“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”
Oscar Wilde

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Kerosene lamp: public domain. Bonfire: CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Click through for excerpt and cover art attributions.
the weekly beat-downs are no excuse, i recognize this
Sun 2016-06-12 00:24:06 (single post)
  • 872 words (if poetry, lines) long

No, I am not going to start calling them "Saturday Fictionettes." For one thing, if I did that, I'd probably wind up posting them no sooner than the following Monday, knowing me. Anyway, here's yesterday's offering, bite-sized and a day late. It's called "Maggie, Queen of Darkness," and it comes with a content note for death-by-fire and suicide. Things got dark in this one, OK? It happens. Although, now that I think of it, it would fit seamlessly into the tradition of superhero origin stories, posthumous (cf. Spawn). But that's a novel waiting to happen. For now all you get is a scene.

Last week I had a valid, if vague, excuse for being late and generally unproductive. This week I got nothing. Bad habits come back quick; good habits take a lot of work. I'm working on it.

Well, possibly there's the fact that this week was more exhausting than most on the roller derby front. I was in four, count 'em, four interleague scrimmages between Tuesday and Thursday, and I was kind of fighting with a deeply bruised hip since Sunday. There is, I'm afraid, no good story behind the deeply bruised hip. I hit a patch of dust on the track, wiped out, and landed hard, instantly raising a thick lump of owie and also causing apparent sciatic nerve panic along the entire length of my left leg. I took myself out of practice and limped the rest of the weekend. I also limped most of Friday since I fell on it several times Thursday evening, thanks to RMRG's fantastic offensive blocking. Also my crappy luck--it didn't seem to matter where or how or in what direction I got hit, I still fell smack on the owie part. It's like owie parts have magnets in them that draw them with great force toward the nearest convenient object of blunt force trauma, i.e. the ground. Owie parts are in cahoots with gravity. I am outnumbered. Unfair.

Now, the bruises like leopard spots covering both upper arms, those probably have good stories. Problem is, I can't remember which one came from which hit, or indeed individual hits at all. Some of the bruises are probably from my teammates' fingers. We hold on tight to each other in our defensive walls.

Thing is, though, I don't like making that my excuse for not getting writing done. Down that path, derby eats writing all up. I am convinced, I insist, I demand that my derby life and my writing life coexist. I mean, yes, I volunteer for an athletic beat-down three nights a week and twice on Sundays, but I'm not the only one, and if some of my league-mates manage all that and some combination of full time employment, school, and child care, you'd think I could pull off a measly 20 hours of writing each week. Especially considering I needn't leave the house nor even the bed to do said writing, right?

Right, so. It's gone midnight and I should be in bed. Tomorrow's my day for double beat-downs and the schedule starts early. Rock on with your bad selves and see you on Monday. (And I mean it this time.)

These pirate penguins are just a little too uncanny valley for me.
YPP Weekend Blockades, June 11-12: nine islands what is this i can't even
Sat 2016-06-11 12:42:56 (single post)

Blah blah blah, blockade schedule now, fictionette update later, blah blah blah. You know the drill.

Most of this weekend's entertainment will be brought to you by the near-cinematic multi-island struggle between Netflix and Kill (attacking) and Babylon (defending) on the Cerulean Ocean. And by multi-island, I mean not two or three or five but in fact nine. Nine islands! Simultaneously! Who can even? I don't know and you don't either. Just get in there and get puzzling, right?

The Emerald Ocean features a multi-island face-off that's nearly impressive, mostly between Going Down and Blow Me Good with a little Truth or Dare thrown in for variety. Meanwhile there are Brigand Kings to be evicted. You know how it goes.

Keep scrolling for the full schedule. Have fun!

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, June 11 ***

11:57 a.m. - Conglin Island, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Dragon Lords
Attacker: Chthonic Horde (6)

12:17 p.m. - Ventress Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: The Enlightened (2)
Attacker: Spankilicious

12:24 p.m. - Ilha da Aguia, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Black Veil (2)
Attacker: Skull Candy

8:30 p.m. - Ambush Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (2)
Attacker: Going Down

*** Sunday, June 12 ***

10:00 a.m. - Fintan Island, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Chapter Three
Attacker: Radioactive

10:00 a.m. - Kashgar Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: The Enlightened (2)
Attacker: Blow Me Good

10:01 a.m. - Alkaid Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Blow Me Good
Attacker: Going Down

