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« October 2008 | Main | December 2008 »

18 posts from November 2008

Gretel and MILK reviewNovember 30, 2008


 First, I give you the Gretel Hat.

I loved making it -- it's super fast and very fun. But it is big, yes. A little too big, although I kind of find myself liking it this way, with the front of the brim rolled up a bit. I made the medium fit (I think it's all one size, if I remember, with close fit, regular fit, and slouchy fit. I went with regular).

I used handspun from the stash. It also works worn the regular way, but it makes me feel kinda rasta, which is not the way I feel inside, you know?


Forgive the dark photos - it was nighttime and I never remember to photograph it during the day.


Yes, I look a little startled. Not sure why. Probably a cat or two climbing up my leg.

Overall, very fun pattern. Omit that crazy cast-on and just use long-tail: it will STILL be loose enough to put on, trust me.


My sisters and I went to see MILK yesterday. Let me be the first to admit, I had NO idea what it would be like to see this movie at the Castro theatre. In my head, I was vaguely annoyed that we had to cross the bridge to see it, that it was only playing at one theatre in town (open in general release this Friday, I believe).

But Christy really wanted to see it this weekend, and she and I were extras in the Big Speech scene, so we agreed.

It was amazing. I loved the movie itself and started to cry at the beginning and didn't really fully stop until the end. It kind of felt like election night that way.

And seeing the movie, which is set in the Castro, seeing the old marquee of the very theatre I was sitting in up on the screen was incredible. Truly incredible. And I was a moron not to realize that the ONLY place anyone should see this movie, if they're on the Western seaboard, is at the Castro.

(The girl sitting next to me didn't seem to know the story at all.  If you don't know the story, go see this movie. And if you do, go see this movie. It was great. Worth the hype, I think.)

ETA: No, we didn't see ourselves up on the screen, but I think I will be able to, when we buy the movie and freezeframe it....

Bok.November 27, 2008

Because sometimes I lose my damn mind, I made a new store:


Chickens are the new knitting.

Urban? Hip? Chickens! 

(More at the store, clothing, a clock, and a MUG! I'm so getting the mug. And the tote. All proceeds go toward our Coop-Raising efforts.)

ALERT: November 25, 2008

Chickens are the new knitting.

There. I wanted to say it first.

Really. The knitbloggers, so quick to take up spinning as the new knitting, are now moving to chicken-farming. Soon we will all have miniature sheep and cashmere goats and fresh cheese and we will all be so happy! (No communal living, though. Thanks anyway. I draw the line there. We'll meet at the bar instead to talk about our chickens over yarn and beer.)

Chickens! November 24, 2008


No, we don't have any chickens. Not yet.

Lala has been pushing for chickens for a while now. At first, I thought she was just plain crazy. We had chickens when I was a kid, and I remember them as nasty, smelly creatures. We were paid a penny a snail to pick them from the gardens and pitch them out of the bucket to the chickens. Have you ever tried to throw snails out of a bucket? They stick.

Unpleasant memories there.

So everytime she's brought up the idea of chickens, I've said either NO WAY IN HELL or if you get chickens, you're on your own, buddy.

Which is why I'm astonished to find that I want chickens.

Suddenly. Out of the blue. I would like three chickens. I would like eggs. I have no interest in eating a pet chicken, not because I couldn't (although that's a distinct possibility) but because I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I couldn't kill one. It's hypocrisy, yes. But there it is. Novella Carpenter is able to kill her own poultry, and she's rad and is a fellow Oaklander. (If you haven't read her classic on urban turkey-killing in Salon, you must read it here.) But not for me. No.

But chickens! In a nice little hutch, with a nice-sized enclosed run, which could be moved around the yard to help with both fertilization and weed control? Totally free-range during the hours we're home to keep an on both them and the garden, free-range outside in their wire pen when we're not? Under the trees? Eggs?

And they're so pretty.

But money is an issue. Chickens are dirt cheap, maybe four bucks each. But the housing is where it gets you. We could build a chicken coop, yes. I've done some (okay, a LOT) of research already on them, and there are some great plans out there. But after the cost of lumber and tools (we really have no tools to speak of), it would cost the same as other options. The Eglu iMac house for chooks is DIVINE, but comes to more than $800 with shipping (ouch!). We ain't got that kind of scratch.

