Tag Archives: Family

And when we play we tend to leave a trail a mile wide

Today is my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday, mom! My mom, in case it hasn’t been clear from my previous blog posts, is awesome. =) Tonight after work, Me, Kay and Baz, along with mom, my sister Joan and her kids Isaac and Ruth, are all going to the Big Apple Circus! I haven’t been for many many many years (I’m actually not sure exactly when the last time was). Baz of course has never been and is really looking forward to it. The circus was mom’s choice, so hey! It’s nice that they’re actually here on her birthday, though we could have gone another nearby day if it’d been necessary. Sadly it’s going to rain all day, which is annoying, but eh. I still anticipate lots of fun. *Knock Wood*

Speaking of birthdays, Baz’s birthday is next in the immediate family, on May 31. He’s going to be FIVE. *LALALALALAICAN’THEARYOULALALALALALA!!!* When did this happen?! He’s starting KINDERGARTEN in September! Eep! Fortunately we’ve got his school paperwork up to date. (Kudos to Kay for being on top of that!) We’ll find out soon which school he got into, but really – there’s a perfectly good K-8 school across the street from our house. Literally. If they try to put him anywhere else, they’re bonkers. We’ve already got some good ideas in the works for his birthday – which I’m not going to share yet because somehow he’d hear about it. Really. Just randomly we’ll be on a bus a month from now and some stranger will say “Yeah, so this guy on his blog was talking about what he’s doing for his son’s birthday…” and POOF, the surprise is spoiled!

Last night, we got confirmation that Crossed Genres Publications has been assigned a table in the dealer’s room (the ‘Bookstore’) at ReaderCon! We’re very excited! ReaderCon is very focused on the writing of speculative fiction, unlike other cons that also devote time to tv, film, etc. Nothing wrong with that, but the focus on writing/publishing is just what we’re looking for! Also, the guest list is very impressive, and I look forward to meeting some folks who I’ve conversed with but never met in person. If you’re in the area you should totally come to the con!

Kay and I have been talking and planning almost nonstop for two weeks now! We’re trying to lay out CGP’s plans/projects through 2012 so we can have a better idea how to plan our time. Of course, some of that will be effected by if we get floored by any novel submissions that we really want to produce. *hint hint!* At this point we have a pretty good idea of what things will look like, though of course details are changing and being firmed up constantly. A lot is what you might expect, if you’ve followed CG for the past couple of years – but there will be surprises. OH will there be surprises! 😉

One of the things we’re working on is a new website, something CG really needs. We’re just in the planning stages right now, figuring out what we need the site to do and coming up with designs. We’re aiming to (hopefully) have the new site ready to launch around September.

As I mentioned on Twitter, right now most of my projects are kind of in limbo: either I’m waiting for an email, or something won’t be decided for a couple weeks, or the project is long-term and something that just needs to be worked on a bit at a time here and there. It’s very strange, because over the past 2 1/2 years CG has been very much about NOW: Got to get it done fast, constant turnover, gogoGO! And right now it’s not really like that, not most of it anyway. There’s LOTS of stuff to work on but it’s all slow burn. And after 2 1/2 years of constantly racing to meet deadlines, I am NOT conditioned for Slow Burn.

Of course, this will not last. Soon the magazine will kick into high gear again, and some other projects will heat up, and it’ll be back to the fast pace… for a while. Part of the plans Kay and I are making involve more slow burn starting in 2012. I’m happy about it, but if right now is any indication, it’s going to take some getting used to!

Post title from “Banned From Argo” by Leslie Fish

Everybody’s smellin’ my potpourri

So many things to post about!

  • 1. Tiptree Award!

The Tiptree Award was announced last week, and a story originally published in Crossed Genres’ Characters of Color issue (#24) made the Honor List! “The James Tiptree, Jr. Award is an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender.” Sandra McDonald’s “Drag Queen Astronaut” was described as “a wonderful exploration (and ultimately an affirmation) of a gender presentation that tends to be ignored or ridiculed.”