10:02 a.m. - Arakoua Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Going Down
Attacker: Blow Me Good

10:02 a.m. - Doyle Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Truth or Dare
Attacker: Blow Me Good

10:23 a.m. - Ix Chel, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Blow Me Good
Attacker: Going Down

Subscription Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, June 11 ***

11:56 a.m. - Delta Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:56 a.m. - Labyrinth Moors, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:56 a.m. - Napi Peak, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:57 a.m. - Turtle Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:57 a.m. - Papaya Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:57 a.m. - Namath Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:58 a.m. - Nu Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:58 a.m. - Tinga Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

11:58 a.m. - Winter Solstice, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Babylon
Attacker: Netflix and Kill

(Cover art incorporates free stock photo from Pixabay)
scaling Mt. Overdue while appreciating the scenery
Sat 2016-06-04 23:00:42 (single post)
  • 978 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 100 words (if poetry, lines) long

As promised, the Friday Fictionette report. First off, it's a new month, which means not just a new Seal o' Piracy (see previous blog post) but also a new Fictionette Freebie. The freebie for May is "A Week in the Life of a Simple Houseplant" (that's the PDF; download the audio here). I have only just now released it, I'm afraid.

I have also only just now this morning released the Friday Fictionette for the first week of June, "Father Frank's Peaceable Kingdom," which slots in somewhere between the world with Spreading Sentience Syndrome and the world of "Priesthood Has Its Privileges." It's kind of a fairy tale (things must happen three times; Goldilocks must find things Too Big and then Too Small before she encounters Just Right) and it's kind of a satire and, if you read the full text, you might note that it is firmly ignoring the semi-recent changes to the Catholic liturgy. Author's privilege. Nyah.

Fictionette Artifacts for May will be produced and mailed over the first half of this week. Next week. Whatever you call the week that starts with the Monday that's two days from now.

Last week (the week beginning with the Monday that was five days ago) wasn't exactly great for me, I'm afraid. A lot of nothing got done, which means I'm now, and have been for some time, in catch-up mode. But not scrambling catch-up mode, if that makes sense. If I think about it as a week of being not lazy, not hopeless, but rather mildly ill, then it follows that I shouldn't punish myself over having been unproductive or getting things done late. Nor does it make sense to expect myself to get all the overdue things done now now now. Oddly, as a result, I am getting the overdue stuff done about as quickly as when I scramble, but there's a lot less stress and self-loathing involved. Funny how that works.

In other news, or at least other thoughts...

I have just finished rereading the Welcome to Night Vale book, which is gorgeous and funny and gorgeous. If you already like the podcast, you will undoubtedly like the book. I do, and I expected I would, and I did. If you don't care for the podcast, you might still like the book, depending on why you don't like the podcast. The book is not in Cecil's voice nor from Cecil's point of view--Cecil isn't even an active character in the book, just an intermittent voice in the background commenting on the goings-on. He's just a voice on the radio, about which the other characters think, and not always in complimentary terms. So if you're not fond of listening to Cecil on the podcast, you might still like the book.

But if you're really not fond of the sense of the absurd that is the main stand-out feature of the podcast, then you probably won't like the book. If anything, the weirdness is even more front and center, as the narrator of the book isn't constrained, as Cecil is constrained on the podcast, by the fiction of talking to an audience of Night Vale residents who presumably already know about hot milk drawers, the process for pawning an item, or why a cell phone might occasionally cause you to bleed, and thus don't need a radio show host telling them about it.

It's a book about time, and how time is weird. But it's also a book about motherhood, with its anguished uncertainties and its hopeless yearnings and its joys. It's about families, and memories, and growing up. It's about taking responsibility. (All of these are, really, subcategories under the larger heading "Time is weird.") The book quietly blossoms into poetic observations about love and life and loss and the human condition which can just sucker-punch you right in the feels. Like...

Yesterday, she had called the Sheriff's Secret Police and reported her car and her son missing. When asked for a description of the car, she described colors and shapes. This matched the police's understanding of what a missing burgundy Ford hatchback looked like. When asked for a description of Josh, she cried. That matched their understanding of what a missing teenage son looks like.

That was when I had to set the book down and sort of stare at the wall for a few seconds. The wall was unaccountably blurry.

Another thing about the book is, it ends gloriously. Just the most beautiful last two pages, and the most upliftingly gorgeous last line ever.

