Saturday, November 10, 2012

Working 9 to 5. And then 5 to 9.

Winston, when he still lived at the shelter. He gave a great
stink eye, which really didn't help him get adopted (but
it did wonders with me obviously!).
Hi everyone. I'm back with a vengeance. As the title says, I've been a busy lady lately. Work is going well and filling a lot of my time with SCIENCE! And about two months ago, after losing Wildman in April, I adopted another cat. Winston was a long-term resident at the shelter where I volunteer. He is a shy, adult cat who frequently hid or ran away, which made him not so adoptable in most people's mind. I decided to give him a chance. He took A LOT of work to get comfortable enough, but he's doing so great now. I couldn't be prouder. His first reaction when we move towards him is to run and hid, but a few seconds later, he comes bouncing back over, trilling and chirping. He gets better every day. Winston and my other cat, Marvel, are still working out there stuff. He likes her a lot, and she likes to chase him into corners and make him hide. There's probably a story in there.

I finally took the writing class as part of Emory University's Evening Learning courses. It was a really great 5 weeks. I learned a bit about the craft, although a lot of the material is similar to what's available online on all of the amazing writer's blogs, but I think what was really good for me was to share my writing with folks and to receive feedback. It's reinvigorated my desire to find a critique group. That'll be a goal for the new year.

Also, I don't know if you guys know this, but it's November! When the heck did November get here! This is the first time in three years that I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, and the biggest reason for it is that I seem to have completely lost track of time and forgot what month it is. I think I'm still back in September...

Hope all of you are doing great out there in the wide, wide world. Happy writing!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lack of commitment

I was just rereading my post from March and laughing to myself about my resolution to finish the Hunger Games series. I didn't! Another one of those unfinished things on my growing to-do list. But, not to worry, I have found a way to rationalize my decision, so that I don't have to feel like the laziest procrastinator on the planet. When I saw the first movie, I enjoyed it. It was true to the book and fantastic to see the images come to life. I saw it with librarian bf, whose read the entire series. The theater was crammed full of people, most of whom seemed to have been long-standing fans. Which is totally awesome- I love how many kids are reading now! But as much as I liked the movie, I did wonder what someone who hadn't read the series would have thought. Soooooo, the scientist in me has arranged an experiment. I've read the first two books, and I'll see those movies. And then, I'll see the third movie without reading the book. Then, I'll know how both sides feel. See, it's perfect. I meant for this to happen. But the third movie (and forth, since they're doing it as a two-parter) is still a ways away, who knows what will happen before then....

I've also been tearing through a fantastic graphic novel: Bakuman. Even if you aren't into manga, if you're a fellow writer or artist or creator, you should check the series out. I think they're on book 11 or so now, and I'm reading 9 today. It's the story of two young boys who want to become serialized in Jump, a weekly publication. The creators of the story have been in the business for a while (they did DeathNote together), and this manga shows the behind the scenes aspects. There are meetings with their editor, deadlines, writer's block, and all the other aspects of publication. Realistic and really fun. I will finish this one- I promise!

Reading now: Awkward by Marni Bates, Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Power Trio

I haven't been keeping up with whether or not this is still happening, but I wanted to try my hand at the Six Sentence Sunday posts I used to see all the time. This is part of Power Trio. It was harder to find six sentences that make sense out of context than I thought it would be!

     Sofie tossed a bottle of hand sanitizer over her shoulder. "Be careful you don't use too much," she said. "You can get nasty drunk from the alcohol absorbing through your skin and into your blood stream."
     "That's ridiculous," Addison said.
     "No, it isn't. I read it online." She slammed against her seat, which smashed into my already tingling legs.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm still writing a book

Let's get the sad news out of the way. My wonderful foster cat passed away. Towards the end his medical care was very intensive and very emotionally/physically draining. I wouldn't trade the time with him for anything, but I found that I didn't have much energy to do anything else. He lived a very full life and I was happy to have him for the time I did (although I find myself wishing I could have seen what he was like as a kitten).

In happier news, my real-life job is going well. I got to travel and I'm publishing a manuscript this month (I seem to be able to get writing done at the office!).

Not much progress to report on the writing front, but I'm still working. A few of the other writers I know have gotten book deals- I'll be sure to tell you when their stuff comes out. In the next few months, I think. Seeing them achieve their goals is actually inspiring me to keep going. I hit a bit of a lull, but I've moved to a new writing spot (an adorable tea place) and the change of place is helping me thing of some solutions to the things I'd been tripping on before. Here's hoping the rest of the summer is even more productive.

Happy Fourth everyone!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Foster cat update: Horner's syndrome

I thought I'd give a quick status update on my foster cat, for anyone who might be interested. I brought him one back in July (a few months after our senior kitty passed away). Wildman is an old guy, and a long-term shelter resident, so I wanted to give him a comfortable place to spend his "golden years."

We think he's around 14 or 15 and based on the issues he's having, that seems pretty right. He's got chronic ear infections, so he's always on antibiotics, which help a little, but aren't ever going to completely resolve the issue. Also, the ear infections caused facial paralysis on the right side of his face (probably from all the scratching).

Horner's syndrome of the right eye.
 In the last few days, it's turned into Horner's syndrome- a condition where the top eyelid drops, the third (nictating) eyelid closes, and the pupil constrictions. He was also diagnosed with hyperthyroid (a normal cat has a range of 0.7-5, and in a senior cat, a level above 2.5 might be considered hyperthyroid (when you take signs and symptoms into consideration). Wildman's test came back at 13! Yikes. So now, he's getting twice daily pills for that too. And he's got high blood pressure, and he's on human meds for those. I crack up every time I go to the pharmacy to fill my prescription for "Wildman B."

