June 30, 2003
a wonderful weekend!

We had a wonderful weekend. The whole family trekked up to Indian Lake to Jenn's family camp for the weekend. Dani was SO excited to spend the weekend with Aunty Jenn and camping and the lake (although she was also nervous about the lake).

We stayed in the boathouse, which had the advantage of when Ryan started bouncing in his bed at 7am, it didn't wake anyone up but us. But when I needed the bathroom in the middle of the night, I crept up squeaky stairs trying not to wake anyone in the main house.

The kids... ah, the kids. They both woke up at 7am on Saturday, which was just WAY to early. BEcause she was in a strange place, Dani came in to get us and refused to go back to bed, which woke up Ryan. We managed to hold them off until 8ish, but we ended up waking up everyone. Kids sometimes do not make a good start to the day!

Jenn made us a wonderful huge brunch on Saturday, and then we went out for ice cream for lunch (yum!). Dani thought this was just the coolest -- getting ice cream for lunch. Ryan turned chocolate. A bit of shopping, then back to the lake.

Ryan turned blue. Yes, again. This time it was his decision. He was in the lake and his lips were blue, and he didn't want to get out. He just LOVED the water. I bounced him and threw him and he splashed and splashed and had just a wonderful time. And Dani, once she got a noodle to swim with, swam all over the place with Aunty Jenn and tired Aunty Jenn out. *grins* Jenn even took Dani to swim a lap over to fisherman's rock and back, which Dani thought was fun.

Later that night, after dinner and after Ryan was in bed, Dani finally got her wish to go fishing. She'd gotten this into her head a while back (I think maybe because of the Barbie fishing pole she'd seen at the store) and had been dying to try it. Well, David had worms and a fishing pole, so he and Kevin and Dani fished. We've got pictures (well, Dave's got pictures) of Dani holding the fish she caught almost by herself -- Kevin cast it and helped hold the pole, but Dani reeled him in on her own. And also pictures of the one that got away -- they think it was about a foot long bass. Kevin and Dani had an amazing streak of beginner's luck.

And of course, now Dani wants to do it again, and now Kevin understands the fun of it (they let all the fishies go -- no fishy dinners). So Dani wants a pole and wants us to get a license so she can fish again when we go to Lake George in two weeks.

When we tucked Dani in she fell asleep right away without even an argument about going to bed. Then we (adults) went back over to the main house wherein wine and scotch were enjoyed, along with a game of Goth.

What is Goth? A trivial pursuit game for goths, complete with questions on vampires, goth music, serial killers, and all sorts of weirdness, and some surprisingly normal questions as well. Considering everything, we found it quite hysterical. And best of all... as you collect your pieces (gravestones) to win by answering questions correctly, you can also grave rob and steal pieces from the other players. So things just kept shifting around. It was loads of fun.

Sunday began with a bit of a letdown -- the indoor plumbing (one of the few conveniences) failed. So that made camping into a bit of an adventure, which I was impressed that Danielle took in stride ("Well, its because we're camping, so we just have to do this," she said). We couldn't swim again on Sunday because the weather kicked up and the wind was getting pretty bloody cold. But we did get more relaxation time (and I revised one story and started revising another) and some playing with kids and some sitting on the breakwater, and oh it was just SO beautiful up there.

I'm so glad we got to visit with Jenn & Dave & Michael. It was a great weekend with friends, and in a wonderfully idyllic setting. I would have loved to have stayed.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:25 PM
who am i anyway?

Okay, I've spent SO much time writing lately that when I'm filling in paperwork at work I have to pause before typing my last name... my maiden name, my original self, is coming back to haunt me. *smiles*

Of course, the fact that I'm spec'ing out conversion of a ton of code I wrote back before I was Allen only adds to the confusion of typing Atwood!!

Gee, and I thought I had voices in my head before. Now they're just other versions of me! *grins*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:34 PM
itchy itchy

Okay, so as of last night I'm up to 3 pieces out the door and waiting for a return. I should hear from MICROshocks sometime today or tomorrow, I think. He said if we don't hear by July 1st to query. So I will if I don't hear today. Although now I'm terrified that this means he never received my submission! Eek!

