textualdeviance: (Default)
It's been a dog's age since I regularly posted on LJ, but what with its scary new TOS, I figured it was a good idea to back it all up (something like 15 years' worth of posts!) to Dreamwidth. I may go try to back up my fanfic journal, too, though since I have all of that stuff in other forms elsewhere, it's not quite as necessary.

If you're just catching up with me: I'm still writing books, still raising my sweet little boy, still fanthinging and still raising political hell. For more up-to-date content, find me elsewhere:

Twitter (same handle): Mostly lots of political rageflailing with the occasional late-night navel gazing. This is probably the best place to find me unless I already know you personally.

Tumblr (same handle): Mostly fandom stuff. Vikings, Legends of SuperFlArrow, MCU, GoT and a few others.

FB (real name): Pics of my kid, personal-life chatter, and the occasional political rant.

WordPress (MediatedLife): Long-form posts about politics, culture, media, and other topics of current interest. Updated sporadically.

GoodReads (real name): I have an author account over there, though it's rarely updated.

Shutterfly (Stilled Life): Pics of my life. Primarily my kid, domestic life, and places I travel to.
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textualdeviance: (80's hair)
*tap tap* Is this thing on?

*tumbleweeds* *hawk screech*

Hm. Maybe not so much. Ah, well.

I realize LJ is the cranky ol' lady of the social-media intarweebs, but over the past couple of years of posting here rarely, and then not at all, I've realized that the other places I frequent lack a key thing that I still need from this one: a useful confessional. So, here I am, back again, blathering more or less into the wilderness. Will anyone listen? No clue. But that's almost beside the point, actually.

I've been backsliding lately into some less-than-healthy behaviors, and I think part of it is because I no longer have an easy way to get icky stuff off my chest/process rabid brain weasels. I've always been a journaler, of a sort, because writing things down helps me work through them. Stoopid ADD means just plain thinking about things doesn't always help, because everything gets tangled up and shoots off in hundreds of different directions and it's hard to make sense of it all. Talking about them in person does help sometimes--the feedback I get from M when I unload on him is frequently very helpful--but sometimes I need something more extensive or Id-level than is appropriate or useful. Ergo: writing.

Unfortunately, I haven't had an easy way to do this lately save just opening up a Word doc and typing. I'm on almost every social-media out there, but while each has its advantages, and has become a place for sharing different parts of my life/interests/thoughts, none of them are really appropriate for this purpose.

Here's a rundown of where I am these days, for those wondering (or showing up here from elsewhere):

Where virtual Texty hangs out )

Looking at that list, with its heavy emphasis on public and short-form posts, it's no wonder I've felt so muzzled these days. I'm posting constantly, but I'm not really posting anything seriously emotional. Because I've also been low on close meatspace friends these days, and M just doesn't have the bandwidth to play therapist for me all the time, all of the toxic brain-weasel droppings have been building up, and therefore my head needs a flush.

So. Hi. I'm posting here again.

Because most other places fill the rest of my needs, that means almost everything here from now on will be of that personal nature. It's going to be whine city here, I'm afraid. If you'd rather not sign on to that sort of thing, feel free to unfriend me, or ask me to filter you out. Almost everything is going to be friends-locked at the least, though, so if you do want to read it, make sure I have you friended here. Also, beware that there will be trigger topics galore here. A lot of my issues are based in discrimination I face, crappy health, and shitty-childhood stuff, and I'm going to Go There on a lot of that.

I may also occasionally sound less-than-justice-minded than usual. I am, as most folks know, a hardcore SJW (as the asshats put it), but as this will be Id-level stuff, there will undoubtedly be some of the darker, more selfish and less friendly parts of my brain here. Expect a lot of dumping about my frustration with some of the other corners of SJW land, for instance. My actions, especially political, are and always will be with a mind to helping as many people as possible, but sometimes I need to get selfish and that may mean not sounding charitable here and there. I am absolutely dedicated to helping others, but this is the "secure your own mask before" stuff, so fair warning.
textualdeviance: (Thunderstone)
Given that LJ, to my great dismay, is very nearly defunct, this will likely be the last year I post one of these here. Will copy it over to FB, and go from there next year. Seems sad to be letting go, after such a long (if occasionally dodgy) history on LJ, but since it's like a ghost town here, and community is what really drove it before, I think it's time. Fitting end to the year, I spose.

Onward to the life tally!

