storyrainthejournal: (fable)
Persian cucumber salad. Pan seared quail. Grilled peach on the side. This is what I had for dinner at the East Side Showroom last night. Okay? Okay.

After our fab dinner I showed my visiting friend How to Train Your Dragon, which she hadn't seen. Officially on the list of my favorite ever movies, I think. Then I started Naomi Novik's Tongues of Serpents. A dragonish evening. Then Tinker periodically lost his mind and meowed piteously all night long, which he does when I have an overnight guest, for at least the first one or two nights. I mean, piteously. Last time he did this I was worried something was actually wrong and took him to the vet. Stinker.

*
Between bouts of dayjob work yesterday, a good bit of work on Deep Terrain got done yesterday, and there will be more at writing date tomorrow.

*
Recently I wished there was a thrift store in walking distance from my loft; then I discovered one has recently opened less than two blocks away. And it is written of as the Austin-est thrift store in Austin. Will check it out at some point this weekend.

storyrainthejournal: (contemplative)
The very awful hot weather tends to make my neighborhood more active in the watches of the night. Since the balcony door is shut all day, I like to leave it cracked at night so the cats have a little more world to enjoy. Last night around 1am, a dog kerfluffle on the lofts green brought me out to the balcony (I always check to make sure no doggies are hurt) and I saw the kilt-wearing man again. I've only ever seen him out at night and in the early early morning. Kilt-wearing vampire? In later watches of the night, there was drunken yelling, both friendly and not, a screeching vehicle crash, and a freight train (they scree as they come around the curve behind the lofts).

*yawn*

*
CW Write-a-thon progress: slow but steady. You may have noticed I don't do word counts--I kind of hate word counting.

Gutted scene is rewritten. Things: ritual, memory-unlocking steam, revelations, giant tarsus bones.

Brief snip:
The priestess was silent, and then she said, “Some gifts are more difficult than others.”

*
For all write-a-thonners, M.K. Hobson pledges a buck for your best sentence.
storyrainthejournal: (clockwatch)

Last week I scheduled another test for Aristotle with the vet, an ultrasound, which is expensive, and for which they have to arrange for a special tech to come in with his equipment (meaning it's not an appointment you cancel). Then I realized a couple days later, that it was scheduled for the anniversary of the death of Tavi, the cat I had before Aristotle and Sula. Tavi traveled all the way from Downeast Maine to Austin with me, watched over the writing of my first published novel, and was, of course, a much loved dear companion. Then, I had a sitcom on last night and a character talked about how she had a dog when she was a kid and it went to the vet for a routine procedure and never came back.

And, then, for jeezub sake, when I brought Aristotle to the vet to drop him off this morning, the assistant greeted me by saying, "Is that Sula?"--my cat who also went to this vet who died a while back. Oh random coincidence and subconscious primed to hear certain things!

I don't have a conclusion to draw, other than, yes, I am awaiting a call from the vet somewhat nervously. (eta--just got it, he's fine; we suspect mild pancreatitis and some IBD).

So here's a conlusion, if you're going to read things into stuff like this, you may as well read that this means Aristotle, in contrast, is going to live until he's well old, 20 or so, a long and happy life.

*
In other news, the lofts water main sprang a bad leak late in the afternoon on Superbowl Sunday. So, water shut off. The city is turning it back on for us, theoretically, evenings 5:30-7, mornings 7-8:30. In practice, this is more like 5:50-7pm and 7:45-8am...but I still managed to get the hot water heater on and glory in a hot shower last night (by obssessively checking the faucet every few minutes to see when the water was on so I could get the heater on asap). Hot water, water in general--it's good to be reminded not to take it for granted.

Dear GOP and libertarians, maybe you should think about that. Infrastructure costs money.

*
Last week was...rocky. So over the weekend I bought myself some expensive salt caramel dark chocolates. One of those with a London Fog--decaf Earl Grey w/a shot of vanilla and steamed soy creamer--of an evening is a nice way of being kind to oneself. Or meself, anyway. Tea and chocolate, tea anc cake, tea and fruit & cheese. Tea.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)

I'm very pleased to announce that The Red Penny Papers is buying a reprint of my epistolary pulp orchid hunter tale "Flowertongue" to appear as the cover story for their Summer 2011 issue--which means it will get fantastic wonderful art!

