Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The rare reply

The wife and I were talking about LJs and replies/posts the other day.
And today, when so many of my friends are posting that “reply with a fake memory of us together” thing, seems a good day to say something about it.
So here’s the thing: in person I don’t usually say anything unless I have something to say. And no, that isn’t an automatic for most people. I’m sure we all know people who can happily and easily talk and yet say nothing. I’m not like that. I can make small talk, sure, but I don’t usually comment unless I have something to add. Otherwise I just sit and listen, maybe nod or shake my head. That sort of thing.
I’m much the same way on LJ. Which isn’t much of a surprise, I suppose, since I actually write the same way I talk (again, not an assumption for many people).
Which is why I don’t usually reply to these “post a reply” posts.
What my wife and I were saying was that we know our friends read our LJs but people often don’t comment. I pointed out that I’m like that myself—I read all my friends’ LJs every day to keep up but I don’t reply much. Every so often I’ll post a “hey, that’s great!” sort of post, adding to general congrats on something, but more often than not I’ll stay quiet unless I have something specific to relate—an answer to a question, a related story, etc.
So if you’ve put up one of the above-mentioned posts and I haven’t replied, that’s why. Nothing against you, I just don’t participate in those things much. Same reason I rarely put up memes. I’ve nothing against them, and I like reading my friends’ answers to such things, but I don’t feel much urge to do them myself.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Plus and Minus

Well, that was a moderately long weekend. Very productive in some ways, not so much in others.
On the minus side, I didn’t hit the goals I had writing-wise. I’ve got four projects I need to finish up, and I only managed to work on one of them this weekend—and I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped in that one. I just had a hard time finding a quiet moment to sit at the computer.
I also did a little more work stripping my dresser but didn’t quite finish it. I’d hoped to have it done so that my dad or my sisters could help me carry it in this week. That still may happen, if I do the last little bit Wednesday or Thursday. It does look really good, and it’ll be great when it’s done. It’s just taking longer than I wanted, like most things.
On the plus side, we got my daughter’s room finished! That was the big project for the weekend, and the major timesink. We’d gotten everything out of it Thursday and I touched up the paint Friday. Saturday I tore out her carpet and cut it into strips, then bound the strips to dispose of it (as we learned with the carpet from our bedroom, that’s the only way the garbage guys will take it). Then I ripped out the carpet strips, removed all the nails and tacks and staples, swept up, and bagged all of that. My wife then went in and polished the floor. I moved a few of our daughter’s things in that night, and Sunday I moved the rest of her furniture in, including her crib. I also hung up her curtains, though I need to get a double rod and rehang them with her valance. Last night she slept in her room for the first time. It was great. She’s very excited about having her room done, and wants to hang out in there and play a lot. Of course part of the push to get her room finished was because we’ll have a new arrival in our room as early as next month and wanted her situated by then.
I also built a new bookcase for my office and got that in place, so now I’ve got bookcases on either side of my window. Neither is full yet but they will be, and that’ll make a huge difference on my storage space both in the office and throughout the house. I moved my old, shorter bookcase down to the family room and we’ll probably situate it there to give us a little extra shelf space there as well.
We also did our big shopping run to get food for Thanksgiving. We had a full list, including everything my sisters need for the dishes they want to make, and came back with a groaning grocery cart and several more bags hanging from the stroller. But except for two items (one they didn’t have and one we forgot) we managed to get the entire list, which is good.
We weren’t completely antisocial this weekend, either. Friday night our usual game was cancelled, but our friend Peter came over and we rented two movies: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Constantine. We all agreed that Charlie was interesting, and had great visuals, and the kids were good, but we vastly prefer Wilder’s Wonka to Depp’s. That’s more Burton’s fault than Depp’s, though. Constantine was entertaining—Peter and I agreed that if they’d filed off the comic book references and gotten a decent actor for the lead it would have been a pretty good movie, actually. As it was, it was fun in many places, with the occasional grimace at how it didn’t match the comic and whenever Keanu tried to act.
So yeah, long weekend. Now for a short workweek. :)
Oh, and I got my copy of Carnelian Flame from Amazon. Whee! Still waiting on author copies.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Flame On!

[Okay, I couldn't resist.]
Just a quick note to say—it's out! You can now buy my first novel, Exalted 6: The Carnelian Flame, right here:
It's also available directly from White Wolf, though their site is acting weird right now so I can't get the exact URL for it. Maybe later.
I'm looking forward to seeing the thing. We had to order one from Amaazon ourselves because my author copies still haven't shown up. Grrr!
So, for those who were saying they wanted to get a copy when it came out—what are you waiting for?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Another Candle on an Untouched Cake

My mother would have been sixty-three today.
I have a picture of her and I—one of the few, because she did not liking having photos taken—sitting on my desk at home, next to my monitor. My daughter likes to pick it up and point to it. She points to me in the picture and then me sitting with her and I say “Yes, I’m your daddy.” Then she points to my mother. “That’s your grandmother,” I tell her. “She loved you very much.” She smiles and nods but I know she doesn’t really remember, and it breaks my heart.
My son should be born in the next month or two. He will never meet my mother. She will never get to see him or hold him or coo at him, which at least she did get a few times with my daughter. When he is older I will show him the picture and tell him about her, but it won’t be the same.
My first novel is now on sale. My mother will never get to read it, or to smile proudly as she shows it to her friends and says, “my son wrote this.”
But she wouldn’t want me to be sad. Birthdays are for remembering and celebrating, and she would prefer that to grief.
Last night on my way home I bought a pint of chocolate ice cream—Godiva’s Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Hearts, nothing but the best for my mother. Tonight we will eat that in her honor. It’s a tribute she would appreciate.
If you knew her, or simply wish you had, I urge you to do the same. If you cherish love, life, and family, good food and good books, you are invited to participate.
Raise your spoons high, in honor of a wonderful woman taken from us far too soon. Raise them high, I say, for a woman who is still dearly loved and still sorely missed.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I wish you were here.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Epiphany's using up all the hot water!

Heh, that got your attention, didn’t it? :) Sorry, no smut here—move along.
I ran into a spot of trouble last night on the project I’m currently writing. Just last week [info]qadgop, [info]kelyantar, and I were chatting on LJ about writing and I was saying that I work from outlines but that the story can change dramatically from what I had down there originally. That’s what happened last night.
At the end of one chapter the main character is one place. In the following chapter he’s supposed to go somewhere else and deal with something (yes, I’m keeping this vague—wouldn’t you rather get the details when you eventually read it?). By the chapter after that he’s back where he was before. And I’m looking at that last night thinking “what the hell? How did you get up there from there, anyway? And why did you? And, once you got there, how the hell did you get back again? Aaargh!”
Part of the problem was that I was exhausted—don’t know why but I’ve been having trouble staying up some nights. So I did what any sensible person would do after hitting a writing conundrum and waking up for the fourth or fifth time over the keyboard—I shut everything down and went to bed.
This morning I woke up and hopped in the shower, that dichotomy still bouncing around in my head. And that’s when it hit me.
Of course he wouldn’t go up there. Why would he? How would he? He wouldn’t. These other things would happen and he’d be stuck on the sidelines, hating that. And then this and this—it all made perfect sense. By the time I shut the water off I knew how to fix the problem.
Ah, epiphany, I love you! Now stop hogging the soap.