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I wrote two stories for Yuletide this year, my assignment and a treat. I’ve never written a treat before, so I’m very pleased to have managed one. Admittedly, this is a case of seeing a prompt and knowing that it was exactly the sort of thing that I could write well.

My main assignment was for The Chronicles of Amber (which made me laugh given how much I’ve written for that canon in the last year). My recipient, blueorangecrush, said they’d be happy with any character and listed a few of their favorites. I wanted to fit all five into the story but only ended up managing three of them. I have drafts of bits with the other two, but those required additional chapters that I just didn’t have time for, so I didn’t end up posting them. This story ended up being four chapters, and each of those could stand alone (though chapter one was too short to be an independent Yuletide story by about 90 words).

Title: The Wisdom That You Brought
Fandom: Chronicles of Amber - Roger Zelazny
Rating: T
Length: 7395
Characters: Random, Vialle, Llewella, Oberon (and a few other people who don’t say much)
Pairing: Random/Vialle
Tags: Sibling Incest, Blind Character, Vialle POV, POV Female Character, Intrigue, Misses Clause Challenge, Arranged Marriage
Blurb: Vialle’s connection to Amber began much earlier than when she first met Random.

The story at AO3.

Cut for discussion of rape in the other story )
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Scott decided to make a pumpkin pie even though his mother had told us that we didn’t need to bring anything at all because she had plenty of dessert stuff. Because of that, we didn’t end up starting up to Scott’s parents’ place until about 1:30 yesterday. Scott picked up Cordelia’s friend about 11:30 so that the girls could have more time together.

I think it’s just as well we were running late. Both Scott’s mother and I were drooping by the time we’d had dessert. I didn’t manage to sleep until my normal bedtime anyway because of all the stuff going on in the house and because I kept thinking that I’d just do one more thing.

I finally managed to call my grandmother. She was glad to hear from me, but she sounded really tired. I’m not sure that she had really registered that it had been a year and a half since I last called (I did try during that time and leave messages).

I didn’t end up calling anyone else yesterday, and no one called me. It’s sad that my family is like that.

Scott’s making waffles. I think I’m going back to bed after I have one. I’m really, really tired, and today’s my best bet for catching up on sleep. He’ll work tomorrow, and then we’ll spend a few days visiting my parents. I generally don’t sleep on strange beds.

Both recipients have now commented on the stories I wrote for Yuletide. That’s a relief. I’ve had three comments on each story and a handful of kudos which is about what I expected.

Scott’s parents gave me three CDs. Scott and Cordelia gave me two books and some DVDS (two Disney and season one of The Librarians). Amazon accidentally sent Scott two copies of one of the books and told him he could keep the second copy for free because it was a $5 paperback.

So, anyone want a copy of Jayne Castle’s Illusion Town? It’s an SF-ish romance set on another planet where most people have psychic powers.
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Cordelia got home a lot later yesterday than I had hoped, so she only had about half an hour to shower and change before we needed to be out the door. This was complicated by the fact that her dress had needed washing and was supposed to be dried flat. That wasn’t something that could be completed in the three and a half hours we had. We used our hair dryer on it for a while (on the cool setting), and we had it tumbling in the dryer with no heat for a while. It still wasn’t dry when Cordelia put it on.

I was a little uncertain about how the Christmas Eve service would be because the Green Wood church has a reputation for non-traditional music which isn’t something I want for Christmas Eve. As it turned out, all of the songs were familiar, and all of those sung by the entire congregation were traditionally arranged. Well, mostly. They skipped a verse of Angels We Have Heard On High, the one that would normally come second that starts 'Shepherds why this jubilee?' and people started singing it anyway, half the congregation doing that and half the verse printed in the program. But, really, with that song, it’s the chorus that’s the fun part to sing.

The sermon wasn’t all that long, and it made me cry. The minister told a story that just kind of gut punched me. It was a candle light service, so we all had candles stuck into CDs (to keep the dripping wax from burning our hands. We lit them at the very end, passing the light from person to person through the congregation.

We ended up sitting in the very back, so we couldn’t see much. There was a big pillar right in front of us that entirely blocked our view of the altar area. But there weren’t very many seats available when we got there, so we were lucky to get seats at all. The parking lot was full, so Scott and his father had to take the car and park it a block or two away. I’m glad we only took one car.

We picked up pizza from Cottage Inn right after the service. I’d ordered it several hours in advance because I thought they might be very busy yesterday evening. Scott’s parents brought a gluten free cake that Scott’s mother said was kind of Boston cream pie-ish. The family tradition is to sing happy birthday to Jesus.

I had trouble getting to sleep and ended up having to take an Ativan.

I got three Yuletide stories, all three about Jenkins from The Librarians. That’s riches. I’m a little sad about my other four requests, but— Three fics! Jenkins!. Yea! The recipients for my main fic and for the treat I wrote haven’t commented yet, but it’s still very early. I have my fingers crossed that they’ll like the stories. The treat is something that I rather think is vastly recognizable as being mine, but it’s in a fandom I’ve never written before, so probably no one will spot it.
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I finished another section of my Yuletide fic yesterday. Since the three sections can stand alone and are well over the minimum word count, I’ve posted them. I’m hoping to add more yet, but this way, if I don’t, my recipient still has a complete fic.

