wordinista: (Bunneh has had quite enough kthx)
Fifteen days till Yuletide stories are due and... I have not started yet.  Shit.  I AM NOT GOING TO DEFAULT, BECAUSE I AM NOT MADE OF QUITE THAT MUCH FAIL YET.

Also, if you have a holiday card post somewhere on your LJ, CAN YOU PLEASE LINK ME TO IT?

Additionally, if you haven't hit me up for a holiday card PLEASE DO SO HERE.

My last class is tomorrow night, which is good.  I have not yet finished my project, which is less good.

Tora may not be getting a Christmas bonus, which is bad.  (Very bad, holy shit.)

And Bronte has had three accidents in as many days (which is v. v. bad and also unpleasant).

However, I'm not sick, which is an improvement over last year. 

I'm also giving serious consideration to teaching for the college again.  I'm trying to talk myself out of it, but I kind of miss doing something that feels worthwhile, even though I did bitch a LOT about the rampant idiocy.  I... don't know.  The job caused me a lot of stress towards the end there, but that had a lot to do with other things going on at the time.  I enjoyed teaching, and it's something I'm good at.

I also feel utterly detached from just about any sort of fandom these days.  I want to finish OGAM, if only because I ... need to finish it.  I don't like the idea of leaving something that huge left unfinished.  But writing in general has been difficult.  If I write at all, I try to focus the efforts on original fic.  It's like... the OGAM-verse used to be a lot more vivid in my head, and it just... isn't anymore.  I may just try to make the next chapter the last chapter, because... it very well could be -- it'd just mean cutting a lot of extra frou-frou bits.  I don't know.  I... kind of need to make myself give a damn again. 

The same goes for BitR -- ever since Takaya ended the series, I have had zero urge to work on the story, because I hated her ending so very much.  I dunno, might just yank that one -- or figure out how to make it shorter.

So!  Going to walk Darwin, work on my project, and pick out a couple of things to read in order to get myself primed to write my Yuletide story, and ... and I am going to attempt to get into SOME SEMBLANCE OF THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT because, damn, I am no fun like this.
wordinista: (Death N' Dream)
I haven't been able to update my journal for almost a goddamn week.  WTF, LJ.

Bronte had a vet appointment today -- very little change from last week, if any. She put on a tenth of a pound, and her PVC values are the same.  She's on the same meds for another month, after which point Dr. Young will probably alter the dosage.

Other stuff going on, but I can't think of it at the moment.  Have been getting the itch to write again, which is definitely good, as I simply haven't felt like writing anything for months.  Maybe I'll even tackle that drabble meme from a million years ago...
wordinista: (Kyou Fortitude)
Okay.  I haven't been writing.  And I need to.  I've been doing any number of OTHER things, but not writing.

So.  In the interest of stimulating my muse, I BEG YOU TO MAKE ME DRABBLE.  PLEASE.

But, and here's the part you might not like, I want to drabble for the WIPs I have going.  Which sucks, I admit.  But I need to get myself inspired to work on the things I should be working on, so... there you have it.

WIPs include:  OGAM, A Bump in the Road, and Universal Truths. 

(Actually, I'll drabble nearly anything Furuba, now that I think about it.  I'm having a hard time getting into the FB headspace.)

So... please.  Throw some prompts at me.  I will love you forever if you do.
wordinista: (teles)
Wow, I slack like a... slacking thing.  That's positively shameful.  I remember when I updated, like, every three weeks.  Good lord, I suck.

Fic update -- OGAM, Chapter 56: At Last
wordinista: (Bunneh has had quite enough kthx)
[livejournal.com profile] yuletide story is not only finished and beta'd -- it's uploaded.  Huzzah!!  *cuddles her beta readers happily*

Now I'm going back to bed.  I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I actually feel worse today. I'm not going in to work -- I'm actually coughing until I gag, and THAT is completely not something you want to be doing in such close proximity to kidlets.

