Weird Saturday

Strange day yesterday. fosteronfilm woke up early with a headache so we dosed him up on Excedrin. The caffeine hit before the analgesics and he was active and alert at what’s normally an ungodly early hour for him. I took only 10mg of Adderall in my quest to Find the Right Dosage, and by 1 o’clock both us were crashed out on the couch. Sometime in there, Hobkin came looking for us and decided to join our group nap, so all three of us ended up snoozing on the couch until late in the afternoon. As might be expected, that made for very odd hours yesterday.

More October pimpage:

Voting for the “12 Babes of Christmas” is underway!


Warning: There is some nudity on the voting pages. Not safe for work or kiddies!

In addition to myself, these lovely lasses on my flist are also in the running. Check them out: azhure, deyaniera, naamah_darling, shay_85, wicked_wish, and zhaneel69. (If I forgot anyone, drop me a comment.)

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
71-day Although-we-enjoyed-your-work from New Moon with invite to submit again.
8-day “unfortunately we are unable to use it” from Wee ones.

And I didn’t get the Speculative Literature Foundation travel grant; they’re not sending me to China. That sort of puts the kybosh on any chance of going this year. I’m more disappointed than I thought I would be.

Pook.

New words: 1000
Unfortunately, not on any of my WIPs. A character has been gnawing away at my muse for the last few days, but she didn’t have a story so I kept pushing her aside. She would have none of that, so in order to assuage character and muse, I did a several page character sketch in words. And lo, the sketch is turning into a story. Um, yay? Except I really need to finish “The Better To . . . ”

Club 100 For Writers
      19

500/day
      79

Adventures with Adderall: Day 4 & Zorro tickets

Erm, I seem to have lost two pounds in the four days since I started taking Adderall. On one hand, woohoo! On the other, I’m not sure if that’s healthy. Took 20mg yesterday and was zippy for about four hours and then I crashed. Hard. Had an hour and a half nap, but when I woke up, I was back to being peppy and alert. Maybe I’ll hold off on asking for a 15mg scrip a little longer.

fosteronfilm and I got a complimentary pile of advance screening tickets to The Legend of Zorro for Monday. The showing is at 7:30PM at Phipps Plaza. We’ve got ten six extra, so if you’re a local and want to join us, drop me an (email) eugie (at) eugiefoster (dot) com so we can arrange meet-up times and locations. (First email, first served.) [Edit: I'll be counting down the number we have left above.]

   


Writing Stuff

jackzodiac is putting a charity anthology together for the hurricane victims of Katrina: Writers for Relief. I’ve got a story in it, a reprint of “A Little Soul Music,” and tstauffer has something in it too. And get this, we’ll be sharing a ToC with Brian W. Aldiss, Joe Haldeman, Nancy Kress, and Larry Niven! Can I just say “SQUEE”?

New Words: 100
Finished going over the Critters comments (and now I’m behind with my “thank you” notes). Did a minor rewrite and several editing passes on the Korean folktale, and it’s done. Rah! Going to make a mail run later today and send it out into the wild world.

Club 100 For Writers
      18

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (no spoilers)

fosteronfilm and I went to a matinee showing of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit yesterday. I’ve been a huge Wallace and Gromit fan since I saw “A Close Shave” years and years ago broadcast on the big screens as filler before the Masquerade at Dragon*Con. (And yes, I am quite distressed about the recent studio fire.) My hubby and I ran out to rent The Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Gromit after the convention and subsequently bought the DVD. But I was disappointed with both Chicken Run and the Cracking Contraptions collection, the follow-up projects from Aardman Studies. Both were enjoyable, but lacked the same visceral charm and belly laugh genius of the first W&G shorts. But hey, something wonderful runs its course and subsequent incarnations lack the magic of the original; it happens. They were still fun, even if they weren’t as inspired as the previous works. So it was with lowered expectations that I sat down to see The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Boy, was I wrong! It was fantabunnifirous! I spent the whole time while the film was going either giggling, laughing out loud, or squeeing at the screen. They nailed it–the humor, the charm, the whimsy. Brilliant! Absolutely the best animated film of the year. I am surfeited on cuteness, and the claymation bunnies totally stole the scenes they were in. I promised no spoilers, so I’ll stop there. But I just wanna say: GO SEE IT!

After we got back from the movie, I took a two-hour nap. Obviously, 10mg of Adderall is insufficient to keep me alert for a full day. Back to 20mg today. I’m strongly leaning toward calling my p-doc and asking for a 15mg prescription. Going to give 20mg another day or two and see how it goes.

