Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

Hello, Friday, so lovely to see you again.

Last night broke the streak of great night’s sleeping in a row; but it was still effective enough, I suppose. I’m awake and already washing the bed linens (my usual Friday chore) before I head into work for the part time day I am working. Paul was late coming home last night, so I kept cleaning the apartment, more or less–probably more less than more, if you know what I mean–but it was lovely to walk downstairs to a clean, organized desk this morning, and a clean kitchen. Sure, there’s a load in the dishwasher that needs putting away, but other than that, I think I have the kitchen/office under control–and if the weather stays cool, I may even do the windows tomorrow.

I’m not sure what has triggered it, but over the last few weeks (months?) I’ve been thinking about the past a lot. Being one of the oldest people at the office probably has something to do with it–I think the next oldest person after me is still young enough to be my child–and of course, thinking about the introduction I have to write for Jay B. Laws’ The Unfinished being brought back into print also probably has something to do with it. (My story in progress, “Never Kiss a Stranger”, is also set in the early 1990’s in New Orleans, so I’ve been thinking alot about those days when I first started coming to New Orleans and fell in love with the city.) I’ve spent most of my life not looking backwards–at least, since I was in my mid-thirties at any rate–because my preference was to live in the present and think about the future; there’s nothing that can be done about the past, and I was also tired of remembering cringeworthy experiences. But the past is ripe for mining, not only in my work but for recognizing personal growth and change, and so I’ve been looking back. (Probably also has a lot to do with Bury Me in Shadows being set in a part of Alabama based on where I’m from.)

Speaking of Bury Me in Shadows, it’s possible I can finish this first draft by the end of the month, but not likely. The other big project has kind of taken up a lot of my free time over this past week or so, but that’s fine. Another big project got pushed back a couple of months, which gives me a little more leeway with getting it finished. Ideally, I’ll get it finished sometime over the next week, and then I can spend most of August revising the Kansas book, which in turn gives way to September working on the revision of Bury Me in Shadows. I’d like to get some more short stories finished and out of the way and submitted–one I’d like to write has a September 1 deadline, but all I have for it is a title and a possible plot scenario, but no ending–and of course, I want to write something for the MWA anthology (actually, I already have something for the MWA anthology, that needs a polish, and then to sit for a few more weeks before going over it again) which is a long shot always, but I usually come away from MWA anthology rejections with a strong story for placement elsewhere, and I’d really like for some more stories to be out there by the end of the year.

Yet time continues to slip through my fingers like mercury.

It also looks like that low pressure system in the Gulf isn’t going to turn into anything, and the Atlantic basin is also quiet and going to stay quiet for another five days, which is, of course, quite lovely.

Another thing I need to do is go through my current journal and take out bits of writing I’ve done when an idea has struck me, and see if it will fit into anything in progress or if it will trigger an idea for a full length story. Opening it up to the first page right now, I find this:

Moira was one of those women of whom other people never grew fond. Things simply never worked out for her. Almost, always getting very close, but never ever winning. The perennial bridesmaid, silver medalist, salutatorian.

I can always count on her to make me feel better about myself. No matter how low or down I am about any or every thing, I just have to think about Moira and realize, gratefully, that I’m not her.

Kind of dark, really. I have no idea what this was for, or when it popped into my brain, but there it is, written down in black ink for all posterity.

Or:

She had an unfortunately masculine type body—broad-shoulder and narrow-hipped—that made her look out of shape no matter how hard she worked out and clothes that fit well  incredibly hard to find. She stopped caring about things like hair and make-up and clothes sometime during her teen years.

Also slightly mean, but not bad.

And on that note, tis off to the spice mines for my half-day, after which it’s my weekend.

Huzzah!

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Come On Feel The Noise

Day two of the New Year, and it’s still miserably cold here in New Orleans. This cold spell is supposed to last through the weekend, but next week the range will be between the high forties and mid-sixties, which is more normal for New Orleans winter. The lovely thing about this cold snap is that I am sleeping magnificently; the problem is I don’t want to get out of the bed in the morning.

First world problems, right?

This weekend is Comic Con here in New Orleans; I am speaking on two panels and I am doing a signing; the panels are on Friday and Saturday and the signing is Sunday afternoon. While it’s kind of a drag having to have something to do every day of my weekend, it is Comic Con, which is always fun. My favorite thing to do is walk around and look at the costumes, to be honest. Every year I promise myself that next year I’ll wear a costume; and when it rolls around every year I am not physically costume ready. But one of my life-goals is to wear a costume to Comic Con one year; maybe if I stick to my gym goals this year I’ll be able to do so next year.

The journal is working out great so far; I did some more brainstorming in it yesterday, and the WIP is really starting to take shape–a better shape than it was. It’s strange, but thinking things through, hashing them out on paper and writing them down makes the process work better for me. I can’t believe I’ve not been doing the journal thing for so long. I’ve really come up with some good stuff over the last few days since buying it. I am quite excited about this new development, and am getting quite excited about writing again; which, to be honest, it’s been kind of a while since I’ve felt the creative joy of writing.

I also started reading several books over the weekend which didn’t pass the fifty-page test; so off into the donation pile they went. This isn’t to say the books were bad, they just didn’t grab me, and there are just too many books to keep trying to read something that hasn’t grabbed me by page fifty; that turns the reading into the category of pulling teeth and then I don’t read as quickly and then the books continue to stack up. One I put aside to try again at a later date; I really like the concept of it, but the writing just didn’t grab me and encourage me to keep going. I’m starting another one tonight; hopefully it will work out better.

I also didn’t read a short story yesterday; I started reading one, but Paul and I also started binge watching Broadchurch this weekend, and we are totally sucked into the show. The first season was truly wonderful; lots of twists and turns that i certainly didn’t see coming, which was lovely. We’re one or two episodes into Season 2 now; the addition of Charlotte Rampling and Jeanne Marie-Baptiste to the cast can only make it stronger. The acting in Season One was pretty spectacular, and I have to say, after The Night Manager and this, I’ve become rather a fan of Olivia Colman.

I have a lot of emails to get caught up on today, and I also want to get some writing done. The illness is mostly past; all the remains is a tubercular cough; deep and throaty and phlegmy, but at least it no longer hurts to cough. Baby steps.

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines with me. Here’s a hunk for you for today, Constant Reader. In honor of Comic Con, this is cosplay specialist Michael Hamm as Nightwing.

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