Thursday, August 28, 2014

Insane Cable (and other problems)

It occurred to me later yesterday after my little excursion down memory lane that I first started working in earnest on the book that became Enchanted, Inc. on Labor Day weekend in 2003. I'd had that conversation with the editor at the conference in July, but at the same conference another editor had asked for a book I already had written, with some modifications. I got on the modifications immediately, and meanwhile I came home from that conference to find a request for a manuscript on my answering machine and a positive response to a query letter in the mail. So I dealt with all that stuff (that all ended up going nowhere), and finally at the beginning of September I had time to focus on this new idea. I may have read a couple of books for research before then, but that holiday weekend (and I remember it being a rainy one) was when I did a kind of "retreat," not only reading books for research but also watching the first Harry Potter movie (I think that was the only one on DVD at that time), Bridget Jones's Diary and a few romantic comedy/chick flick movies set in New York.

That started a tradition of spending Labor Day weekend on a reading/movie binge, though I missed the last couple of years because WorldCon was on that weekend. I don't really have a theme for this year's weekend because I haven't yet decided for sure what the next project will be. I do have some reference books for the sequel to my steampunk book, and I suppose that some of the other books fit the contemporary fantasy/romantic comedy theme. My weekend viewing, other than Doctor Who, is likely to be continuing my alternating marathon of Haven and Once Upon a Time (which starts to get freaky when they blur into one seriously crazy small town in Maine -- I'd kind of like to see Audrey take on the Evil Queen, and Nathan and Captain Hook could have the battle of the Sad Blue Eyes).

I'm just hoping I can watch Doctor Who because my cable kind of went insane. I apparently am getting a bad signal for some reason, so it's not strong enough for my converter box to deal with. But it's very intermittent and random. Sometimes I'll get all the channels perfectly in good HD. Sometimes I can watch the standard definition versions but not the HD versions, but only of some channels. But there are some channels where I can watch the HD but not the standard. Some channels are sometimes in perfect HD while others won't come in at all and others are only a few pixels on a black screen and others are kind of coming in but stuttering. It got worse this week when they redid the channel lineup and eliminated standard definition. Now everything's HD unless the channel isn't available in HD, so suddenly I wasn't getting much of anything, and there was no fallback to SD. It stumped the customer service person, so it got escalated. They're apparently working on something from their end because they just called to have me check. At the moment, I'm getting SyFy and BBC America (I had my priorities of what to check), but not the local broadcast networks. Supposedly, they should have it fixed by this evening, but I've got a service appointment for Tuesday morning. It's been going on for a while, I think, but it took me a long time to notice because I've mostly been watching DVDs lately. The only thing I was watching much of on TV was the local news, and for a long time, I thought it was the local station having problems.

But before I let myself retreat, I have a story to finish. I started writing the middle section, then reached what should be the turning point that leads to a resolution and didn't know what should happen, but I figured out the beginning, so I wrote that. Now my beginning has met up with my initial starting point, and I still need to figure out how it will end. I think the ending that keeps coming to mind is a little too obvious. Planning may now be required.

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