*laughs at self*

Yes, I am the very model of a paranoid writer, eh?

Anyway, I revised "The Ring" over the weekend, while at Jenn's camp (BIG blog entry to follow tonight) and sent that out last night. And "Glimmer" is also out. I'm revising "Choices" so I can get that out -- it needs to be below 6000 words first, tho. So it's getting pretty heavily revised.

But right now... I'm just itchy itchy itchy because I'm waiting. And no matter how much I say I'm patient... well, I lied. I'm not. *laughs*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:26 AM
June 25, 2003
lesson learned

I'm writing specifications for projects at work, and I've realized that the biggest lesson I've needed to learn for writing fiction is being forced home by the reaction I get to specs.

If someone has to ask, I didn't say it right.

Yeah, I know, it seems obvious. But in fiction, I can always say well, they didn't get the point. Or its not their style. But in something so cut and dried as a spec, if the developer can't tell what the hell I'm talking about, I've obviously done something wrong.

So I can see it now... when I write, I need to be clear. I need to use the right words and convey the right feeling. If someone doesn't get it, then I've done it wrong. Now, in fiction, not everyone needs to get it. There will always be people for whom the concept, or style, just doesn't work. When five people tell me yes and one says no, I pretty much take the no in but set it aside. Five yesses are a good thing.

But I do listen to the no, and I think about it, and I try to see if there is a way that I can say the same thing (not changing the essence) so that that no will become a yes. Can I make it work.

This is a huge lesson for me.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:43 PM
June 21, 2003
and the gods win

Overall, we are calling the trip a success. However, the mere fact that I am writing this shows that it wasn't a COMPLETE success.

Dani had a good time, and so did Ryan, which was good. We were worried that Dani was going to wig in the darkness and the bugs and everything, and then when we added this horrendous RAIN to the mix, we were sure it was over. But she had a great time and can't wait to go again. And Ryan was good and cute and enjoyed exploring the campground.

But when Ryan tipped his chair over backwards and Dani slid in the mud and suddenly we were at the point where all the spare clothes I'd brought for cold weather were being worn by the various people (Dani and Ryan each on their third pair of pants, me on my only clean t-shirt because Kevin had stepped on mine in the tent that morning).

When we arrived Friday night we were later than we wanted to be, and using a borrowed tent which took forever to figure out how to set up. No rain-fly either, and we couldn't get any of the tarps up in the dark. So the tent got horridly wet and dripped some inside. So by Saturday afternoon, even after putting up tarps, everything was damp. EVERYTHING. And nothing was drying out. Not even the weather. Every time we thought the rain was going away, it would start dripping, then pouring for a little while.

And the other final straw was the cold. Because of the rain, and the dampness, everyone was cold. Ryan's lips kept going faintly blue from cold, and Dani was freezing, even in layers. And I hadn't anticipated it being quite AS cold as it was. So again, we were out of weather appropriate clothes.

So we packed it in and came home. And I'm sitting on a nice warm couch and had take-out Chinese (we are exhausted -- I slept horridly last night) and relaxing. I'm looking forward to sleeping in my bed.

What did we learn this weekend? Dani loves camping, which is good. We need our own tent, which we know how to set up. Plus we need to get there a little earlier in order to get set up while it's still light out. And no more foul weather camping with the kids until they're a bit older. We would've been fine if it were just Kevin and I, but adapt and overcome becomes a much harder mantra with two kids along.

On the good side...

Dani sat in her new pink (yes, pink) campchair toasting marshmallows and adding sticks to the fire so that it would keep flaming. She loved the fire. And she loved the marshmallows. She had a great time.

Ryan played in mud puddles, dancing along in them and splashing. He explored the woods and had a fit when we didn't let him go into the (VERY COLD) lake.

It was a success. Not a perfect success, but a success. We're going to buy our own familiy size tent and go camping again. Perhaps the weekend that we go to the FAC family fun day in Lake George. And next week we go to the camp which doesn't involve a tent but will still be somewhat similar. Whee!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:58 PM
June 15, 2003
beautiful day

We began Father's Day in the same way we began Mother's Day, only today we had more time. We went for a wonderfully long bike ride in beautiful weather. We were out for about an hour riding with the kids in tow, and a good half hour or so with Dani tooling around on her own bike. I'm exhausted but feel so good about it.