I got Cordelia to pick out what she wants to give her father for Christmas. She kind of decided based on the fact that she wants it, too— She’s giving him the blu-ray of Antman. I ordered a couple of things for her, too, and one thing for myself.

I used the pressure cooker to prepare the turkey breast that Scott has had thawing in the fridge since last weekend. The meat comes out pretty moist in the pressure cooker.

Every time I try to play a particular song in iTunes, my entire laptop crashes. It’s a song I ripped off of a CD Scott bought for me last Christmas, and I successfully played it once, back in February, so I don’t know what’s happened with it. I’m going to delete the song and try ripping it again to see if the new version is playable. It’s just annoying to have to. But it’s a lot more annoying to have to forcibly restart my laptop because iTunes can’t crash without taking everything else with it.

I have figured out that the wall stretch PT exercise is actually more effective for me if I do it at the kitchen counter. I’m not sure why that would be, but I get a better stretch that way. The days when I do the stretch agains the wall, my tendon keeps hurting. The days when I do it in the kitchen (generally while waiting for something to cook), my tendon either hurts less or doesn’t hurt at all.

We’re leaving in about an hour for the dinner for our niece’s birthday. Scott hasn’t wrapped her presents yet. He’s better at wrapping than I am, but I think I’m going to ask if he wants help. It’ll be faster. It’s only two presents, a book and (I think) a t-shirt, but Scott is a perfectionist when it comes to wrapping stuff. I’m much sloppier about it and can’t always manage odd shaped things without taping together two or more separate pieces of paper.
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The potatoes we tried to make yesterday did not come out at all well, so I’m going to try again today. I’m pretty sure I know what I did wrong. I’m just going to have to run the dishwasher half full because I can’t physically handle hand washing the dishes I’ll need. Cordelia and I both want to do laundry today, so I’ll have to figure out the schedule for hot water intensive stuff.

I did both Yuletide and non-Yuletide writing yesterday. I now have enough story for my Yuletide assignment that can stand on its own that it won’t matter if I don’t manage to write the rest of what I have planned (and the rest keeps expanding in scope). I think I have a better feel for my POV character, now, too.

Plans for the birthday dinner for our niece have been changed repeatedly due to scheduling problems. We had settled on Friday evening, but Scott now has to work late that night. We can’t schedule for after he gets home without running into my deadline for eating dinner. Right now, we’re looking at Sunday around 5:00. I’m vaguely peeved about the change because I actually got myself to make a phone call to set up reservations for Friday evening. That was not easy at all.

A book Cordelia had put a hold on came in yesterday, and she wanted to get it immediately. I told her she could take the bus in today and get it, but that wasn’t soon enough. I told her to talk to her father since he’s the one who drives. We ended up going to the library last night and picking up all of our waiting holds. Cordelia had one, and I had nine.

My Achille’s tendon is hurting a bit again today. I think I may not have done the PT exercises enough yesterday. I think I did them once, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ve already done them once today, and I’ve set up three dailies on Habitica to remind me to do them regularly.

I ordered delivery for lunch yesterday, trying a Mexican restaurant I’d never tried before. I like some Mexican food, but the need to avoid peppers and tomatoes makes it challenging. Scott won’t touch it at all, so I never get it unless I’m with someone else which pretty much never happens these days. Sadly, there was enough reflux inducing stuff in what I got that I was still having trouble at midnight. I think the problem was fat content more than spice.
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The write-in yesterday went well. Espresso Royale’s tables are teeny, so we had to pull two tables together in order to fit three people and laptops. One of the other people was there before me, but I didn’t realize because it didn’t occur to me to check my email after I left home, so we didn’t find each other until about half an hour after we had both arrived. The third person came in a little later. We talked TV and books in little spurts between focusing on our writing. I managed about 1500 words that I’m moderately pleased with.

My Achille’s tendon hurt a lot by the time I got home, so I guess it was a good thing I took a cab to get there. The bus would have required about ten minutes of walking. Scott picked me up a bit after 4:00, after he had done the grocery shopping.

Naturally, I am now finding things that should have been on the grocery list.

I finished the library book that I can’t renew, but I realized that one of the reasons I haven’t been reading my library books just now is that holding a hardcover novel hurts the tendonitis in both hands. If I’m at a table or in bed, I can lay the book down and read that way, but neither is a great option for other reasons. That makes me unsure what to do about the other hardcovers I’ve got checked out.

I didn’t sleep all that well last night. I went back and forth between too cold and too warm, and I had anxiety dreams about needing to pack for a trip I didn’t want to take.

I’m trying to get an audiobook from the library onto my laptop, but I keep hitting tracks that my drive can’t read which slows everything down. This is, at least, a book I’ve read before, so losing those tracks won’t be disastrous. Of course, it’s been twenty years, so goodness knows. I might still be confused.
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My left heel is doing better today than it was last night. It still hurts, but it hurts less, about as much as it did yesterday morning. I think I’ll be able to do some of the chores I was hoping to manage today. I want to do a load of laundry. I need to take some things to the school. I need to do the dishes. I want to change our sheets. I think that’s everything that will require time on my feet, and I definitely can’t manage all of it. I’m still at the point of trying to strategically plan bathroom and kitchen expeditions to maximize necessary stuff done while minimizing steps.

