May 31, 2003
new toys

Well, we went out and did a little shopping today just because we were completely and utterly stir-crazy. We were going completely nuts.

Ryan's a climber. And he can actually get up onto the couch now. Which is SO not good, because it means nothing is sacred. And it means he can escape past the baby gate by climbing over the couch. Eek!

So we picked up a little climbing toy -- stairs and slide -- for him. It fits in the living room perfectly, and hopefully it'll keep him occupied. We've gotten so much bloody RAIN lately that we're all a little nuts.

Dani got a few things today. A hula hoop which excited her totally. And we bought the Klutz guide to hair wraps, and tonight I gave her a pretty little hair wrap that she just was SO excited about. It was a fun afternoon.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:23 PM
May 30, 2003
my laptop!!!!


A month or two ago my son broke the monitor of my laptop. He pulled it towards him, almost flat, and popped the catch on one side so that I couldn't put it at the right angle and have it stay.

Today, something popped the other side. Now there is NOTHING that keeps the monitor up when I'm working. Unless I find just the right spot, simply typing vibrates the whole system enough so that the monitor either falls forward onto my hands or backwards away from me.

It is driving me NUTS.

I think it is time to go for the spare parts laptop and see if its in any better shape. After I *clean* it.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:13 PM
May 29, 2003

Well, isn't that disturbing... my blog went completely blank. Oops!

Got all my gaming moves finally caught up to date, but am still behind on correspondence, writing, critting, and obviously... blogging.

On the other hand, work is semi-under control and the first live date is next Wednesday night. Whee!! The rollercoaster is well into the ride and I've got a long time before it comes to rest.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:56 PM
May 21, 2003
Market frustration

Okay, now I know new frustration... submitted a piece out back in April to a market known for long response time. Chose it because well, I was okay with the long response time. Heard back early last week that they couldn't read my RTF file, so I saved it from Wordpad this time and resent it. And of course, I think I'm on the bottom of the pile again for reading. *sighs*

Why is this more frustrating? Because it means I made it that close to the response (negative or positive -- any response is good *smiles*) and then hit the bottom of the pile again. And I am SO not a patient person!! *laughs at self*

In the meantime, gotta revise more short stuff so I can get more things out the door. If I keep sending flash out I'll get quick turnarounds, but I'm not sure that's my best bet. But its certainly easier, in some ways, to revise flash than it is to rework a 3000 word piece.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:03 PM
May 20, 2003
Bye Bye Buffy

[Here be spoilers]

[I mean it]

[Don't click MORE unless you REALLY want to read them]

[Not like it's a real long discourse on the subject anyway... more just my impressions... but they're still spoilers]

Joss is the master of the understated dark moment. The one thing in the episode that made me cry... a single slash, cutting deeply through Anya on a diagonal, and I just stared at the screen. Hardly believing for a moment that it had happened. And yet it had, and there was nothing more to commemorate it except for Xander's search, and then the moment where Andrew said she was dead. It was... well done.

The episode as a whole? I don't know... I'm reserving full judgement until I have time to process it in my head some more.

I really thought Buffy was going to die.

I really thought Spike was going to live. I read he's supposed to be signed on for Angel next year. Although, as Kevin did point out, Angel does own Wolfram and Hart. And as I pointed out, that's where Angel got the nice pretty for Spike. So that means Angel can get Spike back somehow, I'm sure.

I do wonder what a world full of Slayers means for the mythology of the storylines. Between the big changes in Angel, and the change to the Slayer myth, they've set up a lot of differences that they can explore and exploit next year in Angel.

I'm sort of looking forward to seeing what happens.

And I'm going to remember that one image of Anya.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:50 PM
May 19, 2003

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a Seventh Heaven addict. (Go ahead, laugh) And all I have to say is that the ending of the season finale was bloody cruel!! Lots to speculate on, and lots of frustration.


Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:41 PM
Writing Superstition, Part 2

Okay, well... I'm going to try to kick the superstition. I'm going to join the SoD (Submit or Die) challenge on the workshop. What does it mean? Submit to various markets and prizes for getting accepted. Basically, just trying to get all of us to get stuff out the door over the summer. It'll be good motivation.

BUT... it means that each time I submit something, I'll have to own up to what and where. *wry smiles* So, so much for superstition. I'm just going to have to kick it and be embarrassed outright by my rejections. *smiles* But everyone else will be getting some of those as well, so I'll be in good company... and maybe, just maybe, I'll manage to get an actual acceptance!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 07:58 PM
May 14, 2003
Market Research & Superstition

I'm intending to get another story out the door today (a different flash piece -- this one already under 500 words, as opposed to "For You" which is still weighing in just over *sighs*).

