“And I love the indented border
Every word’s in alphabetical order
Ergo, lost things
Always can be found”
William Finn

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

See Patreon activity feed or Wattpad excerpt for cover art credits.
I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. Well, I can begin. But I can't finish.
this fictionette has a faerie in the family
Fri 2014-11-28 23:13:08 (single post)
  • 1,172 words (if poetry, lines) long

And it's up at last, on Friday by the skin of its teeth (and some judicial database tweaking): "The Importance of Faerie Godmothers." It's about Thanksgiving, and families both functional and dys-, and about generational differences in how to handle unexpected magic. Patrons pledging $1/month or more can read the whole thing right now this second--everyone else must make do with the first 400 some-odd words which appear here, and on Patreon, and at Wattpad.

Remember that on Sunday, November 30, one of this month's four fictionettes will be released in its entirely to be read for free by the vast internet hordes. I haven't yet decided which of the four it'll be, but I'm leaning heavily towards this one, because out of the four right now it makes me happiest. I don't typically blog here on Sundays, but if you watch my Twitter feed you should see some notice about it sometime on that day.

This one gave me trouble. In its original form, it didn't really have an ending. On the search for one, I wound up inventing at least as much again as was already on the page, word-count wise. (The animal crackers, for instance.)

It's beginning to dawn on me that my original intent to just publish a slice of my writing process each week isn't going to reliably cut it. Sometimes the story isn't all there. Sometimes what is there is littered with endless permutations of "I'm going to babble until I figure out what to write." And there's only so raw that I want Friday Fictionettes to be. I want them to have beginnings, middles, and ends. I want them to imply whole worlds and lives. I want them to be viable pieces of flash fiction.

And that's why today's fictionette took so long. I hope you like it!

In other news, the second pair of folding closet doors is DONE. It looks amazing. Or maybe that's just two weeks of hard work talking? I look at it and I feel such a mixture of accomplishment and relief. All that hard work went somewhere, darn it. It went somewhere attractive, too.

That door--of the two stained bi-folds, it's the one on the left--used to stick something awful. Friends found it impossible to close after hanging up their coats. I'd apologize, saying "There's a trick to it" as I gave it a tug at its happy spot. But now? Now that we've reinstalled it? There is no happy spot, because there is no getting stuck. It opens and closes beautifully. I think it's because, when we took it down, we accidentally shifted the position of the bottom bracket, and apparently we're magically good at repositioning brackets.

I can only hope a similar transformation occurs with the remaining two bi-folds, because their action really suffers by comparison.

an overly elaborate manifesto about the games i don't play
Thu 2014-11-27 23:00:48 (single post)

Today's post is difficult to write. It's heavy, emotionally, for me. It'll be too easy for me to come across as defensive. And there's also a sticky matter of confidentiality, in that the conversation that moves me to write happened in a private space. But the opinions and thoughts it inspired are my own and I would like to express them. I can only hope I have succeeded at doing the latter without violating the former.

It's a mess, is what it is. I hope you'll bear with me.

Monday, a dismaying event happened on the national scale. A grand jury announced its decision that a white police officer who killed an unarmed black boy need not go to trial, and that the killer's demonstrable racial prejudice was somehow a mitigating factor and not evidence that the a police officer was unfit for his job and not to be trusted with a gun. The grand jury made this announcement at 7:00 PM Mountain Time, 8:00 Central. The announcement and its implications have dominated national and online discourse since then.

Here are other things that happened Monday:

  • I had my last regularly scheduled farm day for 2014.
  • The Saints played the Ravens to a disappointing loss.
  • I did some more work on the Refurbish the Closet Doors porject
  • I blogged about the farm work and the closet doors.

Now, I have a TwitterFeed account set up such that anytime I blog, that blog post gets announced on Twitter. Which means that in the middle of a Twitterstorm about injustice in Ferguson, I not only blogged about something that had nothing to do with that outrage at all, but I committed a self-promotional tweet telling people to go check out that blog post.

