Month: January 2008

So. Tired. Today.

It’s not enough that trash collection begins in the wee hours of the morning and goes on for several hours on Tuesdays. Oh no. I’ve pretty much grown accustomed to that. But you add to the trash trucks the tree-trimming trucks that have been parked outside my bedroom window since 7:00 a.m., and now you’re talking bloody murder. I’ve had a headache all damn day, and no amount of Advil has even put a dent in it. And all day long, outside my window, I’ve heard the raucous cacophony of bucket-seated men wielding chainsaws.

And oh yes — did I mention that when it’s windy (read: most days), my living room sounds like it sits underneath an abandoned playground? Up on the roof, the vent between the spot over our stove and the outside world has a loose flap; and when it creaks and turns in the breeze, the sound is amplified down the vent. It sounds exactly like a rusty see-saw being worried by two toddlers without a drop of rhythm between ’em. Yes, it’s exactly as pleasant as it sounds.

This little quirk was supposed to get fixed about three weeks ago. Back when the problem was first noted, a nice older gentleman from maintenance told me what the problem was — and then he told me that all it would take to fix it is a little bit of tar, but he didn’t have any tar on him right that moment, and he was leaving for vacation. But he’d get it in a few days.

Like I said, this was three weeks ago. I resubmitted the request this morning, and it was received without fanfare — and I was given a promise that it would be forwarded to maintenance immediately. Yeah. I’m holding my breath over here.*

In other news, my word count is low again today. The reasons for this include (but are not limited to) everything I just typed above, plus a freelance gig and a few afternoon business email exchanges. I also put in my application for guest status at DragonCon; so it’s not like the day was a total loss or anything.

Today’s stats for the trashy adventure about a neurotic vampire/thief and her wealthy blind client, now with Bonus! half-Cuban drag queen and military intrigue are as follows:

Project: Bloodshot
New Year’s Resolution Status: Pass. Barely.
New Words Written Today: 950
Present Total Word Count: 25,143 words
Goal: 30,000 words and a proposal.

Darling duJour: “… My internal Panic O’ Matic was convinced that heavily armed commandos were already rifling through my underwear drawer.”
Things Accomplished: Fleeing the scene; plotting next move; red-headed floozy disguises; trying to find coffee in Seattle; 25-cents a printed page is fucking extortion; maybe it’s time to abandon this-here safe house and run like hell.
Other Accomplishments: Pleased my first reader with “The Catastrophe Box,” filled out convention applications, sorted some tax documents. Tried to decide whether or not I was childishly pleased or grown-uply embarrassed by how much (read: how little) I earned writing fiction this year.**
Stumbling blocks: Freelance gig took up all morning, well into lunchtime. No big deal and I was happy to have it; but it ate up a big chunk of my writing block. Must make up for it tomorrow.
Reason for Stopping: Headache or no, I need to get out of this noisy-ass apartment.
Total Fiction Words Composed in 2008: 49,455

* As an aside, every time I complain about our apartment I get a flood of readers insisting to me that I should move; but I note that none of those readers are in the downtown Seattle area — because those readers know good and well how hard it is to find an apartment around here … much less an apartment that (a). isn’t completely falling apart and (b). is less than $1100 a month. Besides, we’re still in a lease for the moment. So seriously. Knock it off. Can’t move right now. Stop making me feel like a loser about it.
** Less than last year by over $2,000. Gotta write more. Gotta sell more.

Surreality and Cats and Prose

I’ve mentioned before that Spain the Cat snores. No, seriously. She snores. When this 12-pound animal — who sleeps beside my head at night — really gets going good, she sounds like a whoopie cushion being sodomized by a hyena; and if you don’t know it when you hear it, it can be quite confusing. I mean, surely that godawful noise can’t possibly be coming from that cute little coil of fur? Can it?

Oh yes. Yes it can.

