azriona: (cat in a box)
Today was the first day since Andrew returned to school that I didn't have a million things to do in the morning. Sunday was a bunch of random little appointments and errands, and yesterday was Writer's Group, so today I dropped him off at school and high-tailed it home, made some popsicles and then packed up the laptop and went off to Beano's, where I spent a happy two hours alternately writing and staring into the middle distance, and ended up with a chapter and a half of Heart 3. (HURRAH.) I plan on doing the same thing tomorrow morning.

I should go to the gym, because it's been too long, and I have Neverwhere waiting to be loaded onto my iPod shuffle so I can listen to it on the elliptical machine, but I am being lazy and enjoying the writing too much. I also feel like if I ignore Heart 3 any longer, I'll never actually be able to write it.

The weather's turning warmer; I've been keeping popsicles loaded in the common room freezer downstairs, which has consequently made me the most popular mom in the complex. (Today's offering: strawberry with balsamic vinegar. Tomorrow: peach raspberry, with some banana thrown in because I have some overripe bananas and they give a nice creamy texture to the finished product.) I've also been sneaky and added veggies to a couple of the popsicles (spinach and carrot, so far, though one mom is lobbying for parsnip). So far, none of the kids have noticed or complained.

Writer's group was good yesterday, for all that I wasn't entirely jazzed about going. But here's the funny thing: so I'm submitting bits and pieces of the O.S., right? Well, I was told in unequivocal terms that I'm not allowed to submit it in drips and drabs anymore...because the majority of the group wants the whole damn thing, all at once, preferably last week.

Which is both awesome, and incredibly scary. The problem is that I've been sending the group the "new" version (which is still two years old), where I was rearranging the scenes to occur in a different format. And I never actually finished the rearranging, and looking and what I did, I can't for the life of me figure out where I stopped. Which means I have to read the thing from top to bottom, in several versions, in order to figure out what the heck I was thinking.

I like the story, but we're talking over 700 pages for just one version, and the idea of having to do this is...well, making me want to write Heart 3 instead, which ought to please the people waiting for it, if not my writer's group.

So...yay, and darn. Well, at least it's darn for a good reason. Now if I could only title the damn thing....
azriona: (cat in a box)
1. Andrew v Cleo
Cleo snuck into Andrew's room just before I put him to bed tonight. Normally Cleo does not hang in Andrew's room at night, because we keep his door closed so that we can watch TV and not worry about noise. Also, because Andrew doesn't need the distraction of OMG CLEO IS ON MY BED when we're really rather he go to sleep.

Except Cleo snuck into his room, and then crawled under his bed and refused to move.

This was about an hour ago. She's still in there. Andrew's asleep.

This is very odd. I kept expecting one or the other to bother each other so much that the bothered one would vacate the room and come in here to complain. And I'd really like to get some cross-stitch done, but I don't want to turn on the TV and wake Andrew up. Grr.

2. The recipe testing continues
Recent recipes tested included two kinds of soup (watercress, which was way yummy, and carrot and ginger, which was a bit salty but I blame that on locally-purchased bullion). I have plans to remake the chicken-and-tomatoes dish, which is going to be heavily modified, and traditional English bangers, which will not be bangers because I can't get the casings, so they'll be patties instead.

Oh, and [ profile] ashfae's gingerbread. Hmm. Ash, think the gingerbread would work in an ice cream cake, if I baked it thin?

3. Writing
I've figured out the next major movement in Mise - whew. I'm still somewhat stuck on Heart3. I have apparently signed up to write a soulmate AU. I'm also apparently writing another essay on Omegavere Genetics, based on some fascinating conversations in the comments about genetic theory.

I really, really, really need to stop turning minor projects into major epics.

3a. Writer's Group
So, three meetings now. I ended up presenting a portion of the still-unnamed Original Story at the second meeting, which was fairly well received, especially if you consider that I didn't submit more of it for the third meeting, and was consequently scolded for the omission by two of the members.

But it's fun. And I really like the group of women, and I don't think I'm the best writer in the group, but I'm not the worst either. (Apart from the journalist, I might be the one with the most experience.)

3b. Speaking of writing and experience
Don't suppose anyone on my flist ever worked in a restaurant, did you? If so, speak now, or you don't get to criticize when I do finally start posting Mise and everything that happens in the kitchen is all wrong.

