azriona: (Default)
 I was going to write a very comprehensible post about Ramadan, but I have a headache caused by lack of caffeine because I switched from coffee to tea this morning and thus am not much in the mood to try a craft one at the moment. But there's a dozen things I want to post about, so here we are, with yet another list of things.

1. The switch from coffee to tea is mostly because I ran out of coffee, and since the boys and I are leaving for the entire summer, I'm not particularly interested in replacing it just yet. Also, I have tons and tons of very good and delicious tea leaves in my pantry and I need to drink them. My brain does not agree with this plan, which is ironic since my brain is what suggested this plan in the first place. If I wanted, I could take a very short walk over to the compound center and get an iced coffee from the restaurant there (which is not closed for Ramadan and has good iced coffee for about $3), but it's the principle of the thing.

Not that principle means much when your head aches.

2. It is Andrew's last week of first grade. They're not required to wear uniform this week, but Andrew wore his anyway today because he wanted to wear it. It's not like it's a big deal - I'm sure there will be other kids wearing a uniform, because there always are. And his uniform isn't super uniform-y - it's a red polo shirt with the school crest and a pair of dark-colored shorts. Half the kids in the compound don't even take them off after school because they're pretty comfy. But I bet Andrew's told at least ten times before lunch that he didn't have to wear a uniform today.

Honestly, I think half the reason he wore it is because I made the belated discovery last night that all of his play shorts are too small in the waist by about 2-3 inches per pair, which is just... horrible. But he didn't say anything and he hardly ever wears them anyway (see: comfy school clothes) and it was only when he was trying to put on a pair yesterday that really were obnoxiously small that I thought to look. The really stupid thing is that he has tons of clothes in his closet that are bigger sizes because I was smart and bought up a few sizes before packout. So I've gone ahead and switched them all out but I'm not sure Andrew got the message.

Anyway, he's doing super well with school, he's caught up on reading and I think he's better at math than he's letting on. The school has two teachers in mind for him for next year, they just don't know who's staying and who's going. I think he's ready for 2nd grade. 

(For those wondering when Andrew got old enough to be a second grader - I am right there with you.)

3. Charlie's speech therapy is going well. He's beginning to mimic more often, and he's adding words to his vocabulary. Not every day, but at least he's adding. I think we're going to pull this kid into verbalization, him kicking and screaming the whole way. He's also decided against potty training for the time being. We take off his diaper, he points to the potty and yells. We put him down to go to the potty - and he looks at us, grins like a maniac, and then runs for the stairs, laughing the entire way with his little butt peeking out from the hem of his shirt. Even when we sit him down on the potty, he's up like a shot and off running. Which is really disappointing because he was doing so well. If we can get him potty trained by September, he can go into the big-kid class at kindy (ages 2-1/2 and up). Otherwise he's stuck with the middle class (1-1/2 through 2-1/2). 

4. Pen's sixth book came out about two weeks ago. I've done a couple of different things with marketing it; I'm not entirely sure how well any of them have worked. One of the things I did was to start it off priced at 99 cents as a promotional thing for people on my newsletter. I ended up getting some really good sales... until I upped the price as planned to $1.99 about a week before release, and then sales took a sharp downward turn. They went up briefly when it was released... but I never cracked the first page of ranked books on the Gay & Lesbian bestsellers list on Amazon (though I came close), and cracking that first page really helps sales rankings, because then you tend to stay there for a while. 

Another thing I did was to hire an ARC service. Amazon has this thing where if your book has more than 50 reviews, it's more likely to pop up in searches and also-purchased-by and the like. The reviews don't even have to be good, they just have to be there. There's a couple of ARC services out there where you pay a set amount and they'll get your ARC into the hands of readers who want it. The reviewers aren't paid, and this particular service claims an extremely high return rate because they check that their reviewers really are reviewing their ARCs. (Which is one of the reasons they probably earn the money they're paid, this is a whole lot of tracking on their part.) 

Anyway, between the ARCs I handed out personally and this service, the new book has more than 50 reviews. The vast majority are positive; the negative ones are of the "but why don't they shift into wolves and don't you know men can't really get pregnant?" variety which I can easily ignore. 

5. I've also started posting the mega-long second season fic for Yuri on Ice. It's still a WIP, which was a conscious decision... I'm not sure I'd do this again, honestly. It's an interesting process, and I'm glad I started posting when I did, but.... I wish I'd spent more time finishing and polishing it before putting it up. Partially because:
In which I am petty. So very, very petty. )

7. ... I was going to have a #7, but my head still hurts and I've got about an hour before Charlie wakes up from his nap, so I'm going to go lie down for a bit. 

azriona: (Default)
 I have the itchy fingers that usually accompany my urge to write something when there's nothing I MUST be writing at the moment. I have half a dozen things that need to be edited or revamped or plotted, but nothing to be written.