There were a ton of people on the trail. Dani wants to ride her own bike on the long part of the ride, but she's not ready yet. She rides very slowly still, and can't ride very far. So we do some small riding before and after the long ride.

I think we made about 7 miles today. Kevin really pushed me on the way back, making me work hard, which was great.

Then this afternoon we went buying for our camping trip. We're borrowing a tent this time (we'll buy one next year once the kids are a bit more used to camping -- we're hoping to go at least twice this year, plus visiting a camp). But we picked up lots of useful things. Dani's thrilled because she has her very own camp chair -- and it is PINK. (*sighs*)

Tonight, we do laundry and rest. About half done with the laundry -- behind because last week we couldn't do it. It's hot in this house. Time to put the air conditioning in, but we haven't made it that far yet. Once it's been 80 degrees for a solid week, without dropping back down into the 60s, I think we'll do it. Or when I get just too hot and frustrated and annoyed. *smiles*

But for now, relaxation. More writing, some crits (still way behind on that). Some more market research. I should get more things out this week. It's hard, though. (Still hating the research part... sometimes wondering why I'm so fascinated by this writing thing! *smiles*)

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:26 PM
June 13, 2003
nerves

Just about time for "Glimmer" to come back -- F&SF has the fastest turn-around time which is pretty good. Less time to agonize over it. *grins*

"For You" is still out, which is good. It wasn't a ten minute reject!!! The site says up to a month turn-around time, which is certainly a dealable wait (been almost a week so far) and they have a submission deadline of 7/1. I'll just keep my fingers crossed on that one. I'm thinking positively. *grins*

I started writing a ghost story, which was supposed to be short and erotica, and is turning out to be neither. I really like it, and I like the voice and style so far, but I have NO clue what to do with it after I finish it. So I figure I need to finish getting it out of my head and then it can either go out to a market (yeah, like there's a market for long ghost stories!) or get shoved into a drawer. *sighs* I hate it when the voices win over practicality! I love writing, but I still dream of selling the stuff I write too. *sighs*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 04:09 PM
June 10, 2003
a beautiful mind

Tonight I was bad. Instead of writing, instead of gaming (I'm still behind on moves)... instead of just about everything (except work, had to do that still *sighs*)...

I watched A Beautiful Mind with Kevin.

It was a wonderful movie. Disturbing on oh so many levels, especially as a writer and a gamer. The way it was written, which kept his secret so well, made it even better. We were a part of the delusion.

And at the end I came upstairs to get ready for bed, and heard music on the edges of my mind. I stopped, cocking my head to listen to it, wondering if it were a piece from the movie. No. What was it? I strained to catch it again, and then I heard the words...

"Eres tu. Como el agua..."

I know what the words sound like. To type them in Spanish -- I'd likely get them wrong. I haven't seen the words in so long. Yet I could go look them up.

It was a favorite song when I was 17 or 18. When I was writing a novel my senior year of high school (a BAD novel). When I was using writing to work out my feelings about life and other people, and when I created a character who was me in fictional form. And whose song was "Eres Tu".

To suddenly hear that song, after watching that movie, was even more disturbing.

Time to get some sleep.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:36 PM
June 09, 2003
Glimmer's out

"Glimmer"'s out the door and I've decided not to talk about my writing anymore until this week is over and the hormone's have let me get back into a positive mental headspace. *smiles*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:16 AM
June 08, 2003
recapping the recap...

Today I'm trying to consider what I wrote yesterday, about my own fiction. "For You" is out the door electronically, and "Glimmer" goes out tomorrow in print. Both markets have relatively quick response times.

I'm looking at all my work, looking at what I've said and what I've thought. And I'm trying to figure out how to convey that I am both positive and not positive at the same time.

I'm not down on my own writing, although I think my last post really truly sounds that way. I think, more, I am frustrated with my lack of time to really do what I want to do, in the way that I want to do it.