4. Speaking of Movies. We weren't speaking of movies? Well, now we are.
Bill and I are getting Skyfall from Netflix next. FINALLY. I understand that Bond/Q is the pairing to watch, or something like that. There's also a whole bunch of BondLock, and I'd like to see what the fuss is about.

5. Supernatural

Okay, people. Convince me. Why do I need to watch this? Better yet, how do I convince Bill, because he's started rewatching BSG, and there's only so much doom and gloom I can take in the evenings.
azriona: (Mr Morton)
So the writer's group I joined last week...we're supposed to submit something tomorrow, no more than 2500 words long, for the rest of the group to read and critique.

And...I have nothing. I didn't write anything new in the past week - I barely had time to work on either Mise or Heart3 - and I looked at some of my old stuff and I don't particularly want to submit much of that, either. (Well, there's one short story I wouldn't mind submitting, but it's well above the word count.) I really don't want to submit any of the fanfiction, because I don't think that's fair, so I'm sort of stuck.

Doesn't help that I still don't quite know what I would write for them - I don't have an original story idea at the moment, I don't feel comfortable enough to share what I've written years ago without going over it myself first, and we weren't sent home with any sort of prompt to get us started. I'm just...stuck.

I feel a little like I'm showing up to class without having done the homework, and knowing the teacher's going to call me on it.

So, I think I have three options here.

1. Swallow my pride and send them something old. I can run through it while I'm determining how much to send, but surely it can't be that awful, can it? (Don't answer that.) And I do know that the O.S. needs help, desperate help, from any quarter, and maybe this quarter could be useful.

2. Search & Replace function in Word. Take a fanfic and replace the names with something else and pretend it's not fanfiction. Because that worked so well for Donna. (I admit, this is probably a fairly crack-tastic option.)

3. Apologize profusely and ask for a slight extension of a few days, under the assumption that everyone's going to be reading everyone else's work first anyway. And then buckle down and write something, anything, perhaps with the aid of finding an online prompter of some sort (flist, I'm also looking at you. HALP).

I don't particularly want to start off on the wrong foot. I really liked the writer's group in Bishkek, I'd like to leave this one in good standing, which might spur me on to find another writer's group when we move to our next post.

[Poll #1898945]

It should be noted that people who vote for the Leopard and/or Tiger will get Internet Hugs and Kisses.

Edited to add:
So I ended up sending in an excerpt from the Original Story. It's 35 words over the limit, but I'm going to assume no one will chastise me for 35 words. We'll see what happens.

But by all means, keep voting if you haven't already, because if more people vote for the tiger, perhaps EGT will take pity on us.
azriona: (Peppers)
Man, my mommy group is full of wimps.

So the group was planning to go to Reston Zoo this morning. Yesterday, some of the mommies started making noises, having looked at the weather report, which predicted *gasp* rain. The mommy in charge of the outing was calm, though, and said, "We'll make a decision in the morning."

So this morning, Andrew woke up just as I did, and there wasn't a chance to check my email until about half an hour ago when I figured, "Screw it," and turned on the Muppets. (Current viewing: Sam the Eagle doing Stars & Stripes Forever.)

The meetup, which was supposed to commence at 10am? Cancelled. Rain.

The actual forecast? Cloudy and cool this morning, no rain until 3 or so, and then very light.


So in about fifteen minutes, I'm going to brave not the weather, which is negligible, but tearing Andrew away from Muppets so that we can go and see actual animals, and not Muppetized chickens/bears/penguins/etc. (Also, Andrew has recently starting mooing. I feel the need to reinforce the mooing by showing him a cow, and Reston Zoo has cows.)

I'm not sure if I'm so blase about this because we have a membership to the zoo and don't have to pay the $12 to get in, or because HELLO, it's not even supposed to rain until NAPTIME, and if we stayed in every time a drop of water fell from the sky, there are weeks when we'd never actually go out. (And I'm saying that as a person who, having grown up in the desert, thinks water falling from the sky is intrinsically wrong.)

