la_belle_laide: (witch)
As it gets close to the end of summer, I'm starting to realize that we only get, I don't know, maybe 7, maybe 8 ocean days per year. Not counting those times we go in the fall, or Spring. Those don't exactly count, because I'm really talking about those lush, humid, hot summer days when you can actually go into the water. So even if we went every other week, sometimes two weeks in a row, it only comes out to 6-8 or so days per summer. Really not a lot. Which is weird, because, sure, next year we can go again, but next year, Callum will be two. Two is really different to one. Babies and kids change so rapidly. With adult friends and family, you kind of don't change as much, so you can recreate some of those moments from the past. But I only have that handful of days at the ocean with a one-year-old. And then a handful with a two-year-old. Etc. It's weird and kind of sad, right?

Last week, we had our “pre-Disney” summer party. “We” in this case was: Me, CJ, my Mom, Spence, his gf Natasha (I really like this kid, she is a great girl!) Meg, Chrissie, Tim, Gavin, Mason, my Uncle Don, and his gf Jen. We used to do those parties with Gran and my Dad, of course. This was the first one without them. So it was tough. And the trip is going to be tough, too. But still, I'm looking forward to it so much! I'm stoked beyond the telling of it. It's two more months. And we'll only be there for 6 days. But that's enough, I think, with a toddler, and with boarding the dogs. That's really my biggest worry, actually. I know CJ's going to have the Disney melt-downs, and there will be INCIDENTS, and craziness, and I'll probably be way too emotional. But it's just really hard for me to leave the dogs for that long. And I still can't figure out who to get to feed my goldfish, The Doctor, while I'm gone. I have to square that away. Two months is going to fly by. EVERYthing is flying by.

Tomorrow I'm going out kayaking with Dragon. We're taking a sunset kayak tour. Which is super weird, because two years ago, right after I very very very first got pregnant, I went out kayaking on the 28th with Lady Chrysanthemum. I just thought that was weird, you know, the wheel turns and all.

Sunday is already Powwow day! Wasn't I just there a few minutes ago, with tiny little CJ in the Ergo carrier, and my best friend, Glassworker? I bought him a little T shirt, thinking it would be forever until he was big enough to wear it, and he's already worn it a bunch of times. And now CJ will be walking around and probably picking out his own stuff that he wants.

And then on Tuesday, a HitRECord friend of mine from England is coming to visit! Which, EXCITEMENT omg. He's an incredible musician (he did music for a poem that I wrote, and also wrote and sang the wonderful song “Adieu,” for HitRECord On TV, which, HI, we won an Emmy for that show! :D ) and just about the sweetest person.

And then I start teaching a Hula class on Mondays in September – hopefully. If more people sign up.

I took a Saturday off mid-September, too, to have a yard sale. Maybe I can make some Disney money.

Then October and Disney and then Thanksgiving and Christmas and then the loooooooong, loooooong stretch of winter that I can't even bear to think about yet. I'm still not over last winter ffs. I can't deal with another like that. It was too much.

I'm always afraid to say, “Who knows what will be different next year?” because, literally, the last time I wrote that in my LJ, my Gran and my Dad passed within four months of each other. So, I'm not going to say that. I am going to hope that the rest of the year (oh, let's get ambitious and say the next TWENTY years!) can be as good as this summer has been. Even though things change so quickly, can it still be this good? I am going to hope that I will sign with a really rad literary agent (I've still got two manuscripts out, and still waiting to hear back from either or both agents.) I will hope to have less anxiety in general about things. Or, really, to work on that a bit, because it's not going to go away on its own.

Oh, while I'm here: CJ has six teeth, four donor siblings (though I've only been in contact with two families,) and a handful of words and phrases. Words like: hat, out, ant, balloon (“umboooon,”) and “AT?” while pointing to something, asking me to repeat what it is. And the same phrases he's always used: “I did it!” when I tell him he's done something well, OR when I tell him not to do something for pete's sake, (or, “THEY did it!” when I tell the dogs they're good,) and “It's good-good!” when he's eating oatmeal, or when I tell him something is “yucky” and not to eat it. :/ He plays ball, and has an orange car that he loves; a fuzzy, pink rocking horse that he likes to play with but will not sit on; a Mickey Mouse train; a musical chair; various Lilo and Stitch dolls etc. But given the choice, he'll always play with a DVD, remote control, the air purifier, or my cell phone. He loves books more than anything—ANYTHING—and is obsessed with “Go, Dog, Go,” and “Beep Beep.” He likes anything that says “beep beep,” which he copies by grunting twice. And he likes bees, which he calls “DIZ!” because of the buzzing. And he does animal noises, too, and a Donald Duck voice. Sort of. ^_^

I should really update LJ more often, but I get so lazy. CJ goes in for a nap and I usually just sit there looking at Tumblr and reading the stupid, depressing news. I always say that, but I never do it.

Since it's on my mind right now, I'd better go check Amazon for a fish self-feeder or something, and maybe a timer to turn the lights on and off.

I will absolutely check in with LJ more often. Will absolutely try. ^_^;;
la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)
I've gotten so bad about updating. I haven't even read my friendslist and I'm really sorry about that. I'm mostly at the computer when CJ is asleep (still on my lap when he naps,) and I spend a lot of that time either sending query letter/packages or going on Tumblr. Or honestly just dicking around on the web. Or putting pics on on HitRECord or writing little pieces for there. I haven't had time to make any hR films lately – and anyway since my Mac is kaput, I don't have the movie program to work with anymore. >_< Bleh. BUT, I am due about $600 from them, for the work on the TV show and a bit on the Don Jon DVD. So yay to that.

It's the ass-end of winter and still cold as as a polar bear's nutsack. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, which is, like, HUGE for everyone this year. This winter seemed endless. I'm not exaggerating when I say we had a snowstorm nearly every week this winter. Record snowfall. More than Alaska. I spun out on the road last month and ended up in a ditch. Then my car got stuck in a block of ice so thick that it took me 3 hours, a few pots of boiling water, and what was basically a pickaxe to get it out. And it wasn't just us trudging through this awful winter. The entire east coast and some of the south—as well as the midwest—got its ass handed to it this year. So Spring is going to be this joyful celebration of just not being cold and snowbound. Or at least it should. We're tracking another snowstorm for next week. Balls.

I took two days off from work last week, and asked my Mom to take some time, too, so she could watch CJ while I painted and baby-proofed the living room. It was a HUGE job, because it involved moving everything, and also moving my goldfish, The Doctor, into a bigger tank. I accidentally got the wrong color paint, and it seemed like everything was going to get screwed up from the beginning. As I was painting and moving things around, I kept thinking, “I'm going to hate it.” Because last year right after CJ was born, I was super hormonal and I got these beautiful windows installed. But they were so different, and I was in such a state of mind, that the unfamiliarity of them freaked me right the eff out. And come sundown every night, I would have to close the blinds so I couldn't see them and be reminded of how different everything was.

But I finished the room, (strapped all the tippable furniture into the walls, got rid of some shelves, moved this and that, new fishtank [a gift from a friend,] blocked all the outlets, traded computer desks with my Mom, made a whole bunch of room, and painted over that godforsaken stupid mural on my wall that I've hated since day one. And don't you know, I absolutely love it? I love how cozy and nice everything looks now. I love how clean it seems with everything out of the way. I love how CJ can't pull a pile of shelves down now. It's actually very cheerful.

Speaking of fish, and of my little chap, “fish” is his first word. He actually started saying it about a month ago – I might have mentioned. He said it wrong for a good long while. He'd stare at the goldfish and yell, “DICK.” No, my love. It's not a dick, it's a fish. Then for a while he was calling it a “boof.” WTF. These days he calls it a “shish” or just “ish.”

