alexandraerin: (Default)
Today is a travel day for me. I'm also working as I travel, but my internet options are limited... I've got 20 minutes of complimentary wireless connection that I'm pretty much just using to post this message and catch up with people. I'll have a couple of hours to spend writing after this, but I won't be able to make use of my usual routine. I'd imagine that I'll probably be able to get Tales of MU for this week posted tomorrow, but I'm not sure exactly what's on tap for the next 24 hours so let's say Thursday.

I've got some decisions to make about output/posting frequency in the coming weeks, and this is going to involve a bit of conversation, but with twenty minutes of wireless time it's not really the time to go into that. It just popped into my head because I mentioned posting tomorrow.

...and it's also just occurred to me that I could have started this message offline and then accepted the twenty minutes of complimentary internet service. Ah, well. If I'd been planning ahead better I probably could also have got my phone re-enabled as a hotspot. Anyway, in a few hours I'll be on another plane and shortly after that I'll be in Maryland, in the company of Jack, so I don't really have much to complain about.

My computer was out of commission for most of Thanksgiving so I didn't really do a whole "thankful" post, but I've got a lot of things to be thankful for.

Just some quick thoughts on my trip: I've always said that if I ever found myself in an airport with enough time to kill I would sit down in one of the bar/restaurants and enjoy a glass of wine and eat an actual meal LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING ADULT, but every time this circumstance has arisen I've encountered a Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits before I reached the nearest bar and grill. Today I landed in Newark with the good fortune to have my connecting flight leaving from the gate right next to the one I arrived at, which means that without going seriously out of my way my only real options for food were a sandwich counter, a news agent, and a bar and grill, so I have more or less satisfied one of my life's remaining ambitions. I say "more or less" because I skipped the wine... my alcohol tolerance gets a little tricky to judge when I am tired and fatigued.

I say "tired and fatigued" because those are two very different things and I have to be aware of both of them, as they... along with alcohol intoxication... have effects that are more multiplicative with each other than additive. I'm getting better at being ready for a trip without a hectic panicky rush but I still haven't mastered the trick of getting a night's sleep before one, or any. I'm tired because I haven't slept and I'm fatigued because of the lugging around of luggage and things like that. So no glass of wine to relax myself. Not that I need it... I find being in an airport terminal, on the inside-side of the security perimeter, to be a very calming thing.

I did have a very nice lime-infused chicken and brie sandwich and received numerous compliments from the staff for my hat (I'm wearing the one with the flower, for those who know some of my hats).

Okay, going to wrap this up while I've still got time to do some email.
alexandraerin: (Default)
So I'm at the airport waiting for my plane right now. I've spent the last two weeks in Maryland with Jack... less time than we'd originally planned on, and busier than I'd expected (secret birthday adventures happened and there will probably be an entry about that.) I've been AFK literally and metaphorically quite a bit in the past few months. My hermit-like impulses and social awkwardness haven't been vanquished like a cinematic vampire or anything... or rather, they've been vanquished exactly like a cinematic vampire insofar as they will keep coming back to menace me again no matter how tiresome it gets or how little sense it makes, but I think I've established that I can still get out in the world and do things anyway.

It was a wonderful trip. I owe thanks to my sister-in-arms [ profile] syphilis_jane, for sharing not just a lover but living space with me, and also for giving up her day to drive me to the airport in the middle of the night for a flight that ended up being delayed until noon anyway. C'est la via, as they say in the travel industry.

Assuming there are no other unscheduled schedule changes in my schedule, there should be new stories coming up Wednesday and/or Thursday. I'm probably going to be sleeping quite a bit of Tuesday and a good deal of Wednesday as well, but there will be time for writing, and then I'm going to be staying in one place for at least a month. It will be an interesting change, since I haven't stayed put for more than a week or so since I moved in with [ profile] bryirfox.
alexandraerin: (Cupcake)
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I am Jack's.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Sad thing: My collar (Jack's, really) is lost somewhere between here and Tupelo. It was old when he put it on me four months ago, and we both knew it was going to wear out sooner rather than later. I'd hoped to be able to use what was left of it as a bracelet or something, but it seems it came undone unnoticed, probably when I was getting out of the car at a rest stop (the shoulder belt had a tendency to catch on it). It was a source of great comfort to me, to be able to feel it around my neck. I'm feeling sort of lonely and anxious without it.

