31January 2010

This is often the soundtrack to my work.

John Barry's Moviola.

I picked it up on a whim at least 12 years ago, maybe 13 or 14, and it's been one of my favorites since then. Sometimes I pop open the laptop to work, and before I even have music going, I hear the opening strains of Out of Africa. The music is soothing, classy without being too classical, and so near perfection that if you just sit back and close your eyes, it wraps around you, both feather soft and tightly coiled.

I was listening to it yesterday as I worked, and even put a link to the CD on Amazon on my Facebook page.

Then today I hopped online, hit FARK, and found a headline about John Barry.

He died today.

That kinda sucks.

I'll probably play the same CD over and over, letting it swell in the background while I finish this book, but the idea that we'll never hear anything new from him?

Yeah. Sucks.


29 January 2011

Well, here's a lesson learned about trying to make a global change in a Microsoft Word document... if you try to change the name "Lee" with another name, say, Brian, then words such as "sleeping" and "leeching" become "sBrianping" and "Brianching."

Over 107 pages, that's a lot of crap to go back and look for.

I am very tempted to leave all those weird words, just to make the editor eventually earn her $5.62...


25 January 2011

I'm willing to beet anyone reading this knows their own email address. Right? You are all intelligent enough to know your own initials, own last name, whether or not you had numbers associated with the email. So I'm guessing you don't wander around the Internet signing up for varied services using the wrong freaking email address.

Like, one that belongs to someone else.

But the person who keeps using my email address for every damned thing under the sun. STOP IT ALREADY. You're a moron. Really. Because you keep using my address, I now know what activities your kids are involved in, where their scout meetings are help and at what times, I know what schools they go to, I know what car you drive and when your scheduled maintenance appointments are, I know your birth date, and now I know that you're out there looking for love.

Oh yeah. You signed up with today.

If I were a lesser person, I would log onto your account--because hey, in the confirmation email they sent me your user name AND password--and screw with things, but I'm not that person. No, I'm now having to jump through hoops to get to remove my email address from their system.

I don't really need them, you know? I've been with the same person for 30 years and I don't see that changing, so getting any email from them at all is a waste of my time. To have to get it to stop, well, that's just freaking annoying.

I wouldn't mind if it was an isolated incident, but you keep doing it.

Freaking stop it already.

You're not alone; there's another person who had a brain hiccup and used my address, but she at least tracked the error down and is apologetic when I get stuff meant for her. You? You're just bouncing all over the place, and you've done it in a way that leaves your personal information open to someone you don't know.

It's a damn good thing I'm not one to scam, or honey, I would be taking your ass for a long, painful ride.


23 January 2011

I sat down last night to read over the 80,000 words I had carved out for the current work in progress; hell, that's novel length all by itself, other than the storyline has not wrapped itself up yet. By the time I was done reading, however, I was left with roughly 63,000 words, because 17,000 of those words frankly kinda sucked.

Well, it wasn't suckitude on the scale of sucking so hard that the moon was in risk of being pulled out of orbit, but there were large chunks that did nothing to move the story forward. A lot of it I found amusing, but only in a this-is-only-funny-in-my-head kind of way.

So I did some literary surgery, set the offending matter aside (I didn't totally delete it because, hey, it might work later, or in something else) and went to bed, where I actually fell asleep quickly and had weird dreams about Max being the size of a Golden Retriever and one holy-hell-this-could-happen dream about being on the SGK 3 Day and getting lost because I didn't pay attention to the signs along the way and didn't notice that there was no one else walking with me until I was back near home, circling the park.

Now, that's a hell of a long walk and a very long time to not notice the lack of other walkers. And since it involves walking across the Bay Bridge, which is decidedly not foot-traffic friendly, I figure I must have been on crack or something at the start of the dream. Dream crack, folks. I don't do drugs before bed.

Well, other than the Benedryl.

And sometimes Vicodin.

So I woke up this morning, a little wary of Max, who was sitting on top of me, staring holes into my face as he projected feed me feed me feed me into my brain, and headed for my laptop, determined to make up for some of the 17,000 words I sliced and diced last night.

