April 30, 2006

The days are just packed

This week has been a good week. There have been Amazon shipments (Don't Look Down, yippeeee), there have been Brain Sync shipments (the meditation stuff is going very well, great in fact, I can highly recommend them and the Walking Meditation one is freaky - I can go twice as long on my elliptical trainer when listening to it - so lots of thumbs up there), there have been Krispy Kremes, there have been nice dinners cooked by the VT and her hubby (proving once and for all he is a chef), there have been Spooks episodes, courtesy of Quickflix and there has been a full request.

Due to the last of these, there has also been writing. Go me.

Plus tomorrow is the start of May. That means only three and a half weeks until I go to Kara and have 11 days off. I refuse to think about the fact that I have to fit a months worth of work day job wise into the 14 working days I have. It will work out somehow. Holidays - yay.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to buy the folks for their wedding anniversay (40 years - that's a LONG time) and I'll be set.

April 25, 2006

Relaxation and remembering

Well the weekend was a write off in terms of writing. Apparently the muse needed a holiday. So I read (Taming the Duke, Warprize, Devil in Winter, The Compass Rose, all excellent books. The Compass Rose is another Luna. I'm starting to think Luna, on the whole, rocks. And I see there's a sequel out in the US. Yay), I watched Gilmore Girls on DVD, I went to the movies. All that relaxing is tiring.

Today we have a day off in Australia. It's Anzac Day. We stop and remember all the men and women who've died in wars protecting the country. Who did scary things in terrifying conditions and paid the ultimate cost. And even those who survived were changed forever. We owe them remembrance, respect and thanks. Even if you don't think war is the answer.

And thinking about what they faced makes me remember that the things that scare me, the problems I have, aren't such a big deal. And I should just get on with it.

Going to write now.

April 21, 2006

Speed, glorious speed

Ha ha, back to broadband. No more e-snail-mail.

In other news - check out this. My friend Keri, she rocks : )

More tomorrow when I'm awake.

April 18, 2006

Stuffing around

Well Keri called her post Stuff or Stuffed, so I will continue her theme. Cos stuffing around is what I have been doing today instead of writing.

I have done the laundry, I have taken the folks' mac mini to the mac doctor (get well soon little mac mini), I have done my grocery shopping and I have surfed the net, eaten an easter egg and read InStyle. Then, just as I was thinking about maybe doing some actual writing, I made a fatal error, I decided to check out Library Thing, something I have been resisting for a while. To quote Pretty Woman, 'big mistake - HUGE'. lol

Talk about your perfectly designed to be a time sink for virgos-who-love-books site. 2 hours and over two hundred books already entered (which worries me because I haven't gotten terribly far in the collection) and a life membership purchased and I'm loving it. I've always worried about the book collection in terms of how do I prove what I had if my house burnt down? Well, this is the answer. I mean, books are my main extravagance in terms of what I spend my money on, so it makes sense to keep a record. It's not like I have millions of books, but I'm guessing I have well over a thousand. At a conservative replacement cost of $20 AUD for the paperbacks and maybe $45 for the hardbacks, that's a lot of spondoolas if someone torched the place. (I'm just doing the math now and yikes, I think I've freaked myself out - of course, they didn't all cost that when I bought them, once upon a time paperbacks were a reasonable price in this country, and some were second hand and some are gifts and the collection has been building since I was 10 or so but still!!!)

Note to the universe, no-one is to torch my house, please. At least now, I'll have a record. And I guess I'll have to limit myself to entering a shelf at a time or something.

Enough with the guilt. Off to write. For the first time ever I've gone over my data allowance on my internet for the month so I'm stuck with snail speed for the next two days. Grumble.

April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Not such an original blog title but sincerely meant. I hope you have all partaken of the buns of hot cross goodness and received mucho chocolato from the bunny. Plus hanging out with whoever makes you happy.

I've been down at my folks and have only been back a few hours, which means I am still enduring the orange cat's 'you've been away' ritual. Which mostly consists of him stomping around shouting at me. I figure I know what he means - they are more than usually indignant yowls about how I left HIM behind and he was stuck inside and only that Jo and Dave pair came to see him and feed him. Though he also goes outside and shouts as well. I've never figured out whether that bit is "watch out world, the boss is back" or more along the lines of "free at last, free at last, thank god in heaven I'm free at last" but it's pretty funny.

I'll be forgiven by the time he gets dinner.

So home was good, hot cross buns were eaten, pink champagne (Hardy's something or other reserve - very nice) was drunk and I was taught a valuable lesson in remembering to check what you've set iTunes to when you burn a disc lol aka if it was data last time you need to change in back to audio before burning audio discs - sorry Mum.

I managed to write a few pages as well so that's good. And Mum made lamb roast for lunch. Yum. Yum. Yum.

So now I'm having toast, made with Dad's homemade light rye, for dinner. Dad is the son of a baker and makes very good bread and muffins. My Pa died when I was only three so I don't really remember him - a few vague memories of a short, smiling man always causing mischief (and even then I don't know how much of that is from home movies, photos and stories rather than my own memories) - so in a way, eating bread made by Dad feels like a connection. And a reminder of who I can blame for my own love of bread and baked goodies.