And I think my fever's back.

Dash it all.

And my throat's sore again.

WTF, I thought this thing was going away.  (Okay, so it probably didn't help that I got exactly jack for sleep last night because of my lovely cough.  Argh.)

So.  Bed for me.  And possibly another pot of tea.  Not in that order.
wordinista: (Sessmoon ushitora_icons)
Though it was touch and go for a while, jeez.

So, I started to get sick.  I took Airborne.  I felt better!  I kept taking Airborne!

Periodically, I felt worse.  :P

Then I started to get better!

Then worse.

Things see-sawed like that for a couple of days, and today, though I sound like absolute crap, I'm actually feeling not half bad.  Okay, so taking a shower and blow-drying my hair still leaves me winded, but my throat doesn't feel dry and scratchy anymore, and my cough doesn't sound SO much like a three-pack-a-day habit.  I do still have a headache, but I'm suspecting that's got more to do with the copious amounts of sleep I've been trying to get (and a lack of caffeine) than anything else.

I went out Christmas shopping with Mom on Friday and got quite a bit done.  I still have a few things left to buy, but they absolutely positively have to wait until Friday, because that's when we'll have money again, so I see myself braving the stores very early in the morning, because I do NOT want to muck about with all the OTHER last-minute shoppers. 

And I am starting to get panicky about the Yuletide challenge.  Will not default.  Hell, people are still writing pinch-hit fics this late in the game; I can certainly finish one fic.  (I'm also nearly done with OGAM's ch 56, but will not work any more on it until the Yuletide fic is done.)

Mostly I'm kind of tired and congested and headachy, but probably would've been a WHOLE lot worse if I hadn't made a concerted effort to eat decently and take a metric ton of vitamins.

I also haven't sent my holiday cards out yet.  Heck, I haven't even filled the things OUT yet. (Good lord I suck.)  We just got the tree decorated today.  (And had to have a little rest afterwards -- yes, Tora's sick too.  Where do you think I got my cold?)

I did get one of my Christmas prezzies early, which made me very happy -- a Williams-Sonoma slow-cooker cookbook.  Soooooo many yummy recipes in there.  There's a recipe for Cuban chicken I can (and probably will) make this week, since I have all the ingredients for it already.  Score!  (There's also a butternut squash soup recipe and one for vegetable curry that sound omgsogood.)

And that's about it in a nutshell.  Now I'm going to go make some dinner and try and get more of this fic written.  *cracks knuckles*
wordinista: (Drunk on words...)
So, is anyone on my f-list particularly knoweldgeable about ancient Irish mythology?  Oengus Mac Oc and Newgrange in particular? 

Anyone? 

Anyone?

Bueller?

Eeeeeee!!

Dec. 4th, 2006 04:21 pm
wordinista: (AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!)
Econ paper and presentation: DONE

Econ final: NEXT WEEK

Yuletide assignment:  HOLY SMOKES I NEED TO START EFFING WRITING ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG.

(It's now the fourth, and I have till the nineteenth and... tell me I've been in worse fic-related scrapes than this, someone. Please.)
wordinista: (Hatori/Mayu: Hot w/credit for meliachu)

I know I mentioned the "shoujo sparkles" caricature of Darwin I got done last week.  The scanner's broken, but we were able to take a pretty decent picture of the drawing:

Here it is! My sparkly boy! )



Thanksgiving was wonderfully drama-free.  The only thing Tora's parents did that was even remotely annoying was monopolize his brother's time so he wasn't able to come and see us at all while he was in town.  Tora talked on the phone with him once and basically told him not to sweat it, and that if he got here, great, but if he didn't/couldn't make it, not to stress.  I, however, am rolling my eyes at their rampant immaturity. 

