Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

My life in 8 words: Organized chaos, by preference. Exhausting, but never boring

Reading reading...
research books
I have blogged over at Book View Cafe about recent reading habits.

And I shall add here, in addition to the books recommended there, the following:

Perfect Pitch by mindyklasky

I'm not a heavy romance reader, nor am I into baseball-themed books, but Mindy has a lovely, light touch, and how can you resist this description? "Reigning beauty queen Samantha Winger is launching her pet project, a music program for kids. All she has to do is follow the pageant’s rules—no smoking, drinking, or “cavorting” in public."

otterdance, aka Lynn Flewelling, has a new Nightrunner book out! SHARDS OF TIME is the 7th book in the series, and if you haven't read the first 6 you really really really should.  And then pick up the 7th, which is on top of my TBR pile even as I type this...

ROAD TRIP! (maybe)
madness toll
I really need to get some hands-on, eyes-on research done for SILVER ON THE ROAD, but was stymied because, while I am perfectly capable of traipsing off to a foreign country where I don't speak the language fluently on my own for a week or two, so long as I can rely on mass transit, the thought of being on the road on my own for a week, in unfamiliar areas...

Look, I can handle new situations, I can read a map, and I can drive, and I can ask strangers for directions, as-needed. But having to do all of that, plus taking photographs and doing research? Just thinking about it made me start to stress. Knowing your panic press-points is a good thing, and all part of adulting.

But so's not letting those press-points stop you.

and so, Research Road Trip Planning Recommences. Kansas City to Colorado Springs, maybe continuing down to Santa Fe....

You in those area? Got a sofa? *g*

Like Vs Need
the general warned me...
EtA for Do Not Like:

The plumber is here to tear open the bathroom ceiling (to deal with a leak upstairs).

Castiel Kitten of Thursday is Dubious but Curious about this stranger. Boomerang, Cat of Size, is under the coffee table where no Bad Things can reach him.

The Thumb-Monkey is trying to work through it all. This is one of those times when having an open floor plan kinda sucks.

Things I would like to replace:

Laptop (in usage years, it's closing in on 5)
coffee grinder (10 years of hard usage)
wine fridge (the motor is making occasional whining grrrrgrrr noises)

Things I need to replace:


Things I'm gonna buy anyway:

... probably nothing.  *sighs*  Although I'm about to throw $100+ at a renewed passport, does that count?

On the plus side, I did make a reasonable-sized contribution to my Roth IRA for 2013, and I set aside the money for 1Q 04 estimated taxes.  Adulting: It kinda sucks.

citron presse
What I did over the weekend. For the most part, I think it stands up, and will help me see the first half of the book in a new, clearer light. So yay.

But it also reminds me that hard pushes are a thing I should use judiciously, because this morning my brain was still hurty, and my enthusiasm for butt-in-chair was low. Writers, remember: aftercare is important!


Potentially spoiler-y excerpt, here...Collapse )

and in other projects, this afternoon I had to rewrite an entire chapter of the mystery, because the wrong people were in it.  *headdesk*

Read in 2014
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* means it was on my #TBRin2014 list

6. THE GOD OF THE HIVE, Laurie King (re-read)
5. SPIRAL PATH, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel (pre-pub)
4. CLIENT MANUSCRIPT, Unidentified Client
3. *EIFELHEIM, Michael Flynn
2. KNOWN DEVIL, Justin Gustainis
1. *INK, Amanda Sun

State of the Meerkat: A Retreat without Retreating
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So this was the weekend I had blocked out to do a hard run on SILVER.  Friday afternoon I laid in supplies (ready-to-eat meals and several bottles of wine), updated Anti-Social, and took a declared Twitter-cation for 48 hours.

And then I set to work.