A quick word on the Original Story, believe it or not. )
azriona: (Default)
Weird dream last night, probably precipitated by the fact that I woke up at 2am with cramps, and ended up sleeping sitting up on the couch downstairs. I dreamed that for some reason, Bill and I bought a new house, and I was seeing it for the first time. The kitchen was...weird, and little, and every appliance in it (fridge, dishwasher, oven, even a deep-freeze) was avocado green. I don't think deep freezes even were made in avocado green, but nevertheless, there they were. It was kind of frightening.

Although - when I was growing up, our fridge was avocado green. That fridge was older than I was; it died while I was away at college. Apparently, when the repairman announced the time of death, my mom was already in the car, ready to go to Sears and pick out a new one.

Weird dream, plus I slept late - I only woke up about half an hour ago - so now my whole day feels a bit off-kilter. I finished editing the Phantom/Doctor Who fic for [ profile] momdaegmorgan yesterday, and it's off with one of the usual suspects for betaing. I looked at the O.S., laughed, and put it away again. I wrote a query letter for Two Roads Traveled, but I'm going to write two additional scenes for it so the query letter is probably a bit premature. (But I've never actually written a query letter before, so maybe an early start isn't a bad idea.)
azriona: (Default)
1. [ profile] momdaegmorgan's PhanFic - Just started Chapter Three, and figured out the trick. Might be....oh, around six or seven chapters?

2. [ profile] wiggiemomsi's Support Stacie Fic - Have solved the Timey-Whimey issue. Wrote like gangbusters on Sunday, but haven't had a chance since.

3. [ profile] doctordiva's poem - I looked at it. Once. Stupid rhyme scheme.

4. [ profile] amberfocus's Smurf story - Chapter 4 is done. Chapter 5 is being a pain in the rear; I can't find a good facial expression for the Doctor. Yeah, I know.

5. [ profile] writerinatardis fic - Working on it.

6. [ profile] chips_remixed fic - SHOULD be working on it. I started.

7. Water Music - need to edit, and write more chapters.

(And in the original fiction section:)


9. Two Roads Traveled - Don't Ask.

Am I missing anyone? Flist, did I promise you a drabble or something and not deliver? Help me out, please. I feel like I'm forgetting something.....
azriona: (Default)
Hmm. Odd not to have another story to post this week; the next chapter of Water Music will probably end up being the next three, and it's not written out yet (although it's plotted). I've got several stories on backburner, but the O.S. is taking up most of my time, and mostly, I'm good with that.
azriona: (Default)
I called in "plumber" today - which basically amounts to "there's a leak under the kitchen sink AGAIN and I think it's the dishwasher", and since the plumber is due to arrive between 10 and 2, I'm sort of out for the count as far as work goes when there's a 45-minute one-way commute involved.

Which, frankly, suits me just fine, because if I hadn't called in Plumber, I might have called in Sick Due to Mental Health.

So, as I wait for the plumber to arrive (a little more than halfway through the window), I've been working like mad on the O.S.

It's better. I think. I'm not entirely sure. It was kind of rambly before, and I'm trying to make it more cohesive, but the problem with making something cohesive is that you end up losing a lot of stuff. Explainy-sort of stuff. So now I have NO idea if it is going to continue to make sense.

(Not that any of my rambling about it does, anyway!)

Cleo is happily napping on the futon behind me; the day is bright and sunshiney and there's a lovely cool breeze blowing into the office, and I'm feeling awfully glad that I called in Plumber, because there is a very good chance that everything I've done so far this morning is the most productive I've been all week.
azriona: (Default)
I am having incredible amounts of trouble getting Page 14 down properly.

On the other hand, the bunnies gave me a new idea for a fanfic, plus they told me how to fix the O.S.

Which may go back to the O.S. for a while, because there's another book that just came out with a title of "The Something's Something Else". Sigh. Also, the idea the bunnies offered sort of precludes the title I'd tentatively picked out.

The bunnies also offered advice on how to write Chapter 9 of Water Music, which is much better than what I'd had planned, so I'm going to work on that.

But, in the meantime...I have a new scanner. Which is, ironically, the same model as the old scanner. Except this scanner works. And was $15 on Craig's List. Yay, Craig's List!

So scanning of photos continues. The bonus is that I'm running across some really, really old photos.

