Again, never time to write anything substantive on here!
* Aimee had job interviews yesterday and today, so I had some scraps of writing time. "The Hollow" continues apace. Once again, I'm choosing to do things I've never done before...
* Life is busy! Adam and I are going to Ghost Quartet
tonight, and we're all going to Best of Sirlesque 2
on Friday (Aimee and I are stage kittening). Also there are dates. Also houseguests.
* Redyed my hair pink and purple with some teal bits. Need to take pictures.
* Once I've had a little more time in this air conditioning, I need to venture back to the dining room and decide which of the poems we bought this cycle will be in the next issue of Liminality
, and which we'll be holding for the winter issue!
* Consider subscribing or sponsoring Liminality
! I deliberately planned sustainability into our business model so we'd never be dependent on the endless cycle of Kickstarters and Indiegogos. But more money = more poems. :)
* Elayna is back at college! She's enjoying her semester so far. We had her at home for just the right amount of time, the tail end of this summer.
* Nicky had his followup echocardiogram, and it looks like his meds are working! Yay Nicky! (EDIT: Just realized I never posted here about this! At his annual checkup, they discovered a heart murmur; they had me bring him back in June, and it had gotten worse, so he had his first echo. Heart disease. :( But the meds and early cardiac diet are working! We are committed to keeping this pup happy and healthy for as long as possible! Echos are expensive, though, man.) Also, I bought him his Halloween costume; he's going to be a dragon
* Arisia scheduling is happening. Got any literature panel ideas? Give 'em here!
* I'm looking at my calendar to figure out what else to update people on. I go to a bunch of shows, I have a bunch of dates, I have been going to a lot of parties! I'm looking forward to autumn.
And now I must go do more work! But ask me for updates on stuff in comments, if you're curious.
Because at, I think, the last three parties, it's come up, and it makes me smile: How Matthew and I got together. :)
Last March, I went to a party. And there was this guy there who had amazing bouncy-puppy energy, who I was instantly drawn to. Not just because he's very attractive. :) But because he's silly, funny, smart. We had a great conversation, and I friended him on Facebook when I got home and, some days later, sent him a link to an interesting news story that had some bearing on a topic we'd talked about.
Okay, I thought, he doesn't want to pursue this. That's okay. Not everyone has to be into me! And I went about my life.
In June, there was another party. We chatted again, it was fun, I was still totally interested in him. About a week after that party, I did the same thing: "Great to see you again! Here is more info about X!"
Okay. *shrug* *kicks can* At this point I had a couple other things going on in my love life, no big deal, and if all I have with Matthew is fun conversations at parties, that's okay, because fun conversations are still good!
Halloween party. He's the Big Bad Wolf and not wearing much. I'm in my corset, leather vest, and elaborate headdress with seed pods and feathers. At some point in the party, we drift into conversation, sprawled on the floor in one of the social rooms, and then our thighs are pressed together, and then his hand is on mine...
...and at some point when we part, I'm laughing: "I thought you weren't interested!"
The thing is that he is never on Facebook! (I checked while writing this; the last time he posted was in February. The time before that? Over a year ago.) And doesn't get notifications of FB messages. He had no clue. :)
So this time, I got his e-mail address. :)
When we met up for our first date, he cautioned me that he doesn't usually date. He does casual stuff, but if I was looking for a boyfriend, he was not where to look; his bond with his wife is so strong that he tends to just not form other bonds, and he's a homebody, and a date-every-week thing wasn't likely to happen. I told him, quite honestly, that that was fine. :) And we took up with each other. Casually.
Until we had a few weeks in a row when we didn't see each other and fell into each other's arms like long-lost lovers when we saw each other again.
Until someone at a party said "Wait, he actually leaves the house for you? He's never..."
Until he paused before leaving my house one date-day, and had this look when he looked back.
Until, finally, his amused/exasperated wife said "You can't stop talking about the gin Shira had you try, or the TV show she had you watch... Matthew. I think you might have a girlfriend."
He told me this while he was in the shower, through a frosted pane of glass, ending with "...would you be okay with that? Us actually being boyfriend and girlfriend?"
I slid the shower door open to grin at him. "Honey, you have a dedicated towel and toothbrush here. And I smile every time I walk past them."
