Just too busy. Sorry,…

Just too busy. Sorry, guys.

Doing my taxes today, and had some very good news. I include the text below, in case any of you happen to be writers -- I recently posted this to misc.writing.

I'm just finishing my taxes -- this info might be helpful to you, *especially* if you're in graduate school for writing. You can call yourself a writer even if you made no sales last year, remember -- see bottom note for details.

This year, I get a $1100 refund. This is why:

a) I'm filing as a self-employed writer
b) I worked half the year and had pay deducted for taxes, then went to graduate school to get an MFA -- all of that pay is coming back to me.

What I deducted:

a) general supplies (paper, pens, stamps, envelopes, etc.)
b) books (all books I bought. yes, all of them.)
c) computer (I bought a computer in the fall -- keep in mind that computers depreciate over time, so if you've had yours a while, that gets complicated)
d) travel expenses to cons (I write sf/f and go to sf conventions. That's deductible - hotel and airfare)
e) meals at cons (didn't bother, but you can deduct 1/2)
f) tuition -- this is the big one. The key characteristics of getting to use this are: it can't be tuition needed to *maintain* your current job -- it must advance you; it can't be for a change in jobs. So if you're a writer already, and think you can make more money by getting an M.F.A., then it counts as professional development and you can deduct it.
g) textbooks, if you didn't already deduct them under b
h) moving expenses -- I moved from Philly to CA to attend grad school. A move that is at least 50 miles more than the distance you already travel to get to work is deductible if you moved for work-related reasons, as above. I haven't filled out this form yet (doing it today), so I'm not sure how much of the move is deductible. I'm assuming the airfare and shipping expenses.

To do all this, I filled out a 1040 (not A or B, since I took the $4000 standard deduction rather than itemizing separate non-writing deductions), and a Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business). If you had a profit, you might be able to fill out a C-EZ instead -- very quick, but keep in mind that you must also fill out a SE - self-employment tax form. Also fairly simple, and remember if you do, that 1/2 of your self-employment tax is deductible (line 25 on the 1040). Doing my taxes took about 40 minutes, including 15 minutes on the phone listening to their recorded messages on educational expenses and moving expenses.

I hope all of that was clear -- if not, feel free to e-mail me about it. I'm not a tax wiz, but I've been filing as a writer for a couple of years now. Also keep in mind the following:

NOTE (added by a misc.writing person who corrected a mistake I had):
You must show a profit in 3 out of 5 years, or the PRESUMPTION changes from business to hobby. Your job, should you wish to accept it, is to overcome that presumption. The best way, of course is to show a profit. But there are other ways. Send out materials regularly, keep time logs showing frequent effort, do all the things someone really intent on making a living at that kind of work would do (whatever those things are). Also, to prove your efforts are taking a reasonable amount of time to show a profit, make a file of descriptions you run across of how long it took various authors to finish and find publishers for their books.

Your hopes of profit must be reasonable. Poets don't live off their poems, so your claim that you intend to is suspect. But novelists often take 4 or 5 years to finish a book, researched non-fiction can take even longer and still be a reasonable investment of time and money when compared with reasonably expected financial results.

The IRS publication on small business should have the current business/hobby rules spelled out.

Someone not yet commercially published might prefer to take no deductions until the day s/he finds a publisher for the first book, and then go back and do amended returns for the three prior years. The choice would be to give up possible deductions for the years in excess of three instead of taking the time to convince an auditor that those deductions are valid; but I have read that some authors have taken deductions for a dozen years and survived resulting audits.

*yawn* Hey, everyone. …

*yawn* Hey, everyone. Bit of a late start today -- stayed out late last night seeing Star Wars (amazing, wonderful, magnificent, etc!) and overslept this morning. Not so important since I don't have classes on Mondays, but it's 10:00, and I haven't even dealt with mail yet. Oh well.

It was a good weekend, full of friends and fun (birthday party for Cliff and Sherman Saturday night, poly meeting Sunday morning, then Star Trek), but rather exhausting. I'm pooped. Feel like I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. :-) But life is good, and interesting things are happening. Dale (publisher) just sent out a ton of releases about the book, so we'll see if that turns up anything. I found a cheap airfare to Chicago, so it looks like I definitely *can* go, hooray. I have a lot of work to do, but feeling fairly high energy, so we're hopeful.

