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Sunday, and it's time to wake up...
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Lord, but I don't like jet lag. The horror was extended for us by our Flights From Hell this weekend...we were supposed to get into Manchester (just an hour and a half from home) at 8:15 Saturday morning, and instead got into London Gatwick at 10:30. We gave up and bought our own train tickets back up north, for a whopping fee, and ended up back in Leeds at 5pm. (If we'd waited for our reassigned flight, we wouldn't have gotten home until 11pm.) That US air ticket price doesn't feel like such a good deal anymore...

Gaah. I'm not going to go into the whole sorry story of delays, rudeness, and basic incompetence, but I will end with two final points:

1. Our baggage still hasn't arrived, now, over 30 hours later. I spent 50 minutes on hold on the phone today and never, ever got through to talk to anybody about it.

2. We will never, ever travel with USAir again. Ever! I was talking to my brother Dave earlier today, and it turns out that he had already made this exact resolution some time ago, based on his own travel horrors.


But we're home now! Hurray! And we're back with Nika, which is wonderful...but she is sadly doing even worse now than when we left, since the super-strong allergy pills aren't doing her any we'll be going back to the vets tomorrow. Sigh.

In the meantime, I'm trying to remember how to be a writer again, after all that time off. (Yeah, I made myself do a little writing here and there over the trip, but it was just touch-up work, nothing terribly productive and nothing that lasted more than half an hour at a time. I am sooo far out of my routine.) I spent some of this afternoon updating my submissions list (hey, that's almost writing--right? er....) and I read a post by Karen Meisner that nearly blew my head off, it was so exactly what I needed to read right now... It's all about forcing yourself to stretch, grow and expand as a writer, never letting yourself just fall into comfortably repeating yourself, and I loved it. Something I've been actively working on this year is writing stuff that feels genuinely new and different for me. Sometimes that results in writing that's clumsier than I'm used to, at least in first draft form, but I think--fingers crossed!--that it really helps. Let's hope...

And now I have so many things that need revision that I've been completely frozen for the past month, contemplating it! I've decided to try to use the Clarion West Writeathon as a motivating tool. There are a few things that absolutely must be finished beforehand - Music of the Stars MUST be finished and sent off to Shawna, "Fire Magic" desperately needs going-through before it's published at ASIM, and another magazine has just asked for a rewrite, which is a top priority - but I'm going to try very, very hard to do the first couple rounds of rewriting on Congress of Shadows during the 6 weeks of Clarion West, from June 18th to July 28th.

Go duedates! I'm hoping this'll also give me the spark to get really serious about my writing routine now that I've gone half-time, so that I don't end up just reading novels all afternoon and sighing about how I never seem to write...!

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