And maybe I'll sleep on the couch to avoid bite problems.
And maybe I'll sleep on the couch to avoid bite problems.
Maybe I have gotten a little ahead of myself. Perhaps it was a little forward to include a pen name for erotic fiction I've not published yet and won't for a while (I was thinking ahead, about how I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO REPRINT, I AM NOT MADE OF MONEY). I've got legit stuff I want people to take notice of and now, if Naomi Novik's asks for my card so she can call me about doing cosplays for her new book, I can proudly hand over a professional card. Instead of getting home, realizing my mistake and crying fat tears all over the preview booklet for Uprooted.
So Saturday was once more a writing sprint day. I did what I suppose could be considered the bare minimum for a weekend, 1,000 words. I really, really needed to hit 2000. For one, I set up my word count goals assuming I’d be able to do about 4000 words over the weekend—something I have not been able to do over the past few months. I am currently about 11,000 words behind goal. Again, better than the whole heap of nothing I’d been responsible for before—I’ve done about 55,000 words this year, so far. How can I possibly complain or berate myself for THAT?
But. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; if I want short n’ smutties to work, I have to kick things in to gear. And write more. Finish more. It’s ok that I have this series which is BDSM, where each part is 15,000-17,000 words each with a plot arch. That’s a good idea! Some people want more plot with their smut. But that means it takes me two months to write each rather than three weeks, not precisely the business model that will work very well for me. I’ve yet to write something that is a true smut short, 5000 words or less where things happen, executed and are wrapped up in a single tale. This might not be my forte. It might not be a thing I can pull off even though I want to.
What has also been impeding my productivity is back pain. My back has been giving me trouble ever since college. Back then, it was only ever intermittent. For the past few months, it’s gotten worse. I feel that twinge and I know I’ve got to lay down, stat, or else it will pass some threshold and the agony of a pinched nerve is unending for WEEKS. So far I’ve avoided the worst of it. But it seems to be persistent, always hovering. Worse, I fear it may be that the fancy, supposedly ergonomic desk chair I bought might be making things worse. My fancy office chair might not be much, if any better due to both blatantly being made for full-sized adults.
Also: two seconds ago I realized it's May 11th and I have not ordered business cards. I fucking have to do that tonight, if I have any hope of being prepared for PHXCC! I am not fucking up like I did at the SDCC. No way, no how.
The Sickness is over, for the most part. Stuffiness and chapped nostrils remain. I was EXHAUSTED when I got home from work yesterday and napped for, like, an hour and a half.
I stayed at home today; in part, my nose is still runny, my throat sore, and I'm stuffy-headed though I could have toughed it out at the office. What decided it for me was that I knew the A/C dude would be coming by to clean the coils and I had to be here. $170 later, the A/C is fixed! That's right; one problem is solved. Now I need to work out how I'm to solve the other repair problem--the leak in my basement.
I'm tempted to take a nap, but I need to fall asleep on time this evening--I was awake until about 2 AM in spite of the fact I went to bed at 10:30.
I have dreams:
My fucked up dreams continue. Last night, I dreamed the coworker who has been training me shot a dude in the face. Why have all my dreams been violent and distressing of late?
That old novel I've been reading is alright. It's far-fetched and melodramatic, yet at time painfully accurate in its depiction of scumbag men who will not leave a lady alone when she's not interested. It's depressing that dudes who can't take hints--to whom a polite 'no, thanks' or obvious polite declining of attention or affection means 'harass away'--has been going on for nigh on forever if it was happening 250 years ago.
This is my fourth day of being sick. I’ve had snot running from my nose and tears out of my eyes and an earache. I’ve destroyed 2 boxes of tissues. Made a mountain of mucus filled white tissues on the opposite end of the couch. I fear I may need to take a day off just to recover from being this fucking sick.
So gross. In a year’s time, I think this is the 4th time I’ve been sick—and not a little sick, a lot sick.
On the up side, I drew out the whole fair grounds for the D&D campaign.
I have dreams:
I’ve had some disturbing dreams of late. Being chased. Attacked. Death and mayhem. This last one was so fucking disturbing. One part of it I’m not going to share. I’m not superstitious, but it’s bad juju. Worse than being chased around the neighborhood by an albino python, being bit by said python, and pulling out the teeth of said python.
I couldn’t tell you what’s up with my subconscious. Whatever happened to my afternoon teas with Neil Gaiman?
