Sep. 3rd, 2017 07:26 am
lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)
 I'm kind of failing at blogging here, aren't I?  The inability to connect this to my website blog and the Amazon feed is more of an irritation than I'd anticipated, and this seems to be falling behind Fb and Tumblr for ease of copy-and-paste.

Back in the PNW (did you notice I was gone?)

Trouble in Mind (and a new story-series!)

Meanwhile, this is a PSA for Americans:

This year’s enrollment period for ACA is short, November 1 to December 15.  

Also keep in mind that in addition to shortening the enrollment period, 45 has also slashed the budget for getting word out, so it’s up to us to get the word out.

Getting everyone in the US covered by ACA would REALLY piss 45 off.

lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
 The reading at KGB went very well, I think (the rapt silence meant either people were listening, or they've learned to snore quietly), although it was depressing to note that many (most) of my NYC friends did not show up for my first local appearance in three years.  Those who did, I <3 you and appreciate your support.

/not-subtle grump.

But it was a good crowd, and good feedback, and then there was drinking later and a Brilliant Idea hatched over whisky that still seemed like a Brilliant Idea when we woke up the next morning, so call the entire evening a win.  :-)

And since then I've been running about doing family things, meeting with my editor, and possibly meeting with my lawyer (nothing bad, don't worry).  Mainly, a lot of running about.  I'm averaging 5 miles of walking every day.  I've missed that about living in NYC....

But now I have to go do a few more hours of work, because as much as I'd like this to be, it's not a vacation....

How goes your weekend?
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
The last day of November. The last day of my official tenancy at this address (at least until 2016). I feel like I should have one more "last" to put there, but I don't leave the city itself until Wednesday....

Three more sleeps until we go.

I've been - slowly, cautiously - saying goodbye to NYC this week. Every sidewalk and neon sign, every sweep of the rivers along the shores, every bridge and intersection, steel, brick, and concrete.

I admit: I love this city more than the sum of individual people in it, with the full knowledge that people are part of what makes this city. Place of my heart.  Leaving it, at least for a while, is the right thing to do - and I maintain my residence here, so the ties are not completely cut - but there's already an aching space in my soul....

The plan is to be liveblogging the next year at Book View Cafe. starting on Wednesday, continuing once a month.  I hope you'll follow along on the adventure....
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Spent the weekend split between sorting and storing, and revising the novella. And poking my brain at the short story that due next month. Semi-productive, in small ways that don't really have impressive-to-report markers.  :-(

But we're at 9 donations confirmed, and 2 more promised for #willwrite2feedothers! Four more people stepping forward to do something kind, and you all get a new story! (19 more to get An Extra Bonus!) And yes, I've decided that hours-volunteered counts.  If you can document 1+ hour spent working for/with a food bank or other feed-in-need organization, that counts as your $10 donation.

And CatofSize fell ill - he is discovering a tendency to *ahem* become blocked. Much like old men everywhere, I'm told. So there was some unpleasant medical stuff for him, and some unpleasant financial stuff for me. *sighs* If anyone feels the impulse to buy some books of mine, either from Book View Cafe or elsewhere, my next month's credit card bills will thank you (and remember, now's the time to start buying for the holidays! Books make great gifts - and you don't even have to wrap ebooks!)

I wil say, tho, that I am left in awe at the trust and affection our animals place in us, that the pain-strike-flee brain is calmed by our presence...

In a sharing-and-caring mode, this weekend Chuck Wendig had a few words to say on the ugly side of self-awareness: "I am a racist and I am a sexist and probably some other ists, too." I'll cop to having shit come out of my mouth, unexamined, that should rightfully earn me a side-eye, at the very least.  Being unthinkingly "-ist" doesn't mean you're a terrible person: it means you have to dig into WHY, and root out whatever took seed while you weren't paying attention. Perfection's impossible.  Mindfulness is the goal.

Meanwhile, Subtenant has moved self and stuff into the apartment, prior to the 'official' 1 December hand-off.  We - the two of us and the two cats - are getting along well, although there have been times when I've felt the intense need for SOLITUDE. Introvert, me? Yep. :-)

9 days until departure.
lagilman: coffee or die (madness toll)
Two weeks before the move, and I'm living a weird kind of half-life.  Ideally, this makes me focus more on the work.  Ideally.

Lunch with my agent this week, to discuss projects pending, and new.  Which means I really need to get the existing stuff off my desk and onto someone else's (editor and/or formatters).  See second sentence of this post.

To that end, am revising and revising.... which is kind of like spending all day on a swing between "hey that bit was pretty good" and "oh shit, this bit sucks." And then the rope breaks.