So. Matthew, who doesn't date anyone, is dating me, and I am dating him, and together we have the kind of energy that makes random strangers grin at us on the street or when we greet each other at a restaurant. He is, above all else, playful. And adorable and adoring. When I had my bout of depression in April, one of the only things that consistently lifted me out of that flatline space was time with him.
He shines. I shine with him.
He is good for me. <3
I had a gathering recently that I'd had a bit of anxiety about, and he accompanied me, and we had a great time, and when he dropped me off home that night, he stopped me and kissed me again, and said "I'm so glad you pursued me, my Shira."
And he's on his way over right now, to accompany me to a night full of parties, and sleep over on the new bed he helped me build. I should go get ready. <3
EDIT: ...also he looks like Chris Evans as Captain America, but with dark hair and glasses, which make any person 20% hotter. But that kind of build. Also he volunteers with homeless kids and gives me amazing massages on bad pain days and he's just really nifty okay? okay.
On Thursday, I went to court to get the restraining order against my rapist renewed.
This time, he showed up.
I figured he would; he and his lawyer were aggressive during discussions re: the lawsuit about getting me to drop the restraining order. Which my lawyer told him I would not do. And since, he's been RSVPing to every publicly-viewable local Facebook event that I'm RSVPed to starting the day after the order was set to expire. Which sends a message.
So I went to court. He entered after me and, in an almost-empty courthouse, sat behind me. Directly behind me.
They eventually called our docket number, and we rose.
And I had to stand next to my rapist. Shaking, dry-mouthed. And the judge had me start from the beginning: what happened?
Your honor, he raped me. Two days later, he violently assaulted me. The police arrived at the end of that assault and took us to the courthouse, where he confessed, in detail, and that's when the restraining order against him was first put in place.
I'm tired of telling this story. Standing next to my unrepentant rapist while I told it was a new twist, certainly. But dear gods, I am tired of telling this story. Of saying it again and again to judges, to lawyers, to people who ask about it.
It's been two years. I have other stories now. Better stories. Stories that have nothing to do with him.
But while he continues to be unrepentant and vicious, to stalk and harass, I have to keep telling this story. And yeah. It's a way he gets to keep revictimizing me.
(He told the judge he was tired of looking over his shoulder. He's tired. Oh.)
My restraining order is renewed for another year.
Comments are closed on this post because I have nothing else to say about it. And I am going to immediately write a post about a story I like to tell. One without him in it.
And no longer waiting; obviously there's a lot of stuff I can neither confirm nor deny, but: I had goals. All of them were achieved.
And I finally bought a new bed, after these long two years. It's a canopy bed. We're going to adorn it with fairy lights and various accoutrements.
We're having a yardwork day on Saturday; rototilling and clearing out the back yard entirely, in preparation for doing intentional planting. We consulted a landscape design person to pick native, easy-care plants, and we're planning a few garden beds, an herb spiral, wildflowers, and a lot of berry bushes - currant, elderberry, blueberry, blackberry. And we've reserved room for a seating area. This will finally be usable space and not a source of stress!
But first, the tilling and the hauling, and if you want to/can help, you are welcome to! And if you happen to have bricks or stone lying around that we can use for the herb spiral, let us know!
And my audition for The Thing is Sunday. Meep!
But today's mission: synopsis. I have queried all the agents I think would be great fits who *don't* require one, and now I have this big list of great agents who *do*, and... I gotta get it done.
Writing a novel is easy. Writing a synopsis is hard.
But I must do it today, so I can then focus on my audition material for Sunday, the story that I started last week, and, hell, everything else.
I am still waiting
But I dyed the tips of my hair a bright, vivid pink (that is fading, but we'll bring it back) and highlighted the rest of it. I have started the reclamation of my backyard; it's going to have berry bushes and a seating area and a raised bed and an herb spiral. I have, with my boyfriend's input, picked out my future new bed
Readercon was; the ongoing waiting made it difficult, as it makes many things difficult. But I talked about a book that changed my life (Dhalgren
) on a panel, and the man who wrote it (Samuel R. Delany) thanked me, genuinely, for my reading and appreciation of it. That was a big, big moment. And I read from the novel, and everyone really liked it and picked up on stuff I was doing and thought I was doing it really well.
