Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking backward, looking forward

For the month:
Finished: Novella.
It's true what they say, PLOTTING IS GOOD! Should do
that more in 2009.

Do: Make some effort to holiday-ize the house. We did! We put up our
minitree and dug out our Meowy Christmas Cats Caroling wreath, since clearly we
have no shame or embarrassment left.

Plan: Gift purchases for THIS year. Sent out. At least some. Better a
few than none!

And since this worked better than I thought it would, for the coming year:

Do: Two shorts and two novels. At least plotting. I could get to like
this novella business, too. But it all requires more plotting than I'm used
to. Guess I'll get used to it.

Straighten: Office. Seriously, when you have to pick your way through
the space to get to the computer, it's time to clean and eradicate and
straighten. And speaking of computer...

Replace: Computer. Sadly, my 1998 iMac is no longer up to the
challenge of modern-day requirements. It's been a good one, though. Time to do res
earch. Technology has never been something I see eye-to-eye with, so this will
be particularly challenging.

Launch: New website. It's up, but not quite done -- a few tweaks
needed that my webhost, Bill Hibler, is addressing. The Hub and I have known
Bill and his wife for many years, so I have full confidence that I'll be asking
many stupid questions. It's that tech thing again. Check out
www.eilisflynn.com, and get a glimpse of what's coming in the new year. If nothing else, I
have all those eNotes articles I want to put up there. At last count it was
something like 60.

Happy new year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nice surprise


A few days ago, I got email from Mark I. West, famed children's literature professor and editor of a number of volumes on the same, saying that Japanification of Children's Popular Culture had been published from Scarecrow Publishing. This pleased me because about four years ago, when he pitched the idea to his editor at Scarecrow (originally conceived as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Godzilla), he asked me to write an essay on the topic (I don't have a copy yet, so I don't know exactly how many contributors Mark ended up with).

After some thought, I came up with "Two Worlds, United by Anime," about the anime and manga I read and watched when I was a kid growing up in Japan, and then about the anime I watched when we came back to the States. Then the way these things go, I sent it in and promptly forgot about it. I was happy to read that it had finally been published, and now I can't wait to see how it turned out. Take a look!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice greetings

I work with someone whose birthday is on the Solstice, so let me say firstly: Happy birthday, Karen! I remind her that without her birthday being celebrated we can't have longer days.  

Snow is appropriate for this time of year, no matter how much I complain. So far we have something like eight or nine inches, and since this is Seattle, that's messy business being near or on a hill. No newspaper -- not a surprise, considering the awkward series of steps necessary to deliver one; if there's a problem anywhere, either from the printers to the distributors to the dealers to the delivery guys, there is no paper on our doorstep. There's a good reason why newspapers are endangered.  

But there's enough to look at. Everytime we look outside, there's another flurry of snowflakes. Once in a while there are folks braving the elements, either on foot or in a vehicle, chained and moving slowly (well, chained if they're in a vehicle, but everyone's moving slowly). None of them look happy. And I surely don't blame them for that. We're not used to icy cold temps and snow around here. I've run into more than a couple of locals who're from Southern California, who moved here because they thought this was a mild climate. They shiver a lot. The sensible ones don't drive. But since the buses don't move most of the time in this weather, they end up waiting and shivering a LOT, poor people.  

But how often do we get a white Christmas around here? Not often. And I'd like to keep it that way!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thunder and snow

That's a combination I haven't run into before, or at least if I have, I don't remember. We had thunder and snow occur a few hours ago. I woke up at 3:30 am -- Fido was persistent in wanting food, and even though I didn't give him any (I mean, isn't 5 am early enough for him to have breakfast?? Really??), went down to check my email when I couldn't get to sleep, and soon enough I heard a sound I assumed was a very large truck going down the street. Nope. Thunder and snow. And it's been snowing since.  

If I wasn't on deadline at The DayJob, I wouldn't think twice about not going in. But deadline's next Monday ... I have articles to look over and figure out how to fill a few empty pages ... and I probably should go in later. But once it's light out, and maybe once the snow stops. If the buses come; it's only three miles, but it can be a messy three miles to walk (I've done it in snow and in rain. It can be wet and cold and slippery, as you can imagine).  

This is the kind of day to stay at home and read. If you have that option!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Porta-Potties to the left of me, Porta-Potties to the right of me

Why Porta-Potties? Well, you see, the city is doing its maintenance thing in my neighborhood, and so far, the workers have taken over all available parking, cut off water once when they cut into the wrong pipe (they're working on updating the gas lines), broken a hydrant so I came home to gushing water running down the street, covered their holes with large, awkward steel plates, and covered everything with a fine grit, which since this is Seattle has combined with the rain that comes with this season, making everything, well, icky.

It's the Potties that make me crazy, though. There are two of them on my block. They're not even color-coordinated, since one is this institutional green and the other is this flat, faded peach. Not just one. TWO. We are truly blessed. I know this is all temporary, and the Porta-Potties and the spare pipes tossed around and abandoned and the other things just dumped in places randomly will be gone before I can complain too much longer (can you sense the hope in my words? Yeah, I couldn't either). 

But in the meantime, in this season of happiness and joy, I'm tempted to decorate the Potties with some Christmas decorations, just to perk them up a little. 

Monday, December 01, 2008

31 Days of Busy

Finish:
Novella. Do basic research (what does the Nevada desert look like?). Three pages a day. Then:

Do:
Make some effort to holiday-ize the house. Pack up and send out packages to relatives and friends, considering we haven't done a lot of that in the past few years. We've been saving it all up. Postage is going to be fun.

Plan:
Gift purchases for THIS year. Those packages from "Do"? All from LAST year. I swear, packaging stuff up and standing in line is the worst. 

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving was lovely, thank you. The oven worked this year, and no casserole dishes exploded, and no other pieces of kitchen equipment shattered (last year was NOT fun, I tell you). No wonder The Hub's cousin was afraid to join us this year for T-day, but did say he'd come up for Christmas. We just have to make sure nothing explodes, breaks down, or shatters.