His next word after that was “egg.” That's because my Mom, and Jo-chan and I all have these little lip-balm things in the shape of little eggs. He likes to play with them and throw them on the floor. He'll grab them and say “egg” pretty clearly. He also moos like a cow when he hears his toy cow moo, imitates the creaking barn door on one of his toys, and yesterday he imitated the rooster crowing from one of his toys, too. He's very vocal. He's also totally on the move. He's not walking without holding onto anything yet, but he cruises around on the furniture at the speed of light.

He also has a nasty cold, which he caught from me, which I caught from a client. >_< He had a fever yesterday, so I'm taking him to the docs tomorrow. (It was the earliest they could get him in.) My ears are really painful, so I'm nervous that this might turn into his first ear infection. I thought it best to take him in. We'll see tomorrow.

Please let the warm weather come! The dogs haven't been out for many walks. We haven't been to the park or the beach because it's been too bitter cold, for them and for us. They need to stretch their legs and feel the road and the sand beneath their paws. And I need to ditch the bulky-ass winter coat and boots and hats and scarves. I'm sick of it.

BRING ON SPRING.



la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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A year ago on the 25th, it was a Saturday, and I went to the fertility clinic where they took me in an hour late. So I sat around watching a show about sea turtles and reading a magazine about Doctor Who. Then I went into the office, where I read Sherlock Holmes while I waited, because, as I told the nurse, if this worked, I wanted to have a smart baby. She said, "I Mama is smart, the baby will be, too!"

I left cautiously hopeful, and here I am today, with a little boy sleeping on my lap.

I try to take Callum somewhere for an hour or so every afternoon. It gets us both out of the house – though we can't ever stay for too long because of Haku. Today I decided to take some DVDs I'm trying to get rid of to the Yellow Barn by the library. But the library and Yellow Barn were both closed, and the drop boxes only accept books. I just gave about 50 books to my neighbor across the street for her yard sale.

So there I stood in the parking lot of the library, holding Callum's carrier on one arm and a huge bag of DVDs and tapes in the other, in the hot sun, when a blond woman in a sundress approached. She was on foot, and the only other person in the parking lot.

She asked, "Are you looking for something?"

I explained that I wanted to get rid o all of these DVDs but didn't want to just leave them there.

She said, "I walked over here from the shelter for abused and displaced women. I hope it's not rude of me to ask, but we don't have a really big video library there and one of the girls was just saying that she wanted to see more movies."

Wow, imagine that?! What great timing! I told her she could have all of them. She said, "How fortuitous! What are the chances?"

I gave her the bag, then offered her a ride back to the shelter, since it would be a long walk carrying all the DVDs. She accepted, and so we talked on the way back about astrology and baby names. (Because she really liked the name Callum. And she got it, too. "That's Gaelic," she said. "Colin is another version of it.")

Then I was going to take Callum for a pleasant walk through the cemetery down the road and take some photos, but I had forgotten my damn camera! >_< So instead, we visited my Mom at her work. Drex was working there too and he came to say hi.

It's funny, originally I was going to go to the store b/c I'm out of chocolate, but I didn't have any money to spend so I decided on the library instead. Neat!

Two days ago, I took Callum out to brunch with Lady Chrysanthemum, Empress and Snarklit. I have been missing the hell out of them so it was such a wonderful day, getting to see them. We haven't trained together in so long. I haven't trained in over a year, Empress is in school AND working at a dental clinic, and she now trains somewhere else. And Chrysanthemum has taken time off to be with her daughter, who was waiting on a baby of her own – who was just born yesterday!
She got in a little Grandma practice first:
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And here's the lot of us, the old crew:

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We talked—of course—about how much we miss Ye Olde Days of training, when we were all together at the cute, cozy school. When the Gold Dragon was there, and a bunch of really nice kids, and all the other folks who used to train with us. When our Kwon was like a family and we all had some TV Trope-ish role in class. It all kind of started to change when we moved schools, and different people came in and old ones left.

I still want that back. I miss it enough that I'll wait to have it again.

Well, we were all just feeling nostalgic, I guess. One day, Callum will train and hopefully I'll be training again, too. These people will always be my brothers and sisters.

Welp! It's been chilly at night and hot during the day, but you can definitely feel a hint of fall even in the afternoon. It's just a smell on the breeze. Jo-chan's school starts tomorrow, so she'll be living here part time. Can't wait for her to come back! Mom, and Boychild and Boychild's Mommy, and Callum and I have been going for evening walks on Mondays. It'll be nice to have her along, too.

Speaking of, she's having a BBQ later that Callum and I are going to. We're going to discuss the logistics of getting us all to Disney in 2014. :D

And so Autumn is around the corner! Yesterday I was looking at the FB pics a friend of mine posted. She's from HitRECord and she has this beautiful little boy. (He's so cute and smart, he's got his own section in the TV show! Which I'm going to be on, too!) Anyway, she has a pic of her and her son at around 6-7 months or so, walking through a pumpkin patch. Callum will only be 5 months in October, but I can't wait to get a pic like that, myself. :)

He's about to wake up any minute, so I have to cut this short!
la_belle_laide: (mantis)



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Callum will be 12 weeks tomorrow. They say that's the end of the "fourth trimester." There's definitely been a difference, too. Less crying, more laughing. On and off more sleeping, too. Two nights ago he slept for five hour straight! Then he went back to the 2 hour thing. :/ But hopefully that is a sign of things to come.

Two Saturdays ago, July 27th, I returned to work, SUPER part time. It felt so good to be out of the house though, to have some adult time, and to be useful to people again. My first client tipped me $100. O_O WOW. And the two new therapists there said that there were a ton of clients just waiting for me to come back. Felt really nice to be needed like that.

The day after I went back to work, the weirdest thing happened. I took the dogs and Callum outside, like I always do in the morning. The dogs went running to the front yard while I carried Callum after them. They ran straight past this:

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How the hell does my SIGHT HOUND miss something like that? Sucker was over 3 feet long!

My first, extremely human reaction was to recoil in horror. Then I grabbed my camera (still holding Callum!) and started snapping some pics. I crouched down to get a little closer, thinking "Dang, that's the biggest garter snake I've ever seen!" Then later, I googled my "garter snake."

WRONG. It is a northern black racer. An effing CONSTRICTOR, known to bite often and hard if you scare it enough.

Yet, it just chilled there (or whatever verb snakes do when they're just sort of there,) and looked at the both of us. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was looking at Callum; yes, I know how wonky that sounds. But interestingly, his birth year is the year of the black Snake. I thought that was super cool.

Right after that, we were sitting outside in the chair, and an osprey (ka 'io o ke kai – Callum's Hawaiian name,) was circling overhead. Pretty neat.

Let's see, what else. HitRECord continues to be interesting and supportive. The TV show is coming up on 70-some-odd days and we're going to be in it. :D I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

I also sent out a bunch of query letters to some new agents. I haven't done that since before Callum (CJ for short, okay?) was born, and it was awesome to get back into that.

The other news is that SB is moving away. He's 25 and I knew this time was coming. Still, my memory is so clear of when he was CJ's age and living with us. I guess a part of me thought he'd always be right there, just a few miles away, coming for day-visits even as an adult. It kind of guts me that he's leaving. But he has this adorable new girlfriend and they are moving in together, in upstate NY. I can hardly believe it. Wasn't I just playing Ninja Turtles with him the other day? (Actually, that's not too far-fetched. As far as I know, he still does pretend to be a Ninja Turtle. ;D ) I just hope that he'll be able to come to Disney with us in Oct. '14. They (he, his GF, and Jo-chan,) are going with Boychild and his Mom and Dad this coming December. Wish I could go, but CJ is way too young.

Jo-Chan will be coming back here to stay for 4 days a week at the end of August, so she can get to school on time. I'm really looking forward to having her around again. She is part of our little family and I want her to be a big part of Callum's life.

