Dream of the Dolphin
a.k.a.
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore

Free Story!

Monday, June 30, 2003
 

O Canada, Haggis Style

Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square. Fireworks and Enter the Haggis live. Anyone wanna go with me?

( 11:31 AM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

A Pleasant Time is Guaranteed For All

Wow, what a great weekend!

Karina came over Saturday. We went to see A Mighty Wind (lord, it was funny), and watched Mulan and MST3K (after much wrangling with the VCR).

Then on Sunday, we went to Rob Sawyer's house for an SF community gathering.

God, it was fun. And there were actually people our age there this time!

It's funny -- there aren't many places we can go where we can socialize with people who share our interests, but every time we end up at Rob's house, it's almost like a con without the panels. We had such a great time. Rob constantly teases me and Karina at these things for not circulating (we did point out that if everyone circulates, you'll end up chasing people around the house and never actually meet), but when you end up in fun conversation with an interesting person, you really don't want to move.

Nathaniel was one such person. Very telling that you can spend 7 hours sitting on the floor talking to a person and not actually notice how much time is passing. But how often do you meet someone else who understands why Pilot is the coolest SF creature ever created?

I had so much fun. People keep telling me I don't get out enough, but these was much better that going out to bars or clubs. These are people who understand.

I need to go watch Labyrinth.

( 10:20 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, June 27, 2003
 

Snippety-snip

There are moments in writing when you stumble across two characters who just work together, without any effort on the writer's part. There are times when those characters interact in such a way that just leaves you staring at the page with a delighted grin on your face.

This is one of them.

*****

"Human!"

"What?"

"If you don't hurry up, I will take you by the feet and drag you."

Glaring at him, Caro hurried to catch up to Ayasherin. "Didn't your mother ever tell you you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar?"

"No. She told me that my victims can't run away if I hamstring them, and that flesh tastes much better when it's still alive."

Caro paled and stared after him as he set off again. "Okay. That explains a lot."

( 1:24 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, June 26, 2003
 

Sparklypoo!

Bad news: Computer's frelled. Sib's sending it back to manufacturer. May get a replacement in a couple weeks if they accept the bank statement in lieu of a receipt. If not, I'm out another $200.

Good news: Not much, so here are some fun links.

This comic, Harry Potter and the Mary Sues (which I found via Julie's NG), is absolutely hilarious. For those who don't know what a "Mary Sue" is, it quickly becomes very obvious.

And the Homestar Runner gang have offered up The Ballad of the Sneak, which has been stuck in my head all day.

( 11:39 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Wednesday, June 25, 2003
 

Kablammo!

Hear that? That's the sound of my hard drive exploding.

It's fried. Screwed. Kaput. Dead. The sib's working on it, but he holds little hope. He's going to try to exchange it today, but given that the receipt vanished from the bag when we brought it home in January, so all we have to go on is my bank statement with the Interac transaction on it, I hold little hope. Still, my fingers are crossed. Because I really can't afford a new hard drive right now.

Fortunately, of the irreplaceable stuff (i.e. my writing), most of the old stuff is backed up, and of the new stuff, I either have it, or have sent it to someone. Tami has Elysium 2, Charity has the Bryony stuff, and I've got Caro and Ayasherin on my work computer.

But all of the stuff I did between the last backup and now, including the Mirror Mirror revisions and a couple of the manuscript reformats, are gone if they can't recover the hard drive.

It's too hot for this.

( 10:48 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Monday, June 23, 2003
 

Great Big Fun

Busy, busy weekend.

To start, I took Pyewacket (yes, the name is official) to the vet, where we discovered that he does, in fact, have a penis. So our little girl is actually our little boy. :o) I'm actually happy about this -- in my experience, neutered males tend to be gentler and less destructive than females.

He got the works, and we discovered that something had hurt the end of his tail. I have to take him back next week to figure out whether or not the vet has to amputate the tip. He's somewhat resentful toward me now for the daily dosing with antibiotics and the frequent soaking of his tail we have to do (Megan was busy yesterday so I'm the only one who's inflicted it on him so far). I'm trying to bribe him with catnip.