(Okay, that's not true. I have a porn scene to write for a Pen short, but I'm disinclined to write it at the moment because porn. I have to be in the right mood for porn. It's not even a sexy mood, I don't really know what kind of mood it is, but it's not sexy. More like... determined?)

But otherwise, I'm in a hurry-up-and-wait mode for a lot of things. I'm waiting for the covers for Pen's next two books. I'm waiting for final read-thrus for both books as well as the next chapter of TNL. I'm waiting for inspiration to strike for the FTH fic. (Which... it sort of has? And it sort of hasn't? And the sort-of-has could be really really good, but I'm not sure how to start?)

Once I get those things... I'll have a mountain of stuff to do. Just I can't do much of it yet.

I used to keep a list of story ideas for fanfic. I know I had a bunch of ideas for YOI fic back in January, but I don't think I wrote them down, and now I don't remember any of them. Gah.

I think I'm just eager to get Pen's next book up. The whole idea behind having the part-time nanny for Charlie was to give me more uninterrupted, guaranteed time to write. And I have, but... I feel like I don't have anything finalized to show for it, if that makes sense, except a couple of fanfics. Which is not exactly the original point to the exercise. I agree that all writing is good because it's writing and writing begets more writing, etc, and definitely the fanfics I've posted and written since January have been extremely good for my ability to write more words (even TNL, especially TNL for the sake of writing new words, maybe the reason no one's reading it is because it actually reads like the word vomit it was, because seriously, who writes 90,000 words in two weeks?). 

But I don't have guaranteed time to write just so I can write fanfic. I don't know what Bill thinks about it, but my idea is that Pen's paying for the nanny, and so far, she's not pulling her weight just yet. 


In other news, we're seriously looking at flying through London to get back to the States this summer - which means I won't have my laptop with me. The only reason this is doable - because fine, make fun, I cannot survive without a laptop for 2-1/2 months, I barely managed a week in London - is because my father has pointed out that he owns extra laptops which he is not using, and I can use one. Mind, I have no idea what kind of laptop in what kind of condition, but hey, it's a laptop and with luck I'll be able to type on it. 

(Failing that... I fold and buy a Chromebook. I do not need a Chromebook, and I don't want to spend the money on a Chromebook when I do not need a Chromebook, no matter how much I love the idea of a tiny little laptop that I could fit inside my purse. My laptop is barely a year old, I should not have to replace it just yet.)

Hopefully we'll have tickets by the end of the week. There's a bunch of traveling we'll do in the States in August, but getting there and back is the main focus; everything else is incidental. I also still need to figure out where I'm going while Bill and the boys go to Milwaukee. Andrew is actually lobbying for me to go with them, which is very sweet of him, and ironic considering he also routinely tells me that I'm fired. (Usually for serving veggies at dinner.)

(But he also tried to retire from first grade last night, so who knows. He was totally fine going to school this morning, at least, and we didn't remind him that he's now retired.)

(Charlie is trying to potty train himself. It's adorable. I'm going with it for now, but I still have a serious reserve of diapers left over from our not-consumable shipment so we're going to work our way through that before I really focus on actual potty training.)


Things I want to learn how to do on Dreamwidth:

--post pictures. Why is this so difficult, ugh?
--italicize while I type. Why does CTRL-I not work, ugh? I never remember to go back and do it manually, which is probably a sign that I do it too often anyway.

azriona: (cat in a box)
The pre-orders for The Country Alpha are live - actually, they've been live since last weekend, I've just dropped the ball about promoting them, which is mostly for stupid reasons along the lines of not preparing better on my end. Anyway, they're live now and I've started the media blitz about promoting them.

TCA-Veronica-Final.jpg TCA_M-M3.jpg

(Click the covers, they'll take you to the correct Amazon pages for your prefered Amazon service.)
Read more... )

In the meantime... I've started doing "reading research" for the next story. Not the last Downing Cycle book... I'm going to write another m/m standalone first. One thing that seems to be very popular in the alpha/omega mpreg genre is to actually have more of the pregnancy within the confines of the story. There's also a fascination on the m/f side with royalty and millionaires and all that - so I'm going to try to combine the two. I have an idea, and it's not terrible, though it's kind of corny. Which actually isn't a bad thing for this genre. Only I came up with it last night at 2am while Charlie wasn't falling asleep, so the soundness of the plot might be suspect.

Everyone else: What an adorable toddler! I just want to steal him away!
Me: Yes, you may have him at 2am.
Everyone else: Hahaha, you're so funny!
Me: No, I'm serious. Here's the house keys. See you at 1:59.

azriona: (cat in a box)
Charlie woke up at 4:30 this morning, and didn't go down for a nap until 10am.  Incidentally, coffee is not working.  I made myself a very large mocha (I figured out that if I add cocoa powder to the coffee grounds in my French press, it turns out super smooth nom nom nom) and I still want a nap.