We’re immensely proud of this. Since we founded Crossed Genres in September ’08, we’ve always had a goal for CG to be progressive, open and actively inclusive. We’ve worked to further this with issues dedicated to under-represented groups (LGBTQ, Eastern, Characters of Color). This nod is an acknowledgment of that work and it’s immensely satisfying.

  • 2. CG print subscription (?)

CG is also considering something we’ve wanted to do since we founded the zine: Print subscriptions! We’ve never been able to make it work before, but we might now be able to! We’re taking a sounding of people to see if there’s enough interest. If you’d be interested in a reasonably priced (~$30/year) print subscription to CG Magazine, go here and let us know! (Or reply right here, that’s fine too…)

  • 3. Ebook Coordinator / Promotions Coordinator

Also, CG is looking for an Ebook Coordinator. We need someone who can manage accounts for CG’s ebooks on various ebook distribution platforms (Like Kindle, iBookstore, PubIt, Smashwords, etc.). If you’re interested check out the listing on the site!

  • 4. Diana Wynne Jones / Geraldine Ferraro / Elizabeth Taylor

I was heartbroken to learn of the death of Diana Wynne Jones on Saturday. I read Jones’ books heavily when I was a kid, and have always remembered them vividly; The Lives of Christopher Chant in particular, as well as Charmed Life, Howl’s Moving Castle, Fire and Hemlock, Power of Three, and her short story collection Warlock at the Wheel and Other Stories, etc. The skill and beauty of her writing is something all writers of fantasy should aspire to.

In a nasty bit of irony, I’m a member of a Twitter “Tweetup” group: we get together each Sunday, all start playing a film at the same time, and tweet about it. We focus on the films of Hiyao Miyazaki, and this week we had already arranged to watch his adaptation of Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. We did so earlier today; it was both fun and sad.

If Jones wasn’t bad enough, just 3 days earlier legendary film actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away; and then only hours after hearing about Jones, news spread of the death of Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman Vice Presidential candidate for a major party (D-1984). It was a bad week for talented, exceptional women. They’ll be missed.

  • 5. AKIRA Fail

You may recall my previous post in which I described the Utter Fail that was Paramount and M. Night Shyamalan’s handling of casting in the film The Last Airbender. Well apparently film studios are incapable of learning from each other, because Warner Brothers is at it now, this time with the seminal Manga/Anime Akira. Evidently, not only is Warner brothers relocating the story from Japan to “Neo-Manhattan”, but they are targeting a handful of prominent white actors to play the main male characters of Tetsuo and Kanedawhile keeping the characters’ original names. Apparently it makes more sense to WB to cast a mid-20’s white guy to play a teenage Asian character than it does to cast… a teenage Asian actor? (I’m particularly incensed about this one – the film of AKIRA was part of my introduction to Anime.)

  • 6. BarCamp Boston / ReaderCon

Kay and I are debating whether to go to Bar Camp Boston in a couple weekends from now. I’ve heard about it for a couple years now but never gone; this year 2 friends have independently asked if I was going. It does sound like it would be fun, and a good way to network. We’ll see. Anyone out there going?

Also, I’ve applied for a table for CG at ReaderCon in July. There’s no guarantees – apparently it’s a tough con to get a table at, especially for new/small presses, but I’m staying hopeful. We want to have the official release of Kelly Jennings’ Broken Slate be at ReaderCon! We should find out sometime in April.

  • 7. Taxes

ARGH! would be my general reaction to tax time. As it is for everyone I suppose. Our taxes tend to be complicated because of CG, and last year was quite a challenge to figure out; it was made worse when we ended up owing $1200 that we didn’t have.

This year I strongly considered hiring someone to do it, but it was too expensive and I figured we’d be losing $ again, though hopefully not as badly as last year – I didn’t want to add more to that. So I did it myself again, this weekend. Fortunately what I’d learned last year stuck with me and I remembered most of it, so it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Even better, I discovered that not only do we not owe $ to federal OR state, we’re actually getting a small but nice refund! ZOMGYAY! Huge relief!