I would like to go to the science center because all of the portals there have been taken by the other faction and need taking back. I just know very, very well that I wouldn’t be able to manage it all and pretty certainly wouldn’t make it home without tears, assuming I made it home at all.

Tomorrow will be unpleasant in that direction because I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning and Expo at Cordelia’s school in the evening plus the usual Thursday chores. There may or may not be anywhere to sit at Expo. It has varied in the past, and when there are chairs, there are far from enough for everyone to sit (mostly due to space issues since the presentations are in the classrooms).

I have almost 4000 words on my Yuletide story now. Those words are spread over four scenes, only one of which is complete. That one could stand alone but is very much done and about 100 words under the minimum for Yuletide. I think padding it would harm the story. I mean, I’ll look at it again, just in case, but I think it’s not going longer than 900 words. Two of the incomplete scenes will likely end up gutted because I’m still at the stage of writing them where I’m experimenting with different dynamics between the characters. The fourth scene is over 1000 words already and actually has a plot, but I don’t know where to go with it yet because most of the ideas I have aren’t relevant to the character I’m focused on. I’m not switching focus characters because that character is the focus of all the other sections, so I need to find that character’s bit of the big picture.

I’ve got two library books that are due on Sunday that can’t be renewed. One of them, I don’t mind not finishing, but I really do want to read the other. I just keep feeling too tired to focus. I also still haven’t found that missing CD, so I’ll have to pay for it on Sunday. Why do I only lose CDs that I would never willingly listen to again?

I made a mistake yesterday— Cordelia’s class needs supplies for a craft day they’ll be doing just before Thanksgiving, and there were two things on the list that I knew Scott could pick up yesterday. I gave him the choice of the two (50 oranges or enough whole cloves to cover 50 oranges) and didn’t think about it. One is heavy and will take me at least two trips to get to the school (and possibly as many as five). That, of course, was the one Scott could find easily, just inside the door at the store, and so was the one he went for. I really wanted him to get the other which would have been light enough that I could have carried it all over in one trip. The walk to the school is as far as the walk that wrecked me last night. I would prefer to do it only once.

I don’t think Scott even considered the transportation problem. He can carry four or five bags of groceries at once as long as they have handles that he can hang on his arms.

Having Scott carry the stuff over isn’t an option because the staff generally leaves before he even gets off work. Having Cordelia carry it over might work but also might not. I’d probably have to bribe her. Also, she’ll have friends over after school today and tomorrow and definitely won’t be willing to deliver the bags when they’re around.

Making me more annoyed is the fact that the oranges may actually end up being extras. Cordelia said that someone else was bringing limes, and I know they don’t need both. They do still need the dratted cloves, though. Ah, well, I suppose the kids can eat the oranges if they’re surplus.
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I woke today with a migraine. It’s almost gone now because I took an Amerge about half an hour ago. My best guess is that it’s a reaction to being among people so much this weekend. I both find being with people energizing and find it horribly exhausting. I’m not an extreme extrovert, but I do have some mild extrovertish tendencies that mean I’m frustrated a lot of the time because I’m at home alone so very much. At the same time, being out and about pushes all my anxiety buttons because I perceive more potential for something— anything— to go unexpectedly wrong. More people equals more uncertainty and more feeling of not being remotely safe.

Anxiety history )

I ended up with players for my Sentinels of the Multiverse game. All four were people who just wandered by and decided they were interested. There were two kids, siblings, who looked to be between ten and fourteen and who had played before and two men who had never played before. The players lost the first game even though they did everything right. The villain just happened to get the cards that made it impossible for them to beat him. We had forty five minutes left of the time slot, and the players wanted to try another game. I shouldn’t have let them, but I wanted the two new players to have a positive experience. Of course, during that second game, three of the players had to leave and were replaced by other people who just wandered by.

Scott took over running for me when I needed a bathroom break, and I never took my seat back. He was cranky by the time the game ended because he thought the players weren’t cooperating with each other but rather were trying to maneuver to be the one to take out the villain. I’m not sure he was right, but we were both tired, and we got out of the hotel at about 7:40 and had to figure out getting me food that I could eat before 8:00. Scott suggested pizza as something that would be ready by 8:00. I pointed out that that wasn’t actually soon enough for me to be able to eat.

We ended up picking up food at McDonald’s. Scott had taken Cordelia home earlier, so we called to ask what she wanted. She and I both had burgers. She had fries, too.

I wrote about 900 words after we got home, all on my Yuletide fic. I think I have to talk to someone who knows the canon, just to bounce ideas off of them. Scott knows the canon, but he’s not great at talking about such things. He’ll give me notes and comment after I’m done with the first draft, but that doesn’t help when I have fragments in my head and am trying to decide which ones fit and which ones don’t. Fortunately, I know some people who like this canon and the characters I’m writing.