   


Writing Stuff

For the record: The opinions, statements, and viewpoints expressed by the founder of Tangent are not those of its managing editor. Just had to get that off my chest.

Received:
- 26-day “tbttth” from speculative.ca
- 16-day “uh uh” from Wee Small Hours.

Well, snartleblast.

Did a pair of editing passes on the Korean folktale. Still running stats on my Critters crits, but I should have it at final draft stage in another day or so.

Club 100 For Writers
      17

Adventures with Adderall: Day 2

I’ve noticed Adderall makes me more interested in the world in general. It’s like I’ve suddenly re-discovered having fun doing stuff I knew I enjoyed but hadn’t had the time or motivation to follow-up with anymore–nothing major, things like being more eager to take an interest in socializing and current events without the sense of forcing myself through the motions. I’m more inclined to put the energy into delving into my “now what’s that all about?” impulses which are what initially drew me to Psychology and the sciences. It makes me feel . . . younger. I think I’ve forgotten how much energy I used to have, how it used to be when I wasn’t tired all the time. Seems a shame that I need a drug in order to recapture that vitality and enthusiasm. Stupid deteriorating human suit.

Still having cycles of the sleepies. I do think the peaks and lows may be due to the “time release” effect. Took my 20MG XR dose at 9AM yesterday. Got feeling pretty energetic and peppy for several hours, then at around 11:30 had an onset of the yawns. Not a total crash, but definitely a surge of tiredness. Perked right back up about ten minutes later, though. Also continuing to maintain a sensation of hyper-clarity which isn’t unpleasant, but isn’t completely benign either. It feels like I’m being . . . stretched, is the best way I can describe it. Going to drop back down to 10mg today. It might turn out that 15mg is the ideal dosage, which would be irksome ’cause I can’t split the 10mg XR capsules.

   


Writing Stuff

I got an email from Jason Sizemore, the editor of Apex, forwarding on the comments and the illustrations of “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” (slated for issue #4) from the artist, Augie Wiedemann. Get this, the artist liked my story so much, he donated an extra illustration for it! When I read that, my jaw fell off, bounced across the room, and rolled under the table. An artist was so inspired by my writing that he was moved to create artwork above and beyond what he was contracted for! It totally made my day. I can’t display the illustrations without the author’s permission, but take my word for it, they absolutely rawk.

New Words: +100 – 100
Did editing passes on “The Better To . . .” while I re-think what I want to do with the ending. What I’ve got is tighter and cleaner, but still not at zero draft. There’s a definite teeth-pulling feel to this one.

Club 100 For Writers
      16

Adventures with Adderall

My doc prescribed a daily extended release dose of 10mg, but an hour after I took my first pill yesterday, I was overcome by the sleepies and took a several hour nap. Profoundly unimpressed by the effects of 10mg, I took another 10mg. (I’m not just futzing with my dosage on a whim; the doc said I could up the dose to 20mg if 10mg wasn’t sufficient.) And yes, that did the trick. An hour after I took the second capsule, I sat down to write. Three hours later, Matthew drags me away from the computer and makes me eat dinner. After dinner I return to the computer and write for another two hours.

I stopped only when the waves of drowsies started. When the first one hit, I had to force my eyes open and was a mere pillow and blankie away from a nap. But the first was the worst, and it passed. I’m betting it was due to the gap in effective time between when I took the first capsule and the second. Back on the upswing I started being capable of productiveness again, but feeling decidedly tired and less alert. I also noticed that my ability to compose sentences nose-dived at this point. The story ideas were still there, but my brain was reduced to lizard-speak: Bob hungry now. Bob run. Bob scared. Not scintillating prose.

I also had problems sleeping last night. I tossed fitfully for a couple hours, then gave up and sat with my laptop for a while–catching up on emails and fiddling with some bookkeeping. Dozed off with Hobkin on the couch at around 4AM, and he promptly woke me up at 7 for breakfast, and here I am, profoundly not tired. The insomnia effect sucks goat feet. I blame the second, afternoon dose, I took. I’m going to see how two 10mg XR capsules taken at the same time will work out and then decide if I want to stick with 10mg or 20mg daily. No jitters, although there was a certain hyper-clarity which I usually equate with an excess of caffeine. Not a bad thing, but a little surreal.

After day one of Adventures with Adderall, I’m cautiously optimistic.