Today we're thinking about taking Darwin to the park.  Tora's a bit resistant to this plan, because he's such a nervous "dad" whenever we go to the dog park. He's so afraid Darwin will get hurt, or hurt another dog.  I love watching him play with the other puppies, and as long as the other owners are keeping a watchful eye out, I've found there's usually never a problem.  I'm going to keep trying to get Tora to come around (though my only problem with the dog park is that Darwin is usually filthy afterwards, and he just had a bath on Tuesday, argh).

Things at Sylvan are settling into more of a routine.  I went through training to tutor basic math, and the only thing I have next is training for writing, which will take me no time at all, I'm sure.  (I'm wondering why they had me do math next, instead of writing, but I'm figuring they might need math people more than they need writing people, or something.)

And all of you sniggering about me teaching math... well, keep sniggering.  I'm sticking to basic math, up to a 5th or 6th grade level. I've told them not to trust me with algebra or geometry or anything of the sort. 

The work is actually quite enjoyable, for the most part.  Sometimes there are challenging students, but nothing I can't handle.  There's an element of time management/multi-tasking that I need to get a handle on, but everyone's assured me that that's a skill that comes with practice.

Writing has been going... pretty well, actually.  I got quite a bit written for OGAM and Bump, and I've been working a bit on my original fiction (things have been so stressful lately, the fact that I can write ANYTHING is a major relief).  UT is stalled for the moment as I try and figure something out (the focus seems to have shifted away from the two main characters and onto two other characters, and I didn't want that to happen -- so it needs figuring out).  I've also figured out a plot for a different thing I'm working on (*cough*vampires*cough*), and that makes me happy, because until this week, there had been an utter LACK of plot.  Just a bunch of nifty characters hanging around my head all, "You should totally write about us!"  So that's good.  I'd really love to start on my Yuletide fic sometime soon.  I thought I had my plot settled, but I realized something problematic, so I have to reconsider a few things, dammit.  I'm not going to start panicking until Dec. 1.  That's usually when I start freaking out if I haven't started writing yet.

....And I just realized that I have an economics paper due in something like two weeks.  Crud.

wordinista: (ded of tired)
I hate being tired.  I mean, at least I understand why I'm tired -- my daily schedule for the past two weeks has been a pretty constant grind, so it's not like I'm dealing with this mystery fatigue.  Lately my schedule has been a little something like this:
Why teh Bunneh is teh t1r3d... )

So that's that.

Dammit, Bronte, STOP BEING SICK. )

Back in the saddle? Maybe... )

There.  All caught up with my life.  Now if I could just find time to sit down and watch my saved episodes of "Heroes"....

...

There's a review waiting for me at MMO.  If it's someone bitching to me about OGAM, there is a slight possibility I will cry.  I am just that tired.

....

Yay!  It's love for "Extracurricular Activities."  Huzzah!
wordinista: (confident ignorance)
I'm usually very, very, very careful when I ask for a critique of my original work.  I make sure I ask for it when I'm relatively confident in its quality, and when I'm ready to hear bad things about it.  For instance, if I've revised one chapter -- no joke -- eight times, rewriting it over again at least once in the process, I'm not gonna send it out for a critique immediately, because I know I'm not mentally or emotionally ready to hear someone tear apart what I've just finished slaving over.  I need a little time and distance, and then -- then I am probably one of the most gracious recipients of criticism anyone will ever encounter. 

So, it's been about two months since I did my last revision of the first chapter of Universal Truths. And I found a crit group online (found it through Miss Snark's blog), and I submitted it.

I got a lot of really good advice.  Some really, really helpful stuff, and I plan on tackling the chapter this weekend and doing the revision I said I wouldn't do.

However.  There is one tiny thing that's annoying the snot out of me:

The first ones to comment on the chapter mentioned the fact that it was too wordy (and it is -- you'll get no argument from me there).  So, I got, like, five critiques that said I needed to tighten things up, and not force the reader's eye, as it were, and cut the unnecessary descriptions.  And it's good advice.  And I'm going to follow it.  That said, the next ten commenters said the exact same thing -- completely reiterating what was said before.  So by the time I got to the end of the comments, my attitude was more like, "Yes, I GET IT.  It's TOO WORDY.  I KNOW. FIND SOMETHING ELSE FOR ME TO FIX PLZ."