Friday night, I went to a barbecue at the house of a friend who is new-ish, since The Incident. There's a before and after, you know. There are people who've only really known me since. He greeted me with a hug and told me there were kofta on the grill, the same recipe that another friend(/occasional lover) had brought to my Pig Cotillion, and I liked that there was just this ecosystem of parties. Aimee's realizing that, as she lives here, this very very large group of wonderful people that just form and reform in various configurations every weekend, sometimes with the transmission of recipes. I am happy to be here.
And then we went to a burlesque/comedy/variety show, where I saw some of my favorite performers, and the people who knew about the Intimidating Thing I'm attempting (more on that after my audition!) (no, it is not dancing!) were so enthusiastic about me attempting it and so happy that I just felt... tremendously supported.
I am excited about the New Horizons mission to Pluto. I'm reading a lot. I'm knitting a lot. I will, this week, have my first writing time since March, and I have a story demanding to get out. Before that writing time, I have a date-day with my boyfriend, who is sort of miraculously my boyfriend. He decided he didn't need a code name, and then
the potential code names started emerging: Golden Retriever Boyfriend, Farmboy, etc. Matthew. He's Matthew, and one of the things about him is that he is joyful. I have to write about him more, and other people I'm on various paths with. I haven't been writing here because it feels like I have to have Large Things to say and I have the one background Large Thing and then I have smaller things. I should talk about the smaller things more.
It's been a busy and active weekend, and today I'll be resting, because tonight I'm going to a show, and tomorrow is Matthew, and on Tuesday I'll start writing "The Hollow" and will hope it doesn't insist on being a novel. (Everything wants to be a novel know that I know that I can write a novel.)
Wearing: The tank top and underpants I slept in.
Reading: On the Move
by Oliver Sacks
Writing: "The Hollow", soon
in hot pink for Elayna; just finished a Through the Loops MKAL.
Planning: A week of writing. An Intimidating Thing. Buying my new bed, hopefully soon.
Copy/pasting this directly from my pro blog.
...this one is personal.
I saw a call for stories dealing with the concept of institutions. The call was deliberately loosely defined; a story about the institution of marriage, say, would have fit. But my brain kept cycling back to something and saying "maybe it's time." And would not let it go.
I grew up in the 80s. Toward the middle and end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, there was a horrific trend. If your child did not conform, and you had good health insurance, you could put them into an adolescent treatment center.
Junior loony bin, we called it on the inside.
There's a song about it, even.
I have so much more to write, about that and things like it. This is just a glimpse. Some of my stories are pretty autobiographical. This one? I don't have any ink. But.
And I shan't tell you more; go read."Never Chose This Way" was published in Apex Magazine in July 2015.
Readercon is July 9-12!
1:30 PM Reading: Shira Lipkin. Shira Lipkin reads a forthcoming short story.
4:00 PM Dhalgren at 40. Jim Freund, Max Gladstone, Elizabeth Hand (leader), Shira Lipkin, John Stevens.
Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren was first published in 1975. It is now widely considered a classic, yet there is also the perception that it is a "difficult" book. How much has it influenced other authors and works? Does its dream-city serve as a predecessor for more recent fantastical places such as Ambergris or New Crobuzon? How have its experiments with the form of the narrative inspired more recent works? And how might a reader approach it for the first time from the vantage point of 2015?
7:00 PM Kaffeeklatsch. Yoon Lee, Shira Lipkin.
10:00 AM Successfully Writing About Horrible Things. Mike Allen, Catt Kingsgrave, Shira Lipkin, Kate Nepveu (leader), Patty Templeton.
If you're not writing horror but your plot calls for something horrific to happen to a character, how do you handle it? You might go overboard and be detailed to the point of undermining or derailing the narrative, or might be so vague that the horrific event has little effect on the reader or the story. A reader who's been through a similar experience might be offended or distressed by a description of awfulness that's lurid, gratuitous, clichéd, or bland. What strategies can writers use to help readers empathize with the characters' suffering and build stories that respectfully handle the consequences of terrible events, without falling into these traps?