So I wrote maybe 200 words of story this weekend. So far behind. So. Far. I did not finish a short fic in April. UGH. Defeatist thinking won’t get me anywhere. I am writing. Obviously, getting super sick was not part of the plan and I should NOT get myself down for needing to sleep 14 hours a day and still feeling tired as I struggle to re-hydrate the massive fluid loss.
To try and be productive, I’m going to read today. One, a novel written in 1778. We’ll see if it’s any good. It may provide me with inspiration. I also need to read the D&D guide books—I want to better understand the rules and how shit works. I want to be a good DM! I also need to set up the entire adventure, flesh out the fun. I’ve begun to suspect my group won’t make it out of the springtime faire they’re starting out in—that’d be okay. But I need to be prepared if they DO make it out of the faire.
Anywho. I hope my all-of-two readers take care and NOT catch this awful cold.
Overheard at Work:
Regarding doughnuts: "They're heroin-ly delicious!"
"It's not rocket surgery"
Today is the day. I'm going to call about A/C repair. We're about to hit the triple digits and my furry babies can't take the heat. Not that I think I have the money to cover this repair, mind you. I don't. But I've got two things to do today: schedule the A/C dude to come out and do the cleaning and re-sign-up for homeowner's around the house-shit-breaking-down insurance.
Come on, universe. I've only been making more money for a month and a half; that is NOT long enough to pay my bills.
Progress Report: I only wrote 200 words last night; my writing buddy bailed on me, so I putted around. I have to keep reminding myself of how hard it will be to do any sort of make-up word count at the end of next month due to all the shit I have to do.
This morning was One of Those Mornings. & snuggled into my chest, purring and happy as I lay comfortably in my bed. She could not fathom why her human pillow up and abandoned her.
Who loves the new Daredevil? Who has watched all 13 violent episodes? Who needs more Claire in her life? This lady!
Who was supposed to be writing this weekend and instead spent all her Sunday watching Netflix? (this lady :( )
I'm at work right now. I'm tired and I'm ready to go home. Today has felt like a long slog which it definitely has been. The place between, 'oh, man, I've got a lot of shit to do,' and 'all this stuff is kinda really boring'. And I have the beginnings of a headache.
We're all going to wait and see how things go for me today. I might take a nap when I get home, sleep off whatever this dopiness is that's got me held back. Not that I can afford it given how little I've written and how much I have yet to write. Last night, first productive writing night of the week.
Word Count: 700-ish
No news is good news, right?
Word Count: 760. I could have done better, but I'll take it. Slowly upping my work count. If I manage 1500 tonight, I'll push over 450/day--a feat I could achieve easily, given I'm typing up what's in my journal. Then, it's writing all day Saturday, then D&D planning party Saturday night. Doesn't look like I'll have the first draft of second story typed up as per goal--I had the time, didn't buckle down. I need to work this smut; the month is 1/3rd over. Spending 3 hours tonight on writing would be an excellent reward for a stressful week--and a few inches closer to a life lived fully. May is coming! 3 smutty first drafts by May 1. That means this first draft needs to be done before 5 PM Saturday.
I probably won't be done in time for PHX-CC as I aspired back in January. It was always an ambitious timeline to be done by PHX. SDCC, tho. I had fucking better get my shit together. We only have tickets for one day - Sunday. If I can't get in and enjoy 5 days of fandom fun, I may as well make lemonade out of these lemons and spend my time on the street busking. Busking at the Geek and Sundry lounge playing tabletop games. Busking during the Nerdist party. In lines, industry parities. Throwing around business cards like it's nobody's business. I can't afford to pass up a mass gathering of nerds. This go 'round will be a self-promotion trip. And hanging out with my friends and my twin. And making friends. Less time at the convention proper, sadly.
So I got my first real paycheck with my new job. It was awesome. I'm still quite broke given I didn't earn very much last month and this check going to be spent almost all at once, but it will float me to the next paycheck so long as I eat ramen and I don't owe more than $250 to the IRS when the deadline arrives. I fear I might owe the government more than that, which is why I'm waiting to pay the insurance on the townhouse until I know for sure.
In related news, I think it might be in my best interest to look for a second job. Again. To earn extra money-axes to throw at my debt and fix my AC. Or, hell, buy a new AC. If I'm honest with myself, I'm not really in the financial position to make smutty short stories my second job yet. Will I? Eventually, but not for a while at the rate I'm going. As much as I hated, HATED working two jobs at once and as unlikely as it is I'll find something that will pay $11/hr, being so damn broke all the time with a mountain of debt is nerve-wracking.