Happy thing: I'm now in the same time zone as Jack, even if I'm still a thousand miles away from him.
alexandraerin: (I am Jack's)
So, I kind of overdid things this morning, with cleaning/packing and working on the diplomas and even popping out to the store after all when I realized how little I had to eat that's not yogurt. This coupled with warmer weather that made my room downright stuffy kind of wiped me out this afternoon, so while talking with Jack after lunch I asked him if he would mind getting on Skype so I could take my headphones and lay down.

Apparently I do this thing when I get really tired... too tired to really process how tired I am... where I sit there and insist that I'm not falling asleep while I'm falling asleep. I wish I could just fall asleep that easily at any time. Something about the combination of being too tired to hold my head up, a comfy spot on the floor, and Jack's presence (even remote) is apparently the magical formula for me going out like a light. As of today, this has happened twice that I remember, though Jack says it's more than that.

Jack, being a gentleman and a voyeur, stays online with me until I wake up... in this case, it happened when my headphones came unplugged and his soft voice in my ear became his loud voice on my speakers. If he wants to describe what he gets out of spending an hour listening to me sleep, he can make his own journal entry... anything I write on the subject would be pure hearsay.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Jack: "Hey, did you talk to specific person about specific thing like you said?"

Me: "Well, not yet... things have gotten a little more complicated."

Jack: "How so?"

Me: "Well, I can't remember... did I tell you about specific thing involving specific person?"

Jack: *auditory equivalent of a blank stare*

Me: "Oh... right. That's the thing you just asked me about."

Jack: "Tired, sweetie?"

Me: "A little. More in my brain than in my head... body."
alexandraerin: (Romance)
Valentimestines is an interesting time when you're in a long-distance relationship... the distance between you seems so much further, but at the same time there's an opportunity to draw closer together.

A while back, Jack sent me a package which due to snopocalypse only got to me on Friday. I chose to open it at just after midnight his time, Sunday morning, even though it wasn't yet Valentine's Day in Omaha... I did this for symbolic reasons, because I wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day with him, where he was, where I know that I belong.

I opened the package (a long bubble envelope with several smaller items in it) while on Skype with him. I wanted him to hear me open it and get my response in real time. Of course, I actually started opening it while waiting for him to log on, because it takes me a really long time to open a well-sealed package. Fortunately, Jack likes the sound of me struggling.

Inside were some relatively simple things. There was some candy: conversation hearts in English and Spanish, and a heart-shaped box of chocolate truffles that were both peanut free and delicious. And there were a couple of small antiquey looking heart lockets from a craft store.

The lockets were a huge surprise. He'd told me about the lockets when he got them, but that was a while ago and so I was surprised to find them in the bottom of the envelope. I remembered after I saw them, and after he said something that jarred my memory. I'm really easy to surprise, it turns out.

He'd actually picked them out with a specific purpose... he wanted to give me something I could put on my collar. It's his collar, actually. I just wear it. Since he didn't have the collar with him when he got the lockets, though, he couldn't work out how to attach them, but he trusted that I'd be able to. There were two of them of differing sizes... I picked the smaller one because the larger one was big enough that it would kind of steal focus, make it look more like I'm wearing a heart choker thingy than a collar that has a heart on it.

With the smaller one hanging from the front of the collar, it looks very... pet-like.


Simple things, but very full of meaning. For reasons beyond our control we didn't get to spend as much time online with each other on The Day In Question as we might otherwise have liked to, but we both count the day a success... and it can really only get better from here.

The Conversation We're Not Having Here: How much it sucks, how much it's a fake holiday, how much Hallmark invented it. See Cat's eloquent rebuttal to all this.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Some of that came from things that happened on this journal, and some of it is external, and some a lot of it is just things my body and brain decided to do to my this week.

But last night I had a dream where Jack explained to me why everything that was bothering me really doesn't matter and why I should get back to being awesome anyway, using an elaborate spreadsheet.

That's so not like anything Jack would do in real life, of course... it never takes him that many words to say anything, to say nothing of numbers and rows and columns.

But it made me feel better all the same.
alexandraerin: (JAEck)
[ profile] alexandraerin (fuming): I don't know why people feel the devil needs an advocate. :P
[ profile] moofable (calm): I don't know why pretty girls who know they're right feel like a few flies ruin a summer day. *shrugs*
alexandraerin: (Default)
If you're an author who's having trouble coming to terms with the fact that when you put your work out there in front of the world it's going to be taken in all sorts of ways and people are going to find all kinds of meanings from it that you didn't intend and, in some cases, they will completely miss the actual point behind it, here is something you can do to help you make peace with that.