We have already dogeared our copy of Murray McMurray. Loving Backyardchickens.com. And Gwen has promised us a tour sometime of her coop.

Any clever ideas? Anyone with a chicken coop they want to offload? Anyone with stories? Mmmm?

50,005November 21, 2008

I won Nanowrimo! 50,005 words done. Yay!

Photo 246
(PS - my hair is red now. Willie says hi.)

However, it ain't even close to being done. Feels more like half-way done. I don't hate it, even though it's a first draft. There are some funny bits, parts that I like thinking about (although I don't let myself go back and read them, not at this stage). But I know that yes, it's really awful. That is why I am so glad I've found I'm a decent re-writer. Thank god. Someday I'll make this into something other than the mess it is.

My original goal for November was to write 75,000 words. I've revisited that goal. It feels arbitrary, and I know that won't be enough words to finish the novel, anyway. So I'm taking it a little easier on myself. I'll write everyday until the end of November. (You know I haven't missed a day of writing since July? Proud of that.)  I'll be happy with whatever word count I end up with.

December is for revising Eliza's Cottage (formerly Love Spun). It's due in its "final" form to my editor in January. Chronic overachiever that I am, I asked her what would happen if I got it to her early. (Also, I was thinking that if she liked that idea, then I wouldn't have to do Nanowrimo; I'd get to edit again the already complete novel, something that sounded pretty darn good to me.) But she said that no, she wouldn't be able to do anything with it until January, because of her schedule. This left me back on the hook for Nano. I'm glad of that now. I think.

Then, come January, with Cottage off my plate for a little while (until it comes back again), I'll finish this one tentatively titled Eliza's Story. And then I'll start editing. God, I love to edit. Admittedly, there's nothing like the rush of writing fast and well, galloping down a road of fabulous words. Only most days it's more like slogging through a pond of stagnant, smelly, overused words. That's not as much fun. That's what kind of day I had today, so I'M DONE for today.

Now, as a reward, I'm casting on for Gretel. Yet another hat that will probably look like ass on me. I'm not a good hat-wearer. I made the Amanda hat yesterday, and I hate it. (No, I won't show you -- I'm too embarrassed -- why can't I wear hats?) But Gretel looks forgiving. Going stash-diving now.

And tomorrow, if you'd care to join me, I'm having International Pajama Day one day early (here in East Oakland we are on the other side of the international dateline, didn'tcha know?). I have to work on Sunday, so that leaves me right out of it, but Saturday will do just as well. I'm shopping for the week today, and Lala tells me Netflix on demand will work on my computer, so I'm going to be all set up.

Love BlanketNovember 19, 2008


Lala brought something home from work for me yesterday.


A blanket. Made for me by readers who love me. Started for me when Mom died.


It's one of the most perfect, gorgeous presents I've ever received. I am completely undone by it. (Look, above, see how (formerly) no-blog Rachel and Dani made identical trees of life? They're on either side of Lyssa's heart, which is below Celia's winged hearts, which is flanked by Jove's stripes. Wait. Let me take a minute. I just really looked at Celia's. It's four hearts, with the winged one above. Dad, me and my sisters each have a heart below. That just broke my heart in the good way.)


I could go on and on, but my fingers would break, looking up the linkages. Trust me that there are stripes, and hearts, and a turtle, and Digit's paws. There is a lovely square Michelle made on the first anniversary of her mother's death. There is lace inspired by something I made once, and five squares, one for each of Mom's family, knit in my small hometown by someone I've never met.


Darling, talented Krista of KnitDelaware was the drive behind this. I can't imagine the hours she put into sewing these all together, and she did a gorgeous job. I love the black -- nothing else would have tied all these squares together.


Please don't feel badly if you didn't know about this blanket. I think what put me over the edge last night as I touched every square was how many people's names I didn't recognize right off the bat. They weren't all the usual suspects. Krista just emailed a random sampling of commenters, asking if they'd like to contribute, and she said the envelopes came flying in. This was amazing to me. And so many of them came with cards, and notes, little descriptions of which square was whose (which wasn't necessary: Krista did such a lovely job with the square map she sent along with it, but I love the descriptions sent -- colors, yarn samples, sketches, reasons why the knitter chose the yarn she did).

