Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Autocomplete is... Helpful?

Something silly to share today.

Because my arms don't work as well as they should, I type using an on-screen keyboard. As I click on letters it displays words it thinks I'm trying to type, and I can click on them to save time. In theory.

Usually I click the wrong word, and have to go back and fix it. Or I don't realize what I did and get really confused during editing. Like that time my soldiers were talking about waffles instead of warfare.

But something amazing happened last night. I clicked on the wrong word... and it was actually better than the word I was trying for!

I was trying to type

"Diana and Phyllis don't exist right now," I say, staring down at an alien body.

I think I typed an S instead of a D and just clicked the first word it offered, because I somehow ended up with

"Diana and Phyllis don't exist right now," I say, staring down at an alien bosom.

At first I was like, "Ew, no. Stop looking at your boobs, you weirdo." But my main character has had some memory... uploads and, for all intents and purposes, her brain is not her brain. The memories, for the most part, came from a guy, so from his perspective it's alien for him to suddenly be female, and it's totally reasonable that the breasts in particular are alien to him. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever been pleased with autocomplete.

It's also the first time in my life I think I've ever used the word "bosom" (or even really talked about one?) so it's clear autocomplete doesn't know me at all. (Though it was right to replace warfare with waffles; international disputes should be more delicious.)

(And yes, it kind of sounds like she's named them Diana and Phyllis. I know. It sounds much better in context. :D )


Also, a reviewer on Goodreads compared Circuits & Slippers to The Lunar Chronicles books by Marissa Meyer. I know my story is only a teensy bit of the book, but I'm so excited that we're even in the same sentence as those amazing books.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Everything is blah lately.

I feel like I haven't been reading all the blogs and sites I normally do, and while I'm getting a lot of writing done it doesn't feel like the stories are moving forward. (But if I ever finish this one book, which I'm calling Pink Reincarnations at the moment, there will be some hilarious editing notes because I've changed the plot so many times that I don't even know what's happening anymore).


But I do have something I'm proud of. I made a glove!

When I'm not writing, I crochet. I really love making things with my hands; it's more of an immediate satisfaction for my creativity, where I can see and touch the progress, while writing takes forever and is just a mess of words unless you really look at it.

I used to draw and make dollhouse miniatures but my hands and muscles have stopped cooperating with me enough that it isn't enjoyable.

Usually I make little stuffed animals and flowers to accent my grandmother's hats, but she gave me a bunch of super soft scrap yarn and I'm making myself a pair of gloves.

[Image shows a hand resting on a wheelchair joystick, wearing a
lacy purple fingerless glove with yellow cuff.]

I hate having my fingers trapped in mittens and gloves and they make it hard to drive my wheelchair, so these are fingerless and the one I wear on my driving hand has a big hole in the palm for my joystick. And since the muscular dystrophy makes my fingers bend funny, the gloves are extra loose and have a strap to tighten them (which I made out of a keychain and a picture hanging hook 'cuz I'm thrifty like that. Also we couldn't find my big box of buttons).

The lacy stitch I used was a complete accident; I just wanted to whip up a few rows to check the fit, and it ended up looking cute. The colors are much more vivid in real life.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG: 5 Years from Now

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities.

Each month, they also have an optional question to answer. This month it's: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

I'm going to try to take this question seriously (unlike the last time I talked about my writing goals).
Of course I'd like to have a novel published, whether that's FreakShow or ones that I'm working on now.
More short stories published. I really enjoyed the entire process of having my story in Circuits & Slippers. I'd love to do that again.
And I doubt it'll be in the next five years, but it would be amazing if my work was made into a movie or TV show. "Based on the novel by Jennifer Lee Rossman" in the credits.

But as for my plan... There isn't really much more that I can do besides writing the best stories I can and submitting to as many markets as I can.
Beyond that, I can only hope that my work gets in the hands of someone who likes it.

Now as for my general writerly insecurities, I know it was kind of a fluke that I had three things accepted within two months, but I'm a little... annoyed that nothing else has been accepted since. Like, what's so different? Has my writing gotten worse somehow? Have I not been trying as hard? I'm pretty sure the answer is no to both, but that isn't helpful.
And I'm at the point in most of my projects where I'm floundering and have no clue what happens next and feel like nothing I'm doing is any good. But that always happens and I'm used to it.
And then there's my novel FreakShow, which has been getting some really nice rejection letters and I don't know what's wrong with it.
But on the bright side, my story Chrysalis will be read as a podcast on Cast of Wonders in the first half of 2017. They had some delays, but are nailing down their schedule. Yaaay.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

I Don't Read (a post I wrote almost a year ago)

(So I wrote this post months ago. And then I decided it was sad and embarrassing and I didn't want to post it until I could say it wasn't true anymore. It isn't. And this is the part where I'd point you to my Goodreads page to show you all the books I've read, but I somehow managed to mass delete a lot of my ratings? (Because I'm so smart and good at computers.) So while I go and try to remember everything I've read for the last few months, enjoy this post that is now full of lies!)

(Oh, and if you were wondering, I was successful at my "write a page every time I'm on the computer in November" challenge. And I think the pressure gave me some interesting plot twists. Congratulations to everyone who did actual Nanowrimo.)


I don't read.

I'm not proud of this. In fact I'm a little ashamed to admit it. But I very rarely read fiction.

I used to. I started reading as soon as I could hold a book, and by the age of six or seven I was correcting adults on their pronunciation of words that were bigger than I was. By the time I was 13, I'd read almost every book in my age range the library had to offer, and after that I read some funny murder mysteries with my mom and competed to see who could solve it first.

I don't know what changed. A lot of things I guess. I got busier, my ADHD got worse, depression kicked in. All I know is all of a sudden I'm 26 and I can't remember the last time I held an actual book. I've read a little Shakespeare and HG Wells online, a paragraph here or there between emails, but I don't lose hours engrossed in pages like I used to.

I don't even go inside the library anymore. I use their website to borrow movies, and I stay in the van while my mom goes in. And I feel bad for that. Shouldn't a writer read?

One day a few months ago, when the library was closed, I went downstairs with my mom to help her find a book in our building's community room. I found a bright yellow book with a cat on the cover. It looked like a mystery with cats, one of my mother's favorite genres, and I pointed it out. She read the inside cover, said, "Talking space cats. You want it?"

I did want it. It was Catacombs, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. I think I read it (and Catalyst, the other book in the series) in about a day. And then I didn't read again until this week.

I'm trying to find time for it, because I love it so much, but I think the sheer volume of possible books intimidates me. I don't know which ones to read, so I don't read any. I'm starting with the winners and nominees of the Hugo award. It's a limited amount, I know they're my favorite genres, and... and a writer ought to read, shouldn't they?