Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oops. =D

Just a quick update to let everyone know that if you're setting up a phone system, it's a bad idea to make people dial 9 to get to an outside line.


I was phoning people about their book orders today at work. We have to dial 9 to get out. I was making a long distance phone call, and I accidentally double-clicked the 1.

Campus security promptly arrived.

I rolled my chair away from the phone.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Minimum Wage

Warning: The following post contains a rant.

Working for minimum wage ($9.50 here) is lousy.

Working for minimum wage means you get paid $76 for a full (eight hour) day. When those eight hours are spent on your feet doing menial work (let's say, oh, straightening books on a bookshelf), $76 seems like a major rip off!

It seems to imply that a day of your life (24 hours) is therefore worth $228.

If someone came up to you and offered you $228 for a day of your life (as in, you would have one less day to live) would you agree?

I wouldn't.

*stops grumbling*

We shipped some books to someone in Jamaica the other day. (Or was it only one book? Can't remember.) Her name was Donna and the shipping cost $75 - an entire day's salary for me. Probably more than an entire day's salary when you take taxes off.

Have you ever considered what kind of a percentage the government gets of your salary between income taxes, sales taxes, parking meters, road test fees...Okay, I'd better not get going on that can of worms. =P

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy my free time! Ta-ta!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Word Wednesday (and other stuff)

I got a job! *prances around*

I mean, it's minimum wage and sounds like brutal hours, but heck, it's MONEY!! *is broke*

I'm going to be working in the college bookstore, which, sadly, seems to mostly sell text books, but again, IT'S MONEY! Also, I get the impression I'll be doing less book-selling and more coffee-fetching/loose-paper-sorting. It sounds like I'll be some sort of manager's assistant, or something of that nature.

Goodbye, free time! Hello, money I can use to pay off that library fine!!

Okay. Now, onto Wordy Wednesday!

triage |trēˈä zh; ˈtrēˌä zh |noun1 the action of sorting according to quality.2 (in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.

Because they use it on M*A*S*H all the time and I wasn't 100% sure what it meant. And:

fyke |fīk| (also fyke net)
nouna bag net for catching fish.

Because I hit the F key at random and when I realized that only gave me words that started with 'fa' I added a Y. And I might actually have the opportunity to use this word in my WIP, since my MC's family spends a lot of time on fishing-ish boats.

Oh, also, I have a longwinded, convoluted post over on the TWFT blog. Which you should go look at if you haven't already. =D

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesday


Rachel was back, and she looked peeved. Presumably Samuel hadn’t been visible through any of the windows she could get at. But instead of giving up and heading back to the car, she was gearing up for round two, which seemed to involve climbing Samuel’s tree to scope out the upper story.

As we watched, she leaped for one of the lower branches, caught hold, and started scrabbling up the trunk so she could hook her legs over the branch as well. A minute later, she was hidden from sight by the foliage. All we could see were shaking leaves as she clambered from one branch to the next. Finally, near the top where the leaves and branches thinned, we saw her. She hung onto the trunk and perched on a branch that was as good a vantage point as she was going to get.

“Can she even see inside?” Jay asked.

The answer, apparently, was no, because he had no sooner voiced the question than she started edging away from the trunk and towards the house. It was slow going, and a good thing she and I had not traded clothes again because scooting along a branch like that would likely have been very unpleasant in a skirt. As she made her way outwards, the branch started to droop under her weight, and wiggle, and wobble. When she had to lie down and cling with both her arms and legs I started to worry that the tree was better suited for kindling than climbing.

“Does that look safe to you?” I asked.

Before he could answer, there was a resounding snap and Rachel’s branch parted company with the rest of the tree.

Rachel screamed, Jay and I launched ourselves out of the car, and when I tried to go bounding across the road, I discovered I had shut my skirt in the car door. And, better yet, the door was locked, the keys were still in the ignition, and Jay was already on Samuel’s front lawn and really too busy trying to prevent Rachel from breaking her neck to be bothered with something as trivial as detaching me from a car.

Dangling from another lower, but thinner branch, Rachel got her senses back and started screaming, “Help! Help! Curse you, Isaac Newton! Why couldn’t we live on the moon? He-e-e-elp!”

