Thursday, December 25, 2008

I woke up before Elaine today and was impatient for her to get up so she could open her stocking. This'll probably be the last Khristmas when that happens for a long time. She's still a little hazy on the concept of opening presents, but it's amazing to see her dance with happiness when she's given a new toy she really likes. The biggest hits so far have been the pink computer from my dad and the baby doll from my mom. Though, it completely blew her mind when we put in the dvd of Dr. Horrible and started up Commentary: The Musical. She threw her hands in the air, and her mouth dropped open. She must have stood like that for almost a minute.

For myself, I'm very excited to pick out Emmett when we all get back to Seattle. His tank is blue.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A christmas tree is a veritable buffet of new toys. Elaine has been methodically divesting my mom's tree of ornaments ever since we arrived. She's especially excited by all the ornaments that are little gold frames with pictures inside. She loves pictures of people and animals she knows.

Also, on the first day of christmas, my true love gave to me a brand new yellow toothbrush. Then, he threatened to give me eleven more brand new yellow toothbrushes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Surreal Botany is being reviewed in Science tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The best thing about the snow -- beside the fact that Elaine can happily tromp around in it indefinitely -- is how much brighter it makes everything. The sunlight bounces off of the snow, making the dark Seattle winter easily twice as bright.

Another thing that's great, but even greater because of something on top of it, is cookies. We made cookies tonight. A wonderful activity. But, when it comes to eating holiday cookies... Well, let's just say that I eventually transcended the actual cookies. Frosting applied directly to chocolate chips and sprinkles, skipping the whole tedious sugar-cookie part, is much tastier.

So, there you have it: snow and cookies. Both great. Sunlight bouncing off of snow, and gooey gobs of frosting holding together masses of chocolate chips? Even better.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We built a snowman tonight. Elaine's height, carrot-nosed, and sporting red grapes for eyes. And while we worked, we sang a cheerful song about zombies, by Jonathan Coulton. Only, just as we sang, "All we want to do is eat your brains," well...

It turned out that someone did want to eat his eyes.

The Floor People were very egalitarian about it. Elaine ate the left eye; Trudy the right. Dale munched on the poor snowman's nose, and then eventually moved on to directly gnawing on the snow of his face. Yes, Dale is a dog who will eat your face. If it's made out of snow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Every spare minute is devoted to spaceship repair. The hull is sound now. Tomorrow I may cut holes in it, so I can see the inky, black space outside.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I made preliminary repairs to the spaceship hull today. Tomorrow I buy more duct tape.
Draft three feels like it's breezing by. Working from a marked up manuscript is much easier than forging through on my own, without a page by page critique from a skilled editor. In this case, the editor is my sister, and having her spend the last week reading my novel has been amazingly fun. There should always be someone sitting on the other side of the room, reading one of my manuscripts and laughing at the right parts.

Another fun thing this week has been singing with Elaine. She was walking around the other night chanting, "ba, ba, ba." She'd seen some bicycles and was trying to say "bike," but it got "Barbara Ann" stuck in my head. So I started singing. Fortunately, "Barbara Ann" seems to be pretty easy to sing, and having Elaine sing along is adorable.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Are you a dog?"
-- "Woof."
"Are you a chicken?"
-- "Bock."
"Are you a kitten?"
-- "Mow."
"Are you an owl?"
-- "Hooo."
"Well, you're all kinds of animals!"
-- "Yi-ai-ai-ai."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Velociraptors. In hot air balloons. With flamethrowers. Hunting seagulls. Barbecue sauce at the ready.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Time for draft three! Well... Probably time for a break where I work on short stories and my other novel. Then time for draft three.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We stayed home for Thanksgiving this year. I haven't done that since leaving for college... nine years ago.

Things I learned this weekend:
Elaine woofs in her sleep.
Elaine is a sock hand.
Turkeys take a long time to roast.
Cranberries require a great deal of sugar.
Surprise bunny!
Space is really, really big.

Now, can I edit 35 pages in the one day left of November?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The light of Elaine's life is an escalator. Any escalator. When she sees them, she wants only to be on them. If she can't be on them... Well, that's not so much fun for anyone. I figure that the intensity of Elaine's love will wane over time, but in the hope of expediting that process I took her to Fred Meyer tonight and let her ride to her heart's content.

After fifteen loops (once up and once down, so thirty total rides), Elaine switched to the non-motorized stairs. A couple more trips like that should do the trick. I just wish I'd known to start the process before going to Orycon -- where there were a lot of escalators. I don't mind riding escalators with my munchkin, but at Orycon... Well, there were so many other things to do!

I did manage to make it to several panels a day anyway, and Daniel and I spent a long time hanging out listening to the filk circles. The songs were widely varied, but some of them were amazing. Bits of them keep churning up in my brain and getting stuck in my head, days after the fact. Filk flotsam. Next time, Daniel plans to bring his guitar so he can do some singing too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daniel bought me an early X-mas present: a necklace featuring a glowing Swarovski crystal, powered by an internal white LED. He gave it to me early so I can wear it at Orycon this weekend. A science-fiction convention is definitely an appropriate place for such a technological piece of jewelry.

The best thing about the necklace is that it's actually bright enough for me to read by it. The LED perfectly lights up one paperback page. It's like having a super-power... Wherever I am, no matter how dark it gets, I'll still be able to read. (As long as I have a book.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A friend pointed me towards the filk classic Grease Wars -- a fifteen minutes medley of Grease songs that tells the complete story of Star Wars IV. I've been listening to it, over and over, ever since. It's like the science-fiction musical (already a great thing) version of a turducken. Admittedly, I've never eaten a turducken, but what a great idea! Well, Grease Wars smooshes Star Wars inside of Grease just like a singing space chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. (A singing space turkey.)

In other news, Elaine has officially been declared "cuter than a cat and more fun than a dog." Oh, and she can walk up and down stairs like a normal person now (no crawling) without any help.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We got a milkshake to split tonight. Usually, we split them two ways, but Elaine recently learned to drink from a straw. It was a pretty thick milkshake, so I offered it to her. I figured she'd try sucking on it, get nothing, and give up more easily than if I denied it to her entirely. Boy was I wrong. We ended up getting a second straw. That way Daniel and I could take turns sharing with Elaine, because she was not about to stop sucking on her straw until all the chocolatey, milky, creamy goodness was gone.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My editing has been ranging widely between being barely on track to finish the current draft by the end of the month and not having a hope in the stratosphere of doing so. Basically, I have to edit about six pages a day, but I keep missing days. And then there'll be three page passages that take an entire hour of hack'n'slash to fix, which is a lot of time for me to pull together in one sitting. More than I can manage most days.