Yesterday I had the most wonderful couple of hours. We were at a hotel, for an N4 planning meeting. The kids were napping. Kevin napped. I subbed "For You" and duly recorded it. I did the rewrite on Glimmer, and then rewrote the beginning and ending again because they weren't quite right the first time. I'm happy with it now, and much happier than I was the first time around -- I think it's a damned good story.

I started the rewrite on "Amber Eyes" and am feeling decent about it. I think... I feel... like there is something inside of me, some story, just raring to get out. And I don't know what it is yet, but I am simply not satisfied with myself. And I need the time to find it.

There is so much to learn, so much to do. So little time. I salivate over the idea of Clarion, but understand and realize that with two small children and demanding job, there is no time to leave it all behind.

Then again, too much time spent wishing, and not enough time doing, will get me nowhere. Which means, very simply, I'd better go write.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:01 PM
June 07, 2003
recap

This has been the week from hell. By the time I left work on Thursday, I'd already put in a good 43 or so hours this week. It was a bloody long week, and exhausting.

This weekend I'm in Boston, for the N4 planning meeting. Went to one session. Sent Kevin off on facilities tours (since he's working facilities). And right now, the kids are napping.

So I'm finally getting to do what I really want to do. Spend some time with me and the internet and quiet and writing.

It's a really good feeling.

I'm going to try to do the SoD contest. However, in order to do it, I need to have things that are ready to submit. I'm not sure I like *any* of the shorts I have ready just now, so I'm revising and revising and revising so I can get some things out the door.

I've got about 10 stories that are in some stage of near completion. Although one is erotica, so I'm not so sure it counts.

"Amber Eyes" needs serious revision. I'm about a fifth or so of the way through those revisions, and then it'll be ready to go. I think it's a semi-pro sort of story. I don't have a lot of faith in it, but I also still love it and want to see it in print.

"Choices" I like, but it needs it's revisions and I have no idea where to send it. It's a vampire story, sort of. And it falls into the deal with the devil category. And I'm not sure I do enough new with it. And it's TOO LONG. But I can't figure out where to chop things out to trim it down to a decent length. I do know I can shift the cockroaches to be a non-descript bug, however, which will make it simpler in the ending.

"Fade" is too short and too... juvenile. I look at it and I like it but I hate it. All at once. I'm not sure it's worth sending anywhere.

"For You" and "The Ring" are both flash. They'll be the easiest to send out (and get back) relatively quickly.

"Glimmer" is my current favorite. I just finished the first rev on paper and need to type it in. Then I need to go over the opening and closing again because they are the two weakest parts. And I need the opening to really sock it to'em and hold the editor so they can't put it down and can roll right on through it. Because it's got that sort of rolling dialog that just kinda pulls you into it (I think). It's the one that's got the best shot of someone taking it. *fingers crossed* I'm really proud of this one.

"In the Flickering Light" falls into the same category as Fade. I like it, I hate it, and I have no idea where to send it.

"Lamenita" I did wrong. It needs revision and I think those revisions are beyond me just now. I think what it REALLY needs is to be torn apart and rewritten in a new style. Which is hovering there somewhere inside my head and I'll find it eventually.

"Metamorphosis" is erotic horror, and the last place I sent it to said it wasn't horrific enough. *shrugs* No clue.

And "To the Moon" is just wrong. Cute, and boring.

Obviously I need to write more. Or at least, find more inside me that's good. Because what I've got hanging around isn't. Or at least, I'm losing my faith in myself. Which might be something altogether different.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 04:33 PM
June 01, 2003
The word of the day is WHEE!

When I came downstairs this morning, Ryan was just finishing up his breakfast. Kev was in the living room watching TV. So I cleaned up Ryan and said "Go find Daddy."

Ryan ran off towards the living room while I worked on the dishes. The next thing I heard was "WHEE!!!!"

And there was Ryan. He'd gone straight to the slide and had already gone down it twice. Now Dani and Ryan are both playing on it, and Dani is showing Ryan that he can climb under it, while she's on the top part. It's all very cute and amusing and Ryan's just got the best giggly laugh.

Well worth the money for the slide.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:03 AM