So in an unexpected twist of events, the internet works. The bathroom – not so much; the toilet in the main bathroom is not at all present, forcing me to trek to the half bath, and while water runs into the bathtub just fine actually getting into the tub is an exciting, exciting thought. Also, kitchen sink for toothbrushing for the moment.

Also, I found the cats. To be strictly truthful, they found me: the Little One started howling before I even reached the door, divebombed my legs as I made it inside, and proceeded to refuse to leave my skin – not just my side, but insisting on being physically on me – for the next several hours, waking up every few minutes to happily headbutt and lick me again and then push against me. He's still here. I move, he follows.

I did not see the Grey One for awhile, although after one of the headbutting instances I raised my head and thought I saw something that looked like a grey ghost streaking by. At about 4 am, however, I felt very firm paws on my face and arms, and this morning I was gifted with a long, hard infuriated stare. I understand that this move does not—

Ouch. She's back and pawing at my chest. With claws. I could be wrong, but I think she's kinda pissed.

More later, including con reports, when I'm less exhausted.

Oh, and...

Nov. 2nd, 2010 10:58 am
Oh, and…unless I blog from the airports later (with my internet addiction, anything is possible) I am assuming that I'll be offline for awhile, largely since no one has informed me about the internet situation at home and given the reported chaos, I suspect that isn't the priority. On a related note, no Tor.com post this week – although I'll be back on schedule next week, assuming all goes reasonably well.
I am all sad.

I know I went to the launch party for Catherynne M. Valente's ([personal profile] catvalente's The Habitation of the Blessed.. (In fact I went there twice since the first time the books weren't there. and also because the party had this remarkable nonalcoholic punch which I need the recipe for.) I know I got a copy from [personal profile] justbeast and had it in my hot little hands. I know I showed it to people. I know I said something about the cover (although to be fair I don't know what.) I know that I put it in my little backpack on the wheelchair and that we closed the little backpack up and it was there when I left the party.

And I don't know where it is now.

Sniffle.

I can easily get another copy, of course (and will, since her work makes for excellent bathtub reading) but it won't be that copy, the one I actually got at the launch party. Sniffle. (This also means that I can't exactly review or blurb it right now, but I can at least link to Amazon to ensure that the author never, ever ends up back working at Starbucks and ruining coffee for the rest of us.)

The other books – including the peace-offerings for unable to attend the con folks – are all still here. I think. (Many many books came my way and to be truthful I didn't track all of them.) Now to see if they survive the plane flight.

********

Meanwhile, other reports tell me that the house is in chaos and I suspect completely free of any internet entanglements. Also apparently people are very mad at one of the cats, which isn't entirely fair since these were the same people that were interrupting her carefully planned nap schedules and scaring her to death and she's too beautiful to be treated in this fashion.

*****

Ancillary matters:

Since a lot of people asked, no, I will not be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I probably should, but I have unpacking and lot of other stuff early this month and a non-novel project due mid month, so, this isn't the best month, however much the novels may be screaming.

I voted last week, but, yeah. Vote. You can watch this first for inspiration.
I left the apartment for the last time yesterday, removing laptop and clothes and suitcases for World Fantasy Con.

I feel that I should have more to say about this. Usually when I leave a place, no matter how long or briefly I've lived there, I have some feelings, some memories, a moment of taking a last look at the place and summing things up. When I left my apartment before this one, I was crying (of course, part of that was knowing I was moving away from [profile] coldecho, which was absolutely awful, and why we don't have transporters yet so he can come and see movies with me regularly and chat about things, or for that matter, join me for dinner tonight so we can snark about stuff, I do not know.)

This time my main thought was, can I make it to the airport on time. (And yes, in plenty of time – enough to find out that no, Disney princess tiaras cannot go through the Orlando airport X-ray machines and must be taken off no matter what a three year old thinks, so, now you know – Disney princess tiaras, which is kinda surprising since I always thought they were plastic. The next mass weapon of terror. But moving on.)

I will miss a few things about that place – the lake, certainly, and the slowly moving alligators swimming back and forth, the sunsets, the balcony filled with plants that both cats took such joy in. But this is balanced by so much that I won't miss – the way the place overheated every summer afternoon, whatever the airconditioner was set on (the house has shade and trees and cinderblock so will not have that problem), the kitchen (grr, grr, grr), the stairs, and other things.

It's weird, too, to be taking a trip from one home, and return to another – I have never done this before, never left not knowing exactly what I'll return to (in this case heightened by not knowing what condition the refurbished bathroom and the new floors will be in, and not knowing if my stuff from the storage unit will be there or not.) It's a little bit of nagging greyness on the edge of my mind.

******

Anyway, here I am at World Fantasy Con, after more frustration than was strictly necessary with Southwest Airlines, including a few terrifying minutes when I thought they'd lost my wheelchair. I met up briefly with [profile] girlie_jones and Jonathan Strahan before a massive wave of fatigue flashed over me, this after I'd realized that I was already having problems following their conversation. So to bed I went. This morning I met up with a group of lovely writers from Canada and California, made it to registration, where I was swamped under a pile of books, always a good thing, and then decided to conk out for a bit.