Of course, then I'll hit a ten to fifteen page patch requiring only the most minor, cosmetic changes. (Orange becomes spotted; Abyssinian becomes Egyptian Mau.) And that puts me right back on track. Today, I hit one of those, so I'm feeling good about reaching my goal. Tomorrow? No telling. Either way, though, I'm over half way through, and that feels good.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Elaine is shaping up to be a good little carnivore.

Now, I've explained to Elaine about chickens and how, being fierce carnivores, we eat those fluffy, flappy little creatures. So, she knows the connection between the birds she says "bock" at and the tasty meat we eat.

Last night, our friend Jade came over and grilled some chicken. Elaine really enjoyed it, and when she wanted more, Elaine pointed at the plate and said, "bock."

She's a fierce little chicken eater. I'm so proud.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween, apparently, is all about the dogs. Costumed dogs, wandering around U-Village. We took Elaine to the trick-or-treating there, but she had no interest in the people standing at store entrances, handing out candy. Instead of trick-or-treating, she went trick-or-woofing. She didn't gather a bag full of candy, but we wouldn't have let her eat candy bars and lollipops anyway. She did get to pet and hug a whole bunch of big dogs.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We were looking through Elaine's book of farm animals, and I was quizzing her on their sounds. "What's a cow say?" "What's a chicken say?" (She'll answer that one now.) "What's a sheep say?" But she stopped answering me, and, after a moment, started reciting a new word.

I don't think she knows quite what to do with it -- other than practice it --, but she figured out what the most important word in what I was saying was... It connects the animals to their sounds: "say."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Jack-O-Lanterns are all carved now. We carved the first batch too early, and they slowly melted into orange puddles. The second set now graces our doorstep with eerie leers. I got to carve two of them, but then Daniel added a long, curly mustache to his after I was done with it. You have to like a holiday ritual that involves transforming fruit to art, via knives and fire.

Yesterday was Elaine's first real trip to the zoo. She's been three times before, but she didn't really notice the animals. And she wasn't walking yet, so she couldn't run around and enjoy it. Yesterday, however, she was so excited to see the animals, it made her dance. She liked the farm section best. She was convinced that the goats and pig were very strange dogs and woofed at them. She bocked at the chickens, and she's never done that before. And, as soon as she saw the ponies, she shrieked in delight and started nodding her head furiously. It was as if she was trying to say, "yes, those, I want those." I guess she wants a pony.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Elaine and I had a great conversation about one of the paintings on our wall this evening. I noticed she was entranced by it, so I said, "That's a cat, what does it say?" She mewed. "But, it has wings," I said, "like a bird." She flapped her hands.

I hope she starts adding some more words to her lexicon soon. As great as conversations like that are, they do start to feel a little... limited. I think it could be fascinating to see where she takes a conversation like that once she has a few more concepts available to her.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

When Elaine sees a bird or a picture of a bird, she holds up her hands and flaps them in a "fly away" gesture I taught her. It's one of the "animal noises" she does for her animal flashcards: she'll "oof" for the dog, "mew" for the cat, "moo" for the cow, "aaa" for the sheep, and "fly away" for the birds.

Well, today, Daniel was wearing his Trogdor the Burninator shirt, and Elaine noticed the picture of Trogdor. She decided right off that Trogdor, a "wing-a-ling dragon," was obviously a bird. She told us so with her excited "fly away" hand-flapping.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am strong and powerful! I edited my five pages for the day. Wash, rinse, repeat and... well... I'd have a pretty soggy manuscript.
If I can edit thirty pages a week, I can still finish the current draft of Otters In Space by the end of November. Unfortunately, I'm finding that watching Elaine actually interferes with editing more than writing original material. Under normal circumstances, I can edit, with only limited breaks, for as long as it takes to finish a story. Whereas, the actual writing is much harder and only happens in erratic bursts when my creative energies are charged.

While watching Elaine, however, I only have time for erratic bursts. So, while I've met my four-stories-per-year quota with less trouble than usual, I'm having serious trouble finding enough time to sit down, reacquaint myself with where I'm at in Otters In Space, and then tackle the complicated task of fixing whatever problems I find without creating inconsistencies.

I don't have to worry about inconsistencies if I'm just writing 1000 words of a stand-alone story.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our house got attacked by a rampaging herd of furniture last night!

Fortunately, by this morning, the herd had moved on, and only two, straggling members were left: a hutched desk and bowfront chest. As these poor items of furniture-iness were milling around at a complete loss for how to find their herd, we decided to take pity on them and adopt them as our own. So far, the bowfront chest seems to be fitting in very well with its new brethren, and the hutched desk -- showing a flare for leadership -- has taken over as patriarch of our small, indoor herd of furniture.

Hopefully, they'll adapt well and won't miss ranging free in the out-of-doors too greatly.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Elaine has now been to funerals for two of her great-grandparents. She met each of them, my Grandpa Wes and Daniel's Nana, once. I never met any of my great-grandparents. I wonder if it will make them more real to her -- having a picture of her with each of them, and hearing stories of what taking her to their funerals was like. How she stacked rocks on a bench outside... It may.

I've had very little time to work on my writing lately. That should, hopefully, change soon. I'm still planning to finish editing "Otters In Space" by the end of November. Ideally, before Orycon. A goal that's starting to look daunting. But... doable...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I faced a moment of panic earlier this evening: my rickroll bookmark was broken. The video had been removed. As it turns out, there are still several other copies of "Never Gonna Give You Up" floating around youtube, but one moment of heart-stopping panic was enough for me.

Just two nights ago, Elaine was up with teething pain and -- at her request -- had me repeatedly rickrolling her, until (a good half dozen rickrolls later) she was able to fall asleep again. That was the only thing that could stop her crying. I can't afford to face the possibility that "Never Gonna Give You Up" could completely disappear from the internet. Not without a backup copy.