Then it was off to Bakka to meet Ruth (and buy way too many books, as usual), after which I brought her home and FINALLY showed her Labyrinth, and then it was off to Great Big Sea!

The concert was fabulous. 54-40 opened, who were okay, but that's not who we were there to see. And those boys do a great concert. It was so fun, so high energy, that everyone had a great time. On the way home, we were entertained by the fireworks at Ontario Place.

Streetcar passenger: "Hey, driver, can you stop for a minute?"

Driver: "I'll tell you what, I'll go real slow. Okay, one more, and then we'll go."

Fun stuff. :o) Late dinner followed (I've gotten the hang of cucumber salad now, and have a feeling I'll be eating a LOT of it this summer), and we capped off the evening with Making of Labyrinth. We met Lara for brunch at Insomnia in the morning (I haven't laughed that hard in a while), and then Ruth had to go.

I went home, and almost immediately got swatted down sick. Not sure what did it, but I ended up spending the rest of the day (when I wasn't being ill or soaking the cat's tail) in bed reading Order of the Phoenix. Which I finished last night.

Got a call from the new student at the lab getting upset that I hadn't come in (some miscommunication led to her believing that I'd committed to be there Sunday -- I'd said I'd try to make it in) and other things. Not sure about this -- she's a lot stricter and more regimented than Karin was, and in a job this demanding and stressful that's nearly killed me once (the whole pneumonia fiasco), I'm not sure the extra money is worth it. Ah well. We'll see.

Oh, Tami, still I need those dates. ;o)

( 10:58 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, June 20, 2003
 

Labour of Love

Reading Karina's blog yesterday, I was struck by the comment she received that "You don't even have to think of a story. So many children's books are just rewritten fairy tales and the like that you don't have to do anything new. It's all done for you!"

Hold on. Back up a minute.

Elysium is a rewritten fairy tale. I hit pretty much every major plot point from the original story. But Elysium covers three books, an entire continent, twenty-seven years, one five-act play, and is hands-down the most difficult thing I have ever written.

Which brings me, in a circuitous way, to this blog, by way of Neil Gaiman's blog, talking about why trying to get a book published is pointless, and those who put themselves through the process are nuts.

What I especially take exception to is Point #4: Writing A Book Isn't Fun, which includes the following: "In fact, writing a book is a lot of work, and often work of a very tedious kind. It's heavy labor, more akin to building a house than puttering in your basement. (And no one builds a house purely for the pleasure of it.) It's certainly possible to write for pleasure and satisfaction, but not at that scale."

Yeah. No shit. It is a lot of work. But it's also a lot of fun, and if it isn't, you shouldn't be doing it anyway. There is no point in writing a book if you don't enjoy it, but you know what? There are people who do enjoy it. Even when, like Elysium, it's being an uncontrollable pain in the ass. It's entirely possible to write for pleasure at that scale, and I know a wide circle of people who do.

One of Neil's FAQ's says it well:

I read that thingy about authors being crazy/stupid for wanting to write, and it said that writing is no fun, like building a house, and I thought, well, I built a house and I thought it was very fun. Lots of hard work! Many times I hated it! But all the time, even when I hated it completely, I was having the time of my life. And I thought, maybe, for creative people, it's the same way. It's the hardest most aggravating boring exhausting thing, and it's so fun you never want to stop. Is it thus for you? I rather hope so.

To which Neil replied:

Absolutely spot on. Writing American Gods was like that: even when I hated it completely I was having the time of my life.

Amen. There's so much left to do on Elysium that it's almost scary, and yet I'm having a blast. That's what it's like for those of us who chose to do this thing, either full or part time. You do it because you enjoy it, or it's just not worth the bother, but I'm a little irritated by the implication that, in enjoying what I do, I must be "an obsessed lunatic". I mean, I am, but this guy makes it sound like it's a bad thing.