Find somebody you care about, and whom also you respect... somebody whose judgment and insight you trust, whose opinions you're not likely to simply dismiss or ignore.

Tell this person stories about your life... not just facts about yourself but stories about your life. The things that matter to you, the things that shaped you, the things that haunt you and have stuck with you for years... the stories about yourself that mean something, that have a point that is so readily apparent that you'd be amazed if anybody fails to grasp exactly what it is.

If you do this with enough of these stories, chances are excellent that you will be amazed... amazed at how badly your audience of one has missed the point. Then you will either gain some valuable perspective about... well, perspective... or else you will lose your good opinion of someone you regarded as generally perceptive and intelligent.
alexandraerin: (Me And Jack)
It's a quarter till four in the morning, and I am awake mostly because I've been asleep for most of the past three, four days. I don't know how long I'll be awake for... I've kind of been in a cycle of sleeping for anywhere from two to ten hours, then being awake for three or four hours. I had illness creeping in on me in the aftermath of a period of physical exhaustion, and that just takes it right out of me.

One side effect of this is that I've had a lot of dreams lately.

Two Shall Stand, Two Shall Fall

In my most recent sleep I first had a dream about a fantasy-type world that was divided between two lands, one ruled by an immense being of pure chaos (very strongly influenced by the "Elemental Chaos" of D&D 4E: ice on fire and rock flowing like water and so on) and one by a being of order who I'm pretty sure was voiced by Peter Cullen. Each of them had a giant Masters of The Universe Action Playset style citadel that were so huge they were visible from each other, even though they were on the opposite ends of this apparently flat world, and they were naturally locked in battle with each other. The being of chaos took a direct interest in trying to invade and subjugate the lands of order, while the being of order took a more defensive/reactive approach, with some of his subjects making their own forays against chaos of their own volition. Order Guy ended up confronting Chaos Guy during the latter's big push, during which Order Guy accepted a fatal wound and Chaos Guy discovered why he'd always stayed out of the fray... the two of them were both necessary to the natural order of things, and when one of them was weakened unto the point of death the other one started to fade. So he undid the wound and retreated and started thinking about how to negate Order Guy's freedom to act rather than killing him.

By Mantisback To Memphis

I didn't seem to have a direct presence in that dream, but after that the dreamscape segued into me and Jack taking a journey through Vaguely 1800s Americana Land to Tennessee to visit [ profile] popelizbet. It was a very "off to to see the wizard" type thing... like, she really was pontifex maximus and we needed her help annulling some unfavorable marriage I'd been forced into. I was a lady gunslinger and Jack was some kind of preacher of whatever vaguely American Protestant Magic Religion it was that Lizbet was pope over. We were being trailed by bounty hunters sent by my husband. Jack was riding on some kind of fast-moving llama and I was riding a reanimated giant mantis skeleton (yes, yes, I know... it was a dream). We kept running into people we know in real life from [ profile] statements, though the internet did not figure into this dream and we didn't know any of them yet.

We spent most of the dream traversing Kentucky, which was good, because reanimated giant mantis skeletons apparently love KFC.

There were many other random dreams that I remember in less detail, having been obliterated by multiple periods of sleep and wakefulness.

Extending The "Freshman" Metaphor

I was a newly appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, which met in a disused classroom in my old high school. As the newest member, I had to use a freshman locker, which was way the fuck away from anything... the courtroom in particular... and I only had two minutes between bells to get to it and get changed into my robe and then get back to the courtroom or else I'd need to get a signed hall pass to be admitted.

The Far East

In real life, Omaha is on the eastern border of Nebraska. It butts right up against the Missouri River, which forms a natural barrier between us and our good twin, Iowa. In this dream, there was a vast territory of "Eastrn Nebraska" which sprawled on the other side of the river right up through where Ohio should be, and because of this my high school Quiz Bowl team had to take airplanes to get to a lot of our matches. Yeah, that one's not so interesting. I'm not sure why it stuck with me except for the flying details, since I flew a lot more than usual in the last month.

There are more dreams that I don't remember more than a one-word description of at this point: superheroes, superheroes, zombies, dinosaurs... and of course, loads of fetishy sex dreams that I will never, ever commit to a public Livejournal. I'd be far too embarrassed to put up any kind of window into my private desires like that for public consumption.
alexandraerin: (Romance)
I had this plan that around midnight last night I'd make another Livejournal post about how it was almost exactly two weeks before I'd be touching down in Maryland, but then around eleven I realized that due to the time difference that was closer than midnight, and then I got so excited thinking about it that I forgot to actually make the post.

