Subscribe to Rachael's mailing list

book tour

knitting projects


go here

Email me

« September 2008 | Main | November 2008 »

21 posts from October 2008

Pea-BrainOctober 31, 2008


Tiny baby Digit curled up with me last night (not being a jerk at all!) as I almost-finished the book sweater. I'm always so pleased when a neckline works out (god bless EZ). Now all I have to do is graft the underarms. I LOVE GRAFTING. Love it. Seriously. Pics soon.

In other news: My sister Christy is a very good writer. Today, I am distracted with very good things, and can't seem to keep a thought in my pea-sized brain, so go read about her staunch and worthy adversary.

Our Anonymous FriendOctober 30, 2008

Good lord! A wonderful person just donated the money that will let Bethany and I both go to the Night of Writing Dangerously!

WOOOOOOOOT! This is how I felt when I found out:

Photo 231

Really. I did that.

Then I realized that both things I had blogged (my reading and the Night of Writing Dangerously) are on the SAME NIGHT.

So I'm going to have a ball. First to the N.O.W.D. with Bethany, where we'll set up our computers and snack and write and listen and play. Then I'll jet over to the reading. I will read and listen and shmooze with knitters. Then I'll jet back to the City for the last hour or two of writing dangerously (doesn't that just sound so romantic?).

So to you, you know who you are (and I don't! It's killing me!), THANK YOU. You made both Bethany's and my Nano November already the best one ever. I can't believe I get a whole night of magic - reading from my first Nano, now a real book (although not published or nothin', we're working on that....) and working on my current one.

You really knocked us out. And we'll toast to you that night. Thank you.

Two Days To Go


This is cool. I'll be part of a reading at Knit-One-One on November 15th, with Jesse Loesberg and Peggy Vincent. I'll be reading from my recently completed book. Please come? I haven't given a reading in years, not since I was in grad school, I think. At least it will be for knitters. That will ease my nerves.

Saturday, November 15th, 7:30pm, Knit-One-One, 3360 Adeline, Berkeley


Two days to Nanowrimo! I've been plotting my little brains out. I have a goal of compiling seventy-five to get me comfortably on the way, and I'm up to something over fifty now. Of course, I like plotting along the way, too, and for once in my life I know where a book is going to start AND end, so it should be easier, but you never know. I have three unfinished novels in the drawer that died the death of no-ending, so I'd like to prevent that from happening again.

Sister Bethany is also joining the novel in a month madness again, and she is raising money for the Office of Letters and Light -- if anyone would like to donate, please click here:

All money goes the group behind Nano and the Young Writers Program, which is all about promoting writing for writing's sake, anywhere, everywhere, all the time. They are seriously rad. Thanks.

(Also, if she raises two hundred, she gets to go to the Night of Writing Dangerously. If she raises three hundred, she TAKES ME WITH HER. Ahem. I so want to go.)

PS - your recipes for brown rice/quinoa/barley sound so good I'll be cooking up a storm today. Rain tomorrow. Days off for my weekend. Joy.

I Have Been KnittingOctober 29, 2008

I swear I have. I've just lost all motivation to blog about the knitting process, not that I ever had that much to begin with. You know I love to spring 'em on you, all completed. Voila!

But I've been designing a sweater, and the cool part is that it's for the book! My main character is a knitter, natch, and through the book she's been knitting and designing a russet man's sweater. It's an unconventional Gansey (narrower chest design, zig-zag on sleeves rather than plain or cabled). I wrote the book, then wrote the pattern to include with submission, and NOW I'm actually knitting it. The pattern I sent with the book is a rough draft -- I've still got to figure out the neckline and write the chart and different sizings. For all I know, if you followed the pattern, you'd end up knitting a ranch house.

But isn't that fun? Pattern sold with book? I love it. It's like novels that feature food having the recipes at the end.

I adore how my lust for yarn increases so rapidly this time of year. Unable to think about knitting anything for so long, it feels like coming back into myself every year. (If you look at my Finished gallery, you can see that most of the sweaters are banged out in fall and winter.) I need to cast on some more socks, and finish another sweater for me, and start another one, a stripey one.... Ahhhhh. I like to think about knitting on the couch almost as much as I love BEING on the couch, knitting.