Right now CJ is napping (this phase where he can't nap unless he's sleeping on or close to me or my Mom; he's currently on the boppy pillow on my lap as I type,) and the damn crow is causing a huge racket. I can hardly stand the noise but at least he's not screaming, as he's lately taken to doing every time CJ falls asleep. It's like he's got a goddamn sensor. He wakes the baby 9 out of 10 times and I have to spend a good amount of time getting him to sleep again. It drives me up the damn wall because, even though I know it's irrational, it feels like he's doing it on purpose. >_<

Well anyway, so I'm looking forward to Autumn now and all the good things it's going to bring: Jo-chan staying over again, trips to pumpkin patches with my new baby, the HitRECord TV show (and maybe some money from that too! AFAIK we are getting paid in advance!) and who knows what else. I just feel like it's going to be a really good time! ^_^


ETA: Here's something weird: I'm suddenly allergic to eggplant. I used to eat it all the time. Then I had it the other day, and I got this huge rash on my lips. WTF?
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)


I've been doing so much stuff at HitRECord lately! For some reason it works out that when Callum is napping I can get a few hours of recording and editing in. Of course, that means that I'm not doing my laundry or cleaning my house at all. Or sleeping. But hey. My baby is not a big napper anyway. 40 minutes at a time a few times a day. Lately he's been going for about 3 hours at a time at night. So I'm getting maybe 4-5 hours of sleep per night. I've learned to live with it. Right now, he's sitting on my lap in the boppy pillow. Actually he's starting to get fussy because I stopped paying attention to him to write this.

And, one feeding and two naps later (actually he's still asleep...)

So yeah, HitRECord. Joe picked a few things that I wrote for the TV show that he's doing, so that's been really awesome. It's super cool that I get paid for it, but really, it's just neat that he likes my ideas and wants to put them on TV. :D One of them is going to be a song about the space between atoms; he said it was really "geeky" and that got him excited about it. Super cool. He also congratulated me on Callum and might use some of the videos that I did of him, as well. ^_^ Neat. Whatever money I get from that will go to Callum.

Speaking of money, I haven't returned to work yet. TMI, but it's really hard to save enough milk to be gone for the day, and I don't want to put him on formula yet. He's only 2 months old.

For the 4th of July, we went to the beach with my Mom, Chrissie and Boychild. My friend Drex has been to visit, and y wonderful bestie Glassworker is coming on Monday. I haven't had time for many other visitors, and also I'm self conscious about the state of my house, with laundry everywhere.

It's been hot as satan's codpiece and no rain until today – still not enough. The grass is completely dead and all my plants are wilting and burnt.

Here's something I didn't mention (well, I haven't been on LJ< that's why.) The first 3, 4 or so weeks after Callum was born, I was super hormonal, to the point of getting really depressed at around 6 PM every night. Like, crying over everything kind of depressed. One night I was crying because I forgot to bake sweet potatoes, and another night I was crying because it was raining. Then once because my cousin's house was so nice and mine hadn't been cleaned in weeks. Just ridiculous things.

I still sometimes feel a little blue around 6 PM, but nothing like it was.

When Callum is asleep and I'm not doing things on HitRECord or having car accidents, I'm trying to catch up on a bit of housework, reading, looking at Tumblr, watching DVDs. When he's awake, I'm feeding, changing, or playing with him. He went through a stage for a few weeks where he just cried and cried all day, and could not be consoled. He still gets cranky at certain times, but he's consolable now. Usually, all I have to do is recite Disney's Haunted Mansion to him. Then I get a big smile.

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When I say "I am your host... your GHOST HOST," he just loses it.

Oh, we're also planning a trip to Disney next year, Oct. '14. Callum will be a year and a half by then, which is when most of the kids in the family have gone for the first time. "We," by the way, are: me and Callum, my Mom, Chrissie, Timmy, Boychild, SB and Jo-chan. I'm looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. My kid gets to go to Disney; I've been saving up for it since before he was born. But, I'm going to see my Dad and Gran around every corner. It'll never be 100% what I wanted. I know there's going to be ugly crying once in a while, and I think it'll be especially hard for my Mom.

But, that's over a year away, and I have a long enough time to stress about that and be neurotic.

Hmm, other than that, I've been watching Battlestar Galactica. I need something to turn on when I'm chained to him, and that's been fairly decent. I also finished watching Merlin (ALL THE TEARS, GOD.) And Hannibal, oh my god. I went nuts for Hannibal this season. The Tumblr fandom might even be better than the show.

I have to pee now, which means I have to get up and put the baby down, which means waking him, ugh!

Don't know when I'll get to do another update. I do miss LJ. But Tumblr is just so much easier to do with one free hand. :)

I haven't looked at my f-list in a long time. Hope everyone in LJ land is doing well!





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la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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The amazing JoeRud on HitRECord turned one of my poems into a song. I am so pleased, because this is one of my favorite things I've written, and also because he's an incredible musician. There's something very Simon and Garfunkle about the way he does music, which brings me back to my childhood and the songs that I used to love when I was a toddler.

And that's not all. HitRECord's Pamagotchi wrote and recorded a lullaby for my baby.

How wonderful is that? Things like this mean more to me than the paycheck. I mean, yes, the paycheck is awesome, and I still think it's the coolest thing that I get thank you notes and nice comments from Joseph Gordon-Levitt who, let's face it, is an amazing artist. But things like this—other people being inspired and sharing their art and talent with you—that is really the best part.

(And also Kubi animated a few lines of my porno, which, come on, best thing ever, right?)


la_belle_laide: (yanyan)



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So this was super nice. I mentioned in my last post that I'd made a little video for HitRECord to say what I planned to do with my check from them. I got this nice reply from Joe:

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It always makes my day when he stops by to say something like that. ^_^ And yeah, whatever, I have screencapped all of his replies to me, just because they're always so kind, and sometimes really hilarious.

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LOL tasteful.

It's not every day that you write a poem that JGL thinks is "fantastic and sexy." ^_^ Another time he said I was a "provocative and fun feminist writer."

For every rejection letter I get, I'm like, "Yeah, well, Joseph Gordon Levitt likes my stuff, so :P "

Welp, today is a week away from my baby shower. WOW, how did that happen? I'm looking forward to it, because I love any time I get to see all of my friends in one place. That happens so rarely. Obviously not everyone can make it, but a lot of people can and will be there. I just can't wait to see everyone. It's neat when your different groups of people can meet each other. Then you can show them off to each other. "Friends: This is my fantastic family! Family: Check out my awesome friends!"

I have SO MUCH cleaning to do. And not just "Oh, let me move this basket of clothes to this room and I'll get to them later," or your basic cleaning the toilet or wiping the counters and vacuuming. I mean like, shifting things around, scrubbing floors, all sorts of non-fun things like that. And tomorrow I have to go shopping for last minute stuff AND I have to work. That's TWO WHOLE THINGS I need to do in one day. What's up with that?

I just really want everyone to be comfortable on Sunday, have lots of space to move around, find everything clean and nice, and have a good time. And I neeeeed the weather to be warm and sunny. Weather gods, can we have that please? It is still so damn chilly here! We're supposed to be outside singing and dancing! Because yes, there will be dancing.

Mom offered Dad's old dresser for the baby. It's nearly an antique. Or, I don't know, maybe it isn't, but it's from the 50s or so. My Dad sanded it and painted it black in the 70s and it's really slick. I think that's such a cool idea, but I hate the thought of Mom giving up Dad's dresser. I think that's probably going to be tough. I'm a little torn.

I should stop stalling and start cleaning. There's just no way around it!
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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In unlocked news, I'm now 8 whole months pregnant:

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WTF, how did that happen?

The weather the las 3 days has been so nice and warm – FINALLY! It got up to about 70 for 3 days in a row. Tomorrow it's going back down to the 50s. Boo, hiss. My baby shower is in a week and a half and about 50 people are coming. ( O_O How do I even know that many people?!) I want it to be warm enough for people to go outside. And a few Hula sisters will be there too, and some of my former dance students. I'd love to do a little dancing.