You should go check out their Winter 2010 issue right now!

*
I am so underslept and, consequently, not getting much progress on Deep Terrain, and I'm chilled all the time (happens when I'm really tired).

Why are you so underslept, Jessica?

*
The current short-term renter in the loft above me, who is the sister of the original young woman on this short-term lease, apparently, is, as she explained to me rapid-fire, an artist who works at night. That's fine and great, except that her art apparently requires her to drag heavy furniture around at night, all night, even after you ask her not to.

My two in-person encounters with this person have made it clear there's something off with her, and I don't trust her. I watched her dump over a full cup of coffee in the lofts cafe on purpose, because she was mad at the counter people and not getting her way. Last night she knocked on my door at 11:30 pm with take out menus and beer in tow, which she thought I was going to partake of with her. Then she pushed them on me even after I said, no, thanks, but no, several times; and then, on spying one of my cats in the darkened loft behind me, said, oh, wait, and obliged me to stand in my open door in my pjs while she ran upstairs and came back with a pet food bowl and pressed that on me, too, when I said, thank you, but I have bowls, why don't you give it to the shelter? (she leaned in and put all these things on a chair I have by the door)

There are other little things, but, yeah.

She scares me. She's only there until the end of December, so okay. But I'm tired of having to talk to every single short-termer the owner puts in there. This, my darlings, is the suck.
storyrainthejournal: (bunny)

Came home yesterday to find two little puddles in odd places on the concrete floor. Didn't smell like anything, looked like and seemed to be water. No trails leading to anywhere they might have come from, not near the cats' water bowl, no discernible patches or leaks to have made them.

Ghost piddle? Condensation from the metal girders on the ceiling 14 feet above? (it has been mega humid) Spontaneous water?

It's like that time there was a dead finch (which definitely wasn't there when I left) in the loft when I came home, all the doors and windows shut.

Ideas?

springy

Jun. 1st, 2010 09:18 pm
storyrainthejournal: (stotmeister)
From the lofts community garden...

000sg528

One of the finches that like to torture the cats on the balcony...
 

000skh0c

View from a restaurant on town lake...
 

000sw4ht


And because kittehs are love...

kittehs! )

 

 

storyrainthejournal: (lantern)
Around 4:30 this morning, a fat full moon setting in the southwest woke me, peering through my window all silver-gilt and bright. Eventually it went more parchment gold, sinking into the trees, veiled by our tainted atmosphere.

*
One of the medications my father is taking apparently can cause nightmares. My father's reaction to this yesterday was to fixate, by my brother's report, on a Sherwood Anderson book he remembered, published in 1919, something about the grotesque. This is through the screen of his impaired speech and my brother's attempts to understand. But he was clear about Sherwood Anderson, 1919, the grotesque. My brother asked me to find out what book it was--which was very easy to do. It's Anderson's story collection Winesburg, Ohio, which has a kind of prologue story that more or less subtitles the book, called "The Book of the Grotesque." The book was, indeed, published in 1919.
It's on bartleby.com, http://www.bartleby.com/156/index.html. Here's an excerpt from the Book of the Grotesque, which is about an old writer and his strange notion of truth and the grotesque:

The idea had got into his mind that he would some time die unexpectedly and always when he got into bed he thought of that. It did not alarm him. The effect in fact was quite a special thing and not easily explained. It made him more alive, there in bed, than at any other time. Perfectly still he lay and his body was old and not of much use any more, but something inside him was altogether young. He was like a pregnant woman, only that the thing inside him was not a baby but a youth. No, it wasn’t a youth, it was a woman, young, and wearing a coat of mail like a knight. It is absurd, you see, to try to tell what was inside the old writer as he lay on his high bed and listened to the fluttering of his heart. The thing to get at is what the writer, or the young thing within the writer, was thinking about.

I find it somehow reassuring that this is what my father is thinking about, this little tale and the book from which it came.