1:00 PM In Memoriam YA Fiction Book Club: Hat Full of Sky. Stacie Hanes, Victoria Janssen, Shira Lipkin, Rachel Steiger-Meister, Emily Wagner. The second book in the Tiffany Aching series sees Pratchett's young heroine ready to begin her magical apprenticeship, which goes nothing like she expects and leads to trouble, especially with other young witches-in-training. What she doesn't know is that something insidious is coming after her, and none of the other witches can help. We wanted to do something to mark the death of genre giant Pratchett, and while any of his books would be worth talking about, the Tiffany Aching series is some of his most thoughtful work. The adventures of a young girl learning what it means to be a witch speak deeply to readers, as she demystifies some aspects of witchery and finds deeper mysteries of life and magic in others, all while learning to be clever, kind, and brave. Readers of all ages are welcome to join the conversation.
Yay for a light schedule, and yay for this being the last con I have to do this year. (Didn't do Boskone or Vericon, and won't be doing PiCon; consciously cutting back.) As usual, if you do nothing else, please come to the reading and/or kaffeeklatsch!
is an interesting thing about batterer's intervention programs in the state of Massachusetts. I recommend that you check it out! Of particular interest, though not mentioned on the Mass.Gov site, is the fact that in order to begin a batterer's intervention program, the perpetrator must confess to the abuse. Not just "my partner/ex claims I did X," but "I did X, Y, and Z to my partner/ex." Treatment only works when the perpetrator is actually working on it. It's not a process one can lie their way through. Which is why the success rate is high (see study info on that site). And which is also why, if a perpetrator is attending a program of this sort, they might take measures to keep their victim from stating that they're doing so: it is an admission of guilt. Obviously this is the second-most-desirable outcome in an intimate partner violence/sexual violence case - the most desirable, of course, being jail time, but a) that's a different system, criminal rather than civil, and b) only 6% of rapists ever go to jail, and that statistic includes *all* rapists; it's much lower for rapists who were in a relationship with their victims, who only rarely even get arrested, let alone tried and convicted.
Obviously, as someone who's been speaking about sexual violence on The Internets since 2002 and who's been volunteering at their local rape crisis center since '08 - go BARCC! - this is stuff that is of interest to me. People who've known me for a while will also recall that I've been planning to write a book about how to dismantle rape culture in your free time. That's mutated a bit, and will now be more about intimate partner violence; I feel like that's a useful place to focus, given its prevalence in the number of incidents of sexual violence and its shockingly low rate of prosecution. That'll be my summer/fall nonfiction writing project. I might post a few things like this here and there as my research continues. I look forward to telling you lot more about it in January.
(Comments closed for now because my parents, sister, and niece are in town and monopolizing my time; I only get ~5 minutes at a computer every day, and thus cannot moderate.)
Last night, I went to a Buffy-themed burlesque show.
I've been going to a lot of burlesque shows! It is awesome fun in a way I'll write about elsetime. And since Aimee moved in a few weeks ago, I've been dressing up for them more and more. (That move, by the way? Totally awesome. Best housemate.) Last night, I wore the big pink ballgown Adam got for me on Freecycle and went as prom!Buffy with Aimee's Faith and Adam's Oz (with the "GOD" nametag - Adam's first dress-up!).
Aimee and I won the costume contest, but this isn't about that, it's about an interaction I had after the show. A woman said to me "I got turned around coming out of the T station and didn't know how to get to the venue, but then I saw you and thought 'Well, I'll just follow Buffy!'" And I loved that, and I've been thinking about why I loved that.
It ties in to how I went full ludicrous with my clothes at times at Wiscon. If you didn't see on Facebook: I got an ankle-length silver sequined coat thing at the clothing swap, and a velvet dress slit up to THERE, and a black faux fur cape, and I combined all of that with the mesh-sleeved shirt and the vinyl/lace/chained/studded bolero I brought with me. I was told that I spent the con moving through stages of David Bowie. :) And I wore that ballgown to an 80s prom at Legoland the day before Wiscon, and did 70s key party realness for a theme party the Saturday after Readercon. I bought a feather collar/cape. I have The Mermaid Dress, which I'll be wearing to a faerie-themed party on Saturday.
I had a date with Ten today, which was absolutely wonderful in so many ways. One of those ways: my schedule has been jam-packed, too much gogogogogo, and I slow down
when I'm with Ten. I get grounded. We have the spaces between the notes.
