studious

Ridiculous! by DL Carter

This is a charming Regency romance framed around the "woman presents as man in order to do things prohibited to women" device. In her case, she's impersonating a specific man after his death, so she and her female relations won't be turned out by his heir. I normally dislike this kind of device, but it's pretty fun here. Mostly this is because Millicent is hoot: she decides she's never going to pass as a fashionable or ideal man, so she sets her persona as a rattle: unserious, continually bantering and joking and being ridiculous. She is utterly delightful. Her male love interest, Shoffer, does not deserve her. The first 2/3rds of the book are wonderful, with most of the action dealing with various social problems, most unrelated to her ruse. Most of them are lighthearted and all are resolved by wit.

The last third is somewhat marred by the romance part kicking in. Shoffer's treatment of Millicent-as-woman is just ... meh. He feels typically misogynistic towards her, and it's in keeping with the period but not nearly as fun or appealing as his treatment of her when he thought she was a man. He improves before the end, but still.

Even so, there's a lot of fun stuff in the last part of the book, so well-worth reading. This was totally going to be a 9, but I'm downgrading it to 8 for wobbling on the ending. Nonetheless, had a good time, well worth reading.

Also, I kinda want to write a trans man story using the same kind of framing, but I'm not sure I have the patience to write in a trans-hostile, misogynistic setting for long enough to do so. -_-

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studious

Black Angel, by Kyell Gold

Black Angel is one of the books in the SFWA Fantasy Storybundle! I was excited to read it, having heard good things about Gold's work, and my good expectations were rewarded. The novel contains a mix of genres: YA, slice-of-life, queer lit, furry, fantasy, science fiction, horror, and romance, not necessarily in that order.

I found it fascinating and immersive, a deeply believable book. Three different stories are woven together: 

* Marie-Belle, a bayou muskrat girl in 1916 whose family wants her to marry and who would rather be a vodou priestess like her grandmother.
* Hannah, a lesbian otter in a strict and grimly depressing Christian-cult future
* Meg, an struggling artist in 2013 who's questioning her sexuality and also her sanity.

The struggling artist, Meg, is compulsively and somewhat unwillingly drawing a comic about the first girl, and having vivid, life-like dreams about the second. Most of the book is about Meg.  There's also a strong supernatural element: Meg's closest friends have had experiences with ghosts and visions/life-like dreams. Meg leans heavily towards "they are crazy and so am I" when she starts having her own possibly-supernatural experiences. The setting is pretty Earth-like, with furry touches: eg, some of the otter characters have houses that incorporate pools or have submerged "floors", characters may have keener noses or ears depending on species, etc.

There is a lot else going on in the book. For example, Meg used to be on prescription anti-depressants and quit them because she felt numb of them. She now self-medicates with alcohol and weed (both illegally obtained.) It's a nuanced portrayal, which has both aspects of "this doesn't seem healthy" and "but it does help sometimes?" That goes for both the prescribed and illegal drugs.

I thought, from the blurb, that Meg was going to be "girl who thought she was straight and now thinks she might be lesbian or bi". But her starting point is more like "asexual??? straight??? Lesbian???? Bi??????? I DON'T KNOW". She is not attracted to anyone or interested in sex, but she kind of wants to be and all of her friends keep pushing her to "get out there! Experiment! How else will you knooooow?" I had the simultaneous experience of gaping at her friends ("what is wrong with you? That is a terrible plan") and also feeling like it was exactly the experience a lot of people go through. I didn't have this problem myself, even though I didn't meet anyone I was attracted to until college. But I know people who did.

The characters are vividly drawn and distinctive. Even the supporting cast has an array of different speech patterns and they're easy to tell apart. All three main characters feel like very different personalities, even when Meg and Hannah think they're each other's dreams. Most of the conflict in the book is driven not by evil or cruelty, but by people trying to do the right thing, or what they think they are supposed to do. Even the "Dangerous Spirits" of the series title feel like complex individuals who are acting rationally within their own belief system. (Which, y'know, does not make them less dangerous.)

