Friday, February 29, 2008

An Actual Writing Update

Since it's Leap Day, I figure it's a good time to post a little bit about my writing projects. The way things are going this week with Alex teething, it may be another four years before I make any progress.

--I've decided to put my NaNoWriMo novel on hold while I prepare Lennon's Line (the old title; I'm trying to come up with a new one) for submission to agents. There are too many projects I want to work on, so I figure I should start with the one closest to being done. Besides, I'm getting a bit frustated with the NaNoWriMo novel and need some time away from it. What I really need to do is go back and reread it from the beginning, but I'm dreading that. I do need to make sure I go back to this project eventually; I put too much effort in it and got too far in it to give it up completely.

--The other main thing I'm working on right now is editing a friend's novel. I work on both of these projects at lunch, which I guess is more productive than poker.

--As part of working on Lennon's Line, I'm writing a synopsis for it. This is good timing, as OWW is starting a workshop on writing synopses next month.

--WisCon has put up the programming participant signup sheet on its website. There are a few panels I'd like to be on, so I need to sign up in the next week or two.

--I'm debating what to do about my Locus subscription. I don't have time to read it anymore, but at the same time I feel like it's unprofessional to stop my subscription. Maybe I can just skim the magazine or read the website more frequently.

And now off to do something that won't occur again for another four years: relax.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


If we named snowstorms the way we do hurricanes, we'd probably be at least in the middle of the alphabet by now. (I don't know exactly how many it's been, but it's been way too many for my tastes. When does spring arrive again?) Last night we had yet another snowstorm. It wasn't as bad as originally forecasted, but it made driving messy this morning.

After getting me ready for work and Alex ready for daycare, I set off around my usual time. I drove slowly, the way I always do post-snow. As I made my way to the street leading to the highway, I noticed the cars in front of me were going more slowly than normal. When I got up to the intersection, there was a police officer directing traffic, beckoning me to go straight. Of course, that didn't fit with my iternary, and I started to make my turn. That's when I realized the street was blocked off. I couldn't see why, other than the street being covered with snow. So I obeyed the officer and drove forward, trying to figure out what to do. Part of me wanted to turn around and go home, but I didn't want to miss too many days of work. Since I had to cross a river to get to work, there was only one alternate route, and that was over local streets, going south instead of north.

As before, I drove slowly, slowly enough to annoy the people behind me, I'm sure. While I was at a red light, I called work and let them know why I was delayed. The roads improved once I got to the street leading to daycare. At this point, I was about fifteen minutes late for work. I got in half an hour late, but my boss was understanding about it.

The sun came out mid-morning, and the streets were clear after work. I had thought about trying to call someone to find out if the street was still blocked, but I figured whatever had caused the problem had probably been taken care of, and it had been. I'm still not sure what it was, but it could be flooding. Water tends to accumulate on the exit to the highway. As annoying as it was to take a long way to work, it beats having the engine stall out, especially when I have Alex with me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Museum of Modern Ice

My parents and grandmother came down today to see Alex and our house. My mom hasn't seen it since we moved in; I don't think my grandmother had seen it at all. We met my parents at a local place first for brunch. Alex did all right during the brunch, considering there was a jazz band playing. (We sat at the back of the room so it wouldn't be too loud for him, but the band came around to serenade individual tables and disturbed a younger baby nearby.) Both Alex and the house were a hit.

After my parents left, we decided to take a trip downtown to Millennium Park. They had a special exhibit during the month of February called the Museum of Modern Ice. Basically, there were panes of colored ice embedded in more ice and kept cool on aluminium plates. The exhibit changes with the temperature--not that it's been above freezing for most of the month. This has been the first (and only) weekend we've been able to go with Alex (it's been too cold to have him outside). Although it was sunny and around 40 degrees Farenheit, it was still cold being so close to the lake. Alex fell asleep during the car ride and slept through most of the the time we were at the park. Here are a few photos I took while we were there:

My favorite photography subjects:
The open-air theater/concert venue at the park:
And, of course, the traditional shot of us at the Bean (a.k.a. Cloudgate):
Alex fussed on the way back home, but he was much happier when we stopped to take care of him and have dinner at a Whole Foods. Although there's still a lot we need to do around here, every now and then we need to get out, especially after the brutal winter we've had.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Once in a Red Moon...