On the negative side, my keyboard at home died. Argh.

I'm so tired of having computer problems. Cliff is supposed to fix my disk drive, but until he has time, I can't even install PPP on my main machine -- argh, I'm whining. Sorry. Never mind. I'm going to download PPP onto disks today from campus and take it home and put it on my laptop and see whether I can hook that up to the modem. If not, I'll only be able to log in from campus, which would be a severe limitation on my ability to accomplish anything.

I'd better get to work -- talk to you guys later...

Morning, everyone. I’m…

Morning, everyone. I'm a little confused this morning, as the music book which was supposed to be left in my mailbox by the woman I inadvertently stood up yesterday was not there. Guess I'll keep checking -- if it doesn't show, I'll see her at our 11:00 class.

Not much else to report -- last night I read half of the Cather, and then watched TV the rest of the night. Haven't done that in a long time, but I picked a good night, with a very interesting Babylon 5 episode (good thing I didn't catch on years ago to how good the show is or I would be utterly addicted and I don't have the time....) and a charming, if slightly heavy-handed DS9. The moment when Odo steps out onto the promenade...(if you saw it, you know what I mean, and if you didn't, I don't want to spoil it, so I'm being vague) near the end -- that was gorgeous. I knew *exactly* how he felt.... Also the bickering over the Kira baby was very amusing.

Hmmm...guess I'll putter around a bit more on-line and then go get some breakfast. I had planned to spend the next two hours in intensive practicing...but oh well.

9:45 -- Added a story, The Devouring Night and its review to my stories page.

1:00 -- Good class. I only was able to get the first five fingerings down before class, but I'm going to try really hard to learn them all by next Friday so we can play properly. It's very satisfying to realize that I can attain moderate competency on a new instrument much faster than normal at this point -- I hear much the same thing happens with languages -- that after your 4th or 5th language, you start picking them up much more quickly. I doubt I'll ever get to that point with languages (Tamil gone, Polish gone, Spanish going, sigh...) but I seem to have hit it with music, hooray. At least within genre (eg., I'm pretty safe with wind and percussion, but hopeless with anything stringed -- and even with wind, I don't really know how to cope with reeds -- not sure how hard that part is to pick up).

After class did my drop/adds (very last minute) and had lunch, then finished the Cather. Really liked it -- I'd read A Lost Lady years before, and all I remembered of it was that I ilked it and it was sad....The Professor's House had such startling moments of beauty in it -- was a real pleasure to read. I highly recommend it. (Also a fairly quick read -- her prose flows).

Feeling fairly lethargic now, and everything I have left to do involves a fair bit of drudge work (Sizzle story, interview editing, cleaning up and adding files to web pages).. I think I'm going to declare a holiday and go home early. Find something nice and fancy to cook for dinner, rent a movie to watch this afternoon -- generally be indulgent. Sherman's coming over for dinner at 8ish, and since his birthday was this week, I'm wanting to do something nice for him, so I think I'll spend some time cooking. (A big pile of dishes to do first, which isn't nearly as much fun. :-)

This weekend is a little busy -- Sherm and Cliff are having a small joint birthday party at my place tomorrow, and then there's a potluck on Sunday at brunch and a baroque concert I hope to attend at 4:00. I hope to get back to you guys, but you know how it goes -- if I don't talk to you, have a good weekend, and I'll see you all Monday.

When drudgery and care impose themselves,
Each request and promise a feather turned to brick,
Even the strong and stalwart plead for
Kind relief. What wise soul first decreed an
Ending to weekly trials? ...with Sunday comics,
Naps and leisurely brunch -- time to arrange flowers,
Dogs curled at your feet, and a stack of good books nearby.

*grin* Okay, silly, I know. But a five-minute poem, just for you.

Hey, guys. Sleepy. …

Hey, guys. Sleepy. First thing in the morning. I wanted to type in one of the letters before I left for class, so here goes - more of the regular journal later.

Evelyn Waugh to Laura Herbert, 1936

"Tell you what you might do while you are alone at Pixton. You might think about me a bit & whether, if those wop priests ever come to a decent decision, you could bear the idea of marrying me. Of course you haven't got to decide, but think about it. I can't advise you in my favour because I think it would be beastly for you, but think how nice it would be for me. I am restless & moody & misanthropic & lazy & have no money except what I earn and if I got ill you would starve. In fact its a lousy proposition. On the other hand I think I could do a Grant and reform & become quite strict about not getting drunk and I am pretty sure I should be faithful. Also there is always a fair chance that there will be another bigger economic crash in which case if you had married a nobleman with a great house you might find yourself starving, while I am very clever and could probably earn a living of some sort somewhere...."