Fortunately, it turns out that there's a dvd of Rick Astley music videos. And, while Amazon in the US doesn't directly carry it, there was one "used & new" copy. With that, we'll be able to rickroll the baby even with the internet down and the power out. (As long as Daniel's laptop still has batteries.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Elaine now nods her head to mean "yes." Due to her lack of interest in talking and signing (she prefers object communication -- a specific chair means she's hungry, and the door to her room means she needs to be changed, etc.), this new development has afforded us our first chance to have any sort of abstract conversation with her. I mean... It's still limited, but, even so, it's nice to be able to ask, "Do you like this book?" and receive an enthusiastic "yes."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We kicked off the holiday season this Friday with one of the most under-rated holidays of the year: International Talk Like A Pirate Day. We've only been celebrating TLAPD for about three years now. Usually, I go against everything the founders of the holiday stand for and, instead of actually talking like a pirate, I only dress up like a pirate. Which is easier. And very fun.

This year, however, I was a little brave and did some talking like a pirate. Mostly, though, we all put on our finest pirate regalia and hit the waterfront. We picked up clams'n'chips at the walk-up IvARRRs and ate them while looking out over the water. Then, we topped off the evening with bananas foster. Next year, perhaps we'll plan far enough ahead to make the bananas foster with actual rum. This year, we made up for the lack by adding crushed pineapple. It turned out pretty well and felt fairly pirate-y.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Elaine's sleep schedule has been drifting lately, and it's been difficult to get her to fall asleep at anything like a reasonable time. So, tonight, I tried something different. I showed her various youtube videos of the presidential candidates. It was interesting enough to keep her from getting restless, boring enough to keep her from getting excited, and just barely interesting enough to keep my brain from dripping out of my ears. (An earlier compromise -- watching huge NASA photos download a few lines at a time -- met the first two of those criteria, unfortunately not the third.)

I've tried to stay away from this election, since it doesn't take much information to make my decision and I learned last time around that my decision doesn't count for much. However, it was interesting to actually see how each of these candidates holds himself. I was quite impressed with how Obama managed to keep his cool and remain coherent and articulate in the videos I watched. McCain, however, is deeply worrisome. He strikes me as vaguely evil and senile.

Well, hopefully, things will go better this November...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We took Elaine to a dog park today for the first time since she could walk. And it was her first time to Marymoor ever. She clearly feels that an off-leash dog park is her ideal environment, and she knows that she should be cavorting, freely, like all the other dogs. Of course, most of the other dogs can walk twenty paces without falling down.

Her favorite dog there was a large, white American pit bull terrier. Elaine made some very convincing arguments in favor of trading Trudy for this shiny, white replacement. Mostly they consisted of reaching in the dog's direction, crying out for it, and pointing furiously. Fortunately, Elaine didn't seem too disappointed when we left with the same dogs we arrived with.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mecca closed today. And I failed to make it to a record store at midnight to buy the new Brian Wilson album. High-school-me would be heartbroken. Current-me is okay, but kind of tired.

In my more immediate world, it was a pretty good day. We had s'more-cakes for breakfast. They weren't the smashing success I expected, but they were every bit as good as chocolate chip pancakes. In fact, once the marshmallows melted down to shiny smears of sugar, that's essentially what they were. If there's a "next time" for s'more-cakes, then we'll try freezing the mini-marshmallows ahead of time. Hopefully, that'll keep them from melting. Keep them fluffy.

The other big activity for the day was finding spaceship parts. We went to a giant Goodwill outlet store. Their bins of used things were sold by the pound, so I leaned heavily towards aluminum in picking shiny, strangely shaped objects to adorn my spaceship. Now I just need to find a spaceship hull to attach them all to... Then I can work on assembling it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

When I'm asked to recommend science-fiction or list favorite books, C. J. Cherryh's Chanur series generally comes up pretty quickly. They were my transition books from talking animals to science-fiction. (I still love talking animals, but there's a lot more science-fiction out there.) And, I always describe them as having interesting, complicated, inter-alien politics. I remember the alien interaction being intricate and subtle. However, I was fourteen when I read them, and I don't re-read most books. So, I haven't read them since.

I was talking to one of the people I recommended Chanur's Legacy to recently. He didn't find it nearly as complex as I remember them being. In fact, our discussion leads me to wonder if my utter fascination with the Chanur series (besides having to do with my love of talking animals) might partly be an artifact of my age when I read them. At fourteen, I wasn't very good at understanding people. (A large part of why I preferred talking animals.) So, a lot of the books I enjoyed back then had somewhat cardboard characters, and I failed to read a number of books with truly developed and subtle characters. (Two examples: The Left Hand of Darkness and Pride and Prejudice.)

So, I find it completely believable that the Chanur books are less complex than I thought. In fact, it sounds like I may have liked them for exactly the reason that I didn't like Ursula K. LeGuin and Jane Austen. I wasn't good at understanding people, and C. J. Cherryh lays out a very simple, detailed road-map of what's going on in her characters' minds. She explains exactly why each character behaves as she does and how all the different characters' choices add up. Authors like LeGuin and Austen assume a basic understanding of human nature; C. J. Cherryh teaches it.

Of course, this is all conjecture based on someone else's opinions about Chanur's Legacy. I won't know how well my theories hold up unless I revisit some of Cherryh's books myself. And, as I said, I'm not good at re-reading.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The strangest thing happened. We've been getting lightning storms this week, so, at first, I didn't think anything of the flashes. Of course, it was odd that they were coming from the nursery. Anyway, Elaine wanted to go play in her room -- she's working on training the butterflies to perform this aerial ballet she's composing -- and I thought I might watch. You know, see how the performance is coming along. But, as we headed into the hall, the flashing intensified. When I opened the door to her room, we could see the grape vine... It was sizzling -- like the sound of water hitting a hot frying pan. And the new grapes were lit up like X-mas lights. The whole room flashed several times, blinding us, and before we could see again the whole vine was gone!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The vines in Elaine's arbor have been growing at a fantastic rate. They've wound themselves entirely around the crib railing -- as I hoped they would -- but, then they took off, creeping along the ceiling and floor. In fact, they're threatening to take over and decorate the entire house. I can think of worse things than a house completely clothed in grape vines, but it's still kind of surreal.