Last Year I ... )

This year, I will ... )
textualdeviance: (Thunderstone)
What started as my first NaNoWriMo project almost two years ago is finally a real, live wordbaby, and is up for sale at Amazon!



Back-cover blurb:

The rebirth of the harpies begins with one young man . . .

Harper Reed's post-high-school plans are up in the air. His promising football career has been cut short by an injury, the girlfriend he thought he might marry has dumped him after he confided to her that he also likes guys, and now, on his 18th birthday, he's started growing feathers.

According to the mouthy poltergeist who appears in his room, Harper's becoming a "mythic," one of thousands of creatures thought imaginary by most humans. Oh, and he's also the subject of an ancient legend and might well bring on the doom of humanity. Finding a new career path has suddenly become a much lower priority.

With the help of his ghostly guide and some new friends, including a charming mythology student, a con-artist faun, and a dragon princess, the young harpy must adapt to the changes in his body and identity while trying to discover the truth behind the dangerous curse that has given him wings.


In addition to the bisexual, biracial lead (he has a Canadian dad and Egyptian mom), the story features other LGBT and PoC characters, and has a prominent same-sex love story. Tired of wall-to-wall straight, white folks in most YA fantasy? So was I, so I wrote something different. All that, and it has harpies and dragons and ghosts, oh, my! ;)

Hope folks enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Also: Hi! Most of my blather these days is on FB, Twitter or my Wordpress blogs, but I still read my flist fairly regularly. Ought to post more here, but between the World's Cutest Baby and writing, I've just not had the bandwidth, alas!
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textualdeviance: (Thunderstone)
Say hello to my son Terran! Born 1/27/13, 2:13p. 9 lbs, 5 oz, 21". Brown hair, blue eyes. Birthmama had a rough time and needed a c-section, but she's recovering, and the Niblet is healthy and has been eating and sleeping well.


textualdeviance: (Can't Talk)
The Niblet hasn't yet decided to show up on his own, but there's an induction scheduled for tomorrow morning, so within the next ~24 hours or so, he'll finally be in my arms. Whoa.

I have a zillion and one feelings about this, of course, but the biggest is just being overwhelmed: So much to do, so much to learn, so much to think about now that I'm going to be responsible for the health and happiness of a tiny, helpless person. There's a chance that person may have some special needs down the road, too, so I need to be prepared for that as well (and am, mostly.) The house is close to baby-ready, the car seat is installed, we have plenty of supplies, and a go bag ready to take to the hospital. It's all going as it should. I think I can do this.

But one thing that's become clear in this is that the bandwidth I'm going to have available for anything other than my kid is going to be very, very small indeed for the foreseeable future. Obviously, M's going to be helping out early on, and the housekeeping and stuff will be managed. I also have some good local friends who can help in a pinch, and if all else fails, we'll find a way to afford a nanny or au pair to help here and there. But mentally and emotionally, my days of devoting a lot of energy to things outside my family are pretty much done for now. I'm going to keep writing, of course, and hope to find a way to sing again sometime, but most everything else will have to go by the wayside.

To that end, I've realized that I need to shrink my monkeysphere. It's something I've been thinking about for a while anyway, as I've felt increasingly overstretched, but now it's a lot more critical that I be careful about lending emotional energy to others when I'll have so little of it available.

FSM knows I love social media and fandom and knowing people all over the world, but one drawback to that is that I simply can't really be capital-F friends with all 200+ people I "know" from various places. I see their lives go past here or on FB, Tumblr or Twitter, and my instinct is to care about what's happening to them. The reality is that I can't, at least not in anything other than a truly superficial and therefore unsatisfying way. After years of trying to keep up, it's backfired: I now don't spend nearly enough energy on the people I'm closest to because it's getting sucked away by people I barely know. It's not a slight to those acquaintances, mind. They're perfectly nice people. But in order for me to be a good friend--and to have good friends of my own--I'm going to need to prune some folks from my everyday life.

This is frustrating, of course. I know so many lovely people I'd like to get to know better, but I'm just one person, with about 70% of the energy of an average one. I can't really keep up now. Keeping up when my life necessarily must revolve around my kid just isn't going to happen. I'm not, of course, going to be one of those diaper-brained Mommy sorts who has no life at all outside of her kid, but when I do have to make choices between him or other things, well, it's a damned easy choice to make.

So if I unfriend or stop following or don't acknowledge or respond to posts much for a while, please understand that it's not personal. Anyone who's kept up with me for long knows if I have a problem with someone, they hear about it. So it's not that at all. I just have to do some judicious editing in order to give the most important people and things in my life the attention they require. I'll still be posting somewhat here and there, of course. Hell, folks are probably going to get sick of my blathering on about my kid. But I'll basically be in broadcast mode, rather than interactive mode, except for the people I'm closest to. I need to focus on quality over quantity for now.

And mostly, I need to focus on my son, whom I am absolutely dying to finally meet.
textualdeviance: (Babies R Us)
As I write this, I'm waiting (im)patiently for my son to decide he's ready to be born.

Last Monday, we got another screening mail from our adoption agency. We'd had another one a month or so ago that didn't work out for logistical reasons (the adoptive parents needed to be in Oregon), so we didn't think much of it at the time. It did look promising, though. Screening mails/calls are done when there's an unusual circumstance, to make sure the potential adoptive parents are OK with the situation. In this case, it was a short timeframe, plus some preexisting medical conditions for both birthparents that could potentially be passed on to the child. They're things we know how to handle, though, so we said we'd go for it. The brief description of the birthparents sounded good, too, so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

Two days later, we got The Call. They'd picked us! Holy crap. The first blind-date meeting went incredibly well. Example: all four of us showed up wearing Woot shirts, and our poor muggle agency counselor seemed rather bewildered by the way we went off on all things nerd. I don't believe in love at first sight, but this was damned close to the adoption version of that concept. On Saturday, which was also the birthmom's due date, we had the second meeting, where we hashed out details and signed some paperwork. That also went really well.

And here we are now. I spent the majority of Sunday and Monday trying desperately to get over yet another iteration of the Plague, plus scrambling to do all the puttering and last-minute prep to be ready for the Niblet when he does show up. Which may be ... a while. Birthmom said she'd gone over by a week or two with her previous two, so it could be tomorrow, or it could be next week. I think we're all kind of antsy about it--her not least of all, undoubtedly--but I'm trying to stay calm, especially since there's not a lot I can do to make it go faster.

Of course, none of this is set in stone. Aside from the usual possible birth complications, etc., that anyone would face, there's also the tiny chance that they may change their minds. They have until 48 hours after the birth to do so if they're going to. But they apparently always wanted to do adoption, from the moment they found out she was pregnant, so I don't think that's a huge risk. (FWIW: the reason this is so last-minute is that they were working with another agency and that didn't pan out. Good for us, at least!) Still. Being in wait-and-worry mode means my brain is concocting all sorts of scenarios from delivery-room earthquakes to the discovery that the baby's actually an alien symbiote.

Assuming all goes well, however, within the next several days, there will finally be a tiny, squirmy human in my house who's actually ours, instead of one who ultimately goes home with someone else. That's ... I don't even know how to breathe, much less really wrap my head around that concept. I've prepared my whole life for potential parenthood, but part of me never believed it was actually going to happen. Part of me still doesn't believe it even now, and won't until the adoption is fully finalized. But the other part is already in love with little Terran, and can't wait to meet him.
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textualdeviance: (Eowyn pen)

It seems like it's been ages, and it kinda has--I started writing it more than four years ago--but my first novel is finally up for sale! Amazon has it in print and Kindle editions, and it's also at most of their international sites. Nook version is planned, but won't be out for a few months, since Amazon has exclusive digital rights for the first 90 days. However, the Kindle version is DRM-free, so if you're up for downloading and converting, have at it. It's also on the Kindle Lending Library, if you're short on cash.

Back-cover blurb, for those not already familiar with the story:

Young Mirya Thunderstone, like all Dwarf women, has lived her entire life inside her people's mountain home. Frustrated by her confinement, she longs to take up her family's legendary axe, and follow in the footsteps of her late, war-hero brother. But when an accident strands her outside the mountain, she finds there's more to being a hero than wielding a weapon.

Joined by a playful otterkin couple, a deadly Elf warrior, a laid-back Native hunter and an outcast orc, Mirya must use both her axe and her wits to find the truth behind the war that claimed her brother's life.

This is a YA novel in intent, but I think older and younger folks might like it, too. In terms of kid-friendliness, it's probably on the high end of PG: Some violence--not terribly graphic, and the romance bits are very tame. It's possible the language and social/philosophical issues might be a bit dense for younger ones, however. Basically, if your kid can handle Narnia or Harry Potter, she can probably handle this.

