Dept. of Chagrin

Monday, 2 January 2017 12:47 pm
kaffyr: Animation of a Ghibli film scene, water rolling into shore. (Anoesis)
 A [community profile] fandom_stocking  Apology

Folks, for the first time since 2011, when  I fell in love with 
[community profile] fandom_stocking  - the only "-athon" I write for, and the one that has given me such joy - I am most probably not going to be able to fill anyone's stocking. 

When I signed up myself, I was full of plans; I'd just finished the last two promised 2015 stocking stuffers, and I'd thought that had primed my creative pump. And, as I always do each season, I thought perhaps this was the year that I could focus on drabbles, or at least shorter stories. Plus, I had my vacation coming up, and I'd be able to write something every day ....

Yeah. Didn't happen. I can't even figure out definitively why, although last night I told BB it might be that finishing up those 2015 stories had, instead of priming the pump, run the well dry. God knows, this has been a terrible writing year for me; it's the first time since 2007 that I haven't been able to get at least one chapter of Hearts & Moons completed. 

The events of November also have affected me, perhaps more deeply than even I thought. 

Yesterday, the day before my vacation ended, I suddenly wrote two paragraphs of something, and I thought, "Aha! Adrenaline junkie time! You can at least get two stories done before my vacation, and perhaps a third one before the stockings go live ....

And then this morning, I burned my left index finger, ironing a shirt. It's bandaged up now, and doesn't hurt too much, but the bandage makes typing incredibly frustrating. I'm down from 80-plus words a minute to, I don't know, 30-40, what with having to fix up mistakes. GAAAAAAaarrrhh!

tl;dr - after burbling about 
[community profile] fandom_stocking , and looking forward to it, I don't think I can take part. I don't say it can't happen. Anything can happen, of course, and one never shuts the door, but - and there's an end to the sentence. 

Perhaps next year more of us can hang stockings, and I can fill all of them. 

*sighs, heads off to the grocery store*
kaffyr: A cartoon dog ponders reality (Subjective pup)
Things I Have Done Lately

1. Obsessed over every episode of Game of Thrones, without ever watching a single episode. Yes, I've watched every scene on YouTube that YouTubers can offer me, loads of reviews and responses. No, I don't have HBO, and ... it's stupid of me. But I'm going to be so upset at the end of the season next Sunday. 

2. Thrown out all the Marion Zimmer Bradley books I've had on my shelf for years. I'd thought I'd keep a couple of books of hers that were important to me because of how they shaped my love for SF&F, and for the sense of wonder they engendered in me. In the end, I couldn't keep any of them. It was a decision a long time in coming, and it was the first time in my life I have ever thrown books out. I don't believe I shall ever do it again. But for me it was the right thing to do. I couldn't stomach giving them to a second-hand store. 

3. Picked up the partly empty drink cup a well-made up gym rat had left on her seat as she headed out the L train door to get to a Cubs game, handed it to her (or her friend, the even more made-up gym rat) and "asked" her to throw it away in a garbage can once she got onto the platform, since "I believe it belongs to you." She did. I am ashamed of being petty about their looks. I
 should not be that way, since I support anyone's right to decorate their body in the way they see fit. I can only point to my upbringing and say it's hard to escape the attitudes I grew up experiencing when it comes to make-up. On the other hand, I am very glad I told her pick up her damn trash. Politely. 

4. Became an employee of tronc. Yes, tronc. tronc. tronc.  Mother of fucking god.

5. Wrote a little more of "Hearts & Moons." Go, me. 

Dept. of Saturday

Saturday, 2 April 2016 07:28 pm
kaffyr: Kitty from "Kiki's Delivery Service" (kiki cat)
Don't Like the Weather? Wait 5.25 Minutes ....

Over the past week, I've noted that Chicago weather has been tremendously unsettled; the old joke that's usually ascribed to whatever location the teller is in - as mentioned above - was bewilderingly accurate. For the last six days, we've had 15 minutes of sun, followed by 15 minutes of extreme thunderstorm, followed by more sun, followed by high winds and scudding clouds, followed by sun, followed by dark grey overcast, followed by, yes, more sun.  And it's left me unsettled; I like having weather that's easy to predict. That's just how I roll. 