*
Vonda McIntyre's fantastic Nebula award winning novel The Moon and the Sun, is available as an ebook through the Book View Cafe site. A really great read, this book (as are, in fact the other books of hers featured there). (You have to register with the site, but why wouldn't you?)
storyrainthejournal: (seagrass)

Regarding the refused ad for Crossed Genre's LGBTQ issue (I am late to mention, but I was on vacation!), tacithydra has an excellent round-up of links on the issue here. Personally (and shallowly) I don't see how anyone could reject an ad with such awesome art, which was, incidentally, the cover art for issue #7, which has my story "Our Lady of the Mantilla" in it. 
*

Regarding that vacation, I will post some pics tonight-ish. But to sum up: beach, sun, cool breeze, sweet air, I saw baby whales!!!!, pelicans, rest, rest, rest, walking, swimming, hot tub, scrabble, good food, lots of love. Priceless. And extremely lovely and rejuvenating. I am full of yay and thank you.
*

Regarding other things: rain! loft reassembled into liveable space! cooler mornings!
storyrainthejournal: (gimmeshelter)

Via many folks on my flist, but I'm cadging from [livejournal.com profile] marthawells

Save the Dragons Dave Freer is posting a new novel online to raise part of the money needed to get his family pets (three dogs and four cats, mostly rescues) through quarantine when his family moves to Australia. You can help by stopping by, checking out the novel, donating if you can, and spreading the word.
*

Loft is almost to the point where I will be allowed to put my curtains back up and move things back into a liveable configuration--but I don't know that I'll have time to do that before I head west tomorrow morning. Seeing as I'm at the dayjob for most of the day, and then have errands and packing and stuff.
*

As per usual lately, worried about leaving Sula-cat, whose eating has been off. But it's only four days...and man, I need a break, a real one, in a serious way. Haven't been truly relaxed at all the last few weeks (until last night when I got a massage, when it became painfully clear--before I actually became relaxed--that I was wound really tight).
*

A little progress made on Deep Terrain, which is good, given all of the above, I guess. Oddly, I seem to have gotten the most writing done the few times I was home from the dayjob, tuning out the infernal racket of the construction.
storyrainthejournal: (1926art)
These things are not related, except that they happened more or less over the same four-day weekend.

First--ArmadilloCon: a lot of fun. Many wonderful people. HIghlights included:
  • Seeing Joan Vinge and spending a little time with her; Joan was one of my Clarion teachers, mumblety years ago, and we took to each other like members of the same soul tribe (or something equally hoaky but awesome).
  • Having [livejournal.com profile] impatientape  and [livejournal.com profile] tacithydra to hang w/every day, along with [livejournal.com profile] carolineyoachim, and Elle Van Hensbergen on Saturday.
  • Dim Sum on Saturday with some of the above and also Chris Nakashima-Brown, Maureen McHugh, and Jayme Blaschke.
  • My reading had a larger crowd than I've ever had at ArmadilloCon and [livejournal.com profile] marthawells paid me the great complement of being moved to tears by the story; others said good things, and I was happy to get to read the story (The Vostrasovitch Clockwork Animal and Traveling Forest Show at the End of the World) to an appreciative audience.
  • Maureen McHugh hanging out with me to keep me company while I sat for the autographing hour (I signed a few things, but Maureen signed more, even though she wasn't there officially).
  • I enjoyed both my panels, but the best was the one on Academic Writing on SF/F--the other panelists, Nancy Hightower, Kim Kofmel, A.M. Thomas, and Mark Finn were all smart, articulate, and prepared, which produced an interesting, worthwhile discussion.
  • Seeing District 9 (okay, that was me and [livejournal.com profile] tacithydra ducking out of the con on Sunday afternoon to meet Maureen & Mr. Maureen for a matinee). Damn good movie. 
  • Dinner Sunday night with Joan and Jim, Maureen, and [livejournal.com profile] tacithydra at Curra's, which Joan had fond memories of from my taking them there the last time they came to ArmadilloCon.
Missed many things--chiefly readings I would have liked to make it to. But the two I went to, Maureen's and Chris N-B's, were very engaging and inspiring.

Overall, it was a great ArmadilloCon.
*

The con was, of course, exhausticating. And Friday morning before we left for the day, a leak appeared in my bathroom, with an unclear source. Over the course of the weekend, I used every one of my towels, replacing them in the morning and late at night after returning. 

