Thursday, March 21st, 2019 08:55 pm
lizvogel: fancy N for Narrativity (N for Narrativity)
So, that Thing I've been alluding to for the past few months? Well, after a long and crazy ride, and scaling more learning curves than I can rightly count, and one last fake-out from the god Murphy, I can finally introduce you to:


It's a convention. It's a party. It's going to be a darned good time, and it's happening in Minneapolis July 12-14, 2019.

If you want to spend the weekend of Bastille Day hanging out with a bunch of smart, interesting people, having deep discussions of writing, reading, fantastic worlds, and how best to have fun with all of that, then check it out!

It's gonna be great. And if a rollicking three days discussing everything under the sun is your idea of a good time, then I hope to see you there!

Real Soon Now....

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 01:32 pm
lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
The Thing is so very, very close to going public.

And I am so very, very tired.

Watch this space.............


Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 12:47 pm
lizvogel: Banana: Good.  Crossed streams: Bad. (Good Bad)
For the second day running, I ache all over, and I have no energy or motivation whatsoever. Road kill would be frisky by comparison.

Am trying to decide if this is a natural result of scrambling like hell to get The Thing up and running only to be brought to a screeching halt for the past week because somebody else has been unavailable to do her part, or if I am in fact coming down with something.

Drinking three Red Bulls so I can actually get something done would probably not be a good choice, but it certainly sounds appealing.

lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
The housemate and I have been watching Star Trek (the original) lately, and enjoying it tremendously. It really is a damned good show, and as we are different people than the last time we watched it (the passage of time and all that), we are picking up different things this time through. Which is mostly awesome, but does lead to the occasional dilemma.

It's long been my personal head-canon that Spock first met Leila Kalomi when he was a cadet, and part of the reason they attached so strongly was that he was homesick on what was to him a very alien world.

However: In "This Side of Paradise", Leila says that she knew Spock on Earth six years ago. The six years is mentioned a couple of times, and in a way that's not really compatible with there having been a previous meeting. But in "The Menagerie", Spock says he served under Pike for eleven years, four months, five days.

I can make the chronology work, no problem. The Enterprise could have put into Earth for repairs or upgrades; Spock could have been detached for a special assignment or done a brief teaching stint at the Academy. That's not even a challenge. But the initial relationship takes on a very different quality if Spock was already established as a serving officer under the Captain he was willing to risk the death penalty for. Not necessarily a worse quality, just different.

And I'm having the devil of a time wrapping my head around it.

So: If you're enough of a classic Trek fan to have opinions on the matter, care to share them? I'll also consider fanfic recommendations, though I'll warn you I'm damned picky where this particular fandom is concerned. If you just want to commiserate on having your personal head-canon contradicted by something you should have been aware of in the first place, that's welcome, too. :-)

This is highly relevant to a later story in the series starting with that Star Trek story I'm not writing. ;-)

(Note: This is purely a classic Trek question. I'm vaguely aware that some of the reboots/retcons/new series have done things with Spock's backstory, particularly ST:Discovery, but I'm not looking for that here. If you enjoy them, great, fine, I hope you continue to do so; but for purposes of this discussion, they do not exist.)

lizvogel: Run and find out, with cute kitten. (Run and Find Out)
We got our passport applications submitted yesterday!

It was a fairly painless process, mostly due to having read the website and done all the paperwork in advance. (The passport guy was impressed.) There was a bit of a wait at the passport office, but they had coloring books in the waiting room. ;-) And after the weeks-long wait for AAA to replace their photo printer, what was one more hour?

Am displeased about having to let my original birth certificate out of my custody -- hey, that thing's a classic, if not quite an antique -- but chose to roll with it.

Should get our passports in a few weeks. Yes, there's about 3000 things yet to do before The Trip can be a reality, but the passports are Step One.

