Friday, November 23, 2007

A day in the life

I think I've found a rhythm that works for me, or a system, at least. I deal with whatever is in my lap at any current moment – whether it be work, family, laundry or a cat that needs petting – and I'm developing stealth powers in order to sneak off to snatch moments in between for writing. It's not perfect, but it's working. Those few hundred words here and there add up, though of course there are still days I don't get anything down. And that's all right - for now and through the Christmas Season.

I'm very close to making my goal for November, so I'll bump that up another 1500 words. Lindsay's link to notes on the GSM – great sagging middle – was extremely timely. I have a big event planned for the end of the middle, and that gives me the focus I need for this next stretch.

My love interest has changed, and rightly so. I'm starting to see moments in his life and how he fits in, and so I'm feeling much better about him now.

Today's my day off, by which I mean I'll have much less time than I normally do. (BG) It's laundry and library, pot roast and blueberry pie. And somewhere in there, Pebbles will need a nap.

God, I love my life.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

True Story

I just hung up on a customer. I don't even know who he was.
And I did it on purpose.


The phone rang, and a guy wanted DDR2 RAM for his notebook. I told him what we had, and the price, and he said thank you, no.

Then he called me back.

Him: "Hello, did you say you had the 1 Gb sticks in stock?"
Me: "Yes. They're Kingston. $49.00."
Him: "Oh. Well. Are you flexible on that at all?"
Me: "What are you comparing to?"
Him: "Well, this other store has them for $38.00."
Me: "In stock?"
Him: "Yes."
Me: "Same brand?"
Him: "No. Supertalent."
Me: "That's not at all the same quality, you know."
Him: "Well, they both have lifetime warranties, so it doesn't really matter, does it?"
Me: "Well, if it corrupts your data, it'll matter."
Him: "That can't happen."
Me: "Yes, it can."
Him: (laughing) "RAM can not corrupt your data. Jesus!"
Me: (laughing) "All righty then. You have a nice day."

And I hung up. Then I stared at the phone, thinking "I can't believe I did that!"

And he called me back. Jeez.

Him: "You hung up on me!"
Me: "Hmmm. Did I? Sorry."

Yanno, I am not a bitch. I'm really a very nice person. I don't know what happened.

Him: "Yes, and you didn't answer my question. Is that your best price?"
Me: "Oh, lessay $45.00"
Him: "Four dollars. I'm afraid that doesn't work for me."
Me: "Oh."
Him: "And I must say, that was very unprofessional."
Me: "Yes, it was."
Him: "If I disagree with something, we can discuss it."
Me: (supressing a rude noise) "Mmmmm."
Him: "So enough with acting like a fourteen-year-old."
Me: "OK."
And polite goodbyes all around.

For whatever reason, I am still laughing about this, an hour later.

Which makes me think. A few years ago, I would have been upset by a confrontation like this. The very thought that someone might not like me would have ruined my day.

I must be growing up.

Or not.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This week really bites. (Rant warning)

No new words in a few days, it's been a very bad week at work. Pain-in-the-ass things, like a city inspector dropping by to tell me that the sign I have out front (which has been there for thirteen years) now requires a $60 per month permit, and can only be out there for 60 days, and then it's supposed to be made to vanish, somehow, for 60 days, at which point they want another $120 for the next two months. That sucker weighs a couple hundred pounds, and I NEED IT.

It's a part of legislation they're threatening to put through, which it not bloody likely to happen, but in the meantime we have to seem to be complying, so whaddyagonnado? Probably I'll apply for this one permit, and then I'll never hear about it again. Sure won't be volunteering to pay again.

Similar bullshit legislation around here lately is the registration of all housecats. Yes, that's right. All housecats now are supposed to be registered. Because we have nothing else to worry about, like homeless families and school closures and the freaking waiting lists for important medical procedures.

Anywho. The week was not improved by my customers, lovely people most, who all seem to be on some kind of dissociative medication that inhibits input from the senses - particularly my favourite - the COMMON SENSE.