Which is something I would not have thought twice about--except that in the course of the aforementioned private conversation, I became informed that such a tweet makes a person look self-absorbed, tone-deaf, offensively oblivious. It would have been even more offensive, apparently, if I'd live tweeted my reactions to the football game (as I sometimes do), or promoted my Patreon campaign (as happens on those Fridays when a fictionette goes up). But my one self-promoting tweet was bad enough. As a responsible citizen of the internet, and especially as a writer with a Twitter account, I should have gauged the online climate before allowing such an inconsequential tweet to go through. Given what an important conversation was going on, I suppose I should have turned off automatic Twitter announcements of my blog posts for the night. Or, better still, not blogged at all unless it was about Ferguson.

Except... well, no.

There's a difference between disrupting a focused conversation on someone else's blog (like, say, the comment thread at the above-linked Slacktivist post) and, well, using Twitter for what Twitter is for. It's a grave misunderstanding of any social media to think that there is only one conversation going on at any time, to which you either contribute appropriately or shut up. Twitter is a microblogging platform on which millions of people have hundreds of thousands of separate conversations at any one time. And different people are listening to different pieces of that conversational storm depending on whom they follow. It's not unlike a huge version of a party where you can talk to your friend about whatever, and other people can overhear you or not as they choose. You can still abuse the venue by interrupting someone else's conversation--for example, at-checking someone inappropriately with your book-promo tweet--but simply talking to someone else about something else while in that room is not an abuse of the venue.

So I blogged Monday because I hold myself to a Monday-through-Friday blogging schedule, and I'm damn proud of myself when I succeed at keeping to that schedule. I post a Friday Fictionette every first through fourth friday because that's the committment I've made to potential Patrons. And someday I hope to be able to tweet that my first published book has become available in bookstores. If something globally awful happens on a day when I'd be blogging, fictionetting, or book-promoing, I'll probably still blog, fictionette, and/or book-promo, though I may choose not to. I may or may not have anything useful to say about the globally awful thing; that too is entirely up to me. One thing I know for sure: My tiny "off-topic" tweet is not going to make the globally awful thing objectively worse.

There is room on the internet, much as there is room in a single mind, for many things at once: raging at injustice, conversing quietly about the changing season, complaining about how long it takes to sand a paint-stripped door, and wondering when the national sportscasters will get tired of their love affair with Jimmy Butterfingers Graham and turn some of their attention to, say, players who are actually catching the ball tonight (or running it for 70+ yards holy fuck Joseph Morgan you are my hero).

That football game it would have been tone-deaf of me to tweet about Monday? A significant subset of both teams' players were a hell of a lot more personally affected by the Ferguson outcome than I. Some of them have sons who could have been Michael Brown. Some of them could have been Michael Brown. I don't know if they got to hear the grand jury's announcement when it happened, or if they were shielded from the news until the game was over. In either case, they had to know the announcement was coming. They probably predicted the way it was going to turn out, while hoping it would turn out otherwise.

And they still played that game, because Monday Night Football happens on Monday night. They participated in post-game interviews and they talked with their coaches and teammates about what tonight's game means for next week.

Normal life doesn't stop for tragedy. Sometimes we wish it would--sometimes it seems downright malicious that the world should keep spinning and gravity keep tugging as though anything could possibly be the same again. And sometimes we're grateful that normal life just keeps driving on regardless, because a veneer of normality can make the difference between coping and spiraling into a black hole of despair.

What you need right now, at this particular moment in American history, is a story that doesn’t stoke your feelings of rage, depression and moral exhaustion. And I am here to give it to you.

--Mary Elizabeth Williams, "The Ferguson library gives a lesson in community"

Monday we learned, or had our suspicions confirmed, that we have a lot more work to do as a society than we might have hoped, that the road toward justice is a lot longer than it has any right to be in 2014. And yet we still have to cook the next meal, earn the next paycheck, write the next story. We may not have to tweet about the latest football game or converse with friends via at-replies, but small pleasures and human interactions can make the hard work easier to bear. It certainly can't hurt.

And metaphorically wearing sackcloth doesn't materially aid the cause of justice any more than finishing your lima beans did a damn thing for the children starving in Ethiopia.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: There are things going on in my life. I'm going to talk about them. I may use Twitter to do it. I'm not going to preemptively gag myself on subjects that aren't objectively as important as the latest breaking national news. The conversations I choose to have aren't subject to anyone else's sense of propriety. That I choose to have one conversation doesn't mean I'm incapable of caring about other issues. The game of Prove That You Care is rigged, and the only way to win is not to play.