If I can move, that is. Pugsley has taken up residence with his noggin on top of my obturator nerve, AND my hips are falling apart at the seams (which is normal for this time.) So if I do too much shifting or turning, I get this huge, throbbing pain in either or both thighs, and sometimes my leg just goes dead.

Anyway, the weather has been nice enough that Mom, Jo-chan and I took the dogs to the beach yesterday. As is typical of springtime (and even winter sometimes,) some B-hole had their dog running around on the beach without a leash. Said dog came charging up to my dogs. I freak out when this happens, because of the neighbor's dog that attacked my dogs a few years ago, and because Haku's legs are so fragile, the last thing he needs is a bite, or to get knocked over. So, I always start yelling at the dog and going nuts and trying to shoo it.

So this time I was freaking out, yelling at the dog, and at the owner, "THEY'RE NOT FRIENDLY! GET IT AWAY!" but she couldn't make it there in time. Sano hates when I get upset, so he stepped in front of me, and grabbed the other dog by the throat. He didn't sink his fangs in or even break the skin, he didn't shake the other dog like he was trying to hurt it. He just held it by the neck until the owner got there. Haku, meanwhile, total douche, started running around the other dog and biting at his back, plucking fur out of him. But I can't even get mad at my dogs for doing that. They're the ones who are leashed. They're the ones who can't run from confrontation, and who feel threatened and know that Mommy is upset and mad and doesn't want the other dog around.

The owner was all "Oh sorry, sorry, oh jeez, sorry about that." No, dick. Put your dog on a leash and you won't have to feel sorry when my dogs bite it. You're lucky Sano was showing some restraint, honestly. The last dog that actually attacked him (in his own yard, no less,) ended up in the vets getting its ears sewn back on.

So that was that, and I'm sure it's going to happen again and again this summer. Especially if I'm walking with a baby. I can tell right now that Sano isn't going to be cool with people or dogs going up to it.

What else? I got my HitRECord check in the mail! And another nice thank you letter from Joe. This check was important to me, because part of it was for when they played my Dad's song at the Halloween show. Getting money from my Dad's music is just the best. And I really want to spend it on something artistic / creative for the baby, to make that kind of connection. I made a video about that. Everyone in the forum is being so awesome. Even Jared signed on to say some nice things. ^_^

I have another check coming to me from there, too, this one for the Little Red Riding Hood book. Hurray for all of that.

Well, tonight is Wednesday, so in a little while it's off to Mom's, to watch Criminal Minds with Jo-chan when she gets home from college. And then tomorrow, more cleaning, sorting, moving things from here to there, throwing things away, putting new things in new drawers, etc.

Crazy times, y'all.
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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Gacked from Day Glo.

What cool stuff went on this year?

Joe (or Joseph Gordon-Levitt to the "old media,") really liked a brief essay that I wrote and said he wanted to write a feminist book. He asked for more contributions and he picked one of my snarky feminist dialogues and a naughty poem for publication. He really liked the poem and did a reading of it from the book.

Then I got pregnant. Not because of that, obviously.

I also wrote a porno which I personally found hilarious, and also went over really well, with brilliant voice-overs and show-stopping musical numbers. You get a little addicted to HitRECord, honestly. A few months go by and you've made nothing really fantastic, it gets you feeling a little down until the next time you come up with something. This whole thing really made me happy.

Meanwhile, I got a few more nibbles to a few more query letters, some good feedback, but ultimately no agent. Yet. The HitRECord credits seem to help a lot though.

I had a ton of starlings over the summer and a bluejay in the fall. (The bluejay didn't make it.)

I continued to write lots of poetry as well as fandom stuff, which went over pretty well and was really just for pleasure and practice.

I spent lots of time with Jo-chan, went to the park a lot with the dogs, took lots of walks, went swimming in the pool, hung out with my best friend, got a raise, saw some good movies and some silly ones. I watched Doctor Who and Torchwood, Dexter, Lost and One Upon A Time.

Other than that, not much. I didn't go on any trips or anything, didn't see any shows or do anything super exciting aside from all of that. Well, I haven't in about four years.

I never make much of the new year, but either way, here's to 2013!

la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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All right, y'all know how I feel about this white-ass holiday and celebrating the slaughter of indigenous peoples, but it is still a day to show thanks for what we have. And I have tons of privileges and lots to be thankful for. Our family is doing Thanksgiving tomorrow instead of today, but in the spirit of the thing, here's my list.

My Mom! She is the best. I couldn't have asked for a better mom. And then in the last few years, the way she not only went back to work, but quickly climbed to a supervisor position after only being there for a little over a year, is pretty inspiring. Also, thankful that I had the Dad and grandparents that I had to raise me.

My close family, too. From my awesome cousins and their lovely son across the street who are always right there to help out, or for a laugh, or a few slices of pizza, to my other awesome cousins SB and Jo-Chan who are like a brother and sister to me, to my actual brother, and a small handful of aunts and uncles, (a very small handful,) I'm thankful that I get to see them or at least talk to them so often.

Some truly great friends, especially by best friend Kim. Some of my longest friendships, Drex and Durga. And of course, the always inspiring Empress, Chrysanthemum, Snarklit, Clydius Maximus, Dragon, McK, Sifu, Lao Shir... Most of them are from Kung Fu, obviously. And some of my friends are from when I worked at The Bad Place. It took me a long time to make friends, but the ones I have, I hope to keep forever.

The fact that I am apparently super healthy (*knock on wood!*) and super fertile, as well! Next year, I'll be thankful for having some bizarre little offspring running around and pooping all the time. Crazy!

My awesome Ninja Wizards. Those are my dogs and crow, in case you guys don't already know that. I know everyone thinks their pets are the cutest, the smartest, the most special – and you're all right, too. :) I've been through lots of crap with my guys and the way they all adapt is pretty amazing. And let's not forget my goldfish, The Doctor, either.

HULA. I'm so thankful that I can dance, and I'm thankful to the Hawaiian culture for sharing this with me.

My internet pals, old and new. I've known some of you for over ten years now. Imagine that? All the fandoms, all the squeeing, and then getting to know people outside of fandom, too. Some of you I've met, and some I've yet to meet, but I count you all as friends.

HITRECORD. Not only because these were the first (and so far only!) folks to publish me, and not only because I have all the resources I need to make whatever kind of dumb film I want, or that people use my resources to make their own art. That's all cool and stuff, but I'm thankful to have met some good friends on HitRECord, too. I'm sorry that I missed you all during the tour this year. Hopefully there will be something next year and we can all get together again. I haven't gotten any novels published yet, but Joseph Gordon Levitt thinks I'm a pretty great writer. And that is awesome.

I have a good job with a really terrific boss.

I have a home.

I have food, clean water, electricity, a computer, a warm bed, a TV. Money is always a struggle and a big worry, but I can't complain too much when I have all these privileges.

I'm also really thankful that I'm mostly happy. I know folks who have all of these privileges and more, but suffer from depression. I know what anxiety disorder is like, but depression and other mental illnesses are devastating and I'm thankful for my brain chemistry that allows me to feel this happiness.

And let's not forget, as always: There are good movies to watch, good music to listen to, good novels to read, fascinating science to learn, delicious food to eat, and all other sorts of interesting things in the world.

Whew, long list, and I'm sure I left a lot of things off, but I guess those are the basics.

la_belle_laide: (Mappy)



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I saw Looper on Friday and I'm only getting around to writing about it now. As some of you know, this is a movie I've been waiting for for years. I'm a weak person and I did a bad, naughty thing when I downloaded the script when it leaked a few years ago. I couldn't help it. It was like someone put a pint of Ben & Jerry's in front of me and said, "But don't touch this." It's just not going to happen. The day I read it, I couldn't put it down. And then I went back and read it again.

I'm not going to necessarily get into the timey wimey time travel parts of it in this post, because I'm actually gonna do that in a HitRECord video. (Well, maybe I'll get a LITTLE into it.) But, this post will have SPOILERS, so if you don't want LOOPER SPOILERS, then don't read this post full of LOOPER SPOILERS.