Scott participated in a character generation demo for an rpg based on Sentinels of the Multiverse (one of the game creators was there). I attended the very beginning of that and the end, but my brain was dribbling out my ears due to exhaustion, and I’m terrible about crunching numbers for creating characters. I loathe it. We did a little bit of a play test after the character creation. I wasn’t pleased with it because, although I think the designers intended it to be flexible, I felt like there wasn’t very much I could actually get the character to do, including things that she really ought to be able to do.

The game designer said he wanted to write a game that would appeal to new players and new GMs. I’m not convinced this is good for that, but my reactions to various systems as a GM tend not to be at all near to the reactions that most experienced GMs have. I want the system to be as unobtrusive as possible once character creation is complete, and this system is very much not that. I might be able to play this system if I spent a session or two with a cooperative GM who understood the system and was willing to go slowly enough that I could figure things out. We only had about twenty minutes for this demo, and the GM wanted to show off combat.
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My game went well yesterday. The pronouns got kind of confused, but, eh, whatever. Misgendering someone’s character is nowhere near as bad as misgendering them, at least not in a four hour convention game where they didn’t create the character. If they’d created the characters, that would be different because the players might have some investment.

We had one man playing a male character, and one woman playing a female character. Then there was a woman playing a character of undefined gender ('other' covers a lot of territory, and the player didn’t specify). The final player was a guy who looked at his character, which I’d tried to write gender neutral but tended to think of as male, and decided that the character read female. Later on, the character shape shifted into male human form in order to impersonate a dead assassin.

I ended up doing a lot more making stuff up than I had planned to. A lot of things I had been going to do just didn’t feel right with this group and the things they did. I only ran about ten minutes over my time slot (there was an hour until the next game scheduled in there), and I let the player characters take down the bad guys without any twists because it was the very end of our time slot. If it had been a game I expected to continue or if the players had been unwise about how they went about things, I’d have had at least one person get away, but the players were pretty sensible about their tactics and about what they could do.

I played in a Chill game from 8:00 until a bit after midnight. Chill is a horror game, but the horrors tend to be on a smaller scale than in Call of Cthulhu, and the player characters are actually part of an organization dedicated to fighting such things. My character was a young, former soldier with combat experience in the Middle East. Her impetus for getting involved with the organization was the organization saving her girlfriend from a werewolf that my character, who had been expecting coyotes, couldn’t kill.

I was the only woman at the table apart from the GM, but it was a reasonable group of guys. I didn’t really look closely at the advantages and disadvantages when I picked the character, and I discovered once I did that the character had a honking big disadvantage in terms of not being able to talk clearly. The explanation said it could be shyness, could be a stutter or a lisp, or anything else that made spoken communications something I wasn’t comfortable with or good at. I did a lot of hand gestures and holding up the items that I thought were important in order to draw attention to them. I didn’t speak in complete sentences unless they were very, very short and most just tried to pick the important words. Sometimes the other players got what I was getting at, and sometimes they didn’t.

We were trying to locate and stop a revenant. The GM hinted heavily (at least, I thought it was heavily) that we would need dirt from its grave in order to kill it. She actually said, when we found the grave, that the dirt 'might be useful.' And the revenant left dirty hand prints on everything it touched and kept stopping to shower without managing to get rid of the dirt. My character had a rifle and a very high skill with it. I ended up pulling out all of my bullets and smearing a little bit of grave dirt on each of them. None of the other characters did, so I was the only one who could do more than knock the thing back.

But we’d cornered it in a bathroom, and one of the other characters could draw a line that magic and monsters couldn’t cross, so we were able to stand back and take our time. A couple of characters who lacked weapons tried throwing handfuls of dirt and then were surprised that throwing loose dirt was actually difficult (some of that was dice, but…). Then the martial artist smeared dirt on his hands and arms and went into the bathroom and rolled a critical success on his attack. He didn’t kill it, but he got it down for long enough that I could put a bullet through the heart, and the law enforcement types could put cuffs on it. That shut it down. We then took it back to the grave site and burned the body. Some characters just wanted to bury it again, but I was very opposed to that.

I got back to the room about 12:30, and, naturally, I had a hot flash. Scott and Cordelia were both already asleep, and I didn’t want to risk waking them, so I just got ready for bed and used a damp towel to try to cool off a little. I didn’t end up sleeping all that well. The bed isn’t terrible. Lying on it doesn’t hurt. It’s just that, when I stand up, my back is very stiff and painful, and my knees and hips ache.

We got carryout Chinese food last night. Scott nearly poisoned himself by trusting that the online menu was accurate. He ordered a dish containing several different types of meat. The online menu did not mention beef, just pork and chicken and shrimp, but I was dubious when I saw the dish. The paper menu Scott ended up with said there was beef. Scott didn’t end up getting sick (which surprises me because he did eat some of the dish), so we got hugely lucky. We threw out half of the food because Scott wasn’t willing to try to keep it and take it home (or to eat it cold in the morning).

I’m trying to scavenge a decent breakfast. I don’t want to spend $15 on the hotel’s breakfast buffet given that it would basically be bacon, a little fruit, and a ton of carbs. If I could eat eggs, it would be different, but I can’t. I’ve gotten about half of my stuff packed. What’s left is all the small things that I’ll have to find. I think everything that’s left is by the sink, but I’ll need to look around a bit.