11:45 -- hey, I'm back. Oof, big foofaraw going on in misc.writing, one of my favorite newsgroups. Someone suggested splitting it up, and everyone got upset. I actually think it might be helpful, but I doubt it'll pass as everyone is so sure it'll 'destroy the newsgroup'. Sillies. It certainly could -- but whether it does or doesn't is entirely in their hands. If you're curious, I'll be posting a long opinion on it in there soon.

Otherwise, lots of work, don't want to do it. :-/ I got kinda mopey last night and ran up my phone bill making friends talk to me until I cheered up. :-) Just general blues -- there was nothing actually wrong. You know how it goes sometimes. I'm tired, I'm lonely, I have no friends, nobody loves me, I'm fat and ugly and I can't write. Etc. and so on -- same old crap everyone gets at times and you know it isn't true -- you even know it right then, but that doesn't seem to help. What's worst is when you can't actually reach any of your friends *and* you have nothing to read. :-) Luckily, wasn't true last night and I'm fine now...

Better stop babbling at you all and get back to work -- I've got mild money worries, but lots of contracts, so if I just do the writing, I'll be fine. Wanna help me with ideas for a space opera? I need to sketch out a plot for my next Puritan novella -- Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon VI-type stuff, though perhaps not *quite* so obvious. I'm tempted by Galaxy Janet, she's the Galaxy girl....but I already wrote a story for Puritan with a heroine named Janet, so I'd better go with something else.

3:45 -- Okay, on the one hand I was really good this afternoon -- finished Agnes Grey, dealt with a lot of e-mail, and polished off the 'Selene' dom interview and sent it to the erotica group for comments. Good. Virtuous me. On the other hand, I totally flaked on a 2:00 meeting with this girl who was going out of her way to loan me her beginning recorder book so I could memorize the fingerings so I could play duets with her in a beginning performance group this semester. Eek. Have to go home in a bit and live a very apologetic message on her answering machine, if she has one. I have to say, that's one thing I really like about voice mail/answering machines -- if you need to say something difficult, they make life much easier. They're especially good for apologies when you're feeling really wimpy. Anyway, win some, lose some -- I think today's a net positive. I have a lot of reading to do this weekend, as I plan to read by a book by my professor for the Fiction class and The Professor's House, the Cather book for the other Fiction class. I'm awfully tempted to spend this evening vegged out in front of the tv, though -- really tired. We'll see.

Darn, I meant to type in…

Darn, I meant to type in another of those love letters today, but I forgot to do it this morning and now I'm on campus. Oh well -- maybe I'll remember tomorrow.

So out of my objectives for yesterday, I a) sorta wrote/sorta found a piece for fiction class, and b) researched the poetry. Wasn't actually much on the net -- will have to hit an actual library. :-) Didn't do the Sizzle thing, so that rolls over to today, and must also read Agnes Grey for fiction class (was supposed to have it read for yesterday but hadn't realized, oops.) Other things waiting -- domme interviews to rework, write some journal entries on Hemingway, finish mail (getting there), read the next book for my fiction class, and write a poem by 4:00 for poetry class. Think I'll attempt something in the ghazal style that I could possibly use for the novel. Would help if I had a definition of what a ghazal was -- all I have are some examples, and they are entirely unclear, but they appear to have been the predominant style in Mughal India (and to this current day).

Not much chatty to report...plans proceeding apace for combined Cliff/Sherman birthday party this coming Saturday, as well as preliminary plans for the St. Valentine's Day Massacre Cabaret and Speakeasy.... (I dislike Valentine's Day intensely, so every year I throw a party designed to give me and my friends something else to do. :-) Since I come from Chicago, having it be the St. Valentine's Day Massacre party was an easy step. I encourage all of you to copy the idea -- maybe someday *this* will be the predominant way of celebrating the holiday, rather than with Hallmark cards.