  • 8. Birthdays

It is birthday time for my immediate family. Almost 2 weeks ago, it was my sister’s birthday, and then this past week was my niece Ruth’s. In a couple weeks it’ll be my mom’s, and then 1 1/2 months after that – BAZ’S! And then a couple more weeks until my nephew Isaac’s. Kay and I are the outliers – what else is new?

For my sister’s birthday we went to The Chocolate Bar in Boston. It’s an absurd amount of decadence that you can only do very rarely – not just for the cost but there’s only so much chocolate you can eat in one go! It was a lot of fun, and Baz, bless ‘im, ate mostly fruit that was intended for dipping in chocolate sauce. Fortunately kids under 5 are free! 😉

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— Post title from “S.I.M.P. (Squirrels In My Pants)” from Phineas & Ferb —

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A Picasso or a Garfunkel

Hodgepodge post time!

I’ve been editing like crazy for the past few days. It’s for a Sekrit Projekt! Progress has been great – in fact I’m hoping *KNOCK WOOD* to have the editing done by the end of Sunday. That’s just one of numerous steps in the project of course, but it’ll be nice to have completed. (Also it was supposed to be done by mid-December, but Rise Reviews forced me to push it back a bit.)

It is awards season, which means everyone is pushing their stories! I have but one story to pimp: Issue #19 of M-Brane SF had my story “Flip the Switch” in it! The story was later re-released in M-Brane SF Quarterly #1. The story is “a terrific reimagining of humanity’s first step off this world”. It deserves a Hugo! 😉

I had one other sale from last year, but it doesn’t apply to the 2010 awards. “Her Eyes On”, which I co-wrote with Kay, was sold to the anthology BEAUTY HAS HER WAY, edited by Jennifer Brozek and to be published by Dark Quest Books. It was originally scheduled for a September 2010 release, but it’s been pushed back and is now expected late this month! So that will apply to 2011 awards. It’s an amazing story and the antho looks incredible! Buy it when it comes out!

Speaking of awards in 2011, I’ve made a decision: Come hell or high water, I will sell at least 5 short stories in 2011. That means making time to write stories (more than 5, realistically), submit them, resubmit when rejected, etc. Basically, it’s a goal that 1) will force me to make time to write (yay!) and 2) gives me more things to pimp in this post next year! ;-P

Baz got kicked in the jaw yesterday. We’re 90% sure it was an accident, baz and the other kid were laying down on their mats for nap. Baz’s jaw is fine but he bit his tongue, so he was bleeding a fair bit last night. It wasn’t really bothering him but a dad doesn’t want to walk into his son’s preschool and have the first thing he sees is his smiling son with blood in the corner of his mouth. =(

…oh yeah, Christmas happened, didn’t it? It was all right this year. 90% of my gifts were games – computer games, board games, etc. But that’s okay, I like games! Kay got me Civilization V, which I’ve been playing a ton of… damn thing is hard to quit! My main gift to Kay was a small, hand-made teapot (The “Kikko Glaze Green” 22 oz) and some nice loose tea from Mighty Leaf. She made 3 cups of tea the first day, so I think she liked it. 😉 Baz, as usual, mostly shunned his bigger gifts for the little stuff, like the $5 plastic trick-flying airplane. I did pass him my Nintendo DS that I never used, though, and he has been playing the hell out of the Lego Harry Potter game. 😉 He’s also been enjoying Slamwich and Rory’s Story Cubes a lot. The story cubes are a blast, I love playing that with him – he makes up the funniest stories! =)

It’s time for lunch, but I have no food. It better not be snowing out there.

Post title from “If I Had a Million Dollars” by Barenaked Ladies

Opening up new doors and doing new things

I considered writing one of those “Year in review” posts, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Not because 2010 sucked. There was a lot of great stuff. There was a lot of bad stuff too. A lot of shit that I wish I hadn’t had to deal with, and a lot of things that I’ll be grateful for for the rest of my life.