Cut because no one really wants to see pictures of a much younger me on their journal, anyway. Even if I was AWFULLY cute. )
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Good lord - I don't look at LJ for 36 hours and you all become posting FIENDS. Took me a good two hours to catch up to everyone, and I'm not even done yet, because I haven't looked at the communities.

But in the meantime...oh, these Wordles are fun. I printed mine out, I think they're quite pretty.


One Day:

Choices and Chances:

Water Music (Chapter One):

The unnamed Nine/Rose smut story I wrote for [ profile] amberfocus (although [ profile] wiggiemomsi will like it too):

And just because I can....The entirety (gulp) of The Musician's Sister (formerly known as the O.S.):

Rainstorm today once I got home - that last bit being key. But I looked out the window just as it was ending, and much to my surprise, I saw a double rainbow. Naturally, I took pictures. )
azriona: (Default)
A list of various recent observations )

6. And finally....I've seen this going around, and haven't been sure I wanted to play. Mostly because I suspected at least one person would ask me if, in One Day the Doctor would ever get around to explaining what he's been trying to explain for nine chapters. Except he did it in Chapter 10, which is posted, so I don't fear that question anymore.


Ask me question about anything I've written - Doctor Who fanfic, Harry Potter fanfic, Original Stories, whatever - and I promise to answer you truthfully.

azriona: (Default)
In writing on the Metro today, I managed to actually come up with a halfway decent synopsis for the Original Story (which actually might have a title now, I'm still not sure). So I'm quite pleased with that.

I also started working on the Interim between One Day and Part Three (which has a title, but it's a boring one).

But here's the thing: I like writing on the Metro, despite the crowding and the lack of seating, and most of the time I can even read my handwriting after a particularly jarring ride. The only thing I don't like is stuff like today, where I sat down (yay, open seats!) and the person next to me who previously had been reading decides to shut her book and sort of half pretend to look ahead of her while she's really READING OVER MY SHOULDER AS I WRITE.


Now, granted, I'm not writing anything I don't plan on sharing with folks at some point in time. But that's not exactly an invitation to read over my shoulder as I'm writing it. As much as I put stock into grammar and punctuation and spelling here, all bets are off in my notebook, especially when the idea is pouring out like crazy, and all I really want to do is get it down.

Also, I'm paranoid.

Anywho, point to the entry. Title for the Original Story:

[Poll #1195361]
azriona: (Houses by the Book)
I go away for four days, and my flist explodes with fanfiction. It's rather insane, and one person in particular has been prolific beyond belief, but I dare not start reading because I'm THIS CLOSE to finishing Part Four of Crossroads, and I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to get there now.

In which I get sort of wibbly about writing, and the O.S. and its connection to Crossroads specifically )

In other news, I got a packet in today's mail with a sample of wet cat food for Cleo. I tried it out on her - she's not one bit impressed. She spent ten minutes licking the sauce off, and left all the meaty bits. This is probably just as well, since she's never had any problems with her kibble, and I'm not overly anxious to switch her to wet food.

Tonight is pizza for dinner, my traditional first-meal-after-Passover dish of choice. Of course, Passover ended last night, and since then, I've had a chocolate croissant, baked ziti, and a piece of birthday cake. After tonight's pizza, I shall be sufficiently carbed up, methinks.
azriona: (Default)
Ended up staying up somewhat late last night; I saw that High School Musical was on AFN and since it's also on the NetFlix list, I figured I'd give it a go. Oh man, was that a horribly corny updated version of Grease. Entertaining, though. I giggled most of the way through it. I certainly don't remember bursting into song and dance when I was in high school, but it looks like it might have been fun to try.

Then, I was also raised on musicals, so maybe I'm just predispositioned to like them. Bill would have hated it; anytime someone bursts into song, his face goes into contortions like a cat's just jumped on his lap.

Anyway, the only bonus to staying up late (because the movie ended at 12.30) was that right before I fell asleep, two words just popped up into my head, and now I've got a title for the O.S. I wrote them down, just in case, but they're still there, although I don't know that I like them quite as much in the harsh light of day as I did in the dark corners of the night. They still work better than anything else, though, so I'd say the O.S. is for all practical purposes, titled.

Hoo and Rah.