Here's to squeaking by another month! (Somehow).
Word Count: 150 (I know, I was very bad last night)
EDIT: It's not final, but my twin think she's found that the US govn't owes ME $500! I'm really, really hoping this is the case. That would make convention season magical.
Slow and steady wins the race. Getting by with a little help from my friends (twin).
So I gave in and have had my twin help me with filing my taxes. She's super awesome for helping me. The amendment of my 2013 tax for has netted me money and I'm hoping the 2014 won't cost me much. Breaking even would make me happy. Don't know if that will happen. A little freaked out about it. We'll see how well this goes--who knows.
The temperature has been good, so I'm not going to worry about my broken AC. Yet. Panicking will do me no good.
Writing: 650 words last night. Am close to averaging 450 words / day. I need to ramp things up. Tonight is for typing up the shit I wrote this past weekend--don't expect to get all of it typed, but close. If I buckle down, I'll be done before Friday night. That way, I can wrap this short Friday night/Saturday morning. Then, I need to carry on with carrying on--start another short story. I was planning on working my fanfic, but it's taking a back seat to getting publishable stuff done (I really need to concentrate). If I have three short stories in my modern BDSM series done by the end of April, that'll be something. I need to work on my historical Rome smut, and how.
I'm going to try this D&D planning party once more this Saturday evening. Fingers crossed everybody!
Also! Work is going well. I've been here less than a month and they gave me the key to the building and office. Nothing says they're probably going to keep you like giving over the keys. Job security!
When things are about to come together, that's when it all falls apart.
Worst news first: my AC is broken. I had it fixed about a month and a half ago when the heat wasn't working and it cost me $1400. It's broke again. If I'd had/have the money, I'd buy a new one. No dice. I'm still a broke and will be broke for some time, yet I need to pay my taxes (which I still need to finish and am intimidated by the new forms), pay the HOA insurance claim which ballooned up 20% from last year and now I have no AC. Which isn't a big deal yet, even if we are having the hottest spring ever. In about a month, it will become an issue given that while I could tough it out, the cats can't.
I've been scraping by, but I don't know how I'm going to solve all of these problems.
Writing this weekend was productive, at least 2500 words. I'm close to finishing the first draft of the second short n' smutty; that needs to be done like hell. I had fun. We played Settlers of Catan and noob Dani won. My twin randomly sent me a pink ceramic jackalope jewelry holder BECAUSE REASONS.
All of it was sadly eclipsed by no AC.
Anywho. I'm going to fill up and wash my car after work, eat, call my twin about taxes.
The new job is going okay. I'm still on that unhappy learning curve, which I know will take a long time given that this is the sort of job where no two orders are alike, no two order processes are alike. It is a busy job--I've always got stuff to do. My coworkers are nice and I'm doing my best to integrate. I have confidence that after 3 months of this I'll have some notion of what I'm doing.
I'm declaring myself a DM and wrangling my friends to join me on a D&D campaign. Or attempting to wrangle. The only person who made it to my open-door character party was the experienced D&D player. Two people canceled. Even so, I'll probably have about 4 players, which is perfect. Not that I really have time to do this sort of thing, but hey. It's soooo much fun and is a great way to spend time with my friends. If people show up.
This year (three months) I've done several chapters of my ongoing fan fiction and a short-ish fan fiction (16000 words). I've also completed the first draft of one Short n' Smutty. The first have of a second Short n' Smutty is done longhand, waiting to be typed up. The first half-ish of another is typed up, but I might end up scrapping it. It's been so many words (38,000 by my Excel spreadsheet's reckoning) yet there's a long ways to go.
This weekend my writing sprint buddy, her friend and myself are driving up to Pine Top to shut ourselves into a cabin and type away like fiends. My word count has fallen behind to a painful, agonizing 434/day. Writing checks to pay my bills has hit me upside the head that even with my fancy-shmancy new job, I am still in debt up to my eyeballs. It will take years for me to dig myself out even though I'm now making more than 'break-even'. That overage needs to be aimed at fighting my debt and rebuilding my savings for the rest of this year (and longer). Writing is a life-enhancing pastime with potential money-making rewards. I'm so freaking far behind where I need to be. Got to pick up the pace. Every smutty short is another drop in the bucket of the Cat Food/Litter/Medical fund. Imagine never having to worry about buying that $20 bag of specialty cat food and $12 box of litter! That's the life!
