I just went to the dentist's office. I saw my dentist there. They dinked around and didn't greet me for about, oh, 90 seconds, maybe two minutes. In that time, apparently my dentist left because the receptionist misread a note on my file from *last* week, when my appointment was cancelled because the *dentist* was sick, and thought *I'd* called in sick and cancelled. So the dentist went off to play for an hour before 10am which was when his next appointment was, and I ended up walking home again, still undented.
For crying out loud.
Today is the official release date for URBAN SHAMAN.
Not that I'm excited about it or anything. :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 256
miles to Hobbiton: 164.4
This is basically an entry of personal nattering about having given up sugar for forty days. Behind the cut tag, 'cause I'm not sure how many people really care. :)
On October 6, 2004, Ted and I were on our way out of Hot Licks, the local homemade ice cream place, when we saw my dad, who said he'd given up sugar. I, all full of smashingly good ice cream, said, "Me too!"
And for reasons that I can't quantify, I actually did. I declared a personal Lent: 40 days of sugarlessness. I didn't give up sugar by switching to artificial sweetners or by hunting down all the hidden sugars in foods. I just stopped eating all dessert-type things, which are my weaknesses, entirely. Cold turkey. I didn't think I could do it, but it turned out what I couldn't do was moderate.
I started eating apples and grapes, and allowed myself a teaspoon of sugar on my cereal, a measured serving (2-3 tbsps) of trail mix with M&Ms if I was really hungry, and if I was desperate, a very small handful (20 or so) of chocolate chips. In what turned out to be about 7 weeks of sugarlessness, I only got really desperate and had chocolate chips about 3 times.
It was about the 4th day that I started going AUGH THIS IS HARD. By around day 10 it was much easier, and after a bit I started to realize it wasn't just the sugar I was missing, but also the fat content that came along with those cookies and ice cream and cakes and all that good stuff. An apple with a tablespoon or two of peanutbutter, or with an ounce of cheese cures both the sweet tooth and the need for fat, and it fills me up *way* better than half a dozen cookies do.
By the time 40 days was up, my sweet tooth had reduced by a whole lot and I'd lost 7 pounds, as well as learned a whole lot about my eating habits. I learned that very, very quickly I could tell the difference between being hungry and bored, and that when I *was* hungry, eating real food was *much* better for me. It made me feel much better, whereas before if I'd had a cookie and then four cookies I would continue to feel dissatisfied and vaguely hungry, and it's because my body wasn't after sugar, but my *brain* didn't know any better.
I've let sweets creep back into my diet now, but I'm far better at moderating them than I used to be, because I have so much more awareness of whether I'm really *hungry* or not. I still don't keep them around the house (critical, because I work from home) and I'm basically happier that way. I can't be tempted if they're not on hand, and if I really am hungry, now I've got different kinds of fruit lying around, and that, almost every time, is just fine.
I have got a bugbite on the base knuckle of my middle finger. It itches *abominably*. It has done for some hours now, and it is driving me *mad*. I have no After-Bite stuff, and I must scratch.
Seriously considering going back to bed. *sigh* Ted didn't sleep well and apparently it rubbed off or something.
The other, better option is to go stand in the shower for a while and wait for it to wake me up, which it usually does. But boy does just going back to bed sound good...
miles to Rauros Falls: 254
Blast it. This is one of the problems with making any sort of Plan To Deal With Writing Projects--something unexpected frequently arises which throws all those plans off kilter.
In this case, my 3 day intensive revisions project for CARDINAL RULE has been thwarted by the photocopies being bad. It'd be okay if they were just dark, which they are, but all the notes my editor wrote in the margins are 1/3rd to 1/2 cut off on the photocopy. There just aren't enough letters there for me to decipher the notes. And see, if I'd been a good Kit and read over them yesteday like I said I was going to, I'd have known that and I could've just started writing more on FD this morning. Blast it.
Oh well. Off to email the editor and then to go read the first fifty thousand words of FD so I can start writing again. :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 249
Ok, HoS Revised Mark II is on its way to der agent and I'll send it to der editor on Monday. It is much improved from HoS Revised Mark I, which was so much improved on HoS that it's not even funny.
I have gotten fan mail, which is just about as awesome as it gets.
Jai and I went to Revenge of the Sith again last night, and I still enjoyed it a lot.
