Yowza! Great galloping bargains at the stamp show and my collection really looks like one now - it's got LOTS because I did pick up plenty of cheap but beautiful ones I liked instead of focusing on one or two rarities. And then I drew five buffaloes. And then I wrote 3,000 words and I'm in the top of Chapter 17 after godwar nearly broke out. Yeah!

I'd say it's a good day!

Robert and Ari >^..^<


The future looks the way it's supposed to.

ChairQuest was an unqualified success! I am at this moment seated in a Genuine Leather upholstered black Executive Chair with a back high enough that if I armorplated it, the Godfather wouldn't mind sitting with his back to the window. This chair has an evolutionary history. If Stephen Jay Gould could trace the neotenous evolution of Mickey Mouse, I can give a little of the ancestry of my own particular Sleek Black Futuristic Executive-Chair, the one that wouldn't look out of place in either a cyberpunk film or on the bridge of a starship. Given the bridge of the starship was all decorated in black on black contrasting active and passive surfaces, that is. Given that I got to design the rest of the ship to my peculiar, Gothic tastes.

Neogothic. I'm into history enough to know real gothic when I see it, and that's only part of my decor.

The rough shape and design of this chair greatly resemble an old wooden one that I got used in New Orleans, it was probably made in the 1930's or 40's. Same high back, brown leather and a wooden frame that had a nicely scrolled pair of arms also with padding. Four legs on the base were heavy, solid oak and unlikely ever to fall over as they weighed too much. Size was approximately the same. That one weighed a ton. This one looks as if it got redesigned by the Futurist Society by way of the Bauhaus, which inspired most of those old SF covers and movie sets anyway.

The big change came in the arms. They were obviously designed by the people who inspired Hanna-Barbera and the eerily accurate vision of future furnishings in The Jetsons. Two sort of eyeglass-frame shaped chunks of black plastic screwed to the sides of the chair hold the seat and back together firmly, provided that you follow the manufacturer's recommendation and check every 90 days to see if you've got a screw loose. Obviously they don't know much about Executives. Or someone hasn't been really doing much maintenance on the Executives lately.

Still, it's black, it's comfy as it gets and that real leather feels very nice. Proof that leather really is a meat by product: the leather version they had in stock cost precisely the same at Sears as the vinyl version they didn't have in stock. And despite plastic arms, if I think of the environment, I also remind myself that cows are a renewable resource and petroleum products aren't. Something to think about there, though I wouldn't want anything endangered for a hide on my furniture.

Further home improvements - a good ratchet screwdriver with many different bits. This time a sensible one that keeps the bits stored in the handle, unlike my old one that I lost in the move. A voice telephone that's fitted up for Caller ID because that's the one that wasn't white or some cutesy color, it's graphite since they didn't have black and no one would want a black phone any more, right? Goths never use phones. Oh. Well, actually I hardly ever use the phone so I might not be the best representative customer. Maybe the only people who use phones nowadays want white or cute candy colors in sort of swoopy hourglass feminine shapes that look like a stereotyped cliche of a teenage girl is going to play with it. Real men use cell phones. Or something like that. Or let their wives pick the phone out.

And the other silly thing. A television antenna - another marvel of Jetsons design principles with its grand oval speaker-looking UHF antenna and two discreet rabbit ears off to the side on a swooping black base that does look as if it belongs in the bad guys hideout in a cyberpunk martial art film. Larger than the actual television - mine is a five inch black and white portable suitable for throwing batteries in to take it out to a campsite so that you don't have to choose between the Fishing Trip and Baseball Game. The little tiny television's actually a bit of a convenience. It's in reach, it would be if it worked and got reception. The antenna cost twice as much as the television and is loaded with features. It even came with a little converter between dual lead wire with the prongs and the coax type of connector, so that you could adapt to either sort of antenna hookup. What it won't adapt to is a tiny hole for EXT ANT that looks as if you'd stick the headphone jack into. I'll need a connector to connect to the connector to connect with the antenna - but if it then gets decent reception, life's good and I'll probably draw the maps for Quest. Antenna is courtesy of the hospital program, which did recognize that television reception is an important thing for housebound disabled people. Connector to the connector will probably be cheap enough I can pick it up tomorrow on my benefits.

And the book's going well. Half a Word War this afternoon and I've banged out a bit over another thousand words on it, going to do more tonight and see what I can pick on them next with! It's getting to be a rough ride! Wheeee!

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Chapter 15 stalled in the first few hundred words, and I'm not sure why. Though back trouble and physical fatigue is a good candidate, considering how much I've slept recently. About 14 hours in one day, coupled with a lot of body aches and general bleah feeling the rest of the time I was awake. Not sure what that is. Taking vitamins and mild pain killers for it.

And I have to just look at everything around me. The house has started to slide toward disorder in a fairly big way, since I got a little run down. This happens. Happens anytime I get a health problem, mostly because it's that marginal my getting it clean in the first place. I finally got rid of the broken chair or rather, got it out from behind the desk. For the past day or so I've been using the almost-dead lawn chair that I had last summer. It still has a back, instead of the back canted backward at a flopping weird angle like a recliner. Office chairs weren't built for crooked men. They were built for slender ladies who sit up straight, even the ones with arms are designed for someone I don't even know. The result is that previous chair wasn't giving me support and I'm getting back trouble as if I worked in an office job with a bad chair - though if I worked in an office for three months and the chair at my desk looked like that I'd have probably gotten fired for breaking the furniture anyway.