Okay, first, because I have to get it away, yes, of course there were some problems and issues with the script. Nothing is perfect. And I am a big believer in thinking critically about things that I love the most. Especially about things I love the most.

So yeah, the first thing Imma talk about here is the role of women in the movie. I might not even be going into it as much if Rian Johnson hadn't made a snarky comment about the Bechdel test on Twitter. I know that the test isn't always a great litmus for good representation of women in media (because some really good, pro-female works don't even pass it,) but at least take it seriously when someone brings it up. :/ I love Rian Johnson and he is currently my favorite director, so I always get eye-rolly when people I really respect have those human failings.

Anyway, the biggest problem with this script was that, like Brick, the women characters skirted the whole "whore/madonna" trope. Either they are whores who aren't emotionally available for the main character (JGL in both cases,) or they are his savior. Well, not so much with the "savior" in Brick. But definitely in this movie. One woman is literally a prostitute who breaks his heart, the other is a typical, virtuous wife who saves his soul. Old Joe actually even says this. Moreso, she has absolutely no lines at all. She's just there for him and nothing else.

FORTUNATELY, the movie is saved by Sara, who's tough as hell, has her own agenda, and could take or leave Joe. She decides on "take." Which is great, because it's her decision. She's the one who initiates the affair, basically just because she feels like it. He doesn't change her and turn her into "wife material," nor does she change him. They don't fall in love. She keeps her own agenda, which is looking out for her son. Young Joe does change, but it's not for her. His sacrifice is more meaningful than that.

I mean let's face it, it's a movie by a dude, about a dude, with some women in the story. That's just the way these things are. Movies centered on women are usually called "chick flicks" and movies centered on men are just called "movies." I'm not saying that it should stay that way, or that we shouldn't try to have a more even set of films – WE TOTALLY SHOULD. Movie writers should write movies with women characters doing all the normal (or abnormal) things, and have it just be a damn movie. But that is rare, and in the mean time, we have movies about dudes. They can still be good movies. And this was beyond good.

And by the way, Emily Blunt was fantastic.

Just because I knew I was going to love the movie way in advance, doesn't mean I didn't find new things to appreciate. So much of the movie was just how I pictured it. Of course, Joe looked different, wince he was in Bruce Willis makeup, but I got used to that quickly enough. After the first two minutes, it didn't seem so much like "JGL being Bruce Willis" rather than just two guys playing the same character.

There are a few things that Rian does in all of his films, one of which is the whole Tormented Hero thing. He even hung a lampshade on that in The Brothers Bloom. Which, I mean, I LOVE. That is actually my biggest fangirl button; I've said that so many times. Rian Johnson just has a sensibility about characters that really melds with my own. He knows how to write heroes that I pretty much have to enjoy.

And in both of his movies that feature Joe as the lead, he's definitely got this thing for breaking him up into tiny, bite-sized, heartbroken little Joe-bits and then throwing him into bed with The Bad Girl. I wonder why that is. Also, using Noah Segan as the Buttmonkey.

Props, by the way, to Noah Segan. His character Kid Blue had to go from being badass, to ridiculous, to pathetic, to sympathetic, sometimes all in one scene. Talk about whiplash. One second you loved him, the next he was the bad guy. One second he's awesome, the next second he's stupidly hilarious, the next second you feel profoundly sorry for him. Well played. That must have been hard.

Bruce Willis was Bruce Willis, which is to say, really badass, obviously. I saw him in some interviews and he seems really softspoken and nice.

Lemme talk for a second about the major difference between the (ILL-GOTTEN) script* and the movie.

SPOILERS )

Okay, aside from that. The scene with Seth, oh my god. That was creepy as hell in the script, but in the movie, it turned into HIGH OCTANE NIGHTMARE FUEL, wtf. I almost couldn't look, it was so horrifying. Extremely effective, just subtle enough that you didn't have to see everything. Any more would have been overkill. Oh man, body horror.

So there's a lot of Timey-wimey mindscrewing in this movie, but, for as much as I love the concept of time travel and could discuss it all day, (and have,) that's really not what the film is about. It's really just about making a huge sacrifice in order to break a cycle of destruction. I know there are some people who are taking a cynical standpoint and saying "I still think nothing changed," but to me that's pointless. To me, it's not that kind of nihilistic movie. It means something. That was the whole idea of it, I think: to do something with meaning. Otherwise, why bother?

Oh, and Joe was perfect for the role, since, duh, it was written for him. Still, there would have been ways to screw this role up, but he just gets better and better. It was hard to realize that I was even watching him, and that's not really because the makeup, either.

So, problems aside, not only was this my favorite movie of the year, but I think it's actually my favorite movie. I think it knocked The Usual Suspects out of its top spot, goddamnit. Which pisses me off, because that movie has been there for years.

On a side note, I knew there was going to be a HitRECord collab to put stuff on the Looper DVD when it came out. I got crazy excited and did a crapload of stuff about Time Travel. Because I mean, what a huge concept, time travel, there's so much you could say about it. And it's a time travel movie. How tremendous! But, no. They made the collab about LOOPS. Man, STFU and get out my face, both of you. I'm just full of piss and vinegar over that, I mean really, "loops," wtf even. >_< Now I have to do all new stuff and I don't feel like it. Dang.

But anyway, it's a great movie, and people, if you haven't seen it, do. You won't be sorry.



*Don't ask me for it. It was years ago, and now Rian is going to release the licensed version to the public soon. So if you want it, you'll get it soon enough. :D
la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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My dang computer keeps crashing and saying it's a "kernel panic." My momma didn't raise no dummy, I know what that means, and it's not anything good. So I've been trying to back up every last thing, though I've run out of space on my external hard drive and I know I'm leaving some stuff out. But I've got the most recent photographs, videos, and the novel. What I will lose is all of my programs. And that blows.

Thunderstormy tonight, and probably for the next few days. I don't have any appointments tomorrow, so I'll go into town, I guess. Then movie night with my best friend Glassworker. Tuesday after work, will probably see my cousins, and Wednesday, Gold Dragon, and Thursday I have a doctor's appointment.

Oh, I have to get all sorts of tests. It's really weird how it worked out, too. For a few years I've had these lymph nodes that become palpable and then don't go away. I went to my primary and he basically told me, "That happens to thin girls, don't worry about it, just ignore them. If it's something bad, then we'll deal with it." (Same doctor who said to me, "Wow, I hope that'll be okay," when I dropped a rusty pool down my leg and told him I was allergic to the tetanus shot.)

ANYway, this all came about when I took Haku to the vet about a week and a half ago because I thought I was feeling one of his lymph nodes, and I had a major panic attack and ran him down there first thing to see Genius Vet. We got on a conversation about lymph in general and I mentioned what always happens with me.

She said, "Do you have really dry eyes?"

Boy, do I! They couldn't even do Lasik, my eyes were so dry. They had to do PRK and even that exacerbated the problem. When I sleep, my eyelids stick to my eyes, and when I move them, it tears the cornea. Which is mad painful.

"Do you get dry lips?"

Oh hell yes. A few years ago I tried quitting lip balm and I woke up with pieces of my mouth all over the pillow. (That's real attractive.)

"Do you have any joint problems, any rheumatoid?"

As a matter of fact, when the doctor did surgery on my knee, he said I probably had juvenile rheumatoid since I was twelve.

She said, "Sounds like Sjogren's syndrome. And I only know because I have the same thing."

I went home and looked it up, and it turns up that I have quite a few of those symptoms; such as getting random little dots on my skin every few years. Spicy foods make my tongue bleed (so gross.) Insane sensitivity to sunlight (I need to wear sunglasses even when it's overcast.) "Cold asthma," which with me, translates into an inability to take a breath when it's really cold and dry outside. I guess it's why I love the humidity. (I always have to stop jogging as soon as it gets chilly and dry, and heaven help me if someone's burning a fire.) Miserable allergies, sensitivity to chlorine, constant need for skin lotion, eye-drops, lip balm, and other suchlike.