PS - Is there a way in hell to make brown rice not suck? I hate it, hate the stuff. I've tried cooking it in all kinds of broth, cooking it plain, adding spices, adding vegetables and tofu.... I might just be bad at cooking it or it might just be as awful as I think it is. I'm about ready to give up, but if you have a miracle recipe, lay it on me. Puh-leeze.

PPS - Miss Idaho says Too Many Cats Here:


New York! October 28, 2008

No, really. I'm going. First week of December. Delta is having a sale - $161 ROUND TRIP from SFO, non-stop flight. I had been planning on going away that weekend, probably driving to Tahoe, but good god, New York will be almost as inexpensive at that price!

Of course, there's the lodging that might break the bank. Anyone know of a well-located, inexpensive hotel in Manhattan? I want my friend who's never been there to stay in the City, to see it right, but there's always the problem of the hotel. We do have an expensive room reserved already, but any other good ideas? We're looking at December 3, 4 and 5, leaving the 6th.

God, I love New York. I'm so excited.

Oh. KNIT-OUT, anyone? Woot!!!

OnceOctober 27, 2008

I really may be the very last person to see it, but I finished watching the movie Once last night. It was incredible. I don't know when I last saw a movie that made me feel like I was eating it and drinking it. Every camera angle was gorgeous and heartbreaking and perfect.

I think it might have helped that I watched it with subtitles. I'm usually really good at picking out English from strong accents, but I could NOT understand Glen Hansard's words without the subtitles. But having the lyrics right in front of me made the experience of the songs richer, I think. I loved their voices together, and I loved the story, minimal as it was.

As I was watching it, I was already nostalgic for it. I can't wait to watch it again. It may be one of the few movies I need to own. (I only own a few: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Room with a View, Roman Holiday. That might be it.)

I haven't been moved like that by a movie in a long time. (It took me a long time to watch it, too, almost two weeks. I sometimes like to watch TV in the ten minutes I have between eating dinner and going to bed. La thinks I'm kind of nuts -- she can't imagine not watching a movie all in one sitting. But if it's SUCH a great movie, I like to save it, dole myself little bits and pieces of the deliciousness.)

What movie last made you feel this way?

No on 8October 25, 2008

Equality for everyone. I want to keep this marriage license, and it's just TOO close to call right now. I just signed up to wave a sign around with a bunch of other like-minded people. Wanna join the Statewide Visibility Sign-up?

Go HERE. Please.

And as your reward, Digit will ask you to the party:


G'morning. October 24, 2008

Hello, kids.

It's a day off! A day with no plans in it. I've already done enough work today so that I can legitimately call it quits. At eight in the morning. I love it. (I got up early, couldn't sleep.) And unless I hear back from my agent that I need more revisions, I think Love Spun is off my plate for a bit. So it's time to plot for Nanowrimo! But I can start doing that tomorrow.

Are you doing Nano? Buddy me: I'm writerach406 (boy, do I hate that title. Maybe I'll..... No! I just did it! I re-signed up under Yarnagogo. Finally. If you've buddied me before, will you buddy me again as Yarnagogo? Yay).

I have the blurb for my Nano09 already written. I have a pretty good idea of the overall story, but how to get from here to there, now, that's the challenge. I'm excited about it, though. I've spent the last couple of months looking at every word, every sentence, with my editing brain. I actually think it might be kind of hard to get out of that space and just write, to just write crap, so Nano's the best push into that space I can imagine. Lots of people just writing crap, all at the same time. I WILL REMEMBER: It is to be polished later. Changed. Refined. LATER. If I look back and remember what Love Spun looked like out of its Nano phase, and compare that with where it is today, it's unreal.

Is the new Typepad interface slow, or is it just me? It doesn't seem to be keeping up with my typing.

