uniquelyallie: (Default)
Drabble challenge from [livejournal.com profile] 100songs. Instead of using one character pairing for all the prompts, I'm using the characters from current WIPs (Ethan & Claire, Carter & Rachel).


001.Learn to be Lonely002.Beautiful003.It’s About Time004.Allstar005.Underneath Your Clothes
006.Incomplete007.I Survived You008.Pitiful009.All I Ask of You010.Defying Gravity
011.Holding Out for a Hero012.Believe013.Love is a Battlefield014.I’m a Believer015.Two in a Million
016.Viva Forever017.Goodbye My Friend018.Calling Dr. Love019.Invisible020.Heartbreak Lullaby
021.Drowning022.Perfect Day023.Echo024.Boom025.Seein’ Red
026.Selfish027.On the Line028.Angel029.A Thousand Miles030.Gravity Rides Everything
031.Gravity032.Picture033.Bad Day034.The First Cut is the Deepest035.As Long As You’re Mine
036.The Prayer037.Where is the Love038.Quit Playing Games with My Heart039.Don’t Phunk with My Heart040.Love is Only a Feeling
041.The Future042.I Believe in a Thing Called Love043.Growing on Me044.The Last to Know045.Stronger
046.Remember When it Rained047.For Good048.No Good Deed049.My Heart Will Go On050.What is this Feeling
051.Savin’ Me052.How You Remind Me053.California054.Love Spell055.Here Without You
056.Life Will Go On057.Desert Rose058.Fields of Innocence059.Here is Gone060.That Don’t Impress Me Much
061.One Thing062.Unbreak My Heart063.Faith064.Dancing With Myself065.Arms Wide Open
066.Disease067.Gonna Change the World068.Here Comes the Sun069.Stand by Me070.Tainted Love
071.Love Me Do072.Closure073.Fever074.Fall Back Down075.River Below
076.Welcome to My Life077.She’s All I Ever Had078.Private Emotion079.Reflection080.Going Under (Ethan & Claire)
081.Bring Me to Life082.Haunted083.Imaginary084.Taking Over Me085.Touch
086.I Don’t Want to Wait087.Do You Only Wanna Dance088.Baby, I’m a Train Wreck089.Missing You090.Karma Chameleon
091.Time of My Life092.Kryptonite093.More to Life094.Eye of the Tiger095.Blessed
096.Out Here on My Own097.Writer’s Choice098.Writer‘s Choice.099.Writer‘s Choice.100.Writer‘s Choice.


For my reference, a link to a table containing lyrics to all of the above songs.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Philadelphia Freedom: It's definitely time for me to get the hell out of dodge. I told Jeff last week that it kinda feels like me and my parents are tip-toeing around each other--it's a subtle tip-toeing--and I feel like there's going to be another explosion at any given moment. Like when the discussion of a moving date and how am I getting my stuff there will happen. I understand that Dad needs to have an idea of a date to get the time off work, but I kinda dread telling him that I'm going to have to rent another moving truck. There's just no way around it. My parents were wanting just to rent a cargo van, but that ain't going to happen. Also, I think I saw on one of the moving truck web sites, a cargo van is only available for rental for in-city moves.

Yet I'm making slow progress on the packing, as usual. I'm definitely starting to see progress in my bedroom, but things aren't going as fast as I'd like, considering I have a community yard sale next Saturday (June 21). I have a lot of stuff to sell already--just need to price it--but yet I could schlep so much more, if I just get my ass in gear.

Progress in my bedroom... I've got my crap cleaned out from underneath my bed, and have moved some of Mom's stuff there. (My bedroom has become an annex of her storage room since I moved out, so that's another reason why the packing/sorting has been going so slow; no space to work with; no floor space to move around). I cleaned out all my desk drawers yesterday. I boxed up my rolling suitcase and carry-on. I'm going to wash my Strawberry Shortcake Halloween costume today, and box up my pen pal letters from when I pen palled in high school and stationery I still have. Logically, I know to get rid of the pen pal letters and sell the stationery, but there are some letters from people (maybe even try and get in touch with them; I found one of my old pen pals through a Google search... got her email address). I can always sell/donate the stationery in Philly, if I realize I don't need it. I mean, I'm totally going to have to have a couple sidewalk sales once I get out there.

I need to find a brightly colored plastic tub ASAP for the Important Necessities I brought with me to my parents. Somehow, the stuff I brought in the itty-bitty plastic tub has multiplied. I'd like a brightly colored plastic tub, so I can find this tub once I'm at the Philly apartment, since this will have Grant and Lauren stuff, my vampire story binder, story brainstorms I did while here in Ohio, etc. Plus, the itty-bitty plastic tub is the perfect size to pack the seven bottles of wine I bought last week between the Whole Foods wine tasting and the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival.

I still have a box of crap in the trunk of my car from April's move. I hope there's nothing that's meltable in there.

Writing: Still working on the condom scene revision. I can only do a paragraph or two at a time. And now I wish I hadn't entered the Reveal Your Inner Vixen contest with what I entered with. I mean, it's okay. I still haven't puked whenever I re-read it. It's just the revision is making it better--there's some condom specifics I didn't get right the first time. It still kinda sucks in sexual tension, but yet it's better.

