The Joys Of Being Dyslexic…

My particular form of dyslexia manifests itself in transpositions, combining words from two different sentences, and occasionally missing important bits of sentences.

For instance, I may go read the excerpt for I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills and miss two words and one of the commas setting off the appositive in the opening sentence and nearly call someone in the middle of the night.

What I initially read:

BROTHER EZEKIEL Frost surveyed the knot of new journeymen awaiting assignment with a decided lack of enthusiasm, which of them was to be his new assistant.

I decided I would reread it very slowly and carefully to make sure that I had my facts straight before I went off to calmly scream at someone about it.

What it actually said:

BROTHER EZEKIEL Frost surveyed the knot of new journeymen awaiting assignment and wondered, with a decided lack of enthusiasm, which of them was to be his new assistant.

Needless to say, I was utterly relieved to discover that it was just me not paying attention and not some sort of bizarre error in the actual manuscript.

By the way, it’s November third. That means you can get your copy of ILUMETTH now! Also, I’ll be hanging out at Dreamspinner’s blog from 11 AM to 9 PM Eastern, talking about some of the stuff that went into the making of the story.

News! Updates! And A LOT Of Exclamation Points! (!!!)

News first, because I’m going to pop otherwise: Ezekiel and Justinian have a home! I SIGNED THE CONTRACT TODAY! I Will Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills will be published by Dreamspinner in October/November! As soon as I have an actual date I’ll post it; in the mean time in-between time I’ll just be mooning about and trying to figure out what I want the cover to look like. (I already know who I want to illustrate the cover, if she’s still available. *Crosses fingers and toes*)

News second: I’ll have a post over at Scorching Reviews on Sunday, April 13th, as part of their LGBT month. Now all I have to do is figure out WHAT it is I’ll be posting. It’ll likely be Ezekiel/Justinian related, but beyond that, I don’t know what it’ll be.

Updates: Windows 8 and I are getting along much better, now. I updated to 8.1, which doesn’t seem to have made a huge difference (but I also doubt I’d used 8.0 long enough to notice any differences outside of the addition of the “start button” on the taskbar). I’m getting used to going to settings to turn off/reboot, even though it still makes no friggin’ sense whatsoever.

I discovered that I had entirely too many security-oriented programs running at once, which was causing all sorts of connecting-to-the-internet issues. I uninstalled two of them, made sure the third was off, and reinstalled one of them. Now my computer doesn’t complain about being not being protected and I can actually use the internet!

And now I’m going to go be gleeful and giddy at the people who know me and then I’m going to bed.

Titles and Tiles and Other Stuff.

Title: So I think I’m calling The Semi-Sequel To ILUMETTH A Reading From The Epistles or maybe just Readings From The Epistles, because it’s pretty heavy on the letters. And because I like puns.

Tiles: I got a new computer, because my old one is…old. And because the mouse keys for the touchpad are dying. The sad bit is that my old one is still perfectly usable, just not as usable as it once was.

My new computer is beautiful: the screen is beautiful and the keyboard is beautiful (ooh, an O key with the letter still on it!) and the case is beautiful… It runs fast (you’d think that in the 4/5 years since I bought my old computer that processors in laptops would have gone up in speed and down in price. You would be WRONG. It’s extremely difficult to find a laptop with a processor running at 2 Ghz or faster without also adding about $100 to the price. I’m not paying $500 for something that’s NEWER AND SLOWER than my old computer, ta.)

That aside, what is not beautiful is Windows 8. I couldn’t understand why people hate hate hated Vista, because for me, outside of the UAC (which I turned off tout de suite) and not being able to find a driver for a 5-year-old scanner (which, you know, 5-year-old scanner), I never had any issues with it. Program wouldn’t run? Administrator mode, compatibility mode, boom.

So I went into W8 with the same kind of ‘I know it’ll be different but I’m going to give it a chance’ kind of cautious optimism.

I’m now cynical and jaded, wondering WTF they’re smoking in the user-experience testing labs at Microsoft, because this is seriously ridiculous. I am NOT stupid, and I’ve been using computers since, like, 1985. When I have to freakin’ GOOGLE how to turn off/restart my computer? THAT IS A BAD THING.

I think I would actually LIKE the Metro interface if it were laid out more like the XBox dashboard (because they share some similarities) — grouping things together under headings like ‘News and Social’, ‘Email and Productivity’, ‘Applications’. Instead it’s just kind of a random unintuitive mishmash. And don’t even get me started on how incredibly frustrating it is to click on something and then have NO WAY to get back to where you were. (Saw a sports headline that interested me. Clicked on it. Could NOT figure out how to return to the “start” menu/Metro environment, since pressing Escape only took me to a list of sports-related choices (overview, basketball, news, etc), as did clicking on the tiny little down-arrow in the bottom right corner. Finally resorted to restarting my computer to see if that would fix it. It did. NOT A FUN TIME.)