Nap not possible today.  Charlie's gonna wake up and Andrew's coming home from gymnastics and Bill has a co-worker's funeral to attend.

A couple of negative reviews for the book the other day put me in a bad spot.  Thing is - after I thought about it for a while, I realized they've probably the first negative reviews I've received in years.  Most people in fandom don't leave them - the back button is pretty easy to hit - and for some reason, while there are some who get hit hard with trolls and flames and the like, I've been super lucky and never got one.  (Or if I did, I didn't recongize it as such.)  And basically, all the reviews said was that they didn't like the book.  (One went into a bit more detail, but it was essentially the same thing.)  And that's... okay.  So three people didn't like the book.  I'm pretty sure there are more than three people who don't like Mise or Power Play or the Hearts 'Verse either.  No one gets universal accolates online, it's silly to assume anyone deserves them.

However, someone left the most GORGEOUS review for me on GoodReads this morning, and I read it with hearts in my eyes and it made me feel so much better.

(Fictional hockey boys kissing was also helpful, but fleeting.  Along the same lines, there must be people who don't like Check Please either. I bet they're all running for the Republican nomination, though.)

(Was that catty?  That was catty.  Bad me.)

I finished a second book on Thursday - Draft 3, if we're going to be technical about it.  I want to do a read-through before I send it to Mildred for a first pass, though.  I would have started that today, but honestly, I'm so tired, I would certainly have missed something, so it'll wait until tomorrow.  But I'm glad I finished it - the goal was to have it ready to send out by March 1, and I'm going to meet that self-imposed deadline easily, so I'm pleased.  It's not quite as polished as TCO was at this point - but I think it's good, and I know there's room for further tweaking.  The ultimate goal is to have it out by the end of April, which I think is still doable.  We'll see.  The nice thing about self-imposed deadlines is that I'm pretty sure that I'm willing to wiggle a bit on them when necessary.

In other news... Virginia primaries on Tuesday.  I'm not sure how to vote.  I mean... I know who I'd like to vote for, but I'm not sure if I vote that way, it'll do much good, and I really want my vote to make as much impact as possible.  I'd like to vote for Bernie Sanders, but most of the polls at this point say that Hillary is going to win Virginia by a fairly large margin.  So I'm tempted to go with the Republicans on this one (because in Virginia, you can go either way if you're registered as an independent, which I am, for this reason exactly).  And while I like Bernie better... if Hillary wins the nomination (or even the presidency) I don't think the country will be going to hell anytime soon.

Thing is... on the Republican side, I'd like to vote for Not Trump (probably John Kasich, definitely not Cruz), but the same polls say that while Trump is greatly disliked, he's also the most likely to win.

(Which just makes no sense.  If you don't like him, why the heck are you voting for him, Virginians? This is not like voting someone OFF the island, you know.)

And the second most popular Not Trump is Rubio, and I'm not all that fond of Rubio, either.  Argh argh argh argh.  I was really, really hoping that Trump would be well out of the race by now, but... no such luck.

Thoughts and theories welcome, if anyone has them.  
azriona: (cat in a box)
Hmm. )

I was getting majorly frustrated by the sequel, so I set it aside yesterday when an idea for a stand-alone story came to me, and I've been having a great deal of fun writing that.  I would say it's meant to be short, but every time I say that, "short" ends up equating about 50,000 words, so I'm promising nothing.  But I do think I'll push through it and write the whole damn thing, and maybe release it before the second part of the Downing Cycle, which in the long run I think will be a good thing, since this story is m/m, and the second part of the Downing cycle is m/f.  And hopefully I'll be able to turn back to the sequel with fresh eyes and figure out what's going wrong with it.

(And if not, that's when I call on my writing muse to tell me what the heck I'm doing wrong, because so far, she has always been able to peg it exactly, and this is why I owe her all the coffee/chocolate/whatever she wishes in the world.)

I posted a meta of sorts on Penelope's website that I'm actually very pleased with, about why I write the Omegaverse. You can read it here.

In other news, there will apparently be snow.  Charlie is prepared with a puffy coat and snow pants.  I think there are baby snow boots somewhere from when Andrew was tiny; I'll have to find them, though I have no idea what size they are.  Something is better than nothing, I suppose, and I really want to see what Charlie makes of snow.  He had his flu booster the other day and it's wrecked his naps the last two days, so hopefully he'll give me a bit more time today.

