Worst. Birthday Gift. Ever.

The title is better if you imagine it being read in Comic Book Guy’s voice.

Long and short of my trip to the cast clinic is yes, I have a broken femur, there is apparently no tendon or ligament damage, and no, I cannot have a plaster cast, because my leg is shaped weird.

Yes, you read that right: I have a weird leg. The plaster cast will not stay on it properly, just as the immobilizer of doom does not stay on it properly — but, the doctor says, the immobilizer will likely be more comfortable, and I can take it off from time to time. There’s also a chance my leg could swell again, which would be very uncomfortable in plaster, apparently.

I have to stay off my leg for 6 weeks. I cannot put any weight on it. I can rest my foot on the floor if I’m sitting, but beyond that? Nope. Nope nope nope.

But anyway, besides all that — let’s focus on what’s really important. I have weird legs, guys. WEIRD LEGS. I can’t even argue with the doctor on this one because he’s right. I’m a freak of nature.

legs

See? This is right after it happened, too, so you can see the amount of swelling in the left leg. But that bend inwards at the knee? It’s super pronounced. When standing straight the edges of my feet almost line up with my hips, and the knees bend inwards to touch each other. And the kneecap is super high up. I know, because I saw it on my CT scan. IT WAS WEIRD.

Also there’s the fact that my legs are sort of shaped like cones, with the tiny end pointing down.

WEIRD LEGS, GUISE. ::does spooky arms::

After the cast clinic we headed home, and this is the conversation we had in the car (this was after my crying breakdown in the hospital).

Me: So this is the worst birthday gift I’ve ever gotten myself.

Mr. Katje: That’s what you get for getting it so early! And now you can’t even take it back.

Me: Nope, I’m stuck with it. Buyer’s remorse or what.

Anyway. I am immobilized for six weeks. In 2 weeks I have to see the doctor again so he can see how the leg is doing. But basically, no nothing for Katje until the end of August.

I have some projects to keep me busy while I’m stuck without a working leg. A big one is writing. I’m trying to get my word count up this month. (I’m participating in Get Your Words Out and I’ve pledged to write 150,000 words this year. So far I’m at just over 80,000.)

Things I'm working on today: writing....

Text from a short story I’m working on.

Another big one is editing and publishing — related to the first, of course, but I’m not always editing or publishing my own works, so it deserves a separate category. Right now I’m proofing Broken Sleep by Kaimana Wolff, and editing/revising The Jade Star of Athering, sequel to Bellica.

I’m also trying to get caught up on my reading. I read very slowly, but with not much else to do I might read more than one book this month. One can hope, anyway.

And finally, I’m powering through Stargate SG-1. I adore this show. I am on season 7, please no spoilers in the comments. (I realize it’s 17 years old but I’ve been able to keep myself relatively spoiler free.)

...and Stargate SG-1. (that shld rly say dreamboat tbh. Mmmmm, Teal'c.)

Mmmm, Teal’c.

Anyway, this is my summer. All this, and no showering (at least until I get the shower chair from Oma’s old place). Don’t visit. Your nose will never forgive you.

If you do want to brighten my summer up, however, you can nominate my book, Stranger Skies, for the awards for which it’s eligible! (Assuming you’ve read it. If you haven’t read it, most of the Advance Reading Copy is available to read here. All of the chapters will be released by October 5th.) Details in this post at my Livejournal. The deadline for one of the awards is July 15th, but the others have more time.

Now that would be the best. birthday gift. ever.

-Katje

A reminder to myself that forming good habits is always harder than I hope it will be

I broke the chain. I didn’t write yesterday.

I thought I might have some energy to pound out 411 words when I got to my mom’s place — perhaps not in blogging, but in something countable at least. A short bit of crappy fiction, a poem about my day, or a blog post for Monday morning that I could edit when I woke up. Maybe I’d even reach 750 words!

This did not happen. Yesterday was a day full of travel and it was a pretty shitty day on top of that. My car was too full for me to nap in the back seat on the ferry rides, as I usually do, so I was awake the full trip. By the time I reached my mom’s house, I’d been up for 13 hours. My brain was fried. I was ready to sleep right then but I forced myself to stay up, because I knew if I went to bed too early I’d wake up at 2am and be unable to get back to sleep.