If that is what I have, mine seems to be mostly in my damn face. No worries, it's not fatal or anything. Higher risk of lymphoma, but I'm always on the lookout for that anyway and I take lots of lymph-draining supplements. It's not a bad disease really, just an uncomfy one. There are tons of worse things, right?

Plus, the years of relying on oils and lotions and things like that have made my skin super-youthful and my hair really healthy. So that's one good thing!

So, while Thursday isn't my primary Dr. or rheumatologist, it's still a Dr. visit and I'll ask her where I should start. Maybe she can refer me to someone or something.

That's the story with that. It's probably the least interesting thing going on, but I wanted to document it anyway.

Over on HitRECord, my naughty little (published) poem is getting lots of play, including a Dramatic Reading by Joe, (which is now one of his featured records!) TONS of voiceovers, and even some amazing songs. And my erotica parody has become a voice-over show. This one is amazing, it has music!

So fly.

As far as birds, I've got twelve starlings in the aviary (currently making a ton of damn noise and freaking out in there, which starlings tend to do at night for some reason,) and a nest of three babies indoors, along with one nestling grackle. The four of them don't seem to be doing well. I wonder if it's because I'm using a different kind of food. Either way, I don't care for the situation. :( I want to raise a nice big grackle this year, like I did last year. No other birds so far; no robins or bluejays or redwings, no sparrows or orioles or titmice, no catbirds or mockers (I haven't had a mocker in YEARS, wtf. One year I had seven of them.)

The search for a literary agent continues. Last night I had a dream that I had an offer of representation. Ahh, please let that dream come true!

All righty, well, off to drink some juice and watch Lost. Did I mention I'd started watching that? Only seven years late!


la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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So a couple have things have gone on, some good, some bad, some still up in the air.

I'll start with the bad first, because it's what's on my mind. HitRECord, you know, is a nice little community - okay, it's really not so little, but you do get to know some folks. One of my pals there is a gal named Inky. She lives in Hawai'i and for a while we were working on some poetry translations on the site. Then she went away for a long trip, but had to cut her trip short because her boyfriend Niko (Honeyboy on HR) was very ill. Cancer at only 30, unable to get chemo due to a heart condition.

Inky and Honeyboy went traveling around the islands of Hawai'i together for a few short months. During their trip, they were taking photos, writing, tweeting, and exchanging packages of goodies and trinkets with other HitRECorders. Every Friday was Aloha Friday, where we would all send songs to each other on Twitter. Niko sent lots of my favorite music; I'd have fun identifying the singers and bands.

Just last week I went out and bought all sorts of Long Island goodies to send to them: local chocolates, trinkets, and some local honey for Honeyboy. I didn't have a box to send it in; figured I'd get to the store last Friday and bring it to the post office.

But Thursday night, Inky posted to let us all know that Niko had passed on Wednesday evening. She sent his last photo from his phone to his Twitter: a picture of the sunset out his window, titled "Goodbye Sun."

So everyone is heartbroken, and I have this package of stuff sitting here, addressed to both of them, and I don't know if I should still send it.

I came home from work today to find two packages had arrived. One was the HitRECord book that two of my writings made it into.

The other package is from Inky and Niko. It has a card from them. "Sending you lots of aloha and hugs and kisses, XOXO Honeyboy," and "Lots of love to you! XO Inky" They must have put it in the mail that Wednesday. And I just don't know what to do with myself over this. I think I should send the package anyway.

That was the most important, and of course the worst, thing that went on this week. Me, I can feel sad and cry and go about my business, but I know that his family and friends don't have that luxury today. My week still has some happiness in it. I get that.

Some of my happiness this week is, as I mentioned, getting that book in my hands. It's gorgeous, so much better than I thought it would be. The whole intro by Joe is about patriarchy and sexism, and why he changed the ending to the story. The second "intro" is by his Mom, which details the War On Women and why books like this are necessary. She talks for a while about the terrifying bills that are being put on the table (and some passed, barring women from testifying,) and then says,

Photobucket

My two pieces are in here, surrounded by beautiful art. Here's the funny thing: the first one is on page 39 and the second one is on page 45. I have a thing about numbers adding up to 3 and 9 so I'm like "OMFG IT'S A SIGN."

I also finished up the revisions requested by that one rad agent. I "finished" them, I should say, and then I stressed and stressed, and hemmed and hawed and fussed and revised again, and then once again. And then, yesterday, I sent them out. Now, I'm convinced that I only made it worse. I could only have screwed it up more. I just don't know what to do sometimes, who to listen to!

But also, a few agents held a "Twitter Pitch" contest, which is what it sounds like. You reduce your novel to 135 characters (leaving room for the tag,) and pitch to them via Twitter. Well, the one agent who showed a little interest in mine has a thing against stories with a time travel element. BUT, she also said it sounded cool anyway, and I could go ahead and query her to give her more info. I know it's not the kind of thing she represents, but something must have sounded kind of good for her to say that! So I figured, why not? And queried her, too. Can't hurt. :)

I am running out of agents to query, though. I'm getting a few nibbles and a few "You're good, but I'm not in love with this." What if no one falls "in love" with it? Then, I guess, I shelf it, start up with some of my other books and such. Get one of those to sell. Then maybe someone will be like "Do you have any trunk manuscripts?" Haha, yeah. But I don't want this to be from the trunk. It's my favorite.

So that's more or less what's been going on, aside from the stuff I'm going to put in the locked post. Today is the first really hot hot day, and my first day in shorts (once I came home from work, that is.) About two weeks ago I fixed the aviary door. I just need to put another latch on the bottom, just to be on the safe side (didn't need one for ten years, but I'm not going to make that mistake again,) and then hose it out, set it up, and put my twelve bastard starlings into it. Will probably do that tomorrow. Then maybe I'll get my winter clothes put away. I did that much earlier last year, I think; maybe two weeks earlier. But it's been super chilly this month.

Oh, in the meantime, hey. You can order this gorgeous FEMINIST retelling of a fairy tale, with poetry, stories, thoughts, essays and really beautiful art. Scroll down to the $20 one. ^_^




la_belle_laide: (D)



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Today I got my first babies of the season. And guess what they are? Yes, a nest of starlings! Shocking. Usually it's either three or five. This time it's four. And as always, there's one teeny one that the rest of them sit on, who has to be coaxed to eat.

I can't believe this is my thirteenth season with this. Time sucks.

Other than that, let's see. The Red Riding Hood book comes out on the 15th. That's my second time being published, both in HitRECord books. I'm excited about that, and I can add it to future query letters. Right now you can't order the book on its own (you need a subscription) but soon, you'll be able to get it by itself. That's when I'm going to pick up a copy, maybe two. ^_^ Just 'cause.

Last night I went out with Glassworker and we saw The Avengers. Well actually, first we watched Thor at my house (and I ate a slice of pizza and an entire box of girl scout cookies) and then we went out to the movies (where I ate a pint of ice cream and half a box of After-Eights. Fabulous.) But I really liked The Avengers. It was woman-friendly (only a few female characters, but were treated as human and as part of the team, AND just as badass if not moreso than the men – thank you again Joss Whedon,) and there were some genuinely hilarious parts. Quite a few times, we were both laughing pretty hard.

I actually have a lot more news than this, but it's for a locked post.



la_belle_laide: (Effing SPACE)



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Yesterday, it turned out that we didn't end up going to dinner after work. So I picked up Haku and came home. Still, it was our receptionist's last day and I was very down in the dumps about that. I've had a lot of fun working with her.

You know what I forgot to mention, Sano's been off pred since last Saturday. That's awesome. For future reference: yes he is still ravenous, and yes he's throwing up some. That's what happens. I just always like to keep track of things like this to see if they match up year to year.