I mean, I hate complaining about it after I asked for the critique. And when you ask for a critique, you really shouldn't bitch about it, because... well, you asked for it.  And, really, it's been a positive experience, because the comments are (mostly) very helpful and useful.  But after getting to the 19th comment and being told, yet again, how I need to cut my descriptions...yeah.  I wish they'd tell me something else -- tell me something I don't know, because, trust me, after hearing the same comment over and over and over again, I think I'm going to get the hint.  Maybe.

A couple of the comments had a kind of condescending tone that made me bristle a little, but I was able to get over that.  And a couple of people gave no criticism whatsoever -- they just said they didn't like it and thought it was boring and, oh, by the way, they're probably not in my "target market," so I should take what they say with a grain of salt.  Bzuh?  That's... not even really criticism, constructive or otherwise.  But whatever -- I'm going to overlook the not-helpful stuff, and focus on the helpful stuff.

Even if it's stuff I'm getting told ten and twelve times.
wordinista: (Miami Hurricanes)
Posted an update over on [livejournal.com profile] original_niamh.  As always, it's f-locked, so if you can't see it, you probably aren't logged in.

At the moment I'm kicking Universal Truths Chapter 11 into submission, trying not to overthink myself into writers block.  Because I do that.  As I write, I try and anticipate what my lovely beta-readin' pals will have to say about what I've got, and what usually ends up happening is I make snarky mental remarks about EVERYTHING I write, and end up deleting it all fifty million times over.  Which, as you can imagine, has me creeping forward at a snail's pace.

Add to this a lot of, "Hey, Kara, come look at this!" from the next room, and random pop-ins from my mother, and you can imagine how cranky I'm getting.  (Though, to be fair, Tora doesn't know that I'm actually trying to DO something in here. Which is my own fault entirely. If I told him I was working on UT, he'd leave me alone.)

Anyway, a lot of this is moot, because it's getting on six o'clock here, and the Miami/FSU game is on in two hours.  I've got super-fantastic nachos to make, and wings to order and pick up.

So, whee!  NCAA football!  'Canes/'Noles!  Wheeeeee!
wordinista: (Killing Perfection credited to ushitora_)
There is a "wrong side of the bed" and I got out of it this morning.  From the start.  The first words out of my mouth this morning weren't bitchy, but the second ones sure were.

Not sure what my problem is, other than Darwin seems to have a case of the stupids (every time I've taken him outside to do his business  [twice, so far, in forty-five minutes], he's distracted by the local stray cat, ducks, the dog barking across the canal, so I end up following him around the yard for twenty minutes while he figures out where he doesn't want to do his thing); I'm tired -- SO tired, because I wasn't able to fall asleep until 1:30 in the morning and then got woken up at a few minutes before seven; our bank account has less money in it than I thought it would (because someone is making charges and not telling me, so I can't keep track); and... well, that's it so far, but I've only been up for... not even an hour.

I am actually in a position to go back to bed for a little bit.  I think I might try it.  Because I'm not sure it's normal to swear this much first thing in the AM.

ETA: The day, she is turning around. I did in fact crawl back into bed and got a little more sleep. I then got up, had an onion bagel and made some coffee (something about coffee in the morning helps when I'm trying to do any writing -- it's like performance-enhancing drugs for my brain). As I was making coffee, The Best Dog in the World brought me his favorite ball to throw (he kind of... held it in his mouth and pushed it against the side of my leg to get my attention). We played a little indoor fetch, and I had a late breakfast.