And today was weird enough to get noticed by more than me, at least judging by Twitter; blowing snow, followed by sun, followed by a full-fledged 15-minute snowstorm, followed by blue, blue skies and sun, followed by yet another snowstorm, followed by wind and scudding cloud, followed by sun ... lather, rinse, repeat. 

So, rather than focus rather unhealthily on the weather (really, 
[personal profile] kaffyr , it's weather), I decided to salvage whatever salvageable tomatoes from amongst the many unsalvageable ones slowly decaying in the vegetable crisper (and was there ever a more misleading name?) bin in the bottom of my refrigerator. 

The end result was pretty decent, although I had to augment my tiny bit of sauce with a can of diced tomatoes, so it's not completely from scratch. I was surprised and disappointed that I didn't find a single recipe for making tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes in any of my recipe books. Not even Joy of Cooking, for heaven's sake! All the recipes made use of canned tomatoes. That ought to tell you something about the evolution of Western cooking ... So I just winged it. It's been years since I actually made a basic tomato sauce, as opposed to many of the other sauce-y things I make, but I'm pleased. Dehydrated onions, ground celery (as opposed to celery salt), salt, garlic, pepper, Italian seasoning and fresh-ground fennel, they all go together so well. 

What's that you say? That I was supposed to be writing today? 

Ahem. 

Well, actually, I did do some editing of existing words and paragraphs. Does that count? And I think I managed to move our heroes further along their  way. 

Yeah, I got nuthin. Maybe better tomorrow?
kaffyr: A typical day in the BSG!verse (Frakkin' Watchtower)
Why Postpone, When You Can Just. Not. Do. It....

It's a simple feature story. Why in heaven's name (or hell's, or purgatory's or limbo's) can't I just do it? 

AAAAAAaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuugh.


kaffyr: Natasha Romanov, badass (Natasha turns)
 Final Day of Vacation

It amuses me, or pleases me, that I have had a vacation with two miserably painful days spent in bed, thus rather thoroughly bollocksing a large number of my plans, and can still say at the end that it was a good vacation. (Yes, I still have the weekend, but that's the weekend. Hush.)

I'm actually up and dressed today. While I can still feel the back muscle complaining, it really is not enough to keep me abed. And I swear that today I'm going to do the work mail recovery thing I'd pledged to do. Over the weekend, I am going to organize at least the top of my desk.

And I am actually writing some fic. Or, to be more precise, I've returned to a Brian, Gus and Tabetha post TATM fic in the canon worldview that I completely reject in my head.  My worldview has the Ponds, Eleventy and River going down the pub after their cemetery encounter, because River has come up behind that pesky Angel and bashed it to granite dust, having used her vortex manipulator to go and change the timeline because RIVER CAN DO ANYTHING HUSH. Still, it has the feel of a potentially good fic if I can figure out where the hell it's going.

(Why 
[personal profile] kaffyr  will never be a professional fiction writer. She Does Not Do Outlines, because she's an idiot, and doesn't mind remaining one.)

I think I mentioned I saw Agent Carter a couple of nights ago, but I didn't talk about it much. 

HERE BE SPOILERS

For those who haven't seen Episode 5 )
kaffyr: (Side-eyeing Coulson)
 Winter Freeze, Brain Thaw (I Hope)

It's been far too long since I posted anything, and, as a sort of resolution for 2015, I'm going to try to post something every day. Yes, yes, you in the back, chuckling into your beard, you heard right. What's more, I'm going to try to post something worth reading. And I'm going to try to interact with people on their journals — so what do you think about that? 

Ah, still chortling. 

Well, I don't blame you. 

It's true. My ability to maintain a healthy posting habit has not been stellar in the past. But I swear I'm going to try. Just as I'm going to try to find something positive to say about my life. It probably won't be daily, but I am going to try to do it regularly. I think I read something, possibly on one of my friends' journals, which speculated that forcing one's self to actively think about positives can make one eventually feel more positive. Using externals to force a change in the internals, as it were. 

So: what have I been up to?

New Year's Eve and the Christmas tree )

Writing and fandom_stocking )

Being union mom. Gah. )
kaffyr: Close-up of manual typewriter (Typewriter)
Two paragraphs. Maybe three. Gah.

Yup. That close to the end of the paragraph. And yes, I'm still trying for more than one or two chapters per year. And it's so close, so close. But I have to go to bed. It's the right thing to do. No. Really. 