Anyway, I figure I must have picked out some kind of unusual variety of grape, since grapes don't usually act like this. I've been trying to do some research into what kind of plants usually behave in this surreal fashion, and I happened upon this great book: A Field Guide to Surreal Botany. It hasn't helped me figure out what's going on with this grape vine at all, but there are some other fascinating plants in there that I might want to check out and add to my green menagerie.

The Thuringian Shade-tree and Time Cactus are two of my favorites, but I think they'd both be a little dangerous with a young 'un around. The Kitty Willow and Avian Trumpetflower, however, would make beautiful and highly entertaining additions to anyone's garden.

And those are just a few of the amazing plants I learned about from this great book!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today I am toothstrong!
Elaine's room is certainly very peaceful with little white butterflies flying about, perching on the grape vines. Let's hope the vine starts producing grapes soon, so the arbor can serve its purpose.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Elaine can walk with only one adult hand to help her balance now. As a reward, we thawed out the packages of lady bugs and butterflies -- yellow lady bugs and cabbage white butterflies. The grape vine is growing pretty quickly, despite the heat, so I figure it'll support the little critters okay. I'm not handling the heat quite as well as the grapes...

It's amazing the difference three degrees can make. I'll be fine while the house is 80, but, once it hits 83, I feel like my brains are made of ice cream and they're melting. Fortunately, we keep a lot of ice cream in the freezer, so I was able to replenish my cranial supplies. Today my brains are french silk and raspberry cheesecake. Tomorrow they may be cookie dough and banana.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Trudy's a deadbeat. She had the whole weekend to get the grape shoots planted, and she never lifted a paw in their direction. The leaves were starting to look wilty this morning, so I just went ahead and planted them myself. I coiled the vines around the crib as far as they would go, but they're not very long yet. So, it doesn't look like much. But it will.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Elaine and I picked up the supplies for her grape arbor today. We got shoots of the standard seedless green variety of grape; Elaine liked some of the wine grapes, but I wasn't sure they were appropriate for a nursery arbor. Besides, they were a lot more expensive. I also sprang for a few optional packages of lady bugs and butterflies. Elaine wants to break into them right away, but the packages say the little critters fare best if kept frozen until their new environment is ready. Trudy's going to help plant the shoots and tie the vines; she says she feels bad about not having her shave ice stand in gear yet and wants to make up for it. We'll see.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The child likes eating grapes at 2am. While I can sympathize with this proclivity, her preference is proving inconvenient from a parental perspective. So, I'm thinking of growing a grapevine along the railing of her crib. I think it would prove a perfect grape arbor.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The last few days have been really exciting for me with regard to my writing. On Thursday, two of my pending publications suddenly became available: an audio version of "Forget Me Not" in Clonepod and A Field Guide to Surreal Botany, the anthology containing my piece about "The Kitty Willow." The authors for the field guide have been following its progress in a bunch of emails from the editors over the last few months, so I've been able to see how gorgeous it is for a while now. It's exciting that other people can finally see it too.

While "The Kitty Willow" isn't a normal story -- (the field guide entries all had to fit a specific structure, but I tried to make as much story-like as possible) -- it is an idea I've been playing with since I was ten. So, it's really nice to see it illustrated by a professional artist and be able to look at what I've been imagining for all those years.

The other exciting progress with my writing is that I finally broke my main character out of the bar she's been stuck in for months in "Otters In Space." The editing process should speed up now since the missing sister I've been editing in doesn't actually appear on stage again until the end of the book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A friend of mine pointed me toward some links last night: a musical ad for the coming season of Eureka and a new site hosting Dr. Horrible.

I have to hope there's a trend here, because Musical Sci-fi is my favorite genre.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Official first word: nap.

Elaine's been accompanying her attempts to communicate with sounds for a while now, but this is the first time she's pronounced an entire word (not just a first syllable like "dah" while pointing at a dog or duck) in order to communicate an idea. As long as she wants something concrete -- the fruit, bread, or water on the table in front of her, she can verbalize something vague and point. But, I was nowhere near figuring out she wanted to take a nap until she actually exclaimed "nap!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

The fourth Indiana Jones exceeded all of my expectations: it was both better and stupider than I expected. The first few scenes were pretty grim -- overdone Russian villains, dubious Roswell references (I'm always skeptical of Roswell references -- it can be done well, like in DS9, but it's never a good sign), a cheesily smug self-awareness of being an Indiana Jones movie, and an egregious misunderstanding of the nature of magnetism. I was worried. But, pretty much as soon as he opened the refrigerator, everything was uphill. Ridiculous, over the top, and stupid... But, oh so fun. The last few action pictures I've seen had me wondering if I'd outgrown action movies all-together, but now I can see that's not the case. I just don't like action movies that take themselves seriously. Action sequences should be fun. Not serious. And there was very little that was serious about Indiana Jones 4. It was a true movie for the fans -- not the people who complain that Temple of Doom was an abomination, the people who love Indiana Jones movies. All three of them. And, now (only fourteen years after I first heard the rumors at my first Star Trek convention) all four of them. Thank goodness this time the rumors were finally right.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Elaine has a third tooth.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I've read about half of the issue of The Nautilus Engine with my story, "The Necromouser," in it. I think they put it up last night. At least, that's when I found it. Anyway, it's pretty exciting to see how the editors have pulled all these very different but thematically connected stories together. They're all about death and resurrection -- but, each story has its own spin on resurrection. I can't wait to read the rest. Hopefully, Elaine will let me read some more tomorrow.

Speaking of Elaine, she's invented her first pretend game. She takes dog-like stuffed animals (her favorite is a fox) and puts them in Trudy's kennel. She knows that's where dogs go, and she finds it endlessly entertaining to put them there.

Well... Not "endlessly," obviously. If she really found it "endlessly" entertaining, I'd have a little more time to read The Nautilus Engine. Ah well. It's cute anyway, even if it's not quite that time-consumingly useful.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It feels very circular for Dr. Who to be my favorite show of late. It's not a show I've watched regularly since before I can remember; however, I'm told it was my favorite show when I was Elaine's age. So, David Tennant will be Elaine's Peter Davison.

