I’ve got it!

I’m writing this post from my new-to-me refurbished desktop, which I’ve tentatively named Mina.

So, y’know. I can hopefully do writing and editing and blog posts and stuff for real now.

Not now, though. The baby was very, very cute tonight… which has me feeling exhausted.

Plus I wanna see how Minecraft plays on this. 😀



My husband bought me a computer. It’s arriving Friday-ish.

So goodness willing, things get easier then!

In the meantime, I participated in SketchFest this past weekend. Check out everyone’s artwork: https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestgallery.php?date=93

How to actually make it

I’ve been reading my writing, and fairly pleased–it doesn’t pop at all for the first several scenes, and the whole first half reads like a stick figure: minimal events and detail to move forward. (I’m still only halfway through, but it’s starting to fill out.) But I can see what’s missing, and I can see a real story on the other side, an appealing one.

Problem: it’s being very hard to make the bits even if I can see them. But I’ll find a way.

Also, my first draft fight scenes are mo great shakes, but not near as awful as I had feared. I’ll take it.

On the thing

*phew* Finished typing the rest of the manuscript into the document. (Seriously, the last fifth or so was scattered between paper notebooks and various emails to my husband.) There’s several bits that are written multiple times in different ways, but I’m pretty sure I can work that out.

(I’m actually going to be able to keep way more of the final fight scene than I realized. May that be true of several other scenes that I thought were going to have to be fully scrapped.)

So, that’s a weight off of my shoulders. Next step, well. I guess it’s to read it. Do my first-pass edit. Then get betas. (My friend from DC already volunteered, so that’s fun.)

And… I’ve used up what I suspect is most of the daughter’s nap. But I’m going to go see how much nap I can get for myself.


I haven’t been gaming in a few years, which is a pity–I’d been in a Shadowrun game with some friends from Northern Virginia, all of us over Google Hangouts, that was absolutely epic… but took the GM a massive amount of time that just wasn’t available anymore after there was a certain security scandal with his employer.

I wasn’t going to talk about it, because I figured gaming stories would require way too much context… but I think I’ve got one that would fit pretty well.

My boyfriend (now husband)’s character had a Secret. While everyone thought he was this moderately-psychotic guy in platonic love with his grenade launcher, he was actually the McGuffin at the middle of our entire campaign–a dryad on the run from the Elven Mafia after stealing and reselling a cloak that was way more important than she had any reason to know.

(Hence the passing as a human male. There’s this cool trick called Man of 1000 Faces that’s hard to get but really abusable.)

None of the other players or characters know this; I pretty much only know it because I’m his wife. (And at some point I finaegle my character into knowing it, too.) All they know is that Algothel–a common elfish female name, and that’s the *only* piece of information they have–is at the center of some kind of worldwide conspiracy, and that everyone in the world seeking great power is trying to find her.

And the GM keeps trying to pass hints–keeps coming up with circumstances where she can’t effect her glamour (but “Ima Pseudonym”‘s armor includes a full-coverage motorcycle helmet, and no one questions why his voice is higher), hinting that Algothel might be in the group, having an NPC stare straight at him and say “Algothel, this isn’t over”…

But my favorite was when… well. My and my husband’s characters were off in a meeting with a powerful NPC to make connections and tell him the dealio, full-disclosure, “I’m the powerful elf-girl you’re looking for, please protect me.”

A monster attacks the rest of the group while we’re there.

Now, our meeting happened privately with the GM; all the players know is that, though we’re sitting there watching the game during the fight, our characters aren’t there to help.

They’re victorious. But they’re curious. When the characters connect again, someone asks, “So, um. Do we go over what those guys were doing? Or do we just move on?”

We’re screwed, SO screwed, the jig is up. Obviously, this is where anyone sane, with all the secrets flying around, would go, “Yeah, Ima, Benny, what were you guys up to while we were fighting this demon horse thing?”

And we look at each other, and I say the only thing that comes to mind: “Well, I’d find it more interesting to just move on.”

And it worked.

Seriously, they shrugged and moved on. And they never found out, either. Or rather, they found out, in the last session, which was the only time we’d been able to get together for a month and a half and it was obvious everyone was just too busy to keep coming, in a circumstance specifically staged so we could end the game without having failed to reveal the Algothel secret.

(…yeah. I did rub this instance in when all was finally revealed.)


I miss my game. I don’t think I could do another right now anyway–I’ve got way too much stuff to do without it. But… *sigh* I miss it.


Today was my daughter’s first Halloween–well, not her first Halloween ever, but the first where she put on a costume (a duck!) and wandered around the neighborhood a little.

That was all there really was, due to kind of a massive… I don’t think failure of planning so much as a mismatch of planning between all parties involved. But we wound up wandering up to the fire station where all of the costume kidlets in town had gathered for the costume parade and even more candy, so that’s something.

I wish I’d known there was going to be trick-or-treating at work–I didn’t bring in any candy. But there were many adorable children I got to look at, including one three-year-old dressed like a cat who insisted on hugging all of our homemade Peanuts character cutouts. (“You’re so smart!” she told our Marcie.)

My daughter will probably be more outgoing next year, so that should be more fun. Everything is good.

I started this out with a concept of it being a high-flying concept about expectations and reality, and enjoying what happens even when it misses your perceptions. But this seems way too simple a moment to hijack to something bigger.

I enjoyed seeing a lot of children in cute costumes, including my own.

Happy Halloween.

Friendship, Good or Bad

One of the things I wish I’d known as a younger person is that not all friendships are worth keeping, and it doesn’t make you a bad person to decide to value yourself more.

I’d always heard and known the opposite. Friendship is forever, friendship is the most important thing in the world. You don’t let your friends down, and you don’t throw friendships away. You need to be there for one another, whenever needed.

The problem, of course, is… what is friendship?

I’d thought, at the time, that friendship was … well. It was something that happened when you asked to be somebody’s friend. And that was a magical bond that would last forever, through pain and strife and all other things.

I have a great number of friendships that are very important to me, have affected me deeply and made me a better person. I would not be the person I am now without several of my chosen friends; I’d be a great deal worse.

But the fact is that this does not apply to everyone you’ve ever been friendly to, and it’s not an unbreakable covenant. There are different friendships of different strengths, and some friendships that it’s absolutely necessary to cut loose for your own sanity.

And I have no idea which are which, and I have no idea how to tell, or any resources you’d use.

I’m not dealing with it right now. (I actually am a little high on friendship from having met an internet buddy in real life over the weekend… been friends for over half of my life, and he’s a really good guy.) But… I know that I’ve always done better surrounding myself with people better than me, and there’s a lot of other people who aren’t only unwilling to try to perform the most basic needful things as humans, but completely unwilling to own any of the consequences of the same, and somehow it’s always the fault of everyone around them that things aren’t better.

It’s corrosive and toxic and absolutely contageous.

And… I just wish there were more I’d been aware of regarding reasonable limits to friendship.