June 25th, 2009

c is for cat

(no subject)

  • 12:17 Awake. Don't wanna be. What is up with books keeping me up all night? Thanks a lot, LITERATURE. #
  • 14:32 Waiting outside job interview place. Reading The Secret History of Giants. #
  • 21:35 Home at last. Heavy fog tonight. Have sackful of mackerel in the fridge as was .99 a pound. Amazing yarn package in mail from @jasminchua! #
  • 21:38 @alexandraerin He thinks the interview went well. Now we wait. #
  • 22:03 @jasminchua Thank you so much! It's so gorgeous! Will get your book in the mail asap. #
  • 22:59 Mad Men = MANLYEMO #
  • 22:59 Also Vincent Kartheiser is cursed to forever play insufferable little shits. #
  • 23:10 @tessa_racht I quite like it--I adore Joan. She needs moar scenes. #
  • 23:52 Holy crap am successfully knitting with DPNs! It's like wrestling a petrified octopus! #
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c is for cat

The Bone Shop Signal Boost

Fairyland is going to have some company on Mondays: tim_pratt , awesome author extraordinaire, is in the same awful situation with his wife's lay-off that many of us are these days. So he's posting chapters of The Bone Shop, a novella about Marla Mason, the heroine of his urban fantasy series, and asking for donations.

Marla Mason is the chief sorcerer of Felport, a woman who's tangled with gods and monsters and come out on top (if a bit damaged in the process). But she wasn't always a formidable engine of brute force and pragmatism; she started out alone, in a strange city, without allies or any more power than the average teenage runaway on the street. Marla was always willing to do anything necessary to survive, and it didn't take long for her to stumble into a world of magic, danger... and even the occasional moment of grace.

Bone Shop tells the story of Marla's evolution from runaway to sorcerer's apprentice to mercenary magician and beyond. Fans of the urban fantasy series that began with Blood Engines will find surprising secrets revealed about Marla's past, and new readers can meet the character from the very beginning.

Go here for more info and to donate!

urban anchorite

Things You Might Not Know About Me

I'm an obsessive counter.

Oh yes, I can keep it quiet, I don't count matchsticks or anything, and I aitn't a vampire. But rest assured, when I'm with you, I'm counting my steps, the stairs, the tiles on the floor. Hell, I used to count sexual encounters--not partners, of which I've had relatively few, which I say not to be all NOT A SLUT but to point out how stupid counting is in this situation, but individual activities--and kept it straight into the high four digits.

Can't help it, it's just part of my psyche. I've counted anything countable--and not told anyone about it--since I was a little kid.

So you know, I thought I'd tell the internet.

Knitting is an excellent past-time for me, since it involves a lot of counting and basic arithmetic. Arithmetic (I won't call it math) is a visceral pleasure for me, especially since I'm also a bit of a synaesthesiac, and numbers have colors and even notes, so when I add them together or count, their colors and sounds fire off in my brain. So knitting is by-god spectacular in there. (My brain is a weird, murky place, if you couldn't tell.)

I realized the other day whilst working on a camisole that is just a whole lot of boring stockinette stitch, that I can't concentrate on something that's not broken down into units. This is not an ADHD thing--not my particular brand of issue, though about half my family has it. I need the small rush of pleasure that comes with finishing a unit--a row, a block, an object--to keep going. So I put in stitch markers every twenty stitches or so, and am a happy bee. (Stitch markers are tech anyway, especially when making lace.) So my brain can do its counting-to-ten acid trip and also get the endorphin dump of feeling like progress is being made. God, you should see my head on road trips, endlessly recalculating arrival time with every new road sign. LJ friends-of are kind of hilarious in there, since their movement is unpredictable and largely unaffectable, but still has colors and feelings of progress attached. I was WAY into numerology as a youngling, for all these various reasons. It's still the New Age activity I'm most embarrassed about, mostly because it feels so private, not because it's popularly maligned. You don't count in front of other people!

Whenever I take up a new craft I compare it to writing, so this made me realize: I do the exact same thing with books.

I do a lot of arithmetic. If I write this many words every day I'll be finished by X time. Lather, rinse, repeat for each day's performance. (Which, by the way, do you guys have any interest in seeing what I do every day posted here? Wordcounts, projects, etc? Would it be horribly boring or interesting?)

Anyway, even if that schedule never works, the number thing is so pleasurable to me that I have to do it. And I have to split things up into chunks--chapters are convenient, and I can't say for sure that this isn't the source of my short chapter habit (considering the length of next week's Fairyland chapter, I doubt it) but it's not only chapters. It's words. 5k is a. red and b. a milestone. I need to pay attention like that. The 10ks (silver) are big ones, and it matters to me all out of proportion when I complete a 10k portion. It's like a stitch marker.

Funny, I don't really notice bigger units, though. Like, even though there might be 3 or 4 units of 25k in my book, I don't note them. It's the 10k markers that I latch onto. They feel managable.

This process is pointless. It doesn't accomplish anything. But my vampire sense say it must be done or there will be no book. A book is made up of ever-increasing units. So is a hat. My brain thinks if it doesn't count things, they might be...sort of hurt. Same reason that when I was a kid I ate a little bit from everything on my plate in a specific order, so none of my food would feel like it was being left out. Good grief.

I wonder about this, though. Little rituals, and how they shape the world we choose to walk through. At some point I hadn't been counting things, and then I did. Maybe it was a conscious choice. Maybe not. But now it affects my work process and my daily living and hangs pretty, sparkly colored numbers all over it. I guess that's the definition of a habit. But I don't think I could break it if I wanted to.

This has been your confessions of a numerological freak. (ONE freak! AH HA HA.)
  • Current Mood
    busy counting
urban anchorite

So Many Signals I Gotta Wear Shades

Vote for kylecassidy  in the LJ elections! Finally someone I trust to make decisions for the site that is such a big part of my life. I know Kyle in the real world as well as online and he more or less completely rules--and will not make asshat choices, which is possibly more important.

Using an icon of a photo Kyle took of me in solidarity, yo.

Vote here.