3:25 -- Well, did some research on airfares -- I can recommend Expedia (find them through Yahoo). Miss Kevin tons so am going to try to scrape up the money to go visit at the end of February. Would go sooner, but too busy with other commitments. Read about half of Agnes Grey, but that's really all I accomplished. Sleepy...hope I make it through this class. Hmmm...not much else to report. Going to take in "Emotion Triumphs Over Form" for teacher to look at -- was very definitely in a non-writing mood. Down to 9 mail messages!

Good morning! It’s a…

Good morning! It's a gorgeous day today -- not that the weather has been nearly as bad as what my friends in Chicago are experiencing, but it has been rather cold and rainy (yes, I like rain, but I prefer warm rain, which doesn't seem to happen out here. And thunderstorms, also sadly lacking) here. Today is bright and crisp and spring-like, and while it's way too early for spring, I can enjoy it anyway (and pretend :-).

Fairly satisfying day so far. Woke up early and came in to campus -- managed to work for an hour before my first class, and put together a synopsis of "Dreams" for my fiction class later today. Also printed out a copy of the entirety (148 pages and counting) and put it on reserve at the library in case anyone is completely enraptured by the synopsis. :-) Hmm...in case you're curious, I think I'll post it here. Warning -- it'll likely change a fair bit more before final publication -- it needs to at least double in length. And it's not really a synopsis -- more of a teaser. :-)

Synopsis of Dreams by Lamplight (working title)

This novel is told from several major points of view, switching between them. It's probably easiest to give you several separate synopses, from each major character's point of view. Aside from the personal level, it is also a tale of political conflict, so a brief history of the two main countries involved in this first novel (it will probably be a trilogy eventually, involving at least one other country) is probably in order.

The tale starts in Ranek, and moves back and forth between that country and Liella. The countries are very loosely based on India and Pakistan, and the setting is based on the Mughal era in our own history (a time of maharajahs, decadence, luxury and slavery). It is a fantasy novel, though without many of the characteristic elements of fantasy -- no elves, no dragons, no wizards. Instead, it is intended to be more along the lines of the magical realist tradition -- with folk tale and myth and everyday miracles and the presence of multiple gods blending (hopefully) seamlessly into the storyline.

Ranek -- the southern country, ruled by a mad Maharani (queen), Genea. A land of poison and intrigue, of sweltering heat and months of monsoon rain, of great luxury conjoined with leprosy, plague and poverty, where the "auction block was one of the gathering places of the city, where the rasas and their servants mingled with filthy beggars and holy men, immaculate Keshtiri fabric brushing against running sores and truncated limbs." A plethora of gods rule over the land, and it is the home of...

Radhika -- a young girl whose memory has been stolen, sold into slavery and trained as a high-class whore, a geisha-equivalent. Though rather bewildered at the beginning, she quickly resolves to escape. Not as easily as she had hoped, after some years she does escape to the north with the help of...

Daniv -- ambassador from Liella. A man somewhat out of his depth in the intrigues of the court, he would much rather spend his days working with the soil on his estate, yet his noble position and affection for King Nolan have sent him south to investigate the murder of Queen Kierstena and dance attendance on...

Genea -- mad, bad, and totally unpredictable. A woman with insatiable appetites and immense power, she keeps her rasas (princes) on their toes, especially...

Menna -- a woman who by virtue of her wit and courage has risen to the position of prince, and must now walk a precarious line to maintain that position -- or lose her head. She grows increasingly troubled by the insanity of Genea, and her friendship with Daniv eventually leads her to a traitorous offer of alliance with...

Liella -- the cool northern country, whose monotheistic people still grieve for the loss of their queen, recently lost to a southern poison. Nolan is determined to avenge his wife's death, and is stirring up his people for war. Of course the war is entirely for honor and vengeance -- it couldn't possibly have anything to do with economic reasons, or the machinations of the gods, one of whom controls...

Amesty -- a young poet and singer, accompanied by Arjun who loves but doesn't understand her. Raised in the house of Am'kele, the god of love, she falls further and further into madness herself.

That's it. Sound like fun? It is -- I'm enjoying it immenseley. Very frustrating at points, of course, but nonetheless, fascinating. I don't remember if I've talked to you guys about this -- I was very stuck on this novel for a while. Grad school has, as I'd hoped, unstuck me, and given me lots of cool new ideas for it. It has also turned the darn thing from a slim novel to the beginning of a trilogy -- ah well.