Today I'm going to vacuum, empty the kitty litter, and at least *read* Matrice's notes on CARDINAL RULE, in preparation for doing those revisions. And I've taken hamburger out of the freezer, so I have to decide what I'm making for dinner. Oh, and I need to walk the poor puppy, who didn't get walked at *all* yesterday. Poor puppy! Oh, and make some more bread, 'cause the soda bread's almost gone and Ted doesn't like it very much anyway (he's strange sometimes).
It's a good life. :)
Okay, the BC edits are actually *sent* now. I'm going to go out and deposit a check and while I'm out I must remember to stop and get good paper and an envelope so I can print and send HoS, at which point I will have put three entirely different projects in the mail this week, which seems like a pretty good week to me. :)
Then housecleaning, which will fill my little black heart with joy, because my ghod the place is a mess. Ted's making dinner for Jai and me tonight, then we're going to go see RotS, and tomorrow I'll get started on the CR revisions. Ha cha cha!
Faxing is faster when 1. you don't get a paper jam, and 2. you remember to plug the phone line into the fax machine.
I have absolutely nothing interesting to say this morning. Once I'm done faxing stuff I'm going to go deposit a check, then clean the house. Do I know how to have fun or *what*?
Yeah, that's what I thought, too. :)
Got the BC edits done. Need to type in the few paragraphs that needed enough work to, er, be typed in, and then fax it all off to NYC and that's taken care of. Sent more stuff out today (sent the cover flats, Sarah!) and ordered some extra copies of US from the publisher so I'll have give-away copies.
Went to B&N and discovered they were sold out of my book but have more on order. :)
Went to see "Be Cool", which was badly paced, too long, boring as hell in spots, and yet somehow came together to be entirely satisfying at the end. And apparently I also ate too much dinner, because my tummy actually hurts.
miles to Rauros Falls: 244
I just got off the phone with Harlequin's PR, with whom I discussed the upcoming radio tour. When they said they were sending me to Seattle to do a radio tour, I thought they meant I was doing a radio tour *in* *Seattle*.
The current list of cities that I'll be airing in is:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Wichita Falls, Texas
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Santa Barbara, California
Greenville, South Carolina
Plattsburgh, New York
...and FOX News Radio's national radio network.
When they said "In Seattle," what they meant was *I* was going to be in Seattle and the interviews were going to be EVERYWHERE! These are all separate interviews--the shortest is 10 minutes, the longest is 42. Who knew?! This is very, very exciting! I did a mock interview with the PR people, and need to make sure I don't talk too fast, but otherwise it went really well and was generally fun, so I'm really looking forward to this.
I'll post the whole schedule with times and stations when I've got it sometime next week. I'm going to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger with the hives, as my mother says, but it's going to be really cool.
(and a half)
puts me at THIRTY POUNDS LOST since October 7!
(give or take half a pound. CLOSE ENOUGH, SEZ I!)
It is a very fine morning. :) I got a bunch of books posted last night, though I didn't quite finish the BC edits (that's this morning's project) and I didn't pick up good paper for printing HoS on. Perhaps tonight.
current music:: Only the Good Die Young, Billy Joel
miles to Rauros Falls: 240
Thinks to do today:
1. BC edits
4. get envelopes
5. get good paper
6. print HoS
7. go to post office!
8. unfreeze blackberries
It was an interesting RWA meeting last night. We had a man from a vanity press called KiwEpublishing come talk to us, only of course he didn't call it a vanity press. Print on demand publisher: all this can be yours for only $1295. Two of us, Jackie Ivie and I, had copies of our books with us, and the guy assumed they were POD, which...
...which, actually, you wouldn't believe how many people assume. "Is it coming out from a major publisher?" is the nicest way that I've been asked, and the most frequent way is, "Will we be able to get it in the bookstore?" which just seems like a *very strange* question to me. I'm not exactly sure the "Will we be able to get it in the bookstore" people think it's POD/vanity or if they just don't know much about publishing and it's a genuine question. Mostly I'm inclined to offer them the benefit of the doubt, but the whole thing makes me blink in surprise, bristle with offense, and sort of laugh all at once.
Anyway, we both said, "Er, no," and he did his thing without ever mentioning that you pay him to print your book until someone asked directly.