Tomorrow I'm off, and I would love to feel good about it, but I have a lot of residual stress stuck to me right now. Nothing an irish coffee and some Little People can't fix.

Better news, next time!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The love interest, and the sagging middle


The love interest in my story is not coming in quite clearly just yet. I think his name is Alexi, and I *thought* he was big, Russian, and had a shaved head. Now, though, I'm thinking I've got him wrong. He's not talking to me, not coming into focus. I think I'll spend some time tomorrow developing his character, and I'll see then what I can make of him.

Word count is coming along fine, but I'm having to remind myself that this is an SFD. It's all right if there are blank spaces between some of the scenes, and I don't have to know everything at this stage of the game. If a scene wanders and has no apparent purpose, I can fix it or nix it later on. Right now, I'm just telling the story, just getting it down.

This part is interesting for me, because I've arrived at a point where the "beginning" of the story is over and so, by definition anyway, this is the "middle." I have much more practice at beginnings than I do middles, and I'm starting to have a feeling that when I put my foot out for that next step, it might not be there. It's a weird confidence thing. I know where the story is headed, at least until I find out differently. (G) I'm still feeling very much in control. So what's this?

Meh, doesn't matter what it is. I'm going to keep writing anyway.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A day in the life - I'm off!

Today is busy.

Bambam is at school until 2, then it's portraits at 3:40, flu shots after that, and a stop for spare-ribs on the way home. We're having a pot luck Chinese night on Sunday, for my brother's b-day. Mmmm!

Which reminds me, I need to make a grocery list for DH, aka He Who Makes Me Eat Vegetables. As in, plain. Not just as a side to a nice piece of chicken or steak, or on a pizza, say. Straight up. Vegetables.

Didn't make my 10K yesterday, I'm hoping to get there when Pebbles is taking her nap. I'll aim at 10300, it's just that at the moment, I don't actually know what scene I'll be working on. Time to brainstorm.

I am pleased with my progress; I've got all the major scenes at least roughed in for the opening of the story. So I guess now I need to develop the tension/suspense, work on the romance thread and start laying down clues. Hmmm.

I love this.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Well, we didn't blow away. It was windy - really windy - for 24 hours, the sound will get to you after a while. We're on the face of a hill, so we get it in the chin when it's from the south.

The writing is coming along. My goal for today is to cross the 10K point. I have some research I'm working on, and that should be enough to keep me busy.

Hope y'all are well!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

General Update

Hurricane Noel is screaming up the coast, and should make landfall late this afternoon. It will be (if it isn't already) downgraded to a tropical storm by then, but it'll be wet and windy all the same. Nothing like Juan, we're told. (which is good, because that was an unholy mess that shut most of the province down for a week, and we had no warning from the media.) I can see that they're moving the container ships into the harbour for shelter.

So it's a dreary Saturday at work, I'm hoping for some quiet time once I've finished my admin stuff. Now, if only the customers would behave - and by behave, I mean leave me alone. In a nice way, of course.

I've started taking Fridays off, and what a great day we had yesterday. Took the kids to the library and McDonalds. BamBam made us all some shepherd's pie for dinner, not bad for 6, eh? (Yes, I helped, but he did most of it)

Missed my goal of 8K in October, and I'm hoping to get there by the end of the day. I'm still pleased, 7K+ is an awesome month for me.

This WIP being contemporary, I feel much less helpless while writing. I think, subconsciously, I fell into a passive, "listening" role, uncertain how exactly to "make" my characters go from one scene to the next. This time, I feel more in control, I still find things out by accident:

+ + +

I toyed with the straw in my drink, frowning.
"Hmmm," said Alexi, glancing at me. Suddenly he slowed, swerved to the right, and pulled a u-turn so tight that I bumped my head on the window.
"What you need," he said, with a sideways grin, "is a beagle."

+ + +

...but for the most, part, I am more in charge, this time. I just sit down and brainstorm scenes once in a while, and that's working. And when it's working, that's what we do. (S)