Nov 22

Short week

It’s been pretty darn difficult to motivate myself to do a whole lot of actual Work at work this week. Heck, “week” is a pretty strong word for what is ending up being only two days. My mother is flying off tomorrow to study lion poop in Africa, so I decided to take the whole day off since taking her to the airport would eat up most of my morning anyway, and what’s the point of working the second half of the day right before a holiday?

Besides, I really need to get some work done on my house in Slidell. Kat moved out last week from the house that I’ve been renting to her for over three years, and headed off to Oregon. Since this house took very minimal storm damage it’s Prime real estate, and I already have someone interested in renting it from me. Actually, it’s a good friend who lost EVERYTHING during the storm, so I’m renting it to her for the cost of my mortgage only, on a month-to-month lease, with the understanding that she’ll help me get things fixed up and cleaned up while she’s there. There’s no way I could have charged her more to stay there. I can’t make a profit on someone else’s misery. This woman had just gotten her life back together after a divorce and had purchased a condo on Lakeview Drive in Slidell… two weeks before the storm hit. When she went back after the storm to see what was left she found the slab. That’s it.

So, tomorrow my plan is to rip up the carpet in the back room that took about a centimeter of water–just enough to soak one low spot in the center of the room. Kat told me that the water came within an inch of getting into the main part of the house. Heck, if a boat had gone by it would have swamped it. The garage did take water–about two feet or so, and enough to kill the water heater and washer and dryer. Then, a huge cedar tree fell and pulled the electrical box off of the house. Kat was without power for about a month because of all that. Ugh. And then, another tree fell over in the front yard, which ripped up the water line. So, she was without water as well for several days. No wonder she fled to Oregon! All she has to worry about there are volcanos.

I also don’t plan on putting carpet back down in that back room. For one thing, carpet’s expensive, and for another, finding someone to actually install it would be an adventure, since, oh, about 50 THOUSAND people are having new carpet installed. And so, in the “it’s good enough for that crappy house” category of decision making, I’ve pretty much decided on stick-on tiles. Less than a buck a square foot. And I can do it myself.

And, as you can no doubt see from the counter above, my NaNo progress is pretty fucking dismal. Right now I plan on extending it to the end of December, though I still don’t think i can do 50k words of short stories. However, the last few days have been a lot better as far as ideas coming together, and I’ve found that when I do get uninterrupted time to write, it’s flowing a lot more nicely. Who knows… maybe I can make it to 20k by the end of the month.

Nov 20


Anna, making a break for it after realizing that her parents really are complete morons:

Anna driving

Anna, busted by Daddy:

Anna busted

Anna and the bubbles:

Anna bubbles

Anna realizes what she wants for Christmas:

Anna and the pony

Nov 18

November in the South

I’m freezing my ass off. Yes, I know it’s not even below 32F, but I’m still freezing. I am such a southern girl.

It also doesn’t help that our downstairs unit is not blowing hot air. It blew cold air fine and dandy just a few days ago, but the warm stuff is beyond its ability. Fortunately, the upstairs unit is keeping things nice and toasty up there. Unfortunately, the big screen high definition tv is downstairs.

Nov 18


Finished one story.

One. And, no, it isn’t 8000 words long. More like 1800.


Nov 18

A motion

Okay, this is pretty damn funny.

Nov 17

Way too busy

Tuesday was the Big Busy Day.

Tuesday morning I got up at 5am as is my norm, packed the husband and kid off to work and daycare respectively, then waited for the insurance adjuster who said that he would be there at 7:30am. Miraculously, he arrived at 7:15, which was just dandy with me since I had Much to do that day. He was extremely nice and cool and grabbed his ladder and tromped all over our roof. He dutifully noted that yes, the top of our chimney really was gone, and then found another area where we had some shingle damage. Amazingly, we suffered no other roof damage, which he attributed to the high qualilty of shingles we had on our roof. And the fact that we had high quality shingles actually surprised me, since Sunrise Homes is not exactly the gold standard for home construction. But I can’t really complain about them now, since out of 60+ homes in our neighborhood, we only have four Blue Roofs, and only two houses took major damage, even with winds over 150mph, and one of those was from a humongous tree taking out the second story.

So, after he took measurements he climbed down and then took measurements of the back yard where our privacy fence used to be. I explained that the cleared land next to our house was a playground and so we’d had to clear away all the debris from the downed fence since there were broken boards and nails and stuff, and we really didn’t want to have the kids hurt by any of it. He took measurements of the yard, then asked me about other losses including food, debris and tree removal, evacuation expenses, etc, and then went to his truck and dinked with numbers for a while. After about ten minutes he came back inside and gave me two checks for amounts which I considered to be quite fair. So far I’m impressed with State Farm. Yes, it took two and a half months for an adjuster to come out to the house, but I did have one call me a week after the storm to find out how critical my damage was, and when I informed him that ours was minor he told me flat out that it would be a while before anyone would get to me. I have no problem with that.