Oh my god, the weather has been down to freezing. I hate that, it's ridiculous. I already put most of my plants outside for the season. Hello, IT IS ALMOST MAY. What is this crap, and we didn't even really have a winter. I've said this before and all, but it's been like, 35-40 degrees since October. SUCH a bitch.

And since we didn't have a winter, the bugs are insane. Okay, so in the past I've had a problem with ants, since I live on the ground floor. They're always all over the floor, and last year they were in my bathroom, too. They took over my jade tree and got into a few other potted plants. This year, I spent an entire day submerging the plants to get rid of them, and trying to drown the queen (if that's even possible. Who the eff knows? Maybe she holds her breath.) Only a few days later, the ants were back. But that was nothing compared to today.

Today, I went to change the cartridge on my water filter that attaches to the faucet. I unscrewed it, and hundreds of ants poured out. OF MY WATER FILTER. WHICH I HAVE BEEN USING. It looked like they'd been in the aerated spaces and not the water spaces, otherwise they would have been coming out in the water, and they probably would have drowned, right? At any rate, I was horror-film screaming in my mind. I boiled water and submerged the entire filter. Then, for two hours I had to keep cleaning it over and over again, because you can't take the damned thing apart; all those tiny little holes, and no way to clean inside of it at all. I just kept dunking it under water and shaking it out. For TWO HOURS I did this, and more and more dead ants just kept coming out. So I did it until everything was out, and then I boiled it again.

So, awesome, right, that's all done with and they're all gone. New filter, everything should be fine, right? BUT NO. About an hour later, I saw another ant crawling on the faucet again, and then another, and another, like they were trying to get back in there. OMG, for effing what? I killed every last goddamn one, disinfected, nothing left. It's not like there's food around there or anything, it's an effing water faucet.

I just don't know wtf to do about these ants. What I do know is that no ant will ever receive quarter from me again. I'll destroy them all without mercy. This is my destiny.

No, but really, I was so horrified and I'll probably have nightmares about it tonight.

And while we're on the subject of nightmares, I started watching Lost (I know, I'm what, seven years late on this?) and the whole plane crash thing gave me some mad plane crash nightmares, too. The show is interesting—so far it's giving me more thoughts than feels—but I can't really get interested in too many of the characters. I like Sayid, Hurley, and Locke. That's about it. Everyone else I kind of want to punch so far.

That aside, I've been revising the manuscript writing other stuff instead (I know, I know,) and I did a few little things for HitRECord, like a ridiculous porn parody that people are getting a kick out of – and I find myself so damn funny, I just can't get over it. Going for walks and jogs with the dogs, going to work, Kung Fu, doing laundry, killing ants. That's about it. So exciting right now, I don't know how anyone can even stand reading about it without biting their fingernails clean off in suspense.

Just sit there and try to cope with how riveting my life is right now.




la_belle_laide: (Leander)
This morning—day off because of the stupid holiday—I checked my email first thing, and was surprised (as I always am) to see another email in my inbox titled "QUERY: Qualia." I resign myself to form rejections every time I see that, and I don't expect much else because it's easier that way.

But it wasn't a form rejection! And when I read the first lines and they sounded, you know, personalized, my first reaction was "OMFG, NO, I CAN'T." More like panic than happiness, if we're being honest.

Anyway, here's what she said:

There's something your voice I like and I applaud the scope of your story, but I have to confess I got completely lost in your pages. It felt like I had stumbled into the middle of an ongoing series or novel, not started something at the beginning. You need to give readers a more intelligible introduction to your world, not drop them in with characters and rules they have no context for. I'm not suggesting you info dump but you do have to give us someframework to understand your world with. If you were to revise this or if you have another project, I would be willing to take a look.

Best,
LITERARY AGENT"


If you'll remember last year when I had a request, and then rejection of the ms, that lovely agent told me,

You're a wonderful writer, but in the end, this particular project didn't do it for me, in the sense that I didn't fall in love with it the way I need to with fiction. I think in the end that's entirely a personal preference thing -- I felt your world-building was a bit too abstract, and I wasn't as engaged in your characters' lives as I wanted to be, but that kind of distance and narrative style might very much appeal to someone else.

I AM HEARING THIS LOUD AND CLEAR.

Two things are at play here: One, I might have taken the "start where the action is" advice a little too literally. There are lots of stories out there that don't start in medias res. The Hunger Games (which I've been reading and madly enjoying,) starts with the main character waking up, in fact. And then going about her day. We of course learn early on that it's a Very Important Day, but still, there's about a half a chapter of her wandering around her world.

The world I am writing in is very clear in my head, but I'm obviously making the mistake of thinking that naturally, everyone's going to see what I see.

Two: It's quite possible that I write with too light a touch, since I'm always telling myself "You're too effusive; tone it down, reign it in." Maybe for the genre I'm writing in, I need it to be earthier or something. I am kind of like this in real life, too: sort of an airhead, I mean.

SO! The first thing I need to do is formulate a professional, polite, gracious reply saying something like, "I AM SO STOKED MY HANDS ARE SHAKING appreciate this feedback very much, and would be glad to LEGIT DO WHATEVER YOU SUGGEST make any revisions necessary and then resubmit to your every whim. Paint your house? Bake you cupcakes? Hop on a pogo stick and yodel? I will do this. Is there a time limit on resubmitting?"

Or something like that? I want to let her know how much it means to me that she's willing to give it a chance with some work, and that I'm more than willing to revise like crazy (because I really like revising, for one thing, and for another, if two agents are saying, in essence, the same thing, then this is obviously true!)

And then, to the revising! I don't even know where to start. Let's see; I sent her the first ten pages and a one-page synopsis. I was actually afraid I was dumping too much information into those first ten pages, so I'm stuck as to how I'm going to fill it out, and I know I need some help with this.

Should I go back to the sf/f workshop? Or somewhere else? I'm so flustered I don't even know where to start, even though before today I had it all worked out, what I would do if I needed to make revisions and try again. Someone please do the hard stuff for me!

AND! I also know that, plenty of times, writers make revisions and it's still not enough. That happens a lot. I'm also prepared for that, and anything she (or anyone) tells me will only help me become a better writer. So I'm not putting any faberge eggs into this basket, but I sure am excited!

And I'm also just happy because, this is twice now that a literary agent has said "I enjoy your writing" in one form or another. That means, you know, no matter what, I can do this. IT COULD WORK.

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I'm not a bad writer. I'm a good writer. (But I'm not good enough to explain in words how effing happy that makes me! Here, have another gif:

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Here's another wack thing. Last year, when I had that other agent's interest? That was right after HitRECord published my Tiny Story. This year, this came right after the Red Riding Hood stories.

Clearly, clearly HR is my good luck charm. OH YEAH.
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But anyway. I'm happy and freaked out and excited and I just don't know where to start, okay. Where do I even start?





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Today is a fine day. Yesterday was, too. For the first day of Spring, we had 70 degree weather, and the same today. It's clear and sunny. Yeah, maybe a little too hot for this time of year, and that is kind of worrying. But it's hard to focus on that when you can feel the sun again. (Although, isn't that always nicer after a hard winter? We hardly had a winter at all this time.)

So today I took the dogs on an hour-long walk through the woods by the lake. We climbed hills and they went into the water. Haku is still a little drugged, and Sano has a hard time keeping up because of the pred.

I like to document every year when I hear the treefrogs for the first time at night. Well, it wasn't night, but they were making a ton of noise in the woods today, so! Treefrogs.

Also, after a decent sleep, I woke up to find, first thing, a feminism collab on HitRECord, with Joe citing my written piece as a source. ^_^ It's funny, before I went to bed last night, I checked HR and I saw that he'd given a heart to that piece I'd written in November. I was like, "Why's he necro-hearting? Is he going to use it for something?" And then I was so pleased that he did. Not only that, but for something that means a lot to me.

As you can see, the feminism collab already has TONS of entries in it. So inspiring and awesome! I love that people are catching on. Especially when we've got an actualfax war on women going on in the government.

