Star Lines
Saturday, July 26, 2003
  News I've Missed:  Geez, spend a couple days away from the computer and all kinds of stuff happens, like:

Lance Armstrong is about to win the Tour de France for the fifth consecutive time since beating cancer in 1999.  You gotta love this guy (or I'll hurt you.)

Apparently VIP SF writer Gene Wolfe took the blame for bailing out of teaching Odyssey, some VIP academic SF writer workshop thing.  Sounds like a nice man; I'd give him a break.  As always the standard feeding frenzy has ensued in a couple of places.  I'm going to start timing these little bruhas, see if they're on a lunar cycle or something.

Two readers have informed me that Barnes and Noble online is now shipping out orders for Blade Dancer, which is a bit earlier than I had expected (official release date is August 5th.)  B& seems to ship all my books one or two weeks early.  One of my FM clan let me know Blade is also now listed on the SFBC web site under the "Coming Soon" category (note: I'm not a member so I can't get to it.)

My News You've Missed:  Author copies of my second hardcover novel, Going to the Chapel just arrived here; pics to be taken as soon as I can find where Kath stashed my camera.  This book is only available through mail-order series subscription so sorry, can't get this one in stores.

Despite my best efforts to dodge it, inspiration clobbered me with a lightning bolt last night, and if all goes well the web site story for next month will be another Jorenian tale like Salo and Darea's story "Warrior Bond."  Tentative title is "A Diversity of Houses" and features two new HouseClans, the Irea and the Giran.  
  Sibling Conspiracies:  Occasionally my children like to be split up (you stay with Mom--I'll go with Dad) because they get one-on-one attention and near-total control of the respective household.  Also, like most siblings, they get tired of each other, particularly when one of them is sick and the other isn't.

They don't like being separated for very long, though.  This morning I came in from my nature communing on the balcony to hear my daughter on the phone with my son, plotting how soon they could get back together: "I'll tell Mom I'm all better.  You tell Dad you have to play the PS2 at Mom's house."

P.S. Kath is weak but still recovering, with no further symptoms or fever.  Lord, Thank You for listening.  
  Blogger just ate my post -- but Kath is recovering.

Update: Blogger just threw up my post.  Par for the course. 
  Down Time:  The Sick One appears to be on the mend; fever is gone and she's kept everything down for 20 hours.  She's just now drifted off to sleep.  I sat with her most of the night on the sofa and while she watched the Animal Channel I caught up on some reading and did a little fetch and carrying.  Since I don't sit anywhere for seven hours straight unless it's in restraints or in front of a keyboard, she was pleased and took full advantage of having a personal slave.  She was fine the whole time; I just needed to be near her.  Sometimes with your kid, you just do.

Books read tonight while sitting with my daughter:

Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh, which was superb and the hands-down the best of the Bedwyn trilogy.  If Mary doesn't write a book about Wulfric now I'm going to get very cranky.  If you're a Balogh fan, go out and buy this book immediately.  Hell, buy it if you're not, the woman can write.

Go, Dog, Go! by Dr. Seuss.  Classic sophisticated epic about the myriad moments in the lives of many multi-colored canines.  There's a running subplot romance involving much flirting and hat-opining.  Big twist at the end, too.

Young Miles (omnibus or something) edition by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Mixed feelings, and since talking about LMB is like talking about Buffy or LOTR, no further comments.

An Earnest First SF Novel by A Hip Young Writer, which I literally had to plow through page after page of cleverly-writ but lifeless prose.  You know like the voice of that guy who does the Visine commercials? -- that kind of monotony.  I'm not naming author or title because I don't trash books by youngsters hip or otherwise.  God, it sucked, though.

One more spot check on the Recovering One and then I think I'll immerse myself in H2O and contemplate my pedicure. 
Friday, July 25, 2003
  Better AM:  Kath is finally keeping things down again, having graduated from Gatorade by the teaspoon to a cup of dry granola.  Her brother has gone off to stay with Dad while we watch Animal Planet and read books and make clothes for our paper dolls (at the moment I've been sent to my room, as The Invalid is tired of me hovering, i.e. "Go work on something, Mom. I want to play my Pokemon Crystal Version.")

The doctor is standing by; if she continues upchucking today he wants me to bring her to the office for further eval.  I'm not going to think beyond that but I will assure you that parents with too much medical knowledge generally drive themselves insane with the possibilities when their children are ill.  I'm also trying very hard not to remember the week I spent in ICU with Mike at two years old fighting an e. coli infection that nearly killed him.

From the symptoms our pediatrician thinks it's viral, but told me to have the ex throw out everything he's fed her this week, just in case.  The ex agreed and even made a medication run for me so I could stay with her.  The man sucked as a husband but he is a good father, I'll give him that.

