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sunday, june 21, 2009

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site of the moment:

author of the moment:
Keiko Tobe

words count






Red Lily courtesy of

yes, it's been another 2 weeks since my last post (and, btw, for anyone paying attention, I corrected the date on the last whysper post; not sure why I was a week behind), but hopefully that won't happen much any more. i've managed to get the programs i need installed on dragyncat (the laptop) so i don't need to go to the desktop to update whysper any more. since i don't use the desktop much any more (primarily for printing these days), i wasn't updating here either. of course, making it so i can update from dragyncat makes the 98 only more of an oversized paperweight, but whatever. for me, it's now just for printing and any graphics i feel like or need to do (which reminds me, i need to start figuring out next year's whysper design fairly soon too).

what can i say about june, which has pretty much flown by for me. i'm still busy with the writing, kitten's job seems to have settled in—she even seems to have a fairly regular schedule, saxy's job is driving him as crazy as always. so on the surface, it seems like there's nothing to really keep us busy, but there's actually been a lot of things going, most of it good, some of it a major struggle (what else is new), not so much on the bad side though, which is even better. i'll try not to scatter this too much.

i'm only two chapters from the end of this revision of the first novel. it's very exciting and very scary. as i'm sure i mentioned before, i do have some changes to make and another round of revisions (which i hope aren't major, just fixes to accommodate the changes i'm making) then it'll be ready for beta readers. while the betas have it, i'll work on my synopsis and query. once i get their comments back, i make whatever changes i need then start querying. honestly, i think the book is good, but i'm not holding my breath an agent will pick it up. it's in a "dying" genre (epic fantasy) and the recession has really put a damper on publishing. i suspect it'll be more likely to get picked up by a small press than an agent and traditional publisher, which, honestly, is okay by me.

my other two novels are going well, my current short story isn't. such is the writing life. the really big news is that i have a freelance editing job that starts this upcoming week. the author had actually contacted me some time back, but then i was taking a hiatus from the editing—i was just too burned out after all the lilley press stuff. but right now we can use the money, and i'm making more on this one manuscript than i did in the entire 2 years at lilley, A LOT more. i considered putting my editing site back online, but decided against it. the last thing i need right now is for editing to take over my life again. i really do need to be able to work on my own writing to be happy. we just came up against a financial wall this month and needed the money. i figure this guy will let other authors know about me and whatever work comes my way i can pick and choose through, assuming any comes at all. either way, i doubt too many will be contacting me, so i can keep the editing work down to a tolerable level.

health wise things are going fantastic. if a check i did earlier this week holds for my official weigh in tomorrow, i will have lost 10 pounds in the last month. you can't really see the loss yet, which is fine, but i'm feeling some changes in a good way. for one, my back is not nearly the trouble it was. i suspect that's not so much from the weight loss as the program i'm using is helping to make it stronger. i'm still not up to 5 days a week on the exercise, but have been managing 4. next week, i'm adding stretching to the end of the program as a cool down and to focus more on the upper body more than the core rhythms does (let me tell you, hips and thighs? not happy! lol).

another piece of good news is water. i'm not a tap water drinker and we can't afford to by a brita or whatever, so we decided to look into a flavored water to help me increase my actual water intake. we actually found a semi-decent one and now i'm increasing my water intake by 20 ounces a day (with some misses when we have no money). i hope to eventually take my intake up to 2 bottles a day, but that will depend on how stable we can get the finances. at any rate, i'm feeling better, losing more weight, how much i'm even ABLE to eat at a meal has dropped (as evidenced by the leftovers when saxy makes breakfast) and drinking more water. so far, it's only hard when there are easy to access sweets in the house. i'm not really measuring, but am managing to keep most my portions for each food group within range, though i suspect at some point i'll need to reduce my grains again. right now though, it's all good and going well. i even have more energy most days. i'm even "chair dancing" more again, which can only burn more calories, right? ;)

yea, i know, the tough stuff will come up eventually. going to enjoy the easy stuff while i can! lol

oh, and one other interesting side effect: not as many storm headaches. seems they're now reserved either for the worst storms or for when we have a storm in/storm out/new storm in kind of thing going on. it's so nice to have the headaches to not only be less frequent, but becoming more normal in their appearances.

financially it has been a really tough month. kitten's money is just kicking in, and her entire check had to go to rent. for this upcoming week, we're really going to be skating when it comes to food because, even with the editing job, we just don't have any money. it hasn't helped that there was some idiocy with one of saxy's check this month. it was corrected a few days later, but it still ended up creating problems. we have some money coming in the 25th, but that goes to auto insurance and, this week, the electricity so we don't get cut off. plus i need to refill 2 of my meds this week and 1 of taz's next week. with kitten's money finally in place next month and an increase in child support, we just might be able to start catching up and still skate by.