I have five handwritten pages of plot ideas for a werewolf story.

Also, I never mentioned this anywhere, but I read Business is Blooming by Linda Carroll-Bradd last Friday, when I was killing time at Starbucks, waiting for the Whole Foods wine tasting, and got some plot bunnies for a story for that continuity. This plot bunny was handed to me on a silver platter, considering it involves an obit writer and a funeral home director. I thought I'd have more difficulty, that I'd have to have the Flower Basket play more of a part in the story, but it sounds from the guidelines that it can be secondary, so long as it still figures into the story. Like it can just be the thing that brings the hero and heroine together.

Though it'd help if they would get that Flower Basket Yahoo Group set up for those interested in writing that continuity. *sigh*

Goals: I'd like to get to either the Apple Store today to get an external FireWire drive, or IKEA and see if they have one of those little plate/trays that you can attach a wine glass to, so I can bring it with me to the Whole Foods wine tasting tomorrow night. I was the only "single" person there last Friday, and where they had the tastings was small (it's in their cafe), so it got crowded real fast. I didn't want to get all my food at once, since there were five wines to taste, and I wanted to try each wine with its appropriate food, so whenever I left to get in line, I had to leave a note saying, This seat is saved. Thanks! It worked. Got comments from those sitting around me how it was a great idea. But I can't expect the note to work every time.

There's no way I can get to both places today. IKEA is easily a time suck. :) You can't just go in there with a goal in mind. I always ADD and wander around the place. Grand Opening Day in March, I was there for five hours (but the crowd had something to do with that). When I went there after my dentist appointment in May, I was there for three hours--and my plan was just to stop in to have lunch. Okay, so an hour was spent eating/reading, but still, I spent two hours ADDing in the store.
uniquelyallie: (investigating)
The Do-Me List has been updated! Well, I need to add new things to it, but I deleted off a bunch of completed stuff.

I've given up on analyzing each chapter of recent Silhouette Desires with the hopes of it motivating me to write Lilly and Hamid's story for the Silhouette Desire pitch contest. Analyzing makes my head hurt. I will never figure out category romance, let alone learn how to write it.

Take clothes to dry cleaners: Did that on Saturday. Learned that I will never be able to have my Titanic dress clean. I get down to the dry cleaners--in Newport, Kentucky--and when I got the clothes out of the back of my car, that's when I decided to read the tag on my Titanic dress. "Professional spot clean only." So I asked the dry cleaning lady about it. She said they only do the spot cleaning at the customer's risk. She said that there's a risk of material spotting. I was like, "So I'll never be able to clean this dress?" She said, "Yeah, pretty much." Then we joked about it for a few minutes. She recommended wearing Tucks under my arms and using clear deodorant, then examined the dress and said it still looked clean.

Luckily, I only wear this dress like once a year, but Jesus... never getting it clean? Ewwww. What happens if I spill food on it?

Update financial spreadsheets: Yeah, that Philly trip put me back in the hole as to taking out money for taxes next year, setting money aside for the debt snowball, etc. But yet, it's not as nasty as I thought. Not forking out money to my slumlord is helping.

However, I really wish Duke Energy would quit whining and wanting their $560-something dollars. It's amazing... when you're not a customer anymore, they start threatening "collection agency" on your ass ASAP. I'm working on it, Duke. You'll get it.

The $560-something dollars isn't because of falling behind on my payments while I was in the apartment. It's a result of the budget billing of one month, and settling up the difference of going off budget billing.
uniquelyallie: (scotty and lilly)
Very cruddy day yesterday in Steph Land. May do a friends-only post at some point about it.

To further crud up my already cruddy day yesterday, I fell asleep off and on during the 1 a.m. repeat of Cold Case on Channel 5. (Channel 7--a Dayton station--shows the same episode at 11:30 p.m. that Channel 5 does on Sundays, so I could've watched it then, but Mom was watching the Tudors, and I had already pissed her off enough yesterday--and she's still not talking to me).

And it was an episode I really wanted to watch. Title is Joseph.

Lilly reopens a case from 2005 (not that cold yet, Lil). A teen is murdered at a halfway house; Joseph (a counselor at said halfway house) gets killed before he's supposed to testify against the murderer of said teen. Lilly, for some reason, is fascinated by Joseph's picture (he's not that great looking); takes picture home, keeps it by her bedside. During the investigation, she goes to some cabin, and finds that Joseph is alive, but she's not telling the rest of the team. Scotty finds out, only because he's thinking Lilly is acting *way* too odd, and he's not really thrilled when he does find out.

There's this scene at the end, after the team solves the case, and Lilly had to bring Joseph in for questioning and whatever, where Scotty, Vera, and Stillman are at a bar, and it's so obvious they're waiting for Lilly. Scotty is gazing at the empty chair; Stillman looks at the scratch/cut on Scotty's hand (which I think maybe Lilly caused because she apologized for it when Scotty came over to her house after work, wanting to know what the hell was wrong with her because I guess she had been acting weird, and also called in sick to work, so she--unknown to the rest of the team--could spend time with Joseph and work on his case).

