jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Well, the great news is that A. is coming back on Wednesday! Yay! Although I'm sure I won't see her for a few days after she gets back as she'll be sleeping until the following Monday. Heh. Still, I did relatively well in her absence, eating healthy for the most part and keeping the place clean. Did some more cleaning today because why not. And it's still early in the afternoon, so maybe I can get some online shopping done as well.

In other exciting news, I should be getting a new router from AT&T tomorrow so our internet will be both faster and we'll have a much bigger data plan (for about the same amount as we're paying now, apparently), which will really help both of us, since we both work from home and use the internets quite a bit. Going to get that up and running after my work day is done, of course.

In writing news, The Persistence of Memories is now FINALLY available in trade paperback on Amazon! Yay! It took me long enough. And now that Book 2 is out of the way, I can finally work on The Balance of Light. The line-edit is done for that one, so all I need to do is start going through the ebook and trade versions. I'm thinking this one will probably see the light of day in January by the looks of it, but we shall see.

As for holidays...Thanksgiving was quiet but enjoyable. Bought myself some turkey tenderloins and cooked both of them up for dinner. Had one then and I'm having one for dinner tonight with a salad. Nothing too exciting there. But yes, it's now time for me to do Christmas shopping, so I will most likely continue with my normal route of ordering most everything online and then mailing it out. And yes, I've been hearing Christmas tunage in the stores over the last few weeks. It kind of crept up on me this year, as I've been too distracted with the writing projects! I usually buy at least one Christmas album a year, so I'm curious to see which one I'll pick this year. Maybe a classic, or maybe a new release!

Hope everyone's having a good weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Note to self: ordering the chilaquiles dish at Richmond Republic is a great idea...if I want to feel ridiculously full for the rest of the afternoon. What's essentially a small skillet piled with breakfast nachos is indeed hangover food. The brewpub itself was full of Bay to Breakers leftovers, including a group of Gilligan's Island cosplayers (Gilligan, Skipper and Mary Ann) having nothing but mimosas the entire time. The walk home did help wear down some of the spinny from the two ales I had (one oatmeal stout and one coffee vanilla lager, both from local breweries).

Taking a break from cleaning the two apartment bathrooms for the moment to catch my breath (I need to give the shower a good scrub-down next). And once that's done, then I can do what I wanted to do this weekend, and that's catch up with my writing!

I'm doing pretty good with having a backlog for my Walk in Silence posts but I'd like to create a few more so I'm at least a few entries ahead at all times, which would make that at least two weeks ahead. I'd also like to create more backlogged Welcome to Bridgetown posts as well. Using the scheduler on my WordPress blogs has decreased my stress levels considerably, as I don't have to worry about cramming all my writing into one evening and thus getting little editing done.

Speaking of editing...oof. The Balance of Light is coming along, but slowly. I'm nearly done with this chapter, and it's miles better than the original opening, though I've already proven to myself that this book's gonna get at least two, maybe three revisions before I release it by the end of the year. There's a LOT left to go, and I need to ensure that I dedicate the time to it; I can't let it fall by the wayside or get distracted by the blog entries or other things.

In short, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my writing over the last few weeks. Yes, I know...I tend to do that on a daily basis anyway, but this has to deal with multiple things: my output, time dedicated to it, and the level of dedication I give to it. I spent years working on the Trilogy, and donating a crapton of time to it at that. It's hard to describe, but writing the trilogy, while fun, did feel like I was trying to Create A Perfect Work of Art, if you get my meaning. There's a level of ultraseriousness to it that, while it worked for the creation and writing in this universe, I don't believe I need to reach quite so high for my other projects. In fact, I think that's why some of my other projects stalled in the past: I was trying way too hard to recreate that level of perfection. Us writers are our own worst enemies when it comes to that. So once the Trilogy is out and away, you're going to see a change of mindset and habit on my next projects. I'll still be professional, but I doubt I'm going to try to aim for Best Book in the Universe anymore.

I have more thoughts on this, of course, but I'll save it for another day.

Meanwhile, back to cleaning!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
...or in this case, the pantry. At least a dozen or so out-of-date foodstuffs tossed (most of them over a year or so old, including a forgotten tiny bottle of some kind of spread with a sell-by date before we even moved to our present location!!), things re-arranged, other things to be put away elsewhere. Realized we have an insane amount of jams and preserves, and an even more insane amount of tea. Our snack situation is positive, considering we made a run to World Market today and found various tasty things like Coffee Crisps, Tim-Tams and chocolate bars, and followed it up with an assortment box of Jo-Jo's from Trader Joe's. Oh! And not one but two assortment boxes of Samuel Smith beers (the three-bottle gift box that comes with a pint glass, so now we have a matching set of four glasses). And earlier this week I boxed up the books that I should bring down to the SF Library store at Fort Mason. I should probably go through my clothes this weekend as well, and bring it to the local Goodwill. Maybe next weekend. The apartment laundry facilities are still on the fritz, so I've been heading over to the laundromat up the street on Sundays. [Why yes, as a matter of fact I have been writing longhand while waiting for the cycles to end, why do you ask?]

So yes, things are looking spiffy round these parts!

