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.