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Nov. 27th, 2015

Getting a chapter finished takes a weight off your mind in a way nothing else does. Now I just have to wait for my trusty beta readers to return it to me, dripping red ink. Or red pixels. And then go read everything else that's been posted to Seasonal Spuffy and leave feedback.

Yesterday we made an early dinner for ourselves and Mom, and then went over to Kathy's brother's place for a late dinner (which I did not eat much of, needless to say.) It's nice to see family, but I really like being able to cook our own meal, because of course no one else ever does it quite right. TRADITION, TRADITION (ba dum dump!) Kathy got us an enormous turkey, so we have enough left over to last until Christmas, at least. This morning we went over to Mom's and threw a bunch of stuff out, made a pile of all the larger stuff I need to call to have picked up, and trucked all the boxes of things my brother wants to keep home. It doesn't look like he'll be able to get out here until January at the earliest, and I hope to have the place on the market by then. We are making headway, however much it seems at times that the stuff over there multiplies sneakily when we're away.

The thing that was wrong with sleepingjaguars.com turned out to be that at some point, I had changed the password to my domain, and neglected to update my eFiction settings. So the config file was failing to connect to the database. I updated my version of eFiction, which has needed doing for quite awhile, and fixed the config file, and in the process discovered that about eighteen thousand spam accounts were clogging up the member list. Urgh. I'm deleting them (and it's mildly encouraging that when I set this database up, I had zero idea what went on inside it, and now I'm competent enough to write "Delete all this crap!" queries) but I suppose to really solve the problem I will have to install Captcha. Anyway, the website is up and going again.

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So. Um.

I just finished Chapter 13 of A Parliament of Monsters. If anyone feels like betaing, I would be most grateful. Drop me a line if so. It’s a little less than 15k words all told, but it’s the last two scenes that need the most work; the rest has been beta’d once already.

The sort of things I look for in a beta: Everything. Standard proofreading, continuity check, any comments on plot, characterization, pacing, prose style (am I using the same word three times in two paragraphs? Do all my sentences have the same monotonous rhythm? Do I shamelessly over-use the m-dash?) Come at me with that Strunk & White and be as vicious as you like with it; I’m a big girl and I guarantee I can take it.

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Weekend Things

The last couple of weeks I've been going over to Mom's and packing up the remaining stuff, either to come here or to go to Goodwill. I also ended up cutting down the thevetia bushes Mom's been fretting about -- she picks the strangest things to obsess over. In the last week we've taken five or six loads of boxes over to Goodwill, and tomorrow or the next day I'll cart the last boxes of Ebay stuff, along with the stuff my brother wants, back to our house. There's still some junk in the shed and on the back porch, and there's still some furniture that will have to be dealt with, but we're definitely getting there, at last.

Thanksgiving is almost here. This has been a hard year, and I can't say I'm sorry to see the last of it. But if we can get the house on the market by the end of it, that'll be something.

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*blink* Who the heck linked what where?

Normally I get a steady trickle of kudos emails from AO3, like maybe two or three a week on a good week, with one or two kudos per. Every so often I get a big one with a couple dozen kudos in one email, where one or occasionally two people are reading the series for the first time. Today I got one of those, but it was like, six to eight people, which NEVER happens. And they were reading the stories set later in the timeline, which is unusual. Weird. Good weird, but still weird.

Sloooowly plowing my way through the last scene and a half of POM 13. I am going to finish this chapter this coming week or die trying.

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I feel sure that chocolate jasmine tea and chocolate chip cookies have curative powers over lingering colds and I am contributing to Science by eating them.

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It never fails

Kathy goes to Florida, and contracts some kind of creeping grot while there or on the flight back home, and is out for the count for several days. I catch the creeping grot from her, but in me it's only bad enough to make me feel like crap, but not bad enough to justify taking a sick day. (I'm currently tellecommuting, so I don't even have the excuse of not wanting to spread germs to the rest of the office.) I am just exhausted and muzzy. I should write, but I'm just gonna veg out and kill Minecraft zombies.

On the bright side it's chilly and I'm wearing the Ravenclaw sweater I got at Universal Studios. (Ravenclaw is actually my secondary House -- I get sorted into Hufflepuff pretty consistently, no matter what version of the test I take, but I look terrible in yellow.) And it's getting to the point where I can wear the awesome leather jacket I got in Prescott, too. I hate being cold, but I love winter clothes.

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Home again

And very tired. Went to a lot of fun places, spent too much money. Relaxing it was not; my mother-in-law is a wonderful and generous woman, but she's always on the go and she never. stops. talking. I really wish I had a few days to decompress, but I have to immediately jump back into work tomorrow, pick Bo up from the vet, and do whatever errands Mom has saved up for me. Regardless, I'm glad to be home, and that no disasters occurred while we were away. (I always imagine disasters, and they have occasionally happened in the past, like the one time we came home from a convention and found one of our cats dead.)

I need to get cracking on my Seasonal Spuffy project. As I feared, writing whilst away was pretty much impossible. I see I completely missed the Fag Ends Halloween challenge, and I despair of getting caught up on regular posts, but I missed you guys.

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Not what I planned on buying

OK, but they were the only ones! And in my size! And they’d been marked down three times! Obviously they were waiting for me! It would have been cruel to leave them there!

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Nibbled to death by ducks

The last sale went pretty well; we made enough to cover the cost of the window repairs with some profit to spare. Yay.

I spent most of today doing all the little things I've put off doing -- rolling all the loose change from the change jar to exchange for bills (it took forever, and halfway through I was seriously questioning my antipathy to rendering unto Coinstar what is Coinstar's), ordering some catalogue stuff for Mom, doing some last minute shopping, meeting a dealer who wanted to buy some of the yard sale leftovers for cheap. Plus a few other incredibly picayune chores. Had to log on to work for awhile too, to re-send something that didn't go through last week. We leave for Florida on Wednesday, and I have a million things left to do. Buy bubble wrap, pack the last of The Good Stuff at Mom's and trek it over to our place, do Mom's shopping, let the window repair people we'll be out of town for awhile, drop the dog off at the vet for boarding (though that can wait till Wednesday morning), go to the bank and deposit the last of the yard sale cash, do some last minute cleaning around here.

At least I'm packed. Mostly. Argh.

If past experience is any guide, Kathy's mom will keep us hopping. I'm starting to wish I'd taken a few days off after getting back, but I felt bad enough for the people who'll be filling in for me taking two whole weeks off as it is. And the holiday season's coming up anyway, so I'll be taking more time off then. I've got a week off at Thanksgiving, and another at Christmas, so that'll be my collapse and do nothing time.

I plodded through about half of the next scene in POM, and it just wasn't working, so I chucked it and am starting over with a different POV character. Seems to be working better this time. Maybe I can manage to squeeze in some writing time while we're in Florida; I hope so.

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