This thing is definitely fantasy-trope-a-go-go, but it's not exactly a Tolkien clone (nor did I intend it as such; I was actually influenced more by the Wizard of Oz and Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series.) The setting is a fantastical/alt-history version of the Pacific Northwest, centering on Mt. Rainier, and the characters' cultures are loosely modeled on those of middle-ages Russia (Dwarves), Japan (Elves) and Salishan tribes. And of course there are gay and feminist characters and themes. Of course. ;)

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about it, and if you enjoy it, please do leave a review at Amazon!

P.S.: Big up to [livejournal.com profile] foxipher for the gorgeous cover art. It's like she got inside my head and knew exactly what Mirya looked like. So happy with it. :)
textualdeviance: (Default)
Finally got in to see my reg doc to discuss the giant pile of labwork and figure out wtf is going on with me, and got a tentative diagnosis!

Doc thinks I have something called Polymyalgia Rheumatica, which was something I suspected when I first started looking into this. I'm awfully young for it--it's rare in anyone under 50--but since I have so many other oddball problems, doc thinks it's certainly possible in my case. It also often comes with a far more serious thing called Temporal Arteritis, which is inflammation of cranial arteries, but I don't have symptoms of that, so crossing my fingers it's not involved.

PMR an icky disease, but it is treatable, to a degree, and eventually goes away on its own after a few years. A long while to wait, definitely, but at least I know there's hope somewhere down the road. She's sending me to a rheumatologist to absolutely rule out anything else, and in the meantime, putting me back on prednisone, which is the primary treatment for this.

Interestingly enough, one of the common symptoms of this is anemia--particularly the microcytic/hypochromic stuff I have. Other parts of my labs rule out this being caused by actual iron deficiency. Rather, it's caused because the body's response to infection, inflammation, etc., is to hold back circulating iron to avoid feeding whatever bug is there. Theoretically, if I cure the inflammation, I can cure the anemia, too. Being able to get some energy back along with killing the pain would be fantastic. The better I feel, the easier it'll be to mind a little one when we finally get one.

Something else I also wonder: I've had many of the same symptoms, in a much milder form, for quite some time. Though sudden onset like this is possible (and may be triggered by infection or something) it also might be that I simply had a colossal flareup of something I've already had for a while. Without getting regular bloodwork to test for inflammation markers (sed rate, c-reactive protein), I would never have known about this. My ongoing aches, stiffness, etc. would be--and are--chalked up just to getting old and being fat, and everyone would think the reason I don't exercise is due to laziness, not anemia-caused exhaustion and inflammation-caused pain.

Come to think of it, it may be that I got this a year and a half ago. I remember having flu-like symptoms when we went to Dragon*Con in 2011, and feeling tired and achy ever since. I went from happily traipsing all over the UK earlier that summer to feeling utterly miserable just from walking through a grocery store now. Having this thing even back then would explain so, so much. And knowing it's treatable and limited, if annoying? Even better. It'd be fantastic to be able to be more active again. I want to go bird-stalking, dammit.

Oooh. I just got mail from the doc saying the rheumatoid factor test was negative. So that's another possibility eliminated. Looking more and more like this really is what's going on. It sucketh mightily, but knowing is half the battle, and now I do.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Not quite as much as 2011, as I was so sick for so long. But here's 2012's approximate tally:

Legit:
Finishing Harper: 32,000
Polishing up Thunderstone: 10,000
Worlds Away (new novel): 86,500

Fic: (Two Primeval and one Leverage): 2,350

Legit blog: 24,500 (49 posts at an average of 500 words each)

"Serious" LJ and Tumblr posts: ? But probably about the same as the legit blog.

Total: About 166,000

Vids:
Primeval: Brighter than the Sun, Heroes
PNW: An alt-edit of the opening titles

Graphics:
Two new designs up at Zazzle, a couple of ARCadians logos/headers, plus a few random things on Tumblr.
textualdeviance: (Default)
My yearly list of what's gone and what's to come (2011's, for reference.)

Last Year I ... )


This year, I will ... )
textualdeviance: (Default)
Good thing: the second mammo went well. Radiologist says it's prolly just a cyst. They want me back in six months, but otherwise, no worries.