One touch I particularly admired: Meg's part of the story is first-person past tense. Marie-Belle's story, which Meg experiences in a kind of creative fugue, is 3rd person present. Hannah's is 3rd person past. It's one of the few times where I've seen this kind of switch and not only thought "that's fine" but "oh, that works really well for conveying the differences in their narratives."

I enjoyed the book a good deal, especially the second half, where it picked up momentum and urgency. I have some quibbles with it, but most of why I give it an 8 and not a 9 is that the subject matter isn't perfectly to my tastes. Eg, the trope of "oppressed women whose society tries to forces them into marriage" is one I am pretty sick of.  Meg is prickly, defensive, and copes with problems a lot by putting them off or ignoring them, which I simultaneously relate to and also find exasperating. (Hi yes it me but it's STILL annoying.) She grew on me as the book went on, but for the first 20 pages I was iffy about her.

I am going to wrap this up with some things behind a spoiler tag, because they are spoilers but also significant to many queer readers. Collapse )

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studious

Surprise Completed Draft

I've been working on the current draft of Demon's Lure since February. Technically, it's a book I started in 2009, but I only wrote around 5000 words back then, plus a rough outline. I scrapped most of the outline and started writing again from scratch. The book went much better this time around.

But, while I'd written a detailed outline for the new version, my draft had severely diverged from the original outline. From where I am now, the rest of the outline works remarkably well all things considered, despite that I've kept changing things as I wrote the story.

The changes I'd made had, however, made the first half of the book much longer than I'd anticipated. I was at 80,000 words and less than 60% of the way through the outline. I complained to Maggie that the book might end up over 150,000 words, instead of the 100-120k I'd been targeting.

"Split it in half?" she suggested.

"Split it in half" is what multiple people advised me to do with Silver Scales and A Rational Arrangement, and in both cases I declined because I don't feel like either book made a satisfying story if I chopped it into two parts. But the way I'd changed Demon's Lure already from the outline did make the current section a reasonably good break point. The central conflict may not have been exactly resolved, but it has mutated dramatically, to the point where it's really a different conflict now. I could finish out the current scene and it ends on a "this obviously needs a sequel" note, but it wouldn't be a total cliffhanger.

So I wrote the rest of the scene and went "Huh. So I guess I finished a book?"

It needs considerable revising and probably some new scenes before I am ready for beta readers on it. I expect that I will plug away at Book 2 as my next-thing-to-write, although I'm not ruling out letting myself work on a different book. I won't be releasing Demon's Lure until 2018 anyway, because I have three books coming out in the next eleven weeks and that's plenty. Really.

But I feel pretty good about having finished a draft and edited three books, with eleven weeks still to go in 2017. I mean, "edit The Sun Etherium and draft another book" was one of my STRETCH goals for this year. I have already finished my regular goals. And those were set when I didn't know Lut had cancer. o__o

Granted, I've decided against serializing Scales and I was still editing it in June and nowhere near releasing it. So my time scale has slipped and I removed one of my goals for business reasons. Even so.

... I still feel kind of like I should finish drafts for another two books this year, though. So I can be sure of releasing three books in 2018 too. And I do have most of a draft of Fellwater written, and book two of Demon's Lure would be comparatively short, by my usual standards ...

I'm not gonna push for this, though. One thing at a time. And Lut is still sick and the new normal is different and not as conducive to writing as the old normal. I need to remember this and not charge off thinking I can write 3000 words in a day and everything else in life will sort itself out.

Regardless: I finished a draft! \o/

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studious

Poison Kiss, by Ana Mardoll

Poison Kiss is a polyamorous fantasy romance, so you can pretty much tell right there why I decided to read it. :)

The story is about half romance and half action-adventure fantasy. The action-adventure half consists of the human protagonists dealing with truly evil, nasty faery folk from an alternate world. The story opens with two of the protagonists imprisoned in the faery world. The faery world is depicted as awful for everyone: worst for the enslaved humans, who have their memories obliterated and are transformed, toyed with, controlled, broken, and killed at the whim of their faery masters, or their masters' rivals.  But it struck me that even the faeries doing the imprisoning sounded like they had miserable, friendless lives full of pretense, backstabbing, and murdering or being murdered by one another. All of it is dressed up with beautiful backdrops, palaces, and fancy balls, but everything is joyless.