I've tried watching some episodes of Dr. Who from way back then. Mostly, my dvr has been picking up Tom Baker episodes, but it recently graduated to Peter Davison. I like Peter Davison better, but I don't think that has to do with a residual fondness from my very early childhood. He simply has a more similar style to David Tennant. Either way -- Tom Baker or Peter Davison -- the 70s/80s Dr. Who's are much slower paced than modern television. Combining that with the general low-budget cheesiness makes them a little hard to watch. I generally leave them playing in the background while I read. That way I can absorb some of the history of the show without my brain ending up too numbed.

One thing that's surprised me in watching the new Dr. Who's is that the episodes I like the very best are the horror ones. Dr. Who does the whole spectrum of flavors -- fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. And, as I would expect, I like the sci-fi, by and large, better than the fantasy. The basic rule is: the farther into the future it's set, the better. However, if it's all strange and suspenseful -- well, those are the ones I just love.

I hadn't realized before what a taste for the horror genre I have. I started to get a hint of it when I read some Lovecraft last year. He wasn't at all what I expected, and I found his stories strangely addictive in addition to merely strange. I think, before that, I equated "horror" with "slasher," which doesn't interest me. Suspense movies, however... I've always been drawn to those. So, the idea of horror as strange and suspenseful is much more intriguing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Elaine is learning humor from Daniel looks at lolcat pictures with her -- he laughs at the captions; she loves all the pictures of animals. It's kind of frightening that this is where her sense of humor is being trained.

Apparently, she likes the pictures of kittens best.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Brian Wilson album! September 2nd! (It's only been, oh, four years. 'Cause, while I love SMiLE and the X-mas album -- I can't help it -- they really don't count.)
The black birds at Mathews Beach search unwatched strollers for accessible eatables. The squirrels chase each other in circles around the trunks of trees. Loud clattering.

No camellia bushes or rhododendrons in attendance though. I think the squirrels scare them away.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Every weekend should be like this last weekend. On Friday, we went to a graduation party for one of my cousins in Olympia featuring tacos, banana splits, and a bunch of family I don't see all that often. Saturday, we went to a birthday party for one of Elaine's little cohorts. They're all turning a year old around now, and it's fun to watch them play together. Then, yesterday was Daniel's first Father's Day with Elaine. I made him banana bread and served him tea in his new Father's Day mug for breakfast. For lunch, we picnicked in the backyard (which thrilled Trudy) while scheming about what we'll do for Daniel's graduation party next year. Then, we had dinner at the Outback Steakhouse. Elaine allowed us to get through the meal, but only because I broke out the fruit loops. Those things are magical. I try not to overuse them, because I don't want their magic to wear out.

Like I said, a good weekend. Not many weekends sport a party or holiday every day. Though, Daniel was going through and tallying up all the holidays we do celebrate, and -- between birthdays, anniversaries, and conventional, cultural holidays -- we have one or more, pretty much every month. So, now I get to look forward to the July holidays: fireworks, followed by Elaine's birthday.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm really taken with one of the variations of "lol" that I recently ran into: "rofloctopus." It's the next step after "roflcopter," which is cute but doesn't really make sense. A helicopter can't roll on the floor very well, let alone laugh. An octopus, however...

Well, think about it. Really try to picture it. The tentacles. The rolling. The writhing. The laughter. It's a wonderful image.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I've been really feeling the fact that I'm working two jobs lately. Writing never felt like it took much time when I had all day every day to do it. I always felt like I was cheating a little when I claimed to be "writing full-time." In actuality, I was writing for fifteen to thirty minutes a day. The rest of the time, I was -- maybe -- world-building or outlining. Maybe. 'Cause, you can't really do that for eight hours a day either.

Watching Elaine, however, really does take all day. All day, every day. So, even if writing "full-time" is more like half-time, that's now being added to a job and a half's worth of watching Elaine. Fortunately -- as I expected --, watching Elaine does dovetail beautifully with the outlining and world-building parts of writing. The actual writing and editing... I have to fight for that. Often it's a choice between an extra hour of sleep or time to work on a couple projects before going to bed. I've been sort of alternating between the two. Last night, I chose writing. Given how excited I am about the new short story I started this week and the fact that I'm about to start the second part (of six) of "Nawry the Noodlebeast," I suspect I'll chose writing again tonight.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The camellia bush has gone into hiding, but there are a bunch of angry rhododendrons about.

I've had to adapt Elaine's and my board book reading game. Now, instead of sitting on the floor next to the box of board books, I sit on the far side of the room. After finishing a book, I toss it six feet to the box. This means Elaine has to crawl back and forth a bunch, tiring herself out, if she wants me to read "Little Boy Blue" eighteen times in a row. (Though, her latest favorite is "Cotton Candy" -- a My Little Pony book.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I've been having good luck with short story writing lately. In just the last month, I've written two entirely new pieces. Each piece took less than a day to write -- that's how short they are--, despite springing out of thin air with essentially no pre-planning or outlining. The second one was just long enough and complicated enough that it took a couple extra days of careful editing and polishing to get the end right. The first one, however, was so short I was able to txt it to my sister the next morning from memory. Something that short doesn't have room for anything unnecessary.

Lately, short stories just seem to suit the shape of my free time better. I'd like to be making progress on editing my novel, but it takes a while to reacquaint myself with where I am and sink back into it. By the time I do that, Elaine's unhappy and I'm out of time.

Speaking of Elaine, my latest way of keeping her happy is to sit on the floor with my hands out -- if she puts a book in them, I read it to her. (If she puts something other a book in them, I pretend to eat it.) She'll keep me reading her board books to her in this way for ages at a time. As an example, she made me read "Little Boy Blue" eighteen times yesterday morning. And that was alternated with "Jack and Jill," "Farm Friends," and "Farm Shapes." It's charming that she loves books so much, but I am looking forward to the day when I can read something with a little more depth to her. Ideally, something that I can't read from beginning to end, eighteen times, in less than ten minutes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Elaine's passion for raisins was short lived, and, now, she can't abide them. Like me, she will manage to avoid each and every raisin, even if they're hidden in another food. It'll be interesting to see if her dislike of them is as short lived as her love of them, or if she's going to share my life-long loathing of the hideous things.

In other culinary news, our favorite local Thai restaurant is obstinately on vacation. So far, we've had to replace them with Thai food from the mall -- which might have been better if we'd ordered better -- and Indian take-out which is delicious, but not Thai. I miss Chang Thai, and I hope their vacation is over soon.