It is one of my most prized possessions. It will be years before a cat will be allowed to settle on it. If ever. One tried, earlier. No way. Miss Idaho eyed it covetously. No. It is on my reading chair in my writing room, and I draped it over my lap this morning as I wrote.

I have never touched anything that was made with more love. I am verklempt.

SO MUCH FUN! November 16, 2008

I have SO much to tell you. I had a very full day yesterday, very full indeed. I think I'm just going to slap the pics in here and then narrate them, because otherwise, I have no idea where to start. Seriously, go refill your coffee. You might be here a while.

In the morning, my sisters Bethany (on the left) and Christy (on the right) went to the Oakland protest.


Don't you want Dumbledore to be happy? Let him marry! Equal rights for Sulu! I was with the geek squad! And happy about it, too.

There were a LOT of people in Oakland, which was a big relief. I'd been kind of nervous that everyone would cross the bridge and go to the huge SF protest and that there would be thirty of us in Oakland, standing around looking at each other, but that didn't happen. It was enormous and uplifting:  


The pocket vegans were there:


There were only two people protesting the protest across the street. A bunch of us had the same idea at the same time: cross the street and make it look like No on Prop 8 was on both sides of the street! I thought we did a really job at this. Someone driving by would just think No on 8 were the only people there, especially since one of the two protesting had a sign that said Gay = Pervert, only he used the HRC Equality symbol, so he looks like he's on the No side, from a passing car glance.


Then one of the organizers came and talked to us, one by one. He was surprisingly eloquent, because I was ready to tell him where to stick it when I heard he was moving down the line, asking us to go back to the other side. But he explained that while we could obviously do whatever we wanted, they'd really appreciate it if we left the two of them there. By themselves. Lonely and embarrassed, on the far side of the street. He had a really good point, although I could see it from both sides. Below, the two lone protesters (and one gal who was No on 8 -- you can see that nice organizer boy in the blue shirt on the right -- he's going to talk to her).


PS - Both those guys holding signs? Closet cases. You just know it. 


These ladies were on stilts and dancing.

It was an awesome thing to be at. I'm glad that we went. Fight! Fight!

Then I went home to grab a disco nap, because I had a Very Big Night to come.

I drove to the City for the Night of Writing Dangerously. Bethany, who is also doing Nanowrimo, wanted to raise money for their literacy program. With $200 dollars raised, she got to go to this exclusive benefit soiree. For $300 raised, she got to take a friend (ME! ME!). A reader (anonymous and GORGEOUS -- you know who you are, I don't, but THANK YOU!) donated enough to get not only Bethany in, but me too, and at the last minute, the Nano people let her bring ANOTHER friend (our fellow Nano'er Laura).

I beat Beth and Laura there. I knew I wouldn't be able to stay for long, because I was double-booked, and I didn't know if I would even get to see Beth, since she was stuck on the other side of the Bay in a traffic jam. I was sad. I sat outside in my car and considered whether I was brave enough or not to go inside by myself. (Normally I don't mind going to things by myself. But I was already nervous about the rest of my night and the thought of going in and making friends was exhausting.)

But I did. I got in line right as the doors opened. Chris Baty (the founder of Nanowrimo --he is so seriously swoon-worthy, I swear to god) was there at the front door and shook every person's hand as he or she came in. When he got to me,  he looked right at me (he might have remembered me from last year when I hit on him, maybe not), and he asked how my writing was going. (Don't worry, Lala thinks it's cute.)

I believe I said something like this: "Oh, my god, I just sold my Nano! For a three-book deal! At auction! To HarperCollins! I just wanted to let you know! That's why I'm here! Dude!"

To his eternal credit, he said, "Oh, my god! That's awesome! Email me! And you should speak here later tonight! You should inspire people with your story!"

Whereupon I said, "Oh, my god! I have to go soon! And give a reading!"

The people in front of me and behind me were quite surprised. One guy (hi, Eric!) was nice enough to let me hang out with him, and he was a doll, bragging on me to perfect strangers. Ain't nothing like that to make a girl feel good.