As I'm finishing up my coffee and contemplating taking Darwin swimming, I get an email from Tora about some marketing stuff I wrote up for his boss as a favor (since they're a start-up company and have no marketing department). Incidentally, Tora's boss also happens to be "R" of the "R and C" duo with whom we spend a great deal of time. (I watched their kids while C had the baby, we get together for LAN parties, NCAA football parties, we go out to dinner together, and they were the reason Tora and I suffered no major meltdowns before the wedding.) I told R I didn't mind helping, as it'd take me no time at all.

Here is what the sales guy had to say about what I wrote:

Please find attached suggested revisions to marketize the text of the HEDIS document.

Whoever wrote the original did an incredible job and I love the way they write as it really shows their command of the material. The suggestions on the marked up version are just to marketize the text. Please feel free to keep what you like, remove / restore original text to your satisfaction.


There are now noises being made about possibly hiring me to be their one-woman marketing department.
wordinista: (Tea! Gimme gimme!)
For myself and nearly every creative person I know, stress does a job on the creative spirit. A little over a year ago, RL was hitting me from all sides with various problems and dilemmas, and while this year has had its share of drama (thank you, ToraMom), it's nothing like last year.  This month happens to mark UT's first anniversary, and in the course of one month, I had written five chapters.  It's now a year later, and I have ten chapters -- however, considering how many times I've revised and rewritten those chapters, I should have upwards of twenty-five or thirty.  I went back and looked at those early drafts today, and my god, were they bad. (Update over on [livejournal.com profile] original_niamh, by the way.)

Anyway, it seems to me that I'm slowly but surely getting back to a place where I can sit down and write for a few hours at a time, rather than sit and stare despondently at the screen, tapping out a few words here and there before standing up in exasperation and searching out laundry to fold.  This weekend, I was working on a few things, and actually got annoyed when I was interrupted, something that hasn't happened in quite a while.  I also poked around a bit with some fanwriting, which was fun instead of aggravating, and I really, really feel like I have it in me to finish OGAM, which, after three years, is a huge relief.  I'm actually quite bad at leaving things unfinished, and while I realize that OGAM is only fanfiction, and holds absolutely no worth as far as my real writing is concerned, I cannot leave it unfinished.  I can't do that to myself.  I feel like if I'm able to finish THAT, then I can channel that energy into my original fiction and say, "Well, hell, if I could finish OGAM, I can finish damn near anything."

The only unfortunate thing that I can see is, well... my hand.  Over the past year or so, I've been noticing a weird sort of ache in my index finger joint.  Turns out it's arthritis.  It runs in my family, and both my mother and grandmother got it in their hands first.  I'm noticing that after a few hours of typing and trackball maneuvering, my right hand aches.  I can't grip anything (seriously -- I tried to get myself a scoop of ice cream earlier, and... I couldn't.  I had to get Tora to scoop it for me), and by the time I go to bed at night, the knuckles in my right hand hurt.  Like I sprained every one of my fingers.  I've been using therapeutic putty, which seems to help, but it's a bit of a pain, as I can't type with putty in my hand.  So usually I just squish it whenever I'm not writing.  Or, you know, during those moments when I'm not doing anything with my right hand.  For a right-dominant person, that's easier said than done.

But, you know, I'm so damned grateful that the urge and desire to write is finally coming back to me. I wish it didn't hurt, yeah, but I'd rather take inspiration with a side of pain than a stubbornly blank canvas in my head.
wordinista: (Kyou Fortitude)
I looked into joining the Florida Writers Association today.  It looks... I don't know.  It'd probably be a good thing to do, and might be a good way to network, and the yearly dues are really quite reasonable.

But their webpage?  Sucks.  Seriously.  I could design something better, and that's not saying much.

I'll have to think about it.  Don't really have the extra money right now, anyway, after Bronte and Darwin's vet visits over the past few weeks.  Bronte's got another one Friday.  *crosses fingers that her big, black puddin' is producing adequate numbers of red blood cells*

In the long run, it couldn't hurt.  I'm just not sure how much it'd help.

*Dives back into working on Universal Truths, which is undergoing yet another round of edits, whee!*
wordinista: (Shelley - Defence of Poetry)
I'm just an updatin' fool.