In other news, I am amused how this meme turned out, particularly as I said that the most attractive mutant was Wolverine, and I was under the impression that Cyclops and Wolverine hated each other.

You Are Cyclops

Dedicated and responsible, you will always remain loyal to your cause.
You are a commanding leader - after all, you can kill someone just by looking at them.

Power: force beams from your eyes
azriona: (Default)
I took my pedometer off on Friday and put it somewhere; since then, I haven't been able to find it. Most annoying. The guestimated total mileage for last week is 27 miles, based on the 21 I had when I last looked at the pedometer on Friday, and the five miles other folks accumulated on Saturday's hike. The real mileage is probably closer to 29, but I choose not to cheat.

(And anyway, no one would accuse me of it; there are two people at the embassy who are claiming weekly mileage totals in the 70s.)

The sunburn on my arms is slowly healing. Despite the warm weather, I've been wearing long sleeves outside - I've got a very thin white cardigan that works well. People have been telling me that I'm glowing through it. I consider this a bad, if funny, thing. I've got full mobility, though, although twisting hurts a little. Yay for Tylenol and lots of extra lotion.

(The more lotion I use, the less I have to pack.)

In other news, Bill and I bought a portable DVD player yesterday at the base, since such things can be hooked up to televisions successfully and be portable. It's a random no-name brand that appears to have been manufactured in Korea - but it's also dual voltage and I found instructions online on how to make it multi-region, so life is currently pretty good. Plus, it was cheap, and it's got a 7" screen.

Lastly, will be starting editing on Part Two of the O.S. this afternoon. Hopefully it'll go as well as Part One did.
azriona: (Default)
*looks at clock*

Bill will be home in six hours, and he said he's bringing me a present. How much you wanna bet he gets home and says, "Well, I tried to bring you a kitten, but I forgot about how Customs is confiscating all cats coming into the country because they're freaking out over bird flu, and so they executed the cat on my way in"?

(Seriously. They've executed at least one that I know of so far. Cats don't carry bird flu? Yeah, see, Central Asians? Not so good with the logic.)

Finished work on Part One of the O.S. yesterday - strangely enjoyable, for editing. Very weird sensation, but I liked it. I ended up cutting parts and rewriting others, fixing POV and rearranging chunks, and all in all there's now 12 pages less of it than there was before, which is pretty darn good I'm thinking, considering a month ago I was digging in my heels about cutting any of it at all.

(Amazing what an entire month away will do for your viewpoint. As well as half your readers thinking the main character is not the person you intended it to be.)

Anyway, I'm exhausted, and I have six hours before I'm woken up by a horny husband. Dude, he better be bringing me CinnaBuns. Or a very pretty gold something-or-other.
azriona: (Default)
Whew. I'm exhausted. I spent all day editing the O.S., except for the hour I watched Oprah and ate lunch, and the hour I went on a walk because I'd hit a snag on POV and needed to clear my head, plus had to put in some walking to Baku.

(3.78 miles today so far. I figure I've reached the outskirts of B with that distance.)

Therefore, I am calling it a day - and seeing as I started editing around nine this morning, and it's *gasp* quarter to eight now, I figure I'm fine in that regard - and I shall spend the rest of the evening cross-stitching and watching the DVD of Titus I borrowed from another embassy famiy. (The TV show, not the movie.) Fluff is good for cross-stitch and tired brains.

On the bright side, though, editing has been fun, which it normally isn't, which I suppose is what happens when you take an extremely long haitus from a project. Either that or I'm just weirder. Or I'm enjoying yelling at the comments on the story. (Mostly in the form of, "NO, you silly beta! I explained that storyline twist three pages back! See! It's right....oh.....wait.....nevermind.")
azriona: (Default)
So I've got the kitchen table all set up for morning, when I start editing Part One of the O.S. What's odd about it is that editing is normally the part I hate the most, but I'm seriously looking forward to tomorrow morning.

(The only reason I'm not starting now is that one beta says she'll have most of Part One waiting for me in the morning. Plus, it's nearing 11pm and my creative skills are peakiest in the morning.)