Fortunately, most of the book takes place "Earthside", although there is always the specter of being recaptured, and that specter is brutal and terrifying in a way that merely being threatened with death is not. The entire cast consists of people who survived faery enslavement, and everyone feels convincingly like a trauma and abuse survivor. This is well-handled: I didn't feel like the story was wallowing in it or trying to traumatize me as the reader, but I could completely relate to their fears and coping mechanisms.

Some of why the faery world is so grim is revealed over the course of the story, and is fascinating itself.

I am not a big fan of "brutal and terrifying magical world", as anyone who's read my work can probably guess. The fantasy plot was solid and well done, with the resolution of various arcs surprising yet logical. I had some minor quibbles ("why doesn't anyone at least suggest [obvious patch for problem]") but nothing serious.

The characters are loveable; I found the choice to make the male protagonist a naïf charming: it's a part men rarely get to play. And he is adorable and sweet, if less well-established than the other characters.

This is a love-at-first-sight book: the three protagonists form into a happy triad within two or three days of first meeting their third. I am not a big fan of love-at-first sight*, but that aside, they make a lovely, supportive triad and I enjoyed the HEA.

So on my "enjoyed it"scale, I'll give it an 8. No actual flaws, just a taste mismatch on tropes.

* Yes, even though I do write love-at-first-sight. Romance where the characters don't start out hating each other and gradually fall in love is hard, y'all.

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studious

SFWA Fantasy StoryBundle!

 The High House by James Stoddard Sorcerous Moons - Book 1 - Lonen's War by Jeffe Kennedy Cracked: A Magic iPhone Story by Janine A. Southard The Dashkova Memoirs: Books 1-4 by Thomas K. Carpenter The Winter Boy by Sally Wiener Grotta The Garden of Abracadabra by Lisa Mason The Moon Etherium by L. Rowyn Black Angel by Kyell Gold Shadows in the Water by Kory M. Shrum Stay Crazy by Erica L. Satifka Off Leash by Daniel Potter The Wolf at the End of the World by Douglas Smith

Eeeeeeee!

The Moon Etherium is in a StoryBundle this month, with eleven other fantastic fantasies by fellow SFWA authors!

If you're not familiar with StoryBundle: the site collects a group of similar books (in this case, Cat Rambo curated the works -- and included mine, so you can tell she has excellent taste) into a pay-what-you-want package.  For a minimum of $5, you get the basic four books, which are:

  • The High House, by James Stoddard
  • Sorcerous Moons - Book 1 - Lonen's War, by Jeffe Kennedy
  • Cracked: A Magic iPhone Story, by Janine A. Southard
  • The Dashkova Memoirs: Books 1-4, by Thomas K. Carpenter
For another $10, you get eight more bonus books! Including mine!  Which you probably already have if you want it but HEY there's still eleven excellent books you might not have yet!

If you've never bought from StoryBundle before: they're very easy to use.  They keep records of your purchases indefinitely, so you can download and re-download whenever you want. And if you use the Kindle app, they'll send books directly to your Kindle reader. You can also gift books to other people through it. And all of their books are DRM-free.

Also! Proceeds from sales are split up to three ways. There's a slider that sets the cut between the authors and the StoryBundle site: it defaults to 70% to the authors and 30% to Storybundle, which is the usual author/Amazon split. You can adjust the slider, though!  Independently of adjusting how much you pay.  So you can give a bigger cut to the authors, or to Storybundle. And you can opt to give 10% of your payment to the charity for this StoryBundle, which is SFWA*!

Anyway, I will be prattling on more about this bundle as the month goes on (the promotion ends Nov. 3), because I am excited to be part of a StoryBundle (eeeee!) 