The lulus are coming tomorrow for critting so I'd better get cracking and print something out. And do some writing before I attempt to excavate the surface of my kitchen table which is currently covered in RWA stuff.

I had a massage last Thursday, something I always promise myself I will do more often and then invariably delay. It was fabulous. I want to make a concerted effort to keep the stress levels down because stress = bad sleep = cranky = less writing. So resolution number one to have more massages.

Resolution number two is to keep the stress down in other ways as well (this is the bit where you can stop reading if new age stuff bores you or makes you go "rubbish"). : ) To that end I've also bought a couple of mediation cds - another thing that interests me and I always say "must learn more about". These are by Brain Sync (someone on a writers list mentioned them - so thanks Karen!) and are meant to contain the frequencies to evoke the correct sorts of brain waves for various activities (ie Theta for meditation, delta for sleep and other sorts of ones (go read the link if you want the details) for other activities.

I've read a bit about this stuff over the years - the fact that expert meditators put themselves into theta states which is meant to be a very good thing so I figured what the heck. I got a meditation one, a concentration one (I'm hoping good for work and writing in those can't think times - it worked well last night letting me write 3 pages longhand in half an hour in the living room while the folks watched TV. That's faster than usual plus I don't usually write well with my folks in the room) and a sleep one. I don't know if the frequency thing actually works or not but I've drifted off twice now to the sound sleep one and it's very relaxing. And the meditation one is good too. I'll keep you posted on what I think.

And now I'm really going to write!

April 12, 2006

Hot cross writers

It's almost Easter. Five day weekend. Yippee. Writing time. Chocolate. Hot cross buns. mmmmm. And a lulu meeting. Hopefully we will be happy writers after that.

Though some restraint must be exercised or we'll be hot cross writers from being unable to fit into our jeans. But I love love love hot cross buns. I'm a bit of a bread freak anyway, I love yeasty doughy things. And hot cross buns are high on the list. Easter eggs I can take or leave but warm, hot cross buns with real butter. Yum.

So yay, it's Wednesday and tomorrow is the last day of the week. Plus tonight is House night. Re-run House night due to the vagaries of the Australian TV programmers but House all the same. So I'd better knuckle down before then.

I did have a point when I started this blog. What was it again? Right. Today, one of my online groups was asked the question of what they think their muse looks like. Interesting stuff. I know there are writers who scoff at the idea of a muse, and I agree with them that you can't sit around waiting for inspiration or the muse to strike you before you do the work and often the ideas flow better when you just sit in the darn chair and write. But I DO believe creativity is not an entirely mundane process because there are times when writing is almost an altered state of being. And times when you look back at something you've written and it feels like the work of someone or something else. That's the muse. The mysterious in the writing process. And everyone's process is different but I hope all writers have some of those magical spine tingling moments.

April 08, 2006


Ugh, 9 am is way too early on a Saturday to be up, showered, load of laundry on and already been out and back on an errand. Particularly when last night didn't exactly feature 8 solid hours of sleep. Why not, I hear you ask.


Remember how I talked about my cats deciding to bleed me dry um, I mean develop new and interesting medical conditions? Well, the grey cat needed some follow up blood work to see how her thyroid and kidneys are going. So I called the vet yesterday to book her in. And the dreaded words were uttered. "She needs to fast." Damn. Damn. Damn. So I dutifully booked her in for this morning and gave them dinner early last night then put them to bed and took the food away. That's right, I took the food away. Now with two normal cats this might not be a drama but don't forget I have the orange cat.

So I went to bed. About midnight the orange cat obviously realises there is no dried food in his bowl (I never said he was smart or maybe it takes four hours for the whiskas to be digested). He meows. I yell. He meows. I yell. He shuts up. Repeat on the hour until three am.

I try to figure out the logistics. I could put the grey cat in the bathroom with the litter tray, some cushions and some water but she would probably try to get out (and she's not bad at opening doors). And the orange cat would undoubtedly protest that he was being locked out of the special room where SHE WAS HAVING FUN DON"T TRY TO FOOL HIM NOT FAAAAAIIIRRRRR.

Eventually I came up with let the orange cat out of the cats room, while leaving the grey cat in with her water only diet, give him some dried food and access to the back yard via the cat door and hope he doesn't decide that ewww he couldn't pee outside, he might like get dirt on his paws or something.

This shuts him up for about two hours. Five am he meows (obviously the food has run out or he thinks grey cat is having all the fun in their room and I've secretly given food even though he didn't see me do it). I yell. He shuts up. He does it again at 6am, 7am, 7.30 and oh well, you get the picture. I am not well rested. I foresee napping in my day. Grumble.

Note to self, if cats need fasting, let them stay at the vet. In the meantime, the actual blood test process results in the grey cat and my credit card giving me pretty much the same disgusted look.

