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It's a Writing Thing
the author formerly known as chickwriter
Hola all you peeps!

After some thought/contemplation & well, out of a sense of nostalgia or whatever, chickwriter is BACK. My LiveJournal account is now back to its original name and will remain that way.

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This moving thing is for the birds. I upped my move date to August 31 - partially because I figured out that losing 1.5 months rent in as penalty for moving early was way better than hanging on for another seven months of rent and another winter here.

So, I've been sorting & packing...a lot. Yeah, I've got several weeks to go, but with my fibro, and resultant lack of spoons, it's easier for me to do bits at a time. I'm actually nearly done with the "things I do not use" category (i.e., books, stuff from my desk drawers, DVDs, CDs, etc.

Pretty much what's left int that grouping are the tshotchkes and the framed artwork. Then, it's down to the winter clothing and extra linens.

Once my sister arrives on 8/29, we can finish up the final bits, pack what I'm taking in the car (clothes, computers, etc) and we'll be ready for the movers on 8/31. Still waiting on the final contract from them, but I spoke to my rep a few days ago. They are swamped from last-minute desperation moves for people who's movers were no shows/reneged. That would totally suck.

I'm looking forward to the road trip with my sis (4 days, several full tanks of gas and Texas over the horizon - with stops along the way for good food and photo ops.) Those of you who know my sister will pretty much know she's got it all plotted out. Which, yay, bc not my thing. Just tell me where to show up and when.

Soon, it will be hasta la vista to the place I've called home for the last 15 years and hello again to my other home, San Antonio. I am very much looking forward to breakfast tacos from Las Palapas and excellent Texas bbq from a variety of places.

I suck at blogging here, but if you want to keep up with my shenanigans, I'm always on Facebook
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Fifteen years and 10 months ago, I packed up my stuff into my ancient Nissan, and trekked 1600+ miles from San Antonio to the DC area for a job in tech.

In about 11 months, I will be making the trip in reverse.

Yup, I'm moving back to San Antonio in March 2016 when my apartment lease is up and will be staying with my parents. The really awesome part: I get to stay working with my current job, doing pretty much exactly what I do now. Nifty, huh?

It's going to be a bear to move, but the sister is going to fly up here and drive back with me. I will be getting a professional moving company to move my furniture and suchlike. Anyone have any recs for interstate movers that don't cost every penny I've saved?

I'm looking forward to working from home, to not having to deal with the hassles of high-rise apartment living (even though my current place is really nice.) I will, however, miss the ease of grocery delivery, which doesn't seem to be as prevalent in San Antonio as it is here. Ah, well.

More later as details get firmed up, but I am excited about the change and already planning what to pack and what to purge.
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Happy DANCE!! Not *all* the files are back, but all the ones in my snippets folder are and I've downloaded the Google docs to RTF files to save on my hard drive and the other 2 backup drives I have.
Yes, I am paranoid - especially now that I know that the gdocs on Google Drive on the computer are not actual files, but pointers to files in the cloud.
BIG lesson learned.
Once the rest of my files show up, then I can download all the rest of my Gdocs and make sure they're all backed up.
I can sleep better now.
Thanks to everyone for the good mojo!!

(xposted from FB)
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I am so, so screwed. I was doing file cleanup (moving things to Dropbox, now it's got 1 TB storage for same price I was paying for 100GB) and I accidentally deleted & emptied trash on a whole ton of Google docs that weren't backed up by downloading. This included several docs that were short stories in the making, snippets of ideas/quotes, etc (which was a file I'd been cultivating for YEARS) and many other non-recoverable and similar files.

I've put in a request to Google to restore all the files I deleted that day, but there's no guarantee of them still having since I did the cleanup on August 14 or so. 

Send lots of good thoughts, purple magic and whatever my way, please?

And please, no scolding about what I should or shouldn't have done. I am VERY aware now that the Google Drive docs that were originated on Google docs were only links, not the actual document - unlike Dropbox. Hard lesson to learn.

::sits whimpering in the corner::

(xposted from FB)
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Posting here bc Facebook is being a pita.

Indeed, I buried myself in reading this past weekend and had a happy Laura Anne Gilman (suricattus) -fest.

