cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Last week was the end of my "catching up on email and socializing and house-cleaning" two week break after finishing a huge project. I dealt with some critical and overdue emails, I definitely got out of the house and saw people, and Phil claims the house looks better even though I can't see a difference, so I guess I'll call it a success. Time to write novels again, which is somewhat intimidating since I've been working on other projects for the last few months. Back to the grind!

Other good things...

I did the second Women in Sci-Fi and Writing Female Characters panel. There was pretty art (it took place in an art gallery in Lowertown) and cupcakes! I said some things that I hope sounded smart, sold two copies of my book, collected a couple of new email addresses for my newsletter, and was gifted with a batcat hat (okay, fine, it's a pussy hat, but I dislike that term even though I understand the reasoning) made by my dear Alis. I thought the event went pretty well.


New microwave! This one doesn't turn itself on and off at random intervals, so I am less worried that an electrical fault will make it burst into flames in the middle of the night when we are all sleeping. It displays actual numbers in the timer instead of weird dancing bars that look like the countdown on a Predator bomb. And it's black and silver, which Cassius thought was really awesome.

I realized that I had missed a deadline (a month ago!) and instead of giving up and being sad because I couldn't do a thing, I emailed people and asked if I could apply late, and they said yes! So I did!

I went to a living room concert and listened to awesome steampunk music, played with my camera and took photos, caught up with friends, made new acquaintances, and heard new jokes. It was good times. And seeing people appreciate my photos later is a nice egoboo.


Diabolical Plots (by David Steffen of the Submission Grinder) included my story in his recommendations for Hugo/Nebulas this year. Eeeee! I've never had someone recommend one of my stories for an award before, so this is a pretty exciting first.

Phil's award bonus from work came through, so I gave him a full grocery list without worrying about whether we had enough to cover the cost. Sometimes it's the small things.

Learned about bubble paragraphs and skipping stone backstory intro scene structure stuff. (Yup, Ginger, your name-coining has stuck!)

I cooked tater tot hotdish for the first time because Steph was posting looking for recipes and gave me a craving. It was delicious gloppy comfort food even if I'm the only one in the house who likes that kind of thing. Also, something about the tater tots makes my brain think it's acceptable eating for breakfast too. Ooookay, silly brain.

I have sparkly red fingernails, and they make me very happy. I don't have a lot of time for frivolous self-care stuff, so this is a special treat.


###

Bonus good things from the previous week, which I didn't post on time:

Making origami flowers and paper "rain" for Theia, and seeing how much she enjoyed playing gardener. (She was a gardener and I was the botanist telling her how flowers grow in this scenario, apparently.)

Insisting on taking the boy to see a healthcare professional, and having it be the right parental decision. This is not a good thing because he has strep (boo!), but because I never feel confident making this kind of call, so I'm glad I didn't waste our time and money.

Chatting with the spouse about publishing industry stuff, specifically novellas and how the markets for them are changing and why.

Writing a quick piece of micro-fic and submitting it minutes later. Fifteen words long!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • 11:20 Ah, the bleak, wet, gray days of Spring. Welcome back! I missed you.
  • 13:21 Filing 3 Schedule Cs = I <3 my expense spreadsheets. Now to make sure all receipts are entered!
  • 22:24 ++ Finished all the crits I needed to get a "skip to the head of the queue" pass. Wiktory!
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  • 11:26 Good husband earned blueberry muffins breakfast in bed. #
  • 12:34 Freaking out over chance that I've lost my marked-up copy of "Ice Mother" before I made the changes it needs. #
  • 12:50 FUCK! Tore house apart, failed to find marked-up copy of manuscript, will have to redo. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK! #
  • 12:52 Off to Cahoots to make editing changes on those manuscripts I can still find. Distraction/company welcome. #
  • 17:53 Fuck! Got home to find notice from insurance that physical therapists might bill me for $500 that insurance won't cover. FUCK FUCK FUCK. #
  • 17:57 That's on top of the $60/week I've had to spend on physical therapy as my co-pay. Good thing I've been working full-time. :( 'Bye, sanity. #
  • 18:09 On the plus side, at least I marked up "The Unkindness of Ravens" & fixed badness. Beginnings are my Kryptonite. #
  • 18:11 Is there anything going on tonight? #
  • 18:49 En route to Red Dragon. Mmm, tasty Asian food and Wondrous Drinks. #
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Today has been a very weird day, because it is Sunday and my birthday, but I had to work all day--and I mean I got home after 10 p.m. But I got a free gourmet dinner with wine and tasty cake and had...um...30 people singing happy birthday to me when I had a piece of cake with a candle in it delivered.

