Updates!

After a mixed weekend last week, I had a tough week, which means that I didn’t get nearly as much writing done as I had wanted. Nor did I get much revisions done. And yesterday more edits arrived in my inbox, so I’ll be doing them this weekend. Hopefully they won’t be bad and I’ll be able to knock them out fairly easily, and then I can pick one of the three stories that needs revisions and DO IT.

Oh, and keep up with the eight anime shows I’m watching this season. And knitting the baby blanket. And going to the barn, 4-H, seeing friends, feeding myself, reading writers’ group stuff, exercising, and probably something else I’m forgetting.

That said, I am making little bits of progress on the current story (AOF#2) by spending a half an hour some weekday mornings on writing. Sometimes that goes better than others. But I have to say it’s so much easier to have my tablet hooked to the keyboard. Waking that up takes less time than even waking up an asleep laptop. And that might seem silly, but removing obstacles helps me write. (Also, I don’t have twitter on my tablet, so I don’t even have to block myself from it. And I find browsing in general harder, so I don’t do it as much!) So many perks.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Edits and Pictures

This weekend I’m expecting to be busy. I have fanciful visions of writing, plus visiting friends and family, catching up on all the things I’ve slacked on (mostly reading comics I like and watching anime I like…my life is hard), and going through edits. I’m always nervous when I get edits from a new publishers. I have no idea what to expect.

I’m pretty much always overreact though. Like HOW DARE YOU INSULT MY PRECIOUS BABY BY SUGGESTING IT COULD BE BETTER. And then a second later YES YOU MADE IT BETTER BUT STILL. I do a lot of shouting at my screen and accepting changes. It’s probably a good thing I live alone.

Since I plan on spending a fair amount of time with edits this weekend, I’m going to spam you with images.

MY WEEK IN PICTURES
(it’s been an all-caps sort of week)

 Flowers are (oddly enough) blooming at the barn right now. First screenshot is from The Morose Mononokean and second his from Cheer Boys. They give me all the good feelings.

What a Week

Life is kind of funny in that when you have a deadline approaching, you will of course have more things to do. 

For instance. I had a deadline on Thursday for a manuscript and I’d gotten a later start on writing it than I’d planned, so I was cutting the submission close. Weekends are prime writing/revising time (when I can write a couple thousand words instead of a couple hundred).
So what did I have on Saturday? A horse show. Now, the shows take all day generally, plus preparation in the week before. And then it usually exhausts me, so I’m completely useless the next day.
No pressure.
Thankfully, while the day itself was exhausting, I was able to get up on Sunday and work on the story. I got enough done on Sunday that I wasn’t in a panic on Thursday trying to do One Last Edit before submitting it. The story went out the door!
It taught me two important things: I can hit a tight deadline, and I never want to do that again!
But the horse show (which is a fund-raiser for the 4-H club), went really well. The day was hot, my first horse was kind of a brat, but I still got a ribbon in every class and generally had a good time. There was a BIT of stress in the morning, since the horses at the barn didn’t want to come in, it was going to be too hot to leave them outside, and so we got a late start. Which mean we barely had time to warm up before our classes. I was a tad stressed. Just a tad. But I survived.
Sunday, aside from working on the manuscript, involved rewatching the anime Princess Tutu and knitting. I told you I was worthless after a show 😛
I’ve also started a new knitting project yesterday (because two projects at once just isn’t enough). I’ve had this yarn sitting around for a year or so, and I’ve never been sure what to do with it, but I decided to finally try making full mittens (instead of just fingerless mittens/wrist warmers). 
I’m not following a pattern, because I’m sort of just planning on knitting up like normal and then finding a pattern on how to end the mitt part. Should be fine. Right?
Well, if you want to see more of my knitting pictures, I’ll post them on Instagram, I’m trying to actually be active there: AlextheRate. Sorry for the quality. I’m currently using an older iDevice for Reasons. 