Maybe I'm just hungry. An omelet with basil/tomato feta, wrapped in a tortilla, is calling my name. Then TV! And a nap later! Lala's down south on a mini-tour, so the cat's away and the mouse will catch up on Gossip Girl. Oh, yeah.

Funny Story October 22, 2008


Now. Now I have time to sit down and tell you about the half-marathon. Also, in this post, we will draw the winner of the socks! I have internet at home again! Hooray! I haven't even drawn the name yet. As I type, no one knows who's won!

I find that thrilling.

Okay, so. The run.

Ahem. Funny story.

I mean, it WASN'T a funny story, but it has a happy ending.

So, it's Saturday. My friend Stephanie who is also running, is on her way to pick me up. It is the day before the run, and we're going to do the packet pick-up. I know that I need to print out my barcode. Thank god for gmail -- I archive everything, so it should be a snap.

Well. I go to the email from last March labeled Registration Confirmation.

I print it out. There's no barcode. Then I realize this email is from late March, but I know they didn't draw the winners (the race is so popular they do registration on a lottery basis) until April 1st. But this says clearly, all over it, Registration Confirmation. I read more closely. In tiny letters, it says Registration Confirmation for the random drawing. Okay, this isn't the email.

I can't find the email. Can't find it anywhere. I go look up my name on the site. Under my name it says Nike Half Marathon, No Status. That's okay then. I don't know what No Status means, but there's my name, and next to it is listed Nike Half Marathon. At least I know I'm registered.

I remember on April 1st, Stephanie texted me to say she'd gotten into the race. I remember racing to my email and finding that I, too, had been accepted! I just have to find that email.

So I scroll back to April 1st emails. Here it is!

Thank you for your interest in the 2008 Nike Women’s Marathon. Unfortunately, your name was not selected through this year’s random drawing process. We received over 30,000 registration entries, and we can only accept 20,000 runners. But there is good news: there are other ways that you can
still participate.

Team In Training. Training. Support. Inspiration.

Team in Training, our partner through race beneficiary — the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, still has registrations reserved. If you would like to participate in the 2008 Nike Women’s Marathon through Team in Training, call 800.482.TEAM or check out the link below.

Participate with Team in Training »

We’ve saved a spot for you.
Nike+ Women’s Half Marathon – Run Like a Girl Wherever You Are

You can still take part with Nike+. Same day, same great cause. Anyone, anywhere in the world, who registers for the event, uses Nike+ when they run and logs 13.1 miles on on October 19th,

You may notice that that crucial line. "We've saved a spot for you." And "Nike+ Women's Half Marathon."

You may MISS, as I had, the second sentence (printed in TINY letters in light gray on a dark gray background) that says, "Unfortunately, your name was not selected through this year's random drawing process." The "spot" (writ big, in black) they'd saved for me was for Nike+, not Nike. This meant I was more than welcome to run a half marathon wherever I happened to be that day, using the Nike+ technology.

I missed the plus part. I missed the "you didn't get in" part. I'd been fundraising and training for months for a RACE I WASN'T IN. (You give your CC info when you enter the drawing, and I'd never even noticed I hadn't been charged.)

I burst into tears which turned into heaving sobs. When Stephanie arrived, her husband who was with her thought someone had died. Oh, the look on her face. She was so bummed for me, but this was her first race! I knew she didn't want to do it alone.

I decided I'd go to packet pickup and see if I could get in somehow, some way. I'd punk-rock it if I had to, running it with Steph and then not going over the finish line (where they check to make sure you have a number). But, OH the SUCKITUDE.

I was so mad at myself. I can blame poor email graphics, but what it came right down to it, I hadn't read the email in full. It was my fault. My own stupid, stupid fault.

When we got there, I went straight to the Solutions desk. I wanted to talk to this nice-looking girl who looked like she might be sympathetic to a passionate dumb-ass. But instead I got a guy who, as soon as he heard that I'd raised money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and not Team in Training (who supports the Nike Marathon), he told me there was nothing they could do. No way, no how. I was in tears again.

The nice-looking girl next to him put her hand out.

"You said your mother died?"

(Hell, yes, I'd pulled that card.)  I nodded.

