Saturday, March 29, 2008

After I got home yesterday, I was eager to start on my revisions by testing out my new keyboard... and I completely forgot it was Photo Friday. Sorry!

The orange tree in the backyard has been blooming these past couple weeks. Its delicate white blossoms have come to mean that spring is here, especially when their fragrance drifts inside through the screen door and fills the house.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

what flavor pocky are you?

[c] sugardew

Aside from discovering that I am widely available pocky, which I find somewhat ironic given yesterday's news, I have concluded part of the reason why I find writing so painful recently has to do with my keyboard. See in September 2004, I got my baby G5... and I remember thinking how beautiful and pretty and perfect it was... and how bloody well the keyboard worked. Barely any resistance—it just took a tap and the words appeared.

Over the past few months my keyboard has been getting progressively more unpleasant. I blamed the design—really, Apple, who though that an open to the elements board was a good thing—for letting crap get in under the keys and gunk them up.

Today I realized that it is nearing 4 years old this coming fall, and maybe the ache in my hands from having to argue with several of the keys while trying to type isn't from crap being stuck underneath. After all, I've kept it going with keyboard cleaners and the compressed air cans, but 3 years is a long time for a writer's keyboard. Especially a writer who doesn't just type, but is reliant on shortcut key combos for the common operations.

While I still plan to invest in a laptop in the next few weeks, maybe the healthiest and best thing I could do for my productivity is to invest in a new keyboard. I'll be investigating it later today after I meet my writing goal.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's all about the characters

There is an answer that every writer wants to ideally hear when they speak with their agent, but each of us quantify that success in a different way. Some writers think a solid world is the mark of a successful manuscript. Others want to be told that their love scenes were steamy or their fight scenes choreographed like an expert.

For me, it's a character that grabbed you. That you can unquestioningly state is your favorite. I got that from my CP. (Hoo boy, did I ever! She's been bewitched, the poor dear.) Today, at my request, I learned who it was that captured my agent. (Not the same character, which can only be a good thing.) A capture that occurred within the first page.

There are other things she could have told me, but nothing means more than what she did say. In the end that connection is the only thing that matters.

What was the last character you fell for within the first page?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Swords are Fun

I have no photos of Easter things, so here is a photo taken at Studio Mon Katsura in Harajuku, Tokyo during the trip to Japan in May 2007. We had kimono henshin (dressed professionally in kimono)! Things you should know:

1) This proves that yes, it is me in the blogger profile pic.

2) Yes, that is all my hair, but it was really only to the tops of my shoulders at the time.

3) It impressed the photographer I knew how to properly hold a Japanese sword.

4) Hel and I aren't sisters.

5) We weren't going to kill her husband Scott. Not really.

6) Swords are fun. (And, like Oscars, are heavier than most people realize.) Hel has the katana and I have the wakizashi.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Congratulations to Rinda Elliot!

When I'm feeling upset or trying to motivate myself to do something I don't really have much of an interest in, I listen to the soundtrack for Legally Blonde the Musical. But there's one song in particular that never fails to bring a smile to my face, and I've been waiting for a reason to share it here.

While I'm still waiting on mine, it seems appropriate enough to accompany an announcement that Rachel Vincent's CP Rinda Elliot will be joining us* as a client of Miriam Kriss. Knowing Rinda had a rough patch during her querying—and that she came to Miriam in a way similar to how I did, maybe she'll get this song, too. If you've ever wondered what it feels like to get that call from an agent... hit play on the youtube viewer below.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day

Here are some photos from last the celebration. It was a "traditional" Irish meal of beer-flavored food. Rachel, made beef and cabbage (which she made with brussel sprouts instead) for the second year in a row.

The food is hiding under the pot lids because it's camera shy (and wanting to stay warm.)

These are some lovely live shamrocks that were brought as a centerpiece by one of the guests.

Beer bread! Yes, even the bread had beer in it. This was made with Guinness as the liquid in the dough by Rachel, as well.

In fact, the only things that didn't have beer in them were these cupcakes.

Cooper poses for the camera in hopes of beer and/or cupcake treats. (Yes, the dog likes beer. And cupcakes.)

Lola could not pose because she was too worried about missing out on something being dropped in the kitchen. Like the cupcakes... or the beef... or the bread... or the salad... (she likes food, not beer.)

You'll notice both dogs wore their green shamrock collars so they could dress for the occasion.

Friday, March 14, 2008

There is nothing that
says "Spring!" like the yellow of
blooming daffodils.

Happy White Day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Patience and Waiting

Her name is Patience, and she sits stone-still, her fingers curled around the cup. All of the room's movement is focused on steam rising from her cooling tea. The changing light through the windows caresses the coils of her dark, dark hair. Traveling, the sun flows up one side, across her crown and intricate hair jewelry, then down the other. At night the moon repeats the ritual. Her eyes are half-closed; her lips part in a half-smile.

Her name is Waiting, and she pours the tea that disappears although she never sees the cup move. Her fingers shake with anticipation, and often she splashes the table and her lady's robes. Twitching, she watches for her lady to speak, to rise, to reprimand the clumsiness. Her lady does not move, yet the tea empties.

Waiting is never still. It is said she came to this place to study, and once she has learned its secrets, she will know how Patience can remain so serene, even when hot tea spills across her sleeve.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The funny thing about deadlines

The funny thing about deadlines is the opposite weight they give to days. As each passes, instead of becoming lighter, the remaining leadened.

It is carrying a bucket that fills with more water, as the place it's being taken to grows farther away.

One would think it would be as if you have spilled a little liquid with each step, and you reach your location to realize that you have to return to the well, because your bucket is empty.

Some might argue an empty bucket is the sign of completion and the whole point is to drain it dry.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Daily visual stimulation from two of my favorite cities:

Paris Daily Photo

Tokyo Daily Photo

I have not a great deal to share. My work moves ahead word by word, one sentence at a time.