We have a total lunar eclipse. It's even more rare that we get a good view of one, so Eugene rented a teleconverter for his camera to take pictures tonight. The nice thing is that we got a good view from our upstairs windows, so we didn't have to go outside in the frigid weather to seen the moon.

The eclipse started around the time I was putting Alex to bed. Eugene got his camera set up on the tripod before he helped me bath Alex. I got to see the start of the eclipse, but I nearly nodded off myself in the nursery, so by the time I put Alex in his crib, the eclipse was nearly complete. Eugene had been taking photos during this time, so I got to see some of the intermediate stages. I did get to see the red moon for myself. We dug out our binoculars, but unfortunately they weren't powerful enough to help me make out Saturn's rings.

I went back and forth with watching the eclipse and uploading some photos of Alex. I considered trying to take my own photos, but since my camera and lenses are less powerful than what Eugene has, I didn't think I'd get good pictures. By the time the eclipse passed its peak, the moon had risen too high for us to see easily from our vantage point. I was content to have seen the total eclipse, though.

Anyway, while I update Alex's blog, feel free to bug Eugene to post some of his photos. It's high time he posts to his own blog. ;)

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Visit With Kristi

My company observes Presidents' Day, which is good since Alex's daycare was closed. So I took Alex, ear infection and all, to visit my friend Kristi. I haven't seen her since the baby shower last year, so I wanted the chance to catch up with her. We met at her parents' house. Her fiance was also there. We discussed her wedding plans and her new house, among other things, while her mother served us lunch. They enjoyed seeing Alex, but unfortunately he's going through stranger anxiety and didn't return the compliment. I'm sure the ear infection was still bothering him a bit. Kristi's family has a lot of young children (I should say, her nieces and nephews), so they're used to babies and were very accomdating to him, even though he cried a lot. At least he fell asleep on the way home and did much better there. It was good to hear him laugh when we played with some of his toys, and he ate really well for me. Hopefully the next time we get together with Kristi, Alex will show he really can be my "smiley boy."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

OK Already...

Yes, I'm way overdue for an update. I've been busy with my family and writing--or at least critting other's writing. So here are the highlights of the last couple of weeks, though some of them aren't exactly highlights:

I had yet another flat tire. I don't know why I'm cursed with flat tires; perhaps it has something to do with the roads. The worst part about this flat tire was that it happened on a weeknight, and I didn't discover it until I got to Alex's daycare. (I did notice that I was riding roughly on the way there, though.) So I had to bring him with me while we waited for them to put on a new tire. He was OK at first, but then he got hungry, and I didn't have an extra bottle with me. I felt so bad for him. Now I keep an extra can of formula in the car, just in case. I should put our extra diaper bag in there as well.

I missed my follow-up appointment with the surgeon twice because of the weather. I finally made it in last Friday and got my stitches removed. I'm healing well and should be done with the lifting restrictions by the end of the week. I hope to start working out then as well--Alex permitting, of course. And yes, I'm out of the maternity jeans again. It did take my system a while to adjust to the loss of my gall bladder, but it's better now.

Eugene and I actually got to have a date on Friday after Valentine's Day. Our daycare stayed open longer to give parents some couple time. So Eugene and I had dinner together. We did talk about Alex a little bit, but we weren't on the phone to daycare every fifteen minutes either. We got to the daycare after Alex's normal bedtime. He was still awake but overtired; Eugene had a tough time putting him down for the night.

Speaking of Alex, he has another ear infection. He was unconsolably fussy at daycare a couple of days ago, but we thought at first it was due to teething since he didn't have a fever. But after two fussy fits yesterday that Orajel didn't fix, I did some research and realized ear infections aren't always accompanied by a fever. So we took Alex to an Urgent Care center this morning, and the doctor there confirmed my hunch. Alex gets yet another ten-day course of antibioitcs. I'll be glad when the cold and flu season is finally over. But Alex is sitting up on his own now, and he's taking to eating solids. He hasn't gotten the hang of the sippy cup yet, though. He's trying to crawl; I think he'll figure that out in the next couple of weeks.

Writing: Still going very slowly. I have some ideas for my Season Lord trilogy, so I may dust that off and look it over. But I also need to finish the first draft of the book I'm currently working on, and I'd like to get Lennon's Line ready for submission too. Plus I still have some other projects to crit for other people, so I'll never be done. Story of my life, I guess.

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