Musing Aloud

Pam's thoughts on writing and life

Tis the Season
Shopping:  Done!

Cookie dough making:  Done and bagged!

Cookie baking:  Marathon sessions the next couple of days.

Cookie decorating with kiddies:  Monday

Pam relaxing:  Tues for a bit?  Thursday onward, for sure.

Writing:  furiously like a madwoman from Thurs onward.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

Coming to the surface
I've been layinng low yet again--or still, depending how you look at it I guess.  Most of November, I was consumed with jigsaw puzzles.  I get *really* OCD with them, especially given my lackadaisacal drive to get things accomplished this year, so it amounted to me sitting here and working on the puzzles nonstop, unless I was sleeping or eating or watching the grandboys.  They're just so dang fun (jigsaw puzzles, although the grandboys are as well), but I do wish I could work at them a little more leisurely.  I do 1000 piece puzzles, and I was doing one a day, if that shows you how much time I was devoting to it.  I prefer the puzzles by Charles Wysocki, which are Americana-type puzzles, and they're so fun, with lots of Victorian-style houses and fields and rivers and horse-drawn carriages.  I made myself stop around Thanksgiving so I could get things accomplished.

I quit writing or I guess I should say I never started writing again, except for occasionally flashing at Liberty Hall on the weekends, but even that's been sporatic.  And I quit subbing.  But I've back at that the last few days and am up to 9 subs out again.  Problem I'm finding now is that I only have 3 stories to sub that are longer than flash.  I was working really hard on revising a story after getting some excellent feedback on it from a rejection at Urban Fantasy, to submit it to the Podcastle Artemis Rising window only to realize after I was done with it that the story was at 1100 words and their preferred story length was 2k - 6k.  Le Sigh.  I was so irritated that I hadn't paid attention, but their sub listing was a little confusing because they usually will take flash length, but I don't think they were for the Artemis Rising?  So I cut out another 100 words to get it under 1k for a flash market only to discover when I went to enter it into their online submission window that they will accept 1100 words and under.  Another Le Sigh.  I went ahead and subbed it as it was though.

I had a hankering for split pea soup with ham hock today, so that is simmering on the stove, and I also made a couple of loaves of carrot bread, so oh, my, the house smells good right now.  So good, in fact, that I think it's time to try the carrot bread and see if it turned out.  I'll try to be a better blogger this month.

Link like

So, There Was This Shirt: When Clothes Talk

May I just say, Elizabeth Moon is very wise, IMO

My state of mind
My state of mind lately is perfectly encapsulated by this little story:

I am participating in Oprah and Depak Chopra's 21 day Meditation Experience.  It's a guided daily meditation, available online (HERE, if you're interested, and I highly recommend it if you are wanting to learn meditation or if you're already a practicer).  Today's mantra involved "My awareness is focused."  While I was setting up and getting ready, I had a thought:  I have some yummy Breyer's ice cream and some homemade ginger snaps and some bakery oatmeal raisin cookies.  Gah!  I could make my own ice cream cookiewich!  So I sat down to meditate.  "My awareness is focused."  Yes, it was focused.  Not on the meditation, though -- on that damn cookiewich!!!!  I was practically drooling.  I should have stopped, gotten up and ate it and then went back to meditate on the sin of gluttony.  Instead, I enforced Discipline (of which I've been sadly lacking lately) and sat through the whole damn 20 minutes, thinking of my cookiewich-to-be.  And I peeked twice at the timer, which is a definitely no-no.  ::sigh::

But boy was that cookiewich good.  I decided to go with the oatmeal cookiewich.  I think I'll have another tonight.  And that, my friends, pretty much sums up my life and radio silence here lately.  No discipline, and too much rewarding of myself for getting nothing accomplished.  I still blame it on my recovery from surgery, but that excuse is starting to wear itself out.  Someday, perhaps I'll grow up.  

Oh, Motivation, where didst you go?
I am so lazy unmotivated.  It's beginning to get to me.  Not enough yet to, you know, actually motivate me or anything, but enough to drive me sorta crazy.  (Crazier?)  I've been obsessively doing jigsaw puzzles.  I still blame it on post-ennui surgery.  Yeah, that sounds good.

I didn't fully realize how sickly I was before surgery, until now when I can compare it to post-surgery.  In the weeks leading up to it, after my June illness, I'd had to cut my walk down to about 1 1/2 miles (down from 2 - 2 1/2 miles).  I'd come home from the shorter walk just exhausted and have to rest for quite some time after.  I blamed it on being weak from not eating and being out of shape after laying off the walking after the illness and antibiotic-weakness.  I was also struggling with the weights in the gym.  But now, it's been 6 weeks post-surgery, and I'm right back up to our normal walking length without any issues.  I went to the gym yesterday and even though I've not been for 6 weeks, I had no issue with the weights.  That was an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise.

A Funny Thing Happened
A Funny Thing Happened on my way to wellness. I've always hated fish. I just never cared for the texture or the flavor -- or rather, the absence of flavor. Fish has always tasted pretty much like cardboard to me. The only exception has been salmon, but I can't eat a lot of it. As far as shellfish, I love shrimp, but hate crab. I like lobster and fried oysters. I've tried to like fish, but it's just never worked for me. But this year, I've been sick off and on since January with gut infections, to the point that by June, my food options had shrunk down to chicken, yogurt, eggs and a white cinnamon bread. So on our anniversary, we went out to eat, and there weren't a lot of menu options for me, so I decided to try the fish. I think it was red snapper. I really liked it. And I was shocked about it. So then I had my surgery last month, and my first "real food" option for dinner in the hospital was baked lemon pepper tilapia. Maybe I was just hungry for real food at that point, but it was so yummy. I had it a second time in the hospital and liked it just as much. So I bought a bag of tilapia filets and have cooked them two different times now and yes, I still like it. And now when we go to the beach, I get fish and chips, which I've always hated (and tried to eat several times and couldn't make myself like it). It's the strangest thing to suddenly become a fish eater after never liking it.

Maybe in that same vein, rejections have been coming in and they barely get a squiggle out of me. Maybe it's that they've all been personals lately with comments about how much they like the story and the writing, but the story itself just isn't right for this particular theme or issue? I don't know, but it's a welcome development and I hope it continues. I'd like another sale a lot better, of course. ;-D

Shimmer story: Dream of the Fisherman's Wife
It's time to go read a story!  A SHIMMER story!  And this one is so very shimmery, it will doubtless make you ::shimmer:: as well.

So what are you waiting for?  Go, READ!

Dream of the Fisherman's Wife by A. C. Wise

This is such a beautiful story. The voice is loud and clear, and reading it makes me feel rather like I've stepped into a dream and am watching it unfold before me.

And don't forget to stop by and read the interview with A.C. Wise. HERE wherein she explains all manner things, like why the sea figures so often in her stories, and also, poutine!

(no subject)
Forgive me, LJ.  It's been ::mumble-mumble:: days since I last posted.  I think the anesthesia ate my brain.  I've been keeping up with the flist, but I've had a serious case of the blah's and haven't been able to work up the energy to comment or post.  Pathetic, isn't it?  I'd keep thinking of things to post but that was about as far as it went.  So I've got a lot of catching up to do.

So I'll start with my news.  I've sold another story to Daily Science Fiction.  I've signed the contract, but no word yet on when it'll be published.  I'm hoping next month, because that would be an awesome birthday present!  This will be my third story with DSF, and even better, my second this year!  More details to follow, as I know them.

My other news, I'm a WINNER!

Last month, A.C. Wise (acwise) ran a contest to giveaway a copy of Upgraded, an anthology filled with stories by the likes of Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Ken Liu, Rachel Swirsky, and Benjanun Sriduangkaew, among others. It’s about cyborgs and it’s edited by a cyborg, namely Neil Clarke, of Clarkesworld fame.

I'm so excited.  It's going to be an awesome read!


Clockwork Dagger in the wild!
Look, I took Beth Cato's (celestialgldfsh) shiny new book, Clockwork Dagger, to see the ocean.

photo (2)

It was very happy.

Shimmery Day!
Oh, Look!  Shimmer has a new story up.  Yes, you need to go read it.  RIGHT NOW!

Dharmas, by Vajra Chandrasekera

Also, Author interview here:

Shimmer #21: Vajra Chandrasekera

What more do you need?

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