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Monday, December 13, 2010

Status Report Monday (12 days of Christmas?!)

Apparently, there are 12 days until Christmas. And I haven't gotten much of anything for those important in my life. I feel like a crappy person. It would be so much easier if I wasn't running around like a lunatic trying to help everyone and make everyone else happy.

But alas, it is not meant to be so.

I do have the compulsion to write, and actually dusted off my manuscript the other day, so perhaps I will get something done by the New Year.

Two guesses what this year's New Year's Resolution's going to be.

And now, back to work.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Status Report Monday (brr, it's cold)

Dear December,
We are not friends. We will likely never be friends. If you could stop making my hands so chapped that it's painful to do even the simplest of tasks, that'd be great.
Hugs and Kisses,

In other news, kicked some major ass on my first EMT interim, as well as the skills exam. Bring it.

I am hoping to have a little time this week to actually get some writing done, as it has been niggling at the back of my mind, but I've been running on full speed for the last month or so, so it's unlikely, though I do still hold out hope.

My company holiday party is this Saturday, and I'm actually really looking forward to it. It's rare that I get to dress up, and I'm excited about it.

That's all for now. Stay warm, kiddies.


ps - if I see another snowflake, no matter how tiny and insignificant, I may just cry.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Status Report Monday (WOOO)

Grandma's finally home from the hospital after being ill for over a year.

Tonight, we celebrate.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Status Report Monday (keep running)

I managed to forget last Monday was a Monday and didn't update. Whoops. Sorry about that. I've been so insanely busy these days, it's not even funny.

My grandmother was supposed to come home from rehabilitation this past Saturday but instead ended up in the ICU. In Queens. Which notoriously hates me. So I spent all of last week scrubbing and disinfecting her house for her return only for the frustrating disappointment of getting to visit a new hospital (and I won't even start my rant on how I'm amazed that certain people ever managed to graduate medical school).

Other than that, I finally finished reading (and taking notes on) the 200 textbook pages about treating a trauma patient and, upon re-copying of my notes, feel like I can't remember anything. I'm only having a slight panic attack.

I'm dying to do some writing, but, plain and simple, I have NO TIME o do anything, and when I do have a little bit of time, I try to get some sleep in here and there. Sleep is such a waste of time.

Anyway, hopefully, I will be able to sit down and get some writing done (in between studying and whatnot), and be able to post a little something here to whet your appetites.


PS - The new My Chemical Romance album FINALLY dropped today and it's phenomenal. Now I just have to wait for the North American tour to make it to a venue I can actually get to.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Status Report Monday (armed with a plethora of insecurities)

It was snowing this morning. I was displeased. And slightly frozen.

I haven't had a chance to look at Harem lately, and that's been driving me up a wall. I'm completely focused on studying for my EMT course that I lose all track of time and my intentions are shot to hell.

And the thing is, I know why I'm working so hard on studying, even though I probably don't need to (and people keep telling me I don't need to). I'm a bit scared that I'm going to screw up somehow. Sort of how it's so easy to put aside whatever writing project I'm working on because I am so uncertain and insecure about how good it is. There's this niggling of failure in the back of my mind that leaves me constantly worrying if what I'm doing is good enough.

I'm sure that once the class is over and I start to actually EMT and get into the routine of responding to calls and doing paperwork and any number of other things, the persistent insecurity that lives in my head will quiet to a manageable level. Just like when I sit down and actually finish Harem (and get over the "Oh my god, I just want to light it on fire" reaction I have with all my completed work), the anxiety associated with finishing my first novel-length work will dull.

Long story short: I try to hard when I'm feeling insecure about something. Anything, really.

Back to work... maybe I'll actually get a chance to do some writing this week.


ps - the song the parenthetical came from:
Motion City Sountrack - Make Out Kids

Monday, November 1, 2010

Status Report Monday (wheeeeeee)

*angry wookie noise*

Dear Everyone,

No, I am not over-extending myself. I'm actually doing quite well balancing (most) everything. I am perfectly capable of prioritizing and getting what needs to be done completed. Please stop telling me that I am not capable of doing everything that I'm doing.

It just makes me angry.

And you won't like me when I'm angry.

I know my limits. I know that if I can, I will help you out as much as I can. If I tell you I can't do something, I'm not blowing you off, I'm being honest.

I am perfectly capable of doing all the things that I need to get done; stop adding your crap on top of mine.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Status Report Monday (busy work for busy people)

No, I haven't accomplished anything on my novel. I know, I'm pissed off about that too. I can rattle off answers about airway like nobody's business, though. So I guess that's a plus.

I did come up with a really cool idea for a short story that I should put down on paper, but won't due to the fact that I don't have any time to do so in the next.... month. The general idea is currently scribbled down on a post-it note stuck to the mirror in my bedroom and a brain storm is saved in instant messenger (thank god for automatic logging).

So yes. I realize I have been a terrible writer as of late, but hopefully I will be able to schedule my time a little more efficiently in order to make at least a little progress. Anyone know the most effective way to function on three hours of sleep on a daily basis without completely losing one's mind?


Monday, October 18, 2010

Status Report Monday (do not pass go, do not collect $200)

Dear sinuses:
Yours in anguish,

I have been completely consumed by studying my EMT textbook. The airway chapter could be worded more interestingly, especially since airway IS the most important part of basic life support. But you know, whatever.

That being said, I haven't had any time to work on Harem. The lack of time combined with my plan to completely overhaul the current section I'm revising has brought me to a bit of a standstill.

Also, the stuffy nose isn't helping.

In other news, I hate the Friends Zone. I currently have at least five VIP parking passes. In some cases, this is fine. In others, it's frustrating. I'd rather have VIP parking passes at a nice restaurant. Or the movies. Or 7-11.

I really love 7-11.

Anyway, while not always bad, the Friends Zone is one of the most frustrating things ever encountered.

Well, I'm back to work. I'll be considerably more productive when I can breathe.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Status Report Monday (yeah, cuz you're a real chubster)

So, apparently, my weight is a matter of national concern. Everyone I see tells me I'm too skinny. I'm not; promise. It's just the ridiculously large uniform I'm wearing.

However, I did realize today that I don't own a single pair of pants that I can wear without a belt. Problematic.

Writing has been coming along. It has taken a little bit of a back seat last week as I was trying to get into a groove concerning EMT class. I think I finally have a good schedule worked out and will be able to get everything I need to get done accomplished.

Here's to hoping.

That being said, Monday has quickly become the busiest and most stressful day of the week. So I will be off.


PS - I'm trying to set up an ambulance ride-along for Halloween. Simultaneously the best and worst idea ever.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Status Report Monday (return from the void)

So, I kind of disappeared for a while there.

Last week was super busy, and for the next six months, it's not going to be any better.

I start EMT class tomorrow, for which I am extremely enthused. I'm hoping that the added structure will help me manage my time better, because at the moment I have what seems like a lot of time and I end up wasting it doing nothing. I always seem to work better under pressure.

I went up to Massachusetts this past weekend to visit my brother. We did a lot of hiking, which was fun. Then I got lost in the Bronx on the way back, which was less fun. And then Queens tried to erase my existence by sending me on roads that didn't exist. Thanks, GPS, you were useless.

That's really it for now. I'll try to update this as frequently as I used to (give or take the Prompt Fridays), but if I disappear for a bit, it's only my busy schedule speaking.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Status Report Monday (you're full of shit, you know that?)

Lie: "You won't feel a thing" when told to you by people armed with tools that can do the following: clip, snip, pinch, and/or scrape.

Truth: Powering through Harem revisions. Already killed a pen.

Lie: Unicorns are real.

Truth: You know where to find me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prompt Friday (Cancelled)

Yeah... still nothing to report here; still taking a break from prompt fills.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Question Wednesday

Postponed. Sorry. I was stuck at the doctor for a very long time tonight.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Status Report Monday (lists)

Because I feel like making a list.

1. Harem is coming along. I am editing in an attempt to get back into the groove and didn't realize just how much I wrote. Whoops.

2. I got a new phone! Woo. It's just for texting, though, because apparently, that's the only way I speak to people these days and was therefore about to incur enormous overage fees (thanks Verizon). Also, this phone has a QWERTY keyboard, so there will be no more awkward messages brought to you by predictive text.

3. I hate triangles.

4. EMT class starts in 2 weeks and 1 day. I am extremely excited. Excited to the point that I have already started studying. And made my grandmother help.

