the_siobhan: (shock and awe)
1000 words

At beer-and-laptops. Did I mention I hit a bell-ringer last session? 40K words.

I'm also getting faster - today's 1K words took me about an hour and 15 minutes, compared to the 2 hours it used to take. So you know, practice will improve my ability to get the quantity happening, even if I'm not yet happy with the quality.

Forgive me, this is the only thing I have to talk about, so I'm damn well going to post about the fact that it makes me happy.

[EDIT] Packing up now. At 42046 words. Probably going to go drink more beer with D.
the_siobhan: (book skeleton)
I have Fuck. All. that I have to do today. So I am sitting in a bar with my laptop.

My Nanowrimo project is just a hair under 30,000 words. And I am stuck. Like so stuck. I have no idea what happens next. I know how I want it to end and the major players, but not how to get there from here.

the_siobhan: (shock and awe)
One of my co-workers refers to Trump as "Orange Hitler".

I can't really find a lot of fault with that.


The ads on the top of my LJ page now immediately show me an ad for a Canadian self-publishing company as soon as I log in. "Writing a book? Chose a trusted Canadian self-publisher!"


Ad software has pretty much hit the uncanny valley for me.

Also featured in LJ adware, did you know that there is a dating site for bikers? I did not know that. Now I do.


The people-who-get-together-on-Saturday-with-laptops-and-sketch-pads (I really have to find a shorter name for it) have started meeting at the Imperial Pub. I don't know why I didn't think of this place before; it's perfect. The downstairs is pretty nondescript but upstairs there are comfy couches and bookcases full of books and games and the waitress remembers what we drink and THERE ARE ACTUAL ELECTRICAL OUTLETS IN THE WALL and you don't realize how rare that is until you start going to places with a laptop.

I gotta tell yah, the laptop-and-beer weekly is essential to the progress I've made so far.

Last weekend it just so happened that everybody was busy, so instead of hauling my bag all the way downtown I just walked a block to my local. It turned out not to be the best day for it; the owners were hosting a party and so the place was packed. It's one of those trendy designs with a big bare room that bounces all the sounds around so it's really loud when it's busy. But it was cool inside and they have most excellent beer and the staff know me so they are very tolerant of my taking up a table for a couple of hours by myself.

I haven't actually written much since then because work is super busy and I think I'm starting to hit burnout. But I have a week off next week, so I might take advantage of that. Or I might just sit around all week with my feet up. Because it's a vacation! And I can!


My co-workers decided today would be a good day to hold a team potluck. I went to the store and bought one of those salads-in-a-bag. Because cook in this weather? Ha, ha, no.

I am now so full of a most excellent Porguese beef and rice, and all I want to do is take a nap.

Only a couple of hours to go.
the_siobhan: (limp)
So I now have an answer as to whether or not I can write an entire book in a month. That answer is "no".

I am exactly at the halfway point of where I should be, however, which means I am well on track for getting an entire book written in two months if I can keep going at this rate. That won't be in August, because my family is coming to visit, so I figure I'll be taking a break and getting back to it in September. Which means I will be finished writing my 50,000 words probably early October.

They will be terrible, terrible, not very good words, but they will be written down and therefore I will have my story.

I suspect the process of turning it into a story worth actually reading is going to take a lot longer.


I finally pulled the plug on FB. This time of year I'm already hanging onto the fringes of what's left of my mental health with the tips of my fingernails and having people tag me on stuff that makes me cry was sending me right over the edge.

Yeah, I'm an emotional cripple and I'm not afraid to admit it.

So anyway, you can't reach me through FB anymore. It's email or LJ. You can send a FB message through one of the partners, but they aren't super reliable about passing them on. (By which I mean they will usually tell me stuff, but they aren't prompt about it and if it's an event that's taking place I usually find out about it the day it's happening. And if I already have my pants off, good luck with getting me to put them back on.)


I haven't touched the German since Axe & I visited there... two years ago? I think. Anyway at some random moment last week I decided to reinstall the Duolingo app and I've been plugging away at it again.

Learning languages is supposed to be good for encouraging new neural pathways and depression causes definite cognitive damage, so whether or not I'm ever successful in learning anything I figure it's a good hobby to have.

