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I Never Said Goodbye…

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this.  I know I haven’t posted here in over a year.

It started with another case of blogging block. I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write about, and by the time I did, it felt like I had already been gone too long. Plus there was a bunch of things going on in my personal life that made blogging impossible. Things that I wouldn’t have felt comfortable blogging about.

My writing life changed, too. I’ve since adopted a pen name (though I’m still unpublished), and it began to feel too strange to continue under this one. I began writing more short stories, instead of focusing on my novel(s) for one thing. I can thank my experiences here for that. I’ve also settled, more or less on one definite genre, and not the one I originally imagined I would be writing in.

I started a new blog in my new name: http://jaymimizuno.wordpress.com I probably should have just changed over the address of this one, but to be honest I didn’t think of it at the time. Plus, I no longer use the e-mail address associated with this account.

I plan to find and follow all of the bloggers I enjoyed reading during my time here, with my new account. Just a quick glance tells me that I have already missed so much that was going on with them. I may never manage to catch up again completely , but I’m going to try.

Finally, I want to give a long overdue “Thank You” to everyone who supported me while I was here. I hope you know how much I appreciated your words, your support and comments.

Thank you again, everyone. I hope to see you around the blogging world soon.

Michelle

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squirrel

Don’t know the answer to that, but at least he was in the crosswalk… 🙂

The increased squirrel activity is definitely a sign of fall around here.  I still remember my first fall here, 3 years ago, when I saw a veritable squirrel stampede — what looked like 20 of the critters flooding out of the window of what (I hope) was an empty house. Wish I’d had my camera with me then.  Or better yet, a video camera.

Fall is also the season for NaNoWriMo.  I signed up to participate again this year.  It may sound crazy, but it’s the only way I can justify spending time on writing during this month, when I have so many other things on my plate.  Will just have to wait and see what happens…

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m heading into the busy season for my day job. Because I’m self-employed, my hours can be absolutely crazy, and I think I’ve been wearing myself too thin. Part of me wants to keep pushing, to keep working, but when I’m consuming so much caffeine that my hands begin shaking, it sort of defeats the purpose. My work requires very fine motor control on some of the more detailed pieces, so I’m not producing anything useable, by pushing on.

I’m burnt out.

So I’m going to take the day off today.  I need time for me.  I might go on a motorcycle ride — I haven’t ridden in far too long. I’m going to write. I have 2 partially finished short stories I wanted to submit to anthology calls, and the deadlines are fast approaching.  I’m going to do a read through of a couple of my novel manuscripts. Maybe do a little editing.  Definitely going to try to do a little catch up on my blog reading and commenting.

I’m feeling better already 🙂

2012 Resolutions — Progress Report #8

Still playing catch-up.  I can’t say I made any visible progress on any of my goals in August, so I’m not going to break it down here.  The good news is that I at least have something to celebrate in all of that — mainly, my story acceptance when I expected a rejection.   I’m heading into the busy season on my day job, though, so it remains to be seen how much time I will have in the next couple of months.

I think I miss reading blogs most of all right now.  Feels like I’m missing out on so much.  I’ve been using the WordPress app for Droid while on errands, so I have been reading a little, but haven’t figured out how to use it to comment yet.  Part of that is having a new phone, my old one was on its last legs.  It had a slide-out keyboard.  My new one has a virtual keyboard, so it’s taking some getting used to.

The next few months should be interesting, as far as time goes.  Too bad there can’t be a few more hours in the day.  Oh, if I could only have a time-turner! 😉

 

I Sold a Story!

When I submitted my flash fiction piece earlier this summer, I thought it would be a step towards my goal of receiving 6 rejection slips for the year. Except it didn’t quite work out that way: “Leodegraunce” accepted my story for publication! You can see it on their website for 7 days: http://www.leodegraunce.com/issue-15.html

It will also appear in their flash fiction anthology next year. 🙂

It’s just a small sale (my husband thought we’d won the lottery with the way I was bouncing off the walls, then laughed when I had to tell him the pay rate), but it’s my first official publishing credit.  I think that calls for a little celebration:

Spam Email from the Future!

Last month, during a routine e-mail check, I saw I had a message from a “Captain James T. Kirk.” Now, being a bit of a geek, I immediately thought of Star Trek, which is  the main reason I didn’t delete it immediately, to share with my husband.  We had a good laugh over my e-mail from the 23rd century.  I suppose a real life person could have the same name, but you’d think he would have been teased too much about his fictional counterpart to want to use his full name plus middle initial in this way.

Of course, the real message of the e-mail had nothing to do with Star Trek.  It turned out to be a standard spam/scam e-mail, along the lines of the old “Nigerian” prince scams, but it tried to give itself a kind of validity by  claiming to be from a US Army captain in Afghanistan, who wished to send me $10,500,000.  All he needed were my bank account details and personal phone number  😯 Now, being an Army wife, I do know a lot of servicemen who have served there, so many of the details of the sender’s “service” sounded particularly bogus.  For one thing,  the “captain” claimed he was using his “official” e-mail:  a G-mail account.  Soldiers have Army e-mail accounts that have nothing to do with Google.

Adding a final note of absurdity of the whole thing was the closing line, asking me not to respond to the official e-mail address, but to his “private” e-mail, instead — which just happened to be completely identical to his so-called official one.

Sounds to me like this particular spammer is just a little bit confused… 😉

Crazy month in real life, and it was reflected in my lack of progress in my goals.  Here’s hoping the worst is over.

