Monday, June 30, 2003


Spent the weekend packing. The study looks like a hastily organized storage area. And I realized that I would not get nearly as much writing or revising done this month as I had hoped. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to forget just how much time and energy moving consumes. I think it was the fallacy in thinking that, since we had five weeks to move, it would be easy. Ha! I didn't even get to read a whole lot of the new Harry Potter. Yeah, this week is going to be crazy. We get the keys and start moving in tomorrow (we're going to try to significantly deplete the population of boxes now residing in the study). And we leave right after work on Thursday for Vegas and Zion for the Independence Day weekend. And the following weekend is the big move complete with the Uhaul and the transfer of the kitties. So, see you in August? :(

Friday, June 27, 2003


So I finished Wizard's First Rule a couple nights ago. I must say I was disappointed. After 800 pages of building to the climax, everything gets neatly resolved in a tight little package in 20 pages. Man, would I love to have sat down with a red pen with Goodkind. He's got a great story, but he just buries it in a lot of unneccessary exposition and description and dialogue. The first 600 pages could have been shortened to at least 400. And the torture stuff that made me squirm earlier did amazing things to the character of Richard. In fact, it made me wonder why Goodkind waited 600 pages to do it. And his timeline was bizarre. First it seemed like winter began a mere week or two away from the start of the book. Then as we read about those two weeks (maybe even longer), Richard gets tortured and kidnapped for a month and it's still not winter. WTF?? So I won't be reading the next installment in that series. But I will thank Goodkind for making me squirm so I can try to do the same thing to my readers every once in a while. But I don't think even I can handle doing that for 70 pages.

So I bought the new Harry Potter book last night. Costco was selling it for nearly 50% off. Can't pass up a deal like that. And I really like the way it's started. The Dursleys have finally rounded out. Well, Uncle Vernon seems to be hesitant to leave his flat status, but way to go Aunt Petunia! Mark's teasing me that he knows who dies. Well, in 800 pages, I'll know too. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Supreme Court Stirs the Pot Again

The Supreme Court decided to make big headlines twice in one week by smacking down the Texas sodomy law just days after it upheld affirmative action. I found the news groups' reviews of this decision extremely lacking, so I went and found the actual ruling so I could read it myself instead of trusting the media and their various spins. I found Kennedy's ruling to be, for the most part, logical and easy to follow. O'Connor's agreeing opinion was much easier to understand, and had the best logic. And then there's Scalia's dissenting opinion. Yipes. I got a couple paragraphs in and, after rereading them about five times, decided I had no clue what that man wanted to say other than the fact that because Bowers v Hardwick was overruled, then Roe v Wade could be overruled as well. I think. And the news groups are saying that, somewhere buried in his terrifying legalese, Scalia was also warning that this ruling would pave the way for same-sex marriages (an outcome I actually would celebrate instead of villify, but tomato, tomahto and all).

But this is the line that really stuck with me (from Kennedy's ruling):

The Bowers Court was, of course, making the broader point that for centuries there have been powerful voices to condemn homosexual conduct as immoral, but this Court's obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate its own moral code.

Can I get an "AMEN"???

And if we were going to be shoving a certain group's moral code down the throats of every American, let's be equal about it. If we're so concerned about disrupting the fabric of our society by keeping the traditional views of marriage sacred, then let's have a major crackdown on adultery. Let's prosecute Gary Condit and every other asshole politician that can't keep it in his pants. You want to talk "slippery slope," Santorum? Then let's talk about what enforcing your moral code and ideas of marriage could mean. So we keep the sodomy laws. Maybe the next law on the books in this area says that oral sex is illegal. Or that men can only be on top. Or, and here's something far more likely, that sex outside of marriage is illegal. How shall these laws be enforced? Video cameras in every bedroom, right? Think that sounds ludicrous? Well, it's no more ludicrous than saying that getting rid of the Texas sodomoy law will make bigamy, polygamy, and incest OK.

I've said this before, I'll say it again, and I'll never stop saying it. The world has lots of problems to fix. Blaming any one group of people or one lifestyle as the cause of those problems is not only reminiscent of Hitler, but it's also just letting the problem get worse. If no one takes responsibility for their actions, for their role in the ills of society, then what's the point of placing blame? Why not just admit there's a problem and try to work together toward fixing it*? Is such a thing so contrary to modern humanity?
*Note: By "fixing" I do not mean saying "Let's fix it by getting rid of sodomy because that is obviously what caused the problem in the first place."