So. I'm not going to tell you you should read it, but I'm going to quietly sit here and think that you really, really should read it.

Tequila Sunrise held a SERIOUS MEETING and it went something like this
YPP Weekend Blockades, June 4-5: The virtues of discretion and also persistence
Sat 2016-06-04 13:00:08 (single post)

In the interest of keeping things discrete and easy to find by those what wants 'em, the management will not be combining the Weekend Blockade and Friday Fictionette reports today. Because, OK, that's silly. Here, then is your YPP Weekend Blockade report with all things Puzzle Pirates; the Friday Fictionette report for Week 1 of June 2016 will be arriving under separate cover (and at a later time).

So! An announcement. Quoth Demeter a couple days ago,

A clarification of our policy has been made here.

"If at any time the attacking flag is not putting up sufficient fight, as determined by the Oceanmaster on duty, we will consider that as their flag's consent to end the blockade early.

A blockade still has to run until the end of round one.

The intention of this point in policy is to prevent defenders from being required to continue to mount a defense when there is no significant attack on the board.

Is it the end of the flagsit? Jobbers mourn, flags rejoice! In any case, hopefully this won't be a factor when Tequila Sunrise take on Azarbad the Great during today's rescheduled blockade of Emperor Island on the Cerulean Ocean. It's more likely to be at play during the PvP defense of Caravanserai against Black Flag, depending on how serious the threat turns out to be.

Also, Dead in the Water, I see what you did with Loreena McKennet's adaptation of the poem "Dark Night of the Soul" and I may never forgive you. Well, at least not until Monday.

Meanwhile! New month, new Seal o' Piracy! This one's really easy, especially if you're an officer and like to take your sloop out solo. You will earn it when you...

Complete a non-Navy session of 5 different duty puzzles

Which gives rise to the eternal question, "What, pray tell, constitutes a session?" Wonder no longer. I have looked it up, found it out, and tested it multiple times. A session of a duty puzzle is an amount of time on station of sufficient duration to be rated. For practical purposes, you'll know you're done because you've showed up on the Duty Report. I've soloed several of my pirates to their trophies by simply changing station every league. It works! It tends to get you at least one battle, even if you've set the voyage type to Evade and you're a great duty navigator, but it does work.

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, June 4 ***

11:58 a.m. - Alkaid Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (2)
Attacker: Blow Me Good

1:47 p.m. - Caravanserai Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Dead In The Water
Attacker: Black Flag

2:00 p.m. - Doyle-Insel, Opal Ocean
Defender: Forcas Armadas
Attacker: Pandemic

4:28 p.m. - Ventress Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: New Providence
Attacker: The Enlightened (4)

11:00 p.m. - Ilha da Aguia, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Black Veil (3)
Attacker: Skull Candy

*** Sunday, June 5 ***

9:57 a.m. - Kashgar Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: The Enlightened (4)

10:21 a.m. - Kakraphoon Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (4)
Attacker: Blow Me Good

11:57 a.m. - Fintan Island, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Chapter Three
Attacker: Jinx (5)

11:57 a.m. - Ambush Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: Chthonic Horde (4)

Subscription Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, June 4 ***

1:56 p.m. - Emperor Island, Cerulean Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: The All-Consuming Flame (2)
Attacker: Tequila Sunrise

Cover art credits run a little long, but are included with the fictionette excerpt, which you shall see if you click here.
YPP Weekend Blockades, May 28-29: Efficiency in the Art of Blockade Blogging
Sat 2016-05-28 12:29:02 (single post)
  • 1,013 words (if poetry, lines) long

Because we are all about efficiency here at the Actually Writing Blog, and not all because I put things off until stupid o'clock last night, we're going to combine the weekly Puzzle Pirates Blockade Report with the mostly weekly Friday Fictionette announcement. EFFICIENCY! Thus:

The Friday Fictionette for May 27 is "The Right Child," because it turns out I still have things to say about YA portal fantasy (see "Right Door, Wrong Time," short story, N. J. LeBoeuf). And also the literary subgenre of Tough Life Lessons About Mortality (see author's note) and possibly my ongoing dissatisfaction with the books of Katherine Paterson (see subtext).

The Weekend Blockade report is below, and I wish you all the joy of it because, once again, roller derby prohibits my participation. Not that I'm complaining. IT'S BOUT DAY! RAWR!

