January 26

Who would have thought one little funny-looking taste bud could ache so much?

Okay, so it's not the actual taste bud, but the lack of it that's annoying me at the moment. The good news is that this pain is making me forget the strained muscle in my back--the very one that went into spasms on Saturday. It's still sore and tender, but hey, I have a new owie to focus on.

Ageing sucks, people--in case you haven't aged enough to notice. Believe me, the body turns vindictive after fifty. (I hear my back saying, "And this!" *twist* "is for that time you tripped on the lifted cement by the cafeteria and went down. You think I liked being twisted that day?!")

I really wish my various body parts would just STFU.

(Also, since the tongue was my option, I imagine it will come back to haunt me at some future date.)

Still, despite my prone position for much of the weekend, I managed 550 words. Two hundred of those were on the novel tonight. See? I can write that novel. I uploaded the next chunk to the KIAPosse, and I feel virtuous.

It's rewritten. It's up. And it's up in a timely fashion.

Of course, that's not all that's accomplished for the weekend. No, we apparently have a wedding date. Or, I should say, a potential wedding date. August 22, to be exact, although since nothing's engraved in stone (i.e., there's no actual church scheduled just yet) it may yet be postponed.

I'm doing all right with this, and I'm quite grateful it's after a summer vacation, even if it is only the second week of school. I can get everything handled on my part before school starts.

It's not necessarily easy--money will be required on our part. Naturally.

And here I thought getting children through college was the end of it.

I am here to tell you no.

If you are childless, it's not too late to make that a permanent state. If you have small children, gee, I'm sorry to break the news. Sock your pennies away now.

Here. Have a novel counter. I've got to keep myself honest.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
57,600 / 90,000

Oh, and a short story counter for Esme.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,284 / 5,000

And another for Clockwork Lover.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1,997 / 5,000

2009 Writing Stats
New Stories
Daily Words
Year's Words


January 2/500 words


So it only took between five and six hours to get the Ideomancer archives to display correctly in Firefox 3... but I'm not holding it against the html. Not since I sat down this morning, searching for vertical size constraints and removed that 100%. A save, an upload, and hot damn! It worked!

If only everything was that easy. It was all about the display properties in the latest version of Firefox. Even better, Firefox now resizes those pages correctly, and what I changed did not spook IE.

(I just checked. Whew!)

So far this morning, I've accomplished that, eaten breakfast, gotten temporarily dressed (a shower is on the list), dried the clean, wet dog who only wanted his bone and to rub off on the carpet--why, Mom, why must you attack me with the hair blower?--and also cleaned bits of the bedroom and kitchen.

Note: I did not say I was finished cleaning those rooms.

In the best news of all, I wrote yesterday.

*picks you up from the floor and dusts you off* Eww. Dog hair. Let me get that.

About 500 words on two stories in progress. Once I get them finished and out the door (or completely stuck) I return to the novel. And since Jaime put my deadline on her Google calendar, I guess it's official.

2009: The year of the finished novel.

(I understand these things go faster the more of them you write. I would like to get to that point where I believe it. I think I'm approaching a tie in terms of length of time it took to write the first. And abandon it. Because hey, first. I never want to see it again.)

I also walked. There will be walking and a trip to Curves today.

And words. Of course. Lovely, lovely words.

January 4/675 words

Another day, a few words slapped onto the short stories, and I may have just managed to box myself in on one. Simply by allowing Beryl to slip away from her nemesis.


This means that whatever happens to her inside the Customs House must be worse than if she simply got collected by the Baron.

Double dammit.

I think half of my plot problems exist solely because I can't bring my characters to confront their worse fears. One work-around is to delete the vast majority of yesterday's words and rewrite the scene.

Somehow that sounds easier. Triple dammit.

My accomplishments these past few days seem to land primarily in (or are related to) works of fiction. Lots of responses from the authors I've contacted regarding their stories being archived indefinitely, and amazingly, from one of whom works a mile away from my house.

I may actually have a speculative fiction writer to chat with over coffee. Which is... exciting! Over the years all my writer contacts have been online, except for the get-togethers at various cons.

I'm still blinking.

In addition to today's odds and ends, I've got sewing on the agenda. Another child (partially adopted) has a vest that needs taking in. So yeah, reconstructing the vest and finishing curtains for the bathroom will take up the next few hours.

Packing is in process as I type--the Slug is leaving in a week, and much is going with her. Coffee cups are big (not that she drinks coffee), as are dishes.

So yes, a second generation is running off with the dishes my best friend and I split to take to college. The flatware is with another child, so it will be thrift store shopping instead for that.

Another busy day. And I'm slouching here, so it's off to the sewing machine before the other child leaves town.

January 11/1000 words

The best laid resolutions bite the dust sooner or later--or, in my case, Thursday night. I barely got eight days out of the writing one: write daily, 100 to 200 words, preferably 200.

Yeah, Thursday. I'm not sure what happened that night. Last night, I remember.

It was the Slug's last night home, and filled with laughter, good friends (hers, but they're all great kids) and the New Year's Day dinner we moved to that night.

