Okay, so this is the time of year when the grade school petrie dish overruns with nasty squiggly little rhinovirus and other ghoulies, and, well, I’m afraid that petrie dish just exploded in my head.
And my lungs.
And my sinuses.
And generally any part of my body that has to function on a regular basis to keep me alive.
Oddly enough, it’s been GREAT for the writing. No going to the gym (and now my feet are acting up again) and no fussing with that silly “cooking, cleaning, and shopping” thing (not that I cleaned anyway)–just me, huddling at my computer, telling the world to go the fuck away because mommy feels like death, warmed over, with a side of dog crap and phlegm on it’s own special plate.
Fun times at the Lane crapmansion, that’s for sure. (By the way? Ny-Quil, Day-Quil, anything from the “Quil” famill–does provide for some very vivid, very disturbing dreams. I almost coughed myself to death last night in an effort not to have to take medicine so I wouldn’t have to have those dreams. Effort failed–all I achieved was two hours of extreme discomfort, and a medicine schedule that leaves me up an hour earlier than I might otherwise be. I repeat. Blargh.)
Anyway, I had parent/teacher conferences on Monday for Squish and Zoomboy–and I’m still wildly in love with their school, and bitterly, painfully furious with the idea that my kids are in classrooms with thirty-one other students. That’s fucking insane, anything over twenty-five is just madness–but their teachers are such good people, and are so warm. Zoomboy is… well, frighteningly bright. His teachers both agree–they say he’s too quiet, but, just like Chicken, since he’s not quiet with ME, I can live with “needs to communicate more at school.” But he’s solidly over grade level in reading and all of the accompanying skills–and he’s SUCH a good boy. I want him in a GATE class, only because that will give him a peer group, pretty much for life.
And Squish? Squish did what we figured she would. We spent part of the summer trying to work on her skills, and she was blowing us off and shining us on. We gave up, figuring that once she had a peer group and an actual authority figure, she would start to thrive, and we were right. She started out with low skills, but has now sort of taken off. By the end of the year, she might have some of the highest skills in the class–and the teacher is, as always, charmed by her. She stayed home with me yesterday–she wasn’t really sick, but she spent an hour on my lap playing tic-tac-toe, and I was, once again, charmed by her. It seems to be the thing to do.
And in other news?
Well, I’ve sort of “officially” won NanoWrimo–I find this to be sort of funny. Nano requires 50K in a month, and yes, I’ve written 50 K this month–32K finishing up a story called Chase in Shadow, a story so exquisitely painful that I wish I could recommend valium with every read. Horrible, hideous, angsty, excruciating… and yet I had to write it, and Chase and Tommy, the two leads? Ye gods. Someone called my characters “deliciously flawed”–and that’s Chase and Tommy in a nutshell. Flawed, in pain, seeking solace in and furious with each other–it’s a complicated personal dance in a complicated, personal hell. God, I hope people like it.
And the other thing I’ve been writing? Well, does anyone remember the Gambling Men stories? Jace and Quent? The first things, really, that Dreamspinner ever accepted from me? Yeah, well, the second story, after the Curious anthology, was called Raising the Stakes, and it was the last thing Dreamspinner PUBLISHED about these guys, but not the last thing I WROTE. When I was done with the final short story in what amounted to being a complete plot arc, I had 29K. So Elizabeth, my publisher, and Lynn, my editor, sort of cajoled/prodded/insisted that I take that 29K and expand it to a full novel length. Now, all of the stories were written from Quent’s point of view, and I figured that the best way to double the verbiage would be to look at things from Jace’s pov. So here I have a complete plot arc, all I have to do is fill in the blanks from the other character–sort of.
Because that other character has his own background, and Quent has his own background and basically? It’s another complicated dance, and a bit of skill stretching I haven’t done since Vulnerable. I’m hoping I’ve got the chops for it now, because one of the flaws in Vulnerable is that people could spot (without knowing what it was) the division between where Vulnerable started as a short story and then was expanded into a novel. I want this to be seamless, I want the Jace to sound like he was there in my head all along, and I DON’T want to lose that hot, visceral, fuck-or-die immediacy from the first stories.
So, I’ve written 18K on this one, for a total of 46K in Gambling Men, and that means I’ve written 50 THOUSAND words this month–and still haven’t finished my project. (Okay–so I finished ONE project–I’m not sure how that counts.)
Anyway, in general? I’m writing. I’m producing books. I’m sick, the kids are great, and the cat is pure, concentrated evil. To quote our vet: “We’d be happier if Steve was a little less, umm, fluffy.”
Us: “So would we, but she’s unlivable when there’s no kibble on the table, and she eats the dog food for fun.”
Vet: “Eats the dog food?”
Vet: “Cats don’t usually do that.”
Us: “Most cats aren’t Steve.”
True, so true.