Friday, December 23, 2005

Wow. Not quite as bad as I thought

Well, I don't have quite as many review books as I thought. I counted and came up with 453. And I think I'm going to go through and pull out the latest kid books from Scholastic (I've officially emailed them to please, please, send the kid's books to one of my kid's book reviewers) and some of the really, really old ones and put them in the Prize Bucket.

But it is still quite a few.

Especially since I usually only manage between 4 - 10 books a month. Hmmm, let's see... 453 / 12 = 37.75. Nope, I'm not going to manage to review that many a month. And that would only work if the number stayed static, but lately I've been receiveing upwards of 20 or 30 new books a month. Sometimes more.

Sigh. So many books. So little time.

Up Late...and I ain't no Taco Bell

I've always been a night person. It's like my brain switches on sometime around midnight and doesn't want to shut up. "Go to sleep," I tell it. "We have to get up in the morning, for heaven's sake. And where've you been all day, anyway?" And my brain doesn't just sit down and shut up and go to sleep like a nice brain. Noooo, it has to think about everything from quantum mechanics, to things I need to update on the site, to wondering how bread was discovered, to...well, you get the idea.

Sleep, sleep, damn brain! Perchance to dream.

I'm mixing my Shakespeare there, but what the hey.

If I wasn't married, I'd probably stay up all night and sleep all morning. I'm always sleepy in the morning, even right after I wake up. Part of that is the medication, but part of it is just because my brain wants to sleep in the A.M.

Bright light! Must. close. eyes. Oh! Blessed Sleep!

Sigh. I should just work on something, but I don't want to actually encourage my blasted mind to stay awake. I did update the website some -- added additional info to the YABC Teen Reviewer application page. I'm not sure if it is a good idea or not, but I thought it would be fun. I mean, how crazy could they be? Heh. Don't answer that.

No, really, I have a lot of fun with the kids who frequent the site. So hopefully this will work out. And it's a kind of sneaky way to dip into my to-be-reviewed stack. This year has been an explosion of books. Everyone is sending them and I really can't keep up. I think there are over 500 on my to-review shelves.

You know what, I'm going to count and see. Maybe that will be brain numbing enough for me to go to sleep.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

La, La, La, La

I got quite a bit done today. Erin came over and did the hard stuff (mopping, etc.) and I washed clothes, swept up stuff, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned the oven (really, it cleaned itself, but I did push the little button), did some computer stuff, and all kinds of little piddley household tasks. Got one drawer of my filing cabinet done and I'm about to tackle the rest now.

I'm not handy.

But, if I get it done, I can actually file things again! Yippeee!

I really shouldn't be so excited about getting filing done, eh?

Got a box of books from Scholastic and various other sources. I need to find a contact at Scholastic that will listen to me...they keep sending kid's books and I don't have time to review them. They do send some YA, but mostly kid's stuff. And then I either have to re-mail it to Kim P. or Terry. It's a pain. I have 2 entire shelves of Scholastic books for review. And 3 from all the various imprints of Random House. I'm getting buried. I have been reviewing more, and I've got a stack right now I need to post reviews on, but I can't keep up with all the ones I get. Not sure what to do. Esp. with all the new ones I'm getting from SCBWI authors. Maybe I'll have to add another YA reviewer. Dunno. I'd need them to be local though. Postage is breaking me! At least I can deduct it as a business expense, but still.

Anyway, in writing news...hooked up with a TN writer to do a manuscript swap. I want to go through another round of revisions. Thought of some other things I want to add to the book. That'll be January. Then off to more agents and start work on another book.

I did hear back from Rosemary S. She gave me a very nice rejection -- said it has a great comic voice, but she's more of the dark, gothicy vampire tale lover. My book is definitely not that. Haven't heard anything from the other two yet -- at least, I don't think so. My cell phone has been acting bi-polar.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Running late

I'm running out of time. Too many things to do! I've got so much on my list, I'm not sure what to tackle first. But tomorrow is cleaning day (Erin is coming), so at least I know what I'm doing tomorrow. Today I think I need to find something else for Steve and Ryan. And that's it. I think. Not even close. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Doh!