And also, everyone please welcome dream_wind to LJ-land. She’s been putting off and putting off getting herself bloggified, and now she’s finally gone and done it.

   


Writing Stuff

No mail yesterday. Stupid Columbus Day government holiday. I did hear from the assistant editor/slush reader of Realms of Fantasy. I’ve had several stories languishing there in various stages of slushy limbo so I finally bit the bullet and emailed a query to Shawna McCarthy. She passed on the query for her slush reader to reply to. Outcome:
- One story utterly and completely lost in the depths of the abyss. Invited to submit it again since there’s no trace of it. 235 days.
- One story rejected by default as it wasn’t one of those bought in the batch that was passed up to Shawna. Ergo, “Rejection probably lost in the mail,” which does not fill me with great confidence. Total time waiting on this one: 139 days.
- One story somehow falling between several slush cracks–old and new regime transition pains–and is slated to be passed up to Shawna at the next slush transfer. Days out and counting: 280.
WAH!

In more positive news, I did a Critters critique to keep my numbers up, and I’m definitely happy with the quality of my writing time yesterday.

New Words: 300 – 360
Did a major editing pass on “The Better to . . . ” and chopped out nearly four hundred words. Also made some good headway into the climax. Apparently, muse is a masochist. Must consider flogging muse more often. Or she’s a speed junkie. Or both.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6,222 / 6,500
(95.0%)

I think 6.5K for the whole thing was an underestimate, but I ought to be able to keep it under 7K. And there’s still the possibility of more judicious cutting.

Club 100 For Writers
      15

500/day
      78

Mushroom stew and psychotropic cocktail

We put up our Halloween decorations yesterday. Glowy pumpkins and strings of spiders. It feels like October. We also celebrated the beginning of the All Hallows season with homemade vegan mushroom stew (three types of mushrooms and red bell pepper in a wine sauce) and cherry cobbler for dessert. Yum! My folks brought a huge box of dried shitake mushrooms for us from China, and we tossed several into the stew. I offered Hobkin a sliver, but he was dubious and after nosing it around, decided it couldn’t possibly be food. He likes button mushrooms well enough, and, of course, he loves red bell peppers. He didn’t get any cherry cobbler, though.

Had my p-doc follow-up this morning. Asked him if I could try Provigil to combat the incredible sleepies and exhaustion I’ve been feeling. He was game, but it’s not on The List of meds preferred by my HMO, so I’d have to pay for the whole thing out-of-pocket. AGH! Too rich for my mental disequilibrium. So we decided to go a different course. He prescribed me Adderall. Well, cool. That works too, although I’d rather not be on an amphetamine, but if it gives me too much of the jitters, we can then switch me to Provigil and have it HMO-covered ’cause well, we tried the preferred one and that didn’t work . . .

I feel like there’s a certain slapdash approach to the makeup of my pharmacological cocktail, but at least I’ve got some input with what the bartender puts into the shaker.

   


Writing Stuff

New Words: 300+100
New words on “The Better to . . . ” and a couple editing passes on “Shim Chung.” Flow is not happening. My muse needs to be beaten with a stick, the hussy.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,946 / 6,500
(91.0%)

A turn for the worse

I think I had a bad reaction to the new med that my Rheumatologist prescribed. Or I just had a super-duper flare-up experience. Spiked a fever, was dizzy and nauseous, had an agonizing headache–the kind where you can feel your heartbeat in your skull and wish your heart would stop–and was too sore to move for all of yesterday. Spent most of the time curled up in a whimpering ball, praying for sleep or any other form of unconsciousness–delirium, coma, death, whatever. But for all my misery, it passed, for the most part, in 24-hours. I’m still weak and woozy today, but my fever has gone down, my head feels fragile but fine otherwise, and while I’m still sore, it’s a tolerable ache. Weird.

So that was my day yesterday.

I think Hobkin knew that I was feeling terrible. He spent all of yesterday curled up with me, even when I knew I had to be overheating him with my feverishness. ‘Course when I’m burning up with a fever, having a furry, heat-radiating lumpkin at my side was a little sweltering, but still, it was nice having him there. And fosteronfilm was an excellent nurse. He brought cooling relief in the form of chilled soda cans to have me hold and apply to my forehead, and he brought me soup. My hubby and skunkie love me.

   


Writing Stuff

I queried a submission I had with Vestal Review since April. Their response: “We have replied to all April submissions This means your story was rejected.” Humph. They didn’t answer the salient question I asked: “Did you receive it?” *grumble grumble* Fine. Next market!