Saturday morning I walked down to the farmer's market before the predicted rain came down. I actually didn't need anything, but knowing that it was supposed to rain heavily all weekend, I figured I should stretch my legs when I could. And the first feta-herb scone of the year! (yes, I could learn how to make them myself, but then it wouldn't be a special treat)

Sunday, when the rain stopped earlier that predicted, I took another long walk, and ran into some girl scouts hawking their wares near the local supermarket.  Thankfully, I'd shoved a $20 in my pocket before I left the house.... and came home with cookies.  Because: writing fuel.

That was it. Otherwise, I was in front of the keyboard, literally sunrise to, well, after sunset. It might not be as glamorous-sounding as a retreat to some pretty beachfront house or mountain loft, but you do what you can with what you've got.

The result: Many TBDL notes, almost 10,000 new words, and a totally revamped and rewritten outline later, I can see the hint of a light at the end of the SILVER tunnel.  About a month from here, maybe less.  Looks like we'll crack100,000 and a bit more, but not the 130,000 I was worried about.  My editor is doubtless sighing in relief, somewhere.

And then I get to turn around and rewrite the entire thing. At least once.

And finish the mystery manuscript, yeah I know. Shhhhhhhh.  We're getting there.


Other things accomplished:

  • windows cleaned (I ignore them all winter, because: winter) and new mesh ordered to fix the cat-damaged screens.

  • upgraded computer to Mavericks.  Nothing blew up, nobody died, no data lost.  Benefits yet to be seen, but no downside, either.

  • had the super come in to check the bathroom ceiling to confirm that yep, looks like we have a slow leak, and start the process for getting that fixed (which means having the ceiling opened up and replastered, oh JOY).

  • signed off on my taxes and closed out 2013's financial records

Right about now, I'm feeling a little brain-burnt.  So I'm going to go become one with the sofa, take-out, and the television remote.

See ya in the morning.....

Five things make the only post you'll get from me today....
citron presse
1.  You know you're in introvert hibernation mode when the thought of ordering take-away over the phone is overwhelming. "No talking to people! No! Why aren't you on Seamless or GrubHub?"  I need a "bat signal" so I could turn it on and they'd know to have my gyro ready for me.... (there was a point when I'd walk in the door of my local Greek hole-in-the-wall and they'd call out my order before I said anything. So a bat signal isn't THAT far off...)

2. This morning, the sky was dark, and I turned away; turned around again and was ambushed by sunrise: a splay of hot pinks and purples that lasted only a minute or two before blue-gray and orange took over.

3.  In related-to-#1 news, I have had baklava and coffee for breakfast. Today will be ALL about the sugar high and ZOOOOMZ.

4.  SILVER ON THE ROAD is really starting to come together for me.  Of course, it's doing that some 80,000 words in, which means I'll be turning around and starting the first rewrite with some Significant Work to do on the first half.

(some of which my lovely beta-readers are giving me, with their notes. Dear Lovely Betareaders, I'm sorry for what I made you plow through in section 2...I promise, you'll see where it all starts to come together at the end...)

5. TAGGED is still being a bit balky, but after three books in the series I can feel the rough spots before I hit them, and know how to fix them when they appear.

(As I said on Twitter earlier this week, writing the first book in a series is the easiest, and the hardest thing to do. Writing the last* book in a series is the hardest...and also the easiest.)

*I don't know that this will be the last G&T book. But it is the last one currently under contract. Sales and pre-orders could make all the difference on them buying #5....

Words Are As Words Will...
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Some people can write five or six or ten thousand words in a day, and suffer no ill effects. Some people are pleased if they manage a thousand. There's no ideal speed (so long as you hit your deadline) and the writer who goes at a slow and steady pace is no better a writer, no more a professional, that the person who does it all in a mad gasping spring, so long as they both end up with solid stories.

Me, I have an upper limit of about four thousand words a day. I can write more than that - but then I suffer from a word hangover the next day, and am good for nothing but filing, cooking, and sorting email. So when I came close to that yesterday - I stopped.

(Fortunately, I had the second pass proofs for DOGHOUSE to go over, so I didn't feel too much like a slacker (ARGH, but that's a rant for another time). And then I fell over and watched tv, because my brain could not word any more.)