One worry: the disabled hotel rooms are nowhere near the elevators. I've been assured by hotel staff that they can push me back to the room, if necessary, but, auugh.

*******

Meanwhile, my latest post is up on Tor.com, on The Sea Fairies.

Heading back out to the con now.
1. First, I'm leaving for World Fantasy Con tomorrow (Wednesday) and will be back the following Tuesday, adding extra layover time at both ends to let me rest. I deliberately haven't signed up for any panels or readings, just to keep my schedule as flexible and free as possible, but if you're around, feel free to come up and say hi.

2. Internet: In theory they have internet in Columbus Ohio and the wonder that is the Hyatt hotel. In reality I have no idea what my internet access (or free time) will be. Posting may be heavy, light, or non-existent.

3. The real question, however, is not so much internet access at World Fantasy Con as internet access when I return. By the time I return, we will have moved to the house (yay!) and I will be staying there. Brighthouse Networks and the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster willing, we shall have internet access by that point. You may have noticed, however, that I named a little tiny entity called Brighthouse Networks in there, which has the ability to entirely and completely mess this up, so I'm not counting on having internet access by then, or indeed for several days.

4. Because of these two factors, I shall break my long standing tradition and go ahead and announce a publication before it appears. That's right: Fantasy Magazine will be publishing my short story, "Mademoiselle and the Chevalier," a tale of gargoyles, roses and magical rings, on Monday, November 1st. The story is one of my personal favorites, which actually makes me more nervous – I can deal with an unfavorable response to stories I don't care about as much, but I want everyone to love and hug this little tale. It might be just as well if I'm offline when it appears.

And....you'll all excuse me, but apparently I must go comfort a cat.
I know, I know. I have retreated to another one of those periods of tedious dullness again, where my sense of humor has tiptoed off to hide in a corner to avoid the risk of permanent damage, where my mind stumbles looking for words, where I am obsessed – obsessed – over matters that matter very little to the rest of you, like, can those kitchen cabinets be painted in time? Can they? Can they? The worst of it is that I know I've been dull much of the month, even before the house stuff. Especially for those of you who are just here for the movie/television snark, and you know who you are.

Part of the problem is that I find myself writing blog posts full of complaints, reading them over, and thinking, do I really want that out on the internet? And deleting a post. Exhaustion also makes me more rambling than ever: I had a post about the three Life Achievement Awards from the World Fantasy Convention this year which went on and on without making its main point: if this is a world fantasy award, why have we only nominated a couple of actual international, i.e., non English speaking writers? (Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, if I'm correct) Before realizing that there, I'm really part of the problem – I didn't exactly nominate any international writers either, which is going to change next year.

And I'm rambling again.

The second problem is that I have been fighting, very hard, against this turning into a disability blog, or a disability/writing blog, and yet, the overwhelming theme of the month has been, you are disabled and in a wheelchair, and, well, as I've mentioned before, this is something I'm still struggling to accept. Yes, you'd think that a year would have been enough, but not really.

And yet this unquestionably has had an effect on my overall attitude. On Monday, I happened to be passing a building in Orlando MetroWest that I'd never seen before, with a corner lined with magnificent stairs, and rather than thinking about most of the buildings, I found myself focusing on the stairs: where was the ramp? The wheelchair access? And, come to think of it, with that many outdoor stairs (a full flight) was an elevator anywhere? And so on.

These are not things I've had to think about before, although those of you who are wheelchair users are probably nodding along right now, but I'm finding that they've become an automatic part of my thinking. I'm spending probably more time

And there's other issues that I figure most of you probably just don't want to know about: I mean, did all of you really want to know that the kitchen cabinets were so covered in grease (and assorted other things) that not only was I becoming more convinced than ever that Cthulhu was trying to get in, but, the paint primer wouldn't stay on even after repeated cleanings. I didn't think so.

(Yes, cleaning/repainting is just a temporary solution for the kitchen cabinets – we just don't have the time to replace them properly just now, and that's something that should be done right.)

And the frustration that I wish I could be doing more right now.

Of course all this and the my low writing output in general has made all of those old fears, I think typical of writers, come creeping back: I don't know how to write anymore. I can't be interesting. I'm not funny. I'll never write again. I'll never write anything good again. (If it's not obvious, I'll note quietly and publicly that not surprisingly outside factors have got me down again.) It's insidious, and however much I'm trying to say, temporary, temporary more of me is noting just how often this sort of thing, creating writing issues, has happened this year.

So, yeah. Dull. Not funny. But hang in there (directed more at me than you, frankly): World Fantasy is coming up next week, some major things, not just the move, should be over by mid November, and also, I understand that a certain trainwreck of a movie is coming up rather soon, which should bring the snark back on.

Bleck

Oct. 19th, 2010 07:55 pm
Bad dizzy spell when returning to the apartment today, and still recovering, so not much of an update at the moment. Good news: bathtub is in and looks great. Bad news: I think Cthulhu is in the kitchen. Otherwise:

Packing.

Sleeping.

Renovating.

Packing.

