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Early yesterday morning I drove A to the airport -- she's in New Jersey for the week on business -- and after that, I drove to the Trader Joe's in Westlake to do some grocery shopping (note to self: 9am on a Saturday is prime time for shopping there, as the parking lot is half empty and the only people at the store were young parents with their toddlers).  All in all I was home by 9:30am and had the rest of the day to myself.

So what did I do?  Spent the rest of the morning doing laundry (per A's suggestion), did some local errands after that, and...screwed around for the rest of the day.  Arranging a few things in Spare Oom.  Doing some PC things.  And getting f*ck-all done creatively.  Chalking that one up to a mental day off.

So today's Sunday, I don't have anything on the docket that needs doing other than a spot of house cleaning (although watching a football game or two is tempting).  It's a kinda-sorta nice day outside, but I really don't have anywhere I need or want to be, unless I want to spend a few hours dithering around Green Apple Books.  [Yes, I'm even bypassing the temptation to go to Amoeba and spend time in the dollar bins again.]  I might go for a walk later, but other than that, I don't have anything planned.

Which means I REALLY should use this time to get as much done creatively as I can.  I've got the Meet the Lidwells note cards staring me in the face, asking why I didn't get any work done last night.  I've got a few other projects that need updating.  Hell, I still need to restring a few of my guitars!

So basically what I guess I'm trying to say is that I need to get my ass in gear.  Yes?

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At this point next Sunday, A and I will be preparing ourselves to head out to the airport and catch a plane to London again!  Yes, once again we're heading out to our other favorite city in the world for a few weeks to see the sights, visit friends, and hit all the pubs.  And maybe buy a bunch of books and tunage, heh.  Bur seriously, we've been looking forward to this vacation for some time now.  We've both been overly busy for the last month or so with our Day Jobs, so this will be a very welcome reprieve.  Looking forward to it!

Once again we're in Kensington near the Earls Court tube station, at a 'boutique apartment' not that far from the hotel we stayed at previously.  We do like that neighborhood as it's within walking distance of a lot of really cool museums and shops, not to mention easy access to the Underground that can get us pretty much anywhere.  Plus it's relatively quiet at night!

In the meantime, we have one more week of Day Job drudgery and getting (reasonably) caught up before handing the baton off to one of our coworkers for a few weeks.  I'm hoping I won't have a crapton of things thrown at me this week, but given the last couple of weeks, I wouldn't be surprised.  Still, not going to worry if I don't get to all of it.

I'm actually more worried about not doing any work on Meet the Lidwells for a couple of weeks!!  I'll be bringing my tablet and Nook so I can do a bit of reading of what I have so far and maybe taking notes for what I can do for revision, but that's about it.  I *might* also bring a spare notebook or two and work on Secret Next Project, though...that one's coming along a lot faster than expected so perhaps kicking off a longhand rough draft of that might be in the cards.  As for my blogs, I'll most likely be doing fly-bys in the interim, as blogging from my tablet and/or phone isn't always the easiest thing to do.

And of course we have All the Packing to do.  Which I'm sure we'll have done by Tuesday, even though we won't be flying out until Sunday afternoon. :p

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After a frustrating week on the Day Job -- no stressful situations, just a ridiculous volume to slog through -- my best laid plans for having a writing session on Friday evening fell by the wayside.  Instead we watched the insanity that is Nichijou (a good example of the inherent absurdity of this anime can be seen here).  Ten out of the thirty some-odd episodes.  It's quite ridiculous and fun.  And the opening and ending themes are very catchy!

That said...having a nice relaxing weekend so far, recharging and planning ahead.  We'll be heading to London for a few weeks at the end of the month so we're both going through our projects to see what to bring along and what to put behind.  I will most likely be working on Secret Next Project during this time, as I won't be bringing my laptop but will be bringing along my tablet and/or Nook.  Sure, I'm a little nervous about being away from the Lidwells project for a couple of weeks, but I'll at least have access to it via Dropbox so I can give it a read-through and make notes on things I need to fix/revise 

In other news, recently I did a bit of cleaning up and rearranging in Spare Oom, straightened up a few book shelves (and pulled off some titles I can donate), broke down a lot of boxes, and put away things that needed putting away.  The access to the closet is a bit wider now, and the guitar stands have been angled to take up less room.    Now I just need to get myself back into the habit of playing that keyboard more often instead of using it as a temporary table to put things on!  [Come to think of it, I should probably change the batteries in it as well, as I'm sure they're old and on the verge of getting sketchy.  Also: do we have a power cord for that thing?  I should see if I can find it, or order one from somewhere...]

