Today’s doings: Not Necessarily Concurrent

Now reading: The Doll Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow (T|B|F). You’re not surprised.

Now playing: The Wolf Among Us.

Now watching: Penny Dreadful, Vikings, Outlander, and pretending there’s more Justified to come.

Now writing: Last Night at the Blue Alice, coming 2015 from Bedlam.

Now drinking: Yorkshire Gold. I finally found some more – at the liquor store! There was loud batsrejoicing.

Now about to buy: The Tea Bats Lenormand Tarot by the Orange Moon Tea Society (T|B|F)

Now planning: Dollhouse construction and how to best close off any hideyholes that might look inviting to spiders. No building until I’m done with this manuscript, though.

Now absolutely flailing with anticipation for: the tv adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I’m this close to preordering the blurays show-unseen.

Now listening to: Emily Wells, Anna Calvi, various others in playlists I’m planning to post on 8tracks as soon as I’m satisfied with them. I’ve only been working on them for a year. Yeah. I am slow and persnickety.


March attacks

I’m alive, but I am working hard to finish this novella and feel horribly guilty doing anything else, including blogging. Scrivener’s always right there reminding me not to play around on the internet. I want to talk about nine hundred different things, vaping and bourbon and blue boots and my elderdog and how we shoveled snow with a lawn chair, but it all has to wait. I’ve got some more killing to do first.


2015: marvels ahoy, if I avoid the detail vortex

In order of intended completion:

1. Switch to henna. After decades of dyeing my hair red I think I may finally be ready to commit… to red.

2. Finish and deliver 25k-word novella to Secret Publisher X, who has not killed me yet for being a diva/freak/problem/tardy person. Yet.

3. Build and fancify a giant dollhouse.

4. Write novel properly, without going into a detail vortex*, which is what killed the first draft of the novella. Had to dump it and start over in a whole different world.

5. Concurrent with 4: puppy?

* “Ann stood before the closed door and –” wait, do gaslamps have a scent? I don’t remember the ones in Savannah having a scent, but did the ones from this time period have a particular smell that an outsider would notice? What did gas consumption cost, what households could afford it? What neighborhoods contained those households? Of households that couldn’t, which candles did they use, tallow or paraffin or beeswax or what? What did those smell like, how much did they cost, how quickly did they burn down? Sooty? Oh, just stop. What would you call a gaslamp by the entry door? We’d call it a coachlamp, but that’s probably not correct for the period, gotta look that up. Is it iron? Is the glass curved? Gotta look that up. When did running water come to X section of the city? The taps in wealthy households were wood, right? I should check. And in the scullery, what were the taps there? What would the water pressure have been like? Fuck it, ignore it, she’s standing in front of the door… is it smooth, paneled, painted? What paint color was most/least popular?

… detail vortex.

What I need to do instead is just Write Shit Out and embellish/correct the details on the next pass.

Anyway, can’t write much here until I get the novella ready to go, because I’m ashamed to do anything other than work on it.

So, onward and onward and onward!

Happy New Year from Bitte, who dislikes parties, as is proper.



I want to say “Hemingwrong” now. Or at least “Hemingnevermind.”

I love mechanical keyboards, and I love e-ink, and I love dedicated devices and gadgets and low-fi and fancy-fi. (I dislike when people say anything “fi” though. So fickle of me.) I was excited when I heard about the Hemingwrite in this thread on reddit and promptly signed up for their newsletter to keep an eye out for the preorder.

The “preorder” opened today, and I’m out, though a bunch of other people definitely aren’t.

The campaign pics still feature the prototype: the Poker II keyboard with a weird 3-D printed spacebar + an e-ink device (Kindle, probably) encased in a 3-D printed housing. That’s fine. The creators said, when asked about pricing, “think mechanical keyboard + kindle.” My Price Is Right guess, allowing for novelty/niche markup, was full MSRP at $250 with actual retail around $170.


Oh, so that’s real.


Also symptomatic and weird: I feel guilty writing, even though it’s my full-time job now.I feel like I’m getting away with something, like I’m having more fun that I deserve. It’s hard to relax into the imagining because it’s too much fun.