Plus, my left pinkie still is bothering me. Maybe I pinched a nerve or something. If it's not better on Tuesday I'll hop over to the medical unit and let Nurse J take a peek, although I suspect she'll say it's a pinched nerve and that's what I get for riding horses in the mountains. But I also gave her photographs to decorate the medical unit because the guy who donated the last bunch returned to B after being shipped out and took them all back.

I signed the back of the new bunch over to the medical unit so that doesn't happen again. Sheesh!

Speaking of tomorrow, Nurse J has also decided that in order to get us all moving, the embassy as a whole is going to walk to Baku. Not actually to Baku; we're all just logging miles and she's moving pins on a map, but the thought is there. She's handed out pedometers and everything. Today, as prep for the trip, I walked 3.68 miles, circling the town center. (Plus did twenty situps, which continue to be wretchedly difficult.) Now, whether or not I can keep that up daily, I don't know. I also don't know what the pace will end up being all told - as we're allowed to wear our pedometers all day, and you walk a lot of miles in the course of a day - but I figure that's a good start. Tomorrow morning, I'll strap on my pedometer and see how far I go.

I seriously doubt I'm going to be able to walk all the way to Baku before we PCS out, but I'm hoping to keep near the lead until we go. Nurse J's offering prizes to the weekly leaders - would be nice to snag one of those, assuming they're any good. She's not telling us what they are, which isn't such a good sign, methinks. Eh. I'll consider myself rewarded if I can get into that size 12 dress in the closet that still doesn't zip all the way without breaking a few ribs.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Insane weekend, what with birthday barbecues and weird weather conditions, and yesterday it snowed of all things, and I haven't been much in the mood to post, but had a few things to share with you all, so here I am.

1. Yes, folks, it's the poll we've all been waiting for: Bill's Final Challenge is having its showdown. Will it be Monty Python, or Microsoft, that takes over the world? You decide! It's a battle between good and evil, and currently in the lead is...well, go vote, and you'll find out.

2. And once you're done there, there's a doctoral student at the University of Calgary who needs some help with her research. While the quiz partially deals with Harry Potter, you don't need to have even read the books to take the quiz - and I think she'll end up using those people as a sort of "control group" for the rest of us loonies. So if you have a spare half-hour or so, please do take her quiz and help her out. (That is, it took me half an hour, although she warns that it might take as much as an hour. I sort of doubt that, but I read fast.)

3. Have been feeling more or less out-of-sorts the last few days; no idea why. Might be the weirdness of trying to find an apartment from halfway around the world, although really it's Noel doing all the footwork. Might be lonesomeness. Might be impending reverse culture shock, because having been there once, I can safely say that it is not a barrel of monkeys. (Unless we're talking smelly, sticky, poo-throwing monkeys, in which that about sums up the feeling exactly.) Anyway, one of the very few things holding me together at the moment, or so it would seem, is that one of the betas has been whipping through the O.S. at speeds of light and sending me an email every day or so, and reading those is like a breath of extremely fresh and pine-smelling air.

(Which is not meant as a slap on the wrist of the rest of the betas, as I know you all are very busy and whatnot. Only I haven't looked at the O.S. once, and I feel such a painful sense of loss not getting to play with my characters. And I've only lived with them for three years - JKR is doomed, I tells ya.)

4. S sent me a picture of Lou today )
azriona: (Default)
I have decided, regardless of when bits of the O.S. return from whence I sent them, I'm going to start working on The Cucumber Diet again, because I haven't written anything since the last mad rush to finish off the O.S. and send it out. I know I'll probably drop it again in a few weeks, give or take, but at least I can fill in some of the blanks I left in it a year ago, and maybe bring it closer to being done. Heck, it's probably much more publishable than the O.S. at this point anyway - considering that (a) it's shorter and (b) it's titled.

I really do have to name the O.S. at some point.

Beautiful day in K - we can see the mountains, finally, all crisp and covered in snow against a brilliant blue sky. Had lunch with the parental units at the Hyatt with M, took them to Tsum again, then to a few other gift stores, because after you've seen the one museum, the only thing left to do in this country is shop. I've gotten very good at it.

I took more pictures of the history museum's ceilings, but haven't done anything with the photographs as of yet. Ought to download those tonight. They looked pretty good on the LCD; hopefully they'll look as nice on the computer.

Hmm....I've an idea....pardon me while I go prep a spam for you all....

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