Cordelia has asked Scott to take her home some time between checkout and when he runs at 4. I think that it’s a reasonable thing to ask given that there’s nothing else he can do in that time because how things are scheduled, but it’ll take at least half an hour.

I have about 1500 words of my Yuletide fic done. This is just one section out of several that I have planned, but I think this bit could stand alone perfectly well if I don’t finish anything else, and that’s something of a relief. I need to tweak things a little because there’s a character who uses a few different names in canon. I’m used to using one, but my POV character would likely default to the other. Or maybe she wouldn’t. I need to review that specific bit of canon.

I’m glad we have a couple of hours before checkout because I just slopped tea all over my chest. I’ve only got the one bra that’s clean, and I already packed the spare shirt that I brought. I can dig that out because Scott hasn’t taken that bag to the car yet, but I don’t want to shove the wet shirt into the bag or to put the wet bra back on.

I haven’t been able to brew tea that’s strong enough for me to taste it. I gave the second mug extra time to steep, but that didn’t help. I’m hoping that two mugs of weak tea will give me enough caffeine to avoid a headache from that. Of course, I’m likely to get a headache from poor sleep. I don’t know.
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Well, no nap. They started breaking up sidewalk in front of the driveway next door right as I was ready to lie down. It’s quiet now, but I’ve also got less than an hour before there will be kids in the house.

The butter finally softened, so the cake’s in the oven. I put away the laundry I washed yesterday, and the dishwasher is running. I still very much want a nap.

I spent a while going through the list of fandoms actually requested for Yuletide to see which ones I might be able to beta. I’m not a great beta reader, but I’ve got time. I found 97 fandoms that were requested, that I have ready access to and know well, and feel confident I could manage a canon beta for. I just sort of feel like that might be too many to offer. I have time, but I don’t have time to beta more than a story a day (depending on length). I eliminated the eight fandoms that I’d consider five minute fandoms (songs and videos). I think I might eliminate things that are widely known and requested. That is, will anyone actually have trouble finding a beta reader for, say, The Librarians? Or Bujold’s Vorkosigan series?

86 still seems like too many, but I really can’t guess which fandoms people would have trouble finding beta readers for. There are eight TV and anime fandoms and four fandoms that didn’t fit neatly into other categories. Everything else is book and movie fandoms.
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I didn’t sleep much last night because I was completely unable to fall asleep again after Scott got up. I’m going to try again after I post this, but I’m not particularly optimistic.

I’ve started canon review for Yuletide. I’m looking for three specific scenes that I know happened, but I can’t recall exactly where to find them, so I’m digging through more of canon than I meant to. I’ve now got three story ideas. I have no idea which one to go with. One would be backstory that would shift a lot of canon in subtle ways but still fit. One would be a missing scene. One would be post-canon or possibly a divergent AU (I haven’t decided). And those three ideas are all centered on one particular character. My recipient chose 'any' but added a list of their five favorite characters (it’s a canon with a huge cast of characters). I’d be comfortable writing any of their favorites (I offered any). I can’t recall if all of those characters were nominated, but I think it wouldn’t matter if I’m working from that list. Each of my ideas would use two or three of the favorite characters.

I was going to bake a cake because Cordelia will have two friends over this afternoon, but the mix Scott got wants softened butter rather than oil. I’ve got butter on the counter. It’s been out for two and a half hours and hasn’t softened appreciably. I really don’t want to try the microwave because that pretty much always ends up just melting part of the stick.

Last night, Scott and I realized that there was a portal relatively nearby that was two level eight resonators short of being a level eight portal. Scott could have walked there and back, but I couldn’t, so we drove. We have a lot of level six and level seven portals relatively nearby. I spotted two others that I have keys for that Scott and I could push to level eight, but we didn’t have time to go out to those.

We also bought food at the Syrian place while we were out. Cordelia asked for a spinach pie. They have two sorts, one with feta and spinach and one with just spinach, and we had no idea which one she meant, so we got one of each with the intention that I’d eat the one she didn’t want. After trying them, she ended up wanting both, and I had to insist on cutting them in half and sharing them that way. I got a potato salad that I really enjoyed but probably shouldn’t eat in the evening because the spices didn’t sit well. I also got some cole slaw that I couldn’t eat at all. I took a bite and really strongly disliked the flavor. No one else will eat it, so I’ve thrown it out. I feel a little bad about spending money on it just to throw it out, but I like trying different foods.
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Scott did my Ingress portal hack for me last night because it was too late for Cordelia to go by the time I asked. Right at the moment, I seem to be better. I had an unpleasant mix of cramps, gas, and the runs. I think that, rather than it being a bug, it’s that having my period changed things enough that the amount of Benefiber I was taking in to deal with the Zoloft side effects was way, way, way too much for my body to handle.

I slept until about 11:00 this morning. I didn’t fall asleep last night until about 12:30 or 1:00, and I was up for about forty five minutes after Cordelia left for school. I seriously considered getting up then, but I was really, really exhausted.