"Come over here."

I did.

"You fund raised?"

"Two thousand, three hundred, and fifteen dollars."

"You trained?"

"Yes," I wailed. "I'm just STOOOPID!"

"Here, fill this out." She gave me an entry form. It was only the table between us that prevented me from kissing her.

CAN YOU IMAGINE? If I hadn't been able to run? I would have been devastated. And I got to go.


Me'n'Steph. I just got in. SO HAPPY.

It was awesome. It was a slow day, but I came in 8431 out of 16400, so I was smack in the middle, which doesn't suck at all. Poor Stephanie hurt her knee, so I walked with her a while before I finally left her with another walker. I hated to do it, but we'd both agreed it would be okay if one of us went ahead (I'd always thought SHE would go ahead, though, not me). But I just felt like running. Running felt great.

And I was running for Mom. In the sea of thousands and thousands of purple Team In Training shirts, I was the only one in orange. It meant so much to me.

It meant so much to me when the guy cheering said it was only four hundred yards till the finish line. I turned the corner in the cool salt air onto the Great Highway and saw the finish line. I choked up. Then, I saw that the person making sure we were all wearing our legally bought and paid for numbers was my nice-looking girl who let me register! I said, "it's me!" and she beamed and hugged me, sweat and all, and her smile was so flipping gorgeous.

I started to really cry. PEOPLE. Do NOT cry two hundred yards from running to a finish line. I started to hyperventilate, literally. I was gasping for air like a fish. My throat felt like it was closing up. I knew Lala was up there, and I was going to hit the pavement as I passed out right in front of her if didn't stop crying. So I forcibly made myself stop sobbing and got enough air to get over the finish line and pick up my Tiffany necklace (that didn't quite fit, must get a bigger chain) from one of the fire-fighters wearing tuxedos (see why they have to do a random drawing?).


Lala was there! She'd never been able to meet me at any of my finish lines before this (timing or location, like being in another state, was always wrong), so I was thrilled. I didn't know it made that much difference having someone there watching for me. But it did. (See? She's wearing the MMRF Marathon Support shirt they sent me. And her hair matches.)


She was so proud of me. And she snuck a picture of my back that I didn't know she'd taken until later:


That's what everyone behind me saw as I raced by them. Or as they raced by me, which was more usually the case.

I felt well-enough trained, which was amazing! I absolutely do NOT see another marathon in my life, ever, but more halfs. For sure. They're just right -- they're challenging, and you don't know if you'll be able to do it, but then you DO make it, and it feels wonderful and you can still walk the next day.

And NO BLISTERS! Thanks to pink duct tape.

Clara also put her paw in the picture to show she had no blisters, either, but she had not just run 13.1 miles, so whatever.

Beer after running!

Beer is a race tradition. Plenty of carbs, and it helps you relax. Mmmm. We went to Park Chow, which was perfect. There were lots of other runners there, too, indulging.

I was proud of myself. And I was proud of Steph, making it over the finish line, even though she was in pain (she was smart to stop running, though. She wants to keep running). And I was proud of YOU for supporting me through pledges and through love. I swear, I could feel y'all there.

Now, drumroll, please:

The winner, picked by, is......

Shannon H. from Tracy, California! Shannon, I'll email you with details. Congrats!

To the rest of you, thank you. With all my heart, thank you. In helping me, you've helped so many other people who really, really need it. All love.

I did it!October 19, 2008

I did it!
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

It was soooo awesome and no blisters! But internet has been down at our house for two days so I don't know my time (around 3:30) and I haven't been able to draw the sock winner! (All the entrants are stored in my gmail which would be painful to sort on a blackberry.) So drawing will be Monday or Tuesday.

Thank you, all. It meant so much to me, carrying Mom's name across the finish line. More to follow soon. Xoxox
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Almost ThereOctober 18, 2008

One of our favorite working positions

Angie asks after looking at the last post: "Are you using a second keyboard? Do you type in your lap or just don't like the notebook's keyboard?"