* Yep, SFWA is a charity! SFWA's mission is to support, defend, advocate, educate, and promote the SFF community. This entry was originally posted at https://rowyn.dreamwidth.org/618489.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
studious

Dreamhearth, by MCA Hogarth

Over the weekend, I finished my pre-first-reader edits on The Sun Etherium. I also added a thousand words or so to Golden Coils. I still feel like GC could use another read-through to catch editing artifacts.

I also felt like it was High Time I started on my Yes Really I'm Going to Read Books That I Did Not Write This Month goal. So I put aside Golden Coils and pulled out MCA Hogarth's latest book. And now it's time for a

BOOK REVIEW

Me: I'm too slow a reader to finish a book in a day any more
Also me: *finishes reading Dreamhearth in a day*

Dreamhearth is the third book in the Dreamhealers series, and the most pastoral of the first three. It continues to be the story of a happy asexual partnership between Jahir and Vasiht'h, esper xenotherapists. The overarching plot is "will Jahir and Vasiht'h be allowed permanent residency on Starbase Veta?" because the starbase has strong limits on immigration. The secondary plot is Vasiht'h coping with the sense of being technically an adult and yet not really feeling like a grown-up, which, yup, we've all been there, V. Then there are various subplots winding through it: side stories about their friends, patients, and rivals on the base.

It started out slow for me, with many "this is what life is like on a starbase so high-tech it pretty much feels like living on a planet" scenes. Once it delved into the stories of their patients and the existing xenotherapist community on Veta, however, I found it engaging. I loved watching the characters solve problems that were not life-threatening, but were nonetheless important. And when sometimes the "solution" is really more "here is how to cope with or make this problem less severe because it's never going to be truly solved." Problems I can't really solve, only mitigate, and that aren't going to kill anyone, are a big theme in my real life. It was lovely to see the impact of everyday problems acknowledged in an sf book. And I loved watching the characters cope with ordinary life and stresses, after getting through trauma and action-filled events in prior books. The prosaic problems are kept in proportion but not minimized.

The ending was a bit more twee than I would've preferred, but overall, I had a good time and would definitely recommend. I'll rate it an 8.

*

I am going to start another book today! It is a weird, weird feeling to deliberately not be either editing or writing. I may cave and do a little writing today. Part of me is absolutely convinced that I will never finish another draft again. Never mind that I've finished six books in the last three years, or that I've written 200,000+ words in the last twelve months, or that I have two different drafts that are two-thirds or more finished. That I've not finished a draft in the last ten months CLEARLY means I'm doomed. 9_9

Brain. Chill. It'll be fine. Nanowrimo's in three weeks and you will want to do all the writing then anyway. For now, relax. Here, read another book.

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studious

Looking for First Readers for The Sun Etherium

I am done with my initial edits on The Sun Etherium!

Here, have a blurb!

The powerful, immortal fey are used to lives of leisure, but Jinokimijin never expected it to be all fun and games once he'd won the crown of the Sun Etherium. But as it turns out, organizing fun and games is one of the challenges of rulership. Firing the chair of the Founder's Festival for praising slavery is easy: ensuring the Founder's Festival succeeds afterwards is considerably harder. Maybe it's time he went somewhere that nobody knows his name...

But Jino's not the only one trying to escape his new challenges: Kireki, once prince-consort, lost his position along with the abusive wife Jino deposed. Can the relationship spawned by two masked fae survive the revelation of their true selves?

So now it's ready for first readers!  Leave a comment or send a message with your email address if you'd like to be a first reader. Comments are screened, so it won't be displayed. *double checks that she set it properly*)  This is a standalone novel, so you can read it if you haven't read The Moon Etherium (although TSE takes place later and does have spoilers for TME).  