New Look....Again

This is odd. Things look the same as they did in my test blog now. Leaves me going WTF?

The Change

So Blogger has switched me over to the new format. It's strange, though. I started another blog just so I could test drive the format a while ago and this looks nothing like what I see for that blog. Very strange. I wonder if they decided to change something between the test run and this one. I like the test run version better. But, just in case you were wondering, I didn't post yesterday because of this switch over. Wouldn't let me access my blog for the entire afternoon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


I just spent the past hour or so reading 70 of the most disturbing pages. I really wish someone had warned me about Wizard's First Rule. I had pretty much been reading for the love story between Richard and Kahlan because the good vs evil business with Darken Rahl seemed so tedious and unoriginal. Then Richard was captured and tortured by a dominatrix. For 70 pages. And because I had been reading mainly the love story, this just made me squirm and really came out of nowhere and seemed totally pointless. I mean, I have to admire Goodkind for evoking that strong a response but....ick. Still, take the good from the negative and I get a few pointers on how to make my uncomfortable chapter even stronger and more impacting.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Language Breakthrough

Without realizing it, I made up rules for the Mayj language just by picking out location names way back when I spent some time on a map. And I think I've decided to keep one language. The one that would provide me with names is pointless and most of the names I've selected so far are in keeping with the Mayj language sounds and rules that are kicking into place. I like it when your brain kinda sneaks up on you like that and shows you that it had a much better grasp of what was going on than you thought.

Speaking of language patterns sneaking up on you, I've been realizing the past couple of posts that I like to used the words "just", "only", "really", and "very" often. And, most of the time, those words are fairly useless. I wonder if I have that problem in my writing. I'll have to make a note to look at that when I revise Human Dignity.

By the way, the fantasy novel is tentatively titles Chords of Honor and the world has the shaky name of "Velorin." I'm not sure I like the name of the world as I think it's already in use somewhere in the Star Trek universe. And the title sounds a bit too militaristic. Plus, I think that I like a title like that better for the final book of this trilogy idea. But it'll do for now.

One of Those Weeks

Or maybe just a case of the Mondays. I suppose I'll find out tomorrow. I just don't feel like accomplishing much of anything this week. I want to read and sleep and eat good food. And, here's the wierd part, I want to exercise. That's right, I have visions of bouncing along to Denise Austin's Daily Workout this week. But not writing. And certainly not going to work where I sit on my ass doing nothing. Very odd.

To distract myself, I've been digging up some amusing things on the web. As a nod to the new Harry Potter book (and a method of sneaking in a commentary on the mind-boggling work of fiction that is Living History), I link to this article. It's more enjoyable if you have some familiarity with J K Rowling's series, but those Potter virgins out there should be able to laugh just as much. And for all those writers that might occassionally bump into my blog, I offer John Warner's writing tips: Rounder Characters in No Time Flat! and Breaking Through Writer's Block.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

You Guessed It

This marks the official end of "Y" week at Kellie's Blog. And there was much rejoicing.

Yesterday's Post

Talking about wanting to change the world got me thinking about why it is I want to do that. Well, there's the obvious reason. Letting things continue on as they are now is not in the best interests of all but the richest people on the planet. There's the empathetic/altruistic reason. Watching so much pain and torture and ickiness on a global scale will drive almost anybody to want to do something to stop it. There's the selfish reason. If I fix it then I don't have to deal with this shit any more. And then there's the ego-driven reason. We want the admiration or power or control or some other ego boost in knowing we've been responsible for righting a wrong. I'm just hoping that the last reason is only the teeniest part of why I want to change the world. But to say it's not there at all would be lying.