Of course, I forgot to get pictures (but Bethy did). It was straight class, yo. They really did a gorgeous job. The theme was NanoNoir, and people were encouraged to noir it up, which they did. Lookee: a whole bunch of people eating, drinking, and WRITING (in the dark):


Laura and Bethany!


Man, Bethany looks like Mom somehow in that photo. 


Here, I must say, she looks more like me. She got that hat specially for the night. How CUTE is that? Must steal. 

I did get to hang out with them for a little bit before I left, and then I jetted across the bridge feeling Oh-So-Writerly. In my station wagon. Yeah. But in my mind it was a little black MG, you know?

At Knit-One-One, we found out that Jesse Loesberg had decided to talk his wife into having twins that day, just so he could get out of the reading. So he wasn't there (you were missed, Jesse!). But neither Peggy Vincent nor I welcomed two infants into our lives that day, so we had no excuse.

Nor would I have wanted one, even though I was hella nervous. It turned out to be awesome. Sile put on a wonderful night, as she always does. Peggy was great (love her book), and I was a spazz. I kind of spazzed out all over the place, as you can see here:


What you can't see are my shoes, which are SO CUTE. Trust me, lace up black thirties style heels. They made the reading better. 


Peggy is laughing at me.


And there were a ton of wonderful, interesting people there who wanted to talk writing! Why hadn't I thought of that? I kind of thought at a knitting/writing reading (!) there would be more knitting talk, but there wasn't. It was mostly writing talk, and I was SO HAPPY. (Although talking knitting is nice, too.)


WHY do I go so red? Ack.


Sister Christy gave me the best compliments that meant more than anything. Even Chris Baty telling ME I was swoon-worthy wouldn't hold a candle to the way she made me feel special and talented. (I loved when someone asked how long we'd been friends and we gave each other a look that said, A REALLY LONG TIME.)

Okay. Enough about yesterday. Allow me to flash back for just a moment to last week. My RWA chapter gives a white rose to members with first sales. I'd been DYING for a white rose. The day before my meeting last week, after the deal was official, Lala brought me these:


She swears she didn't even know about the white rose deal with RWA. It was just a fluke. One of the best flukes ever. A week a a half later, they're still so damn beautiful. I think they're the best flowers I've ever received:


And one last thing I HAVE to share with you. My gift from Rachel O.  


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Srsly. I am so getting a chain and wearing it around my neck.

Heh. Today: Brunch with friends. Writing. Cooking tonight. Work week starts tomorrow, but it's a short week, so that's good. Yes. Very good.

National Protest DayNovember 14, 2008

Tomorrow, Saturday, is the day you can do something about California's Prop 8, even if you live in another state. There will be a protest near you in the ACLU's Nationwide Join the Impact Protest. I'm going to be at Oakland City Hall with my family. Join us there, or elsewhere. This is, I think, one of the most compelling arguments I've heard so far:

It's almost as compelling as Erika's argument against one of the myths:

It cheapens the institution of marriage.

This one always makes me chuckle.

If allowing child molesters, serial killers, death row prisoners, meth addicts, neo-nazis, corporate polluters, rapists, people who let their dog poop on the sidewalk and don’t pick it up, tobacco company executives, dog fighting enthusiasts, and serial drunk drivers to get married doesn’t “cheapen the institution,” what will?

GO HERE to find out where you can be tomorrow.

PS - Thank you all, my darlings, for your kind congratulations yesterday. I really am still dancing in chair. Almost constantly. I actually pulled my trapezius muscle from doing the happy dance. I am not making that up. It's worth it, though.

I Got The Call!November 13, 2008

I've always wanted to type that title.

In writer-speak, getting The Call is not God urging you to become a priest. It’s when your agent calls you to tell you that an editor wants to buy your book.

I've been DYING to tell you.

Let me start at the beginning. My incredible agent, Susanna Einstein, sent off my manuscript on Monday, October 27th, to seven  or eight publishers. I tried really hard not to think about it. Tried to push it out of my mind. This, by the way, is like sharing a desk with a plate of fresh fudge and trying to ignore it for hours, days, on end.

On Halloween morning, four days later, I woke up at seven o’clock. I’d been having a wonderful dream, one of those that you don’t want to leave. But I needed to get up.