5. Autumn is the best. Even though I am slightly allergic to it.

6. I am still wishing that I could function with less sleep. Anyone have any solutions to that other than massive amounts of coffee? Because I'm already doing that.

7. At the gas station the other day, I saw a woman pull a bluefish the size of my thigh out of the back of her Expedition. That's it. It was strange.

8. These signs are now posted at my workplace. You should post them at yours as well. Make someone smile today.

9. I really, really hate triangles.

10. Sorry I haven't been posting anything for Prompt Friday lately. I just am not in the mood to split my attention even more than it already is. If I make a little more headway on Harem I may re-institute Prompt Friday.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Prompt Friday (Cancelled)

...working on Harem.

Do Not Disturb...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: If Doctor Who started from scratch today, what would they use for a TARDIS (rather than a Police call box)?...or, if you prefer, if the TARDIS' Chameleon Circuit were working, what shape would it take in the 21st century?

A: First off, I hope they never replace the blue police box. It just wouldn't be Doctor Who without that funny blue box.

But, if the TARDIS needed an entire overhaul (or the Doctor finally got around to fixing that faulty Chameleon Circuit) I think there are a few amusing choices for what the TARDIS would look like.

1. A Ford Fiesta. And, of course, the Doctor would be played by Jeremy Clarkson.

2. A Mini Cooper. Truly taking the 'it's bigger on the inside!' to the extreme. I can just imagine the Doctor stepping (awkwardly) out of the front door (or back hatch) of the Mini, followed close by his companion. Much like the Blue Police Box, it would only blend in during certain time periods, and would definitely confuse the hell out of Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and the Sycorax.

3. A Rickshaw. I don't know, I just think it would be funny. That would certainly be a very quirky Doctor.

4. A Bus Shelter. I'm not sure how that would work, exactly -- it would probably involve containment force fields and perception filters.

Anyone else have any thoughts? Leave them in the comments.

And a little Trock (Time Lord Rock) by the original Trock band, Chameleon Circuit, for your listening pleasure:


Monday, September 13, 2010

Status Report Monday (coffeeeee)

Coffee the size of my forearm + starting my at-home work 2 hours late + crazy day from hell + still needing to shower = that strange gurgly noise in the back of my throat.

x -nic

Friday, September 10, 2010

Prompt Friday (Cancelled)

My grandmother has been having some health issues in the last couple of days, so I'm going to spend some time with her. I do not plan ahead, like I really should, so there isn't a post ready. I'm still feeling a bit burnt out as it is, and don't want to subject you all to reading utter crap.

You're welcome.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q:What is the best surprise you've ever received?


Off the top of my head, I can't really say what the best surprise I've ever received was. Unfortunately, I usually figure out the surprise before it has a chance to get its confetti off the ground. So, barring massive-surprises, I think the best surprise is finding money in the pocket of a sweatshirt/pants that you haven't worn in a really long time. It's extraordinarily satisfying to find an extra twenty bucks...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Status Report Monday (day off!)

Happy Labor Day, Americans and Canadians! Hope everyone had a good holiday (or at least a good Monday), and I will return later this week, when my sunburn heals.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Prompt Friday (Cancelled)

Sorry, I've had a headache for three days thanks to Hurricane Earl screwing with the barometric pressure, and I'm feeling a bit burnt out. Perhaps we'll return to our full, regularly scheduled program next week.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: In the alternate universe of your life, what would be different?

First and foremost, I'd definitely be a blonde. Now, for those of you who know me, think on that for a while. Reaaaaally chew it over and ponder it.

...Yeah, it's hard to imagine.

I'd also probably be a lot more shy and a lot less prone to sexual innuendo as a main form of communication. Other than that, I think I would remain mostly unscathed. My brother may in fact end up as my sister in a mirror!verse situation... but that's really neither here nor there.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Status Report Monday (get in the la chupacabra so i can buy you a DRANK)

I bought a car today. I own a car. It's all mine. My very first car.

... It's still sinking in.

The as-yet-unnamed '02 Nissan Pathfinder is looking very at home in my driveway. :D

In other news, I'm actually getting work done on Anomaly. It's been a banner week so far.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Pins and Wards"


"Pins and Wards"

It hung, innocently, around her neck. No matter how long it lay against the pale skin of her sternum, the silver remained cold, unaffected by her body heat.

The key was simple: the bow wasn't ornate and the bit showed a few signs of wear. The only indication of the true age of the key was the tarnish that left black smudges on the silver.

She had not been in possession of the key long. When it had been originally entrusted to her, the cool metal of the key unnerved her, resting uncomfortably between her breasts, distracting and disorienting. It was heavier than it appeared, and it took her a long while to grow accustomed to the feel of it. She liked to think that the key was so deceptively heavy because the secrets it protected were so important. It made the ever-present responsibility of guarding the key bearable.

The key was anxious. It could feel the ever-growing, near-magnetic tug. The warded lock it belonged to was close, and growing closer.

nt - 8/27/10

Notes: I have a bit of a thing for skeleton keys. I like the old-world, gothic romance of them. Thanks for the solid on finding that image, Google.

In other news, I really want THIS.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: If you could have a way of getting around that isn't car, bus, plane, scooter, etc., how would you get around?

My first, and probably only, choice for non-traditional mode of transportation is dragon.

When other little girls wanted a pony, I wanted a dragon. Because they fly and breathe fire and turn your stupid little pony into barbeque. And I do love me some barbeque.


But think about it: dragons can do it all. They can fly, walk, run, swim and thoroughly defeat all other traffic. Now, when going down the highway, your vehicle is DEFINITELY bigger than the other guy's. (Which means you have the right of way, for those non-drivers or drivers who live in polite areas of the world).

Upkeep may be difficult, however, as it would require a small flock of sheep on a daily basis to keep one's dragon up and running. And I won't talk about how challenging it would be to keep on top of... emissions... standards.

Much to my chagrin, however, dragons are way out of my price range. I am, however, currently in the vehicle market. I wanted a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but apparently they are catching on fire or something else unfortunate, so it's back to the drawing board. Tonight, we shall check out the Nissan Pathfinder.

Also, I am back to work on Harem, for those who were wondering what it was, exactly, that I was up to, in terms of writing. I decided to re-read all the beginning chapters in an attempt to get back into the swing of the story, and have so far ended up editing more than swinging. It's probably for the best, though, since upon 287394th read of my manuscript, I have discovered the following:

1. Pretty heinous sentence.
2. Really terrible characterization.
3. Awful dialogue.
4. Repetition!
5. A small monkey.

Anyway, much to do before I return to the scary world of car shopping!


Bitchin' dragon pic googled from the internet and brought to you by Draconika

Monday, August 23, 2010

Status Report Monday (the saddest songs)

Okay, I promise, I am trying my hardest to get work done. Really. I have to work job #2 tonight, and hopefully squeeze some car shopping in, but I'm getting back into the flow of things. I've decided to shelve Anomaly for now because it's pissing me off to no end, so Harem will have a little time out in the sunshine.

Or rain, as it were, since it is blustery here. I love this weather. It's a million times better than the icky summer heat we've been having.

I've also been listening to a lot of sad-ish songs lately. Not sure why, exactly, as I'm not in a sad mood. Sometimes sad music is just more fun to listen to. The gray is certainly helping set the tone as well.

And now, I must away to accomplish the nine hundred things I need to get done in the next five to eight hours.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Eyes"



"It's staring again."

"Maddy, it's a doll, it can't stare at you."

They sat, staring at the small doll in front of them. The mouths were molded open, gasping. The instructor moved around the room, pointing out issues and correcting technique.

"Liz, it's like it's staring into my soul."

Liz sighed and turned her attention to the mannequin in front of her. Maddy stared down at her own dummy, watching as its limbless body twitched sinisterly.

nt - 8/20/10

Notes: Pediatric CPR dolls are creepy.
Were there five of these strapped into seats on my 'lette today? Yes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q:How's that writing going?

Hahahaha... about that. I'm in the middle of car shopping. Because I start EMT school in 2 months and I want to have a vehicle, JUST IN CASE. That and I want my own car.

Excuses, I know. I'm working on it.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Status Report Monday (oh hai, ny)

I have returned. Nothing new has happened in terms of writing. I will get stuff done this week. Promise.

x - nic

Friday, August 6, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Body Snatchers from Mars"

"Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy."
"Body Snatchers from Mars"

Woke up and immediately did not recognize my surroundings. That can't be good. The last time that happened, I was stranded in the middle of a highly active sheep pasture.