Anyway. So last night I was having this weird dream that Spain was talking to me. She wasn’t saying anything important, she was just very slowly saying very random words, and in the background, someone was revving a motorcycle. Hey, it’s a dream. these things happen. And at some point in this dream it dawned on me that yes, I was dreaming — ergo, the cat and I were not conversing in any fashion. So I woke up. Sort of. Actually, I woke up just enough to hear this coming from the warm spot beside my pillow:


It was the Dark Knight, what jolted me all the way awake. I didn’t realize Spainy was a fan.


In other news, my word count is lower today than it has been lately, but I have an excellent excuse: I didn’t write very much. Afternoon stats for the trashy adventure about a neurotic vampire/thief and her wealthy blind client, now with Bonus! half-Cuban drag queen and military intrigue are as follows:

Project: Bloodshot
New Year’s Resolution Status: Satisfactory.
New Words Written Today: 2151
Present Total Word Count: 24,193 words
Goal: 30,000 words and a proposal.

Things Accomplished: Imminent peril in the form of government hackers and/or men-in-black; hot blind vampire guy confusion; nice hotels; discreet seeing-eye ghoul; our heroine must make like a banana and split.
Other Accomplishments: Brought “The Catastrophe Box” up to Draft Two status and sent it off to first reader; dragged about 50 pages of steampunk sample content up to Draft Two status.
Stumbling blocks: Accepted a quickie freelance gig that must be done tomorrow, so I fear for tomorrow’s word count and/or secondary project material too. That’s fine; I could use the money and it’s an easy assignment. One day maybe I’ll be in a position to say, “No! No, you easy gigs that eat up only one afternoon! I am a busy and successful fiction writer, with no time for such frivolities!” But today is not that day.
Reason for Stopping: Husband will be home from work soon. Am hungry. Should begin preliminary set-up on freelance material.
Total Fiction Words Composed in 2008: 48,505

January 27, 2008

I had hoped to begin this post with a video of Java the Cat — the exceedingly charming rug-roamer who lives downstairs.* But alas, YouTube is being a knob-gobbler today and it won’t let me upload the footage; and since Java can’t be persuaded to hold still without a tranquilizer dart, I only got one good photo of him. Ergo, I am forced to lead with this instead:

Java gives me his "bedroom eyes"

In other news, last night Aric and I went to see Juno. Between us, we declared it the most charming comedy about teen pregnancy we’d ever set eyes upon. Really, it somehow manages to be unflinching and adorable at the same time, and I absolutely recommend it. I regret that I have but two thumbs with which to endorse this movie.

And moving right along as if I had a transition here or something, today’s stats for the trashy adventure about a neurotic vampire/thief and her wealthy blind client, now with Bonus! half-Cuban drag queen and military intrigue are as follows:

Project: Bloodshot
New Year’s Resolution Status: Sound.
New Words Written Today: 3392
Present Total Word Count: 22,042 words
Goal: 30,000 words and a proposal.

Things Accomplished: Contact with shady military officer; hot shower and a nap; email request for info from fellow freelancer; panic attack over the word “reconnaissance” and a dead trespasser; new meeting with blind vampire client, who is totally hot.
Darling du Jour: “Depending on which frothy-mouthed internet pulpit-beater I chose to believe, Holzter Point might conceal anything from alien artifacts to Bigfoot’s sperm samples, plus a few pickled flipper babies from Three Mile Island and Jimmy Hoffa’s stomach contents. I’d like to make fun of those guys, but I had information from a blind vampire that the storage facility held details of medical experiments conducted by the military on the unwilling undead — so far be it from me to call anyone a liar.”
Reason for Stopping: Getting a headache. And it’s Sunday. I can call it an early afternoon if I want.
Total Fiction Words Composed in 2008: 46,354

* His owner, my buddy Ellen, was out of town for a few days so I bopped on down periodically to check on Java and his sis, Amelie. Amelie is much less outgoing, I’m afraid. I had to crawl half underneath the bed to even persuade her to take some kitty treats.