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On things that distract us...

It's both sucky and awesome that the video game I've been waiting TWO YEARS for was released this week. Awesome because Mass Effect 3 is everything I could have hoped for (so far) - sucky, because this happens to be my moving week. I need to finish unpacking, I need to write more, but all I want to do is sit in front of my TV and go on missions with characters I've come to adore. I've seen the ending(s) for the game already thanks to YouTube (I've always been a read-the-end-of-the-book-first kinda girl anyway) and BIG spoilers behind cutCollapse ) I'm still going to love this game. Why? Because I've bled and sweat with them through all the missions and, by God, I need to see how it all comes out.

That, and I'll always have fan fiction to turn to if I'm in the mood for HEA. ;)

So yeah, whereas I'd decided to work on my stories this weekend, the truth is that I'd rather spend it in more illustrious (if slightly digital) company.

My dream is to someday create characters this awesome. Every Writer's dream I guess. ;-)
The move-in is nearly complete, thanks to the buttload of stuff my parents brought down! The Dude shampoo'd the carpets at the Old Box yesterday while my parents and I worked to situate the separate rooms. So far the living room and both bathrooms are set, the kitchen and my bedroom are a mess, and my folks leave today. Bummer, I really enjoyed having them visit. :-/

My mind is focused mainly around that office though, and how I'm going to furnish/decorate it. So far it has a desk (with no chair), a giant plant (fake) and weird shelves (that badly need to be repainted). Oh, and a nifty little lamp. I heart that lamp, but then I'm easy to please like that. ;)

The other thing that excites me: Mass Effect 3 is out today. As a Bioware fangirl (and a ME junkie) its amazing I wasn't in line to get it at midnight last night but dangit I was tired. Moving does that to a girl, doncha know?

On the writing front, too many projects to count. *sigh* I can start prioritizing and making a list to cross off in my new office (squee!) but that'll be a little while as I still have a few things that need to be finished and finalized/found (Internet, a fridge, my Xbox controller, etc).

Life is good. :-)
My mom and dad are down for a few days helping me move my stuff and arrange it around my suddenly expanded place. They also brought down a TON of stuff for me and what had at first seemed like an impossible task of filling my house is suddenly much more plausible. Plus, I have an office (squee).

My birthday was on Friday and the Dude, being the awesomesauce guy he is, got me a desk. For my new office (Squee). It's pretty and shiny and it excites me over the possibilities of a writing spot all my own.

Did I mention I'll have an office? (SQUEE!!) It may seem like a small thing to everyone else but, holy cow, I find it to be The Most Exciting Thing Ever! I can't wait to start decorating and make it all imagination-inducing, etc. HEE!!! :-D :-D
For a long time I was a bit of a gypsy, able to put all my belongings in a car and drive to destinations unknown to set up shop all over again. I liked it that way. I MISS that. But life (or in my case, family) tends to saddle you with junk (albeit nice junk) you now have to Carr around with you, and there comes a time when you give in and get that bigger place society demands.

Really though? I just wanted a garage. And more cupboard space for the aforementioned junk. After nearly four years in this tiny apartment, I am finally moving out.

Did I ever mention I LOATHE moving? No? Well I do, with the fire of a thousand suns. I don't even have much, but I so hate the inanity of packing things up in boxes only to have them be unpacked three miles away. If I could dematerialize whole shelves of crap and automatically rematerialize them in their appropriate places, well, that would be great.

But I can't. *cue dramatic sigh*

That all said however, I'm excited. This isn't my first house but it is my first I've gotten on my own (essentially, the Dude has all but commandeered the garage and though he will not [yet] be an occupant of the house, I suspect even the Orkin Man couldn't get him out of that hallowed space). My parents, upon hearing in renting a HOUSE, immediately went shipping for decorations and extra bits to fill the large space I will soon call home.

Somehow, I get the feeling moving next time will be an even bigger headache.

**

I'm pretty sure I'll need to completely rewrite my Nordic YA - it was fast drafted and, well, it shows - and I'm curiously fine with that. I still love the characters (which is always a plus) but I definitely need to flesh everything out more and revisions aren't going to be enough. On the upside, I've learned a few things that worked and didn't work with the story (aka, the villain) and came up with a kickass new ending that leads into a part two I'm still working to figure out. All this with other projects clamoring for attention... *sigh*

But new house! Yay! ;-)

It's been an interesting past few months

Life has a way of carrying you off into a glorious sunset, then keeping you on that far horizon long after twilight is over.