She left with her dad this morning at 4A, in tears which surprised the hell out of me (I was far too happy to escape my family for college--maybe it's the eldest versus the youngest experiences?) and here she was drawing tears out of me.

They are planning to arrive in Colorado tonight at 10P, after an 18-hour driving sprint. It's possible the Slug may learn to drive shift along the way.

So, it's me by myself. And three dogs.

The Middle Child dropped off Baxter last night, Mountain Boy ran off to--you guessed it! The mountains somewhere, and I am constrained to my chair for a while longer, because all three dogs hit their snooze buttons, and it's quiet.

*holds breath*

I have a weekend countdown: 3 sleeping dogs, 2 loads of laundry, and a nap in store fo-o-o-or me.

Oh, and pack up Christmas. Because I didn't get to that last week.

So, since I'm sitting here, I'm starting on the new and improved goal of 400 words (to make up from Thursday and Friday.) We'll see how far I get before the dogs refresh their frolicking muscles.

January 16/1000 words

My short story writing proceeds apace. It's not perfect--I'm down 200 words this week so far, and this weekend's writing may prove tough since I'm not home, but I'm finding attempting 100-200 words a day (with 100 words as a makeup default) doable. Not too much pressure, there are days when I get more, and I'm not beating my head against story.


(No, I haven't opened the novel again. Thanks for asking. Um, soon. Next week, say.)

In between words, life has me in a spin. I've come home from work and been *gasp!* working. The Slug's scarf is knitted, although not finished, and it's coming north with me for blocking, weaving, and fringe.

Christmas is three-quarters packed up. It would be more if the tree was in pieces, back in the box, and up in the rafters, but I need kids for that. Damn thing's heavy, and somehow that didn't cross my mind when I first purchased it.

The Slug is settling into Colorado, minus frantic phone calls ("Mom! I need a recipe for meatloaf!" "Mom! Are these gold containers microwaveable?" I never would have guessed one needed a recipe for meatloaf--it's a great way to use up what you have in the way of leftovers. And it took a lot of description of said containers (which the Slug FAILED, because she called the damn things ceramic, but they're glass, and they're not gold, but harvest wheat, so telling me Dad got them out of the garage to give to her did NOT help, because I would have sworn I'd never seen these vessels in my entire life.)

I'm grateful that the Spousling is home, because the dogs have reverted to the proper pack leader for much of time when it comes to snoozing, and the fur bodies I've been wearing on my feet in this unseasonable heat have vanished.

I've stayed up with my flist--barely--but that's about all the spare time I had. Next week and the following are filled with after-school appointments, and that's not going to improve life.

I had eight kids absent yesterday, which meant only thirteen in class, and you couldn't tell. (People, you should be able to tell. Really. As an experienced educator, I know these things.)

Last night, the Spouse and I went to the theater for the musical, "Breaking Up is Hard to Do", and now I have Neil Sedaka songs swarming in my head--musical bits and pieces pop up out of the blue, and lyrics are a running stream of thoughts.

Playing "Love Will Keep Us Together" co-mingled with "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" is an insidious form of torture.

I need new ear worms. Suggestions, please?

January 23/0 words

The past week has been a wash, and if I had to pick a theme, it's survival.

Which, I might add, has been poorly accomplished.

The cold of the century smacked me upside the head last weekend, so all my efforts have been directed to healthy alternatives to get it under control—Emergen-C by the vat, sinus washes, extra sleep.... Yesterday, I broke down and got a sub for today. I have no idea who's in charge of my kids, and I'm so bad off, I don't really mind, as long as it's not me.

Ten hours of rest last night has not made the impact I'd hoped for. I believe a nap is in store for this afternoon.

I've been napping and/or early to bed for the past week, so that cut into any writing time. End result: Words-0, Marsha-dead.

Today, I plan a small change. I'm going to open a file and stare at it until I either a.) write something or b.) fall asleep.

I also have plans to clean the kitchen and maybe even finish packing up Christmas, because a pile of ornaments remain in the living room, drilling holes in my back with their little shiny stares.

My guess is that those might happen after the nap. Because doing anything that resembles exercise sounds like too much work.

In addition, we have discovered that the Slug needs her laptop replaced (oh, well, what's another chunk of money going out as college expenses?), my mother has slowly improved since she resumed her prednisone doses, and the middle child leaves for Dallas for two weeks as of Sunday. No one has mentioned caring for the Baxter, but there's still time. I expect any requests over breakfast tomorrow.

I'm behind on email. Behind on my flist. I lack energy to enthuse over Obama, have no words (or wisdom, but most likely not that) to offer on the cultural appropriation discussion because the best I can do is to barely follow it all.

However, until we (generic we) can listen with our hearts as well as our intellect to others about us, walk beside them, and open our eyes to their experiences, we will get nowhere. More often than not our repeated failures (mine, in particular, for I do not consider myself as an example of best practices) depress me.

So my heart is sore, and Obama and his administration, balm.

Because, thank God, we are closing Guantanamo and banning torture—soul-deep stains on this nation.

Staining Snow: Ideomancer, October, 2003
Nine Tenths: ASIM, Aug/Sept 2003
Charlie's Harley: Farthing, forthcoming