What makes me very sad is the one commenter who states:

I really did write it for fun; I'd always wanted to do it, and my wife Jane enjoyed having me read her the new bits. And I was marginally serious about getting published. I subscribed to Writer's Digest, I bought books on writing, I joined a writer's group. I sent the manuscript to Tor Books, as I respect their output, and I waited. The manuscript came back a week later, probably by return of post. And I thought to myself--none of the other big publishers really like to get stuff over the transom. And I could submit this to a hundred agents, over and over, and maybe one of them would bite. And maybe, just maybe, I'd get published. Do I really want to put up with that kind of hassle?

I decided (after just a little more hassle) that I didn't. I wasn't going to make any money writing books, and anyway I have a good job that provides for my family. So I put the manuscript in the proverbial bottom drawer.


This poor guy submitted one manuscript to one publisher, and called it quits. First thing I learned was that rejection is a part of writing. Sheila got hundreds of rejections before she published StarDoc, which remains my favourite SF series. But there are newbies who believe that one rejection means it'll never happen for them, it'll never be worth it. And there are people like that blogger encouraging this attitude.

The beginning years are some of the most vulnerable in a writer's career, before we get that authorial skin. My grandfather's harsh comments nearly destroyed my drive to write, and it was only some timely intervention by Holly Lisle that stopped me from throwing in the towel. Now I still have moments, but am for the most part convinced that there's a market for my stories out there. I may never be able to claim writing as my solitary income, but I will have books out there. It makes me sad that there are other people who will never reach this point because certain individuals consider themselves witty and wiser in the ways of writing, and think nothing of deflating that dream.

Don't abandon your goals because the road ahead has a few bumps. And there's nothing to say that a person who's striving to get a novel in print can't post free-to-the-web stories in the meantime.

[opens Caro & Ayasherin #4]

( 10:46 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, June 19, 2003
 

Proud to Be Canadian

There are times, admittedly, when I look at what the government does, shake my head, and hunker down in hopes that no one notices. And there are others, more often, that make me incredibly proud to be Canadian.

So, unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the Canadian government recognizes same sex marriages, and is now drafting a law to make them legal.

This makes me very happy. I've never been able to understand the extreme and venomous reactions certain people have to the loving union of two consenting adults.

Obviously, something this big can't be unanimously accepted with open arms. Alberta is not happy, and plans to invoke the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to override federal legislation. My favourite comment on this stance is in Jim Coyle's excellent article on Canada's recent decisions:

Though it should be noted that the vexed leadership of Alberta is stamping its cowboy-booted foot in fury and threatening to use the notwithstanding clause to protect itself from the weapon of planetary destruction it considers gay marriage to be.

Alberta is not alone. Reading the Voices section on same-sex unions is an eye-opening look at the gamut of emotions evoked by this decision.

The viciousness of some of the naysayers astonished me. And some of the logic is baffling. Some of them turn the issue around to be about heterosexual rights ("What I am opposed to is that they expect the heterosexual population to abandon their moral beliefs to accommodate theirs."), which is twisted, but I can still understand where that particular woman is coming from. But arguments like "Disgusting! Whats next? Brothers marrying their sisters?" (okay, we're a long way from legalizing incest here), just have me scratching my head.

Here are some more of my favourites:

" I think that this court ruling is disgraceful and goes against the Christian principles of the HOLY BIBLE. The definition of marriage is not unconstitutional, it is the ULTIMATE LAW ordained by GOD and GOD alone. May the courts come back to their senses and base their laws according to the Holy Book."

Okay, last time I CHECKED, we actually SEPARATED the CHURCH and the STATE in this country. And realized that liberal use of BLOCK CAPTIALS does not make for effective PROSE. And whose Holy Book would you prefer we USE, anyway? Christian? Muslim? Jewish? Heck, we're proud of HERITAGE in this country, so why don't we base our laws on ABORIGINAL CANADIAN beliefs?

Here's a doozy:

"As a Canadian, I am so fortunate to be living in the U.S., where such a bizarre court ruling would trigger massive public outrage. People here still value their freedoms. In Canada it seems that freedom just isn't worth the effort."

Excuse me? The repression of homosexuality is freedom? But the very next quote rebuts it pretty well:

" Freedom means that members of society are FREE to live as they choose, whether or not that lifestyle agrees with the doctrines of one religion or another. Gays are taxpaying, productive members of society and deserve the same rights as other Canadians, in every respect."