A Bump in the Road: Chapter 9, "Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever."

Here's the link at FFN.  Not sure if I'm going to upload it at MMO, because I am giving serious consideration to pulling my stories off Mediaminer.  (Not that I'm fool enough to think anyone would miss me, but the recent drama, coupled with the less-than-user-friendly aspects of the site has left a bad taste in my mouth.)

I'm thinking about possibly starting to pimp Ficwad because it's new and small and so far seems to be free of FFN's stupid rules and MMO's penchant for wankery.

And now that I have this edited and uploaded, I'mma gonna go see if I can coax my UT muse back out to play.  She came out for a little while Friday, and we had a grand old time.  And I took my notebook to bed Friday night and scribbled until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, which also felt kind of nice, perversely enough.  [livejournal.com profile] mscongeniality, I may soon be bothering you with more questions about architecture. 

What is it about writing in longhand that sparks the creative juices?  Is it because it gives your brain a chance to stretch and think while your hand is writing?  Because when I type, I can type almost as fast as I can mentally produce prose, so if my brain stutters, my fingers slow and eventually stop as well.  I'm not sure, really.

Hmm.  Just remembering that I've also been tagged for a few memes that I haven't followed through with yet.  Might do something about that today.  I hesitate to do the music meme, as I've been on a bit of a nostalgic kick lately, and it'll show, but I don't like having things hanging over my head -- even such things as goofy intarwebz memes. ;)
wordinista: (Sensitive Pisces credit to colorfilter)
O-fic ramblings... )

Writing in general... )

Life with the menagerie... )

ETA: Okay, what is it with my dog making a liar out of me? We went to Petsmart, and aside from some crazy, spazzoid behavior upon first walking in, for the rest of the time, he was better than I've ever seen him behave. (I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that on this visit, I was pushing a cart as well? I don't know.) And of course he had to "stand up" and put his ginormous paws on the counter as I was checking out. I like not to encourage that, but it still amuses me every time he does it.
wordinista: (teles)
Chapter 55 is up and running, because I've got the best betas out there, yo.

Link to Mediaminer: Chapter 55 -- "If it's Not One Thing..."
wordinista: (teles)
OGAM's chapter 55 is written and has been sent off to my sexy beta team.

I know most of the people on my f-list don't care, but this makes me very happy.

And... okay, I can't really say "only" four months since my last update, but... yay?
wordinista: (Shigure OHNOES!!1)
Because I should be doing other things...

Dear Advanced Finance Midterm:

I hate you.  Plzdie.

Love and Kisses,
Niamh

***

Dear Tora-kun's aunt,

You win at awesome.  You are one of the most tactful, classiest people I've ever had the pleasure to know, and I hereby vow to get to know you better, because you rock just that much.

Love and Kisses,
Niamh

***

Dear Self,

Nine hours of sleep is more than adequate to focus on the midterm.  Rein in the wandering attention span and get this thing finished.  You are not tired, and you are not laying one finger on Furuba volume 13 until this midterm is finished.  AND you haven't even started on the centerpieces.  And do I even need to mention that you've got some cleaning to do around here?  I know you cleaned house last week.  Guess what?  You have to do it again!

Quit procrastinating,
Me

***

Dear OGAM, Bump, and Extracurricular II muses,

STFU.  RIGHT NOW.  I'M WORKING.  STOPPITDANGIT.  STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP. YOU DIDN'T SAY A WORD WHEN I WAS READY AND WILLING AND ABLE TO WRITE, AND BECAUSE OF THAT YOU WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO START GIVING ME INSPIRATION NOW.

NO LOVE, YOU SADISTIC BASTARDS (especially you, Extracurricular II -- you evil bitch),
Niamh

***

Dear UT muses,

The above does not apply to you.  Anytime y'all want to start talking to me again, I'm all ears, midterm or no.

Love and Kisses,
Niamh

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