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Didn't quite make my goal of 2K today, but I still did more than NaNo's required 1,667. It's going to be a long day (I have to go try to facilitate that #$#@!! Beautification Committee tonight after my regular shift is over...should be fun...not), so I'm going to pack it in. Also, I have some real work to do. ;-) Luckily, Fridays are my quiet days, so I'm hoping I can take out a big chunk tomorrow afternoon (especially because a Major Scene is about to come up, and I want to be able to work on that without being interrupted).

 
12392 / 50000 words. 25% done!




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Some jackass left a Chick Tract in the bathroom here at work! I'd never actually seen one in person.

Thank God I found it before some young, impressionable child did.

I seriously don't see how anyone could possibly think this fire and brimstone crap is at all effective.

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...would it have killed you guys to let us leave a little early the day before Thanksgiving?

Grr.
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That's a joke from an book I loved back when I was in elementary school. Of course, now I remember hardly anything about it, except that it was about these two girls who played with these special dolls and made up all sorts of wonderful stories about them. The one thing I do remember is that their evil teacher who took the dolls away was called Miss Hickenlooper. Anyway, in one of the stories they wrote the heroine-doll as exclaiming, "You have saved me in the very niche of time!" and it's stuck with me all these years.

/digression

So awhile back I signed up for the SS/HG fic exchange. I figured it would be a piece of cake -- after all you only had to write 1,500 words minimum. I could do that in my sleep.

Unfortunately, with everything that was going on in my life, I promptly forgot about it. Until, like, two days ago. :-o And the deadline is tomorrow. I did not want to cheese out, as I was writing it as a pinch-hitter for someone who had to drop out because of familial issues. I didn't think being a forgetful flake was a good enough excuse, especially since this poor person's prompt had already been dropped once.

So I put my butt in my chair tonight when I got home from work, told myself it was do or die, and actually pulled it out. Now, it's short -- a little over 1,800 words. But I'd always planned just to do a small one-shot, a scene that could stand on its own (it's also not a bad prelude to a longer fic if I ever want to expand it).

I'm not going to go into how woefully behind I am on Nano. I just proved to myself that I can write quickly if I need to. I think my brain is finally settling down after all the months of tumult at the Pit of Despair (aka the Teen Center). I've also caught up on some major projects at work, so I should be able to sneak some writing time in tomorrow and next week.

But now I'm tired, so I'm going to put my feet up and watch something mindless.

Ta-ta, y'all.

Victory!!!!

Nov. 6th, 2008 04:21 pm
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No, I'm not talking about Obama's win, although that makes me ultra super-super happy.

It's the fact that I am now sitting in my NEW office, at the Legion Building, which means I am far away from that infernal air hockey machine, the hordes of screaming pubescents, and the recreation leaders who barged in and out of my office every five minutes (and an office mate who, although a very nice person, is LOUD). They do have classes here, so every once in a while it might get a little noisy, but since it's my OWN office and I don't have to share it, I can always shut the damn door.

I also have a new fancy desk and the comfiest, squishiest chair I've ever had at work. This is awesome sauce, indeed.

OK, so it took thirteen months of complete HELL for me to get where I am. But I am a happy camper now. I think I might finally be able to get back to Nano now.

Peace out!
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...so now I can't even go to take a pee without tripping over tweeners who are camped out in the entryway to the ladies' room and having a kaffeeklatsch?

Some days I really do hate this place so very, very much.
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Somehow I survived summer at the Teen Center (I came close to suicide/homicide a few times, but hey, what job doesn't drive you to want to start randomly shooting people?). Anyhow, with that experience under my belt and the hope that I might soon be able to become a fully functioning human being again, I'm thinking ahead. I love to make plans...whether they all come to fruition is another thing. Ahem.

Anyhow, since it's come up in several online conversations I've had lately, I'm stewing over whether to do NaNoWriMo this year. Yes, I crashed and burned spectacularly last year, but I'm still two out of three. However, I will only participate if I finish both the contemporary romance I'm working on right now and The Quality of Mercy. Although my actions may sometimes indicate otherwise, I really do hate leaving projects unfinished. The good news is that I'm more than two-thirds done on the contemporary and probably only have about three chapters left on QoM, so this is all doable as long as I'm able to maintain a somewhat even keel. However, I also know that I'd better not push it for NaNo, which means if I do participate, it'll probably be fanfic. Not sure what yet. Maybe my long-postponed Snape/Sinistra fic. I think that might be easy-going  enough to keep me from ripping my hair out. We'll see.