To paraphrase one of the great thinkers of our age, I was literally giddy with glee. I'm very excited about this trip. For anybody who missed it, I will be in the vicinity of Hagerstown, Maryland for a couple weeks in early January... long enough that we should be able to put together some sort of get-together if any readers in the area want to come out and chat a bit.

Cut so I can go through life believing my parents haven't read what's beneath this cut. )

So I'm optimistic. I've said before that an internet relationship has the same pitfalls as any other kind, they're just much harder to spot. But we've kept our eyes open. One can look at this as someone who's going across the country to meet someone after three months of e-dating, or one can look at it as a first date with extensive prep work.

Just to add something to my previous note on D&D: the holiday bundle includes a discount on subscription to the online content. I highly recommend this. While the game is plenty fun right out of the notional box, it has improved by leaps and bounds with successive releases that give you more options for your characters, and having a subscription to D&D Insider gives you access to a nifty Character Generator program that is updated monthly with every option published on the website or in the books. It's a great deal.

I try not to talk about D&D too much on here because I have a separate blog for game-geekery, but I figure people who aren't into the game (or into the new version) right now aren't going to be following that and that's who this deal might appeal to.
alexandraerin: (Default)
A major good point - I finally was able to get the defective computer to the post office and mailed back. Hopefully the turn around time on getting it repaired/replaced/refunded won't be terrible.

Bad points - sore throat and coughing came back, a somewhat personal physical ailment has flared up, and I had a persistent headache for most of the last day. Fundraising was about $10 short of the goal for the Two story, which worked out nicely since I don't think I could have written it today. I started it but didn't get very far before walking around (which helps me with the first stage of writing) became not-an-option. I'm doing a little better now. For Monday I'm going to try what I did last week, as detailed in the "clawing my way back", to get the Martha v. Mackenzie story up. I'll skip the perambulation stage if necessary.

I badly need to make a "state of" post for my online D&D games. It's been ages since I've been able to run them... weeks since I thought I was getting a working computer. Hmmm... just realized that my Skype message still reflects my optimism from the time between when the computer was shipped and when it was arrived and I turned it on.

The passage of time catches me off guard, of course. This amuses Jack to no end. The other day, after I made a comment about how long he thought it had been since we started talking seriously, he asked me how long it had been since I got back from Florida. I didn't know, offhand. I thought it was a couple of weeks. But I remembered that it was my mother's birthday when we arrived (because she wore a button for it around the parks), so I looked up when that was: September 5th. Which meant we got back on September 13th.

And as Jack told me, the week after that was when we got together (for a certain value of "together", anyway). September 20th. Not a couple weeks ago. Eight of them.

Nothing in geological time, little more in relationship time, outside of the 7th grade... but surprising to me, as my brain still codes it as brand new. And just to forestall a well-meaning comment: yes, I'm sure it's not unusual for a relationship to feel brand new a couple months in if things are going well. No, I'm not saying it isn't all that new. What I'm saying is that my brain doesn't recognize that this much time has passed. It's not something special about the relationship, either. I still feel like I just got back from Florida, too. Heck, I still catch myself thinking that I just got back from New Orleans sometimes.

All part of the magic of being me.

Anyway, I'm going to go lay down and hope for some sleep. I just wanted to get this post finished up, as parts of it have been sitting on my screen since shortly after the conversation where I ended up counting the days.
alexandraerin: (JAEck)
So today I tried something a little different that I think I'm going to stick with, because the results are promising. I asked Jack last night to text me each morning with two story prompts in the morning that I could use to write little bits of flash fiction. On a daily basis, writing flash fiction helps me warm up. As an ongoing thing, it helps me keep my writing apparatus in shape.

The problem is coming up with ideas. Little self-contained things are far from being my forte. I can come up with any number of premises for elaborate long form stories. Coming up with an idea for a single short scene is another matter. Most of what I write is a matter of writing what happens next.

That doesn't mean I can't write little self-contained things. I took his prompts and I banged out two stories, neither of which took more than half an hour to write (30 minutes on the dot for the first one, 22 minutes for the second one.) The prompts he gave me today were: "Write something about shoes." and "Write about an argument between Faith, Hope, and Charity." I suppose there may be days when I look at one of the prompts and can't think of anything, but that's why I asked for two. In general, I feel like I can take almost anything as a starting point and just start writing.