Ultimately, though, I’m not writing the post because it doesn’t fit into my schedule. There would be far too much to cover and frankly I don’t have the time to spend rehashing last year. Not when this year’s here. ALREADY.

How the fuck is it already 2011?!

Tonight Kay and I sat down and talked about the coming year and all we have planned. I’m not going to even try to list everything (we do have many spreadsheets), but my share includes, in PART, A Festival of Skeletons, Broken Slate, Rise Reviews, Boskone, Crossed Genres, Science in My Fiction (Editing fiction, occasional contributor & the 2nd annual SiMF contest), and at least 3 fairly large-sized Sekrit Projects.

The above, of course, doesn’t even mention my own writing, which is once again in hibernation until I can strike one or two things from the above list. The degree to which this pisses me off actually stuns me.

Overall I have very mixed feelings about the coming year. At this time last year, our projects consisted of the CG magazine, the accompanying anthology, the start of A Festival of Skeletons, and our own writing. Though next year, on paper at least, does appear to taper off gradually (*KNOCK WOOD*), it’s still far more busy than I expected even 2010 to be (and of course, I was completely wrong about that). There are a few other things that I won’t relate publicly that have me ready to tear some heads off, and I can’t see a way to eliminate them from my life. I’m irritated and frustrated that my own writing is once again looking like it’ll be an afterthought, barring my just abandoning a project or two… and I don’t abandon projects that other people have commitments to as well. I won’t leave others hanging. As much as I’d like to sometimes.

On the other hand: after a lot of thought over the past several months I’ve accepted that I enjoy editing about as much as I enjoy writing. This may be partially because writing has been clouded with frustration recently, but editing IS frustration, so it’s fair to compare them. I get to do a lot of the editorial side of things now, and that makes me happy. So much so that one or two of my Sekrit Projects are VERY editorial in nature, and I’m enjoying the hell out of them so far. I do want to write – NEED to write, but I’m also gradually accepting that just because writing is getting pushed aside, that doesn’t mean I have to resent it, or the things preventing me from doing it, especially if I enjoy them. That’s been making it easier to deal with the annoyance of no writing time. I can actually see being very happy if at some point down the road I could split my time evenly between editing and writing.

Next year is also going to have a lot of exciting things. Boskone will be mine and Kay’s first convention where we have CG et al as dealers, with a table in the Hucksters room and everything. We’re expecting the 2nd SiMF contest to be even bigger and more exciting than last year. In September, Baz will start kindergarten (LALALALAICAN’THEARYOU!). And there are a few secret things that I’m giddy with anticipation for.

So yeah. 2010 was a mixed bag, though overall I’d say it averaged out firmly on the positive side. 2011… feels more uncertain than I can remember feeling at the start of a year. Even when Kay and I packed up and drove from AZ to MA five years ago, I felt like I had a better grasp of what to expect than I do now. I hate feeling like that, and it’s what’s making me ambivalent about 2011. I’m hoping that over the next few weeks some things will get sorted out and at the very least I’ll have a better idea of what to expect, or at least plan for. In the meantime, freaking out will continue until morale improves.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
– Walt Disney

They will tell their empty stories

There’s been a good deal of interest in Rise Reviews since I announced it. I’ve got commitments from reviewers for at least 25 reviews per month, which is excellent. I’d like to reach the point where RR can post at least 1 review every day. That would be kickass. More than that would be even better, but 1/day is a specific goal I want to hit. Anyone else out there with spec fic review experience? Even one review a month would be helpful. Email me.

Also? We are short on fiction by women and people of color for review. We’re a bit low on review material in general, but of what we have, women and people of color are under-represented. Publishers, editors, authors! Email me! Get your writing reviewed! We’ll review novels, anthologies/collections, magazines & podcasts; anything speculative fiction, including LGBTQ, world lit, erotica, etc. As long as it earned at least a token payment, but less than pro rates, we’re interested.