And that whole line of thought got me thinking about the label "Tortured Idealist". When it comes to reading and writing fiction, I have to admit I am an idealist. I want the "happy ending" where the good guys win (even though some of them may die and they'll go through hell to get there). But when it comes to the real world, I would have to say I'm a realistic idealist with strong optimistic tendencies and a few episodes of pessimism (especially when it comes to public education in the US). And in the moments when my confidence fades to black, I'm a pessimist with infrequent boughts of realism. And I read that and wonder how I ever feel like one person.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Ye Olde Topic is Back

Remember that theme discussion at FM that turned into a debate about heroes and got rather nasty? Well, it's back again. In a way. Holly posted a new article today called Saving the World Through Typing in which she repeats her view that to write with the intent of saving the world is a Bad Thing. But she tackles this subject in a humorous yet vastly better way than her posts in that icky topic from months ago. Either that or I've changed myself over the months. At any rate, had I read this then, I likely would've kept my cool about the business instead of letting it consume me. Why? Because it makes some good distinctions right out in the first two paragraphs. I fall into the "Tortured Idealist" category, not because I survived something tough (although I've done that, just haven't decided to write about it yet) but because I heard somebody say something that scared the shit out of me and had to write a book that addressed that in the hopes that I could speak my mind on the matter that way. If someone read this book, saw my point, and decided to Do Something About It, great. Maybe that was even my initial intention in the writing of the book. But last summer when I stumbled into my voice and my passion for writing, that intention changed. Oh, it was still there in my theme, but I just wanted to write the story. I can always hope it will bring about some changes, but I know better than to expect it or even try to promote that hope. Of course, I knew that when I started as well.

I guess my biggest issue with the old debate was that I do every job with the hopes of changing the world. That's not the primary reason. I'm not that arrogant. But it's something that gives me a sense of purpose in dark times and that keeps me going. When I did research, I loved the questions and puzzles that biochemistry offered. I thought it was so neat to study a bacterium that had managed to develop a means of digesting a man-made compound that had at one time been toxic to it. The possibilities for combatting superbacteria and even pollution gave me a sense of pride and purpose in what I was doing. It made me feel good about what I was spending my life doing. Same with teaching. I taught because I love science and I wanted to share that love with others and give others scientific puzzles and riddles to tackle. And, yes, I also hoped that maybe I could make a difference in my students' lives. Everything I've ever spent time on, I've done with at least a small hope of making the world a better place. Even writing. So on some level, I do write to save the world.

But here's the catch. I know I can't do it by myself. I know I will never have an idea that will fix any problem beyond my own need to accomplish something, to make a point. I harbor nothing but the hope that someday, somewhere someone will look at something I've done and do something good with it. Of course, I'm fully aware that someday, somewhere someone can look at something I've done and do something bad with it as well. It's not going to stop me from doing and hoping. This world's got serious problems, and I am not under any illusion that any one person can fix a single one of them. Real change is brought about by lots of people working together in a common purpose. And I never think for an instant when I sit down to type that my words will provide that purpose. But sometimes I might hope it does, for at least a small group of people trying to stop one tiny problem in the midst of a lot of crap. That makes me, and every other writer with "change the world" tendencies I've bumped into so far a "Tortured Idealist" not a "Writer Superhero". But reading Holly's passion on the subject makes me wonder what other writers I'm going to bump into down the road.

You Know You're a Science Geek When...

So I've written 2,358 words today. And I think I've got some more in me, especially since this next chapter will be back in RufusCam. :) And I reminded myself of my geekiness when I decided to research the differences between smoker's lung cancer and non-smoker's lung cancer. And I of course managed to dilute that and work it into my novel. I'm afraid I've gone straight into the science too much in Chapter 2, so I might have to fiddle with the order a little bit and start off this chapter with Kris remembering (or trying not to remember) her tryst with her boss. Right now that comes later in the chapter and is likely buried in the science. Not good for a romantic suspense, althought the science is part of the suspense, so it is kind of vital. I can sense this being a problematic balancing act.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Yes! Yippee! Yahooooo!

Wrote 1260 words today in Red Rocks, my second book. Not sure if I like the title, but it sure beats "romantic suspense" for now. And those words constitute the first chapter. Already my baddie's henchman is trying to take on a life of his own and be a bigger character than I had intended. I suppose basing him on the yummy actor Rufus Sewell wasn't the best idea if I wanted this guy to be minor. This is going to be fun.

I can almost see myself dancing down the writing path now. As I neared the finish of Human Dignity, I was so apprehensive about taking the next step. I was so worried that I would try to start another book and realize how wrong writing was for me. Or, worse, that I only had one book in me. But this new book has sucked me in just like HD. It's an amazing feeling. Everything about doing this just feels so right! I feel like I'm skipping down the writing path, hand in hand with my muse. And it's sunny, and the sky is an amazing shade of blue, and the trees are catching the light in their leaves, and I'm wearing a beautiful dress, and "Ode to Joy" is ringing gloriously through the air.

