Posts Tagged ‘free’

Storage locker

We began moving things down to the storage locker today. It feels strange to be dismantling the house like this. It’s also fairly disorienting. I’m certain that we’ll get to New York and I’ll open a box and wonder, “Why did I bring this?” Our next wave of stuff goes out tomorrow.

I’ve also become quite taken with Freecycle, which is like Craig’s list, except it’s all free stuff. If you have something that no one would buy, but you can’t bring yourself to landfill it, then you can post a message on Freecycle and someone will want it. It’s wonderful. You can also post a message if you’re looking for an item too. They seem to have local chapters all over the world. I highly recommend it. Beats the heck out of consigning more perfectly good stuff to the dump.

In Portland? Want free stuff?

I’m emptying my basement. I have loads of stuff that aren’t going with us to NYC. If you are in the Portland, OR area and are willing to come pick things up, you can score on foam, ribbons, fabric, glue and lumber. Email me and I’ll give you my contact info.

I also have several boxes of marionettes that I inherited from an older puppeteer and I can’t take them with me. These are in various stages of completion. Some of the boxes are only parts. Many of the marionettes need to be restrung

I can’t bring myself to throw them in the trash.

These are good for an older child’s toys, beginners and collectors.

Disaster! (almost)

I’ve been having trouble with my internet in the room and complained multiple times to the hotel. They sent their engineer up–who announced as he came into the room, “I’m not particularly computer savvy.” Oh, how true that was. He poked at buttons on the computer and said, “I’ll have to close these windows,” and generally pretended to do something.

I continued to have no internet and to complain vigorously. They finally agreed to move me to another room. So during all of that, I didn’t do much blogging or work on my NaNo. Today, I got up and opened my novel for the first time, since he came in, so I could do some NaNoWriMo.

It consisted of the title page.

He had deleted the novel.

I hyperventilated for a second and then realized that I back up on a regular basis. Which means that I only lost half a page. I was ready to kill though. To their credit, the hotel recognized that this was a huge deal and that, even though it all turned out all right, they had really screwed up. They gave us one night for free.

Moral of this story: Auto-backup is your friend.

Adding Injury to Insult

I’ve had time to cook lately, which has been a nice change of pace. Last night I made a Espresso Black Bean Chili that I’d discovered when I was staying with my folks at Woodthrush Woods. I really like this recipe, although I cut it in half and still have more chili than makes sense.

Frozen HaddockI froze some of it and stuck it in the freezer. The challenge there is that three large haddock now fill our freezer. Right before Julie headed out of town, she popped in and dropped these off. The gang had gone fishing with Tóti and caught ridiculous numbers of haddock. These are not small fish and, although they’ve been cleaned, they are whole fish and take up a lot of space in our tiny freezer. It was not easy to fit everything in, so the bags of frozen chili are nestled between the fish.

Meanwhile, the pot in which I’ve cooked the chili is carbon black on the bottom. I don’t know what it is about this particular pot, but everything that I’ve made in it chars. It’s really frustrating. I had to scrape the bottom of the pot, trying to release the crust. I alternated between letting it soak, while I did other dishes, and scraping it. As I turned from tossing some of the scrapings in the trash, I whacked into the cabinet door–left open from the other dishes.

I broke the skin, but not badly. It lines up nicely with the wrinkles on my forehead, so I don’t think it will leave a mark. Still, it seemed like a good idea to put an icepack on it. Except that it was behind the haddock. As I held the first of the frozen fish in my hand, I briefly considered just putting it on my forehead and lying down.

Rob came in and found me about then and took over the dishes, including the pot of carbon. So, I guess that the frozen haddock did relieve me of one my headaches.

A Pro-Sale!

I can’t believe it. Strange Horizons just wrote to say they want to buy Portrait of Ari at pro-rates! I’m beside myself with excitement–really, it takes two of me to express my joy fully.

Here’s the letter.

Dear Mary Robinette Kowal,

We’re pleased to accept your story “Portrait of Ari” for publication in Strange Horizons, at a rate of 5 cents/word.

Our current schedule has this running early in 2006, but that could change.

At some point between now and then, we’ll do a detailed editing pass and send you the results for your approval. But that probably won’t happen for another few weeks.

In the meantime, below please find a copy of our informational questionnaire. Once we receive your response to it, we will send you a check and contract. Please allow two months after sending the questionnaire for processing; if you haven’t received a check and contract within two months, please let us know. And please don’t hesitate to contact our editor-in-chief, Susan Marie Groppi, at, if you have any questions about your contract.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. And thank you for sending us this story!



For those of you following along, Susan Marie Groppi is my editor at All-Star Stories. I don’t know how much that had an impact on my story’s acceptance, but I’m counting my blessings in whatever form they take.

Now I just have to hope that tomorrow’s audition will go as well.

Lazy Town Sweepstakes

My friend Jodi is on tour with the Lazy Town live show. Apparently Nick Jr. is running a promotional contest so you can get the show in your town. Naturally, Jodi wants to come to Portland. To enter, one must have children between the ages of one and eight. Strangely, Rob and I don’t qualify. I’m not endorsing the contest, but if you want to help Jodi come to Portland, then feel free to enter.

I told him I would ask people. So I am.

Free time? No…

We’re done at four o’clock today. I’m in shock. I don’t know what I’ll do, besides return phone calls from all the people I’ve been ignoring for the past month.

Rob’s Last Day!

Yesterday was a momentous day, and I didn’t even realize it. It was Rob’s last official day at the winery. Of course he’s still going in to work on Monday, but he’s back to being free-lance. Hurrah!