Aug. 14th, 2006

So Saturday was busy and I ended up bussing a lot of tables because the porter kind of, well, didn't. And in so doing I managed to injure both of my wrists, to the point that on Sunday morning when I awoke I could not make a fist. My left hand was worse. I considered calling in, but after a long hot shower I felt a bit better, and also the schedule manager has been really nice about giving me days off this month, and I don't want to seem ungrateful for calling in on a beautiful sunny weekend day when I know they're short-staffed and it's going to be busy. So I did some stretches and decided to cowboy up and deal. How busy could it be?

How busy indeed? )
John Rich of the band Big & Rich, who just played at the Erie Co. Fair this weekend, came in with four friends and sat at one of my tables. I didn't recognize him, as I didn't go see them. (I might go to the fair tonight.) He promised he'd tip me well. I was, in turn, polite, because most of the time when people say it, they don't mean it. He then asked what my best tip ever had been. I told him the story of the woman with my mother's name, making more of a big deal about the name than the money, because talk of money always sounds crass.
He told me he'd just been in the studio with Willie Nelson and I responded enthusiastically about how completely freaking awesome the aforementioned Willie is. He confirmed that he is.

The tab came to $125. He paid by credit card and wrote "$225" in the final amount line. Yup.

Getting Your Ass Kicked For Fun And Profit )
Spent today lounging about and generally being useless. I had plans, nay, ambitions of being productive, but these fell by the wayside of my general decrepitude and lassitude, a combination of forces that proved lethal to my daydreams of usefulness.

I am pretty sure I will not, even by some miracle, get my novel ready for submission by Aug 25/26/28th; that is ok, because I have at least made inroads into deciding what else needs to happen to it. (The best part is the end, but the end is told nearly in summary because the damn thing is so long by then. D'oh! Something midway through needs to get trimmed so the end can be expanded.)

However. I did manage to do a lot of websurfing today, and before you laugh at me, I will mention that much of it was close to useful. And was also germane. However, it was done on Z's computer, so I can't just abandon it in a series of open tabs which I will lose track of and lose entirely when Firefox crashes, as I sort of tend to do.
Lo, the usefulness:

A diarist on Daily Kos (a website I admit I don't read, as I am not apolitical but sort of underpolitical) writes a series on getting published, starting with Why Bad Things Happen To Good Books, and the series (linked to at the bottom of the article) goes on to include topics like finding an agent and understanding publishing lists.

If you are struggling, as I am, with complaints by readers that your story's setting (it doesn't have to be fantasy, btw) is a bit undefined and nebulous, here are the famous Worldbuilder Questions first posted to lists, pre-Internet, by noted author Patricia C. Wrede. Useful.
What things are considered luxuries--chocolate, coffee, cotton, flush toilets, spices?
What is furniture like--big and blocky, delicate, simple, elaborately carved or decorated? What is it mostly made of--cloth, wood, stone, etc.? Are certain things (like chairs with arms) reserved for high-status individuals?
For traveling short distances within a city, what are the alternatives? Can people hire a cab, a litter, a rickshaw, or do they have to walk or rely on their own servants or horses?

From the SWFA website, a topic near and dear to my heart: The Theory and Practice of Titles. I'm considering the title Protector for the Barbarians Novel, it being a title of the main character-- but should there be a "the"?

Also from SWFA (their main index of writers for articles is here, by the way, and it is useful to anyone who writes, not only SF writers. In particular the Turkey City Lexicon has been among the first bookmarks added to the default browser of every computer I have ever owned/used heavily): The Complete Nobody's Guide To Query Letters-- so you don't have a huge list of publishing credits, or some arcane specialty, or the great good fortune to already be a celebrity? You can still find something to put in your query letter.

And for critiquers, How To Critique Fiction. It is a bit over-earnest, but it contains a number of excellent observations (and a highly detailed checklist) to use while attempting to craft a review of someone's story. I am planning on revisiting this one next time I attempt to read over B_N again. I think it raises a few points I hadn't considered.

That's all for the moment. I am not a good blogger in that I can't remember where I found these links: I just spent the day wandering through the Internet, and those are the tabs I didn't close, which means I wanted to come back to them. How all you conscientious bloggers can remember who brought a particular page to your attention is beyond me. I am too disorganized and scatterbrained.

Also my wrists still click when I rotate them, so I'm going to lay off the typing for the rest of the evening, most likely.

Does anyone have any suggestions to offer, on a semi-medical level, for sore wrists? It's not the muscles, but rather the tendons-- fingers and forearm-- and it's just generally sore, particularly on my left hand. Should I apply heat or cold to it? It's not warm to the touch, particularly, and the stiffness was eased both days by a hot shower. Maybe I should just wrap it in warm towels or use a heat pad? Would that speed healing, or just ease pain? Again, I don't think anything's seriously damaged, it just really hurts to, for example, lift something smallishly heavy in a closed-hand grip-- i.e., a cocktail tray, or to close my hand around a full beer glass.
Heat or cold? Ice or heatpack? Probably doesn't matter for such minor damage, does it? I've just had a day's rest, more or less. Maybe I'll use an ace bandage tomorrow for work?

Distressing, of course, that my non-interfering-with-writing job should so very thoroughly and concretely interfere with writing, physically, just as I was trying to meet a ridiculous self-imposed deadline. Perhaps it's my body's way of telling me I'm a complete idiot.



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