But also, we have great conversations, and we were talking about many things today, an intersection of which was him saying "that's why people are drawn to you - because if the music is good, you're on the floor. You don't need anyone else to get there first to make it okay for you. You
make it okay for them
My not-fully-formed tipsy thought on Facebook last night was "I will be the outlandishly dressed person who lights the path." And: yes. I have not always been that. I have had that shyness, that difficulty stepping out, being first. But now that I know - I have been learning for a while now - how wonderful it feels to step out and beckon to others, to give them permission to be a little silly by being a lot
silly... (EDIT: As an example: At Legoland's 80s prom, Ten and I did a spontaneous interpretive dance to "Total Eclipse of the Heart". FULL DRAMA.)
I'm happy with it.
I've been quiet here because the case against Judah has been grinding me to paste. He and his lawyer have been doing a lot of stuff that's retraumatized me. April, in particular, was a nightmare of situational depression. I had a lot of days when I did not feel capable of living. I had to tell myself "okay, you need to do two things today: you need to walk the dog when he needs walking, and you need to eat three meals. If that's all you can do today, that's okay. But you have to do those things." I knew this was temporary. I knew that it would end. I just had to be patient and not be angry at myself and my brain and body for having this reaction to horrific stress. And many days in April, that really was all I got done in any day. Walking the dog, and eating three meals. But I did it. Every day. And I emerged.
I emerged angry, due to particularly heinous Judah shenanigans. And I emerged into a horrendously busy month, a Red Queen's race, where I had weeks like "Wednesday: Elayna moves into her new apartment. Friday: Aimee moves in." And then, days later, Wiscon, and I have been running.
I have been determined.
I may be quiet about Judah stuff for a little while. This post is your warrant canary
. If I am, know that you can ask Adam. Or Aimee. Or anyone, really. If I am, know that it's because it's the best route to achieve my goals
. And know that I will eventually tell you everything.
But that is the one thorn in my life right now. I look forward to its removal.
I'm sipping sweet tea with mint today. Aimee made it, using leftover mint from a bunch a lovely friend brought over to our Pig Cotillion on Saturday - our biggest and best party ever. Eight hours of barbecue and the perfect coconut layer cake, mint juleps and Sazeracs, people from all over our social circles having a blast. I won that Buffy costume contest with Aimee, and I won a Sparkle Spelling Bee with Toby last week. (The day before that, I was actually onstage for a dancer-friend's burlesque routine, but that's a different story.) Aimee is fitting perfectly into our household - she and Adam could geek out together about horror movies for hours. I had an amazing date with Ten. I'm going to a party on Saturday night at Matthew's house. Matthew, who said he doesn't tend to date, but who now looks at me in absolute delight and wonder sometimes and says half to himself, "You're my girlfriend
!" I am seeing so many of my favorite people; Ten said today that he was excited to meet Mink on Saturday, because he knows she's one of my Important People. And all of my Important People have such affection for each other...
My tiny dog is sprawled next to me, and it's a quiet June afternoon, and my wonderful husband will be home soon.
This is what I've been up to. Running. Fighting. Living. Glittering all over the place. Loving. Being the first person on the dance floor. Reaching out my hand - join me
As usual, I'll be staffing the Interstitial Arts Foundation's "Coffee, Tea, and Subversion" table during the Gathering! Come say hi! Other than that...
Friday, 4:00pm: Imaginary Book Club
Five panelists discuss books that don't exist, improvising critiques and responses. This year might include: Ann Leckie's Star Trek tie-in book Ancillary Enterprise; N.K. Jemisin's run writing Wonder Womanfor DC; and the new reissue of Neal Stephenson's previously out-of-print vampire romance, BIETME.
Saturday, 10:00am: Parenting Beyond the Binary
Progressive parents are aware that gender is far more than a simple spectrum, but schools and peer groups of one's children may not have that same knowledge. In a society that seems fascinated with shoving ever-narrower expectations of gender upon the current crop of under-10s, what can those of us who lived through the gender-bending 1980s do in our parenting to nurture a healthy attitude in the kidlings under our care?
Saturday, 1:00pm: Spindles and Spitfire: A Reading
Join us for sinister whimsy, folkloric sensibilities, dark humor, and SNACKS! Gwynne Garfinkle is a red headed hellion who will capture your heart and put it in a jar above her writing desk. Nicole Kornher-Stace will drag you to bridges made of the dead, and you'll thank her for it. Shira Lipkin has returned from the castle beyond the goblin city. She brought you a present. Patty Templeton misses the ghosts that used to keep her up at night.