RR has taken a fair bit of my time recently. I was a bit worried about that, but it turns out that I haven’t fallen behind because of it. My other stuff is on track for the most part. I’m a bit surprised at how much pressure has been released already now that we’ve (mostly) handed over the CG zine to Jaym and Natania. I’ve still got plenty to do, but the monthly grind of the issues off my back has been an enormous relief. I can actually skip a day of work for whatever reason and not fall far behind as a result. (I still panic and feel guilty if I skip a day, though. I’m working on that.)

My mom is at this very moment in Botswana! I am unbelievably jealous! Mom is recently retired, and she’s been planning this trip for many months. Considering that she’s recovered from ovarian cancer surgery/treatments, I’m so excited for her. She had Wi-fi access from the first place she stayed, and emailed us a few photos. Including one of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency – she actually was there at the building where they filmed the show. So cool! If she says it’s okay I’ll post the pic, and maybe some more from her trip, sometime in the future. (I’m especially glad now that she decided to upgrade to the iPhone 4 with Kay and I – small, lightweight, and takes high-def photos AND video.)

Baz drew real artz a few days ago! He’s drawn before, but mostly it was kind of random squiggles (which he always said was something specific). He’d also drawn baloons and kites before, mainly because they’re roughly ovals/diamonds with a line coming out of them. But this time he drew himself, riding a skateboard, throwing a ball! It’s a round figure with stick limbs, but it’s very clearly what he wanted to draw, and he did it without any help. We’re very pleased, especially since he hasn’t really shown much inclination to draw things as they actually are before.

More later, assuming something else happens.

Post title from “Carry it On” by Joan Baez

You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been there too

We had a bit of a scare earlier this week when a shipment of 80 books we’d ordered got lost by USPS. Fortunately yesterday we got a satisfactory solution to the problem, but for a day there I was both enraged and very worried. Clearly the universe thinks I need more stress. (For the record: the universe is wrong.)

I just posted the Table of Contents for CG’s upcoming Characters of Color issue (11/1). I love this issue: I feel very proud that the last issue Kay and I are the editors for is so exceptional.

I admit that I’m a little sad about not editing the magazine any more. It feels very weird that after more than 2 years, it won’t be a regular monthly part of my life. every time I’ve worked on my schedule recently I feel like something’s missing. But i’ve got plenty more going on so it’s not like I’m bored! 😉

Speaking of the magazine – Big Things are afoot! There’ll be some pretty major changes coming under Jaym and Natania’s regime. We’re still talking about it all. There’ll probably be an announcement or three relatively soon.

My schedule right now currently consists of getting issue 24 finished and ready to go, and waiting for the various proof copies we’re anticipating. I ordere 3 different proofs at the same time a couple days ago! Issue 24, Crossed Genres Year Two, and the final-final (hopefully) proof for A Festival of Skeletons! Gonna be brilliant to get that package in the mail! (assuming it arrives…)

(Don’t forget – there’s only 10 days left to preorder A Festival of Skeletons! Do it now!)

Of course, those aren’t the only things on my plate ATM. Most of the rest is fiddly little things, and then there’s my other big super-sekrit project. That one’s coming together very nicely, and it’ll pick up somewhat in November. Exciting! Not ready to talk about it yet, though. [/tease]

The next couple of months sure look crazy. Lots of changes, lots of work, and the holidays, which are always stressful. Plus they disrupt our schedule. Also releases of Festival and CGY2. urgh…

Poor Baz had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and got FOUR shots. I wasn’t there (at work), but Kay said he did really well, even though he did cry after the first two. I so don’t blame him. Since then he’s been complaining that his legs hurt, so much that Kay kept him home from school today. He’s such a sweet kid and I feel so terrible when he’s hurting, even for a good thing like immunizations. But he was somewhat consoled by knowing that the shots were to help him fight germs – it’s SCIENCE! 😉

I had a lot of fun with Baz the last couple days, but tonight it’s my turn to hunker down and work. Still a ton to do. Will I ever get to write again? Well I’m sure as hell gonna try in November!

