Totally doable

It’s great to be back in Colorado after a week in New York City. The trip was a week-long get-together with about 30 people from work, most of whom I’d never met before. The other people turned out to be great, and the whole event was structured in a way that allowed us to interact and get to know each other – we even spent one afternoon at a baseball game (Mets vs. Orioles).

The Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village.

I had not only never been to New York before, it also didn’t occur to me to look anything up ahead of time, so I didn’t know anything about the way the city is structured. I also didn’t realize how close it was to New Jersey until I asked one of my co-workers to take a photo of me with some buildings in the background, and she said you want Jersey behind you in the picture instead of Manhattan? 🙂

It turns out I have an aunt and uncle who live in New Jersey, about an hour and a half away from the company offices, but I didn’t figure that out until it was too late to see them. I didn’t get to Lower Manhattan until my last night there, when my friend Steph took me on a fun whirlwind tour. That was my favorite part of the city, and I’m definitely going back next time I’m in town.

Being in New York was also helpful writing-wise. One of my on-hold projects is a novel that’s either set in New York City or in a city very much like it, so being there gave me more of a sense of what the setting would be like. I don’t have time to work on this story for a while, but I can think about it. I kind of like the idea of making up a city, since then I can make up whatever I need. But if I do that, I need to figure out how to make it clear to the reader from the start that it’s a made-up city. This story is a contemporary fantasy set in an alternate version of our present world, so if I use a fictional city its existence has to be reasonably plausible – and if I base my city off of New York I also have to do so in a believable way. Both approaches feel challenging, so hopefully I can think this through more and figure out what to do before I get back to the book.

I now have a raised garden bed, and it was not only awesome to not have to worry about whether or not it was getting enough water while I was out of town, but I also got to come home to see my seeds had sprouted! I planted seeds for marigolds, nasturtiums, and borage – the rest of the plants are herbs, peppers, tomatillos, and there’s one cherry tomato plant.

My week was super busy with work-related activities, so I didn’t have the time to write that I’d expected, and am now trying hard to catch up. I finished a short story last night and sent it to my favorite copy editor (hi Mom!) for review, and have three more stories to finish this month. I’m also working on getting the third volume in A Procession of Faeries out, and have a few other projects going on that I need to work on as well. There are nineteen whole days left in the month, so this is all totally doable, right? 🙂

 
 

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The big apple

Me, on the 14th floor at work – southern Manhattan is behind me

I’m in New York City for the first time ever!!! I’m here on a week-long trip for my day job, but my husband (aka Mike) and I flew out a few days early and spent an evening hanging out with some friends who live in Boston. I’ve done tons and tons of walking, and fortunately remembered to switch from sandals to sneakers before I got blisters, so I can still walk. 🙂

Yesterday I walked on the High Line during the afternoon, then again in the evening with one of my friends from work. The High Line is super cool – it’s an elevated railway, originally used by the New York Central Railroad, that’s been turned to a park complete with trees and flowers. The original rails are still there in most places, which of course I love, because trains are awesome!

Walker Tower

A lot of the architecture is amazing, like this fabulous 1929 Art Deco building I saw yesterday. I got to walk through Central Park, learned I’m not a fan of Times Square, and had a glass of champagne at The Pierre. Joe Versus the Volcano is my absolute favorite movie ever, so of course going to The Pierre was the only ‘must do’ thing on my list for this trip.

I have been disappointed in the lack of gargoyles on the buildings here, but was pleasantly surprised to see some today when I was on one of the balconies at work. I haven’t yet looked up the building the gargoyles are on, but will soon – and I have a slew of photographs of other buildings to look up as well.

Needless to say I haven’t been doing any writing. I had very good intentions, but there’s just so much to see and do (and eat!) here that it’s been hard to focus on writing, in spite of my many looming deadlines. But I’m having so much fun that it feels worth it. I’ll just catch up on the trip back home…hopefully. 🙂

 
 

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Resistance is futile

My latest short story is currently a little over 5,600 words long, and will likely end up at 7,500-9,000 words long when it’s finished. Whenever that is. 🙂 I feel more on track than I have for the past month, but working on this story feels like walking through mud. The weird thing is that I really like this story, and I’m enjoying writing it. So why is it taking so ridiculously long? I have no idea!!!

I’ve decided the explanation is that my subconscious is up to something. I can’t prove this one way or the other, so it’s working for me as a theory. I also don’t seem to be alarmed by the fact that I’m taking forever to do things that I’d normally churn out, and my lack of consternation seems to be a good sign. Whether I’m right or not, it is what it is, so I’ll keep slogging through my story until it’s done. Whenever that is…

I figure it’s kind of like resisting Rosie when she wants you to play. You can try, but you’ll eventually give in, so you might as well accept your fate from the start. 🙂

Plants in my new garden!!!

I took a little time this weekend to buy plants and get my super awesome raised garden bed set up. Last year we finally admitted that we’d reached – okay, passed – the point where we could manage watering most of our yard manually, and we decided to replace the very old and mostly broken sprinkler system. We probably would have lived with it for another year or two, but the lack of water meant a lack of grass. That not only meant Rosie and Jasper would get dusty from wrestling in the back yard, they also ended up very muddy when it rained. Many dollars later we have a lovely back yard (except for the power lines, which I try to pretend aren’t there…), and my old, large garden has been replaced by a small but pretty raised garden bed. I mostly grow herbs, so this weekend I bought some tiny ones – sage, rosemary, a few thymes, bronze fennel, and twelve basil plants. (I love fresh basil.) I bought one tomato plant, two tomatillos, and five or so pepper plants. Then I planted seeds for borage (which I love), marigolds, and nasturtiums. I’m used to having a much larger space, so while the raised bed is very pretty, it’s definitely a big change from what I’m used to.

In addition to the story I’m happily – albeit mysteriously slowly – writing, I have three more stories to write by the end of June. Or four. I’m not going to look at my list to check because whatever is on my list has to wait until the current story is done. 🙂

 
 

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