Good class this morning -- still discussing Hemingway. I really liked a story of his called "The End of Things". "Cat in the Rain" was also pretty good...not going to go into detail about them 'cause I'm a bit talked out on Hemingway right now. :-)

So the plan for today is a) write 3-5 new pages on the novel for 2:30 class (not essential, as I do have some new material I can use, but it would be good to write more, of course), b) do some research on ancient Indian poetry, as I want to use some in the novel. Originally I was going to write my own...but I don't know that I can really simulate the style I want very well. We'll see., c) write the new Sizzle story. This set of photos centers around a garage, oh excitement. :-) Oh, and try to get through a bit of e-mail -- it's starting to pile up again.

That's about it for now -- off to work. Have a good day, y'all.

12:30 -- This is too, too funny. The Sexuality Pet Shop Sketch

1:45 -- Have a copy of my book? Want to help publicize it? Try writing a review of it, and submitting it to various magazines, etc. Here's one good site -- the INDOlink book reviews. Thanks!

Hello, everyone. …

Hello, everyone. Nothing exciting in my life to report (bought a tablecloth and some napkins and a pillow today, oh excitement (actually, it was strangely satisfying. :-)). Instead, I think I'll type in something I just read....I bought a book of love letters today, and some of them are just gorgeous. It's impossible to avoid the thought of Valentine's Day (how I loathe that holiday), so I can at least indulge it in literary fashion. Hope you enjoy...

Alfred de Musset to George Sand (1833)

My dear George,
I have something stupid and ridiculous to tell you. I am foolishly writing you instead of telling you this, I do not know why, when returning from that walk. Tonight I shall be annoyed at having done so. You will laugh in my face, will take me for a phrase-maker in all my relations with you hitherto. You will show me the door and you will think I am lying. I am in love with you.

Alfred de Musset

(I admit it, it's true, I'm a hopeless romantic....)

Hiya! Lots of web page…

Hiya! Lots of web page stuff today, mostly working on my stories page. Added a few stories and a pile of reviews. Enjoy!

Not much else new -- finished the Eddings and am planning to get back to the Windling collection. Had a good Modern Fiction class this morning, and I can feel my rather prejudiced views on Hemingway being twisted. :-)

Going to try to get more work done -- an interesting note -- apparently Backdoor BBS has violated my copyright (assuming that all this isn't public domain, which is an other argument entirely) and published a CD-ROM for-profit with my material. Bad company. Will have to see what, if anything, can be done about it. Looks like they're chraging $65 for the CD -- they can surely afford to pay the writer something...

2:30 - Added a bunch of funny stuff to the Amusing section of my home page. Fingers tired. Going to go eat something, read a little. Pretty close to done with updating web stuff -- which means I soon must dive into the stack of mail. :(

Hey, guys. Not so much…

Hey, guys. Not so much to report -- I did manage to finish that Sizzle piece, finally, and it looks like I might be getting some more work from them, which is good, 'cause my finances are somewhat tight this year. I've had a lot of trouble getting the interviews in place for the Puritan piece -- not sure yet if that's going to happen or not. We'll see.

Finished In Our Time, the Hemingway collection of short stories. Interesting, and I really liked a few of the stories. It was a bit confusing though, since at times he seemed to be following one character, and other times diverged wildly, so it was always unclear whether Nick was in fact the same Nick (for instance). I'll go into more detail on this in my journal once I talk to Tom (professor) about how he wants them done.

A slow day today, mostly cleaning my room and getting my finances back in order (the delay on the government check caused an unholy mess). All fixed now, I think. In a couple of days I should know whether I can afford to take some time in late February to visit Kevin in Chicago. I'd also like to spend some time with Lisette -- her mother died recently, and I've been feeling guilty that I couldn't be with her. She's coping, but still. Also reading chapters of Eddings' Belgarath, the Sorcerer in between work -- a very light, pleasant read. Nothing actually new, since he told us all of this in history form before, but it's interesting reading it in narrative (and interesting seeing how he can milk an entire other book out of it :-). Glad Sherman lent it to me, since I probably won't buy a copy.