I thought we were all very polite, really. None of us snorted out loud (although when he turned on his powerpoint presentation, one of my fellow RWA members who was sitting right next to me muttered, "Oh my *God*," and when I looked up to see it was a POD presentation I went, "Oh my god," too. :)) and none of us tried bringing him to the mat over the scam he was running. Mostly it didn't seem worth it to me at the time, but after he left I was glad to hear that people didn't seem to be real taken in by him.
They bought me flowers for my first book coming out! *beam* Wasn't that nice? I'll take a picture, 'cause they're very pretty flares!
Ok, apparently that's as much coherent thought as I can put together for the moment, because this entry's been sitting here for twenty minutes. So off I go to shower, eat and work. *zoom*
A books meme:
1) The number of books I've owned:
I'd say around 3000 at the high point. Now? 7 or 800. We've culled a *lot*.
2) The last book I bought:
...I honestly don't know. We were given a macadamia nut cookbook for free when we bought macadamias in Hawaii, but I don't think that counts.
3) The last book I read:
URBAN SHAMAN, by C.E. Murphy. Really.
4) Five books that mean a lot to me:
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. Montgomery
THE DARK IS RISING (sequence, if I may cheat a bit) by Susan Cooper
TIGANA by Guy Gavriel Kay
THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley
URBAN SHAMAN by C.E. Murphy*
Your turn. :)
*The others are desert island books, but it shouldn't take a lot of thinking to figure out why US means a lot to me. :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 238
*laughs out loud* There's a bit in Banshee Cries where Jo comments there's not nearly enough half-naked Wesley Snipes in the Blade movies. My editor wrote, "True!" in the margins.
She's so cool. :)
...well. That is in fact a *very* light copyedit/revision. There are about four paragraphs where I should change things, punch 'em up a little, or explain a bit more, and it'll essentially be done. YAY! I might even get that done tonight, although I have an RWA meeting, so maybe not. Still, it won't take too long at all. *dances*!
Dentist appointment cancelled, unfortunately after I'd left to go to it, so I ended up going on a nice 3.5 mile walk for no reason. Oh well. Called Harlequin but didn't get ahold of the lady I was trying to talk to, which didn't surprise me. Had lunch. Am feeling overwhelmed, so I'm trying to be Very Very Focused on one thing at a time.
And that one thing is edits on Banshee Cries, so now I'm going to go do that.
miles to Rauros Falls: 236.5
All right. The COYOTE DREAMS proposal went out this morning. I have just completed the revisions Jenn asked for on HEART OF STONE. I would print it out, but I have no envelope and it seems foolish to print it and let it sit around collecting cat hair until I get one. I have approximately nine hundred envelopes to send out, so I will get a big enough envelope for the ms, and another big enough one for the WM covers, and then I will send all nine hundred and two envelopes at once.
Tomorrow I have to get a cavity filled and do as much of the BANSHEE CRIES copy edits as possible. That seems like rather enough.
miles to Hobbiton: 151.3
I've just gone through two weeks worth of mail. In it, I have an envelope from the DMLA, which to my disappointment didn't contain money, but does contain an agreement saying, "Yes, you can use an excerpt of my novel on Amazon", so I gotta get that signed and back out right away, and a very large envelope which I thought must contain a copy-edited manuscript but proved to contain MORE copies of the URBAN SHAMAN cover (but this is the Official Cover, with my picture inside instead of information about the book inside), and a very big pile of WINTER MOON covers. It's even more awesome in person than online, because in person you can see that there's a cityscape reflected in the water. I'll scan one in. :)
A *smaller* envelope contained a manuscript for me to copy edit. BANSHEE CRIES, which has to be back in NY by the 1st. I can do that, she said, looking a wee bit wild-eyed. (It's short. It'll be fine.)
I love my job. :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 233
Arright, I have sent the COYOTE DREAMS proposal off. Now all I have to do is finish Jenn's revisions on HEART OF STONE, look over Matrice's suggestions and comments on "Banshee Cries" and THE CARDINAL RULE and do something with them, and finish writing FIREBIRD DECEPTION.
No prollem. O.O
Arright, since I seem to have reached a time of Better Get It Together as far as this whole book thing is concerned, I'm doing so, at least enough to make note of an announcements-only e-mail list that you can subcribe to here. I'll post notes and information about upcoming activities and career stuff on that list, but it's not a discussion forum, so it'll be very low traffic.
With any luck, Garrett will have cemurphyfans.com functional by the first. If so, that'll be my primary discussion forum area; I'm not capable of keeping up with high-traffic email lists, but I'm much better at staying with bulletin boards.