Lilly never shows up. Instead, she goes over to Joseph's cabin--he asks Lilly at the station if he should leave the door unlocked for her; she glances over at Scotty and tells him to keep it locked--where Joseph is looking all pleasantly surprised (and probably a little horny), and Lilly is all like timid (and probably a little aroused), and I'm screaming, "You're picking him over Scotty??!! Ewwwwww."

But then, after the show, before I crashed for the night, I thought, "Ooooh, this would be a great fan fic." Then I started thinking about it. "Joseph, Lilly, and Scotty... that's a three-way waiting to happen, and Scotty would be into it only for the grudge fuck since Joseph moved in on Lilly."

What. The. Fuck.

There's a 99.9% chance--okay, more like a 100% chance--I'll never do that story. I mean, sure, would like to try fan fiction, but I obviously have difficulties with my own fiction (may do a friends-only post about that too).

So now I'm off to Storage Room Jr. (aka my bedroom) to either sit or stand in the itty bitty part, while sneak-drinking some gin (remind me to do a friends-only post about that as well), and going through crap. I'm still kinda working on clothes, but I'm branching into jewelry now. I found a 14K gold necklace I added to my small pile of gold jewelry to sell.

I also have 31 obits to type by 7 a.m. tomorrow, while not hogging Mom's iMac, so we don't experience another explosion like yesterday.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Regardless of the fact that Regency won... I'm still going to participate in Avon FanLit.

The first Regency chapter idea is posted. I have 263 hours to write up a submission. I have until Monday, September 18 at 4 p.m. to get my entry in.

Looks like it'll be a Papa Murphy's day on Saturday!

So I'll do the same plan of attack I did for the twin villain scene I entered in the Romance Divas contest. Sketch out some ideas today. Get drunk/buzzed on Saturday and/or Sunday, and handwrite as much of the scene as I can. Then spend the following week revising and researching; minimum of one hour a day.

1,500 words is only six pages. They were right when they said that you wouldn't have much room for historical details.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Chick Lit Novel:

I spent an hour working on the chick lit scene. Nothing specific to report. Just revised what I had so far, while working in some more tidbits from the working chat last week, which has now boosted my total page count to five pages.

Tomorrow, I hope to get in an hour on the chick lit scene, plus get back to working on Mollie's character profile for the chick lit novella.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
I completely forgot to mention that I'm doing a Book in a Week (BIAW) over at Romance Divas this week. Nothing big goalwise... just five hours of writing on a chick lit scene.

My progress so far:

Day 1 (Monday): 1 hour
Day 2 (Tuesday): 1 hour
Day 3 (Wednesday): 0 hours -- I had planned to do a working chat, but then decided just to skip it because of Jeff being here. I mean, I had the day off from Work #1, and we were having so much fun going out, hanging out, doing stuff. And how many times can I actually physically go out with my BF? Yeah. I'm entitled to skip a day. :D
Day 4 (Thursday): 1 hour

Jeff is spending today and Friday up at his parents' house for a visit. I'm hoping the administrative assistant at Work #1 will be sick again tomorrow--although, okay, I hope she's better, but I hope she'll decide just to stay home because it's Friday--and then I hope to do two hours on BIAW then.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Chick Lit Novel:

I spent about a half hour at work revising what I had written on Monday, then I spent about a half hour writing a new page, revising from what I wrote during one of the working chats last week. I typed up what I wrote at Work #1, when we got home from the airport, doing some editing/revising as I typed.

Chick Lit Novella:

I decided to work on Mollie's character sketch, thinking that might help me revise what I did on the Dramatica outline yesterday. I only did two questions, figured out her parents' names, and decided she should have a sister while at the airport. I didn't get to the airport until 9:15 or so, and by the time I got out of the bathroom there, Jeff's flight was showing as "in range" on the arrival board. I love Southwest for always arriving early, but I could've used an itty-bitty delay tonight.

God, why does that make me sound like a mean person?
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Chick Lit Novella:

I finished up the character section on the Dramatica outline for the chick lit novella on August 17.

Tonight, after dealing with sleeping, doing laundry, dealing with itchies and wooziness... I worked through another section of the Dramatica outline on the chick lit novella. Deleted Abby from the list of characters. I don't see why or how she could have a purpose in the story right now. And due to the small word count, I can't have a huge cast of characters. The section I worked on tonight dealt with plot lines between Mollie and Nick. My goal to finish this is next Tuesday, since I want to start writing this on September 1 a la NaNoWriMo style.

Chick Lit Novel:

Today, before leaving Work #1, I spent an hour revising a bit of what I wrote on the a scene during one of the working chats last week.

SF Novel:

On August 18, I sketched out more on a scene for the SF/rom elements novel. Intended to write on it over the weekend, but I didn't. I think I figured out a method to finally deal with the research that'll be involved with the worldbuilding, but now I need to figure out *when* to do that.

In my perfect world, I'd finish the chick lit novel scene this week, then revise the SF scene next week. It feels doable; I mean I *know* these characters better than the ones in the chick lit novel. I just have this fear of not doing the SF novel justice.