I think we'll be okay.  Thanks for all the well wishes and keep us in your thoughts. 
  Round Two:  Last night my ex had the kids, and he told me Katherine was fine.  When I picked her up this morning, she told me she had a little tummy ache.  An hour ago she woke up and threw up her dinner, of which she only ate a few mouthfuls.

Since I bought all new food for her today (from sheer paranoia that it might have come from something in my fridge), it could mean she's relapsed, she never got better, or the ex fed her the same thing that made her sick on Wed.  She just fell asleep a few minutes ago but she's running a low-grade fever.  It's going to be a long night. 
Thursday, July 24, 2003

Book # 2 and Revisions DONE and outta here.

Puff, puff, puff..... 
  Endless Glam:  I should relate what happened yesterday as a warning for you who envision the life of a single mother/writer as a glamorous and uninterrupted parade of cons, booksignings, interviews and readings where you are pampered and admired like everyone's favorite cat.

(Let me laugh for a minute.  Okay.)

Note the hour in which I'm writing this: 4 am; the far-from-glam hour.  Yesterday I got up at 3 am, mostly to check on my daughter, whom my ex delivered back to me the day before with a nice case of food poisoning, then I went to work.  I had a finished manuscript to spot check and print, and galleys to read through and correct, and Fed Ex to catch before 4:00 pm.

I would spend the next 12 hours doing all of this in ten to twenty minute intervals while trotting back and forth to provide hugs and attention, assist in the bathroom and keep the kid from getting dehydrated while reassuring and feeding her sibling, who felt somewhat resentful that he wasn't projectile vomiting, too.

Last week I promised my mother I'd sign some books for her, and of course yesterday she came looking for them.  I don't think I've ever had a booksigning in the parkinglot or dressed as I was (or smelling as I did from the time we didn't make it to the bathroom early enough.)  I have absolutely no idea what I wrote in the books.  If it was "Don't throw up on God, With Blessings, Rebecca Kelly" I apologize.  In mid-signing I had to (literally) run upstairs to check on the invalid and grab other things meant for Mom that I'd forgotten.  That many trips on the stairs = I ran the length of a twelve-story building in ten minutes.

In the meantime, my huge industrial printer decided to run out of toner on the last of the three manuscript copies I was printing.  No problem, I had a replacement cartridge -- which almost cost me a limb to purchase but hey you've got to be prepared for these things right?  Only as I pulled out the old cartridge I realized the new one was 6L, which is for my old printer and yep I'd bought the wrong damn toner cartridge again.

The sick one refused to leave the couch and threatened to throw up in my car if I made her, so I put the ten year old on babysitting duty and for the first time in my life left my two children alone at home while I made the 5 minute trip to Office Depot.  The opened cartridge could not be returned, btw, so check your model numbers before you open the box.

Home again.  Finished printing the manuscripts, wrote the cover letters, called my editor to get an address because the kids moved my address book but couldn't remember to where, went back to the galley.  Something was dripping on it and I realized it was me: I was literally soaked, my hair, face, clothes all dripping with sweat and I hadn't realized it.  No time for a shower, so I towelled off and went back to work.  The sick one finally purged the last of the food poisoning and promptly demanded feeding.  I was due at Fed Ex in fifteen minutes.  If I fed her and then left, ten year old Mike would have to deal with any subsequent purges.  My son, to whom I am leaving my entire estate now, assured me he would handle it.

Carried twenty-seven pounds of paper down to the car, dashed to my pack and ship place.  Surprise!  My old pack and ship lady sold her business.  Now I'd like you to imagine what the new owners thought of the Big Important Writer as, dripping wet again and redolent of Eau de Kid Puke, she staggers in, flings 27 lbs. of paper on the counter and rasps, "Fed Ex overnight to New -- who the hell are you?"

Very nice people, btw, who still had my account open from the previous owner; they competently packed up everything and even thanked me before I left.

Home again.  The sick one, now apparently cured, wanted ice cream.  I had three hours until I was due to teach an on-line class and thus notes to review, but I fixed ice cream and sat with her.  Pain.  I realized I had somehow dislocated part of my neck; I couldn't sit up straight.  The ex arrived to pick up the progeny and the now-well one skipped downstairs with her brother and chattered happily to her father.

I didn't take a shower as much as I whimpered and collapsed into one.  I saw the water swirling around my feet turning gray and wondered just how dirty I was until I remembered that my new hair color (Sienna Something. Mike says it looks black) was shedding.  I used up all the hot water.  I crawled out of the bathroom to find clean clothes and saw I had an hour before class started.  It only took me thirty minutes to realize that I couldn't sit up straight at all and if I was going to teach it would have to be at a forty degree angle.  With real regret (I honestly love doing my on-line classes) I cancelled and rescheduled the class and crawled back to the bathroom to get the heating pad because my neck wasn't dislocated, I was just having really bad muscle spasms.