I’m still pretty tired, but I have things I need to do today. I don’t think the trip to the school will happen today, either, because it’s lower priority than everything else and because I’d have to leave right now in order to by home before Cordelia. I don’t know. Maybe I should. There are two portals I could capture if I take the long way home.

I’m seriously considering making an appointment with my primary care doctor about the rash under my right eye. It’s getting worse rather than better, and I have no idea what’s causing it. Well, I have one theory, but I’m not convinced by it because I’ve used that stuff on other parts of my body without problems and because I’m only coming into contact with it for a few minutes at a time about four days a week. Maybe my doctor will have some ideas. I’ll have to emphasize that the problem started before I even filled the Zoloft prescription since, otherwise, that looks like an obvious culprit.

I think I have an idea for my Yuletide story, but I need to poke at canon a bit to see if it will work. There are some complications that I might add but am really not sure I should because they’re potentially distractions. Then again, if my main idea doesn’t work, those complications may be the story I write. I don’t know. I think I need to bounce ideas off of someone who knows the canon.
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I got my Yuletide assignment. I’m confident of my ability to write something for it, but I’m not as confident of my ability to write to please my recipient because they didn’t give me much guidance at all. It’s both liberating and scary. Their letter doesn’t have anything talking about general likes and dislikes, and their prompt on the fandom we matched on is pretty much 'Do what you want! Nothing will squick me!'

Which I can do, but I worry that what I want to write will not end up appealing to them at all. I want to give a nice gift, one that will please. I guess my next step is to look at AO3 and see what they’ve written and what they’ve bookmarked.

Because I do not want to take 'Nothing will squick me!' as a challenge.
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I dropped two of the fandoms I had been going to offer for Yuletide. One of them, I realized that I didn’t own. The other, I looked at the posted letters for it and realized that most of them were asking for things that I wasn’t comfortable writing.

I’m still having cramps. That’s a change from before the IUD. A day or two was usual, never four. Other period TMI. )

I slept badly last night. I just couldn’t fall asleep after we went to bed or after Scott got up. It was only about 70F in the house, but I was too warm under the sheet and too cold without it. I kept shifting around, trying to find cool spots for my arms and legs. Of course, cool spots, once found, only stay cool for seconds, so that meant moving around a lot. I really hope I didn’t keep Scott awake. He sounded like he was sleeping.

Scott did the patching of the back porch yesterday. I’m not sure he got to the weed killing.

We went to the library a bit after 4:30 and did some Ingress while we were there and then around the neighborhood before going home. Some folks from the other faction had come through and captured all of the portals. We weren’t the only local folks working on retaking everything. I need 600000 more AP to advance a level. Scott needs a lot more than that and also needs a badge. We’re working on getting him the badge. I think he needs to make about twenty five more links between portals.

I ended up checking out exactly as many items from the library as I returned. That rarely happens. It’s only noteworthy in an isn’t that a coincidence way, though.

I’m still having trouble getting my writing to flow. I’m eking out a sentence here and there and feeling frustrated. I’m hopeful that, once I get my Yuletide assignment, things will be easier. I write better when I have an intended not-me audience or when I have someone to talk to about what I’m doing. At the moment, I have neither.

Today’s goals are baking bread and creating some Amber diceless characters. I’ve decided that I need to select my scenario villain using a random number generator of some sort. If that turns up someone and I don’t think they’ll work, I’ll try again. Right now, I’m looking at the possibilities and not seeing why any of them would or wouldn’t work well because I’m feeling overwhelmed. If I was planning a campaign, I’d probably have more than one person/faction working on the situation in opposition to the player characters, but I only have four hours.
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The cramps came back by mid-afternoon yesterday, so I got very little done in terms of physical activity. I have them again now, so I’m going to take more naproxen and hope that it kicks in before we go to the library.

I did a little writing, but I kept nearly falling asleep all afternoon. I have four WIP documents open and can’t get the characters in any of them to cooperate with me. Well, one is actually a transition problem. The other three are solidly character problems, and nothing’s moving anywhere.

Scott did the grocery shopping and mowed the lawn. He wanted to kill the weeds in the driveway and on the back steps and to patch some holes in the concrete of the back porch, but I don’t think he got to either. We’ve got chipmunks inside the porch because it’s not a solid block the way the front steps are.

We went to Plum Market around 8 p.m. to see what they’d marked down as 'day old." Scott got donuts. Cordelia got muffins. I got some sort of date bar that doesn’t taste very good. It’s not utterly inedible, but I still have two thirds of it left. We also got a small loaf of bread which turned out to be quite good and a cake we haven’t tried yet.

My recipient for the pinch hit I did has not commented. I was kind of thinking they might not. They had three gift fics in August that they didn’t acknowledge, but they had promptly acknowledged such gifts before then. To me, that seems to hint at some sort of change in circumstance, something unexpected. I don’t know anything about them beyond their request and their AO3 profile, so goodness knows I could be entirely wrong. I’ve gotten a lot of hits but only two comments and a handful of kudos, so I’m wondering if I got the characterization wrong or if it’s just that T rated h/c isn’t appealing. Or maybe it’s a story that’s been written a bazillion times before. Could be anything.

