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RoW80: May 29th Check In

Shorty-short update:

Did some research for a short story I might write for an anthology.
Did morning pages today. I intend to do them every day this week.
Also intend to get some submissions out this week. I do believe I have all the necessary documents on my flash drive.

None of these is exactly RoW80 goals. It’s not a good excuse, but I’m on other people’s computers and it’s been a really disconcerting few weeks.  Itching to finish work on Divine Fire and get back to work on Luck for Hire. I’ll get back to AZ Wednesday evening.

Catch up with other RoW80ers via Mr. Linky!

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Friday Summary

Where am I?

  • Pas de Chat finished posting this past Sunday. Still undecided on whether I want to spend time cleaning it up. My sister Tessa is willing to help out with cover art (and new cover art for Lucinda at the Window), but I haven’t touched base with her since Wednesday. She’s working on establishing a photography business, but is willing to provide a family discount. (And I might help set up a better website for her.)
  • My thoughts on two of the Nebula nominated novellas, including the winner, over at Reading Notes.

What else am I up to?

Oma’s memorial was Wednesday morning. It was less painful than I expected. Pastor Tim provided a lovely homily, my sis provided a beautiful photo for the service, and Elvis’s music had me bawling. Aunts Eileen and Leona, Cousins Tim and Mike, and Mike’s daughter came in *for the day* from northern Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa. They were a comfort to my grandfather. Currently, I’m doing okay, but I’m not sure if the ramifications of Oma being gone have entirely sunk in. While walking through Gordmans today I thought that I should report back on the interesting lawn ornaments, that Oma might want to check them out. And then caught myself.

Haven’t gotten back to work yet. I’m spending today at my in-law’s house. Eric and I took a trip to Ted & Wally’s and we’re going out to dinner with my sister-in-law and her family tonight, but mostly my potential work day has been spent catching up on a few things. Getting closer to normal. It’s been chilly and rainy here, weather I generally like. Yet, I find myself wishing for the heat and the dry. I’m sure I’ll regret that about five minutes after we touch down in AZ.

My mom gave me her Sony eReader. I’ve been having some fun with that, but it makes me want a tablet PC more.

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RoW80: May 25th Check In

Still in Omaha. No progress on Divine Fire. I did take a look at an old short story and can see how I can improve it. Which I might do eventually.

The last week has been exhausting. I feel like I could sleep for a year, except that I can’t seem to sleep more than about five hours. Eventually, maybe tonight, everything will catch up with me and I’ll pass out.

Catch up with other RoW80 participants via Mr. Linky!

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Let me tell you about my grandmother.

First of all, it’s Oma, not "grandmother." It’s also not "Hon" as the hospice nurse was informed on Thursday. Even though her voice was hoarse and her breath was shallow, Oma clearly and quite loudly told the nurse, "I am Hildegard."

Her favorite musical artists were Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Elvis Presley. In fact, I think the only reason she ever bought a video disc player, and later upgraded to VHS and DVD, was so she could watch Elvis movies when she wanted. To this day, I have a soft spot for Elvis movies. She also loved polka, I taste I never developed.

She adored Patrick Swayze. One of our numerous late evening movie expeditions to the Park 4 theater was to see Point Break. She didn’t care for it as much because Swayze was the bad guy.

She was an avid QVC shopper. Or at least an avid QVC orderer. The standard procedure was to order something, evaluate it a couple of days, and send it back. Still, her cupboards are full of gadgets and her jewelry box is a trove of diamonique.

We went to Crossroads and Westroads malls often. Not really to shop, but more to walk and see things. The Afternoon was always a favorite with their eclectic kitchenware. Long before World Market came to Nebraska, Oma would buy German candies from Brandeis when they had them: white confections with hazelnuts in the middle and chocolates that were cool like ice on the tongue.

I grew up a couple houses away from my grandparents, and therefore, always had an alternate dinner choice available to me. I always loved her roudaden and spaetzle and German pancakes with applesauce, but it wasn’t until I moved away that I gained appreciation for lentil soup and red cabbage and spinach over potatoes with an egg on top.

She bought the Star more for the crossword puzzle than the celebrity gossip. We were doing crossword puzzles at the kitchen table the night Princess Diana died. We spent winter nights doing jigsaw puzzles, Dr. Zhivago on in the kitchen where we were working, and my grandpa watching a bowl game in the other room even though he wasn’t a football fan. Sometimes, she would stay up all night finishing a puzzle.

Through more persistence than green-thumb, she planted beautiful flower beds. Two attendants from the funeral home came today, a big burly guy and a petite but strong woman, both younger than me. As my mom and grandpa where saying their last goodbyes to Oma, the woman asked about the flower beds. "There’s so many pretty things," she said.

I want to remember all the pretty things and not the last year. And I wish you all would have known Oma so you would remember her too.

Posted in Female Author, Male Author, Short Story

2 Nebula Novellas

I only managed to read two of the nominated novellas before the awards were given out this past weekend. Rachael Swirsky’s “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” won in the novella category. In the short story category, Kij Johnson’s “Ponies” and Harlan Ellison’s  “How Interesting: A Tiny Man” tied. I never got to the novelettes. Maybe I’ll catch the winner “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone in my Hugo reads.

Here are my notes:

“The Sultan of the Clouds”, Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 9/10) – Lots of sci-fi glitz! I appreciate that our POV character is the secondary character, the Dr. Watson, or maybe just the third wheel. Didn’t care for the end. It came fast and was maybe too heroic.

“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window”, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine Summer ’10) – Not my favorite of Swirsky’s stories. It got too big, in my opinion. I like her stories when they’re more intimate. The first half worked for me, but not the latter half.

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#RoW80 – May 18th Check In

My grandmother’s health has deteriorated rapidly in the last week and a half. I moved my trip to Omaha from next Wednesday to yesterday (Tues, 5/17). I spent Monday and Tuesday morning cleaning, packing, and generally getting my ducks in row.  (Eric was a big help in the duck organization. He called Southwest twice(!) to get our tickets straightened out. He’ll be up next week.) The rest of Tuesday was spent traveling and seeing family. I narrowly averted a suitcase catastrophe and had my first backscatter x-ray at the airport. The TSA officer still had to fondle my pony-tail to make sure I wasn’t packing heat in my frizz.

So, no writing progress since last week. I’ve brought stuff along, but the notion of getting something done is optimistic. I’d really like to get back to Luck for Hire after this Round of Words, and that should be doable since my goal is to finish this bunch of edits in two weeks and I’ll have three weeks between getting back to Tempe and the end of the round. Still, I’m antsy.

And anxious and sad and a few other things.

Have a good week of writing, folks. Make it count.

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#RoW80 – May 15th Check In

Pretty much on the track I’ve set. Finished going through the first third of the manuscript which is probably only about a quarter of the work. Didn’t do as much writing on the new scenes as I probably should have. I’m at a good starting point for tomorrow. Barring any emergency, this will be my last full week of work before heading to Omaha next Tuesday.

Need to get some submissions out this week. Been reading a lot. It’s good.