Speaking of this book, I should really be sending out more queries...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Creepy Government Buildings

Today, I went to a government building to get my name changed on a piece of ID. There was nobody in it. There were merely two phones sitting on two little tables in front of two lists of phone numbers.

After checking the sign on the door a few dozen times to make sure I was in the right place, I sat down and started calling those phone numbers. They put me on hold. For a long time.

Then sketchy janitorial staff started walking by in the hall, looking at me like those cannibals in that movie looked at that tasty castaway.

I left.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Angst-Fests and War Updates

My battle with the library rages on. My fine has somehow amounted to $76 now, which means I'll be skulking about in the corners of bookstores, sneakily reading their books for some time yet. Furthermore, I apparently still have a book out. But it's a book I have neither seen nor hear of, so I retain the theory that I do not have it.

Now, onto angst-fests.

They run rampant in YA books. Teenaged hormones, coupled with alcohol, and Dark Pasts are just the perfect recipe. Sometimes they're fine - justified, understandable, a prime opportunity for Character X to show off his/her vulnerable side. Other times, however, they are annoying as all heck! They make the reader (and occasionally the writer) want to strangle the character just to make them stop whining about their Problems.

For the majority of the past week I have been re-writing a scene in my WIP. The re-write started mainly because I needed to change a reference to a preceding event that had been remodeled. Then I saw it: the Angst-Fest!!

My darling Love Interest (that is, my MC's Love Interest, who I also adore to the point of it being a touch unhealthy) was spewing angst and misery all over the page!

I thought to myself, "Well! That can't stay!" and immediately scrapped it and began re-writing. I assumed the Angst-Fest was a product of my not knowing Love Interest very well when I first wrote the scene (it's way back near the beginning of the book) since he is quite the anti-angster in all subsequent scenes. That is, he doesn't talk, sulk, or angst about his Dark Past, nor wallow in Guilt and Self-Pity about it. (Sorry, but I couldn't actually resist giving him a Dark Past.)

Anyway, after 514 rewrites, a few handfuls of cold pills, and several boxes of Kleenex (necessary because of aforementioned cold, not because I was having hysterical fits about not being able to come up with a decent rewrite)...we came full circle.

I went from Angst-Fest, to Anti-Angst-Fest, through all the shades of grey, and now I'm sitting back in Angst Land. Or right on its border. Sighhh.

I assume this means that Angst-Fest is the right way to go. I mean, I have toned it down and directed the Angst at something that he would, in fact, maybe, possibly Angst about a little bit when he's as intoxicated as he is, but still I worry. I don't want people getting irritated.

And so I ask you, dear readers, at what point do Angst-Fests become annoying? What makes them torturous and eye-roll-inducing rather than an acceptable plot point? Do your beloved characters have Angst-Fests? When have other author's done it right, or done it wrong?

I'd love to know!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

It's that time again! Time for me to go scrolling through my Mac dictionary to find an appealing word.

schnitzel sh nitsəl|nouna thin slice of veal or other light meat, coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

I love this word, but I've actually never known what it was. Now I just have to find a place to try one (like the Schnitzel House I always pass on my way to Toronto!!).

Next word:

ubiquitous |yoōˈbikwətəs|adjectivepresent, appearing, or found everywhere : his ubiquitous influence was felt byall the family | cowboy hats are ubiquitous among the male singers.

I've heard that one too, but when I scrolled by it in the dictionary I couldn't quite come up with the definition. So, for future reference, there it is!

You may now consider your vocabular horizons expanded! Yes, I just made up the word vocabular. ;)

ETA: I found another word!!

While reading this lovely blog, I came across I word I had not seen before. While able to glean the definition from the context in which it was used, I thought it still deserved to be added to the post.

imbibe |imˈbīb|verb [ trans. ] formal often humorousdrink (alcohol) : they were imbibing far too many pitchers of beer | [ intrans. ]having imbibed too freely, he fell over.figurative absorb or assimilate (ideas or knowledge) : the Bolshevistpropaganda that you imbibed in your youth.chiefly Botany (esp. of seeds) absorb (water) into ultramicroscopic spaces or pores.Botany place (seeds) in water in order to absorb it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Three days of alliteration in a row! Yay!!