Well, Serious McElvoy keeps visiting me at night until I have to get up and jot some words down. I keep planning to work on my chick-lit romance (it's funny, trust me -- we're talking deep Southern fried and the opportunity to use the line "You keep your hands offa my daddy's bras!"), but Serious keeps popping up. First it was just his name. And then, that he was dead. Squashed. Now, he wants to go and have conversations with God.

That sounds all Christian fiction-y, but it isn't. Which is my one worry. I'm really not a religous person, but I'm also not one to make fun of someone's beliefs. Would Serious come across as sketchy? Hopefully not. He's going to be an angel, fifth class. Or maybe something more like tenth class. Not sure yet how many classes there are.

Anyway, it's stuff like this:
“Interesting choice,” said God.

“What choice?” asked Serious, not even considering that God might consider this to be his One Question (but don't worry, he didn’t. After all, he is God. He knows better).

God pointed to himself. “Everyone sees God differently. To some people, I appear as just a bright white light. To others, I am an old man in white robes with a flowing beard. Still others see me as a young woman, dressed all in green. But, no matter what, to most people I appear as quite an impressive sight.”

Serious took a closer look. It seemed that his vision of God looked a lot like his Grandfather Jackson.

And I'm not going to be making any kind of philosophical pronouncements or anything like that. It'll probably be more like Serious "earning his wings" (too cliched, but something along those lines). Maybe discovering that bullies have their own problems. Or that being a super-genius doesn't mean much when you're dead. I dunno. Something funny.

By the way, that up above is VERY draft. But don't steal it. I'll hunt you down and force you to eat your own eyeballs. Well, ok, maybe I'll just poke you in the eye. But still. I mean it. Not that I think you could do much with a little snippet like that. But it's the thought. The danger of the Internet. I'm always advising people to not post their unpublished work anywhere, but here I go, posting something in my own blog. But it isn't the whole thing, just a couple of sentences. Urk, whatever. I'm sharing.

Anyway.

So, if the tone is like that, do you think I'll have issues? Or do I care? I'm a writer, dammit! Who cares what the public thinks! (heh. What was it Mark Twain said? Or shoot, Heinlein.)

Alright, I've got Serious out of my head for now (I hope), so I'm going back to bed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Yep.

The laptop, of course, is still behaving spotlessly after a week of fuzzy purpleness. Argh.

What craziness. And the desktop, which has been having no issues at all, has slowed to a crawl since I installed Norton Utilities on it. It's enough to make a girl scream.

I need to wrap a bunch of stuff and get things ready to mail. Lots of prize books to get out too. This giveaway-a-day thing is fun, but I'm glad I don't do it every month. Lots of work. I need to update and announce yesterday's winners too, but between computer issues and a guy here to clean the furnace, I haven't had a chance yet.

I guess I'll go do that now. And tomorrow will be a big trip to the post office to mail stuff.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Grrrrrr

So, hm. My laptop has been acting up (purple screen, fuzziness, etc.) and I've been going back and forth with Gateway via e-mail on what to do. It's my first incident with Gateway support and I'm not that happy with it.

A) the rep can barely type English. I have no idea how she sounds, but she sure can't use correct grammar, B) her first response was basically: "Oh, you let your laptop get too cold, so your warranty is voided" (I had e-mailed asking if cold from a window could affect it -- we went back and forth over this until I got her to understand that I wasn't using the laptop IN a window, but near one -- in fact, over a foot and a half away. I even had to take a picture and send it to her to prove that I hadn't "willfully damaged the computer" -- just as a customer service thing, I don't think that the first response to any question should be "you've voided your warranty", not if they ever want me to buy another Gateway) and C) half the time, she can't seem to answer the actual question that I ask, but instead produces some garbled half-answer that doesn't make sense. It's very annoying.

And then, to make it even more annoying, I have to shell out $44 to buy a box from them to ship the computer back to them in, even though it is all under warranty (I've only had the thing for 6 months). Shouldn't they have to pay for that?

And then....to really frost the cake...today, it's acting just fine. No fuzziness. No purple. After I've spent an entire morning moving all e-mail and backing up everything to my old desktop computer.

Grrrrrr. Sometimes, I think computers are sentient and they are out to get us. They aren't to Terminator levels yet, but they're trying, damn the little buggers.

In good news, Tony is home from Toronto and L.A., none the worse for wear, though a bit tired. And I sent off two additional agent queries (Rebecca S. and Nadia C.). Wish me luck. Or heck, e-mail them and tell them how awesome I am (Kidding. Really.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Shopping...