And have I mentioned my tendancy to be a little too dramatic? :)

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Yell If You Need Me

I'm so tired, that it might just take a good shout to get my attention. I got slammed at work today, although things slowed down a couple hours ago, leaving me to feel totally drained. And dizzy. Fun. I'm psycologically ready to start writing the romance, but not physically. This edge of dizziness is even bothering me as I write this. Ick. OK, back to reading my book. Until my boss gets a chance to break out of his meetings and give me another ton of stuff to do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Yipes! It's Only Wednesday???

OK, that wasn't a freak coincidence. This week of blogging, I've just decided, is brought to you by the letter "Y". But don't get to used to it. I doubt this will become a regular thing. Moving on...

Much craziness at work today. Big Issues rearing their ugly heads. I'm so tired, and I'm going to be swamped for the rest of the week. Wish it were Friday. I could use a weekend right about now. I didn't go to writing group last night (again) because I was just so exhausted. As I was trying to fall asleep before 8 last night, I realized that the exhaustion may be a warning sign of depression (post-partum depression if you are of the opinion that your books are your babies, an opinion that a year of critiques has gradually worn away), so I forced myself out of bed and took care of a few big cleaning/organizing messes involving tossing lots and lots of old papers. I also balanced the checkbook and did a couple other things. It felt good. Nice to be moving. And then I set an extra alarm to get up early enough to work out and eat breakfast, maybe browse through the paper (instead of just rolling out of bed, throwing on clothes and make-up and wandering out the door). I was all set to get back into an exercise routine. Until I woke up at midnight, feeling like I was suffocating. Couldn't fall back asleep until 2. And now I'm just wasted.

I had hoped to start the romance book (really need to name it) today, and I still might, depending on how I feel after I get the oil changed and finally get home. But work prevented me from doing anything more than some outlining for it. Which was still very helpful. I've got characters springing to life and scenes forming. Looking forward to starting this.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


No, this week of blogging isn't brought to you by the letter "Y". The fact that two consecutive entry titles began with the letter "Y" is just a freak coincidence. Really. On with the entry...

I picked up some classical CDs at Borders this weekend (I love their value bins). I needed to expand my collection and I wanted some more instrumental things for my writing soundtracks. That and I need to get some cello specific stuff because one of the twins in my romance trilogy plays the cello. Hence the title of this entry. I picked up two of Yo-Yo Ma's CDs and I've been listening to them in the car. Good stuff. But it reminds me why classical music often frustrates me. Dynamics. Don't get me wrong. Dynamics are a good thing (wish my chorus would wise up to that - they think that pianissimo means average volume and fortissimo means screaming volume). But classical music dynamics run such a gambit of volumes that it's hard to listen to it in my car. I turn it up to catch the quiet sounds only to be blown away by the loud sections. I guess classical is best listened to at home where the speakers aren't a mere two feet from your ears.

I tried to start constructing consonant sounds for Mayj last night. Goodness, this could take a lot of time and effort. But my brain is sort of teasing me with vague ideas of making this fantasy trilogy into a long running series and I'd rather spend the time now and make it all accurate and cohesive and reproducible and such than try to make it work later down the road when I've already established this world in a couple books. So I'm sticking with the detailing. I've been meaning to sit down with headphones and my classical collection to help me come up with sounds that I want to replicate. And I'd like to listen to some Eastern languages and European ones to mix and match sounds for the normal "old tongue" (really need to name that) of this world. I'm sure it will be lots of fun once it stops giving me a headache.

Monday, June 16, 2003


Just checked out The Language Construction Kit that Sheila linked to a while back. Oi. I read through the info on Sounds and Alphabets. Nifty stuff and the author indicates some tricks to help you create your own language, but.... Oi. My head hurts and all that on-line reading has pissed off my equilibrium, so I'm dizzy to boot. And this is without complicating things with grammar yet. Oofta. And I decided my fantasy world requires two conlangs. One for the Mayj (it's going to be very lyrical and such because their magic is in music), and then an "old tongue" or somesuch that makes it clear that they aren't speaking English really. So as soon as my head stops spinning, I'll take another look at creating the sounds of the Mayj language. I figure that will be the easier since I'm going to base it on the pleasant sounds of singing, with rare harsh sounds to be used when doing more serious/defensive magic (since there's no war in this world, that's a very small category).