The other online forum I'm active on is the Luna boards, where I'll have a thread of my own starting in June.
miles to Rauros Falls: 229
ytd wordcount: 121,000
This may be my favorite picture of me, ever:
More pictures of me sighting URBAN SHAMAN at B&N here. When we went in, Ted was in front of me, and stopped dead and gasped and whipped around with Big Eyes, and then wouldn't let me look at the new paperbacks table behind him. *laugh* The rest was sheer dancing glee. :)
And they REARRANGED Barnes & Noble while we were on vacation, so we couldn't FIND the SF/F section! We had to wander all over the store before we could find my book! It was AWFUL, I tell you! AWFUL!
You don't believe me, do you?
That's okay. :)
I'm up at a silly hour on a Sunday morning because I got up to make my hubby some lunch before he went off to work (thus ensuring, I hope, that he'll eat something good for him today), and I find that, like my mother who staggered out of bed semi-consciously to make her daughters breakfast and lunches before we went to school, now I'm up so there seems to be no real reason to go back to bed. (The cats, who were both sleeping on me when I woke up this morning, appear to be somewhat disappointed. Lucy is sitting next to the bedroom door accusingly.)
So, thinks to do today...
get more books ready to mail out
coffee with Jai
clean the kitchen
6. clean something else
7. HoS edits
There are, at this moment, five copies of URBAN SHAMAN at the Anchorage Barnes & Noble. Shortly there will be pictures of me dancing around like an idiot at the Anchorage Barnes & Noble. :) I got to sign the copies and talk to a couple of managers and they said that while they can't cross-shelve them in mystery, knowing that it was a mystery and what kind of mystery readers might like it (Hillerman, Coel, Thurlo) gave them the ability to recommend, so that's good.
Wow. No longer do I have to stand morosely in front of the shelves and say, "This is where my books would be," because NOW THEY'RE THERE!
Actually, right now they're there and in the new paperbacks section at the front of the store. Rock *on*.
WINTER MOON cover!
And someone just told me they got an Amazon notice that URBAN SHAMAN had shipped yesterday. Can anybody out there verify that?
*Still* haven't found food. Must do something about that...
Home again, home again, jiggity jig! Our vacation was *lots* of fun and I'll do some writeups later today, after I've...
...found something to eat. Shaun's gone, too, so there's literally nothing in the house that can be prepared to eat: no milk for cereal, no bread for toast, no nothing. There's a pint of buttermilk that's unopened which might be okay for making quick bread with, but how do you tell if buttermilk's gone bad? It's past its open date...
Would you like to know how geeky we are? This is how geeky we are: despite being on vacation in Hawaii, we still saw Revenge of the Sith on opening day, thus contributing to the fifty million dollars it made on Thursday. That's how geeky we are. :) And I was very pleased with it. Mind you, I don't bear anything like the loathing for Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones that most of my generation does, because I don't have the sentimental attachment to the original trilogy, having not seen them until I was around twenty. I thought SW I and II were really pretty much just like the originals, and I was very pleased with how they did the story in III.
*dances around cheerfully* Boy, we had a lot of fun. We were pretty much done Wednesday afternoon, I think; we were both pooped and ready to go home by then. But we still went out and had fun on Thursday, so it was all good.
Oh! And I finished the COYOTE DREAMS proposal, though I'm going to take another look at it before I fling it off into the void, and I cut twenty-five pages from the first 150 pages of HEART OF STONE last night on the airplane. There's another scene I need to cut later in the book, and Jenn was right, there's a fairly significant continuity error that cropped up when I did revisions and I didn't catch it, so I gotta rewrite that. Oop. I think my weekend goal is to get that done, because I'd really like to get it turned around and back out again.
All right, this will not buy the child a frock, so off I go.
We were trying to find the Hard Rock Cafe and instead found an internet cafe (the HRC is another couple blocks down), so we stopped to get online and find directions to the HRC. :)
I have been in Hawaii 7 days and I have not gotten a sunburn. *Ted* got sunburned, but *I* didn't. Hah!
We've been having a bloody magnificent time. It's been really laid back, and we feel sort of like we haven't been frantic enough to be having fun, but we've been having an amazing time. I will write big fat entries when I get back. :)
YAY! I'm glad everyone got their books! *beam*
Ok, there are about thirty thousand things I could talk about, but I'm not going to. I'm going to go have some lunch at a tourist trap, instead. :) And I'll be back in force on Saturday! :)
Oh, hey! Wish us a happy anniversary! 8 years today! Ai!