From the "lines I'm keeping" file:
“The moment you say something’s not possible, someone will do it. But it’s not probable.”
lagilman: coffee or die (NYC)
One third of my belongings are currently wending their way across the continent. One third are in storage. And one third will be handed into the keeping of my sub-tenant in two weeks.

Right now, it's me, the cats, and a lot of quiet space where there used to be physical noise. I'm not sure if I like it or not. Either way, it's doing interesting things to my brain. I suspect there will be at least one new short story coming out of it....

Intentionally shaking up your life just to see what settles, and where. It's a good kind of crazy.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
One nice thing about the cold weather coming in (well, there are lots of good things, but...) was that I got a chance to try out the leather anorak I picked up in a secondhand store in Colorado. Two thumbs up - it fits loosely enough for a heavy sweater underneath, but not so loosely that it feels oversized, and it stops wind gusts from getting through. Plus: four very deep pockets. If it only had inside pockets, it would have been perfect... but considering I paid about $30 for it, I'm not complaining!

Meanwhile, Things Are Being Packed Up.  Yeah, I'm here through the end of the month, but the movers will swoop down to take my things mid-month, and I'll be gone five of those days beforehand for World Fantasy, so...  packing-up it is.  And I know I really don't have that much stuff, but a considerable percentage of it's breakable, and the other considerable percentage is heavy.  So there are a lot of boxes, and it's kinda stressful...

On the plus side, I get to look forward to two weeks of take-away, once they take away my kitchen stuff!  Unless I can convince Incoming Sub-Tenant to drop off some of her cookware early.... (I have paper plates and plaastic forks and cups already on the shelf)

And speaking of food, the asshole cats are insisting it is TOO dinnertime, an hour early.  Boomer may not talk much, but when he does he insists on being heard....

So what've you been up to, this hello-wintery weekend?
lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat coffee)
On this first morning of standard time winter 2014, I was woken up at 4:40 by the cats, who were understandably confused. Gave them half-rations and staggered back to sleep - only to be woken up at 5:20 by an unknown number on my cell. At 5:20am you assume it's an emergency, right? Nope. Radio station calling the wrong number.

(why?  I have no idea.  I honestly idn't ask - but the guy seemed to think that I knew why they'd be calling.)

So let's just say I'm going to be running on leftover adrenaline & sheer pissed-offedness for the rest of the day. And the asswipe didn't even apologize before hanging up on me (once I explained to them in slightly groggy tones that yeah maybe they DID have the wrong number).

Day, you had BETTER give me something better today to offset this, or I swear I'm just going back to bed until Monday.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Lovely gripe-about-work/planning-the-move dinner with a friend at An Beal Bocht last night (Irish comfort food and microbrew FTW), followed by relatively early-to-bed. That means I should be wildly productive today, right?

Yeah, right.  But there are some things that have deadlines today, so we'll get to that.  Appropriate, no, having a deadline today....?  (perhaps more appropriate tomorrow, but: Saturday)

And - knowing that we don't get trick-or-treaters in this building - I have not bought any candy. This was probably wise. Not much fun, but wise.

If anyone has any leftover Butterfingers or KitKats tomorrow, I promise to give 'em a good home....

(fess up: what's your "I swear I bought 'em for the kids!" favorite Halloween candy?)
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Two years ago tonight, I had moved my bed away from the windows, had stocked up on candles, batteries, and jugs of water, and made sure all my tech was fully charged, watching the news and wondering how bad it was going to get.

We were lucky - all we lost here was a tree (I still miss that tree) and power only fluctuated. But there are areas of NJ and NYC that still haven't recovered entirely.

I like storms. But if I never see Sandy's like again, that'll be good.


the eve of the storm
the day after


Oct. 27th, 2014 08:40 am
lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat coffee)
Yesterday was spent vising my cousin's new house, out in the semi-wilds of west-central Jersey.  It's a lovely house, a two-bedroom with a sunroom and a converted garage-turned-lounge, and a firepit in the garden, and I'd envy her except west-central Jersey is a need-a-car-to-do-anything place, and yeah, no.

Westward Ho! Updatery:  Feline transport, arranged. Storage locker, rented (but not yet occupied). Movers, in negotiations. acquired. More packing supplies, en route and expected today.

Work update:  SILVER ON THE ROAD revisions, finished (for the moment) and sent off to my second-pass betareaders (including my uncle, American history geek and former editor-in-chief of the BOMC history club, eek).   I can write new words now? I can!