This ties in with my plan to get back into my other two creative loves: art and music.  I still fiddle around a lot on my guitars, but I haven't written many new songs in years.  I'd like to try my hand at laying down some new tracks with some cheap mixing software, just for the fun ot it.  And for the art, I'm hoping to get back into that as well.  It's been far too long since I've done any art of substance other than maybe a few maps and whatnot.  I have the supplies and the art pads...I just need to do something with them.

That's in store for the latter half of 2017: time to come back to my love of writing, art, and music, and dedicate more time to them.

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There's a small bird that I think as nested on our roof that Will. Not. Shut. Up.  No specific birdsong other than a consistent 'chip....chip....chip...chip...' all day long.  It'll start up at first light, start up again in the afternoon, and once more in the evening.  Suffice it to say, I was up by 5:30 this morning and up and making coffee by just before six.

Meanwhile, it's finally dawning on both of us that we'll be heading off to London in just a few weeks for vacation!  We've both been making soft plans for places to hit -- including a possible day trip outside the city -- as well as a few definites like going to see one of the Proms at Albert Hall (we were both pleasantly surprised at the affordability of the tickets!).  I don't have that many requests of places to hit other than a few record stores and Waterstone's in Piccadilly.  I do love stopping by Sister Ray every time I'm there, as it's a fantastic shop, but this time out I'd also like to check out Rough Trade's Brick Lane shop as well, as I've heard many good things.  Other than that, I'm open for anything.  Visiting a few of our our friends there is also definitely in the cards!

Also noted: the Hugo voting is due by this Friday.  This was a rare year in which I'd already read a good portion of the titles that ended up getting nominated, so I didn't need to cram this time out.  There are definitely some strong stories that I really enjoyed that I'm hoping will win.

Writing:  I believe I've just entered Act 3 (of 3) for Meet the Lidwells, which means I'm doing pretty good.  Already having thoughts about things to fix in the revision...good things to make it better.  For a first draft it's coming along quite nicely anyway, so most of the revision work will be to make it stronger and tie it all together.  Also: the Secret Next Project has a lot more world building than I expected.  I may have to resort to some flash fiction for it just to keep it fresh in my head.  Also: trying something old again for my poetry/lyrics -- experimentalism.  I'd started it off that way so many years ago but along the way it became more introspective (and that was partly why I put it aside late last year...I had to grow back out of that).  More on that later.

Plans this weekend?  Not much, other than looking for new sneakers and grocery shopping.  I'm thinking we may have to do something outside, as it's supposed to be quite a nice couple of days!

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I don't know what possessed me, but I took Friday off from writing.  I just sort of happened...I'd thought of working on my Daily words and new Lidwells words....and didn't even try to get to them.  It was like a conscious choice to take the day off.  And I took Saturday off as well.   After all these years, I'm still not used to doing that.  The funny thing is when I do take a day off, everyone around me will invariably say "Good for you!  You should take a day off now and again."  Never fails. 

It's not that I actually needed it this time out.  I'm not exhausted or overworked.  I'm not feeling creatively drained at all.  It was just an 'I don't want to work today' couple of days.  

Which of course means that, like being in school again, it's Sunday and I probably should stop procrastinating and get some work done.

In sort of related news, I'm quite proud of myself for coming up with a possible idea for Secret Next Project while falling asleep on Friday and remembering it the following morning.  I have a few secondary characters that need a lot of fleshing out, and as I've pretty much got the four or five major ones nailed down, I needed to work on these people as well.  The neat thing is that this is the second time around where my world building work on one project has been in tandem with the main draft writing of the main project.  I just sort of fell into this new way of working, and it's working quite nicely, so I'm very happy about that.  I'm really looking forward to sharing SNP with you soon, but alas, I need to finish Lidwells first! :)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!  Happy Pride! :D

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Another sleepy Sunday arrives and I'm up with the sun as usual.  Sunday mornings I'm usually up around 6:30ish and head into the living room, check the internets, and watch some of the morning news.   And of course start the first pot of coffee.