In other news, the daily 750 Words exercise is once again going to be put aside for the time being, for the simple reason that Emm has now finished reading A Division of Souls and offered suggestions and comments, so now I can go through my galley copy and make the final fix. Once they are complete, then I can put the physical book up for sale on Amazon, get a few comp copies for various people, and update the e-book version as well.

As for The Persistence of Memories, I'm about a third of the way through the edit, so I'm hoping that I'll be finished by the end of the year. It looks like I should be on schedule to release it mid to late January, maybe even on my birthday. We shall see. I will most likely be doing the same thing with the physical copy--formatting it, getting a few galley copies made, editing it, and releasing that a slight bit later. I'll have a more solid date to announce as soon as it gets closer.

[On a side note...all this preparing for an official drop date has given me a bit of background on how it works when releasing a book or a record. This will definitely come in handy with a music-related fiction project I will be working on in the future.]

So all in all, things have been busy but creatively and positively so. Can't complain about that. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Oh yeah, that's right, I had a Dreamwidth account! Well, no more...I just deleted it (after doing a quick copy/paste of its contents, which was about 60 poems written over the course of 2 years). Looks like the last entry was over two years ago. And while I was at it, I deleted the Scribble Diem LJ account as well, as that one hadn't been touched in three years.

I need to do more of this in general, really...I know I'm signed on with a lot of websites and services that I never use. Not that it saves any room or whatever, but it's one less thing floating around out there that has stayed well past its sell-by date. [Wait...I still have a MySpace account?? Is that still a thing?] And I'm sure most of them I used maybe once or twice about eight years ago, but haven't used since. I have a list somewhere of these sites, I'll have to find it and see what I can delete.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Hoo! After two-plus weeks of being too lazy to do the grocery shopping, our refrigerator was dangerously on the verge of becoming a bro fridge (a bunch of condiments, about 1/8 cup of milk, a few vegetables that may be past their date, and a few beers, natch), so today was Shop for All the Things Day. Took a different way down to the mall in San Bruno by way of all back roads (we usually jump on 280 or cut through Daly City and Colma), and not so surprisingly, it took a lot less time to get there and back. And less traffic, too!

Anyhoo, our refrigerator looks a lot less embarrassing now. A is currently doing some canning now, while I start the afternoon housecleaning. That's the funny thing...I don't exactly procrastinate when it comes to housecleaning, as we generally pick up after ourselves when we're done with things. But weekend cleaning is usually an all-afternoon thing for me. I'll start with, say, the bathroom floors for starters, realize the shower needs scrubbing so I do that next, and then come to the conclusion that I'll need to vacuum at some point as well. Oh, and mop the kitchen floor, once A is finished with her project. There's also the temptation to start the laundry if no one else is using it, just to get it over and done with. [Note: Sundays are not a good laundry day, because that's when everyone else in the building thinks it's a good day to do it.]

Meanwhile, what else is going on?

The Grand Edit of The Persistence of Memories continues apace. As usual, my first couple of chapters are usually the ones that need the most fixing, but thankfully this one didn't need as much overhaul as ADoS did. Just a lot of scene rewriting and major deletion of extraneous crap. I've just started a new chapter and already I've deleted over 2000 words, so that's a good sign that I know exactly what needs to be done to make it even better.

Basically, I overwrite. A LOT. My verbose blog posts here and elsewhere are a good example. But to be honest, to me this is a good thing, because it means my major writing style overhaul in 1999 has worked out for the best. Before that, my writing was sparse and I left out a lot of detail...so much so that my prose read more like an outline than a novel. My longhand is still a bit like that, but that's okay, because longhand is supposed to be the VERY rough first draft. Point being -- when it comes to the revision, I get to do a lot of deletion, and the rewriting tends to be a lot of "how can I say this in fewer words?", which works out a lot better for me in the long run.

On a related note, I now have five galley copies of ADoS, one I've already claimed as the Red Pen Edition. This will be the one where I make all kinds of petty notes about layout, typos, and other embarrassing things. Once I get through that, then this book will FINALLY be available in physical form on Amazon! Yay!

On that note, back to the scrubbing and cleaning. And coffee drinking. Have a spiffy weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Hey, if my local news can use that as a commercial bumper, I can use that as a subject line. ;)

I took a brief break from the evening writing sessions to put together a new filing cabinet that I got off Overstock. It's one of those Ikea-type pieces with about 93,458 pieces to it (including wood glue for the wood dowels!), so it took a bit of time and a lot of elbow grease to get it all put together. There were a few tricky moments (one dud screw and two wheel mounts with screw holes that didn't quite line up with the predrilled holes), but I got it done. Now I have a few boxes to break down, things to refile into the cabinet, and a crapton of renegade Styrofoam bits from the packaging. Guess I'll chalk up today as a cleaning day!

Also on tap: finish off the WtBT post, daily words, and maybe a bit of make-up writing and revision.