I have to say I'm often surprised at the words they choose to include. I'm doing the section on animal names right now and a lot of time I end up wondering why they devote so much time to including words I'll probably never use. I mean, once I have insect, do I really need fly, beetle and bee? Why include duck, chicken and hawk once I know the word for bird?

I suspect that one of the reason I lost interest in it last time is because it felt like there was too much filler.


Axel has gone full-on vegan. Did I mention that? Like one day it's all pig roasts and yummy yummy beef machines; the next day there is tempeh and almond milk in my fridge.

I find it hilarious only because it's so typical of the man to go from 0 to 60 overnight like that.

Anyway I'm fully supportive of the idea of eating less meat. The transition period just tends to be a little bumpy - I've noticed most new vegetarians go through a period where they cook exactly the same way, but just use tofu in place of the meat. And I'm just not that big a fan of tofu.

But hey, he's still doing all the cooking so I am not about to complain. And the tofu vindaloo he made in the crock-pot was really very good.


I am so boring right now. No money to do anything and it's too hot to go outside.
the_siobhan: (NaDruWriNi)
The official site has an article about how to deal with the fact that it's hard to write when everybody around you is making July 4 plans.

I only find that funny because today is the first day I've had time to write. (And no hangover.)

1685 words
the_siobhan: (hand over the pig and nobody gets hurt)
I was breathing so much better on Monday that I was able to make it through my entire work shift without using my inhaler once. Then I decided it would be a good idea to walk to where I was meeting BC. In downtown Toronto. At rush hour.

Ha ha ha I'm a fucking idiot. Pretty sure I dislocated a rib.


Work is finally starting to calm down in the wake of the Brexit vote. One of the managers brought up the prospect of what the markets are going to do if Trump gets elected in the US. I told them they better start hiring extra staff now, because holy shit.


I got my first grey hair when I was still in my teens. Since that time I've been shaving it, teasing it, mohawking it, and spiking it, and always in some colour that caused small children to point and pollinators to follow me down the street. The last time I shaved my head was about a year ago and I've been just letting it grow out ever since.

When it was at the peach-fuzz stage I was actually worried that it was going thin on me, but it turned out that the hair on my crown is now so white as to be transparent - I was actually just seeing my scalp through my hair. After a year of growth it's obvious I had nothing to be concerned about; it's a rediculous unruly mop. It's also gone curly since it went grey - something that I have never had before and so I have no idea how to take care of it. So right now I'm just letting it do whatever it wants, which mostly appears to be frizz and cowlicks. I keep thinking gravity has got to kick in at some point but as is typical of my nemesis, it's being entirely uncooperative.


Tomorrow is Canada Day, which I will no doubt spend cleaning. Saturday is birthday party BBQ. Sunday is post-party clean-up and/or hangover day. So Monday is likely the first day I will be able to get my teeth properly into NaNoWriMo.

I've been trying to pursuade people to sign up on the site just because I figure it will be easier to post one notice of when & where I'm going to be instead of texting everybody - except the site is so poorly designed as to be a pain in the ass to navigate. I may actually be forced to use FaceBook. Bah.

Or maybe I'll set up a mailing list. Man, talk about old-school.
the_siobhan: (save hockey)
The lurgy that was stuffing up my ears on the plane has now settled in for nice long haul in my chest and I know from long experience that it will be there for at least the next three months. I went to the walk-in and have a stack of inhalers which are kinda helping but not very much. It doesn't help that the city is now firmly into smog season, so even if the chest clears up I won't be able to take a deep breath until September anyway.

On the plus side, hot flashes seem to be on their way out, thank all the fucks for good timing. This was round 3 and it was the worst so far. The first round lasted about four months and they were intense, but infrequent. Then I got about four months off. Then they came back for another four months, happening every hour or so but being pretty mild. Then they stopped again for a while. This last batch, holy shitballs. It was like standing in front of a blast furnace over a dozen times a day, complete with dizziness and sweats. Bloody brutal. Please do not come back, thanks.

You know, one of the things that I'm finding really fascinating about menopause is how fast my skin is changing. I can already see the millimetre-wide waves where the underlying connective tissue has given it up on the backs of my hands. Man, I am going to be a seriously wrinkly old lady. I've been thinking about asking if any of my amateur photographer friends have equipment that can take very close-up pictures of my skin just because I find the texture so fascinating.

