Mar. 10th, 2006

sigh.

Mar. 10th, 2006 12:00 am
Open tabs are piling up in Firefox now. I've got three separate windows full of tabs going. I should probably blog the links I was going to blog, even though the words aren't coming.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] leopard_lady: Fantasy Novelists' Exam. I passed this, to my immense pride. In fact, I passed with flying colors? Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?
Ha ha. In the first twenty, there's a sex scene, a betrayal, some torture, a minor battle, an attempted rape, several murders, and oh yeh, a little backstory. So that made me feel a bit smug. :)

From the NYT, so this will require a login after a little while, but I had to comment:
Tipping is Part of Travel, But What About the Maid?
Yes, hotel maids do a lot of hard work. It would probably be polite to leave them tips. I have traveled so relatively little in my day, and so much of that traveling has been spent at bed & breakfasts, that this is not a bit of etiquette I've really learned. But I am a bit annoyed by how he dismisses his tipping of the bartender "who spent the 30 seconds to pour me a beer and slide it across the counter". Ehm, let's not get into the physicality of tending bar in an airport as opposed to changing sheets all day, but I am going to make this point one more time. Some of you may be sick of it, but obviously most people still don't know this.
By tax law, there are tipped and untipped positions. Bartending is a tipped position. What does that mean? That means that my company reports my sales to the government, who then withholds a portion of my expected income as taxes. So if I pour you that cold beer and you don't leave me a tip, entirely discarding the issue of how much work it is (to pour the beer, to wash the glass, to clean the bar, to stock the napkin holder so there's a napkin to put under your beer, to change the keg so there's something to pour at all, etc. etc.)-- it costs me money in taxes. The government doesn't trust me to tell you that I'm earning tips, so it assumes I am, so if you don't tip me at least 8%, I get screwed. (This is more painful of course when it's your five New Zealanders who've run up a $250 tab and leave you $4, but I'm just talking about principles here.)

Hotel maids are not legally "tipped positions", so anything you leave them, while I am sure it is appreciated as I am certain they work very hard for very little, is actually optional. I am not saying you should not. But even in that story, a representative for the hotel workers' union says right out that tipping is nice but it's not necessarily what's best for the maids. What's best for the maids is if you stay in hotels that treat their employees well to begin with.

Apples and oranges, folks. But please, NYT, do me a favor and don't you start taking swipes at bartenders too. I get enough of that from, oh, my company's entire management structure, thanks very much.

I had one more thing to blog. What was it? Dangit. I fergit.
Wrote 2300 words last night to replace the 2500 I deleted. Pleasing, as it moves the story along faster. Unpleasing is my nagging feeling that I am going to have to make very extensive (ie tens of thousands of words) cuts to this first half somehow, and I don't know where to start.
I may have to submit the thing to beta reading at an unreasonable length. I hope to God somebody out there is willing to slog through something 1.5 times too long. I don't know where to start.
I am nearly done with the gluing-together bit, though. I need two points covered in it, an announcement and a question, and possibly a third descriptive thing in the tying-together scene just to make sure everything's set up, and then Part II starts with an action scene and goes on from there in a 45,000-word segment I've already written. Then I'll just need to do the climax, and then it'll be done. And of those three things I've gotten almost up to the announcement, although as my POV char doesn't want to hear it he's been doing some delaying.

But. I have to leave in about 15 minutes for work, since I'm working an extra day as a favor to a senior co-worker. This is a rude shock to Z. It'll be the first time in two or three weeks he'll have had to take the bus to work at all. I think he's getting spoiled.

And then I'm working for the next four consecutive days. I can get things written on work days, but only on bus-taking work days, and as there are no buses on weekends... Well, I can pretty much write my 16-hours-of-work weekends off as a total wash.

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