A Tuesday Thing

The leaves danced in the trees today and the sun was shining with joyous delight, for the air was cool and the crispness of fall was evident in every breath of fresh air. As I write this, the outside temperature, according to weather.com, is a cool, soothing, seventy degrees.

Three things happened today.

First, I had a long talk with myself, after receiving a link from my mother to a literary agency comprised almost entirely of women, one of whom I really feel clickage with. She specializes in fiction that is dark and/or quirky, and I’m tired of having all the work associated with my name be work stuff, essays, and stand-alone stories. So I’m feeling inspired and as I work best with strict deadlines, plan to have drafts of my proposal and sample chapters out to friends by the end of the month so that I can have it ready to send as a query by Halloween.

Second, I found the inspiration and the hook to weave, or braid, to borrow a phrase from a friend (and thanks, Julia-dahling, for loaning me your husband over the phone tonight. I needed to have a long chat with someone who would let me babble and geek out with me, and stuff.) my vignettes and stories together. Actually BPAL’s lunacies are one of the inspirations as well.

Third, I asked for, and was granted very graciously, hiatus from ComedySportz. No, nothing tragic happened. I’ve just got a lot of personal stuff going on, and all my creative energy is going Write, Write, Write, and I need to focus on that for a while.

But the pink hair is staying :)

Writers Have to Pay the Bills, Too

I just got off the phone with my mortgage company. They’d sent a letter that made me panic momentarily, but the woman I spoke with straightened everything out and reassured me, and was extremely warm and outgoing, and we actually had a real conversation, for which I hope she doesn’t get in trouble.

I know it sounds weird to say that I had a delightful conversation with a person in a call center, but you see, we talked about books. I mentioned that I’m a writer and that I love my job, but had been frustrated because of my wire not showing up until after Labor Day – not my boss’s fault, the bank cut short their wire hours – and stuff like that.

She asked, “What do you write?”

I explained what I did and she shared that she writes romances and mysteries, and asked me for my web address, so that she could leave a note and tell me who she is, and I hope she does because she seemed like a really interesting person, and I’d love to know if I’ve read her work and maybe interview her for Bibliotica. She is also a former employee of that big financial company whose name rhymes with Pretty Tank.

I told her that I was working on getting my cafe series ready to query agents with and told her a bit about it, and she seemed really receptive to the concept, which is good, because it’s one thing to hear such things from your friends and family but quite another to hear it from a total stranger.

And so, with renewed vigor, I am writing reviews this afternoon, and later tonight, I will eat steak and salad, and work on my own writing, after taking for the dogs for walkies, which I’d planned to skip today because my knee is a bit sore, but the weather is divine, and being outside should not be missed.

Okay, time for more coffee.
Then, back to work!

For Some Values of “Better”

I said today was a better day, not perfect.

GOOD: Air Conditioner repair guy will be here in about half an hour.

BAD: Coffee maker decided that counter top and not carafe was appropriate place for brewed coffee to be deposited.

GOOD: Well, it did stain the counter a lovely shade of brown. . .

Look at that Photograph…

When I was a very little girl, and would visit my grandfather, one of my favorite things to look at was his photo cube. It was a clear acrylic cube with a photograph of me on each side, mostly from when I was a baby, or just into my toddling years. I thought that was the coolest thing ever, at the time.

Years later, learning about the existence of digital photo frame technology has me wondering if my grandfather might not have been one of the first people on the block to acquire such a thing. He was, after all, technologically savvy, a tinkerer and a putterer with a background in electronics and a love for nifty gadgets.

Of course, being my grandfather, he’d never have settled for just one digital picture frame. He’d have had a piano full of them, each one a different color, each one featuring shots of a different grandchild, uploaded from his flash drive, accompanied by a favorite tune.

He died before shopping online became popular, so chances are he’d have found a local distributor, but he’d have used DigitalFramez.com.au if he’d lived just a bit longer, and, like me, he would have liked that their frames come in many different colors, and a range of sizes, that they’ll ship worldwide, and that, in addition to the usual MasterCard and Visa, they also take PayPal. (Personally, I wish more online merchants used PayPal – it’s much more efficient.)

Right now, as well as the product itself, DigitalFramez is shipping a 256 MB SD card with every 10-inch frame.

I think that’s kind of cool.
And I think my grandfather would have appreciated it.

A Better Day

Sometimes you can tell from the first moment you open your eyes in the morning, what kind of a day it will be. Or at least, I can.

Yesterday, I knew the day would be a trying one, because I hadn’t slept enough, had tasks I didn’t want to face, was stressed over Fuzzy being in the air, which I know I can’t do anything about, but I always worry til I know he’s on the ground.

Even before I went to bed last night, however, I knew today would be better. One sign was that I received a “click-n-ship” notification from Black Phoenix letting me know my most recent perfume order was on its way to me. If you’ve never experienced the wonder that is BPAL, you may not understand how exciting this is, but trust me, it is.

This morning, I woke to a soft gray sky, an outside temperature below seventy degrees, and the news that a piece I wrote for a site that doesn’t take pieces from just anyone will go live on Sunday. My boss told me I rock, and that I make his job easier, and there were no presents from the dogs on the bathroom floor.

As I write this, my coffee is about to finish the brewing process (this morning’s blend is Starbuck’s new “Joya del Dia” blend, which is a bold, dark roast with chocolate overtones (but NOT flavoring), and even the neighbor’s leafblower is striking me as “cozy” and “neighborhoody” instead of “horrible” or “jarring.”

Today is a better day.


Talking with a friend over IM, I asked her about the homeschooling she’s doing with her children, each of whom is being taught at home for vastly different reasons. She’s ten years younger than I am, I think, and an amazing parent – I wonder when she finds time to breathe. I am amazed that she finds time to write.

She mentioned the concept of unschooling, and that phrase lingered in my mind. I am not unschooled, but a product of public schools, blessed to have encountered marvelous, caring teachers, and offered amazing opportunities.

But for the last year, I have been un-officed.

I mean, think about it. An office is a place with reception desks and cubicles, carpet in varying shades that are all related to institutional green and mortgage banker blue. and hermetically sealed windows, when there are windows at all.

I work from home. Lately, my daytime writing has been taking place at my grandmother’s antique rolltop desk with the sunflower drawer pulls, and the pretty silver and blue lamp on the top has been casting soft pink light upon my pink-sheathed macbook, and my nighttime writing has been on my sexy black Vaio, while I’m surrounded by pillows. I have a room of my own upstairs, but it’s not speaking to me write now. I think it’s mad at me, because I dubbed it a studio several months ago, then promptly reverted to calling it an office.

Or maybe it’s just that the summer sun makes the upstairs too hot, and I like being able to walk to the back yard between paragraphs, without having to climb up and down the stairs.

Being un-officed doesn’t mean I’m not working.
It just means my workday has a flow that is difficult to define.