You can see in the above picture that I have a pull-out keyboard tray in my desk. Lala talked me into getting an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse, and I LOVE THEM. I love the touch of the wireless keyboard so much that I can hardly bear to use the laptop keyboard ever (the "y" was always wonky, and I've never gotten around to getting it fixed). The small keyboard is so light, and I only have to think the words, and they're typed. I swear, it's almost magical. Highly recommended. The cat, not so good for wrist position, but what are you gonna do?

OMG, why are the internets so slow? Seriously, I can barely load gmail. I'm hoping that it's our connection or something like that, and not my computer. Isn't this when computers are supposed to take a dive? A day before final draft completion?

Aargh. Trying to email myself a copy of the novel file (my tertiary backup) and it won't go. I did send myself one yesterday about three hours before day's end, so worst case scenario it won't set me back that much, but this is nerve-wracking. (Finally. It sent. Whew. Commencing Time Machine backup now, as well.)

So yesterday, on the porch, with that wine, I completed this final version. It was a doozy, too. I added in a whole new character and turned the straight-up romance into a light romantic suspense. Major parts of the middle and the last third of the book is practically all new. I added about 25,000 words.

Today and tomorrow (when I'm not going to the marathon expo today or running the half tomorrow) I'm doing the final sweep-through. Tidying up. Making it pretty for people (editors) so when they peek in they like what they see and want to see more.

I love this book. Someday, after its sold and in print (positive thoughts, people), and reviewers are being snarky about it, I will have to remember this. But I love it. It's mine. I'm so proud of it.

And when my Future Editor sends me their revision letter? I will jump back in again.

But really. Now I'm ready to start plotting this year's Nano. Monday. Monday I get to start doing that, right after I email the Book to my agent. But it's a battle every night to keep myself from starting to plot while I'm falling asleep. Must. Finish. This. First.

Heading over into novel-land now. Almost there!

Motivation to writeOctober 17, 2008

Motivation to write
Originally uploaded by Yarnagogo Rachael

It's five o'clock somewhere. Oh, here! It's got to be 75 degrees out here and gorgeous. I have music, writing, windchimes, wine, and Clara is chasing cheeky squirrels. All is good. My all-day writing stint just got exponentially better.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Re-recruiting YouOctober 16, 2008

Oh, this makes my heart soar.

California Teachers' Union Donates $1 million dollars to fight Prop 8.

The California Teachers Assn. donated $1 million this week to defeat a ballot initiative seeking to ban same-sex marriage in California, joining the ranks of wealthy gay rights activists and Hollywood politicos as one of the major donors to the campaign.

"For us, it's a civil rights issue," said the association's President David Sanchez. "We don't believe people should be treated differently."

That's amazing.

Also amazing is this movie trailer:

And I'm in it! From an earlier blog-post of mine:

    And it was odd -- there were a lot of us extras, all dressed in 70s clothing, trying to be cool. Sean Penn was doing the same thing. We went through the whole thing a couple of times -- he came out onto the dais in front of City Hall in Civic Center and gave the speech. We cheered and yelled and then he exited the stage. The director yelled cut.
    But then: After two run-throughs which we thought had been real, the director said "Take ONE!" Sean Penn, just walking onto the stage, was a different person. He WAS Harvey Milk (believe it or not). We were in his pocket. His speech, which we'd already heard a couple of times, was world-changing. We would have done anything for him. The cheering and whooping were real. The tears were real. The pride I felt when the pretty boys on the balcony unfurled an early evolution of the Pride Flag was real. The fact that people were there as extras who had been there the first time..... Amazing. So lucky to be part of it.
    So you might see me. But if you don't, please know my voice was one of the voices raised in support.

In the trailer my sister and I are stage right. I couldn't see us, but maybe in the movie we will? Don't really care -- it just looks AWESOME and I'm so excited to see it.

Good Morning! October 15, 2008

Whatcha doing? Huh? Huh? Whatcha doing?

I might have had some coffee. Maybe a bit too much, I don't know. I only know a few things this morning, and they belong in bullet form. Yep.