Let me be the first to tell you that sheep bite hard.

I struggled to my feet, swaying slightly with the usual post-abduction headache. You would think that an advanced species that can travel through light years of space in mere minutes would be able to develop a tractor beam that didn't leave its target feeling like they'd just been clubbed with the business end of a baseball bat.

I was in a very large bedroom -- scratch that, hotel room, judging by the room service carts in the corner -- that was trying its best for a French Baroque look but was falling short. It was probably for the best.

I patted myself, taking stock of my pockets. I pulled a wallet out of my pocket with unfamiliar hands. Uh-oh. I pulled out the license: Sean John Combs.

Well, that was certainly new.

nt - 8/6/10

Notes: I can't believe that I actually had an in-depth discussion about what would happen if you actually DID wake up feeling like P. Diddy. As in body-swapped. Thanks, Ke$ha. Thanks a lot.

In other news, I will be absent from the internet for a week. No, I haven't died. Be back 8/16.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q:How are you?

Friggin' awesome. 'Nuff said. Today, unfortunately, consists of cleaning, but I think Anomaly and I are going to have some quality time later.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Status Report Monday (if i button the top button, i'll get nothing done)

I don't think my boss realizes that I'm an effective 'team leader' because of the fact that I start buttoning my uniform shirt at button #3. Otherwise, he wouldn't have told me to button it today. Me, being me, couldn't help but sass him.

I mean, really. How do you think I get everything done? I need foam and duct tape? ACTIVATE BUTTON #3! Need prompt service at the bank? GO GO GADGET BUTTON #3! Need the mechanic to look at something wonky with my van? *CUE SEXAPHONE MUSIC* ENTER STAGE LEFT: BUTTON #3! Free coffee? BUTTON #3!

Needless to say, I haven't buttoned my button.

Writing has been going. Kind of. Anomaly is coming along, but I hate it again, so blah. I will forge ahead, however. I really want to sit down and work on Harem because the longer I'm away from it, the more I will probably forget what I was writing in the first place, and I'll totally lose my flow. Lame.

I should go get on that, actually.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Prompt Friday: cancelled

Migraine = death to brain cells. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q:Where are you?


Self-imposed absence from the internet for tonight. *work work work*

Monday, July 26, 2010

Status Report Monday (my kingdom for a nap)

In the last two days, I have had a grand total of 7 hours of sleep. And two of those hours were really crappy, so they barely count. Blessedly, it's a quiet day at work, so I actually got to go home today.

I have actually been getting some writing done, despite the fact that it's limping along. It is also no longer 900 degrees out, so hopefully, the weather will stay like this (with no humidity) for the next.... forever. Dunkin Donuts coffee coolatas are the greatest thing ever (with no milk).

And now, it's nap time.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Mr. Tallyman"

"Go get me a banana. No, actually, two bananas."
"Mr. Tallyman"

"You are not MacGuyver. This is never going to work."

"No, no. TRUST me, this will totally work. Can you chew that gum any faster?"

"This is the third piece of gum, my jaw hurts, so no."

"Alright, fine. While you chew that, go get me a banana. No, actually, two bananas."

"Where the hell do you expect me to find a banana?"

"Seven-Eleven? Here's a dollar. Stop giving me that look. Here's twenty cents, too. Bananas. Go."

"This is definitely not going to work."


nt - 7/23/10

Notes: This actually happened at work today (the banana-fetching, not the rest of it). I wish I was kidding. People friggin' owe me. I can't even begin to describe how absurd my job is sometimes.

Short and sweet today... Anomaly is getting a little quality time with my caffeinated brain.

"The Banana Boat Song" by Harry Belafonte is surprisingly relevant to this post.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q:Hey, Nic, whatchya reading?

A: The Night Watch Series by Sergei Lukyanenko (who is totally rocking the pipe and extra-Russian moustache).

So, quick summary:
The world is divided into normal humans and Others. Others have special powers, such as shape-shifting, magic, etc. These Others are divided into two separate factions: Light and Dark. A treaty was signed decades ago to balance the two forces, and they are monitored by the Night Watch and the Day Watch. The Night Watch is comprised of the Light ones, monitoring the actions of the Dark Others, and the Day Watch is comprised of the Dark ones, monitoring the actions of the Light Others. They work to keep balance of the Light/Dark powers in Moscow.

Of course, there are plots afoot -- on both sides -- and the line between Light and Dark is blurring.

As with most Russian literature, the Night Watch series feels distinctly Russian. I know that sounds oxymoronic, but hear me out: Russian literature has a distinct feel that isn't captured by American or British or Spanish or any other kind of literature. I don't think a story like this would feel at home quite as much as it does in Moscow. There is something about the bleak attitude of Russians that seems to be expressed in their literature. No other country has really had to deal with such a complete, major political overhaul in the last fifty years as Russia has*, and it's obvious in the literature. After communism and bread lines and all the other stuff they've had to deal with, that attitude seems apparent in the literature. And it works.

The story is multi-faceted, and you don't sympathize with one side or the other: you can see what it is that each side is attempting to accomplish, and how they may think that it's for the betterment of their cause (which is better than the cause of the other side). And often, these causes overlap and Light and Dark are forced to work together, in a twisted sort of way. And as often as the plot is unfolded before you, it will frequently take a drastic left turn, and leave you with a desire to read more.

That being said, I have finished Night Watch and Day Watch (books 1 &2) and am about to go start Twilight Watch (and need to order Last Watch because I don't own it already for some reason), and I love it. Now I have to go take a bath so I can start Twilight Watch.


*Yes, I know that there are other countries that have experienced political upheaval and the like, but I think that only Russia has successfully made the transition from one form of government to the other; especially without the 'help' of outside, international forces. Because everyone knows you should never get involved in a land war in Asia."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Status Report Monday (oh, hey, it's monday)

Forgot that today was Monday, therefore, I apologize for the late nature of this post.

Nothing new to report. Had a small brainstorm for Anomaly but haven't done anything with it yet, as I'm currently avoiding that project like especially obnoxious in-laws. Harem has also been getting some brain-time, but no writing time, so, perhaps I will actually accomplish something this week. I almost got something done today, but I had to deal with elder care attorneys instead, and lost all my writing time. Huzzah.

In other news, it rained today. Absolutely poured. By far, my favorite type of weather.

Also, I got my official letter for EMT school, which I will be starting in October. I'm really excited.

And now, I must away to bed for I am exhausted.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Stockholm, 2009"

I didn't intend on kidnapping anyone.
"Stockholm, 2009"

The session of Riksdag had let out fifteen minutes ago, and the area was just beginning to clear. The Green Party were all very chatty.

I crossed the bridge, feigning an intense conversation on my cell phone. I had intended to use the old 'listening to my iPod' approach to my recon mission, but I had forgotten the device back in my hotel room. That, in addition to the fact that my flight had been delayed two days due to some sort of severe ice storm was throwing my entire mission into shambles, and it had barely even begun.

I cozy-ed up to the nearest stretch of non-populated railing, rested my elbows on the freezing concrete and waited, rambling on in Greek about my grocery list. I had just begun a somewhat long-winded ode to the cucumbers I was planning on purchasing the next time I needed to stock the fridge at the safe house when I saw my mark.

She stuck out like a sore thumb in the sea of Nordic blondes: fiery red hair bobbing higher in the crowd -- just above super model height, just below professional basketball player -- her lavender jacket a flashing beacon in a sea of somber, professional black pea coats. Someone next to her said something, and she turned her head to acknowledge them, sending a wave of hair dancing through the winter air, before her light laughter floated over the water to where I stood on the bridge. A few moments later, and she passed me just as I was running out of good things to say about Sweden's impeccable lingonberry jam.

I clicked my cell phone shut and dropped into step behind her.

The politicos and business people she was surrounded by started to fall away and go their separate ways as the group traveled further from the Riksdag, and soon, she was walking alone down the darkening street, swerving gracefully between foot traffic. I quickened my pace to match her longer strides.

She took two quick turns, and I almost lost her, but with a short jog, I caught sight of her long red hair whisking around a corner. I closed the gap, reaching into my pocket for my small taser, but as I rounded the corner, I had a split second of clarity before I hit the ground, curling in upon myself, moaning in excruciating pain. I made a mental note to no longer use a taser, if this was how much it actually hurt.

