Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Creeping Along

I managed to complete another section of Beyond the Pale--got the Moxie's crit on it Sunday evening and then just got it revised last night. It's going along pretty well, but I need to really buckle down and get a detailed outline for it. I have a much better idea now of who the bad guys are and what they want, but I need to refine things a bit and decide what the arc is for this book. The book's concept could easily turn into a series, and I already have an idea for a second book, but it's this first intro to the premise that could make or break things. The good news is that it seems like something it would be much easier for me to keep to a lower word count, like 100,000 or maybe 110,000. My Oantran Triad stuff is considerably longer than that.

The scary part for Pale is that it takes place on our own world, and I'm messing with folklore and legends. Yes, I'm doing my homework, as well as I can for someone who can't just pack up and fly to Ireland. I have been there before, which helps, and the folklore part isn't too bad--I'm not limiting it to only Irish folklore. The main problem is that I wasn't in Ireland for long, and I haven't been there recently. But I'm pulling every slightest bit of memory out of my hat, and I'm doing the best job I can with the details. I'll need that standard disclaimer--"Any mistakes are mine alone."

This would be easier if I had an Irish penpal to answer all my silly little questions--the ones I'm currently answering via culture guidebooks and whatever memory I can dredge up.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Thank goodness it's Friday. We've had a crazy week here. Spent one evening in ER with my daughter who'd been bitten by a feral (but not rabid) cat, spent countless other hours working on the kids schoolwork and school-related planning and details, and then earlier this evening taking the girls to a movie for a mom-daughter night out. It's 11 o'clock and I've finally found an opportunity to write for the first time since the Sunday before last, so this entry will be brief. Last night was the full moon and my daughter didn't turn into a were-kitty, so I guess things are going along about as smoothly here as can be expected.

Can you believe that Idaho has no law to deal with feral cats? If you want a wild cat controlled, you basically have to control it yourself. If you bring it in to the humane society and pay a small fee, they'll deal with it from then on. Sheesh. First it bites my daughter, and then I'm going to have to trap it myself and pay someone to take it off my hands? Rant, rant. We've bought a humane trap, but I'm not sure we'll actually manage to trap anything except perhaps our own sweet kitty, who'll probably never want to go near anything with bars again for the rest of his life. I wouldn't put it past the feral cat to sit on top of the fence staring down at our poor trapped domestic kitty, laughing its nasty little orange head off.

If the trap doesn't work, I'm considering Neo-Chinese water torture, i.e., the garden hose.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It Works!

Ok, it's wierd to work on the computer with the moniter at this angle. I'm facing south, which I hear is good Feng Shui if you're looking for fame and fortune. I've also mostly switched myself onto a daytime schedule. Two problems with this: One is that at this time of day, the little bit of early spring sunlight we get here in Idaho is shining into my window from the west, which pales out my moniter screen and isn't very conducive to working with the computer in this position. Two, despite the fact that I've been in bed asleep before 1 a.m. for two nights in a row now, I still can't drag myself out of bed and/or get much done in the morning hours. That I'm still adjusting to the schedule change might be an excuse, but I'm tired of excuses. I just need to get my act together. I know what Yoda would say--"do, or do not. There is no try." Well, darn it, Yoda! Is there a half do? If I'm officially not trying, then I guess I'm at about the half do stage. Hmph. See what happens when I try to work earlier than late afternoon? You get semi-articulate Star Wars musings. Pass the caffeine, please!

As it happens, the last time I was able to write anything on either of my books was the Sunday before last, just before my Moxie meeting. And then I was late because I forgot the stupid time change, which I think should be abolished just on principle. Not one of Ben Franklin's better ideas, that. Lately all my time has been taken up with spring housecleaning and catching my kids up on homeschool work. I'm really looking forward to June, when school is done for the summer and most of their extracurricular activities go on hiatus until September.

The upshot of the geranium incident is that I did indeed get most of the downstairs of my house cleaned. The kids and the Huz even helped. It was clean enough that it actually echoed, even with the furniture still there. It took us several frantic, exhausting days of cleaning to get the house into what I considered acceptable shape--which means good enough that I wouldn't be embarrassed to have visitors. That probably tells you just how bad it must have been before the cleanup, but that's ok. It's clean now, and I'm here to vouch for just how much the frustration level goes down when one's environment is clean and organized rather than cluttered. My office reflects this, too. The addition of another tall bookshelf helped, as did the switching around of furniture so that I no longer have my back to the door. The room actually looks bigger this way, if a bit furniture-heavy on the west side. And there is now a red geranium on my desk.

If I don't get any work done now, it won't be the fault of a messy office.