Sunday, 1:00pm: Intersections of Class and Disability
While they can play out differently, many of the assumptions faced by people with disabilities are similar to the assumptions regarding working class and poorer families: that our problems are our own fault, that we are simply lazy, that we just do not know how to eat right or take care of ourselves, that we are less fit to parent children, and so on. What happens in the spaces where these two categories overlap? How do race and class intersect with disability issues like accessibility and access to medical care and accurate diagnoses?
Sunday, 2:30pm: Intersectional Body-Positivity
Body positivity comes in many forms, but some mainstream attempts at defining or championing it end up pissing on one group even as they attempt to make another feel better. Body-positivity is not only about fat acceptance, it's also about accepting yourself at any size. It's about acceptance of all trans people with gender-nontypical bodies, and their right to identify in ways "contradicted" by their physicality. How can we support all people in finding their embodiment awesome? What does that look like?
I am, as always, totally going to Geekeoke and the Floomp. I don't have my meals scheduled yet, so if you want to do lunch or dinner (or breakfast, so long as it's at Short Stack Cafe, which has GF pancakes and cheesy grits!), let me know!
Originally posted by time_shark
at The CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5 Kickstarter is alive
Last week I launched a new Kickstarter campaign to fund Clockwork Phoenix 5, which I hope will be the next installment in our critically-acclaimed, award-nominated flagship anthology series.
With the costs of shipping and printing having risen, and the professional standard payment for fiction also having risen, my funding goal for this new book is pretty epic, $11,000. But we’re six days in and more than 1/5 of the way to the goal, so we’re off to a promising start!
This campaign has been in the works for months; I haven’t made a secret of it. I hope folks can forgive the social media barrage that I now need to generate to properly promote this project. But man, I sure to want to get this project secured so I can put together a book worthy of Paula Arwen Owen’s amazing cover.
So as of this writing we have 24 days to go and we’re 23% of the way to our goal. I have stretch goals I’m hoping to deploy but first we gotta get past the long haul to fully funded — and by the way, as soon as we reach that goal, I will open the book to submissions, even if the campaign still has time left.
I hope you’ll check out the cool rewards we have to offer; there’s a lot, and I’m going to be adding even more as we proceed.
I’m also going to be holding giveaways as we go along to add additional grease to the machine. You gotta be a backer to be entered. These are what I’ve got planned so far:
And that won’t be all. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I hope you’ll check out our Kickstarter page and consider pledging. And I also hope you’ll spread the word, as we need all the help we can get, heh.
Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.
As proof of "still alive, just busy life":
* Right after posting, got a request for the full manuscript from an OMG dream agent. Ran around in circles, babbled incoherently to people on Gchat, sent manuscript when I could be coherent. :)
* Got an e-mail I'd been waiting for for a long time that I'll be able to talk about soon, but it is large.
* Date afternoon with Ten! <3
* I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone with regard to going to things alone, so I went to this
; it was super great, and I got to talk more to people I know from other shows and make new friends. :)
Today was errand day because it is warm enough out!
* Post office to mail packages to Elayna and ashlyme
* CVS to pick up two of my three prescriptions
* Library, where apparently the librarians recognize me on sight. We might check out a lot of books.
And now I'm home, where next I'll wrap Adam's birthday gifts, shower, and make something for the Texas BBQ seder I'm going to tonight!
Not dead yet, I promise. :)
So on Monday, I sent out query letters.
I finished the book late last year, finished revising it this January? February?, sent it to beta readers and got feedback - and the feedback was mostly "this is ready now", with a few individual questions and two typos noted. (Individual questions are okay - what I was looking for was "do a bunch of readers not understand how we get from A to B? because if that is the case, I failed to make it clear and need to fix it.")
I... had very little to fix. Which was disconcerting.
Scrabbled about and agonized over a title, because the working title is good as a shorthand but terrible as a title for a book in stores. Found one that works. Agonized over a query letter.
The thing is that I use humor as a way to defuse stressful things, so I could not get past a wacky jocular tone for it. Which would be fine if it was a funny book. It is not, in fact, a funny book, although it has some funny bits in it.