I came to just in time to see a flash of vibrant red hair close the trunk of a car. In the sudden darkness, I heard her mumble to herself, in perfect English: "I never intended to kidnap anyone...."

nt - 7/16/10

Notes: I am unmotivated to write. It's just too damn hot.

*Prompt taken from the very lovely blog, Let the Words Flow

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q:Why are you home so late?


So, V'Ger's ramp died today. Twice. So she's in the shop to get fixed. Again. So I had to get a different van for tomorrow morning. And the first van was dead because some idiot left the lights on. Now I'm in a monstrous tin can that shakes and clicks and veers. Of course, there was NO GAS in the van.

And now it's time to make dinner and sob into my Mello Yello.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Status Report Monday (naps are the real enemy)

Wow, it's Monday again.

Brief, bulleted update for today since I am super behind on everything and life (mostly because I didn't work on Saturday, so I ended up taking an EPIC NAP and haven't been my normal perky, productive self since).

-> Anomaly is kind of pissing me off. I just don't think I'm cut out for writing screenplays. Maybe if I write it as a novel first? I don't even know. I don't want to take any more time off from this project, since I feel like it's practically moving in slo-mo and backwards at times, but I also feel like everything else -- including my motivation to write -- is being negatively affected by it. I'm trying a new approach, so we'll see what happens. sigh

-> Harem is calling to me, begging me to dust it off. I think I will. Anomaly gets one more chance before I put it on the back burner (and turn the burner on).

-> I got quasi-offered a quasi-promotion at work. Essentially, I would have an office job in the middle of the day. I spent some time thinking about it before ultimately deciding that if it is (officially) offered to me that I'll take it. Despite the fact that I'll have less time to write, I hate being at home and the negative vibes associated with it, so I think my overall productivity and creativity may actually increase. I'm making sure that my need for flexibility when it comes to the office schedule is understood, as well, so that if I need to pop out to run errands, I can still make that happen.

-> My current living situation is driving me entirely out of my skull.

-> I spent more money in the last month than I did in the last 10 months since I graduated from college. I'm not sure what that says, exactly, but I think it's not necessarily looking good for grad school. I'm sort of tired of school and the rat race, and I kind of like just working a day job and writing at night. And if something wonderful comes from my writing, then so be it. Otherwise, I'll just move on. The future is wide and exciting. I'll get there when I get there.

And now I'm off to do some (paid) work and some (writing) work.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Prompt Friday: "On the Morrow"

July in the city is usually a time when...
"On the Morrow"

July in the city is usually a time when you truly notice that there are a few corners that smell of cat vomit.

Unfortunately, my office is located on that corner.

The extreme heat does nothing for the massive stench that permeates the city air. Instead, it only amplifies the overwhelming urine smell that wafts through the open window behind my desk. My private eye firm doesn't rake in enough money for me to afford air conditioning, so instead, I'm left with an open window and the desperate attempts of a twenty-year old oscillating fan that's so far beyond its last legs that whenever I turned it on, it made this awful whirring-clanking-shattering noise. I was tempted to just let it stay off, despite the fact that it was easily triple digits outside with 500% humidity. I felt constantly strangled by the sticky heat and the frizz of my hair and the piles of paperwork that weren't getting any smaller, no matter how many all-nighters I pulled in my closet-sized office.

I climbed out onto the fire escape with a mug of coffee that was easily three hours old, yet no colder than when I first poured it. The air outside was still hot, but less suffocating. It was time for a vacation. Actually, it was time for a vacation almost six months ago, when I had a week of downtime between cases. I sipped at my coffee. I was my own boss -- vacation time was neither here nor there. If you wanted something done, and done right, you had to do it yourself.

The phone rang inside my office, and I clambered back through the window to answer it. Any business is good business, I say.

"Hello?" I answered, trying not to sound breathless. "Yeah, this is Felicia Morrow.... Yes, I'm available.... I'll be there in ten minutes." I hung up and grabbed my leather jacket (I needed to keep up appearances) before heading out the door.

nt - 7/09/10

Notes: Partially inspired by The Dresden Files, and the trailer for The Sorcerer's Apprentice which I feel like is the closest thing to a Dresden Files movie that I'm ever going to get. Maybe I'll do something with Felicia in the future....

*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q:Did you fall in?

A: This was a question posed to me last night when I suddenly disappeared from the internet. I happened to also be in the bathtub at the same time (what? I can multitask: bathe, read and IM... why do you ask?).

So, the funny thing is, shit always goes down when I am in the shower (or bathtub, I guess). Important phone call? Soapy. Fedex guy just got to the house with that package I've been waiting a week and a half for? Let me rinse the shampoo from my hair. Door-to-door religious fanatics come a-knocking? Not even thinking about showering.

This unlucky turn of events has left me with many good stories, but here are two of my favorite.

Senior year of college, I'm living on the second floor of a duplex, with five other girls, above five guys. I go to shower, and about halfway through, the fire alarm goes off. And not the 'No worries, it's just a fire drill!' alarm, the all-out, there be flames! alarm. In the end, I got to spend a good half hour outside on the front lawn in naught but a towel whilst we watched the fire department remove the boys' stove. Which they had set on fire. Which then sat on the front lawn for a week. Because they were no longer allowed to cook. And while everyone else complained about having to be outside for so long, I had the trump card: "Well, at least you have clothes!"

And now to the story from last night which prompted this rambling response. Since it was about 1938485003 degrees outside yesterday, I decided to take a cool bath in order to prevent myself from passing out (yes, it was that hot). And, being the internet addict that I am, I brought my computer in with me (mostly for music, but I was also mid-chat with a few people). I'm practically done with my bath when BAM -- lights out. Totally dark (save for the super-convenient screen of my computer). My dad thought it was a good time to come knock on the door and inform me we were having a black out. In case I had missed that fact in the pitch-black, closet-sized bathroom I was in.

Well, now it's time for me to go try to be productive.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Status Report Monday (happy fifth of july!)

Since Independence Day was on a Sunday, apparently everyone in the US has the day off today. Except me (and a select few others who are also displeased). Also, it has gotten ridiculously hot out again. I am perfecting my 'dazed' look. I just want to crawl into the shade and nap.

Meanwhile, back in the writing world....

I have made some pathetic attempts at getting more of Anomaly written. It's really just not coming tome these days. I have the character voice down in my head, but not the motivation to actually do any work. I'm going to blame the heat.

Also, I'm getting really tired of everyone telling me that I'm not living up to my potential. I know this. I realize this. I'm doing it on purpose. I am taking a break from being the goody-two-shoes honor roll kid. I just want a break from being a prodigy or whatever else everyone expects of me so that I can do some normal things for a while. So please stop asking. And judging. I'm doing just fine, thanks.

Harem is back on the back-back burner again. I want to get Anomaly out of the way, first, but that's going poorly, so maybe I'll pick up Harem for a bit....

In other news, I've finally gotten around to some pleasure reading. I've had Daywatch by Sergei Lukyanenko lying around for a while. Thank goodness for Russian fantasy.

Maybe I'll go get something done now...


Friday, July 2, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Betwixt"

He had a scar...

He had a scar on his chest, just over his heart; a perfect circle the precise circumference of the mouth of a pint glass from Jessup's. Mostly because the scar did come from a Jessup pint glass. Brody never told anyone about how he'd gotten that scar. It was easy enough to hide, anyway. It was always covered by his shirt in public, and, at this point, was so heal-faded that if anyone saw him bare-chested, that they usually noticed the fact that his left nipple was almost a good inch higher than the right one.

Brody lived over his pubs his entire life. His father, Petey, owned the infamous Reilly O'Reilly's until Brody was eight and Pa went bankrupt. A good Irishman never turns down a good Irish whiskey, but one too many rounds on the house makes for a poor business plan. They moved into his Uncle Seamus' apartment until they got back on their feet, but the call of good Sir Jameson from downstairs was too strong for Brody's Pa. Uncle Seamus just nodded quietly and turned the living room into a more permanent bedroom.

Brody's scar only hurt during a waning crescent moon. It was only a dull ache, but it was still there, itching away under his skin like pointed fingernails on a particularly ticklish patch of skin. Uncle Seamus told him to rub Guinness on it, to appease the old Celtic gods. Despite the fact that Brody scoffed at the idea, it actually worked. The hollow sound his chest made when he rubbed his fingers over the spot was disconcerting, as was the silence in his ribcage.