Re-reading & catching up on all the Cosa Nostradamus books. Never a dull moment and such wonderful characters. Wanted to read more today, but hey, Monday = work, so hi-ho, hi-ho...

Anyone read something new/new-to-them that they would like to share?

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Attention all my sports fan peeps!

A work friend of mine is attempting to get something really special for her BF. He's an uber Notre Dame fan (an Irish cop!) who is obsessed with the football team and its history.

Her idea was to get a Notre Dame helmet and have it signed and possibly personal inscription to her guy by 3 greats: Joe Montana, Rudy Ruettiger, Tom Zbikowski.

She's is absolutely willing to do the legwork to talk to their publicists, agents, or whomever, but she is not from the US and has no clue where to begin to look for contact info. Me, not being any kind of football fan at all can't be of much help.

But I know you peeps, and you peeps Know Things.

So if any of you out there have any ideas as to where she can start, please let me know!

Her bf's birthday is January 15, so she's got a bit of time.

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This is for all you wonderful friends who are always there for me.

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This is a great post by la_marquise_de_ about how older women are marginalized and considered collateral damage in the SF/F world.

She's absolutely right. We are invisible. Our work is often invisible. And when you're over 50, queer, Latina and disabled - yeah, well, invisible is pretty much the default.

It sucks. It hurts. It makes me feel useless and washed up. I'm exhausted just thinking how much work it would take to write more books and try to get them published. There are entire universes in my head that want to be written. Full-blown characters cry for a voice.

I don't know if their voices will ever be heard, and it makes me cry.

I'm doing what I can right now, buy purchasing books from women like me and helping to boost their signal via social media and hope that somehow, my fatigue & exhaustion will abate and I will find the energy to move forward with writing. 

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Only Lovers Left Alive movie poster Don't expect sparkly vampires, nor action-packed bloodthirsty romanticized killers in Only Lovers Left  Alive, Jim Jarmusch's most recent oeuvre. Instead, think languid, lush, and absolutely gorgeous--in the cinematic way, though Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston certainly fit the bill in many other ways.

Set in a brooding, decaying Detroit and a vibrant Tangier, this is the story of two immortals: their passions, their glories, and emotions. Hiddleston's Adam is a deeply emo vampire musician, locked up in a crumbling mansion surrounded by all the music. He's a rock-and-roll icon, known for being a hermit, yet incredibly popular. Adam has his modern-day Renfield, a groupie by the name of Ian who procures whatever Adam needs - mostly obscure musical instruments.

Swinton's Eve lives on the other side of the world, immersed in literature, embracing the color and richness of her chosen city. Her best pal (and procurer of the good blood) is none other than Christopher Marlowe (played to perfection by John Hurt.) Though separated from her husband of many lifetimes, it takes only a phone call from Adam for Eve to wing her way via night flights to Detroit.

This is a quiet mood piece, pretty much the absolute antithesis of the other recent movie I saw (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), but it's pace is utterly perfect. As I said to a colleague, it's poetry, not prose, and on its face, a simple poem, but it's very simplicity showcases the complex issues of immortality, of the decay of modern cities, of trust and love and hope. Only Lovers Left Alive promotional still

There's no mystery to solve, no soul-clenching drama, just beauty, introspection and the glory of life - no matter how long life is. There is a very amusing bit when Eve's younger "sister" Ava shows up, the vampire version of the annoying little sibling. Ava throws a few wrenches into Adam and Eve's life and the resolution to this is all part of the overarching glory of survival.

Only Lovers Left Alive opens in very limited release in the US on April 11, 2014. Catch it if you can - it will probably only be out in art-house theatres, but it's well worth the watch. If you miss it on screen, make sure to get the DVD or digital download when that's available. Already I'm looking forward to a second viewing.

(xposted from my official blog)

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I went to see this movie last night at 8:00 p.m. - which, for me, is very near my bedtime. But I couldn't wait. I'd seen the teasers & trailers and needed to not have to avoid the internets for much longer because spoilers. Even though the movie let out at nearly 11 p.m. and I was pretty much beat, thanks to having forgotten my pain pills in the a.m., it was worth it. It was everything I wanted and then some.

