Sunday, September 24, 2006

Congratulations! It's a novel!

Well - at least it's a second draft of a novel in formatted e-book form with a cover. Close enough for the nonce.

Ghost Dancer, the e-book exists! It's alive!

Now I'm working on the synopsis and the query letter. I want to start sending it out to agents - real live agents *shiver*. The first draft of the query letter was horrible, but I have hopes for the rewrite. Surely if I can chug out a 200+ page novel, I can manage a measley 1 page query letter, can't I?

I'm also still working away on Ghost Dancer itself, but I'll probably keep doing that until the day it appears on a bookshelf.

So - my writing goals from now until Nov. 1 (NaNo!) are:

1. Write good query letter.
2. Polish the first chapter until it gleams.
3. Write the synopsis.
4. Start sending out query packages to appropriate agents. (1-5 are between now and Oct. 1)
5. Finish first draft of The Flayed Queen.
6. Brainstorm plot points for this years untitled NaNo novel.
7. Come up with a working title for this years untitled NaNo novel.

If anyone would like a look at Ghost Dancer, contact me and I can e-mail it to you. Far future science fiction - Sapient space ship, her navigator - a girl who desperately wants a normal life, but the universe really is out to get her, and a plot to take over the Human Polity which overtakes them both.

Back to the Basement

Flooding. Again.

Last time the basement flooded, S was in it at the time, so he was right on the case - and we still almost lost the carpet to mildew. This time it's a complete loss. The basement was ankle deep before we even knew the sump pump had failed (a piece of elastic had gotten wound up in the mechanism). Actually, it's entirely possible we would have flooded even had the sump been working properly. At the height of rainfall today we had two heavy duty pumps going - 4,000 gallons an hour going out - and we were just barely keeping up with the influx.

I had a weapons seminar that I was supposed to go to at 1pm today. I had to call them to say I couldn't come. Life sucked.

But about an hour later, the rain slackened, the pumps started actually making headway, and my beloved husband gave me a hug and told me to call and see if they would let me join in late. So I did, and they did!

So I took a 2-hour (instead of three hour) seminar from Weapons Connection. Mostly we learned basics for a short staff (I'm blanking on the proper term). It's about a third the length of a bo. I learned all twelve, but my head is feeling dreadfully stuffed, and I don't know how much I'm going to retain by the time I get to physically try them out again Tuesday. Fortunately Sensei Gauntner video-taped her two students running through the drill, so we should have some back-ups for our over-strained memories. We also got to see the basics for sai (I've learned the first three of 12 already), tonfa, and nunchuka, plus kata for all of those, and a couple of other weapons I've only heard of, never seen. The gusan (a jo length stick, but with slightly flared ends), tettsu (a small, sharp, three pointed thing, meant to add spikes to your hand techniques, this kata was particularly viscious), and tekko (think brass knuckles designed to look like a stirrup). It was very cool.

Then it was back to the basement. As of tonight our carpet is sitting in sodden rolls on the curb, where the garbage men will get it Friday. There are some smaller sections that S left for me to handle over the next few days (they require extensive, but relatively light, moving of items). If our fastidious lawn-obsessed neighbor objects to our new landscaping, he can bloody well haul the carpeting off himself. We're bushed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Home again. The wedding went off well, the kids were unbearably cute, and unbelievably well behaved, and I'm utterly wrecked. Or I was - I'm beginning to strike back up into the land of the living.

Visiting A at the easiest of times is a marathon for me. Were she not physically constrained by CP, she would be a go-go-go person. Since she is, the people hanging out with her end up operating in that mode, trying to get done all that she needs and wants to get done in her life. Shall we note that this is a woman with a BA from Wellesley (summa cum laude), a JD, and about to get her Ph.D. in education (while maintaining her own tutoring business)? The lady's got drive.

So while I was there it was 16+ hour days, running from hospital to florist to mechanic to videographer, and trying to squeeze in time for food and sleep in the interstices.

If one more of her relatives had congratulated me on what a wonderful wedding I threw for her, I was going to slap somebody. I mean it's one thing when a stranger is a complete moron about the abilities of someone disabled. It's annoying, but it's usually ignorance speaking, and amenable to shaming and/or correction. But how the %$**!!! could these people have been related to A, have known her for her entire life, and still be so utterly clueless? Do they think someone else took her law finals for her? Or is writing her thesis?

I mean really. It's nice that A's relatives think highly of me, but on the whole, I'd rather they thought highly of her. She deserves it.