I guess I'm not much of a girl. I'm about shopped out. I was out for about, what? maybe 3 or 4 hours. And I got to the point of I just need to go home now...

I did get a fair amount done though. Never enough though.

Now I'm doing Christmas cards. My tongue tastes like envelopes. You'd think they'd have come up with a way to make those taste better by now. Or that I'd get up offa my lazy butt and go get a sponge to use, but noooo. Almost done.

I was going to start knitting tonight (2 purses), but, eh, I don't think so. It's almost 10 now. I think I was up until after 1. Maybe even 2 AM yesterday. I have a horrible time sleeping when Tony is gone. Mostly, I just don't. Part of it is (I guess) leftover from whenever I was a teenager. I don't think I slept more than 3 hours a night between the ages of 13 and 18, especially if I was home alone (which was pretty often). Maybe that's my payback taking all these sleep-inducing pills. I'm catching up on all that time.

Anyway, going to finish these cards up. I'm missing some addresses, but I'll have to track them down another day.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

67 emails

There are currently 67 emails in my inbox that I need to do something with/for/to. That's down from 80 some, where it was at the start of the day. And that, of course, isn't counting the stuff I have automatically moved to a classification folder (that I'm going to steadfastly ignore until I can no longer do so).

Grrr.

I'd really like to get through all of them this week and have a nice clean slate to start off with. And pledges of never letting it get this bad again and so on and so forth. Sigh.

Maybe it will happen.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Crossing Fingers, crossing toes

Lara gave me an agent recommendation (Rosemary S.) and I sent off a query into the ether the other night (see previous post). Not that you should do stuff like that at 2 AM, but there you go. Anyway, I heard back today and she wants to see the MS. Yay! Now, hopefully she'll like it.

I'm printing it now and then off to the Post Office with dreams in my head and a scarf around my throat -- it's cold out there, man!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

On my own

So, Tony is off to Toronto and then on to L.A. I'll be kicking around this big old house by myself for a week. I've got lots of things on my list to do while he's gone. Hopefully I don't just sleep away the days. ;-)
  • Christmas shopping
  • Making Christmas presents (I've knitted 3 scarves so far, want to make some quilted hangy-things, two knitted purses, and a pillow, maybe some other stuff)
  • Reading/reviewing books
  • Querying agents (have two more I want to send to)
  • Working on the site (all the programming stuff I've been meaning to do for ages and ages)
  • Put filing cabinet together
  • Get the "junk" room cleaned up so it's a real room that we can use

Probably more stuff, but that's definitely enough to keep me busy for now.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Silly Me

I'm not sure why I can't seem to sleep tonight. Before dinner I could barely keep my eyes open and now I just can't seem to sleep.

So I did what I always do....go to the computer. Mess around. Sent a query to an agent. Probably NOT the thing to do at 2 AM, but oh well, there you go. We'll see what happens.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Whew

I've got the December Giveaway-A-Day posted up now. That took some typing. And I'm going to try and add more prizes too...and make sure the Prize Bucket is up to date...and do some additional reviews...and read some books to review...and go shopping for Christmas...and on and on and on. I'm even planning on making some gifts (got 3 scarves done so far), so I better be getting a move on.

It's that time of year. Holiday season. Or Holiday Hell, depending upon your attitude.

I'm in a pretty good mood/attitude, actually. It's our first Christmas in this house and I'm so psyched to be decorating an old Victorian for Christmas. It's just perfect. We even have a real tree this year, as opposed to an artificial one and it's the first time in my entire life that I've had a real tree. We even got all new ornaments so it's more designer-y than home-y (though I think I'll probably put up the old artificial tree on the 2nd floor with all the homemade stuff on it -- besides, Harley loves to chew on that tree and goodness knows he needs to get his yearly flossing in).

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Home Sweet Shower

There's just no shower like your own shower. :-) Actually, we just have a great old shower head with lots of water pressure. I have no idea how old the thing is (it's attached to the claw foot tub and it looks like it has been there for a while), but it is just great. I missed it. Between traveling to Phoenix and then the great Thanksgiving trip (Louisville to Charlotte to Gainesville to Tampa and back to Louey-town), I feel like we've hardly been home. It's good to be back.