You don't have to be in those conversations with me. You may judge me harshly for having those conversations at all. But you can't reasonably expect me to always make the same choices you would about which conversations to have and when. If the choices we make differ enough to make you unhappy with mine, by all means disconnect from me on social media. We'll probably both be happier that way. But I think maybe composing nastygrams about How Dare You Tweet Banalities While Ferguson Is Burning isn't a positive contribution to any situation.

What might be a positive contribution? Well, if you're so inclined, you can donate to the Ferguson Library, because they need it and because they are awesome. Change.org has a petition demanding that Michael Brown's killer be prosecuted in the Missouri Supreme Court; the petition has nearly reached 150,000 signatures tonight. And this HuffPo article has more suggestions for activism in addition to these.

That's (some of) what's on my mind tonight, so that's what I'm choosing to blog/tweet/FB about.

That's how this works.

on taking a permanent vacation from nanowrimo
Wed 2014-11-26 23:12:15 (single post)
  • 6,559 words (if poetry, lines) long

Confession: I'm not going to win NaNoWriMo this year. I'm not even going to try. My current word count means I'd have to write 8,689 words every day to reach 50,000 on November 30, and that includes today. That's not going to happen. Even if I didn't have other things taking up my time this week, I'm just not sure it's worth the blood, sweat, and tears. Which isn't to say NaNoWriMo isn't worth it, in and of itself, but this year, given my current situation, it's not worth it to me.

My novel draft is at a point where madly producing word count by the thousand isn't really the next step. The "rediscovery drafting" I've dabbled in this month has helped, certainly, but in the way of a kind of brainless blunt instrument. I'd be better served by nuance and planning. Planning! Heresy! But there's so much that I don't know about this novel. I could get lost, nibbling away at it one scene at a time, producing huge amounts of material that may never get used at all--because the scene doesn't end up making it into the book, or because the voice I've given my character is all wrong, or because I haven't actually figured out exactly what Mr. Greenbriar's political aims are or what Old Mack is really scheming or the exact nature of some other large-arc game-changer...


Meanwhile, November 30th is the deadline for two different calls for submissions to which I want to send stories. Getting the stories ready to email by Sunday is doable, but not if I'm using all my time trying to navigate a changeling protagonist through the day-to-day intrigue of a fictional Wyoming high school.

On the other hand, on November 29th I get on a Greyhound bus for Vail, in which region I'll be staying for a week, all by myself, just me and my laptop. I'll be there a glorious six more days after meeting my November 30th deadlines. Which means I can dedicate my solo writing retreat to digging this novel out of its rut and putting it on track toward a publishable state.

I've done NaNoWriMo every year since 2002. Do something for a decade or more, and people expect you to do it forever. Heck, I expect me to do it every November. But, honestly, I'm sitting on a lot of novels in rough draft form, and I'm tired of it. I want to publish novels, and that's not going to happen until I rewrite, revise, polish and submit. That's work. That's work I don't actually know how to do yet. I need to spend time doing that before I crank out another 30-day 50K monstrosity.

So that's my Vacation From NaNoWriMo Manifesto. Hopefully it will lead to Interesting Developments!

they're a dime a dozen around here
Tue 2014-11-25 23:30:23 (single post)

Bear with me a moment. I've had an epiphany. (Yes, another one.)

The other day I was, once again, doing my daily freewriting exercise. I was using for a writing prompt the dream I'd had that morning, which had posited some fairly out-of-character behavior on the part of a friend of mine. In the dream, she was reviewing a list she'd had me write of near-term personal improvement goals; upon reading the item "explore my religious/spiritual growth" (or something like that), she muttered something like "Well, this one's clearly bullshit." I decided I wasn't going to just politely let her spit all over an important part of me. I told her, "Well, I am religious, and you're just going to have to deal with it." Then I woke up.

It was terribly banal, as dreams go, but I thought I'd scribble on it anyway. Which seemed foolish. I mean, I'd already written the dream down once. What was I going to do, write it down again?

