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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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Jesus, how long have I not blogged in?

How long have I not blogged in. This is what is left of my brain, y'all. All my grammar is belong to novel.

I've been struggling. I mean, not sad, but in terms of physical health. For about a week there, I successfully fought off my sister's combination sinus/ear infection, but I felt pretty wiped the whole time regardless. I've also managed to twist my knee somehow--my mother keeps fretting that I've torn something, but it just really feels like I've overstrained some muscle or tendon in the back of my knee. The problem is that I keep re-twisting it--just stepping wrong, just twisting it a little bit the wrong way--and I can't quite get it to get over itself. But this is why I think nothing's seriously wrong with it: it's a little stiff in the mornings, but after a night of sleep off my feet, there's no pain. The pain comes back after I've whisked Sam outside ten or twelve times during the day (he's mostly blind now, as you may remember, and fairly incontinent). I don't have dog duty on the weekends (mostly), so I am trying to take advantage of this to sit or lie down as much as possible and try to fix it. I've got an ice pack under my knee as I type; I've dug out Mom's old knee brace to use, if I have to, to keep myself from those stupid little step-twists.

As for the book itself... it's going so slowly. Like, I think the scenes I'm locking down are pretty good, but... I might not finish this century, at the rate I'm going. I did have another bit of location research serendipity that made me deeply happy yesterday. But still. I spent all yesterday hacking away at one paragraph--not because I was picking at word choice, but because it required a lot of geographical tweaking--and BY GOD, I felt accomplished when I was done. But sometimes... yeah, I'm picking at word choice and self-editing as I go. Even though sometimes I just leave "the [proud, bold, not exactly haughty] façade" in, I get to a point where I feel like I haven't truly written it if I didn't figure out what I really meant. Buried in this movie trailer is a snapshot of my life, essentially. Starts at 1:58: "The night was... clouuuuudyyyyyyy."

It has to go faster than this. It has to.

My point is, I've been incredibly tired. And Halloween's one of my favorite times of the year, y'all. I try to spend the whole month in a Halloween mood, and here I've just been so... tired.

(I wish I could have my traditional ghost background, but I don't think it works on this layout. I would go back to the old one for the occasion, but the point of this layout was to make it easier for readers with visual impairment. Sometimes you just can't make everything work.)

I'm still on Twitter every day, which sounds like a huge cop-out (oh, so you're not too tired to play on Twitter, huh?), but it's just really so much less effort. You hit RT a few times, you answer people with 140-character one-liners if you can think of something to say, you go back to your work. (Actually, it's helped a lot with eye strain. I haven't developed my usual eyelid twitch at all, because I'll get to the end of a sentence or paragraph or thought, look over at Tweetdeck, and then look back. You have to be careful not to slip into procrastination, but apparently this kind of look away/look back thing is advisable for your eyes.)

But I need to post here more often, because this is home.

Seriously, my Tumblr has devolved into movie trailers and animalstalkinginallcaps reblogs. I got nothin'. The best thing I can think of at this point--well, let me rewind a little. I'm still reading your spooky and/or gothic 19th/early 20th-century short stories, with a number of novellas and the occasional novel thrown in. (One of the major reasons I do this, besides watching how the masters handle suspense, is just to read anything set in that period to keep a sense of how people talked in my mind. It's easier to think in 19th-century character voices if you're surrounded by them constantly.) This being the week leading up to Halloween, maybe we can discuss something every day or other day or I don't know, something. I'll save the first discussion for the next post. For this one, recommend anything spookative you like, preferably something available online where everyone can read it (I practically live on litgothic.com and, for nonfiction research, victorianlondon.org).

So. Uh. Stuff. How are you?

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Village of the Damned is a nice horror movie but you've probably already seen it.

I hear you on the slowness aspect, Cleo. I've cut the same 15K chunk out of my novel three times now, and I'm hoping I can bang it out in 500-word increments for NaNo this year. Blergh.

My sympathies to your knee!