So I wrote two more pieces for it: Asking For It, and But What If I Want To Be Eaten?

(Also on HitRECord recently, I did a video about my birds, called Fly Away. I'm really proud of that one, and mostly because I worked with my awesome cousin SB. That's his amazing music you hear there.)

So that's made me pretty happy.

Also, last year's redwing blackbird Reid came back to the feeder the other day. Or maybe he's been back the whole time, but this is the first time I've had my door open and been able to see him. Still, that made me happy.

What is making me sad is that the receptionist at the fabulous clinic where I work is leaving in May. I get along really well with her and we always have so much fun. I have no idea who's going to replace her. I'm worried.

Also harshing my shine is that my arm is really freaking hurting a lot of the time. I woke up this morning and it was pretty much on fire. I stretched and it went POP! And then it felt better. I did see the chiro about it and he was like, "Hmm. Well... hmm. Hmm." Looks like either bicipital tendonitis, a mid-delt tear, or maybe a trapped nerve in my neck. None of which is fun.

Ugh, and I have to do my taxes still (or rather, get them done,) and I'm going to owe. MEGA-owe. Dang.

Well, eff it. I'm going to water my plants and play Skyward Sword. BECAUSE I CAN.
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The head-movie I had last night had lots of guest stars. Among them: family members, old friends, and newer friends.

In this one, it was Thanksgiving first. My friend Drex came around, with a poem that he had written; it was about trees. He was reciting it during Thanksgiving dinner. Also in attendance were some of my childhood friends (one who lives next door to me again, with his family,) and Wirrow, who I know from hitRECord. (I've never met him IRL, but my image of him is always like a young sort of Syd Barret.)

Wirrow said that if we all went outside, he would animate the poem for us. I was like, "How can you animate something outdoors?" but he soon showed us how. Everything Wirrow touched turned to animation. Drex read a line about the tree leaves turning red, and Wirrow went to the old sarsaparilla tree we all used to chew on as kids, and touched the trunk. The tree went all animated, and the leaves changed colors. "You made the tree blush," I told him, and he said, "Nature loves me back."

I asked everyone if they wanted to play Ghost in the Graveyard with me. Wirrow was down for it, but everyone else wanted to go have dinner.

Instead, we all decided to go to Disneyworld. We had to drive there, and, strangely, had to go through Seattle to get there. We stopped to pick up my friend Durga on the way.

It must have been a big car, because everyone fit into it. My Mom was driving. We went through Seattle and I was dismayed to see all these oil refineries that hadn't been there before. They were disguised as fountains and some of them were in Puget Sound. An el train went overhead when we were on a causeway (a causeway over Puget Sound, okay...) and I remembered a dream I'd had about a year ago, with special agents on a train - we had to run from them and I was crying because I had lost track of my training brother and thought he'd gotten captured. (I remembered the dream while I was dreaming, and I remembered telling people about that dream, too. Very weird.)

We finally made it to Disneyworld. I lost track of Drex, Wirrow, Durga and my family because everything looked different. I have a dream-Disneyworld, which is different to real life, but is the same in every dream I've ever had about it. But in this one, things looked different and out of place. I was hungry and I went to a buffet to order something for breakfast, but bagels were $13 each, and even just a muffin was $10. I was going to order a cup of green tea, but it was $7 and I had no cash.

Then suddenly my Dad was on line with me. He said he would pay. "Didn't I always pay for your breakfast at Disney?" he asked. I told him that yes, he had, but now the prices were through the roof.

He told me, "That's because it's ten years since you've been here. Times change." And, "You know that when you leave Disney, I'll still be gone, right?"

All of a sudden that made perfect sense, and I remembered what was wrong with the dream. I realized that my Dad could only be alive here, in this way.

He said, "It's only because I'm sick, and I don't have long."

I said, "That's not the way it happened; you were never sick."

He said, "At least this time you know."

I said, "That doesn't make it any better."

And then I woke up. But I wasn't unhappy; it didn't feel like a bad dream or anything. Just a strange one. I always dream of Dad, and sometimes I get the sense of why the dream is wrong, and sometimes I just forget completely. Honestly, the worst part of the dream was the oil refineries in the water. That really upset me, and made me feel depressed.

I should add, just because I always keep track of weather in this LJ, that today is the first snowfall of the season. We've got about 6" or so. All of my clients cancelled (it's Saturday,) leaving me with absolutely no money for the week. I went shopping for dog food and chocolate and wine, put everything on my stupid credit card (which I keep trying not to do since I'm still paying off Haku's latest $10K+ adventure and will be for quite a damn while!) and now I'm sitting here freezing my balls off and drinking tea.

Skyward Sword? Yes, I think so.




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I made a thing for @hitrecord. IT'S SILLY, OKAY, but I had fun. And it's got 12 hearts so far! :) It's a little thingie-thing about seeing movies at the cinema, and my thoughts on it, and how my early cinema experiences affected me.

Also, some talk about porn.
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Okay, so this has been a very HitRECord week. I got lots of hearts and comments on the feminist piece, which got featured, and hearts and comments from Joe on my recap too. It means a lot to me that so damn many people got the feminism thing though, and that they followed up on that. It's gorgeous when that happens! But I'm going to quit yammering about that for a bit and talk about other stuff. Seems it's been a while since I've just rambled about everything and nothing.

So, last week, everywhere except Long Island got some kind of epic snowstorm. We got wind and rain, and it got really damn cold for a day, but that was it. Now, it's just cold, but that's pretty typical for early November. Tonight is the end of Daylight Savings. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate daylight savings? I think it's so pointless. It doesn't really help anything anymore, just confuses things. I like when it gets dark early. Ah well. I'll take the extra hour of sleep anyway.

Tomorrow I am hanging with Dude From School who I've never given a code name to and he really needs one. His actual real name sounds like a code name, now that I'm thinking about it. Well anyway, we're probably going to end up eating mounds of ice cream. I was impressed last time we did that; he wasn't shy about eating two pints in one sitting. I was like, "YES, go you."

I finished David Tennant's run on Dr. Who, and I can't even start to tell you how much I sobbed my idiot face off. I literally cried for about an hour, and then when I played the song Vale Decem on my computer ("Farewell Ten,") I started in again. I am such an infant, I swear. So then I started watching Torchwood, even though I already know who dies, and I kind of like it on and off. Sometimes it's fantastic, and other times I'm like, "...What." I also continued watching Dr. Who with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. I keep hearing how fabulous he is, but from the one episode I've seen so far, I'm a little, "ehhhh... not sure." He'll grow on me in time I guess.

I'm about to sit down and watch the second episode of that season. But first:

THINGS PEOPLE WERE SEARCHING WHEN THEY FOUND THIS LJ.

final fantasy vii essay I'm so happy someone got to my LJ by searchign this. I hope it led you here.

"if someone gets too near to your private parts" I seem to remember there was some weird Sesame Street thing that Adam Lazzara had posted once, and that's what I was talking about??

"personhood amendment" That's on this page, I think. Also very glad that you found what you were looking for. The proposed amendment is ridiculous, and I honestly think it's one of many small steps towards basically criminalizing women.

cemetery pics autumn - You probably found this? I'm so pleased that people are searching for that and finding my LJ. :) Hope it's what you were looking for.

hitrecord halloween ball and joseph gordon-levitt halloween french maid Haha, YES. Yes indeed.

loki ovary WHAT.

occupy wall street - I'm also really happy that searches for that are leading people to this LJ, though I doubt it serves your needs that well. Here's a page I like.

rude+ice+cream - SCORE. Ice Peen.

Most of the rest of the searches are, oddly, for the Kenshin film Samurai X, and from Iron Man. That's weird, because I've only written about each of those things once, maybe twice.

And, that's that. Thanks for stopping by, y'all. Sorry I don't have more Kenshin and Iron Man stuff. :D

Okay, off to watch Dr. Who!


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