I'd fluff this post up a bit more, but I've done absolutely nothing since last Friday (all that productiveness wore me out) and unlike some people *cough*Kody*cough* I can't think of awesome literary topics to blog about. (That's code for "Go check out her awesome post about modern adaptations." I've been mulling it over since I read it.)

And now, onto the snippet.

I'm going over my WIP, re-writing chunks of it, so this snippet is from near the beginning.

“It’s so cold,” I said, in what I hoped was a pitiable tone. It was my and Layla’s favourite line, when we were vying for boys’ attention. It hadn’t failed yet. At the least they offered to walk us home. At best they put their arms around us.

It didn’t work so well with Sade. “Put your coat back on then,” he said.

“I’m already wearing my coat,” I replied, trying to find it in the dark and put it on without him hearing the rustle of fabric. “And I’m freezing.” I decided to be a little more direct. “I need something to warm me up.”

I heard him move, and for a brief moment I thought my ingenious plan had worked, but then a blanket landed over my head.

“You really should be careful what you say, Mina,” Sade said lightly, “Anyone else might have thought you were trying to flirt.”

I was glad it was so dark inside, because I was sure my face turned bright red. I choked for a moment before managing to say, “Why in the world would someone think that?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes people just seem to get the strangest ideas.”

Hmm. I have a feeling I've posted this somewhere before. Apologies if you've already seen this! (Especially since I don't think I've changed this at all in my editing. :P)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Frivolous Friday

I'm not actually planning a series of Frivolous Fridays. I just liked the alliteration. As a matter of fact, this Friday has been surprisingly non-frivolous. I've actually done a lot.

Things I have done today:

1. Applied for job at motel (front desk lady looked happy to see me - good sign? Or is she supposed to look that happy to see everyone?)
2. Applied for job at library (decided I don't actually want to work there, since the librarians looked very not happy to see me. Maybe they know about the size of my fine...>_>)
3. Filled out and delivered that form the doctor's office has been wanting.
4. Spat and cursed at the book I'm querying, because I have a partial request and I can't decide what, if anything, to tweak before sending it.

This has been my most productive day this week, by far.


5. Sat outside and admired the wildlife (a loon) for a while, thereby getting required Vitamin D and keeping pet dog happy.

I've also developed a fondness for Reba McEntire, particularly the songs Maggie Creek Road, Fancy, Somebody, and Love Needs a Holiday. *headbangs to Maggie Creek Road*

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

I doth declare this day to be...Wordy Wednesday!! Bow down before it! For without words we would all be stuck grunting and gesticulating to communicate. Books would be replaced by interpretive dance and there would be no discrete way to ask someone where the bathroom was.

On Wordy Wednesdays I shall post a random word that I like for whatever reason, and then I shall ramble on like I usually do.

In fact, today, since it's the first ever Wordy Wednesday, I shall post two words! And now, without further ado, here they are!

hirsute |ˈhərˌsoōt; hərˈsoōt; ˈhi(ə)rˌsoōt|adjectivehairy : their hirsute chests.
I liked this word because it came up when I was playing Cranium with my aunt and cousins, and I was really excited when I knew what it meant. I happened to know what it meant because I had looked it up in a thesaurus when in need of an adjective with which to insult someone. Insulting people with words they don't understand is always such fun.

gadabout |ˈgadəˌbout|nouna habitual pleasure-seeker.

This one I got by scrolling through my Mac Dictionary until I saw a word I liked the sound of. ^_^
And there we have it. Two lovely word for Wordy Wednesday.
In other news, I've deciphered the first eight bars of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. I'm quite proud of myself, since I have very minimal amounts of musical skill.
I am also trying very hard to find a job. Jobs are sorely lacking up here, especially for high school graduates with sketchy amounts of work experience. But I shall persist! Because I desperately, DESPERATELY want to run to the store and buy CATCHING FIRE, and I can't do that until I get some sort of pay check.
Anyway, that's all! Got any particularly enthralling words? Post 'em! :)