I’m dithering about my Yuletide sign up and whether or not to alter it. I’m solid on my requests, but I’m looking at things I offered and worrying that I can’t write them after all. I’m also debating taking a couple of things I’ve written before off of the list so that I’m certain to get something new. Except that I like writing those, and both fandoms have a lot of requests.
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I slept reasonably well last night and don’t seem to have a headache at this point.

Unfortunately, the bathtub has decided that it’s not going to drain at all. I tried to snake it (sitting in the tub and ignoring how much that hurt), but it’s not possible as long as the stopper’s in. Removing that requires a wrench and manual dexterity and strength that I don’t have. I ended up showering anyway because I was feeling really, really nasty and sweaty. That means there’s about four inches of standing water in the tub now.

And that water all looks vaguely brown. Everywhere else in the house, the brown seems to have cleared up. I’m not sure if it’s just that the shower started brown and there was enough of that not to get diluted or if it stayed brown all the way through my shower.

We had friends over last night. I was a little dubious about it because of how exhausted I was, but by the time they left, I felt awake and kind of cheerful. I wish there was a way to have friends visit more often. I only watched while Scott and our two guests tried out a new competitive game (Scott’s running it at UCon, so he wanted practice).

I’ve got to try to save some resources to be able to cook tonight. I simply haven’t been able to all week, and that ground turkey is not getting fresher. I was thinking that I might bake bread, but cleaning the bread machine pan (spiders have been at it) and putting all of that together might be too much. We do have enough bread for sandwiches for Scott and Cordelia for tomorrow. So maybe bread tomorrow?

I’m actually thinking, at least vaguely, about cutting my hair. I’d have to cut it extremely short in order to address the problem I’m having however, and I’m not sure I’m willing to do that. I’ve had long hair most of my life, and I like it like that. It’s just that there are two spots on my head that never quite seem to get dry now. They’ll still be damp six or seven hours after I shower. They get very wet when I sweat, so any time I go for a walk and any time it’s warmer than 75F in here. These are the areas just behind my ears, and it’s getting so that they itch a lot.

I did my Yuletide sign up yesterday. I’m second guessing myself quite a lot. There are things requested that I probably could write (though none on the zero offers part of the list) but didn’t offer and things not yet requested that I did offer. There are two fandoms where I’m the only offer, and I’m a little nervous about those because one’s a song and the other a video. I’ve never written based on something like that before.

Gah. I didn’t realize how late it had gotten. I’ve got fifty minutes before the cleaning lady arrives. I need to eat lunch and put some things away before then. And it’s been nearly an hour and the level of water in the bathtub hasn’t gone down at all.
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I’m up because I’ve had a headache since around the time Cordelia got up. I’m hoping that I can beat it into submission and go back to bed for a while. To that end, I’m delaying my dose of Zoloft until lunch time. If that works okay, I’ll probably take it then as a regular thing. At this point, I’ve had my tea and breakfast and taken naproxen. An hour later, none of that has addressed the headache. It doesn’t feel like a migraine, so I hesitate to try Amerge, especially since I think Amerge may not be safe with Zoloft (the information sheet with the prescription says not to take Imitrex. Amerge is fundamentally the same thing, just longer acting).

I got about another eight graphic novels at the library yesterday. I’m hoping I can read most of them this week and get them back to the library. I have thirty three items checked out with more holds likely to come in.

I checked last night as to whether or not the library had a copy of a movie I was considering offering for Yuletide only to discover that it was never issued on DVD and isn’t available anywhere I could find but Amazon. I could buy a copy, electronically, for about $8, but I’d rather not do that, so I’m not going to offer the fandom. It’s not as if I don’t have plenty of other options.

I spent a little time sorting the fandoms that I’d put on my I-could-write-this list and then moved to my yeah-but-I’m-not-going-to list. I wanted to figure out my reasons for each decision. There were two things I plan to request that are unlikely to get offers, and I want those to be on the part of the sign up summary that indicates no offers just in case someone’s thinking about offering. Two things are fandoms I’ve written before that I just don’t want to try this year. Six were things that, based on the requested characters, I suspect will call for shippy fic that I’m not convinced I could pull off. Nine were things that I love but that I don’t think I can write because they have very distinctive styles or characters that I don’t think I can pull off. Ten are things with canons too long for me to be willing to review the whole thing and then write. Nine are things that I would have to buy in order to offer (two of those, I could almost certainly get from the library, but the others, not so much). The remaining ten are things that I can’t quite put my finger on why I don’t want to write them.

I’ve still got sixteen fandoms I’m willing to offer, so I’m calling it good. I may check out a few of the five minute fandom options, but I’ll only offer those if they really grab me by the throat and insist. There was one video I thought I might offer, but then I discovered that the nominator hadn’t disambiguated and that the video I wanted to write for wasn’t the one they wanted to receive. The song name was pretty damned generic, so I don’t know why it was approved without disambiguation.

At any rate, I’m hoping to do my Yuletide sign up some time today. I don’t want to wait until the last minute, and I thought that the middle of the day, US, on a weekday would be a better time, in terms of server load, to sign up.