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, May 28 ***

11:58 a.m. - Aimuari Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Black Veil (5)
Attacker: Bite the Pillow
Attacker: Illusion

11:58 a.m. - Labyrinth Moors, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Coming Soon
Attacker: The All-Consuming Flame (5)

12:02 p.m. - Alkaid Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (3)
Attacker: Blow Me Good

2:09 p.m. - Napi Peak, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Barely Dressed
Attacker: Squad Yohohologo

3:37 p.m. - Tumult Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Wasp Enterprises
Attacker: Pale Element

3:57 p.m. - Arakoua Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Jinx (3)
Attacker: Going Down

5:02 p.m. - Caravanserai Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: Dead In The Water

6:00 p.m. - Barbary Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: Dead In The Water

6:01 p.m. - Kiwara Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Black Flag
Attacker: Dead In The Water

6:04 p.m. - Basset Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: S T F U

*** Sunday, May 29 ***

11:00 a.m. - Polaris Point, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Velt's Boiyz
Attacker: The Bretheren Court

everything is a metaphor for writing, ask any writer, they'll tell you
Tue 2016-05-24 23:59:07 (single post)
  • 2,506 words (if poetry, lines) long

Like I said, normal life. Which means there isn't much to report. Writing got done in quantity, as did other things.

Finally got a chance to read through the comments on "Stand By..." from my new critique partner. Her critique did what a critique ought--showed me my story through the eyes of someone who isn't the author. This is critically (ha!) important, whether it's simple details that aren't as obvious to the reader as I thought, or more complex things like the last couple sentences of a paragraph that made no sense to anyone who doesn't live inside my head. (Frankly, those particular sentences didn't make much sense to the only person who does live inside my head. At least, not until I'd reread the whole paragraph several times.)

I reread the submission guidelines for a market I was thinking of submitting to before its May 31 deadline. Good thing, too. Little details like "We will not read stories longer than 1,100 words" can change your entire submission strategy! Well. What have I got that's under 1,100 words? Seems like I used to have more drabbles and flash fiction, but seems like I've also been expanding a bunch of my flash fiction into full-length short stories of late. Hm.

On the non-writing front, I played in the dirt today. My compost bin is full, full, full and its contents, despite all being far enough along in the process that they smell more or less like soil, are still decidedly mixed. I turned it out onto a tarp and began screening it, using a bit of plastic mesh scavenged from a discard pile at a nearby construction site. (I am absolutely sure it was discarded. The long snake of straw-inside-mesh-tube was no longer pegged into the ground along deliberate lines, but was bunched up in a pile at the curb. There were holes in it where the straw was spilling out. It was trash and I repurposed it.) Anyway, anything that passed through the mesh went into buckets for soil/compost mix, probably to be screened through a finer sieve and then pasteurized in the oven depending on how meticulous I'm feeling. Anything that didn't (corn cobs, bones, egg shells, wads of leaf mulch, last year's dried squash vines) went back in the bin to decompose some more. I got about halfway through the original contents of the bin, and I'm feeling very accomplished about it.

I am also feeling a little sunburned. I should remember to wear a hat the next time I wind up standing on the back porch for any amount of PM time. That sun was fierce.

There is probably a metaphor or parallel to be drawn between sifting compost and revising a short story, but I am not feeling motivated enough to investigate.

what is this normal life thing of which you speak
Tue 2016-05-24 00:45:11 (single post)

Happy day! Today is the first day of the 2016 CSA Season at the Diaz Farm. I biked up there and picked up spinach, chard, kale, and my weekly loaf of bread. Bought a dozen eggs, too. Then I biked home and consumed one of the bundles of kale in a huge bowl of udon soup. It went something like this:

  1. In about 4 cups water, bring dry udon noodles to a boil. Cook until tender. Then pour out all but about a cup and a half of the water and dissolve bouillon of your choice in what remains. Add a little kimchi juice.
  2. While noodles are boiling, cook about a half of an onion and a couple cloves garlic in some oil.
  3. When onion and garlic are soft, chop up and add kale as well as the stems of a bok choi.
  4. When these are soft, add the rest of the bok choi, a couple green onions, a handful of snap peas, and two links Chinese sausage, all chopped up bite-size.
  5. Combine stir-fried vegetables with noodles in broth. Eat with chopsticks and a spoon.

I think I'll have some of the spinach with my breakfast eggs and toast tomorrow.