I started the coffee. I blearily rubbed my eyes. I sat at the computer to work.

Now, my normal M.O. is to sit and write for about an hour or so before I allow myself to check email or anything online. I don’t turn my airport connection off, though, because I like to write with Pandora playing in the background, so I need to be online. So I don’t check email, but my email notifier still comes through, because I’m too lazy to disable it.

I opened the document I had last been working on. I stared at it. My eyes might have crossed in sleepiness, I’m not sure.

My computer bing-ed and I saw a message come in. My gmail notifier lets me see who sent it and displays the first sentence.

The email was from Susanna. It said, “Call me as soon as you wake up.”

Yeah. Yeah!

My heart started to race. Literally. As I dialed her number, my hands were shaking. With delight in her voice, she told me that Avon (a division of HarperCollins) wanted my book! Wanted to BUY it!

Not only that, but they wanted a THREE-BOOK DEAL.

I looked up, out the window, while she was talking. Was I still dreaming? The dream I’d had right before waking up had been so good, so vivid. Was this just an extension of the dream? Was I still in bed? I remember seeing the pigeons that I hate perched up on the eave outside my window. I didn’t think I’d see the pigeons if it was just a good dream. I loved those pigeons at that moment. I think I asked Susanna that, who assured me, no, I wasn’t dreaming.

This was on Friday. She used the day to call the other editors who had the manuscript – she told them there was an offer on the table. We’d wait to hear back from them before accepting.

I still wrote. Isn’t that weird? I spent about an hour, calling every person I could think of, telling them I got the call. Then I sat down and wrote. I wrote crap, I’m sure. I’m positive it was nothing but drivel. But I wanted to honor that belief that the New York publishing world had in me, in my own silly way. I wanted to write.

I spent that weekend walking on clouds. Early last week, a week ago Monday, my book got into a little bidding war. A bidding war! My book! By last Friday, though, Avon had successfully maintained its grasp on it. I was glad: They were the first to believe in it, and in my naïve-to-publishing mind, I wanted them to win.

Right now, as I type this, I’m waiting for an introductory phone call from my new-to-me editor, May Chen. I’m as nervous as Miss Idaho in the same room as a man with a hat. If I still smoked (six years smoke-free), I would be chaining.

While I wait, let me copy and paste what was in the November 11th Publisher’s Marketplace:


Rachael Herron's debut ELIZA'S COTTAGE, in which a rancher's way of life is threatened by a woman trying to escape her past; the first book in the KNIT TWO TOGETHER series, to May Chen at Avon, in a good deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, for publication in Spring 2010, by Susanna Einstein at LJK Literary Management (NA).

(I know, it feels like forever away: Spring 2010. But I’m told by everyone who knows publishing that the time will fly by.)

Of all things, I think Mom would have been most excited by this. Remember when PM was in paper? For sale? (Is it still, or is it just online now? I’m not sure.) She loved that magazine – she’d read it cover to cover. She always knew the news, knew the book buzz. She’d be really, really happy to see my name in it.

An hour later - I’m back! My editor called! (I have an editor! Of my own!) She is awesome. I am now convinced that I have the best agent and the best editor in the world.

I am SO glad I got to tell you. I couldn’t wait.

I’m so happy. Thank YOU all, for believing in me. I also have the best readers in the world. How lucky I am.

(PS - leave a comment or drop me an email if you want to be added to my writing email list -- I won't spam you, but I'll let you know when the book is coming out so you don't miss it!)

Locals! Reading! November 12, 2008

Don't forget, I'll be reading this Saturday night. I hope you can come. I really do -- I'm pretty darn nervous about it. It won't be long, just 15 minutes each for the three of us, and I've heard a rumor that there will be wine and cheese afterward.

What if I fall over? What if I spit into the mike and short it out and then there's a fire in the wall and the fire department has to come and then someone tells them that I'm a fire dispatcher so then they want to talk shop and then I'll be at the reading thinking about work and then I'll turn red.

No, really, I know I'll turn red no matter what. I have times in my life where I'm more red-prone than others. This has been a red-prone couple of months. If someone else blushes, I blush. I'm not to the needing-medical-help kind of blush, but I do hate how often I do it. I'm blushing now, as I write this. I will definitely blush while I'm reading.

