIELD, Winter Soldier and then this week’s SHIELD as close to back-to-back as you can, especially since I came out of Winter Soldier going “I cannot wait to see the SHIELD episode that comes after that…!”

Honestly, I was actually white-knuckling it through the last several scenes of SHIELD. Like balled up on the couch with my knuckles pressed against my mouth, making alarmed noises punctuated by (okay, now spoilers)

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cognitive dissonance

cognitive dissonance

So last night I was at my usual working space, trying to hammer out the synopsis for the post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult novel (forevermore referred to as PADYA) and I realize that the group of young adults at the table next to me is discussing (and utterly slaughtering) the plot of HUNGER GAMES.

I don’t know which was worse, the total cognitive dissonance of trying to create my own PADYA while listening to the rehash of another at my side, or having to stifle the urge to leap up and shout, “For God’s sake, they *don’t* have time to get married, that’s kind of the point!!!”

Anyway, back in the trenches now, going to try to finish the synopsis today. This month is all about sliding from one project to another, I guess: PADYA synopsis, then finish ch 10 of M&M, then polish & submit the Regency proposal, then 3-5 PADYA chapters, then more M&M and hopefully a short story or two with whatever time I have left, though as we have guests the second half of the month, that may slide into May.

Busy! Busy! Busy! Trying to make up for a year of not writing…

(eta: Since I failed to post this before leaving my internet connection behind, I now return to report that I have in fact finished the synopsis at a comfortably solid 3200 words, which I feel will develop nicely into a longer one if the project sells. I’m v. pleased. Now on to the next job!)

it means nothing.

it means nothing.

The fact that I have created a Scrivener file for the PADYA (Post Apocalyptic Dystopian Young Adult) novel means nothing.

The fact that I spent an hour and a half pounding out a gibberish-filled rough draft synopsis last night also means nothing.

The fact that I’m looking with some interest at time-tracking software does mean something, but that’s something I wanted to do anyway, because I do want to see if I can quantify the success ratio of the exhaustive synopsis. I don’t know how many hours I spent on the Regency, except most writing days after the first three or so when I was getting my feet under me I was averaging well above my usual 1k/h–I had days when I was hitting just under 2K an hour for several hours on end. Assuming 1250wph average, it took me about 70 hours including the exhaustive synopsis process to write the book, which is a reduction of about 20% of average.

(Of course, I also skipped all the descriptions, which always slow me down. They’ll go into the second draft. :))

Anyway, that’s just guesstimating, though, and I want to actually try to keep track for the next book to see if it was genuinely really helpful or if it was just an Attack Book that worked out well. :)

(Hm, Toggl looks like it’s got pretty well what I need, which is basically a start-stop timer for a project. That’ll do!)

In other news, I hear over on Twitter that STONE’S THROE has been edited, which means it will presumably be coming back to me sometime soon for revisions, so that’s cool.

Recent Reads: Science in the Capital Trilogy

Recent Reads: Science in the Capital Trilogy

I’ve just finished reading (for the 3rd time, according to my fairly exhaustive reading list) Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital trilogy.

I love this series; I loved it the first time I read it and I think it’s improved with the re-reads. It’d been about five years since I read them last, and I’d forgotten huge swaths of storyline and mentally revised at least one into something that totally didn’t happen. I had not forgotten, and was struck again, by the strength of the nature writing; reading this series has always reminded me of Whitman’s Song of Myself in both its strengths and weaknesses. It’s musical, lyrical, mystical, occasionally droning, repetitive and pedantic. It is not–still–an easy read, although it was much easier the third time than the first time, or even the first two times.

Its dis-ease is still the major thing that breaks my heart about this series, because I think this is an incredibly important, optimistic, intelligent, brave and insightful series that basically everyone in the world should read, but I think it’s too hard for your average casual reader to connect with. It takes work, and that’s not a bad thing, but neither–if you’re trying to change the world–is it a good one.

As always, inevitably, it makes me want to tackle my own climate change series. In, you know, my copious free time.

That, however, is beside the point. What I particularly want to discuss is how in this re-read I was especially struck by the powerful, and I mean that both literally and figuratively, female characters in these books.

This may get long, so I’m going to put it behind a cut.

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