– Me, a few weeks ago

… yeah, that guilt over “fun” goes away really quickly when you sign a contract and and have two deadlines at the same time. In a month and a half.

“Fun” becomes “oh my blue hell, I have to be so very good, so very fast.”


Going There

I have been working on worldbuilding and plotting  a fantasy novel, with an eye toward a series. I’m really, really excited about it. It’s almost overwhelming, as I’ve never written a novel before, much less one of this scope, but the most overwhelming part is really how much is piling into my head.

For years, when strapped into The Office Job, I did everything I could to quash ideas. I drank. I took sleeping pills. I drowned out my thoughts with audiobooks while I was trying to fall asleep. I could not allow my mind the freedom to imagine because I had no time to actually write any of it down, and because I had to go to sleep so I could go back to the office every day and shave another piece off my soul.

So, when I settled into writing full-time, having ideas at all took some doing. I needed a long recovery period to undo all the de-imagination training I’d done on my brain. All the roadblocks, all the times I’d grit my teeth and tell myself to just stop thinking, had done damage.

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DCP_2913My Eike pup came home in June, 2003. She was 12 weeks old the day I brought her home. I don’t have too many photos of her, because she never stayed still enough. (Also, I don’t have a camera phone. Or a phone of any sort.) Truth: I didn’t see her sleep til she was five years old. I’m sure she DID sleep, but my approach was enough to wake her up.

She was a red sable Czech/DDR working-lines German Shepherd. She was a little shy, a lot neurotic, and very high-strung. We were kindred spirits, and when I brought her home, I had no idea what I was in for.

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I am an anxious person

I changed my old static website over to a WordPress-based site in June of last year. I made my first post on it, a meme, at the end of January of this year. It’s now mid-April. I have a pile of abandoned unposted bits, and a mid-composition post about my Eikedog that I’ll finish soon.

But I’m anxious in real life, and probably more so online. Nowadays you can be a lot more anonymous walking around in meatspace than you can be online, and I am not fond of going out (except when I am.)

One way to confront and get past the anxiety is just to get over myself and write stuff here. That’s a moebius strip of weirdness, of course. But I’m trying. I have this simultaneous inflated sense of self-worth and bucketfuls of self-doubt. This is awkward.

And blogging? So weird. I struggle with my feelings that I don’t want to add to the noise, the goddamn noise that is everywhere online. The noise I absorb, happily and on purpose, when I read this, that, and t’other on the internet. And I read so many blogs by brilliant writers with Important Things to Say that I just feel like a goofball because I prefer to talk about tea and music and dogs and the occasional success with my violets. I want to read the big critiques by academics and vocal genre writers, but not participate.

And I’m really, really private. Often I don’t want to divulge personal stuff, and often I don’t see the point in nattering about impersonal stuff.

On the other hand, my contribution to the noise isn’t noisy if no one chooses to read it, and if they do so choose, then I ought to have said something, even if it’s about violets.


An A-to-Z of questions about books

Plucked from: http://www.perpetualpageturner.com/2013/08/some-friday-fun.html

Author responsible for the largest percentage of books I’ve read:

Stephen King, followed by F. Paul Wilson.

Best Sequel Ever:

ALL CLEAR, Connie Willis – though it’s no so much a “sequel” as it is the second half of a whole.

Currently Reading:

MAYHEM, Sarah Pinborough.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Strong black tea, sick amounts of it. Filthy strong.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I will always opt for an e-book for my Kindle (or whatever e-ink device I’ve got at the time) if one is available. If I adore the book I then buy it in hard copy for no real reason, because I’ll likely re-read on my device.

I have thousands of paper books that I’m trying to unload. It’s bad. Two moves in one year made me vow that hauling an entire moving truck’s worth of pulp is never going to happen again.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

This is supposed to reveal something about who I was in high school or something, but I can’t be bothered. I certainly don’t read books with an eye toward whether or not I’d have imaginarily-dated characters in the book when I was a kid.

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