Other than that, we have all the Horsey Football games today (okay, three horse teams and a warehouse team) and some food shopping, so it does look like it's going to be an easy Sunday. Can't complain!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
This past weekend was one of shopping and erranding. We drove down to Palo Alto (why yes, as a matter of fact I do get the Radiohead song stuck in my head whenever we're down that way, why do you ask?) to Fry's Electronics so I could suss out cameras. While I do have a nice compact Samsung 15 megapixel point-and-click camera, I've been wanting to step up my photography game and try something a little more high end. I ended up with this Sony A58, and I'm loving it so far. There's a bit of a learning curve with all the bells and whistles that come with it, but it's gotten big reviews as a perfect starter camera if you're looking to level up.

[You can see one of my first experiments here at my Tumblr.]

In other news...Spare Oom is finally clean and back to normal, many things shredded, and all the cleaning done. I even managed to squeeze in two WordPress blog entries in yesterday! Woo! Not much else to report...the local YMCA should open back up today (it was closed for its annual powerclean and fix-broken-stuff time) so we'll be back on the treadmills again...also need to start getting some SF Symphony tickets as they finally go on sale today.

Also--HOKEY SMOKES WE'RE GOING TO LONDON IN A FEW WEEKS. Worldcon is gonna be fun and we'll get to meet up with a lot of our friends again, and I'm also really looking forward to exploring the city too! I do of course have a list of places to hit that are Beatle related. Many musical photo-ops have been planned. :)

Hope everyone has a nice week!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
I'd been meaning to do a bit of spring cleaning in regards to my collection of writing--mainly because I was looking for a few Mendaihu Universe outtakes some time ago and had no idea where they were--and realized it was high time I got things in order again.

For starters, I have a crapload of empty notebooks (some never used, but many where I only used maybe less than a quarter of the pages), and figured it was high time to start culling. Some of them I'll keep as I can still use them, but the older ones that I've had for over a decade and are looking a bit tatty are going to head to the recycling bin. Yes, I know it's wasteful, but I'd rather make a clean sweep of it rather than hang onto notebooks I know I'll never use again.

I've also divvied up the various projects so everything is in its right place--all the Mendaihu Universe books and their predecessors (including True Faith and The Phoenix Effect) are now in one pile. The Walk in Silence pile includes all its outtakes, the Belief in Fate and Decline and Fall stories, and so on. The music-related stuff is together, all the artwork and the poetry and the maps I've created over the years. There's a slightly smaller pile I need to go through that's a mixed bag of various dead-end projects, and a pile of to-be-sorted, much of which will probably get shredded or recycled. I believe there's also a few things elsewhere that need to be dug through and divvied up as well, and I really need to do that before I can get any serious culling done.

This is probably a much bigger undertaking than I expected, but I'm willing to go through with it because it needs it. We've been at this address longer than we've been at our old one in North Beach, and much of this stuff has only been sorted maybe once or twice since then, even when I attempted to scan some of this stuff. And to be honest, this is a hell of a lot less stuff than when I moved out of my parents' house...I spent a good couple of weeks there just digging through all the notebooks and whatnot and doing some serious shredding and recycling. I did so again after we moved to San Francisco, when I shredded a lot of my superfluous manuscripts (stuff I still had digitally, so it seemed silly to have old and useless inkjet copies taking up space).

[Update: I just dug out everything that's in that bookcase partially hidden by the loveseat--there's a lot of crap I can get rid of there, which will give me even more room to put stuff I know I won't need to look at any time soon! I'm also tempted to dig through the four Ikea file boxes I have next to the window bookcase, as I know there's a lot of crap in there as well that can go. I also have a few boxes lying around that I can use as temporary filing until the stuff gets shredded. Anything that can be recycled will of course head straight downstairs to the big blue bin.]

I'd say I could probably use a filing cabinet, but I really don't have any room for one in Spare Oom, as every available spot is taken up by something else. As it stands, most of this is stuff has been on the tall black bookshelf next to the desk. That's getting a major rearrangement as well...all the reference books are together now, and I'm planning on rearranging the bottom two shelves so every project has its own specific spot.

Lastly, and somewhat related, I'm tempted to buy a new printer, maybe a three-in-one this time out, and while doing some shopping at Best Buy today and I saw this printer/scanner there that I'm tempted to buy. My current printer works but the power button is starting to get wonky (I've had it for probably five years already--I got it while still at our old place), and I fear my scanner isn't working properly. It's somewhat bigger than my current printer, so I'm thinking it may end up going elsewhere--which isn't a bad thing, because that would free up more bookshelf space. I'm probably going to hold off until after our London trip, though, as it's not desperately needed at present. Just something I'd like to get, really.

*whew* Okay, back to the cleaning I go!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Boy oh boy does my TBR pile need some culling...! Well, that and my "already read" pile is a bit ridiculous as well. I'm deciding to invoke Jonc's Occasional Rules of Book Owning:

1. If I bought it, it's been a year or more and I still haven't read it, I either A) shift it to the READ THIS NEXT pile, or B) get rid of it.
2. If I did read a book and still own it, I either A) decide if I still want to keep it, or B)realize I'm probably not going to read it again and get rid of it.
3. If I did not yet read a book but it's in my TBR pile, I either A) keep it there if I know I'll be getting to it, or B) make a decision there and then if I'm going to get to it anytime soon.