In a lot of ways, things are exactly the same. I'm still in the same apartment (although in the process of moving to a new house, woohoo!). Still with the same guy (The Dude). Still at the same job (yay for government labor, woo). But in another sense, everything has changed.

I'm a writer. As in, I make a tidy monthly income on my stories. It's so strange and fantastic and scary in a way and weird. I even have reviews, many of which are 5-stars! There's been bumps - this weekend Bookstrand abruptly dropped all indie publishers - but I'm getting more short stories and a rising income each month, which is SO cool.

Yesterday I revisited the YA book I finished last summer and never got around to editing. 36k words, no idea where the story was going, a convoluted plot that didn't seem coherent, characters I knew like kin but didn't know how to get just right on the page... You know what? It wasn't half bad! Seven months definitely allows you a little perspective - it was rushed in places, needed more description of location, better identification of the bad guy's motives (and WHO the bad guy even WAS), and a more shocking ending (got that now!). Frankly, it needs editing. Bad. No shame in that, it's a fact of writing life. Very hard to edit a 36k word story in comparison to, say, a 3,600 word short.

Anyway, I just thought I'd check in to say no, I didn't go *POOF* and disappear. Some things really take over your life even when that wasn't the plan. Then, when is that ever the plan?

Hooray for holiday weekends!!!

I LOVE three-day weekends!!! They're like unicorns in my line of work: rarely happen, and a miracle to boot. :D The fact I have this entire weekend off is just awesome, and slightly unnerving. BUT I'll take it!! The Dude is down for the weekend too which is so awesome! Right now he's helping his brother and dad with some car stuff while I do some writing here at Panera. Got a new idea for a story, VERY different than my normal stuff, that's for sure!! Much darker too, and a bit hard to write; a lot of actiony sequences and tough concepts, etc. Dunno if I'll finish it, or whether I'll even publish it when it's done, but I want to write it for now anyway.

As hard as it is to admit, I can no longer write to music or othe distractions. :( :( I've got a lot of noise here in Panera, including a boy who can't be more than 12 carrying on a surprisingly adult conversation (not adult content, but he's one very articulate kid!) that's distracting me as all I can see is a tiny Doogie Howser MD. ;)

On the self-publishing front I uploaded another book, a compilation of short stories. Weirdly enough I've gotten no sales whatsoever on Amazon but have been doing steady work with B&N and Smashwords. It's odd as those are usually the slow ones and Amazon is the biggie - dunno what's up. *shrug*

Right now I have ear-buds in, listening to I think Evanescence live music on Pandora (yup, it's "Bring Me To Life") to keep out genius-level tyke at the next table. Difficult to write to it, but less difficult than when I'm listening to the kid and trying not to stare - it's like seeing a 3-year old carry on regular conversations. The kid's really smart!

Aaaaaaand, that family just left. Maybe now I'll get some real writing done, all I want to do is finish this first scene today (preferably two) then I can hang out with the Dude free of writers-guilt. :)

Deadlines stink

I'll freely admit it: I've never been good with deadlines. In college I was always the one in the computer lab late at night (granted, with MANY others) typing out the 10-page essay due that morning. It's as if I can't work without pressure and yet when I get to that point my brain fritzes out. (I have to admit, I usually got very good grades on those last-minute papers which is likely why the procrastination habit never went away - it wasn't punished.)

I had a goal to get my next release out tomorrow. It was going to need to be done today but my last story, admittedly the hardest, remains unfinished. Worse, I'm unmotivated to write. Yeah, THAT'S always delightful. :-/ Fortunately I know what's going to happen and I can probably finish it tonight if I focus, but the subject matter is new to me and I'm having to think a lot on this one.

Anyway. Life isn't all about writing (good thing too or I'd be inSANEly burned out right now). I have the week of 9/11 off and am determined to do a roadtrip of some sort, preferably by motorcycle. Roadblock #1: Dude is using the bike as it's the only other reliable vehicle in our arsenal; #2: bike needs a new rear tire and while getting it's easy, finding downtime for Dude to either swap it or take it in is problematic. I'm actually getting annoyed at not having my bike; this was supposed to be a temporary stop-gap measure, but 4 months later... Arg. Another conversation for another time.