We made it two days in Hawaii before searching out net access. Aren't you proud of us? Of course, we can't get to our email or anything, so there's not a *great* deal of point in hanging out online for long. :)
Having a lovely time so far, wish you were here. :)
I am, incidentally, reading this book called URBAN SHAMAN, by C.E. Murphy. I have it on good authority that C.E. Murphy thinks it's pretty weird to be reading a printed copy of one of her own books. :)
To top off what was otherwise an absolutely brilliant day, I got back from walking the dog and found a box of books from Harlequin on my doorstep.
Twenty-five copies of URBAN SHAMAN.
Oh. My. GOD.
Mom called right after I got the box, and I picked up the phone and squeaked, "Hello?" and she was calling to tell me that one of her geneology sites was making a fuss about me, but it sort of got overwhelmed by, "Guess what I just got in the mail?"
The *font*, thank heavens, is a good font. That was the very first thing I checked. I really hated the font used in the first several Luna books, but this is an ordinary Times-ish sort of thing, so it's all good. I haven't noticed any tyops yet. They put the dedication on a page of its own, like I asked them to. I was flipping through it and noticed some of the new scenes I wrote for the revisions, and went "Squee!" Something caught my eye and made me laugh, which seemed like a good sign. :) There are cool handprints by the chapter headings, and the chapter headings themselves are turned on their side, which I liked. There's a *picture* of me on the back inside cover!
When Ted came home and I showed him the book, he went, "HAH!" in a giant voice of delight. :)
Mom and Dad came over and we all went *boggle* 'cause it's like a real published book and everything! With my name on it! And *squee*! And then we went out for dinner to celebrate, 'cause *squee*!
Pictures of me looking and acting like a happy idiot are here. :)
I HAVE A REAL PUBLISHED BOOK!!!
And on *that* note, I'm going to *Hawaii*. *Jesus*, what a day!
got up started laundry chatted online ate breakfast cleaned desk wrote bills paid online bills answered emails checked mail GOT PAID! walked to bank deposited PAYCHECK bought fannypack got id walked home checked messages rescued husband who had locked his keys in the car stopped mail ate lunch whew!
I believe I've got the "run around like a chicken with my head cut off" well in hand. o.O :)
Getting paid was an unexpected bonus, and the timing couldn't be better. Yay! Ted accidentally locked his keys in the Jeep *laugh* so we had to rescue him, and this morning there was email from an editor at Pages magazine who is apparently going to feature me in the September/October issue (right before WINTER MOON comes out! Rock on!), so that was pretty exciting. AND the Harlequin PR person who's going to accompany me in Seattle called, but I missed her call, so I emailed and I'll call her when we get home. Whew!
ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM VERY BUSY NEEROW ZOOM
Oh, and *also*, I weighed in this morning even though Thursday is my official weigh-in day, 'cause I'll be in Hawaii on my official weigh-in day, and I am down 2.5 pounds. Let's hear it for a depressed appetite due to having a cold. :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 227
thinks to do tuesday:
transfer all CD, HoS and FD files to Little
go to bank
buy fanny pack
run around like headless chicken
print out condo arrival information AND PACK IT
pack camera & batteries
10. forget something important
print reservation itinerary
collapse in exhaustion
13. get on plane to Hawaii
miles to Rauros Falls: 221
miles to Hobbiton: 143.7
ytd wordcount: 117,500
Ok, I've got a plane ticket itinerary, if not an actual blow by blow itinerary, so I think that's close enough to official to talk about this now:
Luna is sending me to Seattle for three days in early June to do a radio talk circuit tour for URBAN SHAMAN!
They're working on lining up the radio stations, so I don't have a list yet, and I don't know if any of them do webcasting, but I will post with those gory details when I have them.
I am Pretty Darned Excited about this. :) :) :)
It was a very nice quiet weekend. Perhaps a little quieter than I'd have liked, 'cause Ted was off working pretty much the entire weekend. I haven't seen much of him lately. Sending him back to work was a bad idea! Except, er, you know, for keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table... ;)
Anyway, I wrote some and read some and walked some, and went over to Mom and Dad's for dinner last night and in fact a whole afternoon of visiting, which was just really nice. Had coffee with Jai, which was lower-key than usual, in part because I had/have a cold and so I wasn't quite my bubbly self, but it was very nice anyway, and Tori was very good-natured, which was cool. :) Overall a very pleasant day.