As soon as I get used to W8 and get things tweaked just the way I like them, I’ll be fine. It’s just annoying for right now.

Speaking of new things and annoying! I also bit the bullet and bought MS Office 2013. It’s distressingly ugly, for one thing (I guess I got spoiled by the rounded edges and glossy gradients of Vista? I mean, Word 2003 isn’t exactly a beauty, either, but it’s relatively nice to look at…). The other thing is that you cannot turn off the not-actually-smart quotes until and unless you uncheck the tick box not only in AutoFormat, but AutoFormat As You Type. Because everyone just LOVES those “smart” quotes that never ever EVER get initial apostrophes correct. (Among other things.)

On the positive side of the ledger, however, the ease with which I can see the Document Properties and the integrated wordcount are nice additions. In fact, according to the properties of Epistles, I’ve spent 13,329 minutes editing it.

That works out to 222.15 hours, or 9.25 DAYS. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. (I have no idea if that’s active editing, or if it also counts the time involved in opening the document, doing some work, closing the computer so that it’s in sleep mode/hibernation and going off to do other things for four hours, then coming back to it.)

Anyway, I should get back to work. I’m ALMOST DONE with Epistles, which is kind of amazing to me.

Look! I remembered to post!

I have to take my victories where I can.

Speaking of which! Thanks to Amazon’s UK site, I am now in possession of a TEENY copy of the CoE BCP. It’s legible, it’s got everything I wanted and some things I had no idea about, but it’s itty-bitty. This is not a complaint, merely an observation.

Coverdale Psalter WITH NUMBERS! Yay!

Also, the sequel to ILUMETTH is coming along relatively swimmingly, even if my brain is currently flat and pretty much nothing exciting happens. Well, there are letters, and there’s a shovel talk, and I still have NO idea what the hell is wrong with one of the characters…

I write on a very micro level. Some writers work on a macro level, taking in huge swathes of important things like what the government is doing in their world and remembering things like steam engines and electricity exist. Me, I grab the magnifying glass and ignore all of that other stuff, because apparently it’s far more vital to know that Ezekiel has always had a difficult time not being a smart alec in the face of authority.

Don’t ask me about the status of train transportation in Ezekiel and Justinian’s 19th Century That Never Was–I have no idea. Or other important questions, like gas lamps and electricity and the availability of opium and how much of an empire what amounts to Britain is etc etc etc. I just don’t know. It’s kind of a shame, too, considering how absolutely fascinatingly different life probably is, there.

I may have something new flopping onto the page in the near future, speaking of writing on a micro level. Nanobots and cyberspace and a Seattle that I don’t think I ever want to visit have been kind of bubbling in the back of my head for the last 18 hours, so. We’ll see, though, because sometimes announcing that I’m Going To Do The Thing! leads to The Thing not being Done. Which I hate. A lot.

Not nearly as much as I hate the way my face is randomly aching, at the moment, but until the NSAID I just took kicks in I’ll have to live with it.

I think I may go write Valentine’s day mush, or at least try to–I seem to remember that Valentine’s day was kind of a big deal in the 19th century…

I really should set a reminder on my phone for this…

…Because it would probably be a good idea to post more than once a quarter, and to post more than “Uh, still kickin’!”

Some random thoughts/news:

1) I’d just like to say that I really appreciate reviewers who say, basically, “I don’t care for [Title of My Story]–just not my thing–but don’t let that stop you!” Yeah, I wish they’d liked what I wrote, but the ‘read it, you might like it!’ always always always makes me feel a lot better.

2) I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I’ve got this story I’ve been calling The Odd Anglican Thing. After nearly three years, I’ve given up on a name for the antagonist and am almost done with it! Then all I have to do is figure out a title (yay) and where to submit it. It’s got a lot of religiously-based content, but other than some basic good ideas (“take responsibility for your own actions”; “don’t kill people because you can”; etc) it’s not a preaching book.

3) I have something else to mention, but I’m gonna make it a separate post.

No, really, I actually did flail.

Getting comments–especially positive, ‘I want more!’ kinds of comments–make me all giddy and flaily. Dennis of Michigan, you totally made my weekend with the comment you left, and I’m sorry I didn’t see it sooner.

In other news, I’m still alive! I’ve just been head-down in approximately 40K words of pretty much pure sex, none of which may actually make it into a story. On the one hand, it’s original fiction and I’m writing again! On the other… I’d really love to finish something rather than write bits and bobs of related stories.

…And in writing up my “so how’s the market for [description of what I’ve been writing]” question, I just realized precisely how odd this universe is. I really need to sit down and figure out how the world works before I try cleaning it up (formatting/editorially speaking, heh) and submitting it anywhere.

This Is A Formal Post.

It’s wearing a ballgown made to resemble a tuxedo. Because it can.