Also, I'd want to enter the SF scene in the villain contest over at Romance Divas just to counteract any negative comments I'd get from the chick lit scene. Because I can tell already that the chick lit scene will be a love it/hate it kinda of thing. Okay, so will the SF scene. But I'm accepting that's just how I write. I entered the SF novel in three well-known RWA contests in 2003. I *always* got pretty consistent scores--high average too, though not high enough to make me final in all three. Say there were four judges in a contest... three of them would be right on the mark; not too much of a difference between their scores, and even their comments were consistent. But, yet, I'd always get one judge who was just *so* far off the mark. I got sent to a discrepancy judge for the 2003 Daphne, and she was the one who got me to the finals there.

But yeah, I think I'm pretty much a love it or hate it kinda of writer. Which could be cool in a way. To know I can stir up that strong of a reaction in a reader? It's a perverse outlook, I know.

Tomorrow... it's spending another hour working on the chick lit scene during the day. Jeff will be here tomorrow for a week for his late summer vacation, so I have to drive up to Columbus tomorrow after work and pick him up. His flight doesn't get in until 10:05 p.m., so I'm hoping to get to the airport by 8 p.m. (it's a two hour drive to Columbus), and I'll be revise what I did on the Dramatica outline tonight. It'd be nice if the Max and Erma's would be open so I can have some dinner and a drink or two--I like the Columbus airport because most of their shops and restaurants aren't beyond Checkpoint Charlie--but I have a feeling I'll be hanging out at Cup O' Joe, since they're open 24 hours.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Chick Lit Novella:

I revised what I had so far on my Dramatica outline today while at Work #1. I actually have a story title now; added more on to my plot synopsis; added a description of Mollie; and added Mollie's parents, Abby, Rachel, and Claire to the list of characters, as well as brief descriptions of them.

I know who Nick looks like (yes, Dave Matthews):



Mollie looks like the woman on the cover on a magazine. I'll have to scan that in at work tomorrow, so I can have a graphic file of it.


Edison Story:

Yes... you heard me. Edison Story. (This is my SF/with rom elements novel that I haven't touched since, ummm, 2004, I think).

I decided to listen to LaunchCast, or whatever Yahoo calls its music service, today at HUC because I was bored (believe it or not) with Groove Salad. For whatever reason, I can't listen to LaunchCast in Netscape, but I can listen to it through Yahoo IM. Yeah. Get this... the message I get when I try to listen to LaunchCast in Netscape: Something about how it doesn't support Windows. Yeah, right! In my perfect world nothing would support Windows. :)

So I listened to the Chill Out channel on LaunchCast, and "Home" by Zero 7 came on. I like Zero 7. I've heard the song before on Groove Salad. I even bought it off of iTunes Music Store. But today? I just completely froze when I heard it... and Bauldner started talking to me. Faint whispers and some murmurs, but he was speaking to me! :)

Before I fixed dinner tonight, I sketched out some notes that will lead me to revising the opening scene of chapter 2. It's not as in-depth as the sketch of the IY villain scene from the other day, but it's a start.

I'm so going to have to keep up on my writing when Jeff's here next week... working chats and what not. I also need to get orange juice, because I got such a late start at writing/thinking tonight... it was more screwdriver time rather than wine time. I had the vodka... well, okay, not a lot of vodka. Will have to get more vodka. But I had *some* vodka. That's important. Just no orange juice. That made me sad. :(
uniquelyallie: (Default)
I'm a member of the Gonna-Beez Yahoo Group, and supposedly they have working chats on Yahoo IM on Wednesdays 3 to 6 p.m. EST and Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. EST.

I logged on to Yahoo IM today at 4:00 p.m., and a couple Gonna-Beez people were on there, but I was all shy and didn't want to send them a message asking if there's a working chat going on somewhere because I haven't exactly been active in that group, and I've meant to... simply because they do working chats. And I also felt awkward asking because there wasn't a reminder sent out to the group about the Wednesday working chat.

So, instead, I did a personal working chat while at Work #1.

I downloaded Tea Timer (get it here for Mac OS X or get it here for Winblows XP) for the work computer. Only I did 15 minutes of writing, instead of 30 minutes, then 15 minutes of working, and so on.

Slight tangent...

So Abby and Zoey are identical twins. I always knew who Abby looked like way back when I first came up with the idea for IY in 2000. Ariana Richards. (I saw her in some movie in the 90's. She played some popular girl who won Homecoming Queen or something. I don't remember the movie. She was in Jurassic Park though.)

Well, tonight, I couldn't find the picture I printed off of Ariana. So I had to do a new Google image search. There's some more recent pictures of Ariana Richards... and one that is PERFECT Abby:



And another that is PERFECT Zoey:



Now if only I can find that picture of Andrew. It was some guy named Ethan. I found him in an issue of Sassy magazine back in the early 90's. I cut it out... yes, way back then, because Andrew appeared in a completely different "novel" that I've way since shelved. He was the only salvageable thing from it. I taped the picture on a piece of notebook paper. It *is* in a binder *somewhere*. I'm thinking it might be in one of my tubs at Tom's.

