cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Woke up, opened presents, ate breakfast of semmel with blue cheese, went to an oddly empty church for an oddly short service (apparently, this is what Christmas service is like when Sunday actually falls on Christmas).

Now I'm drinking homemade cider, browsing email, and doing story submissions while the baby naps in the next room and downstairs my dad (visiting from Kansas) and my husband (usually resident) watch basketball with the sound muted. Life is good.

Merry Christmas!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing)
Overall, a productive day. Aside from the writing stuff, I also managed to do dishes, including handwash dishes, to do laundry, to change the bed sheets, to run the Roomba, to set up the birdfeeder my parents got Phil for Christmas, to update my resume, and to cook dinner. So that was good.

2/15/11, Tuesday
* Posted writing log and freewriting.
* Sent the next episode of CoBB live.
* Brainstormed CoBB plotting.
* Read Ralan newsletter and 3 Duotrope newsletters and updated market list from them.
* Cleaned out old market list entries, wrote newsletter, and posted around.
* Updated “A Phoenix By Any Other Name”’s post-publication status, now that the exclusive rights have expired. Oh goody, another reprint to try and sell. ::facepalm:: Well, maybe I can honorably retire the older, lower-level stories that have successfully been published.
* Sketched out a little 100-word scene that came to me while I was brainstorming.
* Hunted for and failed to find a critique that I remember at least partially finishing--emailed critiquee.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Phil and I)
Just finished getting out the last of my Christmas cards! Don't bother to check your calendar; it's still February. But losing a chunk of time to sickness around the holidays left me drastically behind on, well, life.

With no further ado, I present...The Staffin Wiebe 2010 Christmas Letter!

IMG_5999

Dear friends and family,

Belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and--heck, why not--early Happy Valentine's Day! I (Abra) am behind on everything, and Christmas cards are no exception. The only thing piling up more than my to-do list is the snow in Minnesota. We got a 20-year blizzard here a bit before Christmas, dropping 17+ inches of snow in Minneapolis in a day (other parts of the state got over 23). The snow piles are at least hip-high. Along some streets, the curbside snow ridge is taller than I am, and I am not short.

For us, 2010 began with a car accident and got worse from there. In January, we were driving back from getting a "free" pie when we got rear-ended, which totaled our little car. It also changed that "free" apple pie to a several-thousand-dollar apple pie. The pie was good, but not that good. The accident was not a hugely significant event (we were uninjured), but it sort of set the tone for the year.

Read more... )
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At work, I always walk around with a pen and a small post-it pad in my back pocket, in case of notes or labels being needed.

At home, I'm walking around with a candy cane in my back pocket.

I know which I prefer.

(Though to be honest, candy canes don't store well in back pockets. Is sad.)

Home Again

Dec. 27th, 2009 10:00 pm
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • ++ Delighted to be safely home and online again after visit to internet-free in-laws.
  • - Unexpected luggage additions: niece's DVDs "Elmo and Abby's Birthday Fun!" and "Disney Princess Enchanted Tales." Hello, USPS!
.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • - Our kitten, Fu Manchu, is now big enough to jump on kitchen counters. Heaven help us all.
  • Yay, Google! ping.fm/pqJzk
  • Loving the "Decreased Productivity" Firefox web-surfing add-on: ping.fm/c7yqb
  • Disable favicons in tabs in firefox: ping.fm/j4VHa
.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Phil and I)
2009 Christmas Picture
If I have your address, you'll be getting a Christmas card and one of these letters. Er, though it may arrive after Christmas, at this point!

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas (or other winter holiday of your choice, customization charge may apply). It seems that this winter is busier than the last, leaving little time for the niceties of Christmas: decorating the Christmas tree, putting up lights outside, finding just the right present, and baking cookies. We still have the important part: communicating or spending time with loved ones near and far.


Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (spec the halls)

Note from the editor

It's easy to think that this is the time for a last-minute flurry of activity to get everything done before Christmas. Nope. Now is the time to relax, breathe deeply, and enjoy what the holidays bring--the wondrous, the hilarious, and the "Well, at least this will make a good story later." Patience, good humor, and a sense of the absurd is essential equipment.

As is typical at this time, I've received more submissions I'd like to recommend than the ones I've excerpted here, so go enjoy them!

Happy holidays,

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Editor
Read more... )
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Note from the editor

Hello, my name is Abra Staffin-Wiebe, and I think I have a problem. With eggnog. I can't help myself. I see it in the stores, enticing me with it's sweet, rich deliciousness, and I can't resist. Ah, well, at least it's only available for part of the year--and there are worse things than an "addiction" to nog.

Speaking of when things are available, remember that this weekend is pretty much the deadline for ordering gifts and being able to receive them by standard mail. Many places are also offering free shipping right now--and if it's not mentioned on their website, you can always check RetailMeNot.com to see if there are discounts available.