The Sun Etherium features genderqueer MCs: both Jino and Kireki shift to different genders depending on how they feel.  I used "he" because both of them identify as male more often than as anything else, but they change pronouns as their mood varies. (They also change shapes, because the fey can change bodies more easily than we change clothes.) This entry was originally posted at https://rowyn.dreamwidth.org/617817.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
studious

September in Review

Health/Fitness
LUT IS HOME.

This fact continues to be a source of profound relief to both of us.

He is running out of home visits from health aides, so his speech therapist and occupational therapist has signed off. He is going to continue to get physical therapy, I think.

I'm back to biking to work most days, and biking afterwards. This is closer to three days a week of exercise than the six days I'd been doing before Lut was hospitalized. My weight is holding steady at around 180, so at least it's not going up.

I started buying steamer bags of frozen vegetables with sauce. I am finally conceding that I won't go to the trouble to do any food prep on veggies. So it's worth it to buy expensive but conveniently packaged ones that are gooped up to tastiness than to not eat veggies at all. I bring the steamer bags to work and eat the whole bag as a snack. 12 ounces of broccolli with cheese still has fewer calories than a 1.5 oz chocolate bar.

So far, I've had three, so it's kind of working? There's been a lot of free junk food at work recently, and I haven't been resisting it, so. I'll see how it goes when there's less temptation from free cake and donuts.

Writing
5500 words on Demon's Lure*, I think? And a few thousand words of new scenes for book 2 of the Scales duology and The Sun Etherium.

* This is a new WIP title for Demon Hunter. It's not that "Demon Hunter" was a bad title, per se, but there are like fifty urban fantasies/paranormal romances already under that name, and mine isn't even an urban fantasy. Demon's Lure is also the title of a paranormal romance, but only one, so that's an improvement. I might change this name again, though.

The Business of Writing
Silver Scales is done! And also officially titled Silver Scales. It is in Alinsa's hands for layout now. We're planning to release it by the end of the month.  \o/

Book 2 is basically done. I finished my final editing pass on it, but I've decided on a couple of other minor edits to do. Since Alinsa is busy with Scales anyway, I am not in a huge rush to pronounce it officially done. I haven't settled on a title for it, but I am presently leaning towards Gold Coils.

I finished the last of my planned edits on The Sun Etherium and am doing a final read-through now. Then it'll go to first readers and there will be more edits. \o/ Who wants to be a first reader on the second Etherium novel? Note: the story is a standalone fantasy romance. You can read it even if you didn't read The Moon Etherium. (Although it comes after TME and accordingly has spoilers for it.)

I feel super productive, lemme tell you. Also, it was really nice to edit a book that only needed a few scenes expanded and a handful of tweaks instead of forty sweeping changes. Like maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this writing thing and it won't take me an entire year to get my next draft ready for release.

The new Surface helps a lot with editing, which I hadn't anticipated. This is because I can read on it in tablet mode in bed, and it's powerful enough to use Google docs normally. So I do proofreading in bed and make notes for any longer changes I want. (Virtual keyboard is still terrible for actual writing.)

Art/Other
I did some new incidental art for Scales & Book 2, for seven little silhouettes in total. I need to refine them a little more, but hey. New art!

I am not otherwise using the Surface much for drawing, alas. I should do more, if only to justify the $100 stylus for it. (I tried using a cheap pressure-sensitive stylus and ... nope. Just nope. It was unpleasant to hold and to use.)

Gaming
I fell back into Puzzle Pirates. Oops. On the bright side, I didn't feel like playing it this morning and wrote a post for Flight Rising instead, so there's some hope that it won't suck me in completely.

Also, a lot of the time I spend on PP now is time I used to spend on Twitter or webbrowsing. It's not really displacing editing or writing, it's just changing what I do to avoid those.

Happiness
I've been a little glum the last week or so, with the combined sense of "I am spending too much time goofing off" and "I am stressed out from not enough free time." Despite having a lot more free time because I don't have to commute twice daily to the hospital. I think I am subconciously expecting things to be "normal" and thus frustrated that I'm not getting as much done as I did when things actually were normal.