Another Year Wiser

I had my birthday last weekend, in which I got a little crisp (but nothing that hurt for more than 24 hours), but otherwise had a lot of time having fun in the sun with my family (especially the three five-year-olds). I might not ever want kids, but I love my nephews and niece! They really make for a fun birthday.

Of course, birthday parties mean less time writing (I literally woke up, ran to the barn, got home, napped, then went to gatherings until 8pm, at which point I was so exhausted I didn’t have brain cells to rub together to form a story).

But I got stuff. First off, my stuffed Fluffy arrived. He’s from the manga/anime The Morose Mononokean, and he’s adorable. I actually bought him for myself a couple of weeks ago, but I regret nothing. He’s very soft. And it was a nice gift to find on my birthday 🙂 Though I had to hide him when the kids came over!

If you saw my previous post, you saw me mention that as a kid/teen, I had an obsession with taking pictures of presents that I’d received. I still do that, although slightly less often now, oddly enough, even though it’s easier now.

I mostly take pictures to send to my friends. But I’m still not sure what my obsession with it is. Maybe so I don’t forget that I own this thing? Even though I own the thing, so I obviously have it. Although, now that I think about it, I believe at one time I heard that insurance companies only would replace personal items in a house if you had proof that you owned said item. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, or if a picture would even prove you owned it, but I think I got it in my head that I needed to take pictures of all my presents so the insurance company would buy me my stuff if we got robbed/the house burned down.

I don’t know. I was weird. Because I’m obviously not now.

So, good news on the writing front: Once I finish the current xmas story (which has a fast-approaching deadline, so I’ll either finish or give up), I can return to the rom-coms that I’ve been working on, and hopefully will have more information to share than just “Still not done yet.”

Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday has always signaled the end of summer to me (and probably still does for a lot of kids). It was always a week or so before school started, and so the free, wild days were gone.

This year my birthday just signals the end of a very busy month.

After dog-sitting a geriatric pup at the end of July, I had roughly a week and a half to breathe before rushing off to my own four-day vacation. I got back from that and immediately (like, didn’t even unpack vacation stuff) went to my parents’ house to cat-sit for them (it’s actually more like garden-sit, because I’ll be honest, the garden takes more work than the cat. Though the garden doesn’t wake me up at 3 am begging for breakfast). I drove home on Monday from THAT and here we are.

To say the least, my word count is lacking, my birthday has come (it was Wednesday), and I’m really looking forward to September! *check calendar* October!

Oh, and there’s a Christmas piece that deadlines in the middle of September that I’m trying to hit. NO PRESSURE SELF. 😛

But really, even with all the crazy, I’ll likely hit my word count for August, I had a good time on vacation, I got to ride a lot this month, and things are pretty good.

I hope everyone else had a nice summer too.

Dogs, Heatwaves, and Writing

If you follow my whining me on twitter, you’ll know that I’ve spent the past week dog sitting. Which isn’t a problem, generally. I mean, I always complain, but I’ve rather gotten used to sleeping in their bed and the lack of really hot water in the shower (it’s summer, it’s fine). The dog is always a stressor, because he’s more work for me than I have to tend in my daily life, but this year it’s rough.

As you can probably tell by his picture, Duke is a geriatric pup. He’s gotten more and more white as the years have gone by, and although I’m not sure of his age, I’m guessing it’s around ten or twelve, which is about peak for a Labrador, and he’s a Chocolate Lab. He was a handful as a puppy, but he’s also raised three kids to five years old, and taught them to respect dogs and how to behave around dogs, and not to be afraid of big dogs (even when they plow right over you when you’re just learning to stand).

He’s old. He has a breathing problem (he pants a lot, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just because it’s hot most of the time), is going blind and deaf, and has terrible hips. The hips especially have taken a swift downturn recently, where when he’s walking on the tile (seen here with him sleeping), his hind legs will just slip out from under him and plop him on the floor. He’s pretty chill about it. He just sort of sighs and says Well, I guess I’ll lie here then.

