Saturday, August 06, 2011

*tap-tap* Is this thing on?

So when last I left this blog, it was December 30th 2009. Three days later I would come down with one thing after another and end up in the ER with swine flu on January 21st 2010.
Because we'd met our insurance deductible, we decided now might be a good time to have that baby we'd been talking about. So we did. Which put me in the hospital during January of 2011.

But this thing about this blog is that it is nearly impossible to link it to, well, anything. Unless anyone has some ideas because I am sure at a loss here.

I am mostly over at LJ which I can easily link to Facebook and Twitter...and while this blog was great fun, I totally can't handle two blogs and everything else (writing, networking and, y'know...BABY) we'll have to decide what to do about that.
But that's not a choice for tonight.
Tonight, I just wanted to dust this one off and see how she ran after a couple of YEARS almost of quiet.....
Not so bad, actually.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


So, after the re-boot of Music City, I have been much more energized and made excellent progress!
I don't know what the current word count is currently, but I am happy with it. I am at my first major plot turning point and somewhere in the 18-20k range, which is as it should be.
Keela, our heroine, is about to complicate things a lot for herself. Which is a pity because things were going pretty well, but she doesn't see it.
I am pleased. ^_^
The reason for not pressing on is that I am hoping to finish off Draft Zero of the last Portia Gyony novella and get it off my plate so I can focus 100% on Music City (and short stories!).
Also, I will be Guest Blogging over at Apex in the new year. I am already liking where 2010 is going.
So stay tuned!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This weekend I have managed to bring my new version of Music City up to 10k. I reused some stuff like the prologue and the chapter about Boston, but that was still about 5k of new material this weekend.
By the end of the week, I should be up to the word count of the old version and can move forward with the plot.
Thusfar I am roughly a tenth of the way into the book and a tenth of the way into the plot- working in side characters and much more setting and subplot. Versus the other version where I got about 25% through the plot at 15k and hit a wall because I did not like where anything was going- so contrived and just insincere did it feel to me.
So, onward and hopefully upward!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The going is sometimes slow

So I lost a bunch of steam for MUSIC CITY at about 15k. I just wasn't feeling it. I wasn't liking the main character. It just wasn't gelling for me.
My husband, an awesome author in his own right, is really great for bouncing plot off of. We had a long talk about where I wanted to go with the story and worked backwards to the beginning and sorted out some plot.
So things got a little reworked and rewritten and tweaked and torqued and things are going more smoothly now.
Not that I have had any time to work on it since last week. Yay midterms. I have what I would consider the best Day Job in the world (I teach fashion) but several times a year it eats my life.
Yesterday, my day was lost to a weird migraine that wasn't. Just stayed in that dizzy slightly nauseated pre-migraine state for 24 hours. Stress, it's a killer.
Today, the plan is to go throw on some clothes and take Javert, the German Shepherd mix we're fostering (on our own now since we've been abandoned by all local rescues), off for an adventure- the long pleasant walk over to the local pet supply place for some rawhides and a training clicker.
Then this afternoon it is off for a writing afternoon at Crema's!
I always think so much more clearly over there and it gives me great momentum for coming back home and being productive.

Off for adventure! And writing!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back in the swing...or swing and a miss?

Life can be a cunning little minx. Especially with long-awaited honeymoon vacations in Ireland involved. I left a few days after I made my last post and returned about a week ago- 4 days of that spent dragging myself through jetlag and attempting to convince my body that we are in Tennessee now, not Ireland. A hard-won victory. And a bitter one at that because it means I am no longer in Ireland. Not that there's anything wrong with Tennessee, I love living in Nashville. It just isn't Ireland, savvy?

So this weekend was the first attempt in almost a month to get back in the writing rhythm. So far, I am attempting to knock out a short story for an anthology request (currently 2 story requests done, three to go) and intermittently let me brain wander into Music City plotting. I think this chapter might flow into a nice flashback travelogue through Ireland. Yes, that'll do nicely. Now with BONUS! actual experience driving around the countryside. The things I'll do for my craft!
I'll report back once I made a little bit of headway.
And in case anyone is wondering, YES, the Guinness IS BETTER over there.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Oh, neglected blog is neglected.
Let's see, since spewing my venom about Old Navy, they gave me my discount and a $20 gift cert. I see more shopping in my future. ^_^
Plus, a shiny apology from a manager over their credit division.
At school, midterms rolled into registration into finals and I am ded.
Thusly, little work has been done on Music City.
I am currently sitting at Crema, my coffeeshop of choice, staring out the front window from my favorite seat, watching clouds and traffic and trying to clear my mind enough to work on something. Had a busier morning than intended with much dog-drama- nothing terrible, but Eowyn bolted and got sliced up by Bad Cat across the street, like literally had one of his claws wedged into her eyebrow. After cleaning her up, we had an hour's training on front door etiquette.