I do not write correctly, people. Do not ever, ever write like me.

Dept. of Wo0t!!1!

Sunday, 23 March 2014 01:00 am
kaffyr: Dancing French cracked geniuses (Sometimes you need to dance)
I Have Written ...

... more than 1,000 words on Chapter 22 of Hearts & Moons.

I do not suck!!!!


kaffyr: Close-up of manual typewriter (Typewriter)
Real ... slow ... progress ....

Gah. I thought I'd be able to finish Chapter 20 of Hearts & Moons before I went to bed. I was wrong.

Still, I may get it done before the end of the week. And that means I'll have finished at least two chapters this ... year.

I am such a frakkin' doofus.

kaffyr: Weeping angel peers through "clock" (Time's no Angel)
An Old Skill, An Ancient Art Fading Into the Past

I've been writing a letter to a friend for the past two days, and I'm annoyed with myself at how difficult, how truly difficult it seems to be for me to write a letter.

I used to write a great many letters. I look into my computer files and see scores of them, to relatives, to friends. And those are just the ones I've saved since having a computer, in the 1990s and certainly not all of them. I once wrote letters regularly. I used to love writing them, and I used to love receiving them.* But all those things they say, all those things the old folks says, about telephones and emails and posts and the fast-fast-fast life we lead must be right, because I find myself incapable of sticking to it.

It's hard to know how to begin without sounding puerile or pretentious. It's hard to know what to say - what will be interesting to the person at the other end, what will they want to hear about vs. what they'd pull out their eyes rather than see ... should it be light, should it be full of surface news that's fun to read, should it be some vast and deep invitation to weighty long-term communication? Should it be some mix of these things, and if so, what ratios should I use?

I must write more letters, because I suspect I'll only become adept at them again with practice.

*here's the asterisk. It's because these lyrics from Arcade Fire's "We Used to Wait" speak to me about letters: 
It seems strange
How we used to wait for letters to arrive
But what's stranger still
Is how something so small can keep you alive

And because I love the song, I think I'll let you see it, here:



kaffyr: Weeping angel peers through "clock" (Time's no Angel)
Augggh! Timelines!

Keeping them straight! Multiple characters, multiple events, multiple locations ... even with a chart, it's ... aaauuuggghhh!

Thank you. Goodnight, America, and all the ships at sea.

kaffyr: Animated rain falls on the bathhouse from Spirited Away (Bath house in the rain)
Just To Keep My Hand In, You Know?

And the DW icon is not an illustration of my mood. I simply like it; it soothes me. Although I suppose I am rather pensive.

     Thoughts on writing )
********

   Operation Surprise the Hell Out of Mom )

********

    A bit about The Hunger Games )

kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Buster thinks)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I like them when they're on Delgado's Master. I like them when Toshiro Mifune wears them. I like Admiral Adama's New Caprica 'stache. And when my Best Beloved chooses to wear a beard, I love him. The most recent beardly iteration actually looked rather good.

Absent those three? No. Nope. Nyuh-uh. They hide the shape of a man's face, and muddy up the reality of who he is for me. And most men look far more attractive, in my eyes, without facial hair (Aragorn, Boromir and such notwithstanding.)

I'm perfectly aware that for some guys, the facial hair is part  of what and who they are. I'm also aware that some facial structures might be improved by a bit of camouflage; if either of those things obtains for a gentleman, who am I to dictate my personal tastes to him?

Still ... hirsute? Not here.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Babs and Ian)
Public Service Announcement

Until my body and brain come to an agreement on how best to fire neurons efficiently whilst maneuvering the minor misery minuet, I probably won't be posting much of anything intelligent - or, sadly, giving other people's marvelous posts the time and consideration they more than deserve. Evenings appear to be a temporarily lost cause in that respect, I'm afraid. I thank the world - which was, undoubtedly, awaiting my next missive with the dewy-eyed yearning of a lovesick debutante - for its patience and forbearance in this matter.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Amy's gaze)
Log Jam! Log Jam!