Something similar had already happened on Sunday, even though I’d gone to bed late. I woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t seem to get back into slumber, to wake up when my alarm was set (6:30). I sighed and got out of bed and started to finish doing the laundry. I thought, briefly to myself, that maybe I should sit down and write my 411 words right then. I decided against it, thinking laundry and packing the car were higher priorities.

The thing is, I was only half right. Packing the car was a higher priority if I wanted to make a morning ferry, but I had 2 extra hours during which I mainly folded and hung up clothes. That wasn’t a priority — I didn’t get the house as clean as I was planning, so a little bit of extra mess in the form of clean clothes sitting on the couch wouldn’t really matter, in the long run. I could have stopped at sorting and then sat down to do my words.

I let my brain get the better of me in convincing me I didn’t need to do my daily words just then, and I ended up with a wordless day.

I suppose I could have sat down when I got to mom’s place and pounded out 750 words of nonsense on 750words.com, getting my count in and not breaking the streak, the chain. But that’s not the point of writing every day.

The point is to write something of substance. If the point were to just get the streak badges on 750words, or to pad my yearly wordcount, then I could just copy past several paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum and call it a day.

The point is to form a daily writing habit. 750words.com, Don’t Break the Chain, Get Your Words Out, Inking It Out, the spreadsheets those communities provide — these are tools to keep me on track. They are not the habit itself. The habit comes from me; the discipline comes from my own head — the part that’s not trying to constantly sabotage anything good in my life.

I let the saboteur win yesterday, and I regret it. I’m not repeating that mistake. Let January 5th, 2014, be the only day this year where I do not sit down to write something.

Every day, in every way…

I feel as if I’m simultaneously taking on too much and not enough at the same time. It’s an odd sensation.

On the one hand, I’ve been incredibly productive since the year began. On the other, I’ve noticed my tendency to get distracted is in full swing. Often I need to hit a point that’s just below overwhelm to actually accomplish things; if I have too little to do, I procrastinate, and if I have too much, I escape from the stress by doing anything except what I’m supposed to.

I cleared up some necessary things in the first few days of the year, striking them off my to-do list. Right now I’m looking at trying to finish cleaning my house so I can go visit my mom in Powell River. Yes, it needs to be spotless before I leave. Is it? Not remotely.

I worked as hard as I could yesterday doing this, as well as several other necessary things. (For example, writing every day — while a pleasure for me — is a necessary item. I view it as something I may not skip out on. Thus, I sat down to start a story and maybe write 750 words yesterday, and ended up penning just over 3,000. This morning I finished the story with another 1,144. It’s fantastic that I’m going so far over my word count goal, putting me far ahead of my current YTD goal for both Get Your Words Out and Inking It Out, but I need to reel it in a bit — if I expend too much of my momentum in one day, I often think to myself I can skip the next day. The point is to build up a steady habit of writing, not continue in the cycle of boom and bust.)

I think I’m just way too tired, physically, today. When I woke up this morning I could barely make it to the kitchen to get the coffee I so obviously needed. And my body did that thing it likes to do, again, where I went to bed at 10 pm so it woke me up at 3am for no particular reason. Luckily I was able to fall asleep again, but I slept in — instead of waking up at 5:30, I woke up at 6:45.

So I’m working on cleaning as fast as I can, but trying not to overtax myself. I’m having a big breakfast and moving as my back allows. I still have hopes of leaving by noon, which will put me at my mom’s place sometime in the early evening, depending on the ferry.

Here’s to continuing productivity, even if I would have rather stayed in bed a bit longer. Every day in every way, I chip away at my undisciplined self, reaching the productive adult I know lies somewhere within. Deep, deep within.

30 in 30: Day 05 (in which I rag upon Eragon so hard I make him bleed from inappropriate places)

A book or series you hate

Oh man. This one is almost too easy. (I say ‘almost’ because there is a book/series that I actually hate more than the one I’m writing about now…but as I haven’t actually been able to bring myself to read the whole thing, and as there’s a lot of virulent hate for it already, I figured I’d go with the lesser-hated series.)

