Mar. 12th, 2013 11:58 am
storyrainthejournal: (catscream)
A few words of advice based on recent things of my life.

If you agree to be the executor of a friend's literary estate, make sure said friend has made sure the will in which you are so named is legal by the standards of the state in which said friend resides. Otherwise, in addition to missing your friend, you'll have to deal with contracts & requests piling up while a lawyer in Tennessee does god knows what.
If you have animals and no children, try to remember, when you have to start spending a lot of money on the furry one's health, that at least you don't have to send them to college.
Don't have problems with styes if you have weird skin because you have scleroderma. You will be fucked.
If you're feeling some despair over the novelist career you've been paying dues on for almost forty years...just keep writing. Keep writing because it keeps you sane, because you know you're good at it, because it gives you good energy, because you'd rather keep writing than not.
Be nice to yourself sometimes. Breathe.
storyrainthejournal: (fable)

From the Twitter feed of the awesome @CharlieJane:
Most really important propositions are not provable using data. It's just that you're an asshole if you don't accept them as true. Like "all humans have equal worth" or "women should control their own bodies" or "LGBT people shouldn't need to earn your acceptance."

Truer words.

90 Days, 90 Reasons - Some of these are my reasons, too. And some of the essays are worth a read.

In other news, I seem to have finally, after 22 years, contracted one of Austin's allergies. ugh. snot. cough; writing is slow because dayjob has been hella busy & annoyingly demanding (I don't get paid enough, seriously); lots of good books read lately, in brief stints before sleeps, among the most enjoyed: Gwenda Bond's BLACKWOOD, Ben Aaronovitch's WHISPERS UNDERGROUND, the latest Laurie R. King Mary Russell mystery, and Leigh Bardugo's SHADOW AND BONE.

Also, I gave the first two of the FLORA SEGUNDA books to a newly minted 13-yr-old girl and definitely hit the spot.

storyrainthejournal: (onward)
I've been a bit off social media the last little while; just not very posty. It happens.

Ayup. I can testify that this is true. You would be shocked at how high my IQ measured when I was a kid (higher than the supposed IQ of Dr. Reid on Criminal Minds). But I smoked a lot of (really good) marijuana through my teen years. And I can tell the points got knocked down. I'm still reasonably intelligent, but not the super-intelligent kid I was.

Which is no reason adults shouldn't be free to smoke, as far as I'm concerned, but maybe not kids and teens. We really need more smart people, not fewer. As developments at the current RNC would indicate. We don't need them Puerto Rican furriners, nope.


Writing continues; just finished a short story draft, "The Demon of Russet Street," about to revise another called "The Chambered Eye," then it's back to noveling, noveling, noveling. Where I am happiest, really.

storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Hi. My name is Jessica and I'm a narrative junkie. I've never been sober and have no plans to become so. I'm also a language junkie. See above.

I really need to fix my poor un-updatable website situation. Can you say arrrgh?

From the files:

The problem with living in a magic house is, of course, that it complicates daily life and the simple pleasures to a screwball comedy extreme. Sometimes, you really just want the loo, not the Spanish Inquisition. And while an unexpected stroll in a deep, moss-festooned wood starred with old sunlight is lovely, it’s no substitute for a cup of tea and the slice of tres leche cake you have in the ‘fridge.

storyrainthejournal: (catwhale)
Some things, in no order whatsoever.

Oh, my aching credit card. New computer became necessity. Now car stuff, long overdue. Ouchy ouch.
Did you know there are more Sumatran tigers in zoo population now than left alive in the wild? And we're talking a few hundred, that's all.

The totting up of all of the things and accomplishments all over the place at this point in the calendar always makes me cranky. Blech.

That's right, I'm cranky. This is a step up from sad. By Sunday I expect to be freaking cheerful and kind and all things loving and good.

Happy Thurberday. How many toes do you have?

storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Posted and deleted a tweet three times because I couldn't seem to spell 'psychedelic' right. Tweet was for this, Secret light show in the Arctic, a time lapse vid that's lovely, psychedelic, and hypnotic.