Yep, I’m sick.

The swelling joints in my fingers to go with the aches in my neck and shoulders as well as the perpetual exhaustion have convinced me that I’m having a flare-up, fever or no. Made an appointment with my Rheumatologist for Friday. Also got a note from the leech labs, and it seems my white blood count is low, so there’s qualitative indication that all is not well on the Eugie front. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Dragon*Con took a lot out of me and then I followed that up with GABPC which, while nothing on the scale of Dragon*Con, undoubtedly threw my system off just as it was in the process of recovering. I’m sure the whacked out sleep cycle I’m on isn’t helping either. (Being awake at 4:30AM is not my idea of healthful.) So yeah, I feel like crap.

My Things-to-Do list is exploding out of all reasonable size and all I want to do is sleep. Of course, I piddle about with a meme. All the cool kids are doing it . . .
My results on the Politics Quiz. *So* not a surprise.

Ouch. A day of complaints.

Apparently, I have angered the gods of wellbeing. Everything hurts. My shoulders and neck feel fused together–or at least like they really would like to be–wingstubs are deeply upset, and I’ve got this odd and persistent pain in my right breast. It’s a hot, jabby ache, worse than a bruise but not sharp like a cut. I slept for something like fourteen hours yesterday, and I’m still tired. I’d say I was in a flare, but I haven’t spiked a fever (yet).

Seems like I overdid something. Stupid body.

   


Writing Stuff

A Harmony of Foxes
New words: 1100
The novel continues apace.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16,888 / 45,000
(37.0%)

Club 100 For Writers
      6

500/day
      71

Kind Hearts, book vending machines, and car trouble, oh my!

Had a lovely dinner with Glenn5 last night. Home baked veggie pot pie and beer bread, and a crisp white zinfandel (courtesy Glenn) to wash it down. And cupcakes a la Glenn for dessert. I was a bit perplexed at the beer bread. I had to leave it in the oven for an extra fifteen minutes and the middle was still a bit doughy. Weird. Perhaps I accidentally used too much beer? Or perhaps Killian’s Red is more temperamental than Guinness? Still yummy, though. Also watched Kind Hearts and Coronets, which Glenn hadn’t encountered before. We’re big fans of Sir Alec Guinness. There’s a certain sadness that he’s best known for his role in the Star Wars movies rather than the wealth of excellent work he did prior to them.

In amusing news of the world, Paris has started stocking vending machines for books so you can assuage your literary fix 24/7. If you have an emergency need to acquire Alice in Wonderland at 3AM in Paris, and all the bookstores are closed, you can pop out to a vending machine! And they were clever enough to make a gentle delivery method in lieu of the *plummet clunk* that candy bars receive. How cool is that?

In less amusing, non-news-of-the-world, the battery on our second car is kaput. We tried to jump it using our first car, but either the battery is really dead, or we’re incapable of using a set of jumper cables. Even though I’m not ruling out the latter, since I am the first to admit my ineptitude with anything involving vehicular innards, I’m betting on the former, since we could occasionally get enough of a charge for it to make a forlorn “rrr rrr” rather than the usual time-to-write-the-eulogy “click click click.” So it seems we need to replace the battery. fosteronfilm and I talked it over, and we decided it would make the most sense to simply drop the second car from our insurance and registration, at least until we have need of a second vehicle again, instead of shelling out the bucks to tow it to a shop and get it fixed. It’s quite sad. fosteronfilm is very fond of “his” car. It’s a pretty, white Honda Prelude from when they made them sporty and sleek. It’s also a little worrisome because if one of us gets into trouble while running errands, the other can’t come riding to the others’ aid. But I guess having an “emergency car” really wasn’t sensible, financially speaking.

Also finally got a call back from my doctor. We agreed to back off my increased Prozac dose. Thank goodness. The queasy headaches were getting old. So I’m back down to 40mg/day. And hey, according to a recent Psychology Today article, depression may be a font of creative inspiration. Or something . . .

Today’s the last 2005 Dragon*Con director’s meeting. I keep thinking there’s something I need to do or bring for it, but I can’t remember what.

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
8-day “While we found this story to be worthy of a second look, we ultimately decided it’s not quite what we’re looking for” from Lenox Avenue with a “we do hope you’ll try us again in the future” to soften the blow.
1-day “Although smooth and engaging” pass from ericmarin of Lone Star Stories with a “I welcome additional work from you” to let me know that although I was not a winner this time, I should try again.