Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

RWA National Conference

I had planned to go — purchased a plane ticket, paid for the conference, reserved a hotel room, the whole thing. I even went shoe shopping (shudder). Then Spooky Man’s new medication didn’t show up.

Spooky Man is one of the world’s youngest Vietnam veterans — he turned 17 in early February 1975 and enlisted the next Monday. He was barely out of boot camp and training to be a tank gunner when the conflict ended. He has a service-connected disability rating of 60%, some of which is due to PTSD (I’d say why, but it’s classified), for which he takes antidepressants.

His VA psychiatrist recently changed his medication because it was becoming less effective, and then upped the dose the week before the RWA national conference. And then the new medication didn’t show up. It still hasn’t shown up and I am not amused (for god’s sake, the regional VA medical center is across town; it’s not like it had to come from Seattle or something).

I wasn’t about to leave town with him in this state. So I canceled what reservations I could and ate the other costs, because my husband, my life partner, having a crisis is more important than an event that will happen again next year. It’s sad that I wasn’t able to meet and connect with people I follow on Twitter or know via e-mail listservs, but I think they would understand that my family’s health comes first.

For what it’s worth, I cheered all the Golden Heart and Rita winners as they were announced on the RWA tweet stream and even teared up a little when Brenda Jackson received her lifetime achievement award (which was much deserved).

And while I was on the computer that night, I wrote rough cuts for the Newtonian, Einsteinian and Quantum Mechanics lectures for the online class I’m supposed to teach (Modern Physics for Writers), starting August 6th.

Luckily, the new shoes will still fit next year.


OMG I have a cover

Muppet flail!
And here it is:


This is a rant about female footwear, so if you’re a guy, you probably want to tune out and come back later. What the [bleep!] is going on with women’s boots? Seriously, I don’t get it.

I haven’t owned a pair of boots since my Noconas (purchased at age 13) wore out about 7 years ago. I’ve been shopping recently (RWA national convention is coming up soon), which is never a good time for me. I’m also in the 0.1% of the female population that doesn’t like shopping for shoes. Need a pottery wheel or a hand-weaving loom? Power tools? Major (or minor) appliances? I’m your wing-woman. Shoes and clothes? Uh, can’t we just get it online?

Part of the problem is that I have definite ideas of what I want. It’s not a gathering expedition for me so much as hunting. And then they never have exactly what I want, so I have to decide amongst the “good enough” stuff. It’s tough to decide between three or four things that aren’t what you really want (and you know what you really want).

And I sure as [bleep!] don’t want 99% of the boots I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks. They have slick soles (because we don’t ever wear boots in inclement weather for extra traction, do we, ladies?), they have ridiculously high heels that taper down to almost nothing on the ground (ditto last parenthetical aside), and they have zippers ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE SOLES! ARRGGGHH!

Okay, I think I have my blood pressure down now.

The point of a boot is to give extra traction on less than-ideal-ground and provide protection against, say, snow/water (or something ickier; I grew up on acreage with livestock, remember) at a higher level than a shoe. Got that? HIGHER sides, BETTER traction. Or you might as well wear (and destroy) the cute shoes.

Consequently, any boot with a zipper that extends below the ankle bone is useless. And a boot with a 3″ stiletto heel and a slick leather sole? Please. Yeah, I’m talking to you Chinese Laundry. And you, Alexander McQueen.

If I catch someone wearing that outside a building when there is one cloud in the sky, I will be required by common decency to smack her until she gets some sense back into her head. Or at least kick her in the ankle, right over the bone where it really stings for ten minutes or so.

Yeah, I’m fixated on ankles this week. And I’ve got an attitude right now; not a good one, either. I don’t care if they’re considered “fashion” boots — they’d better be functional first. A good pair of leather boots costs almost as much as Manolos, so if they’re not functional as boots, well, I understand Manolos also have a good resale value. Just sayin’.

Spooky Man wants me to get combat boots from a military surplus store, but there are a couple of problems with that. One, he’s biased toward anything camo (I think it’s on the Y-chromosome), and two, military footwear laces up. I don’t want a pair of boots that take 20 minutes to put on but can be worn for three days without untying.

I think I have it narrowed down to three possible brands: Merrell, Justin, and Frye. Nobody high-fashion (unless you count the Justin cowboy sister-brands Tony Llama and Nocona), but people who have been building functional boots for a good while.

God help me, I also need a new pair of heels to go with my dress for the Rita awards ceremony. Think anyone would notice if I wore boots?

Not the best birthday gift

Spooky Man took away my laptop. Actually, he sent it to the shop to have the hard drive replaced with a solid-state drive. SSDs are quieter, faster, require less power and generate less heat, so it’s a thoughtful gift.

Except it requires me to spend five days without a computer at home. During vacation days when I was planning to do a lot of writing. Insert frustrated noise here.

I did get a few thousand words written with a pen and a notepad (I tried writing on an Ipad, too, and it was awful — virtual keyboards are ridiculously inaccurate for real typing), but it wasn’t the 7-10K I was hoping for.

So I’m currently behind where I want to be on the works in progress. What else is new?

I think I’m going to be spending a few extra hours at the day job this week, borrowing the keyboard for a — ahem — side project, at least until I get my New! Improved! laptop back.

“The Valmont Contingency” Excerpt in a week

FYI, this is the last week you’ll be able to read the excerpt from The Valois Contingency.

Why, you ask?

Because, on my birthday, I’m putting up the excerpt of the finished manuscript “The Valmont Contingency” instead. And while the current scene still introduces Our Heroine, it’s been changed…some. (insert evil¬† grin here)

The rest of the story will be available on October 1st. With a little luck, I’ll get a cover before then.¬†

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