Was up at 4am fretting over my mom and step-dad losing their home (ballooning mortgage they never should have had), and, my mom being 79, her health in the face of the stress of the situation. Of course, 4am fretting does no one any good, and now I have underslepted brain.

Realized I had already put something I needed in the draft under cover of another something. That was probably the slepted brain that did that.

Made my first crab boil of the summer last night, corn, little red potatoes, asparagus (near end), and snow crab much mmm. Leftovers tonight.
storyrainthejournal: (utopia)

This article in Vanity Fair by Joseph E. Stiglitz says it well: Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%.

...paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being. ... The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

I know that no one in the that top 1% reads my lj, but I wish they would clue the fuck up.

Meanwhile, as my fingers starve for blood flow, get sores, pain me, and turn gruesome, the insurance company denies me the medication prescribed by my rheumatologist, because, although studies have shown its efficacy in treating Raynauds Phenomenon as a secondary symptom of scleroderma, it hasn't yet been approved by the FDA for that purpose. It's approved for the purpose of helping old men get it up and keep it up, but not that. Further appeals, 180-day waits, and no guarantee of success are all they have to offer. If I could afford to pay full price for the damn stuff, I would, but we've had no raises or bonuses for two years, none are coming, and, as we all know, the cost of living keeps on going up.

please, no suggestions on improving circulation, I'm doing everything I can already

However, there are good things happening, too, and I've been getting writing time in while dayjobbing, which is always a yay. Deep Terrain (no it's not done yet) stands at 92K and is still working toward final climactic scenes and conclusion. Slowly. But we'll get there. Then there will be much revising.

Other of the good:
got the tax stuff organized and off to tax person
Aristotle, Scaramouch, and Tinker cats ('Totle comforts me when the health stuff is of the overwhelming and I sob like a geyser)
So many good books to read (Deathless up next!)
Justified has been riveting television


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: (froggyhashat)
Yesterday I met a tow truck driver who reads a lot. He likes Sydney Sheldon and Ken Follett; doesn't like Stephen King--says he goes on for too long about boring things. Next year he's planning to learn to drive a big rig (the tow truck driver, not Stephen King, as far as I know).

The mechanic from Groovy Automotive who drove me to work wore a camo-t-shirt with the Groovy logo on it and listened to talk radio in the Groovy pickup. We didn't discuss reading, but he had opinions on a number of things. 

This post brought to you by the number 606 ($) and the letter "F."
storyrainthejournal: (Default)

This, what [ profile] matociquala says here.

And from Nancy Springer's twitterfeed, many of you writers struggle with depression? I think creativity and depression go together... once you learn to spin it, depression need not be depressing. I mean, embrace it, use it, and it can be a friend. ...Art to me is turning pain into beauty. So cherish your depressing thoughts, welcome them in, and write.

Camille Alexa‘s story "Particular Friends," gender roles-bendy future steampunkish pulpy awesomeness, is being serialized at Red Penny Papers. Episode 1 has been up for a week or so, and Episode 2 will go live sometime today. "Mystery! Scandal! Secret messages! Tea cakes! Fall into the charming world of Camille Alexa's headstrong Mr. Jonathan deWinter and see what all the fuss is about..." With gorgeous art!

In part of the dreaming last night, riding in passenger side of car on epic journeying (that had included airship and water vessel and being hunted by bad dudes earlier), just looking out window at passing landscape and soaking in the beauty--of the light, the trees, colors and heft of the world, breathing it in and getting intoxicated. 

ETA:  Paperback books; I actually prefer them to hardbacks and the oversized paperbacks, lighter and easier for me to hold and read (I'm not afraid to crack a few spines).

storyrainthejournal: (Default)

Over on Favorite Thing Ever, Alyx waxes praiseful about, among other things, Texas Monthly, and specifically, the excellent Pamela Colloff, who writes amazing in-depth articles that seek, largely, to shine a light on miscarriages of justice, forgotten victims, and ongoing states of injustice. What real investigative journalism is supposed to do.