(He's been crawling around my office, exploring while I type.  This is his favorite activity, but he's about to be done, so we shall move on to another room shortly in an attempt to keep him suitably entertained until naptime.)
azriona: (Mr Morton)
I am not entirely sure that I've got the hang of Twitter yet.  (This is me, if you would like to follow.)  I think this is mostly because I'm still trying to figure out how to use it.  I'm not doing much that is fannish with it - though most of the people I follow are from fandom.  I'm trying not to retweet everything under the sun, and I'm trying to tweet things that are at least halfway interesting or funny or whatever.  I've been reading a  lot of articles about how to use Twitter, though, and mostly, they are either completely unhelpful or contradictory.  I think my favorite advice to date has been to follow 100 people, and then once they're following you, wait a couple of weeks, drop them, and then follow another 100 people.  Lather, rinse, repeat, until you have scads of followers.  This, of course, was immediately followed by the advice to get a metrics algorithm do-hickey that allows you to see who unfollows you so you can unfollow them right away. I'm not sure how to take these pieces of advice together; either one seperately strikes me as the hallmark of a power-hungry asshole.

Part of the problem is that I keep coming up with "tweets" that end up being too long.  Such as my inability to feel comfortable with the platform just yet.  (I do have an idea for a tweet that has probably been done a thousand times before, where I take a picture of a flock of birds sitting outside my window, and caption it: "Offering advice? Or auditioning me for a Hitchcock film?"  Except  no birds have come by to fill my lawn with song.  Probably because it's January and they are not overly concerned with my social media presence.

I am feeling fairly doomy and gloomy today.  I don't think it's connected to waking up at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep. The first two hours were Charlie, who cut his second tooth at some point this morning, and was very unhappy about it.  (I don't blame him. I just wish he'd slept through it.  Then again, I suspect he wishes the same.)  But then my brain starting percolating about the next part of the book and... well, that was kind of that.  I gave up around 5:30 and went downstairs to write, and didn't come up for air until Andrew wandered down at 7:15.  Good thing, too, I barely got him out to the bus on time; if ensuring he was awake had been up to me he might not have made it at all.

That said... I wrote 1600 words before Andrew came downstairs, and I've since written 1000 more during Charlie's nap, and the first 1600 are way better.  I miss sleeping, but I miss writing at 5am, too.

I think the doom-and-gloom is in part because I have the feeling I've been reading too much about how to properly self-publish, and by most of the accounts, I am Doing It Wrong.  I'm not doing any book tours, I was way late getting my ARCs out the door, I have created about zero percentage buzz.  It's entirely possible that the six people who were going to buy my book now have free copies in exchange for reviews. D'oh.

That said... I have to remember that my goal in self-publishing is not necessarily the same as the goals for other people who self-publish.  The online guides are all written for people who want to sell thousands of books and make oodles of money.  I'm not saying I wouldn't like those things - let's be real, who wouldn't? - but if I don't? It's okay.  I want as many people who would enjoy these books to be able to find them, download them, read them... and enjoy them.  And using Amazon's self-publishing is the best way of doing that, or at least I think it is for these particular stories.  (i.e., the Omegaverse. Because it doesn't really exist on any other platform in an original fiction form; I've checked.)

And if I earn a little extra money along the way... well.  Yay.  I can buy Charlie a new box of diapers.

So... eyes on the prize, which is not a payout from Amazon, but those six very happy people who are hopefully not the same as the folks with the ARCs.  Well... maybe a few more so I can break even.  I'm still running under $200 total costs for this venture.  That's about 100 books, not counting whatever Amazon keeps in taxes (assuming they even do and oh, dear, this is going to totally screw with the taxes next year, isn't it?). CAN I SELL 100 BOOKS?

azriona: (cat in a box)
1. Okay, I'm going to link from various social medias to other various social medias.  That is - in my profile for LJ, AO3, and Tumblr, you'll find links to P.P.'s site.  I will probably link back from P.P. to AO3 at some point, but at the moment I'm still trying to decide how much presence that personna is going to have online.  (Mostly, this boils down to whether or not I get P.P. a Tumblr or a Twitter or a FB page.  Opinions welcome.)

2. Definitely getting the copyright.  If I'm reading the website correctly, if I wait until the book is actually published, I'm better off to the tune of $105.  I like this tune.  I'm also not overly stressed about someone swooping in and saying "BUT I AM THE REAL P.P."  It's more for peace of mind than anything else.  And anyway - the book comes out in about two weeks, and the current wait time for the copyright office is 8 months, so I think waiting isn't going to make much of a difference in the long run.

3. Bill got me the official Sherlock calendar for Christmas.  It's lovely. Right now, it kind of looks like Benedict Cumberbatch is greatly annoyed by the state of my desk. Except I just realized that instead of the weeks being listed Sunday to Saturday, they're listed Monday to Sunday.  Which is fine, but is going to probably confuse me for a little while when I look at it and try to plan things.

