Great-grandma Ruby

A short entry to say "I'm still here!"

Still working on the sample chapter about the Civil War and a short article about marine farming in the future. I need to get those sent off ASAP but I've been dragging my feet. The problem with having plenty of time to write is that I waste a lot of it.

I'm also looking through my stories, trying to figure out which one to work on for Camp NaNoWriMo in July. I have one story that is eating at me, which I have to handle with tongs, and a second story that my daughter really really wants me to work on. The first story, which I'm calling Basilisks, is one of those stories that I need to write but I dread to mess with it because it really messes with my head and heart. The other one is my Seraphim Changelings story, about the girl who turns into a raccoon, and it's a lot of fun. I should switch between them both so I can stay on the level.

I am keeping this short because I really need to leave the internet and, I don't know, write! But I did want to wave at everybody and say hi.
  • Current Music
    "Maybe It Was Memphis" -- Pam Tillis (I think)
Great-grandma Ruby

Some possible good news in the offing.

I took a look at my LJ just now and clicked through a few things before I realized, hey, my LJ page isn't wonky any more! I can post on here and look at my comments without scrolling through a bunch of nonsense.

How nice it is to be back.

In other news, I sent off some nonfiction pages just now -- a decent stack of work -- to an editor. Let's see what she says about them. I may be a little teensy bit excited because these pages may lead to me actually writing a book for publication, but I've been burned enough times to where I'm not letting myself get my hopes up. But so far all seems good.

We shall see, little grasshopper.

And now back to work because I'm giving a presentation about "The Elements of Surprise" at the library tonight and the presentation is, er, not quite finished. I probably should get right on that, yes!
  • Current Music
    "The Mission" -- Rush
Great-grandma Ruby


"Imperfect action is better that perfect inaction." -- Harry S. Truman

Hi guys! I've been MIA but I hope to have some news for you here in about a month, if all goes well. Don't worry, I think it should be good news. If not then you will probably hear about it.

I don't know what is wrong with LJ on my computer but the whole setup is insanely nuts and it's hell to navigate, which is why I haven't been on here much. Not sure how to fix it.

I hope everybody is getting some spring wherever they are!
  • Current Music
    3rd movement, Brahms' Requiem
Great-grandma Ruby

Camp NaNoWriMo hijinks!

Hey guys!

Who is doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year? I am! I'm going to revise the hell out of Shy Gal and make it un-putdownable to agents (I hope), as well as various other writing tasks that I will throw into the word count for the month.

Who wants to join me? I'm rosefiend on the Camp NaNoWriMo site. I am in a cabin with some very interesting and exciting writers, #campbeta if you want to get squirted with virtual shaving cream and also keep up with word counts.

It will be fun!
  • Current Music
    "Dog-Gone Blues" -- Canadian Brass (I'm not sure how this got on my brainradio)
Great-grandma Ruby

(no subject)

My page is acting all wonky when I look at it in Explorer and I hope this posts.

I'm not doing the rare diseases book because the terms were not very good. Too bad. But I'm looking at other places now and hope something good comes of that.

Things have finally slowed down and I have gone back to living a normal life again! Whatever "normal" is. And I have also been starting to get back to work on Shy Gal, which has been sorely neglected over the last few months due to overtime. Trying to get my head back in the game on that.

This has got to be the book that gets me an agent. So many near-misses for so many years. This time I have got to get it right.

Wish me luck, guys.
Great-grandma Ruby

I might be writing a new book soon!

February is the worst month of all because we are trying to get the sale catalogs out for all the spring sales and I've been putting in 60 work-weeks. Not a lot of writing going on!

But I did turn in a short proposal for a book on emotional abuse (it's work for hire). That proposal is under consideration, but in the meantime they want me to do a book on rare diseases, so I'm going to write a full proposal on that one.

So I guess I'll be writing a book for someone!

Which hasn't really sunk in because, hey, I'm only turning in a full proposal and it's not like they've given me a contract yet. I guess I'm saving the celebrating for when I get an actual contract signed and turned in. I've been burned so many times on the agent front that I'm just taking things slow.

Anyway, it's some actual progress on the book front -- kind of nice!

It will make things so much easier if things start to slow down in the workplace. Overtime is nice, but getting stuff done at home and getting some writing done is also nice.
  • Current Music
    "The Cowboys Overture" -- John Williams
Great-grandma Ruby

gaaaah still working.