My schedule's going to be a bit funny this semester, since if I take this Writing Poetry class, I won't have class on Wednesday's until 4:00. Feels a bit odd, but it's probably good for me. Since I have 9:30 classes Tuesday and Thursday, I'll stay in the habit of getting up early, which means that Wednesday will be a good day to do things around the house. Anyway, I'm just babbling, since I have nothing exciting to say, so I should probably go back to reading, or maybe head in to campus a little early. Talk to y'all later...

3:55 - Got to run to class -- just wanted you to know that I've added a new story and some reviews to the stories page.

Yikes. Sorry for the…

Yikes. Sorry for the long delay -- I knew it had been a while, but hadn't realized how long! I didn't write much at the beginning of last week, because there really wasn't much to say -- after Kevin left to go back to Chicago (his advisor decided to move *back* to Chicago, argh!), I spent a while moping, cleaning my house, and reading a lot. Basically settling back in at home after being away for so long.

Then I was gone over the weekend down in L.A. (Buena Park, actually) for ConFurence. Lots of fun (I generally enjoy cons), and I sold five copies of my book, got to spend a fair bit of time with old friends (Peter and Steve) and finally met Elf Sternberg (ref: recommended erotica page). He's much as I pictured him -- cute and friendly and extremely vivacious. We ran a couple of panels on writing erotica, which went quite well, and I attended some other panels (the one on children's writing had some useful marketing tips (eg., you have to write your story in sets of four pages -- but keep in mind that you may lose a couple at the beginning for credits, title page, end sheets)).

Perhaps the most fun at a panel was when Elf started us brainstorming on a plot line. We ended up with a generation ship, a young female avian protagonist, her family lost in a major accident along with many other crewmembers, second generation, she's a navigator (just finished schooling/training) and one of the few left after the accident so there's pressure on her to mate and reproduce, she's fostered out to a feline family, and possibly falls in love with their female daughter (bringing up all sorts of lovely issues :-). She may also be indirectly responsible for the accident -- or at least blame herself for not being there. We agreed that we'd each write the first chapter of a novel based on this plotline, and they'd all send them to me and I'd put them up here -- we'll see if anyone follows through on this. :-)

Classes started today -- not sure what I'm taking, but probably at least Modern American Fiction, Writing Poetry and Early Music Ensemble. I'm also tempted by Writing Fiction and Asian American Lit (both meeting at the same time!) and auditions tonight for Midsummer Night's Dream (a Noh production, which should be interesting). I don't really act, but I do love Shakespeare, so maybe I can fake it... If I do try out, I need to prepare a comic monologue by rehearsal time -- or do a cold reading. Short on time, so I'll probably go with the cold reading. Or I may just go home after class -- still pretty tired from the Con, and I really probably don't need to commit to another major activity, much as I enjoy theatre.

For the Modern Fiction class, I'm supposed to keep a writing journal. I think I may keep it here to help motivate me to do it -- I get really lazy about such things. Feel free to ignore it entirely -- it probably won't interest most of you. If you are interested, the reading list for the course is:

  • Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time
  • Will Cather, The Professor's House
  • William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek
  • Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
I've read the Pynchon, and I've been meaning to read the Ellison for a while (a very long while -- I think Kev gave me a copy not last Christmas but the one before, eep). I've reading some Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises), but not In Our Time, and the rest of the reading list is new to me (also read Morrison's The Bluest Eye). We'll see how it goes. I'm a little nervous -- I've been devoted to the Renaissance and Medieval period for so long -- modern fiction is a big gap in my education.

Guess that's it for now -- I have some time this afternoon, so will finish In Our Time (read half of it over lunch -- very quick read), finish the collection of short stories I'm working on (Black Thorn, White Rose), and try to write that damn Sizzle story. Had a bunch of computer problems in my attempts to work on it -- not sure what's up with that. If I have time left before class, I'll probably do a bit more stuff on this web page -- I'm quite behind. Ditto e-mail. Have a good week, you guys...

12:40 - Well, I didn't win the Celestial Story Contest (3), but I thought I might as well show y'all my entry any way. I had a lot of trouble with voice, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Lady Distressed.

Also got a funny piece of mail directing me to a neat new scientific advance -- a quantum computer that runs on coffee! -- Very cute, but I bet it'd be even better in tea....

1:05 - Added Course Evaluations of the Damned; Why Engineers Don't Write Recipe Books; What Engineers Do With Time on Their Hands; and If I Ever Become an Evil Overlord:.