Not good thing: Sometime in the last few days, I developed some weird symptoms, the biggest of which is stiffness and horrid pain in my shoulders and upper arms. Urgent care had no idea what's wrong, and the prednisone and hydrocodone they put me on isn't really helping. I go in to my reg clinic tomorrow for more followup, blood draws, etc. Not sure what they're going to find, but urgent care suggested it might be rheumatological/autoimmune. I really hope that's not the case and it's just some weird virus, but I guess I'll know soon.

In the meantime, I'm only barely functional, with drugs, because moving my arms hurts so bad I want to cry and throw up. Typing this now is possible due to two hydrocodone and a rx-strength naproxen, and it still hurts.

I've been sick for so long now, and I just want my life back, but I have a feeling that's not going to happen.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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textualdeviance: (Default)
The end is near--of the solar year, at least, if not the world. Seems like every year, I get completely out of whack between Thanksgiving and Solstice, but then I'm finally able to put the year away this day, and enjoy the rest of the calendar without worry that I've missed something. I probably have, but I stop caring, at least. So hooray for that.

Alas that this year's December chaos was far more intense than some, and it kind of came to a head the last few days. There's a lot going on--waiting for the adoption, getting my first book prepped to pub, holiday stuff, etc., but the biggest has been health issues. The plague I got just before T-day was huge--and it's still hanging on by its filthy fingernails, causing fairly massive exhaustion and lethargy, plus on-and-off fevers. And then there's also the knee issue, which still hasn't really resolved, and which is making standing, walking and even sitting difficult.

Thinking I'd be smart and at least get in for a physical/pelvic, I did so Tuesday ... and that's when things got weird. First, I noted to the doc that the ENT folks said my headaches aren't sinus-related, and suggested that I see a neurologist. My primary, however, doesn't think that's it. Instead, she thinks I have something called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Which is fancy words for saying there's too much fluid in my brain, and so when my BP is up--as it has been lately--there's extra pressure on my head, especially my optic nerves, causing the migraine-like symptoms I get. I go in soon to see an opthamologist to get screened for it, but I admit I'm seriously freaked out. One of the main treatments for this is a lumbar puncture to drain excess cerebro-spinal fluid. Hooray.

I also got the usual chiding about my HDL being too low and my BP edging into concern territory. And she needs me to see my endo soon, even though my A1C was basically fine. She also sent me in for a mammogram--my second, since I started last year. I'd thought the new protocol was every five years until 60, but apparently no. And, well. Good thing, because it found a lump.

(Way to bury the lede, Shawna. Sheesh.)

It's tiny--about the size of a pencil eraser--but it's big enough to feel, and doesn't have any surface disturbances to blow it off as a sebaceous cyst or something similar. Given that I have practically no risk factors (my family generally gets hypertension and diabetes, not cancer) and the thing is small, chances are it's no big deal. But I go in again the day after Christmas for a better scan + ultrasound to be absolutely sure. The location of it is also a bit concerning because it's close to my lymph nodes, so they want to confirm that it's not anything bad.

Like I say, chances are it's not. But if it is worrisome, I have absolutely no compunctions about them cutting that thing out or even hacking off the boob. I honestly couldn't care less whether I have boobs or not, so they can both go away if needed. Hell, I already straddle the line between butch and trans, so it's not like I'm going to have a problem with not feeling femme if I no longer have chesticles. And Susan G. Komen and her pink brigade can still kiss my ass, with how much money they waste on "awareness" when it could be going to research. Bleh.

At any rate ... I don't plan on dying soon, and I admit this has me scared enough that if it does turn out to be nothing, I may well get my lazy ass in gear and try to get the ol' bod a bit closer to not-fucked status. I already know there are some issues that won't ever go away, but I can probably at least get my HDL and BP in better nick, so there's that. Of course, if this turns out to be icky, the adoption is probably on permanent hold, but if it doesn't, we'll likely have a kid next year. And I'll want to make sure her non-bio mama is around long enough to see her get a few degrees and go live in space or build an underwater city or something. So there.
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textualdeviance: (Cascadia)
Been a while since I've properly checked in on the State of Me here!