You wanna come watch me go beet-red and stutter? Doesn't that sound great? (I'll be roaring into town from the start of the Night of Writing Dangerously, and I'll be prepped to head back to it after the reading, so I'll even be more heated up with pure speediness.)

Where: knit-one-one, 3360 Adeline St, Berkeley
When: Saturday, 7:30pm

Woot! (DETAILS HERE, scroll down)

25,222November 11, 2008

I'm half-way through the Nano challenge, and it's only the eleventh. Yay! That's good stuff. Boy, am I writing the worst novel in the whole world. But it's so fun to go at breakneck speed -- the plot twists in such interesting ways. I can fix it later.

And I just had a ball writing for just a minute about a ghost who just showed up. I do NOT write about ghosts, and it totally creeped me out. I felt like I was reading a scary book, and I really don't do that ever, either. I got so that I could hardly look over my shoulder in my darkened office (I like to write with really low lighting when I write at 4am -- less painful to be up this early). Then I finally DID look over my shoulder and I saw a man standing there.

It was a pile of clothing draped over my bike handles.

Scared the CRAP outta me.

It was really fun.

Does anyone know of a cheap, adequate motel in Philadelphia? One of my good friends is travelling there tomorrow on the red-eye, and she hasn't been able to find anything for under $300, and she's freaking out. Any ideas would be helpful - Katy is a very nice, sweet person who is obsessed with coffee the way we are with yarn. She needs two nights, Thursday and Friday. Even Priceline couldn't help. Is there something fabulous happening in Philadelphia this weekend? Any ideas are welcome. MWAH!

ReadingNovember 10, 2008

I've been LOVING my Kindle lately. Did you see Oprah tout hers the other day? I know she got criticized for pushing an expensive product, in these days of the slumping economy, but to be fair, she made it very clear that it wasn't for everyone, that it was only for those who wanted and could afford the luxury. She also got Amazon to knock $50 off each one.

I know how she feels, with her Kindle religion. I'm reading so much more lately. I can't really say why -- it's just easy. I don't have to decide what book to carry; I already have it with me.

Lately I've been reading a lot of romance, trying to catch up with what I've been missing.

Kristan Higgins, Just one of the Boys: I loved this. A six-foot newspaper editor who rows and runs -- it didn't seem like something that I'd totally love, but the reviews got me to pick this up. I'm so glad I did. Her writing is funny and sharp, and even though you know exactly where the book is going, it's satisfying. Actually, I liked that Higgins didn't waste time trying to throw me off the scent -- we know who the main character's going to end up with, and we are pleased that it's going that way. I can't wait to read another of hers, but I'm going to let a couple of books elapse between the last, lest my own writing voice start to sound exactly like hers.Which,come to think of it, wouldn't be bad.

Suzanne Brockmann, The Unsung Hero: Reading now. I'm starting here, with the first in the series, because people LOVE her. I mean, at RWA National, people freaked out when she walked by. Also, she's really cute and gave a great speech. I've been told that the first couple of books in this series aren't as great as her subsequent books, and it's not fantabulous yet, about two-thirds in, so it's living up to that. But it's good. I will read more of her books.

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life: I'm rereading the first, and reading for the first time the second. When I'm writing Nanowrimo-fast, I don't want my voice to be too colored by anyone else, so I restrict myself to reading books on writing before I sleep. Other books are fine during the day, but not at night, not just before I drift off thinking about what's going to happen on the page the next morning. Bird by Bird is still wonderful. Lamott has a voice that sometimes puts up my hackles, and I'm not sure why, but she's kind of like that aunt who comes around and needles you and says wise things and bugs you a little, but you remember really good things about her when she's not there.


Kate Perry, Project Date: She's in my RWA chapter! She's cool! Yay!
Susan Wiggs, Just Breathe: Have read good things about her. Looking forward to it.

Anything you're loving right now? Romance is good.

The Cade SweaterNovember 7, 2008

Lookee! I've been knitting!

It's the Cade sweater, for the book. The pattern is as yet unavailable, but it will be someday, promise.