This weekend has been less frenetic than the previous weekend, as our only plan was to go see Wonder Woman at the Alamo Drafthouse in the Mission.  And yes, it was indeed as excellent as everyone's making it out to be.  I only had one or two writing-related issues with it -- a couple of clunky bits and two underused characters -- but other than that, we loved it.  Would totally see it again and buy the DVD. ;)

Also:  the Drafthouse is indeed an awesome place to go see a film.  VERY comfy seats, really fun atmosphere, great sound and visibility, and good food that gets delivered straight to your seat during the film!  [And if you're concerned: the seats are all high-backed and the food servers are well trained in crouching, so you don't actually end up missing much of the movie at all.]  Extra points for having completely silly PSAs about safety, not talking during the movie, and so on.

This past week has been kind of an odd one in terms of productivity.  I've been dealing with some kind of allergy that's left me with an occasionally sore throat (although I think that may have been by cereal going down the wrong way last week, but that's another story entirely).  Allergies usually mean my sleeping habits get all wonky, leaving me exhausted during the day.  I did what I could to get my work done, but there were a few days where I felt I didn't get as much done as I'd wanted to.  It took enough energy for me just to get through the workday, so my word count was kind of low this past week.

I did try to turn it around, though, and I'm glad to say I did get a few thousands words across two different projects.  Yes, you heard me correctly...even though Meet the Lidwells is still my main project at the moment, I've been playing around with what will most likely be my next project after that.  It's sort of inspired by Studio Ghibli, a story about a teen growing up in a family-owned apartment complex that houses all kinds of beings -- monsters, angels, dragons, aliens, vampires, and so on.  [Yes, it was inspired by a dream I had.]  I posted a rough outtake on my Welcome to Bridgetown blog on Friday if you're interested in checking that out.  Anyhoo, I'm feeling a bit better this weekend, so I'm hoping to be back on the high horse come tomorrow.

Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend!

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It's a four-day weekend for me, and almost immediately I forgot what day it was.  Normally this isn't a problem, but we've had some big plans this weekend so I had to remind myself what was going on that particular day.  Such as today, when we are not heading down to San Mateo for BayCon but instead will be heading to the symphony.  [The tickets for the SFS were bought well before the BayCon ones, and I don't have any panels at the con today, so it's all good.  Especially since we'll be going to see a chamber quartet perform one of my favorite pieces, Samuel Barber's String Quartet Op. 11 (you should of course be familiar with the second segment, the adagio).  Really looking forward to that.

I'm taking just a tiny bit of a vacation from writing this weekend as well, choosing to enjoy a bit of a respite before I jump bank in.  In the past I'd be fine with going straight out for months on end, and as much as I'd love to continue doing that, I think my energy and creativity is better spent spreading it out a bit.  Spending a bit of time having fun with playing music, making art, whatever.  I'm no longer working on a long-term project that's eating up all my time, so now is the best time for me to spread out the fun things a little bit, right?

Speaking of the Con, I have to say it's quite a pleasant surprise to have a completely random person walk up to me a few hours after a panel I've been on and have them thank me.  I try not to be one of those panelists that take over the conversation (or diverge from the point of it) (let's be honest, I try not to be that audience member that does the same), so when someone comes up to me to thank me for providing some insights or making it enjoyable for them, it's a great feeling.

So!  Tomorrow we have one more day of the con (I'm on two panels -- one on book covers, another on conlangs) and I'm looking forward to them.  Yay!

And then it's back to the Day Job grind on Tuesday.  Boo!

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This past week worked out pretty well, I think.  My original intent was to take the week off from blogging at my WordPress sites just as a mini-break, but in the process I ended up doing a lot more head-clearing than I'd expected.  A new way of approaching various things in my life (or as I'd been hinting, a return to an old way of approaching said things that makes a lot more sense to me).  This past week was a trial run to see if I could actively make it a real thing instead of yet another Best Laid Plan.