The tournament over the weekend went well. That is, we didn't win any of our games, but we fought hard, learned a lot, and our team did not suffer any injuries. (The tournament was not, sadly, injury-free; one jammer sustained a dislocated finger, another a concussion, and, unusually, a referee went home with a hairline fracture in her arm.) I played in only one game, the Friday morning bout against Denver. My big embarrassing moment--there's always one--was taking an unnecessary extra lap on my first penalty because I forgot where the penalty box was. But I had more good moments than embarrassing ones.

Despite only skating one bout, I was exhausted by the end of the weekends. Something about spending all the livelong hours of three days straight in a large venue full of people, it wears on a body. I can't even imagine how worn out the skaters on our main roster were, not to mention all the coaches and referees.

It possibly also didn't help things that John and I were super self-indulgent when it came time to read another chapter of Ancillary Justice aloud Saturday night. "More, please," John said after the one chapter was over, and again after the next chapter, and the next... Hell, we finished the book. Then, at home, late Sunday night, we got through fully half of the sequel Ancillary Sword. This was not the smartest thing we've ever done, I have to admit, but it was exceedingly pleasant.

Anyway, it's back to life-as-normal for now, with another regular work-week already in progress. Tomorrow: Lots of writing! All the writing! And also probably a bit of Puzzle Pirates, because there will be time.

YPP Weekend Blockades, May 21-22: A desultory cannonball or two
Sat 2016-05-21 12:30:31 (single post)

Yesterday was a long day. Woke up at 6 AM, got to the tournament venue for 7:30, skated in the bout at 9:00, watched the other four bouts, went out for dinner with some friends, and finally got back to the hotel around 9:30 PM. As anticipated nothing that wasn't roller derby got done yesterday.

Today, however, there are only three bouts scheduled for the tournament. The first is at 3:00 PM. Our bout, which I do not anticipate being called upon to skate in, is at 5:00 PM. Which means John and I have nowhere to be until 2:30.

We had the luxury of a game of Go over a leisurely breakfast within walking distance of our hotel. And now I have time, for once, to post the Puzzle Pirates blockade schedule for the weekend.

Gosh, I haven't jobbed in a blockade in... a very long time, it seems. Probably won't today either--shame, too, because on the Emerald Ocean it looks like the flag Keep the Peace have done a lot of scuttling in the past few days, resulting in about a kazillion Brigand King blockades with all the PoE-earning potential involved. Ah, well. I am going to chip away at the requirements to earn my Seal o' Piracy for May, though. Those requirements are...

Completing 20 sea battles

Which always takes longer than you think.

Anyway, without further ado, the weekend blockade schedule. Enjoy!

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, May 21 ***

11:01 a.m. - Tumult-Insel, Opal Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Ursa Major
Attacker: Der Fluch (2)

11:02 a.m. - Kakraphoon Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Deep Thought
Attacker: Chthonic Horde (5)

11:58 a.m. - Aimuari Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Keep the Peace
Attacker: Black Veil (8)

11:58 a.m. - Alkaid Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Keep the Peace
Attacker: Chthonic Horde (6)

11:58 a.m. - Arakoua Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Keep the Peace
Attacker: Jinx (6)

11:58 a.m. - Ilha da Aguia, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Keep the Peace
Attacker: Black Veil (4)

11:58 a.m. - Ventress Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Sea Dogs Republic
Attacker: New Providence
Attacker: Salmon Aren't Crafty
Attacker: Blow Me Good

12:03 p.m. - Gallows Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: The Crazy Department
Attacker: Burn Them Down

12:03 p.m. - Fintan Island, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Radioactive
Attacker: Chapter Three

1:41 p.m. - Cryo Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: This Means War
Attacker: Spoon Republic

4:01 p.m. - Garden Cradle, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Chapter Three
Attacker: Corteezism

*** Sunday, May 22 ***

9:58 a.m. - Caravanserai Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: The Enlightened (6)

2:00 p.m. - Raven's Roost, Meridian Ocean
Event: 1 round, nonsinking
Hosted by: Organized Criminals

Cover art incorporates original photography by the author, who will be in big trouble if she allows a magpie to borrow that digital recorder.
this fictionette feels very familiar
Thu 2016-05-19 22:25:11 (single post)
  • 1,046 words (if poetry, lines) long

OK! All right. I appear to be at a restaurant in the Belmar shopping center. Village. The Belmar metropolis. If anyone says to you, "Oh, it's in Belmar, you can't miss it" (as someone once said to me in reference to the location of a roller derby afterparty) do not be satisfied with this. Ask for more precise directions. Ask for a progressive taxi.