Of course, putting carpeting down would be a good solution to this problem. Except in his old age he also has some bathroom issues, which I’ve ranted about enough on Twitter that I’ll spare you the details. But it’s messy. And frustrating. And STINKS. And I can’t really be mad at him because he’s just an old dog doing his best.

Another problem with the hips is going up and down stairs. Thankfully he can pretty much live in the downstairs, but when he has to go out, he has to go down five porch steps. Which he usually does without completely collapsing (but every time he collapses it breaks my heart). But most times to get back up the steps, I have to grab him by the hips and walk his hind legs up the steps while he works the front end. We’ve actually gotten pretty good at it. (His owner made a ramp right before he left to try to avoid this problem, since the level of hip issue has turned suddenly for the worse, but the ramp seems to cause us more problems than solutions, so we’re doing it our way.)

So some mornings I get woken up by whining at 4 am because he’s fallen and he can’t get up (I’m serious), and I trudge downstairs and haul him to his feet and then let him out to pee (because why risk it) and then trudge back to bed. That’s better than the second morning when I woke up to…well, we won’t discuss that.

But he’s a lovely creature, and while I wish his owner would have given me a bit more warning about what I was stepping into, I can’t blame the dog. Even when I leave him out in the cool porch where he has food, water, and easy walking turf, plus access to potty space, and yet he LOOKS in the window like I’ve betrayed him. Okay, I may blame him a little for that.

The house itself is lovely. The owner has a fantastic sense of style, and has added a few touches that I appreciate.

Yes, those are tea kettles that say “Green Tea” “Ceylon Tea” and “Oolong Tea” in the kitchen. They also have a gas range stove, which I only really care about because it heats my tea water so quickly.

The reason I’m (over?)sharing this is because I came into this week with GRAND plans of productivity. That was, until I met my charge for the week and realized how much time and effort was going to go into caring for him. Which is partially an excuse (because I still have time to watch the entire second season of Daredevil), but also can be emotionally draining. Bargaining with a dog is futile. Bargaining with a partially deaf/blind dog is the beginnings of insanity. But there’s really not any other choice.

That said, I still outlined a Christmas novella(?) that was supposed to be 20K at max, but the outline seems to be sort of long for that. But who knows. I wrote it out by hand in a tiny notebook, so maybe it’s just the right length.

I’m not a frog.

Part of me wants to sit here and write a post about how I haven’t gotten anything done because I’ve been busy and now I’m dog sitting a geriatric dog who weighs about as much as me and who can’t go up and down steps in an old house that is nothing but steps. I was going to complain how I’m exhausted and sleepy and the dog is sitting at the bottom steps of the porch unable to get in because going up steps is nearly impossible. I was also going to complain about how I’ve been here a day and a half and have had to clean up two piles inside the house already. There was going to be a lot of whining here.

And I think I have good reason to be whiny and exhausted. But today I’m going to strive to be positive. My friends just had their first baby! His name is Owen and I haven’t seen him (they haven’t left the hospital yet and the pic I saw was a wrinkly little raisin), but he’s the first born among my friends, so it’s exciting.

I rode yesterday, and while it wasn’t a great ride (*refrains from whining*), I’m glad I got one last ride in before my week away (and a week of intense heat!). I also did all the barn chores, so I feel less bad about eating those three cupcakes last night while rewatching The Force Awakens. And I saw some toads, which isn’t unusual, but most of the time they are large (the size of a coaster), but I also saw a tiny one (pictured) who was roughly the size of a quarter. (Let me tell you, it’s hard to take a picture of something that small, in poor lighting, while playing the game of “how close can I get before you hop away.”)

The rest of the day was a blur of frustration and exhaustion, so I won’t go on about it. This week was pretty good in the writing avenue, and though I’m sleepy and grumpy, I’m going to try to keep that momentum going this morning. Possibly while listening to Christmas music. Because reasons 😉 Hey, it is Christmas in July, isn’t it?!

Hop to it!