  • Rewatched The Girl Who Waited  and The God Complex  yesterday.
  • Really watched them. Thought about them.
  • Made notes.
  • Made connections. Made sparks spark inside my head and make more connections.
  • Understood why I loved TGWW, from its construction to its heart, and discovered something about Amy as I struggled through my understanding of one crucial scene.
  • Understood why TGC didn't work for me, why I found it creaky in construction and simple-minded in conceit despite stellar bits and pieces and people. Learned a bit more about myself, too.
  • Couldn't write any of it, though. Neck hurt, ankles hurt, hands hurt, skin hurt.
  • Worse, brain shut down when asked to put all the sparks together to make light, to connect all the connections so that they made a road map. Brain said, "No. Don't want to. Look! A computer game! Let's play it over and over and over and over and over -"
  • Went to bed.
  • Today I went to a wedding, and was very happy for the tough and wonderful lady who wed her genial and lovely gentleman. Also rocked the "going to a wedding look."
  • Came home.
  • Couldn't write.
  • Am now behind by two episodes and counting.
  • WTF, brain? WTF?
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Amy's gaze)
Log Jam! Log Jam!

  • Rewatched The Girl Who Waited  and The God Complex  yesterday.
  • Really watched them. Thought about them.
  • Made notes.
  • Made connections. Made sparks spark inside my head and make more connections.
  • Understood why I loved TGWW, from its construction to its heart, and discovered something about Amy as I struggled through my understanding of one crucial scene.
  • Understood why TGC didn't work for me, why I found it creaky in construction and simple-minded in conceit despite stellar bits and pieces and people. Learned a bit more about myself, too.
  • Couldn't write any of it, though. Neck hurt, ankles hurt, hands hurt, skin hurt.
  • Worse, brain shut down when asked to put all the sparks together to make light, to connect all the connections so that they made a road map. Brain said, "No. Don't want to. Look! A computer game! Let's play it over and over and over and over and over -"
  • Went to bed.
  • Today I went to a wedding, and was very happy for the tough and wonderful lady who wed her genial and lovely gentleman. Also rocked the "going to a wedding look."
  • Came home.
  • Couldn't write.
  • Am now behind by two episodes and counting.
  • WTF, brain? WTF?
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Googyxcal)
... or "'It's Never Easy,' said the Little Live Journaler"

Just to let everyone know, my brane is still still. As it were. But we're getting there, we really are, and all the poll input helped. Especially the votes by the Russian site spammer. Marvelous insight, that. *snerk* And we - the Royal We for now, although yes, K, [livejournal.com profile] dr_whuh  enters into things, too, and he assures you that he's alive, (and charming) if not absolutely well - may soon be lurching back to life.

The brain (woo! It's spelled correctly this time! She must be climbing the evolutionary ladder back into "Articulate Sapient" from "Linoleum"! Hope springs eternal!) always seems to lurch at the wrong time, however. Right now, for example, when the only lurching I should actually do is bedward.

Still, it's a start.


ETA: Just had to recommend a wonderful fic, "The Curious Case of the Monster of the Thames" that I'm just dipping into now, by[livejournal.com profile] funtimevash . It features Eleven, Jack, Madame Vastra, Jenny, Fitz (!) and it's 19th century adventure, believable relationships (and by "ship," I mean friendship both romantic and platonic, the trust and affection of adults who enjoy spending time with each other and who know that nothing's ever easy, but everything's worth it) and an intriguing and creepy adventure. Really, go try it. 
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Googyxcal)
... or "'It's Never Easy,' said the Little Live Journaler"

Just to let everyone know, my brane is still still. As it were. But we're getting there, we really are, and all the poll input helped. Especially the votes by the Russian site spammer. Marvelous insight, that. *snerk* And we - the Royal We for now, although yes, K, [livejournal.com profile] dr_whuh  enters into things, too, and he assures you that he's alive, (and charming) if not absolutely well - may soon be lurching back to life.

The brain (woo! It's spelled correctly this time! She must be climbing the evolutionary ladder back into "Articulate Sapient" from "Linoleum"! Hope springs eternal!) always seems to lurch at the wrong time, however. Right now, for example, when the only lurching I should actually do is bedward.

Still, it's a start.