Also, wee bit of a warning here -- I've mostly avoided discussing politics on this journal, but I don't think I'm going to keep it that way. For those of you who might be offended by my p.o.v., I'll try to put any rants behind a cut so you can just politely skip over it. I just know that I'm not going to be able to keep my mouth shut (much the way I got in a drunken screaming match with a dear friend of mine last night when he tried to defend McCain's choice of Anti-Abortion Barbie as his running mate).

So anyway. As the Chinese proverb goes, may you live in interesting times....

Also, food for thought.

Grrrrr

Aug. 14th, 2008 02:45 pm
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Do you have to walk into my office and slam the door JUST so you can check your cell phone for messages? Really? REALLY???!!!!

I'm feeling stabby.

ETA: You know what else makes me stabby? When someone calls me "Jill" even though my entire correct name is spelled out plainly in my email signature.

Looks like it's at least two glasses of chianti with dinner tonight....

ETA 2: Oh, and they just moved back the release of Half-Blood Prince from November to July! Assholes! I fucking HATE dressing up in HP costumes in July. At least in November the weather is cooperative!

And of course an error was found with a date in the brochure which I'm sure I will be blamed for even though about five other people proofread the damn thing to check dates, etc. Luckily I can push it back on them, but it still makes me even more stabby. (My manager just came in and told me not to worry about it, and he knows it's mostly the catty spiteful bitch trying to make my life miserable. Luckily my supervisors are pretty much always on my side.)

Oy

Jul. 21st, 2008 10:58 am
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Man, there are a lot of screamers in here today. Somebody needs to stop feeding these kids sugar....

Bliss

Jul. 20th, 2008 03:26 pm
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OK, I know there's a weird dichotomy between the icon I'm using and the subject of this post. Heck, there's a weird dichotomy between what's been going on in my life lately and the subject of this post. However...

This weekend has been marvelous. I'm sure part of it is not being at work, but the past few days have just flowed wonderfully. We went to a social gathering at our church on Friday night and then got home just in time to catch Dr. Who at eleven. Yesterday we bought our tickets to The Dark Knight online because we figured it would be crowded at the theater, which it was, except the nice guy taking tickets at the door let us in just as, at the other side of the theater, the people who'd been waiting outside were being allowed inside. So we got our favorite seats in the front row of the stadium section without having to stand in line. Seamless. And then last night after dinner we fired up the hookah Erik got as a birthday present and sat out on the deck and smoked and drank our shots of choice (vodka for him, real German apple schnapps for me) and had a generally wonderful time. I don't know if it was the tobacco we bought or what, but that was definitely the best-tasting hookah I've ever had.

Today was quiet, but I got a lot of things accomplished, and we finally got around to making salsa with tomatoes from the garden. The salsa was sublime. So is the weather. I don't know where it came from, but this weekend it's been unbelievably cool for mid-July -- out here it's usually somewhere in the mid-90s from the end of June right through the middle of September, but both yesterday and today have been about ten degrees below that. All the windows are open, and a sea breeze is blowing through the house. Just lovely.

Back to Dark Knight -- just blown away. I won't go into details because I don't want to spoil those of you who haven't seen it yet, but I thought it was amazing. Actually, the movies this summer have really been of consistently high quality. I'm impressed. I'm not sure what happy combination of circumstance brought about all these consecutive home runs, but as a movie-goer I just want to say, "Thank you, Hollywood."

Now of course I have a rabid DK-based plot bunny that won't leave me alone -- as if I don't have enough on my writing plate already. At least this one would be a one-shot, length probably around 10K or so. Heck, I've done that in three days during Nanowrimo. Guess I'll just have to see how the week pans out.

Still, it's been helpful to have such a lovely, relaxing weekend. Apparently things are moving (albeit slowly) to get me out of the Teen Center. And the new boss man is really impressed with my work -- I did a total cover redesign for him because he wanted the brochure to have a different look, and according to my manager the new boss was so excited about it he was practically doing the Snoopy dance. Fingers crossed that this goodwill results in a quieter and more mentally healthful work environment for me.
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We are actually having Real Weather! (This doesn't happen all that often in Southern California.) Thunder and lightning last night and fairly heavy rain that lasted almost two hours. Of course, the downside is that it's now humid...like, really, really humid, which is atypical for SoCal. I feel like I'm back in New Orleans. It's overcast, which is helping keep the heat down, but it is muy sticky out there. We may get more thunder and lightning and rain tonight. (I'm glad I forgot to water the lawn yesterday morning.)