I've had some knee problems. My ortho recommended taking 2 advil, four times a day, and icing the knee for 10 minutes every hour.

You may want to at least get checked out by a doctor though to make sure it's nothing serious. There may be some stretches you should do too (I have to stretch my quads a lot) and using a stationary bike is very good for your knees.

I've been having similar problems keeping up with LJ. Posting isn't my problem so much as commenting, but apparently, having anything happen in my non-Internet life means my LJ prowess disappears. And my Twitter savvy goes through the roof. I don't get it.

Anyway, discussions sound cool. Not sure I'll have anything to add, but I can certainly lurk.

it's might be a "hi-bye" sort of return, but i dont care.
we all missed you

and So sorry to hear about your foot and poor ol' sam. and the book (and don't worry so much about most writers i talked to tell me a book can take a minimum of 5-10 years to finish- so believe me no pressure)

but hope things go better for you soon. *hugs*

(if you're really in the mood for halloween- someone on tumblr found this HUGE truckload of desert recipes with pumpkin in them (like pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pull outs, pupmkin chocolate brownies- i could pass them along to you)

welcome back cleo :)

Re: YOU'RE BACK!!! *hugs*

OOH! I was going to suggest pumpkin recipes as a possible discussion for here! :) I'm in Australia, I'm going to have a Halloween party, and want some good pumpkin recipes. I particularly wanted a pumpkin-flavoured fondue recipe, but can only find cheesy-fondue-in-an-empty-pumpkin-shell recipes. Anyone have any ideas for pumpkin-flavoured fondues?

And any other pumpkin recipes would be appreciated! I can't get your regular orange Halloween pumpkin (sometimes called a sugar pumpkin?) here - just the Jap, Queensland Blue (which I won't be using, as they're too hard to carve), and Butternut varieties.

It is SO FREAKIN' HARD not to edit as you go. Everyone says not to do it, but I just can't seem to function if I don't.

Hope the knee feels better very soon.

*sighs and raises hand* Same.

Also repeating the sympathies and wishes for quick healing.

The Haunted Looking Glass: best collection of ghost stories evar, plus Edward Gorey illustrations:


well I'll just say its lovely to see you posting - a little treat for your readers. No pressure though. There are times when you just do what you can do, and this may well be one of those times for you. Hope your knee sorts itself and you get your energy back in time for the actual Halloween period.

For your knee, really seriously for real, use the knee brace like, now. It'll keep the elasticity of your knee in good shape. Every time you turn or twist it the wrong way or hyperextend it, little fibers tear and it takes a long time for them to repair themselves. Wearing the brace before it's like a shot pair of pantyhose makes BIG difference.

For your knee, really seriously for real, use the knee brace like, now.

I feel validated in my life choices. Seriously, I thought I was overreacting.

That does make sense, though--little mini-tears that are trying to heal themselves, even if I didn't tear something gigantic.

YAY you're back!!! I hope your knee feels better soon. :)

Well, hey! Check in more often willya?! And that cat looks exactly like Kiki's (Delivery Service) cat, Gigi. Awwww!

Is that a real trailer for a Coppola movie? It made me laugh very hard, especially about the offers to "collaborate" on the book. (You do the writing and I'll take half the money, right?)

Totally real. In fact, I've heard the movie's... kind of not very good. That almost makes me want to see it more.

Don't forget to take a breather now and again. I know you probably feel if you don't get it written down RIGHT NOW, it'll never get done. I just don't want you to have burnout.

Try and do something light and fun every now and again to rest your brain.

For some reason, I up and reread Alison Weir's Eleanor of Aquitaine bio, and today I'm rereading her Isabella/Edward II. Doesn't have a damn thing to do with the period I'm researching but it seems to help anyway (or maybe because it doesn't).

Ever since I read it, Halloweeny black cats remind me of Neil Gaiman's The Price. I'm not even a cat person, but damn, such a good little story. (Did you know they're trying to make a movie of it?)

I'm just glad you're okay...ish. Keep plugging away!