Read more... )
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  • Have been upstairs for 15 minutes, and already Fu Manchu has knocked 3 ornaments off the tree!
  • And that's why I hide my Gmail window and turn off Twitter notifications while I work: ping.fm/vChAt
  • The manikin sat, wrapped her arms around her knees, and buried her face in them. Though a doll can't cry, her small shoulders shook. #nwm
.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • Quite sad Pandora doesn't have "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Fish-Men" ping.fm/1OqOp
  • The "up to 12 inches" snow has begun.
  • He stretched out one hand and placed it on the glass. "Kathleen," he said. His voice was raw. "Katy." The manikin stopped still. #nwm
.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Friday, the day job handed me an odd little project that's effectively due Monday evening. It's finding emails in a database that are listed in a spreadsheet I was given, and marking them. Except I can't actually look at any of the documents. I can run searches for different word combinations, but I can't check the results. Oh, and the spreadsheet doesn't actually have email subject lines, just a 'description'. And it's an online database and I have to do multiple searches and filters and things to approximate a reasonable result set. I have worked all weekend and will be working super-late tomorrow in hopes of finishing this. And I am becoming distinctly irritated by people who leave the subject lines of their emails blank.

But!

I took a bit of time in the afternoon to get a Christmas tree! (The annual getting-a-Christmas-tree fight had already been settled.) So now I have a lovely tree settling in my living room, after much kerfuffle getting it screwed into the stand in a stable fashion.

So happy.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • His workhouse sweetheart was the puppeteer for a panorama display of a young girl's adventures wandering the world in her new shoes. #nwm
  • Good thing I checked with Phil *before* sending a birthday card to his dead grandma.
  • The homechulus altered the story for the watcher. If a libertine, she'd nearly lose her virtue. If a nun, she'd pray in a cathedral. #nwm
.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (spec the halls)

Note from the editor

It's officially Christmas season! Although (most) stores have been stocking Christmas items since slightly before Halloween, now it's possible to start celebrating without the danger of feeling a little bit shamefaced about giving in to the consumer propaganda and shortchanging less profitable holidays. Hopefully this will help get you in the mood.

Happy holidays!

Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Phil and I)
x-post LJ,Fb--

Phil is now on an airplane flying (business-class!) to Singapore, with a brief layover in Japan. (Oddly, Obama will be arriving in Singapore at roughly the same time.) GE sent Phil there to advise the recently established Singapore water filtration group. He'll be there for about two weeks. While he's there, he'll be eating tasty, exotic foods, seeing the city-state's finest sights, and generally have a lovely time in a foreign country. Or he might work like a dog all day and then go back to his hotel room to collapse at night. Depends who you ask. He will not chew gum, spit on the sidewalk, or otherwise do anything to get himself caned.

He's heard rumors that the Singaporeans go crazy for Christmas, so that should be entertaining. He's going to be doing much of his Christmas shopping there. And while he's at it, he'll ship my parents' presents to India (where they are currently teaching at a boarding school). Postage is much cheaper from Singapore than from the US!

I'm not going to live it up too much--especially since we're in horrid amounts of credit card debt after the tornado damage repairs and related house-fixing. I will eat foods Phil hates, go to restaurants, see movies in the theater, and perhaps go to a few of the (free) City Pages A-list events that Phil abhors.

I expect I'll eventually get bored and/or lonely, so Mpls folk--do let me know about socializing opportunities! Bearing in mind that I am now entirely reliant on public transit.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
x-post Fb/LJ--

One of my friends was writing about her knitting things for Christmas. Another friend was writing about her experiments in brewing what I can only hope/dread might be Christmas presents.

I need a hobby that can translate to gifts. (I only half-heartedly cross-stitch, and that *so* doesn't count--still working on the same thing I was, um, 3 years ago. It's a "pick up every few months for a few minutes" sort of hobby.)

Maybe I can give out coupons for 1/2 hour photo shoots! (Digital copies only.) Good for birthdays, parties*, dating site profiles, or engagements. Because aren't coupons everybody's favorite Christmas gift?

Or...

I could write a short story in which somebody was abducted by aliens or gruesomely killed.

...
..
.

Hmm. Maybe I should dig out my psanky tools and hand out Easter eggs for Christmas. Or not.

I have such talented friends.



* Side-bar: So, at the photo shoot this afternoon, one of the girls asked if I would photograph a quinceanero and what I would charge. I think that would be awesome, but I have no idea what sort of photographs would be wanted. I mean--she asked me while I was doing a fairly standard high school photo shoot. Am confused. But I have her email, so--who knows? Also, I really need a 50mm lens.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)

  • 16:10 If your work holiday party went badly, you may need one of these: ping.fm/xZqAM

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (spec the halls)

Note from the editor

There are only a couple of days left to submit your stories or art to Spec the Halls! Get them in while you can!

That's not the only thing you're running out of time on, either. If you want to use standard shipping and still have your presents arrive by Christmas, you'd better order them today or tomorrow! I finally finished up (almost all) my Christmas shopping online today. I'm not sure why I put it off until now--once I got started, it was pretty easy. Next up: getting Christmas cards out in time!

Happy holidays,

Abra Staffin Wiebe, Editor
Read more... )

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