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Sure Bet

I did it. Part 3 is done, at a grand total of 24, 933 words. I had to beat the last couple pages out of me and I'm really not sure if I like them, but that can wait to the revisions. Maybe I didn't make myself clear.


Human Dignity is about 500 pages, 98,933 words. Wow. And I'm spent.

Friday, June 13, 2003

All Bets are Off

That's it. You've had your chance. You've been reading how I'm so close to finishing. I've said so many times that I will be done by X date. But now the bookie is closed. You can't place your bets about whether or not I'm really going to finish when I saw I'm going to finish. Why now? Because Sunday is my birthday and my gift to myself is to be done by my birthday. I will not turn away from my computer (well, unless I need a potty break, or food, or to stretch, or... :)) until Human Dignity is done. Finito. End of story. That's all she wrote. A done deal. No watching of the Discovery Channel. No reading other people's finished books. No posting online about various and sundry topics including but not limited to how many Hail Marys a writing prostitute would be required to say by a confessor. Yes, fun things have been happening today in Bulletin Board Land. :)

But you've had your chance. Now you have to tear up your betting slips and wait for the next WIP race.
Found an amusing blog on the Fresh Blogs link at Blogger. I'm going to check out Why, Jerry, Why? every so often over the next week and see about linking to it. Geez, that sounds like I'm the Blogging Goddess and a link to your blog in my blog makes or breaks your blogging career. Mainly, I'm posting this so I'll remember to check it out and see how I like it. But you all get to come along for the ride as well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Feast or Famine

Isn't that the truth of it? You have either too much or too little of a good thing, never just the right amount. Usually I appreciate the famine days at work, that gives me more time to write. But sometimes the sheer tediousness of sitting at a desk waiting for something to happen while you throw your brain at a WIP is just too much. So along comes a day like today. When I'm dying to immerse myself in the very last bit of Human Dignity. And today is most certainly a feast day. One of my managers is having a big party right now to celebrate being with IBM for 25 years. And of course the task of planning said party fell on my shoulders. So I've been trying to make sure everything was set for that and add a few personal touches to the whole affair (got a corsage for his wife, got a card for the secretaries he's worked with quite a bit to sign, got some balloons to decorate his office, etc). And it's been hectic, but a good hectic. My manager is a nice guy, and it's nice to do special things for nice people. And my othre manager had to deal with an on-going Issue today, requiring me to reschedule all of his meetings, requiring me to find conference rooms for the new times. Finding a free conference room at IBM Boulder is like trying to make certain individuals find certain orafices on their personages with two hands and a flashlight. It's not easy.

But the day is almost done. I've got a nice bowl of homemade guacamole sitting in the fridge for me when I get home. And I have a good chunk of time before PJ and Mark show up for the usual Wednesday Couch Potato Session, so I may just get to finish this WIP then. Wouldn't that be nice.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003


Wrote about 1000 words last night and sketched out the remainder of the last chapter. I hope to finish it today. And then start mapping out the next two projects and maybe even start writing the romance this week. Exciting, in a bittersweet, terrifying kind of way.

Human Dignity has been rattling around in my mind for three years. This is the first idea that actually stuck around in the various recesses of my brain and refused to go away. The idea even took pity on me and let me think I was doing a good job and going somewhere with it way back when it first came to me. Until that moment, any creative writing spark snapped and fizzled or turned extremely vague, boring, and ugly after hanging out with me for a couple weeks. But not Human Dignity. It started slow, with grandiose ideas that tried to shove a theme down the throat of anyone who so much as read the first paragraph. I was able to drag a timeline out of it, that I dutifully wrote down (so now, unfortunately, there is a record of just how much this novel could have sucked had it not morphed later :)). I picked at it like a scab for two years, wondering how long it would take me to finish.

My experience with the idea of Human Dignity emboldened me to write down other ideas that collided with my burgeoning creativity (hey, it's not egotistical - I was a scientist at the time, nowhere to go but up), and to even think about maybe writing *gasp* another novel or two. Then I joined a critique group last summer and everything came clearly into focus. My burgeoning creativity turned into a quirky muse whose inspiration began to step in time with the strange patterns of my thoughts and experiences. My muse slapped me upside the head with my voice. And a boatload of more novel ideas. She revealed a path in front of me that I couldn't ignore, I enjoyed it too much. I had to explore it.