On the writing front, I may have actually figured out the plot for "Hot Chocolate For The Unicorn." I wrote the first few pages of this story six or seven years ago, and I've poked at it numerous times since then but I've never managed to figure out a story that will work inside the frame. It's such an odd combination of mainstream and High Fantasy. The goal is to make the actual story magical realism, but it's very tricky to balance it there given the diverging restraints placed on it by the frame.

Monday, May 19, 2008

We've decided it's time for Trudy to start earning her keep. To this end, we think that she should start a Hawaiian shave ice stand. Who better to buy a frosty, pineappley shave ice from than a floppy-eared black lab? Preferably wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Trudy would look good in a Hawaiian shirt.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The child can climb up stairs now.

And Daniel has spoiled her for cheerios. She cries when given cheerios, because she only wants raisins.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Swing dancing makes a lot more sense to me with a baby strapped to Daniel's chest. She laughs, squeals, giggles, claps, and grins, having the greatest time. And everyone else has a great time watching her. Everywhere I looked, I could see Elaine's grins being mirrored back at her. One woman asked us if Elaine was going to win American Idol when she's older; a man came up and told us how much his wife enjoyed watching us; and another of the dancing couples assured us that we're great parents. It's amazing how Elaine can radiate her happiness out like that. I'm not a big fan of dancing usually. I'm kind of clumsy. But swing dancing as a threesome with both Daniel and Elaine is a lot of fun.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Today was Patrick's birthday. We walked around Green Lake in memory of him, and we ate his last two peeps. We didn't bring Trudy, because that's as he would have wished it. Patrick wouldn't want to be remembered by Trudy being given a walk. He would want to be remembered by Trudy not being given a walk. (Besides, she's not really up to a walk that long and challenging yet.)

We've reached the time of year again, apparently, when Elaine eats all my food. Last year, she absorbed anything I ate directly, leaving me always hungry. Now she chirps and cries for bites of my food like a little bird, and she can eat a shocking amount of whatever I happen to be eating. Yesterday, to protect my hamburger from her, I had to fix a half bun with cheese and slices of tomato just for her. She had to be fed it in pieces, but she most definitely preferred having her own faux-burger to being fed something mushy from a spoon.

Tonight, I'm going to plant my flower-pot garden again. I haven't had one in about two years, and I've missed it. We bought a geranium, three marigolds, an impatiens, something fancy looking, and something fierce looking. They don't really go together. The colors look all haphazard. But, I'm not really decorating with them. Flower-pot flowers are more like little pets to me than decorations, and it'll be nice to have my flower-pots filled with funny, leafy, colorful creatures again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

We're back from a long weekend in Oregon. There're always about a million things to do when we get back from a trip; even more so with VKNW coming up. While we were down, I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day AE. There were chocolate pancakes with chocolate syrup, pecan whipping cream, and strawberries. It's a recipe from my cookie cookbook that I've wanted to try for years, but they always seemed like too much effort. Daniel made them, and he says they weren't too bad. So, chocolate pancakes may become a Mother's Day tradition.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It feels like summer today.

Elaine and I spread a blanket out on the grass in the front yard, and she got to pull up fistfuls of grass for, pretty much, the first time in her life. After about ten minutes of concentrated grass-uprooting, she stopped to declare, "Guh, guuuh, guuh!" That's her word for things she likes.

Before that, Trudy let us take her on a walk. I've been working on her training ever since Patrick died. I had Patrick trained to walk perfectly on leash, but Trudy didn't spend two years walking around Green Lake almost every day as a puppy. So, when we started her training in the fall, I was lucky if she didn't pull me over. Today, we made a five or six block circuit, and, since she and I are equally strong, that success was entirely dependent on her good behavior. That fact was particularly driven home when we passed a man with a pair of Shiba Inus. We had to stand and wait for them, because Trudy wouldn't let me walk away from them, and I wouldn't let her walk toward them. So, until they went by, we were at a complete stand off.

Living in this house, summer has developed a taste: rosemary. There are several bushes of rosemary in the front yard, and, in the summer, we pick it to put on pasta. I will very much miss those bushes when we move.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We walked by a rusted metal sculpture of a dinosaur on our walk today. It was an interesting enough sculpture that we stopped to stare at it for a while. Very dangerous. Very fierce. And, inexplicably, holding a broken bird cage. Just before moving on, Daniel pointed out the dinosaur's mouth -- containing a collection of little, yellow, rubber duckies. Just like Elaine's. She started crying. Fortunately, we were on our way home anyway.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I've been reading Amy Tan's collection of essays about her life. It's an excellent book, and her life is at least as interesting as her fiction. The one I'm currently up to is about being in the Rock Bottom Remainders, and it makes me very happy that Daniel and I stumbled upon a performance of theirs back in college.

We'd driven into LA for a book fair. The fair was something of a disappointment. It was all hot sun and vendor stalls selling books. (Looking at books became a lot less fun when I started trying to save money by getting all my reading material from the library. It's like going to a candy store after getting your wisdom teeth out.) Anyway, while wandering around, we heard music and following it led to an outdoor stage surrounded by a huge crowd.

Stephen King wasn't there that day, and the only other writers I'm really familiar with in the band are Dave Barry and Amy Tan. But I was still really excited to see them. I love the idea of an amateur rock-group made up of successful, profession, big-time writers. Probably partly because joining a group like that someday is part of my fantasy that involves seeing my books for sale in grocery store check-out lines. Completely far-fetched. At any rate, their music was really good -- classic oldies, guitars, drums. Really good. And we got to see Amy Tan's big number -- "These Boots Are Made For Walking" -- including a special guest appearance from Dr. Demento.

Reading Amy Tan's essay about how she came to join the group and take on that song is much spiffier for actually having the memory of seeing her perform it. Furthermore, I'm really enjoying the way that her essay has brought back a memory of mine that had almost faded out of memory and made it electric again. Memory's a funny thing -- the way that different tellings of a story can reinforce or cancel each other like waves. It's like an inverse disolphony.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Doctor Who has a new spin-off! Oh, the happiness!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This weekend, we watched four musicals, all made last year. Enchanted, Sweeney Todd, Once, and Across The Universe. The best movie, by far, was Once. Although, I enjoyed all of them. Sweeney Todd's main failing was that the orchestra was about twice as loud as the actors making it very hard to understand the lyrics and dialogue without blasting out my ears. Enchanted should have had more than three songs (and more character development). Across The Universe should have traded one or two trippy songs for a few more straight-forward songs. Most of these choices -- the over-loud orchestra, etc. -- seem to me like ways for embarrassed movies to try to hide the fact that their characters are bursting into song for no reason other than to express themselves with music. I wish people weren't so bothered by that concept. It's one of my favorite conceits, perhaps more so than interstellar federations and FTL drives.