Granted, the above statement implies "within reason." Nobody's advocating the freedom to cavort through the streets pillaging the stores, raping the livestock, and drinking the blood of small children. We're talking about a loving relationship that doesn't harm anyone. Many of the naysayers like to turn it around and insist that allowing homosexuals to marry impinges on their rights to live according to the mandates of the religion. But people, no one's coming into your home and forcing you to marry someone of your sex. They just want to be able to celebrate their union as heterosexual couples do.

Not that long ago (in the grand scheme of things), the same kind of fervor went up over the subject of mixed-race marriages. The union of a mixed couple was considered "unnatural". But you know what? The world didn't come to an end. I don't think it's going to come to an end now, either.

Go Canada.

( 10:33 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Wednesday, June 18, 2003
 

TORI!!!!

AAAAAHHHHH!!!! Tori Amos is coming to Toronto on August 13! But holy God, the Amphitheatre is expensive. See, this is why I need to be independently wealthy. Well, this and the whole rent, food, loans, medical, writing thing.

Still, this is the kind of thing I'd splurge for if I had a partner in splurging. Anyone have a yen to go see Tori Amos?

( 2:33 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Only Way Out Is Up

Only thing to do is jump ooooover the moooon!

Okay, that's out of my system.

One of the great truisms is that when you hit rock bottom, the only way left to go is up. I was at rock bottom last night, emotionally. I haven't cried that much in one day since the summer of Best of the Musical. But I theorized once that tears are all the negative junk clogging up a person's soul, and that crying gets rid of that negativity. And, post-cry headache aside, I'm feeling better for it.

Though I seriously need to find a new "hurtin'" song. I had Sarah Brightman's "Beautiful" on continuous repeat last night. I think my computer was about to explode.

Anyway, here's something to counter last night's depression.

Ten Things I'm Thankful For Right This Minute

  1. Tami's e-card.
  2. The kitten (who still doesn't have a name -- though I'm starting to think that Kia suits her).
  3. Mac and cheese.
  4. Nathan.
  5. Sarah Brightman's "Beautiful".
  6. Ruth and the Great Big Sea concert on Saturday.
  7. My garden.
  8. Ayasherin (he's a bastard, but he's fun to write).
  9. Utukki and Eversummer Eve
  10. My Trogdor shirt.

( 9:54 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Tuesday, June 17, 2003
 

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This...

It started at 2 a.m. with an athsma attack (which I don't get unless I'm really sick with lung complications). After some sleep (4 hours, give or take), I managed to get out the door to work. About halfway there, the pain started.

It's happened once before. Also when I was sick and pushing it. It started just behind my left ear, and then began to radiate down through my jaw and across until the entire left side of my face was numb with pain so bad I thought I was going to throw up. Or die. Either would have been preferable. Then it gradually receded over the next half hour, pulling back to concentrate just behind my left ear before going away.

9 hours later, I can almost hear out of that ear again.

I have no idea what it was, though I suspect it has something to do with the nerve that runs through that area (ah, the joys of vertebrate anatomy classes). But Jesus H., it hurt.

So that was how my day started. It progressed along that line until an e-mail I got just before I got to leave for the day shoved me over the edge and reduced me to hysterics. Very happy that I have my own office and no one saw me crying. I got it back under control by the time I left, though my eyes were still that weird green they turn when I cry really hard, and Leslie noticed. Cried a couple times on the way home (hurray for sunglasses).

Went in to play with the kitten, and noticed that the legs on one of the garden swing flowerpots (a mini-porch swing holding two terra cotta flower pots with legs -- looks like one has its arm around the other) broke off at some point. I had a pair when I was younger, and was devestated when they broke after a fall. When I moved out of the house for good, Mum presented me with a new pair she had found as a housewarming present. Huge sentimental value. On any other day, I would have been sad. Today, it set me off all over again.

So now I have one of those post-cry headaches, and I'm trying to kick this frelling depression thing that's compelling me to spend the evening languishing on my bed. Languishing is not productive, and I have stories to write.

So, how do you motivate yourself when all you really want to do is crawl into a hole?

  1. Play with kitten.
  2. Dance to the butterfly song.
  3. Browse for webmanga, like this cool one, Utukki, which has the best tagline ever: "Babylonian Mythology Was Never So Bishounen".
  4. Play with kitten.
  5. Make macaroni and cheese for dinner. Not KD. The real stuff. Just pasta, butter, milk, and a fuckload of cheddar.
  6. Plan a girls' night.
  7. Play with kitten (sense a theme here? Yeah, I've played with her a lot today).
I'd go out for chocolate, but my stomach is still too wonky to take it. Fortunately, mac and cheese isn't a problem. And God, I love that kitten so much it actually makes me cry. And did before I was hysterical, too. I was lying down on the floor last night playing with her, and she crawled on my chest, stuck her head under my chin, and stayed there for nigh on half an hour.

Have I mentioned that I love that kitten?

( 6:40 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Sunday, June 15, 2003
 

Misery Loves Company

For the past couple days, I've been sick. Really, terribly, fluid-in-the-lungs, I-can't-breathe, somebody-shoot-me sick. Which is really annoying, considering that I'm fairly sure allergies started the ball rolling and I've just finished three months of allergy shots.

I've been taking it easy, spending the days in bed reading (Charity, you are my hero), and drinking so much tea that I'm starting to float. But I'm starting to feel better.

And better still is our new houseguest.

She's young, shy, timid, and afraid of people. She's malnourished and starving. She's got beautiful green eyes, and black-and-white fur that's in serious need of a bath.

Yup, Megan rescued a kitten.

We don't know if we can keep her yet, so for the time being, she's just a weekend houseguest. But oh, is she ever adorable. Even though it's not a guarantee we can keep her, we've already started running through names.

I want to call her Pyewacket.

( 12:31 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Thursday, June 12, 2003
 

Kawaii!

I was browsing around online manga last night, busy not writing, and stumbled across Eversummer Eve. Check this out. Great story, cool characters, and the exact kind of illustrations I pictured for the Caro and Ayasherin stories (I have GOT to find a title for that series). I would kill to have this woman doing the cover illustrations for the freebies. But she's no doubt far too busy with her own extremely cool project (not that I'd blame her one bit -- holy impressive, Batman). Ah well. A girl can dream. ;o)

And speaking of, here's a bit I wrote last night. I liked it enough I had to share. Caro is not happy with me.

Excerpt from As-Yet-Untitled-Caro#3
Copyright 2003 Sarah Jane Elliott, All Rights Reserved


************


Why do these things always happen to me? Caro thought. Though, granted, "always" actually implied "the last twelve days". Still, those days had seemed like an eternity.

She stumbled, went down, and lurched to her feet again, her knees stinging where she'd ripped through her jeans.

Twelve days since the pervert who'd broken into her yard had chased her to the Iroquois mound. Twelve days since she'd inadvertently opened the gateway in that mound and been thrown -- wherever she was. She'd never gotten the chance to ask Nesha or Dano, and Ayasherin didn't exactly encourage conversation. Twelve days since her life had gone to hell in a handbasket.

She stopped short as a new apparition emerged from the trees. He looked human, but he wasn't. First off, no man looked that beautiful without several thousand dollars worth of cosmetic enhancements, and she seriously doubted that a society who still went to the bathroom in pits in the ground knew much about collagen or botox.

And second, a wave of the wrongness she was coming to associate with seriously bad demon rolled through her like a punch to the gut.

"Well, well," said the apparition, in a voice like mist and shadows. Caro cast an angry thought at her hormones as she started to back away.

"Sorry," she said. "Didn't know this path was taken. I'll just find another."

He hadn't moved. She knew he hadn't. But between one breath and the next, he was standing right in front of her. Caro squeaked and backed into a tree.

"Pray, don't hurry on my account." He cocked his head, regarding her with eyes the colour of emeralds.

Oh crap, his hair matches his eyes. That can't be good.

He saw her discomfort, and grinned. She should have been relieved that his teeth were normal, without a hint of fangs.

But she wasn't.

"You appear to be in some trouble," he said, skimming a fingertip down her arm to stop at her bound wrists. "Perhaps I might help."

His touch raised all the hair on her arms. Caro wanted to fling herself somewhere, she just wasn't sure if it was toward him or away.

"No, that's okay. I'm fine. I wouldn't want to trouble you."

"No trouble." He placed a hand on the tree next to her head, cutting off her escape. "I do enjoy a good puzzle. And I would dearly love to know why you are bound, alone, in the middle of the forest." He leaned close, so close that his breath stirred the hair at her temple. She bit her lip, hard, and closed her eyes. "And I would love even more to know why you smell of Ayasherin."

Caro's eyes flew open and she jerked back, forgetting that there was a tree in her way. Her head slammed against the trunk with an audible crack. Cursing under her breath, she closed her eyes until the bright spots faded from her vision.

"Aya who?"

He threw back his head and laughed, a sound like thunder, like the rolling ocean, and cold as the January wind.

"Come now, my dearest." He cupped her cheek with his hand. "Lying serves no purpose." His hand drew back. A sudden burst of pain blasted across Caro's jaw, and she found herself lying on the ground several feet away from him, blinking through her tears. "And it only makes me angry."

"Oh God." She scrabbled backward as he advanced toward her. "Please, I don't know what you're talking about."

He paused, looked sadly at her, and shook his head. "I did warn you, darling one."

Pain erupted through her. Caro screamed as her blood literally boiled, frothing without heat, straining to tear her apart.

And then, abruptly, the pain stopped. Caro blinked to clear the haze from her eyes. Her position hadn't changed, but she was no longer alone with the young man. There was another, planted firmly between her and the demon.

And her nerves shuddered at a feeling like fingernails on a blackboard.

"Ayasherin!" Her attacker's voice was bright with joy. "How wonderful to see you."

"What are you doing to my toy, Marahesu?"

"Oh, her?" The demon -- Marahesu -- craned his neck around Ayasherin to stare at Caro. "She wouldn't tell me where you were."

"How foolish of her."

Marahesu sighed dramatically. "That's what I told her, but she didn't listen. So I had to punish her."

Ayasherin laughed. Caro dutifully refrained from biting his ankle. "Thank you. I do appreciate that."

"I'll do it again if you like." Marahesu raised his hand.

Caro whimpered and braced herself for the pain, but it didn't come. Risking a glance upward, her eyes widened as she saw the two demons still as statues, Ayasherin's hand locked around Marahesu's wrist.

"If you don't mind," Ayasherin's casual tone sounded painfully false in the loaded silence, "I prefer to be the only one to shed her blood."

Marahesu frowned. "What's gotten into you? You never used to be this stingy." He pulled his hand free. "Come to think of it, I've never known you to get close to a human before. I thought you hated them."

"I do."

"But she's redolent of you." Marahesu's eyes narrowed as Ayasherin's hand drifted toward his sword. "Ayasherin. What is that about your wrist?"

Wind tore through the clearing, slamming into Marahesu and throwing him into the trees. Before she could blink, Ayasherin's claws were in Caro's shirt, hauling her to her feet.

"Run!" he bellowed.

"But--"

He jerked her close, baring his teeth in her face. "There is nowhere on this world where you can hide from me. I will find you." He pushed her away, shouting to be heard over the screaming of the wind. "Go!"

He didn't need to tell her twice. As the trees within the depths of the forest where Marahesu had been thrown began to crack and fall, Caro turned and fled.

The thunder continued to rumble from the fight behind her, but she gradually left it behind. Only when her lungs were burning and her legs threatened to give out beneath her did she slow her pace to a walk. Giving in to necessity, she leaned heavily against a tree and dragged in several deep, shuddering breaths.

"Dammit to hell," she muttered. "Why do these things always happen to me?"

"Eeeeh," said a voice from the bushes next to her.

Caro shrieked and stumbled, landing on her ass. Hard. On top of a rock. Cursing, she eased herself up, and found herself staring into a pair of bright, inquisitive eyes. Her breath hitched in her throat.