Now here I am, about to turn around the first bend on that path. For the past year, I've been able to see the original road from which I came. It's always been there to provide a contrast, or even just the security of knowing it was still back there and I could run to it if I didn't like this new writing road. But by finishing Human Dignity, I will turn a corner and move deeper onto the path my muse showed me. The road of science and education that I had long been traveling will no longer be in sight. And I can't figure out if that's a good or bad thing. But it is scary.

The frightening element is dampened by the beauty and intricacy and depth of the path I'm traveling. Since my muse exploded onto the scene a year ago, the world of writing has amazed me. That amazement has not always been easy to take (the reality of the publishing industry; passionate discussions of rhetoric, language, and writing tools that challenge the way I think and tempt me - sometimes successfully - to abandon diplomacy; and the writing of so many great friends and authors that makes me wonder why I ever thought I could join their ranks), but it keeps me eager to know more and improve.

So finishing Human Dignity is exciting because it makes me realize that I really am committed to exploring this path. But it's bittersweet because I will be turning a corner, moving away from a fascinating part of the road that has been a real joy to walk. And it's terrifying because dedicating myself to a path reminds me of the path I had previously tread and how passionate I was about it. Leaving two careers in one year left a strange mark on me. It shook my sometimes (OK, I'll be honest - oftentimes) egotistical confidence. It shattered truths I thought I knew about myself. It made me hesitant to embrace any other path. It made me question everything. And so it's a perfectly normal reaction to drag my feet through the finish of Human Dignity. But that muse is still pushing me forward, preparing me for that first turn. Now I know what it feels like to curse a muse while embracing her at the same time.

Monday, June 09, 2003


OK, how about another trip into Kellie's subconscious. It's a dark, dangerous place, but together we can navigate it. So my brain decided to kick up some dreams this weekend. Friday night (or maybe it was Saturday night), I had a dream that I was back teaching high school. Of course, the school itself was really sweet, nice big windows, huge classrooms, tons of supplies, great students. You name it. The funny thing is I was still working at IBM. And after a really good day of teaching, Dream Kellie was trying to figure out how she could teach and be a secretary at the same time. Very odd. But it was a nice dream. It's actually the second dream I've had about teaching in the past couple months. I really don't want to think about what my subconscious might be telling me with this. I'm not ready to rock my boat with thoughts like that.

The other dream? At some point this morning, in between snoozes I'm pretty sure, I had a dream that I was in some nice big house with all sorts of people I didn't know (including Tim McGraw - whose picture I saw on the cover of a magazine while grocery shopping last night) and we were getting ready to have some kind of party. Well, Tim McGraw decides to take an active interest in me (not to worry, I was still single in this dream) and I, of course, had absolutely no problems with this. So while things get, shall we say, interesting, at this nice big house, everyone else goes to the party. And gets mowed down by mobsters with machine guns. But Tim and I are fine. In fact, we're more than fine. And just when I'm coherent enough to realize that continuing this dream might be odd, but I wouldn't really mind it all that much, the alarm wakes me up fully.

So what important life lessons should I take from these things? That I shouldn't have quit teaching? That I should be trying to off Faith Hill so I can get with Tim? And what the heck do mobsters killing a bunch of housemates as I have a merrily old time with a studly country singer mean?

But here's the biggest question: Do I really want to know?

One More Chapter Left

So Saturday wasn't the day. Sunday came close. I wrote nearly 4000 words yesterday, finishing one of the two chapters left. Then I realized that my final chapter is going to have to avoid preachy tendancies, triteness and cliches like no other chapter I've written before. So I needed time to let the brain stew over that. I've got some ideas, and I think I might not go to chorus tonight so I can write. I'd rather have this thing done sooner so I can get back to revising it sooner. And so I can start moving on with the romance and worldbuilding.