Also, [ profile] kormantic posts about Flight of the Conchords there, too. And I second that emotion--I love Flight of the Conchords and reccommend it to anyone who likes funny, off-kilter, kind of gentle weirdness, with bonus bouncy/off-kilter music numbers.

Two cases of gadget fail lately, which I recount briefly for the edification of all: a Sanyo 2700 phone (to which I downgraded because I didn't want internettiness on my phone anymore) drops the sound from phone calls after a few seconds, even though it shows the call is still connected. Hello? Hello? 

And a Clear iSpot, which was supposed to provide WiFi at work and elsewhere to my iTouch. Fail fail fail, even after hours communicating with their tech people. Do not believe Clear's promises of ease and clarity of connection. Nope. And the fault is definitely their's.

I do love my iTouch, though. I just can't get online at the dayjob on it, which was partly the point, since dayjob blocks some sites, like YouTube...

I'm currently rereading a beloved gothic novel of my childhood, Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree. Over the weekend I finally watched The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and, though it's flawed, I enjoyed it a lot. I love that dark weird circus/sideshow stuff so much.

I promptly looked for and found a way to make the little puppet theater that features at the end of the movie.

I gave myself last Friday off for a long weekend, and it was a good one. Lots of words on DT written, several naps taken, much cat content and walks in the gorgeous weather. Yay!
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
I guess even a horoscope has to be on target once every 365 days or so; mine is rather ridiculously apt today:

A close friend or associate might seem very detached today, putting you in touch with old fears of abandonment. But it's crucial for you to separate your fantasies that are based upon painful memories from what's actually happening. Even if your emotions have been recently agitated, don't take it personally now if current relationship logistics require a bit of a cooling off period.


Feline update: kittens still rather savage, but also sweet and endearing. Aristotle, though occassionally Grumpastotle, seems to have them well in hand, plays with them quite a bit, and touches noses regularly. Still can't decide if Tinker is really still Otis and may just have to let him be Otis. Scaramouche is definitely Scaramouche.


I have recently thought of the following ways of changing my life, none of which is particularly practical: go back to school for my PhD and become the academic I decided not to become after I got my MA (the job market for anything I would get my degree in is entirely dismal); move into the bottom floor of my mother & stepdad's tiny place on the ocean, with my three cats, and look for freelance writing work so I won't be completely and totally broke while mooching off my broke mother & stepdad (the pathetic quotient on this one speaks for itself).

On a more practical note, I continue to look for that illusive 30 hr a wk job that actually pays enough for me to keep paying my bills and feeding everyone.


Some day I will finish this novel (and start the next one).


Feb. 8th, 2010 09:57 am
storyrainthejournal: (colette'shandw/cat)
I'm very happy to announce the sale of my story, "The Vostrosovitch Clockwork Animal and Traveling Forest Show at the End of the World" to the excellent Crossed Genres, for issue #16, steampunk. And I would like to publicly apologize to the estimable Mr. Leib for the length of the title, which is apparently difficult to wrangle into a ToC. I'm not really sorry about the title, which I kind of love, but I am sorry for causing any frustration! ~

Another sale announcement is in the offing, but I prefer to hold off until a contract exists.

In other news, it's grey and raining gently, birds are singing, and I'm home because I felt quite ill this morning. Still feel pretty ughy, but at least I'm home. Also, it is my half birthday. I am exactly ahem and a half today.

storyrainthejournal: (fable)
Stayed home today, as I woke feeling under the weather both emotionally and physically. Extra cuddle time w/A-cat, a good writing session, and late morning nappage helped immensely. The problem of discontent with the state of things--necessity of dayjob which makes it so freaking hard for me to manage regular, productive writing sessions, remains. And the problem of discontent with where my writing career is at is one I can only apply one solution to (i.e., one solution over which I have control), which is having regular immersive writing time. I did some job searching, but jobs are, as any nincompoop knows, very thin on the ground right now.

So, hmm.

Going for a walk now, to soak up some vitamin D and swing my shoulders in the sunshine.
storyrainthejournal: (snowy)
Listening to my fall/winter '09 cobble of music I currently love, I just realized there's a thread running through some of the songs of being haunted--or being the ghost yourself.