I have been trying to write an outline for a book on emotional abuse, which is shedding all kinds of light on my Shy Gal novel -- not to mention an old relationship I once had. I hope to get a little more done on it tonight. Little by little, bit by bit this time of year.

Not much work going on with Shy Gal in light of this but I drop a word in now and then. It's nice to be working on two books that play off each other. It's like the time I took Sociology and Government during the same semester and those two subjects at the same time were really bringing up all kinds of new insights in my mind.

Oh shoot, lunch is almost over. I hope you guys are staying warm. Especially my northern buddies!
Great-grandma Ruby

Work work work! workety work!

That's been my workplace over the last few days. Last night I had to leave early (i.e. "at the regular time that work ends") to pick up the baby due to everybody else at his babysitter's falling ill -- well, this is going to be fun -- and I was so tired that all I did was feed the kids and then lie around trying to go to sleep while baby crawled all over me and his sister played video games that were just loud enough to keep me awake. But finally everybody crashed and hooray for sleep!

On the bright side, when I'm proofreading numbers and layouts, I've been able to listen to audiobooks. I'm getting through U.S. Grant's memoirs right now, which are surprisingly enjoyable. Due to all the work that's on my desk, too, I'm making good progress. He just finished up with the surrender of Vicksburg and now he's giving us the stats.

If I didn't have audiobooks here my brain would implode.

I hope I will get back to my writing soon but hoo-boy it's been nuts.
Great-grandma Ruby

Writing in the cracks of time.

I've been trying to get the words written, though it's busy at work and busy at home. What does not help is that I've been tired as hell, due to it being busy at work and busy at home.

One of those no-win situations!

Well, I gave myself reading time yesterday so I didn't totally burn out. Read through all of Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor -- an awesome book that's well worth the re-reading -- and today I feel better for having given myself that time.

I used to complain that I had only these three to five hour chunks of time to work in and it wasn't enough. Ha ha! That was before I had a kid or two! Though, okay, back then I was working 35 hours a week and taking 15 hours of classes. But kids are way more effective at breaking up your day than classes, it seems. These days I just get settled in and bam, there's some blowup or kerfluffle somewhere in the house that I must investigate. Or else I hear the sound of little feet coming up behind me, and here comes this little happy guy who likes to sit in Mommy's lap -- and hit the shutdown button on her laptop. Nooooooo!

These days I've been writing in the cracks of time. Here's a couple of minutes -- let's mark up this page of revisions. Here's my 15-minute break at work -- let's get these words down. I'm proofreading and think of a few lines -- I write them down. When story-work piles up, I'll stay an hour after work, clock out, and write at my office desk where it's quiet and my little guy can't shut down my computer when I'm in the middle of a paragraph! Also, baby's naptime = my writing time!

Every little bit helps. And it feels good to keep moving forward, even if I am moving slowly. After all, progress is progress.
  • Current Music
    "Police Squad" theme, for some reason.
Great-grandma Ruby

Writing about gaslighting, emotional blackmail, & compassion

Overtime city here at work! I'm writing in the bits and pieces of time to get Shy Gal finished.

What is my Shy Gal novel about? Basically, "what do you do when your boyfriend threatens to commit suicide if you leave him?"

Learning a shtload about emotional blackmail, BPD, and gaslighting. I've figured out that these things don't need to be in your face to be effective. Gaslighting is most effective when you don't even know it's taking place -- otherwise duh it doesn't work.

Though emotional blackmail -- "if you leave I'll kill myself" -- tends to be in your face to the point where you can't make a decision without its influence. Which actually becomes no decision, because, you know, he might carry through with his threat.

In this situation, you know you're being played, but you're afraid to leave him because he just might be for real.

My big challenge is figuring out ways to write from that old compassionate view that got me in over my head with this guy in the first place. (In later years, somebody mentioned that quick wariness I carry into social encounters -- I kind of wonder if those years that I'm writing about now fostered that wariness.) But the other day I was listening to "Hurt" by Johnny Cash when I suddenly found Kay's worldview right there in that song. Thanks John, you are a stand-up man.

(I know, NIN did that song first, but dammit Johnny is pretty awesome.)

But writing this story now, I wish to hell I'd had the internet when I was Kay's age, and maybe I would have broken away sooner. Or, maybe not.

"Who's to say if you had that second chance, you wouldn't do it again?"

This post is probably incoherent but I have no time for editing. alas! maybe someday.

Back to work.
  • Current Music
    "Way of the World" -- Genesis