I got into bed, got out and fed the cats, got into bed, got out and turned out all the lights, got into bed, got out to take some ibuprofen, got into bed and remembered to unplug the heating pad so I wouldn't end up with second-degree burns.  I passed out.

While all this stuff was happening yesterday I also read/edited/corrected/retyped/printed two books which combined equal about 175K words.  Today I get to do that again, only with a single 90K manuscript and minus (I hope) the puking kid. 
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
  The Cave Writer:  (drags manucript into cave, throws it down in front of fire, plants foot on title page) See?  I made writing.

Somebody say Ooooooh now and bring me a dinosaur steak. :)  

And the Book is outta here.


The Book is DONE.

Monday, July 21, 2003
  Jeri Might Have Some Objections:  Eye-widening subject line from a bookseller's e-mail, announcing the release of Terry Goodkind's new novel:

Sheila, Get Terry Goodkind Naked 
  Helpful Hint:  If your mother is a writer, and she was up until 3 am working, and it's the Monday of her deadline week, please do not wake her up by putting the Rimsky-Korsakov CD on full blast six inches from her face.

Also, if he's not dead, will someone please go kill Rimsky-Korsakov?  Thank you. 
Adventures at the KeyBoard

10/28/2001 - 11/04/2001 / 11/04/2001 - 11/11/2001 / 11/11/2001 - 11/18/2001 / 11/18/2001 - 11/25/2001 / 11/25/2001 - 12/02/2001 / 12/02/2001 - 12/09/2001 / 12/09/2001 - 12/16/2001 / 12/16/2001 - 12/23/2001 / 12/23/2001 - 12/30/2001 / 12/30/2001 - 01/06/2002 / 01/06/2002 - 01/13/2002 / 01/13/2002 - 01/20/2002 / 01/20/2002 - 01/27/2002 / 01/27/2002 - 02/03/2002 / 02/03/2002 - 02/10/2002 / 02/10/2002 - 02/17/2002 / 02/17/2002 - 02/24/2002 / 02/24/2002 - 03/03/2002 / 03/03/2002 - 03/10/2002 / 03/10/2002 - 03/17/2002 / 03/17/2002 - 03/24/2002 / 03/24/2002 - 03/31/2002 / 03/31/2002 - 04/07/2002 / 04/07/2002 - 04/14/2002 / 04/14/2002 - 04/21/2002 / 04/21/2002 - 04/28/2002 / 04/28/2002 - 05/05/2002 / 05/05/2002 - 05/12/2002 / 05/12/2002 - 05/19/2002 / 05/19/2002 - 05/26/2002 / 05/26/2002 - 06/02/2002 / 06/02/2002 - 06/09/2002 / 06/09/2002 - 06/16/2002 / 06/16/2002 - 06/23/2002 / 06/23/2002 - 06/30/2002 / 06/30/2002 - 07/07/2002 / 07/07/2002 - 07/14/2002 / 07/14/2002 - 07/21/2002 / 07/21/2002 - 07/28/2002 / 07/28/2002 - 08/04/2002 / 08/04/2002 - 08/11/2002 / 08/11/2002 - 08/18/2002 / 08/18/2002 - 08/25/2002 / 08/25/2002 - 09/01/2002 / 09/01/2002 - 09/08/2002 / 09/08/2002 - 09/15/2002 / 09/15/2002 - 09/22/2002 / 09/22/2002 - 09/29/2002 / 09/29/2002 - 10/06/2002 / 10/06/2002 - 10/13/2002 / 10/13/2002 - 10/20/2002 / 10/20/2002 - 10/27/2002 / 10/27/2002 - 11/03/2002 / 11/03/2002 - 11/10/2002 / 11/10/2002 - 11/17/2002 / 11/17/2002 - 11/24/2002 / 11/24/2002 - 12/01/2002 / 12/01/2002 - 12/08/2002 / 12/08/2002 - 12/15/2002 / 12/15/2002 - 12/22/2002 / 12/22/2002 - 12/29/2002 / 12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003 / 01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 / 01/12/2003 - 01/19/2003 / 01/19/2003 - 01/26/2003 / 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 / 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 / 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 / 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 / 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 / 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 / 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 / 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 / 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 / 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 / 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 / 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 / 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 / 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 / 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 / 05/11/2003 - 05/18/2003 / 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 / 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 / 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 / 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 / 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 / 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 / 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 / 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 / 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 / 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 / 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 / 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 / 08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003 / 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 / 08/24/2003 - 08/31/2003 / 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 / 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 / 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 / 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 / 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 / 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 / 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 / 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 /

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