Sick has meant I'm behind on the bow-making, so I need to get caught up on that before the next class. Writing has been on hiatus for June, both because of sick and busy. In July I'm still planning on doing the NaNoWriMo summer camp (My user name is the_siobhan if you're on there and want to hang out.) So you should be getting lots of posts from me because I'll be procrastinating on my laptop. Mostly bitching about writer's block, I suspect.

I need a vacation. Like a long one. For a year. In the meantime, I guess I'll keep buying lottery tickets.
the_siobhan: (goatse)
The NaNoWriMo site posted a link to the Fantasy Name Generator. I requested a gender-neutral name and got this:

Your fantasy name is: Shea Divinegate. Protector of the Obscure Savannah S/he began her/his journey as a witty carpenter. S/he made her/his way to the Obscure Savannah after many disasters, one of which involved a pessimistic vampire and an accident-prone dragon.

That's... actually better than I could come up with on my own.

Observations about how the Resolution: Write an Entire Book thing is going.

  • Getting out of the house with my laptop is definitely a thing that works for getting me to actually write.
  • Meeting up with other people to do writing is definitely a thing that works for getting me to leave the house.
  • Two hours is about as much creativity I can manage at a single stretch.
  • I can pump out about 1000 words in those two hours, give or take.
  • The NaNoWriMo target is 50,000 words, but I think this story is going to be a lot longer - it will probably land somewhere around 75-80 K.
  • If I can only get out of the house once a week, that means it's going to take me about a year and half to finish this puppy.

I'm hoping that continued regular practice will make me faster. Also, I plan to use NaNoWriMo as incentive to write more often during the week. Even if I only manage to squeeze in two dedicated sessions per day over the weekends, that should knock three-four months off the length of the project. I also booked the first week of August for vacation from work, and since I figure we're too broke to go anywhere I can use that time to do the final push to the finish line.

Then I fully expect I won't want to even look at the bloody thing for months.

Then revisions.

Then letting people read and critique it while I hide under the bed and hyperventilate.

So looking at all that written down makes me think that maybe getting it done this year is overly ambitious. I dunno. Out of pure curiosity (ahem) how long does this process take other people?
the_siobhan: (Dufferin station)
Any local people know of a good place for a couple of people to have a coffee and a laptop for a couple of hours without being pestered?

Bonus points if it's on the Bloor-Danforth line.
the_siobhan: (vertical hold)
I am so sick. Sooooo sick. I think a quarter of my brain has been replaced by mucus. I have spent the last five days moping around being pathetic while the boys bring me hot toddies and pet my hair and say, "There, there" while I whimper.


Remember all those boxes and boxes of photos that I scanned? I do.

When my sister Dee was in town last October our father told her she had to clear her stuff out of his basement where she had been storing it, so she spent part of her visit going through boxes. Several of those boxes were full of, you guessed it, photographs.

She spent a couple of days sorting through them to figure out which ones she wanted to keep and then I offered to do the scanning so that she could actually spend some of her visit time on actually visiting. I am now about halfway through the box, on scan number (checks folder) 978, and I am beginning to regret my offer.

Actually, I lie. It's been kind of fun going through them and seeing some of the happy memories. Not to mention a few embarrassing ones. Holy crap 80s hair.

I have also been entertaining myself hugely by creating folders on her file share site with names like "Regrettable Mustache Choices" (later renamed to "Moves Like Jack Layton"), "Meringues on Parade" (for wedding photos), "I Honestly Don't Remember That Much Beige" and "Voted Best Album By Country Music Magazine."

What can I say. I am full of snot and easily entertained.


I think I've decided what I'm going to do during the NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. I'm going to pick up the concept from my 2009/2010 drunk writing and see if I can turn it into an actual story.

I have no doubt there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth when I'm actually sitting at the computer trying to chew my way through my writer's block by sheer force of will. But right now I'm really looking forward to it.
the_siobhan: (Ursula Le Guin)
Back in November when I was doing NaDruWriNi, [ profile] sabotabby and I were talking about how we would like to do NaNoWriMo, but November is always just a shitty month for both of us. (Her because she is a teacher. I have no idea why it's always the case for me.)

So we proposed doing it this summer instead, when in theory we will have more time.

Anybody else wanna play?


the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Default)

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