This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry


September 15th, 2011

Lubricus! @ 09:56 am

Current Mood: ecstatic

With a single comment, Alisanne has convinced me to go to LUBRICUS 2012. I couldn't have gone this year even if I had known about it, due to many other responsibilities, but I have it down on my calendar for August 16 - 19, 2012. It's a relatively small Harry Potter slash convention held in Renton, Washington, which is an hour's drive for me. I've already put in an application for my reservation!
 

Ascendio 2012 @ 07:21 am

Current Mood: excited

I've asked this before, but who is considering going to Ascendio 2012? Financially I know it would be unreasonable for me, but I can't get the idea out of my mind. It just sounds so terrific, and the idea that I might get together with other Snape slash fans is incredibly tempting. I've been wanting to get down to Orlando for ages anyway, as I moved from there 14 years ago and have never been back. Somebody convince me I should go even if I can't really afford it. It's only money, and experiences like this don't come along all the time.
 

June 5th, 2011

Further on the topic of abandonment @ 10:25 am

Current Mood: abaondoned

Did you ever notice how often "I'll call you" means "I really don't care if I ever talk to you again."
 

June 4th, 2011

If it's really not possible, you shouldn't have promised in the first place. @ 04:56 pm

Current Mood: abandoned

People shouldn't promise to visit or help with something and then make last minute excuses. That's not okay. It's hurtful

When I'm alone I cry and say I hate them, but really I'm just disappointed and hurt.
 

April 23rd, 2011

Meanderings of a drunk fanfic writer. @ 07:58 pm

Current Mood: drunk

The coolest thing ever, ever, ever happened to me at Norwescon today.

Okay, first I should explain that I am drunk. I am more drunk than I have been in many years. And I have enough alcohol at home that I can hope to maintain this state for some hours to come.

Now back to Norwescon - I met [info]pir8fancier! Okay, I exaggerate, I didn't actually meet her, but I saw her on a panel about going from fanfiction writing to - uh - real writing, like being published. She is so cool. She was only going under her pen name. In real life she writes mysteries and gets paid for it. And she was doing that BEFORE she discovered fanfic, of which she has written TONS (as probably a lot of you know). So it would really be professional suicide for her publishers to know she writes fanfic. Including slash porn and even including Snarry (which is only not my OTP because Snupin is).

Anyway, I really loved the panel. They talked about following the rules of the originating author (which for J.K. Rowling is no underage sex), and about not taking criticism personally and about the best comments are not the ones that say "SQUEEEE!!!" but the ones that offer constructive criticism that helps one become a better writer. And about deciding whether or not you actually agree with the criticism. And that old adage, if you want to write a book, the first thing you have to do is to Start Writing!

(Time out while I make another drink of Kahlua, Baileys, vodka, cream, and coke.)

Like I said, Start Writing. Now, the focal point of the panel was how to make the jump from writing fanfic to being a published author (and especially, what not to do). But I don't want to write original fiction. Never, ever had the urge, though I've been writing fanfic since I was in grade school. But I stopped, pretty much, putting fanfic up on line in 2003. Do I want to go back to writing? Hell yes I do! But I've always been too terrified.

The first piece of fanfiction I put on line was My Brother's Keeper, a Discworld gen fic. I did not plot the thing out ahead of time, at all. I just wrote what came into my head at the time. I didn't know what was going to happen much before the readers did. But somehow it all came together as a story, and I received a wild amount of praise about it. I still get comments today on ff.net.

The next thing I wrote was Discworld slash, Vimes/Vetinari: Aftermath. It was also super easy to write, and, in the audience of people who like those things, also got a lot of high praise. I wrote a short sequel called In This Room which I am satisfied with, although it didn't get much circulation because by that time ff.net had passed their policy of no NC-17 fics and my relationship with them had ended bitterly.

I knew when I finished My Brother's Keeper that there could be a sequel, and I started it, but then I ran into two major problems: First, I was absolutely terrified it wouldn't meet the standard everyone had already set for me. Second, the story knew exactly where it was going, and I Did Not Like It. I didn't want Vimes to commit adultery. It honestly sent me into a period of depression. But when I tried to change the storyline, I was either not being true to the characters as I see them or I was introducing a deus ex machina. In the end I didn't finish it (which is the second most important thing to do if you want to write), and in fact that was more or less the end of my fanfic writing days, though I am a rabid reader.

Honestly, the thing most responsible for switching me from Discworld fanfic to Harry Potter was the plethora of HP slash and my unrequited lust for Alan Rickman's Snape. When it comes to the original works, I don't think J.K. Rowling can hold a candle to Terry Pratchett. But I fell hard for the work of several Snarry and Snupin writers.