Today? Two thousand words, total, pushed out from under a boulder. Tho they're pretty good words, if I do say so myself, and I've not fallen off schedule, so there's that....

And now I am going to kill the last of the second pass proofs, and read the book I need to be reading for someone else, and I think maybe I'll order in pizza tonight, because it's clearly One Of Those Weeks....

so I leave you with two videos of different heart-warming aspect:

A seal pup encounter

A history of media fandom, to "We Didn't Start the Fire."  Can you find where you came in?

Team Kornetsky News!
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Look!  A Cover!


Amateur sleuths Ginny Mallard and Teddy Tonica and their furry partners prove that twelve legs are better than four when it comes to solving a risky new case in the third novel from L. A. Kornetsky’s “entertaining” (Library Journal) Gin & Tonic mystery series.


(coming July 2014)

At her favorite Seattle bar, professional concierge Ginny Mallard can always count on a perfectly mixed gimlet and a friendly welcome for her shar-pei, Georgie, from resident cat Penny. But on this visit, Ginny gets an unexpected bonus: One of the regulars asks her and her sometime partner, bartender Teddy Tonica, to save an old friend who’s facing eviction.

This is no simple landlord spat. Rumors abound of an underground dog-fighting ring on the premises—a crime guaranteed to get Gin’s hackles up. Gin and Teddy want to believe the old man is innocent of all charges, though a new piece of evidence suggests otherwise. Penny and Georgie keep their noses to the ground as they help their humans investigate the vicious animal rights case. But the truth is buried deep, and digging it up will unearth dangerous complications for owners and animals alike.

pre-order now and have it ready for beach reading (or when you're hiding from the evil summer sun....)

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Pocket / Find Your Local Bookstore

Seattle Mystery Bookstore / Mysterious Galaxy

L. A. KORNETSKY’S “CHARMING” (Publishers Weekly)


Get your paws on the whole series!

And yes, for those of you paying attention - DOGHOUSE will be available in mass paperback!  Same mystery goodness, half the price!

gah. I'm never taking a nap again ever.
oh my cod, people. cold-med-driven naps are disorienting enough, but cold-med-driven dreams will seriously mess you up. I was in some kind of complex, and having to deal with seriously annoying people (actual people from my past life) and trying to sort things out while we were going up and down escalators and hallways in some random manner, and my friend Barbara and I were discussing a trip to Atlantic City so we could avoid the stupidity that was going to happen that weekend,

and then all of a sudden they'd brought in an orca (yes, and no I don't know why) into this huge tank that was being unveiled, and we were in the lower hallway (or I guess an upper hallway but it felt like a lower level) where for some reason the tank wall didn't go all the way to the ceiling and when they opened the screens as the orca was being dropped into the tank, there were all sorts of creatures being dunked in there with it and someone was yelling how something had gone wrong, and then there was this HUGE shadow, and water sploshed over the side, and seaweed and something that might have been a giant squid, as well as an orca that was about 5x the size of a normal orca, except you couldn't see details just those shadows that you knew were Wrong, and then everyone got soaked in an oversplash, and suddenly I was all alone and racing out of the hallway and -

Suddenly I was in a soaking wet uniform having to stand guard as a royal family I swear made of weebles (or at least, people with tightly-stretched pale skin and no actual body movement save wobbling forward)  was presented and went into this stadium-seating auditorium (all in red velvet, same as the uniforms) to see the orca unveiled and we were supposed to stand guard but I said the hell with this and went off in search of...something, but all the inner auditorium doors were shut so you couldn't see what was happening, and nobody was around, in that "but what happened to everyone?" way, then I woke up.

And I really kind of want chocolate and a blankie, right now.  Because it doesn't sound anywhere near as unnervingly weird as it was.

In which the meerkat gets very, very quiet. And that's not good.
peevy short chick
It's been a very, very long time since I was as angry at someone as I am right now.

Literally, wordless and shaking with anger. Blast-level anger of the sort that doesn't fade after I've had time to rant it off.

Because yes, I hold certain standards for people I call friend, and the first is that you don't blame someone else for your own fuckups, and the second that you don't EVER use professional standing to threaten someone over a personal matter. Ever.

No, I'm not going to name names.  They know. Just consider this a bankable warning: I have a very long fuse, but once it goes off, there is no going back or unsparking it.
Tags: ,

Sunday (an ugh and two yays)
citron presse
So, maybe walking 6+ miles in raw spring weather wasn't the best idea... or maybe my mother cursed me when I made a joke about everyone ELSE having a cold in email yesterday. Either way, I woke up this morning with my sinuses alternating between blocked and marathoning. And it's been so long since I had a head cold, the only meds in the cabinet expired in 2010.

(Painkillers, I've got. Digestive cures, I've got. Cold/flu meds? Nada.)

Nonetheless, managed to haul back into Manhattan for another brunch that could't be beat, this time at Atlantic Grill. Scrambled egg and applewood bacon quesadilla, followed by an apple crumble with cinnamon ice cream and salted caramel sauce, followed by a stop at the Duane Reade to pick up Mucinex DM Sinus meds. Ahhhhh relief.

Said medication worked well and fast enough that I could finish the furniture rearrangement I'd started on Friday. The bedroom and lounge are now in their new configurations, and a lot of things I'd been holding onto either from inertia or the hope that I'd find a use for them are now gone either to the trash or better homes (including the newest aloe sproutings, because 3 healthy aloe plants is enough for one apartment). My brain and body both feel better when the clean lines and open space of the apartment are, well, clean and open.

I intend to indulge in a carb-heavy dinner, take more meds, and go to bed early tonight. Tomorrow is soon enough for all the work I didn't get done this weekend... (which is the second yay! because I thought a LOT about what needs to be done on the books, and have Direction now).

What are you looking forward to diving into, this week?

mid-weekend post
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here, have a nice break from the stress of everything, and read about what happens when the Avengers have to do the Talk Show Tour...

For NYCers and folk who might be in NYC: a restaurant review:  Today we checked out AG Kitchen for brunch.  They have a lovely space on the UWS (Columbus Avenue off W 72nd) and the menu -American and Latin comfort foods - is limited but highly-praised.

I opted for what is touted as "NYC's Best Cubano Sandwich."   Really? I asked the waiter.  Really, he assured me.
Entirely possibly accurate.  Also, enough for two meals.
Service was friendly and leisurely-in-a-good-way, even as the restaurant started to fill up (David counted 8 strollers parked by the bar - this is definitely a family-friendly restaurant, without ever feeling like it was overrun with small humans).

Recommended, although I advise scouting the menu first if you have anyone who is food-cautious, since the offerings are limited (but very tasty)

meerkat coffee
72,000 words through the first draft of SILVER ON THE ROAD.

Halfway through the plot.

I am TOTALLY blaming msagara

EtA: and right on schedule, I just threw the last third of the outline out the window. Wheeeee!

Proof-of-work, and someone else's words....
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This week's proof-of-work is a small snippet, because anything before/after requires more context than I can explain without, well, explaining...

"I’m not your enemy” the magician said. “I don’t have to be a friend; in fact you’re wise to keep in mind that I’m nobody’s friend. But I’m not your enemy. Not here, now, in this time and place.”

and for World Poetry Day, 2014, because with all the bleah in the world, we need folk like John Ciardi...

There once was an Owl perched on a shed.
Fifty years later the Owl was dead.

Some say mice are in the corn.
Some say kittens are being born.

Some say a kitten becomes a cat.
Mice are likely to know about that.

Some cats are scratchy, some are not.
Corn grows best when it's damp and hot.

Fifty times fifty years go by.
Corn keeps best when it's cool and dry.

Fifty times fifty and one by one.
Night begins when day is done.

Owl in the shed, cat in the clover,
Mice in the corn - it all starts over.

© 1959 John Ciardi/The Curtis Publishing Company

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