Even so, it is heartening that so many musicals were made last year and watching them got me to thinking about what a musical of Otters In Space would be like. Don't get too excited -- such a project is many, many, perhaps dozens of years off. But I would love to make one. With the improvements in CGI and flash animation and home recording studios and midi files and all that stuff... It seems like some day I could put a musical Otters In Space together. It might look like a cross between Strong Bad and a Warcraft fan-made music video, but that would still be incredibly neat.

Whether this overly ambitious idea ever comes to fruition or not, I think it's still been a useful exercise to think about. For one thing, I realized while trying to picture the heroine and her sister singing the opening duet that I've been writing them backwards. In adding a sister into the second draft, I've been altering the heroine's personality and giving a lot of her old personality traits to her sister. So, now, the name and physical description for the heroine are really better matched to the sister. Of course, it's incredibly jarring trying to imagine this new character in my novel's starring role. I've lived with the old heroine for two years... and now a different cat is taking her place? That's downright spooky.

Between the general spookiness and the pain of the damage control I'll have to do after the massive search-and-replace to switch their names, I'm finding it hard to convince myself to actually make the change. But, with a little time, I'll probably come around, since I'm pretty sure it'll be better that way.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My plan to catch up on Battlestar Galactica didn't work out so well. As of Friday night when the new episode aired, I had all of the episodes I'd missed recorded. I went through the DVR with a check list, and they were all there. However, by yesterday afternoon when I settled down to start watching them, six of the twelve were gone, along with the new episode of Doctor Who.

Comcast refunded us $13 and apologized profusely for this known problem. Of course, that doesn't give me back all the episodes I lost, nor does it stop it from happening again at random times in the future. In fact, the only way to deal with the problem is to keep a "canary" show or two on the DVR and watch it like a hawk. If the canary show vanishes, then the DVR is broken again, and we need to call Comcast.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Under the influence of a great deal of caffeine (Daniel thought it would be a good idea to get two massive coffee drinks -- one hot, one cold -- and pass them back and forth, alternating sips), I happened upon a wonderfully trippy concept. I call it Doctor Battlestargatekawood. See, those are the sci-fi shows I'm somewhat actively watching these days, and the idea (oh the trippiness!) would be to take them all and (I'm not sure how one could actually accomplish this...) put them on *shuffle*. Oh yes. And I'm not talking about entire episodes -- I'm talking about watching one scene from Stargate followed by one scene from Battlestar Galactica followed by one scene from Eureka... and so on... and so on...

Of course, ideally, you'd have more than just Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactic, Stargate, Eureka, and Torchwood in the mix -- for starters, you'd need all the Star Treks, Babylon 5 (which I still need to see), and Farscape. I'd be really curious to see how long such a video concoction could actually hold my interest.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

There is a penguin that makes my tea.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Battlestar Galactica is starting its last season this Friday. And, better yet, the sci-fi channel is playing reruns all week. So, once they're all collected on my dvr, I should be able to sift through and find almost all of the ones I've missed -- basically the second half of season three. This means I'll be almost (if not entirely) caught up before it starts back.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The illustrations and page-layouts for The Field Guide to Surreal Botany became available today for the authors to proof, and the illustration for my piece is absolutely gorgeous. This is the second time I've been illustrated -- the first was for "Forget Me Not" in Greek. It's the greatest feeling. I take an image in my head that I can't see strongly enough to actually draw it but can see well enough to thoroughly describe it. Then, by describing it, I get the image into another person's head, and that person is able to put it down as a picture on paper. And I can finally see for real what I've been imagining for years. It's amazing. And what a sign of respect! I mean, getting paid for your writing is the standard sign of respect, but, in many ways, being illustrated feels like a more powerful one. I wrote something and an editor liked it enough to go out and hire an additional artist to create a secondary work based on mine. (Or, in this case, the editor actually illustrated my work herself.) That is just incredibly neat.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

She can crawl! Of course, she still seems to believe that swimming would be easier and often chooses lying on her stomach, paddling the air with her arms and legs while crying for help, over actually crawling. Because crawling would be too much work. Nonetheless, she now can crawl, if given proper incentive. Such as, for instance, a nearby Heidi-cat.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Despite almost constant effort, Elaine is still not crawling. But she has a tooth. I haven't seen it yet, but you can hear it click against the glass of cup, and if you feel her gums, you can tell it's very sharp.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh no! What will we do?! We simply don't have the technology, and even if we did it would take weeks!

But... wait... a centrifuge! That fixes everything.

Ah, Stargate.

Friday, March 14, 2008

We've decided that the safest way to deal with the camellia bush -- which is growing ever more vicious and pernicious -- is to trap it. If we actually kill it, another camellia bush will just take its place. However, if we can ensnare it, trap it in place, and keep it alive by luring birds close enough for it to catch and eat, then it will protect us by scaring all the other camellia bushes away.

Keep your friends close, but camellia bushes closer. Or is that "fight camellia bushes with camellia bushes?"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Elaine's flopping all over the living room floor today. She moves like an octopus out of water -- squished down on the floor, using all of her immense but poorly directed strength. For a while now, it's felt like she could start crawling any day. Now it feels like she could start any minute.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A camellia bush followed us on our walk today. It was monstrously large and flowered in pink. And clearly hungry. It tried to trick us a few times -- once it disguised itself as a man and asked us if we like pancakes, then, right as we turned the last corner, it turned the gravity off. But we were too quick for it and have lived to walk another day.