Thinks I need to do today:
make a chiro appt
call vet & change aminal appts
call car rental place in hawaii
make sure we can check into condo early on wed.
No updates on the publicity news yet, so no more details there, but I did get notes on HEART OF STONE from Jenn, who thinks the rewrite is much stronger (she's right) and who now merely wants me to whack thirty pages from the first 150 to tighten up the beginning. I *know* it starts off slowly, so I'm pretty sure she's entirely right to want me to do that, so ... well, so I'll do that. In my copious free time.
Actually, I have plenty of free time. Just a matter of doing it. :)
HAWAII TOMORROW NIGHT!
miles to Rauros Falls: 216
ytd wordcount: 116,000
Cut 3K from FIREBIRD DECEPTION. I think I can replace 500 word with a new scene, but mostly the stuff that went was meandering cruft and didn't properly advance the story (it advanced it, but not the way I wanted it to), so despite the fact that I'm back down beneath 50K, I'm happier with it. And I oughta be able to make up the 3K pretty easily. All is well.
Had a lovely walk with Dad, and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself.
miles to Rauros Falls: 212
ytd wordcount: 114,600
Wow. Despite being light-headed from the cold medicine (I do not remember cold medicine doing this to me thirty pounds ago. I noticed it did it to me in December and March when I had colds, and I can't figure out if it's always done it to me and I'm just now actively noticing it or if it's because there's significantly less of me to spread the same amount of drug through), I got chapter one of COYOTE DREAMS finished, and I like it. 1400 words today, which is not too shabby at all.
Now I'm going to go cut out the chunk of FIREBIRD DECEPTION that doesn't need to be there and stitch the rest back together, which will remove a great deal of the current meander of the storyline, although it'll also drop me back down beneath 50K. Still, that's okay, because it'll be better for it.
Then I'm going to go for a walk in the merry sunchine with my daddy. It's lovely out.
Ok. Must go re-assemble my focus on the writing again. *bobbles off*
I believe I have caught Shaun's cold. This is very sad, but my throat's been itchy and the allegra's not stopping the itch, and I woke up this morning with a stuffy nose. I've drugged myself and intend to carry on as if I am well, but with plenty of sleep. I wouldn't even mind being sick except, maaaaan, *right* before we go to Hawaii? Snivel.
I think I've gotten a thousand-ish words written this morning. Going to go do more in a few minutes here, but first I'm going to take a few minutes to expound on something Dad and I were discussing a couple of days ago: the readiness to do things. It's not directed at anybody in particular, just kind of random rambling about my own thought processes. (Full text behind the click-through if you're reading the feed.)
Over the last several months I've become much more sympathetic to the idea that people cannot be changed externally, and that if they wish to change in any fashion, they must be ready to do so.
I hate that. It sounds like such bullshit. What's that mean, *ready* to change? I have absolutely no idea what it means. All I know is that in September 2002 I was ready to make a committment to a writing career, and that in October of 2004 I was ready to start losing weight. It's not like I hadn't said dozens of times over the previous decade that I wanted to be a writer; it's not like I hadn't said hundreds of times that I needed to lose weight. But for both of those things I hit up against some kind of internal okay!-meter that was critical and completely unexplainable. I don't know *why* those two instances triggered a follow-through and a million previous instances didn't.
So I've become more sympathetic to the idea that a person may not be ready to write, or produce art, or lose weight or do whatever it is that their passion is. My roommate, for example, is a sculptor, but it isn't his focus right now and at some point I expect it'll come into focus for him and that's what he'll work on.
One of the things that strikes me as critical about his attitude, though, is that he's not beating himself up for not doing art. Right now he's not chosing to expend his energy that way, and he's okay with that. I know far, far more people who aren't pursuing their passion and who routinely say they're bad people, they're lazy, they *should* be doing this, but they're not. And I'm discovering that my patience for that attitude is losing ground in face of this concept of readiness.
I said in my Vision interview that one of the things I thought was important to keep in mind as someone pursuing a writing career (or anything else, for that matter) was the famous Yoda line, "There is no try, only do." I really, truly think there's a lot of truth to that. You can't make it if you only go halfway. It has to be a full-scale committment; you have to do it. Whatever "it" is.
I think there are *good reasons* for people to not be doing things, but if those good reasons are there, then I don't think people should be castigating themselves for not accomplishing that goal. It's not a focus right then, and that's how life works. Maybe you've got kids or elderly parents or a demanding job or you'd simply rather be practicing skateboarding. I think people should give themselves permission to not consider it a failure if they're not pursuing some ideal during that time period. If you're beating yourself up, it seems to me that you're making excuses, and while I've come around to the idea of readiness, I've lost most of my patience with excuses.
I donno how you hit that ready stage. For me and writing, it was the RMFW conference in 2002. For me and weight loss, it was meeting Dad and him saying, "I'm giving up sugar!" and me saying, "Me too!" I mean, why the hell would that stick? But it did. Maybe it takes years of saying, "I want to be a writer," or "I want to lose weight," before it finally sets. Maybe it takes the encouragement of others around you. Maybe it takes the stars being in the right alignment; I don't know. And that frustrates me, because I'd love to be able to point to the trigger and say, "That's it! Do this and you'll have all the drive you need!" But since it doesn't work that way, it does seem to me that berating yourself for not having that focus is counterproductive to being happy, and being unhappy is no way to go about living your day to day life.
I could probably go on, but I've spent half an hour on this already, and I need to go write now. :) *zoom*!
Holy matrimony, Batman.
*Besides* the extremely cool publicity thing which I will speak more of on Monday when I know more about it, I also got revisiony-edity things on *both* "Banshee Cries" *and* THE CARDINAL RULE today, which shot to hell any chance I had of accomplishing anything because my brain filled right up and went AUGH! with the sheer number of things that must needs be accomplished. Between those revision/edity things and the proposal due on June 1 and the book due on July 1, it is *very clear* to me that the Hawaii vacation will be a working vacation. This is really basically okay with me, since I anticipate 2-3 hours of work in the mornings and then fun in the sun for the afternoons, but I'd hoped for pure unadulterated time off, so it is a *tad* disappointing. But I just can't afford to take 10 days off entirely, so there you have it.
Tomorrow I need to go over to the comic shop and talk to Sturge about doing a Bosco's book signing on the 1st, since 1. it's a Wednesday, which is comics day, which means it's the busiest day the shop will see, and 2. it looks like I'm going to be busy the following Wednesday which is when we'd initially discussed me doing a signing.
Must remember coffee with Jai at 11 on Sunday.
Walked 2 miles and biked 13 today. It was really lovely out for walking and biking, which is to say it was grey and a bit misty and windless. It's cleared up some now and I think it's supposed to get progressively nicer until we leave for Hawaii, at which point I have no idea what the weather will do. :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 206
miles to Hobbiton: 128.2
Some way cool news on the publicity front this morning, but I don't have all the details hammered out yet, so I'm simply going to taunt you by mentioning it thusly and then saying no more.
Eeee! Rough draft of the back cover copy for THUNDERBIRD FALLS! It made me laugh out loud, and I wrote the damned book, so that seems promising. :) There's a couple things I wanna tweak, but *dancie dance*! Happy me!
Coincidentally, I have just written the first seven hundred words of COYOTE DREAMS, and I am much more excited about the copy for TBF than I would have been two hours ago when I didn't know what I was going to do to open CD.
Wow! Chipper cheerful me! Hooray! *dances more*!
I walked 6 miles today. It's grey and blustery but not cold out, which is just perfect for long quiet walks on the coastal trail, and because no one is out on a day like today (er, especially at 3 in the afternoon on a work day), it's *really* nice. Although I did walk by my friend Shannon, who said, "Blog about this!" *laugh*
When I came home from my walk there was a Dukati in our driveway. o.O
Ok, it's a quarter after five and I'm starving, so I'm going to go make dinner because I have no idea when Ted'll be home (the Dukati is his coworker's and they went off to do some kind of work, presumably in the Jeep, which is not here), so I don't want to wait on him. Did I mention that having sent my brilliant husband to culinary school, I'm now cooking most of the dinners? This was apparently the flaw in him having to go back to work after graduating culinary school... :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 204
ytd wordcount: 113,200
A whole day went by without me posting. Oops. I'm sure my faithful audience is crushed. :)
Busy day yesterday. I leapt out of bed and got 2300 words written before my dentist appointment, but then I never got back to writing, so that was my total for the day. I'm going to aim for 3300 today to make up for it, but if I don't make it, eh, that's okay.
