Tuesday, August 17, 2010

General Updates

I had a spectacularly unproductive Monday, which is odd because I'm usually all motivated and dedicated on Mondays. But I'd had a very restless night, then was sore from physical therapy. And then I was also kind of antsy and needed more physical activity, so I went swimming, which then wiped me out for the rest of the day. I always find it odd how tired swimming makes me, but I think swimming is deceptively effortless. You don't get hot and sweaty, so you aren't aware of how much you're working. If I did an equivalent amount of activity on land, I'm sure that would wipe me out for the rest of the day, too. It didn't help that the part I was working on was really tricky. It's a very chaotic scene where there's a lot going on all at once and I need to figure out what to describe in which order. I keep seeing the movie in my head, and it all makes sense because I can take in all that information visually. Putting it into words is a challenge. I'm having to mentally slow it down while putting myself in the narrator's head and then I can decide what she would notice or describe first when it's all happening at once.

I guess it's time for some general updates of things that are going on:

I'm still very far behind in dealing with fan e-mail. Many apologies, but right now, I need to be writing books instead of e-mails, and with my current computer, I can't read or respond to e-mail offline, so I can't do it while I watch TV (which is how I used to get through all the fan mail). I'm also avoiding spending time in my office since it gets really hot up here. It's on my to-do list, really.

I need writing questions or topics for the every-other-week writing posts. Is there something you want to know about writing or publishing? Ask!

In September, I think I'm going to do a kind of Enchanted, Inc. series "book club." If you've got questions about the books or want to know things like where ideas came from, what characters' backstories are or why I did certain things, now's your chance to ask. I guess you could think of it as your chance to interview me. You can leave questions as blog comments or e-mail them (but put something in the subject line to make it clear what it is so I can fish it out of all the "when is book 5 coming?" e-mails). I will try to answer as many questions as I can, but I'll be mostly looking for things that can spur essay-type answers (I may also do a quickie question roundup if I get a lot of things that need only short answers). I reserve the right to avoid anything that would spoil things I plan to do in future books, including backstories that are relevant to future plots.

I've got a few conventions scheduled for the coming months. The last weekend in August, I'll be at ArmadilloCon in Austin. In mid-September, I've got FenCon in Dallas. And I'll be at MileHiCon in Denver in late October. Katherine Kurtz, the author of the series that was my teenage obsession, is one of the guests in Denver, so I'll be the one fangirling her (or possibly acting cool and aloof so I don't look like a drooling fangirl). I did eventually manage to act like a coherent human being with Alan Dean Foster, and I have had real conversations with Connie Willis, so there is hope for me. Yes, authors are my movie stars, even though I am one of them.

I have no news on the possibility of book 5 or the movie. When I know something and am allowed to talk, trust me, you'll know. (And no, I'm not saying that I know something and am not allowed to talk. It's just that most movie news I've had has involved a period of time in which I'm not allowed to talk about it because the studio wants to announce things first, so if/when something does happen, there's a chance there may be a time when I know something but am not saying anything.)

I've been getting a lot of alerts about people wanting to friend me on MySpace or sending me messages, but MySpace won't let me on their site with my current browser, and I can't update my browser on my current operating system, and there isn't an operating system currently available that will work on my computer. It's not even that their site doesn't work well with my browser. I can't even log on to see messages. Which seems silly and counterproductive to me, to just shut out people, but it's their loss. I do plan to get a new computer in the next month or so, but it's currently working on all sites except MySpace, so it's not exactly a crisis.

The Italian cooking phase continues. I've now found something utterly decadent to do with broccoli. The cookbook has to go back to the library tomorrow, so I guess that's it for that book. I did find four new recipes that were entirely different from anything I'd cooked before, and I've found ways of applying those ingredients or techniques to create other dishes, so I consider it a success. What I really like is that all these dishes involve fresh vegetables. I like vegetables, but I get bored with the same old ways of cooking them. Having lots of yummy things I can do with zucchini is a win.

Choir starts again this week, so I'm almost back on my regular "school year" schedule. It may be a while before the chorale rehearsals start, and then I'm directing a children's choir this year that will start in September, but those are both before regular choir practice, so they don't alter my schedule all that much. It may still be 100 degrees, but summer is coming to a close.

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