Tag: when the stars collide just right

Color me productive


Despite the best efforts of school and vocal demands this week, I managed writing and sent nearly 2K new words off to the Posse. I expected rending, but there wasn’t much. I’m slowly (ever so slowly!) figuring out character motivations and a story line for a secondary character and making sense of the female protag’s character arc. Go me.

Maybe I just have to have school hanging over my head to make me want to write.
Or maybe it was just fun to torture my male protag with the sarcastic voice in his head. Still, success, and it feels good.

The classroom’s mostly done (Friday night was the kinders’ meet and greet we have to reduce the first week tears) and although I’ll head back into the room tomorrow, it’s more about running off homework and worksheets for the first day, and, of course, meetings.

The kids show up on Tuesday. And I’m actually grateful we have a four-day first week. Criers usually trickle off by the fourth day.

The music in my life took a big step forward–class on Tuesday, a rehearsal on Wednesday, a group class on Thursday, another rehearsal on Saturday morning, and then two masses today. The second mass included a cello and an oboe, and I’m in love with those two instruments. I tried to convince them to show up every week, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

I’m hoping the music schedule settles down a little next week, although I already know I have a rehearsal on Wednesday night again. Don’t know if I’ll actually get to sing that mass, but I’ll be prepared just in case.

What I wasn’t as productive with? The housework. OH WELL. The frig is clean again, and that counts, right?

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We’ve warmed the Eldest Child’s new place sufficiently.


It’s at the top of hills in Newbury Park, so they’ve got a 180° view of all the lights below. Amazing spot and lovely first dwelling. The bathroom’s about the size of a postage stamp, but the openness of the dining/living rooms make up for it.

I’m hoping Zoey adjusts quickly. She was more than a little freaked out when we got there.

But to celebrate another fledgling out on his own again, I give you Chris Thile with a song I cannot get out of my head.

Comments Off on We’ve warmed the Eldest Child’s new place sufficiently. | family, music

It must be spring…


Two practices last night for a total of four and a half hours. Not including the commute between the two sites.

Our first was with instruments (flute and cello, in addition to the regular piano and bass) and despite my not really knowing this (one practice rehearsal does not place me within spitting distance of a proficiently sung Passion), it went fairly smoothly from start to finish. Our narrator, who has to pace herself based on the accompaniment, did very well, too.

But there’s a lot I have to review. I’ll be pulling out the keyboard tonight.

Starting tomorrow, the countdown begins. Confirmation at one place on Saturday, Palm Sunday at the same place. (Oh, that was a hard choice. The little group vs. being at St. Max to sing Mozart’s Kyrie. Okay, so there wasn’t much of a choice there. But I had to argue with myself. I love that piece and have it nailed. Wish everyone else in my section felt the same way.)

Break Monday and Tuesday, long enough to practice everything some more. Double rehearsal Wednesday night. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the vigil at the other site, and Easter Sunday.

And then we all fall down.

I’m actually starting early based on how I feel this morning. I don’t think the antibiotics completely nailed this and I’m debating over trying to get back into the doctor this morning or waiting til Monday. (Well, Monday it is then. I’ll take my chances.)

Still, last week I got about 800 new novel words. A number of those will go bye-bye when I figure out what these two characters really want from each other and toss the meandering byplay.

And on a silly note:

Me, to a second language learner taking the vocabulary test in English: *flashes picture of elephant* What is this?
Child: *stares for a bit, then says, triumphantly* A COW!!
Me: *blink blink blink*
Me: Is it a cow or an elephant? A cow or an elephant?
Child: Uh… elephant?

She got all the other vocabulary, including nest, cave, den, and web. You’d think….

I can’t wait til we get to the zoo and she sees her elephants cows up close.

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Zipping right along


Jumped ahead a bunch, now that the opening is a bit more under control, and rewrote 700+ words. This scene has a fair amount of tension in it, which helped tremendously, and I didn’t have to rework much. Added some punch here and there, tightened a little bit, and there we go.

The next scene may not be so pretty.

Still waiting for a reject and getting antsy, now that Duotrope shows responses all around my time. Hate that–and although my common sense tells me there’s no way in hell, there’s also some hope.

Which will surely be dashed tomorrow. Or the next day. Or Friday. I’m making certain of it by talking about it.

Plus I already have plans for this one–a run past my email group, a rewrite or polishing if needed, and then, wham. Out the door to another market.

In the meantime, I twitch.

Voice was difficult today. We’re working on focus and keeping everything in one spot. Yeah, good luck with that. Sweated over it for 45 minutes with my teacher, and with these horrible scales he threw my way and have me repeat and repeat until I could do it to his satisfaction.

Tonight, however, the technique is easier. Go figure. I’m just hoping I can keep it locked in through tomorrow and beyond.

It was a decent day at school, and I hope that it continues. I have a week to get my munchkins writing a complete sentence independently (before the test) and I’m hitting that hard. Today was the first time for the entire class. My top kiddos had no problem–well, other than forgetting their periods and strewing random capitals throughout. Everyone else has the idea, but needs more work. On everything. Strings of random letters with no relation to the sounds in the words they want to write is not acceptable. So it’s work work work. Tomorrow, I’m handing them the Space Guys so more actually remember to use spaces.

And I’m tell you that so I remember.

How many more days until Friday?