Pa's drinking always got worse when the money got better. Brody knew his father could be highly motivated, but only if there was a huge obstacle in his path. Deirdre, the woman who owned Jessup's, saw the truth of the matter, too. She was constantly threatening to fire Petey, and that kept him on the straight and narrow long enough for Brody to finish out high school in one place. The graduation party was another story entirely. Petey was passed out under the pool table, Uncle Seamus refused to drive the fifteen minutes (in the rain) to pick his alcohol-sodden brother up off yet another sticky floor, Deirdre was making a face that highlighted just how well she could simultaneously purse her lips and narrow her eyes, and Brody was ushering all of his friends quietly out the door.

"I wish he would stop drinking," he whispered to Dierdre, once the pub was empty. She looked at him for a moment, out of the corner of her eye, before pursing her lips once more for emphasis.

"Come with me."

Brody was confused, but followed her behind the bar. "What're you doing?" he asked as she sliced a lime and rubbed it around the edge of a clean pint glass.

Without speaking, she whirled into Brody's personal space, slamming the rim of the pint glass against his chest, murmuring under her breath in a language he didn't understand.


Before he could finish, there was a terrible, stinging pain all around the edge of the glass, burning into his skin, through his shirt. Brody tried to pull away, startled and in agonizing pain, but his body wouldn't cooperate, and the burning turned into a straining pull against his squirming skin.

Petey never understood what was so appealing about the taste of alcohol. He also didn't understand why he woke up staring at the underside of a pool table.

Before it burned down, Jessup's was famous for the automated life-sized human heart that the owner, Dierdre, kept over the bar, next to a bottle of Bailey's that she claimed was nearly a century old.

nt - 7/02/10

Notes: A little magical realism, perhaps? I don't know, it turned out a little more serious than I ultimately wanted it to be.

*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: So... Fifth series of Doctor Who... thoughts?


First off, let's briefly discuss how quickly that season went. It feels like last week that I was sitting down in front of my computer, anxiously trolling the internet for the series premiere. There's little more exciting than a regeneration, and while I think it took Moffie a while to develop 11's personality, I think by the middle/end of the series, it really fell into stride.

Second, that story arc was phenomenal. In the beginning, I was getting really frustrated at the lack of information that was being provided. But then, it started rolling downhill and I could NOT tear myself away from what was going on. Yes, it did have its plotholes: Would all of the Doctor's enemies really team up like that? If the Doctor is the most dangerous being in the planet (which I totally called, by the way), why would you put him in a (non-blue) BOX that keeps him in a permanent stasis as opposed to... oh, I don't know... KILLING him? Way to fail, Daleks; you KNOW the Doctor is sneaky and is likely to figure out a way out of whatever trap you THOUGHT you laid for him.

And, intellectually, I know that you can't kill the Doctor if you're going to continue the show (duh) and have an episode written by Neil Gaiman, but there must have been a better way out of that plot hole. The way that the Doctor crossed over his own time line and that it was planned WAY in advance that 11 was going to tell Amy to "remember" all the way in the fifth episode, was a bit of writing that blew my mind a bit. And while some of the episodes could have been a bit better, overall, they were all very enjoyable. I also may have a huge soft spot for the character of Van Gogh...

Also, I was shocked to find that I absolutely, positively fell in love with Rory.

I knew I was going to love Amy (especially Baby!Amy), and that came free and easy, but Rory was a total surprise for me. I think it had something to do with the way that he got along with the Doctor, despite Amy's (obvious) feelings for 11, and the fact that Auton Rory guarded her for over 2000 years. And that he died no less than two times in the season. And the ponytail. That really cinched it for me. I guess I just like how they extended the "Doctor and Companion" dynamic to a somewhat functional threesome relationship. I thought that was a good change of pace.

Amy Pond. I want to sit down and have coffee with that girl. She is the standard companion fare -- young female without a particular direction in life, but with dreams of something bigger -- but I feel like she's got some of the best qualities of both Rose and Donna. Sure, she has that romantic interest in the Doctor, but she also calls him out, questions and comes up with her own ideas. And she's sassy. You have to love a sassy girl. She is take-charge and fearless and sure of herself and that's why Amy Pond is awesome.

I can do without River Song, though. She's really starting to irritate me. Her and the "Geronimo" catch phrase can be eliminated altogether and I'll be perfectly content.

Matt Smith has really started to get into the groove of playing the Doctor. In the beginning, he was very heavily influenced by Tennant's 10, I think, with the exuberance and whatnot, yet not as clever (which I was kind of okay with, because the cleverness was given to Amy), and by the end, he was really rocking the bow tie and suspenders (and fez -- I actually adore the fez) and the one-liners and giving the Doctor a new dimension.

And, despite his flaws I have put my faith in Moffie, and am genuinely looking forward to next season. Christmas cannot come soon enough...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Status Report Monday (screw you, 90 degree weather)

There's a reason I don't live in Ecuador. Another string of 90 degree days to make me feel like I'm going to throw up and then pass out the second I step outside. I don't remember being this nauseated by extreme heat before.

Anyway, I have been slowly plugging away at Anomaly of late. I picked up an extra day of 'lette driving work, so that's putting a limit on my free time, but I like my day job that much that I don't mind terribly. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be writing, but I think I need the tiniest mental break from all the pressure to deliver something amazing. It's not helping the creative juices.

That being said, I think my break from Harem has finally paid off; I'm about ready to pick up that manuscript again and make some progress.

(Grumble, I just burnt my toast.)

Futhermore, Perchance to Dream has really been nagging the hell out of me lately. I have snippets of scenes written on post it notes all over my mirror. I wish I had some time to work on that. Ah, well, one thing at a time.

That being said, I need to go do some work-work and then some writing-work. But only if I don't melt first.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Scent Swatch"

A situation that happened on my 'lette inspired this little ficlet... (no spoilers in the prompt)
Scent Swatch

She was vigorously rubbing a magazine against her wrist when he first noticed her. The rustling of paper was what really got his attention, despite the fact that she was wearing a tropical blue dress that sported a pattern made up entirely of overly large orange-pink hibiscus flowers. He hoped she was wearing it in an ironic fashion. He poked at the silent earbud that was falling out of his left ear and made his way over to her, ensuring that the other end of the wire -- the end that should have been plugged into a music source -- didn't fall out of his pocket.

The subway car was sweltering and crowded, but Max managed to subtly elbow his way through sweating strap-hangers to get within conversational distance of his mystery girl. The subway rattled to a stop, and a pregnant woman vacated the seat next to his hipster girl (now that he was close enough, he could see that she definitely was wearing the horrid floral pattern ironically, if the florescent pink nail polish and trendy sandals were any indication). After another quick glance, he noticed the name on the gold nameplate she was wearing.

"Mug another little old lady again this morning, Natalie?"

The girl startled for a moment, staring at Max with confusion before smiling slightly.

"She deserved it," she said, rolling with it.

Max smiled back. "Good scent you've got there?"

He nodded down at the magazine she was still holding and she smiled back up at him as the doors of the subway closed with a muffled warning.

nt - 6/25/10

Notes: A little old lady on my 'lette was rubbing an Avon book up and down her arm for about 20 minutes the other day. I was concerned she was going to get a papercut.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: If you were a superhero, what would your one weakness be?

A: Heat. I am totally useless when it's over 70 degrees out, and everyone notices. Usually, I walk preternaturally fast (and often make the accompanying whoosh noise to amuse those I'm zooming past), but, for example, today it's over 90 degrees out and all I want to do is lay on the floor and melt. Plus, it's humid, so it's the double whammy, and I'm moving in slo-mo.

I'd be the only superhero who is incapable of doing good anywhere close to the equator.... I'd never make any of the usual X-Men teams. I'd have to request special ops to Alaska and the North Pole. Very few baddies truly thrive in cold weather.

Anyway, my Kryponite would be heat. Definitely a better weakness than the color yellow...


Monday, June 21, 2010

Status Report Monday (what a wee little Adipose!)

...Sometimes, you work your butt off to lose five pounds; and sometimes, you wear your (sexy) cop outfit in 90 degree weather and the weight just WALKS AWAY.


True story.

Anyway, now that it's officially summer, I feel as if I'm officially allowed to complain that it's hot. I'm one of those people who refuses to wear a jacket in the winter because I'm just that hot, so this over 70 degrees crap is killing me. It's also difficult to concentrate on getting any writing done when you're sweating so much. Not that I'm using that as an excuse. I've made some pretty good progress on the new version of Anomaly. It's not anywhere close to done yet, but a first draft is well underway.