Take care, my two readers. I'm off to fold my laundry and, sadly it's time for bed.
So far, so good on the employment front.
They rate A+ on free food (cream filled cupcakes today) and because they are a high end office furniture design firm, I have a wonderful, ergonomic chair which I'm reasonably certain is about the equivalent of a month and a half of my salary. My desk is pretty sweet, too, and i have a view of a lovely mountain vista (if you're the type to believe in mountains, that is). They ordered me a wrist cushion and I like the office pens. The conference room is a freezer, but my desk is seated in the sunshine. I don't get too cold under my vista view.
What do I do, you may ask. Order processing. Not hard; complex. Involved. Nothing is done in order and so my training has been a bit discombobulated. Every rule has an exception, every project, its quirks.
Overall, this is a good fit for me (at least for a while).
My word count has plummeted with my average falling to 455/day. 20 days into the month. It's gonna be hard to prop that back up to 500, let alone the 600 I really do need to actually be productive. The good news is, I'm free this weekend. Nothing to do but clean, hang pictures in my house and write.
Two weeks from now, Ferocious Pipsqueak, a pair of her friends and myself will be trekking to the boonies of Twin Pines resort town for a writing retreat. She referred to it as 'the cabin'. In reality, it's a resort mansion. Sweeeeeet.
Happenings: I’ve experienced them.
I haven’t be updating regularly, at all, but changes are up ahead for me.
I have a new job! Today’s my last day at the cruise company. Next Monday I will begin anew at a furniture company order processing. They do business furniture. Doesn’t sound like it will involve a lot of phone crap. Better yet, the orders come from businesses, not the general public. Farewell, customer service. I will not miss you. Hello, salaried position with benefits at a small office. It’ll be 35,000 a year, so not a lot of money, but my supervisors [at the cruise company] are acting as though it’s making a shitton of money, as though I wasn’t making about that much the first year at this company. Let’s all agree that it’s only enough to keep one person with a wage that’s above just-getting-by.
Guys, I’m going to be able to pay down my debts. Save money. It’ll take a few years, I know. But this is insane.
I'm doing okay with my word count, but only about 450/day, which I plan to hike up over the next four days I'm not working.
Guess who wrote 1200 words during her buddy writing sprint yesterday? This girl!!!
It’s not likely I’ll finish the short n smutty tonight, but I’ll come close if I buckle down. If I maintain some vague keyboard pecking Thursday and Friday, I should be done with a first draft and can move on to the next short and smutty this weekend (necessary to my schedule). It’s unspeakably wonderful. I don’t have words to mark the change. I’ve gotten used to beating myself up for incompetence and laziness. What do I do with a productive me? If I keep on keeping on, I’m going to reach the goals I set. If I push myself, I can move the timeline forward—and as mentioned in previous posts, I need to move the timeline forward to coincide w/ the Phoenix Comic-Con.
Not to mention, I have no money and it’d be nice to start with something on the side.
I’m delighted by the resulting story. And it’s an Original Story, too, not just fanfic! I have an objective of publishing myself. I’m somehow on schedule, somehow on time. Somehow getting ideas for the next short. Somehow pulling my shit together.
I think I’m going to look towards writing contests, too. Anything for some publicity, getting the word out. And I’ll have to pull from my pool of buddies to help me out.
So much work.
I am the tortoise.
Went to the Renn Faire this weekend with a smaller contingency of friends than initially planned, but it worked out well. Less fretting about which shows to hit. Less neurosis. The best bits were a Russian gypsy violinist, some amazing birds of prey at the hawk show, petting the greyhounds, seeing the joust. . .any of the bits with animals and music, really. There was a good acrobatic troupe. Nothing crazy happened, just a warm, sunny day hanging out with my friends looking at stuff I want but can’t afford. When the faire was over, we went to a pub and had my first Cornish pastie.
I love Cornish pasties.
Didn’t write anything yesterday. Boo. Bad show. I could’ve at least thrown some pity words down on the page. Tonight is another writing sprint. I need to have, omg. I honestly need to have this stupid thing done by, like, Friday night. Crazy. Cause I need to start on the next story this weekend, because next weekend I’ll be in San Diego and won’t get anything done.
Work today is slow. Would I ever love to be working from home (not happening any time soon).