Recovering today from last night's terrific chorus-reunion party (and bless D for tidying up the disaster zone afterward.) Got to see most of my usual suspects, which was lovely, but also some folks I'd not seen in a while--and a couple I'd not yet met before! The point of the party was to sing through some of our old stuff, and that didn't happen quite so much, because we were all quite rusty on remembering any of it, but we had a lovely time reminiscing about the group and past concerts anyway. Thinking seriously of throwing another one of these next summer, and doing it up a bit more formally--picking music in advance, etc. I really do miss singing and performing, and as that other chorus didn't really give me what I wanted, I need to find another way to do that regularly. If I were feeling seriously ambitious, I'd make plans for a proper (small) show, but with the upcoming adoption stuff and the fact that many others also have time-stealing little ones, not sure if it would really work out. Still, coming together now and then to harmonize with beloved others is so hugely gratifying for me that I need to figure out some way to do so.

---

One other thing that the party made clear: I can pretty much halt my usual late-year depression in its tracks by hosting some sort of social event. Yeah, it's a lot of work to put on, but reminding myself that there are other humans besides the ones with whom I share a house who (I assume) enjoy my company is a major boost. As I noted on Twitter the other day, I'm really not a going-out type, because I can't communicate properly in most crowded, public spaces (among other reasons), but that doesn't mean I'm anti-social. On the contrary, I adore (like-minded, compassionate) people, and that's a big part of why I spend so much time online--it helps me feel connected. Technically, I am still an introvert, and I do need a lot of quiet, non-people time (especially when I'm writing), but I need a lot more of in-person contact than I often get, and the longer I go between social events, the more I start hurting. So house parties with the people I like are a big thing for me. And I especially like hosting, because I like cooking for people, and our house is big enough for folks not to feel crowded. So, yeah. Feeling pretty good about how well things went last night. :)

---

Of course, another reason they went well is that we were all in high spirits thanks to the election results. Nationally, of course, I'm quite pleased that we won't have someone who would appoint more Scalia clones to the SCOTUS, and who supports GLBT and reproductive rights, and also that we had so many great new women elected to the Senate. But we also had a banner year on a state level, too, with the passage of 74, among other triumphs. Not a toker, so I'm not necessarily excited about the pot legalization thing (though I voted for it) but I do hope it at least frees up law enforcement to pursue more-serious offenses.

Have posted more about this on my legit blog, so won't say too much here, but I will say that I am distinctly pleased that the tide seems to be turning, and people are voting more from a place of thoughtfulness, compassion and understanding than one of fear and superstition. And I dearly hope, though I'm not optimistic, that the results will finally get more folks to realize that human rights shouldn't be up for debate. Legitimate political disagreement can be had over nuances of economic and administrative policy (though I'd hope such debates come with the backing of established fact, instead of outdated philosophy), but any policy based largely in religious dogma or the belief that suffering and death are reasonable consequences of poverty or lapses in judgment shouldn't even be on the table. Both objectivism and Christian exceptionalism need to get the hell out of the political discourse, so the rest of us can finally hash out the rest of it like adults.

---

Aside from politics and socializing, the majority of my recent time has been spent writing. I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this month, working on a prequel/book one for the project I did in August, and also spent much of the previous two months polishing up the other two. I'm pursuing traditional publishing for #2 (Harper) and also submitted it for a contest put on by a major publishing house. No clue how successful I'll be with that, but I did want to give it a go. For #1 (Thunderstone), I've decided to go ahead and self-publish, via Amazon's in-house service. Have enlisted the services of a cover artist and editor, and as soon as I have all that in place, I'll be posting it for sale.

I had originally been against the idea of self-pub, because it has some major drawbacks, most notably the perception, however much value it has, that self-pubbed works are notoriously crap. Also, having the support of a proper agent and publisher is a big deal, especially for larger distribution options. But then, I also realized that my stuff isn't quite mass-appeal enough for most agents or publishers to want to take a chance on it, especially in a tightening market. Getting my foot in the door that way is going to be a major uphill climb, and one I'm not sure I have the patience for. On the other hand, if I get this out there myself and get a decent following, that will go a long way to helping me get a proper deal, for it or other stuff. I retain full rights with this service anyway, so it's not like I'm screwing myself out of future traditional pub options. It may not sell more than a dozen copies, but it'll at least be out there for folks who might like the story, and that's what really matters.

So, yeah. Hoping to get this one live by early December, and will definitely be linking to it far and wide when it's ready (they also do print-on-demand, so folks still wanting analog editions can get those, too.) In the meantime, it's back to the keyboard for more work on #3/3.5.