*gets whiplash trying to shift from 1800' to 2020's....*
lagilman: coffee or die (bye-bye)
Y'know, I lead a relatively minimalist lifestyle. I don't impulse-buy, I clear out the clutter on a regular basis, and if something is neither useful nor personally relevant, I tend to not keep it. Plus, I have a 1 bedroom apartment that is not overcrowded.

So how the hell have I accumulated so much STUFF?

Meanwhile, last night my sub-tenant was approved* by the board (contrary to the horror stories you hear about co-op boards, they mostly spent the interview talking about cats and restaurants.  Which actually mirrors my experience with the previous board quite well).  The feline transport has been confirmed. And I have a line on movers who are both not-obviously-incompetent** and within my price range, so huzzah!

All I need to do now is finish packing, send things off to storage, and buy a plane ticket.  Oh, and finish this book revision and the novella revisions, yeah, that too....

currently under the knife:

The language lesson continued as they passed into the deep valley between two hills, and the trail curved and began to rise again, up into the mountains, until Bernardo, still holding his instrument in both hands, came to stand in front of them, forcing them to rein in the horses.

"Isobel."  Her name in his mouth had an almost-familiar lilt to it, the way her father or mother might have said it. "Ready yourself, bruja. It comes."

* we assume, anyway, since they were talking about move-in dates and whatnot, but the Official Word will come on Monday
**really all you can hope for with movers, until they prove otherwise by the actual move


Oct. 23rd, 2014 07:32 am
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Out my window, grey-filtered light picks up the gold of leaves plastered against rain-slick streets.
It's a very October-y day....

*makes another pot of coffee, pulls on the fleecy socks, settles back to the revisions*
lagilman: coffee or die (bye-bye)
Where "this" is a leave of absence from NYC.

In December, I'm packing up self, cats, and a limited (!) number of books, and hauling cross-country to Seattle, where I will take up residence for a year (or two).

No, I'm not abandoning NYC. I still own my apartment - a friend is subletting, a time-honored NYC tradition, and I can only do that for two years before the co-op board starts making unhappy noises at me. I'll be back.

But then why? various people have been asking since I first mentioned this scheme.

Well.... mainly because I never intended to be a person who lived her entire life in the same place. And for the past 4 decades, although I've moved about, it's always been within the NY-CT-NJ axis. Mind, I love this area, and my soul belongs to NYC (I can show you the paperwork), but.... I'm not a person for sameness-all-my-life. It makes me itch. And travel only scratches so far.  So it felt like it was time for a (temporary) shakeup.

And why Seattle? I like it. I like the Pacific Northwest. I like the combination of city life and waterfront and easy access to mountains, and the sense of flipping everything I know about being on one coast and looking at it from another. I like the fact that new states will now be within driving/exploring distance. And, yep, I like the people there. Well, most of them. Okay, a lot of them.

And there are work-relevant reasons for this location, too.  But more on that later, maybe.

So that's what's been in the planning for the past few months, and this week I signed a lease for my apartment there.  I'm kinda excited, more than a little stressed, and probably more freaked out than I'm realizing.

But I'm really looking forward to seeing the sun rise and set from a slightly different angle, and hanging with the west coast for a while.

But I'm still not going to root for the Seahawks*.

Related New Household Rule: If I haven’t used a reference book in 5+ years, I really didn’t need it.  No, really.  No, don’t put it back on the shelf….

gross sobbing

*I may be not be on speaking terms with the NFL like whoa right now, but Jersey Blue forevah.

Small Wins

Oct. 14th, 2014 05:51 pm
lagilman: coffee or die (naptime)
Any day you come home on a (delayed) redeye, and still get things done, however minor, is a productive day. I have so decided this.

(even if those things were, in order: sorting books, talking to your agent about a proposal, and cleaning out the litter box).

Tomorrow I need to be more productive, which means a) getting all the sleeps tonight, and b) forcing my stress into useful formations, rather than the formless aiggghhh that's been dogging me today.

I can do that. I can.

But or now, I'm going to feed the cats, have some fried dumplings, and watch some tv.  Because it's Tuesday night, and that's what we do on Tuesday nights.  Especially when we're brain-zonked.

Oh, yeah, and Seattle was lovely, and productive, and you'll be hearing some more about that in a bit....
lagilman: coffee or die (madness toll)

Writerly Stuff:

Revisions on many things continue.   I am very boring on social media during revisions, unless you're privy to the maniacal cackling and frustrated sobbing....

For those of you following the progress of SILVER ON THE ROAD, I just sent the following character references off to our art director:



I have no idea what the cover will look like, but they will know what our main characters look like, at least, and no excuses.  :-)

Random Feel-Good Link:

Defining a mensch (the woman who posted the ad, not the people she was addressing, for clarity)

Kickstarter reminders:

We still have a week left in the (now fully funded but pulling for awesome stretch goals) TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER anthology

Word-warroom-mate Chrysoula Tzavelas's WOLF INTERVAL kickstarter has also fully funded, with a little under two weeks to go and some nifty bonus offerings, so you should totally be checking this one out, too.