another interesting bit that we just discovered: mcat is (or was as of a week or so ago) in jail, and not for what we expected him to finally get hit with but for being behind in child support. apparently he owes the ex A LOT. he gets out on work release, but i can just imagine where any money he earns goes. on the one hand, sucks to be him; on the other, not surprised except that it was child support that got him and not all his other bullshit. but i guess the other stuff can't be so bad when he's not running his own business anymore. it just amazes me that he thinks he can get away with anything, and, really, he must think that way with all the crap he pulls. honestly, so glad he's out of our lives. i feel bad for his kids though, and he and trin make me so glad the linnorm cares for his kids enough to put them first and goes above and beyond when it's needed and he's capable. that's how a man should be for his children. as for mcat, well, karma's a bitch, isn't it.

kitten has been pretty busy getting ready to start school. she's all set and taking the pre-class workshops and brushing up on her math with one of our old college math books. she's been kind of freaking about it, and i have to keep reminding myself she's young and i freaked a lot at her age. i ended up giving her something that i hope helps. one of the things i've learned while struggling with my confidence level as a writer is that a lot of the stuff we think we can't do isn't because we actually can't do it but the tapes in our heads that tell us we're not capable or any good. what i did to help combat that problem was create a message on a sticky note that was positive about me, my writing, and my goals for my writing, and then i made sure to look at it at least once every day. i still struggle with a lot of the things that note addressed, but i'm really TONS better than i was, and when it gets really bad, i look at that note again to remind myself that i am a good writer, that my goals are reachable, and so on. since kitten is going through a similar phase, some of which has to do with how the ex treated her (similar to how some of mine had to do with the constant berating i received from my ex-mil), i wrote her a similar note and told her to look at it every day, two or three times a day if needed. i know she can do what she needs to do, i raised a strong girl, but she needs to believe she can do it too. hopefully it will help.

and speaking of trin, her soon to be ex seems to be trying to turn over a new leaf. i'm not sure what the heck slapped him in the face when he bailed out of hawaii, but something definitely slapped hard, assuming, of course, this new attitude sticks with him once the proceedings start. right now he's telling her he wants to go uncontested. he did try to convince her she didn't need a lawyer, which makes me suspicious, but the lawyer told her if they do uncontested, it will only cost a flat $2500, which is better than a retainer of $5000 that goes up when we surpass the hours it covers. the process is rather interesting: the two e-mail back and forth until they agree on everything they need to agree on for the divorce; if they don't come to an agreement on everything, then it goes back to contested. if they reach and agreement (and, really, with what she's going to be asking for, i suspect that's going to be a problem; he might even lie to get out of part of it), she prints it all out and hands it to the lawyer and he takes care of the paperwork to make sure it's all done in a way that protects the concessions she'll be asking for (which is why, despite his claims otherwise, she needs the lawyer).

and finally, the house buying as inched forward. well, i guess, it's actually taken a significant step forward. i finally found a lender who works with the georgia dream program and is local and will call me back. she's already begun the process of qualifying, and while there are some hoops we'll have to jump through to get everything in place, there's very good news. first, we qualify for a $100,000 home loan. she told us the payments and we worked our way down to what would work for us as a family (qualifying for $100k doesn't mean you TAKE $100k, especially if trying to reduce your housing payment significantly) and we're not going to go higher than $75,000 on the house. that will put our payments between $625 and $670, depending on whether or not we manage to bring saxy's credit rating up the 9 points that will bring down our interest rate. even if we don't, paying $300 less just on where we live is going to be incredibly helpful.

to get this started, tomorrow i need to call a guy and find out how to amend this year's tax return to get the $8000 the government is giving new home buyers. then i need to use $2000 of that to clear a judgment i didn't know i had on my credit report (seriously, never received paperwork or anything, so had no idea; not surprised, but had no idea) and use another $300-500 to get saxy a secured credit card, charge about 20%, then pay off the bill when it comes in (really, that's what she said we needed to do to bring up his credit score and get the lower interest rate on the home loan). i also need to call the choice program and make sure autism is covered under the disabilities they use to qualify families for their program (which would be another $20,000 loan that's forgivable). when all is said and done, we could have up to $30,000 (or more) in money that doesn't have to be paid back to go towards buying/fixing up/moving into a new house that will cost us $300/month (just in rent; utilities might go down another $100 or so if we can find one that has less holes than this one) less to live in. we'll need to live in the house at least 5 years for one of the loans to be completely forgiven, but i think we can manage that since taz has 4-5 years left in school. the one requirement is that we'll have to buy a foreclosed house, and that comes with its own cautions, including the possibility we won't even get to see inside to decide whether or not we like the place. regardless, we need this if we're to do more than just scrape by and barely survive. the fact that we CAN do this is amazing, and we're very excited about it.

and there's the whole of new, busy, and stuff. and here's a trivia bonus: saxy has found a way to make the most fantastic, tender, fall off the bone ribs in the world. i swear this man needs a restaurant. seriously!

and now i need to get ready to pick kitten up from work, then to write. didn't expect this to be so long! guess that's what happens when you wait weeks to update. ;)


word of the moment: apricate

to bask in the sun


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