And the Discovery Channel should really be outlawed, by the way. It's way too easy to get sucked into that thing and never emerge. After Unsolved History on Saturday, they showed this really nifty special about Ocean Currents and the like. Very cool.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Today's the Day

Or at least it better be. I've done the errands, cleaned the house, wasted some time watching all those cool Discovery Channel shows (inlcuding Unsolved History - totally something to watch for ideas on worldbuilding). Now it's time to write. I'll take a break for dinner. But that's it. I definately want to write one chapter tonight, if not both of the last two. I want tomorrow to be dedicated to mapping out my next two projects. I asked about revising and starting new projects at the same time at Think Tank last night, and I was told by all to put it away for at least a week, if not longer. Put some distance between me and the writing. I hadn't thought about that before. But it's sage advice and something I often tell myself regarding other projects. So that might push back my original idea of getting Human Dignity finished by the beginning of July. We'll have to see. And I was going to play around with my map for my fantasy world so I could get it the way I wanted and also do some more worldbuilding, but our scanner has some disagreements with Windows XP, apparently.

So this is the sort of entry where I go off on something for a bit, to loosen up the fingers and mind. And my mind's just not with it. I could talk about my MRI. I could talk about my brother. And as soon as I ask my brain to do that, I get this, "Aw, c'mon. Do we have to?" and a yawn. That's sort of been the response all week when it comes to writing. I suppose I should just force myself past it and hope that the quality of my writing tonight isn't total crapola. OK, I'll try it out here first. I guess I'll talk about the MRI.

I took the Adavant, and it did chill me. I thought it would eventually zonk me out, but it didn't. I just felt like I couldn't be bothered to get worked up about anything. I suppose the drug just really killed my need for control and understanding of every detail and boosted my often overlooked "it's someone else's job, they can deal with it" sense. I knew the drug was working when we had to sign in at 6:30 AM with this receptionist who clearly wasn't having a good morning. She asked us to pay $100 even after we told her that this was a recalled appointment and we had been told we didn't have to pay again. She said that it wasn't written anywhere in the record, so how was she supposed to know we weren't just trying to get a free ride. This naturally pissed us off. When it became obvious that we were going to have to pay, Mark tossed his card on the counter. The woman got all pissy and said something like, "Excuse me?! Don't throw your card at me!" Completely over-reacting. I stepped in to be the mediator. All half-baked "Hey, man, it's early and we're all tired" crap that you see stoned folks say in movies. Then she goes off to call someone. We figured that she was trying to call the MRI clinic to check out our "story." Nope. She was calling security. The guard didn't do anything, just made his obvious presence known at the far end of the counter as the woman came back and proceeded to charge us. I had to force out of her what we were supposed to do to get the money refunded. Usually something like this would've just irked me to no end and I would've been talking big about filing a complaint and speaking with her manager. Nope. Adavant's some good shit.

Then I have to put on the requisite hospital gown. I was allowed to keep my pants on, but everything else had to go. Including my glasses. I didn't care. They also put a strange slotted cover over my face. It actually gave the illusion of a bigger space in the MRI tube. I found myself studying the effect by trying to focus on the mask in different ways. It was all very scientific. I would imagine this is how Denise feels at a certain point in Part One. Must be sure to revise that section with this experience in mind. When the scans were going on, the machine made all sorts of wierd sounds in strange patterns. I kept trying to find the beats the different scans made. And I kept bouncing my feet to them, making up some kind of song in my head. It was rather entertaining. Didn't feel stressed, it didn't seem to take that long. It was a pleasant experience. I really like Adavant.

Afterwards, we had to wait for a few minutes while they printed off the images. Seeing my brain on X-ray-like film was an experience. It kept me amused while Mark had to deal with the afore-mentioned counter bitch to get our refund. Then we drove to the airport and had a late breakfast. I took a dramamine, got on the plane. I fully expected I would pass out while waiting for my flight. But I was actually really alert and awake. Spent most of the flight looking out the window and watching the amazing Arizona and California desert. But that starts another story.

The Monday after I got back, I found out that my MRI was completely normal. Good news with an edge. It's good news because a tumor or even the spine trying to pinch of my spinal chord would've been a bad thing. But it's got an edge because now we still don't know what causing this damn dizziness, which mercifully has subsided quite a bit this week. So I'm going to keep trying the physical therapy (well, technically I need to start it), get some massage therapy going and just in general try to take it easy on myself. If after another month or two, it's still a big issue, then we'll see about sending me to an ENT (ear, nose, throat - not Treebeard). Now I need to get serious about doing everything I need to do to take care of myself. And that's where I've always fumbled the ball. I don't know if it's a lack of patience, laziness, or a motivation problem. Or something else. But I need to get around it. I need to get a schedule together and really stick with it. That will go a long way toward helping, I think.