Last week, I put together a story to submit for an anthology and sent another anthology request out to be beta-ed. I have three more antho requests to fulfill. I also editted The Labyrinth of the Dead and can now move forward on The Tower of the Forgotten. Where does this leave Music City? No idea. Certainly not forgotten, but re-prioritized based on things with specific deadlines- as I have been with the agent I have been speaking to.
This is not uncommon in the writing process. You might start out something with the best of intentions and then get de-railed by a more pressing project. Not more important, just more time sensitive.
The trick is to manage time to get it all done, something totally doable, even if it includes a sort of spur-of-the-moment day-trip to Huntsville on Saturday to meet with Baen editors in the hope of making a favorable impression so they might consider taking on Seven Times a Woman, the book that fans love but that just cannot find a home. *sigh* I am already popualr with many Baen readers, but have yet to come to the attention of the editors. And said Baen folks are hatching a plan. I'd be afeared, but really, it can't be any worse than the two botched introductions I have already had inflicted upon my professional person.
And now, it's been twenty minutes of writing and none of it marketable fiction. So, you know what that means....

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

My email to Old Navy

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in concern to the service I receiving calling the Old Navy card customer service line. I understand that they are technically a separate organization run by GE Money, but they are still representing your company and doing a great disservice to you.

I have a busy and ever-changing schedule and I missed a payment on my card. This has happened very few times in the last several years that I have had this store card. I usually pay off my balance in full as soon as I get the notice that it has posted to my account.
On Monday, August 31 at 10:48am, I got a call from a number I did not recognize. The woman on the phone at first did not identify herself, but I was able to discern soon enough that this was a collections call from Old Navy. I apologized for losing track of my payments, I don't use it so often that I know to check my statement every month and that sometimes I get email reminders and sometimes I don't- an issue I later found is tied to using or the Old Navy site- as an aside, is not nearly as easy to use as the Old Navy website but they are the only ones that send the reminder emails. I informed her that I would be paying the balance as soon as I got home from work. She was very demanding of my debit card number or my bank information, which I told her I was not comfortable giving over the phone. She was also very demanding of my work phone number and my home phone number, both of which I declined to tell her because I am not in my office during regular business hours (I teach college so my office hours are scattered throughout the week) and my home phone has no answering machine. She continued to press for these phone numbers after I repeatedly told her that I was not going to share them with her. The same thing with the debit/bank account information. We ended the phone call tersely and I immediately placed my payment, paying the balance in full, as soon as we hung up. I have been informed that it is illegal for collections people to ask for a person's work number, because they are not allowed to harass customers in their place of business.

Yesterday, about 3pm I went into the Old Navy store in the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, TN. I did my "stuff and save" shopping and went to check out. My card was declined.
The sales person with whom I dealt, Drew, was amazing. He was very kind and did all he could to make the transaction work, and although he could not give me the 20% discount, he let me have the free bag and told me to come back after the card issue was resolved and he would see if he could retro the discount.

On my way out, I called the card service line about 3:45pm or so. I asked why my account was frozen. The woman I spoke to was polite until she saw that my account was delinquent. Then her demeanor changed. She was very disdainful to me and gave me a great deal of attitude, asking "When you don't pay your bill, what did you think would happen?"
I told her that I had paid my bill the previous morning and gotten a confirmation that Old Navy had received it. She scoffed at me and said that it took up to 48 hours for the payment to post from the back and that I would not be able to use my card again until then. I also told her that I had never been told that my account had been frozen.
There was not a point in this conversation from this point that this woman was kind or polite. She was barely civil and her attitude was incredibly nasty, I could tell with every word exactly what she thought of me and it was highly upsetting.
I ended the phone call, very upset. In the previous two days my contact with customer service people representing your company has been terrible.
And as I have said many times this week, I understand the company's position. The economy is tough, you need to make sure you get paid and that is totally fair. I messed up, I completely forgot about the purchases I had made at the end of June, I apologized and paid the bill immediately after I was notified that I was still outstanding. I did get an email about that late last week, but was waiting on Monday's paycheck to be sure I could pay the balance off in full.
But to be treated with such contempt is ridiculous, especially after I paid the bill in full. But to be treated with such scorn to begin with is just jaw-dropping. Had the positions been reversed, either of those customer service people would have been as angry as I am to be treated in such a manner.
At 4pm exactly, I called the card customer service line again to complain about my treatment. The gentleman who answered that call was kind and apologetic. He assured me that he would bring this up with the floor supervisor/manager but I haven't heard anything in reply from them, so, in light of my previous encounters, I highly doubt anything will be done about this issue.

I have loved Old Navy for 15 years, shopping there since 1994. 75% percent of my wardrobe is Old Navy clothes and at least 25% of my jewelry and accessories come from your store. I have had great service in all the stores I have ever visited, but if this is the kind of treatment I can expect to receive from the parent company, I would rather take my money elsewhere. I am at the very least going to stop using the Old Navy store card. It is paid off and it will remain unused from this point forward. I am still considering my further patronage of your company.

I am not sure what can be done about this from your side but I wanted you to be aware that your card services people are running off your customers.

~Sara Harvey