I am officially on vacation. Though today is pretty much a regular Saturday in the life of me. Off to Saturday breakfast soon; then a phone date with one of my cousins; then an exciting afternoon of chores. Exciting I said! Chores I said! Sometime in the next day or so (depending on how long she stays with other folks) my friend Eliz will be here staying with me.

No particular vacation plans other than relax. Write, take some long walks, see some movies, eat good good, have some naps. All things I really enjoy. Hurrah.
storyrainthejournal: (mehat)
I do not like war, I think it is a very bad bad idea.

But I'm not at all conflicted about saying thank you to the men and women who risked their sanity and their lives doing what they believed was right or required. Thank you, veterans. Honor and remembrance to you.

So, today is a day off; I have done all the usual stuff I do before heading off to the dayjob, (feed cats, meditate, stretch, give S-cat her meds, have tea and Luna bar) and also transferred the plants and furniture from the breezeway back to the balcony. I can haz balcony! Shortly, writing will commence. This afternoon, Sula has her first appointment with the vet internist, since the regular vet is stumped.

But before that, a few photos from the last month, with several faves below (Aristotle smiling and two from out at [ profile] camillealexa 's Minimal on the Travis/Bastrop county line, where we had a lovely mini writing/talking/drinking retreat):

A few more pictures up at gallery.

storyrainthejournal: (eek)
Best Halloween moment was Friday night; N & I went for dinner at the Chinatown downtown. When the guy dressed as a Tong member walked in, I actually thought, at first, huh, so Chinese gang business goes on here? I mean, he had the hat, the sharp shirt and pants, the big gold ring, but mostly he was just wearing the attitude so well that really was my first thought--until he was joined for dinner by a guy with his white button down shirt ripped and half hanging out and blood-soaked. 

Dio de los Muertos today; I really prefer Day of the Dead to Halloween--at least, I prefer the trappings of it to the commercial ones of Halloween, and the fact that the meaning is still fairly clear and true and undiluted by said commercialism. Or maybe it's just that I don't really like pumpkins.

If I'd known about it sooner, I might be going to But I will be hanging with some peeps for the afternoon, and that's really the best.

Bonus writing update: I'm not officially participating in Nanowrimo, but I am determined to finish a draft of Deep Terrain this month, another 40-50k to bring it just over 100k. To that end, had a good writing session this morning, which makes me way happy. Wish me luck in keeping it up.

Bonus Sula update: I built her a fort under the windowsill, for when it's too hot on the windowsill and she seems to like it, but when I had the door open earlier to water the plants, she shot out into the breezeway and didn't want to come back into the loft. That's a first. She's scared of the loft. The vet is kind of stumped, she's (Sula, not the vet) not responding to the meds, but she's not getting any worse, still eating and drinking water and (mostly) managing to use the litter box (which is now in her fort).

storyrainthejournal: (bunny)
Took yesterday off to spend w/friend K, who was in town for the weekend w/her fam. Given the weather and the need to keep the younger generation occupied, we drove through the fog up to Georgetown to go to Inner Space Caverns, which were pretty awesome. Kind of shameful that I've never been (especially given what good research it is for the current novel). I think I got some decent pictures; will post later if so. Really quite amazing in there.

We saw one of the tiny tiny bats that hang there, the eastern pipistrelle. Its fur was pale and almost leaf-colored in the brief brush of flashlight illumination.

After, we went for lunch at the Monument Cafe, which was yummy, particularly the grilled asparagus and the chocolate malt I had for dessert. I love malts.

In other news, my favorite new cheese is a goat cheese, Herve Mons Tomme des Templiers. Soooo good.

Everybody except me is tired of the rain; oh well.
storyrainthejournal: (umbrellalight)
Pretty walk up from the bus stop to work with the rain poppling on my umbrella and the glazed streets and sidewalks. The trees all seemed happy, their bark full of color.

Now if only my freaking body would start working again.



storyrainthejournal: (Default)

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