Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This had been a pretty stellar day.

First of all, my latest Eric Stevens/SAB title, about basketball, BTW, is nearly done. It's due tomorrow, and I shouldn't have a problem wrapping it up before lunch. Tomorrow, that is. I would have finished it today, perhaps, but for. . . .

Lunch with Roo. That was great! Great conversation, great food even at Pizza Luce (apparently the vegan food is also quite good, as Roo was happy with his), and great to feel a sort of connection to back east. Though I know Oz would be better all around, it might be pretty cool to have a dude like Roo in the neighborhood. Okay, in the state. Of course, the downside of lunch, besides not finishing my Eric Stevens work, was missing a phone call.

From my agent! But after some email and voicemail and receptionist back-and-forth, we finally spoke, and YA MS the First is officially SOLD! I'm over the goddamn moon, and sorry to say "goddamn," but I think protagonist would have wanted me to say "goddamn." If not worse.

So yeah. Big day! The above made it fairly easy to ignore the fact that it snowed here on the last day of March. Some lamb.

Band practice tonight. I will celebrate the day with a couple of beers. Better hit the package store on the way to pick up some Two Hearteds.

Mmmmm . . . literary hops.

One for you, nineteen for me

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I know you're all itching to hear how it went with the tax professional yesterday, so here's the scoop: excellently!

Our last two visits to the tax professional left us in small panics about getting our taxes paid. Since I work for myself and have no money automatically deducted, we always owed. (Also because I couldn't get my act together with the whole quarterly-estimated-payments thing.) This year, though, I was very good, and at the end of my meeting yesterday, we just about came out even. After paying the tax pro himself, we stand to get back about a hundred bucks. That's pretty damn perfect.

See, sure, everyone likes to get their tax refund. It's like free money, after all. But in reality it's the government paying back an interest-free loan you made to them over the course of the whole year. That doesn't seem fair! So the ideal situation, I think, is ours: I deduct my own taxes, put them into a savings account, and only pay what I have to. It really worked out great! My goal for next year is a big fat "zero" at the end of the appointment. Or better yet, the exact amount the tax pro charges.

(Of course, as it happens our government needs all the interest-free loans it can get right now, so maybe I'm thinking about this wrong.)

In other news, if Sam and Beth ever wake up from this nap, we're going out to lunch today. I'm supposed to be thinking of a place to go, but all I can come up with are burger places, like The Nook, Blue Door, Groveland Tap, Highland Grill . . . and I have a feeling Beth won't be feeling any of those. My guess is she will suggest Tanpopo, the Japanese noodle shop she swoons over. I like it too, very much, but I am just obsessed with burgers lately. Maybe I'm anemic.

After lunch, I'm doing some write-time, though I think it's will have to be 100% Eric Stevens work. He's got this basketball title due on Tuesday, and it just refuses to write itself.

Oh, and finally, my next break from WoW begins Wednesday. Why do I keep scheduling my last day to be on server-maintenance day?! Why?!

Four items of varying degrees of note

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hey hey!

Good evening, happy Friday, and such and such.

No news on the YA MS the First front; I trust the esteemed EN4 arrived home from Bologna today and will be back in the office on Monday. I feel confident I'll hear all about the details (or "deetz," for you young people) at that time.

In news today, however:

1. I remembered most of the bass lines I was required to play at our first band-back-together practice last night! We're having another practice tomorrow afternoon, after . . .

2. Taxes! Tomorrow, lunchtime-ish, I'll be off to see our tax professional. Being a freelance, self-employed person is complicated, what with home offices and 1099s and expenses and such.

3. It pays to comment on your favorite blogs, people! I have been invited to become a new contributor at The Spectacle. This is pretty cool! And it's all because I dropped the correct answer to this week's Stump the Bookseller, one of the current contributors clicked over here, and thought I would be a good fit! My first official duty: write next week's Stump the Bookseller.

4. Since I was at practice last night, I'll have to make some write time this weekend. If I don't, Eric Stevens will be missin' deadlines, and that ain't cool.

Nothing more to say! Have a good weekend, y'all.

Movies that move me

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Where the Wild Things Are trailer is up, and everyone's linking it, so I won't bother. But I will say I am the following things:

1) excited
2) apprehensive
3) intrigued by the fact that the vibe feels at once MG and YA, not at all PB, and that the script adds lots of drama that the original PB fans would never have "gotten" when they were enjoying the PB as children. If you follow me.

Anyway, I've been hurt before, by the Narnian films, and The Dark Is Rising, which LORD I wouldn't put myself through, but I've heard only horrible things. So I'm keeping myself from getting excited. But I am pleased with the team that put this one together; unlike those two trainwrecks I mentioned, WtWTA looks like it was made by real fans of the work and children at heart, not just studio big-time POP BANG LOOK AT ME filmmakers. So that's nice.

What else? IDK. Sam and I went to storytime at the Red Balloon Shop on Grand on Tuesday. Holy cow, this was some crowded storytime. Fifty babies, I kid you not. Plus their parent(s), obviously. But seriously, the group we went to at the library in Saint Anthony Park had, at most, 5 babies on any given day. And once it was 2 babies.

Not much else is new. I think I might have an offer for YA MS the First in the next few days, so that's exciting, but it isn't news as much as it is an updated schedule.

Class tonight, after two weeks off. I wrote three short papers in that two weeks, which I will hand in today. Hopefully that will satisfy him -- for now.

Until next time, America.

"We're getting the band back together"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Strictly speaking, the band never actually broke up. We just only see each other maybe every six months for a spurt of practices before some late-night gig at Stasiu's, and such it is again. Our first practice of this spurt will be this Thursday, normally write night.

So I might miss a write night this week, and I'm okay with, because it will instead be a night of music and merriment and I get to have some beers!

Hopefully, I can squeeze in some writing time at some other point this week. I tried to do some freewriting this afternoon while Sam was playing happily on the rug with some new toys of his, but what I wrote--and it wasn't much--included the line of dialogue: "I'm not running anymore." When I saw that appear on the page, I rubbed my eyes, checked it again, then deleted the whole mess. Then I made some tea and sat on the couch to watch Sam play.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two days in a row! Now we're talkin'.

Sam and I just returned from an hour long walk, all across Midway and back, essentially. It is nearly the perfect temperature out there, in my humble opinion (I wrote it out!), and the cool breeze is even nice if one has a brisk pace and needs some air on one's neck now and then.

Christy Raedeke asks on her blog today about ideas for books coming in dreams. My bio with Stone Arch Books highlights my tendency to get ideas in my sleep, and of course MG Book was so inspired. In fact, that book came up in dreamland several more times, leading to additional scenes and so many great concepts that MG Book is now MG Trilogy, woefully unfinished.

Beth will no doubt recall the night, back in 2004, I think, that I jumped up from the bed and ran to my computer. I'd been inspired in dream to write an adult piece of fiction, one that I still believe has a lot of promise. If I ever really feel like working very, very, very hard on a very, very complicated literary novel, I'll return to it. If I can find it! Uh oh. Anyway, in future, it's LF MS.

My point, though, if I have one, is that I haven't had a really excellent dream inspiration in too, too long, and I think I can safely blame the fact that I'm just not sleeping as well as I used to.

They say parents should expect to remain exhausted for the first twelve months of their baby's life, and that the overwhelming tiredness begins to fade (who knows how quickly?) thereafter. If that's true, maybe I'll be able to rely on dreams for inspiration again someday.

Meanwhile, I better get back to work on YA MS the Second. And Eric Stevens' next project. Oh, and maybe some Mad Libs. And the next FTM. And . . .

Spring in the air!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another five days have past. So sad.

Here's the news:

It's spring-like here, freakin' finally. I've given Harry three baths in as many days, therefore, because long walks with the family all over our defrosting neighborhood leave his shaggy underbelly terribly muddy. But the walks have been delightful. In fact, after Beth got home from work yesterday, we all four walked (well, Sam rode in the stroller) to Dairy Queen for ice cream cones. And yeah, neither Sam nor Harry had any ice cream.

I have a tremendous amount of work to do right now. Much of it is for the one class I'm taking and have been effectively ignoring while not actually in the classroom. It's time to catch up. Beyond that, I've got a title for SAB due in a couple of weeks, as does Eric Stevens, and hopefully I'll be working on revisions of YA MS the First fairly soon too.

Neil Gaiman was on Colbert last night. I'm embedding the video!

Grumping, yesterday

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wow, I've been ignoring this blog for five days, and frankly that last post is a little . . . light.

There's been no news on YA MS the First, and I suppose I've been holding off on posting until I had something to report on that front. I also suppose that's a silly reason not to post anything at all.

So I'll talk about Sam. I haven't in a long while, it seems, so it's a shame I'm going to report about the WORST DAY EVER.

Yesterday, Sam woke up up startingly early and essentially refused to go back to sleep. By the time Beth left for work, he was switching off between hysterics and on-the-verge of hysterics. Finally, sheer exhaustion got the better of him and he slept, but it wasn't enough to make up for the chaos that preceded it.

That means for most of the day, Sam was an overtired and cranky grumpster. I won't go into details, but boy, I passed OUT at bedtime last night and I think I slept right through to Beth's alarm. Sam, by the way, has been asleep essentially since bedtime last night, and here it is almost 9. So perhaps and hopefully today will be back to business as usual.

In other news, I went out last night to Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe, which is not actually called that, and tried to work, but it was hella crowded and I got nothing done in the 30 minutes I was there, frustrated, and so I came home. I believe Beth will be going out, with Sam, to do some knitting this evening, so perhaps I can get some writing done right here at home during the quiet.

Not much else is new. I joined a nice MNSCBWI group on facebook and have had a couple of bites at the idea of a YA crit group here in the Twin Cities. So there's that.

All right, little else to report and I should get Sam's breakfast ready, since I'm sure he'll be up at any moment.

Destroy All Cars

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I read Destroy All Cars, by Blake Nelson, today. Loved it. I want all three main characters from YA MS the First to hang out with his James Hoff. I think they'd have a lot to talk about. Of course, James would very likely be put off a little by their potty mouths. But I think he'd get over it.

Anyway, great book, especially for that Green Party friend of yours.

It's trivia day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

First and only question:

1. What is McIntosh & Otis?

a) An apple and an elevator
b) A comic strip from the 1910s about two hobos, riding the rails
c) One of the oldest and most respected literary agencies in the world
d) The agency that represents Steve Brezenoff, author

If you said a, c, and d, you're right!

I have been enthusiastically offered--and have enthusiastically accepted--representation from the firm of McIntosh & Otis! I'm officially agented, which means everything can get rolling with YA MS the First!

More news soon. . . .

Silent night

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's even quieter in the Brezenoff household than usual right now. Somehow or other, Sam missed one of his naps today, and, despite a very long nap in the afternoon, he has drifted off to sleep in his mother's arms about an hour ahead of his normal schedule. So now, we're all quietly finishing our nights, letting Sam sleep, still in his mother's arms.

He's in his newest pj's. They're pretty cute.

Not much else is happening. There's no news on the YA MS the First front, and frankly I haven't done much in the way of work on anything else, outside of a SAB job due on Friday. It's a football book that Eric Stevens is writing. He's a goddamn machine, that Stevens. I'm telling you. BAM! BAM! BAM! Book after book, like shotgun bullets. It's pretty awe inspiring.

And look at that; Sam just woke up. Which of course means it's time to get him ready for bed.

Bronx Bombers!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I haven't been keeping up with my 5 posts/week resolution, and I'm okay with that. Today's post really wouldn't be happening either, truth be told; the fact is, I don't like updating the old blog while I'm in a waiting phase, as I am now (ie, waiting until the end of next week for a couple of book-related reasons).

However, yesterday I decided to see if the first-ever thing I bought for Sam (actually, his grandma bought it at my request) fits him yet. And, on its smallest possible adjustable size, it does! So, here it is!