I managed to do my UCon event pre-registration last night. Several things I was interested in were full already. I ended up with three events and some generics. Some of that was that I’m not sure how tired I will be. I didn’t want to commit to anything Friday night, for example, because there’s something I want to do at 8 a.m. on Saturday. I will have time to nap after that because there were only two things I was interested in that morning and both are full. Scott and I will play in one game together, Friday morning. We were trying for two, but he got the last ticket for that one. It’s a Sentinels of the Multiverse game with the game designer, and I think Scott will get a much bigger thrill out of that than I would. He’s hoping to get his boxed set signed. If I’d gotten the last ticket, I’d probably have given it to him.

I wonder if anyone’s signed up for either of my UCon events? There are a lot of people running Sentinels, and I’m in the very last slot of the convention. I don’t know how many people stay that late. I’m the only person running Amber diceless, but it’s a pretty old system at this point, and I don’t know how many people will know Zelazny’s books.
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I gave myself a bit of an RSI yesterday because of how I was sitting while using my laptop. I got my right shoulder and the right side of my neck hurting pretty badly. I’m trying to do everything left handed today, but my trackpad doesn’t seem to like my left hand.

I didn’t make it out to the school yesterday because of rain. It’s raining even harder today and is still supposed to be raining tomorrow, so I don’t know. I did manage a bit of a walk during a lull in the rain, but it was an hour after the school day ended, so the office wasn’t likely to be open any longer.

I’m having mixed feelings about Agents of SHIELD. Scott and Cordelia adore it, so it’s something that we watch as a family, but I keep wanting to leave while it’s on and just generally feeling cranky and trapped. I’m not even sure why I want not to watch.

I need to go into the basement today to make sure I can find two books that I want to offer for Yuletide. I know I own them, but I want to be absolutely sure that I know where they are so that I’m not scrambling to find used copies after matching on one of them. For one of them, I want to reread to make sure I’m willing to offer all the nominated characters because, while I recognize the names, I don’t remember who is who. It’s a very short book, so rereading it shouldn’t take even an hour.

I’ve figured out what I’m requesting for Yuletide and more or less what I’ll be offering. For the three fandoms I nominated, I’m only going to offer them if someone else also requests them. I don’t actually expect that anyone else will, but who knows?
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We finished that last episode of Star Wars: Rebels around noon yesterday. I really want to see season three now, but we don’t have Disney XD and can’t afford to get it.

Scott did the grocery shopping at about 2:00. We went to the library about 4:30 then finished cleaning up the portals at the science center. After that, Scott mowed the lawn and grilled some fish. I cooked some potatoes in the pressure cooker.

I have a pretty strong suspicion that I’m not going to be able to keep taking Zoloft. I’m getting bruises on my legs that I can’t remember sources for. I’m not absolutely sure that it’s connected as it’s only three so far, but bruising is one of those side effects that can be serious, so I’m going to pay attention and see if other bruises turn up.

I went into the bedroom at 8:00 because Scott and Cordelia wanted to watch Once Upon a Time. I gave up on that midway through season one, and, while I don’t mind it, I didn’t want to deal with Cordelia hassling me about how I shouldn’t watch until I catch up. I’m not likely to get around to it. I hit a point where I couldn’t deal with the things I could see were obviously coming in the flashbacks.

We have a mattress with adjustable pressure air bladders. I’m finding that the comfortable pressure for me to sleep on is absolutely not comfortable for sitting on. Basically, I need my mattress very soft for sleeping, but that leaves it so flabby that, when all of my weight is concentrated by sitting, my behind sinks far enough to hit the hard platform under the mattress. If I’m going to go in there regularly and sit, I think I’ll want to pump up the air bladder and then take it back down at bedtime.

I ended up not sleeping all that well last night. I slept okay up until about 4:00. After that, I think I had a few minutes here and there. I was awake from when Scott got up until Cordelia got up then drowsed while she got ready for school and then again after she left for about forty-five minutes. Most of this is related to needing the bathroom. Needing to pee every two to three hours makes for disrupted sleep, especially when the timing for my bladder doesn’t map onto the timing of other things that will wake me.

I’ve narrowed down my probable Yuletide offers to about fifteen things that I’d actually be thrilled to write. Three are things I’ve written before. I wouldn’t mind writing them again, but maybe I should just offer things I haven’t written? If I match on, say, the Chronicles of Amber, I might choke on having too much of that fandom since I’ve completed two fics in it this year and have two more I’m working on (plus, there’s the UCon game to write).

I also have two longish lists of things that I’d be interested in writing but that I’m not sure I can write well, either because of the voice of canon or because of the nominated characters, or that I don’t have ready access to or that are too long to review in the time I’ll have. At least one is something for which I’d love to write one of the nominated characters but don’t think I could offer any of the others. I always dither at this stage because I can see that it’s possible, in theory, that one of the fandoms I don’t offer might have a request that I’d adore writing. Experience tells me that I can’t/won’t write treats or NYR fics. I have old Yuletide requests from five or six years ago that pinged me enough for me to save them but not enough to actually, you know, write them.

August 2017

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