But the big news is:

4. Charlie has a tooth!!!!!
It's the lower left-hand side tooth, and it just started peeking out this afternoon.  I was looking at it, and it looked kind of ridgy, and I felt it with my fingernail, and it is DEFINITELY A TOOTH.  Charlie has been in a reasonably good mood for most of the day, except that he only napped this morning because sleep is for wimps.
azriona: (cat in a box)
I blocked myself from getting onto Tumblr until tomorrow morning, mostly because I could feel myself being dragged back into the pro/anti-Mary fight all over again, and since that particular battle nearly pushed me into leaving the fandom two years ago, I'm pretty wary about going back there.

Also, I spent a good chunk of last night's writing time on it already, and I'd really rather not procrastinate any longer from working on the stories that need writing.

Which is why I'm writing an LJ entry instead.

Writing Things )

The Children )

Anyway, that's all I can think of, and I'm exhausted, and I'm going to bed where I will curl up with my current book and read until I fall asleep or when Charlie remembers that he doens't like to sleep through the night.  Usually these things occur simoultaneously.  Which might be why I'm exhausted.

p.s. oh, yes, the Sherlock special was awesome and I loved it tons and it might be my favorite of ALL the episodes, I haven't decided.  and someday, when Charlie is in kindergarten, I will write a review of it.  
azriona: (cat in a box)

Anybody want to beta a certain sequel to an Avengers fic I may or may not have written?  Just under 1K, but I think it needs to be expanded a bit before posting, I need someone to tell me where.

Poll time!

Dec. 25th, 2015 02:07 pm
azriona: (cat in a box)
Oops, forgot to post why.  Okay, so I'm about to start turning the doc file into a Kindle ebook, and now I'm starting to have doubts about my original plan on how to publish it.  I mean... I'm still going with Kindle, but I'd always planned to do installments - five installments of about 15K apiece, about two weeks apart.  Partly this is because there's a lot of books on Kindle offered this way, or were when I started writing, and that's how the book is already formatted because that's how I wrote it to be.

But now... Kindle Select's changed how they pay their authors, so the marketing strategy behind offering the book in installments isn't quite accurate anymore.  And it doesn't appear that many people are using installments so often.  Which is a shame, because I really liked that format; I feel like I've got a good handle on it from writing and posting fanfic that way.

So.  Here's the question - do I still go with my original plan and post the story in 5 installments, with the full book to come out afterwards (with an extra or two perhaps)?  Or do I go ahead and post the whole thing in one fell swoop and be done?


[Poll #2031819][Poll #2031819]

In other news, I am about 15K short of my 250K word goal for the year.

Bill: Oh, you could write that!  Year's not over yet.
Me: .... Oh, sure.  I can write 15K in five days with Andrew out of school and Charlie refusing to nap.  NO PROBLEM.

(Actually... I probably could, if the five days included at least one day in which I could hang out at the coffeeshop and not be a parent.  But that's not going to happen before January 1, or more likely Charlie's first day of kindergarten, so I'm not holding my breath, and I shall rest happy in the knowledge that I still wrote 235K in the span of a year while taking care of a newborn and other assorted family members.  I'm good with that.)
azriona: (cat in a box)

GetYourWordsOut: Year Eight!
Pledges & Requirements |

I signed up for next year - but at the 150K level, because Charlie is still Charlie and we're still planning to move this summer.  I'm not sure I'll be able to do much more.  (Though obviously I'd like to.  And if we move and it takes forever to set up internet - which can be an issue, depending on where we go - then I'll just have more time to write.  HAHAHAHAHA.)

WHO'S WITH ME? [ profile] drinkingcocoa, I am looking in your general direction!
azriona: (cat in a box)

I'm not going to make my original goal of being published on Kindle by Christmas.

But I am feeling pretty good about why.  I've been concentrating more on the business side of things, and all the trappings that come with being an author: namely, a website and whatnot.

And I chose a pen name.  And I actually kind of like it, which is good, since I'm probably going to be wearing it for a bit.  (Well, sort of.  About as much as anyone wears a pen name online.)

Today has mostly been about convincing Charlie that yes, he really does want to go to sleep, so that Mommy can set up her website.  I wasn't so successful with the first, but the website's up and running and doesn't look half bad.  It still needs some work before it goes live, though - for one thing, I sort of need a header that isn't a stock image of an open book, and I still need to figure out how to put in a newsletter feed, and I kind of need a first blog post.

But I have a bio (even if I'm pretty sure it's kind of stupid-sounding) and I have a page set up for "all about my books" which actually isn't even empty, because I have two mocked-up covers for the two parts of the story that I've written/am writing, although I do actually have to purchase the images so they don't have the "iStock Getty Images" watermark on them.  (Details.  No worries; according to the site I can do mock-ups for 30 days before I start infinging on rights; I plan to do that as soon as I get a couple opinions on them.)

(Anyone who wants to offer an opinion is welcome to apply.)

So the current goal is mid-January, which I think is doable.  That gives me time to (a) deal with the fact that Andrew does not have school for the next two weeks, (b) make sure the website is working properly, and (c) final edits and all the other stupid stuff that go into making the book pretty.