Yeah, I know, it's harsh, but sometimes it needs to be done. I've already got a pile going, which A. will probably add to as well, and we'll drop them off at the SF Library store next time we're down near the Marina.

Other cleaning: in other not-so-shocking news, I may need to move my mp3s to the newer external, as I seem to be running out of space! Which means I'll have to do a bit of creative maneuvering and re-adding the tracks to Media Monkey, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'll probably do that next weekend when I have more time.

Other cleaning: do I really need the paid version of AVG on my computer, and all the other bells and whistles? The PC works just fine with the free version, and the paid version's got some weird update that doesn't jive with my system (note: this same problem is happening with a number of other users, so it's not just me). I'll have to check and see if it's expiring soon and stop it. I've got a few other firewall and PC-cleaning things installed anyway, so we'll see.


Non-cleaning news:
Apparently, when I revise in bed using my tablet, I seem to be finishing the work a hell of a lot faster. Which tells me two things: I'm giving myself about an hour's extra revision time at night and reaching the end of my revision project that much quicker, and I may have to admit I've been distracting myself too much in Spare Oom! Will have to remedy that. The other downside being that I'm falling behind in my reading, but on the other hand, I'm already halfway through The Process of Belief with a little over twenty chapters more to go.

Other than that, it's been a busy weekend, as I've been hanging with the in-laws both here and in the North Bay. Lots of driving and sightseeing, so it's been fun!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Sunday afternoon, a bit quieter and slower in speed today. Caught up with pretty much all our errands and whatnot, and trying not to turn this afternoon into a frenzied MUST DO EVERYTHING NOW. So rarely do I get to relax and let the afternoon drift by.

So a extending a bit from yesterday, more on the JoncWorld front:

--Still working on preparing the Angry Robot submission. I'm in a quandary in that they ask for the first five chapters. I have no problem with that--in fact, it works out nicely, because the first mini-arc of Book I is exactly five chapters long. The problem is that these chapters are a bit long. In their FAQ they suggest that if the chapters are long, "to send in the first 10,000 words or so." Which would end it somewhere a bit around Chapter 3. I'd do that, but it would kind of be like introducing this great passage and stopping it just after it crests--it's a weird place to stop, thematically. So my question is...should I send in the first five chapters anyway (it comes to just over 20,000 words), or stick with the 10,000 words? Hmm.

--As mentioned yesterday, we got rid of Dish Network, for a few reasons. The major one was that we somehow lost connection in the last week or so of October, and haven't been able to get service since then. Apparently since we live in an apartment using a shared dish, it's considered a "commercial" setup and Dish would need to farm someone out to our place to check it out, on our dime. The original service--some guy on Geary with a very bad sense of customer service--went out of business some time ago and neglected to tell anyone, including Dish, so they got someone (I think from San Jose) to come over, for a ridiculous price. He basically looked at the wires, saw nothing wrong, and suggested we get a new box--again, on our dime. New box comes, and guess what? No service! Eff that, we say, and after three years we got rid of Dish.

Suffice it to say, the service itself was pretty good--their channel selection is quite a step up from Comcast here in town--but the customer service on the other hand was laughable. We also came to the conclusion that with all the stations we received on Dish, we only watched probably about 15-20% of them, including the Sirius music channels. In the end that's a good $75 a month we don't need to spend anymore, and we have other visual entertainment available. We're looking into a separate Sirius Radio setup at this time.

To end this comedy of errors, we drove over to Best Buy yesterday and bought ourselves a TV antenna, hooked it up, and we are now getting free local TV like the good Socialists that we are! :)

--Spare Oom is slowly but surely getting cleaner and more straightened out as we speak. We had a number of things we were getting rid of which I finally dropped off at Goodwill (or sold on eBay), and hopefully within the next few weeks I can hop over to Berkeley and drop off the old spinner we've been trying to sell. I also have two boxes of cds that I need to pare down and/or rebox, and sell the unwanted titles to Amoeba. I'm hoping sometime in the next few months I'll be able to straighten out the storage boxes next to my desk and scan the various papers and whatnot that are on the shelf. Lastly, we will most likely be doing another book purge in the future. Not sure when, but we'll definitely let you know if and when it happens, as those always go down well.

--Oops! I seem to have forgotten to work on the next Blogging the Beatles post. Oh well...I'm sure I'll have time this coming weekend to catch up.


Other than that, it's been a quiet and relaxing weekend (barring one minor embarrassing hiccup, but nothing worth reporting), and I'm quite happy about that. It's Thanksgiving week, which means that work is going to be sucktastic with all the clients trying to get last minute files through before the long weekend (why yes, I will be working on Friday and doing jack, why do you ask?). And HOLY CRAP IT'LL BE DECEMBER HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend! Happy Turkey Day! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been a relatively relaxing weekend for the most part, so I can't complain. The weather's been weird the last few days, so I'm not entirely sure if/when it'll rain. However, it's been a bit on the cold side so I get to rock my wool coat I bought in Paris, so it's not a total loss. ;)

So Saturday started off with a trip over to the Marina! It wasn't exciting as it sounds, of course...this was to drop books off at the Fort Mason SF Library bookstore, and to also drop off a handful of clothing and other things at the Goodwill up the street. This in the process has greatly cleared up a lot of space in Spare Oom, which is always a good thing. Now I just need to get rid of a few boxes and also put a few things up online for sale, and the room will be even clearer. Yay clean room!