Now, on to writing.

Friday, June 06, 2003

And Yet Another Round of Excuses

The top one this time is that this weekend is a Monthly Marathon at Forward Motion, and I can use that to push me into finishing Human Dignity. The others are the same as Wednesday. Last night was a real downer at home because Nosey was running a bit of a temperature when we picked her up from the vet and we were told to monitor her temp four times a day. Nosey will not let us take her temperature. She very nearly bit Mark escaping our last try (as she scampered away with the thermometer still, um, inserted). We think we managed to get her temp with that little escapade, and her temp is lower than what the vets were concerned about. But we're not quite sure that was her actual temp. She's behaving very normal, as is Addy. Their paws are still swollen and they are clumsy with them, but they're starting to spend time out from under the beds. Still I was really worried last night that Nosey would be very sick and we couldn't tell because we couldn't handle her in such a way as to get her temp.

But I'm really excited and certain that I'll finish this darn first book this weekend (well, the first draft of it, at any rate). And then I can start revising it. And I've been looking forward to that for a long time. I've got some great ideas for the problem areas I'm already fully aware exist, and I'm getting better at finding the rest on my own. I'm really hoping I can revise this thing by July, but I think it'll be much more conspicuous to work on that at work than it was to write at work. I'll have to play around with some options.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

More Excuses

Still not finished with the draft of the book. Still two chapters away. Need the fire under my posterior and fast. My excuses? Hmmm, let's see. There's usually at least two. The first is that Mark and I had to drop of the kitties at the vet this morning so they could get declawed. And I swung back and forth on this issue so much over the past year. But they were just so scared this morning. Addy kept clinging to me, even though she was hissing at me. And Nosey kept up this pitiful meow the whole way there in the car. We can visit them tonight, and we probably will. If I can get over my immense guilt at what I put them through today.

Excuse Number Two? My work buds did a fantabulous job of distracting me today from Excuse Number One. It's been a while since I've laughed this much. The laughter is also distracting me from Excuse Number Three, which I touched on briefly in yesterday's post. It shall, of course, remain shrouded in mystery until that time in which it will become not so shrouded. Yes, it's been one of those days.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Technical Difficulties

Blogger was pissed yesterday (as was my work puter's server) and today I couldn't access the Internet for about six hours due to more issues with the work puters. I'm not a happy camper when it comes to technology right now. Why is it that we've come so far yet we have so many problems?

Anyway, didn't write today because of the technology issues and some other work things that must stay hush hush for now (but they're good things, mostly). My big news for today is that I dropped out of all my responsibilities for chorus last night. I've been juggling this idea since January, and I finally had to make the decision to either quit or just sing. I went with the just sing option. I realized that I've been trying to shift creative energy from my singing activities into my writing activities and it just wasn't working. So now I'll be able to completely focus my creativity on writing and figure out what I have left over for singing and THEN I'll know what responsibilities I can take on in that arena. I've been beating my head against this problem for six months now, wondering why I hated singing and writing often felt like pulling teeth. So I'm hoping that this will make the writing flow better and return my love of singing. We'll see.

And I still have much to say on my brother and the MRI. Guess we'll have to save that for tomorrow, depending on what the computers decide to do.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Always Two More Chapters

Ok, I've been sitting around for the past week or so, thinking I only had two more chapters left to write and then Part 3 would be finis. Not quite. I just wrote two chapters today and discovered that I still have two more yet to go. But that's good. I needed the two chapters I wrote today to prep the climax a bit more. And seeing as how that this is the climax of the entire book, I guess more stuff preparing you for it doesn't hurt. So I wrote 2300 words today and may have a few more thousand in me depending on whether or not dinner recharges me. And whether or not I can forget about what I still have to do to prep for my little directing stint at tomorrow's rehearsal.

Still not in the mood to start thinking too deeply on everything that's happened this past two weeks. I think my brain's still digesting everything. Maybe later this week (which is turning out to be just as hectic as last week, it seems). One thing I do know for sure: if I don't finish Part 3 tonight, I'll definitely have it done by Tuesday.