Apparently, I wasn't. I instead found myself writing a story about two sisters, the older one trying to replace their missing parents for the younger. Why was the younger sister putting up with it at the age of twenty-one? What had growing up been like for the two of them, that the older sister's intrusive, nosy micromanagement was just par for the course--and where did she get all those unhealthy ideas about age and beauty? Also, why were their parents missing? Well, they were in Alaska when the whole state went missing. Wait--the whole damn state of Alaska? Disappeared? When was this?

By the time my timer went off, I still hadn't reached the actual incidents from the dream. I was still writing a family history, figuring out some worldbuilding backstory, and feeling my way into the younger sister's idea of normal.

Here's the epiphany: There's always more to write beyond what the writer sat down with the idea to write. Which means writing isn't just about taking what's inside one's head and spilling it onto the page. The act of writing actually adds to that initial supply.

Why, it's almost as if writing were a creative act...!

Obvious, right? Except, oddly, not. There's talk of creativity and imagination, but there's also a tendency to say "I don't know what to write" as though it were reason enough not to start. That old metaphor about "opening a vein and bleeding onto the page" makes it sound as though words were simply (if painfully) poured out like water from an existing reservoir. It's like the creativity is supposed to all happen quietly, behind the scenes, long before the pen hits the page. Even that evocative image of driving a highway by night, such that you can only see a few feet ahead at any one time but you're always moving that illuminated area forward to reveal more, can be considered to fall into that camp: It's all in there, you just can't see it all until you start to write it down.

I have to insist it's not so. At least, not for me. I don't think the rest of that highway actually exists until I start to drive. I think the writing causes it to come into existence.

Which means that "I don't know what to write" is never the last word. Which is glorious. It doesn't matter how lost or ignorant or out of ideas I'm feeling; it's always worth it to just start typing. I will never find that reserve empty; the act of tapping it actually causes it to refill.

Realizing this, or, if you prefer, coming to think about it that way clearly for the first time, was like finding my faith. It was practically a religious epiphany. ("I am religious. You're just going to have to deal with it.") And, like a closely held religious faith--which I think I'm going to say it actually is--it gives me great comfort to think about.

So that's what was on my mind this morning.

a mark of the changing seasons
Mon 2014-11-24 23:44:07 (single post)

Farm Mondays have more or less come to an end for 2014. The default has flipped: From here on out, the assumption is that unless I hear otherwise, there will not be a Monday crew.

Today was the last Monday where it was the other way around, and even so, I was asked to arrive an hour later than the usual. And even still, there was some early downtime involving hot tea and a very needy orange marmalade tabby cat. As a result, the shift seemed to pass very quickly.

The shift comprised three basic tasks:

Preparing dried lavender for sale/use. Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary & Supply turns out, unsurprisingly, to be super interested in locally sourcing some of their herbs. So that's who's getting the dried lavender blossom that I got to help process today. In this case, "processing" meant separating, as much as possible, the blossoms from the stems. The first step was easy: we took bunches of dried lavender and rolled them between our fingers over a couple of buckets. The next step was a little more complicated: We experimented with different gauge screens, and different methods of pushing plant material through said screens, to result in a maximum of blossom and a minimum of stem passing through. In the end we filled a gallon-sized Ziplok bag fairly snugly.

We came away from that task smelling heavenly, which was really nice considering our next task took us in close proximity to another team who were processing pepper seeds. The peppers were in a really advanced stage of fermentation. Trust me on this one.

Preparing the field for the plow. This meant examining the west terraced crop beds for wooden stakes, very large rocks, sandbags, and, in one case, someone's mason jar full of coffee. Anything the plow would have trouble with, or that we didn't want getting plowed under, needed to be removed. Jackets and coats started coming off around now despite the incoming coldfront, because carrying sandbags in full sunlight tends to raise one's core temperature.

And finally...

Picking peppers in the greenhouse. Several varieties, some of which had clearly been featured on the rodent four-star buffet. Even while we were picking the fruit that remained, we could hear mice squeaking as they ran by at top speed underneath the ground cloth.