I wrote nearly 6 1/2 handwritten pages tonight on the villain scene during another personal working chat... and I was actually having *fun* doing it. :) Lots of dialogue at the moment, which I'll need to beef up with some narrative, but the flow is definitely bantery and hopefully chick littish. :)

Tomorrow, it's probably back to chick lit novella plotting. I hope to edit/revise what I wrote tonight on Saturday... even though I swore weekends would be writing free.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Lesson 1/Assignment 1 of Around a Book in 90 Days. A plotting program that they did earlier this year over at From The Heart, and I'm hoping to get through it much sooner than 90 days. :) Considering Amanda wants to sub the chick lit book to Freya's Bower four to six weeks before Thanksgiving. Besides, if I'm doing Writer's DreamKit/Dramatica as my main plotting tool... I don't think I'll have to really dig deep for AABin90. I'm viewing AABin90 more as a supplement.

Mollie's external and internal GMCs are a result of the brainstorming I did one or two nights in Philly, when I was semi-functional.

And I'm telling you... I can't remember which workshop it was that I listened to... I have the notes in my green carry-on... but I think it was Setting Your Story Free (from the Dallas '04 National). Kristin Gabriel said that internal GMC is nothing more than the character's error in thinking. Talk about a light bulb moment for me! (And no one dare break my light bulb by saying that internal GMC needs to be so much more. :D )

Everything else I did tonight before I left Work #1 for the Post. Look at me... writing *after* work *at* work. It's much easier to do since the old regional director of admissions/now interim regional director of admissions since he took the job as dean of the rabbinical school made me and the administrative assistant in the admissions office move across the hall, so he could keep his nice office with windows.

I thought it was really going to suck having to move... but now that he rarely comes over now... I have lots more freedom to get away with more non-work related duties. Like he's notorious for working late when his wife is down in Nashville for cancer treatments. Which would be a real bummer when you're working in the same office as him. And since I have flex time... sometimes I don't get in until the afternoons which means I'd have to stay just as late as him to show that I'm doing my time *and* work.

But now? I could definitely get in the habit of writing for a half hour or so after the administrative assistant leaves. Which leads me to...

Two days of writing in a row! *squee*
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Got some emails from Rhonda and Amanda (fellow Romance Divas). They're shooting for an October 1 deadline, I think, for our chick lit novella/anthology.

Trying not to panic. I'm really trying not to panic. Writing, polishing, critiquing... by October 1. I've never been in this position before. I mean, it's only a 20K to 30K novella. I think, the last time I checked Freya's Bower... they had a word cap of 30K on a novella. And, of course, I always aim for the high end of a word count. More or less as a cushion, I suppose. I've done anywhere from 55K to 59K for NaNoWriMo before. There should be *no* reason for a panic attack.

That said... I've given up again on using First Draft in 30 Days. This is like the third time I've tried using this book. Something isn't clicking on some level.

Tonight, while sitting in the kitchen waiting for the oven to warm up for my pizza, I decided to go back to using Writer's DreamKit (a toned down version of Dramatica) for my plotting and outlining. It's what I used to outline the Edison story back in 2003. Working through that program with the Edison story required a lot of thinking, a lot of drinking, and some whimpering... but I got a solid outline that I was proud of back then... which made it for quite the easy NaNoWriMo-ing. :) I wonder what I can do with the program now that I'm older and wiser.

My plan is to get back into the working chat habit. I rejoined the Chick Lit RWA chapter, so I can attend their Wednesday working chats. (They used to do Monday chats, supposedly, but I think that's long since fallen by the way side.) Didn't get very far on my personal working chat tonight. Got started around 8:00, but then had to install Writer's DreamKit on Mollie... only to not be able to install it because I didn't have the serial number for the CD-ROM. I then I had to go over to Tom's to get the Writer's DreamKit box, which had the card with the serial number inside. (Luckily he lives less than five minutes from me.) I finally got started around 8:30.

End result? Not a lot done, but I had to do a lot of thinking... which resulted in me sending a *long* email to Amanda and Rhonda with questions. I had almost a whole bottle of white zinfandel... but I got no buzz whatsoever. I think I might've eaten too much pizza.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Once the weekend hit, I had no time to get to the iBook to post daily updates. :) That and combined with how Jeff's wireless has been acting up. :( But I've been keeping notes, will write up journal entries at some point, and post them when I can.

I've listened to five workshops from the Dallas 2004 National, and I think I'm done. The last time I listened to one was on Monday, and I could tell as I was jotting down notes that I really didn't want to be listening to it. And it had nothing to do with the subject matter being sensitive, i.e., goal setting or how to love writing again. I don't know what I would've done if I had crammed in all the workshops I wanted to listen to during the three days Atlanta was going on. My brain would've exploded, probably.

Since Monday, I've been stuck in Pollen Hell. There is *so* much pollen here in Philly... it's unreal. I've had a nasty sore throat that I can't seem to shake. And it's an allergy sore throat. I feel like someone has crammed their fist in my throat and left it there. That's how I can tell it's an allergy sore throat. Those are always worse than the ones I get when I'm just sick.

Since yesterday, we've been stuck in Heat Hell. It got up near 100 yesterday. Today? With the heat index? 112.

Pollen Hell combined with Heat Hell... I very seriously doubt I'm going to be able to get stranded in Washington D.C. today. (It's one of the tips I got for how to get yourself to write. You get stranded somewhere. I figure if I'm going to pay close to $100 for an Amtrak ticket... that should be an excuse for me to get off my duff and write. That and I'll get to see a cool train station, if anything.)

I had a revelation while drunk... either Friday or Saturday night... that I miss SF writing and I'm afraid of the Ediison story. *sigh* I knew this while sober, but it was much easier to deny this fear and longing sober.

I've also been dreaming again the past few nights! I haven't had any dreams--that I can remember--in a *long* time.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
I realized today that I'm not going to be able to stick to doing my Personal National during the three official days of Real National. I only managed to listen to one workshop today: Tips for facing the blank page. It was from the Dallas 2004 National. Presenters: Julie Kenner, Leanne Banks, and Pamela Britton. The one-hour workshop turned more into 1 1/2 hours because I kept stopping my iPod, rewinding, and basically writing down about every word of said workshop. Just because there was so much good information. Stuff that I really need at this stage right now since I'm paralyzed at facing the blank page. Well, okay, not so much paralyzed anymore, but I'm still not where I want to be. And the writing has yet to be fun again.

So, yeah, since it took 1 1/2 hours to listen to one workshop... I'm thinking my Personal National is going to go into next week. Which is fine.

I also decided not to follow my schedule of listening to specific workshops at specific times. I'm going to go through and listen to all of the Writer's Life workshops that I put on my iPod first. Although I'm kicking myself for not putting all of the Writer's Life workshops onto the iPod... but how was I supposed to know I was going to stray from the schedule. I'm also kicking myself for taking off the Prairie Home Companions I had on the iPod because I needed space. I had the brilliant thought today, after listening to a podcast of The Writer's Almanac to ground myself before listening to the workshop, to also listen to Prairie Home Companion after I finished listening to workshops for the day. But no... I took those off the iPod. And no... I don't have enough Writer's Almanac to get me through the extended Personal National.

After I listened to my one workshop, I sat at Rittenhouse Square and read another chapter of the Christmas Intrigue I brought with me. Then made notes of what I needed to do for Day 2 of FDin30, in case I wanted to write while Jeff and I were out tonight.

Speaking of Jeff... bonus points to him for not sending me text messages during the day. He even told me, when we met back at his place, that he didn't send me any text messages during the day because he wanted me to be focused. (Even if he did... I wouldn't have known because I had my ringer turned off.)

Because Justin is coming for a visit tomorrow... we had to shift some of my Personal National evening activities around. Tonight was supposed to be the "FF&P Gathering," but we went to Dahlak in University City for dinner instead. It's an Ethiopian restaurant, and they had a dining special where two people could get three courses for $30. The special ended tomorrow. I'm not complaining about shifting events around. I *love* Dahlak, and there's no Ethiopian restaurant in Cincinnati, as far as I know.

Afterwards, we took the trolley back into Center City and went toCosi for coffee. I finished up Days 1 and 2 of FDin30 (character sketch, general setting sketch, and character setting sketch), while Jeff did some physics work. So more bonus points for him for going somewhere with me, and letting me write.

We stopped at Wawa on the way home... but not for coffee. Paper towels.

Jeff's been wonderful the past couple of days, but I'm still worried that he's thinking I'm neglecting him or something. I told him, prior to coming to Philly, how my first week in Philly would go... that I'm trying to echo Real National as much as possible. But like tonight, at dinner, he asked about the workshop I listened to, and I just didn't want to talk about it. It's not that I didn't want to talk about it... it's just that I was just still processing the information. And it was a sensitive subject too: tips for facing the blank page. I had a freaking writer's blowout. This workshop provided tools to get me out. I needed--still need--time to digest all the tips. Plus I'm starting to think out more of a plan.

And then I'm afraid that I'm putting out vibes that I'm not having fun when we get together in the evenings. My mind was on writing all night tonight. And I got annoyed again when he mentioned, at Cosi, how it was getting late (we left at midnight), and that we probably should be heading home since we both had big days tomorrow. I got annoyed because I know this... I know he has to get up for work... I know I want a more full day, so I don't have to cram in listening to workshops *and* writing in three hours. I got annoyed because I couldn't stop thinking, "If I was in Atlanta... I'd be staying up late. You wouldn't have to poop on my party." And I kinda told Jeff this... prefaced with how I wasn't annoyed with him; just that me not being in Atlanta is probably having more of an effect than what I thought. So after I told Jeff this, he said, "Well, you can do whatever you want." He wasn't upset or nasty or anything. Just stating a fact. But, really, there's nothing I can do. Everything is closed except for bars.

I need to start thinking, "If I was in Atlanta... me focusing on writing... me not spending a lot of time with Jeff... all that would happen if I was in Atlanta." Because, right now, I feel guilty for attemping a Personal National. Even in spite of the fact that I'll be more "available" to Jeff next week.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Another late start to my day. Which annoyed me somewhat because... if I was going to Atlanta... I would've already been there, settled in, and ready to explore the city. I was somewhat awake--but groggy--when Jeff woke up at 7:30 a.m. to go jogging. I was even still groggy-awake when he left for work at 8:30. But, at some point, I fell back to sleep. I blame Chloe and Contessa. Contessa was sleeping on the pillow next to me. Chloe decided to curl up against my head, so I had a nice, furry, soft, cat pillow. I can't resist the Power of the Kitty.