I've put my review behind the cut for length and in case someone wants to avoid all possibility of spoilers. I don't think there's anything that hasn't been seen in teasers, but better safe than yelled at. ::g::

Moar Moar MoarCollapse )

On a side note, I just watched this week's Agents of SHIELD episode, and squeed at the connections with the movie. I do love how this ties it all in together in a seemingly real-time fashion. Things happened in AoS that the movie then continued. So very, very clever Marvel!

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Reviewers, audiobook listeners, and fans...it's promo time!! I've got 10 copies of the audiobook of Blood Sacrifice to give away and one of them could be yours.
Simply comment below telling me why you love audiobooks and a book recommendation and I'll enter you.

I'll draw names on Friday, January 17.
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I'm utterly entranced and hooked by this show. Watching via iTunes downloads since I no longer have cable TV, but I am soooo impatient for the final episode of the series.

My prediction of killed Danny has changed back to the person I thought it might be a few episodes ago.

I've no idea if I'm right and I'm not searching out spoilers.

My guess below the cutCollapse )

In any case, I'll know the end by this time next week. I'll have to really truly avoid the Interwebz after the episode airs and until I can watch it!


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I reached this age today, somewhere around 1 a.m. as the clocked ticked into a new day. It's a weird age. Old enough to have grandkids (if I'd had kids) - but yet, still far too young to feel like "grandma." Long enough to have been a card-carrying AARP member for half a decade, but not yet old enough to take advantage of certain senior discounts. Go figure.

I did get a birthday cupcake today, along with a card and Amazon gift certificate (from the office). My sis sent me an ebook - Dragonwriter (Smart Pop Books), plus the lovely signed hardcover of Codex Born by jimhines. I knew I was getting the latter. She had to tell me, lest I buy my own copy, which I totally would have done. Evidently, there is another package from her winging its way to me.

I spent this past weekend doing very little. Napping, reading fic, napping again. Whee. I live a life of vicariousness. Strange, how it's changed over the past few years. I used to be such a go-getter/traveler. Then the autoimmune & fibromyalgia hit and even the thought of booking travel anywhere tires me out...well, that and a much more limited budget. Whee? Hey, at least there's Internets!

Hope you all are having a fabulous day.

bday cupcake 2013

Spirits: amused amused

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Why is it on an extra-long weekend (4 days for me), time seems to just vanish?

Admittedly, I did absolutely nothing of consequence. Read fic, napped, read more fic, napped some more. But now, here it is, the start of the work week.

At least, today, I'm working from home (pre-arranged) so I don't actually have to get dressed but can hang out in my over-large t-shirt and shorts.

Tomorrow, I turn 55. Somehow, my brain is having trouble processing that fact. I've been a card-carrying AARP member for five years. How on earth did that happen? Not to say I feel much younger. With the fibro and all, some days I feel like I'm bloody 90. Today, as a matter of fact. Pain is not my friend, damn it.

Hope those of you in the US & Canada enjoyed the Labor/Labour Day weekend!



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Srsly, how awesome is Welcome to Night Vale?

The fandom is sprouting fics, art and new headcanon like so many tiny dandelions whose seeds then float out amongst the unaware, taking root and creating more fans.

It's smart, quirky and flirts with the dark side: exactly what I adore in my fiction. Plus, Cecil Baldwin's voice is a thing of beauty, not unlike Carlos' beautiful hair.

It's been a long time that something's caught me up in this much glee/excitement.

Thank you, Commonplace Books.

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Our office does a quarterly(ish) junk swap, where staffers can bring things they'd like to get rid of - be it books, clothes, gadgets, etc. The basic rule is bring stuff that is still usable, take stuff if you want, even if you didn't bring stuff. At the end of the day, anything not claimed by someone else gets packed up and donated to our local Goodwill.

Slowly, I've been going through some of the final tote bins, books and piles o'clothes at home and bringing them in for the various swaps. It's been a not-so-easy task, thanks to the fibromyalgia, but last night, I got motivated (I think it was the caffeine) and I loaded up a grocery roller cart full to the brim with books, clothes and bags. Lots and lots of bags.