All in all, it went pretty well except for Wednesday night, in which A and I are woken up at almost exactly midnight by two young local policemen (about whom A commented that they looked young enough to be our kids).  Allegedly there had been a hit-and-run in the neighborhood in which a few local cars had been sideswiped by a possible DUI and the offending person may have entered our building.  Aside from not recognizing the car (which they'd shown A via their phone), life went on, and neither of us were able to get back to sleep until about 1am.  The both of us spent most of Thursday in a sleep-deprived loopy haze and multiple cups of coffee.  Thankfully we were back on the ball on Friday!

So what *did* I do creatively this past week?  Well, I'm glad to say that I've been consistent with getting some good solid words down for Meet the Lidwells, still averaging about 500-700 a day.  This is all first draft, pre-revision and pre-editing work, of course.  I'm a little nervous that I won't hit my hopeful deadline of mid-autumn for a release, but I think if I keep this up and not overwrite (an issue with the trilogy) I should be okay.  I'm already at 13k words and probably about 1/5 of the way done...this is going to be a short novel compared to my last three!

Also, I took the time to retune all my guitars -- the weather changes have detuned them all at least a half-step -- with the intention that I will pick up and play at least one of them once a day.   This is a change from my usual default, which is to pick up my electric and play it unplugged, which is all fine except that everything else is gathering dust.  I should also probably start using my little Danelectro HoneyTone mini-amp I bought recently at Tall Toad Music.

I may have even returned to the poetry, after deciding to drop it some six or seven months ago.  That may or may not have to do with the current administration, but it's also part of the creativity reboot I've been working on this week.

One last creative thing I must kickstart again:  the art.  I really need to start doodling and sketching again.  Finishing up the Trilogy Project really took a lot of time and energy out of me and it fell by the wayside for far too long.  I even got a nice case for all my art pens and pencils so they're not all hiding in forgotten nooks of my desk.  Really must make room for that again.

Thankfully, the weather has decided to turn gorgeous here in SF, with most of the morning fog burning off rather quickly and revealing lovely blue sky and warm temperatures.  We did our grocery shopping and went for a walk earlier (filling ourselves at the Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant for lunch).  We'll be going to the Symphony tonight to listen to some Mendelssohn and Schumann, and tomorrow I believe we'll be going to see a movie at the Vogue down the street.

Other than that, it's been a nice weekend so far.  Can't complain!

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...not that that's a problem.  Our local indie bookstore (Green Apple Books) is quite awesome and fun -- and they sell my e-books on their website! -- so it's quite worth it.  I bought this year's Bad Citizen Graffiti Stencil ("Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice" - Henry Louis Gates Jr), Michael Nesmith's new book (Infinite Tuesday) and the new Cory Doctorow (Walkaway), and A bought a number of things as well.

Lately I've been reading Peter Hook's Substance -- his book about being a part of New Order -- and it's quite an interesting read. Let's just say that I can summarize it into one sentence: Who the hell thought this was a good idea?  Between Hooky being "off his face" for most of the 80s (his phrase), the amount of illicit substances partaken by most of the people involved, and the fiances of both the band, the Hacienda night club they owned, and Factory Records (the label they were on), it's amazing how anything and anyone lasted as long as they did.  It's a hilariously told story, but it's also a story of what NOT to do businesswise, EVER.  Heh.

OH!  I finally officially started Meet the Lidwells the other night!  WOOT!  Yeah, I basically just did what I always do:  tell myself to STFU, stop finding ways to distract myself, and just WRITE THE DAMN THING.  Getting just a few hundred words the last few days, but hey, that's better than nothing. As long as it's going in the right direction, I'm happy with that.

Writing tunage lately has centered around the 1990-1991 era, aka my first couple of years in college and living in Boston.  A mix of latter post-punk, early Britpop, early grunge, and a bit of holdover 80s-style pop.  There's a lot fun music that came out around that time that gets pushed aside because of the bigger scenes that came before and after -- Jesus Jones and EMF, Dream Warriors and Naughty By Nature, 808 State and The Orb...not to mention Chris and I reviving the Flying Bohemians as a duo and writing some of our strongest songs at the time.  It's probably when I was the happiest during my college years as well.  That's the feel I want for The Lidwells' discography: full of positive energy, danceable and fun.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend! :)

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Saturday morning and I've already finished my coffee, the local news is doing its nth cycle, and I've already gotten caught up with my Twitter feed.  The problem with going to sleep at a normal time on the weekends is that I still wake up around 6:30.  A. usually doesn't get out of bed until a few hours later, which means I'm usually kicking around here in the living room, half-watching TV and half-noodling around online.