I think this version is already better. I like where it's going, what's at stake and I like that I now have a pretty kick-ass female lead. That, and I think the twist I've come up with is pretty nifty. M. Night Shyamalan, eat your heart out.

Harem has really fallen by the wayside, but I think some time away from it will actually make it better, in the long run. Or, at least, one can hope. I really need to get my ass in gear. I've been letting myself get distracted by a lot of different things lately, and, while the strange situations I have found myself in of late are great fodder for fiction, they're impeding the projects I already have in the works.

In other news, I have applied for EMT school, so I'm waiting to hear back on that. I'm really excited, despite my previous waffling (mmm, waffles). I'm doing the course with a friend/co-worker, and we'll totally tear the place up, so I'm looking forward to it. And who knows... if I like it well enough, maybe I'll go all the way and become a paramedic. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor, and I feel as if being a paramedic is the more fun version of that. Street medicine with loads of different variables vs. working in the same hospital every day? I'll take the unpredictable, thanks.

Alright, kids, I should go get back to work *snaps whip*


xo - nic

*Image from bbc.co.uk

Friday, June 18, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Speeding"


Moving from the right lane, behind a semi with its hazards on, and dodging in front of a Passat that was going just a touch too slowly, Saira killed the air conditioning so that the tiny V6 under the hood of her ancient (but still very functional) Jeep would keep the (now honking) Passat from rear-ending her. The moment the air conditioning stopped blasting (rather icy) air out the vents, the Jeep lurched forward, finally inching past 55, past 60, settling on the notch indicating 65.

It got stuffy without the constant buzz of the A/C, and Saira was grateful that her Jeep, while almost older than she was, was young enough to have power windows. She pressed the window buttons while swerving around a Camry that was actually doing the speed limit, and cursed quietly under her breath as the wind whipped her hair dramatically around her face, obscuring her view of the road. She uselessly tried to flip her hair behind her before giving up, and took a moment to drive with her knees while she fiddled with an elastic, pulling her black hair out of her eyes. Her hands come back to the wheel just in time to veer back into the left lane, and around a cop who had pulled someone over. Probably for speeding.

The thought made Saira smile. The bass line of a song she liked struggled to be heard over the rush of the wind, and her sharp ears picked up the strains of the melody, and her smile widened as she cranked it up. The door was vibrating against her left leg as the mighty Jeep rattled from the volume.

The speedometer twitched it's way toward 70, clearly uncomfortable with the level of acceleration it was being subjected to. Another zig around a school bus and a zag around a slow-moving Lincoln Continental (people over the age of 80 should not be allowed to drive), and Saira and her trusty Jeep broke free of the traffic and surged forward onto the open road: asphalt humming under the tires; radio blaring; engine working quietly, efficiently, gloriously.

Saira burned past a stationary police cruiser, closing in on 90, unable to hear the sound of the sirens over the wind and the music.

nt - 6/18/10

Notes: Driving on the open road is one of the single best feelings in the world.

*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: Can you describe your life with a six word sentence?

A: Very short answer today because I am mid-screeplay rewrites.

My life's six word sentence, hands down, is easily summed up with

Really, did that seriously just happen?

The sheer number of crazy, 'are you just citing the plot of a Hollywood film' things that have happened is truly extraordinary. And because I need to keep this post short and go cook dinner before I go back to writing, I will not get into the specifics of the insanity. Just know that for the most part, when I tell stories about the things that I have experienced, most people don't believe me.

Anyway, that is my thought-provoking question for today. If you have a pressing/intriguing/amusing question you'd like to pose, check out the Contact page or email me at nictusablog@gmail.com.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Status Report Monday (these hips don't lie)

My brother just came home from college, so all of a sudden my rock'n'roll paradise has turned into a techno dance hall. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon cleaning the house listening to Led Zeppelin and The Black Keys. Today, I'm listening to a Katy Perry/Black Eyed Peas mash up. I don't mind the Shakira though.

Anyway, I have officially put pen to paper on Anomaly rewrites. The whole thing has been refocused to a different character, extra plot twists have been added and one of the other characters have been changed slightly. I'm considering another plot twist, but we'll see if it works out. I haven't looked at Harem in a while, so I should do that, but Perchance to Dream has been bubbling to the forefront of my mind, demanding some attention. I also want to work on some ideas for short stories I have, but I really need to prioritize.

Well, that's all for now. Maybe I'll get some work done today. Maybe after Flo Rida stops demanding that I get low.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Prompt Friday: "...Dancer from the Dance"

"She dipped..."
...Dancer from the Dance

She dipped her little finger into the champagne glass, capturing the smallest drop of liquid -- complete with a few bubbles -- in the ridges of her finger print. With practiced ease, she brought her fingertip to her mouth and wrapped her lips around her French-manicured nail, pulling the sweetness onto her tongue.

She tried her hardest to make her actions seem unconscious -- thoughtless, even -- but she knew exactly what she was doing, the game she was playing. They both knew their roles.

The increased pressure of his hand against her lower back -- right where the low-low dip of the satin of her dress brushed against the top of her hips -- was reward enough. She could feel the warm metal of his wedding ring against her skin, and it sent an electric jolt along her spine; a tingling thrill at the knowledge that the ring around his finger did not bind him to her.

He slipped the fluted glass from her slender hand and it was whisked away on a tray that happened to float by. He took her naked left hand in his right hand, the weight of the gold band still planted firmly against her back, and ushered her to the dance floor, pulling her body flush to his. The familiar scent of his cologne overwhelmed her senses, making her head spin in excitement as he twirled her in time to the music. He pulled her close and dipped her low, leaning over her body, the day's worth of stubble brushing lightly against the exposed skin of her breast bone. The over-stimulation and the slight buzz of a few glasses of champagne had her giggling by the time he dragged her out of the dip and back into his chest.

He brushed a strand of hair away from her face, the gleam of the wedding ring catching her attention out of the corner of her eye. He noticed the direction of her eyes, and shifted his hand to cup her cheek, bringing their lips together. She momentarily marveled at how he managed to taste of spearmint, despite the lack of a discernable source. The brief kiss left her feeling slightly breathless. The whole situation seemed so surreal, as the dance floor whirled about them, leaving two lovers afloat in a future tragedy of their own making.

nt - 6/11/10

Notes: Title from William Butler Yeats' "Among School Children." Also, I appear to be fond of the em-dash today.

In other news, I have a headache. This is being remedied with Led Zeppelin, Mint Magic and getting some writing done (yeah, I don't know how that last one fits in, either). Anyway, Mint Magic is potentially the best tea ever, which has nothing to do with the fact that the picture on the box is this:

That wizard looks like he's using some serious mojo on that tea.

*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: What is a smell that you associate with a person, place, thing, or memory?

A: The one really distinct scent memory that I have is of my mother's perfume. Her favorite perfume is Giorgio and every time I smell it, it makes me think of my mom and being a little kid, smelling that perfume. Even her car smells of the perfume, so whenever I borrow it (which is rare, these days), it makes me feel like she's there.

I have a passenger on my 'lette that wears Giorgio as well, however, she doesn't fully understand the concept of 'too much' and wears so much perfume that, despite the fact that she is sitting all the way in the back of the van, a good 8-9 feet behind me, the smell of her perfume is so overwhelming that it makes me sneeze and my eyes water and forces me to open a window so I don't suffocate.

Got a question for me? Hit up the contact page to email it to me!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Status Report Monday (lookie here, who has returned...)

Apologies for being completely M.I.A. last week. My grandmother took a brief turn for the worst, so all my extra time was spent at the hospital. She's doing better now, thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

That being said, I got little to nothing accomplished this past week. The only thing that really got worked on was an outline for Anomaly, version 2.0: Bigger, Better, More Hot Chicks and Explosions.

Also, it was 90 degrees all last week, which took my motivation level down to astronomically low depths. Or something like that. Have I mentioned that I'm exhausted and really ready for a nap?

I'm hoping that the writing mojo that has been previously lost will be reclaimed this week. Perhaps having gone on a REAL DATE by a cute, interesting person UNDER the age of 35 will help. Yes, beware, the apocalypse has happened: all massive electrical storms and natural disasters can be traced back to me having a date. Date number 2 is loosely planned for Wednesday. The excitement mounts.

And now it's time for me to go investigate long-term sleeping and working arrangements. So much work to do....