And I realized I go through some very specific mental steps when sending something out.

As I send it, I imagine the "woohoo!" of getting an acceptance. It's like a daydream thing, nothing that I figure is realistic (after all, a rejection, given the percentages, is far more likely). But I do it, nonetheless, because without it, I'm not sending the piece. If I can't imagine the "woohoo!" I'll end up figuring that the piece isn't worth the "woohoo!" and therefore not worth subbing to the market. Gotta pump myself up and believe in me. *grins*

Then there's the posting to my blog. But I haven't been posting the markets, just the pieces, when I mention subbing. And recently, while trying to figure out how to do better market research, I've seen the advice to read author's blogs to find out where they sub to learn which markets are good.

So why don't I say where I'm subbing? I think it's part superstition. If I don't say, I won't jinx it. I think it's part feelings of inadequacy. You know, the idea of someone saying what are you thinking -- that market is SO above your skills right now. And partly I think it's because if I don't say, then maybe I can stick it at the back of my mind and be pleasantly surprised if something good *does* come of it all.

Now I just need a better title for the flash piece and it can go out the door. Spent all last evening revising it, well, when I wasn't managing to scribble a poor showing of only 200 words into Dreamwalker. Either way, new title or not, out it goes, before I get too scared to do it.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 07:47 AM

You know you play too much Amber when...

You receive a SPAM email which has the subject "All natural Calme" and you read it as "All natural Caine" and start to wonder...

Posted by Deb Atwood at 07:38 AM
May 11, 2003
Happy Mother's Day

I hope all mothers out there had a wonderful day!!!

My day began by getting up earlier than I'd originally intended. The kids let us sleep in yesterday (all the way until 8:30!). So this morning, since we had an 11am date, we got up at 7am and got the kids up and fed and went down to the trail and rode the bikes.

Whee!! We drove into Albany and the Corning Preserve. I pulled the trailer on the way out, and Kevin pulled it on the way back, and we put in about 40 minutes of good riding. It was a GREAT time and the bike is just fabulous. I'll probably feel it more tomorrow. When we first got home, and I ran upstairs to shower, I really felt it in my thighs. But later I felt fine. It always seems to hit about 24 hours after the exercise, doesn't it? So tomorrow morning climbing the stairs'll be fun.

We went out to brunch at the Elks with Kev's parents. It was nice, and relaxing, until Ry started to meltdown. Dani was amazingly good -- she actually ATE, which is new and different.l

Afterwards was the requisite Sunday grocery shopping, which was quick. The day went downhill a bit from there. It's been pouring, and Ryan's been kind of clingy and a pill and refusing to nap. The kids are very much in the "look at me" mood, which I both love and hate. Sometimes I need a little time to myself, and right now I'm not getting that. What'll make me happy at the end of the day is a little quiet time. *smiles* In between the requisit loads of laundry! Mother's Day or not, it *is* still a weekend after all.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 05:17 PM
May 10, 2003
Yay, bike!

Woohoo! Kevin and I bought our new bikes. We had to drop a healthy chunk of the savings to do it, but we got decent bikes (sport comfort style) and a trailer for the kids, plus helmets of course. We went gaming this afternoon, almost right after buying the bikes, but we tucked two tired (well, exhausted) kids into the trailer when we got home and took a quick 15 minute ride around the local streets when we got back from the game.

Tomorrow morning we're going to go for a ride down by the river before we come home and get ready for the Mother's Day brunch we're going to with the in-laws. I am really looking forward to it.

My bike's a K2 (Kev's is a Trek) and I just love it. Extremely comfy, with shocks, and a good saddle. Wide tires, but smoother so meant for mild off-road and mostly dirt trails and streets. But it'll handle the bumps without wiping out as long as we don't do mud and wet grass. We got bikes we could take camping with us, and a new bike rack to carry them. We had to upgrade on the rack slightly, because the average rack will dent the back of a mini van. So we got one that braces on the bumper instead of on the hatch, so we can easily support all three bikes. While our bikes are decent light frames, they aren't superlight like racing bikes and pack a decent punch when both on the rack. Still, the rack held them completely still and secure while driving home from Albany to Wynantskill down Route 90 at normal speed, so that was great.