Of course, the writer in me screams: You should be using this time to work on the new project!  Or new words!  Or something else!  Time's a-wasting! 

On the other hand, Real Life Me bites back:  Just chill and let me enjoy this fesking coffee, damn you.  I've earned this weekend relaxation.


The eye exam yesterday went well.  I'm amused that the usual tests haven't really changed all that much over the years...the progressively smaller lines of the eye charts, the 'which is clearer, A or B?', the 'can you see this? how about now?' and so on.  I'm still not a fan of putting things in my eyes (I don't mind eye drops, but I still get squidgy about it), but it's a necessary evil.  That looks like my vision hasn't changed all that much since my previous exam a good four or so years ago.  My prescription is kind of weird...I'm not quite farsighted, but not quite nearsighted either, plus I have a prism issue which means that sometimes my eyes don't focus on precisely on the same object.  I can see just fine with or without glasses; I merely use them for adjustment when writing/reading/driving.  Anyhoo, other than that, my eyes are just fine.  I ordered a new pair of fancy glasses that were mostly covered by our vision insurance.

The fun part, of course, was walking back home in bright sunlight while my eyes were still dilated. :p

So...anything planned for this weekend?  Not really...heading over to the Sunset for brunch and a bit of shopping.  It might be raining tomorrow, so we'll most likely stay in and do our usual house errands then.  Yay relaxing weekend! :)

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Sunday afternoon and A. and I are full of takoyaki, Sapporo Black, and nachos with kalua pork and cheez. (Yes, it was topped with cheese of Velveeta consistency, thus the spelling.) Japantown is celebrating the Cherry Blossom Festival this weekend and next, and we couldn't pass up good fun and tasty foods! Not to mention giving me a reason to pick up my latest manga tankobon at Kinokuniya. [Seriously, you should read Nichijou for its wonderful bizarro ridiculousness.]

On one of the side streets there were craft vendors of all kinds, and we stumbled upon one called Ukiyo-e Heroes that made absolutely stunning giclée prints...we ended up buying a Spirited Away print and a Kiki's Delivery Service print. A bit expensive, but they were so worth picking up. You have to see these up close...they're gorgeous.

Speaking of art, on Saturday we went to the de Young Museum in the park to check out their Summer of Love exhibition, and I have to say it was FANTASTIC. It was quite neat to look at the prints and the clothes and the pictures of the history that took place less than a mile away (the Haight-Ashbury District is a short walk through the park from there). I'll be honest, I didn't really grok the whole hippie/summer of love thing until we moved out to SF (and only then because it's fun to read history books about the places you live in), but now I'm fascinated by it. There's even a bit of local radio history worth checking out too, which had a few mentions at the exhibit -- look up KSAN, which was one of the first FM stations in the US to play rock music exclusively.  Suffice it to say, I'm sure we'll hit this exhibit again before it closes.

And to to top it off, after we returned home yesterday, the rain had cleared and the sun was out, so we took a walk down to Baker Beach, which isn't that far from our apartment. It was a lovely if quite windy day and a lot of great pictures were taken.  And we ended the day with our Netflix copy of The Five Doctors (a rather silly but fun Dr Who episode, considering they shoehorned everyone in there, including the Second Doctor's yeti). 

So yes...a busy weekend, but a fun one! :)

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Another year, another tax season. Just did my taxes earlier this afternoon (and yes, it's an annual tradition for me to put on The Beatles' Revolver whenever I start...I managed to get them done before "Tomorrow Never Knows" this year!), and as usual we owe a bit. Apparently in California it's completely impossible to game the system and overpay on State taxes so we can get a refund. On the plus side, we paid a lot less in Federal this year (thanks, Obama!), so that's cool. And now I can cross that off my To-Do list.

