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Liz A. Vogel
30 June 2015 @ 11:27 am
I had grand plans to write up a detailed and insightful post about 4th Street today. This was thwarted by the kitten waking me up at 8:30 this morning. (I rolled into the driveway at about 2:30 a.m.) Five hours of sleep is generous by my during-4th-Street standards, but as a post-con recovery sleep it is deeply inadequate, and now my brain is pudding.

It was a good con. Highlight as always was hanging out with fun people having interesting conversations. Highlight other than that was definitely the workshop, which went very well from both an organizer and a participant perspective. I'm delighted it's over (tired!), but I'm delighted we did it. Throughout the weekend, I had a great time hanging out with the usual suspects, and also with some of the intermediate-writer crowd, where we talked about stuff and writing and other stuff and writing and more stuff and how it interrelated with writing and stuff.

And now, some disjointed remarks, because pudding.

If last year was Chaos Con, this year was Kerfuffle Kon. Mainly they were localized kerfuffles, though, and they mostly got settled (as much as a kerfuffle ever gets settled, anyway), and didn't need to spill over into anyone else's enjoyment.

It's a truism that I never have the conversations I anticipate having at 4th Street. (I have other cool and fascinating conversations instead.) This year, it extended to panels; the couple I was side-eyeing and thinking I'd better sit near the door for turned out to be fascinating and engaging, whereas the couple I was keenest on didn't connect with me. The writing panel on "How To Play The Cards You Ain't Been Dealt" particularly left me cold, which leads directly to:

I need a translation algorithm, or possibly several. My writing process is non-standard, on almost every axis you can think of. This is frustrating and leaves me odd-man-out in process discussions, but it also means that when I'm trying to learn a bit I don't have, people keep giving me advice or tips that just don't fit. They're handing me a piece for my jigsaw puzzle, but I'm playing with Legos.

My workshop manuscript seems to have nailed my target audience pretty well; unfortunately, I severely underestimated how narrow a niche that is. Contemplation required.

The driving there and back was pretty good. A few bouts of really stupid traffic and a lot of construction, and a poorly timed encounter with one major city's rush hour, but on the other hand, hardly any weather; a few spats of rain, but no thunderstorms and certainly no tornadoes. Getting gas on the way back turned into an epic saga, but I know where the failure point was. (Edgerton, dammit. If not before, Edgerton.)

Arrived at con ridiculously early. Woke up ridiculously early most mornings, too, including Monday; I was moved out and checked out before most people were stirring. The one day I didn't wake up ridiculously early, the shrieking children actually proved quite useful. Note to self: just put the travel alarm in 24-hour mode. (Yes, I did it again.)

Good food was consumed, good talk was talked, good times were had.

The cats were startled but happy to see me last night. After I'd gone upstairs with the intention of going to bed, Ember brought a toy all the way up the stairs to present to me. Awwww.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/140810.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted but happy
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
23 June 2015 @ 10:38 am
I am packed enough that I feel like I should be leaving today, because that would mean I had just enough time to do the last few things in a mad, frantic scramble before leaving only an hour or two later than planned.

In fact, I'm leaving tomorrow, and I have enough time to do the last few things in a sane and reasonable manner, provided I don't dawdle. This is confusing the hell out of me.

The housemate will be home with the cats, so I only feel mildly guilty about going at all. The biggest challenge at this point is trying to coordinate my departure time with the weather; my ideal schedule, cunningly devised to avoid all rush hours at all major metropolitan areas I pass, threatens to put me in the path of some very nasty forecasted weather at some very inconvenient points. I'm considering leaving rather earlier and sitting out the storms at various points as needed.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/140695.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: I should be playing some, shouldn't I?
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
20 June 2015 @ 08:37 pm
Coconut Secret Peruvian Crunch 70% Dark with Toasted Coconut

Where bought: Foods For Living

Sharp, intense aroma that goes straight to the back-brain.

Texture is hard, crumbly with little bits of coconut and possibly coconut crystals. Chews well, melts quickly.

Intense, bittersweet flavor shot through with little bursts of coconutty sweetness. They blend better than that makes it sound, though, giving all the intensity of dark chocolate without any bitter or sour tones. Very good. Aftertaste is toasty-warm but also sort of tingly.

Overall: Very nicely put-together. Have to be in the right mood for toasted coconut, but when I am, would definitely buy again.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/140495.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: hungrypeckish
Current Music: Foo Fighters, "Long Road to Ruin"
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
10 June 2015 @ 11:41 am
So it turns out that the empty box from a Toblerone is the perfect thing to prop the large frosting bowl at an angle for scooping out the last of the frosting. Given what I usually listen to while frosting cookies, this amuses me greatly.


Once again, I am reminded that for all the astonishing amount of time this takes, the immediate limiting factor is actually the number of cooling racks we have, and the shortage of places to put them. I could get a lot more cookies done now if I had anything to put them on, or anywhere to put that thing once they were on it.


ETA: It's looking like I'm going to get cookies done for the workshop, but not for the con as a whole. I still have an amazing amount to do (both RL and my own con-prep), and there just isn't time.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/140250.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Cabin Pressure: "St. Petersburg"
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
08 June 2015 @ 01:31 pm
This is just here for the record; not much to show for the past couple months.