ETA: Just had to recommend a wonderful fic, "The Curious Case of the Monster of the Thames" that I'm just dipping into now, by[livejournal.com profile] funtimevash . It features Eleven, Jack, Madame Vastra, Jenny, Fitz (!) and it's 19th century adventure, believable relationships (and by "ship," I mean friendship both romantic and platonic, the trust and affection of adults who enjoy spending time with each other and who know that nothing's ever easy, but everything's worth it) and an intriguing and creepy adventure. Really, go try it. 
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (The Cat)
Things I have Done and Thought Lately

(Or, Five Things Make a Post)

In no particular order:but definitely under a cut ... )
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (The Cat)
Things I have Done and Thought Lately

(Or, Five Things Make a Post)

In no particular order:but definitely under a cut ... )
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Take notes)
Where's My Damned Muse?
Why is one fucking sentence beating me? And by beating me, I mean pointing, jeering and leaving me sucking my thumb in hopeless frustration?
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Take notes)
Where's My Damned Muse?
Why is one fucking sentence beating me? And by beating me, I mean pointing, jeering and leaving me sucking my thumb in hopeless frustration?

Hot, Sweaty, Accomplished

Wednesday, 7 July 2010 12:47 am
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Good Day for Writing)
On Balance? Not Bad
The last couple of days have been miserably hot and humid here in Chicago. Going out to get some needed groceries (and anti-flea drops, more of which later) yesterday left me overheated and nauseated yesterday afternoon. Today didn't start all that well, either. But by the end of the day, I had:
  • Battled through my own swamp-like writer's block to complete a long overdue feature - and even added a sidebar story for it. I definitely managed to rock the non-fictional keyboard, yup;
  • Set up the carpet cleaner to come and give us an estimate tomorrow. Tomorrow!!!
  • Next, BB and I managed to get that flea medication onto Opie - who I code-named "Peaches" for some reason known only to god during the several days we schemed to head him off at the pass and put the crap on his neck - without horrible injuries to the humans or lasting trauma to the preternaturally suspicious and skittish feline Opie. Bingo! the last of our cats has been successfully treated (Alex and Phil are laid back about treatment, almost to the point of coma. So of course the third cat? Isn't.) Now we get to look forward to this kind of warfare once a month for the foreseeable future. I am so excited;
  • Finally? I got another two or so paragraphs on Chapter 13. Yeah, I know. But believe me, I'm cherishing every hard-won syllable. And I finally - finally - figured out how to get Rose and her companion out of where they are. I am inordinately pleased with myself;
  • Oops, almost forgot to mention that I also managed to remember to get my car's state vehicle license, and its city license. Go. Me.
Oh, hell. It's not the 6th of July anymore. Damn.

Hot, Sweaty, Accomplished

Wednesday, 7 July 2010 12:47 am
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Good Day for Writing)
On Balance? Not Bad
The last couple of days have been miserably hot and humid here in Chicago. Going out to get some needed groceries (and anti-flea drops, more of which later) yesterday left me overheated and nauseated yesterday afternoon. Today didn't start all that well, either. But by the end of the day, I had:
  • Battled through my own swamp-like writer's block to complete a long overdue feature - and even added a sidebar story for it. I definitely managed to rock the non-fictional keyboard, yup;
  • Set up the carpet cleaner to come and give us an estimate tomorrow. Tomorrow!!!
  • Next, BB and I managed to get that flea medication onto Opie - who I code-named "Peaches" for some reason known only to god during the several days we schemed to head him off at the pass and put the crap on his neck - without horrible injuries to the humans or lasting trauma to the preternaturally suspicious and skittish feline Opie. Bingo! the last of our cats has been successfully treated (Alex and Phil are laid back about treatment, almost to the point of coma. So of course the third cat? Isn't.) Now we get to look forward to this kind of warfare once a month for the foreseeable future. I am so excited;
  • Finally? I got another two or so paragraphs on Chapter 13. Yeah, I know. But believe me, I'm cherishing every hard-won syllable. And I finally - finally - figured out how to get Rose and her companion out of where they are. I am inordinately pleased with myself;
  • Oops, almost forgot to mention that I also managed to remember to get my car's state vehicle license, and its city license. Go. Me.
Oh, hell. It's not the 6th of July anymore. Damn.
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (My poncho boys)
I Like Salt
And therefore, salt mines are good. It's back to them tomorrow, after one week of unpaid vacation, starting with an interview at 10:15 a.m. With a police officer. About traffic safety programs. I am excited.

And what have we done on vacation, she asked herself... )

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