We had Google Maps. It was fine. We are now enjoying garlic mozzarella sticks and the anticipation of cheese pizza and shrimp pasta. We are also enjoying great music and really fast wi-fi, both of which we will not get at our hotel unless we get it ourselves. So current plans are to hang out at the restaurant until it closes, or until our batteries run out, or until our consciences wake up and tell us we really should get to bed, whichever comes first.

Since we want to be at the tournament venue at 7:30 AM tomorrow morning, it'll probably be our consciences that get first say.

In any case, today has been a success. Papa Whiskey got to the captains' meeting on time--early, in fact--and is going to tell the team all about it through the proper channels. I cleaned both my sets of bearings and wheels, and I extracted the yuck from my skate axles. (There was a lot of yuck to extract.) I did all the laundry, including all my derby wear, all of which I packed because, hey, potentially three days of derby. I recorded both of my volunteer reading shows that are due Saturday morning, so there will be no awkwardness about getting those done in a hotel room where people are trying to sleep.

And I posted tomorrow's Friday Fictionette today! If that isn't success, I don't know what is. Success comes with another very long title: "Objectivity and the Art of the Documentary." It is yet another Nine of Pentacles tale: A woman, a house, a bird. Haven't we been here before? The bird is, once again, a magpie. But this magpie isn't stealing anything. Just borrowing.

That announced, I have fulfilled the last of my responsibilities for the night--I mean, aside from things like brushing my teeth and whatnot. Whatnot is not what you're here for. Aside from the whatnot, I'm done, I'm outta here, I commend my soul to the Goddesses of Roller Derby, I'll see you on Monday.

(Oh, hey, my pasta's here!)

Cover art incorporates original photography by the author along with a public domain engraving of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
this fictionette is late for the bout hurry hurry gear up go
Wed 2016-05-18 23:56:32 (single post)

So last week was not such a good week, writing-wise. But I think this is an improvement? Sort of? Used to be, if I had one good day, I ended up paying for it by having an emphatically not-good day the next day. Well, the week of the 2nd was a damn good week and I paid for it with a crappy week of the 9th.

This week is firmly in the so-so middle, leaning ever so slightly toward awesome.

Anyway, the greatly belated Friday Fictionette for May 13 went up yesterday, under the greatly elongated title "A Week in the Life of a Simple Houseplant." It's about what the word "botanize" should mean, rather than what it disappointingly does.

(Hey! Hey Brassica! That's one of your tomato babies in the cover art! It's the Sungold cherry! It went into the planter today and enjoyed the sunshine! Yayyyy!)

The Friday Fictionette for May 20 will go up a day early, and not just because I want to make up for all the latenesses. No, it's going up early because Friday the 20th is Day 1 of Besterns, a three-day roller derby tournament in south Denver that the Boulder County Bombers All Stars are participating in. I do not expect any writing to get done that day, and wouldn't even if I were guaranteed to remain in the spectator role. I know this because my very first live contact with roller derby was during NaNoWriMo 2011, and I attempted to get some of my 1667 daily words logged from the stands. It did not work very well at all, except to get me noticed by someone else who also writes and skates derby, and now we are friends on Facebook. Yay!

But as things turn out, our team has been whittled to the bone by circumstance and injury such that all the able-bodied crossovers but two have been rostered for the tournament outright, and the remaining two crossovers (I'm one of them) have been rostered as alternates, both of whom will almost definitely be called upon to skate in at least one of the games. Oh, and the early Friday morning bout will be against Denver Roller Derby's Mile High Club who are ranked 8 in the world. But no pressure. All Stars gonna do what All Stars do. Always proud to be part of that, whether on the track or screaming my head off from the stands.

So tomorrow night, Fleur de Beast and Papa Whiskey (that's me and John) check into some hotel somewhere in the vicinity of the tournament venue. While he's at the coach-and-captain's meeting, I'll put up a blog post here announcing the May 20 fictionette and blathering on about whatever else is on my mind. Then we're going to get a very good night's sleep before turning our lives over to ALL DERBY ALL THE TIME for three days. And then I say hi on Monday to tell y'all how everything went.

And that's the plan.

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