So no Manhattan or Washington D.C. adventure. There just wouldn't have been enough time to make the trip worth my while. And I was going to do something so un-Stephanie like: (1) I wasn't going to decide where I was going until I got to the train station. (2) I wasn't going to do any research on either city, to find things to do and stuff, ahead of time. Which, okay, I know it's cheating for Manhattan since I've been there three times, but still.

Instead, I went to Black's to pick up my Vera Bradley bag. Then I went to the Shops at Liberty Place for a late lunch. There's something odd about having a sushi bar at a mall food court. Mall food courts in Cincinnati? Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Arby's, any kind of pizza place, Subway, Chinese, Gold Star Chili, Blue Chip Cookie, etc. Not sushi. Not Indian. Which was my first choice today, but it looked like no one was working at Cafe Spice Express. So I went with the sushi.

I got a table by a window, overlooking some street with lots of trees. As I ate, I worked on Day 1 of First Draft in 30 Days. I got up to the Personality Traits section of the Character Sketch, before quitting.

Afterwards, I walked a block and went to Borders. The plan was to get a couple really yummy Lindt creme brulee chocolate bars, but they had no Lindt whatsoever. I then decided to have my own personal bookfair, and was going to buy four books: a Sophie Kinsella book written when she was Madeleine Wickham or whoever; Something Blue by Emily Giffin; Everything She Thought She Wanted by Elizabeth Buchan; and some novel written by someone who teaches writing at OSU in Columbus that sounded rather Lovely Bones-esque. I got as far as the checkout line, before turning around, going back upstairs, and putting all the books back. I decided that I just didn't need any more books.

I did, however, decide that I needed $100 worth of earrings and barrettes after stumbling upon Nova Ice on Chestnut. My Becky Bloomwood rationalization: I would've splurged and bought something in Atlanta anyway.

For the KOD AGM/Dinner... Jeff and I walked around the city, and "stumbled" upon Mixto, a Cuban restaurant in Antique Row. I say "stumble" only because we've walked past this place many a times on our way to Swanky Bubbles or Penn's Landing, and we're always like, "We should go there," and we never do. So we finally went tonight. Jeff got a shrimp salad. I opted for something more Cuban: slow roasted pork chunks, black beans and rice, plantains, some sort of funky potato, and some sort of funky cornbread. We each had a glass of sangria too.

My KOD dinner was probably way better than the real KOD dinner. Though my KOD dinner wasn't free.

We wound up at Swanky Bubbles afterwards because, even for Personal National, one needs to hit the bar. :) I'm pleased to report that Swanky Bubbles was indeed Swanky Bubbles tonight, and not Skanky Bubbles like it was on the Sunday night we went there back in June, and they decided to be a dance club, and all these skanky women were shaking body parts that they shouldn't have been shaking. So yay! This gives me hope because this has always been one of my favorite bars in Philly. I got a butterfinger martini: Starbucks liqueur, Godvia dark chocolate liqueur, and Buttershots. Jeff opted for a mochatini: Starbucks liqueur and vodka. And, like all good National attendees, I even wrote at the bar. :) I jotted down some ideas for Mollie's (heroine in my chick lit novella) background and external conflicts because I was determined--still am--to get Day 1 of FDin30 done on Day 1. I need to do FDin30 as close to 30 days as possible.

Afterwards, Jeff and I stopped at CVS for toliet paper. A reminder that my Personal National is, indeed, just personal and not the real thing. We also stopped at Wawa for more coffee. (I love Wawa!)

As for Wednesday, I need to readjust my schedule beyond listening to workshops from the Dallas National. Jeff's friend from grad school is coming through Philly on his way to a bachelor's party in Virginia, and he's stopping by for a visit on Thursday night, and is also spending the night. Jeff plans to take Justin to a Chinese BYOB, and I'm expected to come along. This means I have to move around all the evening activities on Thursday to other nights of my Personal National, and I may have to get started on listening to Friday's workshops one or two hours later than planned. *sigh* If I sound annoyed, it's only because I wanted my Personal National to echo Atlanta National as close as possible, with hopes of tricking myself into becoming productive. Something I've *never* been with my writing.

And now it's almost 3:00 a.m., and I'm still delusionally wanting to finish Day 1 of FDin30. I just need to come up with some ideas for Mollie's internal conflicts, but this futon is looking mighty appealing.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
My first day in Philly was basically typical Philly. I slept way late, got ready for my day way late, and actually started my day way late. I didn't leave Jeff's place until 3:00. Made it halfway to UPenn, before turning around and going back to his apartment to get my sunglasses. I had left my clip-ons on a bookshelf in the living room, and had fears of Chloe (one of Jeff's cats) jumping up on the bookshelf, knocking the sunglasses off, batting them around on the floor, and scratching them up.

Usually, when I do my typical Philly thing of sleeping in so late, then not being able to do what I want to do before having to meet up with Jeff after he gets off work... I'm usually really pissy. I wasn't today. I just didn't care about the late start to my day. I figured if I was going to Atlanta... this would be a traveling day anyway. So I'm allowed to waste it.