After that we did a bit of shopping and came home with another new toy--this here new laptop we picked up at Best Buy to take place of the sadly-departed Lenovo. This one's an Acer Aspire M, which I'm REALLY liking so far. I'm happily embracing the Windows 8 that came with it--as everyone's saying, there's a bit of a learning curve with it, but it's relatively easy to pick up after some playing around. I figured out rather quickly that if you use the oft-forgotten and ignored Windows and Menu buttons down at the bottom row, you can do some deft moving around. I also chose to go with a touch-screen. I don't use it as much, but it helps when I'm navigating various places. I can see how some people who've been using older Windows versions might be worried or annoyed by it, but it's not nearly as bad as everyone's making it sound. Just like any other computer, you can tweak a lot of it to fit your tastes and uses.


Yesterday I made good with my whiteboard schedule and spent some time with my new toys! I spent a good hour with the synth, which did come with a user guide, but is more of a schematic than a booklet on "nifty things you can do with this here box of knobs and buttons". But as one does with such toys, I just turned it on and started fiddling around with the settings. In the process I somehow created a Nine Inch Nails-like beat with weird noises, which was kinda cool. I'm thinking once I understand this little thing a bit better, I should be able to do more with it. I do like how it has a headphone jack so I'm not bothering Emm in the other room, but it also has a built-in speaker as well so I can use it as background if I want to, say, play my guitar along with it.

After that, I pulled out the tablet and started toying with that again. For some reason it was being very touchy and not exactly working the way I want it, but I think it's partly due to me just being so new with it. Test drawing #2 ended up being one of my made up maps I like drawing. It's not the same as doing it on paper, but I can get used to it. I think one of the things I need to get used to is the placement of the tablet. They suggest you place it so it lines up with the monitor (this way your movements will be mirrored on the screen), but I found that having it off to the side a bit worked just as well. It'll take some getting used to, but the learning curve is pretty easy. It's just a matter of getting used to it.


Today is a bit up in the air, as I'm not sure if we're actually going to do anything outside (plus there's football!). Later on in the day I'll be working on Walk in Silence and doing a bit more playing with my toys. I do need to get MS Word up and running on this laptop, so I will most likely do that today as well. So if anything, we'll head to the gym, have lunch, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing, watching games and playing with our toys. I may even get some writing done too!
jon_chaisson: (Default)
First, to get this out of the way:

WOOOOO!!! GO PATS!!! :D :D :D :D :D

*ahem* Carry on...


Been a surprisingly productive weekend here at Casa TC. Yesterday was mostly Errand Day, as our cupboards were emptying out. So, shopping at Westlake Mall! I had a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more of food at World Market, so we went a bit wild with snacks (various chocolates, Zapp's potato chips with an interestingly vague flavor name of "Voodoo", some maple pecan popcorn, among other things) some pumpkin ale, and some wine. Also, a good portion of regular food was purchased downstairs at Trader Joe's.

We also decided to head over to the DSW shoestore for new footwear specifically for our Paris trip in a few weeks [HOKEY SMOKES, is it coming up that quickly?!??]. As I have been informed that I will apparently be laughed off the continent for wearing New Balance sneakers, I spent the extra money and got some nice and comfy solid black Nikes. Emm got a nice pair of walking shoes as well, along with a pair of pumps which surprised both of us (she normally doesn't wear them).

Spare Oom got another good going-over yesterday as well...I managed to combine all my work-related stuff into one box and shoved that into the closet, magazine piles were thinned out, and things were moved so I can actually use the loveseat behind me again! Now I just need to make a trip to the Fort Mason book drop and the Goodwill up the way, and the floor will be even more open.

Today was Clean All The Things! Day, so I did quite a bit of vacuuming and dusting, arranging, throwing away, and wiping up of said Things. I really should have taken a Claritin, as I am still slightly congested from the Great Dusting of Jon's Corner of the Bedroom. Clearly I should have done this quite some time ago, and it would not surprise me in the least if I find myself NOT snoring from congestion tonight. And lastly, I just kicked off an email to our building maintenance guys (cc'ing our building manager, of course) detailing some plumbing issues. Nothing horrible, but just enough to warrant fixing.

So! It's just past two pm here, I'm kicking back and listening to WAMH online, and wondering what I'm going to do with the rest of the day. Emm is currently in the kitchen making a giant batch of applesauce, but once that's done we'll most likely take a walk up to Land's End and then over to the Quickly on Geary for some bubble tea. So what's next?

I'll be working some more on Chapter 6 of A Division of Souls, and I know that it's going to be a big pain in the ass like Chapter 5 was...but I'll going into that in another post momentarily. In fact, a lot of writing-related thoughts I'd like to touch on in the next post. Stay tuned!