And then it was one o'clock and time for me to go. I made a stop in Niwot to put gas in the car and pick up a few groceries (including some delicious udon noodles from Sachi Sushi), and my aspirations to get right to sanding the closet door undergoing refurbishing lasted right up until I got home (and devoured the udon).

But I've gotten quite a bit of the sanding done since waking up from my nap, so that's cool.

Anyway, with the farm going into off-season on-call mode, that frees Mondays up to be just another writing work day. Certainly that's true of next Monday, when I'll be in Avon, Colorado, having my sort-of-annual solo writing retreat/vacation from normal life. Works will progress! Also, yummy food will get cooked, karaoke will be sung, and a certain amount of video games will be played. But mainly writing will happen.

And the current closet doors had just better be done by then, that's all I have to say about that.

I probably should have made sure to get my bare foot in the photo, but it's too cold out for that nonsense.
an antisocial fictionette determines to be a better neighbor
Sat 2014-11-22 00:04:29 (single post)
  • 858 words (if poetry, lines) long

This week's Friday Fictionette is called "Your Neighbor's Keeper." And it took me something like half an hour of staring at the screen to come up with that title, so you'd better appreciate it. Seriously, what is with me and titles? Sometimes I wonder whether having to come up with one every first through fourth Friday is using up some sort of non-renewable resource. Like, there's only so many title-length combinations of words in the world. One day I'm going to run out.

Anyway, like the author's note says, this particular short-short started from one of those tiny, mysterious moments that defy explanation, while being at the same time too mundane to be worth wondering about. But being a writer means I have carte blanche to wonder about stuff that isn't worth wondering about, right? That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I changed the building numbers to building letters, and I changed them from condos to apartments, but otherwise that happened right here on my block. Minus the destruction, of course.

The other aspect of the fictionette that's drawn from life is my own shameful inattention to the people around me. I don't know many of my neighbors. I don't attend the neighborly gatherings at the clubhouse. I've a terrible memory for names, and I tend to look at hands and skates and helmets rather than at faces. I don't remember what she looked like, the stranger who interrogated me in the cul-de-sac, and I don't remember the car she drove. All I remember is my bare feet on the sidewalk and my wondering why she then disappeared around the corner of the dog park at the retirement home.

You know, come to think of it, she was probably just visiting someone in the retirement home, or going on a volunteer or staff shift. There isn't much legitimate parking for those purposes. She was probably just making sure that the only witness to her parking job didn't live in the nearby buildings and thus have standing to get her car towed. (Not that it was in any danger of getting towed. As long as you don't park by the yellow curbs or in a covered spot you don't own, you're fine.)

Anyway, I did the final revisions on this fictionettes from a table at Blooming Beets across the street. The server-cum-host who showed me to a table noticed that I'd been working on my laptop while I waited for a table to open up; she pointed out that, as luck would have it, I got the table with electrical outlets. She seemed to be one of only two servers on duty during a rather busy night during First Bite Boulder, but neither of them rushed me nor made me feel weird for dining alone or working on the computer.

I splurged on the wine pairings, which turned out to be quite a lot of wine. I reassured the server that it was OK, I walking home. And that it was very silly that although the restaurant had been open a little while now so close to my house, it took an event like First Bite Boulder to get me to finally visit. She lit up and said she, too, lived just up the street. Check that out: We're neighbors. We gave each other our names and shook hands.

And I made sure, for once, to really look at her as we exchanged "pleased to meet you"s and "see you again soon"s. I still have a terrible memory for names and faces, even when I'm trying my best. But I made sure, for once, to try.

good for what ails you
Wed 2014-11-19 23:07:50 (single post)
  • 5,300 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 1,400 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 5,675 words (if poetry, lines) long

Lately my writing process, if not my writing itself, has been suffering from a feeling of futility. There's the guilt of still having not revised "Caroline's Wake" and a sinking feeling that I'll never get it revised ever. There's the sense that this rediscovery draft of Iron Wheels will not only not reach 50K by the end of November--my first non-winning NaNoWriMo ever! Say it ain't so!--but also isn't taking me anywhere useful. There's a creeping suspicion that the Friday Fictionettes project is just a cargo cult exercise, a needless new obligation I've imposed upon myself that, although it has the basic shape of finishing and publishing stories, is actually just a waste of time that could have been spent more profitably.