Which leads me inevitably to "why I'm not writing HP fanfiction." Good question. I've sort of tried, if posting two chapters in my own not-particularly-highly-read LJ counts. It's not that I don't have an entire story in my head. I'm just scared. There are so many HP fanfic writers out there that are So Much Better than I will ever be. Also, it's not a short story. It's rather longish, as these things go, and I'm scared that if I start I won't finish it. The answer, in short, is I'm a coward.

This isn't an announcement that I'm going to start writing Snupin fics, although I just might. It's just I've got all this drunken happiness in me right now, and let's face it, I've been pretty short on happiness as of late. Like, I think the last really great thing that I experienced was meeting people when I went to see Alan Rickman on stage in New York.

Anyway, now that I have gotten all of that out of my system, I'm going to go read This Boy's Life.
 

March 10th, 2011

My life as a procrastinator @ 07:20 am

Current Mood: stressed

Spent yesterday catching up on details of the Reno Worldcon committee, stuff I should have done long ago. Today I have to concentrate on getting ready for the actual trip - things like packing. But it's hard to stay focused with so many other things happening.

Yesterday I learned that Medicare has stopped paying for my mother's nursing home expenses because she is not filling their criteria for making progress. That means the Medicare supplement stops as well, and suddenly we are paying the full cost of the nursing home. That's $3,600 per month, plus medications, that I thought I wasn't going to have to worry about until June. I had planned not to sell mom's house for a year or two, but now I have to get it on the market as soon as possible. This is a nightmare.

But I MUST manage to stuff all that into an unused corner of my brain right now. I'm leaving tomorrow for four days of meetings in Reno, and I absolutely must concentrate today on getting ready for the trip. I don't have time to try to solve future problems or to zone out due to too much stress or to have a panic attack. Somehow I have got to stay on track. I can't get on that plane tomorrow if I'm not packed.

Thank heavens I feel petty good physically. The cold is down to occasionally blowing my nose and coughing up a bit of transparent mucus. My thumb is much better, although it still hurts like a SOB. I'm sleeping reasonably well, though I usually have to take a nap during the day to prevent falling asleep on my feet.

I so, so miss the days when I had time to read fanfic and collect everything I could find related to Snape or Slytherin.

Enough of this. More coffee. And some breakfast. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. I don't have time for that.
 

March 6th, 2011

I really need a nap. @ 08:42 am

Current Mood: sleepy

After I get the laundry in and the dishwasher loaded I have to start sorting mail and paying bills for both myself and my mother. At noon Justice needs a ride to Jessica's - that's always stressful, because I'm not supposed to have her in my car except during scheduled dates. And tonight she will probably need a ride home. I have to get my suitcases unpacked. Supposedly they have a lifetime warrentee and they are both really trashed. Also have to buy a new suitcase, because the others won't be replaced in time for the Reno Worldcon meeting this weekend. And need to prepare a list of questions for the Reno Division Head meeting to thrash out.

Two cups of coffee, two cigarettes, and a good breakfast, and I'm still nearly falling off my chair. I'm afraid I'm boing to have to start this busy day with a nap.
 

March 5th, 2011

Saturday @ 07:06 am

Current Mood: busy

Latest crises is that I had to suspend service on Justice's cell phone. She was taking the phone home and texting her boyfriend all night, and then making up outrageous stories about Britney sneaking the phone to her or her sneaking over to Britney's. Gave her every chance in the world, but can find no other way that I can feel safe that she won't get caught with the phone. Her last text to me was horrible, but minutes after she got home she called me and apologized profusely.

Meanwhile, Alex's phone was stolen, and I haven't replaced it yet. Then for her birthday S&E got her a Go-Phone, but I am expected to pay the cost of $2/day for unlimited minutes and texting. I can have four smart phones under contract for that. Pisses me off, but nothing I can do. S&E insisted she not have a phone that could access the internet.

Am almost over the monster virus, except for coughing and hacking. And my thumb still hurts like a bitch.

Going to try to get my eating back under control today, but I've been saying that for a week.

Today I have to work on the Reno Worldcon. My personal finances are urgent, but people are counting on me to be ready before the Worldcon meeting next weekend.
 

September 7th, 2009

Money for Alzheimer's Research and Orangutans @ 09:16 am

Current Mood: impressed

I didn't go to the Charity Auction, but I'm told it raised $23,000.
 