So! These last few weeks have been quite exciting in terms of Big Changes. Well, not OMG excitement, but more like It's High Time We Changed Things changes. After the fesking nightmare that was dealing with AT&T, we finally got rid of them and changed to a New Kid in Town called Sonic for both our internet and landline. So far the change has been quite noticeable. The internet is a hell of a lot faster and more reliable, for one. And Sonic's customer service is MILES better. We also got new cell phones recently; after having Androids for ages, we now have Google Pixels, and we're quite happy with them as well--the quality and usability are both quite the step up.

We've also had some really nice weather this weekend so we got a lot of walking in...we had a nice long walk through Golden Gate Park on Saturday (with a side stop at 9th and Irving in the Sunset for ice cream and lunch -- in that order), and today we headed to the other end of Clement to shop at our local farmer's market. And it's supposed to be nice the rest of the week, so I'm sure I'm going to need to get off my duff after work and get outside!

Speaking of work, I've thankfully gotten past some heavy deadlines I had to deal with, so hopefully I can now take things a little less frantically. I've been meaning to adjust my writing habits as of late, so with all that stress taken away, perhaps I can finally focus on that more. Woo!

One last thing -- I'd completely forgotten that April is A to Z Blog Challenge month, so I found myself completely unprepared for it. I'm okay with that, though...I've decided to skip on the blog challenges this year and keep my options open. Take a year off and relax, take things at a normal speed. I do like doing them, I just want to keep my schedule open and easily accessible for a while. It's not often that happens!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Friday afternoon and I'm already out of gas. Not exhausted, just sleepy. A busy week at the Day Job and a gloomy rainy day will do that to me sometimes. On the plus side, I just had a super tasty and super filling meatball sub from Appel & Deitrich around the corner (our little mom & pop grocery a few blocks down) -- Chico there makes the best damn sandwiches in the neighborhood!

The Bridgetown Trilogy project is winding down to post-production and marketing now...the other night I finished the formatting of the trade, which I will make available by the end of the month. I'm going to be playing the long game on that project, to be honest; I'm not looking for huge-and-consistent sales right out of the gate, but longevity and availability. The focus now is to share it more proactively with the public. That includes advertising as well as going to cons and other things.

Which completely opens up my schedule for my new project, Meet the Lidwells!. A non-genre, lighthearted litfic story about a musical family and the ups and downs of fame. I've got a very loose story already written for it, but I need to tighten it up considerably. Which means....index cards! This is a new process for me, one that I avoided in the past for whatever reason, but this time out I want to see how organized I can be when it comes to working on a novel project. I'm also giving myself a strict deadline: instead of just writing it and saying "it'll be done when it's done", I'd like to try getting it done on time. I actually work pretty well with deadlines when I put my mind to it. So far I've laid out that I want to get the outlining and index carding done by end of April, spend the summer writing and revising, and putting it out by early to mid-autumn. Will I make it? Who knows...but it's worth a try!

So, what's up for this weekend? Not much, I think. We might go see Sword Art Online which is playing around the corner. Food shopping, maybe some housecleaning...and that's about it! Boring ol' us. :p
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Another week of wacky weather here in the Bay Area. All told, it's been rainy, sunny, overcast, hailing, sunny, raining, blustery, calm and rainy this morning. And it's only just past noon. [Case in point: a tiny cell of hail passed over our apartment while I was in the shower and I didn't even notice it until A. told me about it later.] After our little jaunt to the other end of Clement Street for the farmer's market and a tasty Hawaiian brunch, we're back at home where we plan to stay, where it's nice and warm.

In other news, next weekend is our visit to the East Bay (Walnut Creek in particular) for FOGcon, where I'll make my stellar debut doing a reading as well as being on a panel about post-self-publishing promotion. An auspicious and probably quiet debut at that, but hey, William Gibson's debut was a reading in an almost empty room as well, so I'm not going to worry. :p

After that, we've got the entire week off for vacation, and this time out we've decided to keep it local. A lot of sleeping in, a local show or two, visiting places we haven't been in quite some time. We're thinking we might head over to the East Bay once or twice, since we so rarely head over that way...we're thinking maybe Berkeley and/or Oakland. [And yes, I know...the media doesn't always paint those areas as fun and peaceful, but come on -- it's a big area and there are indeed some nice places over that way.]