So Adam, who'd been researching How To Write a Query Letter right alongside me, turned to me and said "Do you want me to-" and I said "I WAS JUST GOING TO ASK YOU." Because that way he could get the tone right, and I could go over it and see what was omg Adam no wrong and what else really needed to be in there. Altogether, we turned out what I hope is the perfect query letter in not much time.
And I sent it out. With personalized bits for the agents in question and excerpts of the requested length et cetera et cetera and now? Now the entire process is out of my hands.
So that's where that is.
I have a lot of other stuff going on! But every time I think about what to write, I find that thing X bleeds into thing Y which affects thing Z and it's not all coalesced yet. I am having a lot of thoughts, basically. And a lot of them tie into the book and why I've been procrastinating over it quite so much! But I wanted to post something. :)
Not dead. Quite busy. Deep in thought.
EDIT: And just got a request for the full manuscript from a freaking dream agent. *hyperventilates*
It is here! *throws confetti* For your reading pleasure
“Musicide” – E. H. Brogan
“Blood and Honey” – Andrew Watson
“The Animals, Who Are In Your Mouth” – Vajra Chandrasekera
“Drowned City” – Ruth Jenkins
“Bones” – Amy Fant
“Among the Dead” – Lev Mirov
“The Occupation of Millers Creek” – Robyn Groth
“On the Tree” – Alexandra Seidel
“Myth of the Mother Snake” – Carrie Cuinn
“Merlusine” – Nin Harris
Hallo! It is my birthday! *throws glitter confetti*
What do I want for my birthday? I want you to sponsor me in the BARCC Walk for Change
! Help BARCC help survivors!
You can also sign up to walk with me and Adam on Team Venture!
I went up to Burlington, VT for pre-birthday shenanigans... a birthday party, gizmometer
's show, a brunch, Dobra Tea, many friends and lovers old and new. <3 Low-key day today because yesterday was travel, but I have fun planned for the rest of the week and another party Saturday. <3 It's a good life.
Just scrolled back to see if I'd talked about the current group of pets in any depth, and I really haven't. Last year had lots of things in it!
I know I've talked about Nicky
. Adopting him continues to have been one of my best decisions ever. <3 He's snoring delicately in my lap right now. Sweetest boy! He's grown more and more comfortable with new people... the guy who doesn't have a code name yet (EDIT: Matthew has decided he doesn't require a code name, although the disambiguation promises to be hilarious - not Ashlyme, not Mangosteen, the other Matthew!) immediately joined the exclusive club of people that Nicky instantly adores. Flopping over on his lap begging for pets. Adorable. Nick's a happy boy. <3Bash
is still a Murder Cat. And an expensive one - we spent over a thousand dollars on his cornea late last year! >.< He's better now, and he'd better stay that way. We've had him almost two years now. The belly is only sometimes a trap.
We got Whisper
on Mother's Day last year, a long-distance gift from my parents. After years of maintaining a three-cat household, having just two pets felt weird! Whisper was Elayna's choice... I wanted a feistier cat or a lap cat, but the shelter wasn't sure about giving a feisty one to a household that had a 13-year-old cat. Bash is feisty! *pout* But Whisper utterly charmed Elayna, and gradually but definitely became her cat. I have told her that when she moves into her first apartment after college and takes Whisper, she owes me a cat. Whisper is given to surprise episodes of lap-catting and very firm head-butts from behind.
And then there's Charlotte
, the baby of the bunch at ~2 1/2. Friends in NYC had to rehome her because she needed more constant companionship than they could give her. She's happy here; she often perches on my file cabinet when I'm in here working, and on the mantel when I'm in the living room. She is *not* a lap cat, but she *is* a snuggler when one is horizontal. She is soft and pretty and deeply uncertain about hugs, and peeps wonderfully. She and Whisper do not love each other. :/ We were looking into rehoming her because of all the fighting, but thankfully they dialed that back. Now they just choose to not be on the same floor of the house as each other.
And that is the current makeup of our household! Plus me and Adam and, soon, fairylogic
The snow continues to be a burden. I know I haven't blathered much about it here (or much about anything here), but it is just exhausting. Nine feet in three weeks is ridic. I posted this link
on Facebook before our most recent two-more-feet storm. Still accurate. So there's the physical obstacle of the snow, and the psychological impact of being snowbound. February is being very difficult.