It seems that Richelle Mead (blue_succubus) has had her baby if I understood Twitter right!! Her last Succubus/Georgina book is out today which I intend to pick up after work. ;-D

Uh oh, bossman's in town. Time to look busy!! ;-)
Yesterday, tired of focusing on writing, I took the day "off" and read instead. "Quarter Share" by Nathan Lowell, a scifi coming-of-age tale, is exactly what I needed to get my mind off the monotony of my job and onto something so much more awesome! It's not an adventure tale, but one about a young man forced to find his way in the world and signs on with a space vessel. Some would (do) call it boring but it's the perfect mental escape from real life; the world is incredibly well-imagined, even the processes of the ship. I'm about halfway through and LOVING IT so far.

The other book I'm reading, a far cry from QS, is "Happier Than A Billionaire" about a couple who give up the fast-paced life here in the US and move to Costa Rica. Also am halfway through that book and, again, LOVING IT for different reasons. She and her husband live down there simply for $1000/month, own their own land, and, well, frankly are living the new "American Dream". :) Maybe it's affecting me so much because I want to do something similar eventually, but I don't know if I can take that sort of laid back lifestyle for a while. I need to feel needed; it's a bad habit I'm trying hard to break. ;-P

Despite taking time "off" to read, I'm moving along with my second round of ebook fare. Doing the editing, it occured to me I should probably give them time to breathe a bit so I can look at them with fresh eyes again, so they won't be going out until middle of next week. On a much happier note however, I was looking at the numbers so far and so far this week has doubled the numbers of the last three weeks combined (16 sales, 8 of which were this week; and that's just at Amazon).

Work beckons, then home to hopefully NAP. Tired doesn't begin to cover how I feel this morning...

Best. Monday. Evar!

I'm finally done squeeing from yesterday and in hindsight it seems so small but...

In my last post I mentioned I published a short story on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. It was part experiment, part first move to self-publishing, part "I wanna join the latest fad!". I had pretty modest goals for the first month: 20 sales across all platforms. It doesn't seem like much but many people who self-publish NOVELS don't get that in their first six months.

I managed it in 17 days. *bounces around*

As the Dude so "helpfully" mentioned, the royalties are only 1/10th the price I paid for the cover but OH WELL!! August is the hardest month for book sales yet I still hit my goal. :-D I also made my first sale in Amazon UK which was a hoot-and-a-half too.

Anyway. Bouncing aside, it was a good Monday. Dude is coming down on Thursday and I'm off Saturday so we're probably going to do something for the weekend. Several possibilities are being entertained although much revolves around a family night on Saturday with his family. Still, there's fun to be had anyway.

I also did a writerly pay-it-forward yesterday and gave someone else my spot in the editorial line-up. She totally deserved it and I can afford to give up the deposit; as much as I wish I'd had something to submit for critique and edits I seem stuck with short stories for the time being. It's weird: I've never before been able to do short stories but can now. Hopefully I'll learn something about longer works this way. :-)
Wow, after being so addicted to Twitter and 140 characters max, blogging suddenly seems so HARD!! ;-p

Dude is one his way home right now, they landed in LAX around 6am from Hawaii. I'm so looking forward to seeing him but, silly me, I stayed up until 1am waiting for him to fly out so I'm dead tired. A nap may figure prominently in my afternoon but we shall see.

I'm looking at cover art for my next shorts bundle and boy is it hard to decide sometimes! I'm up to 12 sales on my 2-week anniversary (since hitting the PUBLISH button): 2 from Smashwords, 2 from Barnes and Noble's PubIt and 8 from Amazon's KDP.
Total royalties so far: $5.30
Not bad so far for a >4,000 word short story. :)

I also got some bloodwork done last week and reviewed the results yesterday with the doctor. Apparently I'm in great health across the board - something of a letdown as I'd been hoping for a reason I'd gained a lot of weight this year. Guess I only have myself to blame there. ;-)

Because I'm hardly ever near a computer at work I've taken to writing on my iPhone's Notes feature/app. I think I mentioned that before but what started out as a temporary stop-gap measure has somehow morphed into my sole method; I now prefer it to typing on my laptop. *boggles* Not sure how to deal with that to be honest.

Ugh. I'm dragging like crazy today; Dude understands my need for a nap but we were both looking so forward to being together, I feel like I'm letting us down. Of course then my brain goes fuzzy and I forget all about it. *sigh* Sleepiness stinks...

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