Speaking of writing...still working at getting back into the groove of a normal schedule after ages. I've had a few superbusy Day Job days where I haven't been able to sneak any work in during breaks or on the sly, and my energy levels haven't been all that high. Still, I've been making it a point to clear my plate as much as I can so when I do have the time, I can easily slide into it without distraction. Still a few rough patches, but it's getting better.

As for the Lidwells project...well, that seems to have hit a bit of another snag, but it's nothing I can't fix. It's the way I'm approaching it...right now I'm basically transcribing what I have, and I've realized that's not working out -- the chronology is all out of whack and there are far too many plot holes that need fixing. The initial outline I created is helping a bit, but it's still not enough. I'm going to need to break out the index cards for this one to set it all straight. And then once I have the chronology straightened out, THEN I can revise and rewrite. And that will be the easier part!

And just when you thought I wasn't going to talk about the trilogy anymore...I'm planning on having some fun this month with the 20th anniversary of me starting The Phoenix Effect...the origins of what ended up being the Bridgetown Trilogy. The physical trade of The Balance of Light will come out sometime this month, for starters...I'll also be posting a lot of fun things over at Welcome to Bridgetown...notes, maps, outtakes, remembrances, footnotes, all sorts of stuff to celebrate. More on this soon!

Hope everyone's having a good (and drier) weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Whee! Nothing like kicking up years of dust and bits and detritus in a fit of housecleaning. In this case, the desk and the bookshelf here in Spare Oom. Dead pens, expired coupons and membership cards, old batteries, scraps of paper, a million tiny rubber bands and paper clips, paperwork that can be filed away. And adding to that, rearranging one of the shelves so there's less wasted room, and a place where I can put my art supplies with the brand spankin' new art supply box I bought today! So much more organized now. (There's still a small pile of et cetera stuff across the room in a forgotten corner that I need to get rid of, but that can wait.)

This weekend was basically spent being kind of lazy and not getting much work done, but that's okay...I so rarely let myself have a full lazy weekend anymore! Yesterday was a trip over to Amoeba Records in the Haight. I was a little let down that everything I was looking for was out of stock -- which always seems to happen when I go there, even though I'm not looking for anything incredibly obscure -- but I did find some neat dvds instead, which is all fine by me. And today was a trip up the hill to the Legion of Honor to see the 'Monet: the Early Years' exhibit (side note: is it elitist of us to say we remembered seeing some of the paintings previously the last time we went to the D'Orsay in Paris? :p ), and then a quick trip down to Fort Mason in the Marina to pick up that art supply box, where we happened upon a farmer's market! And lastly our weekly trip to groceries at the Trader Joe's. But yeah -- I don't think I did a lick of writing work this weekend up until just now, writing this.

Oop -- that's right, I need to write tomorrow's Welcome to Bridgetown post as well! And then maybe I'll sneak in a bit of Lidwells work before the evening's out. Other than that, it's been a nice relaxing weekend, so I can't complain!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been a busy couple of weeks here as I finalized the work for The Balance of Light. I took a few weeks off from blogging and doing other writing-related work so I could focus all my attention on it, and I'm glad to confirm that THIS PROJECT IS *DONE*. Well, okay, there's the reformatting for the print edition, building up advertising and promotion for the trilogy, plus creating and ordering freebie stuff like bookmarks and postcards for future use at cons, but that's all post-production. I can finally say with conviction that I can sign off on the Bridgetown Trilogy. No more pre-publishing work, no more rewriting or revising*.

Most importantly: the ebook edition of The Balance of Light drops on 10 February! You can order it here at Smashwords. :)

My feelings about this right now are kind of interesting. The sense of relief isn't all that strong, as it's overshadowed by pride that I got it done, and completely on my own. There's a stronger urge to keep my current energy and say 'OK! What's next?' This is what kept me working strong during the original writing. I'm tempering it by reminding myself that I don't need to do All the Writing at Once...I'm already working on the outline for Meet the Lidwells! but I'm also relaxing and taking time to enjoy other things. Picking up my guitars more. Working on art. Stuff like that.

I've been thinking about changing up some habits and activities, now that I have the the time and the inclination. I know I've talked about this many times before, but I think I can truly say I have time for them now, now that this major long-term project is complete. More on this at a later time.