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  I talked about this in my last post, one of only 2 I did all month.  As always, blogging remains my lowest priority, especially when my time/energy is limited.  Changing that has been hard.  It’s a mental shift that my mind just doesn’t seem to want to take.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report:  After working on first chapter revisions last month, I decided to cut it completely.  The second chapter was the original first chapter when I posted it for some feedback on Absolute Write years ago.  Most of the feedback said it didn’t fit the genre (fantasy romance) I thought I was writing.  I added the new first chapter to try to resolve that, but it turns out it was just back story.  I think I’ve finally made peace with the fact that this is more like a straight fantasy novel with “romantic elements,” and am no longer trying to force it to be something it isn’t, and revising has become a lot easier with that in mind.

I’ve also cut one flashback scene, and another scene is currently on the chopping block.  The manuscript is now down to 110,000 words, but I have a few new sections that have to be written out, to fill in a couple of plot holes, so we’ll see what happens.  Part of me fears that this monster will grow even larger than it was when I first started editing.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report: It’s still sitting on the side as I work on revising some of my other manuscripts.  Haven’t even done a read-through yet.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: Still waiting on a response from my flash fiction piece.  Keeping my fingers crossed, though I know it’s a long shot.  Also, I have a good idea of how to revise that problem novella I talked about in previous “progress reports,” and hope to have it sent out by the end of the month.  I also have 2 other short novels/novellas near 1st draft completion, and hope to have at least one of them ready to send out by the end of the year.

Overall, I think of July as the month I’d prefer to forget.  Hope everyone had a better month than I did, and here’s looking forward to August!

Photo by me. Yes, those are my real pills.

I haven’t had the energy for blogging, or anything else, lately.

I received the results of the blood tests I mentioned in a previous post, at the beginning of the month. Everything was normal, except my a1c levels were slightly higher than normal, which, according to my doctor, means I’m not yet diabetic, but I’m “at a higher risk to develop diabetes.” She started me on Metformin. The dose was to start out low, and gradually build up over a period of three weeks, to reduce the side effects.

At first, it didn’t seem too bad. It made me a little nauseous, and tired, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. But when it came time to increase the dose, the real problems began.  Not everyone experiences the gastric (stomach) problems, so I’m apparently one of the (un)lucky few.  I don’t want to get into the gory details here, but let’s just say that I was pretty much chained to the bathroom, and no matter how much sleep I got, I was constantly exhausted.  Good thing I’m my own boss, because there is no way I would be have been able to function normally during this time, much less be able to work on someone else’s schedule.

This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced side-effects that were worse than the original problem (I blogged about it years ago here), though this is the first time it’s happened with a prescription medication.  I really didn’t have any symptoms of diabetes before the test, either.  The test was part of a screening for my general health condition.  So to end up completely miserable from a pill, well, it left me wondering if my doctor wasn’t a little too quick to jump straight to medication.  A full-dose seems a bit like overkill when I think about it: my numbers were literally 0.1 percent outside of the normal range.

The symptoms did start tapering off a few days ago, much to my relief.  I guess my body has adjusted to the medication.   I’ve heard horror stories about people suffering through the severest side-effects for years.  Despite this, I’ve decided to add another resolution to my list for the year: to lose another 10 pounds, and get off this medication for good.  I’m sure it’s possible.  My father, who is a full-blown diabetic, was able to get off medication by adding additional exercise to his gym routine, and I kind of wanted to lose more weight even before this happened.  I lost 15 pounds last year, and have managed to keep it off.  We’ll see how it goes.

I hope to get back into blogging more regularly, soon.  Plus, I know I have a lot of catch-up commenting to do, on the blogs that I follow.  This could take a while…

Halfway through the year now.  Oh, how time flies when you’re having fun. 😉  Here’s how June turned out:

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  Blogged a total of 6 times in June.  Exactly the same as  I posted in April and May.  I’m still having trouble with managing my writing time, and I still prefer working on my manuscripts over blogging.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report:  This is my 100,000+ word monster I mentioned in my previous post about word counts.  Ran a quick spell-check (gotta love those typos that completely change the meaning of a sentence) and began tightening the prose.  There are quite a few spots where I slipped into the passive voice.    I’m about half-way through the first chapter, with many, many more to go.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report: Finally completed the first draft.  One of my antagonists has done a disappearing act halfway through the story, and is seen only in the point of view of the other antagonist, who will end up betraying her as well as my protagonists.  Makes her look silly and one-dimensional.  Must work on that, but I’m still letting the manuscript as a whole sit for the time being.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: Though I still haven’t made any progress on my longer work, I’ve managed to write my first short story in years.  A flash-fiction piece, under 200 words, for a themed submission call I saw online.  Hit the “send” button for it on Friday night, and have been trying to avoid obsessively checking my e-mail ever since. 😯 It’s the first work I’ve submitted anywhere in more than 10 years.

I’m really happy with the way June turned out.  Even though my blogging still needs a lot of work, there was good progress on the rest of my writing.

What about you? Have you been making progress on your goals for this year?

I Need a New Alias

No, I don’t plan on changing my blog name.

Yet.

But I’m brushing off the dust from my old Absolute Write Forum account, which is under my real name. I created the account more than 2 years ago, before I really started thinking that I’ll be writing mainly under a pseudonym or two (which I haven’t chosen yet.)

Ideally, I’d like to incorporate my blog name into my new alias. Alas, there is a 20 character limit. I can’t seem to think of a good way to shorten my blog name to fit the limits, and still have it make some sort of sense.

Any suggestions?