This is like the coolest Mother's Day present.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:20 PM
May 09, 2003

Kevin and I have been bike shopping. If all goes well, we'll buy a pair (and associated gear) on the way to gaming tomorrow. And then go riding on Sunday (while hauling the kids in a trailer).

I'm really looking forward to this. I've always loved bike riding, and its good for my knees (strengthens the right muscles). Plus, of course, it is much-needed exercise. I know Ryan'll love the trailer. And Dani can switch between trailer and bike because she's not going to be able to really keep up much on her own bike just yet. She got a "new" bike from a yard sale, and she's good at riding it, but she tends to stop after about ten feet with this panicked look of omigod-thatwasfast. *chuckles*

Hopefully we'll finish our searching tomorrow morning -- the shop closed ten minutes after we got there today, but the nice guy spent some time with us anyway. The hardest part is that I'm so bloody short, and bikes don't tend to mostly be as short as me. *sighs*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:00 PM
May 06, 2003

Okay, so I probably shouldn't have spent the time writing. But I finished working (10pm), got Ryan settled back to bed (10:20pm) and decided I needed a little decompression time.

And there's this story I've been working on -- "Glimmer". I wrote about a thousand words on it one night, maybe 1500, and knew when I got to the end that I'd missed something important. I was in the right place, but there was an element missing, and I didn't know how to fix it. So I went to bed.

I woke up knowing exactly what I'd done wrong and what I needed to do, and that it involved rewriting almost every single word I'd written the night before. It was both great and really frustrating. And then I didn't have time to do it.

So I decided to take the time. I rewrote the whole bloody section, and expanded it by a good 250 words as well. Now I just need to get the ending into the story and it'll be done.

It's one of the first stories I've done in a long time that works around an "adult" theme without falling into the erotica genre. Sex *is* important to the way the story works, but it's not graphic. And it doesn't need to be. In fact, I think it would detract from the story.

This ones going to be for the Blood challenge -- the May writing challenge on the workshop. Most of the challenge pieces I've written have been complete departures from my usual stuff. This one has some stylistic changes (and I'm not sure I'm consistent on the style -- it needs some editing still) but is more like my usual stuff than the others have been. I'm not so sure that makes it any more publishable.

These days I vacillate wildly between the ever-positive "I can DO this" and the "why am I bothering" sorts of attitudes. Racking up rejections really isn't helping me mentally, and I'm beginning to think (again) that readers like to read me for fun, but editors don't like the way I write. *wrinkles nose* Not entirely sure how to take that. I suppose it either means I have a lot to learn about writing, or just haven't found the right markets for my stuff yet. Or both.

Got rejected a little while ago. I believe it is quite probably the fastest rejection I will ever receive -- about 3 hours. *smiles* On the other hand, it is quite possibly the shortest piece I will ever submit, clocking in at 516 words. Time to move on to the next market. But that can wait until tomorrow night, when I'm a tad more coherent. Let's just hope tonight I get to sleep.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:03 PM
Market Update

I heard back from the market I sent "Metamorphosis" to -- no dice. But the comments back were good and very complementary, so it was a high point for a rejection. *smiles* I wish I had something else to send her. It was rejected because she didn't feel the horror of the piece. Which makes me think I didn't do the piece right then, so I've got something to look at there. Although I don't really think I should workshop it (that whole erotica problem).

On the other hand, I sent "For You" out the door today. Market says usually a 1-2 week turn-around time, although possibly up to 90 days. I figure that time frame allows for a rejection to arrive on my birthday, which is going to be busy and hell day anyway (first day back to work after being gone 3 days -- oh yeah, its gonna be a GREAT day).

Mmph, getting cynical. *wry smiles*

Anyway, it *does* feel good to get work out the door. If "For You" is rejected, I've already got a few more ideas of places to send it. I'm going to try to keep that one going until I can find it a home, or else have to trunk it for now.

And I still want to finish up revs on "Choices" so I can send that one out. It's time for me to just start circulating stories. Get my name out, hopefully make a decent impression, and maybe, just maybe, make a sale or two!!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:21 PM
Add in...

...Buffy's lack of sense of self-preservation. Walking into suicidal situations with little regard for her own safety. Sacrificing herself because she thinks it is what others want.

Really, I'm finding it vastly amusing...

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:06 PM
The more I see...

The more I see of Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, the more I can see her playing Adrienne in the movie, if Which Endureth Forever were ever made into a movie.

It's the quivering chin, the confusion, the uncertainty about who she really is and what she really wants. The need for contact, the need for affirmation. Yeah, it so works.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:49 PM