Goals for coming month
* Finish editing The Sun Etherium and send it to first readers.
* Finish editing Gold Coils
* Read some books. That somebody other than me wrote.

I'm also gonna try to do a few thousand words of Demon's Lure, but I feel like my reading has fallen off a cliff this year and that it is probably more important to me professionally to Do Some Reading than it is to crank out more words. And the only way this is happening is if I actually put it down as a more important goal than writing. For one month, anyway.

Especially since I will probably want to do Nanowrimo next month, so November will not be a great time for more reading. :)

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sledgehammer

Coda on Lawn Care

 So on Friday, September 1, one of the services I tried to use -- Lawn Love -- sent a second person to give me a quote.  That person, it turned out, could not give *me* a quote.  They had to give Lawn Love a quote and then Lawn Love would call me to tell me how much they'd charge.

At this point, I decided that Lawn Love was too incompetent and annoying to use. I had to call them up to cancel their "service" despite that it had been a week and they'd never actually done any work for me, just sent people to look at my lawn and not give me quotes. 

A week later, Lawn Love billed my credit card company for the price of "regular service".  (Ie, what they had told me on the original call they would charge for bi-weekly service, if my lawn needed regular mowing instead of a ton of extra work.) They had literally never cut so much as a twig or a blade of grass. 

I just noticed the charge when I was reviewing my bills today to pay them. I have disputed the charge, and downgraded my 1-star review of Lawn Love from "REALLY BAD" to "ACTUALLY SCAMMERS". I don't think I mentioned their name before, but please allow me to blacken it now.  If you are ever looking to hire a lawn service DO NOT USE LAWN LOVE. They did no work for me and charged my credit card after I told them I wouldn't use their service.

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Me 2012

Weekend Update

 I played a lot of Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates this weekend, and didn't do a whole lot else. Y!PP released a new Steam-only ocean with some metagame changes, but it's mostly the same PP I knew and loved and may be hooked on again. I did cave and buy the DLC that keeps you from being nickle-and-dimed for various things. Although I may wind up nickle-and-dimed for Poker, but I dunno. Poker was a good way for me to make in-game currency many years ago, but (a) poker is boring and (b) they took away the high-stakes table and it's hard to make enough profit at the lower ones to justify the time and (c) you only really need in-game currency for the meta game and looks, neither of which I care about much. (To be honest, I care about dressing up my avatar more than I care about the metagame.)
 
Lut pointed out  that I was very successful In Y!PP at brutal PvP pillaging, but it was all at the poker table, not on the seas. This is ... very apt. It's not that I am particularly good at poker, it's more that most Y!PP players don't really understand how the odds work in Hold 'Em, and I have a high risk tolerance.
 
On Saturday, Lut and I went to Costco so we could try all the samples and because Lut hasn't gone to Costco in several years. (I got a Costco membership again because I have a car, but we cancelled the old one ages ago.) This was Lut's first shopping expedition in four months or so. He did pretty well! But I took him straight home after we left the store.
 
On Sunday, I spent some time on the phone, talking to my parents and to friends. John called, and it was good to hear from him again. I also wrote a thousand words of new material for book two of my duology, to expand one of the denouement scenes that I felt was kind of phoned-in. I got some more Puzzle Pirates in, too. Book Two is basically done at this point. Alinsa hasn't really started Book One layout, though, so there's no big rush to kick Book Two out the door. I will read my expanded scene one more time before I pronounce it done. Probably not gonna do anything else with it, though.
 
Feels weird to finish the second book so easily, when I struggled so long with editing the first. But the second book is a lot shorter, so there was (a) less to edit and (b) no pressure to find words to cut wherever I could.
 
Monday was All The Errands. I am officially a Reduced Hours employee at the bank, meaning I work 30-35 hours a week, instead of 36-40. My current schedule is Tue-Fri, 8 hours a day, with Mondays off because Lut has chemo then.
 