The Gala Banquet at NADWC @ 08:55 am

Current Mood: groggy

I did, of course, go to the Gala Banquet. The food was delicious (Turkish, I think. and there was baklava. Yum!), the antics at the head table were entertaining, and there was by far the best belly dancing performance I've ever seen - these girls danced with both fire and swords. I picked a seat at random and discovered the man next to me lives about 18 miles away from me! This is really totally incredible - I never dreamed that there was someone else here from the rural Pacific Northwest, much less that out of 1,000 people I would happen to pick the chair next to his! The bad part was that there was almost no conversation at the table that I enjoyed. The woman sitting next to me was quite annoying - a Brit who scathingly criticized the convention. She and her husband had reserved five seats for the Disc Stamp Forum people, so the rest of us turned away several people who wanted to sit there; then only one other person showed up, and she was late. The only good thing about this was that there were good seats available for a couple of staff people who didn't get to eat until after all the rest of us were finished. The three Forum people were also apparently Worldcon people, but none of them looked familiar.

I think PTerry had a bit too much beer, but he was as entertaining as always. He talked a lot about how, considering how late his sales began going up here in the U.S., he would never have believed there would be a convention of this magnitude in the U.S. He also celebrated the fact that, when he was first diagnosed, he thought there would be no chance of him being here. And he made the inevitable joke about saying this was the best Discworld Convention he had ever been at - massive applause - and then very quietly under his breath added "in American."

After the banquet one of my best Worldcon friends, Seth, found me, and we talked for ages while the rest of the people took photos.

Probably the best part of the Banquet for me was that I felt like I looked pretty darn good for a 57-year-old. My dress fit, my jewelry matched, I had a fabulous new pair of shoes (which hurt like hell), and I had done a really decent job with my make-up. I'm no beauty anymore, but I felt handsome for a woman of a certain age. There are a lot of young, sexy girls here for Terry to stare at, but when I looked at a lot of the women there I felt so glad I don't weigh 203 pounds anymore.

My room is a total disaster from preparing yesterday, I brought bills I still have to pay, and I need to start getting packed. I'm very much tempted to not leave the room at all today. But there is some secret thing called, "Special Pratchett Movie Showing" at noon that I will probably hate myself if I miss, and I really want to make another pass through the Dealers Room, and I don't want to miss Opening Ceremonies. Another cigarette and a couple of cups of coffee and I'll get going.
 

September 6th, 2009

Have fun, damn it! @ 09:02 am

Current Mood: blah

I've been to some great panels here at the Discworld Convention, and only one that really sucked. Sadly, I must admit that the knowledge of Terry's Alzheimer's hangs over us all like a dark cloud, but the convention committee has done a great job. Today, especially, it looks like I will be hurrying from one event to the next, because there is so much I don't want to miss. My name is in the drawing for a Kaffee Klatch with Bernard Pearson this morning - I've got my fingers crossed. The only thing I'm wavering on is the Charity Auction. In England I Am There, because there is stuff that I can't get in the U.S. But I've looked at the stuff being auctioned today and nothing really calls to me.

I still have every intention of doing a more detailed report.

So why was I so painfully depressed last night, and why on earth did I wake up this morning feeling lonely beyond words. Maybe it's just that I'm at a Discworld convention but don't have my friends here... Jinx, Elfie, Esther, Eve, Archer, Sophist... The people I know here are folks from Worldcon fandom, and they are just not the same. And it's hard to remember not to look for Briggsy - they tried very hard to get him here and he wanted to come, but his work made it impossible. There's a letter from him in the program book. And of course always, always, there is the pain of not seeing the girls. I miss the support Faeon gives me.

And I miss my friends on line - and that is totally my fault. I'm the one who stopped posting and reading and commenting, and I don't know why. I'm tired of being so depressed that I am always resisting crawling back into my shell.

I have been forcing myself to move this morning, and I've got to keep at it. I need to shower and get out of here.
 

August 10th, 2009

2009 Hugo Award Winners @ 12:14 pm

Current Mood: tired

A few of you may be interested to know this year's Hugo Award winners .

At the party after the ceremony Neil Gaiman let me look closely at his award - that was a real kick!

I dated Phil Foglio for three years in the late 80s. He had won two Hugos for Best Fan Artist decades ago, after which he declared that he had become a professional artist and therefore felt ineligible as a fan. For something like 25 years he never made the ballot. Then he was at last nominated for Best Pro Artist, but didn't win. Now, after decades of trying, he won a professional Hugo for his graphic novel. And he wasn't here to accept it!! He had done so much at Comicon last week and felt, anyway, that he didn't have a chance in hell to win. He did choose a couple of dear mutual friends as accepters but didn't even give them an acceptance speech. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.