These are not rational feelings. They're not at all justified. But they hang around, stifling my workdays with this general "why bother?" malaise.

Then someone reminded me that a market I've had my eye on would close to fiction submissions on December 1, and I thought, I need to send them something now.

And then I thought, Could the reason I feel like I'm not getting anywhere be that I haven't submitted anything for publication since September?

So I've just emailed "Down Wind" off to that market. And you know what? I feel much better now.

hey look a new drabble
Tue 2014-11-18 23:17:26 (single post)
  • 100 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 100 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 100 words (if poetry, lines) long

I'm not quite sure how it fell off my radar, but November 2 arrived a couple weeks ago and brought with it my latest drabble publication at SpeckLit. It's called "East of Omaha, West of San Francisco," and it's about one person's very small rebellion against the inevitable shrinking of her world. Or about a general tendency to cope with loss via selective amnesia, maybe. It has more than a little to do with Michael Swanwick's "The Edge of the World" (a damn fine story) getting stuck in my brain and taking up permanent residence there.

My second SpeckLit drabble for this quarter, and my last for 2014, will show up right at the end of the year, on December 30. When it goes live, I'll be on a train heading from New Orleans to Chicago as John and I return from a long, leisurely holiday trip to visit my family. I'll try to remember to blog and post a link during our layover.

Meanwhile, SpeckLit is currently in its voting period for Reader's Choice Best of 3rd Quarter 2014. I encourage you to read the eligible stories and vote for your favorites! I have two drabbles that were published during that period, and they are in some outstanding company. The full list of eligible stories is at the linked page, as is the voting form. You should read every single one of 'em (they're only 100 words each, so it won't take long), and then vote for your favorite three. Voting deadline is November 30.

November 30 is also the submission deadline for 1st Quarter 2015, so I've started to tune my freewriting toward drabble production again. Lately I've been using the Daily Dash prompts from the Second Life group Virtual Writers, Inc. It might be more precisely termed a Semidaily Dash, as there are two each day, one at 6 AM and one at 6 PM Pacific Time. As each Dash begins, the group sends a notification to members which includes a single word's dictionary definition as a suggested writing prompt. The prompt for today's afternoon dash was "raindrop," which somehow got me noodling toward a drabble about fallen angels. Because both raindrops and certain angels fall, apparently.

You know, I really see no reason why I couldn't do at least the morning Daily Dash every work day. 7 AM is a perfectly reasonable time for me to be awake and typing. Reasonable, that is, if I stop staying up past one in the morning...

a weekend of mixed blessings (not writing related)
Mon 2014-11-17 23:41:16 (single post)

I skated in my new boots for the first time at Sunday practice. (That is, for the real first time. I don't count the five minutes of rolling around at Skate Ratz so I could adjust my toe-stops to a comfortable height and confirm that the newly mounted plates put the wheels in the right places under my feet.) New boots! So exciting! They got a more hard-core first-time workout than I expected, though.

See, John and I carpool to Sunday practice, but we arrive in time for him to assist with coaching the A team's practice. The combined B and C teams' practice isn't until three hours later. I generally spend those three hours in a side office in that building doing my Sunday morning AINC reading (an hour of employment ads from the three major broadcast regions of the state) and generally poking around on the internet.

But yesterday's A team practice was a little underattended, a common feature of offseason snow days. So John came out and found me and asked me to gear up early. "We're practicing a new three-person defensive formation, but we need a fourth person to jam against their wall. Would you?"

So that's how my brand new skate boots and toe-stops got their first real workout. Jamming against an All Stars tripod. For a full lap of the track. Oh my goodness were my ankles sore! I was pretty much driving forward (adequately) and juking around (slowly) on toe-stops the whole time. I also discovered that my boots weren't the perfect fit I'd hoped for--my heels kept shifting up and down no matter how tightly I tied the laces.

