String & Stories

We rose and shone with vigor and purpose today, rather earlier than I’d have liked.  We dropped $50 on gas and went to the Black Sheep Gathering, where I strolled around with my darlin’ as she ooed and ahed over various fleeces, fibers, yarns, and a variety of obscure ornate devices that one may use to change these things from their natural state to that of, say, a one piece body suit or felted hedgehog.  Then she and a like-minded crony sat down to practice their arts and I took me to a coffee shop.

So I could practice my art.

There was a dearth of blood sugar in there someplace, where I tried to be fussy and self-abusive, but a snack and micro-nap on the lawn fixed that, and here I am, pretending to be productive but instead nattering on to the aether.

There could have been nobbing about with my cronies today, but the time window was too small and the time table too undefined. Better to have less weekend, but less stress, too.

So. Time to crack the whip over me.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry


Saturday was being nice to my darlin’. She was especially wonderful this last week, and I was happy to do it. There was fluff and dye and all sorts of things. Sunday was being nice to us, doing couple-y things and I like us so I’m good with that, too. Today was supposed to be dealing with housework and chores and stupid things that have to be done, and somewhere in there we would take me to a coffee shop to write and to a movie.


Life happened, and I got my darlin’ sick, so instead I did housework and cooked several times and did more housework and will, in the end, have done housework and cooked. I really want to be grumpy about it, but it’s just the way life is and nothing’s to be done and that doesn’t change that I really want to be grumpy. So instead I’m tired from keeping my balance all day, which at least means that I can sleep tonight.

As soon as the kitchen is clean and the laundry is done.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry


I’ve been, since the romance writer’s workshop, working on a storyboard of my novel so that I can rewrite with some sort of a clue. At first I thought my slow movement was stalling, was self-sabotage, was a sign of alien possession — I didn’t know why it was going so slowly, nor why I was becoming more despair-ridden with each work session.

Tonight I was too tired to work on it, too bleah to care — so I did anyway. Good for me.

And I discovered something. Let’s say that there are two main storylines. A is the action line, B is the romance line. The book, originally, went:


Okay, so a little bit of shuffling would fix that, but it was too simple, too short. It needed something more than a walk-through of the plot, so I added conflict; I is the investigative storyline, P is the deep soul seeking storyline. The complete first draft of this novel went:


The I’s and P’s couldn’t be shuffled into other parts of the book because the first line led to the I and P line, and the I/P line leads to the third line — and is violently ended before the third line starts. The upshot is, I have two stories; one I start and then dump, then tell another. I complete the second one, then go back to the first long after any sense of continuity is gone.

Well. No wonder there’s been some problems with the rewrite. And it would explain what I noted a few weeks ago, that my major plot points seemed to belong to different books. They do. They are. Two novellas, one nested in the other.

Good grief. When I complete this book, I will be able to write ANYTHING.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Perception of Familiarity

I have recognized my standard pattern of behavior, adjusted for my current, happier circumstances. I have been saying, frequently, “I can’t perform [action that would make me happy] because I am [too tired / too busy / bound by duties / being eaten by ducks]”

Well. Without any self-flagellation or whinging, I think I’ll just see if I can act to change the behavior. Today. Even if just for ten minutes.

No angsting before or after, just because it’s fun to challenge myself.

Edit: Did it. Gave me cookies for a reward.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

Emptying Out — Filling Up

At work, which is fun, I am working at capacity, and daily increase that capacity. I’m designing SQL based reports, custom SQL views and stored procedures — and, I now recognize, my knowledge of SQL when I began this job was similar to the mathematics knowledge of a child who can count to ten. So, daily, I am teaching myself SQL on the fly so that I can understand what already exists and create something new. I’m already a match for people who have been on the job for several years, so clearly things are going well.The novel isn’t, so much. I know what I’m doing, and it’s fun, but I’m tapped out when I’m done with work. Even writing here is a tremendous effort. Apparently creatively exploring, learning, and problem solving uses some of the same resources that writing does, while not being as fulfilling. Having created a innovative solution to a problem gives me a feel of “well, that was fun” while writing something gives me a feeling of “see what I did!”

This is not a problem, mind you. As far as I can tell, I don’t have problems any more, as I used to define problems. Clearly, what is needed is some sort of new balance, where I am putting forth less than maximum effort at work, so that there is effort to be spent outside of work.


I am fond of speaking this pattern of thought, when enumerating directions that can be taken: “There is solution A, solution B, solution C … or something that I have not yet thought of.” There is always something I have not yet thought of.

And I just thought of one of them.

I have been approaching this as if resource and effort were finite, and their rate of replenishment a constant. Instead of finding a balance, I could find a way to expand the resource and effort available to me, or find a way to increase the rate of replenishment.

Or something I haven’t thought of.

Well. Those are two directions I’d not considered. If I can grow stronger physically, more enduring physically, then it makes sense that I could train myself up to be stronger, more enduring, and faster recovering, ah, psychically, as well.

I wonder how one goes about that process. Hmmmmmmmm.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

NaNoWriMo No Mo’

It ends tonight. The novel does not. I attained about 12,300 words, some 10,000 of which I believe take place before the beginning of the book.

At this point my frame should be wracked with the pain of my soul being torn, my face in a rictus of torment as I tear at my hair and cry to the heavens in a voice barely human, “What went wrong?” Then I fall to my knees, my back suddenly bowed forward and shaken with sobs, my face cast down and bathed in tears. And, y’know, just the whole cliche.

Honestly, I’m too tired. And don’t feel all overwrought. Hell, I don’t even feel wrought. I am, if anything, underwrought, if there is such a state and it carries the entire lack of trauma that I credit it with.

So, in a calm, casually interested voice, I ask, “What went wrong?”

Well, nothing. I wrote 12,300 words. Most very good ones, even if they aren’t part of the book.

Last year I did Nano because I needed the pressure to demonstrate to myself that I would, in the end, finish a book. I did. Good. Then I finished another. Also good.

(Okay, I actually finished two first drafts, which isn’t the same thing at all, but bear with me.)

I think that this year I was looking less after daily word counts and bludgeoning my way through at all costs (shouldn’t that have been in italics? Let’s try it: at all costs. Oh, yes, much better) and more about sustainable practice.

That is: I don’t want to work myself to death to keep my job, work myself to death to support my lifestyle, work myself to death to write my book, work myself to death to blahblahblah.

I want to have my life and have all of those things and other things as well (like sleep), which means that I may only have moderate amounts of any of them at a time.

Lord, I hope this doesn’t mean I’m growing up.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry