Another way to banish writer’s block: Scriblis Aintgonnas


1) Draw magic circle, include copyright “C” just within perimeter.

2) Leave opening in circle; opening should face Scribners and Sons (New York). Enter circle, bearing bag of Sacred Relics. Close circle while chanting “Alas, alas, didn’t quite work for me.”

3) Remove Sacred Relics from bag, pronouncing the name of each (“Twenty pound bond paper, non-erasable, blessed is thy high rag content. Nine by twelve envelope, cursed by thy clasp. SASE, IRC, SASE, and done!”). Place Relics inside circle.

4) Open even-numbered issue of Speculations to pro market listings. Read aloud while turning widdershins; stamp right foot on each listed reporting time.

5) When done, place open Speculations on your head and recite the following:

“By Heinlein and Asimov,
Niven and Card,
I banish you not-writes,
not-nows and too-hards!
Zelazny, Zelazny, Zelazny!”

6) Gather your Relics, open the circle, and write for four hours. And take the Speculations off your head before you go out, or people will wonder.

Shared by Frank Tuttle on the Speculations Rumor Mill.

Snarf. Writing biz humor. I just about spewed tea all over my keyboard when I first read this. I hope other people get this, or I’m just way too into the marketing aspect of writing . . .

Can I put my head through my monitor now?

Blargh. In. The. Homestretch. Must. Keep. Testing.

I’m really not a p.m. sort of person. I did a ten hour shift yesterday from 6am to 4pm and while I didn’t enjoy waking up before dawn, it wasn’t all that painful once I got to my desk. But, agh, coming in at noon and working the whole night through has really hammered me.

I’ve got a couple days coming up where I do the late night shift followed immediately by the next day’s early shift. I don’t know how I’m going to survive that. And my eating schedule’s all thrown off. I had some oatmeal for lunch and a Snickers bar for dinner. Ack.

And what really bites is that right now I’m just watching the displays scroll by on a really HUGE test run, waiting for a crash. “Tedious” doesn’t do it justice.

Wah! This blows goats.

Shiftwork bad, Hobkin good

So today I get to come in late (yay) and work until ten (massive boo!) so that we can stagger the time we’re on the server to maximize our testing window. Stupid environment. Who ever heard of a system where if more than one person runs a job it crashes everyone? Fiasco city!

But I took some cute pictures of Hobkin:

Here’s Hobkin’s tummy, showing off his swirl and chip markings.

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How to break a writer’s block . . . .

Four cups of coffee followed by a chaser of two cups of (non-herbal) tea leads to about 1500 words and the near-completion of a first draft. Not, lamentably, one of the three I’ve been glaring at for the last couple weeks, but a whole brand new one that I started ’cause I had an opening. Sigh. I suspect this one will be unsaleable, because, again, I’ve written to one, highly competitive market only. But I enjoyed writing it and I feel good about simply getting words on the page at last. ‘Course it’s not quite done yet. But I know the ending already and I’m almost there.

I’m beginning to think that if I don’t finish a story in its first week of creation, it won’t get finished. Now that’s just sad.

But at least I’m writing something.

I think I’m on the tail end of my caffeine lift. Do I have more tea, or crash?

On a happy note, our Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 DVD set came in today in the mail. Hurray!


I’m in a pissy mood. Just plain and simple, I’m grumpy.

First of all, my project is behind schedule ’cause the testing environment people were so pokey getting our environment set up. So, in order to make up the slack they created, us systems analysts need to now work shifts for the rest of the month because we all can’t test simultaneously in the same environment. When we do so, we crash each other’s jobs. So now I’m working a fucked-up schedule for the next three weeks with late nights and weekends and no overtime. I hate working Friday and Saturday nights. And I hate that I’m not getting overtime for it.

Next, I’m just plain feeling uncharitable. There’s a dimwit over in the LJ community who’s espousing the “poor man’s copyright” (send your manuscript to yourself registered mail, don’t open it, blah blah blah) as a means of protecting author’s works. The poor man’s copyright has been worthless since 1909. I tried to set him straight, as I believe in spreading the word about the writing biz when I can, and he’s just being irksome and pig-headed. Hell, I even cited sources and provided links which he blatantly said he had no intention of clicking on. The stupid git. It annoys me because I posted with good intentions–to set the record straight so folks won’t waste their time and money on the useless artifice. And he’s arguing with me while refusing to acknowledge my sources (my main one being a writer’s lawyer specializing in intellectual propery and publishing law, deceptive acts and practices, and complex litigation). No reason. Just ’cause.

Okay, normally something like that wouldn’t particularly bug me, but today I’m on a short fuse.

And finally, I’m especially miffed with myself because I seem to be, once again, mired in writer’s block. I sit down to write, and nothing comes. I re-read what I’ve got to get back into the flow (my standard operating procedure), and when it comes time to make new words, nothing, nadda, zip. Fuckity fuckity fuckity.

Fume. Stomp. Growl.

Rewrite completed and sent off to Leading Edge. Hurray! Now, again, comes the waiting. I hate waiting. I thought I was a patient person, but ever since I really started marketing my writing, I think my rock of patience has been worn to a little granite pebble. Sigh. But still, a sense of achievement. Yay!

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Hot Damn!

Got a rewrite request in the mail today from Leading Edge. Hot fucking damn! And it’s a very positive request, as in “provided you make this change, we would like to publish your story in our next issue.”

Woo hoo! I’m *this* close to making my first sale of the year!

*rewriting like a mad woman*

Back to the grind

It’s always weird coming back after a vacation. My time sense is all screwed up. Isn’t it lunchtime yet?

Last week was event-heavy. Paul, a friend of ours from Illinois, flew down to visit over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a pretty low-key visit as Matthew and I had much prep to do for the new arrival and the road trip to Iowa (gah–twenty hours one way). Paul treated us to a showing of AotC–he’s our resident (or not-so-resident as the case may be) Star Wars fanatic. This was his fourth viewing, only the second for us. And we introduced him to “Sam’s Gourmet Vegetarian Paradise” which specializes in faux meat facsimiles. Yummy.

And then there was the driving. Fortunately, Matthew and I are on different wake/sleep cycles. He drives at night while I nap, and I drive during the day while he naps. But twenty hours in a car is grueling no matter how you look at it. We left on Monday after driving Paul to the airport for his flight back to Illinois.

We arrived at the breeders in Iowa at noonish on Tuesday feeling pretty wiped already. We spent a few hours talking to the breeder and meeting Hobkin’s parents and touring the farm (they also breed foxes and lynxes) and then it’s back on the road for another twenty hours with baby Hobkin. Made it home early Wednesday morning–around 8am. Man, that was rough. There are NO rest stops in Kentucky and precious few in Tennessee. What’s the deal with that? There were some definitely worrisome hours there when I was so zoned I couldn’t keep my eyes open so couldn’t help Matthew stay awake, and Matthew’s hanging on to consciousness-behind-the-wheel by his fingernails, struggling to make it to the next rest stop so we can pull over and nap for a few hours. Yeek.

But it was worth it.

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