In other news, I've been writing. Nano is fun, but I'm tired, and I'm out of words for the day, so I'll just give you my view from my lunch table today (Bethany and I worked there -- can you imagine a better place to write?):

The Golden Gate is just visible in the background..... This is from Greens, in Fort Mason. A gorgeous, celebratory day.

Yes We DidNovember 5, 2008

(How many blog posts are titled that this morning?)

My agent said last night in Brooklyn there was dancing in the streets. She went out and danced (I adore her) and said that it looked like Fame: literally people dancing on top of taxis. That made me want to cry all over again. Yes. We had fireworks and gunfire (both are always in full supply in my neighborhood) and honking. Joy.

Now. Back to writing. I'm at the cafe. The coffee guy who knows me added a sugar to my coffee since I usually get it that way, the first sugar I've had in a month. I should have had him remake it, but it's a holiday, right? Celebration!

I'm at 11,665 words. Want to hit 13,000 today. Here I go.

OBAMANovember 4, 2008

Oh, HELL yeah. I cried through that whole thing. And the noise in Oakland was great.

So happy. Welcome back.

Nano Update

Nano wordcount: 8,020 words. I am right on track so far. I love the feeling I'm getting with this whole WRITING thing. I've been editing so long that I'd forgotten how wild a rush it is, writing the first draft. I loe that whole OHMYGOD WHAT'SGOINGON thing that occurs. Hold on, it's going to be a bumpy, if exciting, ride.

I love the little surprises that happen when you're writing -- those pieces that fall onto the page with a satisfying clink, the sound of understanding. Oh! This is what's going to happen next, and that's why that happened in the last chapter! It's like certain things are meant to be written, and you don't know it until you get there, but when you DO get there, it just works. It feels good in the brain, like a mini-massage. I'm not even kidding; that's what it feels like.

It happens in bigger chunks in revision, where whole segments of writing suddenly beg to be moved forward, or back, or worse, erased. In the case for erasing, I like to control-X big segments like that out and paste them into another document which I figuratively clutch to my chest. I shall never lose these words! My darlings! And then, always, the next time I look at that document, a month later, those words are dumb and outdated and perfectly ready for the big delete.

Writing is good stuff, yo. Yep.

BigNovember 2, 2008

Hey, folks. Serious subject now, one I'm not equipped to deal with. But my girl dee ann, sadly, she's equipped. And  boy, howdy, is she.

Go read what she says about cancer. She's an expert, and I think her entry shows a part of the disease that we gloss over, way too often. It's not an easy read, but I think it's a necessary one.

Happy Nano! November 1, 2008

Dude, I couldn't sleep last night, thinking about Nanowrimo. That's not like me. But I knew how I wanted it to start, and I kept re-starting it, even in my dreams. I do NOT like writing in my dreams. It's frustrating, to see the words, and then to try to re-read them, and they've suddenly changed.

But I've got 5,011 words down. I have a schedule:

Workdays: 1,000 words a day, written in the morning. I will get up at the ungodly hour of 3:45am. I leave for work at five, and I only take about 15 minutes to get ready, so that gives me an hour. I can easily get a thousand words in an hour, even while half-asleep. At my top speed, I can get two thousand an hour, but that's when I'm ON.  And I know when I get home at 7pm that I am DEAD and completely unable to talk, let alone write, so:

Weekends: 5,000 words a day. From 8am-12pm, I'll write (like I did today). Four hours is good for 5,000 words (about twenty pages), including drinking coffee/eating/wandering/cleaning up the dog-vomit breaks. My weekends are always either three or four days long, so that's good for building the word count. My target word count is an arbitrary 76,000 words this month.

I don't know if I can pull it off. But I'm going to try.

Luckily, La's totally into doing NaSoAlMo again, so she's off recording in her room while I'm writing. It's nice.

Now: It's been POURING this morning and I'm loving it. I love rain, especially the very first good rain. I opened the window in front of my desk and Waylon and Willie and I sucked in that good smell of grass, rain, and asphalt.

But now we're tired. I might take a nap. Like this:


Willie and Harriet are lying right next to me, right NOW, doing that. It's even cuter in person. 


This was from our walk yesterday, but this is how I feel today. It's a good day. Nap. And then some cooking for the work week, which starts tomorrow.

Huzzah! Nano is here!