So my Monday was:
 
8:00: Call Disability folks, because they sent a letter asking us to and this is the only time Lut and I are both available at the hours specified. Leave message.
8:10: Call Disability again after realizing they stapled an unrelated person's notice to Lut's. Leave another message.  
9:30: leave house with Lut
9:40: stop at McDonald's for Lut's breakfast
10: Wait with Lut at cancer treatment center
10:15: Watch Lut get blood drawn
10:30: Go back with Lut to talk to nurse
11:00: Talk to oncologist with Lut. White blood cell count is high enough that he can get chemo, yay!
11:25: Leav Lut to get actual chemo. Go to DMV to get form for handicap placard for car.
11:50 Hang out at Panera with my Surface, and edit The Sun Etherium.
12:45: Go back to cancer center.
12:55: Drop off handicap placard form for doctor to sign. Wait for Lut to finish treatment.
1:15: Stop by Walmart to get frozen veggies for me and baby asprin for Lut, because his next-step chemo treatment has a side effect of blood clots, so they want him to take a blood thinner.  
1:30: Stop for frozen custard.
1:40: Look in vain for a place that will sell me a replacement recycling bin because the  one we currently have is disintegrating.
2:10: Get home, chat with Lut about various things, put away groceries.  
3:00 sit down at computer.
3:15: doctor's office calls that DMV form is ready.
3:20: Get DMV form, go back to DMV, get in wrong line, get in right line, get called up. "Er ... Sorry, we can't accept the form without the disabled person being present, unless you're their spouse. But! Here's a form he can sign and then we don't need him."  
4:15 Get home. Fill out form, have Lut sign, and put it in mail, since it doesn't need to be done in person at all.
4:30-10; strip bed, do five loads of laundry, make bed, put away clean clothes. Also make dinner in there somewhere.
 
Doing laundry didn't take all of those last five and a half hours, but it definitely took a chunk out of them.
 
Tuesday, I got home to find yet more paperwork, including a ginormous form that Lut and I already filled out a month ago. The other form was from a law firm for my insurer, who wanted to sue someone so my insurer could get out of paying Lut's hospital bills. I wrote "none" on it a lot. SORRY INSURANCE COMPANY BUT YOU CAN'T SUE CANCER. I also swore disproportionately, because I am just really tired of dealing with bureaucracy plus cancer. Guys, I got to the end of my rope six weeks ago and it's just flailing and cursing now.
 
I started to fill out the ginormous form again with Lut, and quit after thirty minutes because guh. I figured I could finish it Wednesday night. I also got a request for a big packet of stuff to send for a book thing next month and it's like a ten day deadline and ahhhhhhh.
 
Oh, and I checked Lut's voice mail and he had a message from his neurologist's office that he needed a follow-up. Which I'd been wondering about. 
 
Wednesday morning, I called Disability again, and this time they answered! And didn't even tell me "we need to talk to Lut not you"!
 
Me: Hi, you sent a letter that we needed to call?
Social Worker: Oh, yes, we haven't gotten any of the forms back from you yet.
Me: ... I sent in everything, what are you missing?
SW: *pause* Oh, so you did.
Me: ... so do you still need us to fill out this ginormous form you mailed two days after the other letter?
SW: No, we got that. We just need stuff from the cancer center and the rehab place. I'll call them. Thanks!
Me: ... you're welcome? 
 
So I am not super-reassured but I'll go with it, I guess?
 
So I can just worry about assembling stuff for the book thing, which is cool, I promise, and I will tell you all more about it when I know more myself.
 
I also called neurologist's office:
 
Them: "we can see him this afternoon!"
Me: "... can I have a little more notice than that?"
Them:"Howabout Friday afternoon?"
Me: "Okay."
 
So I got that approved by my boss and told Lut.
 
Things are happening and I am getting stuff done on many fronts, almost as if I were a real adult and not an obvious imposter.
 
I had, briefly, lost my "fake adult" feeling while commuting twice daily to the hospital, but apparently it grows back. My brain keeps reminding me of all the things I haven't gotten done yet and I want to tell it JUST LET ME HAVE THIS OKAY?
 
Okay.
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