Would I Lie To You

Wednesday.

I’ve not been sleeping well for the last two nights; I’ve woken up after sleeping for a couple of hours and then been kind of half-asleep the rest of the night. Relaxed, resting, but not fully asleep. I’m not sure why this sudden change, especially after getting an amazing night’s sleep Saturday night, but there you have it.

I started working on Bury Me in Satin last night again, in an attempt to get past the stress and tension of election night. I am very pleased this morning to see that Louisiana passed the initiative to require unanimous verdicts in criminal trials; finally, that hideous Jim Crow law is off our books. I wasn’t able to concentrate fully on the writing, though, and eventually took to watching reruns of Jeopardy on Netflix, which is a lot more binge-addicting than you might think. Before I knew it, Paul was home and I’d burned through about five episodes–but it’s nice to know I can have that on now in the background as I do chores or read or make writing notes.

Once Paul was home, we watched the final episode of Bodyguard, a BBC political/suspense thriller starring Richard Madden (aka Robb Stark from Game of Thrones). It’s quite good, very twisty, and incredibly nerve-wracking; I do highly recommend the show. Madden, who is also very pretty, has been mentioned lately as a contender for taking over James Bond. I’ve not really seen it, to be honest; he was good (if annoying) on Game of Thrones (not his fault; the character, really) and he was good in Medici Masters of Florence, but I just didn’t see him as Bond. After watching Bodyguard, I can actually see it; he would be a very good choice (if we can’t have Idris Elba).

Our office moved this week; today I am working out of the main office, and then it’s back to the new building tomorrow and possibly Friday. I am not sure; I may have to go to the main office to help them pack up on Friday, as the rest of our department is moving over to the new building next Monday. The new building, on Elysian Fields past Claiborne on the UNO side, is quite nice and lovely. Lots of unpacking and setting up remain to be done; we are going to be operational and seeing clients apparently next week. I do miss the client contact, quite frankly; it’ll be nice to start seeing clients and getting used to the new work space.

And I am hopeful work on the novel will continue to go smoothly. The second chapter is my bane, a transitional chapter, which means it will seem odious and take me forever to slog through writing it. But I am excited to be finally writing this book, having thought about it forever–it started as a short story called “Ruins” that I wrote in the 1980’s, and while I like Ruins as a title, there’s a rather famous Scott Smith novel called The Ruins, and so I am not quite certain calling this one that is a good idea. I do like Bury Me in Satin as a title, and I am going to be trying to figure out my complicated plot a bit this weekend after I get deeper into the manuscript.

It’s probably the most complicated plot of a young adult novel that I’ve written, but I like my main character, Jake Chapman, a lot. He’s smart smart smart, and I like the idea behind the concept of the book. It remains, however, to be seen whether I can actually pull it off. We shall see.

And now, back to the spice mines.

IMG_4341

Tango in the Night

It was thirty one degrees outside when I woke up this morning. I know that seems balmy, even spring-like, compared to the temperatures I am seeing being posted on Social Media everywhere, but it’s cold for New Orleans–and those temperatures in the north and midwest I am seeing is the best explanation I have for why I do not live up there. JFC, I joke about never living north of I-10, but I cannot fathom or wrap my mind around below zero temperatures.

It’s hard to believe it’s Christmas this weekend already; December certainly slipped by rather quickly, and I am going to really have to buckle down to get this book done. I didn’t get nearly as much writing done as I wanted to this weekend–I am not caught up by any means–so I am going to really have to work my ass off in the meantime to get it done. I did, however, manage to get some good thinking and planning done this weekend about the book, and what I need to do to get it together. I’m hopeful this will help with the flow and get me really into a writing groove.

Here’s hoping, anyway.

Finally, this morning I felt better as well–I have trouble working when I don’t feel well–and so, again, am very hopeful about how much I can get done this week.

I am really enjoying Exit Pursued by a Bear, and I did manage to finish watching Medici: Masters of Florence this weekend, and also got pretty far along in The Man In The High Castle, season two. It asks some very interesting and pointed questions about survival; and given the times in which we live, questions we should be asking ourselves. I am also all caught up on Yuri On Ice, which I’ve become ridiculously attached to. I am going to see if Paul wants to watch it–he arrived home this morning as I was leaving–because I think he’ll like it a lot as well. At any rate, I am looking forward to the next episode which will drop this Wednesday.

And I suppose I should get back to the spice mines.

Here’s a hunk for you, CR.

Caroline

It is grim and dreary and windy outside this morning; gray and kind of nasty–the kind of day where you are grateful to stay inside and not ever leave (as of right now, my plan for the day is to stay inside and only go outside to take out the trash if I have to). I got all of my Christmas shopping done Friday and mailed the gifts that needed to go yesterday after I saw (drum roll please) Rogue One.

I. LOVED. It.

I woke up feeling crappy yesterday; congested and mildly feverish. In fact, had I not already bought the ticket on-line I would have probably changed my mind and stayed home. But I needed to mail my presents and stop at the grocery store, and had already paid for the ticket…so I went. (It did occur to me that if I was contagious, I could possibly Typhoid Mary the entire theater; but I wasn’t coughing or sneezing, and I didn’t have to turn over money or make physical contact with anyone. It wasn’t crowded, either–it was a ten a.m. show; so I made sure I sat by myself where no one else was sitting. So there.)