---

Other than that, it's just the usual around here: playing video games, watching TV and movies, doing fandom stuff and trying to keep the cats from destroying each other or the house. Definitely feeling the itch for more travel, and we might try to find a way to get to Hawaii soon, but beyond that, we're more or less content with the holding pattern we're in while we wait to get picked by birthparents. My ongoing existential angst and annoyance with rotten people notwithstanding, I think my fall is going pretty well. :)
textualdeviance: (Default)
Spamming folks here who might not have me on Twitter, FB, etc.

Have posted a scene from the novel I just sent off for a contest (this is #2, the one I did for last year's NaNo.) it'll be a while before the whole shebang gets properly published, but I figured I may as well show folks what I do these days. :)

Posted over here on the quasi-legit blog.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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textualdeviance: (Babies R Us)
We're in! Of course, it's nearly two months past when I thought it would happen, but we are, finally, in the adoption pool! We had a little conference call with our agency counselor to tie up a few other things, and she said we'd actually got in as of Monday--she'd just been out of office and hadn't got the info until late.

It's amazing how freeing this feels. We've spent nine months just getting this far, and even though a lot of that was waiting, it was anxious waiting: wanting to be sure we had all the paperwork right, and that they'd approve us, etc. There will be waiting now, of course--probably a year of it, at least--but we don't have to actually do anything until we get picked by birthparents, so it's a lot less stressful.

Actually, I take that back: we do have a couple of tasks ahead of us in the short term: getting together a pile of emergency baby gear, just in case we get a last-minute placement, and getting M (finally) snipped. But beyond that, we really don't need to do anything else but wait and hope that someone out there thinks we're awesome enough to raise their kid. We're somewhat restricted in what we can do during the wait--we need to keep any traveling within a short flight away from home--but beyond that, we can just go about our business, now.

---

At the moment, of course, the majority of my business is working on novel revision and thinking a bit about what else I might want to write for the proper NaNo coming up in ~6 weeks. I finally completed an overhaul of Harper that I've been meaning to do, and I feel pretty good about that. Also got another beta reader lined up for that, and I'm interested to hear what she has to say about it, since she's very familiar with the market I'm aiming for.

The other one, the one I just finished, does need some major surgery. I ditched the first two (grossly infodump-heavy) chapters, but it didn't quite feel right. Three hours of banging my head at it last night, and I finally fixed it: Same scene, different PoV character. Made all the difference in the world. Will probably spend much of the next week going over the rest of it and expanding where needed. I know M and D want to read it soon, but it does need quite a lot of polish before I'll let that (beta) wordbaby out into the world.

---

Other than the writing and the adoption stuff, though, I'm not doing anything special. Still mucking around with my container gardening. The tomato plants are scaring me with how huge they are, and I seem to actually be growing artichokes and Meyer lemons, which is kind of astonishing. I guess we've just had enough hot, sunny weather for them to grow. Not complaining! Also need to figure out bulb-planting stuff, since it's about that time. We don't have much of that already planted, and I always forget to do it in the fall, so I'm going to try to remedy that this time.

Amazed it's Seoptember already, though. Need to think about my plans for fall--the usual house parties, holiday stuff, of course. Also in a nesting mood, now, so there will be things like cleaning out freezers and general tidying, plus scheduling some regular house-maintenance services we need, like roof cleaning and such.

Or ... I may just spend what pre-parent, non-writing time I have left watching trashy TV shows, playing video games and doing dorky fan shit. :)
textualdeviance: (Eowyn pen)
As mentioned elsewhere: I finished my Camp NaNo project last Friday. I'd already hit the 50k a week before that, but I finished the story, too--the rough draft, of course. It'll need a lot of expansion and editing before it's truly done. Still. Yay?

But I also still have my mental Mean Girl nattering away in the back of my head, telling me that it was a big waste of time and that considering myself a writer is the height of ego, so I should just stop this silliness and go get another soul-crushing desk job again because that's all I'm really suited for. (Yes, my mental Mean Girl is a nasty creature and if she were a real human being I'd probably punch her. Damn fake people in my brain making me upset. Bleh.)

What's pushing me that direction is how much deja vu this is with my attempts at putting together singing and journalism careers. I'm entering this industry right when it's changing drastically, and when it's being flooded with amateurs and mass-market crap, all of which is far more marketable than I am. I may be more talented, and my work may be better, but because neither I nor my work is in the flavor-of-the-week sweet spot, my chances of getting paid to do this are pretty small.