Since this morning I've added, oh, 1200 words to the manuscript; it's not that I don't know what to write, or what comes next. The problem is that I do. There's a bitter-sweetness to this story, and even though I (and anyone who has read the first 4 books in the series) know how a big chunk of this turns out, I'm having a problem going there.

I have to break a couple of hearts, and I really don't want to now that I've explored their relationship.

It has to happen, though.

It won't make sense if it doesn't.

Hell, maybe I can introduce a Golden-sized cat into the mix. At least that would distract me, if not feed a few more really funky dreams...


20 January 2011

How to annoy your entire readership of 6 people: find yourself a little too blog-blocked to be able to write anything worth their time. Granted, that doesn't stop me often, but the last ten days or so...yeah, not a lot to tell.

Well, other than I've pretty much decided for sure to walk the SGK 3 Day in San Francisco again, so training will resume on that front soon. As will the training blog and rock The Pink, when I decide what the heck to do with it.

And other than that I've been working on the next book--really working! What a concept! Even when I'm playing around online, the story is percolating in the back of my head and I find myself distracted anytime I try to write anything else. Like, right now. I'm tapping away on the keyboard for my blog, but I have Word open and I can feel the characters who are waiting there tapping their feet impatiently. I'm keeping them waiting because they're adults on a first date, and frankly, I've never been 30 years old on a first date and I'm out of my element there. Hell, even as a teenager I didn't have a lot of first dates. I had a lot of hanging out with friends that turned into dating. Even with the Spouse Thingy, our first "date" was bowling with friends who never showed up, and it turned into us bowling alone and then going for a walk through Orangevale Park on a rainy night.

The worst of the last ten days, though, came yesterday when word filtered through on Facebook about the loss of a friend. Her name was Tracy Crowe, and anyone who hung around Wil Wheaton's Soapbox a few years ago probably not only knew her, but liked her immensely. She went through a few user names--Just Trae, blackbirdshaq--but my favorite was RunsWithScissors. She was funny as hell, warm and wonderful, and far, far too young to die.

One of the last things I'd mentioned to her was that she shares a name with my editor, and once in a while I'd have to stop to think about which Tracy I was talking to. When editor Tracy saw on my FB page about the passing of my friend, she reacted from her gut and sent a message: I don't know who said that, but I'm fine!

When I explained about my other Tracy Crowe, and how wonderful she was and how young, editor Tracy replied with this:

Hon, I would trade places with her if I could. I've had such a long and incredible life, and if only there were a way that the Tracys could swap.

The thing is, I know she means it.

I wouldn't want either Tracy out of my life. Editor Tracy is old and mean and tries her best to make me cry, but she is also the kind of person who would say something like that and mean it.

You know, most of my friends are of the online variety, and I treasure them deeply. You don't have to meet someone face to face to develop genuine feelings of affection for someone. It's wonderful when you actually do get to meet, but those friendships...just as real.

My online friends have brought a lot into my life--some I've known (and have met) for 20 years, some manage to make me do things like walk 60 miles up and down the Hills from Hell--and when I lose one...

Tracy wasn't the first, but I hope she's the last for a long, long time.


9 January 2010

Happiness is turning just the right way and having your back pop in just the right spot, suddenly alleviating over 3 weeks of pain that often bordered on the edge of shoot me now, it'll feel better. Yesterday I was sitting at my office desk, turned to the right to get a disk out of the CD drive, and felt a series of small pops, and 95% of the pain was gone, just like that.

What I'm left with is one sore spot that feel like a giant bruise would...very tolerable. It's still a pain to bend over and pick things up off the floor, so I'll avoid that for a while, but still, this is so much better that it's like getting a elated Christmas present (though I would have prefered to not spend my actual Christmas the way I did...)

The only downside is that now I'm more aware of how much aching is still in my shoulder, but even that's not bad. It's not even whine-worthy (not that I won't...)