On top of this, when I got home Sunday afternoon, there was a notice on my door that the incursion into the loft portion of the construction would begin for my loft on Tuesday (tomorrow) (and run for 15 to 20 days) and I needed to have everything moved four feet away from my windows and balcony doors by then. So let's add that up:

642 sq. foot space, including balcony, which I've already cleared off, crowding plants and chairs inside
one and a half walls of the place are windows and balcony doors
Monday (today) was supposed to be my recover from the con day before going back to dayjob

=
ugh. But it's all moved; there's a note in big black letters on the front door saying please be careful of the cats!, and, oh yeah, the leak is fixed. I feel so rested...er...sigh.



storyrainthejournal: (utopia)

Utopian views of future cities as one with nature.

*
I could use a little utopia right now.

*
Too much to do this weekend; I'm already worn out. Might need to take Monday off...but then I can't take next Friday, the day before my birthday, off. Plus, they actually really really start putting up the scaffolding around my building on Monday, which means it won't be particularly peaceful at home...
storyrainthejournal: (luminousrain)
Sula kitty report: vet thinks it's probably either irritable bowel thingy, or, possibly, a tumor. We're trying some stuff, and will do an ultrasound early next week, and will see. I have anti-nausea meds, a probiotic, and am picking up an antibiotic later this afternoon. She got more fluids, too.

In other news, rain! So much yay! It is apocalyptically heavy heavy, flooding rain. Drove home from vet w/Sula in it; very exciting. Now she's hiding away; Aristotle, not afraid of getting a little damp apparently, is watching it at the balcony screen door.

Feel bad for my neighbor who was going to have a big clothing swap/drinks/swimming b-day in the lofts pavilion and green space today. There's a big ole plastic pool out there in the downpour, and she and her b-friend are sitting huddled together in the pavilion with bags of clothes, twinkling xmas lights, and drink makings.

But not bad enough to wish it wasn't raining.
storyrainthejournal: (carousel horse)
A few pictures of the communal gardens here at the lofts. I can't take credit for any of this, but I enjoy it.















thingit

Feb. 27th, 2009 08:32 am
storyrainthejournal: (rouseau&cat)
Things (thingits) of the last while:

In a patch of park/grass behind a city building by the access road one Friday night, someone exercising a horse in cantering circles in the dark. Speculation as to whether it was police horse who has to be able to navigate in the shadows. Thirty feet away, no fence, lots of car traffic.

Soft echo sound of mourning dove calls in the early...still one of my favorite things.

Four finches, three brown and one red, perched in the Suessian succulent on the balcony.

Various neighbors, one evening or another, sitting in a chair at one end of the lofts' greenspace watching the colors and light in the windows of the lofts at the other end of the greenspace as the sun goes down.

Mountain laurel coming in like purple mist on branches, smelling of grape soda.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Weird Texas; life imitates gonzo, sink hole opens and swallows trucks and stuff.

 More platypus
(as requested).

--
I should be ashamed that I enjoy Supernatural so much, because it's really pretty misogynist...but as I just told [profile] spike21, how can I resist such lovely Hardy Boys in near constant gnarly, supernatural peril, alternating with lots of angst and some good black humor...honestly, it's the most riveting 45 minutes of television I watch these days.

Okay, maybe I'm a little ashamed. 
--

I don't mind live music--I like live music--at the cafe at the lofts, even if it goes late on a school night; but I really can't stand drum circles. And the drum circles have found our cafe's outdoor plaza. I felt like I was in a Tarzan movie last night and the natives were restlessly planning a big cauldron of dinner.
storyrainthejournal: (tinyumbrella)
The one sound carrying feature of my loft is the ceiling; I never hear my neighbors talking, or their tvs, or anything like that. And I never used to hear the nice guy who lives directly above me ever, except when he practiced saxophone, which really, not so bad. Then his SO moved in, a rather lovely, slender woman, probably not above five feet tall. Who stomps about like an angry marine on steroids. And wakes up earlier than I do. Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp. Okay, I've gotten used to that; I call her stompy in my mind and that makes it better. Then she began sluicing water off her balcony (I guess she's watering the two plants up there) though it sounds remarkably like she's just throwing buckets of water onto the awning above my balcony. Thunderous, shockingly loud.

So, I generally wake up at 6:30 am. and that last 45 minutes of sleep, it's precious. I cling to it. 5:45 this morning: STOMP STOMP STOMP--SPLOOSH! Shockingly loud, thunderousness on the tin awning! And then again! Every morning. I hope it's water, clean water. But I feel rather like I've been transported to medieval London. Slops out the window! There's an angry fishwife with a chip or two on her shoulder living above me.

--

In other news, I will be at the mass autographing for the Nebula Awards weekend tonight (which is open to the public, at the Omni downtown), with copies of The Z Radiant (also, I think there will be copies of the Cross Plains Universe antho available there, plus many luminaries--of greater magnitude than I--of the sf/f writing world). Then I'll be all dressed up to present the novella category Nebula tomorrow night at the banquet. Hopefully I won't spill any dinner on myself before I get on stage.

When I realized that Michael Chabon is actually coming, I came over all fan girly...I love his work so very much.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
A thoughtful and worthwhile essay on personal choices and climate change: The Way We Live Now: Why Bother?
~
I went to see The Forbidden Kingdom; a little slow at first, but I was very happy by the end. Much fun. Kind of a kung fu Wizard of Oz meets tales of the Monkey King and Journey to the West.
~
Part one of Five Good Things About Meghan Sheedy, the latest of A.M. Dellamonica's ([profile] planetalyx) squid stories is up at Strange Horizons. The stories in this universe are awesome--highly recommended reading. 
~
The Wuxiapedia is very cool. Currently I'm reading Legend of the White Haired Demoness.
~
Writing proceeding slowly, but proceeding. 
~
There was a big wedding at the lofts this weekend, with a huge white tent and all--including the obligatory bad bad dj'ed music, very loud. Only until 11 pm, but why must wedding reception music be so very bad? In this case, it was bad American mixed with the equivalent in bad Mexican music. With so much good music in the world, for the love of Charlie, why?
storyrainthejournal: (luminousrain)
Morning report: thunder, clouds in motion, fine heavy rain, air like cool silk.

Me: happy.
storyrainthejournal: (lantern&gun)
Snurtched from [profile] tacithydra, because it is teh awesome. I also include her description, because I am a lazy thief.
 
Rebecca Drysdale is an alum of Second City in Chicago, and was in Variety's Top Ten To Watch in Comedy in 2006.

And she is a geek.

HBO gave her funding for a series of web videos, which she used to combine her love of SF and comedy and make
Rebecca Drysdale is a Time Travelling Lesbian.
 
--
I have found the bestest green tea in all the world and it is Almond Cookie Green Tea, which they mix at Tea Embassy, here in Austin.
 
--
Discussion with others leads to the theory that Wednesday’s mystery may be explained by either of the following:
·  the finch got in when a door, balcony or front, was open, and this either happened as I was leaving yesterday morning and I just didn’t notice, or it happened a day or so ago and the poor wee finchie was sick and hid and not even the cats knew she was there until they did and poor wee finchie killing commenced; or
·  someone snuck into my apartment to leave the bird, because they read my story The Arcana of Maps, and are stalking me (I do hide a key for my front door, but said theoretical stalker would have to get into the building itself, too…).
 
storyrainthejournal: (fable)
So, when I left this morning, it was cold out and I left the balcony door (which I sometimes leave cracked for the cats) closed, all the windows closed, The loft isn't hermetically sealed this way, but I've never come home to find anything larger than a sugar ant having found its way in.

The cats did not behave like cats who have something alive stashed away for later. They were, in fact, asleep. First morning nap.

Yet when I got home tonight, there was a dead finch on the rug and a lot of fluffy down scattered about. How the 'ell did the little guy get in here?

In the midst of this were the cats, asking for dinner. Yes, it was purely a sport killing, they ate  nothing. Very domesticated these cats. In fact, I think the poor little finch might have died of a birdie coronary; I couldn't find a mark on her, other than the downy bits all around. Not even any larger feathers removed.

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