Comments Off on Zipping right along | school, this and that, writing

Lo, how I suffer


Because, dagnabit, I spent a whole 90 minutes (minus time for chatting with Dru) to rewrite an entire paragraph.

Over and over and over.

It’s not 100% at this point, but I’m thinking I managed to a. keep the voice and b. get all the verb tense glitches out of the dang thing. I hope it’s more readable now.

Gods, I hope so, because otherwise that’ll be another waste of 90 minutes awaiting me in the future. I did get a bit more added to another scene, which took all of five or six minutes, so it’s not all plague and death here.

Not all. Just most of it. I’m surprised I didn’t have droplets of blood spattering that table at Borders.

I also bought the new recorder, and I would just like to inform you all that five years of technological advances makes a huge difference. Plus I spent double the price of the original little recorder, which also might have something to do with it. Currently I can set the date, record and erase, pick a file to store the recording in, and access the other menus, although I’ve already forgotten how since I reset the .wma recording default to .mp3.

A step forward, though. And the sound quality here is amazing. A-MA-Zing. I’m not sure how it’s all going to work in a larger setting, though, and that could very well be the deciding point of whether to post that mp3.

This one can definitely do more things, which means of course, I have to learn more about it. The online product manual is 127 pages, and it takes more than one read to get it all in your head, not to mention the page jumps to the prior sections you need to read before you can actually do the one item you need to do. Resetting the recording mode? Three jumps.

However, it’s done, and as long as the Spousling can remember to put the ear piece in first (it chimes and talks to you when you start it!) and push record and stop, it should be good.

I can hope.

And if not, we’re bound to sing it again in the future. I’ve been telling Paul, my voice teacher and the choir director, that it’s got a Christmas feel for me. Which it does. And it would be great if we sing it at midnight mass (which is 10:30ish–wth? This is the second parish I’ve sung at with the midnight mass reset to an earlier time.)

Comments Off on Lo, how I suffer | music, writing

Let the outlining begin! (Again.)


So I sat down last night and mapped out the first act of Kalim’s plot, via sticky notes. This morning they land on my closet door mirror.

Did you know that Kalim’s been rejected as soul bearer twice before? And that if he doesn’t get one by his eleventh year in the order, he won’t? And that he’ll be stuck as slave labor forever if he doesn’t?

Neither did I.

Amazing what the hind brain coughs up under pressure. This is going to affect the opening scene, I can tell, and it certainly gives Kalim a reason to ignore all the good advice he might be getting about passing on this one.


They can choose not to accept! D’oh. Although it’s usually not invoked, and it would be the first time in a long while that someone would even consider it. Not that Kalim will be. Only Bashak and Mareet.


This would be a great writing day. Too bad I’m outlining this afternoon.

(At least I’ve put them down here, because otherwise, later? When I go back and attempt to remember what I thought of this morning? It will Be Gone.)

(Cryptic notes for the other story, while I’m thinking of it: work in scars on back and beetle heads.)

Comments Off on Let the outlining begin! (Again.) | novel, writing

Running into brick walls for… wait. Not fun. Not profit.


Frustration! D’oh.

I successfully accomplished as little as I’d promised yesterday. Although it wasn’t from want of trying.

I managed to delete a com port that wasn’t actually working due to a conflict after an hour of attempting to unconflict it, but I haven’t quite figured how to put it back. It’s doable. It’ll just take a lot more research. And if I could find my WinXP disks (I think the Slug may have them) it might be easier than I think.

So that took up three and a half hours. And I will never trust the Windows Help and Support Center again.

Then I tried to do the kinders’ father’s day gifts. I’ve a poem to print out with each child’s face in the center, and then, because I am gifted at adding a messy touch, I paint the bottom of each child’s foot and make a footprint on the right side of the paper.

I had the photos in the camera. Piece of cake!

But my camera cord was missing, and the Kodak one I did have didn’t fit my camera. Fine. Use the USB card reader.

Didn’t fit in the USB port on the back. And remember the missing com port? Yeah.

After some time, we finally downloaded the photos on my husband’s laptop, saved them to a shared network file, and I transferred them all to my computer. Did I mention that his laptop shuts down if no activity is going on his keyboard? Yeah. A small delay, but we dealt with it.

I got all the photos cut and framed out in Photoshop, slapped the first one in place, and pressed print.

I was out of color ink. Not completely, though. Just the blue. So the child’s image was orange.

But I hit my own little frustration wall at that point. (For future reference, five hours of smacking my head against technology that should work is about it.) I had a stiff gin and tonic, ate dinner, and went to bed about 8P.

Writing? I’m sorry. That would have been on this cursed machine. NO WAY.

(Mind you, I’m touching it now, but that’s after a ton of sleep and the hope that nothing can go wrong on WordPress.)

So maybe writing today. Along with the housework, some laundry, and some shopping. Surely life will be better, right?

Comments Off on Running into brick walls for… wait. Not fun. Not profit. | the stories I could tell

In the spirit of keeping me honest,


I did work on the novel outline some more last night–where ‘some’ equals the pain of merging two files together, accepting or deleting each varying item, and an additional three points in the third act.

Oh, and then Dru and I spent another forty-five minutes or so brainstorming a steampunk novel we could write (okay, short novelish thing–35K) by April 30th.

Those of you who just fell on the floor screaming with laughter can pick yourselves up right this second.

It could happen.

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