Sleeping.

Head thunk.

Bathtub is in.

Walls are changing colors.

Bone weary.

Bed again.

ouch, cat. OUCH.

pretty much that.
As everyone who buys a house knows, you have the things you notice when originally walking through the place (awkward position for that 1/2 bath! Everything will need to be repainted/refloored!), the things the inspection finds (in a classic example of how not to put together your own AC system, or, in a related note, why remembering the existence of gravity is important), and then the things you find during the clean-up/move-in/living process.

The first one of those popped up yesterday: the pipes beneath the bathtub, which leads to the probability that we will be replacing the bathtub, which is good in the sense that this means we can actually have the sort of bathtub I want (within size limits – alas, it's a small bathroom, so my visions of huge tubs comfortable enough for more than one person must be discarded) and bad in the sense that this is going to be one major delaying project, which I suppose makes up for the unexpected speed of cleaning up/fixing the AC system. (I thought that would be far more of a nightmare than it turned out being – here looks were decidedly deceptive.)

Otherwise, much of the cleaning work is going well.

Going rather less well are the cats. Not being quite as stupid as they may occasionally seem, they started guessing that something was up when lots of boxes began appearing in the apartment on Tuesday.

They know boxes. Boxes mean that cats get put into boxes and put into cars and taken to new places. Sometimes these new places have dogs. Sometimes these car trips are long.

The Little One switched between scampering about madly and knocking boxes over (typical) to being aloof (so atypical I wondered if he'd had a kitty brain transplant while I wasn't looking). This is the cat that is rarely happy unless he is on someone, anyone, and by on someone, I mean, firmly on top of a lap, a chest, a head, a shoulder, whatever; humans, in his opinion, were created solely so that he can sit on them.

He's been avoiding me and vanishing for most of the week. When not sleeping in boxes.

The Grey One, who usually is the one to vanish for hours or days at a time, meanwhile, has decided to frame her response in a series of reproachful looks, then wails, and then, for no particular reason flop and drape herself all over me before wailing again. Today she has vanished. I suspect she is visiting another, cat centered dimension where cats sit around and complain about the cruelness of humans who move them places instead of allowing them to focus on important things, like naps and birdwatching.

The next few weeks should be fun!

A couple of you emailed yesterday and said I didn't sound that enthusiastic. Well, I am enthusiastic about the house – once it's cleaned up and those horrific carpets that would bring most of you to instant tears of pity or laughter now in there are out of there and the room my father thinks was used to grow marijuana no longer has quite the same drug laboratory look, and once I manage to have the chairs recovered, the place is going to look quite nice, and I honestly cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the end of stairs. (But many local people are expressing this feeling for me.) But I hate the actual process of moving. And in this particular case, I hate that I feel so useless. I have done some small things here and there, but I can't do that much, and it's frustrating.

Meanwhile, of course, we have the various other irritations of moving: my father's car not starting at precisely the wrong moment; my trike breaking down at also precisely the wrong moment, adding to the irritations. And also meanwhile, everybody thank [profile] gargoylerose for once again going over and above the call of duty!

I am, however, very glad that I will be at World Fantasy, which I can't believe is coming up so quickly, the weekend the furniture gets moved.
It's official: we have house. It's also official: we must fix up said house and move into it by October 31. Which is worth it, because, officially, this means the end of the 8:30 to 9:30 daily leafblowing activities.
Hallelujah. Also, no stairs. Serious hallelujah, no matter how much I hate moving.

This does, however, raise the total of major/lifechanging events in the next 30 days to a grand total of four. Which means – fair warning – that I am very likely to be frequently out of it. I admit that many of you will probably not be able to tell the difference from my usual mental state.

Also, this is a bit different from my usual moves, where I've headed to rentals which have already been fixed up and painted and carpeted for me. In this case, I spent a portion of yesterday staring at an AC vent that had probably not been cleaned since 1982 (when it was installed), so filthy that we could literally not tell how it was attached, and how to remove it without damaging the wall. It's one of the few cases I can think of where something's had to be cleaned before it can be tossed out.

In very vivid dreams last night, I dreamed that Coral Springs (Coral Springs? No idea why that town came into my mind) had been transformed into some great post apocalyptic nightmare city, complete with a vast ruined cathedral that I was assured they were trying to rebuild, all this as an Easter parade was coming through. That wasn't actually the main point of the dream, but it was a stunning image (except for the irrelevant bits about the Easter Bunny). Dirt. Lots of dirt – and then I swung my head to see shining clean buildings and no Easter Bunny. Not subtle, subconscious. (Remarkably, that wasn't the main point of the dream here either.)

Also, naturally now that I should be doing other things, all kinds of blog posts are springing up in my head – about bullying, about returning to possessions you haven't seen in awhile, about the frequent gap between author intention and reader reception (based on a review of Sparks which showed that I what I thought I was writing about and what the reviewer thought I was writing about were two entirely different things; it's always good if jolting to remember that readers bring something different than writers do to a tale). Alas, priorities. Priorities. Not one of my stronger points, this following priorities thing, but I probably should start getting to that now.

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