Post title from “The Chain of Love” by Clay Walker

Whomp! …and various other occurences

What a bizarre, crazy, full day.

This morning my boss called out sick (actually texted) for the 2nd straight day. It was slow so it didn’t matter, and I’d rather have him out than getting me sick.

A while later I finished the last touches on CG’s upcoming Crossed Genres Year Two and sent it off to the printer! YAY! An official announcement about that is forthcoming. But it was just a huge relief to check that off my list. I also finished a few more small CG things.

At noon, I went for a long-overdue eye exam, and got fitted with contacts. I had contacts when I was in college and for a bit thereafter, but I eventually got lazy and reverted to glasses. But my glasses have been bothering me lately, hurting the bridge of my nose, and Baz tends to do them a lot of damage. So I decided it was time to go back. My prescription turned out to be only a bit different, but holy crap, what a huge change! It’s not just the prescription, but the way the lenses sit on the eyes completely changes perspective. And there’s no constant border around my vision (the glasses frames). Although I feel a bit of extra pressure in my head (the optometrist did warn me that I could experience eye strain for a while), I’m enjoying the contacts immensely.

To my delight, my new computer arrived! I knew it was “out for delivery”, but I thought that my mom would be out of the house when it arrived (I had it shipped to her because I knew I wouldn’t be at home when they tried to deliver, and mom graciously agreed to wait and sign for it). But it arrived in a little window of time she was at home in the afternoon, which meant I don’t have to wait until tomorrow! Yes – I am typing this post on my new computer.

And OMG, it’s going to take as much getting used to as my contacts. I have NEVER had a computer like this. I’ve been using laptops forever, and even when I had a desktop I never had a screen like this! I haven’t put it through real trials yet, but so far it’s done everything I tried flawlessly. I’m still in the getting-software-installed phase, and transferring files from my old computer – the old comp had a 60GB hard drive, which is full. This new one? 750GB. Yyyyeah. Not seeing that get full anytime soon. Hell, Kay and I have an external drive for backup that’s 250GB, and after 2 years we haven’t even filled it halfway. And that’s with a ton of redundant copies.

Also, the screen on this thing? It’s 21.5″. My laptop: 15″. It’s absurd. I HAVE to have better posture when using this, because getting too close is painful. New enormous, bright screen the same day I get new contacts? Hello, eye strain!

Anyway, I’m going to play around with it for a while longer and then write a more detailed opinion blog. I only unpacked it about 2 hours ago so I haven’t really gotten the chance to get a thorough impression.

For some reason Kay was craving teriyaki stirfry. So I left work a bit early, hopped in the car near home and zipped over to the supermarket for some teriyaki sauce, and then went back to get Kay and Baz. Mom met us at home shortly after with the computer. (I was planning to go get it, but she had to drive over right near us to pick up my sister Joan’s daughter anyway so she offered to bring it. It wasn’t too heavy, fortunately.)

When I stopped for the stir-fry sauce, I checked my email and discovered that I’d gotten an email about a review of A Festival of Skeletons going up. And it’s a great review, too! “A Festival of Skeletons is like a love child of Terry Pratchett and Robert Rankin – a pacy, intelligent comedy novel that’s crazier than a cat on catnip, with excellent characterisation that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Highly recommended.” Very nice!

After dinner it was my night with Baz, so I just ignored the big brown box with the computer and played with him. We did legos, watched a bit of A:tLA, wrassled… yeah, it was fun. =)

It was a bit less fun when, while wrassling, Baz decided to climb over me and put his finger in my eye. Knocking the contact lens half-out. That wasn’t fun. Kay kept Baz at bay while I cleaned the lens and put it back in. Baz was very apologetic – it was an accident after all.

As soon as Baz was in bed I cracked open the computer (duh!). I had forgotten that I needed to name it until it asked me, and then I was stumped – most of my computers have been McFly, but this is like McFly’s badass grandson. Kay dubbed it “Whomp”, and it stuck.