But, unlike those other two careers, the work itself--if not the getting-paid part--doesn't necessarily depend on other people; here the only enemy is the aforementioned hateful brain squatter. She's tough, but I'm tougher. Or at least I hope I am. I'm coming to realize that I need a lot of work to get my stuff into sellable form, and I'm trying really hard not to be daunted by that.

Talent v. skill )

More than feeling guilty about not having a paycheck job, I feel guilty for not fulfilling the promise I had when I was a kid. I really was smart and talented and had the world in front of me then, and a lot of shit got in the way of me doing anything with it. Now that most of that shit is cleared away, I feel like I'd be doing my child self a great disservice by not picking up where she left off and fulfilling my potential. And, best as I can tell at the moment, my greatest chance of doing that is by publishing a novel. At least one, maybe a lot more.

Which means that the stupid mental mean girl needs to shut the hell up so I can learn how to do this right and make that happen. I refuse to die without having my obituary say something more than "survived by" so dammit, this has to happen, and soon. And the only way it's going to is if I stop thinking that only those people who are born to do this in their sleep can get paid for it. It's NOT true that unless something is easy for you, you're not good at it. Most everyone had to start somewhere, and I'm already well on my way. No sense in steering the car off a cliff now.
textualdeviance: (Eowyn pen)
Still high on my success of last November, I decided to do the summer version of NaNoWriMo, and I conquered it! Got the first 50k done in 24 days, and now seeing how much closer I can get to finishing the story by the end of the month.

Assuming I do finish it--and I'm sure I will--this will be my third completed novel in the last two years (fourth, if you count the 120k-word fanfic novel) and to be honest: I'm gobsmacked that I've done this.

I'm sure many reading this won't be surprised. I'm ridiculously verbose, after all (an LJ post of less than 500 words is incredibly short), so banging out ~300,000 words of fiction theoretically doesn't seem like much. However, most of that verbosity is in blog posts, commentary and other short-form nonfiction. Even my fanfic, until I started writing the series that eventually became a novel, was rarely more than 3,000 words each. I've been writing since I was a kid, and I've always had something to say, both in commentary and fiction, but I've never before had the stamina and focus to tell a long-form story. My ADD and tendency to get bored easily would always kick in, and I'd move on to something else before I'd got more than a couple of chapters in. There are probably as many words of unfinished stories sitting in various notebooks and hard drives as there are of the ones I've finished the last couple of years.

So what changed? How am I able to do this now when I wasn't before?

When strangers ask me what I do, I tell them I'm a writer. Then they ask me if I'm published. Well ... )
textualdeviance: (Whole Lotta WTF)
There are a ton of thoughts swirling around in my brain right now about how powerlessness/passivity has become acceptable shorthand for female sexuality, and indeed womanhood itself. But I'd probably piss people off if I tried to write it all out right now while I'm tired.

Short version, though (frank talk ahoy--shy folks look away now):

A) Merely posessing a vagina does not mean your entire sexuality revolves around finding something to put in it. Conversely, merely posessing a penis doesn't mean your entire sexuality revolves around finding a hole to stick it in.

B) Merely enjoying being on the receiving end of penetrative sex does not constitute being sexually or socially passive. (And the converse.)

C) Merely identifying as female doesn't mean your sexuality revolves around penetration or passivity. (And the converse.)

D) Merely enjoying being sexually passive doesn't mean you want to be passive in the rest of your life.

E) Merely enjoying being sexually passive with certain people doesn't mean you want to be put on display for strangers like some prize heifer.

F) Therefore, any assumption that any given female-identified and/or vagina-posessing person should be open to sexual advances from strangers is inherently sexist. And bullshit.

There are, of course, millions of women who do harbor the fantasy of being taken by a dashing, muscle-bound rogue. Some even enjoy being actually submissive, when they're with a partner/in an environment they trust. But none of that means that a given woman should be assumed to want that, and approached thusly. Fantasy, or the exercise thereof in controlled environments, has fuckall to do with how people want to interact with strangers in the real world.

Also--this is the controversial part--women who do enjoy being sexually or socially passive shouldn't imply (or outright state; I've seen this) that the way they like to do sex and socialization is somehow the most authentic expression of female sexuality, or indeed of femaleness in itself. Just because we code sexual passivity or penetration-receptiveness as feminine doesn't mean that's what those things actually are.

In short: You are not your genitals, neither am I, and neither of us should be defining our sexuality, much less our gender identity or the rest of who we are, by how we like to put those bits to use.

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