Eragon. Or the Inheritance saga, whatever the fuck. Has to be the worst writing I’ve ever read in my life. After I finished the first chapter I felt like someone had hit my head with a sledgehammer, repeatedly. Paolini was in high school when he finished the book, and you know what?

It shows.

Continue reading

30 Books in 30 Days: Day 01 (in which I vehemently bash Acorna’s bloated corpse)

In the interest of whipping myself to blog more, I have stolen this meme from my friend Boudicca. I’ll try and do this within a month; of course I’ve chosen the worst month possible. But whatever; it should be fun.

Oh, and these posts are going to count for my GYWO, as they are not normal blog posts but an ongoing journaling project. (I’m not cheating; I’m being creative with the rules.)

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)

This is easy. The Acorna series by Anne McCaffrey. The unicorn girl needs to die.

Acorna the Unicorn Girl was great. It was fun, and well written, with lovable characters. She’s a fucking unicorn girl! Awesome! She’s got a horn and shit! Super-awesome!

The first book made me want to read the second, and the third, which were also good. After we found Acorna’s peeps and it becomes apparent that she’s not just a freakish mutant, I think, “Yeah, okay, we’re good now.”

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.

Continue reading

That’s progress, I suppose

I have not actually written any on The Jade Star of Athering since August 2nd. However, I have thought about writing on it, and even opened the notebook to the appropriate page so I can start typing up the handwritten chapters I have done so I can continue on, as I’ve reached that point where I look at the  handwritten stuff I have and say “What is this I don’t even.

It’s time for story-beefing!

And I have thought about it. Even gotten fairly close. Tomorrow I hope to type up a chapter.

We’ll see how that goes.

-Katje

PS Oh my gods is Wrimo really only eighty-one days away what the fuck. I’m going to die.

PPS Current GYWO2010 count is 35,365. I wrote 15K on another project, if you can believe it. Not a fiction project. A journaling project. It’s easier to bullshit when it comes to journaling.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day….

2009 was a fairly productive year, writing-wise. I finished Bellica, started and finished Snowbound, and started The Jade Star of Athering. I also wrote a few poems, published a book of poetry, and reached a total of 156,732 for my yearly word count. I didn’t make my goal of 200,000, but I’m not too concerned about the 43,268 difference. It was a difficult year and I think I far surpassed my own expectations; the fact that I didn’t make it doesn’t discredit my valiant attempt. (Also, 70,000+ words in July is nothing to sneeze at.)

I have the same goal for 2010, as far as word count goes, and I intend to make it this year (mainly by being more on top of the word counts early on in the year). I also wish to make more blog posts here, on top of my story goals (listed below for convenience).

  1. Finish editing Parts 2 and 3 of Bellica and upload to site.
  2. Finish The Jade Star of Athering.
  3. Finish The Man of Bronze.
  4. Finish Islands of Fire and Water.
  5. Start that new story idea in November.
  6. Publish Bellica in hardcopy.
  7. Write Snowbound sequel (?).

The last one has a question mark because Dear Gods I am busy this year, and seriously wish to be less insane.

I’d also like to branch socially as a writer more, but I’m such a damn recluse and so intolerant of most people in all groups that I move in that I’m scared this may backfire on me terribly. Or I’ll meet another writer as snarky and reclusive as I am, and we shall become great friends and dominate the world of something. Trufax.

I also want to crochet more, and improve my knitting, but that has nothing to do with writing. Too many projects. Too much creativity. I’m having a small meltdown, I think.

So. Off to bed, and tomorrow is a fresh day that I shall sleep through. As is my wont.

-Katje

Words, Words, Words

I’m at 14,306 words in Nano, which is good considering how tired I’ve been this month (seriously — insomnia until 5am and then not being able to wake up till the late afternoon, and tired all the rest of the time but still not able to fall asleep = not. fun. at. all.). My Nano novel is The Jade Star of Athering, which is the sequel to Bellica, and it’s coming along fairly nicely. As it’s my second novel in that world and set right after the events in Bellica I’m having trouble separating the two; I have to remember to make it enjoyable as a standalone as well as a sequel, because I would hate to be one of those writers. You know the kind I’m talking about.

I’m also trying to make my main character much different from Yarrow, but it is difficult because she is around the same age, a bellica, and — of course — is the HEROINE. There are going to be similarities.