(Incidentally, I now have a healthy respect for the publishing industry.  This part is super boring.  And picking out a pen name was totally new levels of horrible.)
azriona: (Mr Morton)
Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies (simiilar to the ones sold at Marks & Sparks)
(click the link for the recipe)

So, why I made these....

So a few days ago, I was on the Nano website and realized there's a write-in this afternoon (Sunday) being sponsored by my region about half an hour's drive away.  I haven't attended a write-in in years - probably since before Andrew was born, though I'm not entirely sure.  Definitely when we were still in NoVa, anyway.

I asked Bill if he'd mind watching both boys on Sunday afternoon, so I could go, and he said yes.  This is sort of a big thing, because he doesn't usually have both boys at once.  Maybe once every couple of weeks, for an hour or two, and he did have both of them for the entire weekend I was in Gridlock - but that's not typical.  It's not that I don't trust him - or that he doesn't trust himself, it's clear he's totally capable of everyone coming through the experience, limbs intact.

Of course, morning of, I'm having second thoughts about going.  Well, going to the write-in, that is.  It is awfully tempting to ditch the write-in, keep the cookies, and go hang at the local coffee shop for the five hours instead.

Part of this is the cookies, sure... but not all.  For one thing: I don't know anyone at the write-in.  Not that it's a big deal, I don't mind meeting new people.  But I don't know if they're going to be more of the talky sort, or of the writing sort.  I'd rather have a write-in that is actually... well, a write-in.  And I admit... the idea of having to explain Omegaverse to people who primarily live in a super conservative vote-Republican-or-go-home district sort of makes me a bit nervous.

Then there's the boys.  Charlie's nose has been running the last couple of days, but we've been chalking that up to teeth, because it's been clear and he hasn't had a fever.  Except now, Andrew's coughing and has a runny nose and his disposition has been somewhat sour, and now there seems to be something going around.  He's already got Wednesday off from school this week (Veteren's Day), so now I'm worried that he's going to end up having another day because he's sick, which means I'd have even less time to get writing done.

So it's entirely possible that in addition to being one of the first chances I've had in months to have a really nice chunk of time to which I can write (more than an hour or so) - my writing time this week is already under threat of being cut.

In short... I might really, really need these 4-5 hours to write, not to make friends.

Anyway, thoughts.  And about an hour and a half to decide.  And Charlie just woke up from a monster morning nap, which he needed.  Poor runny-nose baby.
azriona: (cat in a box)
Charlie is killin' his morning nap today - which makes sense, he had a horrible night and was up for about three hours screaming for no discernable reason.  (Well, there was a poop at one point, but that wasn't the only reason, anyway.)  I put him down to nap at 9:30, and it's nearly noon and he's still asleep.  (And yes, breathing, and flipping around in his crib, which is normal.  He only loves tummy time when he's asleep.)

Of course, he only sleeps well during the morning when I don't have writing to do.  SUCH IS THE WAY OF THINGS, APPARENTLY.

Writing )

At any rate, I'm hoping Charlie wakes up soonish, because I have to run to the post office today, and I'd like to do that without having to worry too much about being home in time to get Andrew for gymnastics.

Then again... power nap.  I can't help but feel I am completely wasting this nap by not doing a massive clean or writing a couple thousand words or cooking up batches and batches of delicious cookies.  CHARLIE, WHY CAN'T YOU NAP LIKE THIS WHEN I NEED YOU TO NAP LIKE THIS?  Argh.

Also, I'm hungry.  And I ran out of poached chicken so my lunches are much less interesting now.  (But I think there's tuna in the pantry.  I should go digging.  And maybe start up the next batch of cookies.)
azriona: (cat in a box)
I feel like it's been a thousand and one years since I've made an actual entry here - not entirely true, just feels that way.  Mostly I keep thinking of things that I want to put here, and then I forget every single one of them once I'm actually sitting at the computer.  I used to keep a notebook so I could jot reminders to myself about what I needed to do online - I need to ressurect that, because honestly, my memory is shot.  I blame Charlie.

Halloween and Writing )

There are other things, but I honestly cannot think of a single one of them.  Mostly, I'm just tired.  Charlie was going through a spell for a few weeks where he was back to waking up three times a night, and now he seems to be in a phase where he wakes up at 6:30 in the morning ready to go.  Which, if he wasn't waking up three times a night, would be fine.  But when he's waking up that often, and I wake up and stay up regardless of who actually goes to deal with him... yeah.  6:30 is way too effing early.  I have been existing on coffee much more than I normally do --- and I don't think my stomach appreciates it much.

Plus... I like to write in the morning, before everyone wakes up, but I can't do that if I'm sleeping hard until Charlie wakes up before the sun rises and does not understand the concept of GOING BACK TO SLEEP.

(And even when he does... I'm often so tired that I just go back to sleep, too.)

I know it's temporary, and I know I had a massive slow-down in writing during Andrew's first year, too.  I wrote one major thing when Andrew was small (Master in a Game, still one of my favorite DW stories), and I've now written one major thing since Charlie came home (Original Omegaverse, part one), so really, I'm actually doing pretty good and I have good reason to be proud of myself.

But still.  *sigh*

Part of the disrupted sleep I think is because Charlie stopped wanting to have solids for a bit - I think he decided that he was done with purees, and he wanted to eat the real stuff.  Like, he'd be tracking the food on our forks to our mouths, and reaching and grabbing for my toast in the mornings.  I caved and I've actually let him gnaw on some things - pizza crusts and bits of toast and whatnot, and I keep a very close eye when he's got them.  Tonight, I cut up one of the sweet potato gnocci and let him have that, and we think he actually got some in his mouth and was totally happy with life.  But the truth is, he has no teeth, and no sign of said teeth, so the kid's kind of stuck with purees and majorly soft things for a while yet.

Anyway, I'm trying to get back on the solid food kick, and that seems to be helping with the waking up at night.  Also, he needs to start meats soon, and I want to give him chicken mixed with stuff, but so far, he's not cleared on a lot of stuff yet, allergy-wise.  (Though mostly I have thrown my hands in the air and said, I DON'T CARE, GO AHEAD AND LET'S JUST WATCH HIM FOR A WHILE.  I am a terrible role model, no one feed their children like I'm feeding Charlie.) Tomorrow is carrots.  I cooked them tonight and mashed them up with a bit of mango to make them extra sweet, and they taste sooooooo good, guys.  I might have to make somethig similar for us one night.  Well, not mashed, I mean.  After carrots, peas.  We've already determined he's not a fan of green beans.  After that, I can start playing with the fun combinations of things, so it'll get easier (and tastier).

In the meantime, though.  Still tired, so I'm going to bed.  Yell at me, and I'll try to post pictures of the boys, because they are cute, and Andrew is fabulous and doing SO SUPER WELL in kindergarten, and we had his IEP update last week and I want to talk about that, and Charlie has a dimple in the middle of his chin which is very important too.
azriona: (Mr Morton)
Charlie's asleep in his carseat - I tried transfering him yesterday and he woke up, and he had another terrible night last night (most of his sleep was in my arms, and the only reason I'm not tired now is because Starbucks has brought back their salted caramel mocha frappucino for fall).  So I'm letting him snooze in his carseat and I'm on the computer getting some work done.

Thus, allow me to blather a bit about writing.

Blather blather blather )

And that's Charlie awake.  But he slept for a good hour and a half in his carseat, so I'll take it.  And he's primed for a nap when we have to leave to fetch Andrew from school for speech therapy, so that's fine, too.
azriona: (cat in a box)
So, if I write 1,000 words a day every day until the end of the year, I will be able to meet the GYWO goal I set for myself back in January.


I don't think I could have even pulled off 1,000 words a day every day before we had Charlie.  Not for four months running, anyway.

Anyway, the way I see it: if I can finish editing this original story and get it up on Amazon before the end of the year - then I figure that's a pretty good success right there, word count be damned.  And I don't think anyone's going to show up at my door and beat me with lashes for not making a word count I arbitrarily set in January.

(And if they do, they get to babysit the baby while I recover.)

Anyway, back to editing.  I've caught a couple of things I need to fix in the last part (a background relationship between two characters I thought was obvious is... not so obvious, mostly because I had to delete a scene that I'm not sure I can wedge back in.  Grr.  And I can't for the life of me figure out if the sex is sexy, probably because it's been through three or four iterations already and it's no longer feeling like anything to me but words, words, words.)

It's done!

Aug. 30th, 2015 07:38 am
azriona: (cat in a box)
It's done!  The first draft of the last part of the Original Omegaverse is DONE DONE DONE.  Written, if not signed, sealed, and delivered.  But DONE.

And Charlie just woke up.  He spent most of the last day or two cockblocking my characters (the cat helped) but SORRY KID, YOU'RE TOO LATE, THEY'RE ALL CUDDLED IN POST-COITAL BLISS NOW.

I feel like celebrating with cinnamon rolls.  I have a recipe for quick cinnamon rolls around here somewhere....
azriona: (cat in a box)
I keep wondering why no one comments on my LJ posts anymore, and then I remember it's because the LJ posts I've been writing have been in my head only; I never actually get the chance to commit them to keyboard, and thus no one can comment on them.  Which is a shame, because seriously, I've been writing some absolutely brilliant LJ posts lately.  You'd laugh, you'd cry, you'd heap chocolate and flowers and all the good things upon me.

Or you'd just roll your eyes and keep scrolling.  You know, whichever.

Most of my writing concentration in the last week has been on the Original Omegaverse, because [ profile] mildred_bobbin has agreed to read it while on her massively long plane trip to the States, so that she can tell me what is wrong with it.  (She is very good at that, and I mean that in the best possible way.  She and my husband are excellent at helping fill in plot holes, except Bill has a propensity for coming up wth bizarre and ridiculous ways of doing it, and Mildred just solves the problem.  Both methods are equally useful, in certain circumstances.)  Except I have to have the "finished" story to her by tomorrow, and on Wednesday, I found a plot twist I'd forgotten about, and I've spent the last three days writing and rewriting to work it out.  It's done now, but it means I didn't get the chance to finish writing the fifth and final part of the story, and I still have to edit the fourth part to take into account all the changes I have now written.

So that's today's project.  I also have to bake a cake, but that's not exactly a hardship.  I'm ignoring all the suggestions garnered on Tumblr (which were for chocolate) and I'm making a Burnt Sugar Cake, because the recipe sounds yummy and I have nearly all the ingredients I need.  The only one I'm missing is the cream cheese for the frosting, but I'm tempted to do chocolate instead anyway.  Because chocolate.  (Do you really need another reason?)

In other news, I have a cough that I can't seem to shake.  It's a weird one - I don't have a fever or a runny nose or a sore throat, just this stupid cough that starts with a tickle in the throat and is much worse at night than it is during the day, and no amount of cough syrup seems to stop it, and if I get going, I sound like I'm about to hack up a furball (and it feels sometimes like I'm going to throw up).  And it's a totally non-productive cough 95% of the time, too.  Weird, weird, weird.  If it isn't better by tomorrow, I'm going to the doctor, because I really, really do not want this thing at Gridlock, and hopefully they can give me something lovely and prescription that will stop it and let me get some sleep.

Andrew ended up spending the whole day at preschool on Friday, because for some reason he got it in his head that they do MASSIVELY FUN THINGS in the afternoon and he wanted to experience them.  It was a very nice day, Charlie napped and I wrote and it was like a preview of coming attractions for when he's in all-day kindergarten in the fall.  Around 3pm I started missing Andrew quite a lot so we went to pick him up at 4, and he says he had a good time, but he doesn't want to stay all day again.

(Oh, and insurance has been sorted - in that they have agreed to pay out for his therapy for the rest of the year, but have also flat out said that they refuse to cover it for next year at all, because it's in their system that Andrew has been diagnosed with developmental delay.  Which is not true, according to the therapist, but we're going to save that argument for next year, and in the meantime, make sure he gets to use every single one of the 90 visits insurance has said they will pay for before the year is up.  Even if I end up paying for a couple out of pocket, I don't want to risk that insurance gets out of paying for a single one.)

Charlie is nearly sitting up on his own.  I mean, if you fold him over double and balance him super well, and don't count past five, he can totally do it.  I keep pointing out crawling babies and telling him that if he keeps up with Tummy Time, that will someday be him, but I don't think he believes me.  He is extremely good at closed-mouth disapproving stares.

(I am going to print out pictures of both of them and fill up a little brag book, and if anyone even mentions babies to me at Gridlock, they are going to be forced to sit down and look at it and admire them.  On the other hand, I can leave a few pages blank and use them to store the cross-stitched people, and then when people want to see those, we can find the pictures of the boys and I can say, "MY HOW DID THOSE GET THERE." And then I still get to show them off.  I am way sneaky.)

Speaking of which, I took another look at the updated schedule and it's not quite so sparse on things I want to attend, although there do seem to be a few spots where things I'd like to see are double-booked, usually against stomething I want to do.  (The craft swap thing on Sunday morning, for instance, is at the same time as the novel-writing panel.  Boo!)  But I can attend Peter Blau story hour now, and that's good enough for me.  I probably will end up leaving a bit early on Sunday - most of the stuff I want to do then is done by 2 or 3 - which is fine because it'll get me home by dinnertime, as I suspect I'll be missing the boys pretty hard by then anyway.  (And if traffic is super good, maybe a side-trip to IKEA, because IKEA.)

Anyway, the current plan is to arrive on Friday night, around 10pm.  Saturday morning I'll run out and do whatever grocery shopping I need to do for Hamford After Dark (and anyone who wants to accompany me is welcome to do so; maybe we'll find breakfast while we're at it).  I definitely want to attend all the writing workshops, and Peter Blau's story hour, and obviously I'm going to be talking food at Hamford, but beyond that I'm sort of open for panels, so we'll see what grabs me.  Or doesn't.  I'll find a nice brightly-lit spot and cross-stitch the rest of my people.  :)

I'm determined to have a good time - I'm not overly worried about it, except that I had such a good time last year, and I'm worried that this year won't measure up.  Except this is very likely going to be the last fandom event I'll attend for the next few years, since we're going back overseas next summer, so I'd like to at least make sure I don't regret going.

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