The bushes parted, and one of the little shriveled beef-jerky monkeys emerged, shivering a little. It perched on a rock and stared at her. "Eeeh?"

"Aw, you poor little thing." She got her feet beneath her again, wincing as she reopened the scrapes on her knee. "Are you hungry?"

The jerky monkey looked at her, and its nostrils flared.

It didn't look so cute anymore.

Withered black lips peeled back from sharp yellow teeth. With a shriek, the monkey gathered itself up and leaped. Screeching to match the monkey, Caro turned and fled, the hungry demon running close at her heels.

( 1:25 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Wednesday, June 11, 2003
 

Achoo!

Had a good time at the ROM on Monday -- the bees are doing interesting things, and I waxed poetic on them to many a visitor. One of them happened to be one of the ROM teachers, who praised me to Sharilynn, which was really cool. :o) Sharilynn took me to the storage room, too, which I've never seen before, and it contains many vastly interesting things I would dearly love to play with. It was extremely cool getting to see another one of the "backstage" areas of the museum.

Oh, Sharilynn, if you're reading this, go to Strong Bad's E-mail and scroll down until you find "dragon". THAT is Trogdor.

One of the other volunteers mentioned as we were talking, "why aren't you staff? You know everything." Ah, how I wish. But it was really nice to hear regardless. :o)

Went to my parents' last night for the sib's birthday (he loved his Trogdor shirt) and had the added bonus of getting taken out to Sushi Garden for dinner (they have awesome Bento) and Bruce Almighty afterward. It was an enjoyable movie, though nothing that can't wait for video. I'm glad I got to see it though. I needed the break. Even if it did mean getting up at an ungodly hour to make the train back to the city in the morning.

And, of course, after weeks and weeks of needles in the arm, I finally come the end of my allergy shots. I am protected for the season.

So what happens today?

Sneeze city. Frelling crap. Where's my Allegra?

( 6:09 PM ) Sarah Jane ~





Friday, June 06, 2003
 

Paging All Artists!

Okay, here's the deal.

I want to offer a free story every other month (ideally every month, but that's way too ambitious) on my website. I plan on distributing each short story as a .pdf file, and compiling each cycle into a big e-book when I finish it.

I would really like to have a "cover" for each story, but my artistic abilities suck, and are pretty much limited to me either ripping off a screencap from Lord of the Rings or sending a doodle to someone and saying "could you draw this, only good?"

You can read a sample of the series on the freebies page. It's your typical girl-from-our-world-falls-through-gateway-to-parallel-world story, full of demons, magicians, warriors, nasty beasties, and of course, romance. It's by no means great literature; this is being written purely for fun. I have a blast writing it, and the few who've read the draft of Story#1 seem to enjoy reading it.

I can't offer any compensation, save that you'd get to read the stories a month or so before anybody else. And if the only thing you can draw is anime-type stuff, that's all to the good -- this story actually came fully realized as a dream I had after watching 10 hours of anime, so anime-style kinda works for this one. Stuff like Ah! My Goddess!, Fushigi Yuugi or Inuyasha.

Anyway, if you're interested, drop me a line and we'll talk. And if you know anyone who might be interested, please pass it on!

( 9:47 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Charity!!!

As if I wasn't in enough trouble spending all my money collecting Eve Dallas books, now I have to go out and start collecting Amelia Peabody books, too! :o)

Some fun links:

Gollum's MTV award acceptance speech

Funny cat video

( 9:13 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

Dangerous Time Wasters

Found this link at Neil Gaiman's journal, to a random poetry generator that creates poems from webpages. Each time you refresh, you get a new poem.