Sorry I have disappeared. The bottom fell out of my relationship with Elizabeth, my girls' grandmother, the night before I left for Montreal. The degree of my devastation is beyond expression, so great that I've really not been up to talking about it. Instead I have thrown myself into my work as the Convention Office Manager for the World Science Fiction Convention, arriving here in Montreal 9 days ago. I've been quite busy, working up to ten hours a day. I also caught a nasty cold, so I tried to sleep as much as possible.

I go off duty for the final time in three hours, and I return home on Wednesday. Don't exactly know what I'm going to do with my life after that.
 

April 25th, 2009

Quantum Leap Convention Photos @ 06:16 am

Current Mood: nostalgic

Here is the official photo gallery from the Quantum Leap Convention that I attended a month ago. I wish I could relive it, or capture that feeling of contentment and joy in a bottle, and take a swig when I'm down.
 

February 6th, 2009

2011 Worldcon will be in Reno @ 10:17 pm

Current Mood: shocked

The Seattle bid for the 2011 Worldcon announced this evening that they are pulling out of the race. They were unable to secure first-option agreements with their facilities, because other groups, with money in hand, want to reserve the space.

This is the deadline for 2011 bids to file their papers, so the Reno Worldcon Bid will not be contested.

This is really a grave disappointment to the people who have worked hard for several years to bring the Worldcon to Seattle, and my sympathy goes out to them. Regardless of which bid one favored, I don't think anyone is happy to see the contest end this way.

Seattle in 2011 Worldcon Bid

Reno in 2011 Worldcon Bid
 

December 31st, 2008

2008 @ 04:54 pm

Current Mood: contemplative

My gods!

What. A. Year.

Was it really only a few months ago when I spent every day slaving over and worrying about Denvention?

Scariest & Worst Moment: Having to be pulled out through the back window of my totaled car while in Really Significant Pain.

Happiest Moment: November 4, 2008, 11:00 P.M. Eastern Time

Saddest Moment: Jacob's Funeral

Proudest Moment: Fitting into a Size 12 jeans

Angriest Moment: Learning Alex can't spend any more weekends with Jack.

Oddest Moment: When Stephen Briggs announced to everyone in the bar, "You don't even know Eve!" (I've known [info]yoodi much longer than he has.)

Favorite Toy: There are too many to choose! Cinderoomba, my 2008 Honda Odyssey, XM Satellite Radio, the 48" TV with cable DVR... and there's the Wii I have yet to investigate.

Favorite Book: The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver. There was really not much to choose from this year.

Favorite TV Show: Real Time with Bill Maher. No contest.

Favorite Movie: Nobel Son. Favorite Movie without Alan Rickman in it: I'll say Iron Man, but it's not much of an honour. I saw very, very few movies this year. In fact, I saw Iron Man on a trans-Atlantic flight. The only 2008 Box Office Hit I saw in a theatre was Twilight. Which was not my favorite anything.

Favorite Song: Overall I should say Realize by Colbie Caillat, but for the past couple months the only possible answer, thanks to [info]littleblackbow's animated video, is Adventures in Solitude by The New Pornographers. Yeah, it was actually released in 2007, but that is irrelevant from my viewpoint.

Favorite Fic: Anything that shows up with the tag 'Rec.' But if I have to choose one, I guess it would be Solaces Never Dreamed Of by McKay, because it was written just for me. It's the brilliant Snupin I won in the 'Live Long and Marry' auction. We are assuming here, though, that What I Did on My Summer Vacation, the afore-mentioned animated video, does not fall in the classification of 'fic.'

2008 was the year that the simmering economic recession finally reached critical mass, and "bailout" became one of the most over-used words in the English language. It was the year of Sarah Palin, who can see Russia from her house.

It was the year that Terry Pratchett announced he has Alzheimer's, and released Nation, and became a knight. And the year of the Birmingham Discworld Convention, where [info]lady_twatterby dressed me in pinstripes, and I stayed in the bar until 5:30 A.M. every night.

In January, Faeon, Tom and I toured Scotland, England, and France. In June, John's health insurance ran out and my meds began costing $1,008 per month. We redecorated to create Justice's room, into which I have moved. The hot water heater next door fell through the floor. A couple weeks ago we had the biggest snowfall Faeon has ever seen.

But ten years from now I think the thing I will remember most clearly about 2008 will be the words "President-Elect Barack Obama."

My gods! What. A. Year.
 

November 29th, 2008

Loscon @ 11:45 am

Current Mood: lazy

If anyone is interested, my report on what I did yesterday is HERE.
 

This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry