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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

New Year's Post

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

New Year's Post

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(Okay, take two. Yesterday, Pengolodh Lord of Gondolin decided to throw a hissy fit and black out right as I was proofreading the final paragraph of this post. And LJ only saved half of the draft. GRAR! Guess that's what I get being a Feanorian sympathizer who calls regularly upon a lord of Gondolin to aid her heretic efforts ...)

Happy New Year, flist!

So the House of Felagund is well again, and our New Year did not tank as badly as our Christmas did. It was a rather laid-back New Year all the same; since Sharon and Kirsty were in town, then we had a family party over my parents' and that was about it. The 'gund did a bit of drinking without ever getting intoxicated and slumped around a lot and, then, after midnight, learned some dances off of the Hairspray DVD with sister-in-law Erin. That was fun. I miss learning choreography, which brings me to ...

The Best News of the New Year

(so far)

The rollerskating rink down the street from us is re-opening! Oh, the frustration of driving up here the first few times and seeing this big, gorgeous roller rink for sale and knowing that, in all likelihood, it would either be purchased for the land and razed to the ground (and a housing development put in its place) or converted into something unsavory (like a WalMart). But last week, Bobby came home and told me that the marquee says that it is re-opening in January! Bestill my heart! I am absolutely thrilled. It has been almost two sorry years since I last had a pair of skates on my feet, I am sadly out of shape, and I doubt that I can even do a split anymore. But that is all about to change.

Likewise, Bobby got word that the new ice rink in Reisterstown is opening within the next month, so this officially marks the closest that either of us have ever lived to rinks for our respective skating pursuits. I mean, it is fully within the realm of possibility that I could skate once per week again. That would be so awesome.

Back to family stuff, we did manage to reschedule our holiday dinner at Paradiso, and everyone loved it, as we'd hoped, and no one had the flu this time.

On writing, I am still chugging away at my gift stories for the year. Being out of commission for a week with the flu--and the week that I had set aside to finish the stories--really threw a wrench into my cogs. But I will finish. I have one finished (but not posted since I left my USB key at work) and two almost done and just a few to write after that. After that, it's back to noveling: revising (and finishing) my Midhavens novel and playing with the AMC prequel when I have the urge to be fannish.

Which brings me to the subject of New Year's resolutions. I don't generally make resolutions since I know that the tendency is not to keep them, but this year I am going to list some goals for the year, not so much specific items on a to-do list as a direction in which to aim efforts that I am already making. If that makes any sense. So here goes.

  • As I mentioned, I aim this year to resume working on my Midhavens novel. Ideally, I would like to finish revising/rewriting what I have so far (which no longer fits my canon) and come close to finishing the whole thing. I may finish it for NaNo this year. We'll see.

  • This means that, yes, I will be writing less short fiction. I have close to (if not) two dozen short fiction pieces; one ("Cogs") has been picked up by a market and another ("Cold Hands") is currently awaiting decision, which means that many more are hanging out on my hard drive doing nothing. So, this year, I aim to get some of my short fiction revised and sent out and, hopefully, published. By 2009, I hope to have a resume where I can start considering markets that pay pro rates in order that when my novel is finished, I can start working on getting an agent to sell that. Will this go as planned? Probably not. But one can hope!

  • On SWG, I hope to find more time to work on what I really want to work on for that group, namely the Reference section. This past year, I wanted to be more effective in asking for help and delegating responsibilities to others, and I think I did a passable job (for a control freak). I want to continue working on this in 2008. 2007 was a big year for us, so it's time to settle in and work on improving what exists already.

  • Fannishly speaking (no, inventing new adverbs is not on my resolution list!), I hope to spend more time on my research and non-fiction writing, especially the HoMe reading, which is woefully neglected. Yes, again, this will mean less short fiction. I've written more than forty short stories in just over two years, and, unless I want to run dry on ideas entirely, then I think I need to slow down a little. Also, a lot of my recent short fiction is based on my research projects, so I'd like to have finished essays to cross reference so that I don't have to keep littering my stories with author's notes (of which I am not particularly fond).

So. I think that's that.

Oh, there's one more thing. For the past few years, I have spent much of January and February in a depressive funk. I'm trying to avoid that this year. Now, I have a degree in clinical psych; I don't have to be told that my problems are largely biochemical and, yes, probably seasonal as well. But I am also aware that my problem is also, in part, behavioral, and sometimes it is just easier to linger in a funk than to do the work to drag myself out.

So this year, I am making every attempt to stay positive and productive. I want to do a little bit of creative work every day, even if just fifteen minutes.

Two other quick things before I scamper off to post the story that I finished yesterday and hopefully make some progress on another. First of all, I got a surprise for the New Year: the MEFA results were in! It seemed really early, but, looking back at last year, it was actually later than last year. Anyway. I had four stories nominated, and four stories won awards. This is just ... well, I have mixed feelings, actually. Of course I'm happy. What writer doesn't like people telling her that her work is good or commendable? At the same time, I don't think that any award actually measures the quality of the stories that it judges. And I am very regretful that I barely got to review any stories. It feels kind of cheap to accept a nomination without returning the favor to say kind words about the work of someone else.

Anyway, that's just me. Leave it to the 'gund to look a gift horse in the mouth! I think too much, I know.

The nominated pieces and what they won:

The Accidental King: Five Reasons Why Finarfin Deserves an Appreciation Month. First Place, Genres: Non-Fiction: General.

Salt. Second Place, Times: First Age and Prior: General

Tales of Thanksgiving. Third Place, Times: First Age and Prior: General.

Droplets. Second Place, Times: Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet

Congrats to everyone who participated and to those of you who also won awards! I saw a lot of familiar names on that list, but I know many more names who certainly deserve to be there. Next year, right?

Finally, I have a new, odd hobby. For Christmas this year, on a whim, Bobby bought recorders for both of us, knowing that I am interested in bardic stuff for the SCA. I have played mine for a half-hour almost every day since then. I find it really relaxing for some reason, even though the squawks and squeaks that I wring out of the poor instrument should be anything but. Part of me thinks--knows--that I find it so relaxing because I am terrible at it and have no pressure for success. Most everything else I do is done with the intention of becoming really good at it; maybe I can keep the recorder just a frivolous hobby forever?

Well, probably not--I know myself--but for now, I really enjoy it.

So that's my holiday/New Year wrap-up. I hope that everyone had a great holiday season and I send my best wishes to all for a great 2008!

(Now I'm going to quick post this and then revise lest Pengolodh and LJ again conspire against me ...)
  • Soprano recorder? Those are fuuuuuuuunnnnn . . .

    Yay for new rinks! I really should get up to the rink at Millennium Park and take a spin around before I get clobbered with work again. Seriously, I think that my first few months of being ABD are going to be just fun, no work at all.

    Do your roller-skate-dancing skills translate well into ice skates?
  • Okay, but be careful with your knees!

  • Congrats on the MEFAs. And on the opening of the rinks. That's great. (You are such an overachever. My god, girl. It makes me tried to read your lists. Just save an itsy bit of time for me. I have to finish that last chapter of my novella and then decide what's next for the boys in my story cycle. Pretty sure its Fingon's Heir and I want you for that too.) One of my big thrills of 2007 was working with you. It has been so much fun. I already told you that one of my resolutions is to do better next year on my little projects for the SWG.
  • Happy New Year :D And congrats on the MEFAs! YAY!
  • Happy new year, Sophiemigirl!
    (Not sure if they actually show that program over there during Christmas...)
  • Don´t feel bad about "barely" reviewing in the MEFAs... I didn´t review *at all*. :(

    Oh, and your frivolous hobbies are all so interesting. I wish my frivolous winter hobbies went anywhere beyond writing, watching weird movies and series in my DVD, playing RPG (mostly with cards) and eating outside.
  • A new rollerskater rink! Yay! Life is happy & good in the county, don't you ever think or catch yourself thinking that this move was one of the best things ever? :) Just be careful with your hip *hugs* I do however have this nice visual of you skating for hours in absolute happiness.

    It sounds like you have enough bunnies to keep you happy and occupied. I find myself being nudged towards longer works by my muses or those who help me shaking pom poms for my original works. My only aim would be to write as much as last year. Oh and probably read books, 26 is a nice goal.

    And yay on Cogs and Cold Hands!!! *hugs* I am very happy for you!

    This is just ... well, I have mixed feelings, actually.

    Me too, not on leaving reviews front, but I freely admit that its difficult to see some authors & friends getting nothing at all. I think that will never be easy for me because I'd want to see everyone getting the acknowlegdement that they deserve. I know this is a competition, but every year it's a struggle of many emotions that burst out when the award winners are announced. Especially if it happens to some every year when the MEFA's do come around, they don't win a thing. So I kinda gave up on next year it will be better, but I just can't sell that anymore, not to those who do feel hurt. That's me, sorry, I am just very sensitive towards that, wanting to have everyone happy and feeling confident in what they do.

    This being said, I am happy that especially Salt placed so well. It's one of my fav's. :)

    Well, probably not--I know myself--but for now, I really enjoy it.

    And that's the most important in all you do.

    eta: typos and should proofread too

    Edited at 2008-01-04 05:23 pm (UTC)
  • First, congratulations, Felagund, O Most Worthy Opponent. I'll sing louder next time. ;^) And many thanks for that review that shows you know me all too well. :^D

    Oooh, recorders! That is very very cool and so fitting with your interests! Demon Spawn the Younger played recorder beautifully some years ago. She picked it up in first grade and a Harvard student (voluteer with the Cambridge Public Schools) tutored her. He was lovely and she thrived with his teaching. She played "Greensleeves" at a recital in one of the old Harvard halls. Man, talk about atmosphere.

    You know, I think she has a wood alto recorder that she never plays anymore so...well, let me see if I can dig it out of a closet. I'm not sure it made the move. But if it did, let me ask her about its disposition. You'll get the hang of the instrument, I'm sure. Demon Spawn was squeaky at first, too. I'm a former (and mediocre) flautist/piccoloist/oboeist so I know from truly horrible squawks and squeaks. ;^)
  • Yay for the rinks! I was at a hockey game a few days ago and I thought of you (well, Bobby technically ;) ), wondering how that stuff was going. Just don't you go about injuring your hip again!

    Recorders? The thought makes a deep ache form behind my eyes...:P No offense of course. ;D Wooden recorders? Dang, if I'd known, I would've sent you mine! Though it does have at least two generations of spit soaked into the wood - not sure how you feel about that! ;)
  • For you Northeners' envy, I'm in a bikini, in front of a window where you can see the South Atlantic in all its windy glory in the middle of one of the hottest summers ever and reading mails and stories once a week (when I can put my fingers on an old computer normally used by ten-year olds to play games and there are no power cuts). So I'm late for the congratulations: great stories, Dawn!
    My New Year resolution for 2008 is to do more reviews -I'll try to start this month. I'm also looking forward to doing more work for the reference section.
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