Though... If you have to be eaten by something, I suppose a camellia bush wouldn't be that bad.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Do tigers ever get tired of being stripey? I have a number of very stripey shirts, and I don't want to wear them every day. You have to be in the right mood to be that stripey. But tigers are stripey every day. You'd think it would make them grumpy some days.
Between the new Terminator TV show interfering with my future-history and my inadvertently "pulling a Casablanca" by discovering a much better ending at the last minute, the story I just finished turned out surprisingly well. If only I could actually plan stories this way...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A cat is like chocolate.
A cat in a box is like a chocolate cake.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Elaine and I were checking out the used CDs at the local thrift store when I spotted a Rick Astley album. I know he's only made five albums, and we already own three of them. But I couldn't remember if this was one of the three or not, so I showed it to Elaine and asked her. I didn't expect an intelligible answer. Of course, I didn't expect what I got either.

There was a picture of Rick Astley on the cover. Not a shot from the famous video -- just a black and white, 3/4s profile from '93. Nonetheless, as soon as Elaine saw the cover, she screamed in delight, reached for it, and started babbling nonsense syllables as fast as she could.

I guess she recognized him.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between robots and guys in space suits.
There are very few deadlines in my life. I think the only story I've actually written to a deadline since I started writing full time was for Windstorm Creative's slug anthology. I figured since my first sale was to a Windstorm Creative anthology, it was worth going out of my way to write a story that included a slug to submit to them again. Also, as themed topics go, "something with a slug" has a fair amount of freedom.

At any rate, due to the almost complete lack of meaningful deadlines for freelance sci-fi writers who haven't gotten book deals yet, I decided to create my own deadline. Four stories a year. That way, I can always submit something to Writers of the Future, as long as I'm still eligible.

Unfortunately, last year, I followed the letter of that law and not the spirit. I went easy on myself and counted two pieces that don't count for WotF -- a children's piece and the first draft of my novel. So, after being ahead in stories for years, I'm finally out of pieces that WotF hasn't seen.

Between editing my first novel and working on my second novel, it'd be really easy to stop writing shorts now... But, I've actually developed a taste for them over the last five years. So, I think I will write a story specifically for the June WotF deadline. It'll be interesting to see how long I keep it up for after that. My dedication to submitting to WotF has never really been tested before.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Elaine found a use for our "ornamental" wood stove. It's the most stable, grip-able object of the right height for pulling herself up on. With its help, she can actually pull herself into a standing position. Which will be a much more useful skill when she can balance that way...
Daniel and I have a recurring argument about "less" versus "fewer." Unlike most of the rest of the world, I care about that distinction. Daniel thinks I'm being pedantic. (We do have other grammatical arguments where the roles are reversed.) Daniel likes to quiz me, offering grey areas that involve decimals to try and catch me up. "Is 1.3 gallons of gas less or fewer than 1.7?" That kind of thing. I particularly liked his most recent attempt. Which I aced, by the way.

Is 4mph less or fewer than 10mph?

The answer is, of course, slower.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Few people know what grapefruit actually tastes like. They know what grapefruit peel and membranes taste like. Very bitter. No wonder people think grapefruits need sugar sprinkled on them. Well, they don't. And that's coming from someone who puts three and a half spoons of sugar in her tea. (Two and a half if it's herbal.)

There is only one correct way to eat a grapefruit. First peel it, then remove the membrane from every section, so that you eat only the actual fruit. Ideally, the sections should be eaten one at a time as they're peeled. For bonus points, they should be fed directly into the waiting mouth of an eager, barely patient child.

This process is one of the best things I learned from my dad. And, today, for the first time, I got to do it right. Thank goodness my daughter likes grapefruit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A happy scream from the kitchen. Followed by, "That's how I wash the ice cream scoop." And that's before she's ever tried ice cream.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nutella in Hawaiian sweet rolls makes for a fairly good dessert. It has a certain chocolate croissant vibe going for it, and it's a lot easier than actually making cookies.
Good morning. There is a tiny tyrant in my life who decided this week, after seven months of sleeping in until noon or 2pm, that we should start rising at 9am. So here I am, before ten in the morning. Bizarrely, I'm beginning to get a taste for mornings.

Now, I've kept journals before -- but only ever online -- and it's been a few years. I discovered online journaling in the wild and crazy days when people thought they could post every thought they had on the internet and no one they actually knew would ever find it. That lasted, what, a few months? What can I say? I was young and stupid. Hey, a lot of people were. At any rate, after more than five years away, I think I'm ready to try journaling again. So here we are.

One chapter into editing my first novel; one chapter into writing my second; and seven months into raising my tiny tyrant. Let's see where this takes us...
After keeping this journal somewhat regularly updated for almost a year, I may have actually proved to myself that I'm now mature enough to have one. This is very exciting.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Having a corporeal aspect to my existence feels a little like living in a giant mecha with a limited, not very good, but sort of functional AI. As long as nothing goes too wrong, I can let the AI be in charge. Sure, the mecha will bump into things and be kind of stupid and clumsy, but it will basically work. Of course, there are also panels and panels of controls, and, if anything goes wrong -- or I get tired of bumping into things -- I'm free to take over manual control. The catch is that I haven't taken any training courses on how to run the mecha and there's not much of an instruction manual and it's really, really complicated. So, chances are, I'll do a worse job than the limited AI. With practice and a great deal of concentration I may improve, but, even then, I don't do a whole lot better than the AI because I just don't seem to have an aptitude for driving this thing. (This is all a very fancy way to say that I'm clumsy.)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sandy discovered the syllable "ha" yesterday, so she's been saying "haha" today. She doesn't know what it means, but it's still adorable.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The fact that a Terminator television series starts tonight completely messes up all my stories that refer to Terminator 6. Fortunately, the only story where Terminator 6 has a role that really matters is the one I'm working on right now, and I've found a way to fix it. It'll be a lot of extra work, but it'll be better for it when I'm done.

Now let's hope the show is halfway good. I mean, it has sooo little going for it: no Cameron, no Schwarzeneggar, no Hamilton, and during a writers strike. It is so boldly stupid to make a Terminator television series under those conditions, that I almost can't believe it'll be bad. I mean, you have to admire that kind of audacity. And, with that much stacked against it, it'd really be more poetic for the show to be bizarrely brilliant.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

It is good to be home. I love spending so much time with my family and Winterson's family during the holidays, but it's hard to be living in someone else's space and always borrowing computers. (Winterson brings his own, but I don't have an internet-worthy laptop.)

It is also good to have reached the point where my home really feels like my home. We don't go home for the holidays any more. We come home from them.