And now the orange cat has just thrown up the breakfast he bolted down to prove how hungry he was. Oy. And Vey and ONE ORANGE CAT GOING CHEAP.

Excuse me while I go clean cat puke.

Right, I'm back. Laundry sorted. Puke gone. Now I just have to wait for the stain to dry so I can use my super stain stuff on it. I don't know what they put in cat food but the browny yellow stain sure looks fetching on my pale blue-grey carpet. At least it killed my appetite, so I don't have to worry about not having had breakfast yet.

Where was I? Right. Being productive.

Yesterday I sent off my partial, wrote four pages of one book, one page plus six pages typed in to the computer from my notebook of another. Go me. Today I'm going to try and do some more. Amid scrubbing cat vomit from my carpet. That should produce some suitably romantic feelings : )

In other random weirdness, yesterday I was watching Oprah who was talking about debt (just as I was putting in a nice fat Amazon order to reward myself for the partial mailing - she made me take two books off the order to wait for a future date). Anyway, the ad for IceAge 2 came on. And it had the little rating thing down the bottom of the screen and it said "PG: mild sense of menace". What? Is this something new in the ratings? Besides the fact that kids movies often have scary bits and that's kind of the point in teaching 'em some stuff, what the frak (to borrow from BSG) does "mild sense of menace" mean? There's a bad guy? There's some scary critters (well, yes, it's about prehistoric beasts including mammoths and sabretooth tigers)? You're not sure what's going to happen? Isn't that the idea of a story? It just struck me as a very odd thing to state. What's next? PG: Slight hint of hormones? PG: A suggestion of discord?

If they're going to add these little hints to the ratings then why not make them actually USEFUL. You know, 'like 'PG: All the even slightly funny bits are in the trailer, don't bother'. Or M: the only good bit is hot hunk taking his shirt off'. Or 'PG: Complete massacre of the book, run away screaming'. Or 'MA: This movie is actually good'. That sort of thing would be handy. Mild sense of menace isn't.

And now I have to go write. Today this blog is rated: SSWWTOS (Slightly sleepy writer with touches of sarcasm). You can choose to view or not on that basis. Oh darn, this warning should've been up the top.

April 06, 2006

Things I have learned this week

1. Writing synopses doesn't get easier with time. I am convinced they are an arcane form of writer torture and possibly contravene the Geneva Convention.

2. House still rocks.

3. The writers of ER need to stop with the dying babies. Particularly when said baby is the most freakin' adorable baby chimp ever. Enough. I am out of tissues. The VT would be proud of my sappiness. Not quite as bad as 'Faces in the Mob' but close. And for those of you who have never seen the documentary 'Faces in the Mob' and are inclined to animal sappiness, I say "DON'T DO IT". FITM follows a bunch of kangaroos for over the time of two females getting pregnant and raising their joeys. One is a good mother. One isn't. You can guess the end result. That's right. Me crying for something like four hours. My boyfriend at the time came home, took one look at me and figured someone had died. He asked "What's wrong?". I believe my response was something like, "snuffle, snort, sob, the ba-a-a-by k-k-k- snuffle sob blow -kanga-roo-ooo-ooo."
"The kangaroo what?"
"d-d-d-dieeed. SOB SOB SOB."
The net result of which is I got one of those male "what weird female hormonal shit is going on here?" looks. And kept crying. Seriously, one of the saddest things I've ever seen and I'll stop before I start ranting on ethics in documentary film making and the ability to intervene when a joey gets separated from his mother and is being stalked by dingos. Ooops, too late.

4. If you have a cold and get a flu shot, the results are not necessarily going to be pretty. Excuse me while I hack up a lung.

April 01, 2006

April - how did that happen?

Well, it's April Fools Day and Melbourne is celebrating by suddenly realising it's well into Autumn and turning cold, wet and windy. Though the sun is shining right now, I have the heater on and am wearing a polar fleece. Last week I could've had the air con on. Melbourne, where the people are nice and the weather is moody. Better than the other way round I guess. At least I have a very nice picture of Robbie on my calendar for the month. For those of you who aren't Robbie converts, all I have to say is, if you've ever wondered what the "IT" factor is, go see a Robbie concert. Charisma, sex appeal, humour and a great voice (plus he scrubs up quite nicely). mmmm.

As does this guy....though Fillionaire is a way dumb term.

Writing wise it's been a bit of a stop start week but I think my partial, after last weekend's paralysis, has now just about come together. A couple more run through and tweaks and it should be good to go. Which leaves me with the unenviable task of having to polish my very rough brain dump synopsis into something that makes sense and works. Synopses are no fun. Even the most exciting story can sound lacklustre and trite when you pare it back to two pages. Gah. I don't know anyone who likes writing them. But it's part of the biz. I'm just telling myself after I do this I get to play with the paranormal for awhile. I want that one and the short one finished in the next three or four months. I foresee a lot of typing in my future.

In other news, April is going to be a great month. A new Crusie (well, a CrusieMayer), a new Samuel and a new James. Life is good.