Next on the agenda for the day was racing to the courthouse. I had to testify in a trial against a man accused of possession of child pornography, and since I did all the computer forensics on the stuff, my testimony was pretty much key to the whole case. I didn’t get called to the stand until late morning, but then I testified for over an hour until finally the judge called a lunch break. When we came back from lunch I was back on the stand and testified for another hour and a half or so. The most excellent thing was finally being qualified as an Expert Witness in computer forensics and digital imaging. I’ve been qualified as an Expert Witness in Video Analysis for about a year now, but I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get qualified in computer forensics. A lot of CF people have this problem, because usually these cases don’t go to trial and you can only get qualified if you’re on the stand for trial or motions. Usually if someone gets popped for kiddy porn and the CF confirms it, the bad guy pleads out. Well, this guy was a multiple sex offender, and so the state wanted to triple-bill him, and thus did not offer any pleas. Sucks for him. Good for me.

I finally got released from court in late afternoon, and asked the prosecutor to please call me with the outcome since I then had to race home, change clothes, then drive to Slidell to help Kat pack her house up into a moving trailer for her move to Oregon. (Still jealous!!) We worked our asses off getting most of her worldly possessions stuffed into the trailer (with one break to watch “House”) and I finally left there at about 11pm.

Got home, stuffed something vaguely edible into my mouth, checked on the baby and tucked her in, and dropped into bed shortly before midnight. Didn’t even take my makeup off.

Then up at 5am again the next morning.

Needless to say, I’m pretty behind on the whole NaNoStuff.

Oh, and the jury came back with guilty on all counts.

Nov 14

Movie Time :)

Anna covered in chocolate milk and being chased by Daddy Monster.

Nov 11

Things that suck

SCIFICTION is dead. Sigh.

Nov 11


Okay, so I’m realizing that a goal of 50K words on a novel is MUCH different than 50K words of short fiction. Feel free to disagree with me, but short fiction is a LOT harder to churn out words for than long fiction. Each word has to mean more, and so I find myself not able to just type and type and let things flow out. Instead I have to think about what’s going on, or at least about what the basic goal/premise of the story is going to be.

So, no, I’m not coming anywhere near my daily goal of 2500. In fact, unless I break down and “cheat” by diving into a novella, I seriously doubt that I’ll make the 50k words. However, I’m still certainly coming out ahead, because I have the starts of 18 different stories now, with about half of them more than a page in, and three of them in definite signs of Progress. I’m still making myself write at least 100 words on any story that I open up to look at. I’m just glad that I didn’t set a goal of X number of stories completed, because I think that I’d be extremely discouraged at this point if I’d done that. At least with this method I can still feel like I’m accomplishing something, even if it’s not what I’d originally planned.

But, heck, the month is only a third gone. I may suddenly get an inspired flash on a story or three and churn out a few thousand words.

Nov 9


Revamping this page is going to have to wait. I’m slipping behind on my writing goals and it is way too easy for me to put off writing by dinking with code. Right now I’m about ten percent of the way to my 50K. As I mentioned earlier, I am not doing the typical NaNoWriMo of doing 50K in a novel. I feel that it’s more important for me to concentrate on getting short fiction written at this point in my writing “career.” Thus my goal is 50K of stories. I may not even end up with a lot of stories finished, but I at least want to get 50K wordsof short fiction written. I specifically made my goal to be the 50k instead of the potentially more structured goal of writing a certain number of stories. Sometimes it takes a while for ideas to fully gel in my little head, and I’ve found that the best way to make them gel is to just friggin Write. However, lately I’ve been a bit lazy and have allowed myself to Not Write because I didn’t have a solid idea of where the story was going to go. And you know what I end up with using that approach? No Stories.

So wasted a bit of time last night and created a spreadsheet of all of my in-progress stories. This includes stories that are no more than a paragraph or a few sentences at this point. Quick scrawls of ideas just so that I didn’t lose the concept. What I’m trying to do now is to write at least 2500 words a day. And it doesn’t have to be all on one story. I may write several hundred words on a story, then when I get stuck I’ll pull up something different and start in on that. I do have a sub-goal that if I open up a different story, I at least have to write a hundred words on it before moving on to something else. And so far it seems to be working. I’m not quite up to my 2500 words a day goal, but I’m certainly writing more than I have since Clarion. And I don’t have any stories finished yet, but out of 16 “In Progress” stories, right now I have three that I have finally developed a strong feel for, and know where they’re going. Cool thing to me is that I can see this working. I would not have reached this point with those three stories, of finally knowing what to do with them, if not for absolutely forcing myself to write SOMETHING. Yes, everything is going to require huge edits later, but it’s better than the blank page.

WFC really fired me up in a lot of ways. It’s always inspiring seeing so many of my peers having fantastic success, and it’s also a good kick in the ass to develop what Daniel Abraham calls Butt Glue, i.e. the discipline to sit down and Write. WFC was also good for my morale, because, as odd as this sounds, it’s a relief to hear other writers being just as neurotic as I can be. It’s encouraging to hear that writers whom I idolize still get rejected. And it helps to remind me of what my ultimate goals are.

Of course the drinking and parties are a blast as well. :)

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