  • I'm still feeling good. The eating thing isn't hard at all yet, which is bizarre. I think it's made easier by the fact that I'm used to dietary restrictions due to my allergies. No sugar? Okay. It's also made easier by the fact that I'm Not On A Diet, and I'm not allergic to the things I'm avoiding. So instead of looking at chocolate cake (which I am allergic to) longingly as my coworkers eat slices of it, I'm just choosing not to eat the kinds of ice cream that I could eat if I wanted one. I'm not eating refined sugar like that. But I could. I could have a baked potato if I wanted to. Or sushi with white rice. But I'm choosing to do the glycemic index thing, keepin' it low. Keepin' it real. SO MUCH MORE ENERGY. We'll see how long it lasts. (But even though I'm Not On A Diet, not like that, the loss of 6.5 pounds in the first week makes a nice, if surprising, reward.)
  • After work on Monday, I went to a sheep ranch to do a little research for the book. It was RAD. What a fun thing to research. Lala may want chickens (ew) but I want a miniature sheep someday. Unfortunately, they don't do well alone (I just learned this) -- they become can become depressed and aggressive when alone, and since I can't imagine having more than one, I'll have to let that dream go. But someday, somewhere, we will have those sheep. And Lala will have her chickens. And I will not clean out the coop, she will. I do not like chickens, except to eat. (They should be humanely treated, though. Yes on Prop 2!)
  • While we're at it, vote No on Prop 8! The fact is that polls show we're losing, and it totally depresses me that I'll lose again the married I just got. I am only buoyed by the fact that polls also show Obama way out in the lead. Now, if 8 goes through AND we get McCain? I'm moving to Italy. Their president is crazy but a flashy dresser, and the coffee is better. (The story about the Mormon middle-class family who withdrew fifty thousand dollars from their life savings to donate it to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign? It makes me sad.  "'It was a decision we made very prayerfully and carefully,' said Pam Patterson, 48. 'Was it an easy decision? No. But it was a clear decision, one that had so much potential to benefit our children and their children.'" Why do they hate me and Lala so much? Really, why? Makes me sad, but also makes me think they're just hateful idiots.)
  • Half-marathon! This weekend! Last chance for a pair of hand-knitted socks (every ten bucks gets you a chance...). And thank you, to all of you who have donated so far. With my whole heart, I thank you for what you've done, and I will be thinking of you on Sunday. I hope I make it the whole way. I'm pretty damn nervous about it, actually. Really damn nervous, but I'm trying not to think about it.
  • I want to get the book revisions done by Monday, and I have to work at the J.O.B. a lot between now and then, including a MIDNIGHT SHIFT (what was I thinking?) and a half-marathon, so I'll be MIA for while. Between working and Working and running, I'll be a busy girl. But a happy one.


Look, Ma! No Blisters! October 10, 2008

I ran from Southshore in Alameda around Bayfarm Island and the model airplane field and back. This is the view, and trust me, in person, it's stunning.

T-minus nine days till the half-marathon.

And I am SO stoked. I ran eight miles this morning, and I FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT. No blisters on my insteps. The cure, for me, is three-fold, all thanks to tips from y'all:

1. Smartwool socks. I can't believe I wasn't using them before. They're only single layer, but they feel awesome, and they're wool. What's not to like?

2. 2nd Skin blister band-aids. I know they're not band-aids, but you get the picture. I've used them before, many times, but they usually skid around too much to be effective.

3. Duct tape. Specifically, over the 2nd skin and all the way around, so that I taped the tape to itself on top of my foot. Also, this particular duct tape is pink, and I might have stolen it from a bar after a performer left it behind (they were so long gone! And it made a great bracelet! I'm still twenty years old!), so I think it just works better.


Also, I just felt great. I ran probably ninety percent of the time, which is WAY up from my recent pathetic attempts at running that turn into a half-walk half-run shamble about half-way through.

I attribute this to food.

I'm trying something new, my friends. No sugar.

I KNOW! It's horrifying! Avert your eyes if you must, I totally understand. There's something on cuteoverload that you should probably see instead.