The next few days will involve lots of installing, testing, etc. Never the most fun time with a computer, but it’ll be worth it.

Now I’m going to pull out a film and see how this HD screen and pricey video card handle it.

I can’t have nice things: Extended edition

Days as shitty as today are pretty rare. It takes the accumulation of a lot of things that, on their own, they’re bad but you deal with them and move on. All together, and if you get through the day without punching something then the world got off light.

1) This morning getting off the bus my left foot hit an uneven bit of concrete and I rolled my ankle, hard. I’ve had bad sprains before but nothing like this since the bad tennis sprain in high school. That one permanently weakened my right ankle, so I just have to hope that’s not the case this time.

2) Had a misunderstanding on Twitter that led to some unpleasantness. A couple emails have improved the situation but I hate when I accidentally upset people, especially people I like and respect.

3) Half the things I wanted to do at work, or were actually part of my regular job routine, I couldn’t do because of my ankle. So I was mostly useless today, at a time when my workload for Crossed Genres is incredibly high. Plus I HATE being unproductive.

4) a web designer dissed the Crossed Genres website. (I’m mostly kidding, this is an exaggeration. The exact comment was “A little oldschool, is all… ^^; ” But then after my sarcastic comment “if you know anyone who’s willing to do a redesign of our site for free, send them my way,” others started talking about actually doing a redesign – even after I said “I have the skills to completely redesign our site, if I wanted. I just don’t have the time.” I just wasn’t in the mood.)

5) The commute home, limping with my hurt ankle, was rough. Commuters can be real assholes, and this is never more clear than when you’re injured, elderly, wrangling a child, or otherwise in real need of a seat.

6) A few other things that are personal and I don’t want to post here. They were angering and uncomfortable.

7) To cap the night off, I spent over 3 hours working on the Science in My Fiction contest digital formats. Just when I thought I had it all done, I converted it to EPUB and loaded it on my iPhone. There were a number of major problems I’d never seen before. When I opened it up again, the entire file was corrupt; all the code is completely un-salvageable. I’m going to have to start over from the beginning.

When I tweeted “Yesterday I ordered a new computer. Today I sprained my left ankle. Badly. Coincidence? I think not. #fatesabitch #Icanthavenicethings” I was kidding. Except apparently not. Maybe I should cancel the computer order.

Oh, yeah – I haven’t mentioned that here, have I? Yesterday I bit the bullet and ordered a new computer:

Sweet, huh? I upgraded it to the quad-core processor, got the dedicated 1GB and added more RAM. I got an employee discount through work. Best of all, when I called about it, I ended up spending $200 less than I’d originally thought!

This computer is a combination early birthday present and Crossed Genres necessity. My current computer, a laptop, is about 3 years old, and while it works, it just can’t keep up with the various things I need to do for CG; it sometimes can’t run an old version of Photoshop when no other program is running. Not good for getting CG stuff done. It’ll take some serious getting used to – I’ve used laptops for years, and Absurd Screen is absurd (21.5″). (No, I’m not actually going to cancel the order. Though if tomorrow starts out anything like today I may seriously consider it.)

There have been a few good things today:

– My coworker was kind enough to run a review copy of A Festival of Skeletons around the corner to the post office when I couldn’t because of my ankle.
– Kay is awesome. She handled dinner & Baz while I sat like a lump because I couldn’t walk or stand for long. Dinner was delish too!
– When Baz was warned about my ankle, he actually heeded the warning and managed to cuddle and play with me without hitting it. Impossible to stay grumpy during Baz-time!

Tomorrow Kay and Baz are going out to the cottage for an overnight. I’ll have some uninterrupted time to redo the digital editions, and hopefully get some other things off my ridiculously long todo list taken care of. If only I had a new computer do get those things done… but maybe it’s good I don’t. The way today has gone, if I had the computer in hand I’d probably break something while Kay is out of town with the car.