As I walked to UPenn, I listened to Christmas music on my iPod. There's something just *wrong* about listening to Christmas music in the middle of July, when it's 80-something degrees, and you're wearing shorts, a short-sleeved shirt, and sandals. But I hoped it would get me in the mood to work on the Christmas novella. Which, obviously, it did. By the time I got to Cereality and settled down at the table with my bowl of Life Experience and iced tea... I wound up spending an hour writing down 56 plot ideas. I think I may even have figured out how to get a somewhat romantic interest involved. I also skimmed through Day 1 of FDin30, so I can focus on that for tomorrow.

Something I need to explore... I realized that I've been deathly afraid of writing. That fear cropped up when I briefly thought about the Edison story; made me realize that this fear has been there long before my writer's blowout back in March.

After Cereality, I went to the Shops at Liberty Place on a quest for a Vera Bradley tote bag. I had forgot to pack mine because I wasn't expecting to be going on an adventure tomorrow, and wanted a more tote-like kind of bag large enough to carry around any purchases or leftover food. (You can now call me Becky Bloomwood.) I found out that there's been difficulties with the particular pattern I was after (Java Blue) being produced in all the bag/purse designs. I kindasorta found what I was after at Black's Luggage, but the salesman had to request it from his other store. It'll be here at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Jeff and I went to Audrey Claire's for dinner. It's a Mediterranean BYOB. We usually share a bowl of mussels in tomato-plum sauce, clams with jalapenos and bacon crumbles, pita bread with three Meditterrean spreads, and chickpea salad. Audrey disrupted my food balance: Clams weren't on the menu. We had to get prawns instead. Chickpea salad was gone. We substituted tomato and mozzarella. And the one spread we really like--goat cheese and pomegrante--yeah, say it with me, was also gone. Don't get me wrong... dinner was still incredibly yummy. I just hate change.

We walked around Center City after dinner, then came back home a little after 11:30, after getting coffee at Wawa. I spent the past hour skimming through Romance Diva messages posted since last Thursday, and Jeff fell asleep. (He's totally cool with my need to have diva access nightly. I told him if I waited to read messages at the end of my trip... I'd never get all caught up. ;) )

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my "KOD Pre-Conference Tour." I'm either going to Manhattan or Washington D.C. (Yes, even without the large tote bag! :D ) Tomorrow night is the "KOD AGM/Dinner." Jeff's picking out where we're going, and he's going to surprise me.

And, in typical National fashion, I'm staying up late... even though I gotta get an early start tomorrow.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
I arrived in Philadelphia last night, a little after 8 p.m., for my Personal National that officially starts on Wednesday (even though I have a couple activities planned for Tuesday). I'm staying in Philly for a total of two weeks--this week... the time I would've spent in Atlanta and next week... the time I would've tacked on for a vacation after National. I've decided that this trip is the perfect opportunity for a fresh--and hopefully focused--start on my writing.

I brought along three projects to work on. In order of importance--for this trip and in general:

1. The chick lit novella/anthology I'm doing with Amanda and Rhonda (two fellow Romance Divas).
2. The fantasy novella based on Zinnia's Honeysuckle and Wild Roses.
3. The Extreme Pitch Makeover class for IY (my chick lit novel).

What's most important for the trip--and in general--is that I don't push myself, don't beat myself up for what I fail to do, and don't overload myself from trying to do too much. The overloading is what contributed to my writer's blow out back in March, and was what I was still dealing with when I skipped out on the Bob Mayer/Jennifer Crusie workshop in Baltimore back in May.

Wish me luck!
uniquelyallie: (Default)
I posted this over at RWA Online:

QUOTE(Maria Geraci @ Jan 2 2006, 10:16 AM)
What are your goals for 2006 and how are you going to achieve them?


This makes my tenth year as an RWA member. Up until this year, I've always felt like a slow child at play. sad.gif Basically, a good chunk of that time I spent just soaking up information, figuring things out, playing around with words, getting ideas in just about every subgenre of romance. In 2002, I started seriously pursuing publication--more or less--with a science fiction novel (my first *real* WIP) with romantic elements that finaled and placed second in the 2003 Daphne, and got a full manuscript request from Anna Geneose as a result. (And this was the first contest I had entered that WIP in.)

There are times I wish I never finaled or got the request because the SF WIP still isn't finished. It's still in its first draft form. Instead, even though I *love* this novel and it's what gets me completely jazzed about writing, I've been avoiding doing any work on it because now I feel I can't handle the storyline anymore, and I *love* the storyline so much that I don't want that book to be my learning book, forever doomed to sit under my futon.

Yet I'm glad I finaled and got the request because it pushed me toward figuring out just what my voice is. I was naive to think I could write in just about every subgenre because I never wanted to feel like I was limited. But, within the past year, I decided my focus should be on chick lit (because I have a natural voice for it) and science fiction with or without romantic elements (because I *love* technology and weirdness).

So my goal for 2006 is to finish a manuscript, which will probably be a chick lit, and I'd like to have said completed submittable manuscript in time for the GH deadline, and then I can *finally* be PRO.

And then, hopefully, I'll be ready to get back to the SF novel. The "joking" deadline for the SF novel is December 31, 2007--which is when the local newspaper I work part time at closes its doors for good.

How am I going to achieve those goals? I have no idea. I'm still trying to develop some sort of road map.

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Allison Kelsey

December 2015

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