It was the first day of the big Bush Foundation orientation for the new fellows, which I got to sit in on (and help with the wrangling and the tidying and the arranging, of course) and take photographs for. This was fantastic, as not only did I get to meet a bunch of people whose creative talents and collective wisdom I stand in awe of, but I learned things that will be highly useful to my writing/photography career(s), which I would usually have to pay large sums of money to learn (seminars, tax consultants, workshops, etc.).

Useful tax knowledge gained (applies to Schedule C):
* All of the monthly internet fee is tax-deductible, even if you do other stuff online
* As long as your only office for the Schedule C profession is at home and it is mostly populated by the related things, you can claim it as being solely for work, despite using it occasionally for other things (see the first *)
* If you're filing multiple Schedule Cs, you can put your major equipment amortizations and your home office deduction on 1 schedule, instead of trying to spread it out appropriately
* I can deduct every bloody fiction book I buy with no problem. (I've heard elsewhere that one should only deduct non-fiction research books, but this canny tax lady trumps those sources.)
* I should set up a Roth IRA
* I should get one of those HM(A?) accounts with the swipable card that you just use to pay anything medical
* Really, a tax accountant might be a very good idea. Especially this one, who specializes in creative tax accounting. She's sneaky. And good at all sorts of creative people's taxes (Fox Tax, LLC).

Tax knowledge anybody who graduated recently should know: if you're filing a Schedule C (artists, writers, performers, etc.), and you went to school for this, you can deduct your actual tuition. I think she said you can retroactively correct a tax filing for fifteen years (or it's valid for fifteen, or something)--which means get thee to a tax lawyer if you're doing creative contractor-y/on your own type stuff in a field you went to school for.

And I practiced forms in the little sunken cement plaza on Nicollet & 5th while waiting for the bus home. Y'know, sometimes it's nice to just feel cool. Even if nobody's watching.
Make that especially if nobody's watching.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Phil has declared firmly that he will not be leaving the house today. He says I can't make him. Well, I choose not to try...I don't like seeing grown men (or women, for that matter) weep. Why is he not leaving the house? Well, overall, that went badly for him yesterday, so he's declining to repeat the experiment. Despite the wonderful time at Leora's b-day party yesterday and the fun hanging out with people at Cahoots, all was outweighed by him accidentally damaging a parked car and having to deal with figuring out what to do about the repairs, the insurance, etc.

Sadly, this means that going to the Japanese lantern-lighting ceremony isn't something feasible for me. The bus commute is *way* too much a pain in the ass for me to think about right now. Besides, it'll be horribly crowded anyways. I probably wouldn't get any good photographs. (Hey, sour grapes is some comfort!)

Time to grab my manual camera and walk around the neighborhood taking photographs for half an hour or so.

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Apr. 9th, 2006 11:38 am
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I always read the travel section. Physical paper or internet, it doesn't matter. If I see something that I really like, I do a google search for large-sized images of it. Computer wallpaper daydreams....

We have inherited a beautiful new-to-us couch! It's huge: the Muse can extend full-length on it, and he's 6'3". It's large enough and giving enough for comfortable cuddling; hell, it's large enough for four people to cuddle, if they chose to do so. The cats love it, too.

We also got a nifty little letter-desk, a DVD of converted home family movies from the 1930s, a couple of boxes of books, dinner at Puerto Azul (delicious and exotic as always) and breakfast at The Uptowner (quite crowded, adequate food, and HUGE portions). We were dragged to IKEA, as well. Those who know the Muse's disdain for IKEA can begin snickering, now. Yes, the Muse's family came to visit; they brought and bought us bribes, too.

Mrph. It's getting to that time when I really need to figure out details of whether I'm going to tournament, how I'm financing it, where I'm staying, how I'm getting there, etc.

To Do Today:
* balance checkbook
* pay taxes
* figure out tournament
* write??
* get subs ready
* arrange photo set from [livejournal.com profile] opheliac_9 and [livejournal.com profile] chadvalentine's wedding

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