Part of the problem, no doubt, was having heat-molded them to bare feet, but then skating with socks on. So when I geared back up after the B/C team off-skates warm-up, I went without socks. THAT WAS A MISTAKE. A terrible, terrible mistake. That up-and-down rubbing of my heel against the aggressive inward sweep of the boots' heel cup resulted in three huge blisters, each at least the size of a quarter, which made any toe-stop work or transitions utter agony by the third hour of practice. I had to bail on the last fifteen minutes of skating, though I was able to participate in the off-skates plyometrics at the end of practice.

(I also ended up bailing on the farm this morning because I quailed at the thought of putting shoes on at all.)

So today I have taken the boots off their plates and remolded them while wearing a pair of my hand-knit derby stockings, that being a lot more representative of how I plan to skate in them. I'm trying not to be worried about re-installing the plates. It's just four bolts per skate, right? To be sent through existing holes? No worse than reinstalling hinges or slider assemblies after staining our closet doors? And yet I worry. Will I get the bolts as tight as they had been? Will I strip the holes? Will everything explode?

Worrying is my default passtime. I find things to worry about. They don't have to be rational worries, either. It's just my brain, being obnoxious as usual.

I also worry about whether my problems with these boots mean I got the wrong size after all. But then I remember how my Riedell R3s ate big bloody holes into my ankles during my first couple of practices with them on. (No exaggeration there--I remember taking off my skates and discovering wide bloodstains on my socks.) So maybe I shouldn't panic about having a painful breaking-in period just yet. Breaking-in periods are what makes new skate equipment a mixed blessing.

Speaking of reinstalling hinges, the first pair of bi-fold closet doors is reinstalled in the living room. It looks lovely and opens and closes smoothly. Hurray! This, however, is also a mixed blessing, because there are three more pairs to do. The next one is currently on the buckets, getting its paint stripped. And so the interminable home improvement project continues.

I envision Tommy and Rita having their discussion on that stretch of levee between Bonnabel and Causeway, but I suppose the Lakefront will do.
this homesick fictionette does not welcome our kryptonite overlords
Fri 2014-11-14 22:44:20 (single post)
  • 1,327 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 3,817 words (if poetry, lines) long

I'm going to blame today's lackluster NaNoWriMo performance on all the other things I did with my time, primary among them the posting of this week's Friday Fictionette. Last week was my first time being late to upload, and I'd like it to be my last, too. At least for a while.

This week's excerpt is chunkier than last week's, but then the same comparison holds true for the fictionettes entire. You just never know with fictionettes. 500 to 1500 words was the range I had in mind when I started this project, and between last week and this I've almost spanned that whole gamut.

Credits for the photos in that cover image, by the way, are detailed in the author's notes and also in my Patreon activity feed. Basically, I'm not in Metairie right now, so I had to scour flickr rather than just walk up the levee and take the picture myself. Yet another reason to feel homesick! Maybe when John and I are in town for the holidays, I'll re-release this fictionette with the cover photo I really wanted.

As always, if you want to read the whole thing, a pledge of $1 per month lets you do that. It also gives you access to every single fictionette I've uploaded since I started this project, way back in the first week of September. Have I mentioned that? I don't think I mention that often enough. I describe Friday Fictionettes as being an extremely cheap short-short subscription service powered by Patreon, but I ought to add that every "subscriber" (Patron) gets instant access to all the "back-issues" (Creations) that ever were.

Which, again, is why I'm not off the hook for September and October's audio. Which I hope to get to this weekend! I also hope to write about 6,000 words on the new draft of Iron Wheels this weekend. I have lots of hopes! I'm a hopeful sort of person!

I'm also a very happy and excitable person right now. The other major happening that ate up my NaNoWriMo time was driving up to Skate Ratz in Loveland to have my skate plates taken off my two-and-a-half-year-old Riedell R3s and installed on my brand-new Bonts. Skate boots that aren't falling apart! Skate boots that fit dang near skin-tight! So! Happy! Can't wait to skate in them! Which is why I'll be joining John for Phase 1 tomorrow. It will be an ideal environment for getting used to whatever needs getting used to. And figuring out whether my trucks need readjusting. And seeing how my brand-new toestops feel--I replaced my worn down Gumballs while I was there. Also my ripped-up elbow pads.

Derby gear! It is a source of endless geekery. Also of recurring expenses. Hooray for skate shops with roller derby discounts!