I wrote the shoe story while lying in bed, using the phone that I got the text on. After that, I felt up to finishing the MoarMU I'd been going back and forth on for the past two days. I had a lot of disconnected paragraphs and lines of dialogue that weren't joined to anything yet, which is how things usually go when I'm not feeling the flow, but I was able to just sit down and write it. I'm not 100% thrilled with the results, but it's at a better place for the next installment. I can see what happens next.

After that I started working on the next chapter of Tales of MU, but I lost steam about a thousand words in. I turned to the second prompt. Writing the arguing virtues story didn't quite shake it loose, but it got me to write the next installment of Tribe, and again, I can see what happens for the next one.

So, I'm going to keep this up. Two prompts a day. I'll write at least one of them. Who knows? Some of them may turn into longer pieces. Even if they're nothing but short-shorts, though, more writing = more writing. This is how I got to the point of being able to sit down and write every day: by sitting down and writing every day.

Once I've got my routine built back up, I may for fun do things like ask readers to throw out prompts... but for now, the beauty of having one person doing it is that I don't have to decide, I can just jump right in and start writing.
alexandraerin: (Default)
It's kind of weird being kind of famous. That's my thought for the day. Folks I've never met stop my e-boyfriend on the street and ask him how I am. Those who've read my more intimate works could probably guess more about my sexual predilections than many of the people I've actually had sex with. Odd realizations.

I've set a productivity goal for myself this week. I'm not going to share it until I know if I made it or not. I've discovered that I need goals to keep my motivation up when spoons are in short supply, but announcing them is tantamount to self-sabotage.

My "new" desktop computer is indeed dead on arrival. I have a return authorization from that I'm going to be taking care of on Wednesday, when my roommate is off work, and then... well, advertised turnaround is either 5-7 business days or 7-10 business days. Frustrating. I'll reserve judgment on the company until the whole thing's finished, though. Given the timeframe, I think I'm going to go ahead and get Fantasy In Miniature set the rest of the way up using my roommate's computer for the laying of out.

My other replacement electronic, the Palm Pre, is awesome. I had some doubts about the lack of immediately available office software, but the memo function is sufficient for writing. I wasn't sure it would be, since it's dressed up to look like Post-It notes, but it can handle story-length documents just fine. The Google Calendar integration is outstanding... totally transparent two-way sync, which is nice, because I'm far more comfortable tapping my reminders into a phone than I am going onto Google Calendar. And with the reminder stored in both places, even if I forget to charge my phone (or misplace it), I still got my reminders in my email (including the one to charge the phone). It's very, very helpful.

I'm very, very excited about things that are coming down the pipeline for Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, yes, I know I made a separate blog so you all wouldn't have to put up with this, but it's a bit depressing to deal with since I lost the ability to host my games, so you're going to get my squee here for right now. Suffice it to say that not only do I think 4E was a more fun and better designed product than 3.0 at launch, but I predict that when Player's Handbook 3 comes out next year, the game is... well, it's going to go from squared to cubed. This is just based on stuff that has been teased/tested through Dragon: the hybrid rules, the skill power rules. In terms of flexibility, in terms of the range of potential character possibilities, in terms of being able to play a character concept rather than a character class... and with the computerized Character Generator obviating the need to buy every book that comes out and memorize every detail of them in order to bring your characters to life. Even with just the playtest version of the hybrid rules with material for the fully released classes at the time, you can create some truly innovative characters. I'm really looking forward to being able to mix and match from the full suite of classes.

Fundraiser's been going well. I think it's +$60 from the last time I a tweeted a new total. It's been more of a steady stream than a huge overnight burst, which is exactly what I've been looking for. Lots of it's in the form of new sponsorships, which is also what I was hoping for. I'm going to need to bite the bullet and get the new names added to the list, even though it means I'm going to have to start a new spreadsheet for it. That will probably happen Wednesday, though it might be on the weekend. Thanks to everyone who's participated.

I'm pretty sure the third story's goal has been met. I'm starting to get sleepy so I'm not entirely sure. I'll edit this tomorrow if I'm wrong, but I'm almost positive it has been. It will be another fun one to write.

[ profile] karnythia's auction is accepting bids through the 31st. The bid was at $30, last time I looked. You can help a friend of [ profile] popelizbet keep doing awesome things for people and get your name in an Adele story.


alexandraerin: (Default)

August 2017



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