February Word Count

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 12:55 pm
lizvogel: What is this work of which you speak? (Cat on briefcase.) (Work)
Okay, I didn't expect the writing numbers to be good this month; I pretty much gave myself permission to abandon writing entirely in order to get that non-writing project I keep alluding to done. Not a choice I'm happy about, but trying to do it all was only making me feel squashed to a grease-spot. So:

Haley novel: 2 words
original short fiction: -2 words

for a grand total new words in February of bugger-all. ;-\

I messed about with fanfic a little, but even if I counted that it wouldn't make that much difference. My brain and my time have been totally consumed by that non-writing project. Which, at least, is almost to the point where I can talk about it in public, and will go live Real Soon Now.

This does not mean I'm not annoyed about the state of the writing.

Querying was still supposed to happen this month: I sent 1, crossed off one agent, and set one agent aside for another book in a different genre. Sigh.

About another week should see the Sekrit Project up and running. And then I must get back to things writing: LST re-activated, and finish the bloody querying on HoM.

lizvogel: Banana: Good.  Crossed streams: Bad. (Good Bad)
You know you've been doing too much when you're happy to go to the Day Job, because it means you get a break.

lizvogel: Banana: Good.  Crossed streams: Bad. (Good Bad)
I found the missing file box.

It was in one of the other closets, with a bunch of stuff piled on top of it but still quite visible. I've probably looked at it a hundred times lately, but always in the context of trying to find something in the pile atop. Apparently it had long since stopped registering as anything other than "platform on which stuff is piled". *headdesk*

I also found the thing I wanted that file box for, which was not in fact in that file box. The bedside stand on which my writing laptop lives has many drawers, the less accessible of which got turned into storage for stuff sort of in progress / I don't know what to do with this / hey it fits here some time ago. (All of a writing-related nature, but that don't narrow it down much around here.) I started rummaging half by accident, and there it was: the original type-written (yes, on a typewriter) version of that Star Trek story I'm not writing, which I once thought was done, but on review realized is just a narrative outline of the actual story.

As an outline, it's not that helpful; none of the problems I've run into in not-writing it are solved in that version, either. But at least now I know, and can stop waiting for a magic wand from the past and get on with working out the issues afresh. Y'know, for that story I'm not writing.

We shan't discuss all the other things that were piled in those drawers.


Monday, February 18th, 2019 12:50 pm
lizvogel: cute cat in 'yoga' position (Cat Yoga)
I am exercising. I am also eating a cinnamon roll that is absolutely buried in cream cheese frosting.

It's possible my weight loss plan may have a slight flaw. ;-)

But I don't care, because I have a cinnamon roll that is absolutely buried in cream cheese frosting. :-)

lizvogel: What is this work of which you speak? (Cat on briefcase.) (Work)
If I have to lose time to something that wasn't on the to-do list, getting caught up in my own book is not the worst way to go.

lizvogel: A jar of almonds that warns that it contains almonds. (Stupid Planet)
There is too much to do, and I am behind schedule on absolutely everything. This is bad, but trying to push it all uphill in an effort to catch up is only going to break me, and then it still won't be done.

And I am coming to terms with that. I have almost achieved being comfortable with it, and if the chips fall in a bad way, I will cope with that too.

So that's where I was this morning, and then I ran some errands.

Me: I cannot do it all immediately. I will do this thing in this way at this speed. If that's not enough, that's too damn bad. That's all I've got the spoons for; it'll have to do. And I'm going to be good with that.

The Universe: Here, have some car trouble. You didn't really need brakes, did you?


lizvogel: Banana: Good.  Crossed streams: Bad. (Good Bad)
Have I really not done this since... July? I can't find one later than July that isn't a NaNo post.

Mind you, a lot of that's because I didn't do much writing for much of that time. And when I did, I'd pretty much abandoned the idea of word count as a metric; it wasn't what I needed while finishing up Falling From Ground (quite the opposite, in fact), and outside of NaNo I've pretty much been in "recovery" mode since then. Oh yeah, and there were technology troubles. However, I do like having the numbers rounded up in one easily-tracked tag, so I shall now dive down the rabbit hole of my record-keeping.


Okay, I'm back. *pant, pant*

Falling From Ground = 1141

Falling From Ground = 17
original short fiction = 489 ("and then the murders started", mostly the short version)

Falling From Ground = 502

November was NaNo 2018. 'Nuff said.

original short fiction = 124

original short fiction = 2616

January (and December) is entirely "Dix Dayton, Jet Jockey". Which is, hey, done!

Speaking of rabbit holes, the writing of DD,JJ was essentially done a week ago; the time since then has mostly gone to working out tedious details about spaceship propulsion systems and asteroid orbital dynamics. The asteroids particularly were challenging; it seems that there's just enough known about many of them to get me into trouble if I don't fact-check, and not enough for me to be sure of my facts. I did finally find an orbit simulator that told me more or less what I needed, but the process sucked down an amazing amount of time and ambition. I'm only just now recovering the "yay! finished!" feeling I should have when completing a brand new story that I'm pretty happy with.

Also, there was querying!

Sent: 2 queries
Agents set aside for another book in a different genre: 1
Crossed off: 3, I think?

Sent: 7
Crossed off: 28

Which is great! Except that I was supposed to finish the final due-diligence push on Highway of Mirrors in January, and it's... not finished. For a while there, it was going pretty well, in large part because I'm only querying agents I'm genuinely keen to work with; if I'm meh or I find I'm trying to talk myself into them, off the list they go. But querying is all too easily bumped by writing (okay) or a certain non-writing project (not so good), and so I've run aground again.

What's next? I don't even know; I think that's going to merit a post of its own.

(admin note: first use of new tag for short fiction, because cramming it in under "writing" is... unhelpful.)

lizvogel: Fannish dinosaur.  Your point? (Yes Virginia)
So I've been coming across a fair bit of discussion about fandom history today, and this should be something that I eat up like pie, but instead it's just making me tired and cranky and I think I'm going to back away now. Why?

Because I keep seeing things like "Do you remember printing off fanfic to put in a binder to read later?" or "...and I've been in fandom since the $onlineforum days", and I remember fandom from when the switch from mimeograph to photocopy was a big deal.*

Apparently now the people who think they can recover fannish history from the misty depths of time are the whippersnappers who should get off my lawn. ;-)

*Not to mention HP fandom being held up as the first instance of really, really whacked-out-there fans (heh, see Forever Knight fandom), or Due South for ugly fan wars (not a patch on Blakes 7), or... you get the idea.

lizvogel: Banana: Good.  Crossed streams: Bad. (Good Bad)
The massive closet clean-out/cull/reorganize that has been in progress for many, many moons now is finally at the point where we can start reducing the amount of chaos instead of increasing it. Everything is out and cleaned, the closet itself is cleaned and thoroughly de-mildewed, the new, low-profile lights are up... and (drum-roll please) we've started putting things back in!

First in was the clothing that's definitely to Keep. (There's lots more clothing to be gone through and to keep/sell/donate/toss, but we're quite sensibly starting with the easy stuff. We'll be playing Fashion Show for quite a while, I suspect.)

Second in was the file boxes of writing, which had previously been migrating variously around the house and will now have a designated home. Except...

Somehow I seem to have misplaced an entire file box of writing? Luckily it's the fanfic box, which means nothing's being held up because of it, but still... a whole file box? They're not exactly small, you know.

It's almost certainly buried in one of the piles around here (it is truly amazing how much stuff that closet held), and I expect it'll turn up as we excavate. But if there's anything that proves how badly this place needed an organizational overhaul, this is it.

lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
So LiveJournal is doing this thing where they email you about whatever you were posting around this date ten years ago.

Apparently I was updating YogurtWatch for season 2 of Burn Notice. Holy f*ck! That was ten years ago? I wasn't even on Dreamwidth yet then.

That does not feel like it was ten years ago. I am So Old.


Monday, January 21st, 2019 10:11 am
lizvogel: A jar of almonds that warns that it contains almonds. (Stupid Planet)
What's worse than psyching yourself up and getting up early to call a government department about an esoteric point of paperwork?

Psyching yourself up and getting up early only to realize it's a government holiday and you're going to have to do it all over again tomorrow. *headdesk*

Where's the kaboom?

Thursday, January 17th, 2019 12:27 pm
lizvogel: A jar of almonds that warns that it contains almonds. (Stupid Planet)
I am drinking tea out of my Marvin the Martian mug.

For those who don't know me well enough to know what that means: It is never a good thing when I am sick enough to consume large quantities of tea and also in a mood where I greatly sympathize with the desire for "an Earth-shattering kaboom!"

(Awaiting emails on Thing. Contemplating emails on Thing related to Thing. Need to be working on other Thing.

...May need more tea.)

Kill me now.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 02:34 pm
lizvogel: Banana: Good.  Crossed streams: Bad. (Good Bad)
Horrible head cold. My nose spent yesterday training for the Boston Marathon. Dinner was hot-and-sour soup and ice cream, and since the soup was from a new place and was basically red pepper flakes with a little soup tucked in around the edges, this was pretty much the nuclear option for cold management.

And it still barely touched it. I've tried everything in my repertoire of cold-treating tricks, and nothing's helping for more than a few minutes. (Eating ice cream non-stop is working fairly well, but there are limits.) I've been trying to work up the energy to go to the store for a cold medicine recommended by a co-worker, but at this point it's probably going to be a phone call to the housemate to pick it up on her way home.

The worst thing about this sort of thing is that what you need most to be able to breathe again is a decent night's sleep, and it's hard to sleep decently when you can't breathe. Dozing in one- and two-hour blocks is not the same thing, though at least there were a lot of blocks.

Today's to-do list is mostly sit-down tasks at the computer, so in theory I still ought to be able to get a decent amount done. Counter to that is the fact that just typing this up has exhausted me.

lizvogel: an old-school DOS prompt, with "Retro" in pixelated green italics (DOS Prompt Retro)
Somebody had recommended f.lux to me as a way to deal with the screen on Skippy, which can be very hard on my eyes. Well, it turns out Win10 and/or the Streambook has a "Nightlight" setting (under System - Display), which does much the same thing. I've got it set to about half-way down the spectrum right now, and the screen's gone from messing up my eyes in a very few minutes to remarkably comfortable for fairly long-term viewing.

This is a delightful thing! The screen is not perfect, but it's sooooo much better. I'll have to see if the Nightlight setting stays on; if not, I may have to program it to start/stop 23 hours and 59 minutes every day.

lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
Okay, this marks me as a raving egotist, because this is the first day of the Snowflake Challenge that I've actually done, and it's the one where I get to rec my own stuff. Then again, if I can't be egotistical on my own journal, where can I?

(Actually, I think I did Day 4. Someone wrote a story, it was fun, I said so. I don't think I've commented to that person before, though I've seen the name around. Come to think of it, I think I did a couple of that one.)

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Preserve, Stargate: Atlantis, 5670 words

This story retains a special place in my heart because it was the beginning of this new phase in my writing where I, you know, actually finish stuff. Stuff longer than a page, stuff with plots even! I don't know why this one in particular triggered that all-the-way-to-the-end setting, or why SGA in general was such a productive playground for me. But I kind of date my self-definition as a serious writer from this story. Also, I still think it's pretty funny.

Windy Van Hooten's Was Never Like This (scroll down to page 15), original fiction, ~7200 words

This was the first time I sat down to deliberately craft a story to certain specs, and on a deadline, too. I freely admit that I played to the judges, and, well, it worked. This was the first time since third grade that any original fiction of mine garnered public validation. I still think it's one of the best things I've ever written.

(Sorry about the link to the program book PDF; it's the only place this story is available. I'd love to see it published somewhere else, but 7200-word reprints by an unknown author are not the easiest of sales.)

(Also, yes, I know, it's not a "fan" work. But I'm really proud of this one. And science fiction fandom's a fandom too, even if it's not quite what the Snowflake mods meant.)

Stress Fractures, Doctor Who (new), ~700 words

This is arguably not one of the best things I've written, but it may be one of the weirdest. I still don't know if it works for anyone who isn't me, but I'd be very interested to find out.

(Okay, I am egotistical enough to put up the links, but too strongly in introvert mode right now to link back to here from the Snowflake comm. I suspect this defeats the purpose of the exercise, but we work with what we have. Extroversion roll made. Going back under my rock now.)




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