Hopefully the semi working lawn chair will begin to relieve it. Tomorrow I'm going out and while I'll probably throw my back on the shopping trip, getting a new chair for the desk. I need it, I know I need it and even in this state of exhaustion it's well worth the effort managing to get through the trip, because it'll make a difference afterward. I just get annoyed at the way it creeps up on me. Most of the time my health problems are like that - slow and cumulative and get pretty bad before I even notice them at all. Till I do something so far off the scale that it hits me in the head, like sleep more than half the day because I'm that tired.

I get especially confused and annoyed if it interferes with my writing. I'm used to being able to just throw myself into it with a lot of enthusiasm, enjoy the process and let the time slide by without even noticing it. But when the physical stuff starts catching up to me - even when it's something simple like forgetting to eat, it startles me. I have to sit back, think about everything that's going on and recognize if it's that familiar downward spiral of exhaustion - because that's the point I really feel and notice everything that I've ignored and put up with because writing was so satisfying.

What I have to remember is that it's like catching a cold or whatever. If I take care of the causes, it will go away and I'll have energy again. It's just frustrating when I don't have the means to take care of all the causes, look at the overwhelming amount of stuff I have to do in the real world and know that I'm that much behind all the normal day to day things. That's when I wind up that angry at being disabled. Things that wouldn't be more than an hour or two for anyone else wind up taking all day for me and at the end of the day, what I have to show for it isn't any kind of achievement to take great pride in - just some subnormal, ignorable, ordinary state of affairs no one would notice. But it took the kind of work that a vast achievement would. I find it hard to make myself appreciate it. It seems like wasted effort.

That comes into something that I need to think through, and find some way to wrap my mind around. Disability itself. The way I look at myself is something I can decide. The way I think of myself does not have to agree with society at large at all. But a lot of common ideas are things I have to recognize whether I internalized or not.

I can and will compensate for a lot of this. When I've made some real success for myself with my writing, I can set my priorities reasonably to compensate for it. There's a good many creative people out there who'd love to pick up odd jobs and live off the clock, the way I picked up odd jobs and lived off the clock for so many years. I haven't met the ones who live in this area because in this area, I'm in suburbia without a vehicle. There aren't any coffee shops to meet them, there aren't any places to hang out and socialize in real life, there's logistic reasons why I just don't even know more than one person socially here in real life and that's the major one. Suburbia is set up for cars and I'm effectively housebound by that hill.

Once the whole Social Security thing is over and done with, I could either move or with a car, this area would become very different. I know I would want to move. At the very least, move to a place where the street is about four steps away from my front door and those steps aren't uphill or downhill! I wound up with pot luck on this apartment because I didn't get to go looking for it. The agency did. The agency didn't actually have my skills at apartment finding, either for cost or for quality. The up side of this specific apartment is that I don't have a problem having a cat here - and Ari is that important to me. There are up sides to it. It's actually about middling as the apartments I've had go.

Things could be worse, things could be better. They're just what they are and sometimes the logistics get to be a bit much, that's all. I've gotten somewhere going through with all this and if I stick it out, I'll really get somewhere in the long run. Back to the novel. I think it's time to pick on my characters...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Chapter 14 done - thanks to a wonderful Word War that Holly Lisle started at Forward Motion. We ran to 2,000 words and that was enough to get this monster moving again! Thank you, Holly!

Courtroom drama scene coming into it. And gee, we caught a spy. And gee she's a bad liar who keeps trying and trying to make up something new every time... I love it when petit villains crumble. Crumble so thoroughly it's hard for good guys to make sense of them... hehehe...

Hey, not *everyone* in a book has strong character!

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Bit a nice chunk out of the Dares. Got four critiques done for my Master Critique Dare at Forward Motion - a pledge to do two critiques a week is something I just kicked off and got a week ahead on. That is a good thing. I think I need to decide for the day what to get done that day. Then do a lot of it.

I know I want to finish Quest. I know I want some of my other challenges out of the way, because picking it up again will take several hours reading the two thirds of it I've got done to get back in the flow. This is a lot of why I enjoy Extreme Writing. When I can do a novel all at once in a mostly uninterrupted blitz, I don't have to look back much to keep continuity and focus. Heck, that's true of anything.

Next week I've got three, not just two days tied up in going out and doing things - something that will usually leave me too exhausted for anything else. So like the dentistry, I'll accept that. Things like that come into life. But I'm starting to get a handle on organizing my time and I made the decision not to worry about word count. Even though I pledged 2,000 words a day.

I'll vaguely keep it in mind and write somewhat longer short stories, go for the 5,000 length type of story more than the 1,000-2,000 range. When the Exercises inspire them. And plan, specifically, that at the end of May after sending out a good clean rewritten Quest on the great submission challenge (or rewritten Strigler's, which I could give it one more pass), then I'll start another WIP - and just block time having got everything else out of my way to do it.

Robert and Ari >^..^<