I've decided I really don't like this haircut. I always do this to myself -- I let it grow out, decide it's boring and needs an update, get it cut, like it for about three days, and then start hating it and hoping it will grow out quickly. The problem is that my hair isn't perfectly straight, and it isn't curly. It has just enough wave to be temperamental (and let's not even get into the frizz factor with the humidity we're having right now). With a layered cut like this, the only thing that seems to work is blow-drying the snot out of it and then beating it into submission with a flat iron. It looks halfway decent then, but I really don't have a half-hour every day to devote to the subjugation of my annoying locks. Meh. I'm about to go out and buy some clip-in extensions. At least that way it will be longer.

Work is still sucking ass. Met with the interim director of Community Services (the previous guy retired a few weeks ago). He sympathizes with my situation but has to "analyze all the ramifications" of moving me from the Pit of Hell before he makes a decision. Heck, if he drags it out long enough, the little darlings will be back in school and we won't have an issue anymore (well, it will still suck in the late afternoons, but two hours of hell is a lot easier to deal with than six or seven). Needless to say, this has me quite depressed, and the hormones aren't helping, either.

Thanks to [profile] aronwy, I came across this great explanation of point of view from Jeff Gerke (aka Jefferson Scott, who apparently is a Christian speculative fiction author). I would never have come across the link without her referencing it in one of her own posts, because the chances of me going out and reading or writing Christian literature are roughly the same as me dyeing my hair blonde, wearing a pink suit, and selling Mary Kay door to door. However, he does have a lot of good writing tips. For those of you who care, I have his ruminations on p.o.v. behind the cut.

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Reason #624 why I need to not be here in the afternoon:

Recreation leader storms in with petulant middle-school boy (is there any other kind?). He said/he said argument erupts as to whether boy in question was throwing balls at the other kids. I let this go on for about two minutes. No resolution in sight. Finally I turn around from my desk and say in my best Grand Admiral tones, "That's it -- I'm trying to work in here. Go yell at each other someplace else!" They both slink out.

I may catch hell for it on Monday, but damn, that felt good.
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I really think this job is going to be the death of me. I'm only midway through the second week of those #$@!! kids being out of school, and I am just so, so tired that I just want to cry. You try dealing with seven hours of kids yelling and playing air hockey while miscellaneous people come slamming in and out of your office all day (seriously, I counted one hour, and someone was in and out of my office 20 times in a hour!). How the fuck am I supposed to work in that? How the hell can these people seriously believe that someone who does their graphic design and PR writing (oh, and let's not forget web design and multimedia projects) can possibly work in that sort of environment?

I've been trying to hang on, but I don't think it's working.  :-( 
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So yesterday I decided I had had enough and whacked a bunch of my hair off. It was just so outgrown and bleh and had absolutely no style. It's still longish, but has a lot more layers. I also got my bangs back. I think I just have to make peace with the fact that I look like shite with no bangs. It's been this love/hate thing where I grow them out, hate it, cut them, get angsty over the fact that no one else seems to have bangs, grow them out again, hate how that looks...and so it goes. But I do like this haircut -- it's got more style than anything else I've had for years. If you've seen Torchwood, it's pretty much Gwen's haircut. Now I just have to hope that it will behave itself when I try to style it tomorrow.

Last night was the 29th birthday party for a gal I work with. The great part is that she lives close enough that we can just walk to her house, so no worries about the whole drinking and driving thing. Of course, the downside is that it was around 105 degrees here yesterday, and it didn't really cool down much even after sunset. I know I must've been feeling the heat, because I got way more plastered after only four (smallish) glasses of wine than I would have normally. She had a full-on karaoke setup because her sister's boyfriend's parents (got all that?) are karaoke nuts, and he brought the "portable" equipment over (I guess they this over-the-top karaoke studio in their garage). My beef was that he didn't really bring much that was in my range (for karaoke I tend to favor Pat Benatar, Madonna, or Heart...and of course Broadway stuff), but we still had fun. I love karaoke. I need to get the usual suspects together for another trip to Little Tokyo and karaoke. Ah, well, the summer is still young (all I can hope is that it won't be this hot the whole time, or my electric bill is going to be from hell, and I won't be able to afford to even go to the movies, let alone L.A. for an expensive night out).

In other news, my father is home from the hospital and doing fine. He keeps grousing about how long his recovery is taking, but come on -- he had two wedges taken out of his left lung. It's not as if you're going to go home from that and enter a marathon or something. But he sounds good and his energy level seems very good, too, so I'm sure he'll be back out on the golf course in the next few weeks.