For those of you still reading (you brave souls), I'll Biden it for you: No sugar. You heard me. Let me say it again. No sugar.

Oh, lord have mercy.

I've just been feeling so dang crappy lately. All the time. For the last two months I've had an almost constant nagging headache that flares into a migraine every ten days or so. I'm exhausted to the point I'm reminded of when I had mono in college. I've been to the doctor, it's not a tumor. I just put it down to working a hell of a lot, both at the j.o.b. and at the writing, but I think I was wrong.

I have always known I had a problem with sugar, but (also in the last few months) it became a monster I couldn't control. I thought about sugary things all the time. And you'd think I'd be okay, since I'm allergic to soy lecithin, and that rules out eighty percent of all things good, but you'd be surprised at what I found to sugar myself up with. Sweetened condensed milk. Brownies from TJ's. All-natural ice cream. I craved sushi everyday, and I'm convinced it was about the white rice (I like how I put that in the past tense. I always crave sushi. Crave it right now).

Carrots, for the love of god. That was the breaking point, actually, three days ago. I'd torn the house apart, looking for anything sweet, and realized there was nothing sweet that I wasn't allergic to. So I ate carrots, which I don't even usually like, and felt temporarily better.

Then I crashed with the headache again. Ask Lala, I haven't been very pleasant to be around lately.

Two days ago I stopped eating sugar. Last night I made brown and wild rice with broccoli and chicken with tomatoes and mozarella cheese (recipe from the Sonoma Diet cookbook). This morning I ate 10-grain hot cereal from Bob's Red Mill (I used a drizzle of honey because otherwise, it's just noxious, but that's the only small amount of processed sugar I'm allowing myself).

Then I went for the run, and dudes, I ran! (I ran so far away.... you're welcome) I kept running. I felt seriously great. I still feel great. I haven't had a headache in two days.

I'm not saying this is the cure, and I'm not saying I'm going quiet into that good night. There may be a tantrum or two coming up. But it's worth a shot. No refined sugar for a month, low-carbs, lots of whole grains, and we'll see how I feel after that. But if this is how I feel after two days, well, then. Hi. Nice to meet you, energy. Sit a spell.

Well, now. October 8, 2008

I never, ever thought I'd say this, but I think I might like the editing process even more than the first-draft writing process. I love the pell-mell pace of writing fast, but this tidying up suits me. (I plan on getting this novel all cleaned up and pretty by October 20th, so My Agent can send it out to the world while I take ten days to plan the next one, which will be thrown against the page starting November first in a mad Nanowrimo rush.)

I have a sheet of paper next to me when I work, covered with pink Post-its with things that I know I have to work on/work in, and I move them around a lot. I'm gobsmacked every other day when two of the Post-its collide and make a new one, or when something on a Post-it gets handled in a way I didn't expect.

There are the Trouble Post-its, yes. The ones I look at and wonder how on earth I'm going to get them onto the Done pile.

But this is kind of obscenely fun. I never, ever thought I'd say that. I thought I wasn't a rewriter. What's next? Frogging sweaters?

Hell, no. I'm not THAT different.

Someone likes it when I work listening to classical music:

    Miss Idaho likes to perch on pillow-tops.

We Have a New TrickOctober 6, 2008

We've been training Clara to "WAIT" before eating from her food dish which we place on her pillow in the living room. She's really, really good at it, and we've been experimenting with doing different things as she's waiting -- I go in my room and make funny noises, or sit on the couch and pet Miss Idaho.

Today Lala tried something else. Willie was already resting on Clara's pillow.

Dude. The cat you can hear complaining is actually Digit, not on screen, not even Willie. That's one mellow cat.

RIP Nick ReynoldsOctober 4, 2008

I just spent a lovely half-hour watching YouTube videos of the Kingston Trio. There were a lot of albums that my sisters and I listened to over and over and OVER again growing up (Tom Paxton, Hoyt Axton, Pete Seeger) but I am completely confident in saying we didn't listen to any artist as much as we did the Kingston Trio. I can sing all the parts to all the songs. Okay, most of the songs. This made me very popular at Christmas dinner last year when Lala's dad played one record after the other as he and I and my mother-in-law sang every song, sitting at the table, drinking wine. Lala proved her mettle by looking interested the whole time.

