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Musing Aloud

Pam's thoughts on writing and life

Now Reading --
catfish
musingaloud
According to my Kindle, I am about 70% through The Martian by Andy Weir.  It's gripping and suspenseful and I'm really enjoying it.  I think I'm going to push to finish it today because, for me, it's not really nighttime reading.  It's pushing all my buttons and I find it to be anxiety-inducing.  Definitely not one of those books that's relaxing bedtime reading.  I haven't been falling asleep very easily at night, and perhaps the book is the reason.  There's no way, were I in the protagonist's shoes, that I would have kept going.  Of course, I would never be in an astronaut's shoes, because the whole idea is just fear-producing for me.  Maybe that's why I don't read much straight SF.  I'm so worried over what's going to happen to him that I'm tempted to not finish the book, because if it's a tragedy, I don't know if I can handle it.  Apparently being left behind is a big fear of mine.  I can't decide if I want to search the internet for spoilers or not.  The book inspried a dream/nightmare last night, but instead of being abandoned on an empty planet with no atmosphere/living conditions beyond what they'd brought with them, I was abandoned with a bunch of misbehaving/unmanageable toddlers.  :-D  Funny how the mind works, isn't it.  Who knew that was my biggest fear???

ETA: I couldn't stand it.  I googled "The Martian" spoiler to find out the ending.  Now I won't spoil it for you.  Found out that it's going to be a movie starring Matt Damon later this year.

In other news, but perhaps even more awe-inspiring -- RAIN!!!  A good one, too, not just a slow drizzle.  Not roof-pounding, either, but steady, good drops of water falling from the sky.  Not enough to bring us up to speed, of course, but at this point, we take anything we can get.

(no subject)
catfish
musingaloud
Oh Words.  I'm in a very withdrawn place these days.  Still pulling out of an introspective place -- or trying to anyway.  Reaching out is very hard, if not impossible, for me right now.  I'm not sure exactly why.  I was pretty worn down from dealing with Mom and her disease/situation.  3-4 yeas of care-giving (even though I'm not physically caring for her, the mental aspect of worrying and fretting and having-to-do, keeping her constantly on my mind) takes its toll eventually.  I'm easily irritable and lackadaisacal to the point of struggling to get things done.  My house looks fairly neat on the surface, but it's a mess once really looks.  I should be cleaning the kitchen and mopping right now.

In writing news, I have submitted two stories this week.  One is a story that's about ready to be trunked.  I subbed it to a market last year and it came back with a very nice rejection stating that due to two coincidents with two other stories they'd already purchased, they couldn't take it, but would be interested to see it again this year when they opened again.  So they opened again and since I hadn't subbed/sold it elsewhere, I'm giving them another try.  The other story is on it's first-ever sub.  It was born in a Liberty Hall flash some time back and I always meant to expand it, and did, but then let it slip by the wayside.  So I dusted it off, did a fairly heavy revising of it, and now it stands at 3k.  Which rules out flash markets, and I suspect it's going to be a hard sell anywhere.  So, we'll see.  Also, in writing  news, I was pointed to a blog of a person's three favorite stories they'd read so far this year, and Heart of a Tree was one of them.  Super excited about that, little personal favorite reviews like that mean more to me than anything else.  And the other two authors are ones I'm honored to be on a "favorite" list with.

My walking buddy is gone on a months-long trip.  I'm going to have to be vigilant on keeping up with the exercise.  I HAVE to drop a few pounds that have crept on.  I couldn't make myself go to yoga at all last week.  Boy, did it show this week.  I went yesterday, and I HATED every minute of it.  I'm not usually like that with yoga--even if I'm reluctant to go, by halfway through the session, I'm really happy I did.  Not yesterday.  I should be out walking this morning, but I'm using having the grandboy as an excuse.  In fact, I have to start getting ready.  Am taking him to see Disney's Monkey Kingdom at noon.  And then we'll pick up the other grandboy after school, go to their house and get ready for his baseball game tonight, which means Taco Bell at 4, so he'll be fed and ready to play.  

Hugo Kerfluffle
catfish
musingaloud
No matter where you stand on the Hugo controversy this year, go read Annie Bellet's post.  Annie has decided to decline the nomination.  I hurt for her.  It's a damn shame that she was drawn into the whole thing, a damn shame that what should have been a joyous event has turned hurtful.  Her post is classy and well-thought out and I applaud her.

Hugo Story Withdrawn


For the record, I find the SP and RP actions to be reprehensible.  If they'd wanted to put forth recommendations, fine.  Everyone does do that.  But to maintain that gaming the system by plugging a slate is okay because the "other side" (who they refuse to name, besides the term SJW (what? where?  who?)) has been doing it in back alleys for years, and they just wanted to bring the process into the open?  Hey, the books and stories I like to read don't get that many nominations either.  So what?  Majority rules, ok?  The whole world doesn't have to like the type of fiction I like.  I don't have to like the type of fiction *you* like, either.  Let us all enjoy what we enjoy and let the majority wins have the award.  It's all ok.  Really.  We don't live in a dictatorship.

 

Shimmer Supports Hugo Voters
catfish
musingaloud

From Shimmer's site:

Shimmer Supports Hugo Voters


You know what would be neat? If everyone in the science fiction and fantasy world voted in the Hugo awards. Ifeveryone read widely and discussed what they loved. If all the voices were heard, not just the loudest. A healthy ecosystem is one that’s teeming with millions of kinds of life; let’s find ways to include more people.

If you can afford a supporting membership to WorldCon, I strongly encourage you to buy one. It’s $40. A supporting membership gives you the right to vote in this year’s Hugos — and the right to nominate in next year’s.

If you can’t afford a supporting membership… Mary Robinette Kowal is offering to pay for a supporting membershipto WorldCon for ten people who cannot afford it.

This is a splendid idea. Shimmer’s happy to join Mary. We’ll match her offer: ten memberships for people who can’t otherwise afford one.


(no subject)
catfish
musingaloud
Every April 1, they go up to the mountains to measur the sopack.  This is how they calculate probable amount of water will be available for irrigation, which is how the farmers keep their crops alive through our long hot summer.  We get 0 rainfall during summer and rely on the snowmelt filling the reservoirs and rivers for irrigation.  This year, for the first time in recorded history, there was ZERO snow in the mountains.  This, coupled on the very very little rainfall we had this winter means really bad news.  Everyone I know that has a well has had to have it re-drilled.  The water table keeps going lower and lower.  One day, I fear this Valley will be out of water completely.  And this is not a small valley.  It's really scary.

The soil is so dry here already and it's only April.  We're only allowed to water our yards 1 day a week, and I really don't expect them to let us water much more than that this summer.  Nor do I feel it's very responsible of us to use what little water we have on our yards.  Today we went and got mulch for our yard to help retain what little water we can put on the ground.  We got one pickup load and then went back to get another, so that's how we spent our day.  We could use probably another two loads, but the beds we didn't get mulched today still have a fair amount left from the last time, so I think they'll be fine.  But it sure looks nice out there with all that fresh, red bark covering that dry dirt.

(no subject)
catfish
musingaloud
Yesterday I had the Sads.  One of those teary days where all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and hide --- or bed.  Teary all morning, and not the good kind of tears where you feel relieved and cleaned out after, but the flowy tears that start up without warning and taper off leaving you still feeling sad.  But, I had errands to run, which helped and then I picked up the grandboys, which helped even more.  Today was much better.

Son #1 is all enthused about putting together his ancestry.  I'm excited, because I've always been interested in genealogy, too.  My mom's grandmother's side of the family is huge and they have a hardbound genealogy book from 1800's through 1976.  Really interesting stories in there, too, of the wagon train they came to Calif. on, and living here amongst the Native Americans.  So last night I dug through my stuff, looking for some info on my maternal grandfather's paternal side of the family, which is also been traced back to 1800s.  I searched and searched and finally found an account from my father's mother of a little bit of that side of the family.  I don't think the hubby's side has much on his father's side, but his mom traced her family back to Germany or Russia or something.  So funny to see the son so jazzed about this.  I was shopping in Costco and couldn't hardly get any shopping done he was texting me so much.  He bought a computer program so he can organize it all.  I guess since he has sons now and his grandparents are all gone now except for my mom, who's barely here, he wants to know where he came from.  I say, Yay!  Can't wait to see it all done, but wow, I have quite a bit of info on my side, so it's going to take him a while.

Things accomplished today:  went to the bank, cursed out the slow driver in front of me that made it through the yellow light but caused me to have to wait for the red, went to Big Lots and bought a couple more storage containers for pasta products, went to grocery store to buy the hams and supplies for Easter, came home and put away the groceries, changed clothes and ran out to visit Mom and pay her bill for April, went to gym and lifted weight, ran out to pick up taxes, laundry, changed sheets on our bed, did some genealogy searching.  Still to do: cook dinner and pay bills tonight.  Whew!  But busy is good.

(no subject)
catfish
musingaloud
Emerging from a rather deep depression.  It hit me last week.  Big combo plate of things:  a great-aunt's death (from dementia-related illness, which hit rather close to home), my mom's condition, my age and changing body shape (gaining weight and general "softness"), and a story I had high hopes for not working out so well.  I went on a self-imposed internet dearth and put my nose in a book, which I enjoyed (until I got to the ending, which I felt was unresolved).  Yesterday I had a busy day: volunteering at grandson's school, errand-shopping, to the bank, to the gym, to visit my mom, to pick up grandson and new grand-dog for a vet visit, cooking dinner for son and grandsons as my daughter-in-law had an out-of-town training.  All that activity is a perfect defense to depression.  I know this from past experience, but it's so hard to make oneself move and exercise and *do* things when all one wants to do is crawl into a hole and never come out again.  I had no choice yesterday, these things had to be done, so it was just as well.  I'd hoped that by the end of a busy day I'd feel much better, and it was true.  Being busy and the forced interaction with people pulled me out.  I still have that feeling of general sadness inside, but I'm not in tears every five minutes like I was yesterday morning.  I couldn't do any writing while feeling like that, so I need to get back on that horse.  I need to get some stories subbed, I'm down to two out!  Maybe I can dredge up/revive something to sub to WotF before the deadline on the 31st.

Cars and drivers
catfish
musingaloud
What the hell is up with all the poky-ass drivers around lately?  Don't they know I have places to go?  Why are they blocking me?

Seriously, nothing annoys me more than poky drivers who apparently have all day to get from one side of town to the other.  And why do they always end up with another one right beside them, blocking me from getting around either one?  I admit to being a bit of a speed demon, but speed limits are guidelines for not only how fast you're *not* supposed to go, but for the speed one should be driving down a street.  So if it says 45, your slow-ass shouldn't be hootenanying around at 30.  And it definitely shouldn't be in front of me!

I'm turning into a grouch in my old age.  My husband says I have road rage, and I concur to a degree.  Except that I don't drive agressively.  I tailgate to a degree, but not right up on the bumper.  No, my rage takes the form of me yelling and cursing out the other drivers, but otherwise driving politely.  I get rid of my road rage through words, not being a dangerous driver.  So there.

And hey, get out of my way!!!!

Monday, Monday
catfish
musingaloud
I did NOT want to Gym today, even though it was yoga class.  I kept putting it off, just one more internet page to read -- and then the Exercise Gods decided to take things into their own hands and my internet connection blinked out.  By the time I went to check out the modem-thingy, it was blinking back on, but by then I'd got the message, so off to the gym I went.  And as usual, I feel much better now.  And I would have been feeling crappy by now if I hadn't gone.  So thank you, Exercise Gods.

Got paid today by Daily Science Fiction for "Heart of a Tree."  That was a pleasant surprise.  I'd just noted a day or so ago that it was about time for that check to arrive.  It was more than I'd anticipated, although I could have figured it out, but just hadn't paid much attention.  The story was a little over 1400 words, a little long for flash at most markets, but thank goodness DSF takes stories that length.  So that paid for about half of my Odyssey online class.  

(no subject)
catfish
musingaloud
I have the whole day spread out before me.  Except, I should probably say I *had* the whole day spread out before me.  I've just spent at least the last hour going through one of my email inboxes and deleting a bunch of old entries.  Imagine my surprise to find I had over 1k emails in there.  Mainly old newsletter notifications/new magazine issue notifications/LJ reply postings/old account notifications.  I deleted way over half.  I feel so much lighter!

And now it's almost time to go to the gym.  My walking partner and I are having trouble connecting anymore.  Either she's gone or I am, and we can't seem to regulate our schedules so we're both gone at the same time.  So I'm going to the gym more and riding the stationary bike there--or trying to anyway.  I need to get there more often as I've gained over 5 lbs and I don't like it one bit.  That was the only positive that came out of being so sick and the surgery.  And now I guess you can tell I'm feeling better because the pounds, they snuck right up on me.  So today I'm going to yoga but will ride the bike for a bit first and do my weights.  But now I"m feeling lazy.  Good thing is that I have a slight headache -- have been having moderate migraines again, quite a bit.  It started when I was sick.  I had to take a migraine pill on Thurs., and now it's back again.  Not too bad today, just annoying.  It would probably go away with a nice cold Pepsi, but I don't dare drink one of those give the weight gain.

When I get home from the gym, I have homework to do, which means read and crit 3 mre stories.  I need to work on my writing too, am working on a new story that I'm feeling a little iffy on.  I'm afraid it's going to involve too much navel-gazing by the MC, since she's in a very solitary environment.  We'll see.  

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