Seriously do google around to find pics of the epic snow, if you haven't seen them already.
A couple of beta readers have finished the novel, yay! Intimidatingly, they... are not giving me much to fix. They really like it as-is, which the occasional question that I can resolve with an additional sentence here and there.
I was unprepared for this? Honestly it only got a little expanded from Draft Zero, and... the received wisdom is that you do a shitty first draft and then you do like 6 more drafts and then you throw it in a drawer and write six more novels that you lather rinse repeat with, and then you turn out a competent novel. So. I was not prepared to spend a chunk of yesterday looking for agents. Hello I am bewildered but... I guess I have to do something with the book?
The answer to "who are you dating" is increasingly complicated, but in a way that is really working for me. :)
Hm. What else? My birthday is coming up! The thing I want more than anything else is for someone to come help me paint my home office. Small room, quick job, but my hands don't work well enough to tackle it on my own.
The thing I want most besides that is a four-poster or canopy bed - wood, not metal; metal gets cold - so if you see one for cheap, let me know.
Also I have a wishlist
that cleverly links to the rest of my wishlists. I do not need stuff but if you like to get people stuff, that is the stuff I am particularly interested in.
Yes, that's a 40-pound crate of cereal marshmallows. I AM FOLLOWING MY DREAMS.
Okay. Showertime so I can make my hair pretty, because tonight is Adam's and my belated Valentine's Day dinner at Alden & Harlow
! (Thank you for the gift card, Aunt Mary Ann!)
So while I was writing the novel, I wasn't writing much else - a few poems leaked out around the edges. A few stories, when I spent my summer unable to work on the novel because kid.
But that didn't stop the stories from gathering in my brain.
So. Aagh. I am in a place right now where I'm not stuck because I have nothing to do, I'm stuck because there is a bottleneck issue. I have so many things competing to be first. What I want to do first is the poetry project, but that feels like something I'll want to dive into when I know I have time, and with this constant snow fuckery, I can't rely upon having worktime. That, and I don't know when my readers will be done with the novel. The time travel story and the robot story will both mess me up, so even though I feel like I could do those quickly, I really don't want to be wrecked. I have essays on the list, but my brain wants fiction and poetry first.
Normally I would take a walk and the answer would sort itself out. But. Snow. Everywhere.
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be
cowboys chipmunks writers.
EDIT: I made a list; ten stories competing to be written next. Two individual poems as well as the book-length poetry project. Not counting the memoir things and future novels.
I keep being reminded of the fact that I have not said this explicitly here!
Those of you who googled Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type IV when I posted about my diagnosis may have already come to the conclusion that we did, which was:
Given that kids in foster care are already traumatized, it would be hideously unfair to them to pt them in a position where they're likely to have to deal with the sudden death of their primary caregiver.
So we are not doing the foster care thing after all. Still glad we took the classes, and we'll find other ways to help.
Aaaaand revisions are done. The book is with Adam and ashlyme
, who were its first-readers.
I feel slightly dazed.
Also looking for a few more readers, people who *don't* yet know the book intimately. Ideally a mix of writers and non-writers. Let me know if you're interested! Not all volunteers will be chosen... want to keep it to just a few people. It's a thriller, not SF/F. Some disturbing content; if you need specific info on what triggers may exist, ask.
*stretch* What now? Well, today's a snow day, so I may as well do snow-day things. I have a stack of library books. I haven't cast on any knitting I care about this year; maybe I'll do that? (My problem there is that I have a bunch of projects I really want to do and I don't have the yarn I need for them! Some skint months lately, mostly the fault of the thousand-dollar cat on top of holidays on top of Elayna's lack of financial aid for fall.)
I have a BARCC volunteer gathering tomorrow, if the streets are not impassable (oh yeah we have four feet of snow in our backyard and are forecast to get 12-20" more today), and I have dates Wednesday and Thursday. I am, surprisingly, suddenly dating. Ten, but that's been building since New Year's; someone else who I'd seen a few times late last year and enjoyed, but holidays/sickness had kept us from seeing each other for a bit, and when we got to see each other again, BAM, and it's a thing now. :) Thursday I'm going to the Boston Grown-Ups Museum
thing with Ten. <3
I have to think about what else to talk about now that I'm on pause-until-feedback with the book!