Friday, May 28, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Chronomentrophobia"

"The clock in this room..."

The clock in this room is broken. It ticks at uneven intervals, not able to muster up enough energy to push the minute hand up past the 32 minute mark. It would have driven me insane if I was sure I was sane to begin with. I approximate the time by the long shadows on the floor and roll myself to my feet. It takes more effort than it should. I don't want to think what it would take to put on clothes.

I have been staring at the broken clock for close to three days now. Give or take a few hours. It's hard to keep track when your only point of reference is as as useful as a dictionary with no definitions. Just lists and lists of words in alphabetical order with no meaning. The clock seemed smug about the power it held over me. The glow of the late-day sun turned silver through the blinds as I pulled myself from my bed.

The low squeal of the clock's gears joins the arrhythmic staccato of the clock's cry for attention. I ignore it like I ignore the twisting clench of my empty stomach, moving through the ticking and the whining, feeling the sound bounce off my skin and bones like echolocation. I press myself against the wall to hide my presence from the eyes of the clock. The heavy noise is keeping me trapped in this room; a butterfly pinned to the board.

I squeeze my eyes shut and edge toward the door. As long as I can't see it, it can't see me. I feel along the wall with shaking fingers, find the door jamb and heave myself out. The ticking has followed. I don't dare open my eyes. If I do, I'll see the hands of the clock moving backwards.

nt - 5/28/10

Notes: Chronomentrophobia is the fear of clocks.

*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: Will you be updating today?

No, sorry. Lots of things, no time.
Tune in Friday for a prompt fill! (Hopefully)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Status Report Monday (if there's physical violence, it wasn't me)

A few quick things -- in list form -- because it is that kind of day.

1. I have started rewrites of Anomaly. And by "rewrites" I mean "an entirely new script." Things I am working on:
- Refocusing the main character.
- Dialogue that is less info-dump and more natural.
- Clearer set pieces.
- More plot twists and conspiracies.
- Bigger explosions.

2. The following is an open letter to the writers of Doctor Who:
You are wonderful; truly, you are. However, the sheer number of two-part episodes this season is making me angry. Quit it with the cliff-hangers already! Also, please define Matt Smith's Doctor a little more clearly. I'm still not sure who he is as a person yet. Eccleston was defined (angry, broken, cynical after the Time War); Tennant was defined (manic, fun-loving, clever and recovering from his emotional wounds); yet, Smith is still undefined. And this is something you should have done within the very first episode. Instead, you defined Amy quite nicely, and left us with an amorphous blob of a Doctor who seems much less clever than the previous two. GET ON THAT. Hugs and Kisses - Nic.

3. The parenthetical from the title of today's blog post was something I actually said to my boss today, in reference to a whiny co-worker. Sarcasm translates much better in person.

4. My little old people like to feed me, and today I was gifted with a banana that very accurately resembled a well-proportioned dildo. I'm still alarmed.

5. Because I'm not busy enough, I'm also working on another screenplay with my friend, Chris Bov (or, as I call him, Bovtastic. Or Bovalicious.) Let's just say, it's the role of a lifetime for Hugh Grant. Yes, I know that makes no sense.

6. I have officially deferred graduate school for another year. This will allow me to save up ALL of the money for tuition (as opposed to half, which would then leave me destitute in a foreign country) as well as be home to help out my family because my grandmother is still in the hospital. Which brings me to my final point:

7. Please pray, or send positive vibes, or whatever your personal belief system equivalent is, for my grandmother. She's been in the hospital nearing nine months now, and she's not doing very well. Your thoughts are appreciated.

...And now I'm off to accomplish many things.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Bubbles"

None; just a little plot bunny running around.


She turned on the tap and let the water fill the bathtub as she searched for a book of matches. The six or seven candles sporadically placed throughout the bathroom were lit and flickering merrily, beginning to pool scented wax around the wicks, as the water, steaming slightly, reached an acceptable level.

Twisting the taps back to the right (right-y tight-y, left-y loose-y Layla always had to remind herself), she stubbed her toe on the clawed foot of the bathtub before stepping into the near-scalding water.

It took a few seconds for her skin to grow accustomed to the temperature, but she slowly slid her body under the surface of the water, stretching until she was entirely submerged, save for her face. The water plugged up her ears and muffled the sound of the light, ambient music she had put on before entering the bathroom.

It had been ages since she had taken a bath.

Life has this funny way of sneaking up on you and piling on stress and aches and pains without you realizing it. And before long, Layla thought, feeling her hair fan out around her, the gentle buoyancy of her body in the water, airlines are charging you an extra twenty-five dollars in luggage fees for the bags under your eyes, your left arm absolutely refuses to move more than a thirty-two degree angle in any direction and the bedsheets seem to be getting heavier and heavier every morning. And since she didn't have any vacation time in the near future, a hot bath was going to have to suffice.

Layla took a deep breath and held it, plunging her face under the water, blowing bubbles out her nose. She opened her eyes underwater and watched how the light from the candles danced across the disrupted surface of the water, glancing off the spherical sides of the bubbles that drifted away from her and fracturing into half-hearted rainbows.

The water had lost some of its stinging heat, and Layla settled back against the porcelain side of the tub and closed her eyes, rolling her head to work out the kinks in her neck. Something cracked back into place and she could feel at least three different muscle groups relax. She leaned the back of her head against the edge of the tub and toed at the hot water tap, easing the temperature up a few more degrees. The tiny waterfall from the faucet created tiny bubbles that crawled up the length of her leg, and the sensation made her smile. Her cheeks felt stiff, protesting the action. It had been too long since she had smiled. Her job was slowly sucking all the enjoyment from her life and my face she thought, smiling, again, to herself coaxing and prodding her muscles back to life.

She let herself slip back under the water, letting the bubbles tiptoe their way over her hips and up her sides, easing her tension away.

nt - 5/21/10

Notes: Can you tell that I am in dire need of a bath?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: Are you going to get your EMT certification?

Most likely.

I'm currently looking into EMT classes because I clearly don't have enough going on in my life. I figure I can work private transport, rather than emergency, and, as I understand it, an EMT certification is transferable internationally. So when I go to the UK, I will be able to get a job with the NHS (presumably).

Unfortunately, it's a matter of squeezing it in and not losing half my life to EMTing, since I barely have any time to myself as it is. All the female EMTs I see at work are really intimidating, too, so that's ... scary. WILL I MAKE FRIENDS?! Yeah, I don't know. It's a lot to think about, the course is six months and I'm just.... incapable of committing to much of anything these days.

Everyone keeps telling me to do it, though. Not that I've ever been one to follow the bandwagon.

In other news, my grandmother apparently thinks I'm a playa (yes, with an 'a' as opposed to an 'er') which is HYSTERICAL.

...And now, back to your regularly scheduled Wednesday.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Status Report Monday (grumble)

Well, that didn't go quite as expected.

After a year of getting pat answers about my screenplay, someone finally gave me the honest truth: good concept, needs massive work.

I went into my phone call on Friday assuming that, after what I had previously been told, it would be a much more positive experience than what actually occurred. Rather, I was made to look like an amateur (even moreso than I really am), and it was a huge sucker punch to my self-confidence.

Now, I'm feeling particularly gloomy about the whole situation.

I don't even want to look at my screenplay right now; and even though it has a lot of potential, I'm starting to really hate it. I never really wanted to be a screenwriter, I wanted to write novels, but the idea had been growing on me... and now I just don't even want to think about it. I'm sure, given some time, I will go back to the screenplay and make it a lot better, but right now, I kind of just want to set it on fire.

At least I finally got honesty. I hate it when people don't tell me the truth for fear of hurting me or whatever.

NOTE: I am not made of glass, I am not fragile - tell me the goddamned truth.

Furthering my rather craptastic mood, I have poison ivy/oak/sumac/unidentified itchy grossness all down my left arm (and a tiny bit on my right) and it's itchy (as mentioned) and oozey and burning and I could really deal with the itchy bit, but the oozing and burning are just unacceptable.

My grandmother's back in the hospital with an abscess in her lung, which is ten different kinds of NOT GOOD, I have to email my grad school to put off my Master's degree for ANOTHER year, and I just... need to get away from everything. Since the likelihood of THAT being a possibility is less than zero, I will instead scratch at the lovely rash on my arm and get excited for the season finale of Castle tonight.