Another week or so and I may even be able to give the Skki Trikke another try. Though I admit, I saw a ski bike online today and it was really tempted to order, just to give me something to play with and not risk upending myself into the snow again.

Very tempting...


4 January 2011

I should know better than to spew forth sunshine and rainbows like a post-Taco Bell fart fest when it comes to crap like my back. No sooner than I proclaimed by back to be getting better than it seized up on me again. I wasn't quite back to square one, but close. I've been inventing new compound swear words...I'm not sure how many more I can cough up, so it's time for something to give.

So today I asked the Spouse Thing to make me a doctor's appointment, and the doc had a open slot at 1 pm, so off we went. I touched my toes for him, I leaned left, I leaned right, and he poked and prodded, and declared it to be muscle inflammation, and to do basically what I've been doing. But... he wanted me to see a physical therapist. You know, so someone else can torture me, because that seemed like so much fun...

He did give me a scrip for Flexeril in case I need it, so there's that.

The PT group was just down the road so instead of calling for an appointment the Spouse Thingy thought we should just stop and go it. So we did. I figured I'd get seen in a couple of days, but an hour later some skinny thing that I could probably break in half with a well aimed wicked garlic burp was making me bend in directions I don't think I was ever intended to bend in, and then she hooked electrodes to my back, slapped a five hundred pound heated weight on top, and left me there for 15 minutes as my lower back and buttocks were cooked to a medium rare.

Thing is, I felt better as soon as it was over. I'm not foolish enough to think I won't wake up tomorrow and have it hurt again, but for now, I'll take it.

I'm supposed to see her twice a week, but she thinks the recovery will be fairly quick, at least in terms of pain relief. She thinks, however, that the issue is a mildly bulging disk; the treatment for that versus inflammation is the same, though, and she did stress mild. I've also apparently been exacerbating it by my really horrible sitting posture, so the Spouse Thingy moved the love seat out of the family room and into the living room and brought in a chair that will force me to sit more upright.

In the bigger picture, the back issues are likely related to my shoulder injury; I spent a couple of weeks not moving much, slouching on the sofa while trying to not drool onto my laptop's keyboard. Toss my crappy posture on top of everything--the back has always been problematic--and bingo...we have taken a vacation to the City of Ouch.

It's not a nice place to visit, and no one wants to live here...

I'm leaving soon, though. Cause it really sucks.


2 January 2011

Alrighty. When last I whined, on December 26th, I was still in all kinds of pain with no sign of it letting up. My shoulder ached, but my back seriously hurt, and I could barely move. My fingers kept twitching towards the Vicodin, and I spent my time sitting here with a heat pad on my back, just hoping for a little bit of relief.

Then a couple of days later, one my my FB and cat blogger buddies, who knows about these things, suggested I might want to use ice instead. Ice, he said, helps in the acute phase of inflammation--the first couple of weeks. Since I trust him because he does know about these things, I did what he said: I started using ice 2-3 times a day.

Lo and behold, within a day the back was feeling a little better, and in just a couple of days the knife that had seemingly been jabbed into my back fell out, and all I'm left with is soreness.

So now I have a sore shoulder, sore chest, and sore back, but I'm not eyeing the Vicodin as if I desperately need it; I'm still taking Ibuprofen 3 times a day, but I'm down to half a Vicodin at night...I had been taking two.

So, it's progress.

All in all, I worry more about the back than I do the shoulder. Past experience tells me that all I have to do is move the wrong way and something will seize up again, so I'm moving carefully. I'm not doing anything I don't have to do, just in case. The shoulder will heal up eventually, and I don't think I need to worry about it twitching the wrong way and all those tendons starting up the Spasmodic Momba. It will simply be what it's going to be.

But I do need my back to get to the point where I don't worry about what moving about will do; I don't like the inactivity, and the weight is starting to pile back on (and surely that has nothing to do with dutch apple pie...or Oreo cookies...)

I have to admit, I realy want things to be back to near normal in a couple of weeks so that I can go back to Sierra at Tahoe and try again.

Surely I won't wipe out a second time.