In other personal news, I admit I stalled out on the politics on Twitter and FB. I haven't given up or become complacent, far from it...I just felt like I wasn't getting anywhere with it. In other words, adding to the noise but feeling like the only result was annoying people who read my feed. [I could be wrong about this. But I think on a personal level my words there just didn't have enough strength, or at least not at the level I was aiming for.] And on an emotional level, I was starting to exhaust myself, and that's never a good sign. I'm taking time off from that to figure out what I could do that would make a difference. More on that at a later time as well.

So now what?

Well, for this afternoon, I'm going to watch my beloved Pats beat the Falcons in the Super Bowl. And that's pretty much it. :)

*Okay, there may be some editing work done on future editions, but I'm not going to think about that right now.
jon_chaisson: (John Lennon peace sign)

...and I spent the evening before my birthday in a downpour, marching up Market Street alongside A and 99,998 other people in the Women's March through downtown San Francisco.

Totally worth it. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Hi there! Hope everyone has had a lovely holiday weekend. I've been quite busy over the last month, both with the Day Job and the Writing Career, so I've been just a slight bit lax with the updatery here and elsewhere. Sorry about that! Things are going well...I'm very close to halfway done with the edit for The Balance of Light, which has been my main priority over the last few months, and I'm still on schedule for a January release of the e-book. The physical version might take slightly longer, but hopefully not too much of a wait.

Day Jobbery has been flat out busy, thanks to it being Q4, so it's a trick of keeping myself sane and healthy and not burning out. This is on top of trying to find time for some Writing Career Plans that I hope to kick off in the new year. More on that soon enough!

Going to keep this short as I'm writing this at the end of a very long and happy day. I'll try to update once more before the year is out!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
So. Been almost two weeks and Fuckwit and Co. are already shaking things up. As I'd commented on Twitter, it seems he's purposely picking all the biggest assholes in the universe for his cabinet. I'm half-seriously expecting Martin Shkreli to show up in a position somewhere.

I'm still agitated, to be sure. And I know part of it is because I feel like I want to do more than just make calls and tweet reminders and hold signs. I'm not belittling that, because it's been known to work very well in the past. I think I'm agitated because I want to do something other than that to make a point and a difference but I'm still not sure what yet.

There's also that nagging in the back of my head that I don't want this to overtake my life. Let me explain that a bit: I don't want to lose myself in a cyclone of reactionary indignation that I know for a fact would happen to me. I can't and shouldn't react to all this by simply feeling angry at the man or his administration or the party and the people that put him there. Going that route would only end up with me becoming a loudmouthed cynical jerk with very little filter. That's not me, and that's not what I want to be.

What I need to do is be creative about it.

How, I'm not sure, but I'm still thinking about it.

But in other news...we're on the back end of A's month-long visit to Manila. The apartment has remained clean and in one piece, nothing caught fire, I'm eating reasonably well (sort of), I'm making sure I at least get outside and go places if I don't hit the gym (which I really should do), and I'm getting a lot of editing work done. Yeah, it's still a bit quiet and lonely here, but I'm doing okay. Keeping busy and doing my best not to be a lazy bachelor! Still, looking forward to her return! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Sunday morning and it's raining outside, which is kind of amusing in its own way, considering that our vacation to New Jersey and Massachusetts last week was hit with its own precipitation (including just a tiny bit of snow, but it didn't accumulate). Not that I mind the weather, just that high humidity usually causes my head to pound just that little bit.

Still, it was an enjoyable vacation back to the old stomping grounds. I hadn't been back to NJ since we moved out back in '05, but for the most part it's remained the same and I found my way around relatively easily (with the occasional help of A playing the role of Siri when it was needed). The drive up to MA was nice as usual, as the Merritt was lovely as always, especially since it was autumn. Many visits to friends and family and the occasional shopping spree. I even got to walk around Solomon Pond Mall for a little bit, which I hadn't been to in about ten years. The flights to and from weren't bad either, just the occasional turbulence. Managed to have an empty seat on the way home so I scooted over so I could stretch out and take a cat nap!

But yes, it's Sunday morning and now we must go and shop for groceries so we can fill our very empty cupboards. I also have a ton of emails (both personal and Day Job related) to sort through, as well as a few loads of laundry, so that should keep me busy for the rest of the day. Then it's back to the grind once more.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!


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