And, if I'm lucky, I may even get a little time to work on my manuscript. HA.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Prompt Friday: "Cubicles"

“I kissed him...”


I kissed him. Right there, in the middle of everyone: co-workers, bosses, that weird guy who always hung around the office but didn't actually work there...

I just leaned in, grabbed him by the collar, and laid one on him with such force that I was half-certain that I had accidentally knocked one of my front teeth out.

And if anything could possibly be more awkward than kissing a co-worker in the middle of the office, in the middle of the day, in front of an audience, making it look like a slasher-cum-vampire film by bleeding from the mouth would be the way to go.

His hands had flown up to my arms when I had lunged for his shirt, and were gripping the backs of my elbows as tightly as I was fisting the material of his shirt between my fingers. His lips were dry against mine, and, blessedly, beginning to part slightly under the pressure of my lips. The warm tease of his tongue brushed against my bottom lip, and I began to relax slightly, allowing the tense muscles of my shoulders ease out of the knots they were beginning to form. I tilted my head slightly to the right, and he mirrored my motions, slotting our mouths together so that our noses no longer bumped together.

Oh, I was definitely getting fired for this.

I finally released his shirt, unconsciously smoothing the wrinkles I had created, while simultaneously taking advantage of the proximity and permission to touch to admire the muscles underneath. Muscles that flexed and relaxed as his hands made their way from my arms to my waist.

I could hear the shell-shocked group of our co-workers start to shift, awkwardly, uncomfortably, and slowly filter from the room. I took a step closer and wrapped my arms around his neck, not wanting to let go.

Getting fired would totally be worth it.

Someone cleared their throat, somewhere behind me and to the left. I was less than pleased to separate my lips from his, but when I finally opened my eyes, and looked into his, I could see the gleam of happiness in his stare. Well, then.

I straightened up, rearranged my shirt (which had gotten rucked up a bit during the...kissing) and turned to face the owner of one particularly stern throat-clearing noise.

"Get back to work," my boss said, arching her eyebrow angrily. I nodded silently, but didn't fail to see the small smirk at the corner of her lips. I took two steps to walk past her, and she turned and began to walk with me.

"Finally," she whispered, her face still a mask of seriousness. "We had a pool going as to when you two were going to stop making starry eyes at each other over the water cooler and do something about it." She stopped me in front of her office, turning to face me. " And while your behavior is completely unacceptable for a professional work place, I won the pool, so I'm three thousand dollars richer, and you're off the hook."

She disappeared into her office with a smile.

nt - 5/15/10

Notes: Hollywood calls tonight; wish me luck!

*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: If you could make a remote control for life, what are the five buttons you would have on it?


Easily, the first button I would put in would be a rewind button. This way, making decisions would be a hell of a lot easier. Make a decision, try it out and see if it's working out, and if not -- if I'm having regrets about it -- then I can just rewind. Which would be super useful.

Second button would be a mute button: for all those times in one's life when there's a screaming child or an obnoxious...whatever that needs to be quiet, and quickly.

Third button -- Another rewind button. Just in case the first one is broken.

Button number four would be the DVR record button. So I can record all the awesome parts of my life and play them back later.

And my fifth button would be a slo-mo button. That way, I could slow down time so I can get all the things I needed to get done accomplished. Like this blog post. Whis is very short. But I am very tired, and therefore must go to bed.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Status Report Monday (an ode to voicemail)

I'll be the first to admit that I get really nervous talking to people on the phone. I'll plan ahead of time what I'm going to say, and for the most part, stutter and stammer my way through whatever it is that I'm trying to articulate. It's a problem. Especially if it's an important phone call.

Usually, I do MUCH better when it comes to voice mail, because people aren't interrupting me, or asking me questions that I'm unprepared to answer (not for not knowing the answer, but for being able to express the answer without sounding like I need to repeat the fifth grade).

That being said, I made my Very Important Phone Call today... and got voice mail. Unfortunately, I had been prepared to get a Real Live Person since I had prepped for leaving a voice mail, and therefore managed to 'uh' and 'um' my way through what should have and could have been a very smooth, intelligent-sounding voice mail. A few hours later, my Very Important Phone Call was returned, and I had a lovely chat with Mr. VP of Development.

And by 'lovely chat' I mean that we spoke briefly about how we should speak more at length, later in the week. And how his assistant (Richard) would be calling me back to set up said Later Chat.

PS - I'm still waiting on Richard.

So, all in all, things on Anomaly seem to be moving in a forward-ish direction, albeit slowly. Everyone cross your fingers. I'll practice speaking without a stutter.

In other areas of my writing life, I won an award in a fic contest, was recc'd elsewhere, and printed out the manuscript (as it stands today, at 207 pages and just more than halfway done) of Harem. I'm planning on hefting that particularly thick stack of paper around for a few days to try to get back in the flow of things. And do some editing. I've been reading it aloud to my grandmother to entertain her, and this has allowed me to find all of the glaring mistakes, such as typos and misplaced sentences and paragraphs that needed to be deleted when a plot line changed. My favorite find, so far, has been the typo of: "as he lunched for my neck" instead of "as he lurched for my neck."

All of this, combined with the fact that I've been running on four hours of sleep a night, has made for interesting times. My right-side limbs are numb and tingly (which is new and unusual), and apparently, I flirt better while severely sleep deprived. At least something good will come of it.

And now, I am going to go to bed.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Prompt Friday (Postponed!)

I just found out that I have a call with a potential manager on Monday, so I will be on a weekend-long date with my screenplay in order to reacquaint myself with the interesting part, the characters and my confidence in it. Oh, and to try to turn off the 'nervous.'

I just hope I don't sound like a stutter-y mess on the phone. I'm bad when it comes to talking to people on the phone.

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Question Wednesday

Q: What is one common household object that you would like to use for a purpose other than what it was originally built for?

A: I was at the store today and fell in love with a rubberized basting brush. Unfortunately, I have nothing to baste. It certainly was pretty, though. Just like the rubberized frosting spatula doo-dad that I'm sure has a name that was next to it.

But in terms of real appliances, I'm going to say that I would love to use a teakettle as a steampunk engine device. It would clearly need more work, and possibly the heat coils of the toaster oven as well. Also, the whisk should also get involved. I don't know how though.

If I had a lot more time on my hands-- which, in all honesty, I don't-- I would be way more into steampunk. I love the whole aesthetic of it. Do what Abe Lincoln tells you:

Picture taken from Sophia Parkwood's blog as found through Google.

So, basically, if I can have a working engine that runs off water and makes a mean cup of tea, I'd be set.

I ran about like madman today, so I'm going to go relax.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Status Report Monday

Lies I've Been Told:
1. I will have contact information for you by the end of the day Friday.
2. You'll be making an extra hour for doing that.
3. We're going to try to get your grandmother in a rehab close to your house.

a) I had a lovely conversation with Legendary on Wednesday. I thought we were good, on the same page, trying to move this screenplay THING along. It's now Monday, and I have the same amount of information that I did when I spoke with them on Wednesday. This is ridiculously frustrating. I just want to know, one way or the other, if I should continue getting my hopes up or not. I understand if I'm going to have to put in more work, and I'm fine with that, want it even, but no. Still stuck in gorram limbo.

On a side note, not everyone is a Browncoat, and this, too, makes me sad.

b) My main job stiffed me a half hour of the extra hour I'm supposed to be making. This pisses me off because I have no recourse to get that extra half hour back. So now, I'm still doing the same amount of (extra) work, and not making the money for it.

In other news, the guys in dispatch are my buddies. They're awesome.

c) America's health care coverage for seniors fails on so many different levels and flavors, that it's truly unacceptable. They're sending my grandmother an hour and a half away from my house. So visiting her will be extremely difficult. Which also pisses me off. There's a really good rehab only ten minutes or so away from my house, and because lawyers need to get involved to discuss the financial aspect of it, she won't be able to go there, and will most likely lose the bed that's available. I hate the system. It does nothing for anyone.

I have, however, started reading Harem to my grandmother in order to try to get her to laugh a bit. It's working. Which makes me happy, since it means that it's either that funny or she was at the very least enjoying it enough that it brightened her day. This is all I want. Well, that and for her to come home.

I am still completely undecided on grad school. Perhaps I will forgo it and just see if I can get my novel published (which is the ultimate goal anyway, but will cost my 50k less).

And now, I am off to work job #3 (of 4). Tea is required, as I had the joy of slogging through the rainy season of India today. IT RAINED THAT HARD.