That was the nicest dentist appointment I've ever had, I think. Except the part where they said I had a cavity, but even then the dentist was impressed because he'd been keeping an eye on it since 2002 and it'd only just broken through the enamel, so he said, "Good job." *laugh* More importantly, though, that was the best dental hygenist I've ever had. She didn't hurt my teeth at *all* when she cleaned them. Usually I can tell how uncomfortable I am because I usually lace my fingers together while I'm hanging upside down in the chair, and my grip gets tighter and tenser as the hygenist pokes around, and I have to actively think about relaxing my hands, but I never did with this woman. So that was quite awesome, and I told her that was the nicest cleaning I'd ever had. :)
That was *way* more than you wanted to know about my teeth, wasn't it? Oh well, that's what you get for reading my journal. :)
Stupid scale says I'm up half a pound from last week, today. This is particularly annoying because yesterday I was down almost two pounds from last week. Hrmph. Stupid scale.
Um. Dad came over and we talked about marketing for my book, as well as things like inspirational speakers and going forth and doing the things that will get you what you want in life, aaaaand then Ted and I went over to Borders and got the May Realms of Fantasy that has a FULL PAGE COLOR AD FOR URBAN SHAMAN IN IT! AHAHAHAHAH. :) Pretty cool! And by the time all that was over we had to come home and check out the new CoH upgrade, so overall, a good day. :)
Off to write now. Well, after breakfast.
miles to Rauros Falls: 198
ytd wordcount: 109,800
2800 words. I stopped in the middle of a fight scene, so getting started again tomorrow should be easy. :) I'm past 200 pages now, so everything should be bang-bang-bang pretty much all the way up to the end from here on out. I hope. :)
Didn't get much done on CD last night. A bit of the synopsis, but not really very much. Need to think up an opening scene, I do I do. Soon, since the proposal's due at the end of the month. I'll probably work on it some tonight.
And now I must bend my mind to the important thought of whether I'm going to go biking or walking this afternoon... :)
miles to Rauros Falls: 194
ytd wordcount: 107,500
Na' bad, na' bad. 2900 words today, which is what I have to do daily for the next 10 days if I want to hit 60K before we go to Hawaii. I'm wildly unlikely to finish the book before then, but 3/4ths complete would be excellent. I've been all whingy about doing it, but that's just sheer laziness going on.
Later on tonight, when I get bored, which I suspect will happen, I'll very likely get COYOTE DREAMS started in some fashion or another. Synopsizing, anyway, 'cause the proposal's due on the 1st. If I'm Supahcool, or at least diligent, I could fairly easily do 1K a day on that for the next 10 and have much of the proposal ready to go before we leave. Diligence, I'm afraid, is more important than being Supahcool.
I've also walked 4.5 miles today, and that together with writing is pretty much the sum total of my activities.
ytd wordcount: 104,700
miles to Rauros Falls: 192
I'm the featured interview for May/June. :)
I'm really pretty excited about this. FM's got a lot of readers and Vision's got a pretty good circulation (if that's what you call it for an e-zine!) and I think it's really neat to be able to do this kind of thing to publicize my first book. I had a lot of fun doing the interview. :)
Back to the salt mines!
Jai and Tori and I did the Heart Walk thing yesterday, which was really a lot of fun. It was absolutely gorgeous out, and to Jai and my amazement, Tori did the whole 5km walk without a word of complaint. The second half of it we had her running up to check points ahead of us so she could wait for us, which gave her a chance to show off and escape the parental yoke of oppression all at once, so it worked very well. We had a really good time. :) And there was a barbeque at Tori's school afterward, so we had hot dogs and punch and hung out for a while, which was fun too. Yay!
Came home and went on a 15 mile bike ride, then got Attacked By Allergies and spent the remainder of the day being progressively more sleepy as I read books. Evidently I decided that I'm taking a few days off and reading. 7 books down since Friday morning, and I'll go read one more in a bit here. V. nice weekend. The amazing weather has gone away, though, and it's been raining. Which is okay, really, because we needed it.
This evening we're going over to Mom and Dad's for bbq ribs and potato salad. MmmMMMmmm. *happy wriggles*
miles to Rauros Falls: 187.5
miles to Hobbiton: 115.2