He goes back to the vet this week to have blood drawn again. Now that he's on hyperthyroid meds, there's a chance it had previously masked some other issues (like kidney failure) so they'll check on all of that. Sorry for the long and rambling, non-book related post, but I wanted to share, just in case anyone else out there has a senior cat. I'd love to hear how things are going with your older pets (and the younger ones too)!
Best buds!

Despite all of his issues, I think he's truly happy in our home. He spends his days napping on the couch and hanging out with my other cat. He's a lot of work, but it's totally worth it. Now a plug for senior cats- if you're considering adding to your family, consider an older pet. Not only are they trained and far less destructive, I think they appreciate a good home more than the younger ones do.

Also, I'm finally decided to finish the Hunger Game series, so my librarian boyfriend brought home Mockingjay a few weeks ago. Only now it's missing somewhere in the house. We had company over last weekend and I think in the cleaning frenzy that preceded, I tossed it somewhere randomly. I've looked in all the typical places (in my nightstand, in the den that we have set up as a library, the bottom of the coffee table) and it's no where. I'm getting desperate. Any suggestions? What's the weirdest place you've found a missing book?

Update: Mockingjay has been found. It had gotten mixed in with the bf's comic books. But in sad news, it has to go back tomorrow since it's way overdue, but at least it's been found!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Darkest Secret

I'm going to reveal something to you that I would never tell anyone (except maybe my mother). It's a dark secret that I keep hidden away because I fear what it says to the world. And a recent turn of events has reinforced what a terrible thing this is. Are you ready for it?




I use Internet Explorer 9. SOB!

I'm the worst. I pretend day in and day out to be tech savvy. I chat with my web developer friends about html and java and way IE sucks because pages have to be developed using non-standard code. In public, I claim to use Chrome (because it sounds sooo cool). I'm also a PC, which I stand by, but would also likely not confess to these same friends (and as I mentioned above, I would tell my mom, only because I think she might still be using IE6 on her Commodore 64).

I hate when I go to log in to blogger in my typical web browser and I get all these wonky images and error messages. I get it, you don't like IE, and you're not going to continue to cater to a non-standard web browser. But it hurts. Because it's a reminder of how not cool I am. And I swear, normally, I'm very nerdy-cool. I own every game system (yes, even a SegaCD). My basement looks like something out of a teen boys fantasy dream, equipped with a Dreamcast store display stand-up video game kiosk and three rows of comic book shelves (repurposed pantyhose shelves from a department store that went out of business).

That's it. That's my secret shame. And that means when I want to update my blog, I need to open up Firefox (I know it's just as bad!!!!! Shut up, web people) and log in again. But I'm willing to do it for you!

Hope everyone is having a great and happy March. Anyone do anything special for Leap Day? My mom donated blood and helped rescued a manatee. I saw a man taking the trash out in his tighty-whities. I think I win. Unless one of you can beat me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Unfocused writing

You all might have noticed that I've been in a bit of a rut (i.e., stuck in an endless edit) lately. I'm taking a bit of time away from Power Trio to enjoy the other things I love in life. I'm reading some great YA- almost done with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I've been spending more time at the animal shelter, which has been really cathartic (or should I say CAThartic, ha ha) since work has been a little high stress lately. I've also delved into some other types of writing. My significant other is a rapper, and after years of him refusing to use my lyrics in his songs (I had such gems as "back up against my mad crunk" and an entire song about Gambit and Rogue's relationship), I have been driven to write and perform my own (horrible, terrible, very bad) raps. Okay, raps might be an exaggeration, but I am trying to finish one song. I'm going to record it too, in the little studio he has set up in the basement. When I do, you will be the first (and maybe the only) people to hear it. I'm also not going to use another parenthetical aside in this post. I apologize. Five is far too many. But I'm not sure that I can type any more without using my favorite piece of punctuation, so I should probably just go. Happy Friday all!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Two months?!?!?!

You will not believe this! I have been diligently writing blog posts every day for these last two months and then I guess blogger decided to delete them all. That or my cat ate them. Definitely one of the two.

I've been a bad blogger. I still have all this fun content (including a quiz to help you figure out what kind of a bee you are). I need to get back into it. But between my surgery in November, and then the holidays, and now Wildman (my foster cat's) surgery too, I have had some focus issues. I am right now watching Wildman thrash about wildly (how fitting!) in his cat carrier. He's been in it all day, but he's still loopy from the anesthesia and I am not going to be suckered into letting him out. He needs at least another hour of quiet time. Then it's off to the small bedroom which I will fill with pillows and blankets. I have to say, it's pretty funny watching the carrier rock. It looks like something from a haunted house or Gremlins or something. He's all black so I can't really see him in there, but I can see the cage shimmy-shaking constantly. He had his ear cleaned and a tooth pulled and the rest of them scrubbed. Everybody cross your fingers that this time he'll end up feeling better for a long time. He's a 14yo cat with chronic ear issues and stomatitis and he's probably never going to get rid of all of his problems, but I will make sure he is as comfy as possibly for as long as possible.

Work has also been crazy, but fun lately. There is a strong chance I will go to Omaha for a conference this summer, which is coincidentally where I set my first book. I am beyond excited to see the city I've spent the last three years researching and writing about. Not sure if I'll get much sightseeing done, but I'm going to try.

Story updates! I've continued to edit Power Trio. Like a gerbil digging a hole in a glass terrarium. Or a gerbil running on a wheel and never getting anywhere. I didn't own gerbils (or any small mammal for that matter) growing up, but I think I can really relate. Along those same lines, if anyone is in the Atlanta area and is interested in forming a critique group, please email me:

Anyway, I'm off to get Wildman settled. I promise I'll try to be here more regularly... I mean, I'll make sure blogger doesn't keep erasing my amazing, Pulitzer-prize winning posts.