In other news, I am off to Seattle in a few hours, for five days of Chaos, Plotting and Inevitable Hjinks.  I should go pack, or something, right?
lagilman: coffee or die (bigger boat)
I am informed that Mercury is retrograde.  Again.  This might explain some things, but I'm also aware that life doesn't stop just because communications are fouled, and there are things that need to get done this week.

So I will proceed with caution, but I will proceed nonetheless.

And to start things off on the right wrong foot, my phone is beeping at me.  But not all the time, oh no.  Only when I unplug it from the charger.  Mind, if the charger is unplugged from the wall, that's fine, so long as the cord remains plugged into the PHONE.  Only when I remove it from there does it start to beep.  And any attempt to reboot it makes the phone insist it has NO CHARGE WOE IS IT but when I plug it in again, hey, 100% charge!

....my phone's dead, isn't it?  Or at least borderline revenant?  Fuck.

Meanwhile, I have mailed off all the things I needed to mail, and emailed almost all the people I need to mail, and I'd be making all the phone calls I need to make except, well, phone.  *points to previous paragraph*

Tonight is the SFWA mill-n-swill, wherein I need to talk to several people in person.  Then tomorrow and Wednesday I am back to neck-deep in revisions.  And then Wednesday night I am off to Seattle for five days, to do Various Things.  And continue working on revision because Merc retrograde and Busy Weeks mean nothing to deadlines....
lagilman: coffee or die (sky dragon)
The following two gifs are probably terribly apt for the coming week/ten days or so...

MuchAdo reaction shot

balthazar's and?

Also, unrelatedly but importantly, the TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER kickstarter is $305 $195 away from funding!  A Tuckerization in my story for that anthology is still available, and will make you the hero who pushes us over to 100%.  I'm just putting that out there....
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I am home from RoberCon, no thanks to Rt. 87, which turned into a parking lot pretty much the entire way from Rt 17 to NYC, for no reason we could tell.

It was, ducking the tl;dr, an excellent convention, well-attended (they filled their available space without becoming TOO crowded), well-paneled (the conversations were lively and intelligent and utilized audience participation well), and well-fed. And the fact that this was only their second year? It's pretty amazing how well they've got their shit together. If you're in the Binghamton area next September, give 'em a try!

(April Steenburgh and I, mid-question, during the dystopian fiction panel. We look disturbingly pleased with ourselves, considering the topic matter...)

I also go to shill the new Kickstarter for TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER, since our editor/publisher was there as well. Nearly 80% funded, with $2100 to go - and you'll be able to get new stories from Seanan McGuire, David B. Coe, Faith Hunter, Stephen Leigh, Gini Koch, Laura Resnick, and me - pls Other Really Good Writers to be Named Later, as we hit stretch goals!

My story?  Nuh-uh.  You don't get a hint until we hit 90%.  :-)   But one of our stretch goal authors, Juliet McKenna, has blogged about hers...

And now, with the cats placated, there are new words to write. Older words to rewrite. Blog posts to ponder. Coffee. Coffeecoffeecoffee. Hello, Monday!
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Saturday was...well, a basic Saturday. Went to the Greenmarket. Wrote some words. Wrote some more words. Hung out on the sofa with cats and a book someone else wrote. Generally counted and polished spoons, because Sunday....

Well, Sunday.  Sunday was the People's Climate March.  In NYC, in Amsterdam, in London, in Paris, in Istanbul, in Melbourne, in Bogota, in Rio, in Delhi...

In NYC, we were 310,000 strong, according to the official count. [I just saw an updated count of 400K!] Six hours and about six miles, start to finish, and they had to cut the march short by a mile, because otherwise we'd still be marching, there were THAT many people filling the streets.

I marched with the faith-based group section, joining my sister and her fellow Buddhists -and a lot of Jews, Quakers, Pagans, UUers, Episcopalians, Baha'i-ers, and other groups who weren't actually cheek-and-jowl with us.  And there were drummers and bell-ringers, and at least one saxophone and two flutes, and maracas, and a lot of dancing...

And now, having refilled myself with water and protein and not-low-fat carbs, Imma gonna collapse until Monday knocks on the door.
Photos of our corner of the march behind the jump )

If you couldn’t take part in one of the People’s Climate Marches today, but want your voice to be heard…speak up now.


lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

October 2017

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