And Nick, of course, was always my favorite. We all love a clown, especially a short one. He's good in the video below. I spent a long time looking for a video of the Merry Minuet, but will settle with the MTA.

Look how CUTE they are.

And if you've never heard this song, please go on over and listen to the Merry Minuet. By Sheldon Harnick, sung by the Kingston Trio, recorded live at the "Hungry i" (now a strip bar in North Beach -- always a jolt when I walk by). This was always my favorite, and still completely up-to-date. Sadly. Oh, and Scotch and Soda. Or maybe Mariah.... What was your favorite?

RIP, Budgie.

Oh, My Cheetah.October 3, 2008

It took me a while to wake up this morning. Late night, don'tchaknow.


I needed more coffee than Clara was going to be able to make me, so I went to the cafe. Still here, and I actually did work, so that's good.

A produce delivery truck just drove by the cafe, advertising Fijian and Mexican produce. Huh.

Did you see the debate? Didja play Palin bingo? We did, but no one won. I think we were too busy diagramming her sentences in our heads to watch the bingo cards too closely. Well, sister Bethany and I were, anyway. Lala actually listened to what she said, and I thought her (lala's) head was gonna asplode. It's just better to let the words wash over you. Easier. She (Palin) was well-coached, though. It wasn't the train-wreck drinking-game I thought it was going to be. Dammit. 

We followed the debate by going to see one of my favorite bands of all time: Cheetahs on the Moon. Power ballads, man. With glam, glitter, Feathers, and a lovely lack of irony.


Lala wore eyeliner for the occasion, and I doubled my application.

Feathers rocks OUT.

Cheetahs is Beth's new favorite band.

You can't go wrong, dude.

Now. More coffee.

Fall October 2, 2008

I've been playing at writing all morning. Can't seem to put two words together that sound like English, let alone good writing. I have a dentist appointment in an hour, so I'll make my escape soon. I hate the dentist, have I mentioned that? Bah. But I'm ready to close the computer. 

The fog is rolling in, and I'm at home for the first time this fall to see it. (I would know, because I've spent ample time just staring out the window today.) The hill above our house, visible out my office windows, starts out clear on early fall mornings, and then gets eaten by fog. I love that. I love when the marine layer moves in during the day, not out.

And who can complain about writing with a set-up like this?


Now I have to go do the Dentist Brush.

Morning! October 1, 2008

I woke this morning at3:57am, three minutes before my alarm. I woke up because of a smell. A slight smell of skunk was coming in through the window and blowing on me. Now, it wasn't a strong odor, just a light one, but it was enough that it woke me up and then I panicked, thinking the smell would stick to me.

Dude. I am a light sleeper.

If someone sends me a text in the middle of night, even if the sound is off, the light from the face of the phone wakes me up if I forget to cover it while I'm charging it next to the bed.

I love my eyemask and ear plugs. I love them so much. Earlier this week I was out of earplugs and too busy to go buy more. I was down to ONE earplug. I would place it in the ear that was up and then when I rolled over to my other side (which is every half-hour or so), I would remove it and put it in the other ear, now up. And I know, that's kinda ew. Recipe for an ear infection. I was lucky, though, and Lala bought me a new beautiful box chock-full of orange ear plugs, and all is good and quiet again.

Me, I'm about done with my work week. It couldn't come at a better time. I have a lot of things planned this weekend, but I can count on a couple of things: One, I will write a lot, and two, I will be very yarn-ey on Saturday. I'm going to see La Harlot in Santa Rosa at 3pm, and then I'm going to Kira's trunk show at Knit-One-One that night. And people, I am giving up Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to do these things. Free music in Golden Gate Park, all the big names (truth be told, I wouldn't go anyway -- just can't face that many people this year. I'm just not quite up for that crush).

Yay! Knitting and writing. Oh, yes, and running, too. And perhaps some ice cream will fit in there somewhere.