What I find helpful is to compare my characters to characters in movies or TV — specifically Battlestar Galactica, because the show is basically religion to me. Yarrow was very Starbuckian*; I’m trying to make Bellica Agate more like Kendra Shaw. Very reserved, sober, disciplined — but she has her dark, dirty secrets.

(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, GO WATCH BATTLESTAR GALACTICA RIGHT NOW. All of it. Even Razor. Actually, especially Razor, because that’s where Kendra Shaw appears. Shame on you for not having seen it. It’s fucking fantastic.)

Then come the other problems — while editing Bellica I noticed a lot of devices that I used and reused and reused until I and my beta readers committed mass suicide (mmm Koolaid). Since then I’ve been consciously trying to NOT use those devices so much, and it slows down the flow. I know the point of Nano is not to edit as you go, but I really, really can’t help it. It’s like cooking — clean the kitchen as you go; make it a habit and your kitchen will forever glisten. (I don’t actually do this, but the analogy sticks. Because I don’t use Pam.)

Also I can’t continue writing until I have a name for someone or something, because the person’s character is tied to the name — AND the name has to be meaningful. Really awesome when the subject of your book is a totally new culture that you haven’t had a chance to research properly — that is, it’s a made-up culture BASED in the Mayan culture. So I want it as true to life as possible, meaning I’m not just going to make up Mayan sounding names, but actually composite new names based off the real words in Maya.

Which Maya? GOOD QUESTION. I’m calling the people the Pokomam, which is a kind of Maya, but that’s not necessarily what I’m basing it off.

Oh, and I need to devise a Mayan calendar for a different world 20,000 years in the future.

So my flow is not fresh. It is stumbly and blocked. But at least it’s moving.

 

As for Get Your Words Out I’m at 154,984. If I finish NaNo at just 50K I’ll need to pound out 10K in December. Which is fine; I’ll be doing NaNoFiMo most likely. But I’d love to finish WriMo with 60K.

 

That’s it. I’m off to write.

-Katje

 

*Also, Starbuckian is a term I use in my own life to refer to how I shoot myself in the foot REPEATEDLY and am just a general frak-up, but if I were a Viper pilot you can bet your ass I’d be the best you have.

Writing hiatus

I am taking a break from writing anything new until September 8th because I have to work on editing Snowbound, preparing for Dragon*Con, going to Dragon*Con, getting together a working props list for Dove In Death (a production that goes off the end of September), getting together my production stuff for Just Shoot Me (the show I’m directing in November), and losing some weight so I can be IN the fall show that goes off end of October (The Balcony).

Yes, three shows overlapping, right after the other. Plus 5 classes (more than  full load), dance classes, morning yoga, and working out at the gym 3 times a week. And then there’s making my GYWO word count goals, which are 10K for Sept, 5K for Oct, 50K for November, and 5k for December. Yay.

Also, I have decided to publish my novels, etc, serially on my writing site. You can start reading Bellica with the Prologue sometime before Sept. 20th, which is the official start date — ie, when Chapter 1 is up.

I’ll be putting up Islands of Fire and Water and The Man of Bronze sometime in 2010, too, provided I finish writing them and then edit them this year. Snowbound is getting turned into a contest (which I’m still eligible for, because NO WAY will I get 5,000 hits before the contest runs through, and I’m not getting paid for these works), so it’ll be a while before that one comes up.

The Jade Star of Athering won’t be up for a while, cause I haven’t written it yet.

So yeah — check it out. And if you wish to continue to see my works online, please consider donating to fund my writing habit. 🙂

See you after Labour Day Weekend (which is just going to be one big party, man.)

-Katje

Snowbound finished

I have just finished (as in, today) my first short story, Snowbound, though it’s more of a novelette at 15,758 words, and added a really terrible synopsis on the “Finished Works” page.

Needs an edit, and then I send it to the Writers of the Future Contest.

But not till after DragonCon. No more writing till then; I forbid myself. Cause I need some frakkin’ sleep.

(PS brings my GYWO wordcount to 140,678 which means I’m 7k ahead for the standard non-Nano goals for August yaaaaaaaaay)

Over and out.
dead!Katje