I had some Musings on Writing that went through my head on Friday and was thinking about posting them here, but now I think the heat has effectively fried them right out of my brain cells. Oh, well.

For those of you on f-list who are reading Quality of Mercy, sorry about the delay. Work has been hell and life way too hectic, and although I've been writing it's all my original stuff. All I can say is that I hope to get back to it soon...I just have to wait for my HP muse to get back from the Bahamas or wherever else she seems to have disappeared.

Phooey

Jun. 18th, 2008 11:20 am
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You know, I really don't understand why these kids can't just play in a park or at a friend's house the way I did when I was that age (or, God forbid, stay inside and read a book).

Annoying entitled brats. Annoying noisy entitled brats. We're not even in our official summer program yet, and already they've managed to pull a bulletin board off the wall and break the door handle to the computer lab.

Bunny Love

May. 16th, 2008 03:50 pm
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Thank God for Fandom Wank, or I'd seriously lose my mind having to sit here in the Pit of Despair.

Unfortunately, other people seem to have lost theirs. Multiple times.

Latest wank includes some scary dude playing Second Life as one of his characters (from a novel or some other thingy), who is female. Female alter ego decides to be a bunnygirl, who finds a bunny prince. They're about to get astrally married or something (not sure how this all works...probably should ask the Snapewives for clarification on that one), when his real-life (well, sort of...it was apparently a long-distance relationship) girlfriend finds out and everything goes splodey. There's way more than that, but I seriously couldn't keep track without a score card. All I know is that it ended up in My Little Pony hate.

Seriously, you can't make this shit up.

Meh

May. 14th, 2008 03:40 pm
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Tired, cranky, and bored. I hate being stuck back in this place in the afternoons just because of political bullshit. Someone needs to explain politely to the powers-that-be around here that graphic designers really don't do their best in a place that echoes with the cacophonous sounds of air hockey, pool, and sixty middle-schoolers screaming at one another. Not to mention all the rec leaders who look on this office as another hallway and not, you know, someone's office. I really don't want to quit, but if it's this bad now I can only imagine how bad it's going to be once the little darlings are out of school for the summer.

I just seriously find it hard to believe that there isn't one open desk someplace else in a city building where I could relocate.

On the other hand, I did see the awesome insult of "obviating fuckbucket" used in a LJ comm today, so it hasn't been all bad. :-P
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...I'm still alive. I realized I hadn't posted anything here for a week, but that's mostly because I really haven't had anything much to say. Work has quieted down a bit, although now I'm trying to build a website for the Teen Center in Dreamweaver, and that's it's own particular party because I'm learning Dreamweaver and CSS at the same time. Luckily they don't want anything fancy (right now we don't even have a page on the city's website, so anything is going to be an improvement). I did OK in GoLive, but CSS is a lot to tackle for someone like me who's a graphic designer, not a programmer. Meh. I do better with the printed page than I do pixels, but even the little bit I've built so far looks better than the city's "official" website, which is in need of a major overhaul. Thankfully, that's not my job, though.

Our tomatoes already have blooms and the cilantro is going nuts; here's hoping we'll have homemade salsa in the next month or so. The little apricot tree Erik planted a couple of years ago is doing wonderfully, too -- we counted at least ten little apricots starting up. And the basket of strawberries hanging from the deck is already producing. We've had a few berries so far. They're much smaller than the store-bought kind, but what they lack in size they more than make up in flavor. They taste just the way strawberries are supposed to taste.

Not writing as much as I'd like to; can't really say why. I don't know if it's the limbo of Erik's job situation, hormones, or what. Maybe it's a combination of all three. I don't really feel depressed about it, although it's annoying because I have all these scenes in my head clear as if I've seen them in a movie, and yet somehow I can't seem to summon the energy to get them out of my brain and into Word. Oh, well. I'm not going to force it -- things will come when they come. In the meantime I'm just going to enjoy myself and allow my muse to take this rest time, if she needs it. I've done some editing for a friend who desperately needs a beta (seriously, why is it some people just can NOT comprehend the concept of closed third person?), and I suppose that helps keep the writing muscles in tone, too. It never hurts to step back every once in a while and go at the process of writing with a different hat on.

And right now the hat I need to put on is my Suzy Homemaker one, as I need to get dinner started. Ta, everyone!
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...and so far I've survived. I think I'm going to have permanent hearing loss from having to turn up the iPod every day around two o'clock in a desperate attempt to drown out the urchins, but at least I haven't wanted to kill any of them. Yet. Also, I hear rumors and undercurrents that I might not be in this locale permanently. I really like everyone I work with, but I'd much rather have a quiet corner in another location. Maybe if I'm a good and patient girl, eventually I'll get switched to someplace that doesn't sound like WW III every day after school lets out.

The plus side is that I've heard some amazing dirt since I've started here (which no doubt will fuel future writings), and since everyone I've worked with has lived here forever and apparently knows everyone else, I get to hear what's going down way before it hits the pavement. That's how I know a new restaurant that has a fabulous number of good beers on tap is going to go into our downtown area, and last night the planning commission was discussing the possibility of opening -- gasp! -- a wine bar in our little downtown as well. Wow, Glendora might actually be getting a night life. Actually, I guess it already has one -- I just didn't know it existed. Apparently there are two places in town that mix great drinks, and one of them (which on the outside looks like a hangout for geriatrics) can get quite jumping at times, since they have dancing. I've already promised the people here that Erik and I would go party with them some time. The upside is that if we get wasted, we can either walk home or call a cab since it's so close. Thus the dangers of partying far from home are negated.

Now I'm actually getting excited about Nano. Part of it is that I have a lot of downtime at work right now, since the main project I'll be working on doesn't start until November 2nd (great timing...groan). So I've been trolling the Nano boards and trying to get my energy levels back up. I really should be working on my Snape story, but I'm finding it difficult to write here, so I figure if I at least roam around the Nano website I'll be getting myself in the mood. I'll try to get back to the dear Professor this weekend.

In other news, it got all hot and nasty here again after it had been so nice and cool. Well, that's October in Southern California for you. It's always all over the place. I just hope that after this round of Santa Ana winds clears out we can settle down into a nice autumn, because I HATE hot Halloweens. Those are just the worst! (Crosses fingers and thinks good thoughts of a cool, gray, misty All Hallow's Eve...) 
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Well, I realized I hadn't posted much of anything in here lately and figured I'd better drop in for an update.

The new job is going well. Of course there's a period of adjustment, since this is a very different work environment from anything else I've ever done. I'm working for the Community Services department in my town, doing desktop publishing and general PR work. I really like the work itself, but since my office is located in the Teen Center, it can get a little chaotic. Thank God for my iPod! The quiet hours are early in the morning, since we don't open to the public until 10. Even then it's usually fairly placid until around 2 in the afternoon, which is when the urchins start showing up. (I say "urchins" because even though they call this the Teen Center, it's really for middle-school kids.) At that point I usually boost the volume on the iPod. :-P Also, this is a very chatty bunch. I share my office with a nice girl who's quite a bit younger than I am (she's in her late 20s), but she's fairly loud as well. Now, I'm a social person, but I also need my down time, so let's just say that some days are better than others. ;-)

The good news is that I'm fairly certain I'll be able to work on my Nano a little bit each day in the mornings before anyone else gets here. (Annie, my office mate, doesn't start until 10.) My manager usually gets in around 8, but since he sequesters himself in the back of the building in his own office most of the time, I don't anticipate many interruptions. The bad news is that November is crunch time here -- it's when the big brochure/catalog that has all the upcoming Community Services classes and events is produced, so we'll just have to see how much time I actually can squeeze out in the mornings, since obviously work comes first. I'm going to have to adjust my writing rhythms somewhat, as I tend to be more of a late afternoon/evening writer when given the choice, but I suppose this will help me to get disciplined about writing whenever I have a few spare moments and not just at my preferred time.    

I wasn't feeling hugely enthusiastic about Nano, but now that I've roamed around the forums a bit, I'm starting to feel more energized. My FMC is developing well...I'm starting to hear her voice, although this one's going to be written in third person, unlike last year's novel. Again I'm stuck not knowing exactly what genre this even is. I'm probably going to identify more with the chick lit forums, just because I think that's more the sensibility that's going to infuse this novel, but it's really going to be a mix of chick lit/sci fi/paranormal/mystery/romance. Take that, publishing industry and your annoying narrow little genres!

No wonder I can't sell anything. :-P

My final question is this -- should I do another f-locked LJ writing journal the way I did with Sympathy last year, or should I just say screw it? I know it's hard for those of us doing Nano to keep up with each other's journals because the actual writing of the Nano novel pretty much takes up all of our spare time. Hmm...I guess I still have a couple of weeks to figure it out.

I'm just glad I finally got my Snape/Hermione fic updated. I realized it had been almost a month! Oy. Well, that's what happens when you're trying to finish up one story and then have to start a new job. I'm hoping to get at least a couple more chapters done before Nano swallows me whole.

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