Yeah, I spent a lot of time there this morning. :o) Here's one of my favourites:

Dream now found out of numbness and
still wear long pants. always met
with on her
that
little snippet from
smacking myself out this time,
to realize
I
love interests in knots. that nothing
to be
more
of my shoulders, seeking
out before actually
thought post and more about halfway through,
the heck happened to realize I remember that currently
working twice the end, at which
mounted my favourite book deal,
with its calm, gentle waves, 1:000,
000
000 000 words for a
love Bridget and chucked
them. to spend all the
government $so I launched
myself in my plays. how working,
to her, hair in the sun
guide you I lose those were mostly
decent breeze going Hey!
money, but I had
begun to help
to stop by the tears
from the Peregrine
Cam address,
for you, work
at least writing again, so unbelievably
cute
that my feet you I want to
do it that some
kind of the women for one , who
were apt,
actually Torontonians do my legs.


Had a thoroughly wonderful time with Alice and Alexandra last night. They came over, we made a lovely dinner, and then watched Inuyasha till our eyes fell out. Ahh, bliss... :o) Ah well. Off to the fish lab!

( 7:53 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Wednesday, June 04, 2003
 

Phew!

No backup at work really -- I had a template from July 2002 -- but I managed to figure out the blogger tags from that, the rest of the code from the source on one of my archive pages, and just redid the comments from scratch.

And I'm saving a copy of the template in Arachnophilia when I get home.

Ah well. It's a lesson, I suppose. No harm done, save that I can't remember the address for the new webshot offhand, so we're back to supernova, and I've lost the Peregrine Cam address, but that much at least is easily remedied. I know to save a copy now, and knowing is half the battle.

[/creepy 80's flashback]

So what's new in Sarahland, besides the near-destruction of Dream of the Dolphin?

The sib and I went to see Finding Nemo last Sunday, which was fabulous. And even funnier if you've taken marine biology. Some of the voiceovers to the behaviours you see all the time were apt, I nearly killed myself laughing. Picture and entire theatre snickering a bit at the crabs in guard position going "Hey! Heeeeeeeeey....", and now stick me in the middle of it, in the throes of hysterical laughter, sliding out of my seat onto the floor.

But I think everyone "got" the seagulls.

It wasn't quite as good as Toy Story, but that doesn't mean it wasn't better than a hell of a lot of movies out there. It was well worth seeing, and I'd very much like to go again (and since it's a Pixar movie, there will be the inevitable outtakes added halfway through, which means I'll have to go again anyway.

Went to the dentist (still have perfect teeth, hurray), came back to the city, went to the ROM and found out that the bees are building queen cells! We're gonna have us a good old-fashioned swarming! Woo-hoo!

[/geeky zoologist moment]

I'm going for my CT scan tonight (oh, feel my joy), and then I get to frantically attempt to throw my room (and the rest of the house post-Emily's-party) back together before Alexandra comes tomorrow (I know she really won't care if the house is messy, but I have a cleaning thing. I get it from my parents).

And then I'm going to attempt to fix the author site blog template that got me into this mess in the first place. Saving Dream of the Dolphin before I start.

( 11:07 AM ) Sarah Jane ~


 

FUCK!

Oh, I muffed it. I completely screwed up my template and had to start from square one. I may have a backup at work. Cross your fingers.

( 1:50 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Tuesday, June 03, 2003
 

Blue!

I have spent the past week on the long overdue painting of my bedroom, and it's now a lovely pewter blue. Hurrah! No more jaundice-yellow! I am so much happier now. The room is now mine. This is my colour. :o)

I've updated my website again (if you get an under consruction page, let me know -- there have been a couple nameserver issues). The most noteworthy changes being the addition of three snippets (two in bibliography, one in freebies). I'm still working on it (I have to shrink that graphic on the splash page, for one), but it's starting to shape up nicely.

( 8:28 AM ) Sarah Jane ~





Sarah Jane Elliott
The often frustrating progress of my life and writing...

(Once known as "The Mystic's Dream", now known as "Dream of the Dolphin", but inclined to change title depending on what's stuck in my head)

Okay, I liked "Confessions of a Post Graduate Pity Whore" a lot more than I thought I would. That line is still hilarious. But I've started writing again, so it's time to go back to before. :o)





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Recommended Reading:

Stardoc

War for the Oaks

Beholder's Eye

Archangel

Summers at Castle Auburn

A Thousand Words for Stranger

Beauty

Good Omens

Alien Taste

Deerskin

Ella Enchanted

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