April:

Haley novel = 38 (I managed to work in a line I really liked and hadn't previously been able to find a place for.)
original short stories = 15
Total new words in April = 53

Queries sent = 1

Looking back at goals, I did get my taxes done. And the flu is gone, though there is a trace of a lingering cough that I'll be very glad to see the back of.


May:

Falling From Ground = 40
original short stories = 184 (incl. more clown history!)
Total new words in May = 224

There were also a couple quick edits on ...And The Kitchen Sink that didn't actually change the word count.

Short stories submitted = 2


What can I say? I've rather had my mind on other matters lately.


I'm not setting targets for June, either; still getting my feet under me from real-life matters. I've an unaccustomed amount of critiquing to do; got the stuff for the library group done just in time, and now there's the 4th Street workshop coming up. I have been fiddling with some living-room fanfic lately, which is a nice low-demand way to ease back into writing. And I poked at Green Ring a little the other night.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat as necessary.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/139827.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Lying In States, "Fall Or Stumble"
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
30 May 2015 @ 06:10 pm
A little over ten years ago, a scruffy yearling cat stood on our porch and said, "I live here now. Let me in!"

Today, we said goodbye.

Milo was the world's most amiable cat: laid-back, mellow, but always wanting to be involved in whatever was going on. Smart, brave, and affectionate, he loved muzzle rubs and rump pats and that spot at the base of the tail that induces caltitude. He could velcro himself to a lap before you'd quite finished sitting down, and he had an amazing ability, if he wasn't sitting on you already, to identify end-credit music and ensconce himself immovably on your lap so you had to sit and watch another three episodes. He loved food, and his adopted sister (and his big and little brothers, past and present), and catnip, and us.

Yesterday we had a lovely morning sitting outside in the sun, followed by an extended multi-stage afternoon nap on the nice cool living room carpet, with his people sitting nearby and petting. The cancer had taken away a lot of what he enjoyed, but he still made a beeline for my lap, or stretched out his paws to touch one of us. And there were several meals, and then off to bed for one last snuggle in my armpit, and one more early this morning, complete with a good loud purr. And then today, we gave him as peaceful an end as possible, the last thing we could do for him.

He never backed down from a fight in his life, but this was one he just couldn't win.

Goodbye, my little guy. You were the best of cats.



This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/139523.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Death Cab For Cutie, "What Sarah Said"
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
26 May 2015 @ 11:30 pm
So, there was MediaWest*Con this past weekend.

It was a good con. We were commuting from home, which I think actually contributed to a better con experience. For one thing, I wasn't roaming the halls for hours looking for something interesting still going on late at night (MediaWest's attendees are increasingly early-to-bed types, as the years go on), which always leaves me cranky and disappointed -- if there was nothing left to do, we just went home to bed. For another, since we didn't have the hotel room to retreat to during the day, I think we went to a lot more panels and sought out more interaction during the day. So it was a good arrangement, as well as vastly cheaper and easier to manage with the ailing cat.

I think it may also have helped that a lot of the people whose first fandom is complaining have finally just stopped coming. So pretty much everybody there was willing to have a good time, which makes it a lot easier for everybody to have a good time.

The art auction was small but high-quality -- my goodness, there were some impressive pieces. The dealers room was pretty low-key, but I actually bought a new zine! Panels ranged in quality; the best was definitely the Cabin Pressure panel, and not just because I knew almost all of the trivia questions. (Brilliant!) Good meals with good company, interesting conversations in the hallways, and a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity on Sunday night -- works for me.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/139509.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: geekygeeky
Current Music: Dire Straits, "Lions"
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
06 May 2015 @ 10:20 pm

"I could just take tomorrow and do clown research."



This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/139136.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

 
 
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Remington Steele theme
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
26 April 2015 @ 02:12 pm
Dagoba Hazelnut (milk Chocolate 37%)

Where bought: Foods For Living. What can I say, they had Dagobas on sale.

Not much aroma.

Warm, friendly flavor. Nicely hazelnutty, blends well with the chocolate. Smooth texture, melts well in the mouth, and little chopped-up hazelnut bits flow easily with it.

Overall: Yum; not challenging, but pleasant. Would buy again.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/138786.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: blahcoasting in neutral
Current Music: Sister Hazel, "The Road"
 
 
 
Liz A. Vogel
22 April 2015 @ 05:15 pm
It wasn't enough that I had the flu, followed by the nastier flu, both lingering; last week, I had to go and sprain my ankle, too. ;-P

I'm in that annoying state where I don't feel good enough to do much of anything, but I don't feel bad enough to be not doing anything. Which means I am mostly surfing the web. Occasionally I manage to turn that to the arguably-useful surfing of market and agent research, but not often enough.

Well, and minioning to cats. Because colds may come and ankles may go, but the cats still expect hot-and-cold running human at their every beck and call.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/138618.html because I got tired of dealing with whatever LiveJournal had broken this time. Comment whereever.

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Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: Elton John, "Take Me to the Pilot"