Some of the bags came from conferences. Some were purses or backpacks I'd bought over the years. I'd been leery of opening the tote bin o'bags, simply because I knew it would be tough for me to part with some of them. The nostalgia! The utter usefulness of some of them!

I was ruthless.

In went the awesome bag from Left Coast Crime in Monterey, CA more than a decade ago. In went the nifty blue bag from Lone Star Con. In went the black leather backpack/purse that I hadn't actually seen in at least a dozen years.

After a couple of hours and a Tramadol, I was done. The rolling cart was full.

This morning, I rolled it down the hall, into the elevator and out through the lobby, somehow managing to get through the building's foyer without help. Unpacked the cart into the back of Phil-the-car, then repacked it when I arrived at work.

The swap starts this afternoon at  3 p.m. - Normally, I'd be a little anxious...do I really want to donate X item? Maybe I'll keep it for a little bit longer.

Not today, though. I'm relieved--happy that more stuff is going to find good homes and perhaps even delight someone else.

Is my changed attitude because I'm getting older/wiser? Is it just the semi-annual burst of "OMG, I need to declutter?"

I don't know.

All I can say is that I'm taking advantage of that urge and going forward.

Years ago, I could fit everything I owned into one small truck. I don't know that I'll get back to that point again, nor would I want to, but hanging on to stuff just because I can is silly and makes no sense.

Maybe I am growing up...just shy of my 55th birthday.

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Same ol' same ol' =
* Work at the day job
* Try to conserve energy b/c fibromyalgia tends to kick my ass whenever there is weather, especially when it's rainy
* Spend my weekends reading fanfic and/or books. I'm still immersed in HP fandom, as there is so very much written in it.

Latest book reads that I adored:
* Libriomancer by jimhines (last year's book, but I just now got to it)
* Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig (brilliant dystopian YA)
* Heart of Briar by Laura Anne Gilman (suricattus) (first of a new series - absolutely fabulous!)

What's up in your neck of the woods?


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black question mark inside black circleA common blog post/meme/whatever is the "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) - either over at Reddit or a blogger's own site. My online pal, Chuck Wendig, in celebration of the release of his new YA dystopian novel, Under the Empyrean Sky, did an AMA on July 30.

Instead of you all asking me questions, I figured I'd turn the tabs and ask you, with my own answers interspersed:

  • What's a book you've read recently that blew you away and why?

    • I recently finished reading Jim Hines' Libriomancer and could not put it down. The wonderful trope of using the written word (literally) as magic was fresh and fun. He is also a master at crafting interesting characters.

  • What TV show surprised you this season or last?

    • Orphan Black (SyFy) and Orange Is the New Black (Netflix Originals). I mainlined them both, binge watching like a crack addict with money to burn. Strong writing, wonderful women characters and fantastic acting. Now I'm jonesing for next season!

  • What movie surprised you?

    • Pacific Rim - I went on a whim and to accompany a friend, figuring it would be a silly, fun romp. Turns out, it's more than that. Quite good, despite some story holes and really good characters, plus Idris Elba!

  • Tell me something you've been wanting to share.

    • I'm crap at resp0nding to fan email. I beg pardon and your patience if I've not responded to you quickly.

That's all for now, folks! I'm enjoying an oddly cool end-of-July and working on job stuff plus starting recording for the final Blood Lines audiobook, Blood Sacrifice.

Although I blog infrequently, I'm most often found nattering on Facebook. Happy almost August!!

xposted from my blog


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Boston CommonI'm still trying to process the events of yesterday at the Boston Marathon. Too much like 9/11 for my psyche, which immediately scrambled to "oh, fuck" and "OMG, OMG, OMG."

  • Part of me wants to bury myself in a small hole and not know.

  • Part of me wants to dive deep into news stories, blog posts, commentary and wallow in the facts & reactions.

  • Part of me (the more-or-less stable piece) has pulled back into "normal world" mode and, though not avoiding, is not enmeshed in all-Boston-all-the-time.

Not sure which is the healthiest or sanest, but in the practical words of Laura Anne Gilman yesterday:

She's right. Just because I don't look at the photos or videos from the site, I'm not a bad person.  Neither are you.

I'll focus on work today and just being alive.

xposted from my blog

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