I will admit I was incredibly disappointed at the beginning when the big STAR WARS logo didn’t appear nor did they play the theme music; and I will readily admit I was a bit pouty about it. It kind of, for me, got off to a bit of a slow start which was necessary in order to provide back story, but once it got going, it was great fun. I’ll see it again, undoubtedly (Paul is seeing it with his mother this weekend, so I didn’t go see it without him; his mom suggested it last week when he talked to her, and so that was when I bought my ticket.)

Although after running my errands, I felt much worse than I did when I woke up. I tried to write but couldn’t, and finally abandoned the effort, retiring to my easy chair and my book. I finished reading it, then watched the last few episodes of Medici: Masters of Florence, another couple of episodes of The Man in the High Castle (season two started out kind of slowly but has definitely picked up steam), and another show I’ve been watching on-line: Yuri On Ice.

Yuri On Ice is a Japanese anime television series about Yuri Katsuki, a Japanese male figure skater. The show opens with him finishing last at the Grand Prix final, and questioning whether he should just retire. He is considered to be Japan’s best male skater, but he also is shy and introverted, with very little self-confidence, and also suffers from crushing self-doubt and anxiety, which is why he performs poorly. After graduating from college in Detroit, he returns home to his small home town in Japan, and while visiting the ice rink, is recorded perfectly mimicking a routine by five time world champion Viktor Nikiforov. The video goes viral, and Viktor, also questioning his own future in the sport, comes to Japan to be Yuri’s coach–Yuri has always idolized Viktor, and decides to give the sport one more year.

I’m really enjoying the show, quite frankly. I’ve never watched Anime before, so I don’t know if the weird lapses into over-the-top emotion from the characters is normal for Anime, but it’s the only thing that bothers me about the show. The character of Yuri is so incredibly well developed; and the skating sequences are absolutely amazing. As a long time figure skating fan, it’s only natural that I would enjoy the show, I suppose. I’ve long been wanting to write a noir about figure skating, and watching this show has really intensified that desire–plus, I’m writing something else, which always makes me want to write other things.

I started reading Exit, Pursued by A Bear by E. K. Johnston last night, and am enjoying it thus far.

All right, I need to make up for lost time today, so it’s off to the spice mines I go.

Walk a Thin Line

Yesterday morning it was cold for here; it was only forty degrees out when I got out of bed and lumbered downstairs. It was even colder inside that it was outside–the joy of old New Orleans homes, built to be cooler inside than out–and sat here shivering at my desk trying to get some work done. It wasn’t easy and I was so cold, so cold that I decided when out running errands to buy gloves in order to cut off their fingers so I could type with them on so it wouldn’t be an issue. It wasn’t, of course, until later that I remembered I had a space heater in the closet upstairs, which I brought downstairs and set up. It’s not as cold this morning as it was yesterday, but I do have it on and I am relatively comfortable in here. This is a good sign. I didn’t get as much writing done yesterday as I’d intended; I have to write at least two chapters and revise two short stories this weekend–so of course, I started writing an entirely different short story yesterday, and one I don’t have a market for.

Heavy heaving sigh. Isn’t that always the way?

Ah, well. It’s an idea I had actually a really long time ago, and something I saw on Facebook reminded me of it, and so I actually started writing it. I’d forgotten the idea, quite frankly, hadn’t made any notes or anything, and it is a good idea, so I thought it better not to forget about it a second time so I took some action and wrote the opening. I also don’t know how to end it, either, so I am not going to try to write any more of it; rather, I’ll just print what I had and write out some notes and create a folder for it so it’s there when I want to get back to it. Which is what I usually do. Which is why I have a million folders everywhere.

We are still watching Ray Donovan, but I also discovered a new series on Netflix last night, Medici: Masters of Florence, which I of course wanted to start watching. Paul’s not into it as much as I am, of course, but he’s also going to visit his mother this coming weekend so I will have plenty of time to watch it while he’s gone. It’s focused on Cosimo de Medici (I love me some Medicis), and the building of Il Duomo. It’s lavishly and expensively shot–they’ve spared little to no expense–and the lead actor is the guy who played Robb Stark on Game of Thrones, Richard Madden, who is quite lovely to look at.

Those eyes!

The story flashes back and forth between the time when Cosimo is a young man with aspirations of being an artist, and forced into the world of banking and power by his father, Giovanni (played by Dustin Hoffman)–who dies of poison at the opening of the first episode. The present day is 1429, so the ‘past’ is 1409. Giovanni is the one who started the bank and founded the dynasty; Cosimo took it much higher–Cosimo’s grandson laid the groundwork for two Medici popes and, in time, two Medici queens of France. (The Medici eventually reached noble status, and eventually royal. Not bad for a family of bankers.) The Medici are fascinating, of course, and watching the episodes we did see made me, of course, long for Italy. (Next year’s Bouchercon anthology is themed Passport to Murder; I have some ideas for stories set in Italy, which is kind of exciting for me. And of course, there’s an Italian novel I want to write–not in Italian, set in Italy, of course.)

I am also still reading and enjoying Nick Mamatas’ I Am Providence, which is really hitting its stride nicely. I am not sure what I intend to read when I finish it; there are some lovely horror novels in my TBR pile, but then again, every book on my TBR pile looks lovely.

Heavy heaving sigh.