Clearly, I have been spending entirely too much time on Tumblr–That’s beside the point. Point is this: I’m here to make an announcement regarding my upcoming travel schedule:

I’m not going to be going to GRL this year. However! The reasons for my absence this year are all based very much on relatively rational things like ‘interest levels’ and ‘the presence of east-coast friends’ and ‘money’, and not on totally irrational fear, so there’s that.

Basically, I decided against going because I don’t really have the money (*sadface*), my friends weren’t going to be able to go due to a combination of time/work/edits, I myself don’t have anything new out which makes me feel kind of blah (and disappointed in myself, seriously), so. Fear didn’t have anything to do with it!

Instead, I’m gonna see if I can find a concert or a con or something in my neighborhood(s) and see about visiting my dad & his family for a while longer than I did last year. (And if there IS a con somewhere nearby, I have a cosplay idea that I really really want to try.)

I need a keeper.

But until I come into my fortune, I’ll just muddle along.

Anyway: Hi! How’ve you been? Had a good holiday, whatever you might celebrate? I hope so, and I hope this next year is full of lovely things for you.

My holidays were…odd, this year. Not bad, just…not what I was expecting, in terms of atmosphere. In terms of how I’m doing on the whole gift-exchange thing, um… Well. *Cough* *Shuffle* Thank you for asking!

On the writing front, I’ve battled my way free of most of my fandom plotbunnies. I’ve also decided to try a 365-days-of-writing thing, which is actually a modified version of something I found on Tumblr (which is a challenge to write a story (or part of one) every day of the year). I’m doing pretty well, so far — I think I’m 9/10, at the moment.

Also, watching Supernatural on Netflix and reading an epic (and awesome) SPN ‘fic kicked some things loose in my head and I’ve been working on a new Ezekiel and Justinian story. Yay original fiction! Oh, and Sexy Sailors is out, which is lovely.

Home!

So I went to GRL. It was AWESOME. I went as my alter ego (and a reader) and it turned out that people kinda sorta vaguely recognized me! It was probably the pink hair, because it’s pretty damn memorable. (Next year, it will be actually-pink, and I will not need a haircut as badly as I did this year.)

I mentioned next year, because yeah. I am SO TOTALLY GOING. And as an author, which means I have to figure out what kind of swag I’m going to take — at least I have plenty of time. And I am hoping to have a few more stories out, so that I can actually have some recent swag (or recent stuff to talk about, anyway).

Did I mention it was awesome? Because it was. I usually avoid anything that you could generally label as part of having a social life (i.e. going to bars/parties, concerts*, etc.), but I didn’t have any problems with crowds at GRL. Maybe because they were small, but more, I think, because everyone was so damn awesome that I never felt like I was lost inside an overwhelming group that had no interest in the people that made it up. (I don’t know, it’s a bad analogy. Trust me: I was so comfortable with the social aspects of GRL that the only reason I didn’t get up and sing at karaoke was the fact that the DJ didn’t have either of the songs that I wanted, and I had no idea if karaoke versions of either exist. Normally, you couldn’t PAY me enough to sing in front of a bunch of people I didn’t really know.)

I had to mail my swag (and my books) home. I read both of the books I saved out, and they were both great — I’m pretty sure I had people in both Denver and Seattle thinking that I was kind of crazy because I was grinning and laughing at both stories. (In other news: The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux and One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea are totally worth buying in any format. I happened to be able to get them in paperback (and then signed, woo!), but whatever’s good for you.)

Speaking of getting things signed… I was so glad for the signing event on Saturday, because it meant that I got to find people that I’d been wanting to blither fannishly at and do so without coming across as a stalker. (What can I say? I’ve been reading the various ‘Dude, don’t be a fucking creeper at a con!’ posts that Scalzi and friends have put up this summer. As someone who tends to be painfully self-conscious in the presence of Very Cool People I Don’t Know, I figured it was just safer to keep to myself instead of seeking them out outside of the signing event. It’s complicated and I’ll probably try to explain it again in another post. Eventually.)

I actually had a point to that previous paragraph, and it was this: I got to make some people who write–and draw–beautifully light up with a few words of my own. I loved that, I loved being able to give them the same fizzy-fuzzy feeling I get when people tell me they like my stuff. Getting stuff signed was a nice bonus, because I was happy enough to tell them things like ‘this is my favorite by you’ or ‘If I have the chance I want you to do my next cover’ or even just ‘I love the way you write’.

All in all, I’m glad I went, I’m glad there are such awesome people in the world, and I’m looking forward to Atlanta like you wouldn’t believe. (And if you have swag preferences, let me know…)

Oh, hey…

I’m not dead! I’ve just been very, very distracted. I blame A) the ever NSFW Tumblr, B) BBC!Sherlock, C) The Avengers, and my own perpetually-distractable brain.

I’ve been on a fanfic-writing kick, and I’m thinking about getting an account at An Archive Of Our Own, but I haven’t gotten very far.

I hearby vow to try to post here more regularly.