Also...I need to install the Rosetta Stone Francais software and get crackin' on it, as we have just a few weeks for me to brush up on a foreign language I haven't actively studied since 1993. Geez, and I call myself French-Canadian...! The packaging is a bit vague as to how many people can use it, and how many computers it can be set up for, so I'm thinking maybe setting it up on the Spare Oom PC here, and then onto the Lenovo, that way we can get it up and running and the both of us can use it. As I've said, I can passably say the little things one needs--y'know, the please, thank you, I'm afraid I've eaten too much cheese, things like that--and I can understand it a lot more than I can speak it...but I should at least try to recapture more of it.

Okay! Time to head outside and enjoy a bit more of this shockingly warm day (I say shocking, considering it's been in the 50s and foggy for the last few weeks) and partake in some tasty bubble tea.

MOre soon!
jon_chaisson: (Default)


Okay, see that shelf? That's all sort-of-sorted, sort-of-not-sorted paperwork that used to be in one of the two wooden crates I bought from IKEA about five years ago. It hasn't been sorted since I was briefly unemployed in January 2006, when I was waiting to get hired by someone. Before that? It was in various notebooks and milk crates. About ninety percent of it is writing-related stuff, mainly outtakes and notes for things finished and unfinished.

See the top of the notebooks on the shelf below? Those are printed copies of various novels and projects I'd worked on over the years. Most are complete, but they're older versions and not up to date. That's slightly in better order than the above shelf, but it could be better. These are in pressboard covers, which, while they might conserve space and look nice, they really get frayed and unbound rather easily. I should note that there are a few file boxes in front of that (underneath that PM Press catalog) that's full of bits and bobs that may or may not be writing, but are too small to be piled onto that shelf.

And thirdly, the wire mesh bin on the right? That's full of random data cds--various versions of my writing from about 1996 until about 2005ish (I started saving the info to externals at that point, and later to Dropbox.)

My plan is to get these things in some semblance of order--both shelves and the bin and boxes. What I'd really like to do is scan a lot of those papers, but at present I only have one of those cheapo scanners that takes a good minute or so just to scan one page. I'm thinking something like this (which I just ordered for this very reason) would work wonders and save time. It's a bit expensive, but it's exactly what I'm looking for.

Digitally, I believe I already have everything that's on those discs (as well as on a handful of floppies I have), it's just a matter of getting them organized. The downside is having to root through most of it, considering that I'm sure I have multiple copies of the same documents and pictures on there.


I bring all this up because I like order. I'm not OCD about it, it's more that I know where it is, it's just I need better and quicker access to it. There's also the fact that, after a few fire scares at our last apartment complex, I think it's high time that I digitized everything, from artwork to writing, just so I have a more permanent copy. I highly doubt we'll have any fire issues here (not unless the girls downstairs do something really stupid), but there's always the rare chance our city has a repeat of the Loma Prieta '89 quake and we need to evacuate.

It's all part of my spring cleaning and life cleaning going on this year...I'm aiming to make a lot of big changes this year to make my writing career even more mobile and accessible. I plan to carve out some time where I can work on this outside of the daily writing I'm doing.

Hopefully by the time I'm done, I'll have something like my music--everything on an external for easiy mobility and security.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So as mentioned on Twitter, I'm surrounded by PCs today: I've got my work laptop up and running (I get to work from home until the end of the year, woo!), I've got my Lenovo laptop on my desk that I'm using to post this, and I've got my main PC which is currently going through a major cleaning. I was listening to Save Alternative earlier today via this laptop, but it seems it was causing everyone else's PC to act wonky in the process (more on that in a minute), so now I'm going lo-fi by listening to KFOG via my old alarm clock radio that's across the room.

The Spare Oom PC has been acting a little wonky lately, and I'm not exactly sure why...it could be that I had way too much stuff (read: mp3s) taking up space on the hard drive that it was slowing things up, or it could be that an update did more harm than good, or maybe just that one of the sectors decided to wig out. I'm not entirely sure, but I'm taking precautions. All the mp3s are now over on the big external, the pictures and other things are over on the other, my writing's on Dropbox, and so on. I've just made a list of programs I use that I can redownload or reinstall just in case I need to reformat. I'm currently doing a CCleaner run that's wiping the free disk space just to clear everything up. Hopefully it'll act better once I'm done here in a few hours, but we'll see.

As for the Lenovo laptop...weird thing, this. For some reason this laptop is the culprit for our router to say ONOES TOO MUCH INFO and crash any open browser on any PC that happens to be up. If I have the time this week I should take a look at the wireless settings on this laptop to see if it's hogging bandwidth or just being stupid. Now that I'm not streaming music and have only this browser up, it seems to be working just fine.

As for the work laptop...well...not much to be said there. As I like to say, it's a POS model, just like most of the others we use at work. ;)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Man, I don't know what happened, but today I am just full of determination to get way too many things done. Perhaps it's the self-nudge I gave myself when I bought that new bookcase and ended up shifting Spare Oom around a bit. Ever since then I've been itching to get all sorts of things done. I'll be honest, the last few days have been deliberately lazy and decidedly unproductive, at least where writing is concerned, as I needed to unwind from the hell that was last week.

So today I've finished the laundry, vacuumed the apartment, washed the kitchen floor, went outside for an abbreviated walk around the neighborhood to buy stuff at the corner store (and get coffee, of course), checked to see if my scanner still works with the new PC (I haven't used said scanner for at least a few years, and the answer is "yes", though the photo-tweaking software it came with is out of date and doesn't jive with Windows 7)(no worries there, I have PhotoShop, so it worked out!), and it's just hitting 3pm now. I'm wondering what else I need to do today before it gets too late.

Also yesterday, I emptied out that second wooden crate (the one that was underneath the Spare Oom window) and everything is now in the large blue storage bin, which is now sitting next to my bookcase. Everything is now in one area, ready to be sorted, instead of all over the place. The next-to-bottom shelf of the bookcase is now full of manila folders containing random semi-sorted writings, artwork, and other Joncswerk that I'll need to go through. That stuff will stay on the shelf, just in better order once I'm done with it. I haven't decided what to do with that now-empty wooden crate--I may either use that for additional closet storage, or I may keep it in Spare Oom for non-writing files.

But yeah...if this bit of determined creativity is going to stick around awhile, I'm not going to complein. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
I decided yesterday to get rid of a few internet things that I don't or rarely use, and might do a few more things today, just to clean house. I got rid of two LJ things yesterday: my political LJ [livejournal.com profile] mpthandbasket is gone, considering I haven't posted there in two years, and my good-idea-but-misguided Walk in Silence community was taken down. It's just not what I need to be doing right now. I also may pull myself out of a few other LJ communities I'm in that I no longer visit.

I also need to change some passwords, come to think of it...

The point being, I'm not about to leave LJ, but I think I'll be changing what I post on it, at least this particular one. I've pretty much forced myself not to post any whinging that I may have posted in the past (the work variety and otherwise), partially because I feel it's run its course. It seems to me that a lot of bloggers I follow are posting less about personal mundanities (is that a word?) (looks up on m-w.com...yes! it certainly is!) and more about things with a bit of content to them. I may have posted some bizarre avant-garde films yesterday, but that kind of proves the point of Rockin' the Suburbs here...this blog might have started out as one to vent and kvetch, but it's turned more and more into a media thing, and more focused on my writing and musical interests. I think from here on in, this blog will continue in that vein. I may, of course, post some personal things here, but those will remain friends-locked. I'd just like this to be a more reader-friendly blog and less of a complaintfest.

My plan is basically to organize all the blogs into separate entities, as was originally planned. The writing-only LJ will stay as is, and I'll keep the once-a-week schedule (with room for additional posts, of course, as time and stuff allows). I may mention writing over here on this blog now and again, but it'll be surface stuff--it's the long-winded writing-focused stuff that will end up over there. The Dreamwidth blog will stay as is as well, containing basically my poetry. The Tumblr blog will remain pictures and art only.

I'm thinking, though, with all the different places I'm posting stuff, I should probably create an aggregator that I can post every week or so for updates, just so everyone sees everything at once instead of going all over creation. [livejournal.com profile] ying_ko_4, I know you use one, any suggestions?

All that said...it's another Sunday, shopping is done, brunch is eaten, coffee is ingested. Time to get some serious work done. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Morning, all...I'm operating on about 4.5 hours of sleep due to our misguided idea that an arrival at SFO at 11pm last night would be a good thing (well, there was little traffic, so it wasn't all bad), so it may take me a few more hours to achieve full coherence. We apologize for any GrammarFail ahead of time.



That said...many things on the table for today as well as in the next few weeks, writing and otherwise.

--Today being August 1st and the 30th Birthday of MTV, I will of course need to write an RTS post about it. I'll try to avoid the trap of complaining that the "M" pretty much stands for Mediocre nowadays, instead focusing on some fun memories and thoughts about the channel that's shaped our listening habits over the years.

--Also starting today will be some serious outline work for The Children of Dun Corran, revision work for A Division of Souls, and preplanning for Eden Cycle Book 4 (I wrote about four pages of notes on the plane last night while flying over the midwest). Also starting today is Daily Poetry. More on that in a later post, but this is another exercise I want to try...

--Time to clean and arrange my stuff in Spare Oom. I want to go through that Blue Bin O' Crap next to the love seat and empty that out, and perhaps use that for real storage in the closet. Plus, I need to refile quite a bit of writing and get it all organized. This of course should be a weekend project, so I'll start doing that soon.

--I also need to go through our cds and weed out again...I think I've amassed enough from the last year or two to be able to sell them at Amoeba for a decent amount of credit. Again, another weekend project.


I'm sure I'll come up with more ideas and projects that will keep me from getting anything done, but we'll see. Have a spiffy day, everyone!
jon_chaisson: (Default)
This is the first weekend in awhile where we don't have anything planned. No trips, no driving anywhere, no opera/symphony, no events, not even any hiking plans. The only shopping is a trip later to Trader Joe's, and that's it. We're considering it a vacation from all our vacation plans, considering June was packed, we were just in Seattle last weekend, and in a few weeks we're heading back east to visit family and friends. We do have the State Fair next weekend (as well as the last Harry Potter movie, though I think we're probably going to wait a week on that to avoid the crowds). So yeah...this weekend? Nothing. :)

This, of course, makes me want to make a list of things to do this weekend anyway. To wit:

--Wait for the DishTV guy to come in and install our new receiver box. Our old one finally decided it didn't want to give us audio anymore. He should be here sometime before noon, hopefully. So come to find out, we were waiting for the DTV guys to drop off the receiver box at the store, where I'd then pick it up. Which I did, while on my way to drop off some e-recycling. It's activating itself right now.

-- Trader Joe's run, as stated above. No TJ run, but Emm walked up to the Fresh & Easy while I prepared stuff for the recycling. We may do a run to the Grande tomorrow for fruity goodness.

--WRITE. (Ed.: I'm getting there, just getting this other stuff done.)

--Finally run a hard-drive eraser on my old PC so I can donate it, as it's been gathering dust in my closet for the last year or so. Done! Didn't clean it, but didn't have to, as the e-recycling place will do it for us (for an extra $30 I could have had them crunch the hard drive into little tiny microscopic bits, but I don't think I needed to go that far...). Also dropped off the old phone, the old Roku, and the old router. More room in Spare Oom (and my closet)! Yay!

--Continue cleaning stuff in Spare Oom, perhaps? It could do with a bit more tidying. And dusting, come to think of it. Currently doing this. Put stuff up on eBay as well. Yay getting stuff done! :)

--WRITE some more. I'd like to see if I can get a lot done, perhaps play a little catch-up.


And if we feel the pressing need to go outside, perhaps we can do a coffee run or something.


But yeah...other than that...I got nothin'. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So I spent a good portion of the afternoon in Spare Oom doing all sorts of things aside from writing. To wit:

--Breaking down a few boxes that had been sent to us containing online shopping goodness (including hiking shoes, pants, a riser for my monitor (which took up 10% of the box, the rest containing packing pillows), and the Writer's Market 2011.

--One of said boxes has been saved and now contains a growing pile of stuff to be shredded. Said to-be-shredded stuff was once in a different box (which was previously broken down) and elsewhere. This is part of a larger pile of stuff in front of the window which needs to be sorted through. This is mostly all sorts of whatnot that I may or may not need to save, along with things I definitely do not need to save. That project is a little further down the line.

--Various books moved around. The short bookshelf to the right of my desk now has the dictionaries and other reference books, put there as it's easier to reach while in mid-writing session. The books that were there--a collection of Writer's Digest how-to books and other things are now moved to the bookshelf to the left of the desk. And still more books and whatnot have been moved to the bookshelf partially obscured by the loveseat on the opposite wall behind me. Some books that were there are now also on the lefthand bookshelf.

--Cleaned up the bagfuls-of-bags in front of the larger bookshelves, narrowed it down to one bagful of bags and one not-broken-down box of packing paper, said packing pillows, and a plastic bag full of plastic bags. These too may be pared down later on.

The upside of this is that the window is a little easier to access now, the floor's a little cleaner, and I got to clean a few things in the process. There's more to be moved/cleaned/sorted/shredded/filed away, but I figure I'll keep doing a little at a time.


Still to be done:

--Sort through things still in front of window
--run a complete clean wipe of old PC and donate it to Goodwill so I have more closet room
--debate whether I want to keep some of my computer boxes, or at least break some of them down to save space
--figure out when/if we'll have another Great Book Purge soon
--find things to hang on some of the walls here...I have a few sort-of-empty spaces that need filling.



Okay, enough of that, let's see if I can sneak some writing in now! :p
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Saturday:

Did our food shopping at the La Playa Safeway midmorning so we'd be good to go for the afternoon. Headed into town about noon so we could have our lunch at Max's (yum!), stop at the library, and then head to A Prairie Home Companion. Have to say that after listening to that show for so long, it was quite interesting to see it played out in person like that. It's definitely like watching those old films of Bob Hope, et al, do their live radio broadcasts back in the day. GK didn't read the greeting I sent to my dad, but it's on the website, so I'm happy with that. Got more writing done.

Sunday:
Dropped off four boxes' worth of stuff for Goodwill up on Clement...had to double-park due to the fact that parking is a joke there. Good thing I filled out the receipt online before I dropped it off! Also vacuumed the apartment, started laundry and rearranged stuff in Spare Oom so I can move around again as well as use the loveseat. This definitely makes it a lot easier to dig through the stuff I need to either throw or file away! May stop at the store around the corner to pick up some last minute things [note to others: never ask me if we're low on something, chances are my assumptions are dead wrong and we either end up with extras or run out too quickly. ;) ] Also...awaiting the moment when our neighbor's dog explodes. This little guy is smaller than a football, but he growls and barks his little head off every time we come even remotely close to our neighbor's door. He's quite harmless, all bark and no bite (literally), but the thing gets SO wound up. I'm just waiting for the YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP Y-*BOOOM*.

Still to do:
--Continue writing the final chapter
--Go through more stuff in Spare Oom, start making piles of stuff to be shredded/filed/thrown away
--Finish laundry DONE
--Avoid thinking about how badly the Pats just played
--Hang up some of our framed pictures DONE
--Clean the bathroom DONE

EDIT: I'm just a cleanin', errand-finishin' fool today, ain't I? :D

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