I’m keepin’ my eyes on the distant horizon

I’ve learned a few things in the last week.

1) I can handle wrangling Baz alone. I’ve always known that if, the fates forbid, I ever had to, I could do it. But it feels good to have done it. You know, as proof, for myself. In truth it’s been pretty fun. Baz is a riot, and has a base default of Cheerful/Happy/Funny. It’s hard not to be the same around him.

2) I never want to wrangle Baz alone. I mean, I never wanted to be without Kay anyhow. But seriously. Never. I’ve been utterly exhausted and barely productive all week. I know the party made it worse. And this is a really busy period for Crossed Genres. But OMG. And I only have the one! My sister Joan has two! *DIEZ*

3) The value of a support network for a parent cannot be understated. My mom and my sister both stepped up to help with Baz, some of our wonderful peeps helped us stay on top of all the Crossed Genres stuff while Kay’s been otherwise occupied, and there were others ready & willing to jump in if I/we needed it. Yes, I know it was only a week (9 days actually), but it was new and most significantly unexpected territory. Having that support turned what could have been a difficult experience into an exhausting but still fun one.

4) I miss Kay when she’s not here. I know, duh. But truly. This is the longest Kay and I have been apart since late 2001. She gets back late-late tomorrow. I am counting the hours. Literally.

Post title from “Talk Like a Pirate Day” by Tom Smith

I can stand up and face the world

What a week.

As some of you heard, Kay’s father died on Tuesday. I’ll leave comments to her.

Kay flew out to Arizona on Thursday. The funeral is this Wednesday, and she flies back to Boston on Saturday. That means that it’s just me and Baz for 9 days. Almost. On Saturday my sister Joan took Baz for a few hours while I cleaned like mad for the party on Sunday. Then on Sunday, mom took him around 3:15 and kept him overnight so I could drink at the party safely. 😉 She dropped him off at preschool this morning.

On Saturday I seriously spent a good 8 hours cleaning, doing laundry… Ugh it was exhausting. It was hot that day too, so I really needed the shower I took after. On Sunday, Baz and I drove out to the Burlington Trader Joe’s to meet Jaym Gates and Don Pizarro. After shopping, we all came back to my place; Baz went down for a (very short) nap while Jaym and Don prepped for dinner, and I tried to stay out of the way. Sadly Don couldn’t stay to actually eat, though he did get some of the salsa! Around the time mom showed up to get Baz, Jaym drove with Don back to the hotel that Readercon had been in, picked up another person, then took that person to the train station and Don to the airport, then back the hotel to pick up another person, Connie, then back here. In retrospect I wish I’d known/thought to offer/been asked to make at least one of those runs.

People started arriving at 5. There were 7 people total: Me, Jaym, Marlin, Abe, Kathryn, Athena, & Connie.

The food was amazing – if Jaym ever offers to cook for you, let her! 😉 After food we had a great time chatting about various things (many to do with SFF fandom) and getting tipsy. The last people left around… 10:30, I think. It’s a bit of a blur.

Today (Monday) I’d arranged to have off of work, and I’m glad I did because i was exhausted. I slept in until almost 9am, which is crazy late for me. I took my time with breakfast and played a bit of Wii Sports in the morning. I’d intended to use the day productively, but I was fried so I just spent the day relaxing. I watched the first four episodes of Avatar: the Last Airbender. It’s a fun show. I stopped because I think Kay would enjoy it, and I don’t want to re-watch too much later.

Also, mom’s iPhone finally arrived! It was delivered to me even though she paid for it – I guess because I’m the primary on the account. Great timing for it being delivered the work day I happened to be off work, but boo to FedEx for not coming until 4:11pm! Ironically mom’s out at the cottage for tonight so she can’t even get it right away.

Back to work tomorrow… boo. After 3 very full days off I’m just glad it’ll be a 4-day week. But the extra work of wrangling baz alone is probably going to completely wipe me out by this weekend.